Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scented Nail Polish Show Down

I have recently discovered a new love for scented nail polishes. This started when I purchased my first bottle of Paul & Joe nail polish during the holidays. Not only was the polish consistency smooth and easy to apply, it left a nice fragrant scent on my nails once dried. Ever since then, I purchased 3 more bottles of Paul & Joe nail polishes, all of them leave the same nice scent once dried, and I am totally in love!

I have also been informed that Jill Stuart nail polishes also leave a nice scent once dried. I will have to get myself a bottle to try out soon!

While browsing CVS, I also discovered that Revlon also came out with a scented nail polish line called Revlon Scented Parfume Nail Enamel. Out of curiousity I picked up two to try.

Today I am going to compare the Paul & Joe vs. the Revlon scented nail polishes.

The Paul & Joe Nail Enamel left a light floral scent on my nails, and it is also very long lasting -- even after repeated hand washes and still left a faint smell the next day. I just couldn't help but keep sniffing my finger nails for the whole day after I had it on, good thing I stayed at home, otherwise I'd probably been stared at weirdly hahaha. The scent the Paul & Joe polish left is light, sweet and feminine. The polish formula is smooth, and very easy to apply. The only downside of the Paul & Joe polish? Its price tag, at $14 a bottle.
Paul & Joe Nail Enamel -- 23

The Revlon Scented Parfume Nail Enamel left a fruity smell once dried. The scent is stronger than that of Paul & Joe immediately after drying, but actually not in a completely good way, more of a if you are sensitive to perfume/strong scents, then you might sneeze kind of way. After a few handwashes, the scent grew fainter and it was completely gone by the next day, unlike Paul & Joe. So the scent is not as long lasting, despite its stronger and much sweeter note when freshly applied. Much to my disappointment, the formula, like a lot of Revlon ones that I've tried, is streaky. However once the second coat and top coat are applied, it is opaque and smooth at last. Each Revlon polish is about $5 to 6 dollars, and often times you will find them at BOGO 50% off sales, so for under $10 you can get two bottles.
Revlon Scented Parfume Nail Enamel -- Peach Smoothie
I also think maybe the Revlon polishes come in different scents as each polishes' names suggest, such as Peach Smoothie, Sublime Strawberry, Grape Icy, etc.

Overall, I guess I am still more attracted to Paul & Joe, for its smoother formula and more favorable scent (to me personally). I also just cannot resist its pretty bottle. However the Revlon ones will be a good alternative for anyone who's interested in trying out a scented nail polish because they are more readily available. Scent wise, if you are into the lighter floral scent, try Paul & Joe. But if you prefer the sweet fruity scents, Revlon would be your choice.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nail Polishes of the Month -- December 10 & January 11

Please read my previous post for an introduction to this project.

All polishes are applied with 2 coats unless otherwise indicated. Left is taken with either natural light or room light, right is taken with flash.

Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer -- Peach Parfait (3 coats)

Sinful Colors -- Vacation Time

OPI -- Bronzed to Perfection

L'Oreal Paris -- Mango-Get-Em

L'Oreal Paris -- Sweet Chiffon

Orly -- Toast the Couple

Zoya -- Mia

Sephora by OPI -- Beauty Junkie

China Glaze -- Don't Touch My Tiara

Paul & Joe Nail Enamel C -- 003 Classical (LE Holiday 2010)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nail Polishes of the Month -- Introduction

Today I am starting a new series of posts for my blog, much like the "monthly favorite products" and the "used up products of the month" posts, this one will hopefully make its appearance on a monthly basis -- Nail Polishes of the Month.

It's come to my attention that as my nail polish obsession grew overtime, some of my nail polishes are not getting the love they deserve. I'd often change my manicures among a few that I really loved and ignore some of my earlier ones. I also realize that before I decide to buy a nail polish, it is often useful to Google swatches to see how they'd look on real finger nails instead of what it shows on the picture of a bottle. Even though there are already tons of awesome nail blogs, I would still like to contribute my share, and hopefully someone will find a particular swatch useful and help them to decide on a purchase. I also hope that by keeping track of all the manicures I go through in a month, these series of posts will help myself to tally up all the nail polishes I own.So by the end of the series, I will have showed all the nail polishes in my collection.

