Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interesting Read From Allure On Polish Names (Illamasqua Fall 2011!)

Here is an interesting piece from Allure's Daily Beauty Reporter discussing polish names, including Illamasqua Fall 2011! Click the link to read it. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of Illamasqua's Fall 2011 Collection, because Kink (above) is beautiful. Some of the names and the stories behind them are certainly entertaining.

*Photo source

Annmarie Gianni Skin Care Review & Giveaway

I've been using the Annmarie Gianni Skin Care line over the past couple of weeks, and today I have a review of the products I used, along with a giveaway. My skin always looks and feels better when I use products that are natural/organic based, but this line has made me a believer that the more pure the product, the better results you'll have. You don't have to wait for your skin to acclimate itself to these products, because the results are evident after the first use. I'll share my thoughts about the products I used first, and then I'll discuss a little more about what makes this line so exceptional. And if you read all the way to the end, there's a giveaway!

The products I'm reviewing today include the Aloe-Herb Cleanser, the Neroli Toning Mist, the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub, and the Coconut Honey Facial Mask. I also have a body wash and some facial oils that I'll be reviewing over the next couple of weeks.

Aloe-Herb Cleanser~$24.95 (50ml) Ingredients: Love, organic aloe vera juice infused with organic herbs (lavender flowers, calendula flowers, life everlasting flowers, hyssop, lemon balm, neem leaf, olive leaf, plantago leaf ); organic coconut oil; cocoglucoside (coconut oil & glycerine); organic vegetable glycerine; aspen bark extract; organic ruby grapefruit oil; organic lemon oil; organic green mandarin oil; xanthan gum; organic rosemary oleoresin.

This facial cleanser has a very enticing citrus and floral scent, and is a thin white cream. It doesn't foam when used, but it gently yet completely cleanses my face, leaving it soft and moisturized. I love the scent of this product!

Ayurvedic Facial Scrub~$24.95 (50 ml) Ingredients: Love, organic lavender flowers; organic fenugreek seed; rhassoul clay; organic rosemary leaves; organic lemon balm leaves; organic shavegrass (horsetail herb); organic neem leaves; organic comfrey root; organic lemon peel; honey powder.

Twice a week I combine a teaspoon of the Ayurvedic Facial Scrub with the cleanser for a refreshingly pure cocktail of healthy herbs and Rhassoul clay. This product surprised me when I saw it because I was expecting it to have a paste or cream formula--but it's actually a powder of sorts. It looks and smells exactly like a mixture of finely ground herbs, with a distinctive scent of Rosemary. This scrub feels very soft and gentle, but it does an exceptional job.

Coconut Honey Mask~$29.95 (50 ml) Ingredients: Love, raw mountain wildflower honey, organic extra virgin coconut oil, beeswax, organic vanilla powder.

This mask is similar to pure Shea butter in texture, and it is a real treat for my skin. I apply this once or twice a week after cleansing, leave it on for 15 minutes, and then rinse clean. It's gentle enough to use around the eye area, and not only does this smell good enough to is edible, and it is tasty! Annmarie firmly believes any products that are applied on your body should by safe enough to eat. I completely agree with that thought, but unfortunately, most of them are not. She should package this in a larger jar for consumption! This melts into your skin, and I have also been applying it around my cuticles and on my lips for added softness and hydration.

Neroli Toning Mist~$19.95 (30 ml) Ingredients: Love and pure organic neroli distillate.

This product I use just before moisturizing, and two to three pumps of this light mist feels refreshing and calming. The light sweet orange blossom scent is absolutely incredible. I then rub it gently into my skin.

My thoughts on this skin care line is that it is right up there with best of the best. My skin looks and feels better than it ever has, and I actually look forward to doing my skin care routine with these products. My pores appear smaller, my skin is soft and even with no dry spots, and my skin looks like it's been lightly airbrushed. Fine lines are diminished, any oily appearance that I've always seen emerge later in the day is now non-existent (even though I'm using one of their facial oils as a moisturizer, which I'll review these on their own soon), and the cliché "dewy glow" is evident even if I only use one or two of these products and substitute another brand for the rest of my routine.

