Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Illamasqua Milf

I've had this polish since before Christmas and yes, it's taken me this long to try it. Pastel green, yes, pastel green again. First let's talk Illamasqua. Love it. I own Rare, Baptiste, Rampage, Muse, Milf and Phallic. I used to own Jan but I swapped it away (looked cool in the bottle but boring pink with my skintone). I bought a few of these when they first arrived stateside on a visit to NYC in August. The three I bought were Rare, Rampage and Muse. I admit: I bought Rampage and Muse simply for the hype. Everyone was flipping for 'em and they were hard to come by, so I bought them. Rare I just fell in love with (highlighter yellow like you would not believe!). I bought my other three during Christmas with those glitchy Sephora giftcards that claimed to have a minimum purchase but, in fact, did not. ANYWAY. Milf. Weird pastel green. Not, in my opinion, mint. Leans more toward the avocado family but only very very very slightly. It's got some yellow to it. Kinda like a green grape? Perhaps? Maybe? Not sure. Love the Illamasqua formula: super pigmented, super smooth, glossy, awesomesauce.

2 coats featured here:

A little bird tells me that another Illamasqua will be making an appearance quite soon. Actually, maybe all of them, it's been a while since I wore them. Hmm. Anyone else out there love these? I do. I love the bottle. Chic and square and pretty looking. Also I like saying the name.

That's all folks, thanks for lookin'!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maybelline Express Finish Goody Plum Drop & Konad M15

This is the last of the three Spring Maybellines that I picked up. Goody Plum Drop is a pretty light purple, pretty feminine, and leans to the pinker side of purple rather than blue or red. Color-wise, it's not really totally my speed. A little too purposefully "pretty" for my taste, but I'll enjoy wearing it nonetheless. It's actually the best of the three I tried, formula wise: not gritty at all and applied very nicely. It also has this lovely shimmer, which is just awesome. I sorta wish Minty and Pie In The Sky had shimmer, too. It's not frosty shimmer, just very subtle silver pearl. I needed a break from greens and straight up creme pastels, so this was a nice transition. I think this would also look really nice on the toes, as I'm partial to purples for pedicures. Anyway, not too much to say about this polish and that's a good thing. It's lovely and I highly suggest grabbing it if you do happen to run across it in your travels.

Here's 2 coats:

It leans a bit bluer in these photos than it does in real life, but I felt pretty confident that I captured the gist of it.

And, because I'm naturally prone to ADD when it comes to nail polish, I broke out the Konad and used the starburst design from M15 to add a little accent at the base of the nail. I used Konad White Special Polish for the stamp. I really liked the way this turned out. Sometimes I forget I don't need to do the whole nail when I stamp... and that a little thing can be just as impactful and cool.

Springy and pretty, I think. I'm sure we're going to get our asses kicked in the Northeast for this string of nice days we've been having (in the sixties!), but I'm in the mood for April, it's right around the corner.

Thanks for looking!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Borghese Almondine

I don't even know how to categorize this polish. I'll call it shimmer but that's almost a lie. It is, in fact, the palest beige with a weird black/grayish speckle effect to it (impossible to describe with words), on top of all this, it has a very secret pink opalescent shimmer. Sound weird? It's actually AWESOME. It's so... strange and lovely, something soft with a serious edge happening. From a distance, this will look like a nude creme, and as it gets closer the speckle gives it a deeper cast. Then that shimmer! Wow, Borghese, you win this one. I love complex polish, and this shade along with Stellare Notte, are just beautiful complexity bottled. I'm not sure how available these were, because they came out in small displays a few months ago. If you know where to get them and passed on them because they were $8 (especially for only 4 oz.!), I strongly urge you to go back and see if they're still there. I sort of can't believe I paid that much for a drugstore polish, but I'm not in love with any Borgheses from their core line, so I knew I wasn't in any further danger. If there are more LE polishes as good as these though... they may come home with me.

