Thursday, July 10, 2014

Essie For The Twill Of It Swatch



Essie For The Twill of It

I'm late to the party on this one, but I finally picked up Essie's For The Twill of It and it's love. Essie doesn't do a whole lot of duochromes, so this is a pretty special color. It has a purple-grey base and shifts to purple, teal, and green with the lighting. The finish is a little frosty for my tastes, but it's not too bad. My only complaint is that I needed at least three coats (wearing three coats here) for evenness and opacity. Essie, do more duochromes! I need more duochromes and I love your brush!



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pinky Paradise Circle Lens and Lash Review and Photos

One more quick circle lens review! I'm kinda obsessed lenses and lashes lately. Shortly after my last review, Pinky Paradise sent me a couple styles to review, so take a peek below if you're curious, or just scroll past if you're not!


BN.inc Special Selection Value Pack #20 Lashes

The lashes I'm wearing are by BN.inc, a brand I've never tried before. They're a long, spiky style (my favorite) interspersed with short cris-cross fibers. They're much softer and more flexible than most of the similar spiky lashes I've tried so they curl easily and don't come up as easily at the edges. I love them and I think they'll become a go-to purchase for me. You get 10 pairs for $19.99, extremely reasonable for such nice lashes.

Here's my natural eye color without lenses. Note the size and darkness of my natural iris.


Vassen Lollipop Pink

This style gives both enlargement and bright color.  The tricolor splatter pattern mimics the way a natural iris would look, which helps take the edge off of the stark pupil circle's unnatural effect. Still, these are more of a fun lens than a natural lens. They feel comfortable and sit properly on my eye.


Vassen Natural Sparkling Red

These are very large. They have a black limbal ring, followed by a dark grey spiky ring, and then a check-shaped red pattern on a clear center. These give huge enlargement and only a little bit of color. I think that these might even be a little too big since I can see a gap between the grey ring and my own iris when I look up. If the outer ring was just a little thicker, they'd be perfect. The clear center gives them a more natural effect.


Princess Pinky Eclipse Violet

These are PERFECT. The pupil area is nice and wide so they don't give me that dead eye look. The violet color is soft and subtle in natural light, but when the sun shines on them (or camera flash, in this case) they pop. The have a moonlit, sort of cloudy look closest to the black outer ring and I think that makes them look magical. I adore these. I love them so much that I'll probably pick up the rest of the colors!


EOS Dolly Eye Pink

These are wild. They're opaque and unnatural looking. There's a very thick limbal ring and the iris is a completely opaque baby pink. Not much enlargement. The pupil area is pretty small, so when I'm in a dark room I can see pink around the edges of my vision. The name, Dolly Eye, is exactly what they give you. They'd be great for costumes and cosplay since they're so cartoonish.


I've purchased from Pinky Paradise several times and always had a good experience. They ship fast and arrive quickly (they ship from Malaysia and still arrive quickly!) and everything has always been correct and well-packaged.

If you're planning on ordering anything, they've given me the promo code Scrangie for my readers to use for a free cute animal lens case and free mystery gift with every pair of lenses ordered.


(product sent for review. post contains an affiliate link.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

My thoughts on two different gel polishes

You've probably noticed that gel polishes (sometimes called no-chip polishes) are HUGE right now. They've gone from a professional-only service to being available in every drugstore.  I've never been interested in them because I just don't like wearing the same polish for more than a day or two, and with gel polishes you either have a four week commitment to a color, or you have to endure a 30+ minute removal process.

But one day, as I was gazing down at my disappointingly short-lived pedicure, it dawned on me that I could use these on my toes too.  I mean, I always knew I could, it's just that I had no desire to actually do so until that very moment.

I had a couple different gel polish sets sitting around waiting to be tried, so I decided to compare a no cure gel with an LED gel.


Jessica Flash Fusion 2-5-2

Jessica Flash Fusion Colour Activator in High Velocity

This system is super simple. It's only two steps: Primer and Colour Activator. You prep your nails by cleansing them of all oil and moisture, and then you apply the primer to all nails on one hand. You immediately follow with the Colour Activator (which is the polish part).  A final coat of Primer seals the color and you're done. No curing. No dry time.

The texture took a bit of getting used to, but application was very simple. The Primer is basically superglue or nail glue. The Colour Activator is the tricky part- it spreads out really fast when it touches the primer. I eventually learned that I could just apply a drop of Activator in the center of my nail, on top of the primer, and it would spread to cover the entire surface.

