Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So I'm really not supposed to be shopping...

But I really needed a pair on sunglasses.  My latest pair from the summer have been trashed yet again by my kids and I've been without a pair for months.  The sun is bright down here y'all and squinting is not good for the "fine lines."

It was a bad decision or maybe a good decision to drop by Marshall's.  But at least it wasn't a drugstore!  Oh and if you've noticed my inventory post you will find lots of crossed our product.  Yay!

So off to Marshall's I went in search of a suitable pair of shades to protect my baby blues.  Eyeglasses are unfortunately too close to skincare/makeup but a look wouldn't hurt...

I found way too much!  Ankle weights, a grippy yoga towel, grippy yoga socks, cute hot water bottle for sore muscles of course, tons of the Balm skincare and makeup and Elizabeth Arden goodies.  It was too much for me to handle.  I didn't fill the cart, it wasn't too hard to resist with zero funds but I did splurge.  I'm so weak.

At first I put the sunglasses back to make the trip way less worse, but they were the reason I went in and I promised myself to file our taxes today to make up for it.  Which I did.  Well I just have to hit the submit button, after I check them probably 5 more times.

So without further rambling...  On to the goods!

Better yet, the prices... oh and the sunglasses were $19.99.  Michael Kors!  lol

I've seen a trio in one palette used  in a couple of tutorials and I have searched for it on-line but I couldn't justify the price.  Here they all are, but individual, in one set for $9.99.  They are sold individually for $19 but you can get them on amazon.com for $11.20 not including shipping.  The trio is on ebay for $45 or amazon for $42.50.  Head to TJ's or Marshall's!

The come with a slide off cover to keep them from opening.  However the magnet that keeps it shut is quite strong.  There is also a good size mirror when you open the cover.

Bahama Mama is a bronzer which I will use as a contouring shade as it is quite dark and perfectly matte.   Not a dupe for NARS Laguna as NARS is a bit more warm.  Bahama Mama is quite pigmented.

Hot Mama is your golden shimmery blush or shadow similar to NARS Orgasm but more peach and the gold shows up a little less. Again, very pigmented, slightly powdery.

Sexy Mama is an oil absorbing translucent powder that is supposed to be shine free.  Well we will see about that!  It also looks a bit dark in the pan probably because it is so pigmented.  A little will go a long way with this powder.

I like the cardboard packaging.  They are slim, the magnet is strong but they also have the paper cover to keep everything in place.  I can't wait to try these out!

Also on the shelves was a theBalm mattifying lotion that was screaming out to me, but I left it alone.  I feel the need to go back for it.  Summers here in the NC are quite humid, like nothing I have experienced before.  I did live outside of Washington, DC for 7 years so I know humidity.  I wasn't quite prepared and I must have looked a greasy mess every day last summer until November.

So let me start off with a little story about the next gem.  Rarely does a product blow me away.  I have so many to try and so many coming into my life that something has to be truly special for me to purchase it.  This is one of those special products.  I received a sample in a monthly Birchbox and that very first night of trying them, my skin looked radiant.

Unfortunately in my excitement, I did pick up the wrong product.  What I wanted was the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Gold Ultra Restorative Capsules for Face and Throat.  However, these are just the "plain" no gold ones.  Hopefully they live up to my expectations...

A quick glance at the ingredient list and they differ by 2 ingredients... Linoleic acid  which may improves dryness and thinning of the skin.  Not something I'm worrying about these day and Oleic Acid which is also an essential fatty acid like Linoleic.

So the gold are $68 on the Elizabeth Arden site and I bought these for $29.99.  I'm quite happy.  I have been trying to work out a deal forever and couldn't justify buying them.  I'm happy.  I just hope I like them just as much!

let me tell you, I've been a TJ's girl since as long as I can remember.  My mom would take my sister and I after Sunday bagels at my Grandparents' house.  I loved running around the store picking out clothes and trying them on... most Sundays anyway.  I have carried on the tradition until moving to NC.  No TJ's.  :(  I know Marshall's and TJ's are sisters or cousins maybe, but I still love the feel of a TJ Maxx but Marshall's will have to do for now.

One thing I've noticed.  Their shoe selection is outstanding, but the bag section really needs to be overhauled.  I miss browsing through the purses and bags at TJ's...

Have you just been loving theBalm at TJ's and Marshall's?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


ZOYA recently had a Valentine's Day promo with free shipping with any purchase but you also had to choose a polish from their reds.  It took me a while as red is not something I naturally gravitate towards. Looking very briefly at my collection to date, I have one what I consider to be a true red, ZOYA Sooki which I received in a Birchbox and which I haven't tried yet.  Pinks and corals are colors that I have been branching out towards so this was a challenge!

