Nails Inc Ebury Place NOTD: Attempting the Lilac Trend

Saturday, February 27, 2010

You know, sometimes I really think the nail polish companies are just out to get me. They're always making the "trendy" colours of the season some colour that I think is just plain ugly, or some colour that just doesn't look good on me. Well, to be fair, there was the whole taupey-brown-purple mushroomy craze that I really liked - hellooo Sephora by OPI Metro Chic (here), Nails Inc Jermyn Street (here), and all your imitators. That one I liked. And then there was the mannequin nails trend, which while I know was boring as heck, was at least good for me (here). But for the most part, the polish companies just seem to hate me. Take the mint green trend for example, inspired by Chanel Jade (which isn't really jade colour at all, but more a mint colour) - I actually tried it out, and it looked like a pastel green puke of death on my fingers. And then now there is the LILAC trend, thanks to Color Club's Light As Air and Essie's Lilacism.

Can I tell you how much I hate those kinds of pastel lilac purples? Granted, I like them in the form of eyeshadows for some looks, but for nail polish, I just KNOW it's going to look like the pastel-purple-puke-of-death on me. But you know, I can never resist something if it's hyped up enough, and so I decided to give the trend a try. Of course, I wimped out of wearing straight up lilac, so I rooted around in my stash for something lilac, but with a tinge (okay a pretty strong tinge) of pink to it to make it less purply-pukey and more pinky-nude. And this is how I ended up with Nails Inc Ebury Place for my NOTD.

So here is my half-hearted attempt at wearing a lilac-ish shade, in the sun:

See see see? See what I mean about lilacs looking like purply death puke on my fingers? While I could certainly think of worse colours to wear, I initially felt like it made my fingers look really dirty. And not in a good way.

But anyway, I didn't have much to complain about. This was actually surpringly pigmented given that it's a light colour, especially since most light colours tend to be formulated (or mis-formulated) as sheers - as though an opaque light colour doesn't exist. Anyway, this was actually pretty much opaque in one thicker coat, although I used two out of habit. I think I might actually try konading with this someday, I think it could do. It also has a superfine silver pearl finish to it, that doesn't show up in most lights, if at all. But I think this slight pearlized finish is why this shade looks really glossy and reflective in the light.

Here is Nails Inc Ebury Place indoors. Here you can sort of see the silver pearl finish, if you squint. It's best seen in the bottle, around where the light hits:

Application on this, was, as is usual for Nails Inc, absolutely smooth and problem-free. I actually feel sorry for my fellow US girls, because it's hard for them to get their hands on Nails Inc, and they don't know what their missing. Every bottle I've had has been awesome in terms of application and consistency, with the slight exception of just one bottle, out of the many I have.

Wear time on this was also really good, as is with almost all my Nails Incs (except one). I don't know what Nails Inc puts in their polishes, but every company seriously needs to learn from them.

Anyway, I guess this didn't look THAT bad on me, although it wasn't my best colour. I feel that it's a little too cool-toned for me - it kind of really draws out the yellow in my olive undertones. The colour itself is interesting though - it's a lilac pink that looks either more lilac or more pink depending on the light. And that slight pearlized finish helps prevent it from looking too flat and uninteresting. I guess it's not a bad buy if you like these colours, and if you, like me, want to try out the lilac trend but don't dare to wear a straight up purple, this is probably a better bet for you.

RBL Sale - Last Few Hours!

Friday, February 26, 2010

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RBL Sale

I'm sure you nail addicts will already have placed your orders (or maybe not, since true nail addicts would have had enough of the sheer/neutral/pink colour palette featured in this post) but RBL is having a 48 hour sale, and I do believe they are in the last few hours as this post goes up!

Basically you're getting these 7 to-be-discontinued polishes for $50. What a deal for my US ladies!

1. Pink Shimmer
2. Sheer Pink
3. Opaque Pink
4. Lulu
5. Ani
6. Sheer Natural
7. Square Pants

All these colours are nudes/sheers/pinks, so they're perfect for the girl who doesn't like colour. Except for Square Pants, which is a pale pastel yellow.

Anyway, shipping is the kicker, as is usual. It rangesf rom $7.50 to $8.50 if you are in the US, and $38.50 if you are outside the US. Looks like us international ladies have to make good friends within the US!

Last Chance to Win a Prize and Help Me Out

Much as I hate pimping stuff, I'd like to remind everyone that you have 2 days left if you want to win this hamper of cosmetcis worth 100GBP:

Win this!

If you'd like to win this, then please do the following:

1. Go HERE

2. Enter this voting ID: EWA1260

There are 2 days left, so please, please pretty please help me out guys! If you've found any of my swatches helpful, or if you liked any of my posts, please do vote for me! I do spend a lot of time and effort swatching, and I quite frequently get told off/scolded/interrogated by salse assistants and counter girls for swatching...I get everything from "You're using too much tester" to "What are you doing?" to "Excuse me you can't take photos at all", so if you would like to show a little appreciation for me sticking out my neck to do these swatches, please do vote! You get the chance to win a prize, and I get the chance to know you guys love me! Awwww.

Every little vote does help to make my swatching trials and tribulations worth it, so please do vote if you can! :)

ArtDeco Power of Elegance Collection Swatches

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yes, yes, late to the party as usual. But in my defence, I never knew ArtDeco existed in London, until I was kindly tipped off by LondonMakeupGirl told me that there was in fact, a store that sold ArtDeco in Covent Garden, just a 15 mins walk from where I live! So I happily went there, and they did indeed have an ArtDeco display! Oh joy!

And of couse, I took some swatches. These are from their Fall/Winter Power of Elegance Collection (I did say I was late right?). But I thought I'd put them up just in case someone still wanted them for reference purposes, and since my store still had selling stock of these. I'll really need to go back and take a look at the display again - the things they have are beautiful. Especially the eyeshadows.

What I have swatched is the eyeshadows, and a blush in the collection (or blusher, as the Europeans/Asians call it). All of the eyeshadows are just beautifully pigmented, awesomely smooth and oh-so-blendable. They're just like a cheaper version of Shu Uemura, only perhaps slightly more powdery. I'm in love. I don't think I need you anymore, MAC, Smashbox or Stila. I think I'm going to leave all of you and go exclusive with Artdeco. Well, just for the eyeshadows.

L-R: Eyeshadow: 51, 79, 272, 290, Blusher: 23

51 is a beautiful deep forest green with silver sparkle glitter. I kind of like the visual effect of the glitter here, but I'm not too sure about what kind of fallout you'd have from these types of glitter bits. This one was really pigmented.

79 is a pretty, pretty night-sky blue with silver sparkly glitter. This really looks like stars in a night sky, and I'd love it, if I wasn't so glitter-averse in my eyeshadows. Although I had to admit, I didn't actually have much fallout, surprisingly. But then again, swatching and actually wearing eyeshadow are pretty different, so I don't feel entitled to draw any conclusions just based on the amount of fallout I get while swatching. Once again, this one was super pigmented.

272 is a beautiful purply lilac, a light colour with some silver shimmer. This one wasn't as pigmented as the others, but it was decent. It showed up on me, and was nicely buildable. It could have been worse.

