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Zoya Cosmic Pop Collection

Hey guys! I hope you’re all having a good week so far. The weekend’s basically here! I made a post a few days ago on the Zoya Cosmic Pop Collection swatches and today’s post is supplemental to that. I didn’t include these shots of swatches made on a nail wheel that includes application of the shades in the collection over black. It’s not really something new but it’s one of the applications of glitter shades for me. Layering it over black or any dark shade really shows how versatile they can be.

I have swatched all these in the order listed. From left is 3 thin coats of shades from the Zoya Cosmic Pop Collection followed by one generous coat of that over one coat of black. The black shade I used is the first I grabbed, which is Zoya Raven. All swatches shown are with no top coat.

Zoya Celestia, Polaris, Eradani

They are simply stunning over black, especially the first 2 shades. I can see Celestia and Polaris being used over many different dark shades producing beautiful, sexy looks. Eradani, while it looks good over black like the 2 other shades, doesn’t have the same punch in my opinion. I love these shades by itself with just one coat, with it build up in several coats and over black. This set is so versatile and you can make many looks with this such as an accent finger or even some simple nail art like applying a thin layer diagonally over the nails or just on the tips like a french mani. The ability to wear any of the shades (especially Celestia or Polaris) alone for a day event or applying them over black (or another dark shade) for a night out is like basically getting 2 shades in one.

As mentioned in my previous post on this collection, the description of all 3 shades includes the caption that they “can be worn plain as a soft semi-textured finish or paired with a high-density top coat like Ultra Glossy Seal to create a high-shine and smooth finish to encapsulate the texture.”

*Products in this review have been provided by the PR company or manufacturer for an honest opinion.*

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Happy Wednesday! Today we will be going to the local family farm (that’s also a tourist attraction) so my 2.5 year old can partake in good ‘ol Fall fun. With the weather changing going into winter, I’ve started switching over each of my beauty products that is suited for the cooler temperature. The main ones I need to change are usually hand and body moisturizers. Today we will be tackling on my take on something that falls into one of those categories. Here’s my thoughts on the Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Stated on the front of the tube:

All-day care for severely dry, active hands

Formulated for the driest, most active hands, this heavy-duty moisture treatment is a thick, rich formula offering all-day care and protection to hands. Our blend of select ingredients allows skin to actually draw and absorb water from the air, forming a “glove-like” protective barrier against moisture loss. This formula, which contains a blend of botanical oils—Avocado, Eucalyptus and Sesame Seed—as well as natural wax derived from Olive Oil, further soothes, moisturizes and conditions skin. This most efficacious preparation helps protect against and repair the appearance of severe dryness caused by heavy industrial work, manual labor, neglect, or exposure to harsh elements.
DIRECTIONS: To address severe dryness, apply liberally to clean hands. For best results, reapply to hands after washing.

What I love about this product? At first glance, it doesn’t really catch my attention. The unassuming tube packaging for this hand salve is common and the design and text reminds me of those old school or vintage logos. The product itself is cream colored with a nice thick consistency that is common for hand creams. The scent is herbal in scent, which is more than likely attributed to Eucalyptus Oil that is listed among the ingredient list. The magic is when you apply this hand salve onto your hands. O-M-G. It goes on easily leaving my skin feeling silky smooth and most importantly NO GREASY AFTERFEEL. The level of moisture it provides and retains makes my dry hand concerns melt away. It doesn’t take much too for your entire hands. A little goes a long way. I love this hand salve so much that it is up there along with Ellen Sirot’s Hand Perfection Anti-Aging Hand Care System and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream.

What I don’t like about this product? The only downside for me is the price. The 2.5 fl oz / 75 ml tube retails for $16. That is the smallest regular-sized tube this product comes in and that is pretty expensive keeping in mind that there are tons of hand creams out there. Add a few more dollars and you get twice the amount of product at 5 fl oz / 150 ml for $24. Or get even more bang for your buck with their larger sizes: 7.8 fl oz / 230 ml for $29 and their holiday 6.8 fl oz / 200 ml for $28 (comes in holiday themed packaging). I managed to get this in a holiday value set (1 fl oz / 30 ml), so I didn’t pay that much. I do think paying more for this is worth it but I’ll stock up when it’s on sale. This would actually make great holiday presents too for my son’s teachers in preschool. It’s never too early to start thinking about that!

You can get this or any of their other products here.

