Sunday, May 24, 2015

Swatch: Indigo Bananas Twice as Bright

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to my fellow USians! I hope you're spending the time with your favorite people! We made some amazing lamb burgers that I posted on Instagram--definitely a fun alternative to the typical cheeseburger!

This weekend I'm wearing a very fun summery color from one of my favorite brands, Indigo Bananas! Twice as Bright is a hot pink crelly with intense glassfleck shimmer that shifts cyan-blue-purple-magenta. Seriously, this shimmer is so bright that it glows even in indoor lighting! The name of the polish is definitely fitting! To me, this is classic Indigo Bananas.

Indigo Bananas Twice as Bright. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

The formula was great, as usual--it stays exactly where you put it. It's also pretty chip-resistant compared to most other polish (I usually lose chips off the corners of my nails after a day or so). It was still a little sheer at two coats, but I was too busy staring at that shimmer to notice!

Here I tried to get a pic of the color shift in the shimmer, but I couldn't get it all the way to magenta. I definitely noticed it a lot in real life though!

Seriously, if you like pink--or even if you don't--you need this polish. I got a compliment from a stranger on it yesterday! (It's available here in full and mini sizes.)

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Today's mani: Starry night (For the Love of Polish box)

Happy Monday everyone! Today I'm wearing a mani featuring the polishes from May's For the Love of Polish box! This is a new indie box by Illyrian Polish and Polished For Days, plus a different guest brand each month, and some nail vinyls to match the theme. The theme for May's box was "galaxy", and when I saw swatches, I fell in love with all three polishes!

So the polishes in the box were: Starrily Gravity (index and pinky), Illyrian Polish Orion Nebula (middle and ring fingers) and Polished For Days Out of This World (stars). The box also came with a sheet of star-shaped vinyls that I used on my ring finger. Love how all three polishes are holos, but they got such different effects for each one!

Unfortunately this box is now sold out, but definitely keep your eye out for the next one!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: Adovia Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask

The product in this post was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Hi folks! Today I've got another skincare product review for you--the Adovia Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask. This is my second time trying a Dead Sea mud mask (the first time is here). Dead Sea mud is supposed to be great for acne; it clears out your pores like a typical mask, and also gives your skin a dose of beneficial minerals. This particular mask also contains several oils (including evening primrose, jojoba and olive) to keep your skin from drying out, plus aloe, chamomile extract, and vitamin C.

As you can see, the Adovia mask comes in a 150 ml squeeze tube, which should be enough for several months of weekly use. The last mud mask I tried had a very wet consistency, but the Adovia mask is much firmer, similar to a clay-based mask (although it contains no clay). I'm pretty sure it's the added beeswax that stiffens it up. Even though it's on the drier side, it's still very light and applies smoothly, so it's easy to get a thin, even layer on your face. Here's how it looks once dispensed (I know it looks like bird poop here, but it's much nicer than that, trust me!):

I let the mask sit for about 10 minutes until it was pretty much dry. I didn't feel any irritation or itchiness. Upon removal, my skin felt clean and just a little "tight", but of course I put on a moisturizer right afterwards and all was well.

If you've been wanting to try a Dead Sea mud mask, this one is a great choice, as it's currently only $19.99 on Amazon. I'm definitely going to be incorporating it into my weekly routine!

The product in this post was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quick swatch: Maya Cosmetics Tranquillis

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hi all! I meant to post this a couple days ago, whoops! We had a busy week looking for a new apartment with a better commute for the both of us. Moving sucks, but it's kind of exciting to think about living in a brand new place--I don't know about you, but I always like to imagine that I'm going to be so much more organized in a new apartment (and then I never am).

Today I've just got a swatch for you, no review, as Maya Cosmetics is sadly long gone. :-( Maybe you can find this polish in a destash somewhere though! Tranquillis is a dark teal jelly with a mix of shimmer, mainly gold, green and pink to my eye. I fell in love with it at first sight! This mani was already a few days old when I photographed it, so it's lost some of its shininess.

And yes, I lost a corner of my middle fingernail--the perils of square nails!

Maya Cosmetics Tranquillis. Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Swatch: OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-go?

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Hi everyone! Wow, the weather here has suddenly gone into high gear, and it feels like summer today! I grabbed a random polish out of my Helmer to swatch, and it turned out to match the weather perfectly.

OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-go? is a bright orange creme that, to me, is somewhat red-leaning, not very mango-like at all. (A lot of the swatches I've seen online are inaccurate; I've color-corrected this to be as close as I can get.) I know orange is absolutely awful on me, but it's so pretty in the bottle that I keep getting more orange polish!

Please pardon the tipwear!

OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-go? Two coats with Out the Door topcoat.

I wasn't terribly crazy about the formula; it was thin but really didn't want to go on evenly. It was also still a little patchy at two coats--I'm surprised that's not visible in the pic. In my opinion, if a polish isn't opaque in two coats, it's not a very good creme! Still a great color though.

See ya soon!

