National Lipstick Day 2016

Did you guys know today is National Lipstick Day? I only just found out this morning, but I knew I had to write about it. I love any excuse to dig a lipstick out! For National Lipstick Day 2016, I’m wearing Revlon’s Crushed Velvet Lip Creme in Push-Up Plum. Before I go on any further, I should tell you this is like an eight year old lipstick. I promise I smelled it and looked it over for mold and grossness before I used it. Also, I chose this one by just digging into the lipstick drawer and pulling something out.



This is a lipstick I’ve had languishing in my vanity drawer basically since the day I bought it. I got it on sale after Revlon had discontinued the line and Walgreens was clearing it out. I snapped it up along with a few others. I don’t know why it is I’ve never really worn them. I’ve always loved plum lipsticks, but I’ve just never felt like wearing this. In fact, I nearly put it back a few times, justifying it with “oh, this doesn’t go with what I have on” or “oh, maybe I should go for something more seasonal”. I decided that no, today’s the day. I’m giving this lipstick the love I should have given it eight years ago.



The texture of the lipstick itself is really creamy and smooth, and while it’s easy to apply, it’s not easy to apply well. There’s some patchiness, and it settles into lines pretty easily. However, from a distance, it’s hard to tell. That close-up photo looks a little scarier than it is. Also, one thing that annoys me about this lipstick, is that the outside of the bullet has this fine silver shimmer over it, but the inside doesn’t. It’s such a letdown!

So there it is, National Lipstick Day 2016! What are you wearing to celebrate?

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, Snakebite, and Blackout, found in the Naked 2 palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero
Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara

Dress: Modcloth

As this is a very old lipstick, it’s no longer for sale. Other Revlon lipsticks are sold in stores nationwide.

I bought all these products myself.

HPB Presents: Project Orion

Welcome to the Hobby Polish Bloggers link-up for the month of July! Each month, this Facebook group chooses a mani theme; it’s up to the participant to decide how simple or elaborate their mani will be. Anything goes as long as it adheres to the theme! July’s theme is space, and I decided to take my mani in a different direction; I attempted to recreate NASA’s Project Orion insignia in mani form. For this look, I used Monster Polish‘s I was Hoping for Minimalism, but I Think I Came Out With Magician as the base, and the logo was done with Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Terrific Twos (the planet), Sally Hansen’s Magenta Moves (the whoosh), and China Glaze’s White on White (the stars). All nails were finished with Seche Vite top coat and Essie’s Matte About You matte coat.




It’s probably no secret that I’m a big spaceflight nerd. I follow rocket launches, planetary science updates, and ISS experiments almost as closely as I follow indie polish releases. When Orion was launched for its first experimental flight test in December 2014, you better believe I was watching it online. It was delayed a few times due to weather violations, and once because there was a boat in the launch zone. I didn’t trust myself to not sleep through it, so I just stayed up for three days. It was really the most exciting thing I’d been since Curiosity landed on Mars.



My interpretation of the logo is a little sloppy, but I think it’s recognizable at the very least. I think the logo is actually pretty clever; the Orion constellation is hidden inside it. My nail wasn’t quite big enough for the whole design, so it’s a little cramped. The Monster Polish I used as the base is the perfect spaceflight blue. I love that the planet depicted is now a mound of glitter. I’m happy, overall, with how it turned out.



Part of the reason I did this mani was to raise awareness of what’s going in modern spaceflight. It’s disappointing to me that more people either don’t know about or aren’t interested in the gains we’ve made in the past few years. There’s so much happening now: science is done on the ISS every day, SpaceX is continually innovating, and missions to Mars — likely on the Orion spacecraft — will be inevitable. This is like near-Disneyland levels of excitement to me.

This is an Orion model at Kennedy Space Center. It was a little more convincing in person.

This is an Orion model at Kennedy Space Center. It was a little more convincing in person.

I was Hoping for Minimalism, but I Think I Came Out With Magician and other Monster Polishes are available in their online shop. Terrific Twos was a BEGL limited edition and has since sold out; other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are for sale in their online shop. Sally Hansen and China Glaze are available in stores nationwide.

I bought these polishes myself.
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Manicure Monday: Dreams of Mermaids

Hello reader! I’m so excited for today’s post. I’m wearing a thermal polish! Dreams of Mermaids was a very early indie polish purchase, and today’s the day I’m giving it some love. I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.



