Thursday, June 30, 2011

REVIEW -- E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

So this review comes to you compliments of my bestie. As we were perusing the beauty aisles at Target, we happened upon the e.l.f. section. And as I was debating as to whether I really need that 2nd e.l.f.  contour shadow brush and the $3 quad bronzer.. she happened to pick up a bottle of the brush shampoo and tell me how much she loves it. Since I was planning on cleaning my brushes within the next day anyways, I decided to go ahead and pick it up.

Normally, when I deep clean my brushes, I use the olive oil method but it's SO time consuming. You basically end up washing your brushes twice.. and when you have at least 18 brushes that you actively use, like I do, the thought of double cleaning them is enough to make your head hurt.

THE PRODUCT:

e.l.f.'s brush shampoo shouldn't be confused with their daily brush cleaner. The cleaner comes in a spray bottle and is meant to be used as a quick clean in between changing makeup colors. The shampoo (what I bought) is meant to deep clean your brushes on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

The shampoo comes in a 4.1 fl oz bottle, is available in Target stores and online, and retails for $3. It is a clear shampoo with a scent that is so light, I'd say it can pass as being virtually unscented.

The packaging says:
An anti-bacterial brush cleanser for thorough cleaning in-between makeup applications. Disinfects brushes to provide a fresh and clean application every time. Washes away all traces of dirt, makeup, oil and debris from your brush, while conditioning the hair to provide a clean and soft application for every use.
DIRECTIONS: Cleanse brush regularly by massaging a small amount of the shampoo with water and working it through the bristles from the base of the brush outward. Rinse thoroughly and gently squeeze out excess water. Reshape the bristles and lay flat on a clean cloth to fully dry before next use.
 MY RESULTS:

I quickly learned that you only need the tiniest drop of brush soap to get a great, lathery foam. I could clearly see the colors of my makeup coming out of the brush on my hand, and the soap rinsed away easily. My brush cleaning time was cut in half because I didn't have to wash each brush twice, and I didn't feel like I need to. Well, except with my foundation brush, but that thing was just plain filthy. And I really could have gotten away with washing it once. It was clean. I know it was. But I just felt like I needed to wash it twice, so I did.

And, lastly.. even after cleaning all 18 brushes (19 if you count the foundation brush twice), I haven't even made a dent in my bottle. It still looks absolutely brand new!

FINAL VERDICT:
Now, I know for beauties that are devoted to their MAC brush cleaner, it might be sacrilegious to even think of switching brands, but I definitely suggest giving e.l.f. a try. Even if you use this in-between your MAC cleanings, it would still be worth it.

I love that the shampoo is anti-bacterial, and that this bottle will last me foreverrrr. I also love that I no longer have to double wash my brushes, and that they feel as conditioned as when I was using the olive oil.

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Do you have a favorite brush cleaner? If so, let me know!

♥ M

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Holy Highlight, I Love This Eyeshadow!


Meet Aloha by NYX. Aloha is an eye shadow.. much like the others.. It's pretty, sure. But there's nothing seemingly amazing or fancy about it. No offense to NYX, their products are amazing. It's not like that. I'm just saying, I didn't expect to be blown away and fall head-over-heels in love.. In fact, I really only picked it up for another brow highlight color to add to my stash. Because honestly, a girl can never have too many highlight colors. ;)

But then I got it home and started playing with it.. And.. on a whim I swiped it on the tops of my cheekbones to give myself a little shimmery pop yesterday.

Oh. My. Gosh. Y'all. Aloha makes the best cheek highlight color EVER. It's just shimmery enough to be gorgeous, but not in-your-face glittery or otherwise obtrusive. I applied mine with a regular blush brush and it works great!

Here's a screen shot from my latest vlog so you can see how gorgeous it is:

Click to enlarge
Look at that gorgeous shimmer! I'm SO in love! And yes.. Hubby was with me because we were filming relationship advice... of all things! Haha!

♥ M

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GET THE LOOK (For Less!) / REVIEW -- Essie's 'Carnival' vs Ulta 'Starstruck' & WnW 'Kaleidoscope'

So as I've recently said, my stash is rapidly nearing that 150-bottle mark and I've finally reached that point where I'm actually trying to limit my polish purchases to things I don't already own dupes of. What brought me to this realization was the fact that I have 3 virtually identical polishes that vary greatly in price. And while I certainly do love my chunky silver holo glitter polishes... I don't need 3. And I certainly didn't need a brand new bottle for $8 when I already had 2 similar bottles sitting at home.

That brand new bottle that I picked up is essie's 'Carnival'. I saw it in Ulta. It was gorgeous and I had to have it, not even realizing that I have two dupes at home. I'm kind of kicking myself now, but I'm too lazy to take it back. Plus, as far as ease of application, price actually does matter in this post. I'll explain more as I go along.

