Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A closer look at more BYS nail polish colours

Previously I showed a NOTD from BYS which was provided to me for review. After seeing how lovely the colour and finish was I decided to head to my local Kmart to pick up some more. Because of time limitations I have swatched all colours on a nail wheel. Please note all colours are 2 coats without any top coat.

The good:
  • BYS is readily available.
  • Polishes cost $4.
  • Range of finishes including shimmer, matte and metallic.
  • Pretty easy to apply and they dry reasonably quickly.

The Bad:
  • I noticed some shades had a stronger 'polish' smell than others.
  • Most polishes would need a third coat to be opaque.

And can I be honest and say both of the supposed "bad" things actually aren't that big an issue for me. I am more annoyed by polishes that NEVER become opaque. Anyway let's get to the exciting stuff  - looking at colours:
Matte Pink
Coconut Ice
Hocus Pocus
Love Boat 
Shimmer Blue Hawaii

From left to right: Matte Pink, Coconut Ice, Hocus Pocus, Love Boat, Shimmer Blue Hawaii

I've said it once and I'll say it again for $4 these polishes look good to me. Matte Pink is more hot pink than my camera is showing - think BRIGHT and definitely matte. The only sheer shade was Coconut Ice which would be a great French Manicure colour for those wanting to highlight their natural nails.

Any recommendations for other great shades? 

Disclaimer: Love Boat and Matte Pink were provided by PR for consideration. All other shades shown were purchased with my own money.

Monday, September 26, 2011

NOTD: BYS' Love Boat

BYS is a brand I have heard mixed things about ( I first heard about one of their face mosaic powders) but have never taken the time to investigate further. Little did I know that not only do they produce makeup they have a pretty sizable nail polish line as well (squee).

I was lucky enough to be sent this nail polish to try by PR and I just think this colour is lovely. If it is a greenish-blue or blueish-green I have no idea, all I do know is I like it and it is a perfect summer colour. As for the formula I found it slightly runny (which is fine once you get the hang of it) and the brush made it quite easy to apply and get an even coat. Drying time was reasonable and in the photos taken I am wearing 2 coats without any top coat.

Now I find myself in a bit of a dilemma as I am on record as HATING a VNL but for some reason even though you can just see it in this shade it didn't bother me. After spending some time thinking about this I think I know why - when I glanced at my nails I didn't notice the VNL, it was only when I held them up to look at them in front of my face I could see it. To be honest I think a third coat would have made it opaque but I didn't have the time when applying to go to third coat (and then I really didn't care about the VNL).

So what does it all mean - well BYS Nail Polishes are sold for $4 in a stack of locations and if you need a colour pronto and you don't want to or cant spend big dollars this hits the spot for me. Now if you are thinking "Jac you tried 1 polish how do we know about other colours in the range" well... fear not... I'm saving my exploration of a few other BYS polishes for my next post (which I will probably publish tomorrow).

    Anyone else for the Love Boat? (I had to right?)

    Jac x

    Disclaimer: This polish was provided by PR for consideration.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Review: SAX Sheer Lip Colour Lipstick in Sheer Nude (34)

    Well those of you who read my blog already know of my addiction to all things polish, what I may have been able to hide better is my equally disturbing addiction to lipsticks. I love them... and if you believe Dee... I buy them all in the same colour although I maintain that I have enough swatches on here already to disprove that theory! :)

    Anyway (moving on, nothing to see here) a new lovely that I have been using is from SAX Cosmetics which, if you haven't heard of them before, is an Australian owned family business. SAX items are for sale through pharmacies which in my case makes them a little hard to find, but an extensive list of stockists is available from their website.

    Packaging: I love the packaging - it's simple, classy and I love how you have to press the bottom to open the lipstick.

    Smell: For those worried about scents there is one - it's sweet, maybe caramel but definitely not overpowering or sickly. There is also a slight taste, it's not unpleasant but just mentioning it is there in case you decide to try.

    Texture: The lipstick is lovely and creamy and in a way reminiscent of a lip balm. When I went and looked at their website I now understand why as these lipsticks contain Candelilla & Beeswax, Lanolin and Silk Powder. The effect of wearing this lipstick remains even after the colour has gone (and as a nibbler of lipstick nothing really lasts past an hour or two on me). This lipstick feels like I am doing a good thing for my lips.

    Below I have shown my lips with lipstick (first), then without any lip product so you can see the difference (middle) and just a swatch on my hand for comparison (third).

