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Thursday, October 30, 2014

China Glaze The Giver Collection

Hello gentle reader.

China Glaze the Giver Collection is a movie tie in collection released by China Gaze when the movie The Giver came out, last Summer. I haven't seen the movie, yet or read the book. Books? I have little clue what the story is. But I knew, the moment I saw early images of these polishes that China Glaze was on to something with this collection. And even if I decide, upon seeing the movie that The Giver  blows, I can take comfort in the knowledge that these polishes don't.

The China Glaze The Giver collection is twelve coordinated muted and quiet colours that are, while gentle in nature, hardly boring. At least, I don't find them so. Let's have a look see at them, shall we? All polishes swatched over base coat and topped with Posche fast dry top coat.

Friends Forever, Right? Pale, pale, pale ever so slightly dusty pink. This looks a tiny bit more pink to the eye than in my photograph. This richly pigmented crelly applies surprisingly well, for a pastel. If your nails are ridgy jerks, like mine are ridgy jerks, use a good ridge filler. Trust me. This swatch, sans ridge filler? Three coats. Four on my ring and pinkie nails. Lesson learned.

Intelligence, Integrity, Courage. Soft, grey blue crelly. The colour of a low, overcast sky. The formula is lovely. This is two coats and top coat.

Five Rules. Dusty sage green crelly. Three coats and top coat. Great formula and application, it did want to tighten up on me on the third coat.

New Birth. Palest of blues. Slightly dusty. Beautiful. This one was a little thin and streaky, I needed three coats and top coat for full opacity and a smooth, even finish. This is so pretty, I don't care. Sometimes a polish is worth the effort.

Capacity to See Beyond. Perfect turquoise blue. Just. Perfect. The formula is as fantastic as the colour is beautiful. This is two coats and top coat.

Release. Have a bottle of dirty-dark lavender crelly beauty for your nails. This is two dreamy coats and top coat.

History of the World. Sweet fancy Moses (as a friend of mine is so fond of saying) this polish is stunning. This dusty, subdued blurple is so elegant and smooth and... My brain just melted down. The formula is nearly perfect, application a dream. This swatch is two coats and top coat.

Giver's Theme. This intense, clean violet crelly is surprisingly flattering and easy to wear. The formula on this one gave me some trouble, the first coat fought me every step of the way. The second coat went on so much better and suddenly it went from a streaky, snotty mess to smooth, opaque perfection with a hint of squish. Top coat just finished it off.

Seeing Red. Rich, warm, slightly brick-y red crelly. This is two coats plus top coat. I am such a sucker for a great red polish. This one is a beauty. So flattering. So sexy.

Community. Creamy, slightly red toned milk chocolate brown. It is weird that I don't hate this? It's weird that I don't hate this, isn't it? I think that slowly, over time, I am developing a tolerance for brown polish. Only problem, this one gave me lobster claws. I had to do serious skin tone fixing. This is two easy-peasy coats and top coat.

Boundary of Memory. This greyed out jelly base is packed with super fine black, gold and silver glitter. This polish is a tad... Snotty. The first coat was a bitch on wheels. The second coat was much easier and resulted in a perfect, if somewhat gritty and thirsty finish. Gelous then Posche finished this off to glossy, super shiny and sparkly perfection.

The Outer Edge. This is a delicate fine white matte glitter suspended in a fluid, clear base. While I suppose one could pile on enough to get this opaque, why would one wish to do so? It is so pretty as a one coat topper. It looks like super fine, grainy snow that fell, ever so briefly then stopped. This would be a terrific polish for upcoming Winter nail art. Mmm-Hmmm!

Bonus "nail art!" Ish. I topped Release with a deep V-shaped application of The Outer Edge to mimic the V in the Giver logo. Topped it with top coat.

And that is the China Glaze The Giver Collection. Isn't is beautiful? And wearable and classy and fun? Just about everyone should be able to find a shade or three that they would love to own and wear.

You can find China Glaze The Giver polishes on Amazon, eleven of the twelve are available on the Ulta website. You should be able to find them in Ulta stores, in random Sally Beauty Supply stores and other beauty supplies and retailers that carry China Glaze.

Have you picked up any of these beautiful polishes? Which shades did you get? If you're thinking about it, which ones would you like to have? Please do tell.

