Archive for category a-england
Heads up guys. I’m about to go on one of my introspective jags here in a moment, so either get comfy, or enjoy the randomly interspersed nail art – a little looky-looky for ya – and then get the heck outta here.
So. I just got out of the shower. And my mental process during the entire act of cleaning the day’s dirt and grime off, was centered around this blog. What can I write about that will get MY mojo going, let alone pique your interest!? I tell ya, it’s been a struggle lately to find the get up and go to write about much of anything, truth be told.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. If I could maintain a beauty blog with just words and no pictures, and entice you to try fabulous products (or scare you away from the crappy ones) with just the force of my words, I’d be SET. Sadly, I’m in the wrong kinda blogging business for that. But, in my dream reality, that would be exactly what I’d do.
See, the thing is – photography is WORK. All you kickass bloggers out there know, it often takes a bajillion shots to get just the right one. Sometimes, I’m all over it; give me a clear, bright Saturday morning with no commitments and I’ll happily sit out on my deck and get all artsy-fartsy on your ass. But the chance of me actually being home at all during the weekend is slim to none, nevermind having the weather cooperate (though I will say…we kinda had a stupendous August!). The obvious solution is to find an alternative method of shooting photos when my surroundings are less than ideal (MM has taking a night shot down pat) – but here is the other problem. I am NOT great at photography. I’d love to have those mad skillz that many a blogger seem to be born with innately, but this here girl just does not have it. And unfortunately for all of us, I’m not so great with bothering to LEARN things I’m not already good at from the get go. There. I said it. I only wanna do things I know I’ll succeed at. I’m a jerk.
So. We’ve established the problem and determined a solution that I’m not actually going to apply. Now what? That brings me to now, today, this month, the past 6 months. I feel like I’ve been doing the blogging thing for so long now that I really should have my shit together, but I still feel like a total newb (and it shows). It sucks, because I’m just as obsessed with cosmetics as ever and have bought some super-cool things over the past couple months I really should talk about. But the thought of putting out one more crappy photo just leaves me sad, pissed at myself, and – quite frankly – avoidant to write about much of anything. Which is a shame, because writing…writing is something I love.
Having said all that….if anyone has any suggestions for me on improving my photography skills, or just to commiserate, I’m all ears. While I’m unlikely to work TOO hard at much of anything (sad but true), I am receptive to any tips or tricks I might employ to improve my pics bit by bit. The most ideal scenario is that all you talented photogs out there come to my house and show me hands-on – that’s how I (like to) learn best. But we’ve already established that we’re not living in my dream reality, so I’ll take what I can get ;)
Do you steer clear of things you don’t do well? What are your strengths? How do you prefer to learn?
Hey everyone…sorry for being MIA, it’s been kind of a roller-coaster here and the urge to talk beauty has been next to zero :S There are some great things happening – I started dating someone recently :D :D :D – and some shit things happening – namely my roommate and I are having some serious differences in opinion, and have been having what feels like a week long argument. Needless to say, I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied! Hopefully things will settle down sooner rather than later *fingers crossed*
In the meantime, as usual here is a filler nail polish post, which are my favorite easy-peasy kind of posts. Gaze at the beauty that is a-England’s Sleeping Palace, from the Burnes-Jones Dream Collection:
Isn’t this greyish-purple prismatic polish to die!?!?! ~sigh~ Formula, as usual for a-England polishes, was great – the perfect viscosity to reach opacity in two easy coats. The multi-tonal rainbow shimmer in this is exquisite, so, SO beautiful! I haven’t worn it as a full mani yet because it really feels like a fall shade to me, but come late summer – this is gonna be my JAM.
Have you picked up any polishes from Adina’s new collection?
In the past couple weeks, I’ve been picking up or receiving packages full of great treats which I’ve thoroughly been enjoying. At the moment, I’m still in the testing phase for most of the products so no reviews quite yet, but so far everything has been really stellar. I’ve also purchased a few new nail polishes, and hope to get some pictures up tomorrow! For now, I’m just going to leave you with a few teaser photos and some quick thoughts.
