Tag Archives: creme

It’s Movie Night! I mean Mauvy Night.

I’ve sure been enjoying Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks lately.  Had forgotten what classics they can be and how good they feel.  I may grumble occasionally about some other Revlon products but they do lipstick right.

Some of the ones I’ve swatched are Pink in the Afternoon (how’s your search for that discontinued shade going?), Toast of New York, and Teak Rose.  Today I have another creme called Mauvy Night.

Mauvy Night is currently available and is a lovely shade of dark mauve or plum.  It has purple tones but isn’t violet.

Mauvy Night label

Mauvy Night open

Here’s a swatch of it under the camera flash, and then a comparison of it to both Toast of New York and Teak Rose.

Mauvy Night flash

Mauvy Night comps

I think I’m set for winter Super Lustrous lipsticks!  Maybe I’ll pick up some more pinks in the spring.

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Now, in case you really do want a movie night instead of or in addition to Mauvy Night, I’ve got some suggestions.  Most are available on Netflix Streaming.

Nebraska (2013) is a black-and-white “road trip” film starring Bruce Dern.  He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar and the film received five other Oscar noms including Best Picture.  I watched this with my husband and half of the time we were laughing and the other half of the time we wanted to cry.  Very touching in many ways, and the cinematography perfectly portrays a small town on the Great Plains.  Rated R for language.

Kahaani (2012) is the best Indian thriller I’ve ever seen.  Unlike many Indian films there is no singing, no dancing.  Kahaani features a strong female protagonist, Vidya, who arrives in the city of Kolkata, pregnant and alone, looking for her missing husband.  Did he ditch her?  She says not, but the police are skeptical.  Is she deluded?  This is a movie where nothing is what it seems, and maybe I was dense but the twist at the end totally broadsided me and made me want to watch the movie again immediately.  Unrated but I would say R for violence.

Argo (2012) is well-known since it won the Best Picture Oscar two years ago.  Starring and directed by Ben Affleck, it tells the story of the CIA’s elaborate ruse to rescue six Americans in Iran following the takeover of the U.S. embassy and their subsequent hiding in the Canadian one.  It’s one of those stories that is so bizarre no one could’ve made it up.  One of things I loved about it is that the clothes, hairstyles, and even eyeglasses are 1970s-spot on.  Rated R for language and some violent images.

Want something a little good, a little bad, and a little weird?  The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008) is a Korean tour de force that looks like an old-fashioned American Western and is packed with thrills, strange characters, action, and comedy.  It’s a high-speed chase to …. somewhere.  Set in 1930s Manchuria, it starts with a train robbery and never lets up.  Watch this with your adult kids and they’ll think you’re majorly cool.  Trailer viewable here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzNnCK5cd8Q  Rated R for nonstop violence and some drug use.

Have fun & have a great weekend!

Fifty, I mean Five, Shades of Grey from OPI

As mentioned the other day in my OPI Spring 2015 Hawaii Collection news post, OPI is also coming out with a tie-in collection to the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, which was based on the ultra-popular books about, well, you know.  Hint: not grey hair.

With a tentative release of January 1, 2015, the Fifty Shades of Grey set appears to have five shades of grey and a red.  Because fifty shades of grey polish would be overwhelming.

OPI-fifty-shades

OPI fifty-shades2

Names are:

  • My Silk Tie – This silky, gleaming silver has got me all tied up
  • Shine for Me – This shimmering silver with subtle blue sparkle really turns me on!
  • Cement the Deal – I’d sign anything to get my hands on this stony, cool gray
  • Romantically Involved – I’m in a deep relationship with this luscious crème red
  • Dark Side of the Mood – This brooding, stormy charcoal is dangerously gorgeous
  • Embrace the Gray – Let this chic, moody gray crème become one with you

If you love grey/gray for winter polishes, have fun with these.  There will even be a complete set in the mini size.

