Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: China Glaze in Below Deck 954

Drugstore
Price:  $6-$7
Rating:  ☺☺☺


China Glaze's Below Deck is a deep, dusty taupe that plays between grey, purple and brown.  I have mixed feelings about this color.  It kind of reminds me of hot cocoa, and I still haven't decided yet if that's something I want on my nails.

Pros
+Smooth, easy application
+Glossy finish
+Although the formula is creamy and thick (almost overly), it dries evenly and quickly 
+Doesn't stain your nails
+Pigmented:  1 coat for full coverage, but I recommend 2 for a smoother and longer lasting coat.


Friday, December 12, 2014

NOTD: Oxblood Nails with Glitter Gradient


Products Used
Revlon:  Vixen 570
MPNails:  Pharaoh's Armor Multi - Metallic Striper
Pure Ice:  Beware
Revlon:  Sparkling 261
China Glaze:  Fast Forward Top Coat

Instructions
1)  Apply 2 coats of Revlon's Vixen on both hands.
2)  Dab each of the glitter polishes (MPNails, Pure Ice, Revlon), starting from the base and then upwards until you've reached about three quarters of your nail--stagger your strokes.  Layer on more glitter at the base and lightly dab over your previous upward strokes.  You want the base of where the glitter starts to be denser than the rest of the nail for a cascading effect.  I did 3 layers, one for each polish.  Remember to wait for each coat to dry before applying additional layers.
3)  Finish by applying China Glaze's Fast Forward Top Coat on all nails.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Delicious 80

Drugstore
Price:  $7-$8
Rating:  ☺☺☺☺☺!


Pros
+Revlon's Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Delicious 80 is a rich, vibrant candy red-orange
+Thin formula pairs well with the wider, flat brush, allowing for easy and smooth application
+Pigmented, but still requires two coats for full coverage due to thinner formula
+High gloss finish (I'm not wearing a top coat in these photos)
+Longwearing and durable; it held up pretty well against my daily activities this past week, with very minimal and minor chipping at the tips

Cons
-It takes a little longer to dry; I waited about 20 minutes before I felt safe to move around


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in Dealer's Choice 240

Drugstore
Price:  $7-$8
Rating:  ☺☺☺


Pros
+Revlon's Color Stay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel in Dealer's Choice 240 is a deeper and more vibrant teal with a subtle silver shimmer; this is a great variation if you're looking to switch up the mint trend
+Pigmented; but requires two coats for smooth and even application
+Dries fairy quickly, despite how viscous the formula is
+Indeed, long-wearing:  I don't usually comment about durability, but my experience with this nail polish was pretty remarkable, considering that I didn't use a base or top coat, along with the fact that I've been pretty busy with my hands lately.  It's been almost a week and there is minimal, minuscule chipping on my right hand at the very tips of my nails; my left hand is still perfect, surprisingly.  I've scrubbed dishes without wearing gloves, scrubbed counters, chopped vegetables, peeled shellfish, dismantled cardboard boxes, relocated storage boxes, picked at stubborn labels, opened stubborn plastic caps off beauty/hair products with my nails...the polish is holding up pretty well, even more so than what I've experienced with O.P.I polishes

Cons
-The formula is really thick, which makes it tricky to apply, especially since the brush is wider--too much, it will pool up; too little, it will streak
-This particular shade (I don't know about the others) stains your nails.  I'm pretty peeved.  I omitted using a base coat because the formula is marketed as a base + color nail polish in one.  Now I have hulk nails.

Notes
.The Color Stay Gel Envy line is supposed to be a two-step system, following with the application of the Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat, which provides a protective coating for long lasting strength and shine.  If you just use the nail polish on its own, it will have a minimal gloss finish.
.Use a base coat



Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Airy Curl Styler

Price: $5-$6 
Rating:  


Airy Curl Styler?  More like Airy LIES.

My fault partly.  What the Airy Curl Styler is supposed to do is create easy, light and loose curls with the heat of a blow dryer, as opposed to using a curling iron, which is more damaging for your hair.  I watched Shu An's review on Tried and Tested from clicknetwork awhile back, which inspired me to blow my money~ After all, I saw it produce a proper looking curl with my very own eyes--granted, it was just one curl.  

*I'm going to warn you now, I don't have any before and after pictures (they were that bad) and I don't have product pictures either because I threw it out before it occurred to me to write a review first.    

