Posts Tagged Nail Polish

Covering the fall polish bases with Essie and Zoya

As many of you are aware, I’ve been scaling way back on my beauty purchases lately, for various reasons (personal quest to reduce, baby on the way, and working toward a new home to sum it up). SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE. I’m so tired to repeating the same ol’ every friggin’ day, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it! SO, today I had the chance to take a ton of photos of a bunch of fun makeup and the like, some purchased and some received, and this week I plan on showing you guys all the good stuff that’s helping me keep my beauty game tight (or as tight as it can be given the circumstances). Today we’re going to start slow with the few nail polishes I’ve added to my collection that are just perfect for fall.

Fall nail polishes

As soon as the Zoya Entice and Ignite fall collections were announced, I knew I had to scoop up some of those gorgeous shades! Zoya is probably the brand that’s most represented in my collection, followed closely by Essie. I love both brands for different reasons – Zoya tends to come out with original shades that just reel me in every. damn. time., and Essie creates beautifully feminine and elegant shades that always make me feel at once both chic and refined. It should come as no surprise, then, that the three shades I have to show you today are from both brands. Let’s begin with the Essie shade I’ve been eyeing for ages and finally purchased – Master Plan.

Essie Master Plan swatch

Master Plan is described as a ‘mischievous soft grey’ and I’d say that’s reasonably accurate. To my eye, it’s one of those true ‘greige’ shades, that falls smack dab in the middle of grey and and beige and tends to be incredibly wearable for most skin tones. Interestingly enough, initially I felt that Master Plan looked odd against my skin, almost clashing with the brown tone in a bad way – but after wearing it for a mere day, I completely did a 180 and decided that I loved how striking it looked, and the ‘clash’ I had perceived was actually a good thing, as it kept the shade from being too plain and melding too closely to my skin.

Essie Master Plan swatch Essie Master Plan swatch

The formula on this polish was particularly wonderful, as Essie does tend to be a runnier, thinner formula. This shade had a thinner yet intensely pigmented formula which *almost* allowed it to be a one coater, but of course I used two because c’mon – two just looks better. It flowed so easily on the nail, and was a quick and easy manicure to pull off, which is a HUGE plus for me lately as I just can’t be bothered to fuss more often than not. It was quite shiny on it’s own (these shots were taken after 5 days of wear) so I skipped top coat. Glorious all around!

The two shades I picked up from Zoya’s Ignite collection (the Entice collection was lovely, but a little bit more unoriginal in my opinion) were Remy, a ‘brilliant indigo with copper and gold liquid metallic,’ and India, a ‘deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer.’ I found that both descriptions were close, but not completely on-point. Remy is a gorgeous deep teal-indigo shade, yes, but the shimmer I see is not copper and gold, but rather a lighter teal. This could just be that the base shade has coated the copper and gold shimmer – either way, it’s a complex and beautiful shade that I absolutely love. Two quick coats plus top coat to really amp up the shine and shimmer, and you’re good to go!

Zoya Remy swatch

Unfortunately, while wearing Remy the sun made a disappearing act for a few days, so I don’t have any shots of it in it’s full glory – but I think you can still get the idea of the depth and of it’s inner glow from my swatches (indoors – above; and in natural yet overcast light – below).

Zoya Remy swatch Zoya Remy swatch

India in the bottle, is indeed a deep, luxurious red, and I can see the golden shimmer better here – but it does lean a touch plum in the right lighting. I was hoping for it to be a bit more ruby red, but nonetheless this is also a stunning shade that is absolutely perfect for fall. Again, application was a breeze with two quick coats plus top coat.

Zoya India swatch

Above, in overcast light, you can still see the shimmer but it’s glowing quality is reduced somewhat. However, can you see what I mean about the plummy tones? Below, the shimmering goodness is on full display in sunlight, and it’s here that the polish really comes to life. The second photo again you can see a bit of a plum leaning to India – totally pretty, just not what I’d expected.

Zoya India Swatch Zoya India swatch

Both Remy and India were easy to apply, but take care in removal because they are a touch messy (but not really that bad). Remy I found stained my nails a bit more than India, but nothing too serious.

I’ve made a point this year to pull out 10 of my favourite fall polishes and display them on my dresser, to be the only shades I wear during the season (an effort to use things up!). However, I feel a strong urge just to put these three polishes on rotate, as they cover the bases for me in terms of what I desire in a fall polish – an edgy neutral; a unique, moody hue; and a feminine shade with just a hint of vampiness. I’m utterly pleased with all of them!

