31 January 2013

Monthly: January Favorites

Took me a little while to put this together, but I'm finally done! This is mainly a "picture" post, it's pretty much self explanatory. All the items listed behind the read more, are items that I have been using constantly through the month of January. Hopefully the read more works below. 


30 January 2013

Weekly Manicure: Strobe Rose

Being last night I posted my manicure from last week, I figured I would post my very current manicure (newly done last night). Let me just put it out there now, for me to do just plain nails (aka one nail polish and only one), I'm mighty bored then, or indecisive with what to actually do.

I may do a photo tutorial for this one later one because I loved how it came out. It was purely just me grabbing polishes from my stash and just winging it.

(l-r) Steady as she Rose, Back in my Gloria Days..., Strobe Light
Base coat used Revlon's Post Trauma Nail Treatment.

First I did three coats of O.P.I. Steady as She Rose (Pirates of the Caribbean LE). I was just going to do two coats, but those two appeared streaky and uneven for me, so a third was needed. I did let each coat dry in between or at least until they were semi-dry for the next coat. The third coat I allowed the polish to dry even more being I was going to use the sponging technique.

Next I used Nicole by O.P.I. Back in my Gloria Days... (Modern Family LE) for the sponge gradient. This polish is on the thin side so it required a bit of layering to get it opaque enough). I lost count of how many layers it took after 2. Trial and error, I discovered after so many layers of polish, don't continue to use the same side of the cosmetic sponge, the gradient effect is slightly lost on my right hand because the polish was becoming thicker on the sponge.

Clean up around the cuticles was next, sponging can be messy sometimes.

Second to last, I promised not to do an over kill with Sally Hansen's Strobe Light (seriously, I love this polish!), so I limited it to my ring fingers for accent. I believe it was the right touch. Only one layer used.

Lastly I topped everything off with Inm Out the Door top coat.

End result?

29 January 2013

(Last) Weekly Manicure: Maroon Gold

I actually forgot to post this last week for my manicure series (oops!), my co-worker actually named this manicure for me.

Base coat used, Revlon's Post Trauma Nail Treatment. After letting that dry, I used two coats of Orly's Happily Ever After. After letting that dry, I cleaned up around the nail and cuticle, then started the opposite dry brush gradient (I watched Lucy's Stash tutorial on glitter gradient) using Wet n Wild Chrome polish in A Show at the Palladium (let me know if you know why I bought this!). I started at the cuticle then would just drag the brush up towards the tip of the nail and just kept building from there on each nail.

Letting that dry, I wanted some more sparkle, which is when my Sally Hansen Strobe Light comes in. Light layer of that over each nail, then I topped it off with Inm Out the Door.

End result?

Disclaimer: Products mentioned are my own.

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26 January 2013

Polish Swatches: L.A. Colors

For my birthday back in December, I received five L.A. Colors polishes from a dear friend of mine. I finally got around to swatching them. Sadly though, the names of the polishes were on the cardboard packaging, which were tossed as I thought the names would be on the bottoms of the bottles. The numbers on the base do not match on the site, but I did my best to try and decipher them.

(l-r) Current, Wave Length, Static Electricity, Metallic Teal, Atomic
I actually compared quite a few photos through google to make sure I'm on the right track with the names. I'm just not sure about the Metallic Teal though.

No top coat used for any of these.

First one is Current. It's a shimmery Green-Yellow that in the bottle almost seems to have a slight blue duochrome, which on the nails, it doesn't. It's just the way the light reflects on the bottle. The formula runny and thin. I actually used four coats of the polish and it still looks as if four coats wasn't enough.

Metallic Teal (or is it Treasure Island?). The flash on my camera seems to mess this one up as to the naked eye, it's blue with teal shimmers. Coming across like a duochrome, with the flash it translates as a metallic blue. Formula on this one, again, runny and thin. Three coats for this, and as it goes with Current, I needed more coats.

