I was trapped in the house all day today as I had to be present for the landlord and his perpetual renovation attempts (it’s not going well). I needed something to busy myself that I wouldn’t mind being constantly interrupted from, so I took the opportunity to try out a manicure I’ve been meaning to for a while.
L’Oreal Nail Color in Greycian Goddess 560 (not currently on their Canadian website, possibly discontinued). I received this polish with a lipstick free as some sort of promotion from a Well.ca ages ago. A medium intensity blue leaning grey shade. The creme formula is smooth, covers well in 2 coats and dries reasonably quickly. I love grey nail polishes.
Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Calla Lily. Definitely discontinued. Snatched it up for $1 at my local Dollarama! This shade is beautiful. It is a very sheer milky translucent glitter that is clear enough to use as a top coat. Has lovely gold and pink micro glitter.
Revlon ColorStay clear topcoat. Still available at mass retailers.
For the feather, I painted on 2 thin coats of L’Oreal Greycian Goddess and applied a feather previously cut to size and gently tapped it down while the polish was still tacky. Applied top coat. That’s it. Far easier than anticipated, I cant wait to try it again!
When I was done painting the rest of the nails grey, I decided it needed more (I didn’t have enough feathers for all nails) so I decided to slap on the Revlon Calla Lily. Overall I’m liking the effect!
Ever tried feather nails? I can’t believe I waited so long to try! Have a great weekend!
I hadn’t yet tried this formula from Revlon, and when I saw this really unique shade at half price (probably discontinued) I happily snapped it up and I’m glad I did! I have nothing like it in my collection. I tend to favour non uber feminine nail polish shades. I like them dark, moody, broody, dramatic. It’s just nail polish, if you don’t like it you can just take it off. And if someone else doesn’t like it, who cares. It’s nail polish. If a person has their knickers in a twist over someone else’s nail polish they need to get their priorities sorted.
Which brings me to this gem! Revlon Brilliant Strength Nail Enamel in Enthrall (numbered as 100) is a gorgeous, super unique deep murky olive green/brown with matching golden green shimmer. It looks greener under the flash and browner in regular light. It makes me think of forests, lush flourishing marshlands and crocodiles. A fancy, sparkley, dapper crocodile but a crocodile nonetheless. I love this!
The formula is smooth, and went on smoothly with full coverage at 2 coats. The brush is the wider, flatter style which I love as it works wonderfully with my nail shape for easy application. This seemed to dry very quickly for me. It is formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free. Odd enough to be worth mentioning, this formula had a slight woody scent to it which may or may not have something to do with being big 3 free. I’ve had it on for a full day, have washed dishes, no chips yet. Mine usually chip pretty quickly so this is good news.
Glad to have tried this newer formula from Revlon, and will gladly pick up more if they are all this good!
While writing this, the colour description reminded me of how I described MAC Powersurge Eye Kohl! No wonder I loved it so much!
Continuing on with my series of purple eye shadow swatch and reviews in honor of Pantone’s Color of the Year Radiant Orchid, today’s subject is Rimmel Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow in 017 Dark Signature. The label on the back says it “Complements Green Eyes”, which I’m sure may be true but I just went ahead and ignored that advice.
The shades are quite pretty, and are listed 1 through 4 for application as shown on the back.
1) a pale greyish lavender. They want you to apply this in the middle of the lid. My favourite of the quad. Mostly matte.
2) the closest to the “Radiant Orchid” shade itself, a brightened medium purple shade, undertones leaning red. They want you to apply this on the inner and outer corner. Slight amount of microglitter.
3) a frosted white shimmery shade. They want you to apply this on your brow bone.
4) a deep dark brown based purple. They want you to apply this to your outer V/corner. Slight amount of microglitter.
I did apply as instructed on the back as I was curious as to how it would look. Pigmentation is slightly better than average for drugstore makeup, there was some fallout but it blended and brushed away easily.
I applied this near a window for better outdoor lighting. It looked very purple when going on, and I loved it. I did notice however when walking around the house and checking in regular indoor lighting that it quickly seemed to fade to shades of greys and browns. The texture still looked nice, the dimension was still there, but it certainly wasn’t purple under an incandescent bulb. When I checked over back in outdoor light, the purple was still visible but not quite as intense as it was upon application. What bothered me most about this was no longer being able to see shade 2, the brightened medium purple, on the inner and outer corner as they had advised for application, as it did look pretty interesting. Some swatches on eye in various lighting below. Also wearing Smashbox Photo Op Eye Brightening Mascara, Milani Liquif’Eye black liner on waterline and the black shade from Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liner for Hazel Eyes. I’ll probably go ahead and review that set on it’s own, it’s wonderful! (Edit: probably discontinued…sad).
