Friday, August 26, 2011

Spark-tacular! Top Coat

Spark-tacular! Top Coat from Sephora by OPI is described as a "glittery finishing touch that acts like jewelry for your nails". I agree, with that! You can use it as a finishing touch but I use it on it's own. It has small chunks of rainbow glitters, and big silver glitters, along with some bigger pieces of green, blue, pink, and yellow. I feel like it's a Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday polish alternative. I absolutely love the way this polish looks. It's so unique, glittery, sparkly, fun, and girly! It retails for $9.50 at Sephora. 

Drawbacks: It chips like NO OTHER :( It's somewhat high maintenace. I usually have to touch up certain parts that have just come clean off. As in, big chunks. It sucks. I find it ridiculous that on the site it claims to be chip-resistant. It is such a blatant, blaring lie.

It gets clumpy quick :( The top of my bottle looks yucky now, and I felt that a couple weeks ago this polish applied so much more smoothly to my nails. Now it is clumpy and harder to get a good consistency. It's certainly more time-consuming and frustrating now. I still manage to produce a good result though.

I probably shouldn't repurchase this polish, but it's so beautiful that I'm hooked. If you try it you will be too!

Note: Ignore my horrendously short, meh nails. That's just how I have them or else I bite them! 
Also: I applied this semi-opaque because I like the clear look. However with another coat it is much more silvery, and very jewelry-like. I like both looks :) Picture at the end with the more opaque application.

w/o flash in yellow lighting

w/ flash

Crappy cell pic taken as this post was being written! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color!

Ever since Temptalia reviewed these lip pencils I knew that this was a product that was a must for me. I don't say that very often, because makeup is quite expensive, and I'm trying to slowly but steadily build a collection right now, so to splurge on one thing is something I just don't do. But these lip pencils looked sooo beautiful in her pictures, swatches, and on her, so I knew I had to get them! She only gave them a B in her overall grade, but I disagreed from the start because they looked absolutely beautiful, and contrary to what she said, I also did think that all five did look extremely glossy in her pictures.

The two colors I decided to get are Punch Drunk, a dark orange color, and Big Bang, an awesome ruby magenta color with lots of glitter in it!

The lip pencils are supposed to be high-impact, high-gloss, super opaque, and super saturated. The color is supposed to last for a long time, and the product is smooth and creamy on your lips.

After trying these lip pencils, I'm in mixed feelings. First off, both products do go on opaque and smooth. I would say Big Bang is way saturated, and Punch Drunk, kind of. I truly 100% love Big Bang. But Punch Drunk I'm a little upset about. It's kind of a dupe for MAC Lady Danger lipstick, which I already own. The only difference is that Lady Danger is an orangey red, and Punch Drunk is a reddy orange. Plus Lady Danger brings the drama and makes my lips look full and pow. Punch Drunk falls a little short on the gloss. Actually a lot short. It just doesn't bring the drama to my lips like Lady Danger, and it's not truly orange. In the pictures with flash it looks vividly orange, but that's why I always include pictures w/o flash, to give you different lighting in which to view it. In this case the non-flash lighting is the more accurate of the two. Getting back to the point, if I didn't own Lady Danger I would like/love Punch Drunk, but since I do, Punch Drunk falls short for me, and I think I'll be returning it. Good news is, I'll have another Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color to review soon! I would like to collect the rest of the collection. There are only three other pencils in the collection- one red and two pinks. I do wish they had a few other colors, and maybe even a nice glossy neutral, but hopefully they add onto the collection.

One of these lip pencils was extremely glossy and moisturizing. Punch Drunk dried my lips out after a couple of hours. My lips looked and felt very full with Big Bang. These are lip products that are designed to really put emphasis on the lips and make your pout look stunning. I feel that Big Bang achieved this more then Punch Drunk. Big Bang lasts and lasts and lasts. The color is long-wear for sure. Punch Drunk lasts a much shorter amount of time. Both should last a long time since Urban Decay is advertising them as "no budge". Big Bang absolutely stains your lips, and eight hours later you will pretty much have the same color on your lips, minus the glitter with a little fading. Punch Drunk doesn't last as long, and stains more of the center of your lips, and the stain is very faded. I would say it lasts hardcore four to five hours.

Punch Drunk is described on the Sephora website as a bright orange cream. However, I have to say I disagree with that. It truly looks more like an reddy orange on the lip and is very comparable to MAC's Lady Danger. The only difference is that Lady Danger is a little redder and matte. Punch Drunk is glossy-ish, but it's actually not super glossy so I was disappointed with that. Big Bang is WAYY glossier. This one will be going back to Sephora :( It's not that I dislike it, I just don't love it, and I have a product way too similar.

