Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mary Kay ClearProof Acne System

Chat Pack provided by House Party


Good evening, dear readers! I've been swamped today, but I really wanted to get this review post up for you. I was provided a Mary Kay Chat Pack by House Party, and I was sent the new ClearProof Acne System to review. I was asked to test it out for 30 days and share my results.
The four-piece system comes in a box, and each item is securely fixed in a plastic tray.
The ClearProof Acne System consists of the following:
Clearproof Clarifying Cleansing Gel, 4.5 oz
Clearproof Blemish Control Toner, 5 fl. oz
Clearproof Acne Treatment Gel, 1 oz
Clearproof Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin, 3 fl. oz

I've been battling with acne since my son was born, and while there are times when my skin seems clearer than others, it has never lasted for long. When I received this system, I had been using another product from a different brand, and my skin was relatively cleared up. I still had a few acne spots when I started the system.

I used the Clearproof Clarifying Cleansing Gel twice a day: in the morning and then at night before bed.
I used the Clearproof Blemish Control Toner once a day. Any more than this, I think my skin would have either burned or melted off. I originally used it in the morning, but I switched to the evening after the first day when I needed to start using the acne treatment gel (more on that later). My skin felt a slight burning sensation after each use, and it made my eyes water.
Initially I didn't use the Clearproof Acne Treatment Gel, but it became necessary after using the other components of the Clearproof Acne System made me break out badly within the first 24 hours of use. The Acne Treatment Gel was very drying, and I only used it once a day after washing my face in the morning.
I used the Clearproof Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin twice a day, after each washing and application and use of either the toner or acne treatment gel.

The ClearProof Acne Treatment System claims to clear up blemishes without irritation and to help maintain a clear complexion, but that was not the case for me. My face was pretty clear- with only a single blemish when I first started using the system. Within the first 24 hours (by Day 2) of using the wash, toner, and lotion, I had 8 new blemishes on my face. I started using the acne treatment gel sparingly (once a day) with the appearance of the new blemishes.

Day 3: I had another fresh batch of new blemishes on my face. My skin seemed to be handling the system well, other than several blemishes.  

Day 7: My face started to become really red, dry, and painfully sore. I decided to discontinue the use of the toner and the acne treatment gel, and was only using the cleansing gel and the moisturizer.  

Day 10: I saw no improvements in my face; my skin was red, dry, and flaky. I started using the cleansing gel once a day and just rinsed my face with warm water. 

Day 14: I did not have any new blemishes with this routine, but my skin was still painfully red and incredibly dry.

Day 16: Still no new blemishes, but my face was still red and flaky and felt raw. I decided to stop my trial with the system and resume my previous routine.

It has been 10 days since I've stopped using the Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System, and my skin is finally in good condition. My skincare routine consisted of a gentle washing and moisturizer. I initially used the Clearproof Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin, but it was doing my skin no favors; I might as well have just rubbed a dry cotton pad on my skin for as moisturizing as the Mary Kay moisturizer was. My skin had ceased being red and in pain, but it was still very dry and flaky. Once I switched over to a more emollient moisturizer for a couple of days, my skin was sufficiently moisturized and my acne was clearing up again. I currently only have one small blemish left on my face.

I couldn't complete the 30 Day trial, but my short experience with the ClearProof Acne System was anything but favorable. I found the cleansing gel and toner far too harsh for use on my sensitive skin, and the moisturizer wasn't the least bit moisturizing. The acne treatment gel was drying, but that is expected for this type of product. I'm going to reserve judgement with the latter as it might be ok to use with quality products.

The ClearProof Acne System retails for $45 and can be purchased from your chosen Mary Kay representative.


Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion. All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual commentors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Lacquer Legion: Weird Science Nails

Good evening, dear readers! I just have a quick post to share my simple #LLWeirdScience manicure with you. It's not exactly weird, but it is science! Prior to starting my blog, I used to work in a laboratory, and running DNA through a gel matrix was almost a daily activity for me. I decided to use these gels as inspiration for my manicure.

I wanted to imitate the glowing blurple gel with bright DNA bands but unfortunately I don't have quite the right shade of polish in my collection. My freehand skills at drawing straight lines is severely lacking, but I still enjoyed reminiscing with these nails.

