Tuesday, July 31, 2012

butterLondon - Why didn't I know about these?

I was carousing around the butterLondon website a couple weeks ago and low and behold...new colors. I don't think they were advertised, I didn't get an email and yet...there they were. I felt oddly betrayed! I have loved and supported this brand since I discovered it and they can't even tell me when there is new fabulousness to be had? Plus, I've found where other bloggers already have their claws in the new collection! Not this one, the Fall one! Granted, this is a little small-time blog compared to theirs, I mean...7 whole followers and MDAMO isn't exactly a crowd of readership, but one of my posts did get over 9000 hits. That's not so small, is it? And yet...they can't even shoot me an email? BASTARDS.
So of course I ordered them straight away.
I swatched them because I didn't want you to feel likewise betrayed. I mean...we need to know about this stuff, right?

These are just swatches, they aren't real manicures with base coat and all that. Just the colors themselves.

I present to you, Scouse, Swinger and Sloane Ranger.
Yes, they are this fabulous in real life, the only thing I can say is honestly different from the picture is that they are more sparkly. Except Sloane Ranger. It just has a lovely sheen to it with what appears to be on close inspection the teensiest hint of silver. 

In reverse order. Why I didn't make this easier on myself by painting the first three nails instead of the last three, I don't know. I am sometimes a dingbat.
Scouse has definite pink sparkle in it. It's really stunning. It's very sheer, though. This is three coats. It's three coats for all of them, though Sloane Ranger didn't actually need it.

Sloane Ranger showing off it's silver microshimmer. You can see a hint of this on the nail. Nice!

The shimmer again is a little visible. It adds depth but this is so neutral...it's really kind of elegant and understated. I like it. It also has a hint of kind of dirty about it, which is also nice. It keeps it edgy. It's not a clean grey and I like that about it. There are a lot of greys out there, they were really the hot color a couple years ago and they've never completely gone away, for which I'm grateful. I happen to love grey. I even love Earl Grey of the tea fame. Particularly yums with some milk and sugar. :D

This is Swinger. It's a true grass green glitter. It's a green jelly sparkle base with larger green glitter suspended in it. Its really sheer, this is three coats. So I tried it over Union Jack Black and it was nice but really less spectacular than on it's own, I felt. If you're serious about wearing this as it's own color, I would find something that works for you as a nude and layer over that. It's really verrrrry pretty.

You can see the Union Jack Black experiment here, and it does help. I still think a nude would be better unless you want to darken this down for some reason. Aside from eliminating nail line, I'm not sure this does this much for it.

Scouse. The star of the show, IMHO. Nice glare. But you can see on the nail that this is a wonderland of sparkle. What is not translating in the picture is that the sparkle in this is blue and PINK. Yes, pink. Hot pink, but still pink. And it works. It makes a really nice contrast but doesn't conjure up images of a co-ed nursery. This is a super sparkly micro-glitter in a blue jelly base and it's seriously lovely. I fell in love. It was one of those **gasp** moments when I took it out of it's bubble pack.

Very sheer, you can see the nail line clearly here. This is also three coats so you want something under this. Either a similar blue, which would lend depth, or a black, or nude...but I wouldn't be afraid to experiment. I am betting that a deep purple, a bluish one rather than red, would give this depth and bring out the pink. Pretty special, this one. Why are they hiding it? I scope out the butters at Ulta every time I go in and they didn't have it, either. I don't typically buy there, I order them online because you often get better deals and you know that some 14 year old hasn't opened it and painted her toes with it in the store or something equally nasty. I don't know about your Ulta but mine is rampant with little teeners playing in the big girl toys. That's fine and all, but I don't trust what they do with stuff. Know what I mean?

So that is the latest haul from butterLondon. With these I got a free Powder Room polish remover. I had a couple of them from a sale I hit when they first came to this Ulta and I'd never tried it. So I finally did and I am impressed. For being acetone free, it's really really good. And smells nicer than the normal stuff as well. I'd try to hit one of those specials if you're interested though. $8 for that teeny bottle is a shock. I think you don't use as much, but still. You should be warned. I thought they were sample bottles but nope.

Are you ordering these right now? I did, almost as soon as I saw them. Gorge!

Happy Talons!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A-England Dragon

MDAMO decided green. I sent him tons of pics of different greens that I have, which really wasn't tons. I don't have a lot of greens. Some. He wanted GREEN. So we found Dragon. He was taken with it instantly. I took it to my manicure and BMWWU skrinkled her nose and didn't say much else and then when it was done informed me that it "looks nice with that ring". I think she didn't like it. She said it was the color of moss. Which...it's very true.
I liked it.

