Thursday, May 30, 2013

Essie Sunday Funday

I am over the moon excited for Essie's Summer collection, Naughty Nautical. I've been hunting for them everywhere and finally Anna at Business Lady Polish posted about finding them at Target. I restrained myself from getting all of them and just went with two. This is Sunday Funday. It's a bright corally orange shade that feels positively summery on my nails. It's hard to see in the pic but I still have an ever so slightly visible nail line. I did three coats, so next time I'll probably do a coat of white first. This also has a very subtle shimmer to it. Like I said, I'm completely in love with it. I'm trying to decide which two to buy next!
Did you pick up any polishes from this collection?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Palette Review/Swatches

Here it is, the last Urban Decay palette I have to show you, the 15th Anniversary Palette. It's one of those things in my collection that I keep around because it's a showstopper. The packaging on this is GORGEOUS. The lid lifts off, has a full mirror inside and that lovely filligree detail along the sides. If you don't have this, I'm really really sorry. This was limited edition, released Summer 2011. Still, feel free to drool over the following pictures.

I won't harp on about Urban Decay eyeshadow formula too much, considering this would make the fourth time I've talked about it but a couple things to note. While I do have struggles with UD's glittery shades, this palette has some of the worst offenders. If I'm going to use this palette, I do eye makeup first, remove the fall out and then do face makeup. That doesn't stop me from loving this palette the most.

The shades are a mix of neutrals and brights, with lighter, more glittery neutrals on the left, brights down the middle and darker, smokier neutrals on the right. By now you know I'm not much of a brights gal. Even so, I love playing in the shades from this palette that are out of my comfort zone. I know there are a lot of people who hate UD's various Midnight iterations but I love the two in this palette, Midnight Rodeo and Midnight 15. Overall, it just makes me giddy when I use it and I'm so glad I splurged on it when I had the chance.

So, that's it! Do you have this palette and love it as much as I do? What's your favorite UD palette?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

China Glaze Spontaneous

This is the very first China Glaze nail polish I ever purchased, China Glaze Spontaneous. It's probably the second oldest nail polish I have (OPI's Kyoto Pearl being the only polish I had before that). It's a fairly basic medium purple. I did two coats, but really it deserves three. The brush was quite odd, it struck me as being oddly skinny. This polish feels so fun and summery on my nails and I'm in love with it. It will always remind me of the time in my life when I bought it and that brings a smile to my face.
Tell me what your first China Glaze polish was! Those kinds of tidbits fascinate me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Project Pan May Update

Another month has gone by and for the second month in a row, I haven't hit pan or used anything up. And just like last time, I'm ok with this. I made serious progress, I'll have at least one, if not two, things to show you next time. I also really tried to work on some deluxe sized samples and samples that had been made for me from various visits to the MAC counter. Plus I worked on my Samples Stash Challenge. So while I don't have anything to show, I did actually feel like I made progress this month! Knowing that I will probably use up one product within the next week or so, I'm going to add a sixth product to my project.

Rimmel's Lasting Finish Foundation! This is actually a nice foundation but it's a touch dark for me so it's definitely a summer color. It's also supposed to be sweat, heat and humidity proof. I do actually like it but it's been hanging around my collection for far too long and this is the perfect time to use it all up.
If you are doing a project pan, leave your link in the comments!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wet N Wild Through The Grapevine

First of all, excuse the giant scratch on my pointer finger. I have no idea how that happened. Anyways, this is Wet N Wild's Through The Grapevine. My picture came out a bit brighter than in real life, but it's still fairly close. Through The Grapevine is a dusky grapey berry color. It looks a little dustier in the bottle and it dries a little lighter than bottle color. I love the color but I'm not over the moon for it, if that makes any sense. This was two coats, but I think it would have been better with three. It's not a super fast drying polish even though I use a fast dry top coat. Right now these are buy one get one 50% off at Rite Aid, which isn't a super big deal but enough to justify going to get a couple.
This month has just flown right by. I can't even believe we are getting into Memorial Day weekend now. Anyone have any big plans? I have no idea what we are going to do but it's probably not anything extremely exciting.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Palette Review and Swatches

Ok so everyone has at least heard of the Naked Palette and there isn't anything new I can bring to the table on this so maybe the title of this post should have been "Jessica Spends An Entire Post Gushing About How Awesome The Naked Palette Is".