Bargain Beauty Find: Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadows

Hello gentle reader.

While my Ipsy Glam Bags haven't been delighting me all that much, lately one thing that did make me very happy was that I had accumulated enough points to redeem for a little beauty treat. I had a choice of a handful of different products, I chose a trio of Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadows. These are a newer offering from Milani and they have been receiving quite a bit of buzz and I was excited to get a few and try them out.

The packaging is pure Milani, that pretty, luxe look. The shadow cakes, themselves are generously large, mounded with a dip in the center.

The three shades I received are:

Bella Ivory: Slightly peachy ivory shimmer. This is a lovely highlight and inner corner brightener.

Bella Gold: 24 Karat metallic wow.

Bella Espresso: This warm brown with a gold shimmer is just my cup of... Coffee.

Swatch action.

All three of these shadows are soft and velvety, once you break the surface. They are nicely pigmented and have wonderful payoff. They apply smoothly and evenly and blend and wear well. These shadows kick up a little bit of powder but not tons. The gold is a tad bit flaky. Fallout isn't bad, at all. Just tap your brush. You know what to do.

These shadows are really good. I think that I'd like to try a few more shades, in future. There are thirty shades to choose from in the line of Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadow. Something for everyone. These shadows retail for $4.99 each and are available on the Milani website, at CVS and other drugstores and mass retailers that carry Milani.

Have you tried Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadow? What do you think of them? What is your favorite shade?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Bobbi Brown High Light Powder in Pink Glow

Hello gentle reader.

I was kicking around in the beauty section of the Nordstrom website and I ran across this beauty. Bobbi Brown High Light Powder in Pink Glow. Uh-oh! My inner magpie went into drool mode and I knew that I was in trouble. I socked it away on my ever growing wishlist and clicked out, to give myself some time to think about it. While it isn't prohibitively expensive, it is spendy enough that I didn't want to impulse buy. And, I'm really glad that I waited. When I went back to purchase, it had been temporarily marked down five dollars. Thank you, Nordstrom.

Bobbi Brown High Light Powder is a limited edition offering, part of their Scotch on the Rocks holiday collection. It comes in two shades, Pink Glow, which I chose and Bronze Glow. The highlighter came to me in a pretty gold stamped leather look box printed to appear trimmed in ribbon. Now, call me cray but, for what I had to pay for that highlighter, would a snazzy leather box with real ribbon on it really be asking too much?

Yes? I thought so.

Doesn't hurt to ask.

Open the pretty outer box and inside is a sleek, plastic faux tortoise compact that feels light but solid in the hand. Push the little button on the front edge and the lid springs open to reveal the reason why we are all here.

A full sized mirror covers the upper inside of the lid to serve your every check your look need. In the pan is a pillowy, tile pattern embossed cake of highlighter joy. In person and in my photographs, this Pink Glow highlighter looks a bit tan. When I first opened it, I was a bit taken aback and I wondered if I had been sent the wrong product. I flipped it over, the label said Pink Glow. I picked up a little of the powder with my finger and swatched it on my hand. It's not tan.

Over the top of the highlighter is splashed a silver what seems to be over spray. It appears to be breaking up and fading away in a spot or two but it's holding on pretty tight, right now. I am not willing to dig and scrape up my highlighter to find out what exactly is going on. Time will tell.

The surface of the powder is very soft, silky and picks up with a light touch of the finger or brush. It applies smoothly and blends out readily without any chalky dryness, skipping or dragging.

Le Swatch. A swipe and a blur. This highlighter is not Barbie or bubblegum. It is delicate, very glow-y with a sprinkle of diamond sparkle. That sparkle may be from the silvery over spray. I think? Whatever the case, this is beautiful.

Mama Magpie is happy.

Bobbi Brown High Light Powder  in Pink Glow or Bronze Glow can be purchased from Nordstrom, the Bronze Glow is available on Sephora and both shades are available from Saks.

Bobbi Brown High Light Powder has 0.04 oz of product and is $45.00.

Tell me, gentle reader, did you pick up this highlighter in either shade? Are you thinking of doing so? How is your holiday makeup shopping going?

Bargain Beauty Find: Freshen Up Your Hair, Don't Gunk Up Your Hair with Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo

Hello gentle reader.

