Posts Tagged collection

OPI New Orleans Spring | Summer 2016 Collection – and something a little different

Well hello to those of you who still stop by my blog! It’s been quite a while, no? It’s true that a lot has gone on in the past month (Elena started at a day home and I returned back to work – eek!) but I’ve had opportunity to post, I just haven’t been feeling like it. I’m pretty much over READING beauty blogs let alone write one! It’s just the same old, you know? I’m so not interested in reading/writing reviews, and as I’m being particularly restrictive with my purchases (as usual, in an effort to reduce/streamline), I’m not too keen on reading about the new NBT (Next Big Thing) because that just creates WANT feelings and that’s not going to help my cause. But there’s always this desire to write, and to connect with people – and I’m still obsessed with beauty, as always – so even though I’m not feeling like doing the usual ‘thang’ I have been thinking a lot about writing *something*, so here I am🙂

I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t given you guys any details on our upcoming wedding (which will be in September!). So I thought maybe I’d give you an update on that and maybe add in an update about Elena as well because hey, she’s cute! Since I happen to have the new Spring/Summer collection from OPI, the theme of which is New Orleans, I figured I’d throw in some swatches of the shades for some visual interest and to kill two birds with one stone. Multitasking: it’s the way to go!

*Note: If you have any questions about a particular shade, such as it’s formula or on possible comparisons, let me know! I will gladly accommodate🙂

OPI Take a Right on Bourbon swatchOPI Take a Right on Bourbon

Planning a wedding while on maternity leave was quite fortuitous, because I was able to get all my vendors in place without any hassle – phone calls and day meetings were a cinch, so I was able to methodically research (which, admittedly, aside from the photographer, was minimal – I am SO not a bridezilla!) and meet with each service provider to ensure it was a good fit. Also, because I started securing people early (we set the wedding date 15 months in advance from when we got engaged), I had no issues getting each vendor that I wanted, so YAY!

OPI Let Me Bayou a Drink swatchOPI Let Me Bayou a Drinkso pretty!

In August, I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, Elena and 2 of my bridesmaids (the 3rd lives in Ottawa). I though I’d found the dress at a popular shop in the valley called Tatum’s (it seems to be where the majority of my friends have purchased their dresses), but then I truly found THE dress when we spent the better part of the afternoon at Chester & Felicity, a bridal shop here in Halifax. I can’t go into detail – I want it to be a surprise! – but OMG guys. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DRESS EVER!!!! I knew it when I first tried it on, but of course it was the most expensive dress of all of them so I held off. I came back a 2nd time with my mother and aunt to try it on again, and was instantly smitten all over again. My aunt, being like a 2nd mother to me my whole life, was gracious enough to offer to pay, so even though it’s still beyond what I think is reasonable to pay for a dress you’ll only wear once, I just had to have it. Seriously, just WAIT until you see this baby. SO. DAMN. AMAZING.

OPI Suzi Nails New Orleans swatchOPI Suzi Nails New Orleans

Of course, once the dress was picked, it was time to make sure my bridesmaids looked fabulous too! I did a wedding makeup in December, and the bridesmaid dresses were STUNNING and totally unlike your usual bridesmaid offerings. When I asked where they were from, I was told David’s Bridal, so that’s where we decided to look. My maid of honour had twins in October, so of course we waited a bit before going dress shopping, but by January she was (already!) looking great and we wanted to make sure the dresses were ordered in plenty time, so off we went to David’s to look at the selection. While they had a lot of your standard bridesmaid dresses, they also had several that were much more sophisticated and stylish, and we found the perfect choice – a long, Grecian-style one-shoulder dress with a defined waist and a sultry yet tasteful slit up the side. I really wanted the girls to have different color dresses, mimicking the colors of the sunset, and we lucked out – the dress comes in gorgeous shades of fuchsia, berry and plum. SO excited – they are going to look H.O.T.!

OPI Humidi-Tea swatchOPI Humidi-Tea

One of the last vendors I hired was the florist – we just met at the end of February. The company, Barefoot Blooms, is a florist and flower farm that embraces organic and sustainable farming practices, with flowers and greenery coming from their own garden and greenhouse. I really like the idea of utilizing local flora, being someone who prefers organic and local where possible anyway, so this seemed like the perfect fit. My visual for the bouquets is unstructured and a bit wild, so I think this also works with the kind of arrangements they specialize in. The reliance on local flowers also mean that the bouquets and arrangements won’t be finalized till close to the wedding, because our unpredictable weather means that the season for a certain type of flower may be affected. So, aside from the sole flower I know I want (dahlias), the rest is a bit up to chance! Which I kind of like (because I’m haphazard like that).

OPI Crawfishin' for a Compliment swatchOPI Crawfishin’ for a Compliment

So, thus far, stress levels have been very low while planning the wedding. I’ve only recently felt a bit of pressure to get our invites out – with 6 months to go, according to etiquette I actually have plenty of time, but since we didn’t send Save the Dates, I feel like sending the invites earlier is appropriate. We’ve opted to utilize a wedding website to track RSVPs, so I had to put in some effort to get that set up (finding photos of Ryan and me is HARD! Since he’s away 2/3rd of the year, we have hardly any to account for our years together). But finally I think it’s ready to go, so once we get the last of our addresses, we can move forward and send the invites out! THEN I think things will really start to ramp up.

OPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya swatchOPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya – love this shade!

Wait! There is one thing I’ve been dropping the ball on that it’s kind of important – the HONEYMOON! We are planning to go to Iceland for the ‘moon, right after the wedding, but aside from knowing the location I haven’t done much to plan it. This needs to get done! Once I get the invites out this will be at the top of the to do list🙂

OPI She's a Bad Muffuletta! swatchOPI She’s a Bad Muffuletta! Gorg. See it here with matching lips!

