Thursday, August 30, 2012

Darling Diva Polish: Rescue Me

Hey everyone! How's it going? I hope all your weeks are going faster than mine, ugh. Where is the weekend?!

I have for you a very lovely indie glitter by Darling Diva Polish called Rescue Me. Today's polish is very near and dear to me because the entire cost of the polish is going to benefit Basset Hound Rescue. Yes, you read that right - the entire $10 of this polish is going directly to them, not just the profits. (I can verify this because when she sent me this advance bottle, she had me donate the $10 directly to the charity, not to her.)

Rescue Me is made up of "black and white (bars, hexes, squares) with holographic pinky red hearts" (as DDP describes herself!). Side story: I had messaged her on Etsy (her shop is here) and told her I needed more heart glitter (I'm obsessed) and she mentioned this was in the works and I believe my exact response was "sign me up!" without ever seeing it. I'm definitely not disappointed!

So for today's swatches, I couldn't decide what to layer it over, so I did 4 different ones: OPI Atomic Orange, Essie French Affair, Essence Let's Get Lost, and Mattese Elite Lilac Me All Over, from left to right. I used the dabbing method to apply and spread it out, but it self-leveled pretty well (no TC in these photos) so that nobody would have noticed lumps or bumps. I did some fishing for hearts but it wasn't very difficult to get them out and on my nail.



Indoor "natural" lighting
I absolutely ADORE this over the Essence blue, so stunning. This made me totally regret selling my bottle of Lynnderella Connect the Dots and brushing off black and white glitters. I love love loved this, and I'm not just saying that for the puppies! The polish, IMO, is definitely worth the cost and you can even justify it by telling yourself you didn't buy polish, you donated $10 to Basset Hound Rescue. Pretty polish, rescued doggies, glitter = win, win, win (kudos if you get the TV show reference...)

Rescue Me is available at Darling Diva Polish for $10 a bottle, with the entire $10 going to Basset Hound Rescue! What do you think, will you be purchasing?!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pink Wednesday Comparison: Lex Cosmetics vs. Ulta

Hey girls! Quick comparison swatches today! For a while, I was stuck on finding the perfect pale pink polish (this all began with OPI Play the Peonies). In this process, I've acquired quite a few similar pinks, and unfortunately, quite a few super-sheer ones I have no use for. As I searched through my stash here at my apartment (I took only two shoe-boxes of my stash from my dad's) I realized I brought two pale pinks that were nearly identical and thought you guys might want to see. If you don't, avert your eyes now...jerk.

On the left, we have Lex Cosmetics Sweetie Pie and on the right is Ulta Baby Doll. I swear, the nicknames are just a coincidence!

Two coats; both are streaky and not evened out

Three coats; opaque, VNL might be showing on a natural nail, though

Three coats
As you can see, they are fairly similar. Lex Cosmetics is a touch less opaque, but they could be built up to the same opacity easily. The main difference is that Ulta's is a hair pinker than Lex's, but similar enough I'd say you don't need both. If I had to choose, I'd choose Lex just because I like that she donates to charity and has colors created by the fans with stories behind them. Lex Cosmetics is available online at for $10 per bottle, with $1 going to a charity picked by the inspiration (BTW, my color is on there too, check out Tuilleries!). Ulta is found, obviously, in Ulta stores and at for around $2-6, depending on sales.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Facebook Page and Updates!

Hi girls! Quick update to tell you a few developments for the blog!
  • I just bought a lightbox kit, so expect once that comes in to see some test photos!
  • I downloaded a better photo editing software (PhotoScape) so you will see some watermarks and better editing overall
  • I finally entered the real world and got my blog a Facebook page. Please go like it, I'll be hosting a giveaway there soon! My blog's facebook is here and it needs love, please <3

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jewelry Stash

Hello again, dearests! As promised, here's the other half of my planned jewelry posts. I can do this more frequently, if you guys like it, or I can ditch it here. Let me know what you think in the comments! No response = I'm going to keep doing it, so speak now or forever hold your peace!

