Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wet n Wild Glowstick

I promise this blog isn't becoming Wet n Wild crazy fan site central. But you have to see this.

Glowstick, from the Fergie collection:

This is one coat. This is, as you can see, a kind of completely wonderful bright and cheerful green that is somehow not completely overwhelming.
Also, you can easily see here that this went on incredibly well. It's even, it's consistent, it's good formula, easy to control.

It has an amazing yellow shimmer to it that makes it so special.

Two coats now. I recommend blowing this picture up so you can really see it. It's not streaky or frosty, but the shimmer in this is so distinct in color and so gorgeous.

Nice clean cuticles, even with the gigantor brush these come with. I kinda like the massive brush. It grabs a lot of polish and if you are careful with it, it does a nice job. It's just ENORMOUS. I didn't take a picture of it, though.

With flash so you can see how this lights up. It glows. Literally! This glows in a black light. It was a really neat effect and if I were still of a club hopping age, I'd be wearing this every weekend. I don't even like green that well, but this has so much light in it. And it's really the color of a glowstick!

Check this out if you don't believe me! Glowsticks Galore at

This is clearly the classic green color but I think it has a little of the yellow mixed in as well. 

I hope you like it! Go pick one up, it's too much fun for $3.49. 

Happy Talons! (How can you help it with this one on your tips?)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wet n Wild Comparisons

So I brought my little stash of Wet n Wild home in my tacky plastic Walgreen's bag and set them out on the floor to take pictures to show you and thought...hold up. I think I've seen some of these before!

I don't really do comparison posts. Partly because there are other bloggers out there who do them better and partly because what I think looks like something else really kind of...doesn't.

But I know that in these times, when money is scarce and food prices are only escalating, that if you can get close to a more expensive color you might just do it, if you knew what to look for. Some of these work, some of them are fails. Hopefully the are all food for thought. Each swatch is one coat just to show quality, opacity and color.

Here is the starting line-up:

 The two in the upper right are just part of the stash and I have a swatch of each to show you because they are really fun.

Hollywood Walk of Fame over Illamasqua Collide. I was taking Collide off when I decided to do these comparisons and I left it on. This turned out to be kind of educational and I may use this idea in the future. Nothing shows you streaky polish quality like something aggressively clashing under it. You will see what I mean later on.

This is a clear top coat with star shaped glitter in it and it is SO fun. I love it. You can see the stars are really pretty large, they're all the colors and they're densely packed in there. These Fergie ones have the large brush in it. I know there is a lot of hate out there for the wide WnW brush, but let me tell ya, when it comes to chunky glitter it's kind of an asset. I don't mind it. **shrugs**

 New Year's Kiss on Illamasqua Collide. One coat. this is sparkly silver tiny glitter and holo string glitter in a clear base. You can see the glitter is pretty dense and there is a lot happening. It dries a little rough so you want top coat on both of these. 

On to the comparisons!

Wet n Wild Fergie Rock n Roll is a sparkly charcoal thing. It's really pretty and it really sparkled but I said...wait, now. I have seen something like this! I dug through the Orly's I have out *embarrassed* and yes. Very close. Orly isn't really a luxury brand, but if you're shopping for them at Ulta or Sally or somewhere that isn't cheap and online, you can pay a price. These Mineral FX polishes were even more, though I do not remember how much more. I remember there was something of a small uprising about it. If you feel the same way, here is your answer. While none of these I will show you are complete dupes, some of them are dupe enough. I would say this one is. For $3.49, unless you compare and contrast with an Orly Rock Solid on someone else, you're not going to see the difference.
More on these two later because this is a polish look I really love.

Several of the WnWs I bought  reminded me of butterLONDON's. I don't know if it's just I love what butter does so I am attracted to those same kinds of colors at Wet n Wild or if Wet n Wild is deliberately aping some shades done by butter. It's not a bad idea. Take your lead from a more cult brand to bring those kinds of colors to a mass of consumer who probably aren't even looking at the more expensive brands. It's a sound strategy, if that's what they are doing.

This is Wet n Wild Dutchess and butterLONDON Scouse. No, they're not exact, but they are very very close. The difference is in the quality. Scouse does have that hot pink sparkle in it that Dutchess has, it's just not showing up here. Look at the nails...Middle is Dutchess, Ring is Scouse. See how much smoother Scouse is? Also, it's clearly in a rich clear helly base. I'm not sure what Dutchess is doing.

