Archive for category Pink
Fun with Fuchsia: American Apparel Neon Violet Polish, NARS Desire Blush, and Illamasqua Divine Lipgloss
As some of you may know, I’ve been in a slight polish slump for the past while. Nothing has really got me excited much, though I have picked up a few shades here and there (as seen in my last post) that were great additions to my collection. Last week I was admittedly quite enamoured with China Glaze’s new Dandy Lyin’ Around, a sparkling white polish, but by the end of the week, as usual I was ready for a change. I was feeling kinda frisky (huh?) and pulled out American Apparel’s Neon Violet polish, a blue-leaning bold pink, which is part of their Neon collection that came out quite a while ago. I haven’t given this polish much love for whatever reason, though it often draws my eye as it stands out a lot amid the other shades in my stash. As soon as I put it on, my love was seriously revived – guys, this is a fantastic shade!! I’ve shown pics to you before (once as a pedicure and once on a friend’s hand) but I’m not sure I’ve given it enough due – you really gotta check it out. Aside from the glorious color, it’s a near one-coater with a great formula – it’s just FABULOUS.
Anyway, it got me thinking again about skintone and whether I am more cool or warm – this is most definitely a cool-leaning shade, and while I inherently think I’m warm-toned because of my caramel coloring, more and more I think I might actually just be neutral, leaning neither way, because I seem to be able to pull off shades all over the color spectrum (hooray for me!). I also am realizing that it has a lot more to do with just finding the right shade within each color range, rather than whether or not you can wear ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ tones. After all this thought and over the past few months with some of the beauty accruals I’ve made, I have found my jam in one area at least – fuchsia.
A few months ago, I was on this kick where I wanted to collect NARS blushes – I already owned four and I thought I’d just keep going with it. I’ve since kind of gotten over that, but not before I scored Desire in a swap. Initially I thought it was probably a stupid move – a cool ‘cotton candy pink’ on my skintone?? I just wasn’t convinced. And since I received the shade in the late summer, which did not seem like the season for this color, I left it alone for ages.
When winter rolled around, I figured it was time to give this ago and decide if I was going to keep it or not. As true for many NARS blushes, it has great pigmentation, and because it’s completely matte it’s exceptionally wearable (as a general rule, I find bright pink + shimmer = TOO DAMN MUCH). The first time I wore it, I happened to pair it with heavy black liner and naked lips, and BAM! Compliments galore!! It looked smokin’ (sadly, I do not have pics from that day). It was then that I started to think that fuchsia might be a color I want to start giving more of a chance.
One night a couple months ago when Illamasqua was having their last huge sale, I was perusing the site – and on top of discovering that my current blush lemming Crush was on sale, I also could score the Sheer Lipgloss in Divine (a ‘deep fuchsia pink’) for 1/3 of the regular price. When my package arrived, I was pleased to find that Divine was a wonderful addition to my gloss collection, as it was unlike anything I already own. Additionally, it’s smooth, non-sticky formula was a pleasure to use, and while it isn’t as pigmented as it looks in the tube, its a great shade to brighten up my face in a pinch.
As I already noted, I had previously always thought I had a warm-leaning skintone, so when I saw evidence of how yet another cool-based color looked great, I was finally convinced – fuchsia rocks my world!!
Out of all this discovery, one thing became glaringly clear – I desperately need a bright fuchsia lipstick!! The lovely Sarah from Beauty and the Baked Goods send me Revlon’s Sweet Tart lip butter, which is a great pink, but it leans more candy-colored. I’ve been doing my research and I’m torn between Bite Beauty’s High Pigment Matte Pencil in Quince $28CAD (described as a rose berry – but looks pretty fuchsia to me), YSL’s Rouge Volupte Radiant Lipstick in Rose Culte $39CAD (a ‘vivid fuchsia’), or new NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu $30CAD (a ‘shocking pink’). I haven’t gotten to swatch the NARS pencil in person yet, so not sure if it’s the right tone, but the other two totally do it for me – it’s likely I’ll opt for the Bite pencil as it’s more reasonably priced and I have yet to try a lippie from the brand.
