Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute King of Prussia Exclusive - All About Me

Today's post is brought to you by the word: multitasking. All the pictures you see were taken with a sleeping baby in my arms. The pictures may not be professional photographer quality, but I'm, pretty impressed at how I can multitask.

All About Me - please note my daughter's lovey as the background.

I am completely falling in love with Le Metier de Beaute. Everything I've tried so far (granted, not that many) I have loved. Most recently I've purchased a King of Prussia, PA exclusive Lip Creme called All About Me. This color was developed for the Neiman Marcus KoP counter by a personal Shopper.

The color is a lovely mauvey-brozne with a ton of sparkles. I mean this is sparkley. Really sparkley. However it doesn't make your lips look garish. It just gives them a lovely, neutral shimmer. Their Lip Cremes usually have a synthetic sweet smell to them, but no taste. I can't quite place this one - maybe some type of berry.

Look at those sparkles!

Here's the bad news. This puppy is Limited Edition. Limited Edition and only sold at the King of Prussia Neiman Marcus counter. Luckily KoP is 15 minutes from my house, but if you want one, I would call right now because as of yesterday, I think there were less than 25 left.

You can reach the Le Metier de Beaute counter by calling the store at (610) 962-6200 and asking for the LMdB counter.

I'm now having a hard time walking by the LMdB counter without making a purchase. I'm waiting to dive into a kaleidoscope, I just have to find one that really, really grabs me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why I love NARS nail polishes

See this bad, slightly blurry pic:

It's NARS Night Flight from the NARS Night Series. It's a lovely shimmery blue, yada, yada, yada... Scrangie and Vampy Varnish have reviews on this series. The reason I posted that picture? It's one coat. This polish is so lovely and deep that one coat is perfect, streak-free and opaque.

I also have Night Porter (the green shimmer). I can't wait to try that one, too. NARS is quickly becoming my favorite polish brand for their formula alone.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

butter London The Black Knight

A few weeks ago I noticed a special 2-pack of butter London polishes in a stupidly large (read: wasteful) package. Of course, I bought it anyway. It contained two glitterbomb polishes, one being The Black Knight. It looked like a fun glittery polish in a dark base. I'm usually apprehensive about glittery polishes, but I bought it anyway.

The two things I don't like about glitterbombs are 1) the lumpy, bumpy feeling you get with the finish and 2) the horrific, cotton-shredding, get-out-of-the-room-while-mom-curses removal. I'm sad to say, both exist with this polish.

First two nails are 2 coats of TBK, the second two are one coat of black and one coat of TBK
The polish itself consists of blue and dark pink glitter, smaller silver micro glitter all suspended in a dark jelly base. As I was swatching on the first two nails, I noticed that the base was very streaky and splotchy. At that point, I thought it would look good over a base of a plain black creme, so I painted my ring and pinky finger with one coat of Orly Liquid Vinyl (which is a fantastic black creme, by the way) and then one coat of The Black Knight. Pointer and middle finger are two coats of The Black Knight plain. It looks much better over a base coat of black than on its own.

Two coats of TBK plain, click to embiggen

You can still see some bald spots in the plain coats. I'm sure a third coat would have evened it out, but it's already quite gritty as it is. I didn't put any top coats on this, but I would guess that it would eat up the topcoat as well. Maybe a coat of Gelous first and then one of Seche Vite would go towards smoothing out the finish.

One coat of TBK over one coat of Orly Liquid Vinyl. Click to embiggen

I think the glitter just pops a bit more when layered over black. You can really see the blue and fuchsia glitter really well like this. And just as I thought, it was a bear to remove. I almost sent the spitfire out of the room during removal in case I began cursing (spitfire 2.0 is still too young to understand my, uh, colorful language, she can stay). But I persevered. 

I'm glad I bought this. I'm sure I'll be hesitant to use it simply because I'm anticipating the removal, but I'm going to have to get over that!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chanel/Sally Hansen comparison - and 1 year anniversary!

So, one year ago today I decided to start a blog and posted some really crappy pictures of my Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance manicure. Well, my pictures haven't gotten that much better, and there was a brief hiatus while I was birthing my daughter, and recovering from said birth. I'm still trying to find time for the blog, and I get little bits here and there now that she has a decent schedule, plus, I have a ton of lovely little additions that I haven't broken into yet so I can take pictures (the things bloggers do!)

In the meantime, I took these pictures some time ago, but only one turned out publishable, and barely at that.

