Friday, January 18, 2013

OPI Mariah Carey Collection

Hey everyone,
    The newest collection out from OPI is the celebrity line from Mariah Carey, and in her collection she's got some polishes that have what is advertised as "liquid sand".  I had purchased a mini set of just the textured polishes, because the other four shades did not really interest me, and colors that weren't as new or special.

First off the OPI website describes the "liquid sand" polishes as "OPI's newest innovation in texture.  Dries to a textured matte finish infused with reflective glints of light". While this sounds really cool, the best translation of this is to think of a really chunky glitter polish.  The polish is also claimed to be matte in base, but I would not really describe it as that.  Instead it looks like just a regular nailpolish base, I've had previous well packed glitter polishes, with the same style base, so once broken down...these polishes aren't THE most amazing.  But lets look at the shades!

The first shade is the blue with shimmer called "Get Your Number".  The description from the OPI website is " weaing this matte blue with sparkles is a great call".  Not much of a description, but ok.  In the bottle Get Your Number is a deep royal blue with silver and light blue sparkles, but on the nails it turns out different.  As you'll be able to see from the photos, one coat leads to a light, and bright blue layer.  The second coat gets the color a little deeper, but rather opaque.  Even with three coats the shade does not come near the deep color in the bottle, but instead shows up as a vibrant, almost neon blue shade.  It had the most even distribution of the larger glitter, although it does not have the hexagonal glitter as the red and purple shades have.

The next color is "Can Let Go" and is a deep purple with silver and purple shimmer. There is silver hexagonal larger glitter in this color.  Again the bottle has this deep and rich shade that I could totally see Mariah wearing, but then comes out light and bright on the nails.  Two coats were fine, but a third coat did make the shade more rich in color.  The OPI description is: "Hold on to this matte purple with dazzling sparkle." Again, another description that isn't really witty or helpful.

The third shade is "The Impossible" which in the bottle looks like a bright red with silver and red shimmers, and silver hexagonal larger glitter.  This shade reminds me a bit of the Muppet Collection red glitter , Excuse Moi, although Excuse Moi has larger silver glitter, but only in the bottle.  The Impossible still comes out much brighter than the bottle shows.  OPI says "The matte fuchsia with start confetti will never give up."  If by stars they mean hexagon shaped glitter than that is correct, and it does turn out to be a a red-toned fuchsia shade.  But this color had difficulty distributing evenly the hexagon glitter onto the nail.  To get to the rich shade at the third coat, caused first coat with several hexagons to be covered up. 

The last shade is "Stay the Night" which in the bottle looks like a rich black with red shimmers in it.  This was probably the most disappointing shade out of the bunch, because even after three coats, it was not a deep black shade. Instead it came out as a deep grey/ charcoal with red shimmer. It truly was a color that I was looking forward to, and was just disappointed, but what I tried out was to use a black base coat, and then layered Stay the Night over. 

Even after doing these swatches, I don't really see a matte base, instead I see it more as a jelly consistency.  You don't put a top coat over this polish, but not to worry because it does not catch on fine fabrics (yay!) They also all come out as much brighter than their bottles, so I was a bit bummed about that.

So the question you all are probably asking: Would I recommend them? These looks can easily be achieved through layering glitter top coats over any jelly polish, and you can probably find the deeper shades as a first color coat.  But, they are still cool.  Thinking back, while they seem to be something new, like the crackle...they really are not the most special colors or formulations.  This bumpy "liquid sand" option seems cool,but no top coat means that it tends to chip a little easier, unless you get your hands on the Essie matte top coat.   If you can, you can get the mini versions, but I wouldn't buy them full sized.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Health: The Starting Point

So in keeping with my New Year's Resolution to stay healthier,
I am starting my post with my own starting point. 
I went to the gym, and took a photo of my starting information
which was terrifying because it was really about facing the numbers. 

But I've already had a healthy breakfast and am noming on a pretty good lunch. 
I'll post photos at the end of each week with my meals, just so I keep motivated. 
Also weekly I will post my weigh-in information. 
What day should I do that on? 

So my official starting info: (Insert drumroll)

Anyone else trying to change their eating habits and lifestyle?
What are you doing?

