Thursday, June 28, 2012

Polish & Co. - A Southern Nail Polish Brand

Hello readers. For those of you who didn't know, I have lived my entire adult life in the South, and I really love local brands. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the latest player in the polish market - Polish & Co. - is a North Carolina based brand, bringing a unique Southern sensibility to polish. 


The company frames its brand in terms of southern culture calling itself  "North Carolina’s newest beauty brand where mint juleps, fabulous hats and sundresses reign." Polish creator Theresa Williamson "is taking the classic colors like red, pink, nude, coral and perfecting them to the very last detail from finish, to dry time to wear time without chips and compatibility on all skin tones. Williamson has taken the guess work out of choosing your nail color. Of course, she has the fun fashion forward colors that she drew inspiration from growing up in the sun-drenched, weeping willow lined streets that you only get from the Carolina living lifestyle such as the newest Lemon meringue yellow or Neon Sky Blue. Look no further than Polish & Co. for personal favorites such as screaming bright coral and a succulent tangerine that you can almost smell the orange grove from. Theresa works tirelessly to create fun and out-of-the-box names for her polish such as “Sweet Caroline”, “Too Much Info” and “Ski- Crazy”."  These polishes are free of Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens. 



I think I'm pretty much their target audience as I think a "southern" brand of nail polish is a really fun idea. While their color range is currently limited to more classic colors, they have some very pretty and interesting blues and pinks. I think the packaging looks really chic as well. The price point on these is comparable to other boutique brands at  $12.  Their polishes are sold at select boutiques as well as online at http://www.polishandcompany.com/ . They are currently running a promotion where you get free shipping with the purchase of two bottles.

What do you think of this new brand? Will you be giving it a try?

Stay beautiful! 


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Yes to Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes - A Review

Very rarely does a product come along that I loathe. I have maybe encountered two products in my adulthood that I could not find one redeeming quality with. Sadly, Yes to Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes can now be added to that short list.

Since this review is negative, I will keep it short. Basically, this product not only failed to remove virtually any of my makeup, but it left a thick film on my face. It made me feel sweaty and unclean - to the point where I then vigorously scrubbed my face an hour later to get rid of the feeling. On top of that, the towelettes had a very strong smell that reminded me of lotion that has turned. It was a metallic smell. Perhaps you know the scent I am talking about. To make matters worse, they stung my eyes like crazy (and I don't have sensitive eyes) and didn't remove any of my basic mascara - the mascara that if you get wet in any capacity washes right off. In short, these towelettes not only failed miserably for me, but they hurt my skin and were a terrible experience. 

Normally, when I review a product that didn't work for me, I try to think of other people the product might work for. The only redeeming value of these towelettes is that they are large. They didn't brighten my skin or really do anything positive. Perhaps I got a bad batch. I received these as being an elite reviewer on the Total Beauty Community. I did contact Total Beauty and let them know that I might have gotten a bad batch. The first few towelettes were dry and smelled odd, so perhaps there was something wrong with my pack. That being said, this leaves me wondering about quality control...So, I will leave it up to you, dear readers. Has anyone tried these and like them? I want to know if I am the only one who has had a negative experience. 

Stay beautiful! 
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite, but often neglected nail polishes. I think we all have colors that we just adore, but forget to wear. Well Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down is one of the top polishes I own in that category. My camera, unfortunately, just couldn't capture the true olive undertones of this polish - sigh. In person, it is a spot on khaki green.


The formula on this is absolute perfection - being opaque in two thin coats. It has great shine on its own and wears like a dream on me. I tend to find SOPI polishes to be hit or miss in the formula category, but I love that you can test them in store before committing. This has helped me avoid some less than stellar polishes due to this reason. When I saw and tested Caught With My Khakis Down, I fell in love. This was my first SOPI polish, and I am strangely emotionally attached to it. When I wore it yesterday I got several compliments, which is always an ego boost.

Seriously, it is more olive and less grey.
This is from the Safari Luxe collection and is available through several online retailers, though Sephora no longer carries it. What do you think of these sophisticated muted colors?

Stay beautiful!
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Everyday Favorites: Gilette Venus and Olay Razor

I am normally a bargain buyer when it comes to my razors. Even the expensive ones tend to rust easily (even with special care) and I hardly ever notice a difference in the quality of the shave. For me, the Gilette Venus and Olay Razor is a totally different experience. Like other Venus razors, it has 5 blades and gives an incredibly close shave. Unlike other razors, it has two really thick Olay moisture bars that help glide the razor across the skin and then moisturize. I am a huge fan of Olay products and was not surprised in the least that the bars were really moisturizing.

