I do not NEED a new phone. I just bought the iPhone 4S this spring. It still works just fine--even though I'm accident prone, I haven't broken it (yet... thank you, Otterbox!). But if someone gave you the opportunity to play with one of the newest, fastest, most awesomest phones on the market, would you turn it down?
Um, hellz no.
So my new HTC OneX+ is going to show up the first week of January, and I can't wait! And because my readers are awesome, HTC is going to hook up one of my readers with a free OneX+ too. Be on the lookout late January/early February for a giveaway.
Anyway, the stats on this thing are pretty sweet. If you want the deets, check out the video below. (Or as I like to call them, "tails" per Tom Haverford on Parks & Rec....)
China Glaze - It's a Trap-eze!
$5.50 from Sally Beauty
Limited Edition (Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away collection for winter 2012)
I wanted to love this polish. It's really unique for a mainstream brand, I love China Glaze, I'm going to see Cirque du Soleil for the first time in January, I love glitter, and this totally reminds me of Funfetti cake mix.
The good things are that it dried reasonably quickly, and depending on the amount of glitter you desire, anywhere from 1-3 coats could be okay (I'm wearing two coats in the above picture). There is a LOT of glitter in this formula--more than any other formula I've tried before. Although the milky white base is translucent and a little bit streaky, I didn't find it bothersome.
What it really comes down to is: I could NOT make this polish work. I tried and tried, but it just kept chipping/peeling off my nails within a day or two. And my topcoat peeled right off the layer of glitter polish too! I tried different base coats and top coats, Gelous and no Gelous, and no base coat, and no top coat, and it just didn't work. I haven't seen any other reviews that have had issues with topcoats peeling off, or chipping or peeling, so maybe I got a dud bottle. But I've kind of given up on making it work.
Also, if you don't like chunky glitter feeling scratchy on your nails, this isn't a good polish for you. I tried TWO coats of Gelous + TWO coats of Seche Vite, and it was still all chunky and scratchy feeling.
Readers, this year has really flown by! There have been lots of great products this year. Here are a few of my favorites.
Best Skin Care Product
What were your favorite products in 2012?
This ultimate collection features five deluxe mini Kohl Eye Pencils in a range of versatile shades that give you endless ways to line, define, and get Laura’s signature sultry eye. Each pencil is formulated specifically for lining the inside of the eyelid and the base of the lashes. The soft, creamy formula glides easily along the eyelid to create a smooth, well-balanced line and the luxurious texture provides maximum wearability.
Laura Mercier Mini Kohl Eye Pencil Collection
$32.00 for 5 mini pencils
Limited Edition, Sephora Exclusive
The most amazing thing about these pencils is their smooth, creamy texture. They're quite soft and blend nicely. These mini kohl pencils also perform fabulously on the waterline--they apply well, and stay nicely too! I didn't have any issues with smudging or transferring, which impressed me a lot. (Usually soft eye pencils get a little messy looking by the end of the day, but not these!)
The richly pigmented and multi-faceted shades are very wearable, no matter what the occasion. Dress them up with some shimmery shadow for going out, or pair them with neutral shadow for work. They're just shimmery enough to be interesting, but not glittery.
Each pencil is about the size of your standard deluxe eyeliner pencil sample.
Dress up your holiday look this season with Laura Mercier’s Petite Baked Eye Colour Trio – Wet/Dry. Featuring three Baked Eye Colours in a range of shimmering shades, this petite and portable palette is the perfect way to take your look from day to night. For an even wash of colour, apply dry, or for more vibrant shimmer, simply dampen brush with water and apply wet.
This cute little baked eye shadow trio would make a great stocking stuffer! It's just glam enough (the little bits of sparkle are so fun), and I love that you can go bold by using it wet, or go subtle by using it dry. You can get a really intense metallic look by using them wet. You'd think that a basic silver/grey/black palette would be boring, but I like that there's depth to these colors. The darkest shade is a little patchy when used dry, but works well when used wet as an eyeliner. I appreciate that there's a mirror inside (I can never have enough mirrored compacts! Seriously!). The length of wear on these was pretty good--I always use eye primer though, especially when using baked shadows dry.