Scouse has more of a glass fleck to it while Dutchess is more of a scattered mico-glitter, and it is chunkier and dries rougher. The butter is a smooth one. Like...butter. **groan** the world of color, which I think Scouse is the better made polish, I am not that fond of the chunk there, it just looks messy, I think in another layer or two, these would be close enough. Definitely not dupes. But close enough. A way to get the look for less, here. At $14, butters are up there compared to many and way over the $3.49 price point. For $10, I'm sure some of us can tolerate a little chunk.

OK, here's where I went astray but not as far astray as I will later! This is WnW Miami Heat and butterLONDON Slapper. Never gonna pass for each other, no way. This is with flash and it's making it a bigger difference than it really is, but it it shows of the shimmer in Miami Heat nicely. It's a really pretty polish, actually, and it went on beautifully. butters streak on the first coat and level on the second, we know this. It's a characteristic of the brand. I'm willing to live with it, personally. I usually do at least 2 coats regardless just for better wear.

No flash, just glare. the butter is much more blue and turquoise. These look very close in the bottles but go on a bit differently. Still, depending on just how blue that turquoise has to be for you., Miami Heat is really pretty and a lot less money. They won't ever be confused with each other, but this is a nice way to get a similar color. However, if you just need that blue in there, then go for the butter. I did. :)

WnW Teal of Fortune and butterLONDON Bluey. Damn Close. Once again, the butter is more of a glass fleck with a nice smooth finish while the WnW is more about sparse glitter but the base colors are really almost dead on. Not the same polish, not saying that, just saying it's a way to get a trendy look with a little less investment. They are distinct but the base colors are so close. You could substitute Teal of Fortune and be very happy with it, I think. If you've been lemming the butter but can't swallow the price, go for Teal of Fortune. But save up for the butter. The smoothness of it is worth while, I feel. However, they are both really very pretty. I don't think there is a bad decision here.

Next I thought...maybe. Just maybe. AEngland Galahad and WnW I need a Refresh-Mint. Or maybe Buffy the Violet Slayer to butterLONDON HRH.

This is why I don't do comparison swatches.

Really? OK, to be fair to me, these are the same color family. Galahad is a lot darker. you don't really need me to tell you. If you want the look and are OK with it being a lot lighter, Refresh-Mint will do ya. But it's a total compromise. I would point out, though, the quality. This is on a bare nail, obviously, and note the streaky thin look of the WnW as opposed to the consistently excellent AEngland. No real contest. However, in a few more coats Refresh-Mint is going to even out and behave and be very pretty.

Buffy, on the other hand, is a total WTF was I thinking?
Next to HRH Buffly looks blueberry. There is no contest here. Once you got Buffy on the nail it became so much more blue than it ever was in the bottle. I knew it was more blue, but...THIS much?

So for grins and giggle I dug out Deborah Lippmann's Private Dancer. Yeah, no.

You'd be better off choosing the butter over the Lippmann if cost is your only concern. Possibly WnW has a purple that can go toe to toe with these two. but I don't have it. HRH and Dancer are two very different polishes, I would never ever ever call them dupes, but if you want a rich royal purple, HRH will do just fine for a little less. It lacks the chrome finish of Dancer, but it's not meant to have it.

Now here's a comparison I bet doesn't get made every day. This is the newer version of Happy Birthday, which is the only one I have, Wet n Wild Fast Dry in A Party of Five Glitters, and Forget You.
Looking at them in the bottles I would have ruled out Happy Birthday. It's simply not as dark. Not the case!

Interesting. OK, so we can rule out Forget You. It's a hot mess in one coat and it's a sheer black base. Not int he running, but...Birthday and Party...well, now.

Are they dupes, no. But once again, if you're the only one in the room wearing it no one would ever know. Only a true polish hound is going to even question it. And worse yet, the WnW went on easier! I think, again, it's that tremendously huge brush. It picks up more polish, more glitter and it distributes it more easily. Plus, the WnW was a bit thicker so the glitter stayed put better. Happy Birtdhday was a little more difficult and a little more sparse going on. You can fix sparse but...For the money, unless you just HAVE to spend the extra $17, get the WnW. I know Happy Birthday is practically legendary and it is beautiful and it is higher quality, but if you just want the look, because let's face it, not many of us are getting away with this at work, why would you do it? I did it because I didn't know about Wet n Wild and I assumed it was not cruelty free, which it is.

