Springtime Polish Picks

Spring Main Collage

As I did for Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be a fun exercise to go through my lacquer collection and pull some Springy polish picks, with a few Easter gems thrown in for good measure.  A couple of these polishes are from actual Spring/Easter collections, but most just remind me of this time of year – cold, steely skies, crocuses and daffodils just beginning to poke through the snow, pastel eggs nestled in crinkly plastic Easter grass.

Starting off with the most obvious pairing, we have KB Shimmer’s Where My Peeps At and Smitten Polish’s Not Your Mama’s Easter Grass.  I think this combination looks like jellybeans nestled in chick fuzz nestled in plastic Easter grass.

Spring Collage Nails 2

Next we have another KB Shimmer pick, Full Bloom Ahead, paired with Different Dimension’s Luminosity. Full Bloom Ahead is one of my favourite polishes, and also one of the first indies I ever bought.  I think it looks like Spring flowers caught in an unseasonably late snowstorm.  Luminosity is just dang pretty.

Spring Collage Nails 1

Next we have yet another KB Shimmer pick – this time Make My Gray – paired with ILNP’s Mega.  I like the way the holographic rainbows in Mega’s depths mimic the steely grey glitters in Make My Gray.

Spring Nail Collage 4

Finally, we have the very eggy combo of Delush Polish’s 50 Shades of Yay paired with Glam Polish’s Ladies Choice.  50 Shades of Yay is one of my favourite, but rarely worn, polishes.  I think it looks like delicious rainbow Peeps cake (the delicious part being the cake; Peeps are the work of the devil, adorable though they are!)

Spring Nail Collage 3

Party Hearty

Mardis Gras Bottle

So it struck me today that on the cusp of my *cough*(inaudible)*cough* birthday, I’m about 1,000 times lamer than my 70-year-old parents, who are at this very moment partying at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  That’s WAY advanced party studies right there – they may as well be in Ibiza!  I’m chuckling at the imagery, but two of us are nibbling on powder-dusted beignets and roulez-ing le bon temps this evening and one of us is reheating last night’s broccoli mac and cheese and watching the final episode of Crazyhead, so who’s winning at life now?  (Possibly me; Crazyhead is wicked awesome.)

At least I’ll always have you, nails, this time a simple, but glittery, mani in some very Mardi Gras shades, Whimsical Ideas by Pam’s There’s No Place Like Home, a green and gold glitter topper, over A England’s purple Crown of Thistles.

Mardis Gras Fingers

Lipstick Love

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Feeling impulsive, I recently picked up a little treat for myself in the form of this gorgeous gold flake-sprinkled lipstick from Kalijumei, a Chinese beauty brand completely off my radar until Harlow & Co. began carrying them some weeks back.  That’s when I jumped on this beauty, Kalijumei’s Flower Jelly Lipstick in Flame Red, a way upmarket mood lipstick that changes colour based on your body temperature.

I’m actually making this all sound a LOT less glamorous than it actually is, which is quite – this luxurious lipstick, with its real gold flakes, gorgeous floral core and elevated price tag ($28.99 Canadian, eh) bears this one out as a very special purchase.  Even the scent of this light pink gloss feels lush and plush – the intoxicating, but ever elusive, fragrance of vintage, high end cosmetics.  I can’t deny that I feel undeniably glamorous when I swipe on Flame Red’s sheer pink wash, like a movie star from the golden age of Hollywood.

A tiny footnote regarding the Inspector Gadget-like tube, however: The lipstick is released from its mirrored case by depressing the inlaid button on the top of the tube (very ninja; I love the spy work aspect to its design.) But if you’re not careful, as I was, and you don’t roll the lipstick all the way down before putting it back in the tube, it WILL bump up against the top of the case the next time you depress the release.  Which affects the lipstick itself not one iota, I know, I know!  But a blogging and photography bummer all the same.

