Monday, November 30, 2009

Korres Winner, British Swap, A New Weekly Contest!

Above & Below: Goodies from I swap I did with Andrea, one of my followers in England. These are my first GOSH polishes and the one on the right (Golden Dragon) is one of my favorite shade families. How cute is the lip gloss with a light in it! picked the winner of the Korres 6 piece facial skin care and cosmetic box for me...and the winner is...JustMeScarllet! She is from Portugal and has a very nice makeup blog that also covers some nail polish. Congratulations to our winner!

I felt like a winner when I recently received a swap package from Andrea, one of my followers from Liverpool, England. She had contacted me about the possibility of getting her some OPI Holiday Wishes polishes and Sephora by OPI polishes she was longing for, but didn't have access to, being in England. We worked out a swap and I told her to send me whatever she wanted, but that I did want some tea. She did a fantastic job picking out polishes for me without any direction! She also sent me a Gosh lip gloss that matches one of the lip glasses from MAC that is no longer available from their Barbie collection. It was my favorite lip glass and she had read a post of mine way back when, stating that I had been on the prowl for something similar. It's a near perfect match and it even lights up! Thank you so much Andrea for such a thoughtful package. I'll be posting swatch pictures soon.

Speaking of winners, I've been working on a new weekly contest for my blog and it will start with the inaugural post/contest this Friday, December 4. The weekly contest will be called Friday Follower Freebie. The basis of the contest is two-fold, first, to give you my followers, a chance to win prizes that are beauty-related as a thank you for supporting my blog. So yes, you must be a follower to take part in these giveaways. You can follow via Twitter (the button on the left), my follower box (on the right), rss feed, Blog Lines, and so on. Secondly, I wanted to consolidate some of my reviews/giveaways into a more orderly, timely fashion. By having a weekly contest, it allows me to stay on schedule with some of the reviews for products that are furnished by the manufacturer, while at the same time, offering you the chance to win some great prizes. Some of the prizes will be furnished by myself, while others will be furnished by the product manufacturers. I'll continue to have my monthly contest as well, but this is just another way to thank you and have some fun at the same time. The rules are simple:

~You Must Be A Follower

~There is a box in the right side column which will announce the prize. I'll update it every Monday with the previous winner from the week before, as well as what the prize is for the coming week.

~Every Friday, I will publish a post describing the prize, reviewing the product (if a review is warranted), and posting a photo of the item(s). All you have to do is leave your eMail in the comments section of that post. This information will also be cross-posted on Twitter every Friday. Each FFF contest runs only on Fridays, and all entries must be received by midnight that night. The winner will be drawn over the weekend and their name will be published in the contest box. They will also be notified with an eMail. Occasionally, there may be more than one winner, depending on the amount of products available.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last Day To Enter! Win a 6 Piece Korres Skin Care & Cosmetics Box!

I wanted to remind everyone that the deadline to enter the Body & Soul/Korres giveaway is midnight tonight. Click here to see the original post/pictures and details on how to enter. Korres Cyber Monday sale started today and runs through Tuesday, December 2. Here are some of the great offers they have available:

~20% Off Everything Site-Wide

~Free Shipping Over $30.00

~Buy One Get One Free Deals

~Free Product With Purchase Deals
*Products furnished by Korres USA

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Green Franken From A Fellow Blogger

Above & Below: A Franken from fellow blogger Grace. It's shown outdoors in sunlight above, and outdoors with no flash in the shade, below.

Below: Close-up of the finish. It appears to have a dark green creme base, although it could be a shimmer base. At any rate, I love it!
This is a Franken that was sent to me from the lovely Grace, the proprietor of The Kitchen, The Closet & The Laboratory blog. Grace has had a couple of fantastic blog sales, and in my last purchase, she included one of her Frankens. I was also pleased when I had drawn her name as my Elfster recipient. I have no idea what she mixed to come up with this polish, but it's such a pretty shade of forest green, and I just love it. It has a multitude of shimmer and glitter colors in it, but unfortunately, I couldn't capture how beautiful it is in real life with my photos. She did an excellent job, whatever she did, because it applied perfectly with 2 coats and dried to an ultra-glossy finish very quickly. Now it just needs a name!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Body & Soul Black Friday Giveaway: Korres 6 Piece Set!