The Borghese brush is a bit on the stumpy side, like a slimmer OPI Pro-Wide in shape. The formula on this one was just OK--it was a bit goopy and it needed 3 coats. Not a deal breaker for me though, not at all. It dried well and smooth and just looks super cool. Unfortunately, my photos don't do this one ANy justice. You'll see the nude and a tiny bit of the speckle but I basically failed, despite TONS of photos, to capture the essence of this polish whatsoever. Don't even ASK about that pinky shimmer, it was nowhere to be found in my photos. I'm just not that adept. Here are my best efforts nonetheless:

No good? My sincerest apologies. I did get a number of compliments when I wore this, because it's just so freaking cool. If you do run across a super-cool Borghese like this one, be kind and give it a home! I actually hate the bottle, I have to say, especially the cap! Yucky, who designed this crap? Looks all... tacky. The stuff inside is decidedly not tacky though, so give it a go.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sinful Colors Mint Apple

Damn! These new Sinfuls are just freaking awesome. The shimmer in them is divine! Seriously so. Glowy. Incandescent. Luminous. It never picks up right on camera but in person it is stellar. Mint Apple is neither completely mint nor completely apple, but it is somewhere in between. A dusty aqua maybe. Intensely glowy silver shimmer that almost looks almost goldish in certain lights. This color looks so nice with my skin tone (very pale, cool), if I do say so myself. It's so soft yet so interesting... not boring at all. I think that's a unique quality unto itself: something that's soft and almost subtle, yet still retains interesting and offbeat elements. This one also had the goop around the cap that my other recently purchased Sinfuls have, and it applied just about the same: pretty good formula, 2 coats to opaque, and you could do three for good measure without going overboard.

Some photographic evidence for your viewing pleasure:

So nice! Shimmer can really be done well, as I think these polishes evidence. I have more Sinfuls that I purchased during a 50% off sale and I haven't tried many of them! Pretty sad, I may have to fix this soon.

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cheap Thrills

So today I had to go to the doctor's, which sucks for one reason: I'm out of school this semester and have no health insurance. I love the good ol' USA. But, because I was fairly certain something was wrong (wheezing is never good when you've never had asthma or any type of breathing problem), I went. It didn't end up being too bad, but it was still annoying to have to fork over $94 instead of $20 (and at $94 I got off easy!!!). At any rate, I did have a couple fun, cheap little discoveries of late. So, I bring you a Cheap Thrills post, inspired by the fact that I got a couple little gems (Haha pun! You'll see why in a minute...) today that only cost $1. They should both be relatively easy for you to find if you are interested.

The first item is the E.L.F. Nourishing Cuticle Pen. Available at Target and E.L.F.'s website, it's a plastic marker filled with cuticle care ingredients, and it costs $1. Yes, $1. I don't want to call this an oil because it's not "oily" but whatever's in there is good stuff. The package boasts that this pen contains: avacado & almond oils, and is vitamin fortified: E, A, C, Pro-Vitamin B5. The back of the package also notes that it contains Grape Seed and Aloe Vera oils. It looks like this:

Cuticle oil is not my favorite thing. I'm not terribly convinced of its benefits and it's messy. This is not. The marker is actually semi-dry feeling, and at first you'll think it's doing nothing, but look closely and you'll see a nice sheen on your cuticles. It feels like you're coloring on your cuticles. Color a bit on each finger. My cuticles looked instantly better and weren't messy. Several hours later and they still look noticeably moisturized and cared for. It actually gets kind of addicting to apply it. At first I was skeptical because the marker felt so dry, but I urge you to color with it on a few fingers, get the juices flowing and then you'll see what I mean. It does *not* glop out the treatment, and I think this is one of its main benefits. I suggest buying a couple at a time! I'm not saying this is a miracle cure for seriously problem cuticles but if all you're worried about is maintenance, then I think this pen will impress you. Definitely worth it.

