Monday, February 25, 2013

Wine Time: Pretty Pinot

I love Pinot Noir. If it's Italian, even better. It's definitely my go-to wine of choice. When I saw this bottle at my local Kroger, I knew it was going home with me. I just hoped the wine lived up to the cuteness of the bottle. Just like with books, I judge wines by the label. Cute or catchy labels suck me in every time. That's how I've tried some really good wines though. Can you believe this wine has a screw top?! It's normally $15.99 a bottle but I got it on sale for $9.99! Like I said in another post, I'm getting less and less offended by the screw top {wine snob}. I know many wine makers are going to this if they don't want to use synthetic cork. I have to admit, it's pretty nice just pulling the bottle out of the wine fridge and unscrewing the cap without messing with the opener. I may or may not have started hoarding this wine while it's still on sale. :)

From the bottle: Invented in Italy, today macarons are a global indulgence. Our wines are crafted from premium grapes grown in the Tre Venezie region. Seducted aromas of ripe cherries, seductive cola and cocoa mingle into a silky, lingering finish.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Masters Brush Cleaner

After hearing a lot about this product over several months, I finally remembered to buy it and try it out. I bought mine at Michael's and paid just under $5.00 for it. It can be found with the art supplies and brushes at most craft stores. I was curious to see how well the cleaner actually worked and if it would make dreaded brush cleaning easier.

The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver
- $5.00 {or less} at most craft stores
- 2.5 oz
- For Sable, Bristle and Synthetic Brushes

The claims on the package: A simple one-step total care process to keep your brushes performing like new! Developed in 1979 by an artist for artists. Makes cleaning, conditioning and preserving brushes a snap. Works on oils, acrylics, watercolors, varnishes, glazes and most synthetic finishes. Also restores most hardened brushes to "like new". Safe and easy to use because all you need is water.

Instructions: Rinse brush in warm water. Swirl in cleaner. Work into a lather. Rinse and repeat as needed.

To Condition and Preserve: Leave clear lather on bristles, shape brush and allow to dry. Shake dry powder off for next use.

To Restore: Clean as above. Work lather onto bristles and let set until bristles begin to soften. Repeat if necessary.

what the product looks like brand new
Since I was only using this product for makeup brush cleaning, I figured it would do a pretty good job considering all of it's claims for regular paint brush cleaning. I was most concerned with 1. how well it cleaned my "hard to clean" kabuki style foundation brushes and 2. would it actually soften a few older, more course brushes.

my Sigma F80 before cleaning
I have to say that it did a great job cleaning my brushes! With the two synthetic foundation brushes, I did have to cleanse twice. You see that the F80 still has slight darkness but that may have been my fault not totally cleaning it well. However, it got the other brushes including my F84 totally clean. I'm impressed! It was a super easy process although much like using my traditional method of baby shampoo. However, this was easier because I wasn't putting shampoo in the palm of my hand after each brush. So all in all, it was a little quicker and slightly less mess.

face and eye brushes after cleaning
As for the conditioning of my older, more course kabuki and blush brushes, they were better and softer but not like new. That's ok though. I wasn't expecting miracles and I'm happy with the results.

My main question is wondering how long the product will last. I cleaned 13 brushes at one time. I could noticeably see how much product I had used. I think it would depend on how often you deep clean your brushes {me, every 3-4 weeks} and what type of product you had on the brushes.

product after one use

Do you use The Masters Cleaner for brush cleaning?
If you'd like to see this product in action, I have a recent tutorial on my YouTube Channel that you can view here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

OPI My Vampire Is Buff

Nail of the Day ~ My Vampire is Buff, OPI, Euro Centrale Collection 2013

As I've stated before, I did my homework on my four selections from this collection. I knew this one might be slightly streaky. I was ok with that. I feel like I've worked with enough "give me trouble" polishes over time that I can get past some streaks. So with that said, you will see a few streaks on my nails that have ridges. My ring fingers have always been the worst. These pictures are with two coats, the second being quite thick. I could have went with three thin coats but I was in a hurry that day.

