Friday, December 31, 2010

My Favorite NAIL POLISHES of 2010

This blog started off because I had a ton of nail polishes. So therefore I'm going to give them their own spotlight. Again, these polishes may not be NEW or 2010, but they were NEW TO ME in 2010. I'm going going to say much about them because you can read my reviews for my stories.

Regardless of what you purchased and wore this year, I have to say that 2010 was definitely (and FINALLY) the year of the FOILS! As a foil lover, I was in heaven. However, you'll notice that not all foils made my list - I did have some preferences.

In order of when I discovered them, not in order of favorites...

Polishes - Yes, these get to stand on their own... 

In order of when I played with them.

Zoya Reece - Admit it, you're surprised I'm leading with a pink!

Zoya Charla

Sephora by OPI - Leaf Him At The Altar

CND Jade Sparkle Effects Polish

Zoya Drew

Deborah Lippmann Lady Sings the Blues
It's really too bad this came out in the same year as Across the Universe or I think it would have wowed people a lot more than it did. 

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe
You knew it was coming, right?

Zoya Blair
I had to put this one in because it replaced Divincia for me as my favorite Zoya Red (Metallic... foils is a whole different story)

Zoya Edyta

Zoya Kim

Zoya Kelly
One of the few polishes I wore more than once this year.

Orly Space Cadet
Even though I had chipping issues...

Essie Sew Psyched

China Glaze Riveter Rouge

China Glaze Midnight Mission

China Glaze Zombie Zest

Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne
I know I said Jane was my favorite of this collection but when I think back on it, this is the color I remember the most. Maybe the hype got to me.

Zoya Gloria
I don't understand why Gloria doesn't get more mentions. She was the "Styrch Slayer" of the Fire & Ice Collection. She even topped my "Sarah" in my review. Very underrated.

But in all seriousness, Zoya Fire & Ice gave me my wish: an entire collection of foils in a large variety of colors. And a Sarah to boot... so really, every one of those polishes would be on this list if I felt I could. BEST COLLECTION of 2010 for me!

MAC Bad Fairy

China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses

China Glaze Sugar Plums

Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal

Like I said, not all polishes were new to 2010, but new to me. You'll notice I left off polishes like Chanel Paradoxal. I feel I wasted my money on that one, especially after I got my hands on Zoya Kelly caught my heart. Anyway, did any of your favorites make my list? What were your favorites? Please let me know!

My Favorite (Non-Polish) Things in 2010

I've never really done one of these lists before, so bare with me. You know I tend not to write a ton of review, but do most of my blogging work from personal experience and share my mishaps. So this may not be your typical list but hopefully it will be interesting.

Note: Just because these things are on MY list does NOT mean they were new in 2010. It only means that I personally discovered their greatness in 2010. And this list is also in random order.

Favorite Makeup Palette - Urban Decay's Naked Palette
I can certainly appreciate the importance of a good neutral! And this palette has a ton of good neutrals. I spent a week playing with just this one palette. That's more time than I have ever spent playing with any one product from a company in terms of color I put on my face. Check out my 7 days of Naked Round Up if you want to read more.

Favorite Lipstick Purchase - Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Tonkin
I may be slightly biased on this one. The reason I even decided to try Nars Pure Matte Lipstick was that on October 5th a random email showed up in my inbox telling me about this new product signed by François Nars. I have no doubt that the email went out to MANY people other than myself but I was so touched at how personal the email sounded, that it was addressed to me, that it had no accompanying advertising pictures and simply sounded straight from the heart that I placed an order immediately. I sent a reply as well stating my gratitude for receiving such a wonderful treat of a message and informed "François Nars" that he had convinced me to make a purchase. There are fewer purchases I have been happier with this year than my Pure Matte Lipstick in Tonkin. It's a great neutral, sits wonderfully under glosses and is just fantastic.

