Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reminder: Anchors Away Giveaway Ends 12/31/10!

Just a quick reminder that my Anchors Away Giveaway ends 12/31/10 at midnight! If you'd like to enter, you can find all of the details here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bottle Pictures of Forsythe/Cosmetic Arts!

We've had a rather trying day here, so I'm escaping into my blog for a little while as a diversion. I wanted to share this swap I received from my lovely reader Amy, which was a bright spot in a not so bright day. I also am very excited that Katie Cazorla, who is the owner of The Painted Nail Salon and the star of the upcoming reality show The Nail Files, left a comment on this post I wrote about her yesterday! So thank you ladies for bringing smiles to my face today.

First and foremost, I wanted to mention that my beloved mother-in-law passed away early this morning which was and wasn't a surprise to us, but still a very deep loss. She had been in a state of declining health for quite a while now, but she always managed to bounce back. She gave it a good fight and we are very thankful that she left us peacefully, but we will forever love and miss her. She will be remembered as a fun and happy lady who loved her children and grandchildren more than anything, and as someone who had a zest and passion for living life to the fullest.

Last month I told you about a new line from Forsythe Cosmetics, who also manufactures the Color Club line. The new Cosmetic Arts line is only available at Fred Meyers stores, but I'm told by Forsythe that they will be expanding into other retail markets. You can view the post and collection photos here. Amy kindly offered to pick one up for me, and surprised me with two! They're both from the Winter/Holiday Collection, they're both green, and they're both stunning. But All The Trimmings is my new love!

Above: All The Trimmings looks to be a slightly muted Kelly green with crushed metallic shimmer and glitter, while You Sleigh Me is a more Olive green with a similar finish.

Below: But oh my, look closer at the many personalities that All The Trimmings was hiding from us in that first picture!

Below: Let's see if we can't coax a little more show out of it!

Below: Don't be shy, show us your true colors!

Thank you Amy for sending these over! I can't wait to swatch them both and I can't wait for Forsythe to expand the market so we can all share in their beauty.

SJ Creations Pure Body Organics Pink Grapefruit Hydrating Hand Creme

I was recently sent a tube of Pure Body Organics Hydrating Hand Creme in Pink Grapefruit from a new-to-me company, SJ Creations. This product is from their Pure Organics line and they also have two additional product lines, SJ Everyday Bath & Body, and Fancy Nancy. They have an extensive product selection on their web site that includes facial skin care, bath and body products, gift sets, hand soaps, and fragrances, among other things. One thing I always look at in a company is their charitable side, and SJ Creations definitely has one. They are currently working with 6 charitable organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Serving Hands International, Heart for Africa, Breast Cancer Awareness, International Relief Teams, and the University of San Diego scholarship programs.

Check out their web site to see all of the products they offer! They have a very helpful feature that is an encyclopedia of product ingredients and their full descriptions, which you can find here. They also have a sale page with some super cute items and super low prices--right now it's featuring Halloween items including hand washes with very festive packaging and enticing scents (Pumpkin Spice Harvest and Wicked Candy Apple, for example) for just $3.50. You can purchase their products on line or at a number of retail stores including Bed Bath & Beyond, Ulta, and Trader Joe's. Click here for a full list of locations.

Now for my thoughts and some additional information on the Pure Body Organics Pink Grapefruit Hydrating Hand Creme. This product comes in a 4 oz. tube and is on sale right now for $4.50, which is half off. The formula is fairly thick and it smells just like a slightly sweet pink grapefruit. It absorbs quickly and leaves a light fragrance. It's available in 2 other scents, Lavender and Organic Green Tea & Ginger. It's also available in a fragrance-free version. I find this creme to be very moisturizing and long-lasting, and it leaves absolutely no greasy residue. These cremes are filled with hydrating essential oils and you can view the full ingredient list here. Some more useful information:

~100% paraben free with no sodium lauryl sulfates, this hand crème is also silicon and petroleum free.

