Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Naturebox Month 2 Review

Hello peanuts,

Well, I decided to keep my Naturebox subscription for another month. I think I convinced myself that I just needed to pick the right combination of snacks. This month I opted for the Everything Bagel Stix, Apple Pie Oat Clusters, Masa Crisps, Lemon Tea Biscuits, Italian Bistro Pretzels, Mexicana Mango, and South Pacific Plantains.
The Mexicana Mango was my favorite item in this month's Naturebox because I grew up eating dried mango. Of course, the dried mango I'm familiar with is thicker and loaded up with sugar which is why I can't have it as a regular snack. The slices of mango in this snack are much thinner and wafer-like. They aren't crusted with sugar so they aren't as sweet but they're still pretty sweet. If we're ranking things, Philippine dried mangoes are the sweetest followed by natural mangoes followed by this Mexicana Mango snack from Naturebox. Whether you like these will depend upon your personal tastes. I can see some people finding them a little bland. I was disappointed that they contained 30 grams of sugar for 3.5 pieces. I decided to compare them to Gold Key Dried Mangoes where a serving size of 7 pieces or 40 grams contains 140 calories and 30 grams of sugar. That's surprisingly more or less on par with this Mexicana Mango from Naturebox. I wasn't able to locate the brand that makes the dried mango with a ton of sugar but the Gold Key Dried Mangoes still have a good amount of sugar so Naturebox's Mexicana Mango is far from a notable improvement.

I wouldn't call the South Pacific Plantains a favorite but they were easy to snack on. Again, I'm used to dried banana and dried plantain snacks and I really didn't get any of that flavor from this Naturebox snack. The plantains are cut thin and taste more like a potato or starchy vegetable chip. I mean if you try really hard to detect it you may taste some plantain but you might also be deluding yourself. These were a bit on the salty side but I didn't find it too excessive.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

REVIEW of Cult Nails Lacquer in Tempest With SWATCHES

Hello darlings,

I tell you, I've found it! I've finally found my perfect white creme polish! When I placed my order during a recent Cult Nails sale I thought I was crazy to be buying another white nail polish that all the blogs promised would apply beautifully. Been there, done that. Actually, I went a step further and took this on vacation to do a polish change with the most basic of nail kits with me. And I had no problems! Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. Let's get into it.

Color: Cult Nails Tempest is a white creme polish. It's a stark white, the most basic shade you'd want if you were looking for a white for nail art or a white polish to mix with other colors. However, it still retains the creaminess of a creme polish. The best way I can explain it is that it doesn't look like I've painted my nails with white out. It lacks the flatness of just using an acrylic paint. I am in love with it. If you want to try out the mod nail look that was so popular a while ago, this is polish I'd recommend.
Formula: I don't find the consistency noticeably thin or thick. It's probably on the thinner side if I absolutely had to vote one way or the other.
Application: This polish goes on super smoothly. It doesn't apply like any other white or pastel I've tried. It applies like a creme polish with a good formula. There was a little bit of streakiness and unevenness on the second coat but it was very minimal and the third coat fixed things right up. I applied three coats for full opacity. I thought the Seche Vite I applied as a top coat was messing things up a little so I didn't apply top coat to my middle nail. That's why it looks a bit weird in the photos. I don't think this is an issue with Seche Vite or this polish. I just keep getting bottles of Seche Vite that are full of bubbles.
Wear: I applied this polish on August 3rd. By the ninth, I had noticed tip wear. Basically at the edges where I wrapped the tips of my nails, all the polish was gone. Also my nails had grown quite a bit so there was growth at the cuticles. For some reason there were weird slices in two of my nails kind of like if you'd dragged a key or a nail file through the polish. I can't remember what I did to cause the damage. I removed the polish the next night. There was still a little bit of shine but it was considerably duller than when I had originally applied it.

CONCLUSION: I think you know what I'm going to say. These are unbelievable results for a white polish. I absolutely recommend this one and when I run out of it, I'll probably be getting some more backups.
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

REVIEW of Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Polish in Boss Lady With SWATCHES

Hello boss ladies,

I very well couldn't call you "working girls" now, could I? Oh slang, always getting in the way of my writing. Anyway, I've got another Ginger + Liz polish for you from that same Ricky's order I placed so long ago. You'd think a girl wouldn't need this many red polishes but well, I probably don't need most of the polishes I currently own. I haven't attempted to organize my collection in a few months. I'm kind of afraid to do a count. It's well over a hundred at this point. Eep!

