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November 20, 2013

FAB FINDS: Nanacoco Nail Polish

Hello!

I was going to mention how busy I've been but I'll dedicate that to another post! Today, after class I went to the beauty supply store because I wanted to buy the toner my beautiful, sweet baby Stephanie (@StephhShadyy) recommended to me 5 weeks ago. I bought the wrong one of course (lol) but it's ok! The beauty supply store in my neighborhood has had a makeover and I enjoy it more now because I feel like they carry more things I find interesting…including today's fabulous find Nanacoco Nail Polish!

I went to look because the sign behind said something about sparkles and then I saw this:




Initially, I saw Shu Cream and thought it was the same kind of nail polish that Revlon sells that everyone was going insane over (I bought one named Whimsical) except that Nanacoco has a bigger variety. There was a pink one, a blue one (similar to the one from Revlon), the cream one, and one more but I can't remember the color. Then I saw dupes to Sephora's new line (Formula X for Sephora) and I had to grab White Witch. I might have to go back to the white one because that one is just as nice. Here's proof that they're practically identical:


See?! 




Overall, they're pretty awesome, they do take a while to dry, so have some quick-dry drops and/or a fast trying top coat on you! I've held on to this last bit of information until now because well I thought it was awesome…this nail polish was only $1.99! Yes! Awesome. The Formula X nail polishes go for $12.50, Nanacoco nail polishes are AMAZING dupes for these, just throwing that out there for you! 

On the downside, the only reason I found these were because they were in my beauty supply store and since they're not very well known I'm not sure that they're that readily available in other areas. I did some research and found this website: Nanacoco Inc where you can browse the catalog and order by phone. 

Hope that helps!

,
Elba

November 03, 2013

Formula X for Sephora Nail Polish in Monumental

Alright.

So let's get one thing out of the way...I HAVE NEVER BEEN THIS BUSY IN MY LIFE! In fact, I feel as though I don't have a life with school and work and work and school! December is right around the corner and now everything is starting to bunch up together. 

This last week the stress from trying to keep up with work and school and having a minor hiccup in my amorous life have left me sick -_-. I actually didn't go to school for a few days. I just stayed in bed and let myself try to heal, I don't feel 100 percent just yet but now is not the time to slack off. 

I went to Sephora after work yesterday to cheer myself up! I picked up two items, the Illamasqua Skin Base Lift in Light 2 and Sephora's new nail polish by Formula X in Monumental. Now I'm not sure if you all know that before Formula X, Sephora's resident nail polish were made by OPI and personally I thought they sucked. The colors were pretty but the quality of the formula lacked, they were OPI but not really OPI because they were made for Sephora. It seems that Sephora realized this and it looks like the Sephora by OPI collection is no more. I know a couple of months ago all the nail polishes were $5.00 and flying off the shelves. I thought maybe they were reformulating but no it seems that they switched manufacturer and boy what a change.

I myself have never heard of Formula X but I saw some of the nail polishes when I first walked in and thought "oh how nice," walked over to their gondola and my eyes grew bigger. I'm not a huge fan of doing my nails myself because honestly, I think I'm no good at it but now that I'm forced at work to have neat nails well...I have no choice. I do love having fresh manicures but for me it's just a hassle because I have no time for the most part. 

I was looking for a color similar to Zoya's Jacquline that my baby love Stephanie has but it's definitely not the same at all. Jacqueline is still a shade lighter and more bone colored. Monumental is very similar to Inglot's 874 nail enamel, however, 874 is a but more sheer.


After applying, Monumental, I saw that just one coat had pretty good coverage. Two coats and you've got a beautiful even color. The formula is a little on the thick side but it was still manageable for me even though I'm a nail polish klutz. I topped it off with Julep's Freedom Polymer Top Coat, which I received as a 100 point perk.

