Saturday, June 30, 2012

Snack Exchange, Netherlands Style!

Good morning, dear readers, and more importantly, happy Saturday!  I'm going to do things a little differently today to keep you on your toes, and I wanted to share photos from another recent exchange I took part in on the snack exchange subreddit.  This time I swapped treats with a gentleman in the Netherlands.  I was really looking forward to this particular exchange because I love European chocolate and licorice, and he did not disappoint!  Let me show you all the goodies he sent to me.
Chocolate!  Yum!  DH made me share some of this with him, and the Bon Bon Bloc was TO DIE FOR!  I definitely need more of this in my life some day!
More chocolate goodies.  When completing these exchanges, you can ask for specific things, and the only specific item I requested (if he could get it easily of course) was the Kanjers caramelwafels.  My exchange buddy assured me that he would have to put zero additional effort into getting a package for me, and these were AMAZING! 
Oh licorice, how much do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...
I have been in licorice heaven, and I have slowly been savoring my way through these bags.  The best part about this is the hubby doesn't like licorice so these babies are all mine.  Mwahaha!
And there were even more fun treats!  I have to admit putting sprinkles on my toast did seem a bit odd, but I definitely had to try it!
All the goodies

The thing that I learned about this particular trade is that I would be huge if I lived in the Netherlands!  The sweets were delectable, and some disappeared faster than I care to admit.  I still have some of the chocolate safely stored away in the freezer and the licorice is hiding in a zippy bag in a cabinet.  I'm not looking forward to running out, but I am glad that I now have a hookup for such goodies in the Netherlands!  

This is what I sent to him:
 He really wanted a Cadbury creme egg with his southwestern goodies, and I was happy to deliver!  And yes, there is a scorpion in that lollipop!  I was actually stung by one a few years ago, and I thought I was going to die from the pain!
 I <3 Maria's cookies!
Prickly Pear Cactus syrup and jelly, and Mesquite jelly

What are you up to this weekend, dear readers?  I'm going to be tossing some things on the grill and relaxing with the hubby.  Whatever your plans, I hope you have fun and you get to spend time with people you love.  Until next time, dear readers, stay good!  ;)

 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Getting My Geek On with Dollish Polish Hylian Princess!

Good morning, dear readers!  I hope you have been having a wonderful week thus far and sporting awesome purple nails!  In my previous post, I decided to wear Dollish Polish "The Walk of Shame" in support of Animal Abuse Awareness Week.  The purple was gorgeous, but a little too bright for my taste, so I decided to add a glitter top coat to tone it down some.  Yes, I did say "glitter top coat" and "tone it down" in the same sentence, and it made perfect sense in my head!  LOL!  Don't get me wrong, it certainly added a little bling  to my nails, but the brightness of the purple was toned down.  I decided to continue with my Dollish Polish streak and used one coat of "Hylian Princess" over "The Walk of Shame".  On to the pictures!

In the Shade
 This was too cool to not include- partial shade, partial sun

As you can see, "Hylian Princess" is composed of various shades and sizes of purple, gold, black, white and silver glitters.  Let me just say- I love this colour!  While I'm not a big fan of purple cremes, I do like top coats with purple glitters mixed in them, and the name!  Oh!  The name!  I've never been a big gamer, but I did enjoy Legend of Zelda.  My parents bought a Super Nintendo for my brother and I, and my parents decided it was best to put it in my brother's room.  Of course this meant I rarely got to play, and I had to fight to get any Zelda or Super Mario Brothers time.  I know, tough life, right?  Oh to be young and to have that be my only worry again!

"Hylian Princess" is sold as part of a Zelda Duo at dollishpolish.bigcartel.com, and is paired with the gorgeous green, brown, and gold glitter top coat "The Hero in Time".

Until next time, dear readers, stay good, or don't get caught!  ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Wear Purple in Support of my Furry Friends!

