Thursday, May 26, 2011

Random LORAC Multiplex post

I just realized that I'm only one shade away from having all the Multiplex 3D colors! I'm obsessed with these things. The only one I'm missing now is Untamed... Ooh and then when I have them all, I can do one post with every shade swatched and feel like I've actually ~completed~ something....

Thought this picture looked really pretty. For reference, the shades are (top to bottom): Polished, Vivid, Cliche, 4-D, Ulta Glam, Intermix and 3-D. I think the best ones are Vivid and Ulta Glam and 4-D is my least favorite.

I love these. The end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Zoya Touch Collection - Nudes for Summer 2011

Here's another little mini-collection from Zoya for summer. It's not particularly summery or exciting color-wise, it's more of an addition to the Zoya color wardrobe. The intention of this collection is to provide the perfect opaque nude for each skin tone. These are like foundation shades; you pick the one that compliments the undertones in your skin. What's nice about these is you aren't necessarily trying to match your exact skin color (like the 'mannequin hands' manicure), just finding which nude meshes well with your skin, so the right shade can work on anyone from dark to fair skin colors.

There are three shades:

Minka. This is a very light beige nude that has a strong yellow undertone. This is good if you have a lot of yellow or green undertones in your skin, but I'm pretty cool toned and this still looks good on me. In fact, I think it's my favorite of the three because of the yellow in it. There's a bit of a pearl finish to it (think a more subtle version of the pearl on Zoya Pasha) to keep it from being chalky.

Pandora. This one is more of a cool pink with mauvey, beigey, almost ashy tones in it. Same pearl finish as Minka. This is the coolest toned one in the trio, but it's not excessively cool toned, it seems just a touch too blue based to be called neutral.

Shay. Shay is a warm peach-beige. More peachy than beige and against my skin it looks to have some warm sandy, earthy tones in it. Hint of a silvery pearl finish like the others.

The formula on these is great. These are meant to be full coverage nudes and they are. Very dense, opaque, pigmented colors. I've done two coats in these pictures, plus topcoat to bring out the pearliness. The colors are very dense and pigmented, to they're on the thick side. The drying time is good despite the thickness. They don't dry entirely glossy, but there's no reason you should be skipping topcoat, so this is a little irrelevant... Just thought it was worth mentioning.

So, if you're looking for a good, opaque nude that goes well with your skin color, these may be what you're looking for. They can be worn by light, dark and every skin color in between, just go with which one seems to look most natural with your undertones. I'd recommend getting spoons of these if you're shopping for nude shades.

The pre-order on these is open today on and they should ship by the first week of June.

(These were sent to me for review.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - Cut It Out

These seem to be the hot thing now... You know, these full cover nail strips... I'm seeing them everywhere, which is good 'cause they're a great idea. Nail art that requires almost no effort and lasts over a week without chipping. The most accessible of these nail appliques is the Sally Hansen line of Salon Effects strips which are available at all drugstores. I picked up a few of these a while back and hadn't tried them. Then I was sent this design and I thought it would be perfect for a low-maintenance Easter manicure, so I finally tried them and here are my results...

This design is called Cut It Out and it's a random arrangement of flowers and leaves in black against a white base. This photos was taken immediately after application. No topcoat.

The application of these is a little involved but not terribly difficult. If you've used Incoco strips, the application is pretty much the same, but if not, I'll explain it briefly.

The strips are pre-cut and come in two sealed blister packs inside the box. You do have to use both to get all the sizes you need for your manicure. At least I did. If you have wider nails, you might not need to open both sealed sets.

After removing all your nail polish and cleaning your nails (buffing is recommended on the package but I don't recommend it unless you have severe ridges), you select sizes that match your nail size and cuticle shape. One end of the strip is very curved, the other is more flat so you can get a better fit to your natural cuticle shape.

Once you select strips for all ten nails, you take the protective sheets off the back and end of the strip and align the bottom of the strip with your cuticle. Like the Incoco strips, you have to stretch them a little to eliminate wrinkles. So, once you've adhered the cuticle end onto your nail, you pull gently from the free edge of the strip while pressing and smoothing the rest of the strip against the nail, cuticle to free edge. This sounds more complicated than it is.