290 is a dusty purple. I like this one. You know I like greyed purples. LOL. It's a pretty colour, probably the most neutral in this entire collection, seeing how this collection (or what I've swatched of it, at least) is primarily made up of cool-toned colours. I guess it's in keeping with the seasons, but I personally feel 272 and 290, and the blush 23, are pretty much year-round staples. Actually, all the colours could be year-round staples - there's nothing that particularly screams out "seasonal!" to me in this collection.

And the blush, 23, is a very pretty pinky-plummy colour. I really like this colour, it's one of those colours you can sheer out or build up, and it really looks good either way. It's also quite well pigmented for a blush.

Stila on Sale at Brandalley

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For all my UK girls, Stila is on sale at Brandalley right now! :) Please contact me if you need an invite at musicalhouses at hotmail dot com. A cursory look at the sale shows eyeshadow pans, 4 pan palettes, some skincare, and tinted moisturizers, some palettes and a few brushes.

Iman Wicked and Stila Diamond Lil: Are they Dupes?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If you've been a beauty lover for as long as I have, you'll probably have an opinion on dupes - you know, two eyeshadows that are supposed to be exactly alike, or two nail polishes that are exactly alike. Some people love them, because they allow them to get unique colours at cheaper prices, but some others don't buy into the concept, maintaining that true dupes are hard to find, and skintone dependant. As for me, I'm somewhere in between - but as a makeup lover, hoarder, and compusive addict, I can tell you that it's increasingly harder for companies to produce something truly unique. Often a 100% exact dupe is hard to come by, of course, but you get pretty close colours most of the time, and for much cheaper.

Case in point is today's comparison swatch post: Stila, who has acheived fame for their cult eyeshadows, and the much humbler Iman, which is only found in drugstores in the USA. Stila's Diamond Lil, the much acclaimed (and according to some, superior) dupe to MAC's discontinued Smoke and Diamonds, with a softer texture, is pitted against Iman's Luxury Eye Definint Powder in Wicked.

There are differences between the two from the outset. For one, the Iman is a loose eyeshadow, while the Stila is pressed. (I know that alone is going to help some of you ladies out there make your decision already!) And for another, the Iman is a lot cheaper.

But of course, dupes are all about colour and quality. So colour-wise, how did they fare?

Here are swatches:

iman wicked vs stila diamond lil swatch

L - R: Iman Wicked, Stila Diamond Lil

And because I'm all about gratituous photo-taking, here's another shot.

iman wicked  vs stila diamond lil swatch

L - R: Iman Wicked, Stila Diamond Lil

So they're not 100% dupes, and if you are a true taupe lover (like yours truly), then you will NEED and absolutely MUST have both. But for the rest of us on a budget or who are just 'meh' about taupes, how do you choose between the two? Well, the Iman's Wicked is definitely less green than Stila's Diamond Lil, and as the photos show, it's a lot more brown. So a big factor colour-wise would be how brown or green your want your taupes to lean. It is in my experience that colours like these tend to pull greenish on warm-toned ladies, so if you're warm-toned, and you don't want too much of a green tinge to your taupe, go for the Iman. If you're cool-toned, you can essentially take your pick of the two since they're both pretty neutral anyway, but if you're so cool-toned that most browns look orangey on you, it might be better to head for the Stila. The Stila's also more frosty than the Iman, so for people who don't like frosty eyeshadows, the Iman might be a better bet.

Quality-wise, though, how did the two compare? I really like the Stila for its awesome blendability, and it has it's place of honour in my special Stila 6-pan palette reserved for my favourite Stilas (which also include Cloud and Rain...Ahhhh), and it does stay on all day, with minimal creasing. The Iman is a little trickier to use as it's in loose powder form, and goodness knows how clumsy I am, but it has pretty good pigmentation - I was impressed - and good lasting power too.

And one last thing to note, which is sheerness vs opacity. The Stila is sheerer than the Iman, sort of, kind of, in a way. Well, it isn't sheer per se, but it's more buildable. Because of how most Stila shadows are formulated, in my experience they tend to start off sheer but are very beautifully buidable to full opacity, kind of like Chantecaille. And Diamond Lil does the same thing. It's a little sheer at the very first brushstroke, but it definitely builds up well (as you can see from my swatches). The Iman gives off more pigment at first stroke. Of course, pigmentation is also a very personal preference, so if you prefer sheerer eyeshadows, go for the Stila. If you want greater opacity, the Iman might be better. The difference in opacity isn't very great though - I'm kind of splitting hairs for the sake of this comparison post. As I always do when it comes to great taupes. I swear that my 2342353 taupes are all different from each other. Really!

And that's it for today! I hope you guys have liked this comparison!

Zoya Yasmeen NOTD: Fulfilling My Nars Purple Rain Lemming

Sunday, February 21, 2010

With all the hype going on about NARS' Purple Rain, you'd think that in addition to making your nails look great, it would also do your dishes, vacuum the floor, do your laundry, and buy you flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day. But nah, it does none of these things - other than making your nails look fabulous, that is. And so, it's not worth all the hype, and the money. At least, that's what I tell myself over and over. It's not that great. You don't need it. It's expensive. And goodness knows I have a gazillion purple nail polishes in my stash. (I happen to have a thing for purples. And taupes.)

So, I told myself, there must be a substitute for NARS Purple Rain. Not a dupe, definitely, but maybe something in the same glowy-purple-with-shimmer category. And since I have a gazillion purples, I probably already have it in my stash. Thus, I dug around in my stash, and found this beauty called Zoya Yasmeen. It's currently my NOTD, and although it's not at all a dupe of Purple Rain, it's utter gorgeousness is making me forget about NARS.

I'm sorry if application was a bit sloppy on this one, I did my nails at 3am in the morning (there's a reason for that, and if you were following me on Twitter, you'd know why. LOL. But if you're curious, you can read the relevant tweets in order: here and here, followed by here and here, then here and here, and finally here and here. As you can tell, I reeeaaaalllly haaaate having my sleep interrupted. All my classes are early in the mornings this term, and as a result I don't get much sleep on weekdays. So catching up on sleep during the weekends is really important to me.)

Here it is in natural light. Please forgive the watermarking, there are reasons for it. The first reason is that lately, commercial sites have been stealing nail bloggers' pictures (and for some reason nail pictures get stolen a lot more than makeup pictures), and they even crop out watermarks, so if you want to prevent photo theft you really have to watermark the entire picture, like I'm attempting to do. The second reason is that my friend has installed GIMP in my computer, and I'm having a lot of fun attempting to use it to watermark my pictures. LOL. I've no idea how to edit colours etc though, so it's primarily a watermarking tool for me, since previously I was using Paint to watermark my pictures.

I love how Yasmeen has this glowy look about it that makes the colour look half-alive. It's darkened at the edges, but it's still visibly purple in all lights, and it has the most lovely gold (or is it gold? I can't quite tell...It might be multi-coloured) shimmer. I really love this one, it looks pretty both indoors and out, unlike some polishes which look nice outdoors but flat in indoor lighting and vice versa.

