Thursday, February 28, 2013

Swatches: Sinful Colors Almost Famous Collection (pic heavy)

I am loving the Almost Famous collection! I had to drive almost 30 minutes away to get these bad boys and now I regret not snapping up the whole collection. Why, oh why must my town be notoriously bad about getting LE collections in their stores? WHY?!?!?!

And don't get me started on the fact that we don't have a Rite Aid anywhere in the state. ::mutters to self::

Moving on! Here's the display I found:

It seems the bottom row is the actual collection and someone filled in the top row with random polishes. Since I haven't seen any other displays, I can't say for sure.

I picked up 5 of the 8 available LE shades. This post is a bit pic heavy -- I needed several shots to accurately show the colors.

In the Sunlight:

In the Shade:

All of these polishes have a good formula for glitter with great coverage. All were swatched with two coats, but if you used a base color I don't think you'd need a second glitter coat at all (except possibly with Lush Life).

Star Dust: Deep purple circle micro-glitter with larger magenta circles in a sheer purple base.

Call You Later: Lime green and gold micro-glitter with larger forest green circles in a clear base. 

As a side note, it's interesting that this color is the only SC I've seen that has a cap with a smoother surface than usual and no SC on the top. I don't know if I got an oddball or what, but I just thought I'd mention it.

Lush Life: Fine and larger aqua circle glitter in a clear base. 

Poparazzi: Fine purpley-magenta glitter in a clear base.

In the Spotlight: This one is pretty interesting and it's hard to pin down the colors -- it's like my eye couldn't take it all in at once! To my eye it looks like seafoam green micro-glitter with larger aqua, yellow, hot pink, and magenta circle glitter in a barely tinted, pale seafoam base.

February Walgreens Displays

Some of the displays from different Walgreens stores in my area.

Swatches of the Sugar Rush collection coming soon! 

Swatches and review of the Toppings collection coming soon! 

See swatches of the Go Green collection here.

See Almost Famous swatches here

Pretty exciting month for polish lovers! I ended up adding 18 of the above polishes to my already bulging collection. Mr. Swag just rolled his eyes, haha! I'm planning on making a DIY rack that I saw on YouTube. I'll post pictures and a link to the video when I have a chance to actually make it.

Have you heard anything about the Milani Textured Creams? All the reviews I've seen on them aren't very flattering, so I skipped them this time. It's a shame too, because I was looking forward to them. I also know a lot of people were jazzed about the LE Baby Lips, but I skipped those too because I'm one of the few who are disappointed by Baby Lips in general (I can't get over the sunscreen flavor and scent. Such a bummer -- I really want to love them!)

Swatches: Sinful Colors Go Green Collection (Shamrock Repromote)

It's that time again! Ah, St. Patty's day. A day for guzzling booze with no shame, covering yourself in green for fear of being pinched a million times (usually by people drunker than you), and of course the return of the Sinful Colors Shamrock (this year called Go Green) collection. Especially anticipated is the return of Green Ocean, in all its flaky goodness.

From my local Walgreens. 

The collection consists of three shades: Irish Green, Green Ocean, and Exotic Green.

As always, click on the pictures to enlarge! 

In sunlight:

In the shade:

Irish Green: 
This shade wants to be a neon, but comes off more like a bright kelly green. It has a semi-matte finish. This color is often repromoted in SC neon collections.

Green Ocean:
Oh, how I struggled to capture the nuances of this polish! It has green and blue flakes suspended in a very sheer, pale green base. I've seen it best layered over black on other blogs, but I've layered over Exotic Green here. I recommend using a top coat since the flakes make for a bit of a bumpy surface otherwise. Nothing major, but it might irritate some.

Exotic Green:
This is a core collection shade. It shows up more like a true green here, but it's actually a bit mossier than that. I think of it as kind of a slightly grayed-out forest green. The first swatch in the shade is much more color-accurate.

Overall I really like these colors. I can honestly say that in my 200+ colllection of polishes I have nothing like any of them.

Happy Hunting! These should be pretty easy to find.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deal Alert: Walgreens Nail Polish Clearance!

All the Walgreens stores in my area have a small clearance sale going on right now! I've mostly seen nail polishes, but there was also a small handful of makeup mixed in. The stores I went to either had a bin on the cosmetics service counter or a bin on the endcap where the clearance miscellaneous usually goes. Prices seem to vary from store to store: At one store I paid no more than $1.25 for each polish, but at another the same polishes were twice that amount.