Second for today is this little nail art kit that comes with 120 gems. And yes, it is also $1.

These are ubiquitous at Dollar Tree stores down here. Hardly any of them have polish but ALL of them have this. Since I'm hesitant to feature those lovely Sally Hansen duo packs or single polishes that pop up now and again (because they're so sporadic), I've decided to feature something that's (probably) definitely available at anyone's local Dollar Tree. I don't usually do decals or non-Konad nail art, but because it was only a buck, I grabbed this. It's actually quite cute and I like how small the rhinestones are. You'll definitely need a pair of tweezers to work with them, though. Here's a close-up of some of the gems:

I used a thin coat of the clear polish it comes first, as a base to stick the gems to. Then I placed them with tweezers and used a coat of the same clear all over, followed by a coat of Seche Vite. It worked pretty well! I don't know if the look's for me, but I don't regret getting this kit whatsoever. These might be fun for accenting Konad designs.

Here's a couple that I just threw on for example:

The right one reminds me of up arrows on an elevator.

So, these are some cheapies that I highly recommend searching out if you can. Thanks for looking, more nails to come tomorrow!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sinful Colors Rise And Shine

Another lovely new Sinful for you today. I hemmed & hawed today over this or Mint Apple but this one won, because I'm in a vaguely crappy mood (I also might have pneumonia) and I just needed something happy on my newly short nails. This is sorta in the vein of China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise (correct me if I'm wrong, sometimes my memory fails me), but I think I like it better. The base is more opaque, and the shimmer is more visible. I think the formula is also better for me. And it's pretty! Really pretty. Perfect thing for premature spring fever. I'm starting to appreciate Sinful Colors a lot because they're cheap. They're not perfect, but the shades are pretty cutting edge and you just can't go wrong. Plus, the formula, while it can be tricky/spotty, isn't, in my opinion, anything that should be a complete deterrent. Get thee polish thinner! So, this is two coats, and it's perfectly opaque. Like my other recent Sinful post, this polish also had lots gunked under the cap when I opened it. It's a disease! This one also must have a bit of neon in it because it dried quite matte between coats. It looked kinda blah, but slather on some Seche Vite and loveliness ensues. I swear.

Here is my evidence:

See? Fun. Since Mint Apple lost out last night and I'm on a green kick, I guess it's no secret what's (probably) coming up....

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pure Ice Heartbreaker

I finally broke down and bought Pure Ice Heartbreaker after putting it off for pretty much forever. It is a super shimmery teal that transforms basically anything you put it over. I don't hold much stock in polishes that are meant for layering... I mean, if it's not opaque, what good is it? At least that's the school of thought I tend to subscribe to, closed minded as it may be. But for $2.50 or whatever Pure Ice polishes cost, I'm willing to play around. A warm shimmering gold-silvery aqua/teal is what we have going on here, so obviously it lends a superior mindbending green shimmer to things. I tried it over yesterday's BB Couture For Nails Dragon's Breath and was pretty impressed. It vaguely reminded me of that old Urban Decay polish... Cult? I think it was Cult. Aside from purples, I can't wait to try this bad boy over blues and blacks as well, and also other greens.... hm. Ideas, ideas. Anyway, I guess I'll amend my disdain for the layering polishes in the case of cheap layering polishes because at least you'll get bang for your buck. And here I am being a hypocrite when a couple weeks ago I was all gaga over CND's Crimson Sparkle. Oh well, I never claimed to be consistent.

Here's a couple photos of it over Dragon's Breath:

Can't wait to use this to amp up some other looks. Sorry that I didn't have more new stuff to feature today, but there's more to come, I promise.

