Monday, June 21, 2010

Meet the Bloggers: The Nail Polish Addict

Hello, everyone!  I thought that I would start a new series on the blog.  No word yet as to the regularity, but I've been thinking about this for some time now and I thought that it would be a great idea.  Think of all of the blogs you follow.  How much do you know about the people that run them?  Outside of their beauty preferences and a few random things posted here and there, probably not that much.  I thought that it would be a good idea to create a way to get to know some of the bloggers that I (and some of you!) follow.  It would be a great way, in my opinion, to learn about someone knew and find a way to get in contact or network with someone that has similar interests as you.

So without further interruption, let's get to our very first blogger, Leah from The Nail Polish Addict.  I'm pretty sure that the first time we met was on the Makeup Geek forum, where we discussed how to make homemade lip balms.  Since then, we've been chatting casually via Twitter and a bit through our blogs.  She's really an awesome person with a lot of knowledge about things.  I ask a Twitter question and more often than not, she's right there to answer.  She even takes the time to explain her findings or experience to me about skincare and haircare.  All of this helpfulness doesn't even include the stuff that I get from her blog--which includes swatches, nail designs, and tips.  I'd really recommend giving it a visit (let's plug the link in again, shall we? The Nail Polish Addict) if you haven't already!  Thanks so much to Leah for agreeing to be featured on the blog!

Q: Do you have any nicknames?

A: Red, Leelee

Q: Where are you from?
A: Pittsburgh - which I've learned over the years is a beautiful but very twisted city. lol

Q: What is a typical “day in the life” like for you?
A: Being unemployed gives me plenty of time to do whatever I want to do, so my days tend to be rather low-key. I spend a good deal of time with my pets and dealing with the perpetually dull and boring household chores. I've got a garden that needs daily tending, and I walk my neighbor's dog for her while she's at work. I love living a simple, quiet life. Some might call it boring, but I call it wonderful. =)

Q: Aside from beauty, what other types of things are you interested in? Have you found that your interest in beauty has made a point of connection with any of these other interests?
A: I love crafts of all sorts, but my favorites are crochet, knitting, and spinning yarn. I also do a lot of reading and I love music. I sing incessantly. I'm not good at it, but that doesn't stop me from doing it. lol Photography is my number one - I've always got a camera at hand. I have actually found that beauty does have a connection with all those things. I can get inspiration for makeup from my photos, the fibers I get to spin into yarn, descriptive passages in the books I'm reading (or the cover art!) and of course music is such an emotional thing it's bound to stir up some inspiration at some point. It works the other way too. I sometimes see pictures of the makeup other ladies have done on their blogs and I'll think about how those colors would pair nicely for a knit or crocheted piece or something else crafty. They're all forms of creativity and self-expression, so I think it's only natural there would be some connections between each of them.

Q: When did you first become interested in makeup and other beauty products?
A: I've always loved makeup and beauty products! I remember when I was little, like three or four years old, I loved Tinkerbell makeup and beauty products. Those were so fun - everyone bought me that stuff for my birthday and Christmas and I absolutely loved using the lotions and powders every day, and of course the lipsticks and glitter products. I didn't really take a serious interest in makeup until I was about 20; it was then I finally started learning proper techniques and how to apply my makeup well rather than just sort of slapping it on.

Q: What is your personal philosophy regarding beauty?
A: I think you should just do your own thing and not worry about trends or what experts say. As long as you're happy with your look, that's all that really matters at the end of the day.

Q: Who or what would you say are your beauty inspirations?
A: Nature is very inspiring for me. There are so many colors, shapes and textures in nature that can trigger creativity and inspire a new look. Celebrities that I think have great style are Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Hayden Panettiere and Selena Gomez. I think they're all beautiful ladies with individual styles and I often turn to photos of them for inspiration.

