Saturday, 30 April 2011

NOTD: Glitter Accent Nail

Hello lovelies!

Today's post should probably be titled FOTD (FAIL Of The Day). I saw the lovely Kirsten from Glitta Gloves do a glitter accent nail and I loved it so much I wanted to replicate the look. Except that I failed rather spectacularly.

I don't know whether the polishes, my unsteady hands, the lack of sleep or my headache are to blame. Possibly all.

For this I did all my nails with China Glaze Light As Air, which needed three coats and was pretty thick and draggy but at the same time runny and hard to control. Drying time was abysmal on this. Looking at my nails now, over six hours after application, they're a bumpy, dentable mess. Do any of you have that same problem with Light As Air?

Anyway, I applied a coat of Sally Hansen Insta Dry and then used Essence Troy (a purple, blue and silver glitter) on my ring finger. I wanted some more colour in there so I applied a thin coat of Models Own Emerald City (emerald green glitter) which was too dense for my liking. So I applied another coat of Troy. Then I added topcoat to make it smooth.

I don't know. I think what makes me dislike this mani is that a) I loved Kirsten's mani sooo much and am super disappointed in myself that I couldn't make it work. And b) Light As Air was just such a frustrating mess. :/

Ugh. I really want to get rid of this mani, but I'm so tired and not in the mood to remove it. Blargh.

What do you guys think? Terrible fail or just not as good as I'd wanted it to be?

Friday, 29 April 2011

Swatches & Review: Essence Andy, You're A Star!

Happy Friday, lacquered lovelies!

Today's polish is from an Essence limited edition from a while ago. I know, I'm way late in posting these.

Andy, You're A Star! in nobody's eyes but miiiine is a vibrant orange creme. It's less muted than it looks in these pictures. This is three coats and I could have used a fourth as there was quite a bit of dragging and streaking going on. You can see a bit of a bald spot on my pinkie as well. (Not sure why my nails look so funky in the second pic O_o)

It's an okay colour, but I'm not blown away. Application wasn't great either. Not one of the best or prettiest polishes I've ever used. Then again, I did buy this for the name. :D (Any The Killers fans out there?)

That's it from me for today. Not feeling too hot so I'll be spending this Friday evening curled up on the couch with comfort food. Have a nice rest of the day/night, everyone! <3

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Swatches & Review: Anny Must Have - Chanel Paradoxal dupe?

Happy Thursday, lovelies!

I'm pretty excited about today's post. I've been lusting after Chanel Paradoxal since it's been released and often I was about to buy it and decided against it at the last moment. I adore the colour, but I just refuse to pay that much money for a polish that I know is low quality. I picked up several polishes in the vein of Paradoxal, but none of them looked like dupes/decent alternatives. Until my mom stumbled across this little beauty (I think she was as excited as I was).

This is two coats of Anny Must Have, no base or top coat. Do you see how glossy and squishy it looks?! Mmmm.

Must Have is a taupe-y creme with purple microshimmer. The shimmer is more prominent in person. As I said, I don't own Paradoxal, but this looks like a decent dupe to me. Application was smooth and easy and I love how shiny this is even without top coat. It has an almost jelly-esque finish (think Essie). I'm totally in love with it.

For 10€ I think it's a win. Great formula, beautiful colour and at a decent price. Me like.

What do you guys think? Does this look like a good dupe for Paradoxal? Have you found any cheap dupes that you really like?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Swatches & Review: p2 hug me!

Hello pretties! I hope you're all having a good week so far! <3

Today I'll be showing you a polish by p2, which is a German brand sold exclusively at dm in Germany (or so they tell you; everything except their skincare range is actually available at some Palmers in Austria as well). I've used several p2 polishes and I'm torn about them. I think they're a great deal for the price (about 1,50€) and they have a relatively wide range of colours with limited editions/new colours being released fairly regularly. However, there are a few things that I'm not too thrilled about. I'll get to that in a minute.

