L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges NOTD Swatch & Review!

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges

As promised on my related post with L’Oreal Too Dimensional, here’s the swatches for it’s black counterpart, Rough Around the Edges 139. These polishes are of L’Oreal’s Gold Dust line of textured polishes. They have a slightly gritty, super fine sandpaper feel to them which also forces them to look matte. And I LOVE them, far more than I thought I would.

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges is a billion silver micro glitter in a black base. It goes on opaque in 2 coats but I used 3 for these swatch photos. The effect makes me think of what might happen if you dipped freshly painted still wet black nails into super finely ground up diamonds. From a far distance, nails look to be a shiny very dark grey, closer you can see the glitter, and in the sun it’s stunning. The photos do not do it justice. It is a really different, modern, edgy look.

The first couple of pictures I took while it was still a bit wet.

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges

Loreal_rough_around_the_edges_139_swatch+wet1

 

And a few when completely dry, looking more rough and matte.

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges

Loreal_rough_around_the_edges_139_swatch_bright

I eventually caved and put a topcoat on my ring finger as shown below, and I still liked it just as much!

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges with topcoat on ring finger

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges with topcoat on ring finger

When you wash your hands the greyish cast turns back to black for a while, the little gritty bumps hold that much moisture. I thought it was worth mentioning. I only have the 2 rough texture polishes, this and the L’Oreal Too Dimensional so these are pretty unique and original to me, although the textured nails polishes have been around for a while. Rough Around the Edges appears to be a pretty good dupe for Zoya Dahlia and OPI A-nise Treat which have both been around longer, but you can probably find the L’Oreal for cheaper if this is a look you’re interested in! I’m really glad I found this (by accident even) as it’s my new favourite!

L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges

L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges

Have a great weekend!

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May Empties and Samples Review (My First Ever!)

May Empties!

May Empties!

My first empties post! I really like reading these types as they almost always come along with a quick review of a product after it’s been used long enough to go empty, making it (presumably) a more thorough and fair assessment. By the time you finish a product, you’ve got to have something to say about it. Some of these are brand new to me, and some I’ve been using for a while.

I’ve numbered them 1-8 in the photo below for a quick write up about each.

May_Empties_Numbered

1) Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation 100 Ivory.
This is a product that I’ve been really wanting to try for a while, as I keep seeing such rave reviews. I was lucky in that the sample shade matched me well, and I really liked the texture. The coverage was also pretty good. My only concern was that it seemed a bit thick, cakey on some areas when applied with fingers, even when blended out. As I didn’t have enough product sample to try out different application techniques, I might try this out some time in the future with a damp/dry sponge/brush  etc to see what might work better for the formula. If this foundation contained sunscreen, I’d buy it again on the merit of that and the texture/coverage alone and learn to make it work for me regardless. But it doesn’t contain sunscreen. As it stands right now I’m a bit on the fence about this one. I prefer Rimmel Lasting Finish at the moment.

2) St. Ives Green Tea Cleanser

Initially, I really liked this cleanser. It has a very light green tea scent, has the surfactant my skin agrees with most (sodium laureth sulfate), has salicylic acid and even some green tea extract. It removed makeup well. Unfortunately, I noticed that my skin seemed to get oilier faster after using this product, so I decided to find out why. Turns out this product contains a menthol derivative (menthyl lactate) which can cause mild irritation and subsequent excess oil production. It’s a real shame they added that, this would have had holy grail beauty product status for me (tough accolade to obtain) and at $3.50, twice as sad.

3) Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment

This is a 2% salicylic acid treatment, and as that, it performs well. I’ve been using this for a few years now actually, and my skin is smoother. The bottle doesn’t clearly say what the 3 in 1 effect is, it might be on the box which I don’t have handy. I wouldn’t really say this is moisturizing as it is in a silicone base and dries to a silky finish (think something like a thinner, watery version of the Smashbox primer type texture). As for stress control, well I wish stress control was as easy as a skin treatment. What this product is in fact really good at is helping speed up healing and minimize redness. Apparently this is discontinued in the US. It is still available in Canada, and I’m grateful for it as there is no other afordable, widely available within Canada irritant free salicylic acid treatment. The US has another option made by Clean & Clear but I can’t find it anywhere in Canada. If Neutrogena discontinues this in Canada I’m not sure what I’ll do! I will buy this as long as they make it. If they stop making it, I may have to rethink my love of Neutrogena.

4) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

This one’s not quite empty yet but close enough to add here as I’m getting to the last dregs and I’d probably throw it out before my next empty post. I did a very thorough review on this one you can find here. I will buy this one as long as Neutrogena makes it as well.

5) Aussie You Can Shine Shampoo

Had a lovely super fresh citrusy orange scent. I suppose my hair was shiny, clean. I did like it. I might buy it again if it’s on a fantastic sale. I have a lot of shampoos to get through right now though, and although this performed well it wasn’t magical, it was shampoo, so this wouldn’t be an immediate rebuy. Only concern, it’s second surfactant is sodium lauryl sulfate, which is considerably more of an irritant risk than sodium laureth sulfate (it’s first surfactant). Although it doesn’t bother me, it does bother some people, so I thought it would be worth mentioning.

6) Aussie Moist Conditioner

A somewhat iconic, well known conditioner. I liked it. Has a nice tropical coconuty scent. It performed well, as I do like a richer conditioner. My only concern is I’m suspicious it might have made my skin break out. Looking at the ingredients the only thing I think that may have done that is the jojoba oil. I guess I will know within a few weeks if it were this conditioner or not. I’d rebuy on the same stipulations as the shampoo counterpart above, on a great sale.

7) Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy

As you can tell by the well worn label, this was with me and used often. I’m the type who always needs something on their lips. I won’t use the lip balm types that have menthol, camphor, or other irritants as I find they are the ones that cause the “addictive” rebound lip balm effect. This is basically just Vaseline in a smaller container, and I already like Vaseline for a lip protectant. Yes, I’d absolutely rebuy, but I’ve already refilled this small container with the same Vaseline Cocoa Butter scent from a larger container so there’s no need to.

8) Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot from Sephora

Up last we have the end of a sample of Vanille Abricot. It was nice, a bit sugary for me. The sweetness was of an intense icing sugar variety. The apricot and other fruits (papaya and jackfruit) kept it tropical and warm. I liked it, but I didn’t $85 like it. Too bad I can’t find the Vanille Almande at all, now that might be worthwhile. If I ever did buy this, it would not be at full price and it most certainly would not be from a Sephora. Or anything else from a Sephora. At the moment I’m currently battling with them to get them to honor a new, perfectly valid $50 e-giftcard awarded to me as a prize, and so far (4 phone calls and countless emails later) they are refusing to assist me, provide any goods, or provide a refund to anyone (myself or the gifter) because I am in Canada (yes, we do have Sephora here). Essentially, they have the money paid for the gift card and are not interested in assisting me beyond that point and I do have this in writing from their most recent email.  I offered a set of six perfectly reasonable, fair solutions in a politely, carefully worded email. All were declined. I am awaiting final confirmation that they will keep the cash and refuse to provide goods or refund before I make my public write up to share on my blog, their Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media I find to be relevant to the subject. I will not purchase anything from a Sephora until this is resolved satisfactorily. I will, however, continue going in for free samples, at least until I feel I’ve received about $50 USD worth. Seems fair don’t you think?

Sorry to leave my empties post on that note, but there was no way I was going to say the word Sephora without saying what was on my mind. There will be a full write up soon on what happens. Up until today I was giving Sephora the benefit of the doubt as a large, well known company to do the right thing customer service wise and so far I’ve been greatly disappointed. Still hoping for the best as I would greatly prefer to report on a positive experience. 🙂

EDIT: Please see my new post about the products (good) and service (highly questionable) from Sephora. As this post of mine is popular, I would like to use it to help word get out. https://katezillablog.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/sephora-orderprize-opening-and-a-word-of-caution/

Moving on, has anyone tried any of these products? And if so, what did you think?