Two days later here's the verdict:

There's some chipping. Not a lot, just very little around the edges. I'm not exactly sure if this is because of the top coat that I used or if it's the nail polish itself. One thing I do have to mention is that I did deal with turpenoid (because I was painting) and boxes (because I had to bring stock into my store) over the last two days. That could also explain the chipping. However, it's not an embarrassing amount of chipping, so I can still wear my nail polish for maybe another day. Something else I'd like to mention is that the this Julep top coat really makes my nails shiny, even after two days and that's pretty impressive to me. 


COST (3/5): This particular range (New Neutrals) retails at $10.50. I suppose this is expensive considering that OPI sells at $9.00 and Essie at $8.00.

LONGEVITY: (2/5) 2 DAYS This for me is a deal breaker. I want my manicure to last at least five days. Then again, there were some factors involved that could've caused chipping. 

COLOR (4/5): This is a very lovely shade. Easy to pull off and flattering on several skin tones. I gave it a 4 because I already own something like this.

FORMULA (4/5): A bit on the thick side but mostly easy to work with and one coat was not streaky as colors like these tend to be. 

That is a 65% out of 100%...so still passing! Ha! 

Hope you guys found this helpful! 

,
Elba

September 28, 2013

Sigma Creme de Couture Palette

Hi!

Here's a little review/first impressions post of Sigma's new Creme de Couture Palette. I had been getting e-mails from Sigma about this palette for a while and I had decided not to buy it because I figured I already had colors similar to the ones in this palette. 

Enter Xsparkage. 

I'm sure you all know Leesha from Xsparkage but if you don't, she's a YouTube beauty phenom. She does tons and tons of beauty tutorials, product reviews, and I think you get the picture. Well, she posted a review on her thoughts on this palette and she totally and completely changed my mind! Ha! So I had to buy it and I'm glad that I did. 






In all honesty, I do have some of these colors. Like the brown, maybe even the orange, and the peaches but I certainly do not have those blues and lilacs. Leesha described these as "pastel neons" and I agree with this description. They are really bold, pigmented, pastel colors. 

They're all matte and surprisingly enough for a matte texture these shadows are very easy to blend into one another. I haven't swatched them without a base but when I applied them, I used my NYX milk eyeshadow pencil and they were really bright. Here's the look I did: 



I have not used it after that but so far in impressed. The palette is $32.00 but I did get a 10% off with a code that I can't quite remember at the moment (but you can totally get some percentage off codes from YouTubers and on retailmenot.com) so, it came out to roughly about $32.00 for me. I think it's definitely worth it if you don't have similar colors to these especially if you're a lady who sometimes enjoys her neutrals but also loves pops of color. 
,
Elba 

What I've Been Up To

Hello little love bugs! 

I imagine you're all doing well! At least I hope you are! As you can see, I've been quite the busy bee! I've been progressing in school and work has been slowly crushing my soul. However, I keep going! I've been learning a great deal about myself and a great deal about others. Life lessons! Anywho, here are some things I've been working on at school: 

This is my first completed oil painting.

A logo for myself that I'm working on that is also crushing my soul and killing me softly. 

My second oil painting, not finished!

My hybrid animal. 

People think that studying art is easy. It's really not. It's time consuming and frustrating but very fulfilling! I'm happy with my progress so far, the only thing I really want to knock out of the ballpark is my logo. Talk to you all soon! 

,
Elba 
xoxo

September 13, 2013

Make Up for Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick and Em Cosmetics

Hello!!!!

Oh my goodness! It's almost mid September! I'm about two weeks into school and ALREADY I've been too busy to update :( BOO! I know! However, it is not due to lack of inspiration! I had a couple of items I wanted to "review." I say "review" because I haven't quite used these items a lot but I've already formed some opinions. The thing about me is that I will absolutely HATE a product and use it again and then love it. I'm a very strange girl, what can I say?

First up, is the Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in Mat. 4. I LOVE this color. LOOOOOOVE it. I think it's a little pumpkin but not quite so orange. It has a tinge of pink to it. I think it's perfect for Fall and also perfect for every day wear, like if you're going to the supermarket or something. I was actually wearing it in my modeling post. I dabbed it on so that it wouldn't look so heavy although I do love wearing it opaque. 