~Made with Eco-Cert certified ingredients, there are no artificial colors and no synthetic fragrances.

~100% biodegradable and has never been tested on animals.

~Made in USA

I'm very pleased with this product and SJ Creations in general--from their pricing, to their philosophy, to their product ingredients. What I like the most about the Hydrating Hand Creme is the scent and how quickly it absorbs, leaving my hands feeling much more moisturized than many other products. If you're looking for an effective and reasonably priced hand creme, I highly recommend this one.

*Product featured was furnished by SJ Creations for review.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Nail Files Reality Show Launches Nubar Line Partnership

A month or so ago I made mention of a new reality series that will be premiering on the TV Guide network called The Nail Files, and I have a little more information on that. The show is centered around Katie Cazorla, who is the owner of The Painted Nail Salon in Sherman Oaks, California. It's scheduled to air in mid-2011 and the salon has recently partnered with Nubar and launched a product line that includes 18 nail polish shades, along with additional nail treatments and body care products.

Oddly, I only have but a handful of Nubar shades in my collection, so I can't tell you if any of The Painted Lady shades are dupes. Maybe some of you who are more familiar with their polishes can take a closer look at the polishes here and give us your opinion. The polishes retail for $12.50 and some of them look very pretty, so I *need* to know if there are possible dupes before I get sucked in and order a couple of them! I seldom watch TV, but I do think I'll check this show out!

Twilight Beauty Product Swatches~50% Off Site-Wide Sale!

Last week I mentioned that Twilight Beauty was having a 50% off site-wide sale through 12/31, and today I have some more products to show you from them. You don't have to be a fan of the Twilight movie series to appreciate these products! I fell in love with their polishes--the bottle design was what first drew me in--and have found their formula to be excellent. I'm anxiously waiting and keeping my fingers crossed that they'll add some new shades soon. I've found their other products to be of equally high quality and also packaged in eye-pleasing designs.

Below: Red Velvet is a perfect red cream shade with a high gloss jelly finish. Two coats gives you all the coverage you need, and the formula flows nice and even. Sale price $3.49.

Below: Femme Fatale Lip Gloss in '53 Chevy is from their Luna Twilight line. This full-sized (0.17 oz.) gloss comes packaged in a box and is in a heavy acrylic tube with a brush applicator. The gloss is slightly translucent and nicely pigmented. It's glossy as opposed to sticky, and I haven't found it to be drying to my lips. This product is available in 10 shades. Sale price $10.
Below: '53 Chevy is a mid-tone berry shade and filled with tiny gold and fuchsia light-reflecting glitter particles.

Below: First Light Face Glow, also from the Luna Twilight line, is primarily a face illuminator used to add a subtle sheen or glow to your skin. It can also be used to add a delicate shimmer to your legs, arms and décolleté. I've been using it to highlight my cheek bones before applying a sheer blush over it, or adding a little to my facial moisurizer for an overall brightening look. I know this product will get a lot of use from me in the Summer months. This is packaged in a heavy acrylic bottle (0.74 oz.) with a pump style applicator. You only need to use a tiny amount of this, so it's going to last quite a while. Sale price $12.

Below: The Face Glow is a golden sheen without glitter. I have noticed in some lighting that it takes on a very pale copper look, but this swatch is true to color. I have a product called Michael Kors Leg Shine that I love using (when my legs are tan!). This seems to have a similar concept--just massage a small amount along your shin bone to add a little sheen.

I shouldn't have accessed their site to get some of these links, because now I want the Team Jacob Palette! That sage eye shadow color is calling my name, but it's out of stock--noooooooo! I have the Bella Palette, and I love the portability of it and the quality of the products, although most of them are too light for my skin tone. I wasn't thinking about that obviously when I ordered it. And then I just saw the Enrapture Lip Gloss for only $6.00. A black lip gloss that goes on clear with gold shimmer and a licorice scent.

