Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve Nails

While I am always excited for a new year to begin there is also a slight bit of remorse, sadness even as the past is the past and can't be repeated. Mainly I am thinking of the good times but there are pivotal moments, key decisions which have brought me this far and made me the person I am today. 2010 will be full of wonderful moments too I am sure but like an old familiar friend 2009 will not be easily forgotten.

That being said, and what you are probably most interested in is: What nail design will I ring in the New Year with? Well, here it is! A sparkling, bedazzled, jeweled number with enough glitter to ring in the next few years--let me tell you, I am not looking forward to removing this--but for now, it is a gem to look at.

Please have a safe and Happy New Year!

The whole design was inspired by Katy Perry and one of her amazing rhinestone encrusted designs.

Above: Artificial Light

Above: Sunlight

Above: Sunlight, shown blurry to see some of the sparkle

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

While I don't love cold weather I do love snow. There is something about the way it looks, feels and smells--that is of course until it turns dirty and brown...oh well! Snowflakes are one of my favorite holiday symbols--they are universal! So choosing snowflakes as my next nail design was obvious. My only issue is that Julieg713 did a snowflake design last year that I absolutely loved but didn't want to copy, so what did I do? I used my wrapping paper as inspiration! All of my wrapping paper is either snowman themed or snowflake themed so here's what I came up with! Hope you enjoy!

First the paper:

And here's the design:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peppermint Swirl Nails!

I've been asked numerous times for some holiday designs and I am honestly stumped. First, I am not as enthusiastic about this holiday as I am most mainly because I have no family close by and my lovely boyfriend always works on holidays (which was okay when we worked together but now it's just sad). Second, I don't have loads of money which makes gift giving more of a balancing act than anything fun; and finally, it's cold. I know that may sounds silly or contrary to what most people would want, but since we moved into this new house it is just so cold! I can't very well leave the heat on 70 all winter either so instead I walk around in sweats and blankets and big fluffy slippers--I look insane. Back to my main point--I couldn't think of any nail designs! I've got favorites that I do like candy canes, snowflakes, ornaments, etc. but there is always another, more popular beauty "guru" getting the video up before me or I just plain and simple love their design so why tamper with it. Instead, I went back to my roots for this one.

I decided to do peppermint swirls. Growing up my grandparents  alway had a jar full of Starlight Mints (just the brand Brach's I think). These mints made up a big portion of my childhood and were a remedy for everything from a tummy ache to bad breathe. I figured the design was more appropriate for the holidays solely based on the color scheme but, as was pointed out to me it is appropriate for anytime.

I will full out admit this wasn't my best effort but now that I have a few suggestions via Youtube I should be able to get a few more designs together! Feel free to leave me some of yours in the comments section!

Without further ado:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I cut them off again!

Inevitably I must cut my nails. the more I try to file them down little by litte the thicker and stronger they become which is both wonderful and a true pain. I am having issues with two nails on my right hand peeling at the moment so I chopped those nails off last week but since I still needed to do a Thanksgiving video I decided to leave my left hand long--at least until last night. 

Hopefully now both hands can grow together--I am hoping for longer nails for graduation which is on December 15th!

After chopping, filing and painting here is what I am left with:

Color is Rescue Beauty Lounge: Concrete Jungle

Violet Tri-Color (World) Series Circle Lenses

Just figured that I would share this pair as well.  These lenses are made by Geo Medical and are called the Violet Tri Color Series. I was really excited to get these because the though of violet eyes seemed really pretty and unique. Overall though, I am pretty dissapointed in the pigmentation of these lenses. They look great in the case but not on my eyes. I've now realized that Geo Lenses aren't the best for color change--lesson learned. So again here is my eye without a lens:

Here is the lens:

And the lens in my eye:

Now the color shows up wonderfully up close but, once you get about 2 feet away the color is hardly noticable unless in direct sunlight. Just figured I would share this!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Circle Lens Review - PinkyParadise

Like everyone else with brown eyes, I've long dreamed of having blue, green, even gray eyes. Currently, I wear glasses but I try not to depend on them too much; they are mainly for night driving. The idea of going to the optometrist and purchasing contacts which I don't need to wear (unless at night) seemed  a bit daunting, not to mention expensive. Also, with regular colored prescription lenses you can hardly see the color! So I gave up.

