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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Chance to Enter

I've been posting any giveaways I find on a seperate page, but there's a few ending in the next couple days that I wanted to post here. This way if anyone hasn't entered yet, they have a last chance to do so now.

Lucy's Stash is giving away nail polishes and more to celebrate 500 followers. Enter by November 1st.

Gilded Nails is holding a giveaway for 200 followers. Closes October 31st. There will be two winners.

The Lacquer Files has two sets of Eyeko polishes to give away. Enter by October 31st.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

EOTD: Candy Corn

I showed my version of the candy corn manicure earlier but completely forgot to include the coordinating eyes. This is using the Sleek Circus palette orange, yellow, and white and Elf Eyeliner Pen in Ash. These pics are after a full day of wear so there is a bit of smudging but I forgot to photograph it before I left for work and really wanted to show this look. I think if I were to do this again I would do a yellow lid, orange crease, and matte white highlight to keep the order right.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Candy Corn NOTD

Just two more days until Halloween! As much as I love dressing up, I think my favourite part has to be the candy. So, to celebrate that, a candy corn mani. This is SH Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow and Sunkissed and Wild Shine French White Creme. I painted my nails white, then did the top half yellow. To do the orange, I covered the top and bottom thirds with tape, painted the middle and pulled off the tape.
Yet again, this is pre-cleanup. And if I were wearing this mani anywhere but work, I'd obviously take a lot more time to make the stripes even. Overall, though, I think it definitely conveys candy corn.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin mani

I've got another Halloween mani today. I wanted to Jack O'Lanterns since they are quintessentially Halloween. However, I didn't realize how daunting it would be to actually draw it out ten times, half those with my wrong hand. And, I wanted each pumpkin face to be unique. So I compromised and did four pumpkins. The other nails are black crackle over an orange base.

I used SH Xtreme Wear in Crushed and Black Out. The black crackle polish is a random brand from eBay. I love crackling polish. And I know everyone is excited for OPI Black Shatter so I figured this is a good time to feature it. I probably won't buy the OPI since I already have a black but how amazing would it be if other brands picked up on this trend? I can see it in my mind already: a whole line of China Glaze coloured "shatters". *fingers crossed* (Yes, I know BYS do several colours and I'm sure other brands do as well, but they aren't easily available to me.)


Outlet Haul + Swatches

I'm lucky enough to live about ten minutes from a cosmetic outlet. Most of the stuff is really old and I wouldn't want to chance a mascara or lippie from there but sometimes I'm able to find great deals on nail polish. And all it takes is a couple drops of nail polish thinner to restore them to their original glory. I went in the other day because I was passing by and figured it would be worth 10 minutes to try and find a polish worth rescuing. And it was! Worth it, I mean. 

I'm sure most people reading this are familiar with Sally Hansen Nail Prisms, the discontinued polish that promised "a rainbow in every bottle". Well, as intriguing as that is, I'm just not willing to pay what some people are asking on eBay. So, I'd resigned myself to looking at swatches longingly, knowing I'd never have a bottle for myself. Well, imagine what went through my mind when I saw not one, but two different shades of Nail Prisms. My heart rate picked up a little, and I quickly glanced around to be sure no one was just waiting to snatch up my find. What colours were there? Did it even matter? I had to have them. I grabbed them up quickly and after double- and triple-checking to make sure I hadn't missed an elusive third shade, moved on to the next rack, just hoping lightning would strike twice and I'd find another gem. Drama aside, that's how I became the proud owner of White Ruby and Opal Presents.

The rainbow effect is admittedly less pronounced than in swatches of other shades that I've seen, but beautiful colours nonetheless. Of course, I immediately thought of layering. So, I picked up my go-to black (Xtreme Wear Black Out) and got to work. Over black, the magic really happens. The orange disappears and you're left with green shimmer. And pink, blue, purple. Depending on how the light hits, it really is a rainbow. White Ruby turns first silver, then purple-pink, and blue-green. I couldn't capture it on camera, but trust me, it's there. So much so, that I just spend a solid five minutes turning my hand every which way but loose and admiring the colour change. (Do click that link by the way, I promise it's worth it.)