First, let me show you today's polish.

hug me! is a buttery, dark yellow creme. I've been trying to think of a way to properly describe this colour, but I can't seem to come up with anything useful. It makes me think "honey!", but it's not actually honey-coloured. It's definitely yellow, but...not. It has some orange undertones and it's pretty in-your-face, but it's not bright. It's muted. Soft. Apricot? I just don't know.

Wait! I know what this reminds me of! Remember Winnie the Pooh? The honey he used to eat? That's the colour this is. (Hence "honey honey honey honey honey honey" in my head, probs.) It's a colour that doesn't look too hot with my skintone, but eh. *shrugs* I'm still digging it.

I needed three coats for this to even out, but the lovely colour excuses that in my book. It's actually one of the better yellow polishes I've used; definitely on the thick side, but not stringy or overly streaky. It's quite smooth and buttery for a yellow, actually. The pictures above are with topcoat after about a day of wear.

Now for what bothers me about p2 polishes (and this goes for all their polishes I've used): the caps are extremely short. I find it hard to get a good grip on them, which makes polishing hard. The brushes, too, are small. They're short and soft and medium in width. The bristles fan out fairly well, though. I think it's really the caps that give me a frowny face.

But let's be honest here, for 1,55 a bottle? That's okay. That's flipping fine. It's decent polish and they have lots of pretty colours (mostly cremes which is right up my alley). What's not to love? (Probably that they're only available in Germany and Austria...)

On a different note, I seriously need to practice holding the bottle. My fingers always come out all pudgy and gross looking. Sorry, guys. I'm still learning. :(

Edited to add a bonus picture of myself last September after a U2 concert in Munich, which will probably make you understand why I adore the name/colour combo of this polish so much. :)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Swatches & Review: Anny Wicked

Hello lacquered lovelies!

Before I get to today's polish, I just want to say that I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had as much time for swatching and posting. I probably won't be posting my Friday Favourites every week. Maybe every other week or so. :)

Anyway, on to the pretty! Today I have for you Anny Wicked, which I've already shown you used under Essence Mystic Mermaid before. Anny is a brand I hadn't heard of until recently and I don't know if it's available anywhere else (I do know that you can buy it at Douglas in Germany as well as here in Austria, though).

Anny is a muted, greyed out aqua creme. This wouldn't really photograph colour accurately; I'd say the actual colour is somewhere between the two pictures, leaning more towards the second. Like i said before, it reminds me of a bluer version of Models Own Grace Green.

The polish is a bit on the thin side, but application was smooth and easy and it's opaque in two coats. The cap is fairly short as is the brush which is also rather firm and doesn't fan out all that easily. I thought it wasn't too bad, but I would advise to watch out for cuticle dragging. Just try to keep your touch as light and steady as possible.

As you can probably tell, I really love this polish. I love the colour and the glossy finish and how well it wears. The only downside is the square bottle that I just cannot figure out how to hold in pics. :P

Thursday, 21 April 2011

NOTD: p2 crackling Silver Blast over Catrice Am I Blue Or Am I Green?

Good evening, lovelies!

Today you're getting a super quick post from me as I really need to get to bed. This is a mani from last week that I really liked.

This is three coats of Catrice Am I Blue Or Am I Green? which was a hot mess on my nails: thick, goopy, streaky, you name it! At three coats this looked a mile thick and wasn't quite even yet so I decided to break out some crackles to see if I could save the mani. I think with p2 Silver Blast on top this looks really lovely! More of a winter mani, perhaps, but I like it. I was actually sad to take this off.

I really like the p2 crackles. There's a gold crackle as well, which I've only applied to my mom's nails so far, but I'm more of a silver girl anyway. They do dry matte, so you'll need to slap on some topcoat if you want a glossy finish.

Not a particularly complex or exciting mani, but I do like this a lot. I love how crackle can turn almost any polish that is a bit of a fail into an awesome mani.

