Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Review- Iden Bee Propolis Intensive Repair Mask


Iden Bee Propolis Intensive Hair Mask has superb antibiotic, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which stimulates healthy hair growth. Iden Intensive Repair Mask is specially formulated with essential oils and nutrients to rebuild, strengthen and protect all hair types.

My hair can best be described as dry & damaged. It has suffered years of color and straightening treatments and hear styling, and as a result I'm constantly plagued by dryness, frizzies, and breakage. I've cut back a lot on the flat ironing and hot curling, but the effects haven't changed much. I'm constantly searching for the perfect hair treatment to add moisture to my mane and prevent breakage. I have yet to find the formula that will keep my tresses soft and silky, without weighing them down or making my style fall flat. Sadly, Iden's Intensive Hair Mask is not that perfect treatment. I had high hopes when I massaged the creamy, softly scented conditioner into my hair post-shampoo. But by the time I had rinsed, dried and styled my hair, it had absolutely no shine or bounce, and wasn't noticeably softer. And just a few days after using it, my hair was completely limp and particularly dry on the ends. I guess I'm back to the drawing board.
Sigh.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Review- Nailene Bedazzle Fashionista Nail Art





Easy to Apply Nail Art Stickers For Fingers and Toes! Everything You Need to Create Fabulous Nail Art, from Rhinestones to Pearls, Flowers to Butterflies, All At The Tip of Your Nails.


These things are dangerously addictive. I decided to add a few to spice up a tired, neutral manicure. You can apply them with your fingers, but using tweezers makes it much easier and more precise. I started with a simple pattern in mind - three small blue flowers just on my ring fingers. After finishing that design in 5 minutes flat I decided they were so cute and easy, why not add a few more. Before I knew it I had transformed my chic mani into a cringe worthy collage of blue flowers and tiny sparkles, like an overzealous junior high schooler doing her nails for the first time. Luckily, the stickers come right off with a bit of nail polish remover. I started over, and this time I made sure to keep it simple. My tiny floral pattern (this time on just one nail on each hand) stayed put for about 5 days. It helps if you apply two coats of clear polish or top coat to seal the design. Nailene offers a variety of Nail Art Stickers, from the Fashionista (colorful flowers, sparkles, metallic hearts, moons, and stars) to the Earth Angel (pastel butterflies, flowers, and letters of the alphabet) so you can choose which style will work for you. Each pack includes a huge variety of stickers, so you can switch your designs up as your mood changes. Just keep my mistake in mind - less is more when it comes to these little guys.

Josephine says: These nail stickers made my and my 2 year-old's son's nails look really cute. He chose the half-moons and I, the stars. They stayed on through a rough and tumble visit to the local sandbox (for us both!) as well as cooking and cleaning one long Sunday. Like Malikah said, they take me back to a simplier time when applying art not at all designed for one's nails was a past time, circa freshman year in high school. I also agree that tweezers are your friend in this project.

Sultana says: I wish I listened to Hillary when she told me that its best to wait until your nail polish is dry before you apply these :(. OK, I learned my lesson quickly! They tend to roll up and not stay stuck to your nail. The rhinestone hearts, stars and half moons definitely won me over. I agree with Hillary when she says they are generously filled with different designs. This is great because you can mix it up. One thing I didn't like was that some of the designs don't have ten of each of the same kind. So if you wanted to put the same design on each finger or toe, you might not have enough. Other than that they have great staying power and really cute designs! Of course, my daughter had to 'experiment' with these also and she loved them too!

Trish says: At first I was a little intimidated looking at the 400+ stickers in the packaging, wondering how I was not going to make a mess of myself, (and my home), but once you open it, a whole new world of fun nail art opens up magically! I had more fun than I had expected with the Bedazzle decals and added the clear ones on my pedicure! Definitely perfect timing for sandal wearing. And since I couldn't stop, I added a few more of the flowers on my fingernails. It's like tattoos for your manicure/pedicure! If you want something fun and subtle, the clear decals are wonderful...they bring classy mani/pedis to a whole new level of sparkle!

Review- Nubar Nail Lacquer Three Pack

This new kit contains the popular Hieroglyphys Purple from the Cleopatra Collection, Foundation Base Coat, and Diamont Quick Dry Top Coat. Foundation Base Coat protects the nail from staining, is fortified with calcium to strengthen nails, and gives the maximum Nail Lacquer adhesion and protection. Diamont Seal & Shine Quick Dry Top Coat completely seals Nubar Nail Lacquers and nail art, thoroughly dries all layers of polish quickly, and protects your manicure for maximum wear. All Nubar nail lacquers are formulated without DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene. $19.95 for 3 0.5oz bottles.

This convenient 3-pack makes a DIY manicure super simple. The Foundation Base coat smooths the nail surface, ensuring the polish glides on easily. I was a little turned off by the rich purple shade, but turns out it was super flattering with my skin tone. I love that the hue was Cleopatra inspired (it made me feel so regal!) and the color looked absolutely perfect after just one coat. I gave it a second coat just for good measure, but it really wasn't necessary. The Diamont Quick Dry Top Coat sealed my gorgeous mani in minutes, and it stayed chip free for a week. I liked the color so much I polished my toes too, and the color is still perfect after 11 days! I did try the top coat with another brand's nail polish; the results were nice, but not as impressive as when I used it with the Nubar polish - I guess they really are formulated to work together. The Hieroglyphs Purple isn't the most summery shade, but I think it will be my go to polish for the Fall. And after hearing a lot of questionable info about the effects of formaldehyde and toulene, I also really like that this polish is free of those potentially harmful chemicals.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review- Pencil Me In Eyeliners


The Pencil Me In website talks a lot about the supposed health benefits of their products - that the antioxidants and the vitamins in the pencils help keep your eyes protected from free radicals. The copy also says they are the "newest 'green' cosmetic," but I'm not sure that the person who wrote that knows what "green" is typically intended to mean. Nowhere on the page does it say anything about being particularly environmentally-friendly. Maybe it's referring to the all-natural ingredients? It's not terribly clear. That said, however, whether these eye pencils are somehow "better" for you than others or not, they certainly live up to the claims of being tug-free and come in the widest (and wildest) variety of colors I've ever seen.

I had two colors, the Emerald City and the Mint (the Mint being the light, light green pictured above). The Emerald City, a deep jewel green with a touch of blue in it, is wonderful for hazel-eyed girls (me) and redheads (not me; I wish). It's everything you want in a liner - easy to apply, doesn't pull your eyelid all around, and stays in place for a good long time. The highlight shades like the Mint could theoretically be used in a number of places; what I did was put it just in the crease of my eyelid, giving my eye a brighter, lighter look without overdoing it.

Overall, the Pencil Me In is a great product - above average when compared with other similar products, and a reasonable price. But the thing that tips the scales for me on this one: BUILT-IN PENCIL SHARPENER. Yes, it's true. It's right in the cap. It's SO GREAT. Now, this does require that you not lose the cap, which I have been known to do, but it's so much easier to keep track of than a free-floating sharpener. Definitely a big recommend on this product.

