Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog giveaway: Fashioned in Finland

Hi everyone. I just wanted to let you all know about a giveaway Nea has going on her blog, Fashioned in Finland ( You'll find the giveaway page here. Of course I want to win, but it doesn't mean you guys can't give it a go, too. Besides, her blog is totally awesome and you should check it out anyway. I love that the products she reviews are brands I've never heard of. New discoveries rock!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nails: OPI Not Like The Movies

One of four regular OPI nail polishes in the Katy Perry collection (the other is Black Shatter, which I don't own), Not Like The Movies is the first one I decided to try. Wow. That's pretty much all I can say and it describes just about every aspect of this polish.

You may be able to see a hint of pink here. The glitter is visible at least.

The colour is amazing. It's a silvery grey with a pinkish/green duochrome and silver microglitter! The glitter is so fine that you can't feel it and it doesn't affect the way it applies at all. It applied smooth and dried really quickly (much quicker than I'm used to with OPI polishes), which is good because it's so sheer that it needs a few coats. I went silly and did four, but three would have done it.

I apologise in advance for the following photos. Apart from the fact that I couldn't really capture its awesomeness at all, I didn't realise until I was cropping the pictures later that I had some mascara on one of my fingers after attempting to fix an eyelash fail. I'd had so much frustration trying to take the photos in the first place, there was no way I was going to give it a second attempt.

Left: in the sun. You can see its silvery goodness and glitter here. Right: in the shade.

Left: this photo shows the green tint with a bit of pink (most obvious on my thumb). Right: the best shot I was able to get of the pink flash.

There's really not a lot else I can say. It's unlike any other colour I own, but it's a bitch to photograph. I've tried, but much better pictures can be found at Scrangie's blog. She's got swatches of all the colours in the collection.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Look what the postman brought me!

So the postie delivered some awesomeness yesterday. All of these are minis, but let's face it, who ever finishes a whole bottle of nail polish?

First, the OPI Katy Perry collection! Left to right: The One That Got Away, Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night, Not Like The Movies.

Two Orly minis. This is Velvet Rope on the left and Royal Velvet on the right.

Swoon! I love them all. Now my only problem is choosing which one to wear first. The arrival of these is very timely. I went to my martial arts class last night and when I got back home, this is what I was left with:

So now I have to choose which polishes to wear. Help! I may have to do the old eeny, meeny, miny, moe...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nails: Del Sol in Foxy

This week I'm trying out another new polish from Del Sol in the colour Foxy. For those who don't know, Del Sol makes a range of colour-changing products, apart from the nail polish, including clothing, toys, jewellery and other accessories. I love the idea of colour-changing nail polish - it's something I haven't seen since I was in primary school! Foxy is a bright pink metallic shimmer that turns a lovely pinkish purple in the sun. Check out the Del Sol web site here to see professional photos of what it looks like.

This is indoors. You can see the label on the top shows the colour is changes to in the sun.

Sadly, Autumn is well and truly here and as a result, the sun hasn't really wanted to come out and say hi for the past few days. I think you can clearly see the colour difference in my photos, although if I had more than a minute's worth of sun, the colour change would likely be more dramatic. I've been wearing this for two days and this is the most amount of sun we've had. I thought I'd better get some photos taken before it chipped off. Application was nice and smooth, although it's quite sheer. I'm wearing three coats here for full opacity. It dried super quickly, so the extra coat required didn't really matter. I have a top coat on, too. I wonder if that affects the intensity of the colour change?

Left: Base colour. Right: After about 15 seconds in the sun.

After about a minute in the sun. A definite change in colour, though.

I actually had trouble picking a colour because I was determined to get one, although I wasn't all that keen on some of the colours without sun. If you go to the nail polish page on the Del Sol web site, all of the colours you see are how they appear in the sun. If you check out each individual colour, you'll see the base colour is pale or pastel. I really like how bright the pink of Foxy is, although I wish the colour change was a little more intense. I'll definitely give this another go when it's sunnier to see if that makes a difference.

From pink to purple.

