Monday, December 31, 2012

REVIEW of Clinique Moisture Surge Intense For Very Dry to Dry Combination Skin

Hi chickadees,

This blog would not function if I wasn't honest with myself and with you. I am absolutely petrified of trying this product again. I want to give it a fair shot but I can't bring myself to get it anywhere near my skin. So, before we start, you have to know that I've only tried this product once. But once was enough.

So, my biggest issue is that I have pretty dry skin. It hasn't been as bad this winter as last winter when I was actually getting patches of flaky skin but as soon as I walk into a beauty supply store or up to a makeup counter, they know my main issue is dry skin. I will occasionally get a few pimples but they are only hormonal or due to a product I'm using and they tend to be pretty small.

I tried this product the day I purchased it from Sephora. I applied it in the afternoon and the next morning I had three major pimples. Without exaggerating, I can say that they were the largest, most painful pimples I have ever had. They were swollen and painful to the touch, red-rimmed, and full of pus. It has taken more than a week for my skin to fully heal. I just cannot go through that again. In total I had one pimple near my nose, two on my forehead near my hairline and some tiny pimples around my chin.

But I do want to also include some information about the product other than my terrible reaction to it. The moisturizer is a cream but it feels almost like a gel when you apply it. It's neither thick nor thin. It gives your skin a kind of plush, supple feeling but I didn't like how it was a little bit sticky. I've worked with paints for enough years to recognize the smell. There is a very chemical, paint-like smell to the product. Since there isn't really any pigment I think it might be due to preservatives.

I'm sorry, my dears. I really want to try this product again but I'm too scared. It's going back to Sephora.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

REVIEW of Zoya Pinta With SWATCHES

Hello chickadees!

Zoya Pinta was the polish I painted on my nails immediately before I hopped on a plane for California. And since I didn't pack any nail polish remover, I was forced to keep it on my nails for over a week. So keep that in mind if I'm a little harsher on it than polishes I've been testing for a few days.

Color: Pinta is a rich, dark, blue-toned purple. It was kind of a pain to photograph because it appears so blue on camera but it is definitely purple. In dim lighting, it looks unquestionably black. It is not one of those polishes where you can still tell that it's purple.
Formula: The formula was a little thick and gloopy. It was so bad that as I removed the brush from the bottle, the polish clung to the brush in threads. If you've ever had this happen to you, you know what I mean. So, no, not a perfect formula here.
Application: Application was pretty smooth. I was getting tiny bubbles so I had to go back and redo those nails but there was no dragging and the polish was opaque in 2 coats.
Wear: The polish started to look dingy pretty quickly. After maybe a day or two it lost its shine, which is why I wanted to switch it out for something else. I did only get a little bit of tip wear after more than a week so that was a positive.

CONCLUSION: I think Pinta is a very pretty color but for me, it looks too much like black in dim lighting and I had too many problems with the formula and application and wear to really recommend it. It's not the worst polish I've ever tried but I'd only buy it during a Zoya promotion and I won't be repurchasing it.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kate Spade Extra 25% Sale Items

Hi chickadees!

Just got back from my trip. I thought I'd do a quick post to let you know about the extra 25% already reduced sale items from Kate Spade. This goes for merchandise sold online and in stores. To take 25% off sale items online just use the promo code 25SALE at checkout. These are my top picks from the sale merchandise.

Monday, December 24, 2012

REVIEW of Zoya Storm With SWATCHES

Hello chickadees!

So here's the thing... I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about Zoya Storm. And how do you write a review about a polish when you don't know how you feel about it? I guess I'll just describe my experience with it as best as I can and let you muddle through the mess to find something meaningful.

