Wednesday, May 13, 2020

REVIEW Essie Model Citizen

Hi bunnies,

It's happened. Quarantine boredom has inspired me to revive this blog. Of course, if you're interested in more regular updates, you can always just follow me on Instagram.

Before I get into this review, I want to acknowledge that this is pretty old bottle of polish. It's not as old as other polishes in my collection but it's at least a few years old because aside from some Kiko polishes that I bought on vacation, I haven't bought any new nail polish in years. I was actually going to try this with the recommended Essie top coat but my bottle has fully dried up.

COLOR: Model Citizen is a blue-toned medium pink. I would call it a Barbie pink. I can't recall if it's the same shade as her lipstick but one of my Barbies definitely had heels in this exact color. It makes me think of summer vacation but the blue tone mutes it so it's not quite a tropical color. This shade of pink is bubbly and perky and hard to ignore but it doesn't aggressively shout its presence. It's very Elle Woods.
FORMULA: Again, I want to acknowledge that this is an older bottle of polish. But I found the formula very smooth and liquidy. I want to say it's maybe a little thicker than the Essie formula of the older bottles but it's still much more liquidy than most other polish brands.
APPLICATION: Applying the polish with my dominant hand, I found the first coat applied very smoothly. The brush did create some streaks but they mostly self-leveled. The polish was also already very shiny without top coat. The second coat also applied smoothly but I noticed the brush catching. When I worked the polish with the brush too many times, it would catch and look uneven from the brushstrokes. Two coats was fairly opaque for my short manicure but I applied a third coat to cover up the streaks that weren't covered evenly. I applied the third coat a little more thickly and it smoothed out a lot of the issues.
With my nondominant hand, the first coat went on smoothly but more streaky and uneven than painting with my dominant hand. Because the polish isn't too thick, the ridges weren't pronounced but there were thinner patches where the bristles of the brush had lifted the polish instead of painting it on evenly. I applied three coats, not bothering to make sure the polish was flush with my skin. Doing this, I ended up with a smooth, even surface over most of the nail but you can see the uneven overlap of polish towards the sides.
Because my Essie top coat was dried up, I just used Poshe. It did seem to lighten the polish a little. I'm not sure if it was the Poshe or if this polish takes a long time to set but I already wait at least 5-10 minutes between each layer and ten minutes after that I got some damage on a few nails when I tried to do things (open doors, pick up objects, etc.).

CONCLUSION: If you like the color, I'd recommend this polish. Application is relatively easy. I'm being a perfectionist but if you concentrated, I think you could achieve a very nice manicure. And you could certainly do a good job if you were working on someone else's nails. I like the high shine finish. I would just be a little careful about making sure it's totally dry. Maybe do your nails while watching a long movie.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Things I Am Currently Obsessed With: Go To Products

Hello darlings!

What!?! I know. It's shocking. I wrote a blog post.

I've been testing products in a very lazy fashion so I don't have full reviews yet and I haven't done my nails in ages except for a short vacation in May. So instead, I thought I'd share with you the top products in my current routine.

Left to Right: MAC Misty Me, KIKO 110, Too Faced Light, Stila Intense Black, Wet n' Wild Blossom Glow

MAC LiquidLast Liner in Misty Me
When I first bought this I was feeling some immediate regret after making an impulse purchase. It's so expensive for such a tiny amount of product. But as I've played around with it, I've become a bit obsessed. This is the most amazing metallic silver liner. It's so bright and bold. You don't need to build it up. You just swipe it on and you've got liquid metal on your eyes. The brush it comes with is not amazing or anything but I haven't had any issues with it. You can do a double line with a black liner but I find that doing a clean wing is a bit tricky when I'm rushing. My favorite way to wear this is to draw a line from my inner corner to halfway or a third of the way across my eye and then finish the rest of the line and the wing with black liner. It gives me the same pop of brightness as an inner corner highlight and keeps basic black liner from looking so heavy.

KIKO Kajal Pencil in 110
I don't know what it is about summer but I always want to play around with aquatic blues. I bought this liner and a nude liner from KIKO to use on the waterline. That did not work out as planned. They smudge. Oh boy, do they smudge. But on the upper lash line, this works great. The formula isn't so firm that it tugs at the eye when you apply it but it does stay in place. It's an easy way to add some color to an eye look and look like you spent more time on your makeup than you did.

Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer
I did not like this at all when I bought it. I actually thought I was going to return it. But I gave it a second chance and now I love it. It's not a perfect color match for me. The shade I have is a bit light but otherwise, I think it's a good medium to high coverage concealer that doesn't feel too heavy and doesn't crease too much under the eyes. I apply it with a damp makeup sponge and if I'm feeling fancy I'll set it with a powder.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Sephora Haul: VIB Sale and Black Friday Discounts

Hello my loves,

I know I haven't been writing that many blog posts lately. I've got a lot of ideas but sometimes my heart is just not in it and I can't make it happen. I do try and post on my Instagram on a regular basis, so follow me there if you're interested in non-beauty updates. I haven't really been buying too many products for a while. Not only am I trying to save money and wearing less makeup on the whole but I've already got a pretty respectable makeup stash. But recent sales have been too good so I've dipped a toe back into the beauty world. There are also products I needed to stock up on (e.g. eyeliner) or add to my routine (e.g. skincare). I might share my other Black Friday hauls in a separate post but for now I wanted to share all the things I picked up at Sephora.

I placed two big orders at Sephora this fall. The first order was using the 20% discount from the VIB sale. The second order was taking advantage of all the sales around Black Friday. Let's start with the VIB 20% off part of the haul.

My skincare routine is basically nonexistent. I have really dry but usually blemish free skin. I've tried exfoliators and moisturizers and cleansers and creams and serums before but basically everything freaks my skin out and provokes breakouts and so I just settle back into having dry skin. Once in a while I do apply sunscreen or moisturizer but I don't do it on a regular basis. This is obviously a problem. I'm getting older and I need to start taking better care of my skin. I've tabled the sunscreen issue until I run out of my current sunscreen (La Roche Posay) but I decided to use the VIB sale as an excuse to try out a ton of products. The saleswoman at Sephora recommended the REN skincare line so on her recommendation, I stocked up on their products.

I picked up the REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk for Sensitive Skin, the REN Clean Skincare Flash Hydro-Boost for All Skin Types, the REN Clean Skincare Vita Mineral Daily, the REN Supplement Moisturizing Cream for All Skin Types, and the REN Clean Skincare Micro Polish Cleanser. I'll let you know how I get on with all of them after a month or two. The only difficult thing will be figuring out which products are doing the heavy lifting (or causing any irritation) because I'll be trying them all at the same time.

I also purchased another bottle of my favorite Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo. It'll be included in a Product Empties or Current Favorites post if I ever get around to writing it.

I got a pack of three Beauty Blenders in bright summery colors but I might return it. It was a decent discount for beauty blenders but I don't really wear foundation and I've heard that the AOA sponge might be a good dupe for a lot cheaper.

As a treat for myself, I got the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick and Lip Mattifier Set and the Huda Beauty Smokey Obsessions palette. The lipsticks are tiny but I go through lipsticks really slowly so I don't mind just having more colors to play with.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Maple Holistics: Free Samples Opportunity

Hi chickadees!

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to try out products from an all natural, cruelty free company based in the US called Maple Holistics. This is not a sponsored post, but they reached out to me and I didn't see any reason to not tell you about this amazing program. I know it can be tricky to find products that are really natural and cruelty free and free from caustic, irritating chemicals. You don't want to get me started on a diatribe about how ridiculously under-regulated the beauty industry is in the US, especially when it comes to known carcinogens and irritants. But when you're dealing with smaller indie brands, it's tough to know what will work for you when there's a comparative lack of reviews and consumer feedback.

That's why Maple Holistics' free samples program is so fantastic. Just take a few minutes to browse the website and look over their selection of shampoos, conditioners, toners, essential oils, and body butters and decide what you would like to try out. Then go to this page and fill out your information. It's that simple! All you have to do is wait for your free sample to arrive in the mail. Then, if you're so inclined, you can leave a review on the site or on amazon and purchase a full-size product if you enjoyed your free sample.