On a diffferent note, I am so bummed that the Zoya polish exchange is US only. I've been dying to get my hands on some Zoya for a long time, but I hate to purchase them on evilbay. :/ Blargh. I loved my mom's suggestion of "Just ask one of the bloggers that live in the US to help you out!" But, since I'm not going to leave anything untried, if any of you US peeps would be willing to help a girl halfway across the globe out, I would appreciate it so, so much. I'd obviously pay for shipping, customs, etc. Anybody willing to give a girl from Austria a hand? I promise you I'm not a criminal or a crazy person. (... Okay, that was a lie. I am crazy, but I like to think of it as quirky and cute. :P)

Anyway. That's it from me. Not sure if I'll manage to do the Friday Favourites tomorrow, but I'll try and get them up asap.

Nighty night, lacquered ladies! xx

Swatches & Review: Catrice I Wear My Sunglasses At Night

Hello pretties!

Today I'm showing you another polish by Catrice; I Wear My Sunglasses At Night. I wore this last Monday to the One Republic concert in Vienna, because it sort of reminded me of the cover of their album Waking Up. This polish looks UH-MAY-ZING in the bottle. The name makes me grin. It reminds me of one of my favourite bands. I was loving this long before I ever put it on.

And then I made the mistake of actually putting it on.

Application was perfect. Smooth and easy and opaque in two coats. But when it started to dry it got kind of dull; I didn't think much of it since I always use topcoat anyway. But this ate my freaking topcoat. Usually Seche Vite leaves me with super shiny, smooth nails, but this just soaked it all up and stayed dull and semi-gritty. There was funky shrinkage and tip pulling going on all over the place. Maybe this is just a weird reaction to Seche Vite, but I manage to dent my manis even when I use quick dry top coat, because I'm so impatient. Waiting for the polish to dry on its own? Yeeeeeaaaaaahno.

It's a bummer really, because this polish has so much potential. It's a black creme packed with silver, green and purple microglitter that flashes red and gold at some angles. Unfortunately it's not nearly as sparkly on the nails. The black creme base is too opaque to let the glitter really shine through. (Do enlarge the pictures to see the awesome sparkle in the bottle. It's gorgeous. Well, it would be gorgeous.)

Sorry, but this is one of the most disappointing polishes I've ever used.

Did you ever buy a polish that looked amazing in the bottle, but looked like crap when applied?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Review & Swatches: Essence Hello Holo worn over p2 Who Cares?

Before I say anything, just so you guys know, it's 4AM where I am and I'm kinda sick, so I might not be making as much sense as I currently think I am. :P

Today I have for you another one of the Essence Special Effect topcoats: Hello Holo.

[Feel free to skip straight to the pictures, but here's a little story about buying this baby. I picked it up and, as I always do, looked at the name and read Hello Hello instead of Hello Holo. As some of you (you know who you are) may know I love U2 and the chorus of their song Vertigo starts with "hello hello"...... Long story short, I got excited, sung to myself in the middle of a store and was horribly disappointed to discover the lack of U2 connection when I got home. So much that this has been standing around untried for weeks.]

This is one coat of Hello Holo over two coats of p2 Who Cares and a coat of topcoat to make it smooth and shiny.

Firstly, these pictures do not do this mani justice. Let me say that again, they do not do this mani justice. It looks really dull and well, non-holo here. Hello Holo is tons of hex holographic glitter suspended in a clear base and, let me tell you, it is insanely holo. Even in the lamplight it's crazy. I couldn't stop staring at my nails. I love the combination of the minty, pale blue of Who Cares? and the silver holo glitter. When the light caught it right it looked like snow in the sunlight. On an LSD trip. (Or at least what I imagine snow in sunlight must look like when you're on LSD.)

This is making me crave holo polishes. I wasn't really impressed by them until I had this on my nails. Now I want the real deal. (I'm extraordinarily good at only getting into things after they're long over. *facepalm*)

Like I said with Mystic Mermaid, the other Special Effect topcoat I've tried, this wore extremely well. The pics were taken on the thrid day of wear and there's no tipwear to speak of and only one minuscule chip on my right pointer (and that was from opening a can with my bloody fingernail). Really impressed.

