Tag: nail polish

Summer 2015 Sephora Haul

Wow, it’s been awhile since I did a haul post, huh? I’m happy to say that the reason is mainly because I did manage to stick to a beauty no-buy for several months; beyond the essentials like replacement shampoo, deodorant, renewing my PocketDerm script, etc, I’ve been a very good girl and have stuck to just whittling down my massive stash rather than making new purchases.

However, when eBates emailed me with the opportunity to turn my cash back reward into a Sephora gift card, I saw the excuse for a haul and jumped!

This urge was only solidified when I saw that Sephora had brought back a kit that I’d missed and envied horribly last year: their Summer Sun Safety set. Given how the sunscreen category seems to have exploded this year (seriously, browsing through the sun protection category, it seems like almost every brand has recognized what we Asian beauty devotees already realized: people with different skincare needs also have different sunscreen formulation needs, as well – look at all those new products!) it’s actually probably a blessing in disguise that I waited until this year, just for the new variety!

As you can see, I ended up buying a few more things than just the suncare kit… they had a number of kits that really piqued my interest from brands that I’d been lusting after for some time, so I just went a little nuts. This is a full-blown Sephora haul!

Hit the jump to see all the madness~

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Korea’s Most Wanted Memebox Review & Unboxing

Today we have another old-ish Memebox unboxing post. This is my Korea’s Most Wanted Memebox review… this box shipped out at the end of August, but I didn’t get it until mid-September… and for some reason this post has been sitting in my drafts, about 3/4 finished, for well over a month! I seriously have no clue what’s up with me, but it’s time to get cracking on this Memebox review backlog, huh?

It’s not even like it wasn’t an exciting box, either – I actually really liked all the products and I’ve been frequently some of them – one item was even the target of attempted theft by my mother because it’s so nifty, haha. But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit, so let’s get back to the basic premise of this box.

It’s a sister act!

Did you know that Memebox Global has an older sister named Memebox Korea?

Both sisters were both born in Seoul, yes, but after Memebox Global’s move to San Francisco, and a long time of separation, the sisters are finally doing something fun! This time, it’s a sister act!

Memebox Global and Memebox Korea are teaming up to bring you Korea’s Most Wanted Box, the best of the best in K-Beauty!

Also a global hub for K-beauty-holics and makeup addicts, Memebox Korea carries only the hottest and most up-to-date Korean trends, and she’s giving us everything from hair and body products to makeup and skin care products so that you can get a taste of real Korean beauty! This box retails at over $100, but you can get yours for only $32!

Who can resist that, right? The hottest beauty trends AND bang for your buck? This was one of the first Memeboxes that I ordered, actually, as it just sounded like such a good introduction to Memebox in general. Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed, and I hope that they do more iterations of this concept in the future!

intro

This box includes a nice mix of items – you’ve got skincare, makeup, nail polish, and even an interesting kind of… utility product, I guess, would be the best way to define it?

If you just want a quick-and-basic idea of what was in the box, here is the front and back of the included information card:

…if you’re interested in more detail and my thoughts on each item, however, please click the read more!

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September 2014 Glossybox Review & Unboxing + October 2014 Glossybox Spoilers!

Continuing my pattern of slowpoke Glossybox unboxing posts, it’s almost a week into October and here I am about to do my September 2014 Glossybox review! Apparently my mailman only feels like delivering packages in giant batches, I received *five* Memeboxes (that I’d been waiting on for like a month) and my Glossybox all on the same day. Since that’s highly unlikely to be coincidence – their shipping notices were all at least several days apart – it looks like my PO is content to just let people’s packages sit around until they finally feel like delivering things.

Sigh.

I’m on a no-buy right now, but if we still have the same abysmal mailman at the start of next year, I’ll probably have to look into getting a PO box (at a different PO because I’m not rewarding mine for bad service by paying them more $$ to get my mail on time) for my sub boxes and orders that need to ship USPS.

Anyhow, enough complaining, because the September box is pretty nice!

firstlook

As you can see, the September box was curated by Harper’s Bazaar. This had me interested, because I actually subscribe to and generally enjoy their magazine! If only they’d stop working with Terry Richardson, though… I find him distasteful enough that I likely won’t renew my subscription when it ends unless they’ve dropped him.