The Naked Palette was one of my first higher end makeup purchases and it was definitely my first bigger palette. I have always been (and probably always will be) a neutral eyeshadow girl and the Naked Palette is the poster child of neutral eye shadow. I purchased this right before Urban Decay revamped their formula so I don't really know if these are the new formulation or the old. They are buttery and smooth and highly pigmented.
If I could only keep one palette, this would be it. It's not really lacking much of anything, although Naked Basics makes a nice sidekick. The colors play well together and I can get a ton of different looks from just this palette. Some favorite combos of mine are Naked and Buck, Sin and Gunmetal, Half Baked and Smog, and Toasted and Hustle. Really, if you love neutrals, just assume you will love this.
I hope I didn't gush on too long. This palette gets a ton of hype and I feel like it really is deserving of that. So now the million dollar question is, if I have this one and Naked Basics, is it worth getting Naked 2?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream

I almost completely forgot to blog this polish! This is Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream. And my picture just does not do it justice. It's a beautiful shimmery turquoise/sea green base with blue glitter. I did three coats with two coats of Insta-Dri. It feels just like what a mermaid would choose for nail polish. I'm very smitten with it. And if the price tag is scaring you off, don't let it. This is such a unique color and you definitely won't be disappointed.
And now I've swatched both of the DL's that I own. Any recommendations for more? I'm probably not going to run out right away to get a few more but I've been highly impressed by the two I've got and would be open to some other joining my stash.

Monday, May 20, 2013

My Nail Polish Collection and Storage

Since we've moved, I haven't been super happy with my beauty product storage. We definitely took a step in the right direction when I picked up a Helmer from Ikea for my nail polish! Honestly, the room I keep my beauty products in is incredibly ugly, so for now, I'll just stick to the Helmer and what's inside.
On top, I keep a long Skubb box (love those things!) with a bunch of products I use regularly, plus nail polish remover.

Top drawer is random nail related things. Top coats, base coats and thinner in the paper boxes (Jenn made those). My manicure set in the bag. Sally Hansen Color Quick pens (I hate them), Reinforcement stickers, labels, superglue pen, and nail stickers.

Second drawer is China Glaze. I can fit 13 more bottles in here, so yeah, I'll be surprised if I don't overflow into another drawer by the end of the year.

Third drawer is OPI. I can fit 15 more bottles in this drawer. Again, I would not be surprised if I overflow.

Fourth drawer is randoms. It's only about half full. I've got Orly, Zoya, Color Club, Sally Hansen, ELF, Wet N Wild, Illamasqua, Essie, Nicole By OPI, Ulta, Nails Inc, Butter London, Studio M, and Deborah Lippmann.
The fifth and sixth drawers aren't worth showing. One has just a bag of cotton balls and the other is empty. I'm not gunning to fill this baby up any time soon but it is nice to know I've got a couple open and available drawers.
And that's it! I know it's a lot of polish, but hey, at least I only need one Helmer and not multiple. How do you store nail polish?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wet N Wild 2% Milk

So after wearing Bite The Bullet, I had to head out and see what other Megalast polishes were out there. I was very intrigued about the nice off white creaminess that is 2% Milk so I decided for $2 I could give it a shot. And I love it far more than I could have anticipated. This is three coats, it looks a little more opaque in real life but I definitely still see my nail line. It's a fantastic palate cleanser, especially considering how blah I've felt about a lot of the colors I've worn lately. It feels clean and elegant and refined. I love it.
Any other Megalast polishes I should go looking for? I'm loving everything about this line right now.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Urban Decay Feminine Palette Review and Swatches

Continuing on with my Urban Decay palettes, we have the Feminine Palette. I have the old school, cardboard packaging and I definitely prefer it to the new zip around Feminine Palette. I actually got this on clearance from the Urban Decay website for like $12.

I got this palette, besides because it was super cheap, but also because the packaging was so cute and I thought it would be a good travel palette. It's probably the least used of all my Urban Decay palettes. I do like the colors but invariably, I have to pull out another palette to feel like I can get a full look out of these and that kind of defeats the purpose for me. I still really do enjoy it when I pull it out though.

I believe these are actually Urban Decay's old eye shadow formula. They are quite buttery but the second and third shades, SWF and Midnight Cowboy, are chunky and a touch hard to work with. They kind of pill up. I love Aquarius every time I wear it. It's just a really nice light aqua color. Darkhorse is actually one I have in another palette.
So, like I said, not my favorite but I do pull it out time to time. Urban Decay does excellent palettes and I feel like this one misses the mark. Anyone else have major disappoinment with an UD palette, despite all the hype they get?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wet N Wild Bite The Bullet

My first Wet N Wild polish to share! I got the two that I own when Sam was here but I'm really tempted to get some more. This is Bite The Bullet. It's in my favorite color family, the slightly grey toned, putty purples. It's the lighter, brighter, more purpley cousin of Below Deck and Foie Gras. Formula was pretty good, great considering this polish was only $2. I did two coats but after really examining it, I probably should have done three. And the wider brush takes a bit of getting used to but ultimately, I loved it. I was doing some searching for other colors in this line that I might want and I came across this post from Nouveau Cheap about Wet N Wild adding 40 new shades! I'm beyond excited and definitely will be picking up a few more of these!
So how about it? Do you like the Wet N Wild Megalast polishes? Have you picked up any of the new ones? Do you have a favorite color family like I do?

