Sunday, June 30, 2013

Color Club Cotton Candy Gradient


Hi folks!
Today's nails are a soft gradient using shades I was recently sent from Color Club. This manicure really reminds me of a mixed bag of cotton candy.

I used Evolution as the base color (the light blue) with Flamingo (hot pink) near the tips. I then added two coats of Pearl-spective over the whole manicure. Pearl-spective is a effect topcoat, it has all these little iridescent pink flecks that look almost yellow from some angles. I think that's why Evolution looks a bit teal almost.

Funny story about cotton candy, actually. Last fall when I still lived in MN, my dad came home unexpectedly with an industrial cotton candy machine. You know, the kind they have at carnivals and fairs (not the dinky As Seen On TV one). It was so big that he could barely get it into the house, my brother had to help him tilt it sideways.

It was COMPLETELY weird behavior for my dad. He doesn't like sweets at all. When I called my sister to hurry home and see the bizarre sight of our dad spinning tons of hot fluffy cotton candy, I had to repeat the message three times because she couldn't comprehend what I was seeing. It was just all around... odd.

Anyways! Have you done any manicures (or makeup looks) that reminded you of food lately?

Products featured were sent to me for review. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Too Faced Exotic Color Intense Eye Shadow in Poison Orchid


I don't buy single eye shadows too often since usually palettes offer more value but I was strangely attracted to Too Faced Exotic Color Intense Eye Shadow in Poison Orchid last fall. Since then, I've used it pretty often because it is just a really fantastic and unique color.

The Too Faced Exotic Color shadows come packaged in a black flower case with a small see-through spot. The pans are 26mm so it could most definitely be depotted and placed in a palette.

This shadow is just really gorgeous. Almost too gorgeous. It has a soft smokey base with fine, color shifting glitter. The glitter changes from a bright amethyst to a golden beige and finally at some extreme viewing angles, it looks green. I like that the glitter is quite prominent, it's not one of those shades where you start to blend and the sparkle disappears, leaving you with just the dark base. However the shadow itself is a bit sheer and really looks best on top of other eye colors. The only bad thing is that you can't always see all that lovely color shift, but it does definitely add dimension to your eye shadow look.




Here, I've swatched it four different ways. Over bare skin, on top of primer, on top of a sticky base (Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy) and finally over a black eye shadow. A sticky base definitely helps hold on to the glitter better so that there is less fallout but the black shadow really makes it pop. I used both for my EOTD. My favorite way to apply this glitter laden shadow is by actually using a really dense brush or a sponge applicator to pat it on after a little dab of Pixie Epoxy.

I used:

Brows: NARS Bali shadow, MAC Chromagraphic NC/NW 20/25
Eyes: LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer, Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, NYX Jumbo Pencil in Black Bean, Rock & Republic Fatalistic, false lashes, MUFE #92, Inglot #318, L'Oreal HiP Intensity Exciting

Do you own any of the Too Faced Exotic Colors? What did you think of them?

Product featured was purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 
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Friday, June 28, 2013

A Closer Look at Four L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows

Is there a button or banner I can grab for being the last blogger in the world to review something? 'Cause if so, I should probably display that sucker. These L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows have been available for what, two years now? I've been meaning to try them and I finally had the chance recently when a bunch of coupons coincided with a sale. Even though I'm on a low buy, it was just too good to pass up!

The four I picked up were Golden Emerald, Midnight Blue, Smoldering Plum and Liquid Diamond.   Some of these shades were released in other countries under different names, so check out Nunu's very helpful master list.
 Golden Emerald

Midnight Blue

Smoldering Plum

Liquid Diamond




Golden Emerald is a beautiful sparkly green with gold sparkle. Midnight Blue is the color of rich blue dark velvet. Smoldering Plum is a blackened wine sparkle. Liquid Diamond is a gleaming purple tinted silver. All swatches are done on bare skin.

Each jar comes with a little plastic disk with a handle that allows you to tamper the pigments down. The texture is way more creamy than dry pigments (like say, MAC) or indie eye shadows. It sticks together in a sort of chunky way inside the pot but once you start working with it on the skin it blends out beautifully like the silkiest, most pigmented eye shadow you've ever used. For me, the easiest application is with my fingertips; I'll blend out crease colors with my brush then use a clean finger to pat the Infallible Eye Shadow right onto the lid. The staying power is incredible, they last all day (even without primer) without losing the sparkle.