Zoya Cosmic Pop Swatches

Hey guys! The end of October is drawing near. The weather has cooled significantly and my little one is now 2.5! He is starting preschool next week. Time sure flies by fast. We are squeezing in a trip to a local family run farm with a pumpkin patch tomorrow and I hope he’ll have lots of fun. This post is on something long overdue and I’m actually kicking myself internally over not getting to it earlier. Here are swatches for the Zoya Cosmic Pop Collection.

Zoya Cosmic Pop Collection

First up is Celestia.

Zoya Celestia

Celestia is a beautiful silver holographic glitter shade. It is described as “a silver-pearlescent, densely packed rainbow holographic”. Formula for this one is a little bit on the thin side but applied beautifully. Shown is one generous coat with no top coat.

Zoya Celestia (in shade)

Zoya Celestia (angle slightly changed)

Zoya Celestia (direct sunlight)

Zoya Celestia (lighting changed)

Zoya Celestia (close-up)

Next up is Polaris.

Zoya Polaris

Even before reading the description of this shade on their website, I thought to myself “this is a nice rose gold-ish holographic glitter shade” not realizing that is exactly what it is, a rose gold shade. It is described as “a rose gold densely packed holographic with a veil of color”. Formula for this shade is nice as with the other 2 in this collection. Shown is one generous coat with no top coat.

Zoya Polaris (in shade)

Zoya Polaris (different angle)

Zoya Polaris (direct sunlight)

Zoya Polaris (close-up)

Lastly, we have Eradani.

Zoya Eradani

Eradani is the surprise for me in this collection. Aside from me being a fan of magenta shades, a thin layer of this looks unassuming but when you apply more coats or thicker coats it is simply stunning. It is described as “a magenta densely packed holographic with a kiss of color that is buildable”. Formula is the same as the other ones in this collection. Shown is one generous coat with no top coat.

Zoya Eradani (in shade)

Zoya Eradani (direct sunlight)

Zoya Eradani (different angle)

Zoya Eradani (close-up)

Zoya Eradani (lighting changed)

I initially read the description too fast and thought these were holographic shades so I was a bit disappointed since true holographic shades are simply awesome and one of my favorite types of nail polish. Realizing they were holographic glitter shades, I thought they’d be similar to their Pixie Dust formula. But this collection holds its own and it does not have that same gritty texture that the Pixie Dust shades end up with. I chose to showcase them in this collection post as is (like how they look in the most basic way) and will be posting a follow-up post on another take or application of these shades. All 3 shades on their website states that they “can be worn plain as a soft semi-textured finish or paired with a high-density top coat like Ultra Glossy Seal to create a high-shine and smooth finish to encapsulate the texture.”

I think this would make a nice gift for the holiday season for the nail polish lover in your life.

*Products in this review have been provided by the PR company or manufacturer for an honest opinion.*

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit

I was approached a little while ago to try out and review a gel polish kit. I was wary at first as I wasn’t sure if gel polish exists outside of the realm of acrylics or not since my experience has only been with plain nail polish (and nail strips and press on nails). I was reassured it doesn’t have anything to do with acrylics, so I agreed to give it a try. I will admit that since I know nothing about it I did put it off for a few weeks, partially due to laziness and other part is fear of the unknown. But I finally took the plunge and tried it out. So here’s a beginner’s take on the Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit.

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit (other side)

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit (contents)

What I love about this product? It is a great starter kit for anyone that knows nothing about gel polishes. I chose to not read on reviews or even read up about gel polishes. I relied on the information that is provided in the kit to use it. The instructions are fairly easy to understand and follow. I prepped my nails as I normally would. Here’s when I started getting confused. The instructions indicate to apply a thin layer of the base coat then cure under the UV LED lamp for 60 seconds. The lamp is pretty neat by the way. It is easy to set up and use AND it has an internal timer set for 60 seconds so it goes off when time is up. I did time it with the first use and was ready to pull the plug from the lamp in case it did not go off after 60 seconds. Back to the instructions, it asks for a thin application of the base coat. Here is where my problems began as I find the formula of the base coat provided to be pretty thick. I tried my best to apply a thin even layer on my nails, but I was also rushing through it as my internal assumption is that if it’s thick then it means it dries pretty fast most likely. I then stuck my fingers under the lamp for 60 seconds and proceeded to apply a thin layer of the desired shades per the instructions provided. Well, the formula for those are all pretty thick as well. Again, I’m internally rushing myself to try my best to apply a thin layer quickly in fear of it getting dry before I can get it to the lamp. Under the lamp it goes for 60 seconds and repeat it until you have the desired number of coats down for the shade. After that we then apply the top coat and then cure it under the lamp for 60 seconds. I like that the kit comes with clear instructions and even a troubleshooting guide on things you might encounter when using this kit. The smell of the gel polishes is…well, chemically. Think of nail polishes from the 80s and 90s. I assume it contains ingredients that a lot of nail polish companies these days no longer use. Not a deal breaker for me but it might for some. The scent is gone almost immediately after I’m done with the entire process. The durability of the end result versus regular nail polish is very noticeable and evident. I do not have to worry about chipping at any point.

