Posts Tagged polish
Summa, summa, summa’time! How’s everyone’s summer going? It’s been kind of great for me, we had awesome weather for most of June, July was not bad – we had a long stretch of rain for a couple weeks which sucked (especially with a little one who loves the outdoors and needs constant stimulation!), and now August has been pretty grand, though it’s been hella hot here the past week. Today I took Elena on the ferry which was a nice way to enjoy the sun and keep cool…she seemed to dig it 😉 I try and do water-related things with her most days as she was a fish in another life I swear! I *just* signed us up for parent & tot swimming lessons starting in September – should be fun!
Today I have half of the OPI Infinite Shine summer collection – honestly, I feel like all I do lately is swatch nail polish, which is my own fault as I have to request the samples when they’re available… Anyway, I quite liked a lot of these shades so I ended up wearing them for a few days each, instead of swatching them all at once, which means I’ve only gotten through the first handful (I also have the Infinite Shine 2015 Soft Shades to show you, of which I’m 2/3rd’s through – so I’ve actually done about 10 swatches total). I should probably quit wasting time and get to it, eh? All swatches are without top coat, FYI.
Lavendurable is a super-pretty pale lilac creme that looks awesome with a tan. I’m actually a fan of wearing pastels at the height of summer, and wearing brights more toward the tail-end of spring/beginning of summer when I need to fake the illusion of sunkissed skin (yes, I know I’m always brown lol…but sometimes I’m a watered down milk chocolate and I need a little oomph, OK?). The tricky thing with pastels is that the white base can be streaky if you’re not careful in your application – I had to use a steady, quick hand and apply 3 medium-thick coats as it tended to get patchy otherwise. I don’t mind if a polish is finnicky though if it’s this lovely!
You couldn’t see the differences in the first shot so I took a second at a different angle…you can see that Zoya Marley is a bit deeper in tone. Marley is a much-loved polish, but I think Lavendurable has it beat – I really love the way it’s both pale and bright! A bit less demure than Marley, shall we say.
Patience Pays Off is another great pale shade, this time in a sort of soft pinky-clay hue that again looks awesome with a tan. As with Lavendurable, it required 3 quick coats but the finished product was totally worth it.
I didn’t have a comparable shade to Patience – everything else was too beige or too light to be considered a contender.
You’re Blushing Again is a bit deeper in tone, but this creamy pale peachy-pink is another stunner in my opinion. I think it’s really feminine and looks great with my skintone. Yet again, it required 3 coats to avoid patchiness, and yet again I don’t care! It has pretty great shine on it’s own too, eh?
The only remotely similar hue I could find was Essie Muchi Muchi, and it’s not even close. This is a really unique shade as it’s not peach and its not pink – I’m loving it!
Follow Your Bliss is kind of a pepto-pink shade that isn’t normally something I gravitate toward, yet I love the look of it in this swatch. It’s very girly, eh? This is 2 coats, but its still got a fair bit of white in it so I had to be careful when applying and I used thicker coats to avoid streaks/patchiness. The shine on this one was really something!
This shade also didn’t have an equal in my stash, though Suzi Shops is close, just several shades lighter. I though Oh Slap! would be very similar but it’s not so vividly pink – I prefer the latter, as it’s more wearable, but man, every time I look at the swatch above I waver – it’s so fabulously in-your-face-PINK!
The Sun Never Sets is an orange cream-sicle kind of shade…the shine was killer on this one (it seems to be a bit of a jelly/creme hybrid?), but these yellow-based oranges clash hard with my skintone. The first coat was very patchy, but it leveled out well with a thicker second coat.
This one was tricky to show shade differences – Is Mai Tai Crooked? looks quite similar in the first shot, but in the second you can see it’s even more yellow-toned and a hair lighter. Resort Fling is much more peach in comparison (and hence why I like it a lot more…has less yellow and more pink).
I swatched Purpletual Emotion on my right hand because I NEVER use my right hand for swatches and I just felt like it for once (plus, it meant I could do two swatches in quick succession lol). My right middle nail isn’t as nice as it is on my left hand (since I’m a righty), but my nails were super-long for these swatches so you can’t tell as much. This shade is a creme/jelly hybrid that was a cinch to apply – two easy flowing coats – and has shine for days! I’m not generally a fan of bold purple polishes, but the shine on this one and the intensity is kind of getting to me….I might have to keep this one!