Overall, good texture, pigment ok as long as you don’t mind it looking dulled in indoor light, or if you plan on being outside in the sun while wearing it. It blended well and didn’t seem to crease very quickly. If you don’t mind your colours looking different in different lighting, then this is a decent purchase. I find Rimmel to be very reasonably priced especially on sale. The medium and darker purple remind me a lot of 2 shades in a purple Annabelle trio that I plan on trying soon as well. I have higher hopes for the pigments in that one.
If I were to use this one again for a purple look, I’d eliminate the frosty white highlight shade on inner tear duct and brow bone and use a matte cream shade, something more like the one in the purple Almay palette reviewed earlier. Would probably also try an additional base over my foundation, I have a purple cream eyeliner from the same set as the Physician’s Formula cream liner mentioned above that might do the trick, smudged lightly over the lid to enhance the purple shades.
Rimmel is available at mass retailers (in Canada) and averages from $4-10 for items across the entire brand. This Rimmel Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow is 0.148oz/4.2g and I probably paid around $5 for it. I’m definitely interested in trying a few more of these quads, probably some of the more neutral/lighter ones now that I know how the pigment behaves in different lighting. Perhaps Romantic Cool, Smokey Purple, English Breakfast!
Admittedly, I am not really in Juicy’s target market. Shopper’s Drug Mart here in Canada has these sample sets, and inside it is a gift certificate for the full size of the fragrance you choose. My Juicy Couture La Fleur sample was in Shopper’s sample offering from xmas 2013 (Shopper’s Drug Mart Fragrance Sampler and Gift Certificate for Her). Also included in the box was a sample for Ralph Lauren’s Big Pony 2 which I thought for sure I was going to go for…so surprised I didn’t!
The notes for Viva La Juicy La Fleur are listed on Fragrantica as Mandarin Orange, Red Berries, Water Lily, Jasmine, Gardenia, Honeysuckle, Vanilla, Caramel and Sandalwood. The notes are listed on Sephora as Wild Berries, Mandarin, Honeysuckle, Gardenia Petals, Soft Jasmine, Vanilla, Caramel, Sandalwood, which seems to be missing the water lily. For what it’s worth, I can’t smell any water lily.
I think the fact that I was not at all familiar with any of Juicy Couture’s other offerings worked to this perfumes benefit. I gave all the samples a fair shake by leaving them on for their full duration. This one struck me as odd at first, I thought I smelled something that I can only describe as light green and vegetal. But the longer it was on, the more I was hooked. Out of all the samples in that box, this was the only one that kept me coming back for more. Reading over the notes, I’m not surprised how much I ended up liking it, as I love orange, honeysuckle, vanilla, caramel. More recently, in part to this fragrance, I have developed an appreciation for gardenia as well. Gardenia can easily be overpowering, but in this one there is a soft touch of it, somewhere in the middle of the fragrance which gives it a more sophisticated feel. The mandarin at the top is, well, juicy, fresh, light and inviting. The caramel and vanilla at the bottom provides a nice base along with the sandalwood which keeps it from getting too sweet. The jasmine in the middle might induce headaches in some. I wouldn’t consider this to be a super serious fragrance, but it is fun, light, flirty, pretty and suitable for most daytime things (scent free offices aside) and I think it would be lightly seductive selection to wear on a date. Suitable for spring and summer for sure, I would wear it through the winter as well (and I have been!) but deep warm fragrance lovers might not find this bracing enough for chillier weather.
Sephora’s site describes this as sheer, modern and addictive, and I would agree, especially about the addictive part. I have never tried a fragrance that hooked me like this one. Despite being built similarly to other fruity florals, this one was unique enough to grab my attention and hold it, unlike so many others. Perhaps I am fortunate in that it agrees strongly with my body chemistry. This fragrance lasts a around 4-5 hours on me if I apply an unscented lotion as a base for it to “stick to”. I use this method for all my lighter fruity florals or else they just vanish on me in a few hours. As Viva La Juicy La Fleur is just an EDT, it could use the extra lasting power. I have since has the chance to test the regular Viva La Juicy, and I don’t find them to be that similar. Regular Viva La Juicy is very strong on the caramel note and the florals got lost to the point of complete evaporation on me. The La Fleur is a nice compromise between a light strong floral and a delectable, crave worthy gourmand.