First up, the contenders:

ESSIE -- CARNIVAL
Here we have the $8 essie 'Carnival'. Yes, it's gorgeous in all it's silver-y, chunky holo glory.. but I'm still mad I bought it when I didn't need it. Don't worry, I'll get over it in time. I promise.

Application of 'Carnival' is great. Nice, even layer of glitter with one coat.. because I hate it when glitter comes off the brush in clumps and then I have to spread it around. Easy to build up, but not incredibly top coat hungry. Out of the three, I would definitely say this is the best pick and worth the money.

ULTA -- STARSTRUCK
NOT an accurate color depiction at all.
Here's Ulta's $5 version of 'Carnival' and.. I have to say, it's not bad. I've had this one for a while and have actually used about a third of this bottle because I built it up on my nails a couple times. I just remember my nail tech having to sand it off the last time I did it. However, I will say that it did look amazing. I think I'd use 1 coat of silver to help it along though, if I ever built it up again. It'd probably save a good 2-3 coats of Starstruck.

Starstruck has a fairly even glitter dispersal with this one as well, but it took 2 coats of Starstruck to equal one coat of Carnival as far as glitter payoff goes... and it was lumpy and chunky on the nail. As I've said, I'm totally not a fan of hungry glitters and this one is ravenous, which is why I wouldn't use Starstruck to go full-coverage again.

WET N WILD -- KALEIDOSCOPE
And here we have Wet n Wild's 99cent offering. Kaleidoscope, while perfectly decent on it's own, just can't hold up against it's more expensive competitors. It is the least predictable as far as glitter application goes and you'll need at least 2-3 coats to get the look of 1 coat of 'Carnival.' Also, 'Kaleidoscope' has multi-sized glitters, while 'Carnival' does not. However, when the price difference between them is greater than $7... (I got my bottle of WnW on sale for 69 cents!) sometimes we can turn a blind eye towards the lack of glitter payoff.

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So there you have it. Even though I've given you two less expensive options, if you HAD to only pick one.. in this case, I think I'd have to go with essie's 'Carnival'. I know, I know, not something I typically tell you with the "Get the Look (For Less!)" series.. but.. I'm just being honest. I wish I didn't have Starstruck, even though that was the original polish out of the 3 that I bought. I can make peace with WnW because it was only 69 cents. But the essie truly is the best overall polish out of the three.

♥ M

My "MUST HAVE" Summer Makeup Products


Alright, beauties. I had to challenge myself to come up with a topic for you that was not related to nail polish. Even though several of you told me you didn't mind the constant polish posts, I still felt the need to switch it up juuussst a little bit. Trust me, the polish will be back in full force soon! :)

So here's what I came up with for you: Summer makeup "must-haves"! Since it is now officially summer.. and, as I've told you, temperatures are miserable down here in Georgia.. I was thinking about how well my "go-to" year-round products actually work for our summer weather. Here's what I use to keep my makeup looking great all day (even in upper 90 degree heat!):

HARD CANDY -- SKIN PERFECTING PRIMER
I am seriously in love with this little bottle of awesomeness. Granted, it won't be everyone's Holy Grail product, but if you don't mind silicone primers then I think you should give this little product a try! I put Hard Candy's Skin Perfecting Primer on before I apply any makeup to my face and it really helps keep my makeup from sliding around and my face from getting oily throughout the day. You can read my full product review here.

COVER GIRL -- AQUA SMOOTHERS TINTED MOISTURIZER
I have been a loyal devotee to Aqua Smoothers since I was in high school. So, for those of us that are counting (which is hopefully no one!) that is going on a decade now. Eek! ..Anyways, I love that Aqua Smoothers has an SPF of 15 and that it provides a nice amount of coverage while still managing to look flawless and make you feel like you're not wearing anything on your face. 

NYC -- LOOSE POWDER
I have previously debated the pros and cons of pressed and loose powder, but I do love both kinds. For my day to day makeup, though, I always choose loose powder. I believe I discovered NYC's loose powder right after I started college and I fell in love with it immediately. For a product that retails under $3, it is seriously the best powder for the money. My shade is 742A and it has just enough color to where I can use it year round and not look too orange with a tan, or too dark in the winter. It does come with the little pink sponge, but I always throw that out and just use a powder brush. I love that this product can keep my face matte pretty much all day, even in extreme heat and humidity!

ELF -- BRONZER
Another product I've previously reviewed is ELF's bronzer. This was one of the $1 varieties, although they do have deluxe bronzers and bronzer/blush combos that retail for $3 as well. Besides being a little powdery, this bronzer is amazing at blending seamlessly into my face. I've always been scared of getting the "Snooki" look but this is definitely a bronzer for people who are scared of bronzers! And nothing beats having a little extra glow for summer! 

