Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nail Polish Haul from 12.17.2010

Ok...maybe I went a little crazy, but it was right after finals so a little pick me up/congrats on finishing another semester-treat was in order.

The first nail polish I picked up was Revlon's "Perplex," and it is this the first Revlon polish in my collection. It is a pretty purple with subtle shimmer and a grey sort of undertone. I saw this color in the stores but passed on it until Mica G did a post on it and showed it on her nails. It's definitely difficult to catch the uniquenes of this polish on camera as it is unlike Sephora by OPI's "Metro Chic" or anything along that vein. I've seen this at drugstores like CVS or Rite Aid for about $5, but I was able to get this on sale for $3 something.

I'm probably THE last person on the planet to find out that Orly did dupes for 2/3 nail polishes that came out in the MAC Venomous Villians collection. Luckily my local Ulta still had full stock of these hiding on a bottom shelf somewhere (I actually almost left thinking they were gone). These are $10 each, so $3 more than a regular Orly polish, but Ulta was having buy 2 get 1 free so I also picked up Luxe.

"Galaxy Girl" is the dupe for MAC VV's "Formidable," and is a dark purple base with teal shimmer that flashes red from some angles. The duochromes of this and "Space Cadet" were very hard to capture, but if you Google pictures of it, some of the more veteran nail polish photographers can give you a better idea of how these look.

"Space Cadet" is the dupe for "Mean & Green," and is a green-based polish with lavender and all sorts of crazy duochrome.

For both of these polishes I used three coats and it was still streaky and not as opaque as I would like. I've only used one other Orly polish and three coats was definitely enough because that formula wasn't streaky at all.

The free Orly polish I picked was "Luxe" because I felt it was a very appropriate holiday color. It is a soft muted gold with a metallic-looking finish. I didn't do a swatch for that one, but probably will eventually.

The very last polish I picked up was "The Show Must Go On!" from OPI's Burlesque collection, and only because it reminded me of MAC VV's "Bad Fairy." It wasn't until I got home and looked it up online that it's not an exact dupe, and the duochrome is not as obvious in the OPI polish. "TSMGO" has a magenta base with yellow gold and copper duochrome that was even more difficult to capture than the Orly polishes. It is more apparent in natural lighting or shaded artificial lighting than it is under full on artificial light. It's definitely very pretty and this will probably be what I'll wearing during the holidays for that festive touch. This was $8.50 at Ulta.

For the Ulta haul the cost would have been a lot more if it hadn't been for the buy 2 get 1 free and the 20% off coupon I had. The total came to $25 so it was about $6.25 per polish. The entire nail polish haul came to less than $30.

Hope you found this helpful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is your signature piece/look?

Hi everyone! This is just a quick post because I'm curious about what is your signature piece/look? It's always fun to see what people like. :)

I think if you were ask someone who knows me well enough what is something that I always wear, they would probably say my sterling silver figaro bracelet. For some reason, several years ago, I was obsessed with having a figaro bracelet and looked high and low for something that was the right width and length for my small wrists.

This bracelet was about $15 at Piercing Pagoda or one of those jewelry kiosks at the mall and it was the perfect fit. The scale of it was also perfect for my wrists - it was simple and didn't overpower me. I put it on that day and it hasn't come off ever since except for the occasional cleaning.

So what is your signature piece/look? Is it a piece of jewelry? An eyeshadow look? A hair style? I'd love to know in the comments below. :)

Smashbox Anti-Shine/Anti-Brilliance

This has got to be some kind of magic...this face primer actually helps my oily complexion! I say help and not cure because that would just be asking for miracles from a beauty product.

I have super oily skin. It can get so bad to the point that I'm blotting my face every two hours, and if I don't blot then my face looks like a greasy mess.

There are plenty of face primers on the market, and I've tried other primers such as the famous, and usually well-liked, Smashbox Photofinish primer. The texture was very smooth and soft and it left my skin feeling the same, but it didn't help with the oilies. There are also some drugstore brand primers, but those weren't contenders either.

