Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Product Review: Reviva Labs Vitamin E Oil Stick

I've been reviewing some products from Reviva Labs and today I'd like to share my thoughts with you on their Vitamin E Oil Stick. This product is billed as a lip and under eye protectant and contains natural ingredients such as Soybean Oil, Candelilla Wax, Beeswax, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, and Vitamin E. This comes in a lipstick style tube and retails for $4.00. It can be found on their website, as well as chain stores such as GNC, Ulta, and many natural health type of stores. I've been using mine for about 2 weeks now and have been impressed not only with the effect on my lips, but also on the under eye area and my cuticles. This product has an SPF 15 and because it has a beeswax base, it seems to last longer on all areas of my skin. I am constantly applying some type of lip product, and this lightweight balm is perfect for me. I use it on my lips as a base before applying color, and also over the color to add shine. My lips are left soft, and even when the product wears off, they still feel moisturized. I also dab some on my under eye area for added protection and moisture, and even apply it to my cuticles to diminish the dryness. This is a clear product with no color, and it has no scent or flavor to speak of. I don't know that it's made for use on the cuticles, but it's a very portable product for that. I carry it in my purse and massage a small amount around my nails for instant softness and moisturization. The packaging is simple, the product is a multi-tasker, and the results are evident.
*Products featured in this post were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Essie 2010 Wedding Color Collection: Part I

Essie's 2010 Wedding Color Collection consists of six shades, three of which are shown below. The press release states "six elegant hues that add beautiful color on that special day."

Above: Show Me the Ring, an iridescent pearl, is the official description. It's a little more than that, because it has a golden flash amidst this off-white shimmer. The gold adds a nice touch to this one and gives me a reason to love it. Without the gold, it would not be nearly as appealing to me.
Above: Main Squeeze is described as a shimmering lilac creme, which also appears to be iridescent to me. In the bottle it looks to be a pale grey shimmer, but once on the nail, the lilac is evident.
Below: Walk Down the Aisle is said to be a fresh and creamy white. It's not a stark white, but rather a milky white that's a bit muted.
If I were a bride, I'd need to get some gel nails, because I cut mine off after spending the day doing yardwork yesterday! I know a lot of people, including myself, wanted a little more color on their nails when they got married. However, there is a market for soft, muted shades such as these. I looked online at some wedding sites to see what the nail styles were, and I wasn't surprised to see the majority of them wearing colors such as these or French nails in whites and pale pinks. The formula on my favorite, Show Me The Ring, was a 2-coater with no problems. The other 2 shades were a bit streaky after 3 coats and seemed a little on the thin side. After coming down from my excitement over the Resort Collection, while these are delicate and pretty, I'm personally more inclined to seek out polishes with a little more color to them.
*Products featured were provided by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Five 'New to Me' Orly Re-Promotes

Last month I saw some Orly polishes on a tabletop display at Sally Beauty that I thought were new, but they were actually re-promotes. I didn't have a number of them, so here are the ones I picked up.

Above: It's Up To Blue, a bright turquoise shimmer with a somewhat foil finish. I do have other shades that are similar, but one can never have too many turquoise shades for summer.
Above: Coffee Break is a neutral taupe creme with no grey undertones. It's actually more of a dark beige and does remind me of coffee with cream!
Above: Purple Crush is more of a hot pink or fuchsia tone to me, with an almost neon finish. It doesn't seem to dry to as glossy of a finish as a regular creme, so I'm going to classify this one as a neon.
Above: Naughty is a deep wine or burgundy creme that is definitely vampy. After the second coat, it's extremely dark, making it difficult to distinguish it's true color. I love the near jelly finish on this one.
Below: Passion Fruit is a fluorescent coral pink creme that I would also classify as a neon, due to the fact that it dries to a less-than-glossy finish.
I used 2 coats on all of these, and the only one that could've used 3 would have been Passion Fruit. These were in a cardboard display that had a tropical theme, although I can't recall what the name of the display was. At any rate, they're all re-promotes and a little strange as far as grouping these shades as a collection, because I didn't really see a theme that tied them altogether, much less a tropical one. Marketing at it's best though, because I still purchased some!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Revlon Scents of Summer~5 Swatches

