Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez Swatches, Plus OPI Rapidry vs. Seche Vite

Hello all of my lovely readers! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to do my weekly weekend post, but I knew I was getting some new nail polish for my birthday and wanted to swatch them for you guys.  My birthday was last Tuesday (January 22), but I didn’t get to celebrate it until this past Sunday.  Today I spent about two and a half hours getting the swatches ready.  This is the first time I’ve swatched multiple colors and I have to say, it is A LOT of work, so I commend all the other nail polish bloggers who spend countless hours preparing swatches for all of us.  You guys rock!

So, for my birthday I received four colors from the Nicole by OPI Selena Gomez collection.  I got Heavenly Angel, Selena, Love Song and Naturally.

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My birthday polishes!
(From left to right)
Heavenly Angel, Selena, Love Song and Naturally

Before I get started, I want to apologize in advance for some of the pictures.  I’m using a new camera that I got for Christmas a few years ago and I’m not used to it yet…hence the weird lighting.  Additionally, I’m in no way a pro at painting my nails, so please forgive the somewhat sloppy application and enjoy the colors.

First up is Love Song.  This is a pretty lilac color that applies smoothly and is opaque in two coats.

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Love Song

100_0008 100_0009The pictures don’t do this color justice.  They make it seem like more of a periwinkle blue color, but trust me this is a true lilac and is very pretty once applied.

Next is Naturally.  Naturally is a bubble gum pink color.  It took me three coats to get it to the opacity that I wanted.

Naturally

Naturally

100_0016 100_0019I then applied one coat of Heavenly Angel over Naturally.  Heavenly Angel is a glitter polish with flakes of iridescent white glitter that shine green, blue and gold.

Heavenly Angel

Heavenly Angel

100_0024 100_0028Again, the pictures don’t do this polish justice.  It’s beautiful and adds just the right amount of sparkle.  It was also surprisingly easy to remove.

Finally, there’s Selena, a peachy, coral pink.  For people who usually wear neutrals, this would be a great polish to spice up your collection.  This shade is nice and cheery without being too bright.  For these pictures, I used two coats of polish, but I’d prefer wearing three just because the formula is a little streaky (this may be user error though).

Selena

Selena

100_0032 100_0039Naturally and Selena are my two favorite polishes out of these four.  Which are yours?

My mom purchased my Nicole by OPI polishes at WalMart for $7.00 each.  You can also purchase them at Ulta for $7.99 each (click here to purchase).

Now on to the second part of my post: a comparison of OPI Rapidry spray and Seche Vite topcoat.

Seche Vite fast drying topcoat (left) and OPI Rapidry nail polish dryer (right)

Seche Vite dry fast topcoat (left) and OPI Rapidry nail polish dryer (right)

When I first started doing my nails regularly, I purchased OPI Rapidry mist because I kept getting bored while waiting for my nails to dry.  You spray the product on your nails 45 seconds after you apply your final coat of polish.  Today, I used the Rapidry when I swatched Love Song.  A minute and a half after applying Rapidry, my nails were still tacky.  Five minutes after application, they were dry to the touch.

I just started using Seche Vite a few months ago because I read tons of excellent reviews on the product.  Today I applied it when I swatched Naturally and Selena.  My nails were dry to the touch a minute and a half after I applied Seche Vite!  I felt comfortable enough to run my fingers through my hair five minutes after application.  Seche Vite definitely dries polish faster than OPI Rapidry.  Just remember that your manicure isn’t completely dry after five minutes; you can still ruin the polish if you aren’t careful.

Both products do have pros and cons, though.  Rapidry is easy to apply, but can be messy since it’s a spray.  Also, the mist sometimes leaves air bubbles on the surface of your nail, making it look a little bumpy.  This can be rectified by holding the spray farther away from your nails and making sure to apply it no sooner than 45 seconds after your last coat of polish.

