Holiday 2014 Collection from Essie — or is it?

I was disappointed with Essie’s Winter 2014 Collection called Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low.  I don’t know what was worse — the stupid name(s) or the boring colors.

But now we can be excited over their Holiday 2014 Collection, right?  Well…. maybe.

At beauty e-tailer Head2ToeBeauty, the theme picture is miniscule but we can see the polishes.  All sparkly or metallic.  However, this is currently the only web site I see these as a set, so I’m not sure if it’s really a new collection per se or not.

H2TB essies

What also makes me question “new holiday set” is that four of these are old colors.

No Place Like Chrome, Good As Gold, and Penny Talk are from the company’s 2012 Mirror Metallics line.  I got No Place Like Chrome and Penny Talk and liked them (my reviews were positive) but wasn’t crazy about how obvious the brushstrokes were.  As I got more experienced with other brands I found chromes and foils I liked better.

Essie 3 metallics

The glitter Set in Stones is a previously released shade as well, from the Holiday Effects 2011 Collection.  Rock at the Top and Summit of Style are new this year and are part of Essie’s Luxeffects (glitter top coats) polishes.

If you’d like to see these latter two glitters in action, head over to ImABeautyGeek for swatches of them plus Essie’s new winter colors.

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Since I can’t say this post is real news for sure, how about a few laughs.  Some of you have chuckled at the law enforcement reports in our small town newspaper that I posted here and here.  New this week:

A concerned man phoned the Whitefish Police Department from Canada.  The man was a retired police officer and he had questions regarding the “conduct towards Canadians” when they are in town.  He had heard rumors of an officer making statements about Canadians from a co-worker of his and he had just aboot enough of it, eh.

A newspaper delivery person called in about a suspicious man who took off running when the driver came around the corner. He was hiding in bushes when the driver asked him what he was doing.  “Nothing,” came the reply from the bushes, not at all suspiciously.

Have a great weekend!

Butter London 30% off sale, and Memebox musings

Were you tempted by the Butter London Steampunk Ball set I swatched the other day?  Still considering it?

If so, be glad you waited because Butter London is having a 30% off sale and I don’t see any exclusions.

BL 30off sale

As you can see, use the code BEZZIE14, and the offer is valid through 10/27/14 at 11:59 pm PST (actually PDST, since the time hasn’t switched over yet).

I tried the code on the Steampunk Ball set and a few other items, just to see if it worked on new releases, and it does.  Also, I believe that orders over $50 get free shipping.

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In an unrelated note, would you be interested in my reviewing the beauty box service (not a subscription) called Memebox?  It’s a Korean-based company, and here is the U.S. link.  I asked this question on my Facebook page and didn’t receive any replies.

I recently got interested in the company thanks to (or, considering how addictive it’s becoming, perhaps I should say “no thanks to”) blogger-reviewer Formul8edphrase.  Specifically what fascinated me was her post called “Let’s Chat:  Skincare Routine.”  Also the post from Skin & Tonics that she references makes informative reading.

From what Formul8edphrase said and showed — amazing before and after photos! — and other things I’ve read, Asian skin care is so much more intensive and thorough than most American efforts and certainly more than what I’ve been doing for myself.  I think we often tend to concentrate the most on makeup because it’s fun, and less on skin care because it’s “work.”

At any rate, I ordered some separate Korean products such as a BB cream from Missha and some facial masks (two words:  honey mask — it’s heaven!) and am loving them.  Then I ordered one Memebox to see if I liked it, and I sure did.  I got one called Pinkaholic, which is currently sold out.

New boxes usually go up for sale several times a week with a roughly two-month-out shipping date, and sometimes sold-out boxes are restocked.  These aren’t junk-in-a-box thrown together to get rid of crap that isn’t selling; they are curated, themed collections.  Sometimes you know what will be in them but most often not.  I like the combination of a known theme but surprise specifics.

