I have received many complements on this polish. The color is very flattering, and it is "office appropriate" while still being a bit different. I would call it a muted taupe-gray-plum with warm undertones. I really like it for fall and winter. Application is easy, because I happen to like the wide brushes. One coat is sort of blotchy, but two coats is completely opaque. This polish dries with some shine, but not "super shiny." I always use a topcoat. This particular color wears like steel for me (not all SHCSM polishes do.) I use a base, then two coats of this polish, and then a thick coat of Poshé top coat. With this combination, my manicure lasts for at least a week without chipping, just minimal tip wear.
I love this scent. They describe the notes as lemon, patchouli, and vanilla, but the overall scent is much more complex than the name lead me to expect. I do not smell a strong "cake" note, or cocoa. I do smell strong vanilla musk, sweetness, incense, and a bit of cream cheese frosting. On first spray, I immediately thought of Aqualina Blue Sugar. This is not a BS dupe, but it "feels" similar. I have tested them side by side, with the Aqualina cologne on one wrist, and this Calgon spray on the other side. They are not identical, but they certainly play well together. Red Velvet Cake has a stronger vanilla note, to my nose. If you like Pink Sugar and Blue Sugar, you will probably like Calgon's Red Velvet Cake. Staying power on SKIN is about average, I get about 2-3 hours out of this spray. If I add a quick spritz to my sweater, I can still smell it 6 hours later. It also smells nice as a linen spray. I recently found this body spray at Family Dollar, in a gift set. For $10, you get a 6oz spray, and a 4oz body lotion in this scent (Red Velvet Cake) as well as a lotion and spray in the Mmm Marshmallow scent. If you can find this gift set, snatch it up. It is an amazing deal!
Brows -YBF Cosmetics - Universal Taupe Automatic Eyebrow Pencil
jedda 8/15/2012 12:10:00 PM
It does the job, but it isn't really an amazing product. The color does look good on me, but there are other good brow products in a lower price range. I like the brush on the end, but it isn't worth the extra $. I might buy it again, but I'm not sure. I also had a problem with the lid coming off of the pencil while it was in my makeup bag. Thankfully, it was completely retracted, because I would have been angry if it had been wasted.
Lip Gloss -Jordana - LOL Lip Out Loud! Super Shiny Gloss
jedda 8/15/2012 12:01:00 PM
I bought this gloss (#103 - "XOXO") because it was in a display by the register. I have been looking for a very sheer red gloss for ages, and I thought that it was worth $1.99 to give this one a try. It is very sheer, and the color is quite flattering. It is more of an orange-red, and it goes on very smooth. I hate glittery glosses that feel gritty and rough. This gloss has no sparkle, and no taste. It does have a bit of a scent, but the scent is light and wears off quickly. Give it a try!
I have tried this product as a face powder, and it is junk. It offers no coverage, and I had to reapply frequently. I have also tried this product as a BRONZER with fairly good results. I have fairly light, warm-toned skin. I was looking for a matte bronzer, with absolutely no shimmer or glitter. I also didn't want to spend a ton of money for a product that I would only use for a few months every year. I bought Cover Girl Clean "Normal Skin" pressed powder in color #155 "Soft Honey" (which is several shades darker than my natural skintone) and it is perfect. I use a large powder brush to apply, and it goes on nice and sheer. I am very happy with this product as a bronzer.
Mascara -Cover Girl - Remarkable Washable Waterproof Mascara
jedda 8/15/2012 11:18:00 AM
This is my go-to summer mascara. I buy the color "Black-Brown", and it looks natural, and doesn't streak or flake off. It isn't overly volumizing, but that's okay with me. I don't really want to look overdone while hanging with the kids at the pool. It's great for theme parks, hiking, beach, etc. I will continue to repurchase. For this price, it can't be beat.
Lotions/ Creams -Unlisted Brand - Be Natural Callus Eliminator
jedda 8/15/2012 11:11:00 AM
I love this stuff. I only use it once in a while, because I use a purple Mr. Pumice in the shower on a regular basis. If I get lazy with the lotion, and my heels get thick, I break out the Callus Eliminator. I soak my feet in warm water for a while, and then use a cotton ball to swab some of this stuff onto my calluses. I wait for about five minutes, and then use a foot file. The calluses come off instantly. I wash off any remaining product with warm water, and then scrub with my beloved Mr. Pumice. I follow up with thick lotion, and my feet are amazingly smooth. Be careful not to leave it on too long. I did once, and then I was rewarded with angry, bright pink, chemical-burned heels. I buy mine at Sally's, in a 4 oz bottle. I think I paid about $13 for it, and this size bottle lasts ages. I have used this bottle for at least 12 home pedicures, and it is only halfway gone. Considering that the local nail shop charges $5 to add-on this same product to your regular pedicure, I think that $13 for 20+ uses is more than fair.