Boscia Tsubaki Facial Oil – I picked this up during the Sephora sale in April but just opened it within the last month or so. Even though the consistency is lighter than my beloved Tarte Maracuja Oil, I find it’s a little more oily somehow so I only need the smallest amount. Otherwise, it’s quite nice and is a pleasure to use, though I’m not sure it gives me the same results as the Tarte oil.
Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment – Lately I’ve been breaking out here and there, which is very unusual for me. I attributed it to something going on with my skin so I picked up this natural BHA product to see if it would help clear out my pores. While it feels really great going on – lightweight and absorbs quickly – and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, I think the real reason for the breakouts was putting coconut oil in my hair every night; I think it was getting on my pillow and clogging my pores a bit. Since I’ve stopped doing that, the breakouts have been clearing up – but who know, could be this product too!
MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Hydrating Gel – I needed a new antioxidant product and have read a lot of great this about this gel. It’s excellent for oilier skin, especially in these warmer months, as it absorbs lightning fast with no residue yet still hydrates. I am already in love with this!
Indeed Labs Hydraluron – I grabbed this on a whim as I needed to spend $50 to get 20x the bonus points at Shoppers last weekend. It was on sale for $20 from $27 and I’d been wanting to check it out at some point, so I made the purchase. I use this during the day when I want my skin to look plump and hydrated without the accompanying greasy look from many other moisturizers. I can’t tell if this does much else to my skin just yet, but I’m definitely not noticing any issues!
Vichy Capital Soleil Mexoryl XL Sheer Lotion SPF45 – this sunscreen is FANTASTIC. I tend to steer clear of chemical sunscreens due to my eczema, but read a good point somewhere about Vichy and La Roche-Posay being great brands to try for broad spectrum sun protection because they are often formulated for sensitive skin. Whatever the case, this really is excellent on my fussy skin and I’ve had absolutely no problems or irritation from it whatsoever. It’s also incredibly lightweight and non-greasy, and doesn’t leave a whitish cast on my skin at all. It actually makes me want to wear sunscreen all the time. I adore it! It’s not cheap at about $27CAD, but it does go on sale (I purchased it for about $18) and it’s well worth the cost.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF60 – I just purchased this last weekend along with the Hydraluron, and I haven’t opened it yet as I am *just* finishing my Clinique sunscreen now. I have tried a sample of this however, and really liked how thin in consistency it was, how easy it spread on my face, and how it doesn’t leave a whitish cast. I have high hopes for this one!
Dior Spring Ball - my first Dior polish!! I wasn’t interested in these spring polishes at all, until I tried this one on at Sephora a few weeks ago and fell in love. However, it was sold out everywhere by that time – but I persevered and ordered it online from Sephora (along with two shades of NARS’ Radiant Creamy concealers – which I LOVE). Unfortunately, I’m a little disappointed in the shade – it’s not as beautiful as I remember, sadly. But it’s still very pretty and wearable, and I don’t regret the purchase too much.
Essie Come Here! – I have so many polishes in this color vein…but I can’t help myself ~sigh~ I got a hankering for a pretty coral red and felt I *needed* to have one, but I probably have a bunch of shades similar to this. However, I really do love it and I find this kind of tone works for just about every outfit. But – NO MORE CORALS. At least for a little while ;0)
a-England Sleeping Palace – the latest a-England release kind of crept up out of nowhere (as usual), and I ogled the beautiful shades along with everyone else. I actually have quite a few of the brands polishes, and usually pick up one or two from each collection. This was the stunner for me – a gorgeous dusty mauve with prismatic shimmer. It doesn’t feel like a summer shade to me, but come fall I’m going to be all over this. It’s really quite beautiful!