B&BW Twisted Peppermint Candle vs. Fragrence Oil

Hey everyone,
   So it's that time of year when B&BW does it's semi-annual 50-75% off sale, and it's truly the best time to restock up on products, and even try out some new things.  I am a huge candle lover/ home fragrance person, and of course B&BW carries both.  I was using a few candles recently that just really disappointed me in their scent carrying and strength and then I realized that I had the fragrance oil version of them and decided to put them to the test.  So is one better than the other?

Twisted Peppermint is my favorite winter/ holiday collection scent from B&BW so I had my expectations set for the candle.  When I purchased it, it had a a decently strong scent, but also was something that didn't seem overpowering.  Just would be a minty fresh, yet slightly sweet scent for my bedroom.

Typically fragrance oils are much stronger in scent than candles, so in theory you get more use out of them and don't have to put a whole lot in the diffuser or cotton round.  I have the Scentbug which is a battery powered diffuser with a small fan and a little hatch where you put a cotton round in that has the scent you want to use.  What's great is that you can mix your own home fragrance too!

The Candle: 
I hate to say it but the candle itself was very disappointing when I finally lit it.  It had a barely there scent and just didn't diffuse throughout the room as much as I was hoping for. Perhaps it is because it's from last year, but I do also have a few candles from last year that still have beautiful, strong scents. I just don't like paying for a wimpy candle, even if it is on B&BW sale.   It does have a very clean burn, and it would be safe to say that it burns for a very long time, even the small versions of it.  The candle seems to be better fit for those who like the ambiance, and who don't have to worry about small children or pets getting to it.

The Fragrance Oil:
Now B&BW has a good thing going with these, and it's basically the wallflower oil in different form. Like I mentioned, I have the Scentbug (also purchased a few years back from the 50-75% sale) and while the directions say to use about 20 drops, I find that 10 is fine.  The Scentbug does have a slight hum sound from the fan, but it's actually rather relaxing, and the scent is carried throughout the room, to the point that my hallway smells of whatever scent I am using.  I have tried to add a drop or two of the Twisted Peppermint into the candle for some extra strength, but it caused the flame to create soot, and didn't do much.  This version of the Peppermint was much stronger, and just overall what I was looking for.  You don't have to use the actual Scentbug, if you have a fragrance oil diffuser, it works with that too.

Overall Opinion:
In the case of the Twisted Peppermint scent, the better deal (especially during the semi-annual sale) is the fragrance oil.  You don't need as much as the packaging says, it's potent, and the scent carries into other rooms.  The candle was a disappointment, and I'm really hoping it's just an old candle, but B&BW I think since I've had such great results with the oil, I'll repurchase that one instead.

What about you? Have you had a dud scent from B&BW? Have you tried a fragrance oil from there?
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Resolutions

Well this is my second post for New Years, and already I feel so excited for this next year. So many changes are afoot, and they start with today.  First off I graduate undergrad in May, and after a crazy semester I may be able to start my last semester with much fewer credits. WOOOHOOO! SO what that means is more time for me, and more time for my blog.  I figured that making my resolutions on here would probably make me stick to them, and perhaps throughout this year I will be making updates about my working towards these goals.  Maybe I'll go buck wild and make a post in December about my progress! (shocker!)

So I narrowed down my resolutions to 5 main categories:
1. Work through products: This is directly tied to makeup, and it is something that I really want to do in full force.  I have much too much, and by actually using my products, I am enjoying them.  I buy so many and have so much that I don't get the chance to actually use them.  Plus so much space is lost too it, I want to find what I love and keep it to there. Plus I only buy certain colors, so I end up repurchasing the exact same colors!

2. Get Healthy: Yeah I know, everyone is probably putting this one on the list, but it is so important.  Over the last semester I took 21 credits, 20 hours of clincals, worked 15-20 hours, and commuted a total of 2 hours daily (10 hours in a week) so I had no time to take care of myself.  I didn't go to the gym, didn't sleep, and at the worst possible food because my school lunch lines are insane.  This semester in focus I want to fit into a dress I purchased last year for either my formal or graduation (a week apart). I also want to fit back into my wardrobe, which is so pretty and lovely but I can't wear because I got so big.  I might start a series on monthly updates, and show what I've been eating, my actual weight numbers (eek), and a few food surprisees (like stuff we thought was good which is actually really bad) and just generally explain my own changes.  This means going to my gym 4-5 days a week, which now my schedule will permit me too.

