Posts Tagged Neutral
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
What are your thoughts on nude/neutral polishes? Do you sometimes have the inability to pick a damn shade to wear??
Last year, I was on the hunt for a neutral, natural-looking blush to add to my collection of bright pinks and corals. Though I do love more intense, happy cheek shades as a general rule, there is a time and place in which a more subdued blush is favoured (and who am I kidding – if I can justify buying ONE MORE BLUSH for whatever reason, I’m gonna take it!). On my radar was either MAC’s Blushbaby or Becca’s Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea ($32US). When I was in NYC, I picked up the latter as it’s much more difficult for me to come by here on the East Coast.
Described as a ‘rosy plum nude,’ I find Sweet Pea to be more on the rose-nude side with very little plum, which is OK with me! It’s a lovely neutral with a bit of kick so as to not look ‘blah,’ which can happen when you’re trying to steer clear of “colour” per se.
Looking at this in swatches, you may think that this would be too close to my skin tone to really do much of anything when worn. That was my concern before I had an opportunity to swatch it in-store. It’s true, it’s unlikely to show up much once I am in the throes of a summer tan, but for the other 8 months of the year, this works perfectly to add a subtle yet pretty warmth to my skin. The ‘micro-fine minerals’ of which you can see just a touch in the swatch above, are said to give a soft glow to the skin, and I would say that’s pretty accurate! These types of blush formulas are my favourite – more of a satin finish than plain matte, that really bring life to the skin in a natural way without being too matte-powdery or disco-ball shimmery.
When I got home from NYC, as usual I rummaged through my stash to see if I had any similar shades already (I really do dislike replication!). Another reason I had held out on buying Sweet Pea previously is that I thought it too close to Milani’s Sunset Beach bronzer/blush duo I have. Too late I also remembered Burberry’s Russet blush, which is another warm neutral and could possibly be close in tone. Thankfully, in both cases the shades do not have the same effect (in swatches and on the skin).
As you can see, Russet is much warmer and more orange (which is actually why I don’t wear it much), and Sunset Beach is more brown (as it is primarily a bronzer). Though the swatches aren’t terribly varied, the differences do show up considerably when worn. So, happily for me, no dupes!
As my skin tends to be finicky, one of the biggest culprits to skin irritation via makeup is blush – so many contain ingredients like fragrance (WHYYYYY??), or lanolin which my skin can’t tolerate. Parabens and talc are also cause for concern for some – delightfully, Becca’s Mineral Blush contains none of these ingredients. On top of that good news, the formula contains Vitamins A, C, and E to nourish and condition the skin. What’s not to like?
Though I haven’t tried too much from the brand (YET), from what I know and have read, it seems that Becca consistently knocks it out of the park with their beautiful (and beautiful-making) products again and again. Their aesthetic centres around natural gorgeousness, and as of late that is exactly the image I strive to achieve on the regular. All I know is – I GOTTA GET MY HANDS ON SOME MORE OF THIS STUFF!!!!!
Have you tried Becca cosmetics? What is your favourite neutral blush?
I was going to leave my eyeshadow collection ’till last to swatch in my ‘find the gaps’ series of posts, but the superstorm (which…is kind of lackluster – yea, there’s lots of snow, but I want some action, darn it!) seemed like the perfect time to just get ‘er done – so I did! Oh man…for those of you who have larger collections than mine, I feel sorry for you if you attempt to do this – it is a BIG EFFING ORDEAL. I started last night and got just over halfway through before both (!) arms had had enough. I continued today and after needing to re-swatch several shade categories to get them *just right*, my left arm is just burning (as you’ll notice in the photos – red spots galore!). So: enough. I’m ready to rock ‘n roll. Now – let’s get into ‘er!
