Saturday, January 29, 2011

OPI and Katy Perry - Teenage Dream

I have a confession. I like Katy Perry's song Teenage Dream. Now I'm more of a grown-up alternabrat. I still have my Cure and the Smiths cassette tapes, my REM CDs, and I still get a twitch of excitement if I hear a Depeche Mode song on the radio. But I like the song.

The nail polish, on the other hand, the jury's still out on. I've discovered I'm not a light pink type of person. Pale and light colors tend to make my hands look short and stubby. I need darker colors on my hands. The color itself isn't bad. It's a very light pink jelly packed with silver glitter and larger holographic (!) hexagonal glitter pieces.

With flash - the holos really reflect well with a flash

No flash

I just didn't like it on my own hands. The polish itself was extremely thick. This manicure was two thick coats. It probably could have used another, but I didn't want to add another to it. It is also quite gritty, and needs a good topcoat of Seche Vite to attempt to even it out a bit.


No flash

I think I kept this on for slightly over 24 hours. I wanted it off. I've always had trouble getting off glitter polishes, so I wanted to try a new technique to take off the polish. Behold - the ingredients:

10 cotton balls, acetone and aluminum foil

I ripped the foil into 10 pieces, soaked each cotton ball in acetone, put them right on top of my nail and wrapped the whole thing in the foil. Then, I left this concoction on my nails for 10 minutes:

Oh, I looked silly indeed, the spitfire was laughing, but when I pulled those aluminum foil fingertips off, there wasn't a trace of glitter! It worked quite well. I highly suggest this technique for glitters.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Korres Raspberry Antioxidant Liquid Lipstick

Oh, I have a whole bunch of posts lined up. I had a gift certificate from Sephora - and boy did I spend it. First up from the lovely, lovely haul is the Korres Raspberry Antioxidant Liquid Lipstick Trio (that was a mouthful). I saw these in Sephora and they looked interesting. Having never bought a Korres product, I went home and did what I always do - look it up on Temptalia!

I am glad I bought these. They are smooth, shiny, glide on easily and are very opaque. The shine loses a bit of its intensity after about an hour, but the color stays for nearly four, with some snacking. Although, there was some migration into the fine lines on my lips.

The Korres site describes the lipsticks as:
Cooling, water-based liquid lipstick with the creamy texture of a lip gloss with the long-lasting, vibrant finish of a lipstick.
-Rich in line-smoothing, antioxidant Raspberry & Pomegranate extracts to protect against free-radical damage and smooth lip lines for softer, more youthful looking lips.
-Certified Organic Acai Palm Pulp Oil moisturizes and soothes the lips creating a long-lasting, creamy texture. 

L-R, #13-Soft Pink, #56-Vibrant Red, #28-Muted Raspberry

I'm not sure about all the claims on the site, but the lipstick is very moisturizing. The colors that come in the package are #13 - Soft Pink, #56 - Vibrant Red, #28 - Muted Raspberry.

At $32.50, these come out to just under $11 a lipstick. Alone, they sell for $22 so this is quite a deal. I'm very happy with my purchase and I would definitely recommend them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another Essie Sighting - CVS

I was needing some Neosporin for the spitfire (little boys are always sporting cuts and bruises, aren't they?) so I stopped at CVS. As I turned down the cosmetics aisle because, seriously, I totally can't resist, I came face-to-face with this:

An Essie display. So, it looks like they are hitting more mass-market outlets. I read that they will also be in Rite-Aids in the near future. However, look at the price - $8.29 - so far the most expensive that I have seen them. I know that Ulta has them for $7.99, but they always have either coupons or specials on them where you can get them cheaper. Walmart also has them for $7 and change. This is also a much smaller display than Walmart.

Like I've said before, I'm not a big fan of Essie. I have a few colors including one of the Walmart exclusives, but I think these will be easy to resist.

Happy Polishing!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Butter London Victoriana

I had this manicure last week.

Butter London Victoriana

Victoriana is from Butter London's Fall 2010 collection. I purchased mine at Ulta. This is a dusky, muted blue that is packed with dense silver shimmer. The polish itself is kind of thick, and nearly opaque in one coat. I did need a second coat to even it out. It looked great after two coats. It also wore like a champ. After 3 days I only saw some tipwear. That is, until I tried to remove a price tag from something and took a big old chip out of my thumb. At that point, I had to remove it.

Extreme closeup - shimmer shimmer shimmer

Even though it is packed with the glittery silver specks, it dries very smooth. I love Butter London's formula, and I even love their odd little rectangular bottles (they fit oh-so-nicely in my drawer, lined up like little soldiers).