It has a matte texture and I have got to say, for a matte lipstick it is AMAZING. What I mean is, that the texture although matte is not drying at all. I was very surprised. I usually expect that dry-my-lips-need-to-be-quenched feeling from matte lipsticks 3-4 hours into wearing it but surprisingly enough, I didn't feel that way at all...AT ALL! It's matte so, as expected, the longevity is good though that's not really an issue for me. It retails at $20.00 at Sephora. 



Next up, I have Em Cosmetics.

Hm...what can I say? Alright, I was extremely excited about these products because, hello, Michelle Phan, Makeup Guru extraordinaire is backing this brand. Em Cosmetics just recently launched and offers Life Palettes (palettes tailored to specific events in your life) and they have been offering a few deals. One of these deals, which is the one I grabbed at, was the get one lipstick and one liner and get a free deluxe palette for under $30.00. I did my research and got the Creamy Color Classic Lipstick in Kiss Me! and Waterliner in Black Night and I received a deluxe Life Palette in Look 1 (Warm Fuzzies) of the Love Life Palette.


You don't actually get everything in the look, which, I was a little sad about but it's totally okay because you get three eyeshadow and one of the lip glosses.




I really like the eyeshadow. It's smooth and buttery, they're not extremely pigmented but they're not rip-offs either. I found that the shadows with pearl (satin) finishes were more pigmented than the shades with a sparkle and a slight pearl/satin finish. In this case, Puppies & Kittens and Teal Rain were more pigmented than Springtime. My favorite of the three was Puppies and Kittens, you can wear it alone and it works well by itself. Someone mentioned to me to expect fallout with these eyeshadow but I expect fallout from any eyeshadow so, if you don't like fallout, buy shadow shields or don't pack so much eyeshadow onto your brush or do your eyes first. I also find that pearl/satin eyeshadows tend to have more fallout than matte and semi-matte eyeshadows. 


This here, is Melon. I love Melon. I think Melon is beautiful. It's sheer but still adds a beautiful hue of pink over the lips. It's also very moisturizing and not sticky at all. It does have some sparkle but it's not overwhelming at all and you can't feel the glitter/shimmer on your lips. 


This is the product that I was most surprised about. I didn't love it (this might be a different case because as I mentioned before I change my mind frequently) but let me tell you why. Below, is Kiss Me! when it arrived.


This is the Kiss Me! I expected :(
Look, I know buying makeup on the internet is a gamble because you can't see the shades in person but I think that the difference between the swatch online and the actual lipstick is quite drastic. I have a red lipstick not an orange lipstick and yes, orange and red are in the same family but I think they're different. Am I crazy? Do you guys think it's the same color? I was so looking forward to the swatched shade. Oh well! 

The lipstick is moisturizing, it doesn't have a distinct smell, which is okay I guess, I don't mind scents. Since it is creamy, I didn't expect for it to be very long lasting, again, this isn't an issue for me because I am totally for reapplying lipstick but I didn't really like how it wore down. I guess it's because I wanted an orange/coral lipstick and it's red and red doesn't really wear down nicely on me. This lipstick retails at $16.50.


Last but not least I present Waterliner in Black Night. I wasn't disappointed by it but I wasn't necessarily impressed either. For the most part, it did stay on my waterline (which is its purpose) pretty well. I had another comment that the liner flakes off after 6 hours. I'm not sure whether it was this liner or not but I think 6 hours of wear from a liner is pretty decent if you ask me. However, I didn't wear it on my eyelid, I wore it on my waterline and it stayed on for about 6 hours before I had to reapply and even then I still had some left. It isn't as black as I wanted it to be but I don't mind because sometimes I like going for a softer look. It retails at $20.00 which is expensive for a decent eyeliner. 

That's all for now! Hope you guys found this helpful! Until next time my sweet little dragon hearts!

