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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.

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!

Come to the Steampunk Ball with Butter London

Steampunk.  It’s an interesting word and an interesting concept.  It’s been around for decades but never really a mainstream idea.

So what is steampunk?  It’s a type of science fiction that combines the look of the late Victorian era with bizarre machinery, usually steam-powered.  Think H.G. Wells, although the term “steampunk” had not been coined yet; that popped up in the late 1980s.  It’s both vintage and futuristic.

The look often contains elements of Victoriana such as lace, long skirts, and top hats, but also has helmets, goggles, tattoos, and lots of unusual jewelry.  Colors are lots of black plus metallics such as gold, silver, and brass, but other colors are used too.

So let’s look at the newest collection from Butter London for Holiday 2014, Steampunk Ball.

BL Steampunk

BL Steampunk2

Butter London has been unlocking an item a day for a week, and I would have posted about it sooner had it been anything completely new.  But most of what’s been announced in the past week has been re-promotes of old colors, and I’ve found the “unlocking” process to be extremely tedious, not exciting as the company probably hoped.

But finally, the new polish colors.

BL Steampunk Ball

This is a set of minis (this set is called Steampunk Ball too) and is currently selling for $39.00.  BL calls its mini-bottles (0.2 oz.) “Fashion Size” which can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the company’s labeling.  Fashion size, really?  That’s like candy companies calling mini candy bars “Fun Size.”  Mini is not fun size.  Fun size would be a big honkin’ 8-ounce candy bar, my friends.

At any rate, the colors are, 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.  I don’t have Bric-a-Brac yet and find it and the Steampunk colors really attractive.  But I need to see bigger, better photos and hopefully swatches before making a decision.  Haven’t found many, although Butter London has had some teaser pictures on their Facebook page and also a 30-second video on their home page.

BL Steampunk look

BL Steampunk look2

And finally, Nordstrom’s has a slightly bigger picture of the bottles on their web site.

BL Steampunk set

You can find swatches of Bric-a-Brac online, since it’s not a new color.  Here are some good ones from blogger The Polish Hideout.  Click on any of her photos for a large, sharp look at the polishes.  Yep, loving Bric-a-Brac!  The new Steampunk Ball polishes are calling me too.

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EDIT:  10/9/14 and 10/11/14, just read this on Butter London’s Facebook page, that the Steampunk Ball colors “will only be available in the set and in Fashion Size [mini] bottles.”  That’s very odd for a BL Holiday set!  Also, they have announced a large gift set called the Gears & Gadgets Ultimate Lacquer Trunk, a $300 value for $150.  This contains 20 mini Fashion Size polishes plus some nail treatments and tools.  Most of the polish colors are older ones, but the set contains Baroness, Brass Goggles, and other Steampunk new ones called Earl Grey, Clockwork Heart, and Right as Rain.

Earl Grey and Clockwork Heart are also in yet another set called Gilded Gears.  Earl Grey is an opaque steel gray metallic and Clockwork Heart is a satin matte wine shade.  This set contains two old colors, West End Wonderland and Goss.

Finally, a set called Art of Alchemy has six full-sized polishes but only one new one, Full Steam Ahead.  (So their comment of “only Fashion Size” is not true in this one case.)

This new release has been beyond confusing.  You can’t buy JUST the new Steampunk colors, although the Steampunk Ball set of six described above is five-out-of-six new.  You can’t buy full-sized bottles of them.  You can’t buy them at all without buying at least one old color.  Not cool, Butter London.

Yet one more “Last Orders” sale from Butter London

Butter London fans, the company is having another of its “Last Orders” sales.   If you love their polish (like I do) yet find the $15 a bottle price too steep (like I do) these sales are a welcome sight.  Oh, and there’s some makeup on sale too.  I don’t have any experience with Butter London lipstick, blush, and eye makeup, except that I bought one of their cream eyeshadows in a pink shade when it was on sale.  I found it merely OK, didn’t show up well on my skin and wasn’t worth the price in my opinion.  Think I’ll stick to BL’s nail polish.

They have the “Double Take Fire Duo” for just $12, which contains two full-sized bottles, and I really loved the dark shimmery Rebel Fox contained in the set.  What an awesome color for fall.  You can also buy Rebel Fox separately for $7.50.

Fire Duo

Speaking of fall, I see Chuffed is half-price too.

BL Lolly Chuffed

And while I tend to harp on this shade over and over, it’s one of my all-time fall favorites ever, Scuppered.

Scuppered outd

The sale also included some purples, blues, greens (Jack the Lad!!), and other colors.  Maybe go in with a friend to split the shipping cost or hit that $50 mark where you’d get free shipping.

Read the find print about the offer on Butter London’s site.  Offer expires at 11:59 pm Pacific Time on 9/27/14.  Free shipping on orders $50 and up.  US only.  Some products may no longer be available when you place your order.

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I may not be posting quite as much this week.  Our house is being re-roofed and it’s Hectic City here.  Pets are freaking out and I’m stressed too!  The last time we lived in a house that was getting a new roof I literally got out of town for a few days.  Wish I could do that again, but it’s not to be.  Maybe I’ll just wander sales sites online.  ;-)

Oy! I’ve got a Dodgy Barnett!

Haven’t swatched a Butter London polish in a while, and what better way to lead into a half-price sale at Ulta on Butter London lacquers this Saturday, September 13th, than to show you a fun one.

