Monday, January 31, 2011

Reviva Labs Organic Cleansing Milk

I've converted to Reviva Labs for all of my skin care products over the last year, with the exception of my facial cleanser. That is, until I started using their Organic Cleansing Milk. I have always believed that cleansing lotions didn't get my face as clean as a granular or exfoliating face wash did. I used Neutrogena Foaming Face Wash for years, until it disappeared from the shelves. Since then, I've been buying similar products such as Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub, L'Oreal Skin Genesis Foaming Cream Cleanser, and RoC Pore Minimizing Cleanser. They all seemed to get the job done--my face felt clean and refreshed, but my skin felt tight until I put my moisturizer on. The RoC product only lasted a few days because if I didn't rinse and rinse, it caused a terrible burning in my eyes. I honestly didn't think I would prefer this type of formula, but I definitely do.

The first time I used it, I squirted out the same amount that I always have with previous cleansers, and I found that I only need to use half that amount to end up with a very clean face. I don't generally use eye make up remover before washing my face, and the Organic Cleansing Milk easily removes all traces of my waterproof mascara. Not only does it clean thoroughly, but my face doesn't feel tight at all when I get out of the shower. The white cream formula is fairly thick--again, I made an assumption, thinking it would be thin because it had the word "milk" in its name. It has a scent that reminds me of sweetened herbs. Here's a look at all of the ingredients in this Certified Organic product:

My skin is somewhat oily, and I find this product makes it feel very clean without causing it to get more oily throughout the day. In hindsight, the cleansers with exfoliating action probably caused my skin to produce more oil, which in turn did indeed make my face start to look oily later on in the day.

My bathroom shelf is a testament to my love of Reviva's products, and it looks like I'll be adding this one to the line-up as well. I continue to order more of their products after reviewing them and they have such a wide range of items, I might just have to find a larger shelf system! This 4 oz. bottle retails for $9.50, so it's more expensive than most of my previous cleansers, which ran around $7.99 for a 5 oz. tube, although the RoC cleanser was $10.49. Organic products generally cost more, and since I'm using less of the product to accomplish the same task as the others, I don't feel that it costs more in the long run.

Reviva has recently introduced a "write a review" element to their web site which allows customers to share their thoughts on each product. Now that this feature is available (directly under each product, along with the complete ingredients list), I expect more reviews will show up to give you additional information about their products.

*Product featured was furnished by the manufacturer for review.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Trio of Lynderella Originals

My friend Lynn, otherwise known as Lynderella from MUA, is a true visionary when it comes to her Frankening. From the creative and sometimes whimsical names, to the shades and finishes, she is an inspiration to many of us. Lynn has graciously agreed to do an interview for us, and I hope to have that posted in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are a few more of her creations.

Above & Below: Angel Fire is a stunning deep lavender holo-filled glitter masterpiece, and it's also a one-coat wonder!

Below: Earth Sign is a glitter/shimmer mix of earthy shades that is surely one of my more blingy brown tones.

Below: Sleepy Holo is a black-based creme with a galaxy of both large and small holographic glitter.

I find such simple pleasure in just looking at all of my polishes and as strange as this may sound, they remind me of an art gallery--all of the different colors and finishes, the architectural designs of the different bottles--some are expensive, some are unique, some are very inexpensive and still very beautiful. Lynn's polishes fall into my rare and beautiful category because they are true originals, and she puts so much of herself and her imagination into them. So thank you Lynn for adding these beauties to my gallery! There are a couple of other posts featuring Lynn's polishes here and here. You can also view some bottle photos here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jessica Spring 2011 Runway Style: Seductress (Jelly!) & Alluring Creature

Jessica is offering 6 new shades in their Spring 2011 Collection called Runway Style, and I have a couple of them to share with you today.

Below: Seductress totally won me over once I opened the bottle and realized it was a jelly! This shade is described as a Ruby Pink, and I'll add to that by calling it a vivid watermelon shade. I used two coats with no top coat, and in typical Jessica fashion, the formula excels and makes for an easy application.

Below: When I first saw the bottle, I jumped to the "it's just a red/pink creme" conclusion...that was before I opened it and saw the translucent jelly formula!

Below: Alluring Creature is described as a Baby Pink, and this creme shade has just the slightest hint of lilac to it. Again, I used 2 coats and no top coat, and the application was smooth and even in color. This is not a terribly unique shade, but because I love the Jessica formula, I'll be more likely to reach for this one when I'm wanting a soft, neutral pink shade with great coverage and no streaking.

