Vengeance Will Be Mine!

Londontown Collage

And beautifully manicured nails will also be mine, thanks to a quartet of gorgeous lakur polishes from Londontown that arrived on my doorstep just in time for those first frosty Fall evenings.  I love these lakur polishes – they apply well, dry quickly and wear like the dickens, to say nothing of that megawatt, gel-like shine.  It’s the rare lacquer (and lakur) that handles nail art applications just as well as it does everyday wear.  And as always, these polishes are vegan-friendly and five (actually nine) free.

Londontown very kindly sent me these polishes – hues from Back With a Vengeance, their Fall 2018 collection – for my perusal and use, and so let’s do just that then, shall we?

Londontown Collage 1

First up, we have the showstopper of the Back With a Vengeance Collection, indigo blue creme Iconic.  I adore this colour; it’s so rich, vibrant and lush.  Also the exact hue of Dory the blue tang from the Finding Nemo movies. 😉  For this manicure I used two light coats of Iconic, though I probably could have gotten away with one.  It’s also worth noting that all four polishes brushed on smoothly, self-leveled nicely and stayed put – you don’t realize how important a feature that is in a nail polish until you’ve tried to clean up polish-saturated cuticles with a teeny little detail brush.  So three cheers for a polish that knows its place – on your nails and not your skin!

Iconic Collage

Londontown does pale purples very well, and grey-tinged Jane Austen is no exception.  By all rights, this creme polish should make you look like a cadaver, but somehow, it’s flattering, and so, so delicate.  I can almost picture Elizabeth Bennet wearing a devastatingly cleavage-y dress in this exact hue (rolling her eyes whilst being forced into an afternoon of needlepoint and pianoforte, but of course!)  For this manicure I used three coats of Jane Austen and, like all of the swatches shown here, I forwent the topcoat – no need when the base polish is this shiny and well behaved.

Austen Collage

Next up we have the lone shimmer of the bunch, metallic Kissed by Rose Gold.  I really like these kinds of shimmers, the ones that look almost textured and a bit furry, but I think the name here might be a tad off – this polish is less rose gold and more rose platinum; as against my ultra pale skin tone, it definitely reads more silver than gold.  Here I’ve shown three light coats of Kissed by Rose Gold.

Rose Gold Collage

Saving the best for last, we have cherry red Vendetta!  This deep, almost blood red crimson creme is outstanding – a solid two-coater, and another one that really knew its place (vital when you’re dealing with stainy reds, which come to think of it, Vendetta was not.  Neither was Iconic, and typically nothing stains like a dark blue.  Huh.)  I just love a wickedly vampy red, and Vendetta is one of the better ones.

Vendetta Collage

I’ve been so impressed with Londontown’s products, and here’s another handful of great polishes to join their already quite extensive lakur line – looking forward to seeing what they come out with next. 🙂  If you’d like to check out these polishes for yourself – heck, Londontown’s entire line of lacquers – you can find them here.  Happy polishing!

Take Me to Londontown

Londontown Collage 2

Here’s a bit of excitement in this nail blogger’s world – I was recently sent this lovely package of polishes and nail care items from Londontown, an American company with a mind for natural, botanical beauty.  Featuring a gorgeous collection of vegan, 5-free polishes (“5-free” meaning the formula is free from the five major toxins you’ll commonly find in nail polish – toluene, formaldehyde, DBF, camphor and formaldehyde resin, in case you were curious) and essential oil-infused nail care products, Londontown’s got the natural, ethically-minded mani for you.

And for me!  Times four, as I tested out a quartet of Londontown’s lakur polishes (including two new shades from their summer 2018 collection) and an assortment of wonderfully-scented nail care items.  Later on in the week I’ll have some nail art for you featuring these lovely polishes, but until then, let’s take a closer look at this unexpected manna from the manicure heavens. 🙂

Every good mani requires a healthy start and a strong finish, and Londontown has seen to that as well with their kur line of vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free nail care products.  I haven’t had much of a chance to live with the nail hardener & base coat or the protective top coat (those will both see a lot more work when I begin putting these polishes through their nail art paces) but I’ve been using the heck out of the nourishing cuticle oil, because it’s light, non-greasy and it smells fan-freakin-tastic – like an herb garden, heavy on the flowering lavender and thyme, warm from the sun.  Infused with what Londontown calls their Florium Complex, a proprietary blend of extracts and oils and other good-for-your-nails stuff, I’d purchase this great cuticle oil in a heartbeat.

