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Friday, December 31, 2010

New! From Sigma..."Make Me Up" Brush Set

When I first saw the name of these I immediately thought the Sigma Makeup was out, it isn't (not yet anyway) but they have introduced a new collection of super cute (and handy) brushes that come in their own storage case. What they say:"Introducing the new Sigma Beauty 'Make Me Up' collection! Our best seller professional 12 brush kit now comes in beautiful colors and inside a durable and multifunctional container! Besides protecting your brushes, this exclusive container transforms into 2 stylish brush holders!"

The kits contain 12 brushes:
  • Medium Angled Shading - E70
  • Large Shader - E60
  • Pencil - E30
  • Large Angled Contour - F40
  • Large Powder - F30
  • Duo Fibre - F50
  • Foundation - F60
  • Concealer - F70
  • Tapered Blending - E40
  • Eye Shading - E55
  • Eyeliner - E05
The sets are available in four colours: Black, Purple, Aqua, and Coral so there is something for everyone. I normally would go for basic black, but I am really tempted to change things up and go with the Aqua. These sets sell for $99 and like all Sigma orders over $30, come with a free travel size E25 brush. I have a bit of Christmas cash that I know will be spent on a Sigma brush kit, I just haven't quite decided which yet.... decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Glazed for the Holidays- China Glaze Holiday Polish Review

Is anybody ready for Christmas? I can now say that I am officially done all of my shopping and I even baked a batch of gingerbread cookies! Just heads though, so you can't really call them gingerbread people. Oh well, they're still cute.

A few weeks ago I was thrilled to find out that I had won a prize in a giveaway from Varnish Vixen! A few days ago, waiting in my mail box I found four China Glaze polishes in an array of fun Holiday shades. I was very excited to get home and give them all a try, as I had never used China Glaze polish before, and I don't (or didn't, I should say) really have any Christmas-y type nail polish.

Phat Santa with flash

Phat Santa no flash

Phat Santa is a medium red creme that is (to me) the perfect type of red. I don't like really cherry reds, I lean towards something a bit darker and this shade has a nice depth without being a dark shade on the nail. It is however really hard to capture properly with a camera. The photo without flash is closer to the actual shade of the polish but still not quite right. This is one and a half coats. I say half beacuse the polish was pretty much opaque and looking great after one coat, but a few nails need a second coat.

Mistletoe Kisses is quite possibly my top favourite out of these four - I am wearing it now and love it! It is a sparkly green that applies wonderfully! This is two coats for a full opaque glitter. I will for sure be checking out China Glaze glitters from now on. I love that it didn't take 5 + coats to get to opaque. This is a really gorgeous colour, I can't take my eyes off of it! Best of all, it looks Christmas-y but it can (and will) be worn all year.

Jolly Holly looks like your average hunter green polish in the bottle, but once it applies on the nail it has much more dimension and a slightly limey glow. I love that this colour is a more unique looking green. It has blue and gold shimmer in it that really give that little bit of pop. I thought that this shade looked like Sally Hansen Emerald City, but Jolly Holly has a lighter green hue to it once applied. If you can believe it, this is one coat.

Party Hearty (two coats)on Revlon Matte Suede Powder Puff

Party Hearty was the polish that I wasn't sure about. I have seen a lot of swatches online, and wasn't too sure what I thought about it, but after wearing it for a few days I have decided it is a really great, unique polish to have for the festive season. This is a clear base with gold, silver, green and red chunky glitter- Christmas in a bottle really. I wore two coats of Party Hearty on Revlon Powder Puff since I think it would take some time and a good 5-6 coats to get this shade opaque.

I am really happy with how China Glaze polishes apply and I will definitely be purchasing more in the future. I don't know why I've waited so long...

Do you have any of these Holiday polishes? What is your favourite shade for the Holidays?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Garnier Herbashine - Shade 530 Medium Golden Brown

Last week I recieved a box of Garnier Herbashine Colour Creme with Bamboo Extract (ie hair dye) from Chick Advisor's Product Review Club. I was excited and a bit apprehensive to give it a try.

Why was I apprehensive? I'll tell you; I naturally have black hair so it takes a bit to get it lightened using at home products, Herbashine doesn't have any of the harsh chemicals that are normally found in your typical permanent dye (like ammonia) and I just wasn't sure if it would have the power to make my roots match the rest of my hair. That and I am suspicious of anything "fast acting". Garnier claims Herbashine can get the job done in a mere 10 minutes.

