Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wyrd Wednesday - Olen väsynyt

I'm not sure I would bear lying on a heater, but other than that, I really wish I was a cat today. You might have noticed that my posts were getting a bit irregular, that I was skipping some sections now and then... I have to admit I have a hard time with the blog right now, my nails are almost all a different size and shape (and right when I was thinking "ok, I've reached a good length on some so I'm keeping it that way for a week so that they all get even, I broke one yesternight), the weather in my corner of the world is very unfriendly for photo shooting, but first and foremost, I'm back in insomnia land and I'm extremely tired. 

One of the as-yet-unexperienced consequences of that is that it's extremely hard for me to take pics: since light is scarce, I have to set my camera on very slow shutting (sorry if those are not the technical terms), so there's a heightened chance of blurriness and I've found out lately that in the morning, when light is at "least worst", tiredness makes my body tremble. Seriously, it sounds silly and I'm smiling and rolling my eyes writing it, but it's true! So whenever you see three pics in a message with one of them a bit blurry, they're all I could save from an average 150 pictures. And that's seriously depressing!! My draft folder is full of pics with nails at different lengths, or crappy pictures that I keep as a reminder that I have to reswatch the polishes, etc, etc. It gives me the impression that my blog is patchy, my swatches of very uneven (but always medium at best) quality, and most of all, incoherent. I hate incoherence!

I hope that my insomnia will not last, a big part of it was a consequence of the crazy life in the flat due to Minnie's "end of the thesis/preparation for the defence/new job rythm (including being on call duty for emergency transport at night)", but while it's still there, the very little reserves of energy I have left must be put into my work and that strange time-eater called "daily life".

This is without doubt my favourite pic of Minnie's kitty!!

So I can just promise you that I will do my utmost to sort everything out and try to get back to regular posting, sections and pretty pictures asap. I'm also very much in the mood for nail art, but I have no time! Until that blessed moment, you'll have to do with patchy posting and crappy pictures...
But in the meantime, you got to see funny and nice pics of the two furry devils that share Minnie's and my living space :) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Orly Rock It

Hi! I still have some glitters to show you, but today let's take a break to have a look at the one polish I took from Orly's latest FX collection, the Mineral one. You can see it reviewed by Scrangie and understand why I didn't take more colours in spite of it being a very pretty collection: Rococo a-go-go is close to Zoya Valerie, Stone Cold is a bright blue cousin to Sweet Peacock, Rock the World is of the same family as OPI Rally Pretty Pink, Emberstone is too orange for me and Rock Solid.... well, for that last one, I really had to be violent with myself, it tempted me sorely, but I decided to be half sensible and get only one polish. *is proud*
Now I have a confession to make: you'll often see on blogs that purple polishes are the hardest to capture on picture because they always turn out blue. I never had this problem, but boy, do I have a hard time getting proper pics of dark magentas??? Some days ago, when I posted about OPI Meep-Meep-Meep and the comparisons, pictures showed them red. And here we go again with Orly Rock-It:

This does look red right? Well, it's not! I barely ever wear red, so when I do, you can be sure I'll point the occasion out! So Rock It is a beautiful dark magenta with some red flashes, but it's definitely magenta. The shaded picture below is the closest to reality.

As you can see here, the bottle shows some golden shimmer too, but that doesn't translate on the nail, or at least not under any angle that I could find.

Finally, this last picture is close to the real colour, and it was taking in automatic settings with a flash. Goes to show that sometimes, trusting your camera can turn out good!!
One last note of caution: this polish is packed with flecked shimmer, which is what makes it utterly gorgeous, but there's a downside. Such polishes tend to be runny and flood your cuticles, and when you clean up, you end up with little ridges of particles that are not very aesthetics. Not to mention that if any polish ends up on your skin, you'll have a hell of a time removing it (after all, it's glitter, even if it's super tiny). It's visible on my middle finger though I spent a good ten minutes cleaning it!! So be extra-careful with polishes like that and keep very little polish on your brush at a time. Other than that, it dried quickly (drying time can sometimes be an issue with Orly so it's worth mentionning), is opaque in two coats and quite glossy on its own (though of course top-coat will make it prettier).
That's all for today folks!

