Review: SkinFood Pineapple Peeling Gel + Peeling Mask Recommendations

11.29.2010


I felt so bad about me ragging on this product so I wanted to do a review on this product right away with my revised opinion and experience ^^ There is actually a whole line called the Pineapple Peeling Line but I've only tried the Peeling Gel. 


Cost: I picked up the Skinfood Pineapple Peeling Gel in Korea for about 11000W (~$10, I think).  You can get it on YesStyle.com for $12, though it's OOS right now.

Scent: Strong, rather sharp scent of pure pineapple.  It's not a sweet scent, it's pineapple with an edge.   Not bad though :) Very fruity.

Texture: It's a smooth white gel with little white eraser shavings floating in the gel. You can barely see the "eraser shavings" when you first squeeze it out so it may appear that it's dead skin coming off your face but I don't think it is (more on this later).

Ingredients:

Besides Pineapple and Apple extract (hence the tartaric acid), there is also Aloe.  As for other peeling agents, there is Lactic, Citric, Glycolic, and Malic acid (lactic acid is one of the "trendier" chemical peeling agents nowadays, it's found in the Philosophy Microdermabrasion set).  These acids are pretty frequently used in chemical peels nowadays.

Tartaric acid was something unfamiliar to me so I had to look it up.  It's an AHA and primarily found in grapes, apples, pears and tamarinds. It has anti-aging and smoothing properties, and works as an exfoliant. It unclogs pores and stimulates production of collagen and elastin which helps in formation of fibers over the skin layer and prevents the skin from sun damage and aging effects of skin. It is the best natural chemical for people who are concerned with uneven skin texture, blotchy or uneven skin tone, the way the skin feels, and aging gracefully. Tartaric acid is most recommended for almost all skin types, including those with sensitive skin or those with certain skin conditions, such as rosacea or eczema can consult with their dermatologist or physician.

There's alcohol in this product so it may be a bit drying. This also contains parabans and preservatives for those who are sensitive to such things.   Overall, there are a surprising variety of chemical peeling agents in the ingredients, which makes for a rather effective peel.  I suspect the cellulose acts as a manual peel as well (more on this below).

This is my foot btw ;)

Experience: Out of the tube the product is a white gel with a faint graininess. When you spread it out it's clear with faint semi-opaque eraser shavings.   After a few minutes of massaging, the gel will soak into your skin and you will be left with just the eraser shavings.  Some people may think the shavings are "dead skin" but I really think that the shavings are cellulose that was already in the gel.  In other words, I'm not certain this gel was "effective" just because I got a lot of eraser shavings.  But then  Cosmetic candy's review says that she "tried rubbing the gel with a latex glove onto a plastic surface to see if it would ball up anyway and no, it didn’t so it must be my dead skin." So, I'm not sure....

After massaging for 10-15 minutes (until all the slickness of the gel is gone), I rinsed my face.  My face had a soft glow and my face felt remarkably hydrated and smoother.  I can't comment on my pores because I don't have enlarged pores.  The one thing I wasn't crazy about was how I felt it left some kind of oily residue behind.

My brother has used this 2x and I've used 3x (once before the allergy incident, twice afterwards to help slough away my flaking skin after the allergy).  This works exceptionally well on my brother - he seriously gets 1-2 shades lighter and his pores seem smaller.  He's quite a bit tanner than me though, around an NC35+ if that makes any difference.  He has some acne but overall his skin is decent.

As for me, I was impressed most by how moisturizing it was despite having so many peeling agents. It's surprisingly gentle and my face felt very moisturized. It did get rid of some flakiness I had but I did not feel "refreshed" after washing my face because I felt that there was some kind of residue.  In the end, for me this was not amazing. My face felt soft but I don't think anything had been peeled off my face - maybe just gently exfoliated...if that makes any sense. It did not get rid of my blackheads at all.

Note: Your face has to be clean but dry.  I once used this on a damp face because I forgot and the peeling wasn't half as effective.