Hillary says:

I got these pencils in something called "Buff" which is actually a very light green and "Platinum" which is silver. I love all the funky colors these pencils come in. I can't think of many colors you would look for that they don't have. These pencils have a great consistency- just soft enough to glide across the eye area and just hard enough to keep a point. And as Movie Maven pointed out, this pencil solves the age old problem of searching for a sharpener, as it's right on the cap. The Buff pencil makes my eyes look bigger and the Platinum makes them just look cooler. I ditto everything Maven said about the "green" product question, but I appreciate any additional anti-oxidants which are thrown my way. After all, every little bit helps!

Amanda S. Says:

I got two great colors of this eye pencil: denim and greystone. They go great with my light blue eyes. I too was a little confused about the 'natural' aspect of this product, but beside that, they're great pencils. They went on really smooth without skipping and slipping along my eyelids when I worked with them, and they also didn't turn to mush and lose their strength either. I often have trouble rubbing my itchy eyes too much and lose my eyeliner quickly, but this stuff stayed put.

Joyce says:

I like eye pencils I can sharpen, and appreciate that these come with their own sharpeners in the cap. I tried Brownie and Indigo (perfect for true hazel eyes--gold with green rims), especially when I use brown at the top and blue smudged into my lower lashes. They aren’t too hard nor too soft . . . they’re like Baby Bear’s porridge—just right. I do not like when I have to drag a pencil across the delicate eye area repeatedly to get it to work or repair it because it smudges too easily. And, they stay on. I like ‘em!

Sheba says:

I have been using their Black Velvet and Brownie. Both are very soft and easy to apply -- no more dragging!! They open up your eyes and help to make them pop. I thought I had two neutral colors however, maybe that is best for me. The Brownie does seem to really bring out Hazel eyes. . . seems to make them sparkle a bit. I honestly think anyone can use these two colors to full advantage. Their array of colors is amazing and you will find have difficulty selecting one -- you will probably end up with a couple. They do have some staying power -- I did not have to refresh these as often as I usually need to. You can lightly line for the office, etc. and go a bit heavier at night or whenever you want a more noticeable effect. Also, I found them to be relatively easy to remove with soap and water. I use a gentle soap and it took them off quickly. . . no racoon eyes, etc. The sharpener is like the frosting on the cake -- what a simple but very smart idea.

Deedlejuse Says:

I have to agree with everyone on how fun and use-able these eyeliners are. The colors I received are so cool: Meteor a bronzy highlighting sort of color, so wearable when you don't want to really commit to a color, and Lapis an almost navy dark blue. I love the way they glide on, they aren't too malleable, which is great because it is easier to control. I also love the built in sharpener, I am forever loosing sharpeners for some reason and it is much more difficult to loose it when it is attached to your favorite eyeliner! So much fun, and for only 7 bucks? Yeah, I love them.

Malikah says:

When I think about my perfect summer makeup, I think soft, shimmery, easy to apply, and long wearing. Pencil Me In Eye Pencil in 24 Karat Gold totally fits the bill. The frosted metallic yellow-gold pencil had a great subtle sheen and glided onto my eyelids effortlessly. I applied just a little bit and smudged with my pinky finger for gorgeous, yet still daytime appropriate eyes. When getting ready for an evening out, I layered a bit more of the eye pencil on my upper eyelids and swiped a tiny bit just under my lower lash line. My eyes instantly looked bigger, brighter, and drop dead sexy. I felt Studio 54 ready in no time at all! Sadly, my disco eyes didn’t beat the summer heat, but as the pencil started to fade it left pretty little sparkles across my eyelids. It wasn’t as defined as I had hoped it would be, but still looked great. If you’re looking for an easy way to achieve super glam eyes, definitely go for Pencil Me In 24 Karat Eye Pencil.

Josephine says:

I have the mint color sans sparkles. When I looked at it I thought, "Aw, h*ll, no" based on my own skin tone and eye color but I was pleasantly surprised with how soft the color is. It does go on fairly creamy although my problem with a consitency like this is that it doesn't go on very evenly. There is a run-off of color on one's lashes which "has to go somewhere" buy the day's end, and that generally is not a good thing. The sharpener, in my humble opinion, is neither practical or necessary for an eye pencil. It also doesn't work that well. I am going to throw it in my kit and use it on my ladies of color in the future.

Trish says:

I love colored eye pencils and especially love the look when I see it on others! However for me, maybe it's because of my darker eyes and golden beige-ish skin tone, I can't seem to make the right color work...hence a box full of blue eyelining pencils! When I tried the Pencil Me In shade in a baby blue called "Sky" I had great hopes it would match my skin tone and eyes...sadly, it didn't...so the shade didn't quite work on me, but it's still a good pencil with a soft smooth feel. As much as I like the look and the pencil itself, the light blue doesn't quite go with my dark hair and eyes.

Sultana says: I got this in a color called 'Pink Lady'. I remember when I was younger, the popular thing to do was a wear a white liner to make your eyes pop. This pencil reminded me of a white liner except its pink. I put it on and what it does is give your eyes a very subtle pop. The color is a nice baby pink. But you can put on additional layers to create a brighter pink. I love pencils that have a sharpener in the cap. It just simplifies life! I would definitely purchase this in another color. I even tried the pink out on my daughter. It is so subtle an 8 year old can wear it!

Review- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Color Pigments


Micronized color pigments fused with shimmering mica for use on the eyes, and anywhere else on the face and body. These lightweight, ultra-refined, densely pigmented powders apply shimmer smoothly and beautifully, wherever it's needed. $10 for 2.5 grams.

This stuff is awesome!!! I tried it in Flicker, a pale peachy shade and it left a gorgeous shimmer anywhere you apply it. You can use it pretty much anywhere you can think of and it will always look amazing. I dusted it on my eyelids with an eyeshadow brush for a simple casual shimmer that stayed put all day. You can also use a moist eyeliner brush to line your eyes with the shimmery powder for a bold evening look. This shade is also really flattering as a highlighter for brows and cheekbones. Since we are in the season of bare legs and shoulders, this product does an awesome job adding instant glamour to other exposed body parts. Dust it across your shoulders, collarbone and decolletage with a fluffy brush or blend it with your fave lotion to make your own shimmery body cream. It looks super sexy when applied just to the front part of your legs, and really helps elongate them too. And with 25 colors to choose from at only $10 a pop, you can choose your perfect shade or collect a few!

Sultana says: I have this color in 'Glisten'. I tried this on with and without eyeshadow primer. The day I used it without, it lasted pretty long. The color is a beautiful shimmery, peachy golden color. When I used it along with the OCC Primer, it lasted until I got home from work! It also enhanced the shade a little. This is a color that is simple enough for work but if worn a little more dramatically, can be used for going out as well. I have been wearing it almost everyday and I am very happy with it.

Review- Lancome La Laque Fever



For the first time at Lancôme, an elixir of vibrant concentrated color and unprecedented shine in one gliding stroke. From the moment of application, densely pixilated pearls combined with unique polymers give multi-dimensional shine that truly holds to your lips: no touch ups for 8 hours.

