Monday, July 30, 2012

Picture Polish Blog Fest - Attitude and White Wedding Swatches and Review

It's that time of year again- time for Picture Polish Blog Fest! And I have two of Picture Polish's new colors to contribute to the blog swatch fest: Attitude and White Wedding.

Picture Polish Attitude - Picture Polish White Wedding

Picture Polish Attitude. Created for Kim at Overall Beauty. A dark blue-toned purple shimmer base with large, sparse, chunky holographic particles. They look like shards of shattered metal and they shine with rainbow colors in the light. Unlike holographic glitter, these particles are completely flat and the polish dries perfectly smooth. In low light, the polish looks like a velvety night sky with small, sparkling stars flickering here and there. In sunlight, the polish explodes with purple shimmer and rainbow fire. Great contrast between light and dark in this polish.

Picture Polish White Wedding. Created for Leah Ann at llarowe. A bright, clean, slightly blue-tinged, semi-jelly white creme base with tiny iridescent pastel rainbow sparkles. The sparkles in this are absolutely gorgeous. They're fine and delicate but still a fairly noticeable size. Smaller than the hologram flecks in Attitude but large enough to look distinct. Every color of the rainbow is visible in here in every light. The sparkling colors look so beautiful against the clean white base, like a pristine patch of freshly fallen snow. Even if the color wasn't so incredibly pretty, I'd still love this polish just for the name. Billy Idol = <3

The formula on each of these was different. Attitude was thin, smooth and extremely easy to apply. The only problem I had with it was some bubbling which could have been avoided if I waited longer between coats. White Wedding was a bit of a problem for me because of its thickness. It's one of those formulas that seems a little gooey and stretchy when you apply it, leaving thick ridges that pool and bulge out at the edges of the nail. The only way I could apply it evenly was to do extremely thin coats, wiping all the excess polish off the brush and as much as I could off my nail, and then wait a minimum of 6 minutes between each new coat. I did three coats of Attitude, four coats of White Wedding. Dry time is average on Attitude and long on White Wedding.

I think both these colors are amazing, and they couldn't have been made for two nicer people. Kim and Leah Ann are both extremely sweet, kind, reliable, and absolutely dedicated to customer service. Everyone did such a good job on these colors. They're unique and beautiful. My only complaint is that the formula on White Wedding could thinner and smoother.

Picture Polish is available at many online shops worldwide, so please check the Picture Polish Network page to find a seller near you.

(This was sent for review.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

QVC Today's Special Value for July 27th 2012: IT Cosmetics Vitality Anti-Aging 5 Piece Collection Swatches and Review

IT Cosmetics has another Today's Special Value kit on QVC today. You get five full-size illuminating and anti-aging products with a retail value $236 for only $59.94. The Vitality Anti-Aging 5 Piece Collection TSV contains:

IT Cosmetics Vitality Anti-Aging Brightening Fase Disc with Blush Stain and Drops of Light Luminizer ($38 value)

This is a new item. It's a blush/highlighter/bronzer trio that comes in a gigantic compact with a full mirror, just like the Pixi Bronze Bloom Trio. It's infused with anti-aging ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, silk, green and white tea and "drops of light technology" (which is basically just shimmer).

The back of the box features a diagram on how to use the products in here, but one word of warning: The highlighter is very frosty and shiny. If you apply it all over your chin and cheekbones and forehead as illustrated, you're going to have a very shiny face.

The blush in this trio is extremely pigmented and has only a small amount of shimmer. Most of the shimmer is overspray. It's so pigmented that it can stain your cheeks before you get a chance to blend it out fully, so make sure to tap the excess powder off your brush before applying. Otherwise, it's a good, pigmented, smooth-textured blush in a natural-looking color.

The bronzer is matte and very light. The texture is hard and it's difficult to pick up much product. I needed to load my brush three or four times and keep going over my face with it to get the color to show up. I actually like this because it keeps me from overdoing it as I'm someone who only wears bronzer to add shape to my cheekbones and not to look tan.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Lipstick Stain in Je Ne Sais Quoi ($20 value)

This is described as a 4-in-1 product: A lip stain, an anti-aging conditioning lip balm, a long-wear sheer lipstick and a light glossy finish. I agree with this description. What this is is one of those pH-reactive color changing lip balms that we've been seeing a lot of lately. Reminds me of the Pixi Magic Tink Tint, just softer and more balm-like. Good texture, feels very hydrating, starts out clear and changes color enough to be noticeable but doesn't get too dark and it wears for a good long while. It has a light, subtle scent that disappears quickly. Packaging is pretty and shiny. I think this is very good, I would definitely buy another one of these.