I caught a glimpse of Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri in Bronze Ablaze and thought it may be a good budget friendly alternative to Chanel's Peridot. Oh, boy was I wrong! I have found that SH polishes can be hit or miss. Many are great, but when you get a doozy.. whooohooo..

Bronze Ablaze went on thick and clumpy, and it bubbled like a sucker, to boot.

Oh, hello bubbles! Peridot on pointer and ring, Bronze Ablaze on middle and pinky
Formula aside, the color can't compare to the duochrome complexity that is Peridot, but a flat metallic bronze color. This one is going into the swap pile for sure. Peridot, on the other hand, is staying put!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Purple Haze

So, earlier this year the fashion director for Neiman Marcus, Ken Downing, teamed up with Le Metier de Beaute and put out Ken's Koral Kollection (again, I'll forgive him gratuitous overuse of the Ks). I loved this polish. So, when Ken collaborated with lMdB again this past September and put out his Bordeaux collection, well I knew I would end up buying something from the collection (used the c that time, there...)

This time around I picked up the two lip cremes. The two that were released were Purple Haze (pictured above) which is a lovely shimmery lavender-pink, and In the Know Bordeaux (not pictured) which is a vibrant berry red. I initially bought both of the lip cremes, but the deeper berry color just wasn't my style. It is beautiful, but just not me. I passed it along to my mother, which was right up her alley.

Purple Haze, on the other hand, is most definitely right up my alley. This color is a very flattering color. A creamy lavender-pink with subtle shimmer. The shimmer is very evident in the tube and on the swatch, however it doesn't make my lips shimmery. Shiny, yes. Shimmery/frosty, no.

This is a very pigmented product. While it's glossy, it's not a lipgloss, but more of a liquid lipstick. And the staying power - well let's just say it sticks around for a long time. It will still be visible on my lips after snacking and a drink or two. The one thing I don't like about this is the scent. The scent of the creme is a very strong sweet smelling scent - coconut, maybe? It does fade quickly and it is tasteless, but it still throws me for a loop when I put it on.

I love this lip creme, and I'm very glad I splurged (and at $36 a tube, it is a splurge). I love the color, the formula and the staying power. And I think I love Ken Downing, too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dior Vernis 651 Merveille

*tap tap*

Is this thing on... hello... hello...

Yes, it's been quite awhile here. I've been, um, well, busy. After 6 years I very nearly forgot what it was like to have a newborn in the house. But I'm happy to say that spitfire2.0 is doing very well. In fact, we're getting into a nice routine that actually allows me some free time. For the first time in nearly 2 months I was able to give myself a manicure. Not only that, but she's allowing me to actually sit and have time to blog about it! Wee!

So, I picked Dior Vernis 651 - Merveille - from Dior's holiday 2011 line. Of the four released, this was the only one that I picked up. I really liked the slightly coraly red with gold shimmer. However, as prominent as the shimmer appears in the bottle, it doesn't translate well onto the actual nail. You really have to work the light to make the shimmer show up.

Either way, I really like this color. Maybe it's because I've had naked nails for the past two months, but I keep staring at this color. It is a perfect holiday color.

Dior has the same great wide, flat brush that I love so much, and the formula on this one was a bit on the thick side, but not so much so. Absolutely not like my bottle of Graphic Berry that I brought back, but not like last year's polishes, either, but still well within workable bounds.

I'm happy with this purchase. I'm still trying to decide if it will be my Christmas mani this year. Last year was a Dior mani, why not continue the trend?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sorry for the long absence...

But I have a good reason:

I'll be back soon, posting away.. but I need some time after falling hard and fast for this little girl.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In search of the Holy Grail

The Holy Grail. Not the Holy Grail like what King Arthur or even Robert Langdon were looking for, but that be-all-end-all cosmetic product that you can NOT live without - in which the discovery of calls off all future searches for said product as you have found THE ONE.

Yes, folks, this is a rambling post. No pictures. Just lots of words. Pics will be back soon!

I don't have any holy grails. None. I thought I did. A few years back I completely gave up on wearing eyeshadow because it would crease withing an hour of application. Way back in the day I used to use a L'Oreal product call De-Crease to keep eyeshadow in place, but it only extended the life of my eyeshadows for about 2 hours or so. Then I discovered Urban Decay Primer Potion. My whole outlook on eyes changed. I loved this stuff, my shadows stayed put for over 12 hours. My eyeliners didn't rub off to the lid above my crease. It was great. I began hoarding eye shadows and wearing them again. There was only one problem - I hated, Hated, HATED the genie bottle. Earlier this year, UD came out with the squeeze tube of their primer potions. I had found my holy grail product and time to stop looking.

