Posts Tagged a-england

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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A-England Sleeping Palace and an Update

Hey everyone…sorry for being MIA, it’s been kind of a roller-coaster here and the urge to talk beauty has been next to zero :S  There are some great things happening – I started dating someone recently :D :D :D – and some shit things happening – namely my roommate and I are having some serious differences in opinion, and have been having  what feels like a week long argument.  Needless to say, I’ve been a wee bit preoccupied!  Hopefully things will settle down sooner rather than later *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, as usual here is a filler nail polish post, which are my favorite easy-peasy kind of posts.  Gaze at the beauty that is a-England’s Sleeping Palace, from the Burnes-Jones Dream Collection:

a-England Sleeping Palace a-England Sleeping Palace (2) a-England Sleeping Palace (6)

Isn’t this greyish-purple prismatic polish to die!?!?!  ~sigh~  Formula, as usual for a-England polishes, was great – the perfect viscosity to reach opacity in two easy coats.  The multi-tonal rainbow shimmer in this is exquisite, so, SO beautiful!  I haven’t worn it as a full mani yet because it really feels like a fall shade to me, but come late summer – this is gonna be my JAM.

a-England Sleeping Palace (13)

Have you picked up any polishes from Adina’s new collection?

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The Ever-Helpful Filler Post: A FOTD, Polish, and Nail Art!

Hiiii guys!  I have been hiding out and trying to minimize the time in front of my computer zombifying…seriously, these damn electronics can suck you in and eat your brain big time.  I’ve been drafting up posts here and there but not sitting down for too long because I just need a break.  S’OK?  And plus, I want to show you some fab looks with all of my new(ish) pretties!  Here’s one look that I wore out this weekend:

FOTD March 2013 (2) FOTD March 2013 FOTD March 2013 (3)

Forgive me for less than stellar shots, as usual I was running late and took these in the bathroom of the party I was at while trying to remain inconspicuous lol.  And I probably had a few rum & cokes by this point… I’m a lost cause ~sigh~  Anyway, I took this look directly from this tutorial of Lisa Eldridge’s – I ADORED how it came out, another one of those looks that made me feel badass and awesome all evening (and isn’t that the point?).  I’ve been really getting into colored shadows again lately, so fun!  FYI – I’m wearing MAC’s Blue Edge (discontinued) topped with Shimmermoss on my top lid and Beautiful Iris on my lower lash lines.  Oh, and also, I used the Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Oil in my hair and HOLY SMOKES.  I LOVE THIS STUFF – look at my hair!  Just look at it!!!!!

I’ve also got a spring-themed post in the works that I’ve been thinking of for ages but haven’t had all the pieces to put it together.  If I’m not too, um…under the weather after Paddy’s Day on Sunday, I plan to get it done that Monday as I’m off work.  It involves some very pretty polishes that I’m totally diggin’ – unlike this polish, which sadly did NOT do it for me:

a-England Tess d'Urbervilles

I know, an it’s an a-England polish too!  Tess d’Urbervilles, a blackened green shimmer.  It looks nice here but I couldn’t wait to take it off.  I’m just not a fan of green hued polishes, unless they’re pale /pastel-toned or more of a teal green.  Ah well, can’t win ‘em all!

I have been trying to do things that are good for my well-being as much as possible – this semi-computer break being one of them, as well as joining a yoga studio that had an awesome deal: $108 for three months of unlimited classes.  Heck YES!  I went today after work; the focus was shoulders and OMG I feel so effing great!!  My back and neck are always sore from working at a computer (and being at one at home too) and this worked it out so well.  I am feeling particularly SUPER WOMAN LIKE today because I also went for a run at lunch.  So YAY for mental & physical health! :P  I feel all zingy – kinda like this nail art I did a few weeks ago:

Nail Art Nail Art (5)

This could have been SO much better – the concept and colors I totally liked, but I used french manicure strips that kept pulling up the polish beneath it, no matter if I let it dry for 5 minutes for 15.  SO irritating!  Half of this ended up being freehand and the other is just a mess of me trying to fix the peeled polish areas.  Urgh.  For reference, the shades I used there Revlon’s Sterling, Essie No More Film, and Zoya’s Wednesday.

And there you have it!  My very best attempt at giving you something to look at while simultaneously chattering away with abandon, and trying to link the two.  Successful?  Probably not, but I wasn’t sure when or how I’d post these photos, so it worked for me! :P

I hope everyone had a great Monday!!!