Zoya Robyn – I saw this on Lakeisha’s blog a couple weeks ago and decided I had to have it. It looks better on her than I, but I still like it a lot and can’t wait to wear this as a pedi shade. I had no colors like it at all so I’m pretty happy to add it to the collection.
As you can see, I have a lot of new things on the go! I’m almost at a skincare utopia which feels pretty damn awesome – I’d just like to get an antioxidant masque (Kahina’s looks/sounds perfect), an exfoliator of some sort (the Pure + Simple Organic Vanilla Cleansing Powder Becca mentioned here is right up my alley), and a cleansing oil (maybe Tatcha’s??) when my Clinique Take the Day Off balm runs out. In the sunscreen arena, I’m blissfully pleased with Vichy’s offering, and suspect I’ll feel the same about LRP’s too. The polishes weren’t all ectasy-inducing, but I’m pretty happy with them as well.
What sort of products have you been buying lately?
So. Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day! 7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be! Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza. It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!
As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~ Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me! This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!
I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp. I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth. *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out? It’s so frickin’ hard dude! I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)
Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power. I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within. I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that! I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product. Review will be forthcoming!
I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola. I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.
Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!? Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz. But I have shades with a green tinge… haha. I made it work, I think! I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER. And also my new favorite!!
The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top. This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow. Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades. Fun!
I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding? That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post! LOL Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?
How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day?? Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?
Hello my neglected beauties! I am so far behind in everything in life it seems – isn’t summer supposed to be carefree and relaxed!? While I’ve had a lot of good times the past couple months, I’ve hardly had any time to address my ‘real’ life (guess that’s escapism to the max, eh?). I’ve flown out of the province three times in August alone (twice to Newfoundland and now to Ontario – I’m actually in the airport right now heading to Ottawa), and while I LOVE to travel, I didn’t realize how hard it is to get back on track when you return. Soon I’ll have been away from home for 12 out of 31 days – that’s a whole third of the month – and it’s kind of nuts. Fun – but nuts.
Look I did for a cottage party I went to – my friend’s family does a washer toss tournament every year, and this year there was a record 50 participants! As the cottage is right on a lake, I wore only MUFE’s waterproof Aqua Liner in #5 (diamond turquoise blue) and a touch of mascara – it gave enough impact all by itself!
To add to all that, recently my boyfriend and I broke up. So not only am I away physically but I’ve also mentally been not entirely present the past week or two. However, I know that everyone has ‘stuff’ that goes on in their lives and they keep on moving, so I don’t want to lean on this as an excuse. Most bloggers have busy lives and children and the like, and they post WAY more than me on a good week. I merely just want to explain my absence so you know it’s only temporary! Well…at least until October. Then I’ll be away for 35 days and you’ll be lucky if I’ve got a post a week coming out. LOL. But THEN! Then I will be blogger extraordinaire, I *promise.*
The most frustrating part about all this is that while moving forward my budget will be next to zero for beauty purchases (paying for a condo on my own is NOT going to be easy), I bought a slew of fun, beautiful things in the past couple months I’ve been desperate to talk to you about! Actually, to be honest, a lot of those things I haven’t even had the time to experiment with myself, and they’re just in a forlorn little pile in my bathroom begging to be adored. Since I’ve been traveling so much, most of these items haven’t come with me because I’m crazy-anal about keeping my makeup pristine, and I’m nervous about things getting banged up or broken (I’m still sore over my MAC Early Morning blush being in pieces :S). Argh! I hate not being able to multitask. LOL!
Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N10 (iridescent copper pink). It was the shade the MUFE Artist matched me with for my ultimate ‘MLBB’ shade. It’s quite pretty but I see to either veer lighter, darker or more bold with lippies for the most part. See link above for original review on formula.
But ladies (and maybe gents??)…there appears to be a silver-lining for you now. It was just announced that my flight has been delayed for 2 hours – surely I can pump out a post or three in that time!? Its not going to be any of the new, good stuff, but I have a boatload of photos from other items I’ve been meaning to show you. So sit back and get comfy…I have a lot of making up to do!
