Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guest Blog Entry! + Green is Still the New Black

Recently I was given the chance to do a guest blog entry for the UK site http://www.become.co.uk, a fashion/lifestyle/shopping website. In my (fabulous) blog entry, I discuss winter trends in nail polishes and offer suggestions for the darker winter days. I mention that a very cool look for going out at night or a party in the winter would be an all-black outfit with either snow-white or mint green nails just to give that contrast. And let me tell you, I have found the perfect mint green.

Unfortunately, I also discovered that my beloved topcoat, Out the Door, has a tendency to slightly yellow the colors of light polishes, a problem I've never had before with it. In fact, I learned my lesson once putting on an unnamed other brand of topcoat that it did the same thing so I stuck with it Out the Door...except now Out the Door is doing the same thing. I don't know what's going on but for now, I'm looking for a new topcoat. I'm trying the Sally Beauty's store brand right now, the UV-shielding topcoat and I'll probably try Poshe later too. I'm really sad to be breaking up with Out the Door but sometimes, relationships just end. Maybe the problem is a faulty batch or something but I was really disappointed since the coloring of the polish in the pictures (coupled with poor lighting) don't convey how beautiful this polish is. It's so beautiful that I actually wore it twice in a row, which NEVER happens.

Now, when I think of Revlon, I immediately think of their lipsticks. I was never a fan of their mascaras, I don't really use face makeup such as foundation, bronzer, blush, etc, but their polishes were all sorts of awful. No real variety, and the formulation was terrible. The most exciting thing they did was a couple of years back when they had that Dark Pleasures collection that was such a big hit. However, Revlon's polishes are newly formulated and I can truly say that Revlon is back in the drugstore polish game. Now the only brand that really has to step it up is Cover Girl.

There's a variety of new colors of the new, reformulated line called "Revlon Top Speed," but the one that caught my eye the most was this pretty mint green polish called Jaded. I'm really sad that I had such issues with my topcoat because when applied before my topcoat it looks a lot lighter. It really reminds me of mint, but I had to describe it, I would call it a sort of "ice mint."

Anyway, here are some pictures. The lighting is kind of bad so my skin looks all sorts of ridiculous but the polish is actually lighter in person:


The reason I feel like mint green goes so well with black because it's a fresh color that's not really expected. It's like a breath of fresh air. I have to admit, I've been a bit jaded (excuse the pun) as to green polishes lately. I realize that there are only so many ways a color can be jazzed up but I felt like we were just seeing a lot of the same hue. Here's a slightly better picture that doesn't make me look quite as jaundiced:


But what I really love about this polish is the amazing microshimmer.


When the sun hits the polish, it kind of almost glows. And surprisingly, the more I wore it, the more I noticed that it went really well with all sorts of colors...even yellow, and even purple. I think it's because it's like white but takes a but of the edge off the starkness with a hint of color, much like how a pale pink also complements everything, but this is just something slightly funkier. I know I'm making this polish sound like the second coming of Jesus but this is honestly a color that has broken me out of my nail polish rut and reminded me why I freaking love nail polish. It really is a form of expression and sometimes it really is the ultimate accessory. Of course I couldn't resist one last plug.

Thanks to Ranjit from become.co.uk for allowing me to share my opinions for the site.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tiffany Blues

It's the beginning of winter here (though it feels like winter has been going on for at least a month, it's been so cold!) and you know how you always get a little bit blue in winter? Having it be dreary and bleak most days can really be a drag.

Now, memories are a funny thing. The smell of a certain perfume can remind you of an occasion or a certain someone. Seeing a sign can remind you of an inside joke. Places can remind you of good times (or bad). When I'm driving down the I-5, there's an exit called Utica Avenue and I think of The Office episode (S4EP06) where Dwight proclaims "We will burn Utica to the ground!"

I distinctively remember the nail polish I was applying when my dad called to tell me he had cancer again (OPI Cara Mi Crimson), but a nail polish color I associate with happier times is China Glaze For Audrey. It is, of course, Tiffany blue. There's no other way to describe the color because Tiffany & Co. literally has it protected by a color trademark. It's the blue that is synonymous with the high jewelry company Tiffany & Company. So if you can't afford a piece of jewelry at Tiffany's (aka me), you can at least have a bit of luxury in this amazing color on your nails. It really is a very aesthetically pleasing shade of blue. I don't know what it is about it, but it's just really awesome. It might be because it's not quite baby blue and has a bit of sophistication that can't really be categorized as light blue yet. Or something like that. Well, now I'm just typing my thoughts out which I tend to do.