Overall
For $12 it's a good price; the bottle is quite large and it does seem to work.  The scent is strong but not unpleasant.  I have sensitive skin and I did not react to this so I would say it's gentle enough. "Peel" always makes me think of heavy duty exfoliating and this is not heavy duty at all.  This also does not get rid of blackheads as far as I can see.  I would say this is good to try since it's fairly cheap but this is not a favorite of mine and actually just let my brother use it. I only recommend this to people with sensitive skin, no blackhead problems, and looking for a gentle exfoliater. 

For a gentle chemical/manual exfoliator, my favorite is actually the Tony Moly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream.  It smells like granny smith apples, does not leave a residue, and still leaves my face very soft and moisturized.  It's very gentle (I can use it as often as I like) so this does not get rid of blackheads either but to me, I would rather use this over the Pineapple Peel.  For a more effective manual scrub I really like the SkinJourney Microdermabrasion Scrub, which I reviewed here

For heavy duty peeling the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is excellent.  Fuzkittie gave this excellent reviews and I agree.  It's very powerful though and should be used maximum once every 7-10 days but it gets rid of blackheads and whiteheads like no other.  The downside is that if you have a lot of acne the Boscia mask will be too harsh, it will peel off the top of a pimple, make it bleed like crazy, and you will get a scar (plus it hurts like a mofo) :\ I know this from experience ><  If you have only a few pimples though, you can just go around them ^_^

Review: Rock & Republic Contrived Pressed Blushes

11.28.2010

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and enjoyed shopping on Black Friday ^_^  I hauled quite a bit over the weekend and once everything comes in I'll be reviewing them :)  Related to this post is that R&R restocked their cosmetics, namely their famous blushes this weekend (Sales post)!  The 50% cosmetics coupon code (ROCKCOSMETICS) is still working even if it's not being advertised.

Also if you didn't know already, R&R is phasing these blushes out (arghhh!) so there will be less and less colors available each time they restock (aka they're just clearing inventory now...and I couldn't get Bedroom darn it).  Very popular colors like Call Me, Spank, and Kinky are already hard to come by (the former is no longer in even stocked).  So if you want any R&R blushes that are still available (a few choice colors, Tease and X-rated are still available), you should get them now.  Rumor has it that R&R is planning on debuting a new series of blush colors (yes!!!), which is why they are trying to get rid of all the current colors they have.  I don't know if it's true they're debuting a new set of blush colors but it has been confirmed that the current blush colors are being phased out, period.  Just wanted to let you guys know :\


Say hello to my babies!!  Who does not love these?  I don't think I've read a single bad review about the famous Rock & Republic blushes, honestly.  I've been sampling these for the past few weeks and I must say, these puppies have not disappointed me at all.  They are all very finely milled, richly pigmented, and blend like a charm.   Each blush comes with a plastic slip so the powder won't get all over the mirror in case you're wondering what the round things are ^^  I got 2 of these from Beauty Ticket ($20/each) and 2 from the Official R&R online store ($8/each, read post).


The packaging is super luxurious (R&R's trademark) with mirror-like undersides and heavily embossed lids.   Everything is just so reflective (even the cardboard case!). I adore the attention to detail from the labeled stickers to the textured pattern on the inside of the round boxes. They all close with magnetic closures.

All these blushes are very pigmented, do not streak nor oxidize (change color on your face) and have minimal fallout.  These colors are build-able and it is possible to achieve a sheer blush - just use a very, very light hand.  I won't repeat this again to avoid redundancy.


Foreplay - a matte tan.  It looked very unassuming in the pan and in swatches but it turns a gorgeous peachy coral on me.  I didn't like this color at first but now it's my favorite!  To me it's the perfect Autumn blush - it adds just a touch of color.  I'd say you have put this on your face to know how wearable it can be.  I think this would look best on paler skin colors though.  I'm wearing this blush color here and here.


Tease - my 2nd favorite blush color.  It's a lovely matte pink-lilac with cool undertones.  I can't confirm this because I don't own the MAC Briar Rose (Venomous Villain collection) but Tease looks like a dupe of that color - both are delicate lilacs.   This was initially my favorite but Foreplay usurped it just because I'm going through a peachy-coral phase right now.  Mara has a good pic that shows what Tease look like here.


Kinky - a matte bright pink with a cool undertone.  I think this will be great for spring/summer, especially since hot pink will be "in" Spring/Summer 2011.  It's a great vibrant color but it's a bit bright for Fall/Winter, which is the only reason I haven't used it much.


