Saturday, March 31, 2012

QUO by Orly Gels - Part Deux with Victorian Lace

Victorian Lace is a very appropriate name for this new polish shade from QUO by Orly Gels. This polish makes me feel like I need to whip out a lace dress, braid my hair, and wear a raffia hat while picking strawberries. Or if we are more realistic here in Canada, try to catch some rays while enjoying snow whipping your face. Nevertheless, it puts me in a romantic sort of mood.

I don't generally enjoy polish this color but I think I know why. They usually look poorly applied no matter what you do, and chalky in the White-Out sense of the word. I don't think I've encountered a polish this pale that I've loved. Except maybe this one, but it's completely different. My preferred nudes are usually beige or blush colored. I never find shades like Victorian Lace work for me. However, I've been proven wrong.

This is two coats with a Gelish base coat and top coat.

The thing that is making me like this polish a lot is that because it is a gel nail polish, the edges of the color are not sharp or chalky looking. They are soft and blended. The polish is sheer so it doesn't look chunky.

I really like the softness of this polish. It's conservative and girlie, and while it's not a very "me" shade, I quite like the freshness of it. I've got to try new things sometimes! 

This is my second review of the QUO by Orly Gels. For my first review, click here. So far, this polish has survived a piping hot bath, lugging and lifting bins for work, and layer after layer of hand cream. It's not bad for 4 days as there is not one chip in the polish. These retail for $10 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

I have two more shades picked out to review - hopefully I'll be able to test them out soon!

Hope you're all having a good weekend! I'm having a pretty good one so far! Off to do a bit of retail therapy now!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Marcelle Lux Creme lipglosses

I tweeted about my new found love of  Marcelle Creme Lux glosses a few weekends ago and have since purchased more colors. I am truly in love with them. When I say they are not sticky, I really mean it. They glide on smoothly and feel as light as a balm.

From left to right, shades 42 Chiquita, 70 Lolita, and 30 Spicy Nude.

You can see the shimmer in the glosses clearly in this bottom picture. Chiquita barely has any while Lolita and Spicy Nude have a decent amount. Lolita has a golden/orange shimmer that is very complimentary to its base coral shade and Spicy Nude has a gorgeous silver/beige shimmer.

Something that often bother me with glosses is smell. I cannot stand NYX lip glosses' smell. I absolutely hate NARS lipglosses' smell. I have a hard time with MAC glosses. These do not smell of anything.

I'm not a massive gloss wearer so these are a bit of a novelty. I own maybe 5-6 glosses, all of which I never wear so my review should not be held to very high gloss standards. However, for a lip gloss you find at a drugstore, in Canada no less, this is as good as it gets.

From top to bottom: Spicy Nude, Lolita, Chiquita.

My favorite is definitely Lolita. I bought this shade on a whim one day because I was at my boyfriends' place and had not much makeup with me. We were going out to meet some friends and I thought, eh, why the heck not, a nice coral shade might be nice for spring! I was surprised to see that it was pigmented and quite flattering on me. Even better, it didn't feel sticky at all - it feels pretty much exactly how my Aquaphor feels when I've applied a bit too much. Basically, a smooth petroleum jelly feel - in a good way! As far a drugstore glosses go, Revlon is MUCH stickier than these. I cannot comment on how sticky Marcelle's regular glosses though as I do not own any of them. These are from their Lux Creme line, their regular line is simply called Lux. I also found that when the glosses wore off, it didn't leave any residues on my lips - they felt moisturized and content. The wear time was decent for a lip gloss (a couple hours) and it did not stain my lips.

I recommend you swatch these before you pick a color. I did find some shades were less pigmented than others. Like me, you might find a shade you absolutely adore (Lolita, I love you)! They did have quite a nice selection of colors available - I had a hard time picking! They retail for $9.95 in Canada and are available at Shoppers Drug Mart around the country.

Have you tried any Marcelle glosses? What's your take on them?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring fun with Borghese Menta!

This, my friends, is Borghese Menta, a very pretty light green, minty fresh, shimmery wonder.

I think it's a very pretty spring color. I don't think (like most greens on my skintone) that it gives much of a lobster hand - it's very wearable. The subtle shimmer running through the polish also gives it a soft focus effect. It is very pretty. A cream, lace dress with this polish screams spring to me!

This was three coats however, and with the lack of patience I have, it was a bit irritating. That was kind of remedied by the formula which dried uber fast. The pictures show that three coats might not have been enough as you can still see some bald spots on my nails.

