Louboutin Nails – First Attempt – NOTD!

louboutin

My nails have finally gotten long enough for me to try this Louboutin nails thing, where the underside is coated in red, like the shoes. I thought for sure it would be really awkward and messy without being worth it. Glad to say I was wrong!

I used Sinful Colors No Text Red (reviewed here) and my favourite black, OPI Black Onyx, although you could use whatever colour you want on top providing it is opaque enough to cover the red underneath.

I did the red first, because knowing me I’d get it all over the perfectly applied polish on top if I didn’t and would have to start over. If you have a quick dry red, I’d recommend that. DO THE THUMB LAST. I used my thumbnail to push the skin of my finger pads away from the underside of the nail for a bit of a cleaner application of red. Use very little polish on the brush to help keep it from getting everywhere. As dry as possible while still able to paint. At this point, it will look like you just fought and won a bloody battle, if looking at them from the unpainted top. If squeamish, don’t look. Quickly paint on your chosen nail colour on top as usual.

Completed look! I can see why people do this. It makes for a fairly finished, sophisticated look! Now I won’t feel finished until I paint the undersides. Photos below with a bit of bling.

Louboutin Nails

Louboutin Nails

Louboutin Nails

Louboutin Nails

louboutin_nails_2

Louboutin Nails

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Sinful Colors No Text Red NOTD!

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Sinful Colors No Text Red

FREAKIN’ FINALLY! A year after everyone else, we finally got this well publicized shade in my corner of Canada! I’m actually quite surprised to see it, as it’s not often we see this brand here. In fact, when I was lucky enough to snap this up at $1.99 at my local Save-On Foods, it was the first time I had ever seen a Sinful Colors display in person, as I had only been able to order it online up until then. So even though it’s a year late here, it brings along with it a message with no expiration date – don’t text and drive!

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Their ad-message wants you to paint your thumbnail red to remind you not to text and drive – him, her, everyone! Love it. I also loved the colour, and I wasn’t going to settle for just a thumbnail!

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Sinful Colors No Text Red

This formula went on beautifully, and was almost perfect in one coat, but I used two (plus base and topcoats.) It lasted with minor chipping and tip wear a full, solid week. Amazing performance. Amazing, bright, vibrant, classic red shade.

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Sinful Colors No Text Red

This nail polish – after several days wear – still looked good enough for the girls at my local Wendy’s to stop me and compliment it, noting that this specific shade, No Text Red, was something they’ve talked about before (as it was disappointingly only available in the US!) Note: I love Wendy’s, their baked potato is a food group for me these days! Also noteworthy: two women I work with who had never, ever worn nail polish in the year that I’ve been there (I notice these things, okay!) BOTH showed up with their own bright, classic red nails in a very similar shade the week after I wore this one. This shade is beautiful, noticeable, influential and if you ever see it, GET IT, even if you already have a dozen reds, or worry that you can’t pull it off! You will not be disappointed!

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Sinful Colors No Text Red

Thank you, Sinful Colors, for a perfect shade with a perfect formula, with a very important message. The only downside is how long it took to get this to Canada!

Essie Toggle to the Top NOTD!

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Found this pretty one at the Dollarama, lucky me! Went on well with 2 coats, but has a matte leaning finish, with a bit of texture from the glitter. I also found (as i do with certain larger glitter formulas) that it had a slightly greyish cast to it once dry, which I mostly mitigated with 2 thick clear coats. Swatches!

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

Essie Toggle to the Top

 

I really liked the jewel tones of this one!

 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

More Minimalist NOTD!

Really liking this single dot nail art. There mere seconds it takes fits nicely with my schedule! For this round, I’ve used NYC Color in a Minute in Times Square (this is actually my second bottle, I like it so much! This incarnation is redder than it’s earlier counterpart which I used for this look here as well as this dotty experiment) and a Sally Hansen for the black dot. If you haven’t tried the NYC fast drying polish, you should! It’s $2 or less and dries faster and stays longer than any other fast drying versions I’ve tried!