Good morning, dear readers!  If you are not already aware of it, this week is Animal Abuse Awareness Week.  Sadly, many critters are abused and neglected, and the SPCA commercials raising money for abused animals makes me tear up every time.  I always wish I could take a poor baby home with me, but my house is already filled with animal shelter rescues.  Instead, I have painted my nails purple to raise awareness.  I have decided to use Dollish Polish "The Walk of Shame" from Dolly's adult themed collection.  While the name was given because of certain adult situations, I find it fitting in this case as well: anyone that abuses animals SHOULD be ashamed of themselves.  This is with 2 coats of polish. 
I'm generally not a purple girl; I don't like the way most purples look on me, but I will totally wear it for a cause!  This particular colour is BRIGHT, and I half expected to see my nails glow in the dark (they do not).  The formula on this was a little odd, and I had some serious problems with application.  Even though the lacquer was clearly still very liquid, the polish was drying almost immediately after touching my nails.  I love when polish dries quickly so I can move on with my day, but this was drying faster than I could even apply a couple strokes on each nail.  I added a little thinner, thinking it might help, but that was not the case.  I was able to get it to smooth down some with the second coat after working insanely fast.  Dear readers, I am not kidding when I say you have to work quickly with this one- it felt dry within seconds!  In all honesty, I did not care for the formula, and I have made an inquiry into this to determine if it should be behaving this way or if I just got a bad batch.  Nonetheless, I am still rocking this colour in support of fur-babies that need love and attention!  Dollish polish can be found at the Dollish Polish online store and at Llarowe in a few weeks.
Ludo thanks you for reading and for your support!  All my animals are from the shelter, and while we don't know much about his past, we know Ludo had an abusive owner.  Thankfully, he has gained a lot of weight since we brought him home (he was emaciated), and he is currently curled up next to me on the couch while I type this post.  Have you given your friend a hug or pets yet today?

Until next time, dear readers, stay good, and give your pets some love!  <3

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ozotic 522: the Perfect Red Holo!

Good morning, dear readers!  I have a holo treat that I have been trying to share with you all week, but life got in the way for a little while.  "No more!" I say, because this colour is just too beautiful to keep to myself any longer.  For those of you that may not be aware of this yet, Ozotics has discontinued their 500 series of polishes, so if any you have been thinking of purchasing one of these beauties, now is the time to do it.  Earlier this month, I made a post about UP Colors Rosa Star, and I mentioned that as much as I loved the colour, it just wasn't winning me over on my nails.  I think it was the fact the the colour is already a bright pink, but once you add the little hints of purple in the holo effect when you go out in the sun, the colour that I really liked disappeared.  I thought that perhaps a slightly more red colour would win me over, and Ozotic 522 certainly did!  I wanted to be frugal with this since I may not be able to purchase another bottle, so I only used 1 coat over Zoya Nefertiti (a gorgeous red and my first Zoya by the way).  The colour (522) seemed a little thin, and I didn't want to be using 3 or more coats to reach opacity.  I must say I am happy that a little went a long way, and it applied like a dream!  On to the pictures!

This is just stunning, if I do say so myself!  All of the pictures above have been taken in the sun.  This is the main issue I have with holos and most blog posts about holographic nail lacquers: you see amazing swatches of the holos so you rush and buy them as soon as you can, but then you're disappointed.  Why? Well, as stunning as they are in the sun, they are kind of boring once you go inside or stand in the shade.  I didn't really realize this until I used the UP Colors in my above-mentioned post, but I'm not a fan of holos when I don't have the best lighting on them at all times.  That being said, let me show you what this looks like without the holo effect.
This isn't quite so flashy, and in my opinion, looks a little odd!  It definitely has a "dirty" appearance that won't be winning everyone over.  I actually liked this particular one even like this, but I think it explains why some people just are not dazzled by the holos.  The point I am trying to make and not articulating very well is to think about whether or not you like "dirty" colours when you are selecting your holographic polishes and decide if you will be majorly disappointed if you spend most of your time indoors.  I personally love many murky colours- especially blues.  Greige?  Yes, please!  Dusty purples?  Gimme, gimme!  At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference.  That reminds me, I need to find a good sea foam green holo!

Until next time readers, stay good and remember: watch the road while you're driving, not your nails!  ;)   

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FP Lemon Sour with UP Colors Carnaval

Good morning, dear readers!  I have a "polish fail" that I wanted to share with you today.  One of the colours that I really want to like but cannot seem to is yellow.  I don't know what it is- I can see it on other people and think it looks good, but the colour just doesn't seem to work for me.  I was really excited when I saw other bloggers post pictures of Finger Paints Lemon Sour, and I thought I finally found a yellow that would work for me.  Well, I was VERY wrong.  Of course I didn't think to snap a quick picture of it when I was wearing just Lemon Sour, but the colour on my nails did appear close to what I saw in the bottle.  In an effort to "rescue" the colour, I decided to top it with UP Colors Carnaval.  Carnaval is a red and green flakie in an ochre base, and I thought the base would help make the Lemon Sour just a little less pastel.  I must report that it did just that, but I'm not thrilled with the final results.  Don't get me wrong, I liked it more than the pastel Finger Paints alone, but the darker colour wasn't really winning me over either.  I should also mention that it was almost impossible for me to snap a picture that showed off the flakie colours!  Pictures are with two coats Finger Paints Lemon Sour plus 2 coats of UP Colors Carnaval.
 In the sun.  You can kind of see the colours in the corner of my left finger!
 In the shade.  You can definitely see the colours more here!
I guess the combination is kind of interesting, but the overall colour just was not working for me.  You might be amused to hear that it did grow on me a little during the long photo shoot it took for me to capture the flakie colours!  