NYX -- JUMBO EYE PENCIL
I've been a loyal NYX eye shadow base user for a long time, but I've recently fallen in love with their jumbo eye pencils as well. My current favorite is Cottage Cheese (even though I despise the name!) because it has a slight shimmer to it and not only prolongs the life of your shadow and improves the vibrancy of it, but it makes everything shimmer! And I love shimmer! However, I understand that not everyone loves it as much as I do, so the color Milk is a matte white, if that's more your style.

PALLADIO -- HERBAL EYELINER (WATERPROOF)
And now for the last product that I have previously reviewed. I love this eyeliner because once it sets, it sets. And it doesn't move.. even from your waterline. Plus it's one of the richest blacks I've seen from a crayon eyeliner. Since I bought this eyeliner, it has been the only one I've used and I don't think I'll ever look back. This eyeliner is great year round, but especially in summer because I can go swimming with it and do all sorts of other fun stuff and it doesn't move. I love having products that I can apply and then not have to think about again during the day!

COVER GIRL -- LASH BLAST FUSION MASCARA (WATER RESISTANT)
This is one of my 3 mascaras that I use on a daily basis, but if I'm needing to use a waterproof mascara for swimming or whatever, I'm totally fine with using this one by itself. Lash Blast Fusion does a great job at lengthening AND separating my lashes. I think it's the awesome little purple wand. I'm not gonna lie. 

PALLADIO -- LIP STAIN
I know I've talked about Palladio Lip Stain in several videos, but I don't think I've ever blogged about them. This is one of my all-time favorite lip products, and the only lip stain I will use. My favorite color is 01/Pinky and it is the most natural looking, long-lasting, water-resistant stain I know of. And even though I love my lip liners, sometimes I just don't want to wear them during summer because they tend to move around.. especially when paired with lip gloss. Which is why I turn to my Lip Stain almost all the time if I want an extra boost of color under gloss.. or even just a care free stain to run out with on my lips.

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Well! Those are all my favorite products! It didn't feel like I had that many when I started, but I feel like I've been typing forever! Hope I didn't bore you too much.. haha. :D

I have a couple of other posts pretty much ready to go, I just need to take and edit pictures for them. And I know it's not that much work, but sometimes I'm just like "Blehhh... I don't wanna..!" So hopefully I can get motivated and get those posted!

I'm having coffee with my bestie tomorrow and we're probably going to go to Ulta (so she can supervise me and make sure I play nice with the associates, haha!) so I'm SUPER excited about that! Maybe I'll pick up some fun new things to play with! Who knows?!

♥ M

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NOTD (x2!) -- Hot Pink Nails w/ Holo Accent and Rhinestone Bow / CG 'Always a Bridesmaid'


Okay, so if the holo nail with the rhinestone bow looks familiar, it is! It was in my last NOTD post and I just decided to switch up the other 9 nails and leave that one as a fun accent. Let's break down what we have here:

Sinful Colors -- Cream Pink (base color)
Sinful Colors -- Pinky Glitter (glitter)
OPI -- DS Coronation (holo polish / accent nail)
Light pink 1mm rhinestones (bow)
Hot pink 2mm rhinestone (center of bow)
LA Colors Topcoat

I have to say.. I'm extremely impressed with the LA Colors top coat. I got it at the Dollar Tree and didn't expect much from it, but it kept the rhinestones on for 11 days with only one coat and no touch ups. I was astounded! AND my nail tech still had to actually pry the rhinestones off of my nails today. So.. If you find yourself in a Dollar Tree and needing a good, cheap top coat for nail art.. definitely give it a try!

Okay, so that was a fun mani for sure.. But it got to be a bit much after 8 days. So I went to get a fill today and decided to go with my new favorite, China Glaze's 'Always a Bridesmaid'. 


I've listed this in my Polishes of Summer and I think I love it so much because getting a fill is like getting a new set of nails for me. They're strong and durable again, and I'm just so excited by them! I know, it's totally weird. Anyways, 'Always a Bridesmaid' is like the perfect polish to "cleanse the palette" (so to speak) and give me a couple days of neutral nail bliss so that I can plan what fun polish I want to try next!

Before I found the Sinful Colors dupes for OPI's POTC Collection, I had my heart set on doing 'The Wonder Yellows' from Wet n Wild. But... now I really want to try out some of these dupes! Oh well, I guess we'll see where my head is at in a few days!

♥ M

GET THE LOOK (For Less!) -- OPI's POTC Collection


OPI's Summer 2011 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Collection came out just over a month ago.. And while I hunted for weeks to snag myself a bottle of the elusive "Silver Shatter".. I just couldn't bring myself to buy the rest of the collection. 

It's not that I don't love the colors, trust me I do.. but I'm nearing the 150-bottle mark in my stash, so I'm trying to limit myself on how many new polishes I buy. And I just couldn't justify spending $8.50 per bottle for the collection, so I had made peace with letting these slip by unpurchased until I saw this display in Rite-Aid today:


Y'all. I had a moment... in Rite-Aid. And it was embarrassing. In the middle of my squealing and happy dancing, one of the store associates actually came over and asked if I was okay. (I wasn't okay, I was humiliated!) But that's beside the point..