IT Cosmetics Super-Size 1 oz. Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Vitamin K and Collagen Concealer ($72 value)

This is just a double-size tube of the Bye Bye Under Eye concealer. It's a full ounce of product, which is a lot of concealer. I've previously reviewed this product, so check here for the full review. You can select your shade when ordering the kit. It's available in light (ultra fair), medium (light medium), tan (warm medium) and deep (rich tan).

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Ultra-Plush Jumbo Powder Brush ($58 value)

This is a super giant fluffy powder brush. It's very soft, very large and features 120,000 hairs. It's just as soft as the Heavenly Luxe Ultra-Plush Powder Brush, but since the bristles are less densely packed, it's more comfortable on my face. I like this one better. It's good for applying and dusting off excess loose powder, but also makes a good brush for applying shimmer or bronzer to the body.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Concealer/Foundation Brush ($48 value)

Another very soft brush with a rubberized handle. I've also reviewed this one before, so check here for more information. I like the small end of this brush best as a shadow blending brush and the large end is great as a blush/bronzer blush. It's very dense and soft which makes it nice for buffing and blending. Would probably be nice for applying mineral makeup as well, but I'm all out of my Bare Minerals so I haven't been able to test it.

This is definitely a good value compared to buying each item separately. Especially if you're already a fan of the IT Cosmetics concealer, because you get the entire set for less than the price of the full one-ounce tube. My favorite items in the kit are the jumbo powder brush and the Vitality Lip Flush.

Since this is a Today's Special Value, that means the $59.94 price is vaild today (July 27th, 2012) only. The item number is #A228718 for Auto-Delivery or #A226577 a one-time order and you can order it by calling QVC at 1-800-345-1515 or you can get it online at It's available in light, medium, tan and deep, so be sure to check swatches to see what matches your skin tone.

(This was sent for review.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer Collection Swatches and Review

Maybelline has a whole new line of nail polish out in drugstores now. It's called Color Show and it consists of 40 colors. The display has the colors divided into categories (like crackle aka 'shredded', shimmer, foil, creme, et cetera) and there's a very good variety to choose from. Maybelline shows all the colors on their website and they have an app you can download to virtually try on all the colors. I only picked up the ones that looked the most interesting at the time: Denim Dash, Styled Out, Twilight Rays and Wine & Dined.

Maybelline Color Show in 10 Denim Dash. A light-medium dusty aqua-leaning blue with flaky foil shimmer. This blue is one of those muted blues that I love, like Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue. Bright color but not clean and crisp. The shimmer in this is cool, too. Flat, flaky foil particles with silver-blue-green iridescence.

Maybelline Color Show in 20 Styled Out. Similar to Denim Dash, just darker, more of an actual denim color, and with pure silver shimmer. I can't decide which of the denim blues I like more. I might have to go with this one because it's a little darker and it has more shimmer. They're both really cool, though.

Maybelline Color Show in 240 Twilight Rays. A black creme base with large, chunky, flaky gold foil shimmer. Some of the gold flakes flash green, which in some lights causes the entire polish to have a greenish tint. Kinda like how China Glaze Wagon Trail is black with gold shimmer yet the polish seems olive sometimes. I love this one, and I especially love how big the gold particles are.

Maybelline Color Show in 420 Wine & Dined. My label says wine and dined, the Maybelline website says "wined and dined", I'm not sure which is correct but I'm going with the label. Anyway, this is a vampy duochrome glass fleck. It's a blackened red-brown base with wine, purple and bronze glass fleck. At an angle, you can see a golden duochrome color shift. Like a browner, less sparkly version of Nicole Sounds Grape To Me. I see a few larger pieces of shimmer mixed in with the glass fleck, and I even see some sparks of bright purple now and then. It's a gorgeous color, but I think it looks better in the swatch than it looks on my nails in real life; seems more shimmery on camera.

The formula on these was mixed. I found the two dark colors to be runny and difficult to control. The blues, however, were perfect. Dense and smooth, not runny at all. The brushes aren't the best shape and size for getting a good curve around the cuticle, but it's nowhere near as bad as the Express Finish brush. I did three coats of each polish and only the darker colors needed all three. Dry time was average.

