TJ Maxx Find - e.l.f. 144 Eyeshadow Palette


I'd thought I was all clever with this $15 e.l.f 144 Eyeshadow Palette find at TJ Maxx (even though Melissa told me there were good deals to be found there) until she posted about her Stila Dream in Full Color Palette
Now I'm all jealous!

My guy had bought me a smaller one for $5 at Target so when I saw this one, I decided I had to have it.
Each color is larger than in the smaller sets and you get more. This really is a good deal, but though I bought it at TJ Maxx, you can get it right off their web site now for $15 too.

Yesterday I matched my eyeshadow to my orange tights with the help of this palette. The color went on nicely (though it was light on my skin and I used my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion first). And stayed put throughout the day.

This week's Manicure


This week's Manicure features:
  • Orly Top 2 Bottom Basecoat and Topcoat
  • Orly -- "Decades of Dysfunction" (as a basecoat)
  • butter London -- "All Hail The Queen"
  • illamasqua Rubber Finish Nail Varnish -- "Kink"
  • Stamping image plate Mash-32
  • butter London Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat

illamasqua Rubber Finish Nail Varnish


This product was one of Sephora's picks a few weeks ago. I read the title "Rubber Finish Nail Varnish" and knew I had to have it. I ordered the dark green color called "Kink."

The box it came in is sophisticated and the bottle has an awesome rubberized cap on it. I had high expectations as a result.

Unfortunately I was let down. The "innovative rubber-like finish" isn't innovative or rubber-like at all. It's not shiny. It's not matte. It simply looks like cheap polish.

The coverage is decent in one coat, though no better than the Maybelline polish I discussed in an earlier post (which costs $10 LESS than this one).

At $14 a bottle, I expected a cool rubberized effect like the cap on the bottle. That's not what you get.

My other half says it does look kind of rubbery. He liked it. But he admitted it was the color he liked most. I agree this is a nice green.

This polish does a decent job stamping however the color isn't as rich (check out my manicure from Sept 30th).

Stila Dream in Full Color Palette

I was out shopping and ran across some awesome deals on eye shadow palettes at Nordstrom Rack. This one is probably my favorite find since I've had my eye on this palette since it was released at Sephora.

Stila - Dream in Full Color
Original Price: $39
Sale Price: $9.75

This is currently on sale on stila's website for $18. Dream in Full Color

Size: Eye shadows total: .65 oz. /18.5 g, Cheek color total: .38 oz. /10.8 g; Smudge: .01 oz./ .28 g

Click pictures for a larger image


It comes with the 29 eye shadow, 7 cheek colors and the smudge stick waterproof eye liner.
I'm in love with over 3/4ths of the colors.
Close up of the center colors. The very middle one (Kitten) is a great highlight color.


 Comes with 7 different looks that can be achieved using the palette.
Also includes a diagram of what the names are for each color. This was also on the back of the box, but I didn't want to keep the box since it's big and bulky.

Eye liner:
I can't wait to try this eye liner out. I received one in one of my Birchboxes a few months back but had a really hard time winding it. If you wind up getting a stila smudge stick just beware that it does NOT wind back into the holder. Do NOT wind more than you need. They do this for hygienic reasons from what I've heard, when you wind a liner back down the bacteria goes into the tube with it.

SO Silver Tone Butterfly Charm Hair Ties

I loved the hair ties in this month's Birchbox (even though Melissa says I can make them much cheaper). I saw a similar item at Kohl's a few weeks ago. And then I got a nice $10 off anything coupon in the mail.

I headed off to JoAnn Fabrics first to see if I could find elastic ribbon on the cheap. But not only didn't I find any on the cheap, I also didn't find any at all (other than a very thin silver elastic).

Armed with my $10 coupon I headed next door to Kohl's.

The SO® Silver Tone Butterfly Charm Hair Tie Set was $16 for 8 hair ties (3 have silver charms attached) but on sale for $9.99. A perfect price with my coupon. I walked out with these hair ties for free.

I've been wearing the orange one all day. It's doing as good a job (maybe better) as the one from my Birchbox. Thus far. We'll see how it holds up over time (the one from the Birchbox has lost a little of its original elasticity).

butter London Nail Lacquers from Coterie

Melissa (LilyElement) sent me to this new site Coterie where they had a deal on butter London Nail Lacquers. The deal was pick 3 Nail Lacquers and get a bottle of  Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat for $36. On top of that she gave me a coupon for $25 off. So after shipping I got this whole deal for $15.99.

I was excited to try this brand especially for such a steal.

The colors I picked are Bluey, West End Wonderland, and All Hail The Queen.

Here are swatches of these polishes (one coat).