Their beauty advice is generally far sounder than their taste in skeezy photographers, though, so I expected that this would be a good box, and I wasn’t disappointed!

openbox

Here’s the first look with the card and tissue paper pulled back so that you can actually see the products. I spy an Essie polish, BVLGARI something, and an OCC Lip Tar! We had a spoiler about Benefit They’re Real Mascara, so that’s obviously what the black box contains, but the other white box is still a mystery at this point…!

I am really glad that they’ve kept the new box style that they premiered last month. I still feel something about the texture and shape just looks crisper and more chic. This special edition box was white and black rather than the classic pastel pink and black – I love that they let the guest curators design their own boxes as well. Really adds to the experience, I think!

unboxed

Here’s everything pulled out and lined up. Uh, please ignore the fact that the lip tar appears to be about to fire a laser beam at my (new, significantly less shitty!) camera.

Hit the read more if you’d like to see the blow-by-blow list of each product and my thoughts~

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August 2014 Glossybox Review & Unboxing + Future Spoilers

Yes. Really. I don’t know what happened, but I only now received my August 2014 GLOSSYBOX this weekend – September 5th, to be precise. It was postmarked August 5th, so I have absolutely no clue why or how a package going from Kentucky to Ohio managed to take longer to get to me than most of my Korean orders!

glossybox-august

I seem to be the only one who got their box so staggeringly late, so I’m assuming it has something to do with my local post office – UPS has the local mail man deliver some, but not all, of their parcels, and our the mailman that our neighborhood got a few months back is notoriously bad. He’s been caught several times leaving the ‘sorry we missed you’ message in people’s mailboxes when they were standing in their yard and said hello to him, people have been finding both incoming and outgoing mail just… abandoned in piles in people’s yards (including an outgoing mortgage payment) or on the sidewalk, packages are being marked as delivered full weeks before he actually bothers to truly deliver anything – unfortunately, it seems like if an entire neighborhood constantly filing complaints for three months about him hasn’t given any results, I’m assuming that we’re stuck with him no matter how badly he does his job. I’ve always heard that it’s next to impossible to get even the worst postal worker fired, and given how serious some of his offenses are – particularly the leaving outgoing bills on the sidewalk in piles with other mail and flat-out lying about deliveries – this situation seems to be proving that statement.

If this keeps up, I’ll have to get a PO box or something because I’m losing faith in my postman’s ability to actually guarantee delivery of my parcels. But honestly, I’d probably take it out with the UPS store or something. I’d rather give them money than essentially reward my PO for being so bad by giving them even more money just to receive my mail properly.

Sigh. Okay, okay, rant over – it’s just that this is the second parcel in a week’s time that I was expecting almost a month earlier, and the PO has been absolutely zero help. Our neighborhood has a Facebook group and we’ve been documenting all this nonsense, but it seems like the PO simply doesn’t find it important enough to hire someone who actually does his damned job and doesn’t put the community at risk for theft via leaving all their mail and important documents all over the street. Seriously, how the fuck is that considered good enough to keep a job?!

I just wanted to clarify that this fault does not lie with GLOSSYBOX. They fulfilled their part and mailed it out over a month ago, so I don’t hold them accountable for my local PO’s insistence on employing this irresponsible, dishonest, and lazy idiot masquerading as a mailman.

So anyhow, not like anyone will really care since this unboxing is about a month later than everyone else’s, but here we go – my August 2014 Glossybox review and unboxing!

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Saving the Universe via Shopping: My Top 10 Guardians of the Galaxy Merchandise Picks

If you follow me on twitter, you probably know that I’ve been hyped as hell for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie release. I read the comics and have been using Gamora (specifically, Phalanx-possessed Gamora from the impossibly amazing Nova series) as my avatar just about everywhere! That GotG just so happened to release on the weekend of my birthday was sheer kismet, and I spend the day in nerdy bliss watching Gamora, Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and Drax kick ass across the universe in 3-D. The movie was excellent, with fantastic casting, a flawless soundtrack, and a plot that ran the gamut from touching to funny to badass. Seriously, go see it – even if you’re not familiar with the franchise at all, if you dig sci-fi even a little bit, you’ll probably love Guardians of the Galaxy.

