Archive for category Chanel

Spring in a bottle: Essie Resort Fling

I’ll admit – normally I don’t like to bitch about the weather too much. We live in Canada, guys! It is what it is. But this year, I was SUPER ready for spring. It wasn’t just the bizarre-out-of-nowhere snowstorms (they at least happened on a Wednesday almost every time which meant a WHOLE LOTTA SNOW DAYS!), or the endlessly grey days that spanned for months. I think it partially was all the shit that went down that had me itching for spring and for a fresh start. So as soon as the sun peeked out even a *little bit* I was breaking out the obnoxiously colourful makeup, nail polish, and clothing. I have this awesome neon coral pink cardigan from H&M that honestly sears the eyes a little bit – every time I wear it, at least 3 people will say ‘Wow, that sweater is…BRIGHT’ (which I can never decipher to be a compliment or a put-down) – and I’ve been rocking it out non-stop just BECAUSE I WANT TO.

IMG_2197It really is that bright in real life

I always find the transition between winter and spring a bit odd when it comes to nail polish – I don’t want to get into the beach-ready brights just yet, but I’m SO DONE with the moody hues that seem to be seasonally appropriate for half the year here. Pastels are all well and good, but overall I wouldn’t say I’m all that *cute* and sometimes they can get a little saccharine to me. When I peeped swatches of the new Essie 2014 Resort collection online, I was instantly drawn to Resort Fling, but was unsure if it would work with my colouring, as it looked kinda orange which isn’t all that flattering on me. It reminded me of Zoya Arizona, which I LOVED in the bottle but HATED on the nail. It finally came in stock at Lawtons, and as soon as I saw it in person I was sold.

Essie Resort Fling

Described as a ‘creamy coral peach,’ I would say that it’s spot on. It’s more peach than coral, but that also means it’s further away from orange that I suspected, which is a good thing. It’s got a thinner formula which builds up nicely after two coats, though there is still a touch of VNL left. It doesn’t bother me that much with textures like this though; a juicy creme, almost jelly-like but not nearly as sheer – Essie’s Splash of Grenadine is very similar but a bit more creamy. ME LIKEY. Application was insanely easy – I did these swatches fairly haphazardly and got ‘em done in no time flat.

Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch

Ugh, I can’t even. I’m so happy with this shade! All the Essie shades I’ve been picking up lately have been knocking it out of the park for me I will say. It was a good lesson in ‘orange’ as well, as I realized I can come close to orange if it’s more in the peach vein rather than a more yellow-based orange.

Other than the fear of orange, another reason I held off on buying Resort Fling was that I thought it might be too close in colour to Chanel’s Orange Fizz, another shade that’s not really orange but more of a coral with an orange lean. Comparing them side by side, they looked nothing alike, but sometimes the eye can trick you.

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling

On the nail, it was clear that my fears were unnecessary, as the differences are clear. Resort Fling is not only lighter but much more ‘orange,’ whereas Orange Fizz has more pink tones in it.  The biggest similarity was their juicy creme/jelly formulas and insanely glossy finishes (I’m not even wearing top coat)!

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches

I love them both equally. For the current season though, I feel that Resort Fling is perfect – not too bright, not pastel, just pretty and spring-y and exactly what I wanted. I could probably alternate between this, Splash of Grenadine, and Essie Bikini So Teeny for the next few months and be quite happy :)

What say you? Do you go for full-on brights once spring arrives, or do you ease your way in to colour? Do you like polishes with a hybrid creme/jelly formula?

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Hurry up, spring! My nail polish picks for spring 2014 (plus a dud)

It never fails: as soon as March hits, regardless of the fact that spring doesn’t actually start till the 20th of the month, I move headfirst into ~spring~ mode.  Last night I switched over all my makeup to spring-like colours, and over are the days of dark & moody / icy & cool nail polish colors – bring on the pops of colour and pastels!

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors

I went through my nail polish collection this week (which, despite my *efforts* is still increasing in size, rather than hovering around 100 which is my goal :S) and rounded up the shades that most say ‘SPRING!’ to me.  Many of these shades are new acquisitions to my stash, so of course I’m totally enamoured with them.  I think I’m quite covered when it comes to a good array of shades…though I may need a few more metallics, now that I think about it ~always enabling~  I only really own two – the perfect gold, and a striking silver.  I wouldn’t mind throwing a nice rose-gold in the mix somewhere.  Suggestions??

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors(Left to right): Dior Bloom, butter London Poole, Essie Splash of Grenadine, Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, Chanel Orange Fizz, Zoya Robyn

I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple years, and it’s that spring isn’t just for pastels anymore.  Though I do love all the Easter egg shades that crop up this time of year, I’m enjoying seeing random pops of colour in the spring collections more and more.