Here is a not-too-great photo of Zoya Yasmeen indoors. You can really see the gold (or whatever colour it is) shimmer here:

As you can see, the shimmer is really a lot more obvious indoors. It doesn't really look like shimmer though, instead the effect is more of a glow, which I really like. Yasmeen also applied beautifully, like most Zoyas do, and very little cleanup was required. However, despite the depth of colour, it was only semi-opaque in one coa, so two coats is still necessary for full opacity. Wear time is pretty decent, too. There's nothing I don't like about Yasmeen.

So Zoya Yasmeen isn't anywhere close to Nars Purple Rain. But it's pretty in it's own right, and it has this lovely glowy shimmer that the NARS doesn't, so I'm pretty happy. To paraphrase the proverb, a nail polish in the stash is worth two in the store. LOL.

Jemma Kidd Strike a Pose Swivel Palette Haul Photos

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Look what followed me home the other day! Well I mean, strictly speaking it didn't quite follow me home, because I ordered it by mail, but I couldn't help it! It was on clearance at ASOS (and you know how I love ASOS when their beauty products go on sale), and it was just 6quid, making it even cheaper than in it's native USA, where it's sold for $32. When you live in London (the place my professor not-so-fondly calls "the ripoff capital of the world"), and you can buy something from the US for cheaper than it is sold there, you know you have a deal! (I'm talking about makeup, not agricultural products...dumping of agricultural produce is a whole different matter...)

So home it came. These are just phoos of the product. I haven't used it yet, because...there's just something about palettes that makes me not want to ruin and maim them. I just kind of like them to look at them. I know, I'm weird. And knowing me I'll probably not bear to use it, and end up giving it away in some form or another. (Like a giveaway, maybe? :P) I have no idea, we'll see.

Anyway, here are the photos of the palette. Although I might end up giving it away, I figure I could just post photos anyway, since all I saw in a cursory Google search were manufacturer's product photos, which we all know are about as accurate as online dating ads...

Anyway. The palette is pretty nifty. And it's cute too. And it's got pretty nice colours! Cute pop-art inspired exterior, check. The entire thing is actually about the size of my palm. It doesn't exactly fit into my palm - it's a little bigger than that - but it's definitely a nice size for a palette, not too big and not too small.

Cute flip mirror that swivels around like the promotional photos for the product show, check. I actually like this one very much because of the mirror. It's not a wimpy sized mirror in which you can only see your nostril. You can see a good bit of your face with this one, so it's actually a good sized mirror for travelling with. However, I'm not sure if I want to actually carry this around in my purse. The closure of this palette is quite non-existent. The only thing that holds the lid and the palette together is just a magnet, and since its a swivel palette the lid swivels off the palette quite easily. I imagine if I did put it in my bag the lid would just swivel off and everything would become a mess.

And lastly, pictures of the product in the palette. These were as colour accurate as I could make them. As you can see, these are all very lovely, neutral colours, I'm especially loving the eyeshadow colours. They're all pretty work-friendly too. The palette comes with 4 eyeshadows, 1 cream highlighter and 1 cream blusher, both of which are shimmery, and 1 lipgloss. The lipgloss is a tad glittery, but it's not OTT by any means.

I kind of wish the cream products were powder instead, because cream and powder together in a palette usually just equals a huge mess, because the powders will get into the creams and mess them up. I guess it can't be helped for lipgloss (which is why I dislike lipglosses in palettes), but what about a powder blush and a powder highlighter?

Anyway, sorry for the lack of swatches and for the lack of a full review on the colours themselves and their wear and pigmentation - I did say I have a thing about not wanting to touch my palettes. It's just so pretty to look at, I can't bear to ruin it by touching it...

Dupes Or Not? Zoya Ki vs GOSH Purple Heart

Friday, February 19, 2010

You know you've got a large enough stash when you finally have dupes of things in your stash! You know what I mean - the two brown eyeshadows that look exactly alike, or the two pale pink glosses that are exactly the same when you wear them. I guess having duplicates is a sign that you're having too much. In that case, I guess I'm almost reaching the optimal number of bottles of nail polish to have, because...I have a dupe! Sort of. It depends.

Over the course of my purple and duochrome fetish, I've collected GOSH Purple Heart and Zoya Ki - both of which are dear to my little beating heart because they're both purple, AND duochromes. How cool is that! They also both apply well, and dry relatively fast (the GOSH definitely dries faster than the Zoya though). However, they're also both deep violet purples with green duochrome, so I decided to get both of them out one fine day to see if they were really dupes or not!

Here's a bottle pic of both of them side by side: GOSH Purple Heart is on top, Zoya Ki is at the bottom. Please ignore the fact that there are stray cotton bits stuck to the GOSH bottle - it's all Superdrug's fault for sticking these HUGE eternally sticky tags on their bottles that just pick up any speck of dust in sight. (They should find out what kind of glue Superdrug uses and just make Superglue out of that.)

GOSH Purple Heart Zoya Ki

Hmmm, they do look dupe-y, don't they? But of course, looks can be deceiving (I mean, really! Think of all the good-looking guys out there who are jackasses...but I digress), so I decided to swatch them.

This is one coat of both on all the nails. Please be warned - these are quick and dirty swatches, so they're REALLY BAD. Like, you know, polish on cuticles, polish overflow, raggedy cuticles, weird nail shapes and lengths (we do not mention that..My nails have been through a hard time, and they don't like to talk about it). I've just ordered Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream, and I hope it'll fix part of the problem, and as you can tell these were photos from before my nails became nubbins. In anycase, consider yourself forewarned.

GOSH Purple Heart Zoya Ki

GOSH Purple Heart is on the index and ring, while Zoya Ki is on the middle and pinky fingers.

Now they look different. For one, the Zoya is a lot more sheer than the GOSH. In fact, the GOSH is practically opaque in one coat (which is why it's one of my favourite polishes to Konad with - check out this KOTD and this KOTD for proof of it's Konading awesomeness), but I don't think I'd Konad with the Zoya. So if you want a polish to Konad with, definitely go with the GOSH.

But of course, since few people use just one coat of polish, here are "proper" swatches, with two coats of polish on each nail:

GOSH Purple Heart Zoya Ki

GOSH Purple Heart is on the index and ring, while Zoya Ki is on the middle and pinky fingers.

Okay, so they're not dupes, but they're similar. Both of them are a similar shade of deep violet purple, with a green duochrome. The only difference is that the GOSH is a lot more of a vampy colour, as it's more blackened, whereas Ki is still visibly purple in most lights. Purple Heart also has this very pretty glowy, lit-from-within quality that makes it almost black around the edges but glowy purple on the front of the nail. Very cool. Ki has a similar kind of glowiness, but it's not quite a vampy, because it's not blackened enough.

So which one should you buy? It depends. Do you want your purple-green duochromed very blackened? If so, take the GOSH. Do you want to Konad with it? Then definitely take the GOSH. Do you want it to be visibly purple in most lights? Take the Zoya. I suppose for that among non-nail fanatics, noone's going to notice the difference, even though they're not dupes. However, I'm kind of happy that they're not all that similar - it means I get to keep both!