This is SERIOUS lip color. Do not think that they are messing around with the 8 hours with no touch ups thing - it is totally true. Somehow, defying all logic, this lip color stayed with me (the queen of eating off lip color) for very, very close to 8 hours. I was in total shock the first time I tried it, so I had to try it again the next day just to make sure I wasn't going crazy. Then for the next week, because I couldn't believe it was really true. So rest assured I have tested, retested, and retested after that the longevity of this bright, bold, and beautiful La Laque Fever. It wears like the amazing combination of superglue/ lipgloss that it so obviously is. The pigment is bold, not opaque at all, more like a lipstick than a gloss, but it still has shiney glossy attributes. Seriously I don't know how they did it! My only complaint, and it's a minor one, is that it seems to get really sticky after like 4 or 5 hous. So sticky that I like to refresh the gloss to get the fresh feeling back again. It could just be my lippies not being used to actually being coated for that long so we'll see what everyone else has to say.... The color I got is Chromed Pink, a luscious deep dusty rose sort of hue. It's wonderful, if marginally darker than I normally wear, but very nice for a dramatic look! Also, I should mention that the applicator thing is thin (pliable) and much wider than normal. It is so good that I have to wonder why most other glosses use the traditional dip-stick aplicator which really dosn't make a whole lot of sense anatomy-wise. Two thumbs up to Lancome and La Laque Fever!

Movie Maven says: I have to agree with the accolades on this one - La Laque Fever is insanely long-lasting. Now, I didn't quite get 8 solid hours out of it and had to reapply after maybe five, but still - kind of ridiculous for something that's billed as a "gloss." This isn't really a gloss, but more of a lip...paint? Lacquer? There has to be a better word for this. The color I got is called "Electric Pink," and electric it certainly is. I think I could power a small country on the power of the neon color in this lip...varnish? Words fail me on this product. Anyway, the color is bright, and shiny, and a little bit sparkly, which are all things I enjoy my lips being, so it worked out pretty well. It does tend to get a bit sticky after you've worn it for a bit, but it's easy to reapply. The one thing that for me, the cheapest woman in the world, was a problem is the price tag: it's $26. For some of you lip fanatics out there, this might seem all right, but for me, it's almost a dealbreaker. However, this stuff works so well that I just might be addicted to it, and if cigarette prices in New York are any indication, addicts will pay just about anything for the object of their desire.

Amanda S. Says: WOW. Oh.... wow. I get it why people are willing to pay for this lip gloss. When I opened it I thought, OK I get it, it's all fancy-pants packaging and big name label. But seriously, what a difference! I have used... thousands of lip glosses in my life I'm sure, but I've never had such luck to use one and have it feel great, match great, wear great, and last long. I know this is a recession and the economic has downturned and all that, but if you are going to get wild and buy yourself something, skip the peasant shirt that everyone else already has and buy this if you are a lip gloss junkie.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Review- Liptini Tint and Gloss

Try your hand at lip cocktailing by choosing from the featured Straight Up Color lipsticks, shade altering Mixer lip pencils and special effect Topper glosses below, and watch your concoction come to life. Need inspiration? Check out our specialty cocktail recipes.

How cool! You get to mix and match the colors of your Lip Cocktail for yourself! I love it! The colors are also available solo for $16.50 each for both the Cordial Shimmering Lip & Cheek Tints and the Topper Gloss.
I have to say, minus one major set-back this is my new favorite product. It will never be lost to the bottomless pit that is my purse! The color I received is "framboise" for the Tint and "Frappe" for the Topper Gloss. I absolutely love the colors. They leave my pout with this fantastic dramatic fuchsia, but it isn't over the top at all, just really really pretty. In fact the day I got it a customer told me that "you should try to always wear that shade of lipstick." Whoa! Right out of left field too! I did nothing to prompt this comment other than paint my lips... I am impressed. The tint lasts for hours and hours, and while you will need to apply the gloss a bit more frequently it still has some really good staying power. The gloss is a really nice consistancy with no major flavor, and in my opinion is a perfect 10. The tint, unfortunatly, does not score the same. I love the color, the staying power, the dry time, everything about how it wears, but as you apply it it smells really bad. Almost like mildewy fabric. Gross. But you only need to go through the stink once a day, so far it hasn't deterred me from loving this product!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review- Mario Badescu Olive Body Lotion

Creamy, rich, Olive Oil based lotion restores lost moisture and leaves the skin feeling soft and silky without being greasy. Quickly absorbing with minimal fragrance so it is perfect for both men and women. A must after bath or sun to revitalize dry skin. $10 for 6oz, $22 for 16oz

This super rich lotion left my skin smooth and supple instantly. I was kind of wary of the olive oil based formula, thinking it would be really greasy and make me smell like a salad. However the creamy lotion kept my skin moisturized all day and the fragrance is light and pleasant, but won't compete with your perfume. Even my boyfriend approved of the fresh, simple scent. Plus, a little bit goes a long way so the bottle should last you awhile.
I'm utterly obsessed with this lotion and would definitely splurge on the large bottle.

Review- Arrojo Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner

A LUXURIOUS, VITAMIN-PACKED, DEEP CLEANSER WITH SOOTHING SCENTS OF BERRY. GENTLY CLEANSES, HYDRATES AND REPAIRS COLOR-TREATED, OVER-PROCESSED, DRY, OR DAMAGED HAIR. ADDS STRENGTH AND VITALITY, FULLNESS, BODY, AND SHEEN. HIGH-HYDRATION CONDITIONING CREAM WITH HEALTH-GIVING VITAMIN B5. THE RICH MOISTURIZING FORMULA REVIVES AND INVIGORATES THE NEEDIEST OF HAIR. DELICATELY SCENTED WITH ORGANIC BERRY MUSK.

This stuff smells awesome! As I've posted before, I beat the living heck out of my hair. I dye it and fry it and iron it... It hates me. So when I use shampoo and conditioner, I have to be really really careful that it doesn't strip any of the moisture out of my hair and protects it perfectly. Sometimes I use what I think will be a great conditioner, and I end up looking like the bride of Frankenstein. The Arrojo stuff worked great, I shampooed twice and it didn't dry my hair out at all, and the condition made my hair super soft and smelled delicious. As said before, the price is right with this stuff, it's definitely worth trying.

Josephine says: I second all of that, Miss Amanda. The scent of both products makes me smile, the shampoo cleans but not harshly and the conditioner made my mop of waviness manageable if not downright malleable. Having now tested 6 of this product line's list of goods, I can comfortably say that they know what the h*ll they are doing across the proverbial board.

Review- Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer



Fast-drying nail polish colors and a quick drying top coat of the utmost speed unite to form the Dazzle Dry Quick Dry Nail System . The Dazzle Dry Quick Dry Nail System revolutionizes nail care by slicing the time it takes for a normal manicure to dry by more than half. $9 for 0.5oz bottle.

I can't live without quick drying polish. I'm notorious for doing a perfect manicure then totally ruining it because I just can't wait long enough for it to dry. Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer really got the job done. My manicure, in a bright, sunny yellow called Sahara, was completly dried within 10 minutes! The color was bold and shiny, and looked perfectly chic for summer on my short rounded nails. The only drawback was the polish didn't last too long. Within a day it started chipping, and three days later it was pretty much gone. The color was great, and it did exactly what it promised, but considering the short life span of my manicure and the $9 price tag, I would save my money.