Q: What do you believe is the biggest beauty mistake that others could make and/or what are your beauty pet peeves?
A: The biggest beauty mistake is not choosing the right shade of foundation! It just looks silly to me when I see someone with foundation that's glaringly off for their skin tone, be it too light or too dark. My biggest beauty pet peeve is when others are "brand snobs". Just because something doesn't come with a high price tag and a fancy name on the packaging doesn't mean it isn't good quality, and it gets under my skin when people look down on cheaper brands and those who use them.

Q: How would you describe your signature nail polish design?
A: Simple but fun. I love doing variations on the classic French manicure, and the one I do most often is with a clear base, soft metallic tips and ring fingers and thumbs embellished with a simple flower. I love this design because it's easy to do and it's casual enough for daily wear but also classy enough that it would be ideal for a special occasion too.

Q: What would you say are your “go to” products and what products are you currently in love with?
A: My absolute must-have is Just For Redheads Mascara Naturelle in Ginger Red for "barely there" makeup days and Ginger Brown for when I do a bolder look. I have tubes of lip balm all over the house, mostly Carmex and Lydia Marie's Bath & Body Boutique. I've always got Tee Tree Oil in my stash as well; it's great for helping blemishes heal a little faster and it helps with dry skin too. For nails, Seche Vite top coat is definitely a must! Some products I'm loving right now are Beauty From The Earth Multi-Use Minerals in Lola, Gentle and Country Blue. For nails my favorites right now are Sally Hansen Continuous Treatment Strength formula, the Milani 3D Holographic collection, Misa "Denim & Lace", and Sally Hansen Complete Manicure "Hidden Treasure". And some general beauty favorites: Suave Professionals Humectant shampoo & conditioner, Beyond The Zone Frizz Zapper, Caress Evenly Gorgeous body wash, Avon Love Blush body creme, and Curve Crush perfume.

Q: How did you get your start in beauty blogging and why did you choose nail polish as a main focus?
A: I'd already been blogging for a few years about general topics, and makeup was often one of the things I would post about. I realized over time that the posts about nails and makeup were beginning to dominate the blog so I decided I'd make a new blog to dedicate solely to beauty. Nail polish is my focus because it's my favorite. As much as I love other areas of beauty, nail polish is the one thing that I consistently use and never get bored with.

Q: Do your friends and family know about your blog? If so, what do they think about it? If not, why haven’t you shared it?
A: Oh, they know and they think I'm crazy. They aren't into beauty or the internet the way I am, so they don't really get why I blog at all, regardless of the subjects!

Q: What type of impact, if any, has running a blog had on your life?
A: I've made some great friends through blogging who I know are going to stick with me for a long time. Friendship is invaluable so that's been a huge thing for me. I've also gained confidence from blogging. I've still got a long way to go where confidence is concerned, but it does always give me a little boost when someone has something nice to say in the comments.

Q: We all know that you have a blog, but have you already or are you planning to post videos to YouTube?
A: I did have some videos on YouTube at one point, but I decided videos just aren't my thing.

Q: What advice would you give someone that is looking to start their own blog?
A: Blogging can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you're starting out. Your blog won't be a hit overnight - it takes a long time to gain readers and to get comments so you really have to stick with it and don't give up. You have to remember even if you don't get a lot of comments, that doesn't mean people aren't interested in what you're posting. And we ALL have to deal with people leaving rude comments from time to time - don't ever take those comments to heart because they are not worth it. Delete them and move on, and enable comment moderation if necessary. Most of all just have fun with it. If you aren't enjoying blogging, make the necessary changes so that you do enjoy it.

Q: What do you think the future holds for you?
A: Hopefully a lot of love and happiness! I'd love to be able to go to beauty school and become a licensed nail tech but we'll have to wait and see what the future has to say about that.

