Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rescue Beauty Lounge Italian Summer Collection 2014

From the official press release:

The whiff of cool ocean breezes tickling your hair and the gleaming sun kissing and embracing your skin as you deeply breathe in the fragrances of flowers in full bloom, this, to me, had always symbolized summer.

My husband and I, we’re earnest creatures of habit, but last summer we decided to abandon the norm (St Barth’s) and head to Venice and Sorrento, Italy. Venice is beautiful, however, it is THE tourists’ destination. Although my husband and I are usually failures when it comes to crowds, monuments and activities, we dove right in.

We got lost in narrow twisted streets surrounded by beautiful ancient buildings, we listened to the flapping of laundry hanging from the windows above, they waved cheerfully like flags of pride and welcome. I’ve broken out in toothy smiles, despite my seasickness, while watching the gondoliers in their red and white striped shirts. They appear in their hats and guitars serenading everyone, making amours—I could not believe that they still existed outside of those old Tom & Jerry cartoons (YUP, I’m that old—do kids today still watch that show?). It is so hard to describe the water—in certain lights it appears to be a sea green, and then it can change to look more like green tea.

We walked endlessly, navigating the crowds, taking selfies and drinking gallons of effervescent Prosecco. Afterwards, it was time for our annual vitamin D intake by the sea and to bake ourselves dark—Sorrento here we come!

When we arrived at Naples, three gel-slicked-haired Italian boys were huddled by their scooters smoking cigarettes. They were dressed to kill, dark sunglasses and all while drinking Fanta (Fanta?). On our way to the hotel, the traffic was bumper to bumper due to all the locals driving to the Amalfi Coast.

We finally arrived at the hotel, which sat atop a cliff. As we looked at our majestic view, the combination of rosemary and blooming Jasmine intoxicated my senses. Italy just smells different in an “I want to bottle this” kind of way. I love their honest, no-frills delicious food and the warm people who are quick to laugh loudly. What impressed me the most is that Italians love their bodies no matter what shape and size, they don’t wear cover ups, and even 70-year-old men walked around in tiny Speedos, strutting around with their arms around their women. Italians are perfectly seasoned life enjoyers.

Below our hotel by the ocean, we dined at restaurants sitting on intimate tight chairs on small decks. We baked ourselves in the sun and read our books under umbrellas. We ate and drank with gusto, and the next thing you know, just as in every vacation, the time flew. We had to say our goodbyes to all the people who had been feeding and caring for us, but when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that Italian summer. Here are some of the colors which captivated me.

Gelato Al Cioccolato: I promise I will stop my obsession with anything that has to do with a taupe-brown goodness, but what can I say? When I tried the gelato from Venice (and it had been about a decade since my last Chocolate Gelato—I know, not a huge chocolate fan, and yes, I’m human) I  was mesmerized by its taste and color. When I was mixing this color, there were definitely times it looked good enough to eat.

Bicicletta: In Sorrento, while strolling by the sea, I saw a precious, dark-haired little girl in a bikini riding a bike with training wheels. The bike was pale pink and it sparkled and twinkled in the sun, the matching streamers flying along with the girl’s confident peddling. I was reminded of my own six-year-old self; this was the exact color I had longed for instead of my own lime-green bike! This pale pink polish has micro glitters that will make you think of sugar and summertime.

Gondoliere: Yes, I do adore those red and white stripe-shirted gondoliers floating around the canals in Venice. Gondoliere is the most vibrant orange-based opaque glossy red nail polish I’ve ever mixed. It’s so sexy, yet classic at the same time. This has more of an orange base than Bangin, trust me, I tripped over myself endlessly comparing the two. This color is hot, like dreamy, steamy summer nights.

Oliveto: Did you know that Italian men climb ladders to carefully handpick olives for extra virgin olive oil? And that the olives that have the misfortune to be dropped on the floor are destined to become just plain olive oil? The smell of olive groves was something I want to smuggle back home. A wonderful multifaceted fading sun drenches those dancing, rustling olive trees. Oliveto is the perfect olive green that reflects the flash of rainbow and purple and periwinkle shimmers. It is a shimmery, yet less yellow version of No More War.

