Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Illamasqua's not so exclusive, limited internet and other assorted rants


I wanted to blog some holiday colors for you because I live in the boonies and I have limited internets. Which is now used up.

Overages are a lovely $10 per Gig, which, as you are on the internet now, you may be aware is really NOT VERY MUCH! Especially when you are doing pictures and whatnot. However, you all may live in civilization with nice things like unlimited internet. I like living in the boonies? It's quiet...not so many kids in your yard, more things like dogs and the occasional goat. And a bald eagle not far away at all, which was a total anomaly. There are more farm tractors than IROCs and seasons are measured in the comings and goings of farm machinery.

This also means that I have to order most of my high class make up and nail polish, which you all know I am completely addicted to, and sometimes you get some losers. Or. You get duped, which is kind of how I felt when I got the cool email from Illamasqua revealing they NOW HAVE THOSE SEPHORA EXCLUSIVES! Making them...not. Exclusive. Which...on the one hand, I am happy about. They are completely amazing and gorgeous and I'm glad more people can get them if they agree. I am unhappy because I stalked Sephora and spent way more than I wanted to because I was stalking it and then Illamasqua started carrying them as well. Which would have ultimately saved me a ton. **grumbles**

I will post as soon as I can manage, I promise. But it will likely be more like Christmas unless I decide to just pay the price and get posts out there. I do apologize. I love to post and write and I have good stuff for you, I might even say great stuff, but I need to economize. Partly because of that great stuff.

Sprees are expensive, as it turns out. So is holiday shopping.

Bah humbug, stupid limited internet.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Illamasqua - Swinger

Swinger is from the Naked Strangers collection that Illamasqua put out awhile ago. In spite of one of my friend's request that I wear a polish that matches my purse du jour, I haven't worn any even though the are all pretty much great matches to it. (The purse, incidentally, is fabulous, a creamy shade for the main body with antiqued brass highlights, dark brown underside and handle and red trim. FAAAAABulous!) I finally did because I had promised I would.
I believe I've mentioned that color for me is very mood based. It's very...intangible. I respond strongly to colors. I was feeling pretty depressed for my last manicure. I didn't want to make the drive, it was fuhreezing outside...my brother was being an ass. You know. Depressed. Didn't want to get out of bed. So I copped out, just decided to finally make good on my word and went with one of these neutrals.
BMWWU took advantage of my unusually subdued state to put my color over a UV gel base. Yeah. Still hate it. And I will show you why!

Here is Swinger. I took a shot in the box to show you the neat thing Illamasqua is doing. It's both pretty and utilitarian, as you know, if you've ever tried to rack your brain remembering what the hell Snap looks like, or how dark blue Baptiste is.

It's a little window! They've been doing this for a little while now, but I think it's great. You can view your color without having to open the box and it saves the boxes, too. I hate raggedy boxes. 

They also put little colored labels on the tops, which is cool. I think they have caught on that we all have drawers or Helmers or whatever like that, where we often are choosing a color by looking into a storage container. Is this label anywhere near the color? Obviously not, but it's in the family and really...won't you take that? It's not out in left field.

So the color itself, and I only have a few pictures because half of what I took were blurry. I tossed them. I'm here to show you colors, not give you vertigo. I can do that with what I have.

It's a lovely gold tinted champagne. It's described by Illamasqua as "glistening platinum gold", which is...way more accurate than I can get! It's pretty difficult to describe.

This is quite color accurate, actually. It has those lovely shimmery particles that I love, almost glass fleck like.

And that is why I don't like gels. I had this same experience with them before. I still have them on and I can't wait for them to go on Saturday. They're peeling around the cuticles, the tips are peeling...don't like it a lot. It is what ultimately ruined this manicure. The middle finger there peeled off in a big chunk, which is what I have known gels to do. I wound up having to remove the gel from that whole nail, which irritated me no end. Yes, I was able to take this off and apply a new color easily, I was also able to swatch and remove glitters easily (Wait for it!) on it. I could almost recommend gels just for glitters, but...I just don't like them!