Q: What would you like people to remember about you the most?
A: That I'm sincere and genuine. I may be a hopeless dork sometimes, but I'm not afraid to let that show because it's just who I am. =)

Visit her other websites here:
Personal/Random/Photography -
Photography Shop -


Would you like to appear on the next Meet The Bloggers segment?  Please send all interest notices to  I'm looking forward to getting to know you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Revlon Photo Ready Foundation

Following in the trend of the HD and for-photograph foundations, Revlon released a version of their own.  Surprisingly, foundation isn't an area in which I've had a lot of product experience.  I've really only used a few and my products of choice in the past and thus far have been: Revlon ColorStay, Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, and MAC MSFN.  Coming out of my Bare Minerals addiction (still love their products--just wanna try something new!), I thought that I'd try going back to liquid foundation.  While I did enjoy the coverage that Revlon ColorStay provided, I didn't like the smell and how thick it felt.  When I saw Photo Ready while browsing through the drugstore and after getting a personal recommendation from my friend, Iris, I thought that I'd give it a try.  (Once again, like with the L'Oreal base, late to get on the bandwagon, but I'm here!)

Revlon Photo Ready Foundation
What it is:
A lightweight, but buildable foundation that includes SPF 20.  The formulation is designed to be non-greasy and give a dewy finish.  It also smoothes to hide imperfections.
My impression:
Many of the reviews that I have read have been positive towards this product.  There were some negatives listed, however, like the shimmer that is in this product.  Personally, the shimmer isn't blaringly noticeable or off-putting to me.  I feel as though every time I've used it, it has given a nice, even, and dewy finish to the skin.  Another point that some of the reviews warned about was that those with oily skin might have problems with it.  Just like me, the friend who gave the recommendation has oily skin and did not experience problems with it.  It was more of a reason for me to try, and after using it several times, I would have to agree.  I don't know if it is from the L'Oreal perfecting base or what, but the makeup was long lasting and I did not feel the slightest need to blot until over 8 hours later.  I don't know about you, but I like the feeling of being able to and wanting to touch my face at the end of the day.  I would have to say that I have definitely fallen in love with this foundation.  I found it to be much lighter and more blendable than Revlon ColorStay.  I liked that the coverage was buildable and there wasn't any strong scent that I could notice.  One of the other things that I really liked about this product was the fact that it came with a pump.  I know that was an issue with the ColorStay packaging and I like that the pump minimizes the chances of contamination.
My recommendation:
I'm sure you could tell by my impression that I am in love with this foundation, but I think that the best way to find out if it's for you is to try it out.  I was under the impresseion that I should stay away from it because of the issues that some people with oily skin have had and because some people found the shimmer very off-putting.  However, after giving it a try (it could also be related to the base that I started using), I really loved it and really see myself using this a lot more in the future.
The rundown:
  • Product:  5/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  5/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  Yes
  • Where to buy:  You can purchase it from the Revlon website, ULTA, or from various drugstores.
  • Price:  $12.99 at ULTA
  • Pros:
    +  SPF 20
    +  Dewy finish
    +  Lightweight formula
    +  Not greasy
    +  Buildable
    +  Blendable
    +  Pump packaging
    +  Long-lasting
  • Cons:
    -  Not as wide of a color choice when compared to ColorStay
Hopefully you found my review helpful!  If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Review: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Secret No. 1 Magic Perfecting Base