,
Elba

September 06, 2013

That Time I Turned Into A Model

You guys ever do your friend a favor and it ends up being super awesome? No? Guess you guys haven't been as lucky! Haha!

Recently, one of my BFFAEs asked me to model some clothes for her. I didn't even hesitate when she asked, I was all gung ho for it! It was really funny at first but I think that after a while we all really enjoyed it and I believe, you know, that some of us, may have careers in fashion and styling. I think we all found our calling on Wednesday night!

Since, New York Fashion Week is in full swing (I actually worked a show today!), I thought it would be the appropriate time for me to show you guys my debut as a model!





Now, I'm only joking but I actually had a lot of fun doing this and if I were tall enough (I'm 5 feet tall or 152.4 cm) and thin enough, I would totally consider being a model, it appeals to the inner narcissist in me. 

Clearly, I'm loving myself as Kanye loves himself! This kind of self-love is healthy here and there, I totally recommend it and I hope I see pictures like this from of all you guys! 

,
Elba
xoxo

August 28, 2013

Good Luck!

The first day of class has come and gone and I'm already dreading all the work I have to do that hasn't even been assigned to me yet! I'm happy though! I know this last semester at BCC is going to be intense but well worth it.

My goal for myself, as it has been every semester, is to get all As. Ambitious? Yes but my own expectations are highly outrageous and I know that with a lot of dedication, I can do it. 

Last semester, as I have mentioned before, was intense for me as well and I got one B+ :( It's okay though! That was my lenient semester!! 

I just want to wish all of you who began this semester good luck on all your classes! Take a water bottle to class and stay hydrated, get your work done, allow yourself at least one hour of fun a day, and enjoy it while you can! I'm jealous of all of you that get to experience this in your early twenties! 

,
Elba

August 27, 2013

Beauty News: Melt Cosmetics Introduces D.G.A.F.


If you're a fan of Lora Arellano, better known as @loreleicakes on Instagram, and Dana Bomar (@danabomar), you'll be delighted to know that their matte lipstick line, Melt Cosmetics, is expanding with this sultry navy blue color!

I'm sure some of you will find D.G.A.F. (the name of this shade of blue) unwearable but it's actually not that difficult to pull off. You can pair it with a cat eye or even a brown smoky eye for a sultry evening look.

I'm definitely into this! I also want their Summer lipstick to add to my small Melt collection! 

What do you guys think?

,
Elba

August 26, 2013

Getting Caught Up in Numbers: Blogger Friends/Followers

Be honest, how often do you glance at your GFC count or your Instagram count or Twitter count and wish that the number increased? I'm not going to lie, I do.

There seems to be this idea perpetuated throughout the internet and social media networks that the more followers you get, the more successful you are. In a way it is. This means more people are reading your words or looking at your pictures. I started my blog 3 years ago and I have yet to break 100 on my GFC count and that's okay. I remember first starting out and thinking "how do these new bloggers get all these followers?" I thought that I was being antisocial and not reaching out enough to other bloggers.

Often, I see linkups. These give you the opportunity to linkup your blog with other bloggers in order for them an others to see your blogs. Initially, I loved this idea! I loved the idea of being able to go read new content and make new friends! You go and abide by some rules, like following all the hosts and co-hosts of these linkups and leaving them comments so that they can follow you back. At some point, I realized that some of these people who were hosting and putting these rules weren't actually following me back or had not even bothered to leave me a comment. I'm not telling you that I'm desperate for followers but I go and I follow these people hoping that they'd take the moment to look through my content just as I did for them.

I take a lot of pride in what I post here. I don't just post filler posts on here. I think about what I want to write, I think about the pictures I want to post, I think about my blog layout and how people will respond to it. I want people to come on here and enjoy what I'm doing because I enjoy doing it for you and me. I enjoy linkups because I get to go and see new blogs and if I were to host one ever, I wouldn't have to make one of the "rules" to follow me. You're absolutely entitled to not like any of my posts, as I am entitled not to like any of yours. I actually do go and read people's posts and I let them know that I found them through a linkup, if they want to go ahead and follow me back because they enjoy what I wrote...well then awesome!