Dreams of Mermaids is a green-to-teal thermal polish with gold, blue, and green glitters, as well as a green shimmer throughout. Unfortunately, because it’s a very hot day in sunny Florida, I wasn’t able to capture the thermal effect well. In July, it doesn’t matter how long my nails are, the polish is always in the hot stage. Dunking my nails in ice water effects the change, but as soon as I pull it out, it goes right back to hot. This is why my cold stage and transition photos are so watery; I had to work fast. I do apologize.







I’m actually surprised the thermal effect still happens at all; this is a three year old polish, after all. I bought it at the same time I bought Pretty Chameleon, another beautiful Pretty & Polished thermal. Not only does it still change, it still has a pretty dramatic change. Something I notice about old thermals is that even though the effect still happens, it doesn’t happen as quicky or as powerfully as it used to. This one still works like it’s brand new.



In the sunlight, you can see exactly why this polish is called Dreams of Mermaids. The colors are definitely evocative of the ocean, and the shimmer really lights up out here! These photos were taken in direct sunlight.






It looks like Dreams of Mermaids has been discontinued by Pretty & Polished; other P&P polishes — including thermals! — are for sale in their etsy shop and on their website.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Sunday: Sephora by OPI’s Skinny Jeans

Swatch Sunday this week is a trip down memory lane, though maybe not as far back as we’ve ever been. Remember Sephora by OPI? This was a line I loved, and wearing it now takes me back to a simpler time when a nine dollar nail polish was a real splurge and top coat wasn’t yet a regular part of my manicure. This is Skinny Jeans; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.




Skinny Jeans is a turquoise polish with a greenish shimmer. Application was very easy; though the product formula is a little on the thin side, it’s still very silky and covers well. The first coat was nearly opaque, the second filled it out nicely. There are some slight brush-strokes, but they’re barely noticeable and fade into the shimmer. The drying times were good, and it dried with a smooth, glossy finish. I used top coat for extra shine and protection.




I believe this is the first time I’ve ever worn this polish alone with top coat. I think I’ve used it as a base for glitter once since I started the blog, but yeah. It’s a little weird. It’s yet another reminder that it wasn’t that long ago I was 25 and wore a lot of blue nail polish (without top coat).



In the sunshine, the blue is a lot warmer than it is in the studio, but the green shimmer is still as potent. It’s a lovely ocean blue in any lighting!





The entire Sephora by OPI line has been discontinued. You can still find bottles on Amazon.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Grandpa

Happy Saturday! Today’s polish is Grandpa from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer. I’m afraid I couldn’t do this polish any justice, because it is full of tiny magnificent flakies. I’m wearing three coats of Grandpa with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Grandpa is a white creme with pink and gold iridescent flakies. Application was easy, especially for a white polish; the first coat went on nicely without streaks or bald spots in the color, and was about halfway opaque. The second coat achieved perfect opacity. I hesitate to say “full opacity”, because even after the third coat, there was still slight squishiness left. However, it’s still opaque enough that the flakies aren’t readily apparent — in fact, I sometimes forgot they were there. It was only when the light hit them just right that they were noticeable. The polish dries quickly and with a smooth, semi-glossy finish; I added top coat for shine and extra flakie visibility.



As I mentioned, because the flakies disappear so well into the creme, it was hard to get good photos of it. They’re much easier to see in person. In some of these photos, if you look where the glare is, that’s where you’ll see the flakies, but even then, they’re tough to spot. This reminds me of another BEGL polish, Purple Phlox, that had these teeny iridescent glitters blended in that often went undetected. They were like tiny little secrets on my nails.



In direct sunlight is where I saw them best. The second photo in this set has the most flakie glow, I think. I love this polish, it’s the perfect base for nail art but with a tiny oft-hidden sparkle.





Grandpa and other Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquers are available from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Review: Marc Jacobs Beauty’s Glow Stick

Welcome to a special post, reader! We’ve got a press sample! I was contacted by Influenster to review the Glow Stick highlighter from Marc Jacobs. It’s a wonderful product, I’m happy to say! I was pretty wary of this at first. In general, I don’t use highlighters. I’m quite oily, so I don’t seek out dewy skin, it just happens naturally (and then some). I always equate dewiness with oiliness so I skip this step in my makeup routine. Learning to use the Glow Stick has certainly been a long-due makeup lesson.

