Friday, August 31, 2012

New Essence and Kiko 600

Hello Ninjas!

Today's post includes two polishes that are from European brands! While Essence is becoming easier to find in the US via the store chain Ulta, I haven't seen Kiko anywhere in person. A really awesome student at work went to London for the Olympics to watch the wrestling events and asked if I'd like a shot glass souvenir. I said I wasn't much in to shot glasses but if he found Olympic nail polish I'd be all over it. Well, as far as I can tell, there wasn't any Olympic exclusive nail polish done but he did pick me up two Kiko colors he thought would go well together. One of them was Kiko 600 which is a light yellow crackle topcoat.

I picked up this new Essence, Gorgeous Bling Bling, at Ulta a while back along with four other new colors with their redesigned bottles and thought it would pair wonderfully with Kiko 600. GBB is a medium orange with gold glass flecks that applied nicely in two coats. I added one coats of K600 over my thumb and ring fingers as a neat accent and really likes this manicure!

Don't forget, my Blue Belt Giveaway ends next week! Hubby and I graduate on Wednesday the 5th so that's when I will be drawing the names (That night after graduation)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lily.B Ultra Eye Cream Review

Hello Ninjas!

This is my first official cosmetic product review. I received this eye cream from in return for my unbias review of the product. Since I have been looking for an under-eye cream to combat my existing dark circles and prevent the small wrinkles on my lower eyelid from getting any deeper.

Information from about this product:

Lily.B Ultra Eye Cream

About the Product:
Keep your eyes young with Lily.B Skincare Ultra Eye Cream. Rescue your eyes from the early signs of aging with Lily.B’s unique combination of botanical extracts and essential oils designed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness and under eye circles.

Developed specifically for the delicate eye area, the Multi Action Rescue Eye Cream is light, soothing and ultra-moisturizing and gets to work immediately! Natural moisturizers soften, smooth and nourish the eye area while antioxidants, vitamin K and Arnica Montana work to help reduce puffiness and under-eye dark circles.
.5 oz

Who it’s for:

Ideal for those who want to treat puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around their eye area. Suitable for all skin types.
key ingredients

·         Jojoba Oil: Extracted from the Jojoba plant, this non-comedogenic, skin soothing moisturizer helps to restore natural pH balance in the skin.

·          Apricot Kernel Oil: An essential oil rich in natural vitamins including vitamin A and vitamin E. Is soothing, moisturizing and absorbs completely.

·         Squalane: Extracted form olive oil, with rich antioxidants and deep hydrating properties.

·          Hyaluronic Acid: A natural molecule that has the unique ability to attract and retain moisture deep in the skin thereby reducing the appearance of fine line and wrinkles and helping to improve skin tone and texture.

·          Vitamin K: Known for its ability to help lessen the appearance of under-eye dark circles.

·         Arnica Montana: Extracts from the arnica blossom. Known to have a stimulating effect on the skin, helping to improve circulation and reduce eye-puffiness.

How to use it:

·         Use AM and PM.
·         Apply a small amount to ring finger.
·          Gently pat in to the area around the eyes until absorbed.

Full Ingredients:

Purified water, Jojoba oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin K, Arnica Montana, Oxido Reductases, Soy Peptide, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexlglycerin, Oil of Kumquat.

Ok, so, this sounds like a great product! I've now been using it AM and PM as my only new eye product for a 3 weeks I've got pictures of the whole testing period week by week for you to see the results then I will discuss them at the end. Sorry the lighting isn't consistent but remember that my main purpose for using this was under eye circles and wrinkles.

Base line: Before Lily.B

Base line: Before Lily.B

Ok so here is what my eyes looked like before. Keep in mind all of these pictures are without makeup. I also have decided I want to re-shape my brows so you'll see a little grow out in these lol, sorry!

7 days in

7 days in

Ok so here's after a week of twice daily use. There is a little yellowing of the skin around my eye that I didn't notice until going back and editing all of these. The wrinkles under my eyes have actually become more defined.

