Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bonnie and Clyde 2011 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Week 5

Christmas is just under 2 months away, can you believe it? This week I wanted to focus on some slightly more expensive gifts with a real "wow" factor. The Phosphor Appear watch is knocks-your-socks-off gorgeous and is at the top of my Christmas list this year ;) And I actually bought the Nooka watch below for Hubs for our anniversary this year. It's fabulous!



Where to Buy
Phosphor Appear - You can purchase any of the Phosphor Appear watches on Phosphor's site HERE. This is the same watch that the lovely xsparkage gave away a few months back.

Nooka Watch - Nooka watches can be purchased on their site (there's a million to choose from) HERE.

Holiday Countdowns

Hanukkah countdown banner

Swatch & Review: OPI Red Shatter

I actually took the images for this review weeks ago and then ended up posting holiday stuff non-stop almost! I know a few of you are interested in a non-metallic or black shatter so let's get to it...

OPI Red Shatter


Color Description
This looked almost like a red cream polish in the bottle. 

How well does it shatter or crackle?
This dried about as quickly as the pink shatter (see review HERE) and the formula wasn't overly thick or thin. it didn't crack nearly as well as other shatters/crackles I've tried.

OPI Red Shatter over China Glaze Tinsel Town - Where do I even begin ... I hated this. I felt as though it looked like the color of the fake blood they sell in costume stores or almost like see-through red licorice. I didn't like it at all. I'm not sure if I would like it over another polish, but I tend to doubt it. To me, this is just ugly :(

Brush
This has OPI's wider brush, which I tend to find a bit too wide for my nails. I have fairly narrow nails, so the brush is over half as wide as all of my nails and makes application a bit awkward.

Ease of Application
I though this applied well, it was just the end result that I didn't like.

Drying Time
This dried quickly like most crackles I've tried, but it did take several minutes for it to fully crack.

Final Thoughts

This was hugely disappointing and I do not like it at all. I honestly don't know what would make it better... Maybe I'll try it over a white polish and see if it gives it a candy cane look for the holidays. But even if I don't mind that look, I still think it's ugly otherwise.

Price
I've seen this sell for as low as $6 on Amazon or as much as $11.50 in salons.

Where to Buy
It's reasonably priced with several retailers on Amazon. You can view it HERE.


Friday, October 28, 2011

EOTD: Sweetie Pie

I've had kind of an off day today and with our move coming up I'm just feeling a little stressed, so I decided to relax and play with some of my makeup :) I've been dying to try out my new Faux lashes (see my initial post HERE) and some of my new Fyrinnae shadows! The look I did is completely wearable (in my opinion) and could even work if you wanted something sweet and subtle for the holidays :)

Sweetie Pie EOTD

Here's what I used:
  • Benefit Stay Don't Stray (all over eye)
  • Fyrinnae Nijiro
  • Fyrinnae Sugar Skulls
  • Marakele Mineral shadow in Peach (not sure if this is actually available for sale, I received it from the company when I did copywriting for them when they first launched in 2006)
  • Too Faced Lava Matte pencil
  • Maybelline Full 'N Soft mascara in Very Black
  • Faux Lashes in Chloe
I am in love with those false lashes! Oh my gosh Faux lashes not only look fabulous, but these went on like a dream. If you follow my blog you've probably heard me say I have difficulty finding falsies that actually form to my almond-shaped eyes, but these were phenomenal! They were insanely flexible and took almost no Duo lash glue to adhere to my lid. I am impressed.

How to get your hands on the MUFE Smoky Palette!

Since I first heard that the MUFE Smoky Palette would not be released in the US (I've been dying for this palette for months!), I've been obsessed with finding it and getting my hands on it. After hours of searching, phone calls, etc. I found a way!

Here's the deal, I went on all the international sites and none of them will ship to the US, however, STORES often will!

I went down the list of stores in Canada selling MUFE and finally got 1 with smoky palettes left. They were willing to ship to me in the US ( live in New England so not that far from the store in Quebec I purchased from in the grand scheme of things) for only $9.95--not that much more than if I'd ordered off the site. The exchange rate from the US to Canada is pennies different, but unfortunately the price of the palette is a bit steep at $55 dollars or so, but you either eat the tiny bit of extra and get the palette or you throw up your hands and refrain from purchasing. I couldn't do that, I had to have it haha.

