Archive for category Summer 2012
Hello everyone! I have an insane backlog of products I want to show you desperately, but have just NOT had the time to take photos of anything – such is the way Summer goes, I guess! We’ve been having just the most spectacular weather you could imagine which means I’m outside as much as possible, which is absolutely lovely :) Tomorrow I plan to get up and do a major photo and swatch session so hopefully in the coming days you’ll have a ton of eye candy to ogle :) In the meantime, I’m going to do a post a la Liz (aka Beauty Reductionista) to fill the void. Enjoy!
It looks different in different light eh? I’d say the last photo is the most color-accurate. This is a sad polish. The formula was atrocious, gloppy and streaky (this is three coats) and while I liked the color, I didn’t love it so much that the crappy formula was worth dealing with. I wore two full mani’s with this, but I’m am DONE. Swap!
Another slight color-shifter. It’s most like the second photo I would say. Since I broke the seal on aqua polishes with Zoya Wednesday (which was a counterpart AWESOME to Arizona’s TOTAL FAIL), I decided to go all in and pick up this cult shade to wade in the aqua pool a bit further. I like it! I don’t think aqua will ever be a ‘go to’ shade for me – I still this it looks much better on fairer skin – but it’s a fun shade to wear in Summer, and I’m glad I found a few to play nice with :) This was an easy-to-use formula, no issues. Here it is compared to Wednesday:
(No, I did not wear these as a mani/pedi combo LOL!) In the first photo, with flash, they look quite similar, but in the second you can see that Wednesday is dustier and more muted. I think I’d actually prefer the reverse to this – Wednesday on fingernails and For Audrey on toes. But they’re both pretty :)
China Glaze Ridin’ the Waves
I’ve already shown swatches of Ridin’ the Waves, but I wanted to show it again when I wore it as a full mani, with a coat of white polish underneath to make it really pop! Although I don’t like the sheerness of this polish – it tends to be a bit streaky, so even over white it was tricky (as you can see in the first & second photos) – I love the shade; it’s vibrant without being too in-your-face, and the jelly texture is a nice switch-up. It’s not quite as bright as shades like Nails Inc. Baker Street, but it comes close.
Speaking of nail polish, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know about the contest going on at Nail Polish Canada – they’re giving away a lifetime supply (approx. 25 years worth) of CND Shellac to one winner! Though I know a few people were a bit offended by the somewhat poorly delivered joke about living too long to surpass the ‘lifetime’ claims, regardless, this is a pretty sweet giveaway for anyone who loves having their nails polished to perfection but doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of upkeep. “CND Shellac is a cross between nail polish and gel. Shellac is applied like regular nail polish and then cured using a UV lamp. Shellac lasts much longer than your regular manicure; up to 14 days without chipping or peeling. Dry time is instant, making the application process fast and ensuring your polish doesn’t smudge.” This would almost be a sort of hell for me because I love changing my nails so frequently, and so the fabulous technology would be completely lost on someone like myself, but I can think of a number of gals who would LOVE to win something like this and put it to very good use!
The winner will be selected August 7th, and contest is open to residents of Canada and the US (excluding Quebec), so boogie on over to NPC and check out the full details! Best of luck to all who enter!
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend full of tons of sunshine!! Get ready for a barrage of posts coming next week – it’s gonna get a little crazy :)
Thoughts? (about Arizona/For Audrey/Ridin’ the Waves/Nail Polish Canada joke/life in general)???
This seems to be the year of yellow eyeshadow for me – this will be my third go-around with the shade, and each time just keeps getting better! The latest version has truly blown my socks off, which is kind of amazing since yellow isn’t exactly the *easiest* shade to wear. But somehow, it’s happened, and I’m so excited to share it with you!
Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream #24 ($26CAD), a matte vibrant yellow, is part of four new shades of the Aqua Cream line-up – along with an Acid Green, Pastel Blue, and Purple. As I’m sure you’re aware, Aqua Creams are a long-lasting, waterproof, majorly pigmented cream shadow that will not budge all day long. I now own four shades, and by far #24 Yellow is the best one yet. The consistency of this product is AMAZING! It’s so unbelievably creamy and easy to apply. I think they may have improved their formula, as some of my other ones can be a bit tricky to blend. This is NOT the case with #24 – it smoothes on easily and doesn’t set too quickly, but then once it’s set, it wears like iron for hours. I had it on yesterday, in the mega heat and humidity (we had TWO thunderstorms!), and it didn’t budge an inch from 9am till 9pm.
As you can see below, #24 is pretty much a bright canary yellow, which can be a challenging shade to wear for most skin tones. However, the wonderful blendability of this shadow enables you to apply just a sheer wash of it on the lid, and because it’s a creamy finish vs powdery, it looks much more natural. I would suggest wearing a dark liner when wearing yellow however, as it helps to ground the shade a bit. I did a look wearing this that I will be showing you later in the week – I combined it with a few other shadows – and it turned out pretty darn good I think!