Recently though I stumbled onto the concept of Circle Lenses which are a cosmetic colored contact lens that is used to enhance the size of and change the color of your iris. For reference the iris is the colored portion of your eye and the pupil is the black dot in the center. I was quite intrigued/curious and wanted desprately to order a pair. Then it came down to: Who is certified to sell them?, Do they have fast shipping (I'm impatient), Are they recommended by people who've purchased from them before? and finally, Do they have the lenses that I am/was looking for?

After much thought, consideration, and research, I found Pinky Paradise. They specialize in selling a huge variety of circle lenses at an incredible price. I was only able to find 2 reviews on Youtube (which is my go-to review place now) so after watching both I decided to go for it. I placed my order on November 20th and received my order on the 23rd! (Shipping is from Malyasia and I chose the FedEx Express option which was $18--told you I was impatient!) I ordered 3 pairs of lenses, each of which came with a cute animal case (it was a nice extra but remember to change cases from time to time). You can purchase lenses with prescription but I chose to order Plano (non-prescription). Circle Lenses should not be worn for more than 6 hours!

Here are the lenses I purchased and pics of how they look on my eye:

First, I'll show you my eye alone (All pics were taken without eye makeup so you can really see the color minus any distractions!)

I say that I have a medium brown eye (my friends say my eyes look like root beer in the sun)

The first lens that I'll show you is the E.O.S. "Adult Grey" [E-203] (E.O.S. is the manufacturer)

The Adult Grey was actually the lens I was most excited about and one of the harder to find. It photographs very blue and I'd say it is a blue/purple toned gray. The pattern fades pretty nicely into my actually iris color and they compliment each other fairly well. This shade really opens my eye even though there is not really any enlargment shown. The enlargement effect comes from having a darker (limbic) ring around the outer edge of the lens. Since the limbic ring is absent from this lens the color change is the greatest effect. These look wonderful on and they are very comfortable. For reference these are 14mm, 8.6 base curve (price: $22.90)

The next lens I purchased was the Tri-Color Green (World Series) [CM-903] Manufactured by Geo Medical. Geo is probably the easist brand of lens to find here in the US and is also probably the most common. Many sites sell Geo not many sell such a large variety as Pinky Paradise.

The color of these lenses are absolutely beautiful. Very natural gradiation pattern and the center can blend well with the natural brown iris color. Even though I love the color this pair isn't my favorite. I love it, but not my fav! This lens like the Adult Grey is not really for enlargement also there is slight enlargment due to the gradiation. For reference: 14mm, 8.6 base curve (price: $20.90)

The finally pair I have to show you is my favorite. They are called Hana SPC Natural Grey (Hana SPC is the Manufacturer)

To show the enlargement I'll show my regular eye next to the eye with the lens.

To truly see the difference look at the amount of "white" on my eyes! Also, note the dark ring around the edge of the lens which is called the limbic ring. This dark ring gives your eye depth hence providing the appearance of enlargment!

The pattern and color of these lenses is very natural. I absolutely love this pair! They are the most comfortable out of the three I purchased. For reference: 14.5mm, 8.6 base curve (price: $25.90)

Customer Service

The customer service with Pinky Paradise was amazing. I emailed with them back and forth a few times before making my purchase. As I mentioned previously their current promotion is for 1 free animal lens case with the purchase of 1 pair of lenes (2 pairs=2cases, 3pairs=3cases, etc). As I mentioned I used the FedEx Express Shipping option which is delivered within 3-5 days. For my purchase of 3 pairs, the cost was $18, however the cost varies by weight so purchasing more lenses will cost more to ship. There is also the registered mail option which arrives within 7-21 working days (again, cost varies by weight). My package was shipped the same day that I placed my order and everything came wrapped in layers and layers of bubble wrap, then everything was placed in a bubble mailing envelope which was then placed into the FedEx bubble mailer. Very safe!

