Friday, February 28, 2014

Bronzed Chameleon

After wading through an overflow of harried and hectic days recently, I decided to indulge in some therapy - retail therapy, that is.  I kept it on a very small scale; after scouring my local drugstore for some more lip pencils and coming up empty-handed, I picked up some new nail polishes to serve as consolation.  If you have a moment, I'd love to share one of them with you.  It's a prismatic shade from Revlon called Chameleon and it's quite the looker.

Chameleon is a molten bronze with an emerald green shift.  The lacquer has a thin, but nice consistency that glides streak-free across the nails sans clumps and bubbles.  Although amply pigmented, I did apply three layers of color to achieve satisfactory opaqueness due to its thinner formula.  And I don't know when Revlon changed the packaging of its polishes and started leaving the front of the bottles blank, but I assure you that my bottle is not an aberration as I dutifully checked display row after display row of the lacquers and it's apparently a part of their new branding.  (At least it's new to me!) 

Revlon nail polishes have always fared well on my hands and this beauty is no different as it stayed full-blast on my nails for a week before showing some signs of wear on the edges.  And the color is simply magnificent.  I know that many other brands already have their share of Chameleon-like polishes, so the color shifting effect is far from being novel.  But why try and reinvent the wheel when all that's required is to build your own version of it?  Revlon, in my opinion, successfully took heed to the latter with the creation of this eye-catching, gorgeous polish.  It is ab fab!

Revlon Chameleon is available at Target, WalMart and most drugstores, and retails for around $6.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Barbie: Spring In Tokyo

Can you feel it in the air?  Springtime is fast approaching and will be here before you know it.  Bright blooms ushered in by warmer weather sounds like the perfect salve for those left beaten and bruised by winter's precipitous blows.  And I know one young lady who's anxiously awaiting the seasonal changing of the guard.  In fact, she's already got her round trip ticket bought, itinerary confirmed and outfit planned just for the occasion.   It's the ultimate renaissance woman herself, Barbie, and she is counting down the days 'til she can spend the start of spring in beautiful Tokyo.

Decked out in a cream ensemble, Barbie may look like she's all dressed up for business, however, this is merely her version of "luxe leisure". 

The over-sized, navy bow at the neck of the raw silk jacket gives it an air of stateliness, while the deconstructed fringe working its way around the perimeter of the collar gives it a modern feel.

Draped around her neck is a chain-link of pearls and gold that expertly pick up the gold tone of the buttons lining the face of the jacket.  Here, the deconstructed detailing can once again be found working its way down the front and encircling the bottom of the jacket, as well as on the edges of the sleeves...

and at the hem of her ultra-tailored, raw silk pencil skirt.

In her left hand is a navy flap bag with gold-linked handle...

and adorning her right hand is a simple, little gold ring.  With all the ornamentation going on above her waist, Barbie figured that less is more.  And being the fashionista that she is, her instincts are right on the money.

And acting as the perfect footer to her outfit is a pair of blue and cream T-strap heels.  Though pointed at the toe, these pumps are comfortable enough for hours of pounding the pavement and taking in the sights of a bustling Tokyo, Japan.

Barbie decided to mix it up a tad and go a little retro by donning a wide brimmed, navy blue hat -  complete with grosgrain ribbon accent and cascading netted veil.  Who but Ms. Roberts could possibly pull this off and look trĂ©s chic while doing so?

And when you pull back the veil, you can truly see the understated glamour she effortlessly displays.  Medium sized pearls decorate her earlobes while her coffee brown hair is neatly pulled back in a casual chignon.  Her makeup?  A slight cat-eye with neutral lid, a brown cut crease and soft pink highlight.  A glimpse of pink can be seen on her cheek while her full lips cater to a more overt hue of yellow-pink.  Simple, but stunning all at the same time.

So, there you have it.  As soon as the weather breaks officially for spring, this birdie is on the first thing smokin' to the capital of Japan.  And who can blame her?  This winter has been a beast and I, too, echo her sentiment of wanting to celebrate the first thaw in some type of grand way.  I don't think I'll be traveling across seas, though.  For me, being able to shed some layers of clothing with be celebratory enough.

But leave it to Barbie to make plans to travel to the other side of the world just to ring in the new season.   Jet-setter, businesswoman, fashion guru... the list goes on and on and on!  What in the world can't this woman do?  A fair question... but one I have yet to find the answer to.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Strawberry Margarita

I am so ready for spring, you guys.  Like, soooo ready already!  I really don't mind cold weather and the holidays that come along with winter, but there's something to be said about the feel of sunshine on your face.  Or seeing the trees regain their fallen foliage.  So, in anticipation of the upcoming season, I'd like to bring to you a nail lacquer that echoes a part of the vast color palette spring will undoubtedly bring with it.  It's a wonderful shade from OPI called Strawberry Margarita.

