Thursday, 26 April 2012

George at Asda Boomerang

I don't know why it is called Boomerang, but my own name for it would be something like Coffee. Or Dark Chocolate. It has this rich, almost black brown base with copper shimmer that appealed to me instantly, even though I hardly every buy browns (Out of my whole collection, only 4 bottles can be described as brown). The warm copper shimmer is not as obvious on the nail s in the bottle, but I think the understated glow of this shimmer makes it look very elegant and stops it from being flatly brown:

Boomerang in natural light

I have never seen anything like that in high street nail polish line ups. It looks ,more expensive than you would expect given that its only £1.75 in retail. Which is just as well, because everything else apart from   the colour reveals the price tag. Its gloopy and hard to apply evenly, the brush is very hard to wield with any accuracy and stop it from splashing on your cuticles. Its also patchy and slow drying, even with a fast dry topcoat. Wears off pretty fast and smudges easily.

If it werent for crap quality, I'd have put it in the top 10 list, because the colour is just gorgeous (I dont think my swatch does it justice). As it is, I would only wear it when I feel particularly masochistic.

I guess that for £1.75, great colour and opacity at two coats would be satisfactory, and whilst being tricky, its not totally unworkable. But this is not a reliable, quick and easy choice for a breezy manicures. Am I asking for impossible? But I have used many a great quality nail polishes from this brand, so my expectations are somewhat high. Still, this is a great colour to add to my collection.

Retails at around £1.75(depending on offers) in Asda stores.

Under electric light

My attempt at a macro shot

Natural light

The shimmer is more obvious under artifial light and strong sunlight.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Magnetic Nail Polish

This magnetic nail polish haul and review is brought to you by Color Club, Barry M and PinkTulipps.

I was working yesterday, and my work was dangerously near the much loved Sally's Beauty Supply shop, and I couldn't resist going there with an intent to buy one of the OPI Dutch Collection pieces. But once I set my foot in the shop I have been distracted with the dazzling array of Color Club's Magnetic Force collection nail polishes. Six beautiful shades at £7.99, and I was drawn to them the way iron particles are drawn to magnets. I tried to limit myself and only bought one (practically virtuous for me).

The shade name was Sci-Fi, which I think suits it well. Its a golden olive colour with amazing green glitter that is revealed after you expose the polish to magnet- haven't seen anything like it!
Color Club Sci Fi under natural light.

Sadly, I don't have enough patience to hold the magnet long enough for a sharper pattern to form, and the pattern begins to blur the longer you wear it. It used to be more clear on the first day, and this is the second day of wear. My camera makes it look even more blurry than in real life.
Color Club Sci Fi under artificial light

The golden glitter particles are more visible under artificial light, but the pattern is still blurry. I think the name Sci-Fi fits this nail polish well.

Later, I popped into Superdrug, where I spotted the new Barry Magnetic nail polishes. The choice of different magnet patterns and shades for these is staggering for a high street brand - there were the common green wave patterns (like the one on my pictures), shevrons, alternating wave patterns (hard to describe, but imagine sine and a cosine wave together) and star patterns (I am wearing this on my middle finger). 

I bought the blue nail polish with the star pattern, which cost me £5. I didn't try the blue nail polish yet, but I used the magnet on Color Club Sci Fi, and the magnet worked just fine. It was fairly weak and fiddly to align the magnet correctly so the pattern is not off centre. 
All the patterns are printed on the black nail polish caps.

This is a good, imaginative offering from a decent high street brand- I have been waiting for magnetic polishes with new and different patterns for a while, and Barry M satisfied my curiosity (at a reasonable price tag!)

I was very pleased with Color Club Magnetic Force nail polish line as well, as it contains two magnetic nail polishes WITH GLITTER! I love glitter, and it makes the magnetic pattern look even prettier. The other glitter magnetic shade is Cop an Attitude, a beautiful russet nail polish with copper glitter running through (sadly, I have no picture of it).

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Barry M Blue Crackle

Yes, the crackles are out and magnetics are in, but this combination of blue crackle over gold nail polish is an old favourite of mine. It reminds me of the sun and sky in July.
Barry M blue crckle dries fast to a matte finish, and is a good way to get a fast manicure. Here I used Avon Gold Luster, which is a little sheer on its own, but the crackle hides VNL.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Wet 'n' Wild 8 Pan Palette in Petal Pusher

I didn't expect to receive this one so soon, with it being shipped from USA and all. And the it landed in my house a week after I purchased it. Awesome speed. It was packaged snugly, in layers of bubble wrap and tape, which is great for a fragile little item like that. And so, it arrived in a pristine condition, which I was very happy about. 