     Performance against it's claims:
    • They say "It provides a light, silky feel and helps prevent dryness" and I would definitely agree with that. 
    • Sax also say that the Sheer range is designed to give a "sheer tint of colour to the lips" and I would say it does that (and on me a little more).

    Value for Money: These lipsticks retail for $14.95 AUD. Now I compared this lipstick to others in my collection and consider this most closely aligned to a MAC Lustre (my favourite finish) in terms of look and feel on the lips. The packaging is clearly on par with MAC - which in Australia retail for more than $30 so I think these lipsticks are great value at less than half the price.

    My wish for SAX is that they get into the spotlight by being in a Priceline or a department store - like Face of Australia and Australis so that we can buy easily from local companies who are so clearly producing quality products. Having said that they are available in more than 20 chemists in South Australia alone so it's not like they aren't around if you make the effort to look (and I will be from now on).

    What have you tried from SAX?

    Disclaimer: I received this lipstick as an attendee of the Adelaide Beauty Conference.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    NOTD: Nicole by OPI's Cocoa A Go Go

    This polish became mine because of the good fortune of blogger Su of My Perfume Diaries who won a competition. I've said many times how much I enjoy reading Su's perfume reviews because for a scent-challenged freak like me she makes it all sound simple. She is also one of the most genuinely kind people I have met in the blogging community. I guess you can kind of tell that I'm a big fan of Su :)

    All photos shown are with two coats, no top coat and taken in natural sunlight. This is my second experience with the Nicole by OPI range and I am quite impressed. This particular polish is quite easy to apply and I swear in person it looks like my nails have been dipped in a chocolate fountain  (yum or ewww... you decide).

    There is something about this polish that makes me wish for the warm coziness of winter, smells like cinnamon and being snuggled up in front of the heater. Brown is a colour that has the potential to be a little boring but a shade like this shows you how gorgeous browns can actually be.

    Am I alone here people - this is brown gorgeousness right?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    NOTD: Orly's Sweet Peacock.

    This polish became mine simply because I tweeted to Julie of Me, my best and I  how awesome her swatch looked (you can see her post here). So when she offered to send me hers I got all grabby hands and said yes! I'm so glad I did as well because this polish is a total gem. It applied easily in 2 coats and quite frankly I could have stopped at 1. All pictures are taken in sunlight with no top coat.

    Nothing much else to say except this polish is stunning, I am so glad it's mine and thank you so so much Julie. BTW she also has a BB cream competition on her blog at the moment in case you want to win one of those as well lol.

    And with that I'll say happy Wednesday everyone.

    Jac x

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    NOTD: Orly's Pure Porcelain

    I've decided this week is friends week on the blog. One of the loveliest things about blogging is the genuinely lovely people I have met and so all of my NOTDs this week feature polishes generously given to me by other bloggers. And free polish is the BEST kind of polish there is :D

    Today's post is about a colour I could not get out of my mind from the moment I saw it - Orly's Pure Porcelain. I happened to mention this (I think) on twitter and the talented and witty Stacey of Add to Cart  offered to share hers with me. Thank you Stacey  - I love it - squeee!

    Prior to this I had not used any Orly polish but I have to say I am impressed. Despite being a nude shade this was quite easy to apply and very opaque. All pictures here were with 2 coats and no top coat (not sure I'd like this with a shiny finish).

    Here's the funny thing though, the first time I applied this I hated it on me. So I waited a couple of weeks and chopped my nails down before trying this again and now I love it. This is a colour that is made for short nails - hat's off Orly cos I really love this one now.

    Any other Orly colours I need to try?

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Well where the hell have you been? (and a thank you)

    As I indicated in my last post I wanted to catch up on what you all have been posting about so I made a deal with myself - no posting until google reader is empty. Well this morning my google reader sits at ZERO and I came over to my blog to post an update and found I had finally cracked 100 followers (woo hoo!).
    So this update also becomes a huge thank you to everyone who has followed my blog, reads my posts, takes time to comment and generally makes my day by participating in my blogger conversation (which is often a ramble of sheer craziness). You should read my twitter.... lol.

    I had planned a giveaway at 100 followers just kidding... it's all ready to go once I take a picture detailing what's in there.

    Also can I seek some blogger tech support - has anyone put google analytics on their blog and if so where did you put the code (that's where it became a bit too technical for me). If there is a post somewhere to follow please let me know.

    Have an awesome week and thanks again

    Jac x

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Two-way Street.

    File this post under - "it's not good enough and I want to make a change".