The fact that I suspect they were laying some groundwork for a possible Nova movie was just icing on the cake – seriously, I have his UMVC3 theme as my ringtone for a reason, people. The Nova love is serious. Give me Richard Rider on the big screen noooooowwwww, Marvel! Let’s get some Carol Danvers in the mix as well – I’m honestly hoping that the reason she recently joined the Guardians in the comics is because Marvel wants to introduce her to all the new GotG fans and build a base for when she gets her own movie. Captain Marvel’s a total badass, and I’d love to see her played by Katee Sackhoff or Yvonne Strahovski. And Nova? Well, the now-debunked rumours that they were considering Nathan Fillion for the role of Richard Rider isn’t a bad one, but I’m not married to that idea just yet.

Um, anyway.

With all that said, I thought I’d share some of the best (in my opinion) Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise floating around the web – both official and unofficial.

So crank up the Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 and let’s get down to business!

1. Guardians of the Galaxy Inspired Nail Polish Set by Pretty & Polished

Pretty & Polished GotG Set

Nerdy nail polishes are one of my weaknesses! I first found these polishes sometime in July, and actually purchased the Star-Lord and Gamora shades. They arrived today and look totally fab – I’ll do my best to get swatches & a review up for them after I have a chance to try them out with my various basecoats and see how the wear/lifespan rates.

From left to right: Plant We All Get Along (Groot), The Gamorous Life (Gamora), Something Good, Something Bad…A Bit of Both (Star-Lord), Draximum Security (Drax the Destroyer), and In the Black Holes of Sirius Major (Rocket Raccoon). I’ve linked to the set, but they’re available for individual purchase as well.

Click the read more for the rest of my picks!

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Holika Holika & Etude House Korean Cosmetics Haul – July 2014 Edition!

In my last Korean beauty haul post, I mentioned that what I had there was only a small part of my big June Korean beauty splurge – but since I bought from like 5-6 different eBayers, the items are turning up in chunks.

This week I received two more boxes from my June spending spree, and I thought I’d share my selections with you guys again!

Another "mini" Korean cosmetics haul!

As you can see, this time around it’s a Holika Holika & Etude House centered Korean cosmetics haul. I have to admit to really loving Holika Holika’s whole aesthetic, the cute/witchy thing is just maximum adorable to me! Etude House also has a great theme, and both brands tend to usually satisfy/impress me with their products. I need to expand into other brands, I know, but I’m already developing some serious loyalty to these two companies!

Haul Unboxed!

Here’s everything unboxed so you can get a better look at the actual product packaging.

Read on to see more pics & the specific items that I bought this time around!

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Small Korean Beauty Haul (Featuring Holika Holika, Etude House and Tony Moly)

I’ve alluded to it before, but last month I went a little nuts and bought a TON of Korean cosmetics/skincare. A few of those products turned up today, so I decided to see how my Kindle Fire’s camera handled taking some haul photos. The verdict? Um… passable, I guess, but it was a pain and I definitely need more practice with setting up shots so I can avoid that obnoxious glare! I think that’s my biggest hurdle when taking these photos. Well, that and the fact that the Kindle doesn’t have any sort of preview display that I can see when I’m taking photos of anything other than myself, haha.

Small Haul - Wide Shot

I used the June GLOSSYBOX‘s packaging as a backdrop – just to be patriotic since it’s July, and also because that box was so pretty! I’m not sure if the colors/pattern helped or hindered my glare issues, though…

Anyhow, on to the goodies! Click the read more to expand and see my mini Korean beauty haul, crappy photos and all~

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Shopping the Sephora Clearance Rack: 7/8/14 Edition

Growing up with a single parent, I grew up with a love for deals and discounts well-ingrained. One of my favorite things to do in that regard is what I call the “Sephora clearance creep” – I seriously check their sale section online at least 3-4x per week. I’ve learned a few things from this constant canvassing, and today I want to share them with you!