All said and done, I’m pretty stoked that I’ve stumbled upon a go-to shade that seems to work so well with my skintone. I’ve made several discoveries of this kind over the past couple months while funds have been so limited – I’ve been taking the time to play more and make more informed decisions about what I purchase when I have the means to do so, and it’s been a positive learning experience
What unlikely makeup / polish shades have you discovered to really work for you?
Good morning everyone! I’m up and at ‘em this morning, as today is the official celebration of my 30th birthday (which isn’t actually until Monday)! I’m pretty pumped – my bf has planned the whole thing and it’s a total surprize, I have no idea what we’re doing! You can be sure to hear all about it next week ;) In the meantime, because I’m not sure what’s going on – which means I don’t know how to dress – I did a birthday celebration manicure, since fun nails work in any situation!!! I thought about it all day yesterday (even during work training – oops), trying to think about what I could do special. I was keen on the idea of another gradient/ombre manicure, as I love how they look and they’re so eye-catching. I decided to do contrasting pastel-type shades, and I LOVE how it turned out. Take a look!
My technique has improved since the last time; I made sure to use only one shade on the tips, and mixed the edges of the dollops of the two shades together on tinfoil to ensure a softer gradient (in the last one, I just had a splash of the tip shade on the foil which I picked up with the sponge), a tip which I learned from this tutorial. MUCH better than before, though I could still use some practice. You can see on one of my pointer fingers that the pink is a little more saturated than the rest. Oh well, I’m determined to get this down pat – it’s one of my favorite nail looks right now!
I’m off to enjoy the day now, I hope you all have a lovely weekend – it’s pretty full for me but I’m off on Monday so you can be sure I’ll be posting a little something then
You remember how yesterday I talked about my admiration of those fabulous bloggers who were in the business of swatching full collections of nail polish on the regular? Well today I’m in admiration of anyone who buys a home!! Holy moley, let me tell you – it is SUPREMELY exciting to buy your first home (I guess, any home really!) – but there is so much to learn and info to absorb, wowza!!! It’s a lot for a brain to handle. Thankfully we’ve had absolutely stellar people working with us to find the condo and get our financing in order, but its been a relatively consuming pastime for the last few weeks. Well worth it, but mindblowing all the same!!
Anyway, we spent some time at the bank tonight wrapping things up, then come home to make dinner, then talked numbers some more…suddenly my evening has gone *poof* and I’ve hardly even done anything! I really wanted to get the second part out for the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze though, so here I am! The second half is just as eye-popping as the first, so get ready!
I’m With the Lifeguard is a ‘glimmering lime green,’ and while I love this shade in theory – makes me think of lime koolaid! – I’m not liking it on my skintone at all, though it is lovely to look at. The last picture is the most accurate for how bright this is. I found 3 coats was best to even out a bit of streakiness, and it had a similar formula as most other shades – thicker but fairly easy to work with. This dried semi-matte.
The description of Ride the Waves - a ‘dark ocean blue’ – is so terribly enticing to me. Due to the sheer, thin, jellyish formula, it really made me think of the deeper waters of the Caribbean! To avoid any VNL, 3 coats is absolutely necessary. I really like this shade – it reminds me of Nails Inc. Baker St. (which Beyonce was apparently wearing shortly after she had Ivy Blue, hence everyone wanted it) but it’s not quite as electric, though it’s still really very eye-catching. It’s darker and not as cool-toned in real life, and the squishy nature looks like you could just drink it up. As I was wearing it as my mani this week, I realized it would be perfect as a base for Lippmann’s Across the Universe!
Just as juicy and ripe-looking as the fruit to describe it, Under the Boardwalk, a ‘fluorescent raspberry’, has almost the same formula as ‘Ride the Waves’, but not quite as jellyish. Again, 3 coats best, though 2 is workable here, and it’s deeper in tone than it looks in photos. I feel pretty ‘meh’ about this shade – it’s quite nice but nothing stand-out to me in any way.