Late to get on the bandwagon much?  This product is one that I've seen reviewed on several blogs--too many to name. Almost all, if not all of them, were very positive reviews that raved on and on about the product.  Why didn't I give it a try back when it first started gaining popularity?  I was using my own Bare Minerals "regimen" and thought that I would give it a try as soon as I went back to liquid foundation (reviews on this to come today as well, hopefully!).  Well, I'm back to it and now I can finally give this a review!
L'Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Secret No. 1 Magic Perfecting Base
What it is:
This is a priming base offered by L'Oreal, although I'm pretty sure that it can be worn alone.  It claims to give "perfect skin texture" that will happen "instantly" and last "all day."  The texture is described as silky and lightweight, making application easy since it just glides over the skin.  Another one of its purposes is to minimize the look of pores and fine lines.  The result?  Skin that is very smooth and has an even matte finish.  It is said to benefit all skin types and is non-comedogenic.
My impression:
When I first got this product, I was a little wary about the size of the jar.  It's a very small jar, probably a little bit bigger than the size of a MAC Paint Pot jar.  Since I work every day and more often than not go out on the weekends (and it is my habit to apply a full or mostly-full face of makeup each day), I knew that it was going to get a lot of use.  However, after using it a few times and seeing how very little I need, my fears were allayed.  All I really needed to do was dab my finger into the jar once or twice and I was good to go.  The texture is a little bit thick and gummy, but it's very spreadable once you get it to your face.  It is also lightweight and if you don't make the mistake of globbing it on, it shouldn't feel heavy at all.  Despite the product being white, it blends into the skin quite well and invisibly.  I found that my face definitely became a lot smoother and more matte.  I was very impressed at the way that it made my nose and the areas on my cheeks around my nose look, since those are the areas where my pores are most visible.  When it came time to apply the liquid foundation (I used Revlon Photo Ready Foundation), it applied very smoothly.  Concealer did not crease underneath my eyes as it usually would without a base.  My makeup definitely lasted throughout the day and I didn't feel the need to blot until about 8 hours in.
My recommendation:
After using this several times, I would have to say that I agree with the raves that everyone was posting.  It's a really great product and if someone were to ask for a primer recommendation, I would definitely recommend this to them.  As someone that has tried both Smashbox (Photo Finish Light) and Monistat Chafing Gel, I would probably have to say that this primer works just as well.  I like that it is about half the price of Smashbox, and if you're bothered about putting something that wasn't originally designed to be a primer on your face, you've got a relatively inexpensive alternative.  It says that it can be used alone, but I personally wouldn't--not for any reason other than I just wouldn't, but it can definitely be done.  I have only used this with liquid foundation, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work for creams or powders.  All in all?  Great product!
The rundown:
  • Product:  5/5
  • Packaging:  4/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  4.7/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  Yes
  • Where to buy:  You can purchase it from the L'Oreal website, ULTA, or from various drugstores.
  • Price:  $12.99 at ULTA
  • Pros:
    +  Evens skin texture
    +  Long-lasting
    +  Minimizes the look of pores and fine lines
    +  Matte finish
  • Cons:
    -  At $12.99, it's a little bit pricey
    -  The jar is a little small for my tastes
So there's my review of this base for you!  I know that I was slow to jump on the bandwagon, but for those of you that haven't tried it yet and are interested, I would surely recommend it.  If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review: NYX Slim Lip Liners

For those of you that pay attention to the tags, you may have noticed that this post was tagged under the "5 Favorite Things" tag.  It's not a mistake--the reason that I've done that is because that I have reached the decision to discontinue the series indefinitely.  I'm sure that my spurts of hiatus from both Twitter and the blog have become evident.  Since I started working, I've been a little bit too busy and hurried in the mornings to create anything new and have consequently been sleepily running to my go-to looks.  Additionally, since I haven't really been purchasing or using new things, there haven't been all too many things that I'd like to post about.  I still plan on continuing the review segments, though, because I really enjoy writing them and I hope that you guys enjoy reading them, too!
NYX Slim Lip Liners
What it is:
This is what NYX brings to the table in terms of lip liners.  There are three versions of lip liners that NYX offers--jumbo, slim, and automatic.  This review will focus on the Slim Lip Liners.
My impression:
For those of you that have been following my blog since its creation in November and were around to read my New Year's Resolution post, you probably remember my resolution to wear lip products.  Well, I am proud to say that by using what I had and experimenting with different products, I was able to gain a greater appreciation for lip products.  I was experiencing some problems, however, like feathering and creasing.  For this, I went to my own personal "beauty consultant," AIversonBabe, who has always been there to help me with my beauty needs!  She suggested to me the NYX Slim Lip Liners, which she compared to the higher-end MAC lip liners.  I jumped at this idea, liking that the NYX lip liners were inexpensive and could allow me to develop a feel for lip liners as a whole since I had never used them before.  I was a little wary bceause the last NYX liners that I used were eyeliners, which I was not at all fond of because of how hard and difficult to work with they were.  I am pleased to say that I really like the lip liners.  They're creamy and apply smoothly and evenly.  The pigmentation is excellent--not sheer at all and it lasts me all day.  As long as I took care to moisturize and exfoliate my lips beforehand, I also found that these don't dry out my lips--very important because that is something that I really struggle with each day.  Me and NYX Slim Lip Liners?  Match made in heaven!
My recommendation:
There is no doubt in my mind that this is an excellent product and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.  Nice texture, smooth application, great pigmentation, long-lasting, and non-drying on top of all that?  It's hard to believe that a product like this would only be $3.50 (as listed on the NYX website), but no complaints on my end!  They come in a wide variety of colors and are sold in a vast array of places, so you might even be able to get them cheaper.  Definitely great for someone that is relatively new to lip products like me because they are inexpensive, but I feel as though even those that regularly use lip products might love these as well.
The rundown:
  • Product:  5/5
  • Packaging:  5/5
  • Quality:  5/5
  • Overall:  5/5
  • Would I buy this again?:  YOU BET.
  • Where to buy?  My main three sources are NYX Website, ULTA, and Cherry Culture, but there are a ton of retailers/etailers that sell NYX
  • Price:  $3.50 as listed on the NYX Website
  • Pros:
    +  Inexpensive
    +  Smooth appliation
    +  Creamy texture
    +  Great pigmentation
    +  Long-lasting
    +  Wide color offering
    +  Non-drying
  • Cons:  (There really aren't any that I can see...)
    -  You have to sharpen it a lot?  Haha.
Hope you found this review helpful!  If you have any questions or want to know any more about this product, please don't hesitate to let me know!