I had wanted to post looks done with these shadows but unfortunately with my allergies I'm not able to wear much makeup this week (in fact, I barely cobbled together a winged liner for yesterday's meet up with a few bloggers and indie polish makers). I'll definitely be using them in future EOTDs though!

So here's the coupon break down in case you were curious.

Buy One Get One 50% at Walgreens, this was two transactions. I used:
2 Walgreens $1 off any L'Oreal Eye (available on their website)
2 Manufacturer's $1 off any L'Oreal Eye Shadow (Sunday paper insert)
2 Manufacturer's $1 off any L'Oreal Eye Product (Sunday paper insert)
2 $3 off $10 purchase - Walgreens New Location Grand Opening (local)

Since Walgreens allows you to use Wags coupons and manuf.'s coupons on the same product (in this case the Wags coupon was limit one per transaction, which is why I did two. Ditto with the $3 grand opening coupon) as well as on BOGO50% items, each eye shadow ended up being $2.87 (plus tax). Not bad for being originally $8.49, right? About $22.50 saved. This woman does not pay retail at drugstores.

Now that I've tried these, I really want to try the high end Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eye Shadows. I've heard that they textures and formulas are comparable, but judging by photographs the Eyes to Kill are more complex shades. 

Have you tried any L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows? Which shades did you like?

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

More Polished by KPT Thermals!



Hi folks!

I wanted to post this last night but unfortunately allergies have been kicking my butt all over the place. I've been spending a lot of my time in bed just riding it out. Anyways, I wanted to show you three more Polished by KPT thermal polishes.

These three are called Ophelia's L♥ve, Being in the Pink and Nostalgia.



Ophelia's L♥ve is a smokey lavender (warm) to blackened eggplant (cool) thermal with flecks that shift from goldish green to a bright amethyst. This is just two coats.



Oh Nostalgia. An absolute stunner. Like Ophelia's L♥ve, it's a smokey thermal but unlike OL it has finer, delicate shimmer. The shimmer has a duochrome-y effect, from a dark plum through a lighter almost pinkish shade and even at some extreme angles, green.  I took a lot of shots and didn't do it justice, but I think you can see the effect quite well on the bottle. Two coats.





Being in the Pink. I can't even express how wonderful this is. It's a bright, super hot pink (warm) to purple (cool) HOLO thermal. The holo effect is quite good and much stronger in real life than it is in my pictures. I adore this to bits and pieces, I can't even explain it. It's just so bright and poppin'. Two coats. The first picture is how it looks in really hot weather, the second picture is dipped in hot water, the third pic is in cool water and the last picture is cold water splashed on the tips of hot nails.


All three of these had a really nice formula, very smooth and glided on during application. I really like how the two darker shades looked with just two coats, I could really see the transitional gradient effect whenever I was in air conditioning or touched cool things (remember it's really quite warm where I am right now so I tend to see more of the warm effect). You could wear them over other shades or with three coats for a more opaque effect. BITP is just fantastic, it's delightful to wear and I had it on for three days before I realized that I really did have to take it off in order to swatch other shades.

Ophelia's L♥ve and Nostalgia are sold as the Unrequited Love set (LE) at $22 and Being in the Pink is $10. Check out the Polished by KPT store here. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram (@polishedbykpt) for the latest updates and first look at new polishes.

EDIT: Katherine has generously created a code so that MakeupWithdrawal readers save 15% on their orders! How awesome is that? Use MAKEUPWITHDRAWAL at checkout to snag this discount.

Products featured were sent to me for review. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shimmer Lorene (What a Beauty!)


Second post of the day!

This is another one of the Shimmer Polishes that I had the opportunity to swatch and review. Lorene is a really pretty mix of glitter, the predominate glitter color being cranberry.

I don't have enough fingers to count how many different kinds of glitter there are but I at least see copper and gold hexes, small teal and tiny square holographic pieces.


This polish gets more and more beautiful everytime you look at it. To say it's an acquired taste sounds sort of insulting because it is nothing like stinky cheese. It's more like this:

First glance: Oh, cranberry glitter mix. Neat.

