Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nails! Dots! (& Nuts'n'Bolts)

I bought a dotting tool and went a little nuts. 
China Glaze Poetic
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Celeb City
Zoya Kimber
Zoya Myrta

Other news:
I've updated my blog sale post (top right hand sidebar has the link). Please buy my stuff! If you do, I'll buy and swatch some Inglot for you.

Sunday Sunblock is going irregular - I still have about six products left in my bathroom that I'd like to talk about, but I need more time to use them and form opinions on them. Unformed opinion = bad review. Nobody wants that!

I'm in some serious need of a new nail polish storage solution. Ideas? The cupcake carrier isn't cutting it anymore.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Evil Shades Review!

Anyone here a fan of Evil Shades Cosmetics? I just made my second order and realized that I'd never properly reviewed my first, which I made last fall. Whoops!

In the first order, I got full sizes of ceylon and ravishing blushes, and a sample of skön. Here are some better swatches! I love the full sizes I got, they go on nicely and the texture and staying power is good. Skön's texture is equally lovely, but the color makes me look like I bruised my cheeks. I can see this color looking great on a cooler-toned or darker skinned woman.  Evil Shades blushes might be my favorite thing on their whole site. I like how the colors she offers are bright and fun - there are absolutely no "universally flattering" pinky-brown shades here, just bright, clear colors that have a bit of an unexpected twist. Even Curiosity, which looks at first glance to have the most neutral appearance, has blue shimmer in the description! Ceylon has a green flash, and Ravishing shifts purple. This is about my favorite kind of product - things that look "normal" enough but contain sly winks at ideas like "professionalism" and "workplace acceptability."

I also ordered a blogger sample pack, and got a bunch of samples of lip stuff. To the left - More Synth Deviant Lipstick. It's pretty much a balm packed with rainbow glitter. I can't wait for the full size to get here! It's great on its own because it's one of those unassuming-from-afar-yet-edgy-up-close shades. I think it's best for a daytime casual look.

I also got samples of Primrose Path Deviant Lipstick and Féline's Kyss Hardcore Lips gloss. Primrose Path is pretty, and so is Féline's Kyss, but I did not get full sizes of these. Primrose Path is pretty, but I'm extremely picky about pinks, and this wasn't the best I'd ever worn. Féline's Kyss is also gorgeous, swatched on my hand, but on my face comes off as just a smidge too light for me.

The quality of the lipsticks is great, and the gloss is nice as well, though it can separate over time. In this same order, I got some limited edition lipglosses with a different formula that I did not like as much, and I have the same problem with them. The glosses are not sticky at all, which I both like and dislike. In my next order, I requested a sample of another gloss, and a larger size of her new black lipgloss so I'll better be able to form my opinion on them then. I don't know why I ordered black lipgloss, exactly, except that I don't have any and it seemed like a fun addition to my stash. All in all, Andrea offers a pretty wide selection of lip products, none of which contain my archenemy, beeswax! I hate to say it, but I definitely like Evil Shades lip products better than Silk Naturals, which were my first "OMG I can actually wear these!" lip things. The Evil Shades products come in more fun colors (some of which are a bit, um, adventurous for me!), and they stay on longer. My personal pickiness with shades of pink aside, a lot of what Andrea has is a winner here.

Let's also talk about eyeshadow, which is something you all know I love! I don't have swatches of the sample I got that is getting upgraded to full size, Eplefe, because it's such a stunning color I'm working on a separate post for it. So here's two pics of the other four I got. They're all swatched over Vitrum Spectrum Pot (also from Evil Shades!) which is a waxy white cream base.

I don't think this was intentional, but Wyvern and Whooo Are You? look like fraternal twins of the eyeshadow world. Whooo Are You? shifts yellow and warm while Wyvern shifts cool and blue, but they seem to have a similar base green. Twinkle Twinkle is a badass yellow, and Zombie is a rich oxblood color that looks like it would fit right in this fall. I did a look with Wyvern, Zombie, and Eplefe that I think shows the colors' versatility.

I like the texture of the shadows, and there's some fun stuff going on with them. They just work well and look nice, and I can't complain about that!

I'd definitely recommend Evil Shades Cosmetics, but recommend that you order two weeks or so before you think you'll want to use the products because turnaround time is in that range. Pricing is reasonable, and she offers generous samples in clamshells, full sizes, and enormous sizes for mega-fans and makeup artists. You know I like the company alright because I ordered another pile of stuff from them!

Look forward to my thoughts on her new Morbidly Beautiful collection, her black eyeshadow primer, and the peachy color corrector in a month or so!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: Neutrogena Wet Skin sunblock spray

Today's Sunblock Sunday is a review of Neutrogena Wet Skin sunblock spray, SPF 85.

It claims to provide "full strength protection even on wet skin." It also says that it "applies on wet or dry skin. waterproof/sweatproof." I think that it's no longer legal to claim that your product is waterproof, only "highly water resistant," but I bought this last year when it was ok to say that sunblock was waterproof.

This is also not even pretending to be a natural product, though the inclusion of one botanical ingredient is really mystifying to me. It's chemical soup. I think there's even a phthalate in there. The sunscreens in it are of the chemical/organic (in that the molecules contain carbon, like life forms) variety, and if there's a kind of plastic that can be put in cosmetics, this product probably has it.

