Things are Working Out!

So, yet again, I start this post with an apology. I’m sorry this is yet again not a review, but don’t worry, I’ve got a few of those up my sleeve. This is more of a news update and a preview of what’s to come.

So these last two days have been great. I’ve gotten to see my aunt and uncle for the first time in two years since they live in Washington state and I was already back at school the last time they visited last summer. We went out to lunch and then to the zoo, which is one of my favorite places ever. Right before our lunch and zoo date, I went for a job interview at the store that my friends call my “mothership”, Ulta. The interview went extremely well, and while I was at the zoo, I got the call I was waiting for: I got the job! So Yay!

Today we had a huge polish family lunch, and it was delicious, but after that I pretty much need to go to the gym like no other, so tomorrow is gym day. In other active news, I just ordered a Fitbit, so reviews of that to come.

As soon as I find out my schedule with the best store on earth, I’m going to work on finding a second job, hopefully either at the bookstore or the zoo, both places that I love.

Now onto the stuff you come here for: review spoilers!

Spoiler 1: Gwen Stefani! I won’t tell you which products, but I’ve got a few that I’m dying to tell you about.

Spoiler 2: Alice in Wonderland! That’s all I’ll say.

Spoiler 3: Ciate London! Such pretty colors! I wonder how they wear.

Spoiler 4: Books Books Books! For the love of books! Find out whats on my reading list this summer!

Spoiler 5: Broken nail polish bottles and how to save the polish!

Advertisements

Hello Everyone!

I have literally gone a whole school year without posting anything, and for that, I’m sorry. Though it’s no excuse, I’ve had absolutely no free time this year. As a sophomore studying architecture, I had no free time at all. Can you all believe I haven’t painted my nails in over a month? Yes. It’s true, me, the girl that used to switch up the color of her nails after less than a week has had bare nails for a month. If any of you are considering becoming an architecture major, let me be the Regina to your Cady and say “You cannot do that. That’s social suicide!” and believe me, I DO NOT have a social life any more. But thankfully, my social life will be alive and well soon, since today was my final review for my big final project.

Despite my alarm not going off and me being late, in tears and hysterical, thanks to my friends, I made it there. I seriously wouldn’t have made it to my review without the wake up call from the Mad Hatter and the ride from the Fanged One. Despite the fact that I was a mess mentally and my best friend, Chris Kringle, was not there for support, I pulled through with the support of my professor, who came to watch me present with the encouraging smile that I needed on her face. I was actually told that of all the presentations given that morning, mine seemed the most doable, like it could actually be built and work for the functions I’d assigned it. So for all those out there that are in the unfortunate position of studying architecture, always remember that materiality matters, believing in yourself and your project matters, and above all, a good blazer and the ability to fake confidence can make or break your presentation. For any project that you do, not just in architecture, remember that you know the most about your project. Don’t forget to show it. You know what you’re talking about even if you don’t think you do.

Well friends, a parting bit of advice that I was given at my first ever review,  “Always be proud of your work.”

I promise I will be better about blogging and I will post more this summer. I’ve gotten quite a few new pallets this year and I can’t wait to show them to you and review them.

 

Summer’s winding down… And some Essie Reviews…

Summer has gone by WAY too fast! I’ve been doing a lot of babysitting, but mostly I was taking a college physics class at my community college to get that out of the way so I don’t have to take it this up coming school year while trying to balance my sophomore studio with the rest of my architecture classes. Thank God my advisor suggested I take it over the summer. It was pretty easy and low maintenance- come to class, listen to lecture, do a lab, be home by 2. No homework. No cumulative final. Considering this was a 5 credit hour class and it was scheduled to start at 11, but didn’t usually start until 11:15 or 11:30 and I was usually done by like 1 or a little after, I’d say it was time well spent since if I would have taken it at my university I would have been overwhelmed by the amount of work I would have had to do and the amount of hours I would have had to put in in and out of the classroom. And, I got an A, so there’s that.  But, even though it didn’t take up my time during the school year, it did take up my time during the summer. For example, because of my class schedule, I missed the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Parade and Rally, which I fully intended on going to. On a slightly, but only slightly, more important note, because of my class schedule, I also wasn’t able to find a job this summer. It turns out that when you write on a job application that you won’t be able to work on any Tuesday’s or Thursday’s, employers don’t really think you will be the best fit for the job. Oh well. While I won’t be going back to school like Herby (Fully Loaded)… (Come on, you have to admit that was funny…) at least I had some extra time to hang out with my friends and relax. I went to the beach a lot and read quite a few books. So while my summer wasn’t as productive as I would have liked it to be, I got some stuff done.  Add to the list of stuff I got done this summer: I GOT MY TONSILS OUT! Yay me! I’ve had some serious trouble with them over the past couple years and I decided that having no more problems with them was worth the two weeks of pure pain from having them out. End results: Welllllll… Too early to tell. I got them out a week ago tomorrow, but let me tell you, has it been fun (insert world’s largest amount of sarcasm here)! For the first three days, all I did was sleep and drink what little water I could. The medicine I was put on made me terribly dizzy and nauseous, to the point that I couldn’t even sit up for longer than 5 minutes at a time at first. Eventually, I was able to sit up through it for a bit longer, but not much. Well, the nausea was too much for me so I was put on different, over the counter, pain meds. It was so nice to be able to sit up and function like a semi functioning adult! But, with great strides comes great backwards steps, or something like that. Since the new medicine was so much weaker, I was suddenly having excruciating pain in my ears, also, I discovered that yawning brings with it a pain WORSE than the pain in my ears. So it’s been fun. But on the bright side, at least I can eat… liquids and squishy solids that barely pass for solids… But it’s something. Right now, mini ravioli cut into tiny pieces seems to provide the most balanced meal. Meat, noodles, tomato.  It works and doesn’t cause too much pain. Mac and cheese is pretty good to if it’s cooked for a long time and eaten in really small bites. I cannot wait for this to be over. I want pizza and french fries and a roast beef sandwich (for some reason, when I’m sick, I always want Arby’s… Weird). Soon my pretties… Soon… But, since you don’t come here to read about my life (or maybe you do, but that’s your business), I suppose I COULD post a review, which I hope to be doing a lot more once school starts.  So, without further ado…

