Friday, July 31, 2009

Del Sol Secret Crush

Last weekend, we had a true rarity here: two continuous days of sunshine!! I figured that it was the perfect time to swatch another one of the Del Sol polishes I got. Del Sol makes a variety of products that all change color in the sun -- I've already tried out the glittery Heartbreaker in a previous post, so I figured this time, I would try a non-glitter and go with Secret Crush.

Del Sol Secret Crush
(indoors, with flash)

(outdoors, somewhat direct sunlight)

I am somewhat disappointed at the results :-( When Scrangie did her review of these polishes, the color change on hers was much more dramatic than mine. Indoors, Secret Crush is a peachy metallic frost. Outside, it is supposed to turn into this gorgeous purple duochrome, but I got a darker peach with a slight purple sheen. I am not sure what I did wrong -- I used a different base coat than usual (I used OPI Nail Envy instead of my usual Seche Base or Seche Clear), so I don't know if that helped in blocking UV rays. Also, when I took the outdoor pics, it was more muggy than it was sunny, so maybe the weather conditions weren't ideal? Either way, I ended up wearing the polish for almost a full 2 days and never experienced any color change greater than what you see in the pictures. So yeah, I am definitely disappointed :-( But, the formula on this was pretty good -- I'm wearing two coats here, plus a top coat in addition to the Nail Envy.

Oh, and if you want to try out Del Sol for yourself, they are running a promotion on their website right now -- for every 3 bottles of polish you buy, you get 1 free. So, 4 for the price of 3, or 10 for the price of 8. The polishes retail for $10. Hopefully there will continue to be a few more sunny days this summer so that I can swatch the other 3 Del Sols I have :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Favorite Things: Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara

Before I discovered this cult fave, I thought mascara had to cost over $20 in order to be good. Well, that certainly isn't the case anymore!

Lash Blast has turned into my everyday mascara. I have short, stick-straight Asian eyelashes. With the help of my Shu Uemura eyelash curler, I am able to get them to curl up and look a tad longer, but I was never able to find a mascara to really thicken and lengthen my eyelashes without clumping or the dreaded Tammy-Faye look. Enter Cover Girl Lash Blast!!

I only use waterproof mascara for several reasons -- the first is that it dries FAST. If a mascara takes too long to dry, what happens is that my lashes start to uncurl and they start falling down :-( The only way for me to maintain the curl I get from my lash curler is to put on several thin coats, and as quickly as possible. The Lash Blast wand is thick, so in two or three swipes, I am able to cover my lashes with mascara. Within 10 seconds, my lashes are already dry to the touch, and none of the curl has gone away. WIN WIN! Also, I don't get clumping and most days, I don't even need to use a lash comb afterward. The waterproof formula is top notch -- I love it! Removal is easy as well. I saturate a cotton ball with some eye makeup remover (Neutrogena's is my remover of choice), hold it over my eye, and then swipe. With a few swipes, the mascara will come off pretty easily. I then follow up with Paula's Choice cleanser, which removes the remaining traces of eye makeup.

In addition to waterproof, Lash Blast comes in a non-waterproof version as well as a new "luxe" version. The Luxe one is red instead of orange. The mascara has a shimmer to it when you apply it. I've bought the Luxe and I've used it, but I'm not a fan. It doesn't come in a waterproof version yet, which is a huge disappointment. Also, my eyelashes are black, so the shimmer is not noticeable at all. I think it would look a lot better on someone with lighter hair. In the meantime, I will stick with my orange Lash Blast, thankyouverymuch!

I usually pick up Lash Blast at Ulta or CVS, but I've also seen it at Target, supermarkets, etc. It retails for around $8, but I always wait for some kind of promotion and stock up. Last week, Ulta had a BOGO free deal, so I bought two tubes. CVS also has promotions quite often. I must have at least 4-5 unopened tubes at my house right now... haha.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MAC Fluid

This was my first experience with MAC nail color. I have a ton of cosmetics (love their Lip Glass and eye shadows), but had never tried their polish until now.

