color

My Zoya promo order arrived!

My Zoya order (from the 2014 Color Your World promo) finally arrived! I ended up ordering three extra polishes to get the free shipping, so I now have a total  of six lovely polishes waiting to be worn. Zoya is my favorite polish brand–the formula is great, the color selection is massive, and the polishes are all vegan–plus they release tons of trendy new fashion colors each season that you won’t find in the drugstore.

 

I tried to order with an eye toward the polishes I’ll want to wear this spring and summer, rather than snagging more glitters and “winter” polishes. To that end, I grabbed “Charisma”, a neon orchid shade, to fit with the Pantone color of the year: Radiant Orchid! I also picked up “Darcy”, a warm yellow, and “Destiny”, a coral PixieDust that I’ve been craving since last summer. I think both of these colors will make great pedicure colors once the weather warms up.

 

I also picked out three wild card colors. I don’t normally go for blues, but “Song” was too pretty to pass up. “Purity” is a solid white that should be great for nail art, while “Rue” is a blush nude from the spring “Natural” collection that was just recently released.

 

Here are some shots in cooler light. I think you can see the shimmers in Song a bit better. I’m wondering what Charisma will look like on the nails, because it’s insanely bright even in the bottle! I’ve heard it has a semi-matte finish, so I might have to use a high-gloss topcoat with this one.

 

 

Now the swatching begins… :D

Product review: Crown Brush HD Set (video)

(Disclosure: I was provided with the products mentioned in this blog post for the purpose of review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)
Today I’m doing something a little different…a vlog review! I received this lovely Crown Brush HD Set from iFabbo and Crown Brush and thought it would be fun to do a video of my review instead of a typed post with pictures.

The Crown Brush HD Set is available in orange, purple or white/blue and contains six brushes: a large powder, tapered blush, small contouring, eye shadow blender, crease brush, and liner brush. These brushes are super-soft, rivaling my favorite Ecotools brushes! They are vegan-friendly and come in a zippered case with a large mirror and tweezers, so you’re all set for applying makeup on the go. The set typically retails for $69.99 but has been on sale on the Crown Brush website for a little while for just $27.95, which is a great deal for six brushes. However, today I logged on again and saw that the price had been slashed even further–down to $19.50! So if you want to snap up one of these kits for yourself or another makeup lover in your life, don’t wait! You don’t want to miss out on this deal.
(Disclosure: I was provided with the products mentioned in this blog post for the purpose of review. However I was not compensated for writing a review and as always all opinions are my own.)

Nail Polish of the Month: October 2013

Happy Halloween everyone! This month’s polish pick is P2 “Classy”, which is not available in the U.S. but was very kindly sent to my by my friend Katrin all the way from Germany! Thank you Katrin!

This is a liquid sand polish, so it dries to a gritty matte glitter finish. The base is a deep slate grey with loads of blue, orange and magenta microglitters. Sadly my camera didn’t want to capture the microglitters very well, though you get a hint of them in these pictures. This polish is neither too thick nor too thin, and the brush is a little wider than the standard skinny brush, so it applies like a dream–super smooth and no need for cleanup afterward!

I like this even better with a coat of gel shine topcoat. You can still see and feel the texture (though it isn’t as gritty), but the base deepens in color and the glitters show up even more with the shiny finish. Once again I couldn’t capture the microglitters very well, but you do see a hint of them. I think this is one of those polishes that has to be seen in person to really appreciate how gorgeous it is!

Busy Girl Nails Fall Nail Art Challenge: Oxblood

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=c2ee1d9d5d&view=att&th=14145e1846770103&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_hlwakfee0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-vRK_05JL8Ki9OxfFi3rdr&sadet=1382805013605&sads=ey_PRR78D80uNV5i854nnnzt4PA&sadssc=1

I missed out on the first two weeks of this challenge, but I had to jump in for week three since it’s my favorite fall polish color: oxblood! 