I'm just going to cut to the chase and tell you the exact dupes, the "sort of dupes", the OPI without a dupe, and then I'll list the extra random Sinful polishes for you. Here we go:

DUPES
OPI Mermaid's Tears -- Sinful Colors Open Seas
OPI Sparrow Me the Drama -- Sinful Colors Star Fish
OPI Planks a Lot -- Sinful Colors Verbena
OPI Stranger Tides -- Sinful Colors Seaweed

"SORT OF DUPES"
OPI Steady as She Rose -- Sinful Colors Easy Going
**The main difference between the two is that Steady as She Rose has a grey base, where as Easy Going is definitely a pale pink base.**

THE OPI WITHOUT A DUPE
OPI Skull & Glossbones

OTHER RANDOM SINFUL 'ADVENTURE ISLAND' POLISHES
Beautiful Girl -- Medium Bright Pink
Adventure Island -- Reminiscent of a pastel "Shrek" Green
Rise & Shine -- Turquoise/Teal

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And that's it! I got 4 Sinful polishes (Easy Going, Star Fish, Open Seas & Verbena) for the cost of ONE OPI polish. I'm so happy! I can't wait to play with my Silver Shatter over these and see how they turn out!

Will you be snatching up any of the Sinful Dupes? Or have you already bought the OPI collection? Let me know!

♥ M

Friday, June 24, 2011

50 Subscribers Contest WINNER!!!

Click to enlarge!
Congratulations to LunaLillyette! She's the 50 Subscribers Contest winner! Here's the video announcement of  her winning:



♥ M

Awards?! For ME?!



I was awarded both the Stylish Blogger Award and the Versatile Blogger Award from my dear friend Christina over at Red Lip Gloss. I know I've talked to y'all about her before, but if you haven't already checked her out please do so! I love her blog so much.. her product reviews are great and I adore her DIY Beauty Fridays! Oh and she loves maxi dresses as much as I do! Yet another plus! Haha ;)

So here are the rules for the awards.. I'm supposed to tell you 7 random things about myself and then pass them on to other deserving bloggers. Easy enough, right?

1. If I could choose any career I want, I would totally be a NASCAR driver. No question in my mind, I think that would be the best job. EVER.

2. One of my ballet solos growing up was to a song called "Flight of the Swan" and my mom made me a beautiful white costume complete with a romantic-length tutu and feathers. It was gorgeous because my mom is an amazingly talented seamstress. But my solo was left out of the recital program so some sound guy announced my piece before it began in the recital. Except he said "Flight of the SNOWMAN" (?!) and the lights came up to me standing on the stage in tears. I was like 10 and I was mortified. I wasn't a dumb snowman, I was a swan! How could he have been so stupid?! ...The owner of the studio had to come out onstage and correct him and try to convince me to stop crying and dance. Haha... It was pretty awful.

3. I think mustard makes just about everything better. Regular Wavy Lays Chips and mustard is so yummy!

4. I absolutely looove dresses -- and maxi dresses in particular. It's so easy to look pulled together when all you have to do is throw on a super comfy dress and a necklace! It feels like cheating and I love it!

5. I'm 25 and I still sleep with a teddy bear. It was one of the presents Chris got me for our first Christmas together. His name is Chris Bear and he says "I love you more than bunnies" if you squeeze his paw. :D

6. I have an ungodly amount of black clothes in my wardrobe. When I was dancing in college, we were required to wear all black to technique classes. That meant black warmups, black leotards and black tights.. We could only wear pink tights for ballet. So.. When I was taking 5 dance classes per semester, I needed a lot of black clothes to cut down on having to do laundry everyday. I'm sure people in my academic classes thought I was goth. ALL I ever wore was black.

7. I'm sure you already know by now that I have one tattoo, but I have plans to get 3 more. My second one is coming soon. It's going to be in honor of both of my grandparents, so I'm really excited about it even though it's going to be on my ribs and it will hurt like crazy!

Okay! So now I nominate these lovely ladies for both awards:

My precious Lillian over at The Beauty Buzz (It's a Tumblr. I don't care!)
My fabulous girl Heather over at Heather's Love of Makeup
The ever-stylish Hannah Michelle over at Hannah Michelle's Beauty Blog
The talented nail polish creator behind twee & honey
and
The wonderful Holly over at What Holly Has Seen

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Okay! Sorry I've been so slack on posting all week. I've been really sick since last Saturday. Finally went to the doctor on Tuesday, spend 5 hours in the ER on Wednesday and slept for over 20 hours yesterday. But no worries! I'm pretty much back to normal now.. so everything is okay. Just wanted you to know I haven't been purposefully neglecting you.