Happy polishing!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Great Purse Cleanup + a mini rant

I usually carry around a fairly large purse. Sometimes I make them myself, sometimes I buy them. I like to have a cloth one during the summer and a leather one during the winter. But, they are usually large, able to be slung across my body and usually stuffed to the gills.

Currently I'm carrying around a very lovely Coach purse that I got for a steal at the outlets. I tend to carry a lot in there, wallet, checkbook, antibacterial lotion, toys (oh yes, toys - can't be caught off-guard with a bored  5 year old in the middle of a store) and of course, makeup. Specifically - lipstick.

I can never decide what lipstick I want to keep in my purse, so I just threw so many in there. Once I realized I could barely zip shut my little purse makeup bag, I knew it was time for cleaning it out. I went through the bags and various pockets (oh how I love pockets inside a purse, when ever I make one for myself, I'm always sure to add tons of pockets), I came out with this scary picture.

Will you look at that picture! Ack. I counted 5 MAC lipstics, 3 dazzleglasses, 6 lipglasses, 8 Tarte lipglosses and a slew of other random lip products. Do I really need all of these? Absolutely not. So, in my quest to start decluttering my life, I thought I'd start with my purse. Now, I have to admit, I'm a packrat. I don't like getting rid of stuff, especially in my purse. I like having anything I want at arm's reach. But I buckled down and reduced it to this

Two lipsticks and 6 glosses. It's still quite a bit, but much better than before. I feel lighter, better. I know I'll build it up again, and there's always some type of lip product in my pocket as well. But, for now, I'll try to keep it under control.

On a side note, notice all of those little mini Tarte lipglosses? They're from the Good As Gold lipgloss set. I picked them up on impulse from Sephora one day. I should have waited and read the reviews. The glosses themselves are nice enough. They're actually nice colors, not too sticky, fairly opaque and have some decent lasting time. And at $29 for a set of 15, or just under $2 per mini lipgloss, it should be a good deal, right? Wrong.

After about 4-5 uses per bottle, the plastic collar that removes the excess gloss dislodges and permanently jams itself up in the cap. What you're left with is a sticky gloppy mess. Yes, you can use it without the collars, but you have to be careful to not get it all over. You can also use a brush, or your finger, but at that point, it's just plain annoying. If Tarte had better packaging on this one, this would be a rave instead of a rant. I haven't seen them in the stores in a while, but if you do see them, resist the "good deal" temptation and run away.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chanel Black Pearl

Yes, I know, Chanel Black Pearl has been reviewed within an inch of its life. Every blogger has gone over it, so now I'll add my 2 cents. I bought this right around Christmas, but I didn't want to use it right away as my nails were short, peeling and uneven and my cuticles were so ragged. Chanel deserved better than that. So, I've been taking my B vitamins, taking care of my nails, applying cuticle oil religiously and my hands are looking better. It's Chanel time.

Black Pearl is one of the slew of grays that are hitting the stores for the Spring 2011 collections. This one stands out in that it is not just grey. Suspended in the gunmetal grey base is a very dense green microshimmer. The green makes the whole nail color look a murky green, but not in an ugly way, but in more of a "Oh, let me look at that again" kind of way.

There was some minor brushstroke action going on, but you have to really look closely to see it. It's a very lovely color. So far it's had some lasting power. I'm on the end of day 2 and the manicure still looks nice.

I think this one can go into heavy rotation.

Happy polishing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flakey Love

I love fun topcoats. Holographic, shimmer, glitter - they just make a plain old creme polish fun. Now I can add flakey polishes to that list. I bought Barielle Elle's Spell recently, and didn't even realize it was flakey polish until I layered it over black. That's all it took. It took me all of three minutes to hop onto (US distributor for Nfu-Oh polishes) and order a pair of them. I ordered Nfu-Oh 38 - red flakies suspended in a clear polish, and Nfu-Oh 39, blue-green flakies suspended in a clear polish. The second they came in I pulled out a blank color wheel and pulled out an assortment of creme colors, and painted two nails in each color. Then, for each creme I added a top coat of Nfu-Oh 38 on one and Nfu-Oh 39 on the other. At that point, just for the heck of it, I painted half of each nail with a matte topcoat.

It was very interesting to see each color change with the different flakey topcoat. Unfortunately, I don't remember the cremes I used. Bad blogger. I do remember the ones in the 7-8 o'clock position are black, and then it's just downhill from there. The matte topcoat is on the outer half of the nail. In general, bluish and greenish colors looked good with the blue-green flakies and reddish colors looked good with the red flakies. Colors like black or purple looked equally good in both the red or blue-green flakies.

