Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas!!

If my readers are out here on Christmas day, I hope you are having a joyous season and enjoying everything life has to offer. I am celebrating the day with my family and hoping for peace and happiness for everyone.

If you do not celebrate Christmas then I just wish you a happy day filled with love and family and hope.

Happy Talons, all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Locavore

Locavore is part of the BiB collection, the latest of those that were shipped. If you're not familiar, the BiBs are Bring it Back colors that were sold out or discontinued the ReBeLs the world over hounded Ji Baek to bring back to us! Locavore is one of those. It's still available, or was a week ago, on the rescuebeauty website.

Locavore is a party in a bottle. It's green and gold and purple and pink sparkle in a clear base.

This is one coat. As you can see, you could easily layer this over...just about anything, really. It has so many different colors in it. This isn't the best swatch but check out the next one.

Two coats, better lighting, much better representation of color.

This went on as well as a glitter can. The glitter is pretty dense and of all the same size, basically. It's small but chunky and will want a good top coat. There is no way you're getting this smooth.

You can see pretty much what the bottle shows here, I think there might even be some red in there.

This is with flash showing off the glow. I think another coat would not have hurt this at all, really. You might get pretty well opaque with one more coat.

Last picture. Here you can see the reflection coming off that glitter, the can see blue in here. I think she threw in a bit of everything, but the overwhelming color is green. It's mostly green, but probably equal parts green to equal parts of everything else together. It's a great color for a celebration!

Stay Sparkly and if you celebrate it, Happy Christmas Eve!

Happy Talons!

Friday, December 23, 2011

butterLondon - Perfect Prezzie

And who doesn't want a Perfect Prezzie? I keep asking for an Aston Martin and one keeps not appearing. I guess I have to settle for this perfect prezzie and while it's no Aston, it is pretty driveable.

One coat. Pretty good coverage but another is needed. This is a pretty pigmented lacquer, lots of color and I've always loved the formula.

Two coats. Ahh, see? That's much better. But you could see from that first swatch, you're not having any concerns with this. Not streaky, covers well. 2 coats just intensifies the color and makes it completely opaque.

Bottom of the bottle shot, just for scuz. See the nice cuticles? Nice application!

This, as you can see, is a pretty burgundy with red undertones. It's understated and elegant, no sparkle to speak of. There is a hint of gold that you can see in the bottle and while it's not obvious on the nail, the polish does have a certain je ne sais quoi, probably owing to the gold. I wouldn't change a thing about this, I pretty much love it as it is.

Really lovely, slightly brown...very very wearable. This is probably going to look good on most everyone.

This is definitely office appropriate. I'm wearing it now and getting a lot of compliments on it. It's chipping some, but I think I can repair it easily enough. I've been hard on my hands the last few days.

What do you think? Though this is last year's color it's still easily available. My local Ulta is carrying these now and while I rarely pick them up there, I do like to go look and then order from either or more likely straight from butterLondon themselves. They ship fast and if you sign up for the offers you can often get great freebies, sometimes even free lacquers.

Happy Talons!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

butterLondon - Fairy Lights

butterLondon does such fun colors. This year I don't know that they put out any specifically Christmas themed colors. There is a new set and it's coming up, but nothing holiday oriented. Last year they did two. Fairy Lights is one of them.

Fairy Lights is a pink chrome with a little silver shimmer in it. It's lovely. I had started, last time I sat and did swatches, to show you what one coat, and then two coats look like, to give you more of the whole what it's like to experience these colors idea. I thought it might help you see what I mean when I talk formula and application. As you can see, near perfect cuticles meaning near perfect formula and application here. This is one coat. One coat is about all you need.

Two coats, no flash. This is very true to form. The chrome finish is very nice, it gives a lot of shine and good coverage. This also dried very fast which was cool.

