Wednesday, September 17, 2014 0

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish Review

By FaFoFi in , , , ,


It's no secret I'm very lazy when it comes to my nails. I would love to do pretty designs or an elegant french manicure, but I'm clumsy and have no patience. When Sally Hansen came out with the "UV Free" Gel Manicure I was very curious. I've never had a professional gel manicure before, so I would be a bad judge of comparison, but I was only interested in one thing: Longevity.


Unfortunately, Sally Hansen's Nail Varnish was so popular that the top coat was sold out at my local Target. I was only interested in the light pink color, Creme de la Creme, but the only way I could get the top coat was to buy it bundled with something else. That something else was "Street Flair" and I hate it, but I'll get to that later. 

Disregard my shedding

 The brushes for the individual nail varnishes are ideal for application. They all have a rounded end and the brush size isn't too big. I have petite hands and nails and sometimes large brushes are unwieldy for me to use, so these three fit the bill for easy nail varnish application.


I actually ruined my brushes by taking these photos, so don't leave the brushes out of the varnish too long/leave them in direct sunlight. Seems like common sense though, right?


Usually with such a light color, like Orly's Powder Puff Polish, it takes three coats to four coats to reach full opacity. With Creme de la Creme, I only needed two! I was really pleasantly surprised. Although my nails were passably opaque, next time I think I'll apply a third coat for safety.

My cuticles. Poop.
The formula is really opaque and true to color. The color in the bottle is what you get on your nails, the only thing that surprised me was the finely milled glitter that gave my nails a pearlescent sheen. The finish to me wasn't like a "jelly-texture" it seemed more of like a shine-y hard coat. I've watched Jen, from From Head To Toe Fame, rave about the new Cover Girl Nail Gel finishes, but I don't find the same quality to be in the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.

Left Hand After Two Weeks
The one thing that really, really impressed me was the minimal wear around the tips of my nails. The above photo is after two weeks of wear. TWO WEEKS. Besides the nail growth that you can see at the bottom,  the nail polish stuck. I'm so impressed!

Right Hand After Two Weeks
The only weird thing that happened was the weird "wrinkles" that appeared on my right hand's nails and a random chip in the dead center of my ring finger.


You can see a close up of the "damage" here.

Disclaimer: My Toes Are Gross. 

This is my swatch for "Street Flair." Ignore the grossness of my feet, I don't take care of them very well. The reason why I don't like "Street Flair" is that it's very boring and very unflattering shade to my skin tone. The application is great though! Although they say you should do at least two shades, I feel like you can reach full opacity with one. This is probably due to the nature of darker nail polishes.


It's a very dusty mauve-y, lilac-y, purple. Unlike Creme de la Creme, it dries very slightly darker than the shade in the bottle, as stated before, I just don't like the color.

After a week of wear
It wears well, just like its predecessor in this post, and I'm pretty impressed by these for longevity's sake and I think they have an expansive color range as well. If you can rock "Street Flair" do it, but I honestly, will just probably wear it on my toes through the winter just to use it up.

The nail polishes and topcoat retail for around $9.99 and the bundled topcoat and nail polish set retails for $14.00.

As of 9/11/2014 Ulta is having a sale on these nail polishes and are selling them for $7.49! Check out these links for purchase:

Top Coat
Nail Polishes
Sets 




Monday, September 8, 2014 0

Churn2, Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream- Harvard Square

By FaFoFi


I love gimmicks. Anyone can tell you I am down for any theme restaurant, molecular gastronomy experience, or any sort of historic reenactment. I AM DOWN. Boyfriend and I were leaving Harvard's museum of Natural History when we stumbled across Churned2, a liquid nitrogen ice cream shop housed in a storage container.


As stated on their website they wanted to combine a food truck and a brick and mortar store to attain the best part of both worlds: the community generated around a brick and mortar store and the mobility offered by a "food truck" without consuming the amount of fossil fuels that food trucks require for day to day operations.


Their decor is cute and the staff was young and friendly. The two flavors they offered that particular day were Cinnamon Crunch and White Chocolate. From what I saw, the Cinnamon Crunch flavor was a milk/cream flavored ice cream with Cap'n Crunch Cereal sprinkled on top and the white chocolate flavor was just a homogenous cream ice cream. No white chocolate chunks, veins, or white chocolate drizzled on top. Just a sweet ice cream, but I'll get to that later.


Here you can see a little bit of the process where they use the liquid nitrogen to churn the ice cream base. The churn staff was attentive in wearing protective eyewear and gloves while mixing the whole thing. Why would you want to use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream? Besides the fact that it looks cool, it also supposedly cools the ice cream base so fast large ice crystals don't have a chance to form, giving you a creamy, smooth ice cream 100% of the time.



Milk, sugar, science, and magic!


After a quick churn, you can see her scooping out the now-solidified ice cream and placing it into biodegradable bowls. 


This is the final product, looking good right? Boyfriend and I decided to get the regular size and split it for $7.00.

The texture was fine. It was nice and creamy and certainly a step up from cheap bargain brand ice creams that go on sale at the grocery store week after week...but the flavor was disappointing. It just tasted like ice cream base. Churned, frozen, sweetened milk. Also, as mentioned before, the white chocolate ice cream was completely homogenous. They didn't add any flavor texture or variety with white chocolate shavings or chunks to the mix, so the ice cream altogether was pretty boring, both in texture and in taste. 

Overall, we found the ice cream to be nothing special. I was pretty vocal about how disappointed I was after consumption and even boyfriend (who is usually very ambivalent when it comes to these things) chimed in. If we want to satisfy our white chocolate craving we'll just head to Burdick's for the white hot chocolate instead.


Price: $$ of $$$$$
Repeatability: No
Kid Friendly: Yes! Ice cream basically means children. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 0

Tiffany's Silver Polishing Cloths: Are they worth it?

By FaFoFi in , , ,


Tiffany's. Tiffany Blue. Property of Tiffany's! Breakfast at Tiffany's! Tiffany's jewelry has been the default present I've been getting for the past couple of years and my mother, who is the unofficial jewelry aficionado within out house, often stocks up on jewelry polishing cloths. My question was whether Tiffany's polishing cloths are a cut above the rest.


The silver polishing cloth is $5 for a 5 by 7 inch swath of Tiffany Blue cloth. It's been treated with chemicals that make it easier to strip the tarnish away. On Tiffany's website, and many third party websites, it says that if you want to prolong your sterling silver's shine you should wear your jewelry often. However, I am some sort if mutant and whenever I wear my jewelry it tarnishes more quickly. (X-men here I come.) Basically this means I need to polish my jewelry more often in order for it to be wearable.


I've included some photos below to show the efficacy of the polishing cloths. In order you'll see a before, "halfway", and completely polished photos.

Before
Left Side Cleaned, Right Side Dirty 
All Clean!

The cloth gets dirtier as time goes on, obviously, but it does it's job. 

Yuck
I've purchased cheaper polishing cloths (albeit for a smaller swatch of cloth), but the off brand cloth does just as good of a job as the Tiffany blue one. If you don't have a polishing cloth in your collection and you have more than a couple of pieces of sterling silver jewelry, I'd recommend the $5 Tiffany's cloth. It's good to have for those quick touch ups and when you're rushing to polish your jewelry while running out of the house.

At a later date I'll test the boiling water, baking soda and aluminum foil treatment, but for now I recommend Tiffany's silver polishing cloths.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below! I'll do my best to answer them.