Color: Ginger + Liz Boss Lady is a red creme polish. I was debating whether to call it a creme or a jelly but it doesn't have the squishy gel look of a jelly. It's just a creme that's not completely opaque. Of course, you might own this polish and disagree with me which you are free to do in the comments but I'm calling it a creme for now. I don't know if it's so much of a "boss lady" red as a bright red, more of a bright tomato red than a cherry red or the deeper red that I'd associate with a "boss lady" look. I suppose there's a bit of assertiveness and aggressiveness to it. Still, it's more of a jungle red than a red for a boardroom. (I know I linked to it but if you haven't seen it, don't waste your time with that movie. It's not very good. Until I get the movie reviews up and running, the best I can do is warnings against the bad ones.)
Formula: The formula isn't notably thin or thick but if I had to make the call it's a thicker polish. However, unlike most thicker polishes, the viscosity has no effect on application.
Application: The first coat applied very smoothly. There was no drag at all and I found the polish very easy to work with. I didn't even have to even it out. It might be self-leveling. The second coat also went on very smoothly. You could get away with two coats if you're okay with visible nail line. The polish applied very evenly so if you don't mind a thinner, jelly polish look, two coats would be fine. I added a third coat which decreases the appearance of VNL but the polish was still not 100% opaque. I don't think this is a polish where you're going to get full opacity with a reasonably number of coats. On one or two nails the polish seemed a little thick but it was super easy to even out and gave me no problems.
Wear: The third day after I applied this polish I noticed very slight tip wear. I noticed it because usually my tip wear is smooth but this tip wear looked like minor chipping at the edge of the nail. Again, it was very slight and would have been easily fixed by wrapping the tips of my nails but I wanted to make note of it. It was primarily on my right hand so perhaps I'd done something to cause the damage.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend this polish. The formula is great and super easy to work with. If you already have a bunch of reds, you don't really need to add this to your collection as it isn't terribly unique. However, if you are looking for a bright red and you don't mind wearing a red polish that isn't fully opaque, this might be worth picking up.
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

REVIEW of Sheswai Lacquer in Babe With SWATCHES

Hello kittens,

New brand! Yes, it's one of those very special days when I'm not reviewing a polish from Essie, OPI, or Zoya. Instead I've got a polish from Sheswai. What? I hadn't heard of it either outside of a couple of mentions on blogs or in magazines but it's sold at Ricky's. I don't know if it's widely available but a cursory look at their website reveals that Sheswai Lacquer is sold at various locations in the United States. I had no intention of every purchasing a bottle of this polish at $16 for 0.5 oz/15 ml. But as there always is, there was a sale and I couldn't help myself. My bottle of Sheswai Lacquer from Ricky's only cost me $2.99.

If you've never tried Sheswai Lacquer, they claim to be free of formaldehyde, dbp, and toluene. The color selection is a little limited and there's nothing too remarkable or unique in the color range that's available. The handle for the brush is longer than that of other brands. It's about on par with the length of the brush handle for an OPI polish or a bottle of Orly Bonder. I find that it fits comfortably in my hands and doesn't cause any issues with application. The width of the brush is fairly normal. It's not even as wide as an OPI brush, let alone a Sally Hansen or Wet n' Wild brush. I found the bristles to be soft and flexible.

Color: Sheswai Babe is a bright pink creme polish. In my experience, outdoors regardless of the amount of sunlight, this polish will appear pink. In direct, bright sunlight it's more a bright, Barbie hot pink. In dimmer natural light, Sheswai Babe becomes a deeper pink closer to fuchsia. I don't think it's as dark as Essie's Sure Shot but it's along those lines. Indoors, the polish veers more red depending on the lighting. There are still times when it appears pink but as the amount of natural light decreases, particularly in the yellow-tinted light in my apartment the polish could definitely be confused for a bright red.
Formula: The formula of this polish is a little thick.
Application: Not knowing what to expect I was fairly cautious when applying this polish. The first coat went on smoothly. When I added the third brushstroke in the center, I noticed that the polish was a little thick and not self-leveling. It's one of those polishes that needs to be evened out but resists all attempts to do so. It didn't make a mess when I tried to even it out but using the brush to even out the polish didn't make much of a difference either so I'd try to avoid it. Just be a little more conscious of how much polish is on the brush so it's less of an issue. The second coat also went on smoothly but this polish just didn't want to go on in even layers. A light test revealed that the polish wasn't opaque at two coats but in a pinch you could get away with two coats. At three coats the polish was fully opaque. I used the third coat to even out the polish as best as I could but even still if you were to see it in person it's a little lumpy and streaky. Not terribly bad but not a great polish job either.
Wear: The night I painted my nails I got some dents in the dry polish which tells me that even though I wait minutes between applying coats of polish and top coat, this polish is probably slow drying or doesn't fully dry for a while. Be careful. I wore this polish for four days. In that time I experienced a negligible amount of tip wear though the polish did begin to look a bit dull.