Have a great weekend!

 

An Auspicious Surprise!

Today I had the very unexpected surprise and honor of being nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award by the charming (and also Canadian!) TryMePretty. I’ve seen a lot these around the blogosphere lately, and tried my best to investigate the origin, as I am a sucker for an intriguing background story. So far as I can ascertain, there is no governing entity for these, and that a nomination provides you the opportunity to share some things about yourself you otherwise might not, share your appreciation with some blogs you yourself enjoy and spread the word, and to give others you deem worthy a platform to do the same. Essentially, a nomination = a win?

What even is this?!

What even is this?!

This Very Inspiring Blogger Award (even just the nomination) comes along with a small entourage of accouterments for a full experience of blog involvement. There are logos, “rules”, questions… but I am a more than a bit non conformist and as this recognition does not seem to have any proper governing entities, I see no reason to not make it (for the purpose of this post, anyway) my own. I also prefer quality content over spammy hamminess, and will make adjustments accordingly.

Starting with the “rules”. I have this portion in quotation marks as every single blog I check seems to have modified them in one way or another. I will present each “rule” as it has been presented to me, and follow it up with my own fine tuning.

This might be more "blatant disregard" than "fine tuning"

This might be more “blatant disregard” than “fine tuning”

“Rules” (I dislike this word greatly. Lets consider this a list of loose guidelines).

1) Thank and link/follow the amazing person who nominated you! Done and done. TryMePretty‘s blog is an especially nice treat for me as it is a fellow Canadian, meaning I can actually find and use the products she discusses myself!

2) List the rules (oh, there’s that word again) and display the award! OK! I did a search and it seems there are a few to choose from for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, but I liked the light blue one. I like it enough to maybe even have it in my side bar for at least a while. And here it is. If you don’t like this one, or any of the others easily found online, make your own! Heck if I had the software I might even make my own!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

3) Share seven facts about yourself. Mkay this is where it gets a bit tricky. Although it might not seem it as I have an open to the public blog, I am actually a very private person. That can be my first thing! Alright here goes:

– most would never know it, but I am very strongly introverted. Those who are as well understand. This is not to be confused with lack of confidence, or just being shy. I’m not. Perhaps I’ll do a post with some links I found helpful on this topic some time.

– I love sleep. But sleep hates me. One of my most frequent wishes is that I could be that person who can sleep anywhere, any time, through anything at all. But instead my brain jolts me awake whenever it pleases for no discernible reason whatsoever. It feels like a tiny electric shock! ZAP! Awake now! Trade off though: when I DO sleep, I have the most vivid, highly detailed, long movie type dreams, with layer upon layer of symbolism and insights I don’t get during my waking hours. Luckily I’ve awoken from these laughing rather than screaming.

– I have had, at the same time, a fire bellied toad and a fire bellied newt as pets. It’s been years but I still kinda miss them. They were named Pickle and Pepita respectively. I do not, however, miss having to feed them live crickets.

– finally, a beauty blog related fact: my hair measures 34 inches (86 cms) from the middle of the top of my head to the ends, no plans for a large cut any time soon. My hair is rather fine and I need the length to make up for bulk in updos/buns which otherwise look wimpy and weird.

– I cannot sit still or stay awake through most movies. I have a friend who jokes (every time I can’t sleep) that I should try watching Lord of the Rings again, as I seem to be out within the first few minutes every time. I’ve never seen Titanic, as well as many other iconic movies and honestly can’t muster up a fig to give about it either. Even with movies I enjoy, it’s bad. I watched (and liked) the Hunger Games and still got up 4 times in the first 20 minutes. I just can’t sit for them, I need to be doing something else at the same time. Paradoxically, I like TV shows and will watch a whole series on Netflix as fast as I’m able.

– I am allergic to the sun. For real, no joke, no vampire antics. I wasn’t always, but after my long tenure of graveyard shifts, one day my body decided that sunlight would give me hives, and I’ve been that way ever since. I had on SPF 45 today and wasn’t even in the sun for more than 30 minutes, non consecutive, and there it is on my hands and arms. For anyone interested in more information, or requires confirmation that this is in fact an actual thing, please look up Polymorphic Light Eruption.

