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China Glaze Running in Circles Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Running in Circles Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Running in Circles Nail Lacquer

Hey, Emerald! It’s Going to Be Your Year!

China Glaze Running in Circles Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “cilantro green shimmer.” It’s a vibrant, brightened emerald green with light and dark emerald green glass flecks of shimmer/sparkle. Zoya Holly is darker. Sinful Colors HD Nails is similar in color, just sheerer and it has much finer shimmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch is a bit darker and has finer shimmer.

Heavy on the shimmer, Running in Circles had an interesting finish–there was something about the base color that almost looked jelly-like.  It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and it applied evenly without streaking or pooling along the edges.  This shade is definitely fitting for the holiday season, but it’ll also work on other occasions, because of its brightness.  Plus, it is the color of the year for 2013, so you can be on-trend before the 31st!  I’m sure by this time next year, we’ll all have half a dozen emerald green polishes and may even start looking a little green around the cuticles 🙂

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Running in Circles
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

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China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer

China Glaze It's a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer
China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer

Does This Polish Contain It’s a Trap-eze?

China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “white cream base with multi-glitter.” It has a cool-toned, milky white base with large, hexagon-shaped glitter in pink, light-medium blue, yellow, green, orange, and white, along with smaller glitter in the same colors. I don’t know of any dupes at this time, but I’d love to hear from any of you that may! The whole combination reminds me of confetti birthday cake.

I tried one coat layered over China Glaze Escaping Reality as well as two coats of the polish on its own. It had a streaky base–just as milky lipglosses tend to streak and settle into lip lines, so did the polish. Whether worn on its own or was layered, you could see a streakiness that made it look uneven. The consistency of this was incredibly thick–nearly goopy–and it was difficult to apply in even layers. Because it is so thick, each layer had quite a bit of glitter, but the glitter particles didn’t spread evenly. I think this would be best over a white base with one or two coats of glitter, and if you don’t like the feel of glitter on your nails, you’ll need a really thick top coat or two layers of your regular top coat. I wanted to love this one so much, because everyone else was raving about it but I couldn’t get past the thickness of the formula.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer It's a Trap-eze
7.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
6
Texture
8.5
Longevity
3
Application
76%
Total

Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream Review

Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream
Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream

Just Hydration — by Lancome

Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream ($45.00 for 1.70 oz.) is supposed to have 24-hour hydration with a greaseless formula and contains SPF 30. For sun protection, the active ingredients are Avobenzone 3.0% (UVA I) Octisalate 5.0% (UVB), and Octocrylene 7.0% (UVB), so the formula does not protect against the UVA II portion of the spectrum.

I tested this moisturizer out, because I was looking for something with sun protection (ideally, you’d get full coverage across both UVA and UVB ranges, but many sunscreens miss UVA II part of the UVA range) and didn’t want a juiced-up, hopped-up, anti-aging-injected moisturizer.  I just wanted something that would 1) hydrate and 2) offer sun protection.  I’ve really tried to reduce the amount of skincare products I accept for testing, particularly those that are high in price and (supposedly) high in anti-aging benefits, only because I don’t feel I can adequately test the efficacy of most anti-aging products to ever justify a three-digit price tag. Check back with me in a few years 🙂

It’s a thicker cream, but I felt like it was rather airy–so it didn’t feel too heavy in the jar, and it had great spreadability on the skin.  It took about fifteen to twenty minutes to absorb and really sink in, but after that, it didn’t feel greasy or look oily.  I wore it under makeup numerous times, and it did not interfere with the longevity of my foundation, blush, and the like.  It hydrated incredibly well; my skin never felt dry or parched in the evening, and some lighter-weight moisturizers can leave me anxious to take off my makeup and apply my night cream.

The elephant in the room is the amount of fragrance Lancome puts into their skincare range.  Bienfait Multi-Vital was tamer compared to other Lancome moisturizers I’ve tried, but it was still heavily scented with a nondescript floral perfume.  Because of the scent, amount, and that it’s not a scent I want to tolerate, I wouldn’t purchase a jar.

I only tested this product for three weeks or so, because Shaun was also using this (mostly) daily in the morning as well–much to my dismay, of course.  If I don’t give him his own moisturizer, he will steal whatever is my section of the bathroom counter!  I did ask him for feedback, and he didn’t have much, other than it has a strong scent but otherwise worked well for him.