I'm off to entertain company, and I hope you've enjoyed this evening's post!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful night!
XO!




Sweet Addictions Monthly Subscription Box: September

Good morning, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for another week! This past weekend was rather exciting for me. I live about 30 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake that hit Napa early Sunday morning, so I was quite shaken, literally! Not to worry dear readers, we are all ok and going on with our normal routines. My husband is back at work, and I am blogger extraordinaire! ;) Without further ado, let's get to the post you are here for!

Monthly polish and product boxes are becoming quite popular, and I am so excited to be sharing the September edition of the Sweet Addictions box run by my friend Sara of Cupcake Polish. Each monthly box contains a one-of-a-kind Cupcake Polish and products from other independent brands. Each month has its own theme, and the indie brands vary from month to month. In addition to a gorgeous holographic polish from Cupcake Polish, September's "Marie Antoinette" box contains goodies from Pipe Dream Polish and Serum N°5. This is a fabulous box, so let's jump to the photos!

Versailles
Cupcake Polish
Retail $13
Indoor Lighting
Sunlight
Versailles is a lavender linear holo packed with pink and purple shimmers. This colour is gorgeous! I love my holos with a little something extra so you know I am loving the additional shimmers. The formula was smooth and creamy, making for an easy application. Versailles is very pigmented; therefore, you may find that you only need a single coat for opacity. I used two coats here out of habit, but I really didn't need to. I then topped my nails off with top coat for these photos.

Dauphine
Pipe Dream Polish
Retail $8
If the typical nude polish isn't quite your thing, but you really want one, Dauphine and the next polish are for you! Dauphine is a beautiful nude crelly with pastel blue and teal glitters. I like nude polishes from time to time, but the additional glitters found in Dauphine adds a lovely touch. The combination keeps your nails subtle but still fun. I used two easy coats of Dauphine plus top coat for these photos.

Cake Revolution
Serum N°5
Miniature Bottle, Retail $7
Cake Revolution is a yellow-leaning nude polish filled with small golden and a rainbow of pastel glitters. This beauty also glows in the dark! Because it is so packed with glitters and I wanted to see it glow, I used one coat of Cake Revolution over Zoya Jacqueline. I recommend using a single coat rather than using several coats of Cake Revolution alone as it looks very lumpy. The formula was a little tricky to work with, as is common with both glitter and glow in the dark polishes, but it applied easily enough with a little extra patience. I then used two coats of top coat to get my nails smooth. The glow was more subtle than other Serum N°5 polishes I've used before, but it does glow a lovely purple. My nails were still glowing in the middle of the night! 

Cake Revolution comes in a miniature bottle (as shown in this post) in the September Sweet Addictions box. This is because there is another Serum N°5 goodie in the box for you to enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Sugar Scrub
Serum N°5
Sample Size, Retail $2
YUM! The smell is divine, and if you like the smell of chocolate, you are going to love it! Sugar scrubs are a new product for Serum N°5, and they should be launching this fall. I've been using a few different sugar scrubs recently, and I really like this one. I found it to be moisturizing without being too heavily oiled. It does contain sweet almond oil, so if you will want to avoid this scrub if you are allergic. As for me, I can go around sniffing this jar all day long!

I really enjoy the products in next month's box! The history buff in me loves the theme, and I enjoyed seeing how it inspired the lovely ladies behind each of the brands. I like that there is a variety of colour and finish in the polishes, and they are all gorgeous. The sugar scrub adds the perfect touch of decadence to this Marie Antoinette- themed box.

The September Sweet Additions Box will be available for purchase starting at 11am Central on August 31st at Cupcake Polish's site here. Each box will retail for $30 plus shipping. Worldwide shipping is also available for you awesome International readers as well!

What do you think of this month's subscription box? Is there a particular product that appeals the most to you? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day!
XO!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tower of Terror-Inspired Duo by Sweet Heart Polish and Finger Lickin' Lacquer


Good afternoon, dear readers, and happy Friday! This week has flown by and I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend! I hope you are looking for a fun weekend of polish shopping because the new Tower of Terror-inspired duo by Sweet Heart Polish and Finger Lickin' Lacquer launches this Saturday, August 23rd at NOON PST in both shops!