I knew this all when I bought it. I wanted an affordable product for those times when large areas of my body were going to be exposed to the sunlight, and bought this specifically for things like swimming and running. And guess what? It works.

On Labor Day, I went to the beach. I wore a swimsuit, got sand all over me, and immersed myself in Lake Michigan. I had a great time! I applied all over my arms, legs, shoulders, and torso. It's a little too plasticky for me to want to put it on my face, so I used something else. I reapplied twice, after getting out of the water, as per the directions. Once, I forgot to recoat my neck and upper chest, so that burned, but none of the rest of me did, and I was in full sunlight from two to six pm.

This is not an everyday product, and you will feel greasy and look shiny with this on. I also find it odd how it sprays better if you use it upside down. I like that you can spray it right on wet skin and it will still work. But if you want to go to the beach, or sweat buckets, and not pay for it with sunburned skin, then this is not a bad deal. But again, it only works if you rub it in after you spray, just like all spray sunblocks.

SPF: 85+
Size: 5 oz.
Price: $11.49
Price per ounce: $2.30 

Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%), Oxybenzone (6%).

Inactive ingredients: Alcohol denat, dimethyl ether, octododecyl citrate crosspolymer, butyloctyl salicylate, acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer, ethyl methicone, cetyl dimethicone, dimethicone, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer, fragrance, tocopheryl acetate, vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, nelumbo nucifera flower powder, diethylhexyl 2,6 naphthalate, ascorbyl palmitate, retinyl palmitate.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Used It! August 2012

In August, I used up 8 full size products, an eyeshadow sample, and a pile of other random samples.

Aspirin* - used this primarily for face masks. Aspirin does make the skin nice and soft, but it's messy! Be prepared to shed white flakes on whatever you're reading while it sets.

Fyrinnae Calavera Cupcakes free sample. Beautiful shade, especially over a sticky base, but I like Chrome better for a silver.

Giovanni Direct Leave-In.* This used to be a HG product for me - when my hair was bra-strap length, it worked really well as both a conditioner and a styling product. I can't get it to work as well for waist-to-hip length hair. If you have mid-length (between armpit length and mid back) wavy or curly hair, you should give this a try.

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo.* This is really good for getting gunk off your hair, but I'm not sure it's better than cheaper products. I don't have the bottle because I transferred it into a smaller container when it was half gone.

Kiss My Face SPF 40*

Nuance Salma Hayek skin firming body creme.* I bought this because I really liked a sample packet. Liked enough to buy three of them. I did not notice any "firming" effects, nor did I expect to. It's a lotion, and an expensive one (for drugstore) at that. I'll break out the others when it's colder out, but by then, I'll be so sick of it I won't want to repurchase. Also - I HATE applying body lotion and being all sticky afterward.

Red lip franken.* I'm counting this as gone because I can't find the tube. I had a quarter inch left. It was a franken, so I can't make it again.

VO5 Blackberry Sage Tea conditioner*
VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze conditioner.* Both of these together ran me 1.26 plus tax. When I use these conditioners, I use a lot of them and go through them quite quickly. They work for me, provided I follow up with a leave-in, but I don't enjoy using them. I bought them because I didn't want to "waste" my "good" conditioner while I was using up a bunch of shampoo packets last month.
I also used up this pile of samples.
-Comfort Zone sample packets - I got these back in March when I got my facial. I used them to try to give myself a mini facial at home. I think the facial was successful in large part due to the skill of the esthetician, and she could have done amazing things with any product out there.
-Josie Maran Argan Bronzing Oil - not bad, but extremely messy to apply. Worked best with a drop mixed into foundation.
-Nars Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte foundation (Siberia) - slightly too light, also should have paid attention to the "sheer" part - too much so for me.
-Too Faced BB Cream (vanilla glow) - still too dark!
-Too Faced Close-Up foundation (vanilla creme, warm vanilla) - too dark, very yellow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunblock Sunday: Nuance Salma Hayek Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Perfector

This is Nuance Salma Hayek Advanced Hydration Smooth & Firm Perfector, SPF 20. It's marketed as a moisturizer/anti-aging treatment with a "Silky, age-defying formula melts into skin, filling fine lines and wrinkles and locking in hydration." I'm not convinced that it's a Holy Grail sunblock or anything, but it does have some nice perks. My primary concern with it is the longevity of the sun protection: it contains avobenzone but not octocrylene or another similar stabilizer of avobenzone. That makes it a poor contender for a morning moisturizer worn under makeup - it would wear off before I felt like redoing my whole face. It's also not as high up the SPF ladder as I like. I have been using this as a portable arms and neck product, and it works great for something to throw on less-protected areas later in the day to ward off impromptu sun damage. I won't repurchase because it's normally too expensive to justify that use. I bought mine on sale, so I'm less concerned about "wasting" this product by using it principally as a body sunscreen.

That said, this is what I do like about it:
- it does have a lovely texture. It's not greasy at all, and it sinks right in.
- it's not white AT ALL.
- it doesn't smell like sunscreen.


SPF 20
Size: 1.5 oz.
Price: $19.99 (I paid 6.99 during a killer sale)
Price per ounce: $13.33 (yikes!)
Availability: CVS

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.0%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5.0%).
Inactive Ingredients: Agave Tequilana Leaf Extract, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/Ldimethicone, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycerin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Hexyl Laurate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Phospholipids, Physalis Angulata Extract, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Polysilicone-11, Retinyl Acetate, Silica, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol Acetate.