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Nail Polish Swatch-a-thon, 1.0

18 May

Helllooooo ladies! I am a nail polish addict, and I have no problem admitting that I have a slight problem with getting so many nail polishes, in the belief that each color I see is somehow so unique and so special. Well, obviously that’s not the case, but I do have several newer shades to you. This isn’t so much a review as it is a swatch file. I don’t have time or the energy to swatch my entire nail polish collection, but I am trying to show you some shades I have gotten more recently. Something like a reference page. I am about to show you over 40 polishes, so buckle in! This post is pic heavy! Side Note: In some of these pictures my fingers look a little yellow, that’s thanks to Essie’s Brazilliant, unfortunately 😦 but, no I am not jaundiced and no the lighting wasn’t throwing off yellow tones in case you were curious) Enjoy!

L-R: Sally Hansen Evening Fog, Sephora by OPI Under My Trench Coat, Zoya Harley, Butter London All Hail the Queen

Note:  I believe Evening Fog was a LE shade, but it is a great puddy shade if you can find it! Butter London has gorgeous shimmer in it, and is swiftly rising to the top of my favorites in terms of formula as well as color. I had my eye on Under My Trench Coat for awhile, and I am glad I got it, as it’s a nice greige. Zoya Harley has been compared to a discontinued Sephora by OPI shade I had wanted so I am glad to have the next best thing!

L-R: Rimmel Steel Grey, Sonia Kashuk Tauped, Essie Mink Muffs, Barry M Dusky Mauve

Note: Steel Grey is more purple toned than Sonia Kashuk in real life. Barry M Dusky has gorgeous purple shimmer, and has been touted as a dupe for Chanel Paradoxal. It is extremely pretty! Steel Grey has been a favorite of mine, I wear it often in the fall! Mink Muffs is the most brown of this bunch, but a wearable brown none the less.

L-R: Wet n Wild Club Havana, China Glaze Papaya, Revlon Tangerine, Zoya Sienna

Note: I am sure it’s not a surprise that I like WnW Club Havana. It’s peachy-coral without being in your face. Perfect for summer! China Glaze Papaya Punch is louder and bolder and positively orange. But I like that it’s a bright orange, not traffic cone orange. This is new for summer. Revlon Tangerine has a similar tone to Papaya Punch, but has shimmer and in person is less loud. Thanks to Jessica at Getting Cheeky for tipping me off about how wonderful Tangerine looked on twitter one day. Sienna is a stunning shimmer that’s definitely darker than my other oranges, but the shimmer keeps it from being unflattering.

L-R: Revlon Sunshine Sparkle, Sephora by OPI Color That Can't Be Tamed, Milani Hi-Tech, China Glaze Electric Pineapple

Note: Revlon Sunshine Sparkle is a cute bit of a shade and the glass flecks in it keep it from being just another pastel yellow. The SOPI color is another new shade and is a metallic light green. This is three coats here, and I can see me liking this being layered over Stranger Tides as soon as it gets here 😉 I like it on it’s own as well. Milani Hi-Tech is a holo shade and I adore it! It is so unique to my collection. Electric Pineapple is a bold and loud shade and reminds me me of how Shrek is colored. When I put this on, the bf hated it! lol. Not for the faint of heart! It might be cool under a black crackle if you like crackle polishes.

L-R: Sonia Kashuk Jammin', Milani Parfait, Milani Creamy, Finger Paints Did You Ast-Her Out?

Note: Jammin’ is new for Spring and is a lovely bright shade without being too over the top, Milani Parfait is a favorite color of mine because I don’t have too many shades that are bright pinky purples like this. Milani Creamy is pretty, and is slightly rose toned and not as bright as Jammin’. Did You Ast-Her Out was from Finger Paints spring collection and is my perfect pink.

L-R: China Glaze Senorita Bonita, Finger Paints Heavenly Hydrangeas, Sonia Kashuk Tutti Frutti, Milani Tropical Fiesta

Note: All of these shades are new for spring/summer. Senorita Bonita has an absolutely gorgeous pink-purple-blurple sparkle to it and is the best purple I own in terms of color. Heavenly Hydrangeas is a nice springy purple, and has no shimmer to it. Tutti Frutti is a bright, bright coral while Milani Tropical Fiesta is supposed to be a bright honeysuckle. I would agree that’s it’s a bright pink, but I have seen so many interpretations of honeysuckle, so it’s anyone’s guess what the shade really is. But I rather like the look of it. 🙂

L-R: Zoya Danielle, OPI Mod About You, Zoya Barbie, Essie Haute as Hello

 Note: If you follow me on twitter, you know I got Zoya Danielle because it shares my name. It is a sheer nude with glass flecks (hard to see on camera) it’s quite a lovely “my nails but better” shade. I might be biased by liking it so much because of the name 😉 . Mod About You will look great with a tan, and is notoriously difficult to work with. I find that after two coats it gets better and easier. Barbie is a pretty pink with pink shimmer. Haute as Hello is a bright peachy-coral that leans more peach than most of my other polishes. Is really is a great shade!