3. Pay more attention to my blog:This is probably a no-brainer, but when you have to write 60-100 pages per week for classes, you really don't wanna type something up on the computer (hence my inability to look at a screen for almost 3 weeks) But I want to spend more time on here, review more products etc.  There may be some more fitness on the way, but also some more feed back on the products I do have. This is something I want to spend more time doing, and as I sat down to come up with products that I feel should have some more mention, I realized that in fact I did have a lot to say.  Hopefully I'll be able to put up weekly posts, if not more! Let me know what kind of posts you'd like me write!I want to also make this blog about my readers, not just me.

4. Be more social: This is kinda linked to being healthier, but the fact that I had so much to do over the last year in my own personal life and was so focused on work, and school, I missed out on going out with friends, and get togethers.  This year I want to build that back up and reconnect with my friends that we had fizzled out with. That also includes my move, that is probably the scariest aspect of my life, because I have never been away from home more than a month, and I always had my sister with me.  I'll be moving on to my own, where I'll still beable to visit family (as they will only be an hour away) but still. eeep.!

5. Become more organized: This applies to every aspect of my life.  While I do stay organized via a planner, I can become scatterbrained and not do things around the house, or leave a mess behind.  I want to work on that. along will allotting time for social things, blogging, and exercise. 

So what about you all? What are your resolutions? Also what would you like to see me blog about? I'd love to get some feedback!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Product Empties Finale 2012!

Happy Holidays Everyone!
    I hope everyone is having an AWESOME holiday time! I figured this would be a great time to do my holiday wrap up post regarding my project empties for the year! I've kept all the containers in a bag in a corner of my room and boy does this thing take up some space!

So I had a friend ask me exactly how much space does 156 products take up in a typical room, and that got me thinking about how much space did I really give myself back. Most bloggers or youtubers just keep their products for a month or two but I kept all my stuff from the year!
My extra large Hallmark bag

All my products smushed together took up my entire bedside table!
I also was thinking back about my experience with my year long purging and realized quite a few things:
1.Be Reasonable:  Makeup takes a long time to get through and so often the beauty bloggers and youtubers that I follow think that they can get through almost 30 makeup products in 4 months.  It won't happen, that is really a year long project (at least) and even longer if you are using brand new, never touched stuff.
2. The Addiction: Purchasing things nonstop really is an addiction which can lead to larger and larger purchases. We often chuckle that we have so much makeup and that we will never use it all. In this last year I found it really hard at first to stop buying, it was just so ingrained that when you go to the drugstore you just pick up a few things from the beauty aisle.  It was that whole buying equals satisfaction,  but then once I actually shopped my stash I realized I didn't need a lot of the new things. I also found it a lot more exciting to be finishing out my products. 
3. New Forms: While products are coming out in a lot of new forms, once on the face, eyes or lips, they look exactly alike. Thus I didn't need to go out and purchase a lot f the hyped up things. My current glosses looked exactly like a lot of the new glosses, some even had a staining ability on my lips, so I didn't really need that brand new product.  Also, guru's love to review the new products and create looks centered around them.  That is great, but just look through what you have, I'm sure you'll find something similar.  I found a lot of similar colors that I learned to enjoy.
4. Learn About Yourself: This taught me a lot about what colors I like, the forms they come in, and even how long they last.  I now know that I love the B&BW body washes, but that I only need to purchase 4 or 5 in a year to last, because they take me a while to get through.  I learned how to fine tune my makeup skills, tried out liquid liner, and figured out I'll never wear bright colors on my eyes.  This shouldn't be a punishment, but instead a chance to learn what you like or don't like about products so that future purchases can be made more wisely.  
5. Using them up: Just because I had used up a product, didn't mean that I liked it.  As most of my posts had indicated this year, I was not impressed by a lot of the products I used up.  But that also doesn't mean that I hated everything I owned.  I wanted to actually use my makeup, not just let it sit in the drawer and look pretty.  By pushing myself to use them up, I am actually enjoying them for the purpose they were purchased for.  

So what does this mean for the next year? 
Well, I am still moving in September, and my space is still going to be extremely cramped.  Also going back to purchasing products wouldn't be useful after putting in so much effort to finish them out.  So for 2013, I will continue my project! My goal this year is going to be 75 products, but I would love to hit 100.  I gave myself a lower number since my half-used products are done, and I'll be starting from the top with all my products.  My focus will also be on my actual makeup products, let's hope I get through another 25 of them :) 

What about you guys? Any resolutions to stop spending? Anyone else looking to downsize their collections? 

Happy New Year!