How frequently I change my nail polish totally depends on my mood and schedule. Sometimes I'd change manicure every 2 days, sometimes a week or longer. Most of the time I change manicure because my current one chipped, and because I have this bad habit of picking/peeling at my nail polishes once they are chipped (I know, so bad! But polishes have at least prevented me from picking at my own nails, an even worse habit I've had since a kid). I also admit that I am not blessed with beautiful long nails. They peel easily and are hard to grow long without breaking, even with the help of a daily dose of Biotin, and strengthening top coats. The type of work I do also sometimes tend to be extra damaging to my hands, thus the sometimes rough cuticles. But I still hope that my swatches will be helpful. I am also hoping that now knowing I'd have to post my hands on the Internet every time I change a new polish, I will be reminded to take care of my hands and cuticles better!

I actually decided to start this project in December of 2010, but never got around to editing the photos and posting them. So the next POM post will start with December + January, and then February will follow as soon as the month ends. Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, and enjoy!

Let's end the post with a glimpse of all the polishes I will have to go through, and my nail polish organization. I used two top drawers of a 3 drawer Sterilite cart. Each drawer is tall enough so polish bottles could stand upright. I read somewhere that it is not a good idea to store nail polishes sideways because over time polish could seep through the cap and dry out and shut the top closed. I also placed smaller baskets in there so I can further organize the polishes by shades. The top drawer contains base and top coats, sheer polishes or glittery ones that look best when added on top of another polish. The basket beneath that has some black/brown/grey/yellow/green/blue shades that I could only wear on the weekends because they are not work appropriate. I own a lot of pink/coral/red shades because I tend to sway toward those colors when I buy nail polishes, and also they are the ones that are more office appropriate. So the whole second Sterilite drawer contain these shades.

Friday, February 18, 2011

L'Oreal The One Sweep Eye Shadow

This eyeshadow is a new product from L'Oreal. When I first spotted it at Target, I was instantly intrigued by the huge sponge tip applicator and decided to pick one up to try.
I think it's great that the shadow comes prearranged with 3 complimenting crease, base and highlight shades and are designed for different colors of eyes. They have a natural color and a fun color for brown, green, and blue eyes, plus two more for all eyes. 
The one I picked up is 809 Natural for Brown Eyes. The highlight shade is a light taupe color, the base color is a light grayish brown, and the crease color a darker brown. All of them have shimmers. The colors are not extremely pigmented, but together they create a nice gradient on my eyelid, and are perfect for a day time office appropriate look. I do wish that the shadows are a little bit less shimmery and frosty though.
To use, you grab the sponge tip applicator and sweep it across the pan vertically, then sweep across your eyelid. The curved-in part of the applicator is always picking up the darkest shade on the right, which will then go closest to your lash line. So one sweep, and you get liner/crease shade, all over shadow and highlight shades in one step. The concept is really cool, and even though I thought it was a little gimmicky, it actually worked surprisingly well for my eye shape! The sponge tip applicator is soft picks up a lot of shadow in one go. 
This shadow is great for someone who might be new to makeup but wanted something with more dimension than a single sweep of shadow. This shadow is also a great one to bring on travel because it's quick, easy and fool proof.
I got mine at Target for $8.99 + tax. However since it is a drugstore product, I am surethere will be a BOGO free or 50% sale at CVS in the future.
The pigmentation is lacking, but the shades I picked up is one of the lightest among the group. Some others seem to have fun vibrant colors and I would love to pick more up to try when there is a sale. 
Have you tried this shadow? Do you often pick up a new product because you were curious about its special packaging or features?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Secret Valentine 2011

This is my second year participating in the Secret Valentine event hosted by Diana. This is a really fun way for us to meet new blogger friends and send love packs to each other. This year, Liz was my Secret Valentine. Boy did she spoil me rotten! p.s. Iyah got me as her SV, check out her post here :)

Liz's packages came in two big Nordstrom boxes. She was so thoughtful! Not only did she ask me anonymous questions on Elfster beforehand to find out what I liked, but she placed my gifts in super pretty gift boxes! I felt so special to be receiving such nicely wrapped presents.