While in Target recently, I grabbed the Revlon Top Speed polish in Royal. I've seen the color raved about around the blogs, and I have to agree. It's a bright, shiny jelly royal blue. It's actually a very flattering color. No problems with application, and the dry time was pretty quick. I took my picture not 5 minutes after doing the last nail and had no problems.

Revlon Top Speed in Royal

I knew I wanted to put a flakey topcoat on this. The color just screams for it. And Nfu-Oh 39 is just the right topcoat for the job. I put one layer of Nfu-Oh 39 on top of two coats of Royal.

Nfu-Oh 39 over Revlon Top Speed Royal

I loved this combo. It was so shiny, that I could barely get a picture without seeing my own reflection in my nail:

There I am - in the lower right hand corner of my nail! This was a great and flashy manicure. I would just stare at my nails randomly during the day. It was so flashy that the MAC sales associates ooohed and aaaahed over my nails when I went into the store later that night. In fact, she called the other SAs over to see. (I've said it before, many people have written how they don't care for the MAC associates in the stand-alone stores, but I LOVE the ones at my local suburban Philadelphia store).

I usually gravitate to shimmery, glittery nail polishes while passing over the cremes, these topcoats have now opened a whole new type of nail polishes that make me take a second look.

Happy polishing!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How I pick my nail colors

Yep, two posts in one day. I just wanted to post a very quick post on my very complicated way of picking out my next manicure color. I go through my drawers, pull out 4 maybe 5 colors I want to wear, normally I just can't decide on one. Sometimes I line them up on the table, sometimes I paint one nail in each color. At that point. I call over my trusty 5-year-old assistant to do the final decision.

At this point, we resort to the very scientific "Eenie, meenie, miney, moe" technique. However, results usually cannot be replicated, because "moe" tends to move around to the color he likes best. This is my favorite way to pick out polish. On the instance above, here's a closeup of the color he picked out for me.

About 75% of my nail colors are picked this way. He enjoys it, and I get a kick out of it. Today, he wanted me to do blues. I gathered about 10 of my blue polishes and he picked his favorite - Butter London's Victoriana (for a later post!).

Oh, how I adore this boy. My little spitfire.

Maybelline SuperStay 24 hour lipcolor

Oh, Maybelline, why do you taunt me with these extended longwear lipcolors? Why in the world would I need my lipstick to last 24 hours? I haven't stayed up all night since college, and the thought of staying up all night now exhausts me. Yet, these colors stare at me from the shelves and yell, "Try me! Drink all the coffee you want, I don't moooooove!"

Of course, I bought it. I picked out the Very Cranberry color. If you've ever used one of these types of long wear lipcolors, this one is really no different. It is a two sided tube, one side with the lipcolor and the other with a gloss. It's a liquid lipcolor with a doe foot applicator.

The issue I have with these is that the color dries so very quickly. So when you apply it to your lips, you better get it right the first time, because if there's any slip of the hand, it's a bear to fix. For the darker colors, I suggest using a lipliner to help stay in the lines. The color is very matte and very drying on the lips. You can feel the hardening and tightening of your lips once this dries down completely.

 It also seems to dry much lighter than in the tube. This is how it looks on my NC25 skin. At this point, I'm not completely sold. However, once you put the gloss on top, it tends to soften up the lips and even much of the uncomfortableness out. The gloss does need to be reapplied often to keep it looking nice.

You still see every single line in your lips, but I have to say, this stuff has some staying power. I used this one morning and by bedtime I still had to scrub with makeup remover to get it all off. That's multiple cups of coffee, 3 meals, some snacks and a few glasses of water. I do like that it is a dual ended tube instead of two separate tubes. When I was in high school and college I used to wear these long-wearing lipcolors all the time, and I would constantly lose the gloss tube. This way they both stay intact.

This normally sells for $7.99 in drugstores and Target. My suggestion is skip over the display. There are much nicer lipcolors in the drugstore.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I splurged

Yep. I splurged. Wanna hint?

I was in the mall tonight and somehow found myself in the Macy's Cosmetics department hovering near the Chanel counter. When I bought Chanel's Mat Lumiere foundation a few weeks ago, the sales associate gave me a sample of the gel formulation of their Hydramax + Active. I used every last drop in the sample that I was given. It smelled divine and kept my skin very hydrated. I only used it at night after I scrubbed my face clean. I have oily skin, so after cleaning my skin and stripping it of all the oils, I need to moisturize so that my skin doesn't overproduce oil to compensate. It can't be too creamy, because then it just sits on the skin and gets greasy. It can't be too light, because then it doesn't do what it is supposed to do, adequately hydrate my skin. This gel formulation is like baby bear's bed - it's just right.

