Category Archives: China Glaze

Have You Tried Nail Vinyls Yet?

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BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

The last time I did a nail accessory review, it was Chevron striping tape- a nifty new toy.  Well I have another unique item to show you, courtesy of the Born Pretty Store.  Today I want to show you some Nail Vinyl Stencils.  I have never seen them before, but they are a really neat tool to add to your nail arsenal.  The vinyls give you a manicure that seems so much more complicated than it really is.  Take a look.

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

These diecut vinyl stencils are self-adhesive.  Simply stick them onto your nail where you want to paint the pattern, and then brush the polish over them.  When you peel back the sticker, it will reveal a complicated looking pattern that was super easy to accomplish.  There are six patterns available on bornprettystore.com, and each package contains two patterns with six stencils each.  The stencils are single use only.  Depending on how long your nails are, you may be able to cut a stencil in half and use it on two nails.  Here are the patterns that I chose:

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils in NK01

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils in NK04

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

BPS Nail Vinyl Stencils

For my manicure, I used China Glaze Glittering Garland as my base color.  I chose the vinyl stencil with the X’s and dots on it, and painted China Glaze Ultimate Holiday over that.  Even though my nails were on the longer side, I was able to use one stencil for both nails.  I love the way it came out, and the stencils were really easy to use.  I am very happy that I have more patterns to experiment with because after my first use, I am a big fan.  The stencils are usually $4.59, but they are currently on sale for only $2.30.  I definitely recommend them.

You can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should still plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive like holiday items and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettystore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcode

FTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

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Christmas Wonderland with BPS Chevron Striping Tape

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Christmas Wonderland Manicure

Christmas Wonderland Manicure

Check out this adorable Christmas Wonderland Manicure I did using Chevron Striping Tape from the Born Pretty Store.  I love it!  I was really excited to bust out my holiday nail stickers.  I definitely want to do more manicures with them while I have the chance.  I was also really excited to use this new chevron striping tape.  I have used striping tape before, but I have never seen it in chevron pattern.  I knew that I had to try it immediately, and the Born Pretty Store was kind enough to send it to me for review.

BPS Chevron Striping Tape

BPS Chevron Striping Tape

BPS Chevron Striping Tape

BPS Chevron Striping Tape

The tape has a thin chevron line running through the center, so it separates into three parts.  I think that’s great because it make the tape even more versatile with the different designs that you can accomplish.  I chose the black shade because I thought that I would be most likely to use that shade as a decorative nail sticker as well as a striping tape.  Born Pretty also offers the tape in blue, white, red, silver, and gold.  The adhesive is really sticky, so I got a good seal on the nail and had no issues with polish leaking under the tape.  I’m not going to lie, using the tape can be time consuming, depending on how complicated your design is.  However, with practice, I am sure you can cut down on the time it takes just by familiarity with using the product.  Striping tapes are easier to use than they look, and even a beginner can accomplish some really complicated looking designs.

Christmas Wonderland Manicure

Christmas Wonderland Manicure

For my Christmas Wonderland Manicure I laid out the striping tape on my thumb, index finger, and little finger in the pattern that I pictured above on my naked nail.  I used Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast in I Red a Good Book for the base color and SinfulColors Snow Me White for the stripes On my middle two fingers I used Snow Globe from China Glaze to make it look like it was snowing.  Then I flipped the larger edge of the striping tape upside down and used Snow Me White for the fallen snow.  I added a couple nail stickers that I bought last year and topped everything with Seche Vite.  I love how it came out.  The BPS Chevron Striping Tape is currently on sale for $1.47 a roll, and I highly recommend it.

You can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should still plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive like holiday items and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettstore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcode

FTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

Big Sales at Ulta

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Ulta

Ulta

Ulta is going all full court press with the sales this week on drugstore items.  Free shipping, 40% off, and Buy 1 Get 1 sales are all happening through Saturday October 3rd.  (Omg, is it really October this week?  Where did September go?)  These sales are available in store and online.  If you plan it well, you can rack up some substantial savings.  And don’t forget that you can still use the $3.50 off of $10 coupons that Ulta always has as well as any manufacturers coupons that you may find.  So let’s take a look.