You might have noticed I removed the ribbon from the top of the bottle in my pictures. I should probably explain this in case someone is wondering. This little decorative embellishment embodies several things that are pet peeves for me… hot barbie pink (too too girly), fake trashy gold, gaudy brand name flaunting, and, well, I hate bows. If I find them on clothing, handbags, socks, bras, undies, whatever, they get sliced off asap. I’m not sure why I kept it but I found it in in a drawer and thought to include it. There was also a gold plated safety pin thing which is long gone, don’t miss it. I find the bottle looks cleaner and far more attractive and sophisticated without it.
The gift certificate I had was good for a 1.3oz/40 ml bottle as shown. As it is a little pricey otherwise, grab a sample and try it a few days first!
I was walking by Sephora the other day and they had a huge display about Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. And when I say I was walking by Sephora I mean I went on in and grabbed a couple of perfume samples. Not sure who gets to make these decisions or how they manage to do so, but happy to see that the color of the year is a shade of PURPLE! I love purple. This gives me a lovely reason to use up more of my purple eye shadows, and I’ve got a half dozen quads or trios that I can think of off the top of my head. I decided to do a series on them with quick swatches, an eye look and review. I’ll try to make them each a bit different.
Today’s edition will be with a product I find to be oddly named: Almay intense i-color bold nudes kit in bold nudes for browns, numbered as 411. Unsure how purple is a nude, also unsure why only brown eyes gets to wear purple eye shadows so it’s a good thing I ignore that advice.
This Almay “bold nudes” trio of purple eye shadows which are in no way nude are decently pigmented and seem to wear fairly well on my oily eyelids. I’ve been wearing their shadows for years with respectable results. They are packaged in a white, reasonably sturdy compact with the shades arranged from top to bottom as they would expect you to apply it on your eye. It also has instructions as to the same on the back of the package. I found the line of eyelashes on the outside of the compact matching up with the base lid shade to be a cute detail.
Base shade, (bottom) a medium lavender shade with grey undertones, also the color fades on the grey side when it does fade. I prefer my lavenders to lean grey instead of pink, I find it to be more flattering to my cool toned skin. The instructions on the back want you to apply this shade all over the lid. I find this to be the best pigmented of the three.
Crease shade, (middle) a deep purple with brown undertones and tiny microscopic blue and red glitter that you can only see in very bright sun. The instructions on the back tell you to blend this shade into the crease. Needs building for full pigment.
Highlight shade, (top) is a slightly shimmery cream shade, just the tiniest bit chalky. It does lean a bit frosty, but its a warm rather than cool toned frosty. The instructions on the back tell you to sweep it on to your brow bone to highlight.
I promptly ignored each of these instructions although what they have described would also look nice. I like to do a smoky eye with trios such as this, starting with the deepest shade on my lid, the medium one to blend it out into the crease, and the lightest in the corner of my eye and a small bit on the brow bone. Also included in this look are Maybelline’s gel eye liners in Eggplant along the top lid and Black along the inner rim and NYC’s City Curls mascara. The first 3 pictures are in late aftermoon outdoor light, and the last in indoor light for reference.
These Almay eye shadow compacts come in a wide variety of shades, contain 0.12Oz/3.4g of product and retail for around $10-12 CA in my area. I only buy them on sale and find them to be a pretty good value for performance, quality and quantity.
I always wanted to try these nail stickers, from this brand or any other, and was really happy when I found these Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips as a 2 sticker sample in a magazine. I thought it was a great idea! They are a bit costly to buy if you have no idea what you’re doing with them (like myself) and was grateful to give these a try for free! It looks like Sally Hansen has a couple dozen designs to choose from!
The sample came with 2 stickers, one of which I thought would fit my ring finger fairly well. They are a cute black and white houndstooth pattern, which is convenient as I could match that with any shade. Sally’s website says these stickers last 10 days. I figured if they stickers lasted longer than the polish, I could just remove the polish, slap on another colour and be happy with it.
As the magazine these were included with was long gone, I didn’t have the benefit of instructions. I looked some up and got started. I also didn’t have a cuticle stick, so after I peeled off the backing and placed it over my nail, I smoothed it out gently with the rounded end of a makeup brush, which seemed to do the job.
I removed excess sticker and folded the end underneath my nail tip. The end near my cuticle didn’t fit quite as well and seemed to not want to stick all the way down flat, but it they don’t peel off this way it won’t be a deal breaker.
