Simple St. Patrick’s Day NOTD!

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What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day? I might have a glass of wine, tops, and head to bed early. I wanted to do something quickly on the weekend for festive nails and was feeling lucky, so I slapped some green polish on, with some nail dotter blobs intended to hopefully look like clover.

I used Revlon ColorStay in Jungle, Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Rags to Riches (terrible this whole line has been discontinued, it was fantastic!) and a mini Revlon in Garden.

Rimmel Rage to Riches, Revlon Jungle, Revlon Garden

Rimmel Rags to Riches, Revlon Jungle, Revlon Garden

Clover!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

And with a layer of Essie As Gold As It Gets on top because I can’t help myself. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s day on Tuesday! And here’s a link to my St. Patrick’s Day look from last year! ūüôā

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September Empties with Mini Reviews!

September Empties!

September Empties!

How was everyone’s September? New schools? New jobs? September was a hugely busy month for me, full of workshops and interviews, and next month will be even busier as I am to be starting a new job with long hours. I think I will only be able to post on weekends, sadly. I did manage to get through some items this month however! I will go through them one by one as numbered in the photo below, left to right, and add in some mini reviews and applicable links to previous reviews and the like.

Empties_Sept_2014_Numbered

 

1) Coppertone SPF 60 Continuous Spray Waterproof Sunscreen

Not that anyone should need any extra reasons to wear sunscreen at all times, but I am allergic to the sun. A few minutes of unprotected sun exposure and I’m stuck with an itchy hives reaction that can last for weeks (this is known as Polymorphic Light Eruption). So I keep my face, hands, and any other exposed skin covered at all times. I grabbed this one as not only was it on sale, but I liked the idea of a waterproof formula to make sure it sticks on during a potentially sweaty summer day when I am unable to reapply. The product was an easy to use spray on. It did leave a sticky feeling however, presumably from whatever ingredient in it makes it waterproof. I didn’t mind this until I noticed every speck of dirt and dust I walked past stuck to my skin and was hard to wash off! The scent was also somewhat strong to me, something typically beachy with a splash of light floral and a side of chemicals. If you’ve smelled Jennifer Aniston’s first fragrance, which supposedly was also intended to be beachy, it smells like that. Due to the stickyness and scent, I would not rebuy. I did like the spray on aspect, but I think I will stick to cream formulas thought winter. Will not rebuy.

2) Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Waterproof Mascara in Very Black

This, for reasons that entirely escape me, has been discontinued in Canada. I believe it is still available in the US. This has been my HG mascara for for twelve or thirteen years maybe. It builds well to great volume and length, doesn’t flake (until the tube gets a bit old and dried up), leaves my lashes soft and pliable with no spiky, spidery lash attributes, and is in fact waterproof. Not too hard to wash off. I am down to one last stashed away tube, after that there’s no more here to be found in Canada. I will miss it! If there are any US readers who would like to enable my Full ‘n Soft addiction I would be more than receptive to the idea! I would rebuy but it doesn’t exist here.

3) Bath & Body Works White Citrus Shower Gel

A zesty, sparkling citrus scent with notes of ginger and water lily. A slight musky base. I liked this enough to use as a shower gel and diluted in my foamy hand soap dispensers as detailed in this post. It was nice and refreshing. I don’t think I liked it enough to rebuy. I think this would make a great scent for a laundry detergent or a room spray or candle.

4) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Shampoo Sample

This shampoo has an interesting texture in that it is more of a thick, gel like formula and not at all liquid. It didn’t pour out. I used this by squeezing out little jelly blobs. I liked this far more than I usually like Pantene products, probably because the formula was so, so different. I did a good job, and my hair didn’t feel limp afterwards when dry. Even the scent is better than usual Pantene offerings, reminds me more of something Fructis might make. Worth noting is that sodium laurel sulfate is it’s primary surfactant, which some people can have sensitivities to. I’m usually ok with it if I don’t use it too many days in a row, otherwise my scalp gets itchy. I would consider buying this if I found it at a great price and needed shampoo at the time.

5) Pantene Sheer Volume Weightless Conditioner Sample

Like it’s¬†shampoo counterpart, this formula was completely different than Pantene’s other conditioner offerings. In fact, the formula reminded me a lot of Tres Emme’s, which is my go to every day conditioner and has been for years. This did the job well and smelled pretty good. I would consider buying if it were at a great price and I needed conditioner at the time, but I can’t see it ever being any better or cheaper than my $4 a liter Tres Emme. But good job an this new shampoo/conditioner, Pantene.

6) John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo Sample

I didn’t notice any lightening. The formula didn’t lather well, and had a strange chemical undertone to the scent. Would not buy. Seemed almost indistinguishable, aside from the colour from it’s purple tone correcting counterpart I reviewed in my last empties post.¬†Says it’s ammonia and peroxide free. How is this intended to lighten?

7) Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

Also known as¬†Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream Night depending on where you buy it from. This is a retinol treatment I have used for a year now and do not intend on stopping, unless I upgrade to a higher dose of retinol. There is still a couple of uses left in this tube, but I felt it would be an important addition to my empties post to demonstrate how long this little 40ml tube lasts. My last empty tube made an appearance in my debut empties post back in May, so I get at least four¬†months worth of use out of one tube. I buy this when it’s on sale for about $16-17 Canadian, so I get my retinol treatments and results for less then $5 a month. Amazing. I’ve done a very in depth full review as well if you’d like to check it out. I will rebuy this until they stop making it, which I hope is never.

8) Diorskin Forever Flawless Perfection Wear Makeup SPF 25 Sample

I don’t have the little Sephora bag that had the label on it, but I believe this was in shade #010. I went into Sephora asking for samples of foundation of longer wearing, SPF bearing formulas, and this was the winner. It is basically perfect. Coverage was impeccable, it lasted all day in humid weather, no smudging, smearing, or transferring. I found I only needed extra concealer on my dark under eye circles when I used this. The finish is skin like, and just matte enough. I would buy this, but at the atrocious price of $49 Canadian that won’t be happening. I won’t feel too bad about asking for more samples however, after what Sephora put me though, and use it on occasions I need my skin to look nicer.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and productive September! I’m looking forward to October and all the spooky stuff (and candy) it brings with it!

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess NOTD!

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Aside from all the extra rain we get here for autumn in the Vancouver area, I like fall. It’s cool enough to wear more scarves (I love me some scarves) and it’s another reason to wear darker shades! I am presenting the Revlon shade on the left as both Facets of Fuchsia and Scandalous because they are the same thing. Facets of Fuchsia was a limited edition from a while ago that was re-released more recently under the name Scandalous as part of the permanent line. If you have one, you have the other.

Revlon Facets of Fuchsia/Scandalous is a black based jelly with large hex glitter and small glitter that looks like a purpley fuchsia in the sheer blackened base. This purple glitter turns silver when you’re removing the polish. It builds up really well, but that many layers of glitter can be hard to remove. I generally use this with a base of black, but this time I wanted to bring out the purple a bit more. I used a layer of NYX Princess first (discontinued I think as they changed the packaging on this line a while back) followed by two of the Revlon. The final look was still deep and dark, but a little brightened with the fuchsia base.

Some pictures in various lights.

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

Revlon Scandalous/Facets of Fuchsia & NYX Princess

This held up surprisingly well, with a topcoat, for a couple of days. The Revlon Facets of Fuchsia/Scandalous is also a pretty good dupe for Deborah Lipmann Bad Romance. Enjoy your week!

Beautiful Day Blue and Gold NOTD, Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate Swatch & Review

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

More blue nails! Surprise! This Revlon polish is one that I have had a long while, and is a favourite, so of course it’s discontinued. Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate is a perfect, slightly greyed out medium blue. The shade is neutral enough you can get away wearing it in more circumstances than other shades of blue. I even once wore this to an interview where the shade was an exact match to their company logo. I’m certain no one noticed.

Although I could get away with one coat, two looks more perfect and even. The blue is a perfect creme formula, smooth, even, and fast drying. I painted on two coats of the Blue Slate, and then a layer of the lovely and versatile Essie As Gold As It Gets. Some pictures in different lights!

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

Revlon Blue Slate, Essie As Gold As It Gets

These two together reminded me of blue, sunshiney skies. The formulas together hold up well for a couple of days without chips. If you can find this shade anywhere, I really recommend it as a staple in your nail wardrobe if you like blue as much as I do!

Have a great week!

Dark Teal NOTD with Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam Swatch & Review!

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam

I am now completely reassured that I am over the whole punny polish name bit so many brands have going.¬†However it doesn’t look like they plan on stopping with them any time soon, so I will work around it. For the remainder of the post, I will call this one KHALLL instead, with the exception of photo captions. I am officially on bad name strike!

This gorgeous dark teal shade is from a “Kolor Kollection” whose full name I will never, ever use here due to media over saturation. Not to mention Khloe no longer has a “Little Lam Lam”, she has a skeevy, philanderer (birth) named¬†Karim Kharbouch – well no wonder they picked him for her new beau, the name fits their brand image, which is what matters right? These people… But they did put their name on a reasonably decent nail polish line, and this is my favourite of that line!