I thought for SURE that this shade was super-similar to Dutch’ya Love OPI?, but it’s not in the least! The latter is way darker (and that’s not even taking into account the shimmer). The other 3 shades are also nowhere near in tone – they’re all much cooler. Every single one of these purples I’ve passed along, but I might actually hang on to Purpletual…as long as I never have to say the name again (tongue-twister!).
I was pleasantly surprised with this half of the summer collection, many of the OPI polishes I’ve received have been lacklustre for me, but I really liked almost all of these! I will say that though the shine on a lot of the Infinite Shine polishes is pretty good, I find a lot of them have application issues (patchiness mostly) which is a bummer. I’m applying them on the Infinite Shine base coat too so it’s not that. In any case, while I don’t like to mess around with polish too much I really didn’t mind much with these as they were so darn pretty. That’s saying something!
Have you tried the new(ish) Infinite Shine polishes? Will you tough it out for a shade you love, if the formula is subpar?
More polish you say? No problem! I have a constant backlog of OPI polishes to swatch and review, which means I always have more polish comin’ at ya.
The original OPI Nail Envy is a translucent, maximum strength nail strengthener & fortifier that you can use on it’s own or as a base coat to help nails grow faster and stronger. The new Nail Envy polish shades are formulated with the same hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium complex to help nails resist peeling, cracking and splitting, and come in 4 delicate OPI shades – 3 existing favorites (Bubble Bath, Samoan Sand and Hawaiian Orchid) and 1 new Nail Envy exclusive shade (Pink to Envy).
Bubble Bath is a sheer, feminine pink that makes nails look polished and clean (due to it’s blue-leaning tones). While I like those qualities in a sheer polish, it was somewhat streaky (often a problem with sheers) so you need careful application with this one. Thin coats and a quick hand, plus ample time to dry between coats is a must.
Bubble Bath isn’t a terribly unique shade, and I found a few similar polishes to compare it to: Essie Muchi Muchi, which is also streak-prone; OPI Put It In Neutral, which is a touch less pink; and Dior Incognito, which isn’t really very close as it’s opaque and more of a beige-pink.
Samoan Sand is a polish that’s been on my radar for years, as I’m a sucker for a good nude and I read somewhere this is a great option for deeper skin tones like mine. Happily, it did not disappoint – this went on easily in two smooth coats, and was quite flattering with my skin tone, though I’d be curious to see if it’s still that way once my summer tan has faded (I prefer my nudes lighter than my skin tone, not matching like mannequin hands). In the swatch below I had been wearing it for several days, so please excuse the tip wear!
Being a collector of shades like these, I thought I might have a few dupes in my stash, but I actually didn’t (huzzah!). Dior Sunkissed is more peach, and Tom Ford Toasted Sugar (another fave nude -> which I realize I haven’t shown you guys yet! Shame on me) is darker.
Finally, we have Hawaiian Orchid, a pretty dusty mauve-pink which I normally would never look at. It’s still not entirely my cup of tea, but there’s something about it that I like – could be its smooth, creamy shine! I think this would look great on more fair skin than mine thought – which is why I might try it out again once my tan has faded (for SCIENCE).
Naturally, I didn’t have any really similar shades in my collection, but I pulled anything close just for the hell of it (continuity, ya know). RBL Poco a Poco has that same dusty quality, but it’s much more purple; RBL Oh Slap! is much lighter and a bit brighter but is in a similar color family; and Dior Incognito is once again more beige-y than pink.
I didn’t swatch Pink to Envy, because though it’s got that pink tint to it, for all intents and purposes it’s a clear polish – I didn’t even find that it gave my nails a brightening effect like the Dior Nail Glow polish. Not a big deal, just – no reason to add to the massive amount of swatches I need to do these days!
Do you use the original Nail Envy? Do you like when polishes have a treatment in them? What are your thoughts on neutral polishes?
Oh L.E. products…you are the bane of many a beauty aficionado! They lure you in with FOMO (for those not up on their lingo – FOMO = Fear of Missing Out), and too many times you wind up with products you don’t even like. DAMN YOU, L.E. GODS!!!!
….THANKFULLY, this is NOT a story of purchase regret, or FOMO, or anything negative 🙂 The L.E. draw often calls to me, and I get all in a tizzy thinking I need something, but the rational part of my brain almost always wins out. If I DO purchase an L.E. item, it’s got to be something I love and that will be put to good use – and these next two products fit those conditions perfectly.