Above & Below: Win this box of Korres products! See below for details.
Below: These cards are included in the box and give you a brief description of each product.
I have no intention of going out shopping today, so I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway! For those of you who are familiar with Korres, you already know what a fantastic brand this is. Korres is naturally formulated, and they carry a wide range of beauty products, including skin care, cosmetics and hair care, to name a few. There are usually coupon codes available right on their web site for a variety of free products and/or shipping, not to mention the fact that their products and packaging are perfect for gift giving. Their lip butters have been a longtime favorite of mine, and Korres was kind enough to send a box for me to sample as well. These are all full-sized products with a retail value of over $125.00. Even the sturdy box is nice! I'm using mine to store some of my nail care products in. Here's what's included in the giveaway box (click the product title for a direct link to additional descriptions on the site), along with my thoughts of each product:

Pomegranate Cleansing Wipes-I am finding these very useful as a makeup remover, especially on the nights I'm feeling too lazy to wash my face! They are very effective, smell terrific, and leave my face feeling clean and soft. They're oil-free and contain Vitamin E, as well as Pomegranate Extract. The properties in Pomegranate Extract also act as a pore minimizer.

Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizer-this is an nice, lightweight moisturizer that includes an SPF 6. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated throughout the day and with no greasy feeling. It contains Wild Rose Oil and Vitamin C, along with a host of other natural ingredients for skin brightening, fine line reduction and an overall healthy and radiant glow. This one is recommended for normal to dry skin.

Lip Butter in Jasmine-I love their lip butters! The contain Shea butter for moisture and rice wax to seal in the hydration. I've gone through countless pots of these over the years and they give my lips a hint of color and shine. I use them alone or over another shade to add protection and shine.

Silicone Free 99% Natural Face Primer-I don't normally use a face primer, but so far, this one is very impressive. It minimizes my pores and seems to fill in lines without feeling like I've spackled my face in the process. It seems to give my finished look a smoother appearance and assists in an almost flawless application of my mineral powder.

Materia Herba Toning Cleansing Foam-this is doing a great job thoroughly cleansing my face and leaving it feeling refreshed, without a feeling of tightness. I've noticed that my face doesn't get oily at all during the day, and it may be due to the Salicylic acids in this. It's packed with many natural and organic ingredients, including floral water and olive leaf. This particular type is recommended for all skin types.

Lash-Strengthening Mascara with ProVitamin B5 and Rice Bran-this mascara (in black) has ingredients that nourish your eyelashes, in addition to providing length, thickness and color. I haven't used it long enough to be able to tell you that I've noticed a difference in the health of my lashes, but it definitely is a nice, buildable mascara that applies evenly and without clumping. It wears well throughout the day without flaking or smudging.

If you check out their web site, you'll be able to see their vast range of products, along with ingredient lists. I am finding that their products are of excellent quality and I consider them quite indulgent! Their packaging is well-made and attractive, and many of the products contained in the giveaway come from various lines that they offer containing a multitude of other products other words, if you like the Materia Herba facial cleanser, you might want to consider trying some other products in the Materia Herba line, such as the eye cream or moisturizer. If you sign up for their mailing list or join them here on Twitter, you'll receive additional specials and offers. They also have an International site which can be found here.

RULES: You must be a follower of some sort to enter. This can be through Twitter, Blog Lines, the Follower Box over on the right, and so on. You can become a follower if you aren't already, to take advantage of my giveaways. Leave your eMail below, and just for fun, mention if you've ever tried anything from the Korres line and any thoughts you had on it. I'll draw a random winner on Monday, November 30, so have your entries in by midnight Sunday, November 29. As always, International followers are welcomed.
*Products furnished by Korres USA

Tip Toe (Old Navy) After Party & A Purple Snowman Polish

Above & Below: Top Toe After Party shown outdoors in partial sun (above) and shade (below). No flash was used.
Below: In full sun, the micro glitter becomes more noticeable.
Below: Close-up of the finish. You can see some blue in there along with the red.
Below: After Party topped with a coat of one of the Blue Cross Snowman polishes, shown in full sun and shade. These have some great glitter in them in various shapes and colors, and can be found at Rite-Aid for $1.99. The bottles are difficult to hold when taking pictures though!

