Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poshinality: Dreamer

Y'all know how much I love a good glitter polish! Up for swatching/review today I've got "Dreamer" from Poshinality.

POSHINALITY Nail Colour is a style & customer-focused brand that celebrates individuality by creating a colour palette based on various styles of fashion and personality types.

From Tomboys To Girly Girls To Plain Janes, POSHINALITY's growing family of shades encourages the expression of what you are and how you feel through nail colour.
Poshinality polishes are 5-free, vegan, and not tested on animals. They also donate a portion of their revenue to various social causes and campaigns. You can learn more on their website's About page by clicking here.

Poshinality is 5-free, vegan & not tested on animals. They also donate a portion of their revenue to various social causes & campaigns. Pretty polish + good deeds = total win! You can learn more on their site's About page by clicking here.

All photos were taken indoors in natural, indirect light without flash.

Pictured here at 3 thin coats, no topcoat

Dreamer is described as a "chunky copper glitter". It is a clear base packed with bright coppery pink and gold micro glitter as well as larger pieces of copper hex glitter. As you will see in these pictures, depending on the light it can look softer sometimes. The gold micro glitter adds depth and dimension to the color.

Pictured here at 3 thin coats, with topcoat
 The formula is really nice; it is a touch on the thin side but is not difficult to work with. The micro glitter dispenses evenly on the nail while the larger hex glitters are more sparse and sometimes it takes a little effort to make sure you've got some of those pieces on each nail - common and expected for this type of glitter polish. One coat is sheer enough it's ideal for layering, while it builds up to a more opaque, full-coverage look with about 3 coats.

One thing you've got to know about this polish: it dries super fast! Not so fast that it starts to dry on the brush and nail during application (I've had polishes dry that quickly before, and it's too fast & makes application difficult) but by the time I was done applying the first coat to all ten nails, the nails on the hand I'd done first were dry and good to go for the next coat!

It also dries with a matte finish. With the glitter this means it ends up having a really nice "sand" texture (or "sugar", or any of the other various names this kind of finish goes by) but it still feels smooth on the nail. The texture is noticeable if you touch your nails, of course, but it is not really rough or bumpy. This is important to me because I really dislike anything rough on my nails. I am on the fence about textured polishes but this is one I definitely really like a lot! And of course, it looks every bit as fabulous with top coat!

Pictured here at 1 coat layered over black
I think this one looks particularly lovely when layered over black. I only did one nail to show this, because I didn't have time to do all of them when I took pictures. But I loved how it looked so much, and I had to share a picture to provide a visual rather than just telling you it looks great over black but leaving it up to your imagination to picture it. =)

Pictured here at 1 coat layered over black
The polish was also easy to remove when the time came. (Note my nail polish removal method here.) Some of the hex glitters were a little stubborn but removal was about as effortless as application.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this polish!

Poshinality Nail Colour comes in 0.43 fl. oz. bottles, and are a very reasonable $9.50 each. They have some very lovely colors in their collection, and if my financial situation ever improves I have every intention of getting several more shades from them! ("Mysterious" looks like a must-have color to me, don't you think?)

You can check out the full line of Poshinality colors on their web site at www.poshinality.com, and you can also check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/poshinality or Twitter at twitter.com/poshinality. (Other social media links are on their web site, as well.)

The product(s) featured in this post were sent to me for review. All opinions are my own based on my experience using the product(s).

Monday, April 7, 2014

Beauty Sleep 101

Today I am honored to be writing this post at the request of the folks at HSN. Carly Woods recently wrote a blog post there titled 4 Overnight Beauty Products You Should Be Using. If you're interested, you can also click on over to HSN's Skin Care Products page to check out all of the products they have available.

We all know it's important to get plenty of sleep at night. We feel better when we've gotten a good night's sleep, and we're able to get through the day easier too.

For many of us, we have a typical "bed time routine" we follow. These routines are good, and can help us unwind at the end of the day.

When it comes to beauty/skin care products that I use as part of my own nightly routine, my main goal is to moisturize!

Long-time readers are probably already aware I am a huge fan of body lotions and use a wide variety of lotions from numerous brands. Whatever suits my fancy at the time is what I use. I adore Bath & Body Works lotions, as they come in so many fragrances and are lightweight and non-greasy. Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil Lotion is another of my favorites. It smells amazing (I always get compliments when I use it!) and is also lightweight and non-greasy. It's got mica in it, so it also leaves your skin with a soft shimmery glow. Some other favorite body lotions include Avon Skin So Soft, Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing lotion, and St. Ives Replenishing Mineral Therapy Body Lotion. There are lots of other body lotions I love too, but if I were to sit here and list each and every one, we'd be here all day.