MAC Fluid

Fluid is a gorgeous pearlized, shimmery shade of pink. I love the color in the bottle, but I don't think it looks quite as good on my nails as the bottle. The formula was a tad runny and it applied quite sheer. I am wearing two coats here. I was also a tad disappointed with the fact that I already had tipwear after a few hours. I applied the nail color the night before, but was tired and didn't want to take pics, so I took them the next morning after I woke up. During my sleep, I had somehow already acquired tipwear! You can kinda notice it in the pics. So yeah, with the MAC pricetag, it doesn't seem worth it to me. Thank goodness I got this polish at a cosmetics outlet, so I didn't pay full retail (hmmm.... maybe that's why it was at the outlet? Who knows...). I don't think this will deter me from trying MAC polishes in the future, but I may stick to cremes because I have a feeling those might apply and stay on a bit better!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

China Glaze Raspberry Festival

I had a very very very difficult time trying to take accurate pictures of this polish, so this was the best I could do:

China Glaze Raspberry Festival
(indoors, with flash)

(natural light)

Raspberry Festival is part of China Glaze's Summer Days collection. It is a shimmery, almost wet-looking bright medium pink. The polish is somewhat sheer, so I used three coats here. The color is a LOT nicer in person than it shows in the pictures -- this one was really difficult to capture! The sparkle in it is not as subtle as it appears in the pics. This color is perfect for the Summer Days collection -- I can totally see me rocking this shade on my tips and toes this summer!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

China Glaze Outta Bounds

Happy Lazy Sunday! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Today, I have another gorgeous green to show off!

China Glaze Outta Bounds
(indoors, with flash)

I am wearing base + two coats + top coat. The formula on this one was very good. It was smooth and pigmented. Outta Bounds is a medium evergreen with a hint of shimmer. I also picked up some different shaped rhinestones recently, so I added them to my manicure as well. I really only meant to have the flower rhinestones on my two ring fingers, but I accidentally smudged some polish on my pinky finger, so I put a flower on there to cover it up :-D

The bottle I have is a mini bottle, so that's why my hand looks gigantic next to the bottle... haha. I kind of actually prefer mini bottles because I don't think I will ever be able to finish (or even half-finish) a whole bottle of ANY nail polish. I have a few minis in my collection, but not a lot.

Outta Bounds is part of China Glaze's Ski collection, but I believe the color may be part of the core collection as well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

China Glaze Short & Sassy

Today, I am showing off a second polish from China Glaze's new Retro Diva collection!

China Glaze Short & Sassy
(indoors, with flash)

(natural light)

The formula on this is about a zillion times better than Cruisin'. I used base + two coats + top coat, but the polish was pretty much opaque after one coat. The color is a gorgeous deep red wine color with shimmer. Stunning color and I love it! Short & Sassy has reaffirmed my faith in Retro Diva! YAY! :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DO WANT: Balenciaga Pommier City

Two of my favorite things in the world have combined this season to create the Holy Grail of all handbags -- the Balenciaga Pommier City! Isn't she a beauty??

Balenciaga bags are known for using the softest, smooshiest leather known to man. The leather is thick, but soft. It is "veiny" and with use, the leather starts to look even more amazing. Every season, they come out with a different palette of delicious colors for their handbags. For Autumn/Winter 2009, one of their new colors is Pommier. It is a gorgeous deep/medium saturated green.

The City is probably the most popular style from Balenciaga. It is a medium-sized satchel with a detachable hobo strap. It is large enough to fit everything you need, but it is small enough to be a manageable size for everyday use. The bags are very lightweight as well. I am lucky enough to own an 09 Sanguine City:

I love love love my Sanguine City! She is the most gorgeous shade of red, and has been broken in quite nicely. I am super anal about the maintenance of my handbags, so once a season, she gets conditioned with Apple Garde Leather Moisturizer, and she gets sprayed with a water/stain repellent.

Now, you are probably wondering why ANYONE would want or need the same bag in different colors. I wish I had an answer that didn't make people look at me like I had six heads. Honestly, no one NEEDS more than one. Honestly, people don't even need one. However, there are some hardcore BBag fans out there who collect hard-to-find colors and styles. I've seen some women own dozens of Citys, all in different colors! Sometimes, I will come across a BBag on eBay or elsewhere that is actually selling for more than its retail price, because they are a retired color! So yes, there are definitely some people out there who are overly passionate about their handbags (and my friends thought *I* was bad!).

