Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Nails Inc. London Magnetic Polish

Another nail polish review.  Actually, more of a first impressions post since I've only been wearing it for half a week.  I've heard about this somewhere else- whether it was a magazine or an online blog.  It mentioned that it would be released for sale at Sephora in October.  There is a Sephora very close to where I work, and I've been WAITING all of two weeks for this to come out for me to test.  When they finally got it in and the a nice sales lady demonstrated it on my nails, I was very impressed.

You can read the product details on and watch a video demonstration:

While in the store, I bought only one color, House of Parliament, for $16.  Very pretty metallic purple.  I pretty much did exactly what the sales lady did in the store: apply one coat, then hover the magnetic cap over it while still wet to attract the magnetic particles to create the design.  Some nails were more successful than others.  Then, I read the instructions, which say to lay down one layer to let dry, then apply a thick second layer for the magnet effect.  Again, some success and some less successful.  A thick layer does help make a difference, while I think one thick coat is sufficient rather than two.  Be careful not to touch the wet polish!  I also watched the 15 second action between the nail polish and the magnet, and I actually saw the nail polish gravitate a little mountain toward the magnet.  Kinda cool, but you also gotta watch out for that because sometimes the polish rises so high that it touches the magnet, and then smudges!

quick iphone pic:

So, I think it's pretty cool.  But $16 a bottle is a bit much for my nail polish budget.  I probably won't purchase another bottle at that price.  Hopefully there will be a sale, coupon, or a cheaper competitor sometime soon.

Products mentioned were purchased by me, and opinions formed are my own.

NAILS: Disney Princess Designer Collection Nail polish

The release of the Disney Princess Designer Collection had a slow start, but then grew into such a craze!  Mainly, the Collectible Dolls, which feature all ten Disney "Princesses" re-styled differently from how we traditionally seem them.  You can easily search images of these dolls on your own.

I'm writing about the nail polish set that is part of the Designer Collection.  It features ten bottles, 0.2 fl. oz. each, with a color named for each princess.  It retails at $24.50 for the entire set, and can be found at select Disney Stores.  I know this is a bit late in the game, since the collection is a big hit, and they seem to be selling out of most product.  But I always feel the need to make my opinions public on these matters.  I'll describe each color individually.  (and I must apologize for lack of pictures and swatches- too broke to afford a decent camera)

MULAN (Very soft, baby pink)
I know Mulan is supposed to be the heroine from ancient China, but feel like the best way to describe this color is sheer French Manicure Pink.  I honestly do not think it is a very unique color.  In fact, I believe I have at least 3 other colors in my nail polish inventory very similar to this one, and most likely part of a French Manicure set.  It still is a very pretty color, and definitely work and school appropriate.  Good color for girls and women of any age.  Thin, watery consistency.  Needs two to three coats.

JASMINE (royal turquoise)
This is THE Princess Jasmine color.  It dries to a satin finish, almost as if you are wearing pieces of the fabric worn by the Arabian princess herself, or your can pretend you nails are precious gems.  The color definitely has a regal presence to it with an exotic touch.  Again, not necessarily a unique color-- let me know if you find any drug store dupes!  But a beautiful color nonetheless.  Slightly thick consistency- work quickly to avoid streaks.  What you see in the bottle is what you see on your nail in one coat.

SNOW WHITE (clear polish with red glitter)
The color description is pretty much it.  Clear nail polish with a ton of fine red glitter.  One coat is pretty splotchy; two coats are better; three is best.  I am quite disappointed in the color.  For Snow White, I was expecting a poisonous red apple color.  I see where they were going with the glitter, though, trying to make it more "magical" looking, but I must say it was poorly executed.  It is quite watery, as if the glitter was diluted.

CINDERELLA (multi-colored glitter)
Upon first glance, it looks predominantly silver.  But the multi-colored glitter does make its presence known. In contrast to the Snow White color, this color is definitely a glitter polish success, and I've only encountered few successful glitter nail polishes in my day.  It may not look like Cinderella's glass slipper, but it does look like the magic that brought it to existence.  The consistency is pretty smooth and fluid.  One coat does the job.  This is one of my personal favorites out of the ten.
[edit 2/14/2012]  I just found out that China Glaze Fairy Drops is a dupe for this color.  I'm glad that I found it, because now I have a bigger bottle of this great color!

