Friday, June 22, 2012

Top Coat Comparison

The key to prolong your nail polish and make your nails look smooth and shiny is to apply a top coat. It just helps to seal your nail polish and makes them look nice. I would use up all the base coat and top coat, so I don't mind spending more on them. I've tried Seche Vite, OPI top coat, Barielle, Poshe,  Revlon. Out of the five products, I would only recommend OPI top coat or Revlon if you are on a budget. Seche Vite used to be my HG top coat but I found out they are not 3 free, so I threw them away. OPI has pretty good quality and you can usually find deals if you buy it with the base coat. Revlon is a good drug store brand and can't go wrong with it either. I would not recommend Poshe because it peels after 2 or 3 days and none of the other ones does that. Barielle takes forever to dry, so don't bother spending extra $ on this one either.

The latest ones I'm using are Nails Inc Kensington Topcoat Caviar, Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Top Coat, and Deborah Lippmann's Addicted to Speed Top Coat. Here is my comparison. Hope you'll find it helpful.

Nails Inc Kensington Topcoat Caviar (10ml)
  • $10; Available at Sephora
  • Dries extremely fast. Take less than a minute and I love how fast it dries.
  • Easy to apply. Glides on nails smoothly. Very glossy. Has a hint of pink but does not show on nails.
  • I will buy it again. Probably will wait when Sephora has F&F sale later this year. ;)
Butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Top Coat (17.5ml)
  • $18; Available at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom or Butter London's website.
  • High quality top coat. Does not peel. Dries rather fast but not as fast as Nails Inc. The polish is not thick and quite glossy; easy to apply.
  • You can save some $ if you purchase it with the base coat for $25 instead of spending $18 for the top coat alone. Sometimes Ulta has deals for Butter London. This will be a repurchase item for me as well.
Deborah Lippmann Addicted to Speed (15ml)
  • $20 for the full size bottle; Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, HSN, Barney's, or other high end department stores.
  • It's pretty expensive. I only purchased this from HSN because it came 1/2 size with 2 other nail polish. I can't remember exactly how much I paid; probably around $30 for the set. 
  • It has a very glossy finish but the consistency is thick!! It feels like the nail polish has dried up a bit. Not easy to apply. Drying time is quite fast for what it is. I'm afraid later on when the top coat is used halfway, I may get bubbles on my nails because the polish will get thicker and thicker. Probably will not repurchase it. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Integrate Eye Liner Pencil BK999

If you are like me who smudge most mascaras and eyeliners, you need to check this Integrate eye liner out. I got this from Adam Beauty for $14. It's one of my favorites eye liner products now.
It contains 0.28g of product, which is a lot less than other makeup brand. For instance, Mac eyeliner pencil has 1.2g product. I'm not sure if I will buy again but will decide when I'm done with this.
The liner is quite soft, easy to apply. I use this to tight line only because it's a bit difficult to draw sharper edges. And I made the pencil tip so flat and don't wanna waste any more product if I try to sharpen it. One down side about this product is you can't retract the pencil back. Just have to be careful not to twist too much out.
Here's a swatch. I let the product set for about 10 seconds. Once it's dried, it lasts all day long. No kidding. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Swatch: Essie Who Is the Boss

Hello Everyone. I haven't blogged for 2 months... It started during Lent when I stopped buying any beauty products for 40 days, and then my urge to spend on makeup had significantly decreased. I moved on and reorganized a lot of things at home. Only got a few beauty items since Easter.

Essie Wedding 2012 collection is quite nice. I got 2 from this collection but don't quite like Instant Hot. The white is quite overpowering though some friends said it looks nice on me. I really like Who Is the Boss. Not sure how Essie came up with the name. It just sounds hilarious. 
It is light pastel green with a blue tone. It looks more blue in the picture. Here's a pic of the original color with Nail's Inc Kensington  Topcoat Caviar and some nail art stickers. I think it looks good with white and yellow nail art. You can draw strips or polka dots. Just be creative!
I bought a bottle of Revlon Whimsical 430 at Walmart for $3.97. It's a sheer pastel green with pink and blue glitters. Many people associate this as a dupe with Deborah Lippman's Glitter In the Air. I'm not going to spend $18 so the Revlon one serves me well. It's sheer and you need a lot of coats to look a bit more opaque. I applied one coat to compliment Who's the Boss and like how it turns out. If you want more glitters, you need to put a few more coats. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

How to Organize Nail Polish

Out of all the beauty products, I spend the most is on nail polish. Ever since college, I've developed a habit of painting my nails. Mainly it's for stress relief because I have to be careful and paint every stroke patiently. Of coz in early days, I just didn't pay attention to the quality and only on colors. As I grow older, I am getting more picky about the things I use, so for nail polish, I only buy from certain brands like OPI, Essie, Butter London, and I start to accumulate a lot. Each polish will expire in about 2 years, so this year I look at my inventory and be reminded the colors I have and be careful when I buy another bottle of nail polish. But how can I possibly keep track all of them??? Let me show you what I've done. 

