I've been wanting a matte topcoat for a while but I didn't want to pay the typical price of available topcoats (usually over $10 unless you buy online). I found this at Walmart for $5 and thought it was a decent enough price. It applies very smoothly and streak-free which I loved. It's a definite matte finish that stayed matte even with the application of hand lotion (although I haven't tested it for prolonged lotion use). It is also Konad-friendly which I love even more (this is the main reason I wanted a matte topcoat actually - for multi-finish konadicures). It does dry very quickly though so you have to be able to work fast or else your konadicure will look like tacky glue. I applied this over Zoya Adina and it made the color look a bit dusty. From what I've read, it's pretty typical for matte topcoats to transform certain colors. This change may be unwelcome for some but I personally think it's interesting.
I have been wanting this color when I first read about it and when I finally got my hands on it, it did not disappoint. It's gorgeous and flattering on my skin tone. Application went smoothly - 2 coats to get an opaque, streak-free finish. The gold and green shimmer look spectacular against the greyish olive base. Minus one lippie for the negatives though: it does tend to chip (but I find this typical for frosty finishes) and I recommend doubling up a good base coat to avoid staining. I still think it's well worth it. And so far I have nothing but great things to say about Zoya polishes (I'm new to this brand).
Three coats to wearable opacity and looks fuscia with my skin tone. The duo-chrome is extremely subtle. Lovely foil finish. Smooth, self-leveling formula. However I had to knock off some lippies because this chipped like crazy (not tip wear, big chips and cracks). This is not typical of OPI polishes which usually have great lasting power. It's still a lovely color but I am glad I only got mini.
I fell in love with this color immediately. I have it on as I type this review and I must say it looks fantastic as a moon manicure. The formula is excellent (typical of OPI in my experience) that goes opaque at two coats. It goes on smooth and self-levels to a perfect finish. The shimmer is subtle enough to make this a sophisticated shade but it flashes enough to add a bit of glamour. A perfect fall shade but it looks so beautiful in the sun - I'd wear this any time of the year.
I normally do not like sheers but I have been really into doing funky french manicures lately and this is becoming one of my favorite toppers. It's pretty subtle - a shimmery nude, which allows the funky tips to really stand out. It does lighten and add shimmer when layered over creme finishes. One downside though is that you have to mind your brush strokes otherwise it goes streaky. I didn't like this at first but I'm glad I gave it a second chance but it's definitely and acquired taste.
Treatments -Orly - Cutique - Stain & Cuticle Remover
renaissancegirl 10/28/2010 6:33:00 PM
Cutique is a must have in my manicure arsenal. I like it especially for diminishing and removing stained nails. If I find stained nails after removing an especially deep red, green or blue, I just let a bit of this stuff soak for 10-30 seconds and then wipe clean with a soft cloth and my nails are good as new. It is not, however, very good at removing nails that have been badly yellowed over time (like a couple months) so it's important to use it as soon as your nails get stained. As for cuticle removal - it is quite good at that however it is a bit drying so I avoid using it for that purpose too often.
I normally dislike pinks and sheers so I am surprised to report that I love this color. Yes, it is extremely sheer - but I just love using it to layer over other colors (especially dark colors) and as a topper to my funky french manicures. It has a subtle but interesting duo-chrome effect although it is a tiny bit frosty so there is subtle streaky look to it. I still like it though and highly recommend it to those who love layering, nail art, or want an interesting twist to their french manicure (funky or not). But note that it is quite boring by itself.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Salux Nylon Japanese Bath Towel
renaissancegirl 10/18/2010 5:51:00 PM
I have been using and repurchasing this for years. I absolutely cannot take a proper shower without this. It makes it easy to scrub my back thoroughly (and it feels great too - like a massage) and keeps my skin soft and smooth. It's also economical as it only takes a bit of soap to work up a good lather. Try it - you'll never go back.
Great color for fall. It looks frosty to me but it doesn't have that dreadful streaky finish that is typical of frosts. Opaque at 2 coats but I recommend 3 thin coats. Formula is great and applies smoothly.
Lip Treatments -eos - Lip Balm Sphere - Lemon Drop SPF 15
renaissancegirl 10/18/2010 1:05:00 PM
They must have done some improvements with the formula - this flavor is much better than those I have tried previously (Summer Fruit - I'm talking to you). It applies more smoothly, the formula is richer and I love the scent and taste (lemon cupcakes, as described by a previous reviewer, is right on). I love wearing it as a base for lipsticks and lipglosses but as a moisturizing product by itself, there are better out there.
I didn't expect to like this because I had my heart set on the original Amour and ended up with this instead. I got it at a bargain so I was willing to give it a chance. Initially the floral scent was too strong for my liking but once it sinked in and mixed with my personal body chemistry, it became a bit muskier (is that the term? I don't know... I'm not well-versed in fragrances yet) and smelled so divine. It smells best when I put it on in the middle of the day (when I'm not as freshly showered as I am in the morning). True, it doesn't last super long but I find it lasts well enough when I put it directly on my skin as opposed to my clothes. I'm glad I happened upon this and would repurchase (probably not for a while - I got the big bottle).
Top/Base Coats -Creative Nail Design - Stickey -Base Coat
renaissancegirl 9/28/2010 2:31:00 PM
I've been using this for my last several manicures. Wear time is decent but I find that my manicures chip more easily and are more prone to tip-wear than when I use Orly Bonder. On the plus side, it doesn't stain my nails yellow like Bonder. The formula goes on smooth and dries more quickly but it is too watery and tends to pool around my cuticles making for a slightly messy manicure if I'm not careful. I never had this problem with Orly Bonder. After taking this on a test drive, I think I will go back to Bonder once I am finished with the bottle. Update: this doesn't do a very good job at preventing stains after all. With that, it doesn't have any edge over Bonder. Switching back immediately.
I'm a big fan of sticky bases so I wanted to give this a try. Sadly it was a disappointment. It did not create a "sticky" or rubberized surface for polish to grab onto like other bases of this kind. I can't say whether or not it prevents staining either because my manicure chipped on day 2. I say skip this - it may be more expensive but Orly Bonder or CND Stickey are a much better choice.
Concealers -LORAC - Double Feature concealer/highlighter
renaissancegirl 9/15/2010 5:13:00 PM
I got this as a gift and have been using it for several months now. I really love the concealer - it's the perfect, versatile shade for my skin tone (I have DF2). It dimishes my under eye circles and brightens up my whole face. The only thing is that it can be a bit drying sometimes. I find that it works flawlessly if I apply it first and then top it with tinted moisturizer (dabbed on with a Beauty Blender or similar sponge to avoid sheering out coverage). The highlighter is nice too but I find that I personally don't use it often. I must say that I also like that the concealer is in a stick format rather than a pot.
Eyeliner -Essence - Long Lasting Eye Pencil - Almost Famous
renaissancegirl 9/13/2010 7:14:00 PM
I've been on the hunt for a off-white/cream eyeliner for lining my lower waterline for some time now. I tried and returned Stila Topaz as it looked too orange on my complexion and didn't have any staying power. I spotted Almost Famous and at $2 each, how could I resist. It's no holy grail product but it works well enough for my needs. It isn't as soft as Stila Topaz so it requires a bit of layering (as mentioned by the previous reviewer) but it has better staying power. One downside is that it is not water-resistant by any means. One watery-eye episode and it's gone. I will keep using this until Urban Decay makes a 24/7 liner in this shade (Yeyo is too white).