Motorini: If I ever learn how to drive a scooter, this would be the custom color I would mix for mine. A moodier, darker sister of our famed and playful Aqua Lily, this medium base of blue/aqua has a flash of surging fuchsia shimmer. 

Melanzane: I love eggplants. In the markets, in pastas, roasted, and I can stare at them all day just looking at their lush colors. I always see the various tones of purples, vivid green stems, and sometimes there is almost a hint of a bluish tint on their skins. This glitter polish is just like that, you’re going to stare at your nails all day long— wait — make that all week.

Meow Meow: During our nightly strolls you could smell the day’s catch on the shores, and out of every corner, bright green eyes flash at you from the cats protecting their food bank. This dark hunter green shows off a finely milled glitter. It’s almost like Burn The Evidence but with a black glitter that casts shadows, the way a dark cat’s fur might look in the moonlight.

The formula one these was very good. The straight cremes applied the smoothest, but the shimmers and glitters weren't too far off from that. The shimmers have a more flowing consistency and aren't as opaque as the cremes, so I had an easier time with three super thin coats than two average coats. The glitters seem sheer enough to use as a topcoat, but I preferred them with three coats for a full-coverage finish. Drying time is on the long side of average.

I'm gonna call it right now; the sleeper hit from this collection is gonna be Bicicletta. It doesn't seem like much at first, but once it's on my nails I'm amazed by it. It sparkles and shimmers so magically when the light hits it, and the neutral base of the color is just right. I like all the shades in this collection, but that's the stand out one for me. 

The pre-order for these starts Monday, August 11th - make sure you sign up for Rescue Beauty Lounge's newsletter alerts to stay up to date!

 (collection provided for review)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Essie For The Twill Of It Swatch

Essie For The Twill of It

I'm late to the party on this one, but I finally picked up Essie's For The Twill of It and it's love. Essie doesn't do a whole lot of duochromes, so this is a pretty special color. It has a purple-grey base and shifts to purple, teal, and green with the lighting. The finish is a little frosty for my tastes, but it's not too bad. My only complaint is that I needed at least three coats (wearing three coats here) for evenness and opacity. Essie, do more duochromes! I need more duochromes and I love your brush!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pinky Paradise Circle Lens and Lash Review and Photos

One more quick circle lens review! I'm kinda obsessed lenses and lashes lately. Shortly after my last review, Pinky Paradise sent me a couple styles to review, so take a peek below if you're curious, or just scroll past if you're not! Special Selection Value Pack #20 Lashes

The lashes I'm wearing are by, a brand I've never tried before. They're a long, spiky style (my favorite) interspersed with short cris-cross fibers. They're much softer and more flexible than most of the similar spiky lashes I've tried so they curl easily and don't come up as easily at the edges. I love them and I think they'll become a go-to purchase for me. You get 10 pairs for $19.99, extremely reasonable for such nice lashes.

Here's my natural eye color without lenses. Note the size and darkness of my natural iris.

Vassen Lollipop Pink

This style gives both enlargement and bright color.  The tricolor splatter pattern mimics the way a natural iris would look, which helps take the edge off of the stark pupil circle's unnatural effect. Still, these are more of a fun lens than a natural lens. They feel comfortable and sit properly on my eye.

Vassen Natural Sparkling Red

These are very large. They have a black limbal ring, followed by a dark grey spiky ring, and then a check-shaped red pattern on a clear center. These give huge enlargement and only a little bit of color. I think that these might even be a little too big since I can see a gap between the grey ring and my own iris when I look up. If the outer ring was just a little thicker, they'd be perfect. The clear center gives them a more natural effect.

