Monday, May 30, 2011

Sally Hansen Polish Strips, take II

I liked the Sally Hansen polish strips last time I used them, so when I was in the mood for a quick (and easy dry) manicure last week, I reached for my mini stash of them. I grabbed "Check It Out", which is a neat houndstooth pattern.

They are fairly easy to put on, there's a bit of one-handed wrangling trying to get them even, and I messed up a few on my right hand, but luckily they give you a few extras in case you mess up a bit. It's very important to remember to have very clean nails before adding them. You also have to go very slowly and evenly when you're pressing them down, or else you'll get some folding.

Unfortunately, the finish on them isn't the shiniest - so I added a shiny topcoat - which was probably a big mistake. It added quite a few bubbles, at least I think it did. I couldn't tell if the dots were from the topcoat bubbling, or from the stretching out of the strip over the nail and distorting the pattern. Either way, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. In fact, I have had more comments on these nails then I have ever received before. Even my (male) doctor commented on them.

This picture is after about 6 days on my nails. If you click on it, you can see the tip, where I tried to open a soda bottle and caught the top in the screw cap, the 6 day growth near the cuticle, and the bubbles that appeared. I'll probably take these off tomorrow, simply because I'm in need of changing the color, but I have a few more boxes of these, so I'll definitely try them again (and again).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nfu-Oh 64

Ahhh, my trusty holos. Whenever I'm bored with my stash (which shouldn't be, considering I have well over 200 polishes) I pull out one of my trusty holos and all is right in the universe.

No flash (and funny orange skin)
With flash to capture the rainbow of colors

Anyone who has read this blog knows my love for holos. I love the way it dances in the light and throws off a rainbow of colors. I do tend to prefer the fine-grained linear holographics, meaning that it forms a line of color along the nail. If you look in the flash picture above, you can see the distinct lines of rainbow colors from the holographic glitter. A scattered holo is just that, it forms a scattered effect. 
The other thing I have noticed about this particular brand is that it does not look very holographic in the bottle. Many of the older OPIs and the China Glaze OMG collections show a very visible linear holo effect while still in the bottle. Looking at the Nfu-Ohs it may seem that they would end up being scattered or *gulp* duds. However, that is absolutely not the case as they form some of the best holos around.

No flash - and freaky orange skin is back

The Nfu-Oh holos aren't without their problems. They are on the thick side, and application isn't the smoothest. If you're not careful it will form some massive bald spots. Using Nfu-Oh's Aqua Base does help a bit for that. I only used two coats for this one, but I did go slower than usual and really took my time. I actually had to re-do a few nails because my application was horrendous. In the end, it was all worth it. I love looking at my nails out in the sunlight.

OPI Black Shatter with Northern Lights topcoat

Yeah, you knew I had to put a shatter coat on top of it! They look so good on top of holos!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

butter London Yummy Mummy... wish it was yummier

I had an interview today, so it was time to remove the multicolored nails (testing some colors) and put on something subtle.

Enter butter London's Yummy Mummy. Ever since Ulta has begun carrying butter London, I've been scooping them up every time I'm there. I love the polish - the colors are fun, the formula is nice and the bottles line up so very nicely in my drawer.

This is a light brown taupe color with a subtle silver microshimmer. The shimmer is visible only in the right light, so a flash was necessary. I used two coats with a nice healthy Seche Vite topcoat.

It was a nice, not quite mannequin hands color, but close. The shimmer gives it a little variety. However, that's where the love affair ends. The application for this one was horrible. I would like to think that maybe I just got an off-bottle, but this was thick, streaky and out and out hard to work with. The coats were already so thick that I didn't want to chance a third coat, but you can still see a bit of a bald spot on my left thumb. I like the color, but I don't know if I'd ever use this one again because it was so hard to work with, which is a shame because normally I LOVE the butter London polishes.

And, after going to the interview today, the place was so laid back, that I probably could have gotten away with the tester nails and no one would have noticed!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guerlain Rouge Automatique

My VIB status at Sephora was recently renewed (a.k.a. - I spend too much money at Sephora) and I got a 10% off coupon. I thought this would be the perfect time to try my first Guerlain lipcolor. I have been wanting to try the new Rouge Automatique since I saw its debut on the blogs recently.

