Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chanel Le Vernis 531 Peridot (Limited Edition, Illusions d'Ombres Collection Fall 2011)

I caved. I ordered Chanel Peridot. I couldn't resist it. Chanel purchases are always the source of much internal conflict for me- I'm lured in by the color, but then I'm let down by the instantaneous chipping and ridiculous price. I can't always justify spending $25 on one single polish that will undoubtedly chip within the first four hours of wear... But this time, I'm glad I splurged.

For your viewing pleasure, the lovely Chanel Peridot.

Peridot looks like a very strong duochrome in the bottle, with the two main colors being olive-gold and blue-green. Sometimes with these types of colors, the duochrome is only visible in the bottle and doesn't translate on the nail. In this case it does, albeit not quite so strongly. It shifts from olive and gold to a grassy green, from green to an aqua blue, and then to a golden orange and a hint of red.

I didn't like this at first. When it was freshly applied, it was streaky and had no duochrome effect. As it dried, the frosty streaks disappeared and the multichromatic aspect of the polish intensified. It constantly changes with each movement of my hands; watching myself type is currently very amusing.

I'm normally not a fan of Chanel's formula, brushes or application, but Peridot has a much better formula than any of my other Chanels. It's opaque in one coat and isn't overly thick or runny. It is a streaky, frosty mess while you're applying it, but once it dries the majority of the streaky frostiness disappears. It does take a rather long time to dry just like all the other Chanels I've used.

The color is really something else. You know what it reminds me of?

Peridot has that shiny green-gold-blue-red metallic color that I admire on beetles and houseflies. Such beautiful little creatures.

I've been wearing Peridot since about seven o'clock yesterday evening and so far it hasn't chipped. That's a record for me and Chanel polish, so hopefully it's a sign of improved formula!

Milani Nail Art Lacquer in Purple Outline

You know... I've had this swatch sitting in my 'to be posted' folder for well over a year and I'm not sure why I've never posted it. It's a freakin' amazing color, even though it's crazy to apply.

Milani Nail Art Lacquer in Purple Outline. The reason this is so crazy to apply is... it's a striper polish. It has a 'precision brush', which is code for 'impossibly skinny and floppy'. It's intended for nail art- outlines, swooshes, french tips, that sort of thing- not necessarily to be worn as a regular polish. They really should make this in a normal bottle with a normal brush cause it's super gorgeous. It's a bright purple creme with blue, purple and pink glitter. Sorta like a not as bright, soft demure version of China Glaze Flying Dragon (which is a must-have color, if you ask me). Painting my entire nail with that skinny striper brush is a bit of an ordeal, but the end result is worth it. Such a great color. Yeah, it's good for nail art, too... But why would I want to limit myself to a few lines of this when I can have it on my entire nail?

LORAC Limited Edition Hot Off The Red Carpet Kit Summer 2011

Remember that awesome bag from the LORAC Multidimensional Beauty kit that came out this spring? Well, they've just released another one for summer, but sadly this one isn't a crazy holo-multichrome color like the last one. This one is shiny gold, though, and it's pretty sweet despite not being holo. Those fish scale-esque metal plates are really fascinating and so shiny. Oh yeah.. it also comes with makeup in it!

This one's called the Hot Off The Red Carpet kit, and it includes:

  • The awesome bag, naturally.
  • Tempt Me Baked Mineral Eyeshadow Duo (gilded ivory/brown)
  • Tease Me Baked Mineral Eyeshadow Duo (bronze/blue)
  • TANtalize Me Baked Bronzer
  • Multiplex 3D Lipgloss in 3D

Here's the Multiplex gloss in 3D. You've probably seen this one before. Nevertheless, it's an amazing color, so it's not so bad that they've included this one.

Two shadow duos for four shadow shades total plus one TANtalizer Baked Bronzer in TANtalize Me (exclusive shade). The bronzer doubles as a gorgeous glowy eyeshadow, too.

Baked Mineral Eye Shadow Duo in Tease Me. The left half is a super shiny/reflective metallic copper/bronze shade and the right half is a pale blue/seafoam duochrome shimmer.

