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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Holly Berry Nails!

Hello again! I thought I'd share a nail look I did a couple days ago. It was super easy and didn't involve any actual nail art, but I called it "Holly Berry Nails" because the green with large red glitter reminded me of holly berries! I used two different polishes to create this look. First, I began with three coats of China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses (which can be seen on its own in this post). Then, I topped it off with two coats of China Glaze Party Hearty. Last year, I did a post about how hard Party Hearty was to find, which also included a swatch of what it looks like alone with approximately 4 coats. You can see that post here if you're interested.

So here is the "holly berry" concoction I created using Mistletoe Kisses and Party Hearty!

I thought it turned out pretty cute for how easy it was!

 I have some more Christmasy-Holiday type of posts planned soon, so I certainly hope none of this is too overkill for you guys. I don't even understand why I'm so incredibly excited about Christmas this year, though I suppose I could try to psychoanalyze it a bit. The nostalgia I get around Christmas based on Christmas as a kid is a big part of it. It takes me back to a time with no responsibilities, believing in Santa, and waking up at 4:00 A.M. on Christmas morning because I was so excited. I also am in a little bit better of a place with my new job. I'm not incredibly depressed and anxious and worried all the time about employment, money, and bills. My financial state is by no means stable, and I still struggle a lot, but it's not as bad anymore; and for that I am thankful. Without being so worried so often, it gives me the space inside my neurotic mind to actually enjoy the holidays. Just driving around and looking at the beautiful Christmas lights with a cup of hot chocolate is enough to make me the happiest person alive. And finally, working with kids and getting to see how excited they are for Christmas and holidays in general; it's really heartwarming! So that's my ghetto attempt at trying to analyze my Christmas excitement. :)

       I hope you're all enjoying your weekend and are having a great day/night! Take care!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chinovi Cosmetics Christmas 2012

Hello there! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great holiday yesterday. And if you don't, I still hope you had a great day yesterday! My boyfriend and I went to my parents house for the holiday. We played Apples to Apples before dinner (which is a fun game anyway, but a lot more fun with a couple glasses of wine). Then we had dinner, and my mom made a really special feast. She sent us home with like 18,000 pounds of food, which we honestly really appreciated (we don't get to eat special meals very often). A good time was definitely had by all! 

So this post correlates with my previous post about past holiday eyeshadow collections. It's kind of a fail on my part because I actually started drafting it last December, but never got around to completing it. But it's all good, it gives me something to write about now!

Last year, an indie eyeshadow company called Chinovi Cosmetics released a beautiful holiday collection that consisted of six colors. I found out about this collection by reading Wendi's post here! I definitely recommend checking out her swatches of that collection, as they are really well done!

Here are the eyeshadow descriptions from Chinovi Cosmetics:

Berry Garland is a deep red with berry tones and swirled with cranberry and silver sparkles.
Blue Spruce is a deep evergreen with blue interference. It is lit up with blue and golden sparkles.
Flocked is an extremely shimmery white.
Star is a darkened gold with a lot of shimmering gold sparkles.
Tinsel is a mid tone blue with tons of purple, pink, teal, and silver sparkles.
Twinkle is a shimmery nude with silver and gold sparkles.

And now onto the swatches! These shadows are swatched over Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue on NC15 skin.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the shade.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the sunlight.

Above: I had to include a photo of the actual eyeshadows and the packaging, because it was so cute! The eyeshadows were packaged in the snowman bag (not solely, of course) and they were adorned with little Christmas trees.

Chinovi has a new holiday collection this year that is called Silver Bells. I am drooling after some of the shadows in the new collection, though I'm trying not to be so frivolous. I have a butt load of eyeshadow, and I want to use what I actually have instead of buying MOAR MOAR MOAR. I think I've done a good job lately of not buying makeup unless I actually run out of it (i.e. foundation, eyeliner, mascara). 

So that's my Chinovi Christmas 2012 collection, only a year late! I hope you all have a really wonderful weekend!

 DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday Swatches (via 2011)

Hello sweet little sparkles! Since I've been swatching holiday polish from previous years, I was inspired to swatch some of the shadows from past indie holiday collections. I realized the only holiday shadows I've swatched were from last year's Darling Girl Cosmetics Christmas collection. So, without further adieu, let's get into the sparkly spirit!

Today I have swatches from the Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday 2011 set. There were two holiday sets in 2011, both made in very limited quantities; so I feel very lucky that I was able to snag this set (I ordered the second set). I think these shadows are so fun and beautiful, and they really scream CHRISTMAS!!!!, which I adore! Below I included a picture of the jars, because they're just so incredibly precious!

