Empties Roundup: August 2016

Hello, reader! This is the Empties Roundup for August 2016! I’m proud of what I used up this month. Let me also begin by saying I love how many of you commented on last month’s post, and especially about how I cut the tubes open. Doesn’t everyone do this? I just loved that it was a common sentiment from so many people.

Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream (Mini)


I’m a huge fan of BB Creams in the summer; I love to let my hard-earned freckles show. From this one, I got pretty good, though light, coverage; this stuff covered my redness without also covering up the good stuff. It took me most of the summer to use up this tube; I’ll be using Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB for the rest of it, and in the fall I’ll be going back to my regular foundation.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (Mini)


I’ll be honest, I’m only chucking this because it stopped turning in the sharpener. I love to use a pencil all the way down to the end! This eyeliner is my absolute favorite and since the mini Zero pencil is a popular free sample, I have a handful of them in my makeup stash at any given moment. I’ve already started working on the next one.

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Moisturizing Shampoo


When I bought this shampoo, I bought it because it was so summery-looking. I actually bought the whole collection; in addition to the conditioner, there’s also a sea salt texturizing spray and a curl cream. It’s just what I needed to keep my hair looking like summer. I’ve already bought another one.

Bath & Body Works Kauai Lei Flower Shower Gel


Ahh, Kauai, my favorite Hawaiian island. I actually finished the lotion for this months ago, and still had well over half of the shower gel left. I decided that instead of going out and buying another product, I was just going to use up stuff I already have. It’s really the story of my bathroom cabinets, it’s nothing but half-used lotions and gels that don’t go together. I washed makeup brushes with this stuff a few times before I put it back in the shower.

And that’s it! I’m really close to finishing up some more stuff, so September’s post should be really good! What did you empty out this month?

I bought these products myself.

Manicure Monday: Ombre Hearts

Happy Monday, reader! A lot of polishes found their way into this week’s Manicure Monday post! For this first-time ombre, I used Essie’s Go Ginza and Devil’s Advocate (thumb and pinky, respectively), Ciaté’s Pillow Fight (index), Julep’s Charlotte (middle), Chanel’s Provocation (ring), and Revlon’s Hearts of Gold FX. I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.



So after last week’s break, I actually broke the same nail again and just gave up and cut them all down. I forgot how hard it is to have short nails! I mean, obviously it’s not like having long nails, but there’s a challenge in there. I can’t scratch my back as easily, for example. It’s also harder to paint them, because the edge is so near the fingertip, I can’t wrap the edges as well. They’re already worn on some nails. It’s sad; this mani is going to be chipped to hell by tomorrow.



At first, I was just going to use Charlotte as the base on all five nails, but I decided that was boring. I’d never done an ombre like this before and dug around in the bins for purple cremes. You would not believe the time I spent looking for four more purple cremes. Turns out, these are like the only five I had! How is it possible that I can have 1,400+ bottles of polish but practically no purple cremes? I actually did have a few more but most of them were similar shades and didn’t make a difference. I don’t like how some of the purples are warm and some are cool, but the glitter looks good over all of them at least.



Hearts of Gold FX is such a fun topper. I love glitter toppers and I love shaped glitters. I love finding mainstream polishes with shaped glitters. I’ve worn it on the blog before, so this time I used the matte top coat to make it extra different. I love the way it looks mattefied! The glitter looks different over every nail, but I think I might like it best over the lighter shades, where the glitter blends in a bit more. In the sunlight, even though it’s mattefied, it’s still blinding.





Essie and Revlon are sold in stores nationwide; mine likely came from Walgreens. My Chanel is from Nordstrom. Julep polishes are sold on their website and other stores. Ciaté is sold at Sephora.

I bought these polishes myself.

Swatch Sunday: Smokey Mountain Lacquers’s Pleasure In Your Base

It’s Sunday, time for swatches! I’m trying out a new-to-me brand called Smokey Mountain Lacquers. It’s my first from them; it came in a Beauty Quartet Box from February 2015. It’s about time, right? This is Pleasure in Your Base; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite. Also, another disclaimer today: I broke the ring finger nail and tried to cover up the torn polish. It was a lot more convincing in person, I swear. Sorry about that.





Pleasure in Your Base is a royal blue polish with a silver shimmer. Application was good; the product consistency was smooth and easy to control. The first coat was thin; the second gave full opacity. The shimmers in my bottle sank to the bottom, but giving it a good shake helps it come back together. The polish dries with a semi-glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine.



At first, I didn’t really care for this polish, because it wasn’t what I expected from an indie maker. It’s like the same deep shimmery blue every mainstream maker has in their collection. The silver shimmers do add something unique, but it didn’t seem as special as an indie polish should have felt. Now that I’m wearing it, I can appreciate it for what it is: a handmade product from a small business. It may not be the most unique polish, but it’s still pretty. Indie or mainstream, everyone should have a blue like this in their collection.



In direct sunlight, the silver shimmers get washed out, but the blue shimmer comes alive. It really does have a glow.