Today's post is my jewelry stash, which isn't impressive by any means compared to some of you ladies', I'm sure! I'm recently getting really into jewelry, especially since it's a much quicker way to dress up an outfit than doing a mani. So here we go:

Above are all my necklaces and bracelets. Since I live in an apartment, my walls are kind of blah and I didn't want to make a bunch of holes, so I bought those little removable sticky wall-strip hooks (great description, huh?) and put them up all over to decorate the wall. Bonus points if I succeeded in camouflaging the thermostat long enough that it wasn't the first thing you noticed.

And above are all my earrings and rings. The earrings are on a tree holder I got at Marshall's that is actually super adorable except I failed to remember that most of it would be covered by jewelry when I bought it... oops. Then to its right we have my little elephant ring holder and a box with a bunch of wire rings I've bought on etsy or made. (I'm kind of obsessed with those, too. If you guys like these posts, wire rings might be next!)

So what do you think? Do you like jewelry posts or no?


Saturday, August 25, 2012

NOTWeekend: Color Club Otherworldly

Hello my dearests! How is your day going today? I tell ya, getting back to blogging has been hard time management-wise (which is weird, since when I went to school I had plenty of time for blogging?) but so rewarding to be back. Thank you for all the comments and views and all that other statistical nonsense. It's nice to know I didn't lose you guys with my long hiatus :)

Anywho, this is the mani I wore a little while ago on my weekend away with my BFF to Cape Cod. It rained the whole time we were there, but it was nice to spend quality time with her. We don't do it too often, but it's always such a nice reminder that I have such a fantastic person by my side! As you probably know, on weekends my manis get a little crazy because I can wear all my glitters and neons and crazy stuff I can't during the week, so I broke out neon and glitter. I know. Whoa. Otherworldly is a neon blue with silver glitter in it. Below is two coats with no underwear or topcoat:

Then I added topcoat and it was spectacular:

No flash, indoor lighting

I wore this for about two days then a full nail peeled off and that was the end of that. I can happily report I had no staining and I absolutely loved the hell out of this color. I'm dying to try others from this older collection now! What do you think?


Friday, August 24, 2012

Indie Invasion: Love Bug

Hi girls! Quick little swatch today. My week has been horrendous, so I was in need of a pick-me-up, which came in the form of this post I had in my drafts! You know me and my heart glitter, so this seemed appropriate to cheer me up! <3

Today I have Love Bug by CustomNailArt on Etsy. She recently had a promotion for free shipping, so I decided to grab her heart glitter polish in a mini size that I'd been eyeballing.

Indoor lighting (swatched this at night, sorry!)

Bottle shot!
Overall, application was tricky. I had to fish around for hearts and dab them on, which made the finish a bit lumpy. Obviously a topcoat would smooth this out but for the sake of swatches I didn't use one because I am lazy, haha. The hearts look really dense in the bottle but it's somewhat difficult (although clearly not impossible) to get them out. I'd definitely buy it again considering it was a good deal and it'll be another good one for Valentine's Day (clearly I will be featuring about 95 manicures with just pink, red, and white glitters...).

Thoughts? Happy Friday!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lush Lacquers

Hello dears!  (Not to be confused with "deers", I promise I would never call you guys any woodland creatures unless you wanted me to.) Today I have the second half of my recent swatch-a-thon: Lush Lacquers! I ordered five minis from them before their new polishes were released, which of course means that now I have all new lemmings. *sigh* Does it ever end? 

First up I have Party Hearty, a pink base with glitters in it. Guess why I was drawn to it? I'll give you a minute... yep, heart glitters. Below, my pointer and middle finger have two coats over Essie French Affair, my ring finger has three coats alone, and my pinky is just two coats. As you can see, it works best with some underwear to conserve it.  The application was easy, although I did have to do some dabbing and moving glitters around. I didn't get any hearts on the nail which is depressing, but I know they're in there. I see you, hearts, and you will be mine... someday.

Artificial light, flash

Natural light, no flash
Next up is Pink Panther, which is a clear base with black, white, and pink multi-sized glitters! This one was love at first sight for me. I layed one coat over Mattese Elite Lilac Me All Over. I had to use some dabbing to get glitters off the brush, but didn't really have to fish in the bottle.


