Sunday, December 27, 2015

REVIEW of Essie Beach Bum Blu With SWATCHES

Hello darlings,

OK, time for a real review. Let's see if I still remember how to do this. ;)

I know Essie Beach Bum Blu has been around for a while but it was never one of those colors that called out to me. Then I found myself in Ricky's on a day when Essie polishes were on sale for $4 or $4.50 and my self control went out the window. So Beach Bum Blu came home with me. I picked it up thinking it might be something like Confetti Rhapsody in Blue and while it's actually a much brighter shade I find it quite flattering and I'm happy to have it in my collection.

Color: Beach Bum Blu is a beautiful aquamarine shimmer that borders on metallic frost. It's a lovely mermaid-y shade that really complements the yellow undertones in my skin. I would compare it to Maybelline Blue Blowout. In fact, if you'd like, ask in the comments and I'll do an actual comparison post.
Formula: I didn't find the formula notably thick or thin. It's a little different from a typical Essie polish because of the finish.
Application: The first coat went on smoothly without any drag. I couldn't really work with it though because the polish was thin so any pressure would push the polish around and result in streaks. Use a very light touch when painting overlapping brushstrokes. The second coat went on very smoothly. I could even out the polish at this point though I had to be careful because brushstrokes were visible. At two coats the polish was not opaque. I added a third coat which also went on smoothly. However, at three coats, the polish was still not opaque when subjected to a light test.
Wear: I've been wearing this polish for about 5 days. Aside from it not being completely opaque, I really like it and it's worn well. Tip wear is really minor. My only wear issue is that my right hand (the one I painted with my nondominant hand) got messed up in the middle of the night (the impression of the mattress has textured my manicure on my right hand). My left hand is fine so maybe I just didn't give the polish enough time to dry. I just thought I would mention it.

CONCLUSION: I find the color very flattering. If you're also attracted to colors like this and you don't mind the lack of complete opacity, I would recommend this polish. It applies easily and wears well.

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Saturday, December 26, 2015

REVIEW of Ricky Color Polish in Brooklyn Eiffel Tower

Hello my darlings,

I know I start most of my posts off saying this nowadays but I really have missed you. I promise that I am still testing products and I've got some things in the works. I'm still just feeling a little scattered and I really need a new goddamned laptop. But enough of that for now. I've got a quick post showing off a new glitter top coat I just tried.

Since it's not a polish review from me without some preamble, I feel like I should mention how I came across this polish. I took a few Aqua classes recently (which are really fun, you should give them a try) which took me by Ricky's which of course meant that I went into Ricky's and found a nail polish sale and could not help myself. Once an addict, always an addict. I haven't really felt like doing my nails for a couple of months which is why you haven't been getting any polish reviews. Well, I felt like my nails had gotten a break for long enough and so I put on 3 coats of OPI Peace Love & OPI and ran out the door to see The King and I. (It's fantastic. I've seen it twice. If you can get to New York to see Kelli O'Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, and (currently) Hoon Lee, it's well worth it.) Anyway, apparently I'm out of practice (or I've grown very impatient) because my manicure was damaged before I even got off the subway. Musing over the problem once I got home, I decided to fix things with glitter. Either this top coat takes too long to try or I'm still far too impatient because I messed up my manicure again. I gave myself one last shot to fix things and redid two of my nails on each hand and that is the manicure you see before you in the photos below.

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In spite of my struggles, I actually quite like this Ricky Color glitter top coat in Brooklyn Eiffel Tower. I mean, it's a terrible name but the mix of light pink, blue, and purple metallic hex glitter and small pink, blue, and purple glitter is very pretty and I can see it suiting a lot of base polishes that I already own. I feel like the glitter is pretty dense (as opposed to having a bit of glitter suspended in a lot of clear top coat) so that might prove to be a problem as I get farther into the bottle. For now, while it's a little thick, I do think it spreads nicely over the nail. Just make sure you're giving it enough time to dry.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Stila Sample Sale Report December 2015

Hello chickadees,

I was planning to go this morning but I didn't really feel like getting up so I ended up checking out the Stila/Tocca sample sale at 260 Fifth Avenue after work. The sale is running until Wednesday with hours on Tuesday and Wednesday being 10:00 am- 8:00 pm. Right off the bat, I will say that this isn't a proper sample sale report. I went to check out the sale, not to recap it and it was a shit show inside so I really wasn't in the mood to take photos or notes when girls were hanging out like it was Sephora. But I read the Racked NY report this morning and it was terribly lacking in details so I'm going to do the best I can going from memory. I only checked out the Stila side of the sale as I've come to the conclusion that I'm not really a candle or scent girl. I have a small haul so let me know in the comments if you want to see what I purchased. And with that, let's get into it!