Instructions:  Spritz your hair, so that it's slightly damp.  I don't recommend towel drying your hair for this because it'll be too wet to work with--also, towel drying your hair too much makes it go all frizzy, especially if you have fine hair.  Grab a chunk of your hair, poke the styler in toward the end of the section, and roll it up; you can roll it outward or inward, depending on your preference.  The edges of the protruding forks are lined with small bristles to help grip and hold the strands in place while you blow dry your hair into shape.  Once it's dry, let it set for about a minute, then gently slide the styler out.  You should have an airy curl.  

If my directions aren't clear, you can watch Shu An's demo in the video below.



Anyhow, when I tried it, I wasn't very successful.  The styler didn't grip onto my hair very well, so it rolled it up in a very messy manner.  Because of all the tangles and fly outs, I ended up with crazy, awkward, haphazard looking curls after I blew dry my hair.  You really have work with it to have your curls come out the right way, which involves a lot of experimenting and patience.  

This means:

  • Figuring how damp your hair has to be; if it's too damp, it will take forever to dry, but if it's too dry, it will not curl
  • Figuring out how how much hair you need per section; if it's too thick, the heat won't penetrate, but if it's too thin, it will not wrap
  • Figuring out how to tidily wrap your hair around the forks, so you won't blow dry your hair into a tangled frizzy bunch
  • Knowing which way to curl your sections, so they don't go all over the place
  • Knowing how long you need to blow dry each section
  • Etc.  

The texture, length and type of hair you have will be a factor as well--I have very thin and fine hair that tangles easily.  Keep in mind however, even if you've managed to create desired curls, they're very temporal and won't hold throughout the day, much less an hour.  My medusa head flattened out pretty quickly without any hair spray/mousse to preserve it.  

All in all, I do think that this styler can produce curls if you put the time into it, but I don't think the results are worth the time and effort.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer Buff

Drugstore
Price:  $7
Rating:  ☺☺☺☺


The day came when I finally ran out of Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector (they discontinued it awhile back), so I finally decided to try out another one of their highlighters since I had liked the one I had been using so much.

For skin tone reference/shade comparison, I'm currently a Warm Golden #310 in Revlon's ColorStay Foundation.

Pros
+Brightens complexion, creating a luminous effect; this is a great highlighter for those with oily skin because it doesn't contain as much shimmer/sparkle, which accentuates face grease.
+Concentrated formula; a little goes a long way.  Use minimal amounts.
+Soft, flexible brush tip.
+There is a peach undertone to this concealer, which helps to neutralize dark under eye circles.  My skin has neutral/warm/yellow undertones, but the color difference isn't particularly noticeable once its blended out.

Cons
-I don't really like the click applicator; it's hard to gauge how much product is released while you're twisting because the brush tip tends to conceal the product.  As a result, it seems to come out all at once in thick blobs that you can't apply directly to your face because it's too condensed.  Use your finger to lightly dab thin streaks where you want to highlight your face and blend it out with a separate brush.

Notes
.Be patient; the disclaimer on the packaging says that it may take up to 10 twists the first time you use it for product to come out.
.I would recommend using a brush, rather than your fingers to blend this highlighter out.  Because the formula is more concentrated, your finger might not be able to blend out the product evenly and you could  possibly end up looking caked, creased and discolored (the peachy tone is obvious if you don't blend it out properly).
.I advise using this more as a highlighter than a concealer, even though it is advertised as a dual purpose product.  While the formula is more concentrated, it provides more of a brightening effect with sheer coverage, which won't cover redness or more obvious imperfections.

The concealer comes out from the middle of the brush tip.
This is the concealer before it has been blended to show its peach undertone.
When it's blended out, the color difference isn't noticeable--what you end up with is
just a brightening effect.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Wine and Forever 215

Drugstore
Price:  $4
Rating:  ☺☺



Pros
+Warm, berry-based wine creme
+Easy to remove
+Doesn't stain your nails like most red nail polishes tend to do upon removal

Cons
-It takes 3 coats for full coverage.
-You can't really apply thin layers smoothly; it dries too quickly to create an even coat.  The following coats need to be applied thicker to smooth the surface out.
-This formula dries tacky; nail polishes that dry tacky tend to take a longer time to completely dry (example: Julep).  Three coats + tacky polish = Ain't nobody got time for that!
-I don't like the brush; it's a bit on the flimsy side, so it doesn't pick up enough polish to cover the entire nail in one go.