Princess Pinky Eclipse Violet

These are PERFECT. The pupil area is nice and wide so they don't give me that dead eye look. The violet color is soft and subtle in natural light, but when the sun shines on them (or camera flash, in this case) they pop. The have a moonlit, sort of cloudy look closest to the black outer ring and I think that makes them look magical. I adore these. I love them so much that I'll probably pick up the rest of the colors!

EOS Dolly Eye Pink

These are wild. They're opaque and unnatural looking. There's a very thick limbal ring and the iris is a completely opaque baby pink. Not much enlargement. The pupil area is pretty small, so when I'm in a dark room I can see pink around the edges of my vision. The name, Dolly Eye, is exactly what they give you. They'd be great for costumes and cosplay since they're so cartoonish.

I've purchased from Pinky Paradise several times and always had a good experience. They ship fast and arrive quickly (they ship from Malaysia and still arrive quickly!) and everything has always been correct and well-packaged.

If you're planning on ordering anything, they've given me the promo code Scrangie for my readers to use for a free cute animal lens case and free mystery gift with every pair of lenses ordered.

(product sent for review. post contains an affiliate link.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

My thoughts on two different gel polishes

You've probably noticed that gel polishes (sometimes called no-chip polishes) are HUGE right now. They've gone from a professional-only service to being available in every drugstore.  I've never been interested in them because I just don't like wearing the same polish for more than a day or two, and with gel polishes you either have a four week commitment to a color, or you have to endure a 30+ minute removal process.

But one day, as I was gazing down at my disappointingly short-lived pedicure, it dawned on me that I could use these on my toes too.  I mean, I always knew I could, it's just that I had no desire to actually do so until that very moment.

I had a couple different gel polish sets sitting around waiting to be tried, so I decided to compare a no cure gel with an LED gel.

Jessica Flash Fusion 2-5-2

Jessica Flash Fusion Colour Activator in High Velocity

This system is super simple. It's only two steps: Primer and Colour Activator. You prep your nails by cleansing them of all oil and moisture, and then you apply the primer to all nails on one hand. You immediately follow with the Colour Activator (which is the polish part).  A final coat of Primer seals the color and you're done. No curing. No dry time.

The texture took a bit of getting used to, but application was very simple. The Primer is basically superglue or nail glue. The Colour Activator is the tricky part- it spreads out really fast when it touches the primer. I eventually learned that I could just apply a drop of Activator in the center of my nail, on top of the primer, and it would spread to cover the entire surface.

The end result was a bit lumpy (hey, it was my first try) but looked and felt great. Smooth, glossy, hard. Unfortunately, it chipped right away.


Luckily for me, removal was easy.  Five minutes in foil with Jessica's Flash Off remover and it was done. It has the texture of nail glue, so it just dissolves with the remover. 

I would definitely use this again as a pedicure since it was so fast and easy. It has its downsides, but I really liked the quick removal compared to LED gel.

This set was sent for review, but it can be purchased online directly from Jessica here.

Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Polish

Red Carpet Manicure Cinder-Ella

The Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel has more steps, but it also has a much longer lasting end result.

You prep your nails with a sanitizer, apply base coat, cure, color, cure, color again, cure, topcoat, cure, and then wipe away the sticky layer and you're finally done. It's not complicated or difficult at all, it just takes longer.

I like the texture of the products. They're thick but they don't set so you have some time to play around with them and get your glitter placement right before you cure it. I think I applied my glitter a little too thick, but I was trying to get it opaque in two coats so that's my fault. I don't think Cinder-Ella was meant to be an opaque glitter. 

The gel polish in this system cures with an LED light that has a timer built in. You place your hand under it, hit the button, and then it turns off after 45 seconds (there's also a portable version of the LED lamp that takes a little longer, but I have the plug-in one.) 

This gel polish was extremely sturdy and chip-proof for as long as I wore it. I only had it on for a week because... why would I want to wear this color for more than a week? I can't fathom it. Hah!