On the Elena front: she’s learning new things all the time and it’s just so fun to watch🙂 She’s not walking yet, but she’s doing a lot of standing up and peering over the coffee table at me or pulling herself up to cling to my legs lol.

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I’m in no panic, she already leaves a path of destruction wherever she goes, and I know that’ll only increase tenfold once she’s walking! I didn’t walk till 15 months myself so I can’t judge anyway. Ryan, on the other hand, walked at 9 months (!) – must have been much more motivated that Elena and me haha.

OPI Spare Me a French Quarter? swatchOPI Spare Me a French Quarter? 

As I mentioned, I started back to work, on March 1st. I wasn’t feeling stressed out about the return, but I wasn’t sure what to expect once I got back and how I’d feel. Perhaps because of that, it’s ended up being totally fine! The transition couldn’t have been easier – I started a new (acting) assignment right away, so I’ve been busy learning the ropes, and it’s been really nice to see all the old faces. I really like my colleagues and I know most of the people in our building since, as you know, I’m kind of a social butterfly, so it’s been nice to be back. Ryan happened to be home from work the first week I was back too, so that helped – he drove me to and from work and though I tried to handle the routine with Elena on my own (since I have to do it when he’s away), it was helpful in case I needed just a bit of assistance for those first few days.

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I miss Elena and spending our days together, but it just makes the time we DO have that much more precious. She’s adapted to the new routine (she goes to a day home) pretty well too, so that helps. And I think it’s a great opportunity for her to spend time around other babies/toddlers and gain a bit of independence. We have to let them grow up, even if we don’t want to sometimes!

OPI I Manicure for Beads swatchOPI I Manicure for Beads – sorry, I slept on this mani (as I wore it for a few days); the color is actually really pretty!

She’s had a doozy of a cold this week (classic kid who goes to day care), so it’s been a bit of a tiring week (Ryan went back to work Wednesday am), but she’s finally starting to get better and seem like herself again. It wasn’t all bad though – I got to get in some major snuggles, which I miss a lot!

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This kind of thing happened all the time when she was much younger, but after about 6-7 months she just always slept better in her crib. While I’m thankful for that overall, I do still wish she napped on me here and there – it’s one of my favourite things to do🙂

OPI Show Us Your Tips! swatchOPI Show Us Your Tips! – beautiful shade, but needs so many coats!

I’m not sure if you can tell in the previous photos or not, but Elena is still small – like, less than 14lbs small. She was truckin’ right along and gaining weight for quite awhile, but in the fall it slowed down to almost nothing, and she’s been hovering between the 13-15lb mark for months now.

IMG_5319That’s Elena with my friend’s 4 month old baby (!!), who is essentially the same size.

I try not to stress about it too much, because she seems like a very happy, healthy baby, and she has a great appetite, but of course as a mom you can’t help but worry a bit. So we’re seeing a paediatrician on April 1st to get her checked out to make sure there isn’t anything going on. Apparently there is a term they use for babies like Elena, called ‘Failure to Thrive’ which just means they aren’t growing as fast as your typical baby. A woman from work said her daughter (who is now 25) was only 18lbs when she was 2 years old, and I think that’ll be Elena – she’s just wee. That’s all (I hope) there is to it. It does make her extra cute!

OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys swatchOPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys – another fave!

I think that’s the update on Elena in a nutshell – I mean she learns a new skill what feels like every day, but overall nothing major has happened lately (like learning to walk or starting to really talk). She’s just a joy, really, and I am just trying to be present with her every day and take it all in because it goes by so fast!

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I mean c’mon – how cute is this kid!!?!

OPI I'm Sooo Swamped! swatchOPI I’m Sooo Swamped!

So there you have it – a bit of a life update plus a bit of polish fun! I’ve been pretty impressed with the OPI collections lately, I will say – there’s always a few shades I end up loving, and the formula is often on point, with a lot of cream shades being that creme-jelly hybrid that is such a pleasure to apply and wear. It makes it hard to keep my polish collection in check – though I have to tell you that I managed to get the number down to 50 this week!!! I’m quite impressed with myself, especially considering that every few months I receive another 24+ bottles from OPI that I have to weed through. You should SEE the giveaway pile!

So now – what’s new with everyone else!?

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OPI Starlight collection for Holiday 2015, Part III: The reds and the rest

OK! So let’s wrap up this up finally, shall we? Way to drag out a review, huh? At least I’m getting it done before the years’ end🙂 It only took me almost a month! (which, sadly, I feel kind of proud of lol…goes to show you just how free time I have!) I apologize for not getting the festive reds to you before Christmas – but red is the kind of color you can wear any time of year, really, so I guess it’s not that bad.

OPI Starlight Collection

Alternately, the other 3 polishes I’m going to show you are…well here, first let me show you what they look like in the bottles:

OPI Starlight collection

The look fairly innocuous, no? Sparkling, shimmering, glittering polishes for the holidays – perfect, right? But IRL, they’re just…no. Trust. You are NOT missing out on anything with those three, which is why I saved them for last. Here, lemme show you them first so you can feel reassured:

Is This Star Taken?

OPI Is This Star Taken? swatch

Of the three, this one is the least offensive – prismatic bar glitter in a silvery-pewter base. This one *could* be so cool but it still falls flat somehow. Maybe the base color needs to be more sheer? I took the swatch on an angle to show you the prismatic effect but for the most part it’s lost when looking at the nail directly. ~sad face~ It’s easy enough to apply though, 2 coats and you’re done.

Comet Closer

OPI Comet Closer swatch

This has a similar pewter-silver base but heavier on the silver, and I don’t like it as much on my skintone. Besides that, it contains gold micro glitter that leaves it just looking rough and bumpy, and again the effect is lost anyway in the opaque base. Overall BLAH.

