Archive for category Essie

Summer Polish Combo: Light and Dark

I’ve been methodically going through my polishes over the summer and trying to pare down my collection to shades I truly love – my aim is to get below 100 bottles.  I’m 6 bottles away from my goal so I’m making serious progress! One of the two polishes on the chopping block was China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint – if you recall, in my review I found it none to flattering on my skin tone, and the formula left much to be desired. Nevertheless, as I discovered with Zoya’s Cho, which I hated on my fingernails but actually love on my toes, I gave the polish a second chance by wearing it as a pedicure, which sometimes does the trick. As we’re moving into late summer, I’m slowly incorporating darker shades into my repertoire, and I paired it with another chopping block contender, Essie’s No More Film, a polish I picked up well over a year ago in a swap but haven’t gotten around to swatching. Here we go!

Essie No More Film and China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint

No More Film is a deep, slightly dusty ‘blurple’ – it’s almost like a super-dark periwinkle shade. The first time I tried it, I thought it was one of those ‘almost black’ shades which I dislike, but this time around for whatever reason, it just worked! It never appeared black, even in dim light, and it looked great on. It’s extremely pigmented and I actually only wore it with one coat (but added an additional coat for swatches). It’s quite glossy on it’s own and applied extremely easily. This shade is staying!

Essie No More Film swatch Essie No More Film swatch Essie No More Film swatch

I felt like NMF would go well with RFM as the light and dark tones, while opposites, still somehow seem complimentary. I find as summer rolls along I really like to bring out my tan which pale shades, and emphasize the deepening light with dark shades to contrast. Check out the pairing below. *As an aside, I bought these sandals to wear to an all-day concert I went to a couple weeks back, and they are the COMFIEST EVER! They’re totally like orthopaedic shoes but I figured in an edgy metallic I could pull ‘em off. I don’t even care because they are like HEAVEN to wear.

Essie No More Film and China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint combo swatch Essie No More Film and China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint combo swatch

I really liked the pairing of No More Film with Re-Fresh Mint, but I’m not sure it’s enough for me to keep the latter – though I’ve done the same with Cho and ONLY wear that shade on my toes now, I still find the formula on ‘Re-Fresh’ irritating and I’d always opt to wear a more blue-leaning mint shade (like MAC Mischievous Mint) than this, so to the giveaway pile it goes.

What do you think of this pairing?  Do you switch it up from juicy brights to something else as the summer passes? 

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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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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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Summer Polish Combo: Zoya Robyn with Essie Come Here

Happy Canada Day!!!  It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend, as usual!  I had an excellent weekend celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, even despite the fact that the weather has been absolute CRAP.  Sometimes though, the fact that everyone pulls together to make the best of a shitty situation (in this case, crazy rain and wind for DAYS) is almost better than if everything had been perfect.  And when you’re doing all this with the people you care about, well, then it’s all gravy :D

Summer Polish Combo

As the weather has been hit or miss this summer so far (with more misses than hits), I haven’t been very concerned about my mani/pedi situation, but last week after picking up those few new shades, it was due time to get on it!  Below I tried out two of the shades, Zoya Robyn – a bright sky blue – and Essie Come Here, a coral red from the 2013 Resort collection.  Both are perfect vibrant summer shades that work well on both fingers and toes – I love them!

Summer Polish Combo (4)

Zoya Robyn was a unique addition to my polish collection – most blue shades I have lean teal or aqua, or are more of along the lines of a deep navy.  This eye-catching shade is perfect for spring and summer, and I really love it!  I wasn’t sure about it on my hands at first, but it really grew on me and I ended up wearing it for a full four days.  The formula is thin which means you have to be a bit careful in application, but it only required two coats so it’s not terribly fussy.  It wore exceptionally well and I only had minor tip wear after those four days.

Zoya Robyn (2)

Essie Come Here is my kind of shade!  I love the strong red leaning that sometimes leans pink and sometimes leans more orange.  It looks fabulous on toes and will go with pretty much any shade I pair it with.  Formula was lovely with absolutely no issues or tricks required for application.  100% win!  I haven’t yet worn Essie Come Here on my fingernails, but I am eager to – below I have a few comparison swatches to show you (aka justify my purchase); it’s really not like anything I personally own.

Essie Come Here comparisonEssie Meet Me at Sunset, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Come Here, butter London Snog

Essie Come Here! comparison Essie Come Here! comparison (3)Top to bottom: butter London Snog, Essie Come Here, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I thought Snog was going to be quite close, but it’s far too pink.  Surfin’ for Boys is in the right vein but much lighter and with shimmer.  Meet Me at Sunset is clearly too orange, but it has the same intensity of saturation.  From what I understand, Essie’s Ole Caliente and Flirt are very similar to Come Here, so if you have either of those, you’re probably set.  Bottom line: It’s a great shade that I’m totally diggin’!

What do you think of this combo?  Have you come up with any great combinations of your own lately?

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Skincare and Sunscreen and Polish, Oh My!

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.

Skincare

Skincare

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!

Sunscreens

SunscreenI had to insert a photo of my new VS bikini somehow – I love it so much!  I have a purse, a pair of flats, and now this swimsuit in this neon lime-yellow color….I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

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!

Polish

Polish

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?

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Happy Easter Everyone!! (with a Celebatory Mani!)

Wishing you all a lovely long weekend and some good time spent with friends and family! :D  I just cooked a full-on brunch for a handful of my friends at my place (with ingredients contributed by my guests!) and it was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.  I’m not back to work until Wednesday and I am SO looking forward to maxin’ and relaxin’!

Good Friday Sun 2013If the weather is like this all weekend, I will be one happy gal!  See how little snow is left?! :D

Last night I multi-tasked (surprize) by painting an Easter egg mani – last year I did all different pastel shades, so I had to think of something new this time around.  I think they came out pretty well for freehand – I probably should invest in some doting tools etc. to actually make nail art look really good, but I do it so infrequently I probably won’t bother lol.  Hope you enjoy!

Easter Manicure - right hand (2) Easter Manicure - right hand Easter Manicure - left hand (2) Easter Manicure - left handAll shades used: butter London Jasper, MAC Mischievous Mint, Sally Hansen Barracuda, Zoya Marley, Essie Muchi Muchi, Revlon Whimsical

Whether or not you celebrate the religious holiday or just use the days off as like mini-vacay, I hope you take the time to relax and enjoy it – and I hope you have some spring-like weather!!  This is what I’m being treated to today (and it’s actually *warm-ish* – a balmy 7 degrees, woohoo!).  Have faith – summer is right around the corner :D

Good Friday Sun 2013 (2)

Oh – I forgot to mention: since Google Reader is eventually going kaput, I’m now linked in to Bloglovin’ (check out my sidebar) – feel free to follow me there ’till your heart’s content :)

xo!

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