Sunday, January 30, 2011

Zoya Gigi

I don't normally go for girly colors (and this is definitely a girly color), but when Zoya had their 3 free deal, I figured it was a good opportunity to try something a little different.

The polish in the bottle is a lovely pale pink with visible bits of silver glitter.  That's pretty much how it shows up on your nails, too; it's fairly sheer, but this isn't really meant to be a powerful color.  With two coats, it's still barely there, but I think of it as a slightly amped up natural nail color - with sparkle!  It's nice for when I'm in a more muted, calm mood.  I think it'd be really cute on toenails, too - it'll just give them an extra hint of color and make them look like they're fresh from a pedicure.

The little glitter specks are very visible, and I tried to capture them in the pictures.  Click for a larger version.  These are both two coats, with top coat.

Click for larger.  Can you see the glitter?
All Zoya polishes are $7 each, and are free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dbp.  This makes them exciting.  Not to mention the fabulous, extensive color selection.  And they always have good deals; last November I took advantage of their buy 5, get 5 free deal (fabulous fabulous!) and recently they did a Facebook promotion for three free polishes.  This means I have quite the collection now, and it's only going to grow!  Exciting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm

These things are all the rage lately, and they've been sold out at a number of places: my local Nordstrom (both of them, actually, I believe), Macy's, Sephora.  The university bookstore has a Clinique counter, though, so I managed to pick up the Super Strawberry shade there.  And tried it.

I really, really wanted to love it and I wanted it to work for me.  I have a problem with dry lips, and most products just don't seem to cut it; they are initially moisturizing, but as the wear/color fades, they dry out immensely and end up worse than they were to begin with.  Maybe I just have dysfunctional lips?  I don't know.  This problem is elevated in the dry, cold winter months.  So, even though I don't particularly enjoy the feeling of most lip products, I have to find one in order to prevent my lips from cracking and bleeding.  I've been sticking to drugstore balms lately (Kiss My Face), but I've also picked up a Caudalie lip treatment balm (which I may get around to reviewing in a little bit) and I've also been waiting for this Clinique thing.

The obvious question is: how does it compare to the Tarte?  To me, they're almost exactly the same.  I have the original Tarte lip stains (not the mattes or the new lusters), and the Clinique balm and the Tarte stain are almost exactly the same shape and size.  Both are 0.10 oz / 3g, with Clinique's selling for $15 and Tarte for $24.  The color payoff and moisturizing effect of both products are pretty much the same for me, so I would say go with the Clinique, unless you are looking for a specific Tarte shade.  Most people (like the Muse, who gave a great review here) have said that the color pigmentation of the Tarte stain is stronger than the Clinique, but the two shades that I have are very similar (Tarte's Enchanted and Clinique's Super Strawberry; the Clinique is slightly warmer), and they seem almost exactly the same in intensity to me - especially on my lips.
Sorry for the awkward hand swatch in fluorescent lighting...natural light's no good here in gray-town.

Bottom line?  I'm still looking for a lip balm that works.  The new Tokidoki ones are intriguing (and $9!) but for now, I'm experimenting with different balms and these to see if I can get a combination that isn't drying.

Thursday Again!

Here's another "things I'm loving this week" issue.

Tomorrow is S.'s birthday, so tonight I'm making a lemon-raspberry layer cake, so that he can take it to work tomorrow.  I'm pretty excited.  Hopefully it comes out okay.  I made the raspberry curd yesterday, using this recipe.  All I can say is: raspberry curd is delicious.  Delicious.

The cake's gonna be a lot of work, but it'll be fun to decorate, I think, and S. deserves it.  The other day, I was craving ice cream, and he stopped at the store on the way home to pick up some of this.  Now, I'm all for fun flavors, and I'm the kind of girl who doesn't have a favorite because it depends what I'm in the mood for.  But a good vanilla will get me every time.  Every, single, time.  Villa Dolce Vanilla Gelato = win!

We went shopping for his present this past Sunday, because he decided that he wanted some new clothes; we went to Express, and I bought him a new vest and a new argyle sweater.  Then we went to Sunglass Hut.  S. had one of those $20 off coupons for his birthday, but he decided he didn't need any more glasses, so I looked around.  Bad idea.  I came home with this (in purple).  So.  Cute.  I love the purple - it makes them different, since I've already got a pair of black and a pair of brown shades.  They fit nicely - even with my very flat nose - and they are sturdy and came with both a soft microfiber bag, and a hard case.  Woohoo!  The only sad thing: the amount of gray and fog that's still around.  It'll be a while before I can wear them.