Wave Length (I'm fairly sure that's what this one is, I almost thought it was Shock, but Shock seems to be more a jelly/creme) is an yellow-orange shimmer. It's a very sunny yellow, perfect for summer I think. I used four coats, while one certain nails it covered fine, I can still see part of the white tip of my ring finger. The formula for this one was runny, but slightly thicker than the other two.

Next up, Atomic. It's a teal creme, and dries semi-matte. This is probably my least favorite of the five. The formula is thin, runny and patchy. Two coats were used. I'm sure a third coat would have fixed the issues.

My favorite out of the five, Static Electricty. It's just a true blue creme polish. I used only two coats, the formula is thin and runny. Only slight streaking occurred. It's an absolutely gorgeous color though, and I'm not one for wearing blue polish either.

Overall, they're nice polishes, unless you like sheer colors, then you'll definitely have to use more than three coats to get the polishes fully opaque.

Disclaimer: These products were given to me as a birthday gift, I did not purchase them on my own.

Hair Care Review: Organix Awapuhi Ginger

First hair care product review on my blog. I was going through the clearance areas of Target (always check the end shelves of the aisles!) and came across Organix Awapuhi Ginger Dry Styling Oil. Normally I wouldn't purchase this, but being it was on clearance I figured why not!

For anyone who is curious what Awapuhi Ginger is, please visit Hawaiian Ethnobotany Database for further details.

Sticker Price
The product comes in a black box (not pictured), accepted with white, hot pink and light pink lettering/font with a gold design in the background. Inside is the bottle (3.3fl oz) with the accenting and font coloring.
The bottle's packaging pretty much reflects the box, save for the design that appears on the box (not pictured). It's sleek packaging, the only issue I have with it, is the cap. I would have preferred if it were a pump because the product, which is an oil, comes out very quickly.

Ingredients listed on the box.
This isn't the first time that I've used Organix products. In the past I've used shampoos and conditioners from the brand, but haven't used anything besides that. So this product is a first to me.

The scent is very pleasant, definitely soft and not over-powering. For me it does lightly linger in the hair, which I love.

I apply the product to towel dried hair, working it from tips to a third of the way up, avoiding the roots. Then blow dry my hair.

As I mentioned before, you can end up with too much product. The oils consistency, I would say is similiar to baby oil. I can say though, even with too much product, it doesn't affect the way the hair turns out. There's no residue left behind. I will say this though, the first day I used this and had too much product, my hair felt like there a slight weight to it.

My hair comes out soft with a light scent to it. I haven't seen too much repairing though, then again I hadn't used this product on dry hair, only towel dried. Even with it being towel dried, I have noticed that any frizz I would normally have, have calmed down. So in a sense perhaps the repairing is working with the frizz control.

Overall verdict? It's a nice product with a lovely scent. It makes my hair soft, and does control frizz.

Would I repurchase again? Probably not unless it's on clearance again, I do have other hair care products that do the same exact thing.

Disclaimer: The product mentioned in this review was purchased by myself.

19 January 2013

Weekly Manicure: Goldeneye Days

Did my nails on Thursday night, so this is really quick and easy. Not much explanation needed. Just that I wanted to wear two different colors and couldn't decide on which, so easy way out, wear both :D

Nicole by O.P.I. Strengthener Plus as the base coat (2 coats).

Used three coats of Back In My Gloria Days... (Modern Family Collection) on the pink, index and thumb of both hands. Three coats of O.P.I. Goldeneye (James Bond: Skyfall Collection) on the ring and middle finger of both hands.

Clean up around the cuticles. 

Inm Out The Door as the Top Coat.

The Results?

The polish cracked on my middle finger while I was at the store earlier. Boo!

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in the above post were purchased by myself.

Review: Naturally Gorgeous

Last time I was at Walmart, they finally had the Hard Candy Naturally Gorgeous (it's either $5 or $6) palette back in stock.