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Skin MD Shielding Lotion Review!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm a little late to the party, and I know all the cool kids have reviewed the Skin MD Shielding Lotion weeks ago, and have held their giveaways weeks ago too, but I wanted to use it for at least 2-3 weeks before saying anything about it. And also, I was bogged down with work in real life (wow, I can't believe I actually have a life outside this blog. Sometimes I surprise myself. LOL). But eventually, I got round to it.

I actually quite like it, and I think if you have normal to oily skin, you probably would like it too. But it may not be for you if your skin is severely dry.

First of all, the bottle is pretty huge, especially if you're going to be using it only for your face. It's 120ml/4oz, which is a lot bigger than most face moisturizers, and it comes with a pretty handy dispenser, so you don't have to dip your fingers into a pot, and you can squeeze out the exact amount you need.

The product itself is not shabby at all. It has a very light, gel-like, almost watery texture, that I think will find favour with girls who live in hot and humid climates (my dear Singapore comes to mind), and for girls with oily skins. It's also transparent in colour, although when you first dispense it in a blob it looks milky white. The only thing though, is that it has this smell that reminds me of a doctor's office, which fades quickly upon application. There isn't any fragrance in the produt though, so I guess that's how products smell like without fragrance:

However as you can see, once you rub it in, it becomes transparent and absorbs really quickly:

And this is the final result:

If you compare it with the first picture, I do think it does make my skin smoother. In fact, it acts as a really good primer, too - I noticed that after using this, my makeup goes on a lot smoother, and it seems to stay on pretty well too. I think this is in part due to the two silicones that are inside the product, cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone. Silicones are generally used to give 'slip' and lubrication to a product, which is why so many primers use silicones. As far as I know, these two particular silicones are considered to be harmless to skin, and dimethicone is often considered to have beneficial effects on the skin too (which is why it is often found in skincare products). And cyclopentasiloxane evaporates soon after you apply it because it is pretty volatile (it is used to 'spread out' thicker silicones like dimethicone, and evaporates after doing its job), so I don't think this should be an issue for silicone-sensitive skins. However if you are cautious about the silicones or particularly adversely sensitive to them, then you might want to get a sample before trying. After all, everyone's skin reacts differently to different ingredients, and you know your skin best.

For me, however, I did not experience any adverse effects, which usualy signals a good product. Those of you who know me know that I break out from anything and everything - Nars blushes, Smashbox blushes, concealers, foundations, even makeup removers, and basically anything with isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, and mineral oil (don't ask me why - I know technically it isn't pore-clogging but my skin is fussy OK?). And sometimes, I even break out for no reason at all (stupid hormones). And you'll also know that my skin is aggravated by anything and everything - moisturizers sting my face, while makeup removers and mascaras sting my eyes. Anyway this means that I have to be really fussy over ingredients, and over time I've learnt to scan the ingredients list of any makeup or skincare item before buying it to know if it is going to break me out or not. I'm not a pro, by any means, but I know enough to tell if it's going to break me out or not. The ingredients list is pretty mild for this one - it's mainly water, extracts from various plants (like aloe vera, chamomile etc), the two silicones, and a bunch of cross polymers and alcohols which act mainly as preservatives, stabiliers, and give the product it's gel-like texture. So nothing particularly irritating in this one. (More information about individual ingredients can be found HERE.) And after 2-3 weeks of use, my skin didn't break out in pimples (which usually happens after 1 week if there is something odd inside it), my skin didn't sting when I applied it (usually a sign that a product is too harsh), and I thought my skin looked better and was moisturized.

Now is there anything bad I have to say about this? Well, yeah, there is. I think that while this product was moisturizing, it is actually quite light, and it probably wouldn't be good for those girls who are used to heavily moisturizing creams, or who experience very dry skin, or very strong and harshly dry weather. So if you're one of those girls who use Physiogel (aka Impruv cream in the USA) then this will be very thin and watery by comparison. But I do think it would be good for girls who want a light moisturizer in summer or hot weather, and for girls with oily skin - the silicones really help to prime the skin for makeup quite well, and prevent it sliding off.

So that's it for this review, folks, and I guess you don't even need me to tell you I'll be doing a giveaway for this product, so if you've liked what you've read, come back for the giveaway!

Ingredients: Deionized water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Aloe Vera), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Arnica Montana Flower Extract (Arnica), Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract (Comfrey), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract (Chamomile), Achillea Millefolium Extract (Yarrow), Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, 1,2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol

This product was sent to me for consideration by Skin MD for review purposes. I was not paid for this review, nor am I affiliated to Skin MD. There were no strings attached to this review, and this review, as with all my other reviews, consists only and entirely of my honest, unbiased, and forthright opinion of this product.

Sleek Pout Polish Swatches and Review: Reader's Request!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AlexisAdella said that she was interested in seeing swatches of the Sleek Pout Polish, and of course I said yes! So I stopped by my Superdrug and I took a few swatches of these. The Pout Polishes come in only four colours, but they have some very pretty shades. They retail for £3.99.

The Sleek Pout Polishes come in large, flat pots, kind of like the MAC Tendertones, only that these are bigger, and more pigmented. And they also have a vaguely sweet smell that reminds me of chocolate. Yum. For those who like the MAC Tendertones, you'll probably like the Pout Polishes, and if you liked the Tendertones but was disappointed in the lack of pigmentation, then you'll definitely like the Pout Polishes, because these are quite pigmented for lip balms. Also they had a really nice texture. They felt moisturizing and not too sticky (I think they were a tad sticky, but not enough to put me off). And all of them have a nice glossy finish, with no weird glitter or sparkles whatsoever.

L - R: Pink Cadillac, Chocolate Kilss, Perfect Plum, Electrified Peach

Pink Cadillac is a pretty pink that leans a little to the cool side. I imagine this might be pretty popular among fair girls, since it's a very pretty shade of pink. There's not much to be said for this - it's pink, it's pretty, and it's got a cool name.

Chocolate Kiss is a beigey-brown colour that does sort of look like chocolate, I guess (it also reminds me of something else, but nevermind). It's a very brown nude. I don't really like it. But I'm sure someone with the appropriate skintone might like this brownish nude.

Perfect Plum is my favourite out of the bunch, and is the type of rosy, plummy colour that I love so much. I really really wanted to get this, but I have a thing about lip stuff in pots (I got rid of my Korres Lip Butters because they were in pots), so I stopped myself, but I do love this colour. It's a very wearable rosy colour that's not too dark, bright, or loud. This one is also has the strongest pigmentation out of the entire bunch.

Electrified Peach is a pretty, wearable peach that has some coral in it. It also has pretty good pigmentation. I like this one, it's a very pretty colour.

Laura Mercier Sale on Hautelook!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

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For my US ladies (it's not really fair - they seem to get all the good sales, don't they?) Laura Mercier will be on sale at Hautelook today. As usual, Hautelook sales are members-only, so if you do wish to check it out, sign up HERE.

