Monthly Archives: May 2012

Deborah Lippmann: Mermaid’s Dream

I ordered this along with Bad Romance a few weeks ago from Amazon.co.uk as they were a bit cheaper there than at Douglas.  I had been wanting Mermaid’s Dream since I first saw a picture of it before it had even been released.  Not only do I love green, but I love glitter nail polish, so I knew I add this to my collection.

So, this past Sunday I went ahead and prepped my nails with my Essie Sensitivity Base Coat, next I applied three coats of Mermaid’s Dream (you could get away with two to be honest though) and then finished things off with my Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat.  I find with glitter polish that a high shine top coat really brings them to life, not to mention the fact that it helps with wear time and durability.

Just as I suspected, I was not disappointed by Mermaid’s Dream.  As with all Deborah Lippmann nail polishes that I own, the formula was quite nice.  Keep in mind that the first coat goes on a little sheer since this is a very different formula than DL’s other glitter polishes.  For instance a polish like Bad Romance or Across The Universe has larger circular as well as hexagonal glitter suspended in a jelly base.  Whereas Mermaid’s Dream is much more multi faceted and has much smaller less chunky blue glitter and gold micro glitter set in a shimmery metallic sea foam base.  One little gripe I have is that Mermaid’s Dream appears particularly sheer on the tips of the nails, but perhaps that is simply more noticeable due to the fact that the tips are very white in contrast to the pink nail beds.  As for wear time, I am on my fifth day of wear and I’ve not experienced any chipping yet.  I am admittedly hard on my nails so this is pretty good for me at least.

If you’re looking for a unique nail polish that you don’t mind splurging on then I say run to your local Deborah Lippmann retailer and pick up a bottle of this immediately.  DL polishes range from $16 – $18 USD (her glitters tend to be on the higher end) and €22 – €25 in Germany(Mermaid’s Dream is €22 at Douglas.de).  I’ve included a link down below to where you can purchase Deborah Lippmann polish via Amazon.com.  However, they are also available at her personal site Lippmann Collection.com , Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus &  Barneys, Zappos in the States and at the Nail Polish Canada site in Canada.  You can also find them at House of Fraser and on Amazon.co.uk in the UK and at Douglas stores here in Germany.

Deborah Lippmann on Amazon.com

This is usually where I would provide you with a list of similar nail polishes. Well, I am sorry to tell you that there aren’t any to speak of at the moment.  Mermaid’s Dream is unique to Deborah Lippmann so if you have your heart set on this color, then you are going to have to part with a good chunk of change ladies.  It seems that there is now a pretty close dupe for Mermaid’s Dream available at Urban Outfitters called “Sea Dust.”  A big thanks to One Pretty Place, since that is where I originally came across this amazing bit of information.  You can see comparison swatches at Impoverished by Polish as well.  As always, thanks for reading!

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Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Pound Cake & Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake

Last summer during the strawberry season, I thought it might be nice to have some strawberry shortcake.  So off to the grocery store I went to get some strawberries, and what I thought would be a delicious spongey cake to go with them.  Well the cakes they have near the strawberries in the grocery stores here in Germany don’t taste at all like the one’s I was used to back in the States.  In fact, that thing tasted horrible!  Since I wasn’t ready to give up on my strawberry shortcake dreams I figured I would just find a pound cake recipe and make my own from scratch.

My go to site for baking is Joy of Baking.com so I decided to go ahead and try their recipe and once again it did not disappoint.  I think this recipe is relatively simple and I’ve made it numerous times with great results.  Basically if you can handle measuring cups and a hand mixer then you’re good to go.  I will of course provide a link to the recipe below.

Homemade Pound Cake

We always prepare our berries ahead of time by washing them, removing the tops and halving or quartering them depending on their size.  Once that’s done we toss them in a bowl with some sugar and refrigerate them immediately.  You could also add other berries as well if you like.  I personally like to make my own sweetened whipped cream as I do no care for ready made whipped toppings.  It’s so simple to do, all you need is a cup or so of chilled heavy cream (which tends to have a higher fat content) a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar and about a quarter of a vanilla bean (you can always substitute vanilla extract instead).  Combine these ingredients in a chilled mixing bowl (a metal or glass bowl is best) and quickly mix with a hand mixer until thickened and stiff peaks form.  Just be sure not to over whip the cream.  Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency cover and return to the refrigerator for later use.  If you prepare the whipped cream ahead of time I find it’s best as this allows for the vanilla to thoroughly permeate the whipped cream.  I just eyeball my measurements for whipped cream as I’ve made it so many times, but I will provide a link to a more exact recipe below as well.  When you’re ready to serve your dessert slice the pound cake and top with sugared berries before finishing with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy.