Natural light, no flash
Flippin Out was my next victim... er... tester. This was two coats over Revlon Taxi and this had the trickiest application. This was mostly dabbing method but I did have to push some glitters around (I'm a big bully). Lots of glitter colors and shapes in here but for some reason I just don't like the mini-bar glitters much. They look weird to me, but maybe that's just me?


Natural Light
Neon Blast is an unexpected favorite of mine! It's only with the indie invasion that we're being introduced to different types of glitter: matte, pastel, and neon. Before that, major brands pretty much only produced the sparkly sort of basic colored glitter. I'm not one for wearing neon polishes much, but neon glitter? Yes please! This is multicolored and multisized neon glitters in a clear base, one coat over Revlon Sunshine Sparkle. The application on this was a breeze, no dabbing or moving around at all!


Natural light (click me to see all teh glittah!)
Finally, Lite Brite! I would have bought this no matter what it looked like because of the nostalgia factor. Lite Brite was one of my favorite toys growing up, and this is definitely reminiscent of those annoying, finger-hurting pegs! Lite Brite (I keep typing Lite Bite... maybe I'm hungry for a snack.) is multicolored and multisized glitter in a clear base. Since there were so many colors in it, I layered it over OPI Alpine Snow because I couldn't find a color that one of the colors of glitter wouldn't have blended into! This is one coat with some dabbing, but overall easy application.


Natural Light
And there you have it! I'm in love with these, I definitely want to buy some of their new ones once my no-buy is over (which is currently never). What do you think? What's your favorite?


Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY Cuticle Care

Hi ladies! This is a review of sorts, using a method I found at the blog here. I was in search of a good cuticle remover, since the one I've designated for that is really more of a cuticle moisturizer and doesn't do much to remove dead cuticle from my nail beds. But, it was 11:20pm and I didn't want to run out for cuticle remover, so I did a google search to improvise.

The method is simple:
  1. Soften your cuticles, using a cuticle oil, olive oil, etc. She also lists butter and milk as options, but I used the cuticle "remover" I purchased from Sally's, Nail Life Jojoba and Tea Tree Oil Cuticle Remover. 
  2. Leave this on for a few minutes to soften cuticles. I left it for about 3-5 minutes, because this stuff begins to penetrate and I wanted to have some oil left on my cuticle.
  3. Use sugar to exfoliate gently. She didn't go into detail how, but I took about a tablespoon full of sugar and dipped my finger in water then sugar, then used my sugar-coated finger to massage the sugar around my cuticle area for about 10-15 seconds. 
I bet you're wondering the big question now: did it work? And the answer is: yes! This method did do the trick to remove the dead cuticle on my nail that pushing with a cuticle stick wasn't doing.

No, I didn't take a before picture... because that would have been really smart. But look how good my cuticles looked for this one picture! It's a testament to this method's success, I promise.

Other cuticle tips (no pun intended..):
  1. Don't pick at or bite cuticles. Do as I say, not as I do, as I'm guilty of doing this when I'm bored or nervous. Doing this not only makes for an appearance concern, but also damages your cuticles which directly impacts how well your nails grow and look. 
  2. Avoid getting product, such as growth stimulators or acetone on your cuticle. Growth stimulators and other specialized base coats often contain chemicals such as formaldehyde for the purpose of strengthening your nails, but it's not good for cuticles. Try to keep it away as much as you can!
  3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Keep a cuticle moisturizer by your bed and do it before you go to sleep, or in your desk at work to pamper yourself a bit when you need a few moments to rest. Either way, keep them as moisturized as you can! Handy tip: Chapstick is a good moisturizer for cuticles, and the stick application is super easy to swipe on. I keep it in my car for my lips and if I happen to be at a red light, I put it on my cuticles too.
Hopefully this was helpful! Do you ladies have any handy tips for cuticle care or go-to favorite products for this?


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Funday: Candy Lacquers!