Naturally Gorgeous is a nude/natural palette from Hardy Candy's Top Ten Eyeshadow Collection. There is a total of five different palettes, ten shadows each with two sponge tip applicators (the Walmart site states that it comes with a brush, not true).

I really and truly can't say whether or not this little palette could be a suitable dupe for either one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes as I don't own either.

So, without further delay, onward to the review!

One of the applicators went missing!
Packaging. It's typical hard plastic. Very sturdy, snapping shut with no problem. Behind the black and silver panel is a mirror. Speaking of the panel, it isn't something I care for, and seems to pull away because of how tightly the top of the palette closes. That might just be with mine though.

I should say right off the bat, all ten of these colors are shimmer and as far as I know, the other four palette are also all shimmers.

None of the eyeshadows have names, so I'll split it down the middle, starting with the first five on the left, which I'll say is the light to medium shades of the ten.

A quick note, a primer was not used with the swatches.

First five shades on the left of the palette.
The issues I had out of these five were the first three from the left. The lightest shades are both champagne colors, one being slightly different than the other. I did my very best to try and get those two to show up, but they didn't want to cooperate with me. The third color (which seems to be a brownish-champagne color), does have more color payoff than the first two, but is still light, it can work if it's packed on though. From the copper color on, the color payoff improves. Just the three lightest seem to be tricky.

Five shades on the right.
As I said, from the copper color onward, the payoff is perfectly fine. I haven't had any problems with these shades.

Texture wise with all ten shades, in my opinion, they're very soft with fall out. While I was doing the swatches, I noticed that I'd get lumps of the shadows on my fingers. I suppose it'd be safe to say the eyeshadow caked on my fingers. The same thing happened when I used the applicator. There's no problem though when using an eyeshadow brush. Tapping the brush off is a must with these shadows.

Would I recommend this? Yes, unless you're fussy about shimmers, soft eyeshadows that can cause fallout and the color payoff being iffy on three out of the ten shades.

I can definitely say that I do want to get the other four palettes to see how they are.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself.

12 January 2013

Review: Pixi Beauty Lid Last Shadow Pen

In my Eye of the Day I said I would do a review on the "primer" that I've been using on my eyes since October 2012. That happens to be Pixi Beauty's Lid Last Shadow Pen.

As far as I know, Pixi Beauty is sold exclusively in the states at Target (correct me if I'm wrong about this), but you can also purchase the products from their website as well if you don't have a Target near you.

Pixi Beauty - Lid Last Shadow Pens
I first started off by purchasing Peach Pavé (retail: $18.00), this was after I swatched it on the back of my hand and tried to rub it off. It wouldn't budge (SOLD!). After that, a duo set called Good Morning Eyes, came out that contained Shell Sheen and Brun Beam (retail: $12.00).

Something I want to point out is by definition, these are non-creasing eyeshadows. So, you could wear these alone, or do as I do and use these as a "primer" of sorts. 

With these you do need one of those large size sharpeners because they require sharpening, they do not twist up. 

I have used all three of the pens (I reach for Peach Pavé the most), and they all work the same. You have to work quick if you want to blend them because they dry down to a powder-like feel... and then they won't move. 

Wearing Peach Pavé, a shimmery peach, I have gone from 8:30am to 11pm, that's the longest I've gone without it creasing on me. It also depends on the quality of eyeshadows being used as well. Even with poor quality eyeshadows, I haven't had any creasing before 5pm, which is when I end my work day.

Shell Sheen, which is pearly white-pink, I tend to use as a highlight by my inner tear duct. It might just be me and my dry skin, but this tends to go on smooth in areas then it'll cake up, and trying to smudge out those caked up areas isn't easy. It could be that it just needs to be warmed up on the back of my hand before applying it, but I did want to mention that. The wear time on it is the same as Peach Pavé.

Brun Beam is a dark taupe brown/bronze, I normally use this on the outer v of my eye, and blend it into either Peach Pavé or Shell Sheen. I have used it all over my eye though when I want a real simple smokey look. The wear time for this is the same as the other two. My only issue with this one is that it can be a little patchy, and a little goes a long way. I do have to say though, out of the three, this one smudges out easier.