AURORA (hot pink with some blue undertones (possible duochrome)
The dress should be "PINK!" "NO, BLUE!"  It is mostly a sheer hot pink paint, with small pieces of pink and blue shimmer noticeable upon close inspection.  You can also see a little bit of a blue tint when you play with it in the light. Great for everyday wear.  Watery consistency.  Because it is sheer, one coat is good for young girls wanting to add some color to their nails, and two coats show its true color.

ARIEL (deep sea blue with deep sea green glitter)
The paint is a bluer than the turquoise Jasmine color, and has small chunks of blue-green glitter.  It doesn't look exactly like the tropical beach landscapes that we see when we think of vacations, but more of a magical part of Ariel's world in the depths of the ocean.  Thicker consistency than the others.  One coat is pretty opaque.

RAPUNZEL (burgundy with silver shimmer)
This color seems to be the trending color of the season.  Very pretty in the bottle and when applied in one coat to the nail, but surprisingly dries to a matte finish.  The matte finish makes the shimmer look a bit chunkier.  When a shiny top coat is applied, it has more of a sparkling effect.  I feel like this color had the thickest consistency of the bunch.

BELLE (gold with gold glitter)
Definitely the color of the antiques of the enchanted castle.  True color in one coat.  Not necessarily a unique color, but a perfect Belle color.

TIANA (pearlized light seafoam green)
The color looks more pearly white in one coat on your nail than the green tint in the bottle.  Not exactly what you expect from a swamp frog, but it does have a combination of sass and charm of Tiana.  Smooth consistency.  Two coats brings out more of the green color.

POCAHONTAS (shimmery bronze-beige)
For some reason, I have a difficult time describing this "brown" color.  Pocahontas was in tune with the land, but "dirt" and "mud" just doesn't describe it.  I honestly think that it has some sort of a warm peach-based beige color and then slightly metallicized into a paint.  Nevertheless, this is probably my top favorite color of the set, and I'm not usually partial to earthy tones.  One coat reveals the slight peach color, while two coats defines the brown.

Hope this helps if you were considering the collection.  This is a must have for the fabulous Disney Princess fan.  For those who are hesitant to venture into the world of nail polish, this set is a good place to start the adventure.  If you're a nail polish connoisseur, I'm sure you might already have most of these colors in your stash.  I can tell you that Sally Hansen's 12 Blue Streak is a pretty good combination of Jasmine and Ariel, if you're into blues.  But I do recommend the set just to get the Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Pocahontas colors.  The only stand out negative quality of the set I have to mention is the durability.  With one layer of top coat, the color started to chip after two days.  My mother did have a better experience with the Rapunzel color and layers of top coat.

Products mentioned were purchased by me, and all opinions are my own with no outside influence.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Review of In The Loop Bath Gift

Originally submitted at Fortune Cookie Soap

For a limited time, brought back by an overwhelming demand!!! That famous loop cereal and milk, that was a constant breakfast in our house ��� wasn't it foryou?  Why not bring the kid backinto your life and your skin and wash your sins clear with the brand new in theloop fortune cookie soa...

add this to the tally: FRUIT LOOPS!

By Stina from NJ on 5/7/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Cleans Effectively, Good Value, Pleasant Smell, Gentle, cute

Cons: Not moisturizing, Difficult To Use

Best Uses: Daily Use, Showers, Baths, Display

Definitely smells like delicious Fruit Loops cereal! It looks cute, too. However, one of the loops fell off on the first day of use (just a minuscule disappointment). This is my first FCS, and I found the shape to be awkward to use in order to get a good lather. I did experience a little "drying" effect too, after washing (even though the ingredients have moisturizing properties). It cleans off excess dirt and oils from your hands, and should have antimicrobial properties as well (unfortunately, I don't have the lab equipment to test that, but I'll believe it, lol). Most things about the soap is pretty good, but the smell just makes it AWESOME!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

As I was walking through IMATS, I passed by the Stila booth.  I didn't really plan on buying anything, because I knew Stila was sold in stores near me, and I was mostly shopping/testing companies that I couldn't find in stores.  But, I tried these out, and I really liked them!  Since it's been over a month since I've had the product, I might as well write a little review, especially now that I see it featured in online stores.