Hi ladies! I am so excited for this post! Like, Christmas morning as a seven-year-old excited, because I love this brand. If you follow me on twitter, you might have seen me excitedly tweeting about these as I swatched them last week. I stumbled upon these accidentally when I saw a post that Candy Lacquer's shop was open and checked it out. I was able to snag three:

As soon as they came in, I was in love! I love the labeling and the polishes themselves. Below the cut I have swatches of these three!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

NOTD: Love-ly Weekend

Hello hello hellooooooo! What are you all up to this weekend? I'm away... again! This time I'm away with my boyfriend for my birthday, which was last month but we're celebrating now. We were planning on the beach but, like last weekend, it's predicted to rain so we're going to be in Boston exploring Harvard and stuff. He's adamant that we will be walking the beach in the rain and to be prepared. Rain boots? Flip Flops? Barefoot? I'm uneducated on rainy beach wear!

Anywho, today I'm showing you my weekend mani! It's really simple but it conveys what I was hoping for! I used two (or was it three?) coats of Essie French Affair, which, according to the sound of the name, should be a French mani type polish but is definitely opaque pink. While the top coat was drying, I added hot pink holo hearts to the accent fingers (ring and thumb) and then two coats of Gelous on top.

Low light

In artificial light

I got a little help from my friends on this mani: Alaina, Robyn, and Amanda all helped me via Twitter to decide which base and which color hearts looked best. They didn't know it was all mushy-gushy-lovey-dovey-weekend-with-my-boyfriend themed, but they helped nonetheless ;)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Facial Moisturizers

Hi girls! How's your day going? I hope it's going pretty well.. this is actually a scheduled post and I'm writing this a) the night I got my new kitty and b) in the middle of an anxiety attack in an attempt to calm my nerves (it's working!). Hopefully when I re-read this or when you read this, I'll be much better ;) but anywho, today I'm continuing my Face Friday posts (until I run out of products to test, and then we're in trouble.). I have some of the moisturizers I've tried on my face. I also used a Ponds-like face cream but, man, that's not even worth posting because it's so old-ladyish and it was too thick so I gave it to my boyfriend for his rosacea. ANYWAY. I'm queen of the off-track tonight.


Clean & Clear Oil-Free Morning Glow
Pros: cheap; easy to find; nice scent; contains SPF; fun commercial pops in my head whenever I use it ;)
Cons: the microbeads were kind of weird to apply; the cream was kind of lumpy and strange on my skin; realized upon reviewing this that they test on animals :(
Overall: Not bad, good for a basic moisturizer if you don't have any special skin needs (moisture, rosacea, acne, etc.) but a MAJOR flaw for me is animal testing!


Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer (Combination Skin)
Pros: cheap; easy to find; good texture (not too thin but not thick); pump makes it easy to use
Cons: no SPF; tests on animals :(
Overall: I liked this product until I looked up the animal testing portion, now it'll be a no-no for me as other products are available that I like that don't practice this!

CVS Brand SPF 15 Moisturizer Compare to Neutrogena's (no picture available online and it's at my boyfriend's! Oops, no pic! Sorry!)
Pros: liked this *more* than Neutrogena's; absorbs well; good texture (comparable to Neutrogena); cheap (even cheaper than any of the other options listed); easy to find; CVS is not on the "does test"; list from; contains SPF
Cons: None that I can think of!
Overall: Great product, this is one I'd re-purchase.

Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF 20 (sample included in Anti-Aging Acne Kit)
Pros: absorbs well; SPF 20; made for people with acne so it seemed good with my skin; not listed on the "does test" list
Cons: high price point
Overall: I love this moisturizer, but not sure I can justify the price point when CVS seems to be a comparable replacement

Exuviance Night Renewing Hydragel (included in Acne Introductory Kit)
Pros: *excellent* overnight moisturizer; amazing scent (to me, anyway); felt really lightweight; absorbs well and good texture; not on the "does test" list
Cons: high price point
Overall: I ADORE this product, truly. If it wasn't so darn expensive, I'd buy it. But right now I'm a no-buy especially for things like this where I don't need it and can buy alternative daily moisturizers instead. Someday, it'll come home with me again.

