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February 7, 2013

Nivea Lip Butter for a better pucker!

     Ever since I was a child I've always had a serious problem with chapped lips. All year round, but especially in these deep winter months, my lips would get really flaky (ew!) and sometimes even crack. Not only is chapped lips not a good look on anyone, it's painful and makes lipsticks appear cakey. 
        On my weekly trip to the drugstore, I scouted out these cute little Nivea lip butter compacts that had their own display near where the other medicated lip balms where. Of course I immediately wanted to go for one of their delicious scents/flavors like ' Vanilla Macadamia Kiss' or 'Graham Kiss' but instead I opted for the non-scented, non-flavored butter, 'Smooth Kiss' and I'm hooked! 

      As tempting as it is, especially with promises of 'Caramel Cream Kiss' kisses, I chose not to buy a yummy scent/flavor when sampling this lippy because I just know that within 5 minutes of applying it I probably would have licked my 'Caramel Cream Kiss' right off my lips! By choosing a natural, unscented balm, I'm avoiding the lip licking epidemic that leads to serious chap-stick dependency. Food or candy oriented lip balms and chap sticks immediately throw up the scam flag for me. Lippies like Nivea's 'Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss' or 'Raspberry Rose Kiss' actually make you lick your lips. Not only does licking your lips take all the medicated balm off (duh!), but your saliva actually makes your lips dry! Choosing the normal, unscented/unflavored option is a smarter choice for your lips in the long run if you have an ongoing problem with drying and cracking like me. 

     I swear that this lip butter is my divine savoir. I will absolutely never use a chapstick for my chapped lips ever again! Despite the name, deeming it a ‘butter’, the actual product which comes in the form of a pressed crème balm is actually light as air! I also love the feeling of applying it with my finger because I feel like I really get to massage my sore, winter scorned lips and get all the cracked corners and crevices. I especially like to use this at home before bed. Because I also suffer from allergies, I often have a stuffy nose and end up sleeping with my mouth open. Mouth open=chapped lips. When I apply ‘Smooth Kiss’ before bed, my lips stay moisturized through-out the night and I wake up with a rejuvenated pucker!
I also imagine these would be great for those suffering with colds this season! Buy one for yourself, or pick one up for a friend as a part of a ‘Get Better’ care package, they’ll totally thank you later. I got mine for $3.99 at Walgreens but I think they can also be bought at Walmart, Target, or really any drug store (CVS, Rite Aid ect…).

 You know what they say: “Happy lips, happy life!”
             Okay, they don’t really say that, but it’s true!.....
        Lizzie xoxo

February 2, 2013

Leopard print, Gold, Pearls, what more could a gal want??

    Licensed nail techs that I follow on instagram are always posting photos of beautiful gel manicures decked out in pearls and gold. I adore how shiny and clean their designs are, for today's nails I was inspired by a mint colored leopard and pearl gel mani. To give it my own flair, I used shades of pink instead of mint.

I was so excited to finally use my nail art pearls! As my base pink (darker pink pictured) I used Wet 'n' Wild 'Candy-licious'. I had a mini bottle of 'Candy-licious' for the longest time and noticed that it was beginning to get really goopy and empty, I was siked when after some drug-store hopping I was able to find a brand new full-sized bottle. 'Candy-licious' is much warmer in real life and is a happy alternative to nude. The lighter pink I used in this mani is O.P.I 'My Very First Knockwurst', a polish that was a lemming of mine for the longest time: now that I have it, I'm quick to use it in any and -all- mani's possible! 'My Very First Knockwurst' is a pink-toned nude that is nearly opaque in one coat and a creamy dream!

 For extra sparkle (and we girls all know there is always room for extra sparkle) I added China Glaze's 'Fairy Dust' over my plain pink accent nail as well as the plain pink stripes and a micro-bead circlet in 'champagne' choice pearls. For the gold ruffian and stripes, my new bottle of 'Angel Wings' by China Glaze was broken in!!! I've been wanting this polish for the longest time and after using it here on this mani as a gold accent-er, I just know that we will be great friends.

