Monday, June 3, 2013

Mascara Monday: Revlon Lash Potion

First of all, let me say that I absolutely love this packaging. Anything pink with light effects is going to catch my eye, which is probably the main reason I bought this mascara. The tube is so pretty, it would have been impossible for me to resist. Well played, Revlon... well played.

This mascara claims to be lengthening and volumizing, with the description on the back claiming: "The formula with strengthening proteins, amino acids and essential vitamins, revitalizes lashes. The Illusionist Wand drenches lashes for dramatic volume and combs through lashes for clump free length."

A lot of the other online reviews I've read say that this mascara is a hot, clumpy mess, but I actually found it to be quite nice. The formula is a bit on the dry side, but I actually prefer that. The brush is relatively big, but I don't mind that either. I wouldn't say it's overly volumizing, but it definitely adds some length, and I didn't have a problem with clumping. I used 2 coats and didn't have any issues.

Overall, I think this is a good mascara. Good, but not great. I'm not sure if it's meant to grow your lashes (I would assume so based on the fact that the name includes "by Grow Luscious"), but I've only used it a couple of times so I guess time will tell. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Essie Summer 2013 Collection

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am a sucker for Essie polishes. When they released their neon collection, I picked up every single shade (even the green one that I knew I'd never use). Why? Because I can't help myself. I have an addiction!! It's serious.

Anyway! So when I saw that they were releasing a second collection this summer, I had to go check it out. Granted, I thought the neon collection was their summer collection, but I was wrong! As it turns out, the official summer 2013 collection was recently released as Naughty Nautical. The name of the collection is a bit confusing for me -- especially when blogging about the collection -- because MAC had a collection with the same name a few years ago, but I digress. /endrant!

So! These are the colors in the Summer 2013 Collection: (photo credit to

Left to right: Sunday Funday, The Girls Are Out, Full Steam Ahead, Rock the Boat, The More the Merrier, Naughty Nautical

So far I've only managed to pick up two of these colors; Sunday Funday and the namesake of the collection, Naughty Nautical. Honestly, I've had a hard time finding these colors in stores... especially Full Steam Ahead and Rock the Boat, which -- of course -- are the two I most want. Ha, figures! All of the displays I've seen in Walgreens and CVS only carry the other 4, and they seem to be sold out in my area. /sadface. But if all else fails, I will resort to my go-to for nail polishes: (and with any luck they'll be cheaper too!) ;)

I'll be swatching and adding photos as I get more of the colors - so stay tuned!! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

DIY: Nail Polish Rack

Over the past few months my nail polish collection has grown exponentially and I have been in the market for a nail polish rack. I can't tell you how many times I've picked up a nail polish only to bring it home and find out I already had it due to a bad storage system. My nail polish was stored in a big plastic bin and if you would have asked me, I wouldn't have been able to tell you what was in there.

So my search began (as they usually do) on the internet. Ebay and Amazon both sell acrylic nail polish racks that hold approximately 90 bottles for about $30-40. While scouring, I realized that all a nail polish rack is is a shelf. I could totally make one, and probably for much cheaper than the plastic ones they sell online. Thus my project began!

To be honest, this wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be to build. It took about 8 hours (start to finish, and that includes waiting for the paint to dry) before it was gloriously hanging on my wall, displaying my babies proudly. :)

I'll tell you step by step how I built mine and what materials I used, but obviously, you can adjust the board sizes to your own needs. If you need more storage, you may want to go bigger and add a few more shelves. If you need less, you can have fewer shelves. It's all up to you! It's custom made, that's the beauty of it!

