Posts Tagged spring

OPI New Orleans Spring | Summer 2016 Collection – and something a little different

Well hello to those of you who still stop by my blog! It’s been quite a while, no? It’s true that a lot has gone on in the past month (Elena started at a day home and I returned back to work – eek!) but I’ve had opportunity to post, I just haven’t been feeling like it. I’m pretty much over READING beauty blogs let alone write one! It’s just the same old, you know? I’m so not interested in reading/writing reviews, and as I’m being particularly restrictive with my purchases (as usual, in an effort to reduce/streamline), I’m not too keen on reading about the new NBT (Next Big Thing) because that just creates WANT feelings and that’s not going to help my cause. But there’s always this desire to write, and to connect with people – and I’m still obsessed with beauty, as always – so even though I’m not feeling like doing the usual ‘thang’ I have been thinking a lot about writing *something*, so here I am 🙂

I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t given you guys any details on our upcoming wedding (which will be in September!). So I thought maybe I’d give you an update on that and maybe add in an update about Elena as well because hey, she’s cute! Since I happen to have the new Spring/Summer collection from OPI, the theme of which is New Orleans, I figured I’d throw in some swatches of the shades for some visual interest and to kill two birds with one stone. Multitasking: it’s the way to go!

*Note: If you have any questions about a particular shade, such as it’s formula or on possible comparisons, let me know! I will gladly accommodate 🙂

OPI Take a Right on Bourbon swatchOPI Take a Right on Bourbon

Planning a wedding while on maternity leave was quite fortuitous, because I was able to get all my vendors in place without any hassle – phone calls and day meetings were a cinch, so I was able to methodically research (which, admittedly, aside from the photographer, was minimal – I am SO not a bridezilla!) and meet with each service provider to ensure it was a good fit. Also, because I started securing people early (we set the wedding date 15 months in advance from when we got engaged), I had no issues getting each vendor that I wanted, so YAY!

OPI Let Me Bayou a Drink swatchOPI Let Me Bayou a Drinkso pretty!

In August, I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, Elena and 2 of my bridesmaids (the 3rd lives in Ottawa). I though I’d found the dress at a popular shop in the valley called Tatum’s (it seems to be where the majority of my friends have purchased their dresses), but then I truly found THE dress when we spent the better part of the afternoon at Chester & Felicity, a bridal shop here in Halifax. I can’t go into detail – I want it to be a surprise! – but OMG guys. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DRESS EVER!!!! I knew it when I first tried it on, but of course it was the most expensive dress of all of them so I held off. I came back a 2nd time with my mother and aunt to try it on again, and was instantly smitten all over again. My aunt, being like a 2nd mother to me my whole life, was gracious enough to offer to pay, so even though it’s still beyond what I think is reasonable to pay for a dress you’ll only wear once, I just had to have it. Seriously, just WAIT until you see this baby. SO. DAMN. AMAZING.

OPI Suzi Nails New Orleans swatchOPI Suzi Nails New Orleans

Of course, once the dress was picked, it was time to make sure my bridesmaids looked fabulous too! I did a wedding makeup in December, and the bridesmaid dresses were STUNNING and totally unlike your usual bridesmaid offerings. When I asked where they were from, I was told David’s Bridal, so that’s where we decided to look. My maid of honour had twins in October, so of course we waited a bit before going dress shopping, but by January she was (already!) looking great and we wanted to make sure the dresses were ordered in plenty time, so off we went to David’s to look at the selection. While they had a lot of your standard bridesmaid dresses, they also had several that were much more sophisticated and stylish, and we found the perfect choice – a long, Grecian-style one-shoulder dress with a defined waist and a sultry yet tasteful slit up the side. I really wanted the girls to have different color dresses, mimicking the colors of the sunset, and we lucked out – the dress comes in gorgeous shades of fuchsia, berry and plum. SO excited – they are going to look H.O.T.!

OPI Humidi-Tea swatchOPI Humidi-Tea

One of the last vendors I hired was the florist – we just met at the end of February. The company, Barefoot Blooms, is a florist and flower farm that embraces organic and sustainable farming practices, with flowers and greenery coming from their own garden and greenhouse. I really like the idea of utilizing local flora, being someone who prefers organic and local where possible anyway, so this seemed like the perfect fit. My visual for the bouquets is unstructured and a bit wild, so I think this also works with the kind of arrangements they specialize in. The reliance on local flowers also mean that the bouquets and arrangements won’t be finalized till close to the wedding, because our unpredictable weather means that the season for a certain type of flower may be affected. So, aside from the sole flower I know I want (dahlias), the rest is a bit up to chance! Which I kind of like (because I’m haphazard like that).

