10.27.2012

Zoya Nail Polish in Erika Review and Swatches

Zoya Nail Polish in Erika Swatch
Zoya Nail Polish in Erika

While I usually really like Zoya Nail Polish, I was a little less fortunate this time around. Zoya Nail Polish in Erika ($8) is a pretty, girly color but it is just too SHEER for me to want to deal with.

Zoya Nail Polish in Erika is a pale ballet pink with gold shimmer. Cute in theory, but it applies so sheer that I had to use about four coats to reach full opacity. Things started to get a little messy as a result, which is why my nails don't look so hot in the above photo. Plus, the thick layers of nail polish took forever to dry and I kept bumping them against things.

If that wasn't enough, Zoya Nail Polish in Erika is rated as 4/5 in opacity on Zoya's website! I think it's probably more like 1/5. Zoya's intensity ratings are often inaccurate and I find it really frustrating. Just tell me it's a sheer polish, you know?

On the plus side, Zoya Nail Polish in Erika is vegan and non-toxic like all of the brand's products. If you like sheer nail polish, you might have better luck with this shade than I did.


10.25.2012

Paul Mitchell The Truth About Curls: Full Circle Leave-In Treatment Review

Paul Mitchell The Truth About Curls: Full Circle Leave-In Treatment
Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment

Curls are complicated. They come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and textures. Variety is beautiful, but it also means that every head of curly hair has unique needs that aren't typically met by the majority of products out there. As a result, women with curly or wavy hair often struggle for years to find a routine that leaves their locks looking and feeling beautiful. Paul Mitchell has just launched a new product line called "The Truth About Curls" to help make that struggle easier.

Paul Mitchell has also launched an accompanying Truth About Curls webpage that invites women to share their curl confessions. Many of the user-submitted statements currently on the site reveal the ongoing frustration that often accompanies curly hair. Alongside these more cathartic posts, The Truth About Curls also shares stories of women who have come to love their curly locks. It's an interesting marketing concept that I really appreciate: instead of being centered around fantasy and aspiration, Paul Mitchell is acknowledging the tension and transitions that many women experience between self-loathing and self-love.

Now more to the point: The Truth About Curls collection includes the sulfate-free Spring Loaded Detangling ShampooFull Circle Leave-In TreatmentTwirl Around Crunch-Free Curl Definer, and Ultimate Wave Beachy Texture Cream-Gel. I've been using the Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment to extremely good results.

Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment has a super creamy texture that spreads easily to coat every strand. It contains argan oil to moisturize and de-frizzify hair, which many people love, but I was sure it would weigh my thin hair down. Not with this product -- Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment leaves my hair feeling hydrated, soft, and conditioned without that grimy heavy feeling.

In addition to reducing frizz, Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment boosts curl wonderfully. My hair is typically a combination of curly, wavy and straight, but I get a nice collection of soft ringlets all over when I use this product. I feel like it diffuses them a little bit as well, giving the appearance of a greater number of strands.

Paul Mitchell Full Circle Leave-In Treatment preps hair well for styling. I've been doing pin curls some nights to save time in the morning, and this product guarantees a smooth, tangle-free finish. It also protects against damage so I don't feel as guilty if I need to use my curling wand to correct a tweaky strand.

People following the sulfate and silicone-free Curly Girl Method will want to avoid this product though. While the Spring Loaded Detangling Shampoo is sulfate-free, the Full Circle Leave-In Treatment contains silicone in the form cyclopentasiloxane. This can only be removed from your hair if you use a shampoo with sulfates. Just a heads up!

Any curly haired gals out there interested in trying Paul Mitchell's The Truth About Curls? Are you ready to share your curl confession? ;)


Free Gifts From TooFaced.com

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.