WP_20150318_003[1]

Minimal effort, maximum impact! I like it! The pale version of this can be seen here!

Friday tomorrow!!

LA Colors Transformer NOTD Swatch & Review!

LA Colors Transformer

LA Colors Transformer

Why does it seem so difficult to find the perfect burgundy or wine coloured nail polish? It’s a matter of finding, for my skin tone, the perfect blend of red, purple, brown and depth of colour. Just about everything I find is either too red, too purple, or too brown. As LA Colors has a proven track record of not disappointing me, I thought I would give this shade, Transformer, a go. They are so cheap that even if it wasn’t right for me, I wouldn’t be disappointed. But I wasn’t disappointed!

LA Colors Transformer Label

LA Colors Transformer Label

LA Colors Transformer is a gorgeous deep red/wine shade in a jelly formula. It builds perfectly, and is opaque enough at two coats, but I used three for the swatches to make sure I captured as much of the depth of shade as possible. with three coats and a top coat, I had only minor chips and tip wear going into the fourth day where it was time for a change, so performance is more than satisfactory!

I had some troubles getting these swatches to show at their true deep cherry shade. My camera tends to make reds brighter and more orange if I’m not careful, especially with flash. I think most of these pictures are without flash. Keep in mind these are a smidge darker and more wine like in person. It also seems to go on darker than the bottle colour, which I am perfectly ok with!

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

LA Colors Transformer Swatch

I can find LA Colors for a dollar or two, and the wear is fantastic. The shade is almost perfect, it’s blue enough based to look fine against my skin. My only issue with this polish is that it’s hard to photograph properly, which of course won’t stop me from wearing it! I will still hunt for the perfect burgundy. If you like deep cool tones reds and wine shades, definitely pick this one up!

Revlon Parfumerie China Flower NOTD, and Bonus Nicole Top Coat Plus (Scathing) Review!

Revlon China Flower, NOPI Top Coat

Revlon China Flower, NOPI Top Coat

It’s unusual that I have the opportunity to do a review on a product that I can file under both nail polish and fragrance. The Revlon Parfumerie line has been out for a bit now, and I think (hope?) they are clearing out their summer line for fall at my local retailers as I found what was left of a small display at half price. Hope they aren’t discontinuing the line but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. Finding the China Flower one to look and sound most interesting, it came home with me.

The bottle is attractive. I really like the square shape, however I hate the round top. It made wielding the already harder to use small, thin, round brush more difficult as it was hard to stabilize. The shade is a brightened, summery, coraly red creme/jelly formula, very striking. It went only smoothly at 2 coats, but I used 3 for photo swatches. The result was a vibrant pop of colour against my skin, I really liked it!

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Revlon China Flower Swatch

Now about the fragrance. These nail polishes are intended to have a light scent once dry, and this one was quite unique and surely made itself known. I would describe it as a spicy/fresh scent. Something interesting about it is that it had a bit of the feeling you’d get from a whiff of Vicks – not necessarily the smell itself, but the sensation, this nail polish’s scent has a bit of an aromatic, medicated vapour sense to it. Hard to explain. I caught this scent when my hands were about a foot or so from my face. I read a post recently with this Revlon Parfumerie polish in a shade called Bordeaux which I wish was available here, it’s the exact shade of wine I’ve been looking for, and knowing myself I think I’d love the scent. If you’re curious it was over at ClassygirlKate‘s blog.

Part 2!

So I decided to try out the Nicole Top Coat Plus I got in a 3 pack of Nicole polishes over top of the China Flower. I am struggling to find something good to say.

I'm glad this photo is fuzzy.

I’m glad this photo is blurry.

