Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two-fer Tuesday: MAC Wash & Dry polishes

Today I have another Two-fer Tuesday post! This week I am featuring the two polishes from the MAC Wash & Dry collection, which was released in May. Quite honestly, I get tired of the all the MAC limited edition releases because they sell out quickly, but I managed to stumble across this collection as it was released and the packaging was just so awesome that I ended up getting a lipstick, a blush and both nail polishes. Whoops. But I did end up using both the polishes in my Mariners blobicure and the colors are perfect for some of the sports teams around here, so I guess it's a win!

Washeteria (what the heck is a Washeteria? Is it supposed to be a fancy name for a laundromat?) is a teal green creme. Monday Blues, as the name partially implies, is a navy blue creme. They are both cremes. The formula on these was just ok-- they were decently pigmented and not too thick or too thin, but they did want to apply streakily in the first coat. I think maybe the brushes were too stiff and I needed to apply these with a lighter touch. I used three coats of each of these to make sure I had even coverage.


Monday Blues:

The formula on these did leave a little to be desired, but it wasn't horrible--there is definitely worse out there. These a not groundbreaking but they are nice colors, and since I was able to use them right away, I consider it a win for me. I still tend to think MAC polishes are pricey for what you get, so there is that, but I do like these two a lot. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cat's Makeup Bag: Everyday Favorites

Would you be surprised to know that I don't wear makeup on a daily basis? It's true! (And honestly, right now it's too hot for makeup anyway.) For a long time I felt uncomfortable with makeup and didn't know where to begin. This changed when I finally had a makeup lesson from a friend (a professional makeup artist) for my wedding--which was seven years ago-- and then my addiction to nail polish kicked in and with it, a new interest in makeup. Still, though, on a daily basis, I don't wear much (any) makeup. Recently, I have started making an effort to wear some makeup as part of my daily routine--I am 32 now! Awhile back I saw an article linked on Facebook about a woman looking to get a natural makeup look (you can read the article here) and there were a lot of comments about why would someone wear makeup to look natural-- just go in your skin. And certainly, there is merit to that--no one should feel ashamed to go without makeup or like they need to wear makeup to fit in! But sometimes we just want to enhance our natural features. And sometimes we want to go crazy! And that's ok too! So do whatever you want-- that makes you feel good! Personally, I wish I had an excuse and/or enough courage to wear more crazy makeup.

Whew, sorry that got pretty wordy! In any case, the short version is that I like to even out my skintone and wear some neutral eyeshadow, a blush and a lipstick. Personally, I like something quick and low-maintenance-- I don't have a lot of time, so something I can throw on quickly is key.

For the longest time, I was wearing just a tinted moisturized from Neutrogena (from the Healthy Defense line) and then layering the Maybelline Master Primer Blur + Redness Control on top.

Unfortunately, Neutrogena discontinued my moisturizer (noooooooo!) so I've been on the search for a replacement. It seems like not that many companies make tinted moisturizers these days, especially with SPF, which is a must have. I have picked up a couple BB/CC creams that claim to be moisturizing, but let me tell you-- they are not! Perhaps they are for some people, but my skin is on the dry side, so just using a BB Cream isn't really an option for me.

I finally stumbled across The Balm Balm Shelter moisturizer, which I like more than the BB Creams. It's definitely more moisturizing though it definitely still has a more makeupy feel to it.

Moving on to eyeshadows-- I have recently fallen in love with cream eyeshadows! Once I figured out that I could use my finger to apply them (I must be dense, honestly) I realized that they were a nice, easy way to throw a wash of color on my eye. First I prime with the Stila Primer Pot in Taffy, which has also been discontinued (noooooo) to matte my lids, and then I apply my eyeshadow. For every day I tend to stick with neutral shadows, in particular taupes, which are versatile and work with just about everything. My current go-tos are Julep Dusty Taupe Shimmer and Maybelline Color Tattoo in Black Orchid (which is a limited edition, boo).

