Monthly Archives: November 2012

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Cosmos Nails American Apparel Nail Polish

Mackenzie’s Notes
Galaxy inspired nail art has been really trendy lately and before I attempted a more painterly version I decided to get the effect with my newly hauled American Apparel polishes.  I used ‘Passport Blue’, a dark dusty blue creme color for the sky and ‘Supernova’ (um perfect name for this anyone?) for the stars and supernovas. 
(L) Passport Blue and Supernova (R)
Seriously, how great is that glitter polish!
The glitter polish is best used as a top coat layer since all the shards of gold lay out randomly, and due to their larger size this looks great and not sparse.  I applied two layers of the blue and one of the glitter polish; they both took a very fast time to dry! I recommend putting on a base coat under the darker blue since it might slightly stain your nails. Also, next time I will probably apply a layer of topcoat to secure and flatten out the larger glitter pieces which can tend to stick up. 
All in all I really loved this manicure and got so many compliments on it too. I noticed some girls do a double take on the subway, so you know it’s original and pretty! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The size and shape of the gold pieces vary and mostly lay down flat; you just have to play with them a bit
Inspiration photo: I picked up this lovely cozy, rich indigo sweater at Forever 21; the color reminded me of Passport Blue!
This look is so luxe, perfect for a night out and during the winter months

Reader’s Recommendations: Have you tried this galaxy nail trend? Send me some pictures or links to your looks I would love to see them!  I will hopefully try out a more realistic version soon so fingers crossed!

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Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzing Powder

Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa

Nice medium brown color perfect for my skin tone
Since winter has been creeping up on us quickly I have been looking for a matte bronzing powder to use for contouring and all over color.  I was using another satin finish bronzer from Physicians Formula which I still love, but the shimmer and color were best suited for my darker, tanned skin during the summer months.  Another matte bronzer I was trying out was NYC’s ‘Sunny’ bronzer, but to be honest I really disliked that one and stopped using it; for comparison purposes, the Sunny is twice darker and more of a warm toned brown. I was disappointed that the Sunny didn’t work for me, and since there’s been so much hype around the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in the beauty community I couldn’t tell you how happy I was to receive it in my Sephora ‘In the Glowkit.  I couldn’t wait to try it and smell it since I’ve never heard of a powder product having a distinct scent before! I’m happy to say this has become my new go to bronzer and I’m excited to share it with you!  Keep in mind that the packaging is different than the full size product and since this is a deluxe sample size (0.08 oz) it contains less product. The full size bronzer retails for $29 dollars and you can purchase it in store at Sephora or online at  Sephora or Too Faced.
This is the deluxe sample size and packaging
The Sephora In the Glow kit was great for introducing me to this bronzer and many other goodies

 Mackenzie’s Notes

Pros: The color of the bronzer is a medium/light cool toned brown that looks very natural on my yellow under tone skin tone.  The finish is matte and I enjoy this feature since I primarily use this product for contouring my cheeks and my temples; I also feel that this feature makes it very wearable for lots of skin types and ages. The formula is smooth and blends well and evenly once applied, so you can layer it and work with it easily.  I was pretty surprised at how sheer this bronzer was, but I think that is a good quality to have since too dark of an application or color isn’t the look I’m going for. I think a bronzer should be pigmented enough to show on the skin but sheer enough so you can build it up slowly. This bronzer lasts on me all day (12+ hours) and looks even until the end of the day.  The scent was interesting for sure, but I don’t mind it, and it’s a nice little pick me up in the morning; keep in mind Cocoa is a natural ingredient of the product and not a chemical scent ingredient for you sensitive skinned ladies! This bronzer claims to take down redness but I can’t quite speak on that since I apply it on top of my BB cream.  I tried this on my sister who is paler than me, and I think it showed too orange and dark on her skintone, so I might recommend her the Milk Chocolate Matte Bronzer from Too Faced which is a lighter version.
Cons: This deluxe sample size was included in the Sephora Favorites Kit and while I really like the product, I would probably think twice about spending $29 on a bronzer.  Instead I would maybe pay that much for an interesting blush or highlighter.  Keep in mind though that a full sized product would last you a long time since I have barely made a dent in my little one and I have been using it daily for a month or so.  Also, talc is listed as an ingredient which can be harsh and irritate sensitive skin and clog pores, so keep that in mind when looking at this bronzer; I don’t have sensitive skin and my skin hasn’t had any negative reactions to it so far.
Grade: 4.6/5
(L) Blended out, One swatch (R)
I swirled my brush in and applied it with an angled blush brush; not blended out, wanted you to see it in the photos!

