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Dior Exquis (611) Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Exquis Vernis
Dior Exquis (611) Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Exquis (611) Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Exquis (611) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a murky brown–it’s not quite taupe; it seems too brown to be taupe–with muted golden shimmer threaded through the color. It was opaque in two coats.  Dior’s formula lasts a week on me with minor tip wear (with a base/top coat–I use Zoya Anchor and Armor).  For a brown, it’s not overly warm, so I think cooler skin tones may find it a workable brown.  The lightness of it should also help with wearability.  I think the addition of the golden shimmer keeps it on-trend without being overkill.  Exquis applied easily without being too thick or thin, so it flowed evenly across the nail bed and didn’t bubble or streak.

China Glaze Street Chic has a very similar base color, though it’s slightly less murky. Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous is a bit lighter and cooler-toned. China Glaze Ingrid is similar in overall color and shimmer, but it is several shades darker.

Dior Vernis Exquis
Exquis

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5 Must-Have Products for Beautiful Nails

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!


5 Must-Have Products for Beautiful Nails

You don’t need an extensive kit to achieve healthy, strong and beautiful nails. Here are my five must-have nail care products and how to use them for optimum results…

CND Super Shiney High Gloss Top Coat | I have used this top coat religiously for over 7 years! I love it simply because it is super-fast drying, long-wearing. and has an incredibly high-gloss finish. I have a big 2.3oz pro-size bottle at home, which I have had for a couple of years, and it is just as great now as when I bought it. It gives glass-like shine, keeps my nails strong, and my polish looking fresh. I have tried many other brands in my time as a nail tech, but this is most definitely the best I have used. It has a slight purple tint and UV filters to stop yellowing. It is formaldehyde-, toluene- and DBP-free (no nasties), scratch-resistant and super tough.

OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil | There are a multitude of cuticle oils on the market, and all of them are designed to do exactly the same thing. OPI Avoplex is my favourite because it has a slightly thicker viscosity than the others I have tried, and it has given me the best results. Rich in avocado oil and high quality antioxidants, it nourishes nails and conditions the cuticle area. Cuticle oils penetrate the layers of the nail, restoring moisture and natural lipids. Use them sparingly – a little goes a long way. Apply at night before you go to bed for maximum benefit. A little dab may be used to perk up natural nails before a night out, or buffed gently into the nail for super glossy finish on natural nails. If you wear nail enhancements – cuticle oils won’t cause lifting, in fact they will help keep your enhancements flexible and strong, so it is worth picking some up next time you visit the salon.

CND Glossing Buffer | A glossing buffer is an essential addition to any Nailista’s kit. By buffing your nails gently, you increase the blood flow to your fingertips – this promotes healthy nail growth and gives your nail bed a much pinker appearance. By using the different sides of the buffer in order, you can achieve smooth natural nails, so your nail polish will sit better, and it is also less likely to stain.

Mavala Cuticle Remover | Some type of cuticle remover is a must for every nail kit; dry and overgrown cuticles instantly ruin the appearance of the hands. These products soften and remove dead cells from the nail plate. They are not designed to be used all that frequently, but every 10-14 days, it is worth giving your cuticles a real clean up, and then maintain them with your cuticle oil. Cuticle removers must always be rinsed off with soap and water, or else they will leave a residue on the nails, which will mess up your polish.

Stainless Steel Cuticle Pushie or Plastic Hoof Stick | I recommend that for doing any cuticle work – you use a pushie or hoof stick. Orange sticks are a big no-no for me, as they aren’t very effective, and tend to be unhygienic. Metal or plastic cuticle pushers can be cleaned and re-used, so they are a much better investment, as well as more effective and comfortable to use. If you manicure your nails regularly and are confident with cuticle care, go for a stainless steel one.  If you are a newbie to caring for cuticles, go for a rubber tipped hoof stick, until you have mastered the technique.

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Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss
Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32.00 for oz.) is described as a “shimmering red,” and it’s a new–but limited edition–shade for the holidays. It’s a bright, blue-based pink-tinted red with pink and ruby red sparkly flakes. It applies evenly and yields mostly opaque color–there’s a slight translucency to it. MAC Driven by Love is redder, less pink. MAC Wicked Ways is brighter but closer in color.

