I love love love this polish! It's a beautiful gold glitter polish from the On Safari collection, but it's not just plain gold! It's got tiny pieces of gold and silver glitter, with holo pieces thrown in to be extra eye catching! I liken it to white gold jewelry--it's definitely gold, but it's mixed with something so it's not as in your face as yellow gold. It almost looks liquid, the way it catches the light and changes! Overall rating: 5, 'cause I love it. Gotta do the standard glitter disclaimer and say that to get it opaque, you have to do several coats, and it's harder to wrap those around the edge of your nail, and chipping can be a problem. Price: Standard ChG pricing. 6.49 at Sally's (4.99 BCC), 7.00 at Ulta!
Oh Seche Vite, what was my life like before you?! I am so, so, so thankful to have this now--my manis are dry in seconds! I read all the negative reviews and yes, I am concerned about the fact that it still uses Toluene, but I'm honestly not that worried about it. I use it in a well ventilated area and try to avoid inhalation if at all possible. As far as shrinking & chipping goes? I didn't experience any! I work in retail, so I unpack boxes, sling merchandise, work on the registers, etc and usually chip my manis within a day or two--I did a football themed mani last Friday night (1/13) and I didn't experience any chipping up through this morning (1/22) and that was only because I was bored and picking at it. I had no issues with shrinkage at all. I will, of course, update if I notice those issues start as the bottle ages! Breakdown: Price: I generally don't like to go over $5 for my nail stuff, so $7.95 was pricier *to me*, but it's definitely worth it. Packaging: Standard glass bottle with plastic top. Buy again? Heck yes!
Styling Products -Beyond The Zone - Smooth Criminal Thermo Protect Spray
nataleighh 1/5/2012 9:09:00 PM
I want to love Smooth Criminal so much, but I just can't commit to a product that is supposed to protect your hair from heat yet simultaneously lists alcohol as the first ingredient! That said, it does seem to work well on my hair! I've got long, bleached, course hair, and lots of it, so fighting damage is an ongoing battle. Whether I flat iron or curl, I don't notice as much damage as when I forgo the protectant. The things I like the most (besides the protection) are the really fresh smell and the fact that it's an aerosol! I am not particularly dextrous with spray bottles, so an aerosol allows me to get a fine, EVEN mist over my hair. The price is on the mark, only 6.99 and frequently on sale with other Beyond the Zone products 2 for $10! Overall, not bad. Had to take a lippie away for the alcohol, but will rebuy (unless I find something better!)
I cannot say enough good things about this polish. It it so wholly stunning that it renders me nearly speechless. I'm fortunate to work at a Sally's, so I get to see all the colors before they're even in the computer/on the shelves! Here are the details: This is from the upcoming Eye Candy collection, which are 3-D glitters with Marilyn Monroe inspired names. This Gentlemen Prefer Blondes inspired polish is a gorgeous silver glitter with blue accent pieces--tiny, fine grains of silver glitter in an almost-but-not-quite clear polish form the base, while the cerulean blue and larger flecks of glitter sit atop, creating the 3-D look. This polish would be a GREAT layering polish, but it's also impeccable all on it's own, for the glitter fiends like me! I would say it takes 2 coats to reach opacity, though you might find yourself opting for 3 for more dynamic layering. As far as formula goes? It's a dream! I mentioned before that I work at Sally's and am constantly using & abusing my hands--it is impossible for me to keep a polish on for more than a day or two without chipping, but with a simple topcoat, this has lasted for days! Plus, because of the 3-D quality, fixing chips when they do arise is easy as can be! I do wish this were more jelly-based (like Skyscraper from the Metro collection--be still my heart!), but the color and quality far make up for the texture. Now, as far as price goes: these are more expensive than regular CG colors. At Sally's specifically, they usually run $5.99, but these actually start at $6.99, and drop based on your discount card accordingly, so I did rate them as a bit more expensive than your average China Glaze. The packaging is your standard China Glaze, though there are a few special ones that have a shiny silver top, so keep your eye out! Would I buy again? Heck, I've already got two bottles on hold for when the collection is released, but I might just go for a third! I put up kind of an awkward crop of my 5 day old polish (please don't unfairly judge the chips because I'm a slob!) but I'll fix up a new, better lit picture soon! In the picture, I have two coats on my pinky/ring finger, one coat on my bird finger, and the Finger Paints holiday top coat on all three, which gives it kind of a pinkish/opal tinge. Trust me when I say, this polish is AMAZING and truly a MUST HAVE for anyone who loves glitter! P.S.: for more fun (again, I'm a glitter fiend. Sue me.), consider layering with a shimmer topcoat, like Northern Lights (it's really fine glitter gives it extra shine, without overpowering the beauty of this polish) or another glitter polish of your choice!