This wore a solid week. 7 days. Which is great, and could be owing to the gels. BMWWU has become a devoted gel applier, I will probably never be converted. And she tolerates that.

The color is gorgeous and sophisticated and highly wearable. Because it's such a neutral gold, it works with every outfit. I felt a little like Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Square cut or pear shape these rocks don't lose their shape! I felt flashy! Fancy! Oh so Ritzy!

And then the gel peeled and that was the end of that.

I hope you do like this color, I recommend it whole heartedly. It's beautiful and understated and elegant. I think anyone could wear it.

Can't recommend the gels, though.

Happy Gel Free Talons!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

China Glaze Harvest Moon

I know I'm way late to the Thanksgiving color party. Things are sometimes just flat beyond my control. But here is what I wore anyways, which is a lovely color that even I have to confess is an Autumn color, and you should know by now that I pretty much eschew limiting colors to seasons.

Harvest moon is an orange, but it's more..a brass. It's a little bronzey but really...it reminds me of trumpets from high school band. The ones the kids never cleaned.

Which makes it sound SO lovely, doesn't it?

This was after about a week's worth of wear. It did really well, but China Glaze usually does.

See what I mean about the color? It's not really bronze or gold...it's brass. But it's pretty. It has those little shimmer particles in it that I love love love.

The label shot for ya, which mainly serves to show you that shimmer! YAY! Shimmer makes me happy. I'm a simple creature.

It's exhibiting some tip wear, some chips, but nothing major and nothing that couldn't be repaired. Being a true polish hound, I took this off simply because it was making me antsy to wear the same color so long. What a dork, right? But you're reading this so you probably feel the same way. We can't help it. It's what being addicted is all about.

Tidy cuticles, even for my drunken monkey application which suggests this was pretty easy to manage and apply. Nice and even application as well. China Glaze is always a solid choice.

I think this was part of the Hunger Games collection? I don't know? I couldn't have been less into that whole phenomena. Well...I was less interested in Twilight, I guess.

Tip wear. Not bad at all considering my job is a nail killer. I don't know why I get that weird pucker effect just on my index finger. I have never figured that out. It must be me beause BMWWU doesn't get that.

The right hand. Very even wear on both hands. And these hands did a LOT of dishes. A LOT.

The whole extent of chipping on the right. Next to nothing, I know. This did a great job and it was so pretty for the holiday. I enjoyed wearing this. It's not an easy color, though. Before you order it, try to get hold of a bottle at Sally or Ulta or wherever you go to look for polish and hold the bottle on the back of your hand. It will give you an idea if you can carry this off. I barely get away with it. It works OK because I'm a redhead? But it wouldn't be great on an olive completion, for example.


Happy Talons!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Illamasqua US Sephora Exclusive Releases

These exclusive releases...I tell ya what. It's exhausting trying to keep up with them.

Illamasqua has released two limited edition US colors at Sephora, they're available at Sephora.com. Over the Black Friday chaos I found them, but only one was available. I received a $15 off gift card from them and went back just to see and the other was available. Both were in stock as of two days ago.

These are brilliant vibrant blues. Noble, which is a more robin's egg blue and Cameo, which is...well, if you've ever seen a real cameo, is cameo blue. It's a dusty powdery blue but...INYOURFACE. Both are gorgeous. If you're interested, skedaddle on over there and pick them up.

Also, if you like Illamasqua make up, as I happen to, they are discontinuing some stuff, I'd check their site for more info. I have already picked up most of what I had wanted long before this, but if you're interested, all three of the blushes are versatile, buildable and wearable, and the eyeshadows are always vibrant and buildable. Quick! Before it's too late!!

Also, BIB4 from Rescue Beauty Lounge is now available. Some really good ones in there, such as the record selling Aqua Lily, so grab them before they're gone!

I'm trying to keep my eyes open for us all!

Happy Talons!

