Friday, August 30, 2013

OPI Alcatraz Rocks

*Purchased with my own money

What can I say? I gave in. I bought my first ever Liquid Sand polish by OPI.  I wasn't planning on it.  It happened completely by chance.  I think I might chalk this one up to Ulta made me do it, and I got three times the points for doing it too.  I had seen pictures of all San Francisco polishes and wasn't that impressed and I had heard that Ulta wasn't carrying the liquid sand colors.  I went into Ulta not expecting to find the gorgeousness of this polish.  I walked up to a display and to my surprise there were all three liquid sand colors.  My first thought was they're great fall colors, but upon picking up the swatches I was blown away by this color.

I'm a sucker for a vampy color and this does not disappoint.  It's a deep cool toned plummy purple loaded with silver, gold, and maybe even a little green shimmery goodness.  Is that enough gushing for you?  Nope, I didn't think so.  I'm not usually one for textured nails.  I like the look, but I never thought I would be able to pull it off.  I tend to obsessively feel my nails if there's an imperfection and pick it until my polish ruined, and I thought this was going to be one of those polishes that ruined my nails.  I'm more than happy to say that I was wrong.  I'm even considering getting a couple more textured polishes when my No Buy is over.

Application was perfect with this only needing two coats for full coverage.  There is a little note on the bottle that says not to use the top coat, but I feel naked without some sort of top coat on.  So I added a coat and it did nothing, it just soaked right in.  But at least at that point I felt better about the polish's staying power.  

OPI can be found in salons and Ulta's across the nation, and I've seen the San Francisco collection in three different stores.  I think it's safe to say it's landed.  Fairly recently OPI raised the price of their polish to around 9 dollars a bottle, but I've never met an OPI that wasn't worth the price.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Anne Kathleen Fern and Dahlia

*Provided for the purpose of review.

Anne Kathleen is a new brand that I heard about on Facebook in one of my many nail groups.  Leanne the owner had just created a blogger form and wanted people to test it for her, and I obliged.  A couple weeks later she contacted me about reviewing a couple of her polishes.  I was more than excited. There's something special about getting polishes from a newly minted maker.  She sent me two colors from her first collection, which is based on plants and flowers and it's called Blossoms.


I love a good spring green color and Fern is just that. It's a shimmery sheer green base with holographic and iridescent glitters.  On it's own, I'm not sure it could be full coverage.  So I layered it over a bright greenish yellow cream, and I love it.  It's sunny and bright and Fern brightens it even more and adds some much needed sparkle.  Application was good, but it took a longer time to dry than most other polishes.  I don't know if that's because it's five free or not since these are my first ever five free nail polishes.


Dahlia is a sheer shimmery kind of pinky base with red and silver glitters. Again, I didn't think this would be full coverage so I layered it over a light pink.  I really like the way it looks over the pink, it's subtle and very girly.  Application was great with this one as well, and again it took longer to dry just like Fern did.

Overall, I love the ideas behind the polishes and would love to try more. I also like that polishes can be so versatile.  I can picture both Fern and Dahlia over any number of colors.  I think putting over black would make the light bases really pop.

These polishes are yet to be released, but you can find more info about Anne Kathleen on Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, and they're website.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lorac Pro Palette

*Purchased with My Own Money

So, where have I been?  I'll give you the very short version. The month of August has been super busy and there just wasn't time for blogging. At the beginning of the month I had a relief sale that I volunteer for, and then shortly after that I had a funeral to go to.  When I got back from the funeral my truck broke down and left us with one car, then for some reason we went on a small vacation.  That brings me pretty much up to now.

I got my first ever 20% off Ulta coupon a few weeks ago, and I was so excited.  I'm new to the wonder that is Ulta. It wasn't until this year that there was one anywhere near where I lived.  Since discovering them, I've spent way too much money on makeup.

The thing I wanted was the Lorac Pro palette. I love neutrals and this is a really great neutral palette.  I've even heard that it's better than the Naked palettes and it's a bit cheaper.  I do love a good deal, and I love it even more when I can get free stuff in addition to my great deal.  The "free stuff" in question was a set of samples in a makeup bag worth 75 dollars that I got for free when I spent 50. But wait, there's more. I didn't spend 50 dollars, I only had to spend the 42 that the palette cost, plus I got it for 20% off, and the cherry on top was free shipping.  I did a happy dance around my house after I purchased it.

Let's get down to the review.  I'm very picky about my eyeshadows and don't like it when I pay good money for something that doesn't perform.  I'm pleased to say the Pro palette doesn't disappoint. This palette came with a sample or travel size of eyeshadow primer which was pretty cool, but it's not my favorite primer. I much prefer my Urban Decay Primer Potion, I have very oily lids and this one started creasing after a few hours.

