Posts Tagged Swatch
When Illamasqua had a 15% off sale last month, I finally had to give in a pick up a few items. At the least, I knew I wanted to get a blush and a nail polish, as they’re both so highly regarded in the beauty world and I wanted to be in on that fun! I picked up Tweak, a ‘deep hot pink’ blush with a matte finish – I’m loving bright, bold color for cheeks lately – and after looking at a few swatches of polishes online, I settled on Baptiste, a ‘deep royal purple’ polish with a fine shimmer finish. It’s not an extraordinarily unique shade, but somehow I don’t have anything like it so it seemed like a good choice. For good measure, I also bought Havoc, part of this seasons’ ‘Theatre of the Nameless‘ collection – an aubergine liquid liner that is sorta brown, sorta burgundy, and all kinds of awesome.
These three li’l items have TOTALLY been rocking my world the past few days. I can’t recall being this happy about a haul for a while; every piece I purchased is absolutely amazing. Let’s go through each one by one so as not to miss anything!
Illamasqua Tweak Powder Blush
Tweak is a majorly pigmented fuschia blush that leans more warm than cool, noticeably when compared to the other hot pink I have in my stash, MAC’s Madly Magenta. As such, it looks much more natural and flattering on me than MM (though I still dig that color too!), and packs a serious punch with very little product. The powder is soft and picks up easily on my blush brush, and a light dusting leaves me with flushed cheeks that definitely demand attention – I don’t know if I’d be comfortable wearing a whole lot of other makeup with this blush for fear of overdoing it. However, I’ve seen photos of celebs rocking the bright cheeks and smoky eyes or strong lips together, so I’m sure it can be done – it just needs to be applied correctly!
Wear of this product was beyond any other blush I own, hands down. It was still going strong after a full day at the office and an hour cat nap afterward – that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Majorly impressive. It retails for $26.50CDN.
Illamasqua Baptiste Nail Varnish
Baptiste ($22CDN for Illamasqua varnish) is a lovely violet polish with a hint of shimmer, that isn’t too apparent in regular lighting, but comes to life in the sunshine, with flecks of hot pink and blue throughout (click on the pics below to view the multicolored shimmer better). Even though I can get a tad irritated with these ‘hidden shimmers’ that a lot of polishes have lately (because ummm…we just don’t have enough sun here in Hali to showcase it properly – and also, c’mon, I work in an office!), I’m enjoying the color of Baptiste so much in this instance that I’ll be forgiving this time around.
And now, a million (give or take) photos:And ok, the application for this polish? Pure pleasure. The two coats flowed more easily than any other polish I own, I’m fairly certain. Absolutely no issues at all – it didn’t dry so fast that it pulled or caused patchiness, but it didn’t take so long to dry that it smudged at all, despite my easily distracted brain. And note: in these photos, there is neither base nor top coat. I really wanted to put it to the test due to hearing so many rave reviews about the formula, and so far I’m extremely pleased. The most minor of tip wear after four days, and I suspect it could have gone a full week with just the same if I hadn’t gotten adventurous and done this:
As you may know, I’m not a huge fan of nail art of any kind, but I was feeling creative this week (Halifax Pop Explosion, what!?) and thought this would be appropriate for rocking out at a bunch of shows. I’m actually liking the effect quite a bit, what do you think?
One thing I will say is that after doing the half-moon, I did apply a top coat and I love the intensity of Baptiste with a glossy top coat on top – brings out its gorgeousness so much more!! Love, love, love it.
Illamasqua Havoc Precision Ink Eyeliner
New favorite liner! Perfect color – not brown, not black, more of a dark brick red – and it totally offsets my brown eyes.It applies SO easily, slicking on with hardly an effort for a liquid liner, and DOES. NOT. BUDGE. Like, holy smokes this liner didn’t move an inch all freakin’ day (again, even after my power snooze!). Check out the proof in these photos taken after wearing the liner for almost 12 hours and after a nap:Yowwwww. How’s THAT for staying power! Looks like I just applied it! And note – this is with absolutely no primer or anything else on my eyes to enhance the wear – what you see is the liner worn entirely by itself. It’s not at all cheap at about $27.50CDN (does it seem weird to anyone else that it’s [a tad] more than the blush??), but considering that everything else about this liner is a major pro, I think it’s extremely worth the cost.