Color: Zoya Storm is a black creme polish with flecks of microglitter. In direct sunlight, the microglitter can look either white or gold. Indoors, when it catches the light, Storm looks like it has multicolored microglitter suspended in a black base. I'm not sure which is the true color. Personally, I kind of hate the look of it when the microglitter looks white because it dulls the black polish so I just feel like I'm wearing black polish but it's not as deep or shiny of a black as I would want. When it looks like gold glitter, it's alright, but nothing all that special. It's when the glitter catches the light and picks up a rainbow of colors that it really looks special. Then it reminds me of those glittery dresses you see during holiday and NYE parties. I would say it would be great for a night out but I don't think the glitter would register in a dark room.
Formula: The formula was nice, not too thin or thick and it applied very smoothly, more like a creme than a glitter.
Application: Application was very smooth. Although it looked opaque in 2 coats, it failed the light test so I did 3.

CONCLUSION: I can recommend this polish based on the formula and application but for me, the color didn't work the majority of the time. If you do like the look of this polish, then I'd add it to your next Zoya haul because the formula is good.


Friday, December 21, 2012


Hello chickadees!

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I'm not the biggest fan of nude or pale nail polish colors. That is, except for when I have to take an exam and I can't afford to get distracted by bright colors or a blinding scattering of glitter. During a recent sale I picked up OPI's Barre My Soul which I've been wanting to try ever since I first tried OPI's You Callin' Me a Lyre at a salon but I always chose You Callin' Me a Lyre over Barre My Soul. Well, I finally cheated on You Callin' Me a Lyre and I'm glad I did.

Color: Barre My Soul is a semi-sheer nude polish. I would call it a very light beige, almost like the kind of color you would find in a selection of foundations or concealers. My swatches show it with a strong pink undertone but I would say it's definitely more of a light beige/sand color in person.
Formula: The formula is nice. It's on the thinner side as you might expect a sheer nude polish to be but it's not watery or unmanageable.
Application: The polish went on very smoothly without any dragging but I did experience some streaking and balding. Like other OPI polishes, this polish had a wide brush but I didn't think it had a negative effect on application. The polish was semi-opaque in 2 coats but I wanted to use 3 to get a little bit more coverage.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hi chickadees!

Here's a quick post about how you can get the most for your money from the additional 20% markdown on sale items at BCBG's online store.

Step 1: Enter the BCBG site through Ebates for 3% cashback.
Step 2: Choose the items you want to purchase from the sale section. Once added to your cart, the items should show an additional 20% markdown.
Step 3: Enter the promo code WELCOME2012 (This may only be for first time customers. I'm not sure about this.) for free shipping.

Happy shopping,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

REVIEW of Zoya Monica With SWATCHES

Hello my loves!

So after having such a good experience with Zoya Natty, it was hard not to have high expectations for Zoya Monica. And after trying it, I have to say that I have found another Zoya polish with a great formula and it's called Zoya Monica. But that's not to say it doesn't have other problems.

Color: Zoya Monica is a medium purple creme polish. In dim lighting it can look very dark and almost brown but for the most part, it's a basic purple that will be very flattering on a variety of skintones. Personally, I think it looks very nice with pale skin because of the contrast.
Formula: The formula was a tad on the thin side. It was a bit watery but that didn't affect opacity or application. Though I should warn you that you need to be very careful that there isn't polish collected at the top of the brush because it will run down faster than you can catch it.
Application: Application was very smooth. The polish looked opaque in 2 coats but to pass the light test, I used 3. It was even nice to work with when I was painting with my non-dominant hand which was very impressive.
Wear: Here's the bad news. Tip wear was crazy. I mean, I would wrap the tips of my nails and then get tip wear by the next day. And this happened several days in a row until I finally gave up.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend this polish for the color and easy application but if you're someone who is going to get irritated by tip wear and imperfect manicures, this polish might not be for you.

Union Square Holiday Market: Spotlight on CherryRoseDesigns

Hi darlings,

I thought I'd do something a little different today. I don't really do haul posts all that often anymore. Part of the reason is that I just buy a few things at a time and I usually end up discussing them in reviews or outfit of the day posts. But I've really been loving CherryRoseDesigns jewelry lately and since I know a lot of you are  in the middle of doing your Christmas/holiday shopping, I wanted to do a spotlight on the pieces I've bought from them over the years.