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Have you picked up any new polishes for the season? What types of shades do you gravitate toward the most this time of year?

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Beauty Envy Bag – End of Summer Giveaway!

We’ve dished about our favorite products that help shift our summer beauty routines into fall, and now it’s time for one of you to win a bag filled with these essentials. If you haven’t yet gotten to know all of the ladies behind the Beauty Envy Bag, here’s a quick intro:

refined-and-polished

Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger living in Georgia. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.

beauty-obsessed

Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she’s also a closet gamer and is a die-hard Walking Dead fan. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

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 Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.

burbbeauty nail blog swatch review Ozotic Pro 505

Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.

Check out the reviews for the featured products in this season’s Beauty Envy Bag:

Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:

  • Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your favorite way to shift your summer beauty routine into fall.
  • Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Open internationally
  • Must be 18 or older
  • Giveaway closes on Sunday  September, 21 at 12:00 AM EST

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Duke-ing it out for Chanel’s Le Vernis in Sweet Lilac

On Friday I swung by our local Chanel counter to see if they’d gotten the summer collection yet. For once, my timing was perfect, as they had *just* gotten the line in the day previous. Despite the beautiful-looking collection, the only thing I was really interested in was the nail polish Sweet Lilac – I’ve vowed never to buy another Illusion d’Ombre (I find they get compressed after using them a few times and then it’s a pain to get any shadow out) and the other polishes were really pretty but also pretty dupable, IMO. And all those juicy sweet but ultimately clear glosses! Bah. No thanks!

Chanel Sweet Lilac

Though items sell quickly at our little Chanel counter, they had a bottle of Sweet Lilac left in stock, though it was a narrow window of chance – while trying it out in store, another woman exclaimed how great it looked on me, and proceed to buy a bottle of her own before I had purchased mine. When the SA said ‘that’s the last bottle’ I thought she meant MINE (yes, even though I hadn’t shelled out the cash for it yet, it was MINE) and I literally said ‘Uh, NO.’ LOL Then she clarified to say that the other client was getting the last bottle, AFTER mine had already been pulled. YA DAMN SKIPPY. There would have been a throw-down folks. It woulda been EPIC.

While I kind of would have loved to start a huge cat fight over a bottle of polish (don’t you just wonder if you’d be able to kick ass or not?), either way I’m happy there was enough to go around, because this is a pretty polish. While it’s not outrageously unique, the soft pink shade with a hint of purple is not replicated in my stash, and it’s got that ‘radiant orchid’ tone to it that works really well on my skin. The formula is pretty stellar – two coats to easy perfection, no hard work required. I added a top coat to maximize shine and amp up the almost jelly-like quality, though like many Chanel polishes it is fairly reflective on it’s own.

Chanel Sweet Lilac swatchIn direct sunlight

Chanel Sweet Lilac swatchIn the shade

I did some comparison swatches because that’s the first thing I do before and after I make a purchase these days. Before I had seen Sweet Lilac in person, I wondered if it was close to Zoya’s Marley – the only other lavender-type shade I own. It was a needless concern, as it’s the least like that polish out of the 3 other shades I compared it to.

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison

You can see that it’s in the same vein as my beloved Essie Splash of Grenadine, but lighter; it’s also along the lines of RBL’s Poco a Poco, though you’d never guess from the bottle. Once I swatched them on the nail however, the similarities were much more apparent, and in some lights they look incredibly close. But the golden shimmer of Poco a Poco gives it a much warmer tone overall.

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison swatchThumb to pinky: Chanel Sweet Lilac, RBL Poco a Poco, Essie Splash of Grenadine, Chanel Sweet Lilac, Zoya Marley

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison swatchMy mother really wanted me to take a photo with a contrasting background, hence this second photo!

 My collection of Chanel polishes has now reached 7 bottles, mostly permanent items with a couple of LE ones thrown in there for good measure.  Sweet Lilac is a great addition to my little stash :0) I refuse to buy shades unless I love them, so it’s been a slow-growing process, which I’m entirely OK with. Many of the LE shades don’t wow me, and I have a few of the permanent ones on my radar for pick-up when I’m feeling ‘spendy.’ I think I need to throw a red in there soon, I don’t have a Chanel red and that seems sort of wrong somehow, no?