Once it's applied, you'll have some excess hanging over the edge of your nail. Use the included buffer/file and file vertically downwards (hold the file perpendicular to your nail instead of parallel) to remove the excess without peeling it up at the edges. If you file side to side like normal, it may cause it to peel up at the corners.

There's no dry time and since they're made of nail polish, you can remove them with nail polish remover when you're done wearing them. You can add topcoat for shine and it may extend the wear slightly, but I didn't and it's not necessary.

Compared to Incoco, these are thicker and not as flexible and there are not enough small sizes.

These do last a really long time and they don't chip, but there are a few downsides to them.

  • The free edge always feels a little funny, like the strips are going to lift or peel. They don't feel smooth at the free edge.
  • They don't seem to stick very well at the cuticle. For me, they peeled at the cuticles and would catch and lift when washing my hair... Very odd sensation.
  • There were not enough sides to perfectly fit my nails. There weren't any sizes in between 'too thin' and 'too wide'. If you have smaller nails and narrower nail beds, you may have the same problem I did.
  • They're a little thick and not as pliable as I was expecting, so it's harder to smooth out wrinkles and easier to tear them.
  • They're a bit pricey at $10 for one manicure. A bottle of nail polish is about $9 for 30+ manicures, but a manicure with nail art will cost $20 or more at a salon, so 'pricey' is relative, I suppose.
I wore mine for a week but I took this picture after five days:

No chipping but a decent amount of tipwear and slight outgrowth. You can see where they've lifted and torn off at the cuticle. In these pictures you can also tell which strips didn't quite match up with my natural nail shape, so there's either space or overlap on the sides.

One thing that I was quite surprised by was that they didn't get stained with Easter egg dye! Coloring Easter eggs normally destroys my manicure, but even the white base of these didn't get stained.

Another thing that I liked was that the large sized strips were the perfect size to fit my big toe, so you can have a coordinated pedicure. None of the strips really fit the rest of my toenails, but you can paint them in a coordinating color and it still looks cool. I'm still wearing these on my toes and they're in perfect condition except for a little outgrowth. You could probably wear these all summer and not have to redo your pedi.

Once you open the strips, you can't use them again. They start to dry out as soon as the seal is broken. I did find that they were still sticky enough to use two days later, but they wouldn't fully adhere. If you apply topcoat over the partially adhered strips, it will melt them just enough to get them to stay. That's how I did my toes. But you will end up throwing out half of the strips after your manicure just because there will be leftovers and they'll dry out.

There are a bunch of cool designs in the line, but some of them seem too plain to be worth $10. There are some solid colors and glitters and there are some designs like this one that can be duplicated or approximated with Konad. My top picks are Laced Up, Skinny Jeans, Girl Flower and Fly With Me.

So, overall, they're pretty nice: they last longer than nail polish, there are some really cool designs, they're easy to find and you can do them at home. Great for vacations, holidays and special events because you can have a cool manicure without having to book a salon appointment, touch it up or worry about it for about a week. Especially good for travel because there's no liquid or glass and you can put them in your carry-on. Application is a little involved but not necessarily hard. It may take you a few tries to get the hang of it.

And just yesterday I noticed a new display of designs at CVS. I can't remember what they were... but I haven't seen them anywhere other than CVS. I'll have to go take a closer look at them.

(This design was sent to me for review.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Makeup Monday: Smashbox Spring 2011 In Bloom Collection Limitless Long Wearing Gloss

Smashbox's Friends and Family sale starts today. Use code FF2011 at checkout on to get 20% off your order (and free shipping like usual). Sale ends 5/27/2011.

In honor of the sale, I thought I should finally post my review of the new Smashbox Limitless Long Wearing Gloss. I have the two shades from the In Bloom spring collection, Endless Kiss and Timeless.

On the top is Endless Kiss and Timeless is on the bottom. Endless Kiss is a light pink-orange coral with very subtle gold shimmer and Timeless is a warm shade somewhere in between peach and caramel with subtle silver shimmer.

