Thursday, October 28, 2010

Color Club Bewitching Halloween Mini Set 2010

Sorry about the lack of posting and online involvement, guys. Still not quite feeling like myself. Luckily my annual vacation is in a couple weeks so hopefully I'll feel better after that!

Anyway, wanted to be sure I posted this while it was still relevant. Only a couple more days til Halloween! Not enough time to order online and get it in time, but they sell these sets at Meijer now, so you can finally get Color Club sets in store in certain areas.

This is a set of four minis plus a roll of adorable Halloween nail decals (I seem to have misplaced my photo of them somehow) plus a little wheel of nail art gems/beads/decorations in black and orange that are sold separately. They're on the display next to each other.

And one more note before the pictures- these all seem like they might be re-promoted colors. I didn't side-by-side compare any of them but they're all really familiar.

Bewitching. Standard black creme.

Charmed, I'm Sure. Really inaccurate pics. This is purple, not blue. It's a lot like OPI Ink, and this might be Color Club Electronica, but my Electronica is a lot more sparkly. See the duochrome reflection in the bottom of the bottle in the sunlight pic? Much closer to the 'real' color of this polish.

Hocus Pocus. Man, blurry pics of holo polishes and glitter always look so good! Kinda gives you an idea of how sparkly it is in real life. Anyway, this is an absolutely gorgeous pale silver plus pink/lavender subtle tint hologram glitter. Could be Magic Attraction but this one seems warmer.

Spellbound. Traffic cone orange neon creme. Excellent color. Probably matches up to one of Color Club's existing neon oranges. Love this shade of orange though, it's absurdly bright.

These are minis but they're actually a pretty good size- .25 fluid ounces- that's half a normal polish bottle. No .13 fl oz mini-minis here. Great formula. I did three coats of all, none of them needed the third except Hocus Pocus but I was curious to see how they looked with three anyway.

I always dream about going to a Halloween party where they give out mini Halloween nail polish sets - like this or OPI Go Goth - in the gift bags... How cool of a party would that be?! Maybe I should host one.

(These were sent to me for review.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Evil Shades Review

I didn't intend to take so long to post swatches of these... What I really wanted to do was post a bunch of looks using these colors, but I've been in such a creative rut lately... I haven't been able to think of any cool combinations! D'oh.

But here are some swatches from Evil Shades- a company owned by a fellow blogger- EvilAngel from Black Nail Polish and Lipgloss!

Some of the darker shades, indoors and in sunlight.
(Left to right)
Devil's Bonfire, Necropolis, Acolyte, Double Barrel, Abyss, Zombie, Souls Torment, Mordant.

Some of the colorful shades, indoors and in sunlight.
(left to right)
Heartless Queen, Errinye, Neritic, Mad People, Twinkle Twinkle, Steele Green, Reondite, Wanderflower, Nymphette, Chusi, Nightshade

As always, you can click the images to enlarge and view more detail.

I also got to try a blush and a cuticle creme sample (not pictures, hopefully to do another review later!) and these really pigmented Deviant lipsticks:

(left to right)
Primrose Path, Corruption, Devilista

So now that you've seen some examples of the types of fun colors she sells, I bet you're wondering about the formula..... And I'm pleased to say that it's really nice!

I haven't used all of the shades for full looks yet but I have used about half of them on the eyes and I am pretty impressed. They're really smooth and pigmented. I normally have to use mineral-type shadows wet in order to achieve decent opacity and pigmentation but these were pretty good on their own. Even better wet. All of the colors have something special to them- they didn't look very vibrant in the plastic sample bags but once you put them on your skin they pop- some have secret colored shimmer, some have glitter (holo glitter too!), some have a faint reflective sheen to them.

The lipsticks were fantastic. I normally don't wear lipstick because it's drying and these aren't. These are almost a balm, but super crazy pigmentation. Devilista was like WHOA- amazing coverage and POW! color. You will want to use a lip brush with that one, color like that needs a precision application! Corruption is my favorite and I wear it pretty often now- a soft silvery-grey-purple shade with a little blue shimmer. Primrose Path is rather demure but works nicely to balance a dark and dramatic eye. On top of the great pigmentation and creamy formula, they smell nice. Really nice. I don't know exactly like what, but it's sweet and pleasant. I'm super into my lip products being scented- I've been known to not buy lip products because they were unscented- and I'm quite happy that these have a nice sweet scent to them! Makes them a little more fun.