It’s called Dodgy Barnett, which is Brit slang for “bad haircut.”  I don’t know why.  Dodgy Barnett is a glossy silver holographic that came out as part of BL’s Fall 2012 Collection.  It’s rather sheer and works well as a top coat, giving a cool holo sheen to the underlying color, or can be worn on its own.  Here I have one coat of it on my little finger on the right, four coats on my ring finger, and one coat of it over three coats of the dark shimmery blue Big Smoke, also from Butter London.

First under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash:

Dodgy Barnett outd

DodgyBarnett flash

The Silver Nail loves this silver polish!

About the sale at Ulta — as far as I know it’s good both in-store and online, and there are probably limits as to the number of polishes you can buy.  Be advised that if you want to take advantage of the sale in person at a store, be there when the door opens.  This is a very popular sale.  If it’s good online I plan to have items in my cart and ready to go.  Did I mention that I don’t have a local Ulta since I moved?  Good news, though, because one is opening here soon, so I can be even more of a polish and makeup pig.  Oink oink.

There are some BL colors I’d love to pick up.  One from the Fall 2012 set along with Dodgy Barnett was the sage green holo Trustafarian.  Its photo on the BL site doesn’t do it justice; instead look at these swatches from The PolishAholic.  I may want to dabble in some of the new Brick Lane shades too.

Need suggestions?  You can search The Silver Nail by using the search box on the top right hand side of the page, and I’d recommend using “Butter London” in quotation marks as the search phrase or search for the name of the particular color you have in mind, like Scuppered, one of my all-time favorite colors for fall.  Don’t forget other warm colors like Shag and The Old Bill, too.

More comparisons!

Disclosure:  The Ignite, Entice, and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

As a followup to my review of Zoya’s new fall collections, Ignite and Entice, I want to show you some more comparisons.  Most of the comparison suggestions came from YOU, my readers — thank you very much!  Great ideas.  I got some surprises, so let’s see if you do too.

The wonderful copper foil Autumn probably generated the most requests for comparisons.  Here it is with OPI DS Indulgence and China Glaze Harvest Moon.

Ignite Autumn comp5

Ignite Autumn comp6

They look closer in the bottles than on the nail.  DS Indulgence is much redder and Harvest Moon is more yellowish.  (Sorry the swatch photo is out of focus.)

Comparing Autumn to Butter London’s Shag and Brown Sugar…

Ignite Autumn comp4

… Shag is similar but a bit darker.  Brown Sugar is not close because its pink-purple base makes it more of a plum-toned brown.  Also, the Butter London shades each required three coats and Autumn only needed two.

An alert reader asked for a side-by-side of India with Zoya’s Anastasia from the older Magique Collection.  Anastasia is no longer available on Zoya’s web site.

Ignite India comp2

Wow, I would say they are close enough in color to call duplicates.  However, Anastasia is thinner and required one more coat.  I’d say if you have Anastasia you don’t need to rush to buy India, but if you have neither and want one, I’d recommend India because of its better formula.  Anastasia may be available on some other e-tailer sites.

Remy was the one-coat wonder from the Ignite Collection.  Comparing it to Muse from the Bubbly Collection earlier this year, Remy is much darker and Muse has holographic glitter.  And Muse needed three coats.

Ignite Remy comp3

Zoya’s Dream has been one of my favorite blue polishes.  Next to Remy, you can see that Dream is more of a royal blue instead of teal blue, and it has tiny sparkles that look like stars.  I recommend both polishes highly.

Ignite Remy comp2

Finally, let’s look at one of the cremes from the Entice set, Veronica, and see how it looks next to Zoya’s Ashley, another shade that’s not currently listed at Zoya’s site.

Entice Veronica comp3

Extremely close.  Ashley is a hair darker.  If I already had Ashley I probably wouldn’t get Veronica.

As a P.S., let me point you towards a very useful blog called The Polish Garden.  She has a list that’s the dream of obsessive-compulsives like me — almost all the Zoya collections with dates, names, and pictures.  Look here.  Better believe I bookmarked that!

Disclosure:  The Ignite, Entice, and some of the comparison polishes were supplied by Zoya for review.

A passel of positively posh pinks

I know I haven’t swatched anything in a while.  So today, how about FIVE nail polishes?

Last month I posted about one of Butter London’s great “Last Orders” sales, and one of the items I ordered was the set of five minis called the Boxing Day Fash Pack Pinks.  Each one is 0.2 oz/6 ml, which is enough for several manis each and a great way to try new colors.

BL Fash Pack pinks

Left to right:

  • Teddy Girl — pale petal pink creme
  • Fruit Machine — bubblegum creme
  • Fairy Lights — silvery pink chrome
  • Primrose Hill Picnic — bright hot pink creme
  • Queen Vic — dark plum creme

I used two coats of each and all five applied very well; I thought Primrose Hill Picnic had the best formula and most even coverage.  Teddy Girl and Fruit Machine, being lighter, could have used one more coat.  Fairy Lights was very good for a chrome, but as always with this kind of finish, don’t keep poking at it or the brushstrokes will show more prominently.

I’m still getting used to the windows and quality of natural light here in our new house, and these aren’t the greatest photos but here goes.  The first four polishes, left to right, in the same order, under two different aspects of indirect outdoor light:

BL Fash Pack pinks

BL Fash Pack pinks2

Queen Vic, being a plum or raspberry, deserved her own manicure.  I love the look but prefer my nails to be shorter when I wear dark colors.

Queen Vic

I feel I have dupes from Zoya for most of these colors except the chrome of Fairy Lights; however, it’s similar to Maria from Julep.

The Boxing Day Fash Pack Pinks is no longer visible on Butter London’s site but it may show up again in a future sale, or you may also find it lurking in a department store, eBay, etc.

 

 

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