Friday, November 30, 2012


Hi chickadees!

I pumped out a ton of content this week. But I'm heading into a super busy part of my college semester so I may have to force myself to take a break for a little while. I'm not sure how long it'll last but I'm going to try and commit to getting some work done, as fun as it is running around reviewing sample sales and telling you about all the products I've been trying. I'm probably going to skip my coverage of The X Factor this week. I want Christopher Maloney to go home but I'm scared for Union J. That's pretty much where I stand. I'm sure the performances will be fine but nothing radically exciting will happen. I will try and at least make a recommendation for Music Monday even if I don't do a full scale analysis as I did with "No One Will Ever Watch You". Oh, and if you're not watching The Mindy Project, you really should because it's hilarious and I want it to stay on the air. I think that's it. I'll still be here if you want to leave comments but I'm likely not going to be doing any writing this weekend.

Talk to you soon!

Marc Jacobs Dot Perfume Set

Hello darlings!

I thought you might like to see the Marc Jacobs Dot perfume set I picked up at Sephora during Cyber Monday... and hear a little about my journey towards getting this set.

First, I saw the bottle in advertisements. Then, I saw it at Bloomingdale's. It is stunningly striking and adorable. But still I resisted. I told myself that Marc Jacobs perfumes (Daisy, Lola) smell terrible on me for some reason and that Dot would be no different. Then Dot appeared at Sephora and of course I asked for a sample. As you do. And wouldn't you know it, it actually stays true to the fragrance in the bottle on me, and it develops nicely as the day goes on. I don't know much about perfume so I'm not going to try and go into describing it. I just know what I like and what gives me a headache and what smells like something has spoiled and what punches you in the head with scent. What was I talking about again? Oh, right.

So, I pinned (on Pinterest) the image of the 1.7 oz size bottle of Dot and began to wait for the Sephora Friends and Family Sale. As you all probably know, that didn't go how we were all expecting. So I waited again, after news came out that there would be something for VIBs and (maybe?) Beauty Insiders. Well, now that all Thanksgiving sales are over, we've all gotten the message in our inboxes, for BI's it's $15 off your order of $50 or more. But I didn't know that was coming during Thanksgiving weekend and I was getting antsy.

So I logged onto Sephora during Black Friday at 12:01 and got the following page.
But at 12:14 am I finally got to the main page. All the Black Friday $10 were available so I threw one or two in my cart. And I was about to check out. But something held me back.

Flashforward to me sitting down to Holly Ann-AeRee's youtube video about Ebates and signing up immediately. 10% off my order? YES. 

And that I why I'm now in possession of a $72 Marc Jacobs Dot Perfume set (only a few dollars more than the $69 1.7 oz bottle it contains). And now, finally it's time for pictures.

REVIEW of Stila's Convertible Color Blush in Poppy

Hi chickadees!

So I don't know how long you've been a reader, but longtime readers will know that the first blush I fell in love with was Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface. Since then, I've also picked up Glisten and Exposed though I never really use Exposed. Well, since it came in my recent order, my new go-to blush has been Stila's Convertible Color Blush in Poppy. I have very dry skin, especially when it gets cold outside, and especially when I'm lazy/busy and keep forgetting to put on moisturizer. Poppy is perfect for that. Since it's a cream blush, you don't have to worry about using a brush that will cause you dry skin to flake and peel. Not attractive.

Also, I'm just kind of in love with the color. I've been wanting to try a darker blush for a while and though I wouldn't call Poppy a dark blush, it is a nice change from Dollface. Poppy looks a little scary in the container. It is not that dark when you apply it. It goes on as a bright red. If you're paler like I am, you run the risk of looking like a porcelain doll if you apply it in the wrong spot or too heavily. But it's very easy to blend out to something subtle or even to build up if you're going out for a costume party... or in a bad community theater production. Whatever. I don't judge. :) Blended out, it gives cheeks a nice, healthy flush. You're going to keep that red tone but I think if you're wearing blush and someone else isn't wearing blush, it's going to be pretty obvious you're wearing blush regardless of if it's pink or red.

I like to use a makeup sponge to apply it. The girl who helped me at Sephora gave me a demonstration. You pick up a little bit of product on the makeup sponge. Don't scoop it up or anything. A few firm taps/swipes across the top should be more than sufficient. Then press it into your cheeks where you want it. I like to apply my blush on my cheekbones, so I start near the apples of my cheeks (but not so far down) and then fade the color upwards. Then take a clean part of the makeup sponge and use it to lift off some of the pigment and blend it out. It takes a few tries but once you get the hang of it, it's really easy.

I usually don't go out for the whole day so I'm not sure about its lasting power. It definitely lasts for a few hours. I like that it has a mirror so you could always keep it in your purse and use it as a compact if you are worried about the color fading.

Charm and Chain Sample Sale November 2012

Hi chickadees!

I stopped into the Charm and Chain around 1pm. The sale is at 611 Broadway from 11am-7pm today and 11am-6pm tomorrow. I didn't have a floor number so I headed up to their office at room 701. DON'T DO THIS. The sale is being held in room 401 on the 4th Floor. It's to the left of the elevators.
I'm keeping it to pictures this post because the showroom was pretty empty and there's not much to comment on in the way of sizes or whatnot like with a clothing sale. I saw a bit of Alexis Bittar, Dannijo, Kenneth J Lane, House of Harlow, as well as a ton of brands I'm not familiar with.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Botkier Sample Sale Report November 2012

Hi chickadees!

Super short report this time. I swung by the Botkier Sample Sale at 525 Broadway (5th Floor) on my way home. The sale will continue tomorrow from 10am-8pm according to the flyer. As far as I know that's the last day. I think this sale was being held in their actual showroom. There was no coat check or bag check though they did allow you to hang up your coat if you'd like to. The room was full of bags though I only noticed a few styles, or variations on the same style in different colors.