For summer (when it's not too hot), I really like Julep's Pale Nude Shimmer as a wash on my eyelid, throw on some mascara and go! Easy peasy and the shimmery beige color lightens up my eye area. Throw on some mascara and I'm good to go.

My current mascara:

Blush is next. I have been loving the Colour Pop blushes and one of my absolute favorites is Birthday Suit:

As far as a lippy is concerned... oh man. I love lipstick. My beauty splurges outside of nail polish are blushes and lipsticks. Lipstick is like nail polish in that it's easy to change and is a fun way to introduce some color into a look. However on most days I tend to wear a "my lips but better" color (though during the summer I tend to break out the brighter pinks and colors).

From left to right I have Julip Chit Chat and Primp; Colour Pop Lumiere, Frida and Brink; Revlon Sultry and Pink Truffle; Maybelline Touch of Spice and Purposeful Mauve. It's a nice range of pinky neutrals. I particularly love Lumiere and Touch of Spice, but these are all good! Maybe another time I'll put out my bright lippys!

So that's the run down of my everyday makeup! Hope you enjoyed this trip through my makeup bag.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday: OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

Ugh, this week has been hectic. Our au pair finished up her year with us and left to spend another year in New York City. It was really hard to say good-bye and I think our whole family is emotionally exhausted, especially with two toddlers. I've had been having headaches every day as well, which definitely makes me want to curl up in bed and not blog or my nails. But I'm shoring up my energy just enough to at least get a blog post written so I have new content! Today I have a throwback polish to share with you-- OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. This polish was released in 2012 to coincide with the new Spiderman movies (do you know they are already remaking it again?! Yeesh!) and My Boyfriend Scales Walls became a cult classic among polish enthusiasts. I didn't get this when it came out, but bought it later from Zulily as part of some duo.

My Boyfriend Scales Walls is a grey-leaning white creme. In the bottle it looks more grey, but when you apply it to the nail it definitely looks more white. The grey in this polish makes it extremely wearable and keeps it from being a stark, white-off like polish. Light colored polishes like this can often be streaky and a nightmare to apply. The formula was thin but decently pigmented. Using a light hand, the first coat was a little streaky but evened out quickly. I did use three coats to make sure I had completely even coverage, but with careful application you could definitely get away with two coats.

Artificial light (flash):

It's obvious to me why this polish is such a favorite. It's a gorgeous creme, easy to apply, and very wearable. It works well as a nail art base (I used it for my 4th of July manicure) and on its own. If you can get your hands on this one, I would definitely grab it! It's not a ground breaking shade, but it's a good staple!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

It strikes me that now I actually have amassed a large enough polish collection where I can do Throwback Thursday posts! Ack, that's a little frightening. Today I have a real polish fanatics favorite to share with you-- Sally Hansen Pacific Blue. There was a huge ripple of panic throughout the polish world when Sally Hansen decided to reformulate this polish and introduced a darker, shimmery version with the same name. The original formula was snatched up by collector's and I was lucky enough to get this from another polish addict in the PNW because I couldn't find it in stores. I've only had this polish since last year, but it was originally released in 2009 so I think it qualifies as a "throwback."

Pacific Blue is a vibrant ocean blue with maybe just a touch of purple. It's a creme and has an excellent formula; it went on smoothly in just two coats! I can't resist that.

Artificial light (flash):

Pacific Blue is a real stunner. I wish they hadn't changed it, though I do think the new Pacific Blue is pretty as well (I don't own it yet but someday, probably). Luckily, there are similar polishes out there if you are looking for this color, but if you do have this baby-- don't let go!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sally Hansen Lavish

Somehow I missed this polish in my reviews of the Sally Hansen Velvet Texture line, so here's the last one in another Texture Tuesday review! Today I have Lavish to share with you. Lavish is a dark red bordeaux texture, with the same velvety texture finish (aka not rough like the Pixie Dusts or other textures).

This applied easily, and I believe I used two coats. Due to the textured finish, it dried down quickly, which means this makes for a good quick manicure if you're in a rush. Unlike other textures, I found that the Velvet Texure line chip quickly on me (probably because I'm rough on my hands) as compared to other textured polishes in my collection.