By the Light of the Moon

OPI By the Light of the Moon swatch

This is the worst offender! Silver glitter chunks of varying size floating around in an opaque base – I think OPI is trying to make this a ‘thing’ but honestly, it’s just horrid. Remember Pineapples Have Peelings Too? BLECH. I just can’t with these, they make me angry just looking at them!

Ok, so those3 are a no-go…but the next 3 are quite nice, so this post isn’t a total waste! Let’s check them out:

Love is in My Cards

OPI Love is in My Cards swatch

Though I don’t wear red polish much (despite having like, 10 red polishes…WTF), I really like this one! It’s bold, bright and leans ever so slightly cool, and I find it very flattering on my skintone. I’m tempted to hang on to this and maybe ditch a couple other bright reds I have. Great formula too, super easy to apply and I think this swatch is only 1 coat!

Ro-Man-ce on the Moon

OPI Ro-man-ce on the Moon swatch

A cool-ish red metallic, standard holiday fare. In my photos this looks almost identical to ‘Love is in My Cards‘ but the metallic effect is more pronounced in person. I like this one too, but I prefer my Misa Red Pumps at the Nordstrom more – I think the depth of color is a bit stronger in that one (also the name of the Misa polish is awesome). Again, this is only 1 coat!

Let Your Love Shine

OPI Let Your Love Shine swatch

You don’t need me to tell you that this polish is GORGEOUS! This is the kind of red I gravitate toward (and most of the reds I own are similar to this – more of a deep shimmering red). This is kind of a cross between Lippmann’s Through the Fire (for the color) and Zoya India (for the larger shimmer particles). It did require 2 coats but that ain’t no thang. I love this one – definitely a keeper.

OPI Starlight Collection

That’s it, we’re done! Hoo-frickin’-ray. Overall I am really digging the collection (see Part I and Part II here if you haven’t seen them already!) save for a couple of weird shades – it’s probably tough to come up with original polish mixes so I’ll forgive OPI for trying something new and failing miserably. I like that there weren’t TOO many reds and that they had a handful of non-traditional holiday shades, so that the collection is still wearable for the whole winter season.

And of course – some outtakes for your viewing pleasure – hope everyone had a great holiday and has a fantastic New Year!!

IMG_3293 IMG_3294 IMG_3295I tell ya…you gotta move fast with this one! She’s getting more and more mobile every day🙂

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OPI Starlight collection for Holiday 2015, Part II: The silvers & (rose) golds

…Dang it. Getting this post up later than planned (surprise), but at least we’re still before Christmas Day! These next 6 polishes scream ‘New Years Eve’ to me anyway, so you have lots of time to grab ’em and wear ’em🙂

OPI Starlight Collection 2015

I wasn’t sure what to call these 6 as one shade only contains rose gold, and there are other silvers in the collection – but to be honest, these are the good ones. The others are…a bit strange. You’re not missing out, trust me. Anyway, on to the swatches!

I Drive a SuperNova

OPI I Drive a SuperNova swatch OPI I Drive a SuperNova swatch

This is a lovely silver foil that shimmers in the right light. As silvers go, I actually like it! Buuuut not as much as OPI’s Centennial Celebration, so I’m keeping that one over this one. CC is more sparkly/blingy and is slightly more pewter-leaning. But this is good! A teeny bit fussy to apply, but if you’ve got a steady hand you could probably get away with one coat (this is two), so it’s not such a big deal.

Super Star Status

OPI Super Star Status swatch

Because I hate glitter removal, I just polished one finger in Super Star Status, over my existing ‘SuperNova‘ manicure. However, this is all sorts of amazing and in-your-face glittertastic that I would *almost* be willing to wear this as a full mani for a big occasion. So gorgeous! The base is slightly sheer so I’d suggest putting one coat over top of another polish (I really like it with ‘Super Nova‘ rather than two coats of it on it’s own, because that removal process would be a major PITA!

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Meteorite

OPI

This is such a cop-out swatch, I’m sorry! I took shots of this over Press * for Silver (swatch below) and stupidly didn’t check them before removing the polish – they were all blurry and TERRIBLE and I just couldn’t bring myself to do the whole mani again. I suck, I know! If the polish was more fabulous, I would have taken one for the team, but at it is, this glitter is – blah. It didn’t look good over the polish either (actually it probably looks nicer here on a bare nail), the pieces are so weirdly shaped and it just isn’t my thang. The only thing I will say is I loved the color combo of gunmetal and rose gold.

Press * for Silver

OPI Press * for Silver swatch

This is probably the most subdued polish in the collection, though it’s still quite nice. I liked it when I wore it, but looking at it again in swatches I’m kind of…bored by it? Maybe it’s too complimentary to my skintone…I need a little bit of contrast. Super easy to apply though, a quick two coats and you’re done.

Ce-less-tial is More 

OPI Ce-less-tial is More swatch

I meant to put Ce-less-tial is More over Press * for Silver but completely forgot, so I had to go back and do a whole new manicure – but this time I wore Dior’s Gris-Or – it’s quite similar to ‘Press *‘ but it has that mild duo chrome flash that makes it stand out more. Obviously I’m keeping the Dior over the OPI! Anyway, I also think ‘Ce-less-tial‘ is all sorts of pretty, and I think I might wear it for my wedding manicure. Since it’s kind of a HUGE moment in my life, I guess I can deal with the glitter removal that one time😉 ‘Ce-less-tial‘ is more opaque than ‘Super Star Status‘ so you don’t need any other shade underneath unless you want to! Both glitters eat top coat like there is no tomorrow so to get rid of the texture I’d say load it up (like 2-3 coats…seriously).

Infrared-y to Glow

OPI Infrared-y to Glow swatch

These weird über-chunky glitters! I don’t get it. They’re really pretty in the bottle but on the nail…erm, not so much. Especially this one – at least the colors in ‘Meteorite’ were nice, this is too tone on tone and I’m not feeling it at all. Also, because these glitter pieces are so large, even with top coat they kind of flip up and don’t lay smooth. Ach…not a fan.