Baked Mineral Eye Shadow Duo in Tempt Me. The left half is a very light ivory or pale champagne with gold highlights and the right half is a rich neutral dark brown with a hint of plum shimmer.

TANtalizer Baked Bronzer in TANtalize Me. This is so cool. It's a light white gold shimmer swirled with bronze and rose gold. Reminds me of this old brand I used to see at Ulta- Ultima III I think it was called?- they always did these cool duochrome swirly things.

Swatched with fingers over bare skin: Tempt Me, Tease Me, TANtalize Me, 3D.

I'm actually really impressed with the quality of the baked items. Normally I'm not a fan of baked eyeshadows because they tend to be flaky, poorly pigmented and weird to apply, but not these. These are super pigmented, soft, smooth, easily blendable, great payoff and very shiny looking. All the shades apply like a dream and look very light and bright on the eyes.

The Baked Bronzer is also incredible. It's not overly pigmented so it doesn't apply too strong or streaky. It is shimmery, but the good kind of shimmer. When this is applied, the shimmer makes your skin glow (not look greasy or glittery) and the color is extremely flattering and natural on my pale, cool-toned complexion. I love the smooth, glowing, airbrushed perfect cheekbones look it gives me and it's not muddy or overly shiny, it's absolutely perfect. If it looks good on me without a tan, I can only imagine how flattering and gorgeous it will look on someone with a tan or someone with a dark, warm skintone.

You already know how much I like the Multiplex glosses, and I've already reviewed the 3D shade at least twice on here, so not much to say about that. Cool color, good formula, love the smell.

I did a really quick look with this using only my fingers for the most part:
This was:

LORAC Behind The Scenes Eye Primer
Tempt Me (left side) on lid
Tempt Me (right side) in crease
Tease Me (right side) on lower lashline (applied with a small brush)
Stila Smudgestick in Damsel as liner
I don't remember which mascara I'm wearing

This is an extremely quick (two minutes flat), simple, easy look you can do with these shades using almost no tools at all- just (clean) fingers. The blue shade really compliments the browns and bronzes in this set. I didn't think I was going to like it because light blue and I don't get along, but it looks so pretty and breezy that I've grown fond of it.

Overall, I think this is a great summer set. The quality of all the items is top notch, even better than any LORAC shadow I've tried so far (I'm still a bit of a LORAC newbie), the colors are wearable, flattering and fun and the value is very good. Every item in the set is full size. The Hot Off The Red Carpet kit is $36. The Multiplex gloss is $22 by itself, the TANtalizer Bronzer is $32- so even without the eyeshadows it's already a good deal. Plus, you get that kick ass gold bag. So, yeah, it's pretty much a steal. I'd buy this again.

This set only seems to be available on LORAC's website and it retails for $36 (a $104 value). It is limited edition.

(This was sent to me for review.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Essie 2011 Bridal Collection Swatches

Normally Bridal collections are a mess of sheer, watery pinks and lifeless off-whites... Essie managed to actually throw some fun color into their Bridal collection this year! And nothing too sheer. This is the best Bridal collection I've seen. That said, it's still a little on the traditional side...

Better Together. The obligatory pale pink. It's sheer, but it's not too sheer, which is a pleasant surprise. You can wear it at one or two coats for a sheer wash of color, or at four coats for an opaque milky pink look like I'm wearing here. This is actually a pretty flattering color. Normally I feel like super pale whites and pinks suck the life out of your hands, but this looks surprisingly fresh and cute.

Borrowed And Blue. I'm seeing more and more of this blue bridal nail polish trend and I think I'm liking it. This one is a pastel sky blue, more of a baby blue really, but with a very dense milky white base. This color gives me major lobster hands, but I'd still wear it. Sky blue polishes always remind me of the 90s- the decade of excellent nail polish. Pretty sure I still have my original bottle of Hard Candy Sky somewhere around here...

First Dance. Whoa baby. Flaming bright red. In a bridal collection? Naughty, naughty. Is the name supposed to be some sort of innuendo? I like it. This is an excellent red, too. I've really been fond of these retro pinup girl cherry red cremes lately.

