Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

MAC Style Black: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  In the launch, there are three nail lacquers:  Nocturnelle, Seriously Hip, and Baby Goth Girl.

Nail Lacquer

  • Nocturnelle is a creamy, glossy opaque black. There aren’t any subtle nuances really, it’s really just black. This is a repromote, so check your stash before you buy.
  • Seriously Hip is a green-toned black with gold-green-olive shimmer. This is insanely pretty, and it coordinates with Bling Black glimmerglass. It goes on opaque in two medium-thick coats.
  • Baby Goth Girl is a red-toned black with reddish-purple shimmer. It’s dark and fall, but the red-purple shimmer is gorgeous over the black base. Like Seriously Hip, it goes on opaque with just two medium-thick coats.

All three lacquers are intensely pigmented and go on opaquely with minimal effort–no special tricks or techniques required. They have a glossy finish, and Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl have shimmer whereas Nocturnelle is a cream. These are really quite stunning, and I love these much more than the shades from Nail Trend F/W, actually. Nocturnelle is your standard glossy, creamy black–not a must-have–but the other two are on my list of must-haves.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you don’t have issues with MAC’s formula and you don’t mind a splurge, Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl are both great picks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream

Ellen Sirot Hand Perfection Complete Day Cream ($30.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is one of the best hand creams I’ve ever slathered on my paws. My hands take a beating, because I constantly wash them, and I’m less-than-perfect about regularly applying near enough hand cream/lotion to keep them in tip top shape.

With the labrasnore running around, wiggling for attention all the time, and it, of course, being absolutely impossible to resist, I pet him, but then I wash my hands afterward. (Hey, since becoming acne-prone, hand-washing has become a regular ritual.) I easily wash my hands twenty times a day, and I may only lotion up once or twice a day–it just seems so silly to apply lotion and wash most of it off a half hour later.

Additionally, after landing in NYC last February, I found myself with these odd dry patches on my hands and fingers. I just figured that lotioning up more often would cure those dry patches, but to no avail. I saw my doctor after a few months, and she informed it was just eczema. OK, cool.

The only product (out of some ten or more that I tried to moisturize those dry patches) that worked was Hand Perfection. I can’t actually think of any better endorsement for it, because I was starting to feel rather hopeless about it all. My hands were soft, smooth, and they even looked a little less ragged after just a few uses (like two days). It’s a bit more than I’d think to spend on a hand cream, but a little goes a long way, and I’ll often use it as a spot treatment now, and then use something else throughout the day.

It does have titanium dioxide, which can be used for sun protection, but there’s no SPF noted on the product, so I don’t think it’s in a high enough quantity to do anything. For being touted as a day cream, I’d expect SPF in it (hands need SPF protection, too!). The size I have is just the “purse” size, which has lasted me a month now. The full-size is 3.4 fl. oz. and retails for $50.00 (ouch!).

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you’re still searching for a hand lotion to keep your hands smooth, soft, and moisturized, I definitely urge you to check this one out. The purse size makes for an easier first-time investment without committing to the full kit and kaboodle.

Availability: Ellen Sirot

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

MAC Nail Trend F/W ’09 Collection: Review

OVERALL, the shades are creamy and cool-toned, going on mostly opaque with two medium-thick coats of lacquer, and they have a soft glossy sheen.  These are not matte polishes (as I know some have asked me), but they’re definitely colors perfect for the fall and winter season.  I liked For Fun and Cool Reserve the most, though Rich, Dark, Delicious is lovely and I’ll find myself wearing at least once in the next few months.  Dry Martini, while different, just didn’t suit my skin tone, and Beyond Jealous was a bit too dark for my personal taste.  Dance All Night is classic, so it just depends on your taste/collection on whether it’s worthwhile to pick up.