KHALLL is a darkened teal creme. The formula is fantastic. I find this to be almost opaque with one coat but it does need 2 to be perfect. It applies smoothly, isn’t sheer or streaky. Even the dry time is is surprisingly fast! The teal shade definitely leans a more foresty green, with a tiny bit of grey. It remains cool toned enough to not look awful on my skin. I am really liking this shade! A couple swatches. Had some trouble with this one and lens flare, it’s so shiny!

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam Swatch

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam Swatch

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam Swatch

Nicole by OPI Khloe Had a Little Lam Lam Swatch

The collection is starting to hit the discounters/clearance now. I’m not sure if they are phasing it out ¬†due to lack of interest in the “K” brand or if it naturally ran it’s course but I’m glad to have found it for $2. If you were to only get one from this line, I’d recommend this one (if you like dark shades). This is also a pretty bang on dupe for MAC Deep Sea. Wonder if I can make it through the day without adding a shimmery topcoat!

EDIT: I made it a day. I then added a bit of Essence Miss Universe to the tips for a tone on tone french mani look. Close up of thumb:

KHALLLthumb

Have a good week!

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadows in Sage & Lavender, Swatches!

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

These Almay single shadows came out years¬†ago, but weren’t ever launched in my area in Canada. I saw reviews and swatches for them on US sites ages ago and have wanted them ever since. I gave up when I learned they were long discontinued. And then, in a strange twist, I found them in my local discounter. I’m not sure where this place gets their salvage stock, but I am so grateful. I’ve managed to find things I would never normally, at almost negligible prices! These were $2.50!

The entire line of these are soft, muted shades that wouldn’t be too unusual to find in nature. In fact the whole line’s marketing is based on trying to look pure and natural. They boast that the product is 98.2% natural which in effect means squat (it’s not regulated). It also is labeled to be hypoallergenic which is equally as meaningless (also not regulated). Thats aside, I do like the packaging, stiff cardboard covered in paper. There is a window of plastic over the center so you can see the shades, and it has a magnetic closure. Being flat, light, and perfectly square, these would store tidily. Click for larger pictures.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow, Back

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow, Back

Sage is a pale, muted sage green with shimmer. Thankfully it remains mostly neutral instead of leaning too warm. It also has a bit of a metallic golden flash to it, very interesting and unexpected from this tiny single shadow. Somehow looks almost mint green on my eye in some lights.

Lavender is again muted, a pale shimmery lavender. It looks pinkish in some lights and has a silvery pale metallic look. It also leans a bit taupe and is again thankfully neutral. Some swatches of both under flash and sun.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow Swatches, Sage, Lavender

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow Swatches, Sage, Lavender

The texture of both of these are soft and buttery smooth, and they apply like a dream. The texture reminds me of a light application of the good Wet n’ Wild eyeshadows. Reading old reviews about these shadows, they complain of lack of pigment. Look at those swatches above. That was one swipe down my arm with no base, just bare skin. Do they look unpigmented to you? They don’t to me. These are pale, natural looking, neutral shades, which is pretty much what they advertised. I’m not sure what those who were complaining about lack of pigment were expecting. I see some beautifully smooth pale neutral shades. I can’t wait to pair these with some matte brown definition in the crease.

I’ve worn these all day today, a hot summer day. They haven’t budged and are wearing comfortably. These are a generous 2.25g/0.09oz (almost twice as much as MAC’s eyeshadows, for comparison). Sad these are discontinued, but glad to have finally tried them at such a low price! Better late than never I guess!

Revlon Colorstay Provence NOTD Swatch & Review!

Revlon Provence

Revlon Provence

I used the sky as my backdrop for this bottle of polish, what an amazing colour! Was a gorgeous day so I had to take advantage of it. It did make the shade in the bottle look greyer than it actually is, however.

The first of the newer incarnation of Revlon Colorstay nail enamels (my favourite) that I purchased was this one, Provence. It wasn’t recently, it was some time ago as it is sadly now discontinued. Thankfully it is still usable. Now that I think of it, I still have some of the first versions of the Revlon Colorstay polishes that are still usable, remember when they came in a duo pack with a topcoat? Those. I have a bunch of those still. How long have I had these, 10 years? 15?

Revlon Provence is a pale, greyed out lavender shade. It has just enough purple in it to see that there’s a colour there, but still subtle and neutral enough for even the most conservative of venues. It is sheer and streaky in one coat, but evens out nicely with two coats. Dry time is a little longer with this one as it stays tacky for a while. Swatches below are with no topcoat. Still pretty shiny without it, I think.

Revlon Provence Shade

Revlon Provence in shade

Revlon Provence Sun

Revlon Provence with Flash

And I can’t help myself with topcoats, I added a layer of Essie As Gold As It Gets and then another of Revlon Colorstay Calla Lily for a bit of faint shimmer to add some depth and interest.