I’ll be honest – when MUFE sent this shade to me, I thought: “Oh man, really? How am I going to wear this??” but it turns out, it was SO much easier than I ever dreamed! And I am being completely truthful with you when I say I will be wearing this again and again this Summer – its just so warm and lovely and makes me think of sunshine and golden rays of light. It certainly requires a *little* bit of extra creativity – you can’t just slap it on and go – but the slight bit of extra effort it takes to pull a look together with this shade is SO worth it. Truly, don’t let the color in the pan and the swatches scare you – this is one fabulous shadow!
Stay tuned for my look with this shade later this week!
Would you consider wearing yellow eyeshadow? What looks would you create with it?
*Product sent for my unbiased consideration by the PR company/brand.
I am not too bright on Friday’s it seems! I had this fantastic post (well…ok, I had A post) written that I was going to put up today, but I left my USB at work so I’m totally out of luck until Monday. Stupid dummy! (That’s what I said to myself when I realized my mistake) Anyway, I’ve been slower posting lately with all the moving business etc., and I don’t like it, so I’m going to give you SOMETHING to look at this evening if it kills me. Maybe even two things, if you’re lucky :)
My alternative post, which I planned on putting up at some point soon anyway, was my first ‘Summer Polish Combo’ of the season, but goodness gracious – I could NOT for the life of me capture the vivid neon of China Glaze Beach Cruise-R, AGAIN, like I wasn’t able to capture most of the bright shades from the Summer Neons collection last month. I even have it layered over white polish, to make it pop, and of course my fab shiny new camera takes infinitely better pictures, but it’s near impossible. I’m sure a better photographer than me can do it no sweat – I just don’t have the patience/skill (yet). So you’re gonna get a runner-up to the runner-up post! How do you like them apples?
…Yea, that’s pretty shabby of me, I know. But what do you do? So, I’m going to show you Essie’s Bikini So Teeny – shots that unfortunately aren’t my favorite just because one of my fingers has a small nick in the cuticle and it’s generally not my best mani – it was taken a few days after application and I had some tip wear – but the color is fairly accurate and I absolutely LOVE this polish, so I won’t mind re-posting better shots down the road. Hope that’s OK with you!!
So, here it is:
Fab, Fab, Fab. I adore this color so much!! What’s really hilarious is that it is super-close to Essie’s Lapiz of Luxury from a few years ago (it looks to be a bit darker than ‘Bikini’), which I bought, tried, HATED on my skin tone, and promptly swapped it on MUA. Those were still the early days of funky nail polish colors, and it was probably one of the first I tried that wasn’t your standard pink/red/purple/neutral shade. Now several years later, I am LOVING these colors, and this one in particular I think stands out in a good way on my skin.
I’d almost given up on this polish, as I hadn’t seen it around in stores anyway, and I’d made a pact with myself not to buy it online – but it popped up in Shoppers last week AND it was on sale, so I snatched it up – and I’m so glad I did! I have China Glaze’s Sea Spray from Spring 2011 which I though was like, THE standard pale blue, but it’s so greyed out and doesn’t really look all that nice on me, so I rarely wear it. This is pale but at the same time bright, and not a true sky blue but more of a periwinkle, in my opinion. It’s just really lovely, and the formula is pretty good for an *almost pastel* creme. Two coats to opacity if you apply them with a steady hand; I had a couple nails I had to do a third coat on as they were showing just a hint of patchiness.
In short: BUY THIS POLISH. I can’t imagine it not looking wonderful on everyone and anyone – but then again, I’m biased. Be sure to keep an eye out for me posting this again in the future; it really deserves better than the photos I’ve taken above!
Since I’m crapping out on you on pretty much all fronts, I’ll just throw out the general question of: Thoughts??
Aside from my birthday purchases last month, I’ve been doing really well keeping myself in check and not buying any makeup over the past few weeks. However, sometimes even the best laid plans go askew, am I right? Some of you may have seen the exchange between myself and Eugenia of Ommorphia Beauty Bar last week regarding one of the Illusion d’Ombre shadows she’d posted about, Abstraction #88– a pinky-coral sparkly-shimmery pot of awesomeness that came out this week from Chanel, as part of their Les Expressions de Chanel collection. As soon as I saw the swatches, I knew I had to have it. Fortunately for me (unfortunately for my budget), the next night I was working at Mills, and I got my chance.
(Here’s where my beauty obsession is very clear, so please forgive me in advance)
I arrived at Mills after my *real* job, and as I passed the Chanel counter, I noticed a few unopened product shipment boxes lying there, innocent as can be. The SA was on her supper break, therefore I couldn’t find out what exactly was IN the boxes, so I took it upon myself to open them (keep in mind, that while I work IN Mills from time to time, I do not work AT Mills and I certainly don’t work at the Chanel counter ~sad face~). I eagerly peered inside to see if I was going get lucky – was Abstraction in there? Was I actually going to get to have the precious so soon after I first encountered it?
Oh yeah I was!
At least, give me credit – I didn’t do anything more than open the box, see little Illusion d’Ombre packaging lying there, check to see if one was Abstraction, and then put it aside to purchase when the SA returned. I DID NOT swatch anything or open the actual product, so…I’m not totally written off, right? Just somewhat aggressive and intrusive in my approach (oops). Thankfully, when she returned she was not (visibly) irritated with me and quickly ooh-ed and ahh-ed with me over the shadow. After I got my fill of the whole collection (there are three expressions: Brown, Purple, and Coral – which is where Abstraction falls), I greedily purchased Abstraction ($37CAD) and then swatched the heck out of it to bask in it’s glory.