The end result was a bit lumpy (hey, it was my first try) but looked and felt great. Smooth, glossy, hard. Unfortunately, it chipped right away.

wah-waaaahh

Luckily for me, removal was easy.  Five minutes in foil with Jessica's Flash Off remover and it was done. It has the texture of nail glue, so it just dissolves with the remover. 

I would definitely use this again as a pedicure since it was so fast and easy. It has its downsides, but I really liked the quick removal compared to LED gel.

This set was sent for review, but it can be purchased online directly from Jessica here.


Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel Polish


Red Carpet Manicure Cinder-Ella

The Red Carpet Manicure LED Gel has more steps, but it also has a much longer lasting end result.

You prep your nails with a sanitizer, apply base coat, cure, color, cure, color again, cure, topcoat, cure, and then wipe away the sticky layer and you're finally done. It's not complicated or difficult at all, it just takes longer.

I like the texture of the products. They're thick but they don't set so you have some time to play around with them and get your glitter placement right before you cure it. I think I applied my glitter a little too thick, but I was trying to get it opaque in two coats so that's my fault. I don't think Cinder-Ella was meant to be an opaque glitter. 

The gel polish in this system cures with an LED light that has a timer built in. You place your hand under it, hit the button, and then it turns off after 45 seconds (there's also a portable version of the LED lamp that takes a little longer, but I have the plug-in one.) 

This gel polish was extremely sturdy and chip-proof for as long as I wore it. I only had it on for a week because... why would I want to wear this color for more than a week? I can't fathom it. Hah!

The huge downside for me was the removal. It takes FOREVER. You need to file the shine off the nails, soak them with remover for 20-30 minutes, and then they're supposed to slide off, but they don't. You gotta scrape a little, and then sometimes soak a little longer to get down to the bottom. Removal was such a pain for me that I'd be hesitant to use anything but clear gel if I used these again.

I bought my Red Carpet Manicure supplies from Ulta

If you like wearing the same color for a really long time, these at home soak of gel systems are really user-friendly. I don't think gel polish is for me, but I can see why people like it.  I liked both of these types of gel polish, but I preferred the easier removal of the Jessica system.  Maybe there's another brand out there that removes just as easily. Do you know of one? I'd totally try it.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Circle lens reviews and photos

I wear contact lenses daily to correct my vision, but plain contacts are boring.  Life's short.  I need to extract every last ounce of fun from it that I can.  And you know what's fun?  Purple eyes. So, sometimes I wear circle lenses in different colors instead of my regular clear contacts. May as well do a few quick reviews of some of the ones I've been wearing lately!


EOS Ice Violet
(before and after)

These are my current favorite lenses. They have a thin limbal ring and a wide center so they look much more natural and realistically iris-like compared to other colored contacts. They have a great enlarging effect without looking too alien, and the color is subtle but noticeably violet. They're also really comfortable and don't seem to get as dry as my usual (Acuvue Oasys) contacts.  I also have these in brown.  I purchased these from honeycolor.com.


Dolly+ Red

These are my second favorite pair. They have a very pronounced limbal ring and a bright, opaque red iris. The center is also nice and wide which helps to give them a more natural look as it doesn't remove as much of the depth of the eye. They're also nice and comfortable and give me no problems when I wear them.  I've gotten so many compliments on these!  I purchased this pair from honeycolor.com as well.


Vassen Latte Pink

These are a mixture of different shades of brown and pink arranged in a swirl pattern.  They're super pretty, view the closeup for a better look! They enlarge the iris quite a bit and are noticeable but not bright. They're not as comfortable as some of my other lenses. They feel thicker than most I've worn and they dry out faster. I still really love them. I purchased these from pinkyparadise.com.


Vassen Cloud Nine Violet

I love purple and these are really purple.  This photo was taken with flash, but in natural sunlight they look lighter and more lavender, but still very obviously purple. They have a nice wide space around the pupil, which is what I prefer, but they're not at all natural looking.  The iris is opaque, the color is vibrant, the limbal ring is thick and patterned.  The EOS Ice Violet are more for subtle but believable violet eyes, and these are for super fun POW! violet eyes.  These, sadly, aren't very comfortable for me so I don't wear them very often.  I purchased these from Pinky Paradise as well.


EOS Pop C Dark Green

I wanted to try green contacts and these were on sale at Pinky Paradise.  Green eyes and purple hair sounded like a great combination to me. I like the color of these. They're a bright grass green surrounded by a very, very thick black limbal ring so that all the green is right around the pupil. I'm not really a fan of how defined the center ring is because it gives me that odd robot eye look.  I have a few pairs of EOS lenses that are very comfortable, but these aren't. 


