Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow Nail Polish Review and Comparison to China Glaze Exotic Encounters - SWATCHES!!

There's a new Venique nail polish collection for summer 2012 and when I saw it, it just blew me away with how great the colors are for my skintone. I was really drawn in by the turquoise because it was an exact match with the shirt I was wearing. As fast as I could, I ran home and applied Ga-Loshes Glow.

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow Nail Polish, Venique swatches

At the risk of scaring people half to death, I have to show you what a great match it is to the Deborah Lippmann Mermaid Dreams that was on my toes. I don't like toe pictures...but I just have to show you how great these two go together.

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow, Deborah Lippmann Mermaid Dreams Nail Polishes

There are six colors in the collection. They're available in full size bottles and also in four pack sets of minis. I got a couple of full size and one set of minis.

Venique Desire The Desired Nail Polish Collection

My mini set is called Color of Desire and features Havanah Glow, Side Walk Surfer, Pump Up The Jam and Ga-loshes Glow, (which I also went back and picked up in full size because I love it so much.)

Venique Colors of Desire Nail Polish

Venique Nail Polish Colors Of Desire

On the back of the mini box, it says "Bold, bright and energetic fashionable hues take summer to the next level". Indeed. Pump Up The Jam is the first neon green/chartreuse that has ever worked well for my skintone. Love. Side Walk Surfer is a really nifty pink having a micro-shimmer in purple emanating from within. Havanah Glam is a sparkling rusty orange. I also purchased the nude beige color, Naked Sandal.

Venique Color of Desire Nail Polish swatches

Venique Color of Desire Nail Polish swatches

On the very right hand swatch is the new China Glaze color Exotic Encounters. I knew this new teal was coming out from China Glaze and I wanted to swatch them side by side to compare. You can see that Ga-Loshes Glow is brighter, a happy summer color, and Exotic Encounters is deeper, leaning more toward fall by comparison.

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow, China Glaze Exotic Encounters Nail Polish

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow and China Glaze Exotic Encounters

Because they are so different and give a different feel, you can definitely have room for both in your nail wardrobe.

Venique Ga-Loshes Glow Nail Polish Lacquer swatches

I thought my summer would be all about neons, coral and pink, but somehow these colors have slipped in and I'm loving it!! What colors are you sporting this summer?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Collection Review Featuring Shampoo, Conditioner, Amplifying Lotion and Beach Waves Spray

Have you ever tried to have that tousled wavy hair that comes so naturally from a day at the beach? I know I have but I've never succeeded until I met the Marc Anthony Dream Waves Collection. I have hair that is half curly and half wavy. It normally mangles itself in a manner that doesn't make sense to me. I've tried everything I could think of to get the natural look I've had when I go to the beach in Hawaii and have always come up with a frizzy knotted mop, so I straighten it. Straight is just easier once it's done, but it sure is a hassle getting there. With the Marc Anthony Dream Waves Collection of products, I can go natural without the frizz and knotting that literally makes me pull my hair out.

The first product to use in the system is the Dream Waves Amplifying Shampoo.  I was delighted to see that it's free of the harmful sulfates that can strip your hair.  If you color your hair or have had a keratin straightening process,  the sulfates in most shampoos will take that out faster.  You can safely use these products without harm to your other hair processes.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Shampoo Conditioner

The shampoo smells great!! Just like a beachy coconut smell, much like Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen used to smell before they changed the scent. (Why, oh, why did they do that? Best scent ever!!) I found that the shampoo really does give me a little more volume, as advertised. It cleanses while protecting your hair. Two of the included ingredients are hydrolized silk and provitamin B5 which add shine and fullness. AND, the shampoo has UV protectors. I've never been able to go curly before and have so much shine and such little frizz. It's a win all around for me.