And now for the swatches! I patted these shadows on clean skin on top of Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue.

Above from L to R: Overslept, Tinsel Fight eyelight, December 26th, and Midnight Light Show

I honestly think all of the colors in this set are beautiful. I love the color and name of Overslept. It's a lovely greyish-green with purple glitter. I've been wearing it to work the past couple weeks and I have really enjoyed it. Tinsel Fight is an eyelight, which is what Glamour Doll Eyes calls their glitters. It's such a fun and festive glitter! There is silver, green, and red glitter in Tinselfight. I wore it as a main lid color in a Christmas look I did last year, and I think it looked pretty neat! December 26th is a lovely rasberry shade with silver glitter. And my favorite of this bunch is Midnight Light Show. It's a black shadow with multi-colored glitter. It really is like a midnight light show! The swatch definitely doesn't do it justice. My favorite thing to do with Midnight Light Show is do a regular cat eye with black liner and pat Midnight Light Show over it. It brightens up an otherwise regular old cat eye!

I truly hope you all enjoyed these swatches, and I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. My boyfriend and I are going to his parents' house for an early Thanksgiving this afternoon, as they will be out of town for Thanksgiving.

Take care, and thanks so much for reading!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Hello there! I hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing weekend. It's been raining the last few days here, so I am enjoying this weather all snuggled up in bed with fuzzy socks and a new pair of pajamas! It's nice to be able to be cozy during this weather as opposed to being at work, so I am very thankful to have the day off today.

So, today's post might be quite redundant because I've actually already blogged about this perfume last December: once in a regular post and another time in a favorites post. I almost went through the entire 5mL roll on, which is pretty unheard of for me (I usually switch up the perfumes I wear too often to go through any of them). I really wanted to wear this perfume again this winter, so I am very thankful it was re-released on the Smellbent website for their holiday collection. I bought it in the biggest size they offered because I did not want to get close to running out again! I love this perfume very much, as I'm sure you can tell!

Above: Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Ice Station Zebra scent description from Smellbent:
"howling arctic winds, cracking ice, frozen earth,  and crisp evergreen buried under a drift of snowy musk"

Ice Station Zebra starts off with kind of a weird menthol note- very similar to Vick's Vapo Rub. And I know what you're thinking... Rachel, why don't you just buy Vick's if that's what your crazy ass wants to smell like? The thing is, that menthol-y scent disappears immediately and the most incredible winter scent is unearthed. The scent itself is as chilly as snow itself. In my last post, I described it as a snowflake melting on your nose! The evergreen is very prominent in this perfume, and is definitely my favorite part about it. Ice Station Zebra stays pretty consistent throughout the scent stages.The one downside to it is definitely the sillage. The sillage isn't terrible by any means, but I do wish it was a bit stronger than it is. The flip side to that is that I am able to wear it to work because I know I'm the only one that will be able to smell it. It lasts an average amount of time on me, about four hours. I've been using this perfume every morning before work and using the last tiny bit of my roll on to spruce it up during my lunch break. 

I think that about wraps it up for today. Thank you all so much for reading. If I don't post before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

OPI - Crimson Carol

Hello beautiful twinkling lights! In my previous post, I was talking about how I'm less than thrilled about all of the holiday nail polish collections this year. Therefore, I've been shopping my own stash!

The nail polish I chose to wear today started off as a sad story. In 2009, OPI released an incredible holiday collection called Holiday Wishes. The polish I wanted the most from that collection was called Dear Santa, and I eventually found it at Ulta. Unfortunately, I have a Bella Swan level of clumsiness, and I dropped the Ulta bag before I opened the door to get in my house.Dear Santa literally exploded in the bag. I was so sad because I knew it was the last bottle in stock. I went back to Ulta, and they actually let me exchange Dear Santa for Crimson Carol (even though it was my fault for dropping it).

Crimson Carol must have some sort of magical Christmas resistance to thickening over time, because I bought it in 2009 and have not had to add any thinner. I painted my nails this morning, almost four years after purchasing it, and the consistency was perfect.

Below are the swatches of Crimson Carol on my nails. I used Orly Bonder as a base coat, three coats of OPI Crimson Carol, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly top coat.

 Above: OPI Crimson Carol in the shade. 

Above: OPI Crimson Carol in the sunlight.

I know I don't usually blog about nail polish, so I hope these posts aren't too annoying for you guys. I really hope you're all having a great weekend, and I really appreciate you stopping by to my corner of the blogospere! 