There were a few things I didn't like. They are purely my personal preference and are not flaws with the product itself, but I felt I should give my honest opinion.

My main disappointment is with the packaging. It's very plain and a bit home-made looking. One one hand it adds to the charm and indie feeling, but on the other hand it seems a bit unprofessional. It is purely aesthetic- the product inside is great! But the little bags and plain black lip balm tubes with slightly off-center stickers don't seem to reflect what's inside. I do understand that it's only packaging and that it may not be feasible financially or time-wise for a one-woman-business to have custom labels and packaging for all their products.

The other thing that I didn't quite enjoy was that the samples come in bags. Again, this is my own personal preference and doesn't reflect the quality of the product. Some people love bag samples because they're less expensive and easier to store. I find them messy to use. For one, it's hard to get the pigment onto the brush because it's all settled onto the sides of the bag and I usually get my fingers a little dirty cause it ends up on the sides of the brush. Another reason why I prefer jars over bags is that I can't use the pigments wet when they're in a bag like I can when they're in a jar. In a jar I can put some mixing medium on the lid and mix a little of the shadow into it. And one other reason I don't like bag samples is that they don't make the colors look nice! Some of the shimmer tends to stick to the bag while some of the more colorful or pigmented parts in the shadow sink to the bottom, giving the illusion that it's a plain frosty shimmer... Only when you open the bag and touch the shadow do you see the true color.

I can see why the packaging would be this way- it keeps costs down! Makes it more accessible. No one likes to pay more for a fancy package, it's what's inside that counts! Except... I totally would pay more for a fancy package, it's part of the fun of makeup for me. But, that's just me.

I did remember to take pictures of one of the looks I did using Evil Shades (and there was also that look I did with Heartless Queen, my favorite... unfortunately I was using that damn Falsies mascara so my lashes look like crap!):

I don't remember everything I used for this look, but I do know that I used Acolyte and Devil's Bonfire mixed together in the crease. I think the lid color may have been Fyrinnae Electric Stardust. You can see how nice and sparkly and rich the crease color looks- that's not even used wet!

Evil Shades. Cool names. Creative colors. Nice formula on all the products I've tried. Very affordable prices. I also really, really love the dark alternative theme of the company- much better suited for me :)

Hopefully I'll find some creativity and get over my makeup block (kinda like writer's block?) so I can post some better looks using these!

(These products were sent to me for review.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Milani Neons

Finally posting these. I gave up on trying to get a good picture of Fresh Teal. Hah!

Awesome Orange. Gorgeous neon safety-vest orange creme.

Dude Blue. Really nice interesting medium neon blue. Not so sky blue as it looks here- it's closer to the color of the bottle. Not the typical neon blue shade, I'm extremely fond of this one.

Fresh Teal. The bane of my existence. This color is like a lot of other neon greens and teals and does freaky things to the camera when you try to photograph it. These two shots are the best I could get! It's a neon teal. Somewhat like the color of the bottle, but not that dark. It is not bright blue as it looks here- it is teal.

Pink Hottie. The lighter of the two neon pinks. This one is more of a foofy-girly pink cupcake Barbie type neon pink. Highlighter pink, but creamy.

Pink Rocks. The darker of the neon pinks. This one borders on being neon red. Not as creamy as Pink Hottie or the other neons, this one is more of a jelly finish than a creme.

Rad Purple. Also difficult to truly capture, but not hard to describe. It's the standard 'neon' purple, not quite bright or glowy and not totally purple either. Think Eyeko Purple Polish. Looks nothing like the bottle color, sadly.

Techno Red. I was hoping this would be more red like the color of the bottle, but it's actually a light pinkish-red coral. Not super bright either, but still dries matte like a true neon.

Totally '80s. This is definitely my favorite. It's such a fun color! It's a lime green and yellow neon. A little weird and murky looking, not a super crisp color. It is totally 80s, but also totally 90s. I used to have a slap bracelet this color. Reminds me of one of those OPI Shrek colors, but brighter. Fiercely Fiona, maybe? I can't remember the names now!

The first thing that I need to mention about these is that the bottle is opaque. The color you see on the bottle is actually painted onto the glass and it doesn't necessarily represent the actual color of the polish. This is annoying for many reasons, mainly that you have to open the polish in the store to see what color it really is.