Materials I've used:
  • 2 Acrylic Shoe Drawers from the Container Store - $7.99/each 
  • Nail Wheels from Sally's - $5.39 with beauty club card 
  • Round color coding labels from Daiso - $1.50
  • A fine sharpie pen
Step 1: Color code all your nail polish.
I grouped them by the same color scheme or at least in the shades that made sense to me. I painted the lightest shades starting from the left of the nail wheel and darker towards to the right. Nail wheels are great because they help you to decide what color to use if you want to color coordinate with your outfit. And you don't need to open the nail polish bottle and test it, so helps to prolong your nail polish from drying out. 

Step 2: Make labels
I used label stickers from Daiso and used a fine sharpie pen to label them and sticked to the back of the nail wheel.
To make it easier to look up a nail polish after looking at the nail wheel, I also placed a label to the brush head. Tedious process but you will not regret it once you are all done. It's easy for me now to cross reference the nail wheel to the nail polish without taking it out of the drawer. Depending on how you store your nail polish, you may place the labels differently. 

Step 3: Store them
I bought 2 women shoe drawers from the container store. They also carry a bigger size for men's shoes but this works just fine as they are stackable. The acrylic is quite sturdy, so I don't have a problem pulling them in and out. If you own Essie nail polish, it holds about 45 of them. For OPI, it's about 32. I just store them based on the color scheme instead of sorting them by brands. It's just all based on how you like to sort them.
The shoe drawers are so compact and I like how they can stack on top of each other. I thought about using those nail polish racks used in the nail salons. But I have to find a wall to hang them and it doesn't look great in the bedroom. They aren't cheap either. The ones I saw on ebay or Amazon are around $30-40 plus shipping. Yikes. I only spent $18 on this and can hold all of them.  

If you've seen my earlier nail polish organization by using a spice rack, I still use it for storing the most frequently use shades, base and top coat, and glitter nail polish.
I hope this inspires you to organize your nail polish collection. Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Project: Nail Polish Organization

It's almost time for Spring cleaning. I've been reorganizing my office, bathroom, and kitchen... so much work!!! I looked at my nail polishes and my collection is getting bigger and bigger. Need a better way to organize them. I'm half way through the project but want to share with you first on my nail color wheels. Still have 2 more wheels to go. Once I'm done, I will share with you how I organize my nail polishes and how I store them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY Nails

I was resting at home all day yesterday and read Ting's blog. Her nails look so pretty,  so I had an urge to do a similar look on my nails. She did a step by step demo, you can try it as well.
Here are the products I used:

  • Seche Clear base coat
  • Butter London top coat
  • OPI Otherwise Engaged
  • OPI Over the Taupe
  • Essie Lady Like
  • OPI Skull & Gloss Bones
  • Canmake Nail Glitter 02

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shu Uemura Creamy Dome Blusher - Sunlight Peach

Hello Everyone! Sorry for not posting lately. Thanks to those who occasionally stopped by my blog. My laptop was out of commission for awhile and took me sometime to ship it back to the manufacturer for repair. I got quite busy lately with work and my blog pics have been accumulating, so I hope to write some when I get a chance.

Starting this year, my goal is to limit myself on makeup purchase. If I buy something new, they need to be things I don't have. I have 2 Urban Decay Naked Palettes and their 15th anniversary one, plus my other Japanese palettes, so probably cannot spend on any other neutral palettes unless they are unique. 

Let me share the new Shu Uemura creamy dome blush with you. This blush is part of their Spring 2012 Celestial Garden collection and comes in 2 colors; one in pink and one in coral. I got the one in sunlight peach (coral) and purchased from the Shu Uemura's website directly. They are no longer available for retail in the US. I got it when the site was having free shipping, so I only paid $25 for this but I noticed a foreign transaction fee was charged to my credit card, so... 
Here's the description from the bottom:
The packaging is small and made of plastic. Doesn't feel flimsy. The cap is closed tight to avoid the cream blush from drying out, so it's not very easy to open it. The product has a 24 month expiration date and will last forever. It is made in Korea.

The size of the blush is good for application. Not difficult to hold it and apply on to my cheeks. If the cream blush is running low, all I need to do is to turn the container to the right and more products will come up. It will be awhile before I need to do that though. I can always use a brush or finger or sponge to apply if need be.
The bottom swatch was applied once and the top one was applied twice. This cream blush is highly pigmented, so I wouldn't want to apply a lot on my cheeks. The blush feels quite solid, not soft or creamy but glides on smoothly. It looks quite natural when I blend it out. A little goes a long way.
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