Dragon is a nice dark-ish shade of grass green. It's described on A-England as:
"Like sunlight glinting off his iridescent mossy green scales, the fearsome Dragon lays basking arrogantly, awaiting his due."

I took this in the salon before it was even dry. You can see the holo particles in it here. It has such an interesting look to it. 

It did have some brush issues, the bristles were not all even. BMWWU took the tweezers to it and pulled those out and then had a brush she could deal with. it went on nicely, no problems. It's pretty highly pigmented, as you can see. The green is really rich and lush in it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a bottle shot for you, it would seem I left it at the salon. I hope I did. This is one of those that goes out of stock on occasion. It's in stock right now, but it has been out in the recent past. In other words, this one is popular!
Here you can see the holo particles in all their glory. This is with flash in sort of natural light. It's sunlight through the window but it's not direct to my nails.

Same lighting here. You can see it's just beginning to show signs of wear. This is EIGHT days old now! 8!! As in, more than a week! It wore like iron. To be fair, I wasn't doing any dishes because I badly burned my right hand and had a big blister. I even had to call my hairdresser and beg her to please wash my hair. It's been an adventure. As a result, this wasn't put through the same level of paces as usual, but it still had to survive my job, which is no mean thing. I barely survive my job.

OK, a bit blurry. And you can see part of the ENORMOUS bandage I had covering my burn. So sick of those things! But you can see how this lights up. It's seriously gorgeous. If you like green this is a good one.

In direct sunlight. The driveway shot! Isn't this pretty? Look how it's picking up the light but also reflecting the black behind it. This has depth. I think it's love. 

The right hand in the sun. So gorgeous. This looks darker because all the light it's picking up in the holo shimmer, but it's very true to color.
Whoa. Where did the green go? This is the same polish, I promise!

OOOO. This is it. This is the real deal. Super close up in the sun. You can see some tip wear on this hand, but it's not bad, especially not for 8 days.

As it compares to the fir tree in my back yard. Very close! That is new growth so if you're curious to the true color of this, go check out a fir tree!

Last one. This is my dog! Isn't she fluffy? :) I don't know why I took this. I just did, she was there...it does show off the color nicely, though.

So I don't really remember the mechanics of this. It was a manicure and I honestly didn't pay a lot of attention. I know we tried the new top coat I got for free. I don't know if it's cruelty free or not so until I find out I won't tell you what it was, but it may have contributed to the amazing wear I had with this polish. It's so pretty and wearing like that just ups the notch on it. A-Englands, in my experience, wear amazingly well. I know that gels are the new hot thing, but if I can find a polish that wears 8 days then I'm probably using that instead of a gel!

What do you think?

And is it wrong that I keep thinking of Charlie the Unicron. No, I really mean Unicron. Youtube it! LOOK! There's a DRAGON! Behold the horror.


Happy Talons!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Orly Sashay My Way - GLITTER!

"You had my picture on your wall...Right next to Gary Glitter" AC/DC, Little Lover

Orly came out with a line of chunky glitters recently, touting them to be both top coats or if layered to stand on their own. Whoa. There are 22 of them! I think I have 5. The ones available at my local Sally. Interesting! I'll be keeping an eye on the discount sites for more of these because they really are spectacular, but at $10 a piece....can't hurt to be a bit frugal because I won't wear them often.

I did Sashay My Way over Rescue Beauty Lounge's Poppy. Not because I was tired of Poppy or thought it needed a little something. I quite simply got bored. I knew I had another day before my manicure, which I felt gave me a little freedom to do something cray-cray. And it was!

Wish I'd had Rocket's Red Glare...That would have been great. But I did Sashay and it was...GAUDY! And I mean that in the most glitter loving way.

Discalimer: I had to tone down the exposure on every one of these swatches. I don't know why I had such a bad time that night. Every single picture was over-exposed and bleached out. I adjusted these to try to match what I know would be close to the actual color of Poppy. That seemed to be the most feasible thing to do. I also adjusted the sharpness on two of these. I try to tell you guys so you aren't mislead.

Take a look at this baby:

Yeah, it's all gold holo all the time in there. Note the stringy holo, which added something special, I felt. I know some disagree. (Lookin' at you, MDAMO!)

See what I mean? I needed to adjust some stuff. This is still fuzzy.

I didn't bother worrying about getting the glitter evenly disbursed on each nail or anything. I did try to brush out any clumps but I didn't worry that each nail had 22.5 pieces of glitter on it. "So...more? So you want me to wear more." Office Space. So true to life it's terrifying.

I find with chunky glitters that you can attempt to brush them on in a traditional way but you're going to get annoyed. Just dab them on, going back to the bottle frequently.