The Extrait de Gloss formula is supposed to deliver rich color and intense shine with a gel texture that’s comfortable (and not sticky) and looks “luminous [and] full … for hours.” The English description of the name actually calls it out as a “Long Wear Lip Gloss.” I find the formula isn’t sticky at first, but it develops a slight tackiness over the first half hour that continues for the remainder of the time worn. It’s not overly tacky, just barely so. These wear three to four hours on me, which is about average, but nothing long-wear for me–Chanel’s Glossimers last three to four hours, so I would imagine these would have worn longer than that. Triomphal wore four hours well but looked faded by the fifth hour. The texture is smooth, gel-like, and it is comfortable to wear and not drying over time.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss Triomphal
Triomphal
Triomphal
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

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For intense lip products, I like makeup remover wipes, because it takes it right off and there is no scrubbing involved. For intense eye looks, I like dual-phase removers like Lancome Bi-Facil, because it gets everything off without a fuss. Generally, I use a cleansing oil (like shu uemura’s), which works well to get most makeup off (even intense eye or lip makeup) but may not get into the nooks and crannies.

— Christine

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Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection
Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection ($175 for 10×0.21 oz.) is a limited edition set housed in a snake print metal tin. It contains these ten Aqua Creams: #1 Anthracite (silvery charcoal shimmer), #2 Steel (silver gray shimmer), #4 Snow (white pearl shimmer), #11 Gold (yellow gold shimmer), #12 Golden Copper (soft copper shimmer), #13 Warm Beige (champagne shimmer), #14 Satin Brown (warm brown shimmer), #15 Taupe (taupe brown shimmer), #16 Pink Beige (pinky beige shimmer), and #17 Plum (burgundy plum shimmer). It also includes #5N Brush. All of these products are available individually; each Aqua Cream retails for $22 and the #5N Brush is also $22. The set may retail for $175, which is a chunk of change to lay down, but the products inside would cost you $242 if you purchased them separately. The shades include in the collection are safe for eyes and cheeks (but not lips).

  • #1 Anthracite is a dark, charcoal gray with a silverish sheen. It has more of a brown base, which is more apparent when you use it as a wash. It’s similar to Bobbi Brown Gunmetal, Estee Lauder Black Chrome (less frosted), and Urban Decay Gunmetal (slightly cooler toned).
  • #2 Steel is a gray-tinted taupe brown with hints of warmth. It’s similar to Giorgio Armani #4.
  • #4 Snow is a bright frosted white. It’s not really cool-toned, but it isn’t overly warm (no yellow in it). It’s whiter and brighter than MAC Forgery. It is similar to Inglot #453.
  • #11 Gold is a medium-dark molten gold with a metallic finish. When it’s sheered out, it looks more like your usual yellow gold, but if you build it up, the darkness in the base gives it that molten look. I couldn’t think of similar shades for this particular hue of gold.
  • #12 Golden Copper is a rich copper with a heavy metallic sheen. Being a copper. it has a reddish orange tone to it, so it tends to suit warmer complexions more than cooler ones. It is similar to several shades: theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, MAC Amber Lights, and Giorgio Armani Gold Blitz.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a subtly warmed-over medium-dark beige. It’s frosted enough that it will add a fair amount of shimmer to any eyeshadows you apply over it, so it’s not my favorite neutral base color. It is really pretty as a wash of color, though. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is a bit browner.
  • #14 Satin Brown is a deep burnished brown with hints of copper. theBalm Tres Moi is similar in color but not as deep. Le Metier de Beaute Bordeaux is redder. MAC Antiqued is browner.
  • #15 Taupe dark chocolaty bronze with a lighter bronze sheen. It’s a bit similar to Bare Escentuals A-Ha and Urban Decay Lost.
  • #16 Pink Beige is a light-medium rosy pink with a hint of beige to neutralize it. It has a metallic-frost finish. It’s darker than shades like Urban Decay Sin. It’s pinker than Giorgio Armani #8.
  • #17 Plum is a reddened plum with red-brown undertones. It has a fairly metallic finish when it’s used more heavily. It reminded me of MAC Star Violet and Inglot #452.

I wish they had included a few of their brighter Aqua Creams in the kit; it’s a very neutral set overall, and it seems to align with their Wild & Chic theme, but I can’t help but feel like they chould have included at least one real pop of color (like #22 Emerald Green). Otherwise, these swatched and felt like the Aqua Creams I’ve reviewed individually.  None of my Aqua Creams have dried out since I’ve had them (and I’ve had 5-10 of them since they originally launched).  They come in plastic containers, which is nice for the lightweight and portability that provides.

Aqua Creams are creamy to the touch and apply easily with a flat, firm-bristled brush (like the included #5N, though mine was a bit frayed). They dry down quickly and stay put all day (12 hours) on the eyes. On cheeks, they work well and wear for eight hours, but you may find that some of the frostier finishes tend to accentuate pores if you use too much. None of these are listed as lip safe, and my experience in the past has been that these will wear for four to six hours, some staining the lips, but they get to be drying after a couple of hours.

P.S. — Sephora has 20% off with code VIBDREAM for VIBs, expires 11/14.

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

A
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

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