And they both suck equally coming off so...not a factor.

One last shot of those. You can see the differences but I say if anyone is looking that closely with an attempt to say "CHEAP IMITATION" then you need to just poke them in the eye.

So those are my bargain suggestion for some of the trendy right now colors and some classics as well. And some fails. But the fails are useful, too. Maybe it will spare someone a frustrating thought they had a passable color and they do not moment. As I run into things I will try to post more. I'm all about saving money and making cruelty free easier and more appealing to everyone.

Happy Talons!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Exploring the world of Wet n Wild

I am a make up snob. Hell, I'm a beauty snob. I don't shop at the drugstore or Wal-Mart or places like that for makeup because...I'm a snob. I can't help it. Plus, for things like foundation? I have no eye at all. I NEED someone telling me what works and what doesn't. I've always poo-pooed the whole "You're just paying for packaging" assertion because you wanna know why? I LOVE those sleek black boxes my Illamasqua comes in! I LOVE that Chanel comes in it's own little pouch. Even my Estee Lauder...yeah, I know it's verboten now, but I loved it's sleek little gold containers. And I love their brushes, but...I have my heart set on a Mrs. Bunny set, but I will have to get a better job and save up for that. In the meantime, what I have is good. I love all the crazy pallets that Urban Decay makes. It makes me happy to have them on my dresser. I like the weight of them, the way they sound when they click closed or get stacked on others...I feel like I've done a little something for myself with those. And honestly, I have always found the product to be superior.

However. Every now and then a girl needs a pick me up and she needs to know how she can do it with some frugality and while maintaining her ethics. So I've been researching drug store brands to find out what I can do on the cheap that is still cruelty free.

The main brands are, not surprisingly, not good. I'm sure the quality is fine, etc. I mean, L'Oreal is well known for trying stuff out at the drug store before putting it on the Lancome counter. That really IS the same stuff. However, FAR from cruelty free. They're like, unapologetic about the animal testing thing. But if you go to the really bargain brand areas, you can do surprisingly well! As I've been looking and learning I'm finding several brands cropping up that are good for these standards. Wet n Wild is one of them. I had had a friend in high school, her family was kind of poor, but she was a devoted reader of Vogue. She was interested in makeup and fashion and always was doing her make up. I was more of a tom boy back then and wasn't that interested, but I do remember her shopping for Wet n Wild. I was always slightly bothered by the name. What did that mean, anyway? Don't answer that. I was a kid! And my own mother was always bringing home Estee Lauder. It's only now, past a certain age, that I've discovered Wet n Wild for myself and I have to say, so far I'm pretty impressed. I've been picking up tons of stuff for what I would pay, and still do at times, for one eye shadow.

I started out with the blue eye pallet. The big one. Eight colors for $5. What??? Who knew?? There was an aqua in there I would have committed highway robbery to acquire, but that wasn't necessary. I forked over my fiver and after a nearly broken nail and a pair of scissors later, I was playing in eight fun and sparkly colors of silky goodness.

 This is with flash, but honestly, it's showing off how pretty these are. I don't do a lot of sparkle on my eyes. It's not kind to us ladies who are getting up there, but the satin and shimmer can be OK if done right. These are SO pretty!

 I tried really hard to get a picture of some looks I had done with it and...wooo. Epic. Fail. Try taking pics of your own eyes. This is no small thing. All you bloggers out there who do it? I tip my well manicured talons to you.

This went on so well, so saturated, so silky and I did so much with it that I went out at the first opportunity and planked down a tenner and got the other two: Petal Pusher and Comfort Zone.

No flash...

Flash. Nice glare.

So, as you can see from these, lots of lovely shimmer and lots of colors. Not a dupe in the bunch and the blues are even more distinct. Honestly, Comfort Zone has become a work staple. The colors are nice, you have to be a little careful because they are really pigmented. I kinda went a little nuts with that pretty green Eyelid color there and wound up wearing mascara only to work because it went on CRAZY! LOL I just took it off and sprinted out the door. I've been late more than once because I was playing in the colors rather than actually being focused. That Definer color below it, I apologize, there are no names on the colors, but that shiny taupey color embossed as "Definer"...that is actually the most fascinating duo-chrome thing.

That patch of brown on my wrist and the greenish brown color further up my arm are the same! Blow the picture up, please don't mind the freckles... **points at hair** But yeah. Nice shimmer and I love that effect. And as you can see, this is not so dark that you couldn't wear it as a lid color if you wanted.