I love, love, love this color and part of it has to do with the fact that in September I traveled to Disney World with my sister (our first real vacation together without our parents) and this is the color I wore. So obviously, this color reminds me of the Happiest Place on Earth. Or rather, the most exhausting place on Earth. Disney World is HUGE. I mean, it's amazing but wow, it's huge. There's so much to do, so much to see, so much to EAT and so much to drink (non-alcoholic and alcoholic of course).

So whenever I'm feeling down this winter, I'm definitely going to be reaching for this color. It reminds me of Disney World and most importantly, getting to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios too. Talk about amazing!! Also, the butterbeer is amazing. Get the frozen kind though because it is pretty sweet and the ice dilutes it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SP6

Don't forget to get your 6 free spoons at Zoya.com today with the code SP6! I already know one of the ones I'm going to get for sure is Gaia.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Zoya Wants to Spoon With You, Do You Accept?

*UPDATE* You will need a code for the free spoon event. It will be released on Thursday




This Friday only, Zoya will be letting you receive 6 spoons for FREE! Including free shipping! Now I'm a sucker for anything with free shipping, and as a bonus the spoons are really cool in deciding whether or not you want to take the plunge and commit to a color. Because honestly, there's nothing worse than buying a color online only to decide that you hate how it looks outside the bottle. It's a modern day tragedy, really.

This offer is only good on Friday, December 10th, and you will also receive a $3 Color Spoon credit code for use on a future zoya.com purchase, which basically means 6 more free color spoons the next time you buy something from the Zoya website. I personally think it's a great offer, and I've already inputted it into my Blackberry calendar.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Impressions: Johnson's Baby Creamy Oil (Aloe Vera & Vitamin E)

I'm a huge fan of trying new products. I'm always loyal to my Eucerin Daily Moisturizer but lately my hands have been drier than usual. Maybe it's a sign of aging! I'm only 22 though so it's probably not that.

I've always liked Johnson's baby products. In fact, whenever I'm in China I only use their Johnson's baby products, especially their cooling body wash. While of course as we grow older our skins have different needs, I don't think it hurts to go back to basics sometimes.

Johnson's baby creamy oil with aloe vera and vitamin E is my new obsession. This is what the website promises:
"This creamy oil, enriched with soothing Aloe and Vitamin E, combines rich emollients with JOHNSON'S® Baby Oil to provide long-lasting moisturization. Our indulgent, non-greasy creamy oil absorbs quickly and leaves nothing but softness behind on the skin. Its sweet yet subtle fragrance will delight your senses."

Effectiveness as a moisturizer: Um, amazing. I was very pleasantly surprised as how easily it absorbed into the skin, and even though it comes out as quite a heavy cream, once you smooth it out it is very light. It is very different from a lotion so less is more effective than you think! It really does leave skin quite soft, especially with continued use.

Good for body?: Absolutely! I use it on my scaly elbows and ankles, I think it actually might replace Lemony Flutter as my go-to lotion for those problem areas. This is definitely not something you can use on your face though.

Good for nails?: It doesn't specifically target nails so I don't think you'll see a radical change. I haven't used it specifically for my nails but I've used it for my hands and I really liked it as a hand moisturizer too. I don't know how effective it is for cuticles compared to Lemony Flutter or other cuticle creams/oils but it is very light, whereas Lemony Flutter is a bit heavier.

Price: It was around $3 at Target for 8oz. I like the packaging a lot. It's easy to use and easy to carry around.

Verdict: This is probably going to have a permanent place in my moisturizer rotation. The scent is really lovely. I'm not a huge fan of scented products but this one does have a very subtle smell that disappears...I don't know how to describe it. It's a bit like a sweeter baby powder but without the effect of your nose being tickled by the powder, if that makes sense.

Fun Fact: Johnson & Johnson is best known for their consumer products (Johnson's Baby products, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Band-Aid) but they also manufacture medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Some Like It Hot

Hello all! I'm actually on a plane to Orlando, Florida right now but I just needed to keep the posting momentum going =) Which is why I love that Blogger lets you make posts but actually post them in the future.