Below: You can view the promo ad here for this collection, and below shows all six of the shades.
Here is what the press release says about the Runway Style Collection:

Strike A Pose With Jessica Spring 2011 Nail Colours Runway Style Collection

Named after the Sirens Sea Goddesses, the mythical beauties whose enchanting voices seduce passing sailors to shipwrecks, the collection features a color palette of bold corals, shimmering nudes and fresh grays that are designed to compliment frothy chiffons, georgettes and velvet devoré that mimic the waves of the sea.

The six Runway Style nail colours include:

Enchantress - Orange Coral
Alluring Creature - Baby Pink
Seductress - Ruby Pink
Coquette - Iridescent Grey
Goddess - Shimmering White
Temptress of the Sea - Glistening Beige

The Runway Style Collection will be available Spring 2011 and each color retails for $7.50 at Jessica Cosmetics.

I'm definitely going to buy Coquette when these become available, because an iridescent grey sounds like something I must have! I have purchased many of my Jessica polishes from Hello-Gorgeous, and while they never have the most recent collections, they do have a nice selection of shades for $4.95. You can usually find a coupon code for them by doing a little searching.

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

Friday, January 28, 2011

Misa Wishes Spring 2011 Collection

Misa Spring 2011: Wishes Collection

Never Say Never: All you have to do is believe—in this frosted ice-princess silvery white, that is—and your nails will transform as you never thought possible. Never say never; just enjoy the cool effect of painting your nails the color of falling snow in moonlight.

Pixie Princess: Fairies are known for their playful, mischievous demeanors, and you won’t find a shade more naughty-but-nice than this soft beige with the subtlest sheen of glitter. It’s no folklore—this delicate hue instantly gets your nails ready to soar above the earth.

Touch the Rainbow: Like a sky after a rainstorm, this baby blue suggests a sense of peace, tranquility and calm. And, just as a rainbow shows off its spectrum of colors, this shade offers an ever-changing opalescent sheen that takes nails to unbelievable heights. Forget the pot of gold; grab this lacquer instead.

Fountain of Youth: We’d all love the ability to renounce the effects of aging, but this shimmering pastel will never grow old on your nails. With a hint of the sheerest springtime green, this polish makes any look brand-new again. Drink in the color and indulge in lasting longevity.

Genie in This Bottle: Do you dream of genies? Once you unleash the fairytale wish-granter from his magic lamp, you’ll never experience life in the same way again. But as you contemplate your three wishes, you might want to make one of them a request for this glittering lilac—it’s one wish that will never backfire!

Whimsical Wish: Blow out the candles, wish upon a star or toss a penny in the fountain. Whatever your method of securing your greatest desires, ensure that your nails are eminently wish-worthy with this pearl shade shot through with pink iridescent undertones.
*Source: Misa's Facebook Page

3 Shades from Essie French Affair Spring 2011 Collection

I received three of the six shades from Essie's Spring 2011 Collection, French Affair, so let's have a look at them!

Below: Coat Azure is a medium blue creme with delicate hidden shimmer. I love this shade and I always love a polish with hidden shimmer, but what's even more amazing is that I only used one coat! In a word, love!

Below: While not particularly unique, Sand Tropez is a trendy pale taupe or khaki shade that applied nicely using 2 coats.

Below: Kisses and Bisses is a sheer pearly milky shade laced with tiny iridescent pink shimmer. This is shown using 2 coats, and the photo was taken with no flash. I love layering polishes, and this one will see much more use from me that way, than on its own. I'm just not a big fan of sheer polishes, although you will catch me wearing them every now and again.

Below: Here are a few looks to show you how Kisses and Bisses works when layered, and a comparison to another favorite layering polish that's similar, Revlon Sweet Nothings #725 Nude Nightie.

Color-wise, this is a fairly subtle array of shades with the exception of Coat Azure. My favorites based on these three and having seen the other three shades in promo pictures, are Coat Azure and Kisses and Bisses. The formula on all three of these was perfection--pigmented on the blue and taupe shades, smooth and even coverage on all three, and a glossy finish without using a top coat.

Essie's been coming out with some great fashion-forward shades over this past year (Sew Psyched, Mint Candy Apple, and Pretty Edgy, to name a few--do you think I have an affinity for all things green?!!), so I'll accept a more subtle collection from them every now and again!
*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Katy Perry Black Shatter Is Very Entertaining!