Monday, November 28, 2011

OPI Burlesque Glitters + comparisons

Are you bored of glitter yet? I hope not, because it's not quite over!! Today you have three for the price of one, as I'm showing you three polishes from OPI's Christmas collection in 2010, Burlesque. When I first saw promo pics from the Muppets collection, I thought it might take the place of my favourite OPI Collection, de-throning the Burlesque collection. But Burlesque is still on top, I have 7 out of 12 polishes in this collection (and only 6 from the Muppets, with two I'm not completely a fan of, Meep-Meep-Meep & Pepe's Purple Passion), with two having back-up bottles. 
You've already seen Sparkle-icious, aka Mardi Gras in a bottle, and I have three others, the purple one, Show it and Glow it, the blue, Simmer and Shimmer and the gold, Bring on the Bling. The Burlesque glitters were all made on the same pattern: fine coloured glitter with silver and some multicoloured particles. They apply easily and are opaque in two to three coats.

As you can see, even if the main colour really shows, you can see multicoloured particles that add a beautiful dimension. Since I love glitters, you might guess I have comparison material.
First for the blue Simmer and Shimmer, with the famous Absolutely Alice from the Alice in Wonderland collection. AA is a magical polish that I will show on its own, because it's really worth it. While Simmer & Shimmer's base colour is pale blue, Absolutely Alice is resolutely turquoise, with only a touch of gold.

I had compared Bring on the Bling with Sparkle-icious in my previous post, and here it is with Color Club Gingerbread.

Gingerbread's base colour is lighter, and while Bring on the Bling can offer good coverage in two coats, it's not quite enough for the CC polish. Both have other colours in their mix, but Bring on the Bling has multicoloured non-shifting colours while Gingerbread has holo glitter, which makes it more versatile.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

OPI DS Temptation

Glitter, glitter, more glitter!! I told you I was back to Christmas and wintery colours :) For many years now, OPI has been releasing a special collection, the Designer Series, supposedly done with diamond dust. They used to be holographic polishes, but for a couple of years now, the holo trend has been stopped, much to the dismay of nail addicts. This year's release was quite a disappointment since one polish out of two, DS Bold, is a very near dupe of China Glaze's Mrs Claus, as you can see here. OPI DS polishes are more expensive than the regular editions so I don't see many people shedding the extra dollars if they can have it for 3 with China Glaze. 
The other OPI DS for 2011, while not a holo, is quite pretty and did spark my interest. It's a multicoloured glitter in a violet/blue base. I had read awful reviews of it, saying that it was impossible to apply and needed at least 3 coats of top-coat to be smooth. Maybe I was extra careful, but for me, two coats were perfect, and I waited a bit before adding my beloved Seche Vite, so one coat was enough to have it glossy and smooth.

As you can see below, the glitter is made of blue and violet, but also pink or green.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friends' Fridays - Tenshi, The Gingerbread Lady

Today is Friday and it's the day I talk about Friends!! I already told you about Tenshi and her beautiful nail blog, but she is a very talented gal who doesn't limit her talents to nail-art. She took to making fimo jewels, and when I saw some of her creations on Facebook, I couldn't resist.

Isn't he just adorable? And what better companion for this little fella that one of the latest Color Club, from the Beyond the Mistletoe Collection, Gingerbread?

Gingerbread is a warm gold glitter with holo particles. As you can see on the blurry picture, it's by no mean a holo polish since the glitter doesn't show the rainbow image typical of holos, but some of the glitter is indeed holo and colour-shifting.

Surprisingly enough, it's not with the flash that the holo glitter shows most dramatically, but under subdued light. Somehow this makes Gingerbread a perfect winter polish since subdued light is quite common in that season. Flash show more the warm gold quality of the base colour. In terms of opacity, you see three coats here. Two were enough for coverage but a third added depth to the nails, so I caved in. It's a top-coat eater though, I applied one coat of Seche Vite right after my manicure and some hours later, the finish is gritty again.

So now comes the moment when you can wonder how that post was about a Friend more than about a polish? Here's the surprise folks: Tenshi is working hard to open her online shop for jewellery. I don't know yet when it'll be up for business, but you can already put that address on your tablets if you want some very nice and cute ideas for Christmas (after all, it's in one month!!): The Pretty Candy Shop. I'll let you know as soon as I have more news :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

OPI Sand in my Suit

Today's pick is another nude before going back to winter and holidays shades, to bring you a hint of summer in the cold dark days. Here's OPI Sand in my Suit from the 2009 Summer South Beach collection. I had had my eyes on it for a while but it's kinda hard to find, and while I sometimes agree to fork an additional couple of dollars for a pretty shade, this one was not worth it in my opinion. So when I found it at the regular price, I caved in. It's a warm sandy shade, just warm enough to suit me and I'm not disappointed! You will first see it in two coats, which turned out to be a bit short on opacity, so I went for another.The finish is pearly, so there's a risk of brushstrokes but nothing too bad. Application is easy and it dries super glossy.