Love Pink

These are just called Love Pink (purchased from honeycolor.com) so I'm not sure what the brand is.  I don't have the jars they came in anymore, either.  Anyway, these are really subtle but SO CUTE. Not much in the way of enlargement, though they do have a soft black limbal ring. The iris is clear, but it has three groups of three pink hearts around it. I mean, really. How much cuter can it get? They don't look like you're wearing colored contacts, it looks just like your natural eye until you look at them up close, then you see the hearts. They seem comfortable on my eyes, but I haven't worn them enough to really get a feel for them.


Zombie White Screen Halloween Lens

These were just for fun. I got them in my prescription (from honeycolor), but there's not really a point because I can barely see out of them anyway. There is still visibility, but since the pupil is covered in a white mesh, it's like a thick fog looking through them. I wish they were larger because they don't quiiiiiite cover all of my naturally dark brown iris and that becomes noticeable when I look from side to side. I think I should have gone with the full white screen for that sort of cloudy, ghostly look.  Oh well.  Next time!  They're comfortable aside from the blurred vision.

By the way, my eyeshadow is Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude, Bare Minerals Ready shadow in Fuze (also used on my brows), eyeliner is Maybelline gel liner, and lashes are Red Cherry 747L.


(post contains an affiliate link)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Swatch Spam!

I just feel like posting some swatch spam, so here it comes!


 China Glaze Bat My Eyes
 


 OPI Casino Royale



 OPI On Her Majesty's Secret Service



 Jessica Prima Donna



 Butter London Swinger




Pretty Serious VT100



 Jessica Blue Aria



 Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots Clearly Spotted (over purple)



 OPI Skyfall



 OPI You're So Flippy Floppy



 Sephora Color Hit Blackjack


Ozotic Beam 905 with Northern Lights Gold Topcoat



Essie Bikini So Teeny



China Glaze Magnetix You Move Me



 China Glaze Infra-Red




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Introducting Rescue Beauty Lounge: Anatomy of a K-Drama Collection 2014





Picture this: A really hot, rich boy (his parents practically own the country—think  Samsung!) falls in love with a plain Jane, a pitifully poor girl whose family was financially  ruined by loan sharks. The boy’s equally wealthy best friend falls in love with her too,  and they even come to blows over the girl. She is without a clue since she is often too  exhausted from taking care of her family—and working two or three jobs. It takes about  8 episodes for this couple to hold hands; we don’t know which of the boys she will   choose, she may have held hands with both of them. They reach into their bottomless   wallets to give her makeovers—in fact, one of their fathers owns the department store!   (Oh Snap!)   

Enter the boy’s no-nonsense Korean tiger mom who always has a rich girl for him to  marry (think company merger), someone he loathes. There are loads of schemes to get   rid of the poor girl, even if his mother has to hire a hit man. Yes, there will be a kidnapping and perhaps some injuries, you name it—I’m scared for her too, no lie. It  takes about 16 episodes for these two to kiss and overcome her accidents, hospital  recoveries, etc. They promise never to part. But wait! Something else surfaces, after the boy’s friend digs up the girl’s family history, it turns out that the couple are exactly like   Romeo and Juliet, their ancestors were enemies and the reason why her family is destitute.  What will she do? Will she honor her family and reclaim their wealth? Or does she abandon ship?! Anatomy of a #KDrama is my latest collection, brought about by my newest compulsion.   –Ji Baek


Burn The Evidence
(Opaque and rich gold, copper,  and rust-red microglitter in a clear base. My favorite of the collection!)

Burn The Evidence has a finely milled panache glitter that is not only jammed-packed with a mélange of red, gold, orange and copper glitters, but it also provides that dash of ash-black brilliance. This color fully covers in two full coats and dimensional depth: Your hot nails will look like they’re on fire.


Cue The Montage
(Silver glitter in a spring green creme base. Very interesting effect between glitter and base, but needs a lot of topcoat since it looks dimpled when it dries.)

Yellow chartreuse is the most difficult color to wear; it was a daring task to try to create  one that would be suitable for all skin tones. Cue the Montage has a different texture  than any other RBL nail polish. It dries matte and textured, so you must apply a   basecoat and topcoat for the full effect. This color has glittery silver that peaks through   in glorified harmony.  Warning: The glitter in this bottle does not appear the same when applied to nails; it   has a sandwiched effect.