Some of the current boxes for sale are Cleopatra, Brighten & Correct, and Wine & Cheese.  Some boxes are more skin-care-focused and others are more makeup-focused, although I believe the term “cosmetics” includes all of that, not just makeup.

So, what do you think?  Want to see what I got in Pinkaholic?  Can’t hurt, right?  Said no enabler ever.

Manon, a classic from Zoya

Some quick swatches today of an older polish from Zoya’s “Classics” called Manon.  Manon is a French name, a nickname for Madeleine, I believe.

Manon is a very dark mauve-rose or a light burgundy with a subtle silver shimmer.  I used three coats, which I find typical for many of Zoya’s older polishes and think they’ve really improved their formula in the last few years so that newer polishes are usually good with two coats.  Here it is under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Manon

Manon flash

I think it’s very pretty and that the shimmer keeps it from being too matronly-looking.  But let’s up the oomph just a bit more with Zoya’s Sparkle Gloss Top Coat.  Same two lightings:

Manon w tc

Manon w tc flash

I like it both with and without the top coat and think it’s a good color for fall/winter and for my skin tone.  Can’t even remember now why I bought it, because I don’t think the picture of it on Zoya’s web site is all that attractive!  At any rate, if you’re ever placing an order with Zoya and need one more polish to hit free shipping or some other goal, I highly recommend Sparkle Gloss Top Coat.  One of my fave top coats ever.

Pink in the Afternoon, Audrey, and me

It’s October 21, 2014 — fifty years to the day that the musical “My Fair Lady” starring Audrey Hepburn was released.

Actress Audrey Hepburn - Film My Fair Lady

Audrey Hepburn was a true style icon.  She could pull off the short-haired “gamin” look like no one else and her expressive brown eyes spoke volumes.

Audrey Hepburn

(This heavy eyebrow is back in style again!)

When she was older she was as beautiful as ever….

Audrey Hepburn Revlon ad 1980s

One of her most famous films was the 1961 “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”  Talk about your classic movie looks.

Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's

There’s a taxi scene in the movie where Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, says, “Hand me my purse, will you darling?  A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick,” and then proceeds to apply said lipstick.

Audrey Hepburn pink lipstick

I don’t know what actual brand and color that is, but the general consensus on the internet is that Revlon’s Pink in the Afternoon is darn close.  So I’d been hoping to write about this shade, another lipstick from the company’s Super Lustrous line… but I had to track it down first!  It’s been discontinued.

Sure, I could’ve bought it online but I wanted to see if I could find it in person.  Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Ulta — nope.  Not even listed in their Revlon displays.  But last week I took a shopping trip out of town to the city I lived in until a few months ago, and two stores had it.  These were two — CVS Pharmacy and Shopko — that were infamous (in my mind) for having outdated displays — turns out that can be a good thing!

I bought one Pink in the Afternoon  (PITA, not to be confused with the better-know acronym for Pain in the ***) and then a spare for good measure since it’s dc’d.  It’s a warm, slightly peach-toned, pink creme.  You’d think it’d be an easy shade to copy but I searched and searched for dupes without success.  Nothing else was exactly like it.  Too pink.  Too peach.  Too brown.  Too frosty.

Pink in the Afternoon

Pink in the Afternoon label

I absolutely love this one.  It’s one of those rare colors I and others call “my lips but better,” meaning that it’s close to my own natural lip color yet looks smoother and more finished.  Doesn’t scream, “I’m wearing heavy lipstick!” or “Look at my purple sparkly lips!”  It looks fine on me now but I know I’m going to love it even more in the late winter and spring when my skin is paler.

Here’s a swatch of it on my inner arm, under indirect bright outdoor light and then with the flash:

Pink in the Afternoon outd

Pink in the Afternoon flash

Compared to Revlon’s Teak Rose that I showed last week, Pink in the Afternoon is lighter and pinker.  Same lighting, with Teak Rose on top and PITA on the bottom:

Pink in the Afternoon w Teak Rose outd

Pink in the Afternoon w Teak Rose flash

If you’re interested in this color — and if you’re like me in that waving the “discontinued” flag makes you want something even more — check your local CVS Pharmacy or Shopko, because that’s where I found mine.  I suspect Rite Aid, Kmart, or dollar stores might be other options, and then there are online shops such as Drugstore.com , where it’s in stock as of this writing.