OPI Crawfishin' for a Compliment swatchOPI Crawfishin’ for a Compliment

So, thus far, stress levels have been very low while planning the wedding. I’ve only recently felt a bit of pressure to get our invites out – with 6 months to go, according to etiquette I actually have plenty of time, but since we didn’t send Save the Dates, I feel like sending the invites earlier is appropriate. We’ve opted to utilize a wedding website to track RSVPs, so I had to put in some effort to get that set up (finding photos of Ryan and me is HARD! Since he’s away 2/3rd of the year, we have hardly any to account for our years together). But finally I think it’s ready to go, so once we get the last of our addresses, we can move forward and send the invites out! THEN I think things will really start to ramp up.

OPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya swatchOPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya – love this shade!

Wait! There is one thing I’ve been dropping the ball on that it’s kind of important – the HONEYMOON! We are planning to go to Iceland for the ‘moon, right after the wedding, but aside from knowing the location I haven’t done much to plan it. This needs to get done! Once I get the invites out this will be at the top of the to do list 🙂

OPI She's a Bad Muffuletta! swatchOPI She’s a Bad Muffuletta! Gorg. See it here with matching lips!

On the Elena front: she’s learning new things all the time and it’s just so fun to watch 🙂 She’s not walking yet, but she’s doing a lot of standing up and peering over the coffee table at me or pulling herself up to cling to my legs lol.

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I’m in no panic, she already leaves a path of destruction wherever she goes, and I know that’ll only increase tenfold once she’s walking! I didn’t walk till 15 months myself so I can’t judge anyway. Ryan, on the other hand, walked at 9 months (!) – must have been much more motivated that Elena and me haha.

OPI Spare Me a French Quarter? swatchOPI Spare Me a French Quarter? 

As I mentioned, I started back to work, on March 1st. I wasn’t feeling stressed out about the return, but I wasn’t sure what to expect once I got back and how I’d feel. Perhaps because of that, it’s ended up being totally fine! The transition couldn’t have been easier – I started a new (acting) assignment right away, so I’ve been busy learning the ropes, and it’s been really nice to see all the old faces. I really like my colleagues and I know most of the people in our building since, as you know, I’m kind of a social butterfly, so it’s been nice to be back. Ryan happened to be home from work the first week I was back too, so that helped – he drove me to and from work and though I tried to handle the routine with Elena on my own (since I have to do it when he’s away), it was helpful in case I needed just a bit of assistance for those first few days.

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I miss Elena and spending our days together, but it just makes the time we DO have that much more precious. She’s adapted to the new routine (she goes to a day home) pretty well too, so that helps. And I think it’s a great opportunity for her to spend time around other babies/toddlers and gain a bit of independence. We have to let them grow up, even if we don’t want to sometimes!

OPI I Manicure for Beads swatchOPI I Manicure for Beads – sorry, I slept on this mani (as I wore it for a few days); the color is actually really pretty!

She’s had a doozy of a cold this week (classic kid who goes to day care), so it’s been a bit of a tiring week (Ryan went back to work Wednesday am), but she’s finally starting to get better and seem like herself again. It wasn’t all bad though – I got to get in some major snuggles, which I miss a lot!

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This kind of thing happened all the time when she was much younger, but after about 6-7 months she just always slept better in her crib. While I’m thankful for that overall, I do still wish she napped on me here and there – it’s one of my favourite things to do 🙂

OPI Show Us Your Tips! swatchOPI Show Us Your Tips! – beautiful shade, but needs so many coats!

I’m not sure if you can tell in the previous photos or not, but Elena is still small – like, less than 14lbs small. She was truckin’ right along and gaining weight for quite awhile, but in the fall it slowed down to almost nothing, and she’s been hovering between the 13-15lb mark for months now.

IMG_5319That’s Elena with my friend’s 4 month old baby (!!), who is essentially the same size.