"Achieve radiant, natural-looking colour with Garnier HerbaShine, the first ammonia-free haircolour with bamboo extract for fortified hair and incredible shine. Inspired by nature and available in a variety of shades, colour develops in just 10 minutes and lasts up to 28 washes! Whether you want luminous blonde, radiant brown or brilliant reflet, Herbashine is gentle and easy to use, with a pleasant, ammonia-free scent. The bamboo extract penetrates every strand, for hair that shines with health and vitality."- Product Page

My "befores"

As you can see in my before photos, I had recreated my colour and was sporting what used to be a medium-dark brown with caramel highlights. I hadn't coloured for a while and the highlights were beginning to get a bit too light. My hair was not that orange in person, I swear, but between the lighting in my bathroom and the flash on my camera, it came out a tad oompah-loompah-ish.

The coveted "shade chart"

My first kudos to Garnier is that they have included a shade chart on the box. My biggest peeve is when companies don't include it. I'll admit my hair rarely looks like the predicted shade on the box, it is still nice to have an idea of what you are potentially working with.

On to the goods...

Supplies of the at home colourist

In the box you get your typical fare: instructions and gloves (more on those in a moment), activating cream, colour cream, and after colour conditioner. First thing that I noticed was the conditioner, almost all of the brands I have used or use regularly have tubes of conditioner that are sealable and have enough product to get a few uses out of. Herbashine only allows you one use of their conditioner, which is a shame really because it is amazing stuff.

And the gloves, nay, the hand shaped plastic bags they provide... they leave a bit to be desired. Why can't they just give you real gloves? The ones they included are the dangerous "just look at me and I will tear" type gloves. Luckily I had backups to use instead of what came in the box.

On to the actual dye, it gets mixed as per the usual: squeeze tube b into bottle a, shake and apply. Nothing very notable to note (he he) but the pull off stopper on the mixing bottle was hellish to remove. I ended up biting it off. Mixing was simple, it mixed fast, but it was a bit hard to tell if it was completely mixed due to the fact that both parts are white. Application again, was standard. I had read that some people thought the formula was too runny, but I had no issues with it. It did sort of bubble on my head once I rubbed it on a bit, which looked a bit strange, and kind of made me think I should have done the allergy test, but I had no complications. I guess that is just how it works? I had no massive drips (one blob on my shoulder, but that is average for me) and I was able to easily pile all my hair on top of my head without a clip or anything to stabilize it.


I left my hair to "process" for 15 minutes as suggested by the box for darker hair and grey coverage. Most of my hair was on the light side, but my roots were dark and I will admit to greys popping up along my bangs and front part. I was then ready to rinse. Ugh, I hate the rinsing part, it always seems to take forever. Surprisingly, this dye was a quick rinse (yay!) and I was ready to condition. I can't say enough about the conditioner! I love it! It made my hair look and feel amazingly soft and I had no tangling or frizz once my hair dried.

The results...

My "afters"

I am very pleased with the colour I achieved. It is a nice medium-deep brown and I still have a hint of highlights. I think there might be a spot where I didn't have the dye applied well enough, but it looks pretty good any way, almost like it was intentional, so it all worked out. Overall a really great product, my only complaint is that it is not a permanent colour (it only lasts about 28 washes) which sucks for forgetful gals like myself. Other than that I definately recommend giving this one a try.

NOTD: Revlon Matte Suede Powder Puff

Yet another Revlon notd, but this one is a bit different... different for me anyway, because it's matte. I have a fair bit of nail polish, but not a single matte shade or top coat to be seen. And that was how I liked it. I call nail polish, well nail polish and as polish it should be shiny. Thus, I have always stayed with shine. That all changed when I saw this beauty. I had been seeing the collection on display at my local PharmaSave for a while and thought "humm, what an uninspiring Holiday collection you have Revlon." as it consists of a green, red, berry and white. When I think white nails I think of two things French tips and that hideous trend from when I was in grade 6 and it was all the rage to paint your nails with white out*Bleck* of course the white out allowed one to then colour in with multi-coloured highlighters... Anyhow back to the white.

I didn't dig the white until it started popping up on blogs I read. Then I was curious, intrigued. Of course that meant I had to get it and I had to try it. Although it looked great on the hands of the swatchers (or swatchees I suppose) I wasn't sold it was right for me. First off the matte finish, and then the fact that it didn't seem to be an opaque. I don't care to see visible nail line unless it's a French manicure, thanks.

Three coats

I'll assume this doesn't need saying (er, typing) but with a matte polish you don't use a base coat or top coat, so prep was very easy. All I did was shorten my nails a bit to reduce the amount of nail line that would show through. The bottle says to apply two coats, but I was feeling crazy and went with three- I know, I am such a rebel. I was tempted to keep going until I hit opacity, but I think it might end up being chalky and you would loose the subtle shimmer and colour play of the polish. I think that is what makes this such an interesting shade, it isn't a stark flat white, but it has a hint of a blue-purple-pink shimmer depending on the lighting. The colour is really pretty and once I got used to it I really liked it.