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me; all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

China Glaze - Mistletoe Kisses

Hello, sparkling glints of snow! In efforts to stay on a somewhat consistent blogging schedule, I decided I'd continue to do more Winter/Christmas themed posts from here on out (hence the new blog theme!). Today's post will be about a holiday-themed nail polish by China Glaze called Mistletoe Kisses. In the past, China Glaze has released some of my absolute favorite nail polishes during the holidays. Sadly, this year's collection was really disappointing to me. In fact, I haven't even found one holiday-themed nail polish from any brand that I found worth purchasing this year. But all's well that ends well- I just searched my nail polish drawers to find some lovely gems from previous releases.

Mistletoe Kisses was released in 2010. It is from China Glaze's 'Tis The Season holiday collection, and it's still available on Amazon for pretty cheap. Since I bought mine the year it was released, it needed some nail polish thinner (as it got thick from time), but I happily obliged to its needs. This polish is an absolute dream to work with. It goes on smoothly and without a fuss. It is opaque enough for full coverage in 2-3 coats, but I used three coats in the second picture below.

Above: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses

Above: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses. The bangle I'm wearing is called Winter and is by a company called Omnia Oddities.

The silver glitter in this nailpolish reminds me of a Christmas tree with tinsel, it's just so lovely! I have a couple other colors I purchased when this collection came out in 2010, so I'll keep you guys updated when I do use them! Until next time, take care and thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Holly Jolly Haul - Haus of Gloi Yule 2013

This is such an awkward time of year where the seasons are in between autumn and winter. The Halloween stuff is on clearance and all the Christmas stuff is already out. Just like enjoying Halloween-themed items early, I'm more than okay with enjoying Christmas items early too! The days go by so fast that I figure I might as well enjoy my favorite holidays as much as possible. That being said, I went on Haus of Gloi's Facebook last weekend and found out their Yule release was last Sunday (November 3rd). Needless to say, I did splurge on a few things for the Yule release!

Most of the items I purchased are in Haus of Gloi's new Yule scent for 2013 called Wintervale. Here is the Wintervale description from Haus Of Gloi:
Snow covered blue spruce boughs, frozen woods, crystalline sugared violets and sharp wintery air, all wrapped around a minty mug of hot cocoa. 

Above: Wintervale Bubbling Scrub, Wintervale Pumpkin Butter, and Wintervale Whipped Soap.

Above from L to R: Silver Fir Butterbomb, Rain (single note that was free with over $25 purchace), Wintervale (I purchased this imp), and Rosy Cheeked (free perfume sample with purchase). All of the above items came in a cute little white pouch, like a little stocking stuffer.

So far, the only things I have used since I received this package are the Wintervale Bubbling Scrub and the Wintervale Pumpkin butter. The scent is quite nice, though a little difficult to describe. The minty notes in it make it a really cool, refreshing perfume that is really festive and nice for winter. The violet and hot cocoa notes also come through, which I think is a really neat combination. The spruce/woodsy notes are not as prominent as the other notes in this blend, which is kind of a bummer for me; but this is still a nice scent that I'm happy I ordered. The most awesome part about the bubbling scrub and pumpkin butter is that it has helped my dry skin immensely. I haven't tried the actual perfume oil in Wintervale yet, so I'll try to remember to edit this post when I do. I'm saving the Silver Fir butterbomb for a time when I can truly relax with a bath. I used their rose scented butterbomb in the past, and it was absolutely wonderful. Not only did it make my bath awesome, it actually left my entire bathroom smelling lovely for days. Haus of Gloi also offers a sugar cookie butterbomb that was released for this year's Yule, and that would definitely be a good choice for those of you that are into foody scents. It even has festive sprinkles on top like a real sugar cookie! Butterbombs are less than half the price of LUSH's bath bombs and just as good (in my opinion). Definitely worth the $2.50, especially if you're a bath person.

So I guess that's all for now! Thanks for putting up with my super early Christmas haul. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn Daze ~ Covered Bridge by Solstice Scents

Hello lovely little ladybugs! Some of you may remember the Manor collection that was released last year by Solstice Scents. It was a themed collection where each perfume was a scent from one of the rooms in the manor. It was a really neat concept, and my favorite from that collection was Library. Anyway, Angela from Solstice Scents has released another Autumn-based "themed" collection this year. However, this year the collection is based on Foxcroft perfume. This new collection is based on a quaint little town called Foxcroft, and each of the scents is inspired by different locations in the town.  I have not tried Foxcroft yet, but I did purchase one of the perfumes from this collection called Covered Bridge.