As a side note, for those of you that haven't checked it out yet, I would really appreciate it if you could help me out with my Eyeliner Experiment.  I'm currently looking for eyeliners to test and try.  Thanks to everyone that contributed!  I really value your time!

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the product featured above. I purchased all of the products reviewed in this blog post and did not receive them for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Library: Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin

Kevyn Aucoin
Making Faces

I first encountered the work of the late Kevyn Aucoin while my makeup addiction was still blooming.  I was very captivated by it and the creativity was astounding.  I was very impressed by the way that this celebrated artist embraced being different.  When I saw this book (a #1 New York Times Best Seller, might I add!) in stores, I knew that I had to have it and give it a look.

For those of you that like photographs, I would have to say that this book is chock full of them.  There are a lot of creative shots of models, but also of some of the products that are used.  I loved how the shots of the products gave the pages "texture" and interest.  Although there are many pictures of products, there are no products that are listed by name.  This allows you to use what you want, be it drugstore or high end.  It was nice to not feel obligated to run out and buy certain things that weren't already in your collection. 

I thought that the layout of the book was very nice and easy to understand.  In addition to the main text, there were also many helpful tips scattered about its pages.  The tips not only involved application, but also how to create different shapes, how to choose products, and much more.  The language he uses is very easy to understand and you feel like you are reading words by a friend, not by someone that is preaching to you.  I thought that the book was less in depth than the Jemma Kidd book, but I think that there is a wider range of topics.  For example, I liked that Aucoin spoke about cosmetic surgery, brow shaping, brow bleaching, brow covering, eyeshadow shapes, and lip shapes--just to name a few things.

Towards the end of the book is a collection of looks that Aucoin has done in the past, ranging from looks that are natural and minimalist to looks that are dramatic and edgy.  I truly believe that there is a look for everyone and every mood in there.  These looks are explained and illustrated in detail.  I also liked that Aucoin included several makeover stories because it is uplifting to really see how makeup can have a positive impact on someone's life.

Overall, I was very fond of this book as a whole.  I learned a lot from it and was very drawn in by the pictures.  The only negative I would have say is the way in which some things are explained.  For example, in explaining how to replicate the looks, there are drawings rather than photographs.  It makes it a little difficult to follow, but at least the text is descriptive enough that you get the gist of things.  Most people with a makeup obsession should catch on fairly quickly.

I hope you found this book review helpful!  Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
Disclaimer: I have not been paid to review the book featured above. I purchased the book reviewed in this blog post and did not receive it for free. I ensure that this is my true and honest opinion.

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