14 days in

14 days in

After two weeks of twice daily use there is some significant change, for the worse! There is now some hyper pigmentation along my lower lash line, the dark circles have gotten more pronounced and the wrinkles are still very defined.

21 Days in

21 Days in

21 Days in

21 Days in
These were taken on Tuesday! Now, we can see that the hyperpigmentation has not gone down and has gotten somewhat darker. The odd yellowing is now concentrated around my lash lines and tear duct. The product itself is a sort of light buttercup yellow color which may contribute to the strange discoloration. However, since the ingredients do not include any colorants or dyes, it may have been my skin's own personal reaction to the cream. The under eye wrinkles are slightly less than the week before but still definitely more defined and deeper than when I started using this product.

Overall, this product did not improve anything it promised to fix! I will say that I have fairly sensitive skin and this may not be the case with every person who tries this product.  Lily.B Ultra Eye Cream itself comes in a nice bottle with a pump top for easy dispensing of the cream. The cream doesn't smell strange or too strongly so it doesn't irritate the eye area. It has a nice texture and is easy to apply as directed. Eye cream is an accurate description of the product since it is very creamy without being watery at all and it adheres well to the eye area which can be hard for some products. However, despite the physical quality of the product, the corrective qualities were just not there.

Also, this is not a unique product. In fact, if you do a web search for the ingredients of this eye cream, you get the exact same list for at least two other eye creams: Vitamin K, DCX & Arnica Eye Cream and SkinGenX Eye CompleX What this points to is something called Private Labeling. This means that one company mass produces a product and sends it off to smaller retail companies who then put their own label on it.  Therefore, this is not a secret very effective blend of ingredients, it is one that is mass produced and sent out to places who could have all sorts of mediocre decanting practices. Private labeling is one thing when a grocery store does their own brand of pasta and you know what you're getting but entirely another when a company lays claim to a wonderful skin improving eye cream.

Product provided for honest review by the PR team for

Monday, August 27, 2012

OPI Fall 2012: Every Month is Oktoberfest

Hello darling Ninjas!

I've been feeling a little under the weather today which is sad since it was nice and sunny. Yesterday we had some scary storms! I was driving home from visiting my grandparents and it was nearly impossible to see in front of my car is was raining so hard. That was a little scary but about 3 hours in the rain let up. It's weapons week here at the dojo but it is also the first time in a while I've had to do a whole graduation prep by myself. Not to mention we have a large number of new students because the school year has started! Busy busy busy.

Tonight's manicure is a polish I got for .01 from Copious! It's a spiffy site where you can buy things that are hard to find or just unique to the sellers. It's a little like etsy without the use of paypal. This is one of the OPI Germany colors from their Fall 2012 line, Every Month is Oktoberfest. This is a inky purple base loaded with red shimmer. The shimmer gets a deep wine color because of the purple base and it glows on the nail with slightly darker edges. Two easy coats for this polish that is perfect for the coming Autumn!

Don't forget to enter my Blue Belt Giveaway!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Essence Glamorous Life

Hello Ninjas!

School season has started up around here in NC so we've seen lots of new customers at work. Between being swamped at the desk and a few unpleasant people, I wasn't sure I would get to test for my stripe in class! However, Hubby and I did go to class yesterday and we worked up a sweat earning our red stripe! Only 12 days until we're sporting solid blue!

This afternoon's manicure is a pretty fuchsia glass fleck from Essence, Glamorous  Life. This went on in two very easy coats and had a great color payout for just a .99 polish! That reminds me, Essence recently overhauled their polish line to create a new bottle shape that holds more product and add new colors. I picked up 5 of the new colors so hopefully I'll get to show them to you soon!

  Don't forget to enter my Blue Belt Giveaway! There are three prizes to be won!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Polish break: Leibster Award

Hey Ninjas!

I figured I'd take a break from all of the polish-centric posts to do something fun! The lovely Luna of Toxid-Lotus tagged me in this interactive Leibster award so let's see what it's all about!