If there is an advantage to getting a little older, it is that my hair doesn't get as oily as fast as it did, when I was younger and I don't have to wash it as often. But I still want my hair to look, feel and smell fresh. How do I do this and go days between washings?

Enter dry shampoo. Whoever invented this stuff deserves a Nobel Prize in Beauty. Seriously. A little can of propellant and oil absorbing material and fragrance. Genius! In my travels, I have tried a handful of brands of dry shampoo and I am on a mission to try more. Hey, why not?

One of the brands I recently picked up to try is Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo. Formulated with natural tapioca it absorbs some of the excess oil in the hair and on the scalp, provides a bit of lift and body and imparts a fresh, citrus-mint scent to softly fragrance and freshen my tresses. And it does all of this without leaving behind a heavy, powdery residue. I can use this dry shampoo and not end up looking like Cary Grant in the crop duster scene in North by Northwest. I am a blonde but this stuff is so lightweight and sheer, I believe that darker haired beauties would love it, as well.

Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo is available at most drug stores and other mass retailers. It runs about six dollars a can but is frequently on sale in one store or another and I am always finding coupons for it in my Sunday paper, to boot. The effectiveness of this dry shampoo and it's affordability make it, for me, a definite Bargain Beauty Find.

What do you use to freshen up your hair without gunking up your hair in between shampooings? Please drop me a comment and share your secret.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

China Glaze Apocalypse of Colour Collection for Hallowe'en, 2014: Swatches, Photographs and Review

Hello gentle reader.

Another China Glaze Hallowe'en polish collection that I just had to have.

China Glaze Apocalypse of Colour, Hallowe'en, 2014 nail polish collection is a six piece collection comprised of five new polishes and one re promote. These are all, with the exception of the glow in the dark top coat, glitter polishes. Some are matte, some more traditional style glitters. The colours are spooky glam as are the names.

Let's take a look at the collection. I left out Ghoulish Glow. I got it with this collection but I always have trouble getting it to work so I left it out of this post.

I Love Your Guts. Raspberry pink textured matte base with pink and silvery shimmer and tiny black matte glitter. This is two coats. No top coat. Application isn't difficult, at all. Just don't overwork it too much, it can drag off if you do. Otherwise, the formula and application are easy.

I Love Your Guts with top coat. Shiny top coat really brings out the depth of colour, the different shimmery elements and makes the black glitter stand out. I like this better, much better with top coat.

But of Corpse. This is the same formula as I Love Your Guts, above. Only green. Same formula, application, everything. Only green.

But of Corpse with top coat. Again, I like this much better with top coat. While I like certain matte, textured polishes, these are prettier, shiny.

Getting to Gnaw You. Another matte black base but not textured, this one has fine coppery glitter. This is two coats and top coat. Application was easy, as with the previous polishes, don't try to overwork this one! It drags, bad. Have plenty of polish on the brush, apply swiftly and deftly and you'll be fine.

Don't Let the Dead Bite over Dress Me Up. Don't let the Dead Bite is a red and dark pink glitter mix of small and medium hex and tiny bars in a semi sheer, milky fleshy toned pink base. I think that it needs undies so I applied two coats of a good ridge filler, then a generous coat of Dress Me Up, then a good coat of Don't Let the Dead Bite and finished with top coat. The result is a diseased flesh effect. Quite spooky-glam. Don't Let the Dead Bite has a nice formula. It was very easy to work with and only one coat of top coat makes it super smooth and glossy and shiny.

Rest in Pieces is very pretty but to me, doesn't really read Hallowe'en. It is a coppery and holo hex and long bar glitter mix with some smaller and larger black hex pieces mixed in. This is a pretty glitter topper and I like bar glitter well enough but I have so much of it. And this glitter feels like an afterthought. As if the person who formulated it thought, "I need a Hallowe'en glitter, I'll take this random glitter mix, throw in a little black glitter and that'll do it." Meh.

What about a great mix of different sizes of hex in black, orange, purple, maybe a little white? Then add in some bats or witch hats or skulls. Now, that would be very Hallowe'en! Oh well. As I said, this is pretty. Just not ringing my bells. I applied one generous coat by patting and carefully stroking it over two coats of Roguish Red. It made for a pretty mani to wear for a couple of days.

