Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zoya Flame for Winter 2010: Swatches and Review

EDIT 11/19/2010: This collection is now called "Flame" instead of "Fire and Ice" due to some trademark issues with Revlon. Apparently Revlon already had a collection by that name. Sorry for the confusion!

Imagine my surprise when I found Zoya's Winter 2010 collection as I was browsing for nail polish. Named "Fire and Ice," this is Zoya's ultra shimmery, ultra stunning line for winter. Yes, winter! I haven't even worn any of from my fall collections haul and I'm already skipping ahead to winter. In my defense, these were hard to resist. I love shimmery polishes, and from the moment I saw the color samples online, I knew my wallet was going to be in trouble.

The collection consists of 6 different colors, but I ended up only picking out 4 that I liked the most. The other 2, called Lisa (red with gold sparkles) and Sarah (magenta with gold sparkles), weren't really special to me so I passed on those. I couldn't find any swatches of this collection on any of my favorite nail polish blogs, so I'm guessing that the collection hasn't been officially released yet? I read somewhere that it's supposed to come out on October 1st. Oh well, I found these at my local beauty supply shop, so I figure that if I was able to buy them in a store open to the public, I should be able to show them online to you, my dear readers!

These will be perfect for the holidays. All the colors pack some serious shimmer. The formula is typical of a shimmer, which is to say a little thin and sheer, so I did 3 coats for all of the swatches. Dry time was pretty good; I was able to paint the nails on my left to right hand and back without significant wait time in between. The only gripe I have with these polishes is that they are a pain to remove. The polish itself isn't difficult to take off, but expect gold glitter residue everywhere! Even after a good wipe down with 4 remover-soaked cotton balls, I can still see some tiny flecks here and there. Still, these exceeded my expectations in terms of looks. I thought it would be harder to let go of the mint greens, yellows, and bright pinks I've been sporting all summer, but these lovely shades make the transition to colder weather easy.

So, without further ado, I present to you my personal favorites from Zoya Fire and Ice for Winter 2010. Click on the pictures for a closer look! :)


The first is called Tiffany, and I would describe it as a pink/peach champagne with gold shimmer. I'm not usually drawn to colors like this, but Tiffany is so pretty! I can see myself wearing this a lot. It makes me think of New Year's and bottles of bubbly popping open, haha! It's a nice way to do a light pink without veering towards spring's pastel version. It's very refined-looking; I think it will match beautifully with medium skin tones. My second favorite from the collection.

Natural light

With flash


The second is called Gloria. Out of the 4 I picked up, Gloria is probably the least unique, though that doesn't mean it's ugly! On the contrary, Gloria is a bright red pink with gold shimmer that will be nice on both hands and toes. A different way to do red. It's the perfect color to wear come December 25th as you stand underneath some mistletoe ;)

Natural light

With flash


The third polish I picked up is my personal favorite from this collection. Valerie is a deep purple shimmer that has flashes of orange/yellow. Gorgeous. Looks great on lighter skin tones!

Natural light

With flash


The last one I picked up is called Crystal, and it's a light blue with gold shimmer. I'm pretty biased towards this color and picked it up mainly because they're UCLA colors. ;) I would probably wear Crystal to a tailgate for this football season if I were still living in LA (GO BRUINS!). Football or not, this is still a very pretty color. I've heard that it could be a dupe for OPI's Absolutely Alice, but I think this is a much lighter, frostier blue.

Natural light

With flash


Alrighty, those are my thoughts on Zoya's Winter 2010 collection! If you do happen to see these in stores before October 1st, make sure to grab some. I would probably pick up Valerie and Tiffany, as these are the 2 stand outs in the collection in my opinion.

Have a great Thursday!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall 2010 Nail Polish Frenzy!

After trying and failing to find Chanel's Les Khakis collection (By the way, this is what sucks about living in Northern California as opposed to LA. In LA, I could have chosen from 3 different retailers within 15 minutes of my apartment that would have stocked all of the Chanel polishes. Here, the closest--and only!--place that would have it is in San Francisco. ARGH!), I guess I went a little crazy and assuaged my pain by picking up items from 3 other Fall 2010 nail polish collections (plus one Winter 2010 collection!). I know. I have a problem. I admit it! I gave in. I am weak to the charms of pretty nails.

Just how badly did I break down??