Wishes come true with the Holiday/Winter Collection from Zoya

What’s almost as good as getting new holiday polishes?  Getting news about them!

Meet WISHES from Zoya:

Zoya Wishes banner

Zoya Wishes sampler

Click on those photos or any of the others here for large, clear, detailed views.  And just let me dive into a vat of the holographic black Magical PixieDust RIGHT NOW!

This is my kind of holiday set — beautiful winter colors, a mix of finishes, and NO over-dependence on red.  We’re getting the sparkly Magical PixieDusts in blue, purple, and black that I’ve been dreaming of for months.

The official press release:

Wishes really do come true with this magical new nail polish collection for Winter/Holiday 2014! Zoya Wishes** is a densely pigmented assortment featuring both traditional and Magical PixieDust formulas in coordinating color combinations that can be worn alone or combined into stunning combinations, no matter how you wear them, this collection delivers a fanciful way to celebrate the season!

ZP766 – NORI: Sapphire blue Magical PixieDust* with holographic hex glitter, perfect for any holiday festivity.
ZP767 – THEA: Deep amethyst Magical PixieDust* with an orchid flash, packed full of party-ready holographic hex glitter.
ZP768 – IMOGEN: Black crystal Magical PixieDust* with holographic hex glitter, just add an LBD and you’re off!
ZP769 – PRIM: Velvet blue metallic, with a full coverage, high-density pigment and buttery smooth application.
ZP770 – HAVEN: True holiday plum liquid metal with a thin vein of orchid for added brilliance.
ZP771 – WILLA: Full-coverage, onyx black cream.

* Zoya Magical PixieDust is textured, matte and sparkling. No base coat and top coat required.

PRE-ORDER STARTS 10/20/14!
SHIPPING DATE 11/01/14.

ZOYA IS THE HEALTHY COLOR OF FASHION!

$9 (US) Standard Colors
$10 (US)  – PixieDust Colors

Available in top salons, spas and on zoya.com

**BIG5FREE: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

Zoya Wishes display

Zoya wishes group

Zoya Wishes drip

The shimmery blue Prim is reminding me of one of my favorite Zoyas ever, the periwinkle blue called Jo.  And I’m looking forward to playing with and layering this set — Nori over Prim, Thea over Willa, Imogen over Haven.  Mix or match the colors.

Note that preorder starts today.  And enjoy these pictures!

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UPDATE:  Zoya answered my question from an alert reader and confirmed that the black polish Willa is their earlier limited edition polish Black Swan renamed.

The Steampunk Ball 6-lacquer mini-set from Butter London — full review

Woot.  A new Ulta store just opened where I live and you better believe I was there the day it opened.  I was looking for the new 6-piece polish set of minis from Butter London called Steampunk Ball ’cause I had to see it in person.  The whole new collection is called Steampunk Ball, as is this one set.  There are other sets such as Gilded Gears and Clockwork Couture, but they either have colors I don’t want or ones I already have.  The release is confusing; know what you’re buying.

I attempted to briefly explain the concept of steampunk here a little over a week ago.

BL Steampunk

I couldn’t tell enough from the stock photos on either BL’s site or the Nordstrom’s site, especially about Barkers and Brass Goggles….

BL Steampunk Ball

BL Steampunk set

…. but when I saw them in person I wanted them.

Steampunk set

The colors, left to right, top row and then bottom row:

Barkers – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey with magenta-green shimmer

Pinkies Up – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, pink shimmer

Baroness – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, burgundy metallic

Bric-A-Brac
Full coverage, flaring shimmers in saffron red gel-like base

Full Steam Ahead – Set Exclusive!
Opaque, grey creme

Brass Goggles – Set Exclusive!
Semi-sheer, black and gold foil glitter

These are all new except for Bric-a-Brac, which was part of the fall Brick Lane set, but it’s a shade I’ve been craving so I’m cool with it being included.