I'd also like to say that I just saw I've reached 10 followers, which honestly boggles my mind. I mean, I've been blogging for barely one and a half months and people are actually reading my blog? That's. That's just crazy. Thanks guys. <3

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Friday Favourites: Lush 9 to 5 Cleanser

Edit: Way to fail, blogger. I posted this yesterday morning. *facepalm*
Good morning, pretties!

First of all, I realize that it's Monday and this post should have been up a while ago, but I was busy the past few days and simply didn't manage to take pictures and put something up. I can't guarantee this won't happen again; my mind is all over the place at the best of times.

This week's (well, last week's, but anyway.) Friday Favourite is Lush's 9 to 5, a liquid face cleanser.

 I have been using this cleanser every time I've worn makeup for the past month or so and I absolutely love it. I have been looking for the perfect liquid cleanser for a while now and this might just be it. It thoroughly removes foundation, concealer, powder, blush, lipstick and even non-waterproof eye makeup (though I prefer to use a separate eye makeup remover) and leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized. This is amazing when you come home from an exhausting day or a night out and just feel completely drained and you have that oily, gross sensation on your face from wearing makeup for too long and sweating and stuff; it instantly makes your skin feel refreshed and baby soft. This smells very strongly of orchid, which I love and, in opinion, the scent makes you relax even more. Almost like aroma therapy. (If you want a neutral smelling cleanser, this is so not for you.)

According to the Lush website this is made with almond oil, dove orchid and everlasting flower absolute and has a cleansing, anti-bacterial and soothing effect on the skin. I can honestly say that I agree with all of those.

How I use this: What I do is squeeze a decent amount onto my fingers and apply it to my face; I like to rub it into my skin a bit, because I feel this helps work the makeup off and intensifies the moisturizing effect. Then I just use a cotton pad to wipe it off and I'm done. I don't usually apply moisturizer afterwards - only if my skin feels extremely dry and irritated - and unless you have very dry skin you probably won't have to use moisturizer either.

I have the 95g bottle, but there is also a larger size which I will definitely get when I run out. I think this is a first for me - liking a skincare product enough to repurchase. Usually I'm never quite happy and end up picking up a new product every time I run out. Perhaps it's because my skin is extremely sensitive and basically needs a different treatment every other day. We'll see how long this cleanser works for me, but right now it's perfect for my skin. :)

Do you guys have a cleanser that you keep repurchasing? Or any product for that matter? Or do you just keep picking up something different every time?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Swatches & Review: OPI The One That Got Away

Hello ladies!

Today I have OPI The One That Got Away from the Katy Perry collection for you. I know, I'm way late in  posting swatches of that collection, but, and I think I mentioned this on Twitter a while back, the Katy Perry collection only became available a few weeks ago here in Austria. It does tend to take collections (especially from US companies) a bit longer to get here (Essie Spring collection, I'm still waiting for you.), but this surprised even me. Thankfully I could get my hands on all the polishes I wanted in the end (the only one I didn't get was the yucky pale pink glitter. Seen it look pretty on others, but on me these kinds of colours look gross.). I'm not sure if I'll end up swatching the others as well, since all of you have probably seen them tons of times by now. Not to mention I have a bunch of other polishes to swatch and post that I think are way more exciting than a months old collection. We'll see.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

The One That Got Away is a gorgeous raspberry colour with loads of crazy sparkly microglitter (Do you see all those awesome colours the glitter flashes in?!). I feel like this looks more muted in these pictures than it actually is. It's dark, but definitely not muted in person. The glitter in this is really dense and applies evenly on the nail.  This is two coats, no base or top coat. As you can see, this dries very smooth and super shiny on its own so top coat isn't necessary. One thing I would say is that the formula on this is thinner than on the other polishes from this collection, but it still glides on effortlessly.