The search for a primer seemed hopeless, until I read on that Urban Decay had come out with a new face primer, Deslick in a Tube, which was supposed to be a gel version of their Deslick powder. It seemed like a good product to try since this primer was formulated without the traditional silicone - it's main mattifying ingredient is Magnesium Aluminum Silicate. I was all on board until Temptalia mentioned another product - Smashbox's Anti-Shine, which gave more product for a $1 less and was already in stores. No waiting involved.

So I went to Sephora, asked for a sample and went home and tried it. For goodness sake's it was amazing. I generally only apply it to areas that get oily: forehead, nose, cheeks, upper lip and chin, so this product isn't all over my face and jawline. (It covers a good portion of my face though!) It doesn't completely stop the oil from coming through but a little bit of oil is all right and it gives my skin a dewy look.

The texture of the product is a bit dry but it blends out well enough if you work with small amounts. I tried using a large amount of product and it dried too quickly and made my foundation look cakey. It can also make your face feel very tight if you apply too much, so just a word of warning. Also, if you don't blend it out well enough you can see where it has been applied. Another thing that can happen is the product will pill on your face if you rub it too much. It sounds like there are a lot of cons or aspects you have to watch out for, but I definitely think it's worth not having to blot every couple of hours.

I'd recommend this primer if you are in the market for one and silicone-based ones don't seem to be working for you.

Pros: keeps most oil at bay, helps my foundation stay in place, also helps keep my cheek color product in place (which is a big help since my blush is always disappearing)

Cons: need to work quickly and in small amounts, can feel tight if too much is applied and/or make foundation look cakey

It's available at Sephora and the Smashbox website for $27 and comes in one color: neutral.

Image from:

I've Hit Pan! Now what?

Hey everyone, this is just a quick post celebrating the fact that I've FINALLY HIT PAN ON SOMETHING! This is my MAC Blot Powder in Medium Dark which I use everyday to set my foundation.

I've only started getting into makeup within the last year so the collection is still growing, and anything that makes it to this point has to be something special. Unlike my numerous eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks, I only use one blot powder and it gets used more or less everyday and it's not really surprising that it's the first to hit pan. (Since this photo has been taken more pan has been revealed)

I really love this stuff because it doesn't shift the color of my foundation and it really helps it stick. My skin is also really oily, and while this doesn't completely stop the oily complexion, it's good for the first few hours and touch-ups clean me up without making my makeup look cakey. Unfortunately, things now are different from when I first bought this powder and $22 is still a lot of money to throw down on a face powder. Are there any cheaper powders that you like and would recommend? Thanks!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hello Zombie!

Aren't these just the cutest things?! These are a couple of the zombie Hello Kitty pins available at Hot Topic for $2.99 for the Halloween season.

They also have more zombie Hello Kitty products including handbags, T-shirts and hair accessories. I got these because my boyfriend is obsessed with zombies and I with HK so it was a match made in heaven. :)

China Glaze's Heaven

Heaven is a sheer shimmery nude champagne color that looks very natural on the nails. In one coat it gives a nice "faux" French manicure and in two coats its a bit more opaque but the natural nail still peeks through.

It's a great color to wear if you want to wear a nail polish that's something other than clear, but you don't want to wear an actual shade. It's Your Nails But Better. :)

I bought mine for $4.49 at Sallys Beauty with their membership card that costs $5/year. If you aren't a member then the price is $5.99. China Glaze is also available at Ulta.

Loma Pearatin Hair Serum

I have hair that is oily at the roots and dry at the tips. It can get pretty dry there and eventually my hair feels very rough and crackles when touched. I have used conditioner but it doesn't give me the results that Loma Pearatin's Fortifying Repairative Serum does.

This is only sold at authorized salons but they can also be found at places like Beauty Outlet, which is found at some Chelsea Premium Outlets. If you live in Northern California, the Gilroy, Napa and Vacaville outlets all have the Beauty Outlet.