The only downside is the price. Make no mistake, these are expensive. Luckily, you don't need to use a lot of product with each use--a little goes a long way. After my experience with this line, I know that I will be ordering some of these items to add to my arsenal of daily skin care products. Because of the cost, my plan is to use them alongside of other products. Even though my results were optimized when using this line exclusively, I still had positive and noticeable improvement to my skin when I used them in conjunction with other brands, and my wallet will thank me for that.

If you'd like to enter for a chance to win an Annmarie Gianni Travel Kit, just leave you eMail in the comments section below. One lucky follower will receive this prize, and their skin will love it! Entries will be accepted until midnight, July 3. The winner will be announced July 4 in my Come Monday weekly newsletter. NOTE: U.S. residents only please, as the prize will be shipped direct from the manufacturer.

*Products and prize featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Milani Limited Edition Color Streaks for Hair

Milani is expanding their products, it looks like! These look like a fun way to add a touch of color to your hair if you're like me and don't want to commit to something more permanent. What do you think about these? Here's the full scoop from the press release:

New Week, New Streak!

Milani Cosmetics gives a new meaning to summer-streaked hair.
Paint your hair from tip to tip with Milani’s Limited Edition Product--- Color Streaks. Adding a fun pop of color and sparkle to your hair has never been so easy. With five exciting colors, Color Streaks will take your hair from boring to bold in a flash! The mascara-like precision applicator gives you desired color where you want it in less than 30 seconds and then simply wash it out and start again!

*Contains Keratin, which helps rebuild and restore hair.

Limited Edition Product Available ONLY the month of JULY at select CVS drugstores.
Available Shades: Fun in Red, Solid in Gold, Cool in Blue, Awesome in Purple, & Dramatic Shimmer. Retail, $6.99

For additional information, please visit

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Milani Summer 2011 LE Yellow Whiz & Comparisons

Milani's Yellow Whiz--why does that name make me laugh?!!--is another shade from the New Limited Edition High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Summer 2011 Collection. The press release on this offering can be found here, and you can see swatches of Racy Green and Purple Rush here. In addition to the polishes, this collection also includes a very interesting Paint Eyeshadow Palette, which I'll review soon.

Let's take a look at Yellow Whiz (*giggles*), shall we? I was pretty excited when I saw this shade, because finding a yellow shade that works in one coat would be just short of a miracle. It isn't quite a miracle, and I didn't experience complete opacity in just one coat. However, it was almost opaque in one coat. The photo below is shown using one coat and no top coat. While it's not terribly noticeable, it was noticeable to me...if you look at my index (top) finger you can see some lighter streaked areas just below where the free edge meets the nail bed, and my middle finger had a small line that wasn't completely solid also. There's also some lightened areas near my index finger's cuticle (click to enlarge photo). Of course the average person likely has a less discerning eye when it comes to these things, but it certainly covered far better than any other yellow I've tried.

The photos below show how it looks using two coats. The formula is a little on the thick side, but it doesn't hinder the application at all. The dry time is very fast, and the finish has a high gloss shine. This medium yellow creme shade is bright and sunny, and perfect for Summer.

Yellow Whiz is not an exact duplicate of Chanel's Mimosa, but it is very close to the same shade of yellow. Just for fun, I added a coat of Revlon's Sweet Nothings in Nude Nightie to mimic a similar but much less expensive version.

The press release for the Summer LE shades made mention of a new brush, so here is a comparison to the new design. On the left is Milani Dress Maker, and on the right is Yellow Whiz. The new brush is wider and not tapered, and the stem has been changed from a thin round one, to a flatter rectangular one. The other difference in these polishes is that they have a shiny gold cap.

I thought it might be interesting to make a yellow color wheel showing comparisons to a variety of other yellow shades. Doing this made me realize that I have way more yellows than I thought I did. I ran out of room on the wheel before I ran out of polishes! Yellow Whiz is in the #1 position, and the list below will identify all of them. In my opinion, it's very close to #6 (China Glaze Happy Go Lucky) and #13 (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening).