The first two pieces should be familiar for longtime readers of this blog.

These Tree of Life earrings are the first thing I ever purchased from CherryRoseDesigns. They cost $25 and are made of sterling silver. Every few months I begin to see some discoloration and darkness but that can be polished away with a sterling silver cloth. The earrings are nice and lightweight which I appreciate as someone who has elongated piercings from years of wearing heavy earrings. Also, they go with just about any outfit.

The next year I visited the booth, I purchased these spiked spherical gold stud earrings. I think they were $15. I don't know why exactly but they feel aquatic-inspired. Maybe because they look a bit like sea anemones? Or not. Anyway, I think they're a nice twist on normal stud earrings and they are also very lightweight.

This year, I purchased two items from CherryRoseDesigns. First is this handcuff bracelet for $40. I love how delicate the chain is though I'm always petrified it's going to fall off without my knowledge. It is sturdier than it looks though. But the thing that puts this bracelet over the edge is the dangling key charm. I think it looks so polished while remaining a little quirky. CherryRoseDesigns also makes more of these bracelets in silver and gold and also necklaces with the same handcuff charms.

So what was the second item I purchased this year? These gorgeous peacock feather earrings. They cost me $30 but it was money well spent because I love them and I can't even tell you how many compliments I get when I wear them. The saleswoman told me those were her last pair (I'm not sure if she meant they were the last pair she had or the last pair she had with her that day) but they also make a more elaborate necklace with a similar peacock feather design.

The market will be open until December 24, 2012. Check here for hours of operation.
I definitely recommend stopping by if you have the time. Other vendors to visit are MissTea, Nunu Chocolates, and the booth selling gingerbread people.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Refinery29 Tinseltown Bazaar Pop Up Shop

Hi darlings,

I just thought I'd share some pictures of Refinery29's Tinseltown Bazaar Pop Up Shop. I took a break from studying yesterday since the event was so close I could run there and back in under an hour. There were a lot of vendors but nothing really caught my eye. I've kind of fallen in love with chloe+isabel jewelry, especially one necklace which is pictured below. But I'd set out wanting to purchase another necklace and when they didn't have it at their booth, I was a little deflated. There was a nail art booth with primarily Zoya polishes but the woman had left and I didn't think the sign-up sheet would last until the end of the night. There were also tarot card readings but I could already predict I wouldn't pass my final if I didn't get back to studying so I headed home.

Isn't it GORGEOUS? I would get it if it were ever on sale. (Right now it's $148.) Heck, I might just save up and get it anyway, it's that beautiful and difficult to DIY.
All these Saipua soaps smelled divine and true to the ingredients but I couldn't justify spending $10 on soap. But considering how much I spend at Lush on one-time use bath products, I won't rule out picking up a few of these in the future.

REVIEW of Zoya Feifei with SWATCHES

Hi chickadees!

I'll admit that sometimes I can be taken in by product hype. So when I was looking for something else to add to my Zoya order, I threw Feifei into my cart because so many nail polish bloggers were raving about it. I don't think I'm ever going to be a glitter polish girl but Zoya Feifei is pretty damn gorgeous.

Color: This polish is so difficult to describe because it is a glitter and changes so much depending on the lighting. The swatches will explain better than I can. This is an all glitter polish, not a creme base with glitter. I would say it is dominated by blue glitter than can also look like gunmetal in dim lighting and purple glitter than disappears in dim lighting but gives the polish depth. It can look a bit like it is speckled in dim lighting. It reminds me of Revlon Carbonite in that way. If it catches the light in the right way, it can look like there are flecks of multicolored glitter.
Formula: The polish was on the thinner side. It's so shiny that it almost looks opaque in 2 coats when light is reflecting off of it but it definitely doesn't pass the light test. Even at three coats, I found I could still see lighter patches peeking through when I held my nails up to the light. Still, when you're wearing it, you don't notice any balding you might when you're scrutinizing it as intensely as I do.
Application: Application was very smooth. It doesn't apply like a gritty glitter. It actually flows onto the nail almost like a creme polish. I was very surprised and pleased by this.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend Zoya Feifei if you like the swatches below and you're a fan of glitter polishes. It probably won't convert people who aren't glitter polish fans. The only drawback is a lack of opacity but it's not very noticeable.