Fragrances -Elizabeth Arden - Curious by Britney Spears
nataleighh 11/21/2011 11:11:00 PM
I simply adore this fragrance! It's light and fruity while still smelling very clean and fresh--it's suitable for work or for going out. A few spritzes last all day for me, which is more than I can say for other perfumes in its price bracket, which is on the lower end of what I've come to expect for fragrances. It comes in a few different sizes, and I've never had a problem with it "turning sour" or anything of the sort! The packaging is an added bonus--it's so cute!
I'm really pleased with this product. It's a nice medium grey--not too dark, and not too light, so it complements almost all skin tones! It has a nice application and two coats are sufficient for opacity's sake. Like most China Glaze polishes, it has impressive duration, but this seems to go over and beyond--I work with my hands and my polish chips frequently, but I wore this color for more than a week with minimal chipping! Will definitely re-purchase in the future!
Like so many others, I love this palette. It's got SO many colors and they can be used so many ways--the combinations aren't quite endless, but it'll take a while to work through them all. As far as price goes, this can't be beat. You get 12 different shadows that are nearly full size! Individual UD shadows retail for $17 USD each and weigh in at 1.5 grams. The shadows in the Naked Palette weigh in at 1.3 grams, so even if you only wind up liking 3 colors (and really, I dare you to resist these colors) you've gotten your money's worth between the shadows, the brush (retails for $26 USD), and the sample of primer potion! I'm a little bummed, because I have one of the earlier palettes that doesn't have the brush, but the dual ended 24/7 eyeliners. Quality of the shadows is typical Urban Decay, so no real complaints there, but a few of them have some god awful fallout! That's the only reason I took a lippie away--having to do my eye makeup, go back and use scotch tape to clean up the fallout, then do my face makeup--wayy to much effort for me, usually! Overall, a great buy and a must have if you enjoy using neutrals!
I used OPI's website to try on a few different "navy" blues, and it does NOT do this color justice at all. In fact, when I was looking for it at Ulta, I passed it over completely because I had no idea it was shimmery! I was really hesitant, until I painted it on their sample nails. WOW. One thin coat and it's lighter, and the shimmer very evident. A second coat darkens it up nicely, and while the shimmer is still noticeable, it's not nearly as eye catching as a single coat--perfect for what I was looking for. I'll upload a picture when I can get one in and out of the light--but if you're looking for a gorgeous medium-dark blue, look no further!