For my first foray into the dark and sensual world of Illamasqua, it was quite the experience and (unfortunately) they have made a serious convert outta me. It’s a real problem that we can’t get the brand here in Canada, because the shipping costs and the higher price tag of the product causes it to be quite prohibitive to purchase for all of us North of the border. If you’re living in Canada (or elsewhere that doesn’t have Illamasqua), and a beauty aficionado like myself, I say give in and go for it at least once, just to check out the line – from what I’ve seen so far, it’s SO worth a temporary dent in your bank account. Otherwise, I’d say keep it on the mental backburner for now – but if you’re in the States anytime soon (or somewhere where they sell the brand, ya lucky dogs!), high-tail it to a Sephora/Selfridges/Debenhams/etc. and check it out!! You won’t be disappointed
I’m starting to accumulate a backlog of nail swatches that I haven’t yet featured on the blog; not that its a bad thing, because it’s handy when you’re pressed for time but want to leave a lil sumthin’ sumthin’ for your readers – kinda like right now! This week is the Halifax Pop Explosion, and being one half of a majorly music-loving duo, we’re hitting up as many shows as we can! Which means…even less time in my already hectic life, and therefore less time to blog. On that note, check out this random polish I bought like, two Spring’s ago that I only picked up because I got a pedicure with it before I went down South, and then never wore again. SO not my kinda shade, but I can see it totally being someone else’s! So, here it is:A cool-toned pink with blue shimmer. Sounds cool, but totally bores me ~snooze~Easy enough to apply, but dislike that you can see visible nail lines. Probably could have avoided that with another (third) coat, but not diggin’ it. This polish has been up for swap for ages and no one else seems to want it either. I don’t blame them lol.
That’s all for now! Gotta run to the next show!
Have a great night everyone
Though my true love affair with nail polish started about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t as good at posting swatches and reviews of shades until more recently. Because of this, there is somewhat of a backlog of polishes in my stash that are from previous collections that never got any love – until now. Only 15 more shades to go!
Here’s (another) polish from Fall 2010 – Zoya’s Edyta, a deep shimmering olive with some serious luminosity goin’ on. With the olive/khaki/army green trend going strong, this still fits the bill, but with a little extra punch – some major shimmer/glitter action! In the swatch below, it reminds me a bit of a green version of Graphite!Edyta is fairly reflective, and looks almost metallic here, but with the added shimmer particles it steers clear of that territory altogether on the nail. Gold and green micro-shimmer punctuates the shade and give it more depth than expected at first glance (click the above photo to really see the various colors!). In the right light, the luminosity really comes to life.As per usual, formulation was Zoya-awesome: two easy flowing, thin coats to opacity – no streaking, pulling, or patchiness. Removal is a touch of a chore due to the high shimmer content, but nothing truly off-putting.
While Edyta is a beautiful polish, no doubt, my interest in the shade has waned considerably as newer shades have crossed my path. There are only so many colors that have captured my heart indefinitely – otherwise, they’re just like that quote about friendships coming into your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” In this case, it was just a season – and it gave me a lot of joy at that time! And now……I’m kinda over it
Are there any polishes in your stash that you once loved but now have lost the love? Do you keep these shades or pass them for other people to appreciate them?
I have been delinquent in getting this review out, and I apologize! Nail polish reviews are much easier because you just throw them on, snap a few shots, and go. Personally, when I’m looking at polish swatches I want to know two things – the color, and the formula/application. Wear time is a moot point for me because I don’t wear any color longer than 3 days. I know that some of you likely want to know how long a polish wears, but I’ll never be that gal to give you that info – I’m sorry! Please forgive my inadequacy in that matter.
Consequently, doing a review of makeup is trickier for me, mainly because I want to do a proper review that details wear
time – however, generally if I want a product to wear well I use a primer, which isn’t giving the true efficacy of the product. And, because my brain is always on max capacity, on the days I decide to forgo primer to note the accurate wear of a product, I forget to notice when it begins to fade during the day and my review is henceforth not entirely complete. Damn it! Also, it’s hard to keep it in mind as I don’t really care if my makeup fades throughout the day, I guess because I assume that it should. As long as it makes it past lunch, I’m happy lol. The only thing I want to maintain is my lips, and I personally like reapplying (because that means I’m using up a product – and woo-frickin’-hoo! to that because it means I get to buy more ). So…once again I’m failing you. Aaaand not selling myself / reviews too well! Don’t hold it against the blog! At the very least, you get to see some fun products while feeling better about yourself due to reading about my own shortcomings. So, ya’ll come back now, ya hear?
