Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fan Binbing: New Fashion Icon?

Picture originally from

I'm a huge web surfer. I spend hours every day combing through fashion blogs, make-up blogs, lifestyle blogs, really every kind of blog you can think of. I've been a longtime reader of, although I don't comment very often. I'm a really big fan of a few of their writers like Tracie Egan Morrissey (@jezebel_tracie), Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria), Jenna Sauers (@jennasauers), and Dodai Stewart (@jezebeldodai).

Today on Jezebel, Tracie Egan Morrissey posted about Fan Bingbing, a Chinese actress who has impeccable fashion taste. Seriously, everyone who sees this should go to the article "Fan Bingbing is the Coolest Girl on Every Red Carpet". Her style is funky and very creative, but she also is elegant and demure at the same time. I don't get it. Bingbing pulls off being crazy and daring without looking insane or desperately seeking all the attention in the world, *cough* Lady Gaga *cough* (Gaga, I really do like you, but I'm just getting a little tired of the act).

I, for one, cannot wait to see more of Bingbing. Her looks are amazing and I'm now curious to see anything she has acted in. But, for real, everyone go over to the article and check out Tracie's gallery of her looks!!


Essie and Julep Show down!

L to R- Essie Ole Caliente, Julep Maven Natasha, and Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I decided to swatch my three orange-y polishes. Obviously, Essie Ole Caliente is much more of a reddish pink than the others who are a little more "true" orange. I haven't tried out my Julep Maven Nail Varnishes just yet, so I'm not sure what their wear time is like. The Natasha shade was pretty opaque with one layer and went on smoothly. 

In the picture below, Natasha is a little lighter than Meet Me at Sunset. Natasha is more like the color of an orange traffic cone.They are very, very similar shades, almost dupes, but I'm not sure I would categorize them as dupes for sure. I think that Meet Me at Sunset has a little more depth and shine and Natasha might be redder, but only by the tiniest amount.

 Soon, I'll do a long wear test on Julep's Natasha, then we'll see who the winner is! Since, Ole Caliente is much different than the others, it already wins for being a gorgeous orange red. 

L to R: Ole Caliente, Natasha, Meet Me at Sunset

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Essie Pink-A-Boo

So, I don't think my camera really captured the shimmer in this polish all that well and truthfully, it seems a little more pink in real life. Not sure why all my photos look so washed out! Essie's Pink-a-Boo is a glittery, sheer baby pink that isn't too sheer. In the photos, I only used two layers, I thought about doing three but my laziness overtook me. I think three would probably look about the same as two.

The micro glitter in the formula catches the light easily. I see mostly pinks, but occasionally catch a cool blue from the glitter. This nail polish is great for those who like baby pink colors. I'm not usually one of those folks, but I could see myself wearing the color again. It is classy without being too "old". The shimmer and the tone of the pink really bring out a young girl vibe. I think my niece will enjoy it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Essie To Buy Or Not To Buy

In contrast to my lost post in which I very much disliked Tour de Finance, I adore To Buy or Not To Buy. The pastel lilac color is perfect for an Easter manicure. If I had a steadier hand I might trying drawing a little yellow baby chick on my ring finger. 

In my swatch above I used three thin layers, although two thicker ones would probably suffice. Also, in real life this manicure is much shinier and maybe a little bit more saturated than my camera let on. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Essie Tour De Finance

Okay, I have to admit, I'm a huge Essie fan. However, I'm not the biggest fan of Tour de Finance. The pink reminds me of an 80s themed Barbie color (which by its self is just fine, don't get me wrong). The application was smooth and two coats did the job just fine. 

Skip to this afternoon, not even a full 24 hours after the application and my right hand's pointer finger already has a massive chip. Luckily, I usually take a photo of my left hand, which is above, but you can still see small chips on my middle finger. Other Essie Spring 2012 and Resort 2012 polishes seemed to last forever. And, I mean annoyingly forever. I would be rubbing away at full manicures six days after I painted it. 