OOO, you can see the reflection here, and the lovely holo glitters. Hex glitters, string glitters...glitter for everyone!

Flashy, isn't it? I wouldn't wear this every day, but it was good for a Friday. It evened out nicely under a top coat, too. Not really very much bumpy to it.

This one is a little more washed out...but you can see what's happening. Pinky was a little chunky, there! OOPS~

This particular polish is just in a clear base. I am not sure they all are. I think a couple are in sheer jelly colored bases. If that will be a problem for you then you will want to sneak a peek before you buy. Orly is recommending these over black or on their own, but I don't see why we have to stick to that.

The green picture. I think I'm only posting it because it's here. It's really bad!

One last one. This is a really great chunky set. It's fun, it's playful and since a top coat, I used Poshe, is able to smooth it out, it becomes easy to wear mechanically. You know, you're not getting it caught in your hair or anyrhing like that. Or snagging your clothes. Glitters can do that, we all know! I did take a soft emery board and smooth over the edges on a couple nails because the glitter was sticking off and it wasn't bad enough to dig out an orange stick to push it back on. It worked well, no problems there.

Until it came time to take it off! This is why you don't often catch me in glitters like this:

That is after holding an acetone drowned cotton pad over my nail for who knows how long. Little glitter stalactites still stuck to my nails. They didn't want to leave. This is a hazard of all glitters in my experience. And the glitter gets all over and stuck to you. I contemplated taking an orange stick to these but it did finally come off with persistence.

What do you think? Picking these up?

Happy Talons!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Poppy

Poppy is from the GOMM collection. For more info on this, please see Ji's blog at http://blog.rescuebeauty.com/. I'm kinda disgusted by what went on there. No..not kinda. Completely. Regardless of the aftermath, the inspiration and it's resulting colors are amazing, beautiful and magical.

I took the whole GOMM collection with me to my manicure. MDAMO didn't really have any say in this one. I did what I have traditionally done since I started buying nail polish like a hobo in a free sandwich shop. I take a bag full. Not a shopping bag! Someone I used to work with gave me a cute OPI pedicure tote thing that I am pretty sure she lifted from a salon she cleaned at night. Someone used to have them...it's a really cute set if you can score it and you're not bothered by the whole animal testing thing.

Yeah, no. I can't find it out there.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, it's a cute bag that zips, it's in the style of a makeup kit, and has slots inside to stash your polish so it's not rattling around in there and possibly getting broken. It came with flip flops and toe separators and I think a polish and a top coat? It holds a ton of polish.

So I took in the whole collection plus some other stuff for BMWWU to take a look at and choose. She chose Poppy because she will always choose anything coral or poppy colored, which she freely admits. It IS gorgeous.

OOOO. Very red but with very definite orange undertones. This is probably as close to a real poppy as you're going to get. It has that lovely shimmer in it, just a subtle hint of pink and red flash that doesn't really translate on the nail but which does give the color such depth.

Yeah, I kinda had to alter the label in the picture edit because of the thing you can read on Ji's blog. I got one of the pre-letter orders. Unreal! But the color and the lacquer itself. That's the important thing. You can see hints of that shimmer/flash I was talking about on the ring and pinkie fingers here. you might see it clearly if you enlarge the picture, not sure. This is so beautiful.

Like I said, BMWWU put this on and she doesn't usually say a lot about the polishes I take her as far as application unless it's remarkable. She called this "Perfect". It went on beautifully and was so highly pigmented and amazing. This is two coats here.

The back of the bottle, just so you can see it. The camera flash is kind of whiting out the shimmer particles, but they're really a red. This polish manages to be red and orange all at once.

You can see there is a little prelim tip wear. My job is hard on the nails, to be sure. Also we did a Seche UV activated top coat just to see. Not that impressed. I don't think it really wore any better than a regular Seche would.

Wow. looks true red there. Still quite a bit of yellow in this that brings up the orange. It's amazing. I will wear this again to be sure.

Last one. Looks more orange here. Like blood orange. Yeah. That's it.

I did repair this tip wear and slapped some top coat on it and it curled! I Seche doesn't play well with other top coats, is the problem. I just got some nail polish thinner, not remover, thinner, and pressed it back into place. It only had to hold for a week. I also got bored later in the week and put glitter on it. I wasn't bored with the color, I was just bored in general. Wow, did that gaudy it up! Come back tomorrow to see that and to get a little review of Orly Sashay My Way.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Poppy. Gorge.

If you like it, pick it up. Given the ugliness, Ji has declared this collection will never return. I'd check into it now if you're wanting this. 

