Wednesday, June 30, 2010

China Glaze In The Mood-Color Changing (slightly!) Polish

I say slightly in my post title, because while the old China Glaze In the Mood Color Changing polishes may not all be as chameleon-like as other brands, they're still fun to have as a collector. I don't know when these were originally released, but I do know that there were almost 50 different shades, and many of them are more dramatic in their changing ability than this particular one.

Above & Below: These are activated by body temperature, but the only way I've ever been able to get it to change color is by running my hands under cold water. That kind of takes some of the fun out of it though! If you're wondering why my hand is all wet, that's why. The name of this is simply Pink to Silver, and it's a very pale pink creme with tiny silver glitter. As you can see on my pinkie and ring fingers below, it turns more white than silver, but it's very subtle.
When we moved into our house 3 years ago, I stashed some boxes in the basement that were filled with items I don't use too much, like old china, books, and that sort of thing. I just knew I had some old polishes that I haven't been able to find, and I decided to take a quick look in those boxes yesterday. I did find 8 polishes stashed inside of a smaller box, and some of those were the China Glaze In the Mood polishes. I know there's more somewhere, so I'll have to keep looking. Do you have any of these in your collection? An old roommate of mine from college sent me some of these years ago, but if you know when they were released, I'd like to know!

Lippmann's: Funky Chunky, Marquee Moon, Brown Eyed Girl

In anticipation of Lippmann's stunning shades coming out soon, the All That Jazz trio and Across the Universe, I thought I'd show you some other Lippmann shades I have. We'll start with the most challenging one for me anyway, Funky Chunky.

Above & Below: Well, this is interesting, isn't it? Funky Chunky is a near black creme with small hexagon shaped black sequin glitter. The first coat was very thin, but it allowed me to see the glitter much better than a second coat does, which is shown in these photos. As you can see in the macro shot below, the sequin glitter is quite interesting, but unfortunately, what you see on the nail looks more like black chunks with indiscernible shape or color.
Below: Marquee Moon, a nice shade of medium silver shimmer, gave me more hope, but also a sense of glitter placement trepidation. Maybe I need to get the idea out of my head that polishes with larger glitter pieces need to be uniformly placed. I was satisfied with the coverage of polish after 2 coats, but I went with 3 hoping to coax some of that glitter out of the bottle and onto my nail. I don't think I was very successful!

Below: The photos above were taken outdoors in the sunlight, and give a fairly true picture of what this polish looks like. I was pleasantly surprised by the look of the glitter when I got into less sunlight.

Below: Ahhh, my fear of glitter placement has subsided! Brown Eyed Girl doesn't have any glitter, but it is laced with beautiful gold shimmer. This is a deep russet brown shade that covered beautifully in 2 coats. I don't need a lot of motivation to buy a polish based on it's name--I have brown eyes, and I like Van Morrison. Yes, it's just that simple sometimes! The first photo below was taken in the sun, while the next photo was taken indoors with a flash.

You can drool over Lippmann's soon to be released polishes on the Nordstrom web site here. They look absolutely beautiful, don't they?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OPI Mad As A Hatter & A Distant Cousin, Sation Holiday Spirit

While nothing quite compares to OPI's Mad as a Hatter, I did notice some similarities in it when compared with Sation's Holiday Spirit. In the bottle, you can see that the concept is similar, but the shades are not identical. OPI stands out as the domineering one both in color and in glitter size.

Below: Mad as a Hatter on the nail is a multi colored shower of glitter, and even though it takes me 3 or 4 coats when not using a base color, it's worth every one of them!
Below: Even in the shade, there's no quieting this one down.
Below: Macro shots showing the detail of Mad as a Hatter, and below, Holiday Spirit. They look more similar on the nail than in the bottle.

Below: Sation's Holiday Spirit tries hard to keep up with Mad as a Hatter, and I give it an 'A' for effort. This one also requires 3-4 coats with no base color.
Below: Like Mad as a Hatter, the shade does little to tone this one down.
Below: The coverage isn't quite as good on the Sation, but I refuse to do more than 4 coats. The glitter is finer, and I'm sure it would work just as well as a top coat over a darker shade.
They're not exactly dupes, but they are somewhat similar in my opinion. The Sation doesn't have quite the jelly texture that the OPI has, so I found it a little easier to apply. The Sation has an oddly smooth texture when it dries, but that doesn't make it any better when it comes to the removal. It removed in typical glitter fashion! I had ordered some Sation's from VNS because I had a few already and wanted to explore the brand a little more. For $1.25, I didn't have much to lose!