While I appreciate what they are trying to do with the whole brow bone, eyelid, etc idea on the colors...if you are at all adventurous I suggest you ignore that. The whole pallet works together, and this is true of all of them, so you are certainly not locked into using them as they are marked. Do what you want! And at $5, if you screw it up and ruin it, who cares? Get a new one! In fact, I actually got these two for less than that. If you shop you can do even better.

I understand the blushes are really popular but I haven't tried any yet, nor any of the lip stuff. I'm curious about the mascaras because I will need a good one. I've been using EL for so long that I don't even know where to go. Urban Decay? Not if these turn out to be good!

I also scored some polish, of course. I'm loving the Fergie line, which I understand has some cheaper dupes on the Spoiled line. I am not a big CVS fan so I don't know. I am intending to look, though.

Here are some shots of those:

I got those two packs for $1.99. No, I'm not even kidding. Whoa. Funky line thing there.

Coming up I have some comparison swatches for you, my first! I don't really do that because I don't typically have that great of an eye for color, but I had to. Incidentally, that pretty green thing in the lower right corner has it's own post coming up. It was too awesome to bury in with a bunch of others. That is an honestly fun and wearable color called Glowstick. If you see it, I recommend picking it up. For $3.49 can you really go wrong? Possibly less if it has a Spoiled dupe?

So I understand that Black Radiance is also made by the same company. I saw some of that at a dollar store here. Our dollar stores are really kind of janky. I live in a not really prosperous area. Let's say...there is a real pre-revolution Russia split of the classes. Either you have money or you don't. If you do, you ain't shopping in this little hamlet, you're running up to the city. So our dollar stores get a lot of traffic and have an odd assortment of stuff, which is, I guess, the point. And not everything is a dollar! RIP OFF! LOL I plan to look into it further next time I'm on that side of town because these are honestly a dream to play with and to wear. Silky, light, buildable coverage that lasts ALL day. and I mean...ALL. DAY. Can I say it again? I can't get enough of it. All. Day. They don't budge. I've had many compliments on them. They look nice, the colors are pretty versatile and fool proof, there are even little diagrams on the back of the package to help you out, and they don't crease or flake or move at all. Incredible. The expensive brands aren't even pulling that off.

To be fair, I do concealer on my eyes as a base, so that might be helping but it can't be helping that much. Also, I'm using my expensive brushes. These come with the classic sponge/crappy brush applicator. I shouldn't say that, I didn't even look at it, really. I don't look at them in the expensive stuff, why would I start now? I am guessing they're pretty crappy.

While I don't have any of the pencils, I want to try them. I already have so many so I always find something else I want to try and don't get them. I should go for it. They're $.99. Really? I'm balking at that?


I know I've been wordy and I apologize, but I had a lot to say. These are a tremendously lovely surprise.

If anyone wants swatches let me know. I didn't because I didn't honestly have the time to do it. But I will if someone is requesting it.

Happy Eagle Eyes, lads! Talons will be coming up!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Illamasqua Collide

Ironically, after posting the links for the Illamasqua battle to try to get better prices for Australians, I have an Illamasqua to show you. And it's a beauty.

This is an older one, it's been around a couple years now, and I don't know why I chose it, particularly. MDAMO wasn't being terribly helpful on the color front, which is out of character for him, and I wanted something bright and happy and Summery. This certainly fits all of those descriptors!

BMWWU did it so I'm fuzzy on the mechanics, but I have lots of pictures to show you.

In my car, sitting at a light, direct sunlight from the window.

Isn't that pretty? It's what I would call neon Barbie pink. I's PINK. There is no debate, there is no question. Pink.

But a vibrant, alive pink. It's a pink that says Yeah! I'm pink! Whatchoo gonna do about it! There is nothing girlie about it. It's in your face, taking no prisoners.

I believe this is days later. I would have liked a third coat and nearly put one on but I was afraid it would cause it to lift so I just lived with the VNL. I think I would have been happier with three, though. Obviously, this was two.

Yes, this was about a week's worth of wear. One. Week. Needless to say, it did really very well. Usually by a week I have chips and mess. Not to say this was flawless. I have right hand pics where you can see the lacquer has cracked.

Here you can see where it was really showing the wear. Still...if I had not pointed it out, would you have seen it?