1) Post 11 facts about yourself.
2) Answer the questions the tagger has set for You.
3) Create 11 questions for the people You’ve tagged to answer.
4) Tag 11 people.

11 Facts about me:

1. I am a real life ninja. This means that I am a practitioner of the Martial Art of Ninjutsu. The specific branch that I study is Toshindo Ninjutsu. I'm currently a Blue-White belt but I'll hopefully be graduating to a solid Blue belt in September. I am learning this art alongside my husband and it's been an awesome bonding experience :)

2. I like animals more than people. I could probably watch Life in the ER or other graphic medical shows about people all day. However, I cannot stand to watch similar shows about animals. It hurts my heart to see animals in pain and the cruelty that humans inflict upon them. It is my belief that a person who cannot be compassionate to an animal is unable to show compassion to a human being.

3. I spell my shortened name oddly (apparently). Ever since 3rd grade when my teacher Ms. Rae spelled my name as Jen, I've spelled it the same way. For some reason, the default shortening of Jennifer is Jenn. I've taken an odd sort of pride in the fact that I was given a more unique way to spell it and I've always kept up with what my teacher gave me. No matter how many times I tell co-workers and such that it's one N, I often end up with two!

4. I'm the whitest Mexican you'll ever meet. My mother was born in Mexico City and lived there for the first part of her life until she moved to California. It was not until recently she decided to take the step from Legal Alien to US Citizen but she finally has! My father is mainly German and Polish so I ended up looking just like him. With naturally green/hazel eyes, pale skin, and dark blonde hair I'm probably the most white looking Mexican you'll ever meet!

5. I tend to paint my nails at night. I like to paint them after work as a sort of post craziness meditative act. I get at least 20 minutes of peace between taking off my old polish and putting on new one. When I don't know what to wear, I let my husband pick a color to narrow down my choices.

6. I like Vibram Five Finger shoes. I got my first pair of VFF's to wear on the mat while I was training in Ninja. However, they were the wrong style for that so I used them to hike instead. I bought a second pair for the mat and can't wait for the 2013 styles to come out so I can get more! I love being barefoot when I can so these funky looking shoes give me that option while still being able to obey the "No Shoes, No Service" attitude of the world.

7. My workplace is awesome. I actually work at the Ninjutsu dojo where I train. I started working there before I started training there and I love it. At the dojo I'm the Program Manager who handles the bulk of administrative tasks for the dojo. On top of ordering supplies, organizing events, setting up new student contracts, and keeping the dojo neat, I get to talk to some really awesome people every day. Since it is a traditional style dojo, I get to be barefoot most of the time and it's ok! I bring my smallest dog, Tango, to work with me and he's basically got his own fan club by this point. It's a great place to be.

8. I have a broken sense of smell. During my Junior year of college, I got sick with a very sever sinus infection. Over the course of the infection, my sinuses were so swollen that I needed steroids to be able to breathe properly. Once the swelling went down, I had completely lost my sense of smell. A specialist told me that I might never get my sense of smell back or it could come back very slowly over the course of many years. Nearly 3 years later I get some pretty decent ideas of strong perfume oils but it has made me picky about who I'll shop from.

9. I recently decided to go cruelty free in my bath products. I'll never be a vegan or even a vegetarian but I do no believe that an animal should have to suffer because I want to have pretty smelling hair. I'm still in the process of using up my old products before I can become totally CF but I'm well on my way. I've found Indie companies to be the best option when searching for many beauty based products that are completely cruelty free because they're made by someone's own personal caring hands!

10. I think most creepy crawlies are cool. I have two pet snakes and I try not to kill spiders if they're outside my house. Inside my house a spider could harm my pets so I usually release them outside to keep both sides safe.

11. I'm sort of a dorky person.  I'm part of a number of fandoms including Doctor Who, Torchwood, Hello Kitty, Hunger Games, etc. I think it's fun to have these things to talk about when I'm not busy painting my nails or kicking arse!