I'll start by copy&pasting some of the company info from the Stila website:
Introducing Stila's new Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liners, color-rich, vibrant, easy-to-use waterproof eye liners infused with twinkling multi-pearl micro-glitter that stays on all day and night. Key Benefits:
  • Perfect blend of pearls and intense pigment
  • Waterproof and long-wearing
  • Easy-to-use, long-handled pen-like component with soft sponge applicator

   Well, I have to agree.  The colors were very rich, vibrant, and twinkling.  At first swatch on the back of my hand, the colors seemed a bit watered down and thin, but it actually dries fairly pigmented, and the micro-glitter really stands out, but not in an overwhelming way.  I only bought one in the color Royal, which is a hott purple shade. 
   When I decided to wipe of the swatch from my hand with a makeup wipe, it did not come off easy!  It is definitely waterproof and smudge proof.  After working at it, I kind of had to peel it off, almost like dried up eyelash glue.  That can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  Once you put it on your eyes, you know you're safe for long lasting wear without any problems until the end of the night. But when you're done and it's time to take the make up off, well, you'll be wishing it came off easy, lol.  I had to press my make up removing wipe on it, and slowly and carefully, kind of rolled it off.
   Other than that, it is pretty easy to use.  Most liquid liners I have used were always awkward for me.  The handle would be an awkward length and shape.  The applicator, whether it be a felt tip or brush, would either be too long, short, thick, thin, flimsy, or stiff, and just overall difficult to control.  Not the case for this eyeliner.  I have to say, of all the things I can possibly be picky about with a liquid eyeliner applicator, I have nothing bad to say about this one.  I never even really thought about it until I read the product description "easy-to-use" and I thought, "Wow, it actually is!"

Since I bought this at IMATS, I got a pretty good discount on it.  It retails at $22 on both Stila Cosmetics website and (I also wrote a review there, giving it 4 stars) which is a little much for my budget.  The product, however, does live up to the company's claims.  It is very pigmented, sparkly, easy to use, and long-wearing.  The fact that it is waterproof is both a good thing and a bad thing: you don't have to worry about smudging while you wear it, but when you want to take it off, you will need to work a little hard to remove it. I'll probably buy more when I want/need another glitter eyeliner.

Stila Cosmetics Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Royal
This item can be purchased at and  Both websites are featured on Ebates!  Sign up and get cash back!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: e.l.f. Studio Collections

A long time ago, I heard about e.l.f. cosmetics ( through my boyfriend's cousins, and some beauty bloggers and YouTube gurus even started mentioning them.  I've bought a few products and signed up for their newsletter.  One day I received an email about a pretty awesome one day sale.  I decided to take advantage of it and purchased all three of the Studio Makeup Collections from the website.  Unfortunately, at the time I wasn't a member of where I could have received cash back on my online purchase.  Here is my referral link where we both can get rewarded for shopping online:

Now, on to the review.

e.l.f. Studio 27 Piece Mini Makeup Collection
9 Eyeshadow Shades
1 Cream Eyeshadow Shade
1 Blush
1 Bronzer
10 Lip Gloss Shades
1 Brow Powder
1 Eyeliner Pencil
1 Dual-Ended Eyeshadow sponge applicator
1 Face brush
1 Small Precision Lip Brush
(mirror inside lid)

  • Six of the powder shadows are in the green and brown families, which are appropriate for day-to-night looks.  The other three powder shadows are silver, slate gray, and black, perfect for the basic smokey eye.  You can see small flecks of glitter within all the shadows, some more than others.  I don't want to say that the off-white and lighter mossy green colors have a matte finish, but they do have the least amount of sheen compared to the other colors.  All of the other colors have more of a sheen or frost finish.  The cream eyeshadow is such a pretty highlight color that you can use all over the face, not limiting it to just the eye area.  I tried using the cream shadow as an eyeshadow base, but my lids get quite oily, and it creased.  But the the shadows work well over the UDPP that I use.
  • The lip colors include reds, berries, browns, pinks, peach, and clear with teal glitter.  Don't be afraid of the glitter in the clear gloss!  It is not that bad, you don't really pick up that much glitter.  Most of the lip colors are pigmented nicely and appear creamy when applied, and some are slightly sheer.
  • The blush and bronzer are very similar to the e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder duo I have, if not the same thing. I like the colors, and I'm glad that they're in this palette.  
  • Unfortunately, the brow powder is a few shades too light for me to use.  And I'm honestly not a fan of the applicators and pencil liner in the case, but they are convenient to have in there if I ever need them.  
  • The mirror inside is the size of the entire lid of the box when opened.  The whole palette is cute, compact, and even has a button to open up the case, which is not featured in the other e.l.f. Studio Palettes.
  • This Mini Makeup Palette is versatile for different users and uses.  It can be the essential collection for the make up minimalist.  Keep this in your locker if you're running late for school, and hopefully you can primp between homeroom and first period.  It takes up a small space at your office, if you're running late as well, or need to freshen up after work.  It's even small enough to fit inside your purse for touch-ups, or maybe even the walk of shame, lol.