Pinky Paradise also offers a wide range of brands to choose from including Hana SPC, G&G, Dueba, Geo Medical, E.O.S., T.Top, Barbie and numerous others. Besides selling lenses and lens paraphanalia Pinky Paradise also sells Asian products including Makeup, Hair Dye, Lashes, Masks and other fun items including Animation Lenses and Cosplay items.

The only downside to my purchase was that there was no instruction card as to how to open the lenses. Now, I had done plenty of research and watched plenty of videos so I knew how to do it but, I am thinking about other people who may not be so well informed. :)

(what the animal cases look like)

As a side note and why I am loving Pinky Paradise:
I ordered lenses from another popular lens company that is actually based here is the US (I will not name names but if you've watched many youtube videos on Circle Lenses it is pretty easy to guess). The prices were comparable and the shipping was cheaper. I placed that order on October 30 and still have not received it. Not to mention that they still do not have one item I ordered in stock! I ordered from Pinky Paradise with low expectations and truly couldn't be happier with everything.

If you are interested in trying out Circle Lenses I'd highly recommend

Last bit of info--For the 3 pairs of lenses shown above, 3 cases, and shipping my order total was: $87.70 (way cheaper than some companies who are advertsing via youtube right now!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another lovely holiday. Please have a safe and happy turkey day. Make sure to eat lots, love lots and watch football and black friday advertising on tv (Okay that last part not so much). I am completely ill prepared for this one though in terms of a nail design. So here is my last minute, easy as pie buckle design.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


As some of you may know, I am currently a graduate student working to complete my Master of Science Degree. As of 3 pm today I have officially passed my oral defense. This may not mean much to anyone but me but I figured I would share a little bit of my peronal life with you all. I officially graduate in December but right now I am so excited to be finished!
Thanks for reading and commenting!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where did the blog sale go...?!?!

Hey everybody! For those of you who were wondering, my blog sale has been moved to livejournal. If you are curious to see what was listed check out the link below. I've updated it and added more to it since moving it.
If you want something, than comment on the post. Anyone can comment, you do not need to have a livejournal account! Thanks!

To view the sale click here: Livejournal Makeup Sale (this link will take you to another website)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Twilight Saga--New Moon Inspired Nails

Okay, okay so I am not a crazy twilight fan however, I have read the series and seen the one movie currently out. It's fun to watch and books are incredibly easy to read so while I am not a crazy obsessed twilight fan, I am not a hater either.

This nail art design was inspired by the cover art for the New Moon book in the twilight series. It features a beautiful red and white flower which I do not know the name (sorry). Here is a picture of the book cover:

And here is what I came up with:

The design is a combination of a feathered look and layering. I used two coats of China Glaze Liquid Leather to start with, then painted the red and white design with OPI Vodka & Caviar and China Glaze White on White. I like the overall design. It is my little way of celebrating the upcoming release of the movie without people being like, "OMG you like twilight!" if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Falling Leaves/ Autumn Inspired Nail Art

My latest nail art design was inspired by the changing of the seasons. The leaves changing color and falling, the days ending a bit earlier and the cold weather approaching. Okay, so only half of that really applies here in Las Vegas so I should say it is inspired by all things fall, no matter where you live.  This design was a combination of two requests that I have received: the first for a nail art design using a nude color as the background and the second was for a fall design. Seeing as how I am nearing the end of my Master's program I have precious little time over these next 2 weeks to get videos made, edited and put together so combining the two requests was a bit selfish of me but...what can I say?