After Party is a dark purple shimmer that isn't as interesting as I thought it might be. The micro glitter is most notably red, but only comes out in brighter lighting or sunshine. It's not a bad shade, but I'm sure I have others that are similar. The Tip Toe polishes have excellent coverage though, and they're only $3.50 at Old Navy. Some of the colors are unique, while others are clearly dupeable. If you scroll down, you can see several of the other polishes I've swatched from their line. I used 2 coats with After Party, and then decided to top it off with the Blue Cross Snowman polish in the red-based purple shade. These don't have color names, but they're cute as can be because of the bottle. I have tried them all by themselves, and they're really too sheer to use alone, unless you take the time to do multiple (3-4) coats. They make excellent top coats though, because the glitter is densely packed and it distributes itself very evenly on the nail.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Orly Bloom 2010: Wild Wisteria, Pure Petunia & Ginger Lilly

Above & Below: L-R Wild Wisteria, Pure Petunia and Ginger Lilly.
Above & Below: The picture shown above is one coat of the cremes and 2 coats of the shimmer taken indoors, with flash. Below is taken outdoors in the rain, no flash.
I received 3 polishes yesterday which are part of Orly's Bloom Collection, due out in February. There are 6 polishes in this collection (you can read my original post about the collection here), and I know many of you were curious about the green shade, as was I. Unfortunately, that was not one of the shades I received, so we'll have to wait until they're available or someone else gets a hold of that one. The other one I really wanted to see was Ginger Lilly, which was included.
First, let me apologize for swatching them on wheels, but I'm trying to get ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow, cooking and cleaning, and you do not want to see my hands right now! I'm also in the midst of some German Shepherd Rescues (my other passion), and that can get very trying the day before a holiday when we're trying to save them and the shelters are trying to clear out what they can before a long weekend. Most of these dogs are in high-kill shelters, so there is always a sense of urgency before a holiday. You do the best you can, but it's difficult arranging and coordinating foster care, transport, and countless other things needed to save a life. It all becomes very political sometimes, which makes it difficult to stay focused on our purpose, but in the end, it's all worth it. Just as I see so many ignorant people mistreating and abusing animals, I thankfully see the opposite in the others I deal with who devote so much love and compassion, by volunteering countless hours of time and donating much-needed money in our German Shepherd community. I'll get off my soapbox now, but needless to say, my nails and hands don't look the greatest right now, and I don't have time to work on them!
Back to the polish...I've got to tell you, I'm not wowed by these. The purple creme, Wild Wisteria, looks like a deep grape purple shade in the bottle. Once I applied a coat to the nail wheel, it becomes quite dark, almost too dark in my opinion. I wanted the color in the bottle... a purple that looks purple. Pure Petunia, the deep lavender mauve creme is pretty, and it maintains the bottle color when transferred to the nail wheel, but surely I have a number of polishes that look very similar (Finger Paints Berry Shiny comes to mind). Ginger Lilly is the only one out of this collection that appears to be unique and different (keeping in mind I haven't seen the other 3 shades in person), other than possibly the green shade, Wandering Vines. Ginger Lilly is the lone shimmer in the collection and looks like a copper color in the bottle, almost. I would classify it as a burnt orange shade, but the shimmer adds a point of interest. If you move the bottle under a light, you can see the slightest element of red iridescence. Once on the nail wheel, it took on almost a deep pink iridescent look at various angles and you can clearly see a blackened base, although I see no trace of black or gray in the polish.
*Products furnished by LaForce-Stevens, for Orly Beauty.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sneak Peek: China Glaze Poolside~Coming April 2010

We haven't even had any snow yet and we're looking at Spring/Summer collections! That's alright with me though, these colors will make me happy and give me hope when the thermometer is hovering in the low teens and the snow is 2' deep. China Glaze will be releasing 'Poolside' as their Summer 2010 collection, due out in April. This came to me from Yen at Victoria Nail Supply as a word.doc, so I apologize for the slight lack of clarity in the image. Just click the image and it comes in much clearer. These shades are rather appealing to me, especially Flip Flop Fantasy and Kiwi Coolada...and guess what? They're NEONS!

Yen is hoping to have some swatches to share with us soon on the China Glaze Up & Away creme collection coming out in January. The promo pictures for that collection can be found on various sites and blogs, and as usual, it looks like a very nice selection of shades.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tip Toe (Old Navy) Midnight with a Snowman Top Coat

Above & Below: Tip Toe Midnight shown outdoors under cloudy skies with no flash.

Above & Below: Midnight, shown indoors with a flash.