All in all, these are fun polishes in a range of colours. They apply well and dry really quickly, and they'd be a lot of fun in summer. Australian ladies note that they're a little hard to find here. The Del Sol web site doesn't list an Australian location, yet the Hello Gold Coast web site lists a shop in Queensland. There's no shortage of them on eBay, however. I'm still contemplating getting another one, perhaps in a turquoise.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review: The Body Shop Skin Primer Matte It

I recently bought The Body Shop's skin primer in the Matte It formulation. There's also a Moisturise It version for those who have drier skin, I guess. It cost $26.95 for 25mL of product. It comes in a handy squeeze tube that's see-through, which is great for being able to tell when you're running low.

Love the transparent and convenient squeezy tube.

I don't know how many of you have tried Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer (the original one), but I have and I can't believe how much like it The Body Shop one is. In fact, I'm going to go as far as saying they're exactly the same. The gel-like texture spreads evenly over my face in the same way and feels the same. It also wears the same during the day. The Smashbox primer is US$32 for the 30ml (1oz) tube, whereas The Body Shop version has a tad less in it, but it cheaper.

The primer creates a lovely smooth canvas for makeup and I actually found myself using less foundation. It also blends out very easily, making foundation application really quick, too. I have an oily T-zone and this primer doesn't really control oil, but rather keeps my makeup from melting and sliding off where it shouldn't. I also find it quite moisturising, so I think it would be ideal for those with dry skin. However, not having tried the moisturising primer, I couldn't tell you which one would be better.

All in all, this is a great base for your makeup. It provides a smooth, soft, gel-like base and makeup glides on effortlessly over the top. If you want a primer that controls oil as well, this isn't the right primer for you. If you're a fan of the original Smashbox primer, I can honestly recommend this as an exact dupe. This means you Australian Smashbox fans no longer need to pay ridiculous Kit Cosmetics prices for what can be had from The Body Shop for less.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nails: crackle polish attempt 2

So I decided to give the crackle nail polish thing a go again. Everyone's getting in on the act since OPI, China Glaze and Barry M have also released crackle nail polish. Does this mean our Aussie cheapie brand BYS was the innovator? You be the judge: my first attempt at a crackle manicure (last year!) can be found here. For this attempt, I used three different polishes: a Mode nail polish ($2.45 at Price Attack), BYS black crackle and BYS purple crackle.

All three combined came to $12.45. Bargain!

The Mode nail polish was surprisingly awesome. It was a bit runny (not as bad as some OPI colours), but the coverage was good and it dried really quickly without bubbling. The colour came out exactly as it appears in the bottle. As for the crackle, the black was super black, although the purple was a bit streaky and transparent. The purple has a nice metallic finish, so I didn't mind too much.

Left: outdoors. Right: indoors.

All in all, I really like how this turned out. It's pretty interesting and fun. I'm pretty sure that the crackle layer will start to chip off first, just like before, but at least with another colour underneath it doesn't look too bad. What do you guys think?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eyeshadow: Morgana Cryptoria

I know I've raved about Morgana Cryptoria ( before, particularly of my love of the North Pole eyeshadow, but I've been neglectful in mentioning some of the other awesome colours. And they really are awesome. The other day I used two purples and a black (well, almost) to create a look that's darker than I normally wear, but totally amazing in its sparkliness (is that a real word?).

Left: Mutiny. Middle: Gauntlet. Right: Zombie Tramp.

Mutiny, Gauntlet and then Zombie Tramp. For each eyeshadow, the first swatch is over Pixie Epoxy and the second is dry.

I applied all of these over Pixie Epoxy as usual, although as you can see from the swatches above, each one is very intense dry. These eyeshadows apply so smoothly and there was no glitter fallout whatsoever because it's so fine. Any random glitter you see on my face in the photos below is from the chunky Urban Decay Uzi I used for a highlight -- serves me right for being lazy and just grabbing whatever was there.

This is outdoors. It looks bluer than it actually is. I like that it can look different according to the light.

I had my Urban Decay Book of Shadows handy, so I used Uzi to highlight and Rockstar in the crease. I applied Gauntlet over two-thirds of the lid, with Mutiny on the outer third. Zombie Tramp was applied along the outer two-thirds of the lower lashline, with some Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister along the inner third to brighten it up a little. I also used a little bit of MAC's Naked pigment in the inner corner of my eye.

These photos were taken indoors. This is true to colour. They're so sparkly it's amazing!