Oh YES! I LOVE pink, and I LOVE hello kitty! Thank youuuuuu!!!
My super duper adorable Hello Kitty pillow that I LOVE! Did I tell you I love it?! Not even Mia's allowed to touch it :p
This NARS Tained Love Set is so gorgeous! This is the first NARS Multiple I've ever owned, it's such a pretty pink! The lip gloss is equally gorgeous, and the nail polish's pretty hot pink color is so irresistible! All three products scream Valentine's Day! (And upon further research, this set is actually a Limited Edition set from Nordstrom for V-day! This blog also has gorgeous swatches of the products, so please check it out!)
Thank you Liz, for making my Valentine's Day extra special, extra sweet, extra cute and pink!!! Thank you so much for being the best Valentine ever <3 Also, I wish you a very happy birthday :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

This year's Valentine's Day is extra special for us because exactly a year ago, we got engaged! And today we will be celebrating as husband and wife for the first time in our lives :)

Hubby surprised me with a super cute key pendant necklace, I love the little pink sapphire on the heart. He did such a good job selecting this gift, I am totally in love with key pendents.
The back is pretty!

A few days ago he also got me my permanent pot of daisy flowers that will now sit next to my computer forever. The flower petals are made with removable paper clips that sit on a magnetic center. Isn't it adorable? 

So here is my little post dedicated to this year's Valentine's Day. I am thankful for having a wonderful husband and friend for life. Despite our ups and downs, I am proud to be your wife, and lucky to have you in my life! <3

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shopping With a Friend is Way Better Than Shopping Alone

...because window shopping is more likely to turn into some real shopping, hahaha. This was a shopping trip with my friend YY from way back in December. She is one of my few real life friends who is also really into makeup/skincare. When I get together with her, we just couldn't stop talking about beauty deals and makeup, which was a ton of fun! She's also the only friend whom I could shamelessly admit to how much of a beauty addict I am.

When I met up with her that morning, she pulled out a printed coupon from Estee Lauder, as they were giving away free lip glosses for the day only. I have never tried Estee Lauder lip glosses before, so this was a nice treat!

We wandered into Juicy Couture and came out with matching bracelets. I love how chunky this is, as I've never had anything similar to it before. I'm not planning on adding more charms on it though, I think the heart and the J is bulky enough, haha.

At Sephora, I picked up the Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Powder Foundation. The SA matched me up for 203 (light beige). I have heard so many beauty blogger friends rave about this product. This product is perfect for my oily skin!

I also stood shamelessly in the long line of little kids anxiously getting their holiday presents at Build-A-Bear for my own stuffed animal. They had 4 Sanrio characters on sale back then, Hello Kitty (which I own), Chococat (which I really wanted but OOS everywhere), My Melody, and Keroppi. I opted for Keroppi :) And since it's limited edition, my Keroppi is numbered, cool huh? :)

Also picked up some CLEAN products -- Fresh Laundry Clothing & Linen Fragrance, and Simply Soap Soft Body Lotion. I love CLEAN scents -- they give you a fresh out of the shower and just did laundry feel. 

Hello Kitty PJ pants-- hey I'm wearing it right now as I am typing! So soft and warm. Perfect for lounging around the house for. 