Happy Talons!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thank You, Urban Decay, for listening

If you read the beauty news, beauty blogs or eco blogs, you know that China has mandated that any beauty product marketed and sold there must be tested on animals. What. Are they TRYING to piss us off? I know I addressed this earlier, but if you're a casual reader then you may not know this. All the biggies have basically gone for it. All of them. There have been a few hold outs, Illamasqua for one. I don't know that you could call them really a biggie, but they definitely have a cult following, I'm a hard core Illamasquan, and they have stated they will not go there if they have to change their stance on animal cruelty. GO ILLAMASQUA! Maybe they had no intention of marketing in China in the first place, but who cares? They're still not gonna. The others have said "OK" and off they go to the huge Chinese market. Estee Lauder and everything they own, which is...everything, was the biggest hit. Like Bumble & Bumble hair care? Estee Lauder. Like Clinique? Estee Lauder. La Mer? ESTEE LAUDER! So disappointed because if a giant like them said no, maybe there would be enough consumer pressure in China to change their stance but...well, I can only control where my money goes.

Urban Decay had decided to join the lemmings over the China cliff and compromise their ethics in a quest for the Holy Yen. PETA, who you all know I have some skepticism about, actually accomplished something very worth while with a letter writing campaign to try to talk them out of it and succeeded. To honor that decision I did an Urban Decay polish for approximately 2 days but the point is made. I had to give them a nod. I wear Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencils almost daily. Great colors and they don't rip your eyelids off getting them on. This is good. But I don't really do a lot of makeup reviewing, there are other bloggers out there who apply it better and write better about it. I love makeup but it's the polishes I adore.

I have one set of Urban Decay polish. It's an oldie but I did check and some are still out there to be had without going to the EvilBay. It's one of the minis in the Apocalyptic nail kit and I found a couple still available on Amazon.com. Once I found those I didn't really look further, honestly.

Yikes. OK. So I show you the good, the bad, and the ugly, you know that right? I had a lot of trouble controlling this polish and I actually wound up doing my nails twice. Poor MDAMO. He put up with my tantrum when this happened. It wasn't FBomb so much as just bad underpinnings, which were then thrown out. They just wouldn't dry and then FBomb wouldn't dry and then it dried on top of it and BLAH!!!
What you can see in this swatch, though, is a deep red that went everywhere. It was simultaneously goopy and hard to control. Gorgeous, though. Blood red. I felt like a femme fatale in this color. It's a straight up dark red creme. It's not burgundy. It's RED.

Sunlight through the window, no flash. Probably the best color representation.

This is highly highly pigmented and therefore a bit thick (tips hat to Kaydie!). I couldn't control it for crap, but I loved it once I got it on.

Teeny Tiny Mini Bottle. These little bottles actually kind of piss me off. I like knowing I can be as messy and wasteful and use it as many times as I like. Mini bottles make me feel like I have to be careful, save them up for special occasions...irritates me. This is one area of my life where I should be allowed to be as reckless as I want.

Teeny Tiny Little Label.

Think it's flammable? LOL

I think I had taken a brush and acetone to the cuticles, etc to clean this up at this point. I had it all over the place. All over me, the cat, the desk...I smacked it into the desk. This would have been funny if it hadn't been so sad. It was a doomed manicure.

MUCH cleaner. This may have been from round two.

I had read some reviews online that said these don't wear well. Unfortunately, I can't speak to that because I only wore it a couple days. It's my way of thanking the powers that be at Urban Decay for recognizing the world will respect them more if they don't compromise their principles than a real review, though I've told you what I learned.

Very pretty, Very vampy, great name and still Very Vegan. Thank you, Urban Decay, for deciding to stick to your morals and your existing fans who love you for them.

Happy Talons, Urban Decayites!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Illamasqua Gamma - WOW

A Male Opinion, hitherto known as MDAMO (the AMO part you can figure out on your own, MD is between he and I **giggle* and I'm not telling what it means! How are ya, sweetie! He reads my blog and looks at polish with me. I know, right? :D ) and I have fallen into a routine. We look at polish because we chat online a lot and I am usually looking at polish and readin' your blogs. I need an LOLcat for that, and he patiently tolerates it and looks at all the linkies I send him. Then he will find other things he likes and send linkies back. Sometimes I just decide or I give him a color family or some options and he chooses. I don't know, we have fun with it. He's chosen the next few polishes, is the moral of my lengthy story.

This one was a joke between us because years ago I would bitch about my color or talk about it and he would point out that they always seemed to be orange. Writing the blog has helped me not get into a rut like I was at that time where every color I chose was a version of the one before it. I'm much more conscious of what it looks like on the blog, of not boring you guys, of making sure that if you're flipping through you have something different to catch your eye and to hopefully encourage you to stay for awhile. So MDAMO chose orange as a joke between us.