The Limitless Long Wear gloss comes with a slanted and very elongated doe foot applicator. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the sponge tip part is nearly two times the length of an average doe foot applicator (like MAC Lipglass, for reference).

Here are the glosses applied heavily on the back of my hand. Endless Kiss on the left, Timeless on the right. The shimmer is more visible because of the flash, but it's not noticeable on the lips in daylight.

The formula on these is extremely thick and sticky. This is a long-wearing gloss formula that claims six hours of wear, so I can understand the stickiness, I just didn't expect it to have this texture. This is honestly one of the stickiest glosses I've ever used. Apart from the sticky texture, it makes this weird film on the lips that feels very strange when you rub your lips together. It's like molasses or something. Very, very odd sensation.

The scent is nice. I can't really think of what exactly it smells like... It's not quite fruity, but it's not perfumey/flowery. It's light and sweet, but not sugary candy sweet. Actually, it smells a little bit like suntan lotion, so maybe it's just the combination of SPF in the formula and the gloss base smell.

As for the long-wearing feature of the gloss, it is and it isn't. It claims six hours of shine, but that hasn't been shown true during my testing of this. For me, the shine was gone after an hour but the stickiness of the gloss lasted on my lips all day. So yes, it stays on forever, but you can't really tell by looking at it, just by the feel.

I'm pretty torn about this gloss. I love the idea of a long wearing gloss with SPF, especially for the summertime, but the formula and color intensity aren't what I expected.

My main issue with this gloss is that it's so SHEER. Against the pasty white skin on my hand, these colors look sort of bright, but on my lips they're nothing more than a faint tint. Both colors look the same on me and only add the tiniest hint of color. If I'm going to pay $22 for a gloss, I kinda want it to look like something, you know? I can get clear lip balm with SPF and a glossy finish for under $8, so a $22 gloss has to offer me more than SPF to make it worth buying.

I personally found the formula to be uncomfortable on my lips. It was just so sticky and not smooth, and it stays on your lips forever, even if you try to wipe it off. I hoped it would be a little more slick and glossy and not as glue-like.

I love that it has SPF. I remember reading an article somewhere that said the shiny/glossy finish of lipgloss on the lips can put you at more of a risk for skin cancer, just like using baby oil instead of sunscreen when tanning. That, and the skin on your lips is so delicate and sensitive that you want to use SPF just for comfort. My favorite SPF lip product has been Jack Black lip balm (love that stuff, SPF 25), so I hoped this gloss would be a colorful alternative to that. I still prefer the Jack Black balm.

That's just my take on these. Too sticky, too sheer, and leaves a long lasting film but not a long lasting shine. If these were less sheer I might be able to justify the price of them. I know there are other shades in the range, so maybe those have a bit more color to them, but these two shades are just too close to clear for me.

But, hey, if these sound like something you might like, they're on sale today!

(These were sent to me for review.)

Makeup Monday: Hourglass Cosmetics Extreme Sheen Lipgloss in Siren

This is now my third test of an Hourglass product and it only reinforces my opinion. Their formulas are great. The first Hourglass review I did was of the shadow and the Prodigy lipgloss and I was quite impressed. Today I have the Extreme Sheen lipgloss formula in the shade Siren and I'm more than impressed, I'm blown away.

The tube carries that luxurious feel that is present in the line's packaging. The heavy black chrome metal cap and the substantial tube with a subtle logo at the base. That dark mirror-shiny metal they use on their packaging is so gorgeous.

It comes with a brush wand applicator. The brush is a little small, but with this gloss, that's a good thing. This is such a bold color that you need a precise application and this small brush can achieve that. Normally brush applicators like this tend to get very messed up after a while- remember the brush from my Too Faced Glamour Gloss, how the bristles just splay out in every direction? I've used this a whole lot and the brush is still like new, so hopefully it stays that way.

