Month: October 2012

How-to: kitty cat manicure

After seeing a really cute kitty cat manicure in the Lulu’s fashion blog, I decided I wanted to recreate this nail art myself! Obviously I love cats, but since it’s October, a black cat manicure is also a cool piece of festive nail art. Here’s your step-by-step how-to:

1. Start with two coats of base color. You can use any color you like; orange would be great for Halloween, but I used bubblegum pink because it’s one of my favorite nail polish colors.

2. Apply black nail polish in a half-circle shape at the tip of each nail. This forms the kitty cat head. You don’t have to use black; white, grey, or brown would be cool, too. Why not use a color to match your own pet kitty cat?

3. Use a dotting tool and a dab of pale pink polish to create the nose. I used an eyeliner brush.

4. Use your dotting tool and gold paint to create two little dots for the eyes. You could use green, blue, or another color of paint; I picked gold because both of my cats have gold eyes.

5. Now that your face is done, move on to ears and a tail. Use your eyeliner brush and the black paint to draw two little triangles above the head; this forms the ears. Then draw a curvy line that floats above the head and down to the side to connect to the body; this forms the tail.

6. Once you’re done, add a couple of coats of top coat to protect your manicure and lock in plenty of glossy shine.

7. Now you’ve got a handful of adorable kitty cats!

Prefer to see this tutorial in video form? No problem–I’ve got a video tutorial on my YouTube page.

Random Thursdays: Superhero Powers

Hey! It’s Thursday, so you know what that means…it’s time for another Random Thursday topic!

This week’s topic:

Wow, where do I even start? There are so many awesome superhero powers out there that I’d love to have, though I’d imagine most of them have drawbacks as well. I’ll try to organize it into list format:

  • Flying. Seriously, no more commuting or wasting money on gas? On the other hand, I imagine this would be really chilly in the winter, and I’d wind up with bugs in my teeth in the summer.
  • Invisibility.  I can think of so many times this would come in handy!
  • Super-strength. A weird wish from a girl? Not when I want to rearrange the bedroom furniture in the middle of the day while the husband is gone at work!
  • The ability to hear other people’s thoughts. I’m always reminded of the scenes from the TV show Heroes when one of the characters discovers that his ability to hear thoughts is really a burden, since he hears a lot of stuff he’d rather not know. But I still think it would be nice to know what people are really thinking when they’re talking to me.
  • The ability to communicate with animals. This one has been on my wish list since I was a little kid! I’d love to be able to communicate with my cats in plain English (Meow-ish?), though they would probably still ignore everything I say to them anyway.
  • The ability to heal, both myself and other people. I would probably wish for this one the most. The drawback: if people knew you could heal, I imagine you’d be plagued with requests from people wanting to know more about your weird ability, not to mention the scientists wanting to study you. That’s when the invisibility power would come in handy.
  • The ability to see into the future. There are tons of pop culture references to the downsides of this power, so I won’t get into that here. But I think there are lots of times when it would be so tempting to glimpse what lies ahead before making a difficult decision. Whether fortunately or not, I don’t have this power.

What superhero powers do you wish for? Tell me in the comments!

Product review: Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel and body lotion

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’m in love with Bath and Body Works. I think their products are to die for and I’m always super-excited when they come out with a new scent for a new season. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into my review of their latest fall fragrance, Cashmere Glow!

Product: Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel ($11/10 oz.) and body lotion ($11/8 oz.)

Claim: “Every girl deserves cashmere!…an enticing blend of shimmering vanilla and golden peach wrapped in soft cashmere musk.”

I tried it: First, the shower gel. A little goes a long way with BBW shower gels and when you pour this on a shower pouf, you get a really luscious lather. The Shea-enriched formula won’t dry out your skin and in fact I feel like this leaves my skin softer.

The fragrance is present but not overly strong in the shower, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I could still smell the fragrance on my skin after toweling off. Normally I find that scented body washes/shower gels smell great while you’re using them, but don’t linger on once you’ve stepped out of the shower, so this is a major plus in my book.

Next, the lotion. BBW lotions are super-silky and hydrating and an absolute joy to use. I sometimes have trouble with fragranced products irritating my skin, but I’ve never had an issue with BBW. Ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, and shea butter make this a great pick for dry winter skin, but the formula never feels heavy.