1. Milani Yellow Whiz

2. Chanel Mimosa

3. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Expresso Yellow

4. Nicole by OPI Yellow It's Me

5. China Glaze Lemon Fizz

6. China Glaze Happy Go Lucky

7. Maybelline Banana Bamba

8. Maybelline Banana Puddin'

9. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Yellow Kitty

10. BB Couture Pina Colada

11. Quirius Yellow Tulip

12. Color Club Almost Famous

13. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening

14. NYC New York Color Taxi Yellow Creme

15. China Glaze Sunshine

16. Misa Summer Sun

17. Orly Lemonade

18. Orly Spark

All in all, Yellow Whiz is a very nicely formulated yellow creme. It is probably opaque enough with just one coat for the average person who isn't a nail polish freak like we are! Adding a second coat just makes it look complete to me.

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Metals: Tarnished Gold & Oxidized Aqua

I have a couple more of the China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals today, and I wanted to post a reminder that my June Monthly Contest ends tonight at midnight. One follower will receive the complete six piece China Glaze Crackle Glaze Metals Collection. Entry details can be found here.

This is one coat of Tarnished Gold over Milani Purple Rush. I love this combination--it's regal or royal looking in color, although I can't quite see Queen Elizabeth wearing crackle polish! This is a nice medium gold shade with plenty of metallic sparkle.

Oxidized Aqua is a pale silver/aqua shade that's shown here over Milani Racy Green. There's not a lot of contrast between these colors, but I rather like the toned down look.

This collection of crackle polishes is appealing to me because the shades are a little more subtle with this type of formula than the cremes are. The formula is thin and applies easily, leaving a little more room for error than cremes do. I am finding that the colors are more faded or have less depth than they appear in the bottle, but with the exception of Tarnished Gold and Platinum Pieces, it's a unique range of shades. The crackle pattern emerges almost instantly, and it's a very consistent pattern.

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Milani LE Summer 2011: Racy Green & Purple Rush

Milani will be releasing eight Limited Edition High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Formula Nail Lacquers next month, and I have two of them to share with you now. I'm not certain of exactly how many different finishes there are in this collection, but these two have a shimmer finish with foil micro glitter. I also received Yellow Whiz, which appears to be a creme finish. With a name like that and the promise of a one coat yellow creme, I think that one deserves a post all by itself! Here's the press release on the collection if you missed it earlier.

First up is Racy Green, which is a slightly green based turquoise shade. This shade has foil micro glitter that appears to be the same color as the base, as well as an additional glitter that's just a touch lighter.

Purple Rush is a vivid purple shade with matching foil micro glitter. It also has a lesser amount of red micro glitter. If you love purple hues, there's a more lavender shade that's also included in this collection called Violet Dash.

These really are one coat polishes, and they're extremely pigmented. The formula was nice and easy to apply, and they dry to a glossy finish. I used just one coat, and the photos are shown with no top coat. If you're looking for a colorful fast and flawless application that dries quickly, these will definitely meet those standards.

The press release mentions that these have a new flat brush, so I'll have to compare them to some older Milani's tomorrow when I swatch Yellow Whiz. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, but I do want to compare them and see just what the difference is.

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

China Glaze Pelican Gray & Latticed Lilac

We have yet another grey and rainy day here, so I thought Pelican Gray from the China Glaze Spring 2011 Anchors Away Collection was only fitting. This is a lovely dove grey creme with delicate hidden silvery shimmer. The formula on this shade was excellent, and I used two coats. This may be my favorite neutral grey shade!

I added a coat of China Glaze Latticed Lilac from the Crackle Metals Collection. This sparkly lilac glitter shade is actually quite subtle in color--I had hoped for a richer purple hue like it looks like in the bottle, but I do like the muted look that it has. The formula was easy to use and I did apply a top coat to add some shine to the otherwise matte finish.

Victoria Nail Supply did receive a limited amount of the China Glaze Crackle Metals yesterday. I don't see them up on their site yet, but if you're interested, just send Yen an eMail.

I don't know about your Summer, but ours has been filled with nothing but rain and clouds. If I didn't have my flowers to look at, I'd be seriously depressed by now. Here are some pictures I took this morning that I hope you enjoy, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some sun this weekend!