But, unfortunately, for me, one will have to suffice for now. After all, this gal has got a mortgage to pay!

If you want to find out more about Balenciaga, you can find them at most high-end department stores, like Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf, etc. Selection varies by store. The only place near me that carries Balenciaga is Barney's, so I have to buying mine online, since Barney's only seems to carry the boring colors, like black, white, etc. The City retails for about $1400 (yes, you read that correctly), but can be more if there is specialty hardware on it :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

China Glaze Cruisin'

I recently got the whole Retro Diva collection from China Glaze. This is China Glaze's newest collection of colors. They're 12 polishes that are supposed to invoke the spirit of the 70s. I think it's a good polish collection for Fall -- the colors remind me of fall foliage. However, there isn't much diversity in the collection -- it revolves around red, orange, and purple. Those colors have been done and overdone, so there is nothing too original going on here. I will be swatching them (albeit slowly), one at a time. Here's the first!

China Glaze Cruisin'
(indoors, with flash)

So, I randomly stuck my hand into my unswatched nail polish basket (yes, there's a basket) and decided to swatch whatever I picked out first. Unfortunately, it turned out to be Cruisin'. I say "unfortunately" because the formula on this one SUCKS ASS. As soon as I took the brush out of the bottle, I could see drops of polish falling off already -- that is how runny it is. Additionally, it is also quite sheer. My swatch is two coats, but I probably could have used one or two more coats if I wanted it to be more opaque.

Cruisin' reminds me of a pumpkin color, but lighter. When you look at it closely, you will see it has some shimmer to it as well. The color is nice, but I really wish the formula had been better. I was disappointed and feared that the rest of the collection would be equally bad formula-wise, but I have another color from the collection on today, and that one was opaque in one coat, so yeah.... color me confused! There's at least two more oranges in this collection, so I hope those work out better for me! ;-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

OPI Significant Other Color + OPI Text Me - Text You

For my friend's wedding this past weekend, I wanted my nails to look natural, but also pretty. Her colors were light purple and light green (like celery). I painted my toes with a light green holographic polish (China Glaze He's Going in Circles), so I decided to do my nails a light purple.

OPI Significant Other Color + OPI Text Me - Text You
(indoors, with flash)

(outdoors, direct sunlight)

Significant Other Color is a very light sheer purple that reflects different colors in the light. It is quite sheer -- I am only wearing one coat here, but I would think I need at least three or four in order for the purple to show through in a more obvious way. Text Me-Text You is a clear jelly polish with multicolor glitter suspended in it. I don't usually wear it alone, but I use it often on top of other polishes to add some glitter. I am wearing one coat on top of the Significant Other Color. Surprisingly, my mani made it through all weekend with minimal tipwear and chips. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I normally hate any mani where the polish isn't opaque, but I will occasionally do funky French manis or sheer polishes when my natural nails are a decent length (like right now -- though they are getting long and it gets harder for me to type accurately, so I may have to cut them soon!).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

OPI Designer Series Opulence

I was away this weekend for my best friend's wedding, so I wasn't able to blog. However, I did attend one of the most beautiful and memorable weddings ever and I am incredibly happy (albeit also a little sad because she will be moving further away from me) for my best friend Sandy. She is an amazing woman who has found a wonderful man to share the rest of her life with, and I wish them all the happiness and joy that they deserve!

Today, I have a real beauty to show off!

OPI Designer Series Opulence
(indoors, with flash)

(outdoors, natural light)

This is such a gorgeous shade of dusty rose -- it almost looks lavender in some light. As with all Designer Series polishes, it applied like a dream, and only needed two coats. This one was SO pretty that I didn't want to take it off :-( It will definitely be making a reappearance on my nails in the near future. There are so many faboosh shades in the Designer Series collection that I am having a difficult time picking my favorite. However, this one is definitely up there!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend -- more blogging coming up this week and more nails and other goodies!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Favorite Things: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Sin

One of my least favorite things in the world is eye shadows that don't wear well. Of course, they all start out looking amazing, but by mid-day, you get visible crease lines on your lids and let's be honest - it's just ugly. Well, enter Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin!