Revlon Scents of Summer is a recent release that includes 8 scented shades. I picked mine up at Rite-Aid and passed on 3 of the colors--Gumdrop-a pale lavender creme, Bubble Gum-a fuchsia pink creme, and Beach-a lime green shimmer. Here are the shades I chose:

Above: Ocean Breeze, a shimmering turquoise with a sheen that reflects a bit of silver or gold, depending on the lighting.
Below: Grape Icy, a lighter violet shade with a hint of iridescent shimmer.
Below: Orange Pop, a vivid tangerine orange shimmer. When the light hits the shimmer, it takes on the slightest bit of pink tone.
Below: Peach Smoothie is a very pale peach creme with tiny gold glitter. The formula on this one stood out as the worst, which was disappointing.
Below: Cotton Candy is a delicate shade of pink with gold shimmer that seems to glow in the light. This one is also a creme, but the formula was not a problem.
I'm not sure why I buy these at $4.69 a piece and questionable formula (I used 3 coats on all of them), but I think it's partly for the novelty of the scent and partly because I've always loved Revlons. Although I must admit, their formula is not as good on the newer polishes as it was on the older ones. The scents are noticeable, but not in an irritating way. I personally don't smell them unless I'm sniffing my fingers, which isn't something I do on a regular basis! The only one that I was a little put off by was Ocean Breeze, because it smelled like men's aftershave to me, and not a good one at that. The others smell fruity or like candy, but if I was doing a blind sniff test, I'm quite certain I couldn't discern what they were specifically.
My thoughts on the shades themselves are good. Of the 5 I chose, Peach Smoothie was the only disappointment. The formula didn't apply evenly and it was on the thick side. I was also a little let down by the color itself, because against my skin tone it's almost more of a beige than a peach. Orange Pop is a fantastic color, probably my favorite of the 5--bright and cheery with beautiful shimmer. This will make a nice color for a pedicure, too. Ocean Breeze is from my favorite color family, so it's got an automatic advantage. The finish is a bit foil-like, but it's still beautiful. Grape Icy is a nice lighter purple shade and again, the shimmer in this won me over. Cotton Candy is a close second behind Orange Pop for me because of it's dainty color and gold shimmer. This one reminds me of the inside of a sea shell in color, and it applied very nicely for a light color with a creme finish.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Barielle Summer 2010 Collection: High Steppin' ~ Part II

Barielle's Summer 2010 Collection, High Steppin' is a six piece set of disco-inspired shades. Below are the last 3, and you can find my post showing the first 3 just below this one. First up is Freestyle, described as a cool metallic mint with silver glitter.

Above & Below: This is a lighter shade of mint green with a finish that is somewhat frost, somewhat metallic. The small silver glitter is plentiful in this shade and adds a nice touch of glamour. I used 3 coats in these photos.
Below: Passion Pirouette is a grape metallic purple with a bit of a foil finish. This covered very nicely in 2 coats and yes, there are some brush strokes due to the metallic finish, but it's a very pretty polish regardless. You can see a bit of silver veining in the bottle, and translate that to the nail, and you get a delicate veil of silver over the purple.
Below: Belly Dance, is a nude taupe with shimmer that is subtle, yet noticeable. I'm starting to get quite a collection of taupes and the closest one I have to this in finish and color, is probably Maybelline Opti-Mist-Ic, which is a bit lighter in hue than Belly Dance.
In my opinion, the favorite among the six is definitely going to be one I showed you in Part I, Electric Boogie. They're all nice shades and the formula was very good on all of them, but I wasn't really 'wowed' by any, other than Electric Boogie. I love the shimmer in Belly Dance and I like the tone of this taupe. Passion Pirouette is a very pretty shade, and as I mentioned above, the color seems to have a slight silver cast over the top, especially in darker lighting. It reminds me of grapes in the Fall with a coating of frost over them. Freestyle should be popular simply because it's a mint shade, but the finish is not one of my favorites, although the silver glitter is definitely a nice touch. The color range of this collection is such that all of the shades can be used during every season--not just Summer, which makes them appealing as well. What do you think of this collection? Do you see any shades that you love?
*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Barielle Summer 2010 Collection: High Steppin' ~ Part I