Overall, my favorites were Exuviance and CVS. CVS remains at my boyfriend's as my daily moisturizer until Neutrogena runs out here, then I'll buy a replacement bottle. Exuviance remains at Ulta, waiting for the day I have coupons or a splurge-excuse ;)

Have you tried any of these? Any suggestions or favorites of yours?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: Zoya Renee

Hello hello! How is everyone's week going? I'm noticing my makeup and jewelry posts aren't viewed or commented too often; I've heard you loud and clear! LOL I'm going to include them from time-to-time but I'll be more focused on nails from here on out... or at least I'll do my best as long as my nails cooperate :)

Today I have for you a very lovely crelly polish by Zoya: Renee! I got this on clearance at Ulta way back when and there were literally three nearly identical colors and my ex had to help me narrow it down to pick just one, which was Renee. I just got around to wearing it recently and here she is in all her glory (my cuticles, though, are in no glory. Ignore those scene-stealing jerks.)

I only have one photo of this lovely because a) it was nighttime so there was no natural light to speak of b) I have no room in my apartment for a lightbox and c) it was the only one where I wasn't completely dissatisfied with my photography skills. Okay, I'm done with my self-criticism.

Here I used two coats and no top coat. I ended up going back to add another coat and TC because I just wanted to make sure it was all even and perfect. This is a crelly type finish; it was more opaque than a jelly, but not quite creme and very squishy looking IRL. It's much more magenta IRL as well, this makes it look like a mauve-y pink.

What do you ladies think?

Monday, August 13, 2012

FYI: Nail Documentary

Hi girls! Happy Monday (?)! Quick post today because I just wanted to share something my friend Julia showed me which I'm sure will be near and dear to all of our hearts. She shared with me a trailer for a documentary about nail art! I haven't seen this yet but thought it was really cool and is just another way that nail polish and art are becoming more mainstream. Here's the trailer:

There's one screenshot I took of a board of nails, one with a bunch of bows and it inspired me! I want to try this soon - and hopefully, it can inspire us all to try out our artistic side since we can only get better with practice! Nail wheels are a great way to try stuff out, which is shown on lots of nail wheels in the trailer. Let me know what you think! I didn't create this, but it seems really apropos :)


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jewelry Trend: Stacked Bangles

Hello! How's everyone's day going? I'm writing this with cramps but with my kitten next to me... so it all balances out! As you're reading this, I'm away for the weekend with my BFF at the beach on Cape Cod, so I guess I can't complain, even though I just did.

I recently put up a poll (vote if you haven't already, please!) about whether people would like to see posts about jewelry or fashion. Right now, it's pretty split with people saying "yes, once in a while" or "absolutely not" so I'm going to go with "yes" for now... especially since some of my twitter friends encouraged me and, hey, who writes this blog anyway?! ;)

Today I want to show you one of my favorite trends lately: stacked bangles. If my IRL friends Julia and/or Sarah are reading this, they might be thinking: ARM PARTY! And yes, it's basically that.

Don't worry. I don't wear all of these all at once, I promise.
 I got these all over the place, but mostly from etsy. I'm obsessed with etsy and I have to stay away so I'm not going to link you to any of the sellers, and also because they were all one-of-a-kind sets and it'd be mean to tease you that way (here's a link, but you can't buy it because I ALREADY DID. muahahaha). However, I assure you, there are hundreds more out there for you. I did not buy all the bangles, try as I might.

These are probably my favorite, from Alex and Ani. My sister got me these for my birthday and I love them so much. The bangles themselves are made from recycled materials and are expandable/retractable to fit your wrist. They're pricy (about $24-28 each) but I love them! These are becoming more and more popular (in my area anyway) and I suspect they may be the next Pandora bracelet, but who knows. (If I'm right, you have to tell everyone where you saw them first. Promise?)

Next, these are another set of my favorites that I bought from etsy. There's three separate silver bangles each with its own golden charm: a pearl, a bird, and a leaf. I love these. I probably wear them the most and they're so simple and cute that when people notice the detail, they seem especially special. Especially.