Here are a few pictures of what I came up with. Please forgive how dark they are I filmed this tutorial and took these pictures at midnight...

Here is the video as well if you'd like to see how I did it:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My last Halloween Nail Art of the Year

I am both excited and sad that Halloween is coming. On one hand it is (as I've mentioned before) my favorite holiday. What makes it sad is that it will be gone so quickly. In honor of  October 31st, 2009 I present my last Halloween Nail Art:

This is sort of my Halloween collage--spiders, webs, bats and or course orange a black.

I hope everyone that celebrates has a safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kat Von D Rock n Roll Palette- A Sephora Beauty Insider 500 Point Perk

A few weeks ago I did a little bit of Sephora shopping. I don't go to the stores all too often because I am generally annoyed by being asked 10 times if I need help. Like a true introvert I prefer to shop online the only problem coming when I want to smell something so off to the store I went.  What I came away with was the Philosophy Pumpkin Spice Muffin 3-in-1, the MUFE Shadow that I gave away here, Juice Beauty Green Apple Nutrient Eye Cream, and a Smashbox HD Concealor. As my 500 point Beauty Insider Perk I received the Kat Von D Rock n Roll Palette which contained four colors and a small double ended brush in a mirrored compact. This is so far my favorite 500-point perk. I also have the Sephora Deluxe Palette from a few months ago but I never opened it. Anyways onto the review:

So here is what the box and palette look like:

The case is rubberized similarly to her full sized palettes and NARS compacts. The shades are listed on the back. The compact also has a mirror on the inside which is makes the compact quite heavy. It measures about 3 1/2" long by 2" wide.

From Left to Right: Believer, Confessional, Groupie, Motorhead

Believer and Motorhead both contain glitter. Nothing all too annoying but just so you know. Beside those two shades being glittery all the shades are also frosty/shimmery. They are good traveling colors. Easy to wear for daytime (using the first three shades) and you can switch to a nighttime look by incorporating the black. Overall I am happy to finally have a better quality Beauty Insider Perk.

Here are the swatches:

Left to Right: Motorhead, Groupie, Confessional, Believer
Notice how hardly noticable the glitter is!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My MAC Blush Swatches

If you don't know this about me already then here it is: I am a blush addict! So I figured I'd share some swatches from my MAC Blush Palettes.

My first palette is more coral/miscellaneous shades:

Top Row: The Perfect Cheek, Cantaloupe (PRO), Blunt (contour)
Bottom Row: Milani Luminous, Spaced Out (neo sci-fi), Style

Here are the swatches:

Left to Right: The Perfect Cheek, Cantaloupe, Blunt, Milani Luminous, Spaced Out, Style

  • The Perfect Cheek is actually an amazing blush. It looks nothing like the swatch when you apply it. It is hard to describe but it just lifts your complexion.
  • Cantaloupe is PRO color. It is a creamy peachy/coral shade that just seems to melt onto/into your skin.
  • Blunt is my contour color. Applied gently with a light hand is works very well with me skintone although I can't honestly imagine ever running out.
  • Milani Luminous--I know this isn't a MAC blush but it fits in the palette so I depotted it. (Note: it is slightly smaller then the palette well). It works well to lighten a darker blush or as a highlighter.
  • Spaced Out was a limited edition shade. I don't know of anyone that this shade doesn't look good on.
  • Style is an orangey coral frost. I don't wear it often but when I do I buff it out to get rid of most of the shimmer.
My second palette is pink shades:

Top Row: Pink Swoon, Tippy BPB (Hello Kitty) Feeling (BPB)
Bottom Row: Azalea (PRO), Serenely (BPB)
Note: BPB means Beauty Powder Blush