The huge downside for me was the removal. It takes FOREVER. You need to file the shine off the nails, soak them with remover for 20-30 minutes, and then they're supposed to slide off, but they don't. You gotta scrape a little, and then sometimes soak a little longer to get down to the bottom. Removal was such a pain for me that I'd be hesitant to use anything but clear gel if I used these again.

I bought my Red Carpet Manicure supplies from Ulta

If you like wearing the same color for a really long time, these at home soak of gel systems are really user-friendly. I don't think gel polish is for me, but I can see why people like it.  I liked both of these types of gel polish, but I preferred the easier removal of the Jessica system.  Maybe there's another brand out there that removes just as easily. Do you know of one? I'd totally try it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Circle lens reviews and photos

I wear contact lenses daily to correct my vision, but plain contacts are boring.  Life's short.  I need to extract every last ounce of fun from it that I can.  And you know what's fun?  Purple eyes. So, sometimes I wear circle lenses in different colors instead of my regular clear contacts. May as well do a few quick reviews of some of the ones I've been wearing lately!

EOS Ice Violet
(before and after)

These are my current favorite lenses. They have a thin limbal ring and a wide center so they look much more natural and realistically iris-like compared to other colored contacts. They have a great enlarging effect without looking too alien, and the color is subtle but noticeably violet. They're also really comfortable and don't seem to get as dry as my usual (Acuvue Oasys) contacts.  I also have these in brown.  I purchased these from

Dolly+ Red

These are my second favorite pair. They have a very pronounced limbal ring and a bright, opaque red iris. The center is also nice and wide which helps to give them a more natural look as it doesn't remove as much of the depth of the eye. They're also nice and comfortable and give me no problems when I wear them.  I've gotten so many compliments on these!  I purchased this pair from as well.

Vassen Latte Pink

These are a mixture of different shades of brown and pink arranged in a swirl pattern.  They're super pretty, view the closeup for a better look! They enlarge the iris quite a bit and are noticeable but not bright. They're not as comfortable as some of my other lenses. They feel thicker than most I've worn and they dry out faster. I still really love them. I purchased these from

Vassen Cloud Nine Violet

I love purple and these are really purple.  This photo was taken with flash, but in natural sunlight they look lighter and more lavender, but still very obviously purple. They have a nice wide space around the pupil, which is what I prefer, but they're not at all natural looking.  The iris is opaque, the color is vibrant, the limbal ring is thick and patterned.  The EOS Ice Violet are more for subtle but believable violet eyes, and these are for super fun POW! violet eyes.  These, sadly, aren't very comfortable for me so I don't wear them very often.  I purchased these from Pinky Paradise as well.

EOS Pop C Dark Green

I wanted to try green contacts and these were on sale at Pinky Paradise.  Green eyes and purple hair sounded like a great combination to me. I like the color of these. They're a bright grass green surrounded by a very, very thick black limbal ring so that all the green is right around the pupil. I'm not really a fan of how defined the center ring is because it gives me that odd robot eye look.  I have a few pairs of EOS lenses that are very comfortable, but these aren't. 

Love Pink

These are just called Love Pink (purchased from so I'm not sure what the brand is.  I don't have the jars they came in anymore, either.  Anyway, these are really subtle but SO CUTE. Not much in the way of enlargement, though they do have a soft black limbal ring. The iris is clear, but it has three groups of three pink hearts around it. I mean, really. How much cuter can it get? They don't look like you're wearing colored contacts, it looks just like your natural eye until you look at them up close, then you see the hearts. They seem comfortable on my eyes, but I haven't worn them enough to really get a feel for them.

Zombie White Screen Halloween Lens

These were just for fun. I got them in my prescription (from honeycolor), but there's not really a point because I can barely see out of them anyway. There is still visibility, but since the pupil is covered in a white mesh, it's like a thick fog looking through them. I wish they were larger because they don't quiiiiiite cover all of my naturally dark brown iris and that becomes noticeable when I look from side to side. I think I should have gone with the full white screen for that sort of cloudy, ghostly look.  Oh well.  Next time!  They're comfortable aside from the blurred vision.