All Nighter - an orange blush with gold sparkles.  Since the gold sparkles are very fine, it turns out as a beautiful gold sheen.  I think this color is so underrated and that people are afraid to wear it because of it's odd color.  If you use a very light hand I think this would be beautiful for summer.  I do happen to think this would be a bit more flattering on tanner skin colors though (but I'm not sure).  When the warmer months roll around I shall be experimenting with this!  To see All-Nighter on a face go here.


And for a look at the sparkles/sheen....just look at the golden sheen on All Nighter! Beautiful!  Foreplay and Tease look pretty hideous as finger swatches (mostly because my fingers are really dry) but they are much more accurately represented in the arm swatches above.


Price can't be beat if you pick these up on sale, quality is solid, packaging is impeccable.....and I've said enough compliments about these.  Now for some nit-picks: you get a ton of product and the packaging is very nice but that makes them very bulky and a definite no when it comes to portablity.    Whatever, this thing is too pretty to keep in a purse anyway - although I wouldn't mind pulling one of these beauties out in a subway just to see everyone's faces ;) Lastly, due to the rich pigmentation, some people, especially those trying these for the first time could find some of the brighter colors tricky to use.  It's very easy to apply too much blush so err on the conservative side when putting these on.  You really need the lightest amount on your brush, you should barely be able to see the blush flecks on your brush.

For the most amazing collection of R&R blushes and shadows go to KarlaSugar.

Overall
These blushes are a steal whether you buy them for $20 or $8.  They come with enough product to last a lifetime (and 2x the amount of NARS blushes) and are of amazing quality.   I highly, highly recommend you try these out - you won't regret it.

The most popular color is Call Me (NARS Orgasm dupe supposedly, a color I find to be rather overrated honestly).   I personally recommend Foreplay and Tease.  I also picked up X-rated this weekend because I could no longer resist the berry color ^_^ It'd be perfect for winter!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sales and More~

11.24.2010

Hey peeps~
Here it is..... my massive list of sales that I collected left and right for your browsing pleasure ^_^! As you all know, I hunt down sales like a crazy mofo and here's a list of places I am going to be stalking on Friday and Monday~  Many of the places I'm listing actually continue beyond Black Friday.   Anyway, just about every site is having some kind of sale/discount going on but here are a couple I personally  will be checking out with my debit card clutched in my hand xD....


Rock & Republic: Just got this in my email and THEY RESTOCKED BLUSHES!!!   Starting 11/26 @ 12am EST, you can get 70% off (just on the clothes tho).  As usual, here's the lowdown on how to get two blushes for $8/each and a referral link (if you haven't registered already) to get the $25 off your first purchase.  And yes, the 50% off all cosmetics code, ROCKCOSMETICS, still works even though it's not advertised anymore. Also .99 shipping is still available.

I personally recommend Tease and Foreplay, both of which I own.  I just picked up X-rated, a rich berry, today so we'll see how that turns out ;)  Good luck getting the colors you want!


Sugarpill: Ok, I haven't bought anything from this company yet but petrilude and xsparkage pretty much sold me on their loose shadows.  For chrissake, they're just gorgeous and if those guru's makeup are anything to go by, these are fantastically pigmented with minimal fallout (petrilude's reviews of these were very positive)...! I'm dying to own Goldilux especially, it looks like a true gold...
  • Black Friday Only: 30% off with PINKWEEKEND
  • 11/27-11/29 (Cyber Monday): 20% off with PINKWEEKEND

Benefit: Free U.S. shipping with code GLAMSHIP, 11/24 through 11/29. Free international shipping on $85+ orders with code DEALDAY1, 11/25 through 11/29.


Sephora: Free Haul-iday tote with $25+ orders only on 11/26 (while supplies last). Free shipping on $25+ orders with code SHIPNOW, 11/27 through 11/29.


Smashbox: Free gift every Tuesday and Thursday. Free shipping on all orders.  20% off with code FFSB20, expires 11/29.