Did you pick up Sweet Lilac? How many Chanel polishes do you have? Do you have a recommendation for a good Chanel red?

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Highlighter yellow EVERYTHING!

I confess: I have an obsession (oh, just one? ha ha). It’s rather odd, but I don’t even care because it makes me SO HAPPY YOU GUYS.

It’s with neon yellow.

You know, that eye-searing bright shade of highlighter yellow? Yea, that’s the ticket. I keep buying accessories and things in the shade and I seriously CANNOT GET ENOUGH.

It started with a yellow purse from a few years ago, as a way to add neon to my wardrobe. But then, I loved it so much that I added a pair of shoes. Then a bikini (which is a bit more lime than yellow but I’m not mad at it). When I was recently in Ottawa I picked up a fabulous scarf from Forever21 in the shade. I almost beat up a guy at work because he has the BEST NEON YELLOW RAIN JACKET EVER (except it’s $400 and I just CAN’T go there, no matter how much I want to).

Finally, it I’ve bought the ultimate accessory (considering my OTHER obsession) – highlighter yellow NAIL POLISH.

Guys. IT’S SO GOOD.

Let’s see all the things, shall we?

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Oh, HELLS YEA.

American Apparel Neon Yellow nail polishswatch American Apparel Neon Yellow swatch

Now, as most of you know, neon polish can be a PITA at times, and this was no exception. The formula applies easily, but not terribly evenly or opaque, so I applied it over Essie’s Blanc and its so much better.  I am in SERIOUS love right now! I also had to apply a top coat (Essie’s Good to Go) because neons dry flat. No matter. It wasn’t that much extra effort, and this shade is my JAM.  And I know it’s really aggressive, but I actually think it looks pretty good on my skin tone, so it’s a win-win!

I think it’s fair to say that this is my absolute favourite colour. My mother asked me recently what it was and I couldn’t think of any, until I remembered. Oh yea, that crazy other obsession of mine! But DAMN if it doesn’t make me insanely happy!!! :D :D :D  With that plus the 15 degree gorgeous sunny day we’re having, I’m positively GIDDY. If only my bf were home (it’s his birthday today too – HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), I think I’d probably spontaneously combust from delight.

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Do you have a favourite colour (that you tend to buy over and over)? One that just makes to DAMN HAPPY?

 

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Sometimes you just need a palette cleanser: Dior Vernis in Incognito

I mentioned in my last post that spring nail polishes can be tricky, especially if you don’t want to go for the typical pastel shades. Another great option I find when you just don’t know what kinda manicure you’re hankering for (which has been happening to me a lot lately!) is a nude/neutral shade. Many call this a ‘palette cleanser’ and I tend to agree. If nothing is grabbing my attention out of the boatload of shades I own, I usually grab a neutral hue and slap it on. Easy peasy and matches everything, and your nail still look did. WIN.

Dior Incognito vernis

I got a serious lemming for Dior’s #257 Incognito vernis after seeing enticing swatches of it on The Beauty Look Book. Sabrina’s featured it a few times in various posts, and every time I think ‘I gotta BUY that already!’  Well, finally, I pulled the trigger (seems it always takes me ages to do so, but I get there eventually!), and I’m pretty pleased with my purchase.

Dior Incognito vernis swatch Dior Incognito vernis swatch

Incognito is a muted, rosy-hued neutral polish that I wouldn’t classify as nude per se, as most of us don’t have rosy-hued hands. Due to that fact, it doesn’t veer into “mannequin hands” territory, which I like because I’m not generally a huge fan of that trend – I love a good nude but I’d rather it be a touch lighter or darker than skin tone to stand out more. However, it does blend into the skin tone well, likely due to it’s slightly sheerer formula. I prefer to wear it with two coats to retain some of that sheerness, as I find with three is can look more opaque than I’d like. In the above swatches, I’m wearing it without top coat, so you can see its fairly shiny on it’s own – though not entirely glossy. *Note that the formula I have is the ‘old’ formula – Dior has recently reissued their polish line in their gel formulation, which I imagine would be more shiny. Incognito is still available in this new formulation.

As someone who hates repetition, I always worry that I’m going to get home to find that I have a duplicate shade in my stash. When I did my first manicure in Incognito, it reminded me a lot of RBL’s Poco a Poco (LE), so of course I had to compare.