I should give Tour de Finance some credit. The color is great, the application is smooth and it fits well into a summer polish collection. I can also see my little nieces and cousins wanting the polish applied to all their little toes and fingers. Which, truthfully, is probably what I'll save it for. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

all about the skin

all about the skin

Starting from the top then going left to right!

1. Dermalogica Overnight Clearing Gel- I have not used this product, but all the other Dermalogica products I've used I've absolutely adored!
2. Bioderma - Wonderful makeup remover recommended by the makeup artist Lisa Eldridge
3. Boots no. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum - This stuff is absolutely amazing. It moisturizes my face without creating shiny spots or any more acne. Plus, it has anti-fine line benefits and is available at Target!
4. Dr Jart+  Premium BB Cream
5. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream - I can't decide which Dr. Jart+ BB cream I want to try out! I've heard both are fantastic though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Essie Ole Caliente

Ole Caliente is a perfect red orange. It is bright and fiery and reminds me of summer sunsets choked with smoke from near-by wildfires. If you've never seen one of those sunsets, I can tell you the sun goes blood orange, just like this nail polish. Other than the threat of your home burning down or not being able to breathe the air, wild-fire sunsets are very beautiful. 

Like most Essie polishes, this formula is thick and one coat gives almost full opacity. However, I recommend two coats for the best application. The polish went on slightly sticky and streaky, but dried smooth and without flaw. I imagine myself wearing this color on a hot summer night, in a flouncy, yet elegant LBD salsa or flamenco dancing (if I could even dance like that!).

Ole Caliente might just be my favorite polish from Essie's Spring 2012 collection. It is very similar to Meet Me at Sunset, but I'd say this color has much more a pinkishness to it. Meet Me At Sunset is a deeper, darker orange, without any pink undertones. You may not be able to tell in my pictures, but the two polishes are noticeably different in tone and shade. So, I'm excited to wear this color all summer long!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Introductory Julep Maven Box

I recently signed up for Julep Maven, which is a company similar to Birchbox, where you get a monthly subscription to beauty products. In addition to the subscription, Julep Maven also has their own range of products you can buy individually. Once you are signed up and officially become a "Maven" you'll receive 20% off those orders among other benefits.

First thing I opened in my box was the hand-scrub and nail file. I've been needing a nail file lately, so that is a nice little addition to the box. I haven't tried the glycolic acid hand-scrub yet, so we'll see how it works. I've never been one to use scrubs anywhere other than my face, but I'm willing to give this product a shot!

Now, the real meat of the package, two Julep nail varnishes. When you signup for Julep Maven they have you take a quick little personality test to cater to your orders. According to them I was a "Bombshell", so the company added the two colors you see above into the box. The orange creme is Natasha and the green with light blue sparkles is Sofia.

 Just for a little reference, I compared Natasha to Essie's Meet Me At Sunset. I'm not going to say they are dupes till I compare them side by side on the nail. But in their bottles they seem very similar. Meet Me At Sunset may be a tad darker than Natasha, but we'll see how they hold up when I swatch the two next to each other!

**Remember to follow Laptops and Lipgloss on Pinterest, Bloglovin' and Twitter! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Essie Navigate Her - Just in time for St. Paddy's Day!

I just barely got my nails done for St. Paddy's! A little late and with a little less flair than I was going to do but Essie's Navigate Her fits the American-Irish holiday quite nicely. The soft pastel green isn't so obnoxiously green that I would feel weird wearing for the next few days. It is a perfect creamy Spring pastel.  No wonder Essie put it in their Spring 2012 collection.

Normally, I'm pretty hard on pastel colors. They are not my favorite. I tire of "baby" colors, like baby pink or baby blue very easily. But, not this pastel green. I keep thinking up combos to pair this shade with . . . maybe a lovely lilac for some geometric color blocking? 

Well, enough of the holiday crap, when it comes down to it, Essie's Navigate Her fits right in with my nail polish collection. I have no other pastel greens and, of course, like other Essie formulas, this polish goes on streak free and only needs two coats to reach full opacity. Safe to say, I'm a little in love with this color. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is finally here, well at least where I live. There are sunny days ahead that will only be getting hotter and hotter. I can't wait! Here are a few of the products that I would love to create some spring looks!

