Sunday, May 18, 2014

Rainbow Honey May 2014 Mini Mystery Bag Review (and Other Pretties)

Anyone who knows me knows that I am pathologically incapable of growing long, ladylike fingernails. I have the nails of a 14-year-old boy, or perhaps a migrant farm worker... short, stubby, weak, and perpetually breaking off. It probably doesn't help that I can't completely break myself of the habit of using them as tools, and that as a nurse, my nails get drenched in hand sanitizer approximately eight basquillion times a day. And to add insult to injury, my nail beds are actually wider than they are long, so even when I manage to grow out a little bit of length, they STILL look like stubs. Just can't win, y'all. I'm reminded of a scene in the movie "Mean Girls" wherein the titular characters all start ragging on their own perceived worst features.

Get out of my head, Karen! It's like you have ESPN or something.*

Because I am cursed with these tragic little excuses for fingernails, I have generally avoided painting my fingernails for most of my life. I envied all the women with perfectly lacquered talons, while thinking that my nails looked like Skittles stuck to the ends of my fingers whenever I tried to put any color on them. Pretty polish was for pedicures only, and that was that. Well, NO MORE, I say! Somehow I have come to the realization that I am the only person who really gives a crap what my nails look like, and I happen to like having obnoxious colors and sometimes glitter stuck to them. So there.

Via my newfound interest in cosmetics, I have been introduced to an entire realm of amazing indie nail polishes, created by artsy-crafty individuals and often sold in Etsy shops or in other small-scale operations. I'm so glad I've learned to look beyond the drugstore or Ulta shelves for nail polishes, because branching out is leading me to discover creative sellers like Rainbow Honey. Based out of New Jersey, Rainbow Honey offers a unique array of vibrant colors and festive glitters, as well as a small selection of nail care products and other bits and bobs. Rainbow Honey's polishes are also "3-free," which means that they apparently don't contain some icky chemicals that people don't like, so yay for that, I suppose. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of things that are going to kill me long before my nail polish does. But anyway... on to the pretties! Rainbow Honey offers a monthly "Mystery Bag" that contains three nail polishes and a sampling of other Rainbow Honey products, which is available in either full-size or mini form. The Mystery Bag is available for one-time purchase, is included with purchases over $65, and is now available as a monthly subscription as well. At just $10 for the mini bag, I couldn't resist adding one to the order I was placing, just to check it out.

Too cute for words.
My purchase arrived in a timely fashion, and isn't the packaging just adorable? I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad my nail polishes are produced in such a happy lab. There was even a silver Rainbow Honey sticker "sealing" the USPS box it was shipped in; I really appreciate a little extra attention to detail, so I liked that. Inside the cute wrapping, I found...

Look at this stuff. No, seriously, look at this picture, because there won't be individual shots of most items down below.
Left to right: Waves, Neon Blossom, and Petit Four minis.
 All in all, my bag is pretty evenly split between things I'll use and things that just don't float my boat.

Will use:
  • Petit Four nail polish: This polish is a pastel yellow with turquoise, pink, and red glittery bits. This looks like candy to me, which is fun, and yellow makes me happy, so I'm looking forward to giving this one a whirl when I've got a few days off from work.             
  • Nail Honey cuticle balm: This product has a nice smooth consistency, feels very moisturizing, and has a pleasant "baked-goods" aroma. I don't love that application of this balm in stick form is a bit messy and I end up having to get my fingers all up in it... but that's the only thing I don't love. My cuticles are gnarly little things, and they need all the help they can get.
  • Sakura Matsuri sugar scrub: I try to exfoliate regularly, so I'll save this little guy to throw into my suitcase the next time I'm traveling. Unfortunately, that means no breaking the plastic seal and checking it out for this review... sorry, but I think you'll live.
  • Summer Juice rollerball (photo below): This perfume is a lovely kick of summer in a tube... a smack-you-in-the-face citrus, redolent of grapefruit in particular for me. At first I didn't love the teensy size and unimpressive plain plastic packaging, but then I realized that this will actually be perfect to toss into my scrub pockets at work. I've learned that sometimes a dab of something pleasant under my nose can make the stinkier tasks of nursing a LOT easier to stomach. Suck it, stinky colostomy bag! I've got Summer Juice now, and I'm not afraid to use it. 