Answer 11 Questions: 

  1. What is your favorite color and why?
    1. Purple! I think my love for the color started when I heard that it was once a color reserved only for royalty because the dye was very expensive to make. It is also my father's favorite color.
  2. What is the one deepest memory you’ve had throughout your lifetime?
    1. I'm not sure what sort of deep we're talking about. Stand out events in my life include Graduating from College, Getting Married, My Honeymoon, and the Night Tango got hurt.
  3. If you could get any tattoo on your body what would it be and why?
    1. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm still not sure what I'd want to get but I know I want it to be on my back betweenmy shoulder blades.
  4. Do you drink tea? What is your favorite?
    1. Not very often but when I so it's usually a raspberry herbal tea with sugar.
  5. What’s your favorite season?
    1. Fall! But really Fall in New York where I grew up. I miss the pretty leaves changing color, the apple festivals, and the chilly breeze in the air that made us all wear sweaters. Fall in North Carolina just isn't the same.
  6. If you had to choose one makeup company to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?
    1. If I didn't have to pay for it? Probably Illamasqua. If I was paying for it probably one of the many Indie companies I'm in love with like Detrivore, Shiro, Femme Fatale, Kiss My Sass, and Black Rose Minerals.
  7. Have you broken any bones?
    1.  I'm not sure. I know I haven't broken any major bones but I did injure my pinky finger badly once and it still hurts is certain weather conditions.
  8. What is your favorite perfume and why?
    1. Too many to chose from! My favorites tend to be apple based perfumes because they evoke the happy memories of fall festivities and baking apple pies with my family (One Hand Washes the Other's Bitten, Red Apple, and Bobbing for Apples!). There are also complex scents like Cloudswing from Darling  Clandestine that actually smell like the country home from my childhood where we had a hay loft and sun warmed earth.
  9. Do you have any pets? If yes then what are they?
    1. Yep! Two dogs: Tango the tripod Chihuahua and Izzy the Border Collie/Retriever mix. Jade the evil cat and two snakes: Oryn the Ball Python and Nexus the Corn Snake.
  10. What is your biggest fear? What caused it?
    1.  Not sure really. Probably being alone at night walking somewhere. I always have it in my head that something terrible could happen so I try to travel in a group or at least with one of my dogs if I'm outside at night.
  11. What are you going to be for Hallow’s Eve? If you have little demon spawns what are they dressing as? 
    1. I don't know! Too many options and I have to be work friendly about it :)
 Ask 11 Questions:

1. Do you have any nicknames? Where did they come from?
2. What is your favorite eyeshadow color to wear?
3. How many times in your life have you moved and where to?
4. Have you ever done any martial arts or do you want to?
5. What is one of the first memories you have from childhood?
6. If you could go to any year, when would you go to and why?
7. What was your favorite subject in school?
8. What is your favorite kind of scent?
9. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you chose?
10. What would your preferred weapon be for the Zombie Apocalypse?
11. What kind of pet is your favorite? (Cat, Dog, Reptile, etc)

Tag 11 Bloggers!

Uhh... Luna picked most of mine... TAG YOURSELF!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rimmel London Steel Grey

Hi Ninjas!

Before I get to the fun stuff I need to clarify a few things about my giveaway. First off, it says in the post that it is open to US/Canadian readers only. If I find out that you are not in either of those countries, your entries will be deleted. Second, don't try to scam me. If you didn't leave a blog comment, don't complete that entry.  I've had at least three people already who tried that trick on me and quite frankly, that makes me mad! I'm moderating the entries every day so please, don't try to game the system. This is done in good spirit as a means to share a little of the excitement surrounding a belt promotion, not a way to just cheat and get free polish. I have to say, I'm disappointed in the people who are lying and I kind of hope none of them were my existing readers :(

Today's polish was a gift from one of the lovely black belts at work. Every time I would see her she had this wonderful purple leaning taupe polish on and I always made a point to compliment it. Well, one day she surprised me with my very own bottle of the polish! It was Rimmel London Steel Grey from their Pro line. I love this polish! It is a wonderful neutral that goes with just about any outfit you can imagine and it and matches today's stormy skies. This is a warm taupe with purple undertones and a cream finish polish that was easily applied in two medium coats or three thin coats.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

CLOSED LacquerNinja's Blue Belt Giveaway CLOSED

Hello Lovely Ninjas!