I should mention, all three of these colors contain a shimmer or a "glow" to them. They are not matte. I'm not sure if that goes for the other colors that Pixi Beauty offers as well though.

Over all, I absolutely love these pens/crayons. Once I'm done with all three, would I repurchase? Yes!

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this review were purchased by myself.

Dupe Alert! Back In My Gloria Days...

I figured I wouldn't get my hands on any of the Modern Family polishes from Nicole by O.P.I. until 2 months after the collection was released. Lucky me that my local Target ($7.04) actually had a full display. Most of the polishes in the collection I have polishes that are either exact dupes or close to (this even came from my Mother!). I wasn't sure about one though. Back In My Gloria Days... I couldn't recall if I had a dupe for this or not, so I ended up getting it.

When I got home and went through my nail polish collection (and there shall be a post about that), I did find a dupe. Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength polish in the color All Aglow comes across, in my eyes, as a spot on dupe.

Back In My Gloria Days... vs. All Aglow
Back In My Gloria Days...
Diamond Strength in All Aglow
It's hard to tell in the bottle because of how the Nicole by O.P.I. is shaped, Back In My Gloria Days... comes across as being darker because of this, but that's not the case.

Taking the brushes out of the bottles, Back In My Gloria Days... appears to be a bit darker, with a bluer shimmer, while All Aglow comes across purple with a pinkish blue shimmer.

And with that in mind, onto the swatches!

I apologize for the messy swatches, but I did these quickly (ignore the wonkiness that is my middle nail). Both have two coats over the same base (Revlon Post Trauma Nail Treatment), with no top coat. I had no trouble with application, it just depends on how much you get onto the brush. I truthfully can't see much of a different between the two. Perhaps Back In My Gloria Days... may have a tad bit more blue sheen due to the flash, but that could also be how I have my nails angled.

So if you can't get your hands on Back In My Gloria Days... from the Modern Family collection, may I then suggest Diamond Strength in All Aglow for a dupe.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this post were purchased by myself.

EotD: Plum Saturday

I'm not one to do a Face of the Day look, but I will do Eyes of the Day. My make-up routine during the work week is pretty much the same. Quick, easy, and overall boring; which is why on Saturday and Sunday I tend to jazz up my eye make-up.

I normally do my eyes after I've finished putting my foundation and concealer on. I do know some do the opposite, eyes then foundation and concealer. I've done both, I'm just more used to going in the order of foundation, concealer, then eyes. When I do go in this order, I do tend to make sure I tap off any excess eyeshadow off my brush to make sure I get as little fall out as possible. Even when I do get a little fall out, I just use a fluffy face brush to gently get it off. Anyway, onto the look and product run down!

Plum Saturday - Open

Plum Saturday - Closed

Products used to create the look.
 A quick run down of the products that I used. This is actually a simple look, I think. I've used my fair share of eye primers in the past, my HG once was Urban Decay's Primer Potion. That was until the formula changed, or seemed to have changed. 

What I've been using to prime my eyes, I have been using since October '12, Pixi Beauty Lid Last Shadow Pen in the color Peach Pavé (the little mint/peach end crayon). I'll do a review on this in a later post as I absolutely love this product. I've worn this going from 8:30am to 11pm at night without any break down of eye shadows (it really also depends on the quality of the eye shadow too).

 For the eye shadows, I used Missha's Signature Velvet Art Shadow in No. 1 Plum Combination. The only shadow I didn't use from this palette was the taupe-y purple that is to the right of the lightest color. I used the light pink around the inner part of my eye, around the tear ducts. Then took the not so taupe-y purple (the purple that is below the light pink), blended it into the edge of the pink then brought it across my eye, stopping just before the outer corner of my eye. I did the same to my lower lash line. Then took the rich, deep purple, used that on the outer V and into the crease slightly, then did some simple blending of it into the purple. I then did the same thing to my lower lash line. 