Just an FYI, the Golden Metallic petite baked eye trio is gorgeous too--I swatched it at my local Laura Mercier makeup counter and just loved all of the pretty colors.
If you love baked eyeshadows, or know someone who does, I highly suggest that you pick these up!
Laura Mercier's Holiday Colour 2012 collection is perfect for gifting! And if you haven't seen the Art Deco Muse collection, which also came out this winter, you'll definitely want to take a peek at that too.
I'm seeing a few items that would make great stocking stuffers!
*Product images were provided by a PR firm.
I love mid-and high-end makeup. I love the makeup counters, the testers, the packaging... and of course, the quality. But sometimes I need some makeup in a pinch (forgot something while traveling), or want to try a trend without breaking the bank.
I was shopping at Forever 21, buying some skinny jeans, and saw that their makeup collection has really expanded. I’d heard some good things and thought I’d see for myself.
love & beauty blush in Pink
$1.80 for 0.16 oz
Made in Taiwan, cruelty free. The color is a classic, cool-toned medium pink. The texture is very smooth and fairly pigmented. The plastic compact is decent. There is a bit of fallout, and it does fade a little by the end of the workday.
love & beauty gel eyeliner in Black
$1.50 for 0.07 oz/2.00 g
Made in China, cruelty free. I was all set to be disappointed by this, since cheap eyeliners of any formula tend to be craptastic. But this stuff really impressed me. It comes in a sturdy frosted glass container with a plastic lid. It's small, but per ounce it's still a good value. The texture of this gel liner was smooth and creamy and incredibly pigmented. Good length of wear, no smudging, no flaking, no irritation. The swatch did stain my arm a bit, even after I wiped it off with a makeup wipe.
love & beauty eyeshadow in Dark Olive
$1.80 for 0.10 oz/2.83 g
Made in China, cruelty free. It's a cool toned dark olive shade that leans a bit brownish, with gold microglitter. Even with the glitter, the texture is smooth and fairly pigmented even without primer. There is a bit of fallout, both of the shadow and the glitter, but not enough to be a real issue. It had all day wear when used over primer. The plastic compact is cheap feeling, but it's still a decent product overall, and there's a pretty good amount of product. This has talc, petrolatum and mineral oil in it, which isn't a concern for me, but may be for some.
[click on a picture to enlarge it]
Does it compare with a high end brand, like MAC? Not really. But are they still good products, and would I be willing to try more products? Heck yes! They’re less expensive than most drugstore products, and they have a decent product selection and range of colors. The fact that they're made in China is a drawback, but I haven't had any issues with them. I’m happy with what I bought, and don’t feel like I wasted money on any of them. If you’re on a tight budget, or are looking to try out a new trend without committing a lot of $$$, Forever 21's makeup is a good bet.
PARNEVU was kind enough to send me some hair care products for my poor damaged hair! I've bleached and colored it so many times, that it's pretty fried.
PARNEVU T-Tree Shampoo
$6.00 for 12 fl oz
PARNEVU T-Tree Shampoo is a unique blend of botanicals designed to cleanse the hair and scalp of impurities. Its ultra-rich formula penetrates the hair to replace and lock in vital moisture lost to chemical damage and everyday styling. It leaves hair soft and manageable. Specially formulated with Australian Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia) to help eliminate itching and flaking when used on a regular basis. Directions for Use: Wet hair thoroughly. Apply shampoo to hair and scalp. Rinse completely and repeat.
Shampooing twice is the key to the effectiveness of this shampoo. Doing so gets my hair clean but not stripped. It smells clean, slightly minty and a little herbal. I love the rich lather too. After using it, my hair feels moisturized and shinier.