I try not to stress about it too much, because she seems like a very happy, healthy baby, and she has a great appetite, but of course as a mom you can’t help but worry a bit. So we’re seeing a paediatrician on April 1st to get her checked out to make sure there isn’t anything going on. Apparently there is a term they use for babies like Elena, called ‘Failure to Thrive’ which just means they aren’t growing as fast as your typical baby. A woman from work said her daughter (who is now 25) was only 18lbs when she was 2 years old, and I think that’ll be Elena – she’s just wee. That’s all (I hope) there is to it. It does make her extra cute!

OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys swatchOPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys – another fave!

I think that’s the update on Elena in a nutshell – I mean she learns a new skill what feels like every day, but overall nothing major has happened lately (like learning to walk or starting to really talk). She’s just a joy, really, and I am just trying to be present with her every day and take it all in because it goes by so fast!

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I mean c’mon – how cute is this kid!!?!

OPI I'm Sooo Swamped! swatchOPI I’m Sooo Swamped!

So there you have it – a bit of a life update plus a bit of polish fun! I’ve been pretty impressed with the OPI collections lately, I will say – there’s always a few shades I end up loving, and the formula is often on point, with a lot of cream shades being that creme-jelly hybrid that is such a pleasure to apply and wear. It makes it hard to keep my polish collection in check – though I have to tell you that I managed to get the number down to 50 this week!!! I’m quite impressed with myself, especially considering that every few months I receive another 24+ bottles from OPI that I have to weed through. You should SEE the giveaway pile!

So now – what’s new with everyone else!?

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So I went a wee bit crazy during the Sephora spring 2015 sale…

This is what happens when you a) keep your beauty purchases to a minimum for longer than is natural for a beauty addict, and b) have too much time on your hands yet are unable to come and go freely and are relegated to sitting for prolonged periods of time.

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I indulged in three – count ’em, THREE – separate hauls during the Sephora sale in April: one in store, and two online, the latter being a midnight impulse spree with minutes to spare before the sale ended. Yes, I’ve gone completely over the edge.

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In the first shopping excursion (which I featured on Instagram), I picked up one product that had been on my to-try list for awhile – Peter Thomas Roth’s Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads (reg. $56CAD) (something different to try after using the FAB Radiance Pads for months) – and a product that I was in the market for, yet the item I chose wasn’t even on my radar: Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronzer (reg. $59CAD).

IMG_0748A few point-perk samples – I am loving the NEST fragrance (in Indigo) so much!

Then, in my first online spree, I purchased items I had pre-determined I was going to get: CoverFX Custom Color Drops in G60 (reg. $44CAD), Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum (reg. $100CAD), Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in 10 Senso (reg. $39CAD), and Givenchy Le Rouge in 209 Rose Perfecto* (reg. $40CAD) *I FINALLY picked a shade!*

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Finally, in my ‘I’m awake at 1am and I need more things GIMME GIMME GIMME‘ moment, I put in my final order: Benefit Roller Lash (reg. $29CAD), a Beauty Blender Pro (reg. $26CAD) (wishlist item), YSL La Laque Couture in Bleu Majorelle (reg. $27CAD) (wishlist item), and Tarte TarteGuard 30 Sunscreen mini (reg. $14CAD).

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Yea, I did some major wallet damage. I’m almost halfway to becoming a VIB Rouge member and the year isn’t even half over yet!! O_o

To be fair, as usual I saved up for most of these purchases, as I do for every Sephora sale. Additionally, I DO try and follow a method: 1 each (max) of each type of makeup product (eg. 1 eye product, 1 lip product, 1 cheek product, etc.); 2 skincare products (max); 1 fragrance, 1 body, etc. etc.. In this instance I bought 2 eye products and 2.5 skincare products, but I didn’t pick up any fragrance or body items so I’ll forgive myself this time.

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Typically, I also try and limit my purchases to items that I would normally have deep reservations about buying due to price – for example, I can’t normally justify spending $40 on a lipstick, or $39 on 1 eyeshadow (even with the sale I STILL have issues with this price, GAH!). I also try and buy items that I can’t get here in Halifax, which is why the bulk of my purchasing was done online. Lastly, I TRY and keep the items I buy to wishlist only – that is, things that I already was lemming before the sale, rather than any impulse purchasing. In this case, only the Tarte sunscreen and Benefit mascara weren’t already on my to-buy list; the Marc Jacobs bronzer wasn’t on my radar but I was looking to buy a bronzer so I’ll call that a wash.