1. Mac Vera Collection Face Powder Sunday Afternoon
2. Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Blush
3. Milani Runway Eyes for Spring in Haute Couture
4. Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Enchanted
5. Essie Navigate Her (Swatches coming tomorrow on the blog!)
6. Essie To Buy Or Not To Buy (Swatches coming the day after Navigate Her)
7. Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint in Lucky

I think my favorite product I received in my special edition March Teen Vogue Birchbox this month is the Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Tint in Lucky. It definitely goes on matte, a little more matte than the picture below seem to show. However, it did not dry out my lips at all! The minty smelling product felt more moisturizing than anything. 

When you wear this product be sure to exfoliate and moisturize before you apply it. Any stray dry lip skin flapping off your lips will be shown! I repeat, flappy dry lip skin will be very noticeable with this product on. I made that mistake when I first slapped some of it on my lips right after I ripped my Birchbox open!

I'm now very, very curious to see what the other darker colors in the collection look like, particularly the Fiery and Warm Rose shades. I'm sort of getting obsessed with matte finishes and this product only enhanced my desire to obtain and horde more matte makeup like a little make-up goblin or squirrel (don't they horde things?).

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Birchbox Arrived!

This month was my first official Birchbox box! I opted to be sent the Teen Vogue editor's beauty picks and I was not disappointed (Although read on for one little hiccup)

First up, I received a green Twistband hairband that I'm excited to try out and a mini bottle of Kerastase Elixir Ultime. I've never really tried hair serums or treatments, so I'm very excited to try this little product out. Plus, I always hear wonderful things about Kerastase so I'm sure it can't be bad! 


Now, on to the product I am already wearing on my lips! Tarte's LipSurgence natural matte lip tint in Lucky. Its a little chubby crayon that goes on very matte and exactly the shade of pink the product is in. It is very Nicki Minaj Barbie and definitely much different than any lip color I currently own. I've found that I need to exfoliate my lips well before I apply this; the matte tends to highlight any flakey spots on my dry winter-worn lips.  


Last, but not least, there was a sample of Kate Spade's Twirl perfume which is floral and sweet, very spring-y to me. 

I absolutely adore I received a full size Essie LuxeEffects nail polish in As Gold As It Gets, but due to my uncontrollable spending habits I already own this shade! Too bad I didn't get the Set In Stones silver glitter because I've been lusting over it for awhile now. But, all is not lost, my mom will be happy to take one of the polishes from me! 

Now the countdown begins for April's Birchbox! I can't wait!

**Remember to follow me on Pinterst, Bloglovin' and Twitter. Soon, I'll put up my Instagram feed!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Essie Sure Shot

I'm loving Sure Shot by Essie. The pinky fuchsia color harkens back to the decade of my birth (the 80s). If I was rockin' some eighties throw-back looks I would pair this polish, with its subtle blueish/cool-toned  shimmer with this Revlon lip butter for some matchy lips and nails. 

The formula itself was classic Essie; Dries fairly fast, settles down to dry without streaks, and takes a few days to chip off. In fact, I'm still wearing the remnants of the shade right now. This shade is from the Resort mini collection I mentioned previously. For sure, this lacquer will be slapped upon my toes multiple times this summer for those sunny beach days.

**Remember to follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kate Moss for Rimmel Lipstick

I'm in love with the packaging. I want to buy more of her colors just for the tubes alone!
My new favorite drugstore red lipstick is Kate Moss' #1 shade for Rimmel. The lipstick formula is smooth and moisturizing without being too shiny and I did not have a problem with fading unless I was chomping down on some food. When I was eating the lipstick did transfer to the cup/spoon/food but it miraculously did not smudge outside of the edges of my lips or even my teeth.

My only little nub of criticism deals with the scent. To warn you, I'm a pretty scent-sensitive person. A whiff of certain alcohol-laden floral perfumes or sickly, sweet "beachy" clothing store body sprays  gives me massive migraines. This lipstick's scent wasn't unbearable and it definitely did not give me a migraine, but the odd smell, which I can't really place (cherry soda mixed with face powder?) leaves much to be desired.  