This genie-bottle-looking product will keep your eyeshadow planted firmly on your lids all day long with no creasing, feathering, or any other signs of wear! If you are like me and own a lot of mineral and cream eyeshadows, this product is a lifesaver! Prior to putting on any eye makeup, swipe some primer potion over you lids and use your finger to blend well. I like the "Sin" version because it has a golden champagne color to it and provides some color and shimmer to my eyelids. Then, apply your eye makeup as you normally would. Most days, I am out my door my 8am, and sometimes, I don't make it back home until 16 hours after that, and I am not someone who touches up my makeup throughout the day. Ever since I've been using the UD Eyeshadow Primer, my eye makeup starts out and ends up looking faboosh. I cannot rave enough about this stuff!

Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion also comes in a colorless version. It retails for $17 and can be purchased on Urban Decay's website, or retailers like Sephora. At least once a year, UD has a Friends & Family sale that is normally 30% off, and Sephora has a similar event several times a year that is about 20-25% off. I usually wait until then and then order a few, since it lasts me a few months. Go get your hot little hands on one now!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

OPI La-Pazitively Hot Matte

Choo Choooooo!!! Guess who is hopping on the matte nail trend train? Yeppers -- me! I have to admit that when I first saw these polishes, I was not a fan. I like my polish full of sparkle and glitter. The thought of wearing matte polish totally turned me off. But, at my nail supply place this weekend, I saw that they got in the new OPI Matte collection, so I decided to pick up two and try them. I got this one as well as Russian Navy Matte (will be reviewed at a later date).

I took a bunch of pictures, both indoor and outdoors. I had a really hard time photographing these, so this was as close as I could get.

OPI La-Pazitively Hot Matte
(indoors, with flash)

(outdoors, natural lighting)

I usually don't like bright pinks, but this one really POPS! I love it! It is matte, but I also noticed a little bit of sparkle in there, especially when I was in sunlight. I think this particular color is not as matte-looking as darker colors are. Here are some tips regarding matte polish:
  • The instructions that came with the polish said to not wear base coat or top coat with the polish. I wore it with a non-shiny base coat, because I did not want my nails to stain. As you can see, my mani still came out perfectly, and the "matte-ness" was not sacrificed at the expense of a base coat. However, you definitely don't want to wear a top coat with these - it defeats the purpose!
  • Matte polish really adheres to your nails and it really magnifies any nail imperfections (bumps, scratches, etc.). Prior to applying the polish, I buffed all my nails to give them a nice, clean, scuff-free surface.
  • This polish dries lightning-fast! Do not let how shiny the polish looks in the bottle fool you! When you first put it on, it will look shiny coming off the brush, but two seconds after you stroke it on, you can see it already starting to dry. Use quick, thin, even strokes and try not to go over the same area over and over again. It will cause the polish to streak and look uneven. I used two coats for my mani.
  • Instructions also said to not wear lotion on your hands. Again, I can see why, because it would cause the polish to look shiny instead of flat. But, I am a lotion and cuticle cream fanatic, and the thought of a few days without either killed me. So, I wore them anyway. At first, the finish of my polish did look a little shinier, but after the lotion/cream dried, the polish was back to looking matte.
  • Matte polish does not wear as long as non-matte polish. It will start to flake and chip off, and in chunks, after a day or two. I only wore mine for two days, and experienced faster-then-normal tipwear, but it was not hugely different from non-matte polishes.
  • Removal was not as hard as I thought. I was expecting some nail staining, but thanks to the base coat, I got none. I took it off quite easily with some regular polish remover.
I will have to try out a few more colors before I conclude if I'm a matte fan or not. I am pretty sure the beautiful color of this one is what made me a fan. My expectations for Russian Navy are not nearly as high.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Movie Review: Bruno

Okay, I am taking a break from nails today so that I can write a movie review :-)

This past weekend, I went to go see Bruno with my baby brother (well, he's 18, so not much of a baby anymore...) and two of his female friends. I've been seeing the movie previews and Bruno shenanigans for weeks now. I must admit that normally, I am not a big fan of mockumentaries like Bruno. I actually didn't watch Borat until well after it came out on DVD! But, my little brother has been dying to see it, so I went along.