Love’s A Beach, a ‘sizzling hot pink’, is slightly warmer than ‘Hang-Ten Toes’, but the differences are slight and I personally wouldn’t feel it necessary to own both. If I had to chose, I think I’d pick this shade, as the blue-leanings are less pronounced. Formula was good; it applied easily without fuss. 3 coats were used here for good measure.
In theory, Surfin’ For Boys would be the ultimate shade: a ‘glistening bright coral’? Sign me up! However, there’s something off about this color for me; I think it’s the shimmer which looks almost purplish in certain light, and just feels a bit gaudy to me. It’s actually remarkably similar to another shade I own, LA Colors in Magnetic Force, except I think I like that polish better (well, at least the color). However, I think this is still a great shade for summer, and definitely a perfect pedi shade. It went on very easily in 2 coats, and dried semi-matte.
Last but not least, we have Flirty Tankini, a ‘shimmery strawberry smoothie pink’ with a particularly good formula. I could have done 2 coats with no problem but I did 3 to be nitpicky. I really liked the sweetness of this shade and though it went particularly well with my skintone. The shimmer was understated (as it didnt’ contrast with the base color) and I’m looking forward to wearing this as a full mani very soon!!
That wraps it up for the China Glaze Summer Neons collection! I liked this half equally as well as the first, and I have my faves – Ride the Waves, which grew on me, and Flirty Tankini, which is just too darn pretty! Though I enjoyed the formula of most shades as a whole, it was a bummer to apply 3 coats for almost all of the polishes here. A suggestion was made that I could layer these shades over a white polish to let the neon qualities really pop, and I think I’ll take that recommendation to heart. Every single shade was majorly bright, and to enhance that aspect would only serve to make this collection that much more special (and allow less coats of color overall!).
As a whole, I found a few of the shades in the collection not as unique as I’d like – some seemed to replicate shades I already have in my stash. However, I chose those shades for a reason, so what’s not to like? lol One complaint I have about the collection as a whole is that there are a fair amount of shades that are quite similar to each other – there are no dupes, but they’re close enough that I personally wouldn’t feel like I needed to own both/all. However, in person the differences between them are more obvious, so you may refute me there and I would be OK with that :) Really, this collection is the epitome of fun, splashy shades for Summer, and if you want them all, who am I to argue?
What is your idea of the perfect Summer polish shade(s)? Would you try out a neon polish?
*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Before I begin, I just want to give some serious accolades to any bloggers out there that have swatched an entire nail polish collection for our viewing pleasure. O.M.G. I’ve done maybe 4 swatches at a time, which was still quite a task, but 12 shades!?! Good grief! I spent most of my day Saturday and part of my day Sunday painstakingly applying each of the 12 shades of the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze, fearful that I was going to lose my sun, waiting between coats, hydrating and rehydrating my cuticles, and taking shot after shot of my nails to capture each shade as accurately as possible. Man Oh Man. It was truly exciting to have the opportunity – receiving the big box in the mail and knowing I’d never otherwise have such a chance – but I just wanted to give a shout out to the more established bloggers who are used to this sort of thing. You rock!! It’s quite a job, and I will forever have a different appreciation for collection swatches moving forward. Thank you, my lovelies
Ok, with that out of the way – let’s get to the polish, shall we? Today I bring you the first part of my swatchapalooza; there really wasn’t a defined split between the shades, so I just kind of put them together in a way that made sense to me. The collection as a whole was a surprize hit for me. In promotional shots, I was unsure how I felt about a bunch of neon shades with shimmer – typically odd colors like electric green and eyeball-searing yellow do NOT do it for me, and I’m not a fan of shimmer overall – but somehow they made it work in a big way with this collection.
