Archive for category Black
Ok. It’s 9:01pm and I try to end my screen time at 9, but I am determined to get a post up so I’m going to make this snappy! [Edit: I went to bed before this was finished…what’s a couple more hours?] I received the Hello Kitty collection from OPI last week and it’s quite good! I know absolutely NOTHING about Hello Kitty and it’s popularity (not really into cutesy stuff as a general rule) but almost all of the polishes in this collection have a great formula and the shades are on point for spring. I’m not a fan of the cheap white ‘Hello Kitty’ print labels they’ve stuck over the regular OPI bottle tops, but it’s not a deal breaker either.
I’ve gotten all fancy today and thrown in some quick comparisons for you guys as well as the swatches. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Let’s Be Friends! & Charmmy & Sugar
Let’s Be Friends! is a pale lilac-pink. The first coat was patchy and I worried it would be a typical pastel cream, but by the second coat it evened out beautifully – with a little care you could get away with 2 coats (I used 3 as I slept on it before taking these photos, oops). In the end this is a lovely color with a glossy finish. I wore Charmmy & Sugar (a sheer lilac shimmer with violet, blue and silver glitter and a slight greenish duo chrome) on my index finger alone (3 coats) and over Let’s Be Friends (ring finger), because let’s get real, no one wants to remove more glitter polish than necessary. It’s a great layering shade, though I prefer the ethereal look it gives on it’s own. I kind of wish this had no glitter as I love the shimmering base color but the glitter takes away from it IMO. Fairly smooth glitter and easy to apply.
Small + Cute = ❤
A light pink cream. I love this color, but the formula is a PITA – the first coat was very streaky, the second a bit better, but it really requires 3 coats (or a very steady hand) if you want it to look flawless. A shame as this was one of my fave shades of the bunch! The formula is also a bit on the thicker side to give yourself time for it to dry (aka not before bed). Due to all the coats required and the thick formula I found this chipped within days.
Look at My Bow!
A soft orchid pink cream. This only needed 2 coats to opacity but its not 100% perfect – it’s a touch streaky. Beautiful color but not really for me, I think it’s a bit too saturated or something. I prefer the more muted look of Chanel Sweet Lilac (below).
Again I paired up to avoid glitter removal. Super Cute in Pink is a medium-deep orchid crelly (creme/jelly formula). Gorgeous! You can see very slight VNL with two coats but I like it this way to preserve it’s squishy-ness. This is a perfect spring shade and was effortless to apply. Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is a semi-sheer orchid shimmer with violet, pink, blue and silver micro glitter. It required 3 coats to opacity on the index finger (worn alone) and 2 layered (ring finger). It’s grittier to the touch than ‘Charmmy’ but not terribly so. While I liked ‘Charmmy’ on it’s own, I prefered ‘Starry-Eyed’ layered, as it gives it more depth and punch in color.
A sheer white shimmer. Sorry for the change in lighting, I found this needed sunlight to show off it’s pearlescent quality. These kind of shades aren’t really my bag, though it is pretty. Not much to say about this one, depending on your nail length you could get away with 2 coats (or if you don’t mind VNL) as I’ve done here. I’d think 3 would still not have it entirely opaque though.
Though ‘Grayt Lengths‘ looks a lot more gray than ‘Kitty White’, when held up to the light they’re VERY similar:
Never Have Too Mani Friends
I’m not much of a black nail polish wearer except for layering purposes, but this is a great black nonetheless – another crelly finish, super shiny, super easy to apply (all of the crelly-type shades in this collection are a dream to apply). This is just 2 coats. It would be a great choice for anyone in the market for a black polish (or anyone who loves a good black polish).
My Pal Joey
A saturated cobalt blue. It’s not as in-your-face as some other cobalt shades (think YSL Bleu Majorelle, Nails Inc Baker St.) – it’s a bit lighter and because of the crelly texture it’s not so bold in finish. I really like this – it’s playful and eye-catching, and these textures are seriously out of this world. 2 coats for opacity (no VNL in sight here). LOVE!
5 Apples Tall
Some of these shade names I don’t get at all…ANYWAY, this is a gorgeous coral red that has a crelly finish but is fairly pigmented – if you were in a serious rush you could damn near get away with 1 coat (though I prefer the density of 2, as usual). Love the look of this! I don’t always like reds on me but this looks really flattering on my skintone (I think). So easy to apply with zero issues. It’s extremely close in color to Essie ‘Come Here!’ and I like the formula better, so I’ll be swapping this in for that!
Spoken from the Heart
A lovely saturated warm pink. I love this one as well! Again, it has that crelly texture though it’s not as pigmented as ‘5 Apples’ so I’d suggest 2 coats for sure. Even then it gives a hint of VNL but as mentioned I don’t mind that with formulas like this, the slight translucency is what gives it that squishy finish. Again, super shiny on it’s own and a cinch to apply.
