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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Kiss and Red Carpet Manicure DIY Gel Manicure Review and Tips

Hello Angels!  

In a quest to bring you the latest and most accurate information on the beauty products everyone is talking about, I bought a Kiss brand Everlasting Gel Polish DIY starter kit.  It was on sale at my local Duane Reade and with starter systems running from $40-60, and polish colors $9-12, this was a safe investment as gel manicures in NYC average about $40-70.
So the kit comes complete with an LED light, gel cleanser, lint-free wipes and a generously sized bottle of base coat and top coat.  It doesn't come with a gel color polish so I purchased that separately for $8 on sale.
The packaging boasts "up to" 14 days of wear.  So I quickly went to work putting it to the test.  I bought the color "Ballet" and it went on beautifully (see the pics!).  The instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow and the application was easy.  If you're good at polishing your own nails that's all the skill you need!  
I wash my hands frequently for work and with that frequent washing, it lasted for about 3 days chip-free for me, 7 with chips if you can tolerate walking around with chipped nail polish (which I cannot).  I decided to try a different brand polish thinking maybe it was just their color that wasn't designed to last.  The  color I used was "Merlot" from Sally Hansen and it was also beautiful (see pics!).  The most important thing to do as they say in the instructions, is to apply it in thin, even coats.  
Well, it lasted a little bit longer but again after about 4 regular days of hand washing for me, it began to chip and was ready for removal after a week.  
I love the fact that I can have glossy beautiful gel nail color done on my own schedule, sitting at home watching TV.  And in 2 manicures it has more than paid for itself in my neighborhood.  But with it lasting way fewer than the advertised number of days, I was left wanting.  
So... I returned to my local Duane Reade and checked out what other gel products they had.  I found a brand called RCM (red carpet manicure) and decided to give their base coat, color and top coat a try.  Each were about $9.  Following the instructions on the bottles, I started with a blue gel color (see pics) and guess what??  It was SO much more durable than the Kiss polish system!  Lasted 10 chip free days and when it did chip, was resilient enough to survive me filing the length of my nail down to camouflage it.

So far my nails have suffered NO damage because this system doesn't require you to file off layers of nail to start.  

To remove the colors:  First gently file off   the shiny layer ONLY.  Next comes the acetone.  I recommend using pieces of cotton balls soaked in pure acetone and wrapped around each fingertip, leave on for about 15 mins.  You will need to buff the remainder off but remember to be gentle!  

Lastly... Some usage tips:  
I recommend rubbing some sunscreen on your hands before using the gel system.  Although this is a very low energy light in the lamp, it doesn't hurt to be safe!  Just be sure to wipe your nail beds and cuticles clean of sunscreen before applying polish.
Also, after the top coat is cured, be sure to use a lint free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol (or the Kiss or any brand nail cleaning solution provided in your starter kit) gently rubbed over each nail to get rid of any residual stickiness.
At the end of the mani I massage cuticle oil on my cuticles to restore any moisture lost in the process.  

For a limited time Kiss is offering coupons on their website for the starter kit and the polish colors.  I can recommend their lamp but not their polishes for a long lasting manicure.  But as always... You be the judge.
Enjoy the pics below and feel free to post any questions!

Happy shopping!!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

MAC Baking Beauties Collection Review

Hello Angels,

I have a short and sweet review for you all.  MAC released the Baking Beauties Collection just over a month ago.  There were some pretty pearl matte powders and cremesheen lipsticks that were best suited for those with fairer skin.  Since I have been buying online due to my job, I only buy the sure shot.  So let me tell you about what I bought.

If you have been around seasoned MACnistas you might have heard of Lavender Whip.  For women of color like myself, this lippie has been mentioned on a lot of top artists and bloggers/youtuber's list as a must-have pretty purple lip.  I decided a long time ago that given the chance I would buy it.  Well I did.  And you know what?  They were right.
Despite being a cremesheen it is exactly what I would've wanted Viva Glam Nicki II to be in color. It is lavendar and cool but still has a little less blue base then other lipsticks in this color scheme.

I am pleased with my purchase.  You should pick it it up if it is to your liking.  Try your neighborhood counters or to track it down.  As usual, feel free to check out my pic and swatches.

Happy Haulin'

MAC Fashion Sets 2013 Review

Hello Angels,

I am here to tell you about about my small haul from the Fashion Sets Collection.  In this collection MAC takes its best selling lipsticks, lipliners or glosses and cranks out and makes a complete set out of it.