Boyce Avenue's cover of Teenage Dream.  Much better than the original, in my opinion (though I'm no fan of Katy Perry).  We're going to one of their concerts next month!  Tickets were just $16, woot!  We're going with some friends, and having dinner first at a cute little restaurant.  I'm excited.

Crisp.  Salted.  White Chocolate.  Oatmeal.  COOKIES.  Do it.  Do it now.  And have a good rest of the week.  With cookies.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Things I'm Loving This Week

Thursday...the not-quite-Friday, but finally over-Wednesday-the-hump day of the week.  It takes some effort for me to get through Thursday; you, too?  I know.

So I'm going to try to do this "list everything that gets me through the week" post on Thursdays.  We'll see how it goes.

Things I'm loving this week:

This spaghetti and chard dish.  Yes, S. does the cooking, but as a hungry spectator of the cooking process, I can tell you that this is a fairly easy recipe, and so delicious - especially if you like leafy greens.  Also, you can bake or saute the stems!  (Crunchy goodness, like bok choy stems).

Katie Armour loves it, and I do, too.  And it's only $79!  I have to think of a good reason to treat myself.

Doughnut muffins.  Just do it.

Her nails are always beautiful.  Even after watching a tutorial or two, I can't muster up the courage to try something like this.

Amazon is having a buy 2, get 1 free video game offer on select titles.  There are a variety of titles (some of them are fairly new/mainstream) and I managed to pick up something for my brother's birthday, something for part of S.'s birthday gift, and something for me!

Paolo Nutini: Candy.  It's been stuck in my head all week.

These cable knit "convertible gloves."  Or, as I call them, glove-mitten-things.  I got them for Christmas, and although I had seen them before, I initially thought they were a bit strange.  But...I love them.  I usually wear them with the mitten part buttoned back, but on really cold days I unbutton them and slip them over my frozen fingertips.  I like fingerless gloves; they make poking at my iPod/phone a lot easier, and they show off my nail polish ;)

What's keeping you going this week?

Monday, January 17, 2011

YSL Parisienne Eau de Parfum

I was never much of a perfume person; I occasionally used some sort of body spray (i.e. something light and barely there, like Bath and Body Works body sprays), but I never had much interest in perfume.  Really strong smells tend to make my head hurt, and I get tired of certain notes very quickly.

With that said, however, S. picked up a couple of colognes over the past year or so (he and my brother spent hours in Sephora picking the first was quite hilarious, and equally endearing) and they were all me-approved.  This made me think that perhaps I could get used to wearing perfume, since I seemed to be able to tolerate his colognes.  For anyone interested, he has Calvin Klein's One Summer and the Ralph Lauren Double Black...which is a dumb name, but it smells wonderful.  Anyway.

So we spent another afternoon in Sephora, looking for a perfume that I liked.  It came down to Marc Jacob's Biscotti (a limited edition which is no longer available, it seems) and YSL Parisienne.  The Biscotti was definitely sweeter and subtler, and the YSL really smelled like...riesling.  Which I adore.  It's subtly sweet and floral, which surprised me; I didn't think I was a "sweet smell" kind of a girl.  Apparently I am.  We went with the Parisienne, because S. was opposed to me smelling like cupcakes (the Biscotti).  At Sephora, it's $65 for 1.6 oz.  The bottle is elegant and beautiful, with a heavy cap; I do not, however, like the plastic-y labeling.  It's supposed to resemble leather, I suppose, but it really, really doesn't.  That is the only gripe I have with the bottle, though.  The perfume itself is a lovely delicate pink, which makes it classic.

The fragrance of Parisienne isn't overpowering, but it does last all day, and it always seems a little different to me - it really interacts with my body chemistry, I guess.  But I haven't grown tired of it, and I wear it most days.  It has fruity notes and floral notes, and...I'm really bad at describing fragrances.  I always thought that the people who write the descriptions for wine and perfume must be really good at writing, um, adult-themed media.  Don't you think? 

Sephora's description (from

The essence of a woman who is incredibly free—she is not from Paris, but Paris adopts her. She knows how to love, how to live. Parisienne is the fragrance of ultra-femininity and sensuality, built with notes of blackberry, damask rose, and sandalwood. The grand floral with a woody structure is luminous even in its mystery. 

Ingredients: Alcohol, parfum (fragrance), aqua, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, evernia furfuracea extract, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, tris(tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) citrate, propylene glycol, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, ethylhexyl salicylate, limonene, bht, geraniol, citral, linalool, CI 60730 (ext violet 2), CI 17200 (red 33), CI 19140 (yellow 5), 8YDO6-1