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Texture-wise, Red Flame applies and wears like an ultra light lipgloss, imparting a sheer wash of colour that morphed from a light pink to a medium berry depending on my temperature.  I didn’t find the colour change hugely noticeable, although there was some visible difference in tone.  In this photo, which I took outdoors, you can really see the rosy tinge to this lipstick, in addition to that gorgeous little floral core.

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Speaking of those little floral centrepieces, having used this lipstick for only the briefest of moments, I can’t speak to how well they’re going to hold up over the long run.  I suspect things are going to get somewhat dicey when I reach the halfway mark.  But until then, let’s just enjoy the gorgeous, luxe design of a unique beauty product done so very right. Such a lovely treat; I’m so glad I splurged.

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If you also feel like treating yourself, these Kalijumei lipsticks are still in stock over at Harlow & Co.  There are four shades on offer, including a tantalizing coral and a perfect purple and a…you know what?  I think they’d all be pretty fantastic.  Go get it, girl. 🙂

Who’s a Naughty Girl Then?

naughty-collage

This polish, that’s who, Different Dimension’s holographic Naughty.  Or should I say “Differen Dimensio”? That’s how my bottle is labelled, owing to what looks like a printing error.  I kind of like it; it sounds like a spell from Harry Potter.  Accio manicuris!

Nomenclature notwithstanding, Naughty is actually a very nice polish, applying smoothly, if a touch thickly, in two coats.  This one requires a fast, steady hand.  But oh my, that colour, and the gorgeous holographic flare (technical term that, flare, meaning the deeply saturated, shimmery bit running down the middle of the bottle.)  I nabbed my bottle at Harlow & Co., who has recently begun dealing in Different Dimension’s beautiful polishes.  It was $17.50 Canadian a bottle and worth every Loonie.

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Hello Gifts!

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Ending the month with a look back at some of the adorable Hello Kitty gifts I received this Christmas from friends and family, all of whom enable my love of Miss Kitty to varying degrees (Mr. Finger Candy is particularly fond of giving the gift of HK.)

This year I got some super cute, mostly nail art-related goodies, from an awesome Hello Kitty nail art book (look for some follow-along nail art from that in the coming weeks) to a definitely impractical breakfast sandwich pan with an embossed bottom.  Everything’s a bit quirky and not quite the usual, and with Hello Kitty adorning all of these gifts, of course I love them!  Let’s look at some of this bounty in a bit more detail, shall we?

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Starting with the most random, here is an adorable Hello Kitty nail art kit filled to the brim with kid-friendly polishes and nail care goodies.  Housed in a hard-shelled plastic Kitty case with a sturdy little handle for portability, the polishes are sort of rubbery in texture – a sure sign that they’re water-based (aka kid-friendly.) I wasn’t really expecting much from the contents of the kit (particularly in light of the fact that the best before date on the bottom of the case is/was 2015!) but the polishes went on really well, if oddly. I say oddly because I’ve never quite encountered lacquers like this before – they were rubbery in texture once dry (and indeed, peeled off my nails just like liquid latex) but the polish that came out of the bottles was thick, and a bit gloppy. And yet not the least bit unmanageable, applying smoothly and cleanly.  Which is a bonus, because these sorts of water-based polishes do not play nicely with acetone, making cleanup rather unpleasant. So as always, polish between the lines, because there’s really no way of walking back your boo-boos without literally picking them off your nails.  Such anomalies, these Kitty polishes, but also very, very pretty.  I particularly like the glowy jade green.

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More Hello Kitty nail art goodies came in the form of one of OPI’s mini kits from last year’s HK collection.  I haven’t yet given these traditional Kitty colours (with a nifty dotting tool and brush) the go-round, but I plan on using them to try out some of the designs from the Hello Kitty nail art book.  I love the yellow here, My Twin Mimmy – it’s the precise sunshine yellow of Kitty’s adorable little bean-shaped nose.