L-R: Hard Candy Sky, China Glaze Moody Blue, Barry M Blue Moon, Revlon Blue Lagoon

Note: I have a good laugh when I took this picture. Ahh, so many light blues, so little time. Hard Candy Sky has made the rounds on YT and blogs earlier, and is a lovely shade and the lightest of the ones here. Moody Blue is sadly discontinued and is probably very hard to find. Blue Moon was sent to me by the lovely H over at 25FLondon. In person it is duskier with a bit of grey to it which makes it more wearable as well. Revlon Blue Lagoon is a new favorite because of the glass flecks. I love it!

L-R: LA Splash Aqua Fusion, Essie Smooth Sailing, Zoya Kelly, Milani Blue Flash

Note: LA Splash is a really pretty mid tone blue with blue sparkle. I bought this on a whim actually and I don’t really know when. I just pulled it because I needed another blue. Smooth Sailing is part of Essie’s new collection and is a unique periwinkle sparkle. I am over the moon for this shade, especially because I don’t have a single thing like it! Zoya Kelly had been on my list for awhile and is a deep blue-grey. Very classy, in my opinion. Milani Blue Flash is one of their one coat glitters and I won this in a contest on Twitter. It is pretty, but it took two coats, not one to fully cover my nail. It did, however, cover better than most other glitters out there…but be prepared for top coat because it gets a bit gritty!

L-R: Sally Hansen Silver Lining, Revlon Sheer Pearl, Rimmel Crushed Pearl, Sephora by OPI Traffic Stopper Copper

Note: Sally Hansen Silver Lining is actually quite cool, it flashes blue and silver, this might have been LE, I found it a Walgreens all by it’s onesy in March. Revlon Sheer Pearl is less pink than Crushed Pearl, but both give a similar effect. I ended up with both because Tiffany at Will Work For Makeup did a post about Crushed Pearl and I couldn’t find it, so I settled with the closest I could find. Fast forward a few weeks later, I found it back in stock at my Target. So I have both. Oh well! They are still not really total dupes. Traffic Stopper Copper is new from SOPI and was a total impulse buy because they put that dang nail polish rack by the check out. It is pretty and I don’t have a copper glitter coat, so it was worth the little splurge. 🙂

L-R: Revlon Gold Coin, Sephora by OPI Shiny Dancer, Orly Rage, Revlon Copper Penny

Note: Revlon’s Gold Coin and Copper Penny are newer for this year and are quite lovely as metallics go. They are shiny and very pigmented. Shiny Dancer (part of SOPI’s Urban Ballerina Collection) was bought to complete my need for a metallic grey/slate and it fits the bill nicely. Orly Rage is a gorgeous Rose Gold and a favorite in my collection.

L-R: Milani Hi-Res, Hard Candy Lava, Sephora by OPI Go With the Flow-er, Sally Hansen Black Platinum

Note: I can’t take credit for finding Milani Hi-Res on my own. After seeing it in a post by Kizzy, I knew it had to be mine. I really love the Milani Holos and Digital is on it’s way to me now! Hard Candy Lava is such an amazing shade, and it really reminds me of lava! I get the most compliments and questions on this color when I wear it. SOPI Go With the Flow-er is my favorite coral. It is glass-flecked and perfect. A must have for all collections; I have bought some already for friends of mine I like it that much! Sally Hansen Black Platinum is quite dark, a pearly black and has been compared to Chanel Black Pearl. I don’t really know how similar it is, so I won’t speculate it’s dupe-dom since I don’t own it. But, this shade is quite sassy none the less.

L-R: China Glaze For Audrey, OPI Mermaid's Tears, For Audrey+Silver Shatter, Mermaid's Tears+Silver Shatter

Note: For Audrey isn’t new for me, but I showed it just so you could see the difference between it and Mermaid’s Tears from the new Pirates Collection. Stranger Tides and Skull & Glossbones are still on the way and I will swatch upon arrival 🙂 Mermaid’s Tears is my favorite type of this shade that I own, because of the slight murkiness to it. The Silver Shatter is the first shatter I have had interest in and actually really enjoy it! I ended up picking up a gold shatter today from Sally Hansen that I will review soon as well! If you haven’t liked the shatters before, check this one out because it is such a different look!

