Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things I Am Currently Obsessed With

Is it terrible to have acquired so many obsessions in such a short period of time? Long story short, I was freezing one day and popped into far too many shops to hide from the cold. This is the result. (Oh, and just as an update on my last post in this series, I am very happy with my Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda concealer so far and less pleased with my Pixi Tink Tint despite the adorable packaging. Reviews to follow.)

1) Bracelets and bangles

This is an odd one for me, because I get uncomfortable wearing watches. Yet for some reason I kept gravitating towards bangles and bracelets today. I had no luck with bangles because they kept sliding off my tiny wrists until they were halfway down my hand. But my eyes lit up at the display case in Mulberry though, wow, their prices aren't cheap. Does anyone know where I can find authentic discounted Mulberry merchandise? A nice outlet mall or sample sale or consignment shop? Anyway, here is the Tillie bracelet I fell in love with.

It comes in Rose Gold and Pale Gold for a whopping $270. I know. I'm sorry for making you fall in love with it too.

For a slightly less heartbreaking option, there's this Henri Bendel bracelet I found online. It comes in Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold for $78.

2) A Mulberry handbag

I'm not really a handbag kind of girl. My favorite bag in the world is the simple cross-body bag I picked up in Argentina for $20. 

My other handbags from LeSportsac and Michael Kors were birthday gifts and I didn't care what they looked like as long as they could fit all my stuff. (Yes, I am purposely using that most hated word of English teachers, "stuff".)

It seems like it might be awkward to carry around a Mulberry bag after the casual ease and comfort of those bags. But I melted as soon as I went in the store. The Travel Day Bag, The Bayswater, The Alexa... I'm not even going to post pictures and prices. I will just provide the link if you think you can stand the temptation.

3) The OPI NYC Ballet Soft Shades Collection for Spring 2012

I thought nothing of this collection when it was first announced. Even when I saw the bottle pics on Refinery29, I was still unimpressed.

But then I saw swatches on Scrangie and I'm kind of in love with the collection. I think I'll limit myself to Piroutte My Whistle, Barre My Soul OR You Callin Me A Lyre?, and My Pointe Exactly.

Hopefully, I'll be able to track these down soon. Here are some more drool-worthy swatches to look at.

4) Makeup Savers

My days have been getting longer, whether I'm out exploring or spending the day confined to the library. Thus, my makeup needs some rejuvenation past hour 8 or so. I'm not sure what would work best, though. I have a mild obsession with the Tatcha blotting papers that make appearances in all my beauty/fashion magazines, though the price seems a bit exorbitant.

I've also heard some good things about the elf blotting papers called the "ELF essential shine erasers" so I might have to check those out since they are so gosh darn cheap! Oh, elf, you indecently low-priced temptress!

Or perhaps I need a setting powder, though with my dry skin I'm not sure how that will make my makeup look less dry and cakey. Still, I've been hearing good things about tarte's Smooth Operator Finishing Powder.
Smooth Operator™ Micronized Clay Finishing Powder with PM20™

What have you been obsessing over lately? Are you interested in seeing me review any of these products. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. :) See you next time!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

REVIEW of L'Oreal Nail Polish in 310 Versailles Romance

Hi chickadees!
I'm not sure how much L'Oreal's Versailles Romance nail polish reminds me of Versailles (Yes, I've been. And I didn't take 6 years of French without picking up something.) but it does have a feminine lightness I associate with my favorite French confections...macarons! I found this to be an improvement from the L'Oreal nail polishes I've tried in the past. I had to do 3-4 coats on each nail before I could get it nicely opaque but I didn't have major issues with streakiness and the formula wasn't nearly as thick as before. It still wasn't a dream to work with (I included a slightly messy shot of my other hand so you could see what painting with my non-dominant hand was like). That hand definitely didn't turn out as good and I needed the 4 coats. While I love the shimmery peach shade, I actually think this might look pretty as a sheer color in 1 or 2 layers.


Friday, March 23, 2012

I Was Featured on Racked NY!!!

Racked NY is one of the websites I check on a daily basis so imagine my amazement and pleasure at realizing that they had actually featured my sample sale report! I don't really have enough to say to make this a post but I just had to share it with you. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hugo Boss Sample Sale Report March 2012

I swung by 260 5th Ave (between 28th and 29th) on my break to check out this month's Hugo Boss week-long sample sale. The sale runs 11am-7pm until Friday when they'll be closing early at 3pm. I managed to get there pretty early in the day, around 12:45, and because it's at the lovely 260 5th Ave location there was no line. With the bag and coat check completed (they let you keep small purses this time), I started  browsing. There are plenty of racks of clothes organized by type and occasionally by size though it's easier to just check the tag on whatever catches your eye.

