Friday, May 25, 2012

Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist

As part of my first ever VoxBox, a box full of products I received complimentary for the purposes of testing and review from Influenster, I received a full-sized Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist in Sweet Pea.  I was SO excited to try it.  I have purchased B&BW Fine Fragrance Mists in the past but never in this particular scent.  Before I get into the review, here is a photo of the bottle I received followed by some information about the product from Influenster:
14 oz Sweet Pea Fine Fragrance Mist

Bath and Body Works Fragrance Mist

NEW Fine Fragrance Mist Collection!

Fine fragrance in a mist as light as air. Discover a better, more delicate fragrance experience in over 20 Signature fragrances. It’s love at first mist! Exclusively at Bath & Body Works.

The Fine Fragrance Mist Collection:        
-          Be Enchanted™
-          White Citrus
-          Cherry Blossom
-          Coconut Lime Breeze
-          Into The Wild™
-          Dark Kiss™
-          Black Amethyst™
-          Sensual Amber™
-          Midnight Pomegranate®
-          Carried Away™
-          Forever Sunshine™
-          Secret Wonderland™
-          Black Raspberry Vanilla
-          Pink Chiffon
-          Paris Amour
-          Twilight Woods™
-          Sweet Pea®
-          Moonlight Path®
-          Japanese Cherry Blossom
-          Country Chic™
-          Warm Vanilla Sugar®
-          Sea Island Cotton®

Where to Buy:

You can find Bath and Body Works products at a registered retail store near you!
Suggest retail price of the Fine Fragrance Mists:  $14.00

As I said, I received the Sweet Pea scent.  I generally avoid anything remotely "floral-sounding" as those types of scents often bother my allergies.  I tend to stick with what I call "fruity" or "foodie" scents.  (I love scents like strawberry, pear, vanilla, chocolate, etc.).  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sweet Pea didn't bother my allergies at all and actually had fruity notes.  Bath & Body Works describes this scent by saying, "Master perfumers have blended sweet pea petals and watery pear with freesia, fresh raspberry, and soft delicate musk."  It is also one of their "Top Fragrances" and I can see why.  I love it and know I will wear it often.  The ONLY drawback to it, that I can think of, is that, for me, the fragrance was not terribly long-lasting.  However, for the price, I don't think it's wasteful to spray it on liberally and often and that is definitely what I will do.

For more information about this and other Bath & Body Works products, please click HERE to visit their website.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons Review - Part Three of Three

Hola!  Today I'd like to share the remaining two colors in the China Glaze Summer Neons collection.  They are *Ride the Waves and *Under the Boardwalk.  To be honest, I hadn't planned to leave these two until last but it sort of worked out serendipitously.  The first five I swatched were "the pinks" and the second five were "the rainbow skittles" and, as it happens, the final two turned out to be the "cream/jellies."  Here come the pics:
Ride the Waves: Thumb, Middle Finger and Pinky and Under the Boardwalk: Index and Ring Finger, two coats, shot indoors, with flash.

Outdoors, in sun.

Outdoors, in shade.

China Glaze describes Ride the Waves as "Dark ocean blue" and Under the Boardwalk as "Fluorescent Raspberry".  While those terms are accurate, they only begin to describe these awesome shades.  They are not quite creams, leaving slight vnl after two coats, but they are not, by any means, sheer, either.  They definitely have "jelly-esque" qualities and I really love them both.  They had a slightly thicker formula than the other polishes in this collection but weren't too difficult to work with.  I just think they are both fabulous colors.  

Overall, I was really pleased with this collection.  The standouts, for me, were Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Surfin' for Boys, Splish Splash, Ride the Waves and Under the Boardwalk.  If you'd like to see my complete reviews of the other ten colors in the collection, please click HERE  for "the pinks" and HERE for the "rainbow skittles."

As always, thanks for reading.  I adore you all!


*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click my disclosure tab for further information.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons Review - Part Two of Three

Hello, lovelies!  Today I'd like to share part two of my review of the *China Glaze Summer Neon collection.  For this set of five, I chose to do one of my favorite things, rainbow skittles!  Here come the pics:
From thumb to pinky: Surfin' for Boys, Orange You Hot?, Sun-Kissed, I'm With the Lifeguard and Splish Splash, two coats, shot indoors, with flash.

Outdoors, no flash, in sun.

Outdoors, no flash, in shade.

Each of these colors had a really nice formula, with the exception of Sun-Kissed which was a bit challenging and ended up patchy after two coats.  They were all fairly opaque in two coats, with the exception of I'm With the Lifeguard which left a bit of vnl (visible nail line).  China Glaze describes these colors as follows:  
"Surfin' for Boys: Glistening bright coral, Orange You Hot?: Bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer, Sun-Kissed: Hot highlighter yellow, I'm With the Lifeguard: Glimmering lime green and Splish Splash:  Bright sky blue shimmer."