I just put about two quarters worth in my palms and work it through the ends of my DRY hair before leaving the house. I've used it when my hair is wet, but I really want my hair to soak up the product so I apply when it's dry. If more is needed, then put in a bit more. It will look like your hair is wet and oily for a couple hours but it will eventually dry out and your hair will be left silky and soft. The results usually last me a couple days before I have to reapply.

I don't remember the exact price for this product, but I do know it's a bit pricey and you could use a lot depending on much hair you have or how thick it is, but I like the results and it's better than leave-in conditioner.

Image from:

Life Savers: Dr. Scholl's Fast Flats

There seems to be a trend that the cuter the shoe is, the more it will kill your feet. I've experienced this plenty of times: there are tons of cute high-heeled shoes sitting in my closet that only come out on special occasions or very short outings because, to put it plainly, they are a pain to wear.

Sure they feel fine for the first hour or two, but then the inevitable occurs - your feet get sweaty or swollen, then they start sliding around inside the shoe jamming your toes up against the toe box. If you have flatter feet like I do, then you might experience your non-existent arches aching from being at an unusual angle for prolonged periods of time.

There's an entire medley of things that can go wrong when you wear cute, but killer, shoes out, among them: blisters (closed or open), corns, bunions, red burns from ill-fitting straps, etc. etc. The list goes on and on...

But we don't have to let ourselves get to that point anymore! Thanks to Dr. Scholl's Fast Flats! These cute black flats come in a small gold clutch that can easily be tucked into your purse or a large coat pocket. Once your feet start barking you can just pull these babies out, slap them on and walk around like you were supposed to: flat.

These are great for regular outings with girlfriends, family or your significant other, and they are also great for weddings and other kinds of events that call for more than just a cute ballet flat. On my latest occasion, after I returned to the car with my boyfriend, I simply removed my shoes and slipped these on, leaving those cute heels in the car.

Since they are black with small little bows on the front they go with practically anything, so there really is no wrong occasion to wear these. The only bad part about them is that the soles are very very thin. I understand that it's because they need to be folded to fit in the clutch, but I can feel everything in these flats! Everything from cold restroom floors to bumpy asphalt. You will definitely feel any inconsistencies in the ground like pebbles, but I think the trade-off is definitely worth it.

These retail for about $9.99 at Target and Walmart to $13 at local drugstores.

Image from:

Goopy nail polish? Try this!

I think I definitely have a problem...

Sitting in my closet is a small handled plastic thing that has to hold my collection of nail polishes.
It's filled to the brim and is pretty heavy. There's so many polishes in various colors and finishes and no way on earth is there a way I can wear all of them all the time. My mom is always complaining that I do my nails too often, but even then, I haven't made any significant dents into any of my polishes.

As the color of the week/month lacquers my nails, what do the others in the closet do? They sit, separate and get goopy, so that the next time it's chosen it has become a thick mess that goes on messily and forces me to choose a color that's a bit more "fresh."

I'm sure you've all heard the trick of putting nail polish remover, which is acetone, into the bottle to help restore it to its original consistency. I've done this before and a few of my polishes have turned a bit darker or have started to separate when sitting for a while. (My poor "For Audrey")
It was definitely a problem until I found Beauty Secret's Nail Polish Thinner ($4 for 4 oz. at Sally Beauty Supply). This has saved the lives of countless nail polishes and there is still TONS of product in the bottle. Depending on the goopiness of the polish, I drop in several drops of this magic liquid, shake up the polish and PRESTO! Good as new. :)

If any of you are curious about the ingredients in the thinner vs. nail polish remover...
Beauty Secrets Thinner: Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Heptane
Rite Aid Nail Polish Remover: Acetone, Water, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethyl Glutarate, Dimethyl Succinate, Dimethyl Adipate, Glycerin, Gelatin, Fragrance, Denatonium Benzoate, D&C Yellow #11

Hope you guys found this helpful!

Image is a screen cap taken by me (from the Sally Beauty website) and edited with MS Paint

I broke my lash glue! ._.'

