Friday, December 30, 2011

REVIEW of Zoya's Trixie with SWATCHES

I really wanted to choose something from my collection that I hadn't tried yet that would look appropriate for a New Year's Eve party. I came up with Zoya's Trixie with a special accent nail I'll talk about later. Now, I don't know when you'd pull out Zoya's Trixie except for a holiday party...which is probably why I haven't worn it before now. It's very shimmery and glittery and it certainly grabs your attention. It's not a quiet silver like Milani's Ms. Milani. I don't think it goes with my skin tone as there's almost something warm about the silver. I think maybe it has something to do with the way the glitter picks up the light. Also, I'm not in love with the glitter. It creates an odd effect. It's almost like my nails look greasy. Application was great. It wasn't perfectly smooth and it takes a little while to dry. You should definitely give it some time in between coats. Otherwise, I had no issues. You would think that the glitter would make mistakes more apparent and increase streakiness but in fact it was the opposite. After two coats, the glitter was almost settling itself into a smooth finish. I did 3 coats just to fill everything in as it's almost like painting with glitter instead of polish so I wanted to make sure I was getting even, opaque layers.

For the accent nail, I went back to the bottle of Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe that I haven't touched in ages. I thought I'd just do a quick layer to look like confetti but here's how that turned out.
Streaky mess

So I just did 3 layers to even out the streaks and layered Milani's Jewel FX in Gold on top.

OK, here are all the swatches of the final look.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Milani Jewel FX in 531 Gold Layered over L'Oreal's 580 Because You're Worth It

I was getting a little tired of this look so I thought I'd try layering something over it to spruce it up for New Year's. I rather like the pairing of the classic, bright gold of the Milani Jewel FX with the more toned down, sophiscated almost taupe gold of the L'Oreal polish. The Milani polish was pretty easy to work with. I didn't have to obsess about the placement of the glitter but I don't think the base polish to glitter ratio of the polish is very homogenous which might be a problem in the future. Right now, there's a little too much base polish to glitter. I suspect as I work my way through the bottle, the opposite will be the case. Also, I find glitter polishes a pain to remove. The whole tin foil thing doesn't work for me.

Anyway, swatches galore! Happy Holidays! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Favorite Pictures

I don't have any particular skill when it comes to photography but I enjoy it. Here are some of my favorite photos that I've taken.

I was taking the bus home on one of those fall days when you don't realize it's going to get dark as early as it will, and I just looked up and was struck by how gorgeous the clouds looked. It was a windy day and the clouds honestly looked like the big pink marshmallow puffs that float across Impressionist paintings. I had to take a picture.
This is one of those times that my camera surprised me. I've always loved the different tones that get captured in the changing colors of leaves in the fall. I'm just amazed by the clarity in this picture. I feel like I can just step into the picture and breath in the crisp, fall air.

Monday, December 26, 2011

REVIEW of L'Oreal Nail Polish in 580 Because You're Worth It with SWATCHES

Now, you would assume that the best selection in a nail polish line would be the one that's actually the slogan for the company. This was my thinking in picking out my first L'Oreal nail polish in a pretty shimmery gold shade in 580 "Because You're Worth It". Now, I'm wary in picking out anything with yellow tones for my Asian skin but I love almost every L'Oreal product I've tried and I was completely charmed by the sleek look of the packaging. If any gold was going to work, it should be this sexy, sophisticated shade, right?

Well...the formula was a big pain in the you-know-what. I don't know if it was the shimmer or the polish itself but I had a hell of a time getting a smooth, even coat. It was 3 coats for opacity but it's still not as opaque as my cream finishes. I don't know, there's just something about this polish that seems a bit off. The color is fine but really doesn't suit my skin tone. It also looks better in certain lighting that others. When it takes on a light gold, shimmery taupe shade it looks fine. In dimmer lighting it looks almost like tarnished gold and it makes my hands look very sallow and dry. Also, I feel like the smoothness of the final coat was more due to my skill than anything in the formula. I think if you have light Caucasian skin, this might look good on you and if you have very dark Indian or African skin this would look beautiful. It just doesn't work for me. Also, I can't recommend it based on the formula.


A Few of My Favorite Things...