I can't say enough good things about this product. I can have a 12-14 hour day and it still looks as fresh as when I first put it on!! The specifics: 1. Price - This runs $17.50 USD which, yes, is $2.50 more than Fluidline, but you're also getting almost double the product. (Fluidline is 0.1 fl oz, Chromaline is the size of a paint pot, .17 fl oz). Definitely worth the few extra bucks. 2. Packaging quality - Again, just like paint pots, so so complaints here. 3. Staying power - here's where the difference between Fluidline really stands out. After 8 hours, my Blacktrack had faded. 16 hours in my Black Black Chromaline is just as sharp as when I applied it, which brings me to... 4. Application - I can't help but feel that this product is creamier than Fluidline. It goes on my brush smoother, it slides right on my eyelid, and applies just as dark as it does from the jar. Fluidline is great and very flexible, but it takes a couple of coats (if you will) to get the blackest black possible. This? Nope. The one will do you juuuust fine. *I would also like to point out that if you tend to open your eyes wide and get your eyeliner up into the crease, you'll probably want to give this a minute or two of dry time. It's pretty quick dry, but to be on the safe side, let it set :)
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Professional Size
nataleighh 1/22/2011 3:13:00 AM
It's official--I'm in love. I had never used UDPP before, but knew it had great reviews and came highly recommended, so I gave it a shot. Here's the breakdown: The price is great for the amount of product you get. The $18 Genie-bottle tube is 10 mL, this tube is $29 for 25 mL...you do the math. I've read some reviews saying it goes bad in 6-8 months, so do consider that when purchasing, though that is not a concern for me. Packaging: SO much better than the "normal" size. I received a sample size with my Naked palette and though that wand is supposedly "new and improved", it's a hassle to work with. I did trim the tip of this one to make dispersal easier, but that's a personal preference. Technical stuff: this applies as a peachy color, and dries invisible. I'm always really hesitant about things like that, and don't feel that they're truly invisible. but this one does. It does exactly what it claims and makes your eyeshadow last much longer and not crease. A bonus, though, I've noticed? It also makes your eyeliner last longer. I am a big fan of the 1950s cat-eye style makeup, and make sure to apply primer potion a bit further out, to insure that it will be underneath my eyeliner (MAC's fluidline in Blacktrack). Bottom line: a definite re-buy for me. Price, packaging, and performance wise, this can't be beat.
Styling Products -TRESemme - Thermal Creations Curl Activator
nataleighh 1/1/2011 6:44:00 PM
Price: Very cheap, imo. $3.84 + tax USD, for an 8 ounce bottle. Packaging Quality: 5; your standard plastic spray bottle that you use a finger on top to depress and dispense. A small arm that looks like a novelty helps disperse product better, as your finger doesn't get in the way and it mists better. Overall review: I bought this after reading good reviews here and on Amazon, and I am overall very pleased. It is quite cheap, and was very effective. In the picture I uploaded, you see that my hair has the nice tousled bed-headish wave that is popular now, kind of like Marisa Miller's hair. I curled my hair at 11:30 AM and it still looks good and has a quality amount of curl, even in the longest/heaviest section. The picture uploaded was taken at 6 PM the same day, after being out in 93% humidity, wind, and rain, and after being completely brushed out with a paddle brush. They're very soft & touchable!! My favorite part of this spray is that it gives you instructions on avoiding the dreaded stickiness of a curling spray. As per the bottle directions, you spray it on generously, then put the blowdryer on it for a minute or so and brush through. No stickiness or tangles to combat! Leaves your hair feeling soft and no noticeable residue. For the curls in the picture, I used a curling iron without the clamp, and did sections of varying size. My hair is longer and curls tend to fall out, even with salon brand setting sprays, so I've been very pleased to see that all day today, my curls have stayed. The one negative, I want to point out, is that this is technically not vegetarian friendly, as the label says it contains gelatin. UPDATE 4/12: Tresemme returned my e-mail and confirmed that the product does contain gelatin, making it non-vegetarian. I will not repurchase for this reason.