So, there you have it. My recent obsession, possibly rivaling nail polish, but only because I'm only interested in indies right now and I can't keep up with restocking and all that nonsense. What do you think? I have one more jewelry post planned, but let me know if you like them so I know whether to keep going or not!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Foundation Primers

Hi pretty ladies! Continuing my Friday Face tradition (for now) is my review of the primers I've tried. This is by no means an extensive list, but I think it's a good start for a makeup n00b like myself ;)

Image from
Murad Skin Perfecting Primer Acne & Shine Control
Pros: filled in pores; gave a good, clean finish; seemed to last a while but not the full day
Cons: tinted, might not work for all skin types; felt kind of heavy, as though I was applying foundation
Overall: 3/5 - nothing spectacular, but I'd buy it again if it was on sale or it came in a kit!
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Exuviance Matte Perfection
Pros: good coverage; easy to use
Cons: not marketed as primer so people may not know its purpose; didn't last very long; did not really "matte-ify" my skin, which isn't even oily
Overall: 2/5 - not the worst out there, I'm sure, but needs work IMO.

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Pur Minerals Correcting Primer 
Pros: lightweight; covered easily; absorbed quickly; good base for foundation/makeup
Cons: somewhat greasy, strange feeling on my fingers while applying; not sure it helped diminish pores
Overall: 4.5/5 - one of my favorites that I've tried, but the price point keeps me from buying until I try others to make sure it's the best product
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Bare Escentuals Prime Time
Pros: less costly than some other options; filled lines; long-lasting; good base for foundation
Cons: very thick, felt like applying some sort of clear face mask to my skin
Overall: 3/5 - it was okay, but not one I'd choose in the future.

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Physician's Formula 3-in-1 Correcting Primer

Pros: convenient brush; easy to apply; filled pores to an extent
Cons: brush (I use my fingers to apply primer, so it was a con in my book); did not notice any "correcting" features; not especially effective for me; felt like I had to use much more product than any of the others to achieve results
Overall: 2.5/5 - not the worst, but could use some improvements for me, didn't find the brush helpful nor the product especially useful.
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Tarte Poreless & Tarte Flawless
Pros: affordable for a high-end brand ($9 for the trio!); effective; liked the variety of primers; didn't need a lot of product to be effective; filled pores well (especially Poreless)
Cons: the "Brightening" one (Flawless) didn't really do much brightening and had a pretty strong citrus smell
Overall: 4/5 - I loved Poreless and Flawless was decent, would recommend the trio for girls to try it and it was a good value for sure! (Disclaimer: I haven't really tried the Eyeshadow Primer, and cannot vouch for that as I haven't tried others to compare.)

Bottom line: I'd choose the Tarte or Pur Minerals. The rest seem gimmicky or have major cons, in my eyes, especially since they are pricy, high-end brands (probably with the exception of the Physician's Formula which was about $10-12 even as a drug store brand).

Which primers do you use? Recommendations or warnings?


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Fail and Unfail: Orly Snowcone & Depend 243

Hi girls! Here's my first NOTD since returning, kind of nervous! Please be kind, my cuticles are still... um, awful. But I've maintained my painting technique so hopefully that's redeeming.

My original idea was to do Depend 243 on my nails with accent nails of Orly Snowcone, and then do opposite dots of each. But, it doesn't always work out. Here they are pre-dots:

Orly Snowcone is a perfect blue creme. Seriously. This was one coat, and no top coat. Look at the shine and perfection! It was also really easy to control (this picture is no cleanup!).

I got Depend 243 from Dolores in a swap, and it's a really pretty purple with gold shimmer (or microglitter, I can't really tell, TBH). These swatches are two coats and no topcoat. This one was also really manageable.

Here it is once I added the dots...
 Disasticure 2012. For some reason, I hate the way Snowcone looks dotted. So I took it off and gave up on the accent nail idea, and this beauty was born:

This is actually my first full dotticure (hehe) and I kind of love it! I need to do this more but for some reason I always back down.

Oh, also! I used my Chick Nail Polish top coat here, and I love it! Look how shiny this mani looks! I got it free with a promo way back when but never really got around to trying it. It works well especially when I'm taking my time and not using a quick-dry necessarily :)

What do you guys think? Disasticure? Cute? Was I right to switch from accent to full mani?