The formula on them was good but a little thin. I did three coats of all, some needed it, some didn't. Drying time was a little on the long side for neons which generally dry pretty fast. Since they are neon, they dry to a matte finish (they do not have the application or wear issues of traditional matte polish). Do not worry- it's supposed to do that. If you like the matte look, leave them as-is, but if you like them glossy, use a topcoat.

These aren't terribly unique, but it seems hard to make a truly unique neon. Totally 80s doesn't look like most of the neon greens and yellows out there so that's my top pick. Not a bad collection of neons and they're easily accessible.

I'm pretty sure these are permanent colors, at least in my area. All the Milani displays have permanent shelves for the neons and the 3-D holo ones.

(Some of these were sent to me for review.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nubar Finest Silks Collection Winter 2010

I don't think this is intended to be a winter-themed or holiday-themed collection, it just happens to be being released for winter. More thoughts on this collection after the pictures!

Charmeuse. A soft coral-mauve creme. On the warm side. Looks like dark muted pink with some orangey tones. A little too dated for my tastes but it may look good on someone with a warmer skin tone.

Chiffon. Soft, muddy, mousy grey-taupe. Love these types of colors. Looks more grey in the picture than it does on me in real life- it's more tan toned in real life.

Marabout. Another gorgeous taupe-grey-muddy color. This one is darker than Chiffon, more purple toned (but not purple-looking) and less warm. This one seems to suit my skin tone better but they're both nice.

Moire. This is an odd color! It's a brown-toned medium pink nude... Very difficult to describe. It's fleshy and earthy. It's like coffee with cream mixed with the color of ham. It's breakfast colored!

Organza. Sheer pearly white shimmer. More of a pearl than a frost. Still has the same brushstroke issues as frosts do but it has that shiny, smooth pearl-like reflection on it. I'm sure this is meant to be worn sheer and I think it would actually look better sheer. I bet you could layer it to add shimmer to these colors as well.

Pekin. The lighter of the two reds in the collection. It's a medium bordering on dark red and it seems blue based to me.

Sateen. This is the darker of the two. It's a red wine color with a hint of brown undertone.

Taffeta. Soft warm milky brown with a touch of warm orange or pink in it. Not a pure milk chocolate color, it's more of a pink chocolate. Or perhaps... a brown peach? Skintone shade- most likely intended as a nude color for a deeper, warmer skintone than mine.

The formula on these was just perfect. Dreamy. Flawless, effortless application. Excellent coverage on all shades except Organza (I used three coats to build opacity, it's probably intended to be worh sheer). Drying time is good and I experienced no problems with the texture, application or brushes. The formula was really, really great, I am impressed with it more than I am with the colors....

These are all very soft, conservative, office-appropriate types of colors. Nothing fun or wild or attention-grabbing. I don't believe they were intended to be. Normally I would blast a collection for being this bland and safe, but in this specific instance I'm not going to. The press release states that they were aiming for a collection of timeless colors for every skintone with the benefit of a two-coat coverage formula, and that's exactly what they've created. Seems like Nubar is trying to expand their line lately- adding lots of shades in the same color family but with that lovely new formula. Reds, the greys, the greens, the corals, the purples, the browns....

I do like a couple of the colors- Chiffon and Marabout of course, but I'm also intrigued by Moire. While the collection doesn't suit my personal tastes, I gotta say that the formula was amazing. Their creme formula seems to have been perfected- comparable to Rescue Beauty Lounge's perfect creme formula. So, if you are looking for colors like these I'd recommend based on formula alone.

Though, I must say I was really looking forward to some sort of sparkly, glittery colorful winter/holiday type colors for their winter release.... I am a bit sad that they've done nudes and wines for the winter collection instead. Oh well... Maybe they'll have something more edgy and fun for Spring!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Preview of Finger Paints Winter Dreams Collection Winter/Holiday 2010

Oooh these look really good... I love Finger Paints' holiday collections... *drool*

Mulberry Madness - Holly Good Times - Mistletoe Mischief - Winter Wishes - Just Plum Fun - Merry Mittens.

I don't know for sure if the names are in order, but they seem to line up!

Available at Sally Beauty in November!

Monday, October 18, 2010

China Glaze 'Tis The Season To Be Naughty And Nice Collection Winter/Holiday 2010 Swatches and Review

Sorry it's taken me so long to get this posted... I've been having some difficulties. Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things soon!

What a pretty holiday collection. Makes me feel all cozy and happy.