I am not affiliated with, paid or compensated in anyway by Hautelook or Laura Mercier to release this information, nor do I receive any freebies from either Hautelook or Laura Mercier to post about it here. I release it because I think it might be useful to my readers. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link that is available to all members upon signup, and does not award me any benefit outside of their usual membership programme.

And the Winner is....

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And we have a winner! I know I said I'd do it yesterday, but real life got in the way (Wow, I actually have a life outside of makeup! I know. Sometimes I can't believe it myself either. LOL). So anyway, I compiled all the entries and gave them a number at random.

And then I asked my friend what number it felt like today:

Random.Org has spoken! Entry #5 happens to be Shifa, of Get Gawjus! Congratulations Shifa, and thank you so much to everyone who participated!

theBalm Blushes, Bronzer and Face Powder Swatches!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Today is another swatch post, and this time we're swatching more theBalm products! I'm starting to quite like this brand, as they have some pretty good quality stuff. Last time we talked about theBalm, we saw swatches of their pencil eyeliners (cutely named Pick Up Liners) and their lipsticks (which I thought had a nice decent range of colours). Today, we're looking at the blushes and other powder products in their range, which are the stars of their line.

These have been getting a lot of raves, and I can see why. They come in some very beautiful colours - in fact, some of them are near-dupes for some famous colours in more expensive brands. They're also nicely pigmented, yet not too pigmented, and have a very nice texture and application - these are some of the nicest ones I've seen. And they come in the cutest packaging, too, with pictures of pin-up girls adorning the cover of each blush. Unfortunately, it's also made of paper, so you wouldn't want to be too rough with it.

Here are swatches:

TheBalm Blushes Down Boy Cabana Boy Hot Mama Bahama Mama Sexy Mama

L - R: Down Boy, Cabana Boy, Hot Mama, Bahama Mama, Sexy Mama

Down Boy is a very pretty neutral pink. I know usually I get really bored by neutral pinks, but this isn't your typical pastey pastel neutral pink. There's something about it that makes it more than the sum of it's parts. It's very pretty, and pretty much as universal as a blush can get. It's beautiful. I know the swatches make it look grainy and powdery, but it's not. It's got a good application. I've noticed that my swatches tend to make things look really grainy and powdery, because I pile the product on and don't bother to dust off the excess. Oops.

Cabana Boy reminds me of NARS Sin, and is my favourite of the bunch. This one caused a big hoo-ha when it first came out, because it was apparently hard to find (the commotion has since died down and it's easily available now). It's a beautiful pinky-plummy colour, and unlike NARS Sin, it's not shimmery. I'm so tempted by this. I think I need it. Like NEEEEEED it (Oh, who am I kidding. I don't need anymore makeup...But still...)

Hot Mama is an orgasm lookalike, and although I'm not sure if it's a 100% dupe, because it's been awhile since I last had it, it certainly does look similar. This one also has a shimmery finish, like Nars Orgasm, although it doesn't have glitter bits that are as big. I may be wrong, of course, but I do believe the finish on this one is finer as the glitter bits are smaller...It's more like fine shimmer than big glitter. I do think that it could potentially get a little frosty if layered though, but it's still one lovely colour.

Bahama Mama is a bronzer, and although I don't use bronzers or contouring powders, I think this is one of the best I've seen so far. Most bronzers make the mistake of being either too shimmery, or too orange, so that you either look like Data from Star Trek got a tan, or an Oompa Loompa, or both.

You know, think a cross between this shininess:

Image from Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia

and this orange-ness:

Image from Notsuchayummymummy@wordpress
Image from

Anyway, the good thing about Bahama Mama is that it's NOT orange based, and it's NOT shiny. Which means cool-toned people can use, and people who wish to contour with it (as opposed to putting it on the high points of their face) can use it. I personally think it's great, even if I'm inflicted with the "must-be-fair" Asian skin preference.

Lastly, Sexy Mama is a transluscent powder. It's not 100% transluscent though, so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone too dark. It does show up a little if built up, but you'd have to use a lot (like I did when swatching heavily). But for most people, I think this would definitely get the job done.

I really like these, so if you're lemming any of them, just get them already!

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Barry M Lip Paints Swatches: Roundup Post

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This is a post compiling all the Barry M Lip Paints swatches I've done over the past few days. I've really enjoyed swatching these, as they are probably the most pigmented lipsticks I've seen (with the exception of Part 4), and they are cheap and readily available at drugstores. I really like them, but the only drawback is that they aren't very moisturizing. The texture kind of reminds me of a tube of foundation rather than a tube of lipstick. I guess they traded in emollience for pigmentation. I love these for their pigmentation, but it would be better if they were less dry.

Here are the compilation of swatches. For a more in-depth review of each of the swatch sets, don't forget to check out the individual entries!

Part 1 (full review HERE):

Barry M Lip Paints

L - R: Orange 117, Peach 54, Coral 53, Peachy Pink 147 (New), Marshmellow 101

Part 2 (full review HERE):

Barry M Lip Paints

L - R: Palest Lavender 129 , Baby Pink 100, Sheer Pink 113, Pink Sparkle 140, Dolly Pink 146 (New), Vibrant Pink 62

Part 3(full review HERE):

L - R: Vibrant Pink 62, Shocking Pink 52, Punky Pink 145 (New), Cerise Pink 144 (New), Royal Raspberry 141, Pillar Box Red 121

Part 4 (full reviewHERE):

L - R: Pink Glitter 107, Golden Bronze 136, Black 37, Touch of Magic

That's it for today, and HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY everyone! :) I'll be announcing the winner of my giveaway tomorrow!

Barry M Lip Paints Swatches Part 4

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today, I bring you the final swatches in our series on Barry M's Lip Paints. These are the unusual colours, which are really cool, and I think they'd look awesome layered over other lipstick colours. Breaking the Barry M Lip Paints trend, most of these are also sheer, presumably because they're meant to be layered.

As always, we begin with swatches:

Barry M Lip Paints Swatches

L - R: Pink Glitter 107, Golden Bronze 136, Black 37, Touch of Magic

Pink Glitter 107 is a bunch of magenta glitter suspended in a clear base. This one would be cool over other colours. This isn't as blingy as it looks in my photo, and it's actually quite sheer and not-that-saturated with glitter. I just built up the glitter for photo clarity.

Golden Bronze 136 is also much, much, much sheerer than it appears in the photo - like 107, I ha to really really build up this one. This isn't glitter, instead it's more of a sheen, which is pretty cool. It's got a goldish, bronze-ish sheen to it, which you can use on top of matte lipsticks to give them a pretty shimmer. I like this alot, and I'm thinking maybe I did it a disservice by swatching it so heavily. (But then again if I hadn't swatched heavily you wouldn't be able to see the colour. Ahhh, decisions, decisions.)

Black 37 is flat matte black, and this is the only one from today's swatches that is NOT sheer. It's incredibly pigmented. I've no idea when you'd wear black lipstick except halloween, but if ever you need one, this is it. I think it'd be good for mixing with other lip colours.