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Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Soothe Dry, Cracked Cuticles with Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($5.99 for 0.60 oz.) is designed to help hydrate dry cuticles, brittle nails, and fingertips. It uses a combination of sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and cocoa butter to do so. It smells like lemonade–sweet, lemony, but it’s not synthetic. There’s a little tartness still left, so it’s not cloyingly sweet.

I’m one of those people who would love to use hand cream/lotion regularly, apply cuticle oil/cream nightly, and so on, but frankly, I suck at it. I always forget, and on the rare occasion I remember, half of the time, I’m too lazy.  I have hand cream by my nightstand and my desk.  I’m trying to improve those bad behaviors, because my hands really could use additional nourishment–especially as the temperatures come down.  What’s nice about this cuticle cream is how quickly it works and how effect it is even if you only use it sparingly.  I suffer from dry, dehydrated cuticles/fingertips; not so much cracked, definitely not bleeding, and I don’t have brittle nails, so those are the conditions which I tested this under.

I picked this up a few weeks during Drugstore.com’s big ol’ 40% off sale on a whim, and I’m really glad I did.  It comes in a metal tin, and inside is a solid balm.  It really is quite solid, which I thought would make it difficult to apply, but it actually encourages you to use less product (which is all you need) and minimizes any excess so you aren’t left with greasy fingertips.  Because it doesn’t immediately dry down, it’s best used at night, which is what’s recommended, and I always wake up with hydrated, soothed cuticles (and wherever else I put it).  In a pinch, it can also help moisturize dry spots as well as smooth flyaways.

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Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body

Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body
Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body

Fun to Use, Fun to Wear, But So, So Sparkly!

Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body ($88.00 for 0.61 oz.) is a loose iridescent powder that is dispersed by squeezing a black bulb. It’s really the elegant packaging that attracts the most attention, I’d say. It’s very fun to squeeze and spray the powder. I’d describe the particle size as sparkle; larger than shimmer, smaller than micro-glitter–looks very fine on, but it’s too much for just a subtle glow or highlight to the face. For a fun holiday look, one could surely use it on the face, but it’s not an everyday-kind of sparkle. I like it best in hair, decolletage, and legs. It’s a lot like Chanel Reverie but with a sheerer base and more sparkle. MAC Silver Dusk is more silvered, but it is also similar.

Trying to photograph this product was like trying to track down a mythical creature and proving it exists. I tried and tried but could not capture it actually used. But I swear to you that it twinkles and dances and sparkles in person. I have it sprayed on my right forearm as I’m writing this review, and it’s all quite lovely. The scent of Liu is very, very subtle. I’ve never smelled the original fragrance, and on me, the powder smells like warm vanilla, light florals, and something a little woody. If you wanted this as a scent, I’d look to the actual fragrance, because this is just barely scented.

It’s not a product I would go-to and wear if I knew I was going to be photographed lots and lots, particularly with flash photography, because sometimes the particles get all lit up and look like little bits of dirt.  For the average holiday party and occasion, it would be a luxurious accessory.  I’d opt for one of Guerlain’s Meteorites or luminizing powders over this for a more practical product at this price point, but Liu will add a fine veil of sparkling gold anywhere you spray it.  Sparkle lovers who long for luxe packaging may see this as a match made in heaven. It’s one of those products you either love completely and wait for every holiday season, or one of those, “So what?” products you know you’ll never use.

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “dusty mauve.” It’s a gray-tinged mauve with a hint of plumminess and pale mauve shimmer. What it does on my lips is darken the natural lip color, give it a cool-toned cast, and add a healthy dosage of pale mauve shimmer. Chanel Pleasing is warmer, less plum. Urban Decay Perversion is a bit darker.

This shade yielded semi-sheer color coverage, but it distinctly added/altered my natural lip color, and there was a lot of visible shimmer. The shimmer spread evenly across the lips, and it didn’t settle into lip lines. It has a very thin texture with a lightly tacky feel. The formula is vanilla-scented and comes with a doe-foot applicator. Black Pearl wore for three and a half hours on me, and it was neither drying nor hydrating.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss Black Pearl
Black Pearl

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