The palette itself is not very big, just about fits in my hand, and is very slimline. It features no mirror, which isn't a big thing to me- these eyeshadows are sadly fragile and are easy to break, so I would have to use these in the safety of my house (not that my house is safe for fragile things, as numerous broken eyeshadows would testify). It has one of these cheap sponge applicators with a flimsy brush included, which is a waste of money as it is completely useless. But hey, its a cheap brand, so they must cut corners somewhere along the line, though it would have been easier to just scrap this brush altogether

Its sealed well too- nothing I hate more than make-up that doesn't have a proper seal/ isn't shrink wrapped and could (possibly) have been opened by someone else (some high street brands are guilty of this). I love the Browbone/Eyelid/Crease/Definer descriptions stamped on the eyeshadows, a nice touch.

The back shows application scheme and suggestions for different looks. 

The swatches of first four eyeshadows are about two swipes on un-primed skin, with the lightest shades being fairly weak in pigmentation and colour pay off.

My favourites out of this bunch are the two pans on the right hand side. The shimmery pink wouldn't be too bad for inner corner to brighten the eye, and the plummy shade with gold sheen is just awesome on the eyelid. I love pink/purple shades with gold sheen, and this one does not disappoint:

Wet'n'Wild Petal Pusher palette swatches

My favourites out of crease/definer colours is the crease colour on the right hand side. Gorgeous dark plummy purple with reddish sparkle

Wet'n'Wild Petal Pusher palette swatches

My favourite eyeshadow (eyelid colour in the right column) didn't come out well in swatches, so I took closer pictures:

Conclusion: Whilst the pale pink/white/lilac shades  are fairly nondescript and weak in pigmentation, the darker colours are smooth and blendable, with impressive pigmentation. I would have bought the palette again, if only for the second eyelid colour (in the right column). These eyeshadows are worth it for the price. I love purple and pink eyeshadow, and the ones in this palette are some of the softest and smoothest I used. In fact, two colours from this palette remind me somewhat of the two shades in Urban Decay's 15th anniversary palette (Tainted & Omen), I must do some comparisons soon!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Models Own Ibiza Mix

This nail polish is from the new Hed Kandi collection by Models Own. I love glitters, and this collection has two glitters that I just had to have- Ibiza Mix (multi-coloured glitter of different size in clear base), which features today and Disco Mix (a particularly stunning mixture of minute gold glitter with blue and green glitter thrown in).
I layered two Ibiza Mix over the bright fuchsia creme (Hibiscus by Natural Collection, a lovely blue-based dark pink). The effect is very gaudy, and I don't normally go for such bright combinations, but I really like it. Its very sparkly and vivid, and reminds me of shiny foil wrappers for chocolate. Perfect for spring!

Model's Own Ibiza Mix over Natural Collection Hibiscus

This is the picture of all three polishes:

Model's Own Hed Kandi and Beetlejuice

Application was stinky (smell of toluene, I think) and glitter was hard to push around for a more even coverage, it tended to clump on the same spot on the nail, but the formula doesnt dry too fast, so I had time to spread it a bit more evenly. The finish is really gritty, but this is a  crazy glitterfest we are talking about, you wouldn't expect an even application with this finish. I don't think this polish would be easy to wear on its own- you'd need about 5 coats, and then you would have to remove those 5 coats. This one is not a fast drier either, so there would be some waiting for the polish to become touch dry whilst inhaling stinky chemical fumes.
As a layering polish, however, this one isn't bad. A quick way to make your manicure more party-worthy,which points to the theme of the collection.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Blue and Gold EOTD

I really like using blue eyeliner in summer, because the colour just seems suitable for sunny days, and I often pair it with gold eyeshadow. Today's look was very quick, and using just three products- SuperShock Gel Liner by Avon and two of the Wet'n'Wild Color Icon Palettes, one colour from each. I love Wet'n'Wild eyeshadows- they are best I have tried to date, smooth and pigmented and blendable, with an impressive staying power. They don't crease even on my oily eyelids, and that's saying something. The only two things I dislike about these eyeshadows is how fragile they are (two of the palettes I have used have pans that are smashed to pieces) and the fact that they are only available in America. 

As you can see from this picture, half of the crease colour pan is missing- it crumbled and spilled over the adjacent pans, even though I handled them with extra care. I guess thats the price you pay for such smooth and soft texture. All shades in this palette are smooth as butter and rich in colour. The gold shade is particularly smooth, with minimal fallout when using a brush. The brown produces a lot of fallout, so I either pat it on with my finger or use a smudger from my Avon eyeshadow brush to use it as a liner.

I used the gold shade all over the eyelid, applying it with my fingers, out of sheer laziness. I applied it after applying my eyeliner (Avon SuperShock, which I blogged about here)

I then added the crease colour from the I Got Good Jeans palette, which is a deep blue with light blue shimmer running through:
My camera picks this up as flat blue, which it isn't. In retrospect, I realize that I should have swatched it on my arm too, so that the shades could be shown in all their glory.

