Sunday, September 23, 2012

Finger Paints - Fall of Surprises

Happy autumn equinox!  Fall is my favorite season, the weather cools, the haze and humidity leave us, the leaves change colors, we all have to get out of our flip flops and put our clothes back on... thank goodness!

Here is a spicy little manicure for fall... Finger Paints, Fall of Surprises over OPI, Every Month is Oktoberfest (EMIO).  Fall of Surprises is densely packed with a mix of copper hex glitters in a clear base, so this is just one coat.

In person the glitters contrast against EMIO more so than in these photos... I just couldn't reduce the glare without making the pictures too dark.  So I included these three at slightly different angles.

This week I'll be away at the beach, where I may or may not post anything.  I'm going to take my laptop with me so we will see how it goes.

I know I mentioned putting away our flip flops... I will be wearing mine for one more week, but I wasn't able to get anytime off from work this spring or summer.  Gotta squeeze a beach vacation in somewhere once a year right?  I am so, so grateful my boss let me go this week, she controls my schedule...

Have a great week and I'll see you guys later!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

OPI - Every Month is Oktoberfest

Holy smokes!  I cracked and bought me some OPI!  Since OPI was bought out by Coty, I've been boycotting them, because of animal testing..... sigh! OPI does not animal test but Coty apparently does.  I use Burt's Bees products and later found out they are owned by Clorox, who are not eco friendly nor cruelty free.  So should I stop using Burt's Bees too?  I started to figure, if I continue to use Burt's Bees, and that division of the Clorox company has strong sales, Clorox might catch on that there are consumers out there who will buy products because they are eco-friendly and cruelty free....  I hope.

Well, I have to say this is not a simple issue with clear boundaries.  I have been doing a bunch of reading about eco-friendly, vegetarian and vegan products.  The more I read the more confusing it becomes and I don't even know sometimes if the information I am reading is even reliable.  One thing I have figured out is trying to go eco-friendly will compromise the use of animal products and going vegan will sometimes compromise being eco-friendly.  Trying to do both is damn hard to near impossible.  I'm not going to give up, I'm just going to make the best decision possible with the best information I have at hand.  The last thing I want to do is sound like an alarmist and send out the message that we are all going to die...   Also, I am far from perfect, I make mistakes, I have polluted the earth, eaten animals, used petroleum based products; yes my hands are covered in blood just like everyone elses'....  I'm just trying to do the best I can, and hope you do too.

Now, Every Month is Oktoberfest (EMIO) is the polish that made me break down. That says a lot!  It looks very close to ANNY's The Answer Is Love, which I can't get a hold of because I'm not in Europe.  EMIO is a nice dark indigo based polish with red/gold shimmer... dark and gorgeous!

Two easy coats and the formula is excellent.  EMIO is definitely one of my new favorite dark polishes.

Comments section is, of course, open to discussion!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mineral Fusion - Sunkissed

Has anyone tried anything by Mineral Fusion? 

I bumped into their small nail polish display at Whole Foods, (America's first certified organic grocer, so their napkins say) the other day and picked up Sunkissed, a pastel, orange, coral creme. 
There wasn't very many unique colors to choose from, so I picked a pastel to test since those in general, are difficult formulas.   I have to tell you I wasn't disappointed in the least.  For a pastel, this is a great formula, creamy, opaque, not tacky.  Some of my nails have two coats (pinky) and some have three (ring finger).  The nails that have three I had a little trouble with the polish leveling out so I just did another thin coat on top to even out a streak. 

I was really seduced by the gorgeous bottles.  The bottle bottoms are oval shape and gradually taper up to the top to an elliptical shaped copper colored cap.  Really unique.  The cap was easy to hang on to while painting.

The brushes aren't too bad, they are flat and broad, but not too broad.  I found them easy to work with.  They kind of remind me of OPI's brushes in size and shape, but OPI's bristles are tighter.

The bottles are 10 ml in size and $7.99 each. 

Mineral Fusion's website makes no mention of their nail polishes, kind of weird.   I hope that doesn't mean they'll be discontinued.  The display says they are big 4 free, (big 3, plus camphor free)... but really who isn't big three free these days? Their products are vegetarian, some are vegan and of course, cruelty free.  By the way, there isn't an ingredient list, or much labeling on their polish bottles.

They also have nail polish remover, which is just ethyl acetate with isopropyl alcohol.  So I passed on that because it was a total rip off, it was a small bottle for $8.  I was hoping it was soy based remover because I've been wanting to try those out.

I'm going to pick up a couple more on my next trip to Whole Foods. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Revlon Royal

Hey guys!

I've got another quicky swatch post to show you today.  Revlon's Royal, a bright yet dark royal blue jelly polish.  Dries to a dull finish, but with Revlon's quick dry top coat its super shiny.  I used two coats and you can still see my nail line, in bright light, but I'm okay with that.  I originally wanted to add glitter, but I totally enjoyed this all by itself. 

I picked this up at Walgreens during their BOGO 1/2 off... not bad at all.  Regular price about $5 and easy to find and almost any drugstore. 

I think Royal is a must have!  Do you have any Revlon favorites that we should know about?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Barielle Misbehaving Mistress

Hey out there on a quiet Sunday night! 

I have a simple swatch/work mani to show you today - Barielle's Misbehaving Mistress, from Fall 2008.  I found this medium, taupe, with subtle, silver shimmer, gem-of-a-polish at Marshalls last week for $2.99... This is my first bottle of Barielle.  I don't know where to buy these offline, anymore.  Ulta use to be the only place I knew of, but they replaced them with Zoyas.  Now its just who is having a sale on their Barielle multi-packs, BTW. 