OPI Starlight Collection 2015

So there you have it! Two nice shades, two GREAT shades, and two WTF shades. Definitely don’t miss out on the sparkling goodness that is Super Star Status and Ce-less-tial is More, for a glitter hater like myself I can’t believe how much I loved them both – if you like glitter, you’ll LOVE these! If you’re a silver fan, I’d check out I Drive a SuperNova too, it’s great (just not as good as CC for me).

I’d like to say I’ll get the last six up before Christmas, but truthfully that’s unlikely! I’ll give you a quick spoiler in case you just can’t wait – Let Your Love Shine is a stunning sparkling deep red and is a must-have for the holiday season (or any time, really!). The two other reds are nice but not original, and the three other glitters are kind of bizarre, so I feel you can safely skip all those and not miss out.

OPI Starlight Collection 2015

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OPI Starlight collection for Holiday 2015, Part I: The Moody Hues

Ugh, you GUYZ. I’ve had these swatches done for a few days but Elena is keeping me on my toes, as usual! She’s been waking up at 4am for the past few weeks and is ready to PAR-TAY, she thinks it’s time to get up for the day and I’m DANG tired. Today she also thought resisting nap time was a great idea, so I’m just plain worn out. BUT I did finally get her down (I keep checking the monitor with fingers crossed that she’ll stay asleep for awhile) so what better time than to get these pics & post up?

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I am extremely surprised at how much I’m enjoying the Starlight holiday collection from OPI – metallics and glitters are generally NOT my jam, but these are really doing it for me so far! The sparkle on a lot of these really is ‘out of this world’ (cue the cheese) and they look so pretty and festive in the dim light cast by the fire and/or Christmas tree. I keep wanting to change my mani every day to try them all fully (but ain’t nobody in THIS house got time for that, sadly). I’m working my way through the swatches though so I will have them all up before Christmas, I promise! Today I’m bringing you the first 6 which are the more moody, mysterious hues of the 18 shades in the collection (which, if I’m being honest, is INSANE – 18 colors!? When did polish collections get so HUGE?).

All swatches were taken in natural light unless otherwise specified.

OPI Guys & Galaxies swatch

Guys & Galaxies – a deep dark brown-red. It looks a touch streaky in the swatch above, but IRL it’s not, though you do need 3 coats to reach full opacity. It’s very glossy on it’s own – the shot above is with no top coat. It’s an easy formula to work with overall, despite needing that extra coat (though it’s a *touch* staining). I think this is a very sexy shade – and it’s NOT near black, which makes me happy.

OPI I’m in the Moon for Love swatch OPI I’m in the Moon for Love swatch

I’m in the Moon for Love – this is a medium plum shimmer with golden micro-shimmer. Every time OPI comes out with a shade like this (Dutch’ya Love OPI?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Purpletual Emotion…), I’m like ‘eh’ – even though they all look flattering on my skintone, I just can’t get into these types of purples. There is a depth and richness to this shade that appeals to me (you can see it better in the 2nd photo, taken under artificial light), but I know it’ll just be another purple that I keep NOT wearing regardless. Good formula though, two coats to opacity, with no application issues at all.

OPI Cosmo With a Twist swatch OPI Cosmo With a Twist swatch

Cosmo With a Twist – a royal blue with lighter blue shimmer that looks purple in some light due to a duo chrome finish. This SHADE, you guys!!! So, so gorgeous – it really looks like Outer Space to me. It needs 3-4 coats to reach full opacity, but it’s totally worth it. I would have never picked up this shade if left to my own devices, but I’m SO happy I got to try it out. Perfect holiday shade that’s not your typical red/silver/gold.

OPI Give Me Space swatch

Give Me Space – a bold, medium blue with silver shimmer. This has a VERY slight prismatic effect that’s really only visible in sunlight – so don’t let that be a reason you pick it up! The first coat went on sheer but it managed full opacity in two coats. I found this shade a touch fussy to apply, it can pull in spots if not applied with a relatively quick hand. I suggest loading up the brush and applying coats in one go, versus dipping back into the bottle. This is a beautifully rich shade, but along with the shimmer being a let down it didn’t wow me.

OPI No More Mr. Night Sky swatch OPI No More Mr. Night Sky swatch

No More Mr. Night Sky – a sparkling gunmetal. This is quite sheer; it requires at least 3 coats and looks best with 4. Despite that: he-LLO, gorgeous! This is another polish I would have never picked up as I don’t gravitate toward shimmers, but holy smokes – this is so pretty!! It’s the most beautifully sparkly, twinkly polish I think I’ve ever seen. It looks particularly amazing in low lighting (the 2nd photo), so it’s PERFECT for the holiday seasons parties and hanging out by the Christmas tree.

OPI Centre of the You-niverse swatch

Centre of the You-niverse – a charcoal with silver shimmer and black glitter bits. This is 2 coats, though depending on how thickly you apply your coats you may need a 3rd. Even though it’s got minimal glitter, they’re so tiny they’re a pain to remove entirely. For black polish lovers though this is a great shade; top coat makes it really gleam.

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Sooo, basically I want to keep 4 of the 6 shades shown…that does NOT help me decrease my polish collection! Dang it. I just think these are so lovely for the holiday season or for any time you want a bit of sparkle that’s a little understated (re: not a full-on glitter) but still fabulous. Well done so far, OPI!

Photo outtakes: Last night when I took the bottle shots Elena hightailed it to where I was and got her grabby hands in there lol…at least I got one good shot (above) before the destruction!

IMG_3113 IMG_3118 IMG_3116 IMG_3115 IMG_3112Who, me?