Cheers To You. Standard silver foil. Very pretty but nothing unique.

Frosty. Such a gorgeous white. It's a semi-sheer white similar to something like Zoya Ginessa- made of shiny white particles in a somewhat milky base. It's just so sparkly and pretty and soft and delicate, even slightly iridescent- see how some of the shimmer pearls change color on the nail? Love this one, it's fantastic.

Jingle Bells. Halfway between a chrome and a foil, more on the foil side. Shiny and reflective. A neutral light gold bordering on champagne.

Jolly Holly. Incredibly gorgeous rich forest green shimmer. The pigmentation is amazing on this one, it's a one-coater even though I did two for the picture. I adore this. It looks really good topped with a layer of Party Hearty, too.

Little Drummer Boy. Soft dark navy shimmer. It's less saturated than a lot of other navy shimmers and it gives it a really soft and sort of faded look- like denim. Great pigmentation on this, too.

Midnight Kiss. Light blonde gold foil. Very festive. A little bit patchy but evens out nicely with two thick coats or three thin coats.

Mistletoe Kisses. This seems pretty unique, I can't think of many other colors like this. It's a silvery green glitter, or perhaps both green and silver glitter together. It looks much lighter than I expected, but that's not a bad thing. It reminds me of those Christmas wreaths with the plastic holly leaves that are coated in this sugar-looking crystalline substance- it's supposed to look like snow on the leaves? Light and sparkly.

Mommy Kissing Santa. Rich red shimmer. Velvety looking. Another one that's not terribly original but still pretty.

Mrs. Claus. A light red tinted base with light silvery red glitter. Different from the usual Ruby Pumps-esqe red glitter. This one looks softer and lighter than most red glitters. It reminds me of the one Color Club did in the mini set for Christmas last year.

Naughty And Nice. Very very dark plum purple. Blackened plum. At one coat it's obviously purple, at two it becomes more black. Similar to OPI William Tell Me About OPI and Essie Velvet Voyeur and all the other blackened-plum shades that were released this fall.

Party Hearty. My favorite. I've worn this four times since I got it and I still love it. It's silver small glitter with larger red and green glitter in a clear base. Fantastic for layering. Good on its own, too, as you can see here. This is two coats, three would have been more opaque but this actually looks good with a little nail showing through.

Peace On Earth. AWESOME! An olive green shimmer! Golden threads running through soft olive green. I'm absolutely ecstatic about this one. It reminds me of the long-gone Cat's Eye shade! Darker and less frosty, though, so definitely improved.

Phat Santa. A maraschino cherry red creme. Very glamorous. This is the darker of the two reds.

Ruby Deer. The lighter of the two reds. This one is more of a tomato-red, closer to something like Zoya America to give you an idea.

Snow. Plain white creme. Dries very glossy and isn't the least bit chalky. Very soft. A little streaky, I needed three coats and that's what's pictured here.

Sugar Plums. A cousin to the discontinued yet beloved Crystal Ball shade. This is a red-plum or burgundy shimmer with teeny tiny itty bitty holo glitter particles. Click the pictures to see them better. You can see them pretty well in the bottle especially.

Here's how Party Hearty looks layered over a foil and a creme:

Party Hearty (one coat) over Midnight Kiss.

Party Hearty (one coat) over Phat Santa.

Lovely, right? Super Christmassy! I'm totally into this color! Anything that reminds me of a holiday. Love. Though, I have noticed that it's gotten thicker each time I've used it. You may need to thin it every now and then to keep it smooth.

The formula on these was varied but good. The plain shimmers were extremely pigmented, a little thick, but nice and smooth. The glitters were a little thick, but that's normal for glitters. The whites and the foils were slightly sheer, I did three coats and that was fine for them. The cremes were smooth and nicely pigmented. Drying time on all is excellent, very quick. China Glaze used to dry very slowly for me but their formula has improved a lot over the years.

Are all the colors unique? No, not really. Red cremes, red shimmer, gold and silver foil, blackened purple creme... all quite common shades. However, all the colors are nice, all the colors are pretty to look at and they all seem to go well together in the collection. None of them are ugly! Yay! I think it's a very appropriate Holiday-themed collection with a few unexpected surprises thrown in. I approve. The greens are especially gorgeous.

These are available online already and they should be in stores sometime in November- individially and also packaged as really cute gift sets.

(These were sent to me for review.)