I know, not a very exciting post, but the weather still isn't cooperating so I'm digging through older swatches and posting them. Sorry guys. :|

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Swatches & Review: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick Full Speed

Hello darlings!

I haven't been feeling all that great these past few days, hence the lack of posts. I haven't been able to take many pictures lately, partly due to lack of sunlight and partly because I simply wasn't feeling up to it. However, I did swatch a lipstick I bought just last week.

This is from MAC's Sheen Supreme line and it's in the colour Full Speed. This is slightly brighter and more orange-toned in real life.

I have to say, I wasn't planning on buying this lipstick. I've been eyeing the Sheen Supreme lipsticks ever since they came out, but kept telling myself that I don't need one, because a) I'm not really into the whole glossy-shiny-juicy lips and b) the only colour that really intrigued me was the red and I have way too many red lipsticks as it is. (I suspect this is me making up for my general dislike of red polishes.) Ironically, when I first saw the display of them, Full Speed was the first colour I picked up to swatch on the back of my hand.

Anywho. Now that spring is here and summer is within reach I started craving corals. (I think OPI Cajun Shrimp is a must for me this summer.) I recently bought a couple of coral-y polishes and blushes, but no lip products. I do admit, Full Speed seemed more orange to me in the store than it did when I put it on, but it's still absolutely gorgeous. I like the slick, glossy texture and am really impressed by the colour intensity; despite the glossy finish, it's not overly sheer. However, wear time is, unsurprisingly, extremely short on this.

It's a loud, bold colour that will probably make people stare at your mouth, especially if your skin is as fair as mine (for reference, on most days I'm slightly lighter than NW15.). I wore this the other day with minimal makeup and messy beachwaves and it looked amazing. This makes for a beautiful pop of colour with an otherwise neutral face, but would also look stunning with a light smokey eye, I think.

One thing I would say, though, is that these don't apply as precisely as other MAC lipsticks. They are broader and can thus be a little hard to control. I have rather full lips, so it's not a problem for me, but if you have smaller lips you might want to be careful with these. Not a major concern, but still something to consider before buying, I think.

I know, I started out blogging about polish, but my polish obsession is much more recent than my love for makeup. I will probably not post about makeup as much, simply because I loathe taking pictures of the products, but you can expect more to come. (Perhaps I really should get a youtube channel for the makeup reviews. What do you guys think?)

I hope you guys enjoyed this and that it was helpful. Let me know what you think and if you'd like to see more makeup swatches/posts in the future!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Friday Favourites: Essie Up's

Hello lovelies!

As you can see in the title of this post, I'll be posting one of my favourite products every Friday. These will include current flings and long-time lovers alike. :)

Today I have for you one of my favourite red polishes: Essie Up's.

This is three coats of Up's and a coat of Seche Vite on top (on the third-ish day of wear, hence the scratches and semi-dull surface....I'm not really making the best case for this polish here, am I?). Excuse the not-so-great pic; took this really quickly on my way out. (Also, yes, my skin is actually that pale.)

As you can see, Up's is a rich, blue-toned red jelly. I'm not much of a red person, to be honest, and the reds I do like are usually shimmers or glitters, but every once in a while I'll crave a rich red polish. This is one of the very few reds I have and the only one I wear regularly. (Jellies own my soul, even when they're a pain to apply.)

I love to wear this with Illamasqua lipstick in Box. Makes for a pretty awesome retro, diva/pin-up-esque makeup!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

NOTD: Catrice Sold Out Forever - Swatches & Review

Hello lovelies!

The weather hasn't really allowed me to take pictures lately, so here's one that I took a while ago and forgot to post: Catrice Sold Out Forever.

(Whyyyy do these types of colours never photograph properly?!) Sold Out Forever is a minty, spring-y kind of pastel green creme with shimmer. The shimmer doesn't really show up here, but it's very visible in person. The colour is hard to describe since it's somewhere between the many mint greens and the few spring greens in my collection. I don't have anything quite like this. Especially with the shimmer. So pretty!