Left to Right: Pink Swoon, Tippy, Feeling, Azalea, Serenely

  • Pink Swoon is a bright soft pink if that makes sense. Looks great alone or works well to calm down a brighter color.
  • Tippy was a BPB that I depotted from Hello Kitty. It is insanely pigmented and cool toned. Applying this one can be tricky but a stippling brush and a light hand can work wonders.
  • Feeling is a toned down reddish brown. I don't wear it often but applied lightly it is a great fall cheek.
  • Azalea is another pro blush. While in the pan it doesn't look similar, in the swatch you can see that Tippy and Azalea could be sisters. The only difference is that Azalea has a bit of duochrome goodness to it (shifts purple). It doesn't translate well onto the cheek but it looks great in the pan.
  • Serenely is similar to Feeling but more red than brown. I wear it silimarly to Feeling too!

Do you have any must-have MAC blushes? Let me know in the comments--I am always looking for a new blush to love!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My favorite Red Lip Combination

We all know how "in" red lips are for fall and winter but I figured that I would share with you my favorite red lip combination. I have quite a few reds and berries that I have accumulated and while each has a purpose and a place this one is my all time, makes me feel confident, red lip.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick, and Gash 24/7 Lip Liner:


Revolution (Left) and Gash (Right)

This combination is what I am wearing in the tutorial below:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Red Leaf Handmade Bath & Body Products

I discovered a new Etsy shop that I am absolutely loving called Red Leaf. I initially stumbled onto their page when I was searching for Bubble Bath. Why might you ask did I choose this site in particular? Three words: Bubble Bath Dough--it's looks like playdough, smells fantastic, and makes the best bubbles I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying! They sell more than just bubble bath dough including, Soap and Shave Cubes, Room Spray, Linen Spray, Moisturizer, Face Spray, Lotion, Aftershave and Shampoo Bars. They have a limited amount of scents to choose from however the scents are all around favorites in my opinion.

In my first order, (I say first because there will definitely be more) I chose:
  • Full Size (9 oz) Bubble Bath Dough (BBD) in Oatmeal, Milk and Honey ($12)
  • Sample Size (4oz) BBD's in Black Tea and Lavender ($3.50 ea)
  • Shampoo Bar in Plumeria ($11)
  • Full Size (3.5 oz) Soap and Shave Cube in Beach ($5)
  • Sample Size (1.5 oz)  Soap and Shave Cubes in Basil and Lime and English Coast ($3.50 ea)
There are also other scents offered like:
Orange Sherbert
Fresh Clover
And specifically for Men:
Fresh Orange

So why am I so in love with the BBD:
  • Bubbles like you wouldn't believe! Check out the video below to see what I mean!
  • The bubbles last and last (in comparison to my Philosophy 3-in-1). After about 30 minutes I still have at least 1/2 of the bubbles that I initially started with in my bath. I usually end up emptying the tube with bubbles still in it!
  • Moisturizing--I think that it is the sweet almond oil in the dough that makes my skin feel moisturized once I've dried off. I live in a hard water area so that is saying a lot.
  • The Scents--Of the scents I purchased, Oatmeal, Milk and Honey is my favorite followed by English Coast. The black tea frangrance was the only scent that I wasn't thrilled with, not because it smelled bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
  • It's not just a bubble bath! This product can also be used as a scrub--yay for multitasking!
In terms of the soaps that I tried:
  • Scents lasted on the skin
  • Felt squeaky clean (which can be good on bad depending on your preference)
  • In terms of a shave cube I actually really liked this product (more so than as a soap). It provided a great slip and lathered nicely.
I am going to give you a bit of a breakdown on the scents I have:
  • Oatmeal Milk and Honey--smells very reminiscent of almond extract, almost like marzipan. There are notes of Oatmeal and Honey (I don't know what milk smells of :) ) but the predominant scent is almond.
  • Beach-- Instead of salty air I smell the sand and sunscreen. My mind does not immediately go to Beach when I smell this although it is very fresh and bright.
  • Lavender--easiest one to review! This smells of fresh cut lavender.
  • Black Tea--very woody scent, almost smoky. It reminds me of a wood burning fireplace and the middle of winter.
  • English Coast--reminds me a lot of Irish Spring just not as strong. Again this scent is very fresh- a good wake up soap.
  • Basil and Lime--I can't quite put my finger on this scent. But it is uplifting, light, and green.
For more detailed scent descriptions check out their etsy store here ShopRedLeaf.