There is something very icy about this color, which is lovely. However, I don't know that I'd reserve it for the holidays. This would make a lovely Spring color too. It is a bit flashy so use your judgement for work. You know your workplaces, do what is best and least likely to get you a "We are conservative here at Boring Investments...." come to Jesus.

Pretty, yes? I like.

Please don't mind that dent in the middle nail. That's not butterLondon's fault. That's a nail repair starting to peel up. I wound up taking it off. It didn't like swatching at all.

Fairy Lights, a lovely pink chrome for the holidays. Or any days!

Happy Talons!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sparklies part two!

Illamasqua Spartan is the gold twin to Harsh. It's a micro chunky glitter that takes no prisoners. Possibly because Spartans didn't take prisoners. I don't think...I think they may have taken slaves....I'm not sure. Ancient history isn't really my forte, but it definitely doesn't make me think of this kind of Spartan:

It could I guess.

This is one coat. The glitter is a little less dense than in Harsh but at two coats:

Oooo. Three coats wouldn't hurt this at all, but I only did two for the sake of the swatch.

This is the same chunky teeny glitter as harsh only in gold. Gold isn't the best on me, but it's OK. This almost looks to be in a clear yellow jelly base, but I wouldn't swear to it. The gold is so gold it could just be changing the way we perceive a clear base.

Definitely wearable. I didn't try one of Harsh and Spartan together. That could be quite magical, I imagine! Maybe I will at some point!

Wear some Spartan! Feel like a sparkly ornament!

Happy Talons!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Since Christmas is next weekend and it's the best time of the year to wear sparkle and feel like an ornament, I am going to do some glittery yummies this week. I have a couple ButterLondon holiday polishes to show you, plus just some good old glitters.

Let's start with Illamasqua.

If you've ever seen those old Shiny Brite ornaments, the ones that Christopher Radko is now duplicating, this is what Harsh reminds me of. We have tons of those old ornaments from the 1940s that they started making during the war because my great-grandmother bought a bunch of them for my father. These are the ornaments I grew up with. Hm. Can I find a picture? Yes, well, go to the evil auction site. There are some out there. I'm not going to swipe their pics.

But they had some kind of glitter process for those ornaments and it looked a lot like Harsh and it's gold twin Spartan, which will be tomorrow's post.

Check it out:

This is one coat and perfectly fine for layering. I may do a quick post on layering these because we always layer them over black but you could layer something like this over anything. I'm thinking right now that red would be really amazing. TWO coats and wow!

This could be a stand alone. This is a teeny chunky glitter. It doesn't dry smooth, nor could you possibly expect it would. But it does have the sparkle.

Doesn't it look like ornament sparkle? It's so pretty! I did try this over black and it covered it completely. All it left me with were black edges. It was fine, but I like this better. I will show that swatch when I do the layer comparisons of several polishes.

Great polish for those late night holiday cocktail parties where you just don't need to be so sedate. Nothing about this is sedate. I love it. You need a good top coat, though. Keep that in mind. A nice thick one, a Seche Vite sort of thing.

Like it? It's definitely sparkly!!!

Happy Talons!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fun Stuff from Illamasqua for the Holidays

Illamasqua is one of my favorite make-up brands. I live in a pretty small town, we have a Sephora in our JC Penney's. I know, right? It has a nice Urban Decay set up, if you can get around the tweens trying to be grown-up, and tons of perfume. I call it Ulta Lite, because it is not offering me anything my local Ulta does except a Nars display, which I won't use because Nars is owned by Shisheido, Shisheido animal know the drill. So, unless I want to fight off the tweens, I usually just go to Ulta because it's on my way home and it's in an outdoor mall and I have a friend that works at one of the anchor stores there.

The moral of that long story is, that because I live in BFE, I can't wander down to my local Sephora and browse Illamasqua, which is the only place you can get it in the US. have the INTERWEBS! Yay Interwebs! I get little deals and steals and coupons and sales from Illamasqua, which if you read this blog at all regularly, you know I sometimes curse them for because I can't turn down Illamasqua.