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Overall, while I feel touch guilty for going out of control a bit during the sale, I feel good about most of my purchases (I’m somewhat regretting buying the Armani Eye Tint in that shade…more about that in a future post) and I don’t feel overwhelmed since I stuck to my ‘1 type of item’ rule. HOPEFULLY this mega-spree will tide me over for a bit? I don’t feel entirely confident about that, but here’s hoping 😉

 How did you make out during the Sephora sale?

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Swatching ain’t what it used to be: OPI Hawaii Spring 2015 Collection

A day after returning from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl in tow, the new Hawaii-themed spring collection from OPI landed on my doorstep. Equal parts excitement and anxiety flooded me – I mean, HOORAY! for new, fun nail polish to play with; but OHMAGERD how in the EFF am I going to swatch all these with a new babe to look after 24/7?

Basically, you swatch one shade a day until you get through ’em all.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

I must say, once I finished I felt inordinately pleased with myself. NEW MOM, WHAT!?! However, its not perfection – my cuticles and hands are sort of a wreck, leftover from washing my hands 20 times a day in the NICU and then having no time to do damage control once we got home. Meh. Guess I can’t do everything.

Ok, less talky, more showy (time is a luxury, after all!).

OPI do you take lei away swatch

Starting with my favorite from the collection, Do You Take Lei Away? is a ‘creamy nude’ that applies very well for this kind of shade, smooth and even in 2 coats, and is neutral enough (not too warm or cool) that I think it will flatter most skintones.

IMG_0323Left to right: Tom Ford Toasted Sugar, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?, OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, Essie Jazz

I was unsurprised when I started pulling similar shades to compare against ‘Lei Away’ and discovered the closest match was a much-loved favorite, Essie Jazz. The OPI shade is just a hint more pink and less grey than Jazz and as such it looks a bit better against my skintone. My bottle of Jazz is halfway done (which means its almost finished, in polish terms), so I’m pleased to have a  sort of newer, better version to take it’s place.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch

‘Pastel mint green’ That’s Hula-rious! is the kind of shade that I love in theory but which doesn’t always compliment my skintone. As is common with pastels, the formula is a bit streaky and needed 3 coats. The swatch above portrays it more vividly than it is – this shade was swatched during a snowstorm (one of many!!) so the natural light is much more dim and I had to overcompensate when taking the photo. The comparison photo below gives a more accurate indication of the shade.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch comparisonLeft to right: China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, OPI That’s Hula-rious!, butter London Bossy Boots

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint is very similar, but is a smidgen lighter and less green, and the formula for it was atrocious. I far prefer this version.

OPI lost my bikini in molokini swatch

A ‘reef-inspired purple’, Lost My Bikini in Molokini feels like the perfect shade for spring – its vibrant and playful but not too bright. 2 coats were required to achieve opacity; the formula is good but not perfect and needs a tiny bit of attention to avoid streaking. This polish stained my nails a tad when I removed it, so keep that in mind.

OPI lost my bikini in molokinii swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini; Right: Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas

I thought that RBL’s Mismas would be a close dupe to this color, but in fact it’s a few shades darker. I think I like the lighter tones of the OPI shade actually – I really like wearing colors according to seasons (so sue me) and Mismas doesn’t seem to fit into any of them, in my view.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch

Described as a dark, creamy mauve, Just Lanai-ing Around is one of those midtone shades that I’m not a fan of – I prefer a strong contrast against my skintone. Personal preferences aside, the formula on this color is excellent and only required 2 easy coats to reach opacity.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI No Spain, No Gain, OPI Just Lanai-ing Around, OPI Diva of Geneva

In my mind, ‘Lanai-ing‘ was very similar to OPI No Spain, No Gain (another midtone shade I dislike), but it’s much lighter. OPI Diva of Geneva is a shimmer, of course, and in any case it’s also much darker and richer in tone.

OPI go with the lava flow swatch OPI go with the lava flow swatch

Go With the Lava Flow is a ‘golden red’ that leans coral and has a slight orange flash, which you can see only at the right angle. Normally this type of color isn’t my bag, but looking at these swatches makes me want to give it another go – it’s kind of intriguing, no? It took 3 coats to get the opacity I desired, but the polish applied well with no issues. I don’t have any shades comparable to this.