NYX Buy 2 Get 1

NYX Buy 2 Get 1

NYX is currently Buy 2 Get 1 Free.  Now would be a great time to try out the new Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks or the new Slide-On Lip Pencils.  If you really want to expand your eyeshadow collection, the new(ish) Avant Pop and Go-To Palettes are included in the sale.  I really like NYX, and I think that they especially excel at lip and cheek products.  If you haven’t tried NYX blushes or lippies, then you need to give them a shot.  Also in NYX news (taking a time-out from Ulta for a minute) the first ever NYX store is opening up this weekend.  If you happen to live in Southern California, the grand opening starts 10/2 at the Santa Anita Mall.  More store openings to follow soon in Rancho Cucamonga, Torrence, Santa Clara, and Walnut Creek. Now, back to Ulta.

40% off

40% off

Right now Revlon, Physicians Formula, and Almay cosmetics are 40% off.  I am definitely going to have to pick up another Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder.  I ran out a while back and really miss it.  If you are a fan of Physicians Formula you will certainly want to take advantage of this sale.  Physicians Formula is rather pricey for drugstore, and 40% off is a great deal.  Remember Ulta accepts Manufacturer’s coupons and you can use them in conjunction with the Ulta coupon.

China Glaze

China Glaze

China Glaze polishes are Buy 1 Get 1 Free.  China Glaze polishes are $7.50 each, so that’s quite a savings.  I really like the China Glaze formula and recommend hopping on this deal.

BCRF

BCRF

Also through 10/3, you will receive free shipping on all orders, when you add a $1 donation to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation to your cart.  There is no minimum required for the free shipping deal.  Once the donation is added to your cart, you will see that your shipping has changed to free.  There is also a link to donate more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation if you would like.

It’s a good week to be an Ulta shopper.  Be sure to sign up for the Ulta rewards program if you haven’t already.  It is free to do so, and you earn points for any purchases made at Ulta that can be exchanged for cash toward an Ulta purchase.  I like to hoard my points and spend them on my birthday and during the Holidays.  It is a good way to bring the price down on those Holiday gifts and palettes that I always want.  There are also special coupons throughout the year for rewards members, and I think signing up for the program is absolutely worth it.  Do you plan on taking advantage of any of these sales this week?  Let me know in the comments below.

New in Nails

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I have a large collection of new nail displays to show you today.  Since I have so much, I’m going to jump right in.

China Glaze Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection

First up, If you haven’t grabbed any of the China Glaze Bohemian Luster Chrome Collection yet, Ulta still has them.  These duo-chrome polishes are gorgeous.

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Nail Color

Also on the duo-chrome bandwagon are the new Sally Hansen Lustre Shine polishes.  I was especially impressed by the shades “Firefly” and “Lava”, and of course it goes without saying, there is the obligatory Peridot dupe.  These were spied at Walgreens.

Sally Hansen Glitter Crackle Overcoat polishes

At Target, I saw the new Sally Hansen Glitter Crackle Overcoat polishes.  Although I’m not interested in expanding my crackle polish stash, these glitter crackles are super cute.

Sinful Colors Sinfully Magnetic polishes

Also at Target, I spotted the new Sinful Colors Sinfully Magnetic polishes.  It looks to me like they all have a star burst design for the magnet which is attached to the bottle.

Sally Hansen Snakeskin Salon Effects Nail Strips at Target

There are quite a few nail wrap/sticker/strip collections out, and the first I have to show are these Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips that are exclusive to Target.  The collection contains four designs that are all snake skin patterns.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips Halloween 2012

Speaking of Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips, I saw at Ulta that the Halloween collection is out.  Of the five patterns, two are repeats of last year (“Spun for You”- a spiderweb pattern, and “Numbskull”- a skull and crossbones pattern).  The three new patterns include candy corn, jack-o-lantern faces, and bats.

Kiss Nail Dress nail wraps Halloween 2012

Kiss has a new line of their Nail Dress stickers for Halloween.  I was not impressed with the bejeweled version of Kiss Nail Dress that I tried earlier this year, but for one night, they would probably suffice.

Fright Night Nail Wraps

Or, if you want another Halloween option, Ulta had these Fright Night Nail Wraps in six fabulous designs.  I was really interested in the super cool patterns offered, but you know me, I’m a SH Salon Effects girl.

Fantasy Makers RIP

If you aren’t into nail wraps, you can always go with the RIP headstone polishes that Fantasy Makers by Wet n Wild makes every year.  For only $1.99, you can’t go too wrong.  That way you can forget about your nails and worry about the rest of your costume.