Let’s jump right in!  I used two coats of each polish except for Bric-a-Brac which needed three, and Brass Goggles which is a top coat and needed but one coat.

Barkers is a very odd color, in a fascinating way.  It’s just like the official description, opaque gray with dark pink & green shimmer.  Kind of looks like a sheen of oil, if oil had sparkles.  The overall effect is purplish but it’s way more complex than just a shimmery purple.  Under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Steampunk Barkers

Steampunk Barkers flash

Doesn’t it look absolutely wild in the bottle in the second picture?  Like some weird elixir.

Pinkies Up, on the other hand, is a demure peachy-pink shimmer.  Might look like it doesn’t belong in the set but I actually like it.

Steampunk Pinkies

Steampunk Pinkies flash

Let’s jazz it up.  The polish called Brass Goggles in this set is a glitter top coat, a clear base with gold and black glitter of various shapes and sizes, even some tiny black bar glitter and gold shards.  Here it is over Pinkies Up.

Steampunk P and BG

Different!

Baroness is a beautiful dusty burgundy shimmer and while I love the color, visible brushstrokes were a bit of a problem.

Steampunk Baroness

Steampunk Baroness flash

However, with the top coat of Brass Goggles, brushstrokes disappear, and it looks pretty cool.

Steampunk B with BG

Full Steam Ahead is the color I thought I’d like least, but for “only” a gray creme, I love it.  So smooth, and the bluish gunmetal shade strikes me as “just right” and very glossy.  Really glad I found this one since I have a hard time wearing medium to dark grays.

Steampunk Full Steam

I tried Brass Goggles over Full Steam Ahead but wasn’t crazy about it.

Steampunk FS with BG

Finally, Bric-a-Brac.  Love, love, love this “ruby slippers” polish.  The base is a pinkish-red and the heavy red and gold metallic is so beautiful.  A holiday polish for sure.

Steampunk BricaBrac

I didn’t try Brass Goggles over Bric-a-Brac because there was already so much glittery goodness going on.

So that’s the Steampunk Ball set.  The bottles are minis, 0.2 oz/6 ml, and the set is $39 SRP.  It does seem expensive for minis, but Butter London is more expensive than Zoya, OPI, and drugstore brands.

The polishes are not available individually or in full sizes except for Bric-a-Brac, and Full Steam Ahead is available as a full size in the Art of Alchemy set ($65) but that set also contains five older colors.

Overall I love this Steampunk Ball set and I’m OK with the bottles being minis.  I never use up full-size bottles anyway!  My favorite shades by themselves are Bric-a-Brac, Barkers, and Full Steam Ahead, and I also love Brass Goggles over Baroness.  Barkers is the most unusual shade in this set, and photos don’t do it justice.

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Coming Monday, big news.  Have a great weekend!

Teak Rose vs. Toast of New York

Not long ago I reviewed the lipstick Toast of New York from Revlon’s Super Lustrous line.  It was fun to read comments from women who said it was their shade back in the ’90s.  I didn’t wear it then but am loving it now.

Also I was reminded that it’s similar — or might be — to another Revlon shade called Teak Rose.  Since I’ve been on a lip product buying spree lately and have found some great sales, why not pick it up for comparison?

Both are cremes and I’d call both medium-to-dark and warm-toned.

Teak Rose1

Teak Rose2

In the tube I think they look more similar than they do when worn.  Here are both under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Teak Rose3

Teak Rose4flash

No surprises here; Teak Rose is redder or rosier than Toast of New York.  If you’re afraid the latter is too brown for you yet want a good shade for fall that’s not too bright, Teak Rose might be a good choice.  I really like both and think they’re good choices for any age.

P.S.  If it seems to you that I’m talking more about makeup and less about nail polish than I used to do, you’re right.  I’m not giving up nail polish by any means but am in more of a makeup mood lately.

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