My OPI Katy Perry Collection arrived yesterday, and I've been Black Shattering everything in sight! This crackle polish is by far the best one I've ever used, and it makes me look forward to the China Glaze Crackle Glaze Collection even more!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One Night Cosmetics Complete Palette

One Night Cosmetics recently sent me their compact-sized complete make up palette to try out, and I have a review of it today. This little palette is the size of a credit card and considering how small it is, it still manages to contain just about everything you'd need for a complete look. I find that it's a perfect alternative to a much larger make up pouch in my bag, and it would also be ideal for travel because you can carry this in your bag while checking your large train case or suitcase--which yes, I travel with a lot of cosmetics products because I never know what I might need!

Below: The palette, which retails for $24.95, comes boxed and includes both a fabric (shown below) carrying pouch and a leather-look pouch which is a little thicker. These both fit perfectly into my smaller purses/clutches without taking up very much space.

Below: The back of the box gives a very complete ingredient list. This product is made in the U.S.A.

Below: This is the leather-look pouch and both pouches have a snap closure.

Below: The complete kit, which includes the palette, brushes, mascara and lash tint, all fit comfortably inside.

Below: I received the Medium kit, and they are also available in Fair, Neutral, Medium Tan, and Tan. You can view the shades contained in each color complexion set on their web site.

Below: I love this gloss!
This is a great little kit for portability, and the quality of the products is excellent. The lip gloss and lip color are both subtle shades, which is what I generally wear, and they're pigmented and non-drying. The only thing missing from this kit is a blush, but I've been using the lip stick shade as a cream blush with no problems. My go-to eye shadow color is always a taupe shimmer, so you've got to know that this is a perfect shadow for my preferences. The pigment level on the shadow is extremely high, and a little product goes a long way.

I find myself reaching for this palette not only for a touch up, but also first thing in the morning when I apply my make up. I do prefer to use my full-sized brushes for the full face application, but the mini brushes will work for a touch up. The mascara mini tube is small, but it gets the job done. I wish this was available in a full-sized product, because the formula applies so nicely with zero clumping and perfect separation. The shine control powder works very well also, and at first I thought that the palette needed a powder with color. After using this over my existing powder foundation, I'm glad this is included! It does a great job of cutting down the shine later in the day, and freshening up my look.

If you've been looking for a complete palette that "does it all" and fits effortlessly into your bag, this is a great one to check out.

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Painted Nail (by Nubar) No Place Like Home

A while back I made mention of a new reality show that's scheduled to air on the TV Guide Network later this year called The Nail Files. I don't watch too much television, but I know I'm going to want to check this show out! The show will take place at The Painted Nail in Sherman Oaks, CA, and features the owner, Katie Cazorla. I ordered three of their polishes--which are manufactured by Nubar--and here's a look at one of them called No Place Like Home. I have a very small collection of Nubar polishes, so I can't compare this to any of their other shades.

Below: No Place Like Home was nearly opaque using one coat, but I used two coats for good measure. This red glitter bomb of a polish is filled to the max with tiny red foil glitter that reflects some gold as well. The finish is a little bit rough and dries to a semi-matte finish, but I imagine a clear top coat would take care of that. It's shown below with no top coat under indoor lighting and an Ott lamp.

This line of polishes has some very cute names (Stalkarazzi, Love My Loubys, and Betty, named after everyone's favorite Betty White) and they retail for $12.50 each. I received my order very quickly--3 days from California, so I have no complaints on their service. The few Nubar polishes I do have all apply wonderfully, and this one is no exception.

Are you going to be tuning in to The Nail Files?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Button London to Release Kate Middleton-themed Polish

Butter London will be releasing a Limited Edition nail polish to commemorate the engagement and marriage of Kate Middleton to Prince William. The polish will be available in March and it sounds like a lovely shade!

The limited-edition nail laquer is grayish-blue and glitter-infused, according to Nonie Créme, Butter London's creative director. And of course, it gives a cheeky nod to Kate's pre-engagement nickname, "Waity Katie."

You can read more about this polish at People Magazine here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lancome Ultra Lavande LE 54 Le Vernis Swatches

I wasn't planning on swatching anything today because I'm not feeling well, but I received this beauty in the mail today and I needed to have a look at it! Every now and again Lancome comes out with a unique nail polish shade, and this is one of them. LE 54 is one of two shades offered in their Spring 2011 Ultra Lavande Collection.

Below: The macro shot shows the medium lavender base color, and it's filled with an abundant amount of tiny pale turquoise foil glitter.

Below: This covers fairly well with one coat (shown in the first picture), but as you can see, there are still some bald areas. The first coats leaves the base looking like a watery lavender color, and the glitter is fairly evenly dispersed.