I don’t think there’s a soul on Earth who doesn’t like to get mail (when it’s the non-$$-owing kind). I personally love to get mail (even bank statements!), and am sure to send it out as much as I can – Christmastime gets all kinds of crazy. The absolute best/worst kind of mail is the kind that results from online shopping: awesome because you got a real treat delivered to your door! – but a little scary because it can get out of hand, quickfast. I haven’t yet reached the *yikes!* stage, but I DO have to hold myself back quite frequently.
Lately I’ve been indulging both my love of beauty and my love of mail by engaging in a whole bunch of swaps, ticking things off my lemmings list methodically which is super-terrif. However, before I got oh-so-wise, I did do a wee bit of other purchasing:
The Too Faced bronzer and the NARS eyeliner were swap items, but the ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS (just making sure you’re paying attention – I bought ELLIS FAAS!) product I purchased last month. ELLIS FAAS revamped their website in July and to celebrate they were offering free shipping till the end of the month, so I had to get on that! The brand was another on my “12 Brands to Try” list, so I’m pretty stoked. I won’t say any more about the mystery product, but keep your eyes peeled for a review and FOTD very soon! :)
Now, I haven’t forgotten that there’s also an a-England polish kicking around there too – one more shade to add to my collection! The brand was also having a promotion last month where the Mythicals collection was all half off, and when I noted one day that I didn’t own a black polish, my smart lady-friends Larie and Eugenia both recommended Camelot as a must-have.
Camelot is an inky, rich black that doesn’t have any other leanings – it’s a true, straightforward black, with no funny business. The formula is lovely, with the perfect consistency, and it’s fairly shiny on it’s own (here its shown with one coat and no top coat), but I think with two coats and a top coat it would simply gleam. However, it’s unlikely I’ll ever wear this as is, truth be told. I think shades like this are better left to the more fair-skinned of the world, as the contrast between light and dark is much more pronounced, and in my eyes, prettier. But there are several polish shades I own that could benefit from a black base coat, so I figured it was kind of a staple requirement in my stash.
…Then I got an idea. An awful idea.
This gal got a wonderful, *awful* idea!
Remember that garish gold polish I showed you a few weeks ago? The SpaRitual one that just about blinded you with it’s bling? Well, I think I might have found a way to make it work…
BAM! KAPOW! OH SNAP! Yes, my friends, I discovered a fabulous way to wear Aurum without wanting to take it off instantly! In fact, I kinda want to wear this look a whole lot!! And it’s so funny….today I decided that I wanted to get my hands on butter London’s Wallis – yep, I was gonna have it – and now I think I can hold off (for a while, at least). I know that it’s not a dupe by any means, but the idea of it is so similar that I can be satisfied on that front I think! I’m so pleased that I will be able to wear Aurum, as I can’t stand buying things that end up being all wrong. The black base totally chills out the shade (this is just one coat over Camelot) and grounds it so it’s not so aggressively sparkly and yellow-toned, and almost makes it look a little edgy. Love love love.
So all in all I had a great day today!! I have another handful of swaps on the way (yea, I’ve been busy), and a lot of pretty stuff to show you, so I have to get on it! I hope everyone is enjoying the last weeks of summer, it’s been a fantastic one here (can you believe, that our ‘norm’ now is sun!?), so I’m reluctant to see it go, but I am pretty excited for fall makeup shades! And this combo of Aurum and Camelot will totally fit in, don’t you think??
Do you order things online or only buy in-store?
Now, let me clarify my title before you go thinking that a-England‘s Princess Sabra, from The Legends collection, isn’t all that and a bag of chips.