Seche Vite dries polish much faster than Rapidry, but it has a very strong smell.  If you’re adverse to chemical scents, definitely go with the Rapidry because it has no noticeable odor.  Seche Vite also feels more convenient than Rapidry because it’s a topcoat.  With Rapidry, you have to apply a topcoat, then mist it over your nails.  Seche Vite cuts out that extra step.

Overall, I highly prefer Seche Vite over OPI Rapidry.  It gives a beautiful glossy shine to nails and dries polish very quickly.  You can purchase Seche Vite at Ulta for $9.95 (Click here to purchase).  OPI Rapidry sells at Ulta for $10.95.

Have you tried either product? If so, I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!

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Christmas Trifle

Hello everyone! I hope y’all had a fabulous week.  We had about 4 inches of snow in High Point, NC, which is pretty unusual for us.  I love snow, so I was really happy that we actually got some.  Unfortunately, it’s pretty much all melted now.  Maybe we’ll get more before the winter is over.

Today I’m doing a different entry than my normal food reviews.  I just wanted to share a special dessert that my family had for Christmas dinner.  My dad is an excellent cook and used to be a pastry chef and baker, so our food is always delicious.  When he decided to make this homemade trifle for our Christmas dessert, no one complained.

Christmas Trifle

Christmas Chocolate Trifle

To make this trifle, you need chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and a Heath bar or two.  All of the ingredients in this dessert are homemade, and my dad doesn’t use a recipe so I can’t give you the exact measurements for everything.

Basically, you bake a chocolate cake and cut it up into squares.  To assemble the trifle, use a trifle dish and begin layering with chocolate cake.  Then, drizzle chocolate sauce over the cake and add a layer of chocolate mousse.  Next, add a layer of whipped cream and repeat.  You will only need to make two layers.  Make sure you smooth out the whipped cream on your top layer.  Crumble your Heath bars and sprinkle them on top.

I love this dessert because even though it is all chocolate, you get a lot of different flavors and textures.  The Heath bar on top gives it a little crunch, and the smoothness of the whipped cream and chocolate mousse blend perfectly which the cake.  The chocolate sauce helps to give the cake a little more moisture, and of course add to the flavor.

I do have to warn you that this trifle is extremely rich, so please enjoy it with a glass of milk! If you like chocolate then you will absolutely love this dessert.  I give it an A.

If you’re interested in making this dessert, I found a similar recipe here.  If you try the recipe, comment and let me know what you think.

Beauty Review: Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara

Hi everyone! Since I got an overwhelming response to my first beauty review, I decided that I will review another beauty product today.  Today we’ll look at the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara.  Mascara is one of my favorite beauty products and since I already have naturally long lashes, I only wear volumizing mascaras.  I used to exclusively use Cover Girl’s Lash Blast Mascara, which is a good product, but I wanted something else.  Recently, I made the change to Bare Minerals.  At first, the price tag of $18 intimidated me because I had never spent more than $8 on mascara.  Despite the price, I decided to try it out and I’m glad I did.  PS: I purchased my mascara from Ulta.

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Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara in Black

This mascara is very creamy and applies smoothly.  I never get clumps and I don’t have to brush excess product off of my lashes.  As soon as I apply the mascara, my eyelashes feel more plump and full.  This product doesn’t make my eyes sting, which I something I’ve experienced with other brands in the past.

The brush is thick and tapered and the bristles easily separate each lash.  This design makes the teensy inner lashes accessible and you’ll never miss them again.   The brush is also very easy and comfortable to hold, making application simple.

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The brush

Next I’d like to show you how awesome this mascara is.  I have some before and after pictures of my eyes.  It was really weird taking these pictures, but definitely worth it to demonstrate how well the product works.

Check out these before pictures:

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Naked lashes

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Naked lashes

And now for the after pictures (I only applied one coat of mascara):

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Both eyes after application

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Both eyes after application (close up)

As you can see in the first “after” picture, my lashes are very full and defined.  The second “after” picture also shows how smooth the mascara lays on the lashes.  This product is excellent in application and wear.  I have oily skin and other mascaras would fade throughout the day and cause me to have “raccoon” eyes by evening.  This doesn’t happen with the Bare Minerals mascara– it stays put all day long.