I decided to use a long discontinued favourite Maybelline nail polish to complete the manicure called Midnight Red, which I bought to be a dupe for the cult classic Chanel Rouge Noir. The flash here washed it out a bit, it’s much darker in person. I applied a long wearing top coat to everything, including the nail strip in hopes it would help the cuticle end stick a little better. So far so good.
The white shine on the right side of my ring finger is reflection off the clear coat I sloppily applied and not excess white nail sticker smear.
I’m hoping to update in a few days with the nail sticker intact and a new shade on the rest of the nail, I have high hopes for this product! Loving it so far!
3 days later, and as predicted I have replaced the polish before the sticker. There’s a small chip on the sticker but its not very noticeable. I replaced the polish with NYC Color in a Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in MoMa. The shade is a deeper purple fuschia than shows in the picture and applies like something between a jelly and a creme. Dries pretty quickly, wears reasonably well for the cost.
It’s not too often I can think of a reason to wear emerald green eyeshadow and have it be completely right for the day so I grabbed this opportunity to test and review Maybelline New York’s eyeshadow quad in Emerald Smokes. I grabbed this a few months ago on clearance for $1.44! Maybelline has changed their packaging since, which I suspect is why it was on clearance as it hasn’t been discontinued. Not sure if they have also changed the formula as well. They have more squared off packaging now as compared to the ones with tapered ends as shown below.
The quad has 4 green shades, marked 1 through 4 as follows:
1) Base – a pale shimmery golden ivory that leans just ever so slightly to green. This blends into my NC 20/25 skin fairly well but I’d imagine it might not translate well on very dark skin tones.
2) Lid – a shimmery golden olive/khaki green shade, which is always a favourite for me. I think almost anyone could make a wash of this shade work with their skin.
3) Crease – a deep shimmery forest green. This shade leans cooler than the rest of the pan and might be harder to pull off for some skin tones.
4) Liner – a deep, dark green black with gold glitter flecks.
The pigment was best with the lid and crease shades, and the base and liner shades had some fallout but nothing I couldn’t make work for me.
There are directions on the back on how they want you to apply them. I usually ignore them, but for the sake of giving the product a more thorough review as it is presented I went along with it. The only change I made was to not apply the “base” all over the whole lid first as I thought it would wash out and muddy the other shades. I still applied this lightly as brow highlight and in the inner corner.
The bottom picture is taken in indoor lighting for reference.
I applied these over a light base of Maybelline Fit Me foundation for both eyes and swatch, and used a couple coats of my beloved, impossible to find Maybelline Full n’ Soft mascara which I really hope isn’t discontinued. There is a small amount of MAC’s Powersurge Eye Kohl in the inner rim.
Overall these eyeshadows surprised me. I did not expect green shades to be as flattering as they were. The applied and blended out relatively well. I have had this on for a few hours while doing some things around the house, and no creasing on my oily lids yet! The swatches on my arm removed easily with a makeup remover wipe. For the price I paid, I am really impressed. If you are interested in having shades like these in your collection and find it on a deal (I would never pay the $8.99 CA they are usually) then give it a try!
Just a quick swatch and review of a favourite today, MAC Eye Kohl in Powersurge! Its is $19 CA at MAC counters, if you’re lucky enough to find it in your area. Took forever to get my hands on this product. I don’t live near any MAC retailers and on the rare chance I get to visit one, they are sold out! I tried my best to find a drugstore dupe, but no luck. The closest I could find was Bonne Belle’s Toffee, and it lacked the warm golden shimmery goodness. I had some luck mixing together a deep olive green and a gold eyeliner I had, but it was a lot of trouble.
MAC Powersurge is a hard to describe beauty. It is a metallic golden shade that hints and bronze and olive. I could imagine this being flattering to all skin tones. Here it is swatched on NC 20/25 skin.
It applies smoothly, is soft, and blends easily. I like to wear this on my lower lash and waterline with any bronzed, gold, or neutral eye look. In the swatch below it is applied around whole eye, in water lines, and blended out on the lid. I’m sure this would last all day on someone drier lids, but as mine are oily it does start to fade fairly quickly, and I would have to reapply in the waterline every few hours. On my lid, it does fade as well, but it fades in a nice way, if that makes sense. The shade sort of blends into your skin tone in a warm, glowy way that it still looks nice at any intensity.
I have included a picture of a very simple eye look with the MAC Powersurge eyeliner blended out over the lid, and full eye rimmed. There is also one coat of Benefit Bad Gal mascara.
The effect is subtle but pretty. If you have nothing like this in your collection, I highly recommend giving it a look next time you’re at a MAC counter.