Stila:
  • Black Friday Only: Free gift set of Stila BEST-SELLERS ($104 value) for purchases $50+.
  • Black Friday Only: Free shipping when they spend $50+. 
  • Cyber Monday Only: Warehouse Sale, up to 80% off.
  • 20% off with code STILALOVES, expires 11/30. 


e.l.f.:
  • Black Friday Only: Buy 1,Get 1 50% off with BCGBOGO50.
    • Free Shipping on orders over $30 
    • Valid only 11/25  - 11/27. 
  • Cyber Monday Only: 55% Off site-wide with $25 purchase with BCG55.
    • Valid only 11/28 - 11/30.
  • 30% off Studio Line on $20+ purchases with code STUD30.

NARS Cosmetics: Free shipping on orders of $25 or more with code 25FREESHIP. Free 2-day shipping on orders of $150+, no code necessary.


Urban Decay:  Two free deluxe samples w/ $65+ purchase, code HFS65.  Selected Urban Decay best-selling eyeshadows, colored mascaras and glosses for just $6, chic nail polish sets and shadow palettes for just $12 from 11/26 (at 3am EST) thru 11/30 (3am EST).  Sneak peek of 15th Anniversary 24/7 Pencil Set on 11/29.


Ann Taylor LOFT: 40% off everything (AMAZING~) both for online and in-store purchases!  Use promo code ENJOY at checkout and no coupon is needed to get the discount in-stores.  Shipping is free on purchases over $125.  No word on expiration date but I don't think it'll last longer than Cyber Monday.


Victoria's Secret is having a couple sales that I like:

1.) Pajama Sale
I actually bought PJs here before, very soft and fleecy.  Slippers are a bit stiff and not "amazing" in quality but a nice bonus.  If you want slippers, buy soon though b/c they will just send a random pair of slippers if they run out of the one that matches your PJs or size.
  • Add qualifying sleepwear from the “Most-Loved Gifts” collection plus a qualifying pair of slippers in the color & size of your choice to your shopping bag.
  • Enter offer code VS10SLEEP at checkout.  
  • The price of your slippers will be adjusted after offer code is applied.  
  • Valid through 11:59pm EST on December 22, 2010, while supplies last.
2.) Free scarf with VS sweater
There were two coupon codes up for this, so try them both if one doesn't work.
  • Code: VS10SCARF  Free scarf with your qualifying sweater purchase.
  • Code: FA1023953  Free scarf with sweater purchase. Expires 12/22/10.
3.) Victoria's Secret is confirmed as being included on National Free Ship Day thus there will be free shipping on 12/17/2010.

View all VS coupons at RetailMeNot here.


Forever21: Get 10% off any sweater at checkout, use code at checkout: COZY. Valid 11/23/10 - 12/13/10 only.


Aeropostale: Everything 50%-70% off.  Free shipping for $75+. Use 10HOLIDAY for $10 OFF orders of $100+.  Expires 1/15/2011.


Banana Republic: 25% off any order with BRTHANKS. Expires 11/28/2010.  Free Shipping on $50+ order at Banana Republic, select "Free Everyday" at checkout.  Expires 12/31/2010.


The Body Shop (in order of expiration date):
  • Free shipping on $50+ orders, expires 11/25. 
  • 2 for $25 Body Butter and Scrubs, expires 11/25. 
  • 3 for $25 Shower Gels and Lotions, 11/27 - 11/28.
  • 3 for $30 sitewide + free shipping 6PM EST 11/30 - 12/2.


LUSH: Get free ground shipping with $100+ purchase, free 2-day shipping with purchase of $120+, free 2-day + free 1 oz. limited edition perfume with $150+ purchases. Get $10 LUSH e-gift card with any purchase of $100+. Only on Black Friday, 11/26.


Bath & Body Works has ton of sales going on, no joke.  Be sure to check out all the coupon codes at RetailMeNot because I only listed the ones I liked.