Having said that, I am a sucker for any pale aqua or minty green shades that come my way.  Last week at Winners I snagged butter London’s Poole for $12CAD; I had drooled over it last summer but felt that I had several shades similar.  Turns out, indeed I do – but it’s different enough to justify owning it and I love it all the same :)

butter London Poole swatch butter London Poole swatchbutter London Poole, under artificial light

comparison butter London PooleLeft to right: China Glaze For Audrey, Zoya Wednesday, butter London Poole, MAC Mischievous Mint

I also grabbed China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint at Winners at the same time (on for $5CAD). Green is NOT my polish colour of choice – unless it’s pale/pastel. I had bought butter London’s Bossy Boots last year for that reason, but I find it’s yellow-leanings don’t do my hands any favours. I’d hoped Re-Fresh Mint with it’s cooler tones might make up for that error….sadly, I dislike it even more than Bossy Boots! UGH this looks terrible on me – it’s like white-out with a drop of green food colouring mixed in (got St Paddy’s Day and green beer on my mind, I guess lol) and aside from it looking awful on my skin tone, the formula leaves much to be desired.  Two thick, gloopy coats are required (actually, it’s the only option – thin coats are impossible as it streaks and balls up on itself in seconds) so if I’d actually wore this as a mani (I only put it on for this swatch) then dry time would be atrocious.  NO THANK YOU :(

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint swatchChina Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, under artificial light

butter London Bossy Boots vs China Glaze Re-fresh Mintbutter London Bossy Boots (left), China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint (right)

In the spirit of Radiant Orchid Madness 2014, I ordered Essie’s Splash of Grenadine from NPC last month, and guys – I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!!!  I think it’s the prettiest nail polish colour I own, seriously.  It required three thin coats to reach opacity, but the little bit of extra time is totally worth it!

Essie Splash of Grenadine swatch Essie Splash of GrenadineEssie Splash of Grenadine, artificial light

My photos don’t capture the gloriousness, but trust: this polish is LOVELY.

You may have noticed that I failed to mentioned the beautiful bright pink polish to the far left, Dior Bloom.  Fear not, my dear friends – THAT baby is going to have a separate post all to it’s own ;)

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors

What shades do you like to wear in spring?  Are you more of a pastel girl, or do you prefer brights? Do you like / can you wear green nail polish? ~shudders~

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These are {13} of my favourite things (of 2013)

The New Year is almost upon us!  Even though the number 13 conjures up some unsettling feelings, 2013 was kind of a great year for me!  Though it started out a bit rough, with a lot of talking and support it turned around for me (a big thanks to all of you who sent kind words – and a care package! – my way!).  As always, the hardships make the good times feel that much sweeter.  I had the immense pleasure of standing in my friend’s most amazing wedding; I started dating a guy who makes me feel loved and truly content in a way I never have before; I’ve had the opportunity to work in several different positions at my work and found my niche; and I finally got to go to New York City, a long-standing dream of mine!  Not too shabby 2013, not too shabby :)

Over the month of December I’ve been pondering what beauty products in my collection really stand-out and get the most use.  Though I could probably add one or two more, the 13 items below really have rocked my world this year and have been very well-loved.  I would even go so far to say that I would repurchase most of them (and that’s saying something!).

Beauty Favorites of 2013

And so I present to you, my favourite (beauty) things of 2013:

1. Osha Mae Calendula Salve ($15CAD).  On it’s own, without any cortisone products, this can clear up the chronic eczema on my hands overnight – absolutely unheard of!  I first got hooked on a sample of M.J. Herbals Calendula Salve ($15CAD), but when I saw this very similar version at our local market I picked it up, as I always like to support local!

Osha Mae Calendula Salve

2. La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask ($65CAD).  When LBF was introduced on the Clementine Fields website, they had a promotion for 15% off it’s pre-sale.  I ordered this mask as I was looking for something hydrating that could replace the uber-scented derma-e mask that I’d been using for a while (uncomfortably).  I didn’t know what to expect, and was completely bowled over once I tried it – its truly amazing!  It hydrates, it heals, it calms, it brightens…I honestly feel like it’s almost a one-stop shop as a mask, because my skin just looks SO DAMN GOOD after using it.  I attribute it’s awesomeness to it’s inclusion of raw manuka honey (it’s the first ingredient) which is noted for it’s therapeutic, antibacterial and nourishing qualities.  Other ingredients include kaolin clay, rosehip seed oil and calendula extract – be still my heart!  Oh, and it’s also BRIGHT PURPLE (due to the aronia berry).  I want to get my hands on the Purifying ($65CAD) version next.