Of these five, my favorites are Surfin' for Boys, which is definitely coral-y but one that actually suits my cool skin tone, unlike many "warmer" corals, and, quelle surprise, Splish Splash (if you're a frequent reader of this blog, you're well aware of my love for all things blue).  My least favorites are Sun-Kissed, just because the formula was more difficult to work with and I'm With the Lifeguard, ONLY because it would require a third coat to reach full opacity and it takes a lot for me to be willing to do a third coat (lazy much?  Nope, not I.)  However, the actual COLOR of I'm With the Lifeguard is quite lovely, I'm just too lazy for three coats.

Part three, featuring the remaining two colors in this collection, will be coming soon.  I hope you'll stay tuned! 


*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click my disclosure tab for further information.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons Review - Part One of Three

Okay, I'm not going to lie, I was really excited when I first heard about this collection. I was born in, gasp, 1973, thus the bulk of my "formative" childhood years were in the '80s and, really, what's more '80s than neon? As we all know, everything old is new again and it's just a matter of time before all trends find their resurgence. The impression that I'm getting is that 2012 is the summer of neon, at least in terms of polish. So, without further ado, I present the *China Glaze Summer Neon collection.

Since there are 12 colors in this collection and, as always, I wanted to get them all swatched for you as quickly as possible, I broke them down into three subsections. I began with five "pinks". Here are the pics:
From thumb to pinky: Beach Cruise-r, Love's a Beach, Hang-Ten Toes, Flirty Tankini and Pink Plumeria, two coats, shot indoors, with flash.

Outdoors, in sun.

Outdoors, in shade.

Each of these five shades had awesome formulas and were very easy to apply.  They all dried really quickly too, yay!  However, they had varying depths of opacity, as you can probably see in the pics.  Beach Cruise-r was like a dream, opaque and lovely in two coats.    In terms of opacity, Love's a Beach and Hang-Ten Toes were also good to go in two coats, though not quite as opaque as Beach Cruise-r.  Flirty Tankini and Pink Plumeria would have probably benefited from a third coat, which is most apparent in the shady shot.  China Glaze describes Beach Cruise-r as "Glimmering fuchsia grape", Love's a Beach as "Sizzling hot pink", Hang-Ten Toes as "Bubblegum neon with iridescent purple shimmer", Flirty Tankini as "Shimmering strawberry smoothie pink" and Pink Plumeria as "Light pink with gold shimmer."  I'll let you decide for yourselves if you think those descriptions are accurate based on the pics.  Of this set of five, my favorites are Beach Cruise-r and Love's a Beach.  

I'll be back tomorrow with the next five colors in this collection.  Here's a hint, I do love my rainbow skittles.  

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click my disclosure tab for further information.

Barielle Facebook Sweepstakes - Check It Out!

I'm happy to pass on this little tidbit of information from Barielle's facebook page:
Enter Barielle Cosmetic's BFF Sweepstakes!!! No purchase is necessary. All you have to do is LIKE US, and enter a little bit of information. It will not take long at all - promise! If you are one of the 20 lucky people randomly selected, you will win Barielle's Nail Strengthener Cream (Full Size) and a Barielle Base Coat, Top Coat and 3 Shades Colors of your choice - a retail value up to $74.50. The Contest runs today through June 30th. Please read the sweepstakes rules and lots of luck!
What a great opportunity, right? Be sure to head on over to Barielle's facebook page HERE, like them, and follow the instructions to enter this awesome sweepstakes. Good luck to all!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

NYC Triple Threat

Today I'd like to share a mani I did with three NYC New York Color In a New York Color Minute polishes.  They are, respectively, *Scenestealer Grey, *Sparkle Top Coat in Big City Dazzle and *Matte Me Crazy Mattifying Top Coat.  First up, the pics:
The bottles: Scenestealer Grey, Big City Dazzle, Matte Me Crazy

I started with two coats of Scenestealer Grey, shot outdoors, no flash

and indoors, with flash.

Then I added one coat of Big City Dazzle to my ring finger, shot outdoors, no flash

and indoors, with flash.

Finally, I added a coat of Matte Me Crazy to all nails, shot outdoors, no flash

and indoors, with flash.

Scenestealer Grey is a really pretty, shiny charcoal gray shimmer.  It went on really smoothly and easily, though it did show brushstrokes, which was a bummer.  It's a beautiful color, though, and one I really liked a lot.  It was nicely opaque in two coats.

Big City Dazzle is a fun top coat, chock full of blue and magenta glitter and tiny silver glitter.  It dried really quickly and was smooth to the touch, score!