I thought I would share a few of my favorite discoveries this year to launch into 2012.

Chloe perfume by Chloe

I am not an expert on perfume but I do believe in being confident in what you like and Chloe perfume is a perfect example of that for me. I first discovered it at Sephora months ago in the summer and I think I've taken home maybe 3-4 little sample sprays before finally committing to getting my own 1 oz bottle in a recent Sephora sale. The thing I love the most about this perfume goes beyond the floral notes of Rose, Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, and Lilly of the Valley, and of Cedarwood, Amber, Honey because honestly, I can't distinguish all those scents. To me, it just smells pretty, feminine, and floral. No, what I love is that this perfume really sinks into your skin and mingles with your body chemistry to create something special. As I wear this perfume, it doesn't wear me. Instead, it deepens from a basic floral into something richer and more sensually feminine while still staying sophisticated. I can wear it to work and class, running errands or to meet someone special. However, as with all perfumes, you need to wear it for a while and see how it settles on your skin. I would definitely suggest getting a sample and testing it out for yourself.

I've included a link to my original review and months later, I still love this product just as much. It is my go to eyeliner, easy to use with the best results. You're not going to do any better than blackest black. It is the perfect finishing touch to my eye makeup looks and the perfect thing for any fan of winged eyeliner. My only additional note would be to wait for those Maybelline BOGO 1/2 off sales to roll around though they are worth the hefty $12 price tag in my opinion.

I love this blush. You know I love this blush. It gives me (fair, Asian skin) a lovely, natural flush and it is generally my everyday blush and has been since I got it at Sephora. It is easy to work with, gives great results, and lasts all day.

Where else other than e.l.f cosmetics are you going to get a $3 bronzer/blush duo that works this well? Before I got my Tarte blush, I used to use the blush and didn't really have any issues with it though it isn't as pigmented as I would like. However, the bronzer is magnificent. I think it works perfectly with Asian skintones or any light skintone with a bit of yellow instead of red as a base. I tap a little onto my e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush and sweep it under my cheekbones and slightly up, to make them look a little higher, and then tap again and sweep the color along my jawline and down my neck. I think every girl needs this in her kit.

Covergirl Natureluxe glossbalm in Marble and Peony:

Why do I mention these in just about every makeup look? Because they are just that amazing. I have very dry lips and Covergirl natureluxe glossbalm is the one product that works for me 100% of the time. They are super moisturizing and Marble and Peony are just the perfect colors. Marble is your basic my lips but better sheer, brightening pink and Peony is the perfect pop of red which you can wear as a sheer red or build up to a brighter color.

Favorite Nail Polishes of the Year: O.P.I.'s Ski Teal We Drop and Essie's Sew Psyched

I know neither of these are new but they were my favorites for fall and winter. Beautiful formula and great colors for my skin tone and the season.

L'Oreal Paris HiP Studio Secrets Professional Metallic Shadow in 510 Electrified:

I love the shimmery color in this palette. The formula is amazing, buttery and smooth. The color is just magical. This is my new favorite eyeshadow. If I lost all of my eyeshadows, this is the first one I would go out to repurchase.

Review of L'Oreal Paris HiP Studio Secrets Professional Metallic Shadow in 510 Electrified with SWATCHES

Dear, L'Oreal. Thank you for 510 Electrified. This is one of my favorite eyeshadows. EVER. If you haven't tried it, you need to. Even the swatches don't really do it justice. It is so buttery and smooth. It is a dream to apply. It goes right on, super pigmented but also blends easily. It is shimmery but not too intense for school or for work unless your job is super professional in which case I'd stay away from shimmer eyeshadow in general. The color is just stunning. I was recently swatching my eyeshadow collection trying to think of new combinations to get some use out of palettes I haven't touched in a while but all I did was marvel over how pretty this color was compared to everything else. This is not to insult or degrade my other eyeshadows. They are lovely. But this shadow is a stunner. It has magic to it. I could definitely see this in a holiday, prom, or wedding look. Well, maybe a fall or winter wedding.

Amount of Product: .08 oz or 2.4g

Color: shimmery light gold/taupe AND eggplant


Review of Lush's Christmas Eve Bubble Bar


Image Credit:

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates! Sorry I haven't checked in lately. I've been spending time with my family and recuperating from finals. I was going to do some eye makeup looks but my eyebrows are a little scary after threading so I'm waiting for the skin to heal.