Hope everyone has a happy weekend!

♥ M

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

EXPIRED -- SPECIAL OFFER -- Celebrate Summer with Zoya!


Well, beauties.. are friends at Zoya are at it again. Speaking of Zoya promos, I received my package from the last promo (Free Charla & Ivanka with purchase) over the weekend and I have to say that I am officially in LOVE with their polish! It is so pigmented and the formula is amazing. Oh, and their customer service is great as well. I will definitely be buying from them again!

Now.. onto their new promo. Oh heck, it's really late. Or early, I suppose.. depending on how you look at it.. I'll just let Zoya explain it to you themselves:

The Zoya Color Lock System -- Everything you need to keep your nail polish on and beautiful! 5 easy steps! It includes the award winning Remove + (3-in-1 Polish Remover), Zoya Anchor (Base Coat), Zoya Get Even (Ridge Filling Base Coat), Zoya Armor (Top Coat), Zoya Fast Drops(Speed Dryer) and Zoya Renew (Revitalizing drops for polish). This special offer includes free* shipping and your choice of Sunshine or Summertime Collections**!
HOW IT WORKS: 
 To take advantage of this offer go to Zoya.com. Add the Zoya Color Lock System to your cart! Then pick 1 code --  Use code Z22 to get all 6 colors from the Sunshine Collection**,  Use Code Z33 to get all 6 colors from the Summertime Collection**! Then complete checkout!
Don't forget that shipping is free when you take advantage of this great offer!Get Long Lasting Summer Color Today!*Online only, cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or coupon. US ONLY. ENDS Tuesday June 28, 2011at 11:59 PM EST. Offer dependent on purchase of Zoya Color Lock System.  Z22 or Z33 must be entered in order to obtain discount. Offer only good for  colors from from either the Sunshine or Summertime Collections. No exceptions, No exchanges or substitutions. 
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So I have to say that I probably won't be taking advantage of this promo, but it is a pretty cool offer! Let me know how the Color Lock System works if you've tried it or plan on ordering it through this promo!

♥  M

Monday, June 20, 2011

Polishes of Summer

I feel like I'm just constantly blogging about nail polish lately.. like, every time I think of an entry to post.. It's nail polish related. And then I'm just like "Ugghhh! Not AGAIN!" but I end up posting it anyways, because I'd rather post something than nothing.

So.. I gave you my top polishes for Spring, thus it's only fair that I give you my favorite polishes for Summer! Here they are!

SINFUL COLORS -- CREAM PINK
This would be the repeat from Spring. It's a bright (almost neon) pink that has enough of a blue undertone in it to flatter any skin tone and make you look instantly tan. Fabulous, right? The formula is great and the polish has just enough gold micro-shimmer to make it pop in the light. It's one of my all-around favorite polishes. And at $1.99 you definitely can't beat the price! ..Oh, and a close second to 'Cream Pink' would be Sinful Colors #871 Pink.. which is a true red-based watermelon neon pink. :)

WET N WILD -- EVERYBODY LOVES REDMOND
THIS PICTURE IS A TOTALLY INACCURATE COLOR REPRESENTATION.
Note the caption. 'Everybody Loves Redmond' is actually a bright red jelly... I like to think of it as "tomato" red. I love this for summer! It's so bright and looks fabulous with a tan. The formula is a bit sheer, though. It can take 3-4 coats for full opacity with no streaks or VNL (visible nail line).

OPI -- SPARK DE TRIOMPHE

You can check out the full gorgeousness of 'Spark De Triomphe' here. To save more of this amazing polish and make it easier to get off, I've tried layering it over a Sally Hansen gold chrome polish and it looks absolutely stunning.. even better than it does by itself because the gold polish helps give the glitter an extra depth and warmth that it lacks on it's own. 


essence -- POOL PARTY
LOVE this little polish, and I don't think they make it any more. 'Pool Party' is a bright blue cream that coats like an absolute dream and has a silver shimmer. It's another one of those amazing polishes that instantly makes you look more tan. I wish this came in full-size bottles.. and I wish I knew how to make a franken of it.

CHINA GLAZE -- ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID
So I never ever thought that I would become a fan of mannequin hands, but I am seriously in love with this polish. And I can't find it anywhere but online, which means I will be ordering it super soon. 'Always a Bridesmaid' is the perfect sheer pink that gives you just enough opacity at 3 coats to still be sheer, but it's obvious that you do have nail polish on. It's like the perfectly polished manicure. If I was going to a wedding, I'd wear this in a heartbeat.