La Bella Figura Bio Active Healing Mask

3. Lina Hanson Global Body Serum ($64CAD).  I really wish this didn’t cost so damn much because I just want to drown in this fantastically scented body oil for the rest of my life.  As it stands, I’m still trying to ration it, but I still fear it won’t last long as I keep using it every few days because it’s so addictive!

Lina Hanson Global Body Serum

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille ($130US).  Yum.  And YUM.  You all know my penchant for vanilla-based scents, so my love for this probably comes as no surprise.  With notes like sandalwood, coconut milk, musk, vanilla and tonk a bean, it’s a gourmand fragrance-lovers paradise.  I was surprised however that it also contains notes like black liquorice (which I hate) and bitter almond – but I suspect they help round out the scent and keep it from being too OTT vanilla, which can get headache-inducing fast.  I have worn this and only this since purchasing it in NYC; the only gripe I have with the fragrance is that I don’t find it lasts on my skin – but I guess that just gives me an excuse to spritz, spritz, spritz!

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Make Up For Ever Medium Highlighting Brush in #152 ($43CAD).  I didn’t quite understand just how much I would love this brush until I really put it into practice and had a while to play with it.  This brush is absolutely integral in my makeup application – aside from applying cream or powder highlighters like a dream, it also blends all formulas of blush or bronzer perfectly.  I don’t quite know how it does it, but somehow the fibers of the brush, its density, and it’s softness all contribute to a beautifully seamless complexion.  LOVE.

Make Up For Ever Brush #152

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (full-size, $50CAD).  Though I only have a deluxe sample size of this product, you only need the slightest amount to get amazing, glowing skin, so it’s lasted me ages!  I usually pull this out when I am either going for a really ‘natural’ look that focuses on the skin, or if I’m looking to amp up the glow factor for an event.  Though the full-size would probably last me a lifetime – something that doesn’t appeal to a fickle beauty fiend like myself – I still think I’ll repurchase this when I DO run out, because it’s truly the most beautiful yet natural-looking illuminator I’ve ever used.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (5)

Buxom Full-Bodied Lipsticks (full-size, $26CAD).  My love for this lipstick formula is still going strong.  I use the little sample bullets I’ve got more than any other lipstick I own, and I’m looking forward to the day when they run out – so I can justifiably buy some full sizes!  Just so, so creamy and comfortable to wear, with awesome full pigment.  For the price especially, you really can’t beat ‘em!

IMG_0372

Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel in Revelation ($43CAD).  I have been on a cream blush kick for a while now, as I find it just looks so darn natural, which fits my makeup M.O. these days.  The newish Blush Cremes dry to an almost powder-like finish, so they don’t have quite the same effect; nevertheless, this natural-looking apricot shade gets a lot of regular use because it goes with just about every makeup look I wear.  The only downside is that its a touch too light when my skin is tanned – but at the moment it’s just right :)

Chanel Blush Creme in Revelation

MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters (pro-pan, $12CAD).  Though I have lessened my use of this shadow recently due to switching up my makeup routine, this baby got some SERIOUS love for months after I bought it early last spring.  It gives my eyes the most subtle yet beautiful sparkle I’ve ever seen, and accompanies a bright lip look beautifully.  The hype is TRUE, you guys.  BUY IT.

MAC All That Glitters

Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench ($30CAD).  Even after owning this shadow for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it blends and melds on the brow bone to give the perfect level of highlight to the eye.  As I have a lot of shimmering shadows, it keeps them grounded without making me look too ‘show dancer,’ but also isn’t so flat that it looks dull.  On top of all that, it’s HELLA soft.

Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Trench (2)

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Noir Intense ($29CAD).  I wasn’t big on black pencil eyeliner until I purchased this early in the year – I didn’t have one and thought I should at least have one in my arsenal.  I don’t use it as a traditional liner, but rather as a tightliner on my upper lash line.  It a nice, dark black that gives great definition when I’m doing a more natural look (see a theme here?) and doesn’t budge – in fact, it’s difficult to remove at the end of the day, so keep that in mind.  But as I find a long-wearing liner hard to come by, it’s far from a deal-breaker!