My Twim Mimmy
Again, WTF with the names? Anyway, this is a saturated medium yellow, very primary color-stuff (this along with the blue and red are like the most true representations of primary colors I’ve ever seen in a polish collection together). This doesn’t have the crelly texture (which would probably be a feat with yellow anyway since they’re the most annoying polish shades to work with) and is a touch streaky (I think 3 coats probably would be best so it looks flawless, but I was lazy and did 2), but as far as yellows go it’s actually not half bad. I don’t love it on my skintone especially as it’s so dense in color, but it might look better when I’m tanned.
Overall, I thought this collection was really well-done and even not knowing a lick about Hello Kitty, I could enjoy all the shades. These are all without base coat as well and the majority are SO SHINY! Pretty, pretty, pretty.
What are your thoughts about this collection / about Hello Kitty? What is the DEAL?
Ugh, you GUYZ. I’ve had these swatches done for a few days but Elena is keeping me on my toes, as usual! She’s been waking up at 4am for the past few weeks and is ready to PAR-TAY, she thinks it’s time to get up for the day and I’m DANG tired. Today she also thought resisting nap time was a great idea, so I’m just plain worn out. BUT I did finally get her down (I keep checking the monitor with fingers crossed that she’ll stay asleep for awhile) so what better time than to get these pics & post up?
I am extremely surprised at how much I’m enjoying the Starlight holiday collection from OPI – metallics and glitters are generally NOT my jam, but these are really doing it for me so far! The sparkle on a lot of these really is ‘out of this world’ (cue the cheese) and they look so pretty and festive in the dim light cast by the fire and/or Christmas tree. I keep wanting to change my mani every day to try them all fully (but ain’t nobody in THIS house got time for that, sadly). I’m working my way through the swatches though so I will have them all up before Christmas, I promise! Today I’m bringing you the first 6 which are the more moody, mysterious hues of the 18 shades in the collection (which, if I’m being honest, is INSANE – 18 colors!? When did polish collections get so HUGE?).
All swatches were taken in natural light unless otherwise specified.
Guys & Galaxies – a deep dark brown-red. It looks a touch streaky in the swatch above, but IRL it’s not, though you do need 3 coats to reach full opacity. It’s very glossy on it’s own – the shot above is with no top coat. It’s an easy formula to work with overall, despite needing that extra coat (though it’s a *touch* staining). I think this is a very sexy shade – and it’s NOT near black, which makes me happy.
I’m in the Moon for Love – this is a medium plum shimmer with golden micro-shimmer. Every time OPI comes out with a shade like this (Dutch’ya Love OPI?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Purpletual Emotion…), I’m like ‘eh’ – even though they all look flattering on my skintone, I just can’t get into these types of purples. There is a depth and richness to this shade that appeals to me (you can see it better in the 2nd photo, taken under artificial light), but I know it’ll just be another purple that I keep NOT wearing regardless. Good formula though, two coats to opacity, with no application issues at all.
Cosmo With a Twist – a royal blue with lighter blue shimmer that looks purple in some light due to a duo chrome finish. This SHADE, you guys!!! So, so gorgeous – it really looks like Outer Space to me. It needs 3-4 coats to reach full opacity, but it’s totally worth it. I would have never picked up this shade if left to my own devices, but I’m SO happy I got to try it out. Perfect holiday shade that’s not your typical red/silver/gold.
Give Me Space – a bold, medium blue with silver shimmer. This has a VERY slight prismatic effect that’s really only visible in sunlight – so don’t let that be a reason you pick it up! The first coat went on sheer but it managed full opacity in two coats. I found this shade a touch fussy to apply, it can pull in spots if not applied with a relatively quick hand. I suggest loading up the brush and applying coats in one go, versus dipping back into the bottle. This is a beautifully rich shade, but along with the shimmer being a let down it didn’t wow me.
No More Mr. Night Sky – a sparkling gunmetal. This is quite sheer; it requires at least 3 coats and looks best with 4. Despite that: he-LLO, gorgeous! This is another polish I would have never picked up as I don’t gravitate toward shimmers, but holy smokes – this is so pretty!! It’s the most beautifully sparkly, twinkly polish I think I’ve ever seen. It looks particularly amazing in low lighting (the 2nd photo), so it’s PERFECT for the holiday seasons parties and hanging out by the Christmas tree.
Centre of the You-niverse – a charcoal with silver shimmer and black glitter bits. This is 2 coats, though depending on how thickly you apply your coats you may need a 3rd. Even though it’s got minimal glitter, they’re so tiny they’re a pain to remove entirely. For black polish lovers though this is a great shade; top coat makes it really gleam.