Do you have any products from Twilight Beauty? I need more ideas, because it would be silly to just order the Enrapture Lip Gloss, right? I need to justify my shipping!

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kelier Black Crack Polish

Born Pretty sent me some of their nail products to check out and the first one I'll share with you is their Kelier Crack Polish in black. I used one coat over a red creme shade and it took approximately 3 minutes to "crack". It retained a high gloss finish, and it seemed to adhere well. I will mention that I tried it over a glitter polish initially, and the adhesion was not as good. It seems to works very well with creme and shimmer finishes though.

I tried this polish over a couple of other shades and depending on your base polish, the crackle effect will vary in the pattern that emerges. Over creme shades, I always ended up with an evenly distributed pattern that was similar to what is shown. Over shimmer polishes, I ended up with a finer, more delicate crack pattern. Born Pretty offers 7 shades of their crack polishes, and they retail for $4.08 for one. The more you buy, the more you save.

Born Pretty carries a wide variety of nail polishes, cosmetics, and nail art supplies. It appears that they accept PayPal, and there is a section on their website for discount coupon codes. Information of their shipping costs can be found here.

*Product featured was furnished by Born Pretty Store for review.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Ulta Envy & Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you're all enjoying good times with your family and friends, and that Santa delivered all of your wishes! I'm wearing my first Ulta polish, Envy. I used 2 coats and was very impressed with how nice the formula was. This is a deep Emerald green shimmer with an added bonus of aqua micro glitter mixed in.

I'm going to go take a nap now. This holiday craziness has taken a toll on me, but it's been very enjoyable!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

BB Couture Wild West Collection~Courtesy of Lextard!

Check out the link here to be re-directed to Lextard's blog for a quick look at BB Couture's newest collection, Wild West! If you aren't familiar with Alexa's blog, she's got a gorgeous set of nails and I know you'll enjoy her style!

Sephora Beauty Insiders 20% Off Sale Items

I received an eMail from Sephora for Beauty Insiders to receive 20% off sale items here. The sale doesn't officially begin until 12/26, but I think you can start shopping the sale now. Use code EXTRA.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Barielle 2010 Holiday Hustle Collection: Jess' Champagne Toast

I'm a little late posting Holiday 2010 collections with this one, but Barielle had to resend them because the first set never made it--so somewhere, there may be a UPS man wearing this shade too! I'm kidding, I love my men in brown! I'd like to post them all at once, but hectic holiday chores and the fact that my mother-in-law broke her leg today are cutting into my blogging time! Best wishes to my mother-in-law, who will now have to spend the holidays in the hospital. It's just a mile away from us, so we'll be able to visit with her. Now to the polish, Jess' Champagne Toast, one of 6 shades in Barielle's Holiday Hustle Collection.

Jess' Champagne Toast caught my eye right away, with its lilac hue and assortment of small multi colored glitter. This shade changes from a lilac base to a more grey base depending on the lighting. It has a metallic finish, and the prominent glitter shade is a medium-toned fuchsia in the bottle. Once on the nail, the fuchsia glitter appears as more of a rose shade, and the other colors become very subtle.

Barielle describes this shade as a metallic violet with rose gold glitter.
This is a metallic finish, but I didn't have any issues with brush strokes. I used 2 coats and it seemed to cover well, although I now notice a lighter area on my index finger that could use another hit. The finish looks somewhat grainy, but it is smooth to the touch. A top coat was used in these photos, because like some metallic shades, the gloss factor is on the low side. I can't think of anything like this shade off-hand, and while I do like it, I'm a little disappointed that the glitter doesn't make itself more evident on the nail.

Barielle is available at Ulta stores, and

*Product featured was furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Fragrance: Gucci Guilty

I always like to pick up a fragrance or two during Sephora's Friends & Family 20% off sale, and this year one of my choices was Gucci Guilty. Do you think the packaging had anything to do with my selection?!! I often wonder how many products I'd have left if I only kept the ones I loved, regardless of how much I love their packaging. Luckily, I do enjoy the scent of this as much as I do the gleaming gold container with the interlocking "G" design.