This badly.

Yeaaaa...I should really get some help. Overcompensation through overconsumption. I even hid the bag of polishes inside my purse when I got home so that the boy wouldn't see it. That's when you know there's something wrong! any of you ever do that? Hide your purchases/receipts from loved ones? Sneak around with your newly-bought goods?? Say "Oh, I've had this for a while" when someone asks you if it's new??? If so, then hello. I'm a fellow addict.

But can you blame a girl? Just look!

First, I picked up a mini set of Essie's Fall 2010 collection, which includes (from left to right): Little Brown Dress, Merino Cool, Limited Addiction, and Sew Psyched (which I was so psyched about because it's the closest I'll get to Chanel's Khaki Vert).

Then I saw OPI's Swiss Fall Collection and thought "Ooh! I don't have anything pine green (Cuckoo For This Color), gunmetal (Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous), or dark teal (Ski Teal We Drop)!" And before you knew it, three more bottles were in my basket.

Then of course, there were the 2 collections that I've reallyyyyyy been looking forward to: Orly's Cosmic FX for Fall 2010 and Zoya's Fire and Ice for Winter 2010.

And whaddaya know? The beauty store I went to had both! There was no way I was passing up these babies.

Lunar Eclipse, Space Cadet (MY FAVE!), and Haley's Comet. Lunar Eclipse and Haley's Comet have almost exact dupes, but I don't own any of them, so I picked them up. Space Cadet was just too cool to leave behind. If I had to pick JUST ONE (though I wouldn't anyway, lol), it would be Orly's Space Cadet.

Finally, there's Zoya's Fire and Ice Collection. All shimmery, beautiful, and perfect for this upcoming season. I picked up my four favorites

Valerie, Tiffany, Crystal, Gloria. Can't wait to use all of them!

Now the question is.......which one first?? :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass

When MAC collaborated a few months ago with Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga to create 2 Viva Glam lipsticks, I was really excited to check out the collection and possibly pick up something. Cyndi Lauper is responsible for one of my all time favorite songs, one that even my mom knows and loves, which is why I grew up listening to it: "Time After Time" :)

I ended up getting the Cyndi lipstick, since its soft coral red proved to be more wearable on me than Gaga's more pale baby pink. I've been wearing it on and off ever since. I really liked it because it transitions beautifully from season to season and from day to night. It looks great both in warmer and colder seasons thanks to its coral tinge, which keeps it from looking straight red.

Then, when I heard recently that MAC was also coming out with Cyndi and Gaga lipglasses in the same shades as the lipsticks, I was as excited as the first time I heard of the collaboration. Again, I tried both Cyndi and Gaga, but ended up with the Cyndi lipglass for the same reason: it's just easier to wear.

The lipglass comes with MAC's typical doe foot applicator, and the formula, also typical of lipglasses, is on the stickier side. I usually hate sticky lipglosses, but I found that I don't mind as much in this case because it helps with the staying power.

The Cyndi shade is so pretty! Here's a swatch of the lipglass (left) and the lipstick (right). As you can see, the gloss is more opaque than the lipstick, but on the lips it looks juicy and bright without going overboard.

On my lips

See? Nice! :)

I think this picture shows the color better. You can really see the coral here~

Overall, I'm loving it. It goes nicely with my Cyndi lipstick. On its own, the lipglass adds a shiny pop of color to the face. Paired with a lipstick underneath, the coral red is intensified and looks even more gorgeous. I would definitely recommend checking out/picking up Cyndi in either lipstick or lipglass form (or even better, both!). Then, go listen to an oldie but goodie as you put it on :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I've been trying my hand at bread-baking lately, and let me tell you, it's HARD! I've had my fair share of difficult dishes (temperamental Thanksgiving turkeys and deflating souffles come to mind), but making your own bread is on a whole different level.

I've been stalking food blogs and forums for tips and tricks on how to make different kinds of bread, and it's mind-boggling how many things you have to consider when you finally decide which one to make. I truly admire the hard work and dedication of the people out there whose experiences make mine a little easier. Even though I take what they say into consideration, it's still darn DIFFICULT!

