Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Rebecca suggested a theme of polishes perfect for autumn, and here are my five picks! I wanted to vary the shades so there would (hopefully!) be something for everyone to consider. There were a lot of amazing limited edition shades that caught my eye, but I wanted to stick with shades permanently available.

  1. Butter London Thames — deep, shimmering teal
  2. Illamasqua Raindrops — cool, bluish gray with flecks of sparkle/glitter
  3. Zoya Evvie — muted, stormy green-gray
  4. Chanel Provocation — muted plum-purple cream
  5. Guerlain Nahema — orange cream

What’s your favorite nail color to wear during autumn?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Zoya Giovanna Nail Lacquer
Zoya Giovanna Nail Lacquer

Zoya Giovanna Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “emerald green metallic.” It’s a rich, vibrant green-leaning teal with metallic shimmer. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. Dior Samba is similar. Zoya Zuza has a different finish, is lighter. Butter London Thames is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Mason Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “red violet metallic.” It’s a rich, metallic fuchsia-shimmered plummy red. It was opaque in two coats, and it applied smoothly and evenly. L’Oreal The Mystic’s Future is slightly purpler, less pink. Illamasqua Charisma is redder. Zoya Izzy is pinker. Zoya Carly is purpler. See comparison swatches.

Neve Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sapphire blue metallic.” It’s a rich, bluish-purple with violet, blue, and fuchsia micro-shimmer and a metallic finish. It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and the consistency was just slightly on the thicker side. MAC Blue Gaze and MAC Breezy Blue are both creams. SpaRitual Blue Moon is less metallic. China Glaze Want My Bawdy is lighter, less blue. See comparison swatches.

All three had very slightly visible brush strokes, and the degree to which they’re noticeable depends on just how strong the light is when it hits the nail. If you’re very sensitive to them, I’d stay away, but if you don’t mind minor to moderate brush strokes, these are lovely. All three shades were very rich and decadent, and they had a lot of depth on the nail. I typically get a week of wear out of Zoya’s polish formula.

The Glossover

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product

Giovanna

A-

It's a rich, vibrant green-leaning teal with metallic shimmer. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn't too thick or too thin.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Mason

A-

It's a rich, metallic fuchsia-shimmered plummy red. It was opaque in two coats, and it applied smoothly and evenly.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Neve

B+

It's a rich, bluish-purple with violet, blue, and fuchsia micro-shimmer and a metallic finish. It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and the consistency was just slightly on the thicker side.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin NARS Taos Zoya Beatrix YSL Vert d'Orient Illamasqua Supernatural Burberry Cameo Pink Burberry Cameo Pink OCC New Wave OCC New Wave Urban Decay Radium Sephora Fairytale Marc Jacobs The Starlet

The Tempting 10 features my top product picks for the upcoming month, and these are all products I’ve reviewed in the past (you can click around the image above or use the links below to see more photos, swatches, etc.). I think it’s a great way for me to share old favorites (but always ones that are permanent!) and highlight recent limited editions that have captured my attention.  Asking me to narrow anything down to a top ten is difficult, but I’ve tried to capture products across brands, price points, and even types, for a more well-rounded list.

August is that month that, for me, will always be the last real month of summer, even if technically it’s not over.  I think a lot of it has to do with being in school until I was 25, so August meant back-to-school shopping, enjoying the last days with no essays, no textbooks, and no looming exams, and getting away with (at least some of the time) doing nothing.  Now that I’ve graduated from school, summer is a little different, but there’s a part of me that still gets nervous when August 1st pops up on the calendar, because I think, “Nooo, school!”  To that end, I look at the month as one filled with fun, which is why my favorites are vibrant and rich.  I also think with the hot temperatures we see in August, brighter colors just feel so appropriate, and then formulas that are minimalist or long-wearing are musts.  I love how one statement color, whether on eyes, lips, or nails (or wherever else!) can instantly make one look alive and colorful and present without spending a lot of time or having to worry about it breaking down easily.

Bonus: a lot of these products work well for anyone hurried in the mornings or doesn’t want to touch-up a lot during the day–so perfect for those of you who are heading back to school this fall.