Shades by Barielle Gets Groovy With Summer 2010 Polish Collection High Steppin'. For summer 2010, boogie down with new disco-inspired nail polishes in the High Steppin' collection from Shades by Barielle. Six metallic hues and Barielle's signature healthy "3-free" formulation make hands and feet dance with style.

Flashing back to the 70's, get groovy with Electric Boogie--an inky metallic blue with teal glitter; shake it up with Belly Dance--a nude taupe with shimmer; party until dawn with Night Moves--a sparkling metallic silver; turn it around with Passion Pirouette--a grape metallic purple; sway to the style with Slow Motion--a light metallic lavender and let loose with Freestyle--a cool metallic mint with silver glitter.

Celebrity Manicurist Elle says, "When creating this collection, we wanted to pump up the volume on nail hues. Inspired by bright summer whites, we injected some high-voltage color into any look from bikini to boardwalk."

Above & Below: Electric Boogie is truly stunning (that's why it has more photos!). The text above is from Barielle's press release and unless I'm misunderstanding something, this is not a metallic. It's a deep sapphire blue shimmer with teal glitter that flashes the most beautiful blue-green with the slightest movement (the glitter flashes, not the polish). I was amazed at not only the color itself, but the coverage was excellent. I used 2 coats and could easily have gotten away with just 1.
Below: Slow Motion is what I would call a pearlescent lavender-gray metallic. I used 2 coats and for a metallic, the brush strokes were minimal. This takes on more of a grey look in brighter lighting, although you can definitely see the underlying lavender. It's color is subtle, but the finish adds an element of elegance.
Below: Night Moves reminds me of Orly's Foil FX polishes, only the shimmer is much finer. It's a very bright silver, and has both a foil and glitter finish. This also was done using 2 coats.
Below: A Macro shot of the finishes.
This collection has a wide range of colors and finishes, and although they may not seem like colors that we equate with summer, they are definitely colors that will work well with the season and add some fun to your style. When I read the press release, I got a little nervous thinking they were all metallics, in the sense of 'metallic=brush strokes'. Passion Pirouette and Slow Motion are the only two that are what I would consider metallics. The formula was very good on these, and just the right consistency. All three of the shades I've tried so far are nice, but Barielle has a way of making darker glitters like no one else--remember Blackened Bleu--and Electric Boogie is no exception. I literally gasped upon the first stroke! If you scroll down to my first post today, you can see bottle pictures of the entire collection. I'll be posting the other 3 shades tomorrow. Oddly, I don't see a release date noted, but I would imagine they should be available before the end of April.
*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Essie 2010 Resort Collection Swatches

Perfect formula. All creme finishes. Beautiful summer shades reminding me of sandy beaches, cool blue green waters, tropical flowers...where's my margarita and Jimmy Buffet? Introducing Essie's Summer 2010 Collection, Resort. Available May 2010.