If you think the packaging is gorgeous, wait until you see the gloss itself:

This shade is called Siren. Appropriate. This is the craziest, most gorgeous red gloss I've ever seen. It's a warm coppery red, borderline duochrome, with an insane reflective, mirror-like chrome finish.

It's so amazing on the lips. Here's a first...

I never do lip pictures because I can never make them look normal. All you bloggers who do amazing, normal-looking lip pictures where you're not making duck face or doing macro shots of your nose hair, I don't know how you do it. I salute you. I took nearly 100 pictures of this on my lips and couldn't even get one that looked decent enough to post. So, yeah, I know these extreme lip close-ups are a little creepy, but this gloss is so amazing on the lips I just had to try to show it. Do you see how reflective it is? It's bright and shiny and it glows like a neon sign.

The formula is just as nice as the color. It's thin but pigmented, completely non-sticky and smooth as silk. It doesn't dry my lips and it doesn't seem to migrate or bleed, even with this strong of a color.

Do you remember MAC Chromeglass from a few years back? This formula is really similar to that. Slick and smooth thin texture, mirror-shiny reflective finish, even that subtle metallic smell. The Hourglass Extreme Sheen Siren has a vanilla scent and taste that's even similar to the Chromeglass. Hourglass seems to be a more creamy, subtle, custardy sort of vanilla and the MAC is more of a sweet vanilla wafer vanilla.

The color is opaque and wears really well, and once it's worn off it leaves a slight reddish gold tint behind. It does not seem to stain my lips. My lips don't feel dry or irritated during or after wearing this. This is such a strong color that a lip liner would be beneficial, but I always wear it without one and it's fine. You may also want to use a separate lip brush for an even more precise application, but I'm able to get a pretty decent application with just the included brush wand.

I haven't tried any of the other shades of Extreme Sheen to compare formulas, but I'm pretty sure this is the only shade with the chrome metallic finish.

The price is steep at $28 for 0.12 fl oz, but I think this color is totally worth it. For me, at least. It's more expensive than most glosses, but this color is so much more interesting and special. I wouldn't pay $28 for a run-of-the-mill pink gloss, but for crazy flaming bright shiny chrome red I would. The formula is great, the packaging is really great, the color is amazing and it smells like vanilla. Oh yeah, I'd definitelty buy this again.

This one's available online at Sephora, but I'm pretty sure all the places that sell Hourglass carry the Extreme Sheen line.

(This was sent to me for review.)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Zoya Weekend Freebie

Wow, this must be your lucky weekend. There's another special starting today!


Limited time only
Get Zoya Dove and Zoya Caitlin FREE with ANY** purchase on!

Special Promotional Offer*!

Try the Zoya "French Twist" manicure created by Haven Spa for the Joy Cioci presentation at NYFW! For a limited time with any** purchase (excluding Zoya Color Spoons) on you get Zoya Nail Polish in Caitlin and Zoya Nail Polish in Dove for free!! Just enter the code ZB52 when you check out! These trend setting spring colors are MUST have in any collection! This offer is only good until Monday May 23 (11:59PM EST)! Act now and try the "twist" everyone is talking about!

*Online only, cannot be combined with any other offer , promotion or coupon. US ONLY. Promotion ends Monday May 23 at 11:59 PM EST. Offer good for 1(one) open stock .5 oz bottle of Zoya Caitlin and 1(one) .5oz bottle Zoya Dove with the purchase of any NON-SPOON item on Art of Beauty Inc. will not honor promotions that are submitted after promotion has ended - No exceptions. No exchanges. No returns. Worst case scenario please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. Comments, videos and pictures posted about this Zoya Nail Polish Exchange outside of or are not representative of the opinions of Zoya Nail Polish, Art of Beauty, Inc., Qtica and Qtica Smart Spa and we do not confirm the accuracy of any postings. Customers are responsible for maintaining active accounts. If username or password have been lost we (Art of Beauty, Inc.) are not responsible for restoring accounts or giving out any account information. S/H not included.

**offer excludes Zoya Color Spoons.

20% off at OC Nail Art!

I have a little weekend treat for you courtesy of OC Nail Art!