You've seen my hands with nude shades a couple of times and I've had my share of lobster hands but this one is perfect!
And here Sand in my Suit in three coats, as you can see, it's now perfectly opaque and without brushstrokes.

Finally, here's Sand in my Suit compared to Zoya Minka. The difference is slight, but that's enough to go from a shade I can't wear to a shade that gives me super pretty hands!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Essie Sand Tropez

Hey guys! Not really in the mood for a Wyrd Wednesday post today, so I'll go with regular polish post (tbh, I feel a bit alone in my blogging desert right now, so it takes all my motivation to put up just this, but I'm trying to hang in there...). Here is the second polish I bought from Essie's Spring 2011 Collection, French Affair. Sand Tropez is a sandy beige, not very flattering on my skin tone, get ready to see lobster fingers, but it suits Minnie very well so it's officially one of her polishes. Perfect applications, opacity in two coats, super glossy, the quality is top-notch, as usual with Essie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Essie Topless & Barefoot

Let's take a break from all the dazzling and glittery Christmas shades, shall we? I really felt like "cleansing my palette" with a nice nude shade, Essie Topless & Barefoot from the Spring 2011 French Affair collection. It's a sandy pink with easy application, perfect coverage in two coats and beautiful glossy finish. I like it so much that a back-up bottle is on its way right now, the first one I bought is almost empty!

Don't mind my poor-looking cuticles, they suffered a lot in the removal of Rainbow Connection...

The shaded picture is the more accurate in terms of colour, it shows the sandy edge of that pretty pink.

And with the flash, you can see the super glossy finish!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Minnie's Beauty Minute - Have a deLUSHious Christmas - part 1

I kept the usual title but today it's me and not Minnie writing, she hasn't been there all week-end, and I have some goodies to show you from Lush's range of Christmas products.
To face the cold long evenings of Winter, Minnie and I decided to treat ourselves and dive into the gorgeous scented products that Lush releases every year. I don't know about you but anything evocative of cinammon, ginger, marzipan or vanilla makes me instantly happy, so I was literally jumping all over the day we received the package. I'll break down my reviews in several parts, first because it was a really big order and second because it takes time to try everything!!

The Melting Snowman

Bath melts are way less dramatic than ballistics in that they don't fizz and fuzz and explode in your tub, they just slowly and softly dissolve, revealing a wonderful smell and drenching your skin with goody products. The Melting Snowman has a gorgeous smell, mixing Stollen and Christmas pudding (in case you don't know what Stollen is, it's a German Christmas bread with candied fruits and marzipan). It contains cocoa and shea butter and leaves the skin very soft and moisturized. I have very dry skin and cannot usually bear waiting more than five minutes once I'm out of the bath to put my body butter, but this time I felt perfectly fine.

Candy Cane Soap

Though it's specifically said on the website, you cannot help being a tiny bit disappointed on receiving a chunk of soap that doesn't look like this ->
Once that disappointment is over, you can fully enjoy the delicious smell of cherry and feel the fresh and awakening effect of peppermint. I used to avoid soap because of my dry skin, but Lush soaps are just amazing and I might stash several pieces of this because it's simply fantastic to wake up in the morning!

Do you like mulled wine? I do, a lot (though I get dizzy very quickly so I don't usually drink a lot of it). Do you know that tingling warm sensation that seems to go right down to your toes, and the explosion of spice and orange in your mouth? Well, that's exactly what Glögg does to you, wrapping you in warmth and spice from head to toe. If you want to enjoy mulled wine without the dizziness, Glögg is what you need!

Buche de Noël

I would probably not  have gone for that product if I had not just ran out of face scrub when I placed my order, so I decided I could give it a try. I know my flaws and I'm usually quite rough when it comes to face scrubbing, so I figured that using a milder product would limit the damage. I don't use it everyday, but once to twice a week, usually under the shower. Instructions say to mix a peanut size amount with water, I tried that and the resulting mess was quite appalling, so now I take it under the shower, when my face is just a bit wet and apply it directly before rubbing it until I feel the work's done! It also has a very Christmassy smell, a mix of orange and cocoa butter, yuuummmy!