OPI aloha from opi swatch

Aloha From OPI is a ‘bright creamy coral’ that has just enough pink to keep it from being a true red. It’s been so long since I’ve worn a bright like this, it gets me in the mood for warmer weather! Though its a cream, it applied a touch streaky and I needed 3 coats to even it out to my liking. I don’t find this shade particularly unique, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 swatch comparisons - Version 2Left: OPI Aloha From OPI; Right: Essie Come Here

A very close dupe for this shade is Essie’s Come Here, a favourite of mine. Essie’s version is ever so slightly more pink, but to me they’re essentially the same. Come Here has it’s own application issues, but I think I’d keep it over Aloha From OPI simply because I like square bottles better 😉

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Halfway through, guys. At this point I was on day 7 and getting better at painting my nails between one feed, and then stealthily putting Elena down long enough to take photos between another. Swatches over showers, oh YEA.

OPI pineapples have peelings too swatch

Pineapples Have Peelings Too is…well, it’s just bizarre, what can I say? A ‘gold shimmer with colorful sparkle,’ when I pulled this shade out for the first time I was like ‘What the…?’  It is NOT pretty, you guys. Whoever thought up this shade was reaching, big time (though the name is perfect, I think). As the gold base is quite sheer, it required 3 coats to build up opacity. Interestingly enough, I actually quite like the base color, and I’m very picky about my golds (if you recall…). But the glitter bits are garish and the base covers over their sparkle to make it all look dull and blah. ME NO LIKEY (does anyone?). Obviously, this is a one-of-a-kind shade.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch

Is Mai Tai Crooked?, an ‘orange crème’, is one of those polarizing shades I think. Though it’s base isn’t too yellow, which can go terribly wrong on some people (like myself), it’s still not a flattering color on me. I do love the name though 😉 3 coats are needed to help even out patchiness, though if you were really careful you could probably get away with 2. Patchiness seems to plague most of the cream shades in this collection I find.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked?; Right: Essie Resort Fling

The comparison above is a perfect example of the small nuances that can make or break a shade on my skintone. Essie Resort Fling is more peach than orange, of course, but the pink-leaning base versus the yellow-leaning one makes all the difference for me.

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Suzy Shops & Island Hops…oh how I love the look of this shade! Described as a ‘light and happy pink,’ I find this color super-flattering on my skintone. But of course, pastel shades often come with issues, and this shade needed 3 coats to even out the patchiness. But I don’t mind TOO much, because PRETTY.

OPI suzi shops & island hops swatch comparison

I must be having a pink moment, because I also love RBL’s Oh Slap!, which is close to ‘Suzy Shops’ though without as much white in the base. I’m tempted to only keep the RBL, but I really love the way the OPI looks so despite it being kind of a PITA to apply, I’ll hang on to it for a while, anyway.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch

Hello Hawaii Ya? is a ‘dusky purple’ and the type of color that used to appeal to me, for whatever reason. But though it works with my skintone, it’s kind of drab, and I prefer bright and punchy for spring shades. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, for this collection), the formula wasn’t great and I needed 3 coats to smooth out patchiness, which still didn’t fully even things out. I think this color would be lovely on a lighter or darker skintone than mine, but it veers into that ‘midtone’ territory and I have too many other polishes in which to devote my time.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Hello Hawaii Ya? Right: OPI Parlez Vous OPI?

I think the reason I thought I’d like this shade is because when I first got my hands on OPI Parlez Vous OPI?, I adored the way it looked on me. But my tastes have changed over the years, and now I find it looks dull and muddy. These are clearly not dupes but they’re definitely distant relatives.

OPI this color's making waves swatch

This Color’s Making Waves should look familiar… This ‘shimmery, lagoon blue’ is a pretty marine shade makes me long for summer in a big way! It’s kind of a pain though, as it needed 4 coats to reach this opacity. It’s quite thin and watery, and as it’s not terribly unique I am less than enamoured by it. I have a very close dupe in…

OPI this color's making waves swatch comparison

Chanel’s Azure. Obviously. For the nitpicky among you, they aren’t exactly the same – Azure has more green in it, and OPI’s version has tiny silver flecks of shimmer running through it to set it apart. Both have a duo chrome flash, but Azure’s is more teal-blue-green, whereas ‘Making Waves’ is more teal-blue-purple. Meh. To me they’re damn near identical, and Azure only requires 2 coats (and, um, it’s Chanel), so it’s the winner in my books!