I finally settled on  LC which I see as a pinky blue almost a purple based red but ZOYA describes as a coral-red.  ZOYA also says it's a warm toned red.  It does look a little off on my skin tone.   But I'm not sure if it's because I consider myself to be cool toned mostly but also a little neutral and warm.  I know it's confusing.  I like silver jewelry, I love wearing black, purple, blues and greens.  I do have a few greys and browns...  But that can be cool too.  My veins are blue, purple and some green.

For my "any purchase"  I chose a 2 fl.oz. bottle of ZOYA 3-in-1 remove + which I absolutely love but can't afford to buy the buckets of it I need.   Because I am so savvy I make my own version that works the same but unfortunately does not have the lovely scent of the ZOYA.  So for under $5 I got a nail polish and a travel size remover.  Great deal!

It's slightly more red and darker than in the bottle which I have found with a few ZOYA polishes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Brazilliant!

Sitting at my desk, I saw Essie Brazillant, a bright orange with a pink shimmer calling out to me.  Well, that's a bit dramatic.  But I painted my thumb nail and thought, "Yeah way too bright for February."  But who makes up those rules anyway?  But I knew I had to do something with it.  Add some glitter or shimmer to tone it down.

I came up with Jesse's Girl Firefly.  And this was the result!

Definitely not toned down...

Ready to go to the beach!  Actually we just might today after school.  I only intended for this color to be on my toes in the summer but since it is blazing hot down here in NC, (okay 70's but the sun is hot!) I thought that this was appropriate for today and tomorrow for that matter as it will be in the high 70's.

We did have a cray cray t-storm last night around 3.  Thunder that shook the house.

What seasonally inappropriate colors are you wearing for this unseasonable weather that we are having?


A couple of weeks ago I received (as well as many other Birchbox subscribers) an email from Birchbox asking me if I wanted a sponsored Vichy Birchbox, free of charge and in addition to my monthly Birchbox.

Umm, yes I would thank you very much.

It arrived last evening and was pleasantly surprised with the contents!  Take a look...

I took a quick look and these are super rich creams which I'm learning do work with my skin but in smaller amounts.  Even though I have oily skin, as long as I use minimal amounts of heavy creams/lotions, I do not produce anymore oil, maybe slightly less.

I mist my face prior to applying lotion, using less and allowing it to spread and absorb more easily.  I do want to try the MAC Charged Water for this eventually as it has a lot of antioxidants and other goodies for the skin.

I'm very much looking forward to trying this selection of products and I will have a full review in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lady of the Lake

a-england was a brand that I have been wanting to try forever!  Well I guess last May when I saw swatches on Chloe's Nails.  Man, Erika really fueled my addiction to polish with her gorgeous nails!  But with my limited budget, buying a nail polish from the UK and paying associated shipping costs was not going to happen...  Until a little sale came long, 30% off and free international shipping, well let's just say SOLD!

Here is Lady of the Lake, the purple sparkly holo from The Mythicals collection.

It's pulling a bit more blue in the pictures but it is an outstanding blue-toned purple.  I showed you Iseult here, a beautiful shimmery pink.  I still need to wear Tristam next.

The formula was great, 2 coats that which dried quickly and I topped it off with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat that my husband bought for me so I will see how it stands up to Seche.  It does dry super fast but we will see about the chipping!

Did you happen to grab a Mythical or two?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Purple Eyes!

I did this look yesterday.  It wasn't supposed to be so involved as we were heading out to the Wilmington Ice House for a few hours of ice skating but I had a few extra minutes...

Products used:

AVON glimmersticks diamonds eye liner in Sugar Plum: lower lash line smudged out
PF black liner from the green gel liner trio: upper and lower waterlines
Alison Raffale Soft Shadow in Amethyst:  all over lid and lower lash line
About Face Cosmetics Pixie Paradise:  Center of lid and a little towards inner corner
Revlon Matte Rich Sable: crease & outer v
L'OREAL Infallible Endless Pearl:  blend out Rich Sable
L'OREAL Infallible Iced Latte:  brow & inner corner highlight
*not pictured:  Rimmel glam'eyes Day 2 Night mascara Extreme Black

For my undereye concealing I put a teeny tiny bit of Benefit Erase paste in No. 2 Medium.  It is way too dark for me so a tiny amount goes under my eye directly under the inner corner.  The salmon/peachy color neutralizes the small amount of darkness I have.  I went over that with Maybelline Mineral Power in Fair/Light and I blend that down in the triangle region under my eyes and in the corners and bridge of my nose.  Then I swept Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in the pink brightening formula all under both eyes and patted it in for extra brightening.