Top/Base Coats -Sally Hansen - Hard as Wraps - Acrylic Gel
jedda 8/3/2012 7:10:00 AM
I have the light blue bottle. The gel is thick, and clear. It is not self-leveling, and it can be hard to spread evenly. I have added a few drops of Seche Restore polish thinner, and that has made it easier to work with. I use one thick coat on clean dry nails as a base coat, and let it dry completely before putting polish on my nails. It usually takes about 30 minutes or so before it turns opaque, and then I know that it is hard enough to continue. I always finish everything off with a thick coat of SV or Poshe, and the whole thing is completely hard and dent-free within an hour. With this 'gel', my manicures last about 3 or 4 days before chipping. I do feel that my nails are protected by the thickness of the gel layer. It isn't good as a top coat, because the drying time is incredibly long when it is applied over polish. It also isn't very shiny. It does prevent staining when used under red polishes. I probably would not use it on its own. I might or might not repurchase. It is very inexpensive (I paid under $4 at Target), but it isn't a miracle item.
I don't really classify this as a "quick-drying" topcoat. It isn't as fast as Seche Vite, or Poshe, or even SH Insta-Dri. It is faster than most regular speed topcoats, but you can't just slap this on and walk out the door. I have no shrinkage with this topcoat, and I like that it isn't as toxic as the others. It is a thinner consistancy, and very easy to spread without causing drag lines. On the other hand, I find that the thin formula soaks into glitter polishes too quickly, leaving no shiny hard topcoat! It isn't perfect, but it is good. You get a huge bottle for a reasonable price, and it works for most everyday manicures.
I like the full brush. I hate the smell. It applies well, but only if I stop at one coat. The second coat goes on clumpy and thick, and gives me "spider lashes." I also had problems with this mascara flaking off and irritating my eyes. After a few tries, I threw out the tube. Money wasted!
Overall, I like this product. I buy color #10, Absolute Black, and it is a truly dark black. I layer with another mascara, a cheapie waterproof with a drier formula, and the combination works well for fall/winter. Once summer comes, I need to switch to an all-waterproof combo, because this formula can't handle the heat and humidity. I will continue to repurchase. It is cheap, often on sale, and it gets the job done.
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
jedda 8/1/2012 3:00:00 PM
I like the scent and aluminum packaging. I like the way that it makes my lips feel when I wear it. I hate the way that the stick smushes into a blob after the first use. For $22, I would like something that doesn't look so gross in the package. It really has the consistancy of a potted lip balm - very soft. I would not repurchase, because I saw no lasting benefits to this over-priced "lip treatment."
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15
jedda 8/1/2012 2:52:00 PM
I like the way that the balm feels on my lips. I love the hint of color, and I love the scent. I hate that it is so smushy in the tube. Even sitting at cool room temperature, the stick smushes and breaks when you apply it. It has a consistancy that is closer to potted lip balm than stick-type balms. I wouldn't repurchase, because I didn't notice any long-lasting benefits from this over-priced "lip treatment."
Polishes -Wet 'n' Wild - Megalast in "Private Viewing" #204A
jedda 8/1/2012 2:39:00 PM
My bottle is #204B, with the new 'Pro Brush'. One coat is scary - it gives you streaky, jaundiced, yellow-stained smoker's nails. Push on, my friends, and apply another coat or two. You will be rewarded with a lovely peachy-nude cream. With my summer tan, it is the perfect nude polish. The formula is hard to work with, but for $2, I don't expect amazing application. It dries well with a good QDTC, like Poshe. With a regular topcoat it seems to stay "soft" for hours, but that is probably due to the multiple coats that are required. I like the new brush. I will repurchase, because I like the end result.
Top/Base Coats -Rimmel - Base Coat and Strengthener
jedda 8/1/2012 10:10:00 AM
Very good for a drugstore base coat. I like the slight shimmer, it makes this one of my favorite 'clear' polishes to use on lazy nail days. It does prevent staining if I use two thick coats. Worth the small price, and I would probably repurchase.