Oils are also great for moisturizing. A couple of my favorites are Organix Moroccan Dry Body Oil and Alpha Kerri Shower & Bath Moisture Rich Oil. I also like to use pure argan oil and grapeseed oil - because these are pure oils and not oil blends like the bath/body oils you can get, they are ideal for use on the face. I know it might sound weird to use oil to moisturize but it does work. (Oil is also a great cleanser, as crazy as that sounds! I'll be doing a post in the future about this, so if you're not familiar be sure to check back soon for that!)  Whatever oil you like to use to moisturize, the key is using small amounts on damp skin. Applying oils to dry skin tends to not work as well in my experience; after a shower your pores are open thus allowing your moisturizers to soak in better than if you were to apply to dry skin. Lotions work better applied to damp skin as well, but are of course fine (and more suited than oils) to be applied to dry skin. To recap: lotion can be applied to both damp and dry skin, but stick to applying oils to damp skin only.

I also make sure I always apply some lip balm before bed. Kind of like lotions, I have loads of favorites. Some of them are Vaseline Lip Therapy, Carmex, Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment, and ChapStick Hydration Lock.

I have not added any eye creams or serums to my routine yet, though I know I ought to. I have been "window shopping" and reading reviews of a few things that might make their way into my routine but for now these are things that are not a part of my stash of products.

To take things away from the beauty product realm a bit, there are some other things that can help you get a good night's sleep.

Stay hydrated: Above I talked about moisturizing your skin from the outside with lotions and oils. It's very important that you keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water each day as well. If you find it's difficult for you to get the recommended 64 ounces a day, try keeping a large water bottle on hand throughout the day and make it a point to take a sip every so often. (32 ounce bottles are great, and you know if you drink two full bottles during the day you've met the 64 ounce recommendation.)

Exercise regularly: Having a regular exercise routine is important for many reasons, one of which is that regular exercise can help you sleep better at night. I'm no medical professional so make sure you talk to your doctor about fitness routines for you to make sure you're safe with your chosen workout plan.

Have a cup of tea. In the evenings about an hour or so before bed, a cup of hot, soothing tea can help you unwind after a long day. The simple act of making and drinking tea can be cathartic. By choosing a relaxing tea like chamomile or any number of tea blends designed to help aid in relaxation (like Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea, one of my own favorites!) your nightly cup of tea can also help you fall asleep once you slip under the covers.

You can also try a pillow mist with calming fragrances like Lavender & Chamomile Pillow Mist  from Bath & Body Works. Just lightly mist your bedding a couple of minutes* before bed, and the fragrance will help to calm and relax you so you can fall asleep more easily. Some of the top fragrances for sleep/relaxation to look for include lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, vanilla, and jasmine.

* - Depending on your sensitivity to fragrances this may not be a good solution for you, or you may want to spritz your bedding earlier in the evening prior to bed time.

White noise can be your best friend. Some people find it difficult to fall asleep if it's too quiet, and they need something making a small bit of noise so they can sleep. You can try buying a white noise machine if you can find a model that has sounds you find soothing, or look for a CD with soft music/sounds of nature to help lull you to sleep at night. My mom always sleeps with a fan on, and can't sleep without it. She even takes a small tabletop fan with her when she travels. She doesn't need the fan for the air flow it provides - it's simply for the noise.

What are some of your favorite/must-have products for your night time routine? Do you have any tips, tricks, or products that help you sleep at night?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Remington Keratin Therapy Hair Dryer

I got this hair dryer at the end of February, and have been using it pretty regularly since then. (3-4 times a week, for me.) I wanted to make sure I gave it some time and a fair amount of use before I reviewed it, so I'd have a better feel for it.

The first thing I want to talk about is the keratin aspect. This dryer has a ring inside the nozzle that (claims to be) infused with keratin. They say this will last the lifetime of the dryer (and just how long is that supposed to be? Anyone?) and it is supposed to be "activated" when you turn the dryer on. They claim that this will help give you sleek, strong hair and help protect your hair during styling. Not too sure how I feel about all those claims, honestly. I was never good with science so maybe I'm just dense but I don't see how it would work. But, I need to note right now that this particular feature was NOT a key selling point for me.

At this time, I can't say I have noticed a difference in my hair as far as any possible benefits of this keratin infused ring in the dryer. But I also need to tell you that I currently don't have any mirrors other than the couple that are in a couple of my cosmetics products. So, I haven't exactly been able to really give my hair a good look to determine any possible difference in it now as compared to before I started using this dryer. Being in the midst of major home remodeling, we don't even have all our walls and ceilings replaces yet let alone have a mirror up in the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the rooms still lacking in walls and ceiling, so there is nowhere to hang a mirror. Yes, my hair is long enough I can see the ends effortlessly over my shoulders, but that's not quite giving the full effect you'd get looking into a (big) mirror to get the full picture. If I'm going strictly by how my hair feels and not considering how it looks; I honestly can't say it feels any softer/smoother than before. It's also possible it takes more extended use than a couple of months to notice any benefits from it, as often things like this do take time to become noticeable. I'm not holding my breath on that one though. As of right now, any difference it may be making is slight enough that I haven't really been able to tell.

But again, this was not really a feature that was going to make or break this dryer for me personally; I chose this model for other reasons. If you are looking at this dryer specifically for the keratin aspect though, I'm going to have to say I don't think it really makes much of a difference.