This product also has excellent coverage.  I only need to apply one coat and I’m good to go.  If you like extra definition, you can apply two coats and you won’t get spidery eyes.  You can also easily apply this product to your lower lashes and they will look fantastic! I usually hate putting mascara on my lowers but with this product I don’t mind.

Lastly, the mascara is really easy to remove.  You don’t need makeup remover because the product comes off cleanly with soap and water.

I highly recommend Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara to anyone who wants plump, defined lashes.  The formula is perfect because it doesn’t clump, it stays all day and is easy to remove when you’re ready for bed.  Don’t let the price tag scare you away because this product is absolutely worth it.  I give the Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara an A+.

Bare Minerals offers a whole line of Flawless Definition Mascara.  You can purchase these products from stores like Ulta and Sephora, or from the Bare Escentuals website.  To view the Flawless Definition Mascara line through Bare Escentuals, click here.  To view and purchase the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara from Ulta, click here.

 

Beauty Review: Liquid Sand by OPI

Hello again everyone! I hope that everyone had a happy New Year and that your week is going fabulously.  I’m super excited about today’s entry because it is my first ever beauty product review!

Before we begin, I have to let you all know that I’m a nail polish addict.  Every time I have some spare cash, I head over to Ulta and buy a few bottles of OPI polish (which is my favorite brand).  Yes, I know you can buy nail polish at Wal-Mart or any discount store, but OPI is a much higher quality lacquer and lasts longer than generic brands you can buy for $4.00.  I highly recommend OPI products, but beware, you may develop an addiction like I did.

The product I’m reviewing today is one of OPI’s latest innovations.  Liquid Sand is debuting as part of the Mariah Carey by OPI Collection for 2013.  The color is called “Get Your Number” and is a glittery blue.  Per the tag on the product, the lacquer “dries to a textured matte finish infused with reflective glints of light.”  Directions for applying state to apply a base coat and two coats of color.  The directions also advise not to use a top coat.

Liquid Sand- "Get Your Number," part of the Mariah Carey OPI Collection

Liquid Sand- “Get Your Number,” part of the Mariah Carey by OPI Collection

I started out by applying OPI’s Chip Skip and Natural Nail Base Coat.  Once the base coat dried, I applied the Liquid Sand.  It went on smooth like a normal nail polish.

First coat

First coat

The first coat dried and right away I noticed the texture.  This stuff really does have a sandy feel to it, which is pretty amazing.  The texture did make it a little difficult to apply the second coat because I wasn’t able to easily slide the brush down to my cuticle and back up.  I abandoned this technique and just painted the second coat on in three sections without regard to my cuticles (sorry for the messy application).

All dry!

All dry!

Once the product dries, it looks amazing.  The finish is matte but the glitter catches the light really well so you do get a bit of shine.  The glitter also provides depth and dimension.  This is my first time with a matte nail polish and I really didn’t know what to expect.  I wasn’t sure I’d like the texture or the finish, but I must say that I’m in love with it.  The color is also great.  When dry, it’s a nice shade of azure blue.  If you’re still uneasy about matte polishes, you can add a top coat for extra luster.

This is such a creative product and I’m excited to see how it wears.  If you’re thinking about trying the Liquid Sand colors, I encourage you to go for it.  So far I’m very pleased with the texture and the color.  By the way, the polish does not catch on clothes, which is something I was worried about.

The finished product

The finished product

You can purchase the Mariah Carey for OPI Collection lacquers at Ulta for $9.00 each.  There are 8 colors total.  Four shades are Liquid Sand colors and the other four are regular polishes (one is a glitter polish!).  If you’re interested in learning more about Liquid Sand, you can watch the following short video by OPI:

*I also want to give a special thank you to Maribeth at Obsessive Cosmetic Hoarders Unite! I read her blog entry for the Mariah Carey collection yesterday.  Previously, I had passed up purchasing the Liquid Sand colors, but after reading about them on Maribeth’s blog I was inspired to try them out.