If you live in Canada and love the color of this polish, grab it while you can because I have an inkling that this may be getting discontinued. I've been seeing this line of polish going on clearance in the Shopperses around town.

I have a crazy work week ahead of me so I better get to it!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lancome's new Rouge in Love lipstick line: I am Corail in Love

I am thisclose to stopping this post right this moment and running to Shoppers Drug Mart and picking up two more colors. Thisclose.

But I won't because I really want to share how awesome the new Rouge in Love by Lancome are. The shade I picked out, 322B Corail in Love, I thought was particularity phenomenal.

Yes, the packaging did require four pictures to illustrate its beauty. Seriously, the packaging of this lipstick is stunning! It's heavy - it doesn't feel like cheap metal, shiny, and makes a satisfying noise when you close the cap. I love it! I even made my boyfriend weight it in his hand, and while he had nothing to compare it against, he did agree with me that it was heavy... for a lipstick. 

On to the color! 

I would describe Corail in Love as a bright pink with a tint of coral. I can't compare it to much in my collection because I don't have anything that quite resembles it! Everything I have leans much more towards pink, or orange, but I have nothing that's quite in the middle like Corail in Love.

What impressed me the most about this lipstick is how incredibly moisturizing it is. That was a complete surprise for me - most lipsticks look fine when I put them on, but when they wear off, my lips usually start flaking a bit, and sometimes (cough MAC cough) a lot. When this lipstick started wearing off, the color wore off gently, settled a tiny bit in my lip lines, but did not dry out my lips. They actually felt quite plump and comfortable. 

The one reservation I had about this lipstick was the smell of it. It smells like old fashioned, your grandma kissed you on the cheek, yucky smelling lipstick. BUT, after putting it on, I didn't notice the smell at all. I completely forgot about it. So if the smell is putting you off these a bit (like it did for me) then fear not, you probably won't smell it after application.

At $30 in Canada, this lipstick isn't cheap. However, I feel like the whole range offers unique colors that you may not have seen in other brands (Karla Sugar has amazing swatches here). Furthermore, Corail in Love is extremely pigmented, requiring only a little bit of product for full application. I'm quite confident that I will get my money's worth out of this lipstick.

What shades look interesting to you? I've got my eye on Lasting Kiss and Delicate Lace next!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I've been so Gouda

Actually, my beauty spending has been nothing Gouda, it's been very very bad. Plus, tax refunds are so tempting to be spent right away. It's been a struggle! Oh well! As my hunny says, you got to live a little!

On with the review of Gouda Gouda Two Shoes by OPI!

I absolutely love this polish. I loved wearing it, how it looked against my skin tone and the "romantic" feel of it. It has a bit of a golden/bronze shimmer to it that it beautiful when it hits the sunlight. It's not very visible when you don't look for it however, which makes this polish quite office appropriate.  I say this, but I could wear any color nail polish at my work and nobody would care. However, at my last job, I wouldn't have even tried.

You can see the shimmer at the top of the bottle in this picture. Basically, that's the jist of it. It's very subtle.

Even though it's subtle, I love the shimmer in this polish BECAUSE it is subtle. I feel like the polish would take on a whole other personality if the shimmer was full blown. 

Anyway, I love this polish. If there was a blush made of this color, I'd sleep with it. If you're into these types of colors, I highly recommend it. This was the polish from the OPI Holland collection I was least excited about, partially because in swatches it looked like a total "mum" color, but it's the one I like most so far. 

I will be rewearing you Gouda Gouda Two Shoes! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

QUO by Orly Gels - New nail polish alert!

Hello all!

I must say, when I decided to go to Shoppers Drug Mart a few days ago, I didn't expect to walk out of there with $103 dollahs worth of stuff. One of my most awesome and surprising purchases was the QUO by Orly gel nail polishes. They must  have JUST come out because I can't find any information on them on the internet and Shoppers didn't have a display for them. Or a LED lamp for them yet. But they did have a good selection of colors, which, ahem, I found better than Sally's Gelish selection.

I had never seen or heard of these before and at $10 a bottle, I was very happy to purchase a couple colors. Now, it does seem like you're getting a deal with these since they are only $10 a bottle with their Gelish counterparts being $18 in Canada. However, the amount you get does end up being about the same price. The QUO by Orly polishes only get 4.4ml and the Gelish ones have 9ml. If you're like me and never finish a bottle of polish, this won't bother you too much.