Shadow & Substance
Sweet Heart Polish
Indoor Lighting
Sunlight
Shadow & Substance is a burgundy-russet holographic duo-chrome polish that shifts from a burnt orange to a gold color with gold flakes.

As you likely already know by now, I love Fall shades, and Shadow & Substance is the perfect colour for the season. I've not seen a colour quite like it yet- others are a little more red or brown, but this is the perfect in between shade. The gold flakes add a nice subtle touch but did not photograph well. You can best see the gold flakes in the closeup photo next to the glare from my lighting. Shadow & Substance is awesome in that can look either metallic or holographic depending on the lighting. I used two smooth and creamy coats for these photos, but one coat would suffice if you tend to paint with a heavier hand.

A Most Uncommon Elevator
Finger Lickin' Lacquer
Indoor Lighting
A burgundy jelly with dots of gold and a spooky surprise when you turn out the lights

A Most Uncommon Elevator is a gorgeous jelly that I would describe as a ruby red- it leans a little more red against my skintone, but I suspect it can lean a little pink on others. I personally love my glitters in a squishy jelly base, so you know I am loving this one as well! I'm going to ruin the spooky surprise (sorry, guys!) and tell you that there are small glow in the dark glitters mixed in this polish.
I don't know if the jelly base and the two coats of top coat covered them up too much though because I couldn't see anything glowing, even going in a pitch black garage after half an hour of charging. I suspect that my natural tanned skin inhibited the glow and it would glow better if swatched over a white base. I would need to test that theory out to be sure. Regardless, I still love the look of this polish!

I really enjoy seeing indie brands come together, and Sweet Heart Polish and Finger Lickin' Lacquer certainly have stepped up with two gorgeous polishes here! It's so cool to see two people using the same inspiration but creating quite different polishes! Both are stunning, and this is a must-have duo!

The Tower of Terror Inspired Duo by Sweet Heart Polish and Finger Lickin' Lacquer will be released on Saturday at NOON PST in both shops. There is a limited number available, and if it is sold out in one of the shops, be sure to check the availability in the other. The Tower of Terror duo will be sold for $20 plus shipping.

What do you think of this duo? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day and weekend!
XO!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Literary Lacquers To Blossom Limited Edition Polish

Good evening, dear readers! I have a special post to share with you tonight and I hope you enjoy it! My dear friend Amy, the mastermind behind the brand Literary Lacquers, is celebrating her birthday this Sunday, and she is celebrating with the polish community by creating a special limited edition polish.
Named "To Blossom", Amy's polish was inspired by this photo and the quote attributed to Anais Nin "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

To Blossom is a rather complex polish. The base is a mauve-leaning raspberry pink, and it is packed with microglitters that range in shades from glowing purple, fuchsia, and occasional flashes of light copper. It is truly a stunning creation, and certainly one worthy of being Amy's birthday polish. I took several photos with just the slightest angle changes in an attempt to capture everything going on with this beauty. Let's check it out!

Indoor Lighting

Sunlight
I used two thin coats for these photos, but one coat would suffice if you tend to paint with thicker coats. In spite of being packed with glitters, it wasn't very gritty and only required one coat of top coat to make my nails smooth.

Amy's birthday polish sold out in a flash last year, and this year she decided to sell To Blossom as a pre-order. It will be available in numbered bottles by pre-order only in her Etsy shop here on Sunday, August 24th from 5-7pm Mountain time. All polishes will be shipped by September 1st so you won't have to wait too long to get this beauty on your nails!

What do you this about this beauty? Are you going to be pre-ordering it on Sunday? I'd love to hear what you think!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful night!
XO!







Zoya Ignite Collection Swatches and Review

Press Sample

Good morning, dear readers! I reviewed Zoya's Fall creme collection, Entice, last night, and today I want to move on to their Ignite collection. For those of you that need a little more sparkle and and bling on your nails, these gorgeous shimmering liquid metal shades are for you! I knew they looked amazing in the bottle, but I still wasn't prepared for just how stunning they look on the nail. Let's get to some photos.

Autumn
Autumn is the quintessential shade I think of when I think "Fall", and naturally, Zoya gave it the most appropriate name. I just love this warm copper shade, and the formula was great! I used two coats for this photo. 

