Friday, September 28, 2018

October 2018 Polish Pickup: KBShimmer Resting Witch Face

Press Sample

There are only a few more days left in September, and that means an upcoming Polish Pickup opening! If you're not already familiar with Polish Pickup, let me fill you in! It is an interactive nail polish experience where fans are invited to their website to submit theme suggestions. They can then return to the website to vote on their favorites. The most voted suggestion becomes the monthly themed that independent nail polish brands adhere to when narrowing down their own inspiration. The brands then create a polish that is then offered for sale on the Polish Pickup website during the shop's official four-day opening the first Friday through Monday of any given month. It is an enjoyable way for fans to purchase as many or as few nail lacquers as they wish from a range of brands in one convenient location. While this is a monthly occurrence, it is not a subscription service. If you need to step back and save some money, you can easily do so without having to jump through any extra steps. It is convenient and a lot of fun; the only truly difficult part is narrowing down shopping lists with so many lovely options to choose from!

For today's blog post, I am thrilled to share with you the offering created by KBShimmer!

Resting Witch Face was inspired by a favorite childhood villain, the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Anybody who tries to take a beloved family pet away is sure to be cast as a villain in a child's eyes, so naturally Miss Gulch became Dorothy's Wicked Witch!

Whether you've only seen segments of The Wizard of Oz or can recite it word for word, there is no doubt that the Wicked Witch of the West is a film icon that is readily identified. It certainly makes for a great inspiration for the upcoming Polish Pickup!

The thermal base of this polish transitions between a light sage green hue when warm to an almost black dark charcoal when cold. It is then loaded up with lime green glitters. In the warm state, the glitters add a more subtle flash of sparkle while they really pop against the cold dark state.

Even with all the glitters, this polish applies easily to the nails. I had no issues with glitter clumping together as they dispersed flawlessly off the brush and across my nails. I used three coats of Resting Witch Face before topping my nails off with a coat of Gelous and a coat of Clearly on Top top coat for added shine for these photos. Due to all the glitters, the natural finish is lightly textured, and a single coat of top coat will not give your nails a smooth finish unless you use a thick layer.

Resting Witch Face will be available for purchase from the Polish Pickup website only October 5th through October 8th. It will retail for $11, and there is no cap on the number of bottles that will be made available for purchase. 

Please keep in mind that all orders made through the Polish Pickup are submitted as a preorder. Once the shop closes, the final tallies are send to makers and polishes are sent to Polish Pickup headquarters. Approximately three weeks after the closing of each shop, orders are shipped to customers.

Will you be adding Resting Witch Face to your shopping list? I'm really curious if you're picking it up because of the colour itself and/or if you are a fan of The Wizard of Oz? I'm willing to admit that I'm actually not a fan of the movie and haven't seen it all the way through, although I do love the look of this polish! I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and enjoy the weekend!


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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

October 2018 Polish Pickup: Ellagee Polish

Press Sample

Time sure feels like it is flying by, especially since it is once again time for me to share a Polish Pickup nail polish! In the off chance you're not familiar with the Polish Pickup, let me quickly fill you in before I get to my review!

The Polish Pickup is monthly shopping experience with a new theme each month selected by fans via vote on the Polish Pickup website. Indie nail polish brands then create a nail polish with their own specific inspiration that fits the theme and made available for purchase on Polish Pickup. Customers are invited to visit the website during the shop opening and purchase as many or as few items as they wish. This allows customers to pick up polishes that were inspired by their favorite themes without having to commit to a pre-selected themed box where you may end up with nail polishes you don't want. This is also a great option for when budgets are limited and you can only pick you single favorite. It is not a subscription service, and you can easily not buy anything at all if you wish.

The theme for October is Villains, and for today's blog post, I have the beautiful |||| by Ellagee Polish to share with you. Inspired by The Silence, the terrifying Doctor Who villains that are always there but never in your awareness, it has the added benefit of appealing to all you fans out there! Let's check it out!

|||| starts off with a deep blue black jelly base and is loaded with blue and aqua shimmers. It is then completed with the addition of silver flakes. If your attention is turning towards deeper colours for fall and winter, this one surely fits the bill!