Now, some people aren't very adventurous with their polish but for those who are, I've got a great yellow polish for you. Even though I'm not wearing yellow for this trip (my nails and toes are China Glaze For Audrey), there's going to be lots of sunshine in Florida! My issue with yellow polish is that it tends to draw out the yellow in my skin and sometimes makes me look jaundiced. But this yellow is bright but also soft at the same time, so my fingers don't look entirely sickly.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

L.A. Flare can be found at Forever 21 and Walmart.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zoya Wonderful Collection

Sorry, I know these swatches have been a long time coming and I actually don't have the swatches for the Wicked part of the collection yet. But these pics were taken with my new camera and are pretty gorgeous if I do say so myself =)

First of all, my materials for swatching if anyone's interested...cut up pantyliners work better than cotton balls or cotton pads in my opinion. Nail polish remover is a must, as well as paper & pen for taking notes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Burke is described as a sienna red cream, and I really love this as a basic red. It's super glossy, and this is two coats. It's a good, everyday red.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Stacy is described as a mahogany red cream. This is two coats, and it reminds me a bit of Icing Redwood so I definitely love it....I'm all about the vampy reds

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Kelly is described as a paynes gray cream. I'm usually not a huge fan of grays because they can be hit or miss but I love this color. Two coats here.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Kristi is described as a crimson red cream. I found that you only really needed one coat for a fresh pop of color, but two coats (as shown here) evens it out more and just gives more gloss

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Cola is described as a desert sand red cream. I actually really like this color, it really reminds me of Coca-Cola (my favorite soda!) but it really draws out the yellow in my skin, ick. So I wouldn't really recommend it for Asians with similar coloring as mine. It's a brownish red and it kind of has a bit of a tricky application. It could definitely benefit from a few drops of thinner. This is still two coats too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Finally, my favorite for last: Shawn, a myrtle green cream. I thought it was gong to be disappointing because the bottle color is nothing to get excited about. BUT it's darker on the nail than in the bottle and it's the perfect green to try if you've never tried green before. It's a lovely shade, but I did have one problem with it: make sure you have a REALLY good basecoat because it left intense staining upon removal. I wasn't wearing my normal topcoat though.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

And I will definitely try to post the Wicked collection soon but I was very impressed by the Wonderful collection. I'm normally all about the shimmer, sparkle, and glitter but these were all gorgeous creams and I really love them all. They're SO glossy without topcoat too, so just imagine the shine magnified with a good topcoat. Here are the spoon samples of both collections though:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I've been playing around with a new watermarking software so my address is a little wonky, sorry! Also, are we liking the new camera? It can be finicky at times but the quality is amazing I think.

Thank You ecoTOOLS!

Thanks so much to ecoTOOLS for giving me body mists for my first giveaway! I hope everyone had fun and congrats to April, Sharon, and Kiki for winning!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ecoTOOLS Body Mist Giveaway!

It's no secret that I love EcoTools...they're actually the only brushes I use to put on makeup. I've talked before about how I love their new skincare stuff and now three lucky readers have a chance to win an EcoTools body mist! I have two of their Blooming Planet and one Passion for Change body mist available to give away.

First, my review of the products:

As I've said before, body mist is a hit or miss for some people. I like it because it tends to not be as strong as regular perfume and the EcoTools body mists have a pretty decent lasting power


Blooming Planet has been reformulated to be more soft, floral, and feminine. EcoTools says that this mist now has notes of organic peony and passion flower...I don't have a very good nose but it definitely smells more earthy and floral than before. Unfortunately, it also smells heavily of honeysuckle, which I'm allergic too. So it's not the best for me but if you love honeysuckle with floral scents, this may be for you!

6 fl. oz/177mL, retails for $5.99 in stores





Passion for Change is more up my alley. EcoTools describes this as a "mixture of organic ginger, sage, and sparkling citrus." I'm a huge fan of citrus scents and the ginger and sage seem to balance the fragrance out so you don't smell too much like citrus. It's a bit citrusy but with a zing, if that makes sense. I'm terrible at describing fragrances but I really liked it.

6 fl. oz/177mL, retails for $5.99 in stores





How to Win:
  • Follow me on Twitter @ballzandthinner
  • Retweet me once! To make it easier, please no extra RTs. One entry per person anyway through Twitter
  • You can also increase your chances of winning if you ask me a question through Formspring.Me and include your Twitter name
  • I'll pick out names from a hat on Wednesday, September 15th and mail out the prizes on Thursday, September 16th through USPS with a tracking number
  • I will also pick out who gets which body mist through the hat method =)
  • I will contact you through DM on Twitter
  • No international shipping this time =( But maybe I'll do an international giveaway soon =)

I hope everyone has fun and participates in my first giveaway! Much thanks to Rebecca from ecoTOOLS for these products!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thank You Zoya!

