Friday, November 21, 2014

Sasha's 2014 Beauty Gift Guide


I love to receive beauty gifts- I think pretty much any makeup and nail polish lover would too! So I've put together a little guide with some great gifts for this holiday season. With the exception of one item (more on that later!), these are all products I have personally purchased and love.

$28.00 at Sephora
 
I first discovered FAB when I was looking for something to help with my son's dry cracked hands a few winters ago. He's particular about scent and doesn't like anything that leaves a greasy residue. The FAB Ultra Repair Cream was the answer and now the whole family uses it! This trio of products includes not only the Ultra Repair Cream, but also 28 Facial Radiance Pads and Face Cleanser, both great products. All FAB products are allergy-tested, fragrance-free, dermatologist-recommended, and safe for even the most-sensitive skin.
 
$59.00 at Sephora
 
 
This 17 piece set is perfect for your lippie lover and includes lipsticks, glosses, liners, treatments, tars, liquids, balms, and creams in four color groups- red, pink, nude, and berry shades. It includes 14 brands carried at Sephora and is a fabulous way to try a large assortment of products for what you'd normally spend on just a few high end lip products. Some of my favorites in this set are the Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment, the Bite Beauty lipstick, and the Buxom lipstick.
 
$45 at Sephora
 
This 9 piece set contains glamorous party essentials, all tucked in a festive metallic clutch. This set includes lots of super-popular products like  Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Microfinish Powder, a Smashbox lippie, and a Deborah Lippmann polish.
 
 
$54 at Sephora
 
All three of the Naked Palettes are favorites with makeup junkies, but 3 seems to be the most popular right now. The rose-hued shades included in this set are in the shade range of the minute and look great on all shin tones. Urban Decay shadows have a fantastic formula, with great staying power and pigmentation.
 

$50 at Sephora

Yesterday I showed your my most expensive polish purchase to date- Rouge Louboutin. I declared it a worthy luxury purchase for any nail polish fanatic. A wand that's unique yet easy to hold, as well as a brush and formula that make application a dream make this a must-buy if you're looking to impress.
 
 
$54 at UrbanDecay.com
 
The Naked on the Run palette is the only item on my gift guide that I haven't personally tried, but it's on MY wish list! I love that it includes eye shadows, bronzer, blush, lipgloss, eyeliner, AND mascara, all in one palette. How perfect this will be for travel.
 
Purchasing tips:
The Naked on the Run palette is currently only available at the Urban Decay website, but they are currently offering free shipping on orders over $50.
 
All other items are offered at Sephora. They offer free shipping on orders over $50 as well. I would recommend going through Ebates- they have currently doubled the percentage they rebate back to you from 4 to 8%.
 
Disclosure: All product links are NOT affiliate links. The only affiliate link in this post is the Ebates link.
 


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin
2 coats
 
When Sephora had their VIB sale a few weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and buy one of the high-priced items I'd been eyeing..... a bottle of Christian Louboutin nail polish. Regularily priced at $50, the 20% sale brought it down to $40, and I used Ebates to get an additional 7% off (regular cash back of 4%, plus 3% more for using my Ebates Visa). I figured $37.20 wasn't nearly as bad as $50. :-)
 
It's definitely the most spendy bottle in my collection. My other pricey bottles include a bottle of Dior Adventure ($25) that I bought with a giftcard I received in a Glossybox I purchased, and 2 Chanels that I purchased for about that same price (Paradoxal and Taboo.)
 
But back to my Louboutin.........
 
 
Although the actual glass portion containing the polish is protected by the box shown in this picture, I'm sad to say that the sharp tip wasn't protected at all in the large box it was shipped in with the rest of my order, and a piece of the tip had snapped off. I did contact Sephora and they have shipped me another (the broken bottle will be returned when the new one arrives), but I haven't received it yet to see if the tip was more protected for the second shipment. Let's hope so!
 
 
Close-up shot of the box covering the polish portion of the bottle
 
 
I'm going to be honest and tell you I was stumped when it came to opening the box and getting to the polish. I could not figure out how the box came apart! It fits together so well, it's pretty tight. You have to pull pretty hard on the top portion of the box to get it to come off. Thankfully, some videos on YouTube came to my rescue and my polish was released from the boxy prison.

And now that I know how it comes off, I can get it off easily.
 
 
 
The bottle itself is pretty cool. The 7 inch cap is modeled after the heel on the Ballerina ULTIMA shoe, the highest heel Christian Louboutin ever designed. The bottle is molded from cut glass and has an ombre color effect that goes from red to black down the bottle.
 
I found the wand easy to hold. I know that Julep recently released their Plié wand, and they remind me of each other, although it looks like the Plié wand is bendable. At any rate, this fit nicely in my hand and gave me really good control. I got great application from the brush, although I didn't notice anything in particular that was different about the brush. Supposedly, the brush has a triangle-bristle construction to aid in smooth application.
 
The formula was fabulous. I started with a coat of my normal base, NailTek Intensive Therapy II. I got pretty darn good coverage with just one coat of Rouge Louboutin, but I decided to do two coats because I really wanted to test the wear. I used my typical top coat- NYC Grand Central Station, although it felt a little funny using a $1.99 product on top of a luxury product! It's my HG and never fails me so I used it as usual.