They even wrapped it up all nice

I really think a sales associate makes all the difference. The Chanel sales associate at the Macy's counter is a very nice and very beautiful Russian lady. She's very generous with samples, and she even remembered me from a previous purchase.

Yes, it was a splurge, and I did mull over the purchase for at least 30 seconds. But I cannot resist the siren call of Chanel. Did I mention it smells divine?

The sales associate also showed me the photos for the Chanel Summer 2011. Yes, there is going to be a yellow nail polish. There have been pictures floating all around the interwebs showing a bright yellow nail polish. From the picture the SA showed me, the polish looks more like a golden-yellow with flecks of either glitter, flakes or shimmer. I don't look good with golden polishes, but I'm willing to give it a look-see. What I'm really looking forward to is a coral-colored Glossimer with golden flecks called Pensee. The info that the SA showed me said that it will start shipping at the beginning of April, for sale by the end of April.

January, and I'm discussing Summer collections..

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Collection

Oh My God. I can't tell you how excited I am for this collection. I've heard murmurings around the blogosphere for the past few weeks about this, and even caught a glimpse of some grainy pictures. But now, the fantastic Temptalia has pictures of the collection. I'm beyond excited.

I was born in the mid-70's. As a young child I was convinced that I WAS Wonder Woman. I loved her. I had the Underoos and used to wear them as a costume around the neighborhood. My mother was mortified. I would scoot around in my invisible plane with my indestructible bracelets and swing the golden Lasso of Truth. Christine from Temptalia also noted that there will be unveiling parties at MAC stores for this line, not unlike the Venomous Villains collection. Well, I hauled my butt over to the MAC store tonight to inquire about it. They weren't sure of the details, but promised to call me as soon as they did. I will be there.

Christine generously allowed me to repost her pictures. Please go to her post to see the whole collection. There's a bit of a debate in her comments about the packaging - mostly how cheap it looks and how they won't buy it. I have to disagree, I love it. It completely captures the comic book feel of the character. So, if there are people who don't want to buy it, then maybe it won't sell out as fast!

Lipglasses L-R: Emancipation, Wonder Woman, Athena's Kiss, Secret Identity

There's a lot in this collection that I want. The lipglasses are all Limited Edition, and will probably all come home with me. I'm not big on pigments or colored mascara, but some of the eyeshadow quads look funky. I will definitely be picking up the mirror because it's just cool. And, of course, there are nail polishes.

Nail Lacquer L-R: Obey Me, Spirit of Truth

Look at that packaging! It's awesome! These are not the most unique colors, but they will be mine nonetheless. Can you tell I'm excited for this? I'll post pictures from the unveiling party as soon as it happens.

The collection officially launches on February 10, 2011, but if you live near a MAC freestanding store, inquire about an unveiling party, these will most likely happen during the first week of February.

Do you love it, or will you pass?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pop Beauty Nail Glam Violetta

The health of my nails go in cycles. I always have polish on them, and I try to keep the cuticles well hydrated, but I'll get a few weeks of great growth and then a few weeks where they are constantly splitting, peeling and breaking. Right now I'm in the latter half of that cycle and my nails are short short short. I've started taking my vitamins again - specifically added B vitamins - normally that helps strengthen my nails. We'll see how they look over the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll start an up cycle.

Pop Beauty Nail Glam in Violetta

The biggest of the 3 Ulta's near me has a huge selection, much bigger than the other two. While traipsing through the Uber Ulta, I noticed there was a selection of Pop Beauty Nail Glam nail polishes. I usually pass over the Pop Beauty display because nothing catches my eye. Needless to say this did. The bottle is 15ml for $10. So for a mid-range cosmetics company, that's quite a bargain. The display had about a dozen *very* brightly colored polishes, and Violetta was the one that jumped into my basket.

The color is described as "Fluro Purple". I don't think I would describe it as fluorescent purple, but it is a bright purple creme that throws more red than blue. The application was fine, but the wand was a bit awkward as the shaft was extra long. It went on in two nice coats, though.

Such short nails!

I'm starting to realize that I like a bit more than just a plain creme, even if the creme is a good color. As I was staring at this, I wanted to add some little shimmer on top of it. I recently found a bottle of Orly polish that is a clear polish with pink shimmer suspended in it. I though that would look great over this color.

Violetta with one coat of Orly Fifty-Four

This is one coat of Orly Fifty-four over top of the Violetta. I was having problems really capturing the pink shimmer, as it was very subtle. Just enough to satisfy my desire for shimmery polishes.