Ok - I am so tempted to buy $40 worth of stuff just for this bag >< ughh maybe I'll buy some candles?!? eheh oh the power of marketing, here I am contemplating buying candles I don't need for a bag I don't need filled with products I don't need ^^ but you have to admit it's a tempting deal! If you are going to be buying something from BB&W though and want this bag, here's the instructions:


But if you don't want the bag or don't want to spend $60+ then there are a bunch of other deals, some of my favorites being:
  • Code: SPECIAL20  
    • 20% off entire purchase. 
    • Valid 11/1/10 through 2/15/11.
  • Code: F103373  
    • $10 off any $30 purchase. 
    • Expires 11/28/10.
  • Code: Free4U online or 3672 in US stores  
    • Free item with any $10 purchase, up to a $13 value. 
    • Expires 12/24/2010.
  • Code: F103523  
    • Free Signature Collection Travel-Size Item + 20% off entire order. 
    • Expires 11/22-12/24/10.
  • Code: F102698  
    • $10 3-Wick Candles 14.5 oz of your choice. Save $9.50. Limit 5. Add 3 wick candle (s) to your shopping bag and enter promo code at checkout.
    • Valid in-stores and online 11/1/2010 - 1/17/2011.
There are a lot of Printable (In-store) coupons too so make sure you look here.


Beauty Ticket: 30% off everything with code CYBER30, valid 11/29 only.


Pretty & Cute is where I got the Lioele products I reviewed before.  I'll personally be picking up some more Lioele AC Trouble Patches (loveeeee) and maybe a few other things since all Lioele stuff are going to be 30% off!!  If you're a first time Lioele shopper, I'd recommend the Silky Highlighter BB Touch and AC Trouble Patches.  Here are the coupons I got in the P&C Newsletter:


I've never tried their lashes but they're so cheap ($1/each) I might give 1-2 of them a try.


For circle lens wearers: Their exclusive section (sells circle lens for mad cheap), which is usually open only for Exclusive Members (those who've spent $1000+ eep!) is going to be open! I've always gotten my GEO lens for $15 minimum (usually adds up to $20) so the prices look amazingly cheap.  I'm not really looking for circle lens and I doubt they'll carry my prescription :\  so I prolly won't be buying any though.


I thought Cherry Culture was the best place to get NYX stuff but I've found a new treasure trove for NYX at Pinkholik. HOLY CRAP it's SO CHEAP.  Some things are literally $1 less than CC, which is a lot when NYX items are only $4-5 to begin with.  The only downside is that the selection isn't as big and the website navigation/checkout is clunky at best :P   You'll see what I mean once you start shopping :\ And their cart auto-clears/empties unless you make an account, so do that before you start shopping.


Their Thanksgiving Sale is 25% off and shipping is free for $40+ (same as CC)!  So basically, you thought CC was a bargain?  Pinkholik just blows it out of the water (price-wise).  This sale also goes till 11/30 so you have a bit more time to pick and choose.


But if there are things that are OOS on Pinkholik, Cherry Culture is also having a store-wide 20% off Thanksgiving Sale, just use TG20. Basically, if you've been eyeballing some NYX stuff, now's the moment to go crazy.  I highly recommend the Round Lipsticks, Single Eyeshadows and Mosaic blushes.  The Cream blushes are very nice too; cream blushes are trickier to apply but super natural.


Happy Cloud Moments is also having a 20% off Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) Sale!  As you may remember this is my favorite Etsy jewelry shop so definitely take a peek! Use code THANKFUL for 20% off. Expires Monday I assume ^^

Julu Jewelry is also having a Black Friday Sale, which ends 11/28 (Sunday), so it doesn't extend into Cyber Monday. She also has free shipping + free studs so SCOREEE~


He Qi Crystal Designs also has a a section for Black Friday Clearance Items.  I don't know how long the section will be up but she does have a lot of items in there so take a gander~


Barnes & Noble: Get an extra 30% off any item. Use P4A4N7P. Valid 11/26/10 (Black Friday) only.


Besides using just coupons, you can also use Ebates to get a certain percentage rebate/cash back back if you click through their store.  This is fantastic for people who will be doing most of their Black Friday shopping online!

Basically, when you want to shop online, go to Ebates, search for the store you want to shop at, and click through their referral link.  When you do that you get a certain percentage of your purchase back into you Ebates account, which you can use for another purchase :D!  You can still use coupon codes on the actual site on top of using the Ebates links.  You can use Ebates for any online purchases, not just Black Friday/Cyber Mondays. Ebates has a ton of stores so make sure you check (Sephora, The Body Shop, Ulta, Coastal Scents, e.l.f. etc) if you're going to be making purchases online.