Then to blend the deep purple, and clean it up if I got any above my crease, I simply used M.A.C.'s Blanc Type. Which for me is perfect, it blends into my skin and can't be seen (wait, is that really perfect?).

Last two things, to line both my upper and lower lash line, I used M.A.C. Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline. Then my HG mascara, N.Y.C. Show Time [review].

No eye lash curlers were used. Let me just say, eye lash curlers and my lids, don't get along. My lids get pinched more than my lashes curl.

And that's it. Nothing really to it. I normally use more eye shadows then just sticking to one palette.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this post were purchased by myself.

10 January 2013

Weekly Manicure: Charismatic Light

Figure I'd kick off a weekly series being I tend to switch my polish up on that type of basis. Save for my New Year's nails which lasted from 12/30 to 1/7, I think that's a record for me with polish.

Originally, I wasn't going to make a post with this, but I got so many compliments at work with the combination, so why not.

(L) Charismatic, (R) Strobe Light
For my base coat I used my Nicole by O.P.I. Strengthener Plus. This time around I applied two coats rather than just one.

I let both coats dry, then applied two coats of Revlon's Charismatic, which is a shimmery apricot color. Allowing both coats to dry I then applied my favorite, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Strobe Light.

Lastly, I used Inm Out The Door as my top coat. I probably could have done two coats of it as the top doesn't feel very smooth. I can tell there's glitter from Strobe Light trying to break through.

End Result.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in this post were purchased by myself.

05 January 2013

Review: N.Y.C. SHOW TIME Volumizing Mascara

Back in December I needed to find a replacement for my HG mascara which seems to always be sold out. I've tried several high end mascaras which, I must say, I prefer a drug store brand over them.

I ended up buying N.Y.C. Show Time Voluminous Mascara in Extreme Black (I believe it was no more than $3.99 at Target, you can also find N.Y.C. sold at CVS). Sadly I didn't keep the packaging, I didn't think I'd ever start a blog.

One thing I cringe at with a mascara is flaking and smudging. I've had my share of raccoon eyes while I was at work because a mascara wore off to my lower lash line. One of the benefits N.Y.C. claims is that this mascara is Flake-proof and smudge-proof for an all-night-long glamorous look. I have to say that this claim is true. I haven't had any flaking nor smudging during the time that I've been wearing it (over two weeks) and I have given this mascara a run for it's money this past week. It had held up beautifully.

Next claim is Dual Power Complex strengthens and thickens lashes. By strengthens, if they mean that your eyelashes won't pluck out while you're trying to get stubborn eyeliner off, then I'd have to say that this is true as well. If this claim is trying to indicate that this mascara thickens your natural lashes, then I'd have to say, no. I haven't witnessed any thickening to my natural lashes since using this mascara.

Third, Volumized lashes up to 8 times without clumping. I haven't witnessed any clumping, perhaps minor that could easily be fixed with a mascara comb. However, the volumizing 8 times claim, I would say that it does volumize, but not to the point of 8 times. Then again, I don't know how many times you're to apply the mascara to achieve this 8 times volume.

Before N.Y.C. Show Time Volumizing Mascara
After N.Y.C. Show Time Volumizing Mascara

Fourth, High Control Brush separates and builds instant volume for a fabulous and all-out-drama look. The brush to me, isn't anything special. I've used mascaras that have similar brushes, so I don't see how this could be a "High Control Brush". I do, however, like that it's a bristle brush and not a rubber one (I'm not fond of them). I haven't witnessed the claimed "all-out-drama" either.

The final two benefits listed, I can't really say anything about one, Ophthalmologist tested. Suitable for sensitive eyes and lens wearers. I do have sensitive eyes, and haven't had any trouble with the mascara. I don't wear contacts, so I can't say anything in regards to that.

I honestly see this as becoming my new HG mascara. I have no complaints about it at all. Then again I'm not terribly picky. As long as a mascara doesn't flake and doesn't smudge, I'm very satisfied with it. It does volumize, but in my experience, not to the claimed 8 times. 