Here's the list of stores in Canada that carry MUFE according to their site. If you really want this palette, call down the list and see if someone will ship it to you. I asked about the friends and family discount and they were kind enough to give me almost the equivalent of the discount on my order! I can't guarantee every store will do this, but it's worth a shot ;) I have a palette on its way to me as we speak YAY!


Good luck!

Stores in Canada that Carry Make Up For Ever
*In case you were wondering, the country code to call Canada is the same it is in the US 1


I couldn't copy and paste the list here (it didn't look right after I published) so here's the link to the list.

Spotlight: Faux Lashes!

Faux lash was fabulously sweet and sent me a couple pairs of their lashes to try out. I love false lashes, but because I have almond shaped eyes I often find that certain styles or brands just won't fit to my eye well. Not only are Faux lashes gorgeous, but the band is super flexible! I was also told by  the founder and CEO, Sterling Andrews, that these are actually hand-crafted and hand-knotted so they're pretty durable. I love that!

Does anyone else love getting things that need to be unwrapped? ;)

Here's the content of my lovely little package!

Don't these look lovely?

Alexia lashes - I love crisscross lashes, they're so cute on! Feel free to click the image for a closer peak.

Chloe lashes - These look like they'd blend well with your lashes naturally, giving you some length. We all know I need more length for my lashes!

Price
Faux lashes range in price from $9 - $16.

Where to Buy
You can purchase Faux lashes on the company's site HERE  

Final Thoughts
I'm really excited to try these! I'll be sure to put them in an upcoming look so you can see them in action ;) I'm also eye-ing some more dramatic lashes on their site as well. I love Bianca, Colette, Gaga, Roxy, and of course Renee--all of the selling costs from Renee are donated to the V-Day charity for women and girls! You know I love companies that are socially-conscious and give back ;)

What do you think? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No MUFE Smoky Palette? I'm going to cry!

I just received this email from Sephora:

Dear MAKE UP FOR EVER fan,

Like you, we were dying to try MAKE UP FOR EVER's new Smoky Palette. Unfortunately, the brand won't be launching the product in the United States. We'd like to make it up to you with a free deluxe sample of MAKE UP FOR EVER's Smoky Lash Mascara, a shortcut to densely lush lashes. Enter code SMOKY with your next online order to redeem.* We also invite you to explore MAKE UP FOR EVER's latest collections—we know you'll find something just as smoky and dramatic.

Sincerely,
Sephora Customer Service

Ummmm ok? I was told by a Sephora rep that there was an ingredient in the shadows that was not on the label and that's what caused the delay, but now it won't be released here at all?

I'm so disappointed. This has been the one palette I've been dying for, for months! Months! Especially after my MAC Glitter & Ice Cool Snowglobe palette disappointment (see HERE) I was really looking forward to this palette. I love Make Up For Ever. So crappy.

What have you heard and how does this news make you feel? Sigh :(

Swatch & Review: MAC Glitter & Ice Such Flare! lipstick and Cool Snowglobe Palette

I've been waiting for the MAC Glitter & Ice collection to come since I first caught wind that Olympian Johnny Weir would be the fact of this wintry holiday collection. I love the winter Olympics! I started skiing at 3 and raced alpine GS and Slalom when I was a teen. So awesome! Anyway, I digress.

I signed up for an alert through MAC so that I could jump on the collection as soon as it hit the website. Sure enough, the email notification came and I hopped on to shop. I had already studied the collection through various blogs and press releases so I had some idea of what I wanted. I didn't really like that so many of the products came in sets--I never like everything in every set! I landed on Such Flare! lipstick and the Cool Snowglobe palette. I just got them today and wanted to swatch them immediately. I didn't look at anyone's swatches before I got my order because I wanted it to be a surprise. Needless to say, I was.

Let's start with the good...

Such Flare! Lipstick
Color description (from MAC): True red.

Finish: Matte

Price: $15.50 Limited Edition
I loved the silver packaging :) I'm a sucker for holiday anything!

Sorry the label is a little hard to see, silver on white never quite works ;)

As you've probably already seen, the Glitter & Ice lipsticks come in white lipstick tubes.

Such Flare! So red and pretty.

