Manicure Monday: Green Glitter Machine

Welcome back to Manicure Monday! It feels so strange not having posted for so long. Now that my birthday shenanigans are over, all the regular content, plus some special stuff, is back! I’m so excited. Thank you to everyone who left birthday wishes, you’re the best! For this post-birthday mani, I’m wearing Revlon’s Tantalize with Elevation Polish‘s Camels in the Snow.



Tantalize — or any frosty green polish with gold flecks — is a polish every woman needs. I feel like it’s one of those new classics, like the shimmery silver or sky blue creme, that completes any polish collection. Sure, it’s green, but it’s elegant. It’s adult. And it’s got so much dimension and sparkle, how could you say no? I definitely want everyone to have a polish like this.



Of course, Tantalize is a lot less adult-looking after adding glitter with stars in it. Camels in the Snow makes the look a bit more playful. To tell the truth, I had no idea what to pair with Tantalize, and since white glitter goes with everything, here we are. The iridescent glitters in Camels in the Snow adds a subtle hint of color that would otherwise not be there, and the chunky glitters add cute fun. I’m enjoying it!


The red mark on my pinky is a burn! I totally touched it on the oven rack while I was cooking.


In the sun, the gold flecks just go crazy, so much so I failed to capture just how bright and reflective and sparkly it is. It’s gorgeous! These photos were taken in direct sunlight.





Revlon’s Brilliant Strength line has been discontinued, though it still can be found for sale with online retailers. Camels in the Snow has been discontinued but is still in stock in Elevation Polish‘s Last Call section.

I bought these polishes myself.

Manicure Monday: Hello Dalek

Happy Monday! Today is my birthday, but if you saw me on Instagram this weekend, you already saw the cupcake mani I did to celebrate. I’ll likely post a birthday mani digest post in the future, because I have a lot of other special manis I did while I was on a break from swatching. The polish I’m using to celebrate my birthday today is Digital Nails‘s Hello Dalek.



Polishes like this take me back to the old days of indie polish. Remember when black jellies with chunky glitters were a new concept? It’s kind of sad to me that the indie polish world has moved on. These are still some of my favorite polishes to wear. The big red dot glitters were what sold me on Hello Dalek, but the glitter mix as a whole is so colorful and fun. It was definitely a must-have.


Of course, I had to add something, and what’s better for a birthday mani than actual confetti? I had a small bag of birthday confetti on my desk, something my father sent me in a gift package. There were some large pieces of confetti that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and I tried cutting them the size of my nail and sticking them on, but they were much too rigid and wouldn’t conform to my nail. Instead, I used a couple of stars. They don’t lay flat, either; the points keep getting snagged on things, but I think it’s a fun look.



In the sunshine, this polish doesn’t look fantastic, but I think that’s user error. I used three coats, and a fourth might have kept it from looking thin and uneven, but it’s only in strong lighting like this that it happens, so I’m not too bothered with it. Look at the variety of glitters here! This really is a party in a bottle.





Hello Dalek is out of stock; other Digital Nails polishes are available from their etsy shop.

I bought this polish myself.

Skincare Review: Valentia’s Night Revive Retinol Serum

It’s another skincare review! This time it’s another product from Valentia; it’s their Night Revive Retinol Serum. I’ve never used a retinol product on my face, but I’m giving it shot. For science. I’ve been using it since last Thursday.


I was given these products by Brandbacker and Valentia. My opinons are my own and are not swayed by free stuff.

You’ll remember I reviewed Valentia’s Pure Glow Moisturizer some time ago, and after sustaining a breakout caused by it, I had some reservations about the retinol treatment. I thought a retinol treatment wouldn’t be for me, that it would be better suited for someone with anti-aging needs. The box says it helps curb breakouts and premature aging, though, so it sounds like there’s something for everyone in this bottle. Valentia products contain natural and organic ingredients, are vegan, and cruelty-free. The Cosdna entry for the Night Revive Retinol Serum is here.