(PRICES) There were a lot of blouses going for $59, assorted (kind of random) dresses for $189, and jackets for $199. I had intended to pick up some tailored blouses and maybe a silk skirt or two since I love the one I got at the last sale but it was mostly pencil skirts this time (going for more than the blouses...maybe $69 or $79) which is definitely up from the last sale. Perhaps they will drop prices later in the week. The skirt material was pretty thin so as much as I love high-waisted pencil skirts I think I'll stick to department stores and Ann Taylor type brands since it's difficult to tell the difference.

(SIZES) The skirts ran mainly in smaller sizes with a lot of 0's and 2's and some 4's and 6's with a very limited selection of larger sizes scattered throughout. The dresses, as noted, seemed like a random selection. There was one showstopper in black with sequins and feathers in a huge size but otherwise there were black and white print shift dresses, slinky red silk dresses, slim fit tailored dresses in grays and blacks, and blue trench style dresses. The sizes varied the most with the dresses. I found everything from 0 to 10. There were a lot of blouses for 4's and 6's (which made me very happy) but they seem to have more sizes stocked somewhere so I would ask if you can't immediately find a size. I didn't really check out the jackets but eyeballing it, they seemed about the same as the blouses, running mainly from size 2-6. Aside from the dresses, most of the items were either white, black, gray, cream, or some shade of blue.

(ATMOSPHERE) For what was essentially the lunch hour crowd, I didn't find the place too crowded. Again, there was no line to get in or at the bag/coat check. Grabbing items from crowded areas (the skirt and dress racks were kind of clumped close together) was a bit difficult but it was nowhere near the most hectic sale I've been to. The worst part was the line for the waiting room (I saw a lot of women just changing in the aisles) which ate up about an hour of my time while I grew increasingly aggravated with the terrible playlist blasted into the shopping area. The one thing that cheered me up was all the male eye candy. Both the staff and the shoppers were gorgeous. There were enough high cheekbones, sharp jaws, muscular builds, and broad shoulders to make a girl swoon. No promises for the rest of the week, though. :)

(STAFF) Once inside the dressing room, the staff was great. Sizing was a little strange. I'm usually a 4 in dresses and blouses but for the 3 styles of shirts I tried, I needed a 2, a 4, and a 6. The girls fielded these kinds of issues from many of the women in the dressing room running out and returning pretty quickly. I think they brought in some of their own staff again, because the staff on the floor seemed very...German...and blond. The dressing room wasn't too bad. No pushing for mirror time or anything like that.

(CHECK OUT) There were signs on some of the machines that said "Credit Card Only" but I was in too much of rush to note if this was for all the machines or just some of them.

For an hour and a half's work, I think it went splendidly. I left with two well made blouses for $118. I would definitely recommend stopping by if you like the label and are looking for professional outfits. If you want a lot of color or design, I might skip this sale.

My purchases:

REVIEW of Orly Gumdrop with SWATCHES

Hi chickadees!
I realize this won't be terribly exciting for some of you since this isn't a new release and it's kind of in the same color family as the China Glaze "For Audrey" polish everyone loves so much. Still, I wanted something fresh and fun for my week off (Spring Break) before I have to go back to nude nails for another week of exams. Anyway, I'm going to try and keep this short since you've probably already read the reviews and seen swatches.

Color: As I said, this color is in that turquoise/Tiffany blue family that is very close to "For Audrey". I find the color very pretty and flattering against my pale, yellow-toned Asian skin. I would caution against this color if these types of colors bring out the redness in your hands as this happens in certain (dimmer) lighting with this polish. Oddly, I find this polish both bright and fun and demure and understated. I think it might have something to do with the association with Tiffany blue. There's something ladylike about it even as it remains a bright spring color.

Application: Application was fairly smooth. Not as perfect as my most perfect Essie polishes but I didn't have major problems. The formula is a little watery but as long as you get the right amount on the brush it's easy to control. It kind of takes a little longer than I'm used to for the layers to dry and I'm impatient so try not to rush as much as I did or the brush may drag through the last layer of polish. It was pretty much opaque in 2 coats. So far I'm impressed with Orly's formula and I really like the grip on the cap of the brush.

CONCLUSION: I would feel comfortable recommending this polish if you like the color. While I think the best Essie formulas work for everyone, this polish might require a bit of skill to get a handle on. Just a warning. If I couldn't find a better dupe (since there are a lot of them) I would probably repurchase this polish.