Your strategy should be:
1.) Pick online stores you want to shop at.
2.) Find store on Ebates, click though their referral link to the specific shop. (Example: Ann Taylor Loft's Ebates page)
3.) Pick items on website, type in promo code. (Example: type in Ann Taylor Loft's 40% off promo code, ENJOY)
4.) Purchase.

This will let you get cash back on Ebates and still allow you to use Black Friday/Cyber Monday promo codes.  Let me know if you have any questions about it ^_^ 


The last thing I wanted to share with you guys is how to get Free 2-day Shipping for a year on Amazon!   All you need is an .edu address :)  I actually used my old uni address and it still worked ^_^!  You do still need to be able access your .edu mailbox to confirm.

*whew* I think that's everything (and that I have no life...)! But Happy Shopping and have a Wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

2010 Etsy Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2: Jewelry

11.24.2010

I will posting a massive post later tonight of Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales I will be stalking (I'm still compiling them right now....god I love Thanksgiving break). So, stay tuned for that!  Thanksgiving then Black Friday, it's gonna be a good weekend -- w00t!  And my face is recovering nicely *whew* my face is flaky and dry but no longer the size of a melon ^_^  Thanks for all your kind words peeps :D

Etsy Holiday 2010 Edition Mini-series
Part 1: Intro + Skincare/Bath Products

Here's Part 2 of the Etsy Holiday 2010 Edition mini-series!  If you read my blog you'll know I'm just obsessed with earrings and Swarovski crystals.  I hoard jewelry like crazy >_> it's my weakness, moreso than makeup actually :( With makeup I can usually talk myself out of it and I tend to buy only exactly what I am looking for but...jewelry...no restraint whatsoever.


Etsy: Happy Cloud Moments
Etsy Supplies Shop: Happy Cloud Supplies
Blog: http://happycloudmoments.blogspot.com
Happily Handmade Swarovksi Crystal Jewelry....
Happy Cloud Moments presents happily handmade jewelry featuring Swarovski Elements such as crystals and pearls and sterling silver components. The general style is simple, romantic, feminine and just so sparkly. Of course, there are the bold and fun pieces too. I can customize the jewelry to fit you or create a piece from scratch just for you.
Happy Cloud Moments is without question my favorite Etsy Swarovski jewelry shop.  I have purchased a lot of stuff from her (I really should do a separate post on my HCM stuff) ^_^ Her whimsical style just strokes me exactly the right way...  She's been cranking out a lot of adorable autumn inspired pieces lately (I so dig the little autumn leaf and acorn charms) but she is known for her simple star earrings and star necklaces.  Overall, the packaging and the quality of her jewelry is just impeccable. There's breathtaking attention to details:

- always wire wraps bicones around the clasp to make it prettier (her trademark I think)
- wire wraps all the beads on her cluster earrings and bracelets
- puts wire wrapped beads on the ends of all her bracelets to finish them off


The fact that she actually wire-wraps ALL the beads on her bracelets just boggles my mind - it really is amazing when you consider how many beads go into a single bracelet.  Wire wrapping is much more labor intensive than just putting the bead on the chain with a single loop or using a jump ring (a metal circle).  Those semi into jewelry know what I'm talking about ^_~  Anyway, it takes skill and time to make tight wire wraps on each bead and major props to jewelry makers who do that.  Those twists ensure the bead is securely on the chain and it just demonstrates the jewelry artisan's dedication to jewelry making as a craft, not just as a money maker.

She also includes little freebies with jewelry purchases and everything comes in boxes with business cards.  I've also purchased Strawberry Brass & Enamel Bells and a Glow-In-the-Dark Stars (LOVE) from her supplies shop, Happy Cloud Supplies ^_^ I use them on my cellphone - I like the jangling ^^

Joyce is also having a 20% off Black Friday Sale right now so you definitely should buy something now if you see something you like!

Coupon expires November 26, 2010 11:59pm (EST I assume).