Why am I glad that picture is blurry? Well, the longer I had it on, the more tiny little bubbles would pop up. Now usually that happens if your polish is slapped on in thick, wet layers too quickly. I applied this topcoat well after the Revlon China Flower had dried, after several minutes of taking, uploading and editing photos. Which brings me to my next complaint – although the polish was dry, this top coat pulled up colour onto the brush! Every brush stroke landed more and more red tint to the top coats brush! Not even my super cheap top coats do this! I wiped it off the brush best I could for the header photo. More time passed, I took some more pictures, and then took down my setup with the back scarf backdrop for my header photo to put it away, and then noticed that even though some time had passed, I had little fabric indentations on my nails from just lightly handling the scarf! Now I might expect that to happen immediately after painting, but not, say, 30 mins after applying a top coat in front of a fan on high on a hot day! Suspicious, I lightly touched the nail to see what was going on, and to my surprise it was sticky! Not wet really, but gluey, gummy, sticky! I have never, ever had a top coat – or any polish at all come to think of it – perform so poorly.

To summarize, the Revlon Parfumerie polish looked great and applied beautifully. The scent would be an acquired taste. Worth noting, I could still smell the China Flower under the (awful) top coat. The Nicole Top Coat Plus is officially the worst product I have ever put on my nails. The only thing I could see this being useful for is as a simple clear coat on bare nails, it seems to dry fine and not bubble up or be sticky in that application. The Nicole Top Coat Plus was so bad, I’m resurrecting my bad review haiku ritual for it.

 

Dozens of bubbles.

Why does this polish hate me?

My nails are now glue.

NOPE.

NOPE.

Rimmel Salon Pro Red Award NOTD Swatch & Review!

Rimmel Red Award

Rimmel Red Award

Rimmel’s new Salon Pro with Lycra line was slower to get to Canada, at least in my area. I’ve been seeing pictures and swatches of this line for a few months now, but only found the bottles in stores just this month! This line claims to have chip resistant wear for 10 days, a gel like shine, and a huge selection of 40 shades, although I’ve only seen about 10 tops locally. A quick look at their website shows lots of shades I’d love to have, (the blues are gorgeous, and a huge selection of nude neutrals) but they just aren’t available here.

Rimmel Red Award is a beautiful, rich, deep, dark red. The brush is of the wider, flatter variety I like so much. At two jellyish coats it is a blood red, and at three it is more of an intense black cherry. This has a very Chanel Rouge Noir dupe thing going for it! I actually bought this to replace a long discontinued Maybelline polish called Midnight Red (another Chanel Rouge Noir dupe) that was staring run out, which was a very old favourite but this formula is by far superior! Some swatches, most of these were taken after a day of wear already. Taken with flash to bring out the red base.

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Rimmel Red Award Swatch

Deciding to test out the 10 day wear claim, I used three thin coats on my left hand for swatches, and two on my right, no top coat, for comparison. The addition of Lycra in the formula is intended to keep it flexible once dry. As my nails often chip within a day, my expectations were low. The left hand with three thin coats and a top coat still looks perfect on day three! This would easily last well into day four or more. The hand with two coats, no top coat, was chipped slightly but still wearable, so if you want more than three days of perfect wear out of this one I’d recommend a top coat for sure!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Vampy Black Cherry NOTD with Sally Hansen Black out & Red Carpet!

Sally Hansen Red Carpet & Black Out

Sally Hansen Red Carpet & Black Out

Time for a darker, vampy NOTD. I found both these Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes for $1.96! Sally Hansen Red Carpet is a jelly-like red packed with glitter. I thought the glitter was also red, until when I was in the process of removing it off a test nail I noticed it was silver, which was exposed after the jelly red portion came off (you know how glitters can be tenacious). This polish is stunning. Sally Hansen Black Out is a creme black. My old beloved OPI Black Onyx is about gone so I needed a replacement. Black Out isn’t as opaque in 1 coat but it gets the job done.

For this NOTD I painted on one coat of Black Out and let it dry. It didn’t matter if it was completely opaque as I was painting over it anyway. I then added just one coat of Red Carpet, and this is the look that resulted. I love it!