Above & Below: Turquoise & Caicos, a flirty and pretty tropical aqua.
Below: A bottle comparison L-R: Orly Gumdrop, Essie Greenport, Essie Turquoise & Caicos, Quirius Jamaican Dream, Essie Mint Candy Apple.
Below: A very quick side-by-side showing Turquoise & Caicos on the left and Northport on the right.
Below: Lapis of Luxury, a dreamy ocean blue.
Below: Playa Del Platinum, an elegant and sheer sandy gray.
Below: Splash of Grenadine, a playful magenta pink.
I tried to photograph all four of these in 3 types of lighting: outdoors in full sun, indoors with an Ott lamp, and indoors under a skylight with no flash. The colors, being cremes, stay true in any lighting and are quite pigmented. I had no application problems, as the formula on all of them was perfect. I used 2 coats and they all covered nicely. They were a bit streaky on the first coat, but nothing that the second coat couldn't conceal. I'm very impressed with these--I love the shades themselves, the formula was excellent, and the names are cute and catchy (the color descriptions above are from the press release). I didn't see any duplicates in my stash, and although some reminded me of other polishes, when I compared them, they were indeed different.
What do you think? Do you see any you think you'll be getting?

Great Polish Day! Essie Resort, Barielle Summer 2010 & Essie Wedding

Wow! What a fun day this is turning out to be! I wasn't really expecting any of these, at least not just yet, so imagine my delight when I came home to find packages with all of these beautiful collections.

Above: Essie Resort Collection: L-R Lapis of Luxury, Turquoise & Caicos, Playa Del Platinum, Splash of Grenadine.
Above & Below: Barielle Summer 2010 High Steppin', a six piece set of metallic hues, all disco-inspired! L-R: Electric Boogie, Slow Motion, Freestyle, Passion Pirouette, Night Moves, Belly Dance. Below is Protect Plus Color Nail Strengthener, which was also in the box. I haven't read the information yet, but I'm assuming it's a new product. I love the concept of Barielle's Strengthener mixed with color.
Above: Essie Wedding 2010 L-R: Walk Down the Aisle, Pillow Talk, Main Squeeze, BBF Best Boyfriend, Show Me the Ring, Petal Pink.
Below: Poor Petal Pink didn't fare well in transport. I'll move it into another bottle and hopefully it will be fine.
I need to get some swatching done, don't I? I don't even know where to begin. It's times like this that I wish I have more hands!
*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Borghese Summer 2010: Tutti Gelati Collection

My Rite-Aid was stocked with all kinds of new polishes and collections today, so let's start with what I picked up from the Borghese Summer 2010 Collection, Tutti Gelati. There are 2 other shades that I opted not to get, Limoncello, a very pale yellow shimmer, and a light violet creme that I can't recall the name of.

Above & Below: Menta looks so pigmented in the bottle, but after 4 coats, this is what it looks like. The formula is extremely thin and although it does build up, I'm afraid it's going to take too many more to make it completely opaque. The color is a tealish turquoise in the bottle, but once on, I would describe it as a watery darker aqua shade. It has a little bit of the RBL Scrangie effect--hard to explain, but that burst of color that radiates from the center.
Below: Pistacchio was not quite as thin as Menta, but it was definitely thinner than I anticipated. I used 3 coats to get this look. This is a lighter shade of emerald green and also a shimmer.
Below: The collection's namesake polish, Tutti Gelati, is a wonderful pink creme with a hint of silver shimmer. This applied beautifully in 2 coats.
Below: Maraschino is a coral creme and like Tutti Gelati, it applied nicely in 2 coats. This one is a true coral with a slightly more orange tint to it than red, but not so much that I would define it as an orange based coral.
I truly thought I would love Menta and Pistacchio the most, and in theory, I do. The shades are beautiful, especially Menta, but I was disappointed that the coverage was not what I expected. The formula on Tutti Gelati and Maraschino are excellent, and although I likely have similar colors, these did not disappoint me at all. The shimmer in Tutti Gelati is subtle but noticeable, and it's a perfect shade of pink. I adore coral shades of all kinds, and Maraschino is right in the middle of the coral range--not too red, not too orange.
I also picked up some Sally Hansen Insta-Dri's from a new display, some of Revlon's new Scents of Summer Shades, a few Sally Hansen Complete Salon shades I hadn't seen before (I don't think they're anything brand new though), and some of the CQ and Petites in the newly designed bottles. And I wonder why my untried's never seem to diminish!