Use the coupon code scrangiemay at checkout to receive 20% off your order!
Free shipping on orders over $20 (after discounts) in Canada and US. Minimum order total for free shipping is $100 in Brazil and $60 everywhere else in the world. The coupon code expires at midnight on May 31, 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another look with the Kat Von D Angeles Palette

I don't know if this is two looks or one... How about one and a half? It's the same thing both times, I just did a slight variation on it the second time. Here's how I wore the Kat Von D Angeles palette for the past few days:

Ugh, my eye looks creepy in these pictures...

This one was:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Rehab on lid
Peggy in crease and outer half of lower lashline
Bukowski in inner crease to darken Peggy
Venus on lower lashline
MAC Vanilla highlight
Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss for liner
Benefit BADgal Lash mascara

I like the copper and the blue/turquoise together. Looks beachy.

And then I did:

I tried to get the duochrome sparkles to show up... can you tell? They flash green, blue/turquoise and pink.

This one was:
Urban Decay Greed Primer Potion (that's the gold shimmer one)
Rehab on center of lid
Morphine on top of Rehab
MAC Reflects Transparent Teal glitter on top of Morphine
Peggy in crease and inner lid
Bukowski to darken crease
Venus on lower lashline
Too much MAC Vanilla (the shadow, not the pigment) to highlight
Illamasqua Abyss liner

I wanted the sparkle from Morphine, but once I put it on it just wasn't sparkly enough. I added MAC Reflects Transparent Teal on top of Morphine which made an awesome base for the glitter. That's one use for the cream shadow. This is the first cream shadow in a Kat palette that I've actually been able to work into a look without it ruining everything. Morphine is very pretty, but now that I know it enhances duochrome glitter and prevents fallout, that's what I'm going to be using it for.

I've noticed that the Venus color stings my eyes. I try not to get shadow in my eyes, but this one seems like it's attracted to my eyeballs somehow. And when it gets in there, owwwwwwww stingy!!

That Illamasqua liner is awesome, by the way. It's waterproof but it's not freaky sticky like MAC Liquidlast. I'll do a review of that sometime soon. I've been trying to do nail art with it as recommended to me by Illamasqua, but my shaky hands are conspiring against me.

So, there's the blue half of the palette. Still haven't used Bellbottom yet. Hm. What to do with it?

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Polish Kit for Summer 2011

Hey, Urban Decay's doing nail polish again... This summer we have the 70's roller disco themed Rollergirl Nail Kit. I'm still waiting for the re-release of Toxin, Id, Bruise and all the rest of the old classics, but this will have to hold me over until then. I refuse to accept the possibility that that might not happen...

The Rollergirl Nail Kit is a set of six mini (5ml /0.17fl oz) polishes displayed in a floral-printed tray. The tray is pretty sturdy, but there's no lid or anything, so you will probably need to keep the plastic outer box to keep the bottles secure.

The back of the box. I like the combination of the hot pink with the shiny gold foil. Though, I must say... It reminds me of the wallpaper in my mother-in-law's house.

Fame. Faaaaame. Makes a man take things over. This shade is a pearly, frosty beige-nude with some little silver microglitter.

Love Train. This shade is a pearl white with a seashell/mother of pearl effect. It has subtle pink, green and gold duochrome at certain angles and you can bring out the duochrome more by layering this over a dark color. It is sheer at one coat but opaque at three.

Miss T. Gorgeous bright neon fuchsia with silver and violet pearl finish. You don't usually see brights with a pearl finish, so this one is pretty special. Apparently it's named after one of Wende Zomnir's friends, but part of me wonders if it's a nod to that line about Wende competing for Miss Texas as a teen. Purely speculation, of course... Speaking of brand history, the article that contains the Miss Texas comment also says this:

"One day, long ago, Sandy Lerner (cofounder of Cisco Systems) couldn't find the right shade of purple nail polish to satisfy her alternative make-up tastes. Her lamentations over the fact that there were 500 colors of pink polishes, but no greens or purples motivated her to create Urban Decay Cosmetics. A woman of action, Sandy teamed up with David Soward "the token suit" and Wende Zomnir "creative dynamo". They collectively unleashed her vision on the cosmetics world in January of 1996. The line of alternative colors, which began with 10 shades of lipstick and 12 shades of nail enamel, appeared in a memorable advertisement with the tagline, "Does Pink Make You Puke?""

