Sunday, October 30, 2011

Polish Review - Julep "Vanessa"

Hello again!

I have another Julep polish for you guys. This one also came in my October 2011 Julep Maven Bombshell box. Today I have "Vanessa" for you.

Vanessa is a really pretty, micro-glittery polish suspended in a clear base. It serves best as a topcoat, but I swatched it on its own below.

I think this picture is about 4-5 coats to get the maximum opacity that I could out of it, but as you can see, the glitter is really too fine for it to stand on its own and have full coverage. This picture does have a clear topcoat to bring out the glitter.

I like this polish a lot. When I wore it I wore it over an old, goopy, "never come off your nails" kind of L'Oreal white because it was the only white that I had. It never dried, but at least it was pretty until I had to take off the whole manicure. It looked like snow that has just melted a little bit, so at night it sparkles -- pretty!

Drying time is very quick on Vanessa itself, like any good glitter. It seemed like it wasn't very chippy, though I didn't get to wear it for very long before the bottom layer of white polish got squishy and started sliding off the nail. Ew.

My biggest problem with it is that it's a very goopy polish. For some reason this doesn't equal an impossible drying time, but it does equal going through a LOT of polish, very quickly! You can see that I've used almost a third of the bottle in the bottle picture above. I swatched it on the nail wheel, and I did a two-coat manicure. Eeps! I hope I don't have to buy another round of Van really soon. :(

Overall this is a pretty polish. I think I like it a little more than Chloe, which came in the same Maven box. This one is definitely easy on the application, and much more versatile.

Polish Review - Chanel "Peridot"

I've been hinting at this for weeks and weeks, but.... I broke down and got a little box from Chanel. And what was inside this time? The object of all of my lust and desire itself: Peridot, from the Fall 2011 limited edition shades.

A little backstory on our romance? We first met in Zagreb at the same little salon I talked about a few months ago. However, Peridot was not yet on the market, so I got to try it out without being able to buy it, and went home with Black Pearl instead, haha. I then tried to order it a few months ago, only to find it was sold out. Then I made the mistake of checking back a couple of weeks ago, annnnnd...

Pardon the box's look of already having been raided. It was, hehe. And with Peridot and my little Eye Serum sample unboxed:

Peridot came along with two samples in all: a nice little to-go size of Vitalumiere Aqua in Beige Rose 30 (my color!) and Sublimage Eye Serum.

Peridot is a beautiful trichrome, flashing between a dark, almost jungle green, a burnt gold, and (especially in the bottle) a bright blue. It's hard as hell to pick up the jungle green on a camera, and nearly impossible to get that electric blue to come through on the nail.

Mmmm. Polish porn.

Application is really nice, and only the littlest bit brushstrokey. It also lasts a very long time once it's on the nail, with just a small amount of edgewear after some pretty rough treatment. It's a stunning polish, and it looks gold at first glance most of the time, but once you notice the multichrome, you can't stop looking at it!

I like Black Pearl a lot, but Peridot, my second Chanel polish, is just stunning. It was undoubtedly worth its price, and I think it will be sought after for a long, long time.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Birchbox - October 2011

Hello everyone! Today I have a post that should have been done a few weeks ago, but I have been insane with the amount of work I have had to get done, so fun work like blogging has had to go bye-bye. I'm also so behind on personal reading it isn't funny. At least the next few weeks should be a little less stressful!

That said, I have my October 2011 Birchbox for you today! I admit that I was a little skeptical of Birchbox, mostly because I haven't seen much in the way of nailcare in other recipients' boxes, but I have been trying to get better about establishing a beauty routine, and for that, Birchbox seems like the way to go! You can also review products on the website to get points to redeem for full-sized products.

So Birchbox was really aesthetically-pleasing in presentation. I was super happy with that the same way I was happy with Julep Maven. It comes in this pretty little box: 

Inside all of the products were in pretty magenta tissue paper and there was even a nice little card with all of the information about the samples.

And the products themselves:

I plan to individually review these products both for my blog and for the extra Birchbox points, so check back for more information later!

Lastly, I went ahead and did a few swatches -- of the bronzer and of the lip serum. The bronzer is very, very dark for my skin. :( I'm hoping I can use it as more of a blusher than a true bronzer, since I wouldn't be able to put it on my face much unless I wanted to look like a tanning experiment gone really badly! The lip serum doesn't seem to have any color at all.

And I assure you that I actually am one of the living in spite of my skin tone. On the other hand, now everyone can see the bluish and slightly gold undertones I have.

That's all I have for now -- hopefully later I'll show you my Chanel goodies and my most recent cosmetics haul. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


One of my favorite polish blogs, The Trace Face Philes, is having a 1900 Follower Giveaway, an 1800 Follower Giveaway, a 1700 Follower Giveaway, and an "On the Prowl" giveaway! I can't believe how kind and generous they are being. :)

Head over to their blog to see all the delicious awesomeness that is up for grabs!

... among the many goodies. :D

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Polish Review - Julep "Chloe"

   While I get caught up, I have one more polish review for you today. For my October 2011 Julep Maven "Bombshell" box, I received a couple of nail polishes. One of them was "Chloe". Chloe is part of their Holiday 2011 collection, and currently unreleased. I love getting the advance "copies" of the nail polish -- it's the same thing that I do for advanced copies of books and other products. It makes me feel like the ultimate VIP, hehe.