Quite a few interesting colors in this collection. A lot of common ones that you probably already have (red creme, silver foil, black crackle, stuff like that), but still a few really good ones. I think I'm going to go back for some of the purples next. I wonder if they'll ever expand this range to have special effects topcoats... It would be like a reboot of Colorama! Still holding out hope for something like that. Colorama was awesome. I miss it.

I bought mine from Walgreens, $4.99 each. They're on sale buy one, get one 50% off right now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vernis Classique by Cherimoya Electric Heaven over Grey

Vernis Classique by Cherimoya in Electric Heaven (over grey polish). Here's an older picture that I forgot I had. It's was one of the handful of Cherimoya polishes I picked up at the same time as Metallic Purple. Electric Heaven is an absolutely gorgeous polish. It's a sheer layering-type glitter that has lots of different shapes and sizes of translucent pink-orange based iridescent opal glitter plus big pastel iridescent stars. All the glitter is set in a peachy-pink tinted base, but it applies clear with only the barest hint of color.

Yes, it smells bad. Yes, it's thick. And the brush is just silly. But damn if this doesn't look good over every single polish I've layered it over. It even looks good by itself as long as my nails aren't too stained (a coat of Color Club Milky White French Manicure base coat tends to fix that). To me it's worth having on hand just to look at how pretty it is in the bottle. It's like a magical star-filled snow globe.

I don't remember how much I paid for this, but I don't think it was over $4. It came from Walgreens, but they haven't had a Cherimoya display since I originally picked this up.

Friday, July 20, 2012

NARS The Multiple in Undress Me Fall 2012 Swatches and Review

NARS The Multiple in Undress Me ($39)
This is a cream-textured product in a sheer cool pink with silver flaky glitter.

I have never used a NARS Multiple before (cream blushes aren't really my thing), so let me quickly highlight some details and observations on the product:
  • This is a wide diameter cream stick that comes in a twist-up tube.
  • The texture is creamy but not greasy. It's almost like a gel, but it's not wet or oily/liquidy at all. It feels very silicone-heavy and smooth.
  • It's a multi-use product (hence the name). Can be used on cheeks, eyes, lips, and body.
Here's NARS' official description of the product:
François Nars' iconic innovation, the original multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips and body. Its unique creamy formula and sheer color blends effortlessly to create shimmering accents, contours or dynamic highlights on all skin tones.

*Apply with fingers: the skin’s warmth allows for perfect blending.
* Mistake-proof color; quick and easy to apply
* Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks and lips
* Enriched with Vitamin E and açai oil for antioxidant benefits

What I liked:
  • The texture is great. It's the nicest-feeling cream blush product I've ever used. It's not sticky, not oily, not greasy. Feels like a creamy, cool, gel-like silicone primer.
  • Very easy to apply and blend with the fingers. Does not require any tools (or skill).
  • Doesn't stain.
  • Generous amount of product in the tube.
  • You can apply it to the cheeks over foundation and powder and it won't get weird/chunky/unblendable like some cream products do.
  • Looks great when worn as an eyeshadow or over your current eyeshadow to add a little silver glitter.
  • Good shin and collarbone highlighter.
  • The silver glitter is really pretty.
What I didn't like:
  • Don't believe the official description of "silver shimmer". This is full-on glitter. Chunky, flaky, distinct pieces of glitter. And I don't dislike glitter at all, but it can be difficult to wear such a heavy glitter on the cheeks. You have to have perfect skin to pull it off and the rest of your makeup has to agree with the glitter.
  • When worn on the lips, it can feel a little dry and rough/chalky. The silicone texture doesn't have enough slip to make it feel like a lipstick.
  • When wearing this on the eyes, wear it over a primer because it will crease otherwise.
  • The pink base color doesn't show up on my face after blending despite my fair skin tone.
  • This is rather expensive- $39.
While I don't like this color much as a blush, I do like it as a way to add glitter over eyeshadow and as a collarbone highlighter / body glitter. I bet you could even wear it in your hair, but I haven't tried that. It has such a nice texture that I would definitely wear one as a blush in a different color. It feels really nice, it's very easy to apply and blend, and is much easier to use than other cream/gel blushes I've used. You can wear this shade on the face if you like glitter, but I'd personally keep it confined to the orbital bone area or the very top of the cheekbones. Glitter all over the entire cheek can tend to look more like an accident than an intentional look, but if it's applied with precision, it can look magical.