L-R: For Audrey+China Glaze Concrete Crackle, Mermaid's Tears+China Glaze Lightning Bolt Crackle, Same+Silver Shatter

Note: Again, I have to stress that I am not a huge fan of the crackle look. I prefer Concrete over Lightning Bolt here, but I imagine with the right color the white shatter would look nice. Still, the Silver Shatter is my favorite!

Well I hope that gives you an idea of some of the new stuff out here this Spring. Don’t forget to check out my other Zoya (here ) and China Glaze (here and here)  posts for other polishes they have released recently.


TAG: Not Worth the Hype

14 May

Hi ladies! I thought before I debut my super nail polish swatch-a-thon post that I would do a little write up of some products I have tried and just didn’t like or they just didn’t work for me. Most of these products have been endlessly hyped up on blogs and YT everywhere, which is what led me to them in first place.  Please PLEASE understand that the items that made my list didn’t work *for me*, which is not to say that they are necessarily not able to work for others.  Keep in mind that we all have different skin tones and types and that our tastes may be completely different.

Alrighty, then, with that out of the way, I present the products I regret buying, or that were  “not worth the hype” for me.

  1. Benefit Sugarbomb “blush”

Benefit Sugarbomb- Image from Sephora.com

I bought this in April sometime after seeing video after video of how this was someone’s “go to” blush and was their all time favorite and so on and so forth. I just don’t get it. My skintone doesn’t seem too far from those making that claim so why it *barely* showed up on my cheeks, I won’t know. There was absolutely, positively nothing special about this blush for me. So uneventful in fact that I didn’t even manage to take a photo of it and swatches before I took it back to Sephora. I have $3 blushes from ELF that are better than this. I honestly and seriously cannot see how someone of my skintone could ever wear this as a blush. Someone with VERY fair skin could probably do it, and well perhaps. I wouldn’t be so hard on this blush if it weren’t for 2 things: the hype and the price. I would be ok paying may $5-$10 for this blush. But certainly not $28, which is more than MAC, NARS, Tarte, or Sonia Kashuk which make far superior blushes to this one.

Alternative: Benefit Bella Bamba which is my favorite Benefit blush.You can see my review here.

2.  Dior Amber Diamond

Dior Amber Diamond

Ok, I get it. It’s Dior, it’s pretty, it’s soft, the packaging is cute. But this did not give me that “natural” glow that so many people have talked about this giving. It gave me a more subdued  frosty shimmer. It certainly wasn’t ugly on my cheeks, but it wasn’t any better or any different than my Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips, which are around $9 compared to Dior’s $44 price tag. In my opinion, this is worth no more than $15-$20 at best, and the rest is paying for the Dior name. Maybe it’s because I had heard so much about it that when I eventually tried it my expectations were so high that it could never possibly live up to it. Kind of like when I finally watched the movie ‘The Ring’ years ago. Climatic build, huge let down. Whatever the reason, I tried it for two weeks and returned it to Sephora. I am not opposed to some day trying out a different shade if they ever choose to make more. But $44 is an awful lot to spend on a highlighter, so when I do drop that cash it needs to be *Ah-mazing* and this just fell very flat for me.

Alternative: Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold which is by far the best highlighter I own, period, end of report. It gives me the natural glow I want, with the cream formula I love. Or, if you are looking for a powder, try the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips–they make several shades and they are a bargain at $9.

3.  MAC Feline Kohl Liner

I had heard that this the THE black eyeliner to have. It was the blackest, and therefore the best. Not true, ladies. I don’t normally have issues with liner staying put for me. I use an eye primer and have several liners that don’t budge all day. I am not kidding you when I say that MAC Feline smudges on me EVERY single time I wear it. I end up looking  like a hot mess in short order with this liner. I don’t know what it is about it that either doesn’t last or doesn’t agree with my skin, but it is quite possibly the worst eyeliner it was ever my misfortune to purchase. Unfortunately I still own it because I didn’t realize how bad it was until several weeks into owning it. Trust me when I say you don’t need to hunt this one down. There are so many others out there that work so much better!

Alternative: Urban Decay 24-7 liner in Perversion is just as black and stays put on me on all day. For a gel liner, try MAC Blacktrack fluidline, which does last on me or Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner which is lovely as well.