So, even though this little review ends on a bad note do not be under the impression that I don't absolutely adore this lipstick. In fact, I've been searching for more occasions to wear it! 

*iPhone swatches below. Sorry, was pre-DSLR!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Splatter Nails: Harder than Expected

Maybe it is the perfectionist in me, but splatter nails or as some call them, Jackson Pollack nails, are harder to recreate than I thought! I have little nails which didn't give much room for a satisfying splatter and a few times I accidentally had a big blob of polish land right on the nail. Here are the pics from my first attempt.

I did continue on to finish my entire hand, but that fumes must of gotten to me and I forgot to take pictures of them! But, trust me, I think this first nail looked the best. 

**Note that I used electrical tape, which worked out just fine for protecting my skin from wayward splatter. I was just to lazy to go to the store to buy some plain ol' fashioned scotch tape.

Friendly Reminder for iPhone users!

To those with iPhones, update your software to the newest version and you will get a lovely little short cut camera button near your unlock slider. Since, I my iPhone 4s is pass-code protected (to keep sneaky little cousins out of my info!) I hated the time it took to log in and pull up my camera app. I missed a lot of amusing shots of my cat and dog punching in my pass-code.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Essie She's Picture Perfect

I'm really loving wearing Essie's She's Picture Perfect from their mini Resort Collection. It is a lovely lilac-y shade with the right amount of darker shimmer in it. The opaline shimmer isn't over-done. I don't feel like I'm wearing a disco ball on my nails at all. Essie did a great job creating a pastel color that isn't too chalky looking.  

I can't wait to try the next color in the Resort collection, then move on to their Spring 2012 mini set!

The mini bottle

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sephora Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner

This is the smaller, travel-sized version of the product.

 I admit, I'm not the biggest germophobe around, which isn't good for someone obsessed with makeup. It is vital that makeup, especially makeup tools are kept clean. No one wants pink eye or an infection from bacteria-laden products!

So, to combat my cleaning apathy, I purchased this little spray from Sephora. It is their Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner, which can I say smells amazing. For some reason, I just love how my brushes smell after I use it. It isn't too perfume-y, nor is it a bleach cleaning product smell. It reminds me of the way certain hair sprays or detanglers that I can't name off the top of my head smell. 

The spray does not require rinsing, so this in not a deep cleaning way to get your brushes spic n' span. This is a daily, or in my case 3 or 4 times a week, spray down of your favorite and most used brush heads. If there is a light dust of color on the brush when you spray the product on, just lightly wipe it on a towel. Then enjoy your disinfected and wonderfully smelling makeup tools.

Essie No More Film

Here are some swatches of Essie's 'No More Film' from their Resort Collection. Luckily, I've got my DSLR going, so the picture quality is much, much, much better than my iPhone for close-ups. 

I really love this color due to my lack of a non-shimmering navy blue in my polish collection. This particular polish has a hint of purple in its formula, but when on the nails it comes across and a dark, almost black, blue. Like most Essie products, the application is easy and with this color, one coat is really all you need. 

I'm wondering what Essie's Luxe Effects in 'As Gold As It Gets' would look like on top. I bet the Luxe Effect topcoat 'Set in Stones' would be very striking.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Essie Resort and Spring 2012 Swatches

This picture makes me long for my Nikon DSLR! Soon, I will have that bad boy back and the quality of my photos will be much better!

So, the picture of above shows the swatches from the Resort Collection. From top to bottom it goes: She's Picture Perfect, Pink-A-Boo, No More Film, and Sure Shot. I thought this not so great iPhone shot of the colors really did not do No More Film justice. It is much more of a dark navy than is shown on my ring finger. My shoddy photography skills also seemed to miss the shimmery sparkles in Pink-A-Boo!

Below is a shot of just the bottle. Imagine those two colors mixed when you apply the color in real life. It isn't black, but it isn't a purple-y navy either. However, I can say that I absolutely adore the color and have now painted all ten of my digits with it. Better shots will be taken, I promise!