ESSIE NAIL LACQUER- PLAY DATE AND LUXEFFECTS- PURE PEARLFECTION   

So while I was mandated to stay in bed, I sent my lovely mommy and me dear sister to their local Ultas. Let me just say: when you can combine coupons and sales, life is good. Even when you are stuck in bed in pain. So far, I’ve come out of this surgery with six new nail polishes, the knowledge that Sabrina The Teenage Witch is on Amazon Prime Instant Video (You’re welcome for the info), and an addiction to the free game Restaurant Story (Do not get it. You, too, will become addicted. Or get it and we can become neighbors. Either way…).  So all six of my beautiful new polishes are Essie brand. I was in an interesting place when I picked out these polishes because I had to choose them without first seeing them in store or on my nails. So I had to do my research and pick colors by googling them. Some of the pictures online do not look like the actual polishes, which is true of any polish. In the end, I chose Play Date, Luxeffects- Pure Pearlfection, Bikini So Teeny, and Marshmallow. The other two are different top coats that I have to try.  So, while lying in bed and having nothing better to do, I painted my nails using Play Date and Pure Pearlfection. I used my OPI Nail Envy as my base coat, like always, and I have to say, Play Date went on surprisingly well. I say surprisingly because I’ve never really used Essie, I’ve only ever seen it on people, mainly my sister, and it always looks so sheer. I tend to gravitate toward more pigmented colors, so I’ve never really wanted to try it out, but when in sale-land… So with two coats, Play Date is a winner! It’s less blue than on the Ulta website and more pink, but it’s still what I consider a nice shade of purple, and bonus points for it being a shade that I don’t really have anything like already!  I topped it off with the Essie Luxeffects Pure Pearlfection and that gave it a really eye catching shimmer. The specks of glitter are so tiny that they aren’t too overpowering, it’s more subtle. I only on put one coat, but I’m curious as to wether it would be more pearly and less glittery if I put another coat on. Oh well. Next time. A nice point about Pure Pearlfection was that it wasn’t grainy. It dried to a nice, smoothe, gloss, which not all glitter top coats do. Because of this, I didn’t feel like it was necessary to put a clear coat on top. So far, I haven’t regretted the decision, and it’s been about two or three days, with heavy hand washing. The only chipping, which can hardly be called chipping because it’s so minuscule, is along my nail bed because I was too lazy to use a cuticle pusher, so really it’s my fault.

Lesson learned: Attention to detail is everything!

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion

I’ve been meaning to post but I have been so crazy busy. I recently came home from college, and have been babysitting pretty much nonstop since then. I’ve also been rearranging stuff in my room and trying to organize my life just a little bit. But I’ve been really really busy, so here’s a quick review of one of my go to products.
IMG_3165

The Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion in Original works wonders! It really does keep your eye shadow in place all day. This is my favorite primer, and I have tried several different primers. As much as it works, the application is a little iffy. Instead of coming with some sort of brush or wand to apply it to your eye lids, this product requires you to rub it on with your fingers or another brush or wand. I have tried using a makeup brush to rub it in, but, as expected, the brush needed to be cleaned with brush cleaner in order to get the sticky, oily primer off.

If the application problem was fixed, This product would be perfect. It smooths and fills the imperfections so that eye shadow doesn’t collect and cause creasing. It holds onto the eye shadow and minimizes the amount of fallout from the eye shadow.  It works great on sensitive skin, and even though it feels oily when you first out it on, it doesn’t cause breakouts.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this primer.