By the way, my eyeshadow is Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude, Bare Minerals Ready shadow in Fuze (also used on my brows), eyeliner is Maybelline gel liner, and lashes are Red Cherry 747L.

(post contains an affiliate link)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swatch Spam!

I just feel like posting some swatch spam, so here it comes!

 China Glaze Bat My Eyes

 OPI Casino Royale

 OPI On Her Majesty's Secret Service

 Jessica Prima Donna

 Butter London Swinger

Pretty Serious VT100

 Jessica Blue Aria

 Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots Clearly Spotted (over purple)

 OPI Skyfall

 OPI You're So Flippy Floppy

 Sephora Color Hit Blackjack

Ozotic Beam 905 with Northern Lights Gold Topcoat

Essie Bikini So Teeny

China Glaze Magnetix You Move Me

 China Glaze Infra-Red

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Introducting Rescue Beauty Lounge: Anatomy of a K-Drama Collection 2014

Picture this: A really hot, rich boy (his parents practically own the country—think  Samsung!) falls in love with a plain Jane, a pitifully poor girl whose family was financially  ruined by loan sharks. The boy’s equally wealthy best friend falls in love with her too,  and they even come to blows over the girl. She is without a clue since she is often too  exhausted from taking care of her family—and working two or three jobs. It takes about  8 episodes for this couple to hold hands; we don’t know which of the boys she will   choose, she may have held hands with both of them. They reach into their bottomless   wallets to give her makeovers—in fact, one of their fathers owns the department store!   (Oh Snap!)   

Enter the boy’s no-nonsense Korean tiger mom who always has a rich girl for him to  marry (think company merger), someone he loathes. There are loads of schemes to get   rid of the poor girl, even if his mother has to hire a hit man. Yes, there will be a kidnapping and perhaps some injuries, you name it—I’m scared for her too, no lie. It  takes about 16 episodes for these two to kiss and overcome her accidents, hospital  recoveries, etc. They promise never to part. But wait! Something else surfaces, after the boy’s friend digs up the girl’s family history, it turns out that the couple are exactly like   Romeo and Juliet, their ancestors were enemies and the reason why her family is destitute.  What will she do? Will she honor her family and reclaim their wealth? Or does she abandon ship?! Anatomy of a #KDrama is my latest collection, brought about by my newest compulsion.   –Ji Baek

Burn The Evidence
(Opaque and rich gold, copper,  and rust-red microglitter in a clear base. My favorite of the collection!)

Burn The Evidence has a finely milled panache glitter that is not only jammed-packed with a mélange of red, gold, orange and copper glitters, but it also provides that dash of ash-black brilliance. This color fully covers in two full coats and dimensional depth: Your hot nails will look like they’re on fire.

Cue The Montage
(Silver glitter in a spring green creme base. Very interesting effect between glitter and base, but needs a lot of topcoat since it looks dimpled when it dries.)

Yellow chartreuse is the most difficult color to wear; it was a daring task to try to create  one that would be suitable for all skin tones. Cue the Montage has a different texture  than any other RBL nail polish. It dries matte and textured, so you must apply a   basecoat and topcoat for the full effect. This color has glittery silver that peaks through   in glorified harmony.  Warning: The glitter in this bottle does not appear the same when applied to nails; it   has a sandwiched effect.

Instant Amnesia
(Suede-colored creme with really cool iridescent microshimmer!)

This is the perfectly neutral balance between fawn and taupe, a lofty palate cleanser   with a tinge of attitude. Its flawless beauty is infused with flutters of silver, green, and   pink shimmer. Once you wear it, Instant Amnesia will erase your memory of all the bad   nail polish colors from your past.

(Deep midnight blue with fine blue-green duochrome shimmer)

Virtuously inky, Monologue’s navy blue base is embedded with a soliloquy of elegant light-blue shimmer. Even in low light, this solitary dark blue retains its color and does not   appear to be black. Monologue has a smooth, undemanding application; this color is darkly pigmented yet calmingly engaging.