The movie was..... OK. Don't continue reading if you don't want any spoilers, because the movie is hard to discuss without giving away some of the funnier bits.

Bruno is an Austrian television personality who hosts a fashion show. During an interview-gone-wrong, he ends up getting himself blackballed from the Austrian fashion world. Determined to become rich and famous, Bruno decides to move to LA, and his assistant's assistant, Lutz, goes along.

Bruno comes up with a plethora of ideas on how to become rich and famous -- he decides to interview celebrities to pitch a TV show (his interview with Paula Abdul ends up getting him blacklisted in Hollywood), and at the focus group screening of his TV show, we are entertained by his "interview" with Harrison Ford (which consists of Ford screaming "Fuck off!" to Bruno), and a lengthy scene that I can only describe as completely inappropriate for a Rated R movie (and maybe even an NC-17 movie). After his TV pitch becomes a project in massive FAIL, he comes up with a few other ideas to become famous -- make a sex tape with someone famous, start a charity, adopt a foreign baby, become straight, etc. The film follows him on these adventures, but they all predictably end up with the same result.

I'll give Bruno credit where it's due -- it's funny. It is not The Hangover funny, but it's funny. The humor relies more on the physical comedic genius of Sacha Baron Cohen and less on a well-written script and dialogue, which is what I usually prefer. I honestly have no idea how this movie escaped with only an R rating. There were parts of it that made me wince uncomfortably in my chair, and every time I looked over at the barely-legal teenagers sitting next to me, I was horrified at what their parents might think of me for letting their child see a movie like this. But, they were cracking up the whole time, so I guess it wasn't that bad.

It's definitely not something I would watch again in the theaters. I probably won't even own the DVD. But, it's a short movie that flows pretty well given the different situations, and it is pretty mindless, so if that is what you are looking for, go see it.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5

Monday, July 13, 2009

Savina Money Tree

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was filled with lots of fun (and also a few not-so-fun) moments :-)

I am a sucker for anything green, so when I saw this bottle at Nordstrom Rack, I immediately put it in my hot little hands and rushed to the checkout counter!

Savina Money Tree
(indoors, with flash)

(outdoors, in natural light)

I took these pics after one full day of wear, so my apologies that my nails don't look as good as when I first put the polish on. I was in a huge rush the night I put it on that I left my house as my nails were still drying. I used two coats.

Money Tree is a gorgeous shade of green that has some yellow/golden undertones to it. In the sunlight, it sparkles and appears kind of like a frost polish. It is super pretty! It also wears pretty well -- I wore it all weekend with no issues.

I have never seen or heard of Savina until I saw it at Nordstrom Rack. Actually, I haven't seen it anywhere else other than NR. They had a whole fixture full of Savina polish. The application and wear were pretty good (brush is kind of thin though). The color selection wasn't amazing, so I only picked up two (this one one another glitter polish to use as a sparkly top coat). Check out your local Nordie's Rack if you want some Savina!

Friday, July 10, 2009

OPI Designer Series Fantasy

I have one word: gorgeous!!

OPI Designer Series Fantasy

Application was superb -- two coats, and both were super easy to apply. This color is sparkly, but it doesn't have the multi-color glitter overload that some of the other shades have. If you are a blue-lover, it is pretty much perfect. Have I mentioned how much I love OPI's Designer Series?? If I could marry it, I would.

I hope y'all have a great weekend!!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugalista

I got a request from my dear friend Katie to swatch this polish, so here ya go ;-) You'll wanna click on these pics to enlarge so that you can get the full effect.

Resuce Beauty Lounge Frugalista

Can you say SPARKLY?? Wow, this polish really packs on the glitter. Frugalista is a clear jelly polish with TONS of glitter in it. The glitter in this one is silver and purple. It is super pretty and glittery! This is three coats here, plus a top coat, to keep my nails from feeling "rough" from all the glitter.