Pleasure in Your Base was a Beauty Quartet Box exclusive and is no longer for sale. The Beauty Quartet Box is now the Magic 8 Box, available from Philly Loves Lacquer. Other Smokey Mountain Lacquers are available from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Siren’s Holiday Soirée

Happy Saturday! I’m so excited to bring you today’s swatch, because I don’t have anything else like it in my collection. This is the Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Siren from December 2014, Siren’s Holiday Soirée. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Let me preface this by saying I have no idea what caused the huge chip. It’s not there in the sunlight photos, which I took first, only in the studio set that was taken later. Such is life with chunky glitter sometimes.



We're number one! We're number one!

We’re number one! We’re number one!


Siren’s Holiday Soirée is a raspberry jelly polish with red and pink matte glitters and blue/purple iridescent glitters. The jelly is very translucent, allowing all glitters from each coat to shine through. The product formula supports and distributes the glitters well, but isn’t thick. The polish dries quickly and with a glossy finish. Some glitters — notably, the iridescent shreds — don’t lie flat or hang off the edge of the nail, and so it can be rough to the touch, rougher than the typical glitter texture. I used top coat for smoothness and extra shine.



I’ve gotta say, of all the BEGL Sirens I’ve worn so far, this is my favorite. I can’t get over the iridescent glow. Perhaps glow is not a strong enough word; these glitters are like little blue fires burning inside this bottle. I love the matte monochromatic glitters in here too, I love the texture and solidity they add, but the burning from the iridescents is just too beautiful.



In the sunlight, the burning isn’t as strong, but it’s still there. In light this strong, you can see all the way through the jelly, and the matte glitters are more visible. I’m really impressed by this polish.






Siren’s Holiday Soirée was a limited edition and has since sold out. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

HPB Presents: Goldfish

Hello reader! It’s time for another Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up! Every month, members of this Facebook group choose a theme for a mani; each member’s mani can be as simple or elaborate as they want it, as long as it’s relevant to the theme. The theme for August is goldfish, and for my look, I used Kunimitsu‘s Lucky Goldfish and China Glaze’s Japanese Koi. See what I did there? I also used Seche Vite and Essie’s Matte About You matte top coat.



My look was inspired in part by a look from Hey, Darling Polish!; it was just the right amount of cutesy without a lot of effort. A quick glance at my blue polishes led me to Lucky Goldfish, and it was a coincidence Japanese Koi was the orange I picked out. I stopped there because I couldn’t find any more polishes with fish-related names.



The fish were done by stippling Japanese Koi onto the nail with a dotting tool, first into a teardrop shape for the body, and a wide triangle for the tail. Japanese Koi wasn’t quite thick/pigmented enough to competely blot out the dark blue, and coverage isn’t very even, but this is only really apparent in photos. It looked totally fine on the nail.



In the sun, the glitters in Lucky Goldfish perk right up. I like to imagine the glitters are the many goldfish of a large school. I also love how this looks mattefied; as much as I love a good glossy finish, there’s no glare here to obscure the art.





Lucky Goldfish and other Kunimitsu polishes are available from their etsy shop. China Glaze is sold at Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Review: Highlight Cosmetics’s Liquid Lipstick in Broadway Red

Hello, reader! Ready for another lipstick post? The lovely people at Highlight Cosmetics were kind enough to send us a sample of their liquid lipstick. The shade I’m trying out is Broadway Red.





Broadway Red is a matte red with shimmer that, when dry, creates a metallic look. As is typical of liquid lipsticks, it comes with a doe-foot applicator, which makes for easy and precise application. The product formula is really lovely; it dries super quickly, practically the second I put it on, and the wear time is really good. As long as I’m not putting oily things on my lips, it stayed on and looked perfect; it stands up to liquids pretty well, but not pizza and lip balm. After extended wear, my lips did feel a bit dry, likely after coming into contact with liquids. At the end of the day, I used bi-phase makeup remover to take it off, and it did leave some staining behind; this was gone by morning.



I’m new on the liquid lipstick bandwagon, and I finally see what the fuss is about. It’s so nice to not have a ton of lip color come off on the glass. Because I haven’t previously tried this kind of product, I don’t really have a lot to compare it to. I can’t speak for how well it holds up against other brands. My hope is that all liquid lipsticks wear as well as this one does.

Apart from the impressive wear times and color quality, Highlight also uses some natural ingredients. Turmeric and tea leaf extracts are in here, which are both known for their uses in folk medicine. Safflower oil is included to help moisturize the lips. I didn’t really notice a difference in lip moisture, and I even felt a little dried out at some points, but for such prolonged wear, I don’t mind. Highlight liquid lipsticks are also free of gluten, parabens, are non-toxic, and cruelty-free.


At 25 dollars for 4g/.14oz, Highlight liquid lipsticks are comparable to other lipsticks on the market. They can be purchased on Amazon and from the Highlight Cosmetics website.

Other products I used in this look:
Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45
Revlon Photoready powder in Translucent
Benefit Dallas bronzer
Benefit High Beam highlighter
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Browl Gel

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
Urban Decay eyeshadows Foxy and Tease, found in the Naked 2 palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero
Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara

Highlight Cosmetics sent this product for review. All opinions are my own. Other products mentioned in this post were purchased myself.