  • Limited-edition items – whether they’re individual products, sets, or palettes – will almost always end up on sale within a few months, assuming of course that they don’t sell out. So if you see a gorgeous Tarte or Too Faced set or are lusting after one of their Sephora + PANTONE Color of the Year products and can be patient, the object of your desire will most likely turn up in the clearance pages soon enough. I recently managed to snag the absolutely gorgeous Sephora + PANTONE Color Gaze Brush Set this way – when it was first introduced, I fell in love with the gorgeous radiant orchid themed brushes and the continuing parade of glowing reviews only cemented my desire. I waited, though, and sure enough it got discounted and I was able to snap it up for only $38! Now I have a fab brush set and I didn’t have to break the bank to get it, all because I was willing to both wait and keep checking back!
  • Sephora updates the sale section very, very often. You’ll see new items on almost a day to day basis if you check frequently enough. They do tend to discount high-demand, non-limited items every so often; I usually see Peter Thomas Roth and Tarte items do a sort of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance at least a few times per month. These items tend to sell out REALLY fast – like, within a day at most usually – so when you see a non-discontinued brand or item pop up in the sale pages, make your purchase decision sooner rather than later. Do note, however, that most of these items are nearing their sell-by date – they won’t be expired when they get to you or anything, but you should plan on using them when you get them rather than putting them into a backlog.
  • If an item you’ve been waffling over disappears from the sale section, don’t despair – keep checking back. I’ve seen items go out of stock and then reappear, still discounted. My pet theory is that they’re getting in the stock from their brick and mortar locations after the items have been taken off the floor, and that’s why you can sometimes see a particular item or set vanish and rematerialize several times over a few months. Examples lately would be the Disney special edition cosmetics – the Ariel lipglosses and nail polish set has been popping in and out for about six months at this point, likewise the DKNY Delicious perfumes have been there and back again quite often!
  • Definitely read the reviews before making any buys! Some items are discounted because Sephora just overestimated how much stock they’d realistically move of that certain product, but others languish for ages as nobody buys them because they’re simply not very good items. Case in point is the Sephora + PANTONE Nail Ambrosia Trio – the colors appear lovely, but the reviews are abysmal. While you can always go out on a limb and then fall back on their excellent return policy, IMO if you’ve got like twenty people in a row claiming that a nail polish set, for example, arrived dried out and nigh unusable, I personally wouldn’t even bother.

With all that said, I thought it would be fun for me to put together a semi-regular feature where I spotlight the items from the sale section that I’ve either recently purchased or am plotting to buy soon. Let’s give it a shot, shall we?

Sugar House Lane

Nails Inc. Sprinkles Special Effects Polish – $5 – Only one color (Sugar House Lane) is still in stock, but if that color scheme appeals to you, I’d personally snap this one up. I bought the pastel blue version, Pudding Lane, a few months ago, and I was really happy with how it looked – I’ll have to do swatches for it when I get my camera situation sorted. It definitely looks like some kind of sweet candy with its sprinkles and lovely finish!

The X Look

Formula X The X Look Set – $13 – I actually bought this last month and was happy to find that, despite being a Christmas 2013 set, the polishes are still very fresh and easy to use. I’ve actually got Atom & Eve from this set on my toes right now! The set gives you mini sizes of four Formula X polishes: Atom & Eve, Mr. Positivity, Dark Matter, and Bond, Ionic Bond as well as two sets of nail accent appliqués. If you’re interested in at least two of the colors, at this price I’d say go for it!

Boscia Summer Skin Duo

Boscia Summer Skin Duo – $38 – I have this in my basket at the moment, actually! I’ve been all about trying new SPF products and BB creams this summer, and I’ve generally been quite pleased with Boscia whenever I’ve tried their products. This set was originally $78, which to me was wayyy overpriced for a sunscreen and BB cream duo, but at it’s current price point it becomes far more appealing. You get a 1.7 fl oz Daily Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++ (supposedly with anti-aging ingredients as well) and a 1.75 fl oz B.B. Cream Bronze Broad Spectrum SPF 27 PA++ (lowish SPF for my taste, but it supposedly gives you a sun-kissed look with some coverage/blurring of imperfections). Assuming a good promo code comes along in time, I plan on grabbing this set!

Too Faced Candy Bar

Too Faced Candy Bar Pop-Out Makeup Palette & Phone Case – $15 – I have a huge weakness for cute palettes, especially when they focus on shades of nudes or browns. This palette definitely falls into that, but I’m putting my foot down as I already have quite a few veeeeerry similar palettes. If I had an iPhone, I’d justify it just for the cute chocolate bar phone case, but I don’t… so no candy bar for me, sadly!