Isn't that fabulous? Sorry for the slightly unclean edges, I lost my favorite lipstick brush (no idea how, it's really driving me nuts) and just applied it right out of the tube--which if you follow my blog you already know is my least favorite way to apply lipstick.

Now onto the bad...

 6 Snowglobe Eye Shadows in Cool
Shadows included: Snowball, Illegal Cargo, Idol Eyes, Warm & Smoky, Howzat, Set to Dance

Finishes: Multi 


Price: $38.00

I thought the box was cute :)

This is the top of the palette, which has an actual snowglobe-like bubble filled with water and tons of glitter.

These are the 6 shadows that come in this palette. They look fabulous, right? Looks can be deceiving :(
 

Snowball - Now only did it take an insane amount of grinding this into my skin to get any sort of color at all, but you can still barely see anything! It's super patchy, super dry ... sigh. This shadow desperately wanted to be Fyrinnae Otherworld (see swatch HERE), but never made it there.

Idol Eyes - This had so much promise, but it took more effort than it should have to get it this noticeable. Would have been gorgeous otherwise! A purple with a gold flash because of the gold flakes of glitter.

Howzat - This was a silky feeling slate gray. Again, not a lot of payoff.

Illegal Cargo - This was probably the most successful of all of them. It's silky, moderately pigmented, and actually applied reasonably well to my skin. It's a pretty lilac.

Warm & Smoky - This is definitely pretty, but again, took so much effort to get this much payoff out of. It's a medium purple with an aqua flash. Why couldn't this have performed better????

Set to Dance - MAC described this as a dark royal blue ... blue? Patchy charcoal is more like it. Fail, fail, fail.

Final Thoughts
I am so pleased with Such Flare! lipstick. It is everything I wanted and expected. Like most matte lipsticks it's a bit drying, but that's to be expected--I just use a little lip balm beforehand. The Snowglobe palette ... where do I begin? It could have been great, but it was far from it. I have a soft spot for MAC because it was my first high-end makeup love, but I'm so tired of the sub-par performance from half of the limited edition collections MAC has released lately. Why put out such horribly performing products? Why aren't they thrown out the second they're tested? Needless to say, I'm returning the palette, which is another headache because you can't return MAC products you order online in the stores. Blah. Disappointed.    

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spotlight: Nick Minaj & OPI Collaboration

I've been a fan of Nicki Minaj since she first hit the scene doing little snippets here and there on different tracks. As far as the Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim feud, I think it's silly, but I grew up loving Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown and now it's Nicki's time. Two of them paved the way and she's doing something fabulous as well.

Anyway, I just received word that Nicki Minaj has collaborated with yet another cosmetic company giant, I'm sure you all remember her MAC Pink Friday lipstick last holiday season (which I'm giving away in my holiday giveaway!), and joining forces with OPI! Like some of the female hip hop and rapper moguls before her, Nicki Minaj has an insane fashion sense that is eye-grabbing if nothing else ;) Did you see what she wore to the VMA's? So crazy, so bright, so Nicki!

The collection consists of 5 fabulous polishes and 1 crackle, all inspired by her unique style and Pink Friday album.

Here they are!

Nicki Minaj by OPI
*Images and color description provided by PR.

Did It On 'EM
Color description (from OPI): A lusty little lacquer that loves the "lime"-light. 

My opinion: I nearly died when I saw this because green is my favorite color and I am addicted to lime green cosmetics--especially polish!!!! Yay!!!


Fly
Color description (from OPI): I came to win, to fight ... and to wear this aqua.

My opinion: This is pretty, I look forward to seeing it in person. I think whether or not this is something special rather than just another aqua will depend on how it looks on. Fingers crossed!


Metallic for Life
Color description: This charcoal sparkle flies with the stars in the skies.

My opinion: This sounds like it may be similar to China Glaze Tinsel Town from their Let it Snow holiday 2011 collection--a favorite of mine. See my swatch of Tinsel Town HERE. I guess we'll see if I'm right ;)

  
Pink Friday
Color description: Kick off the weekend with this pop! of bubblegum pink.

My opinion: I am a huge sucker for pink polish and bubblegum polish, or Barbie pink as I sometimes call it, is my holy grail pink polish shade. I am definitely dying to see this on my fingers!

 
Save Me
Color description: I drove for miles just to find this silver-rainbow glitter.