Even though I haven't blogged in a while, Zoya so very generously sent me their Wicked and Wonderful collections for Fall 2010. Of course, I could never receive something and NOT share, right?

Expect pictures tomorrow even though I just did my nails yesterday. The California sun has been very generous, so there should be some great pics!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Toy Story 3 nails

Someone posted this on LJ and I couldn't help reposting it here! I'm so excited to finally see it next week, it should be amazing




Apparently there's more nail goodness here: http://nailcrazy.tumblr.com/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What are your favorite and least favorite brands of nail polish?

Oh this is hard! Ummm well in terms of higher-end polishes, I love Misa, Essie, and China Glaze. China Glaze has amazing color variety, great application and staying power. The same goes for Misa. Essie used to really bore me but they've really started to branch out (color-wise) and I think their reformulations without the Big 3 bad chemicals are really great. Not to mention that when it comes to classic and classy colors, Essie really delivers. The application of Essie polishes can be iffy at times but it has great staying power on me.

For drugstore brands, I love Wet N Wild, Sally Hanson, Sinful Colors, and NYC.

As for least favorite...I can't really think of any that I really DISLIKE. I haven't had much luck with Revlon or Creative Nail Design polishes. I really only buy CND if it's on super sale (I only have one, and the drying time drives me insane), and I stopped buying Revlon because it's just not worth it. They would always be streaky and bubbly no matter what and the color selection was never something to get excited over. Not to mention I could get the same results with a Sinful Colors, WnW, or NYC polish that's 2 or 3 dollars cheaper. I did see that Revlon has a mint green coming out (or out right now) that looks really cool though, so I might have to check that out.

Ask me anything

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Formspring Me!

I love the internet because it can make people as accessible as they want to be. So, I've created a Formspring! This obviously won't replace my blog but feel free to ask me ANY questions about nail polish, makeup, clothes, any other products, or just about life =) It's pretty fun and no account is needed to participate, I will take anonymous questions!

http://www.formspring.me/BATpolish

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LoL Takeover

I had never heard of Liberty of London before about a week ago, when news began popping up about their collaboration with Target. Everything I've seen of their Liberty of London for Target collection I've loved though, it really seems like bright colors and florals are staples for the brand, which is great for spring.

Well, Liberty of London has teamed up with MAC for a limited edition collection for spring, and I'm really excited about their polishes:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

On the left is Blue India, a dark green blue with pearl, while on the right is Vestral White, a creamy white limited edition color that they are re-releasing. I love, love, love the darling bottles, but I wish they release a fun bright color instead of re-releasing a boring write. I know for sure that I'm going to pick up Blue India already, so I guess it's better for my wallet that there's only one must-have instead of two!

EDIT: I guess it's out already, so I know what I'm going to do after my final tomorrow! Luckily I still have a bit left over on a Macy's gift card

EDIT 2: Thanks to commenter Cali 369 for this info! "Liberty of London is a relatively new accessories brand inspired by Liberty's, the iconic department store in London which has been open since 1875."

Warning

Hi guys, this news has been making the rounds on MUA and other nail polish blogs so I thought I would share my thoughts on the matter.

A blogger and frequent nail board member on MUA, ManateeMama, has been accused of scamming several nail board members out of a lot of money by having the rare Essie Starry Starry Night polish as a "Buy It Now" option on ebay for $50. The problem is, once the money had been taken, no polish was ever taken out. It's calculated that she has stolen more than $500 which is considered internet fraud.

This is ManateeMama's response:
"After a sleepless, terrified, and torturing night I have gotten to the bottom of this "little" mistake you have all made.

I am seriously PISSED off that nobody even bothered to message me at ALL before posting...because it would have saved me a lot of detective work and heartache.

Since nobody messaged me telling me what "linked" me to all this mess I had to call everyone I know asking around and dig through my entire email box, pm box etc. SO, I am guessing Dina and Don are the people you have used to link me to this CRIME?

These people are my degenerate cousins BY MARRIAGE so don't get confused and think I am actually related to them by blood. I set up Dina's Paypal account for her about a year ago. Dina is a [edited] and owes me A LOT of money. A LOT. They have run similar scams to this before, on ebay and forums, which i DID not know about when i helped her!