Longtime readers of this blog will know I have very sensitive skin. I've been trying to find a skincare routine that won't make me breakout and I've struggled with a dry scalp and serious hair loss over the past few years. I'm currently trying out the Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo and I'll try and have my thoughts for you soon.

Much love,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fashion Inspiration: Summer Boho Dresses

Hello chickadees,

In the sweltering summer heat, figuring out what to wear can be so confounding that you just decide to stay home. Luckily, Rosegal has stepped in to solve the problem with a wide selection of boho dresses. You can follow this link to find all the boho dresses they currently have available in a vast array of pretty colors, fabrics, styles, and sizes.

Or, you can follow this link to the main Rosegal website to complete your summer wardrobe with cute and trendy tops, rompers, swimsuits, jewelry, and accessories. You'll never have to say no to beach days, rooftop screenings, and late summer barbecues because you don't have the right outfit. I have already placed my own order at Rosegal (as compensation for this article) and I'm excited to share my haul with you once it arrives in the mail.

After doing some digging on the site (it's amazing how the hours go by when you're online shopping) I was pleasantly surprised at the selection of trendy and affordable clothes. Usually a fashion site will only cater to one type of customer but I found items that would suit all kinds of tastes and dress sizes. Even better, I have an additional coupon for even more savings on top of the already low prices.

You want some new clothes, why not taking a look over here?
Summer sales ongoing, all from 33% off. Use code RGEN for another 10% off!

Time for a new outfit!

Happy shopping!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received compensation for writing this article but all the opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stila Sample Sale Report June 2017

Hello darlings!

Sorry for the delay. I meant to cover this one two days ago but I've been busy with work. Cutting right to the chase, this sale is running at 260 Fifth Avenue for 2 more days. Today, July 1 through 7:00 pm and tomorrow, July 2 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. I am only covering the Stila beauty half of the sale.

Now, you know that when I cover a sale, I cover that damn sale. Here are all the details you need to know about what's on offer.


Very sadly there were no Stay All Day Liquid Liners which are my favorite go-to these days and the reason I checked out the sale. They do have the Stila Kajal Eyeliner in 02 Topaz and the Stila Got Inked Cushion Eyeliner in Black Obsidian Ink. Both are $10 each.

They only had one Eye Shadow Compact Pan in Kitten's sad cousin Wheat. There was an Eye Shadow Trio in Gold Glow but a sample compact wasn't set out so I didn't get a look at it. Eye shadow is $5.

For brows, they had the Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Light Ash, Medium Warm, and Auburn. Brow color is $5 which would be a great deal if my brows were lighter. I've converted to Anastasia for my brows these days.
There was a decent selection of palettes. I've eyed these in the past when they've gone on sale but I don't know, I'm just not that into palettes anymore. There are always some blues or reds or dark colors I'm never going to use. Still, if you are into palettes, this might be a good time to stock up at $15 per palette. They had the Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palettes in Body, Spirit, and Mind as well as the Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye/Cheek Palettes in fair/light, light/medium, medium/tan, and tan/deep.

Finally for eyes, there was the Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer ($10) and the Waterproof Volumizing Mascara ($10).


This is a great sale if you love Stila's lip products. There was a big selection of Stila Color Balm Lipsticks ($10) in Olivia, Sonya, Maya, Valentina, Ruby, Savannah, Natasha, Brigitte, Ali, Elle, Isabelle, Evangeline, Vivienne, Betsey, Gemma, Opal, Aubrey, and Emma. I already own Valentina, Ruby, Natasha, Isabelle, Gemma, and Evangeline. A little of this lipstick goes a long way and I've never been able to decide whether I find it moisturizing or drying. It is more conditioning that other lipsticks but I find that it can pill and bunch up weirdly on the lips after a few hours. I considered stocking up since they're basically half price but again, a little goes a long way and I'm not sure I'll need backups anytime soon. My favorite of the ones I own is Evangeline because it's the most wearable. By the way, if you would like a review of any of the Stila lipsticks I own, leave a request in the comments. Also, you should know that Stila has currently also slashed the price of the lipstick on their website if you can't make this sale. 

The Stila MATTE'ificent lipsticks come in Palais, Mon Ami, Papillon, Coquille, Jolie, Etoile, Bisou, Soiree, Framboise, Bordeaux. Also $10.