Snow Fairy Lip Tint

If you're familiar with Lush Christmas range, or with the Godmother soap (my all-time favourite) you know what the Snow Fairy smell is, a delicious combo of bubble-gum and fairy dust. Christmas time is the moment to stack up on the Snow Fairy range and there are new products this year, among which the Lip Tint. It carries Snow Fairy's signature smell and gives a lovely light bubblegum pink tint to your lips. Though after some use, I find its moisturizing properties to be a bit light for winter, or maybe it's just another excuse to take out the fairy dust box several times a day!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

OPI Muppets - Rainbow Connection & Divine Swine

I'm finishing my OPI Muppets with the two glitters I chose out of the available six. The Muppets glitters consists of four shades similarly built up: very small colored glitter (in purple for Divine Swine, green for Frog of Bel-Air, blue for Gone Gonzo and red for Gettin' Miss Piggy with It) with large silver glitter. The other two are Excuse-Moi (candy pink and holo fine glitter) and Rainbow Connection (multicolored medium and large glitter). I'm presenting you Divine Swine and Rainbow Connection, only on one finger each because removal is a major pain with those.
I'm usually ok with removing glitter, especially with remover box like Sally Hansen's Kwik Off or Sephora's (well, with my Sephora's, I threw away the remover and replaced it with my usual one, since it's well-known that the Sephora polish remover is really bad for nails), but honestly, those ones are really, really bad. You'll see on some pics that I had glitter all over my fingers!

So this is Rainbow Connection on the pointer and Divine Swine on the middle, two coats each, no top-coat. Application was not as bad as I feared, provided you don't try the usual way, brushing over the nail, but instead, go for light dabs to place the glitter evenly all over the nail.

As you can see, coverage isn't bad in two coats, though to wear them alone, a third would look better. It might be a bit tricky because while the dabbing technique helps to place the glitter, it does make thicker coats than usual. I would probably do two coats dabbing, wait until they're dry and then a final one brushing.
The finish isn't even so bad for a glitter, though of course it's not glossy and smooth and would need top-coat to be perfect.
Since I don't usually wear glitters alone but as layering polishes, I tried some combos. With Divine Swine, I tried a silver base and a magenta purple base. Pointer is Zoya Trixie with one coat of DS and middle is one coat of OPI Pamplona Purple with one coat of DS.

I thought the silver layering would turn out great, but DS actually dulls the base and the end result is quite disappointing imo. On the contrary, layering over Pamplona Purple makes a beautiful combo, I love it!!
With Rainbow Connection, I used Zoya Trixie as well, and I find it looks quite great, so I think I found great combos for both!

Edit: After writing this article yesterday, I decided to try a full Rainbow Connection manicure, so here's three coats of Muppets crazy glitter, with two coats of top-coat (I think I actually had nightmares about the removal last night!!), in the pale autumn morning sun. As you can see, there's a bit of shrinkage because of the amount of coats but in real life it barely shows. If I manage to grow my nails for Christmas, I'll give it another try!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friends' Friday - Alizarine Claws with OPI Meep-Meep-Meep

As I'm still trying to catch up with everything I have to show you, I'm gonna shamelessly find a way to make my FF post AND post a new polish. I'm almost not ashamed :p.
So, today I'm presenting you Alizarine Claws, from the Swedelicious Feline. First awesome thing about her is that she's Swedish (yeah for Northern countries!), second is that she changed my blogger's life by making tutorial on camera settings that enabled me to take better pictures, and third is that she uses a pen to clean her nails up after manicures, and I do that too in spite of everyone saying they use a brush. Joking aside, she makes awesome pictures and teaches us Swedish words, and while her blog is quite a recent discovery for me, it was an instant crush.
Just like many English-speaking bloggers, Feline doesn't do much nail-art so I chose a polish to present her, OPI Meep-Meep-Meep. First because it does give alizarine claws, or sort of, and second because this polish showed me what a lovely lady she was: when she presented the Muppets Collection on her blog, I sent her an email asking how MMM compared to Let Me Entertain You from the Burlesque collection. Feline's blog being quite popular, I really didn't expect her to answer my request right away, but she did, how nice is that?
So here is Meep-Meep-Meep in two coats without top-coat:

On the picture below, you will see that MMM suffers from the same defect as Pepe's Purple Passion (is it because both polishes have thrice the same initials??? is there a code there?): the shimmer is made of some small plastic particles that gives it an uneven finish.

In spite of Feline's super comparison job, I decided to do one as well, adding Zoya Alegra to the other two. Alegra and Let Me Entertain You are absolute dupes, and the main difference with MMM is that the latter is not as glossy. In the bottle, MMM seems to have gold particles but they don't translate on the nail. So if you like this kind of color and finish, I can only advice you to go for Alegra or Let Me Entertain You.

If I don't tell you which is which, it's impossible to tell! Alegra is on my pointer, MMM on my middle finger and LMEY on the ring.


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