Nails are still the number one accessory, and that is obvious by how many new nail displays keep popping up.  These days, on nails, anything goes.  Have fun and express your creative side.  🙂

China Glaze Magnetix in “Pull Me Closer”

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China Glaze Magnetix in "Pull Me Closer"

China Glaze has released their own line of magnetic nail polish called Magnetix.  This is a popular name for magnetic polish lines, because “Magnetix” is also the name of the Pretty Woman brand polishes found at Rite-Aid, and the magnetic polish line by Claire’s.  If find it a little confusing that so many brands share the same name.  Any way, China Glaze Magnetix line consists of six magnetic polishes plus a magnet with three designs on it.  I’m really excited about this collection. China Glaze is good quality, but affordable polish, so a magnetic polish from them is a great addition.  I have “Pull Me Close” to review today.

China Glaze Magnetix magnet

Here’s what the China Glaze magnet looks like. It’s u-shaped and has a diagonal stripe pattern, a chevron pattern, and a star pattern.  It has a little rest for your cuticle that helps you position the design and helps prevent you from touching your nail to the magnet.  The magnet is not included with the polish and must be purchased separately.

China Glaze Magnetix magnet

I found the magnet to be okay, but a little awkward to get used to. Figuring out how to hold it was the trickiest part, and you can see in my nail swatch below that my patterns aren’t lined up perfectly. It’s also tricky to figure out how to center your nail on the magnet so that the design is in the right spot. The best position to fully center the design on your nail is to line up your finger in the plastic cuticle guard, but position it closer to your first knuckle instead of holding it right against your cuticle. The center of the pattern is in the center of the magnet, so try to visualize getting the middle of your nail right along the middle of the magnet when positioning.

China Glaze Magnetix magnet

The magnet isn’t super strong like the more expensive $20 magnetic polishes, so you will need to hold it up to the nail longer than the suggested 5-10 seconds. To be sure to get a strong, clear design, hold the magnet in place for closer to 30 seconds.  It’s also important to try to keep the magnet still.  I was having issues with not moving my hand, so my designs aren’t as crisp as they could have been.

China Glaze Magnetix in "Pull Me Closer"

“Pull Me Close” is a silvery blue shade.  It’s very pretty and contrasts the magnetic design well.  Hare is a picture of two coats of “Pull Me Closer” with the star pattern.  (Please excuse the divot in the middle nail.  I dropped something while I was painting my other hand, and messed up my nail a bit.  It’s less noticeable in real life, so I didn’t bother to fix it.)

China Glaze Magnetix in "Pull Me Closer"

The formula of  “Pull Me Close” was excellent.  I prefer China Glaze Magnetix to the Pretty Woman Magnetix line (full review here).  China Glaze is thicker, and reacts better to the magnet.  I have not tried mixing the lines and using polish from one brand with the magnet of the other so I’m not sure if the better reaction is due to the polish or the magnet. I have very curved nails, so the pattern may not show up evenly across my nail.  I had issues with the Pretty Woman brand showing up all the way across my nail, but I didn’t have that issue with China Glaze.  Like all magnetic polishes, dry time on these is pretty fast.  I strongly recommend using a top coat to give nails a shine and a longer wear-time.

I found China Glaze Magnetix line at Sally’s Beauty Supply.  Both the polish and the magnet were $6.99 each.

China Glaze “Fast Track” Inspired by the Hunger Games

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China Glaze "Fast Track" from the Capitol Colours Collection

One of the more exciting nail polish collection out right now (to me) is the China Glaze Capitol Colours Collection Inspired by the Hunger Games.  I haven’t yet read or seen the Hunger Games, but this collection of polishes really caught my eye.  If money (and storage space) wasn’t a variable, I would run out and get the entire collection because I am drooling over nine of the twelve shades offered, but that’s not a reality.  So instead, I have one of my top picks to show you today.

China Glaze "Fast Track"

“Fast Track” is a champagne-taupe base with subtle greenish gold shimmer.  It’s super luxe, and extremely sophisticated.  This polish is absolutely office appropriate, no matter how strict the guidelines.  Also, because it’s a neutral sort of color, “Fast Track” looks great on shorter nails as well as long (I had to file all of my nails down because I had a accident that broke two of them, ouch!).  Here are some swatch pictures in different lighting.  The bottom most one isn’t great, I know, but it really shows the shimmer in the bottle pretty well.  (click to enlarge all my photos.)

China Glaze "Fast Track"

China Glaze "Fast Track". See that green-gold shimmer?