Covered Bridge scent description from Solstice Scents:

Woods, Moss, Leaves, Wood Smoke, Dirt, Ozone, Fir Absolute

Bell's covered bridge is the main conduit for crossing the North River in Foxcroft.  The view of town, the rushing river water and the towering peak of Mt. Willow are inspiring sights from either side of the bridge.   This fragrance celebrates the dry wood notes which represent the bridge itself, fresh Northern air and mossy green notes and is a must for lovers of woodsy outdoors blends.  Sixteen premium fragrance and essential oils bring the Bell's covered bridge to life.  Wood notes comprised of Virginia Cedarwood EO, Alaskan Cypress Wood EO, Blue Cypress EO and sandalwood meet earthy notes of patchouli, vetiver and musk.  A cool blend of oakmoss, dirt, fir absolute and fern envelopes the dry wood notes and pairs well with a blend of sweet fall air, hay and wood smoke elements.   Covered Bridge is a very smooth and evocative woodsy blend.   Fans of Crumbling Crypt and Wail of the Banshee may also enjoy Covered Bridge as it shares a few similar notes.

The cold sniff of Covered Bridge is very earthy, like wet leaves and moss. Initial application is incredibly smoky. It really reminds me of Smoky Mountain Mallow at this stage, as I'm guessing the same smoky note was used in this perfume. You guys probably know I really enjoyed Smoky Mountain Mallow, as it really brought up some awesome nostalgia for me; so the similarities are not a bad thing. The drydown unearths the beautiful woody notes in this blend. The cedarwood really stands out to me, as I am familiar with it through Attic (which, again, was another Solstice Scents perfume I enjoyed). The smokiness still remains during the drydown, but everything is so well-blended that it takes a few sniffs to realize what stands out on my skin and what doesn't. Sillage is medium, and I'm not sure about how long it lasted because I honestly didn't even check. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with Covered Bridge. I think it's awesome that it contains elements of some of the other Solstice Scents perfumes I enjoy while still containing elements of its own. I don't think you would need this perfume if you already own Attic or Smoky Mountain Mallow; however, I do think it's worth a sniff if you really enjoyed one or both of those perfumes.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't been putting disclaimers in any of my posts lately because it just feels so redundant. Additionally, I know you guys know I did not receive anything for free and I don't have any company affiliations. But for anyone that hasn't read any of my old posts, please know that I purchased all the items mentioned with my own money, I am not being paid to write about any of the products mentioned, I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned, and that my opinions are always my own. As always, thanks for reading- it truly brightens my day to know that you guys enjoy the kind of things I write about too :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Adventures

Hello there and happy Sunday! I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I took Cheyenne to Red Rock, which is a place to hike and rock-climb and do other such outdoorsy things. It's really beautiful there, and our dog absolutely loves it. I'm so glad I remembered to bring my digital camera, because we had a wonderful day and I wanted to be able to have pictures to reminisce! 

The trail we chose to investigate started off pretty rugged, but almost immediately changed into a breathtaking meadow with various deciduous trees scattered about. There were tiny little streams among various places throughout the meadow, which Cheyenne had a blast trudging through! There was this really amazing spot only about ten minutes into our trail: it had a beautiful tree for shade, logs to rest on, and an amazing view. We enjoyed the spot for about ten minutes before continuing on our journey. 

Above: The awesome shaded resting spot!

We continued to walk up and down various pathways, and had a fun time doing so. Cheyenne was having a blast too, of course! But my favorite part of our journey is what I'm about to describe. When we turned back, we had to go back and forth to find a good trail to return on. I'm actually glad this happened, because my boyfriend spotted an owl!!! I have never seen an owl in person, so I was beyond excited to see this little fellow. I was so excited to see the owl that my footsteps scared it away, so all I saw was the owl glance toward my boyfriend and fly away. Well, we decided we wanted to see that amazing creature for longer than two seconds, so we carefully found our way back to where the owl flew off to.

This was the coolest part of our day, hand's down. When we found the owl for the second time, its tail was facing us, but its head was turned 180 degrees to watch us like a hawk. We stayed as still and quiet as possible, mostly watching the awesome little dude through binoculars. I don't have words to describe how amazing this was, and the pictures I snapped do not even begin to do it justice. Feel free to click on the following pictures to enlarge them for a better look at the owl.

Above: Our owl friend!

We were both on cloud nine from seeing such a cool creature in person like that. When the owl flew away once more, we decided to start heading back. On our way back, we head a frog croaking from one of the little ponds. Though we did not find the frog, we did stumble upon quite a few tadpoles resting in the ponds. They were such little cuties, I couldn't help but snap a picture of them.

Above: Little tadpoles resting in the pond.

So that about wraps up our little journey! We all had a really great day, and were pretty pooped by the end of it. We are definitely going to hit this trail again when we get some more days off. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading about our little adventure!