I'm wondering how this will look layered on top of an already shimmery polish.

The bad news is that this polish chipped pretty badly within 24 hours. I had a massive chip on my right pointer finger, followed by smaller chips on both middle fingers and a thumb. So, off it comes to make way for something new.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Eagles and my Wildcard manicure

I'm a homer.
No, not that Homer, a home-team fan. I love my Philadelphia sports teams. Flyers, Eagles, Phillies, 76ers, I'll watch them all. When any of them are in the playoffs, there's extra excitement in the Lacquered Mom household. Even the spitfire will ignore Ben 10 long enough to cheer for a game.

Today, the Eagles play the Green Bay Packers in a wildcard match up. For the next 4 hours my butt will be plopped in front of my TV cheering, whistling and sometimes cursing at it. Of course I needed a wildcard manicure. Digging through my stash for appropriate greens I came up with Revlon's new Top Speed nail polish in Emerald. It's not dead-on Eagles green, but it's not Packers green.

Actually, the polish isn't that bad. It's a basic green creme. I used two coats, no base or top coat (as this will come off after the game, I'm not worried about shine or longevity). And true to its name, it dried fairly quickly. This pictures were taken not 20 minutes after tightening the cap.

If the Eagles win, I will be doing the same manicure next week. If they lose, I'm tossing it (not really, but I'll bury it in the waaaaaay back of the drawer). I could go on all day about sports, about the morality of rooting for Michael Vick, the inability of the secondary, whether Andy Reid should be driven out of this city, but I will just end with, "Let's go, Eagles!"

(At the time of typing, Vick has been sacked once and they've already gone 3 and out, let's home this gets better)

Free Zoya Polish!

So, did everyone take advantage of Zoya's 3 free polishes deal? I took this as an opportunity to not only get 3 free, but to get a few more.

A few weeks ago I took advantage of Zoya's free spoon deal and ordered 6 of them. Of those spoons, I added Crystal and Julieanne to my basket. In addition to those two, I grabbed Tiffany - a glittery peachy pink, Annie - an orange with golden shimmer, and Indigo - a deep, dark blue with blue shimmer and sparse holographic (!) glitter. I swatched them all out, and I have to say I am VERY happy with my purchases (and freebies!)

Zoya Tiffany

Zoya Tiffany closeup
Tiffany - this was a lovely peachy-pink with very dense pink and gold glitter. It is the glitteriest of the 5 that I got. Despite all of the glitter, it went on very easily and dried smoothly. This was 3 coats.

Zoya Annie

Zoya Annie closeup
This was a fantastic orange - and I do love orange - with lots of golden yellow shimmer. This left some subtle brushstrokes, but it wasn't too bad. The coverage on this one was excellent. This picture is 2 coats. I love this one.

Zoya Indigo

Zoya Indigo closeup
Indigo. This was a fantastic color. It was a very deep navy blue with a lighter blue shimmer. There is also a very sparse holographic glitter suspended in it as well. It gives it just the right amount of glitter to give it that little something extra. It was hard to photograph, but it looks awesome. At first I thought it was going to be streaky because the first coat didn't go on very well, but the second coat evened all of it out. This picture is 2 coats.

Zoya Julieanne

Zoya Julieanne closeup
Julieanne. Ok, this one wreaked havoc on my camera. When I took the picture without the flash, it was true to color, but make my skin look a jaundiced yellow. When I used a flash, my skin was the right color, but the polish looked blue, which it absolutely isn't. It's actually a deep purply-black base with dense dark purple and pink glitter suspended in it. It takes on almost a duochrome-like effect. Just to show the craziness with the flash, I have a little comparison.
The left side is no flash, but true to polish color, the right side is with a flash and true to skin color. Now, there was no direct sunlight today thanks to snow and cloudy skies, so that's whats making my skin so yellow. But the polish is on target!

Zoya Crystal

Zoya Crystal closeup
Crystal. A lovely medium icy blue with flecks of large gold glitter dispersed through it. Great color, application was less than great. It took three coats to make it look ok, but I was getting some bald spots and cuticle drag. I can get over it for a nice color, though.

When I put this on, I thought it resembled a color I had in my stash - Essence Choose Me. I fetched it out of the draw and made a little comparison
Zoya Crystal on top and Essence Choose Me on bottom
They are both blue polishes with gold glitter, however the essence is a bit more turquoise hued and jelly like. The gold flecks are smaller in Choose Me as well.
Zoya Crystal and Essence Choose Me
They're close, but there's a definite difference in the two. A big enough difference that I don't feel guilty owning both!

So, did anyone else pick up their 3 free Zoya polishes?
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