Below this text are the swatches for the Essie Spring 2012 collection, minus two colors that do not come with the minibox foursome. From top to bottom: Navigate Her, Tour De Finance, Ole Caliente, and To Buy or Not To Buy. 

All of these colors are great additions to my polish collection. Once again, I'd say my iPhone's camera distorted Tour De Finance, like it did to No More Film, it has much more shimmer and is not as flat as it seems in this photo. It reminds me of a color you'd wear on a tropical vacation. I can't wait to paint my toes with it this summer. Ole Caliente is similar to my previously mentioned Meet Me at Sunset. However, I'd say it is more of pinky tangerine, versus the reddish orange of Meet Me at Sunset. 

Essie Minis: Resort and Spring 2012 Collection

(From left to right) Resort: Sure Shot, No More Film, Pink-A-Boo, and She's Picture Perfect.                                   
Spring: Navigate Her, Ole Caliente, Tour De Finance, and To Buy or Not To Buy

 My mother just dropped off some mini nail polishes for me to try out! How nice is she? She picked up the mini box versions of Essie's Resort Collection and their minibox of the 2012 Spring Collection. The full collection for Spring actually has two more nail polishes in the set. The colors missing A Crewed Interest and Orange, It's Obvious! 

I'm excited to eventually swatch them for Laptops and Lipgloss! But, for now, I must finish some homework.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vintage Make-up Tutorial

I was looking around Lisa Eldridge's website (one of my favorite make-up artists) and watched this gem of a vintage make-up video. I couldn't help but share!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Essie Meet Me At Sunset

Excuse the rough application :)

I recently realized I was desperately lacking a reddish orange polish in my collection when I saw Pantone's color for 2012. This color isn't exactly Tangerine Tango, but it definitely fits my reddish orange criteria. 

The color's formula is similar to Essie's Chinchilly. It takes three coats to get to opacity and even then, if your coats get too thin you might see through the layers just a little. In some lights I can see through my ring finger's layers just a bit.

All in all, this color will be great on my fingers and toes during the summer. I can't wait to try out some contrasting color nail art designs, maybe Essie's Mint Candy Apple

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quick and Easy Teeth Whitening

Luckily, I'm someone who has pretty good teeth. With the help of orthodontics, my smile is one I can be proud of. But, lately my coffee-fueled study sessions have been taking a toll on my once pearly whites. Instead of shelling out for some Crestwhite strips, I grabbed this Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster. You just squeeze a bit on top of your normal toothpaste whenever you brush and over time it whitens your teeth. 

I've been using it for about a month and a half now and I'm very satisfied with the level of whiteness it has achieved. I wouldn't recommend it for someone whose teeth are very yellow and have not been taken care of. But, this stuff is great for people who just haven't had the time to keep their teeth white. 

For around $4, you can subtly whiten your teeth without taking precious time away from your normal morning routine.

Happy Birthday Oreo!

While I was shopping for ingredients to make some fish tacos tonight, I noticed there were some "Birthday Oreos". With a boyfriend who craves Oreos on a daily basis, I couldn't not let him get some. The vanilla birthday cake flavor makes the already sweet Oreos even sweeter. They aren't bad, but I am still very satisfied with regular ol' double stuffed ones. Also, who knew Oreos have been around for 100 years? I would of guessed 50 years at the most!

Confetti interior!

My favorite "greige": Essie's Chinchilly

This not the best photo (come on iPhone 4S, you can take better pics than that!). However, this is one of the best neutral nail polishes I own. I'm still on the "greige" bandwagon. One of my favorite looks is a very shiny, greige nail. It is fashionable, yet understated. It is wonderful for professional arenas or other areas you may feel a black or bright color may seem too juvenile. 

This picture is 3 coats of Essie's Chinchilly polish, with a swipe of Seche Vite on top. The photo below is a photo of the manicure today, exactly six days after I applied it. Only a few of my fingers sport tiny chips on the very tip of the nail, probably from opening soda pop cans or shuffling through my backpack. That is some pretty good wear!

What neutrals or other "greiges" do you guys like? 

6 days later