Some haulage, in case you were wondering what I grabbed. :D

Click to enlarge

Top row, left to right:
Milani in Black Cherry (x2 -- oops*) $1.27 each
Milani in Tropical Fiesta $1.27
Sinful Colors in Beau Khaki $0.49
Revlon Top Speed in After Party $1.24
Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in Heat Flash $1.25
Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in Orange Impulse $1.25
Sally Hanson Insta-Dri in Blue By! $1.25
Bottom Row: Fantasy Makers liquid eyeliner in Fantastical $0.74
Revlon Matte Lipstick in Wine Not $1.99

To sweeten the deal I also got 1/2 off the Revlon polish with the current BOGO 1/2 off Revlon deal, which brought the Revlon polish down to $0.62. For all of this I spent $12.08. Not too shabby for 8 polishes, a lipstick, and an eyeliner! 

Hurry if you want to catch this sale -- everything is going really fast! 

*I didn't even notice they were the exact same color until I was typing out the color names. In the store they looked a bit different. Whoops!

Review: Revlon Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat

I'm not great at nails. I mean, I try, but it gets frustrating when my polish chips off or peels off in sheets after a grand total of 2 days wear -- if I'm lucky! For a long time I didn't bother doing my nails at all because the wear time on me is ridiculous. I've pretty much always worked jobs that are hard on my hands, like serving, bartending, and for the past three years I've been co-owner of a very small house cleaning company. My poor hands take abuse at work, then I come home and do everything a mother of two needs to do to keep the home running. So as a result I haven't done much with my nails except curse them for sucking so much (thin, peeling PITAs that break easily) and curse myself for having craptastic manicure skills (filing sets my teeth on edge so I'm lazy about it and my cuticles are a hot mess). But the past 8 months or so I've really been trying. The first time I got 4 days wear out of a polish I almost threw a parade.

Oh little did I know! 

I read about this Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat Longwear Nail Enamel being great, but I was skeptical. I mean, obviously these people don't know my nails or my life. I bought it anyway -- what can I say? Hope springs eternal and all that. They were right; this stuff is AWESOME.

It smooths ridges, protects nails from staining, and just look at this picture! This manicure is 8 days old! Whaaaaaat!?!?!?

Not too shabby for 8 days, right? There's some unavoidable tip wear, but it isn't too awful. The new growth and ugly broken nail (ouch, BTW) on my pointer finger are the worst of it, but I'm still really impressed.

Unrelated to the base coat, I wanted to mention that this is the first time I've ever had so many compliments on my polish, which was pretty cool! I used the Colorstay base coat, Julep Nail Color in Meryl, Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Snow-Flakes, and Orly Glosser (on clearance at Marshall's for $4.99) as a top coat. I wish the holo flaky showed up better here, but you get the idea from the bottle. I'm absolutely loving this Color Club polish -- and it was on clearance with a red polish for $3.99 at Sally's. Score!

I love this color combination, but I'm definitely ready to change it up now that I've done my due diligence with the base coat. If it wasn't for the growth and my boredom with wearing the same color too long, I could even stretch this manicure a couple more days.

Price: $4.99 at Walmart and Target, and around $7.99 at drugstores

Friday, February 22, 2013

50 Random Facts About Me

One of my favorite bloggers, Lipglossiping, recently posted 50 Random Facts About Me (ahem, her) on her blog here. She invited her readers to do the same. Since we're all getting to know each other here, I thought it'd be nice to give you all a better idea of who I am. Plus, this is fun! You should definitely drop a few tidbits about yourselves in the comments below.

Here we go!