Hair -Sacha Cosmetics - Sally - Hair One Hair Cleanser and Conditioner
nataleighh 1/1/2011 1:50:00 AM
Let's get down to the nitty gritty first: Price: More than your typical drugstore shampoo (=1) for less product, less than Wen (=5), which is what it's meant to be comparable to. $10.49 regular price, though a savvy shopper will look for it when it's on sale at $7.99 and use their Sally's card for even more deals. There is the option of trying the sample sized packets, which run around $1.99, but require more than one if you have hair longer than your shoulders. Packaging Quality: Typical pump bottle, obnoxious, as you have to pump 18-27 pumps as described by the label. Something that delivers a larger supply would be much better. Also, there is only one size of the bottle available. Buying again: Yes, but only to alternate in with regular shampoo every few washes. (Update: No, would not buy again) Now, continuing on with the in depth review: I am really so very torn on this product. I purchased it after hearing two great reviews firsthand from friends, and was very impressed with the difference it made in my hair after the first wash, but it was so labor intensive that I'm not entirely sure it was worth it. First, the amount of product needed is really quite ridiculous. 5-7 pumps for the crown of your head, 8-10 pumps for the nape, and then another 5-10 for the shaft and ends of the hair! With some practice, you can reduce it (I have thick hair just at/past my shoulder blades, and use about 15 pumps, when I'm recommended to use 27.) It's really frustrating because unlike shampoo, this doesn't lather, so it's difficult to tell if you've properly massaged it into your whole scalp, especially if you have a LOT of hair. Second, the time. I know the label is really just a suggestion and a guideline, in general, but rinsing for at least a minute and massaging the scalp for 2-3 minutes? Ridiculous, when regular shampoo is lathered within a minute. After the vigorous massage, you have to add more to your midshaft/ends, and then you're supposed to let it sit at least 3-5 minutes, but "the longer, the better". Since I have longer hair, I have to deal with clipping it up in the shower. It creates a longer shower time, which is less than desirable if you're trying to be green and save water. Third, and this is something I've only JUST experienced...build up. Now, the label states that it's sulfate free, and that it won't cause build up. This is flat out false. After using it for the past month and a half, I've started seeing nasty build up, no matter how well I scrub my hair after rinsing it out. I washed my hair just this afternoon and it already looks greasy and gross, like I'm on day 6-7 of a blowout (I can usually go 7-10 days between washes). It's sticky and unpleasant to the touch, and what is normally a very pale and luminous blonde is very mottled and mute. SO not pleased with this. I will update after I shampoo with my regular Redken Blonde Glam. (This review is for the Olive Oil variety; there are also Jojoba, Tea Tree, and Cucumber varieties.) Update: The Blonde Glam worked just fine at stripping the nasty buildup without killing my hair. I will no go back to using this product.
Lipstick -Estee Lauder - Pure Color Lipstick- Tiger Eye
nataleighh 12/26/2010 2:38:00 AM
I got this in the holiday makeup kit, and I cannot express how bad it is. The color is SO not complimentary to my skin (fair with warm undertones), and the actual make of it is just...awful. I swatched this using MAC's 316 lip brush, and seriously, it looks like something from the Claire's. It has a nice bronze color to it overall, which might work on some skin types, but any positives are outweighed by the GLITTER in the product. I used MAC's makeup wipes as well as Estee Lauder makeup remover and it is STILL on, and not subtly, either. Absolutely awful.
Misc Beauty Tools -Tweezerman - Metal Eye Lash Comb
nataleighh 12/10/2010 7:18:00 AM
I absolutely LOVE this product!!! It makes my lashes look extra long and bright. The packaging is great--the fact that it folds in is a huge plus, to help protect it from other things in your kit. I don't understand the reviews that complain about the sharpness of the comb...it's basically a bunch of needles all in a row. Don't use this when your attention isn't fully on what you're doing, don't use it in a moving car, don't use it after consuming copious amounts of caffeine. The steadier your hand, the less likely you are to take your eye out. As far as cleaning goes, I use a kid's toothbrush, super soft, with a little alcohol. I've had the product for 2+ months and have cleaned it multiple times and had no problems with teeth falling out. Price point: I got this from Ulta, where it's been on sale the past few months on and off for $8.10 USD, regular price $9.00. Great value for the money!
I absolutely love this product! It hydrates my lips like no other, and has a delicious light vanilla flavor. I prefer the one in the pot, as it seems to last longer, but it's a personal preference. I also like that it leaves your lips with a nice, glossy sheen, so it pulls together my makeup nicely, even when I'm in a rush! Those days, I run clear browset through my brows, plushlash in my lashes, and a dab of this on my lips. My face looks fresh and bright for the day, even with less than a minute worth of makeup.