The color I picked was 164 Chamade. It is a lovely rosy pink color, not too light, but not too dark. I've been on an orange kick recently with lipcolor (I'm always on an orange kick, I love orange) so I decided to try something different.

The gold tube was wreaking havoc on my camera

I love this design. You place your thumb on the square lever and pull down - one handed opening and application. There is a small door on top the the lipstick that keeps it save from random purse debris and best of all - no cap top pop off inside your purse!

However, the packaging, as novel as it is, is actually the least impressive part of this lipstick. The formula of the lipstick itself is fantastic. There is a faint floral smell, but it's so faint that you need to put the bullet quite close to your nose to smell it, and there is no smell or taste on the lips.

It is silky smooth, but light as air. I can barely tell that I have lipstick on. There's nothing worse than feeling like you have a thick layer of wax on your lips all day, and this definitely does not feel that way. I have never tried Rouge G or Kiss Kiss, so I can't compare this formula to either of them. And shiny, it was quite shiny once applied. It has terrific staying power. Lipstick normally doesn't last as long on me as some others because I frequently press my lips together, or am always drinking something, but this lasted hours and hours on me.

If there's one issue I have with this, it's the shape of the tube. It is a square tube and when you bring the tube up to your lips, it obscures the view of your lips a little bit, so it's hard to precisely see the outline of your lips. But that's it. It's not enough to turn me off to this. Even with the price ($35) I think I will be purchasing more of these. It's easy to see why the blogging world raves over this brand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara

The last purchase I made from my Chanel shopping spree a few weeks back was a mascara. Since trying out Maybelline the Falsies, and having a dreadful time with DiorShow, I swore off expensive mascara. Weeeeeell, I went back on that.

$30 is a heck of a lot to pay for mascara, but Lord and Taylor was having a Friends and Family sale, so I got it at 10% off. Not a lot, but still it's something.

Upon opening the tube, it has that very typical mascara smell. I can't describe it, but it is distinctively a mascara smell, and it's fairly strong in this mascara.

However, it does have the short bristled plastic wand that I love. I'm not a big fan of the huge spirally wands - like the DiorShow mascaras. These short plastic ones just seem to grab the lashes better.

I purchased Noir, which is black, and it is very very black. However, the formula is quite thick. You have to wipe off the excess mascara every single time you dip it into the tube or else your lashes will clump like no one's business.

It does deliver on what it says - it curls, lengthens, separates and thickens your lashes, but you do have to be careful applying it. This isn't a throw it on in 10 seconds mascara, you have to carefully apply it and - this is important - don't make too many swipes. If you swipe it too many times in a coat, you will end up with tarantula lashes. But if you take your time and use as few strokes as necessary and a good eyelash comb, you will get great results.

I always thought side-views showed off lashes (and mascara)

I've been wearing it for a couple of weeks and I'm really torn. If I go to quick or to heavy, my lashes look like a clump-a-thon, but if I take my time and do it right, then they really do look nice. All in all, I don't think I would spend the money on it again, but I'm not regretting my purchase.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eye color

So there has been lots of raving all over the beauty blogging world about the new Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense eye color. Well, now you can add me to that list as well.

Being the nice little lemming that I am, I walked into Neiman Marcus to grab myself one. I picked color 6, Khaki Pulse. These are really great shadows - not quite cream, not quite powder but a magical mixture of both.

They all say "Noka" on the back. I'm not quite sure what that means, so you will have to go by the numbers. Khaki Pulse is number 6. I only got the name by looking it up on the Giorgio Armani website.

Each one is also a mixture of two colors mottled into one glass pot. This one is a mixture of gold and khaki green which turns into a lovely golden brown color, with tons and tons of shimmer. I have applied this both with my fingers and with a brush, both of which work very well.

And this stuff stays put! I tried it first with a primer (UDPP, my normal primer) and it lasted very nicely, but I have yet to have anything crease with UDPP, so I thought I'd try it by itself. I'll be damned, it stayed and that is not an exaggeration. I kept the color on for 9 hours, and I snapped some pictures of my eyes after 7 hours.

Top and bottom picture after 7! hours.

There wasn't any fallout, but it migrated a teeny tiny big at the outer bottom corner of my eye. However, that is the only issue I had with this, and it was minor. I love this product so much, that I may have just gone out and bought another color!
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