– I love beauty products, but I love the science and chemistry and knowing how and why they work even more. A dream job would be in R & D for beauty and personal health care products. That makes seven things!

4) Nominate 15 other blogs and let them know by commenting on their posts – OK this is where I think it gets spammy and pushy. It also reminds me of a chain letter, one person receives then has to pass along to a multitude of others and I refuse to give someone that kind of pressure! Also, when checking around it looks like the number of “required” nominations seems to fluctuate from 7-15, and the lovely lady who selected me only had 6. Well, I don’t think I even follow 15 blogs, being honest. And of those, the majority have already recently received an award of this type (there’s that spammy thing again) so I am going to break that chain. I have selected two bloggers whose content I read and appreciate regularly that do not appear to have *recently* received an award/nomination of this type judging by a quick search of their respective sites, but of course there is always room for error. I have selected:

http://tapestrytaupe.wordpress.com/ A nice, well rounded selection of high end, low end and mid range beauty product reviews, she showcases her own art, and other fun travel type posts!

http://lastcontrast.wordpress.com/ A lovely Australian woman who’s blog ethic is one after my own heart: Making the most of what I’ve got – A blog about using makeup and clothes rather than buying more and more. She has a cornucpoia of nail posts (my favourite) as well as some tech articles, some fun to read reblogs and she even guest posts for others!

5) Optional: (guys, these are ALL optional, ok?) Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you. Now isn’t this mostly a repeat of #1 and 2? I do already follow TryMePretty, so that’s covered, and the version of the award I like is posted above. Done and done.

6) I decided to add my own. Here is a new suggestion: as this and my nominees are beauty blogs, I would like to encourage us all to try something – wear a color of lipstick/nail polish/shirt/whatever, in a shade/texture/pattern/whatever you love but aren’t brave enough to wear on a normal day! This isn’t your average day, my nominees, this is a special day where you are formally, publicly in writing no less, appreciated for your efforts! It’s a small action to make the day more colourful and memorable! Even better, share it with a swatch and review!

7) PLEASE FEEL FREE TO IGNORE ANY AND ALL OF THESE “RULES”. Or, if it suits your style, add more! No one is going to come along and revoke your Very Inspiring Blogger Award, as it seems everyone has the ability to hand them out, but no one has the authority to take it away! If I have nominated you and you aren’t comfortable with any of the above for any reason, by all means ignore it, as I do understand how it can feel invasive and spammy. And I certainly wouldn’t want to make someone feel like they have to spend time working on a post they don’t really want to be involved in.

That’s it! This was a fun post for me, and was definitely something different and unusual for me to participate in! Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!

L’Oreal Too Dimensional Swatch & Review NOTD!

L'Oreal Too Dimensional

L’Oreal Too Dimensional

When I found these polishes I had no idea they were from a limited textured polish line! There was no signage at the display, no markings on the bottle to tell me as much. I was drawn in as the store I was at had all L’Oreal polishes on sale for about 50% off, maybe I was blinded by that! I grabbed this one, L’Oreal Too Dimensional, and another, L’Oreal Rough Around The Edges which will be watched and reviewed another day, on the merit of looking cool and interesting in the bottles alone. As luck would have it I got something far more interesing than I anticipated!

L’Oreal Too Dimensional 136, I discovered, is from their Colour Riche Gold Dust 3D Texture nail colour line. This is my first of any of these types although they have been around for a while. Too Dimensional is a medium denim like blue base full –  really loaded – with gold micro glitter and medium hexagonal glitter. It dries quickly to a slightly rough to touch (but not enough to, say, snag your pantyhose) somewhat matte yet glittery finish. I don’t have anything like this and liked the effect right away! You aren’t supposed to use a top coat with these so that you get the full intended effect, but I’m sure it would look just as nice shiny! I couldn’t bring myself to add a top coat for pictures today, I was really enjoying the matte, roughish edgy texture too much. Perhaps I will make them shiny for a future NOTD.