Woah, seems pretty involved.  lol

Swatches left to right:

AVON sugar plum
PF black liner:  This is buildable and super black btw...
Revlon Rich Sable
Alison Raffaele Amethyst
About Face Pixie Paradise
L'OREAL Endless Pearl
L'OREAL Iced Latte

I was very impressed with the AVON eye liner in Sugar Plum.  It has the right amount of sparkle and looked really nice as a lower lash liner for this look.  What impressed me most is that we were ice skating for about 3 hours and my eyes tend to be sensitive and tear frequently in the cold.  This liner did not budge.   Good stuff!

Zoya Dove and White Cap

Zoya Dove is a polish that does not get enough love in my collection.  When my daughter came in from the park a little while ago she asked if I could paint her nails the color of her dress.  It happened to be a grey knit with silver sparkle so I reached for Dove right away!

To achieve the sparkle, China Glaze White Cap, one of my top favorites, was the perfect addition.  And I think I will be painting my nails the same combo very shortly!

I was half tempted to push those cuticles back and give them a trim...  :)  This is 2 coats of Dove, 1 coat of CG White Cap and Milani Quick Dry Top Coat.

My son just handed me ZOYA Apple and Finky Fingers Golden Coast.  lol


So I'm absolutely loving my new OPI sorbet in Guy Meets Gal-Veston.  I decided to kick it up a notch with a flakie of course!  And what better than Finger Paints Asylum!

I hope you were able to pick up Asylum.  I haven't been to my Sally's in over a month so I'm not sure of he status on this one.  Maybe it's on clearance!  That is, if there was any left.  The Finger Paints Special Effects Flake Glitter Topcoat collection was high anticipated the first of the year!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A little taste of some sorbet...

So I finally tried out my Walmart clearance special OPI (Buy 1, Get 2 free) Guy Meets Gal-Veston.  I put on a layer and it was super sheer but not clear.  It was like a jelly but not.  So I did some investigating...

What's a sorbet?  I had no idea either.  The Polishaholic was there to give me the answers.  A "sorbet" finish is one that OPI developed, "too squishy to be a creme, too milky to be a jelly."  Well that clears it up!  They look like a popsicle on your nails.  Very cool.  

There is a visible nail line but if you use a more opaque base than I did, it will be nearly undetectable.  I didn't know what to expect so I just used Julep Nail Therapy.  Normally I use that and then a layer of Essie Ridge Filler but it is getting almost too low in the bottle to use it.  Time for a new one!

So here is OPI Guy Meets Gal-Veston from the Texas Collection.  Apparently there are 6 of them!

Love the sorbet finish!  I like jellies in general but honestly, in my collection they are so few.  In fact, I might have given the L.A. Colors to my niece over the summer.  Now I want more!  You don't even need a top coat because the finish is so shiny already and this polish dried super fast.  I was able to do 3 coats in less than 15 minutes.  Completely dry.  I did use Seche Vite so I didn't ding them up.  As you can see from the photos I didn't seal my tips so the Seche pulled back on the polish when it dried.

The last photo is with a flash and probably shows the "true" color.  It looks orange in some lights like in Walmart where I bought it, but it is more of a coral. I really like it.  This is not the sort of color I gravitate towards at all.  You know me, greens, blues and purples, glitters and flakies are the ones that catch my eye but this color looks really nice.  It's such a dreary rainy morning here in NC.  Glad I have this to brighten things up a bit!

Of course I'm probably going to put a flakie top coat on it very soon! 

Did you happen to pick up any sorbets from the OPI Texas Collection?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Toxic Seaweed

Cult Nails recently came out with the new Let's Get Nekkid Collection few weeks ago.  I opted out of the entire collection as I am being really "good."  Seriously I am.  Only 2 stops in the drugstores this year.  One was for a friend's baby and the other was to spend some CVS ECB's as I am not a "money trasher!"  lol

So about a week ago Maria released the Nekkid Collection individually and I scooped up Toxic Seaweed a few minutes after the midnight release along with a glass nail file to replace my broken one.  Toxic Seaweed was of course a stand out in the collection for me as a green glitter/flakie.

This is an outstandingly complicated green glitter.  In an aqua green jelly base you find tiny green and gold glitter and mixed with coppery flakes of all different sizes.  It's gorgeous.  It is more green in real life than the blue that is coming across in the pictures.

The formula is a bit thick as it is packed with glitter but 2 thin coats is all you need.  The polish dries super fast.  The above 3 photos are without a top coat.  Here are two with a Seche Vite topper.

And here is a bottle shot!

I also think it's about time I show you all the green glitters and shimmers in my collection.  I did a teal comparison a while back but I also have a lot of greens.  :)

Did you pick up any of Maria's new creations?