Favorite Lip Gloss - Evil Shades Wicked Gloss (Loxensis is my Favorite)
I can't stop wearing this gloss! Especially for the winter months, this gloss is so moisturizing and it actually has a decent lasting time. I chose Loxensis as my favorite, I just grab it and go. While the pot is annoying, it's simply one of the best products I have found out there for the price. And they taste/smell yummy too! If you want to read more, check out my review in case you missed it.

Image from Art of Beauty
Favorite Nail Saver - Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator
Yes, it's probably the first product I received for free because I have a Twitter account. But my nails have been going through a lot of hell over the last few years. I still don't have them sorted out (as several nasty posters like to point out to me on occasion, usually anonymously). But Qtica has brought me a long way to getting my nail beds healthy AND this product helps me recover quickly from splits and peels. Or at least recover as well as I can. I know I'll never have perfect nails, but this product will be in my arsenal for a very long time. If you want to read about my nail struggle and how this product has helped me, check out my review with nekked nails!

Favorite Weight Loss Helpers - Chalene Johnson (Turbo Jam and ChaLEAN Extreme), Shakeology, and the LoseIt App
I had to put three thngs in here because for me these things really go together. Turbo Jam got me up and off my butt when nothing else would. I will forever be thankful to the lovely Keri Blair Walden for suggesting it to me. Shakeology has helped me take control of one meal of my day. On the days I don't drink it I usually feel worse and have less energy. It's a good way to get a lot of good things into my body, since I'm prone to eating a lot of crap. And there's even a Shakeology cleanse! The Lose It App is fantastic and I keep track of my calories in and out with it. I haven't done a formal review of it on here because I haven't figured out the best format. I wanted to do video, but the picture doesn't come out very well. So expect a review of this app in the New Year.

Favorite Fragrance - Penhaligon's Artemisia
I really should list Penhaligon's as a brand because I've just become so enamored of it since my co-worker gave me Artemisia as a solid fragrance. After that I was hooked. I embarked on a grand fragrance adventure with Alex Musgrave using Penhaligon's Fragrance Profiling Service and had much success in expanding my knowledge of perfume and how to choose a scent. They also have amazing customer service, an awesome Facebook and Twitter presence, and I seriously don't think I will ever be without one of their scents in my collection ever again.

Favorite Eye Cream - Ling Skincare Re-Lite Eye Gel
I did receive  this product from PR originally but I have purchased it several times since then. I love the way it feels going onto my eye area and have seen an actual improvement of the condition of the skin around my eyes while using it. It is so much a part of my routine, I miss it on the nights I forget to use it or am traveling and have left it at home. In case you missed it, here is my review.

Favorite Skin Fixer - Renee Rouleau Anti- Cyst Treatment
Oh my gosh! If I were to pick one product that has changed my skin the most it would be this one. Not only did it expose me to the wonderful line of products that Renee Rouleau has, but it has decreased my cystic acne dramatically from where it was before I started using it. I have also converted several co-workers to using this product who also had problems with cystic acne and continue to recommend it when ever anyone asks me about skin care products in general. You can read my review here if you like.

Favorite Mask - Boscia Illuminating Black Mask
This one is just fun! I love using it  and I truly believe that this mask does more for my skin that simply remove hairs (believe me - I still see the hairs on my face afterward so I know it's not doing that). While I haven't used it in a while, there are not as many products that I have seen cause quite as much of a stir as this one. It deserves to be on my list for sure.  And as you can see in the comments of my review, some people don't agree with me. You'll either love this one or you'll hate it. For me it's love.

Favorite Body Moisturizer - Lierac Hydrofilia Anti-Dessèchement Super Body Cream
I still can't believe I'm saying this, but this was the best moisturizer for my body I have tried to date. It's not something I have purchased myself - the price tag for the amount is a bit much for me. But it's amazing! I may have to bite the bullet and buy this because my skin hasn't been as hydrated without it. Urea and all. Check my review out here.
Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Devil Horns
The second I got my hands on this I just knew it would be love. And boy is it ever love! I LOVE this lip lustre! I wish I could give one away to every one of my readers. It's sad that I'm not rich so I can't do that, isn't it? Seriously it's the perfect slightly off-beat pink.