In spite of all the shimmers and added flakes, |||| applies easily to the nails. The formula is thicker than often seen with mainstream nail varnish brands, but application to the nails is still uncomplicated and simple. I am also happy to report that the flakes disperse flawlessly without showing signs of clumping or tearing up the polish base.

I used two coats to reach opacity and cover any nail line. I then added Ellagee's Glass top coat for extra shine.

I love this look of this polish, but with the silver flakes, you know I just had to see what it looked like with a matte finish! Check it out!

With a matte finish, the silver flakes show up even more while the shimmers are dialed down to a more subtle glow.

|||| will be available for purchase from the Polish Pickup website only October 5th through October 8th. It will retail for $12, and there is no cap on the number of bottles that will be made available for purchase.

Please keep in mind that all orders made through the Polish Pickup are submitted as a preorder. Once the shop closes, the final tallies are send to makers and polishes are sent to Polish Pickup headquarters. Approximately three weeks after the closing of each shop, orders are shipped to customers.

Are you a Doctor Who fan that needs to add |||| to their polish collection, or will you be picking it up because it is a gorgeous polish? Do you prefer it with a shiny finish, or do you prefer it matte? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Find Your Perfect Lipstick Shades Easily with TōN Cosmetics

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As any beauty lover can attest, there are a plethora of lipstick shades to choose from. It can become overwhelming quickly, even for those of us that love to be surrounded constantly by makeup, and it can be downright daunting for those that just want to pick up a few key staples to use day after day. Even if you already know you are looking for your perfect red, it isn't always easy to find the perfect shade for you. This is where TōN Cosmetics comes to the rescue! Whether you are searching for your perfect nude, red, or pink, TōN Cosmetics will help you out. The brand was created by two sisters, and they have taken the guesswork out of the equation for you. They have developed nine shades in each colour category! Don't know exactly what your skin tone or complexion is? TōN Cosmetics offers a simple questionnaire on their website.

I had the pleasure of meeting with TōN Cosmetics at Cosmoprof North America (CPNA), and I was matched with the "fair" and "medium" complexions and the "warm" skin tone. To keep things easy for this post, I opted to stick with the trio of "Fair Warm" shades.

Rather than give each lipstick a fancy name, the names are kept simple. The naming convention starts with complexion (Fair, Medium, or Dark), followed by undertone (Warm, Neutral, or Cool), and then a number (1's are nudes, 2's are reds and 3's are pinks).

Fair Warm 1 - Fair Warm 2 - Fair Warm 3

Fair Warm 2

Smooth and creamy, this red lipstick glides on effortlessly with a simple flick across the lips. While all three shades I tested are soft, the red was noticeably softer to me; it's almost like my normal body heat melted the colour on the bullet onto the lips instantaneously. While this does make for comfortable wear, you will want to be sure to use a trusty lip liner to keep it from feathering outside the lips. I never wear lip liner as I don't experience feathering other than from a minute set of lip products, but I definitely need it with this baby. This lipstick does stain the skin; that lip liner is essential.

Fair Warm 1

I know some people live in nude lipsticks, but nudes were never my jam. I always had ended up picking up the wrong colour for me and was never happy. Thankfully TōN Cosmetics understood my dilemma and came out with something better suited towards me! Fair Warm 1 is smooth and is soft to the lips. The first layer was a little for me and had some thinner spots, but a second swipe covered up those areas nicely. I do like this colour a lot, although I'm not really convinced it is the ideal nude for me. I find it to be a little too peach against my olive skin tone and feel a caramel hue is a better match for me. From what I remember of Dark Warm 1, and seeing it again on the TōN Cosmetics website, I think that would be a better match, or even a blend of the two shades.

Fair Warm 3

Do you ever see a colour and expect one thing and it ends up looking completely different than what you anticipated? That's definitely how I feel about Fair Warm 3! In the tube, it looks much more coral, but as soon as it touches me, it pulls much pinker. There were 3 of us that swatched this particular shade on our forearms while at CPNA, and it was really interesting to see just how coral it looked on one person, pink on me, and somewhere in between on the other. The application was buttery smooth, although the first layer had the slightest hint of patchiness. A second quick swipe on the bullet across my lips evened everything out beautifully. If left to my own devices, I'm not sure I would have picked out this pink for myself, but I absolutely love it!