Big Bang is described as a bright pink with sparkle. I think it's more ruby magenta, as I described before. The box is different then Punch Drunk's box because it's sparkly! So it tells you what the texture of the lip color will be with the packaging. It makes your lips look like jewelry haha! Does that sound weird? Anyway, Big Bang is also comparable to another color I have, Kat Von D's Backstage Bambi. Backstage Bambi is a really vibrant matte hot, bright pink.

Without further ado here are pictures!

Big Bang:

Be warned that the next two pictures are of me without any makeup except Big Bang and a little foundation. Eep! I chose to include these because I felt the lighting was best in these pictures and in this location of my house.

Big Bang on top, Backstage Bambi on bottom

Punch Drunk:

Punch Drunk on top, Lady Danger on bottom

 w/o flash

Punch Drunk on top, Big Bang on bottom

w/o flash

Saturday, August 6, 2011

July Birchbox

It's time for my July Birchbox post! Sorry this is so late, but it's here now! This month I got four things, and 1 healthy food bar. Some people like that, or think it's cute, and it kind of was, but I much prefer getting beauty samples to random health food samples. But it was nice, and it didn't look like some cheap granola bar either, it looked really nice and made the box prettier. Haha :) So basically, this is the Birchbox I received in July, and it wasn't as thrilling as my June Birchbox, but still nice. My FAVES handsdown are the Philosophy Cleanser and the ybf eyebrow pencil. The box was put together by Cynthia Rowley, and the outside was designed by her too.

Blue tissue paper this time :)

What's in the box are some of her personal faves, and things she uses on her runway shows. 

Gorgeous packaging

The full haul unveiled!

So this is it, minus the food bar haha. Gave that to my mom ;) 

BIRCHBOX                                                                        BIRCHBOX+CYNTHIA ROWLEY
                                                                                                                                 JULY 2011

1. Korres | Showergel                                                                            13.53 fl oz | $19.50
A deliciously foamy body wash with aloe to keep skin soft long after you've toweled off and an exotically lush fragrance.

2. Philosophy | purity made simple one-step facial cleanser                        8 oz | $20 & 16 oz | $32
THis perennial award-winner is pH-balanced to gently clear away dirt, oil, and makeup without drying out skin.

3. Redken | shine flash 02                                                                                  4.4 oz | $17
A must for all Cynthia's runway shows, this weightless spray gives hair a brilliant sheen.

4. ybf beauty | automatic eye brow pencil in universal taue              .005 oz | $12
A two-in-one brow-tamer: the comb brushes hairs into place, while the creamy pencil fills in sparse areas

EXTRA KIND | Almond & Apricot
Snack right witht his wholesome bar- no preservatives or hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
"They are my favs! I always have one in my bag just in case."- Cynthia Rowley

My thoughts: 
The presentation of this box was lovely, and the products are all pretty brand name stuff (two from Sephora, Redken is a household name, and the only new one to me was ybf), but I only liked two of these. 

1. I hated this. I just couldn't get past the smell. I'm bad at describing scents, but maybe I just didn't like the "exotically lush" fragrance. Give me Philosophy's Vanilla Birthday Cake Shower Gel any day.

2. This is a good cleanser. I wasn't wowed by it, but I started noticing how soft and smooth my skin was feeling, and just how it looked and felt so much less irritated. It really is gentle, and it really is effective at removing oil and makeup. This is a repurchase for me.

3. Meh. I wanted to like this!! I really like the way it sprays in such a fine mist, and the bottle is designed very nicely, not to mention it's a generous size, and that Redken is a pretty fancy hair line. But I just... didn't notice much shine. I don't know. It kind of looked the same to me... plus the smell was overpowering.

4. I reallly liked the ybf eyebrow pencil because it's a drier formula then what I had been working with (the cheap $1 wet and wild eyebrow pencil), and I had to press down harder to deposit color, which I actually liked, because I could control what I was doing and where the product was going so much more. I really liked the way my brows looked using this. Much more natural. I also liked the comb at the end. However, I did have problems with this pencil. It kind of snapped in half on me. The actual product part I mean... So I just kind of had to jam it back in the pen and keep popping it back in when it fell out. :( Also the top part got smashed one top when I put the cap on and then the point it had was never the same again, and it's not like I could sharpen it. Boo :(

All in all, I found some good products through this month's Birchbox, and I liked the variety. Could have done without the fruit bar. Can't wait for this month's!