4. EOS lip balm spheres

EOS Lip Balm Spheres

At first when I saw these cute little “dumplings” I was oh so excited to try them out. I mean, really, I love the presentation. But unfortunately for me, this were all show, and no substance. They really don’t do anything for moisturizing my lips at all. The red one actually made my lips for more dry than they did prior to using it. I don’t think I will ever purchase another because these two were just so uneventful. Unless they change the formula, these are complete duds.

Alternative: My favorite lip balm/chapstick is my Blistex Medicated lip balm. It soothes, protects, and moisturizes. It’s definitely not as cute as the EOS, but it performs like a star.

5 & 6.  Benefit Benetint and Posietint/ Tarte Cheek Stains

Benetint and Posietint

I am sorry, but these were  just plain bad for me. The Tarte Cheek Stains are equally bad on me. I don’t have them pictured here, but I have quite a few minis that have come in sets and the only one I like is ‘Eco Cheek’.  The Benefit ones have a horrendous taste which immediately rule them out for use on the lips. On the cheeks they don’t blend well and they dry so super fast. The Tarte stains are so sheer that you have to keep swiping and swiping for color. They are sticky and greasy as well. They slip and slide on my skin and never quite feel like they have ‘set’. I actually had to dig through my drawers to find them because they are buried in the abyss–which says something about a product for me when it’s at the bottom and the back of the drawer, ya feel me?

Alternative: I actually enjoy the Stila Crush lip and cheek stains immensely and own a couple of them. I can do a review if you are interested. Not budget friendly, but I enjoy the Beaute Flouron stain as well. The Body Shop made cheek and lip stains last year and I picked up an orange-y one. I am not sure whether they still make that shade or the line at all, but it is very nice.

7. Guerlain Meteorites

Guerlain Meteroites in Beige Chic

Ahh, one of the single most disappointing products ever. When I just entered “make up addict land”  MakeupAlley was the place I found first, because mostly I was looking for plain vanilla swatches. This product was one I saw frequently on there. Girls who had all the shades, loved them etc. So when Sephora (2 years ago?) had a set for sale that included this baby, I snatched it up, full throttle. Actually, this has a bit on sentimental value because I bought it in Vegas 🙂  at the Sephora just outside the Venetian. But upon trying it I could not see what so many others see in this product. The price is outrageously expensive, and again I think this is more “paying for the name” than anything else. I think the price is around $56 for a full size. Are you kidding me? Plus, I really *really* don’t like the smell of them. I would never buy another of these.

Alternative: Physicians Formula Happy Booster Translucent powder gives me the glow I thought I would get with Guerlain. Plus, the smell is 100x better. Better still is the fact that it costs around $11.  🙂

8. Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer

Rimmel Fix & Perfect

I don’t know that this can fall into the category of  “Hype” or not, because I don’t know that I have really heard a lot about it. What I can tell you is that this is a truly awful product (my experience) and I would never recommend this to anyone, especially oily/combination skin ladies. It did nothing in the way of smoothing or making my face feel more ready for foundation in the way of other primers, like my beloved Guerlain (review here). It made my face feel worse and like I had this heavy layer of moisturizer that was quite greasy. It was cheap and performed poorly. I really ought to just throw it away. I just have a problem wasting it. Do you ladies get this way too even if you absolutely hate something? Blech.

Alternative: Certainly loads more expensive, but I love my Guerlain primer. For a more budget friendly option, try Laura Geller Spackle ( I really enjoy this) or Smashbox Photo Finish primers.

9. MAC Nail Polishes

MAC Polishes Mean & Green, Bad Fairy

I can’t say whether it’s MAC’s formula or whether it’s me but these are probably the worst polishes for wear time ever. They chip so easily! It doesn’t matter what kind of top coat or base coat I try, they never last. When OPI, China Glaze and Essie are half the price and last 3 times or 4 times as long there really is no comparison. This is one MAC product I have zero interest in. The colors are gorgeous, but I expect (who knew) to be able to at least get through one day without any wear ‘n’ tear on my nails. Never happens when I wear MAC polishes, which is why I haven’t touched them at all in 2011. <—-not kidding 😦

Well, I suppose I will end with that. Mostly, I have had fairly good if not great experiences with makeup and beauty products. The occasional fail does not stop my quest or my love for trying new things! I think it’s important to remember that beauty is subjective and ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. How about you, what products have you tried that didn’t meet your expectations?