WET N WILD -- THE WONDER YELLOWS

So even though I rarely wear yellow polish, I absolutely adore it and I keep telling myself I never wear it because I just haven't found the right shade. However.. 'The Wonder Yellows' might just be it. It's a phenomenal lemon-y yellow that has gold micro-shimmer but doesn't give me the "lobster claws" (red hands) look. 3 coats will give you full opacity, 2 if you're careful. This is such a bright and cheerful color! It came in my Wet N Wild Summer Nail Pail from CVS.. and I'm really glad it did because I don't think it's a color I would have ever bought for myself, but I love it!

ZOYA -- CHARLA

So I got 'Charla' for free through Zoya's latest promotion.. and I absolutely adore it. It's a totally luxurious color, but it's definitely more on the blue-green side than this picture shows. And it's definitely more green than blue. But it's still sooooo pretty! 'Charla' also has a gold-ish shimmer running though it, and I can't wait to wear it as a full mani! I got it in the mail yesterday and have only had time to swatch it at this point. :D

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So those are my favorite polishes for summer! Did you see any that you love in there? Do you have a favorite of your own that you think I should try? Let me know!

♥ M

Saturday, June 18, 2011

NOTD / NAIL ART -- OPI's DS CORONATION with a Rhinestone Bow


Ok, so it pains me to say that I spent $25 on two OPI DS polishes.. Coronation and Reserve. But I needed to have them. I've been dying for some holo polishes and when ULTA got the Designer Series back in stock, it became my mission to own them.

Coronation
Unfortunately I have to say that the holo is not strong with these. I get better results inside than I do outside, as evidenced by the picture above where I was running around our front yard trying to take pictures of my nails. Again. I'm sure our neighbors think I'm crazy.. Also, I'm pretty sure I should have Chris film that for YouTube. It's got to be really funny to watch.

So because of my frustration with the lack of holo-ness, I don't know how long I'll be wearing these.. but this is my third day with them, so I guess it could always be worse.

Also, I added the little pink rhinestone bow to match my current pedi color, which is Sinful Colors' Cream Pink. :) You can learn how to make your own rhinestone bows here!

And one more thing.. Don't forget that you still have until 11:59 PM EST TOMORROW to register for my 50 Subscribers Giveaway on my YouTube channel! Click on the video below to view it in YouTube to get all the details and leave your entry comment there!


Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend and I will talk to you tomorrow!

♥ M

Friday, June 17, 2011

FRIDAY FAVORITES -- LUSH Cosmetics


I've talked about LUSH before, but they have really proven to be my favorite thing this week. LUSH has started a full-fledged campaign with Freedom to Marry that aims to help end marriage inequality, which is a cause that is very close to my heart.

Did you know that in the US, same sex couples are denied 1138 rights that are given to heterosexual married couples? Just to be clear, that is one thousand, one hundred and thirty-eight rights. If you think that's not a big deal, I assure you that it is.

From their website:
We, along with our campaign partners Freedom to Marry, are calling for the U.S. Federal Government to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which would effectively overturn the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA denies committed gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, and deprives them and their families the 1138 civil rights that come with federal marriage recognition. We want to see an end to the ongoing discrimination against thousands of couples and families across America. Together, let's make same-sex marriage legal in the United States.
Now for the important (and fun!) stuff.. How can you support LUSH and help make this goal a reality?

BUY A (LIMITED EDITION) VEGAN FREEDOM FOAMER FOR $5.95
Link to buy one is in the purple text above! :)
Again from their website:

Lay back and soak in sparkling, emerald-green waters and mounds of fluffy bubbles. We've created a limited edition bubble bar with the uplifting and refreshing scents of lemon, lime and grapefruit oils - perfect for long, languid summer soaks. We also think it's the perfect antidote to weary soles and a respite for freedom fighters. LUSH is proud to partner with Freedom to Marry and their efforts to end discrimination in America. All proceeds from the sale of this bubble bar will be donated to Freedom to Marry to support their "Why Marriage Matters" campaign.
To find out more, visit www.freedomtomarry.org.
 SIGN THEIR ONLINE PETITION

SUBMIT YOUR KISS & TELL STORY

and

JOIN THEM TOMORROW FOR A NATIONWIDE INSTORE KISS & TELL


One last time from their website:
Are you ready to take action? Join us to kiss marriage inequality goodbye! Bring your significant other and/or family to your local LUSH shop on June 18th. In light of the 1138 rights denied to same sex couples at 11:38am exactly (local time) LUSH staff, customers, family and friends will be simultaneously Kissing in support of marriage equality and Telling the government to make same-sex marriage legal by signing postcards addressed to state representatives. Our goal is to get at least 1138 couples out kissing across the nation, stop by your local LUSH store to be part of kissing DOMA good-bye!
You can find your nearest LUSH location here.

 - - - - - * - - - - -

I am so proud of LUSH for publicly standing up for what's right and what they believe in! Please consider supporting them through any (or all!) of the options I've listed above. Chris and I wanted to make it to the KISS & TELL tomorrow, but he has to be at work at 12 and the closest *actual* LUSH store to us is about 30 minutes away, so that won't really work. But we will be sharing a kiss at 1138 am anyways to show our solidarity for the cause!