 West End Wonderland

 All Hail The Queen

My first impression is that they won't work for stamping. My second is that I'll need several coats of polish or a base color beneath for these to look decent. These days I like polishes that will coat with one coat (and can be used for stamping). So I'm a little disappointed with these offerings. But at the price I got them for, I can't complain.

The quick top coat is decent. Though I've only tested out the quick dry aspect so far. It's as good as the Seche Vite and Essie I've tried in terms of quickness. We'll see how it holds up over daily wear and tear.

Mel's September 2012 Birchbox


Item's Received:
1. Bvlgari - Mon Jasmin Noir
2. Color Club - Put a Pin in It
3. Twistband - Lace Hair Tie
4. Vasanti - Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
5. WEI to Go - Sleep Over Kit
Extra: Brush Guards

1. Bvlgari - Mon Jasmin Noir
I didn't bother picturing the perfume because it smells horrible. It's the standard little sample bottle of perfume.

2. Color Club - Put a Pin in It
I found the brand Color Club through Birchbox and love it. The color is gorgeous, and the formula is awesome.
3. Twistband - Lace Hair Tie
Another Twistband. I won't bash it, but you can make these yourself a lot cheaper by buying elastic and cutting it and then knotting it. Here is a site that you can purchase elastic by the yard (
4. Vasanti - Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
I love getting face scrub in my Birchbox. I haven't found my go to face wash product yet, but I've found several awesome ones through these subscription boxes.
5. WEI to Go - Sleep Over Kit
CC Cream? Never heard of before this but I'm super excited to try it!
Extra: Brush Guard
Brush guards might not excite some of you, but I was super happy to get them. I had never heard of them before, but I can see where they would be useful.

This month's box wasn't something that wowed me, but I'm fairly happy with everything I got. In case you don't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription that is $10 a month. You can easily cancel on their site at any time. You can sign up for Birchbox on their site (

MyGlam September 2012

After a wait that seemed like forever, I finally received my September 2012 MyGlam bag. This month they sent out an email letting everyone know that they changed their company name from MyGlam to Ipsy. I believe it is still the same owners, so nothing really changed except for the name. In my head they will forever be known as MyGlam.

Items Received:
1. SOHO Smudge Brush
2. Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer
3. Jane Sparkle Gloss
4. Mirabella Eye Colour - Semiformal
5. Circus by Andrea's Choice Nail Color - Tightrope (Purple)

The bag itself this month is a cute little black wristlet.

1. SOHO Smudge Brush
I was super excited when I heard there was a brush in this month's bag. I haven't tried SOHO brand brushes before, but it looks decent.

2. Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer
Carol's Daughter is one of my favorite hair care lines. I've tried their Monoi Hair Masque through Birchbox several months ago and fell in love.

3. Jane Sparkle Gloss
I wasn't very excited to see another pink lip gloss (almost the exact shade from last month) in the bag, but I'll use it I guess.

4. Mirabella Eye Colour - Semiformal
Eyeshadow? YES PLEASE! This color is gorgeous, and it goes on super smooth. I couldn't ask for better.

5. Circus by Andrea's Choice Nail Color - Tightrope (Purple)
And last but certainly not least, another Andrea's Choice neon nail polish. I loved the pink one I received last month, but this purple is gorgeous. I can't wait for put it on.
MyGlam/Ipsy is $10 a month, and you can cancel via their website at any time. The bag is shipped around the 10th-15th of every month (give or take a few days). I'm not sure if there is a wait list right now, but most people are able to join before the next bag. You can join via their website (, and make sure to add their Facebook page, they like doing giveaways.

Matte Top Coats - Hard Candy & Julep

This matte polish craze has been going strong all year. Yet I've been struggling with getting a nice look from my original bottle of Hard Candy's "Matte-ly In Love" without smudging, chipping or otherwise missing portions.

I decided to try a matte top coat from Sephora. The one they had was by Julep. Since I already had a few Julep polishes from subscription boxes, and since I needed a few more dollars to hit the $25 get-free-samples-etc minimum on Sephora, I decided to grab this.

The Julep top coat is shown on my middle finger. And the Hard Candy on the ring finger.
Julep smudged the design (which has been dry for 24hrs)
Hard Candy didn't...which is strange because usually it does.
I've read it's a good idea to put a regular top coat over your stamped designs before putting a matte coat on. I didn't do that. So it's to be expected that both of these would smudge.

Since I began writing the draft of this post Thursday I've done two more manicures with this matte top coat, one with ORLY's "Liquid Vinyl" and the one shown below with chevron guides and the ORLY color "Decoded" (a clearance buy at Sally's today). All of the flaws in the below image are my fault, not the Julep polish. I was up and down a bit more than I should have been and hasty with the application.