I love this color though. It's a creamy nude beige with a very slight yellow undertone. To me, I didn't notice the yellow until painting it on my own nails. Because of that, I don't think this is the most flattering shade for me. I think medium to darker skin tones would love this though if you can get past the slight streaking.

with flash
natural light
in sunlight

Thursday, February 14, 2013

OPI Polka.Com

Nail of the Day ~ Polka.Com, OPI, Euro Centrale Collection 2013

This is one of the four polishes I picked up from the new Euro Centrale Collection. I should mention I've only been into glitter the past 6 months or so. I was excited for this one right away. I have to say disappointment soon set in after trying it though. I thought due to the color, it would be a darker based glitter. Nope, as you'll see in the pictures, not really any color except for the glitter itself. Speaking of the glitter, it's made up of turquoise, purple/indigo and hot pink chunky glitter with small flecks of the same purple/indigo mixed in.

Application. I had to put three coats on the nail with the OPI...Eurso Euro just to get some glitter pay-off. I also had to strategically place the glitter. On the naked nail, I used two coats. This is what I got. I was over it by that time. So my final thoughts are - it's very pretty in the bottle but doesn't have the same effect on the nails, especially nails without polish. I do like the look over a darker polish though.

natural light
with flash

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Favorite Bath & Shower Products

Hello there! I wanted to share my favorite bath and shower products with you all. I'm also doing a little giveaway so if you're interested, check out the video and follow the rules to enter. :)
*comments on this video will not be considered as entries

Friday, February 08, 2013

OPI...Eurso Euro

Nail of the Day ~ OPI...Eurso Euro, Euro Centrale Collection 2013

The new collection from OPI just launched February 6, 2013. I was at my local Ulta by noon that day so I could get first pick. I have to say I've not seen a better collection in quite some time. Sure, there are always a few colors I like out of each, but this one really grabbed my attention.

Ok, let's start off by saying this is the star of the collection in my opinion - OPI...Eurso Euro. I love the name. When a new collection is released, I try to do my homework and look up swatches {since I'm not fortunate enough to get products pre-launch}. I knew this was numero uno on my list! It's beautiful, what can I say? It's a true indigo blue cream. I didn't have anything even close to it in my collection. To me, this one is very unique and a must-have from the collection. It shows up slightly more royal in some photos, but indigo was the first thing that came to mind. I did buy three other colors from the collection that I'll be sharing soon. Did you pick up anything from the collection?

with flash
in sunlight
natural light

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

How To Save Money Shopping Online

Hi everyone! I got a lot of requests to do this video when I mentioned using Ebates and other means for getting discounts while shopping online. I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if you already use some of these tips or if you have others.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

MAC Peaches Blush

I did a MAC Haul recently on my YouTube channel showing this blush. Like most products purchased online, you can't really get a grasp of the true color. When I opened the box, I was a bit shocked at the "loud" peach/coral color. It seemed too bright and too orange for me and my pale skin. I played around with it a little and knowing it was a Sheertone blush, I was hoping to make it work. After wearing it for a week or so, I really do like it and find it easy to blend out. If you have fair skin, just use a light hand.

light and heavy swatch
photo taken with non-HD camera. It was hard to take one of myself.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Cover Girl Pink-Finity

Nail of the Day ~ Cover Girl Pink-Finity

I'm always drawn to a light milky-pink nail polish. Some are good and others are so sheer I don't know why I bothered. This one from Cover Girl however, is a great one! It applied very opaque in two coats and wasn't streaky. That's hard to come by with some lighter colors. I do have to mention, if you have any ridges in your nails like I do, this will show them slightly. Not near as bad as others in this color range, but still wanted to mention that.

This is my second time trying the new Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant line. They claim to have a built-in top coat. I found this to be true. My nails were shiny after two coats of polish and the wear time was longer than most {4-5 days}. Of course that's going to differ with everyone depending on the length of your own nails and what you're doing. I still use a top coat on mine but these photos were taken prior to applying one.
*I do want to mention that several of you asked what polish I was wearing in a recent video. I was wearing the other Cover Girl color but gave the wrong name. The actual name is SO small that I didn't even notice it and gave out "Fait en France" which means "made in France", lol. I didn't think anything of it due to the color. I wouldn't think a CG nail polish would actually be made in France. The real name is Non-Stop Stone. Sorry for the error. I wouldn't have picked up on it had I not bought another bottle.

natural light
with flash

Since I love these shades so much, I wanted to compare the Cover Girl to three others in my collection that I thought were close dupes. I would say if you have either or both the China Glaze or L'Oreal colors, you don't need this one. I do find it applies better than the L'Oreal though.

LtoR: Cover Girl Pink-Finity, China Glaze Something Sweet, L'Oreal Penthouse Pink, OPI Pink Friday
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