Saturday, May 25, 2013

Clinique A Different Nail Enamel Summer 2013 - 1/2

Just as you might expect from a company that has a reputation for paying attention to sensitive skin, Clinique's A Different Nail Enamel is designed to "minimize unwanted reactions to the nails and skin and eyes." It might surprise you to know that nail enamel is considered by dermatologists to be a significant contributor to irritation and contact dermatitis, including a rash that can develop around the eyes, all just from a freshly-manicured hand touching or rubbing against skin. Although I have never considered nail polish to be a culprit in my own dermatitis, I'm sure there are people out there who are loving Clinique right now for formulating a nail polish for sensitive-skinned folks.

Summer always seems to start horribly late in Vancouver--I distinctly remember one year when it basically rained all June and July and then there were two weeks of sun before it started all over again. Thankfully with the A Different Nail Enamel summer collection, I can still have summer on my fingers and toes no matter what the weather is like outside.

Clinique Summer in the City
Starting off with one of my favourites in the collection, Summer in the City is a fun, bright-but-not-neon coral. It has a squishy, jelly polish-like quality that needs three coats. It applied very smoothly and self-leveled well. It is nearly indistinguishable from Essie Flirt, although under bright sunlight you can tell Flirt is a bit deeper. This is a perfect summer colour.

I was floored by how well Summer in the City wore. I had it on my nails during a busy weekend that involved a lot of cooking, cleaning, and dog petting (and the frequent hand-washing that goes with all these things) and didn't have a single chip by the end of it!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Coming up: Clinique A Different Nail Enamel

Ahhh how pretty can Clinique's Summer 2013 collection of nail polishes get? These are fun, summery shades, many of them in bright candy colours. I loved photographing all 8 of them together.

I'm almost done swatching and testing these, coming soon in a two-part post. Which shade are you most excited about?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Parissa Brow Shaper Mini Wax Strips

Sometimes a product becomes such a staple for me that the thought of reviewing it sort of just disappears into the back of my brain, you know what I mean? Products like Parissa's Brow Shaper mini wax strips just become a regular part of my routine and the shinier stuff that I've acquired more recently becomes the focus of my attention. Plus it's wax strips, not exactly the most exciting product out there. But guess what? They are totally awesome.

Because my hair is naturally very fine, I have tons of brow hair that is difficult and time-consuming to grab and pluck with tweezers. Having toyed (unsuccessfully/painfully) with heating wax and applying it to my legs with a stick in the past, I had decided to try a ready-to-use variety.

There are a total of 32 0.5cm x 2.5cm (0.25" x 1") strips in a box, plus a vial of azulene oil to remove left-behind wax, soothe skin, and (supposedly) prevent ingrown hair. Each strip you see is actually two strips fused together; once you peel a strip apart to use one, you kind of have to use the other.

I totally lucked out that the first product I picked up happened to work great for me. The wax strips grab every superfine hair and remove them quickly and easily, leaving my brows looking clean and polished. There's always an errant hair or two missed that I need to pluck out, but it's infinitely easier than standing at my mirror for what feels like 60 years picking at every tiny hair. It doesn't irritate my skin or even hurt to remove the strip, so the "Sensitive Formula" definitely works on me. I've also used them to wax away all of bf's stray brow hairs (don't tell him I told), so I know it works on thicker hair too.

Included: a huge multi-language foldout with instructions and tips!
Typically I use them after a shower, when the warmth has made my brow hairs easier to remove. Then it's as simple as cutting them up, peeling a strip apart, applying, and quickly pulling it off. Easy! Afterwards, I dip a cotton swab in the azulene oil to quickly remove any stickiness left behind by the wax.

However, due to their rectangular shape and relatively small size, they may not the be best option for people with a very rounded brow shape, or for people who need to remove a whole lot of hair in terms of surface area. I do wish the vial of azulene oil was sold separately: I'm on my third box of these strips, but still using my first vial. The oil works great, but it's an unnecessary cost to add to every box, which retails for about $9 in drugstores. More affordable than going to an esthetician but not exactly cheap, so I wait for a sale unless I'm totally out and having a bad brow situation.

Definitely recommend if you are looking for a simple, at-home alternative to tweezing!

How do you maintain your lovely brows?

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Gilded Pelican

China Glaze Pelican Gray • Essie As Gold As It Gets
Quickie nail post as I am working on a few big posts right now! China Glaze Pelican Gray is a medium grey creme and basically one of my favourite neutral polishes. It's not too light or too dark, making it very wearable year-round. Although I love Pelican Gray by itself, this time I decided to layer on Essie As Gold As It Gets from last year's LuxEffects collection of top coats. As Gold As It Gets is full of gold flakes and gold pearl, so it's bound to add a little luxury to any base colour.

I'm getting ready to do a series of posts on nail tips and techniques--if you have any questions you would like answered in these posts, please leave a comment or use my contact form here!
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