Urban Decay Stardust in Diamond Dog - $20 at sephora.com and Ulta
I tried to ignore these shadows. I promise I did. After all, I'm no longer really a glitter girl. I pull out my MAC Reflects glitters once or twice a year to lightly pat over my eye makeup for the ultra-rare "Mommy & Daddy Night Out." Try though I might, I couldn't avoid these for long. I was drawn in by the shimmery taupe awesomeness in the pan, and the futuristic-looking packaging that requires just the convenient squeeze of a couple fingers to pop open. The straw that broke the blogger's back was that Ulta was offering 2 free mini 24/7 eyeliner pencils with a $20 Urban Decay purchase. I am a hopeless fan of 24/7 pencils and have or have had nearly all of them, so I couldn't resist, especially because the cashier let me choose which ones. But I digress... the eyeshadow.
Yes it's gorgeous in the pan, and it can be beautiful on the eye as well, you just have to figure out how to apply it. The draw of these shadows is that they are a sheer wash of color with loads of teeeeeensy glitter that will give a wet look to the lids. Keep in mind; they're not kidding, they're super sheer. If you attempt to brush these on, it will look like glittery smudges of dirt. Urban Decay recommends applying these with your finger, but this precision-lacking method will make the dirt-smudge look even more of a reality. I feel like the most success I had in applying this was with a spone-tip applicator. By packing a bit of shadow on the sponge, tapping or blowing off the excess glitter and then patting it on to the lid will give the best result. I also recommend applying a base shade similar to the shade you're using underneath to intensify the effect. The fallout while applying wasn't very bad using this method, but throughout the day I did get some random glitter landing in my lashes and hovering distractingly just inside my field of vision. The wet-look did stick around for a bit, but the base color sort of started to fade a bit. Overall, this is a cool idea for special occasions, and indeed I think they're really meant for that. Consider getting a neutral shade like Space Cowboy that you can tap lightly over any shadow at all for a little extra oomph.
Click for more pics and to see the 24/7 eye pencils I picked!
I loved how MAC Blue India was set off so beautifully by my gold ring, and I was inspired by the curls in the ring, so I used China Glaze Passion and Konad plate m77 to stamp a gold flower on top. Then I added clear rhinestones to simulate the diamonds. I liked the way this turned out.
Index and ring: OPI Koala Bear-y / Middle and pinkie: China Glaze Heli-yum
OPI Koala Bear-y: I have mentioned before that when I first got Heli-yum that it was similar to Koala Bear-y, but they're a bit different than I thought before I actually put them side by side. You can see here that KB is a bit more bright and pink. This is pretty pigmented and smooth for a new-formula OPI
China Glaze Heli-yum: This one has got a bit more red in it and is slightly more subdued. The application and formula is just a bit superior to the OPI; it's insanely pigmented and was perfect in two coats. I think they're different enough, and awesome enough, to own both.
Essence Nail Art Stampy Set ($2.99) and Nail Jewels ($2.49) available at Ulta
You guys know I'm a hardcore Konad addict, so when Essence came to the States and brought along the Stampy Set, it was a no-brainer. I picked it up at Ulta for about $3 which includes a stamper, scraper and a plate with 7 mostly floral designs. I thought I'd review it and tell you, compared to Konad, what I thought.
The first thing that really seemed different to me is that the plates from Konad have a paper backing on the bottom of the plates and this plate does not. I don't know what purpose this backing serves, but presumably it's to keep the plate more stable and strong, because a bent plate is a ruined plate. The stamper and scraper are very similar in looks to the Konad brand ones, but the actual smooshy stamper part is somewhat more smooshy and slicker in surface texture. These properties make it easier to pick up the design on to the stamp, but harder to transfer it to the nail. The scraper seems to have a bit of a longer blade than the Konad one, but it's very uneven and scrapes the living crap out of the plate. Not to mention the fact that only seems to scrape off some of the excess polish. I had to abandon the Essence one and use my trusty Konad one to finish the job. The plate is pretty nice except that it's a lot more flimsy than Konad plates, so it might not last long if you don't take good care to store it where it won't get bent. The images are fairly deep and create nice clear images when I use my Konad scraper. All in all, for $3 it's a good deal because of the plate alone.