Trish says: I tried the polish in Warm Affection pink and true to its name, I have fond feelings for this fun, bold, vibrant color! On the positive side, the nail polish does dry quickly before any real damage can be done to it. (What a proud moment of accomplishment to look at your perfectly manicured nails without any flaws!) However, sadly that moment didn't last long as Malika mentioned the nail polish does start to chip right away. I was a bit surprised at how quickly it chipped, but the color while short-lived, sure was fun while it lasted!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Review- Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! 4-in-1 Mascara is what we call a push-up bra for your lashes—a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning) dermatologist- and clinically-proven to increase the appearance of lash volume by 430% after applying giving dramatic, thick and sexy lashes. $18 for a 0.24oz tube.

I am a complete and utter mascara junkie. I never leave the house without 3 coats of the stuff, and I am always looking for the perfect formula to seriously beef up my lashes. I was pretty excited to try out Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara, but I have to say I wasn't as impressed as I hoped I would be. The formula went on smoothly and clump free, but my usual 3 coats my lashes were well, pretty much oomph-free. I gave it another coat for good measure, but within a few hours my lashes were back to their original, practically nonexistent state. I've done much better with drugstore brands that cost of a third of the price. Overall its a pretty good product for someone who prefers a more subtle look, not a drama girl like me.

Review- Arrojo Daily Face Wash


To freshen, clean, and hydrate. Gentle, beautifying moisture beads leave skin soft and smooth. Essential minerals detoxify, strengthen skin, and increase collagen and elastin production. Scented with a blend of bergamot, daisies and white cedar wood fragrance.

I love the Arrojo shower gel, it smells so great. I also love the shampoo and conditioner, which I'll be reviewing later on. This facial cleanser is the same, it's delicious smelling and looks really cool (it's pink with neat moisture beads floating in it). I also love the fact that the entire line has that clean crisp minimalist look to it with the straight up looking labels and fonts. It's a nice different look compared to a lot of bells and whistles you find with other packaging. So I went into using this cleanser hoping for the greatness and fun of the other Arrojo items I've used. Sadly, like the label said, I tried to lather, and it just didn't lather. Perplexed, I tried again later, with more water and more product, but strangely... no lather again? It smelled great, looked cool, but I couldn't seem to get it to lather up, and consequently I couldn't tell exactly where it was on my face and where it wasn't, and my skin didn't feel so clean afterward. I gave it a week of twice daily use anyway, figuring, I must be missing something right? But I just didn't find anything spectacular about it.

Josephine adds: I'm actually pretty into this product. I have used it at least once a day for the last two weeks and counting. True to what Amanda says, it doesn't exactly get sudsy but the flip-side is that I never walk away from the sink feeling like I have scotchtaped my face a la Pee-Wee Herman during his "Big Adventure." Additionally, the moisture beads take me back to 1991 when that technology was fiercely cutting edge. One final note, the Arrojo line has built their empire on four tenets and one of them is the meticulously culled scents of their individual products. The facial wash is no exception as this is a remarkably pleasurable scent.

Deedlejuse Says: I'm also going to agree with the people above. It doesn't lather, which is confusing since the label totally says "work into a lather" or something to that regard. But, none the less, I am completely thrilled with this face wash. It smells pretty, like a soapy floral, and really works into my skin so that I feel completely fresh and vibrant. I think I tend to use too much, because it is really easy to squirt a bunch out because of the packaging. There is a lot in the bottle, however, so I am planning on it lasting a good long time. I also like the fact that it really cleans without a whole bunch of scrubbing, I have sensitive skin so too much, can really be to much. With this face wash I never feel tight or anything. I love it, and will totally repurchase!

Sultana says: OK good. I thought I was crazy when I used this and it didn't lather! Phew! I was so excited to try this because I like facial washes that have beads in it to scrub your face. Sadly, these beads are few and far between. They don't do very much scrubbing either. However, I have sensitive skin and this is very gentle. That is what I love about Arrojo. I think I would prefer something a little stronger.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review - Fantasy Length Maximum Wear Glue on Eyelashes

Glamorize your eyes! Instantly get beautiful sexy lashes in a snap with Revlon® Fantasy Lengths® Maximum Wear Glue On eyelashes.

Wow, um, I never thought I'd be able to put on eyelashes. I'm such a klutz and a spazz, and as I always say, I rub my eyes. I put these on and all the while, laughed to myself imagining one lash dangling uselessly from the corner of my eye before I even stepped out the door. Imagine to my surprise when they stayed on for the entire day! I'm not really in need of pumped up lashes, and won't use false lashes on a regular basis, I feel pretty awesome knowing that I pulled off wearing them, applying them, and being generally cool with them... all on my own. If you've ever wanted to try false lashes but were terrified of gluing an eye shut or otherwise embarrassing / harming yourself, try these. You'll do fine, I promise! (And you'll have fun)

Deedlejuse Says: My experience was, to say the least, the exact opposite of Amanda S's. I will say, however, that I am as much or more of a spazz who rubs her eyes constantly than Amanda S. I first decided to be an idiot and apply these lashes backwards, as in left on the right and visa verse. Not that that is Revlon's fault by any means, but it is something to keep in mind when you try your pair. When I finally got them on the correct eyelids (yes I know five year olds can do it, thank you!) I had managed to get the glue all over my face, the lashes were all bunched together and my eyes were watering like crazy. On top of everything else my eyelashes were positioned about 1/4" beneath the falsie, it looked awesome. So, all in all I would say, these obviously work, and according to Amanda S work really well, but I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Don't be too turned off by my review, though, It takes a special kind of person to be able to put their shoes on the wrong feet, but I'd probably manage it!


Maria says: I have been doing musical theatre forever. Anybody who performs in theatre knows that false eyelashes come with the territory. You just gotta wear them on stage. I have used every kind of false eyelashes - from the cheapest - to pretty darn expensive ones and had finally settled on a very well known drugstore brand, known for their false eyelashes and pretty much nothing else. So when I got the Revlon Fantasy Length Lashes I thought to myself - "well, here's a brand I would have never thought to try for false eyelashes". They're quite nice actually - no more difficult to apply than other brands - especially if you use the little tricks of the trade, like applying the glue to the lash band with a q-tip - letting it dry for a sec while flexing the lash...etc. These really give the eyes POP! Naturally, these are not something I'd wear everyday, and I was quite careful to put them back on the backing they came on for the next time I'm doing a show. They photograph amazing - you look like a pinup queen! False eyelashes just add that oomph of glamour and they are a great treat for parties, special events, etc. Well done, Revlon! Good product.