From this angle you do not notice the wear. You DO notice that my nails are growing it out, which just tells you that this has some good wear to it. I didn't baby it, either. This didn't get any additional top coat on it, it didn't get coddled. It did dishes, it went to work...this was just one tough manicure.

If you look really closely you can see where the lacquer is cracking on the middle nail. That nail likes to bend and be a nuisance so this isn't terribly surprising.

To be fair, these were dried forever in an LED light. I think this is good in some senses, it does help the lacquer dry and apparently adhere, but it also can make it brittle, *I* think. I don't claim to be an expert but that is what I seem to experience. It could have something to do with my nails tending to be a little dry since I'm basically dehydrated all the time.

Here's the bottle shot with flash. It's very true to color, actually. This is a little but washed out, but this really photographed beautifully.

No flash. Very true. This color is so saturated and so intense. You have to be a little fearless when you wear it.

And lastly the label.

I always have good luck with Illamasqua lacquers. This is no exception, to be sure. It went on really nicely, from what I could see, it was a nice consistency. I would have liked another coat, but...three is the standard for many people so that's not a deal breaker. The color is so intense. I really loved that about it. I had to take it off to change to interview nails and that post will come up later this week if all goes well. Obviously, I fixed my picture problem so I'm back is the saddle.

I hope you liked this one!

Happy Talons!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Illamasqua's Fair Price in Australia Campaign

Go here. Sign. Illamasqua is a part of my daily life. It's my go to for great color and inspiration and I very much admire that they are making a stand and working so hard to implement change. If this company has made a difference to you, if you have friends in Australia, if you just believe that we all have a right to be free from price tyranny anywhere, then check this out. If this can happy in the beauty market it can start to happen in others as well. Let's DO something about it.

Sheswai - One of those great customer service sites

I had never tried Sheswai lacquers before. I found them on a blog, of course, colors are pretty...little pricey...but then they came out with the limited edition fuckyeah and I had to have it. HAD to. I will swatch it later, I am still sporting interview nails and likely will be for awhile unless this thing goes terribly awry and I'm done with this particular job posting. you may imagine, a color named "fuckyeah" may not be...shall we say...conservative.

The point of this story is, though, that I placed my Sheswai order for just two lacquers to start, (badass being the have to know I am LOVING this shit) and a day or two later my second hit on the Illamasqua 60% off sale.

The Illamasqua arrived first. From LONDON. Hm.

Needless to say, I was concerned about my Sheswai order. So I emailed them. I got a response back really pretty quickly verifying the address. Yes...address is correct. I was really just asking if they had a way to track it. Awhile later I get another email expressing regret that my order had gone rogue and that it would be re-sent immediately. Well, hey...not really your fault...I just wanted to see if you could track it!

Several days later two boxes arrive. Both orders. Oh balls. I kind of suspected this would happen, it's how my world works. I only opened the one box because I really intended to send the other back. I get a very nice note back saying oh no, just this one time please do us a favor and share it! (Don't go telling them your stuff didn't arrive, OK? That's just a crap thing to do to somebody. Don't be wankers.)

OK! They did not have to do that. There would have been absolutely no hard feelings if they'd taken one of the orders back, giving away free polish isn't really great for their business and I know that. I mean...I work in accounting. I know!

I had no problems getting a taker for fuckyeah. A friend at work just went ape for it. Badass I haven't tried to shop yet but I think...the peeps at Sheswai were so sweet about the whole thing that BMWWU should be the recipient. She will know the most people who will like and wear it, and this, I feel, does the best by the Sheswai team that I can do. It will put their polish in front of the most amount of people.

Oh, and my friend from work will have no problems spreading the word herself. She's already tried it out on the neighbor. She's had it a day.

So I get an email that one of the colors will be retired and is on sale. I waited for payday, as I'm supposed to be on a no-buy, and I ordered two more.  It's a small collection but a very fun one. I can't speak to the quality of the polish yet, but I like the range, it's cruelty free, it has lovely sustainable wooden caps and the bottles are pretty. We're off to a great start! Plus, who doesn't love great customer service?

One of those sites I told you'd I would keep you apprised of!


Happy Talons!

P.S.: There will be pictures as soon as I can get pictures to upload. I'm having a weird error, which is partly why you're not seeing more posts this week. It's really odd. I'll figure something out. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chanel Graphite

OK, so...Chanel is questionable on the animal front. I have never heard an unsafe about them...I've heard and seen safe and I've heard and seen questionable but I've never heard or seen that Chanel is definitely a bunny killer brand. They aren't owned by Estee I'm gonna go ahead and post this and hope for the best.