January 31, 2013

Essie 'Butler Please' and Sally Hansen 'Pacific Blue' comparison

    Instagram was hit with a fresh storm of cobalt fever the other day and after seeing a few ladies complain about the formula of Essie's 'Butler Please', I decided to do a comparision to a 'Butler Please' alternative with a much easier application and better formula (in my opinion), Sally Hansen's 'Pacific Blue'

My experience with 'Butler Please' is a thick and rubbery formula that balds with each stroke and dries bumpy and weird. It took two healthy coats of Seche Vite to completely smooth out the nails I used 'Butler Please' on. Sally Hansen's 'Pacific Blue' is nearly opaque in one coat, smooth, and everything a cobalt blue creme should be. Visually, 'Butler Please' is just the tiniest bit darker than Sally Hansen's alternative, but knowing how ridiculously annoying Essie's blue is to work with makes grabbing 'Pacific Blue' a lot easier.

I think what Essie was trying to do here, was create a rubber-finish neon similar to CG's "creative fantasy" or Julep's "Nikki" and though the finish is sort of matte-rubber-like, the application is just way to cumbersome to pass up this Sally Hansen dupe, which is also three bucks less.
What do you think girls, would you trade up your Essie for 'Pacific Blue'? Did you have difficulties with 'Butler Please's forumla? Discuss!

January 30, 2013

Boy Oh Boy!

I still have five or six O.P.I mini's laying around from their Top Ten collection I ordered a while back, and I've been wanting to get around to trying all the shades and sorting out which ones where must-have full sizes. After seeing a swatch of it on Instagram last night, I just had to put on O.P.I 'Red Lights Ahead...Where?', a seriously neon, orangey-red that totally pops. Here I used three coats for full opacity. Maybe it was just the mini, but the application of my first and even third coat was a little streak-y, but nothing a nice helping of Seche Vite didn't sort out!

I'm not so sure, but this O.P.I may be a dupe for Essie's 'Snap Happy', another winter orange-red fave of mine. I took advantage of this bright shade and practiced some of my leopard print using my favorite Jordana blue, 'Boy Oh Boy'.

 I used 'Boy Oh Boy' for my birthday mani and it was a dream to apply, two coats for full opacity. It's a robin's egg blue that's more aquamarine in some light.  Anyway, it helps make an absolute perf pair of eye-catching red and chic animal print. There's something about blue-ish green and orangey-red together this winter, it's totally growing on me!

January 29, 2013

Minty Fresh mani!

        So as my untried polishes are piling up in a bin beneath my dresser (I am currently supposed to be on a 'no buy' for polishes, hahaha!!) I happily added another last night while at the drug store for some makeup (Go in for one thing, come out with the whole beauty counter). I knew about Sally Hansen's lustre shine collection for a while but I was never totally impressed with any of the shades until I noticed a white pearly color called 'Moonstone' I haven't seen before at the other displays of the collection. So after putting it back then picking it up again, I totally impulse bought it-and some friends to keep it company that you'll be seeing soon ;)
        Without a thin coat of white undies for this one (I used Sinful colors 'Snow Me White' for this mani ) one coat is a really thin sheen of pearly white and a peek of mint shimmer that was a pleasant surprise. With two coats over my white base, I was totally getting a ribbon candy/ breath mint sort of vibe off of the finish and decided to add some art!

    For the swirly mint design on my index, I used another Sally Hansen untried polish called 'Mint Sorbet'. It has been a really long time since I've sat down and actually done nail art (I'm in the process of getting a vanity moved into my room) so after checking out a Robin Moses tutorial on Youtube for creating a peppermint design that was originally made for Christmas, I was pretty impressed result; a clean and subtle accent finger that I felt really resembled the real thing!

    Of course, while I had my brushes out, I couldn't help but add a little bling to the rest of my fingers. On my pointer I did a simple heart tip using 'Mint Sorbet' again, and outlined with Revlon 'Silver Dollar', my go-to silver for art accents that need some metallic shine.I also did some micro-bead placement on my ring finger for a little edge and added a clear rhinestone to the middle of my minty swirl.

      My right hand was lonely, so I added a micro-bead accent finger to match my left! I always do something with my dominant hand, whether it's duplicating the art or just corresponding the polish. The concept of having one hand manicured and the other naked is foreign to me and kinda counter-productive because I like to actually wear my mani's out to show off for a day or two. 