Finger Paints can be found at your local Sally's Beauty Supply (Lemon Sour was in their spring collection so you may have a difficult time finding it), and UP Colors can be purchased at shop.llarowe.com.

What colours do you want to like but just don't?


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Could Have Danced All Night....

It is official- I now own the perfect teal!  I was gifted Ulta Dance Teal Dawn, and I was anxious to see if the beauty of the lacquer in the bottle would be just as stunning on my nails, and I have to tell you it's not- it's BETTER!  I'm not kidding on this, and I actually squealed once the brush touched the first nail.  Yes, I was THAT excited about it.  The formular was nice- not to thin that it flooded my cuticles, and not too thick that it was a goopy mess.  This is with two thin coats, and there was NO staining!!!!  Yes!!!  Check it out:
In the shade
In the sun
I love this colour!  It's not too dark for me (I usually don't like colours that are so dark that they almost appear black), and the shine is just stunning.  I thought it was a gorgeoups colour in the bottle, but I am awestruck now that I have applied it to my nails.

In other news, I have entered into a Mary Kay before and after makeover contest, and I need your votes to help me win a prize.  You can vote up to 5 times a day through noon CST June 15th.  Here is the link to my entry.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, dear readers!  Stay good, or just don't get caught!  ;)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Zoya Gemma and Tracie Comparison and Promo Alert!

Greetings, dear readers!  I have another swatch comparison I wanted to share with you today.  I was curious just how similar Zoya's Gemma and Tracie were to each other, so I decided to test it out.  When the bottles are next to each other, you can clearly see some differences.  Gemma is a little darker and has hints of blue and pink sparkle while Tracie is brighter and has a silver frostiness to it.  The difference is much more noticeable when on the nail.  I used 2 coats of both Tracie and Gemma.


Tracie - Gemma - Tracie - Gemma
In the Shade
Tracie - Gemma - Tracie - Gemma
In the Sun

These are both beautiful colours, and I love that the blue and purple shimmer seen in the Zoya bottle is still seen on the nail.  It drives me crazy when I pick up a polish because it looks amazing in the bottle but the effect is lost on the nail.  Actually, crazy isn't the right word: it mades me down right angry.  I feel like it is false advertising.  Anyhoo, these colours are beautiful, and I actually like wearing them together like this.  Tracie adds the nice brightness to my nails while Gemma works to reign it in and keep the brightness from being too over the top.  In true Zoya fashion, the formula was superb, and I am really glad that I stumbled upon the brand several months ago.  You can find some Zoya colours at Ulta stores, but the best place to find them it at the Zoya website.  I strongly encourage you to check it out today and tomorrow BECAUSE Zoya is having a promo starting at 12:01 AM Eastern Standard Time on Monday, June 11th (that 9:01 PM on Sunday, June 10th for us Pacific Standard Timers!)  Enter code ZPIN3 when you checkout with any order in the coupon code field located in your cart, and receive a trio of mini Zoya bottles of Zuza, Myrta, and Kimber.  Only 2,000 trios are being made available, so you will want to have your Zoya account created in advance and be ready to enter the code and submit right at 12:01 EST.  Zoya terms and conditions (no longer in fine print): Normal shipping and handling fees apply, Trios available while supplies last, Continental US only, limit one promotion per account, not valid with other codes or promos, orders with promo codes are not eligible for returns or exchanges, Zoya is not responsible for address or credit card errors made by the consumer, code must be entered at time of purchase, please allow up to 3 weeks for delivery if volume warrants it.  I love the Zoya products, and I can tell you from experience that their customer service is top notch.  I had a bottle break during shipment, and they replaced it for me immediately without any hesitation.  I love this company!

I think I have rambled enough today, and I am STARVING!  I hope you all enjoy your day!  Any fun weekend plans?



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mary Kay Skin Care Consultation

Happy Thursday, dear readers!  It is Thursday, right?  I mentioned in a previous post that I had a Mary Kay skin care consultation, and I wanted to make a post about it for a week now, but I have been so exhausted lately and nothing I wrote pleased me.  I've decided that this has taken me far too long already, so I'm going to make this post now, whether I like it or not!  That being said, please pardon any major grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and loopy-ness on my part!