  1. I'm very organized at heart, but my family is super messy, which makes me often just give up. Makes me nuts.
  2. My ultimate favorite bands are The Beatles and Nirvana.
  3. I used to write X-Files fanfiction under a pseudonym. The great reviews made me want to write professionally.
  4. When I grow up I want to be a writer or a singer. Or both.
  5. I can drink a whole bottle of wine in one sitting. Preferably white.
  6. I've been with my husband for nearly 18 years. We dated in high school and got married 9 years later.
  7. I sing karaoke as often as possible and I plan to audition for American Idol someday soon.
  8. I'm terrified I'm not living my life to its fullest potential. Aren't we all, though.
  9. I often wonder what music would be like today if John Lennon and Kurt Cobain had lived. I'm also not 100% convinced that Kurt Cobain actually killed himself.
  10. Cake, cookies, and cheesecake are like crack to me. Can't bring 'em into the house.
  11. I used to tan very well when I was a kid, but now I mostly just burn. I've resigned myself to looking like a ghost haunting my house.
  12. My dog jumps around, whining and licking everything in sight when she gets excited. It makes me absolutely nuts.
  13. I get choked up all the time, much to my embarrassment. I was teary-eyed at Disney last night when the fireworks display lit up Cinderella's castle and "When You Wish Upon a Star" played. I'm ridiculous.
  14. I follow "suggested video" links on YouTube until I'm in that weird part of the internet, but I can't stop the horror show. I hope my computer is never confiscated -- it all looks pretty dodgy when you take it out of context. 
  15. I think the Socially Awkward Penguin meme was written for me.
  16. I always hit the "q" key when I mean to type a "g" in the beginning of a word, and vice versa.
  17. Language is multi-layered to me. Words have a lot of beauty and visual appeal. Sentences have to look and sound a certain way for me to be satisfied.
  18. I'm a very visual person. My eyeshadows and polishes have to be visible or I won't think to use them.
  19. I'm an "I love you, man!" drunk. I also overshare a lot and drone on and on about how I can improve my life when I've had a little too much with my closest friends. They deserve a medal.
  20. When I'm telling an anecdote I always try to make my stories short and sweet because I hate feeling like people are bored and tuning me out. As a result, my stories are sometimes convoluted and longer than they should be. Doh!
  21. I hate video games (except Super Mario Brothers, which I can own anyone in), but I'm completely addicted to World of Warcraft. Horde FTW!
  22. I used to never watch TV, but now I'm hooked on about a million shows.
  23. I've been decorating cakes since 1998
  24. I'm 34, but feel like I'm still a teenager. Once in a while I step back, take a look at my life, and wonder who put me in charge of a household and kids.
  25. I'm so grateful I grew up in the 80's and 90's as opposed to today. 
  26. In high school I dressed like a cast member of Clueless or grunged out, depending on my mood.
  27. Speaking of Clueless, my husband and I saw it on our first date.
  28. I never used to be a makeup and polish junkie, but am now. 
  29. Also, 3 years ago my makeup could fit in a medium sized makeup bag. Now? No freakin' way.
  30. I'm terrified of heights and very small spaces. Even seeing these things on TV makes my heart race and palms sweat.
  31. I'm from Evansville, Indiana but I've lived in Virginia and Florida since I was 13.
  32. I was a Navy brat.
  33. I'm in love with all things vintage.
  34. I collect cameos, vintage makeup (for display), and souvenir pressed pennies.
  35. I think tattoos on most women can look awesome, but for me I think I'd look like a poser.
  36. I got married in the middle of a hurricane. On the beach.
  37. I find book stores and libraries to be extremely inspirational.
  38. I moved in with my husband's family senior year so I could graduate with my class. My family moved to Florida at the end of my Junior year and I turned 18 over the summer.
  39. I've been enrolled in 13 different schools. 
  40. I never liked boy bands.
  41. I used to know a woman and her mother who painted a streak of nail polish on the backs of roaches they saw in their house. If they saw a painted roach, they knew it had it's one chance to live, so they killed it. Unpainted ones were chased around the house with a bottle of polish. 
  42. I often get really pumped up about a project, only to lose interest within a few days. I consider it to be my worst character flaw.
  43. I love writing, singing, reading, making miniature houses and furniture (especially haunted houses), and about a million other things. I have a TON of interests.
  44. I've been majorly obsessed with vampires since I was a little kid. This new-ish trend of vamp love in movies, books, etc. is amazing.
  45. I read Gone With the Wind in 7th grade. The movie and The Wizard of Oz were my most-rented movies when I was around 6 and 7.
  46. I have girl crushes on Audrey Hepburn, Adele, Zooey Deschenel, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, and Helena Bonham Carter.
  47. I was a geek at heart before it was cool. 
  48. I think if I was rich I might have a teensy shopoholic problem. Good thing I'm broke as a joke! 
  49. Everyone thinks they're going to be married forever but I really believe I'm one of the lucky few who will make it. Some people would think that's a curse but I'm cool with it. :)
  50. If I loved a movie I could watch it back to back for days and never get tired of it. I can't really do that anymore and wouldn't want to.

Whew! That was a long list. If you have a blog link for your 50 Random Facts... Tag! You're it!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mail Time: February 2013 Beauty Boxes

Is there anything better than finding your mailbox stuffed full of  goodies? No, I think not. Today I received two subscription boxes and a Hautelook order. All fun stuff and not a bill or junk mail in sight? It must be my lucky day!

I'll have a review on the Hautelook order later, but for now I wanted to focus on the three beauty boxes I subscribe to and received this month: Ipsy (formerly MyGlam), Birchbox, and my very first Julep Maven box. I'm sure most of you know what these services are all about, but if not be sure to click on the links and check them out for detailed explanations and ordering info.

On to the boxes!

First up, Ipsy. And can I just add that I absolutely love the metallic hot pink mailer these come in? They instantly brighten up my day when I see them gleaming in my mailbox.