I used two coats of Julep Lucy. My one gripe about the older Julep polishes is that they are runny, so you have to work carefully to avoid streaks and extra cleanup at the end. Otherwise I love this color. It’s pretty dark on the nails but not so much that it looks black.

Product review: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons

Happy weekend everyone! Today I’ve got a review from the vault, as it were, for one of the items I picked up as part of my birthday makeup haul. Hard Candy products have always been kind of hit-and-miss with me but I was really curious to see how these jumbo shadow pencils would stack up, and at just $6 apiece they seemed like a worthwhile gamble. Read on for the review and swatches!

The product: Hard Candy Shadowholic Waterproof Eye Crayons; $6 at Walmart stores

The claim: Twelve hours of waterproof wear. Creamy color that won’t budge, fade, or crease.

Ingredient notes: I don’t have the packaging for these, but I do remember that they contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. However, Hard Candy does not test their products on animals, so they are suitable for some vegetarians.

I tried it: I’ve been searching for hot pink and purple shadow pencils for a while, but didn’t really want to plunk down the cash for Urban Decay’s pencils. I was hoping that these would be a suitable dupe at a lower price point, and from the swatch on my arm (above) they look gorgeous! A little skippy perhaps, but pigmented and very budge-proof. The purple is, thank heavens, on the warm side–not the standard bluish-purple, which is fine I guess but just not really up my alley.

I decided to create an exaggerated wing with After Hours all across my lid, and use Pink Lady as a liner and accent on the lower lid. Right away, I ran into problems: these pencils skipped and dragged horribly, and there was virtually no color payoff. It took a lot of work to get a decent amount of color onto the lid, and good grief it hurt. I’ve never had to press so hard with a pencil that it left my eyelid sore! Obviously from the look I posted here, working out the edges of this color was difficult and in the end I was left with a pretty oddball look. Oy.

Once the color is on, it stays put, which is awesome…but it’s so hard to get the color on in the first place, it’s just ridiculous. These pencils are beyond dry, even after sharpening off the top layer. I just don’t get it, because I’ve seen other bloggers use them with better results. These are the polar opposite of the NYX shadow pencils; whereas those are so creamy they smudge and crease like no tomorrow, these are so dry you can barely apply the color.
 
My final thoughts: I really hesitate to say that these are bad pencils per se, because as I said–other bloggers whose reviews I trust seem to have not had the same issues that I did. So with that in mind, I’m willing to say that perhaps I got old pencils or pencils with a bad formula. But I definitely wouldn’t repurchase or recommend these. I’m thinking I will find some way to use them, perhaps by crushing up the crayon and mixing with another formula to create something creamier, and then applying with a brush. But man, what a disappointment! I guess my search continues…

Nail polish of the month! September 2013

I can’t even do this polish justice with my photos, but here’s an attempt anyway! Zoya Carter is part of the newest wave of PixieDust polishes, textured matte glitters that look unlike anything else I’ve ever seen–they really do come across as sugary frosting for the nails. It’s so pretty, I don’t even mind that it’s purple! (Not usually my favorite color!)

Here is Carter in daylight (overcast skies), no topcoat. The top picture is a little blurry but I think it shows the depth of the purple more. This polish is loaded with pink glitters that give it a very warm, rich finish.

You’ll need two coats for an even swatch, and make sure you use smooth, even, quick strokes–like all mattes, this stuff sets up quickly. (It doesn’t necessarily dry as quickly as a standard matte, though, so don’t rush your mani–give it proper time to dry.) I didn’t find that it was difficult to work with, though, unlike some other mattes that I’ve tried in the past!

Zoya lacquers are vegan and five-free (no nasty chemicals!) and retail for $9 apiece through beauty stores like Ulta or at Zoya.com.

Product review: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Eye Shadow

Another product from my birthday haul! I have wanted a budgeproof teal shadow for some time now and thought I would check off two objectives by also trying out a new product: a creme shadow from Hard Candy. Read on for a full review and swatches.

The product: Hard Candy All Lid Up Creme Shadow, $5; shown here in Tidal Wave. Available at Walmart stores.