Huh?  Let me explain.  Heroine lipstick was and still is a bestseller.  It is a beautiful grapey-purple matte lipstick.  In the Fashion Sets Collection a lip liner, lipgloss, nail polish and eye shadow was created.  I happened to pick up that lipgloss and lip liner.  The Heroine eyeshadow was a blue color so it stayed in the store with the nail polish.

I also purchased  Ablaze lipstick and lipliner.  It is a beautiful matte coral/pink.  And after I saw  a makeup artist layer it over Ruby Woo on Rita Ora's lips, I was sold.
Although I did not pick up the other two colors, Silly and Embrace Me they are not complete passes. The whole collection consisted of beautiful matte lipsticks and these were no exception. These days with the number of pink lipsticks I have collected, you have to be VERY special to join the none for me.

All in all this was a solid small collection.  If you are able to give these items a good home, you should do so. You might be able to track them down at your local counter.  Be sure to check out my pics and swatches to help you decide.

Happy Haulin,

Viva Glam Nicki II Review

Hello Angels,

I know I am LATE with this post but keeping up with MAC is a job in of itself.  Today I am reviewing Viva Glam Nicki II.  It is the artist's third MAC lipstick and second Viva Glam collaboration.  This color is different from the other two.  This a light lavendar color in an amplified finish.

So what's the verdict....?  I like it.  Is it my favorite out of all her lipsticks?  No.  However, it is a springy pop of color that can be worn by a good number of skin tones.  I love it with MAC's currant pencil.  It adds enough warmth to this icy cool tone.

Viva Glam Nicki can be purchased at all MAC stores and
If you haven't already seen it, check out my pics and swatch on NW43 skin.  Maybe it will help you decide to pick it up.

Until next time
Happy Haulin'

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

MAC Temperature Rising Collection for Summer 2013

The MAC Summer Collection will be available at MAC stores May 30th.  It is currently available online at
Happy Haulin,

M•A•C captures the steamy nocturnal scene in a vivid summer colour collection. Powder Blush sets the tone, Eye Shadow Quads smoulder and Powerchrome Eye Pencil illuminates with molten metallic. Lipstick and Lipglass speak volumes as lacquered nails glisten in the night. Take back the night with M•A•C Bronzing Powder as Pro Longwear Bronzer stays stunning all evening long, Bronzing Oil’s botanical blend transforms skin with lush moisture and Strobe Liquid flashes its sexy afterglow in a new shade.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kardashian Khroma Collection Review

Hello Angels,
I am back with another post. Now if you are like most lipsticknistas,you were hunting along with the rest of us for the lipsticks the Kardashian girls were wearing on the season finale. After looking everywhere for the illusive white tube I stumbled upon the collection at my neighborhood CVS. I then googled the collection and found the color Khloe was wearing. The lipsticks are the Khroma Joystick lip lacquer. The color is Shocking Pink. I picked it up along with two others.

The Kardashian girls are makeupnistas so I was prepared to take no prisoners. I have to say for the eight dollar price they are quite good. It is not a drying formula and the color is true to the tube. I did expect Shocking Pink to be darker but it was nothing MAC Currant lip pencil couldn't fix. I would have loved it if the finish was matte. I would compare them to MAC's amplified finish. It is not the longest lasting lacquer and needed to be reapplied after a few hours.

All in all I have to say these lipsticks are great for beginners especially due to the pencil shape. They are also great for the collectors/ Mommy on the go like myself.
So check them out when you get a chance at your neighborhood CVS and Harmon. Until next time Angels......

Happy Haulin'

From: top to bottom
Retro Red
Rose Parade
Shocking Pink

Rihanna's RiRi Woo Review

Hello Angels,

If you were like most makeup junkies you entered the standing room in the beginning of the month to pick up RiRi Woo.  I have to say this colIabo was music to my ears.  This limited edition color was sold online in the black MAC bullet case with RiRi written on the side.  It was also sold at her recent concert.  Needless to say it sold out quickly.

The color is a pinker,slightly bluer,Red than MAC's own Ruby Woo. It is a retro matte that will look great on many skin tones. Don't worry angels if you missed it, you will have more chances to add this pretty to your stash. You will even be able to pick one up as a Christmas gift for yourself or someone else. It will then be in than pretty little pink casing along with some other goodies Princess RiRi has put together. All in all a welcome addition to my stash.....may even be back up worthy.

Happy Haulin'