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OPI Brights summer 2015 collection {swatches & review}

[This post contains press samples] Happy second day of summer! We’ve been having a lovely June so far, with a ton of sun sprinkled with a few rainy days to keep everything lush and green. As such, I’ve been switching up my mani & pedi shades on the regular, which is also helping me pare down my collection as I go through shade after shade and determine whether it stays or goes. The OPI Brights summer collection for 2015 kept me busy for a while, but I’ve finished all the swatches and have them to show you today! The collection contains 3 existing shades from the core collection, plus 6 brand new shades – all in varying finishes to keep things interesting.

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

I did a few mani/pedi pairings to easier facilitate the swatches, and also added comparison swatches for any shades that seemed to have close relatives in my existing collection. Let’s begin with the core shade Hotter than You Pink and new shade I Sea You Wear OPI:

OPI Hotter Than You Pink and OPI I Sea You Wear OPI swatches

Hotter than You Pink is described as a…’hot pink’, how novel. It’s a bright pink shade with a blue iridescent flash that I’m sure is a favourite for many. These kinds of colors aren’t my bag, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – and the formula for this one is great, two coats to opacity and it flows easily on the nail with no drag.

I Sea You Wear OPI is yet another shimmering aqua confection from the brand, an iridescent metallic that is a classic come summer. This one is a bit sheer, like some other similar OPI shades, and requires 3 coats – even then, you can still see a bit of my nail line in certain lights (like above). It’s pretty though, and the formula otherwise is good with no patchiness.

Hotter than You Pink reminded me of the shade Hang Ten Toes from China Glaze’s Neon collection from 2012. Both that have blue flash, but CG’s polish is less shimmery and more cool-toned:

OPI Hotter than You Pink vs China Glaze Hang Ten Toes comparison swatchLeft: OPI Hotter Than You Pink; Right: China Glaze Hang Ten Toes

I figured I Sea You Wear OPI would be very similar to either the brand’s This Color’s Making Waves (recently reviewed) or Catch Me In Your Net, but it isn’t at all – it’s much more blue and shimmery (rather than metallic) than the former; and though similar in hue, it’s considerably lighter than CMIYN, with less depth.

OPI I Sea You Wear OPI comparison swatchesLeft to right: OPI This Color’s Making Waves, OPI I Sea You Wear OPI, OPI Catch Me in Your Net

Next, I paired Life Gave Me Lemons with I STOP for Red:

OPI I STOP for Red and OPI Life Gave Me Lemons swatches

Life Gave Me Lemons is a core shade, a ‘citrusy lemon-lime’ creme that is very cheerful-looking. It does have a bit of green in it, which for some might make it more wearable than just a straight yellow, which can be tricky on some skintones. While I don’t love yellow polishes on the whole, I actually didn’t mind this – it’s just so happy-looking! Also, for a yellow, the formula isn’t all that bad – it requires a bit of care when applying, but it wasn’t as fussy as other yellows I’ve come across. This is two coats.

I STOP for Red is a tomato red crelly (creme-jelly hybrid) that has the best squishy texture I’ve seen! Though the shade is nothing new, it’s the texture that really makes it stand out – it’s so juicy and delectable. On shorter nails, two coats will do, but on longer nails or if you prefer no VNL, I’d go with three.

The green tones in Life Gave Me Lemons is much more apparent when compared to other yellows:

OPI Life Gave Me Lemons comparison swatchesLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Yellow, OPI Life Gave Me Lemons, butter London Jasper

It’s much more dull (and more glossy) compared to American Apparel Neon Yellow (my fave yellow EVER and the only one I have kept in my collection), though both have that touch of green. butter London’s Jasper on the other hand, is more *ahem* butter-y, and more of a true yellow color.

OPI I STOP for Red comparison swatchesTop to bottom: Essie Meet Me at Sunset, OPI No Stopping Me Now, OPI I STOP for Red, OPI Aloha from OPI, Essie Come Here!

IT IS FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE TO PHOTOGRAPH REDS!!! Gah. The five shades above look identical, I’m sure, and though they are VERY close, they are not the same. Essie Come Here! is more pink, OPI No Stopping Me Now and Essie Meet Me at Sunset are both more orange, and OPI Aloha from OPI is more coral. Though the latter is closest in tone, it’s a straight creme and doesn’t have that glossy, squishy texture.

The last pairing I did was with My Car Has Navy-gation and Down to the Core-al:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation and OPI Down to the Core-al

My Car Has Navy-gation is a gorgeous deep indigo blue that sadly is a bit of a disappointment once worn. It’s on the sheer side (this is three coats) and is streaky in it’s application. I think they were trying to achieve that crelly texture with this shade, too, but alas it didn’t translate properly in the final product. Let’s take a closer look:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation swatch

The last of the core shades, Down to the Core-al is a ‘brilliant coral’ which has a touch of violet flash. This was quite pretty, a bit different than your standard summer coral, and easy to apply (this is two coats). Just the right hint of shimmer.

I own a fair number of blue polishes, but nothing was really like My Car Has Navy-gation:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation comparison swatchesLeft to right: Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, OPI My Car Has Navy-gation, YSL Bleu Majorelle

Lippmann’s I Know What Boys Like is more purple and less vivid, and YSL’s Bleu Majorelle is much brighter and without ANY purple tone.

OPI Down to the Core-al swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Down to the Core-al; Right: OPI Go With the Lava Flow

Once again, I thought a shade from the recently released Hawaii-themed collection from the brand would be very similar to Down to the Core-al; Go With the Lava Flow is a coral shimmer polish as well, but it is more shimmery and darker, and with a more murky quality to it (which you can’t really see in the photo above).

Can’t Hear Myself Pink! is described as a ‘shimmering metallic pink’, but there’s more to it than that. Though it’s more obvious in the bottle than on the nail, there is a subtle orange duochrome that elevates this shade and makes it more unique. Alone, this shade is pretty enough, but a touch sheer and requires three coats. On my index finger, I layered Can’t Hear Myself Pink! over Down to the Core-al, and this brought out the duochrome and intensified the shade beautifully. I don’t own anything even close to this shade.

OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch

My regular readers know I’m not a fan of glitter polishes, and hot pink glitter On Pinks and Needles is no exception. It’s fine, it’s cute, but not for me – here it is layered over Life Gave Me Lemons (on only one nail because glitter removal is a P.I.T.A.):

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Finally, we have my favorite shade from the collection, The Berry Thought of You, a ‘delectable purple.’ It’s a beautiful purple-based berry that has a touch of that crelly texture and an uber-glossy finish. Two coats and you’re good to go.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch

Dior’s Bloom polish, an LE shade from last spring I believe, is thisclose to The Berry Thought of You but a hint more pink. If it weren’t Dior, I’d get rid of it because I love the OPI shade more; as it is I’m keeping them both…for now. American Apparel’s Neon Violet has the same purple undertones but is more vivid (and matte, as neons tend to be); Nicole by OPI’s In Grape Demand looks straight-up purple in comparison.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch comparisonsLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Violet, Dior Bloom, OPI The Berry Thought of You, Nicole by OPI In Grape Demand

Though I didn’t find many of these truly ‘bright,’ OPI suggests layering them over white to make them truly pop, and while I didn’t try that I suspect I would have gotten a better effect by doing so. Nonetheless, I liked most of these shades and I think it’s a solid summer collection with a variety of color and finishes from which to choose. I actually am keeping a few of these, namely: The Berry Thought of You (naturally), Can’t Hear Myself Pink! (for layering over similar shades), and I STOP for Red (dat texture, tho!). Hooray for summer!

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

Has summer arrived where you are? Will you check out this year’s OPI Brights collection? What kind of shades do you gravitate toward in the summer?

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Make Up For Ever gives ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ a touch of class

When I was in New Zealand, I spent a lot of time traveling around on a bus. To pass the time, I read a handful of books, two of them being part of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. There are a couple points to note here: I only read two of the three books; and I read more than one of the books only because at that time I had nothing else to read. Are you getting the picture yet? Quite honestly, I found the ‘Fifty Shades’ books ridiculous – the sexy bits were repetitive and silly, and I actually started to skip over them to get to the ‘meat’ of the novel. I struggled to get through the second book, and I had NO desire to read the third novel and find out how Christian and Anastasia ended up.

NEVERTHELESS. This should not be taken to mean that I will not give a ‘Fifty Shades’ themed makeup collection my full attention and appreciation – particularly one from a favourite brand of mine, Make Up For Ever. The Fifty Shades of Grey Give In to Me make-up coffret ($90CAD) by the brand is especially worthy of a serious look – even though I could take the books as anything but!

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The kit contains a handful of Make Up For Ever’s most iconic products: their popular Smoky Extravagant mascara (review here – though please note that while my original review was less than stellar, the one in this set is quite lovely!), their new Graphic Liner (review here), two natural-hued lip products – a Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D14 (a shimmering indian pink) and a Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N4 (a pink-beige), and four neutral shades of the exquisite Artist Shadows, in I-514 (‘pink ivory’), S-556 (‘taupe grey‘), ME-612 (‘silver brown,‘ previous review here), and I-628 (‘reptile‘ {WUT?}).

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The Artist Shadows have been taking the beauty world by storm, and for good reason – they’re silky, smooth, pigment-rich and come in a vast array of colors and textures. The shades in this set are neutral but not boring and are all very different, so a variety of looks can be created (sometimes I find palettes like these contain shades that vary by only a fraction). I also enjoy that the palette can be worn by both cool or warm skintones – both the highlight shade (I-514) and crease/liner shade (I-628) are tonally neutral, with the taupe shade (S-556) leaning just a touch cool, and the shimmering brown shade (ME-612) warm. Lastly, can I just say that it’s so nice to see a palette like this in which the shadows are still as good quality as you would find if you bought them singularly (*cough* MAC, I’m looking at you *cough*)?

IMG_0294 IMG_0234Clockwise from top left: I-514 (‘pink ivory’), ME-612 (‘silver brown’), I-628 (‘reptile’), and S-556 (‘taupe grey’)

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The lip colors are complimentary to the shadows, both MLBB shades that would work with most looks and on most skintones. The Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N4 is a pretty shade of dusty rose, and the formula (previously reviewed here) is comfortable and lightweight, with a softly creamy finish. The Lab Shine lip glosses, here in D14, are some of the only glosses I’ve ever finished (previous shade reviews here and here) – in part due to their beautiful shine and wonderfully moisturizing qualities, and in part because they’re kinda small at 0.09oz (a YSL gloss by comparison is 0.2oz). I don’t mind much as it’s quite gratifying to finish a makeup item! – but something to note all the same. You can see below that in just using this regularly for the past few days that it’s already on it’s way to being used up.

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Below are swatches of the shadows and lip colors!

MUFE 50 Shades of Grey Makeup Coffret swatchesLeft to right: [Shadows] I-514 (‘pink ivory’), S-556 (‘taupe grey’), I-628 (‘reptile’), and ME-612 (‘silver brown’); [Lipstick] N4 (pink beige); [Lipgloss] D14 (shimmering indian pink).

MUFE 50 Shades of Grey Makeup Coffret swatchesClose up of Rouge Artist Natural in N4 and Lab Shine Lip Gloss in D14. 

Overall I think this kit is kind of awesome, and I’m not really one for makeup sets like this. Every item is a stand-out, and the palette is extremely wearable and appealing. If they had included a blush I would have died and gone to heaven! If you haven’t tried the brand yet, this would be the opportune moment to do so – though I see that this set is no longer on the Sephora website, so my apologies if I just created a lemming you can’t fulfill! I would definitely head to your local store to see if you can still score the set – but if you can’t, happily all of these shades are in the permanent line-up, so though it’s not a ‘deal’, you can still grab any shades/products that have caught your eye!