So, for the final bit, would I repurchase again? Absolutely.

Product mentioned in this review was purchased by myself from Target.

03 January 2013

New Year's Manicure

I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to post first after the introduction. Only one thing I could think of, my New Year's manicure. Now I apologize in advance for the photo quality. I'm still trying to figure this out with lighting, background, etc. And please, if you have any tips, feel free to comment!

Freshly taken December 30, 2012

Loves Me Not

What I haven't photographed are the polishes I use for my base and my top coat. After prepping my nails, I applied a new base coat; Nicole by O.P.I. Strengthener Plus which I actually got from a store called Five & Below for $3.00

Next came the base polish, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Loves Me Not. I'm not actually sure if this is still available any longer or not as I don't see it on the website, I also bought this when it was on clearance at Target. I applied two coats to make sure it was opaque. The one thing I did notice with the first application was that there was slight balding (mainly by the cuticles) depending on how much product was actually on the brush.

Going Platinum
After letting that dry, I contemplated between sponging on the tips a gold or a silvery color. I ended up going with the silver-ish color instead. I used from Fergie's line from Wet n Wild, Going Platinum. In my opinion, this color is absolutely gorgeous, not a pure silver, it seems to have a gold tint to it as well as silver, it just depends on how much you layer on. I used a cosmetic sponge to get that onto the nail, trying not to go all the way down the nail. I believe I sponged on two coats, the second coat I tried to concentrate closer to the tip of the nail. In my experience, this polish can be rather opaque, especially with sponging onto a dark color. Getting a gradient effect can be achieved providing you have a light touch (which I didn't because I didn't know how this was going to work before I started on my nails).
Strobe Light

Before the final touch, I cleaned up around my cuticles with nail polish remover (with acetone) and an EcoTools eyeliner brush (love this method instead of using a Q-Tip).

Finally, the polish that I've been in love with ever since I picked it up near the price scanner at Target (yup, that's exactly where I found it). Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Strobe Light. No words can describe how beautiful this polish is. It seems to have micro-fine glitter that comes across as mauve/pink in the bottle with larger flecks of glitter mixed in. The larger flecks though, are holographic pieces. No matter how many photos I took of this polish, both on my nails and the bottle alone, my camera couldn't do it justice. I applied one thin layer all over the nail, then applied a thicker layer over Going Platinum.

Last but not least, I applied my top coat of choice Inn Out The Door. I actually prefer this top coat over Poshe which I used to use. Preforms the same exact way and the price, in my opinion, is better (between $3.99-$4.99 depending on where you look). This is all personal preference though.

It's now past midnight where I live on January 3rd and the manicure is still holding strong, no chipping has occurred, just a bit of nail growth and I'm not even sure if that's visible.

Taken on January 3, 2012
So, there's my first real beauty post. Hopefully it wasn't long.

Thank you for stopping by!

02 January 2013

Small introduction post to my small beauty blog.

For over a year I have been debating back and forth about started a beauty related blog (wait ANOTHER one of those blogs?!), I figured with 2013 beginning maybe I should just take the bull by the horns and go with it.

So, here I am (at work), giving it a shot. Figured that I would start with an introduction post that will be short and sweet.

Most know me on the Internet as Alchemy (or recently I've adapted to Nyuu). I'm rather private (only close friends online actually know what my real name is), which was part of my big debate with myself. I'm shy until you get to know me so I'm always under the impression that my opinion with anything doesn't matter due to being the last to be heard.

I'm fairly obsessed with anything beauty (especially nails and perfume), as well as being obsessed with comic books and video games (not that the last two matter).

I think that's that's, I don't want this post to become long and drawn out (if you know me, then you know I have a tendency of doing an overkill with details).

My goal right now is to at least gain a follower or two by the end of this year :D Even if it's just one follower, then I'll feel like it's an accomplishment.

Thank you!
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