Londontown Main 2

And now, on to the pretty colours!  Up first at bat we have Cheerio, a delicate, pale wash of a hue that provides tons of shine while enhancing your natural nail colour – it’s your nails, only tidier!  She don’t look like much, but these kinds of non-colour colours always prove themselves quite useful, in applications ranging from clean, chic manicures to glittery jelly sandwich nail art.  I used three coats of Cheerio for this manicure, and like all of the swatches shown here, it’s presented au naturel – no topcoat to mess up all that lovely natural gloss.

Cheerio Collage

Next up we have Briolette, one of the summer 2018 additions to the lakur polish line.  Briolette (a briolette is apparently a type of gemstone cut, like an elongated pear) is a beautiful pale lilac creme dusted with purple shimmer.  The purple shimmer is not super apparent on the nail, but it does lend Briolette a lovely sort of corona that makes this polish look like it’s glowing from within.  This is two and a smidge coats (the smidge coat representing one obstinate nail on which I always experience polish drag, and it really is such a drag.) 😉

Briolette Collage

Next we have Opal, the second of the summer 2018 polishes.  True to its name, this pale grey creme shines with ultra fine purple, pink and blue shimmer.  Opal is just a beautiful, beautiful polish, and so flattering.  The shimmer is most apparent out in the sun, but in lower lighting, that added bit of visual interest makes this polish look like stucco or plaster or some other hideously expensive wall treatment.  It also applied really well, in two light coats.

Opal Collage

Sparkle and shine!

Opal 5

Finally, we have my favourite of the four polishes, juicy, popsicle red Guilty Pleasure.  This is the perfect summertime colour – lush, bright and so, so shiny!  I’ve been wearing Guilty Pleasure for three days now – a total rarity for me, but I’m carrying out some renovations to my apartment; little time to switch out my manis when I’m wrist-deep in floor leveler – and even without a base coat or a top coat, it’s holding up admirably well, with just the barest bit of wear.  Very nice.

Guilty Pleasure Collage

As stated off the top, and because we have to do these sorts of things now, lest the Internet police come for all that sweet, sweet bloggin’ money I keep hearing so much about, Londontown very kindly sent me these items, presumably for my review and enjoyment, although they made no requests that I do either (“WE DEMAND THAT YOU LOVE THESE POLISHES!”)  So nobody’s holding a nail file to my kidneys to get me to say that I really liked these polishes, and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase more.  Looking forward to seeing what this quartet can do in the nail art arena very soon.

Londontown Collage 1

If you’d like more information on Londontown – their business practices, their backstory – or to peruse their large collection of lakur polishes and kur nail care products, click here and tell ’em Finger Candy sent you!

Twilight Bubbles: A Mini Lush Review

Twilight Collage Again

In yesterday’s bath-themed post I called this Twilight bath bomb from Lush Cosmetics the best one I’ve tried yet, a statement I continue to stand by today.  Twenty-four hours later my skin remains super soft and smooth, to say nothing of the herbal lavender scent that continues to sweetly perfume the air.  A lovely bath time treat. And an adorable one as well!  How cute is this little star-embossed guy?  Can’t go wrong with glittery pink galaxies.

Twilight Bath Bomb

Inside, the Twilight bath bomb is a beautiful mess of turquoise and purple, the overall bath art effect mimicking the sky at sundown.  So pretty, and I can’t deny how much fun it is to swirl the dissolving bomb around, creating all sorts of fun shapes and colours, like a fabulous, beauty-oriented bath toy.

Bonus: Twilight is not as highly pigmented as some of Lush’s other bath bombs.  This doesn’t diminish the effect in the least – I love the cotton candy-hued bubbles – but it DOES mean that Twilight won’t (temporarily) dye your tub (or skin) neon turquoise, a nice touch indeed.

Twilight Collage

The MOST fun to be had with a bath bomb, though – and particularly this one, with its ultra fluffy candy floss hues – is to smush the nearly-dissolved bomb in your hand once it’s cracked open.  It sounds odd, but it’s a particularly delightful sensation, and a bit of a naughty one at that – hastening a bath bomb’s demise seems like something you shouldn’t do, right, given its already pretty limited lifespan?  Nope, just me?  Alrighty then.

Smushed Twilight Collage

The Twilight bath bomb is part of Lush’s regular assortment of bath time goodies – no limited edition nonsense here.  Retailing for $6.55, it’s at the lower end of the bath bomb price scale, another nice touch, as $12 bombs aren’t always in the offering.  Lush, of course, has online and physical outposts all over the world, although I purchased mine here in Canada through Lush.ca.  Happy soaking!