I have really enjoyed trying out these lipsticks from TōN Cosmetics, and they certainly have entered into my frequent lipstick rotation. These are quite literary buttery lipsticks: they contain shea butter in addition for vitamin E oil for a truly hydrating experience. The wear time for me for all three of these was about three to four hours, depending on what I was eating or how frequently I drank. I like to blot and powder a first layer of lipstick before adding a second coat, and this helped me achieve the longer timeframe, even with eating. I still had the base layer on my lips and would quickly touch up with a swipe of the bullet to impart more colour on them.

Take the quiz on the TōN Cosmetics website to find your perfect colour!

TōN Cosmetics lipsticks retail for $15.50 each and can be purchased directly from their website.

Have you found your perfect red, pink, and nude lipstick shades? What colour do you wear most often? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Highlights from the Beauty Spotlight Team

After years of using lip scrubs that were just a little too good at exfoliating away flaking skin, Jen from Laugh, Love, Contour has finally come across the perfect lip scrub! Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub by Skin Snob is filled with shea and cocoa butters to leave your lips feeling soft and smooth while the blend of coconut, sunflower, grape seed, and Vitamin E oils contain the fatty acids to nourish and moisturize your lips. Give your pout the TLC it deserves to make them lipstick-ready and ultra kissable! 

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog just featured gorgeous and covet-worthy eco-luxe and cruelty-free lipsticks and lip glosses that you will want to check out! #kosas #axiology #kjaerweis #janeiredale #bitebeauty #rmsbeauty #tataharper #hisforlove #cloveandhallow 

Prime Beauty has the deets on a new hair care line you must try! Biotera Natural Origins uses 97% naturally derived ingredients, helps treat dry and damaged hair with seven products and is available at Sally Beauty for only $10.99! 

Have you had the pleasure of using a jade or crystal roller on your face? Beauty Info Zone was able to test out two from Honey Belle that are wonderful for a myriad of healing properties. See for yourself. 

Do you include a retinoid into your skincare routine? Stacie from The Makeup Obsessed Mom has 8 facts about retinol creams over on her blog. 

Are summer sun, wind or matte lipsticks drying out your lips? Never Say Die Beauty has the antidote: natural, cruelty free yummylicious lip scrubs and balms from Farmhouse Fresh. Plus she's giving away lip scrub to 2 lucky winners! 

Need a cute gift idea? Pammy Blogs Beauty thinks FarmHouse Fresh's Farm House-inspired Blackberry Gift Set is adorable! 

It's officially fall although Beauty Judy isn't noticing it out her Florida windows. But KBShimmer's Falloween Collection has reminded her of the beauty of the season.  

Finally! A dry spray natural deodorant! Christa from Realizing Beauty shares all the details!

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Bubble Nail Art with Born Pretty Store and Creative Nail Design, Inc.

Press Sample

Styles and patterns change over the years, but the simple look that still wins me over every time is anything incorporating circles. This is the main reason my dotting tools get pulled out from time to time, and no matter what colour palette I am using, I just know I'm going to be happy with the final results. When I stumbled across this bubble-pattern nail sticker sheet from Born Pretty Store, it was love at first sight! The various sizes along with the slight imperfectly round shape is something that appealed greatly to me, and I just had to create a fun nail art look with these!

This particular sheet is filled with bubble patterns in black and gold, with a total of six thinner strips and one larger section. These are not cut out to specific sizes, so you can cut out the exact segments you want at the lengths you need for your nails. While this may be an extra step in the application process, I love that I can tailor the areas I want rather than have something precut and wishing it was cut longer, shifted over, or whatever variation that suits my fancy.

I have really enjoyed trying these out, and I have been wearing the resulting nail art look for just under two weeks. That's just unheard of for me! Check out my nail art design below:

I wanted to use colours that still had the brightness of summer, but transitioned nicely into the fall season. I had received these particular nail lacquers from Creative Nail Design, Inc (CND) while at Cosmoprof North America, and I had been trying to figure out how I wanted to wear them all together since I knew these shades were a match made in heaven! Once I determined these polishes could stamp, my nail art design came immediately to mind. This colourway and bubble pattern of these stickers is exactly what I had envisioned!