I've been collection polishes for my next giveaway and I have finally settled on the prizes. The Blue Belt giveaway is being held in honor of my husband and I graduating to our blue belts in Ninjutsu this coming Septempber.

This giveaway will feature three prizes, one for each of the stripes it takes to move from your blue-white to your blue belt.

First Black Stripe: 3rd Prize

Second Black Stripe: Second Prize

Red Stripe: Grand Prize
This giveaway will go on until our graduation date, so get to it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US and Canadian readers only, sorry! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hello Kitty Night Sparkle

Hello Ninjas!

Hubby and I are currently working through the fourth season of Hell's Kitchen and I have to say, it's really fun to hear Gorgon Ramsey speak! We cancelled our cable a while back so we no longer have BBC America which is probably my favorite channel to watch. I've been getting my fill of British acting/TV via Hulu and Gordon Ramsey for a while now. I can't wait for Doctor Who to come back soon!

Tonight's manicure is Night Sparkle from Sephora's Hello Kitty line. Night Sparkle is a black base with duochrome glass flecks that flash both gold and green. With a thicker coat, you could get away with one layer of polish for opacity. However, since I lean towards the thinner coats I ended up with two easy coats for a pretty manicure! The sun was not cooperating with me when I was trying to take pictures of this polish. The sparkle is much more prominent int he bottle than on the nail but it does shine through more than my swatch lets on.

I love the Kitty shaped bottle!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Butter LONDON No More Waity Katie

Hello lovely Ninjas!

Next week will be stripe week here at the dojo and I'll be earning my red stripe! I can't wait to graduate to solid blue belt. It's really nice to be making progress towards higher ranks and it's nice to be committed to something that means so much to me.

Tonight's polish is a Butter LONDON that I was really excited about. No More Waity Katie was created commemorate the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Butter LONDON says of NMWK, "this soft lilac glitter nail lacquer is the perfect marriage of fashion and fun." I like how they slipped the word marriage in there! This polish was not easy to work with at all. The light purple jelly is very sheer and the lilac glitter is a hungry glitter. It took three coats of NMWK over my existing Zoya Natty manicure to achieve opacity. By the third coat, the polish was getting thick and starting to string. As you can see, the topcoat was eaten and and didn't create the glassy finish you usually hope for.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wet n Wild Teal of Fortune

Hello lovely Ninjas!

It's a cloudy humid day here in NC and not very good weather for swatching. I was hoping to have the Diva collection swatched for you by now but the entire week has been pretty stormy and grey. With any luck, tomorrow will be nice and sunny so I can get some nice pictures of the pretty metallics in that collection. Until then, lets check out one of my favorite colors, teal, in glass flecked glory!

Teal of Fortune is one of the polishes from Wet n Wild's FastDry line that came out nearly two years ago. Along with the scattered holographics Hannah Pinktana and Blue Wants to be a Millionaire, Teal of Fortune is a gorgeous polish for a very low price. At $1.99 I wasn't expecting a whole lot from the formula on this so I wasn't too disappointed when it took three coats for decent coverage. Considering that ToF is a blue green glass fleck polish suspended in a lovely teal jelly base, 3 coats really isn't that bad. However, since this is a blue/green color, it did have a tendency to stain :(

This is a teal eye look I did using a number of indie eye colors and teal mascara.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Concert Manicure

Hi Ninjas!

Tonight I'm about ready to bite all of my nails off. My nail polish decided to have a bad day and be angry that I was using my nails as tools. In retaliation, it began chipping on at least three nails when I was barely an hour into my work shift. Ugh, I was mortified at the big chips in my BLACK manicure. What an obvious (to me!) failure.