ANYWAY, enough of that. Let’s get to the good stuff. Like this eyeshadow duo from NARS – Grand Palais. Wow, I like this SO much more than I thought I would! This was a ‘OMG-I-haven’t-bought-any-makeup-this-month-and-I’m-dying-inside-and-oh-look!-I-have-a-gift-card-for -Mills-so-gimme-something-anything-I-don’t-care-what-it-is’ purchase. Which means that I grabbed this without really thinking or even trying it on first to see if it would look stellar/hideous on me. Thankfully, the Gods were smiling on my shopaholic-self that day and it’s fabulous. Let’s check out why.
The left side, with the taupe shade (my first taupe if you can believe it!), is a smooth, extremely wearable shade, with good color pay-off but quite natural looking on – not too dark or light, nor too shimmery. I always think of the golden color in the Rajasthan Duo, which is also a fantastic shade that works with pretty much everything. With those two colors alone I feel like I have two great base shades – one cool, one warm – that can be worn alone for subtle shimmer or paired with more intense shades as a compliment.
The right side has a dusty rose color which looks gross at first glance. That’s right, I said gross. It just doesn’t look appealing at all. But, in an effort to try something new (and to shop, as I mentioned), I just went with it. I ended up really liking the way it looks on my skin – it’s sort of like a re-invented version of brown, without being quite as expected, and it adds visual interest and dimension to a look. It’s a bit more stiff than the taupe side, but still smooth and applies well.
I tend to wear this duo two ways – either just in the crease, with the taupe shade layered over the rose side to soften it (usually for a no-makeup makeup look), or with the rose shade dusted lightly over the lid with the taupe shade in the crease/outer edge. It sounds reversed, but I found when I wore the rose shade in the crease with the taupe on the lid, it looked strange. With other colors it might work, but not paired together. While the rose shade is not really a ‘throw on and go’ shade, it really enhances the eye area when paired with the taupe, and I’m not disappointed in it at all. This duo could have been a real ‘buyers regret’ purchase but thankfully it isn’t at all! I use it quite often. For $38 CDN, I think it earns its value in wearability. It may not be wearable for all skintones though, so I would (smartly) check it out at the counter first.
How often do you make impulse purchases? Do they usually end up a good thing or a mistake?
I’m off to Cape Breton for the weekend to attend a wedding and enjoy the Celtic Colors festival!! I hope everyone has a fantastic long weekend and a great Thanksgiving (dinner)!!
Let’s keep the momentum going here – another Fall polish for your viewing pleasure: China Glaze Midtown Magic from the Metro collection!
This was one of my most coveted shades this season, and really the only one I wanted from ‘Metro.’ It’s a deep, dark, rich-looking plummy brown with amazing greeny-gold shimmer throughout. It does a great job of imitating the way a city looks at night, with all the golden lights shining against an inky sky. Magic indeed Unfortunately, my photos don’t do it justice at all. Although…I don’t know if the weather happened to be dreary while I was wearing this shade, but in person it didn’t look as magical as it did in other people’s swatches. But then, on occasion, it would REALLY come to life. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean here, I guess ultimately it was a somewhat tempermental shade and didn’t always show it’s best side, though it most certainly has one!
Anyway, here are some pics:In the right lighting, the sparkle is much more intense and gorgeous. Regardless of my poor photos / bad lighting, this is a great shade that is very wearable with just about anything, and adds a bit of glamour due to the shimmer. The formulation was good, thicker but flowed easily – however, I did find that it chipped faster than normal on me. Not too seriously, but just something to note.
Despite me not selling this shade all that well, it really is quite pretty and I think a definite shade to add to anyone’s collection. It’s relatively unique and perfect for the Fall season (and into Winter, really). If you can still find it (because it was the one shade that was sold out the first time I went to pick it up), it’s at Chatters salons across Canada, for $6.49 CDN.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!! Thanks for reading
Yet another shade picked up in my polishpalooza last month…good God I can’t wait to have these all worn/swatched already!! There are some shades from last year I’m actually dying to wear again, and I’m starting to get oversaturated with all these new shades Even though I change my polish every few days, I can’t seem to get through them all! Sheesh. I think I’ve got four more to go – I caved and picked up Essie’s ‘Power Clutch’ this week because I didn’t want to miss out on it, and suspected they’d be gone before I knew it – and I’m starting to see all the Holiday collections soon to be released, and I simply CANNOT justify buying anything else until these are all done. So let’s plow forward, shall we?