Joy Of Baking

Pound Cake Recipe

Whipped Cream Recipe

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Wet n Wild Megalast: Through The Grapevine & Wet Cement

Wet n Wild Megalast: Through The Grapevine & Wet Cement w/flash

I received both of these in the swap I did with Leslie and I was very happy to see them as I had been hearing rave reviews about the Megalast polishes.  I of course quickly got to work putting these to use just hours after opening them.  Since I couldn’t decide which one to use I went ahead and used both and did a “Leigh Ann Says” inspired manicure.  Love her by the way and you can find her on her You Tube channel, which I will provide a link to down below if you’re interested.  Leigh Ann often does two accent fingers instead of one by the way.  For the record, I have no idea where this concept originally came from, she was just the first person I saw who did it.  Anyhow, I liked this idea and thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a try as I thought Through the Grapevine and Wet Cement would compliment one another rather nicely.

I prepped my nails with my Essie Sensitivity Base Coat and finished them with Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat after applying my polish as usual.  First I painted my pinkie, index finger and thumbs in Wet Cement and my middle and ring

Wet n Wild Megalast: Through The Grapevine & Wet Cement

fingers in Through the Grapevine.  Although I thought this would be a good combination, I was surprised by just how good it turned out.  Both colors have a bit of a purple tone to them so they worked nicely together.

I have to be honest, I only wore this for about three days so I can’t attest to the longevity of the Wet n Wild Megalast polish personally.  My sincere apologies for that by the way.  However, I have read numerous excellent reviews on them that made mention specifically of their durability, which that all important top coat always helps with.  I can say that the color pigmentation is great.  I only did two coats of each color and was able to achieve good coverage and opacity with no streaking.  Another thing worth mentioning is the super wide brush.  I am admittedly in love with the wide brush in Essie polishes so I was happy to see a wide brush on these as well.  Sadly though, I think these might just be a little too wide.  For instance, it was a bit tricky on my pinkie nails, but I was able to make it work.  I also feel I should mention the fact that the part of the brush that connects the bristles to the bottle top is awkwardly shaped and a bit annoying to put back into the narrow bottle opening.  I know this seems a petty complaint but it’s just one little fault I found with these, nothing that’s insurmountable by any means though.  Both colors were easy to remove, Wet Cement more so because Through the Grapevine has that lovely berry pigment in it.  Even with removal I sometimes experience a little bit of staining on the skin around my finger nails, especially with darker and red pigmented polishes, and I had no problem with that where these were concerned.

I know I had a few little gripes, but when all is said and done, I would totally scoop up more of these in a heartbeat and I would recommend them to anyone looking for a great affordable drugstore polish.  I just wish I had easier access to Wet n Wild products and that there was a wider color range available in the Megalast polish.  Hopefully Wet n Wild will take a hint and add more in the future since they are such a hit.

Wet n Wild Megalast nail polish retails for $1.99 USD and is available at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Meijer, Walmart & Target stores across the United States.  I was also able to find mini 8ml bottles on Amazon.com for $0.55 as well.

On a side note, I just wanted to mention that I started using a new self tanner and I will be doing a review on that soon.  I want to make sure to really get a feel for the product so that I can give a fair and honest assessment.  So keep an eye out for that.  If you like what you’re seeing please click the follow button.  Also, be sure to rate and or comment and as always, thank you so very much for reading.

Leigh Ann’s You Tube Channel

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Swap With Leslie

Swap Swag from Leslie

For those of you who do not know, I am a Luuux.com member so I also post my reviews on there as well.  Quite a few months ago, I came across a post from a young woman named Leslie in the States that was looking for someone in a foreign country to do a swap with.  Since I had already done one with a good friend of mine from Chicago, who introduced me to Luuux, I thought it would be fun to give it another go.

In case you’re wondering what the deal is with a swap keep reading, otherwise you can just skip to the next paragraph.  In my experience with doing swaps, the two of us come to a mutual decision as to what the price limit should be, make any special requests, set a date to ship the items in some cases and then get shopping.  The swaps I’ve done have consisted mainly of nail polish (because I love it) and various other cosmetics but have not necessarily been limited to these items.  For instance I always include some German goodies, such as gummi bears and chocolate.

I believe it was back in February that Leslie and I got to chatting and set up our swap.  I then immediately started shopping.  It was really nice that we’d decided to do the swap when we did because I was able to pick up a little something to include while I was in Italy.  We also decided to take a little more time which was nice as well because I was able to get some special limited edition items for Leslie along with some items that are readily available here in Germany.  It just figured though, that right when I sent her package out that my local DM drugstore got a permanent Catrice Cosmetics display.  No worries though it just gave me the opportunity to find what products of theirs I really like so I can just send those to her as well in the future. While it is always nice to do the swaps and receive your box of surprises, I think the best part has been getting to know Leslie over the past few months.  So far I can honestly say she is definitely one of the most kind, sweet, upbeat people I have met.