The product comes with an eyedropper, as the serum is pretty liquidy. It’s milky in color, and runs when dropped onto the back of a hand. I found that one dropper-ful was enough to cover my face, neck and décolletage. It goes on nicely and absorbs quickly. There’s no added fragrance, and the product has a creamy mild scent. With the first few applications, I noticed a slightly irritating feeling, but it didn’t last long and went away after absorbing. I don’t notice it anymore. I haven’t been using it every night, so I’m not seeing the redness or peeling the box warns me about.


I’ve read that it generally takes a few weeks to see the results of a retinol serum, so I may need to do a follow-up post to this one in order to really review its efficacy. That said, I’m probably going to keep using this. I had an epiphany halfway through writing this that my 31st birthday is upon me and I really need to get on the anti-aging bandwagon. This seems like a good product to start with. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

The Night Revive Retinol Serum retails for $35 on Amazon and on Valentia’s website. Follow Valentia on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about this and other products.

I was given these products by Brandbacker and Valentia. My opinons are my own and are not swayed by free stuff.

Skincare Review: Derma E’s Hydrating Day and Night Creams + New Packaging Preview

Who loves skincare products? I do! I love trying new things as well. I was given the chance to review Derma E’s Hydrating Day and Night Creams, as well as showcase their new package design. I’ve heard so many good things about Derma E, and I’m excited for this chance to try them out. For six days, I replaced my regular moisturizers with these, and so far, I like what I’m seeing.


I was given these products by Brandbacker and Derma E. My opinons are my own and are not swayed by free stuff.

Let’s talk first about the brand and their products. I’m excited to see these creams are free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors, gluten, soy, and GMOs. They are also cruelty-free and 100% vegan. I love seeing long lists of what’s not in the product (even when some of them are givens). The products were not reformulated during the package redesign. Derma E’s hydrating products are for normal to dry skin. Here are the Cosdna entries for the day and night creams.

The Hydrating Day Creme is up first. The product consistency is pretty light for a cream, just a bit heavier than a lotion. I’m definitely more on the oily side, so I was pretty hesitant to try this on my actual face. I’m happy to report, though, that I didn’t have any adverse reactions. It doesn’t leave me any more oily through the day as my regular moisturizer. It also has a lovely scent; the box says plumeria flower, I just know it smells like Hawaii.




One thing, though, is I’m not sure this product contains any sun protection. It doesn’t explicitly say it on the box, and it wasn’t until I was examining the ingredients list that I noticed it does contain some titanium dioxide, which is used in most physical sunscreens. Of course, this is also used for pigmentation, and as it’s also in the night cream, it’s likely being used for that purpose instead. Additional sun protection is recommended.

Here’s the night cream in all its newly redesigned glory! The formula here is a bit richer than that of the day cream, but doesn’t feel thick or goopy. Like with the day cream, I didn’t experience oilier-than-normal conditions in the morning. The scent is different from the day cream, but it’s still pleasant.




What do you guys think about the new packaging? I really like it. I thought the old one was nice, but this new one is really sophisticated-looking. I like being able to see the product through the label, and I like the look of the matte label. It’s a really nice jar to have displayed on my vanity table.

Overall, I like these creams, they’ve performed very well in the past six days I’ve used them. However, I do not feel like they’re for me. They’re definitely perfect for someone with normal to dry skin, they deliver a lot of moisture and softness. As someone who’s still trying to master the art of oil control, I’m sorry to say it, they’re just not what I need. However, I am very likely to try any oily skin products Derma E offer, because I have loved using these two creams. I’ll probably also use these on the regular when I run out of my usual products.

Both the day and night creams sell for $29.50 each. While the newly redesigned packaging did officially launch in September, it will be rolling out with all products in March 2017. You can find Derma E products in Ulta, Target, CVS, and Walgreens, among others.

I was given these products by Brandbacker and Derma E. My opinons are my own and are not swayed by free stuff.

Manicure Monday: Highlander

Happy Monday! I love wearing holos for Manicure Monday because I get the posts done so much earlier in the day. Wearing a holo is pretty awesome, too. The holo of the day is Digital Nails‘s Highlander; I’m wearing three coats with Seche Vite and a stud from Daily Charme. All photos were taken in direct sunlight.