I’ve decided that every MAC summer collection I’m going to pick up at least one item – I generally don’t care about that kind of thing, but their summer offerings always have the best packaging, and I’m a sucker for a pretty package 😉 This year, I was most drawn to the High-Light Powder in Freshen Up – who can resist a striped cheek product??
I was concerned it might end up being too light on my skintone, but if you pick up more of the deep reddish-coral shade at the top, it’s packed with a ton of pigment and looks fabulous – summer in a pan, in my opinion! The second shade, a muted pale apricot, helps soften it, if that’s the look you’re going for, and the bottom shade makes a lovely, subtle highlight on my skin.
I’m extremely pleased with this purchase, and somehow I don’t have a shade like it, so this is a win-win all around. I’m having a hard time not wearing this every single day!
The second L.E. product I bought this season was Dior’s Sunkissed nail polish – a soft peachy-nude that looks awesome with a (perma)tan. I grabbed this kind of quickly as I was out with the babes, but I knew it would look great. And it’s Dior. So ya know, I took a gamble 😉
Both nude and pale peach polishes can be difficult to formulate, as I find they can be streaky, or chalky. This, happily, is neither. While I did find it required 3 coats to suit my nitpicky ways, it self-levels well and really is a wonderful option for summer – I love the way it makes my hands look, both clean and ‘sun kissed’ – how apt!
Not too crazy, huh? (unlike my lippie-palooza!) I’m extremely pleased with both of these and they are perfect for the season – both feel so summery to me! Yet, they both can be worn in other seasons with ease. It’s these kinds of purchases I want to make moving forward – items that are functional AND which I enjoy using. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me doing some major purging of my stash; while I DID go a bit crazy after Elena was born (as evidenced in upcoming posts), this past week I got a hold of myself and really changed my mindset, bringing it back to my desire to streamline and simplify. Once I started ‘decluttering’ in a big way, it became addictive! I just have no more room (literally and figuratively) for things that don’t bring me joy anymore. Especially with most of my time spoken for these days, I want to make it count when I do get to play with my beauty-full things.
Do you get sucked in by the L.E. trap? Do you prefer to have a curated selection of products or prefer to have a large variety to choose from?
I’ve been methodically going through my polishes over the summer and trying to pare down my collection to shades I truly love – my aim is to get below 100 bottles. I’m 6 bottles away from my goal so I’m making serious progress! One of the two polishes on the chopping block was China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint – if you recall, in my review I found it none to flattering on my skin tone, and the formula left much to be desired. Nevertheless, as I discovered with Zoya’s Cho, which I hated on my fingernails but actually love on my toes, I gave the polish a second chance by wearing it as a pedicure, which sometimes does the trick. As we’re moving into late summer, I’m slowly incorporating darker shades into my repertoire, and I paired it with another chopping block contender, Essie’s No More Film, a polish I picked up well over a year ago in a swap but haven’t gotten around to swatching. Here we go!
No More Film is a deep, slightly dusty ‘blurple’ – it’s almost like a super-dark periwinkle shade. The first time I tried it, I thought it was one of those ‘almost black’ shades which I dislike, but this time around for whatever reason, it just worked! It never appeared black, even in dim light, and it looked great on. It’s extremely pigmented and I actually only wore it with one coat (but added an additional coat for swatches). It’s quite glossy on it’s own and applied extremely easily. This shade is staying!
I felt like NMF would go well with RFM as the light and dark tones, while opposites, still somehow seem complimentary. I find as summer rolls along I really like to bring out my tan which pale shades, and emphasize the deepening light with dark shades to contrast. Check out the pairing below. *As an aside, I bought these sandals to wear to an all-day concert I went to a couple weeks back, and they are the COMFIEST EVER! They’re totally like orthopaedic shoes but I figured in an edgy metallic I could pull ’em off. I don’t even care because they are like HEAVEN to wear.
I really liked the pairing of No More Film with Re-Fresh Mint, but I’m not sure it’s enough for me to keep the latter – though I’ve done the same with Cho and ONLY wear that shade on my toes now, I still find the formula on ‘Re-Fresh’ irritating and I’d always opt to wear a more blue-leaning mint shade (like MAC Mischievous Mint) than this, so to the giveaway pile it goes.
What do you think of this pairing? Do you switch it up from juicy brights to something else as the summer passes?