Wrong. On a whim I picked up a tube of Too Faced Shadow Insurance and I love it. Now I have two products I enjoy using. I guess you can say I have two holy grail products? Better than none, I guess.

I can't think of any other product that I own that would be considered a holy grail. I've tried many different products, haven't found THAT one, yet. Blushes change with my mood, as does pretty much anything that has color (eyeshadows, lipsticks, glosses) Hell, I can't even settle on a brand of lip gloss or lipstick that I'll choose over all others. However, when it comes to colors - lipsticks, glosses, blushes, eye shadows, I like not having one go to - I have a huge (probably too huge for the dearest's liking) variety at my fingers. I'm still trying out foundations, concealers and even cleansers.

There are two items that I would love to find a holy grail for. The first is concealer. I currently use a MAC concealer and while I have liked it so far to repurchase it, I know that I can find a better one. I have heard absolutely fantastic things about Cle de Peau concealer, but I have to say - I'm a wee bit hesitant on plunking down $70 for concealer. So, I'll just keep on searching.

The product that I really, really want to find a holy grail for is mascara. I want that fantastic mascara that you'll buy over and over and over again. The one that you tell all your friends about, and then tell your friends' friends about. The problem? I'm too freaking picky. I want a separating and volumizing formula that will hold a curl. I don't want a wand that's too huge, nor too small. I don't want it to clump together and give the look like you only have 5 lashes. I also don't want it to flake and give me raccoon eyes by 8:00. The one thing I don't care about? Lengthening. I'm ok with the length of my lashes. I just want nice, thick, separated, curled lashes. Am I asking too much? Probably.

I have about 8 open mascaras at this time. Many are sample sizes from various GWPs or 100 pt bonuses at Sephora. I've also tried the range of prices, from $2.39 Essence mascara (barely shows up and flakes within 2 hours) to $30 Chanel Inimitable Intense mascara (will clump like a bugger if you're not super careful with the application) and everything in between. I've found ones that work well, but I haven't found THAT one. So I'll keep on looking.

Happy searching, all. Hopefully you have found your holy grails.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss

I'm pretty torn on whether I'm a lip gloss or lipstick type of girl. While on one hand, I do love a nice, opaque, chock-full-o-color lipstick, on the other hand, I'm also a sucker for a nice, shiny gloss. And we can't forget some of the lip balm-type lipsticks (Dior Addict and Chanel Coco Shine). So, Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss isn't helping me in the debate.

It all started, as many of my lemmings do, by reading Elvira's blog, Pink Sith. She waxed poetic about this lip gloss and it placed a bug in my brain. Every time I went into Sephora I lingered around the Hourglass display, pawing at the lovely, thin lip gloss tubes. I tried on many, including the one that Elvira loves so much - Siren - but that was was just a bit too much for me. I kept going back to the color Nectar - a non-shimmery coral.

This is the type of color I have been drawn to this summer. The orangey, coralish, peachy colors. This one is no exception. It's super shiny, however not as sticky as others I have tried. The wear is about average for lip glosses, as it doesn't last through any type of meals, snacks or drinks.

The color is actually quite subtle on my lips, but nice and summery. Yes, I know it's now September, but the weather's still quite warm, so that counts, right? I have a feeling that I may be going back for more of these glosses. The color Primal was also calling out to me. Time will tell if I can resist or not.

On another note, my postings have been getting further and further apart, and they may become more so in the next 2-3 months. I'm due to deliver spitfire 2.0 at the end of September, so this last month is getting a bit rough, and the first few with the new baby will be full of sleepless nights. I'm going to try and keep up some posting, but it may go to the back burner. I do enjoy it, so it's not going completely away, and as soon as I have a good routine down, I'll be back to posting as normal!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Orly Fowl Play

I wasn't real moved by Orly's Birds of a Feather collection that was released a few weeks back, until I saw a display at Ulta. Most of the colors seemed ordinary, with the exception of Fowl Play. It stuck out like a colorful parrot in a cage of canaries.

This is a very blacked plum jelly base with tiny silver glitter, small blue glitter and coppery flakes suspended into it. As you can see from the side of the bottle that the coppery-red flakes will also reflect green and gold at times. I love seeing flaky polishes readily available as they add that special something to the polish.