The next product in the system is the Dream Waves Amplifying Conditioner. It is also free of the stripping sulfates in most hair systems. It does have magnesium sulfate, which is a salt that helps to prepare the hair for curling. I don't find it to be drying to my already dry hair at all. And, for me, these products felt more moisturizing than any other curling hair products that I've used. This ultra-light conditioner has the same hydrolized silk, provitamin B5 and UV protectors as the shampoo. The conditioner also smells like coconut, but it's different than the shampoo. It smells more like a fake coconut, whereas the shampoo smells like coconut oil. I could bathe in the shampoo and be happy. :)

The shampoo and conditioner are both in 8.4 fl oz squeeze tubes, which make them really easy to use. No tipping the bottles upside down and smacking them into your palm like a faulty ketchup bottle. They are $6.99 on, (link provided), and $7.99 on Ulta. If you visit the Marc Anthony website, there are videos and more information about how to use the products.

There are two options with the finishing products and you can use one or both, depending on the look, wave, and curl that you're going for. I'll discuss them and show you what I have done. First I want to tell you about the Marc Anthony Dream Waves Amplifying Lotion.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves

The squeeze tube of this product contains 4.7 fl oz and retails for $7.99 on The prices seem to vary at the different stores but remain under $10 each. To use this lotion, you work it evenly thru your damp hair from roots to end. Scrunch as desired, which amplifies the wavey texture and will help hold the waves longer. If you want, you can use a diffuser to pump up the volume.

Using this three piece system and air drying, I get some nice waves, some curly curls, lots of shine and volume and about 1000% reduction in frizz. Frizz reduction alone is HUGE to me. HUGE. I couldn't ever achieve that with the much more expensive Deva Curl system. This is how I look on day one.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Day 1

I should take a picture of my hair the way I've previously tried to let the curls flow to show you the difference. However, the impact of that kind of picture might stun you in a way that you might not recover. I just can't do that to you. Trust me when I say it's normally a frizzy puffy mangled mess.

I naturally have dry hair and just about zero oil in my scalp. I need all the oil I can get so I don't wash every day. On the second day, I like to revive my hair using the Dream Waves Beach Spray.  I scrunch it about and it revives the curls.  You can use this product in wet or dry hair.  It has the same protecting ingredients as the other three products and comes in a 4.2 fl oz squirt bottle.  This is created for straight or wavy hair.  I love how it helps me retain the curl until washing in a soft, natural way.

This is second day hair using the Beach Spray.

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Day 2

It's the best my hair has looked curly. You can find these products at most drugstores as well as online at Ulta, and Amazon. This system has encouraged me to wear my hair curly a little more often. Thank you to the good folks at Marc Anthony for providing the products for me to test. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion. You can find these products at most drugstores as well as online at Ulta, and Amazon. This post contains affiliate links.

Have you tried this or any other curly or wavy hair systems? How did they work for you?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mac Cosmetics Heavenly Creature Lipsticks Venus and Fire Sign Swatches and Reviews

Mac Cosmetics released a collection called Heavenly Creature for the beginning of July 2012. The grouping includes, among many other things, five lipsticks, two of which are re-promotes. I chose to expand my collection by two new colors, Venus and Fire Sign. Both are excellent colors for me. First I'll show you Venus.

Mac Venus Lipstick

Mac describes this lipstick as a sheer yellow pink with pearl. Am I the only one who can't say "pearl" without drawing the word out in an imitation of Captain Jack Sparrow or even more so by Captain Barbosa? Peeaaarrrrrrrllll. This lipstick is a lustre formula in a mid-depth rose toned pink. It's a very natural color for me and easy to wear.

I'm including three lip swatches, all taken indoors, because the light from the flash hit in different spots as I rotated the camera. Each picture gives you a little different take on the color and how it looks on.

Mac Venus Lipstick swatch

Mac Venus Lipstick

Mac Venus Lipstick

The two lipsticks I purchased have great wear for lustres. Much longer than I anticipated. That gets two thumbs up from me. Here's a swatch photo taken in full sun. Venus is on the left and Fire Sign is above to the right.

Mac Venus and Fire Sign Lipstick Swatches

The Mac website describes Fire Sign as a red-pink. I'm so pleased with this color. By the name I expected more of a fire engine true red but this lipstick is the kind of red I'd want to wear in summer. It's a bit lighter than a true deep red, both in color and in feel.

Mac Fire Sign Lipstick

It does stain a bit in wear, which is AWESOME! The worst thing about red lipsticks is how they wear while you eat or drink. They can bleed or leave an awkward line around the edge of your lips. With the stain this causes, I can wear this for four hours or so, eat and drink all I want, and still have a nice flush of color on my lips. No signs of awkward uneven wearing. I LOVE this about this lipstick!!!