Hmm, not enough greens or purples... I miss that Urban Decay. When the colors were edgy, not just the names. And now I've gone on a tangent. On to the next shade...

Superfreak. Light gold foil. I think Rick James would approve.

Woodstock. Bright neon pink creme. If this looks familiar, it's because it was also in the Summer of Love Nail Kit from last summer.

Xanadu. Man, Kubla Khan sure can decree some hot glitter polish. Sexy. Stately, even. Wow, that was bad. Really, really bad. Yikes. Anyway. This has a sheer purple base with different types of purple glitter. There's a little silvery lavender glitter to enhance the sparkle. Super awesome. Also very similar to the brand new Finger Paints Peaceful Purple shade.

The formula on these was thick. Woodstock and Miss T were the easiest to apply and the most opaque. I used three thick coats of each shade in these pictures. Xanadu, Love Train and Fame needed all three, the rest were opaque at two. The brushes are a little too short to hold enough polish for a smooth application, tilting the bottles helps. The drying time is average, except for Superfreak which dries lightning fast for some reason...

Overall, really nice mix of popular shades for summer, but most of the colors are a bit... dupe-able. Miss T and Xanadu are gorgeous and I really love the mother of pearl look of Love Train. The packaging is nice, but I have to say that I miss the cute glittery bags the previous two sets came with. I like sparkly bags!

This is currently available on Urban Decay's website, but I'm sure it'll soon show up at Sephora like the other sets did.

I know I'm not alone in begging for Urban to re-release all their vintage colors... Every time I hear they're going to do a new nail polish set I get this rush of hopeful excitement that maybe they'll put a couple of their original shades in it. Same for you? I want some vintage duochrome goodness... Oil Slick, Id, Asphalt, Bruise, TOXIN. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

(This was sent to me for review.)

OPI Pirates Of The Caribbean On Stranger Tides Collection Spring/Summer 2011

OPI's pre-summer "Brights" collection this year actually consists of... pastels? Pirate-themed pastels, to be exact. The OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection is a set of six pastels plus a silver crackle topcoat and the release is intended to coincide with the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides. I think the movie is in theaters tomorrow, so you can wear your matching manicure when you go see it! But I still can't picture Jack Sparrow in pastel pink nail polish. That would be kinda hot. Okay, better get to the review now.

Mermaid's Tears. Smooth, dusty turquoise creme. At first I thought this might look like MAC Peppermint Patti, but this is much more soft and faded/muted/dusty looking and a lot more blue toned.

Planks A Lot. Pretty much your standard medium blue-based lavender creme. I like this shade, and these types of pastel purple shades in general, but there's not really anything that sets this particular polish apart from any of the other eighty bajillion lavender cremes out there.

Skull And Glossbones. Ghostly light grey creme. This looks so spooky, I love it! It's like a nail polish a ghost might wear! It's elegant and edgy at the same time, but it's unexpected because it's light grey and not a traditional color. This shade of grey seems warmer / has less blue than other pastel greys I have and that makes it easier for me to wear. I'm going to call it neutral, though- it doesn't seem strongly warm or cool toned. Really, really love this.

Sparrow Me The Drama. A rather interesting pink. I think it looks different on the nail than it does in the bottle. I'm trying to think of how to describe this.... Antique bubblegum pink? It's a bright color but at the same time has that dusty dirty softened look that keeps it from being a clean bright. There's a bit of violet in it, which makes it easier for me to wear than other pinks. Didn't think I'd like this one as much as I do!

Steady As She Rose. Another fascinating color... This seems more purple in the picture, but in sunlight it seems more pink based. It's like a very, very greyed-out lilac with a slight warm undertone. Again, I didn't think I'd like this one as much as I do! Just goes to show... promo pictures can be deceiving.