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The moral of the story? Even if you weren’t a fan of the books, don’t let that deter you from looking at Make Up For Ever’s take on the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise – theirs is probably the best thing to come from the phenomenon, hands down!

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Did you read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy? Will you see the movie? 

*Product(s) were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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My very own Lipstick Tag!

Yay!!  Danielle of Bloomin’ Beauty tagged me to do a Lipstick Tag, which has been making the rounds in the blogsophere for a while now.  I was desperately jealous of everyone else doing their tags and showcasing their enviable collections, and now I’ve gotten my chance!  Truth be told I was probably just gonna do my own solo post if I didn’t get tagged, but thankfully Danielle saved me from the embarrassment hehe.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1. How many lipsticks do you own?

IMG_1342Top ‘shelf’ is spring shades, bottom ‘shelf’ is fall shades…

A meager 19 lipsticks (in blogger terms)….plus 16 samples. BAH, those samples are the bane of my existence! First off, I hate mini sizes of any makeup, it just annoys me. Second, it makes it seem like I have way more lippies than I do, and so I feel bad about buying anything new.  Ergh.

IMG_1345…this ‘shelf’ is summer shades…

IMG_1349…and current ‘winter’ shades!

IMG_1360Also, shades to use up, STAT.

2. What was your first lipstick?

Absolutely no clue…maybe MAC Freckletone? Though I’m certain I had some sort of drugstore lipstick as my first (ugh maybe one of the super-old-school CoverGirl ones that always turned red on my lips no matter what the colour! ~shudders~)  Anyway, the oldest lipstick in my current collection is MAC Russian Red.  How classic😉

MAC Russian Red MAC Russian Red

3. What is your favourite lipstick brand?

MAC is what I have the most of, but I think the Buxom Full-Bodied formula is my fave, and those little samples get the most love from me (half because they’re so comfy to wear, the other half because I’m trying to get rid of the damn things so I can buy a full size!).

4. What is your most worn lipstick?

Aside from the aforementioned Buxom samples, MAC Dare You seems to be the most worn.  I’m sort of surprised by this because I don’t feel like I wear it a ton, but I’ve had it a while and it used to be my go-to daytime red (Russian Red used to be for most bold looks…now I just wear it when I feel like it ;)).  Another lipstick that has gone through it’s paces is my Ellis Faas L102 – I wore that a TON last year, though the packaging doesn’t give me any way to know just how much is used.

MAC Dare You MAC Dare You

5. What is your favourite lipstick finish?

A creme finish all the way!  By that I mean, not glossy at all, but just just a touch of moistness.  Lips look luscious and feel great!  I will admit however that I do love a matte when my lips are in shape to pull it off!

6. What was your last lipstick purchase?

When Sephora had their $20 off $50+ late last year, I picked up NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dolce Vita, a perfect looks-good-on-everyone shade of reddish-rose.  I wanted to finally try the Velvet Matte pencils, and I also wanted to check out one of the iterations of Dolce Vita from the brand.  It’s a gorgeous colour that gives lips that just bitten look and works in all seasons.  However, my lips are too flaky this winter to wear much of anything more than a balm, which is super-frustrating. I’ll get my chance soon enough I hope! One odd point about this lippie though – does anyone else have a strange issue with the cap where it seems like there’s extra air or something and the top pops off if you don’t push it down very firmly?  So weird…

NARS Dolce Vita NARS Dolce Vita

7. How many lip products are in your bag right now?

One.  Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in 606, which I bought in NYC🙂  I always rotate out my lip colours each day and bring with me only the shade(s) that are part of my makeup look that day. ANAL MUCH?  Why yes, yes I am😉

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

8. What is your favourite red lipstick?

I do love Russian Red, but I think of the handful of reds I own (almost all very similar in tone LOL), I like the way Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge #8 looks the best (and the wear time is unbeatable!).  It’s really the perfect ‘throw on and go with hardly any other makeup on’ kinda colour.

MUFE Aqua Rouge #8 MUFE Aqua Rouge #8

9. How do you store your lipsticks?

Haphazardly until tonight😛  Recently I rearranged my lippies to be seasonally appropriate – so the ‘winter’ shades were in my makeup drawer, and all my other shades were in my train case with the rest of my ‘seasonal’ shadows, blushes, foundations, etc.  But as I’m trying to use up my lip colours  in order to buy new ones (weeeee!) I figured they should all be in one spot.  Behold my new system (for lipsticks, anyway)!

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10. What lipsticks are your currently lusting after?

I plan on buying Givenchy’s Le Rouge in Carmin Escarpin when the next Sephora sale comes around🙂  Other than that, I don’t have any BIG lemmings…a few small ones, but let’s ignore them and hope they go away lol.

Oh dear, now I have to tag people!  Good grief, I’m sure everyone has done it by now!!  How about I just put out the invite to ALL OF THE PEOPLE who would like to share with us their lipstick collections😀😀😀  And if you want, feel free to answer in the comments below too!  In fact, I encourage you in the comments to at least tell me: How many lipsticks do you own?  

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Sunday Afternoon Fun: My Lip Color Collection! (Part I – Lip Glosses)

After my last swatch-a-palooza, my poor arms were in rough shape (literally), looking like I had a case of serious carpet burn.  They’ve finally healed, so I thought that spending the afternoon swatching all my lip glosses, balms, and lipsticks was the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday.  This finishes up my makeup color collection (see previous posts on my blush/bronzer, eyeliner, and eyeshadow collections!) – I hope you enjoyed sneaking a peek into my stash as much as I did going through it all (swatch-burn aside).  This has been the absolute perfect way to curb my spending, revisit neglected shades, and get inspired by what I already own – you may have noticed I’ve been playing a lot more with color and posting more FOTD’s for your viewing pleasure.  I highly encourage anyone with a more than moderate collection to indulge in a similar practice!!  So, so fun🙂

My Lipgloss Collection

As these posts can get a little picture-heavy, I’m splitting up  my lip colors into two posts – first, my lipgloss collection, which will include the few colored balms I have as they all have shiny, sheer finishes (which is what I consider the general definition of a gloss); the second post will contain all the lipsticks I own (which incidentally includes one product that is called a gloss but I find far too pigmented to dub it so).