Kiara Sky Professional Nail Lacquer- Grape Your Attention

WOW! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted anything in such a long time! I have been crazy busy with school. For starters, I have fallen WAY behind in Calc, but no worries, because I actually understand what is going on now, so yay me! Aside from that, I have been super busy with my Fraternity, Alpha Rho Chi, the coed professional and social architecture fraternity at U of I. We welcomed the newest pledge class as actives last weekend, so I got very little sleep because of all the things the actives had to do to make sure initiation went off relatively hitch-less. So, two days and 7 total hours of sleep later, I was thrown back into school work and finishing touches on the planning for the White Rose Formal, which is tonight, which Kay Jay Bee will be joining me for. On top of all this, there has been major drama in my life right now that I won’t be getting into. So, hopefully, you can understand the insanity that has been my life and why I haven’t posted anything. The bright spot in all this is that I changed roommates and now I am living with the wonderful Mega Rose.

But enough about me…

As you guys can probably tell, I love the color purple, but don’t worry- I promise all of my nail polish reviews won’t be purple. This was a brand new polish at the salon that Dennis had just gotten in and I fell in love, so obviously this was the polish I had to go with.

So this polish- I was looking at the Kiara Sky website and comparing the color in the bottle and on my nails to the color on their website and they are TOTALLY different. The color on the website is WAY darker than the actual polish. The actual polish is much brighter. It’s is more of a neon purple.

 I think the polish would look even brighter with one coat of purple over a coat of white, but it’s pretty bright just the way it is with two coats of the purple.

I love Kiara Sky cream polishes. They last a long time and apply super easily.  I definitely recommend trying Kiara Sky if you haven’t already. But be warned- some of the pictures on the Kiara Sky website do not accurately represent the actual colors of the polishes.

Finding the Right Manicurist 

  

I realize this isn’t technically a product review, but I feel like finding the right nail technician is just as important as any product. 

Manicurists– There are several things every girl and woman should have in her life. One of those things, while you may not think it is important, is a manicurist. A professional nail artist is a valuable tool to have- he or she knows the proper ways to take care of your nails and repair damaged nails. The right manicurist is someone you can trust to make your nails look impeccable and feel great. He or she should be willing to try new designs with you and test out several colors before you make your decision. You may be sitting here reading this and thinking, “I can paint my own nails and they turn out better than when I get them done,” and that’s awesome for you, but manicurists are SO much more than people who paint your nails. Firstly, nail technicians have to get certified to be nail technicians. They need to know about the health of nails and how to take care of them. Secondly, they give you that much needed cuticle care that, even if you take care of your nails and hands, you can never quite manage to handle (pun intended). Thirdly, they know what they are doing. Chances are they have been doing what they do for years. I know that, personally, my manicurist has been licensed for over ten years. That is a lot of nails painted. Finally, and while this seems unimportant, most of them give killer hand massages. I know I leave the salon feeling happy and beautiful after my manicure.

Some tipsShop around when looking for a salon to frequent. Visit several different salons (I tried out four before choosing the salon I go to), but make sure you can afford to frequent the places you try. You don’t want to go to one you can’t afford to go to regularly just to see what it’s like, then fall in love with the people only to realize you can’t afford to go there every couple weeks or so. 

Get to know your manicurist– there is nothing more embarrassing than having someone you see on a regular basis know your name or what you like and not knowing their name or anything about them. Find out their name and greet them by it with a smile. 

Tip well– you never know what kind of little nasties they are going to scrape from beneath your nails. If you are at a  small, family owned salon, prices will be lower, but chances are service will be better than at a chain. Remember, just because you are friendly with a manicurist doesn’t mean they are doing you a favor. You still need to thank them for their service. 

Refer people! What better way to share the love than telling everyone about their service? I personally promised Dennis that I would tell everyone about him, so here it is. I have been going to Queen Nails in Berwyn for about four years, and the service is phenomenal! Of all of those four years, I can probably count on one hand the number of times that Dennis hasn’t done my nails, and a huge shout out to Cindy and Tweety for their amazing skills with eye brow waxing. This really is a full service salon. If you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a new salon, check out Queen Nails in Cermak Plaza in Berwyn and tell them you read about them on Your Urban Review!

Just a quick Question…

Hey y’all! A quick question for my lovely readers and subscribers out there: would you all be for or against me posting book/ movie reviews? I know there are people out there with varied intersts and I’m wondering if that would be something you guys would be interested in. I’m up for it If you are! Let me know in the comments!