Now. On to the things that did make me choose this dryer! Besides the gorgeous, soft golden champagne color (seriously, how beautiful is the color?!) I chose this model because I like the general style. Yeah yeah, it's a hair dryer, they tend to be a lot of the same and few differences. But I like the overall look; it looks sleek and fancy. To me anyway. It is lightweight. I've got the upper body strength of cooked spaghetti so if I can handle this dryer with no problems I am sure anybody can! It fits comfortably in my hands, and the controls are spaced & placed well so I don't have any issues with them.

It has a sturdy hanging loop at the base, which comes in handy. Well... if you have a place to hang it. Which I don't. But when I do, that's a key feature in a dryer for me!

The back filter is hinged so it's easy to pop open and clean.

My favorite thing though is probably the controls. I LOVE the "toggle" style controls! So super easy to use! I read in one review of this dryer that the controls are "too easy" to change and that person had issues with accidentally changing the settings/turning the dryer off when in use. I've not had any trouble with them at all. They do switch easily but not so easily that the slightest little touch will cause them to change. Unless you've got a death grip on the dryer when using it, I really don't see this being a problem.

The dryer has two speed settings, three heat settings, and a cool shot button. The cool shot button is not a toggle style button like the speed and heat settings, you press and hold it when you want to use the cool shot. I'd actually prefer a toggle style, or something that you can press and release but maintain the cool shot then press again to resume using heat. But I can work with it as is.

The dryer comes with a concentrator attachment, which I forgot to take pictures of. It's easy to use and just pops on and off of the nozzle. One bad thing I need to mention here is that on the Remington site they say that you can get a free diffuser attachment as well by redeeming a coupon code that comes included in the box. When I attempted to redeem the coupon, it did reduce the price of the diffuser, but did not make it free. I contacted Remington via the contact form on their web site about this and asked if the offer was still valid, and if it is not then they should update their web site to reflect this. I don't absolutely need the diffuser but would like to have it. Granted it's a cheap attachment to buy separately, however I was under the impression that I'd be able to get it for free. I wrote to them about this on February 26th. To date, I have not received a response to my query. I've not felt it is an important enough matter to write to them again about it, but I do have to say I'm a bit disappointed by this. I've used numerous Remington products over the years and have always been very happy with them. I expected more of their customer service.

And now the biggest thing (sorry, I know I took a while to get to this point but I wanted to cover all the bases!) - how well does it do the intended job of drying hair? I have one word for you:


I've had dryers in the past that despite the 1875 watts (which is what this dryer has) still took close to an hour to dry my hair and even then it was often still pretty damp and I only stopped drying because my arms were tired and I was fed up with the process. Not fun to have to stand around that long drying your hair! This dryer, however, does the job in 10-15 minutes! Note this is starting with towel dried hair, not dripping wet hair. I start with the dryer on high speed and high heat for several minutes to get my hair dry enough it's still just slightly damp, then reduce the heat to medium for a couple minutes. Once it's almost totally dry I switch to low speed for a bit, then also reduce the heat to low. I finish it off with a minute or two with the cool shot. Depending on how wet my hair was when I started, I'm done with this whole process in 10-15 minutes and have totally dry hair! While it's powerful enough to to the job in a speedy manner, it does not blow my hair around like crazy causing tangles like some dryers can. I can't really say anything about how loud/quiet it is. It's very quiet on low speed, and of course louder on high speed. Pretty average there, I think, but that's as can be expected. I mean, it's basically a compact, high powered heater/fan - it's going to be loud. That's what makes it able to do it's job in a timely manner. So I have no complaints there. Reminder: my hair is thick, coarse, and currently just a couple inches shy of hip length. If you have significantly shorter (or longer) hair you may need more or less time to dry your hair. Note that this is also the time just to dry my hair, not to do any kind of styling while drying.

Overall, I'm very pleased with it. It does what I need it to do, and it does it well. I would definitely recommend it if you need a good, affordable drier. I don't recommend you go into it with any expectations of the keratin bit - but if you just like the general style and want a good hair dryer, this is a great option. Don't count on that "free" diffuser if you need it - you'll have to pay at least a little for it. Unless maybe you can wrangle a response out of Remington about it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SensatioNail: Little Gold Dress

Up for swatching today is SensatioNail's Little Gold Dress.

All photos were taken indoors in indirect natural light without flash.

Please pardon the little nub that is my index nail; it broke while I was washing dishes last night. Figures. You always break a nail right before you swatch something, right? It's like an un-written rule of the beauty blogging world. I've been intentionally keeping my nails shorter lately anyway to try to avoid this very thing from happening but it seems that the universe is not going to cooperate with me on that front. But I digress...

Little Gold Dress is a sheer shade. I've pictured it here at two coats. The base color is a frosty golden champagne, and it's packed with golden shimmer. To my eye it has a definite earthy, bronzed note to it. I wasn't sure I was going to like it when I first opened up the bottle, and honestly I'm still a little undecided about it.

I do find myself getting more fond of it the longer I have it on. I definitely like it more than the bright, yellow-golds that are out there. I feel like this one is much more wearable. I think it looks pretty good with my skin tone but as I'm sitting here looking at my nails while I type I can't help but think this one would probably look amazing on those of you with darker complexions! ❤