After the coat and bag check (why, 260 Sample Sale!?! Bring a tiny clutch.) I headed right for the Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner which are normally priced at $22. Now, of course I never buy them for $22. From the Stila website you can usually get them from anywhere from 10% to around 50% off depending on what discount codes you can find throughout the year. Or you can just get them from Sephora or other larger retailers during their sales. But that still means you're paying something more than $10 per liquid liner. At this sale, most of the individual items are $5 which is an excellent deal. Unfortunately, they didn't have any of my favorite colors: intense black, midnight, indigo, or moss. They did have plenty of periwinkle, turquoise, cobalt, and teal. Thankfully, I'm not afraid of color. My advice, if you don't mind color, is to go for cobalt and teal. I've used both before and while they aren't my favorites, they are pretty pigmented (I vaguely remember having some issues with teal but I can't remember what they were) and perform similarly to the darker shades that I love. Cobalt is pretty matte though which might be a minus or a plus for you but it's something to keep in mind with a brighter shade like that. As for periwinkle and turquoise, they're not too pigmented. I skipped periwinkle because I don't see myself using it. Turquoise is a pretty minty shade but I only got one because it's so light that I would really only use it in a double wing with a darker color. They also had a limited (I'm talking a handful unless they plan on restocking) number of liners in emerald and olive. If you're OK with even odder shades, then you might want to pick up a liquid liner in amber or paradise pink. There were plenty available and along with turquoise, they're currently on sale on the Stila website for $10 so you are still saving money, but less than you'd be if you purchased one of the other shades.

If you're not a liquid liner person, you might want to try the Kajal Eye Liner $18 online and $5 at this sale. They had a large supply of Onyx (black) and a dwindling supply of Tigers Eye. I didn't notice any other shades. This is a sale where opaque packaging is not your friend. There simply isn't time to dig around with the crowd milling about.

Also in the eye section I saw Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Color sticks. They are normally priced at $22 but currently on sale online for $8. They're also $5 at this sale but obviously, that's not as steep of a discount as you'd be getting with some other items. I've never used these. I spotted colors like Midnight Blue and Pink Violet but I like my shadow sticks to be more like Milani's Champagne Toast so I passed.

I saw two brushes available. One was the Lash Lift Off Brush #38 which is currently $20 online. It is being sold for $5 at this sale but I couldn't find any reviews of it online. I'll be testing it and I'll let you know what I think. There was an all over Complexion Brush being sold as well but I couldn't find it on the website. It looked dense with stiff bristles like a foundation brush but in a more rounded shape.

There were many bronzers and highlighters but I'm happy with the ones I have and Stila's looked quite orange-y so I didn't pay very much attention to that section. I'll simply give you some prices from the Stila website. The Stila Sun Bronzer is currently selling for $28. The Stay All Day Bronzer $28 (on sale $10). The Stila All Over Shimmer Powder is $22.

As for lips, the Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick  is $24 online and $5 at this sale. I did not pay very much attention to what colors were available. The Nude Interlude Color Balm Lipstick is $22 online and $5 at this sale but unfortunately the only color available is Elyssa. In another life, I would have at least snapped this up to try it but it's quite brown and I don't think it would even work for me in one of my goth moods. I do like the Color Balm Lipsticks for the most part. I could do without the tingle from the mint but I like most of the shades I own and the color and formula are nice. You get the coverage of a lipstick but it doesn't wear too heavy.

There were also Stila Lip Glaze sold online for $22 and $5 at the sale but again I didn't have time to examine all the colors. There were sort of testers out but everything was in a state of chaos.

I haven't tried them but if you'd like to go for a lip product, I'd suggest picking up one of the lip and cheek stains simply because those displays were much more orderly. There were plenty of each shade and I don't seem them running out anytime soon. All the stains retail for $24 and were only $5 at this sale. They had the Acai Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, Raspberry Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, Pomegranate Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, Coconut Crush Lip & Cheek Stain, and Mango Crush Lip & Cheek Stain.

They also had Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Glosses in the lip section (retail price $24). I spotted Melon Vinyl, Hot Pink Vinyl, and a limited selection of Nude Vinyl. I think there were also some darker shades and reds but I didn't catch the names. There wasn't a red that jumped out to me except in one of the sets.

The only blushes I saw were the Custom Color Blush Pink (retail price $20) for $5. Sadly there were no convertible color cream blushes which I love or even the Custom Color Blush in Coral. I think there might have also been blushes among the sets (available for $10) but I wasn't paying much attention.


I think this sale is definitely worth attending for the discounts if you're a Stila fan and you know which products you like. But know that the color selection is generally limited to bolder shades. It wouldn't be the worst idea to go simply for stocking stuffers but be aware that depending on when you go you may be stuck in a line outside and then another line for the cash register so don't expect to be able to pop in and out on your lunch break.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Leota Sample Sale Report December 2015

Hello my loves!

Has it been too long? Do you still remember me? I've missed you so much. I am still testing beauty products and I've been attending a few sample sales but a lot of that has slowed down and I've been busy with other projects so I haven't had as much time to blog. But enough of that for now. I'm just happy to see you again! Let's see if I still remember how to do this, shall we?

The Leota sample sale is taking place December 3-December 4 at 251 W 39th St between Seventh and Eigth Avenues. Take the elevator up to the 15th floor. Sale hours are 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. I think they may have had a preview day yesterday for people on their email list but regardless the sale is still pretty well stocked.

Dresses dominate this sale (as it should be) and customary for the brand you'll find a wide variety of beautiful prints in large range of colors. The cut of Leota dresses (at least at this sale) does not vary as much. You'll find basic T-shirt dressed, faux-wrap dresses, sweetheart necklines, etc. Go into this sale assuming that almost everything in the showroom is a small (or XS) but don't be afraid to try things on. There's a lot of stretch in some of the fabrics they use and the cuts are flattering for curvier shapes. I did spot a few 1L's but again, I would not go to this sale assuming you'll find them. This is not like the last sale where there were real M's and L's.
There are also some bins to the side near the maternity section containing pants and skirts but I did not have the time to rifle through them and supply is limited.
At least for today, a woman from BeautyCounter is also present showing off some of their products but they are not affiliated with Leota.