Layering this lotion with the shower gel really made the scent last for a long time. It’s a warm blend of vanilla, peaches, and cashmere musk, which makes for a very cuddly fragrance; this smells like something you’d wear while snuggling under a blanket with hot tea and a good book. It reminds me of sweaters, fall, and all things cozy. If I were to put this in a scent “family” I’d say it leans toward being a sexy scent, since the musk gives it a rather sensual undertone; but it isn’t so overly sexy that you would only wear it on a date night.

The thing that I really love about this scent is that it isn’t so strong that it knocks you over when you open the bottle. If you typically love fruity notes for spring/summer and want something a little deeper for fall and winter, this is a good pick that doesn’t smell too heavy. And if you love musks but want something just a teensy bit lighter, then this is a great pick as well.

My vote: A winner! My list of Holy Grail BBW products just got a bit longer with the addition of this scent.

I love this scent so much, I’m giving away a shower gel and body lotion as my 100 followers Twitter giveaway. I’m drawing a winner on October 15, so hurry and enter here!

[CLOSED] Twitter giveaway contest! Bath and Body Works Cashmere Glow shower gel and body lotion

I’ve reached the 100 follower mark on Twitter! I know to any of you who have hundreds (or, gasp, thousands!) of followers, that might seem like a small number. But it’s a big number to me, and to thank everyone for following along, I decided to host a small giveaway contest.

I’m going to give one lucky winner a full-size Bath and Body Works shower gel and body lotion in their newest fall fragrance, Cashmere Glow.  The contest ends on October 14, so you have a little less than a week to enter.

Entering is simple: you don’t have to follow me (though I’d love it if you did!). Just head over to my Twitter page to find all of the giveaway details and the full contest rules, then re-tweet the contest announcement and tweet me your best idea for creating a new fall fragrance. I want to know: what would inspire it, what would you call it, and what would it smell like?

The contest is open to international readers 18 and older; you just need a valid Twitter account to enter. Please remember that you must RT and tweet me your fragrance idea to enter. RTing alone or tweeting alone are not considered valid entries.

Good luck!

Swatches: Butter London Bluey, Wallis, and Knackered

Well, a week after my Butter London polishes arrived from Coterie, I finally got around to swatching them. Before I show you the pics, though, I wanted to update you on something else: their Leaping Bunny status.

You might remember that when the polishes first arrived, I noted that the bottles had the Leaping Bunny logo on them and wondered what this meant, since I couldn’t find Butter London listed on the “safe” companies list online. I immediately e-mailed Leaping Bunny and Butter London to ask what was going on!

On Monday, I got this reply from Leaping Bunny:

…a few months ago, we became aware that Butter London was using the Leaping Bunny logo without permission. The good news is, we have been in touch with them and they are in the process of getting certified. Unfortunately, it’s taking a bit of time, but please feel free to check back to see if they have been added to the list. We hope to get them approved as soon as possible. We feel this will be the best result. Even though they have been using our logo without permission, it is always good for consumers and animals when another cruelty-free company is added to the list.

Needless to say, I haven’t yet received a reply from Butter London. This is part of the reason it took me so long to get around to swatching these colors: I’m pretty steamed about their blatant misappropriation of the logo and I do not like being lied to, ever. I’m happy that they’ll soon be joining the Leaping Bunny ranks, and I do think their polishes are lovely, but I’ve just been stewing a bit over this news.

Okay, I’m done griping. On to the swatches!

I got three polishes: Bluey, Wallis, and Knackered. Bluey is a peacock blue with a hint of shimmer, and as you can see after two coats it’s still rather light. I think this would be better with three or even four coats for full opacity.

Bluey, outside, direct sunlight
Bluey, inside, indirect natural light

Next I have Wallis, a green-gold with shimmer. Like Bluey, it would be best with three coats rather than merely two. This is a very pretty and different color and it would be great if you wanted something a little different for the weekend.

Wallis, outside, direct sunlight

Wallis, inside, indirect natural light

Earlier this month I wondered if my drugstore score of L.A. Colors Color Craze nail polish in Cactus could possibly be a dupe for Wallis; now that I’ve tried the two, I think they’re very close. Wallis seems to have more of a gold base while Cactus has a blue base, so while Wallis has more of a green-gold warm shimmer Cactus is a cooler, more muted olive.

