What’s New: MAC Nicki Minaj VIVA GLAM Nicki 2 Lipstick and Lipglass

Okay, so there’s a white elephant in the room, and I have to address it before I go any further. A few months ago, when details for this new MAC VIVA GLAM/Nicki Minaj series of lip colors were released—there were a TON of negative comments about it all around the web. To be fair, I read many positive comments too—but sadly, they were mostly negative. I’m more of a “glass half full” person, especially until I get a product in my hot little hands before making my judgements. I think it’s only fair!

VIVA GLAM Nicki 2 is now available in both a lipstick, and a Lipglass formula. Both shades lean pastel lavender-pink with entirely different finishes and pigment payoff between the two products. (And both are completely different from the original VIVA GLAM Nicki shade.) Let’s delve a little further, shall we?

In my opinion, there are three key customers for this lipstick/Lipglass shade:

  • There’s ME. I am an avid supporter of ALL things VIVA GLAM, whether I’ll ever wear the shade or not. Some may think that’s silly; but here’s what’s NOT silly about it. Since its inception in 1994, all VIVA GLAM sales have benefited the MAC AIDS Fund. 100% of the selling price of VIVA GLAM goes directly to men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Over $250 million, just from the sale of lipsticks, has changed the quality of life for people who really need it. It goes far beyond just being a lipstick for me. This is powerful stuff. [Read more...]

OPI Euro Centrale Collection Review, Swatches, Photos for Spring/Summer 2013

opi euro centrale collection

I’ve been pretty excited about this release from OPI for Spring/Summer 2013—the Euro Centrale Collection! It features a mix of both classic and contemporary shades, in bright playful hues, to creamy dark shades. From the palest shades, to the deepest blues, Euro Centrale will be the easiest fashion accessory you can wear this spring.

Ready to take a closer look at some of the shades that have stolen my heart? Let’s go! [Read more...]

Dial Lotion 7-Day Countdown to Noticeable Valentine’s Day Skin: Part 1

Like clockwork, it’s this time of year when the skin on my arms and legs is usually at its worst. Since I know I’m going to wear a lot of pants and sweaters during our short bursts of California winter, I often forget to even wear lotion, until I look down one day and see how dry my skin really is.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I want to get my skin in tip-top shape so I can wear a dress without showing off parched skin—and I’m taking a 7-day challenge with the new Dial 7-Day Moisturizing Lotions to see if they’ll deliver on their promises. This feature focuses on my initial first impressions with the lotions, and I’ll follow up next week with an update on final product performance.

Dial 7-Day Moisturizing Lotion is the first lotion of its kind to moisturize and keep skin soft for up to 7 days* (after an initial two weeks of use). Available in several varieties, I tried out two of them; the new Extra Dry Skin with Shea Butter formula, and Skin Therapy with Himalayan Pink Minerals. What amazes me most about both of them so far, is how fast they absorb, leaving non-greasy,  weightless moisture on my skin that’s clean to the touch. The exclusive formula found in Dial 7-Day Moisturizing Lotion is infused with 7 bionutrients that address the specific needs of your skin, leaving you feeling soft and clean.

The first one I tried is the 7-Day Moisturizing Skin Therapy Lotion. This variety contains Himalayan Pink Minerals, which are known to contain 84 key minerals that nurture stressed skin. I liked this formula the best so far, mainly due to its fresh fruity-floral fragrance.

The second I tried is the 7-Day Moisturizing Extra-Dry Lotion with Shea Butter. This contains essential fatty acids and natural anti-oxidant compounds to provide extreme moisturizing capabilities. This formula has a soft, powdery fragrance that’s nice and subtle.

I’ll check in next week to update if my skin is ready for that dress on Valentine’s Day, thanks to using Dial’s new 7-Day Moisturizing Lotion. In the meantime, stay up-to-date with the latest from the brand by liking them on Facebook at facebook.com/dial!

* after 2 weeks of use

Price & Availability…

February 2013—drugstores & mass retailers, 12-ounce bottle is about $4.99; 21-ounce pump bottle is about $6.99


I have been compensated by Dial for my time and participation in the challenge, however all opinions remain solely my own.

tarte ‘Journey to Natural Beauty’ Collection QVC TSV for 2/5/13 Review, Photos, Swatches

tarte qvc tsv journey to natural beauty collection

I always get excited for tarte goodies, but even more so when they turn out to be a QVC Today’s Special Value! Just launched on QVC for a special price on 2/5, meet the Journey to Natural Beauty Collection. This 6-piece assortment is valued at over $165, but can be snatched up for a steal at just $59.94. Ready to take a closer look to see if it’s for you? Let’s go!

pieces from the tarte ‘Journey to Natural Beauty’ Collection

This set combines the best of both worlds, with both existing tried and true tarte favorites, and brand new product innovations and shades in a gorgeous woven makeup bag in a colorful chevron pattern.