This is the first time I’ve used a Digital Nails holo, despite owning so many, and I really love it. Everything about it — the thin product consistency, the very sheer first coat, the gentle build to opacity, the smoothness of the holo flame — are not like any of the other holos I’ve used so far. I really worried at first, because the color is so deep in the bottle, yet it barely looked like anything on the nail. However, once I got outside, wow. The polish and my skin are about the same intensity, and in low lighting, it’s hard to see. Outside, though, the holo and the golden shimmer and the bronze color just light up.




This is the reason I’ve come to like neutral holos. I never thought much of neutrals in the past because they weren’t bright and exciting colors, but as I dove into indie polish, I started finding neutrals that could be interesting. One of my favorite things ever is being blown away by something that’s unexpectedly awesome, and neutral holos do that. They take a typical SFW humdrum polish and make it amazing.




I feel a little bad covering it up with a stud. The stud is basically the size of my whole nail and it’s covering a seriously pretty polish, but I was kind of burned out on the bows. I really need to invest in some new ones! Maybe some gold ones for polishes like this. I feel weird mixing silver with gold.

Highlander is currently not in stock, but other Digital Nails polishes are available in their etsy shop. My pyramid stud is from Daily Charme.

I bought these products myself.

Swatch Sunday: Tea Beauty’s Vanilla Petals

Happy Sunday, reader! Today’s swatch is a scented polish from Tea Beauty! This is Vanilla Petals; I’m wearing three coats of Vanilla Petals without top coat.




Vanilla Petals is a nude creme with a vanilla scent. Application was good; the first coat was a little streaky, which is not uncommon with light polishes like this. It evened out to full opacity on the second. The product consistency is pretty average, thick enough to carry color, not thin enough to flood cuticles. The polish dries with a glossy finish, but does take a while to do so; more than five minutes later, my nails were not smooth to the touch and still had some tack.


As I mentioned, this is a scented polish, and I’m actually pretty impressed by how long the scent has lasted. It’s been about a day now since I applied it; I’ve washed my hands many times, I washed my face, I took a shower in the morning, and it still smells like vanilla. My experience with scented polishes — particularly the Crayola ones I got from Rite-Aid — is that the scent vanishes completely after one hand wash, and I’m really shocked this one still smells after putting it through so many washes.



I don’t know much about this brand, other than they turned up at Walgreens one day, turned up in the sale bin on another, and all Google turns up are some blog posts from three years ago. The bottom label has a URL for a fragrance company, which does not list the polish on its site. Honestly, I don’t know if you can buy these anymore, which is kind of a shame.

I bought this polish myself.

Swatch Saturday: Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer’s Bound to the City Life

Happy Saturday, reader! I don’t say this often, but I am in love with today’s polish. It’s just so glittery! This is Bound to the City Life from Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; I’m wearing three coats with one coat of Seche Vite top coat.





Bound to the City Life is a deep indigo jelly with fine holographic glitters. Application was very easy; the product consistency is on the thinner side, but is still able to support the glitter well. The first coat was a deep blue, but still needed additional coats for opacity and deepened color. Though a jelly, it does eventually reach a squishy but opaque shade of blue. The glitter is very fine, leaving very little texture when dry. The polish does dry with a glossy finish; I still used top coat for extra smoothness and shine.



Bound to the City Life is the blue cousin to Noticing Face, another polish I wore recently and loved a lot. I love how deep the color is; it’s dark and dramatic, but obviously still quite blue. Everything about it is pretty perfect. These are absolutely my favorite kinds of polishes, and BEGL always nails them (hah, because polish).



Outdoors, the blueness and the jellyness is most apparent. You can see all the way through it. Every bit of glitter is visible and sparkling, but the things you don’t want to see — visible nail lines, for example — are not visible at all. These photos were taken in direct sunlight.






Bound to the City Life has been discontinued by Blue-Eyed Girl Lacquer; other BEGL polishes are available in their online shop.

I bought this polish myself.