Wednesday, December 21, 2016

REVIEW of Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Pink Cadillac

Hello my dears,

I have been a very lazy bunny lately when it comes to blogging. I've been too busy to add running around to sample sales to my schedule and I haven't felt like doing much more than keeping my nails trimmed. But that's no excuse because I still have a bunch of swatches and notes in the tank ready to go for nail polish reviews. This is one of them. I tried Deborah Lippmann's Pink Cadillac polish out at the very end of September (9/30 to be exact). From my understanding, this polish originally came in a kit. I bought a mini bottle at a street fair.

Color: Deborah Lippmann Pink Cadillac is a blue-based medium pink polish. It's the kind of color I've stayed away from (except in lipstick) since my goth phase in high school when I decided I was too cool for pink. Normally these kinds of pinks do not do great things for me but I think because it is a blue-based pink, it counteracts whatever normally clashes with my skintone. It does have a bright, artificial kind of Barbie look but I'm into it.
Formula: Oh, here is where we run into problems. The polish didn't seem that thick at first. It was kind of medium thickness, solid but not gloopy. That changed as I went through my manicure.
Application: Applying the first coat of this polish was like doing a very tentative dance. It wasn't really flowing onto the nail so I had to do thicker coats than I normally like to paint in order to get the polish to go on smoothly. However, any time I tried to go over the polish with the brush at all, it went streaky. It didn't matter if I was actually trying to work with the polish to even it out or just to add that center brushstroke, this polish wanted to apply streaky and patchy. The second coat went on a little smoother than the first now that I had a base down. You could still see ridges instead of one smooth, even layer but it was mostly because of the bad first coat. Though the brush was not helping. At two coats, it failed a light test and you could really see the unevenness of the paint job. I think you could get away with it on short nails if you didn't do a light test. Because the polish was applied in such thick coats, there were no noticeable bald spots. I added a third coat which made the manicure more opaque but still not fully opaque. This coat applied more smoothly but it was still very difficult to not create streaks whenever you went over a fresh layer of polish with the brush. There was also this weird pilling and clumping happening which is generally not even a thing nail polishes do. Painting my right hand (using my nondominant left hand) was just a mess. The first coat was even worse than on my left hand and for some reason the polish had thickened to the point that I was just kind of slopping polish onto my nail. It was ridiculous. I did not feel very much like a professional nail polish blogger who had a handle on the situation.
Wear: After a week, as usual, my nails grew a lot so I took the polish off. My left hand held up really well. The polish only wore away at the tips. My right hand experienced more tip wear but it was still fairly minimal.

CONCLUSION: This is why you try cheap mini polishes. I'm definitely going to give these kinds of colors more of a chance in the future but yeah, the formula on this one was so bad I couldn't possibly recommend it unless you can work some magic with polish thinner. But even if you can get it cheaply, I'd save your money and look for a similar shade with a better formula.


REVIEW of Deborah Lippmann Looks Like We Made It With SWATCHES

Hello my lovelies,

I am so behind on my polish reviews! It's just been such a hassle. I do my nails less frequently and even though I'm still swatching and taking notes, it's such a process that I've been saving the photos instead of going through the trouble of trying to color correct them. If anyone knows of a better program than Picasa (that's still simple to use) please let me know. Anyway, since it's the holidays, I thought I'd share more of a holiday manicure so I bumped this review to the top of the list even though I just tried this polish out recently.

Color: Looks Like We Made It is a red jelly base containing red hex and regular glitter particles. I don't review a lot of jelly polishes. They're just not my thing. This polish doesn't completely register as a jelly on short nails because of all the glitter. I don't mind that it's a jelly because it makes the polish a little easier to apply, like a glitter top coat and you don't have to worry about the creme base covering up the glitter. The red is a little darker than a true red. When the glitter catches the light, it reflects it back as a bright red but I actually think it's the same color because when you remove the polish, the red wipes away and you're left with silver glitter. And on a few nails, you could see one or two pieces of silver glitter. I think this is pretty polish. When it catches the light it's sparkly and makes me think of Christmas and Dorothy's slippers in The Wizard of Oz. But for a Deborah Lippmann polish, it looks a little cheap. It doesn't have a lot of depth and I have more affordable glitter polishes that I prefer.
Formula: The formula is thin but pigmented, almost like a cheek stain. You get a deep color but it's not opaque and you can apply a thin layer of product.
Wear: Normally I like to use glue so I can peel off glitter polishes but I thought that would be tough since this isn't a dense glitter. Instead, I just used my regular base coat. I'm using Essie at the moment. The first coat went on pretty smoothly. I added a thin layer. There was a little drag and the layer was a little chunky because of all the glitter but it wasn't hard to get on the nail. With the second coat, I added a thicker layer. It also wasn't difficult to apply though it was less even because I didn't want to move the glitter around too much. The brush isn't great for evening out the polish because it's loaded up with glitter. I did like that the polish had a thinner, more fluid base. Because my nails were short, two nails were good enough. I wasn't at full opacity but the polish had applied evenly and the glitter covered most of my nails so opacity of the base wasn't really important.