L'Oreal Too Dimensional

L’Oreal Too Dimensional

This shade needs 2 coats for it’s full effect, however if you are having some kind of “I need sparkly blue nails absolutely RIGHT NOW!” emergency, you can get away with one coat and be out the door in seconds as it does seem to dry very quickly. This could just be the rough texture fooling me though! Here it is at one coat, looking a little more lavender.

L'Oreal Too Dimensional One Coat

L’Oreal Too Dimensional One Coat

And here it is with two coats in the sun. It looks a bit brighter blue in the photos, in person it is a slightly more muted greyer blue.

L'Oreal Too Dimensional Swatch

L’Oreal Too Dimensional Swatch

L'Oreal Too Dimensional Swatch

L’Oreal Too Dimensional Swatch

Here’s an unfocused photo so you can see more of that amazing golden glitter!

Loreal_Too_Dimiensional_glitterfocus

And some with bottle photos indoors. That gold glitter is amazing! I really like this one, so glad I found it, even if by accident!

Loreal_Too_Dimiensional_Swatch2

Loreal_Too_Dimiensional_Swatch1

Loreal_Too_Dimiensional_Swatch

 

Have a great week!

Robin’s Egg Manicure Spring NOTD with Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold, Mineral Aqua

Sally Hansen Bold Gold, Mineral Aqua

Today’s NOTD is a cute spring like Robin’s Egg inspired look using Sally Hansen Bold Gold and an almost tiffany blue polish from Reitmans, a clothing store here, called Mineral Aqua. I don’t think the Reitmans polish is part of any sort of permanent line, seems more of an impulse at the cash item or sold as an accessory to round out your outfit purchase. It’s a shame I don’t see them more often as the formula is pretty good, very opaque and smooth and I love the colour. Long drying time however. Sally Hansen Bold Gold is a top coat with large and medium hexagonal glitter in black and gold, tiny black and gold micro glitter, and some black bar type glitter all in a clear base.

First I applied 2 thin coats of the Reitmans Mineral Aqua! Smooth and pretty by itself, but did take a longer time to dry.

Reitmans Mineral Aqua

Reitmans Mineral Aqua

Reitmans Mineral Aqua

Reitmans Mineral Aqua

Then 2 coats of Sally Hansen Bold Gold. This top coat is unusual in that it was gummy and took forever to dry. It might have been a side effect of the long dry time of the polish underneath, and I will try this one again over another formula I know will dry quickly. I like the gold and black sparkles enough to tolerate a slightly longer dry time but not enough to endure hours and hours of gummy nails, so I really hope it performs better on top of a different formula. I picked this one up as it reminded me of a glitzier version of Revlon Rebel Graffiti which I really liked.

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

Sally Hansen Bold Gold

This was fun! Have a nice weekend!

The Reds of Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters – Comparison Swatch & Review!

Revlon Lip Butter Reds

Revlon Lip Butter Reds

Monstrously picture heavy post! If you aren’t quite brave enough for a full on bold red lip but are curious because they look so great on everyone else (like I was) these Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters are a fantastic place to start due to the sheerer, moisturizing formulas. Consider them as training wheels for red lips! I didn’t get all of these at the same time so they are in varying states of use, but all are worth taking a look at. There are 4 Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters that are on the red side that I have selected for review today. Although some may look similar in their tubes, you will see the end result is quite different when swatched.

 

Revlon Lip Butters, Reds

Revlon Lip Butters, Reds

From left to right: Candy Apple, Cherry Tart, Wild Watermelon, Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butters, Reds

Revlon Lip Butters, Reds

Revlon Lip Butter Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Swatch

From top to bottom: Candy Apple, Cherry Tart, Wild Watermelon, Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Swatch

 

Starting with the “warmest” of the four is Candy Apple 035. Candy Apple is a glitter free ever so slightly orange leaning red which applies sheerly and smoothly but can build up to a very luminescent brighter red. This is the closest to a true red that I can find in Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters and is the most wearable true red shade that I own. Very flattering and still forgiving due to the sheerness.