Chanel Eyeliner Noir Intense

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack ($19CAD).  Black pencil liner may never have been my thing, but I can’t say the same for black cream/gel/liquid formulas, which have always been a staple in my arsenal.  When I ran out of my last black liquid liner, I decided it was about time I tried the cult fave Blacktrack.  It’s nice and dark, and its creamy texture makes creating a winged look (a regular go-to for me) incredibly easy.  I’m not convinced I would repurchase, only because there are several black cream/gel liners that I’d like to try, but it’s been a faithful staple for me since I purchased it.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack

XLash Eyelash Enhancer ($59).  You’re all probably sick and tired of hearing me trumpet on and on about my love for this lash serum, but seriously, just get some and then get back to me – I promise you’ll be converted!  I won’t repeat my gushings yet again, but I will say that I am actually planning to buy more of this when I run out (still haven’t!).  SO. GOOD.

IMG_0784

That just about rounds up my year in beauty in a nutshell!  I’ve tried many things, some duds, some *pretty good*, but this collection here have been raised to the level of HG status for me.  As I learn and grow I find my selections have become more and more curated to the point where I rarely have a miss (at least if they’re purchased by me) and I’ve grown quite fond of my collection, to which I’ve whittled and culled to include *almost* only products that are a pleasure to use.  I still have a bit of work to do (which I plan on laying out for you in a future post), but overall I’m quite pleased and have passed the ‘GAH! My-stash-is-overwhelming-OMG-the-anxiety!‘ stage that I was in for a long time since starting the blog.  Which I deem a HUGE success :)

So say farewell to 2013 and welcome in the New Year with a bang!  I appreciate each and every reader of my little beauty haven, whether you’ve been with me or a while, or stumbled upon my ramblings by accident.  You’re the only reason I keep on writing!  I wish all of you a very excellent finale to the year soon past and hope that the very best is yet to come in 2014!!!  Let’s make it all sorts of great, yea? :D

happy-new-year-2014-wishes-2880x1800Image credit: ilovehdwallpapers.com

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Nail Art as a Substitute for Effort

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.

Essie Nail ArtVine mani with Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie No More Film, and Essie Limited Addiction

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.

Essie nail art (2)Backdrop with my fabulous neon coral-pink H&M sweater :)

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.

fishtail maniFishtail mani with Chanel Azure, Gosh Holographic, and a-England Lady of the Lake

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.

fishtail mani (6)Sun + holo goodness :)

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?

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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things

I’m just sitting here reading my online copy of this month’s Allure via Zinio (thanks Amy!!!!) and there’s a feature on a pair of GAP shorts and how 5 women wear them.  Each have a small side bar which notes what lipstick, jewelry, shoes, etc. they would pick as their “favorite things“, which I always find interesting to read.  Every time I come across these types of stories, I note how it pulls you in and makes you want to ‘have what they’re having’ so to speak – the psychology of it is kind of amazing, and I always think that if I were being interviewed, even plain old non-celebrity me and my choices would sound kind of intriguing.  Takes me back to my Honours Psych thesis days ;)

So, I decided to interview myself, share my favorite things, and see if everyone runs off to buy them.

HA.

In seriousness though, we fickle beauty-fiends find ‘favorites’ every month, but it’s the shades and items we wear over and over, standing the test of time, that are a better indicator of a great product, and also hint at our beauty and style personalities!

Favorite Lip Color:

This may not be a fully-formed favorite just yet, but since it’s purchase last month its been in heavy rotation over all other lippies, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.  You probably guessed it – it’s BITE Beauty’s High Pigment Pencil in Quince.  DAMN, this pencil is fine!  Fuchsia is definitely my new jam.  Long-wearing, non-drying, bold color that works for all seasons.  SOLD.

BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince  (3) BITE Beauty High Pigment Pencil Quince swatches

Favorite Mascara:

It may not come as a surprise that my favorite mascara brand is Clinique’s – yes, I work for the brand, but I love the mascaras because of all the different options we have (natural, fluttery, mega-volume, etc.) as well as the fact that they don’t dry up in a month, and for the most part are terribly easy to remove but don’t smudge throughout the day.  I’ve always been a huge fan of the High Impact mascara, but more recently I’ve become majorly enamoured with our new High Impact Waterproof mascara, which gives some major oomph to the lashes without being crispy or unnatural-looking like some other waterproof versions I’ve tried.  You can be sure I’ll be using this at the wedding next weekend!!  Also notable is the Lash Power mascara, which is like a waterproof in that it won’t smudge or budge through heat, sweat, swimming, etc., but removes with warm water.  It doesn’t give the same POW! as the waterproof, but it gets to each individual lash due to the teeny tiny brush, and is great for separation.