10 - 2" x 2ft hobby boards (1/4" thick)
2 - 2" x 3ft hobby boards (3/8" thick)
A hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
Level (or level app)
Wall mounts or shelf mounts - something to hang it on the wall (I used wall mounts)

First, get one of your 3 ft boards. Measure 4" and mark a line with your pencil. Keep going until you've measured and marked every 4" down the board. Next, glue your shelves on (the 2ft boards) using the hot glue gun either right over or right under the lines you've drawn. You'll also attach one to the top and one to the bottom. After that, put glue on each of the other ends of the shelf boards and quickly attach your other 3ft board to the side. You have to work quickly because hot glue dries relatively fast, but you'll want to make sure everything is straight. If you have a level, try to use it. If you don't you can probably download one as an app on your phone!

The glue will dry quickly, so once it does, bust out your hammer & nails. You'll want to put in two nails on each side for every shelf where it connects to the side boards. This just adds extra stability - you don't want your rack to fall down and your nail polish to scatter and break!

Once all your nails are in place, it's time to paint. You could use spray paint or acrylic and paint it by hand. I opted to paint by hand since my apartment doesn't really have a space that's safe for spray painting. I got Martha Stewart high gloss acrylic paint in black, but obviously you can paint yours whatever color you want (to match your decor or what have you).

After the paint is dry (which for me took about 45 minutes) you're ready to hang it up! Use your wall mounts or shelf mounts, then hang and organize!

My nail polish rack holds about 140 polishes, and cost about $27 to make. Not too shabby for a day's work!

Friday, March 15, 2013

♥ BATTLE OF THE BB'S: Drugstore BB Creams - Overview/Review

BB creams seem to be everywhere these days; it was only a matter of time until they found their way to the drugstore. Rimmel, Garnier, L'Oreal, Revlon, and Maybelline have all come out with their version of the superfad BB Cream (as has almost every other makeup brand known to man woman.) Being that I am a sucker for face products, I had to swoop them up and give them a try. 

**Side note - Cover Girl has also released a BB Cream that I did not purchase. The reason for this is that it is the exact same product as their CG Smoothers foundation/tinted moisturizer. Not a BB cream - not included in this review.

So! To get started, let's run through them one by one.

SPF 25
1 fl. oz.
♥ Primes
♥ Moisturizes
♥ Minimizes Pores
♥ Conceals
♥ Covers
♥ Smooths
♥ Mattifies
♥ Brightens
♥ Protects

Well, it mattifies. I'll give it that. This is definitely not a product for anyone with dry skin. The coverage is probably the best of the drugstore BB's, but it is definitely a cakey, almost dry coverage. This product is in no way moisturizing or brightening, but the coverage is pretty impressive. I'd recommend this one to anyone with oily skin. If you're combination or on the dry side, stay far far away from this product. 

♥ SPF 15
♥ 2.5 fl. oz.
♥ Evens Tone
♥ Hydrates
♥ Renews
♥ Protects
♥ Brightens
This was the first drugstore BB cream I got my hands on and it set the bar for the rest of them. The coverage is light, comparable to a tinted moisturizer - maybe a little bit better - and the finish is nice. It isn't completely matte, but it isn't shiny or dewy either. It's a bit thick and can be tricky to blend, which is surprising given that its coverage is so light. This is also the largest of the drugstore BB creams in terms of fluid ounces at 2.5 (everything else hovers around 1 fl. oz.) My biggest complaint about the Garnier Skin Renew is the smell. It has an off-putting clay-like scent to it that doesn't go away. 

♥ 1.0 fl. oz.
♥ Primes
♥ Perfects
♥ Hydrates
♥ Corrects
This BB cream starts out white and oxidizes as you rub it into your skin to "match" your natural skintone. According to L'Oreal, this product "instantly transforms to your perfect shade for a flawless bare skin finish." I wouldn't go that far. This product offers almost no coverage whatsoever - it's hard to even see a difference after putting it on. The oxidizing does happen almost instantly, but I wouldn't even say that it matches my skin - it's almost sort of orange. As a BB cream, this product fails miserably, and doesn't do anything it says it will do except prime. I strictly use this as a foundation primer, and it's great for that. Just don't expect it to be great on its own.