Everything went to hell when I tried to apply this polish to my right hand using my nondominant hand. For some reason, the polish had become very thick and it was threading (threads of polish were forming when I pulled the brush from the bottle). It wasn't impossible to apply polish to my nail but there was no technique to it. I was just slopping it on. I applied two coats and didn't end up with terrible results but I had more clean up to do and I couldn't get the polish as close to the edge of the skin.

I wore this polish for 5 days. At the end of my wear time, it didn't look terrible but I had a lot of growth at my nail beds and also a little chipping/uneven tip wear. I could have still worn the polish for a few days and most people wouldn't have noticed aside from my right hand where the growth was more noticeable because I wasn't able to get the polish that close to the nail bed on initial application. But I was over it after 5 days so I just took it off. Glitter is always tough to get off, but I was able to get most of it off with cotton pads and q-tips (though admittedly there was scrubbing involved). But at least I didn't have to pick the polish off piece by piece. The polish did lightly stain my fingertips red when I removed it. It didn't last more than a day but it's something to keep in mind if you want to switch your polish and immediately go out.

CONCLUSION: This polish made for a pretty holiday manicure and I'm glad that I had it on hand but I wouldn't recommend it. The formula turned on me halfway through application and while this polish is pretty, it didn't have a lot of depth. Red glitter polishes are not that hard to come by.  I would suggest searching out another one instead.

If you're planning on doing any last minute shopping at Amazon, please consider starting your shopping trip by clicking on one of my Amazon affiliate links. It would help me out so much. 

I know this isn't the song this polish is referencing but this song puts me in a good mood. Enjoy your holidays! I'll see you back here next year. :)

(This polish photographed slightly brighter and less blue-toned than it was in person).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Winter Eye Makeup Inspiration

Hello darlings,

You know that I like to try new things on this blog and this is one of those experiments. I'm not as adventurous as I once was in my makeup habits. You know, it just gets too expensive trying out new products and different crazy shades all time. But when the seasons change, it's a great opportunity to step out of the comfort zone of your holy grail makeup routine. It's a chance to be a little more playful with your look and try out some darker colors and different textures that might feel too heavy in the summer when you have to worry about everything melting off your face. With that in mind, I thought I'd show you some makeup looks inspired by lingerie sets from the company Adore Me (Not a sponsor. God, I wish. Why won't anyone ever pay me?)

Now, I don't believe in splurging on an entirely new makeup stash every season. You can easily transition to fall by just incorporating a few new colors. It's all about having fun with your makeup and being creative. So with that in mind, I'm just going to show you some simple looks with techniques you probably already know (a smoky eye and a cat eye), keeping the rest of the makeup very simple and natural. I chose products in my collection that I like but you can always adapt these looks for your skin tone and based on your personal makeup stash.

My skin is having some reactions to the products I've been testing so instead I drew you up a makeup template to show off the looks I came up with. Bear in my that this makeup is being applied to blank, white paper and not natural skin so some of the makeup is going to look a little different. But using a template like this is a good way to experiment with looks without applying makeup to your face. It can also be a good guide when you're trying to recall a particular look. Feel free to use my template if you'd like as long as you remember give me credit and/or credit this blog. I will leave a copy of the template at the bottom of this post.

This gray silk teddy inspired me to play with the gray eye shadows in my collection to come up with a classic smoky eye. With its deep V and barely there straps in the back, this piece seemed to call for something sultry and colder months are a great time to experiment with darker eye makeup. But a doing a smoky eye or using darker eye shadows doesn't have to mean looking like a raccoon. With that in mind, I did a softer daytime look with my Rimmel Smoky Noir quad (which also makes for a great low budget option) as well as a deeper nighttime look with my Urban Decay Naked 2 and Dangerous palettes.

I would keep the liner thin for your daytime look. Try more natural, fluttery lashes and keep the rest of the makeup simple and natural. Soft pinks pair well with gray so it's easy to just use the subtle pink makeup you already own for your lips and cheeks. You don't need a full face of makeup and contouring with a look like this. Just make sure you're keeping your skin moisturized. Maybe apply something light coverage like a BB cream, fill in your brows, and let the eyes be the focus of this look. For nighttime, you can go a little thicker with the liner and wing it out a bit more. Maybe apply falsies or use a very sooty mascara but again, keep lips and cheeks natural.