Revlon Provence with topcoats

Revlon Provence with gold topcoats

 

It’s more of a spring shade rather than summer, but I think it’s something nice and light for the super hot days we’ve been having here lately!

Enjoy your week!

NYC West Village & Nicole Imagine If NOTD!

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

Continuing my ongoing mission seeking a suitable Essie Starry Starry Nights replacement, I present to you another blue and sparkly NOTD! Today I’m using NYC West Village and Nicole by OPI Imagine If. NYC Color in a New York Minute is a great line of polishes, and I’m sad that they have discontinued a lot of my favourites, but I think this one is still in production. EDIT: Nope, it’s gorgeous, so obviously it’s discontinued. It’s too sheer, terrible East Village counterpart is still in production however. ¬†>.<

NYC West Village is a deep, inky blue with a bit of a flash of purple sparkle. It has a lovely intensity and is perfect at 2 coats, and dries very quickly! If this was still sold in my area, I’d buy a backup, but my local store sadly stopped carrying the whole NYC line. Shown below is 2 quick coats, no top coat (yet!) You can see the tiny bit of purple sparkle in this pic.

NYC West Village

NYC West Village

On top of this already pretty polish, I have added a coat of Nicole by OPI Imagine If, a sparkly top coat that looks silvery in the bottle but is actually tiny multi-coloured micro glitter! Some more pictures!

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

NYC West Village, Nicole Imagine If

I really liked how this turned out. I liked it so much, I did the same look to my toes! My best dark blue/sparkle combo so far, I think!

 Enjoy your weekend!

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!

 

Elf Liquid Eyeliner Swatch & Review!

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

I found this unassuming little treat at a new local dollar store for all of $1.50. It was hidden way up high in a wall crammed full of miscellaneous beauty accoutrements, trying hard not to be seen. Elf (eyes lips face) cosmetics are another one of those things that I have a hard time obtaining locally, so I was pretty eager to try this out, especially at that price. I tried it out today with a very simple eye look for a test run to see how it would hold up, as I’ve found mixed reviews online.

The bottle itself is a pretty standard liquid eyeliner container in that it has a tapered wand with a wider base. The brush is thin with fine hairs, and is not a felt tip. This might prove a little more tricky to handle for someone new to liquid eyeliner but others should have little trouble with it.

elf liquid eyeliner brush

elf liquid eyeliner brush

I noticed the back of the package carding noted “smudge-proof liquid liner” twice. Perhaps a printing error is what landed this batch in the dollar store as liquidated salvage stock? It also noted on the card that elf is a charity supporter (didn’t mention which) and that they do not test on animals.

elf_liquid_eyeliner_back

The product applied smoothly, was fluid enough to spread easily but not so liquid as it got everywhere. It dried reasonably quickly for me but I only used a thin coat. The colour was a deep black and dried to a semi matte finish. Just barely shiny enough to not look flat. Definitely not glossy. Below are single swipes on my arm, one with a light hand, one heavier.

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, wet

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, wet

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, dry

elf liquid eyeliner swatch, dry

I applied this product with a simple eye look for a trial run for the purpose of this review. I made sure to pick a few favourites that I already knew would perform well so I could give the elf eyeliner a fair shake. Products used:

-Wet n Wild eyeshadow single in Brulee on browbone

-Maybelline  Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe in crease

-NYC City Curls mascara in Extreme Black (a lovely, velvety plush finish that wears well, all for less than $3 so of course it’s suddenly not available¬†here anymore >.<)

-Revlon Satin eyeshadow in Nude Slip on lid (a beautiful shimmery peachy neutral with a gorgeous, buttery texture, so of course it’s discontinued and in my Holy Grail Graveyard)

-Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in a small foil sample pack I received in a magazine. I’m a little on the fence with this one. I like the texture but I am unsure about the finish, coverage, and wear time.

elf_liquid_eyeliner_others

Other products used

I’ve been wearing this a few hours now, no smears, smudges or flakes. I have oily eyelids and wasn’t expecting it to perform this well! After it was well set, I ran the swatches on my arm under water, and it didn’t move. There was still residue after using soap, but it removed easily with a makeup remover wipe. I will update if things go south with this eyeliner before the end of the day! EDIT: My Color Tattoo eyeshadow faded before this eyeliner, which was still going strong somewhere past the 12 hour mark. I am pretty damn impressed!

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

elf liquid eyeliner

Final verdict? LOVE IT. It is well worth the crazy low buck fifty. I plan on buying the rest of the stock – if there’s any left – as it seems everything I like is discontinued or impossible to find immediately after I declare my undying love. Why do I keep scaring these great products away! *dramatic sigh*

I also wanted to share this card that came in a recent ebay purchase with you ūüôā

have_a_nice_day

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