Posts Tagged Swatch

Going all in with Make Up For Ever Plexi-Glosses

Ok guys. Once again I’ve been delinquent in getting this post up – I seem to be really good at taking photos of product in a timely manner, but not so great at writing the reviews. It used to be the other way around, but I am better at amusing Elena while taking photos than I am typing on the computer / editing photos and simultaneously keeping her occupied – she loves the camera (as you’ll see shortly). Anyway, she’s been taking a power nap this am, so I’m just going for it [edit: and it’s now nighttime…I got the majority of the post done while she was napping, but the finishing touches had to wait till she was down for the night!]!

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Glosses

A few months ago Make Up For Ever came out with a new formulation of lip gloss that is along the lines of the Dior Fluid Sticks / Lancome Lip Lover / etc. etc. – a long-wearing, full-impact gloss with high shine and vivid color. These Plexi-Glosses ($23CAD) are touted to be comfortable to wear and to deliver up to five hours of color impact. The ‘superflex’ applicator is design in a lip-hugging shape to allow for precision and control and sweeps on the ‘ideal’ amount of lipgloss.

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It comes in a whopping 35 shades, in varying finishes – from pearly to cream, sheer to opaque – which is INTENSE, guys. I’m glad I had an opportunity to try these out and not have to choose a color (or several) on my own, because I’d be there all damn day. The three I was sent are: 403, an opaque red; 207, an opaque candy pink, and 102P, a sheer pearly sweet beige (the ‘P’ indicates a pearly shade).

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Glosses Make Up For Ever Plexi-Glosses

As I mentioned, Elena loves the camera (probably since I’ve become the paparazzi with her since she was born) and I thought I’d really keep her busy by giving her each of the glosses to play with. Now that she’s got good hand control she was loving it!

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 Red

Red gloss has never been my first choice when it comes to lip color – I tend to favour matte shades of red, as it’s already bold enough on it’s own – but in the summertime, I confess that a gloss red lip is kind of fabulous. The sheer (or opaque, in this case) juiciness of it is so enticing and perfect on a warm summer night. 403 Red is just that kind of gloss – it truly is ‘full impact’ and majorly high shine. It’s also comfortable to wear, and though these glosses are intense, they’re not at all sticky – a bit thick, perhaps, but honestly the lip glosses I’ve had in the past that are thin fade away within minutes. I don’t mind the thicker texture on its own, but if they were sticky they’d be a no-go for me (which is why I haven’t own a MAC gloss in god knows how long).

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 swatchMake Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 Red

Though I just said I don’t generally gravitate toward glossy reds, I did happen to have one in my collection – Maybelline’s Color Elixir in Signature Scarlet. These two are damn near dupes in my eyes; Signature Scarlet is a hair more warm in tone, but that’s getting nitpicky – for all intents and purposes, they’re the same. The real difference is in the texture (Maybelline’s feels a bit more plasticky to me) and the scent (MUFE’s has none, while the Maybelline has this bizarre sickeningly sweet/chemical smell that is just awful – it fades after wear, but UGH, SO bad). Needless to say, I got rid of the Maybelline in favour of the MUFE version!

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 vs Maybelline Signature ScarletLeft: Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 403 Red; Right: Maybelline Color Elixir in Signature Scarlet

Next, we have the shade 207 Candy Pink.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207 Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207 Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207 Candy Pink.

Since discovering cool pink look quite nice on my skintone, I’m all about the shade. 207 Candy Pink is a cheerful pink shade that leans cool, but actually isn’t heavily blue-toned, so those of you who don’t like to wear those kinds of colors could probably still wear this.  This is another saturated shade, though the formula is slightly less opaque than 403 Red. Equally nice formula though – and of note is that all 3 glosses leave my lips feeling hydrated even after they’ve worn off.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207 swatch