Dior Incognito vernis vs RBL Poco a Poco vs Chanel Inattendu comparison

In the bottle, the two do look close, though Poco a Poco is more pink (and on the nail, actually more purple), and has the golden-fuchsia shimmer throughout. I also considered Inattendu (Chanel), but it’s much too warm and peachy to be a contender.

Dior Incognito vernis vs RBL Poco a Poco vs Chanel Inattendu swatches comparisonLeft to right: Chanel Inattendu, Dior Incognito, RBL Poco a Poco, Dior Incognito

Dior Incognito vernis vs RBL Poco a Poco vs Chanel Inattendu swatches comparisonLeft to right: Chanel Inattendu, Dior Incognito, RBL Poco a Poco, Dior Incognito

I’m happy I finally gave in to this lemming – it’s a classic shade that will never go out of style, and I’m confident I’ll get a lot of wear out of it. As usual for Dior polishes, it almost applies itself with that fabulous formula and brush, so it’s a bit of a no-brainer. HOWEVER: I swatched YSL’s Beige Leger at Sephora a couple of weeks ago, and I think I have to have IT too, even though it’s quite close to Incognito. It’s ever-so-slightly warmer and more flattering on my hands. You know I don’t love ‘dupes’ but I feel a bit crazy about this one!

Dior Incognito vernis

What are your thoughts on nude/neutral polishes? Do you sometimes have the inability to pick a damn shade to wear??

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Spring in a bottle: Essie Resort Fling

I’ll admit – normally I don’t like to bitch about the weather too much. We live in Canada, guys! It is what it is. But this year, I was SUPER ready for spring. It wasn’t just the bizarre-out-of-nowhere snowstorms (they at least happened on a Wednesday almost every time which meant a WHOLE LOTTA SNOW DAYS!), or the endlessly grey days that spanned for months. I think it partially was all the shit that went down that had me itching for spring and for a fresh start. So as soon as the sun peeked out even a *little bit* I was breaking out the obnoxiously colourful makeup, nail polish, and clothing. I have this awesome neon coral pink cardigan from H&M that honestly sears the eyes a little bit – every time I wear it, at least 3 people will say ‘Wow, that sweater is…BRIGHT’ (which I can never decipher to be a compliment or a put-down) – and I’ve been rocking it out non-stop just BECAUSE I WANT TO.

IMG_2197It really is that bright in real life

I always find the transition between winter and spring a bit odd when it comes to nail polish – I don’t want to get into the beach-ready brights just yet, but I’m SO DONE with the moody hues that seem to be seasonally appropriate for half the year here. Pastels are all well and good, but overall I wouldn’t say I’m all that *cute* and sometimes they can get a little saccharine to me. When I peeped swatches of the new Essie 2014 Resort collection online, I was instantly drawn to Resort Fling, but was unsure if it would work with my colouring, as it looked kinda orange which isn’t all that flattering on me. It reminded me of Zoya Arizona, which I LOVED in the bottle but HATED on the nail. It finally came in stock at Lawtons, and as soon as I saw it in person I was sold.

Essie Resort Fling

Described as a ‘creamy coral peach,’ I would say that it’s spot on. It’s more peach than coral, but that also means it’s further away from orange that I suspected, which is a good thing. It’s got a thinner formula which builds up nicely after two coats, though there is still a touch of VNL left. It doesn’t bother me that much with textures like this though; a juicy creme, almost jelly-like but not nearly as sheer – Essie’s Splash of Grenadine is very similar but a bit more creamy. ME LIKEY. Application was insanely easy – I did these swatches fairly haphazardly and got ‘em done in no time flat.

Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch

Ugh, I can’t even. I’m so happy with this shade! All the Essie shades I’ve been picking up lately have been knocking it out of the park for me I will say. It was a good lesson in ‘orange’ as well, as I realized I can come close to orange if it’s more in the peach vein rather than a more yellow-based orange.

Other than the fear of orange, another reason I held off on buying Resort Fling was that I thought it might be too close in colour to Chanel’s Orange Fizz, another shade that’s not really orange but more of a coral with an orange lean. Comparing them side by side, they looked nothing alike, but sometimes the eye can trick you.

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling

On the nail, it was clear that my fears were unnecessary, as the differences are clear. Resort Fling is not only lighter but much more ‘orange,’ whereas Orange Fizz has more pink tones in it.  The biggest similarity was their juicy creme/jelly formulas and insanely glossy finishes (I’m not even wearing top coat)!