Victoria's Secret shimmer powder, and bath products, all in Pure Seduction scent, which is my favorite scent from VS. I bought the trio of body lotion, spray and shower gel for the cute pink pouch with gold accents, and put it to use right away at my friend's Indian wedding:

My first time wearing a sari! My college roomie chose this sari for me and the pink and gold matched my VS wrislet perfectly :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Final Result: Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

It's been 4 weeks since I've started using the Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum. Are you curious about the results? Before we start, please read this post, and also this post to get some background information on this product and my thoughts on it.

Now are you ready? Let's see some Before and After pictures! (Click to enlarge)

My lashes look visibly fuller and longer. I am also very happy that my bottom lashes grew longer too, they were almost non-existent before (and super hard to put mascara on).
Look! I can see my bottom lashes!

For the past 4 weeks, I always made sure to have the lash growth serum on 24/7. In the night I'd apply the Clear Serum, and in the morning I'd either use the Deep Brown liner as my eyeliner for the day, or apply Clear Serum after cleansing my face and before I put on my makeup.

I would highly recommend this product. I am loving its 2-in-1 property, and how easy it is to use. It is a relatively new product from Physician's Formula, I found mine at my local CVS. They retail for about $10 each.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

♥ January Favorites ♥

♥ L'Oreal One Sweep Eye Shadow (809 Natural for Brown Eyes)
I was shopping at Target and passed by the L'Oreal new product display, and this gigantic sponge tip applicator caught my attention. What in the world...! I decided to grab one to try anyway because I got really curious about the product. You grab the sponge tip applicator and sweep it across the pan vertically, then sweep across your eyelid! The curved-in part of the applicator is always picking up the darkest shade on the right, which will then go closest to your lash line. So one sweep, and you get liner, all over shadow and highlight shades in one step. The concept is really cool, and even though I thought it was a little gimmicky, it actually worked surprisingly well for my eye shape! Will have swatches in a upcoming post soon!

♥ LUSH Vanilla Dee-Lite Hand and Body Cream
I have been using this as a body cream after I shower every night. It has an extremely light and watery texture that is not greasy at all, so it is really easy to apply. It has a light vanilla scent, which I really enjoyed. Love this!

♥ Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Comfort Cream
I picked up this 100-point deluxe sample from Sephora to try out, and have been using it as my night cream for the past few weeks. I really love it. It helps to repair and plump up the skin while you sleep, and the next morning I'd wake up to refreshed and soft skin. It's not greasy and absorbs well. I will be purchasing a full sized product after I'm done with this tube, because I love the way my skin feels and looks after using it!

♥ MAC I Get No Kick Eye Kohl
A soft shimmery champagne colored liner from the Cham-Pale collection. I love using it at the inner corners and inner bottom lash lines to help me look more energized and awake, and also a dab at the center of the Cupid's bow to give my lips a fuller look.
Swatch with flash on.
Swatch without flash.

♥ Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Day & Night Lash Boosting Serum (Clear Serum) ♥ Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner & Serum (Deep Brown)
It has been almost 4 weeks since I've been using this amazing Physician's Formula lash growth serum/liner, and I am so happy with how much fuller and longer my lashes are now. Even my bottom lashes, which were almost non-existent before, are visibly longer now. I made sure that I have this serum on 24/7. In the night I'd apply the Clear Serum, and in the morning I'd either use the Deep Brown liner as my eyeliner for the day, or apply Clear Serum after cleansing my face and before I put on my makeup. The thin brush tip is really easy to apply, and is able to reach every corners of the eyelid. The brown liner is very long lasting. For more information, please read this & this. A final review showing my progress at the 4 week mark will be coming soon too :)

♥ Dior Diorshow Mascara
This is a little sample sized Diorshow mascara, and I am loving it! I have been using waterproof mascara for the majority of the year in 2010, and I got tired of how much harder it was to remove them at the end of the day. This mascara is really easy to remove, yet it stays on for the whole day for me. It lengthens, volumizes, and doesn't clump. Would I repurchase? hmm at $24.50 a pop, I might have to think hard about it. Seriously, do mascaras have to be that expensive! Especially since you are suppose to replace it every 6 months :T