Once again, I had a similar shade in my existing collection (a mark of someone with too much makeup, perhaps?) – Dior Addict Lip Gloss in Exquisse.  Unlike the red shades above however, there are more noticeable differences: the Dior is more sheer, and a bit more warm than 207 Candy Pink. However, they’re close enough for me that I don’t feel I need to own both – but I haven’t been able to part with either just yet. I prefer my lip products to be opaque, so MUFE – 1, Dior – 0….however, it’s like, a DIOR GLOSS, guys. And they’re kind of lovely. AND it’s got sexy packaging. So I dunno, dudes.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 207 vs Dior Exquisse comparison

Finally, we have the most subtle of the bunch, 102P Pearly Sweet Beige, and the only one without a ‘dupe’ in my stash.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P

102P Pearly Sweet Beige is a sheer, slightly milky peachy beige gloss. This was actually on my wishlist to buy previously, so I was excited to get this in the trifecta. Though I like my lip colors opaque as a general rule, I actually like my lip glosses to be neutral sheers – I find punchy, bold colors that are also high shine are a bit more in-your-face than I’d like. This would fit that bill perfectly; however – on my lips there is something about this shade that doesn’t look all that flattering. I think the milkiness for one is a (small) issue; moreover, I realized after watching a video of Karima’s (so good, go watch her RIGHT NOW!) where she described her lip line as ‘blurry,’ that I also suffer from this affliction, and this is likely why true ‘nudes’ look kind of terrible on me. As I normally choose my glosses to be either clear with a hint of shimmer, or MLBB shades, this veers too closely to a nude tone on my medium pigment lips, and I dunno…just not a huge fan. But that’s just me – I suspect for most people this will be an incredibly wearable neutral.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P

Just for fun, I thought I’d take it even further and make it REALLY nude and see if that looked better. I used a Marc Jacobs lippie (the old style they don’t sell anymore) in Dizzy Spell, a warm peachy nude (which I rarely wear, for the reasons above), underneath 102P to see what would happen. While I don’t actually hate the effect, I think 102P would probably look best on me layered over a more strongly-hued and/or pigmented shade, or lipliner.

Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P plus Marc Jacobs Dizzy Spell Lipstick Make Up For Ever Plexi-Gloss in 102P plus Marc Jacobs Dizzy Spell LipstickWearing Marc Jacobs Dizzy Spell under 102P. Also wearing Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Smoky Emerald – fabulous, fabulous eyeshadow!!

Do you mind wearing a thicker gloss to achieve longer wear time? What are your thoughts on glossy lips in bold, bright shades?

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YSL La Laque Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue

About a year ago, I finally decided that bright, bold, cobalt blue nails WERE, in fact, as fabulous (about 3 years after the trend surfaced), but as I wasn’t sure if the shade would suit me, I dipped a toe in by picking up Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue for $2.99. If it didn’t work out, no harm no foul at that price. As it turned out, while I liked the shade I wasn’t over the moon about it, and I promptly put it away never to wear it again.

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

Still, the color haunted me. I wasn’t satisfied for some reason, and onto my wishlist went YSL’s Bleu Majorelle, one of the most iconic iterations of the shade (I believe Nails Inc. Baker Street was the first of it’s kind). The high $27CAD price tag deterred me however, and I kept holding off, until one day I came to notice that my local Sephora stopped stocking the YSL polishes altogether. At that point, of COURSE then I had to have it ASAP. Conveniently, my observation occurred during the Sephora ‘Love Notes’ spring sale, so into my online basket it went.

YSL Bleu Majorelle

There are NO regrets, people. THIS is what I was really looking for. Though Pacific Blue is a close contender and would do in a pinch if you’re looking to get on the cobalt blue bandwagon on the cheap, Bleu Majorelle has a richness and brightness that the Sally Hansen shade lacks, and it truly makes all the difference (to me anyway).  On top of that, the formula is TOP NOTCH – along with a ridiculously smooth and easy 2-coat application, note that these photos were taken 5 days into my manicure with not a chip in sight. This rarely happens for me – no matter what the brand, I almost always have chips by day 3. For once, I feel like the higher price tag is (nearly) justified.

YSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

YSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue comparison swatchesYSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue comparison swatchesLeft: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue; Right: YSL Bleu Majorelle

YSL Bleu Majorelle swatch

These are the kind of polish purchases I enjoy now: one in, one out – I have no need for SH’s version so it will be passed on for someone else to enjoy. I should have known better, really, because I always prefer the ‘real thing’ and any time I try to make substitutions (with almost anything in life – food, makeup, etc.) I end up feeling unsatisfied and filling that void until I go ahead and get the real thing in the end. In this instance it wasn’t a big deal/loss, but something I really try and adhere to.

YSL Bleu Majorelle swatch

On a final note…bonus points for anyone who notices what is different in the picture above ;)

Did you get on the cobalt blue trend when it began? Are you content with ‘dupes’ or do you need the ‘real deal’?

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Make Up For Ever is feeding my black liner addiction

Like most everyone else, I go through phases with things. I remember one year during university, I kept buying white clothing – white skirts, pants, dresses, blazers…you name it, I had it in white. It was my JAM. And I am a fairly careful, non-klutzy person so my white clothes stayed white (except that one time I bought a white pant suit to wear to a formal event [nothing underneath but a bra {scoundrel!}] and I got drunk and spilled a purple candle down my front…not good, my friends]. It was a good year. Strangely enough, a few years later and I found myself with hardly any white clothes, and a closet full of black. UGH! Yes, it’s classic, but honestly black is so blah – I’m still recovering from THAT phase, trying to introduce more color into my wardrobe. It’s a process.

Needless to say, of COURSE I go through phases in makeup as well. As evidenced in my 2014 purchases post, I bought a LOT of lippies last year – I was on a huge roll. But when I realized I had oodles of eyeshadows going unused in favour of a bold, bright lip, I started wearing shadows more than lipstick, and I flipped the game yet again.

MUFE Graphic Liner

Lately, though you might not know it to see me (still wearing a lot of shadows…), I’ve been on a big black eyeliner kick. When I was wearing a lot of fun lip colors, black eyeliner was the perfect companion to polish off my look without seeming overdone. Apparently, that idea has a strong hold on me, as somehow I’ve managed to amass SIX black liners over the past couple years (a bit excessive, don’t you think?). The most recent addition to my collection is one of Make Up For Ever’s newest addition to the line, their Graphic Liner ($29CAD) – an inky black liquid liner pen.

MUFE Graphic LinerMUFE Graphic Liner swatch

The Graphic Liner pen is much like any other liquid liner out there – it has a foam-tip applicator that allows for good control and the ability to draw a thin or thick line. It’s a nice, dark black – not charcoal like Rouge Bunny Rouge’s Nocturnal Ink – and it applies easily and wears very well throughout the day. If I hadn’t *just* purchased Kat Von D’s Ink Liner a month earlier, I’d be very pleased with this – it’s an exceptionally good black liquid liner that does everything is promises. However, it’s almost identical in function and form to the KVD version, and only slightly larger in size (0.03oz vs. KVD’s 0.02oz), though it’s $6 more here in Canada (KVD’s is $23). I don’t usually like to write a review on a product and compare it so plainly to another, but honestly these two are so, SO close in how they perform, down to their applicators and the color of line.

IMG_0081The tip on the Kat Von D liner is slightly shorter and thinner, but they operate exactly the same to me.

In fact, the color of the Graphic Liner is similar to most my black liners…but of course, the application of a liquid vs a gel or cream vs a pencil is not comparable at all.

IMG_4030Chanel Waterproof Liner in Noir Intense, Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eyeliner in 1, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, Make Up For Ever Graphic Liner in Black, Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink in Friesian

I guess what I’m saying overall is that Make Up For Ever’s offering is quite lovely, but there are other options out there that are equally as nice. If you’re a big fan of the brand (I am!), then you might choose their version over another just because. But if you already own Kat Von D’s liner, or another similar one, you probably don’t need to rush out and buy this one.

