Monday, September 29, 2014

Review and Swatch: Wet n’ Wild MegaRocks Glitter Nail Color in 495A “gettin’ amped”

The other day when I was wandering around my drugstore waiting for a prescription to be filled, I realized I had a $1 off any wet n’ wild nail lacquer over $1.69. I looked at all the megalast and realized that I might have all the colors I liked; and if I didn’t I’d be afraid to buy one without checking out my collection. While looking for another polish to buy I found the Mega rocks collection. This little set has been in the display for a while, but I don’t think I’ve seen it many places, so maybe it was a test collection that never expanded to other stores? I don’t know. All I know is that I had a coupon, the wet n’ wild was 40% off and the bottles had $1 off peelie coupons so I would be getting it for free. This normally retails for $1.99. I decided to get this color because it has both black and silver glitters so I thought it would work with most polishes. There also was silver, gold, red, two purples (one was sold out) and this color.
Gettin’ Amped is a mixture of black and silver hex glitters in a clear base. The glitters are what I’d call medium sized.  The base in neither thick nor thin but there is a lot of in comparison to the glitters. I find it best to wipe of the brush on the neck of the bottle and then go back in and pick up the glitters there. I then dab in on my nail.
Needless to say, this color doesn’t have flawless application; but neither do many other glitter polishes. What this did have is staying power. I applied this over my Orly base coat and Wet n’ Wild Wild Shine in Metallica. Now, I work with my hands a lot as a sales associate. For eight hours I am constantly putting clothes on hangers, picking up boxes or other things off the floor, peeling off or putting on stickers/sensors/tape etc.  So, as you can image, my nails do not last a day normally without serious chipping. But, with this polish, they lasted a day without chipping and on the second day I had one small chip on my right index, at three the chip expanded and on day four one started on my right thumb. For me, this is extremely hard wearing and impressive!
As with all glitters this was a pain to take off though; lots of cotton balls, nail polish remover and even shipping at it with my nail for about 15 minutes to get it all off.

Overall, I am happy with this polish. I don’t wear glitter that much due to the difficulty involved in getting it off and the tendency for some to chip badly; but this lasted impressively long! For $1.99 this is a good polish to buy if you love moderate sized glitters.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review and Swatch: NYC 271 Extra Shiny Top Coat

image from

I bought this as a mistake; I completely admit it. I intended to buy NYC Grand Central Station Clear nail polish, but grabbed this one quickly because I saw “top coat”. Apparently Grand central station isn’t even labeled as a top coat. Huh.  This was 99 cents at the drugstore.
Even though it was a mistake I decided to try it out. Please to not make my mistake: stay away from this one. When worn by itself on the nails it flakes off within a day. The formula itself is too thick and goopy. If your nails aren’t perfectly dry it will catch on it and rip bit of the polish off or cause patches to appear. If you don’t add enough it looks rough on the nail.

Honestly, I don’t find any positives with this one. Pick up Grand Central Station for an extra dollar, or if you only want to pay 99 cents, pick up Wet n’ Wild’s wild shine clear protector instead. That one’s decent. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Venue review: Be at One

NOTE: This post was written several months ago (around March 2014). I just found some posts I had written while I was in London and will be posting them over the next few weeks.

While I’m not a big clubbing person, one cocktail bar I like and have gone to a few times is Be at One. There are multiple locations of this bar two being in Covent Garden. I have gone to the one on Russell Street.  The set-up of this place is a type of cocktail bar, but a slightly club like depending on the night. I went here on a Thursday and while there was dancing and music it was only a bit loud and only like 10 people dancing. There was also no cover charge. When I went on a Saturday though, there was a five pound cover charge and the music was a lot louder and more people were dancing. The bar is pretty small and only one room, so it can get really crowded.
The bar itself is known for their cocktails and they have a huge book full of drinks to order. They are very good (the ones I’ve tasted) but are quite expensive, about 10 pounds. They have an “appy hour” which means if you show up between certain hours (usually 5-8 pm) with the app on your phone you have a hour to buy 2 drinks for 9.50. They also occasionally hand out little cards with the same deal that you can use at any time. Luckily my roommates had many of these cards because otherwise I would not have gotten a drink for that price.
There are drinks for every taste though. I like the Cuban zombie (which is one of their popular drinks) which involves rum, passion fruit juice and half of a passion fruit floating on top. My absolute favorite is a green fairy which is absinth, lemon, sugar, and mineral water. This drink tastes like black liquorice and lemonade. Unfortunately, I don’t think they make this very often (I always get comments from the bartenders when I order one!) so it’s not always consistent. The last one I got was too sour. 