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit (tools/implements)

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit (gel polishes)

What I don’t like about this product? Probably the removal part from my nails. But before harping on that, I’ll highlight that the confusion I felt with the thickness of the formula is all on me. I did not look up reviews or on what gel polishes are at all. I wanted to go into this experience as a full newbie and once I did I looked it up to clear up some questions I have that the instructions provided alone could not answer. For example, the gel polish formula is thicker than regular nail polish. I did not expect that or know, so I rushed myself through the process as I wanted it to cure correctly under the lamp in time. I was racing against the clock that I didn’t end up applying thin enough layers and I didn’t get to do much clean-up. The best time to do any clean-up with gel polishes is before curing under the lamp. The lamp sets everything up and it’s too late after that. So my fear of the gel polish drying out before getting to the lamp to cure is unnecessary. I also realized that I was applying too much gel polish in my rush to get to the next step when I looked up videos online on gel polish application. If you do end up trying out a gel polish kit, I strongly advice to watch a video that shows how much product actually goes on generally as it is much, much less than I originally thought. In my next application, I will take my time with it for a better result (as you are about to see below) so that I can apply the right amount (thinly!) and do clean-up as well. I haven’t performed the correct way to remove it from my nails yet but reading the instructions provided and looking it up online…..it’s a pain compared to regular nail polish. I did end up peeling one off from my nails gently (which is a no-no) and noticed that the nail looks and feels dry.

Here’s what it looks like a few days after my first attempt at using the gel polish kit. If you look closely you can see how shiny the red and pink shades are and the eggplant purple one looks matte. That is completely my fault as I applied too thick so it did not cure correctly even though it stayed on my nails nicely still. The eggplant purple shade just doesn’t have the same shiny finish as the other 2. Excuse the dry cuticles as this is a few days after application and I didn’t bother to make it look pretty before taking the picture.

Modelones Pink Lipstick Series Starter Kit – Gel Polish Kit (gel polish application)

You can get this kit (on sale right now) or any of their other kits or products on their website.

*Products in this review have been provided by the PR company or manufacturer for an honest opinion.*

Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil

Happy October! It has gotten significantly cooler over here the past week but it’s warming up again. That’s Fall for you here in good ‘ol Tornado Alley. While this change requires me to switch on my skincare products, I didn’t really need to for my facial regimen just yet as I have been using The Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Concentrate BUT I have a 2.5 year old and he sometimes gets his hands on some of my beauty products. I think you know where this is going. Yes, he got his hands on The Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Concentrate shortly after I just opened my last bottle on hand and my hallway wall smells so nicely for a few days thanks to that. So, I sadly say goodbye to the short-lived bottle of The Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Concentrate and said hello to Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil.

Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil

What I love about this product? It smells sweetly herbal and doesn’t sit as much on my face like some face oils do. That is one thing I am very particular about face oils, creams and body butters. I do NOT like the feeling of a layer or film of greasy product sitting on my skin. It seems to absorb mostly pretty quick for the most part and does leave my skin feeling aptly moisturized overnight. It just doesn’t soak all the way in, I feel, but it might be just me. It is blue tinted in color and contains 10 different oils for maximum benefit when leaving on your face overnight. I got this rollerball packaging version from a gifted Birchbox. Since mine is in a rollerball packaging, I just use it by rolling it over my face once all over and using my fingers to pat it in and spread it. I believe the retail packaging is a pump bottle and one or two pumps should be enough I would think. It is described on their website with the following: “No need to feel blue with our antioxidant rich blue tansy oil. A concentrated blend of nourishing botanicals to soothe and refresh thirsty skin. This night time oil is used in place of a night cream for those seeking deep hydration and balance.” I know that I have no complaints at all seeing how my face is the day after using this.

What I don’t like about this product? Even though it is a lightweight oil and fares so much better compared to many others I’ve tried before, it still leaves me that feeling I hate…a very slight greasy feel sitting on my face. I can live with it honestly. It just takes some time getting used to. Given the fact that it moisturizes pretty well and my face seems to have improved overall, it’s under consideration in my “buy again” list.

A 1 fl oz / 30 ml bottle of this retails for $12.99 and it is available in multiple retailers online. You can get this or any of their other products here.

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