 Won't use:
  • Summer Juice shea butter soap (photo above): In theory, this has the same summery scent as the rollerball, which I like... but I just don't use bar soap. I don't even like to put out pretty little soaps like this for bathroom guests, because I feel like decorative soaps either sit there uselessly or get grody once they're used. Liquid soap ALL THE WAY.
  • Neon Blossom nail polish: Yellow glitter flowers + pink glitter hearts + a crap-ton of other tiny glitters in a clear base = just too cutesy for me. I don't mind large or bright glitters, but the saccharine-sweet shapes in this particular mix just aren't for me.
  • Waves nail polish: For some reason, although I love yellow and green nail polishes, I just can't cross the bridge into the realm of blues. Unlike the other two polishes, this one has a fine glitter shimmer instead of large pieces of glitter, and it has a pretty golden sheen that almost makes it lean a little green to my eye. On second thought... maybe I do need to at least try this one, because the more I look at it, the more that slight green shift makes me flash to snorkeling in the waters around the Turks and Caicos, and that's a pretty darn nice association for a nail polish to trigger.
  • Nail art supplies: Nail art just is not my jam. I've been known to do some occasional polka dots, but that's IT. Don't have the patience or the nail space for effective nail art, and although I try to refrain from uttering these words, I feel too old for a lot of the nail art I see. Maybe one day I'll attempt something like a gradient... so I suppose I'll hang onto the sponge applicators, but I will definitely never use the little square studs.
So. Will I sign up for a Rainbow Honey subscription? No... honestly, I just don't think a nail polish subscription in general is the right fit for me, and even if I decided to do one, Rainbow Honey's catalog includes an awful lot of polishes that, like Neon Blossom, are just too "precious" for my tastes. But will I order another Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag in the future, if I'm already placing an order for something else? Yep, probably, because even though the bag was very hit-or-miss for me, it was a fun little surprise for $10.

Oh, I almost forgot! The bag I just blathered on about was actually a late addition to my original order, which I'll preview here and review at length soon. (Side note: this also marks the first blog entry for which I figured out that I can use my random scrapbook papers as product backdrops. I may be snapping my pictures on my bathroom counter with an iPhone instead of with a lightbox and a snazzy SLR, but HEY, COORDINATION.)

Even the boxes are stinkin' adorable!
Left to right: Sweet Talk, Nail Honey Cuticle Oil, Foxglove Foxtrot
Sweet Talk was the polish that won me over to Rainbow Honey... I don't remember where I first saw it, but I remember thinking, "Damn, that looks just like a jawbreaker, which is AWESOME." I read about the Nail Honey cuticle oil in a review while doing some research about Rainbow Honey's products, and decided that I needed to try it on my raggedy cuticles. I have to pause to give big credit to Rainbow Honey's customer care here... the cuticle oil, which was a brand-new item for the store at the time, went out of stock before my order could be fulfilled, and to make up for that, Rainbow Honey offered me the choice of any full-size item in the store! I chose the Foxglove Foxtrot as my "bonus" item, and they were super-quick to re-stock and send out both items. That's excellent customer service, in my opinion. Looking forward to trying out both polishes, and I'm already hopelessly in love with the cuticle oil. It feels so soothing, moisturizes beautifully, and smells just like cake batter. We're talking, like, an "if I'm not careful, someone might chew off my fingers" delicious smell. 

*Side note: if you've made it to the end and are still thinking that I'm a moron for captioning the "Mean Girls" image at the beginning of this post with "ESPN" instead of "ESP," you are way overdue for a viewing of "Mean Girls." Go Netflix it. You can thank me later.

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