*Latticed Lilac was furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Essie Fall 2011 Brand New Bag Collection

Here's a look at Essie's Fall Collection called Brand New Bag. I love bags/purses almost as much as I love nail polish, so you know I'm loving this collection! Of course my favorite is the grey/green Power Clutch!

The photo above is from NAILPRO's blog (click here for more info from NAILPRO about this collection), and in doing a little more searching, I found swatches on Lacquer Lover's blog here. Do you see anything you like in this collection?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Milani LE Summer 2011 Nail Lacquer & Eye Shadow


Milani presents its hottest and brightest shades that complement every summer glow.

July Limited Edition Summer Products

STOP! Wardrobe change? No problem, create a gallery of nail looks with Milani’s New Limited Edition High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Formula Nail Lacquer – fast and luxurious, to get you on the GO – their new flat brush for fast and flawless application that dries in 60 seconds. For an additional pop of color use Milani’s High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Formula Nail Lacquers for extreme shine and electrifying nails. These high voltage bright pigments are available in eight high fashion shades and great for the summer season!

Available Shades: Purple Rush, Instantaneous Blue, Racy Green, Fast Fuchsia, Jiffy Orange, Violet Dash, Yellow Whiz, & Hot Pink Frenzy.

Brighten your lids with Milani’s Limited Edition Paint Eyeshadow Palette---fashion forward neon colors in one super-soft, silk-like application. Brighten your eyes by using shades separately or swirled together to create your own unique hue of art.

Limited Edition Items available ONLY the month of July at select CVS drug stores.

High Speed Fast Dry One Coat Formula Nail Lacquer, Retail, $3.99
Paint Eyeshadow Palette, Retail, $7.99


For additional information, please visit:

Color Club Fall 2011: Back to Boho

Here's a look at what Color Club has in store for Fall 2011! I spotted this ad in the July issue of Beauty Store Business, and even though it's almost 90 degrees out, these shades have me looking forward to Fall already.

China Glaze Sunset Sail, Below Deck, White Cap

I'm making my way through the China Glaze Anchors Away Collection, and I have three shades to show you today. While I'm not wowed by any of these so far, the plus side is that they all have a very nice formula. I'm finding the shades from the Sand & Sea set are not the best for my skin tone, unfortunately.

First up is Sunset Sail, a pale sandy peach creme with hidden shimmer. This neutral creme did take three coats for full coverage, but the formula itself was fine. Maybe it's just me, but it seems whenever I used a pale peach, I end up with darker areas that require me to use that third coat to even things out.

Below Deck applied nicely using two coats, and this greyed-out mauve with a touch of taupe is very, very close to the famed discontinued shade of Channelesque.

White Cap seems a little too sheer to use alone, so I used it as a layering polish over Below Deck. This has a jelly-type formula and adds a beautiful subtle overlay with pale green iridescent micro glitter.

I still need to swatch Pelican Gray and Sea Spray from this set, and I have high hopes for Sea Spray. It looks like the perfect blue-grey shade to me, but I just hope my skin tone agrees!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cult Nails Devious Nature & 14K Nail Jewelry

My sisters are in town for some birthday and Father's Day celebrating, and one of my sisters brought me some nail jewelry from a huge flea market near her town of Clemson, SC. I can't remember the name of the town it's in, but she's sent me nail polish from there also. We don't even have a flea market around here, so it's always fun to see what she finds there. I decided to try one of the pieces out with Cult Nails Devious Nature, a beautiful berry pink creme shade. The formula on this is absolutely perfect. It was opaque in one coat, but I'm going to wear this for a while so I went with two coats.

Here is the lovely birthday bouquet they brought me! They also brought me a necklace from Tiffany, so even though my birthday isn't actually until Monday (which I share with the awesome Kellie from the blog Also Know As, only decades apart! Yeah, I'm old!), it's been very exciting and fun so far. I'll have to paint my nails with China Glaze For Audrey now that I have a Tiffany box to compare it to~ha-ha!