Note: All shades are permanent within their respective brands except where otherwise noted.WHITE EYESHADOWAvon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (satin white) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Uzi (shimmer w/glitter) (LE) ‘HIGHLIGHT’ EYESHADOWMake Up For Ever Star Powder in #920 (iridescent) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (white gold pearl) MAC Eyeshadow in Vex (frost) NUDE EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Next to Nothing (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – frost) (LE) Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte cool beige) (LE) Burberry Sheer Eyeshadow in Trench (satin) BEIGE, CHAMPAGNE & PEACH EYESHADOWUrban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy Rides Again (shimmer w/glitter) Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #13 Warm Beige (frost) Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Emerveille (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snatch (shimmer w/glitter) Kate Real Create Eyeshadow BR-2 Palette (soft peachy shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Arena (satin) GOLD EYESHADOWMAC Pigment in Melon (frost) Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Color in Gilded Moonlight (pearl) (LE) Clinique Touch Tint for Eyes in Gold Glimmer (shimmer) (discontinued) COPPER & ORANGE EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Amber Lights (frost) Ardene Eyeshadow in 8B (pearl) BRONZE EYESHADOWMAC Pigment in Cocomotion (frost) (LE) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Tempting (lustre) Clinique Color Surge Super Shimmer Eyeshadow in Rum Spice (shimmer) BROWN EYESHADOWMAC Eyeshadow in Dark Edge (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (deep brown shimmer) Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #17 Espresso (matte) Laura Mercier Eye Color Duet in Suspense (matte burgundy brown) (LE) TAUPE-BROWN EYESHADOWS Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (shimmer) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (beige-gold taupe) (shimmer) (LE) KATE Real Create Eyes BR-2 Palette (taupe shimmer) TAUPE-PURPLE EYESHADOWS NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (silver-taupe shimmer) Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (mauve shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Shale (satin) bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color in Meteorite (frost) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Corinthian (shimmer) RED & PINK EYESHADOWL’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Golden Mahogany (frost) Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Abstraction (shimmer) Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (matte light pink) MAUVE & ROSE EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Bordello (shimmer w/glitter) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Last Call (metallic) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Grand Palais (matte dusty rose) PLUM EYESHADOW NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (sparkling plum) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Rockstar (shimmer) Hourglass Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo in Exhibition (eggplant shimmer) PURPLE EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister (shimmer) MAC Paint in Infamous (metallic) (discontinued) BLUE EYESHADOW MAC Paint in Blue Boy (metallic) (discontinued) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Radium (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Blue Edge (matte w/shimmer) (discontinued) AQUA & TEAL EYESHADOWS NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Rajasthan (blackened teal shimmer) (LE) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Loaded (metallic) theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana (shimmer) Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 8E (matte) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Haight (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Money (shimmer w/micro-glitter) (LE) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Habanera (mint frost) GREEN EYESHADOW Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Kush (shimmer w/micro-glitter) Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow in Jade (shimmer) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mildew (shimmer) MAC Eyeshadow in Sharp (Cult of Cherry Tempting Quad – satin) (LE) Lise Watier Couleur Folle Eyeshadow in Folie Pomme (iridescent shimmer) Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in #57 Chartreuse (satin) YELLOW EYESHADOW Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #24 Yellow (matte) MAC Eyeshadow in Bright Future ( KHAKI EYESHADOW Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow in #24 Smokey Copper (shimmer) Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #6 Khaki Pulse (shimmer) Clinique Color Surge Soft Shimmer Eyeshadow in Autumn Moss (satin) TAUPE-SILVER EYESHADOWS Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Maui Wowie (metallic w/glitter) Bobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter (frost) (LE) theBalm Shady Lady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane (shimmer) Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #2 Steel (shimmer) GREY EYESHADOW Avon True Color Quad in Smokey Eyes (medium grey & dove grey) (shimmer) BLACK EYESHADOWS MAC Pigment in Dark Soul (frost w/glitter) Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Perversion (matte)
Did you make it??