Sally Hansen Black Out & Red Carpet Layered

Sally Hansen Black Out & Red Carpet Layered

Sally Hansen Black Out & Red Carpet Layered

Sally Hansen Black Out & Red Carpet Layered

Looked even nicer and sparkly in person! Above pictures have no top coat. Dry time was fast as there was only two coats combined. I’m pretty impressed with just one coat of each of these!

Enjoy your day!

Happy Canada Day! A Canadian recipe, themed nails, and more!

Canflag

Happy Canada Day!

 

Today’s post is a long one, so I am splitting it up into subheadings! I wish you the best of Canada Days!

 

Canadian NOTD!

I really wanted to do some Canada Day themed nails! I tried using my dotter to make a leaf pattern, with some success. I couldn’t seem to be able to get it small enough to look right on a nail however. I moved on to trying to paint a maple leaf with the tiny brush I have. I did end painting something that resembled a leaf alright, perhaps a more popular one than maple. Deciding that this wasn’t the look I was going for, I scrapped the maple leaf plan and went with a red and white dot theme! The first shot is a bit dark, the next with two rows of dots I remembered to turn the flash on for. I’m not too proficient with the dotter yet but I’m getting there. Not bad for the late hour I did these at!

One Row Dots

One Row Dots

Two Rows Dots

Two Rows Dots

Pretty cute I think! Love this dotting tool, only had it a week or so and already a lot of use out of it!

 

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

Cute Canadian Hoodies Eh?

 

 

Time for a snack!

I’d like to share one of my all time favourite Canadian recipes! It is for Nanaimo Bars, a three layer no bake square/bar type dessert. No bake = perfect for summer treat! I will include substitutions and variations below. They look like this!

Nanaimo Bars

Nanaimo Bars

 

Nanaimo Bars:

 

For the Base:

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup sugar

6 tbsp cocoa

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (note about substitutions to follow)

1 cup shredded coconut (I’ve used sweetened and unsweetened, it doesn’t really matter, use what you like best)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

6 tbsp milk

4 tbsp custard powder (note about substitutions to follow)

4 cups icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)

 

For the topping:

8 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I use the handy pre-measured Baker’s chocolate squares)

1 tbsp butter or margarine

 

Directions:

1) For the base, combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and stir over medium heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Depending on your personal level of fusspottery, you may also do this step in the microwave or over a double boiler as preferred.

2) Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Pack the mixture firmly into a 9×13” pan (for thinner bars) or an 8×8” pan (for fat, rich, thick bars, my preference) when it is cool enough to handle. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.

3) Beat all 4 filling ingredients with a mixer until smooth. Spread filling over chilled base, and refrigerate til completely set, about an hour, maybe less.

4) For the topping, melt chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave at 50% (or less depending on your microwave’s power) stirring every 30 seconds or so as it melts. When it is fully melted and smooth, spread this over top the chilled filling and base. Place in fridge to chill for another hour or so. You can remove at this point to score the top chocolate layer for easier cutting later, or let it chill the entire way and cut later. If you want to chill it fully cut it later, I’d recommend letting it sit at room temperature a while first so it chocolate doesn’t break up when slicing.

 

Substitutions:

Graham Cracker Crumbs: If you don’t have these available in your area, I have heard people have had success with crushed vanilla wafers (the plain flat dry cookie type, not the wafers with filling), crushed animal crackers, zweiback baby cookies,  oreo cookie crumbs, crushed biscotti (fancy), and my Australian friends use crushed digestive biscuits, which seem to be the closest substitution. For a gluten free option, use crushed gluten free cookies (something plain) or gluten free cereal like Chex or Rice Krispies, or whatever else you have locally that you think will crush up into decent, cookie like crumbs. Just make sure your chocolate and filling ingredients are also gluten free!