OPI Kitty Collage.jpg

Finally, we have the gift I’m torn between using and hanging up in my kitchen as an object de pop art, a Hello Kitty breakfast sandwich pan.  A gift from my brother-in-law and his lady, both of whom appreciate my love of all things Kitty, this little non-stick pan is the perfect size for toasting your egg sandwich to golden perfection. That is, if you weren’t afraid of setting the bottom ablaze, and possibly also melting the decorative handle when it gets too close to the burner, which it will, because it’s the circumference of an English muffin!  And I am afraid of all of those things, so perhaps best to leave this one as a decorative object!

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Urban Decay Full Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette

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Kicking off the weekend with something a little different today, namely this bloody gorgeous Full Spectrum eyeshadow palette from Urban Decay that I received as a lovely and generous Christmas present (told you Santa was good to me!)

Retailing for $80.00 Canadian, this 21-strong eyeshadow palette is no lightweight from a cost perspective, but if you’d like to sample a wide array of some pretty out-there hues, or you’re interested in eyeshadow art (yes, that’s a thing) or you just want to mess about with some fantastically beautiful makeup, I’d recommend grabbing one of these palettes, because they’re just stunning.  And not for nothing, but Urban Decay are no slouches when it comes to these kind of super vibrant, high pigmentation cosmetics – these are superb eyeshadows, period.

We’ll take a closer look at the actual shades in a just moment, but first, let’s admire a packaging and design job very well done, from the matte-on-black finish of the embossed lid to the almost geometric placement of the eyeshadow pans.  This palette also features a whisper soft front closure, a large mirror inset into the lid, a dual-ended shadow brush tucked into the base, and a nice amount of heft to keep the whole works from toppling over.  So, so beautiful, but I am a sucker for gorgeous presentation.

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Good looks aside, how did the eyeshadows perform?  Splendidly!  I admittedly haven’t given this palette much of a workout, save the swatches below, but I have no problems to report with skin sensitivity, and the shadows applied beautifully, blending softly and smoothly.  And the colours…a high intensity rainbow in three gorgeous tonal variations. There’s a little something here for everyone, no matter your cosmetic style or skin tone, and plenty of hues to challenge those looking to play outside the makeup box.

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Nestled in their glossy black case, this assortment of precisely inlaid rainbow shadows can’t help but be anything other than eye-catching.  I’m drawn, like a magpie!  But how do they look on actual, you know, skin? Allow my pale pink hide to answer that question (having said that, how sad is it that my skin tone can best be described as a shade called “Iced”?  More like “Iced, with Freckles.”)

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All told, I love this eyeshadow palette, and I’m so delighted it made an appearance under my tree this holiday – I’m a lucky beauty blogger, indeed. 🙂

Grin and Gerbera It

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It’s not very often that I feature a straight-up nail polish on this blog.  It’s almost like I have something against gorgeously hued, well made, regular polishes, such is my affection for lacquers that glow in the dark or contain more glitter than the aftermath of a Pride parade.

Sometimes, though, I like the palette-cleansing nature of a not-so-basic basic polish, like this beautiful lacquer, KB Shimmer’s Grin and Gerbera It.  Regrettably, raspberry red is one of those shades that never translates particularly well in photographs (indeed, these photos lean a touch more coral than this polish’s actual berry pink) so you’re not getting the full, gorgeous picture here, but oh my, this polish is stupendous. Slight issues in colour presentation aside, this is a deep, sensual pink – very sexy, very grown-up, and a scampy, playful alternative to vampy reds.  It’s so, so pretty and tremendously flattering.

As always, KB Shimmer’s polishes are fantastic.  I’ve actually yet to encounter one that’s not at the very least just a really, really great polish.  But KB’s cremes are next level lacquers – deep and rich, beautifully glossy and super easy to apply.  I love to wear them as everyday polishes, but they’re also fantastic for use in nail art detail work.  I’d recommend checking them – along with Grin and Gerbera – out.  I nabbed my bottle from Harlow & Co., as I have all of my KB Shimmer lovelies.

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