Another thing that perplexes me are giveaways. I think giveaways should be for those that are loyal to you, not for some random person that makes a giveaway account to score some free stuff. That's not fair at all and another thing that ticks me off is when giveaways are used as a tactic to acquire new followers...that's just as bad as buying followers. Yes, you can have giveaways, it's awesome to reward your readers/followers but don't use them just to get followers because chances are most people who enter your giveaways will unfollow you once the giveaways are done which, sucks but is the norm.

What do you guys think?

,
Elba

August 23, 2013

SwatchFest: Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Palette

Hello!

I have some fun stuff for you guys today! First of all, I just want to point out how FAST this palette got to me! I ordered it on Saturday and it got here yesterday. That was quite quick!

I have been waiting for this palette since it was first advertised, I believe many months ago, and now it's finally mine (insert evil cackle here)!!!

This is Sugarpill's Cold Chemistry palette. It is a collaboration with Amelia Arsenic, the designer of A is for Arsenic.

Isn't she lovely? Cold Chemistry retails at $34.00.

Initially, I believed the palette to be thinner, but it's a little wider than I expected it to be. I thought the shadows were smaller than all the other Sugarpill pressed shadows but I was pleasantly incorrect. The size of the eyeshadow pans are the same size of the regular pressed eyeshadows. You don't have to buy the palette if you don't want to, you can also buy the shades individually for $12.00 each.


The Beauties!



[[NOTE]]: This is the only shadow from this collection that is NOT vegan.


Swatched! (Flash)

Sugarpill is know for their intense and bright eyeshadows. For the most part, all the other shadows are matte (I believe the only exception is @#$%! and that shadow is matte red with sparkle, if I'm not mistaken). These particular four shadows have a pearl sheen. I personally love a pearl sheen, I think they're easier to blend but Sugarpill shadows are amazing anyway so I'm not surprised. These swatched like butter! They were so smooth and easy to apply and amazingly pigmented. I am not disappoint! 

I feel that for the not totally adventurous this is a good set of shadows to dive into with Sugarpill. I absolutely believe that these colors aren't too out there and can be worn to work. However, if brown and shades of beige are your everyday selection than these might be too intense for you. I don't know but apparently purples and greens are everyday colors for me haha! 

I can't wait to try these on my eyeballs! <3

You've done it again Sugarpill! Now, I can't wait for Sparkle Baby!

,
Elba

August 22, 2013

3 New Skincare Products I Love!

3 New Skincare Products I love!
Hey!

I just wanted to share some new skincare products I LOVE! I've heard about Skyn Iceland before, while I was working at Sephora but the line got pulled long before I was able to try it. I was recently reintroduced to the line by my coworker, Kat. She actually has several of the products and she brought it in one time when we both opened so that I could experience the amazingness...I was in love by the time I put on the moisturizer.

The reason I like Skyn Iceland so much is because it's for stressed skin and I'm stressed ALL the time. It looks like really soon I'm going to be even more stressed out so, I think I'm going to splurge and treat myself to the moisturizer.

The first of these products is the Glacial Face Wash with White Willow Bark. This is great for me and for anyone who has acne or even the occasional blemish because White Willow Bark has salicylic acid which is a known fighter of acne! *kicks acne* There are lots more benefits to this cleanser, for example, the Icelandic kelp helps calm irritation and cylindrical seed oil helps fight free radicals, basically that means that the oil helps your skin not produce damaged cells.