Lastly, I understand that many people have varying opinions on what is "right" and "wrong" when it comes to relationships, love and marriage. As always, you are more than welcome to discuss your opinions below but any rude or hateful comments will absolutely not be tolerated. Please be considerate, and remember that this is my blog and I will post about topics and support causes that I like.

♥ M

Confessions of a Beauty Junkie



Here's a question for you, my fellow beauty lovers: Have you ever found yourself in a store, holding an item in your precious little hands.. and you know that you absolutely do not need it.. but you find yourself buying it anyways? Sound familiar? It's a scenario I find myself in that's becoming all too familiar for my liking. But why do we do it?!

Normally, I'd like to think that I don't have a hoarding problem. I don't go to a store and think to myself that we need 18 mega packs of toilet paper, 9 packages of pens, 26 bags of chips or 37 bottles of mustard. Like, with every day stuff.. I'm good. And even with clothes, shoes and purses.. I may buy, but not in excess.

But.. show me a beauty sale and it's like my shopping switch gets flipped on. And not just on, it gets turned on turbo power. I'd even venture to say that it's gotten worse since I've started my blog and YT channel because I justify most things by saying "Oh, I can use it for a product review..!" as I'm shoving it into my shopping bag.

And granted, a lot of things I've been collecting for years.. but.. who really needs 132 bottles of nail polish? Or 10 palettes? Or almost 70 lip products?! NO ONE! But I have them. And that's really just a drop in the bucket.

Last weekend, I went to Bath & Body Works for the start of their Semi-Annual sale and walked out with $50 worth of bath stuff. Granted, I won't be buying body wash for the next year.. but did I really need 5 bottles of my beloved Lemon Vanilla shower gel? No. But the scent is being discontinued and they were discounted 75% off.. so of course I had to buy them.

And then my best friend and I were having coffee this week and decided to go to Victoria's Secret for their Semi-Annual sale and I ended up buying a $7 lipstick that was 75% off, among other things. I tried it and loved it, so I went back today and bought 4 more. I mean, it's $1.75 for $7 lipstick. How could I not?!

Anyways, while shopping, my bestie and I started talking about how seemingly normal people, e.g., us, will throw all caution to the wind if there's a beauty product we love that's even slightly at risk of being discontinued. For example, she has found an under eye brightener that she's in love with.. and my bestie has the distinct misfortune of having every product she loves discontinued. Horrible, right? Thus, she has started stockpiling her favorites. As we're walking past the display with her under eye brightener, she grabs one while telling me she's already got 4 brand new packages hidden away in addition to the one she's currently using..

And for the life of me, I can't figure out why we do it. It's almost like a compulsion. And it's something I really wish I could figure out. At least if I understood it, I feel like I could control it a little bit more. I mean, honestly.. I love having new things to play with as much as the next girl, but I have enough makeup to last me until I'm at least 40. But will that stop me from buying more? Absolutely not.

As I walked out of the mall with my 5 duplicate VS lipsticks and a fragrance that was 75% as well.. I stopped in Icing and saw a makeup palette that was clearanced to $5. And even though I just won Red Lip Gloss' palette contest and certainly don't need any more palettes... you know I bought it.. because it was just too good to pass up. ;)

♥ M

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!


So today is our 2nd wedding anniversary, and Friday was our 6th anniversary together. Hubby and I decided to celebrate by going to Six Flags Over Georgia! And it was SO much fun! We love going first thing in the morning on weekdays because we're done with everything by 1:30pm (when it starts getting crowded) and we can go home early and beat (most of) the heat.

Six Flags just opened a new roller coaster called the Dare Devil Dive and we were so excited to ride it. It promises that you'll go "beyond vertical" at 52 mph.. And.. it's totally lame. Well, in the interest of fairness, the "beyond vertical" part is really lame. You can't even tell it. The rest of the ride isn't that bad, but I feel like it's been severely over-hyped. At least we only had to wait in line for 5 minutes to ride it.

We took the picture above while we were running up the stairs to get on the park's biggest coaster, Goliath. It's the only picture we took today, so I'm glad it turned out well!

Oh! And we got to see my friend Camia! She's performing in 2 of the shows at the park this summer, so that was really cool! I was so proud of her, she did a great job! We only saw 1 show today.. we have season passes, so we decided to save her second show for our next trip!

Right before we went home, Chris tried to win me a Hello Kitty stuffed animal from TWO different claw machines... but her head was too big, so she kept falling out right before he could get her to the drop chute. It was so frustrating! BUT I can't be too upset because he got me a dolphin from a claw machine Saturday night! He's really cute! And I named him Flipper... because I'm totally unoriginal. Haha!