Sooo, basically I want to keep 4 of the 6 shades shown…that does NOT help me decrease my polish collection! Dang it. I just think these are so lovely for the holiday season or for any time you want a bit of sparkle that’s a little understated (re: not a full-on glitter) but still fabulous. Well done so far, OPI!
Photo outtakes: Last night when I took the bottle shots Elena hightailed it to where I was and got her grabby hands in there lol…at least I got one good shot (above) before the destruction!
Illamasqua’s Generation Q: Creator Nail Varnish, Opulent Sheer Lipgloss, and Wisdom Precision Ink Review & Swatches
Even though the weather is still warm (though by no means as hot and humid as it has been!), and fall doesn’t officially start for like, 3 weeks, I’ve still jumped the gun and switched around all my makeup and nail polish to reflect cooler-weather shades. What can I say – I love change! 😀
Helping me kickstart my shift into fall beauty are a few great key pieces from Illamasqua’s new fall/winter collection, Generation Q. I love the idea behind the collection, that beauty is ageless – particularly for someone who is just moving out of the ‘downtown party’ stage, I like to think that even though I’m not out every night dancing it up, that I can still wear fabulous makeup without feeling I’m now ‘too old’. Truth be told, it’s not something I think of too much – my mom is a perfect model of someone who still absolutely loves to have fun with makeup and manages to still look fabulous doing it!
The three pieces I have to show you today pretty much cover the bases for a great transition between seasons: an antiqued gold liquid liner (Precision Ink in Wisdom); a rainbow beige gloss (Sheer Lipgloss in Opulent); and a magical sparkling black nail polish (Nail Varnish in Creator). All three are crazy-wearable yet still edgy, which is my kind of makeup!
First, the glittering goodness that is Creator ($18CAD).
Creator is a black polish with small glitter particles heavily dispersed throughout. It dries with slight texture that is totally eradicated with topcoat – the addition of which brings out the shimmer that much more. As expected with Illamaqua polishes, this was easy-peasy to apply – easy flowing with good consistency, and you can almost get away with just one coat!
Just a quick comparison between this shade and Orly’s Goth as I’m sure some of you are wondering – and as you’ll see, they’re really apples to oranges.
Obviously, Creator is far superior!! While Goth is nice and shiny without topcoat, it doesn’t make up for the fact that it lacks the density of Creator’s glitter – which helps give the latter it’s fabulous sparkling quality. Add a topcoat to smooth it out and you’re good to go!
Next, we have the ultra-pretty Opulent gloss ($20CAD).
Opulent is a lovely sheer beige lipgloss with pearly multicolored shimmer. It’s wearable on it’s own, imparting a beautiful amped-up nude look to the lip, but it would also be fabulous layered over pretty much any other shade of lippie.
The texture of the shimmer is slightly gritty but only just so. It’s comfortable to wear with a touch of stickiness that helps it wear well for several hours. The only drawback I found to this gloss was the applicator, the bristles of which are somewhat stiff and don’t allow the brush to easily lay the gloss down on the lip. The brush was also slightly splayed from the get-go, so my technique is to use it merely to dab the gloss on my lip then blend with my finger or separate lip brush. Not ideal, but not a deal-breaker either!
I left my favorite product for last – the liquid liner in Wisdom ($34CAD)!
I have another Precision Ink liner, Havoc, which I also adore – liquid liner is my favorite style of liner, and these are some of the best. I find the pointed, sponge-tipped applicator terribly easy to use; if I’m having a particularly challenging day, I can even just hold the wand parallel to my lash line and dab it on and still get a great effect. These liners are also uber-waterproof, and won’t come off ’till you wash them off with remover or cleanser.
On top of the fabulosity of the formula, I mean – check out this shade, dudes! It’s soooo good 🙂 I love that it’s the perfect mix of khaki and gold, which means it’s pretty much wearable all year round, seasonally speaking. And I’m pretty sure it’ll look terrific with every single eye color of life! Gah…I absolutely Love Love LOVE this liner!!!
Here’s a quick face I did using both the liner and lipgloss, and then just adding a touch of Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelee in Shimmering Sands on cheekbones:
What I love about these three products is how well they go together; and looking at the entire Generation Q collection, I find it exceptionally cohesive. I also enjoy that while the promotional images for the collection showcase vastly different and sometimes outrageous looks, the actual shades used aren’t hard to use and work for all skintones (and ages!). I feel that this is one of the most enticing fall collections for me – I want to pick up each and every single product in the launch! And I just might do so….but this is a good start, for now 😉
What pieces from Generation Q are you lemming?
*Products were provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I don’t think there’s a soul on Earth who doesn’t like to get mail (when it’s the non-$$-owing kind). I personally love to get mail (even bank statements!), and am sure to send it out as much as I can – Christmastime gets all kinds of crazy. The absolute best/worst kind of mail is the kind that results from online shopping: awesome because you got a real treat delivered to your door! – but a little scary because it can get out of hand, quickfast. I haven’t yet reached the *yikes!* stage, but I DO have to hold myself back quite frequently.