Thursday, December 13, 2012


Hi chickadees!

My life is a bit crazy right now as I try and wrap up the semester. Essays, finals, applications. Lots of fun. It's pretty much why I haven't been posting for a few days. Also, I wanted to let you know that I'm going to be taking a trip soon for about a week, which means I can't cover the Alice and Olivia sale, as much as I'd like to. If this leather bustier gown is on sale, I'm going to be super sad I missed it.

I won't say that I'm going on hiatus as I should still have internet access and hopefully be able to write up at least a few nail polish reviews while I'm away. I have pictures saved of Zoya Monica, Zoya Feifei, and Zoya Storm so those reviews will be coming soon.

Thanks for bearing with me as I get things sorted out,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

REVIEW of O.P.I. Cuckoo For This Color With SWATCHES

Hello darlings!

Today's review is of an older polish, O.P.I.'s Cuckoo For This Color which I picked up at Ricky's. It is from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection. I have been searching for a good dark green nail polish (while I like Sinful Colors Last Chance, it stains like crazy) and while I was in the store, I was debating whether to get O.P.I.'s Live and Let Die from the new Skyfall collection. But then O.P.I.'s Cuckoo For This Color caught my eye. And I'm glad it did. Let's get into the review, shall we?

Color: O.P.I.'s Cuckoo For This Color is a deep, rich forest green polish. It can look more green or bluish-green depending on the lighting. The polish is a jewel-toned dark green base with green shimmer, giving it a lot of depth regardless of what the lighting is like. And yes, the shimmer is very apparent. To me, the color shouts Christmas. It's very festive and personally, I would feel strange wearing it anytime other than December... which was why I felt odd wearing it at the end of November, but oh, well.
Formula: I thought the formula was watery. I didn't have an issue with opacity but it did have that tendency to flow into my cuticles. Clean up was easy though, and the polish was nowhere near unmanageable. I thought the polish looked opaque in 2 coats but it didn't hold up to the light test so I used 3 for full opacity. Those who aren't as obsessive as I am would probably be happy with 2 coats.
Application: Application was very smooth, possibly because of how watery the formula was. I had no problems with streaks or dragging or balding.

CONCLUSION: I would definitely recommend this polish if you like the color. The shimmer gives it a lot of depth and I'm just nitpicking about the formula.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

REVIEW of Maybelline Color Show Polish in Green With Envy WITH SWATCHES

Hi chickadees!

Every so often I get into this mood where I just want to file my nails super short. It usually happens after I've been lazy for the past few weeks and switching out my polish without bothering to file my nails so they end up impractically long. Anyway, I was looking at my ridiculously large nail polish collection (too large for a little apartment anyway...It's now split up into 4 boxes) and trying to decide what I wanted to paint on my new short nails that would also be seasonally appropriate. But dark polish on short nails? Sorry, I just don't get it. I wore black nail polish through a lot of middle school/high school and I kept my nails long. And I didn't want to go for a glitter or shimmer polish either. Enter in, Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Green With Envy. I bought this polish a while back (I think it might have been in the summer) but I haven't found the right time to try it out. Well, the time has apparently come. What did I think?