And lastly, perhaps my favourite of the whole bunch, Touch of Magic. Like it's name implies, it has a little surprise, because of it's colour change. It's actually green in the tube, a very definite yellow lime green, but when you first put it on, it's clear, and then it gradually becomes a sheer gold sheen (sort of like MAC Spring Bean lustreglass), and then it eventually evolves to become this very pretty sheer neutral red. I think this is the perfect sheer red lipstick for every girl out there. It's very sheer though, so it required a little building up for this swatch. I really really like this one, because of its sheer red prettiness, and of course, the colour change is pretty cool too.

So that's it for the Barry M Lip Paints. I'll be doing a roundup post to conclude next, and I hope you've enjoyed this series as much as I have!

SpaRitual Sale at BillionDollarBabes!

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Apparently there's a SpaRitual sale at BillionDollarBabes. I haven't actually checked it out myself (found out from the email mailer they send out) but word is that it's good. Check it out yourself, sign up to be a member here.

I am not paid or compensated in anyway by any of the companies mentioned to release this information, nor do I receive any freebies from any of the companies mentioned to post about it here. I release it because I think it might be useful to my readers. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link that is available to all members upon signup, and does not award me any benefit outside of their usual membership programme.

Please Support My Blog: Vote For Me and Win a Voter's Prize!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sorry for this rushed post guys, I have to run off soon, but this just came in:

I've been nominated for a blog award! It's the BeautyJudge UK Blog awards (which I suspect my housemate nominated me for after I was complaining that every UK blog was nominated except mine...Awwww)!

Anyway, if you've enjoyed my blog, liked my swatches, please vote for me! I've had to deal with snooty salesgirls, interrogation by store managers, salespeople telling me off for "wasting their testers" and "using up too much" testers for my swatches (usually I just back off and comply - I'm there to swatch, not start a fight!), and just people generally thinking I'm a weird to swatch all these swatches. (And the best part is - I still have more up my sleeve!) So if you think my effort was not in vain, please do vote for me!

To vote for me and win the voter's prize (yes there is a voter's prize!):

1. Go HERE

2. Scroll all the way down and click on the purple button that says "Vote Now!"

3. Enter


so that they know you're voting for my blog! (Each blog has its own ID, so don't type wrongly!)

4. Once you vote, you automatically enter to win a Voter's Prize. So please vote for me, if nothing else so that you can enter yourself to win the Voter's Prize!

If you've liked my blog, and appreciated all my swatches, random musings and my Asian skintones post, plese do vote for me! It will make getting interrogated and scolded by salesgirls very worthwhile! I love swatching for you guys :) Aww!

Barry M Lip Paints Swatches Part 3

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Today's Barry M Lip Paints swatches consist of some of the prettiest colours in the line. We're looking at berries and reds. They also have kickass pigmentation! No wonder they're called Lip Paints. They're definitely the most pigmented lipsticks I've tried to this date!

Let's start with swatches:

L - R: Vibrant Pink 62, Shocking Pink 52, Punky Pink 145 (New), Cerise Pink 144 (New), Royal Raspberry 141, Pillar Box Red 121

I know I touched on Vibrant Pink 62 in the previous post, but I thought I'd just swatch it next to Shocking Pink 52 for anyone who wants to know the differences between the two. Shocking Pink 52 is a really eye-burning, show-stopping neon pink, and yes, it's actually a bit brighter and more pigmented than Vibrant Pink 62! Wowza. That's really neon hot pink to the max. If you're looking for that kind of lipstick, your search has ended. It's definitely cool-toned.

Punky Pink 145 and Cerise Pink 144 are both pinky plummy berries, and both fo them are my favourites out of the line - they're pigmented and bright, but also very wearable. They kind of remind me of brighter, more pigmented versions of MAC's Sweetie lipstick (which I love). Anyway, they look identical in the swatch, which is odd because in the tubes they looked a little more different. Cerise Pink 144 is a bit brighter than Punky Pink 145, but they're both in the same colour family.

Royal Raspberry 141 and Pillar Box Red 121 are must-haves for any girl looking for that red lipstick of confidence. I love Royal Raspberry 141, it's a beautiful cool-toned red. I really like this. Pillar Box Red 121 is a bright tomato red, and this one's for the warm-toned girls. Very beautiful. They kind of remind me of the various red lipsticks MAC has released over the years - Queen's Sin, Port Red...Only these are much more pigmented, and they're cheaper.

That's it for today's post on Barry M Lip Paints. Next time, we'll continue with the final swatches of Barry M paints, which include some very surprising colours! :)

Beauty Sale on Brandalley!

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For my UK girls, Brandalley is having a beauty sale right now! Among the various brands featured are L'Artisan Parfumeur, Abahna, Tweezerman, Crabtree & Evelyn, Fusion Beauty, MD Skincare, Stila, Louise Galvin, Murad, Mama Mio, Decleor, Bare Escentuals, and Aromatherapy Associates. Better hurry and sign up soon because apparently it looks like things are selling out fast! If anyone needs an invite, feel free to contact me!

I am not paid or compensated in anyway by any of the companies mentioned to release this information, nor do I receive any freebies from any of the companies mentioned to post about it here. I release it because I think it might be useful to my readers. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link that is available to all members upon signup, and does not award me any benefit outside of their usual membership programme.

Nails Inc Fulham Road and Piccadilly Circus KOTD: Annoying V-Day KOTD!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm not really a girly girl. I don't have a fondness for cutsey things, I HATE wearing pink, and I hate pink nail polish in general (which is really odd, considering that I'm one of the more colour-conservative nail bloggers out there). And I'm not that feminine in general. So obviously it must have been the effects of too much stress (or pear cider) that influenced me to do this:

I know, I know. The overwhelming pinkness and girly-ness of this KOTD really makes me want to puke too. But Valentines Day is coming up soon, I figure why not? Much as I think Valentine's Day is overcommercialized, and you shouldn't wait until Valentine's Day to show appreciation, etc etc etc, I have to admit, pink and roses is quite in the spirit of things. And I love trying out new things, even if it's something like pink polish with a KOTD of roses. (Now I'm not sure if that's me or the stress - or cider - talking.)

Anyway, the base is Nails Inc Fulham Road (NOT 80 Fulham Road, which is a totally different colour altogether), and the roses are Nails Inc Piccadilly Circus. And the konad plate is M65 really like both colours, although maybe to use them both together with the rose konading pattern wasn't the best idea ever.

Fulham Road is a very pretty frosty pink, with a hint of lilac. I think it's a good wearable way to take on the lilac trend that seems to be going on now, especially for warmer-toned girls who don't look good in deathly pale pastel purples. I swear the nail polish companies are just ganging up against me by releasing nail trends that don't suit me. First it was the death-hand inducing mint green, and now it's death-hand inducing lilac (thanks a lot, Essie Lilacism). But this one is more pink and less purple, and quite pretty. It has a really interesting purplish sheen to it that's unfortunately lost on the nails, so sadly it just looks pink on. But I still like it quite a lot, and it's not OTT frosty either, so you could probably get away with this at work. This one is a little sheer, but it reaches pretty good opacity in 2 coats, although if you want to really completely cover everything, you'll need 3. In this photo I'm using 2 coats.