Left to right: Opal Presents over Black Out, White Ruby over Black Out, Opal Presents (two coats), and White Ruby (two coats).

I had doubts about finding anything else as exciting as Nails Prisms, but I kept looking. Just when I thought all my searching was in vain: a lonely bottle of Sally Hansen Chromes, begging me to take her home. How could I say no? Again, the shade didn't matter. I've heard about how well Chromes stamp and images of fauxnad plates started dancing in my mind. For the record, this is Rose Diamond. Roses are red, diamonds are white; but Rose Diamond is a light silvery, purple. Hmmm, doesn't quite rhyme (or make much sense). Names aside, this is a stamping dream. I think it's actually going to replace Celeb City as my top fauxnad polish.

I'm not a fan of Revlon polishes generally. They have some amazing colours (Gum Drop, for example) but the formula is groan-worthy. That aside, these next two made me revoke my Revlon ban. Silver Switch--from the Color Illusion line--is a metallic silvery pink-purple that shifts to a light silvery green when it catches the light. Duochrome? Check. Purple and pink?!? Check. It had to be mine. The other Revlon I found is Crystal Ball. This is a pink-purple loaded with pale blue-green shimmer. At one angle, it's very purple with the shimmer super obvious. Then, it looks like just a fuchsia frost. The formula is very thin on these, even after sitting on a shelf for who knows how long, but I've said it before, I'm willing to put up with less than stellar formulas when the colour is this good.

Left to right: Rose Diamond over Black Out (plate BM13), Crystal Ball, Silver Switch, Rose Diamond.

After all that excitement, everything else I bought can't possibly compare, but here they are anyway. I found two glitters from Super Shine Naturalistics for a quarter each. Just 25 cents. If all polishes were that cheap, I'd buy every colour ever made. Pinky: Twilight; ring: Ice Crystals; Middle: Twilight over Black Out; Index: Ice Crystals over Black Out. The holographic diamonds in Ice Crystals applied really well, which isn't always the case with these chunky glitters. And, I love that the lids on the bottles coordinate with the polish. It's the small details that count.

The last one I picked up was a real stinker. Literally. Even after drying, and letting is set all night, it still smelled. Aside from the usual chemical smell that most old polishes have, this one stank like really strong orange cleaner. Like someone threw a bunch of chemicals in a bucket and said "hey, that kinda smells like oranges, of course people love the smell of oranges on their nails". Not so much. And the colour isn't stunning enough to put up with the odor. Anyway, this is Maybelline Express Finish in Matte Orange. After half a dozen coats, still super sheer. I'd try it as a top coat but I'm afraid the smell will keep me away. You win some, you lose some. At the very least, I can use the bottle for a franken--that is, if I can get rid of the odor.

*Please excuse my nubbin index nail. It broke the other day and my nails have been doing so well lately that I can't bear to file them all down.*

I know this has been pretty wordy, but last thing I wanted to mention is that I've updated my page with tons of new giveaways. Check it out here to enter and good luck everyone.

Monster Nails

I just wanted to quickly share a couple Halloween themed nails. First up is Frankenstein's monster. I know a few people have posted similar designs lately and if I can find the original post, I'll link to it here. This is just my take on it.
I used SH Xtreme Wear in Green with Envy for the skin; hair and mouth are Xtreme Wear Black Out; eyes are Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow and Black Out; and, you can't see too clearly in this pic, but his stitches (on ring finger) are Rimmel Grey Matter. Obviously, this is before clean-up but don't worry, I don't leave the house with polish all around my cuticles.

