September 30, 2010

Pink Gradient Nails (+ Revlon Galaxy Top Coat)

I pretty much never do "elaborate" nail designs due to lack of time (thanks, law school!) but since I was in a procrastinating mood, I decided to try out the gradient nail look that's been popular with nail bloggers everywhere.

One problem: the gradient nail look often requires a sheer polish to create a more seamless effect and I hate sheers! Consequently, my nail polish collection is significantly lacking in that department. I refused to let that stop me, however, and eventually came up with this pink gradiant look -- no sponge blending and only one semi-sheer polish required!

Products used: OPI Tijuana Dance?; OPI A-Rose At Dawn... Broke By Noon; Nicole by OPI Star of the Party
Revlon Galaxy Top Coat; Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Revlon Galaxy Top Coat
This was also my first time using Revlon Galaxy, a new glitter top coat from the Just Add Sparkle line. This collection contains 4 polish duos: 1 creme base and 1 coordinating glitter top coat. The colours are red, purple, grey, and black. Galaxy is paired with the black polish called Lunar which I didn't buy since I can easily replicate the intended look with my own dark base.

This is apparently the "hot" polish from this collection... I suppose because it's the prettiest? It's a clear base that's packed with black, blue, and silver glitter as well as some larger silver hex glitter. The hexes take a bit of work to get out but the top coat itself goes on quite well.

I have to admit that I wasn't super impressed with this top coat but maybe that's because I didn't use it over a dark base like I'm "supposed" to. I've seen some swatches of it over black and blue where it looks more impressive so I'll have to try that next. And at only $5.99 CAD for a bottle, it's not like this put a big dent in my wallet!

September 28, 2010

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

Ever since Maybelline rolled out their ad campaigns for their newest mascara, The Falsies, I've been intrigued. The company claims that this mascara will build your lashes 8x the volume to give you a "false eyelash look." False eyelashes without the hassle of actually applying them? I'm sold!

I picked up The Falsies in "Blackest Black", but it also comes in "Brownish Black" and "Very Black." The mascara features the kera-fiber formula, which you can supposedly build up to create a voluminous look, and the spoon brush is intended to lift and add some curl to your lashes.

Application-wise, Maybelline recommends you repeat coats until you get the look you're going for but since this dries quite quickly, you do have to act fast to avoid clumping.

So did this live up to my expectations?

As you can see, The Falsies didn't really add much volume to my lashes at all. It did, however, seem to add length. For me, volume is much more important than length so I was kind of disappointed with the results. These also don't look like false eyelashes at all (though to be honest, I wasn't really expecting them to... I mean, that would be a miracle product!)

If you are much more concerned about lengthening your lashes, then this might be the mascara for you. But if you are looking for volume or are lazy and want the "false eyelash look" without using false eyelashes, I don't think The Falsies lives up to its promises.

For me, mascara is one of those products that I'm always coveting yet more often than not, I find myself disappointed when I attempt to switch from my HG (Maybelline Volum' Express Turbo Boost, in case you were wondering). I'll continue to use The Falsies, but I think it's back to my tried and true after this!

September 25, 2010

Sunshine in September

Deep V: American Apparel / Cardigan: Urban Planet / Bandage Skirt: Talula
Leggings: Forever 21 / Boots: Aldo / Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

September 23, 2010

Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure (+ OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight)

OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight topped with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

One of my absolute nail polishes is OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight, which is the more purple version of the OPI cult fave, Lincoln Park After Dark. Unlike the almost-black tones of Lincoln Park After Dark, Lincoln Park at Midnight is a gorgeous dark eggplant which reaches opacity in only two coats. I usually only wear dark colours in the Fall, so I've been waiting for the cooler weather to retrieve this from my collection.

This manicure, I decided to "spice" things up a bit by layering on the much sought-after Hidden Treasure from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line. This polish was released with the Spring 2010 Tracy Reese collection and was quickly snapped up by nail polish fiends everywhere. I've had mine for months but this is actually the first chance I've had to use it since I find it looks better over darker colours.