These are the nail adornments, and I just love the little sea horse. My sister said she saw them and had never heard of 14K nail jewelry, so she thought it would be something I could show on my blog. She wondered if anyone had ever seen these. I surely haven't, but if someone wants to gift me 14K anything to share on my blog, I'm fine with that! The box says "Genuine Sweet Lady Jane 14K Nail Jewelry". The vendor told her to apply them on wet polish and them seal them with a top coat.

I think I put it on upside down, so I rotated this photo.

These are fun and different, and I too have never seen anything like this. Of course I have tons of nail stickers, and I've seen the gold charms that actually dangle from the nail, but these are new to me. I'm a little nervous about it coming off, but it seems to be quite secure. Here's hoping I don't have to report back that I lost it :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OPI Miss Universe Collection

OPI Launches Limited Edition

Miss Universe Lacquers

Pageant-pretty nail lacquers in the new Miss Universe by OPI promotion give fingers and toes added glitz and glamour. Featuring four shades packed with shimmer and sparkle, these limited edition colors capture the energy of the 2011 MISS UNIVERSE® competition, to be held September 12, 2011, in São Paulo, Brazil.

“Miss Universe is the most popular and publicized beauty pageant in the world,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “We are excited to partner with the Miss Universe Organization, whose contestants provided so much inspiration for rich, high-fashion color.”

With shades ranging from berry and golden pink to electric blue and glittery silver, Miss Universe by OPI provides high-shine lacquers, including:

Congeniality is My Middle Name
And berry-wine shimmer is what I do best!

It’s MY Year
It’s about time for this champagne-rose to shine!

Swimsuit…Nailed It!
An itsy bitsy teenie weenie vibrant shiny-blue bikini.

Crown Me Already!
A sassy silver sparkle that knows what it’s worth.

The Miss Universe Organization named OPI its official nail care sponsor this June. Additionally, Weiss-Fischmann will be a judge for the 2011 Miss USA® pageant, a precursor to the Miss Universe competition.

Miss Universe by OPI Nail Lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide™ Brush for the ultimate in application. This limited-edition promotion will be available beginning August 2011 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $8.50 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer.

For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

Zoya Mod Mattes: Lolly

Zoya Lolly is one of three colorful matte shades in the Mod Mattes Collection from Zoya this Spring/Summer. Lolly is a bright fuchsia pink/hot pink shade, and I love how the finish matches the frosted bottle finish! This is a great summer color, as are the other two shades in this set. The colors used in the Mod Matte Collection give me kind of a retro late 60's/early 70's vibe!

The formula on Lolly dries quickly, and I like that it has more of an egg shell finish than a completely flat finish. I did need to use three coats to get an even look to my coverage, because I had some sheer spots and some darker spots that just wouldn't disappear until the third coat.

You can add a top coat to these for a more enhanced color look, but I do like the finish on these with no top coat. The Zoya matte shades always seem to wear well for me with much less chipping than other matte shades I've worn.

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Color Club Fractured: Broken Tokens

I'm taking a break from painting the bathroom so I can paint my nails! Color Club Broken Tokens is one of six shades in their Fractured Collection, and I'm hoping they all have a formula as nice as this one. I used one coat and this sparkly silver covered easily, dried quickly, and fractured itself perfectly!

The top photo is shown over Zoya Phoebe, while the bottom photo is shown over Zoya Lolly.

Macro shot of the fractures.

Every time I use a crackle polish I hear the Rolling Stones singing Shattered in my head for some reason! Broken Tokens has very fine glitter and it's a bright lighter shade of silver. I used one coat with a medium amount of polish on the brush and if you use a thinner coat, you'll get more fractures with smaller line breaks.

When I tried the China Glaze creme crackles earlier this year, I wasn't too impressed with the formula. Then I tried OPI's that Mick Jagger I hear again?--and I thought that was a better formula. Last week I used one of the China Glaze Metal Crackles and thought that was a perfect formula. Now that I've tried one of the Color Club's, I'll say that their formula may be the best I've tried so far. I'm going to give the black and white shades (cremes) a try tomorrow, so I'll be very interested to see how those compare to some of the other cremes on the market.

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