Frozen Over: A Mini Lush Review

Frozen Bath Bomb Collage

I initially had no idea why this bath bomb from Lush Cosmetics was called a Frozen bath bomb.  Frozen in colour, yes, and theme – and no, it’s not just my Disney-fried brain making the connection here; in the description of this bath bomb on the Lush website, there’s all sorts of references to “Let(ting) It Go” and “enjoying the most magical soak in the kingdom” – but the scent?  I was expecting mint, or something sort of mentholated. This smells like citrus floor cleaner, at times bracing and not altogether natural.

Frozen Bath Bomb Bad Side

So I didn’t enjoy the scent all that much (I actually like very, very few of Lush’s scents) and my poor guy came dented and dinged all to hell and back (which has virtually no bearing on the bath bomb’s performance, although I like it when my pretty bath goodies are actually, you know, pretty) but once it hit the tub, it exceeded my admittedly rather low expectations.

What a stunner!  Erupting into a mass of pale, creamy bubbles, this Frozen bath bomb quickly cracked open, unleashing a torrent of dark turquoise water sprinkled with champagne-hued mica dust.  Once the big show was over and done, an act that took but a few minutes (a pretty average amount of time for a bath bomb to break down) this bomb split into two neat halves, the shimmery little islands spiraling off to different ends of the tub to float among the icy blue, glitter-dusted water.

Frozen Bath Bomb Glittery Water

So the water’s an icy blue and it’s called a Frozen bath bomb – is that all I got for ya?  Well, then, right as I was about to step into the tub, I noticed that the creamy white bubbles floating along the surface of the water had formed themselves into fine swirls around and in between the little trapped clusters of shimmery mica dust. The resulting look is fine skirls of snow drifting across a frozen pond, and it’s so beautiful!  A truly gorgeous effect, those bath time Frozen fjords.

Frozen Bath Bomb Perfect Picture Again

Really one of those bath bombs where the payoff came long after the big show – glad I glanced down before destroying this lovely, unintentional bath art by sticking my foot through it!

Frozen Bath Bomb Perfect Photo

Shame about the scent, though – if the smell of this bath bomb were a bit more in line with its otherwise fantastic themeing, it’d be a solid 10 of a bath product.  $8.95 at Lush.ca, and, as nearly always, vegan-friendly.

 

Intergalactic Planetary: A Mini Lush Review

Intergalactic Collage

Ahh, now this is more like it.  Some of you may remember that last week I attempted a design inspired by an Intergalactic bath bomb from Lush Cosmetics.  Through the ultimate confluence of poor polish choice, poor design choice and just plain old not paying attention, that manicure wound up looking a lot like a pair of turquoise, floral print board shorts, the kind you never see on real people out in the world, just faceless mannequins at the mall.

So I took another run at an Intergalactic-inspired mani, and this time I think things turned out much, much better, don’t you?  I particularly like my ring finger; it looks very much like the bath bomb I wound up dropping into my tub some hours later.

And how did the bath bomb perform?  Incredibly well, actually!  Fizzing neither too slowly, nor too quickly, it bobbed around for at least five minutes, shooting off the most gorgeous, mica-dusted rainbow bubbles with every swirl.  The effect was so cool, as were the cute little crackling noises it made as it released the popping candy at its core.  And unlike the similarly hued Experimenter bath bomb I tried last month, this one did not turn my bathwater putty brown – instead it was the most gorgeous shade of indigo blue, and glimmered gently with golden mica dust.

S is for Sandra!

S is for Sandra

Also, and I don’t mean to alarm you, but there appears to be a rainbow-vomiting eel in my bathtub.  Were it not for Lush’s firm and stated commitment to providing cruelty-free, vegan products, I wouldn’t put it past them to do precisely that – “Now with 100% more eel!”  Lush loves to sneak little bits and bobs into their products. Thankfully the only add-ons to this bath bomb were those sweet little bits of popping candy.

Vomiting Rainbow Snake

A small word about the Intergalactic’s smell.  If you’re a fan of earthy scents, this will probably be right up your alley.  Infused with peppermint, it tingles the nose (and the skin.)  That peppermint, though, in combination with the earthy note – patchouli, sandalwood, etc. – sends this one, for me at least, straight into old man, grandpa territory. The scent is also very strong and lingers on the skin (and the surface of the tub) for hours. Something to be aware of if you’re very sensitive to those sorts of smells (I don’t like them very much, but I can deal with it in a one-use product like this one.)