What’s that? You want me to shut up and show you already?
Please, by all means…
Yeah, Abstraction is just really, really pretty. It doesn’t show up in my swatch photos nearly as lovely as it is in person. It’s got this absolutely amazing shimmery quality to it that just mesmerizes me, which you can see best in the iPhone photos, strangely. It leans more pink than coral, but is still warm enough that it really works with my skintone. On the eye the color is subtle worn alone, but the pretty shimmer makes up for it. Somehow, it doesn’t look inappropriate either, I guess because it justs melts into my skin – it’s not like a pale glitter which can look quite obvious (at least on me). I own another Illusion d’Ombre, Émerveillé, which is a warm champagne shade, and I find that it brightens my eye area in a totally different way because it’s lighter than my skintone. Anyway, Émerveillé doesn’t have the same shimmer tones as Abstraction, so it’s really apples to oranges.
I’ve worn this alone, and layered over a similar shade (I used the rose side of the NARS Grand Palais duo), and didn’t notice a huge difference color-wise. I plan on playing around with it to see what other combinations of fabulousness I can come up with – I’d love to get the coral-pink tone to really stand out, though I don’t really mind if it continues to elude me. Playing with it just gives me another excuse to wear it again :)
As with other Illusion d’Ombre shadows, it wears well and lasts all day with only minimal fading (without primer). I did learn from the first time around with Émerveillé that it actually behooves me (always wanted to use that word) to use the little brush that comes with the Illusion d’Ombre shadows, as after using my finger multiple times in Émerveillé, it’s gotten sort of pressed down and is hard to pick up without gouging into it. With the brush, I can just scrape a little bit off, apply it to my lid, and then blend out with my finger.
Anyway, long-winded ramble over – to sum up, Abstraction is all kinds of wonderful, will look lovely on all skintones because it’s not exceptionally warm/cool/dark/light, and sparkles like a beautiful sunset. I probably didn’t need to get all crazy and buy it instantly, because as far as I know it’s not limited edition – so for everyone else, you can purchase it like a sane person. But, I suggest you do it sooner rather than later, if only to start enjoying The Precious right away, because it’s that damn fabulous.
Consider yourself warned.
…Thoughts? (about Abstraction, about my beauty obsession, about whatever ;))
Ok, I know that sounds highly unlikely – someone who has over 100 bottles of polish (yes, I’ve passed that mark now!) somehow doesn’t own an aqua shade?! But seriously guys – I’ve purposely avoided that color for a long time. I just don’t think it looks that great on me! The one polish that I have that could probably be classified as a teal/aqua, LA Colors in Atomic, is kind of an fabulously ugly shade that probably doesn’t look good on most people, yet it draws the eye anyway. I’m not counting it because it’s just not what I envision when I think aqua. You know, shades like China Glaze For Audrey, Chanel Nouvelle Vague, or more lately, Dior’s St. Tropez (which I desperately wanted to jump on the bandwagon for, but couldn’t bring myself to pay $23 for a polish I might hate on my skintone). These shades are what come to mind for a fabulous aqua-blue Summer polish. But until now, I had nothing of the sort.
Zoya’s Wednesday, from the Beach & Surf Summer collection, somehow got under my defenses against aqua polish. It was a bit more dusty – while still retaining it’s Summery goodness – and not quite as bright and glaring as some of the other offerings; it seemed like if I was finally going to take a chance, this should be the polish I choose to do it with.
Zoya takes AGES to arrive here in Canada, which makes me absolutely crazy as it’s one of my favorite polish brands. To wait for it to *maybe* arrive in salons here (as not all collections do), it takes probably two months – as it was, it took well over a month for it to arrive on Nail Polish Canada, at which time I instantly ordered it sight unseen.
Once it arrived, with a little trepidation I did a full manicure with the shade. At first, I was unsure how I felt – it still seemed to obvious on my skintone, and it doesn’t fall within the pale/bright/dark category of polishes – tones that I find look best on me. It’s a mid-range shade that leans slightly green – also not a great color on me – but the slightly muted quality of it tones down any potential harshness.
I’m just wrapping up day two with this polish on, and I can now confidently say that I love it. Within the hour of application it grew on me – the creaminess, the pop of color against my skin that can only make me think of the sea and sun…it really can’t be beat! And the formula itself is quite good – two thin coats to opacity, and it’s self-leveling so any slight lumps and bumps get smoothed out to glossy perfection.
I’m loving this on my hands, but I think I will absolutely adore how this will look as a pedicure – bliss! I’m just so happy that I’ve found an aqua shade that I feel comfortable and confident sporting – yea for joining the rest of the population! :P I know I’m fussy when it comes to finding colors I feel are flattering, but if you’re not feeling good in what your wearing, then that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
What do you think of Wednesday? Can it join other aqua hall-of-famers? What’s your favorite aqua shade?
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 :D
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.