The product in this post was purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Radha Beauty Skin Clearing Serum

The product in this post was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Hey gang! Today I'm showing you a product I just started using and have fallen in love with! I'm at the unfortunate stage in life where I have to deal with both acne and the beginnings of wrinkles and fine lines. Isn't that wonderful?! I've been using several different products to deal with my complexion, like a salicylic acid serum, a retinol moisturizer, a vitamin C serum, and so forth.

But then I recently got the opportunity to try out a product that combines all those lovely ingredients in one! The Radha Beauty Skin Clearing Serum claims to be a fix for all sorts of complexion problems, including:
  • acne and clogged pores
  • hyperpigmentation and scarring
  • redness and inflammation
  • fine lines and other signs of aging
It does all this with a mix of salicylic acid, vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide (vitamin B3). You can see the concentrations of each in the pic below. Other notable ingredients include rosehip oil (great for acne-prone skin) and tea tree oil (an antimicrobial). Other than the main actives, the ingredient list is nice and short.

The serum dispenses via pump and has a thin, watery texture. One pump is enough to cover my whole face, so this 1-oz. size should last me a while. It applies to the skin very smoothly and dries quickly without any gross residue.

So how does the Skin Clearing Serum perform? I've been using it twice a day for two weeks, and I was surprised to find that within days, my skin became noticeably smoother! It's kept my breakouts in check about as well as my other salicylic acid product. I also haven't noticed any extra dryness from the serum. Obviously I can't speak to its long-term effects, but so far I am really loving the fact that I can replace a whole list of products with this one serum!

The only real downside I have found is that some of the ingredients in the serum, like tea tree and retinol, can be irritating. I don't have sensitive skin, but I started to get irritation on the skin near my eyes (I don't mean my undereye area, but my cheekbone/temple). So I would definitely do a patch test of this serum before use, especially if you know you have sensitive skin.

The serum also has a fairly strong herbal smell, mostly from the tea tree, I think. It doesn't bother me, but some people are sensitive to strong scents!

Overall, I am a huge fan of this serum and will probably repurchase it once I run out! The Radha Beauty Skin Clearing Serum is available on Amazon for $21.89 at the moment, down from $60.

The product in this post was sent to me for review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

April's Museum-Worthy Manis!

Hey! I'm back, of course, with my favorite nail art from last month! Make sure to go give the original artists props on their posts!

1. Kenya Inspired Nail Art by The Nail Polish Challenge

I immediately knew I had to include this one because it reminds me of The Lion King, which is my favorite Disney movie (I even did some Lion King nail art a while back)! I love the messiness of the background gradient--it looks like clouds.

2. Round Gradient Cyclone by Simply Nailogical

Whoa, psychedelic! What a great idea to use a swirl decal over a radial gradient (which is a technique I really need to try someday).

3. Monochromatic by Lacquerstyle

This one actually has a very similar structure to the previous mani, but more elegant instead of in-your-face. And of course it's freehanded, which totally amazes me! I love the way the interlocked stripes draw your eyes in multiple directions.

4. Black/White by BibbediBabbediBeauty

I find it's very rare that a watermarble mani looks classy, but it absolutely does here. I mean, black makes everything classier! And the decal shapes look very modern.

5. Palm Leaves by Pshiiit

This mani looks like a fabric print to me. So soft and summery! And it looks like something I could possibly do myself!

Honorable mention: Wide Open Landscape by PiggieLuv

Friday, May 1, 2015

April's Gimme That Polish!

Happy Friday everyone! Today I've got my top five lemmings from my Pinterest board for April! As usual, click the links to visit the original swatchers' posts.

1. Dollish Polish - I Gave Her My Heart, She Gave Me a Pen

This one's a little more girly than my usual favorites, but I'm a huge sucker for a good full-coverage microglitter. I think it's the little flashes of purple that really make it. (Dollish Polish shop | swatch by Accio Lacquer)

2. Renaissance Cosmetics - Petals & Things

This is one of the few ultrachrome flakie toppers that I've really been taken with, I think because it has an overall softer and more elegant feel than most. (Renaissance Cosmetics shop | swatch by Wondrously Polished)

3. KBShimmer - Shell Shock

As we know, KBShimmer is a glitter crelly powerhouse, and every collection has new fabulous color combos that I MUST HAVE. This one manages to be both soft and summery at the same time. (KBShimmer shop | swatch by The Lacquerologist)

4. A England - Captive Goddess

I'll be honest, I couldn't really pick a favorite from the Rossetti's Goddess collection, so this is really just a stand-in for all of them. A England does this kind of metallic holo SO WELL. (A England shop | swatch by Marine Loves Polish)

5. Reverie Nail Lacquer - Lily Pads

Just like I love KBShimmer's glitter crellies, I've really been admiring Reverie's glitter jellies, although I don't own any (yet). She's great at mixing a bunch of different colors that still work together! (Reverie Nail Lacquer shop | swatch by The Mercurial Magpie)

Honorable mention: China Glaze - Treble Maker