     I enjoyed wearing this clean and uber chic look today and actually matched a mint and metallic outfit to it! I always feel more put together when my mani's match my outfits. My mom commented that this mani almost looked bridal and I totally agree. As for the micro-beads, I will definitely be using them for my accent nails in the future: its such an easy way to make it look like I spent time on my look! hahaha. Enjoy girlies!

January 28, 2013

Devine Intervention


       When I first started painting my nails, I wanted nothing to do with any color that wasn't a shade of red or pink; but as all we nail girls know, beautiful crimsons and baby pinks are just a small percentage of the gorgeous colors you come across in the wonderful world of polish. Once I broke out of my rose-colored shell, I discovered I'm a bit of a purple girl! And this deep royal purple Essie shade is the kind of polish that has my eye straying from my normal neutral pink.

  ( Essie 'Sexy Divine' topped with one coat of Revlon 'Heavenly' and two coats of Seche Vite topcoat )
    I really believe that Essie is notorious for it's baby pink shades and is always my go-to brand for pretty neutrals. But don't be fooled, Essie also has a naughty side that she doesn't always show. This deep purple that I topped with Revlon's 'Heavenly' (I'll get to that beauty in a moment,) called 'Sexy Divine', a super fitting name for this shimmery eggplant shade with a glint of magenta in the right light. The color on it's own went on like a dream and after adding a topcoat, I'll have to admit I had a hard time covering it up. I'm definitely keeping this one in my arsenal for a chic and eye-catching alternative to black.

    ( Essie 'Sexy Divine' topped with one coat of Revlon 'Heavenly' and two coats of Seche Vite topcoat. You can really see the iridescent flakies in the photo. )
    I have been dying to layer Revlon's 'Heavenly' over a dark color and as much as it pained me to cover up my purple beauty, 'Sexy Divine' was thee perfect base for it. I've also seen other nailstagrammers layer 'Heavenly' over Revlon's 'Royal', which is equally awesome. I think it would look cool over black as well. 'Heavenly' for me tops the list right up there with Essie's discontinued shade: 'Shine Of The Times'. When I first bought 'Heavenly', I didn't really envision it as a run-of-the-mill flakie top-coat. I planned on being boring and layering it over white or a pastel, but my girls on the nailstagram scene never disappoint and gave way to a whole new trend for this polish.

    The finish that 'Heavenly' gives over a darker shade is almost radio-active like. I sort of feel like I have a rave going on on my fingers!

With a mani like this, who wouldn't convert to being a purple girl? <3!

January 21, 2013

Midnight Blues

       I'm going to happily dedicate my next two manis to swatching my Tryst Lacquers Date Night Collection I bought as a birthday present for myself a couple weeks back and haven't gotten around to photographing. Kimberly Maranan, the brand's lovely owner, is a jelly polish genius who deserves an indie Emmy!!! I'm just now building up enough indie polishes to qualify as an extremely modest collection. I'll admit that I'm not exactly a franken-polish connoisseur; clear bases and glitter bombs (though beautiful) just aren't my style, but since I received a hefty amount of money for my past 18th birthday, I decided I would delve into the indie polish world while my wallet was open and willing for a risk here or there. 
        Kimberly's polish style is everything I think an indie polish should be. Its unique, interestingly eye-catching, gorgeous, practical, and made up of all the glittery goodness that you just can't get with mainstream polishes. But what really sold me, was her pigment-based cremes and jellies. 

 "Meet Me At Midnight" swatched above pretty much speaks for the collection, and Kimberly's brand as a whole, for itself. It's jam-packed with large copper hex glitters, small blue hexes, and the cherry on top; the abundance of micro white hexes that totally makes the polish and fit's its name sake perfectly. And seriously, that gorgeous navy blue jelly?! I'm in love. 

    This only took three coats on it's own for opaque squishy jelly amazing-ness. One easy coat of Seche Vite smooths all the glitters out to a glassy to-die-for finish!
   You can buy this beauty and others in both full sized and cute little mini try-out sizes at Kimberly's etsy shop here.