There were large purses, medium-sized purses, cross body bags, and a decent amount of print/embellishment. Botkier is not really my style so I'm not very familiar with the brand. I'd have more information but they didn't want me to take pictures of the prices and I felt awkward about taking pictures after that. Also, I was only there for a very short amount of time. Everything felt very casual. There were maybe less than 10 people in the showroom and though I didn't see anything I liked, people were definitely making purchases.

Alexis Bittar Sample Sale Report November 2012

Hi chickadees!

I ran to the Alexis Bittar sample sale during my break. It took me 2 trains. It’s at 344 W. 14th St. so the easiest thing to do is take the A, C, or E to 14th St. The hours are 9am-6:30pm today and tomorrow. It’s unassuming from the outside, a rented storefront plastered with Alexis Bittar signage and blaring pop music. But inside… a wondrous cavern of glittering gems.

You will have to check your coat but checking larger bags is optional and they let you keep your purses.

Merchandise: There was so much variety that it’s impossible to describe it all. Gold, silver, pewter, rose gold (though gold was dominant). Lucite, gems, stones, rhinestones, beads. Chunky bangles, delicate filigree, huge embedded geodes, parrot-shaped bangles, flower brooches and just stunning art pieces that defy paltry descriptions. I tried to take a lot of pictures but there was no way I could cover it all because….

Layout: …the merchandise is not really organized. You’ll find the cheapest pieces closest to the coat check. This is where the bags reside. Along one wall is a huge array of bangles and at the end of the shelves is the selection of pewter and rose gold jewelry. But everything else is random. There are bins to dig through and seemingly every other available surface is covered with something sparkly and alluring.

Pricing: Pricing was all over the place. At the low end were the cheaper items, wood bangles for $5-$10, plastic bangles for $15, and little zip bags for $15. The next price point was around $70-$100. If you find this affordable, you should be pretty pleased with this sale. There were plenty of earrings and rings in this range. The highest price range was around $200-$300. These were mainly the items with tiny red dots drawn onto the price tags. Red dots mean the merchandise is 50% the written price. I’m not so sure about the Lucite flower brooches, but you can certainly tell why some of those bracelets cost what they do. I mean, I would go by the sale just to ogle them, they’re that gorgeous.

Shoppers: Shoppers broke into two main categories: the older Ab/Fab set collecting mountains of bangles on their trays, and 20-somethings picking through for a few special pieces. And both groups were well represented. If you really want to take advantage of this sale you need to clear out some time and be prepared to dig with the crowds through bins. There wasn’t any pushing or rudeness thank goodness, but there was a lot of waiting.

I think this sale would be good for those people who want to do some expensive Christmas shopping. It’s a nice chance to get one or two special pieces for those people on your list that you want to splurge on at a discounted price. Personally, I didn’t find anything I’d be willing to splurge on without considering it. That and I have nowhere to wear museum-quality bangles.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

REVIEW of Essie Bahama Mama With SWATCHES

Hello chickadees!

Essie's Bahama Mama is not a new color but is it just me, or does it seem like every beauty blogger has been raving about it for the past few months? I... like it. I'm just not all that thrilled. I want to do a comparison post soon because it feels so reminiscent of other colors I already own. And I probably need to reswatch anyway since I don't have any photos in natural light. Let's get into what may be my shortest review to date.

Color: Bahama Mama is a red-based purple polish. For me, it was very red. Almost like oxblood for the majority of the time.
Formula: It was more or less opaque in 3 coats. I think it was a little thin because I did notice a bit of balding.
Application: Application was very smooth. No issues.
Wear: This polish started to look dull very quickly. It was also one of those polishes that picked up smudges very easily instead of keeping that nice, shiny finish.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Monday: Nashville "No One Will Ever Love You"

Hello my loves,

I have come up with a new idea for this blog. I'm calling it Music Mondays. I don't know if it's a good idea or a horrible idea, or if anyone will even read these posts but darn it, it's my blog. :) I can't promise that I'll do these every Monday or that they'll have a regular format but for right now I'm thinking I'll just use the time to post about my thoughts on a song or album that I like. This way I can produce content that's interesting for me on days when I don't have reviews lined up. Hopefully someone will like it.

I decided to devote my first post to the song "No One Will Ever Love You" which was performed on Episode 2 of the show Nashville. The singers are Connie Britton and Charles (Chip) Esten. Does anyone else remember him from his days on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Aren't you thrilled he's landed a show where he gets to sing? No? Just me? OK, then.

First of all, I'd like to say that if you're not watching Nashville, you really should be watching Nashville. Actually, it's probably not to everyone's taste. OK, if you're anything like me, you should be watching Nashville. I'm not a massive country music fan but let's put it this way, I know Loretta from Dolly and Reba from Jennifer Nettles. And while I don't keep up with everything that's currently popular in country music, I do like Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, and Taylor Swift. But aside from the music, I just connect with this show. This may not make much sense, but this show is what I wanted Smash to be. The balance between the story lines works more or less. The political plot line is weak but it's certainly not like the random, inexplicable, uninteresting tangents that happen on Smash. Nashville gives me a nice blend of serious drama, melodramatic soap opera antics, and fantastic country music. Every Scarlett and Gunnar duet makes me melt. I might get around to them in a later post but there is just so much to unpack there.

So why did I want to draw your attention to "No One Will Ever Love You"? It's haunting. Hypnotic. Connie Britton's vowels drive me crazy and yet there's something that feels right about the way she pronounces things. When she sings "They're not waiting for you", the way she pronounces "for" gives this little kick to the end of the phrase that keeps the song from being too regular. It hints at the undercurrent of strangeness in this questionably romantic song. There are so many layers. The melody and the pace are so melancholy and haunting. But the way she's singing and the lyrics are seductive.

The words are so simple and yet so open to interpretation. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

X Factor UK Live Show 8

Hi chickadees!