What I was surprised by was how well this razor lasts. Each blade head gives me over a month of use! Even more so, I find it gives me such a close shave that I only have to shave once every 3-4 days during the summer! That is a serious game changer for me. The moment I tried this razor, I was in love. The Olay strip will start to dissolve after the first use, but it will continue to  lubricate and moisturize down to the last shave, so don't get overly concerned when you see the bars starting to shrink.  I have been using this for several months and have never experienced a nick or cut (which is very impressive for someone clumsy like myself). I will admit that these are a bit pricey, but when you consider that one of the disposable blade heads is like buying 8 of a lesser disposable brand, it is comparable in price. Also, there are frequently coupons in the Sunday paper for this particular brand of razor. Have you tried this product? What are your thoughts?

Stay beautiful!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - A Review

I recently picked up a pack of the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes. I have been wanting to try them for a while, and I had a coupon. Let me begin by saying that I have had really bad luck with face wipes in the past. Often, they have left my face feeling greasy, made my skin inflamed (and I don't actually have sensitive skin), or bothered my eyes. Simple Cleansing Face Wipes, however, were a totally different experience. I really like these!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

OPI for ULTA Summer 2012: The Flowers are Blue-Ming!

I went to UTLA earlier this week to check out the recent Minnie Mouse themed collection (more on that later this week!). While there, I took advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 OPI ULTA exclusive free. This summer the collection is labeled Too Haute to Handle.  I really love these OPI ULTA exclusive specials they run and I have posted about them previously. For those of you who are less familiar with these recurrent promotions, they are OPI packaged and distributed polishes that are only available at ULTA. In some instances, you can only purchase these exclusives with another OPI purchase (like last summer). This summer, however, you are free to purchase the exclusives on their own. Only one of the colors stood out to me and they had one left behind the counter - The Flowers are Blue-Ming. As soon as I saw it in the bottle I got very excited because it is a blue scattered holo glitter!!!! 


Natural lighting (indirect sunlight)

This is a really beautiful polish. The scattered holo glitter is really densely packed in the polish and flashes nicely on the nail, especially in direct sunlight. Unfortunately as soon as I went outside to take pictures, it became overcast. The holo is also very prominent when hit directly by artificial lighting, such as under a lamp. The base color is a true royal blue. A very pretty combination!  The formula on this was really thick and gooey. More so than I was expecting. My brush was also wider than most OPI brushes and was actually difficult to work with. I have never had a problem before, so I suspect I just got a poor brush. 

Natural lighting (indirect sunlight)
Read more for more pictures and a dupe comparison!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup



Friday, June 8, 2012

Game of Thrones Manicure: Arya Stark

One of my favorite characters from season 2 of Game of Thrones, and the series in general, is Arya Stark. The youngest daughter of Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully, Arya is nothing like her demure sister Sansa. She is outspoken, adventurous, independent, and does not suffer fools easily. In all honesty, Arya would never wear nail polish, and she certainly would not be a fan of nail art! I instead chose to try to capture here essence in a simple manicure. 

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Arya is clever and shrewd. These characteristics help save her life repeatedly throughout the series. She spends most of her time in the second season in gloomy Harrenhal castle and is constantly covered in dirt, even when trying to act like a lady. I immediately thought that a complex gray polish would capture her essence. Gray is mysterious, dark, and beautiful all at the same time. For my Arya manicure, I chose a very simple polish - ULTA Smoke Screen.


Monday, June 4, 2012

More Summer Makeup and Beauty Tips

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my favorite summer makeup and beauty tips. That post received such a wonderful response from you readers, and I received several requests that I share a few more. Here are even more summer makeup and beauty tips from yours truly.

1. Rock a Hat!

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I adore cute cloche hats for winter, but in summer I rely on large brimmed sun hats. They are great for multiple occasions - laying by the pool, walking the dog, gardening. They instantly pull and outfit together and are making a come back this season. You can even find some that are SPF protecting. Why wear a hat? For one, it helps block the sun's rays from your face. This not only helps prevent burning, including on your scalp, but also keeps you feeling cool. Recently color your hair? A hat can help maintain your color from the sun. Feeling sweaty and haven't gotten to wash your hair? That sun hat will hide your dirty tresses. 

2. Try Facial Cleansing Wipes

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This tip is especially helpful if you took my advice and decided to forgo foundation. Many companies have cleansing facial wipes that require absolutely no water to do their job. They even come in travel sizes! These are wonderful for days when you have to walk from your parking lot to work, are out at a ball game and just feel the need to freshen up, or are transitioning from laying out by the pool to going to dinner. If you do decide to wear eye makeup, these can be used around the eyes to clean up raccoon eyes and allow you to "wash" your face without ruining your eye makeup. 

3. Try Deodorant in "New Ways"
 
If you are like most women (and like me), your thighs touch. Often during the summer months when skin gets sweaty, this can lead to chaffing and rubbing, which becomes incredibly uncomfortable. Use a little deodorant on your inner thighs to help prevent rubbing and chaffing. Find your bra gets a little moist from walking around all day? Put some deodorant along where the under wire sits.  Antiperspirants will help reduce sweating in this area (or on any area you place it), but even basic deodorants will help produce a barrier to prevent your bra from becoming uncomfortable throughout the day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Beauty Blog Coaltion Weekly Roundup

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