It’s really and truly summer, guys! Yesterday was gorgeously sunny and in the mid-20’s, and for the next week the forecast is showing sun, sun, sun and more of the same. Today will be close to 30 degrees! HOO-FRICKIN-RAY!!!!! I took Monday off so that I have a four-day weekend (because of Canada Day on Tuesday). I can’t wait!
It’s not quite 7:30am here, but when you can see sunlight peeking in through the blinds, you can’t really waste time in bed, now can you? I took photos a couple weeks ago of a red and mint mani/pedi combo that I really loved! It sounds a bit strange, but if you think of the pairing in clothing terms, it’s actually a no-brainer. Often when I choose my pairings I think of what works in fashion – or when all else fails, resort to the colour wheel!
I normally opt for shades that are of equal depth and brightness, but I don’t mind the boldness of the red (which is American Apparel Downtown LA) matched with the more pastel hues of the mint (MAC’s Mischievous Mint). I wore an emerald dress the week I did this combo and everything came together really awesomely. I will definitely wear this combo again!
In other news, I’ve listed my condo for sale! My boyfriend and I are planning to buy a house – his dog Ally is a chocolate lab, and she’s too big to live in the condo according to their rules, so it’s been challenging for him going back and forth between where Ally has been staying and home. We need a space for her, too! It’s a bit nerve-wracking, especially in this buyers-market – it’ll work out well for when we buy, but in terms of selling you just never know what you’re going to get for your place….at this point I’m just hoping we break even and don’t LOSE money. Fingers crossed!
What do you think of this combo? And do you have any words of wisdom about selling/buying a home?
Sooo….I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday!! I have been living it up in a big way, despite the fact that I came down with a wicked cold two days before Christmas :S Probably why I haven’t yet shaken it a week later, oops! Nevertheless, I didn’t let it stop me from having a really lovely holiday 😀 I hope you all had the same!
I have so many products to write about that it’s kind of criminal. I feel particularly guilty that I haven’t shared with you the handful of Tom Ford goodies that I picked up while in New York – I mean, it’s TOM FORD guys, probably the ultimate in luxury cosmetics (in no small part due to the price lol).
First up, the nail lacquers. I have been searching for a great deep red polish for a while now, and none were doing the trick for me – either too dark veering on black, or too light. When I visited the counter at Bergdorf Goodman, I had a plan that I was going to buy a polish, lipstick, and blush from the brand. As soon as I saw the shade Bordeaux Lust, I knew I had found a winner!
Bordeaux Lust ($32US) is truly the perfect shade of dark red – it’s clearly not black, but it’s more vampy than your typical red. It’s got a somewhat sheer, slightly jelly-ish formula which adds to it’s uniqueness – from reviews I know that some dislike this aspect, but I actually like the way it looks, and it’s UBER glossy on it’s own. Due to the formula it does require 3 coats to avoid streakiness, but again, I’m so pleased with the colour that it *ain’t no thang*
Sexy, no??? IRL it’s even more fabulous. All I’m sayin’ is that I LOVE THIS COLOR and I don’t even mind the insane price tag. Also, the bottle shape with it’s clean lines and dark bronze cap with just a hint of gold is totally up my alley. This checks all the boxes for me!
Next we have the shade Black Sugar ($32US), which I picked up separate from my initial Tom Ford splurge, at Saks on Black Friday. I had seen this shade in swatches several times before and it intrigued me with it’s secret red shimmer in a perfect mauve-taupe base.
Of course, as with most secret shimmer, you really can’t capture it once worn on the nail, and in particular with this polish it’s next to invisible altogether, even in sunlight. Kind of a bummer, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me too much – guess I’m getting used to these kinds of polishes pulling fast one on me. I’m content to admire the shimmer in the bottle – although I’m hoping that in the more sunshine-y days (of which we have been lacking of late) I’ll get a surprise glimpse here and there.
The formula of this one was good – two coats here, and easy-peasy application with a great viscosity that allows it to dry in a reasonable amount of time. It’s not as glossy as Bordeaux Lust, but a top coat would fix that right up. I really enjoy shades like this and find they work on a variety of skin tones, so another thumbs up here!
Moving right along, we come to the covetable Lip Colour, a creamy lipstick that has a wonderfully opaque finish. After trying on several ‘nude’ shades at the Bergdorf counter that just didn’t do it for me, the SA Maria (SO great, by the way!) tried out the fabulously bright True Coral ($49US), a punchy coral-red that pretty much forces you to stand out anywhere you go.