I was reading the incredibly snarky X Factor Live Blog on the Guardian ( when lo and behold, the X Factor official youtube page started uploading the performances. Hooray! Contrary to this person's opinion, I'm under 25 and I happen to love ABBA and Motown so the performers actually have something to live up to for me. Seriously, the only songs I can't immediately hum are "Tracks of My Tears" and "Dancing on the Ceiling".  I'm kind of unsure of how I'll feel now that there are no female performers left to do sassy ABBA and Motown inspired numbers but we'll see what happens. I'm going to break down the ABBA and Motown performances into two parts so it's easier to follow.

Final Breakdown For Both Performances (in my opinion) 
1. Union J
2. James Arthur
3. Jahmene Douglas
4. Christopher Maloney
5. Rylan Clark

ABBA Performances
Rylan Clark: Mamma Mia. I think he's gotten to this "average" place. It's not painful to listen to but there's nothing special happening either. It's like someone doing a decent job when they take the mic for karaoke. He loses his breath at the end of phrases but he's more or less in tune. The chess set up made me laugh. For anyone who doesn't know, the guys in Mamma Mia wrote a musical called Chess. Listen to the Judy Kuhn version. Or Julia Murney singing the hell out of Nobody's Side on youtube. Don't listen to the Idina Menzel/Josh Groban version. I don't know what happens to her sometimes but she sounds like she has a speech impediment it's so bloody awful.

Union J: The Winner Takes It All. Jaymi. I learned his name because he's that good. It was a very... pretty version. I can imagine James Arthur performing this like his heart is breaking. Union J was all smiles and playing to the crowd with this song. But I saw nothing wrong with the vocals. Very polished. Very professional. The only thing it lacked was emotional impact.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Zoya Dream Box Thanksgiving Promotion

Hi chickadees!

I just thought I'd do a quick post telling you about the Zoya Dreambox Promotion for Thanksgiving weekend.

First of all here's the link to the Zoya blog post.

I happen to think it's not as clear as it could be so I thought I'd break it down.

Step 1: Choose 3 Zoya polishes. I chose Monica, Envy, and Storm.
Step 2: Add a Zoya Dream Box (just search for it on the site) to your order.
Step 3: In the coupon box type the word "DREAM".

And that's it. Your 3 Zoya polishes that would normally cost $24 will now be $20. I know this isn't the best promotion Zoya has offered, but if you've had your eye on a few polishes or if you want to take advantage of getting the Dream Box packaging for Christmas gifts, maybe you'd like to take advantage of the offer.

Happy shopping!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in 5 Crush

Hello darlings!

I feel like I've morphed into a bit of a goth this fall. Alright, maybe not, but I'm certainly into fairly witchy dark lips and nails lately. When I bought Revlon's Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush, it was on a bit of a whim. I'd purchased Rendezvous (orange shade) when I was still undecided about Clinique's Chubby Stick in Oversized Orange which I now love. Actually, I purchased Crush partially because I was still undecided about Clinique's Chubby Stick in Voluptuous Violet. But I think I expected to find it too dark and return it. But my tastes have changed and I actually find myself reaching for Crush a lot lately.

Part of the reason I like Crush is because I've been getting over a lip allergy and dealing with a lot of peeling and flaking. Crush gives me the coverage I need to disguise all of that (and my pale lips) without the heaviness of a lipstick or balm that would catch all those flakes in a very unattractive way.

Color: Crush is HIGHLY pigmented. This is the kind of color you wear when you really want a nice, dark lipcolor. It's a very deep berry shade, a dark pink with a blue undertone that can look a bit purplish from a distance.
Scent: There is a very faint mint scent to the product. I only smell it in the tube and as I'm applying the product.
Feel: When you first apply it, it gives a sort of tingly feeling to the lips. I don't think it has any lip plumping effects so it's probably just the mint. On the lips, it feels like your average balm for the first hour or two and then it can start to feel a little drying. I always get a feeling of tightness. I either swipe off the balm and reapply it, or layer a regular lip balm on top. If you start with a lip balm underneath, you're not going to be able to build up the color as much. You can get more of a just bitten kind of berry lip that is much more subtle than wearing Crush on its own. I find this is less drying but I personally don't like the look as much.
Application: When you start to apply this lip balm, the pencil does drag on your lips a little. However, I find that as you build up the color, the product does glide on pretty smoothly.
Moisturizing/Drying: This is a tough one. I've worn it on days when I feel like it keeps my lips from drying out. And I've worn it on days when my lips end up peeling. I'd say overall, this is more a drying product than a moisturizing product but if you start with healthy lips without any flaking, cracking, or peeling, this won't dry your lips out too badly. Just be sure to keep a lip balm handy and apply it the night before and the night after you use this product and you should be fine.
Wear: As I said, it can be a little drying but on a positive note, I don't experience any feathering or migration during the day.

CONCLUSION: I've kind of fallen for this lip product. I wish it wasn't as drying but I can deal with it for the color. If you like the color, I would recommend this product. It's a nice (very pigmented) alternative to more expensive lip crayons.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

REVIEW of Confetti Longwearing Nail Color in 93 Debutante

Happy Thanksgiving chickadees!

I have a headache. And a ton of work I need to catch up on. But I wanted to share my latest experience with Confetti nail polish with you. This time it's 093 Debutante. Now, if you've read my review of Confetti polish in Rhapsody in Blue, you'll know that I was very impressed with Confetti polish... so much so that I haven't painted my nails with that polish again because I can't find another bottle in stores. But I don't have that same problem with Debutante. I usually see at least a few bottles at CVS. Enough chatter. Let's get into the review, shall we?