As a treat to myself, I went into Lush and picked up this Christmas Eve Bubble Bar. It seemed appropriately festive and is supposed to contain jasmine and ylang ylang scent, both of which I love. I used about 1/2 - 2/3 of the bubble bar for my first attempt and I was less than impressed. When you crumble the bar under the water (it takes a little muscle), it bubbles up into this rich, foaming lather. However, the scent is fairly undetectable. I sniffed. I strained. But I couldn't smell jasmine or ylang ylang. The most I got was a very faint, clean and pretty smell. Which, given the contents of most bath products these days, smelled basically like soap. Also, the bubbles quickly dissipated within maybe 5 minutes. I used to get better results when I was younger and using generic bubble bath products. The water did seem to thicken so I was hoping for some moisturizing benefits but my skin feels very dry now that I'm out of the bath. The very faintest scent of the bubble bar is clinging to my skin but I don't think it's meant to act as a perfume and it's fading quickly as I'm typing this.

Thus, I really can't recommend this product. It doesn't enhance your experience in the bath, it doesn't do anything for your skin, and it doesn't really leave a noticeable scent.

I may return to Lush to try out Cinders or So White but I'm less than enthusiastic after this experience.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review of O.P.I's I Vant to Be A-Lone Star with SWATCHES

I know I should get around to doing reviews of more current nail polishes, but I'm very particular about what I wear during exams. It needs to be something pretty so I don't obsess over how much I hate the color, but it can't be anything too distracting. O.P.I.'s "I Vant to Be A-Lone Star" fits the bill perfectly. And I actually think that it's a perfect winter color too. It reminds me of the shimmery light blue that often gets paired with snowflakes on wrapping paper. It seems like the kind of color that might get reflected off of a snowflake if the light hit it at the right angle. The color is a magical light blue. The shimmer makes it seem like its almost silver. In lower lighting, it grays out a bit. Anyway, I happen to love the color. I think it would look great on very light skin tones and very dark skin tones. I would be wary about the middle range of skin tones. You need to consider the tones in your skin, if you're a medium range skin tone and you want to try this color. It's a very cool color. If silver jewelry looks better on you than gold, go right ahead. Also, in that vein, I would definitely try pairing this with a shimmery, sequined silver dress for the holidays. I wasn't crazy about the formula on this one. The brush was a little streaky and it was just a hassle to work with. You can't tell in the pictures, but the layers aren't entirely even. It pretty much evens out after 3 coats and the addition of a top coat, but if you're a perfectionist, it might still bother you.

CONCLUSION: I might repurchase this for the color but if I could find a dupe, I wouldn't bother.

Friday, December 16, 2011

CVS Sale Mini Haul (L'Oreal Hip duo, Rimmel eyeshadow palettes)

My experience with the CVS clearance sale isn't nearly as magical as everyone else's. The discounted items at my local CVS were labeled with either a 50% sticker or a 75% sticker. However, there were less than 10 items in total and nothing particularly desirable. Because I love my L'Oreal Hip duo in Electrified so very, very much, I picked up the only nice Hip shade available, which is a light pink/black duo called "Dashing". It doesn't seem very pigmented swatching it, but maybe I'll change my mind when I apply it.


The shadows swatch exactly as they appear in this last photo. The pink swatches a little better but they are both pretty pigmented when applied. However, I think I'll be returning this one. I really don't need another black shadow when my NYX single eyeshadow works so well and the pink is very difficult to pull off. I slathered on primer, but I still found my skin color peeking through in patches making this look less like eyeshadow and more like inflammation or illness. Also, I really don't think the two colors go together when applied on the eyelid.
I didn't get anything else, but I did pick up two of the new Rimmel eyeshadow palettes in the shape of the flag. They are very cheap (around $5-$6) AND they were buy one get one half off this week. So...yay for regular beauty sales! I haven't really played around with these yet, but I am a little worried about maneuvering my brushes around this cute little design.


English Oak (browns/pinks)

Green Park (greens/browns)

SWATCHES (I will add some swatches when the lighting is better.)