♥ SPF 30
♥ 1 fl. oz.
♥ Hydrates 
♥ Smooths
♥ Covers
♥ Blurs flaws
♥ Protects 
Of them all, this one is the clear winner. Revlon's Photoready BB is by far my favorite of the drugstore ones I've tried. The coverage is decent, especially for a drugstore BB, there's no smell, it goes on evenly, it's creamy, and the shade is perfect for me. This one is a favorite for sure.

♥ SPF 30
♥ 1 fl. oz.
♥ Blurs imperfections
♥ Enhances
♥ Brightens
♥ Adjusts to skin tone
♥ Smooths
♥ Hydrates
♥ Protects
I wouldn't say that this product delivers any of the promises it makes on its packaging. If anything, it is somewhat hydrating, but that's what moisturizers are for. This one is just okay for me, I didn't think it did much. The coverage is lacking, even almost non-existent, which is fine for some people, but I prefer at least a little bit of coverage; otherwise, what is the point in putting any kind of makeup on anyway? This one seems to be a favorite amongst the beauty community, but it just didn't do anything for me.

First thing's first: none of these products are true BB creams. Not a single one. Real BB creams - like the Asian BB creams - do not yet exist in the US market. If anything, these are all glorified tinted moisturizers, with the exception of the L'Oreal only because I don't think that one can even be used that way. Each one has its own strength, though, and the ones that don't work for me may work for someone with a different skin type. The Rimmel is great coverage, but would be best for someone with oilier skin. The Maybelline and L'Oreal are so sheer, the only way I will use them will be as primers for  a real foundation. (I hate to let products I buy go to waste, so I will find a way to use them!) The clear winners here for me are the Garnier and the Revlon. 

Also, just as a side note, the prices notated above the pictures are what I paid for each one at CVS or Walgreens. I'm sure the price may vary depending on where you live/sales tax/etc.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I Cancelled Birchbox

Beauty subscription services were all the rage a few months ago in the beauty community here and on youtube, and the idea of paying a measly $10 a month for makeup samples seemed like a no brainer to me, so I signed up for Birchbox in March 2012 right after the Teen Vogue themed box made such a big splash.

I got my first box in April and was so excited to see what I was going to get. (I think part of the appeal was looking forward to something that wasn't a bill coming in the mail every month.) Here's what was in there:

Nothing all that exciting, right? The only product in here that I liked or ever actually used was the nail polish, and the exfoliating cleanser ended up being expired by over a year. Birchbox gave me "points" for the expired sample, so whatever. I didn't really understand how the point system worked so I was still a little tiffed at their messup.

Then came May; the Gossip Girl box.

Again, I found myself disappointed with my samples. I was really looking forward to the Stila Sparkle Eyeliner, but when I got my box it was missing. I had to spend 3 days calling and e-mailing customer service to actually get to talk to someone, and then had to wait a week and a half for them to ship me one. I did end up getting one, though, so I guess it wasn't all bad. Though it was army green colored - which I thought was completely unflattering for my skintone - but whatever, I wasn't going to complain about the color since they fixed their mistake by sending me the one product I was actually looking forward to. Everything else in this box was pretty much junk; note cards? Really? My "note cards" were actually one piece of Cardstock; so I only actually got one. None too pleased, Birchbox.

In June, Birchbox temporarily redeemed themselves with this box:

I really liked the (seemingly) full sized Stila bronzer and the tan towels. But why is a beauty service sending me a nutrition bar? (And a nasty one at that - if anyone else got a Luna Bar, you know, it was disgusting.) I didn't even eat the whole thing. The other redeeming factor in this box was the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck perfume sample - I love the scent and will probably end up buying a full sized bottle, though I won't be purchasing it from Birchbox.