These eyeshadows rock. There was no fading as the day wore on and no glitter fallout either. I'll have to do another look with Mutiny as the main colour, as the placement here just doesn't do it justice. Gauntlet is a great purple, but it's a simple sparkly pinkish purple. Mutiny is a bluer purple that has a definite green shift, which you unfortunately can't see in these photos (check out Blix's look here, which uses it as the main lid colour). I'd describe Zombie Tramp as a really dark blackened purple with lovely red glitter in it.

If you're intrigued, check out the Morgana web site and order some samples. They're reasonably priced and come in little baggies. I can't wait for the two new eyeshadow collections coming soon!

Nails: Sephora by OPI Go My Own Way

I was drawn to the Sephora by OPI nail polish collection when I was in Sephora last. There were quite a few colours that interested me, but I held myself back and only got one in the colour Go My Own Way. It's a metallic dark blue/green (depending on the light) with flecks of teal microglitter.

See? It's hard to tell whether it's green or blue.

I only needed two coats of polish to make this completely opaque. It was a great consistency, not too thick and not to runny, and didn't take too long to dry. There was pleasantly no bubbling either. It's a nice, dark colour, although as I said before, it's difficult to tell whether it's blue or green. It looks more blue in artificial light and slightly greener in the sun. The microglitter only really becomes apparent in the sun, to.

Left: indoors. Right: outdoors.

A (somewhat scary) close-up showing the shimmer and teal microglitter.

It's really lovely, I think you'll agree. I like that the colour is ambiguous, as it makes it more interesting in my opinion. It's easy to apply and has a beautiful shimmery finish. It's definitely a winner.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Tokidoki Robbery palette

I got this monster of a palette from Sephora. I'm a massive Tokidoki fan: I have a few T-shirts and a couple of bags, but let's not talk about how much I spent on those... I was intrigued when Tokidoki released a range of eyeshadows and lip glosses for Sephora. Just because their other stuff is awesome didn't necessarily mean that the makeup would be too. I was wrong. I swatched a few of the eyeshadows in Sephora and I was quite impressed with the texture and colour payoff. But while the packaging of the individual eyeshadows was lovely, it wasn't exactly practical. Each shadow is in an overly large plastic case in the shape of the Tokidoki logo (heart and crossbones), which is just too bulky for me. Then I laid eyes on the Robbery palette and I was in love.

This picture shows all the palettes opened. How cute is the packaging?

The Robbery palette is actually three smaller palettes (Royal Pride palette, Arlecchino palette and Rapina palette) in a large Tokidoki printed tin, with a jumbo Robbery print magnet thrown in for good measure. There's a small mirror inside, but it's pretty much useless. Each palette contains four eyeshadows and a blush. I love the idea of these: it means you can pop out one of the palettes if you're on the go and it takes up almost no room at all. For awesome in-depth photos of the palette, as well as swatches, visit Vampy Varnish's blog here.

Below are three different looks using each of the palettes. The pigmentation of the eyeshadows is excellent and my photos can't really do them justice. You get the idea, though. I've also mixed and matched colours from different palettes, so there's quite a variety of looks you can do with these. The cheek colours are nice, too. They're pigmented, but not overly so, and they're all shimmery. The eyeshadows are all shimmery, too, apart from two mattes: the lime green and black. The lime green provides good colour without being chalky and the black is really, really black.

This look was done using the Royal Pride palette.

This look was done using the Arlecchino palette.

This look was done using the Rapina palette, as well as Soya from the Arlecchino palette.

So while the novelty of the packaging initially drew me to the Tokidoki Robbery palette, I ended up with some quality makeup here. Sure, the range of colours isn't as wide as some other palettes, but there's more than enough here to keep most bright-colour loving people happy, me included. I love this palette and I'd happily highly recommend it to anyone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Urban Decay Lip Junkie

I'll admit it, I'm a Urban Decay whore. I love their makeup and I've been a fan since way back -- I'm still devastated that their Lip Gunk was discontinued and there's nothing quite like it that I've been able to find. Please let me know if you've discovered another lip product with the same colour payoff and wear! I was kind of hoping (but not hopeful, if that makes sense) that the Lip Junkie would be similar to the old Lip Gunk. It's not, unfortunately. Luckily though, it's still a pretty awesome lip gloss. The colour I got was Perversion and it's a really dark-looking glittery purple (Sephora describes it as a sheer black sparkle, but it's definitely purple to me).

