Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil Review!

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil

Shu Uemura Anti-Oxi Premium Cleansing Beauty Oil ($37 for 5 fl. oz.) is Shu Uemura's most popular cleansing oil. It targets dull skin caused by daily environment stresses, and for those concerned with anti-aging. There are (6) different cleansers to target the needs of specific skin types, but they all commonly remove makeup gently and effectively while maintaining the skin's natural level of moisture. Not only will the Anti-Oxi cleanser remove makeup, but it will work deep in your pores to remove dirt and sweat as well as pollutants that can speed up the aging process of your skin.

When searching for a cleanser, I usually opt for gentle cleansers because my skin type is very "normal" and if I use anything too harsh, it dries my skin out. It might sound a little foolish but most gentle cleansers bore the heck out of me because many of them lack all of the lather, which I feel makes cleansing somewhat fun or gratifying. Although the suds are sometimes what make us feel clean - Well, the suds are typically a factor in what causes the skin to become stripped of oils and dry in the first place. I'm trying to be a bit more mindful of the ingredients in my skincare products, and I've become more accustomed to using different oils in my routine. The word "oil" can be scary at first for beginners because when some of us think of putting oil on our face (especially those with acne-prone or sensitive skin), the words break-outs and clogged pores come to mind. That's not exactly the case. Some oils might not agree with your skin, sure. But there are many that are excellent for your skin in many different ways. If you wear face makeup regularly, especially medium and full coverage formulations, you can most certainly benefit from using cleansing oils.

I went through the ingredients list in the Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil and found that it's combined with some pretty great things. The first ingredient is Mineral Oil - one of the most common oils used in cosmetics and skincare for it's moisturizing capabilities without irritating the skin or clogging the pores. It also contains Cornstarch, which is used to absorb excess sebum and oil on the skin (so you won't be left an oil slick) as well as many great moisturizing oils and antioxidants. Some include: Safflower oil, Jojoba oil, Macadamia Seed oil, Moringa oil (great for purifying and rejuvenating the skin, aids with moisture retention and anti-ageing), Green tea extract and Gingko Biloba (antioxidant, helps increase blood flow, etc).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish Review!

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish ($9.50) is a fabulous soft purple with a blue pearl that makes this purple appear as more of a cool-toned purple/violet. I love purple nail polish, especially dark purples during the Fall/Winter and pastel purples during the Spring/Summer, but I rarely ever really wear mid-toned purples - I'm not quite sure why, but I think it has something to do with it being one of my most worn nail polish colors when I was a kid. I can't help but see purple as a very adolescent shade, but nevertheless, I think it's a really fun color and one that could be enjoyed all year round.

I found the formula to be a bit thick with this color and I couldn't get completely even coverage until I applied three coats. Despite this, each coat dried fairly quickly. You can surely get away with two coats, but I thought three looked best for full opacity. In the photo of my nails, I applied three coats to my pointer finger and two coats to the rest.

Sometimes square shaped bottles can be a little awkward to handle when painting the nails, but I love that the cap has grooves on each side for your thumb and pointer or middle finger to sit comfortably in as well as ridged grooves on both sides of the cap for a good grip. Really effective design.

I'm hoping my manicure will hold up for at least 5-6 days. I'll edit this post later letting you know how well it held up without chips.

Alessandro Lucky Violet Nail Polish

If you live in Europe, Alessandro might be a familiar brand to you, as it's one of the leading European luxury nail polish/nail care brands. It wasn't until just recently they launched their extensive line of gorgeous nail polishes in the USA. They are actually a sister brand to Tweezerman, so you can find their products on the Tweezerman website (by clicking the Alessandro tab at the top of the screen) or by visiting You can also find some of their products at

Have you ever heard of, or tried this brand? Let me know! I'm interested in trying some of their other shades.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Maybelline Hot Plum Color Sensational Vivids Lip Color Review, Photos, Swatches!

Maybelline Hot Plum Color Sensational Vivids Lip Color

Maybelline Hot Plum Color Sensational Vivids Lip Color ($6) is a vibrant fuchsia pink with a creamy, balm-like finish. It's fairly pink for a lipstick named 'Hot Plum', so if you're expecting something more plum/purple, this won't be it. It's really gorgeous never-the-less, and if you love bright, cool-toned pinks, you'll love this lipstick.

The formula is wonderful. The lipstick applies smoothly and the color is almost opaque in one pass. It's also hydrating enough where I don't need to apply a lip balm first, though I wouldn't particularly consider it to be moisturizing (very few lipsticks are with my dry lips). It's lightweight, has a little slip to it and feels good on the lips.

What's impressive is the lasting power. The color stays strong for several hours and leaves a lingering bright pink stain behind on the lips once most of the lipstick wears off.

Would I recommend? Heck yes! I want every single shade in the Vivids line. They're all beautiful! If you want to see swatches of every shade, check out Beautezine.

Maybelline Hot Plum Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick on my lips

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Review with Before & After Photos!

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara ($6) is a new mascara that provides maximum volume to create a bold, winged-out look. The unique wire brush coats your lashes and curves them up and out. This mascara doesn't claim to add any length, so keep that in mind. 

The brush awkward. It's very large and full, and has an hourglass shape. I find that slightly rolling the brush at the base of the lashes while moving the brush upward works really well. The middle of the wand hugs the lashes as you coat them, and does a pretty good job of coating the lashes evenly. But because the tip of the brush is large, you can't really reach your corner lashes with it. Often times my fine corner lashes get missed with this mascara, otherwise I'll end up with mascara on my lids trying. The brush seems to deposit more product to the base of the lashes, so it gives almost a dark, liner effect to the the top lid. I despise any brushes that aren't your standard mascara wand shape, but you get use to it after a few uses.