Nail Lacquer

  • For Fun is a creamy magenta-purple with a subtle red tone. It is nearly opaque in two medium-thick coats, though a third coat would really bring it home.
  • Dry Martini is a creamy deep olive-green with a bit more olive than green in it. I didn’t detect any shimmer, and I found this one to be the hardest to apply. It was a bit streaky, and I felt like thicker coats made it easier to apply overall. I’m not feeling the color myself, but it’s one of those shades you don’t see too often.
  • Cool Reserve is a creamy, cool-toned grayed purple. It’s a soft grayish lilac almost. Like For Fun, two medium-thick coats made it just nearly opaque, and a third coat would make it totally solid. This one was one of my favorites — even on my warm skin tone, I liked it on myself.
  • Beyond Jealous is a creamy, green-black. It goes totally opaque with two medium-thick coats, and it has a glossy finish that’s more apparent in this shade than the other five. It is really a very dark, very deep green that runs very close to black in natural light.
  • Rich, Dark, Delicious is a deep dark chocolate black-brown that runs a little neutral-cool and has nearly imperceptible flecks of shimmer. I can only see the shimmer if I look really hard in sunlight, otherwise it appears mostly as a creme. Two coats made it opaque with no application issues.
  • Dance All Night is a rich, blood red that goes on nearly opaque with two coats. I do recommend using three thinner coats with this particular shade, because I found medium to thick coats to be a bit overwhelming. This one is all creme–no shimmer whatsoever–and is quite fitting it is so.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Nail polish fanatics hoping for an improved MAC formula might find in the latest lacquers created by nail guru Jin Soon Choi!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

What did you think of MAC’s latest polishes?  Did you pick up any?

Thursday, August 27th, 2009


For Fun Nail Lacquer

MAC Nail Trend F/W ’09 Collection: Photos

With six creamy fall shades launched, the collection presents an interesting mix of colors for the upcoming season. (See official collection information here.)

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Sneak Peek: MAC Cosmetics Nail Trend F/W ’09 by Jin Soon Choi

Debuting next Thursday with six different shades (see full color story here), we had a chance to try out two shades: Rich, Dark, Delicious and Dance All Night.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Rich, Dark, Delicious is a deep dark chocolate black-brown that runs a little neutral-cool and has nearly imperceptible flecks of shimmer. I can only see the shimmer if I look really hard in sunlight, otherwise it appears mostly as a creme. Two coats made it opaque with no application issues.
  • Dance All Night is a rich, blood red that goes on nearly opaque with two coats. I do recommend using three thinner coats with this particular shade, because I found medium to thick coats to be a bit overwhelming. This one is all creme–no shimmer whatsoever–and is quite fitting it is so.

I don’t think I own any shades similar to Rich, Dark, Delicious, so it is actually an interesting color in my stash. It’s not quite black, but it’s not brown either, and I surprisingly like it agains tmy skin tone. Dance All Night feels less innovative, but it’s still a nice shade and wearable during the fall. The formula feels slightly thicker, creamier, and it was easier to apply. I’ve personally not have any problems applying MAC polishes nor with how they wear. I always use Zoya’s Color Lock system for my base, top, and drying coats, for reference.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: Nail polish fanatics hoping for an improved MAC formula might find in the latest lacquers created by nail guru Jin Soon Choi!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

See swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Matte Alert: Zoya Matte Velvet Collection

Zoya Matte Velvet Collection ($6.00 each) consists of three matte-shimmer polishes. What’s nifty about these is that they look matte, but there is still a healthy dose of shimmer in it, so while it has that flat look, the shimmer adds depth and makes them more interesting. Keep in mind that matte-based polishes have a lot shorter wear time, particularly because a lot of top coats add shine/glossiness (which defeats the purpose of matte). Without a base or top coat, you’ll get chips pretty quickly. (Of the three nails I did, Loredana is half gone, while the other two show minor tip wear, and it’s been about 12 hours.) But, but… there is a benefit to these… they dry incredibly fast. Like insanely quickly. No quick-drying top coat required, these babies dry down completely within a few minutes (so work quickly).

  • Dovima is a grayish-black with silver shimmer. I didn’t find it to be a true black, but more of a subdued charcoal. This one was my favorite of the three.
  • Loredana is a silver with silver shimmer shade. It’s not a light bright silver base, but it’s noticeably bright without being too much so.
  • Posh is a rich, jewel-toned ruby red. It has a beautiful jewel-tone ruby red base with soft, silver shimmer. I really love this shade of red, and being able to wear it matte is fun.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you’ve always been curious about matte-finish nail polishes, these are for you. If you don’t mind re-doing your nails after a few days, I’d strongly urge you to sneak a peek at these lovelies. They’re fun, hip, and definitely a trend for fall.

Availability: Zoya.com

Have you picked up these new shades yet?

Check out more product photos and swatchesContinue reading →