There are so many factors that go into making a single loaf of bread: yeast, timing, temperature, risings, ovens, your hands'/mixer's kneading prowess, etc...and there are different steps to take for every kind of bread! Sourdough, brioche, ciabatta, focaccia, baguette, and even your basic sliced white bread require specific conditions and a whole lot of watching and waiting. It's enough to make me want to forget about it all and just drive to the nearest market and pick up a prepared loaf. Plus, my poor mixer is threatening to commit suicide if I make any more bread this week. Something about too much kneading.


There really is nothing like homemade bread. Nothing! Despite all the hardship you had to endure, during which you cursed yourself for messing up a single small step which caused the entire dough's demise, got even more angry when you realized that you just spent 5 hours on a failed project, or beat yourself up for even taking on the task in the first place...Making bread, to me, is like love.

You give it everything you've got, nurturing it and keeping it as warm as you can. It's emotional and dependent upon the amount of care you put into it. It definitely asks for a lot of your time and awareness, and if you neglect it, it will fail.

However, if you make the effort, remain patient, watch over it faithfully, and use your instincts correctly, then the end results are phenomenal.

And it will make you happy! The smell of freshly-baked bread will weave itself throughout your home and suddenly, things don't seem so bad after all and you will wonder why you don't do this more often. :)

For my latest forays into the world of bread, I've been using this recipe. It seemed like the most simple but impressive-looking recipe. Also, I already had all the ingredients on hand. I've made it 3 times, and each time, it got easier and looked/tasted better. I even made a loaf to give to the bf's family when I was invited over for dinner. It's been a hit with everyone who has tasted it, and, like the recipe states, is excellent for French toast. Next time, I'm going to add the optional raisins to the dough!

I wanted to share this with you, even though Sunday is almost over. Making bread is a weekend project that's totally worth your time. Recipes will say that the prep time may take 4-5 hours or even overnight, but a lot of that time is for the risings, which don't require you to do anything but monitor warm conditions and wait. You could watch a movie, spend time with loved ones, or get other errands done while the dough is rising. I would make a loaf on Saturday, and use the leftovers (if there are any!) for a French toast breakfast on Sunday.

Just don't be overzealous with the humidity as I was the first time or you will end up with this:

Overly-rapid yeast! This was after the first rising...haha. It only looked puffy, but once I touched it, it deflated to its original size. No good!

Bread-making is definitely trial and error, and possibly a lot of frustration and anxiety (at least for me!), but like any labor of love, the end result will have you coming back again ;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maybelline NYFW 2010 Nail Polish #642 Gray-T Glamour

Hey everyone! It's 2am here in California, and I am just about to pass out, but I wanted to post this before I go to bed. This is the second item that I got from the Maybelline NYFW collection. Now, I'm not sure if this is considered part of Maybelline's fall collection or if it's solely for Fashion Week, but I do hope that they extend the availability of the items into winter, because both of the things I got are sooo worth snagging for yourself!

This nail polish definitely caught my eye because it stood out amongst the dark reds and purples of the display. I don't have any color like it, so I'm really happy that I found a pretty gray polish--and it's by Maybelline no less!

I would describe this as a blue-gray polish with ultra fine shimmer. The shimmer is almost imperceptible, but there's enough in it to keep the polish from looking like flat cement. The formula is surprisingly excellent. I say "surprisingly" because I haven't always had good experiences with Maybelline polishes in the past. They're usually goopy and hard to use. This particular polish applies pretty much flawlessly. The brush is a little more stiff than I'm used to, but I found that it makes the application more quick and easy since it allows for precision. It only required 2 coats to be opaque. I didn't time myself to see if it would really dry in 50 seconds (I also used a quick-dry top coat), but I cooked dinner and washed dishes right after I gave myself a manicure, and it's still looking fresh hours later. I would say that the wearing power (so far) is good.

2 coats, natural light. Pretty, isn't it? Too bad my camera isn't good enough to capture its greatness. For a better idea of how the polish looks, check out this swatch.

With flash. This picture is better because it shows the gorgeous shimmer, and the color here is more true to life~

My FOTD using my new Maybelline products! A look inspired by the display's model :)

On my face:
-Laura Mercier Secret Concealer
-Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15
-Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder
-Stila Custom Color Blush

-Diorshow Iconic Waterproof Mascara
-Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 0L
-Benefit Kohl Pencil in Royale

-Maybelline Color Sensational in Wined & Dined (review here)


Alrighty, that's it for tonight. I'm so happy it's Saturday! Time to sleep in and enjoy the weekend. Have a great 2 day break everyone!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Maybelline NYFW 2010 Lipstick #939 Wined & Dined

As promised, today I have the first item that I picked up from Maybelline's newest collection that they created for this year's New York Fashion Week (which just ended yesterday!).

