Posts Tagged comparison

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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Buxom Serial Kisser Full-Bodied Lipstick Collection: Review and Swatches

Sooo…I really need to use up all of my lipsticks already.  Aside from the fact that I’ve easily got enough to wear a different one every day of the month (hello, anxiety!), I’ve found my HG formula and kind of want to replace the whole lot of ‘em with it.  The lipstick in question?  Buxom’s Full-Bodied lip colour, which came out earlier this year and has been on my radar for quite some time.  Happily, I’ve gotten a chance to try FIVE of ‘em in one of Buxom’s holiday offerings, the Serial Kisser collection of 5 mini Full-Bodied lipsticks!

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Buxom’s Full-Bodied formula is described as “a rebelliously vivid, full-coverage lip color with a dual-phase plumping effect and seductive satin finish,” and are designed to be smooth, creamy, and ultra-hydrating due to encapsulated hyaluronic microspheres, shea butter, and coconut oil.  Having fairly full lips already, I didn’t notice a plumping effect (and there is no tingling, strange feelings when applied – which I realized afterward Buxom actually notes in the description), but they are certainly full-coverage, and are the creamiest, most comfortable lipsticks I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing.  Over the past week I’ve been trying each shade, and I actually found them so hydrating and creamy that I could apply straight to my lips, no lip balm required (which is unheard of for me and my drier lips).  I cannot tell you guys enough how fabulous this formula is!

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I guess you wanna see the goods, hey?  Ok, let’s get to it:

IMG_0372Left to right: Menace, Provocateur, Mistress*, Centerfold*, and Moonlighter*

The starred lippies – Mistress (medium warm pink), Centerfold (mauvey-pink), and Moonlighter (muted violet-berry with shimmer) are exclusive to the set, while Menace (a rich wine) and Provocateur (a true red) are permanent in the line (and both happen to be my favorites of the five).  A full-sized lipstick is 0.13oz and $26CAD; the set costs $40CAD and each lipstick is 0.04oz, which means both work out to $200/oz.  So, its not entirely a cost-effective set, but still a fabulous way to try out several shades at once!

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And for your viewing pleasure, lip swatches (and some comparisons!) :)

IMG_0505Provocateur.  I wore this while working at Clinique yesterday, and I felt like a superstar all damn day :)

As I’m always keeping an eye out for ‘dupes,’ I took a look through my stash to see if I had similar shades to Provocateur.  Uhhhhh….see for yourself:

Buxom Provocateur comparison swatchesLeft to right: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N46, Buxom Provocateur, MAC Russian Red, Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge in #8

…….apparently I like a good, true red! lol  In my defense, all of these were received as press samples aside from MAC’s Russian Red (and even that I received as a gift!), so it’s not like I keep buying the same shade.  If I were being sensible, I’d get rid of two of these at least – maybe keep the MAC or MUFE Aqua Rouge (both have more matte finishes) and then the Buxom shade (I like MUFE N46 but the formula is no contest) – buuuuut I probably won’t.  N46 is a bit sheerer in texture, and the Aqua Rouge is a long-wearing version, so they all have their differing merits.  And what can I say?  I make this shade of red LOOK GOOD.  ;)

IMG_0532Menace.

Menace reminded me a lot of Ellis Faas’ L102 lippie, so of course I had to swatch ‘em side by side to be sure.  L102 is a bit more brown, but they are quite close.

Buxom Menace comparison swatch

Buxom Moonlighter lip swatchMoonlighter.

Buxom Centerfold lip swatchCenterfold.

Buxom Mistress lip swatchMistress.

After fully enjoying each and every shade this week, I seriously did consider chucking all my other lippies in favor of these.  The difference between these and say, a MAC lipstick (which have great shades, but most aren’t all that cushy if you know what I’m sayin’) is night and day.  Not only are they kinder to lips, keeping them hydrated throughout the day, but they also wear magnificently, requiring only minimal touch-ups to keep the colour fresh – no horrible lipstick ring on the outer edge of the lips here!  And did I mention their fragrance-free? :D

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While the line only carries 10 shades at the moment, I’m hoping they expand the range.  Temptalia has swatches of the entire line; I already have my eye on Rogue (fiery coral), Swinger (vivid magenta), Exhibitionist (bright fuchsia), and Scoundrel (blue red).  COME TO MAMA.