Movie Maven says: I've often speculated about what I would be like if I was a man. I know my name would be Luke, since that's what my mom told me, and I know I would be awesome, because I'm awesome as a lady, but other than that? ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. I would probably be handsome in a sinister way like my brother, which means I would be playing a lot of villains (I'm assuming I'd still be an actor). But the main thing I think would be true: I would totally be a drag queen. Even if I wasn't gay. I love crazy makeup so much that it transcends gender identity and sexual orientation. And of the trappings of a transvestite, there is none that brings me more joy and pain* than false eyelashes.
They're tricky to put on. Anyone who is good at doing it has had lots and lots of practice. I don't get an opportunity to wear them very often, so I do not have lots of practice. But I got several pairs to try out from Revlon's Fantasy Lengths line, and I wanted to give them the respect they deserve.
The Fantasy Lengths line comes in both a glue-on and a self-adhesive variety. I'll address the glue-on version here. The glue is included (nice), and the way I learned to apply it is to put a little on your hand, then "dip" the lash into it. Wait a moment, then apply to your eye. The key here, ladies (and gents) is: cut the lashes into sections. One of the Revlon styles actually came pre-cut into four mini-lash sections, which makes them 1000% easier to apply. You don't have to struggle with placement because you're only dealing with a quarter inch section, rather than a whole long strip. Additionally, this gives you the option of just putting on one or two sections instead of a whole lid, which is great, and looks more natural.
I was really pleased with the results: one of my friends (without prompting) actually said, "those aren't your lashes? They look so natural." They stayed on admirably, and were really easy to remove at the end of the night. I will definitely be lashing it up in the near future.
*sunshine...and rain

Hillary says: My first attempt with a pair of these beauties was with a design called "Minx" which looks like false lashes with black eyeliner attached. Loved them in the box, however, they were too small for my eyes. The Revlon rep was shocked as most people have to cut them because they are too long. Attempt #2 was with a half- lash style called "Wink". Now these I can get into these! Of course it took a couple of tries, but once they were on they looked like my lashes, only much better! You place them at the outer edges of your eyes like accents. I hope they last, because I plan on wearing them on a regular basis. P.S. After about 5 minutes you don't notice you have them on at all.

Josephine says: I went to a daytime garden wedding this past weekend and wore my falsies. I used the ones reco'ed for someone with lighter hair. They weren't lighter in lash color, per se, but there were fewer on the band, making them less obvious. It's at this point I should say I put false lashes on people for a living yet struggled with these. I blame the glue, however, and not the actual lashes. When I punctured the tube, a bunch of liquid-y ooze flowed out. Once I squeezed the tube for a moment and 'finally' got the product going, it dried so quickly that I didn't have time to line the lashes, place and press them into my lashline. I did finally get them on after several weird attempts and they looked and photographed beautifully. When I removed my eye makeup later that night, I saw more clearly what the company means by long-wearing glue. I practically had to break out an elaborate power tool to get it off. Two days later, I am still removing the glue from my lashes. So, a recap: Great lashes that don't need long-wearing glue to be more fabulous, in my expert opinion. Reach for these Revlon lashes at the store but steer clear of that particular box.

Sultana says: Oh how I long to wear false lashes. I can't tell you how many times I've tried. The reason they don't seem to stay on is because my eyelids tend to get oily because I have oily skin. No glue I find can hold them in. These lashes from Revlon were so nice. They were the perfect length & volume. Sadly, like the others they did not stay on. I didn't have a hard time putting them on. I think these would work better on people with normal to dry skin. Other than that, these are well made and really pretty.

Review - Herban Essentials Towelettes

The mini pack is $6 for 6 towelettes, the lager size is $15 for 20 towelettes. They may be bought as single scents or assorted.

Between a few trips on the subway, a couple hours at Starbucks and dodging the rain, I couldn’t help but feel a bit wet and grimy. I remembered that I had a few packs of Herban Essentials Towelettes in my bag for days just like this. I promptly opened the peppermint one and was automatically greeted with a strong burst of freshness. For a small towel, it packed in a lot of natural goodness. Herban Essentials uses essential oils so you know you’re getting the real thing and best of all, it’s a convenient way to get your aroma therapy fix. So, needless to say, I was tingling for a few minutes with the natural uplift that peppermint brings—kinda like Altoids for your hands and body!

I strongly recommend these products for anyone that’s on the go! They come all types of flavors too—lemon, lavender, peppermint and orange.


Hillary says: I am a clean hand fanatic! Honestly I don't even know how I manage to ride the subway or open a public door, so I am constantly sanitizing my hands. These towelettes come in fun, refreshing scents and are more substantial than your average hand wipe. The disinfect and leave behind a great scent. If you check out the website, they have a ton of alternative uses for these wipes- throw a lavender one in with your laundry in the dryer to scent it, tuck a peppermint one in your car's air conditioning vents for a pick me up, the list goes on and on. Are they more expensive than your average hand wipe? Yes. Is it worth it to treat yourself to a little aromatherapy to brighten up your day? You bet!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Review- Dazzle Dry Quick-Dry Nail Polish System Kit

"Fast-drying nail polish colors and a quick drying top coat of the utmost speed unite to form the Dazzle Dry Quick Dry Nail System - a full line of nail polish colors, a topcoat and a base coat for natural nails that deliver chic, beautiful nails in minutes." 6 piece kit- $54.00

That's right, this is a nail polish "system". But don't be alarmed. There is only 1 more step to this system than you would usually go through to give yourself a manicure and with the end product being what it is- it's worth it. Starting with bare nails, you swipe them with some "Nail Prep" on a cotton ball (note: a little goes a long way). After that, it's business as usual- at lightening speed. There is fast drying base coat, then fast drying color (you get to choose three for the kit), followed by (you guessed it) the fast drying top coat. When I'm saying "fast drying" you are probably picturing the usual quickie products that take about a minute or so to dry. This stuff dries in seconds! By the time you're doing your 10th nail, your first nail is dry. Dazzle Dry is a must-have product for night owls like myself. In the past, I would want to do my nails at midnight but I knew I would get sheet marks or smears. With this kit I can paint my nails 10 minutes before I go to bed and rest assured they'll be perfect in the morning. How well does it last you ask? Like all (and I mean all) quick dry nail products, it tends to chip quicker than traditional polish on your fingers. I had to retouch after about 3 days. But on my toes I'm on day 8 or 9 and I still don't have a single chip! That great convenience plus no chipping? My toes are singing it's praises. BTW, I might add that my nails were really weak when I painted them because I took off my Revlon False Nails in a hasty manner, so the condition of my nails may have hastened the chipping explaining the difference between my fingers and toes.

Amanda S. Says: I am every manicurists nightmare. I'm one of those jittery hyper people that never stops tapping their fingers or bouncing their foot around. I can't hold still. So when I get a manicure, the idea of not moving my hands or feet for 15 minutes to totally dry everything makes my skin crawl. I start to get antsy and inevitably, almost every time, I smudge the polish. OK, so I decided to try this jazzy little system, and WOW, it dried before I even stood up and went to get a glass of water!!?!?!? I've never had any polish dry this fast, ever. So if you're antsy like I am and hate waiting, this stuff is completely awesome.

Stop Panicking about Parabens- Seriously!