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple Lip Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Candy Apple Lip Swatch

 

Next we have the much more cool toned Cherry Tart 070. Cherry Tart is definitely more of a berry red, and more pigmented than it’s counterparts. Clearly blue in undertone and full of shimmery silver and red micro glitter, it has a nice depth and intensity while still being sheer. It will build to an almost fuchsia deeper berry tone. I don’t think many of these Lip Butters have glitter, the only other one that comes to mind is Peach Parfait (also pretty). I think this might be my favourite!

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart Lip Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Cherry Tart Lip Swatch

 

I think Wild Watermelon 063 is a more recent addition to the Lip Butter lineup. It is a sparkle free brightened warm pinkish red. I think they tweaked the formula with this one. It feels slightly drier (but by no means drying) and applies more smoothly and evenly than the others. This one is the most fun, perky and easy going of these 4.

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon Lip Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Wild Watermelon Lip Swatch

 

And finally Red Velvet 040. I lied, I think this one might be my favourite! This was my first red Lip Butter purchase which sold me on the rest. Red Velvet is a somewhat plummy deeper, darker red, a bit mysterious, vampy and broody. No glitter. It reminds me of stains from black cherry juice. It looks great with pale skin and blue eyes but I’d imagine it would look just as nice on someone darker as well. Gorgeous shade.

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet Lip Swatch

Revlon Lip Butter Red Velvet Lip Swatch

 

And all 4 together for an at a glance comparison!

Revlon Lip Butter Reds Swatched

Revlon Lip Butter Reds Swatched

 

Overall these are worth a try if you still haven’t! Each Lip Butter has a weartime somewhat better than your standard lip gloss, but not quite the wear or intensity of a lipstick. All are pretty moisturizing. I need something on my lips at all times and never feel too dry with these. They retail for around $8-9 Canadian but I grab them when on for $3.99 or a BOGO sale.

Revlon Lip Butter Reds

Revlon Lip Butter Reds

Love them! Have a favourite Revlon Lip Butter?
Have a great weekend!

I can now be followed on Bloglovin!

Essence Oh My Glitter NOTD – With Extra Glitter!

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

For today’s nails of the day, I picked a fresh spring like medium lavender shade. It is a very blue leaning cool toned purple. Essence Oh My Glitter also has tiny blue and red micro glitter inside. The name made me think the glitter would show more prominently in the finished dry result, which was a nice, but not glittery. Essence Oh My Glitter covered well in 2 coats and did dry very quickly to a shiny, slightly rubbery feeling finish.

Essence Oh My Glitter

Essence Oh My Glitter Swatch

Essence Oh My Glitter Swatch

Essence Oh My Glitter Swatch

Essence Oh My Glitter Swatch

Essence Oh My Glitter Swatch

Missing the glitter, I added a couple coats of NYC Color in a Minute Big City Dazzle which is full of purple, red, blue and silver glitter. Even with multiple coats it still dried pretty quickly! This looked even far more sparkly in person. Shiny!

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

Essence Oh My Glitter, NYC Big City Dazzle

Essence polishes are made in France, the NYC is made in the US. Both of these are available in Canada for around $2!

Nicole by OPI Smile for the Glam-era NOTD Swatch & Review!

Nicole OPI Smile for the Glam-era!

Nicole OPI Smile for the Glam-era!

Today’s NOTD is something that has a bit of everything I like in a favourite polish! It’s dark, shimmery, purple and vampy! Nicole by OPI Smile for the Glam-era is from a “Kolor Kollection” whose name I will not ever mention here and has redeemed itself with both it’s lovely colour and formula.

Smile for the Glam-era is a deep, dark plummy aubergine purple with purple and golden micro glitter that shimmers in the sun. In a dim room, it transforms into a dark purple-burgundy, non shimmery creme look. Reminiscent of the family this collection was named for, it is all sparkles and shines for the flash of the camera, with a darker mysterious secret side behind closed doors. The formula goes on smoothly and covers in 2 coats, however I used 3 for the pictures for extra depth. Dry time was pretty good even at 3 coats. Swatches below have a top coat as well. Here’s way too many pictures in various lighting!