Anyhow, the formula on this is really nice too; two coats, no issues.

I used Nina Ultra Pro's quick dry top coat for this mani for the first time.  Just recently they changed their font, bottles and brushes.  I like the new packaging but the new brushes are huge!  Double barrelled, wide and soft.  See the picture above?  I don't know if people are going to like this....

This is just a preliminary review because I've only tried this top coat once.  Nina's top coat does dry fast, 2 minutes to touch but I had some major shrinkage, noticeable at the tips after three hours.  (I do wrap my tips).  Shine was okay, but after 12 hours the shine started to fade. 

Well, that's it for now, TTFN!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

First Franken!

Hey guys!

I've been consumed with fall and all the new dark colors, so I thought I would try to create my own black-ed shimmer polish... I used one part Sinful Colors Black on Black, to four parts Nina Ultra Pro's Sangria.    Here's what happened.....

Two coats.

I didn't name this polish... I'm always critiquing nail polish names and now when I have an opportunity to name one, I'm lost.  Go figure! 

I picked up some empty 5 ml nail polish bottles on eBay.  They are so nice for frank-ing because I didn't have to use up all of my Nina Ultra Pro to make this.... and if I didn't like how it turn out its not that big of a deal... perfect. 

Revlon's Quick Dry top coat is what is giving this an incredible shine.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Color Club - Milky White Base Coat

Got yellow nails because your a polish maniac like me?

My naked nails, stained...

Sometimes I like to wear sheers but my yellow tips show through and they look, gross. Well, I tried Color Club's Milky White base coat and its not too bad. If your nails are white it will make them really white. Mine are yellow at the tips and white at the tops, so at the tips the effect is lessened, but overall its an improvement. Also, the whitening effect is way more apparent in sunlight than it is indoors.

Below is a demo of how Milky White looks against a bare nail and under Deborah Lippmann's Baby Love, a sheer pink.

Same as above, but a different view.

Here is Milky White alone, alternating fingers.
The package also says it will also help smooth out the nail and that using their Vivid top coat will whithen and brighten the overall look even more.  I'm not totally blown away with this base coat, but my nails are whiter. (I did not try the Vivid top coat). What do you think?

I bought my Milky White base coat on eBay for around $4, $2 for domestic shipping.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sinful Colors - Leap Flog

Leap Flog.... What?  Beats me.

Well, whatever Sinful Colors wants to call this, its AWESOME.  LOVE this color, excellent formula!  This was two super easy coats with Seche Vite.  A dusty, green, grey cream!

I actually wore this to work, and got a TON of compliments.  I think its unique and classy.

I broke a nail the other day :(, so I filed the rest down quite a bit.  It was the middle finger.  Something about that nail in particular thats prone to breaks.... maybe because it sticks out the furthest?  Oh well....

If your interested, I did a post on filing and shaping nails, click here.

Any Sinful Colors on your favorites list?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lush - Ultrabalm

Hey there!  I hope everyone is having a nice weekend! 

I misplaced my Lemony Flutter, so for the last few weeks, I've been using Ultrabalm to moisturize my cuticles. I have to say it works very nicely.  Ultrabalm is organic jojoba oil with super soft wax.  I rub a moderate amount on my fingertips right before bed and the next morning my skin looks plump and silky soft.  Sometimes I rub it all over the back of my hands too.  It feels a bit greasy at first, but after 20 minutes it soaks in.  I don't recommend using this when your busy because if you don't wait, everything you touch will have greasy fingerprints on it. 

What do I like about Ultrabalm?  A LOT.   There really isn't much that I don't like.

  • Its simple, just three ingredients, and fragrance free.  (Smells earthy, kind of like tree bark or mulch, but the smell is faint.)
  • vegan
  • cruelty free
  • petroleum free, no mineral oil
  • easy to use balm, no droppers or brushes, the oil doesn't run all over the place.
  • You can use it on other body parts, not just hands.
  • It works; jojoba oil molecules are supposedly small enough to penetrate through the outer skin layer.  Thus it has more moisturizing capabilities rather than just creating a barrier and locking in moisture.

I think the price is fair, some might think its expensive but there's no mineral oil in it, no preservatives, its organic (theoretically less pesticides) and made by hand.  You get what you pay for sometimes.

I bought mine at the Lush boutique at the mall near my house. 

I did a post on other cuticle moisturizers, click here.

What Lush products do you like?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Illamasqua Phallic

Hey guys!  So sorry I've been missing in action this week.  I'm going to try and catch up but I can't make any promises.  I've been at work and I wore ChG's Desert Sun and Sinful Color's Slate, again. Since I already swatched those, you haven't really miss out on anything.  :)  I had one day off and I've been craving dark polishes so I wore Illamasqua's Phallic for a day.  I had high hopes for this one and while it is dark, its a bit murky when not in direct sunlight.  Such a shame because the shimmer is really pretty when it does come out.  Check out the two, highly pigmented coats below. 

Under fluorescent light.

Indoor, indirect sunlight.
Below is a phamplet that was in the box my polish came in.  In case you aren't familiar with Illamasqua.... its a British cosmetics brand, that stands out amongst the other cosmetic companies by specializing in theatrical make up. 

Illamasqua is at Sephora, their nail polishes are $14 a bottle.   The formula wasn't bad at all, and at $14,  I'm probably only going to buy odd ball colors from them. 

Have you tried anything from Illamasqua?