Have you tried the Full-Bodied range yet?  What is your favourite lipstick formula of all time?

*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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Summer in a Tube: Becca Beach Tint in Papaya and Comparisons

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (2)

I’ve been on this kick lately of wanting to own every red blush EVER.  MAC Frankly Scarlet.  Illamasqua Libido.  Dolce & Gabbana Sole.  NARS Exhibit A.  ALL THE RED BLUSH.  Each are quite different from the other and therefore totally justifiable in purchasing (right?!).  However, last month when I scored another red on my list, Becca’s Beach Tint in Papaya (described as a ‘hot red’), I had to pause in my red blush frenzy – not all of these shades will look good on me, guys! :’(

Becca Beach Tint in PapayaBecca Beach Tint in Papaya

As some of you know, I’ve been sort of struggling to figure out my skintone – cool, warm, neutral, what is it? – and I think I’ve decided that I’m neutral with a bit of a cool leaning.  Well, I think that my assumptions have been confirmed with this blush – it is FAR too warm for my skintone and has to be worn with an exceptionally light hand.  See for yourself:

Becca Papaya Beach Tint (2) Becca Papaya Beach Tint

Though it doesn’t look terrible on me the way I’m wearing it  – which is to say, very sheerly – it’s really not my best shade.  with my tan I can pull it off, but any other time of year I suspect this will look ghastly (not to be confused with ghostly, as this is much to orange-toned and vibrant for that).  This leads me to believe that similarly warm-toned blushes such as the Illamasqua or NARS versions noted above, may not be my cup of tea.  I need to tread more carefully.

I suspect that the shades that will work best for me are more coral-red (such as D&G’s Sole) or the more pink-red tones of the MAC shade noted above.  I’ve swatched the only other shades in my collection that even come close, NARS Boys Don’t Cry (of the coral-red camp) and MUFE’s #12 First Kiss (which in fact is a touch too orange and I usually layer it with other products).

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparisonLeft to right: MUFE #12 First Kiss, Becca Papaya, NARS Boys Don’t Cry

Its interesting to look at these swatches, because I still feel like Papaya looks flattering here – but don’t let it fool you.  I had to blend and blend down to next to nothing to ensure I didn’t look like I had been burned in a fire.  Its certainly a summery shade and paired with bronzer can work well, but I prefer to wear more effortless shades that compliment naturally, even if they’re brighter.  I’m starting to wonder if the key to blush isn’t to pick complimentary shades to your skintone, but contrasting.  In swatches Papaya looks made for my skin and Boys Don’t Cry is more stand-out, yet the latter absolutely looks fantastic on me no matter if I’m tanned or not.  Similarly with NARS Desire if you recall.  INTERESTING.

Ultimately, I’m happy to have this shade as it represents a niche I hadn’t filled in my collection, and as it was a acquired via swap, I don’t feel bad about owning it.  It was an excellent way to trial-run a warm red blush and learn that I probably won’t acquire any more in the future, focusing my energies instead on cooler-toned shades.  The product itself is quite nice – easy to blend and wears quite well (though not exceptionally tenacious on my oilier skin).  I likely won’t pick up anymore shades as most of them contain linalool which I avoid in products (can cause allergic reactions and sensitivity in people with eczema), but if you don’t have those concerns, I’d definitely check them out – they’re so easy and handy!

Becca Beach Tint Papaya comparison (3)

Do you own any red blush?  To which tone does you skin favor, warm or cool?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My First Chanel Quad: Les 4 Ombres in 08 Vanités

Many of the cosmetic purchases I’ve made lately have had one thing in mind: have I tried this before?  As a person who likes change, I gravitate toward the unknown (for the most part).  My aim with makeup lately is to try either a brand I’ve never used before, or check out a product within a brand that I’ve not yet investigated.  My most recent purchase in this regard was Chanel’s Vanités quad, from the Sophisticated Eye collection (fall 2011).