For the custard powder which I believe might be a Canadian/UK thing, you can  substitute with an equal amount of instant vanilla pudding powder, but I assure you it will not be the same! For those who would be upset at the remainder of unused vanilla pudding powder (and I know some people who would be), just mix it up with a bit of milk, eat it and stop panicking. Or, an even better option, save it for your next batch of Nanaimo Bars, or dump it in your next batch of chocolate chip cookies. Trust me.

Some variation ideas (no real recipes here as they are just ideas, but I’m sure google can help you out if you need it):

-Mint Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, only add a a bit of mint favouring and green food colouring to the filling part. This would work well with the vanilla pudding substitute as well. This is how my Auntie makes them for xmas every year.

-Peanut Butter Chocolate Nanaimo Bars: Make as directed, adding a couple tbsp peanut butter in the filling mixture and substitute the walnuts for chopped peanuts in the base.

-Butter Pecan Nanaimo Bars: In place of the custard powder, use equal amount butterscotch pudding powder or some caramel flavouring syrup. Replace the walnuts in the base with chopped pecans in the base.

-Cherry Almond Nanaimo Bars: Replace the custard powder with cherry and almond extract, or cherry juice, maybe some finely chopped maraschino cherries, replace the walnuts with chopped almonds in the base.

-Mocha Nanaimo Bars: Add a bit of super strong coffee or some instant coffee to the filling (maybe mixing it in a tiny, tiny bit of water to dissolve first) and prepare as directed.

-Boozey Nanaimo Bars: Add some Grand Marnier to the filling, perhaps a small amount of grated orange rind to the base. Or maybe some Bailey’s, Amaretto, Kahlua, etc in the filling, the remainder prepared as directed.

The recipe, as you can see, is very forgiving and flexible, you’re sure to find a version you’ll like!

 

Celebration suggestions!

Where I live, Canada Day is usually celebrated with booze, backyard bbq’s, fireworks and red and white patriotic decorations, much like July 4th from what I can tell. I came across some unexpected suggestions while shopping recently, however. I was minding my own business at the store, when I looked up to find this:

canadapanty

Celebration Suggestion

I’m all for celebrating in your undies, it was just an unexpected display. Thinking it was a one off thing, maybe just a store employee with a sense of humor, I pretty much forgot about it. Until I opened my email, and found this (a La Senza ad mail):

More celebration suggestions!

More celebration suggestions!

I guess I’ve got the memo! Happy Canada Day, party in your panties!

LA Colors Power Outage NOTD, Swatch & Review!

LA Colors Power Surge

LA Colors Power Outage

Hi! Today’s NOTD is from a brand that is quickly becoming a favourite, LA Colors! A local store has them on for 2 for $3, which is hard to pass up considering how impressed I was with their other offerings (like Sparkling Diamonds!) I liked Sparkling Diamonds so much I had to grab a backup, and I grabbed this bright shade that caught my eye as well.

LA Colors Power Outage is a purple leaning, very blue based red with pretty blue and red micro glitter. The formula is a jelly that looks good after two coats but three adds a nice depth and dimension. It dried surprisingly quickly even at three coats! Although it photographs fairly red, in person it is far more purpleish, but too dark to be a fuchsia. Reminds me of ripe cherries and raspberries! A bright magenta, I would say. This shade has a gorgeous luminescence that I couldn’t seem to capture on camera. Some swatches!

LA Colors Power Surge

LA Colors Power Outage

LA Colors Power Surge

LA Colors Power Outage

LA Colors Power Surge

LA Colors Power Outage

Photos do not do this justice. If you ever come across it, it is well worth the odd $1-2 to try it out! You won’t be disappointed! Although I have a lot of reds, purples, and even a few paler fuchsias, I didn’t have a true magenta until this one and I am very glad to have found it, especially at that price! I can’t stop looking at it.

The only Magenta more fabulous than this one!

Magenta from Rocky Horror

Magenta from Rocky Horror

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