9.08.2012

Zoya Nail Polish in LC Review and Swatches

Zoya Nail Polish in LC Swatch
Zoya Nail Polish in LC

My love of Zoya is growing by the minute.

Not only is the brand vegan and non-toxic, they frequently offer "buy one get one free" deals and other promotions. I got 2 nail polishes and a lip gloss for $14 + free shipping, which I think is a pretty decent haul!

But good deals would be worthless if it wasn't for Zoya's amazing shade selection and quality. I tried Zoya Nail Polish in LC ($8), a gorgeous coral-red. Funnily enough, this polish is named after Lauren Conrad, former star of The Hills. In fact, Zoya released an entire "Gossip" collection inspired by the reality show's cast members. You can pick up Whitney, Audrina, and Heidi too if you're a fan ;)

Zoya Nail Polish in LC is quite the eye-catching shade. It's described as a "bright, creamy saturated coral-red with a shiny creme finish." To my eye, the abundant hints of pink and coral make this polish a unique watermelon red that looks great with a wide variety of outfits. 

Zoya Nail Polish in LC is very opaque. I only used one coat but still got fantastic coverage for the above photo. I paired it with the Revlon ColorStay Base and Top Coats and got five days of good-looking wear.

I gotta say, I am loving my all-natural manis by Zoya. Have you tried this fab brand?


          

9.07.2012

Mario Badescu Skin Care Review

MARIO BADESCU SKIN CARE glycolic foaming cleanser enzyme cleansing gel cucumber cleansing lotion oil free moisturizer strawberry tonic mask ceramide eye gel
Mario Badescu Skin Care Products

Mario Badescu Skin Care is one of the most iconic and respected skin care brands around. Since its creation in 1967, Mario Badescu has been a go-to source for sensitive skin care products favored by celebrities and regular folk worldwide. Looking at the brand's list of A-list clients is like looking at an awards show guest list: if it's good enough for Oprah and Charlize Theron, it's good enough for me!

The skin care specialists at Mario Badescu kindly listened to my complexion concerns and sent me a customized product regimen. Let's take a look at each item and how they worked with my skin:

Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($12): This foam-free, gel cleanser includes natural fruit enzymes from papaya and grapefruit to exfoliate your skin while you cleanse. This product definitely leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean, but it also stings my eyes quite a bit. This makes it difficult to comfortably take off my eye makeup. I personally prefer more gentle products, so I may discontinue use.

Cucumber Cleansing Lotion ($15): Alcohol is the second ingredient in this astringent toner. I don't use alcohol on my skin because it is drying and can cause skin damage, so this product is a non-starter for me. I think I might do better with Mario Badescu's Chamomile Cleansing Lotion, which has an alcohol-free, antioxidant-rich formula.

Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 17 ($22): Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer has a simple list of ingredients that all do their job well to keep skin moisturized and protected from sun damage. Unfortunately, I found the formula too heavy for my oily skin. I think this product is a good option for people with dry, normal or slightly oily skin who want a basic, non-irritating moisturizer.

Ceramide Eye Gel ($18): I love this eye moisturizer. Ceramides are a fantastic ingredient for keeping skin strong, protected, and hydrated. Mario Badescu Ceramide Eye Gel has a gel texture that is so silky it feels almost creamy, which makes for lightweight and soothing application. I've found that this product makes the delicate skin around my eyes very soft and supple while decreasing the appearance of bags and puffiness.

Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($15): The specialists at Mario Badescu instructed me to use this cleanser as an exfoliant a few times a week by leaving it on my skin for 1-2 minutes. The results are very impressive. With ingredients like glycolic acid and soothing chamomile extract, this product combines effective exfoliation with a mild, sting-free formula. I've found that Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser removes dull skin build up to reveal brighter, radiant skin, going even so far as to reduce the appearance of scarring.

Strawberry Tonic Mask ($18): This product is another winner. When used 2-3 times a week, Mario Badescu Strawberry Tonic Mask cuts down on oiliness and increases skin softness and clarity. This mask is a total pick-me-up for tired, worn out skin. Plus, it smells like a delicious strawberry milkshake. Mmmm.....


Bottom Line: While not a total home run, I am happy with several of the Mario Badescu products I tried. The Ceramide Eye Gel, Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, and Strawberry Tonic Mask have all seamlessly worked themselves into my strict skin care routine. I'm also impressed with Mario Badescu's prices, which are more reasonable and affordable than other glam, high-end skin care brands.

If you are interested in trying Mario Badescu Skin Care, the brand has an online questionnaire designed to help you create a custom regimen. If you fill it out, the brand will send you mini samples of the products to try, free of charge! If that's not incredible customer service, I don't know what is.

Have you tried Mario Badescu? What do you think of the products?