I feel in love with “Fast Track” the first time I saw a swatch.  I’ll probably go back to Sally’s and pick up a couple more shades from the collection, but it’s so hard to choose.  To see the other shades, check them out here on China Glaze’s website.  China Glaze can be found at Sally’s Beauty Supply and at Ulta.  Prices vary by location.

2011 Favorites: Lips, Nails, and More

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Here are my 2011 favorites for lips, nails, and all things makeup related that I haven’t already covered in my previous two posts.  It’s going to be pretty obvious that NYX is my favorite brand when it comes to lip products, but otherwise, there is a pretty good selection of brands.  Just so that we are all clear on the rules, when I say “favorites of 2011,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product came out in 2011, but that it has been a favorite of mine this last year.  I chose one favorite and one honorable mention in each category.  My favorites are all drugstore items (I’m including e.l.f., NYX, etc. in that description and I’ve included the retail price) but my honorable mentions may include high-end items.  I also limited my selection to items that I had time to enjoy during the year, so anything I got in November or December is not going to be included.  Just because a product isn’t listed, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it.  These products are the ones that really stood out to me this last year.  I’ve reviewed many of these products, so be sure to click the provided links for more info and swatches.  Here we go.

Lipstick:

Favorite- NYX Round Lipsticks  These are the absolute best lipsticks at the drugstore price point.  They are creamy, long-lasting, and feel really good on the lips.  And they come in about five billion shades (ok, 144).  It’s a little overwhelming, actually.  From nude to boldly saturated color, NYX has something for everyone.  These really are a must-have.  NYX Round lipsticks retail for $4.00, and can be found at Ulta or online.

Honorable mention- E.l.f. Mineral Lipsticks  I did a compare/contrast review of the e.l.f. Mineral lipsticks vs. their $1 counterparts.  Click over to see it and view swatches of all of the e.l.f. lipsticks that I own.

Lipgloss:

Favorite- Jordana INCOLOR Pretty Shine Lipgloss  I first mentoned Jordana Pretty Shines in my September favorites.  I hate to do this to you, but these are now discontinued.  Jordana did a big overhaul earlier this year and replaced their Pretty Shine Lipglosses with the LOL, Lip Out Loud Super Shiny Glosses.  You can still find them online, however, and the INCOLOR Pretty Shine glosses have been a huge favorite of mine this year.  Not sticky, but still with some staying power, these glosses are pigmented and look great layered or alone.  I haven’t tried the LOL glosses yet, but I’m hoping that they are as good because the INCOLOR Pretty Shine glosses leave pretty big shoes to fill.

Honorable mention- NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss  Available in 64 high impact shades, NYX lipglosses are as awesome as their lipsticks.  There is a reason that everyone loves NYX, and these glosses are a big part of that reason. NYX Mega Shine Lipglosses run about $5.50 regular price.

Lip Product:

Favorite- Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters  You’ve heard the hype, and have seen my review and my additional swatches.  These are fabulous, and probably the best product of 2011.  I’ve heard that some women feel like they are drying, but I think those women must be crazy.  I love, love, LOVE Revlon Lip Butters.  They are soft, moisturizing, and all kinds of awesome.  They are pricey at $7.50 each, but there are always sales on Revlon, so snatch them up when you get the chance.

Honorable mention- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream  I know, NYX again.  What can I say, they are the best brand for lip products. Neither lipstick nor lip gloss- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a new kind of pout paint that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish without drying lips out.  NYX offers 11 shades for $6.00 each.

Lip Balm:

Favorite- Blistex Fruit Smoothies  When it comes to straight up lip balm, Blistex gets it done.  The Fruit Smoothies smell delicious and leave my lips soft and hydrated.  A set of three is around $3-4.

Honorable mention Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer  Until the Revlon Lip Butters came around, I would use these tinted lip balms for some color when I didn’t want to deal with lipstick or gloss.  They pack a fair amount of pigmentation, and those who like a minty tingle will like these a lot.

Nail Polish Brand:

Favorite- Sinful Colors  You’d never guess that these polishes are only $1.99 if you didn’t already know.  Sinful Colors polishes have excellent opacity, apply very evenly, and hang in with the big brands like OPI and Essie.  With tons of colors to choose from, Sinful Colors delivers everything you need from a polish.

Honorable mention- China Glaze  These polishes are a wonderful formula, and the only reason that they weren’t my favorites are because Sinful Colors is cheaper.  The two brands actually apply very similarly.