Matte Me Crazy is the first matte polish I've ever worked with and as someone who was sort of on the fence about matte polishes, never having seen one in person, I am now a convert.  It gave both the grey and the glitter a completely different look, drying quickly and smoothly.  While I am still crazy for shine, this top coat gives me a quick and easy way to give any many a total transformation.  LOVE that!

Head on over to NYC New York Color to check out their current selection of shades and top coats and to find out where to purchase them near you.  I am super happy to have all three of these beauties in my collection!

What are your thoughts on mattified polish?  As always, I'd love to hear what you think!  


*Disclosure: Where indicated by an asterisk, the product(s) in this post were provided to me by the company for review. Please click my disclosure tab for further information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 2012 Influenster VoxBox

Hola kittens! Today I'd like to share my very first Influenster *VoxBox. Influenster is a website that offers consumers the opportunity to sample and review products suited to their likes and interests and share their thoughts and opinions with others. I signed up for Influenster in February and this is the first time I've been chosen to receive a VoxBox to review. Appropriately enough, it is beauty-themed! I was so excited to receive this box yesterday and find out what fun items I would get to try. Here is a shot of the contents of my box:
I received:
14 oz. Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist in Sweet Pea
0.05 oz. Sheer Cover Duo Concealer in Light/Medium
Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Frock Star
Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot Cushions (One Pair)
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Brochure
2 fl. oz. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
ChapStick Lip SHIELD 365
1.05 oz. Strawberry SOYJOY Bar 

I also received a card listing the contents of the box (minus the Dr. Scholl's.  I was told in an e-mail I received from Influenster prior to receiving the box that there would be an additional surprise not indicated on the card included.  The Dr. Scholl's was it!)  Here is the card:

I am REALLY excited to try out all of these products and I will, of course, update this post with my reviews as I try them.  So far, I've only used the Bath & Body Works Fine Fragrance Mist and I LOVE it!  I have been a fan of BBW products for years but I tend to choose either "fruity" or "foodie" fragrances.  To be honest, Sweet Pea is not a fragrance I normally would have gravitated towards by name alone.  I tend to shy away from anything "floral" as those types of scents sometimes trigger my allergies.  However, Sweet Pea is a very light clean scent, very subtly floral, and I think it has hints of fruitiness as well.  I've sprayed it on two or three times since I received it yesterday and while the scent, sadly, doesn't last a terribly long time, it smells wonderful and hasn't bothered my allergies at all.  It is such a big bottle, a full-sized 14 ounces, I don't mind spraying it on repeatedly throughout the day.  

Thanks for looking!  If you have tried any of these products, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


*Disclosure: I received these products complimentary as a part of Influenster's VoxBox program for the purposes of testing and review.  All opinions expressed are completely my own.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wet n Wild - Ocean Grotto

Since this is Mental Health Awareness month and its official color is green, I've decided to try to feature some of my untried green polishes this month.  This one was a birthday gift from a friend, gasp, about one year ago today.  It is Wet n Wild's Ocean Grotto from their limited edition Mermaid's Cove collection.  This collection, like all WnW limited edition collections, was impossible to find in my part of Florida.  Sadly, no stores near me choose to carry these collections and it's really a shame as they are so pretty.  I'm so glad my friend was kind enough to send some to me.  Anyway, on to the pics:
Three coats, outdoors, no flash.  (Please forgive my funky cuticles.)

Three coats, indoors, with flash.

I really LOVE this color!  It has a gorgeous green-yellow foil-y finish and went about three days without a single chip.  It does take a bit of work for opacity.  As you can probably see, there was still a bit of vnl and a few bald patches even after THREE coats.  Still, it's a great polish and I'm looking forward to trying it again layered over some sort of underwear.  (I'm thinking white or black, maybe.)  I am super-excited to have it in my stash.  I just wish my local stores would start ordering these collections. 

Arbonne - Skin Goodies

My friend, Jen, recently asked me if I would like to try out some samples of products from a company called Arbonne.  I was not in the least familiar with this company but I'm always game to try something new.  She sent me several samples and I chose to try a few and share my thoughts with all of you.  First off, let me give you a little information about the company.  This is a direct quote from the accompanying Arbonne literature:
"Arbonne is a highly regarded, premium brand with a Swiss heritage.  The products are healthy, botanically based and inspired by nature."
Sounds good, right?  So far, I've tried two products, the Smoothing Facial Cleanser and the Regenerating Toner.  Here's a pic:
I really loved the cleanser.  You only need to use a TINY amount and it lathers up so nicely.  I splashed water on my face, applied a small amount of cleanser to my hands and rubbed it on my face.  It has a very pleasant citrus-y sort of scent.  As someone who's facial cleansing routine normally consists of, well, NOTHING, this made my skin feel great, really smooth and clean.  I noticed some shininess on my nose after cleansing but when I touched that skin, it was not oily or greasy feeling.  I do have oily skin in my t-zone so this, to me, meant the cleanser had done its job.  I followed up with the Regenerating Toner.  I applied a small amount of toner to a cotton ball and rubbed it gently over my face.  It felt like it was tightening up my skin which is exactly what it's intended to do.  