Monday, August 6, 2012

Comeback Giveaway! Ends 8/24/12 *CLOSED*

 Hey guys! As a 'welcome back' gift to you guys for me coming back to blogging (seems like a weird occasion now that I type it out, doesn't it?) I'm doing a giveaway! It begins August 6 and ends August 24 at 12:01am Eastern time. US and Canada only due to shipping restrictions. Three prizes as listed in the widget: China Glaze BFF, OPI Rainbow Connection, and OPI Mamma Mia! All three were either purchased directly by me brand-new or swapped for, brand new. :) Winner will be picked on August 24th and they will have 48 hours to respond or I'll pick someone new. Be sure to include your email so I can contact you!

I've decided to do something a little different for this giveaway. There are the normal entries for following on twitter, tweeting, etc. but I've also added a Scavenger Hunt: find answers to my questions on blogs, via twitter, or emailing (but please don't share answers with each other because it ruins the fun!). This is optional, so you can enter just by being a GFC follower and letting me know the order of which prizes you want most.

Happy entering! <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup

Hi girls! I'm back to blogging, but unfortunately not with nails (yet!) since they're still growing out. Instead, I'm sharing with you a very special product to me that I've been loyally using for a few months now and has done wonders for my skin. I'm starting this as "Face Friday" even though I'm a day late but bear with me, okay? I have the next two Fridays scheduled already and I think that counts for being a day late this time even though it's the first time. Right?

You may not know I've had acne since I went off birth control about a year or two ago, and nothing has helped (even being on birth control again). I've been on a journey to find a combination of things that work for my skin to control breakouts, and this is one of those products (the rest are coming soon - on Fridays, duh).

It all began one day when I was getting a facial and my aesthetician suggested I try a makeup with benefits for my acne and skin. I told her I used Bare Escentuals and she explained that it wouldn't hurt my skin, but wouldn't help, either. She suggested another brand but I forgot which one, so an Ulta associate helped me find Pur Minerals. I bought the Start Now! kit, in Light, which was on sale at that time for $29.

The benefits of this set included SPF 15 in the foundation, shea butter (organic, too!), vitamin E, is paraben-free, and natural. No dyes, chemicals, etc. but most importantly, no alcohol to dry out your skin, which is an ingredient common in facial care, especially among cheaper brands. I was really drawn to it when I saw the brush, primer, and mascara were included - a whole makeup kit in one box! Since I'm not a huge makeup snob, I was happy I wouldn't have to find a coordinating brush and could try out the primer and mascara, too.

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This kit included the primer, brush, foundation, a highlighter, and their mascara. I loved all of the products, although the brush sheds bristles constantly. I usually have one on my face daily, but it still works well. The primer is one of my favorites of all time (more on that in another post), the foundation covers beautifully, and the mascara was actually awesome considering it was a tiny tube and I didn't expect the brush to work very well (which it did!). I still have the highlighter because I rarely actually use it, except on occasions where I want to highlight my cheekbones. I haven't even made a dent in the small pot, but it seems strange to me that it was the same size as the foundation!

Eventually, I outgrew the small kit, ran out of the primer, mascara, and foundation, and decided to buy the foundation separately. I now use the next color up, Blush Medium, since it's summer and I've gotten a little tan. The foundation is $27 (currently) on I'm on my second pot of it, although the first isn't really finished; I just leave it at my boyfriend's now that it's starting to run down and I can see the bottom. It lasted about 4 months, I'd say, and is still useable for at least a couple dozen more uses.

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The foundation applies like a powder, but on my face it feels more like a liquid or mousse foundation. It definitely leaves my face feeling soft and is a pretty good concealer. I use the 'swirl, tap, buff' method taught by Bare Escentuals and it works really well with this product as well.

My only complaint about this product is that as you use it up, it seems to be less effective. I notice my older foundation is much more powdery than the newer one I purchased, which could just be an effect of time, exposure to air, etc. I admit I should probably also clean the brush more frequently.

Overall, I'd absolutely recommend this product. It's a little expensive, but lasts a while and works really well (for me, at least). It's available through Ulta, Pur Minerals, and probably other sources as well but these are the two I trust and would recommend to my readers.