Butter London Three Part Review

Let me start this review by saying that I left my makeup bag at my house when I went home for Spring Break. Luckily, I will be going home for Easter on Friday and I will be able to bring it back to school. So on top of not having any of my favorite makeup (which I wear everyday), I also don’t have any of my favorite nail polishes. That includes my OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener that I wear under all of my nail polishes. So here I am, wanting to do my nails, after having broken my pointer finger nail on my swatching hand (sob!!!), and I don’t have any base coat. So I did what any nail polish lover did and asked to borrow my friend, Em’s, base coat. That is how I ended up using this Butter London Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat.

I had high hopes for this base coat since I’ve heard so many good things about Butter London. The first thing I noticed about this base coat was that it is very streaky. It goes on relatively easily, but it leaves streaks on your nails! I am used to putting one coat of base on my nails and having it go on evenly, but this was so not the case. I put on two coats, and that was sufficient, but I was not really pleased. It’s ok though because you can’t even see it because it’s a base coat. Speaking of streaky…

This burgundy color was absolutely gorgeous and I bought it at Black Friday, but never used it. Since I’ve never been one to wear colors on my nails which are appropriate for the seasons, I figured now is as good a time as any to try out this color. I am a great fan of dark colors and I wear them all year, so this seemed to be a great idea. I really wanted to like this polish because, again, I’d heard so many good things about Butter London and we all know Butter is not cheap. So this polish was so streaky that is took me three coats to get even coverage. I’m not sure if this was because of the base, but realistically it shouldn’t have been because it’s the same brand and should be compatible. BUT… Once I got the third coat on, I absolutely loved the color! It dries really quickly and have I mentioned I LOVE THE COLOR?!  It is called LA MOSS and is a dark burgundy with a chocolate brown undertone that I just can’t get enough of! Because of the beautiful color, I will definitely be going through the hassle of applying three coats again.

 Lastly on my tri-polish review is this gorgeous halo from Butter called STARDUST. This is definitely my favorite of the three polishes. It goes on evenly, is a thick coat of glitter, looks good over everything, and dries super quickly. The only downside, which is a downside to all of the polishes, is that they have a very strong odor. If you have a sensitive nose and other polishes bother you, this polish will drive you insane. I have a very high tolerance for the smell of nail polish, but these were some of the strongest smelling polishes I have ever used. But again, the colors were worth it.

Both the LA MOSS and STARDUST polishes are from the Steampunk Ball collection. You can get them both here-> http://www.butterlondon.com/The-Outlet/Silver-Expectations.html– two full size polishes for the price of one individual polish. In the end, I don’t think these polishes were anything special. Yes, the colors were amazing, but the formulas were really inferior to other, lower cost, formulas. But, the colors are amazing, so… I guess it’s a draw.

UPDATE: Upon reflection, I stand by everything I said. This review is accurate in my opinion, however, I feel I need to give the polishes some points because it isn’t their fault I left my base at my house and after re-reading this review, I think I was a little harsh. I really love OPI Nail Envy, so in my current crabby mood, after breaking my nail and now having uneven nails and leaving my makeup at home, I think I was unfairly harsh. Em really likes this base, so it has to have some redeeming qualities because I know she knows her polish (she has almost as much as me!). I think my crabby mood led me to be super harsh about LA Moss, so I will re-review it at a later date with a clear mind, fresh perspective, and most importantly, my base coat. I have nothing more to say about Stardust because it is absolutely wonderful!

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette Review

IMG_3297 (1)I’m so happy to be reviewing this palette! I got it right when it came out and have used it many times. The quality of the shadows is absolutely wonderful. They are ultra pigmented and have very little fallout when used with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I have only used it once without the primer, and while there wasn’t much fallout, there was definitely more than when used with the primer, but that is to be expected for any eyeshadow. Without the primer, the eyeshadow also creases, which is another phenomena that occurs with most eyeshadows when they aren’t used with a primer. But enough about my love of Urban Decay’s primer potion.

The colors in this palette are very versatile. There are many neutral colors, lights, darks, and brights. Some are matte finish, and those work great as bases or brow bone shades, but I’m sure they would look amazing on the lids. The metallics and satins are stunning and leave a beautiful shimmer.

IMG_0315All of the colors blend beautifully and the design of the palette lends itself to wearing the vertical rows together, even though they don’t have to be. One of the first things my model, Kay Jay Bee, commented on way how smooth the blending was. When we were doing the photo shoot, we actually did two different looks on her, both of which turned out lovely. The first was a darker look using the blues and greens. The second was a more smokey look using the reds and pinks. Both looks used Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (check out my review here: https://yoururbanreview.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/urban-decay-perversion-mascara-review/) and Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. Kay Jay Bee also loved the mascara, which didn’t surprise me because it is seriously amazing. IMG_0316

Overall, this palette is definitely worth the money. The color selection is amazing and completely different from other palettes. I would definitely recommend the Vice 2 palette to anyone that wants a palette that works for day and night looks.  FullSizeRender