        

Disclaimer: I received a sample of these products from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the products and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

Weekend Blog Walk


Hey everybody!

I'm Guest Hosting a Blog Walk this weekend with Jessica from At Home Take 2. It's a great opportunity to share your site if you have one and find some new and exciting blogs to explore.

I've included all the link up information from Jessica below:

Plus, check out the Shabby Apple $50.00 gift card giveaway on At Home Take 2.

Weekend Blog Walk

9.06.2012

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude Review and Swatches

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen in Nude
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact
SPF 20 in Nude

Laura Mercier is one of the foremost authorities on tinted moisturizer. Now, you can buy her classic, best-selling formula in a compact. 

Tinted moisturizer, in a compact? I was skeptical about the concept, but Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude ($45) has defied my expectations. The super convenient compact is easy to use, flattering, and offers surprisingly good coverage.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude Swatch
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude

I tried a sample size of the Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact in the shade Nude, which is described as a "light beige for fair to light skin tones." It looks very warm when swatched but blends out well to match my light, slightly warm skin.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude

I've found that I get the best coverage if I use a foundation brush to apply Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude. One layer offers sheer-to-medium coverage, but this product is extremely buildable. It can give coverage like a medium foundation while still feeling very lightweight. I also love how easy it is to dip back into the compact if you need to cover spots here and there.

The product description says that it has a dewy finish, but Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20 in Nude sets to a soft matte finish on me. This is fabulous, as I have very oily skin! I've been wearing this product to school every day and it gives a nice, natural look that lasts well.

Though the idea of tinted moisturizer in a compact might sound strange, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact is an innovation that works. Combining convenience with quality, this product is great to use at home and on the go to give your face an easy, flawless finish.


9.05.2012

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate Review and Swatches

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate
MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate


MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate ($18.50) isn't your typical MAC eyeshadow. This limited edition shade has a smooth, creamy powder formula with a bit of bounce to it. Press your finger against the pan, and it'll press back!

Unusual and interesting? Sure. Improved eyeshadow performance? Definitely.

Compared to other MAC eyeshadows, I find that MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate is smoother, more pigmented, and easier to blend. I'm not particularly enamored with MAC's typical eyeshadow formula, so I think that the Electric Cool formula is a great improvement. 

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate Swatch
MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate

Though it looks like a gunmetal silver in the pan, MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate applies as a mid-tone blue silver shade. The pigmentation is above average but not fantastic. I applied MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate to my lid and blended into the crease. I then decided to apply copper eyeliner for a "mixed metals" look. I used Sephora Collection Flashy Ultra Liner in Flashy Brown.

This photo needs some disclaimers: 1) I am not wearing eyeshadow primer, and 2) I just tried out a new eye moisturizer that left my lids super greasy. MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate didn't really get a fair chance to show how awesome and high-quality it is.

Maybe this swatch will help. I grabbed my Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette to look for a dupe and the best I could find was Asphalt. Though they look similar in the pan, the color payoff is vastly different. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Asphalt is a much deeper, charcoal shimmer.

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palettee Asphalt
Top: MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate
Bottom: Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Asphalt

Even on my greasy, over-moisturized lids, I got good wear time of about 6 hours with MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow in Electroplate. I expect it to last all day when my eyelids are well-prepped with primer.

Bottom Line: While some MAC eyeshadows leave my cold, I really like the formula for MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow. The spongy, blendable texture has good pigmentation and is easy to work with. I hope that MAC continues to produce shadows with this formula.


9.04.2012

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Review and Swatches

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude
Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude

Too Faced's recently released La Creme Color Drenched Lip Creams ($21) offer a fabulous twist on the recent glossy lipstick craze. Instead of the usual sheer finish, these pigment-packed lip colors have a rich cream formula for an extra luxurious look.

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Creams are available in 16 must-have colors ranging from bold reds to subtle spices. Regular readers know how partial I am to bright lipstick, but I decided to step outside my comfort zone and try Naughty Nude for a change of pace. I am so glad I did!

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Swatch
Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Swatch

Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude is a warm, pinkish brown nude shade. It's a light color, but it has enough flattering pigment so that it doesn't look like you smeared concealer on your lips. Coupled with the sexy gloss finish, Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude provides a gorgeous and polished lip look in a single swipe. 

Okay, so sometimes I get tired of taking my lip swatch photos. Having to keep my lips perfectly straight and serious all the time gets boring! I started playing around this time so you can check out my silly facial expressions AND see how pretty Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude looks in action.

Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Swatch
Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude
Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Swatch
Yikes
Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naughty Nude Swatch
How my cat sees me

I'm an embarrassment, I know. But how lovely is that lip color? I never wear nude lipstick, but the honey-drenched pink hues of Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude are just so flattering. This is the first time a nude lipstick hasn't left me looking washed out.