I just wanted to get something out there, and it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I guess it's personal preference, but I don't understand when people do nail art and draw the top of the image at the free edge of the nail. I've always drawn the top at the base of the nail so it' easier for other people to see without me having to twist my hand upside down. That always seemed to make sense to me but I really want to hear from someone who paints their nails the opposite way. Is there any benefit to having the top of the image at the free edge?

Moving on, I also did vampire nails. Unfortunately, the only one that ended looking decent was my thumb so I did blood splatters on my other fingers to complement that. 
This one is a little less obvious than the other but I think the widow's peak and bloody mouth give it away fairly well. I used Wet n Wild French White Creme, Xtreme Wear Black Out, Rimmel Rapid Ruby for the lips, and Xtreme Wear Red Carpet for the blood drops. I know blood isn't glittery but I like how it made the design "pop" a bit.

I know I said I was done hauling for a bit, but I went to the cosmetic outlet near my house and picked up a few polishes. I'll have the post up later today but for now I'll just say that I found a couple bottles of a brand I thought I'd never get my hands on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Drugstore Haul

I've got a baker's dozen of polishes to share with you today. All of these are drugstore polishes on sale this week at Pharma Plus-most with bonus airmiles. (I'm a sucker for customer loyalty program, I know.) Anyway, this will be one of my last hauls for a while then it's time for a low-buy. I have a couple of things on the way now and a few pending on eBay, then it'll be time to rediscover some old favourites.

This haul is pretty heavy on the nudes and neutrals but I got a couple fun, bright colours as well.

So, what did I buy today?
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Nylon: Curtain Call, Tutu Mocha, Fairy Nice
Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro: Steel Grey, Hot Cocoa, Bare Naked
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure: Gray by Gray
Sally Hansen HD: Lite, Pixel Pretty
NYC: Canal Street, Uptown, Midtown

The final polish I bought was Xtreme Wear VIP Pink. This is one of my favourites colours. I have about 1/3 of a bottle left so I wanted a backup. I might use the rest of my old bottle for a franken--I have a couple ideas in mind.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NYX Loose Glitter

My NYX glitters came in the mail today. I was so excited to see them I had to restrain myself from doing my makeup like a figure skater.These are all swatched over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy.
Left to Right:
Blue: bright blue and iridescent microglitter
Apple: iridescent glitter in a red base
Crystal: white iridescent glitter
Pink: iridescent glitter in a pale pink base
Gold: dense gold microglitter
Silver: dense silver microglitter
Purple: pink, blue, and iridescent glitter
Hot Gold: holographic glitter in gold base
Disco Ball: holographic glitter in silver base
Hot Pink: iridescent glitter in medium pink base 

The stand-outs have to be Disco Ball and Hot Gold, followed closely by Gold and Silver. The only one that was something of a let down was Hot Pink. I was expecting it to be bright pink but it's a little too subtle. I'll give it a try over a bright pink eye shadow and see how that affects it.

This is what a month's worth of nail polish hauling looks like (part two)

In part one, I covered my Orly, OPI, and China Glaze hauls, so here are my drugstore nail polishes from the past month. I'm going to blame most of these purchases not only on good sale prices, but also airmiles.

First up: Rimmel 60 Seconds. My sister and I had both been eying Grey Matter for a while. As I'm sure you all know Xtreme Wear Wet Cement isn't available in Canada (grrr) and I'd been searching for a grey creme. So, when Pharma Plus had Rimmel cosmetics on sale (plus 25 airmiles when you buy three), I bought Grey Matter, Red Carpet, and Night Before. I told my sister that I would franken a dupe for Grey Matter then give her the original. That was silly of me because 30 seconds after opening the bottle I knew I couldn't give it up. So, I had to buy another for her, and remember it was a buy three deal so I had no choice but to choose two others. ;) This time I chose Rapid Ruby and Deliciously Dark. (Up to 50 airmiles, for anyone counting)