I won these trios from a giveaway by lovely Lipglossiping, and I ordered one of their eight pan palettes from eBay - the delivery time is up to a month, according to the seller*. I ordered another eight pan palette of a UK seller, but these dont come up often and there is not much choice when it comes to the Color Icon range (there is Wet'n'Wild stock sold in UK, but they differ in packaging and description to the Color Icon ones).
I just wish this brand was available in UK! I think that the $13 or around £8 for a palette with 8 colours is reasonable, especially if the quality is as good as with these trio palettes, so I don't mind ordering them from America. I just want to have my palette sooner! /Stamps feet and pouts.

* This is the first time I bought from this store, but the feedback for the seller seems to be good, and so far, I was happy with the communication between me and the seller

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Barielle Falling Star

This is the second Barielle shade I've got to show you. Neither this, nor Myrza's Meadow are new shades, they were around the blogosphere for sometime, and I was lemming for this one for ages. I was hoping that this could be a beginning to a great love affair, but sadly, this was a passionate but brief romance.

Barielle Falling Star

I loved the novelty of this shade, and the fiery copper sparkle that twinkled seductively from the depths of medium blue creme polish, and for a moment I thought that Falling Star could take a special place in my heart and join the beautiful blue polishes I love and cherish. I have anticipated the bumpy feel of chunky glitter and the its hungriness for a topcoat (I used two thick coats of Sally Hansen's InstaDri), in order to achieve a smooth finish.  I could have dealt with it easily. But the relative sheerness of such a dark nail polish (I needed four coats to full opacity) and the patchy application have disappointed my fickle heart, and there was not enough fire in the coppery glitter to rekindle our romance. I still love this charming rogue of a polish, and I would probably reach for it again when I am bored of others. But I am not in love with it. Which is a shame.

I think the copper glitter goes nicely with my mehdi (courtesy of my lovely friend), which kind of redeems it in my eyes.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Barielle Myrza's Meadow

I made my first ever Barielle order few weeks ago, when I was reading beauty blogs instead of doing something useful and clicked on a link to their UK site. The minute I saw "50% sale" banner, I knew I would definitely have a good look at their selection. The minute I saw "Free delivery on orders over £15", I knew I would make that order. And they had a shade I was drooling over for a long time- Falling Star, a dusky royal blue nail polish with dense copper glitter. I also picked out their Hydrating Ridge Filler basecoat, but couldnt make up my mind with regards to another nail polish (to get my order to £15). I hesitated a bit and then chose Myrza's Meadow, a light pastel green with dispersed holographic sparkle. I have nothing like that in my collection, and this is a notion you come to appreciate when your collection is nearing 100 bottles and half of them are near perfect dupes. 

The order took around two weeks to arrive (and I received no shipping notification, so e-mailed them a week later to ask whether my order is coming. No reply) and when it did arrive, the bottle with Falling Star broke, soaking the bottle with Myrza's Meadow and the envelope. To their credit, they did package the bottles in bubble wrap, but I guess the bottles themselves are fragile, because the replacement bottle that arrived very speedily had a chip in the base. I don't like the fact that such a reputable brand doesnt have outer cardboard packaging, which nowadays pretty much most brands have, or that their bottles are that fragile.

Barielle Myrza's Meadow NOTD

The application of this polish was horrible- it was sheer and yet thick and gloopy, and applied in a patchy/streaky way. I used four coats for full opacity, and it made it look a bit thick on my nails. I still love the colour, its very light and suitable for spring. The glitter is very bumpy and you can't see it from the distance, but it looks amazing when light hits it. This shade really does remind me of a meadow- and my overgrown garden,which looks more like a meadow than a garden, was a perfect backdrop to take a photo of this beauty:

The smell, for  a salon brand (which I think Barielle are) is really strong and unpleasant (not like the W7 ones, but still very smelly) and gave me a headache. The nail polish is free of nasties like toluene/formaldehyde/DBP. Maybe it s my individual reaction to it?

I was waiting for the sun to come out of the clouds to try and capture the holo sparkle better, but then gave up and took the nail polish off to swatch Barielle. And the sun came out as soon as I finished wiping off the last nail. Damn

Despite my issues with the order, and tricky application, I am glad I bought  this one- its pretty and unusual, and thats good enough for me. I'm not sure I would order from Barielle again, but I am glad I tried it at least.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

ELF Mineral Eyeshadows

Recently, I was talking to my friend about the burning desire to buy Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette and not being able to justify its price tag to myself. She heard that sad tale more than once, and I can't blame her for pointing out that I would get tired of it the minute I bite the bullet and buy the damn thing. At the moment it sounded like heresy to my ears and I told her that some things never get tiring for me, and I use them time after time, using ELF mineral eye shadows as an example. 