Color: Maybelline's Green With Envy is a mint green pastel creme polish. I think it is definitely more green than Essie's Mint Candy Apple. The color is very pretty but personally, I'm not sure if it's the color or simply because it's a pastel, but it has this tendency of looking very sickly on my nails. It kind of depends on the lighting and whether my hands look dry. Also it can bring out a lot of redness.
Formula: I was paying very close attention to the formula and application since this is the first Maybelline polish I've tried. I thought the formula was alright. It was thinner rather than thicker but it wasn't watery or runny at all.
Application: The polish glides smooth onto the nails but I find that the brush is a little streaky and makes even application somewhat difficult. The polish was pretty opaque, especially for a lighter color but I still needed 3 coats to get it to pass the light test, and also to even out the surface of the nail. The brush is very thin. For some reason, I can do one brush stroke and get a nice, even coat, but when I paint the other half of the nail, the second brush stroke creates ridges in the polish and it's hard to even the two out. This happens regardless if I start with the left half of the nail or the right half. I feel like I should also note that I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri as my top coat instead of Seche Vite. I don't think it made a major difference in my swatches but it's possible it might have.

CONCLUSION: Overall, I liked this polish. I wasn't tremendously impressed with it but I think it performed well for a pastel creme polish. This is probably one of the better polishes I've tried in this light blue/mint/aqua color family. If you're looking to try one of these polishes, I would recommend giving Maybelline Green With Envy a shot. Although you're getting less product, you are paying less and it's a good way to test if you like the color with a decent formula.


Monday, December 3, 2012

REVIEW of Essie Chinchilly With SWATCHES

Hi chickadees!

Chinchilly has been around since Fall 2009 so I'm sure you've already seen swatches and read reviews. Here's my take on the matter.

Color: Essie's Chinchilly is a basic creme polish. I suppose you'd say that it's light gray but I think depending on the lighting, it can also look like a light brown or a light purple color. It's not a duochrome, but it looks slightly different depending on whether you're outdoors in direct sunlight or in the shade, or indoors in fluorescent lighting or in dim lighting. I think Chinchilly comes very close to clashing with my skintone. It's not terrible but I wouldn't say it's a color that really suits me either. Whatever the color is, it doesn't remind me very much of a chinchilla.
Formula: I thought the formula was very smooth, though a bit thin and watery. I'm not sure if you'll be able to see a difference but for the two nails on the left I used 3 coats and for the two nails on the right I used 4 coats to get the polish opaque.
Application: Application was pretty smooth when I was using my dominant hand to paint. The watery formula wasn't a major issue and any cleanup was easy. I had a bit of difficulty getting even coats painting with my non-dominant hand but I thought it looked alright in the end. It's just that I can't declare it a perfect Essie formula because of the thin formula and the lack of ease when painting with my non-dominant hand.
Wear: I removed the polish after 6 days and there was definitely tip wear. It may have started before day 6 but I wasn't paying very close attention.

CONCLUSION: I don't think this color will be everyone's cup of tea but it definitely has a cool, chic vibe for something named after a rodent (adorable as they might be). If you like the color, I think the formula is acceptable though not spectacular. I'd probably recommend this polish but I don't think I'll be repurchasing it as the color isn't quite right for me.

Music Monday: Nat King Cole

Hello darlings,

Someone read my last post! I'm so happy. For this Music Monday, I decided to focus on one of my favorite male singers (and there aren't a lot of them) Nat King Cole. Honestly, he's ruined me for almost anyone else. His voice has so much depth and richness and warmth. It's textured. It's weighty. It's a man's voice. I'm not going to call out anyone in particular but I'm sure we can both think plenty of examples of weak singers who rely on falsetto and those who make a pathetic attempt at singing standards.

There are so many of his renditions of songs that I love...
It Happens to Be Me, Make Her Mine, Forgive My Heart, What'll I Do?, Smile, Nature Boy, It's Only a Paper Moon, A Blossom Fell, When I Fall In Love, Angel Smile, Unforgettable, Can I Come In For A Second?, Impossible, Mona Lisa, You Stepped Out of a Dream, That's All, This Can't Be Love, The Very Thought of You, But Beautiful, The More I See You, On The Street Where You Live, Making Believe You're Here

I managed to narrow it down to just a few. Try. Try not to melt as you listen to them. :) His albums are a master class in song interpretation and creating intimacy with the listener without sacrificing skill. Perfection.