Nail Polish of the Month: October 2013

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

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

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

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

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.