NARS The Multiple in Undress Me is available now on
(This was sent for review. Post contains an affiliate link.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pixi Beauty Bronze Bloom Trio Summer 2012 Swatches and Review

New from Pixi Beauty for Summer 2012: the Bronze Bloom Trio. It's a giant (really, this thing is huge, you could play Frisbee with it.) sculpting and illuminating palette that features a matte bronzer alongside peach and pink shimmer blushes.

Pixi Beauty Bronze Bloom Trio in No.1 Bronzette
The bronzer on the left is a medium matte shade that can be applied lightly or built up for more color. The peach and pink blushes on the right have a frosty shimmer finish.

What I liked:
  • It's huge. I don't know why it amuses me so much, but I love having a blush/bronzer compact that's this hilariously large.
  • The packaging is really cute. Pale jade green with a fairy in the center.
  • Full sized mirror.
  • All three powders feel soft and silky and have good pigmentation. All are easily blendable as well.
  • Fairly inexpensive for the amount of product you get, especially compared to Pixi's other products. $28 for 11.06g/0.39oz of bronzer and 10.5g/0.37oz of blush.

What I didn't like:

  • Frosty blushes! I have a hard time pulling of frosty colors on my face as they tend to accentuate imperfections. The frost can be reduced by blending, but not completely.
  • Feels like a drugstore product, but at a mid-to-high end price. It's priced similarly to LORAC's blush/bronzer duo ($30), Bobbi Brown's blush/bronzer duo ($33), and Too Faced's Peach Leopard highlighting/bronzing trio ($29). It's nearly identical to an upcoming IT Cosmetics illuminating trio.

Overall, it performs well and it's cute to look at. It's powdery and the formula is very talc-heavy, so it doesn't feel like a luxury product, but it looks good regardless. My one qualm with this product (and Pixi in general) is that the quality doesn't match the price. It feels like drugstore but is priced like Sephora.

The Pixi Bronze Bloom Trio in Bronzette is available now on Pixi Cosmetics or at Target, in-store and online.

(This was sent for review.)

New Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Shades for Fall 2012: Freeze!, In A Flurry and Purple Haste Swatches and Review

These new Sally Hansen fall Insta-Dri shades are gorgeous. I normally tend to avoid the Insta-Dri line because I can't stand the brush (or the elongated bottle neck, or the gooey formula...), but there have been some exceptions, like these. I had to get them, giant frayed spatula brush be damned. The rest of the collection seemed pretty decent, but these are definitely the most interesting of the bunch.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Freeze!. This is a medium blue with heavy glass fleck. I was a little bit disappointed when I put this on because in the bottle, it looked like glitter. When I started to put it on my nails, it turned out to be more of a glass fleck, but that's okay, because I love glass flecks. This one is very densely packed with glass fleck particles, so it's quite strong and sparkly looking. One thing to be aware of, though: It stains. Badly. Instantly. Be prepared for Smurf fingers.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in In A Flurry. This is the coolest Insta-Dri color I've ever seen. It's a black or blackened-teal base with all kinds of chunky, flaky duochrome shimmer. Plus, hidden in the base beneath all those big flakes of duochrome sparkle is a deep purple shimmer that only comes out when the light hits it just right. When I wear this I can see flashes of yellow, gold, green, dark blue and light blue, teal, silver, purple, and on top of all of that is a green/gold/blue duochrome sheen. Amazing color. Good job, Sally Hansen.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in Purple Haste. This is just your average medium/dark purple shimmer, but what sets it apart from others is the bright blue microglitter that's in it. It's very small and smooth but there's a good amount of it in there. My pictures don't do this polish justice, but I think you should be able to see some of the blue glitter. It's really nice.

The formula on these was.... eh. Freeze! had the best texture, mostly normal and not too thick. In A Flurry was slightly thicker but a little runny at the same time. Purple Haste was thick, sorta foamy-stringy-globby and just not nice at all to apply. The brush doesn't help things, either. I have an extremely difficult time getting a clean manicure with this brush. It's too big, too unevenly cut, too stiff. It wipes off the polish at the center of your nail and globs it on at the edges. I have really curved nails so this effect is even more pronounced on me. Drying time is about average. I don't find these to dry faster than any other polish, and even slower than some.

These colors are all pretty cool, but my favorite by far is In A Flurry. I can put up with the brush and the funny formula for a color like that. It's amazing.