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and talking with British Skincare Guru Liz Earle (her products are the #1 selling skincare products in the U.K.). Now I'm totally paraphrasing as I didn't tape the meeting, but she basically put my mind at ease about using parabens. After the meeting I started doing some research of my own and she's right- the studies on parabens causing breast cancer are flawed and few and far between. All of this panic has resulted from one study of 20 samples of breast cancer tissue finding parabens in the tumors. According to Liz Earle, that study has never been replicated again-ever! Another problem plaguing this study is the fact that the slides which held the tissue samples were cleaned with a cleaning solution which contained- you guessed it- parabens. Even the American Cancer Society will not condemn parabens. On their website, they say that the current research is inconclusive. The thing that everyone is afraid of is that parabens mimic estrogenic activity. In everything I read, it said that your body's own estrogen is much stronger than any effects that parabens produce. Parabens also form naturally in foods such as rasperries and blueberries. Why would I want to use parabens you ask? Well, because they are one of the most effective and least sensitizing preservatives available for cosmetics. And as a person with less than perfect skin, I want to know that I am not letting any stray germs onto my face simply because the world is afraid to properly preserve my face products and cosmetics. So please, before you throw out every product in your house with parabens in it, do a little research. I think you'll find that parabens are a lot less scary than the media is leading us to believe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review- Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Polish

A modern colour palette and formulation to match, OCC's professional quality nail lacquers are densely pigmented, quick-drying and super long lasting. $8

I'll bet I can make you want this nail polish in 6 words (anyone remember the tv show "Name that Tune"?): Seven days with barely a chip! I haven't touched them up, I haven't even layered on additional topcoat after the initial application. I've just been wearing this gorgeous, retro pink (called Anime) and going about my merry way- peeling labels off things with my nails, washing my hands like 100 times a day, typing- you know, the usual. If you haven't checked out the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics website, you owe it to yourself to take a gander. The colors of all of their products are chic and hip. Does the name of the company bother me as a mentally ill person? A little. But after meeting this great group of people at the Makeup Show in NYC I know that it's not used in a mean spirited way. So yes, I still totally recommend the products I've tried so far (the Lip Tar & the Nail Lacquer). I especially plan on stocking up on this amazing nail polish because painting once a week will save me SO much time!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review- Nailene French Tip Pen (Pearl White)



Let's see, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give myself a humble three when it comes to self-application tips. I've always loved the look of a classic french-manicure, but never thought I could actually pull one off on my own, however, with this beautiful pen from Nailene, this may be a first! I'll admit, initially, it did look like a 5-year-old painted my nails instead, but luckily I cleaned up the edges with a Q-tip swab and nail-polish remover, and voila the white tips were in all the right places! Then, I finished the look with a clear enamel and suddenly I had a pretty-looking for real at-home manicure! The pearl white paint stays on rather well, so while I carefully cleaned up the out-of-line edges, the tips didn't rub off needlessly. Also, thank goodness the french-tip pen was easy to use and had a great sense-of-control - it fits neatly into your hands and the tip is angled smartly catching all the right curves. It is clear that they must have previously tested the product on people like me and found a successful solution. Honestly, if I can manage this, anyone truly can! And have a salon looking french manicure too as a result!

Sultana Maharajh says:

A few years ago, I purchased a pen similar to this one from Sephora. The nail polish inside was way too runny. I never wanted to purchase one of these again. When I tried the Nailene French Tip Pen, I was skeptical at first. As soon as I tried it, I was in love! Not only did it work but the color is absolutely gorgeous! Its a beautiful silverish, pearly white. You can use it with a classic pink French top coat but I find that it covers up the beauty of the color. I used it with a regular clear top coat.
If you are looking for something quick, easy and pretty this will be the right choice for you! Did I mention you wont have to pay a fortune to have a French manicure anymore?


Malikah says:


I tried it too but wasn't a huge fan. I had a lot of trouble getting the polish to glide on evenly, and I thought the pearl white was way too metallic for a classic French manicure. I think I would have liked it much better if it were a pure white, not so silvery. The pen was pretty comfortable to use, but it was hard to make sure all the tips were perfectly even. I may try it again with a nail stencil, because I spent forever trying to clean up the tips and make them all look perfect.

Josephine says:

Does anyone remember that line from Clueless when Cher refers to her friend as "a Monet" as in "It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess?" That's what my tips looks like after using this pen. If you look with a sidelong glance, they are fabulous. That said, I fault my caffeine-addled hands more than anything to do with the product for the wobbly line. BTW, the "pearl" sheen is awesome. It looks edgy and shiny and cool. I will definitely experiment with this tool with more colors than just light pink, it can absolutely hold a wicked cool color.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Review- PUR Mineral Glow Mineral Light Split Pan


Pür Minerals Mineral Glow/Mineral Light split pan is a mineral makeup powder compact that features a split-pan combo containing Mineral Glow and Mineral Light Specialty Powders. Like all Pür Minerals products, Mineral Glow and Mineral Light Face Powder are free of oil, alcohol, talc, fillers, fragrances and chemical dyes. Net Wt: .18oz/5.3g for $22.50


The PUR Mineral Glow Mineral Light Split Pan gives us makeup lovers that easy age-old excuse to buy something
new. It's two products in one! How utilitarian. One side holds a coppery hint-of-metallic bronzing powder while the other a shimmery light-reflecting highlighting powder. As a fair girl who occasionally likes the appearance of having been in the sun without actually having done so, finding a bronzer that does not go orange is a mission within itself. Luckily, this one does not go on orange or worse, turn tacky after time. But it is, alas, too gold for my skin tone. I am too pink for its sun-kissed goodness. The golden shimmer in the product would look lovelier on someone with a yellow-based skin tone. However, I think the highlighting powder is really special. It goes on soft and smooth from eyelids to cheekbones and it catches just enough light to look like your walking around with a hidden lighting crew whose sole purpose in life is to make you look flawless. My suggestion for the best application? Apply with a medium wide blush brush then tap gently into skin with a moisturizing toner sprayed onto a sponge. Viola! Subtle glimmery goodness.

Review- Danielle and Company Lip Balm

Our organic lip balm is creamy and moisturizing with organic shea butter and hydrating vitamin E for smooth and healthy lips! 98% organic ingredients. $3

Yum, yum, yum, this organic lip balm couldn’t get any better. I’m a firm believer that for any lip product, you have to take some time to evaluate it. At first, any balm may seem great, but after a few hours in may dry your lips or even make them burn.

I used Danielle and Company Lip Balm for three straight days, touching up throughout different parts of the day. I was surprised with how long the balm moisturized my lips—even after a meal and a drink, it stayed on. I also used it as a base underneath my lipstick and it transformed my normally matte look, into a well-moisturized glow. Plus, the sweet smell of lime was a nice touch.
You can get this lip balm at Danielle and Company for $3 or at other specialty cosmetic stores nationwide.