Overall, be at one is a good place to go for cocktails during the week and a good place to go to dance and club with a smaller, less overwhelming, atmosphere.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review and Swatch: MAC Violetta

I finally got the opportunity to go to an actual MAC store! I went to the free standing boutique in the King of Prussia Mall outside of Philadelphia. I knew I wanted a purple lipstick and I had narrowed it down to Up the Amp, Violetta, and Heroine. Once I got to the shop I determined Up the Amp to be not purple enough, and when I tried heroine on, my mother and the Sales Associate determined it to be too much like to lipstick I already had on (NYX Macaron Violet). Thus, I choose Violetta which is slightly warmerand brighter than heroine and has an iridescent finish which is unlike most of my lip colors.

Violetta is a “bright clean violet purple” it is a medium warmed toned purple with iridescent shimmer. It is an amplified cream formula.

Like most amplified lipsticks, the color is bold an opaque. I get full coverage in one swipe across my lips. This color is creamy and glides on well; it does not catch on dry patches at all. It has the slight vanilla scent found in all MAC lipsticks and has the classic MAC packaging.

Overall, I am very pleased by this lipstick. It has a beautiful color with a unique (at least in my collection) finish that gives an great, almost metallic, appearance in come lights. The formula makes this lipstick easy and comfortable to wear, so I see this becoming an everyday lipstick for me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review and Swatch: Menow Generation II Long Lasting Lip Gloss in # 03

 I can’t quite remember where I first saw mention of these lip colors; I think either facebook or, more likely, tumblr. The brand is Menow which I cannot find much information about; most references to the brand are to this specific product and like to various wholesale websites. I bought mine off of ebay for a little over $1 per lip color and free shipping. I got four colors in total, but they are arriving at different times do today I’m just reviewing #3.

#3 is a medium neutral mauve pink
Since this is a pretty basic and common color, I decided to go through my stash to find what I had similar. In the photo from bottom (were 3 is) to top it goes as follows: wnw mauve outta here, wnw wineroom, wnw rosebud, Maybelline hooked on pink, Maybelline yummy plummy, and on the side id occ memento. The closest color is Wet n’ wild Wine Room.

While these are called lip glosses, that is not very accurate. They are described on ebay as “waterproof lip glosses” but are more along the lines of a liquid lipstick. The formula is thin, but not liquidly and is extremely pigmented. It dried and set pretty quickly.  The finish is velvety matte, but it doesn’t dry completely in the middle which can cause some of the product to rip off the bottom lip. Even though it does this I didn’t have any problem patching it up. The new product blended seamlessly with the old and didn’t seem to build up. The formula is also pretty drying; I can make it 8 hours with this on without problems, but after I take it off my lips feel super dry and get a bit flakey! It is also definitely waterproof! After washing my hands with soap, micellar water, and plain water this didn’t budge! But, if you apply a makeup remover that is meant for waterproof products, it comes off fine.

after washing off all the other swatches

They come is a thin, test tube like tube that is about six inches long and contains a doe foot applicator. Since the applicator wand is so long, it can be unwieldy to use. This causes the product to get out of my lip lines and not be very crisp; I’m going to try and experiment with different ways of application. Since it is also waterproof once a mistake is made it is hard to remove.
The product came to me individually and not safety sealed. By looking at the top of the reservoir though I could tell no one had tried to use it (it was clean). It has a slightly sweet scent.

Overall this is a decent product. It is a nice color, though I have some similar, and had an interesting finish. I just wish the formula wasn’t so drying and that the applicator was easier to use.
 Edit: I have a new post on three other colors here!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review and Swatch: Maybelline Color Show Holographic polish in 35 Lavender Lustre.

From what I’ve seen online, this Maybelline Color Show Holographic nail polish came out in a limited edition collection in the summer of 2013, but it popped up with other limited edition color shows and my local dollar tree. This means I snagged a normally $4 polish for a buck!
Lavender Lustre is a metallic silver polish with a lavender sheen and slight green and pink duo chrome. In some lights this polish just looks like silver. Other times, it looks straight up lavender. Many times though, this is a color that makes you look twice, because what would you call that color? At first it thought it was a duo chrome, but more I look it’s like a tinted metallic with iridescence.

Like many light purple duo chromes and metallic, this goes on pretty sheer and streaky at first coat. If you apply the first and second coat carefully, you could stop there. I decided to add a third coat to make sure it had good opacity and no streaks. The formula was generic, not too runny or gloopy, but the Color Show wands are always a bit too thin for me so I have problems getting enough product on the brush.

