Archive | February, 2011

Essie at Shoppers Drug Mart & Chinchilly

23 Feb

I know this is either really nerdy in a nail polish context, or just plain ol’ girly. But I got SO EXCITED yesterday when I walked into Shoppers Drug Mart and discovered they were selling Essie nail polishes. Yes, SDM has been selling Essie’s for a while, but it was always put amongst the other nail polishes and took up a pathetic two racks. Also, the colour range was super boring (though I did get Sexy Divide from it, as well as Sugar Daddy which is probably my all-time favourite sheer pink – that’s for another post), consisting of like four near-identical sheer pinks and more saturated red/pink cremes. Yawn.

But this was different! SDM has the same Essie set-up as Wal-Mart does (at least in the U.S.) after being bought out by L’Oreal around a year ago. The bottles are slightly different – there’s a sticker on the top of the lid that has the shade’s name, a barcode sticker on the lid, as well as a sticker that has the brand name on it. The best part is – there are so many more Essie shades now. There are literally at least 5 times more colours to choose from. I was going NUTS at the Essie rack.

Yes, you can buy Essie’s elsewhere, but only in few salons, and I can’t think of a store that offers this much in colour selection, maybe apart from Shifeon (which is grossly overpriced btw, blech).

Omg! Other exciting thing! Shoppers also has the new Essie collections! I saw A French Affair polishes there as well. Didn’t buy anything from it (almost got Coat Azure but resisted).

Okay now that my obsessing is over, and I’m sure you’ve just skipped the above paragraphs, let’s get on to what I did buy.

Essie Chinchilly. Finally a polish name I actually like. I’d say that it’s almost a true gray with the tiniest bit of taupe. In some lights I see a lavender undertone. In others I see green. So I’m forced to conclude that it’s a neutral gray. When I bought this, I was scared that it would be too similar to OPI You Don’t Know Jacques, which is my favourite dirty taupe colour, but Chinchilly is much lighter and more grey. It is SO pretty. I love how grays are still neutral – won’t get any weird looks from people, but still remains somewhat edgy. And it goes with every outfit! Not that I’ve ever let that stop me from wearing a bright colour that totally clashes.

I love Essie’s. They apply effortlessly (the brush tends to get too much polish though, so wipe it off well before applying!), and dry to such a shiny finish. Sigh. They are $11.99 though, which hurts my wallet a bit. Hopefully the change to carrying more Essie colours doesn’t mean Shoppers will stop doing promotions on them! I always used to buy them when they were discounted to $8.99. Also, strangely the new bottle’s volume is 1.5 ml less than the original one, which was 15ml. Strange.

So, uh, to wrap up, I love Essie, this colour rocks, the thing about Shoppers was the best thing to happen to me all week (kind of sad), the end.

Joe Fresh – Peacock

21 Feb

Hey everyone! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s sad because Reading Break is over, and let me tell you…I did absolutely nothing. Honestly. I’m kind of ashamed of myself. And also extremely proud – I certainly can’t enjoy any more of this couch potato bull crap starting today :( Midterms and papers! Sigh.

But what better than to cheer yourself up with an inexpensive nail polish? Those of you who live in Canada may be familiar with Joe Fresh, which sells affordable clothing, accessories and beauty products at Loblaws, Superstore, and various free-standing stores across the nation. This is the first nail polish I’ve tried from the brand and I have to say, I quite like it!

Joe Fresh Peacock is a deep teal (leaning on the blue side) with intense teal shimmer – in the bottle you can see a bit of a teal and purple/blue duochrome shimmer but it’s barely visible on the nail, except in low light. To me, it’s the teal version of the polish featured in my last post, Essie Sexy Divide. It has that same glowy quality (perhaps with somewhat more visible brush strokes, but they’re not at all obvious) – dark round the edges and light in the centre. So pretty!

The bottle is a bit clumsy though – the lid is really short and wide, making it a bit awkward to get a good grip on it when applying. However, I like the brush a lot. It’s very similar to the OPI ProWide brushes which I find very effective for neat application. Formula was good as well, as I only needed 2 coats to achieve opacity.

