Spring 2011 Estee Lauder Pure Nail Colors

Recently, Estee Lauder polishes have been grabbing my eye (ones from past collections) and when I ran across this list of Spring 2011 polishes, I was excited to both see new shades and peruse older, permanent shades that were also included. The LE shades (which I have noted) will be available at Nordstrom March 2011.

Chocolate Crave (LE), Enchanted Garnet

Olay Refreshing Toner (And a Bit About Toners in General)

I don't expect too much from a toner because for one, it seems as though a toner is not a TOTALLY necessary step in skin care; it's more of a way to top off your skincare routine. I've found that toners do more to make me feel like I've done something extra and special for my skin than actually really doing a whole lot to improve it. Maybe I'm using the wrong toners...

What are toners for anyway?

I've read lots of mixed ideas about what toners are for and whether or not you actually need one. Most of the time it seems to be a personal preference thing. Toners are good for removing any left-over residue from your cleanser and attempting to help even out your skin. On the other hand, others believe that toners do a lot of heavy work and are absolutely necessary.

Ideally speaking, a good toner can provide hydration, a deep cleaning, balance to your skin and can also assist in getting the most out of your other skin care products.

So does Olay's Refreshing Toner live up to these claims?

Today's Makeup (2/27/11)

Really simple makeup today... Or at least it looks like nothing much.. Even simple looks still take all the damn steps!

Today's Makeup

bareMinerals Powder Concealer
Boi-ing Concealer
MUFE HD Foundation
Benefit Coralista Blush

MAC "Seedy Pearl" Eyeshadow
MAC "Blacktrack" Fluidline
MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara

MAC "Love Peck" Kissable Lip Colour

Pop Beauty Nail Glam in "Grass"

I spent my morning painting my nails and catching up on my pile of magazines. I went with Pop Beauty's "grass" which is nothing even close to the color of grass but let's look...

Rock & Republic Brushes #102 and #202

I recently tried out my first Rock & Republic brushes. I bought the 102 (blush brush) and the 202 (shader brush). I decided to just go ahead and review them together. First let me say that I like them both a LOT. Sometimes with all my brushes I kind of start to think they're all the same but I really liked these guys...

Window Shopping: Upcoming Wants

I'm feeling a bit rushed today as I slept in and now I am gearing up to watch General Hospital (my daily indulgence) and then I'm having an early dinner with my aunt. Sooo today I put together a few of my lemmings for products from upcoming or recently released makeup launches. I won't be buying any of these products unless my brother-in-law wins the lottery.  He's the only person in my family who plays. Yeah, that's about my only hope right now--it's grim!

Anyway, here are a few things I wish I could buy soon! I included the stuff that really grabbed my eye.

Hope you all have a happy Friday and a great weekend! Any plans? Any shopping plans?

Egyptian Magic Cream

I picked this "magic cream" up because I read that it had great moisturizing and wrinkle-preventing properties.

It contains: Olive oil, beeswax, honey, pollen, royal jelly and propolis extract.

I wanted to like this, I really did... but...

How Much is My Everyday Face Worth?: My Makeup Routine

I saw a post over at Stavroula's blog about how much she spends on her face and I thought it was a good idea as far as keeping track of how much money goes into my everyday face. Since I'm probably going to be going the drugstore route with products for awhile after my current stuff runs out, now is a good time to see what I'm using from the higher end line. I've used drugstore products in the past but I prefer higher end stuff when it comes to makeup, especially. Well now I'm having some money issues and I need to budget better. Also, since I've started reading beauty blogs regularly, I've found a huge number of drugstore items that sound great and got rave reviews. I'm kind of excited about jumping back into a different world of makeup.

Anyway, sorry that got a little rambly...

Onto the products!

I included the products that go into my makeup look on the "simplest", most normal-looking day.