Instant Amnesia
(Suede-colored creme with really cool iridescent microshimmer!)

This is the perfectly neutral balance between fawn and taupe, a lofty palate cleanser   with a tinge of attitude. Its flawless beauty is infused with flutters of silver, green, and   pink shimmer. Once you wear it, Instant Amnesia will erase your memory of all the bad   nail polish colors from your past.


Monologue
(Deep midnight blue with fine blue-green duochrome shimmer)

Virtuously inky, Monologue’s navy blue base is embedded with a soliloquy of elegant light-blue shimmer. Even in low light, this solitary dark blue retains its color and does not   appear to be black. Monologue has a smooth, undemanding application; this color is darkly pigmented yet calmingly engaging.


Not Your Baby
(This is a metallic green-bronze with awesome pink microglitter and a bit of duochromey shift. You could consider it a cousin to Scrangie 2.0)

A deceitfully, mysterious brown-bronzy-sage-green duo chrome, Not Your Baby is a classic RBL chameleon nail polish—its identity changes depending on the light. Trickery   plays. This color may appear to be brown with a cast of sage-green shimmer in a certain light, and yet bronze the next moment.


Oh Slap!  
(Pink creamy jelly that makes your nails look cute and perfect... I'm kinda smitten with it)

The quintessential flushed cheeks for your nails, Oh Slap! goes on as a sheer pink in one coat with opaque coverage in two coats. This is THE PERFECT PINK; the formula is flawless and streak-free and is not pastel or white-based. You can practically apply it with your eyes closed.


Will They Won’t They
(Muted lavender jelly with blue-green duochrome glass fleck)

Will They Won’t They catches the sun’s rays as it glides on your nails. A gentle cascade of the tiniest silvery, blue-green micro glitter softly flows on a pool of doleful  lavender. Sheer coverage in one coat, and opaque in two.

The formula on nearly all of these was great.  The only one that gave me trouble was Cue the Montage.  That one went on thick and kinda chunky, which made it difficult to create thin, even coats. All the others applied without a single issue. I used three coats of each and I prefer the look of all of them at three. Dry time is on the long side.

My top picks from this collection are Burn The Evidence because it's so cool and sparkly (and they will never find the evidence in the furnace), and Oh Slap! because it hides all the ridges and imperfections on my nails and applies like a dream.

Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are exclusively available at  www.rescuebeauty.com for $20 per bottle.  Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are created with resin and high molecular polymers to improve flexibility, durability, and high shine. They contain no harmful Toluene, Formaldehyde, DBP, and Formaldehyde Resin. We do not test on animals. 

48 hr. Pre-order starts 6/20/14 AM-ends at 6/22 at noon EST. Please sign up for the newsletter at www.rescuebeauty.com to receive the email invite.

(collection provided for review)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Depression Open Thread

China Glaze Boogie Down

This is a little check-in post just to say hi, I'm here, I'm not planning on abandoning my blog, but I'm having some life challenges at the moment and I haven't been able to devote much time to swatching. I want to do something a little different during this downtime, and here's what I'm thinking:

Need to talk about anything?  Depression?  Health issues?  If you'd like to vent or ask questions, use the comments thread on this post to engage with each other (and me).  I know it's nice to find out that you're not alone in your struggles, and you know I won't judge, so if you wanna talk about something, please do!

Thanks for sticking with me :)


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hottest New Nail Art Trends of 2014!

I recently got a super-exclusive sneak preview of what, according to an inside source*, are going to be this year's hottest new trends.  And since I'm so hip and trendy, I just had to try out all these new techniques right away.  You guys, this is seriously cutting edge stuff here.  World premiere.  You get to say you saw it before it was cool.


Les Ongles de Terre
All natural, organic, locally produced artisan terrain provides a sustainable and beautiful eco-friendly manicure. 



Nail File Manicure
Textures were the big trend in 2013, but this new type textured manicure has both form and function. Now, thanks to the geniuses at 3M™, you can file your nails with your nails. Whoa.


Whole Handicure
Take it to the next level and just do your whole hand. Why the hell not? Do it. Who cares. Life is meaningless.


Cherenkov Manicure
The materials for this nail look might be a little hard to get your hands on, but the end result is worth the effort.  Your nails will be so glowy, it's like they're actually lit from within.  The downside is that there may be some side effects, which could include sudden onset of superpowers or severe burns. Probably both.


