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Illamasqua Cameo Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Cameo Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Cameo Nail Varnish

Purple Makes a Cameo in This Blue

Illamasqua Cameo Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “cornflower blue.” (Sephora has it listed as “periwinkle blue.”) It’s a dusty, cornflower blue that leans noticeably purple. It almost more purple than blue, but it’s not true purple. Which, I suppose, tells you how complex and confusing this color family can be! I couldn’t think of a dupe–Essie Lapis of Luxury was too blue, while Essie Smooth sailing was too purple (and shimmery, too). I’d love to hear from you if you know of any dupe possibilities!

The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was opaque after two coats.  It dried down to a glossy finish without the need of a top coat (shown without a top coat).  The glossiness is really impressive; it’s just so shiny and glossy; it just looks really elegant and polished.  I typically get anywhere from a week to a week and a half of wear out of Illamasqua’s formula.  It wears exceptionally well in my experience and is a go-to formula when I travel, because it never chips on me.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Cameo
Cameo
Cameo
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler Review & Photos

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler

How Many Eyelash Curlers Does One Person Need?

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Eyelash Curler ($24.00) is shu’s famous eyelash curler with a vibrant red curling pad and mon shu charm attached to the handle. The charm is completely removable, and I’d recommend doing so–but shu said as much saying to “take this lovelyc harm along in your favorite bag.” If the red curling pad and the charm don’t do it for you, the original curler is $4 less. Either way, I’m a huge fan of shu uemura’s curler, and I have been for years! I’ve given it an award for being the best for the past three years.

What I like is the way the handles are shaped, so the grip is comfortable, while the curler is wide and gently curved to fit around all my lashes. It doesn’t pinch the skin, and it doesn’t crimp my lashes either.  While I can’t vouch for this particular unit, I’ve owned two shu’s in my lifetime, and the only reason I bought the second was because I needed the curling pads.  They’re well-made, and I’ve never felt that the spring has lots its power over time.

Eyelash curlers may be the most fun product to photograph, if only because they always look a bit like torture devices.  And I’m sure to anyone who hasn’t been around one or used one often, they do look strange.  No torture here, just prettily curled lashes, which make eyes appear larger and more awake.

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Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set Review & Photos

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set
Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set

A Travel Set of Exquisitely Soft Brushes

Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura Mini Brush Set ($69.00) includes a silver brush case that includes four short-handled brushes. The largest is the cheek brush, which is made out of pony/squirrel hair. Then, there are two eyeshadow brushes, one is made out of nylon and the other out of sable. The last brush is a lip or eyeliner brush, which is made out of sable. The four brushes were made in Japan.

I’ve been using these brushes for a couple of days, and for a travel set, they’re really quite nice. The blush brush is dense and soft against the skin; it doesn’t feel scratchy at all. It does a nice job of both applying and blending out cheek color. The nylon eyeshadow brush works well for cream eyeshadows, while the sable eyeshadow brush is better for applying powder products. I thought the latter brush was a little large and would have preferred a squatter brush. I used the smallest brush for both applying lip color as well as applying shu’s Painting Liner, and it worked nicely for both applications. I liked it a bit more for lining around the eye, just because it felt a smidgen too small against my lips (but would be nice for someone with thinner lips).

All four brushes have been washed twice now, and I haven’t had any problem with dye bleeding, funny smells, or the like.  The blush brush hasn’t had any shedding problems either.  As far as the bag goes, it will get the job done; I think it’s a little thin overall.  I liked the way each brush had its own pocket, and there’s enough room in it to stick a couple more brushes in there if you want (or a few other products).

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Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish

Fall In Love: It’s the Noble Thing to Do

Illamasqua Noble Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “turquoise blue.” (Sephora has it listed as “robin egg blue.”) It’s a brightened, light-medium blue with a hint of turquoise in it, which gives it that robin’s egg blue hue. It has a cream finish with a naturally glossy shine. Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Faraway is bluer, darker, and has shimmer. SpaRitual Ebb & Flow is more turquoise. Deborah Lippmann On the Beach is bluer, less bright. Zoya Robyn is a smidgen darker, bluer.

Noble is a limited edition, U.S. exclusive shade.  It’s fully opaque after two coats (and mostly opaque after one).  The consistency was just slightly thicker than the usual for Illamasqua.  It didn’t pool along the sides or bubble during application, though, so it did not impede application.  The drying time was about average (maybe slightly faster), but it had a really glossy finish without need for a top coat (photos are without a top coat).  I typically see between seven and ten days of incredible wear with Illamasqua’s formula–the most minor of tip wear and no chipping.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Noble
Noble
Noble
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow

Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow
Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow

Enduring Vert is Long on Wear, Short on Color

Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow ($24.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “satin pastel green.” It’s a muted sea foam green with a frosted, metallic finish. I thought Chanel Riviere was a dupe, but it’s a lot softer and lighter. MAC Sweet & Sour is greener. Dior Garden Pastels is similar. Lancome Fashion Forward is lighter. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is greener, slightly darker.

The Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow is supposed to “stray true for 24 hours without creasing” with a “powder-to-cream texture.” If they sound familiar, they should. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows and L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows are both iterations of this type of formula, and it’s not surprising that the three have more in common than not when they’re all owned by L’Oreal (parent).

Enduring Vert is sheer when applied dry, but it’s not much more pigmented when applied damp/wet.  I was able to pack it on and get more opaque color, so it’s possible, but it took several passes of color.  The texture was a little chunky, and it looked like it on the lid.  It just didn’t have a smooth finish once on.  It did, however, wear without creasing or fading for twelve hours.  There was some minor fall out that I noticed during wear.

Lancome Color Design Infinite 24H Enduring Vert

Wet ‘n’ Wild Dutchess Fergie Nail Lacquer

Wet 'n' Wild Dutchess Fergie Nail Lacquer
Wet ‘n’ Wild Dutchess Fergie Nail Lacquer

Whoa! Ease Up on the Brush!

Wet ‘n’ Wild Dutchess Fergie Nail Lacquer ($3.49 for 0.42 fl. oz.) consists of small, medium blue glitter and larger, circular violet purple glitter suspended in a clear base. Nails Inc. Connaught Square is extremely similar, just denser. Zoya Twila has some similarity in how textured it looks on, but it has horizontal bar glitter and is all blue.

It’s semi-opaque after two coats; you can see the underlying nail, but it’s not just a sheer coat of glitter.  This polish was extremely thick–almost goopy–that I don’t think three or coats would be do-able.  It took a long time just for two coats to dry.  If left without a top coat, it dries to a slightly flat finish.  The brush is huge; it’s wider and longer than Dior’s, which is fairly wide from my experience across polish brushes.  It was larger than the width of my pinky nail!  The thicker consistency, paired with the large brush, made it extremely easy to get a big glob of polish on the nail.

You know how I’ve mentioned that very few polishes chip on me (and I can’t really recollect anything in particular)?  This one started to peel on me on the fourth day, almost half of the polish on one nail lifted off.  By the seventh day, there was peeling/lifted color on all four other nails.  It happened on two nails that I did not use a base/top coat on, and on three nails that I had a base/top coat on.

P.S. — It is, in fact, spelled Dutchess; that was not a mistake on my part, as it ties to Fergie’s The Dutchess album.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Dutchess Fergie Nail Lacquer

D-
5
Product
8
Pigmentation
6
Texture
6
Longevity
2.5
Application
61%
Total

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