So, that is the China Glaze Apocalypse of Colour for Hallowe'en, 2014 nail polish collection. It is pretty, the polishes are very good. It's a departure from the usual collections that China Glaze releases, this time of year.

You can buy the polishes individually or in collections from AmazonUlta (they don't have all six available on their website as of this writing), in Sally Beauty Supply stores and other beauty supplies. They are around, if you would like to have them.

What do you think of this collection? Did you pick up any of them? Like? Please do tell.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tarte Sweet Dreams Bon Voyage Collector's Set and Travel Bag

Hello gentle reader.

Had enough insanely cute Tarte holiday pretties, yet? No? Good. 'Cause I have a good one to show you, today!

The Tarte Sweet Dreams Bon Voyage Collector's Set and Travel Bag is a Sephora exclusive limited edition holiday collection. This chic, gold and lavender synthetic travel bag is filled with beautiful full and snack sized treats for eyes, cheeks, lips and complexion.

Okay, I have to squeee over the tassels. Just. Look. At. Them! So darling. I love tassels.

Maybe I was a strip tease dancer in another life.

Or a dirty old man, leering at strip tease dancers in another life.

Open the zip around bag and lift the lid and your eyes will light upon mint green and lavender stripes all over the interior. In the lid there is a soft, elastic topped pocket in which is inserted a slim, square, lavender and gold paperboard eye shadow palette. In the body of the bag, nestled securely in the lift out insert are a full sized Lip Surgence Lip Tint and Gloss and snack sized Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara, a cheek stain, Maracuja Oil and a Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder.

Let's start with the eye shadows. There are twenty full sized shadows in the palette. All of the names are on a plastic slip cover but not printed on the palette. Really, Tarte? They are all French in theme, very chic and fun. There is a mix of matte and shimmer shades, neutral to jewel tones. The quality is lovely, as always. The mattes are smooth, silky and have wonderful pigmentation and payoff and are only mildly powdery. The shimmers are rich, brilliant and velvety. They also have beautiful pigmentation and payoff and are a just a bit flaky. Nothing major.

Random swatches of the shadows. I just started smacking them on in no particular order. There are some lovely, intense jewel tones and some deep, rich matte velvet shades in this palette. There are also lavender, lilac, coffee, pink, taupe... The colour selection is great and the eye look possibilities are endless.

The petite Tarte Cheek Stain in Muse is so stinking adorable!

Too bad the contents of mine wasn't so much. The little plastic protective dome had adhered it's self to the blush and when I pulled it off, it yanked all of the product right out of the tube and messed it up. Nooooo!!!! I managed to get the blush unstuck and back into the tube but it looks pretty beat up. *sad panda*

This Cheek Stain is a gently shimmery creme blush in a soft nude.

Here is a swatch. It is a bit more wearable looking on my skin than it appeared in the tube. It was looking pretty brownish and I was having my doubts. I think I can work this.

The full sized Lip Surgence Lip Tint in Romantic and Lip Gloss in Visionary.

Lip Surgence in Romantic is a creamy, peachy-nude. The lip gloss in Visionary is a lovely apricot with a soft, iridescent shimmer to brighten and visually plump your lips without adding overt sparkle or glitter.

I don't really need to show you the Maracuja oil, mascara or powder. We all know what those things look like.

So, gentle reader. What think you of the Tarte Sweet Dreams Bon Voyage Collector's Set and Travel Bag? Isn't it great? The entire set is $59.00. I know that sounds a little spendy but remember, the Lip Surgence Lip Tint is $24.00 if purchased individually and the gloss is $19.00. Just those two together would set you back $43.00. So, for just $16.00 more you are receiving a twenty pan eye shadow palette, a deluxe mini mascara, blush, powder and Maracuja oil. And don't forget that pretty, pretty and practical travel bag with the adorable tassels. All in all, I think it's a good deal.

Did you pick up this beautiful holiday set? If you are craving it, it's exclusive to Sephora and available in stores and on their website, now. I am thrilled that I bought mine. I needed it like I need another hole in my head but I don't care. I wanted it. It's sweet as candy and oh-so-pretty and it had to be mine!

I'm still trying to figure out if I was the tassel spinner or the leer-er.