Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Orly Sec N' Dry Quick Deep-Dry Topcoat

As far back as I can remember, I have had one main issue with painting my nails - bubbles. Yes, that's right. Bubbles. No matter how long I wait to let each coat of polish dry, I will have at least 3-5 bubbles on each nail. And I will \wait for hours between coats. No luck! A picture to show you the infamous bubbles below (I am wearing "Awakening" from China Glaze)

So, if you were to take that into account and then I were to tell you I found a top coat that.. wait for it... actually will erase any bubbles in my nail polish AND dry my nails in 20-25 minutes, you must figure that was a good day for me! ;)

Obviously, by the title you know the product I'm talking about is Orly's Sec 'N Dry Quick Deep-dry Topcoat. I got it from my local Sally's Beauty for about $6.99.

This weekend I was at a friend's house and we bought some new polishes. I wanted to test the topcoat's drying abilities. I did 1 coat of my Nail Tek Maintenance Plus I basecoat. Waited 5 minutes. Next I applied 1 coat of Sinful Colors in Fried Rice. Waited 5-7 minutes. No bubbles showed up, so I then applied another coat, waited 5 minutes. Again, no bubbles yet. Then I applied the Orly topcoat.

We all go through the odd claw time when we are waiting for our nails to dry, haha. I do the same and even when my nails were dry even down to the base coat after 20 minutes, I am so used to being careful with my nails I kept my claws going. Ah, oh well. They were so dry that I even opened a can of soda - NO DENTS. I then intentionally clicked my nails on top of each other, pressing very hard - NO DENTS. And the best part? I woke up the next morning with no pillow impressions. Here it is after it dried:

So clearly I am in love with this topcoat. But there is one thing that I hate about it. I painted my nails Saturday night, and I had my first chip on Monday. So the topcoat doesn't seem to protect against chipping. But I think next time I'll try putting down my Nail Tek before the Orly topcoat to see if that helps to make it last. Why go through so much trouble? Because I seriously love not having to worry about painting my nails and dealing with the bubbles.

I'll be honest though, this is the first fast dry top coat I've tried. I MIGHT try another one if and when I run out of Orly, so I'll try to keep my options open. I know tons of people adore the Seche Vite fast dry topcoat, but I think I've found what I've been searching for in a topcoat! :)

Thanks so much for stopping in to read this - tell me what you think! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

I am one year older!

So tomorrow (Saturday) I turn 26. I feel very excited, even though 26 isn't exactly a specially celebrated year. I'll try to get a new post up this weekend, but as of right now my husband and I are visiting with friends that live a little ways from us. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! xx

(a chocolate gift basket from my coworkers - they know me too well!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: EOS Lip Balm

It was December when I was browsing through the blogs I regularly check daily (or more, haha) that I came across this Painted Ladies post on the EOS lip balms. They had just recently started a series reviewing a lip balm every day. When I read through this post, I was immediately drawn in by the fact that it was organic and it was definitely a cute, interesting shape. Not only that, but Miss Taryn described it as a light moisture level leaving lips feeling smooth and soft. Also, the fact that it was available locally in Walgreens was the selling point to me!

You see, I am a chapstick and lip balm addict. Well, by that I mean that if I was stranded on a deserted island and I could only bring one item, it would be chapstick/lip balm. All my friends can tell you that I do not go anywhere without a chapstick or lipbalm readily available.

I had been using Burt's Bees chapstick for years. Just before they started the lip balm series, I started noticing that whenever I would apply Burt's Bees, my lips would start to burn. And when it would wear off, they would burn even more. I had heard rumors through the grapevine that if you regularly use chapstick, your lips get used to that product and it could have reactions if you stop using it. I thought that someone just made it up, but now I realized I needed to go on a hunt for a new lip balm/chapstick since Burt's Bees wasn't cutting it anymore!

I know I am not the first do to a review on the EOS lip balms. But I will say that I am so grateful that I follow Painted Ladies because they started the lip balm series right when I needed it!