<Oh yea, I just used that lame old saying!>
What I mean about Princess Sabra not being gold, is that it’s not – it’s a golden olive shimmer, and there’s a difference.See, the reason why it matters is because, when I put in my initial order for a handful of polishes from The Legends collection (Princess Tears, Ascalon, and Saint George), I skipped out on Princess Sabra because it looked like a gold holo prismatic polish, of which I already own one. However, I was sorely mistaken.Princess Sabra, or Tristam Eyes – as it is said to be the same shade as a-England creator Adina’s cat’s eyes, Tristam – is a beautiful shimmering soft olive green shade with a hint of bronze and a myriad of rainbow hues infused throughout. It does have strong gold leanings, but is definitely not straight-up gold. The polish is completely unique and absolutely stunning, and once I realized the error of my ways, I ordered it IMMEDIATELY.As usual, the formulation is lovely, flowing easily on the nail with just the right amount of thickness. The finish is glossy though not overly so. I did use three coats in the swatches here, as I found this particular shade a touch sheer. But three coats to gloriousness is really not a problem when you then get to gaze at nails like this!There’s really not much else to say. I’m SO pleased I picked this up, and I love that due to the gentle color it’s pretty much wearable in all seasons, and across plenty of skintones. I suggest if you don’t own this shade…just go buy it. Seriously. There’s no reason to wait – and a-England boasts free shipping everywhere, so you’ve got no excuse!
Are you as enthralled by Princess Sabra as I am??
More and more I recognize the fact that when you get right down to it, I love creme polish formulas above most others. I love looking at the shimmer and sparkle of other polishes – I’d love to paint a car in them, perhaps – but on my nails, nothing entrances me more than a straight-up creamy, glossy finish.
However. There is one other formulation that captivates my heart: holographic polishes, or what I think is the more accurate term – prismatic.
Actually, let’s settle this terminology before we move on. Every time I mention ‘holographic nail polish’ to my bf, he gets confused, and insists that is an incorrect term. After I thought about it, I think he might be right. Here are the definitions of ‘holographic’ and ‘prismatic':
Holographic: Of or relating to holography or holograms. Soo…
(Without getting too technical) A hologram is a three-dimensional image, or representation, in photographic form.
Prismatic: 1) Of, relating to, resembling, or being a prism. 2) Brilliantly colored; iridescent. 3) (Physics) Exhibiting bright spectral colors (prismatic light).
Which sounds more accurate to you???
Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up! :) So yea, I love me some PRISMATIC polishes in all their iridescent goodness. I like them so much that I ended up buying two purple shades that come pretty darn close to being one and the same – a-England’s Lady of the Lake (purchased first) and Color Club’s Wild at Heart. They’re not dupes, but they’re near enough for me that I don’t see a good reason to own both – though I’ll probably keep ‘em both because their purple, and their prismatic. Reason enough!
Here are some swatches of the two – you can certainly see the difference with the naked eye, but for all intents and purposes they’re quite similar:On my index and ring finger is Wild at Heart, middle and pinky fingers are Lady of the Lake. You can clearly tell that it’s two different polishes, but still. Wild at Heart is more plum, while the Lady is a muted violet. I normally don’t pick up even near dupes, but when I saw shots like this online, I thought it would be entirely different. Wild at Heart did not get that fabulous from my perspective, but then again it is Winter and perhaps the cool sunlight isn’t doing it any favours. Regardless, the multidimensional shimmer (in both) does come out at the right angles in sunshine:I don’t really think I like one better than the other really…maybe Wild at Heart because its more vibrant, but overall they’re both lovely polishes (I’ve reviewed Lady of the Lake previously; Wild at Heart has a good formula with no issues to speak of) with a pretty sparkle that I thoroughly enjoy. It’s a shame it’s not consistently more sunny here in Halifax, as the beauty of these types of polish really don’t come out without it (unless you have a really stellar formula – from what I’ve seen, Speciallita and Glitter Gal look pretty amazing regardless of lighting…will.own.soon.).
And – despite the seemingly incorrect use of the word ‘holographic,’ I’ll still probably use as it’s more commonplace and I don’t want anyone to get confused :) Enjoy the rest of your day everyone!