OPI-fifty-shades-of-grey-mini-set

Red for remembrance

After the silliness that was yesterday’s post, I’d like to do a 180 and be serious today.  It’s Veterans’ Day in the United States, a day to remember all armed services veterans, and in the UK it’s Remembrance Day, to honor the armed services members who lost their lives in the line of duty.  Being American and Canadian, I observe both.

Remembrance Day was started by King George V in 1919, and it’s observed on November 11th because the armistice of The Great War, later called World War I, formally ended its fighting “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”  The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

Red poppies became the symbol of Remembrance Day because of the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who himself died in The Great War.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow,
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

I never learned much about WWI in school.  When we studied American or world history, by the time we got to the 20th century in the history books, the school year was over or almost so, and the last few chapters were rushed.  WWII got much more class time than its predecessor, perhaps because it was so fresh in the minds of our teachers and parents.

Similarly, there are many more movies about WWII than WWI.  All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) is a classic and is worth watching for the excellent acting, horrors of war, and its anti-war sentiment.  Paths of Glory (1957) is another one, not so well-known despite its star, Kirk Douglas, and its director, Stanley Kubrick.

But my favorite movie about WWI is the multi-Genie-award-winning Passchendaele (2008).  This film, which culminates in the bloody battle of Passchendaele (pronounce it “passion-dale”), was written by, directed by, and stars Paul Gross, and I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t the biggest reason I’m nuts about this film.  It’s one you hate or love, I think, and despite instances of corniness and jarringly modern dialogue, I’m in the “love” camp.  I think it was too romantic for a lot of guys.  Oh well, can’t please ‘em all.  It’s rated R for language, numerous scenes of graphic war violence, and some scenes of sexuality.

If you watch a trailer for it, careful you don’t stumble across one that gives away major plot points.  Here’s a safe one:

Or direct link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6WYHagWdeE

Finally, here’s a red polish for the day, Carmen by Zoya.  It’s an older one from their Classics and is a good true red creme, nothing fancy.  I needed three coats for good coverage but it’s quite glossy even without a top coat.

Carmen

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Remembering my first cousin, Pte. Joseph Gerard Stanley Beardmore, served in the Royal Canadian Regiment, died 11 October 1951, age 24.  Buried in the United Nations Cemetery, Busan, South Korea.

Wishes from Zoya — complete review plus comparisons

Disclosure:  The Wishes Collection was supplied by Zoya for review.  Some of the comparison polishes were previously supplied by Zoya for review.

Sparkly, dreamy jewels — that’s Zoya’s new Winter/Holiday Collection called Wishes.

Zoya Wishes banner

Announced a little over a week ago and available for preorder now, Wishes is a set of six polishes:  one creme, two metallics, and three Magical (i.e., contain holographic glitter) PixieDusts.

Zoya Wishes sampler

What, no reds in a holiday set?  That’s OK, Zoya recently released a small 3-polish set of Ultra PixieDusts that were all red or red-toned, and I think it’s refreshing to go with bright blues and purples plus black.

Unless otherwise stated, all swatches are done with two coats.  All the Wishes polishes had good formulas and coverage.

Prim is a cool-toned periwinkle blue with a very strong silver metallic shimmer.

Wishes Prim outd

Haven is a violet-purple shimmer.  Shown under indirect outdoor light and then with the flash.

Wishes Haven outd

Wishes Haven flash

Willa is an opaque onyx black creme, no shimmer at all, unlike Zoya’s own Raven.  Willa is a renamed re-release of the limited edition color called Black Swan, which was part of a Zang Toi trio in September of 2013.  Solid black polishes like this make good “undies” for various top coats although of course can be worn solo.

Wishes Willa

On to the new PixieDusts.  I show each color with one coat on my pinkie fingernail on the right and two coats on my ring finger, so you can judge the opacity in case you’d want to use one coat as a top coat over something else.

Nori is a sapphire blue matte textured polish with heavy glitter and sparkle, both holographic and non-holo.