India
I can't get enough of these deep reds for Fall, and India is beautiful. The formula is really nice on this one as well. I used two coats for this photo.

Yuna
Yuna is one of my favorites from this collection. The copper and gold adds just a touch of brightness to the dark base, and I know I will be wearing this one a lot! And check it out, it coordinates nicely with my banana muffin! The formula was great, and I used two coats for these photos.


Sansa
Sansa is another favorite from the Ignite collection. I love the rich eggplant colour with the sparkling gold! The formula was great on this one as well, and I used two coats here.

Remy
All the polishes from this collection are gorgeous, but Remy seems to glow just a little bit more than the others, both in the bottle and on the nail. The touches of copper and gold in an indigo base really brings this beauty to life. The formula is great, and I used two coats for this photo.

Teigen
Described as a violet plum with copper liquid metal, Teigen is lovely on the nail as well! My nails are on fire, in a good way, of course! The formula of this beauty was nice as well. I used two coats for this photo.

While I have some favorites from the Ignite collection, all the colours are stunning and will be getting a lot of love from me this season. Zoya has another fabulous collection on their hands, and one that you'll want to get on yours!

The Ignite collection is currently available for purchase at Zoya.com for $9 a bottle.

What do you think about the Ignite collection? Are there any shades you just have to have? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a great day!
XO! 




Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion. All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual commentors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zoya Entice Collection Swatches and Review

Press Sample

Good evening, dear readers! I hope this post finds you well and you have been enjoying the week thus far. I have some amazing Zoya polishes to share with you tonight. I have been really excited about the Entice & Ignite collections since seeing them during my visit at the Zoya booth at Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas, and you have no idea how glad I am that they are now available for purchase! I enjoy a wide range of polish colours and finishes, but there is just something about the warm shades associated with Fall that makes it arguably my favorite season for polish colours. For tonight's blog post, I wanted to focus on Entice, Zoya's creme collection for Fall 2014.

Nyssa
Fall just isn't quite right without a rich brown shade, and Zoya nailed it with Nyssa. I'm definitely going to be wearing this gorgeous milk chocolate shade often! The formula was perfect- not too thick or thin, and I used two coats for this photo.

Claire
I've recently developed a love a red polish, but they have nothing on Claire! Described as a rich burgundy, this is my favorite from the Entice collection. It applied easily with two coats. I anticipate needing another bottle of this beauty by the end of the season!

Veronica
A brilliant wine, Veronica is another one of my top picks from this collection. It has just the right amount of brightness while still being Fall-appropriate. I formula on this one was good as well, and I used two coats for this photo.

Margo
If you prefer more of a purple shade, then Margo is right up your alley! It is the "Fall version" of radiant orchid, the colour of the year, and absolutely beautiful. Again, this one has a nice formula. I used two coats for this photo.

Ryan
Ryan is described as a classic indigo and will match most of my Fall wardrobe. In spite of having a large collection of dark blues in my wardbrobe, I rarely think to grab one for on my nails. I suspect that is going to change this year as Ryan is such a gorgeous blue polish with a great formula! I used two coats for this photo.

Genevieve
Genevieve was one of the polishes that grabbed my attention right away when I first saw it. While  don't wear grey polishes often, I really like the dark smokiness of this one, and the nice formula is an added bonus. I used two coats for this photo.

Zoya has really won me over with their Fall creme collection. Their formula is perfect, but what else can I expect from Zoya- they're always great for me! The Entice collection is filled with deliciously rich shades that are perfect for the season as the days get colder and the nights last a little longer.

The Entice collection is currently available for purchase at Zoya.com for $9 a bottle.

What do you think about the Entice collection? Are there any shades you have your eye on? I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful night!
XO!



Disclaimer:  The products reviewed above were provided to me for my honest and unbiased opinion. All thoughts stated are entirely my own and are based on my use of said products.  I love receiving feedback from my readers, and any comments left here are the express opinions and/or property of the individual commentors.  Therefore, I, the author of this site, cannot be held responsible for the opinions held by others.  I reserve the right to remove any comments that I find to be harmful, unnecessary, or not constructive for other readers.