I've determined the Julep does a nice job matte-ifying polish with one coat. Overall I'm pleased with the effect.

Anya's September Birchbox


This Month's Birchbox featured the following (shown above)

  • kate spade new york Twirl
  • Purple twistband™ Hair Tie
  • 1 tili Bag
  • WEI™ to Go Sleep Over Kit: Real Clean and Ideal Skin
  • 21 drops Aromatherapy Blends "Focus" scent
  • Birchbox and Color Club® Custom Collection "Status Update"

My favorite products in this box are the twistband hair tie and the Color Club polish.

This does exactly what it says it will. From Birchbox's web site:
"They keep hair secure without leaving ugly creases behind, and look as good on our wrists as they do in our ponytails."

Color Club
I've never tried Color Club. The dark gray color went on with 1 coat, nice and opaque and it held up for several days. I haven't tried stamping with it (my free time has been sadly lacking).

Update: 9/29 I added a swatch for one coat of this color (above).
I've also stamped with it. It stamps really well. The color is nice and rich.

21 Drops
I used this last night and ended up feeling queasy but not focused. I'm not sure if my queasiness was related or not but I'm half afraid to try it again. 

This one is billed as:
The appropriately named Focus uses rosemary leaf oil, peppermint leaf oil, and a touch of frankincense to help you concentrate.

twirl by Kate Space 
is not for me. 

It's billed as being 
"fruity floral"
"combination of top notes of watermelon, blackberry, and red currant"
"a middle layer of orange blossom, jasmine, and magnolia."
"Musk and a dose of French macaroons balance the composition and add an undercurrent of sophistication."

I don't like watermelon. Maybe that's why.

Wei to Go
The "Real Clean" Gelled Oil Cleanser did a fine job cleaning my make-up off my face. I tested it by running a cotton pad soaked in astringent over one cheek. The pad came back clean. So, nice job.
It was a little strange because the product didn't feel like it did much at first. But the proof was on the cotton pad (or rather what wasn't on the cotton pad).

I'd say the "Ideal Skin" Perfect Finish wasn't anything spectacular. The product doesn't specifically say it's foundation, but basically that's what it is. 
It says it doesn't require moisturizer but my skin soaked it right up. Maybe that's the point since it's supposed to benefit skin over time? I didn't have time to layer too much on my skin.
I'm not terribly pleased with the package it came in. There's a small hole beneath that white cap. You smoosh the envelope and a small amount comes out. Both packages say to use a pea sized amount. I had to use more. I guess my face is needier ;)

tili Bag
These were my least favorite product in this box. 
They're glorified ziplock bags for like 5x the price.
No thank you.

This Week's Manicure

I (Anya) have been super busy between the promotion I didn't want at my day job and the books I'm editing at night. My nails suffered. Thankfully I turned in edits on Sunday night and have had a little bit of time to catch up.

Here's the manicure I did last night:

This one uses:
Base Polish: Maybelline Color Show "Go Go Green" 340
Stamp Polish: ORLY - "Liquid Vinyl" 40484
Bundle Monster Image Plate BM-212

I'm pleased with the Maybelline polish. It was cheap (under $4) and coats well. I've yet to stamp with it. Check back for news about that.

Anya's September Product Round Up

A little detour from nails and beauty...

Two weeks ago my guy (henceforth known as MG) and I headed over to Indianapolis for a little shopping. We stumbled on Trader Joe's near Keystone. I'd heard of this place, and been given items from it, but I'd never been in one. So we pulled into the lot, hopped out into the pouring rain (the first in months), and headed inside.

This place is great. I wish we had one near us.
I liked just about everything about the store, well all except the buckets stationed at regular intervals to collect the rainwater dripping from the ceiling.

Here's the highlight of what we bought:
Fleur de Sel Caramels
Dark Chocolate covered Ginger
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Several bottles of misc spices
Fingerling potatoes

I've yet to open the vinaigrette but I'm sure it's great. The caramels are delicious (I only have one left). The ginger, not so much, that was MG's buy. He likes them. That's all that matters.

Next are two limited edition, seasonal items we've discovered at Walmart and the like. 
The first is Pepperidge Farm's Caramel Apple Pie cookies.

They're basically soft, yummy oatmeal cookies that taste like apples with a few caramel chips.
I'll be honest, though they're good, there's hardly any caramel taste. If they'd marketed these as oatmeal apple cookies I'd have liked them but my expectations were too high.
Especially considering our NEXT find.

Milky Way Caramel Apple Minis.
Oh. My.
These things are perfect. They're exactly what they say they are.
Milky Ways that taste like caramel apples.
Go forth. Buy. Eat. And hate me for how awesome these are.

A cross section of one of these babies. 
This is half of one. They're the mini size, so about 1" by 1"