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches

I love them both equally. For the current season though, I feel that Resort Fling is perfect – not too bright, not pastel, just pretty and spring-y and exactly what I wanted. I could probably alternate between this, Splash of Grenadine, and Essie Bikini So Teeny for the next few months and be quite happy :)

What say you? Do you go for full-on brights once spring arrives, or do you ease your way in to colour? Do you like polishes with a hybrid creme/jelly formula?

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Dior Trianon Spring 2014: Pretty in pink with Bloom polish and Exquisse lip gloss

This post is seriously delayed, it’s true, as Dior’s Trianon collection came out back in early February; however, it’s still spring (we’re only like a week in, after all!) and I’ve actually seen both of these items still in stores, so I’m hopeful if you love them you can still pick ‘em up :)

Dior Bloom & Exquisse Spring 2014

I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to Dior cosmetics; though I used to work on the line for a brief period back in my Hudson’s Bay days, since then I haven’t really been all that interested. But when you continue to hear about how good their polishes and lip products are (among other items), you start to mentally break down and give in. It started with last year’s Spring Ball vernis, and it’s been snowballing slowly from there. Last month, when I had Shoppers Optimum points to burn, I picked up Dior’s Addict Lip Gloss in Exquisse (a bright, medium pink) and Vernis in Bloom (almost identical in shade except slightly more muted and deeper). Since cooler-toned pinks are my new jam, I figured they were the perfect choices out of the collection (which fell flat for me otherwise – pale seafoam colors do nothing for my skin tone).

Dior Spring 2014 Bloom and ExquisseDior Vernis in Bloom, Dior Addict Lip Gloss in Exquisse

I have this weird block in my head when it comes to bright pink nail polishes – for some reason, I seem to think I own a lot, when in fact I own less than a handful. Every time I see one I like, I think ‘Oh, I have a shade just like that’ – and when I considered Bloom, my thought process was no different. However, I was determined to buy something that day, and I was really feeling the fun pink tones of Bloom, so into my basket it went. Happily, I don’t own any shades like it – either they’re darker or warmer. The tones in Bloom I think would work for everyone – it’s not too cool or too light, but a great medium shade all around. And of course, the Dior formula is impeccable – hence why I’m steadily building my collection and just picked up Incognito (a pinkish nude) last week!

Dior Bloom swatch Dior Bloom swatch

So shiny…that’s without top coat, guys! Another thing I love about the Dior polishes :) Here I’ve painted an accent nail with China Glaze’s Dandy Lion Around and topped it with Zoya’s Kissy – in fact, this was my Valentine’s Day mani!

Dior Bloom comparison swatchLeft to right: China Glaze Under the Boardwalk, American Apparel Neon Violet, Dior Bloom, butter London Snog

My camera had a hard time distinguishing between some of the shades, but IRL you can plainly see the differences – Snog WAS the shade I was most concerned would look the same against Bloom, but it’s much warmer in person. Both shades are worth owning, in my opinion!

Though I have been on a lipstick kick for the past year or two, every so often a gloss will catch my eye, and Exquisse was it this time around – a bright, juicy pink is the perfect glossy shade to wear when spring (finally) comes around. As everyone notes, the Dior gloss formula is fantastic; smooth, non-sticky, with a decent wear time (about 2 hours) and moisturizing to boot. Why can’t all glosses be this easy to wear?

Dior Exquise Dior Exquisse swatch Dior Exquisse swatch

After swatching Exquisse, I realized that I actually have something similar in my existing lip gloss collection: Illamasqua’s Divine.  Side by side, Divine is close, but leans cooler and lighter. When worn it’s also less pigmented – it’s sort of like the little sister to the Dior shade.

Illamasqua Divine vs Dior Bloom lipgloss Illamasqua Divine vs Dior Bloom lipgloss

Though my picks from the Trianon collection aren’t necessarily exciting, I think they’re both exceptionally wearable shades, which tends to mean more to me the higher the price point. Dior is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands, and I’m hoping to expand my experience by trying out some of their other wares. They hit the trifecta for me of superb quality, sexy packaging, and on-trend colour. I want MOAR!

Dior Bloom & Exquisse Spring 2014

Have you fallen in love with Dior? Do you have any suggestions on what I should try next from the brand?

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