For that matter I need to give Fyrinnae Pixy Epoxy a shout out. While I don't LOVE the stuff, it sure has made my love of Fyrinnae grow because I can finally work with their shadows!

Favorite Failure - MAC & Rodarte Collection NOT Happening
The collection that should have never been and thankfully never was. I am so amazed at how the blogger community united to stop this collection from happening and to educate the consumers (myself very much included) about the situation in border towns like Juarez. I also came in contact with many amazing people because of this, people who I will not forget. So this is a bittersweet item to mention - good came out of it, but it was a bad situation all around. However, I will remember 2010 for MAC & Rodarte and the statement we all made together.

Favorite Random Thing - Giving Away OPI La Boheme and China Glaze Moon Pool Neckace from Gingerkitty Designs
One of my favorite things that I did this year was with giving away a necklace by Gingerkitty Designs What made this so fun was that we got to create a really wacky color combo AND it turned out to be quite a beautiful piece of jewelry. But I guess this favorite is sort of veering of into "Polish" so I should stop. :)

Ok... one more polish related thing because it is a THING and it had me so incredibly jazzed!

The Most Awesome Thing - Zoya Makes a "SARAH"
I knew about this polish earlier than I should have because my good Zoya Fairy told me about it. She said it was an awesome red. She never told me it was a FOIL to boot! So when the Fire & Ice collection came out and I finally got my hands on Sarah I couldn't believe how excited I was. Zoya even let me give away some of Sarah so I could spread her around. Really, they were very great... they put up with so much pestering by me about this name for a color I don't know how they could stand me.  Thank you, Zoya!!!

Anyway, polishes will be coming later. They get their own separate post!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random Swatching - NYX The Runway Collection "Strike A Pose Palette"

I'll be up front here - I haven't used these shadows yet so I can't judge the palette on quality but I thought I would give you my first impressions. Here are some pics, then we'll talk!

I swatched these colors on my arm using a Q-Tip so  this isn't the best application. But It did tell me how pigmented some of the colors are compared to others. There is a wide range of colors in this palette and the presence of a black and a white (the only true matte shade) here means that you can really get some looks with drama!

I have never used NYX shadows before. I've only tried one of their Chrome shadows in a previous look. This brand is very new to me. I know they get a lot of love for bringing fun colors to the public cheaply, and has (at times) rivaled MAC in color selection and pigmentation from what I've seen discussed on MUA. That was the reason for my interest.

I purchased this palette from Hautelook for super cheap. But regularly this palette sells on for $9.75. Discounted or at regular price, I'd say you get more than you pay for from the looks of it.

Have you tried NYX Cosmetics? Let me know your thoughts below. I'd love to hear what else I should try from the brand.

Review: ENZOSKIN Pure Vitamin E Moisturizer

Back in October, the lovely Cindy of Prime Beauty Blog put me in touch with the incredibly nice Maggie from ENZOSKIN about having me try some custom made skincare products. I was totally on board with this idea. After all, as you may recall, my skin was breaking out like crazy and I was looking for a solution. I told Maggie that my primary problems were clogged pores and breakouts, but that I was also beginning to think of aging skin. Maggie custom made for me ENZOSKIN Pure Vitamin E Moisturizer.

What the Website Says
"This oil contains all the essential ingredients needed to protect, soften, and nourish the skin.Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, moisturizes and helps to protect against premature aging and environmental aggressors, such as pollution and the sun."
Macadamia (Macadamia terrifolia Seed Oil, Tocopherol (all natural vitamin E), Corylus americana (Hazel) Seed Oil.

... and added especially for me: Salicylic acid, Fruit Extract, and Tea Tree Oil

Well, duh, it's oil.

Pleasant, though I can't put my finger on it. It's very light.

$21, plus the cost of anything you have added in there. You get 1 fl. oz. And there's a shelf life because there are no preservatives.

My Experience
The idea of customized skincare fascinates me. I think it's a great idea. Everyone's skin IS different and companies try to box us into little categories. No one feels like a "category" when their skin has issues. So I was totally on board with whatever ENZOSKIN was going to send me.

