China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer

China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “white cream base with multi-glitter.” It has a cool-toned, milky white base with large, hexagon-shaped glitter in pink, light-medium blue, yellow, green, orange, and white, along with smaller glitter in the same colors. I don’t know of any dupes at this time, but I’d love to hear from any of you that may! The whole combination reminds me of confetti birthday cake.

Read Full Review
China Glaze It's a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Nail Lacquer It's a Trap-eze
C
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
8.5
Application
3
Total
76%

Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream Review

Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream ($45.00 for 1.70 oz.) is supposed to have 24-hour hydration with a greaseless formula and contains SPF 30. For sun protection, the active ingredients are Avobenzone 3.0% (UVA I) Octisalate 5.0% (UVB), and Octocrylene 7.0% (UVB), so the formula does not protect against the UVA II portion of the spectrum.

Read Full Review
Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream ($5.99 for 0.60 oz.) is designed to help hydrate dry cuticles, brittle nails, and fingertips. It uses a combination of sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and cocoa butter to do so. It smells like lemonade–sweet, lemony, but it’s not synthetic. There’s a little tartness still left, so it’s not cloyingly sweet.

Read Full Review
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body

Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body ($88.00 for 0.61 oz.) is a loose iridescent powder that is dispersed by squeezing a black bulb. It’s really the elegant packaging that attracts the most attention, I’d say. It’s very fun to squeeze and spray the powder. I’d describe the particle size as sparkle; larger than shimmer, smaller than micro-glitter–looks very fine on, but it’s too much for just a subtle glow or highlight to the face. For a fun holiday look, one could surely use it on the face, but it’s not an everyday-kind of sparkle. I like it best in hair, decolletage, and legs. It’s a lot like Chanel Reverie but with a sheerer base and more sparkle. MAC Silver Dusk is more silvered, but it is also similar.

Read Full Review
Guerlain Liu Shimmer Powder Face & Body

Say Hello to Indie Nail Polish


Say Hello to Indie Nail Polish

“Indie” nail polish is a category of brands that are independently-owned and operated, and generally, have a smaller distribution. They are small businesses with big ideas and are full of passion. They’re not brands you’ll find at Nordstrom, Sephora, or your local drugstore (but maybe, one day, you will). One brand we’ve featured in the past is Cult Nails, but we haven’t delved too deeply into the world of indie brands when it’s come to nail polish. (Though, there are “indie” brands that have larger distribution and more brand recognition that are still technically “indie,” as they’re independently-owned and operated (and may be considerably smaller than polish giants like China Glaze and Essie) but may have a more traditional corporate structure.)

This niche is pushing boundaries, experimenting, and making nail polish, in and of itself, an art form. I think the push and rush of glitter polishes in the past six months by major brands is a result of the rise of indie polish shops. A year ago, when I searched for “nail lacquer” on Etsy, there were only a handful of sellers. Try that search today, and you’ll be overwhelmed with options!

Availability of brands, shades, and stock are on the rise, which has finally made it a topic we can start to touch on, but be prepared to do a little battle, perhaps some stalking, and have your money at the ready. It’s tough to review indie polish, because by the time I can buy it, receive it, and test it? It was already sold out hours after I bought it! But the brands are getting better at preparing stock levels, restocking, and making their polish more and more available. Today, I’m featuring fifteen shades from four brands that I’ve tried:

  • Enchanted Polish is available through their own website (but there’s nothing in stock at the moment) and also Harlow & Co., which has very limited stock at the moment. Pricing ranges between $13.00 and $15.00 per bottle. This particular brand features many holographic and special effect layering polishes.  Three shades were sent to me for potential review, and all three were very transformative.  Those who like holographic, multi-faceted polishes will want to check out this range. The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, though it was slightly thinner than the average polish. Ola Rio was my favorite of the three.
  • KBShimmer is available through their own website for U.S. orders (use Harlow & Co. for international orders) and currently has 34 shades available, including many holiday-themed polishes. Each polish is $8.75, and shipping is calculated based on weight–I purchased nine shades and shipping was $5.15. What I like about KBShimmer’s polishes is that they don’t have the more typical thickness of glitter-packed polishes. Some shades are opaque on their own, while others are designed to be layered over something else.  I was particularly impressed by Candy Cane Crush, which also smelled of peppermint. It was all very first-grade, scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker for me–in the best kind of way.  Sugar Plum Faerie is beautiful on its own or layered.
  • Lacquistry is sold via Etsy, and there are, currently, eight shades from the holiday collection still available for sale. Each shade retails for $8.75, exclusive of shipping ($3.00 for the first bottle, then $0.50 for each additional bottle; international is $6.50 for the first bottle and $1.00 for each additional bottle). You can keep up with restocks for the holiday collection as well as future shade releases and updates through Lacquistry’s Facebook page–I was totally stalking the Facebook page when I was waiting to buy from the holiday collection! Lacquistry’s polishes are typically best as layering shades, so it’s about finding the right base color to make each polish sing. The first Lacquistry polish I ever purchased and used was Faux Fir, this past February.  Can-Berries works well on its own or layered; it has a very jelly-ish look by itself.
  • Lynnderella is available via eBay, and each bottle retails for $20.00 (or $22.50 each, inclusive of shipping) for most permanent and seasonal offerings (all limited edition shades are available auction-style). The brand looks to have 55 different shades currently available, including a 14-piece Halloween collection and 14-piece holiday collection most recently launched (all shades are available individually as well as sold in partial and full lots). Lynnderella could definitely be considered one of the first to the scene, and there were some bumps in the road but it looks like those kinks have been sorted out, and they’ve figured it out.  This brand currently has good availability in stock. I remember when I saw Brooke swatch Connect the Dots, which made me sit up and go, “What? What did I just see?” which led me on a hunt to find it, and it was from there I discovered Lacquistry, via Etsy, when I started wondering who else was making their own polish.  It might just be me, but I loved the way Undead Red looked over SpaRitual Lithographic.  There was a great mix of Halloween-hued bits and pieces in Witch Cauldron Was It? that looked fantastic over black.

This post is an overview of a very small selection of what’s available on the market.  Most of these you should be able to find–some with more effort than others–and it is my hope to find more ways to showcase these interesting polish brands in the future.  When shopping niche brands, shop smart – make sure you read their policies, read reviews, and do your research. I’ve never been burned, but I did purchase dozens of bottles from one shop that then disappeared overnight (I received mine but many others, unfortunately, did not)! I definitely am hoping to buy from Crows Toes, Dollish, Hare, and more in the future!

P.S. — You might need to be patient, as there are over 100 photos in this single post.

See more photos & swatches!

Continue Reading

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “dusty mauve.” It’s a gray-tinged mauve with a hint of plumminess and pale mauve shimmer. What it does on my lips is darken the natural lip color, give it a cool-toned cast, and add a healthy dosage of pale mauve shimmer. Chanel Pleasing is warmer, less plum. Urban Decay Perversion is a bit darker.

Read Full Review
Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss Black Pearl
B+
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
8
Application
4
Total
88%