Overall, this was a decent product. It’s not the most amazing product, but it is fairly unique if you look close enough. I love metallic lavenders so this is going right beside my other lavender duo chromes. Definitely was a good find for $1 though! Have you found any Maybelline at your local dollar tree? 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review and Swatch: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 500 Berry Rose

The last time I took a trip to target I noticed most in not all of the Rimmel Moisture Renew lipsticks were on clearance for $1.48! Needless to say I had to pick one up so I choose Berry Rose.
Berry Rose is a medium berry pink with some iridescence. I’d describe the finish as satin. It’s a very pretty everyday color that is flattering for all seasons and I think many skin types. The iridescence gives a beautiful shimmer and makes your lips look healthy and full. The formula goes on smoothly without tugging and gives semi-opaque coverage on the first swipe and is buildable in opacity. It is not a drying formula.
The packaging is a metallic purple case with the Rimmel crown on top.  The scent of the product is like wax, crayons, or play-dough. It isn’t pleasant, but is very faint. You cannot smell it when you put it on your lips.

Overall, I think this is a great everyday lipstick that is easy to throw into your bag and wear with any outfit. For less than $2 the deal is even better; the normal retail price is $5.47 at Walmart. Many places either say the product is out of stock or they no longer carry the product. On the Rimmel website though, this is listed as a new product, but the online pictures have different packaging. This leads me to believe they are getting rid of the old packaging and will replace them with the new style. The colors, though, appear to be the same. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lush Review: Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask and US Store Visit

After becoming addicted to Lush’s Fresh Farmacy (it’s the only thing that works well for my face and it’s acne problems and sensitivity) I needed to buy some more before I went back to University. There is only one in my state (about two hours away) but it is luckily only 20 minutes away from my brother’s college so when he had to go move in things to his apartment we decided to stop buy the Lush at King Of Prussia Mall.
This Lush isn’t a huge lush, but it appears to have everything or most of their products.  The girl that helped me was very kind but obviously new and a bit nervous and shy.  I couldn’t find the Fresh Farmacy so she showed me where it was (there was just a few chopped bits of it overshadowed by an abundance of cream cleansers) and chopped off a wedge for me to buy. Let’s just say this was more expensive than I thought. Since I last bought it in grams I didn’t know how to ask for so I just asked for two of the little “humps” or “petals” of the product. This turned out to be 0.3 pounds. This cost me about $15. FIFTEEN DOLLARS for a small wedge of soap?! I bought it anyway because it’s the only thing that works, but I wonder why these things are so much more expensive in the US than in the UK.  I looked on the listed prices and at the store it was $11 or something for 0.25 of a pounds (which is 113 grams) and online it is $9.95 for 3.5 oz (or 99.2 grams).  In the UK (according to the website) it is 4.75 pounds per 11 grams of product. That’s $7.93 dollars per 100 grams. Why is it $2 more per 100 grams in the US? Considering it isn’t a lot of product per 100 grams that is a lot of money (at least to me).  

When I was checking out the girl asked me if I wanted any samples of everything and I was like, Yes, I would like to get a sample of one of your masks. Internally I was thinking “I just spent $15 on a bit of soap, darn right I’m getting a sample of something! Especially since in the UK I spend $5 on a lips scrub and received two samples!” So she went and talked to one of her coworkers who is known for pairing people with masks. They both recommended I try Catastrophe Cosmetic because it’s good for acne and the chamomile in the masks matches the face wash. He then offered to spread a little on the back of my hand. At this I was like no, I just spend $15 I want a sample to try on my face and leave, not sit there and have you talk at me and try to make me buy it when I don’t know what it’ll do to my face! So I politely asked for a small bit to take home with me. He seemed a bit annoyed at me, but filled a little container up for me anyways, and boy, am I glad.

This stuff in NOT impressive. Seriously. You’d think a $10 quickly perishable face mask would be nice. I don’t know if the sample he gave me was old or the batch was made wrong but this stuff is a crumbly mess! Online it says to use a good dollop and spread it on your face, let sit for 10 minutes, but do not let it dry, and then wash off. Well, this stuff was so crumbly and dry it didn’t let me apply more than a thin layer of it to my face and dried almost immediately. I tried to keep in on for 10 minutes, but by the end it was flaking off onto my clothes and floor. When I removed it my face felt a bit dry, a little softened, but none of my redness was lessened or anything. It did nothing! Just dried out my face!  There was enough in the pot for two applications so I’ll try to apply more next time, but it’s just so dry.  Also, it felt pretty good when I swatched it first on my wrist, a bit thin but good. Putting it on the face is the problem!
The website claims that it can “Prevent disasters by taking regular care of your skin with our deep-cleansing, nutrient-rich blueberry mask. The little blue bulbs are packed with vitamins, and blended into calamine, rose absolute and chamomile blue oil to soothe redness, irritation and cleanse the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. This one is wonderfully soothing on sensitive skin.” It does smell nicely though of chamomile. It costs  $6.95 for 2.1 oz aka 0.26 of a cup. ¼ a cup for $7; that’s a lot of money. Also, you know the staff will scoop more than that out for you, ¼ a cup is like 4-6 applications!