Reader’s Recommendations: Have you tried this bronzer and what did you think about it? Have you tried their Milk Chocolate version? Do you recommend I try another matte bronzing product? Let me know!

 

LUSH Oatifix Banana and Oat Mask - Oatifix Fresh Face Mask

Lush Oatifix Banana and Oat Mask - Oatifix Fresh Mask

Lush Oatifix Fresh Face Mask with oats, bananas, and ground almonds 

With winter in full swing, I decided to try a moisturizing, soothing mask from Lush.  I’m a bit of a mask newbie as I’ve only used one or two brands before and am not as well-versed, but I’ve heard great reviews of the Lush masks and took full advantage of Black Friday shopping.  The reason I don’t use masks that often is because of my sensitive skin and the various chemicals and strong agents found in mask ingredients.  In fact, when I was in Lush, I tried several of the other clay masks on my hand, and within a few minutes, my hand turned red and itchy and all kinds of funky.  So before you try out any face treatments fully, be sure to test it on a small patch to see if you have any reaction.

Oatifix must be refrigerated - in fact, shelf life is quite short so check the expiration 
Oatifix Fresh Mask natural (and yummy!) ingredients
Miranda’s Notes: 
Pros: When I purchased this, I was looking for a soothing, enriching, and exfoliating product that would give my skin a summer glow.  The mask definitely helped with complexion as it smoothed my skin and removed dirt and dry skin.  Because of the banana and vanilla ingredients, this Oatifix mask smells absolutely amazing, I can’t praise it enough.  You know how masks always have that strange earthy, muddy smell - well, that doesn’t apply to this product  and your skin will actually smell wonderfully even after washing your face. 
While application was a bit difficult because of the chunky oats, I could feel the mask sticking to my skin because of the oilier ingredients.  In the case of my dry, sensitive skin, that moisture was much needed but may be a bit overpowering for other skin types.  Overall, the exfoliation of the crushed almonds combined with the soothing banana, made my skin glow and feel hydrated. 

Cons:  Because I have super dry skin (this sounds like a useless super hero power), I would have liked more exfoliation.  Next time I use this mask, I  will use my cleanser first in order to exfoliate fully, and then apply the Oatifix. I also wish the mask applied better and smoothed better because I spent around ten minutes trying work the product and get it to stick in an even layer.  Depending on how much Oatifix you use, the tiny jar may not be enough for more than 4 or 5 applications so the price pay-off depends on your budget.  
Quick final advice, test the product on your hand, ensure that your skin can handle the rich moisture, and exfoliate before applying. As a starter mask, or a training-wheels mask for those not as familiar with face treatments, the Lush Oatifix Fresh Mask would be a great start. 
Grade: 4.2/5
Texture is soft with exfoliation qualities
Note the smaller size of the packaging (which means not as much product)

Giveaway - Thank You to Our Followers

My sister and I used to spend a lot of time talking on phone, g-chatting, and text messaging about our weekly beauty finds, nail art ideas, and the newest makeup releases.  With school and work getting more demanding and time consuming, we decided to share our beauty tips and tricks on a blog related to all pretty things. We chose to title it pretty to the power of two - Pretty Squared.

We have only been blogging for the past couple of weeks and the beauty blogging community has been absolutely wonderful. After reaching our first 200 follower milestone (hopefully the first of many!), we have decided to hold a giveaway with some of our favorite items.   Thank you all for your support and your lovely comments!

We picked some brand new, pretty little items that we absolutely love!
-American Apparel Nail Polish ‘Lipstick’ (swatches here) and’Hunter’ (swatches here)
-Wet n Wild ‘I’m Getting Sunburned’ and Wet n Wild ‘Don’t Steal my Thunder’
-EOS lip balm in Blueberry Potion (review here)
-Revlon Lip Butter Raspberry Pie
-Target make-up bag with beauty samples
-And..last but not least, glittery snowflake ornaments!

Rules:
1. Open INTERNATIONALLY
2. Must be 18 or older to enter (or have parents’ permission)
3. Random winner will have 48 hours to respond
4. Must follow via Google Friend Connect (GFC) to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for entering and good luck!