Clinique Mascara

Favorite Nail Polish:

Ugh, how do I pick just one!?  C’est impossible.  But I *think* I can pick two.  And they would be butter London Snog and Chanel Orange Fizz.  I know both are summery tones which could be swaying my opinion this time of year, but I don’t think so.  I seriously could wear Snog every day – put me on a desert island with this shade and I’d be happy as a clam (though… the clams on the island probably wouldn’t be that happy as I’d be eating them for survival).

butter London Snog redux (4)Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

Favorite Skincare:

It’s safe to say that I’m still madly in love with Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil – nothing has made more of a difference in my skin than this product!  Stupidly, I bought a bottle of Bosica’s Tsubaki Facial Oil during the Sephora sale last month to try something new – I hope it can live up to Tarte’s!  My bottle is almost finished so I’ll be trying the Boscia soon, and I’ll be sure to fill you all in on it’s efficacy.

Tarte Maracuja Oil

Favorite Fragrance:

Burberry The BeatI tend to be a scent jumper (are you seeing a trend here? Hello, fickle!) so I’ve never repurchased a bottle, but there was one fragrance that really stood out to me in the past that I actually finished and of which I get tempted to re-buy – namely, Burberry The Beat.  It’s categorized as a woody floral which doesn’t sound like my taste, but damn it if I didn’t love that scent – it was so fresh and alluring at the same time.  I went through that bottle within a year, which is unheard of for me.  It has middle notes of Iris, which seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of fragrances I’ve sampled and enjoyed (Prada Infusion d’Iris; Lancome La Vie Est Belle), as well as top notes of Mandarin and base notes of Cedarwood, both of which are also found in Prada’s scent.  I’ve considered buying Infusion d’Iris many times but never could commit, surprise surprise. Prada Infusion d'Iris 2 Lancome La Vie Est Belle

Favorite Shoes:

Rockport Janae Pump Black LizardBanana Republic Nude Pump

Ok, shoes are kind of the bane of my existence, as I have a bunion on my right foot that makes buying them incredibly tricky, so I make sure to always buy quality.  In the past few months I’ve had tremendous success in two pairs – black platform pumps from Rockport, and a pair of nude almond-toe pumps from Banana Republic.  SO.  EFFING.  COMFORTABLE.  YOU GUYS.  It’s crazy.  The BR ones are no longer available, but the Rockport ones are still around (though not in the lizard skin finish anymore) so I’d grab ‘em fast if you’re interested!  Now all I need is a fun pair in a color and I’m set :)

Favorite Jewelry:

So apparently this has been a list of my two favorite things in each category lol – and I’m going to get even crazier here and show you 5 of my fave jewelry pieces, because they are equally loved by me on the regular.

Jewelry (2)

LOVE my Michael Kors rose-gold watch, obviously (which I bought due to this Lent challenge), and I picked up a pair of Stella & Dot rose gold earrings to complement the watch last year and love ‘em too.

Jewelry

I wear the gold large-link bracelet from Banana Republic quite a bit, and it’s actually shifted me into wearing gold a lot more now.  This gold ring from Aldo gets a lot of love – its tough to wear rings a lot when you always wear crazy-colored polishes, but this manages to hold it’s own.  Lastly, this awesome funky giraffe bracelet my Mom bought me from Aldo ages and ages and ages ago is one of the few real statement pieces in my collection, and though initially I thought it was bizarre, I quickly became to love it.

Jewelry (3)

Just for the heck of it (because I’m clearly out of control now), here’s two more well-loved pieces: my Tiffany key I got a few Christmases ago – I totally cried when I opened it, best gift ever! – and an eclectic owl necklace that I sort of inherited from my great-grandmother.  Can you imagine her wearing something like this?  And it just goes to show you how everything comes around and is new again eventually :)

And there you have it – all my fave things, are you feeling like you want to go buy it all now since I’m clearly SOOOO fabulous!?  *crickets* …Yea, I didn’t think so, lol.  But, since I didn’t do a favorites post for the end of 2012, I figure this is still original content on the blog, and a good way to get to know a bit more about me – which is sort of the real point of blogs, right?  Hope you enjoyed!

What are some of your favorite things?

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No Introduction (Or Words) Needed: Chanel Le Vernis in 657 Azure

Chanel Azure (10)

Honestly, what else can I say about Chanel’s Azure that others haven’t already?

Chanel Azure (15) Chanel Azure (14) Chanel Azure (11)

A gorgeous metallic teal-blue that flashes a deeper cerulean in some lights and even has a touch of violet around it’s edges, Azure is a surprise hit for this gal who isn’t normally into metallic finishes in polish!  It’s *sort of* like the aqua version of Peridot, without the same duochrome intensity (which would have probably blown my head off  in awe if it WERE that shapeshifting).