The scent is soft, but I use a quick spray on my wrists and neck and that seems to be just the right amount. It's a fairly long-lasting fragrance--I can still faintly smell it at the end of the day, and I think it's perfect for Fall and Winter. It's a light fresh scent, somewhat floral and a little sweet, but not sickeningly sweet at all. I get compliments on this scent every time I wear it--warm, rich, a clean scent, and a hint of sexy. I don't have any decent perfume counters in my town, so I have to rely on those paper inserts in magazines, which is certainly not the best way! It worked out well with Gucci Guilty though.

Notes: Mandarin, Pink Pepper, Peach, Lilac, Geranium, Amber, Patchouli
Price: $55 for 1 oz.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Massini/Studio M Sugar Plums & Oh Joy!

Here's two more shades from Massini/Studio M's Cozy Up To Color Holiday 2010 Collection. Yesterday I shared Tinsel Time with you, and Oh Joy is another nice layering polish, much like that one only in white instead of gold. First up is Sugar Plums, a violet shimmer with a light sprinkling of tiny multi colored glitter. This shade has a slight duo chrome tendency with some red and blue flash. There are a lot of shades out there much like this one, but I like the added multi colored glitter in this. I used two coats and photographed it with an Ott lamp in the first picture, and with a flash in the second picture.

Below: Oh Joy! is a very jelly textured sheer white shade filled with a multitude of tiny multi colored glitter. Like Tinsel Time, this one also shifts around on the nail giving it a touch of duo chrome and even a little bit of a gradient look when the light hits it from different angles.

I wasn't quite sure how the two layering polishes (Oh Joy! and Tinsel Time) work look on the nail--you just never know! Even though they look to have potential in the bottle, there have been times when I've been disappointed once I've applied these types of shades on the nail. But these are not disappointing me at all, and I look forward to seeing more possibilities from them!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Essence Underwater Layered With Massini/Studio M Tinsel Time

I mentioned earlier that I had my first Ulta experience over the weekend, and one of the things I picked up was Essence Underwater. This is a nice slightly muted, little bit dusty teal creme with very, very subtle brighter blue shimmer. This is my first foray into Essence polishes, and I thought the brush--although not bad--was a little less than desirable, the formula seemed nice (2 coats), and the 99¢ price tag was even nicer! Nothing too extraordinary, but I'm sure I'll buy more from this line in the future.

Below: But this. Ooh, pretty! I was on the phone in my darkened office talking to one of those relatives that you really don't want to pick up for when you see the number on the caller ID--c'mon, I'm not a bad person, really I'm not! But maybe you have one of those relatives too, so you can relate! Anyway, I put on the Essence color in the dark, managed to photograph it, all the while half-listening to the voice on the phone that sounded much like that of Charlie Brown's teacher. Then I decided to put 2 coats of Massini/Studio M/aka Color Club Tinsel Time over the Essence. This is such a gorgeous polish with a very pale gold almost clear base and an abundant amount of fine gold glitter. I'm looking forward to playing with it as a top coat over other shades.

Look at that liquid gold in the bottle! Tinsel Time is from Studio M's Cozy Up To Color Holiday 2010 Collection. It turned the teal into more of a green shade and it added sort of a gold patina look. If you're familiar with the shade Wild & Willing from Color Club's Wild at Heart Collection, Tinsel Time has a similar concept. The color itself is sheer, but it has the same slight duo chrome tendencies as Wild & Willing--not that either are true duo chromes, because they're not. But the color on both shades shifts around over the nail giving the illusion of duo and multi chromatic looks with subtle color changes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reminder! Giveaway Deadlines Coming Up!

We're heading out of town for the day tomorrow, so in case I don't get a chance to post anything, I wanted to remind everyone that the Reviva Labs Hydrating Mini Spa Facial Giveaway ends Monday morning. You can read the details and enter here!