Second glance: Wow. A lot of those colored glitter pieces look really pretty and opalescent at different angles.

Third glance: The complexity is mind blowing. All those shades, all at the same time. What beautiful mind put them all together?!

Fourth glance: (Nirvana is achieved. Use of words is no longer necessary)

Stunning, right?

Shimmer Polish is sold here at the Etsy shop, prices range from $10.20 to $12. Be sure to follow Shimmer Polish on Facebook and the SP blog too for more beautiful swatches!

Products featured were sent to me for review. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.
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Right, So I'm Kind Of an Extreme Couponer


I think it's no secret that I love a lot of medium, high end and pro products, but I also have a soft spot for drugstore products because they can be free or near free. You can get a lot of really great deals on makeup, hair care and skincare by combining coupons with sales. Take it a bit further by stacking manufacturer's coupons and store brand coupons, which many drugstores allow you to do.  I think that sometimes coupon policies and deals can be daunting, so I want to do some quick summaries on how you can really save. 


CVS
Personally I think they have the best store coupons and rewards system. With the (free) ExtraCare card, you get an amount back quarterly plus $5 back for every $50 you spend in cosmetics if you sign up for the Beauty Club (you also get 10% on your first purchase for signing up and $3 ExtraBucks on your birthday), details here. ExtraBucks can be immediately used, so sometimes I'll split up my buy into two transactions so that I can turn around and apply the ExtraBucks from my first transaction onto my second one. 

Another tip, sometimes the CVS coupon printer (that red scanner box instore that scans your CVS ExtraCare card and prints out some great coupons) doesn't print out all the available coupons in one go. I recently realized that if you scan your card a few more times after the initial scan, sometimes more will print out! It's not over until you get the "No More Coupons Today" message on the screen. A few things to keep in mind, price based CVS coupons can only be used one per transaction (like "$1 off $5 purchase of Oral Care" or "$4 off a $12 Cosmetic Purchase") but you can always do multiple transactions (I suggest making sure that there aren't people in line behind!). 

Walgreens
A late comer to the rewards card game and not my personal favorite because you have to have the card to advertised sale prices. The card is free, but I can't even tell you the number of times I've been held up at Walgreens because the cashier has to explain to the three people in front of me why they aren't getting the sale price unless they sign up for the card (and then consequently it takes forever for those people to sign up). To be honest, I'm still a little unfamiliar with their points system (buying certain items earns you points, 1000 points = $1 and you can redeem your points at 5000). However, Walgreens does have online printable coupons on their website here which go really nicely with manuf.'s coupons.

For example a couple weeks ago, I was able to get Organix shampoos for 75% off. I love pro hair brands but since Morgan doesn't care what he uses, I stocked up. I used two $2 coupons. Walgreens had a rare BOGOFree sale and they let you use coupons on the "free" second item, so what started out as $16 purchase (two bottles at $8 each) ended up being $2 each. Awesome, right?

Rite Aid
Rite Aid's version of rewards are called Up+. I'm not a big fan of them because they are not immediately redeemable (they redeem the next day) so it makes me take multiple trips. I'd recommend you asking them to be printed out instead of sent to your card because or else they are automatically spent on your next transaction. Another flaw is that they are only valid for 14 days, whereas CVS ExtraBucks are valid for a month. 

Rite Aid does however, carry a lot of brands that the other drugstores don't. For example, Jesse's Girl and Julie G. For me, Rite Aid is the only drugstore out of the three that has my favorite Cutex polish remover. Rite Aid also seems to carry more LE collections than my other locations, more LE Wet'n'Wild, Sinful Colors, Rimmel, Maybelline etc shows up there than my CVS and Walgreens stores. 

Of course, don't forget Target, Walmart and Ulta. I'm getting long winded here so I just wanted to remind you that all three have their own coupons. 

I could go on and on talking about coupons and sales, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. Though it can be time consuming and hard to keep track of at first, I love couponing because I save so much money. It's gotten to the point where I don't really pay much (or if I'm really good, I don't pay anything!) for ordinary personal care items like toothpaste and mouthwash or household items like cleaning supplies. I was pretty amazed how much of a difference it made, having paid out of pocket for things at the full price or what I thought was a "good" sale before. Naturally, extending it to cosmetics was a no brainer so though I'm on a low buy, it's really easy to still get new products without spending very much or at all. 