Of course I had trouble getting used to no top coat, I forgot how long nail polish takes to dry on it's own. Application was not bad, no major issues, I thought it might be a streaky mess to apply, but it was smooth looking from the first coat. Wear was okay too, I didn't have any chips when I was ready to remove it, just a few nicks here and there,which were probably my own fault and not anything to do with the polish at all.

Overall a great shade for winter and the holidays. Have you tried any of the Matte Suede line? I am thinking I may have to pick up the green shade.

P.S Check out my awesomely sparkly hand soap!

Balea (available at Shopper's Drug Mart) had these adorable dispensers for the Holidays. When I saw it in the flyer I knew it had to be mine. At $4.99 it is a steal and better yet it is filled with soap. They only had the pink left, which is Candy Cane scented. It smells sweet and slightly minty, very appropriate for the season. I love it!

Oooh, Shiny!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NOTD: Starry Skies Gradient

Oooh, sparkly!

Is everyone enjoying the snow? I guess that depends on where you reside, but in my little spot of the globe it is snow, snow, snow. I was all prepared to have a day of shopping and general Christmas prep only to be snowed in and stuck at home.

This is a variation of a theme from this post that was inspired by a wonderful (and easy!) tutorial posted by Will Work for Makeup here. I have always loved gradients, but I never thought that I had the polishes needed to create one. I was wrong.

Supplies used (in order of use)

Now, you don't get the steps in photos as I wasn't even thinking about sharing this when I painted, but I used the same steps as outlined by Tiffany's tutorial.
How I created my look:
  1. I started with a coat of Avon Adhesive Base Coat. I am not really a fan of this, but I am going to finish it anyway. Have any suggestions on a good base coat?
  2. I applied my Sephora franken gray to the tips. No skill required, it can be messy.
  3. I did a few coats moving 1/4 down each time using the Revlon Star Top Coat.
  4. I realized that the sparkles and holo bits in Star were too sporadic to create an proper looking gradient, so I added a few coats of Cover Girl Boundless Colour Sparkle Top Coat in City Lights concentrating on the lover half of the nail.
  5. I finished the look off with a coat of Essie to Dry For just in case I didn't already have enough layers of top coat.
Have you ever created a gradient? Got any tips or specific polishes you used?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: 100 Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented Mascara

Another ultra long named product, today we have 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Ultra Lengthening 100% Natural Mascara in Black Tea. I have had this little tube - mine is a half size tube- for a while now and am really enjoying it. It is almost at the end of it's lifespan though, so I wanted to get a review in before it gets tossed.

As the name states, 100% Pure uses only 100% pure ingredients to make their bath and beauty products. A lot of products now claim to be a lot of things ie. organic, natural, free of this, none of that, but when it comes right down to it they still contain questionable ingredients. Not this product. See for yourselves:
Ingredients: Organic Green Tea, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Honey Beeswax, Contains All or some of the following Pigments: Blackberry, Blueberry, Black Tea, Grape Skin, Pomegranate, Acai Berry, Boysenberry, Blackcurrant and Raspberry, Oat Protein, Wheat Protein, Provitamin B5, Seaweed Powder, Coconut Stearic acid, Mica (for shimmer in the Blackberry and Blueberry), Cocoa Butter, Pearl Powder, Rice Powder, Cacao Powder and Powdered Coffee Beans, Lavender Honey, Extracts of Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender and Goldenseal

Not too shabby at all.

Standard wire bristle brush.

"100% natural mascara lengthens, separates, thickens and glosses lashes with fruit pigments and Black tea pigments. Lash conditioning ProVitamin B5, Vitamin E, Oat and Wheat protein conditions for healthier lashes. Gentle, all natural, good for you formula is suitable for everyone, even if you wear contacts or have sensitive eyes. Water and smudge resistant." - Product page

As I mentioned above, I have the mini tube of this that sells for $15 CAD on 100% Pure website, while the regular size version sells for $23 CAD. I got my tube from The Shopping Channel, so Canadian gals, check there for a deal. While they have a few different shades I have the normal black version- Black Tea.