Sorry this pic is blurry, but it's the truest to the colour of the gloss.

The gloss is in a squeeze tube with a slanted applicator, which I quite like. It means you don't get the precision of a wand, but that doesn't matter too much when it's a sheer gloss like this. It's easy to apply it as a sheer wash of colour or a little thicker to add some more intensity to it; however, it doesn't matter how much you apply, it will never look as dark as it does in the tube. I love this colour and when I bought the gloss, I was taking a gamble that it would turn out a little more subtle than it appeared in the tube. Happily, that's the way it turned out. One the other hand, if you're after an intensely opaque gloss that looks like it does in the tube, steer clear otherwise you'll be disappointed.

Left: outdoors in natural light. Right: inside with flash. I applied a thin layer on the top left, then a thicker swipe and finally a blob. If you click to enlarge the pics, you'll be able to see the pretty sparkle better.

The gloss is smooth and super-shiny, but isn't sticky at all. I didn't get any hair sticking to my lips in the wind, which is great. In the pictures below, I've applied a generous layer of gloss, yet it comes out a shade or so darker than my natural lip colour and adds lots of lovely sparkle. My lips aren't perfectly smooth (no one's are), so I think too thick a layer of gloss would have it settle unflatteringly in any cracks and lines I may have. You might just be able to see a hint of this in the flash photo (below right). The smell of this gloss is yummy, too! It's not overpowering and it fades quickly of you're worried about the slightly odd combination of vanilla and mint.

Left: outdoors in natural light. Right: indoors with flash.

All in all, it's a lovely, surprisingly subtle gloss. I know there are some shades in this range that are purely sheer gloss, but the majority of them contain glitter. If you like your glosses in a generous size and don't mind applying it using the slanted tip, then Urban Decay's Lip Junkie is highly recommended. If you prefer a wand or a more opaque colour, their Pocket Rocker glosses might be a better choice. I don't have any of those, though, so I can't comment on the consistency of them.

I do love this gloss, but I still dream of a time when Urban Decay will resurrect the Lip Gunk of old. Maybe I'll whip out the ones I have and show you all their awesomeness. I never used up one of them, even though I wore them all the time. They lasted so long, I hardly had to reapply. Anyway, for a glittery, sheer, non-sticky gloss, Lip Junkie rocks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nails: OPI Dim Sum Plum & Nicole by OPI Gone Wishin'

OPI's Dim Sum Plum is an unusual colour. I got it for my sister on my recent trip to Hawaii and after wearing it, decided it was too purple for her. So it's mine now. I put it on the other day and decided it was way too candy pink for me. How funny. I decided it needed a little something over the top to tone down the pinkness and I decided on Gone Wishin' from Nicole by OPI. This is my first Nicole nail polish and another purchase from my trip (I did warn you guys that I bought a lot of stuff over there!).

Left: Dim Sum Plum. Right: Gone Wishin'.

I found the formula of the OPI was different to what I'm used to. I have few (if any, now that I think of it) creme OPI polishes: the ones I have are all metallic or glittery. The formula of Dim Sum Plum was much thicker and I could even have gotten away with one coat. It didn't take too long to dry either. I find that with most OPI polishes, too thick a coat translates into bubbles, which I despise. That's why I often have to do three thin coats. So I ended up doing two coats and got perfect, full coverage.

This is how my nails look indoors. You can see how sparse the glitter is.

I was a little disappointed with Gone Wishin'. I was hoping it would be as glittery as Sparkle-icious, but it wasn't. Maybe I should have held the bottle upside down longer so the glitter could travel to the top? Regardless, there wasn't a whole lot of glitter coverage with this one and the pictures here show two coats. It's a lovely combination of glitter, though: purple and blue particles in a clear base. Because the glitter was so sparse, my nails didn't feel too chunky and gritty, so I didn't bother with a top coat.

Left: Outdoors in direct sunlight. Right: Outdoors in the shade.

Overall, I really like the effect of these two nail polishes combined. It's bright yet sparkly, which is what I love. I ordinarily favour dark polishes, but it's nice to wear something different. I'm thinking the next time I wear Dim Sum Plum I might top it with Sparkle-icious. I also think Gone Wishin' would look really nice over a dark base.