It is still available, I could walk into a local mall and buy this tomorrow so, it's also good on that front.
And it's PRETTY!

MDAMO picked this out out from a rather bewildering array of greys. I didn't know I had so many. This one was sparkly! It has hints of gold in it, but this is a primarily silver polish. I think that it is less graphite looking than Black Pearl...but I didn't get to name it!

This shows off the silver better. It has a lot of little sparkly particles in it, lots of fleck, which really make this a standout. It's also so smooth, not a glitter finish at all. It has a lot of depth. There is some green in there, some gold...lots happening with this.

Lovely foil fleck appearance. You can see what I mean about the green here. Definitely a green tint to this. It's OK, it just adds to it, I think.

Mad Close Up to show off the sparkle.

This got a lot of compliments but I wouldn't say it's an easy polish to wear. It has a harsh quality to it. I'll wear it again at some point, but it's almost formal or something. I'm not quite sure how to describe it. 

This wore pretty well, actually. I got caught up in life this week and didn't get stuff posted on time. I apologize. I don't even remember how I did this now. Yeah, I still don't remember to take notes on stuff. I'm brilliant that way.

Is this worth the price tag...well...I suppose that's up to you. It's unique, I don't have anything else like it that isn't a straight up glitter. It's pretty. I guess that's up to you. These are always really steep and you can get nicer polishes for less, but Chanel does have the great colors. No doubt about it. 

Would be interested to hear comments if anyone has any!

Happy Talons!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Illamasqua - The Fight For Australian Cosmetic Prices

Please watch this. And then go sign the petition, I will put up a linky. Seriously? Why is this necessary? The video does a great job explaining why Illamasqua is making this stand. Hopefully it will mean something to you as well. If it doesn't then it's only two minutes you've spent on it. But I hope it does. Cosmetics are so tied up in our daily lives and routines and self- esteem and public presentation...if you're reading this blog I suspect you understand and agree.

Illamasqua is cruelty free, cutting edge and independent and I'm pleased they are taking up this banner. I have friends in Australia and New Zealand. I am very willing to take the couple minutes to sign a petition for them. I hope you'll do the same.

Part of my campaign to research more drugstore brands, find out what is cruelty free and what isn't, what works and what doesn't of that group is to make cruelty free easier, more accessible and therefore more likely for all of us. Illamasqua is a part of that and is something I wear daily. I'm wearing an Illamasqua nail lacquer right now! (Collide. It's Gorge. Full post to follow.) More than willing to support almost all the causes they come up with so far, and this is no different. Give it a watch.

Here's the linky to the petition just to make it super easy!
Sign Me!

Happy Talons for ALL!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The fight to stay Cruelty Free

I just want to slap China. The whole country. I really do. Their whole "You have to animal test to market here" thing is walking all over my mojo. I don't know what is safe, what isn't. I'm trying to just stick to the stuff that has a bunny on it but do you have any idea how tough that is? Particularly on a budget?? And I will talk more about my confusion on this later in this post.

So, I wanted to let you know the blog may be taking some steps outward. By that I mean, if you read this at all, you know my favorite brands are $10 a bottle at the cheap side going up into the $20 range. I have been looking around a lot, doing a lot of "window" shopping and trying to find more easily accessible cruelty free or vegan brands. We know about Milani, you might even know about Wet N Wild, which I've been exploring a lot, but NYX is cool too. ("nix" to us Noobs) Essence, I believe...still checking, but I'm pretty sure. I'm looking into some of the brands that look promising that are available on Cherry Culture. LA Colors is a cruelty free brand, which I didn't know before yesterday, and cheap. I've been doing a lot of looking. Reading blogs, watching vlogs, internet internet internet. I've been checking out Etsy, looking for you independents out there creating Frankens and designing amazing stuff. One of you, if you're listening, I have you bookmarked for when I have some money!

I picked up a little Wet N Wild haul yesterday after having tried some of the eyeshadows. I was very impressed. Went on like silk, wore all day, highly I picked up some more. Also some nail polish. Um, DUH! Of course I picked up nail polish. I hit a glorious little sale where I got a two pack of one color, one top coat for $1.99. Hello. Who knew? And one of them was a chunky glitter top coat. I brought them home and realized they are similar to some other premium brand polishes I have. This is fine...I don't mind. I'm trying to line up some similars for you so I can talk about how you might follow the big gals on the cheap. I like to do that myself! Frugal never goes out of style.