The claim: From their website: “Vibrant, long wearing crème eye shadow lights up and enhances eyes. Our groundbreaking hybrid formula has a soft cushion texture that allows it to be worn as eye shadow or eyeliner. This crease proof, stay put formula is blended luminous, multi-colored pearls that provides glamorous evening looks. Available in 10 gorgeous, vivid shades!”

Ingredients:  Isodocane, mica, polyethylene, tribehenin, isohexadecane, polysilicone-11, isobutylmethacrylate/bis-hydroxypropyl, dimethicone acrylate, copolymer, dimethicone, silica (in gold and green shades), C13-15 alkane, phenoxyethanol. May contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, manganese violet, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, ferric ammonium ferrocyanide.

Ingredient notes: Hard Candy products are not tested on animals and this appears to be vegan. These products are made in the USA. This is chock full of strange chemical names, but most seem to have a fairly low toxicity.

I tried it: The packaging is a basic small plastic jar with a screw-on lid–nothing fancy. This shadow is incredibly dry, which I did not expect. I had to use a cotton swab to dig it out of the pot and apply it on the lid, and then used my fingers to blend it out. In my opinion a brush just won’t do the job. You’ll also want to use a cotton swab to shape and blend the edges of the color very quickly before it sets, because once it does, it’s budge-proof. I think the drier texture–while a total pain in the butt during application–helps it last longer with out creasing or slipping on my oily lids.

Here is the look I put together using this shadow for my main allover lid color. I used my mini Hard Candy Meteor-Eyes baked shadow in Bad Reputation on the inner corner, around the outer corner of the eye and up across the crease to soften the edges of the teal shadow, and then along the lower lash line. I used a pop of peachy shadow under my arch. I lined the upper lash line with the Milani Ultra Fine Liquid Eye Liner in Black Vinyl and lined the lower lash line with my Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero. I’m wearing Hard Candy Flat to Fab black mascara in these pics, and if it’s starting to look a bit droopy–that’s because I was wearing it all night!

This shadow is pretty vibrant. It works best if you apply a thin coat and then possibly a second to build up the color, or top it with a matching powder shadow (though I don’t own any powder teals). Despite gripping your lids all day, it does remove fairly easily with waterproof eye makeup remover, and does not stain the skin. Because it’s so budgeproof, it works great as a liner.

My final thoughts: This shadow is just kind of “meh” to me. I guess I like the overall end result, and it’s hard to find cheap, vibrant vegan shadows, but I just wish the texture wasn’t so dry and difficult to apply. I think I would possibly consider purchasing more shades in the future, but I’m not rushing out for more at the moment–I’ll be looking at some other brand options first.

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY: Wet n Wild LE Pop Art eye shadow collection (one winner, open internationally)

I can’t believe we’re halfway through August already! Where did the summer go?! I was lucky enough to snag the full Wet n Wild limited edition Pop Art eye shadow collection as soon as it went on sale at my local drugstore, which means it’s time for another giveaway. The collection of six trio palettes features a mix of mattes and soft satins in electric colors, for a total of 18 eye-popping shades.

The collection includes:

  • Your 15 Minutes Aren’t Up!: Matte canary yellow, satin grape purple and medium pink with a slight sheen
  • A Regular At The Factory: Satin butter yellow, satin bright turquoise blue, and matte orange
  • Hard Being The It Girl: Matte soft pink, cobalt blue with a slight sheen, and satin vanilla
  • Three’s A Party: Matte white, satin red and matte black
  • I’m Seeing Triples!: Matte bright green, matte bright blue, and slightly satiny mauve
  • To Muse And Carouse: Matte apricot, satin cocoa, and matte bright light blue

The giveaway is open internationally (excepted where prohibited) to residents age 18 and older; the giveaway closes August 25th and I will be drawing one lucky winner on the 27th! Please read the terms and conditions (click at the bottom of the widget) before entering, and remember: you must complete the mandatory blog comment entry for the rest of your entries to count. If you do not complete the mandatory entry the rest of your entries will be disqualified!

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