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Holiday Color Pairings

Holiday Colors

When I start to think about it, it’s not really a surprise to me that I love makeup.  When I was a kid, I use to spend hours pairing my crayons together in color combinations I thought looked good together (which was also a great indication of my obsessive tendencies toward organization, but that’s a whole OTHER topic in itself!).  While I don’t feel societal pressures to follow trends in shades (woohoo, Emerald for 2013!), nor feel like I ‘should’ wear darker colors in winter and brighter colors in summer, I choose to follow these paths often because it just makes sense to me.  I love the idea of changing the shades I wear according to seasons – heck, I even do it with the change in weather!  Rain means somber shades of grey or blue; sun means warm tones of gold, or brights like aqua and orange; and snow equals icy silvers and cool pinks and purples.  Its just how I roll, ya’ll!

Holiday Colors (2)

As it’s the holidays, of course I imagined an array of festive shades to represent the season, and since the work was already done, I thought I’d share them with you!  On the weekend for the first time I matched my lips to my tips, and it was a lot of fun.  I’m not entirely sure I’d do the same with eyeshadow, but the colors below all complimented a polish I own so well I figured what the heck.  I hope you enjoy!

Holiday Colors - SilverBobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter; Chanel Le Vernis in 529 Graphite

Holiday Color Swatches - Silver (2) Holiday Color Swatches - SilverChanel Graphite; Bobbi Brown Pewter

Both of these silvers are so much more than plain ol’ silver.  They both veer into a warmer tone rather than stark icy shades, which means they’re quite wearable for all skin tones.  Pewter is currently unavailable as this was an LE shade, but at times Bobbi Brown brings it back in palettes and such, so keep your eyes peeled!  Graphite has had a ton of reincarnations over the past year since it was released (though I don’t believe it’s LE anyway) – the best being Sally Hansen’s Shoot the Moon which was just featured on All Lacquered Up.

Holiday Colors - RedEssie Limited Addiction; Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in #46

Holiday Color Swatches - Red (2) Holiday Color Swatches - RedEssie Limited Addiction; MUFE #46

MUFE’s #46 Rouge Artist lippie was the red shade I wore on the weekend to compliment my red manicure (done with China Glaze Ruby Pumps).  I ADORE this lipstick; it is by far my favorite red that I own.  It’s more of a true red I think, and looks so darn good on!  The moistness of the lipstick keeps it looking so juicy and festive without being overwhelming in the least.  It feels amazing on and I just can’t get enough!  The only downside is that it’s only available at MUFE Pro stores and kiosks, but well worth the effort.

Essie Limited Addiction was, unfortunately, limited edition, but there are a billion reds out there I’m sure that are similar – just a bit deeper than your typical shade and neither warm nor cool.

Holiday Colors - GreenMAC Jealousy Wakes; a-England Saint George

Holiday Color Swatches - Green (2) Holiday Color Swatches - Greena-England Saint George; MAC Jealousy Wakes

Hot DAMN Saint George is beautiful!  I don’t wear this polish nearly as much as I should, mainly because when I bought it last year, I wore it about three times in a few weeks – obsessed, I was!  I’m wearing this to my work Christmas party this week and I’m super excited!  Its one of the few greenish hues I own, and one of the few of that color palette I like.  In truth it’s more teal than green but whatever – evergreen, shall we say?  I LOVE IT and all it’s prismatic shimmer.

Jealousy Wakes is also another shade I rarely wear, probably because I don’t wear color in my shadows nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it from time to time when I do pull it out.  I dislike the texture of the shadow immensely – it’s so stiff and rough! – but it IS a lovely shade.

Holiday Colors - GoldSephora Brand She Sparkles; SpaRitual Aurum

Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (2)Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (3) Holiday Color Swatches - GoldSpaRitual Aurum; Sephora Brand She Sparkles

Oooh, sparkly indeed!  Though Aurum is sort of a crap color on me – probably on most people, it’s so damn blingy I’m going to HAVE to pull it out for the holidays!  Look at that sparkle!  It’s a bit more greenish-gold than the orange-y gold of She Sparkles, but they both shimmer prettily together, don’t you think?  I wore She Sparkles like crazy the last holiday season (when I purchased it), but haven’t given it much love since.  I’ll surely be pulling it out again this month!