Product Review: True Blue Spa SPF 45 Watch Your Mouth Lip Balm

The True Blue Spa line at Bath & Body Works offers a great little lip balm that's formulated to protect your lips against the elements, particularly the sun. Watch Your Mouth SPF 45 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lip Balm applies nicely without any stickiness, and it's a fairly thick formula that doesn't have a high gloss shine or any color. The scent is light and citrus scented, with just a touch of citrus (primarily orange) taste. I don't know about you, but I often forget about applying sunscreen to my lips. I spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, and have had my share of burned lips, which can be quite painful! This product leaves my lips soft and moist, and I don't find myself re-applying very often, because it has good staying power. I looked through at least a dozen lip products that I typically use, and not one of them had any SPF in them, so this product is going to be a useful addition to my summer beauty arsenal.

You can find this product at Bath & Body Works stores, and it retails for $5.00 for a .15 oz. tube (this is the same size/type of applicator as found in a tube of ChapStick). The product ingredients are as follows:

UVB rating of SPF45, active ingredients are 2% avobenzone, 7% Octinoxate, 5% Octisalate, 5% Octocrylene, and 5% Oxybenzone. The inactive ingredients are Petrolatum, Flavor (Aroma), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Lanolin, Sucralose, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate).

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

Sunday, June 27, 2010

BB Couture Cantina Nights: Tequila Sunrise, Sex on the Beach

Tequila Sunrise, Sex on the Beach...sounds like an interesting mix, but get your mind out of the gutter--we're talking about nail polish here! These 2 shades are from the newest collection offered by BB Couture and also available at Overall Beauty. This collection is called Cantina Nights, and offers 12 fantastic summer colors.

Above & Below: Tequila Sunrise is a lovely shade of medium orange coral with tiny gold glitter, that applied nicely in 2 coats. The subtle golden shimmer add a nice touch of elegance to this shade, which would be a fantastic pedi color also.
Below: Sex on the Beach shown outdoors in the first photo and with an Ott lamp in the second photo, was my favorite one based on the bottle appearance. It does not disappoint on the nail, with its fire engine red hue and plenty of multi colored glitter in green, gold and red.

I'm only 2 shades into this collection, and I'm lovin' it! Both of these covered well in 2 coats and are perfect for summer. Orange-y-Coral shades are a favorite of mine, especially on my toes, and the application on Tequila Sunrise was perfection in a bottle. Maybe it's just me, but more times than not, shades like this don't cover as well as I'd like, so this one is going to get a lot of use from me. Sex on the Beach is a little hard to describe color-wise, because it has more orange in it on the nail, while in the bottle it appeared as more of a red shade. How about I just call it a pumped up burnt orange with a twist of red intertwined with an explosion of glitter? That should cover it!
*Products featured in this post were furnished by Overall Beauty for review.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Product Review: Bath & Body Works Kitchen Collection (and a Coffee Hand Treatment!)

I was recently sent some products to review from the Bath & Body Works Kitchen Collection of anti-bacterial hand soaps and sanitizers, and because I use these on a regular basis, I didn't have to prepare myself too much for the review! It also gives me the opportunity to share what some may consider a rather unusual hand treatment, using the hand soap and coffee grounds. First, let me tell you a little bit about this line.

Pictured above are the Deep Cleansing Hand Soap, the Hand Gel Sanitizer, and the Gentle Foaming Hand Soap. This line also carries a Moisturizing Hand Lotion. These products are all designed for use in the kitchen, and they not only kill germs, but also eliminate cooking smells that linger on hands. I used to scrub my hands with salt to eliminate the odor caused from chopping onions, but I no longer need to do that. The Fresh Source odor eliminating technology even eliminates the smell left on my hands from chopping garlic. Two pumps of the hand soap removes all traces of odors for me, and is less drying to my hands than the salt. I find the soaps to be less drying overall, because they contain ingredients such as honey, coconut milk, and olive fruit extracts. Their packaging comes in subtle colors, and the pump-type style is easy to use when my hands are covered in whatever I may be baking. I often use the Hand Gel Sanitizer throughout the day, because it contains Tahitian Palm Milk, which adds moisture to my hands and helps combat germs. These are available in a variety of fragrances, and they retail for $5.00 each. They're often on sale as I believe they are right now, for 4 for $10.00.

I have been using an easy and effective treatment on my hands every night for several months now, and reviewing these products gives me an opportunity to share this with you. After I clean the kitchen up and prepare the coffee maker each night, I scoop a small amount of coffee grounds from the filter before throwing them away. I'd guess that I use between 1/2 and 3/4 of a measuring teaspoon of the coffee. I'm not entirely crazy, because there are many benefits of coffee as a skin treatment.