Let’s start with the neutrals, which are often the gateway shade when one is starting a makeup collection:

Neutral Lipglosses (2)

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Neutral Lipglosses

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Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dallas, Fresh Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment, Benefit Ultra Plush in Hoola, MAC Lipglass in Clear, Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent, Hourglass Extreme Sheen in Ignite, Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Discrete, Clinique Chubby Stick in Graped Up, Pur Minerals Lip Gloss in Passion

I was surprized to find that I had so many neutral glosses – I always feel like I’m looking for one and never quite get what I need.  Laura Mercier’s Discrete is probably the best shade of the bunch when I need something but want to keep the lips lowkey (but not nude), but I wish it were a creme and not with that shimmery finish.  I also like Benefit’s Hoola which is essentially clear but with a hint of sparkle to keep it interesting.  The rest of these I’m pretty much ‘meh’ over, sad to say.

Cool-toned glosses:

Cool Lipglosses

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Left to right: Benefit Ultra Plush in Dandelion, Tarte Vitamin-Infused in 40 Winks, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in April, MAC Chromeglass in Prize Shine (I think), Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Divine, it Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush in Je Ne Sais Quoi, Benefit Ultra Plush in Bella Bamba

The three baby pinks on the left are all quite nice and each look different on the lip – the Benefit gloss is pretty basic; the Tarte gloss has a sheer pink base with gold shimmer for warmer looks; and the Buxom gloss is a bit more opaque with quite a bit of silver sparkle, which I love in winter and for nights out.  The MAC lipgloss here I picked up ages ago (the name is worn off, so I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was Prize Shine), and I got it because of this promo pic:

MAC Chromeglass

Actually, it was this girl with this makeup but the shot was at a different angle (which I can’t seem to find online).  Anyway, she looked AMAZING and since her skintone is close to mine, at the time I thought it’d be a great idea.  Uh…. It is one SERIOUSLY METALLIC lipgloss, which makes it exceptionally hard to wear :S  However, back then I was determined to make it work, and picked up…ah damn, I can’t remember now, but it was *like* C-Thru but it wasn’t that.  Anyway (getting rambly here!), I paired the pale milky sheer nudeness of *whatever it was* with Prize Shine, and BAM!  We got this:

Me circa 2006! Check out those majorly groomed eyebrows and purple shadow (wonder what shade that was). Also, that gal with me is still one of my besties - I would have shown her full face (hate cropping people out) but I don't think she wants to have her mug online all the time like mine lol.

Me circa 2006! Check out those majorly groomed eyebrows and purple shadow (wonder what shade that was). Also, that gal with me is still one of my besties – I would have shown her full face (hate cropping people out) but I don’t think she wants to have her mug online all the time like mine lol.

It probably seems crazy that I can remember what I was wearing for a lip color in a photo from 5 years+ ago, but that’s the life of a beauty obsessed gal.  What can I say?  In any case, this was a combo I was totally infatuated with, but  you only needed the tiniest bit of the metallic purple, so I’ve still got about 1/3 left of this gloss (which is LE by the way) – I ran out of the other shade long ago.  I’m determined to finish it this year!

The last two shades are nothing to write home about, the but 3rd from last – Illamasqua’s Divine – will be getting it’s own post.  I got this on mega-sale a couple months ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  Best cool-toned pink ever!!!

Lastly, we have the warmer-toned glosses:

Warm lipglosses (2)

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Warm lipglosses

Natural light

Sephora Reflex Gloss in She Sparkles, NARS Lip Gloss in Wonder, MAC Dazzleglass Creme in Luscious Spark, Benefit Ultra Plush in Coralista, MAC Tendertone in Purring, YSL Glossy Stain in #7 Corail Aquatique, MAC Lipglass in Lychee Luxe, Illamasqua Intense Lip Gloss in Plentiful

This shades of gloss are clearly my fave.  I went through a big kick wearing Sephora She Sparkles last Christmas, but haven’t worn it much since.  NARS Wonder and MAC Luscious Spark (LE) are lovely in summer, and I highly enjoy MAC’s Lychee Luxe – so much so that it’s almost finish (yay!).  I’m going to play around with Illamasqua’s Plentiful this spring, as if you recall it was a touch light for my skintone, but I think I can make it work.  I want to love the YSL Glossy Stain, but the fragrance is a little off-putting (mainly because it makes me nervous), and I wish I had chosen a more punchy shade.  I’ll probably pick up another over the next while and I’ll reevaluate my feelings on them then.

So that’s my gloss collection!  It’s actually not SO huge, at 24, considering.  Maybe I’ll set a mental ‘max’ at 25 – so I better hop to is using some of these up!  I’m actually not huge into gloss right now, opting more for a bold lipstick, or even bare lips, but here and there I’ll throw one on, as they can be a convenient way to perk up your look.  My wishlist has very few glosses on it and many, MANY lipsticks, so topping off at 25 should be a piece of cake🙂

My Lipgloss Collection (2)

I don’t think I’m desperately missing any shades here, though not because it’s such a vast array, but more so because as mentioned, I’m just not terribly concerned with gloss.  A nice nude may help round it out, and I have one in mind actually – Becca’s Ultimate Color Gloss in Fallen Angel.  There!  25 it is.

Do you prefer gloss or lipstick (or neither)?  What shades tend to be your go-to’s?

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