    Today (and periodically in the past) I have noticed that I'm finding time to write my own blog posts but no time to read and comment on other bloggers' work. I believe that blogging is a conversation and that it relies on me making time to read and comment on what you are writing about as well as you doing the same for me. So I am making a mental change - I am going to treat blog post reading like I treat email - I am going to make time everyday to do it.

    I know it may seem weird to draw attention to this but I'm not happy with being so behind in reading your posts and I want to back myself into a corner and be accountable for my actions. So as of 6.16pm Sunday 11 September I have 750 posts in my google reader which will take some time to work through but I will keep you informed of my progress. In the meantime prepare yourself for my random comments on your old posts.

    Hope you all have a great week and I look forward to reading your posts.

    Jac x

    Review: Sukin Cream Cleanser

    I mentioned on here recently that I was on the hunt for a new cleanser and I went browsing at Priceline to see what was on offer. At the time I looked past Sukin in favour of another brand which was also espousing to be natural. The cleanser I bought then was so strongly scented it's now sitting in the back of the bathroom cupboard.

    Soon after I decided to go back and purchase the Sukin creamy cleanser and after one use I realised I had been a complete and utter idiot to have walked past it the first time because this product is INCREDIBLE. Perhaps even HOLY GRAIL incredible and here's why...

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Hey I thought this blog did nail polish swatches?

    I guess you may have noticed that there haven't been any nail polish swatches on here in the last week or two. Don't panic, my finger nails didn't drop off or anything (ewww) it's just that my image editing software needs replacing. Now while I don't use the software to edit the pictures to change colours or make my hands look more pretty- I do use it to crop and rotate the photos for placement on my blog. So as soon as my software is up and running the swatches will be back.

    Thanks for your patience and I hope in the meantime you are enjoying the reviews that I have been meaning to write for ages.

    Jac x

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Review: Body Shop earth lovers shower gel

    When I attended the Adelaide Beauty Conference recently and received a truly mind blogging number of products to try, I spied a favourite of mine already -The Body Shop's earth lovers shower gel. I received a bottle in the scent Fig and Rosemary and I have previously purchased from this range in the Cucumber and Mint scent which I have been working my way through ever since. Since I am almost out of the C&M one I was really excited to see the F&R one in my bag.

    So let's get to the review shall we?

    Packaging: In a word I love it. You know I like any packaging pretty much unless it is cheap and nasty but I like both the colour and slim design of these bottles - I can fit them into my shower caddy (I'm practical by nature people). I especially love the bottle images on the C&M one just because I love cucumber so much.

    Smell: The C&M one is probably the nicest scent I have ever smelt in a shower gel FULL STOP. It is a perfect blend of the freshness of cucumber and the sweetness of the mint that just makes it so delightful to use when I am cold and tired having a shower in the morning.

    The F&R one is less crisp as it has the sweetness of fig and the warmth of rosemary (look I am crap and trying to describe scents put your imagination caps on please).  The scent of the F&R one overall is less strong than the C&M so keep that in mind if strong smells upset your constitution.

    According to TBS website, this range comes in 5 scents so there is something to please everyone. I am eyeing off the watermelon and eucalyptus one as we speak.

    Texture: The gel is not too runny and lathers really well (I love that). It makes me feel clean without drying my skin - it's just a good quality, yummy smelling shower gel. There is nothing especially moisturising about either formula so you may notice a difference if you use more creamy shower washes with shea butter etc.

    Performance against it's claims:

    They say:
    • This shower gel is 100% Biodegradable, colour free, SLES and paraben free.
    •  Your skin will be left soft and smooth thanks to cucumber and mint extracts, and Community Fair Trade aloe vera.
    • Your skin will be left soft and smooth thanks to fig and rosemary extracts, and Community Fair Trade aloe vera.  
    I say:
    • Um I have no way of testing if that stuff is true - so let's assume it is and Yay for that!
    • My skin is soft and smooth - and smells yummy
    • Um.... ditto

    Value for money: Each bottle contains 250ml and costs $14.95. Let's be honest- you can get a butt-load of cheapo supermarket body wash for that, however the point of TBS to me is their ethos and quality of product. I can't get a cucumber and mint shower gel from the supermarket - and even if I could I would still buy TBS one if I had the spare cash because it doesn't have some of the nasties other products do and it lasts forever. If you can afford to spend the doolies then I highly recommend.

    Have you tried any of this range - what did you think?

    Disclaimer: As stated above I purchased the C&M shower gel, while the other was provided to me as an attendee of the Adelaide Beauty Conference.