This needed three coats for opacity and was on the thin side, but application was smooth and easy. All in all, a very nice polish!

I'll be driving to Germany tomorrow to haul some products (p2 polishes, here I come!!!) so you may expect some goodies to be up soon. Here's to hoping the sun comes out and lets me take some pictures! *crosses fingers*

Monday, 4 April 2011

NOTD: Essence Mystic Mermaid over Anny Wicked

Happy Monday, lovelies!

Today I have a very simple but very pretty mani for you: Essence Special Effect Topper in Mystic Mermaid over Anny Wicked. The pics were taken after a couple of days of wear, so do excuse the slight tipwear.

This is two coats of Wicked, a coat of Seche Vite, a coat of Mystic Mermaid and another coat of Seche Vite.

Wicked is a greyed out, muted, minty kind of aqua. To me it's a slightly bluer version of Models Own Grace Green, which, as you all probably know, I adore. I'll swatch Wicked separately for you soon.

Mystic Mermaid wouldn't photograph properly, but it's silver microglitter (is it microglitter? It's very tiny and dries fairly smooth at any rate.) and slightly larger light blue glitter suspended in a clear base. The glitter in this is very dense and applies smooth and even. In the sun this is crazy sparkly and the blue glitter flashes pink at certain angles. So pretty! Got lots of compliments for this.

Also, I am incredibly impressed with how long this stayed chip-free. Those pictures were taken on the third day of wear (one of which was spent cooking and scrubbing pans!) and even so there's barely any tipwear. Usually I get chips within a few hours. Really pleased with this!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Swatches & Review: Essence Blossoms Etc Collection

Hello pretties!

I hope you all had a good weekend! Mine was somewhat exhausting, but fortunately I picked up these new Essence polishes from their spring Blossoms etc  collection and had something to look forward to. There's a total of five polishes in the collection, but I only got these four.

A Hint Of Mint is a pale spring green with subtle green shimmer. I know, the shimmer barely shows up in the pictures, but it is visible in person. I found this one's name a little misleading, since I wouldn't describe this as a minty colour at all. Maybe that's just me, though.This is two coats. Formula was nice and application smooth. This does tend to highlight every ridge and flaw of my nails so I'll probably end up doing three coats when I wear this. Very pretty, though.

I Like is a nice, pale turquoise with silvery blue shimmer. It's slightly less bright than it looks here. Again, two coats, nice formula and application. (Do ignore my index finger; managed to scrape nearly everything off as I was trying to take a pic. And ignore the weird way I'm holding the bottle. And how wonky my fingers/nails look. First and last time I attempted taking a pic with my left hand.)

My Yellow Fellow is a very pretty pastel yellow with pale gold shimmer. This did need three coats for opacity and not to get it smooth and even, for a change. The formula on this was a bit thin, bordering on watery, and thus rather sheer, but it builds up nicely and I didn't have any trouble with application.

Forget Me Not is a pale cornflower blue with blue shimmer. I do think this is my favourite in the collection. This is two coats and, as My Yellow Fellow, the formula on this one was a bit runny and thin, but didn't give me any trouble.

As I said, there's a fifth colour in the collection that I wasn't interested in.

On the whole I'm really pleased with these. I haven't worn them yet, but I can't wait to! The formula was a bit inconsistent, but easy to manage and nice. One thing I did notice is that the brushes on these seem to be longer and slightly broader (though nowhere near, say, OPI) than on regular Essence polishes. Personally, I think this made application easier and smoother.

Two things that I don't find that great: the bottles are tall and thin and rather easy to knock over and though the shimmer isn't all that prominent on the nails (though definitely there!) it does stick to my nails after I've removed the polish.

In conclusion: I really like these. I like the colours and I like that they all have a bit of shimmer in them, which makes them stand out in the midst of all those pastel cremes. I also like the formula and brushes. If you like these kinds of colours I would definitely recommend picking them up!