Currently, I’m trying to re-introduce the black liner to my routine in an effort to lessen the hoard…think it might take a while, hmm??

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What is your favourite black liner? What formula do you prefer? 

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

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Quickie Post: Rescue Beauty Lounge Oh Slap! swatches

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I’m trying to clean up any lingering photos I have kicking around that I haven’t yet posted, start the year off fresh. I actually am feeling a bit more inspired lately so hopefully that translates into some interesting stuff for you guys to read/see! But I gotta do a little housekeeping first :) Last year there were some pretty good promos coming from Rescue Beauty Lounge – free shipping being one of them. Almost every time Ji offered free shipping (I think it happened at least 3 times), I ended up picking up a shade or two; I just couldn’t resist. Truth be told, I’m actually not a HUGE fan of some of her shades – they’re a little too ‘out there’ for me at times (guess I’m boring like that) – but her formula has always been spot on, if nothing else. Over the course of the year I picked up 3 shades: Stormy, a moody grey creme; Mismas, a bold purple creme; and most recently, Oh Slap!, a girlish pink crelly. I have yet to wear any of these shades as full manicure yet (shame on me), but I hope to rectify that very soon. However, I already have a favorite – Oh Snap is such a feminine, pretty pink that I can’t resist it’s charm. RBL Oh Snap! swatch This is 3 coats, and though you can still see VNL, I don’t mind it at all. It flows on the nail so nice and evenly that the sheerness doesn’t seem to detract from the polish itself (in my humble opinion). It’s just so darn gorgeous! As always, I checked for dupes in my existing collection, and was nervous at first because another RBL polish I own, Poco a Poco, seemed mighty close to Oh Slap! in the bottle. However, when applied, the two are definitely different. While they run in the same color vein, Poco a Poco is completely opaque, and leans a bit greyish. Additionally, Poco a Poco has very fine reddish shimmer, whereas Oh Slap! is just one creamy tone. Below you can see the differences clearly; Oh Slap! is on my index and ring fingers, Poco a Poco is worn on my middle and pinky.

RBL Oh Snap! vs Poco a Poco swatchDirect sunlight.

IMG_4023Shade.

RBL Oh Snap vs Poco a PocoArtificial light.

I think Oh Slap! is going to be THE perfect shade to wear come spring (though it’s suitable for any season, really), and I can’t wait to pull it out again and again. It’s a great shade that would go with a lot of looks but isn’t too neutral or boring in the least. Now all I need to do is just WEAR it already!!

Do you own any RBL polishes? What are your thoughts on the shades in general?

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Maybelline Summer 2014: Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea

Lately I’ve been finding myself buying more drugstore makeup than usual – partly due to the fact that we’re saving like mad for our downpayment toward a new home (thus, pricey makeup is kind of a no-no), and partly due to the fact that there have been some good sales lately, and that’s the ONLY time I buy drugstore makeup (ironically, I can’t justify paying full price for a drugstore product, but don’t bat an eye at spending $40 on a department-store blush. Go figure).

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea

On Saturday, while working at the Clinique counter in one of my local Shoppers Drug Marts, I spotted the Limited Edition summer 2014 collection from Maybelline. The last time I worked at the store, a few weeks earlier, I gave the serious eye to one of the Color Tattoos, #115 Shimmering Sea, as it has some major iridescent, duo chrome goodness that few of the makeup obsessed can ignore. This time, it was on sale for $5.99CAD and there was only one left – obviously, it was a no-brainer ;)

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea

Though I’d seen beautiful swatches and read the glowing review of this shade on Maggie’s blog, I was unsure if this pale blue shade was going work on my darker skin tone – pale blue isn’t exactly a colour I wear well, but I was hoping the inclusion of beautiful golden shimmer would help make it work. When I applied it to my arm for a swatch, in dull light it looked like a plain light blue frost shadow – ick. But in sunlight – OH YEA, BABY. That’s when the magic happens!

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea swatchIn indirect light/shade.