Pharma Plus also had NYC cosmetics on sale (again, 25 airmiles when you buy three) so I bought pretty much every colour they had. For under $2 each, and the formula is pretty good, I figured this was a good time to stock up. Most of their colours are pretty basic but I did get a few nice pinks and reds.
Top Row: Lincoln Center, MoMA, Penn Station. Middle Row: Greenwich Village, Mulberry Street, West Village. Bottom Row: Manhattan, Park Avenue, Wall Street. These pics are probably the least accurate in terms of colour, but I'll have swatches coming up for each. (75 airmiles)

That's it for the bonus airmiles. Now I have to decide if I should spend them or save up for something extra-special. Do any of you collect airmiles? What have you redeemed them for? I have to admit I'm a bit of a sucker for rewards programs, though the only thing I've actually traded in points for was a CD years ago.

Back to the nail polish. The rest that I bought last month were pretty much just random drugstore polishes that caught my eye. SH HD DVD, Wet n Wild Megalast Bite the Bullet and Under Your Spell, SH Xtreme Wear Pink Boa, SH Insta-Dri Petal Pusher, SH New Lengths Ceramics Urban Chic. I also bought a black crackling polish on eBay and a random iridescent sheer at a dollar store. The final two I'd been considering  for ages but put off because they're a little expensive for how much you get and I'd heard the formula isn't great. On the other hand, I've been craving colour-change nail polish. So I finally let myself buy them during one of Claire's perpetual BOGO 1/2 off sales. After a fair amount of debating, I settled on Wild/Calm and Mellow/Crazy. 
That's it. All my nail polish from the past month. After seeing it all laid out here, I've decided it's time for a low-buy. I'm only allowed to buy polishes if they are either on an amazing sale or limited edition. I wouldn't want to miss out on holiday collections, of course. But I definitely do have to slow down the spending.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FOTD using Sleek Circus Palette

This is the look I did yesterday. Nothing too special; just a quick look for work. The pink is almost faded from my hair so it's about time to change the colour. I've got tons of half-jars of Manic Panic so I'll choose from those and dye it sometime this week.
The eyes in this look are all from the Sleek Circus Palette. After priming my eyelids, I used the bright pink in my crease, the light purple over the entire lid and blended into the pink in the crease, light blue on lower lashes, and the dark blue as a liner. Very straightforward.

So, I'm curious, what colour do all of you think I should do my hair next? I have most of the rainbow so I'd love to hear suggestions.

Monday, October 18, 2010

NOTD: Greenwich Village

I started off with NYC Greenwich Village, then kept adding more elements. Maybe too much. If I had stopped halfway through the manicure, it probably would have been better. I used fauxnad plate BM17 with Wild Shine Tickled Pink and the glitter and hearts are from Viva la Nails, which I will be reviewing soon.

Looking at the top pic made me realize my nails are finally growing out. I tend to grow them pretty long, then one breaks so I cut them all down to nothing and start over again.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guest NOTD

I showed you a polka dot mani earlier today but I wanted to share a version that my sister did a few weeks ago that actually inspired me to get out my dotters. I really love the colour combo that she used. Xtreme Wear Fuchsia Power, Celeb City, and Gunmetal, and China Glaze For Audrey, all over Avon Midnight Plum. 

NOTD: Shower Together

I started off with two coats of China Glaze Shower Together, then went through my blue/green polishes and with a dotting tool, added random dots. I used China Glaze Watermelon Rind and Dorothy Who?; OPI What's With the Cattitude?; Elf Mint Cream; Zoya Charla; Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue, Blue Me Away, Ivy League, and Green With Envy; and a Sally Girl polish without a name. Obviously any blue or green dots works as well.
Shower Together is a bit greener than this pic and slightly darker.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This is what a month's worth of nail polish hauling looks like (part one)