Chanel Azure swatch (5) Chanel Azure swatch (6) Chanel Azure swatch (9) Chanel Azure swatch (7)

It’s quite difficult to capture the color shift as others have noted, but just trust us – it’s there.  It’s not super-strong, but it’s just enough to give the polish some serious interest.  Something about this shade feels so elegant and refined even though it’s not your typical ‘classic’ color, and that’s the quality that really makes it a hit for me.

Chanel Azure swatch (10)

I was really feeling some trepidation about this polish but I took the plunge and I’m so glad I did.  This is gonna get some serious love from me all summer long and likely into the fall as well.  I didn’t really find I had trouble with brush strokes as others had, but I did find that you needed to apply it relatively quickly with minimal strokes or it could pull a bit and get patchy (though it self-leveled quite well).  Final word: AWESOME.

Does Azure float your boat?  Do you like metallic finishes on polishes?

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23 Comments

It’s Only May 6th and Already I’ve Bought Half of This Month’s Wishlist

How’s that for a title, huh?  Yea dudes, I know…let me just say: I have about 3 seconds unaccounted for this month and absolutely no extra brain power for much else other than what’s already on my agenda, so please grant me a pass for the month of May OK?  I’ll still be posting – I’ve bought far too many awesome things not to share ‘em with you! – but its going to be sporadic and my writing will likely be shoddy…you’ve been warned.

Apparently with the little free time I have I’m making sure I’m maximizing it as much as I can, as I’ve already purchased two of the five items I wanted to get this month, ha.  I’m still going to show you the list so you can also see what’s in store upcoming on the blog!  Here we go:

May Wishlist

1. NARS for Pierre Hardy High Voltage Blush in Boy’s Don’t Cry ($48CAD) – this ‘pink grapefruit’ shade taunted me from the moment I saw the promo ads.  I almost had a moment on the weekend where I was just gonna throw reason into the wind and buy it off the NARS website, shipping and all, as I believed it was the only place that was selling it.  I resisted and decided that I could do without it – then, lo and behold, when I was at Sephora yesterday just to buy a damn sharpener, there it was.  OBVIOUSLY I bought it in about 7 seconds and ran away from the store with glee.  Since then I’ve shown it to pretty much everyone I know.  I’m too eager to wait till I have a moment to take adequate pictures of it, so I snapped a couple crap ones and I’m wearing it tomorrow, so sorry.  I CANNOT WAIT PEOPLE.

2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer ($20CAD) – I’ve had a lemming for the creamy, smooth, lovely lip perfectors for about a year now, and recently they came out with a few new shades.  This one looks like it might just be the best MLBB I could ask for (also, see evidence of that fact here!).  I also absolutely ADORE the smell.  This will be mine, and soon!

3. Chanel Le Vernis in Azure ($27CAD) – When I initially heard about Chanel’s colorful summer collection, I was quite excited as it’s normally more austere aesthetic doesn’t always jazz me and my more deeper pigmented skin.  However, once I saw what was released, I was a bit ‘meh’ and only happened to check it out in person on a whim when I was at Mills late last week.  None of it hooked me – I found the pencils to look terrible on my skintone, and paying through the nose for a colored mascara I’ll rarely wear doesn’t sound like a good use of my money AT ALL – but I really wanted to go home with something, so I picked up Azure.  I don’t own many metallic polishes, let alone a metallic teal, and I was nervous this would come back to kick me in the ass, but turns out, Azure is AWESOME.  Somehow this eye-catching shade is really sophisticated and elegant despite being an ‘unusual’ color.  Also, it wore exceptionally well – due to my crazy-busy schedule, I’ve actually worn it for 5 days straight (this is unheard of for the gal that changes her polish every 3 days), and it’s only got minor chipping and mainly on my dominant hand.  LOVE IT.

4. NARS Larger Than Life Eye Liner in Barrow Street ($28CAD) – While being swayed by the siren call of Boy’s Don’t Cry, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the summer collection had come out in full at NARS finally.  I have had the gorgeous mint green liner on my radar for a while, and was tempted to get it as well – but resisted because, well…I was already spending $48 on a blush, whaddya want from me!?  However, it appears not to be limited edition (hopefully) so I may go back at a later date and pick this up.  So fun for the waterline!

Last on the list is not a specific product, but a color that I WANT and am not sure where to find.  Check out Hannah Simone in a fabulous cool pink lipstick that needs to be in my life:

Hannah Simone Cool Pink Lips

This kind of shade can be challenging for me as it can’t run too greyish or else it looks horrendous on my skintone.  I even would be OK if it went slightly more violet to make it a bit bolder – I thought I found it in MAC’s Show Orchid but now I’m not so sure.  Anyone have any suggestions!?!