Lately I’ve been indulging both my love of beauty and my love of mail by engaging in a whole bunch of swaps, ticking things off my lemmings list methodically which is super-terrif. However, before I got oh-so-wise, I did do a wee bit of other purchasing:
The Too Faced bronzer and the NARS eyeliner were swap items, but the ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS ELLIS FAAS (just making sure you’re paying attention – I bought ELLIS FAAS!) product I purchased last month. ELLIS FAAS revamped their website in July and to celebrate they were offering free shipping till the end of the month, so I had to get on that! The brand was another on my “12 Brands to Try” list, so I’m pretty stoked. I won’t say any more about the mystery product, but keep your eyes peeled for a review and FOTD very soon! 🙂
Now, I haven’t forgotten that there’s also an a-England polish kicking around there too – one more shade to add to my collection! The brand was also having a promotion last month where the Mythicals collection was all half off, and when I noted one day that I didn’t own a black polish, my smart lady-friends Larie and Eugenia both recommended Camelot as a must-have.
Camelot is an inky, rich black that doesn’t have any other leanings – it’s a true, straightforward black, with no funny business. The formula is lovely, with the perfect consistency, and it’s fairly shiny on it’s own (here its shown with one coat and no top coat), but I think with two coats and a top coat it would simply gleam. However, it’s unlikely I’ll ever wear this as is, truth be told. I think shades like this are better left to the more fair-skinned of the world, as the contrast between light and dark is much more pronounced, and in my eyes, prettier. But there are several polish shades I own that could benefit from a black base coat, so I figured it was kind of a staple requirement in my stash.
…Then I got an idea. An awful idea.
This gal got a wonderful, *awful* idea!
Remember that garish gold polish I showed you a few weeks ago? The SpaRitual one that just about blinded you with it’s bling? Well, I think I might have found a way to make it work…
BAM! KAPOW! OH SNAP! Yes, my friends, I discovered a fabulous way to wear Aurum without wanting to take it off instantly! In fact, I kinda want to wear this look a whole lot!! And it’s so funny….today I decided that I wanted to get my hands on butter London’s Wallis – yep, I was gonna have it – and now I think I can hold off (for a while, at least). I know that it’s not a dupe by any means, but the idea of it is so similar that I can be satisfied on that front I think! I’m so pleased that I will be able to wear Aurum, as I can’t stand buying things that end up being all wrong. The black base totally chills out the shade (this is just one coat over Camelot) and grounds it so it’s not so aggressively sparkly and yellow-toned, and almost makes it look a little edgy. Love love love.
So all in all I had a great day today!! I have another handful of swaps on the way (yea, I’ve been busy), and a lot of pretty stuff to show you, so I have to get on it! I hope everyone is enjoying the last weeks of summer, it’s been a fantastic one here (can you believe, that our ‘norm’ now is sun!?), so I’m reluctant to see it go, but I am pretty excited for fall makeup shades! And this combo of Aurum and Camelot will totally fit in, don’t you think??
Do you order things online or only buy in-store?
I’ve been diversifying a bit with the topics of my posts, but I still have a handful of nail polish swatches to show you, so I gotta get on it! I should be receiving my package from Nail Polish Canada any day now, so I’ll be on a swatchapalooza then! I can’t wait!!
Without further ado (because really…I think I ramble too much), please let me present to you the polish ‘Blackout’ from Icing’s nail polish line (Icing being Claire’s little sister I think):
I layered two coats of Blackout over OPI’s Diva of Geneva , as this polish is fairly thin and really needs some underwear first. You could get enough coverage after three coats, but not the same depth. I saw a post once where they layered this over China Glaze Ruby Slippers, and is was awesome. However, I was wearing a specific outfit with pink and wanted it layered over pink to coordinate. You can’t really tell but I would know. And I’m anal like that.
Cheap-y polish, $5.49 or something at Icing (sad that $5.49 seems like a steal now, after the price I’ve paid for some polishes!), and applies well with no real issues aside from the sheerness – which is sort of a given as this polish is pretty much a jelly. The holo shimmer in this is actually fairly apparent without any particular lighting (though it was tough to capture in photos), which is a plus. This isn’t a polish I wear often, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate it or or that it’ll go up for swap; sometimes there are *those* polishes that you really like but you just need the right occasion – this is one of those. Just the way it is, folks 🙂
I hope everyone is getting into the holiday spirit and enjoying all that the season brings! Don’t let all the hulabaloo get to you – remember what it’s all about – the rum ‘n eggnog! LOL ~kidding!~ Really though, I hope no one is stressing themselves out, it’s not worth it and it taints the beauty of this time of year!