Chanel Vanites Quadra (2)

It’s strange: while I don’t tend to wear a lot of color on my eyes (preferring to do so on my lips, or even cheeks!), I often choose eyeshadows that have more of a *pop.*  When perusing the Chanel quads, the only one that really grabbed me was Vanités.  Having recently read a glowing review on the quad, being in the market for a nice lilac shade, and feeling spend-y, I picked it up and immediately brought it home to try out.

Chanel Vanites Quadra (3)

My first thoughts were that the quad was lovely.  Indeed, the violet tones are quite captivating – and check out that gorgeous gold-flecked mauve!!

Chanel Vanites Quadra (5) Chanel Vanites Quadra

However, once it came time to actually try the shadows, I was sorely let down.  Keep in mind that I do not have any experience with Chanel quads (and in fact, was unable to try this in-store as there were no testers available), so I wasn’t prepared what to expect.  After reading further reviews, Chanel quads it seems tend to be on the dry, stiff side, something to which I can agree with (and also – gritty-feeling) and that I would have likely avoided if I had known.  Also of note is that the quads here in Canada are of the baked variety, while I hear in the States they are different.  So, all points to keep in mind.

Here are the shadows when swatched:

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches (4)

Sunlight

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches (8)

Natural light

Chanel Vanites Quadra swatches

Artificial light

These swatches took many layers to achieve this much pigmentation, aside from the darkest shade, which was fairly pigmented in one swipe.  I tried to take photos of me wearing this quad, but it almost looked like nothing was worn, and certainly not enough to show shade and depth.

I realize that Chanel’s makeup philosophy leans toward a soft look; also, the brand caters more to fairer skintones rather than my darker ones.  So it is to say that though I was disappointed in this quad, I was not at all surprized.  Additionally, oddly enough when I looked at the ingredients of the shadows, they contained lanolin – though in the American versions, they do not (alternately, Chanel’s blushes in the US contain lanolin, but in Canada they do not).  So, combined with the disappointing pigmentation, gritty texture, and inclusion of an ingredient I am allergic to – I took the quad back.

For reference purposes, I did take a few comparison swatches against shades I already own:

Chanel Vanites comparisons (3)

Urban Decay’s Psychedelic Sister against the darkest shade of Chanel’s Vanités quad

Chanel Vanites comparisons

Clockwise from top left: Hourglass Exhibition duo, the two middle shades of Chanel’s Vanités quad, NARS Habanera duo, MAC Shale, Le Metier de Beaute Corinthian

Chanel Vanites comparisons (8)

Left to right: Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, Chanel Vanités (darkest shade), NARS Habanera, LMdB Corinthian, Chanel Vanités (mauve shade), MAC Shale, Chanel Vanités (lilac shade), Hourglass Exhibition

Chanel Vanites comparisons (2)

Left to right: Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, Chanel Vanités (darkest shade), NARS Habanera, LMdB Corinthian, Chanel Vanités (mauve shade), MAC Shale, Chanel Vanités (lilac shade), Hourglass Exhibition

You can see that none are dupes, though the mauve shade and MAC Shale are similar, and the lilac shade and the lighter shade in the Hourglass Exhibition duo are close as well.  I believe the nuances of these shades would be more pronounced with a better formula, and most definitely with a paler skintone.  On me, sadly, they just fall flat.

Have you tried Vanités, or another Chanel quad?  Have your experiences been positive or negative?  Has anyone tried both the Canadian version and the US version and can comment on how they compare?

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Quelling a Burning Desire with Deborah Lippmann’s Through the Fire

While I was away this fall, something terrible happened – I missed the Chanel fall collection entirely!  Thankfully, there wasn’t too much I wanted to try, but I DID desperately want Malice, the gorgeous ruby-hued polish and the only one released with the seasonal launch.  As it disappeared from shelves in a snap, I was left to scour the internet trying to find a dupe to the shade.  What I came up with that was close (though by no means an exact match, or even that close, unfortunately), was Deborah Lippmann’s Through the Fire.

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire (4) Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire (5)Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire (3)

Through the Fire, a ‘radiant merlot hue’ was released as part of her 2012 Holiday collection (along with Cleopatra in New York).  While it doesn’t have the slight berry tinge that Malice appears to have, it still has that inner glow that captivates the eye.  Below, this is two coats with Poshe Fast Drying Top Coat.