The only reason I don't wear full-on glitter polishes a lot more is because they are a bitch to remove. I practically have to break out the sandblaster to get all the polish off. Actually, all kidding aside, I soak my finger in pure acetone first to loosen up the polish, then I use a metal cuticle pusher to scrape the polish off. I'm sure it takes a real toll on my nails, which is why I try not to do it often! If anyone can think of a better and safer method, please let me know, 'cause I'm all ears!

Frugalista is available directly from the Rescue Beauty Lounge website at I've also purchased them from because they occasionally have promotions. They retail for $18, which is pricey for a nail polish, but just look at all those pretty sparklies :-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

China Glaze Don't Be A Square

Today's NOTD features my first polish from China Glaze's Kaleidescope Collection. I would say that this collection is the wannabe version of OPI's Designer Series. I have a few of the polishes, but this is the first one I've swatched so far.

China Glaze Don't Be A Square

This is two coats. After I put on the first coat, I was convinced I'd need at least three coats, because the first was so sheer. So, I was pleasantly surprised when the second coat achieved full opacity. These don't apply as well as Designer Series, but it wasn't as difficult as other China Glazes. The color is a gorgeous light pink/rose color and is packed with glitter and shimmer -- my favorites! The wear is also very good -- I am on my second full day wearing this color, and so far, no chipping or tipwear. I am debating if I want to change polishes tonight (I usually don't keep a polish on for more than 2 full days) because the color is just so pretty! I am super impressed, especially since these are about half the price of OPI. I can't wait to try out the rest of the colors! :-)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Nubar Conserve

When I first saw Nubar's "Going Green" collection, I knew I had to have it! Green is one of my favorite colors, and it is probably my favorite nail polish color. The collection features six different shades of green polish. I am slowly working my way through the collection.

Nubar Conserve

Conserve is a gorgeous medium green with a hint of sparkle in it. This was my first experience with Nubar -- I usually stick with OPI and China Glaze, but every once in a while, another brand will work its way into my collection. Application was fairly easy. This swatch here is two coats (plus base and top), and it wore pretty well. It was about 3 days before I took it off, and there was minimal tip wear and no chipping. The brush handle is very lightweight, and that helped with application.

You can pick up the "Going Green" collection (and the rest of Nubar's collection) on their website at

Monday, July 06, 2009

Del Sol Heartbreaker

After a month of rain, we finally got some good weather over the holiday weekend. I figured it was the perfect time to break out my Del Sol nail polish!! Del Sol is pretty cool in that the polish changes colors! It is one color indoors and another color outdoors. A few months ago, they had a sale and I picked up 5 polishes, but it has been so dark and dreary that I haven't been able to wear any of them yet.

The polish changes color when it comes in contact with UV rays. So, supposedly, it doesn't have to be sunny in order for the color to change, since UV exposure is still possible on cloudy days. However, I have only experienced the color change in direct sunlight. The color change is quick too -- it only took a few seconds for the color to change from red to purple. Now, onto the pics!

Del Sol Heartbreaker (indoors)

Del Sol Heartbreaker (outdoors)

Indoors, the color is a medium-to-dark red and outdoors, it turns into a deep purple. The polish is a lighter jelly with specs of multi-color glitter in there. I put on two coats (plus a top coat, so yes, you can wear a top coat with these), but I think three coats would have made the polish look a little better. The application was OK, but not great. The color change is noticeable, but it is not drastic. The other polishes I have are much more drastic IMO (will swatch those at a later date, hopefully, assuming Mother Nature cooperates).

Del Sol is available through their website, The polishes retail for $10/each. But, keep on watching the site for sales, because they do have them often. I got mine for $5/each during their 50% off sale.