To create this look, I started off by creating a gradient on my nails with CND nail varnishes in the shades Vagabond and Uninhibited. For the colourful bubbles, I stamped on an image from LeaLac LLC-B stamping plate* using CND Offbeat and Gypsy**. I then cut out sections from the sticker sheer of the black bubble pattern I wanted, pealed from the paper backing, and placed them on my nails. I then sealed everything in with top coat.

While you might normally expect using nail stickers to be exceptionally easy, these were actually a little trickier than I had anticipated. The inner portions of the bubbles had the sticker area removed, and it made these stickers much more delicate. Even with careful removal from the backing with my tweezers, I ended up tearing apart some of the bubbles and had to realign them as closely as I could on my ring finger nail. Another drawback to these stickers is the sticker itself is quite thick, and if your nails have substantial curving, the stickers do not lay down easily and conform to the nail. You may be be able to see it well looking at my nails, but some areas have a little bit of a bump where the sticker just couldn't lay perfectly flat due to my nail curvature. I used two coats of top coat to help smooth the stickers down, but I can still feel bumps in a few regions where the sticker segments puckered up. This phenomenon would like still happen with any sticker, but the thick sticker made it more obvious. That being said, a thinner sticker would only make these all the more fragile with the center circles removed.

In spite of some of the issues I had with these, I have really loved the way this design came together and have been enjoying the look the past two weeks.

You can save 10% off full priced items from Born Pretty Store with code QWL91. If you opt to order during their 8th anniversary celebration from October 10th - October 16th, be sure to include this code in the comment section (regardless of whether or not you use it) and they will include a special free gift with your order. The bigger the order, the more free gifts will be added, although at this time, I'm not sure what the cutoffs are to get more free things. I don't know what the free gift with purchase is yet, but it'll be like getting a holiday surprise for yourself. I have the anniversary celebration marked on my calendar since I like to take advantage of their deals as well to stock up on some supplies for future nail art looks!

What sort of colours are you wearing on your nails now? Are you still in summer mode, or have you already jumped into fall mode? Would you use nail art stickers to create easy manicures? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

*Leah Ann stopped selling her plates quite some time ago, but she makes gorgeous nail polishes and phenomenal body products!

**I had only looked at the colour of the last CND shade here and not the name when I opted to use it for this look. I severely dislike having to put a derogatory slur in my post (hence my crossing through it), but because it was used, I still wanted to include it in this post for your reference. I can only hope CND considers changing the name to something that is not offensive to Romani people.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Be a Skin Snob and Get Your Pout Ultra Kissable with the Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub

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I'm convinced fewer things in life are better than a brand new lipstick. There is just something about cracking open a new tube and looking at that shiny new bullet or clean rim as you pull out the applicator for the first time that really gets to me. I just love the different combinations of textures and colours, but all of those things mean nothing if the canvas isn't properly prepped. Applying your brand new lipstick to lips that are dry and flaky is no fun, and the final result is anything but sexy. Thankfully, you can get your pout lipstick ready, and in ultra kissable form, by using a sugar scrub, like this fantastic Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub by Skin Snob.

While I have not used every single lip scrub that has ever been made, I have been using lip scrubs for several years and have tried an assortment during that time. When I first came across the Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub by Skin Snob at Cosmoprof North America this summer, I knew this one is different and would be special. The lip scrubs I have used in the past have a much higher ratio of sugar to oils than the one by Skin Snob, and you can see the difference when you first open the screw-on jar. It is filled up with shea and cocoa butters that leave your lips feeling soft and smooth while the blend of coconut, sunflower, grape seed, and Vitamin E oils contain the fatty acids to nourish and moisturize your lips. While sugar is certainly present, the lower ratio allows this scrub to gently exfoliate your lips, rather than sandblasting them away into oblivion. I can't possibly be the only one that has regretted being a bit too overzealous during the scrubbing process with other scrubs and have sore lips, right? I'm sure you already know this without me saying it: that's not cute. The skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body, and the Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub by Skin Snob is the perfect solution to gently slough off dead skin while adding nourishment at the same time.