Color: Debutante is a light gold nail polish. I'd say it's somewhere between a shimmer and a frost. It can go from a lighter yellow gold to a darker more true gold in dimmer lighting. When I think of debutantes, I think of that fateful episode of Gossip Girl. I'm not quite sure Debutante is as posh as all that but it's a nice gold polish. I think it would look gorgeous on medium and dark skintones. Lighter skintones, especially ones with yellow undertones like me, may run into some problems.
Formula: I think the formula was a bit on the thin side. It looked opaque in 3 coats but it didn't hold up to the light test where you hold you nails up to the light and see if light passes through. However, I personally didn't feel like adding layers of polish to see how many I would need to get it truly opaque. After wearing it for a few days, the opacity or lack thereof didn't bother me.
Application: Appliation was very smooth. I thought the polish was very easy to work with though once it has tried, you can see some overlapping brushstrokes if you look at it closely.

CONCLUSION: I don't think this polish would meet the exacting standards of Blair Waldorf, but I thought it was a perfectly fine gold polish from the drugstore. If the color is right for your skintone, I would recommend checking it out.

SWATCHES (Excuse the second finger from the left. I removed a thread of lint when the polish was semi-dry and didn't bother to fix it because I did my feather nails design on top of it.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feather Manicure Attempt

Hi chickadees!

I thought I'd just quickly share some pictures from my attempt to do a feather nail art design. First of all, I wanted to see what I could do with my fan brush because I never use it for anything when I'm painting. I can actually get a brushstroke I like, but for some reason it doesn't translate onto the nails. I think it might be because my nails are curved and you can't get the same feather effect you would when you drag the brush over a flat surface. Anyway, for this look I started with Confetti polish in Debutante as a base. I used black acrylic paint and a fan brush to make the feather pattern. Then I went over that with Essie Licorice (black polish) and my Maybelline eyestudio gel liner brush. Then I used that same brush and Zoya Breezi to make large blue dots. And then I finished it with a white striper to make a speckled pattern.

And here is the result.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

X Factor Live Show #7 Results

Grrr... I'm so angry.

I don't cover the X Factor Results Show because it's not really that interesting for me to comment on and I want to avoid spoilers but I need to comment this week. I just. I just can't. What is happening over in the UK right now?

The bottom 2 made no sense to me. Go on and watch these performances from last night (which they finally kindly uploaded tonight) and tell me these two deserved to be in the bottom 2.

While I think the right person went home of the two, it really wasn't the right time for either of them to be in the bottom 2. Not when Rylan and Christopher are still in the competition.

Spoilers ahead!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

X Factor UK Live Show #7

Hi chickadees!

I have no idea what's going on with the official X Factor youtube page. I found the versions I could find to critique but obviously, I accept that my opinions might be different if I heard/saw high quality versions of the performances.

Final Breakdown (in my opinion)
1. James Arthur
2. Jahmene Douglas
3. Ella Henderson
4. Union J
5. Christopher Maloney
6. Rylan Clark

Union J: Call Me Maybe. This is a pretty safe choice as far as guilty pleasures go. It's relatively current and popular. It's an expected choice. I think the suits were a bad move. I don't know who made that decision but it was the wrong decision. They're good singers. The song is just a little boring. There's not a lot you can do with it. Jaymi is one of the standout singers in the competition and I think he's very charismatic. He just pops and even gives boring songs some vitality. I could stand to listen to them on the radio. There's not much more to say. I think they could have gone with a better song but this was fine.

Ella Henderson: I am coming off of Glease. The Role You Were Born to Play was AMAZING. Glease was a little bit of a letdown though I think the second half picked up and I like what they're building between Marley and Ryder. It's been good for the show to hire more real actors. "You're the One That I Want" was one of the standout numbers in that episode of Glee. So, I was kind of nervous for how she would take that duet and spin it. I could only find an audio version. But I thought it was gorgeous. This is the magic she brought during Bootcamp. Could I think of little things to critique? Yes, she was kind on the edge of going flat and could have been stronger at the beginning and there was bit of shakiness. But excluding one part where she didn't really land the note, she was really on top of her game. She avoided the awkward voice breaks. It felt like the right key. She pulled out all of her tricks. It was a really strong performance. Understated in the right way.

James Arthur: I love the Four Seasons. I love Jersey Boys. What do you mean guilty pleasure? Anyway, I thought this was a really sweet rendition. James has really done a great job of showing his range in terms of style and appeal. It wasn't the most radical interpretation or the most skillful rendition of the song. But it showed us another side of James that I didn't know we needed but that I'm glad we got. He can be quite a charmer. ;)

Rylan Clark: Girls on Film/When Will I Be Famous. I don't know either of these songs. The audio quality wasn't great but Rylan seemed to sound alright. I don't think it was his best performance but it wasn't his worst. The setup wasn't great. Even if it hadn't evoked a strip club, it was rather tacky. Maybe I was just expecting more OK Go and less... I don't know what it was. You have to love Rylan for that "I'm too skinny" comment in his bout with Gary.

Christopher Maloney: Total Eclipse of the Heart. I love Bonnie Tyler. It's a Heartache. Holding Out for a Hero. What's not to like? OK, the songs that weren't hits but still, Bonnie has some chops. This is not an easy song to live up to. And I've also got the Glee version in the back of my mind and anytime you go up against Lea Michele there's going to be trouble. There was something weird about it when he started. I almost had the sense he was talk-singing for some reason. The screen projecting what vaguely looked like his face was creepy beyond belief. When it kicked in and he started singing out, I thought it was alright. He's still not Bonnie or Lea but I thought it was fine.

Jahmene Douglas: Don't Leave Me This Way. Love this song. Jahmene killed it. I still think he still looks a little angry during his performances sometimes. But the vocals? Except for a few rough patches where I think he took it a little too high, it was perfection.

REVIEW of Lush Party Popper

Hi chickadees!

I think I've finally found a Lush bath bomb that I really love. The website describes Party Popper as follows...
Our bright pink and blue bathing scent-sation is bound to be a hit this season. It fizzes around the tub, snapping due to the popping candy and releasing a 'dry champagne' perfume of bergamot, tangerine and rose oil. Then, out pops our special 'confetti' that is made of dehydrated honeydew melon soap flakes. Melt those into your skin to wash yourself and smell simply divine!