First up, we have Sun-Kissed, described as a ‘hot highlighter yellow’, and it was exactly that! I would never in a million years imagine I’d like a shade like this, but consider me converted! Somehow, this super-bright shade won me over, and I definitely see a full manicure with this in my near future. Obviously, I don’t have much experience with yellow polishes, but from what I hear they can be tricky to work with – this shade, while slightly streaky, was relatively painless to apply; you can get away with 2 coats but I applied 3 for the best opacity. Like many shades in the collection, it dries semi-matte.
Next up, Orange You Hot? - a ‘bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer.’ I find the shimmer particles very fine, and the gold tone is lost in the base shade, but it’s still lovely. I liked it but didn’t love it on my skintone – I think it’ll be more of a pedi shade in my rotation than anything else. I felt similarly about the formula; it was good but not great. I applied 3 coats to get the smoothest application possible.
~Ah~ Pink Plumeria. My personal favorite of the whole collection. A ‘light pink with gold shimmer,’ it came out more like a coral-pink on my nails, and was soo flattering. It retains quite a neon look but in a way that’s tasteful and eye-catching rather than gaudy – it’s actually brighter in person than I was able to capture in these photos. The gold shimmer really gave it an extra-pretty sheen. Application was pretty good – 2 coats was sufficient, and how I wore it as a full mani, but I think 3 would probably be better, as it had a hint of patchiness on a few nails.
Hang-Ten Toes was actually the first polish I tried on from the collection; a ‘bubblegum neon pink with iridescent purple shimmer’, it looked and sounded far too enticing to pass up. In person, this shade is searingly bright – I found it difficult overall to capture the true neon nature of most of the polishes in the collection, this one in particular (I took about a million shots of this polish, and I’m still not satisfied!). Easy flowing with good consistency (you don’t need too much on the brush), it dries to a semi-satin finish. At an angle, the shimmer is somehow both obvious and elusive, which gives it mysterious depth. 2 coats is enough to reach good coverage, but 3 erases any VNL. I found the drying time of this shade was slower than I’m used to – which I found for a handful of shades in the collection (perhaps because I was applying 3 coats for many of them).
On of the best formulas of the bunch, Beach Cruise-r is a ‘glimmering fuchsia grape’, which only required two smooth coats to full opacity. On the nail, it reminds me a lot of American Apparel’s Neon Violet except with shimmer. This kind of color is a bit unexpected in Summer I think, because it has a deeper jewel tone that makes me think more of Fall, but the brightness makes it appropriate and fun for the warmer months too. Like Neon Violet, I’m slightly ambivalent toward it as a mani, but quite like it as a pedi shade. It’s brighter and more richly hued in person – closer to the last shot, below.
Finally, we have Splish Splash, a ‘bright sky blue shimmer,’ also with a great formula, though 3 coats is still best. This is not at all my kind of shade, but is an absolutely glorious color on it’s own – I want to own other things in this shade (just not wear it on my nails). Looking at these photos, I’m mesmerized by this color; but with my skintone, it looks a bit garish. In person it’s much more blue than aqua like it looks in these photos – closer to the last shot, below.
And so we conclude Part I of the Summer Neons collection! Overall I felt that there were some beautiful shades, even if they all didn’t ~go~ with my skintone. While many of the shades required 3 coats to look best to my liking, I still felt that the formulas overall were quite good; they didn’t dry too quickly and cause dragging, and applied very easily for the most part, with an excellent consistency in formula. Mostly I found that they were just a touch sheer and just the slightest bit patchy, but applying 3 coats cleared any of those issues up with ease. I also normally do a fast-drying top coat, whereas I used none in the swatches above (nor base coat), which could be why they seemed to take longer to dry than normal. In any case, I liked some of the shades so much that I’d be more than willing to put up with the extra coats. They all scream Summer to me, and just make me happy looking at them!
What are your thoughts on these shades from the collection? Are you into neon brights? Would you prefer them with or without shimmer?