This year they did a couple of little lip sets. I picked up one because bright red lips on me are OK, but I don't prefer it and the other set was bright red. Very sexy if you're Scarlett Johansson, not so great on me, especially if it clashes with my red hair. So...I went with the pinky purply thing, which was VERY pretty.

I know I don't normally do a lot of make-up reviews. Next to none, if you want the truth, but I thought these were pretty and maybe you guys get bored only seeing nails all the time.

If you have never ordered from, let me show you what you are in for. Like most devoted make-up and nail hounds, I am a sucker for pretty packaging, shipping, etc. It's all a part of the love. Illamasqua, being almost a cult following, but a VERY classy act, does a fun job. First you will get a matte black cardboard box, complete with a Royal Mail label and a customs declaration.
When you open it, you see this:

Everything is covered in black tissue paper. Peel the paper off and you'll see your order, nicely arranged:

These are packed in a nest of black streamers:

It's just fun and true to the spirit of the brand and I love getting them. It's silly, I know, but it adds something.

So I present: Illamsqua Midnight Kisses:

My lipgloss shifted in the shipping. Oh well.

Now you know you have Welt lipstick and Rouse lipgloss. Don't you love the names?

Once you get through all the pretty packaging, you wind up with these two. I've read other blogger's reviews and their not liking the packaging for Illamasqua. I do like it. Everything is in black, which shows off the colors best, and it's all practical and easy to grasp and use. I also really love that you're not paying for silly mini makeup brushes in anything that you won't use. No useless sponge applicators in the eye shadows and no too small for anything brushes in the blush. I think they know that if you're seeking out a brand such as Illamasqua, you're not a casual make-up user, you are serious about it and you want the good stuff. You already have your brushes of choice (mine are a combination of Estee Lauder, Chanel and Urban Decay) and you use them for everything. Well done. The price I pay is all product and I like that.
The lipgloss tubes are some that I like. They're clear, they're soft and you can see exactly what color you have and how much of it is left. This is a beautiful thing. I always end up feeling like Illamasqua is made by people who actually use make-up, not that it's designed to make me buy it. I like that, too.

Plus, I always get great service from them. They're on top of my issues. I'd love to tell you I'd never had any, but they are still rather small and issues sometimes happen. Last time I even got a personal note and a free lipgloss for the trouble. How do you not love that? Especially since they weren't getting angry emails from me, they were getting "Hey, I still don't have that? Can I get a status?" emails. I wasn't mad and I wasn't threatening to leave the brand. But they made it right anyways, and they did it with class. What's not to love?

Welt is gorgeous. I mean...fuschia-purple. Lovelovelovelovelove!

If you've never used Illamasqua, it's the most perfect layering make-up I've ever found. As strong as this looks in the tube, it will go on sheer and then you just keep applying until you get it as dark as you want it.

This is a couple swips, you can see where it's darker in spots. I did that on purpose so you could see the layering ability of this make-up. Not to mention, it's creamy and light, it feels like nothing more than a good lip balm.

A sheer lip gloss to Illamasqua is exactly that. It's sheer. These can be on the sticky side, but I've never found them goopy or uncomfortable to wear. You will want to touch up the lip gloss, though. I am a lip biter, which is why you will never see these on my lips on a swatch, so if you also tend to the licking biting habit....Minds out of the gutters! Focus! then you will want to reapply often. I don't mind this, personally. It helps keep me from biting.
As you can see, Rouse is quite pretty on it's own, and note...more color where I've layered it up.

Together, these are quite striking:

Pretty! This is pretty pretty princess pretty. Wearable, too. This is easily work OK. With a pretty lighter plum lip liner blended in, you can create the look on the box with no trouble at all.

Definite. Love.