And Nails inc Piccadilly Circus is a beautiful deep pinky-red creme. I really love this one. It's a lovely colour that works for all seasons, and I think this is pretty much the kind of colour you could wear all the way from Spring to Autumn, especially with the trend of bright nail polish going on right now (China Glaze Up and Away, anyone? I'm still wiping the drool off my mouth for that collection). So this one is really pretty and versatile. It's also a good way to wear something that is as statement-making as red nail polish, without actually having to wear straight up red, which some people might not like wearing. This one is a beauty, and is opaque in 1 coat.

And of course, both Piccadilly Circus and Fulham Road have that beautiful unsurpassable Nails Inc application - flawless and requiring almost no clean-up. I really love Nails Inc..despite the unwieldy cap on the polishes, they've done everything right. I love the consistency, the opacity, the brush, and the drying time (not that fast, certainly not as fast as GOSH, but definitely decent). In general, I just have much love for them, even if they're certainly not cheap.

So there you have it, the official worst Valentine's KOTD ever. But I thought I'd put it up anyway, because why waste a perfectly good KOTD, when you can put it up in a puke-inducing post right? :P

Barry M Lip Paints Swatches Part 2

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Welcome readers, to part 2 of 4 of our (almost) complete swatches of Barry M Lip Paints (part one is here. Yesterday, we took a look at some of the orange and corals in the line, today, we're looking at pinks. Today's lipsticks are also more wearable as they are a little less pigmented and more sheer, just by a little. I also realized that although my Superdrug didn't list the colour names, the Barry M website does, so I updated my blog post. I'm a bit too lazy to update my pics, but I'll get around to that eventually.

First off, here are swatches:

Barry M Lip Paints

L - R: Palest Lavender 129 , Baby Pink 100, Sheer Pink 113, Pink Sparkle 140, Dolly Pink 146 (New), Vibrant Pink 62

Palest Lavender 129 is a purple lilac colour, and is another one of those 'artistry' colours. However it does remind me a bit of MAC's Lavender Whip that was released to huge fanfare awhile back. I'll admit - I hated the MAC, and I'm not a fan of this one etiher. But if you liked Lavender Whip, this is for you. It's also made a bit more wearable by being one of the sheerer lipsticks in the line - unlike most of the other lip paints, which really 'paint' your lips, I had to build up the swatch for this one. So it isn't as bad as it looks. It probably isn't any more unwearable than Lavender Whip.

Baby Pink 100 is a pale bright pastel pink. Once again, this is one of those like-it-or-not colours, and I think those who liked MAC's Snob will love this. Because of the purple inherent in the colour, this is definitely a cool-toned colour.

Sheer Pink 113 is a toned down version of 100, and is probably 100 for the rest of us. First off, its a little less white and pale than 100. Secondly it's also more sheer - as you can see I had to build the swatch up, and even then it didn't photograph that well. This one would be more wearable, especially if layered with a darker colour.

Pink Sparkle 140, Dolly Pink 146 (New) and Vibrant Pink 62 all remind me of MAC's St Germain lipstick, or other similar colours. If you liked those, you'll love these. They're all in the same colour family of lavender pinks, but they kind of form a gradient of shades within that colour family. 140 and 146 are both lighter and more purple than 62, which is really a hot, hot, opaque pink, and 146 is a bit brighter than 140. 140 and 146 are also both sheer than 62, although not as sheer as 113. I guess these shades form a 'gradient of daring' colour-wise. For those who want the full package, 62 is a good bet. For those who are just tentatively dipping toes into the water, 140 or 146 might be great, and for those who are terrified but curious, 113 might ease you into the lavender pink family better. I have to say though, 62 is pretty neon, and it has the eye-searing quality of a good neon lipstick. It's also REALLY opaque and pigmented. You have been warned!

As usual, all of these lip paints are mostly highly pigmented, with a texture that's a little on the dry side, and which I compared to MAC's Satin finish in the last post, although the Barry M's might have more drag. Honestly, becuase they're so pigmented and not that emollient, it kind of feels like I'm swatching little sticks of foundation rather than lipsticks!

That's it for today! Next time, we'll look at more pinks, but also some berries and reds.

Kevyn Aucoin Sale on Hautelook

Monday, February 8, 2010

For my US girls, Kevyn Aucoin is on Hautelook from 11am EST, and apparently everything is $7 and below. Unfortunately selection seems limited, as it's mainly eye and lip stuff. Sale is only open to members so if you aren't one and want to check it out, sign up HERE.

I am not paid or compensated in anyway by Hautelook or Kevyn Aucoin to release this information, nor do I receive any freebies from either Hautelook or Kevyn Aucion to post about it here. I release it because I think it might be useful to my readers. The sign up link provided is my own members sign up link that is available to all members upon signup, and does not award me any benefit outside of their usual membership programme.

Help a Poor Grad Student!

EDITED TO ADD: Talked to our Prof today, turns out she thinks we don't need to do the survey anymore. Thanks for all your help guys!

Because my blog is about makeup and nail polish, and because I'm wary about putting up too much personal information on the net, I don't really talk much about my life outside makeup and polish (yes I actually have a life outside makeup and polish!), I've never spoken about my classes or coursework or interactions with students, or all the trials and tribulations of being a poor grad student in what my prof calls "the ripoff capital of the world".

Well, I'm going to talk a little bit about that today. As a grad student in management (I'm doing my Masters in London), one of my classes has an entrepreneurial focus, in which you work in teams to come up with a business idea, and see how feasible it is, and hopefully get to the point where you have a prototype of whatever it is your team came up with. My team came up with this idea of having umbrellas from vending machines in London, because you know, it's always raining in London, and in London the rain is always a little unpredictable - you never know when it will strike next.

So anyway, as part of our project, we have to do the requisite potential mrket survey to see how likely people are to actually buy the umbrellas, and at what price point they'd want to buy them.

So, if you are in the UK, or based in the UK, you can help me out (and I'd be eternally grateful if you did) by visiting this link: and filling out the survey. It's really short and wouldn't take more than 2mins of your time, and it's non-spammy too. I promise it's not going to have any annoying popups or anything.

So that's it, and I hope you guys will all pitch in to help!

Barry M Lip Paints Swatches Part 1

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Today, I am swatching and reveiwing Barry M's Lip Paints, which is what they call their line of lipsticks. Because Barry M has quite a few colours, this swatch is taking place over 4 days, so this is part 1 of 4.

When Barry M named them Lip Paints they weren't kidding: with the exception of a few colours, these are massively pigmented, and most of the swatches for this photo and for the swatches over the next few days were just a few strokes of colour!

A lot of the colours in Barry M's Lip Paints range are 'artistry' colours - meaning they aren't all that wearable for people who aren't as adventurous colour-wise (like yours truly), but even then, there are some pretty nice colours in there (you'll see what I mean as we go along). And one has to simply admire their sheer range of colours - after all, most drugstores have a pitiful selection of lipstick colours, so it's great to see one brand venture out onto the wild side.