At my local Walgreens I found only two of the EOS flavors - Honeysuckle Honeydew and Summerfruit. I can tell you right now that I have alternated buying these. I have probably gone through about 10 of the EOS "eggs" ;)

They are amazingly moisturizing and are perfect for what I had been looking for. I love the egg shape, but I have found it an issue when I want to go somewhere and only bring my lip balm, because it does not exactly fit comfortably in my pocket. A small thing I have noticed is that when I get halfway through using one, it seems that small little pieces of something (hard pieces of skin? dirt?) collect on the surface of the balm. So that when I go to reapply my balm, if I don't wipe off the top layer with a tissue, it will deposit whatever little rough pieces are on top onto my lips. However, those things aside, it is a fabulous product :) I absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a new balm to try.

I appreciate you stopping by to read my review :) Please do let me know what you think whether or not you've tried it :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Jazzed Lipstick by MAC

When I heard and read up on the MAC In The Groove Collection that released, I did find a very consistent theme -- almost everyone was raving about the Jazzed lipstick. For some reason, though, I was afraid to even consider buying it because I thought it would look horrendous on my skintone. I am NC15 - pretty pale - and I guess I just assumed it would work more for medium/dark skintones.

How wrong was I!? Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous! My husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary last month. We enjoyed some sushi and then went to the nearest mall (which is in Virginia) to do a little shopping. We of course ended up at the MAC counter where I have serious trouble controlling myself (which is why I'm glad he's there to say "no").

One of the MA's asked if I needed help finding something and I gushed about how I wanted to try the Jazzed lipstick but was afraid it wouldn't look good with my skintone. She quickly and sweetly said I should try it on and oh my, I loved it! It is my first creamsheen, but I do think it is lovely. I do think it is just a touch patchy when I apply it, but heck - I do not care! :)

Here's some pics (sorry for the poor quality lip swatch)...

(taken indoors late at night)

(taken indoors late at night)

(taken indoors late at night)

(taken indoors in direct sunlight)

I hope you enjoyed my first makeup review and thank you for stopping in to read it :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time to jump on the depotting bandwagon!

It was about 2 months ago that I finally decided that it was time to suck it up and cut open my Urban Decay Primer Potion. I was trying to put it off as long as possible because I really love the look of the bottle - too bad it traps all the product! So I ventured down to the kitchen, found the most appropriate knife, and started sawing (carefully).

I really didn't feel like going out to search for a container to put the product in after depotting it, so I just used a brand new clean contact case. I really love it! I actually even saved the wand from the Primer Potion bottle in case I want to use it in the future - who knows!

Thank you so much for stopping in! :) xx

To blog or not to blog...

For the last year, I have found a new passionate interest. Okay, it's become an obsession.

I love makeup. I love skincare. I love researching all about it and discovering new items and deals that I hadn't know about before. It is so much fun and actually gets my adrenaline pumping. I completely understand if I sound a bit wacko, but I can't help myself. I blame my husband!

You see, he was the one who bought me my first makeup items (aside from the times I dabbled in makeup in high school). We got married August of last year and he had been noticing that I wasn't really using the makeup he bought me for Valentine's Day that year. So he kindly pointed me to a blog that I now religiously check daily if not hourly. I am speaking of Cosmetic Candy. From there, I fell, and I mean hard. I fell hard in love with the beauty world.

To me, it's not so much a superficial thing - it is just SO MUCH FUN to play and learn about makeup and skincare. It does become an obsession, but you know, I really don't mind! It's not like I have an unlimited amount of $$$$$ to spend on makeup so a little self control is key for me not to go crazy and buy everything I see.

So in a nut shell, I decided today to start a blog. And I want to send a personal thank you to MusingsofaMuse for her help and gentle push to get me to start :)

Please bear with me as I am new here and of course - the more advice the better! :)

And just so you know, the redhead in the picture is one of my best friends, Cassandra :)