Made To Honor. And here we have the very traditional bridal nude. It's also a sheer, but here at four coats, it's mostly opaque, and even looks a bit jelly-like to me. This has a beige base to it, unlike Better Together which is pure pink. This is really fleshy looking.

The formula on these was decent. It varied between colors- Better Together and Made To Honor were a little runny and unwieldy, First Dance was absolute perfection, practically applied itself, and Borrowed and Blue was streaky on the first coat but nice and perfectly opaque and even at three. The brushes were good, very easy to control and get a nice even curve with them. Dry time was great.

Overall, it's still a bridal collection, but it's a step in a new direction. Sheer pinks and whites are traditional and appropriate for bridal collections, but more and more brides are going with fun colors of their own choosing instead of the seemingly required bleh cliche french manicure. This small collection has its expected sheer pinks, but it also has a bridal blue- you know, for 'something blue', and an audacious bright red. Love that.

(This was sent to me for review.)

Lippmann News (Fall, Winter, Anniversary 2011)

A little preview of upcoming Deborah Lippmann collections, fresh from my inbox!


I have worked directly with some of the world’s top fashion designers on everything from ad campaigns to fashion shows. When I set out to select nail looks for the fall 2011 collections, I noticed a common theme among all of my collaborators: warmth. The clothes featured vivid, lush earth tones—think lush greens, rich reds and intense golds.

I wanted to capture a similar heat and earthiness in the accompanying polishes, but with an added punch. BILLIONAIRE, a moody hunter green, BRICK HOUSE, a shimmering rust, and SINGLE LADIES, a flirtatious red, all have warm undertones, which give them a beautiful intensity, but also have a jewel-like quality so they really make nails pop.


Billionaire: moody hunter green (creme)

Brick House: shimmering rust (shimmer)

Single Ladies: flirtatious red (creme)


Just in time for the holiday season,
Deborah Lippmann Gets the Party started

Nothing says ‘Party’ like the magnetic sparkle of glitter. So for the biggest party season of the year, I’ve created shades that truly dazzle. Get This Party Started, a set of three glitters, was inspired by the overwhelming demand for my best selling Happy Birthday, a glittery party in a bottle. The set includes Happy Birthday, along with two new variations of the sparkling shade: Forget You and Candy Shop. They’re both packed with the same unique hexagon-shaped glitter that gives Happy Birthday its magnificent glint, only Forget You has a sheer black base and Candy Shop a bubblegum pink.

I love how festive all three look and feel, whether wrapped a round a champagne glass or peeping out of a glamorous pump. But what I truly love the most: how a few coats of any shade instantly transform you into the life of the party.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: a party in a bottle (glitter)
FORGET YOU: party all night (glitter)
CANDY SHOP: bubblegum pink (glitter)



Deborah Lippmann’s new shade, STORMY WEATHER, is a collaboration with fashion
designer Narciso Rodriguez.

Usually Narciso requests a nude nail to complement his minimalist designs, but for fall 2011 around he wanted something bolder—a color with strength and edge to offset both his collection and the softness of the hair and makeup. For the perfect custom finish, I mixed (and mixed) a new shade by hand in just 24 hours. The final product: an edgy granite that emanated power and intensity. The models who walked the show (and who rarely, if ever, comment on the nail color) gushed over the shade. And so STORMY WEATHER was born an edgy granite (crème) for a strong fall statement.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Summer 2011 Collection Swatches and Review

This Deborah Lippmann collection surprised me. At first glance, only the blue (I Know What Boys Like) caught my eye and the rest looked nice but nothing special. When I saw them in person, I knew I was totally wrong. They are all special.

Girls Just Want To Have Fun. This is a light, bright pink-toned coral pseudo-jelly. I say pseudo-jelly because it's too opaque to be a true jelly but somehow is still has that squishy jelly-finish look. My skintone makes this pull a little more orange than it looks in the bottle- it seems more pink toned until I put it on. This is really fresh and pretty looking and I love the squishy candy-like look of it.