Deborah Lippmann Porn 6, The Grand Finale

Sick of Lippmann's yet? I hope not! I have one more Christmas set. Yeah...I kind of went bonkers and bought them all. I don't know why I did this. It's the same reason I beat my brains out on Assassin's Creed 3 trying to catch those stupid Almanac pages. I already want to slap Benjamin Franklin for coming up with Daylight Savings and convincing everyone it's a great idea (Repeal it, Indiana! DO IT!) but now he invades my AC3 with his stolen almanac pages? **SLAP** And no, beer is not proof God loves us. Moscato is. Get a grip.


What was I on about? Oh yes, Lippmann's.

This is my favorite set of the lot. I almost didn't get this because it didn't look that original to me in the pictures, I was like ooo, shimmers for Christmas. *yawn* In the end that "Just gotta get it!" thing took over and I hit "add to bag". Glad I did.

So here's the box shot:

Lovely royal purple, the bottles nestled inside. It's just like the others, I don't think I took another picture of the inside.

This is Sugar Shack, a plummy shimmery mauvey thing. These are all a bit sheer, so I would be prepared with a good base coat. Maybe butterLONDON Nail Foundation or Orly Nail Armor. They do help with these more sheer polishes by adding a nice nude base that helps with the opacity. Then you don't spend so much getting your $18 Lippmanns or Rescue Beauty's to look nice. Recommend doing that, seriously. Plus, the Nail Armor in particular is just good for your nails. It has silk protein in it, so be sure to seal your tips.
Back to Sugar Shack. I am severely easily distracted today!
It has this lovely shimmer in it, which is very nice, but it dries a bit rough. Nothing bad and since you're putting top coat on anyway it's not a problem. Right? But just be forewarned, this is one you're not going to want to slap on and run out the door. This set, that is. However, it's not chunky glitter rough so you should be able to handle it just fine.

Label shot for you. Bloody silver metallic labels make pictures challenging! But you can really see the polish here.

OK, here you can see how much purple this has in it. It's a nice red plum color. It has some blue shimmer there, it's not quite a flash effect. A little in the right light, I suppose.

You can really see the blue here. It adds so much depth. I love it. These are really the stars of all the collections, which I'm going to show you in tons of pictures. I got really picture happy with these.

You can see the sheerness I'm talking about here really well. It wants to be a little streaky. Once again, though, I think a strong base coat will help. This is just on bare nail so..you know, take these swatches with a grain of salt. To be honest, I can't take the time or the resources to do a full manicure when I swatch. My preferred base coat is becoming difficult to get for some reason.

 Sugar and Spice is a lovely darker shimmer. It has a more brownish base color. It's not really brown...it's greyed out? I don't know how to describe it. It's gorgeous. It has a peacock and red shimmer to it, those tiny little particles adding depth and contrast. This is a sorry swatch and I apologize. I was having a ton of lighting problems taking these. It just wouldn't cooperate!

 The label shot. Ugh. Terrible! I'm so sorry!

At least you can see the peacock blue shimmer particles?

 OK, this is more like it. You can see what I mean here about the more brown base. It's not brown. It's...mocha? It's...brown with some purple in it? Well, however you choose to describe it, it's lovely and very wearable. I think most of us can wear this with no problems.

 Nice tidy cuticles, you can see I had no real problems with application, they were all lovely and easy to work with.

 I tried to do an extreme close up and it kind of worked. I wanted you to see the formula is almost like a bunch of individual particles suspended in this lovely base. You can see the peacock and red here. It's just gorgeous. If you pick up no other set, pick up this one. That's my advice.

This one kind of does a better job showing you what I mean about the suspended particles. I love this.

 However...very sheer. So just lay the right foundation down and you'll have a real winner here.

The last one is Sugar Rum Cherry and is the lightest and cheeriest of the set.

Also the sheerest. But it's lovely. I liked this a lot. It's not red, but it hints at it.

This one is packed with red and silver mini micor itty bitty bits. It's in a brownish red...chestnut, if you will, base.