Happy Lipses!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Deborah Lippmann - Just Walk Away Renee, with Renee Zellweger

No....Renee Zellweger isn't guest appearing on the blog or anything. She helped create this polish and it's gorgeous. Go Renee! When I first saw swatches of it I was like mehhhh....brownish red. Not in real life and not on me! I would suspect that Ms. Zellweger and I are about the same level of glow in the dark white. The girl is fair and it looks good on her. I am also very fair and her polish looked good on me. I have a couple swatches that I shared with a friend I was chatting with online while I was doing my nails, they're like...action shots! Taken against my glow in the dark keyboard. Hey. Don't knock it. Know how your letters wear off your keyboard in time? Doesn't happen when the characters are laser etched into the keys themselves. Definitely recommend the Logitech back lit keyboard if you hate your letters wearing off. And you like the dark, comme moi!

So anyways, I have those just done swatches and you guys will see the mess ups, thus proving that when I tell you a polish is easy to apply that I know what I'm talking about. I didn't clean them up beforehand.

JWAR, for short, is a gorgeous, vampy, dark blood red. Like "Just walk away, Renee, and you won't get busted for drawing blood on that person" red.

OK. Note the cuticles. Lippmann's are traditionally great formulas, dependable, the black pump of the nail polish world, up there with their friends Rescue Beauty Lounge - the strappy sandal, and Illamasqua - the red patent leather stiletto. Always dependably great, suitable anywhere and with varying degrees of edge. Like I said, I had been chatting away online and I think I wasn't being too careful because the formula on this was no different than every other Lippmann cream I've ever used.

In an effort to show the color differently I tried a white background:

Errr. I've definitely given you guys better swatches, but maybe if you click and blow it up you will see something different here. This has some plum in it, which is nice.

This is VERY true to color. See what happens when I swatch before doing some clean up? This is what I'm sayin'. I SUCK at painting my nails actually, so good formula is key. When I tell you something is easy to apply, I mean it because it has to be fool-proof for me not to have it in my hair, on the dog...I have a very short attention span and usually I want it done. Runny bad formula is a deal breaker. As much as I love SpaRitual's colors and philosophy I won't spend a lot more on them because they're flat too runny. Deal breaker.

Several days later:
Ummm...what the freak happened? I think this mani was maybe 4 days old. Not bad, but...hello. I'm getting not great wear out of my Lippmann's and I can't figure out why. Is my top coat going bad? Am I just being too hard on my nails? I know I was a little pissed off about this. $16 and I got 4 days? I need to figure this out because these are some of my favorite polishes. Maybe I need to spring for a new bottle of top coat. I don't know. 

God, those cuticles. I'm embarrassed. So let's talk about the color for a sec because color wise, these swatches are great. You can see the plummy undertones, but the primary color is a deep red. It's just a very very blue red, but while the plummy undertones are definitely there and a factor, you will never mistake this for plum. 

My nails aren't long at this point, and shorter now as I write this, but this is really too dark for really long nails. It's going to look very Morticia Addams if you put it on very long Talons. The length my nails are here are about as long as I would go with this color, but do as you love. It's a great winter Christmas color, for all it's dangerous look. I was very tempted to put a slight glittery shimmer over it but then we got into the chipping thing and I didn't. 

I did only slightly better on the right hand's cuticles.

I didn't realize how many pictures I had of this. This is a very swatch heavy post!

Wear on the right is WAY worse than the left. I'm ambi, but I favor my right hand, probably because that's what I was taught to do. I do many things left handed. Regardless, the right hand took a beating. My last couple Lippmann manicures have been like this and I just don't understand it. Though I have never found Lippmann's to be ages better on wear (if you want that, look at A-England) but usually I get a day or two more than I've been getting lately. 