What’s included:

  • NEW brow architect shaper, liner, & definer
  • NEW lights, camera, flashes statement mascara
  • airbrush finish bamboo foundation brush
  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour full coverage foundation
  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in fearless
  • NEW Amazonian Clay butter lipstick in plummy rose

[Read more...]

Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo Metal Cream Shadows Review, Photos, Swatches

As a follow-up to the very popular Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Eyeshadows, Maybelline recently released five new metallic shades. Interesting factoid—Maybelline tells us that one Color Tattoo shade is sold every 20 seconds!

Shades available:

  • Inked In Pink — metallic shimmering rose
  • Silver Strike — metallic shimmering silver
  • Gold Rush — metallic shimmering yellow gold
  • Barely Branded — metallic shimmering beige
  • Electric Blue — metallic shimmering navy

With a cream-gel formula, these are like a hybrid of MAC Paint Pots and Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams. The best part? They’re super budget-friendly, at less than half the price of either of those products. [Read more...]

Urban Decay Oz The Great and Powerful Theodora Palette Review, Swatches, Photos


As part of a new collaboration with Disney, Urban Decay just released two palettes, inspired by the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful. One of which is the Theodora Palette (featured in this post), and the second is the Glinda Palette (featured here). Both palettes are limited edition and have six pans each; featuring eight exclusive, all new eyeshadow shades (two in each palette are duos), a full-size Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color pencil, and a travel size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.

The Theodora Palette features everything you need to create Mila Kunis’ look from the film. I’m loving these dramatic shades!

The Theodora Palette

What’s included:


  • Broken — pale cream satin
  • Beware —warm brown matte
  • Bewitch — dark charcoal brown satin
  • West — deep metallic brown shimmer
  • Spell (duo) — black satin with green and gold shimmer/gold metallic with tonal glitter
  • Jealous (duo) — pale green pearl/dark green pearl

Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

  • Theodora — bright red cream

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (travel size)

Urban Decay Oz The Great and Powerful Glinda Palette Review, Swatches, Photos

As part of a new collaboration with Disney, Urban Decay just released two palettes, inspired by the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful. One of which is the Glinda Palette (featured in this post), and the second is the Theodora Palette (reviewed here). Both palettes are limited edition and have six pans each; featuring eight exclusive, all new eyeshadow shades (two in each palette are duos), a full-size Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color pencil, and a travel size 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil.

The Glinda Palette features everything you need to create Michelle Williams‘ look from the film, and the shades are indeed gorgeous!

The Glinda Palette

What’s included:


  • Tornado — vibrant deep purple shimmer
  • Aura (duo) — iridescent white with blue shift/iridescent white with red shift
  • Magic — pinkish purple with golden shimmer
  • Illusion — pale peach satin
  • Oz (duo) — gold with gold glitter/silver with silver glitter
  • South — warm pale grey shimmer with silver micro-glitter

Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

  • Glinda — light sheer nude

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (travel size)

China Glaze Glitz—Bitz ’N Pieces Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Launching in February from China Glaze, you’ll find a new, limited-edition collection of six unique glitter nail lacquers, the Glitz—Bitz ‘N Pieces Collection. This is a new generation of three-dimensional glitters, in which a combination of black glitter particles (micro-glitter, small round, hexagonal, and bar glitter) meet with a single highlight color of glitters in each shade. Let’s take a closer look…

In the bottle, looks can be deceiving, as they look pretty much like any other glitter with a transparent base. But once you apply them, the effect is pretty cool—almost like a paint-splat manicure, but with 3D glitter, instead. Most of the time (and with glitters that have larger particles or bar glitter), you have to not only coax the glitter out of the bottle, but then onto your nails too—practically getting into a fight with the brush as you try to lay the polish down on the nail. I’m happy to report that with Glitz—Bitz ’N Pieces, I didn’t have that issue. The glitter came out decently in one coat, but did look best with two.  [Read more...]

essie Sleek Stick Review, Photos, Swatches

essie enters the nail wrap arena with their first-ever textured sticker collection. While I love to paint my nails (I find it really relaxing!), I also like the time-saving convenience of polish strips. They’re great for a quick manicure on the fly, and are a lifesaver for those who like nail art, but don’t want to pay hefty salon prices for more comprehensive designs. essie is taking the polish strip a little further, by adding three-dimensional textures and lavish patterns to their collection of new Sleek Sticks.

Essie Sleek Stick in Stickers and Stones

Available in 12 patterns, each strip is UV-cured, allowing the colors and textures to stay looking fresh for as many as 10 days. I’m on my second run of Sleek Sticks, at first trying the pretty peach-pearled “Glam it On”, and yesterday, I applied my favorite—“Stickers and Stones”. Application is pretty simple, too. What’s cool about these, is that the “art” seems like it’s professionally hand-applied. Everywhere I’ve gone in the past 24 hours, there hasn’t been at least one person commenting on how pretty my nails look. Prepare for your hands to receive positive attention!  [Read more...]