Author: Lara

 
+

A Grouchy New Year

I cannot believe I didn’t pick this one to try first, just based on the name!

This is China Glaze “A Grouchy New Year”, my second selection from China Glaze x Sesame Street 50 Years and Counting Collection. It’s a bright green glitter, but with different size glitters – everything from tiny pin sizes, to large discs. There are also a few gold glitters in there for fun. It’s not quite full coverage in two coats, maybe 75% coverage?

This is two coats over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. I used Glisten & Glow Top Coat on the thumb, index and middle. I went matte with Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat on the ring and pinky.

If you asked me, I would say that Oscar the Grouch was my favorite muppet, but I bet my mom would say it was the Swedish Chef. She used to tell me that I was OBSESSED with the Swedish Chef, but I don’t remember that at all.

+

Fa-La-Ah-Ah-Ahhh!

One of my daughter’s Xmas gifts was the China Glaze x Sesame Street 50 Years and Counting Limited Edition Collector’s Kit. It’s a set of 12 mini polishes, inspired by Sesame Street characters. This is the second Sesame Street collaboration from China Glaze and this set is all shimmers and glitters.

China Glaze collabs have kind of become a thing for Xmas for her. This year she got Sesame Street, last year was The Grinch and My Little Pony was the year before that. Lily decided that we need to try ALL 12 polishes in a row…

I was drawn to the purple polish with a gold shimmer – China Glaze “Fa-La-Ah-Ah-Ahhh!” – it looked unigue to me. It took me a hot minute to figure out what character this polish was for. Then I was like like, OH! Purple skin is The Count! And then I figured out that the name is his goofy laugh – “Ah Ah Ahhh!” – I am slow sometimes.

This is two coats of “Fa-La-Ah-Ah-Ahh!” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. This polish lasted well until I ended up on dish duty one night and the edges were murdered.

Similar polishes are Zoya “Faye”, Essence “Space Glam” and Nails Inc. “Dream Dust”. I guess this polish isn’t very unique after all.

+

Naked Honey Diamond

I did it!

What did I do?

Well…I did several things. I bought the Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette ($49), even though I said I wasn’t going to buy it yet. But I had a good reason! I got my hair cut at Ulta the day after Xmas and it put me SO close to Diamond status – only $52 away…so…

Admittedly, the colors are somewhat similar to the Naked 2 palette, but with a bunch of gold shades added. Even so, it’s a good palette. The colors are creamy and blendable, even more blendable that usual! I also like the brush that came with the palette – it’s great for packing color.

Ulta was having a deal offering any it Brushes for Ulta for $5 (regularly $14) with a palette purchase. I got the Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105. Since it comes with a cap, I’ll through it in my travel bag for Vegas.

I also threw in a few stock-up items – a L’Oreal Colorista Bleach Highlights Kit ($10.99) and a few packs of Exfoliating Cotton Pads ($3.49). Even though I used a $3.50 off $15 coupon, I qualified for the FREE 23 Piece Sparkler Beauty Bag with $70 purchase.

Inside the Sparkler Beauty Bag: Joico Defy Damage Foilpacks with Shampoo, Conditioner, Protective Masque and Protective Shield; NARS Climax Mascara (I’m using it right now – I like it, it’s not clumpy); Rituals The Rituals of Sakura Sensational Foaming Shower Gel; NEST Fragrances Bamboo & Jasmine; Urban Decay Subversion Volumizing Lash Primer; Giorgio Armani Si Passione; Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in “Dark Brown” (so tiny!); Too Cool for School Rules of Mastic IX Enhancer (you cannot tell by the name, but this is a skin serum); Vichy Mineral 89 Skin Fortifying Daily Booster; Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask in “Plum Blossom”; Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Serum; First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; StriVectin anti-wrinkle SD advanced plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate; boscia Luminizing Black Mask; Kenneth Cole Mankind Legacy; Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair Day Cream; Living proof. Perfect hair Day 5-in-1 styling treatment; Phyto Detox Clarifying Detox Shampoo (no matching conditioner – boo); it cosmetics Confidence in a Cream; NYX Retractable Eye Liner in “White”; Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in “Out Loud”; and Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil in 4.5 (another so tiny!). The bag it came in was a glittery blue velvet one, and quite roomy. It might be coming to Vegas with me, too.

So yeah, I’m Ulta Diamond for 2020 – that will give me x1.5 Ulta points and free shipping (over $25)…I’m excited to see what kind of points I can rack up.

+

Strut

This flashy little polish is Fluide Beauty “Strut”, from December’s ipsy bag. It’s almost a holo, but not quite. The polish is a dark charcoal gray, with an underlying shimmer of blue. This is the first Fluide polish I’ve tried, although I’d gotten a lipgloss from them earlier in the year.

This is two coats of “Strut” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and topped with Glisten & Glow Top Coat. Pay no attention to how bumpy some of my nails look – my nails were still all bumpy from scraping off the Floral Decals. They’ll get a good buffing before the next polish.

Whenever I hear the word “Strut”, I think of the Sheena Easton song – I loved that song as a kid, but never gave much thought to the meaning. It’s something of a feminist anthem, no?

+

Rosy Romance

I don’t know why I had it in my head that the 3D nail decals that I had were sweater cables and not flowers – I had convinced myself that I was going to be doing sweater nails. Nevermind the fact that it took my 30 minutes of searching to even find these Sally Hansen 3D Floral Decals, I had to be disappointed that they were not even the right pattern!