Top Coat/Base Coat:

Favorite- Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat  I have no Honorable mention in this category because Seche Vite puts all other top coats and base coats to shame.  I hate waiting for my nails to dry, and Seche Vite provides a glass like, smudge-proof finish in minutes.  It fills in ridges and smoothes out texture.  I love putting it over glitter because instead of a bumpy surface, it leaves my nails nice and smooth.  Seche Vite is excellent.  Prices vary by location.

Nail Product:

Favorite- Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips  I’ve mentioned these several times and posted a quickie tutorial here.  I have been very pleased with these strips.  If applied correctly, they last all week and I end up getting bored of them before they chip on me.  They apply very easily and I can go from naked nails to finished manicure in 15 minutes, with no dry time needed. Sally Hansen has recently come out with a whole slew of new designs, not to mention their holiday specific designs, including Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines Day.  Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips cost $10 a box.

Honorable mentionNail Wheels  This may seem like an odd favorite, but nail wheels are suddenly indispensable to me.  My nail polish collection has grown to the point where I can’t remember what I have, so I swatch each new polish on a nail wheel and keep a list of which polishes correspond to which swatches.  When I want to paint my nails, I can look at my entire polish collection in miniature and pick the swatch I want.  It saves a lot of time and keeps me from going to the same polish over and over simply because I can’t remember what else I have.

Special Effect Polish:

Favorite- Flakies  I’m so excited that flakies hit big in 2011 and will be even bigger in 2012.  So much more sophisticated than glitter, Flakies give nails a rich luxe look.  For some ideas, check out my Essie LuxEffects post here, and be on the lookout for Zoya’s new Fleck Effect Collection in stores.

Honorable mention- Essie Matte About You Topcoat  Matte nails had a resurgence for a moment in 2011, but my favorite way to do them is to put  a matte topcoat over a flakie polish.  Absolutely phenomenal.  Essie Matte About You is a good one, available at Ulta.

Tools:

Favorite- E.l.f. Studio Brushes  I’ve mentioned E.l.f. Studio Brushes many times in this blog, and the Powder Brush was featured in my November favorites.  Don’t let the $3.00 price tag fool you, these are really good, soft brushes that will provide an expert application every time.  Bonus, they are cheap enough to buy multiples if you (like me) want to extend the time between washing your brushes.  😉

Honorable mention Goody Spin Pins These funky pins spin into your hair, giving your updo the same security that 20 bobby pins would do.  They come in small and large, and in blonde and brunette to better blend in with your hair.

Fragrance:

Favorite- Bath & Body Works “Carried Away” According to B&BW “A whimsical blend of lush raspberries, white jasmine and whipped vanilla inspired by the way love sweeps you off your feet.”  Carried Away is fresh and feminine without being too floral and aged.  It’s soft and romantic, and really lovely.  Bath & Body Works fragrance mists are $12.50 regular price.

Honorable mention- Juicy Couture “Peace, Love, & Juicy” Celebrate the freedom of being both hippie and chic with this fragrance that brings alive the free-spirited, sixties-style vibe of Malibu!”   I mentioned “Peace, Love, & Juicy” in my September favs post (linked above).  I’ve been loving this scent since getting it for my birthday in July.

Trend:

FavoriteBright Orange Lips  I spent a few years kind of shunning lipstick, and just relied on lip balms.  What really brought me back was the bright coral and orange lips of the spring and summer.  My favorite combo? Milani Color Perfect Lipstick in “Orange Gina” topped with Jordana INCOLOR Pretty Shine Lipgloss in “Dazzling”.

Honorable mentionNail Art  Can you believe the advances in nail artistry this year?  From Stamping to pens and stripers, nails are the new statement piece.

Most Overrated product of 2011

#1EOS Lip Balms  Everybody and their mother raved about these egg shaped lip balms.  Though these smooth spheres are adorable, the balm itself isn’t very moisturizing.  My lips feel dry and I want to re-apply within 10 minutes.  And I don’t like that I can’t carry the balm in my pocket without looking like I have a goiter on my hip.

Honorable mentionCrackle/Shatter Polish  Okay, I like the crackle polish look and own four of them myself, but enough is enough.  Every time I turn around another brand is releasing a crackle STILL.  Here’s a tip: if you are 10-12 months behind the bandwagon, just give it up and move on.  Crackles were cool, but we really do not need to flood the market.

And that concludes my makeup related 2011 favorites.  I have one more post that will include skincare and stuff like that, so stay tuned.