These are just sample sizes and therefore I cannot comment on the long-term effects of these products but for the three times I've used them, I have been nothing but pleased with the results.

If you would like more information about Arbonne you may click HERE and if you have any questions or wish to place an order directly with Jen, you may e-mail her HERE.  

Please note, these products were sent from one friend to another for my personal use and enjoyment.  It was my choice to review them for you.  They were not sent for that specific purpose.  I am just sharing my personal experiences and opinions on these products for informational purposes.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Press Release - China Glaze Summer Neons

Heat Up Your Summer with China Glaze®’s Newest Sizzling Collection

Los Angeles, CA – (May 2012):  The sun has nothing on you this summer!  Rival its brightness and heat with China Glaze® Summer 2012 collection, Summer Neons.  Featuring 12 new sizzling shades perfect for surf, sand and nightlife, the all new hot hues in China Glaze® Summer Neons include:
·         Pink Plumeria: Light pink with gold shimmer
·         Under the Boardwalk: Fluorescent raspberry
·         Splish Splash: Bright sky blue shimmer
·         Love’s A Beach: Sizzling hot pink
·         Hang-Ten Toes: Bubblegum neon with iridescent purple shimmer
·         Beach Cruise-r: Glimmering fuchsia grape
·         Orange You Hot?: Bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer
·         Surfin’ For Boys: Glistening bright coral
·         Flirty Tankini: Shimmery strawberry smoothie pink
·         Ride the Waves: Dark ocean blue
·         I’m With the Lifeguard: Glimmering lime green
·         Sun-Kissed: Hot highlighter yellow

Also available 8-piece box collection featuring Under The Boardwalk, Ride The Waves, I’m With The Lifeguard, Sun-Kissed, Orange You Hot?, Surfin’ For Boys, Flirty Tankini and Pink Plumeria.
China Glaze® Summer Neons will be available as open stock colors and 12-piece counter display.  Individual polishes retail for $7 MSRP and the 8-piece box set retails for $56.  China Glaze® Summer Neons will be available at fine salons and beauty supply stores nationwide in June 2012.

China Glaze is free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde. China Glaze nail lacquers are available through salons and professional beauty supply stores nationwide. For more information, visit: or follow China Glaze on Facebook and Twitter:

China Glaze is a division of American International Industries.

About American International Industries
For nearly 40 years, AII has been the leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of innovative, quality beauty and skin care products for men and women.  Our product lines include Ardell, Andrea, Body Drench, Bye Bye Blemish, Checi, China Glaze, Clean + Easy, Clubman/Pinaud, Duo, European Secrets, EzFlow, Fright Night, Gena, GiGi, Gypsy Lash, IBD, Jeris-Lustray, No Tweeze/Micro Tweeze, 'N Rage, Prolinc, RAW, Seche, SuperNail, Surgi-Care, Waterworks, Winning Nails, Woltra, Woody’s, and Youthair. For more information, visit our website:
I'm really looking forward to seeing these! What can I say, I went through some of my most formative years in the 80s so the return of neon sounds like a lot of fun to me!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kari Cares - Mental Health Awareness Month 2012

I'm not sure whether or not I've ever mentioned it on this blog before but I suffer from clinical depression.  Though I was formally diagnosed at age 18, it is something that has plagued me my entire life.  It baffles me how, in 2012, there is still such a stigma attached to mental illness and I hope that this admission, in some small way, eases the burden so many face when dealing with their own mental disorders.  There should be no shame, no fear, but sadly, for many, this is still not the case.  It took me many years to come to terms with what is a constant problem in my life, something that I will never be cured from, something that haunts me every day of my life but it is something one CAN live with.  Some days are easier than others, that's for sure, and some days I really wonder if I can keep on keeping on, as they say, but I do, somehow.  That is why mental health awareness month holds such significance for me, personally.  Many of my friends and family members suffer from their own mental illnesses, to varying degrees, and it is for them, and for myself, that I share this pedi with you.
This is two coats of Nubar Reclaim, my favorite polish, in the bright sunlight, where it truly shines.

Green is the color of mental health awareness and I will try to feature some green manis this month as well.  However, I decided to start with a pedi as I find that they last much longer and I'm hoping to maintain green toenails, in some way, shape or form, all month long.  

I'll close this by saying that I really truly hope that if any of you reading this suffer from a mental illness yourselves that you have someone to share with, be that a spouse, partner, sibling, parent, friend, teacher, therapist - anyone who cares about you and can be a supportive listener.  Do not be ashamed to ask for help.  We are all worthy of at least that much.