e.l.f. Studio 83 Piece Essential Makeup Collection
64 eyeshadow shades
8 lip gloss shades
4 blush shades
4 bronzer shades
1 lip brush
1 eye brush
1 face brush
  • There is much more of a selection of eyeshadow shades in this palette. There are a variety of highlighters and black/gray/silver shades, and then your browns, greens, pinks, purples, and blues in between to suit your mood.  They shadows have good pigmenation, and appear to be split into warm and cool sides.  There is no cream shadow in this palette, so you will definitely need a shadow primer on hand.
  • There are only eight lip gloss shades in this palette, but they are bigger pans than in the 27 piece mini palette.  There is one clear gloss with a bit of shimmer (not glitter like the mini palette), a couple of bronzed glosses, and the rest are pink and rosy.  No reds.  A couple of the colors appear creamy, while the others have some frosty shimmer to them.  Most of the colors were very sheer with little color payoff.
  • I liked the variety of the four blushes and the four bronzers.  Most of them have a little sheen to them, except for one bronzer which is matte, which I to use for contouring.  However, these powders tend to be a bit chalky in the pan and can lead to a little mess.
  • The brushes in the kit are convenient to have in there.  The eyeshadow brush and lip brush are pretty decent to use (make sure you wash them first!).  The face brush, however, is pretty scratchy.  The mirror inside is less than half the size of the lid, and no eyeliner is included in this palette.  This palette doesn't have the nice button that the mini palette has to open it up, but has this weird tab/snap closure.  I don't like it because I'm always afraid that I'd either break a nail, or the tab thingy.
  • This 83 Piece Palette is a good starter for those who want to try experimenting with color.  I also think this would be great to keep at another house you would frequently spend the night, like a boyfriend's or maybe a family member's house.  It would also be good for travelling if you want to pack lightly with a variety of colors to choose from.  I would just pack it carefully, as the plastic casing seems a bit flimsy.  The size of this palette kinda reminds me of those Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas I'd get from those Read-It prize things from school, lol.

e.l.f. Studio 141 Piece Master Makeup Collection
84 Eyeshadow Shades
36 Lip Gloss Shades
6 Blush Shades
4 Concealer Shades
4 Shimmer Cream Shades
4 Bronzer Shades
1 Face Brush
1 Lip Brush
1 Duo Eyeshadow Applicator 
  • The shadow collection seemed to be separated into warmer and cooler colors, but I personally find most of them a little boring, and there are no blues or blacks!  Quite disappointing.  
  • The lip glosses are the same size as the eyeshadows.  They come in reds, pinks, and even some coral and berry colors.  Some of them were very pigmented, and others were quite sheer.  
  • The blushes are the same size as the Essential palette, but with two more colors.  I feel like these shades are pretty similar to each other.  The bronzers are the same colors as the Essential palette, but in larger pans.  Both the blushes and bronzers are a bit chalky in the pans, but are nicely pigmented colors.
  • I was looking forward to the concealers in the palette, which would make it very convenient for travel, or for the everyday go-to palette that you keep on top of your dresser.  But they were also a disappointment because they were pretty thin and diluted.  It includes one mint green shade and one pink shade for neutralizing. The other two shades are either yellow or pink based, but they seem to fall under the "medium" category, so they wouldn't suit someone if a lighter or darker skin tone.  The four cream eyeshadows are of nice pigmentation, but like I said about the first one in the mini palette, aren't a good alone on top of oily lids.  They also seem to be filled unevenly, which is sad, too.
  • The mirror is half the size of the lid.  The lip brush and face brush are the same as the Essential palette, but for they eyes they have a longer double ended sponge tip applicator.  There is no eyeliner in this palette.  It has the same, awkward snap closure as the Essential palette.
  • This would also be good too keep at home or a house where you'd frequently sleep over.  It is the largest of the 3 palettes, but it can be taken on some travel trips if packed carefully.  

All of these palettes are pretty good values in regards to quality, quantity, and price.  Overall, I feel like he mini palette is the best as a whole.  I liked the eyeshadow selection from the Essential collection and the lip color selection from the Master collection.  The blushes and bronzers were great from both collections, and all the cream shadows are a great addition.  I would recommend these collections.  Each of the three can be suited for different preferences and lifestyles, if you decide not to buy all three of them.