And while I had no problems with this colour-saturated bath bomb staining my hide turquoise blue, the water clinging to my skin when I got out of the tub – which also made its way onto the floor, and the lid of the toilet, and the edge of the tub – WAS turquoise blue.  There was also a good deal of gold mica glitter pooled in the bottom of the tub.  So for the sake of your skin and your acrylic surfaces, I’d dance around beneath the shower for a few moments post-bath, literally wash them blues (and golds) away.

Pretty

Small issues of scent preference and turquoise-tinged water notwithstanding, the Intergalactic was an awesome bath bomb, and a fun, beautiful addition to my bath time routine.  I’m glad that it seems to have become part of Lush’s all-the-time, regular offerings.  You can nab one for yourself at your preferred Lush retailer; I purchased mine from Lush.ca.

Bath Time Experimentin’: A Mini Lush Review

Experimenter Collage.jpg

Ooh, sounds dirty!  Or possibly like I’m trying to create cold fusion in my tub.  But actually, I’m testing out another fun, super colourful bath bomb from Lush, this time the vibrantly-hued (and popping candy-filled!) Experimenter.

The Experimenter, another vegan, baking soda-and-essential oils-infused bath ballistic (that’s what folks from the UK sometimes call bath bombs; badass, right?) is a relatively new addition to Lush’s line of bath bombs.  At $8.95 (Canadian) a piece, these single use bath bombs are one of Lush’s pricier products, although the expense is offset somewhat by the sheer size of these colourful buggers.  As in they’re gigantic, and weighty.  I actually wish there was a way to break this bomb in two without destroying the cool rainbow effect that results from the fuchsia, turquoise, white and gold bits blending together.

Bath Bomb Collage

But as it went, this entire bomb hit the tub and began merrily zipping about, shooting off bubbly, mica-dusted rainbows with every zig and zag.  And it did that for a full seven minutes. When I finally said enough was enough and climbed into the tub, there was still a little chunk of pink and blue bomb crackling away contentedly behind me.  So I guess in this case size really does matter?

Experimenter Core

But before that, the Experimenter put on quite the impressive show, dancing merrily about my tub, swirling in and in and in on itself until the resulting bath art looked a lot like tubby time with Monet.

Bath time with Monet

In terms of function separate and apart from its big, colourful show, the Experimenter does a terrific job.  My skin was nicely moisturized and so soft after my bath, with nary a hint of lingering greasiness.  In fact, while I was soaking and floating, I took the opportunity to see if, with the benefit of lots of slippery oils, I could wrench my wedding and engagement rings off my left hand, and I could!  And that’s something I haven’t been able to do in years (in case you’re wondering, there’s nothing funny going on here between Mr. Finger Candy and I.  Rather, I’d like to take advantage of my building’s indoor pool this summer, and I’d prefer it if I could NOT destroy two of my most cherished possessions with chlorine while I’m at it.)

Two small drawbacks to this bath bomb are its smell (an earthy, unidentifiably woodsy scent other users either love or hate; I was mostly indifferent towards it) and the colour of the resulting bathwater, a brackish, putty brown that looks like you’ve been mudding tiles instead of taking a bath.  It’s pretty unpleasant, even shimmering prettily with golden mica dust.

Experimenter Bath 1

All told, though, this was a fun little bath time experiment (wah wah) that I could – and will! – justify again as a nice treat.  All in the name of scientific advancement, right?! 😉

Scratch So Good: A Mini Lush Review

Salt Scrub 1

Looks like a fungus, behaves like a peppermint-scented dream about warm, scratchy things. 🙂

This evening I’m bringing you another tiny review of a Lush product, this time Salt and Peppermint Bark, a solid, bar-form salt scrub scented with sweet peppermint.  A new release from their holiday line, Salt and Peppermint Bark is deliciously, delightfully scratchy – I have a small, perpetually itchy patch of skin on my knee that seems impervious to anti-itch products, and I could have gladly worried away the entire bar on that one spot alone.  Oh, it scratched so good!  But my arms and legs also demanded attention, and this salt scrub really proved its worth there, too, buffing, softening and lightly scenting my skin with sea salt, cocoa butter and crisp peppermint.

The one drawback I can see to this product is that if you go too hard on the scrub-a-dub-dub motion, the salt part of this particular peppermint bark will be right there to remind you to use a lighter touch next time. Buff carefully.

Available in stores and via Lush’s website (I’m providing you with the Canadian link) Salt and Peppermint Bark retails for $9.95 a bar and is, like so many of Lush’s products, vegan-friendly.