Scent: I'm terrible at describing scents but I found this bath bomb smelled warm and spicy with a slight touch of citrus. From that description, it almost sounds like what is classified as an "oriental perfume" but it's not that deep or sexy. It's much more subtle and pleasant. Perhaps that is due to the rose oil. The scent is part of what I love about this bath bomb. It smells gorgeous just sitting in your house. I can smell it as it dissolves, in the water after it has dissolved, on my skin and hair in the bath, and in my hair afterwards. Lack of scent is not going to be a complaint with this bath bomb.
Experience: This is not one of those bath bombs that puts on a big show. Both the pink and blue components are fast dissolving, fizzy formulas. They don't leave behind much in the way of bubbles or foam. I did like the popping candy which continues to pop after the main bath bomb has dissolved. The "confetti" consists of one pink piece and one blue piece. I hadn't looked at the website before using the bath bomb so I had no idea what these were. I just let them dissolve into the water. They're not really shaped like anything (kind of like a square that's folded over into a rectangle). They had a squishy, jelly feel. I'm not sure if I would melt them into my skin because they might stain.
Color: The bath bomb dyes the water in the tub pink and blue as it dissolves. However, pink quickly overpowers blue and the tub ends up pink. It kind of reminds me of the conflict between Flora and Merryweather in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Anyway, the water definitely turns pink, not purple. So I guess Flora wins. The bath bomb did stain a ring around my tub which hasn't happened with other bath bombs. Also, it stained part of my skin which I guess was in direct contact with the bath bomb as it dissolved. However, that easily washed off.

CONCLUSION: My one negative about this bath bomb is that it stained my tub and my skin but since those are minor gripes, I would definitely recommend this bath bomb and I'm probably going to repurchase it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Hi chickadees!

So, I think it's safe to say that my lips have healed after two encounters with a problematic lip product. Since I do have so many Maybelline lipsticks and I'm suspicious about Deepest Cherry as the cause of my allergic reactions, I'm going to stick with other products for a while before approaching my Maybelline lipsticks again. I lost a lot of testing time while I was healing so it may take a while but hopefully I should be able to start churning out lip product reviews again soon.

Thanks for your patience,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

REVIEW of Orly Rage with SWATCHES

Hello, my dears!

This polish is nothing new and I'm sure you've already heard people raving about it so I won't spend any more time blathering on. Let's just get into the review, shall we?

Color: Orly Rage is a very interesting polish because although it isn't a duochrome, it does look very different in different lighting. I would call it a copper and silver glitter polish. But sometimes it can look like a champagne gold, and other times it will be rose gold, and other times it will look more like a gritty mix of copper and silver and maybe a little pink. The finish can also look very smooth, where it's just a shiny surface, or you can see the individual pieces of glitter. This made it difficult for me to love the polish unconditionally because sometimes it would clash with my skintone and sometimes it wouldn't, and sometimes I would hate the finish and sometimes I would love it.
Formula: I was actually pleasantly surprised by the formula. You would expect a glitter/foil polish to be thicker and difficult to work with but the formula was actually a nice consistency. It feels a little thicker than you're average creme polish but that doesn't affect ease of application.
Application: Application was very smooth. You have to even out your brushstrokes a bit but there were no real issues. I think my biggest problem was that it looked opaque in 2 coats but in 3 coats, my nails still didn't really stand up to the light test. This isn't a major problem and I'm sure you won't even notice it as you go through your day but I like to judge all polishes on the same criteria and I'd have to count this as a mark against Orly Rage.

CONCLUSION: I don't love the way this polish looks on my nails all of the time but I like it enough of the time for me to recommend it. The polish applies very smoothly and while it's not perfectly opaque, you probably won't notice because it is a glitter/foil polish.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Anna Sui SAMPLE SALE REPORT November 2012

Hello my darlings!

Just back from the Anna Sui Sample Sale being held at 250 W. 39th St. (b/n 7th and 8th Avenue) from today through Saturday. Now, this is important. The hours are...


They're pretty strict about being at the cash register at closing time because they will be closing their doors.

I managed to go during the 11:30-1:30 bracket though I think I was only there for the last 30 minutes. Ugh, subway. Anyway...

The sale is a lot like last year. Pricing is pretty much the same. $25 skirts, $10 or $5 T-shirts, $100 dresses with a few big ticket items. I saw a very pretty sort of antique-looking lace dress for $209. As for those $5 shirts, I can't describe the difference but they're not made of regular T-shirt fabric. They're very soft. If you can, I would grab lots of those. Though, I found most of the T-shirts I looked at were size small.

Coat Check: The coat check seems more like an optional thing. I checked my backpack but he let me keep my baguette purse.

Sizing: I'd suggest that you try everything on. I saw tags going up to size 10 but a lot of these feel like real samples or are unmarked so I'd rather be safe than sorry. Of course, that means you're going to have to brave the chaotic dressing room. I feel like there was a lot more space last year. This time, girls are jockeying for space in a tiny room off to the side with two mirrors. Far from ideal. I think this is my biggest negative from the sale. It's very difficult to try on everything you want to, get a good look in the mirror, and examine your items before purchasing them so that you can run to the cash register and pay before the clock runs out. And yeah, people are rude and hog the mirror.

Staff: The staff is very friendly though a bit frustrated and harried. I couldn't get a straight answer on whether they'd be restocking but I assume they'll have to if they're going to continue the sale for the rest of the week. You can pay in cash or credit but if you're paying with cash, go all the way to the woman at the right because apparently she's the only one who is allowed to handle cash.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

X Factor Live Show #6

Hi chickadees!