Stranger Tides. A dirty grey-green creme. Ooh, murky! Murky greens are the best! This one does remind me of Essie Da Bush, but it seems like there's more color to it, like it's not as faded looking. I'll have to compare. I like them both. The green in this is stronger than the grey.

This release includes a brand new shade of OPI Shatter topcoat: Silver Shatter. It is gorgeous and it goes perfectly with all the shades in this set:

OPI Silver Shatter over Mermaid's Tears.

Silver Shatter over Planks A Lot.

Silver Shatter over Skull and Glossbones.

Silver Shatter over Sparrow Me The Drama.

Silver Shatter over Steady As She Rose.

Silver Shatter over Stranger Tides.

It doesn't look very impressive from the pictures because there's not enough contrast between the light base colors and the shiny silver, but these look awesome in real life. The silver is so sparkly, it looks like it's diamond-encrusted. Over the pastel shades it's just SO pretty, especially over Steady As She Rose. The silver shatter is one of the prettiest crackle colors I've seen.

The formula on these was excellent. I had no application problems at all. Not all of the colors were evenly opaque, so I did three coats of all. Drying time was good and they're shiny even without topcoat. The Silver Shatter applies well, but it has a tendency thicken in the bottle neck, so keep the bottle closed as much as possible- don't leave it open too long. The brushes still seem more blunt and square and a bit skinnier than the original Pro-Wide brushes.

Overall, I like this whole collection more than I thought I would. I've been really overloaded on pastels (and crackles, for that matter) lately but the murky, dirty, greyed shades in this collection are really pretty. I do think it's odd that the brights collection for this year isn't bright. My main complaint is that Planks A Lot looks too much like so many other colors... I wish they would have done a dirtier purple, or a completely different color altogether, like a dirty yellow pastel. Silver Shatter is fantastic, though... Looks great over anything. They did a good job on that one.

(This was sent to me for review.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

BB Couture Wild West Collection - The Men

Here's the men's half of the BB Couture Wild West collection. All these shades are from the BB Couture For Men line. BB Couture For Men was created for men, but they're pretty much the same formula (or at least seem that way to me) as the regular line. I'm sure you're already familiar with the line, so I'll just get to the pictures...

Gunfighter. A dark denim blue with silver metallic shimmer. Halfway between a shimmer and a foil. Has a muted, faded denim look to it. Just like in the last collection, this reminds me of those old discontinued Maybelline denim polishes, so it makes me feel all nostalgic.

Outlaw. This one is almost identical to Laced Corset from the other half of the collection. The tone is slightly cooler and it's a little more shimmery, but other than that there's not too much of a difference. I adore that red glitter.

Posse. Really nice olive green shade. Has a very light gold, maybe more of a champagne colored shimmer that's very fine, almost fine enough to be a frost. Has a sort of dirty antique look to it.

Rustler. Warm earthy brown creme.

Sundance. Bright! It's a red-orange shimmer, and the shimmer is so light and shiny that it makes the whole color glow. Very noticeable color.

It wasn't until I was finished swatching that I realized I'm missing one of the colors in this collection. Somehow I got two Gunfighters instead of whatever other color is supposed to be here. I was wondering why there were two colors so similar in the same collection....

The formula on these was slightly thicker and more opaque than the colors in the ladies collection. None of the colors in this collection were watery, but Posse was thinner than the others. I did three coats of all. Dry time was good, wear time is good. Brushes were nice and even.

So, overall, the entire Wild West Collection... I'm not really blown away with the color selection, to be honest. I like the Men's collection better than the Women's, but nothing besides Laced Corset / Outlaw really jumps out at me. The greens and blues are very nice, but they seem too close to other previous BB Couture shades so they don't feel new or different to me. The red glitter in Laced Corset and Outlaw is brilliant, though. It really looks spectacular and I'd totally recommend seeing it for yourself.

Also, there's none of that pretty golden green BB Couture glitter in this collection! I always look forward to that glitter from them. It's like their signature, no one else seems to use that kind of glitter.

(These were sent to me for review.)