So...this whole cruelty free which I am still devoted, have no fear. I do slip from time to time, but I see it kind of like a diet. I have to forgive myself and move along. I'm trying to be informed, but the whole point of this conversation's so freaking difficult to STAY informed! I read a post from another blogger who has also been promoting cruelty free and vegan and...well, she finally kinda just gave up. I hate to admit it, but I understand her perspective. Where do you draw the line? The Chinese law has complicated this exponentially. So, what if it's made in China but not sold there? Many of the cheaper brands are. They are not tested unless the company tests generally. If they were a cruelty free brand before but now only allow testing because it is required by law, e.g. Estee Lauder brands? What is the line there? I'm torn. I know they have to make money. I know the Chinese market is HUGE. I get all that. I still...Ugh! So I'm trying to boycott but wow is it tough. You just don't always know you are doing the right thing.

My line, I've decided, is to do the very best I can. Research as much as possible, be as informed as much as possible, but when I slip or make a mistake, simply to try not to do it again.

So, I know I'm being confusing today. It's because I am confused. I just want you as readers to know, that I am doing the best I can to seek out new brands, good brands, hopefully very affordable brands, to add to my repertoire so that there is a better mix. My number one priority is the bunnies. My number two priority is cost. Right now I am strapping my finances way down so I will be exploring drug store stuff a lot. I'll be hitting 8ty8beauty a lot. $3 China Glazes? Sign me up. I have a cart full just waiting for pay day. Expect a CherryCulture haul in the coming months so I can tell you how I fare with them as a shopper. I want to get you more and better information. Don't get me wrong, I'll be learning as I go as well.

Together we CAN make a difference. I always remember at my zoo that there is a sign that says something to the effect that "No one made a bigger mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little". So if I can get you close to some of the hot colors without supporting animal testing, without spending a fortune than why wouldn't I do that? Common sense, right?

Hang in there Talonistas. We WILL get it figured out.

Happy Bunny Safe Talons!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Manicure Francais Noir

Yeah, my written French is pretty rusty and I'm quite certain that's incorrect, pardonez moi, s'il vous plait. Particularly any of you who may be French. I do apologize, honestly.
I offer up instead a trend that was popular last year that I never caught on to, probably because I'm really not that big into nail art. This isn't nail art, but a French manicure, which playing with this style is all the rage and I'm liking it. The traditional acrylic tip French reminds me of 80s strip malls but the colors change it up and make it more fun.

I give you the black French!

The one I modeled this after had all OPI on it, which you know I won't buy. I had to come up with my own version. I tried butterLondon Union Jack Black with a coat of Hard Candy's matte top coat. It gave it a rubberized feel, which  was pretty and subtle, but too subtle for this. I didn't take a shot of it, which was kind of dumb of me, honestly.

This is the best picture of all of them. I free handed those tips, not bad for a first time effort! I was pretty pleased. You wouldn't actually be looking at them this close up so from a distance they looked really even and good. It's not terrible here. I don't think so, anyway.

So what I wound up using was a little stroke of genius on my own part, I felt. Who does the best and extremely matte mattes. ManGlaze. Of Course! This is ManGlaze Matte is Murder. Note the silver shimmer in there? Dense but not overwhelming? It looked great for this. The shiny black is the blackest and shiniest I have: the butterLondon Union Jack Black. That's just inky black.

The bottle shots. I think you can figure out which is which here.

This is more what the ManGlaze looked like to the naked eye. It had this lovely sheen to it but it was definitely a strong contrast. Plus, because of the matte polish, I didn't top coat the butter so this is really how shiny UJB is on it's own.

This is me trying to hold the bottle so you still get a nail shot. Such a junkie, I am.

Last one in natural light from the window.

I love this. It's edgy but elegant. Understated but dangerous...It wasn't universally popular. MDAMO was skeptical  at first, but it got the official Man Seal of Approval after the fact. My parents suggested I was either a vampire or haunting houses. Can't please everyone all the time!

Mechanics: My usual

1 coat Poshe base coat
1 coat Nailtiques 2 plus
2 coats Seche Rebuild
2 coats ManGlaze Matte is Murder over the whole nail
2 coats butterLondon Union Jack Black over the tips (one swipe from the left, one swipe from the right)

What do you think? I love it...I felt weird about it at work, but I really love this look.

Happy Talons!!