Manicure Monday: No Place Like Chrome

Happy Monday, reader! I hope you guys like shiny silver, because that’s all I’ve got today. This is Essie’s No Place Like Chrome without top coat. Silver for days!



I love the Mirror Metallics collection from Essie. I have them all, but I’ve only ever used two of them, and No Place Like Chrome is the only one I’ve used twice. I know metallic polishes come and go, everybody makes them at some point, but I’m so glad I’ve got these. The finish is so fun and unique, making any mani stand out. I’ve only ever worn this polish by itself, but someday I’ll get around to using it as an accent with something. Mirror polish makes any mani striking.



The last time I wore this bow was with another strong silver mani. I am actually really surprised by how easy these are to wear. Sure, it’s big, but it rarely gets caught on anything. It’s about as wide as my finger, so someone with thinner fingers might have trouble, but I love wearing these bows. It’s like wearing the biggest, tackiest engagement ring, except it’s glued to one of my nails.



In the sunlight, the metallic effect is just as apparent. It’s actually kind of blinding. The bow is especially ridiculous. Check out the flares on it.





No Place Like Chrome and other Essie polishes are sold in stores nationwide. My bow charm is from Born Pretty Store.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Smitten Polish’s One Heart

Hello, reader! I’m excited to bring you this week’s Swatch Sunday. I’m wearing a new-to-me brand called Smitten Polish! I’m also wearing my one and only Hella Holo Customs polish. It’s so pink and perfect I could die. This is One Heart; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.





One Heart is a pink holo with some extra silver glitters. Application was good; the product consistency is very smooth, and the coverage is fantastic, giving me a nearly-opaque first coat. I had no issues with it! It dries with a smooth and glossy finish; I used top coat for extra shine and protection.




So color me impressed with this polish. It’s the best of both worlds; the holo is pretty intense without diluting the bright color. It’s really tough to strike that balance sometimes, and Smitten has done it wonderfully with One Heart. Let me just tell you how sad I am to be taking this off right away. So sad.




If you’re not in the Hella Holo Customs group on Facebook, you should be! Beautiful group exclusives like this one are released every month by amazing indie makers. I know, you probably don’t need another excuse to buy polish, but if you’re like me and you need every single polish your favorite makers put out, you need to be there, just in case. It also helps you discover some new favorites. I’d heard of Smitten before, but never tried anything from them until HHC, and I’m super-glad I did.

Smitten Polish is now Dreamland Lacquer; One Heart is no longer available, but other Dreamland Lacquers are available in their online shop. Check out Hella Holo Customs on Facebook for info on how to join the group and how to buy group custom polishes.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer Prototype NEB 1.0

Happy Saturday, reader! I’m wearing a BEGL prototype for this week’s swatch! This is NEB 1.0; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Prototype NEB 1.0 is a clear-based microglitter with black, silver, and blue holographic glitters. There are some larger dot and moon glitters floating around in the bottle as you can see from the bottle shots, but I didn’t get any of them on my nails. Application was very good; there was more glitter in this bottle than in a released polish, so I got full opacity in fewer coats than normal. I still used three, so my nails look a bit thick. However, it dried very quickly and didn’t leave a lot of texture behind. I still used top coat for shine and smoothness.



Are you tired of me talking about how great BEGL microglitters are? Because even though this one is only a prototype, it still has all the qualities I love in a microglitter. The colors, though varied, all complement each other. There are no holes in the coverage. The only real letdown was that I couldn’t get any of those larger glitters. I’ll get them someday!



In direct sunlight, this polish comes alive. It really does. The holographic effect is much stronger and the sparkle is legendary as a result. Today wasn’t the sunniest day, but if it was, I’d probably be blind from glitter exposure.






No other bottles of Prototype NEB 1.0 were made. Other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are sold in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Latte

Happy Monday, reader! I’m excited to be wearing a holo today; I’m excited to have an excuse to leave my office and take advantage of the sunshine. The polish I used today is Model City‘s Latte; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



Latte is a polish from Model City’s 2014 fall collection, a collection of holos based on coffee drink favorites. I loved this set; it was autumnal and neutral but still had enough holo to warrant spending time outside. Of course, in Florida, autumn is just extended summer, and it feels weird drinking pumpkin spice lattes out of the red cups when it’s still 80 degrees out. We have to do them in frap form.




This polish is my favorite from the set, I believe. It’s so versatile. It would pair with anything, it would be a suitable base for any glitter, and would work into any nail art look you could imagine. Wearing it alone today was actually a tough choice; I had to stop myself from digging through my stash to find a polish to wear with it. I’m really glad I wore it alone, beacuse it’s such an elegant and clean look. It makes me feel pretty! Also grown up.




My photos don’t really do this polish justice. The holo effect got a little washed out in the harsh sunlight. The polish itself is pretty pigmented and the holo takes a back seat to the color, but there’s more to it than is visible here.

Latte is currently not in stock by Model City Polish; other MCPs are available in their etsy shop. My star studs were found in an outlet store.

I bought this polish myself.