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era4

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era3

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era2

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era1

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era_Swatch1

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era_Swatch

Nicole_OPI_Smile_for_the_Glam-era

 

Absolutely an instant favourite! This is even more beautiful in person!
EDIT: This polish reminded me of something and I couldn’t put my finger on what, no pun intended. Today it finally came to me, Nicole Smile for the Glam-era is a possible dupe for OPI Black Cherry Chutney. Perhaps the slightest bit more purple rather than a blackened red. Gorgeous, no wonder I like it so much!

Nicole by OPI Polishes are big 3 free. I found this at my local Dollarama for $3 or less.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

imPRESS Press-On Manicure Review, Influenster Box!

Impress Press-Ons from Inluenster

Impress Press-Ons from Influenster

My very first Influentser box! I’ve never received a product for the purpose of review before. I haven’t used press on nails in years, and my memories of them aren’t all good. I remember one popping off while I was at work in a restaurant, and panicking until I found it (it was in the cutlery roll ups!) I gave them up after that, disliking the upkeep and unpredictability.

Impress Press-Ons

Impress Press-Ons

The side and back of the outer packaging has the easy step by step instructions.

Impress Press-Ons from Inluenster Instructions

Impress Press-Ons from Influenster Instructions

Impress Press-Ons, Inside Package

Impress Press-Ons, Inside Package

These imPRESS Press-On Manicure nails are by Broadway Nails. They don’t need nail glue, as they have glue already applied to the back which is exposed after you pull off the sticker backing. Application already sounds easier than what I was accustomed too. After a quick read over the instructions I laid them out for a look. The pink and purple with leopard spots is called “Over the Moon” and the zebra print is called “Dancing Queen”, according to the package. There may have been a rename/redesign as on their website, the one labeled “Dancing Queen” is a multi-coloured nail instead. For the purpose of this test/review, I will be calling the zebra print Dancing Queen as that’s how the package it came in was labeled. Lots of sizes to choose from, here’s what they look like laid out!

Impress Press-Ons, Over the Moon

Impress Press-Ons, Over the Moon

Impress Press-Ons, Zebra Print (Dancing Queen?)

Impress Press-Ons, Zebra Print (Dancing Queen?)

I went about selecting the right ones for my nails. I found ones that looked like a reasonable match for the index and ring finger, a mostly passable one for my thumb, but my pinky was more of a challenge. It seems my nails are too long for the press-ons, and I don’t mean the whole nail itself. I mean just the nail bed, from cuticle to end of my finger. I would have to clip off my nail right down the area where its attached by the tip of my finger to make this nail fit. My nail beds are just too long and thin for these nails. The next size up was far too wide. Pictures to demonstrate, showing the smallest nails included in the set of “Over the Moon”. The nail above as next size up from smallest showing itself as too wide, the smallest one as too short.

Impress Press-Ons, pinky

Impress Press-Ons, pinky

I tried to match the nails again with the “Dancing Queen” set, and fared a little better. It seems these were just a tiny bit longer, making the difference in fit. Example below. Excuse the nail discoloration, I like my polishes dramatic and they do stain.

impress_press-on_dancing_queen_pinky

 

Impress Press-On Pinky Comparison

Impress Press-On Pinky Comparison

Encouraged, I decided to go for it and try some on. I used the alcohol prep pad included in the kit to make sure my nails had no residue to keep them from sticking properly, removed the sticker backing to expose the glue and pressed them on. They went on easily and the glue felt secure. They didn’t feel like they were going to pop off any time soon, and were comfortable enough to not interfere with typing. From the top they looked pretty good, but from the side and bottom you can see they don’t fit my nails properly. My nails are wider at the tip, so you can see some natural nail exposed along the sides. Also, my nails have a more pronounced curve width wise making the nails not stick as well as they were flatter than my own.