Below: This photo shows a 2-coat application, which allows the base to become more of a medium lavender creme. It's not perfectly opaque with 2 coats, but I'm satisfied with the look that the second coat gives.

I found the formula to be easy enough to work with, although it is a little different. It's like a cross between a creme and the Color Club Glitters--a little jelly-like in texture, but not enough so that it gets too thick or uneven during the application. The glitter is very sparkly and because it's so dense, the entire nail can take on a very foil-like finish in brighter lighting.

My local counter doesn't have this collection in yet, so I ordered it from Lancome's web site earlier this week. I applaud Lancome for stepping out of their generally safe zone when it comes to the majority of their polishes, because this one is gorgeous! The base color is subtle enough with one coat that I think it would work nicely as a layering polish over other colors as well.

Lazy Day Post!

How's your weekend starting off? I'm being purely lazy today nursing a cold I've had all week that's been slowing me down, so here's to a productive week next week!

Just a reminder that my Zoya Intimate Giveaway and my January Monthly Contest for the China Glaze Crackle Collection both end tonight at midnight. I'll announce the winners on Monday, so I know tomorrow will be spent sorting through all of the entries! If you haven't entered yet, just click here (Zoya contest) and here (China Glaze contest) for entry details.

Yen from VNS sent me over this picture showing OPI Black Shatter from the Katy Perry Collection. She says "FYI, you should wait until the base polish is dried before applying Black Shatter. If the base is not dried, the "cracks" are chunky (see bottom right, bottom left 2nd, bottom left 3rd)." I haven't gotten this shade yet, but I'm looking forward to playing with it quite a bit when I do! Have you gotten your hands on Black Shatter yet? Do you love it? I'd love to hear how some of your layering has turned out, and which base colors you think look the best.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Jessica Spring 2011 Collection: Runway Style

Here's a quick look at the Jessica Cosmetics Spring offering called Runway Style. It looks like a trendy, yet safe and subtle collection of colors. I don't find color names or descriptions anywhere yet, but the grey is piquing my curiosity. In the ad, it looks like it has some hidden shimmer, but it might just be my imagination.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Misa 9-5 Collection Spring 2011 Swatches

Are you ready for a rainbow of muted neutrals? Misa's 9-5 Spring 2011 Collection contains shades that are designed to be office-safe in color, but they're also appealing to those of us who like a little more color, because I found Office Polish-tics and Coffee Pick Me Up to be both unique and eye-catching. Take a look, and disregard the sorry state of my winter-wracked hands and cuticles! Each shade is shown first with an Ott lamp, and second under my bathroom lighting with no flash.

Above & Below: Blush Hour is a very pale pink creme shade that in my opinion, is probably the least unique of the collection. On the plus side, if you're looking for a shade like this with great coverage in two coats, this would be a great choice.

Below: Pay Days Are Happy Days, a light taupe creme, is very close to Paint My Nails @ Work. The extremely slight difference is that this shade is more tan or khaki based, while Paint My Nails @ Work is a more grey-based taupe.

Below: Paint My Nails @ Work is as I stated above, a grey-based medium taupe creme. I love the name of this shade--raise your hand if you have ever painted your nails at work? o/

Below: Working Hard or Hardly Working is a medium to lighter grey shade that has an ever-so-slight blue cast to it.

Below: Coffee Pick Me Up a muted plum color, is a near-China Glaze Channelesque shade that looks significantly more like a dark taupe shade in lower lighting.

Below: Office Polish-tics applies darker than it looks in the bottle, and is a smoky deep cadet blue shade. In lower lighting, the charcoal hues are more evident.

All in all, a very nice collection from Misa even though it doesn't contain anything over the top color-wise. I didn't expect to like all of these as much as I do, and part of that goes to the fact that even if I have a dupe to some of these shades, the Misa formula is likely superior to it, no matter what the other brand is. There are thicker polishes that never work well, thicker polishes that a little thinner can cure, and thicker polishes that are Misa and work perfectly straight out of the bottle.

Some of these shades surprised me by how much their color changed in various lighting, particularly the last two. I can do some comparisons to other shades if you have a questions about how close any of these shades are to other brands, and we'll likely find some that are pretty close. But these are Misa's, so they're in a class of their own! These shades are all cremes, so I'm also looking forward to their second collection called Wishes, because it may offer a wider range of finishes. That is due to be released hopefully this week.

Do you have any favorites from this collection? How many of you have tried Misa and do you love the formula as much as I do?