I received this eyeliner, L’Oreal Voluminous eyeliner in black, as a GWP with a mascara, and I’m grateful I didn’t actually spend money on it. If I had, it would have gone right back. This is probably the single worst cosmetic I have ever had the misfortune of trying to use.
I’ll start with something nice. This is a felt tip marker style eyeliner. The chisel tip is handy and easy to use. You can use it on the flat side for a wider line, or the edge for a thinner one, as swatched here.
That is where the good points end. I pressed fairly hard to get the solid line as swatched. The colour is not particularly pigmented. I suppose you could get a deeper black, more solid line with several passes over, but if I need the speed and ease of a marker type eyeliner, I’m not going to want to bother with several passes over. After being left to dry for 5 minutes, it didn’t set very well. I was able to smear it as shown. This product would have no hope of lasting through a rainy day, or on an even slightly oily lid such as mine.
When tested on my eye, I noticed a strange chemical smell I have never experienced with any cosmetic in the past. This eyeliner smells more like a sharpie than it does a genuine makeup item. After a few minutes on my eye, I noticed that it both stung and was starting to swell. I am not generally sensitive to anything at all makeup wise, so this was hugely surprising. Luckily for me, it did wash off easily due to its lack of pigment and staying power. The swelling lasted about a day.
After deciding this was never going on my face again, my resourceful side decided it needed a different use. My boots needed a touch up, and this marker did a respectable job!
My poor beat up leather boots! They are several years old but I can’t replace them being out of work and all, so I’m glad I can use this awful eyeliner to help them out in the meantime. A before and after. That is a very scuffed up leather toe, not dirt. Boots were cleaned before applying the eyeliner to the toes.
I’d imagine this touch up would wash off with one rainy day, however. Just grateful I found a use for this truly terrible eyeliner!
My negative review haiku:
Apply…. ouch my eye!L’Oreal boot polisher.No wonder it’s free.
It’s not often a product comes along that is so terrible that I can’t do a thing with it. I almost always think of a back up use for a product that has failed as it’s primary intention. Awful shampoo gets to do my hand washed garments. Perfume that doesn’t work with my body chemistry gets relegated to room or linen freshener or a few sprays goes on an unscented drier sheet for some lightly fragranced clean clothes. Even those fancy facial moisturizer samples in little jars get used up as hand cream within a few applications (I hate jar packaging for things that go on my face, I find them unsanitary). Which brings me to this disappointment…
Tres Emme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair
(Hair type: fine, blonde, crazy long)
Now I want to be clear in that I adore most Tres Emme products. I have used their shampoos and conditioners almost to the exclusion of anything else for the past 5 years or more, which is probably why I feel so betrayed by this one. I was so offended by this “dry shampoo” performance that I begrudgingly trashed it before I could get a picture. I have included one off Tres Emme’s site. I hope they don’t mind, I truly do love most of their products.
The fragrance is intended to be what I think is a fresh citrus smell, but wow is it overpowering. I usually like citrus scents but this is just suffocating, and it doesn’t fade. Anyone who works in a scent free office wouldn’t be able to use this without getting a reprimand and a couple of weird looks.
Applied as directed (shaken then aimed several inches away from roots) this product left my hair limp, just as greasy, not at all fluffed or volumized, and weird smelling. Testing several times, I would leave it in while doing makeup then try to brush it out and hope I was left with something reasonable to work with, but each time it fell flat. There were times I swore this product left my hair looking oilier than when I started. Each time I used this, I ended up throwing my hair into a messy bun to hide the greasies and hopefully keep the weird fragrance confined. It left a dulled, powdery effect on my hair, you could see the white of the product even though I am blonde.
On clean hair, this did not work as a “volumizer”. Perhaps one could use it as a texturizer if you think gross is a desirable texture. As a hair refresher, I suppose that could work if you like the scent of powdery citrus.
To be fair, it did perform well under one circumstance. If I used the product on still pretty clean looking hair at night, tied it up in a bun as usual, slept on it, then brushed it out in the morning, hair still looked fresh, much more so than if I had not used it. This is nice, however if I have the presence of mind to apply this at night on mostly clean hair so I don’t have to wash it in the morning when too oily, then I have the presence of mind to just shower and let it dry overnight in a sock bun.
Sorry, Tres Emme. I still love your shampoos and conditioners. For dry shampoo needs, I will stay with Batiste for now!
I have a few of these sadder reviews coming up, and hate to be a downer, so I will end all negative reviews with a haiku.