So, the reason you witch hunting bandwagoners have incorrectly ruined my reputation FOREVER is because Dina sometimes pays for things for me out of HER pay pal balance because she can't afford to pay me back in cash... SO, I have gotten some things from the NB marketplace with the paypal account [email address removed] before, also ebay etc.

I haven't ever sold anything to any of you as I don't even have my OWN paypal account and I dont have access to Dina's I just CALL HER and tell her the info, who to pay, how much etc.

I dont want them to have my address so I ALWAYS USE MY FIANCES WORK ADDRESS. So that is the reason for that. Otherwise they would be knocking on my door asking me for money all the time.

SO how was I victimized when I dont have a paypal account? well i called my cousin and asked her to buy SSN, she said ok, obviously since she was the seller she didnt buy it and lied and said she did. I called her and told her to open an ebay claim when Things went sour. The End.

I have called and cussed out my cousins who obviously got this idea from me from overhearing me talking about rare polish and how much it sells for on ebay. So that part is my fault. I told them to fix this now. The people they ripped off are people that used to be my friends. I told her she has until this weekend to fix it before I call the cops on her myself! I have her ACTUAL address.

Now, that I have had to get into these very personal family details I really would rather not have shared I advise any of you that have filed FALSE POLICE REPORTS against me to rethink your actions!!!

I am in total shock how fast you all turned on me without even a note of doubt. WOW.

If you think I am a liar fine, what reason you have is a mystery to me but fine"


Obviously, there are two sides to each story and no, I don't know ManateeMama personally or have had any interaction with her even on the nail board. From an objective point of view, there is just something really shady about this. From a personal point of view, I just don't trust this explanation. This is beyond simple scamming, this is fraud. If anyone frequents the nail board on MUA, you will know that the nail board is full of the nicest people around and it's sickening how someone could take advantage of that. Choose what you want to believe, but please be careful when it comes to the internet and in buying anything that is rare and hard-to-find. If you ever run into an issue of scamming or any other internet crime, be sure to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (or IC3), which is a joint venture between the FBI, National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Association.

And for anyone who asks why anyone would ever pay $50 for a nail polish...Essie Starry Starry Night is gorgeous. End of story.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! (and decade)

Hello friends! I know my blogging has been spotty in 2009, but to be honest it just wasn't a very good year for me. One of my New Years resolutions is to blog more in 2010, and I will try my best to keep my word.

I'm contemplating moving my blog over to tumblr, but I'm not sure if that would be the best idea. I started it out but I gave up hope for now. I'm not a huge fan of their commenting system, and even though Blogger can be more finicky, I don't mind the layout.

In the past couple of months I've had to do a lot of soul-searching. I'm not a huge sharer of emotions, but I've realized that nail polish and blogging really do make me happy. And if I share a little of what's been going on, maybe it can help someone else too.

I'm reaching the point in my life where I'm about to graduate college so it's been stressful figuring out what I have to do. In September, my grandpa in Shanghai died. I flew back there, missed a week's worth of school, and pretty much felt miserable and depressed and pressured all throughout this last quarter. To add to all this, my dad once again had to have surgery for tumors in his lung (he's been battling various forms of cancer since 2006). Mentally, emotionally, I hit rock bottom many times before I finally decided to try therapy. Dragging myself there was a huge accomplishment but slowly I've begun the healing process and getting my life back on track. I never thought of myself as a negative person, but I am the type of person that does tend to absorb blows and keep feelings bottled up. Not healthy, obviously. Anyway, I just wanted to say that you know, sometimes it's ok to ask for help. It doesn't make you a weaker person. We all need help at some point in our lives.

To keep things light though, this is a new year and a new decade. And I am just dying for almost all the shades in the new China Glaze collection, I can't wait for it to come out so I can buy them. My nails are Sally Hanson Salon Line Arabian Night, by the way. In terms of polish, 2009 was the year I started to love purple polish so at least there's a positive!

I leave you now with swatches from ALU of China Glaze's Up and Away collection. I haven't been this excited about polish in a while! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 It's also a lot more exciting than OPI's Alice in Wonderland collection too, but I have been consistently underwhelmed by OPI's overall collections since their Russian collection.

Anyway happy new year, dear readers! Thanks for sticking by me through thick and thin =)

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