OPI my gecko does tricks swatch IMG_1934

Finalement. My Gecko Does Tricks. A ‘bright and pearly green’ that has a sort-of orange flash in the right light (as seen in the second photo, which I took with my phone and I previewed on Instagram). I’m not a fan of green polishes generally, which I’ve mentioned on several occasions. Though I probably won’t wear this much if at all (except St. Patty’s Day and maybe Christmas), it kind of grew on me a bit – it isn’t too yellowed (blech)/saturated (due to the shimmer)/dark (and therefore murky) to turn me off, I guess. It’s almost…flattering, if you like greens. It did need 3 coats however, so there’s that.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Overall, the collection was a mixed bag in terms of formula and shades. Many of the polishes were somewhat subpar in terms of performance and some of the shades weren’t to my taste (that’s just my opinion though!). I did have some favorites though, namely Do You Take Lei Away?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Go With the Lava Flow, and Suzi Shops & Island Hops (despite the crappy formula).

The Hawaii Collection by OPI is available now in both nail lacquer and GelColor formulas, at professional salons nationwide as well as ULTA and Nail Polish Canada.

*Product samples were provided for my unbiased consideration.

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Hurry up, spring! My nail polish picks for spring 2014 (plus a dud)

It never fails: as soon as March hits, regardless of the fact that spring doesn’t actually start till the 20th of the month, I move headfirst into ~spring~ mode.  Last night I switched over all my makeup to spring-like colours, and over are the days of dark & moody / icy & cool nail polish colors – bring on the pops of colour and pastels!

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors

I went through my nail polish collection this week (which, despite my *efforts* is still increasing in size, rather than hovering around 100 which is my goal :S) and rounded up the shades that most say ‘SPRING!’ to me.  Many of these shades are new acquisitions to my stash, so of course I’m totally enamoured with them.  I think I’m quite covered when it comes to a good array of shades…though I may need a few more metallics, now that I think about it ~always enabling~  I only really own two – the perfect gold, and a striking silver.  I wouldn’t mind throwing a nice rose-gold in the mix somewhere.  Suggestions??

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors(Left to right): Dior Bloom, butter London Poole, Essie Splash of Grenadine, Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, Chanel Orange Fizz, Zoya Robyn

I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple years, and it’s that spring isn’t just for pastels anymore.  Though I do love all the Easter egg shades that crop up this time of year, I’m enjoying seeing random pops of colour in the spring collections more and more.

Having said that, I am a sucker for any pale aqua or minty green shades that come my way.  Last week at Winners I snagged butter London’s Poole for $12CAD; I had drooled over it last summer but felt that I had several shades similar.  Turns out, indeed I do – but it’s different enough to justify owning it and I love it all the same 🙂

butter London Poole swatch butter London Poole swatchbutter London Poole, under artificial light

comparison butter London PooleLeft to right: China Glaze For Audrey, Zoya Wednesday, butter London Poole, MAC Mischievous Mint

I also grabbed China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint at Winners at the same time (on for $5CAD). Green is NOT my polish colour of choice – unless it’s pale/pastel. I had bought butter London’s Bossy Boots last year for that reason, but I find it’s yellow-leanings don’t do my hands any favours. I’d hoped Re-Fresh Mint with it’s cooler tones might make up for that error….sadly, I dislike it even more than Bossy Boots! UGH this looks terrible on me – it’s like white-out with a drop of green food colouring mixed in (got St Paddy’s Day and green beer on my mind, I guess lol) and aside from it looking awful on my skin tone, the formula leaves much to be desired.  Two thick, gloopy coats are required (actually, it’s the only option – thin coats are impossible as it streaks and balls up on itself in seconds) so if I’d actually wore this as a mani (I only put it on for this swatch) then dry time would be atrocious.  NO THANK YOU 😦

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint swatchChina Glaze Re-Fresh Mint, under artificial light

butter London Bossy Boots vs China Glaze Re-fresh Mintbutter London Bossy Boots (left), China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint (right)

In the spirit of Radiant Orchid Madness 2014, I ordered Essie’s Splash of Grenadine from NPC last month, and guys – I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS COLOR!!!!!  I think it’s the prettiest nail polish colour I own, seriously.  It required three thin coats to reach opacity, but the little bit of extra time is totally worth it!

