Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coastal Scents London Go Palette Review

So I got my Coastal Scents order faster than I expected!  I placed an order with Coastal Scents for their new Go Palettes last Wednesday and got my order on Monday.  Shipping was super fast, but the funny thing is, I didn't even know my order was shipped.  I was waiting for their shipping confirmation email when it just showed up on my doorstep yesterday.  Is this typical of Coastal Scents?

Other than that, everything came packaged nicely.  The palette was wrapped in bubble wrap and they even included a free glitter sample.  The palette comes in a nice sturdy black plastic case, and seems pretty durable for travel, which is their intended use.
I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of quality since this is my first order with them.  Most of the colors were actually quite nice and smooth, and nicely pigmented.  I found that the matte colors were the ones that lacked pigmentation, and didn't show up well in the swatches. The third column of colors (the plum shades) were the worst when swatched, and the blues and purples showed up the best.  All the shades were pretty smooth, although some were a bit powdery when applied.  I was quite surprised the matte black shadow was so pigmented. 
 Overall I'm pretty happy with this palette.  A majority of the shadows were pigmented and smooth.  The shimmery shades were nice, but the matte ones could definitely use some work.  Definitely not a bad value for just $8.95.  Anyone tried any of the other Go Palettes?  I'm interested to see some other reviews. 

EDIT: So I wore these to work last night and I must say, you definitely need a good base with these.  I used TooFaced Shadow Insurance and MAC Soft Ocher paint pot, but there was noticeable fading by the end of the night.  I used all three purple shades which went on pigmented and smooth, but there was a lot of fallout because they were so powdery :(

Friday, September 23, 2011

NOTD: OPI Russian Navy

 I think this is the first navy blue nail polish that I've ever bought.  I had originally intended to buy Yoga-ta Get This Blue which is a little brighter, but when I saw this one in the bottle I thought it looked amazing.  It's navy blue with purple shimmer.  It looks purple to me in the bottle, but when applied it's a dark navy color.  In the light you can see the purple coming through.  The application was nice, and even without a top coat, it has a very nice glossy finish.  I really love this color!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sephora Flashy Liner Waterproof Review

I'm always looking for a good waterproof pencil eyeliner, so when I saw these on the Sephora website a while back, I went to my local Sephora to check them out for myself.  These got really good reviews online and after swatching them in store, I bought one to try out.
I have 2 colors: #13 Flashy Violet and #14 Taupe.  Both are very pigmented and go on incredibly smoothly.  They're very creamy so you do have some time to smudge them, but after they set, they last a long time.  I usually end up setting it with a powder eye shadow to prevent smudging, but even without it, it lasts even on my oily lids.  When I wear it on my lower lashline, it does smudge a bit, but that's only after about 6 or 7 hours.  Pretty good since the Almay and Revlon eyeliners I've tried smudge after 3 or 4 hours. 
I really love both these colors!  The taupe is really nice for an everyday look and isn't as harsh as black liner.  I've been wearing this almost everyday to work.  The violet is pretty bright, but worn it adds a nice pop of color to any neutral look. 
Here are swatches of both colors:
 Overall I highly recommend these eyeliners!  They're very affordable at $8 each (0.04oz), pigmented and long-wearing.  There is also a nice range of colors, so for the price and quality, I think these are awesome. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Coastal Scents Go Palette

I recently saw these new palettes from Coastal Scents on the Makeuptalk website.  I've never tried anything from Coastal Scents except some brushes, but I've always been curious about their palettes.  These Go Palettes are supposed to be compact and made for travel.  There are 7 palettes total, each with 12 shadows (mostly shimmery shades from what I can see, but some have matte colors too).  I'm a bit skeptical about the quality and pigmentation of the shadows, but I do like the variety of shades in each palette.  The palettes retail for $8.95 each, or $59.95 for all 7 together.  I'm particularly interested in the London palette.  I like the mix of neutrals and colors, and this palette includes some matte shades as well.
Has anyone tried anything from Costal Scents before?  I think I may get a couple of these palettes to try them out since they are pretty affordable.  I'll definitely post a review when I do.
EDIT: I have ordered the London palette, so expect a review soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 2011 Birchbox Review

So I finally received my much anticipated Birchbox for September a couple of days ago.  I didn't really know what to expect, but after reading some disappointing reviews online, I tried not to get my hopes up.  This box included 4 samples and a couple extra items thrown in.  I got:
Resilient Blinc Mascara
Girly Harvey Prince Prefume
Adventurous Incoco Nail Polish Applique (leopard print)
Practical Jouer Lip Enhancer
Extra Lash Card and Birchbox friendship bracelet were the two extras.