As long as I'm talking about reminders, don't forget that the China Glaze Anchors Away Giveaway (wish it was a Tronica giveaway--hopefully soon!) runs until 12/31/10. Details for that contest can be found here.

Orly Precious Spring 2011 Collection

Let's tone things down a bit from our excitement over the China Glaze Tronica Collection, shall we? Here's a look at the Orly Spring 2011 Collection, simply called Precious. I think it's a nice Spring collection with some subtle feminine shades, the ever-trendy mint green variation, and a couple of darker hues. Ancient Jade and Gilded Coral are my favorites based on this ad I spotted in the January issue of NailPro Magazine. What do you think, any favorites?

Friday, December 17, 2010

China Glaze: Tronica Specialty Collection

I don't know any more than the information below, but I do know that the word "Holographic" in the description is all I need to know! My guess is that the China Glaze Tronica Specialty Collection should be available within the next month or two, because I saw this ad in the January issue of NailPro Magazine. Once again, thank you China Glaze for listening to your customers and making our nail polish wishes come true!

"Futuristic and edgy, the China Glaze Tronica Specialty Collection is a holographic 3D selection of evolutionary and fun nail colors. These 12 colors are fashion forward, high-tech, bold, sleek and sure to change the face of the nail world! With names such as "Hyper Haute" and "Gamer Glam", China Glaze combines the two worlds of innovative technology and high fashion color to create a collection that is sure to stimulate all the senses."

China Glaze Crackle Glaze Print Ad

We're all excited for the crackle polishes coming soon from China Glaze, aren't we? I just saw this ad in the January issue of Nails Magazine, and now I'm even more excited!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1/2 Off Twilight Beauty Sale & Some Product Swatches!

Twilight Beauty is having a 1/2 off sale through December, so I thought I'd show you some of their products. I ordered several of products last summer, and they also sent me some products for review. Their NOX polishes are now priced at $3.49, and everything else is 1/2 off too. So if you're a Twilight fan (which I am not!) or just want to check out some of their products, now is the time.

Above: Here's what I'll be showing you today, and I've listed the current pricing-Twilight Reign Scented Body Mist ($9.00), Bella Color Palette ($14.00), Twilight Venom Lip Stain ($8.00), Twilight Venom Blush Lip Stain ($8.00), NOX Nail Polish in Citrus ($3.49. Their gift sets contain a lot of these products in one set, and those are currently priced at $28.00.

Above & Below: Citrus is a peachy pink tone that's lightly veiled with gold shimmer. As with all of the NOX polishes I've tried, 2 coats gives an opaque look and the formula is very nice--smooth and no streaking. These photos were taken with no flash and it tends to lean more toward the peach side. The last photo was taken with a flash, and it shows as a pinker shade in brighter lighting.

Below: Reign Body Mist (note: mine is copper in color, and I noticed the one on their web site is now showing as a blue color) comes in a 1.36 fl. oz. heavy plastic spray bottle. The formula is a gel, and it contains a small amount of glitter once applied. It looks like it would have a high sparkle factor on the skin, but it's not all that noticeable once applied. The scent has light notes of pure Vanilla.

Below: The Twilight Venom Lip Stains by DuWop (.10 fl. oz.) come in a blush shade (pale pink) and a deep crimson stain (darker red). Both of these products are also lip plumpers and I do believe I notice a little bit of plumping when I use them. They're slightly minty, but don't tingle too strongly at all. The Blush adds a very slight touch of color, while the Venom is a deep red shade. They are long-lasting and they don't dry my lips out, as I've noticed with some plumping products.

Below: Venom is on the left, while Blush is shown on the right. As you can see, Blush is subtle, but it does add some color in a very natural look. These are stains, and I generally add some clear gloss over the top. I don't notice Blush wearing away because it's more like a 'my lips but better' color enhancer. Venom lasts and lasts, noticeably! It's still obvious hours later.