I must admit, when I received this moisturizer with an eye dropper I was a little confused. But the directions said to use 4-5 drops on the face and neck, and that's what I did. I did have a little bit of back and forth discussion with Maggie on whether or not I SHOULD be using oil on my face. She assured me that it would not clog my pores.

I tried this oil nightly for a couple of weeks. I even took it with me to Amsterdam (this feels AMAZING after a flight). My skin felt wonderfully soft after putting it on, once the oil dried. Seriously, wonderfully soft. However, this did nothing to help my breakouts. In fact, my breakouts got slightly worse when I was using it consistently so I had to stop using it. I'll admit I've been putting this review off because Maggie was so nice to me. But I think this is the wrong product for my face.

I did however find another use for it - my body. Specifically my décolletage. I've been having splotches of eczema breaking out there and this has helped restore some moisture during these cold months. Because of this, I am curious about the rest of their line and if there may be some items that could be more beneficial to me.

Bottom Line
Honestly, I can not recommend ENZOSKIN Pure Vitamin E Moisturizer for someone who suffers from acne and clogged pores. However, it's moisturizing capabilities are quite wonderful.

Have you tried ENZOSKIN? I would love to know your experiences as well. Let me know!

Read Prime Beauty's Experience: Customized Skincare by Enzo Skin.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by ENZOSKIN for my use, but specifically for a review. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell ENZOSKIN products, nor am I affiliated with ENZOSKIN in any way. 

Good News! BeachBody Coach Free Sign Up Extened To Jan 7th!

If you were thinking about purchasing Turbo Jam, ChaLEAN Extreme, TurboFire, P90X, Brazil Butt Lift or any other of the amazing Beach Body programs you can still sign up as a "coach" and get 20% off anything you purchase, including Shakeology.

Here's what this means:
  • Coach sign up fee is waived. It's usually about $40.
  • The first month of your "site" fee is waived (about $15 per month)
  • You can buy anything at 20% off as long as your a coach, even if you sign up, purchase, then the next day ditch your coaching status.
I think it's awesome that they extended this for anyone who's looking at fitness and heath as a New Year's Resolution.

You can sign up through any coach or from BeachBody's site directly, though I'd love it if you signed up under me.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am a BeachBody Coach, but you knew that. I like my discount for the Shakeology I get every month.

Review - Proclaiming My Undying Love For Illamasqua Precision Ink in Alchemy

I know that Illamasqua Precision Ink in Alchemy has gotten a lot of press on a lot of blogs but in all honesty, it deserves it. When I first started to see the Art of Darkness collection popping up on the blogs I read I knew right away that if I didn't get anything else from this collection it had to be this liner. I should mention that Alchemy is also my first Illamasqua purchase.

Best Pic I Could Get... kept being Blurry
Vibrant metal gold with lots of sparkle and shimmer. The more you put on, the thicker it is. You can use it sparingly, but it fills in opaque if you want it to.

Using the brush it came with I found the application to be surprisingly easy. I would compare it to the brush that comes with the MAC Liquidlasts but I found this much easier to handle. It could also have to do with the formula, which seemed to go on more smoothly. Note: This is not waterline safe, and believe me it will sting if it gets in to your eyes... but only just a bit.

You need to do a lot of scrubbing to get this to come off without an oil based make up remover. It says so on the box, and they mean it! You will get long lasting wear from this liner.

Bottom Line
If you are only going to have one gold liner, this is the one to get. It's pricey, but it's superior.

Illamasqua Precision Ink is available at Sephora for $27.50 or at

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Hot Mess - Yeah, Screwed Up My Christmas Eve Makeup

... but I'm showing it to you anyway so that you can learn from my mistakes!

First, I used primarily Meow Cosmetics sample packets on my eyes. This isn't a mistake, but I really started digging myself a blue ditch I couldn't get out of.

Second, I just couldn't get equal amounts of shadow on my brush because my samples were still in the little pouches and I was being a dumbass.