Saturday, March 17, 2012


Hi chickadees!

I've been really busy lately, in part going to a lot of doctor's offices in the past few days. No worries, I'm fine, just getting some tune-ups and doing standard yearly tests. One of my appointments was for the dermatologist as I've been getting some terrible flakiness and irritation around my chin sometime between using a Body Shop Aloe nighttime moisturizer and a new Argan oil and rose oil serum. Well, I was advised to keep using my La Roche-Posay products and switch to Vanicream (unless there are complications) at night or for serious moisture. I didn't think there were serious issues with the Body Shop moisturizer but it's possible the allergy took a long time to develop. Perhaps I will use the remaining moisturizer as hand cream as I'm almost out of my favorite L'Occitane hand cream. The argan oil/rose is going to my mom because I've been told not to use any anti-aging products though I would recommend that serum since it was completely all natural and did seem to be sealing moisture into my skin the few days (almost a week) I had been using it. This is all to explain why I haven't been posting for a few days and why I'm going to be sticking to makeup reviews and avoiding skincare reviews. Apparently I've got sensitive skin and can't deal with bombarding my skin with different products.

Thanks for listening, darlings. I'll talk to you soon. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

REVIEW of YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking in 01 Deep Black

  • sleek, expensive looking packaging, nicely stylized with brand logo and informal font
  • secure click upon twisting tube open and closed
  • nice thick bristled brush (similar to L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black)
  • overpowering scent (maybe 6 hours before I stopped noticing it)
  • wet formula, makes quick application a bit more difficult, need to wait for it to dry before blinking
  • does not hold curl
  • little effect on lashes (no lengthening, slight darkening, slight volume)

 Packaging and Brush

Eyelashes before mascara application (curled)
Note how I am able to achieve a decent curl.

Eyelashes with Mascara
Note the sad lashes that are darker and slightly fuller but which have lost their curl.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    REVIEW of Revlon Lip Butter in 030 Fig Jam

    This is my go-to everyday lip color. I probably would have used it all through fall as well if I'd purchased it earlier. It's just a perfect natural shade that just seems appropriate for the weather and every fall/winter outfit I put together. Somehow it balances on the border of a nude/natural color and a dark lip color. I think it's because it is a brown but it wears very sheer. Do not be intimidated by the dark brown color of the product in the tube. There is a bit of a scent but it is very faint and not offensive and I have a very sensitive nose.
    Now as much as I like the color of the product, I can't recommend it based on the formula. I know, I know. The entire beauty community on the internet is raving about Revlon lip butters. When they first go on, they don't feel drying but they don't feel moisturizing either. They feel like you've applied a thick balm to your lips. They can feel a bit tacky/sticky at first but eventually the product settles. I don't think it completely dries because my hair still gets caught in it when the wind blows but it isn't as tacky. The problem is that wear-time isn't very long and when the product does fade away it leaves my lips dry and sometimes peeling or flaky. This doesn't happen all the time but sometimes I can go out with completely healthy lips and in the middle of the day when I check the mirror suddenly they're horrifyingly flaky and dry. So, no, I don't think this is a moisturizing lip balm. I still prefer my Covergirl natureluxe glossbalms. I would recommend layering something underneath or on top of these to keep lips looking healthy and moisturized and just use this for the benefit of a sheer brown lip color.

    One last thing I feel like I should tell you...I sort of damaged the top of this lip butter out of carelessness one day and for some reason since that point (or because it melted without my knowledge) the texture of the lip butter has become extremely soft. I still use it by taking a bit and dabbing it on my lips like a lip tint but I can't apply it straight from the tube anymore.

    CONCLUSION: I would recommend this product for the color but it can be drying.

    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 If you would like to help support this site, please consider making your next purchase at through the links on my page.
    For reference...lips without any pigment

    Note: The color on the right is Fig Jam. I will be reviewing Red Velvet at a later date.

    REVIEW of Lush's BB Seaweed Mask

    Before I get into this product, I feel like I should let you know what my skin is like and my particular skin concerns. I have very dry skin and this winter I find myself plagued by dry patches of flaky skin. Usually I am fairly blemish free excluding one or two stress pimples but I think my heavy duty moisturizer...or something else in my breaking me out because I have been getting a lot more breakouts on my forehead, cheeks and nose. At the start of using this mask I had quite a few (around 5) large, inflamed zits and a redness around my cheeks and forehead. My skin is generally not oily though so I can't give an opinion on how this product works for people with oily or combination skin.
    Overall Impression
    I'm not quite sure how I feel about the ratio of price to shelf life to amount of product. Given that you have a short window in which to use the product (about 2 weeks for the container I got) I appreciate that there isn't a ton of product which would go wasted. At the same time, I can think of a lot of things that cost about the same amount which last a great deal longer and which can be used multiple times.