Overall, I am unimpressed with the Catastrophe Cosmetics Fresh Face mask almost as much as I am unimpressed with their prices. I understand everything is made freshly by hand and with good ingredients, but you can’t deny they are making hand over fist and have overpriced it for the American market. I will strive to find another face wash that works for me, or at least not buy anything else from Lush until I go back to the UK. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Food Review: Chia Mamma Raspberry Passion vitality beverage

Every time I would see these drinks I always thought: “Who would want to drink that?” it’s a juice full of seeds!  But, since I quite liked chia seed pudding I decided to try one out for myself.
Chia Mamma drinks are made of all organic ingredients: hydrated chia seeds, juice, agave, and flavorings.  The chia must be hydrated because while it’s otherwise a hard, crunchy seed, when soak in a liquid it softens and becomes glutinous.  Upon buying, I realized it’s a lot more liquid-y than I though. I was expecting chia pudding in a bottle, basically. When opening, I noticed a strong, fresh raspberry scent. The taste though, is very mild and more like the passion fruit than raspberry. I do wish the fruit taste was a bit stronger, but it’s very refreshing!

To “drink” it I actually chew a bit on the pretty soft seeds and then swallow. I cannot just drink it down. The closest I can get is letting it sit on my mouth for a while then forcing it down. (Sorry if TMI!) I do not know what is the “proper” way to drink this is there is a “proper” way.

Overall, this is something I see myself drinking again! I am curious to another flavor offered: Pomegranate mint. Since this one involves mint it might even be more refreshing than this flavor. The only drawbacks I see are people’s looks when they see you drinking chia seeds and the cost. At my school grocery this costs $4.99. At my local Wegman’s it is $3.99. This is a bit more expensive than I tend to spend on a drink (I’m not addicted to Starbucks are any sort of expensive beverage) so I don’t see this as an everyday thing, more if I just want one on occasion! I also found a recipe online for a DIY example. I might just have to try that out!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Target up&up nail polish remover dip-it

I love nail polish, I have many, many bottles to prove it. Cream, glitter, textured, matte, I love them all. I don’t change my polish very often though. I change about one a week or when I start seeing major chips so bad I can’t bare it. My nails chip and flake badly, so by a week it is bad. The main reason I don’t paint my nails so often is partly because I tend to mess my nails up when drying, but mostly because I hate removing polish. The acetone, the cotton balls, the rubbing and picking and struggling before the polish actually comes up. This is probably my least favorite beauty thing ever, seriously. So, when I started hearing about nail polish removing tubs, I was very curious, could they actually remove polish without a struggle?  The one thing that stopped me from trying these out was I had heard many times that the foam inside the pot got ripped easily, couldn’t remove glitter, and left polish that stained your fingers etc. but then came along target dip-it!
Unlike many other nail polish remover pots, the Target dip-it does not have a foam center, instead this one has little plastic bristles than can remove polish (glitter polish, gel polish, and even artificial nails apparently!) without ripping or breaking. They are flexible and soft bristles; they do not hurt. This rubber or plastic apparatus is securely attached to the side of the tub which is filled with acetone.

How I removed the polish is I dipped my finger in and for about 5-10 seconds pushed my finger up and down, side to side, and in a circular motion and when it came out, NO POLISH!! I was seriously amazed. To polish remained even by my cuticles and all that remained was a slight white residue from the acetone (but no polish transfer). I can even see in the future if the acetone gets too dirty or filled with glitter particles, simply dumping the acetone, rinsing the tub and refilling! Not that you can’t get another one, they are only around $2.
Honestly, I am pleasantly surprised by this product. I didn’t think it wasn’t going to work, but I didn’t expect how great it would work! I am seriously so excited to own this, I can see painting my nails more often, or even swatching multiple nail polishes at once. I really recommend this product to everyone; it will make your life so much easier! I haven’t tested it with glitter yet… I’ll have to do that soon especially since my favorite polish of all time never gets worn because it’s pure glitter, but I left it at home!