I knew I bought a fair amount of nail polishes each month.  But I didn't realize just how many I do buy. Normally, I buy a couple at a time and write about them right away. After waiting a month to combine all my mini-hauls into one post, though, there's no way to deny that it might just be too many. I know what you're thinking, I didn't think that was possible either. Judge for yourself. Here's what one month of hauling looks like:
 The photos aren't all color-accurate and some are a bit blurry but I'll do swatches and reviews on each separately. Now, where to begin? Maybe I should start by defending my purchases. Doesn't seem to be much of a point to that, though. If you're reading this, chances are you have a collection to rival mine or at the very least, you appreciate nail polish. So I won't exactly defend it. I'll just say that most of these polishes were on sale. And we all know a sale makes just about anything justified.

First up is one of my very favourite polishes ever (and that is saying quite a bit). From the Cosmic FX collection: Orly's Space Cadet. I know everyone has seen this polish a million times already on just about every blog out there. Well, there's a reason for that. It is absolutely amazing. Sometimes it looks purple, sometimes green, even gold. I only chose one polish from the Cosmic FX collection (possibly the hardest makeup decision I have ever made) but I think after going back and forth, I made the right choice.

Onto the rest of my Orlys now. Believe it or not, I only started buying from this brand in the past couple months. My sister started the love affair when she bought me Viridian Vinyl for my birthday. Since then, it has definitely become one of my favourite brands. Here is (left to right) Love Each Other, Prince Charming, Act Your Shoe Size, and Moonlit Madness.

Can you believe until a week ago I never owned an OPI? Sure, they have amazing colours and some of the names are adorable but they're expensive and there's only one store near me that has them. And even there the selection is limited. Anyway, they had the Burlesque collection and all the glitters were calling my name. So I allowed myself just one. A couple were similar to others I had, though far from exact dupes. Finally I settled on Extra-va-vaganza! because the orange glitter seemed perfect for fall and since it was a better deal if you bought two, I also picked up What's With the Cattitude?. First off, I didn't have any pale blue cremes but more importantly, I have such a crush on Puss in Boots. That first scene where Shrek meets him and Puss takes off his hat and looks up with those big, innocent cat eyes absolutely melts my heart. How cute is this?
But I don't really know what a pastel blue creme has to do with it. Does anyone know?

Another brand I've been getting into lately is China Glaze. (I've pretty much gone through the drugstore selection and am moving up in the world of nail polish, much to the chagrin of my wallet.) Here's Shower Together, Avalanche, and Watermelon Rind.

I've got quite a few more to share, so I'll break this up into a couple posts. For now, I'm going to watch Mad Men, then bed. Good night.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Haul Post

I mentioned in my last post that I did a ton of hauling in the past month. Too much, if you ask some people. I'm not one of those people. Most of my purchases were nail polish so I'll do those separately but I got a few other things too so I'll get those done with first.

I absolutely love Halloween. Obviously for the dressing up (and candy doesn't hurt) but also because dollar stores always have great accessories like fake lashes or nail stuff for super cheap. I might never need holographic foil lashes but for a dollar, they're great to have on hand and you never know, they could be useful for a costume or just a fun makeup look. So, I bought silver, pink, and purple.

Another thing I found at a dollar store was a bag of this Halloween confetti. The witches are definitely too big for my nails but I have a couple ideas on how to use the others for some themed nail art. So, keep an eye out for that near the end of the month.

I haven't actually bought too much makeup over the past few weeks (excluding nail polish of course). But I did get some NYX glitter. Disco Ball is a silver holographic loose glitter. I've seen it a few times in the store and just could not resist any longer. I paid more than I wanted to so when I got home I had to look on eBay because I knew I could find a better deal, which I did. Now I'm waiting for a set of 12 to come in the mail. (One of each glitter, including an extra Disco Ball plus two for my sister.) Do I really need an extra Disco Ball? Is it glitter? Is it holographic? Then, yes. I do.