So far I'm pretty impressed. I'm on day 3 and I have barely visible tip wear on just a few nails. Not impressed enough to buy additional bottles, but impressed enough to say that I would suggest a bottle of this as a luxury gift for someone who loves makeup and nail polish as much as I do. I don't know that a muggle would appreciate it, but since I will probably never own a pair of Louboutin shoes, I can be satisfied with this little bottle of fabulous polish.
 
 


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NYC Midnight Beauty Collection

Today I've got swatches of three of the four shades in NYC's Midnight Beauty collection.  I've long been a fan of NYC's In a New Your Minute line, in particular using Grand Central Station as a top coat. It's been my HG for a few years now and besides how well it performs as a quick dry top coat, my favorite thing about it is the price- just $1.99 for every shade in the line! 
 
All swatches are shown without top coat.
 
NYC I am not affRED
(2 coats)
 
I am not affRED is a deep wine. It's a bit thin and prone to running into your cuticles. It's also a bit hard to clean up if it gets in your cuticles (see my middle finger), but with a steady hand, it makes a pretty fall mani.

 
 
NYC Rock Muse (1 coat)
over I am not affRED
 
Rock Muse is a "Smoky Top Coat" so I gave it a try over I am not affRED. Since the glitter is suspended in a sheer dark grey tinted base, Rock Muse really darkened I am not affRED and gave it a deeper hue. I got good glitter coverage in just one coat. I have seen a few bloggers give it a try by itself and achieve a pretty neat look with 3-4 coats.
 
 
NYC Black Elixr
2 coats
 
Black Elixr is a pretty cool black- it's got a jelly-like quality, yet covers completely in 2 coats. The first coat is very sheet, but coverage builds nicely.
 
 


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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

China Glaze Lug Your Designer Baggage

China Glaze Lug Your Designer Baggage
2 coats
From the All Aboard Collection (Fall 2014)

marco shot
 

When I saw pics of China Glaze's Fall 2014 collection, All Aboard, I knew that Lug Your Designer Baggage was the first shade I wanted to try. Isn't is gorgeous? I don't have anything else like this in my collection- it's brown creme with gold flecks and a GREAT fall shade. The All Aboard collection is inspired by “vintage railway travel” which is a pretty cool theme.



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Friday, November 7, 2014

SinfulColors Splatter Spell

SinfulColors Splatter Spell
2 coats
over Sally Hansen Pumpkin Queen
 

shade pic
 
How about one more Fall mani? Although I do think this would have made a good Halloween mani, the black and gold in this topcoat makes for a great Fall mani too!
 
Splatter Spell is a top coat that part of the SinfulColors 2014 Halloween Collection called Wicked Color. This collection contains some "Tricked Out Top Coats" as well as "Halloween Favorites".


Splatter Spell has metallic gold black flakes and black and gold glitter suspended in a clear base. I first tried it over black, and since you couldn't see the black flakes and glitter, that didn't work at all so I thought orange would be better. The orange base allows both the gold and black to show up, and I love how it turned out.
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There are 14 "boo-tiful colors" in this collection, including four topcoats and 10 Halloween favorites. They are available exclusively at Walgreens and Target stores for $1.99. 

Find SinfulColors on social media:
Facebook:       Sinfulcolors Professional
 

 

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Friday, October 31, 2014

SinfulColors Cauldron Couture

SinfulColors Cauldron Couture
2 coats
over China Glaze Fancy Pants
 
shade pic, with flash
 
Cauldron Couture  is part of the SinfulColors 2014 Halloween Collection called Wicked Color. This collection contains some "Tricked Out Top Coats" as well as "Halloween Favorites".

Cauldron Couture has metallic green and black flakes and glitter suspended in a clear base. I first tried it over black, and since you couldn't see the black flakes and glitter, that didn't work at all! Once I saw that Night Swatcher had used a gorgeous purple as her base, I knew I had to try that as well. Since I didn't have a SinfulColors purple in my collection, I grabbed China Glaze Fancy Pants (purchased by me) since I thought it was close in color to SinfulColors Let's Talk, also from the Halloween Collection.

I think the purple base looks great under the green and black- and it makes a great Halloween mani!
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There are 14 "boo-tiful colors" in this collection, including four topcoats and 10 Halloween favorites. They are available exclusively at Walgreens and Target stores for $1.99. Earlier this week I swatched Mystery Moonshine and Pumpkin Spice.
 
 


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SinfulColors Pumpkin Spice

SinfulColors Pumpkin Spice
4 coats

shade pic
I think this shows the color of the glitter a bit better.
 
 
Pumpkin Spice is part of the SinfulColors 2014 Halloween Collection called Wicked Color. This collection contains some "Tricked Out Top Coats" as well as "Halloween Favorites". Pumpkin Spice is a re-release, as appears to be a bit different than prior versions. This version has gold and red-orange glitter in a sheer orange-pink base. Even with 4 coats, this version doesn't give full coverage, but it's still a cool look, and would work great as a glitter topper over another color too.
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There are 14 "boo-tiful colors" in this collection, including four topcoats and 10 Halloween favorites. They are available exclusively at Walgreens and Target stores for $1.99. I plan to feature a few more shades from the collection over the next few days. Earlier this week I swatched Mystery Moonshine.
 


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