One thing that got me besides the price is that there are 16 shades and that 8 of them are matte.  I'm a shimmery shadow lover, and I can't wait to see if I love mattes as such as I do shimmer. I think everything looks better with a little shimmer or sparkle.

From left to right we have White, Cream, and Taupe.  Within these swatches is the only color in the palette I'm not happy with.  I'm not a fan of the cream, it's not very pigmented.  I use Wet n Wild's Brulee pretty much every time I do my makeup and it has excellent pigmentation for a 2 dollar shadow.  I just expected more from a high end one.

From left to right we have Light Pink, Mauve, and Sable. At first I wasn't excited about these colors but the more I looked at them the more I fell for them, especially Mauve.  It's a great shade, and I can't wait to use it more.

Finally for the mattes we have Espresso and Black.  Overall, they're okay as dark mattes, but I'm not a big black or super dark brown user.  I don't think these will be getting much use unless I use them as liners.

On to the shimmers! From left to right we have Nude, Champagne, and Gold.  Let me tell you, that gold is stunning it's like you smeared liquid gold all over your lids.  So creamy and gorgeous.  The other two swatches are great shadows, but to me they're a little too similar to each other.  I think they're both great highlight shades, but I think they could have been fine with one of the two.

Sorry about the slightly blurry picture. From left to right Light Bronze, Pewter, and Garnet.  Three of my favorite colors in the whole palette, I've used all three in different looks, and I think Pewter might be my favorite from the whole palette.

Finally we have Deep Purple and Slate. I do love a good gunmetal color and as well as a deep purple color, but this purple is almost black.  I think it would look great as a liner just like Espresso and Black.

I've done s few looks using a wide variety of colors and all of them seem creamy and not at all flaky.  The one disappointment is Cream and that's simply because I''m used to a little more pigment. I have to say that I'm very pleased with this palette and given the chance I would totally buy it again over either of the Naked palettes.  

You can find this palette at Ulta, Sephora, and from Lorac Cosmetics.

Now for the free stuff.  I go so many samples it's crazy.  They range from hair oil and deep conditioner to three perfume samples.  I've been testing and testing, the most memorable of which is the dry shampoo incident I mentioned on Facebook.  I've used dry shampoos before and liked them, so I was excited to try a new one.  I smelled it before I sprayed it and it seemed fine.  A little sweet and little musky.  When the weather is nice I prefer to use my dry shampoo outside, I just don't want my entire house to stink.  It wasn't until I got in the house and went about getting ready that I started to notice just how strong this smell was.  It was insane. To make a long story short it gave me the worst headache I've had in months and took three hair washings to get all the smell out.

I've been a bit scarred after that dry shampoo, and haven't done much else with the samples I got.  August has been super busy and I just haven't had the time. I've been grabbing my to go makeup since I know it's going to work well on me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Indie Polish Awareness Giveaway

I know I haven't blogged in forever, but I thought I would share the great giveaway I'm part of.  There are some really great prizes including three polishes from me.


Lacquer: The Best Medicine and Miss Mani Monster have joined forces to promote indie polish awareness by hosting a huge giveaway!

Here is a little excerpt from the hosts:

About a month ago, I saw a post from Cassandra of Sweet Heart Polish on her Facebook Page asking if any bloggers would be interested in hosting a giveaway for her nail polish. I have used several of her polishes, and I absolutely adore them; so, of course I jumped at the opportunity! I figured it would just be a simple 1-prize giveaway as usual, but then we got to talking - she said that if anybody else wanted to participate that would be fine.

I told my good friend Heather over at Miss Mani Monster about this, and we got talking about indie polish brands and how there are so many wonderful ones out there that don't get enough attention - and usually it's just because people don't know they exist! Heather and I are SERIOUS fans of indie polishes, which is pretty obvious if you browse through our blog posts!

So, we thought it would be a great idea to help promote indie polish awareness - and what better way to do that than by giving away some of the actual polish!? Heather and I believe that direct interactions between seller and customer is the best way to spread the word about a brand - so that is exactly what we are doing!

This giveaway is about some of our all-time favorite indie polish makers coming together to help one another gain some well-deserved recognition in the nail polish community - and we think it is going to be a great success! (Borat, anybody?)

I would not have been able to organize this without Heather's help - I have been too busy studying for my MCAT! (you're probably sick me of telling you this.. don't worry, my test is in a week!)

Well, enough of my yapping; lets get to the good stuff!

The giveaway is separated into two separate parts - US only & International. The first Rafflecopter widget you'll see is the US only widget; please make sure you only enter that one if you're from the US! (or if you have a friend in the US we can mail it to) ... The second widget is for all my lovely international ladies (& gents, maybe) out there.

Here is a quick peek at some of the prizes you can win, along with all the wonderful indie sponsors!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway