Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quest For My Pretty - The Husband Trying To Help

My husband felt he want to give me another kick in the pants about losing weight by proudly informing me that he changed his wallpaper on his iPhone for me from this:




To this:



This was me on our honeymoon. I really liked this bikini. I remember when I first saw that pic I said "ugh, all that work and I am stil fat!" Now I look at it and say "yowza! I was a hottie!" amazing how 6 years and 60 lbs can change your perspective.

Hopefully by year 7 I will be able to wear that again, eh?

Quest For My Pretty: Weekly Weigh In

Hi everyone!

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means - Chick-Fil-A day at Kwic Bytes! Well, besides that, it's my weekly weigh in day. I was dreading this weigh in in part because of Chick-Fil-A. My husband and I made stops at Chick-Fil-A both on the way down to Atlanta this weekend and on the way back up. Car rides mean fast food or restaurants that serve rich food. It's almost unavoidable. But mostly I was worried about today because family reunions means lots of good food and little time to work out. Well, as you saw in my post about Turbo Jam over the weekend, I chose to make working out a priority. It paid off.

Weight: 197.3 (-0.3 lbs: I consider this maintaining).

Not a set back! I was pleasantly surprised. I also attribute the lack of gain to my softball game last night. It seems I always lose weight the day after I play. Good thing the games are on Tuesday evening, eh?

My challenges are minimal this week, so here are my goals:
  • Continue logging workouts in WOWY Supergym on TeamBeachBody.com (good system of keeping track of workouts... I can review it for you if you want). 
  • Try out my new Turbo Jam videos - at least Cardio Party 2 & 3 and Fat Blaster in the next week. 
  • The weekend is bringing Poker games and get-togethers. Be mindful of alcohol consumption.
  • Learn more about resistance bands vs. free weights - I am very curious about this and intend on increasing my education.
  • Find a batting cage around here and practice - I need to get rid of my fear of batting for the sake of my team!
As always, I'm open to advice and comments. And if you have your own weight loss goals for the week, please share them!

The Keyser Söze of Menus - Dining at Seasons 52

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
- Verbal Kint on Keyser Söze, The Usual Suspects

While in Atlanta for a small family reunion, my cousin took us to one of his favorite restaurants: Seasons 52. I did like this restaurant very much and would return. So please keep that in mind while I rant for a little bit...

This restaurant's menu is like Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects - totally deceptive and completely awesome. Seriously. Take a look at it. Keep reading and you'll find out what I mean.

Why am I reviewing this restaurant?
The allure of this restaurant to the weight-challenged is like siren call.  There is nothing on the menu that is over 475 calories. In fact, it says so at the very top of the menu in big bold letters.

From the Top of the Menu on the Website

My first thought: AWESOME! What a great concept! Sounds like a calorie counter's dream!!! I wonder if it tastes good... oh I bet it does!!!

Then I started to think a little bit more about it and thought "uh-oh... that could really get you in trouble if you're having an appetizer, a salad, dinner, wine, desert". What if each item you order is 475 calories? That could get you in trouble fast... With that thought in mind, I began planning my meal. I did my best to make good food conscious decisions, consulting my LoseIt App a lot.

All the calorie information is from the pdf on the Seasons 52 website. Unlike most restaurants, this information IS actually available out there in cyberspace. However, none of this information was mentioned on the menu itself - much to my disappointment. At one point I did ask a waiter what the calorie count was in something but I did not get an answer. That's ok - I may have told him not to worry about it. I don't remember. I'd had too much wine to care! I just kept checking ingredients on my LoseIt App.

Let's be honest, checking the calorie counts on the website or an App at the dinner table is inconvenient and rude. Yes, I've been doing it a lot lately (sorry dining companions).

Word of Advice: A blanket statement about calorie count DOES NOT absolve the patron of taking responsibility for what they put into their mouth. Myself included. Do not be fooled! Let me tell you about what I ate...

Appetizers Split by the Table
Normally, I would have one of these as a meal and call it a night.
  • Tomato Flatbread - 365 Calories
  • Garlic Chicken Flatbread - 417 Calories (and the best of the Flatbreads)
  • Spicy Shrimp and Chipotle Flatbread - 417 Calories
Small Salad
  • Organic Baby Spinach with Raspberries - 325 Calories. (GASP!!!) I thought it sounded very healthy! I was absolutely not expecting this, and neither was my LoseIt app when I entered the ingredients. Seriously??? Where did those calories come from?
Entree
  • Caramelized Sea Scallops - 447 Calories (I expected this to be bad... but it tasted SO INCREDIBLY GOOD, and 447 isn't nearly as bad as it could have been).
Desert - tiny desert like you get at PF Chang's, only more expensive.
  • Rocky Road - 344 Calories (definitely NOT worth the calorie intake, or the extra 50 cents).This tiny desert should not have been more calories than my salad
Drinks - well my mom, dad, my husband and I split two bottles of wine - with my mother and I having the lion's share.

Let's assume that while the entire table was sharing the flatbreads, that I managed to eat at least half of one of them (200 Calories). Add all the rest of this together and I get 1316 Calories NOT including my alcohol consumption. And believe me - I licked those plates clean! When I gain weight this week, you know this meal is most likely the cause because I worked my ass off Turbo Jamming in my hotel room.

Keyser Söze I'm telling you! The greatest trick Seasons 52 ever pulled on us was making us believe the calories didn't exist with that blanket statement at the top of their menu. Maybe each individual item is reasonable, but not cumulatively, no. I knew this going into it and was somewhat conscious of my decisions using my LoseIt App and still went way overboard.

Overall
While the atmosphere was great, the staff incredible, the food SUPER DELICIOUS, I can't say that I am totally happy with the experience in retrospect. Where the restaurant did not go far enough was in their concept. Seasons 52 may not have butter in their establishment and nothing on the menu is over 475 calories, but they could have gone further and could have put their counts on the menu itself. That would have been a totally ballsy move that I would have applauded. The counts themselves are not bad  - I got a hell of a great entree for 447 calories. This food tastes so good Seasons 52 should be seriously proud of the calorie count of each and every item on the menu. Be proud Seasons 52, and show us your numbers!

By the way, their waitstaff has to to have some of the best looking people I have ever seen as a collection of waiters. Seriously, did they put out a casting call? Gorgeous people! And good at what they do too. I know, this is true of most high class restaurants, but humor me - I'm living in frakking Ohio.

Should you try this restaurant?
Absolutely. Just plan ahead and check their website. Plan on eating just one item (a flatbread, or an entree). Also, avoid alcohol and their deserts. If you have an IPhone, you might to plug Season 52s menu into the LoseIt app before going out to eat, just so you are totally aware. I would definately return and eat here again - though I would be a wiser diner.

Caramelized Sea Scallops
(This was a GREAT dinner for the calories, but had I known how much the salad was I would not have eaten the salad too).

The Family

Incidentally, my LoseIt app on my IPhone did calculate my calorie consumption fairly closely to what the actual amounts according to the website were. I just underestimated the Flatbreads and the Salad by a little bit. Taking that into account, I probably shouldn't rant about this restaurant. My rant is mostly on behalf of all those who eat here who don't take an IPhone with them.

Seasons 52 - if you're reading this, will you please open up one of your restaurants in Dayton, Ohio? We are in need of your sensabilities and tricksy menu!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jillian Dempsey For Avon Professional Multi-Pencil in Raspberry Radiance - Review

Here's another item from the Avon treasure trove I obtained from Jennyitup:

Jillian Dempsey For Avon Multi-Pencil in Raspberry Radiance

Lip/Cheek Side

Eye Side
(can you tell it didn't stand up to first application?)

Swatches: Top is the "Lip/Cheek Side" Bottom is the "Eye Side"



I wasn't really sure how to approach this review since there are really two products in one here. But here goes. 

About the Product
The Jillian Dempsey Multi-Pencils are available from Avon for $8 a pop. With it you get a pencil that has two sides: A Lip/Cheek side, and an Eye side. Together they are supposed to create the perfect (I assume basic) look. I'm going to look at each side individually.

Lip/Cheek Side
I must admit, this pencil was awesome and I would purchase this side of the pencil for $8 alone. I used both on my lips and on my cheeks. For the lips the pencil did a great job of both lining my lips and filling  them in. The color was GORGEOUS and had decent lasting time (meaning, after my big cup of tea I still had color on my lips). It was not as rough as other pencils can feel, but a nice smooth glide. On my Cheeks, I just dotted it along my cheek bone and blended with my finger tips. No trouble at all. Super easy and FAST. 

Eye Side
This was disappointing for several reasons. First of all, unless you are lilly white like me, I doubt you will find much use for this as a "nude" shadow unless you like really bright highlighters. There's no way this could be a total eye look unless you have the intention of using this as a wash on a complimentary skin tone (which I honestly didn't even like it on mine). The second not-so-great thing is that this side is VERY crumbly. It's so smooth it breaks, and it doesn't apply evenly. I had to use my fingers to blend. Not very convenient.  I also did not try it over a base - and it creased badly after a couple of hours. 

Overall, I would LOVE to try other color combination to see if they worked out better than this one. There could be a nice one in this collection, of which there are 2 other sets. This is so close to being the perfect Traveling Companion for the makeup lover on the go that it kills me that I disliked the eye side so much. 

By the way, the online swatch made "Raspberry Radiance" look more like "Sugar Plum". So don't trust the swatches on their site.

Bottom Line
The Lip is worth it. Leave the eye alone.


Face using Raspberry Radiance as my only "color"
(lips, cheeks and eyes)

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by a third party for review consideration. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Avon, nor am I affiliated with Avon in any way (that I know of).

20% off Barielle from now until July 6th


Maybe now is when I pick up all those All Lacquered Up polishes I wanted from Barielle. Not only is it 20% off the entire purchase, but it looks like free shipping over $50 and buy 2 get 1 free on polish is also in effect. Awesome!

I don't see a code, so it think it's automatic. Let me know if I'm wrong!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Orly Foil FX - Rage

I have been wanting this for such a long time...


I finally found Rage at Ulta this past week. Thank goodness! Unfortunately, It also very much reminds me Milani's I'm Online.


Color
Rose colored foil... and you know I love foils. But with a name like "Rage" this should have been flaming angry red foil, not soft "I'm going to a wedding " foil.


Application
Two coats. No problems.

Wear
My nails are still recovering from whatever nastiness befell them and made them peel like crazy, but as you can see in the photo (which was taken the next morning) it really didn't take much to make this chip. It was applied over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite.

Bottom Line
It pains me to say this, but if you own any color that is similar, you can pass on this foil.

Avon Perfect Wear Lip Gloss in Constant Coral Review

Here is another little treasure I received from Jennyitup!


And a Swatch...


Avon Perfect Wear Lip Gloss in Constant Coral

Try as I might, I could not find this lip gloss on Avon's website. I typed in all sorts of search terms and turned up nothing. So I can't tell you anything about the cost or other colors sadly. So I'll just give you what I know from this sample and if you come across the info, please let me know.

Color
This lip gloss is a very pretty shade of coral, a blend of pink and orange. If only it had more pigmentation. As you can see, it went on very sheer on my lips. Honestly I like it a lot better in the tube.

Packaging
Simple clear tube with a doe foot applicator. Pretty standard, but large for putting in your pocket (which I have a tendency to do with my glosses). Don't worry, it's not large enough where you'll get that "Is that a lip gloss in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" stare.

How Does it Feel On The Lips?
Tacky. It went on smooth and creamy but as it dried it took on a tacky texture. I was not happy with that. If I'm going to have sticky or tacky, I had better have pigmentation.

Wear
This lip gloss made it mostly through my giant mug of green tea, but not long enough for me to really give it the thumbs up in the longevity department. I think it's supposed to be long wearing, so I was a little dissapointed.

Bottom Line
Pretty, but not that special. If I knew the price, I could tell you if it was worth it but I wouldn't pay more than a MAC gloss for it.

Full Disclosure
The products in this review were furnished to me by a third party for review consideration. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Avon, nor am I affiliated with Avon in any way (that I know of).

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Sweet & Punchy for Dinner With The Family

Ok, I'll grant you this isn't that different from my last Sweet & Punchy Look, but here goes:


I apologize for the orange in this image. This was taken in my hotel room in Atlanta so I didn't have many options in terms of lighting.

Anyway, I wore this to dinner with my extended family in Atlanta this past weekend. I'll post a review of the restaurant later (believe it or not, where we ate is VERY relevant to beauty, weight loss, etc). But I was just having fun with color since my outfit was rather drab (except my shoes - I wore the Kenneth Cole Reaction Braodway Pines). 

Eyes
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Steamy - all over lid
  • MAc Eye Shadow in Springtime Skipper - blended into the Steamy to make it a little bit more green.
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Sweet & Punchy - in crease and under eye
  • MAC Eye shadow in Phloof - brow highlight
  • MAC Eye Shadow in Moth Brown - a touch in the outer corner
  • MAC Eye Kohl in Float on By - Waterline upper and lower lashes.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara in Plushblack

Face

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
  • MAC Minteralize Skinfinish Natural in Light - patted on with a Kleenex because my brush was still damp.
  • MAC Highlight Powder in Marine Life

Lips
  • MAC Lip Pencil in Dervish
  • Fyrinnae Lip Lustre in Bare Shoulders
  • MAC Lipstick in Lazy Day - blended in to the Bare Shoulders

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Glove in a Bottle -Guest Review from SpudsBud -

Reader SpudsBud decided to submit a review for my blog. I said I'd be happy to post his review for him. This is my first "guest" blogger, reviewer, so go easy on us. We're new to this!



Glove in a Bottle - by SpudsBud

My hands had gotten so dry they they would spit open and bleed.I tried all the hand lotions and salves but they didn't work.Well some were beginning to work but they left my hands too greasy. Even after I would wash my hands as soon as I would start sweating the greasy feeling would come back. An lets face it greasy hands not the best thing for a forklift driver.

Then someone told me about "Glove in a Bottle". I was reluctant to try it (13 dollars for a 8 oz bottle) but I was tired of bloody hand prints on my paperwork and not being able to knit. So I caved in a bought a bottle.

At CVS I did not find in the Skin Care isle, but back by the pharmacy.


When I first put it on I thought it felt more like a powder then a lotion. My hands didn't feel greasy or smell flowery - 2 big pluses. And true to it's promise, it didn't wear off right away. At work I was my hands with abrasive industrial hand cleaner and not even that stripped it off.


I put Glove in a Bottle on 4 times a day:
  • when I first wake up at 7 am
  • after I work out
  • at my 7 pm lunch
  • at 1 am (no I'm not a crack head i work second shift).

It's not something you will notice a huge change with the first time you try it  but within a few days my hands have quit splitting and the don't look chalky.

by
SpudsBud

Thanks to SpudsBud for this guest review. If you would like to review something on Pretty In Dayton, just let me know and we'll talk!

Quest for My Pretty - Turbo Jam Review and Video

Hi everyone!

Well I did it. I became a Beachbody Coach. Why did I do this? Well, honestly, with my monthly Shakeology purchases and the fact that I wanted more workout videos the discount you get for being a coach makes sense financially. I wanted to let you know that first before I give you this review of Turbo Jam in the interest of full disclosure. I am very concerned that you my readers may see my status as a "coach" as compromising this review. Please know, that although I am now affiliated with Beachbody, that doesn't make this review any less honest. Should you decide to purchase anything from BeachBody through me or someone else, great. But that's really not the point of this review. This program has been working for me. I had to share it.

I have never reviewed a workout program before. But here is what I know:
  • Fact: I used to not not workout AT ALL.
  • Fact: In the last month, I've been doing Turbo Jam almost every day.
  • Fact: I have lost 8 lbs since my Shakeology cleanse. 
  • Fact: Every workout piece has a low impact modification (for which I am very thankful).
  • Fact: The workouts are getting easier and I still love doing them.
Turbo Jam
Turbo Jam was created by Chalene Johnson coming from her famous Turbo Kick classes. She wanted to bring the Turbo style workout to everyone, even in your tiny living room. Most importantly, Chalene knows that working out WILL NOT HAPPEN unless it's fun! And I think that's one of the most important things: This workout is fun!

The Turbo Jam set form Beachbody costs $59.85 and comes with five workouts, plus 2 bonus workouts. To this day I've tried 3 of them but I've watched the other two. I've done a few of these with my heart rate monitor so I can tell you how many calories I burn while doing them.


Learn & Burn
This is a teaching workout. Chalene first goes through the core moves of the program one by one, then ends with a short 15ish minute workout that incorporates all of the moves. I did this workout twice before moving on to the 20 minute workout.

20 Minute Workout - calorie burn: around 200
Hands down probably the best thing that's happened to me in the last few years. This workout is like crack! I was doing this FOR FUN. It includes several segments of repeated moves and one Turbo (which is a short burst of heart rate raising moves - an anaerobic drill). After I started to get really good at this I moved on to longer workouts, but I still come back to this one if I don't have a lot of time or if I just want to do it. I really do love this short workout.


Turbo Sculpt
I have not tried this workout, but from what I can see it's a turbo-like workout incorporating dumbbells. I really should do this, but I don't have a great dumbbell collection so I've been putting it off.

Cardio Party - calorie burn: around 480
To be honest, the first time I tried this workout I hated it. 40 minutes of hell! I still can't get the section at the beginning with the lunges and kicks. It is easy to get discouraged with this one if you're uncoordinated. But it has since become one of my favorite workouts to do. It really does push me.


Ab Jam
This little 20 minute ab workout is great to tack on to any workout. It's actually fun too. Half of it is standing, and half of it is on the ground. On the ground is pretty traditional. I was used to doing standing ab work from belly dance, and by comparison this is a little weak. But I think doing it often will make it effective. It's just so short! Maybe that's on purpose - I know very few people who actually like doing ab work. But Chalene does a great job of targeting the obliques with this workout. I am trying to add it in every chance I get. I want Chalene's abs!

Bonus: Punch, Kick & Jam - calorie burn: around 430 - 580 with weighted gloves and resistance band
Chalene says this workout is less dance-like than the other workouts, but she's not really telling the truth. It's very much like the Cardio Party. The difference is that there's a short segment at the end that incorporates using a resistance band. My cats love this workout. I think they like dodging kicks and messing with my resistance band. I like it too - it's my favorite workout after the 20 minute workout even if it is the longest workout at 50 minutes. Plus, the weighted gloves were made for this.

Bonus: Booty Sculpt + Abs
I haven't done this workout but I watched it. I can understand why it's a "bonus". It's Chalene teaching her regular class. Plus, it really looks like a combination of part of the Turbo Sculpt and part of the Ab Jam workouts together. Meh. The jewels in this package are the other videos in my opinion.

Blu-Ray Owners: A Word Of Caution
If you have a Blu-Ray player the second video in the Turbo Jam set may not work properly in your  player. I have received two sets and both of them didn't show the menu on my Samsung Blu-Ray player. However, I can still navigate the disk by pressing up and down arrows and pretending like the menu has a visual display. Go figure. On other regular dvd players this disk plays perfectly. I'll admit I was seriously ticked off when this happened. But I got over it. I like this workout too much to let a glitch in the second disk that has work-arounds  get in my way!

Now for the humiliating part...

I made my first video! Here's a bit of me doing the 20 minute Turbo Jam workout so you can see what it's like. Yes, I'm fat and in a sports bra, but maybe someday you'll see me skinny in a sports bra doing this same workout.



A side note: For those of you who think you could never be coordinated enough to do something like this, you're wrong. You are. It just takes a little time, practice and repetition. Yes mom, I'm talking to YOU! You can do this!

Please visit my BeachBody site for more information Turbo Jam or other BeachBody related products. By the way, have you checked out Shakeology yet?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Polish - Ulta Into the Limelight

My first Ulta Polish!!! And it's a FOIL!!!



Unfortunately, my nails were peeling so bad when I wore this I don't think I got to enjoy this polish as much as I would have had my nails been in great condition. Bottle is a lot like a NARS bottle, no?


Color
Lime green foily goodness! I don't have a foil like this yet so I am so excited!

Application
2 Coats, though I did put 3 on some nails just to be sure.

Wear
I really can't tell you my nails were so bad. I did wear this over Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator and topped with Seche Vite.

Bottom Line
If you love foils, get it! If you love greens, get it! If you don't love either, well... you can pass.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hanging with JoeyBunny in NYC!!!

Last week I had a real treat! I got a chance to hang out with the wonderful, beautiful, kind, awesome JoeyBunny! As you probably know, she posts on the Pink Sith and now has her own blog The Eyes Have It. She met me very late at a night after she got off work at my hotel for drinks. As luck would have it, this was the day before her birthday. Happy Birthday Joey!

Much was discussed - makeup, brands, make up artists, New York City, MUA gossip, blogging, birthdays, cats, yoga... you name it. We didn't have a lot of time, but we covered a LOT of ground! I guess that's what Ginger Capiroscas at The Hotel Roger Williams will do. Way too  much fun!

Anyway, just some pics for you:

Me with JoeyBunny
(minimal makeup, post workout and shower, plus 2 Ginger Capiroscas.
Way past my bedtime.)

The Lovely JoeyBunny
She insists she looks bad here, but I think she looks radiant!
The Infamous Ginger Capirosca
Mostly consists of Ginger infused Vodka and Lime I think.

Quest For My Pretty - Weekly Weigh In

Hi Everyone!

I became OBSESSIVE about journaling what I'm eating this week in the LoseIt App on my iPhone because of my Travel. I am proud to say that although I was traveling I still managed to get my workout in every day while I was away. All it took was finding an application to play DVDs on my laptop and rearranging some furniture in the hotel room. Yay me!

The downside of journaling is that I think I'm eating less than I should. In the evenings my energy is nill, and my workouts are starting to pay the price. I feel much better after the workout, but I have a good potential for crashing. I plan on discussing this with Keri, my beachbody coach, and see if she has any advice.

Speaking of Beachbody Coaches, I'm thinking about becoming one - just for the discount of course. I want to continue purchasing workouts from them and my Shakeology, but it's going to start hitting the wallet hard. It makes sense numbers-wise. I just don't want to compromise my integrity while going through this Quest. If I do make this choice, I hope you understand that it is a financial savings choice.

On to the weigh-in!

Weight: 197.6 lbs ( that's down 2 whole pounds from last week!)

I took a middle number again, but one of the lower middle numbers. I'm just too excited about seeing the weight drop I want to choose the lowest number to report to you even though I try to verify by weighing. I was so excited, I forgot most of the numbers so I couldn't do a true average today. I'll try to get better about this.

Notice the Change on the Counter:  To the right you'll notice I changed my starting weight from 197 lbs to 205.8 lbs.  I decided I wanted to track my weight loss since I really started making this a priority (and erase that gain from my mind). That means starting from the Shakeology Cleanse Day Starting Weight.