So, as you can see, I’m making great progress with my wishlist already, which is promising because what generally happens is I make a list and then buy things that aren’t on it LOL.  I’m trying to stick to only making purchases that are on the damn list, because why else am I making them then?  Certainly not because I’m bored with nothing to do!  *tries to hide under the bed from everyone *

What’s on your wishlist this month?

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Polish Comparison Swatches – The Best Kind of Post When You’re Sick

So yea.  I sneezed funny on Sunday and then the next day I was sick with a cold.  Has that ever happened to anyone else?  I’m being dead serious – it’s like the sneeze dislodged the sickness or something.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was off work today and pretty much was a slug all day; even looking at the computer screen hurts my eyes.  I am weird and don’t take medication when I’m sick (unless it’s that time of the month – then, JACK ME UP BABY) because I feel like it just masks the pain and makes me stay sick for longer.  Or I’m a martyr.  Either or.  At least I know when I get pregnant one day I’ll be totally used to not being able to take meds (but I will not hesitate to get an epidural – eff that).  So there’s that.

Anyway, I have photos of two polishes I had done comparison swatches for but never posted them, so here they are.  First up is Chanel’s Orange Fizz (which I happen to be wearing this week, and seriously – I LOVE IT SO MUCH you guys should all buy a bottle, it’s good times) which I swatched against all my other orangey-coral polishes (spoiler – there are no dupes that I own, so you should just go buy a bottle of the real stuff):

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisonsLeft to right: China Glaze Flirty Tankini, LA Colors Magnetic Force, Chanel Orange Fizz, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (2) Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (3)Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (5)Thumb: China Glaze Flirty Tankini; Index: Chanel Orange Fizz; Middle: LA Colors Magnetic Force; Ring: China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys; Pinky: Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

You can see that aside from the LA Colors shade, the rest of the polishes are all in the same vein, but Flirty Tankini is less saturated and dries with a flat finish (though probably the closest match); Surfin’ for Boys is more pink and with a pearlesence about it; and Daytripper is more pink.  What I love about Orange Fizz is that it’s super-shiny on it’s own, has a squishy quality to it, and is somehow both soft enough for spring but bright enough that it will be awesome in summer too :)

The next polish I have to show you is one I recently picked up from American Apparel, called Downtown LA.  I was in the store a couple weeks ago buying Neon Violet for a gal at work, since she loved it so much on me, and decided to take advantage of the buy 3 for $18 deal (I also picked up their matte top coat for fun).  Downtown LA is a bold red that leans ever so slightly orange.  It is exceptionally close to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, though bL’s version really is more of a true red without the orange lean.  I can tell the difference between the two but if I didn’t tell you, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess:

American Apparel vs butter Londonbutter London Come to Bed Red; American Apparel Downtown LA

American Apparel Downtown LA (3) American Apparel Downtown LAIndex & ring: butter London Come to Bed Red; middle & pinky: American Apparel Downtown LA

I have a hard time wearing red polish as I find on my skintone it looks a bit garish; however, I wore Downtown LA last week and actually liked it quite a bit.  The warmer tone of the polish worked better on me than Come to Bed Red has in the past, and I made sure to cut my nails super-short which made the manicure less in-your-face.  I won’t be stocking up on red polishes any time soon but it’s still nice to have a few great ones in your arsenal!  I’ll likely pass along my butter London shade – I always hate to part with more high-end brands but I know I’ll never choose it over the AA color.  I have to say, I really like AA polishes – they are almost one-coaters and apply so well!

So, I hope this keeps you entertained until I get better!  I usually go into repair mode when I’m sick and rarely stay down for long, so I’ll be up and kickin’ by the weekend I’m sure :D

What do you do with your nail polish dupes?  Do you find red a difficult color to wear?

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26 Comments

Celebrating the Arrival of Spring With New(ish) Nail Polish Pretties!

Though I’ve been in somewhat of a nail polish slump, similarly to filling in gaps in my makeup collection, I’ve been picking up polish shades here and there that fit in nicely with the array of colors I already have.  For the most part, I’ve been beefing up my existing collection with shades that are generally thought of when we think ‘spring’ – pale, pastel-like shades that have a fresh, soft, feminine quality to them.  I know that there’s no need to stick to ‘seasonal’ colors any more, but I personally like to change the tones I wear (for both makeup and nails) each season, and typical spring shades are no exception.