  • (Benefit Boi-ing) Concealer ($18)
  • (Make-up Forever HD) Foundation ($40)
  • ~ 3 (often) MAC Eyeshadows (~$15/ea.)
  • Eyeliner (often MAC Fluidline) (~$15)
  • Mascara (~$20)
  • Blush (~$25)
  • Lipstick (more often than gloss) (~$15)

Total: $163

In a few months, when my products change, I'll re-do this post and see how much money I've saved. Unless I get a good job by then in which case--all bets are off! ;)

bareMinerals "A Little Sun" All Over Face Color

I purchased this bareMinerals "All Over Face Color" in "A Little Sun" on a whim. I wanted to use it as a blush or bronzer (couldn't quite tell from Sephora's site swatches) I've never tried a loose bronzer before (or a loose blush for that matter). The first time I used it, I went WAY overboard and ended up with an almost entirely bronzed face as I tried to buff it out. Needless to say, I learned my lesson with THAT... Also, although they call this all over face color, this wouldn't be my shade at all so it didn't work out in that sense for me (not that I expected it to...)

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream

Recently I tested out Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream. I used it in the morning and at night.

It's a little difficult to write a review on this guy because there wasn't dramatic difference but I DID notice some difference. I have lines under my eyes and I hate them. I often look tired. So with this, I'd look at myself and I'd notice a certain lift around my eyes. I didn't look AS tired but it didn't do anything dramatic with the skin under my eyes. 

DDF Glycolic Exfoliating Wash Review

DDF's Glycolic Exfoliating Wash is a cleanser that I've been using for a long, long time now. I like to use it as my sort of pre-cleanser to remove makeup and grime from the day.

Packaging It comes in a kind of rectangular bottle and you invert the bottle to get the product out. I have no problems with this packaging except that it comes with this bulky lid thing that is totally unnecessary and I end up just throwing it out--so it's a bit of a waste if you think of all the tops getting pitched. The bottle still closes without that top so it really is unnecessary and it's just making the bottle look more sleek.

Use It's a clear gel and it's a bit slippery but not in an oily way. The instructions tell you to squeeze out a bit of product, add water and then apply to face. You can get a pretty good lather (nothing crazy) from this cleanser. It's not going to be ideal for dry skin, that's for sure but it feels good and cleans my oily skin very well. No problems with rinsing it off.

My Skincare Routine

I wanted to do a post about my current skin care routine in part because I find reading other people's makeup or skin care routines interesting and also so I can keep track of what I'm doing now vs. what I'm doing six months from now or whenever.


Clarisonic + DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Scrub
Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer (Review) OR Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer


Clarisonic + Philosophy Purity Cleanser (Review)
Clarisonic + DDF Glycolic Exfoliating Wash
Clarisonic + DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Scrub
Arcona Gentle Solution Repair PM

Nighttime Bi-Weeklies

Freeman Clay Mask, Mint & Lemon (Review)
Reviva Labs Glycolic Acid Cream, 10% (Review)

The reason I wash my face with three different cleansers at night is mostly because I'm trying to use up the glycolic acid exfoliating one and see if losing it from my routine affects my skin at all because I've been obsessively using all three for awhile now and I know it's overkill.

What skin care products are you currently using?

Zoya "South Beach Ice" Nail Lacquer

I tried to swatch Zoya's "South Beach Ice" on its own but it wouldn't show up so instead, I swatched over Illamsqua's "Viridian".

I was hoping, when I saw this one online, that I would be able to use it alone and it would look like it did in the bottle--wishful thinking! But it still makes for a gorgeous topcoat.

Jewelry by Peggy Skemp

I ran across a necklace that I absolutely love and it turns out to be by Peggy Skemp who in turn turns out to be an awesome jewelry designer.

This necklace is priced at $70 and it goes up from there. Her website showcases her different pieces and I love the anatomical heart pendant so much! She also has neurological and fungal inspired pieces that are also super cool.

Ulta Haul (Also My Last Haul Before My No Buy)

On my last haul before no very long, very strict no-buy, I went to Ulta and just shopped around. I was glad the China Glaze Anchors Away polishes were available because it's probably my favorite polish collection ever. I would have bought them all if I could have.