Here's a comparison shot for size reference:
A mini Gelish bottle, my new fave: First Class QUO by Orly Gel polish, an Essence polish, and an OPI bottle.

The application of this was seamless. I find that most Gelish colors (well, the ones I have) need a good three coats of color before the nail is completely opaque. And after three coats, your nails feel a bit "thick". Orly for QUO Gels only took two coats before being opaque. What's really nice about the formula was that it wasn't too thick. The formula didn't run or pool around cuticles - it was excellent. I tried my luck using a Gelish base and top coat and it has worked fine.

What I like most about this gel polish system is the fact that the finish is so shiny! Every time I give myself a gel manicure, I am so happy with the durability of the polish and the intense shine. I must admit, First Class wasn't a polish I would normally pick. It's a very shimmery champagne shade. I believe if you want its non-gel counterpart, QUO by Orly has produced that shade in regular polish in the past (it has the same name). Also, I'm pretty sure it looks a lot like Orly Rage although I do not own it to compare.

On with the pictures yes?

Lame, the bottle is backwards. Sorry!

What's interesting about this polish, as you can see from the pictures, is that it changes colors with the light. Sometimes it's a very light champagne color, sometimes it's more taupe and others it looks gold. Very strange but awesome!

I'm not sure if you can catch how shiny the finish of the topcoat it - I'd compare it to 3 coats of a perma-Seche Vite hybrid. The nice thing is that this finish does not dull itself as fast as a regular manicure. I've written about Gelish here before, but these types of manicures are supposed to last 3 weeks. Since I've used a Gelish base and top coat, I'm not sure I can comment on the durability of this particular polish - it's sandwiched and not technically touching my nail!

All and all, I'd highly recommend this polish. And gel polishes in general. They are easy to use, they do not take too much time and they last an eternity. LED/UV lamp do not have to be expensive - I bought mine from a supplier in Hong Kong for $12. Word to the wise: only go with the Hong Kong option if you're willing to wait a month +. If you're not, I believe Sally's has some decently priced options. DO NOT pay $100 + for one of these - they all work the same.

I'll hopefully have another shade posted in the near future! Do you own any gel nail polish? What's your take on the gel nail system? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Estee Lauder, I bow to your new BB Cream

In all honesty, I have never tried a BB Cream. But at the same time, in complete and brutal truth, I think I don't need to having discovered Estee Lauder's New Day Wear BB Cream.

My mom purchased the Day Wear Plus cream a while back and while I loved the look of it on her, the Day Wear Plus was just too dark and oily for my skin. I was disappointed because I loved the idea of a cream that embellishes your skin without being a "foundation". I honestly do not have a great skin type - I'm prone to blemishes, discolorations, enlarged pores and oily skin. But at the same time, I hate the feeling of foundation on my skin. Even worst - I hate the look of foundation once it starts wearing off. With my type of skin, foundation wears off after 7 hours, max. And that's generous.

Bare skin:

Blended, and then really blended:

This BB Cream is a miracle product for me. The product does not leave my skin feeling oily or sticky - it leaves it feeling like skin. I suppose it might be a weird thing to say but when can you honestly say your skin feels like skin after you've put on makeup? It absorbs super quickly into my skin and feels like a moisturizer but it also seems to even out my skin tone. I have a lot of redness in my skin and blemishes here and there. While I didn't expect the product to cover my blemishes (which it didn't) it did cancel out a lot of the redness in them and made it extremely easy to cover up with concealer. What I like best about this product is that when my oil does break through, it does not oxidize or leave oily pigments on my skin. My skin just looks like it does when it usually gets oily without makeup on. Furthermore, with a good powder, the product stays very well on my skin.

To sum up, I'm going to list some pros and cons of this product:

- smells amazing, like fresh/sweet cucumbers!
- has SPF 35!
- suitable for oily skin types
- lightweight
- blends in easily

- smell could potentially be too much/irritating for some
- color range is small - there is only two shades
- does not provide much coverage
- might be a bit yellow for some
- might be too thick for drier skins. I can't vouch for this however - I have oily skin
- seems to be using up quite fast - since it is a bit thick, you need a bit more than most foundations

While the Day Wear Plus "tints" your skin, the BB Cream does not. Both do however smell the same and feel the same while applying it.It does not require an huge amount of effort to blend into your skin (I use a flat or round top kabuki brush) but I suggest working relatively fast as it absorbs quickly.