Below: The Bella Color Palette contains 2-lip glosses, 2-eye shadows, and one blush. This palette is small, about the size of a credit card. Their palettes come in a variety of colors, and I'll warn you that Bella is very 'pale' in color! The products in this palette all apply nicely, but because they're so pale in contrast to my skin tone, it's hard to tell how well they wear because they don't show up much on me at all. They'd likely work better on someone with a lighter complexion, particularly the shadows and blush.

Below: These are the 2 glosses that are shown on the left side of the palette. As much as I scrubbed off the Venom Lip Stain swatch, it's still a little visible in the swatch on the right. Both shades of gloss have a high shine and nice wear, but they're quite sheer.

Below: Look closely, there is some color there! This photo shows the powdered products--the blush is (barely visible!) on the top, and the two eye shadows are in the middle and bottom positions.
If you've got any Twilight fans on your Christmas list, these are some great prices available now. I love their polishes, and while I think their make up is good quality, the shades in that palette are just too pale for my coloring. The lip stains work well both in color and the slight plumping effect that they give, and I have always enjoyed the light scent of Reign and its delicate sparkle. Their packaging is all nice if you like packaging--always a factor to me!
*Some of the products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alima Holiday 2010 LE Fairy Tale Collection

Alima has several limited edition holiday gift sets available, and they sent me the Fairy Tale Collection to review. There are actually 2 sets in this collection which are available at a cost of $25 each. $2 from the sale of each set will be donated to the Global Fund for Women. I have always heard high praise for Alima, but have never tried their products until now. These eco-friendly and all natural products apply very nicely and wear well. I tend to shy away from loose mineral make up when it comes to eye shadow not because I don't like them, but because I haven't used them enough to master their application! I use these shadows with a slightly damp brush and I'm impressed by the pigmentation and the lack of fall-out...that's always my biggest fear. The shades are pretty and sparkly, but not over-the-top sparkle. And yes, they work very well as nail polish also, as you'll see below.

Below: The top row below shows the Happily Ever After Collection, and the bottom row is the Once Upon A Time Collection.

Below: The sets came wrapped neatly and they included loads of reading material, which I always enjoy and appreciate.

Below: The Once Upon A Time Collection contains 4 eye shadows, all very finely milled with a slight iridescent and a slight foil look. Alima describes the colors as follows-Enchanted Forest-is a soft taupe sprinkled with gold and silver shimmer, Spun Gold-is a deeper golden shade that may or may not match the princess' golden locks, Glass Slipper-is a soft, silvery yellow, Fairy Godmother-is a medium purple with a generous serving of silver sparkles. The first photo was taken indoors with no flash, while the second photo was taken with an Ott lamp.

Below: The Happily Ever After Collection contains 3 multi-purpose products, all with a delicate sparkle. The End-is the final touch, an almost black eyeliner, sparked with diamond-like silver shimmer, Magic Wand-is a magical, do-anything nude shimmer with multi-toned sparkle that can be word on the eyes, cheeks or décolleté, Poison Apple-is a rosy blush with a peachy shimmer.

Below: Naturally, I felt the need to see how these would work when added to clear nail polish, and I'm happy to say that they work very nicely! I only tried one, but I'll be experimenting with the others soon. I didn't need to add much product to the clear at all, and it produced a very pigmented look using 2 coats. The sparkle and color intensified quite a bit, and the application was fine.

I'm really enjoying playing around with the Fairy Tale Collection shades. Normally I make such a mess with loose minerals, that I just give up. The colors are all so pretty though, that I really hoped I could make them work without too much of a mess, and I haven't had any problems! Mineral powder is what I normally wear instead of foundation, so I'm going to check out their range of foundations to see if I can find my perfect match.

Have you ever tried Alima products? If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them. I sense an order in the making after trying these!
*Products featured were furnished by Alima for review.