My haul included:
Benefit Pore-fessional
Wooden manicure sticks
Nail-Tek crystal nail file
Essence "No More Drama" polish
Barielle "Expressive" polish
bareMinerals concealer in "Bisque,"
Essence "Choose Me!" polish (these are my first ever Essence polishes and at 99 cents!...)
Borghese "Limocello" rapid dry polish
&"Sunset Sail," "Life Preserver," "Pelican Gray," and "Starboard" from CG Anchors Away.

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss in "Succubus"

Today I have some "Succubus" swatches. This gloss is from Illamasqua's Throb collection. I love Illamasqua Intense Glosses so much because they have such great pigmentation. This beautiful red is no different...

Barry M "Red Black" Nail Paint

This is my first Barry M nail polish (one of the polishes from my Barry M haul). And I love it. Despite getting pretty horrible customer service from Barry M (I can't really say it enough because I hate bad customer service) they seem to have great polishes--if this one is any indicator.

Illamasqua Art of Darkness

With my recent Illamasqua purchase they threw in this booklet with some gorgeous makeup inside. I scanned the images to show you guys (if you didn't get a look at these already).


Ran across a couple of sales that I'd be interested in if I had any money...

... Betsey Johnson intimates at Swirl for up to 45% off.

... and Swirl also has American Apparel for up to 50% off.

And HauteLook has lots of Juicy Couture for largely discounted prices:

- Track suits & casuals
- Shoes & handbags
- Watches

Haul anything great recently? I want to live vicariously through you!

Valentine's Day Manicure: Opi "Coney Island Cotton Candy" & Essie "Watermelon"

Even though I find Valentine's Day to be a little corny and over the top and pointless (ahem, let me tell you how I really feel...) I decided to do a low-key Valentine's Day manicure. It came out a little messy but I still like it. I was inspired (quite obviously inspired) by the Illamasqua Throb manicure.

So I started out with Opi's "Coney Island Cotton Candy" which is a great nude shade for my skin tone. It leans just a teensie bit pink which made it perfect for what I wanted to do.

Turban Headbands: Looks for Less

I was perusing Shop Bop even though I'm on a very strict no-buy and I came across this cute turban headband...

... for $77!
A bit on the pricey side, is it not?

So then I went on a little search and found some slightly different but still cute alternatives for less...

Too Faced Lashlight Mascara

Too Faced Lashlight Mascara.... Mascara that "lights up your lashes"... Literally. The wand has two small built-in lights that help to illuminate your lashes during application which helps you to see each and every little lash--that part does work and I suppose if you have a hard time seeing your lashes while you're applying it might be helpful but I don't find that this is in any way necessary but it is still pretty neat.

Pangea Organics Sale

Just a friendly note that there are several different Pangea Organics sets available for sale (around 50% off) at Swirl. Body wash sets, skin care sets for dry-oily skin types and more.

Anyone use any Pangea Organics products?

Rock & Republic Extremist Mascara

Rock and Republic Extremist Mascara retails for $28. I've read some negative reviews on it but when it went on sale at HauteLook (no longer available there) I snagged a tube.

And what a.... Sexy tube it is... Doesn't it look....? Well... Nevermind, let's get onto my opinions & more pictures... ;)

Samy Fat Foam Hair Color

My sister was over for a night and she had bought some Samy's Fat Foam hair color. I decided to take pictures and get some opinions from her and share it with you guys as I don't dye my hair anymore.

I'm going to do it in interview form for a little something different.

Philosophy Great Skin is In Set

Was just perusing the newcomers section at Sephora.com and noticed this Philosophy box set which I think is a great value because the products are awesome and they are ones that I use on a regular basis (well, the moisturizer and the cleanser anyway--I have yet to try the spot treatment).

But the moisturizer alone costs $40 and the cleanser of that size costs $20 and so you're basically getting the spot treatment for five bucks. This set retails for $65. Not a great value if you're only in love with one product but a good deal if you're used to buying them individually anyway.