Essie Splash of Grenadine swatch Essie Splash of GrenadineEssie Splash of Grenadine, artificial light

My photos don’t capture the gloriousness, but trust: this polish is LOVELY.

You may have noticed that I failed to mentioned the beautiful bright pink polish to the far left, Dior Bloom.  Fear not, my dear friends – THAT baby is going to have a separate post all to it’s own 😉

Spring 2014 Nail Polish Colors

What shades do you like to wear in spring?  Are you more of a pastel girl, or do you prefer brights? Do you like / can you wear green nail polish? ~shudders~

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Spring Lemmings!

Though it is very much still winter here in Atlantic Canada – 15-20cms of snow was dumped on Saturday night/Sunday morning – I’m starting to think about all the pretty spring collections coming out, and what shades and products I’d like to pick up for the oncoming season.  I’m pretty much ‘meh’ with respect to most of the collections that have come out, but as far as the color palette goes – girly pinks, black liner worn a multitude of ways, emerald green everything – it’ll be easy enough to adapt using either products I already own, or picking up a couple extras that are already existing within different brands.  As my wishlist continues to grow to epic proportions, I’m slowly conquering my lemmings by choosing five products per season that fit the bill (as well as fit my goal of filling any gaps).  Here’s what’s on the list this month!:

Spring Lemmings

1. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Sand Dune $33CAD – Lately I’ve been leaning toward wearing bold lips or cheeks and keeping my eyes quite neutral.  I’m looking for a natural-looking shadow that will melt into my skin but brighten the eye area (sans shimmer) and even it out.  From looking at swatches of this shade, this one fits the bill perfectly!

2. butter London Jasper $17CAD – I really want to own a pretty yellow polish for spring, but the color can be a tricky one and tends to be streaky.  I’ve heard alternate views on this shade, but there’s no denying it’s absolutely spring in a bottle!

3. Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eye Pencil in 1 Granite Black $28 (via Neiman Marcus) – I’ve already mentioned that I’m picking this up soon, as my black liners are at the very nubs – and I want to replace them with what’s supposed to be a fabulous product!

4. YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in #25 Soft Beige $39CAD – Lacking from my personal stash is a natural nude pink lippie.  I tried on another shade of the Rouge Volupte a couple weeks back and was totally hooked by the creamy, gorgeous texture.  Not so much a fan of the price, but it’ll be a shade I’ll wear often.

5. Becca Mineral Blush in Sweet Pea $38CAD / MAC Sheertone Shimmer in Blushbaby $24CAD – After going through my blush collection last month, I realized I also lack a basic neutral blush shade (seems I don’t like neutrals, huh).  I wont’ be able to try on the Becca color in person, so I’m tempted to play it safe with MAC – but I’ve been meaning to try Becca as a brand for a while.  We’ll see which one takes the honours!

What’s on your wishlist these days?

View from my deck...I actually kinda like it :D

View from my deck…I actually kinda like it 😀

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Um, so…I Went On a Little Shopping Spree…

Today I got out of bed bright and early and headed down to the Chanel counter to check out the new spring 2013 collection, which just arrived yesterday.  And…um.  I bought a few things.

Chanel

O_o

This is what happens every single time I try to keep my spending way down.  I lose my shit and buy everything in sight.  Haven’t I learned this lesson already!?!?

…anyway.  Yeah.  Chanel spree.  I’m, uh…I’m probably good for a while.

Here’s a sneak peek at the first installment (yes…there is a second.  On it’s way to me next week.  More on that in a minute, though):

Chanel Spree

I really mixed it up with all my purchases – I have a piece from the current Printemps Precieux spring collection, the Poudre Signée de Chanel; a polish from the 2009 Côte D’Azur summer collection, Orange Fizz; and a re-released eyeshadow quad from the Sophisticated Eye collection, 08 Vanités, which came out in summer 2011.  BOOM!  Clearly, I was not messing around to-day.  Since I was up so damn early, I managed to get home and get swatches of everything before the sunlight ran away from me – however, I still haven’t had a chance to play with everything yet, so reviews on all will be forthcoming.  First thoughts?  Z.O.M.G.