As for wear time, Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude is good but not particularly amazing. Glossy lip colors have a tendency to transfer and this is no exception. Be prepared to reapply throughout the day when wearing this lipstick to keep your pout in perfect shape!

I am so happy to have found a nude lipstick with enough pigment and dimension to make my complexion look radiant instead of dull. Coupled with the gorgeous glossy finish, Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude is a wonderful product for a simple, flattering, and finished lip look.

If you're convinced that you can't wear nude lipstick, check out Too Faced La Creme in Naughty Nude because you just might be wrong  ;)


9.03.2012

Inova Professional Silk Keratin Giveaway!

Inova Professional Silk Keratin Sheer Magic Smoothing Balm
Inova Professional Silk Keratin Products

Happy Labor Day everyone, it's time for another giveaway!  Who's feeling lucky?

I'm working with Inova Professional to give away a Silk Keratin Sheer Magic Smoothing Balm (a $26 value!) to one of my readers. I reviewed Inova's fab products a little over a week ago, and the Sheer Magic Smoothing Balm is my absolute favorite. It's the perfect product to protect hair from heat, reduce frizz, and make your locks absolutely silky-smooth. The minute you try Inova Professional Silk Keratin Sheer Magic Smoothing Balm, you'll understand why it's become a core part of my hair care routine.

Check out my original review of the Inova Professional Silk Keratin Hair Care products here:
http://www.nicolereviewsbeauty.com/2012/08/inova-professional-silk-keratin-hair.html

This giveaway will run from today, September 3rd until Sunday, September 9th at 12:01 am EST. I'm sorry but this giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. Good luck!

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose Review and Swatches

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose
Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care is a holistic, botanically-based cosmetic company with the philosophy that healthy skin is the key to lasting beauty. Though they focus primarily on skin care, Dr. Hauschka offers natural makeup products as well. Termed "Decorative Cosmetics," Dr. Hauschka's makeup is designed to serve as a subtle enhancement of your natural beauty instead of a mask.

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose
Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose

I tried Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose ($29.95), which is a sheer, silky blush duo that can be used to create a variety of flattering looks. Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose comes in a sleek, mirrored black compact with a petite brush, and the two blushes are imprinted with an adorable flower pattern. Love!

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose Swatches
Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose Swatches

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose includes a medium, warm rosy pink shade and a pale warm pink. I like to use the darker shade on the apples and the hollows of my cheeks and apply the lighter shade along my cheekbones as a highlighter. Mix and match to create any look you want!

Both shades apply sheer but can be layered for increased pigmentation. The finely-milled powder is very smooth so that you can easily create a natural, lit-from-within glow.

Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose Swatch
Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose

I've been getting good wear time with Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose. I notice a little fading after six hours, and my blush is about halfway faded after eight. You don't have to worry about this blush disappearing before lunchtime!

Bottom Line: Dr. Hauschka Natural Pastels Rouge Powder Duo in Soft Rose is a delicate and lovely blush product. The silky, finely-milled powder is easy to blend and wonderful for creating a naturally luminous look.

Dr. Hauschka products are available from the brand website, natural food stores like Whole Foods, and Beauty.com. Check them out if you're looking to enhance your natural beauty with subtle, botanically-based makeup products!

Related Posts:


Disclaimer: I received a sample of this product from the company for consideration. My review is based on an honest assessment of the product and was not preapproved by PR or brand representatives.

9.02.2012

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! Review and Swatches

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! Swatch
Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black!

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara is a one of the most popular mascaras around. After giving it a try, I've come to the conclusion that Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara is pretty good, but it has a few problems that make it not worth the high price.

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! ($29) is supposed to be an MVP mascara that lengthens, volumizes, and lifts lashes. I find that it does a good job adding length and lift, but the added volume can make lashes a little clumpy and brittle

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! also has a tendency to flake. I experienced flaking on many occasions: when I first applied this mascara, when separating lashes with a lash comb AND just randomly throughout the day. It's never a large amount of flaking, but it's just annoying to keep finding random specks.

The cone-shaped wand of Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! is pretty easy to maneuver. However, as you can see in the photo below, I still missed the tips of my lashes in the inner corner.

I stopped using Latisse a little while ago. My lashes seem to be in a weird in-between stage that looks a little mangy. Therefore, I'm not going to completely blame Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara for the weird appearance of my lashes; I think it did a pretty good job with what it has to work with!

Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! Swatch
Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black!

Overall, I think Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara in 01 So Black! is pretty good, but I've had better mascaras. I don't plan to shell out 29 smackaroos for another tube.

Have you tried Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara? What do you think?