I know some of you may be wondering where my weekly recap/review of The X Factor UK Live Show is for Live Show #6. Well, unfortunately the official X Factor UK youtube channel didn't upload the performances for this week and they seem to have blocked all of the good quality uploads on youtube. Hopefully things will be back to normal next week but I can't say I'm sad about the person/group who left the competition. I managed to find a few decent audio versions so here are my quick thoughts.

Final breakdown (in my opinion)
1. James Arthur
2. Jahmene Douglas
3. Union J
4. Ella Henderson
5. District3
6. Rylan Clark
7. Christopher Maloney

Christopher Maloney- Average, same as always
Jahmene Douglas- Gorgeous cover. I loved hearing the warmth in his voice. He can do amazing things with riffs but I love when he just sings things straight. He has the voice for it. Some nice power. Just listening to his voice, I will say that he hasn't quite reached the point where I can hear the emotion yet. It's a small nitpick but I don't feel like the emotion is tied to the particular words. It's more like a general emotion that is present throughout the song.
District3- I think they benefited from getting back to their strengths, but I think their "lead" singer is so much stronger than the other two. The other two do kind of irritating things with their voices and they don't always land the notes the way they should.
Ella Henderson- Immediately, I like that she took it down into her range instead of straining because she has some lovely warmth to her voice, but I think that she could have played with the melody or arrangement a little more to give the song more momentum and excitement. There were definitely rough spots as always, but she has a very good voice. I think the thing that works with Ella is that more often or not you remember the good things and not the moments when her voice breaks or she fails to land notes. But I don't know how much longer that will carry her. If she doesn't resolve those issues, it could very well cost her the competition.
Rylan Clark- It was cute. Not his best vocal performance, but I feel like he's reached a good place where he's kind of average. I wish I could have watched a high quality video version. I think it would have the same fun factor as the Spice Girls at the Olympics.
Union J- They have the range for this song. So, immediately they're over the first hurdle. Yes, I'm looking at you, Matthew Morrison. Their lead singer is incredible. I don't think they are the best group ever but just judging them on his singing, I think they deserve to be in the top 3, if not to win the competition.
James Arthur- Undeniably good. He's ready for it. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Christian Siriano/Erin Fetherston SAMPLE SALE REPORT November 2012

Hi chickadees!

I'm just back from the Christian Siriano/Erin Fetherson Sample Sale happening for one day only at 252 Elizabeth St from 11am-7pm. So far there's not a lot of traffic, so it you'd like to go, I'd suggest running out now because there's not a huge selection.

Sadly, quite soon after my arrival I was told they didn't allow pictures so I don't have too much to show you.

Clothes: There are two racks of Christian Siriano sample sale items. The first rack (closer to the door) was generally priced a bit higher. Most items were priced around $300. There was a lot of black but also a little orange cape and chartreuse pants. There was actually more outerwear that I was expecting, some heavy wool coats (mostly jackets) and a few jackets.

The second rack was priced a bit lower with a lot of $100-$150 items. The second rack had a lot of cocktail dresses with the dramatic flair that anyone who watched season 4 of Project Runway would expect from Christian. Sweeping lines, pleating, ruching. There was a nice mix of textures and fabrics. There were some gorgeous printed silk dresses...simple, structured 50s style silhouettes...very short, dramatic cocktail dresses in chartreuse...more short sequined cocktail dresses. There wasn't a huge selection so sizing was all over the place. I think I saw everything from size 0 to 10 but most of the clothes were for smaller sizes. I did find quite a few items for size 6 though.

The Erin Fetherston rack also had a lot of variety. Secretly, I was hoping for more of the graphic Erin by Erin Fetherston looks from her most recent collection. The Erin Fetherston items felt like a departure from the heavyness and drama and well, black of Christian's items. There were cocktail dresses, and a lot of pleating, and lighter colors. There was a very affordable mint green top for $25 but most items were dresses priced at around $70. I had the sense that they were mostly smaller sizes but it was hard to tell given the lack of size tags.

Regularly priced non-sample sale Christian Siriano fall items are also on display.

Dressing Room: There is only one enclosed dressing room which I was lucky enough to get into. It has a full length mirror and is decently sized for a small room. Otherwise, you can change outside behind a rack of clothes. There are two mirrors outside in this area as well as a chair.

Checkout: I paid with a credit card so I'm not sure if you can pay with cash as well. With the credit card they let you sign on an iPad.

Staff: The staff around the dressing room are quite nice but while they don't give you a hard sell, they try and sell you on everything. Nothing fits incorrectly. Everything looks good. Everything is supposed to look that way. It's a lot of that. The staff milling about near the checkout was borderline obnoxious. No one has quite matched the rudeness of the staff they hire for the Elie Tahari sample sales but I found the girls near the checkout quite condescending and aloof. The one who handed me my bag gave me such a dirty look, and this was after I had just made a purchase.

PICTURES... I didn't say there were no pictures ;)

Friday, November 9, 2012

REVIEW of Lush So White Bath Bomb

Hello chickadees,

Well, this was a massive disappointment. I wanted this bath bomb last year when I first started to get into Lush products but I missed my chance. Wasting no time, I grabbed this as soon as it appeared at my local Lush store.

SCENT: It smelled divine. Yummy and fresh and sweet. Like crisp apples and clean soap with a dash of feminine richness. This is one of those bath bombs that smells strong in its bath bomb form but fails in the water. I could kind of smell it as it dissolved but once every piece of bath bomb had dissolved into the water, I couldn't smell a thing. I couldn't smell it in the water and I couldn't smell it on my skin or in my hair either in the bath or once I was out of it.
EXPERIENCE: I'm not one of those girls who needs a massive show when it comes to bath bombs. But since So White was a letdown on scent, it had a chance to make things up on experience. But it dissolved just as you would expect it to. The white outer shell is fast-dissolving and creates more of a foam. The pink inner crystals are slow-dissolving and fizz in little bubbles. As they dissolve, they leave white and pink foam/bubbles but once the solid bath bomb has dissolved, the bubbles quickly disappear. There is not enough pigment to tint the water and as far as I can tell there is no glitter. On a positive note, I did think it gave the water a kind of silky/slippery feel which may or may not be moisturizing.