I also wanted to comment on the e.l.f. Customer Service.  I received my order, and the inside the 141 Piece Master Collection, one of the bronzers broke!  I saw the bottom of the pan, and the tiny pieces were everywhere, stuck within the cream shadows, and even underneath the sliding trays that would allow the broken powder to spread across the surface I placed the palette on.  I took pictures, and contacted the company via the Customer Service link on their website.  They were very kind to respond and send me a replacement in a kindly manner!  I always appreciate that when shopping.

I bought these items from with my own money and this review is my honest opinion about the products.  If you want to earn cash back on your purchases from the website, you can shop through Ebates with my referral link:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My New Z Palette & Some Magnetic Depotted Make Up

[I've been wanting to do a lot of reviews and tips about some things I have, but my laptop broke so I didn't get to do much of what I wanted.  Thankfully, my bf left his laptop here at my house, so I'm going to take advantage of that.  OK, well, I've been using his old laptop he's had since freshman year, but it's not the best thing to do work on.  Anyway, here's something for now.]

I never went out of my way to palette-ize my make up, until I found myself annoyed with how I stored my variety of make up pots.  I actually didn't to much to store them- I've had my father's old tool compartment storage cabinet thingy (with the small drawers to hold screws, nails, nuts, bolts, etc), cleaned it out, and "organized" my make up in them.  It was much better than the big dump bag I had, where I neatly placed everything on top of each other, but only to be annoying and messed up again when I had to dig for certain things that I wanted.  Although with this cabinet of small drawers allowed me to separate my shadows, blushes, and concealers from each other, I was still stacking some on top of each other because it was easier to lay them flat than upright in order to fit them inside the drawers.  It was also frustrating with different shaped items when trying to puzzle piece them together, and the pots took up too much space. Trying to figure out what I wanted to wear was annoying, because I couldn't see the colors, either.  So, I FINALLY bought a palette so I could depot my make up, clearing up some space.  I did find, however, that some make up pans were magnetized, while others were not.  I wanted to share my experiences, so I did a little video.

(this video was done on my old camera, and edited on an old laptop.  my apologies for the poor quality, but I was still able to show you the main idea of what I wanted to share. After watching the video, I wanted to re-record, but I had already finished adding magnets to my pans.)

Kinda weird, right?  Well, mostly the MAC quad and L'Oreal duo that only had one shadow that stuck well to the palette.  The strength of the Stila and L'Oreal single was intense, too.  I honestly had a difficult time removing them from the palette.

To depot my make up, I used the no heat method that I learned from YouTube tutorials.  Some were pretty easy, like the MAC and L'Oreal single shadows. Others were a bit difficult, especially the NYX shadow.  The NYX single shadow was actually my first depot ever, and I wasn't as prepared as I should have been.  While trying to pry off the upper tray, I must have used a little too much force, or didn't have a good grip on it, that when it popped off, it went flying and the shadow shatter when it landed on the table.  I was able to re-press it with an alcohol pad, but it just doesn't look cute anymore :( .  The Stila palette was annoying with all the cardboard to go through.  When I slipped alcohol under the pans, it would just get absorbed by the cardboard.  Idk why I didn't follow the tutorials that tell you to just peel off the layers of cardboard.  But even after I finally got them out, the glue was so hard and tough, it forever to clean off the back of the pans with an alcohol soaked cotton ball wrapped in a stronger alcohol wipe.  I also had to wear rubber gloves (my parents are nurses so we always had some lying around the house, now I feel they're a household staple) because it started to get painful gripping the metal pans on the edges.  A lot of work, but I'm just thankful for the outcome of condensing my make up into palettes.

And finally, my thoughts on the Z Palette.  I first heard about these through YouTube Guru Reviews, especially in comparison to other palettes available.  I decided on the Z Palette ( because I liked the large size, opened space (no well dividers!), and the clear plastic window which allows me to see exactly what is inside the palette.  It suits me personally because it conveniently holds a lot of make up in a little space on my bedroom dresser.  It's made of recycled materials, I'm assuming paper products, and it is pretty sturdy and flexible at the same time, unlike most plastic palettes.  If you drop this palette, it probably won't break since there are no hinges and paper doesn't necessarily "crack."  However, the make up inside might not exactly survive the drop.  I wouldn't leave this in the bathroom, as I can see moisture being its worst enemy.  But like I said, I will be storing this palette safely on my bedroom dresser, so it's fine for me.

The Z Palette website has a lot of helpful information about the palette itself, how to depot make up, and where you can buy them, whether through their website, or other sellers.  I purchased mine from so I can shop through my Ebates account.