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire Swatches (2)Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire SwatchesDeborah Lippmann Through the Fire Swatches (3)

Apparently, one of the true closer dupes to Malice is OPI’s Royal Rajah Ruby, which if you remember I was iffy about at first, but then found love using it as a pedi shade.  Personally I think RRR is too brown-leaning, but it pleases me that I have one of the closest colors to Malice already in my stash.

As for TtF, I pulled RRR plus a couple other shades to see how they all compare – OPI’s Every Month is Oktoberfest, which has been noted by other bloggers as a potential Malice twin (it’s not), and Misa’s Red Pumps at the Nordstrom (which isn’t like Malice at all, nor TtF – but is red and also has that gorgeous radiance about it).

Deborah Lippmann Through the FireLeft to right (artificial light): OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest, OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire, Misa Ruby Pumps at the Nordstrom

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire (2)Left to right (flash): OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest, OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire, Misa Ruby Pumps at the Nordstrom

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire comparisonsTop to Bottom (artificial light): Misa Red Pumps at the Nordstrom, Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire, OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire comparisons (2)Left to right (flash): OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest, OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire, Misa Ruby Pumps at the Nordstrom

Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire comparisons (3)Left to right (flash): Misa Red Pumps at the Nordstrom, Deborah Lippmann Through the Fire, OPI Royal Rajah Ruby, OPI Every Month is Oktoberfest

While RRR is in the same vein as TtF, it’s not a dupe and I like TtF much better on my fingernails, as its more feminine with it’s red tones.  Though I tend to prefer cremes over other formulations of polish, I gotta say that these types of polishes with a less metallic shimmer and more of an inner fire, are totally up my alley.  I could stare at them all day!  All four of these polishes captivate my heart in one way or another, and while I don’t feel that my lemming for Malice is fully abated, I’m not totally broken-hearted over it :)

Did you pick up Malice, or did you miss it too?  Are you a fan of shimmer polishes, or other types? 

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So Many Products, Not Enough Time…Interim Quickie Polish Post

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!

Zoya Arizona

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!

China Glaze For Audrey

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)???

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Review: Make Up For Ever Eye Prime Long Wear Eyelid Primer

Hi-ho everyone!!!  Tomorrow is the big day – we get our keys to the condo!!  I have to admit that as easy as the whole process has been, it’s hard to fully focus on much else!  All I want to do is move in and get settled and make the place look like home.  On that note, this will be a relatively brief (which just means, less chatty!) post – a reprieve which I’m sure some of you will wholeheartedly appreciate :P

I confess that I am by no means an eyelid primer connoisseur – most days I tend to skip it as I don’t really mind if my makeup has faded throughout the day (which actually sounds kinda weird…I don’t know what that’s all about).  Actually, maybe I’m not that twisted – I think its more that most shadows/liners tend to adhere to my lids fairly well, and I only think about wearing primer either when I know I’m wearing a less-than-stellar product (wear-wise), or if I’m going to, shall we say, glisten more than usual (running on my lunch break, going dancing, wearing makeup on a particularly humid day).  My past experiences have not taken me very far; I’ve tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion ($24CAD for 0.37oz), which seemed to be the be-all-end-all since it was my first shot at lid primers, and then NARS’ Pro-Prime Smudge Proof  Eyeshadow Base ($29CAD for 0.28oz), which is in my current rotation.  After trying NARS, I realized I far preferred it to UD’s lid primer, which gave my lids a slight whitish cast (NARS’ blends to be translucent), was more difficult to blend (though by no means seriously problematic), and made my shadows much harder to blend.  It did intensify my shadows more than NARS’; but this quality falls flat on me as I don’t quite appreciate that aspect.

Make Up For Ever, which by now seems to be synonymous with long-wear, waterproof makeup, has now come out with their very own eyelid primer, called Eye Prime ($25CAD for 0.18oz), which the brand states ‘reinforces eye shadow hold and intensifies its color.’  It’s enriched with waxes and mineral powders, and claims to have a ‘lightweight, non-drying texture’ that ‘blends seamlessly into the skin allowing a true-to-color eye shadow result that will not crease or fade.’  That sounds like it follows the pretty standard goal of all eyelid primers – so how did it pan out?