The second of these products is basically the Glacial Face Wash in wipes and have cucumber extract in them, they're called Glacial Cleansing Cloths. I love these wipes because they really remove every ounce of makeup, they smell heavenly, and best of all YOU DON'T HAVE TO RINSE AFTER YOU USE IT!!! Listen, there are days when I just can't bear the thought of washing the makeup off my face and these wipes are the solution to those nights. All my lazy dreams have come true!
The final of these three products is the Antidote Cooling Daily Lotion with Icelandic Kelp and White Willow Bark. Along with the benefits mentioned above from the Glacial Face Wash, this moisturizer has a mint extract that leaves the skin feeling cool and fresh, this helps microcirculation to minimize redness. I just love how it feels. I need this moisturizer in my life.
Another added bonus is that the ingredients are from Iceland and it makes me feel closer to Björk and her country! I'm a huuuuge fan of Björk! Haha!
I also wanted to share that I've started using Polyvore and that's how I made the collage up top! If you guys want to follow me here's the link: CLICK ME! Also, I totally recommend using this site for making images like the one I made above to add some pizazz to your blogs or sites! ^_^
,
Elba

August 16, 2013

Beauty News!

I haven't written a review or posted a look in a while but here's some beauty news!

The Life Palette
I don't know if you all follow Michelle Phan, but she's just about the biggest YouTube Beauty "Guru." Today she launched her own makeup line, Em Cosmetics, and no I haven't bought anything yet but I might. I did go and look at some stuff. So far it looks cute. I thought it was customizable, the way that Inglot is customizable but it's actually not. You can buy Life Palettes, which are palettes with four different looks for a certain occasion or life situation (for example, there is a Beach Life Palette and a Career Life Palette) and you can pop out the lip colors, eye colors, and blush colors into a smaller palette to carry around with you. You can also just buy eyeshadow palettes or lip color palettes.

Em Cosmetics also carries CC creams, a powder foundation, highlighters, a concealer palette (which I am very interested in), lipsticks, lip gloss, lip balm, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and a contour and highlighting pencil. I've also watched some of the videos that are posted to show how to wear the makeup and so far I've noticed that the liquid liners that Michelle uses aren't available. I'm not sure if they will be released later on but I'll keep a lookout since I'm obsessed with gel and liquid liners.

The Great Cover Up Concealer 


 The Shade Play Concealer Palette (won't be released until October)
Onto other Beauty News, Sephora has just announced a new level of membership with their Beauty Insider reward program: VIB ROUGE. If you spend $1,000 in a calendar year, you can become a VIB Rouge, this is a step above a VIB. 



I think my favorite perk for VIB Rouge is definitely FREE SHIPPING. That's amazing. That's it for Beauty News!

,
Elba


August 14, 2013

Dabbling in Photography

As I mentioned to you in my previous post, I'm just about to enter my last semester at BCC for my Associates in Digital Arts! Last semester was when I went full throttle on art classes. I was only taking art! I wanted to share some of the photography I did for my class. You can totally tell how much I learned by the end of the class! So here's some of my work! ^_^

This was the first assignment! Very bleh.

This assignment had to do with value and contrast. This is probably the one I really don't like.

This one was about textures. This one is one of my favorites.

Perspective.

Shapes.

Toys and Color. I love this one! There's also some rule of thirds going on here.

Lines. Also one of my favorites.

A self-portrait. It was totally awkward shooting myself in front of my classmates. I'm so used to taking pictures of myself by myself, which, is why I look like a total derp!

A portrait of someone else. This is my nephew Matthew.

This was an assignment on emphasis.

I love this picture. This one had to do with rhythm and repetition.

These final ones were our final project. We had to shoot around campus. I think I took pictures for about a week and it wasn't until the last two days that I actually got anything good. I also felt weird shooting people because let's face it we're all very particular about being photographed so, I just shot things I thought were pretty.

I love this one.



I love this one too!

I shot inside the new library in school. I am so absolutely in love with it.



That's all! 

I haven't really been taking any pictures lately although I think I should. I love taking pictures. I usually take them of myself and those are fun because I'm so absolutely obsessed with myself (haha) but I also like shooting different things. There's something fantastical about shooting ordinary things and making them look not so ordinary. Hope you enjoyed!

,
Elba
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