Challenge for Next Week: Family Reunion. Not only will I be traveling, but I won't have time for myself. Much of it will be stuck in a car (which I hate). Any advice? Wish me luck!

Avon Glazewear Lip Glosses - Swatches and Review

The lovely and wonderful Jenny from Mommin It Up passed along some Avon samples to me the other day that she didn't have time to review herself. When she asked if I would be willing to review them of course I took the opportunity! I am very thankful to Jenny - I have never before tried Avon Products that I can remember. So here goes nothing...

About the Avon Glazewear Lip Glosses
Avon Glazewear Lip Glosses sell for $6 a piece. They seem to be separated into four categories:
  • Clear - There is only one gloss in this category, and guess what it is. It's Clear! Apparently it has SPF 15 included, though, so if you're looking for really glossy sun protection, this might be a good option for you. I did not include it in my lip swatches because, well, it's clear.
  • Sparkle - Includes Dazzling Diamond, Mirage, Apple Cinnamon, Rave, and Mocha Latte. These glosses have the most offering in terms of sparkle and glitter. The particles tend to be smaller than other glosses (like MAC, or Milani Glitz Glosses) and don't offer quite as much shimmer. They don't "sparkle" like their name suggests, in my opinion. They do not make your lips look like a disco ball. They reminded me a little of something a mom would give their daughter as their first glosses. These colors were not very pigmented.
  • Shine - Includes Island Glow, Iced Pink, Tickled Pink, Darling Pink, and Mauve Movement. These glosses were middle of the road in terms of glitter particles, not much. In Some cases they sparkled more than the Sparkles. More of an emphasis on pigment and glossiness with this set. Your standard glosses basically.
  • Intense - Includes Sweet Maple, Brown Sugar, Intense Plum, Cherry Liqueur, and Crimson. By far the most pigmented lip glosses of the bunch. There is still shimmer to these as well. I had to work a little more to try to get these to go on evenly, partly because of the pigment. But if you want color payoff, this is your set of glosses to choose from.
Packaging
Nothing special. Clear tube with a doe-foot applicator. The color label was really small and hard to read.
    Swatches
    Everyone's favorite part, right?

    Left to Right: Crimson, Cherry Liqueur, Intense Plum, Brown Sugar, Sweet Maple, Mauve Movement, Darling Pink, Tickled Pink, Iced Pink, Island Glow, Mocha Latte, Rave, Apple Cinnamon, Mirage, Dazzling Diamond, Clear

    I am so not KarlaSugar, but I hope that arm did a good job. I will say this - several of the "Intense" shades stained my arm for the rest of the evening, so you know there's some good pigment there.

    A Note About My Lip Swatches
    I took these pictures all in my bathroom lighting with flash. I applied the product in the same manner, and removed it using MAC wipes. My lips are pigmented naturally, so you may have a different outcome on color than I did. Such is the nature of lipsticks and skin tone! Also, lip swatches can be a little scary, just to warn you. My lips are no exception - scary I tell you!

    The Sparkle Shades
    In general, I would recommend these on top of other lip colors rather than alone. Here, they are pictured alone.

    Dazzling Diamond
    The least pigmented next to Clear. Looks white in the tube. The color you give your little girl when she's learning to wear makeup. That turns me off instantly.

    Mirage
    Looks tan in the tube, but still not much pigmentation

    Apple Cinnamon
    My favorite of the Sparkles

    Rave
    More pink sparkles than the others. My second favorite sparkles.

    Mocha Latte
    I suspect this would look great on other skintones.

    The Shines Shades
    These I think could enhance a lip color as well as stand alone if you're looking for something light to throw on. I would call these your "workhorse" colors.

    Island Glow
    Oddly, I thought this had more shimmer than some of the Sparkles.

    Iced Pink
    Love! A great pale pink shade.

    Tickled Pink
    Probably my favorite Shine Shade. Medium Pink

    Darling Pink
    Creamier than the other Shine shades, also my second favorite.