The delivery of Eye Prime is quite similar to NARS, with the same doe-foot applicator, though it’s a bit smaller which I find somewhat easier to use.  The texture of the two are more alike than different, but NARS’ is more sheer and cream-like, while MUFE’s has more opacity and is somewhat drier.  While Eye Prime does blend out to be almost undetectable on the eye, it still has some color, as it’s considered a ‘nude shade,’ while NARS’ truly blends out to completely invisible.  I didn’t have any issues with the shade of Eye Prime showing up on my lids, but someone darker than I might be able to see it more.  However, overall the color will suit the majority of skin tones.

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime – blended

I tried Eye Prime with one of my notoriously smudgy liners, Black Violet by Laura Mercier – a creamy near-black pencil liner with a lovely violet tone, but that smears within hours every single time.  I applied Eye Prime around my eye area before using Black Violet, and wore the two for approximately 12 hours with the color still going strong and only the very slightest dull shadow of a smudge under the corner of my left eye.  I would say that while wearing this primer with any other typical eye product (that doesn’t have extreme smudging issues), one would get 12 hours of wear and potentially more without experiencing any problems whatsoever.

Top to bottom: NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

Overall, I’m quite pleased with Make Up For Ever’s foray into eyelid primers, and feel it’s a compliment to the line, and upholding their high standards in terms of long-wearing products.   Though I must admit, from my experience, all of my MUFE products are designed to be long-wearing, and none of them have failed me in that regard, so the design of this product is sort of a moot point, no?  At least, it’s really not required with any of the MUFE eye products I own, unless I felt I needed that extra insurance I guess.  Nonetheless, for all my other, less tenacious eye makeup, this has been a great product to add to my slowly growing eyelid primer experience!

*Product provided by the brand/PR company for my unbiased consideration.

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Tangerine Tango Nail Polish: Quickie Comparison Post

Good day to you all :)  Residual birthday party-fun-time has left me with little time to dedicate to the blog (though, I have been taking photos galore, so I’m not at a loss for content!) – so please forgive me for being kind of a lamer lately!  Today I have a quick comparison post of a few orange-red nail polishes I have that are quite similar; after Chanel’s Holiday came out, which I rebuffed because I felt I had shades that were very comparable, I started thinking about just how many polishes I had that ran along the same vein.  Surprizingly, I have three – which makes me that much more thankful now that I saved the $27 on Holiday.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

The 3 shades in question are Essie’s Meet Me At Sunset, from last year’s Summer collection; OPI’s A Roll in the Hague from Spring’s Holland collection; and a random mini shade ($1.99 – you can’t beat that!) from Essence called Get the Fever, which I picked up last year when I decided I MUST HAVE an orange polish (at which point I found MMAS and was satiated).

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

In some light, the three shades look very close in color – differences are minute and probably only noticeable if you’re aware they’re different.  However, upon closer inspection, they are NOT dupes, each with their own distinguishing feature.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

Essie’s MMAS is clearly the most red-toned out of the 3, those this is more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.  Get the Fever is more of a muted orange-red, versus the juicy vibrancy of A Roll in the Hague.  It trumps ‘Fever’ as the more ~orange~ shade with it’s richly pigmented hue.  ‘Hague’ is also insanely glossy, which also puts it above Essence’s shade – though if you missed ‘Hague,’ Get the Fever is still a great substitute.

Essie Meet Me At Sunset, Essence Get the Fever, OPI A Roll in the Hague

However, despite the closeness in shade between ‘Hague’ and ‘Fever’, I can also seem the resemblances between ‘Fever’ and MMAS – there’s a common red tone to these two that places Get the Fever squarely between MMAS and ‘Hague.’  For the cheapness in price, ‘Fever’ performs quite well and would be a great choice for anyone looking for an orange-red shade but hoping to save about $10 or so!

Since orange is in it’s glory right now, I hope showing these 3 shades helps you can an idea of what choices you have out there!  It really can’t be beat for a Summer color – and these tones in particular work with both pre-tan and post-tan skin, so you can rock it pretty much any time!

What other orange polishes should I keep an eye out for (that have greater variances than the shades I’ve shown above)?  Would you have bought Holiday, even if it had a close dupe in your stash?

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