Third, I went way overboard on the powder and thus look like a half dead zombie.

Want to see?

Forgive me for not remebering names of colors. I had about 50 samples traveling with me and I got so frustrated with myself and my application I just forgot to take note.

Eyes - Tried to match my earrings.
  • Meow Cosmetics - There are about 3 different blues I don't remember the names of, Bitchy, and another brown-red I can't remember. I was a mess.
  • Liner - Illamasqua Alchemy, which was a good thing
  • Mascara - MAC Plushlash in Plushblack
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light
  • Meow Cosmetics - another blush sample I don't remember the name of.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in By Candlelight
  • Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned
  • Nars Lip Gloss in Strawberry Fields
I know there was a good idea in here somewhere. But I think I need to stay away from blues!

I think as a rule I should now only purchase full size Meow Cosmetics Eye Shadows and Blushes. I just can't keep all the samples straight when I'm playing around! You should know that I still love their shadows regardless of my ability to pull off anything correctly here.

Quest for My Pretty - Weekly Weight Loss Report

Inching closer... I can't tell you how frustrating the month of December has been. In all honestly I am tired of tracking my food, I am tired of sticking to a workout schedule and I am beginning to feel a little bit claustrophobic, if that word applies. But I have kept with it all. It means nibbling while others at the table are taking generous quantities of whatever food is available. It means rearranging furniture at my parent's house and coming home early to get my exercise in for the day. It means trying to keep my hands busy so they aren't holding food or drink. Yes, I've taken up knitting again just to keep myself from munching. I knit an entire sweater over the last week. Best of all it looks great (I'll show you later) and it worked!

Weight: 162.1 (-0.7 lbs)
Still a downward trend, creeping though it is.

Next week I plan on having Turbo Fire in this house if they ship it fast enough. I want to bust through this plateau and get going! I think I can do it.

Remember, only 2 more days to take advantage of the free sign up for BeachBody Coaches and get 20% off whatever you want to buy. You know I recommend Turbo Jam and ChaLEAN Extreme highly.

Hale Bob Sale! 50% off New, and 40% off Sale Items

Check out Hale Bob! You know I'm loving their funky prints and awesome easy style. And now you can get it for 50% off new items and 40% off sale with code 12DECSAL.

I know it's a little late for sequin shopping but I still love this:

Have fun shopping!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rewiew - LIERAC Micro-Abrasion Exfoliating Smoothing Cream

Are you looking to try another exfoliator? I love trying new ones. Ever since I read about how almond kernels in exfoliating products can tear the skin I've been looking for alternatives. LIERAC sent me their Micro-Abrasion Exfoliating Smoothing Cream so I figured I would give it a shot.

Image from Lierac's Site
What the Promo Material Says
"Because the cold strips the skin of all its moisture and causes uneven tone and dryness, a gentle exfoliating cream is needed to smooth skin texture and prepare the skin for hydration. Micro-Abrasion Exfoliating Smoothing Cream ($38) contains a 25% concentration of aluminum oxide crystals for in-depth exfoliation and to stimulate micro-circulation and cell regeneration, while 3% urea improves hydration and comfort."


Urea... again creeping me out. But I'm guessing it's doing great things for my skin.

This is a white cream with a gritty feel to it (the exfoliating crystals). It reminded me quite a bit of MAC's Microfine Refinisher, just for reference.

$38 for 2.25 oz. That seems hefty for me but if you really want an ultra fine grained and effective moisturizer it might be worth it.

My Experience
Like the MAC Microfine Refinisher, this product is great for getting rid of those flaky skin cells you see when your skin is too dry. The fine grain texture isn't too abrasive on my skin and I can really work with this product if I feel like I need to go a little more harsh on my skin. A little goes a VERY long way. But be forewarned - you'll want an excellent moisturizer after using it or you're going back to flakes. Especially in winter.

Bottom Line
If you can afford it and you're looking for something similar to MAC Microfine Refinisher, you might just want to try this little baby out. You can do far worse.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by PR for my use, but specifically for a review. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Lierac products, nor am I affiliated with Lierac in any way.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Althea Harper Offers Her Favorite Holiday Dresses at 20% Off!

You know I'm a fan of Project Runway Alum and former Dayton resident Althea Harper. So when I saw this little flyer on her site I had to pass it along to you:

Image from
Althea Harper is offering three dresses at 20% off for the Holiday Season through January 1st using code DRESSES on certain items. These dresses are as follows:
  • Canal Dress - $100 before offer. This dress has to be one of the prettiest in Althea's Sittella line. It's quite interesting the way the tie dye and the ruffle front play of each other.
  • Severini Dress - $275 before offer. This dress comes in black and in grey. It has a daring plunging neckline which is quite dramatic and mesh cutouts on the side. I have a couple of friends who's lithe bodies I'd love to see adorned in this dress, but it certain isn't for the feint of heart.
  • Carra Dress - $375 before offer. You may know this dress from Kim Kardashian wearing it in the Keeping Up With The Kardashian promos. If you don't like Kim, don't hold that against this dress. It really is quite stunning with it's asymmetry and mesh cut outs. If you get this dress be prepared to have jaws dropping around you because it's hot!
I am quite a bit tardy at posting this, but the offer is good through January 1st so there is still some time to take advantage of it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Review - LIERAC Hydra-Chrono Baume Extrême

I always underestimate how dry my skin gets in the winter. As a person with constant breakouts, my dermatologist always tells me to stay away from moisturizer. I'm sorry Dr. Derm, but my skin screams at me if I do that. My biggest problem when my skin screams at me is knowing what to use on my face. So when a PR person for LIERAC sent me Hydra-Chrono Baume Extrême to review I was excited to try it.

What the Promo Material Said
It’s not only important to rehydrate the skin, but also protect it from the harsh cold and wind. Hydra-Chrono Extreme Balm ($50) is a luxurious balm enriched with 5% protective glycerin and a 10% moisturizing complex including apricot and safflower oil to provide a specific response to the needs of dehydrated skin. The Aqua-Pump® technology works to help restore the skin deep-down and reactivate its natural hydration process. After just one hour, hydration is clinically proven to increase by 47%, and by an additional 39% after 3 hours.* 
* Clinical study conducted on female subjects aged from 26 to 58 years (average 39 years)

There's that "Urea" word again... always creeping me out. 

This balm is pink in color and smooth. It applies fairly thick and translucent. You can feel it on your skin, but it is smooth in texture.

Again, this LIERAC product has a flowery scent to it. It's not overwhelming, and it's pleasant. It doesn't quite cross the border into "grandma land".

$50 for 1.40 oz. That's pricey for me.

My Experience
I can't use a cream like this every day, twice a day. So I've been using it only in extreme emergencies at night. Since it's winter, those instances have been getting more frequent. Because I don't use it consistently I can't speak to it's abilities to diminish fine lines. But I will say that this is the first moisturizer I've experienced that really feels like a protective barrier over my skin. I can tell a difference in the morning in the texture of my face when I have used it, meaning my skin feels hydrated and smooth.

Bottom Line
If you can afford it, it might be worth it for those cold winter nights.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by PR for my use, but specifically for a review. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Lierac products, nor am I affiliated with Lierac in any way.

Friday, December 24, 2010

We All Need a Little Bit of "Sexy" for Christmas, right?

Just thought I'd post the video of my favorite Christmas song...

Please Come Home For Christmas - Bon Jovi

They are both so frakking hot in that video! I know it's totally cheesy, but I love it.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

DVF Sale! Extra 20% Off Sale Items with Code

We all know I've had my share of DVF tales lately, but I thought I would let you know that right now is allowing a code for an extra 20% off sale items: 2010SALE. It's good through December 31. Discount willbe reflected when you enter the code on checkout.

Some of my favorites (All images are from

Revelry Dress 

Noelle Mini Dress

Garnier Dress
Valetta Dress
Stephanie Day Bag

Tuto Hat (I like the Teal color best)

Happy shopping! Let me know if you get anything. :)