My opinion:  Oh my gosh I am so excited for this one! It must be a combination of the colors and strands of glitter, but Save Me reminds this child of the 80s and 90s of the colors that were uber popular when I was growing up. I must have this!


Super Bass 
Color description: A record-setting purple that "shatters" before your eyes.

My opinion: I am so hopeful that this shatter is more promising than the Red or Pink OPI shatters. I wanted to love them so badly, but just couldn't. I think that possibly, because it's a deeper color, it'll look cool. Besides, it's named after one of my favorite Nicki Minaj songs ;)

   
Release Date
January of 2012

Price
These limited edition polishes will sell for $8.50 suggested retail.

Where to Buy
Nicki Minaj by OPI will be at the following retailers: professional salons, Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard's, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA. 

Final Thoughts
I will absolutely be purchasing these limited edition polishes! I cannot WAIT to see these on my nails. The moment I get a hold of them I will absolutely do a post with swatches. So exciting!!! 

Swatch & Review: OCC Lip Tar - First Purchase!

OCC Lip Tar - (left to right) Strumpet, Pageant, Queen
I have been thinking about purchasing some Lip Tars for a long time, I'm not sure why I never got around to actually purchasing before now! I recently took advantage of one of OCC's sale weekends during which Lip Tars were selling for $10 and I'm so glad I did! I purchased 2 shades I'd been dying to get for a while and 1 new shade.  The new shade--Queen--is one of the shades released in OCC's Pretty Boy Fall/Winter 2011 collection. The 2 other shades I purchased are Strumpet and Pageant.


Swatches & Brief Review
I'm going to break the Lip Tars down by shade so you can see how they looked on my lips and read my first impression.  I've done a general review below on the application since these all had the same consistency. Also, just so you know, my lips are naturally a slightly diluted mauve-y pink color. Given that these are super pigmented I'm not sure how much lip color will play a role in how these look from person to person, but I just thought you should know ;)

Application: These all applied the same way and I was very happy with them! I used a flat brush to apply these instead of my normal lip brush since these are liquid, which seemed to work well. I didn't use a lip liner, but I think that if you're concerned about feathering or don't normally use a lip brush to apply product to your lips a lip pencil may be beneficial (helping you and the lip tar stay within the edges of your lips).

Flavor: These have a very slight peppermint coolness to them. It's not strong and I didn't feel any tingling as a result.


Feel on lips: These aren't super hydrating, but they're not drying either. The coolness of the peppermint is nice, but if you tend to have super dry lips you may want to use a lip balm as well.

Strumpet Lip Tar
Strumpet Lip Tar
Color description: Seedless grape red (from OCC). This is a super vibrant color and it's definitely red with a seedless grape undertone---very fun color!

OCC Strumpet Lip Tar Ingredients
My thoughts: I really liked this from the first moment I saw a swatch of it and I wasn't at all disappointed! I would definitely wear this and I think it fits into this fall/winter's trends.

I really liked this! It's definitely noticeable on my lips, but in a pretty way in my opinion :) I think next time I apply lip tar to my lips I'm going to use a smaller, more flexible brush. You can see some funniness on the left side of my mouth because the flat brush I used was super stiff and the bristles fanned out a bit with any pressure.


Pageant Lip Tar
Strumpet Lip Tar
Color description: Rich, blue-based pink (from OCC). I think this is a really wearable fuchsia pink.

OCC Strumpet Lip Tar Ingredients
My thoughts: I love this as much as I thought I would! I've been wanting this for a long time and it was worth the wait. I'd definitely wear this day or night.

Love it! Isn't this pretty?

  
Queen *New Release from Pretty Boy Fall/Winter 2011*
Color description: Intense, nearly neon red/pink (from OCC). This definitely knock-your-socks-off bright and fabulous red with a slight hint of pink.

My thoughts: Oh my gosh this color is everything I thought it would be a more! I'm dying to wearing this out. This color is definitely not for makeup lovers that only like subtle lip looks ;)

Aaaah so pretty! It's even brighter in person if you can believe it. So amazing!

Price
These sell for $14 retail per .27 fl oz tube.

Where to Buy
These can be purchased on OCC's site HERE

Final Thoughts
I'm so glad I finally took the plunge! I love these shades and already have a list of others I like, including one of the other new fall/winter releases--Pretty Boy. Definitely give these a try if you like pigmented lippies ;)