Now for the bad news. This formula is horrible. I managed to get this opaque-ish in two coats - but two quirky coats. I was trying to keep the coats thin, as it is a jelly and I didn't want to wait forever between coats. However, that thin coat looked absolutely horrible. It was streaky, it dragged and was just terrible. For the second coat, I just put a thick coat on and prayed that the Seche Vite I use as a topcoat would help the drying time (it did), but you can still see some drag up by the cuticle in the closeup shot.

I do love the color, but I'm not sure it's enough to overcome the horrible formula. I will have to see with time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Fauve

Chanel recently released a few new products for fall. Part of the release is a set of single Soft Touch eye colors. Being the taupeaholic that I am, I was drawn to Fauve like a moth to flame.

Fauve is a mauve taupe color with loads of shimmer. The shimmer is abundant, but not a chunky, clumpy glitter. It's soft and blendable and looks nice on the eye.

I love this color. I have been wearing it non stop for the past few days. It makes a quick and easy elegant eye look. Sweep some Fauve over a primed lid (I used UDPP) and then add a thin line of Urban Decay's new 24/7 liquid eyeliner and voila - you're done.

I love this color and will be using it often in the future.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Balm Shady Lady, vol 3

I love getting a beauty bargain. Love it. Well, not just beauty bargains, but bargains in general. I love shopping in the outlets, and I love shopping at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. You can get some great deals there. For example - right now T.J. Maxx has stocked various The Balm products over in their beauty area. I was pawing through the various lotions and toners when I came across this:

Now, I only have one product from the Balm - it's a single eyeshadow in a taupey-purple color. It's a nice color and formula and I wear it quite often. I know I've seen this palette at Sephora, and even pawed through it a couple of times, but I never fully committed to buying the $39.50 item. Until now.

All of the colors have goofy names, but they also have a really nice formula. Some of the colors are listed as a shadow color, and some are listed as a shadow/liner color. The only color I had a problem with is the black with multi-colored glitter in the lower right-hand corner - guilty gwen. It was very hard and gritty and the glitter went everywhere.

The pigmentation was nice, not the best, but not too bad. They will probably pop a bit more over a primer. I can foresee quite a bit of use from this palette.

The best part of it? I paid $16.99 for it! Less than half of what it currently sells for at Sephora! So, keep an eye out at your local Marshall's/T.J. Maxx as you never know what kind of deal you may scoop up!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Can't... Wait... So.. Excited...

Wow - I know it's a teeny, tiny picture, but it's a twitpic from Neiman Marcus (follow @neimanmarcus on Twitter)

It's the latest in the Ken Downing colors for Le Metier de Beaute Neiman Marcus collection - Bodacious Bordeaux. 

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic 

I raved about the last one.. this one will also be mine, mine, mine!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bling Nail Appliques -or- the only nail art I can do

I am not one for nail art. Primarily because I simply do not have the dexterity to accomplish nice-looking nail art, see exhibit A. If you want to see some great nail art - please go on over to The Daily Nail. Then come back, of course! :)

So, in an attempt to try something a bit different, I picked up a couple sets of Bling Nail Appliques from Sally's.

These are little silver dots on a clear nail sticker. Now, these aren't like the Sally Hansen nail stickers which act just like nail polish - these are honest-to-God stickers. They're textured and they can be removed are repositioned until you get it right on the nail. I had Chanel's Mimosa on my nails to begin with, and I just wasn't feeling it - so I added these over it.

They were a bit labor intensive for stickers, only because I was stingy and because I have short little nubbins - I was able to make one sticker go on two nails. So, I would put the sticker on my pointer fingernail, *very* carefully trim it close to the nail tip with cuticle scissors, retrim the ends and place on the pointer fingernail on my other hand. So, now I still have another manicure available! See - stingy!

After adding and trimming the sticker, I carefully filed the edge to smooth it out - which actually was harder than it sounds to get a nice, even edge. It took a little persistence and it came out nice with a few little bumps. At that point, I added a coat of Seche Vite, although it probably wasn't necessary. I just wanted it extra shiny.  I like this, and even though removal will probably be a bear, I'll probably do another manicure like it, not to mention the other styles I bought as well! Quick and easy nail art even with unsteady hands.