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Vera Bradley Collection

I am not, and never have been, big on most things related to clothes/shoes/bags. But when I was pregnant with MonkeyToes, my sister introduced me to Vera Bradley and I've been basically obsessed ever since. I can understand that they aren't everyone's cup of tea but I love my Vera bags. There are so many pretty patterns and so many bags to meet anyone's needs. On the downside, they can be quite pricey, so I don't have that many but they are fantastic quality.

My very first Vera was the Baby Bag in Peacock. My sister gave it to me as a baby shower gift and until very recently, I used it every single day. It's big and roomy and has pockets for everything. It really is a fantastic baby bag and it will probably continue to serve as MonkeyToes' overnight/longer stay bag.

I recently upgraded to the Mom's Day Out in my favorite new shade, Plum Crazy. Toddlers require less stuff so it's nice to have a smaller bag that fits our needs a little better. It still has lots of pockets to hold all the little things. Plus it's got a cross-body strap which is definitely my preference when it comes to bags.

You've already seen one of my smaller Vera's before. My mom got me the Mini Hipster in English Rose for Christmas. It's a nice mini purse for just the essentials. I also have the Strap Wallet in Rhythm and Blues. It fits into my baby bags but has a cross-body strap for when I'm by myself and left my Baby Bag at home or something. The zip pocket on the back holds my phone and keys. Speaking of keys, when I saw this years summer items, I knew I had to get the Seashore Keyring in Sun Valley because it's shaped just like a turtle. It's bigger than expected but it definitely makes finding my keys easy.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Vera collection. Does anyone else like Vera Bradley as much as Jenn and I do?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

China Glaze Grape Juice

I was feeling a China Glaze mood so I decided to pull out one of my favorite summer collections from them, Summer Days from summer 2009. This is Grape Juice. In natural light, it's more of a bright purple but in low/artificial light it's definitely more of an amethyst. Grape Juice is what China Glaze calls a glass fleck, which to me just looks shimmery, almost like a foil and nice and glossy. It's a pretty color but I'm not really over the moon for it. Thankfully, I didn't really have a choice on wear time. Two days after I put this on we went to Ikea and bought a bunch of furniture. It chipped pretty bad during the marathon 8 hours we were putting things together.
Speaking of which, I got a Helmer for polish storage! I'm absolutely thrilled with how perfect it is for polish storage. We also got bedroom furniture, which I had mentioned all the way back in October. Would anybody be interested in seeing our home projects and posts similar to that one, every once in a while? All of our projects are really picking up steam (which is part of why I'm working hard on my no buy) and it's so so exciting!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette Review and Swatches

My favorite eye shadows, hands down, come from Urban Decay. They are always buttery, easy to use and just plain awesome. I have four palettes from them and it's high time I showed them some bloggy love. Two of them are discontinued and two have been talked to death in the beauty community so you may not discover anything completely crazy and new in these posts. Still, I'd like to give each one it's own chance in the spotlight as they really are quality products.

First up is Naked Basics. This little palette is the newest in Urban Decay's Naked line, released during the last holiday season. I really resisted getting this for a long time. I kept telling myself you have other similar colors scattered through other palettes, just make do. But I had a coupon to Ulta plus a lot of points racked up so I allowed myself to get it.

And you guys, this is legit. I'm in love. It's better than I imagined. First of all, on it's own, you can get a multitude of great neutral looks. My favorite is simply Walk of Shame all over the lid, Naked 2 through the crease and Venus as a highlight. I also love using Faint either as a liner or to deepen up the overall look. Same with Crave!
But the thing I love about Naked Basics most of all is that it's a great sidekick to basically every other palette I own. These shades fill in the gaps that other palettes might have. I rarely ever want an eye look to be all shimmer but so many palettes are lacking a good matte or at least satin finish shade. This is so convenient to pull out and add that one shade you need to complete a look.