Wishes Nori

Thea is an amethyst purple.  I needed three coats of this one for good opacity.

Wishes Thea

Imogen is black with a lot of glitter and sparkle.  The holo glitter really makes it colorful.

Wishes Imogen

So how could you combine these?  Your imagination is the only limit, but here are two looks I tried that I love, one coat of Thea over Willa on my ring finger (left) and one coat of Nori over Willa on the right.  Without and then with a flash.

Wishes Thea and Nori over Willa

Wishes Thea and Nori over Willa flash

Complex and mysterious, just like me.  (OK, OK, I kid.)

I thought of some quick comparisons.  One of my favorite Zoya polishes for years has been Jo.  Prim is similar to Jo, but Prim has slightly more of a dusty purple tone and shows brushstrokes more.  Jo is more blue plus has blue shimmer in addition to silver.

Wishes Prim and Jo bottles

Wishes Prim and Jo flash

Nori reminded me of Muse from this summer’s Bubbly Collection.  Muse is more of a blue-green and the two have slightly different sizes of glitter.  Nori dries matte textured, but not completely matte.

Wishes Nori and Muse bottles

Wishes Nori and Muse

On the nail, Nori and Muse look very close.

Hope is an older polish that’s very similar to Haven.

Wishes Haven and Hope bottles

Wishes Haven and Hope outd

Haven is more plum; Hope is more violet.  While the colors are close, the formulas aren’t — my bottle of Hope is very thin and the polish needed at least three coats for good coverage.  Haven covered very well with two.

Wishes is such a beautiful collection, so much more than just a Christmas set.  You could wear these colors all winter; heck, you could wear them all year.

My favorites are Prim, Haven, and Thea, while my favorite combo look is either Nori or Thea over Willa.  Imogen would be fun to try over various cremes — dark green, red, gray.

Some caveats:  If you have the Zoya limited edition called Black Swan, be aware that Willa is exactly the same and only the name is new.  Willa is beautiful for a solid black creme and I think every polishaholic needs one in her stash, but if you already have a black creme I doubt I’d rush to buy this.  If you don’t have one though, the smooth formula and coverage make it a winner.

Prim and Jo are close but are not dupes.  Love both!  Haven and Hope are even closer.  If I already had Hope I probably wouldn’t get Haven, but if you don’t have Hope then I highly recommend Haven and its formula is much better than Hope’s.

As always, Zoya polishes are “Big 5 Free”: Formula contains no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, or camphor.

Disclosure:  The Wishes Collection was supplied by Zoya for review.  Some of the comparison polishes were previously supplied by Zoya for review.

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!

AA, BB, CC, DD… and I’m not talkin’ bra sizes

It’s a jungle out there.  The jungle being cosmetics.  I don’t even pretend to totally understand all the ingredients, permutations of said ingredients, claims, and so forth of makeup and other beauty products, but I try.

Today I’ve got some musings on the “alphabet creams” versus tinted moisturizers.  You’ve probably seen both in stores — creams that are labeled AA, BB, CC, or DD, with more alphabet soup no doubt on its way.

Here’s a quick ‘n’ dirty list:

AA = anti aging

BB = beauty balm or blemish balm

CC = color correcting

DD = daily defense or dynamic do-all (OK, now it’s just getting silly)

To read in detail about these plus tinted moisturizer — the latter being exactly what it sounds like, moisturizer with a bit of color — let me point you towards several web sites that already explain it better and more thoroughly than I ever could.  FashionistaYou BeautyWomen’s Health Magazine.  Go ahead; read one or more of those and come back.  I’ll be here.

You don’t see creams literally labeled AA much.  The anti-aging properties are incorporated into the other descriptions.