My Favorite Things: Paula's Choice

This is something that I did on a previous 'blog, and I liked it a lot, so I am going to try and do it on this one as well. Once a week, I will post (well, try to post anyway) about some of my favorite products, places, things, etc. The "My Favorite Things" concept is borrowed after one of my favorite movies of all time, The Sound of Music :-)

This week, I am featuring the skin care line that saved my life! I am genetically predisposed to bad skin. As with all things in life, sometimes you come out on top and other times you end up on the shit end of the stick. My siblings and I ended up on the less desirable end of the stick when it comes to skin. I really don't understand, because both my parents have great skin, but the three of us have had skin trouble almost all our lives. I've been the luckiest in that I've had the least trouble, but I have horrible combination skin that breaks out in the oddest places, then sometimes it gets super oily, sometimes it will flake from dryness, etc. It is totally unpredictable, and for the longest time, I was fighting my skin to get it to do what I wanted to.

I am a product whore, and I have tried almost everything short of going to a dermatologist and getting prescribed a treatment (my brothers have been on everything from Retin-A to Accutane). I have tried almost every over-the-counter treatment, cleanser, moisturizer, etc., that you can find. It was not until a few months ago when I decided to actually do some research on skin, breakouts, etc., and join in online discussions that I finally started to understand WHY I was breaking out. One of the products that was raved about was a line called Paula's Choice.

Paula's Choice products are amazing! I can't recommend them for everyone, but I started out by ordering these two products and in a matter of a few weeks, my skin literally cleared up:

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser

Paula's Choice Exfoliating 2% BHA Liquid

I also have the blemish spot treatment, but I haven't had to use that in a while since I no longer break out! :-)

The Cleanser is light and refreshing on your skin. I use it every night after I take off my makeup. It is strong enough to remove the last trace bits of my leftover makeup, but it is still gentle enough that it doesn't irritate my skin.

The BHA Liquid is what really saved my skin. If you are just starting out using BHA (salicylic acid), you may want to start with the 1% solution. Start with using once daily, and then move to twice a day. I apply the BHA Liquid at night after I shower. Apply a small amount to a cotton ball and then distribute evenly over your entire face. The liquid is not drying and in weeks, I noticed that my pores were smaller, and my skin tone and texture were more even.

Another important factor in good skin care is to protect it from the sun!! I used to think that fancy moisturizers and creams were helping me, but honestly, all you need is a good moisturizer with SPF. I use Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion in SPF 15 in the morning, and I carry around a trial-size version with me so that I can re-apply during the day if necessary.

Consistent use of these products have saved my skin! I really wish I had before and after pictures, so you can see the difference, but honestly, I don't know why it took me so long to discover Paula's Choice! Her products are *not* incredibly cheap, but they are well worth it, and the products last several months. They are available only through her website --, and shipping is very fast!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

China Glaze 2NITE

I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth of July! I had a laid back, but fun day. I normally hate July 4th because I have a crippling fear of loud noises, and this particular holiday doesn't seem to help that fear. However, I have learned how to live with my fear and still enjoy America's birthday -- I wear some earplugs and watch the fireworks from afar. My friends and I walked from my condo to this hilltop park behind my house and watched from there. We got an excellent view of the fireworks, which were a few miles away and across the harbor in downtown Boston. This year's show was a little short (only 20 minutes), but the fireworks were awesome!! Great job, Boston!! :-D

Today's NOTD is China Glaze's 2NITE, which is from the OMG collection. This light/medium blue holo is gorgeous!

I hope everyone has a great night! The weather today was perfect! For the first time in what seems like ever, there was sun all day long! I hope this lasts for a while. I am sick of all the rain!! G'nite!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

China Glaze Delight

I have a love/hate relationship with China Glaze. I love them because their color range and selection is superior by far to any other brand I've ever tried. But, I hate them because their brushes (and sometimes their formula) make it incredibly difficult to apply easily and evenly.

However, this polish here is an exception. This is Delight, from their Romantique collection. I have a few polishes from this collection, but this is the only one I've swatched so far. I *love* it.

China Glaze Delight

This polish had full opacity in one coat, but the above pics are two coats, with a base and top coat as well. The polish ends up looking streaky if you don't apply it quickly, so my suggestion is to use quick, thin, even strokes to avoid streakiness. The color is like a pink/brown frost with just a hint of shimmer. It is an absolutely gorgeous color and I can't wait to try out my other colors from this collection. The application was also fairly easy and effortless compared to other China Glazes that I have. Two big thumbs up for this polish! :-)