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish

I actually don’t own a large array of pale nail polishes, as I normally gravitate toward broodier, richer tones, but this season I’ve accrued five new shades that I’m totally digging, which means I now have a good handful or two of polishes that are just perfect for the spring season.  My two favorites from past years have been Zoya’s Marley and MAC’s Mischievous Mint, and now joining those two are: Sally Hansen Barracuda, a pale yet bright blue; China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around (new from this season’s Avant Garden collection), a shimmering white; butter London’s Bossy Boots, a pale pistachio green, and Jasper (new from the Sweetie Shop Spring 2013 collection), a pale lemon yellow; and Chanel Orange Fizz, a slightly muted coral orange.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is a Complete Salon formula, which is supposed to mean that its the full meal deal, with base & top coat qualities rolled into the one polish.  I actually do find these polishes to wear better without base coat, and the swatches below with sans top coat – as you can see, this baby is SHINY.  There really is no need for top coat unless you need a quick drying one to get it on and get out the door.  I found it did require three coats to achieve full opacity and to look it’s best, so if you’re in a hurry you may need a fast-drying top coat anyway.  However, I found that it dries relatively quickly on it’s own, so its not an absolutely necessary step.  Also, I have to mention that I adore the brush on these polishes – it’s wide and thin and covers almost my whole nail bed in one go.  Application is a breeze!

Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (2) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (4) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (3) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches

China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around was a recent lemming of mine, having only first seen it on All Lacquered Up (a blog, by the way, I’m pleased to see back in action!) this past week.  A couple weeks ago, Taylor of My Lucite Dreams posted about a white polish, and it looked SO lovely on her but I knew the white polish trend was NOT going to be my friend.  However, when I saw Dandy Lyin’, I had a feeling that it’s softer, sparkling quality might be a way for me to try the trend, and I was right!!  I really like this polish a lot, even despite the fact that it’s sheerness and slightly streaky quality requires three coats – just be careful in your application.  It’s worth the effort for me as I’m loving the look on my hands!  I can’t wait to try it on summer toes :)  Note that no top coat was used, and I don’t feel it needs one, unless you want to get that smooth, uber-glossy look.

China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (8) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (20) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (24) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (26)

butter London Bossy Boots has NOT been a recent lemming; in fact, I wanted this bad boy last year but held out until a couple months ago when I got it on discount.  As a general rule, I do not like green nail polish – not on others (typically) and definitely not on me.  However, light greens are totally exempt and I love the way they look.  I’m not 100% sold on the yellowish undertones in Bossy Boots as being the best for me, but I still enjoy this shade and am glad I finally picked it up.  The application was good with no real troubles – shown is with two coats – although it would benefit from a top coat to give it a bit more gloss and shine (no top coat used in photos).

butter London Bossy Boots - Natural Light butter London Bossy Boots - Artificial Light butter London Bossy Boots - Flash

butter London Jasper was another longer-term lemming of mine since the launch of the Sweetie Shop collection earlier this year.  I could have easily bought every shade from the release, but held myself back to just this one.  I don’t own a single yellow, and dislike most versions of the shade, but this pale shade hooked me from the get-go.  I love it on and it just screams spring to me.  I’ve read conflicting reviews on this color’s formula – I don’t have a lot of experience with pale yellows, but I think that this formula is pretty darn good.  It does require a bit more attention to application, but as far as it goes this is a good formula with minimal issue, for me at least!  I did go with three coats just to get the best opacity, but it wasn’t that much of a pain.  Like Bossy Boots, it would benefit from a shiny top coat, which I did not use in these photos.

butter London Jasper swatches (19) butter London Jasper swatches (12) butter London Jasper swatches (16) butter London Jasper swatches (2)

Chanel Orange Fizz was sort of a random buy, which happens very rarely these days.  When I picked up a few things from Chanel earlier this year, I was disappointed with the spring shades released but wanted a new polish.  This one grabbed my attention and I’m super-happy that I bought it, it’s a stunner!  This shade is obviously more pigmented/intense than the other shades I’ve shown above, but it still has a soft quality to it that feels spring-like to me (though this will also be kick-ass in summer!)  The formula is thicker (typical of many Chanel polishes, I’ve found), but flows well and is self-leveling – again, just take care in your application and you should have no problems.  I love the glossiness of this polish on it’s own – no top coat needed!  I used three coats in these swatches, and you can still see slight VNL, but in person it’s hardly noticeable, and you could probably opt for two coats – I’m just fussy :P

Chanel Orange Fizz Chanel Orange Fizz (9) Chanel Orange Fizz (3) Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

So there you have it!  A handful of pretty polishes – a perfect way to shove usher in spring :)

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish (2)

So!  What spring shades are you lemming/have you picked up?  Do you go with softer shades or stick to whatever floats your boat at the time?

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26 Comments

How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

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!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

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 :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

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!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

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.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

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!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

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?

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16 Comments

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