I know that I will be repurchasing this product once the bottle is empty. I am a bit put off by the fact that in Canada, this BB Cream will set you off by $45, but to me, it is worth every cent. However, I haven't even explored cheaper options (I've got my eye on you Marcelle BB Cream) so I'm not opposed trying different things.

Have you found a BB Cream suitable for you? Have you tried this particular cream? What is your take on it?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Natural face of the day

I figured I'd go ahead and post this face of the day. I had my mom visit for the day and didn't feel like putting on much makeup because, guys, THE SUN IS SHINING outside. It's nice to have some sun after these last few dreary winter months.

Products used: Estee Lauder BB Cream, NARS Sheer Glow on my cheeks a bit to cover some redness, MAC's Moisturecover under my eyes and Clinique's Invisible loose powder, lightly, all over. I also used MAC's Brun on my eyebrows and that Maybelline clear brow gel. I used Tarte's Amazonian Clay blush in Blissful and Clinique's Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey. I used Maybelline's XXL Pro mascara which sucks.

Also, MY HAIR. It is so long - I NEED a haircut ASAP. It's getting to be madness to upkeep.

Hope you're having a great St Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday night is unwinding time

Friday nights are usually the night of the week where I choose to unwind. I cook, clean (usually consists of sweeping and bathroom), take a bath or shower, slap on a face mask, catch up on blog reading, youtubing. I really cherish that time. It let's me breathe out my week and prepare for the rest of the weekend with a less cloudy brain.

Here's a snippet of what happened tonight.

I came home to this. Right under my duvet cover.

Now I don't like it when she sleeps under there all the time because HELLO, I just changed my bedsheets and now there's going to be hair in it. UGH.

I took her out of there and she gave me the stink eye:

She wasn't impressed. But then I opened the window, and she took a liking to the fresh air.

After that, the kitchen looked like a veggie storm went through it.

But the storm gave delicious results.

The top one is a bean salad with chickpeas, kidney beans and steamed green beans. The bottom one is a potato salad (no mayo!) with bacon and dijon mustard. They were part of my plan to find some yummy salad recipes to eat through the week. So far so good! And low cholesterol too!

After that, I cleaned the apartment a bit and took a relaxing Lush bath and put in a leave in conditioner in my hair. It was delightful.

How do you unwind? Do you block out a specific day for it or do you spread it out, here and there?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

LUSH Love!

I don't have a Lush anywhere near where I live - the closest is 4 hours away. Online ordering is difficult because you can't really tell what things are going to smell like. Patchouli? Wtf is that?! I'm really not good a remembering what smells like what. I have a good sense of smell but a crap memory.

So yeah, I kind of ordered this stuff on a whim, and pretty blindly. Luckily, I'm happy with most.

This is what everything looked like all packaged up. I'm probably the only one who thinks this is insanely awesome.

I have used the Each Peach Massage Bar on my freshly shaven legs last night and this morning and I am in LOVE. It smells so delicious (of lemon not peach in my opinion) and makes your legs silky smooth. Of course, it's a massage bar, but I read somewhere of a person who used it on her legs. It works fabulously!

I have tried the Green Bubbleroons in the past and LOVED them. They make so much bubbles! I get bored in the bath, I'm not going to lie. But the bubbles make it pretty entertaining! I have yet to try the Yuzu & Coco one but I am loving the smell of them.

This is the only product that the smell has me a bit disappointed. It's just so... soapy? And it smells of like... a sweet dairy product. I'm not a fan of the smell but I'm sure I'll be using it up anyway. It's not off-putting by any means but it's just not my cup of tea.

This massage bar was solely purchase for my main man, fruit snacks (he'll get a kick out of this). He complains of sore muscles all the time and LOVES a good massage. The smell of this is... strange. It kind of smells of cinnamon, and kind of like those medicated Blistex in the little pots? It's weiiiird! But my main man doesn't mind it and neither do I really. It's just very a very medical kind of smell. So be warned - you will NOT like this if you like vanilla, fruity or sweet smells.

All together now! As you can see in the picture, I also got a Pop in the Bath bubble bar, which smells amazing, and a Demon in the Dark soap which reminds me of gum. It's nice though! But what the hells is that rind around it? Am I supposed to cut that off? Because I used it in the shower and it left black bits on my body! So confusing!

Clearly I'm a Lush newbie but it's been really a blast trying these things out. Any recommendations from you guys?