Of course the quality of Naked Basics is typical Urban Decay. Every shade is pigmented and buttery smooth. They blend fantastically. These swatches are on bare skin, no primer. I know my swatch of Foxy looks lackluster but it's so so close to my skin tone (inside my arm, not on the lid).
Honestly, this palette deserves all the hype that surrounds it. Even if you aren't much of a neutral wearer, these shades are basics (hence the name) and will help along any look. The quality of Urban Decay eye shadows makes $27 a bargain for shades you will reach for constantly. I haven't done my makeup without this since I got it.
What do you think of Naked Basics? Are you curious to see what the other three palettes are? ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Zoya Reagan

My very last Zoya polish to share! This is Zoya Reagan. Reagan is a beautiful berry pink cream. Actually, if you have Revlon's Raspberry Pie Lip Butter, that's exactly what Reagan looks like. I'm surprised at how fantastically spring like this feels, considering it's not a pastel.  Not the most easy to work with formula but really not that bad either. This is two coats plus my trusty Insta Dri top coat. Normally I'm not one for pinks, but I'm so so happy with this color. It just makes me feel all bright and cheery inside!
I hope my swatches gave you some ideas of what you'd like to pick up from Zoya. I don't purchase from them very often but there are always at least a few on my lemmings list.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Samples Stash Challenge!

Hi everyone! I have something fun to share with you today! A few weeks ago I was lamenting to my sister that I wanted to get a beauty sample subscription box but I couldn't justify it. I have a whole box bursting with samples of all kind. Isn't that how it goes? You don't have to dive too far into the beauty world to start amassing a lot of samples. So we put our heads together and came up with the idea for the Samples Stash Challenge. 
The idea is along the lines of you curating your own monthly sample box. It's pretty simple.
1. Pick some samples from your stash. (I'm going to stick to 4-6 a month)
2. Include in your blog post: a mini review/first impression of each of last months pick and what you picked for this month. 
3. Use the widget at the end of the post to link up!
Easy, right? I hope you will join us! The widget will be open until the end of May, but of course, there will be a new one in June!

My picks for this month are:
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum, Etude House Baking Powder BB Deep Cleansing Foam and Tony Moly Expert Triple BB Cream
I hope you enjoy this little project, even if you don't participate! The only bad thing about trying to use up all these samples is that I'm sure I'll come across things I want to purchase full size ;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Zoya Tiffany

Ah, Zoya Tiffany. It's one of my very first Zoyas and I have quite the love/hate relationship with it. Tiffany is a pretty orangey copper foil. It's fairly sheer, this is three coats and it probably would need a fourth for full opacity. The formula was a bit tricky, part of my hate relationship with Tiffany. It's a touch runny and dry time is very long. This one takes some working with. But the color is just lovely. I am always a little sad when I put this on because I ordered it thinking it would be a rose gold and it just isn't.
Just one more Zoya to show you! Then I will move on to some more summery colors!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013 Favorites

Another month gone and I've got just a few favorites to share with you. April was an especially difficult month for me so I'm happy to get it over with. Here's to May being full of lovely springtime and lots of good things.
Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser - I love this concealer! I don't just use it under my eyes, even though it is my all time favorite under eye concealer. I use it just like an eraser for my problem areas. Just rub it over problem areas and they basically disappear. I blend out with my Sigma F80 and it looks flawless.
Skinfood Good Afternoon Rose Lemon Tea BB Cream - This is the strangest product I've ever put on my face. It come out of the tube like a cream but as soon as you touch it, it melts into a liquid. It feels like I'm rubbing water on my face. This BB cream makes my skin look like skin but brighter and more fresh and lovely. This with the concealer was my "no makeup" look all month.
Maybelline Color Whisper in Pin Up Peach - This lippie is great for days I don't want to think about what to wear. It's super low maintenance and looks springy and young. Can we sense a trend with all of these products yet?
Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie - I'd pop a little bit of this on the center of my lips, over Pin Up Peach. Berry Smoothie just tones it down and makes the whole look pretty and natural. I don't know how to describe why I loved it but I loved it so much that I was just carrying both lippies in my purse all month.
MAC Blush in Melba - This was my go to blush for just subtle definition. It goes with everything and it's practically impossible to overdo. Melba warms me up so I don't look lifeless but it doesn't overpower my face. Probably in my top 3 blushes of all time.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette - No surprise, I broke down and bought this at the beginning of the month. And I've used it every day since. It makes a simple easy look on it's own but it's also the perfect sidekick to any palette. I don't regret picking it up as I'm definitely getting my use out of it.

Any favorites of the month to share? Can you believe it's May already?!