…So. To be honest, when I started swatching all my makeup, I was originally just trying to find a way to justify new purchases – if it could be considered a shade I didn’t already own, then I would feel free to go for it. However, now I’ve discovered that being so fully aware of what I own, has made me really excited to play with my current collection, instead of seeking out new products. I especially noticed this with this eyeshadow post – there are so truly fabulous shades in there! While there are still of course colors I’d like to pick up to fill the gaps (namely – a lilac and a skintone [MY skintone, to clarify] shade, among a couple others), overall I’m WELL aware I have a ton of shades to rock out and don’t really *need* anything else at the moment. I did notice I have a lot less color than I imagined, but that’s actually OK because I don’t tend to wear it a ton and try to avoid buying a lot of it only for it to go unused. I think my stash is fairly representative of the kind of makeup I wear day to day! So SCORE for being logical in my purchases :)
I am kinda worn out from the work necessary to do this post, so I’m done now LOL. But – I have questions for you!
Do you see any gaps that I could fill? What shades make up the bulk of your eyeshadow collection?? Also – anyone bother to count how many shades I have? I’m too tired now to bother LOL
*Of course, I do not KNOW if this polish was named after Cho Chang from Harry Potter…it’s just that she’s the only Cho I know, and it seems to suit her personality (more on that below).
So, a lot of the Spring collections didn’t really grab me that much in the end; as we drawer nearer to the release of the Summer collections, I realize just how few shades in the current season piqued my interest. I considered a few from Essie’s Navigate Her collection – A Crewed Interest, Ole Caliente – but decided to pass in the end. The shades in the OPI Holland collection were quite pretty, but none seemed well suited for my skintone – I only picked out two of the twelve. I’ve been hemming and hawing over butter London’s Bossy Boots, but feel that I waited SO long that now the time has passed. However, one shade that I was certain I wanted from the beginning was Zoya’s Cho from the True collection – a French Vanilla cream with the barest hint of shimmer. I don’t own many true neutral shades, as I tend to favor color over subtlety, but every so often I get the urge to wear something demure, and I decided that I should broaden my choices. Cho is a lovely, warm-toned shade that I just knew would look flattering on my skintone, so I ordered it sight-unseen from Nail Polish Canada, for $8.75CAD (which is about $2 cheaper than it is here in town).
The first thing I noticed upon applying Cho was that it was just like many other pale, creamy shades – tricky to apply. Shades like this are notorious for applying streaky (what’s the reason for that BTW? Anyone??), and this was no exception. It wasn’t a terrible hassle, but it required three coats to reach full opacity with no patchiness or see-through spots. The formula was of medium thickness and flowed easily enough, but just didn’t want to easily cooperate. I think these are times when Zoya’s smaller brush works against it, as it would have been quick and easy with a wider brush with only a few strokes required (which would likely have minimized the streaking).
In any case, I got it on, and waited for the magic. Essie’s Jazz, a cool-toned neutral that almost leans grey, makes my hands look stunning and elegant and quite frankly, awesome for being essentially a non-color. Cho, on the other hand, was flattering but kind of…boring (and this is where the Harry Potter reference applies – Cho Chang was super lame!! Crying all the time? Helping rat out the D.A.? UNCOOL, Cho, Uncool). So uh, yea. That’s essentially how I felt about this polish. More effort than it was worth to end up not stunning me in the least. Like Cho Chang, I didn’t HATE it, because that would imply I felt strongly about it, and that I did NOT. It was just there – nice enough, but with no pizzazz for me to feel like it will ever be chosen over any of my other polishes.
Just for a quick reference, here are all three of my neutral polishes together (yes, only three…c’mon, my whole stash hasn’t even hit 100 yet! Gimme a break!):
The good thing is that they are vastly different from one another, so that might give Cho an extra boost in the repeat wear category, since she doesn’t have any competitors. Ah well…I rarely wear a nude polish anyway, so no big issue. And after wearing that for a few days – I’m ready for some color again!!!!
What do you think of Cho? Lame like the HP character? Or are you totally digging it??