  1. Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin — a rich, vibrant orange-red for the perfect pop of color in the summer when you want to look a little done up but not actually wear a lot of makeup
  2. NARS Taos — a bolder, super pigment-rich shade that can be worn subtly or intensely in a burnt red with gold shimmer–the more you blend and buff it into the skin, the more glowy it looks
  3. Zoya Beatrix – a sparkling, dazzling tangerine for your nails that wears well, too
  4. YSL Vert d’Orient – a rich, decadent teal cream that makes me think of swimming pools, tropical islands, and vacation
  5. Illamasqua Supernatural — a dewy, bronzy glow that gives skin a wet, shimmering look
  6. Burberry Cameo Pink – a beautiful, glossy coral-pink shimmered with gold with semi-opaque color coverage
  7. OCC New Wave – glossy, shiny, stained glass color that is lighter than lipstick but still more pigmented than traditional gloss; New Wave being a pinky-red with subtle cool undertones–like a juicy watermelon for your lips
  8. Urban Decay Radium — a deep blue with a frosted finish and would work well paired with golds, greens, aquas, and teals (if the eyeshadow is too much, there is always the eyeliner!)
  9. Sephora Fairytale — shimmer like a mermaid with this blue-based teal that has green and gold shimmer; I love wearing shades like this (I am a teal eyeliner junkie) on the lower lash line with not much else on the eyes for an instant burst of color
  10. Marc Jacobs The Starlet – it’s a lovely palette, period, but I think it’s a nice transition piece from summer to fall, and August, no doubt, is going to be an interesting month for MJB, since we’ll see the full release and I can’t wait to hear what the beauty world says about the range!

I’d also like to take a moment in this post to plead with Tom Ford to make his Cream Colors in Escapade and Pink Haze permanent, because had they not completely sold out months ago (part of the summer collection), they would have earned a spot here most definitely.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for August in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

  • Must-Have Eye Products:
  • Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
  • Must-Have Lip Products:
  • Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:
Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Zoya Chita Nail Lacquer
Zoya Chita Nail Lacquer

Zoya Chita Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “forest green in a matte, textured, sparkling finish.” It’s a medium-dark green with cool undertones and warmer, champagne-gold sparkle. It has a matte, textured finish, as described, and some sparkle. I felt like the texture seemed to take away from the sparkle, and it was less dazzling as some of the other Pixie Dust shades have been. It was mostly opaque after two coats (and Zoya rates it as a four, with five being fully opaque). None of the following shades are that similar, given they lack the finish of Chita. Illamasqua Kink has a rubber finish, no shimmer. China Glaze Glittering Garland is warmer, not textured. Zoya Ray is darker. Zoya Logan is cooler-toned. Essie Going Incognito is a cream. See comparison swatches.

Sunshine Nail Lacquer ($9.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “Van Gogh navy blue in a matte, textured, sparkling finish.” It’s a medium-dark blue with blue and silver sparkle and a matte, textured finish. There’s a slight violet/purple tint to it. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and like Chita, Zoya listed it as four for opacity (five is fully opaque), so it is what it’s supposed to be. This shade sparkled a bit more, but it still seemed flatter than other Pixie Dusts. I couldn’t think of anything like this, and all that I could were two creams with a similar blue coloring (but they appear darker and more violet-tinted since they have no shimmer): MAC Blue Gaze and Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like. See comparison swatches.

The consistency of both shades wasn’t too thick or too thin, though they run thinner than the average Zoya polish. The Pixie Dust formula wears really well; a nice seven-days of wear without chipping and very minor tip wear (which looks more like the sugary granules were sanded down on the edges).

The Glossover

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product

Chita

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Sunshine

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

5 Must-Have Teals Under $10

Who says you can’t enjoy a vibrant teal without spending a lot? Here are five fabulous shades that are of good quality as well as being incredibly affordable. You can see them all side-by-side here.

Also! If you have any suggestions for a top 5 list, please comment with your idea! If you like this one, there are over two hundred more 5 Ways posts I’ve done in the past :)

Do you have a favorite budget-friendly teal-hued shade?

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

5 Must-Have Corals Under $20

Four of the five are under $10, even! :) You can see them all side-by-side here.

  1. Physicians Formula Warm — soft, glowy pink-coral
  2. Revlon Kiss Me Coral — warm, orange-coral gloss
  3. Zoya Tinsley — gold-shimmered coral
  4. Maybelline Shocking Coral — vibrant pink-coral
  5. Inglot #361 — matte orange-coral

Do you have a favorite budget-friendly coral-hued product?

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