*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I started to write a post about some of the products I’m planning on using throughout the holiday season that are festive and season-appropriate. However, during a two-hour meeting this week, as usual my mind started to wander…and I thought, “What about the holiday looks that are a bit unexpected?” Sure, the typical red lips/nails and gold/silver eyeshadow are typical for this time of year, but you guys already know that stuff. I’ve been making an effort to use my creative muscles lately, and as a result, I came up with a few different looks I’d like to try out this season!
Not Flushed Cheeks, but….
Of course, you know all about bronzer and the wonders it can do year-round to keeping your skin from looking sallow – which can be a particular problem during the colder months of the year. However, I’m partial to wearing blush, especially in the Winter as I really love the flushed, just-out-in-the-cold look. Additionally, a little bit of shimmer never hurt anyone during the holidays. To get the best of all worlds, why not try a shimmering bronze blush? My particular fave which I wear consistently throughout the year is CoverFX Bronzed FX in Garnet – a gorgeous terracotta shade with golden shimmer:You can see how much wear I get out of it – I’ve even hit pan, which is a huge feat when it comes to blush. It looks great in pretty much every season, but I really love it in the cooler months, and the shimmer isn’t over-the-top so its even wearable during the day. With a touch of champagne, gold or bronze eyeshadow and a nude lip, this bronzer/blush/highlight gets you holiday-ready in a flash.
Not Red Lips, but…
Rather than opting for the traditional red lip during the holidays, what about going with a more dramatic look of deep burgundy? I’m picturing it with a shimmering gold or bronze gloss on top, which would give it a luxurious, plush feel. I picked up this Sephora brand gold gloss last week and its give the perfect hint of golden glow:Or, have the best of both worlds with a lipstick like MAC’s “O,” which is described as a purplish-red with golden pearl. I’m loving the whole look Michelle Trachtenberg has going on in the photo below:With the thick black liner and gold necklace as well, this whole look says holiday to me!
Not Gold or Silver Eyeshadow, but…
Pewter or rose gold shades. Particularly for skin tones like mine (leaning more olive/caramel), silver can look terribly stark. I have Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadow in Pewter, a Limited Edition shade from a couple years ago, and it’s the perfect color, as it has somewhat yellow tones that look better with a warmer complexion – though it looks good on most all skin tones, too.
Rose gold tones seem to be all the rage right now, in everything from cosmetics (hello, LM Rose Rendezvous!) to accessories (still loving my Michael Kors watch!). And again, this is an uber-flattering shade that looks good on pretty much anyone because it works for both cool and warm skin tones. Sadly, I don’t have anything in this shade but I’m hoping to change this soon!
Not Red Nails, but…
Glitter! While it’s can be an obvious choice during the holidays, a way to make it fresh is to try some of the more untraditional colors like hot pink or aqua. I picked up Zoya’s Kissy and fell in love big time:Oh, so pretty!! Here I have it layered over China Glaze Ahoy, as it’s glitter in a sheer pink base. The glitter is sort of holographic and is super eye-catching. The only problem with this is that because it’s bar glitter, its pretty gritty, and if you’re not careful it can catch on your clothing!! I ended up putting three coats of top coat on so that it felt relatively smooth. NOT so fun to take off! But still well worth it in my books.
Another fun shade I picked up this season is Color Club’s Beyond the Mistletoe (purchased from Nail Polish Canada – fast becoming one of my favorite nail polish sites ever!), a pale glittering holographic aqua. I have yet to wear this but I am beyond excited to do so – it’s truly gorgeous. This also needs to be layered as it’s relatively sheer, though it could be worn on its own with several coats.
Now of course, I’ll still be rocking the red nails (I have a fabulous one on now I’ll show you soon!) and lips, and getting good use out of my gold MAC Amber Lights eyeshadow, but I always like a change, and doing things that are unexpected. These are just some ideas I had that I’d thought I’d share with you – hope you liked them!
Do you have any traditional looks you rely on during the holidays? Or any new looks and ideas you’ve tried or are hoping to try out? I’d love to hear about them!