Strawberry Margarita is a vibrant yellow-pink.  It has a high gloss finish and I was able to achieve full opacity after two coats.  I did not experience any bubbling or streaking during application and the polish lasted almost a week (about four days, which is average for me) on my busy hands before showing serious signs of wear around the edges of my nails.

When I look at this color, thoughts of playful DIY nail art dance through my head.  Oh, the flowers and butterflies and designs I could attempt to make with this!  Feminine, fun and festive, Strawberry Margarita is an intoxicating mixture of all three that will not only set off a nice mani, but will also be killer on your toes.  And I can't wait to put it to full use on both!

So, if you're like me and in need of a mini spring break before spring actually breaks then I think you owe it to yourself to personally lay eyes on Strawberry Margarita and drink this one in.

OPI Strawberry Margarita is available at Ulta and retails for $9.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Colored Pencils: Brown to Neutral Lips

I think every woman, no matter what her skin tone, should have at least one brown lip pencil in her arsenal.  Besides its obvious powers of enhancing a brown lipstick, it can serve as a great base to turn reds into deeper burgundies, assist with an ombre lip as well as create a nice border for an array of neutrals.  Altogether, I have three - two of which I'm sure you've heard me mention before plus one I'd love to tell you about right now.

MAC's Chestnut is a rich, reddish-brown and it is one of my faves.  It was the first brown lip pencil I ever bought and it's one that I always come back to.  Shrouded in battle scars from tip to tail, my Chestnut stays in constant rotation as I rely on it to set my deep browns and bring dimension to my dark reds.  I've got history with this shade.  In fact, this particular pencil is my third one!

Chestnut has a creamy texture that glides on the lips and imparts full-on color without tugging or pulling.  I have no problem with it fading or feathering out as it stays true to my lips all day long, issue-free.

Another fave of mine is Cork lip liner, which MAC describes as a "muted, golden brown".  I just re-upped on this shade as this, too, is one of my staples.  Less dramatic in color than Chestnut, I like to wear Cork with my peachy lipsticks and lipglosses or by itself with a clear gloss on top.

Just like Chestnut, Cork is soft on the lips and has a strong color payoff.  I have no problems with the liner fading or bleeding as it lasts all day on me.  Very nice shade.  I think this may be my third or fourth pencil as well... And counting!

Last, but not least, is a lip liner from drugstore fave Wet 'n' Wild.  I didn't see a name on the pencil, but it's numbered 712 and is a pretty nutmeg shade.  Now, I haven't used it yet (of course!) but I can see pairing it with a host of glosses and some darker nudes, perhaps. 

A little drier than the MAC liners, 712 applies and feels more like a true crayon liner.  It tugs a bit, but imparts a good amount of color with each pass.  It has ample staying power, too, as it stayed put all day without budging or fading away.

And so, there you have it.  Unless I hear of or find a shimmery/pearly brown lip liner for me to cop, I think I have my brown bases covered.  I'm still on the hunt for a nice red and orange, though.  Nothing too bright... I may go to my local beauty supply this weekend to survey their supply of NYX pencils, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll prolly end up buying the shades from MAC.  Hmm... we shall see.

But until then, I'll be looking and when I do the finding, I'll be sure to report back with the spoils from my hunt!

MAC Chestnut and Cork are available at Macy's and Nordstrom, and retail for $15.  Wet 'n' Wild 712 is available at various drugstores and retails for .99¢.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jaded Antique Green

OK, I've got another rockin' pigment that I'm itchin' to share with y'all.  It's a cheeky little number that looks one way in the pot, but slightly different when the light hits it.  It's so pretty!  So let me not waste anymore time and get right to it.  Allow me to bend your ear for a moment and talk to you about Jesse's Girl's loose eyeshadow called Antique Green.

Antique Green is a tarnished, green-teal that reflects a burnished jade after application.  Housed in a small, plastic jar with a three-holed, removable sifter, this Eye Dust from Jesse's Girl is not your typical drugstore fare as it yields bold, saturated color with every swatch.  This finely milled shadow is beautifully nuanced and boasts a gorgeous, semi-metallic sheen all while maintaining its pearl finish status.

I am so into this color, y'all.  It's such a unique and lovely shade that I fervently hope that the pics are doing it some justice so you can properly ascertain the visual message I'm trying to transmit.  It is totally ab fab, y'all... with an emphasis on "fab"! 

So, if your interest has been piqued, I definitely think you should give it a look-see for yourself.  And if this pigmented green doesn't quite grab you, don't worry - I have a few more shades coming down the pipeline that may be more up your alley.
Jesse's Girl Antique Green can be found at various drugstores and retails for around $4.99.