Well without further adieu, here is a list of what Leslie sent me (I so appreciate that she sent me products that she not only has tried but loves):

  • Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Polish
    • Through The Grapevine 208B
    • Wet Cement 201C
  • Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Polish
    • Metallic
    • Kaleidoscope
  • Wet n Wild Coloricon Trio “Walking On Eggshells” 380B
  • China Glaze Capitol Colours Mini Set
    • Fast Track
    • Agro
    • Smoke And Ashes
    • Luxe And Lush
  • Sinful Colors Nail Polish – “Under 18” 298
  • Revlon Lip Butters
    • Creme Brulee
    • Berry Smoothie
  • Aquafina Lip Balm
  • Nivea Pearly Shine
  • NYX
    • Goddes Of The Night Lip Gloss – “Chestnut” 117
    • Round Lipstick – “Athena” 542
    • Ultra Pearl Mania Pigments
      • Nude Pearl 01
      • Walnut Pearl 23
  • NYC
    • Cheek Glow Powder Blush – “Park Avenue Plum” 653
    • City Duet Eyeshadow – “Manhattan Mist” 814A
  • Profusion Colour Me Glow 12 Eyeshadow Palettes 01 & 02
  • DW Classics Berry Lipgloss
  • Montagne Jeunesse Deep Cleansing Clean Up Mud Mask

Thanks again Leslie for doing the swap!  I’ve only had the change to use a few things so far but I couldn’t be happier.  I just hope you are enjoying the things I sent you as well.  By the way, I will swatch and review everything as I use it and as always thanks for reading.

*My apologies for the less than stellar picture, it just couldn’t be helped unfortunately.

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Essie: Mesmerize

Mesmerize with flash

Mesmerize without flash

I purchased this a few weeks ago at my local DM and finally got around to giving it a try.  I’ve really been inclined toward shades of blue lately, so Essie Mesmerize seemed like it would be a good addition to my collection.  To be honest though, I’ve really kind of just been into Essie lately.  For one, I generally quite like their formula, but

CG – First Mate, Essie – Mesmerize, OPI – Suzi Says Feng Shui

the big draw for me recently is this new wide brush, I just can’t seem to get enough of Essie polishes that have this brush.  You’re probably thinking, “this girl is nuts,”  but I’m telling you this thing is amazing.  I believe I have mentioned this before, but it really does make application a breeze.  Not only does it provide for nice even coverage, but it allows you to put on your polish incredibly cleanly with minimal to no clean up which makes all the difference for me.

I paired Mesmerize with my usual suspects, Essie Sensitivity Base Coat and Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat.  Believe me, a good base and top coat is worth the investment and extra time to ensure a longer lasting manicure ladies.  Not to mention the fact that a base coat can also provide protection from dreaded staining.  So I wore Mesmerize for five days before I removed it.  It started chipping just a bit on the fourth day and even more so by the fifth day.  I am admittedly hard on my nails but I feel the chipping I experienced was mostly due to the fact that I had been doing some serious cleaning (without gloves, I know it’s so bad) and baking, which I have noticed shortens the wear time of any polish for me personally.  I loved wearing Mesmerize.  It definitely reminded me of another one of my favorite blue polishes, China Glaze First Mate though.  Mesmerize just seems to pop more as it is just a bit brighter than First Mate, as you can see in my comparison above.  Just to show the difference in color I also included a swatch of OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui.  I think this color is great for summer, although I don’t exactly adhere to what’s necessarily said to be “in” for a certain season and just go for what I like regardless, I’m rebellious that way I suppose.  I know Essie can be pricey and just because I have an affinity for Essie and similarly priced brands of nail polish, I am well aware that not everyone wants to hand over quite so many of their hard earned coinage so I have and will continue to include a list of other options ranging in brand and price.  Sadly Essie Mesmerize hasn’t been so easy to find doppelgangers for, so the list is short.

Doppelgangers:

  • OPI – Dating A Royal
  • Color Inc. – Chara 98
  • Sephora by OPI – Blue Grotto
  • L’Oréal – Jet Set To Paris
  • Golden Rose – Sweet Color #60

*Disclaimer: As always, my Doppelgangers (previously know as Dupes) list is my own personal opinion and it consists of colors that I simply feel look similar or close enough to the color featured in my post.  So we may just have to agree to disagree.

I paid about 7,75€ at my local DM for Essie Mesmerize here in Germany.  My fellow American gals can find it at Walgreens, Target, Walmart and it is easily accessible for all via Amazon which I have conveniently provided a link to down below.

Essie Mesmerize #679

P.S. I received something fun and exciting in the mail today from my lovely fellow American friend in the Garden State!  So keep an eye out for an upcoming post on that.

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