Orange, ironically, isn't a great color on me. However, given that my hands are white as the driven snow, I can usually get away with it. Just don't put it near my face! UGH! Terrible. I'm a winter. You know, I can wear the basic 8 Crayolas excepting Orange and yellow. Just not near my face!

Gamma is definitely orange. It's neon orange.

 Yeah, I know. It looks like Tang, doesn't it? This isn't a great picture but it shows the cuticles well and in a terrible awful way, it's the only picture I took of it before it showed wear. I don't know why. My world has been a little upside down lately, that's all I can say about it.
However, you know I like to show you the cuticles because for one, it can be tricky to get really tidy cuticles like that, if you don't believe me, come back for the next post, and also, I think it's an excellent indicator of both the quality of the formula and the quality of the brush, which I never remember to mention. This is an Illamasqua so I expect perfection on both counts and as you can see, I got it. I look at this and it's hard for me to believe I did it. I'm not an expert, I haven't been trained, I just have some practice. You can see I got a little sloppy but it will easily come off the side of your nail once it's dried. A little warm water can work wonders.

Another trick to tidy cuticles, I find, is to put a small drop of polish in the middle of your nail and push it upwards toward the cuticle, allowing the brush to do it's natural thing and fan out, creating that nice shape. You can see I don't have really round nail beds so I have to be a little cautious, but it works well. Then you just brush out any streakies you created in the normal way. This was a tip I picked up watching how-to videos on Rescue Beauty Lounge's website an age ago but it almost always works. I can't take the credit for it.

I have a ton of pictures of this, by the way.

Have I ever shown you an Illamasqua box? I'm sure I must have, but just in case.

On my back porch steps...hm. Need to paint the porch floor.

Illamasqua everything comes in a black box like this. I personally love the minimalist representation of this brand.

The older ones have a plain white sticker on the top that says the color name. These days they have come up with the simple and brilliant idea of coloring the sticker to match the polish which honestly, why hasn't everyone thought of that? Still, if you're a hound like me, you will know or have an idea from the name. I can scarily go through a box of lacquer with someone and usually name them on sight. Frightening, isn't it? I bet some of you can do the same!

I love the shape of these. Square and tall. Monolithic...this is a little washed out. I thought the sunlight would be ideal, but it wasn't. I got more accurate shots in the shade. 

This is closer. It's incredibly bright. And I think it's perfectly names. I would believe something this color would cause The Hulk, wouldn't you?

Bottle to nail comparison. This was...gosh, I don't know now, a week later? Five days? I've lost track. Mental note AGAIN to take notes while I'm wearing it so I give you guys good info. You can see, it's getting rough. I've kind of started taking the before pics, right after I do them, and then the right when it needs to be put out of it's misery pics. I won't tolerate a lot of chipping or mess unless I'm like, two days away from my regular mani anyways. If I had had a manicure in a couple days, I might have tried to save this. It's doable, but a lot of work. Come back tomorrow for the next post to find out what really happened.

Very true to the bottle color, as you see. Oddly, this didn't dry matte, as most neons do. I'm not a huge neon fan. I like them but find I'm pretty meh about them once I get them on. This wasn't that way, I enjoyed wearing this color. As you can see, it didn't dry weird. It stuck to what you saw.

Aside from that one chip and the thumb, this performed beautifully. I have a right hand picture somewhere in here for you, too. I did an amazing amount of filing, refiling, file auditing, what have you with this manicure. That any of it stayed on was miraculous.

Little bit different lighting, little bit different polish. 

The label shot, just for scuzz. Like to show you that. Made in Australia, interesting. Never realized that.

In indirect sunlight on my black pants. Sometimes I give you those blacktop shots? I tried with this because the black tar color of the pavement really shows off the color, but it was so hot. I tried...I nearly burned myself. I'm actually looking forward to winter this year.

Again in indirect sunlight. This is probably the most accurate lighting for this color. So bright and aggressive and very highly pigmented. They didn't scrimp on the pigments.

Grarr....Picasa you nuisance! Makin' my picture all wonky!

It's the last one. You can see the right hand didn't do all that badly, really. My nails were getting too long because of a missed mani and the polish just won't wear as well if your nails are bending all over the place.

 I don't remember how I did this, I apologize. (NOTES, DUMMY! MAKE NOTES!) I believe it's three coats of color because it kind of wanted to be streaky. As you can see, it turned out OK. And bright. Very very bright.

Any thoughts?

Happy Talons!