Hi everyone. This is just a quick post about something that happened today.
I'm a complete noob when it comes to applying false eyelashes, so I figure it'll be better with practice. I don't practice with any expensive lashes, just some that I picked up from my local Dollar Tree. Can't go wrong practicing with cheapy lashes. :)

I've heard that the Duo lash glue in Dark Tone was particularly good, and since it dries dark instead of white/clear, I wouldn't have to worry about reapplying eyeliner if I use too much. The product is about $6 and I was only able to find the dark tone at my local Sally Beauty Supply. My local drugstores and Targets only carry the white/clear version.

Perhaps it was a sign when I noticed that the area where the tip and the tube meet was beginning to crack, but I didn't think anything of it. Maybe there was a nice protective plastic sheet inside to protect from numerous openings and squeezings. Well, today I found out. When I opened the tube I heard a crack and the top snapped clean off and was stuck inside the cap!

The damage was already done to my product though because the top portion had already dried into a solid rubbery mess. I was going to throw the entire thing away but thought I'd try to salvage it by putting the remaining glue from the bottom into a contact lens case that twists shut. I have no clue whether this will work or not.

Has this happened to any of you? Any suggestions on how I can prevent this from happening again? Thanks in advance. :)

Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner

My eyelids are probably one of the most frustrating things to work with as far as makeup. They are oily like French fries and no liner or technique has ever worked for me.

There was a multitude of drugstore pencil eyeliners that couldn't stand up to my greasy lids, so I attempted to try something high end and different formulas. I've tried Mac's Blacktrack fluidline which resulted in me looking like I had attempted the smoky look when I hadn't. Even setting it with powder didn't stop the migration. Urban Decay makes some infamous eyeliners...Perhaps you've heard of them, the 24/7 glide on pencils? Yeah, those didn't work for me either. No amount of eye priming, "waterproof"-ing or setting with eye shadow would make any liner stick to my lids. Once I even tried fluidline set with powder set with 24/7 and set with powder again, and that didn't work either. Maybe that was doomed from the start. <(_-_)> I was all ready to give up on ever lining my eyes, until one day I came across this product.

My mom has oily lids too so she is always on the hunt for a budge-proof liner. We passed by a Stila counter and saw they had two new eyeliners out: the Smudge Stick Waterproof eyeliner ($20) and the Stay All Day (also $20). Mom picked up the smudge stick for herself and the stay all day for my sister, who likes liquid eyeliners and doesn't seem to have an eyeliner migration issue. (curse her...)

I tried out both, but didn't like the smudge stick. It was very soft and applied smoothly, which was great, but the end of it was so fat there was no way I would ever get a nice thin line along my lash line. I don't think that lasted of my lids either but it works for my mom, so kudos for her.
Then there was Stay All Day...and the rest was history. The tip is very fine and a bit long. I thought it was unwieldy at first, but it just takes some getting used to. I wasn't used to using a liquid pen either and every little nick of the pen resulted in strange markings all over my lashline. The color is a rich and true black, and it dries quickly and with a bit of a glossy finish. I applied it today with no eye primer and it lasted from 9am when I put on my makeup to 4pm when I took it off with just a little smudging on my right eye. Maybe that would disqualify it from being an HG product for a bunch of people, but that's pretty impressive for me.

Overall, I really love this product and will continue to buy it as long as they make it. If you have oily lids and are looking for a good eyeliner, give this one a try. :)

Image is a screen cap taken by me (from the Sephora website) and edited using MS Paint

Nail Look: Turquoise French Tip w/ Gold Glitter

Hi everyone! This is just a post about a nail look I did a while back during the peak of summer. It's a version of a French manicure using a turquoise nail polish instead of white, topped with a gold glitter top coat.

The turquoise nail polish I used was NYC's in a New York Color Minute Quick Dry nail polish in East Village 206B ($1-2 at drugstores). The brush is the flat kind, instead of the traditional round brush. I like this better because it covers more of the nail more evenly. The formula is very thin and applies sheerly, but this means it does dry quickly. For this look I applied about two or three coats to each tip.