    Scent: I don't mind the scent but I don't love it either. It doesn't really smell like seaweed to me, or at least the kinds of seaweed I'm familiar with. It smells more like they tried to mimic the smell of the fresh air at sea with herbs. It's not an assaulting smell but it's definitely present during use and after you've washed the mask off so you should definitely decide if you like the scent before using it.

    Texture: The texture of the product is relatively thick like cake batter where the flour isn't fully incorporated or a sludge of wet sand. It is definitely thicker than lotions and masks I've used in the past. There are pieces of seaweed mixed into the batch but I feel like they don't really serve a purpose. They are large pieces so they mainly fall off your face and it seems like they would be more useful incorporated/blended into the product instead of kept in large chunks.

    I don't detect any major results. I know the website is full of good reviews about a immediate difference but I don't see it. My skin feels soft but then it always feels pretty soft, especially after being rinsed with water. My skin might be marginally less dry but it definitely isn't noticeable and it still has that papery dryness. It wasn't flaky before using this product so I can't say if it would affect flakiness. My blemishes are still present and inflamed though some of the larger ones might be a little less inflamed.

    Just applied

    Almost dry

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Failed Lip Products: L'Oreal's Fairest Nude and Revlon's Peach Parfait

    Hi chickadees!

    Sorry I have posted anything in a few days. This past week has been so hectic. I had major essays and exams in most of my classses. I will probably be painting my nails in the next few days so I should have a new review up shortly. For now, I hope you like these short reviews on two lip products I recently tried. Sorry about the upper lip fuzz. I didn't have time to go to get the hair threaded before taking these lip swatches. Please forgive my mammalian flaws.

    OK, onto the reviews!

    L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolor in 800 Fairest Nude
    I've heard good things about this product and I wanted to love it. I tried to love it. But it was simply atrocious. I find L'Oreal lipsticks to be nicely moisturizing and to apply opaque. Not the case here. Fairest Nude applied almost like a greasy lip gloss. It wasn't very pigmented and didn't provide great coverage, leaving a lot of pink peeking through the sheer nude lipstick. However, the lip color had no problem settling into the lines and cracks in my lips. I would definitely avoid wearing this if your lips aren't smooth but I don't know how much that would help. It was just so dry and aging. I can't imagine it would look good on anyone.

    As bad as these swatches look, this lipstick looked even worse in person.

    Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
    If you follow this blog, you'll know I've been searching high and low at every drugstore I know of for this product. Well, I would have called off the hunt if I'd have known how this lip butter would look on my lips. There was something odd about the consistency of this lip butter. Maybe it was the glitter but it seemed harder and didn't apply as smoothly as some of the other lip butters I own (no glitter). I thought it looked nice and glossy over smooth lips but to me it looked cheap. It was too shiny. There was too much glitter. It would be difficult to pair this with anything but mascara and the tiniest bit of blush and I have a hard time imagining this looking age appropriate on anyone. It doesn't fit the professional look I need to achieve with a nude lip so it went back to the store.

    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 If you would like to help support this site, please consider making your next purchase at through the links on my page.

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    SWATCHES of Essie Sand Tropez

    I feel like I can't actually give an accurate review of this polish because I had my nails done at a salon. Well, I had two coats put on, was frustrated with the way it looked and the finish, came home, took out my bottle of Sand Tropez, added another layer, fixed up the mistakes, and topped it off with a layer of Seche Vite. Yes, I'm one of those people. I actually finished filing my own nails at the salon because I wasn't happy with the way she shaped them. Anyway, getting back on track...I'm just going to show you swatches and if/when I try this color again I'll put up a review. I think this is a lovely nude color. It's perfect for someone with my skintone which has a little too much yellow and red to look good with a lot of the basic nudes. The color reminds me of when you mix a lot of cream and milk into coffee (Sorry, there's probably a fancy drink name but I don't drink coffee so I wouldn't know) and it's a touch darker than the shade people mean when they talk about nude underwear. It's a little less peachy and more light tan/brown. I think this might be a shade to repurchase if the formula is good though I wouldn't mind going even a touch lighter in color because this does look the slightest bit dry/aging. Also, I do sometimes get the sense that I have mannequin hands. The following swatches are all pretty similar except for the last one but I do think this polish has subtleties. It is primarily light brown/tan but it also has this gray/purple putty feel to it.