Above: Close-up of Midnight. It has a black base with various shades of blue shimmer/glitter.
Above & Below: One coat of Blue Cross Snowman polish over Tip Toe Midnight.
Below: Close-up of the glitter in the Snowman polish.
This morning I have another polish from the Tip Toe brand, this one is called Midnight. If you missed my previous swatches from this line, just scroll down and you'll find a couple more. I've still got 3 to go, but I haven't had the time to sit down and do them all at once. Midnight is a fabulous shade of deep Royal blue with non-descript colored shimmer. In the bottle, it looks to have a red iridescence to it, which had me believing it had micro red glitter. It doesn't have red glitter at all on the nail, but I'm completely satisfied with this shade. Like the others, it covered perfectly in 2 coats. I decided to try out one of my Blue Cross Snowman polishes from Rite-Aid over the top and it works perfectly as a multi-colored holographic-filled glitter top coat. The Snowman polishes come in a variety of shades and the 3 glitter ones I bought all just have the name as Snowman on the label. What do you think of these Tip Toe polishes so far? I am really quite impressed with the shades and the application.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NOTN: Tip Toe (Old Navy) Cheers

Above & Below: Tip Toe Cheers is a bright cherry red creme that is shown outdoors in full sun. The coverage was great during the application, with no streaking. This is 2 coats.
Below: These pictures were also taken outdoors with no flash, and were taken in the shade. The finish is a very high gloss.

Below: Be warned if you have an aversion to short handles and stems! It still worked fine for me even though it's significantly smaller than the China Glaze one shown next to it. The brush itself is actually a bit wider and fuller.
My 'Nail of the Night' is another one from Old Navy's brand of polishes called Tip Toe. So far, I'm fairly impressed by these for a relatively ($3.50) inexpensive polish. If you missed my previous posts on this brand, scroll down and you can see a post on Gold Rush, and below that post, bottle pictures of the 6 shades I picked up. Cheers is a creme that looked to have a hint of fuchsia in the bottle, but once on the nail, it's actually a perfect shade of cherry red. I used 2 coats and the coverage was fantastic. It's not a shade that's anything unique, but I'm happy with it anyway.

I wanted to mention that the brush stem and cap/handle is very short on these, so if that bothers you, you'll want to pass on buying these. Surprisingly, the application was not hindered in any way. When I first saw it, I thought it may pose a problem, but it worked fine for me. The brush itself is somewhat wider than many other brands, and it splays out nicely, giving good coverage in just a couple of strokes.

NOTD: Tip Toe (Old Navy) Gold Rush

Above & Below: Shown outdoors in full sun with no flash. Depending on the angle, it looks brown, gold, or an olive gold.
Below: Shown outdoors with no flash in partial shade.
Below: Again, in full sun. You can see that the shimmer/glitter has some purple, red and gold tones in it.
Below: I added a coat of Essie's Matte About You for a deeper antique gold with black finish.

Below: A close-up of the bottle shows that there is some purple in the formula around the sides.
Below: Glitter detail close-up.
Yesterday I showed you bottle pictures of the Tip Toe brand polishes I picked up at Old Navy, and today I have Gold Rush, which was my favorite in the bottle form. I'm not disappointed now that I have it on, and it makes me excited to try out the others. I used 2 coats and touched up a few bald patches after the first coat. It dried quickly and I was happy and surprised to see how well it covered the nail. This is an interesting looks like an olive gold shade in the bottle, and you can actually see some purple around the edges of the bottle. During application , I noticed that it has a charcoal base, and I also noticed that it not only has very small gold glitter, but also additional glitter shades. I applied Essie's Matte About You, which gives it a deep burnished gold look with a black base. These retail for $3.50 and can be found in a canister at the check-out lane in Old Navy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tip Toe Polishes from Old Navy

Above & Below: L-R-Midnight, Memory, After Party, Pop, Gold Rush, Cheers. The bottles are sealed in plastic in the photos, so their color is slightly muted from that.

Above & Below: Close ups of Gold Rush (above) and Memory (below).
I stopped at Old Navy today and picked up some of their Tip Toe brand polishes for $3.50 each. I'll be trying them out later this week, and not surprisingly, Gold Rush (olive gold) caught my eye immediately. They're located in a canister at the check-out lane and they're all sealed with plastic, which I like. They're still sealed in the pictures, so if you see any odd reflection, that's why. There were probably another 6 or so shades that I didn't get, including a black creme, a red shimmer, and a frosty pink. The size of the bottle, which is square...another plus for me, is 4.5 fl. oz., so they're just a bit smaller than a traditional bottle. Here's a quick description of my shades:

Cheers-a red creme with a hint of fuchsia

Gold Rush-an olive gold shimmer with tiny gold and olive glitter

Pop-a tangerine orange shimmer with micro gold glitter

After Party-a purple shimmer with tiny red and blue glitter

Memory-an eggplant purple creme with slight brown undertones

Midnight-a deep royal blue shimmer with tiny red and purple glitter