Let me first start this post by telling you about my previous Mary Kay experience.  It was very limited and not particularly favorable, although my issue was with that particular Mary Kay consultant, not the products themselves.  I was first introduced to Mary Kay when I was about 20 years old by an older friend when I attended a party at her cousin's house.  At that time, I wore makeup frequently, and I loved to experiment with colours.  I really wanted to test out a particular shade of eyeliner, but the Mary Kay rep told me that I could not because it would look terrible on me.  Needless to say, I did not take that well.  Who did this woman think she was?  She became very rude when I decided not to purchase anything from her, and I put the brand out of my head for the next 11 years.  I was reintroduced to the brand by chance about a week and a half ago, and I wanted to write about my latest experience.

My Mary Kay consultant arrived out my home at the agreed upon time, and we hit it off right away.  I was very comfortable with her, and we started talking like we had known each other for years in no time.  I was a little nervous about trying the products since I have sensitive skin, but I decided that I should go for it at least this one time. Thankfully, I did not end up regretting that decision.  These are the products I tested:
- TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser
- TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set
          Step 1: Refine
          Step 2: Replenish
- TimeWise Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 25
- TimeWise Night Solution
- TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer
- Firming Eye Cream
Borrowed from marykay.com because I didn't even think to take a picture.  Oy vey!  This is the "Miracle Set" that is comprised of the 3-in-1- cleanser, day solution, night solution, and moisturizer; this set has been awarded the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser
I have combination skin, and I used the combination to oily skin formula for the cleanser.  The first thing that I noticed was the complete lack of suds when I rubbed this onto my lightly-dampened skin.  Ah hah!  I knew someone was out to get me!  I have to tell you that I am one of those people that need to see suds in order to believe something is actually cleaning.  I promise you, dear readers, that suds are not even remotely necessary for the cleansing process as ingredients that cause sudsing don't actually clean.  My face did feel cleaner after using this product, but I have two major issues with it.  One problem I have is that the second ingredient in this product is TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, and a cleansing agent that is very drying to the skin.  I prefer my skin cleansers to be very mild, and this is a little too harsh.  My other complaint is that this cleanser contains a plethora of plant extracts.  "Natural ingredients" does not actually mean that they are better; it merely informs you the source of the ingredient.  Furthermore, it does not give any sort of indication as to whether or not the ingredient is actually going to be effective or if there are any risks associated with it.  The best way to think about plant extracts in skin care products is like this: Would you want poison ivy extract in your skin care routine?  I thought not!  This does NOT mean that this cleanser contains poison ivy as it does NOT, but I am trying to emphasize the point that natural does not equate with better.  The TimeWise 3-in-1 Cleanser does contain several extracts that are known to be irritating to the skin; grapefruit and witch hazel extracts are my main concern.           


TimeWise Microdermabrasion Set
Step 1: Refine
I only have one word for you when it comes to the refining step, and that is lubrication!  The refining scrub contains the same alumina crystals that can be found in professionally administered microdermabrasion treatments; however, the application in professional treatments work a little differently.  In professional microdermabrasion treatments, a steady jet of alumina crystals are projected onto the skin, while simultaneously, a vacuum pressure is applied to remove the crystals and dead skin cells.  Unfortunately, I cannot say if using a scrub will have the same results as a professional treatment.  That being said, I've pretty sure some dead skin cells were removed from my face, and the scrub does rinse off very easily with water.  I am also happy to report there were to irritants in this product.
Step 2: Replenish
After sloughing off the dead skin, my face definitely felt a little tender, and the replenishing treatment certainly helped to cool it down.  This serum moisturizer left my face with a silky feeling that I absolutely loved.  I wish I had more thoughts on this product, but Mary Kay did not list the specific "Soothing Agent" or "Toning Agent" for me to determine whether or not the replenish step has any ingredients that would irritate the skin.


TimeWise Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 35
Now this was something I loved!  Living in the desert, I get more than my fair share of sunlight, and I cannot stress the importance of wearing sunscreen enough.  If the thought of skin cancer doesn't scare you enough (and it really should!), at least think about how using sunscreen daily when you are younger will help keep you younger looking when you are much older.  The formula was smooth and applied very easily to my skin, and the finish is very sleek, a quality that I need for under my makeup.  