Artificial light (flash):

This is the one I probably would have called 'velour' but the deep rich bordeaux color is certainly lavish. And with that, this is the last of Velvet Textures--hope you enjoyed them all!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Cult Nails Love at First Sight

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted this yet--I'm a little shocked, honestly. Today I have a polish from the now defunct brand (something I'm still sad about) Cult Nails Love at First Sight, which was originally released in May 2013 as part of the Dance All Night collection. My husband bought this collection for me for my 30th birthday and I wore Love at First Sight on my toes when I gave birth to my boys. And then I wore it a year later as my manicure for their first birthday! This swatch is actually from October 2014, so I was really late photographing it anyway! Whoops!

Love at First Sight is a bright lilac purple creme, with a slight hint of duskiness to it. Now, usually I don't like purples with pink tones to them, but something about this one is just stunning and I love it. As per the standard with Cult Nails, this went on easily and smoothly and I only needed two coats. Gotta love that!

Artificial light (flash):

This is one of those polishes I love so much that I actually bought a back-up when Cult Nails was having their going out of business sale, which is honestly something I never do! But this polish has a special meaning to me and I love the color (plus the sale price) so it was a no-brainer. This polish is actually still available for sale at Harlow & Co, and thanks to the exchange rate you actually get a bit more of a discount if you are ordering from the US.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fourth of July manicure!

Happy 4th of July! We are currently experiencing an unusual heat wave in the PNW, though it feels a little cooler today than most of the past week. We're all heat wimps here! I was drenched in sweat last night while I removed my polish to do my 4th of July manicure. Yuck! But I wanted to do a themed manicure so I wasn't going to let the heat beat me. I had been kicking around an idea for awhile, and I didn't want to waste it.

I started with a base of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls on my pinkie, middle and index finger. Once that was dry I used saran wrap to 'sponge' on Cirque Colors Rita on those fingers. Once that dried, I then sponged on Colors by Llarowe Living the Dream. Using saran wrap to sponge on different colors if one of my favorite nail art technique-- it's so easy and fun! I got a little overzealous in when I sponged on Living the Dream at first; my pinkie nail got a bit dark. Which, duh, makes sense because it's a dark color, but I thought it would be a little more sheer. Anyway! The joy of this technique is that it's different every time and very unique! I'm really happy with how this turned out.

On my ring and thumb I used two coats of Polish 'M American Spirit. This is a grey-white base with red, white and bright blue glitters. Perfectly in the spirit for the holiday-- some day I'll actually do a real swatch.

Artificial light (flash):

I was really proud of how my 'Cinderella' hand turned out, so I took a picture!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th! Eat some good food, set off some fireworks, and hopefully don't start any fires!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Julep Manda

Today I have yet another gorgeous polish to show you! This one came in my June Maven box and her name is Manda. I added her own to my box and boy am I glad I did! Manda is described as a "sky blue with golden shimmer" and that's spot on. To me, this seemed like an odd choice for a summer box, has it has a very icy, wintry feel to it. To me, I am reminded of the sunny breaking over a snowy field on a cold January morning... and given the heat wave we are currently experiencing in Seattle, I could use a little cool in my life! (Remind me of this when it's 45° and raining, please.)

Manda had a pretty decent formula, though it wasn't perfect. It was a little thin, so I applied three coats to make sure I had a streak-free finish. But really, I don't have many complaints. I used a light hand and that basically eliminated any issues.

Artificial light (flash):

I love Manda! This color is beautiful and I love the gold shimmer in the blue base. It's so pretty! I could wear this forever (ok, not really, there are too many other gorgeous polishes out there) but this one is fabulous. This is a winner in my books; I will definitely need to remember to pull this one out next winter.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fairytale Finish Neverending Fairytales Subscription

I have a fun post today! I'm a member of a PNW polish group and it's a fun bunch of ladies to get to know! There are several local indie polish makers in the group, and one of them, Amanda of Fairytale Finish, has started her own monthly subscription service. I love supporting local independent businesses, so I decided to sign up. Amanda offers two subscriptions packages, one for $9 (including shipping) that contains one polish and a second for $16 (shipping included) that contains two polishes. The theme is different every month and the first month's theme was Mythical Creatures. With all of these factors, it seemed like a no brainer to sign up. So let's see what polishes came to me in this months box!