Movie Maven says: Well said! It's definitely worth trying products for a few days before evaluating them to get a sense of how they'll fit into your normal regimen (if they do at all). As a gal who typically has nothing but Chapstick on her lips, this Danielle and Company lip balm was a welcome addition to my stable of lip treatments with no color to them. The lime flavor was nice - pretty strong, so beware - but definitely natural-tasting, which is preferable to a flavor that tastes like it was concocted in a lab. I enjoyed the moisturizing properties of this balm: it stayed on admirably, but I could re-apply at my leisure to experience the lime surge again whenever I wanted! The only (extremely minor) issue I had with this product was the label: I have had lip products with a paper label (as opposed to a glossy sticker label) before, and they tend to get very dirty when tumbling around in my bag, so be forewarned if that's something that would bother you. As for me, I don't mind a bit, as long as the product inside is as good as this stuff. Thumbs up!

Josephine adds: I feel like I just did a shot of tequila. The lime is major. I am with you two, the balm produces the desired effect.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Review- Prive Finishing Texture Spray


I tend to have hair that likes to hang flat and limp, like an overcooked piece of linguine hanging off the side of a cooking pot. For this reason, I am fond of two things: a) teasing my hair within an inch of its life* and b) looking for new products that might help me "fluff up" my lank 'do. This Prive Finishing Texture Spray (Herbal Blend #89) is just the thing. Lighter (much lighter) than a hairspray and not as sticky as a pomade or texturizing cream, it basically just lends a little heft to your hair to make it look fuller without making it look dirty or greasy (which is my main problem with most texturixing products. I was surprised by how much I liked this stuff. It smells great, gives my hair a little boost (no shine, though, for those of you for whom that's a concern), and looks adorable. My main complaint is actually packaging-related: the cap tends to fall off, and when the cap falls off, the little sprayer-head-thing is more likely to fall off, and then you're left with a can of spray that you can't...spray. In any event, I fixed it, and it's fine, but it was bothersome for a moment. It may have taken 88 previous iterations to get to this herbal blend, but it was worth it.
Malikah says: I've been trying to give my flat iron a break and embrace my natural waves for a more carefree, low maintainence summer hair style. I've tried several texturizers and pomades, trying to achieve those sexy, loose, but not ridiculously wild waves. After washing my hair and letting it air dry, I spritzed on a good amount of Prive Finishing Texture Spray. The spray had a great light scent and didn't leave my hair feeling hard or crunchy like some hairsprays can. It didn't really help my curls hold up to the humid weather, and I generally try to avoid products with alcohol that can really dry out your hair. I didn't really like the "semi-matte" finish either, so I would go for something that really added shine. I think it would be great for someone that wasn't worried about the drying out factor, but this one didn't really work for me.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review- Bodycology Body Lotion (Coconut Lime)

The sweet scent of coconut mingles with refreshing lime to help relive stress and tension -- like a tropical island getaway.

I got a little sample of this in the mail, and I *love* coconut scented products. It's probably one of my most favorite scents, even in winter (I'm not known for being seasonally accurate ... OK??). And sure, it's a typical, run of the mill, body lotion. It worked well, kept my skin soft all day, yadda yadda like most body lotions you can buy at a drug store. BUT THE SMELL!!!!!!!! Oh my lord, the smell! It smells so delicious two, yes TWO people asked me during the day what I was wearing that smelled so delicious and awesome. (one was a total stranger on the subway!). If you like fruity smelling lotions, or if you love coconut, you will completely love this stuff.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Review- Coola Lip Lux Peppermint Vanilla


Highly concentrated with the finest food grade certified organic and active ingredients, LIPLUX is the best all-in-one lip treatment and protection. Featuring our proprietary blend of fruit butters including organic Raspberry and Avocado, LIPLUX hydrates and nourishes while our trademark broad spectrum UV protection and natural photo protectors work year round for soft, healthy and happy lips. Vitamin and antioxidant enriched - a truly tasty treatment.

I knew this girl in high school who would eat her lip gloss. Not just put a lot on and lick it off constantly - she would straight-up eat it. One time, she got one of those things that looks like a watercolor paint set, except it was different flavors and colors of lip gloss, and I swear, by the end of second period: gone.

It may be for this reason that I prefer a lip gloss with a subtler flavor to one that literally tastes like candy. I have seen how easy it was for this girl to spiral into a life of consuming something that should never be consumed (at least, at that rate and in that quantity), and I don't want to fall into the same trap with too-sweet lip gloss.

Which is why I like this Coola Lip Lux with SPF 15. It tastes pleasantly of Christmastime - peppermint and vanilla - but to a degree that is ladylike. Subtle. Not necessarily something you'd want to devour. But delicious nonetheless. You do have to reapply it fairly frequently, but hey - it's a lip balm, not a long-lasting gloss. It's soft, smooth, an overall solid product. I also enjoy the packaging quite a bit - it looks like what someone in the 1960s would have imagined lipstick packaging in the 1980s to be. Double retro!

Amanda S. Says: Oh... MM. How do I even follow this up without seeming silly? Can we sit on a beach this summer and split a lip gloss? OK OK, fine maybe not. But this stuff is really fun. I lose lip balm, chapsticks, whatever you want to call them, all the time. This one I'm actually really too attached to. So attached to that I won't put it in my purse, and am leaving it in the medicine cabinet where it won't slip off into darkness. The package is so cute and the flavor is so awesome. Maybe I need to just buy a few more?

Trish Says: I tried the Original-Scented version and loved the organic fruity taste. It has a real soft and subtle hint of raspberry fruit and avocado, and is almost nutritious tasting and healthy. The certified organic lip balm (with SPF30 protection) applies on smoothly, buttery-like, and feels like soft kisses on your lips. My only caveat is that I think it dries my lips out a little and then I really do have to apply and re-apply the balm. Not that I mind because it's such a lovely feel, hence the habit-forming nature of the product. If you're an addict of lip balm, this is the perfect product enabler...but, if you're somewhat like me and want to moisturize the lips as little as possible, you may have to be warned. Not only is the product sweet and addictive, it makes you come back for more! (And more).

Sultana Maharajh says:

I tired the Original version of this. I agree with Trish that it has a very subtle flavor. I am a lip balm junkie. I NEED to have my lips moisturized constantly or else I feel kind of inadequate! I put this on before I go to bed at night and I wake up with most of it still on. I love the flavor although I think I would prefer the Peppermint flavor more.
It leaves my lips super soft and it has staying power which is a plus. Overall, the scent is nice and it works! I say yes!


Josephine says: To show the power of the beautifile word of mouth, this balm had been in my loot bag but I hadn't try it yet. Behold the glowing reviews according to my compadres! All of the sudden, I needed more than anything to experience it for myself! True to their expert opinion, the contents of this tube of incredible are so smooth, I'm positive I let out an audible sigh as soon as it touched my lips. Also, it has an SPF which makes its stock go way up. In closing, anything with a starlight mint in its ad campaign is good.