Maracuja Blush & Glow

Tarte Maracuja Blush & Glow – $16 – I’ve heard a lot of good things about this product. It’s just that, similar to my palette problem, I’m a sucker for peachy blushes and thus have too many already! So while Sunlight is definitely tempting me, I’m going to resist. I think. However, it is a gorgeous product – check out the review and swatches for it that Muse did awhile back As of this writing, only Sunlight is in stock, but that can always change.

Bronze & Glow

Tarte Bronze & Glow Matte Bronzer & Cheek Tint – $16 – This is sooo tempting as it also nets rave reviews (once again, Muse did a lovely swatch and write-up of this item) but I simply don’t use bronzer enough to make buying this a good choice. I just got a VIB-size of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer and I’ve got the Holika Holika Love Fantasy Blusher in Choco en route to me from Korea at the moment (see Cominica’s review/swatches here, it’s such a cute product!), so I feel like I’m pretty stocked on bronzers for now.

Radiant Femme Set

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE
The Face: Radiant Femme Artistry Set – $39
– Another big one on my wishlist, this set features a group of products all based on the 2014 “color of the year” called radiant orchid. It happens to be a gorgeous and wearable pink, so I’m finding this year’s batch of products much more interesting than last year’s emerald offerings. You get a cute cosmetic bag, a unique chrome nail polish shade, a liquid liner, a cream blush, a matte lipstick, and a face/body luminizer. I’m just dawdling in hopes that the price goes down a bit more, honestly.

Formula X Press Pods

Formula X Press Pods – $24 – I’ve been really pleased with all the Formula X polishes and products that I’ve tried so far, so this set really appeals to me. You get 24 shades, each with just enough polish for one manicure. Sounds like a pretty fun way to try a bunch of colors IMO! Similar to the Boscia SPF set, I’m pretty much just trying to hold out for a good promo code to swoop in and snap this up.

Formula X Holograms

Formula X Hologram Polishes – $6 – Like I said above, I really dig the Formula X brand. I’ve been wanting to try the Hologram finish, and it just so happens that the only color left in stock (Voodoo, a fuschia shade) is the one I was most interested in grabbing. It’s in my bag!

So, what about you guys? See anything you plan on grabbing? Or do you already have any of the items I’ve mentioned? If you do, I’d love to hear what you think about some of my possible future purchases!I’ll probably do more posts like this once the clearance section has changed enough that I have enough new wants for another post. This way I can pretend that my window shopping is productive, right?

    Polish Review: Excelsior Nails Romanoff

    I stumbled onto pictures of this fun polish from Excelsior Nails on Tumblr, coincidentally a few days after I finally got around to watching the Avengers movie. It looked cute enough, so I decided to indulge my nerdy side and grab this. I’m so glad that I did!

    Excelsior Nails - Romanoff

    Excelsior Nails Romanoff is a megawatt sparkler inspired by Marvel Comics’ Black Widow superheroine (real name Natasha Romanoff, thus the polish’s name). If you love super sparkly polishes, you’ll be in heaven here. I seriously don’t think I’ve owned anything quite this brilliant! The base is a really nice red jelly-type, not too orangey, not too pinky, absolutely packed with sparkle and shimmer. It has matte black shards (to represent Natasha’s “Black Widow” identity/costume) and they come out quite easily – I didn’t have any issues with them sinking, they came out easily and evenly on their own.

    I had to use three coats to get the coverage and intensity that I wanted. The first coat was very light and translucent and didn’t go on super smoothly, but once I hit the second and third coats it went on very smooth and glossy and evenly. This is not a “thirsty” polish, but you probably could have guessed that. One coat of topcoat was enough.

    The polish lasted about a week on me without any chipping or shrinking (I used it with the Formula X base/topcoasts), though when it started to come off, it actually peeled more than chipped – as in the polish on my big toe came off in one complete piece while I was doing yoga. I don’t know if that has to do more with the Formula X system or Romanoff, though, since they’re both new products for me. It made removing the polish really easy, though, haha.Overall, I’m pleased! This is one of my better experiences with indie polishes and I’ll definitely be buying from Excelsior again. I loved the sparkle factor, I kept catching myself staring at my toes because it was so pretty.I also grabbed Danvers, Barton, and Frost, so I’ll try to review them soon! Once I get a camera, I’ll try to even include swatches like a real reviewer, haha. I’m hoping to treat myself to the new Kindle Fire phone for my birthday in August,  and it claims to be a good camera as well, so… here’s hoping!