Chanel Spree (3)

Here’s where it gets even more crazy (and um…long-winded.  So get comfy!).  Yesterday around lunchtime, the S.A. at the Chanel counter called me to let me know the spring collection had finally arrived.  I was in training outside the city, and wouldn’t be anywhere near the counter for the rest of the day.  She let me know she couldn’t hold the illuminating powder for me, as it’s limited edition, and truth be told, I had already half-convinced myself that I wasn’t going to get it anyway.  Often I determine my purchases by how much value you guys will get of swatches/reviews of a product, and the powder has been done to death – nothing new for anyone!  So I told her not to worry about it, and I’d be in sometime over the next week.

Chanel Spree (2)

But it nagged at me.  And as it happens, I was on Twitter on my lunchbreak and came across Best Thing in Beauty’s review of the Mouche de Beauté Illuminating Powder that’s part of the Versailles de Chanel Cruise 2012/13 collection, and was exclusively designed for the show (along with a pink Ombre Essentielle eyeshadow in Rose Favorite)Another gorgeous highlighting powder with a fantabulous design.  THIS could be an item my readers would want to see, right?  And I hadn’t even heard of it ’till then, so it would be a relatively exciting review.  Since I’ve been driving myself crazy looking and looking and looking at pretty things, but not really buying, I got the major impulse to call up a Chanel boutique (I chose T.O.’s Bloor St location) and order one of the powders.  The SA was with a client, so I left my number for her to call me back.

Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder

End of day on Friday – no return call.  I had heard a rumor that Chanel boutiques will sometimes not sell products to you via phone unless you are already a client there, and I wondered if that was happening in my case.  I was pretty pissed, to be honest – how do you become a client if you can’t buy your first item from them?  So, when I woke up bright and early this AM, I decided to appease myself by heading down to my local counter to see what was left of the powders from the spring collection.

Chanel Ombre-Essentielle-Rose-Favorite

BINGO.  Turns out, there were still 6 powders of the 14 she had received, and when I touched it – dudes, this shiz is SOFT.  Baby’s butt soft.  It’s crazy!  So I clearly snapped one up; clearly it was meant to be.  However, I didn’t stop there.  I wasn’t sold on the spring nail shades – while Fracas is GORGEOUS, it’s so close to Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (which is more of a jelly formula, but shade-wise very similar), and Accessoire is too close to Zoya’s Anja for my liking.  Emprise is nice but not really my thing.  What I wanted, was a pretty peachy-toned shade, and Orange Fizz just called to me.  It’s sort of a mid-tone coral-orange, but it look like spring in a bottle to me!  Also, because in discovering the gaps in my makeup collection, I realized I lacked a lilac shade, I had previously decided to buy the Vanités quad at some point, and well…I was on a roll, so I bought it right then.

…DAMN.  At least I had a $25 gift card :S

I get home and I’m totally enamoured with my pretties, when I get a call – from the Chanel boutique in Toronto.  “Just getting back to you about the Mouche de Beauté powder, what’s your address?”  Umm….

…Yea, I gave it to her.  I also gave in to her when I asked if they had any bottles of Malice left (STILL TRYING!), and while she said they didn’t, apparently there’s a new shade they’ve received as part of the Hong Kong collection, Western Light, which is a ‘deep chocolate with a hint of pearly red’ (there’s also another polish, Eastern Light, which is a white shade).  WTF?!  My wallet isn’t merely crying right now, it’s running out the door and living at La Maison de Chanel.  Jeez louise.

If you’re interested in throwing your money at Chanel too, here are some pictures and links with info about the two collections:

Versailles de Chanel Cruise 2012/13 Collection

Sandra’s Closet (product info and looks from the runway)

BE.com (in French; product photos)

Hong Kong Collection

When A Door Closes… (product info and photos)

The Blonde Salad (Le Vernis bottle shots)

So yea.  I think that’s just about all the makeup shopping I’m going to be doing for the next few months LOL.  I feel sort of half-sick to my stomach, but also *finally* satiated, and I’d rather buy a couple really wonderful products, than a mass pile of just more items that are probably repeats in my stash – happily, everything I bought has no comparable mate out of all the makeup I own, so there’s that.  I have been meaning to buy a powder illuminator for some time (I really don’t have one, somehow!); now, I’ll have two so I am PRETTY MUCH SET FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.  Wicked.

Chanel Spree (4)

As mentioned, reviews and swatches will be coming soon.  In the meantime, how have you been indulging in your consumerism side lately??

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