The packaging is sleek, almost to the point of sterility. It works like a deodorant stick; the cap pops off, and you turn the dial at the bottom to raise the product from the tube. Ease of use is definitely something Glow Stick has going for it. From here, you can apply it any way you wish: you can pick some up on your fingertip or favorite brush, or you can apply it directly.



The stick itself is pretty creamy, but it’s very blendable. I find myself avoiding anything that’s too creamy, not only because it’s oily, also because it tends to disturb any powder products I’ve already used. Glow Stick blends easily into my powder, going undetected to the touch, leaving behind only the white-gold shimmer. I’ll also mention that there’s not a very strong scent to it, that’s a huge plus for me as well. I’m really digging the formula.



For this look, I applied Glow Stick directly on my cheekbones, above the brow, and my chin, with my fingers on the bridge of my nose and my brow highlight, and with a lip brush around my Cupid’s Bow. I also used a clean brush to blend it out. As you can see, the coverage is buildable and you can use as much or as little as you need. As I mentioned, I used it very sparingly so as not to be lit up like Christmas morning.

When you have to get your boyfriend to take pictures of your makeup and the only good one is of your RBF

When you have to get your boyfriend to take pictures of your makeup and the only good one is of your RBF


Don't be frightened by this, I went over this four or five times for the full disco effect.

Don’t be frightened by this, I went over this four or five times for the full disco effect.

So here are the issues I have with it. The products I already use are pretty luminous, and I feel like it’s a little redundant, at least for the summer. In the winter when I’m not as oily and my matte foundation makes me look a bit flat, I might use it more then. Also, it only comes in this one shade, which works well for me, but may not be the best option for people of color. Lastly, I need to mention that it retails for $42 at Sephora, which probably would have deterred me if I were buying it myself. It is a Marc Jacobs product, so that’s to be expected. Seeing as how sparingly I’ll use this, though, it will last me virtually forever, so maybe it would actually be a pretty good bargain.

Glow Stick and other Marc Jacobs Beauty products are sold at Sephora.

Other products I used in this look:
Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45
NYX Color-Correcting Concealers (yellow and green)
Revlon Photoready powder in Translucent
Benefit Dallas bronzer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Browl Gel

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin
Urban Decay eyeshadows Foxy and Suspect, found in the Naked 2 palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liner in Perversion
Maybelline Great Lash waterproof mascara

Lips: Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands

Earrings: ABC Stores

The Marc Jacobs Beatuy Glow Stick was provided by Influenster for an honest review. All other products were purchased myself.

Manicure Monday: Beyond

It’s Monday, and it’s time for manicures! This week, I’m using the one Color Club Halo Hues polish I own. I gotta say, for a mass-market holo, it’s pretty good! This is Beyond; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. All photos were taken in direct sunlight. Also, full disclosure: it’s been raining most of the day, so when it stopped and the sun was actually shining, I ran outside before everything was totally dry and smudged my ring finger. I decided to just photograph it as-is instead of redoing it and risk losing the sunlight.



I remember the Color Club holos being a huge deal a couple years ago. They were easily the most accessible linear holo on the market at the time. I saw more of these in nail polish communities than actual indie holos. Beyond isn’t the most unique polish; it’s a warm gray holo, but still pretty comparable to early indie holos — Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Don’t Worry, I Don’t Bite is one that comes to mind. Of course, that can work to its advantage, too; if you love those basic early holos but they’ve all been discontinued or reworked, these are certainly for you.




I think I actually bought this one on accident. I actually wanted Kismet, that dreamy silver holo from the same collection, and I goofed and got Beyond instead. Not that I’m complaining. I love wearing this, and I don’t feel so guilty about using it so much as I do with the indie holos. I know I’d have a much easier time replacing this one than, say, a sought-after Enchanted.



Smudge :(

Smudge 🙁

I’m still so sad about that smudge. It looks worse in real life than it does in photos; I ended up bumping it again on the way in and I’m probably going to redo it anyway just because it bugs me. I feel like a bad blogger for posting these — especially the macro — but as I write this, another bout of storminess is rolling through, and I know I did the right thing.