Click to read more and see more images
Middle and pinkie: Orly Gumdrop, Index: Misa DIrty Sexy Money, Ring: Essie Greenport
Misa Dirty Sexy Money: This is the darkest and duskiest of the group. The application is wonderful and the formula is smooth and pigmented. I like a cream with a cushiony look to it.
Orly Gumdrop: This is admittedly slightly chalky, but it's pretty and it only requires a coat or two. It's a bit brighter than the others and it's tone is a bit washed out as well; it's not as vibrant.
Essie Greenport: Even after shaking the bottle vigorously, there was dark green pigmented liquid swirling around in this bottle. You can see the result of that if you look closely to the ring finger. This was five thin coats, so obviously it's a lot less pigmented than the other two. However, it's very pretty and has a vibrant-but-dusty quality that I can't help but love.
Click for another pic.
My eyes are killing me! After swatching and photographing all this retina-searing gorgeousness, I still had hundreds of photos to edit. Yes hundreds. Nearly a hundred for Pool Party alone! Anyhoo, I'll have comparisons over the next couple weeks so my eyes can heal ;p but here are the swatches!
Click to view the swatches!
essence Nail Polishes, available at Ulta for $1 each
I was so excited that this German brand was coming to Ultas in the States, I can't even tell you. Some of their polishes I've seen gracing the lovely nails of European bloggers nearly drove me to madness. The display has recently arrived at the particular Ulta I visited, and while there were no special limited collections, there were a few cool colors in the core display. I was devastated that all the blues were gone, but there was one What Do U Think left, whoo!, plus these other two beauties jumped out at me as well.
Click to read the review and see more photos!
Index to pinkie: OPI Hey Vito Is My Car Red-y?, Color Club Sexsea, China Glaze High Hopes, Essie Flirt
OPI Hey Vito, Is My Car Red-y: This is incredibly similar to Sexsea, it's got a definite warm tone to it, making this bright coral look like a retro Hollywood red.
Color Club Sexsea: An easy-to-find and cheap alternative to the OPI Hey Vito, great formula and a perfect seriously vibrant bright coral-red choice for summer.
China Glaze High Hopes: This is more of a sweet mango coral. It's considerably less in-your-face and red than the above two, but it's got a special punch that would be great for less warm-toned people.
Essie Flirt: I thought this one was going to be dupey to the China Glaze by looking at the bottles, but turns out this one is slightly darker and a pinch more pink.
Tagged with: nail polish, summer, nails, red, bright, OPI, essie, China Glaze, coral, comparisons, Color Club, OnSugar March Giveaway
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden - $18 at sephora.com
A few years ago, after battling creasy, smudgy, fading shadow on my oily lids for a decade, I discovered the cult classic Urban Decay Primer Potion. The original formula, which was all that was available at that time, saved my eye-shadow-loving life. Though it was a bit drying over a long period of time, it was the only thing that worked for me. I also really like Too Faced Shadow Insurance, for the record; it's a bit creamier in consistency. But I digress... The newest addition to the Primer Potion family is Eden. Urban Decay calls it "tawny", which says to me a burnished orange or sienna color, but in reality this is a yellowed light beige. Sounds gross but it's awesome. Fans of MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot will go nuts over it because it's similar in color but lighter and creamier than the MAC option.
Click to read the rest of the review and see comparisons!
Zoya Ki, available for $7 at zoya.com
I have a confession to make; I bought Ki almost three years ago and haven't worn it since the first time shortly after it arrived. I have no clue why. It's long been known as one of Zoya's best, and it's duochrome awesomeness is well-loved by many. I found this a couple days ago in the very back of my "purples" nail polish drawer and it called out to me, "Karrie, why don't you love me anymore?" I answered back "Ki, please, you know it's not like that. Let me make it up to you." So, in this post is a photographic experience dedicated to Ki. I hope you enjoy, and that it can even somewhat express the gorgeousness of this light purple/acid green duochrome shimmer.
Click if you want to see (literally) a dozen photos of this amazingness.