The glittery top coat is Sephora by OPI's Only Gold for Me top coat ($9 at Sephora and I thought it was initially very goopy and the glitter didn't apply very evenly - I would always get the glitter bits on certain parts of my nail instead of nicely distributed. I diluted it with nail polish thinner and it does seem to help. There was probably about two coats of this polish just to get a nice even application.

At this point I have about 4 or 5 coats of nail polish on my claws, but I go a step further and put a clear top coat on top of the glitter coat. The reason for this is I've experience the glitter partially flaking and poking up, which scratches and snags anything from delicate fabrics to your boyfriend's face. -_____-' So, an extra top coat just in case.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Product Hate: ELF's All Over Color Stick

Hopefully you're actually reading this and haven't just looked at the title and passed by this post. Perhaps I shouldn't put my feelings about products in the title...Hmm...

Anyways, don't get me wrong, I love ELF products - they do some really great stuff. Their studio line is beyond amazing and they are churning out new stuff all the time. However, this product isn't from their studio line, it's from their infamous $1 line and while some of those products are really amazing, other products make you realize you sometimes get what you pay for.

I am not really a fan of cream blushes since I have oily skin and have heard horror stories of oily-skinned ladies like myself trying cream blushes and breaking out something fierce, then chucking that creamy culprit into the garbage to be picked up on the curbside by the man in the jumpsuit. (That was a really long sentence ._.). But there are also stories of women putting on cream blush under powder blush which helps it stay on longer, and I am all about getting my makeup to last. So $1 is not too much to sacrifice for an experiment, right?

I couldn't have been more wrong. This product is the antithesis of "cream blush." I know it says "All Over Color Stick," but this won't apply just anywhere. The shade I purchased is Golden Peach and it is very beautiful in the tube and in the swatch, but it is so so dry. Literally when I tried to apply this straight from the stick to my face I could see and feel the skin around my eyes being dragged down as this tried to deposit product. The obvious next step is to use my finger to warm up the product, and this get it on my finger. Once it's on there it doesn't really transfer well to my face and I'm left with a peachy-pink finger and some highlight on my face.

I'm sure this experience with a cream product is probably a fluke and I'll just have to try something a little more high-end, but I'm still disappointed in the quality. So a repurchase is definitely a no.


Urban Decay Book of Shadows III (aka UD hearts NYC) is STILL available on

Hey everyone! This was actually the first post I had done on Luuux so it seems fitting that it's one of the first posts I make on my blog, too. The Urban Decay Book of Shadows III, also known as UD <3 NYC, is STILL available on It was actually released a couple months ago and I expected this one to be sold out within hours of its release, but here we are, several weeks later and it is still available online and in store. Every Sephora store I have popped into still has this palette available. It's $54 with a couple palette exclusive/Sephora exclusive shades so if you're interested definitely check it out!

Now to let you in on a little secret...I had the palette....and returned it! I is actually the first Urban Decay palette I returned because it simply didn't work for me. (Previously I returned the Ammo palette because I realized a bunch of the colors were duplicated in the Sustainable and Alice palettes, boo UD for recycling shades). The shadowws are beautiful and pigmented, but brights aren't really my thing so I returned this on the last day of the Sephora Friends & Family sale and bought new things with the money, which I will do a post on when it arrives this Friday. I must have had Limited Edition fever when I first saw it...

Anyways, if brights are your thing and this palette sounds like the one for you, it's definitely not too late to pick one up for yourselves!


First Post!

Hey everyone! This is my first post and I'm very excited! I had thought about starting a blog for a long time to share with you my reviews on various makeup products and had started out on Luuux writing reviews and taking pictures. I really got the push from a fellow blogger Lamanie L ( and this is my foray into the real beauty blogging world.

Thanks for joining me on my journey as I navigate the blogging world. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews on products (which will probably be copies of my Luuux posts just to keep me busy) and some upcoming hauls. :)