   Chloe is superb-looking in the bottle. It is a gorgeous magenta shimmer/micro-glitter suspended in a black base. It sparkles in the bottle, and the magenta is very apparent. However, and this picture with a flash was the best I could get that showed the shimmer at all, once you get it on the nail (or nail wheel, where it is pictured next to Hard Candy "Beetle", which I thought would be more of a sister color when I only had Chloe to compare to it in its bottle), it loses a lot of the glow that is in the bottle. I added a top coat on my manicure, which zests it up a little than in the above photograph (without the top coat), but it's still nothing like in the bottle.
   I hate to say it, but this had some of the most difficult application I have tried in a long time. The manicure I have with Chloe right now is actually its second attempt. The first time I did my real nails with it (which are admittedly a little short right now after a very stressful couple of weeks), I was so irritated with how it looked that I peeled off every nail. Long story short: when Chloe arrived, it had a consistency somewhere between glue and congealed blood. It got a little better after I shook it up, but I still had the urge to put a drop of thinner into it -- and it's brand new! It goes in in big, chunky coats that are difficult to control, and I had it dripping everywhere on my cuticles. The Polish Paradigm has a good view of what tends to happen with this polish. (I'm glad I found the pic, because now I know I'm not the only one!) The second time I put on Chloe, I spent a lot of time and concentration getting it on in tiny thin coats. I was a little more happy when I did it this way, and then I plopped on a top-coat which brought back a little bit of a shine. I would say that it dried just a bit shinier than a satin -- sort of like if you have a really heavy glitter (except of course, Chloe doesn't appear to have once it's on the nail...).
   Although application is ridiculously difficult to control, it looks very nice once the whole process of getting it on the nail and top-coated is finished. It looks very darkat a glance, but not completely black -- almost a very dark chocolate, which is probably a result of black base+purple shimmer. Once the light hits it, it almost looks like the glitter is deeper than the base color, so it has a little bit of a jelly-like finish, but not a lot.
   On the whole, I like the polish and I am glad that I received it. I think it is a good holiday color, but just plan to take a little time putting it on, and focus!


Polish Review - Julep "Stefani"

   Today, as promised, I have for you Julep's "Stefani" nail polish. I received this in my September 2011 Julep Maven "Bombshell" box. It is a gorgeous steel-gunmetal base with gold and olive shimmer coursing through it. It's a lovely color, very trendy, but classic at the same time. It is really keeping with some of the olive tones that have been on the runways and in a lot of the Fall 2011 nail polish collections, but the fact that the olive seems to come more from the shimmer than the base is very different than any of the other polishes I have seen.
   I wore this to a business casual-y event a couple of weekends ago, and it was lovely. The application is pretty smooth, and for being almost-a-frost it wasn't too brushstroke-y. You have to pay attention when you put it on, or else it will be a little bit brush-stroked, but it's not too bad overall. I wore it over the Julep base coat I was sent in August, and it seemed to last very nicely. It did take forever to dry. This one is definitely a "apply before going to bed" or you risk gouging it.
   This is a very nice color, and it seems to last well. Although this is not to suggest that it is in any way dupe-y, I spent a lot of time staring at this polish and trying to figure out why it seemed so familiar. For some reason -- and I think it's the dull-gunmetal-turns-greenish-in-some-light aspect, it reminds me a lot of Chanel Black Pearl. Black Pearl is much greener and much darker, but this one is a nice, shimmery sister shade in some ways. It also reminds me of some of the "dud" photos of OPI "Not Like the Movies". The TraceFace Philes has a beautiful set of swatches and macros of the bottle.
  Did you get "Stefani"? Did you get another shade and wish you had "Stefani"? Share!

Three Boxes in the Mail

I have a few goodie boxes to share with you today!

I'm running a little behind, so my first is my September 2011 Julep Maven "Bombshell" box. I'm kind of jealous of some of the ladies who got that gorgeous teal creme this month, but I had some pretties in here too. :)

   This box contained a nail polish -- Stefani, a really pretty gunmetal-steel grey with gold and olive shimmer, the roller-ball essential cuticle oil, the SPF 30 hand cream that Mavens received a small sample of in their introductory box, and a very nice little nail file. I'm very behind on posting, so I admit -- I have already used all of these products except for the hand cream, though I need to try that out soon. I'll have a forthcoming review of Stefani, but I'll say here -- the nail file and the cuticle oil live in my purse now, and are not likely to leave any time soon. I think this was a very costworthy little box -- I think it about breaks even with what I would like to pay for the Julep products, and all of them were very usable, so I was very happy.

   So I broke down. I admit it. I finally bought a bottle of the Vitalumiere Aqua in Beige Rose. It's just slightly darker than my usual preference for foundations, but it looked so nice when I tried it in Croatia that I had to have it. I was originally going to buy Peridot at the same time, but it was sold out, and I'm not positive that I am going to buy Graphite, so I stuck with just the foundation. It did also come with a sample of Blue de Chanel, which I'll send to a (male) friend, and little samples of Mousse Confort and Sublimage Serum. I've hardly had time for my usual beauty routines, so these have gone untested so far. But I'll confess to you, my readers, that there may now be another Chanel box on the way very shortly, because something restocked just as I needed a bout of retail therapy...

   Lastly I have my newest Maven box, for October. This was really a nice little box and it was even nicer because it was a freebie that was released to combat some of the negativity surrounding it. I won't comment on that, since it did not involve me, though I was not too happy to see that any of the other lovely Mavens had been shortchanged at all. In this box are three pretties: Age-Defying Hand Cream, which will be awesome because I have very pale skin that freckles (especially on my hands) very unattractively, and two nail polishes. The first polish is Vanessa, a very pretty snow-like glitter that reflects all different colors and is suspended in a clear base. It reminds me of fake white shiny-snow that you get in a garland. It makes me wish it were Christmastime! The second polish is Chloe, which is a pink/red/magenta microglitter/shimmer that is suspended in a black, jelly-like base. I admit that I nail-wheeled (and wore Chloe) both of these prior to the above photo, so don't judge the bottle content-level!

   That's all I have for you right now. I'll hopefully have a couple of polish reviews up sometime soon, but for now, it's back to football!