Beyond, Halo Hues, and other Color Club shades and products are available on The infinity loop bow is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Seche’s Collage Overlay

It’s Swatch Sunday again! Today’s swatch is Seche’s Collage Overlay! This is a serious glitter topper. I’m wearing one brushed coat over China Glaze’s Pelican Gray, Essie’s Fiji, and Ciaté’s Sugar Plum, as well as one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Collage Overlay is a clear-based glitter topper with holographic pink bar and hex glitters in various sizes, as well as large white hexes. Application was tricky with this; there’s so much glitter and it tends to clump together, making it a challenge to get even coverage. The bar glitters are pretty long in this polish and can be difficult to work with as well. You can see them sticking off the edges of the nail and into the cuticle. On the plus side, it does dry quickly with some chunky glitter texture. I used top coat for shine and smoothness.



So I really wanted to love this look. I really loved it the first time I used it; I paired it with a hot pink jelly for a sandwich, and it made a really great look. I love the glitters in this mix; I love how it’s holo glitter, but it’s not much like any holo glitter I’ve ever seen. The color is unique. I love the white hexes as a monotony breaker. I just wished it brushed on a bit better. It’s a mess.



I took some photos outside, and let me tell you, this is blinding in direct sunlight. Look how washed out these sunlight photos are. This will give you some indication of how shiny it is. It was kind of painful to look at.





Collage Overlay might have been discontinued by Seche. Other Seche products are available in stores nationwide; I got mine from Sally Beauty Supply.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Zero Balance Dwarf Star Alloy

Happy Saturday, reader! Today’s swatch is a gorgeous one! I know I said last week’s BEGL swatch was the best BEGL holo to date, but this one is in a close second for sure! This week we’re talking about Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer‘s Zero Balance Dwarf Star Alloy; I’m wearing it at three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat. The following photos were taken in direct sunlight.





Zero Balance Dwarf Star Alloy is a black linear holo with shifting shimmers. Application was great; it has the same velvety formula Void Stuff had; one that’s nearly opaque on the first coat, but isn’t thick or hard to control. This was very thin, almost drippy, but not quite, and went on very easily. It dried quickly with a satiny finish; I used top coat for shine and protection.




This is the best black holo BEGL has ever made. It’s the blackest of the black; polishes like Don’t Worry, I Don’t Bite and Discontinued Limited Edition aimed for black, but were still a pretty silvery gray at the end result. This one has a great linear holo effect, but also manages to stay a rich, deep black. It’s the best black holo I’ve used so far.




The shimmers get lost a bit in the holo, but it’s fine. Being one of the darkest black holos ever, I can forgive it.

Zero Balance Dwarf Star Alloy has been discotninued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGL polishes are available from their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Manicure Monday: Kinetic Copper

Happy Monday, reader! Remember magnetic polish! I’m bringing it back! Today’s look was done with Sally Hansen’s Kinetic Copper; this is three coats of Kinetic Copper with one coat of Seche Vite.



So we all remember 2011, right? Maybe it was 2012. That time had a lot of really fun and, looking back on them, really questionable nail trends. Magnetics, feather toppers, crackle toppers… It’s so fun to look back on looks like these with what we know now. I wasn’t huge into nail art at that time, and this was way before I discovered indies, so anything new was really exciting. Even with as popular as magnetic polishes were, I’ve still only worn like three of them ever, and that’s why the novelty hasn’t completely worn off for me. I kind of wonder if we’re going to look back on gel-effect polishes and Liquid Sand with the same kind of  dismissal.



Kinetic Copper has the benefit of being a really pretty polish with or without the magnetic effect. As you can see, I only used the magnet on my accent nails; let’s not go too far into the past, shall we? This rich bronze has a lot of copper shimmers floating around in it, so even if you just wear it as a shimmer polish, it’s a really nice look. The magnet deepens the polish to a rich brown, and the wave pattern gives it a cool cats-eye cabochon effect. It’s still cool, even if it is dated.



You can see the magnetic effect best in the sunlight photos. I never get a good even pattern because my nails curve so much; it’s strong in the center and only in the center. It looks fantastic in the sunlight, though, the copper shimmers really come to life out here.





Kinetic Copper and the Magnetic line are discontinued by Sally Hansen; other Sally Hansen polishes are available in stores nationwide.