After checking out the colour range, I can say that Joe Fresh polishes are very on-trend (I can’t wait to try out some of the super pretty pastels). For $4 a pop, or $10 for three, it’s a great way to try out some new colours without making a huge commitment. Fair warning though: on a per-ml basis it’s not the cheapest polish around (it’s a bit more expensive than OPI), but I’m still going to pick up some more colours the next time I’m at Superstore! :)

Essie – Sexy Divide

16 Feb

If pressed to answer, I think I would say that my favourite colour is purple. It’s such a moody colour, and can look sophisticated and funky at the same time. Needless to say, I LOVE purple nail polish. Essie’s Sexy Divide just brings that love to a whole new level.

Okay, the name? I never understand nail polish names. But the colour! Sexy Divide is a deep purple packed with purple shimmer (or could it be a mix of blue and red?). The result is another one of the polishes that looks sort of like a creme from far away, but positively glows when the light hits it. There are no brush strokes to be seen, and no discernible bits of glitter either. It’s just an absolutely flawless, radiant purple polish.

Formula on this is divine – so smooth and perfect consistency. I got it at Shoppers Drug Mart – wait for the Essie’s to go on sale when you go there. I think they retail for~$11.99CAD but I’ve often found them on sale for $8.99CAD. Unfortunately they don’t sell the new collections, only a dozen or so classic Essie colours, but I’ve already racked up a few! Love.

butter LONDON – All Hail the Queen/McQueen

14 Feb

IT’S READING BREAK! Rejoice! Oh, and a happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to you (I give all my love to people who know that reference)!

How have I been spending it, you ask? Oh, not much, just sitting around at home being sick out of my mind, being spoon-fed medicine by my mother. I’m telling you, it’s truly an experience every time she brings me another dose of medicine. Currently she has me taking this cough syrup which is making me feel, uh, woozy. Drunk drowsy. Mind is fuzzy. You know the deal.

Thankfully I’m nearing the end of the illness (hopefully). Sore throat is gone, just have the lingering annoying cough. Maybe I’ll finally be able to enjoy my reading break starting tomorrow? Oh wait, I’ve still got a stack of homework and midterms to study for. Who has time for Valentine’s Day? No one wants to be close to a sick person, ha! So unfortunately I’ve had no one to share this lovely nail polish with:

butter LONDON’s All Hail the Queen (also known as All Hail McQueen). Ah, how I have lusted after you for weeks! Finally found this gem a few months ago at BeautyMark in Yaletown. Funny naming though – I’ve always known it as All Hail McQueen from blogs (this shade was created as a tribute to the legendary designer not long after his passing), but when trying to look for it at the shop, all I could find was a polish that looked very similar, but was called All Hail the Queen. Rest assured, some Googling afterwards confirmed that it was the same shade. Why the name change? Who knows, maybe some copyright issues?

All Hail the Queen is a very unique neutral polish with lots of microglitter – it’s not immediately evident, but it clearly has a slight holographic thing going on. The glitters very subtly reflect “rainbow”, similar to GOSH Holographic. It’s definitely the most interesting neutral polish I own, and makes it so awesome – suitable for everyday wear in an office, for example (or at school if you don’t want people looking at your nails strangely, haha). But it still has enough interest with the holographic glitter for a polish lover like myself. Kind of eccentrically sophisticated. Loves it.

butter LONDON is a pretty new brand to me, but my experience with this polish was pleasant. It comes in an classy rectangular bottle with a removable cap – very much like Chanel. The brush is also Chanel-esque; rounded and long. The price was  quite steep (can’t remember exactly, but it was around $20CAD), but the polish applies with great ease and is just the right consistency. It’s also a 3-free lacquer, meaning it contains no formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP, and claims to be not carcinogenic.

It’s not often that I drop over $10 on a polish, but when I do, I expect it to be amazing. For the uniqueness of the polish alone, I think the price was worth it.

OPI – Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not

9 Feb

Hope you’re having an awesome Wednesday! And not sick like me :( Ended up skipping two classes and went home instead. Sigh.

This polish though, is exquisite.

OPI’s Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not from their Fall 2008 France collection, has quickly made its way into my favourite purple polishes, if not my favourite of all time. Right now as I’m looking down at my nails, it looks like quite a dark neutral purple. But under more bright lights, the polish looks more like a mid-toned very red-tinged purple with tiny blue (or purple?) and pink shimmers. I love these kinds of polishes the most – they’re not so shimmery that they border on frosty and leave behind brush strokes. In low light they almost look like cremes, but in sunlight KA-POW, the shimmer really jumps out. The best way I can describe the look is “glowy” – like the shimmers are lit within. A bit hard to see in the above photo, but trust me on this one! :)

Two coats were needed – application was easy-peasy. And of course, topped off with a top coat.