Next came July:

This box is what closed the deal for me. Mints and crappy neon headphones? Why am I paying for this again? I loved the smell of the perfume sample (Harvey Prince - Hello) but realized I had something in my collection already that was a lot cheaper and smelled exactly the same (Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things Tease). At this point I decided I would give Birchbox one last chance to really wow me - AKA send me something I might actually try - or I was going to cancel. And then came August...

August Box:

Okay, so I haven't actually gotten this box in the mail yet, but I always go on when I get the shipping notification to see what to expect. This month, I checked on 8/10, the day I got my shipping notification e-mail and saw that there were only 3 products listed: a razor, stick on eyeliner, and nail polish remover. Obviously, they changed that since there are now 5 products showing, but I cancelled immediately after seeing my "preview" of those 3 things. A razor is hardly a beauty sample. I want makeup!

Overall, Birchbox is a good idea in theory, but I found that the products they were sending me weren't worth $10 in my opinion. I could just as easily have taken that money and bought something I would actually use. Not to mention that their customer service is seriously lacking; you can't get anyone on the phone (you have to leave a message) and it takes days for someone to reply to an e-mail. I might try another service, since I was so disappointed with this one. I really like the idea of getting new things in the mail every month, but I want it to be worth my money.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette: Review & Swatches

In honor of their 15th Anniversary, Urban Decay has released this limited edition eyeshadow palette complete with neutrals, brights, lights, metallics, and shimmers. All 15 colors in the palette are brand-spankin' new. Palette is available at Sephora and

The 15 Year Anniversary palette not only features 15 brand new -- and limited edition -- colors, but also comes in a collectible box in which the eyeshadows actually lift out so you can use the box even after the eyeshadows are gone. Nice idea, but how often does anyone actually ever finish a palette? :) It's a nice feature, but I doubt it's entirely practical. I know I've never finished a palette in my whole life. Have you?!


My personal favorites in this palette are Midnight Rodeo, Deep End, Chase, Flow, Evidence, and Ace. Deeper, Midnight 15, Omen and Half Truth are pretty great too. The only color that I feel is wasting space is Junkshow. I can't think of a reason that I'd ever need a hot pink eyeshadow. :P

I actually love this palette. I think it's a great value for the money and most of the colors are entirely wearable. As always with Urban Decay, the quality of the shadows is phenomenal. They are creamy, rich, and go on smoothly, and they blend well with other colors. It has just right the balance of neutrals and brights and it packs just the right amount of shimmer. (Which is a lot. I like glitter quite a bit. lol.)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nexxus Pro Mend Review

When I saw this advertised on TV, I thought to myself, "well, that would be awesome, but it probably doesn't work." After scouring for reviews -- patiently waiting to see ANY reviews of this line -- I finally decided to try it and I am SO glad I did.

The Nexxus Pro Mend line consists of shampoo, conditioner, an overnight repair cream, a daily leave in treatment, and a heat protectant with the sole purpose of binding split ends back together. It boasts that a whopping "94% of split ends are repaired in just one use" slogan, and promises to keep hair healthier in between salon visits.


The idea is that everyone has split ends, regardless of how often they get their hair trimmed, and the purpose of this product line is that it will not only reduce the appearance of split ends, but will actually bind them back together, leaving hair soft, shiny, and looking like you just came from a haircut.

I scooped up everything from this line with the exception of the heat protectant (only because my store didn't have it). It smells absolutely amazing and leaves your hair super soft, even before you dry it. It also helps in the detangling process after your shower; I have notoriously tangly hair and sometimes combing it out when it's wet can be a pain, but with this stuff, it was amazingly smooth and easy. Not a tangle in sight.


I am a HUGE believer in this line and after just a few uses, honestly believe I have found my holy grail hair care products. I live about an hour away from my hometown where my one and only trusted stylist is, so I don't get my hair cut nearly as often as I should. Along with that, my hair is colored and I blow dry and straighten it pretty much every day. My hair is damaged y'all. This stuff is absolutely amazing. My hair looks and feels healthier, shinier, and stronger, and it smells fantastic.