Impress Press-Ons

Impress Press-Ons Top View

Impress Press-Ons

Impress Press-Ons Top View

Impress Press-Ons Side View Showing Natural Nail

Impress Press-Ons Side View Showing Natural Nail

Impress Press-Ons Underside showing nail curve difference

Impress Press-Ons Underside showing nail curve difference

impress_press-on_dancing_queen_fullset_applied2

These wore well through some cooking and dish washing (no gloves) and still felt like they would stick for quite a while despite not fitting perfectly. When the time came to remove them, they came off easily with a little prying from the sides, no polish remover required. I was worried about them damaging my natural nail, but they came off cleanly, with a small amount of glue residue that easy wiped off. While removing I could tell these were a lot more flexible than what I had experienced with any brand of fake nails before. If these nails would come out past your nail tips that could be a really important feature wear wise.

Although the exotic and colourful Over the Moon nails didn’t fit as well, I wanted to try them on anyway for fun 🙂

Impress Press-ons, Over the Moon

Impress Press-Ons, Over the Moon

Impress Press-Ons, Over the Moon

Impress Press-Ons, Over the Moon

Although these didn’t fit me as perfectly as I’d have liked, I think they would be great for someone else. If you have flatter, wider, or shorter nail beds (or all the above), these will likely fit you a lot better then myself. The glue wore well and the length wasn’t unwieldy so I think most people would find these to be comfortable enough. I would definitely have more faith in these than the press on nails of my past. These would also be good for a costume as a quick look on their website showed 36 styles and patterns to choose from, something for everyone!

Comparing stripes with Porky kitty!

impress_press-on_comparing_stripes

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  You can learn more about these imPRESS nails at http://impressmanicure.com/!

Brown & Blue Eye Look with Almay Smoky for Blues, Swatch & Review!

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues

Almay has had this particular palette in various incarnations for years. I had one some time around the early 00’s in a different layout, it was 3 equal sized rectangular pots. It was so long ago I can’t even remember how I used to apply it, but when I was given one of it’s latest incarnations I thought I’d give it a go again.

Almay intense i-color smoky-i for blues is still a 3 pan palette, only now the darkest blue is a large pan at the bottom. In a previous version it was laid out differently with the dark blue in the middle. Current palette, from top to bottom

-a pale, frosty, silvery, icy blue

-a warm medium brown with golden and copper shimmery flecks

-a metallic navy blue with matching blue shimmer inside

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues Swatch

The back of the package advises you to apply the dark blue all over lid, the brown in crease, and to use the pale blue as brow and inner corner highlight. Admittedly I did try that out first on a trial run just to see how it would look on me, but I can’t say it worked out well, it was just way too much blue on my large lid. Click pics for a larger size!

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues Back

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues Back

 

I wanted to work out a more wearable daytime look and improvised. Included in the look I tried today is the Almay palette, Wet n Wild Brulee, the discontinued and unwieldy to use but unique L’Oreal HIP Kohl Eyeliner in Navy and my impossible to find likely discontinued Maybelline Full n Soft in Black.

Stuff.

Stuff.

I used the brown shade on my lid, the pearly pale blue on my inner corner, and the darker blue in my crease and outer corner. Brulee is on my brow bone as I don’t like putting frosty shades there. The HIP liner is in my waterline and on top lid. The shadows textures were smooth, easy to apply and blend and wore comfortably. Shortly after application however, I noticed the same issue I’ve had with my other Almay palettes in that the pigments fade drastically, and fast. In the pictures below, a lot of shadow is applied yet the end result is more subtle than you would expect. The darker blue in particular applied with a far more matte finish than as shown in swatch and in pan.

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues on eye

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues on eye

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues on eye

Almay Smoky Eye for Blues on eye

Overall I could still make this work for day as it fades to a less dramatic hue, and it still blends well and adds dimension.  This would probably look nice on a day I was wearing a dark brown or navy top.

I can’t apply blue eyeshadow without thinking of this iconic example! No one could wear it better than Elizabeth Taylor!

 

Enjoy your day!

 

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