I was pretty excited when I saw this display in Ulta since I've been following the fashion show pictures that have been popping up on blogs all week. Though food and make-up are both dear to my heart, I am also a giddy girl when it comes to clothes! NYFW is the ultimate dream come true for both designers and consumers alike: beautiful clothes, killer shoes, accessories to die for...all in one of the greatest cities in the world. What's not to like?? So, even though I couldn't be in New York this time of year, it's still nice to have something that connects me to it all.

When I saw the Maybelline display, the first thing that caught my eye was the model's bold red lips and secondly, her cute blue-gray nails. I picked up both the nail polish and one of the 2 red lipsticks offered. I haven't done a manicure with the polish yet, so for now I have for you the lipstick!

This is from the Color Sensational line, just like this one, but unlike the other's pale pinkness, #939 Wined & Dined is defininitely on the bolder end of the spectrum.

Wined & Dined is a deep brick red, the exact shade of red that I've always wanted to rock with pale, flawless skin, a slick cat eye, and perhaps some faux fur and a pair of slick knee-high boots. ;) In other words, it's precisely what I would imagine myself wearing if I were roaming the streets of New York right now, at this beautiful time of year when summer is beginning to fade into fall.

It's pretty much perfect for fall and winter. I think it's actually more wearable than a blue-based red, especially during the day. It's a very sophisticated red that, if used moderately, could be worn to both work and a black tie affair. I'm in love!

The shade has an old Hollywood feel to it, and would be flattering on both medium and light skin tones. The formula is quite opaque without being drying, just like the rest of the Color Sensational line.

The only bad thing about this lipstick (though it is by no means the product's failure) is that I have to take my time applying it, but this is typical of every red lipstick. The effort it takes to put this on perfectly is worth it though! I'm very happy with the results :)

Be back later with the nail polish!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick #025 Pink Please

Maybelline came out with their Color Sensational line about a year ago, and since then, I've bought, wore, and loved the ones I got. I never did a review or swatch any of them on this site, so today I want to share with you my favorite shade. :)

It's called Pink Please, and although it's wayyy cheaper than a department store lipstick, its low price does not mean it's low quality. I picked up a back up tube of this because I love it so much.

The packaging looks sleek and the caps come in multiple shades that categorize the lipsticks by different color families. For example, the pink family has these dark pink caps, the neutrals/nudes have brown caps, plums/berries are purple, and the corals/reds have red caps.

For a drugstore lipstick, I'm very impressed. It doesn't dry out my lips, the formula is neither too sheer nor too opaque, there's no weird smell, and there are many colors to choose from.

Personally, I think it swatches a lot darker on the arm than on the lips. This is about 3 layers since I wanted to show the color, but I usually use about 2 layers on my lips.

Love this color! It's noticeably pink, but soft enough that it could also be considered a nude lipstick. Totally appropriate for daytime use and even for the office.

In fact...

I wore it to work today and have been doing so for the past 2 weeks! It's my go-to color right now because it's so easy to use. I just throw one into my bag whenever I go out since I can apply it quickly without a mirror. Plus, it's great when I'm trying to streamline and only want to take one lipstick with me that can transition from day to night.

During the day, it's a natural face with light lips. After work, the only other thing I need is some black or gunmetal eyeshadow to up the volume on the eyes. A swipe of Pink Please and I'm ready to rock a smokey eye/nude lip. Great for when you have to go out right after work!

I've seen the Color Sensational display in every drugstore/Walmart/Target that I've been too, and although there is always a nice array to choose from, I've noticed that a lot of stores do not stock all the colors. For example, my local CVS and Target do not carry Pink Please, but the Walgreen's does. So, you might have to look around if you're searching for a specific shade, but if you just want to try out the line, I would definitely recommend picking up any color that catches your eye. I haven't been disappointed yet!


I stopped by Ulta today and saw Maybelline's Limited Edition display with lipsticks and nail polishes that they created especially for this year's New York Fashion Week. I picked out two items that I particularly liked; can't wait to show them to you!