Today's manicure is what I wore to the really awesome concert I went to last night. The concert was Carnival of Madness with Evanescence, Chevelle, Halestorm, New Medicine, and Cavo. The lead singer of New Medicine was sick so we only got to hear four of the five bands perform. That's ok though because I was only really excited about Evanescence and Halestorm. For my concert manicure I did two coats of AEngland Bridal Veil and the Evanescene logo on my thumb nails in Sinful Snow Me White. I wanted to do the Halestorm logo too but I just didn't have the right art brush to do it with :(

When we went to the post signing for Evanescence I asked the lead singer, Amy Lee, what she was wearing on her nails. She didn't know the name of the polish but said she got it from Halestorm's wardrobe/makeup stash. Whatever it was, the polish was a neon pink with either a ton of glass fleck or a sheer silver glass fleck topcoat. Either way, it was very pretty. I showed her my manicure and she thought my rendition of her logo was awesome :)

Evanescence logo for reference from

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

butter LONDON Dodgy Barnett

Hello Ninjas!

Over the last couple of weeks or so there has been a ridiculous amount of photo theft from the nail blogging community. As such, I took the time to create my own watermark that you'll be seeing from now on in my pictures. It's fairly small so it shouldn't change the picture quality and it certainly won't hamper your view of the polish. I just wanted to let you all know why I started to add it! Also, do you like my new blog header?

Today's manicure (and actually the one I'm wearing today!) is Dodgy Barnett from butter LONDON's Fall 2012 collection.  I picked this up at the Nordstrom Buy 2 Get 1 Free that happened on Sunday. I love holos and this polish is not exception! Butter LONDON describes this polish as "A highly holographic lacquer in a classic shade that blurs the line between grey and silver. " Which is pretty accurate. When I was looking at it in the sunlight, DB made me think of AEngland's Princess Tears without the strong duochrome effect. I love this, and if you've been lemming Glitter Gal Light as a Feather, this is pretty similar and more accessible!

These pictures are three coats which isn't bad at all for a very light colored holographic!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Essence A Lovely Secret

Hello Ninjas!

Today was a nice relaxing Sunday that all happened to be tax free. I picked up some shoes sans tax and a couple of beauty related things. Probably my best find was the Buy 2 get 1 free on ButterLONDON polishes at Nordstrom. I was able to find the brand new Fall collection in stores so I picked up Dodgy Barnett and Trustafarian which are both holos. For my freebie, I picked up Branwen's Feather. Did anyone else find something cool this weekend?

This is an older manicure from early in the summer. A Lovely Secret from Essence is one of their new to the US colors and similar to Milani's Orchidia. This is a pretty light purple polish with pink shimmer as well as an odd sort of suspended darker purple speckle effect. I don't recall seeing the speckles in the bottle but they certainly showed up on my nails. I wonder if the darker purple was just a reaction to my top coat? Two easy coats for opacity on ALS, it was a nice early summer manicure to wear.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ulta Good Clean Fawn

Hello Ninjas!

It's been a nice relaxing Friday here in sunny NC. The weather was warm but what do you expect from a southern summer? I spent most of my time inside getting a little R&R but the hubby and I did go out to lunch with a good friend of ours so that was nice. Next week we're headed to a concert and we can't wait! It will be the first concert we've attended together and two of our favorite bands will be there :) I can't decide which band I want to match my concert manicure to though, decisions decisions.

Tonight's manicure is a color I picked up on clearance at Ulta quite a while back: Good Clean Fawn. Since I love the cream with hidden shimmer finish on polish, a nude/brown version of this was right up my alley. GCF is a dark tan cream polish that leans slightly pink and has a sort of hidden light gold/pink shimmer. As with most hidden shimmer polishes, this wasn't an easy one to capture on camera but it was a nice subtle color to wear between the brights that dominate summer.