The first polish I received is Mermaid Tears. Given Amanda's love for mermaids (they are even part of her new logo), it's not surprising that there was a polish inspired by them! Mermaid Tears is a teal jelly polish with a variety of blue/green glitters, including small hexes and squares and some large shard glitter. I was a little worried with the combination of shard glitter in a jelly base, but I'm happy to report that it applied easily. The first coat was a little sheer, but it built up nicely. Two coats had a little bit of visible nail line, so I added a third and I think it looks great. I did just a minimal amount of dabbing to get a few glitters into place, but really, I could apply this easily and normally with minimal fuss.

Next up is Unicorn Princess. I can't lie to you-- I am a huge unicorn freak. Well, that sounds weird. When I was growing up, I was that girl who was obsessed with horses and unicorns. I read books about them, wrote stories about them-- basically, I wanted a unicorn. So I am totally biased about this polish already, hah. Unicorn Princess has a white crelly base with gold, hot pink and purple glitters. So basically, I'm in love-- I can't withstand the power of hot pink glitter. This was also easy to apply and I only did some minimal dabbing to move a few glitters around. My only minor complaint with this was that I don't think it self-level as well I would have liked, but to be far, I also might have put too much on my nail to begin with. And you can't see it in my photos, so maybe I'm crazy. In any case, the problem is probably solved by better application so I bet next time I won't have any issues.

Let's see some pictures!

Mermaid Tears:

 Unicorn Princess: 

These aren't my first Fairytale Finish polishes, but I have to say I am happily impressed with these. They arrived promptly, were packaged nicely, and applied easily! Winning! I like supporting a local indie polish maker and the price is very affordable.

If you are interested in signing up for the Neverending Fairytale Subscription, you can visit Fairytale Finish and sign up right up there! Amanda currently has two sign up periods during the month; I believe the current sign up period goes through July 3rd, but the next sign-up starts July 4th. July's theme is Jewels and Gems, and I can't wait to see the polishes!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Ah, Oui

Today I have another polish from the Rescue Beauty Lounge Je t'aime! Je t'aime! collection, which is based on owner Ji's time in Paris. Today I have Ah, Oui! (translation: ah, yes) which is described as being the epitomy of Parisian chic and as "not blue, not purple, and not gray; just picture a perfect, cloudless Parisian powdery periwinkle sky. This polish is a glasslike periwinkle crème jelly." When I first saw swatches of this collection, this was the polish I was drawn to first. My all-time favorite nail polish is creme, so when there's a pretty, bold periwinkle like this-- I had to have it. Periwinkle seems like it might be a demure color, but Ah, Oui! definitely packs a punch.

Because Ah, Oui! is a creme-jelly (or crelly), the formula is on the thinner side. The description on the RBL site calls it transparent in one coat, but it was more pigmented than that, at least with how I applied it. Because I have wider nail beds and the Rescue Beauty brush is pretty narrow, but I usually load the brush with polish to make sure I can actually cover my whole nail. I did need three coats to get the coverage you see in my photos. Because of the thinner formula, you do have to be careful of streaks and use a light hand when applying it. Ah, Oui! dried to a fairly glossy finish but I did add a shiny, quick-dry top coat.

Artificial light (flash):

This is a gorgeous polish, but is it necessarily worth the $20 price point? Well, probably not, but it depends on what you're comfortable with, of course. Ah, Oui! is a stunning color, but not necessarily unique-- though I I don't have time to try and find any dupes, so sorry about that. The formula is ok, but as it's a creme-jelly hybrid, it's to be expected that the formula is a bit on the thinner side. Given that