Ah! I just love this so much! I’ve used Louvre Me, Louvre Me Not so much that you can actually see what level the polish is at – I know that sounds trivial but it’s super rare for me to use up a coloured polish that fast. It’s my go-to purple polish and I always get so many compliments on it. I think it’s because it’s very noticeably purple (not like the inky near-black purples), but muted at the same time. A perfect combination!

Successful Skittle Shatter!

5 Feb

Whoa, I finally got OPI Black Shatter to look, well, like advertised.

I’ve been itching to try this mani ever since I’ve gotten Black Shatter, if only to see if I can pull off the cool-looking, if slightly juvenile “skittles” manicure. Skittles meaning using different (usually bright) colours on each finger. I’ve tried variations on it before (my favourite being the gradation manicure – shall post one of those another day), but have been too scared to actually rock the look. The hope with Black Shatter was to make the look more edgy and “disguise” some of the bright colour while keeping visual interest. Well, we’ll see about that…

First, skittles! Cute, right? Should have probably used a more pastel yellow but alas, I do not own one (can’t help but think American Apparel Butter would be a perfect substitute!). Let’s go through the colours:

  • Thumb: OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender
  • Index: American Apparel Manila
  • Middle: Revlon Top Speed Jaded
  • Ring: Orly Gumdrop
  • Pinky: Revlon Gum Drop (yes, I used two polishes named gum drop. It was a coincidence, I swear! Also the pinky one happens to be scented. Sickly sweet…don’t think I could do a full mani with it, barf)

Time to shatter it up!

Looks like the juvenile skittles got introduced to some recreational drugs and are now looking significantly more edgy! Definitely something that I could wear without feeling self-conscious. Though I got plenty of weird looks from people today anyway (one girl especially who stared at my nails the whole time I was washing my hands in the restroom). Regardless, Shatter takes out the saccharine quality from the bright pastel colours and makes the whole look more wearable. Awesome!

Oh also, compare this to how the shatter looked over the GOSH Holographic polish I wrote about a few days ago. See how the shatters actually look fully formed rather than…weird tree branches? I don’t know if before I used layers that were too thin, didn’t let Holographic dry enough, or just the weird nature of holographic polishes in general. Just know that if you own OPI Black Shatter, here are some helpful tips:

  • Let the base colour dry completely.
  • If you want the shatters to be far apart, apply a thicker layer.
  • Be sure to apply a shiny top coat to protect the shatter layer, as well as smooth out the wonky brush strokes.

:) Have fun!

OPI – Jade is the New Black

4 Feb

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted! It’s from all the dinner parties, coffee dates and movie-watching. Did you see The King’s Speech yet? If not, run, do not walk, to the theatre. It’s brilliant, cast was excellent. And Colin Firth was, of course, sigh-worthy. Also went to Dine-Out at Fishworks in North Van – so yummy! Will likely take my mom there for her birthday.

All this happened between Monday and Wednesday, by the way. Somehow I managed to make myself believe that it was the weekend. Too bad I have a midterm and an assignment due next Monday. *sigh* I think I foresaw the horror of the following week and decided to treat myself to an early weekend. Time to start crackin’!

Hopefully things will start to look up with this gorgeous colour, though!

OPI’s Jade is the New Black is from the Spring 2010 Hong Kong Collection (Holla! Home town represent!). Of course I was excited for this collection and what they decided to name them. But as expected, the names are cringe-inducing and horribly cliche. To give you an idea, here are some of the other polishes from that collection: Suzi Says Feng Shui, A Good Mandarin is Hard To Find, Panda-monium Pink, Red My Fortune Cookie, Dim Sum Plum, Chopsticking To My Story, Bling Dynasty. *insert collective groan here*.

There are way more defining characteristics of Hong Kong that could have been used to name nail polish without resorting to general American cliches of Chinese culture. The fortune cookie wasn’t even invented in Hong Kong! I haven’t even eaten a fortune cookie in Hong Kong before! Also, Japanese and Korean people use chopsticks too! What the hell! And Bling Dynasty is just tacky.

Okay. I’m getting irrationally angry about this. Moving on.

I freaking adore this colour. A perfect mid-toned green creme, slightly on the blue side (but not at all teal). Not too bright. It looks so clean on the nail! Average polish turnover for me is 2 days. I had this on for 5 days! I think it might be a record – it’s definitely love.