Below: I then add 2 pumps of the Bath & Body Works Kitchen soap. I prefer the foam type in the kitchen, and the deep cleansing one in the bathroom for no particular reason, but either one works fine for this.
Below: I wash my hands just like I would if I were using plain soap, and massage the grounds around my cuticle area.
Below: After rinsing my hands, I use a small nail brush that I keep in the dish drainer to clean under my nails and around my cuticles, to insure that any stray coffee grounds don't remain.
If you didn't think I was crazy before you read this, you might now! But there is plenty of information available on the benefits of coffee as an ingredient to help exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells, not to mention the that coffee bean contains Vitamin E and Magnesium, both thought to be useful as antioxidants to help stimulate collagen. All of these properties combined, aid in keeping your skin smooth and healthy. The granules of coffee also help to remove small pieces of skin around the cuticle before they become hangnails, and work to give an overall look of smoothness to your hands. The odor eliminating ingredients in the Bath & Body Works Kitchen soaps remove any trace of the scent from the grounds, so you don't need to worry about your hands smelling like coffee!
*Bath & Body Works products furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

NOTD: OPI Bright Lights Big Color

I haven't worn this shade in a while, so wearing it again reminds me of why I love it so much! Bright Lights Big Color is from the Brights Collection, and it's a lovely peachy coral shade with a hint of pink, and delicate gold shimmer.

Above & Below: The top photo, taken with a flash, shows the gold shimmer off nicely. Below, photographed under an Ott lamp.
Below: This was taken outdoors in the shade, and shows how the gold shimmer seems to overlay the base color in lower lighting.
Below: Outdoors under partly sunny skies.
It's always nice to re-visit an old favorite, and recall everything that impressed you about it the first time. This applied well using 2 coats and has a fairly glossy finish. While I wouldn't call this color bright necessarily, it is colorful and perfect for summer. Naturally, I'm most drawn to the flash of gold in this one and how it performs differently in various lighting. It's subtle, but not too subtle. This is one of the few polishes that I've actually used up and had to buy a replacement for!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Follower Freebie!

Happy Friday! Bring on the weekend!!! Today's Friday Follower Freebie features all of the products from Reviva Labs that you need to give yourself an at-home Hand Facial Treatment, just like the one I posted about earlier in the week (here). All four of these products will do double-duty for you by--designed originally as facial treatments, they are also very effective as hand treatments. You'll be glowing with beauty from head to toe (if you do a foot facial too!) when you're done, but what are you going to paint your nails with to show them off now? How about some discontinued Maybelline polishes, including Shooting Stars, Blackened Teal, or Blackened Maroon? Top them off with a layer of Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure for a radiant look, and you'll feel and look stunning!

You know the rules!
~Leave your eMail in the comments section as your entry.
~All entries due by midnight tomorrow, 6/26/10. Winner announced Monday.
~Followers only.
Good Luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bottle Pics & Where To Buy Discontinued Forsythe Polishes

As promised, here are some bottle pictures of the discontinued Forsythe polishes that I haven't swatched yet. I had to photograph them indoors because of the rain, so I apologize for the lighting glare. If you're interested in getting any of these shades (also see my Forsythe label for the 8 shades I have swatched that aren't included in these photos), eMail Yen at Victoria Nail Supply and tell her which ones you want (she only ships within the U.S.). She's been wanting to list them on her site, but hasn't had the time to do that. When she told me about them, I was so excited that I told her I wanted to order one of every color she had--now had I seen them prior, I wouldn't have actually done that! Some of them are nothing out of the ordinary, but there are quite a few others that I'm really happy with. She tells me that they have limited quantities, between 6 and 12 of each shade, and they're $2.00 each.

Above & Below - Group 1: The quickest way for me to do this was to lay them flat to show the color, then show their labels (click to enlarge) so you know the names. The top row above matches the top row below, while the bottom row above matches the bottom row below.
Below - Group 2
Note: The lilac one in the top row on the far left has a faded label. I believe it's called Shimmering Lilac.
Below - Group 3

Below - Group 4
Note: The mint green on the bottom row has no label, so I don't know the name. Maybe just refer to it as the mint green one!
For those of you who like older discontinued polishes, I hope this helps you out! If you need any more information such as the finish type explained better than the photos do, or questions about the shades and how they might compare to some more recent colors, leave me a comment or send me an eMail and I'll try to answer your questions. I wish I had time to swatch them all right now, but if there's something you'd like to see, I'll try my best to get it done!

Forsythe Rosy Glow

The sun popped out for a short time this afternoon, so here's a look at another old Forsythe polish that I was particularly curious about, based on the bottle appearance. This is called Rosy Glow, although I think a better name might be Golden Plum.

Above & Below: This was opaque in one coat, but I did use 2 hoping to get a little more of the golden veil of shimmer to appear. This shade is a plum creme with gold micro-glitter.
Below: The two photos below show how in the shade, it appears as a more grape purple creme sprinkled with tiny gold glitter.

Below: This is the bottle picture, so you can see why I was curious how this would translate to the nail.
Below: Macro shot showing the glitter detail on the nail.

So far, I'd say that Heart Strings and Rosy Glow are among my favorites of these old Forsythe polishes. This one also applied very well, and they seem to dry at an average to a little faster than average rate. I'm trying to get some photos of all of them with the names, but I'm forced to take them indoors because of the excess of clouds and rain we're experiencing. I thought it was supposed to by summer! I'll try to get them posted tonight and also let you know how you can order some, if you're interested in adding some very old polishes to your collection.