10.24.2012

Illamasqua Complement Palette Review and Swatches

Illamasqua Complement Palette eyeshadow
Illamasqua Complement Palette

Illamasqua Complement Palette ($45) is a stunning eyeshadow quad from Illamasqua's Generation Q collection. This recently-launched collection has a message of equality and accessibility -- the tagline is "Beauty Has No Age Limits" and the products include extremely wearable shades that flatter a variety of complexions. The ad campaigns include older women with grey hair too, which I totally loved. I can't stand it when people ignore mature women's beauty!

The Illamasqua Complement Palette fits in that beautiful, empowering aesthetic perfectly. It includes four high-quality eyeshadows in uniquely gorgeous shades that can be used for both subtle and dramatic looks on people of all ages. The colors are so romantic, I just adore gazing at them.

Fortunately for us, these shades look just as gorgeous on your lids as in the pan. Illamasqua Complement Palette includes an interesting variety of textures and finishes. There's Slink, a soft vanilla shimmer powder shadow, Focus, a metallic brown duochrome cream shadow, Forgiveness, a rich berry matte powder shadow, and Queen of the Night, a deep plum shimmer powder shadow. The cream shadow, Focus, is particularly interesting because it flashes hints of blue & purple in the light for an iridescent effect.

Illamasqua Complement Palette Swatches
Illamasqua Complement Palette Swatches

The powder shadows in Illamasqua Complement Palette are all smooth and well-pigmented, and the cream shadow has a light texture that applies well. Primer is a must when wearing the cream shadow though. At least on my oily lids, I only get about 3 hours of wear before the cream shadow begins creeping into my crease. I'm not sure if that's Illamasqua's fault or if no cream shadow stands a chance against my unprimed lids... 

Illamasqua Complement Palette Swatches
Illamasqua Complement Palette

For this look I applied a few dabs of Focus on my lid and blended it up and above my crease for a semi-sheer base. I then applied Queen of the Night in the crease and used Slink to highlight. It's a pretty basic look but I think the shades complement (imagine that!) each other in a way that keeps it from appearing ordinary.

Bottom Line:  While I'm not a regular plum shadow wearer, I am really happy with Illamasqua Complement Palette. This quad stands out due to its versatility. For one thing, the four shades can be combined with one another to create a wide variety of looks. Plus, I find myself reaching for this palette to use in conjunction with shadows from other brands. There's something truly unique about the quality and color of these shadows that I think could make this palette a go-to in your routine.


10.22.2012

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount Review and Swatches

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount
Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount

Not quite a lip gloss, lipstick or lip balm, Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount ($24) is something like a beautifying lip treatment.

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount includes loads of great ingredients like peptides, sodium hyaluronate, jojoba oil, and antioxidants to keep your lips moisturized, soft, and wrinkle-free. However, something in this product gives it a slightly gritty texture. The product description doesn't mention exfoliation, but I feel like there is some sloughing going on whether Per-Fekt intends it to or not! Some people might not like this, but I'm not bothered. I find that the ingredients and texture work together to leave my lips extra smooth when I wear Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount. Plus, it has a yummy fresh spearmint scent and taste.

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount Swatch
Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount Swatch

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount is a medium lavender pink shade. It looks very bright and pigmented when swatched but is easy to blend out for a sheer wash of color. I think this could be a cute everyday lip color for a cool-toned person.

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount Swatch
Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount Swatch

Unfortunately, I don't get very good wear time with Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount. It fades after about two hours and is almost invisible after three. Your lips will be super soft, at least.

Though it's called a lip gel, this product has a thin, water-y texture that isn't very gel-like. It's unusual for a lip product but not necessarily in a bad way. There is absolutely no stickiness, which is definitely a plus. On the other hand, the thin texture makes it difficult to apply with precision, even though slanted applicators are usually easy to use. But just look at how cute this one is!

Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount
Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount

Bottom Line: Per-Fekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel in Paramount is not your ordinary lip product. It's full of quality lip-treating ingredients wrapped up in a thin, watery texture that is neither lip gloss nor lip balm. It has a pretty, punchy color that will flatter cool-toned complexions. This product does have some flaws, including messy application and short wear time.



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.