To use, simply scoop out a little bit of product from the jar. I like to use a clean spatula that I've saved from other beauty products I have used up so I'm not introducing any bacteria that might be on my fingers into the jar. Gently rub across your lips, preferably in a circular motion, and then rinse off thoroughly. Because this lip scrub has such a high percentage of butters and oils, you'll find it isn't very satisfying to lick excess off your lips as it isn't as sweet and tasty. That being said, licking your lips isn't really a good habit to have either, so this isn't a bad thing in the end. A little bit goes a long way; I use less than a pea-sized amount. You could use more if your wish to have more sugar to exfoliate your lips, but keep in mind the butters and oils may end up all around the skin outside your lips. While there is no actual mint in this product and it is a flavor, I still find it causes a little bit of a tingling sensation temporarily whenever I use too much and get it outside my lips.

Before using this particular product, I used the think all sugary lip scrubs were essentially created equal, but Skin Snob's Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub has proven me wrong. Rather than use a high sugar content to exfoliate my lips with minimal other benefits, I can now gently remove any dry areas of my skin all while imparting the nourishing and moisturizing support my delicate lips need. Add to that the scrumptious vanilla plus mint flavor combination that I adore and you have one spectacular lip scrub!

The Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub is available for purchase on the Skin Snob website. Each jar is 0.5 oz and retails for $19.95.

Have you tried any Skin Snob products? What products should I try next?

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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Monday, September 17, 2018

A (Mental) Hawaiian Vacation with SoapyBliss Bath & Body Bakery Push Up Lotion Pop

Press Sample

My favorite vacation destination is Hawaii, but between the cost of flights and lodging and trying to find the time to go for at least most of a week to make the 5 hour flight worthwhile, I don't get to visit as often as I would like. I have been fortunate to have visited the islands a few times with relatively affordable flights with being on the west coast, but some days, I just need a mental break away. I want to at least pretend I am hiking amongst the lush greenery or listening to the wave crashing on the beach! While I may not be able to physically transport myself in an instant, my sense of smell has made it easy to at take my mind back to my happy place!

No matter where I go, I can count on the SoapyBliss Push Up Lotion Pop in the scent Hula Girl to immediately transport my mind to Hawaii! With notes of island guava, tangy pineapple, and sweet aroma of plumeria, this scent will take you to tropical paradise in no time! The Hula Girl scent is the ultimate combination of both the tropical fruits that I love with the popular floral found in leis. This fragrance is certainly my heaven in a container! Have I shared my love for this particular scent enough? Let's get to the product details itself since there are other fragrances available for those of you that may have a different preferred type of scent.

The Push Up Lotion Pop is exactly as the name implies: it is a solid lotion that is pushed up from the bottom and can be applied to the skin. The packaging is small and easily fits in my hand, but this sweet little pop packs quite a punch! Each Push Up Lotion Pop is loaded with shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E to give your skin the ultimate dose of moisturization. The size makes it ultra portable, so you can toss it in your gym bag for easy application after your post-workout shower or in your luggage to take to any destination of your choosing. As a Carry-On Connoisseur, I appreciate the small size and the solid aspect: not only do I not have to worry about potential leaking caused by pressure changes, I don't have to worry about this lotion taking up the precious space in my quart-sized liquids bag!

To apply the Push Up Lotion Pop, simply push up from the bottom so the product is above the edge and rub on the skin. With all the nourishing oils, I have found that a little goes a long way. I like to rub a few stripes on my skin and rub it into my skin. You will want to take care to not go too heavy handed so you don't get oily residue on your clothing, or at least sit around a little longer in the buff and rub a little longer until absorption.

I have really enjoyed trying out the SoapyBliss Push Up Lotion Pop! Not only is the product portable and nourishing, I love the colourful packaging! The Hula Girl scent is delightful, but if that isn't quite your jam, they offer 7 additional scent options that might suit your fancy. I have had the opportunity to smell all the offerings, and they all smell so good! My Push Up Lotion Pop is almost empty, and I am so torn between picking up a new scent or another Hula Girl. If that's the only problem I have, then I must being doing well! Ha!

Each Push Up Lotion Pop retails for $12 and is available in 1 oz packaging. Please visit the SoapyBliss website here to purchase the different scent options. While there, be sure to check out the other SoapyBliss offerings; they have several cute products, and it is never too early to start thinking about stocking stuffers and holiday gifts for your best girl friends!

Have you tried the Push Up Lotion Pop or other products from SoapyBliss Bath & Body Bakery? What have you enjoyed? If not, what would you like to try? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!

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