From left to right:
MICA Beauty Cosmetics gel liner 
Lash Card -- 4 individually wrapped mascara guards
Pixi Flawless and Poreless primer
pop beauty mascara in Smoky Black
Coastal Scents eyeshadow in Glitz &Glamour (Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito, and Ashen)

I haven't tested everything out, but the eyeshadows are pretty pigmented. They're the same quality as you would get with the 88 Palettes (and the like). I've used the Pixi primer once. I'll have a more thorough review on it later, once I've had a chance to really give it a spin.

I'm generally pretty satisfied with all of the Glam Bags I get from Ipsy. They've been pretty good about sending deluxe sized samples with products I actually get use out of, from brands I wouldn't normally try. In my opinion this service is worth the $10 per month. 


Left to right:
SKIN & Co Roma Cleansing Body Gel with Olive and Sicilian Orange Extracts
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips (Yep, really!)
Color Club mini in Wild Cactus
Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Square
twistband hairband

First, I think it's interesting that both Ipsy and Birchbox went with the "Red Carpet Ready" theme, but considering all the award shows this month it's really not that hard to understand the reasoning.

So. The products themselves. I haven't had a chance to review the products thoroughly (except the chocolate, which was yummy, of course!), but my initial impressions is that this box is kind of underwhelming. I guess this month just felt kind of chintzy compared to past months; there are no "wow" products included and I'm not impressed with the tiny sample of lip balm. The Dr. Lipp's looks like an okay size for a balm sample, but tube is only filled from the bottom pink line down. I will say that I have it on my lips right now and it is very soothing to my dry lips. If you've ever breastfed before then you know the texture and scent breast balms have. This one is no different. Who'da thought about putting that on your lips? It makes a lot of sense. 

The shower gel has a very unisex scent and contains about two to three shower's worth of gel. You're mileage may vary, of course. The twistband headband works better for me and my super thick hair than the twistband ties. I think the item I'm most excited about is the Color Club polish. It's a color I somehow don't already own! As a bonus, the Pantone color of the 2013 is emerald green, so I suspect we'll be seeing as much of that color as we did tangerine last year. 

Okay, onto the the newbie of the bunch!

My very first Julep Maven box (Classic with a Twist):

Left to right:
Julep Nail Color in Meryl
Julep Nail Color in Barbara
Julep Facial for Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub
Julep Essential Cuticle Oil

Can't wait to give these a whirl! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NYX Box Sets at TJ Maxx and Ross!

When I spotted this set mixed in with Profusion and other low-grade sets at my local Ross, I had to do a mental double-take. Until now I'd only had experience with their Extra Creamy Round Lipsticks, so I was really excited to find this nice mix of products. All this for $14.99!

I apologize for not having the name and # of this kit -- I have an over-exuberant husband who burned the paper packaging in the fire pit before I thought to jot it down. Bad husband. No cookie!

This kit includes:
Fabulous Lashes & Glue in EL 120 (no name on pkg.)
Single shadow in Cork 
Single shadow in Hot Yellow
Jumbo Lip Pencil in Gold
Brush On Gloss in Silver Plum
Brush On Gloss in Burgundy
Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Plum
Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Raisin
Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Protus
Trio Eyeshadow in Frosted Flake/Slate/Iced Mocha
Liquid Eye Liner in Black

Unfortunately, I looked at the NYX website and it seems as though all of these colors are now discontinued and the lashes and liner are gone as well. The upside is you have one last chance to grab these items before they're gone forever. I've heard there are at least three variations (possibly more) on this set, so I'm on the hunt for more!

Note: Due to all of these items being discontinued, I haven't photographed any swatches. However, if anyone is interested I'd be happy to swatch them for you. Just let me know!

Happy hunting!


Well hello!

First, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm Carrie and among other things I am a complete beauty fanatic. Like most people, I don't have a ton of disposable income to indulge in my makeup and beauty cravings, so I depend on reviews from bloggers and Youtubers to help me make more informed decisions before dropping my hard-earned cash on the latest gimmick. Still, temptation gets the better of all of us once in a while. So many times I've been dazzled by a product in the store, brought it home, and wanted to rant or rave about it -- only to realize my husband will probably never be as enthused about a miracle concealer or outraged by a horrible eyeshadow as I am. "But wait!" my inner (wannabe) guru whines, "I need to share my experiences!"

So here we are!

I'm not a mega-guru or a professional makeup artist (hopefully someday), but I am a regular girl with a love of makeup and beauty who is eager to learn and share experiences about both. If you're a newbie or mid-level wannabe artist like me, we'll learn together! If you're a pro, please feel free to share your tricks of the trade!

Welcome to my blog. :D