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol II Swatches

After receiving my book of shadows I immediately started swatching. What can I say? I had to do it! I have some issues with misconceptions when it comes to texture, color payoff, and quality. If something is from a promising brand and expensive then the shadows have to live up to my expectations or I won't repurchase. I am serious! Sometimes it will take me years to retry a brand because of one bad product--I won't be having that problem with this brand. So far, everything that I have purchased I love!

This palette includes 16 shades, eight of which are exclusive. The exclusive shades include:
  • Perversion
  • AC/DC
  • Nylon
  • Mushroom
  • Sphynx
  • Jinx
  • Homegrown
  • Misdemeanor
Onto the swatches!

So here is a reminder of what shadows were in the palette (you can click to enlarge):

Here's the top row:

Left to Right: Perversion, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, AC/DC

  • Perversion is a basic matte black and truthfully not too impressive. This is with several swipes--I prefer my MUFE.

  • Gunmetal is an amazing charcoal gray with shimmer and glitter. Luckily it isn't crazy glitter-ful or I'd be completely turned off by it. The picture is with only one swipe, so it is very pigmented. The consistancy was soft not chalky. I'd love it more if there was no glitter but that's how it goes.

  • Ecstasy is a lilac-y purple/pink it is quite sheer but a great soft shimmery color to have.

  • AC/DC is a high shine purple. Nothing too remarkable but there is a tiny bit of duochrome to this color.

The second row from the top:

Left to Right: Nylon, Sellout, Mushroom, Sphynx

  • Nylon is a light gold very similar to Blonde's Gold from MAC. A good all around lid color that would be great for a neutral look. This shade is frosty!

  • Sellout is a shimmery champagne color--another good basic

  • Mushroom is a taupey brown. Mushroom is similar to MAC Satin Taupe but less plumy. Again this is a shimmery shade.

  • Sphynx is the glitter bomb in this row (there is one glitter in each of the first three rows). Like Gunmetal from above is not all too glittery so the fallout isn't tremendous but be aware it is there.

The third row:

L to R: Half Baked, Twice Baked, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, YDK

  • Half Baked is another great gold. A shimmery, frosty mid tone yellow gold is the best way I can describe this one. It is one of my favorite golds that I own.

  • Twice Baked is an intense chocolate brown. Less frosty then the other shades but similar to Gunmetal in pigmentation. One swipe gave me the intense brown pictured above

  • Midnight Cowboy... I hate this shade! How is it that this is the shade that UD is most known for?!?! It is a crazy glittery mess. I have no idea how to wear it without have glitter all down my face. I tried it with paint pots, cream shadows and spraying it with fix+, anyway I do it I am a glittery mess. After this swatch was done I wiped my arm clean and, even while writing this I still have glitter on me. GRRR!

  • YDK is a similar to mushroom except that is actually has the plum to it the Mushroom lacks. This shade is a bit sheer but still beautiful.

Last Row:

L to R: Jinx, Flipside, Homegrown, Misdemeanor

  • Jinx is a frosty light blue. It is sheer but over a base looks amazing.

  • Flipside is a bit more teal than Jinx but similar in texture, pigmentation and hue.

  • Homegrown is a leaf green, frost. I actually don't have a color that is the least bit similar to this one so it is a nice addition to my collection. It is a deeper, brighter Juxt (MAC) eyeshadow (if that makes sense).

  • Misdemeanor is a great duochrome. Similar to MAC's Club but the shift is not quite as bright green. Again this is a shimmery shade.

What are some of your favorite Urban Decay Shades?