Result = GORGEOUS. Hidden Treasure is what's known as a "flakey" polish (basically big flakes of duochromatic "glitter"). The "flakes" look different depending on the light and your base polish colour. I mean, seriously, what an easy way to make a basic colour much more interesting! I can't wait to try this over some other colours to see effects I can get.

September 18, 2010

Sephora by OPI A True Romantic

Sephora by OPI A True RomanticKeeping in line with my recent lemming for creamy neutrals, I decided to paint my nails with Sephora by OPI in A True Romantic. This line of nail polish is sold exclusively at Sephora (obviously) but features OPI's signature salon quality and a great range of shades.

A True Romantic is similar to OPI Bubble Bath (see my review here) but carries more pink tones. It's definitely a work-appropriate colour, but still adds a bit of panache.

Unfortunately, the formula does apply somewhat streaky for the first few coats, and I found myself needing to apply thicker coats in order to reach the opacity I like so much. If you like a more sheer look, I do think it might be a bit difficult to avoid the streaks.

The Sephora by OPI bottle is different from regular OPI bottles, but I do like the rounded-ness and bullet caps (much better than those Nicole by OPI bottles which I dislike!). It would also be nice if OPI would offer the pro-wide brush with their off-shoot lines, but the normal brush is okay too. Perhaps they have to keep to pro-wide unique to the original line!

September 14, 2010

Cake Beauty Milk Made Smoothing Hand & Cuticle Buffer

Cake Beauty is a Toronto-based Canadian company offering a line of delectable and indulgent beauty products from creams and lotions to lip balms and bubble bath. In fact, every trip to Sephora, I inevitably gravitate towards the Cake display for its adorable packaging and scrumptious scents. So when my friend, who knows me all too well, got me the Milk Made Smoothing Hand & Cuticle Buffer as a birthday present, I couldn't wait to try it out.

Cake Milk Made Hand & Cuticle Buffer

The product is incredibly easy to use... you simply stir up the mixture and scoop a small bit onto your hands using the small spoon provided. Then you buff it in for approximately 30 seconds before rinsing it off. And voilĂ : instant mani! Plus, like all of Cake's products, this Buffer smells divine. Like vanilla with a hint a raspberry... I was in heaven!

Cake claims the Milk Made Buffer will nourish your hands, nails and cuticles and produce spa-like results in just one use. Usually I'm skeptical of companies that purport to bring "salon quality to the home" but can I just say that this time I was actually super impressed with the results? After only one use, my hands felt super soft and supple -- even my bf commented on how nice they felt! And you know you've got a good thing going when a guy who could care less about beauty products finally takes notice of one!

After such a great experience with this Buffer, I'm looking forward to experimenting with some of their other products. I definitely think I'll need to try the Velveteen Hand Creme next since it's supposed to be the companion to this Buffer.

September 12, 2010

Coconut Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

My friend Lara and I have been wanting to make cupcakes for quite a while now, so what better time than in preparation for my birthday party this weekend? Slightly embarassing but I have actually never baked anything from scratch before (whenever I make cupcakes I make them from those instant mix packages). Turns out it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be!

We found the recipe for Coconut Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting on Ming Makes Cupcakes (Cupcake 30). I'm a super huge fan of coconut AND cream cheese frosting so these were a perfect pick. YUMMY!!

September 3, 2010

OPI Bubble Bath

OPI Bubble Bath
For my nail look this long weekend, I decided to depart from my usual crazy colours and indulge in a more neutral and work-appropriate look (although in retrospect, I realize it's kind of silly that I chose to wear this during holiday time and not during the week, haha). Anyway, here we have OPI Bubble Bath, everyone's favourite "wearable" colour.

I'm not really a fan of sheer nail polishes; instead, I tend to gravitate more towards creamy shades. So Bubble Bath is perfect for people like me who like a little colour in their neutrals.

I used three thick coats to achieve this opaque milky pink look but I can see the possibility of using thinner coats for a more sheer effect. Of course, application was wonderful, as with all OPI polishes.

I'm really hoping to find some more shades that are similar to Bubble Bath, which "pop" but are also office-appropriate!

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