CONCLUSION: It's impossible for me to enthusiastically recommend this polish because of the application. For $2.99, it's not bad but then I've tried Confetti polishes that apply beautifully. If you can get this polish for a great deal it's a relatively manageable formula but if you're looking for good results, it should be easy to find a dupe that will provide a better application experience.
Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you would like to help support this site, please consider making your next purchase at amazon.com through the links on my page. I will get a small percentage of anything you purchase through one of my links at no extra cost to you.

Botkier Sample Sale Report July 2014

Hi bumblebees,
This is how much I love you. On the very day I am going to get on a plane to go on vacation I ran over to the one day Botkier sample sale to cover it for you. That's right. It's a one day sale running from 10:00 am through 7:00 pm so if you're interested you better get on over there.

The sale is being held at 525 Broadway on the 5th floor. There was no coat or bag check and things were very quiet when I stopped by. I think only one other person was browsing as the others seemed to be friends of the people running the sale.

Happily, prices actually start at $20, not $50 as advertised. A number of the $20 items show signs of wear including scuff marks but nothing is horribly damaged. Pricing generally reflects size with smaller purses priced at $20, medium bags at $50 and larger bags at $75 and $100. Of course, there are some exceptions. For example, there was a smaller bag with an elephant clasp priced at $50.
Most of the $20 bags are in this section. Sizing varies as you can see and from the condition of the bags, I'd guess that some of the larger bags in this section are placed here because they are slightly worn or out of fashion. Again, nothing too terrible and you might find something you like.
There were some more $20 bags in this section but after the first large display you start to move into the $50 bags. I would say there were fewer scuff marks in this section and you could totally find a nice $50 bag at this sale. 
These $20 wristlet wallets with various words printed on them might make for a cute gift.
More $50 bags
At the far end of the wall near the mirrors you'll find most of the $75-$100 items. I didn't spot anything more than $100 but I didn't check all the tags. Generally you'll find the large and oversized bags in this section. I spotted a wide range of styles from totes to more structured bags.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Hello my darlings!

I know it's been a slow July anyway so you probably won't know the difference (I've had photo-editing issues with nail polish and I haven't felt like running around to the few sample sales this month). Nevertheless, I wanted to let you know that I will be going on vacation soon and I likely won't have reliable internet access. I should be back by the middle of August when posts will begin to appear as infrequently as always.

Lots of love,

Friday, July 25, 2014

REVIEW of Zoya Lacquer in Kerry With SWATCHES

Hello chickadees!

I'm bringing you a review of a somewhat unusual color for summer... Zoya Kerry. Why am I reviewing this Summer 2013 polish now in July of 2014? Well, I picked it up in one of my recent little Zoya hauls. They just keep getting me with those promo codes. I've seen some interesting nail art looks with Kerry and I'm excited to try it out once I get the video thing going. Yes, I know I keep bringing that up. You should know me by now. This is what I do. Where is the novel I keep saying I'm going to write? I don't know. What were we talking about again?

Color: Zoya Kerry is a yellow gold glittery foil polish. There's not much more to it than that. Imagine a metalllic gold foil polish but remove all the bronze until you get a bright yellow and that is Kerry. It's a bold, blinding shade and a nice alternative to all the basic gold polishes that get released season after season.
Formula: The formula is a little thick.
Application: When I applied the first coat of this polish, my immediate thought was... it's so sparkly, I'm going to die. The polish went on very smoothly without any drag though I did have to even it out a bit. The second coat also needed to be evened out a bit but again, there were no issues. At three coats, this polish was still not 100% opaque (yes, I know I'm an obsessive perfectionist) but it is very nearly opaque and besides, you can't tell with all the glitter blinding you.
Wear: I wore this polish for three days. I experienced very minimal tip wear in that time but it was only three days. I just felt like removing the polish because my nails were a bit too long. It was a little tough to remove the polish but not impossible. It was no more difficult that removing other foils or glitters. The problem is the lingering glitter. You can get all of it off eventually but it takes some patience.

CONCLUSION: Yes, I would recommend this polish. It doesn't have a perfect formula but you shouldn't have any issues with application. I realize that yellow gold glitter won't be flattering on everyone's skin tone but I liked the slightly unconventional look of it.
Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you would like to help support this site, please consider making your next purchase at amazon.com through the links on my page. I will get a small percentage of anything you purchase through one of my links at no extra cost to you.