I Know What Boys Like. This is just an amazing color, I can't even tell you. It's the most fascinating shape-shifting sort of color... In some lights it looks like a dusty deep periwinkle blue, but in other lights it has a distinct purple tone to it. It has a softness, a sort of dusty/muted look that makes it not so bright and in your face as expected, but it's such an unusual shade that it's still an attention grabber.

Lara's Theme. This is an orange creme. It's a medium saturated orange with some warm yellow tones to it, and it's bright but not neon. It looks a little darker on the nail than it does in the bottle. This is the one that really blew me away. I like orange polish to begin with so I knew I was going to like this, but I wasn't expecting it to be this good. For one, it's the perfect year-round orange- it's not obnoxiously neon or too Halloweeny (as much as I love neons and Halloween) so it doesn't seem limited to one season. But the best part is the formula. It's completely opaque in one coat. One-coaters are pretty rare. This is extremely dense and pigmented, and if there ever was an orange worth $16, it's this one.

Yellow Brick Road. This is a sunny yellow jelly. I know what you're thinking.... yellow jelly. That sounds like a disaster. I thought that at first, with images of freaky, stained looking yellow-tinted nails in my head. But, happily (and surprisingly), this polish works. It's fantastic. It's not as sheer as I thought it might be, but it's sheer enough to maintain that squishy, not-quite-opaque jelly depth without visible nail line. The end result is this bright, cheerful custard yellow creme that just makes you want to smile. This is only three coats and you can't see nail through it. Doesn't it look so happy? Like Marshmallow Peeps, or even better, real baby chicks with fluffy yellow feathers.

The formula on these was perfect. Each was different but provided no difficulties in application. Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Yellow Brick Road are three coats, Lara's Theme and I Know What Boys Like are two. All were on the thick side but applied evenly without drips or bubbles. Good dry time, good wear time, zero complaints on the formula.

These were not the plain cremes I thought they would be. The fun, vibrant color combined with the jelly finishes on some and the super creamy density of the others really keeps these from being ordinary. I'm impressed with the formula, the colors and, as always, with the gorgeous bottles. They really feel like a luxury polish. For $16 a piece, they better feel luxurious! These do. I'm impressed.

These are available now at all the various places that sell Deborah Lippmann / Lippmann Collection, or directly from Deborah's website. I do not believe any of these shades are limited edition; feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

(These were sent to me for review.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pixi Beauty Week of Wakeup Makeup Palette

I got an email from Hautelook saying that Pixi and Pop were going to be on special this week (tomorrow, actually) and I thought I should post this review just in case this item is part of the deal. It's a really cool palette. I like the concept a lot!

It's a cardboard box style palette about the size of a hardcover book. The top flap opens up like so, and each side houses a pull-out drawer. The palette consists of seven pre-coordinated makeup looks- shadow, blush and lipstick/lipgloss- one for each day of the week.

The top flap contains Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- three shadows, a blush and two lipsticks each.

The left drawer has Monday and Tuesday, each with three shadows and a blush but sharing one lip color. The right side has Saturday and Sunday.

I haven't swatched or used all of the shades in the palette yet, but I have worn some of the shades and here's what I can tell you.

The pigmentation is decent but not great. The shades I've tried (Saturday and Sunday's shadows and blush) apply well and last most of the day, but are a little powdery and apply lighter in color than they appear in the pan. I would have preferred a little more payoff and a denser texture, but for what it is, it's not bad. The blush is a little hard and powdery but is easy to apply and gives a nice sheer, subtle, non-streaky color. Overdoing it on the blush can cause it to look a bit powdery, so be sure to buff/blend it well.

I have not used the lipsticks on my lips, but from what I can tell, they are more dense than gloss, more creamy than straight lipstick in texture and unscented.

The colors are neutral enough to be worn by a wide variety of skintones and there's nothing extreme in the palette.

The main downside of this palette is that the shadows are just so SMALL! It's hard to get a brush in there. They're smaller than dime sized.