ETA: I've been informed, after the fact, that this may by the "dud" version of Heartbreaker! It's still pretty neat, but I'll have to look for the real deal next time I hit up a Walmart.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BB Couture For Nails Dragon's Breath

The premiere of what hopefully will be my shortest nail length for the time being. I just want 'em to growwww. I think what's happening is that I filed my nails down, but I was still growing out a bit of buffed down damage. So the shorter nails were also thinner and weaker than the parts I filed off. Make sense? Now they're chipping because they're thin, and they need to sort themselves out. Barielle Natural Nail Growth Stimulator and Salon Sciences Instant Artificials work your magic! You have not failed me yet.

Enough babbling. This is my last new BB Couture that I have to share and why I saved this for last I have NO idea! Dragon's Breath, an awesomely named awesome looking polish. I am coming to understand that nobody does glitters like BB. This one is a gorgeously deep berry jelly with red, blue and silver glitter in it. The camera actually did a decent job of capturing the glitter colors, if you look closely, but this is one you have to see up close to believe. I used 3 coats, which is usually a lot to me, but the formula was (good) thin and perfect. It's super beautiful in person!! I may even keep this one on for a while....

Hm, what will tomorrow bring us? I do not know. Lots of pastels lined up here and all I can think about is glitter!! Maybe Mendocino Midnight, another BB polish, which, it occurs to me now, I wore but didn't photograph for this blog. So maybe that'll reappear for photographic posterity. Anyway! Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Orly Gumdrop

Hey, Orly Gumdrop. What's with you?? You pull so green in the bottle. I heard people buzzing that you were dupe-y to China Glaze's For Audrey. I said "Psssh. No way." Then I put you on my nails and you pulled blue! And then I saw the dupe-ish-ness. Sigh. I wish you just pulled a bit more green, like in the bottle. You look like a very blue based mint green (which I do NOT think For Audrey is, some do), kinda dusty and not chalky. This is why I chose you to try first. And you For Audrey'd a little too much on me. Boo. Pretty, just not what I expected.

Your formula was a bit clunky... thick, and you didn't self-even. I'm still talking to you, and it's kind of weird. I'll stop. The formula was thick and didn't self-even, and Seche Vite didn't really solve this problem. I think I might have been impatient with my application though, I was on my way to work. I also didn't use my normal Barielle basecoat, but their Hydrating Ridge Filler instead. I did this because my nails have been breaking a bit lately. Like chipping on top. Super-duper annoying. Anyway, this was a mistake because at work I had two more chips and my nails just keep getting shorter (as you will see in tomorrow's post).

But, onward I press. Here's Gumdrop:

Though this one was a bit tricky, it's not going to deter me from trying the rest of the Sweet collection that's awaiting my use.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Orly Rage

Another offering from Orly's Foil FX collection. I love the name of this polish. Rage. Awesome. It's a rose gold, perhaps a muted cooper/bronze, if you will. The formula was excellent and required two coats for opacity. This is another keeper, I'm loving the super metallic finish of these. I think this would look a bit better and wash me out less if my nails were just a smidge longer. I can't wait for them to grow!

Anyway, here's a look. Mind the cleanup, with the metallics, it's kind of a bitch:

Lovely, no? I've got some Orly pastels up for you next... stay tuned.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pure Ice Purple Reign

Wow, hello gorgeous. This is one of the new Pure Ice polishes and HOLY CRAP it is so pretty. Medium, slightly dusty, plum with multi-sized gold shimmer, and these are not enough words to describe how gorgeous. It looks kinda pretty in the bottle but on the nail it flippin' SHINES. I love this and it's the perfect break from all those frickin' pastels I've been wearing lately. This is much, much more my speed. It reminds of an eyeshadow from MAC called Trax, except on steroids. The shimmer just glows and glows.

2 coats was perfection, the formula was perfect, it dried fast and was super shiny with Seche Vite. I honestly have no more words and I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

AWESOME! Love this polish, go grab it! It's new and at Wal-Mart, $2.50. I only have a handful of Pure Ice polishes but whenever I buy one I love it. This will not disappoint you.

Thats all & thanks for looking!