We're about to switch up our Monday night pizza tradition for some homemade tacos instead and I can't wait! Tacos are so yummy! The rest of our night will probably be spent playing with the dogs and either watching 'Despicable Me' or playing Kinect Sports... or maybe both!

So since I'm officially done blogging for the day (3 entries is definitely enough!) I'm gonna leave you with 2 videos of 2 of my favorite Six Flags roller coasters! You even get front row "seats"!

This one is Goliath. It's SO massive and wraps almost halfway around the entire park! I think the first hill is at least 300 feet tall.. No exaggeration!

This is the Georgia Scorcher and it is the last stand up roller coaster ever built. It's amazing! OH! And you can see the first hill from Goliath at the beginning of the video! Look how huge it is!

♥ M

EXPIRED -- SPECIAL OFFER -- Zoya's 'Ivanka & Charla' Promo


Hello, beauties.. Long time no post! (Haha..) Well, our friends over at Zoya are spoiling us again! 

They just launched a new promo where you can get a FREE bottle of Ivanka AND Charla with any non-spoon online purchase! Use the code ZOYASPARKLE when you check out. While supplies last, or until 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, June 16th. 

FINE PRINT:
Online only, cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or coupon. US ONLY. While supplies last or until Thursday June 16, 2011at 11:59 PM EST. Offer good for 1 (one) free bottle of open stock (.5 oz) Zoya Charla and 1 (one) free bottle of open stock (.5 oz) Zoya Ivanka with the purchase of any NON-SPOON ITEM. Code: ZOYASPARKLE must be entered in order to obtain discount.

♥ M

GET THE LOOK (For Less!) / DIY / NAIL ART -- REAL Snake Skin Nails!!!


THE DESIGN:

No snakes were harmed in the making of these nails! The skin I used was already shed. :D
Have y'all seen this video circulating around the web? It's talking about the new snakeskin manicure trend that is setting trendsetting beauties back $300. Yes. You heard me. THREE. HUNDRED. DOLLARS. Here, take a look:


As soon as I watched the video, my first thought was 'Oh my God, I could never spend $300 on my nails. Never. Never.' Naturally, my second thought was 'But oh my God, I HAVE to have them.' Thus, I began scheming to see how I could turn both of those thoughts into reality... Which is when I turned to Facebook and promptly asked all 348 of my closest friends who had a snake that was about to shed.

Thankfully, one of the girls I grew up dancing with had just sold their pet snake.. and it had shed the day before. I asked her for the skin and ran home to test out my DIY snakeskin mani. 

PRODUCTS USED:


  • SHED snake skin
    • I beg of you, PLEASE do not harm any snakes to get their skin on your nails. Please.
    • If you don't have access to a pet snake, do what I did and ask your FB friends OR call local pet stores to see if they have any snakes that are shedding. :)
  • China Glaze -- Always a Bridesmaid
    • Technically, you can use any color you want.. but I've been seriously loving this color lately. It gives me the perfect 'mannequin hands' look and I wanted something very light and neutral to really make the snake skin stand out.
  • Ulta Salon Formula -- Clear Top Coat
    • I don't recommend this top coat... for this manicure. I'd definitely go with something like Seche Vite or Sally Hansen's Hard As Wraps instead.
  • Scissors
    • Definitely use cuticle/manicure scissors if you have them. I couldn't find mine and using regular scissors was awful.
  • Tweezers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail file
HOW I DID IT:

Honestly, I basically followed the same steps in the video.. Kind of. My base color was applied at my nail salon, so I came home and grabbed my top coat, scissors and tweezers and went to work. I did each nail individually from start to finish.

  1. I cut out a rough shape of snake skin and fit it to my nail size as best I could.
  2. I applied a layer of top coat to my nail and used the tweezers to apply the snake skin and push it down. 
    • I chose to have my snake skin go right side out so that the textured part of the skin was showing on the surface.
  3. I used the nail file (short, downward strokes!) to file off any excess skin that hung over the free edge of my nail.
  4. I took the nail clippers and used them to clip off any excess skin around my cuticles.
    • Be careful with the scales! They don't split very well, so you may end up losing some that you don't particularly want to if they happen to fall outside of your nail bed.
  5. I applied another layer of top coat on top of the snake skin, paying extra attention to the sides of the snake skin, and did an extra swipe along the free edge of my nail.
  6. I waited until that coat was dry and repeated Step 5 to the same nail.
  7. I repeated Steps 1-6 to every nail.
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And that's it! My snake skin mani was complete! And I saved myself... THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS! 

Like I said, I really wish I'd used a different top coat because I've already lost a couple of scales and I was hoping to get a week out of this mani. With the right top coat, I think you actually could make that happen. Next time I'm going to try Seche Vite and see how that fairs.

But yea. I am SO in love with my nails. I will definitely be doing this again. And again... Haha!

So what do you think? Love them? Grossed out by them? Let me know!

♥ M