TimeWise Night Solution
Because I had my consultation during the day and had already put the Day Solution on my face, I rubbed this on my elbow to try out.  Like the cleanser, this one is a fail for me.  The serum is packed full of antioxidants and peptides that should work wonders on aging skin, but I almost immediately noticed a little bit of a tingling sensation on my elbow.  I don't care what other people might tell you, but I can assure you that tingling is actually a bad sign, as it means your skin is being irritated.  Refreshing, my tookus!  I was really eager to get my hands on the ingredient list for this baby, and I was not even remotely surprised when I saw them.  Plant extract, plant extract, plant extract, plant extract...  I was actually horrified to discover that the night serum contained so many plant irritants, including the highly offensive wild mint extract.  Mint goes in a mojito, not on the skin, ok, dear readers?  My other beef with this product (come on, did you actually expect me to have only one?) is that the Nutribead capsules (which pop open upon dispensing) are vitamin-packed.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but vitamins applied to the outside of skin are unable to provide the desired nutrition to the skin.  The only way these nutrients will be able to get into the skin cells is through the consumption of food.

TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer for Oily/Combo Skin
Unlike the night solution, I don't really have any strong opinions on the moisturizer.  If I view it as a moisturizer for oily/combination skin, I say that it serves its intended purpose: the moisturizer is light weight, and my face felt silky smooth.  If I critique it based on the claims of fighting the signs of aging, I have to admit that this moisturizer does not deliver.  The claim of "accelerating the skin’s natural renewal process" is essentially impossible due to the lack of key antioxidants and ingredients that would make this feasibly possible.  I also have issue with the lack of sunscreen in this product; protection against the sun's rays is vital in protecting the skin against aging, and sadly it is missing completely.  

Firming Eye Cream
I liked the firming eye cream, and I didn't like the firming eye cream.  The formula is superb: it is extremely moisturizing and contains peptides that are beneficial for even the driest of skin.  This is one of the better eye creams I have tried for this very reason, and I was quite happy with it.  Sadly, I regret to inform you that it did nothing for firming the skin.

Final thoughts
To be honest, dear readers, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this collection.  I had only used the products one time, and my skin did feel clean afterwards, but quite frankly, some of the ingredients make me a little nervous.  I can guarantee that I want absolutely nothing to do with the TimeWise Night Solution, as I could already notice some irritation.  I had no serious issues after one use of the cleanser, but I don't know how my skin will react with repeated use.  I was provided with samples last night so I can test them out for a longer period of time and see what I think.  Overall, I find this collection to be a mixed bag.  Some products are fantastic, and others are a major disappointment.  Sometimes I wish my science background wouldn't make me so skeptical of claims made by cosmetic companies, because I really want to support Mary Kay completely.  There are so many things that I like about the company as a whole: the products are made in the USA, they're environmentally conscious when it comes to makeup packaging, and they provide women with an extra means of income with no ceiling.  Tell me, dear readers, have you tried Mary Kay products before?  What did you think of them?    




Monday, June 4, 2012

I Won Shoes!

Happy Monday, dear readers!  I'm having difficulties writing up one of my posts, so I thought I would share a short and fun one with you today instead.  One of my favorite bloggers is Tamala of Tall Girl in Heels, and she recently had a giveaway sponsored by Apparel Dynasty.  The winner of the giveaway got to choose any pair of shoes they offer, and I was the lucky winner!  After debating for a little while and getting feedback from some friends, I finally decided to pick the Fruit and Candy Flats.
Looky!  So colourful!

In addition to shoes, Apparel Dynasty carries bags, scented shoelaces, and graphic tees.

I hope you having a wonderful week!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Showcasing UP Colors: Rosa Star

Good morning, dear readers!  I have a lovely lacquer to share with you today.  I don't like to wear holos frequently, so this one has been waiting around for me for a little while, and it did not disappoint!  UP Colors is a Brazilian line, and they unfortunately are not 3-free.  I'm not a big stickler for 3-free brands, so the only thing that bothered me was the smell.  I generally paint my nails next to an open window, so that helped a bit and it wasn't a big problem for me.  I was surprised by the amount of coverage I got in just one coat, so I decided to just go with the one and save the rest of my polish for later.  Hey, when I only get 10mL in a bottle, I want to be able to enjoy it as long as possible!  On to the pics (and please ignore the dry cuticles; this dry weather is killing them)!
I love this colour in the bottle, and I love it on the nails, but I'm not sure that I love it on MY nails.  I couldn't tell you how many times I looked down at my hands in an effort to determine how I feel, and I just don't know.  I really like the raspberry colour of the base, but I think the purple flashes in the holo effect are turning me off.  I'll figure it out sooner or later, and knowing me, I'll probably decide when the bottle is almost empty!  Ha!

If you don't have a friend in Brazil to pick this up for you, you can order this and other UP Colors from Llarowe.com.

In other news, I had a Mary Kay consultation yesterday, and I hope to have a post up on that soon.

Until next time, dear readers, stay good, or don't get caught! ;)