Again I have three lip swatches, taken indoors with a flash, to more accurately portray the feel of the color. Plus, even-steven, I did three of Venus, it wouldn't be fair not to do three of Fire Sign. :)

Mac Fire Sign Lipstick

Mac Fire Sign Lipstick swatch

Mac Fire Sign Lipstick

Mac lipsticks are $14.50 and can be purchased at MacNordstrom, Dillard's and Macy's.

I've only just started to investigate this collection. So far I purchased these two lipsticks, one MSF and some of the cremesheen lip gloss cremes. I haven't even had a chance to look at the shadows yet, so tell me, my dear reader, is there something from this collection that you feel is "must have" that I need to be sure to look at?

(This post contains an affiliate link.)

Beauty Blog Coalition Roundup for Week Ending 7/7/12

I don't know about you, but having a holiday in the middle of the week, (for those of us in the US), has been both awesome and thrown off my weekday mojo. You can see that despite the extra days off in the US and Canada, our bloggers have been really busy. Please enjoy a sampling of what's been offered during this past week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Honey - Swatches and Review

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains

Have you seen the new Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains? They are a chubby type of gel based lip color in a pencil style applicator. There are 12 colors currently and I initially purchased four with a "buy one, get one half off" at Ulta. I could tell these will be something that I will really like so I went back for a couple more. I'll be reviewing each as I wear them; today I have the shade Honey for you.

RevlonHoney Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain


Honey is a light plummy pink color...not a honey gold as you might expect! It is a very natural color for me, adding a little oomph to my own natural lip color. I get a lot of compliments when I wear this and people want to know what is on my lips.

Revlon Honey Kissable Lip Balm Stain

The pencil/balms/stains are very comfortable to wear and glide on with the ease of a Revlon Lip Butter. They remind me a lot of those, which are among my favorite lipsticks. The pencils are easily twisted at the bottom to bring more of the stain/balm to the top of the pencil. They have a little bit of a minty feel and taste. It's pleasant but doesn't linger.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains run about $8.00-$10.00 and can be found in any drugstore and online at Ulta or 

The only drawback to these pencils is that the buyer has to guess what the color is going to be based on the outer casing, which isn't completely accurate but as close as they probably can be. I found it difficult to choose the first time, having to guess what I thought might be on the inside but after trying the first group, I felt more confident about guessing what the others would look like and found I was more successful in doing so. And, of course, there are online swatches to help.

Since I quickly acquired half of the stains available, I am declaring these a success!

Nars Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil Swatches and Review

When I first received my Nars summer 2012 items, I posted swatches and some reviews here and there and I mentioned that I was a little afraid of the Nars Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil.  I thought it would be too yellow-peachy on me.

Nars Summer 2012 Buenos Aires Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

Peach is a great color for me. I prefer pink or red toned peaches and tend to stay away from peaches with much yellow. This is where I confess a silly pre-conceived prejudice against this pencil based on a swatch.

Nars Summer 2012 Buenos Aires Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil

This idea formed in my mind kept me from actually trying Nars Buenos Aires on my lips for three full months. Isn't it silly to spend $24 on a product and not even try it?

And here's where I confess that I was wrong. It's a lovely nude color. It's not too yellowy-peach for me, as I'd feared. I broke my number one rule over this pencil: A color does not look the same on the arm/hand as it does on the lips. I know that and yet let my own silly prejudice stop me from enjoying this pencil!!

Nars Buenos Aires Velvet Lip Gloss Pencil

I enjoy the color but I find the feel of the pencil to be a little dry, so I prefer it with a light application of a gloss or balm over the top. Otherwise, what a great pencil, and a nice nude color! The pencil contains .09 oz of product and retails for $24 at Beauty.comNordstrom, Neiman Marcus and the Nars website.

My own silliness brings me to the question I want to ask you today....have you ever let a pre-conceived notion about a product stop you from trying it for a long time?  I'd love to hear your experience.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup - June 29, 2012

The Beauty Spotlight Team Weekly for 1/6/10

Polarbelle has a new video featuring the Urban Decay Bailout On The Run palette. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in the Rock ...