Overall, I wish the samples were a little bigger.  I know they're just samples, but I feel like you can get better sized trial products from Sephora.  I have to say, the packaging is really cute and the shipping was really fast.  I think I got my box within a couple of days of receiving my shipping confirmation email. 
I pretty much like everything I got and I'll probably give each item a try.  I've tried the Jouer Lip Enhancer and it's quite nice, but not something I would buy full-sized.  I'm excited to try the nail polish strips and the blinc mascara.  Just from the description alone, I know I'm not too crazy about the perfume, but I might give it a try anyway. 
For this being my first Birchbox, I'm not too impressed, but I wasn't disappointed either.  I think I will continue my subscription for another month and hopefully the next box will be more promising.  Does anyone else have a Birchbox subscription?  Do you think it's worth the money?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Review: Hunger Games

Ok, so I literally just finished this book a couple of hours ago, and I just have to write about it!  I had heard so many good things about this series and I have to say it does live up to the hype.  I finished this book in well under 48 hours, so I think that says a lot.
A quick plot summary: The story, which takes place in a futuristic America, revolves around an annual event known as the Hunger Games, a fight to the death basically.  If you've ever read or seen Battle Royale it's a similar concept minus the exploding collars.  There are 12 districts that America is divided into, and each year, two kids from each district are randomly chosen to participate in the Hunger Games.  The story follows the main character Katniss and her struggles playing the game. 
The plot is amazing and this book definitely draws you in from the beginning.  It's a page-turner, very fast paced and exciting, yet there is some romance at the same time.  Character development is also amazing and you grow attached to so many characters throughout the book.  It's been a while since I've been so engrossed in a book, so this was quite refreshing.  This book is a really quick and easy read!
Hunger Games is the first in a series of three books.  Catching Fire and Mocking Jay are the two following books.  I've already started Catching Fire and I hope I'll finish up the series by next week.

Twist & Pout Review

I first heard about this product from glamourista16's Youtube channel.  She did a review and giveaway and I was immediately intrigued.  So when these went on sale on Hautelook a couple months back I jumped at the chance to buy them.  Being on Hautelook, they were really cheap so I got 4 total.
Twist & Pout is a lip balm and accessory in one.  On they retail for anywhere from $9-$20 each, but I got 2 Safari Lip Presence for $16 and 2 regular clip on ones (Just Say Zen pictures above and another in Red Haute and Bloom) for $12.  They all come with clips so you can easily take them on-the-go.  Part of what attracted me to this product was the packaging, which is so cute!  I was a little skeptical about the lip balm part of it because I don't particularly like lip balms with scents.  On their website it's described as a light citrus flavor.  It also has SPF 20 which is nice too.  Overall, I'm alright with the lip balm portion but unfortunately, the packaging could definitely use some work. 
The ring that holds the two sides of the ball is actually detachable, which is good for those who might not want to use the clip, but since I keep it attached to my purse, it's a pain to open and close all the time.  When I open it, I have to hold the ring in place while I apply the lip balm.  Also, I have to make sure to open it the right way (with the Twist & Pout lettering right side up), which is hard to do if I'm in a rush.  If the ring comes out of place I find it hard to screw the cap back on.  Despite being plastic, the packaging is quite sturdy and I have not had any problems with it being on my purse 24/7.  I have yet to try the Lip Presence and I believe this one flips open instead of a screw top.  The packaging on these is much heavier than I expected, probably about twice as heavy as the regular clip-on ones.  But I think its much nicer and more classy than the ball packaging.
The product is quite nice, very smooth and creamy.  It glides on the lips very nicely and leaves a nice glossy sheen.  The scent doesn't bother me as much as I though it would.  It's a very sweet honey-citrus scent and doesn't smell too artificial.  The taste is like it smells: very sweet and I'm not particularly fond of the taste.  The formula is not waxy like Carmex so it doesn't last as long and I have to reapply it more often.
Overall, I'm happy I got to try these at a discounted price on Hautelook.  I don't know if I would pay regular price for these, maybe if they did something about the packaging.  I think these would make nice stocking stuffers around Christmas, and I do plan to give a few away as gifts.  They have a wide variety of designs and styles, and I will probably purchase these again when they go on sale.  Has anyone else tried these?  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small update!

Still can't believe it's already September!  It feels like this year is flying by....just 4 more months left!
This past month has been pretty eventful.  My birthday was on the 19th and I had a nice dinner with my parents, who I haven't seen much of lately since I moved out of the house.  I'm currently living in Nuuanu now, so a bit closer to work and town.  The place we are renting now is cheap and small, but cozy, and I'm enjoying living on my own again. 
I also made a year at work as of the 17th which has caused me to reevaluate things a bit.  Trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life had me feeling a bit lost, and (can't believe I'm saying this...) wishing I was still back in school.  I thought about going back to school this semester, but couldn't afford paying for it on my own.  There are so many places I want to go and things I want to do.  I feel like doing something spontaneous, but the practical side of me wants to just work and save money.  I've been reading a lot of RTW travel blogs lately and it's just so inspirational.  Oh well, some day soon, hopefully! 
This brought me to thinking about applying for the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program.  Among the positions available are Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) which requires proficiency in Japanese.  I really want to go back to Japan, and the pay is quite good (considering the horrendous exchange rate now), so I figured I might as well apply and see what happens.  I know many people who have applied for JET in the past but have never even gotten an interview, so wish me luck!  If anyone has any experience with the application process or has been with the JET program, any advice is appreciated!
I'll end this blog here.  Hopefully I'll be updating this more often, and posting more travel blogs from Europe (5 months late!).