CONCLUSION: I wish they could use this scent in a perfume or a home spray. As it is, the strength of the scent and experience leave a lot to be desired. I really love the scent so much that I might give it another chance but right now, I'm counting this one as a dud. I would skip it.

Inside (Bath Bomb cut in half) Friends and Family 20% Off

Hi chickadees!

Are you bummed about the latest Sephora discount only applying to VIBs? I know that as a Beauty Insider, I'm kind of upset. I don't need to spend that much more than I usually do on beauty products within a month or two to qualify for VIB but it seems a little ridiculous and wasteful to spend money in order to get a discount that will induce me to spend more money so I take advantage of the discount.

Anyway, for my fellow Beauty Insiders, or really anyone who just wants to take advantage of a good offer, is currently having their 20% Friends and Family Sale. Many other blogs have already covered the site. I think you can only access the discount by going through a link so here's the one I got through my email (I'm subscribed to's email list)

If this doesn't work, you can always try Musings of a Muse or any other good beauty blog.
You have until November 11 at 11:59pm PT to take advantage of this offer.

Now, I know I just placed an order during's 40% sale but the great thing about's sale is you have access to a ton of brands you didn't with the sale.

Personally, I picked up a Stila Convertible Color Blush in Poppy, 2 Butter London polishes in Wallis and Marrow, and Essie nail polish in Licorice.

I'm really pleased to be able to get these things at a discount and apparently has a great return policy (though hopefully I won't have to return anything). This definitely takes the sting out of not having a Sephora sale for Beauty Insiders though I still really want that Marc Jacobs perfume in Dot.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

REVIEW of Prevail's Nolita Lolita with SWATCHES

Hi lovelies!

Yes, I bought another Prevail nail polish. How could I resist? I live in NYC and many (if not all) of their polishes are named after NYC locations. Of course, I went for Nolita Lolita. I'm not telling you where I live but it's pretty much my neighborhood. 

Color: Nolita Lolita is a dark polish with green microglitter. It's difficult to tell if it's a dark gray polish or a dark green polish because it can look like either depending on the lighting. I find that the green comes out more indoors under artificial lighting and the black/gray comes out more outdoors and under direct sunlight. The glitter gives the polish a great deal of depth. 

Formula: This was yet another Prevail polish with an impressive formula. It was very smooth, especially given the glitter. I wouldn't call it a real glitter polish because it does apply so smoothly. The glitter particles are very tiny and not gritty at all. 
Application: Application is very smooth. It was even great when I was using my non-dominant hand to paint my nails. It was perfectly opaque in 3 coats. 
Wear: I did get a little bit of tip wear a few days in. 

CONCLUSION: If you like the color from the swatches below, I would absolutely recommend this formula based on the formula. 
SWATCHES (important to look at all of them)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

REVIEW of O.P.I.'s Monsooner or Later with SWATCHES

Hi chickadees!

I'm not even going to lie or beat around the bush. I found O.P.I.'s Monsooner or Later incredibly frustrating. Frustrating to work with, frustrating to photograph. I'm happy to have another red for my collection but I'm sure you could find a better one.

Color: O.P.I.'s Monsooner or Later is a bright, tomato red creme polish. Did it photograph that way? No. It kept photographing orange. But if you go to the supermarket and pick up a bright red tomato, it's that color. It's pretty dupe-able but I have to say I liked the color. It's like a bright red lipstick. It just works. I won't go so far as to say it's a universal color but there's the right shade of red for every woman.
Formula: I found the formula thick and a little gloopy. This was very odd for me as it is an O.P.I. polish and usually they have great formulas or they're on the watery side but the formula was undeniably gloopy. The good news was the polish was very opaque. It was almost opaque in 2 coats but because it didn't hold up to the light test (where you hold your nails up to the light and see if you can see light passing through any bald patches) I did a third coat.
Application: As I said, the formula was thick, making application difficult. I found it very hard to get even coats but the problems were mostly fixed by Seche Vite. While application is a little tricky, I don't think you should be too upset with the final result. I should also note that this did come with a slightly wider brush which I'm personally not a fan of.
Wear: I wore this during part of the time we lost power in NYC due to Hurricane Sandy when I wasn't as conscious of my nails but I usually put them through the same amount of stress regardless. Anyway, my polish chipped a little on the pinky nail of my right hand. I note this because my polish almost NEVER chips. Also, I'd only been wearing the polish for a few days.

CONCLUSION: I certainly think you could find a dupe for this color and the formula and application aren't anything to rave about but if you see it in the store and it's on sale, you could do worse for a tomato red nail polish. Even with the problems, I liked having the color on my nails. It was bright and cheerful.


Hi chickadees!

I'm very sad right now. I applied Maybelline's Deepest Cherry when I went out on Friday and loved the color more than ever but from the way my lips are stinging and peeling right now I think I may have discovered what I'm allergic to. Which is so strange because I've tried lots of Maybelline lipsticks before and never had this reaction. :( I may give it one more shot but the direct cause and effect seems pretty undeniable. If I am allergic to this lipstick I'm happy I only payed about $4.50 for it in my haul and not full price.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

X Factor Live Show #5

Hi chickadees!