These little pots of colour are the first mineral eye shadows I tried, and remain the only mineral eye shadows I tried to date. I much prefer the convenience of pressed eyeshadows- they are far easier to use and transport, compared to loose eyeshadows in pots. I used to dislike my Avon palettes for being rather hard and not very pigmented, but they make for a good travel item- its hard to overdo on these and I know that they wont break when I carry them in my handbag.

For a festive flash of intense pigment on my eyelids, however, you can't beat these mineral eye shadows. They look simply stunning when foiled and that is my preferred way of wearing them (I use water on a fluffy ELF Mineral eyeshadow brush to mix the pigment). 

The first eyeshadow I bought from this line was Earthy- a bright golden green that looks almost entirely golden with just a hint of green when foiled. I tend to wear Earthy as all over wash of colour on my lids, and I think that this colour is very flattering on my brown eyes (the below photo was taken after a very lazy sweep of Earthy without any other make up, except maybe the traces of mascara on my lower eyelids. ):

Earthy, applied foiled all over the lid.

As you can see from this photo, there is a bit of fallout from this eyeshadow- but this is minimal and can be remedied easily by sweeping it off with a finger.
My collection slowly increased to include several other shades from this line- Beachy, Royal, Flirty and Outdoorsy were bought individually and Seductive/ Mysterious/Socialite were bought as a part of Smokey Eye Mineral Eyeshadow kit (which included two great natural hair brushes, one for all over colour application and another for contouring and a black pencil liner). 
I wasn't particularly impressed with Mysterious (dusty grey, almost like dry cement powder) and Flirty (pale pinkish lavender), they seem to be very chalky and the colours are not very flattering  on me, which is why I never reached for them and seem to have lost them (hence no pictures of those). I suppose they could be appealing for someone with a different colouring to mine, and someone who prefers cool, neutral matte shades.
Beachy is a deep cobalt blue that use foiled as a liner, often teamed with Earthy for a bright look in summer. It looks almost matte, but there is a very fine shimmer running through the deep base colour. It deepens when foiled with water, but returns to a medium bright blue when it dries after a while. It produces a bit of fallout, but nothing major:

Beachy, foiled with water.

Seductive is a deep, matte black, that I also wear as a liner, but this time, I use it dry over black cream eyeshadow (from ELF Cream Eyeshadow Duo in Liquorice, a black/silver combination). It gives me a great intensity for a slightly smudged smokey eye. I don't have pictures of Seductive, but there is not much to say about it, except that its an intensive black matte.

Socialite, foiled with water

Socialite is a curious brown-ish taupe in pot and when applied dry, with iridescent shimmer particles running through the base colour.The shimmer flashes with cool silvery and warmer red particles that overlay the base taupe. A very pretty and unusual colour. When foiled, it becomes even more stunning, almost a white gold colour over a deeper taupe. In my swatch above it looks faintly like Earthy, but its very different in real life.

Royal, is a shimmery, rich purple with iridescent shimmer, not unlike the shimmer in Socialite. It looks very close to Socialite in my swatches, but the base purple  in Royal is much more prominent than taupe in Socialite. Very pretty and great for both all over lid and crease colour.

Outdoorsy, foiled with water

Outdoorsy is a dark green (almost black) eyshadow with large golden green shimmer particles running through. It is rather faint when applied dry, but very rich and beautiful when applied wet- both the base colour and golden shimmer intensifies on foiling. My preferred way to wear this is either as a liner or as a crease colour to go with Earthy, for a green make eye make up.

Earthy, as I described before is a bright yellowish green when dry and a greenish god when foiled. My favourite shade out of the whole bunch, very pretty and versatile. 

All shades are prone to some fallout, although using a primer or a sticky base makes fallout less of an issue. They don't last that long on my oily eyelids, fading and creasing in around 3 hours. Use of primer (I use ELF's regular primer) or a cream eyeshadow base prolongs their vibrancy considerably, and in the case of the primer also keeps them from creasing. 
These eyshadows are packaged in small plastic pots with matte black tops.. There are four sifter holes in the pot, and all shades are prone to kicking up a lot of dust and spilling over the edge of a pot, which is pretty annoying.

Left to right: Outdoorsy, Royal, Beachy, Socialite, Earthy.

Swatched dry:

Top to bottom: Earthy, Socialite, Beachy, Royal and Outdoorsy.

Overall, these eye shadows are a great value for money, and are very bright and vibrant, with some very unusual colours available. They look very intense when foiled and would make a great choice for both everyday use and party looks. The negative points include fallout and mess during application (I tend to have a wet cloth on hand to mop up any spills), but other than that, these eye shadows are really good. Almost a HG status, I'd say. 
Of course, loving these hasn't stopped me from buying the UD 15th anniversary palette (albeit with a good discount, since I bought it on Buyapowa). I am now eagerly waiting for the arrival of said palette, whilst playing with my existing shades.