Here is my Purity cleanser review and here is my Hope in a Jar review.

Hello Kitty Sweet Gloss in "Charmmy"

I bought one of these Hello Kitty sweet glosses from Sephora (you can get 'em for $16). They are more lipstick-ish than glossy in my opinion but they are sheer in color... But not too sheer, actually quite nice if you want a little bit of color but you don't want a sticky, ultra shiny gloss.

Barry M Brushes

I got around to using my Barry M brushes from the haul I did a little bit ago. The blush brush looks a little scraggly in the photo below but it was the way I set the brush down.

I went with a blush brush and two shader brushes. I love the pink handles.

Nutra Luxe Luscious Lips Lipgloss in "Copper"

Awhile back, Haute Look had a sale and I bought a Nutra Luxe lipgloss to try it out and see if it plumped my lips. I don't really care to plump my lips but I do tend to like that tingle you get with lip plumping products. Looking at it now (b/c to be honest, I didn't then) the whole Nutra Luxe operation seems a tad overly boastful about their products but let's move on to what I think...

I'll start with what I like about it... It's sheer. It's really lightweight. Sometimes you want that in a lipgloss, sometimes you don't but it went really nicely with my low maintenance no makeup/tinted moisturizer "look" today.

Nars "Little Darling" Lipstick

I was excited about this lipstick because I like the one other Nars lipstick that I own a lot and I don't always buy a ton of neutral lipsticks. Or any neutral makeup for that matter. However... This is a sheer guy. My lips I fear are perhaps a bit too pigmented because I couldn't get this to show very well. It of course glides on dreamily and feels great but as far as pigmentation goes, this one didn't cut it for me.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask vs. Freeman Mint & Lemon Clay Mask

The Freeman Clay Mint & Lemon Mask (retailing for $3.99 at drugstores and Amazon) says that it "calms problematic skin, reduces the appearance of large pores, helps control oil production."

The Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask boasts that it "helps dry up acne, shrink pores and wash away blackheads."

MAC "Wonder Woman" Lipglass

I only bought one item from the MAC Wonder Woman collection. It's also the last thing I bought before I went on the no buy I'm now on (which I already mentioned on Twitter). I have another haul post to post still but until then, no buying for me for a looong time!

So. I love this lipglass and I'm very happy that I bought it. I tried it on as soon as I got it... A light dab on the lips and it adds a VERY pretty red hue. I think I'll be using it as sheerly as possible so it lasts and lasts---plus I'm in love with the sheer color if you don't layer it on. I have sooo many reds but this has that gorgeous golden shimmer to it.

Borghese "Limoncello" Rapido Fast Dry Nail Lacquer

"Limoncello" by Borghese is one of those kind of ugly-beautiful colors that I love. I didn't find that the Rapido dried any quicker than normal Borghese polishes but then again I didn't go as far as to time both either. Let's just say it dried in an acceptable amount of time.

I wanted to apologize for not updating yesterday, I was really not feeling well and sitting at my computer only made it worse. Today, I'm better but not great and I'm here with an update! Yay :)

NYX Cosmetics on Haute Look

Discounted NYX makeup sets available on Haute Look!

Eyeshadows, brush sets, liner sets, cheek sets, lip sets, and more...

Click here if you don't have a membership.

MAC "Ethereal" and "Atmospheric" Lipglasses

These two lipglasses are from the Lightfully Bright MAC collection (available online at maccosmetics.com, $14.50). The blue is "Ethereal" and the sheer plummy color is "Atmospheric."

Ethereal is about what I imagined but Atmospheric is unfortunately sheerer than I was hoping for. They look absolutely gorgeous in the tubes--especially Ethereal. It reminds me of mermaids and pristine water. Soo pretty.

Napoleon Perdis Sale on Haute Look

What: Napoleon Perdis Sale
(Makeup sets, makeup, brushes and more)
Great savings!

When: Today 2/1

Where: Haute Look
Sign up using my invite if you haven't signed up, please! :)