I Brake for Manicures (cute name) is a nice, glossy, vampy yet dusty eggplant creme. It’s a pretty shade, but somewhat boring. A great standby though that goes with pretty much everything. In some lights it gets pretty close to black, but because it’s got that dusty quality, it manages to duck out from under that category. Check it out:In other lighting, the plumminess is more prominent, as seen in the shots below:I used butter London’s Foundation base coat, and Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri top coat. Strangely, I had to use three coats of polish because I could see some patchiness – but I think that may have been due to doing my nails in a darkened room and having a tricky time properly seeing what I was doing LOL. But, the formulation is on the slightly sheer side. I advise waiting a bit longer than normal between coats, as it seemed to dry a bit slower.
Overall, I like this shade but am not wowed by it. I feel like that’s my mantra lately, nothing seems to do it for me anymore. Again with the oversaturation. Although I was (am) pretty enamoured with Peridot and Poco a Poco, of the recent shades I’ve picked up. So I guess I’m just a more discerning consumer now!
The OPI ‘Touring’ collection can be found at Chatters salons across Canada, each polish retailing for $9.95.
I noticed a lot of people searching for swatches of this shade online – what about it makes it stand out to you? Do you feel its more original due to the smoky quality of it? Are vampy shades your go-to in the cooler months?
*EDIT: Wow, this was such a quickie post that I forgot to put a title! ‘Scuze ME!
This is gonna be a quickie post (yea, how many times have I said that, and then rambled on and on ) – I’m mega-exhausted and don’t have the brain capacity to write much of anything.
And so, I present to you, RBL‘s Poco a Poco from the L’Oiseau de Feu ($18CDN):Very pretty medium mauve-pink with golden-hot pink shimmer throughout. It’s not as noticeable on the nail unless in direct sunlight (as witnessed in the photos below), as these ‘hidden shimmers’ tend to do lately. Nonetheless, I really like it!This is actually in natural light but not direct sunlight, so while I find you can tell the polish isn’t just a cream, the fire-y pink shimmer is unfortunately absent. What results is the polish looking quite cool and the mauve tones are more present.These last two photos were taken under light from a lamp, and you can see a bit more of the warmness in the polish due to the shimmer. The polish looks much more pink in this light.
I was surprized that I took to this polish, as I don’t own many shades like this and most variations of pink – unless extreme – don’t entice me at all. However, there was something so feminine about this polish, and the golden shimmer really grabbed my attention. The formulation wasn’t as nice as I would have liked – it was thicker and slightly goopy – but overall it wasn’t too much of a hassle to apply, and it leveled out itself out fairly well.
I’ve worn this shade on my toes for a full pedi (these photos were just for swatching purposes), and it looks equally as nice on toes. I hope to get a lot of wear out of this polish, there’s just something about it I love, application issues be damned.
Thoughts on this shade? If a polish has a less than stellar formula, do you steer clear or will a color win you over no matter what?
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading
Confession time. When I bought this polish last month, I wasn’t entirely sold on the shade. I desperately wanted Graphite, which I also picked up, but Peridot was purely a ‘Sheep purchase’ – the term I’m going to start using when I buy something to follow the status quo. It was a ‘must-have’ in the blogosphere, and I didn’t want to feel regret that I didn’t get it because everyone else did. But honestly, it just didn’t get me the same way Graphite did. And I was convinced it wasn’t going to look good with my skintone. Nonetheless, I spent the $27CDN and bought my very own bottle. It wasn’t until after painting for four days straight (OMG we’re exhausted, but ZOMG! – our house looks spectacular!!!!!!!!!) that I decided to wear this shade because it was ‘special’ (as in, mega-expensive-its-gotta-last-forever-special) and I deserved it. I didn’t hold any illusions about how it was going to look on me, but it is still an interesting shade regardless.
Blah blah blah. Seriously, I’m done talking, all I can say is: absolutely hands down my favorite polish that I own. The End. It applied better than any other polish I’ve ever used, like molten gold…and I simply CANNOT.STOP.STARING.AT.MY.NAILS. Not to toot my own horn but…..oh what the hell. It looks FABULOUS on me. 100% WIN.
Pics. Two coats. No more to say.
Truly and utterly wonderful. For once I really don’t have anything more to say. If you haven’t yet, and still can – buy this right now. NOW I said. You need to own it. I promise its so much more amazing in person. I absolutely do NOT buy backups for any product – I’m ready to move on when it’s done – but I am actually considering it with this polish.
What is the world coming to?