Deedlejuse Says: So I don't need to elaborate on how wonderful this lip gloss feels, as everyone else has already talked about it. So I wanted to talk about how well it works. I took this little tube with me to Martha's Vineyard (a little town off the coast of MA) last weekend on the off chance that there would be some sun (it has been incredibly rainy here for the last month :() and I lucked out! Both with the sun shining, but also with the complete lack of sunburn from the roots of my hair to my body and best of all lips! This little tube not only feels great, tastes good and lasts a good long time, but it will also really protect your lippies from the harmful rays of the sun. I was definitely impressed, and I will definitely have this handy year round from now on!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Review- Nailene 4 Bottle French Manicure Kit

Don't let the fact that this French Tip Kit comes with 4 bottles intimidate you. It is a much less arduous process than it appears.This kit comes with a top coat, white polish, nail guides and 2 different nude polishes. Now keep in mind that you only need one nude shade per manicure. The hardest part of the whole thing is getting the nail guides just so (I'm vaguely anal-retentive about these things). Not that "hard" is how I'd describe it. It's a 5 step process if you choose to use base coat (which I do). Once your base coat is dry, apply the guides and paint the tips of your nails white. The guides function like that blue tape that painters use; it keeps you in the lines. **The key here is to not go too thick near the guide or else you'll end up with a ridge.** Then you just take off the guides and paint your dry nails with your choice of a lighter or a darker nude shade. Finish with the enclosed top coat & you are done. Now does that sound so complicated? It's not. Especially when my nail salon (which is inexpensive by most standards) charges an additional $5 for a French manicure than a regular one. I mostly recommend this kit for women who are used to doing their own nails. If you aren't in the habit, go for the French Tip Kit with the pen. I usually wear red, honestly, but I do feel that a French Manicure adds an air of class to your hands. And I'm all about the class!
*Note: The color which is showing up on my monitor for the 2 natural shades are nothing like they look like in real life. In person they are nice, muted natural colors.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review- Nailene French Tip Pen (Black)



Ok. I liked the white pen... You can read my review of that one here on beautifile. I really had fun with it. I really did. Then Hillary gives me the black pen kit.... Listen, I didn't even know that people DID black french tips on their nails until I got this. Boy, I really screwed this up. I had black color everywhere, stuck under my nails, on my fingertips, somehow it got on my lip??? I have no idea what happened. Boy what a mess. I am sorry to report, the black, if that's your thing, is NOT very easy to use. Maybe the intensity of the color black was way too intimidating for me to deal with, and it made me mess up more, but I did not find this stuff "mistake proof".

Movie Maven says: As long as I have worn nail polish, I have preferred an unorthodox palette to the traditional reds, pinks, and mauves you typically see as nail options. (That line in Cabaret where Sally Bowles talks about painting her fingernails green? I lived for it.) Once, feeling particularly inventive, I gave myself a "French" manicure with a sky blue for the base and a deep navy for the tip. I was reprimanded by my (retail) boss for my "wild" nails, until a customer pointed out that my manicure matched the bags at the store at which I worked. Triumph!!
So when I got the chance to try out the black - yes, black - French tip pen from Nailene, I was psyched. I decided to try it out with a deep burgundy for the full goth-teenager look. The pen was pretty easy to use when I was using my dominant hand, but not so with the other. I used some guides I had left over from another Nailene kit and that worked just fine. (Amanda, I'm sorry you had such a trying time with it.) However: I have had these nails for less than 24 hours and it's already starting to chip off. For those who are wondering: I used a base coat, two coats of the burgundy stuff, then the black tip pen, then a topcoat (also by Nailene). Perhaps I should have done the pen first and then the color? Then I'd have to use something more sheer. In any event, the black tips don't seem like they're going to last very long, which is a shame, because the 17-year-old me is really, really into them (and the relative ease of application).

Review- Dex New York Modern Minerals Loose Pigment

Highly pigmented bold color infused with advanced anti-aging technology -palmitoyl hexapeptide-14 stimulates eyelids and allows for cellular turnover. Paraben Free.

I must confess I am so on the mineral make-up bandwagon. I adore the versatility of powdered minerals and I'd use them for lots of purposes- eye shadow, liner, nail polish and highlighter. These loose powders from Dex New York are high quality pigments. I have two- Gansevoort Lavender and Chinatown Rose. The Gansevoort is (duh) lavender with just a touch of opalescence, not so much that everyone can't use it. It goes on very light but can be made more opaque by adding layers. I get a lot of compliments when I wear it.

Chinatown Rose is a darkish, vaguely fuchsia, reddish pink. I know that sounds confusing but just know this this color makes green and blue eyes pop like crazy! This color has a more opaque consistency but can to be easily blended to give it a more sheer look. This is a bold color but I absolutely love it. It's not for the faint of heart, but I think you can handle it ; ).

Movie Maven says:
I love living in New York, you guys. I love to love it, I love to hate it, I even love the MTA (no, really). But Dex New York? They really love New York. They love it so much that they named every single product they make with a New York-based name. It's a cute idea, kind of, but then you realize that these products have little to nothing to do with the actual streets/landmarks after which they are called. Bedford Avenue lipstick is not the color of disillusioned hipsters (it's tan). Stonewall pigment is not the color of gay rights (it's "jungle red"). They did try, in a couple of cases: St. Marks Place pigment is described as "Purple Haze," and considering the number of head shops there, it's apt. St. Patrick's pigment is green (well, "olive").

But MoMA pigment? The one I tried out? It's "golden pink." Which makes no sense to me, but whatever, I like MoMA. But when they say "golden pink," guys...they mean "GOLDEN pink." I first used this as a blush and I looked like a drag queen version of C-3PO. Not the worst look, certainly, but also not ideal for normal life. This pigment serves better as an eyeshadow, where the golden tint is an asset rather than a liability. Like Hillary said, these colors are bold, y'all, but you can do it! The pigment itself was great - super fine powder, easy to apply with a brush, and while it's a bit pricey at $22, the package is large and should last you a while. Overall, a good product from a solid company (their lipstick is great as well).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Review- Lancôme Ôscillation Mascara

Press the button and experience a breakthrough sensation in application. In one easy new gesture, let the vibrating brush combined with an exquisitely smooth formula wrap every lash up to 360°. $34

You've heard me say it before, but this time I mean it absolutely- I LOVE this mascara. It makes my lashes look so full and long that the first time I wore it at some point during the evening my husband asked me if I was wearing fake eyelashes. When I said "No. It's my new mascara." My computer geek husband even said "It's very good." (no offense honey, but you know you are). Anyway like the blurb above says, it actually wraps around your lashes. I'll admit that although I was excited to try this product, I had serious doubts about the "oscillation" part. But it does magic with the lashes. Oscillation means to move back and forth between two points according to the dictionary, and the wand of this mascara oscillates 7,000 time per minute! I think this would be a stand-out even without the motion, but with the motion it goes above and beyond any mascara I've used before (and I've used some of the best). I've already got another tube on hand in case I run out! Now I will warn you, if you are a natural-look girl, this mascara may be a bit too bold for you (unless you like your lashes to be the most noticable thing on your face). But for girls like myself who go for the prominent lash look, you cannot go wrong with this little gem. I have it in black (of course) but it also comes in Gunmetal and Metallic Brown (note to self- get some in Gunmetal). To sum up what I'm saying, this mascara is easy to use (I apply it on the subway) and does amazing things for your lashes. All of you skimpy-lashed girls have got to run out and get it now. Oh and the pricetag, expensive- yes. Worth every penny- an emphatic YES!