Even though I just used it, I pulled out Frida Kahlo x Ulta “Romance” – it really is the perfect red. I started with Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and a single coat of “Romance”. I then carefully placed the decals on my nails with tweezers. I topped with another coat of “Romance” and then finished with Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat. I really like how it looks with the matte top coat – like I got them professionally done.

I forgot what a pain in the ass it was to get these decals OFF my nails. I was soaking and scraping my nails for nearly an hour!

+

December Sephora Play! – Award Worthy Beauty

The last Sephora box of the year contains “Award Worthy” beauty products. These products haven’t actually won awards…but are worthy of an award? Sure, ok…

I just tried that new Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Gel in “Dark Brown” last week – I’d gotten a sample in the Ulta Cyber Monday Bag. It’s…different. The product is a lot like mascara – it sticks to the little invisible baby hairs on your face and turns them into eyebrow hairs, so you have to be very careful and precise in application. I was not precise and ended up looking like Brooks Shields. It was very odd, but fairly realistic, at least compared to the current gradient brow trend, which I HATE. With a little practice, I think I could become good at applying the Dip Brow Gel. Or maybe a lot of practice?

Other “Award Worthy” products in December’s box: Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray; Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in “Golden Pink”; Tarte Rainforest of the Sea – Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer; Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (I love this stuff, it smells good enough to eat); and Living proof. No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream.

Sephora Play gives you 5-6 prestige samples a month, for just $10! You can sign up at sephora.com/play. I just noticed that this month’s box did not include a 50 point Play! Pass – rude.

I did NOT hit Sephora Rouge status this year, the first time in…5 years! My total spend was $525, so at least I made VIB status. All of my discounts in 2020 will be 15% instead of 20% and with my first order, I’ll order Sephora Flash, which is now $15 (up from $10).

+

Semi Annual Stuff

Don’t you hate it when you try out a new scent and it’s immediately discontinued?

I JUST added “Kaleidoscope” to my shower – barely a few weeks ago – and now it appears to be discontinuing! It’s all 75% off. Well boo. I picked up two more Body Washes to be used later.

I also got two more “Winter” Hand Soaps at 75% off – I didn’t go crazy on the $3 soaps, because I just stocked up at $2.50.

My daughter’s Wallflower broke, so I picked her up a cute Santa Doggie one, along with 5 more $3 Wallflowers. I probably should’ve gotten more – I’m running low. Who am I kidding, I’m sure I’ll be back to the sale.

Since I didn’t get that much stuff, I used the 20% off $25 coupon in my email, instead of the $10 off $40 mailer, so I still have a coupon to use. I was hoping to see Rose Water & Ivy show back up for the sale, but it hasn’t popped back up yet.

+

Snowy Clarity

If I waited until it actually snowed, I’d never get to wear these cute little Snowflake Decals from Julep. Shit, I wouldn’t get to wear then if I merely waited for it to get chilly here in Texas. I am enjoying winter vicariously through my fingernails!

I started with one of my new polishes – Julep “Clarity” from the Intention Collection, lucid azure duochrome. This is two coats of “Clarity” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. I used tweezers to carefully place the snowflakes on my nails. They are super fragile and I did tear a few of them…and that’s how I ended up with a half a snowflake on my index finger. It turned out cute, I think. I topped the snowflakes with Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

These nails remind me of Frozen…let it go, let it goooooooo.

+

December 2019 Allure Beauty Box – The Mother of All Brows

December’s Allure Beauty Box was curated by Anastasia Soare – yes, THAT Anastasia…of Anastasia Beverly Hills. The box includes several of Anastasia’s products, as well as a few of her other favorites.

The centerpiece of the box is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit, a palette of 6 highlighters. Just this kit alone is worth $40, although it’s currently on sale for $24 at Ulta. Honestly, I don’t use highlighters very often and I already have the Kat Von D Alchemy palette, which is similar…but I have been trying the shades as eyeshadow and I like the way they look as a understated, glowy look.

In addition to the Glow Kit, the other ABH products included were Liquid Lipstick in “Bohemian” ($20) and Clear Brow Gel ($22). I really like the lipstick – it’s a dark brick red. I don’t have much use for the brow gel.

The other products included were First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer (full size!) and Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt.

This is such a high value box – $82 just in Anastasia Beverly Hills products alone!

The Allure Beauty Box is $15/month, but they give you $5 off your first box. They also offer an option for $150/year – a savings of $30. Sign up via my referral link.

+

Twisted Peppermint

A crushed peppermint…or a Snowman murder? It could be either. Let’s split the different and call it “Twisted Peppermint”.

Since I used Funky Fingers “Elsa”, I wanted to use Julep “Elsa”, too. This “Elsa” is a frosty iridescent textured polish – it reminds me of windshield frost. I started with Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and two coats of “Elsa”. I wanted to see how Julep “Ruby Slippers” would look in a gradient, so I tested it on my ring finger. It is a really concentrated glitter, so I just went ahead and covered the whole nail. I decided to use Sinful Colors “Decadent”, a much sparser red glitter, instead to gradient the tips.

I really like how it turned out. Even though I didn’t use a top coat, it lasted a really long time. There something to b e said for light, neutral polishes.

So I kind of did something similar about 4 years ago, using Sinful Colors “Tokyo Pearl” for the base instead of “Elsa”. I like this version better.