And is a streaky mess. About 3 more coats or a strong base coat as I've mentioned is what is wanted here. It's lovely, it just needs a little help.

See? I think this is the streakiest of the lot, but with the right foundation it won't be a problem at all. And you can see here too, that the particle foundation idea of these leaves a rough surface. It's not a problem at all. Just do the pre-reqs and you'll be fine.

Last one!

Over all, this was definitely the winner for me. The colors aren't going to change the face of nail polish for generations to come, but they are the prettiest, I think, of all the Lippmann holiday collections. This one is the Bloomingdale's exclusive. We don't have a Bloomies around here, I got this on line and I believe I got a free polish with it, so there you go! These sets all retail around $42, which if you do the math, that's not to shabby for full-size Lippmann's. If you take into account that I received a freebie, and one I didn't already have at that, then you're talking Ulta kind of prices. We're in Zoya and OPI territory.

I hope you like these as well as I do. I still have some of her other holiday ones to show you, just no more sets and I don't have them swatched yet. I don't think they're particularly "Holiday" colors so I didn't swatch them with these. One of them I like so well I duplicated it. I'm currently trying to decide if I want to offer you guys a give away or if I'm going to return it. After all the polish I've bought in the last few weeks returning it is prudent! I hit the Sephora sales, the butter sales, the Illamasqua sales.

Speaking of which! OO! I need to alert you guys! Shorty post coming right up!

Happy Talons!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Deborah Lippmann Porn 5 - Christmas in the City

Returning to the blog fold with another Deborah Lippmann holiday collection.

Christmas in the City was one I was really kind of interested in. I had waffled, not ordered it right away, thought about it, but the red...Run Run Rudolph, and the white, Let it Snow, were interesting enough, plus the last, a hunky Lippmann glitter were worth the splurge. I thought.

The nice heavy gift box, in a pretty red. Open it up and you get this:

It's the same sort of box as the other collections, they are all basically the same. They are really nicely done. Heavy weight, nicely packaged and the black interiors show off the polishes to their best advantage.

The first color I swatched was Let it Snow, mainly because once you see it close up you see this ain't your typical run of the mill white frost. Oh no. And did you expect less from Ms. Lipp? I didn't think so.

It has definite frosty characteristics and another coat wouldn't have hurt anything, this was three, for the record. But this has that icy shimmer. I have more pictures of this one, it was elusive.

Here you can see the pretty pink flash. This is not in your face. It's subtle, suggested, intriguing.

A better bottle shot, no flash. You can really see the VNL here, but with a good opaque base coat that isn't an issue any longer. I was pretty impressed with this one and I hadn't expected to be. You know, a white frost at Christmas? *yawn* I liked it much more than I had anticipated.

A label shot for you. Loving the little micro particles of shimmery goodness.

An odd shot because I had completely bungled the polish on my ring finger. Oops. Turned out OK though!

Run, Run Rudolph was the one I couldn't take my eyes off of when I was thinking about this collection and re-visiting it again and again before taking the plunge. I know, it's another Christmas red, big woo, but for some reason I liked it. 

As you can see, I had some application issues. Well, none, if your goal is to get as much of it on you as possible. The problem was, this isn't just a straight up red with a hint of gold, which is what I had thought. It's a chunky glitter actually. The glitter is kind of sparse, and it's red, which is an interesting effect, but it was a surprise.

You can see the chunkiness in the roughness on the nail. It's not that big glitter but it is chunky and is rough. Be prepared to top coat this.

It's very pretty, but not what I expected. the glitter surprised me, I thought this was more of a shimmer, but it's not. It adds a new dimension and depth.

Very nice true red.

You can see the shimmer here and this is pretty true to color, though this is a flash shot. The glitter isn't obvious, it's subdued by the opaque lacquer, but it adds something. I did have trouble applying it, though. Be careful with this one.

Last but not least, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. Or least, in my opinion. I'm sad to say that this one just flat didn't appeal to me when it came down to it.