Will wonders never cease? Somehow, the Sparitual Fall 2011 collection was actually available here in Canada before it was officially released. I can’t believe it. Imagine my surprise when I strolled into Remedy Spa here in Halifax, to have my eyes rest upon the whole collection – before I had even seen swatches online! Unheard of.
Of course, I had to pick up a shade to commemorate this astounding event. My choice? ‘Sacred Ground,’ a beautiful muted taupe-ish grey with flecks of gold, green and purple shimmer throughout. At the time, I was trying to quell my desperate lemming for Chanel’s ‘Graphite’ as it hadn’t yet arrived in at our Chanel counter. It was no dupe, but it would do. In plain lighting, it just looks like a grey polish with shimmer……but in direct sunlight, the multi-colored shimmer appears! So pretty! (click to enlarge and get the full effect)In the last two photos you can see that its quite a mysterious looking polish, I love it!
‘Sacred Ground’ is my first Sparitual polish, and applied easily with no issues. I did notice some tip wear after the first few days, which you can see in the photos, but I’m not entirely sure that’s not due to my base coat – butter London Nail Foundation – as I find my polish chipping more often than usual since I’ve been using it. I’ll be doing a review on that at a later time.
Details: One coat butter London base coat, two coats of polish, one coat of S.Vite fast-drying top coat.
Size & Price: 0.5oz and retail for $13CDN.
Where to Buy: Remedy Spa (Granville St, Halifax).
When I brought S.Ground home, I realized I had another polish very similar to it – Joe Fresh’s ‘Gunmetal’, which is a shimmerying taupe-ish polish with pink and purple flecks in it. For added measure, I also swatched Chanel’s ‘Graphite’ to show shimmer intensity and color leaning:
You can see that a) Graphite is much sparklier, b) Graphite is much more green when paired with the cooler grey of Sacred Ground/Gunmetal, and c) Sacred Ground and Gunmetal are way close, no??
For me, the two polishes are close enough that I feel justified in giving one away. Of course, it’ll be the Joe Fresh version…Sacred Ground has the much more visible multi-colored shimmer that really makes it unique. Also, the Joe Fresh polishes, while easy on the wallet at $4 a pop, or 3 for $10, do not have the best formula – they pull a bit and are on the thicker side. So no dilemma there!
Sacred Ground is unique, easy to apply and I can imagine would look lovely on most any skintone. If you happen across it, I definitely recommend picking it up – it’s a very wearable shade that isn’t boring in the least!
What are your thoughts on ‘near’-dupes – keep ‘em or leave ‘em? If you can notices a slight but discernible difference, do they stay in your stash or move along?
Thanks for stopping by
I posted a quick swatch of this polish last week, in trying to show all the new Fall polishes I’ve picked up in the past month – now here is the full review.
Neeka is from the ‘Mirrors’ part of Zoya’s Fall 2011 collection, which contains 6 polishes with either frosty or shimmery finishes (as opposed to the creme finishes in the ‘Smoke’ part of the collection. Neeka is a dusty purple polish with pink, gold, and green shimmer flecks throughout. The shimmer doesn’t overwhelm the polish and remains somewhat demure, though clearly visible to the naked eyed.
I tend to gravite toward these murky, purple shades often, especially in the cooler months (check out my nail wheels for proof). Perhaps I’m getting a bit over-exposed to these colors, as I’m not as over-the-moon for Neeka as I expected I would be. It’s a beautiful polish, made unique by the shimmer, and looks very flattering on my skintone. But I’m not staring at my nails in awe (which I’m sort of making an unformal prerequisite to being a ‘keeper’ in my stash, starting…now) and already I’m dreaming of changing the polish – again (which would be my fourth change in a week…getting a bit outta hand here!).
What I think *might* be happening, is that I have so many untried nail polish to wear, that I’m just a tad overwhelmed and can’t appreciate them fully because I know I have another 25 to try out. Something to consider anyway; I won’t discount Neeka just yet.
Anyway, application for Neeka was easy, a touch thicker but flowed well. My brush is slightly wonky so it was a bit trickier to apply than normal, but nothing serious.
Details: Two coats of polish, with one coat of Sally Hansen Age Correct base coat and one of Seche Vite top coat.
Size: Zoya polishes are 0.5oz.
Price & Where to Buy: $8.75 at Nail Polish Canada, and online e-tailer. Around town Zoya normally goes for $9-11 (Be Well Spa or Jay Wells Salon).
Do you find you get oversaturated with one color and lose interest, or does your love stay true forever? Which shades do you normally gravitate toward?