Today's colours are all a little on the orangey side, but there are some pretty ones in here. Unfortunately the lipsticks have no names, so they're all named by numbers. Here are swatches:

Barry M Lip Paints

L - R: Orange 117, Peach 54, Coral 53, Peachy Pink 147 (New), Marshmellow 101

Orange 117 is a bright, yellow orange. Kind of like those orange crayons you had as a kid. Really bright, and matte.

Peach 54 is a bit more coral, slighty less orange and more pink than 117. It sort of looks like a coral-peach to me, although there are strong orange tones in there. This is borderline wearable for me - I probably wouldn't wear it, but I could imagine someone more adventurous trying that without looking stupid.

Coral 53 is wearable, and it's a very pretty coral-pink, less orange than Peach 54. There is still some orange in there, but here the pink is predominant. Probably good on warm-toned ladies looking for a strong statement coral liptick.

Peachy Pink 147 is supposedly a 'new' colour (so says my display), and it's a very pretty pink with a hint of coral. Obviously there isn't much orange in this, and I quite like it. This is definitely wearable.

Marshmellow 101 is a pale, pastel, almost-white-but-not baby pink. This one is probably an 'artistry' colour, but I imagine those interested in mixing their own lip colours or layering lipsticks would like this one.

As mentioned before, all of these are massively pigmented, but they have a pretty good texture. Swatching them, I didn't feel these were too greasy or too gritty, although they had a little bit of drag. The closest thing I can think of would be the MAC Satin Finish lipsticks. I think they're comparable, although the Barry M may be a bit drier than the MAC.

Next, we'll look at more Barry M lipstick swatches, and we'll be looking at pinks.

Ciate Sharp Tailoring and Velvet Tuxedo Lace Manicure Fail

Friday, February 5, 2010

So now that Winter's almost over, I'm finally wearing my Winter collection nail polishes. Go figure. Anyway, good polish is timeless! The perfect edgy neutral is always timeless and oh-so-chic all year round! And the two Ciate colours I happened to buy when they were on sale at ASOS are pretty neutral and chic. I bought Sharp Tailoring and Velvet Tuxedo.

First of all, bottle pics of both of them! I'm really digging these two.

Sharp Tailoring is a very edgy neutral greige (you know, a cross between a grey and a beige), and is one of those colours that I LOVE to death. This one isn't like the rest of them - it doesn't have any pink in it (unlike the other greige-y colours), and that's what makes it stand out. It also has gold shimmer that really amps up the colour.

Ciate Sharp Tailoring

Velvet Tuxedo is a blackened-grey, or is it a black? that has beautiful multidimensional shimmer:

Ciate Velvet Tuxedo

I love those two colours, and I decided to do a KOTD with them, in attempt to replicate the "Lace Manicure" look that's been so popular lately. The KOTD itself turned out to be a massive fail due to my inability to stamp and align properly, but here you go anyway. I believe the plate is M57.

As you can see, in natural sunlight, Sharp Tailoring is a lot more grey, and a lot less beige.

Ciate Sharp Tailoring Velvet Tuxedo

In indoor lighting, you can really see it's beige-y-ness, and it's gold shimmer (which my @#$@% camera can't seem to capture. I think my camera has issues with shimmer). I do think it stands out best indoors, as opposed to outdoors:

Ciate Sharp Tailoring Velvet Tuxedo

Application-wise, both of them were a little mixed. Velvet Tuxedo gave me no problem whatsoever - it was opaque in one coat, and good enough to konad with. Sharp tailoring was a little sheer and streaky, but two coats took care of everything, so it's not a big deal. However, I do wonder if it was the polish or my lack of skillz that made this a little tricky to work with. But anyway, I've yet to see a dupe of this pretty little colour, so if anyone knows of a dupe with less application issues, let me know!

Two Award/Tags!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Olivia of Maquillage Obscura and Sharlene of I-Lashes have tagged me for the Best Blog Award and the I Love Your Blog Award respectively. Thank you Olivia and Sharlene!

Edited to add: Looks like Nea of Fashioned in Finland has tagged me for the best Blog Award too! Aww thanks Nea!

Edited to add again: Looks like Dani M of Let Them Wear Gloss has tagged me for the Best Blog Award as well! Thank you Dani!

Edited to add yet again: Kaylena of Makeup by Kaylena has tagged me for the I Love Your Blog Award as well! Thanks Kaylena!

As always, tags come with rules:
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Link the person who has given you the award
3. Pass the award to 10(Olivia) or 15(Sharlene) other blogs that you've newly discovered
4. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they've been nominated

Wow. That's really involved. 15 other blogs?! My small brain can't think of 5, let alone 15! I'm going to open this post to everyone! Let me know if you want to do this award, and I'll edit this post to include your link!

Asos Paints by Ciate: Agyness, Flakiefied and Mattified

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I know I should stop posting NOTDs when my skills are le suckage, but sometimes, I just can't help it. Especially when a pretty purple comes along! We all know what a sucker I am for pretty purples, so Agyness, part of the Asos Paints by Ciate Winter Collection for 09, comes along.

Here we have Agyness in natural light. She's a really pretty deep violet purple colour, a little blackened, with that lit-from-within glow.

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

Pretty, isn't she? She's equally good in indoors lighting, and it really brings out her shimmer.

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

I couldn't really get a good pic of the shimmer, so I took this picture for you, since3 it does show the shimmer very well. It's very pretty blue and pink shimmer.

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

And then, because I got bored, I decided to add a flakie over it. This was Maybelline's Pink Pinata. I think it's been discontinued.

This is the flakie-fied Agyness in the sun:

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

And in indoor lighting:

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

And, because I was STILL bored, I added RBL's Matte topcoat over it. And then I was satisfied. The results were truly stunning, although I have to say the matte-ness of the whole thing made the purple base look black.

It really changes colour with different angles. Sometimes it flashes red, orange or yellow:

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

While other times it looks green, or even blue-ish:

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

And sometimes, it just looks like a little bit of everything! This is so pretty - it's when it really looks like a rainbow!

Asos Paints by Ciate Agyness

While I thought Agyness was pretty, I really liked it better when it was oomphed up a bit more with the flakie and the matte topcoats. As with the other Ciates in the Asos Paints Winter 09 Collection, Agyness, like Pixie and Mary-Kate, has been quite smooth to apply. Not as smooth as the other two, but better than you'd expect for the price point. As usual, the formulation was good, but the brush was a bit draggy. I wish ASOS would change the brushes on these, so as not to ruin the awesome formulation of the polishes.

Another thing I noticed when I matted and flakiefied my mani - the RBL Matte topcoate didn't stay on for very long. It started showing tipwear after day 2...Which made me kind of sad. So after the second day, the tips of my nails started looking glossy, while the rest of my nail was matte. Of course this is easily rectified by applying another layer of topcoat, but I thought I'd just put it out there for my readers. I'm not sure if this is due to it being matte, and thus more chippy (like matte and suede polishes), or whether it's just this polish. I suspect it's the former.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this photo-spam of a post, I certainly had fun trying to peer at the flakies to see that I got all colour spectrums down on film for you guys :)

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