The formula feels great on the lips, creamy but not slippery and long-lasting – it’s such a rich colour that it stains the lips, leaving considerable colour behind so touch-ups are required less frequently. If you have particularly dry lips, you might want to put a bit of balm on first, as while it’s not drying, its slightly matte and that combined with the outrageous colour can make dry flakes noticeable if your lips are parched.
It was hard to capture the coral aspect of this shade in photos – it tends to look just like a bright red, but trust me when I say that it’s not nearly that simple. It has an almost neon quality to it that makes it completely unique to most reds I’ve ever seen! Its not a shade for the faint of heart, that’s for sure – but if you like bold colour, this is a great bet.
Finally, probably the item you’re most interested in – THE BLUSH. I present to you the Tom Ford Cheek Color in Flush ($56US). I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Pow!! Look at that colour, will you? How can you resist a bright, gorgeous coral like this one? And it obviously compliments the lipstick perfectly, which was actually just a happy accident.
Maria told me that the blush was extremely pigmented and only required the slightest touch of brush to pan to pick up plenty of colour. How right she is! The blush packs a serious punch with only a hint of effort. Its finely milled, super-soft texture blends out beautifully and is a great shade to brighten up the face, stat. I don’t have a shortage of shades like this, truth be told, but nevertheless this has become one of my go-to’s since purchasing it – which is good because the cost is kind of crippling, hey? It’s unlikely I’ll be buying anymore Tom Ford blushes, but I’m certainly happy to have this one in my possession nonetheless 🙂
Below are a couple shots of me wearing the lipstick and blush so you can see them in real time. I also want to point out that I’m wearing nothing else aside from the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders in Dim Light (all over) and Radiant Light (on cheekbones). I hadn’t seen them in action before in pictures and I am HELLA impressed at how well they blur imperfections! My skin is in pretty good shape right now due to my organic skincare regime (which I promise to write about soon!), but I still have some unevenness which needs attention. I’ve been preferring to skip foundation altogether lately to keep a more glowing look to my skin, and these powders have helped that cause immensely. Oh, and also – no mascara!! Witness again the amazingness that is XLash growth serum. I honestly think I might have to buy a barrel of this stuff, I still can’t get over the difference in my lashes. SO good.
Overall, my first foray into Tom Ford Beauty has been a complete success. Despite the fact that these 4 purchases did some significant damage to my bank account, I am 100% pleased with them all so the cost doesn’t hurt my heart (much). In terms of originality, I think Bordeaux Lust and True Coral stand out the most, while Flush is one of many coral blushes on the market and you may find one better suited to your chequebook. Black Sugar looks original but I’m sure there are similar shades available as well. Stay tuned for a comparison post for all, just to cover the bases!
Remember when I swatched OPI’s Royal Rajah Ruby and expressed that while it technically worked well with my skintone, I just couldn’t get into the shade? Well, color me mistaken. Check it out as a pedi shade!!!!
I had another shade that I felt similarly about, Deborah Lippmann’s Nefertiti – a gold flecked with bits of pewter – and the lovely Eugenia of Ommorphia Beauty Bar had a suggestion to try it out as a pedicure shade before dismissing it altogether. Though it didn’t work either way (and just last week I unloaded it, along with about 20 other polishes, on the perfectly polished Sparkled Beauty), ever since I’ve been giving any polish shades that just don’t float my boat a second chance on my tootsies. Royal Rajah Ruby was a resounding success!!! I absolutely adore this on my toes and I literally had to be careful not to walk into walls while wearing it, because I kept admiring my feet 😛
Especially with these sandals, I just love love loved it! So, moral of the story – play around a bit before you completely give up on an item. I’m so thankful I did, as I’ve just found my fall pedi shade!
It’s just a quickie post today – I have two products that I’m insanely delinquent in showing you, but honestly – I’m just not sure I love them all that much! I’ve worn them both only once and have had them for over a month…I just don’t know how I feel about them, and without actually giving them a real chance, I can’t feel good about discussing them. But I plan to wear them again this week and I will finally make a decision. Could be that they’re just like the polish – I just haven’t found THE way to wear ’em yet! 🙂
What do you do with products you’re unsure of? Do you play around with them and figure out ways to wear them, or do you just decide they’re not for you and return them (or give them away!)? And also – do you wear polish on your toes during the cooler months??