DAY LOOK: Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Quad Eye Shadow in 1 Smokey Noir (shades 1 and 2)
Anastasia Dip Brow in Dark Brown
Stila Stay All Day Liner in Black
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface
Lancome Color Design Cream Lipstick in Love It

NIGHT LOOK: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (shades Verve and Pistol)
Urban Decay Dangerous Palette (shades Mushroom and Ace)
Anastasia Dip Brow in Dark Brown
Stila Stay All Day Liner in Black
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 668 Primrose

The pairing of this lacy, pale blush bra with this muted pine green nightshirt brought to mind one of my favorite ways to play with makeup colors in fall and winter, which is deep jewel toned liners. They work for every day or a special holiday party. Sadly, Maybelline refuses to make their gel liners in the colors I used to love but Stila is back to save the day. They make their Stay All Day Liquid Liners in a huge range of colors, to the point where I don't even understand why people who aren't professional makeup artists would need some of those colors. Who needs bright pink eye liner? Anyway, they have some great blues and greens in their line which is fun way of injecting some color into your makeup look without going too crazy. Bobbi Brown also has some brighter colors of gel liner but I haven't tried them yet. If you stick to a darker shade, it'll only be a tad out of your comfort zone if you usually stick to black or brown eyeliner. Keep the rest of your makeup routine the same and just try a more colorful shade of eyeliner. You'd be surprised what a difference it can make.

Keeping the lingerie set in mind, I wanted to keep the makeup very simple and neutral with a lot of soft pinks so the liner would really pop. Of course you can adapt this for your skin tone if light pink shades don't flatter you. Just use your natural makeup and pair it with a bold shade of eyeliner.

BRIGHT LINER: Stila Stay All Day Liner in Teal
Anastasia Dip Brow in Dark Brown
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface
Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette (shades Righteous and Tyranny)
Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Evangeline
DARK LINER: Stila Stay All Day Liner in Midnight
Anastasia Dip Brow in Dark Brown
Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Trio Eye Shadow in 621 Orion (shades 1 and 2)
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 668 Primrose
Inglot Bronzer

If you need more cold weather makeup inspiration, Adore Me has shared this graphic with me. Feel free to check out their bras, lingerie, and sleepwear collections on their website if you are so inclined. Enjoy your winter whether you decide to venture out or spend a cozy night indoors.

As promised, here is the makeup template.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Josie Natori Sample Sale Report November 2016

Hi chickadees!

It's going to be a short sample sale report today. I couldn't get to the sale until later in the day and they were basically shooing us out so I did the best I could in scoping out the place and getting photos and info for you.

The sale is being held at the same location as the last time I attended. I feel like this is a company that doesn't change their sale venues. The building is 102 Madison Avenue between 29th and 30th St. There are a bunch of subway stations, but I took the R (well, really the W because the trains were being ridiculous when I went yesterday). Just take the elevator up to the third floor. There's no room at the end of a long, winding hallway to look for here. The sale is running from December 7-8, 10:00 am through 5:00 pm. Yes, that means if you want to shop this sale, it has to be today. There was no coat or bag check required.

So... is it worth heading over? Personally, I think it depends what size you are. I went later in the day so I don't know what the stock was like in the morning, but there was still a lot of merchandise out. The problem was that certain sizes definitely dominated. One of the things I like about Josie Natori is that they're a brand that caters to a wide range of sizes. And as you'll see from the photos, there is something for almost every size. But if you really want a selection, you'll be best off if you're a B cup. DD's and 34D's also had boxes of their own that you could dig through. Aside from the section on the wall with larger band sizes (and also larger cup sizes) I was surprised at how hard it was to find larger band sizes among the regular bras. I'm not even talking about 38's or 40's. I was having trouble finding 36's in the C cups and D cups, but maybe they already sold.

You'll find a range of styles at this sale. I like Natori bras. I think they're well made and they come in pretty designs and colors while still being practical. At least in the sections I was looking at, I saw more soft bras (not bralettes but underwire bras without padded cups) but there are all kinds of styles floating around. Again, it just depends on your size requirements. As usual, the prices are incredible. You can barely find bras this cheap at places like Target and TJMaxx and even if you do, they likely won't be as well made. 

As for the non-bra items, there are a few rows of underwear in S, M, L, and XL as well as some boxes in the back I didn't have time to look through. I don't think this is really like a Hanky Panky or Cosabella sale where it's worth it to go for some pretty underthings but if you know you like Natori underwear, if you're going to the sale anyway, or if you want something a little more practical, maybe check this section out.