Cactus, outside, overcast natural light

Finally, there’s Knackered. This is a holographic polish with a silver-purple-blue-green shifting tint that really changes depending on the lighting. It also has subtle glitter in it. It’s very sheer and needs at least three coats for opacity.

Knackered, indoors, indirect natural light

This polish really looks lavender and slightly metallic, and then when the sun hits it the silver comes out. I don’t see much of the green or blue but maybe it’s just the lighting. I like this color because it’s a little bit different but still very feminine, and since the glitter is so small it doesn’t make me feel like a little girl when I wear it.

Knackered, indoors, direct sunlight
Knackered, indoors, direct sunlight

You know who I could honestly picture wearing Knackered on her nails? A winter bride. You know, with the full winter wonderland theme, complete with matching white faux fur muffs for all the bridesmaids. It’s such a chic and unexpected alternative to the usual pink/nude lineup that brides tend to pick, and this color just seems so very winter/holiday to me. I think it’d be perfect!

For myself, I’ll probably use Knackered primarily as a topcoat over different creme polishes to experiment with the duo-chrome/holographic effect. Earlier this month I swatched this over Julep Toni, a griege lavender, for a more full-bodied effect. The result was pretty lovely, and now I’m eager to see what effects I’ll get layering it over black, blue, green, and silver.

Knackered over Toni, indoors, indirect natural light
Knackered over Toni, indoors, direct sunlight

My Minerals By Bee order arrived!

My Minerals By Bee order arrived yesterday, and I’m super-excited to try everything out to see how I like it!

You might remember that last month I told you about a special intro offer from indie mineral makeup company Minerals By Bee that lets you try a five-piece sampler kit for FREE–just pay the shipping (which in my case was $3.50–not bad at all). My little kit came yesterday, so I wanted to show you all the samples.

First, there are the three single-use sachets; I always love trying out new face and body care items, so I’m excited about these.

  • Sugar Smoothie Body Creme, described on the website as a blend of “vanilla, grapefruit and orange” for the body only; a full-size bottle sells for $20, though I couldn’t find any info on how many ounces are in this bottle.
  • Fine Polish Facial Beads, described on the website as “an effective, but gentle creamy scrub, which contains rice bran to absorb oil and salicylic acid and papain to exfoliate”. A full-size bottle sells for $25, though again I’m not sure about the size of the bottle.
  • Deep Purifying Cleanser (which I’m guessing is a substitute for the Fruit Enzyme Peel). Described on the website as “made to remove impurities and exfoliate dead skin. Extracts of cucumber and sage help soothe and moisturize oily skin; while vitamins E and C aid in the fight against harsh environmental elements.” A full-size 6.8oz bottle sells for $25.

Then there’s a small sample spritzer of perfume in Bee & Gina. The website describes this scent as “citrus, peaches, melon, plum & jasmine”; it has a very strong scent, even with just a couple of spritzes. The perfume is made of 30% pure perfume oil in a silk base with aloe and vitamin E and contains no alcohol, so it isn’t drying. A full-size one-ounce bottle sells for $18.

Finally, I got two eyeshadow samples. I was pretty happy to get these one-gram pots because they typically sell for $1.50 apiece, while the full-size five-gram pots sell for $14. There are fourteen different colors available; all are “formulated from micronized mica (an all natural ingredient)and are long lasting, weightless, non-irritating and do not contain talc, oil or fragrance”.

I was honestly not expecting to get so much shadow in my sample order. While I was taking my pictures Princess Jiao jumped onto the table and knocked one of the pots over, so I thought I’d take a picture of the spilled shadow so you can see just how much is inside. I would definitely call these deluxe samples, because it looks like they will give several days’ wear. One pot is gold and one is purple and both are very shimmery.

If you’re interested in picking up your own sample kit, the free intro offer is still open–you can click this link to go to the Minerals By Bee online store and order!

Accessory Friday: bird earrings

How cute are these earrings? I think they’re a nice boho-chic alternative to feather earrings, and the peachy tone makes them a good neutral pick for multiple outfits.

With Love From CA Dangle Bird Earrings, $8.50, PacSun