This week's theme is Number Ones. Should be interesting right? Before we get started, I would like to say that I'm a little heartbroken that Lucy had to withdraw from the competition due to illness. I really felt her absence last week and I continued to feel it this week. I feel like the spark of fun and life in this series has dimmed more than a little with her departure. I hope she puts out an album soon. I will buy it. :)

Final Breakdown (in my opinion...very conflicted about the order this week though)
1. Jahmene Douglas
2. Union J
3. Ella Henderson
4. Christopher Maloney
5. James Arthur
6. Kye Sones
7. District3
8. Rylan Clark

Rylan Clark: Hung Up/Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight). I don't know if you know this about me as I only reveal it when I feel like I'm in a safe space... but I'm an ABBA fan. A massive ABBA fan. Not in an ironic way. I genuinely love their big hit songs. This was before the phenomenon of Mamma Mia really took off with the movie, though I did see the stage show with Louise Pitre and it was brilliant. It was one of the few shows in my life where I've sat front row and those are always fun. Where was I? Oh, right, Rylan. The feathered shoulders felt unnecessary. They didn't really create interesting body shapes or make sense with the outfit. They just seemed glued on for camp value. Loved the way he broke the glass though. I think this is one of his best vocal performances. It still wasn't very strong but I think it was a marked improvement from last week. I did think it lost a little energy. Rylan just needs to find the balance between singing and dancing/performing. Nicole does a great job sticking up for him though. Very entertaining. 

Union J: Love Story. I couldn't get the best quality version of this because TheXFactorUK youtube channel wasn't uploading it and Fremantle was blocking all the high quality videos. I really like Taylor Swift songs. I can't help it. They just make me happy. With the quality issues, I thought they sounded good. It was a little safe. Anytime you sing a Taylor Swift song, you're not really trying to vocally challenge yourself. 

Kye Sones: You Get What You Give. He burst out with a lot of energy. I think this was one of his stronger attempts at using his falsetto. There was something about it that felt safe to me. Maybe it was just that American Idol style circling camera trick. I think this is a good song but it doesn't really have an arc. Kye did his very best and I can't fault him on the vocals or the energy but I wasn't thrilled by it. I pretty much agreed with Tulisa. I think Kye just needs to find the right song if he's going to rise in the competition again.

James Arthur: Don't Speak. So...I do kind of like this song. But while I've learned to trust James for the most part repetitive songs like this always scare me. It's very easy for them to start to get tedious even in a minute long performance. I felt like it was more of a return to the James we saw at the beginning of the competition. Some of the riffing felt excessive and unnecessary. It felt a little low energy though the vocals were good. I think James has to work on his performance style when he moves around the stage because before the emotional high point kicks in, it feels a bit random, like he's just wandering around. Maybe I'm just spoiled by so many great performances. Though this one was good, I'm used to being surprised and impressed by James and this week it just felt like another track on an album that sounded like the song I listened to a few songs back.

Ella Henderson: Firework. Katy Perry has some great songs. Now, there's some garbage on One of the Boys. And Peacock is just... *shudders* But those hits are hits for a reason and have rightfully spawned hundreds of youtube covers. There's something about some of those songs that has that magic capacity for a great performance. Personally, I went into this holding Ella's performance up to the amazing Lea Michele. So, no pressure, right? This was Ella doing Ella. She has a beautiful way of interpreting songs sometimes. When it started off a bit quiet it felt like she was speaking from the heart in singing those lyrics. And that's what a great performer does. But there were definitely weak points as it progressed. Some notes were weak and a bit strained. Her voice definitely cracked a few times. The high notes weren't always as strong as they could be and I would have sung some of those notes on different vowels because they were a little painful. It was good but there was so much randomness to it. It didn't feel natural. It felt strained. I really want her to work on fixing these same problems that come up almost every week without fail. It's really getting to the point in the competition where she can't just rely on the strengths of her voice. She needs to start addressing the weaknesses.

District3: I love the song. It's great exercise music. Again, I couldn't get the best quality version. Is the X Factor UK youtube channel against Louis for some reason? Anyway, even forgiving the sound quality, I thought they sounded very rough at first. It improved throughout the performance but it still just felt average. And I'm not sure they're ready to interact with dancers. It came across as awkward.

Jahmene Douglas: Listen. I know I've already told you I'm a massive Beyonce fan. But there is almost no touching her when she sings a ballad. I love Jahmene, but I was nervous about this performance. You can't mess around with riffs for this song. You need to bring POWER vocals. While Jahmene's performance was very, very, very good. It was lacking that power. There were so many brilliant points. But there were also some missteps when he strayed from the melody too much. And he couldn't sustain the amazing belt you need to make this song truly impressive. I think if I didn't know how this song can sound, I may have loved it more. 

Christopher Maloney: There was something very odd about Christopher's vowels during the verses. Maybe it was his placement. I did however think that the song choice really worked for him. He's a very good singer. What more can I say? In a week where my favorites all had issues I think Gary has a point in saying that Christopher consistently gives good vocal performances. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seche Vite on Seche Vite

Hi chickadees!

In my nail polish reviews I sometimes mention the top coat I use, which is almost without fail, Seche Vite. But I know  some members of the beauty community have a problem with it, especially due to the warning label that appears on some bottles. For the sake of all the nail polish addicts out there, I thought I'd post the response I got from Seche Vite's customer service. I've posted the message in its entirety without any editing.

Dear Cat,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We understand your concern regarding the ingredient Toluene in our Seche Vite topcoat.

Please note that when used as intended and directed Seche is completely safe. Like other chemicals, toluene can be harmful when abused or used in a manner for which it is not intended. When deliberately inhaled through "sniffing" or "huffing," toluene can be harmful to developing fetuses. It can cause dizziness and nervous system depression.

The warning that appears on the Seche Vite label is required under California Prop 65, which is part of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 which was intended to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. California is the only state that requires this warning.

If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us again. Have a great day!


Hello my loves!

It's so wonderful to be able to talk to you again. Long story short, I live in NYC and they cut off the power for almost a week due to Hurricane Sandy. No heat, no lights, no internet. It was rather miserable. Thankfully, I wasn't in an area that experienced much damage (I'm surrounded by buildings and pretty far from the water). My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the storm. I'm still feeling a little sick and not having heat for a week hasn't helped things much. I have a ridiculously overwhelming amount of work to get through this weekend but hopefully I'll be able to start posting again soon.