Holiday Colors - BlackMAC Dark Soul Pigment; Illamasqua Creator

Holiday Color Swatches - Black (2) Holiday Color Swatches - BlackIllamasqua Creator; MAC Dark Soul

Though I’m not a huge lover of black nail polish, Creator has won me over with its glittery goodness, and looks both elegant and edgy at the same time.  It compliments Dark Soul so perfectly!  I could totally see rocking these two shades together, it’s like they were made for each other.  I rarely wear Dark Soul for sort of obvious reasons (its a shimmery charcoal shadow – the rockstar look doesn’t exactly work at the office), but I’m trying to find ways to implement it more when I can.  It’s definitely a perfect shadow for the holidays!

It was fun making these pairings and a huge throwback to my formative years :P  It’s also scary to see that I happen to have enough polish and makeup that I can actually make pairings that coordinate so well… ~shrugs~ I’m a collector, what can I say?

Have you gotten into the matching trend?  Would you be willing to try it, or do you avoid it at all costs?  What colors say ‘holiday’ to you?

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The Times, They Are A Changin’

Hello my neglected beauties!  I am so far behind in everything in life it seems – isn’t summer supposed to be carefree and relaxed!?  While I’ve had a lot of good times the past couple months, I’ve hardly had any time to address my ‘real’ life (guess that’s escapism to the max, eh?).  I’ve flown out of the province three times in August alone (twice to Newfoundland and now to Ontario – I’m actually in the airport right now heading to Ottawa), and while I LOVE to travel, I didn’t realize how hard it is to get back on track when you return.  Soon I’ll have been away from home for 12 out of 31 days – that’s a whole third of the month – and it’s kind of nuts. Fun – but nuts.

Look I did for a cottage party I went to – my friend’s family does a washer toss tournament every year, and this year there was a record 50 participants!  As the cottage is right on a lake, I wore only MUFE’s waterproof Aqua Liner in #5 (diamond turquoise blue) and a touch of mascara – it gave enough impact all by itself!

To add to all that, recently my boyfriend and I broke up.  So not only am I away physically but I’ve also mentally been not entirely present the past week or two.  However, I know that everyone has ‘stuff’ that goes on in their lives and they keep on moving, so I don’t want to lean on this as an excuse.  Most bloggers have busy lives and children and the like, and they post WAY more than me on a good week.  I merely just want to explain my absence so you know it’s only temporary!  Well…at least until October.  Then I’ll be away for 35 days and you’ll be lucky if I’ve got a post a week coming out.  LOL.  But THEN!  Then I will be blogger extraordinaire, I *promise.*

Mani/Pedi Combo with MAC’s Mischievous Mint on toes and a-England’s Saint George on fingers…see how often I wear the ‘Mint’ shade!?  LOVE it.

The most frustrating part about all this is that while moving forward my budget will be next to zero for beauty purchases (paying for a condo on my own is NOT going to be easy), I bought a slew of fun, beautiful things in the past couple months I’ve been desperate to talk to you about!  Actually, to be honest, a lot of those things I haven’t even had the time to experiment with myself, and they’re just in a forlorn little pile in my bathroom begging to be adored.  Since I’ve been traveling so much, most of these items haven’t come with me because I’m crazy-anal about keeping my makeup pristine, and I’m nervous about things getting banged up or broken (I’m still sore over my MAC Early Morning blush being in pieces :S).  Argh!  I hate not being able to multitask.  LOL!

Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N10 (iridescent copper pink).  It was the shade the MUFE Artist matched me with for my ultimate ‘MLBB’ shade.  It’s quite pretty but I see to either veer lighter, darker or more bold with lippies for the most part.  See link above for original review on formula.

But ladies (and maybe gents??)…there appears to be a silver-lining for you now.  It was just announced that my flight has been delayed for 2 hours – surely I can pump out a post or three in that time!?  Its not going to be any of the new, good stuff, but I have a boatload of photos from other items I’ve been meaning to show you.  So sit back and get comfy…I have a lot of making up to do!

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Yay! Mailbox Treats: A-England’s Camelot Plus A Few Sneak Peeks

I don’t think there’s a soul on Earth who doesn’t like to get mail (when it’s the non-$$-owing kind).  I personally love to get mail (even bank statements!), and am sure to send it out as much as I can – Christmastime gets all kinds of crazy.  The absolute best/worst kind of mail is the kind that results from online shopping: awesome because you got a real treat delivered to your door! – but a little scary because it can get out of hand, quickfast.  I haven’t yet reached the *yikes!* stage, but I DO have to hold myself back quite frequently.