On another note - this is my 100th post.. woo hoo!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Purple Haze

Purple Haze all in my brain
lately things don't seem the same.
Acting funny and I don't know why
Excuse me while I kiss this guy.

A few weeks back I ordered a few polishes from Rescue Beauty Lounge's Bring It Back order. One of the polishes I ordered was Purple Haze. This is described as a vivid violet creme, and I'm a sucker for purples.

I love the color, a slightly dusty lavender. I also love the formula, not too thick, not too thin and perfectly opaque and shiny in two coats.

I do have one complaint about the polish, and it's not about the polish, per se. I don't like the brushes used in RBL bottles. It's sparse, thin and slightly stiff. It makes for a tougher time applying polish. I found that with the exception of my pinky nail, I could only wipe a tiny amount off the brush or else it would be streaky and require many dippings.

Aside from the brush issues, I do love both of the polishes that I have tried from this order so far. I have two more left and I look forward to trying them as well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Revlon Carbonite and Chanel Graphite comparison

So the trend now seems to be Chanel comes out with the season's new IT color, and then Revlon releases their dupe about a month later. First, we had Perplex, which was a pretty good dupe of my all-time favorite Chanel polish, Paradoxal. Next came Black With Envy, which was supposed to be a dupe of Chanel's Black Pearl, but from the pictures I saw, didn't capture the green tones in the polish. This time around, Revlon comes out with their dupe to Chanel's Graphite called Carbonite.

No, not that carbonite, fellow geeks!

In the bottle, they look very similar. Right away you can see that the particles in Graphite are slightly larger and reflect more gold and green than does Carbonite. Besides that, the base color is strikingly similar.

On the nail, they still look similar. You can still see the slightly bigger particles in Graphite, and Graphite seems to reflect a little bit more. The formulas are very different, though. Graphite applied beautifully and had full opaque coverage in two even coats. Carbonite also had full opaque coverage in two coats, however the formula was quite thicker and took longer to dry. It also dried a tiny bit bumpier than did Graphite.

However, having said all of that, the colors are very, very similar. Close enough to be deemed a dupe. Also close enough that if you love the color of Graphite but don't want to spend $25 on it, Carbonite will satisfy your lemming at a fraction of the price.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

OPI Nice Stems mini collection

I actually wasn't interested in the OPI Nice Stems collection, that is, until I saw the mini collection available at my local Ulta. With the cute little bottles, who could resist?

L-R: Play The Peonies, Come To Poppy, Be A Dahl-ia Won't You, I Lily Love You

These are cute springy shades of pink with a really nice flecked jelly layering polish. I did find that putting I Lily Love You over Play The Peonies made for a streaky, flaky mess, so I didn't even include the picture.

Play The Peonies:

This one is a light, shimmery pale tinged white polish. Normally, this is completely not my type of color, but it would be nice to wear to a spring wedding. It applied nicely in two coats, but as I said before - it didn't play well with the flecked layering polish.

Come To Poppy:

This one was my favorite of the colors. It is a very nice shimmery warm pink. It also covered nicely and evenly in two coats. I also liked this one with I Lily Love You.

Be A Dahl-ia Won't You:

Another shimmer, but this one is more of a fuchsia pink. This one was still a little sheer after two coats, so I needed a third, still a pretty good formula. This one looked the best with I Lily Love You.

Not a bad purchase. I've been trying to get more pinks into my collection. I tend to look for unique colors and skip over the nice, basic everyone-should-own colors. These fit the bill nicely. I also like the mini bottles. These should still be available at Ulta.

Monday, July 18, 2011

butter London Wallis

So, this past weekend was the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. There wasn't a whole lot that I really wanted that was limited edition, but I did pick up some nail polishes. The first of which is butter London's Wallis.

This was a nice olive green micro glitter suspended in a dirty green base. I knew I wanted this one when I saw it online. And, I have to say, it didn't disappoint.

This one, thankfully, didn't have the same application problems I had with Yummy Mummy. It went on nice and smooth, opaque in two even coats. And, for the amount of shimmery flecks it has in it, it dried very smooth.

The color sometimes misbehaves with the light, where it will look like there are bald spots on your nail in the right light (see above picture), and sometimes the light just dances off of the glitter.

I really enjoyed this one. Even the removal wasn't too bad. I'm happy with this purchase. I also indulged in the Dior polish exclusive as well as the Metier de Beaute mini set - oh those reviews are to come!

Did you indulge in the Nordstrom sale?
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