Etsy: beadpassion
Welcome to my shop! I'm a stay at home mother. I got hold of my first polymer clay few years back and instantly fell in love with it. Polymer clay allows one to explore his creative side with the independence of customizing desired items.
This was where I made my very first Etsy purchase actually ^_^  I own a chocolate, a donut and vintage pearl bracelet - one of her few non-food items ^.~.  I love them all - her polymer goodies are just mind bogglingly detailed and look so delicious!  She's known for her exquisitely detailed sushi and cupcakes but she takes custom orders too.  She actually made a customized miniature of my friend's wedding cake: the 2-layer cake was on a necklace, one slice for an earring and a fork for the other earrings.  It's a bit impractical as far as jewelry goes (cuz it's kiddish) but very memorable and a good keepsake (if I do say so myself ^^).   I'll have to show you guys my bracelets one day, they're just amazingly cute and when I wear them everybody wants a bite (literally). 

For those unfamiliar with polymer clay, it's surprisingly sturdy. I wouldn't say her pieces are "fragile" at all, they're hard, shiny - unless you request no coating - and have none of the squishy/pliable characteristics you associate with "clay."  While they can chip (it's hard to chip them though, trust me), since the color is not painted on (as in each colored bit is a piece of clay colored in itself), no white will show in the chip.  The style of jewelry could be seen as childish but I love wearing them because they're great conversation starters and just so cute.  I am just lusting after her California Maki Sushi studs.

The customer service is great and she includes freebies.  Packaging is pretty good, you can tell she tries but since she is based in Philippines, shipping to the US can take awhile and the box she sends things in can end up a little beat up.   But you can tell that's really the post offices' fault, not hers.


Etsy: Serenity Crystal Design

I remember coming across Trinity's Etsy page about a year ago, back then she only had a few Swarovksi pendant necklaces.  I purchased a simple pendant from her and I recall the service being quite good.  Then months later -  I come across her page again and omg, she's come a long way since then!  Her specialties are now beautiful handmade flower hair accessories but the real jewel in her shop is her gorgeous free-form turquoise necklace, inspired by Megan Fox.  It is just BEAUTIFUL and so fashionable, especially considering how chunky jewelry is in right now.  Not to mention I think this would just look amazing during the summer with a strapless dress.  Her Etsy feedback is perfect so it seems like her service quality is still impeccable.  Also for $40+ purchases she includes a 1 year free magazine subscription and free crystal earrings~ I am so lemming that Megan Fox necklace right now ><!


Etsy: Youniquely Chic

Captive Teardrops and Rainbow Swarovski Cascade but they are eye-catching in their own way.  Her jewelry has a steampunk vibe without being too crazy and I love how she incorporates crystals into the "machinery."  I like her gunmetal pieces especially, I kind of wish more people worked with gunmetal :( It doesn't tarnish like sterling silver (at least the ones I own for 1+ year hasn't) and while it doesn't look as "expensive" it has a sleek edge to it that I really like.  She holds a lot go Buy One, Get One Free sales - one every holiday - so those are the best time to pick up a few earrings :) 

Packaging isn't amazing though, just adequate.  If you want to give these as a gift, send it to yourself first ^^;; Tara is very nice though and she ships very promptly.


Etsy: Candybead

Uh, who doesn't know Candybead?  Pretty much the Swarovksi bicone beader on the net xD She's known for her bicone bracelets mostly but her Hello Kitty charms are super cute too.  I haven't bought anything from her before but I have been lemming over over her twisted spiral bracelets so long I just wanted to share this shop with you all ^_^.


Etsy: made with molecules

I have not bought anything from this shop but it's just too good to not include in this post because it's so ridiculously nerdy xD  Oh orgo... how I did love drawing my benzene molecules "just right"...sadly, the only thing I gained from that class is that I can now draw perfect hexagons ;)   Anyway, this shop is pretty darn famous online so I'm certain it can be trusted and the quality is good, even if I haven't seen it myself.  These would make a perfect gift for those who love science - or don't ;)  Have a friend who hated orgo, genetics or molecular bio? Why not tease 'em just a bit with some jewelry that is sure to evoke some "fond" memories?  The shop carries cellphone charms, necklaces, earrings, amino acids, base pairs and a lot of molecules that I needed to remember (but never did) for my molecular genetics exams *sigh*

Part 3 coming up next week ^_^!  If you have any favorite Etsy shops - let me know so I can check 'em out!
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