Quantum Manicure
This one is a more complicated two-step process, but it'll definitely turn heads. First, apply your Cherenkov manicure as usual.  Then, using your new-found powers, turn your nails invisible or teleport them to another location or time period, depending on which powers you got. 

You heard it here first! 


*source is inside my head

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gwen Stefani by OPI Collection 2014 Swatches and Review

This is a small collection of mostly standard, mundane colors (red creme, pink creme, vampy burgundy), but with one really special standout shade.  Quick overview of the collection from the press release:

"OPI joins celebrity partner Gwen Stefani in announcing seven new limited edition nail lacquers for 2014, featuring standout color in breakthrough finishes. Highlights from the collection include a bold red lacquer that pays homage to Gwen’s signature lipstick, a new semi-matte satin finish in shades of gold and black, and a mirrored chrome paired with a special base coat. 

Inspired by the 2013 Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala that featured the theme “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” OPI Executive VP and Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann decided to create a collection of lacquer celebrating the role of music as a major influence in fashion. “With her expertise as a singer, songwriter and designer, who better to collaborate with than Gwen Stefani?” asks Weiss-Fischmann. “Known for her trademark red lips, bold eye makeup and nail art, Gwen uses beauty to accessorize her style.” 

Gwen’s signature red OPI hue – Over & Over A-Gwen – is available in a boxed set, which includes Swarovski black crystals and silver, gold and pewter studs in bar, square, diamond and circle shapes for creating unique nail designs, as well as nail glue for easy application. Love.Angel.Music.Baby. and 4 in the Morning feature a new, semi-matte satin finish designed to be worn without top coat. Push and Shove, a bold chrome hue, is also worn without top coat but requires a special complimentary base coat – Lay Down that Base. One thin coat of Lay Down that Base topped with two thin coats of Push and Shove yields an intense, mirrored finish. The collection is rounded out with two glossy crème lacquers and one sparkly glitter shade: Hey Baby, I Sing in Color, and In True Stefani Fashion.


“OPI wanted to create a collection as dramatic, diverse and glamorous as its namesake,” adds Weiss-Fischmann. “With crème and glitter hues, new satin matte texture, a mirrored chrome and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, Gwen Stefani by OPI presents the latest in pigments and finishes, while combining elements of haute couture and street fashion.”
Gwen Stefani by OPI Collection

 OPI 4 In The Morning
Very slightly shimmery dark charcoal/faded black satin matte.  Intended to be worn without topcoat.



 OPI Hey Baby
Blue-based hot pink creme.


 OPI In True Stefani Fashion
Sparse holographic silver glitter topcoat.  Shown here with three coats and still not full coverage. Nice feature of this polish: square glitter.


 OPI I Sing In Color
Vampy brown-burgundy creme.  Leans more jelly than pure opaque creme.


 OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby.
Light gold shimmer with a satin matte finish.  Intended to be worn without topcoat, but it looks pretty great with topcoat as well.


 OPI Over and Over A-Gwen
This is only sold as a set (pictured below) that includes some Swarovski Elements nail art pieces.  The color itself is a bright cherry red creamy jelly. 

OPI Over And Over A-Gwen Boxed Set


OPI Push and Shove
This is the special standout in the collection.  It's a mirrored chrome silver, and without resorting to Minx or other similar nail coverings, it's the most reflective, mirror-like silver out there.  It needs to be worn over a special basecoat, but that's included with the polish.


The formula on every shade was perfect.  Literally nothing to criticize in the texture or application of any of these.  Push And Shove can get streaky if you apply the coats too close together or on top of still-wet basecoat, but it's minimal.  All shades except In True Stefani Fashion only needed two coats for full coverage (and that's how they're worn here).  Push and Shove is very fragile on the nail and doesn't wear for very long.  It doesn't chip on me, it actually wears away as if it's being wiped away.  Wearing topcoat makes it more durable. 



Most of the colors in this collection seem too bland to have Gwen Stefani's name on them, don't they?  Nothing unique in here except for Push and Shove.  It's not a true mirror reflection, but it's the closest I've ever seen.  I am completely in love with it.  It's even more reflective in person.  Only downsides are that it gets damaged easily and that it shows every single flaw on your natural nail (call me Ruffles.) Gently buffing your nails before applying the basecoat should make any ridges or flaws less noticeable.

Gwen Stefani by OPI nail lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide™ Brush for the ultimate in application. This promotion will be available beginning January 2014 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for  $9.00 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each nail lacquer. The boxed set including Over & Over A-Gwen and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS will retail for $14.95 ($18.95 CAN).

(collection provided for review.)