It doesn't do anything for lengthening, but it works really well for building volume. The formula is on the drier side, and because of this, even when there is too much product on the brush and I apply it to my lashes, it doesn't stick all of my lashes together and make them look stubby. If I do end up with small clumps, they comb out easy with a spoolie without removing the mascara. For a volumizing mascara, I found that it separates fairly well and makes my lashes look thicker and fuller. You can build coat after coat of volume with no problems. 

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara Before After

It holds a curl well and doesn't flake or smudge all day. 

If you're happy with the length of your lashes and just want volume, this mascara is excellent. But, if you're looking for length and volume, I'd skip this mascara or use it in conjuction with a lengthening mascara or a good mascara base because it layers really well. 

Covergirl Flamed Out Mascara

Friday, August 2, 2013

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel Review with Photos!

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel ($5-6) is a raspberry pink with a super-glossy, gel-like finish. Indoors in low lighting the color appears much more raspberry/magenta, but when in bright lighting, the purple hues really come out and it shows more of a true fuchsia.

I don't know what it is with nail colors, but I get sick of every single polish after one manicure. It's very rare for me to find a shade that I want to wear continuously. Is anyone else like this? I'm beginning to think if I should stop buying nail polish all together and just get a weekly manicure at the salon. Anyway, fuchsia is one color that I don't find myself getting sick of on my nails.

I prefer darker shades of polish in general as pastels and light shades become discolored after a few days (I'm hard on my hands). This shade in particular really seems to flatter my skintone whether I'm pale or tan. Berry shades are typically most worn during Fall, but I love breaking the rules and wearing it all year round when I'm sick of everything else in my collection.

The Revlon Colorstay Nail Enamel line claims to keep your manicure fresh for up to 11 days - it's barely been 24 hours since I applied the color, but I'll update this post to let you know how well it holds up. I'm super lazy when it comes to painting my nails more than once a week, so if this polish stays put for a week, I'm definitely going to purchase additional shades.

The formula is fantastic - creamy, opaque and perfect with two coats. It didn't take forever to dry between coats and the finish is shiny. The brush is large with a rounded tip for precise, streak-free application. Only, my applicator wasn't cut evenly which is a bit annoying during application, but I was able to paint my nails mistake-free.

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Nail Enamel
Two (2) Coats of Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Nail Enamel on my nails (w/ Seche Vite Top Coat)

Revlon Rich Raspberry Colorstay Nail Enamel

Have you tried the Revlon Colorstay line of nail polishes? Did they stay true to the 11-day claim for you?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Revlon Dazzle Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel Mini Review with Photos!

Revlon Dazzle Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel

Revlon Dazzle Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel

Revlon 010 Dazzle Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel ($8) is a lovely warm, light pink jelly nail polish with iridescent shimmer/micro glitter and what appears to be golden iridescent flakes. It's a super pretty shade and a bit reminiscent of the much sought after limited edition OPI Pink Me I'm Good.

It's sheer but if you don't have discolored nails, it's actually pretty wearable with one coat. The color builds well and is fairly opaque with three coats. Although it's totally fine to wear alone, it's probably better suited when applied on top of a light pink nail polish if you're into a more opaque look. I've worn it both ways, and actually have it applied over Essie Van D'Go on my toes and I really like it!

The Brilliant Strength line combines a base and top coat in a nail strengthening formula. Despite that, I still like using my own base coat (Orly Bonder is my favorite) and a top coat (Seche Vite) as I prefer a shiny, glassy finish.

The formula was a bit watery, but really easy to work with. The brush is a bit large and flat, it's easy to coat the nails with a couple swipes.

I found that it holds up quite well on the nails. My only complaint is that the enamel doesn't grip onto the tips of my nails well, and I had tip wear within a couple of days. No chips though for a week.

Revlon Dazzle Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel
Three (3) coats of Revlon Dazzle Nail Enamel on my nails

What's on your nails right now?

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara Review with Photos!

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara ($28) is a mascara that provides ultra-volume at the lash line for a "sensuous curve from root to tip". The formula's "black-diamond effect" imparts a glossy gel-like finish. The dual-action brush has a flat side for optimizing product deposit at the lash line while the rounded side separates, defines, and lengthens.

When I'm looking into purchasing a new mascara, I always go for the mega-volume formulas. I have never tried any of the Hypnôse formulas, but I've always sort-of wanted to from the rave reviews. Lancome "Hypnôse" is Lancome's popular volumizing mascara, and because of it's crowd favoritism, Lancome has come out with a few additions to the Hypnôse line - Hypnôse Drama, Hypnôse Doll and the latest - Hypnôse Star.

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara Wand

I would consider it to be a wet formula, especially when the product is fresh. With the first use, I hated it because it was too wet and clumped my lashes together too much. But after breaking the tube in, the clumps were less, but it still didn't completely win me over.

Because the formula is wet, I found that even when I tried my best to separate my lashes through the application process, once I blinked a few times, some of my lashes would stick together. Is there such thing as no clumping with this mascara? No, I don't think so. But on the bright side, the clumps aren't excessive and they don't cause my lashes to look spidery or stubby.

It gives my lashes more of a spikey look, as it doesn't define each individual lash. I find the result to be much, much better with a mascara base, but even then, I'm not able to achieve a voluminous, thick, lots-of-lashes effect.

Lancome Hypnôse Star Mascara After
Wearing two hefty coats of Lancome Hynose Star Mascara.