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea swatch Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea swatch Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea swatch Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea swatchIn sunlight (I could literally take photos of it like this ALL day!)

I am truly enamoured by how this looks, both in the pot and in swatches – it’s so freakin’ gorgeous! I want a car this colour LOL!

Still, even though it was beautiful in swatches, how would it look once worn? I put it to the test this AM – and by test I REALLY mean test, as I put it on first thing in the AM because I could.not.wait., then took a shower with it on – while it faded, it was definitely still noticeable when I got out of the shower! (*Note that I didn’t wash my face so, obviously it would come off with soap lol). So we know the wear time is pretty decent. The second test was the shade…let’s see how it fared!

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering SeaIn indirect light/shade.

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering SeaIn sunlight.

Though the iridescence isn’t as strong on the lid, it’s still present, and in person it’s more apparent than in these photos. Thankfully, the pale blue tones aren’t opaque and strong enough to clash with my darker skin tone, and it wears as an easy shimmery, summery shadow that just adds a bit of interest to the eye but isn’t garish. I’ve been favouring subtly shimmering shades lately, so this is another one to add to the roster!

Here’s a full-face shot that shows the effect better:

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea

My hair looks really lopsided here – sorry guys! It’s so hot here today that my hair shrunk right up after the shower – it doesn’t get frizzy too much unless I play with it, but it sure does get even curlier! :S

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in #115 Shimmering Sea

Overall, I’m really pleased I picked this up (even though I’m pretty sure I just said less than a month ago that I need to stop buying eyeshadow). Though I do favour bold lips, sometimes a pretty eye look is just what I’m seeking, and I think this will work well throughout the year as a pretty one-and-done shade, or as a beautiful base. For $5.99, even if it sat in my drawer and never saw the light of day again, I wouldn’t feel too terribly!

Did you pick up anything from the Maybelline Limited Edition summer collection? What products have been catching your eye at the drugstore lately?

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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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MAC Heavenly Hybrid Lipstick: A Delayed Review

I took shots of this lipstick ages ago but never got around to posting about it – and then when the time came, I thought it would be long gone for purchase (which is just plain MEAN to do with a lipstick this pretty!). Just out of curiosity, I *just* checked online, and lo and behold this shade is available to purchase on the Canadian site (but sadly, is ‘out of stock’ on the US one)!  And so, I thought it fitting to do a little show n’ tell for you all :)

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

From the ‘Fantasy of Flowers‘ spring collection, Heavenly Hybrid is a Lustre formula, which are thought to be somewhat moisturizing with a mostly semi-opaque finish, and is described as a ‘mid tone berry.’  I have a couple shades in this formula, and while I don’t find it hydrating, I don’t find it drying either – I notice it tends to wear off quicker than other formulas and lipsticks (about 2 hours, tops) and usually leaves me feeling like I need to reapply in order for my lips to feel moisturized at all. However, I will say that with Heavenly Hybrid, the more intense colour means that it wears longer that other shades I have in the formula, so for that I give it good marks overall.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid

I find the colour in the bullet is a little more muted than what you see on the lips, as you’ll see in the swatches below. But that’s all to the better, because I find this is the perfect shade of berry – bright but not too in-your-face, veering near fuchsia but retaining a deeper berry tone to make it more wearable day-to-day.

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

Essentially, I LOVE IT.  This shade is insanely wearable, and über flattering. As its not fully opaque, it looks softer than a full-on bright pink, but it’s not dull or boring in the least. It also brightens the face instantly, so with very effort you can look pulled together and pretty in a heartbeat.  And it’s perfect for spring – or pretty much any season, really!

MAC Heavenly Hybrid swatch

If you haven’t guessed, I’m loving this lipstick. Even better, I managed to snag it via Back2MAC empties, so this is like a MEGA WIN. I have to admit, I’m pretty surprised that it’s still available online considering how great a colour it is. But YAY for you guys! I highly recommend checking it out some way, somehow…I promise you won’t regret it!

What is your most wearable lipstick? 

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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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