This is a black jelly with green and red chunky glitter in it. The black overwhelms the sparkle and applied like a hot mess. This is one coat because I wanted you to see what it does. Streaky, eating up the sparkle...blech.

As you can easily see.

This is two coats and is somewhat better, but still a little streaky. It is really rough, which probably isn't a surprise. I wish she'd done this is a straight clear. I really do. You can't put this black over much and it swallows the glitter bits whole.

These last two are both flash pictures, so you can see the glitter just doesn't get to shine through.

This is a great shot. I know the flash is overwhelming but what it does allow is for you to see how complex this is. Maybe you're loving it, I hope you like it, regardless of my feelings, and you needed to see that this is really a great idea. You can see that all the particles are red and green, maybe some black in there, but I don't think so. and the different sizes of particles are really fun.

I just wish it wasn't black.

Nice pieces hanging off the tip there. Ugh, my fault. I just don't care for this one. MDAMO liked it, so there you go. I think it's a love/hate thing. You're not going to be meh for this.

Last swatch. It's even dark and gloomy with full on flash. Hm. Well, I'd love to hear what any of you think of it. I hope you like it more than I do. I really don't think I will wear this. I really don't. T'is a pity.

Happy Talons!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Return of Deborah Lippmann porn - Forsaken Reforsaken

I picked up the last Forsaken set I was interested in a couple of weeks ago. They were on the main website, are listed as limited editions and MDAMO, loving darks as he does, really liked the polish. I don't wear a lot of lipstick...I HAVE a lot, but I don't often wear it. I'm a lip biter, I tend to chew it off before I even get to the car. I love it, I love how some of it looks and how it makes my lips feel, especially the better stuff. So...the lipstick was interesting but not the reason I bought it.

Regardless, I knew I had better get it blogged so I don't break my promise to you readers to not tempt you with stuff you can't get by normal means.

Here's what you get:

It comes in this heavily embossed box, which is pretty and appropriate and ever so slightly creepy. The thing that looks kind of like a tab sticking out of the upper left corner is actually the remote control I propped the box on to allow me to get a decent picture. Ignore that. That messed with my eyeballs for a good long while before I figured it out. Derrrr.

It opens in a book and everything is nested inside, complete with a little note about the sets.

The lipstick, aptly named "Bite Me", which is also scented, had a blush on it, like a chocolate that has gone too long in the wrapper. It smells of chocolate, which is both nice and odd.

I swatched it on my wrist:

 It's a really pretty brown berry color, I would guess would be very flattering on many of us. It's creamy and applied nicely. On my wrist. I have not actually worn this.

 Here's a close up of the tube. The packaging kind of annoys me, I wouldn't want to pull this out at a nice restaurant and be flashing my vampire geek girl status. But then again, I wouldn't pull this out at a nice restaurant because I was taught putting lipstick on at the table is tacky, but you know what I mean. I like a nice anonymous lipstick tube.

Plus...I kind of think a lipstick tube should be a little sexy...I don't know why.

The nail polish, called "Let it Bleed", a Stones reference, is a deep red plum color. It's pretty and more purple than I imagined it would be. And I made a mess putting it on, clearly.

Sorry for the distortion. The picture software strikes again.
The label shot, which is never easy with those metallic stickers! AUGH!

This definitely has some brown in it, but I would call it a dark reddish plum. I don't know that you would really call this a jelly but it has a real jelly feel to it.

This is only two coats. I really recommend a third. This is on bare nails, which doesn't help, but while it evens out pretty well from just one coat, a third coat would be gorgeous. This is gorge? But a third coat would fix all those thin spots you can see here.

 It's described as a deep sanguine red...I still think this has too much brown and plum in it to be a red. Whatever you call it, it's pretty! and very wearable.

This has a complex scent to it? It's nice, fits the theme, and is still faintly there once the lacquer dries. It smelled kind of berry - woodsy - exotic to me.

Picking this up?

Happy Talons!!