Not Your Baby
(This is a metallic green-bronze with awesome pink microglitter and a bit of duochromey shift. You could consider it a cousin to Scrangie 2.0)

A deceitfully, mysterious brown-bronzy-sage-green duo chrome, Not Your Baby is a classic RBL chameleon nail polish—its identity changes depending on the light. Trickery   plays. This color may appear to be brown with a cast of sage-green shimmer in a certain light, and yet bronze the next moment.

Oh Slap!  
(Pink creamy jelly that makes your nails look cute and perfect... I'm kinda smitten with it)

The quintessential flushed cheeks for your nails, Oh Slap! goes on as a sheer pink in one coat with opaque coverage in two coats. This is THE PERFECT PINK; the formula is flawless and streak-free and is not pastel or white-based. You can practically apply it with your eyes closed.

Will They Won’t They
(Muted lavender jelly with blue-green duochrome glass fleck)

Will They Won’t They catches the sun’s rays as it glides on your nails. A gentle cascade of the tiniest silvery, blue-green micro glitter softly flows on a pool of doleful  lavender. Sheer coverage in one coat, and opaque in two.

The formula on nearly all of these was great.  The only one that gave me trouble was Cue the Montage.  That one went on thick and kinda chunky, which made it difficult to create thin, even coats. All the others applied without a single issue. I used three coats of each and I prefer the look of all of them at three. Dry time is on the long side.

My top picks from this collection are Burn The Evidence because it's so cool and sparkly (and they will never find the evidence in the furnace), and Oh Slap! because it hides all the ridges and imperfections on my nails and applies like a dream.

Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are exclusively available at for $20 per bottle.  Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are created with resin and high molecular polymers to improve flexibility, durability, and high shine. They contain no harmful Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP, and Formaldehyde Resin. We do not test on animals. 

48 hr. Pre-order starts 6/20/14 AM-ends at 6/22 at noon EST. Please sign up for the newsletter at to receive the email invite.

(collection provided for review)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Depression Open Thread

China Glaze Boogie Down

This is a little check-in post just to say hi, I'm here, I'm not planning on abandoning my blog, but I'm having some life challenges at the moment and I haven't been able to devote much time to swatching. I want to do something a little different during this downtime, and here's what I'm thinking:

Need to talk about anything?  Depression?  Health issues?  If you'd like to vent or ask questions, use the comments thread on this post to engage with each other (and me).  I know it's nice to find out that you're not alone in your struggles, and you know I won't judge, so if you wanna talk about something, please do!

Thanks for sticking with me :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hottest New Nail Art Trends of 2014!

I recently got a super-exclusive sneak preview of what, according to an inside source*, are going to be this year's hottest new trends.  And since I'm so hip and trendy, I just had to try out all these new techniques right away.  You guys, this is seriously cutting edge stuff here.  World premiere.  You get to say you saw it before it was cool.

Les Ongles de Terre
All natural, organic, locally produced artisan terrain provides a sustainable and beautiful eco-friendly manicure. 

Nail File Manicure
Textures were the big trend in 2013, but this new type textured manicure has both form and function. Now, thanks to the geniuses at 3M™, you can file your nails with your nails. Whoa.

Whole Handicure
Take it to the next level and just do your whole hand. Why the hell not? Do it. Who cares. Life is meaningless.

Cherenkov Manicure
The materials for this nail look might be a little hard to get your hands on, but the end result is worth the effort.  Your nails will be so glowy, it's like they're actually lit from within.  The downside is that there may be some side effects, which could include sudden onset of superpowers or severe burns. Probably both.

Quantum Manicure
This one is a more complicated two-step process, but it'll definitely turn heads. First, apply your Cherenkov manicure as usual.  Then, using your new-found powers, turn your nails invisible or teleport them to another location or time period, depending on which powers you got. 

You heard it here first! 

*source is inside my head