Find CVS' coupon policy here, Rite Aid's policy here and the Walgreens' policy here
Some great resources include KrazyCouponLady (especially if you're new to couponing), Coupons.com, Save.com (formerly RedPlum.com) and one of my all time favorite blogs- Nouveau Cheap of course!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Mundane Mondays, Vol. X: More Food, More Beach Please

Just random pictures from the last month or so.


We went strawberry and stone fruit picking. I didn't like the farm very much, the fruit was really over priced. I know they looked perfect but due to the heat the strawberries were actually a tad overripe. I did like all the varieties of stone fruit they had but unfortunately it was a boiling hot day out so we didn't stay too long.

I don't eat white rice very often any more so when I do, I make it count! I made a rice bowl with masago and teriyaki salmon. Fried egg, avocado and cucumbers too. Also made a honey soy sauce, a tiny bit of Sriachia mayo and a garlic lime aioli to go with.

Recently went to Santa Cruz with a good friend. We were there pretty early so it wasn't crowded yet and it was during a weekday.



Look who was napping on the wharf!


We went to a Greek food festival. Simple carbs and sugar are the bane of my existence but Morgan and I split an order of piping hot loukoumades (which are fried dough balls in a honey syrup, cinnamon and powdered sugar optional). Once a year thing, I can totally justify it to myself. Also had a gyro there. I've had a ton of gyros so far this summer but I have to say that the whole wheat pitas I've been using are really not very tasty. At all.

So that's a wrap up of some of the stuff I've been up to lately. Anybody else done anything fun lately?
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Sunday, June 23, 2013

31 Day Nail Challenge v2: Blue Nails

It's been forever and a half since I really did a manicure with my sprinkled nails technique (click here to see the tutorial, but be warned that pics were taken with my old, terrible camera!). I decided to revisit this for the challenge today, blue nails.


 I used HEMA 836 (not sure if that's the real number, but the are the biggest numbers indicated on the bottle) given to me by my friend Deborah! I used the TKB Trading "Moon" set of sparks to create the pigment splatter.
This last picture is taken underwater, so pardon the funny color of my skin from the bathroom lights.

Hope you all had a great weekend!
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Review: Shiseido Lash Curler

Recently I picked up a Shiseido Lash Curler because I decided that my heated lash curler wasn't doing a good job of blending together my false and natural lashes as well as I liked. For me, the easier way of blending the two is to curl the false and natural lashes at the same time, sort of pressing them together into a uniform curl.

In the past, I used the Shu Uemura curler but much to my dismay, SU didn't sell refills and other pads didn't fit the curler. That just really irked me because it seemed so wasteful to throw away a curler and buy a new one just because the pads are spent. I loved the SU curler, the roundness fit my eyes perfectly. How does the Shiseido compare?

The material is nice, a dark graphite sleek design that is spring-less. The curler curls really smoothly, no metal catching on metal and I've never once pinched my lid. It comes with one refill pad. 




The shape is flatter than the curve of my lashes so it doesn't quite fit all of them. I'd say like 80% of my lashes fit. Unfortunately, it's the short hairs in the inner and outer corners of my eye that don't end up being curled. That's especially frustrating for me because those are the lashes that tend to really droop and sometimes if I don't curl them, they poke into my eye during the day. I can compensate with the curler in one of two ways; pressing the curler into my eyeball to flatten it or curling twice (once on each side). Since I don't really like pressing things into my eye even with the lid closed, I opt for the latter. The problem with curling twice is that the long hairs in the middle of my eye tend to get over curled and bend upwards at an unnatural looking 90 degree angle and look kinda wonky. 

All in all, it's an ok curler for me. The quality is great and I'm glad that Shiseido sells refills but it just doesn't fit my eye as well as it could. Though my Panasonic heated lash curler takes longer to use, I prefer it for daily use simply because I can reach all my lashes. The Shiseido Lash Curler is however, satisfactory for the use of blending real and fake lashes, which is why I bought it. 

The Shiseido Lash Curler is $19. Refill pads are $6 each.

What curler do you use? Do you like? Does it have any drawbacks?

Products featured were purchased by me, for my own use. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy.

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