10.03.2012

Zoya Nail Polish in Happi Review and Swatches

Zoya Nail Polish in Happi
Zoya Nail Polish in Happi

Gush Alert: the delicate pink duochrome of Zoya Nail Polish in Happi ($8) is so cute and flattering that I just about die! But hey, if I die, I might as well die Happi, right?

I love Zoya Nail Polish for its non-toxic, vegan formula and the brand's amazing selection of over 300 shades. I'm a sucker for duochromes and Zoya has a grand total of 49 to choose from, but I knew Happi was something special the moment I laid eyes on it.

Released as part of Zoya's Reverie Collection, Zoya Nail Polish in Happi is a mid-tone peachy pink with frosty gold shimmer. The golden duochrome melds seamlessly with the pink pigment to create a opalescent finish that positively glows in the light. This polish is a compliment producer, for sure!

Zoya Nail Polish in Happi applies evenly and looks beautiful even before a top coat, as seen above. My only complaint is that Zoya assigned this polish a 4 out of 5 for opacity (5 indicating most coverage), but I think it should be more like a 3. A single coat was pretty sheer and this polish definitely takes two coats for adequate coverage. I get about 5 days of good-looking wear when I use this polish, which just goes to show that natural ingredients really can create impressive lacquer formulas.

You know you've got a good shade when you can't stop looking at your nails, and Zoya Nail Polish in Happi has me gazing at my tips all day! This unique, feminine nail polish is definitely a must-have for pink lovers.


10.02.2012

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous Review

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel
Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel

I've been crazy busy lately. With barely a waking moment that isn't filled with homework, class, and more homework, sometimes I don't have time for my full makeup routine. That's why I'm so glad I have Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous ($57.50), a multitasking skin perfector that evens skin tone, reduces redness, fills in pores, and mattifies to help get me out of the house in a flash.

Dispensed from a hygienic pump, Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel has a delightfully smooth and creamy mousse texture. The product description emphasizes that you should pat and smooth this product onto your face instead of rubbing in order to get the best coverage. This may seem odd, but I have found that I do get better coverage when I lightly spread the gel across my face rather than rubbing it in. After it sets, Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel feels positively weightless on skin.

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is available in four shades for light to dark complexions as well as a translucent formula. I use Luminous, which is a light beige shade that works great for my skin tone.

Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel Swatch
Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel

When I wear Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel, my pores are blurred and my skin tone looks much more even. The coverage is closer to a tinted moisturizer and doesn't compare to a medium-coverage foundation. However, most of my friends don't wear makeup so I reach for Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel when I want a subtly enhanced look that fits right in :)

On days that I do want more coverage, I've discovered that Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel makes a great primer. It allows for smoother, more flawless foundation application and keeps my skin oil-free longer. 

If that wasn't enough, I'm incredibly impressed by the ingredients found in Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel. With a grand total of nine well-selected ingredients, the list is much shorter than what we typically see in cosmetics. This product is primarily comprised of isododecane and two silicones to enhance spreadability and provide a weightless feel. The next ingredients are retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A) and tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), which are both fabulous antioxidant and anti-aging ingredients. Next up is montmorillonite for oil absorption and thioctic acid, which is an ALA antioxidant. Finally, the ingredients lists includes iron oxides for color and titanium dioxide, which is a sun-protecting ingredient. Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is not advertised as containing SPF, but the presence of this ingredient says otherwise. I wonder why Per-Fekt doesn't mention this as a selling point! 

While I really love Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel, I think I would be remiss not to discuss the price. At $57.50, this product is quite expensive. I only use a small amount daily so I imagine it will last a long time. Still, I would encourage you to think about how often you go for a light coverage makeup look before purchasing this product, as well as your sensitivity to cosmetic ingredients. If you have sensitive skin or prefer light coverage (or both!), I bet you will love this product for its lovely finish and smart ingredient choices.

For my part, I know Per-Fekt Beauty Skin Perfection Gel is going on my face no matter what these days. Whether I want a light, skin-improving veil or a medium/full coverage look, this product has my back no matter how strapped I am for time.

Per-Fekt Beauty products are available on the brand's website and Sephora. Check 'em out!


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.

10.01.2012

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Review

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum Perfume
Prada Candy Eau de Parfum

In theory, I love the idea of "food-scented" or gourmand perfumes with yummy-sounding notes like vanilla and cinnamon. In reality, many of them smell sickly or heavy and end up rubbing me the wrong way. Prada Candy Eau de Parfum ($62) falls between these two extremes -- I love some of the notes, but there are a few things that drive me crazy about this perfume.

First of all, I really dislike the top notes of this perfume. The product description says that Prada Candy smells like caramel, musk, vanilla, and benjoin, but the head notes give off more of a sharp, soapy odor with hints of musk, vanilla and powder. I wasn't expecting a harsh feel from a confectionery perfume and my first impressions of Prada Candy Eau de Parfum were negative.

After those first moments pass, Prada Candy settles into a sweet, powdery center. I don't mind these middle notes but smelling like baby powder isn't particularly exciting to me. I already wear baby powder scented deodorant, so hit me with something else, Prada!

Prada Candy Eau de Parfum is redeemed by its base notes. After about 15-30 minutes, it settles into a soft accord of caramel and vanilla that I just adore. Instead of being cloyingly sweet, Prada Candy has a rich, almost smokey quality that keeps it sophisticated. The lasting power of Prada Candy Eau de Parfum is pretty decent as well. On me, it lasts about 5 hours. 

Though it takes awhile to get there, I find that Prada Candy Eau de Parfum arrives somewhere good in the end. The top and middle notes aren't my cup of tea but the base notes are delicious, and base notes are what the perfume smells like most of the time. I plan to continue suffering through the top and middle notes and wear Prada Candy for its delightful finale.

P.S. -- This is my first perfume review. I've avoided fragrance reviews because you guys can't smell anything through the computer (yet?), and I know that perfumes can smell very different on different people. Do you like reading perfume reviews anyway? Are you interested in more of my clumsy scent descriptions?


Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive Review and Swatches

Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive
Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive

As far as drugstore eyeshadow palettes go, Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive ($8.99) is good but not incredible.

This cruelty free set includes a so-so eyeshadow primer and a trio of medium quality shadows. The deep warm brown has the best pigmentation and silkiest application, followed by a lovely mid-tone honey brown with gold shimmer. Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive also includes an interesting mint-pistachio shade that sadly has less color payoff and a tendency to flake.

The color choices feel a little incomplete to me. I wish that this set included a paler shade for highlighting the browbone and/or lid.

Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive Swatches
Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive Swatches
L-R:  Primer, Mint, Dark Brown, Honey Brown

The primer in Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive has a nice, creamy texture and some shimmer for a luminous finish. It increases the color payoff of the shadows pretty well and makes them very easy to blend.

Where this primer falters is longevity. My favorite eyeshadow primers (Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Prestige Primed and Ready) make my look last all day, but Almay Wake Up Primer only keeps my shadow in place for about four hours. After that, it starts to crease and collect in my sockets. Four hours is not good enough!

Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive Swatch
Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive

After applying the Almay Wake Up Primer as a base, I brushed the mint shade on my lid, the honey brown in and above the crease, and the dark brown in the outer corner. I like the two brown shades but the mint doesn't really appeal to me. I can imagine it working for other people though, especially with mint being so trendy in recent years!

Bottom Line: Almay Wake Up Eyeshadow and Primer in Revive has two nice brown shades and a sub-par primer. All told, I recommend that you pass on this palette unless you are mint-lover looking for that special shade.

Are you an Almay fan? What do you think of the brand's eyeshadow?