    Mauve Movement
    Also very creamy. A good standard color.
    You probably have something like this already.

    The Intense Shade
    While you could wear these over other lip colors, they can also definately stand alone. I found it hard to get these to apply evenly, though. You will see that in the pictures.

    Sweet Maple
    Not pigmented enough to be strange on my lips. I liked it, surprisingly.

    Brown Sugar
    Holy Pigmentation Batman! Now that's what I'm talking about!
    This shade was so not made for me. I'm not sure which skin tone this shade would be best on, but if this color is your thing, go for it. It's a great pigmented gloss. But it reminds me of Pumpkin which translates to "YUCK!". You know I'm determined to find some look I can wear this with, right?

    Intense Plum
    Love the shade, hate the uneven application.

    Cherry Liqueur
    Not "Cherry" enough for me.
    I was very surprised at how this color turned out in comparison to the arm swatch.

    Crimson
    Great color, again could not get even application. I want to try it over a lipstick.

    How do they feel on the Lips?
    It does not have the tackiness of a MAC gloss. They feel very nice on the lips, sort of buttery in texture. My husband would say it's too gooey (he doesn't like kissing me when I wear glosses). Not gritty in the slightest, any of them.

    Wear Test - Average Results
    I took Darling Pink out for a test drive. As a gloss, I don't expect it to last forever. By the time I finished my morning cup of green tea, my tea mug-cup-thing was wearing most of my gloss.

    What's Worth Getting?
    Honestly, I wouldn't go out of my way to get any of these lip glosses. There isn't a "special" color in the bunch. I suspect you could find dupes for most of these at your local drugstore for a comparable price. However, the value is really good at $6 a pop. If you're looking for a quick pick-me-up these might be for you. If anything from the Intense subsection or the Shine subsection strike your fancy, you might want to consider a purchase, because they are nice. But for the Sparkle subsection, I think you can do better if you're looking for pigmentation as well as glitter.

    Bottom Line
    Good glosses (particularly the Shine and Intense glosses), but the range of colors is underwhelming and safe (Brown Sugar being the exception). For many people, that's probably a good thing. For me, I want to see something new.

    Full Disclosure
    The products in this review were furnished to me by a third party for review consideration. I was not paid to provide this review, and have provided my honest opinion of the product. I don't sell Avon, nor am I affiliated with Avon in any way (that I know of).

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Francesca's Collection at the Greene - A Short Visit



    I took my friend Kara over to The Greene on Monday and we got a chance to check out Francesca's Collection. As you may recall it was recommended to me by my lovely hair stylist/guru Genny.

    First impressions of the boutique were that it reminded me of a cross between Anthropologie and Forever 21 but with the atmosphere of one of the hippy quirky shops in downtown Ann Arbor. In other words, I liked it very much.

    While browsing, I quickly learned that there were no clothing items in my size. Sorry XL didn't seem to be in Francesca's vocabulary. So I turned my attention to other things... Sparkly things...
























    Yes, I had to try on one of these super fun statement necklaces. I was very tempted to purchase it but I truly had no idea what I would wear it with. I may have to return and pick it up. After all - buying this jewelry would be getting Anthro style without Anthro prices.

    Prices seemed extremely reasonable by the way. I can't comment on the quality as I currently can't fit into anything. Hopefully you'll see me in some of Francesca Collection's unique pieces by the end of summer!

    Polish - MAC Blue India

    Did I really not review this polish when I wore it? Because I loved it. I can't believe I forgot to post it!


     You have to see the packaging...



    I couldn't find a past post on this so forgive me if I have posted on it before. Because it was so long ago I'm not going to do the full review I normally would. As you know, this was a limited edition with MAC Liberty of London collection, and sold out very fast.

    Color
    Dusty teal blue.

    Bottom Line
    Even though there are many others similar now, I would still grab this one if you happen to come upon it. Especially if the packaging is included. It's so cute!
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