Naked lashes

On top lashes

The first difference I noted when I used this mascara is the scent. It has a mild fruity scent, a bit blueberry-ish. It isn't harsh, but it is a nice change compared to the perfumey or chemical scent big brand mascaras can have. This mascara is easy to apply and lengthens really well. The brush is your average wire variety, and for a while I would have said I preferred the new silicone styles, but I really like how this brush preforms. It is a regular size brush, but it gets every lash and doesn't take a lot of play to get it looking perfect. I used this mascara most of the summer, and even on the hottest days I had no smudging, or stinging or general melting issues at all. Removal was easy, I used Balea Cleansing Cloths and it was no problem to remove. I hate when waterproof formulas are so strong nothing gets them off.

All in all this is a great mascara, and I will most definitely repurchase in the future. Have you tired this mascara or any other 100% Pure products? What did you think?

Monday, December 6, 2010

NOTD: Chocolate Noir with Revlon Hot for Chocolate

I was planning on doing something a little more interesting for today's post, but I was selected to review Garnier Herbashine (hair dye) for Chickadvisor and it arrived today. You obviously know what I've been doing. So I bring you Revlon's Hot for Chocolate.

This is yet another Revlon polish - I seen to be frequenting them a lot lately, that I bought for my mom. She decided she wanted to try dark brown, which is a huge jump for her considering she rarely ever paints her nails. So being the awesome child that I am, I picked this up for her. She wasn't really into, so I thought I would give it a go.

I bought this nail polish at Shopper's Drug Mart around the end of August, so I can't say for sure if this is a new fall shade or if it has been around for a while... They also had a more milk chocolate shade, while the Hof for Chocolate definitely falls into a dark chocolate almost black category.

I wasn't sure if I would like this colour on me, but I really do now that I have it on. It is a deep rich colour and looks surprisingly classy on. I don't know why, but to me it looks classy.

Have you tried this shade? What's your fave Revlon polish?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

November Faves

I didn't realize it had been so long since my last post. Stuff has been a bit, well...out of sorts and I haven't been feeling too bloggy. Anyhow, I'm back with my fave products of November. Be warned though, most of my faves are going to get a full review soon so be sure to check back for all the details.

Alberto Straight & Smooth Heat Defence Smoothing Cream
I have had this kicking around for a while, two of them actually. When I was in college they had a gift basket program parents could sign up for and they sent out goodies to students at exam time. My mom (being awesome!) signed me up every time they were offered. This product came twice. I rarely ever straighten my hair, so I never used it. I am planning a full review so I guess I should wrap this up... good stuff though. Watch for more info soon.

Proactive Green Tea Moisturizer
Two words are all you really need to know right now: Love it.

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 5
An acne product that works and doesn't make your skin issues worse? Look no farther than this amazing cream. They call it a gel, but it is more of a cream really. I guess Persa-Cream 5 just didn't have the right ring to it.

Life Honey Nut Shine Spray
This is such an old product, I don't even know if they make it anymore. I was rooting around my hair stuff bucket and found this. I used to buy it as a putty type product, but they reformulated it as a spray. I have had a love hate relationship with this product in the past. When used correctly it is amazing, but when you spray too much (especially near the root) you look like an oily mess. I only use this right after I blow dry my hair, an try to apply when it is still a bit damp. It smells great and really helps eliminate frizz, flyaways and of course makes your hair oh so shiny.

Clarisonic Mia

I've made it pretty clear how much I love this little gal? Read here for more.

Lush Sweet Lips Lip Scrub
This lip scrub is a must for anyone who wears lipstick (or any kind of lip product for that matter) and lives in any kind of cold climate. Makes your lips happy (an so smooth!)

Have you tried any of my faves? What were your favourite products last month?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

NOTD: Avon Nail Wear Pro Rave

I've had this nail polish tucked away for a while. I didn't order it for myself, but I ended up with it and I thought I might as well try it out. I did a quick swatch of it when I got it and wasn't really into the shimmer of it, but lately I have come around and started to embrace my glittery side, so I gave it another go.

This shade is interesting in it's ability to shift and take on different hues in different light. The colour in the bottle has more red undertones than it does on the nail. And the shimmers, they look really great! I found kept catching myself just looking at my nails, the colour and shimmer just looked so good. On the nail the colour varies from being a coppery pink to a mid tone pink even to a light pink. I was very happy as to how it applied as well. It wasn't a streaky mess (which I was sort of expecting) and it didn't take hours to dry. That is my main reason for avoiding Avon nail polish, I find that they take far too long to dry. I topped mine with Essie To Dry For and have been wearing it since Sunday and have only had one little chip, so wear has been excellent. If a nail polish doesn't chip after 2 days I am a very happy gal, I always seem to end up with chips faster than fast, even with base and top coat.

All in all I like this shade and formulation and will most likely be sporting this shimmery shade over the Holidays. Do you have this shade? Which other Avon shades would you suggest?