OK. I've been putting up and shutting up for awhile but I finally am irritated enough to say something. I hate these boxes. Lippmann's come in these plastic boxes. I'm sure they're fairly cheap to produce, protect the bottles and let you see the polish. But I hate them. They're hard to open, they're frustrating and after so long pieces will start to break off of them. Throw the boxes away, you say. Well, if you look on the evil auction sight, where you would likely go to sell off your collection if you wanted to, boxes up the value of a hard to find polish. Polish collectors are like every other kind of collector, they want it in as near original condition as they can get it. It sounds irrational maybe, but I've seen it to be true. Besides, my OCD doesn't let me throw things like this out. It came in it, it needs to stay in it. But I hate them.

Nice bottle shot, you can see how true the color is compared to what you see in the bottle. Normally true of Lippmann's. 

I took all these pictures and I'm going to make you look at them!

Last one, though. 

This is a lovely red cream. It's opaque, it's highly pigmented and the formula is great, though I did seem to have some trouble with it. I think it was an off night. I was more interested in my conversation than my nails at that point. 
This is an older Deborah Lippmann color, but it's still widely available, for good reason. This is pretty much a classic and most of us should have something like it around for that black tie event that you want to feel a little more vampy for. Or just for work, to remind those bitchy girls that you WILL claw their eyes out. I wore it to remind me to Just Walk Away, Tricksie, from a bad situation. It is going to change the world? No. It's not that daring, but there is something blackened and sexy and rowr about it. Definitely recommend, especially if I can figure out the wear problem!

Happy Talons!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Spent the day Swatching

My readers! I spent all day swatching, trying different things, taking pictures. I find, that though it is work, I like being able to put out a post almost every day. Lord knows, I have the polish! I just need to get it snapped and show it to you. So I spent my day on a lot of ButterLondon, some Illamasqua, and some Rescue Beauty Lounge. I also have my last manicure to post for you, a Deborah Lippmann with gorgeous pigment and not so gorgeous wear. I even swatched some Illamasqua makeup for you. I am ghostly pale, so we'll see how that works out.

Next up will be that Lippmann. Then we will see what I will write about next, but probably a swatch or two and then an A England! I haven't done an A England in awhile, which I regret because they are really great and a brand and a philosophy I love. Rumor has it a new line is getting ready to launch so maybe it's time to revisit. I also haven't forgot that I promised some Christmas colors and I have those ready to go. Or at least a couple. I spent all day and I need a break from the fumes!

Glitters. Ugh. They're pretty but you look like an escapee from a cheesy Vegas show afterwards. It doesn't come off and it sticks to everything. I have a lot of glitters for you.

So...Much is coming up! But not today. Boo.

Happy Talons!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Deborah Lippmann - Brick House

I'm not sure why she's called this Brick House. I know Ms. Lippmann's thing is naming all her colors after songs, but this is...copper. It's gorgeous. But there is really nothing reminiscent of brick about it. When I think brick, I think red. Dark red. This is a shimmer metallic copper, it's the color of new copper pipe.

This manicure was 5 or 6 days old when I took these swatches. You can see what kind of wear I had. I had touched up the tips and they're wearing back off again here. I shuffle a lot of papers. This is to be expected.

There is a really pretty shimmer to this, micro-shimmer if you will, that gives it a bit of something extra.

Not that you can see that in the above picture. Huh. Well, I took a side bottle shot so you could see the color in the bottle plainly:

These snaps are very true to color, I'm pleased. You can see the hint of shimmer both on the nail and in the bottle. It was a very flattering shade on me, but I could see where an olive skin tone might not love this so much.

Ah yeah. You can definitely see some mean tip wear. However, the color is gorgeous. It's not even new penny because that would be too bright. Copper pipe. It's a great color for the fall season. We're kind of in Christmas season now, but I will get to those!

Last shot:

The BMWWU put this on but I'm assuming it handled like a typical Deborah Lippmann: great. It was perfectly good while I was touching up the tips. That's not really a good formula test, but it seemed manageable enough.

I know this was two coats of Orly Nail Armor and two coats of lacquer. Beyond that...I'm not sure what all she put on here. There a was a top coat, usually Poshe.

Pretty, no? YES!

Happy Talons!