What I think is awesome about this palette is that there's so much makeup packed in such a compact space. This is perfect for someone who travels a lot or someone who doesn't have much makeup space- especially for a student living in a dorm. You also don't have to think about anything, all the colors are matched for you. Sure, you can mix and match, but it's nice to know that you don't have to when you're in a hurry. One more observation- this would make an awesome gift for a girl of any age. The colors are light and neutral enough for someone who's just starting to wear makeup but bold enough for someone with a bit more skill. I know I would love to receive something like this as a gift. And it won't break the bank, either.

The palette is cute, has a nice, convenient design and the colors are all really pretty. I wish the shadows were just a tad bigger for easier application, but that's just a personal preference.

Target has been carrying Pixi Beauty for a while now and I saw this palette there just last weekend. You can also get it from Pixi's website if you prefer to order online (Target carries it online as well). The Week of Wakeup Makeup palette retails for a very reasonable $34.

For reference, here's the full list of ingredients:
Eye Shadow Ingredients: Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Polybutene, Isopropyl Myristate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate. May Contain: [+/- Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Mica & Iron Oxides (CI 77019, CI 77491), Mica & Titanium Dioxide (CI 77019, CI 77891), Mica & Titanium Dioxide & Tin Oxide (CI 77019, CI 77891), Mica & Titanium Dioxide & Iron Oxides (CI 77019, CI 77891, CI 77491)].

Cheek Powder Ingredients: Mica, Magnesium Stearate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Polybutene, Isopropyl Myristate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate. May Contain: [+/- Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Mica & Iron Oxides (CI 77019, CI 77491), Mica & Titanium Dioxide (CI 77019, CI 77891), Mica & Titanium Dioxide & Tin Oxide (CI 77019, CI 77891)].

Lip Gloss Ingredients: Polybutene, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba)Wax, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Flavor (Aroma). May Contain: [+/- Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Mica & Titanium Dioxide (CI 77019, CI 77891), Mica & Titanium Dioxide & Tin Oxide (CI 77019, CI 77891)].

Eye Shadow: 12 x 0.47/0.016oz + 9 x 0.52g/0.018oz
Cheek Powder: 3 x 6.10g/0.22oz + 4 x 3.94g/0.139oz
Lip Gloss: 2 x 0.84g/0.030oz + 6 x 0.79g/0.028oz

(This was sent to me for review.)

Ozotic Pro 505

When I wore this in my China Glaze Crackle Metals post, I realized that I have never posted it before. I've had this polish for so long and I've never posted it! I can't believe that. That's a shame... Ozotic Pro makes amazing duochrome (really, multichrome) polishes that rival the old Sally Hansen Nail Prisms. I hear they do incredible holos as well, but I've never experience them.

I wore this not too long ago (three times back-to-back, actually) and decided to take a million pictures of it because it looked so amazing. Despite taking fifty bajillion pictures, I still haven't managed to capture all the colors in this polish. It's awe-inspiring. It goes from teal-turquoise-blue to purple to red to orange-gold-yellow.

This is Ozotic Pro 505 over Finger Paints Art Of Theft. The ring finger has OPI Servin' Up Sparkle over Art of Theft with 505 layered over it. This polish layers amazingly well over glitters, buy the way. It's even better over strong holos. I highly recommend that you try layering a strong duochrome like this over a glitter or a holo. This is an extremely sheer polish so it's difficult to wear alone. Worn alone, it looks like a crazy duochrome shimmer jelly. It's best to layer it to achieve maximum opacity and duochrome (multichrome) effect and to conserve the polish.

These are intentionally blurry- somehow the color shift shows up better when it's blurry... No idea why. These show the beginning of the red/yellow/orange color shift. Can you tell? It's not strong in the photos, but it's obvious in real life.

These two pictures with flash show the pretty sparkling teal base that shifts to aqua/turquoise and then immediately to purple.

Every time I wear an incredible color-shifting duochrome like this, I wonder why I ever wear anything else. I can't stop looking at my hands and smiling when I have one of these on my nails. Duochromes will always be my number one.