Lately I’ve been indulging both my love of beauty and my love of mail by engaging in a whole bunch of swaps, ticking things off my lemmings list methodically which is super-terrif.  However, before I got oh-so-wise, I did do a wee bit of other purchasing:

The Too Faced bronzer and the NARS eyeliner were swap items, but the ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS (just making sure you’re paying attention – I bought ELLIS FAAS!) product I purchased last month.  ELLIS FAAS revamped their website in July and to celebrate they were offering free shipping till the end of the month, so I had to get on that!  The brand was another on my “12 Brands to Try” list, so I’m pretty stoked.  I won’t say any more about the mystery product, but keep your eyes peeled for a review and FOTD very soon! :)

Now, I haven’t forgotten that there’s also an a-England polish kicking around there too – one more shade to add to my collection!  The brand was also having a promotion last month where the Mythicals collection was all half off, and when I noted one day that I didn’t own a black polish, my smart lady-friends Larie and Eugenia both recommended Camelot as a must-have.

Camelot is an inky, rich black that doesn’t have any other leanings – it’s a true, straightforward black, with no funny business.  The formula is lovely, with the perfect consistency, and it’s fairly shiny on it’s own (here its shown with one coat and no top coat), but I think with two coats and a top coat it would simply gleam.  However, it’s unlikely I’ll ever wear this as is, truth be told.  I think shades like this are better left to the more fair-skinned of the world, as the contrast between light and dark is much more pronounced, and in my eyes, prettier.  But there are several polish shades I own that could benefit from a black base coat, so I figured it was kind of a staple requirement in my stash.

With flash

Artificial light

…Then I got an idea. An awful idea. This gal got a wonderful, *awful* idea!

Remember that garish gold polish I showed you a few weeks ago?  The SpaRitual one that just about blinded you with it’s bling?  Well, I think I might have found a way to make it work…

BAM! KAPOW!  OH SNAP!  Yes, my friends, I discovered a fabulous way to wear Aurum without wanting to take it off instantly!  In fact, I kinda want to wear this look a whole lot!!  And it’s so funny….today I decided that I wanted to get my hands on butter London’s Wallis – yep, I was gonna have it – and now I think I can hold off (for a while, at least).  I know that it’s not a dupe by any means, but the idea of it is so similar that I can be satisfied on that front I think!  I’m so pleased that I will be able to wear Aurum, as I can’t stand buying things that end up being all wrong.  The black base totally chills out the shade (this is just one coat over Camelot) and grounds it so it’s not so aggressively sparkly and yellow-toned, and almost makes it look a little edgy.  Love love love.

So all in all I had a great day today!!  I have another handful of swaps on the way (yea, I’ve been busy), and a lot of pretty stuff to show you, so I have to get on it!  I hope everyone is enjoying the last weeks of summer, it’s been a fantastic one here (can you believe, that our ‘norm’ now is sun!?), so I’m reluctant to see it go, but I am pretty excited for fall makeup shades!  And this combo of Aurum and Camelot will totally fit in, don’t you think??

Do you order things online or only buy in-store? 

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All That Glitters is Not Gold: a-England’s Princess Sabra (Tristam Eyes)

Now, let me clarify my title before you go thinking that a-England‘s Princess Sabra, from The Legends collection, isn’t all that and a bag of chips.

<Oh yea, I just used that lame old saying!>

What I mean about Princess Sabra not being gold, is that it’s not – it’s a golden olive shimmer, and there’s a difference.See, the reason why it matters is because, when I put in my initial order for a handful of polishes from The Legends collection (Princess Tears, Ascalon, and Saint George), I skipped out on Princess Sabra because it looked like a gold holo prismatic polish, of which I already own one.  However, I was sorely mistaken.Princess Sabra, or Tristam Eyes – as it is said to be the same shade as a-England creator Adina’s cat’s eyes, Tristam – is a beautiful shimmering soft olive green shade with a hint of bronze and a myriad of rainbow hues infused throughout.  It does have strong gold leanings, but is definitely not straight-up gold.  The polish is completely unique and absolutely stunning, and once I realized the error of my ways, I ordered it IMMEDIATELY.As usual, the formulation is lovely, flowing easily on the nail with just the right amount of thickness.  The finish is glossy though not overly so.  I did use three coats in the swatches here, as I found this particular shade a touch sheer.  But three coats to gloriousness is really not a problem when you then get to gaze at nails like this!There’s really not much else to say.  I’m SO pleased I picked this up, and I love that due to the gentle color it’s pretty much wearable in all seasons, and across plenty of skintones.  I suggest if you don’t own this shade…just go buy it.  Seriously.  There’s no reason to wait – and a-England boasts free shipping everywhere, so you’ve got no excuse!

Are you as enthralled by Princess Sabra as I am??

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