While I was at Sally Beauty doing my monthly haul, I spotted a few Sally Girl items that I just couldn't pass on for the price. In Canada, they're $1.39 but with a Sally Card, $1.34 each. Plus I got 15% off everything. I don't know how I went so long without a Sally Card. It costs $5 for the year but you get a $5 coupon the month after you buy it, plus discounts on everything in store and if you spend $35 in a month, you get a 15% off coupon to use the following month. And it's so easy to spend $35. A Seche Vite, a couple Orlys, maybe a hair dye or two and that's it an extra 15% discount. So, if you haven't already signed up, do it. Ok, enough of sounding like a spokesperson, back to the makeup. Most of these aren't labeled with names but I got two nail polishes (dark purple creme and a teal creme), three loose glitters, and two eye shadows. The loose glitters are patted on Pixie Epoxy and the eye shadows are swatched over a cream base. The pigmentation in these shadows seems pretty good and they blend well.

There's plenty more to share but I'll leave it to another post. The last thing I wanted to mention is that I finally ordered some Daiya cheese. It's a vegan "cheddar" that actually tastes and melts like the real thing. I tried some a couple months ago and it was soooo good but it's pretty expensive so I'd been putting off ordering it. My 5lb bag came today. I know five pounds is a lot but it freezes well and tastes so yummy. I had poutine for breakfast and am considering grilled cheese for lunch and maybe just a bowl of cheese for dinner. If any readers are vegan or vegetarian or even just lactose intolerant or want to try something different, definitely try this. Obviously, you can buy less than I did.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Catching up

It feels so good to be blogging again. The reason I was gone so long was computer issues. I finally got it all worked out and turns out, I just needed a new monitor. So I went to Best Buy today planning to get the same size as my old monitor but couldn't remember how big it was so I went with the 21.5". Well, the new one is definitely bigger so that'll take some getting used to. I've been using my iPod for the past few weeks, so I guess anything bigger than a couple inches across seems particularly gigantic.

After a month away, there's plenty to catch up on. Obviously, I had a few hauls, so I'll update my inventory page tonight and have a couple haul posts over the next few days. I've also been working on organizing my collection since it's getting pretty big. So, I've been making nail wheels to organize swatches. I know most people buy the plastic ones but I just used toothpicks, fake nails, and paper to put them together. It works out to maybe a quarter each wheel (for a dozen nail swatches on each). If anyone wants to see those, I can post that. It's super easy to do and the most time-consuming part is waiting for glue to dry (and deciding how to group polishes--I finally settled on doing it by colour rather than brand).

Last month, my sister proposed an interesting challenge to me. I had to use each polish in my collection exactly once before repeating any of them. The only exceptions are that I can use some of my glitter top coats more than once or use any colour as an accent or a konad image. But the main colour cannot be repeated. I have to admit I thought it would much easier than it has been. I don't want to use my very favourite polishes all at the start and not be able to use them again for months. So this challenge has definitely affected how I choose what colour I paint my nails each day. 

I've tried to read all of the blogs I follow but I've definitely missed a few posts so I'll be catching up on those this week. One post I'm glad I didn't miss is by Steph at Imperfectly Painted and I wanted to share it with everyone. She's having a giveaway to celebrate 500 followers. (Over 600 now.) I've mentioned her blog before on here because I love reading it and I'm super jealous of her collection. So, check it out if you haven't already. Here's what you can win:
There's a few nail polishes (including MAC Bad Fairy!), as well as holographic glitter. I've gotta say those Sally Hansen HDs are amazing. I've bought two so far and they really are gorgeous.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that I got my package from Viva la Nails. There are some amazing glitters and decals. I've been working on some nail art with those so I'll elaborate on that in another post.

Now, the very last thing to do is apologize for being gone for so long. If I wasn't so hopeless with computers, it would have been a much shorter hiatus. So, I want to thank my readers for being patient with me. And to say thank you, I've got a bit of an idea for a 50 follower giveaway (although that might be a while away).