BB creams were the biggies not long ago.  They were and still are super popular in Asia and when American companies jumped on the bandwagon they labeled many of their products as BB creams but they were not dupes of the Asian imports.  One reason being cost, I imagine, and the other being the FDA and its restrictions.  At any rate, every drugstore and high end cosmetics company in America seemed to rush out its own BB product.  A lot of people, including me, tried them and were not impressed.  They didn’t do anything.

I have not bought any CC or DD creams, and didn’t waste much money trying drugstore BB products.  I have tried a drugstore tinted moisturizer, a drugstore BB cream, and an Asian import BB cream — Cover Girl Aqua CG Smoothers Tinted Moisture, Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Protector, and Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream.  My tube of the Cover Girl moisturizer is old and I believe the company now calls the product a BB cream as well.

Let’s look at the two drugstore tubes first.  Click on any of the photos to see larger images for easier reading.

BB cream comp

BB cream comp back

The Cover Girl (left) is 1.35 oz/40 ml, and I don’t remember what it cost but it’s currently $6.29 at Target.  The active ingredients are 6% octinoxate and 3% zinc oxide, both of which are sunscreens, and the SPF is 15.  So it’s a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen.  In the next few photos I’ll show a dot of it on the back of my hand, the dot smoothed out just a little, and then the dot blended in well.

BB CG dot1

BB CG dot2

BB CG dot3

Doesn’t look like much, does it?  It’s like a very, very sheer foundation.  Give a bit of shine but no real coverage, and the sunscreen is nice but certainly nothing special.

[By the way, doing this review made me really look at the tube and it expired ages ago so I’m going to toss it.  Plus it doesn’t do anything for me anyway.   Hey, want to know of a great site to check the age/expiration of cosmetics when all you have is a code on the tube/bottle/jar?  CheckCosmetic to your rescue!  Might want to bookmark it like I did.]

The Maybelline 8-in-1 BB claims that its eight benefits are “blurs imperfections, enhances, brightens, adjusts to skin tone, smooths, hydrates, SPF 30 protects, and has 0% oils and other heavy ingredients.”  Honey, you are reaching!  Its active ingredient is 1.15% titanium dioxide, so this is just another tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, but it’s SPF 30 and not 15 like the Cover Girl.  This tube contains 1.0 oz/30 ml and costs $7.49 at Target.

BB M dot1

BB M dot2

BB M dot3

The formula is thinner and runnier than the Cover Girl and again, this product is shiny and merely so-so.  I think its “benefits” claims are inflated.  But for days when I only want to wear a light moisturizer with sunscreen, it’s OK.  And of course I’m using it and the other products I’m talking about today on my face, not my hands.  While those two body parts are the same age of 55, the skin on my face isn’t nearly as “cross-hatched”-looking as the back of my hands!

OK, moving on, I recently purchased an actual Korean BB cream, Missha Perfect Cover in the color #21 Light Beige.  I’ve recently gotten interested in the Korean beauty box service (not subscription) called Memebox and they also sell products separately.

BB cream Missha

BB cream Missha back

No, I can’t read Korean.  At Memebox’s web site, the description is in English and you can also see the limited shade selection.  The Missha BB Cream contains 50 ml or about 1.7 oz., it has an SPF of 42, and its claims are that it “… promotes natural-looking coverage while providing sun protection, treating dark spots, and preventing wrinkles.”

The regular price on Memebox was $22.00 [EDIT 10/26/14:  regular price has changed to $16.00, on sale for $12.80 — the price really fluctuates!] but I got it on sale for $15.40. The “key ingredients” are camomile extract, rosemary extract, ceramide, hyaluronic acid, and gatuline RC.  That last ingredient is an anti-aging compound derived from beech tree buds according to Dr. Google.  I like that some of the ingredients are natural.

BB Missha dot

BB Missha dot2

BB Missha dot3

I’ve only been using this Missha cream for a week or so but really like it so far.  It looks a bit grayish right out of the tube but blends in very well and does actually seem to blur the appearance of the pores on my face.  It’s too soon to say if it’s doing anything as far as slaying wrinkles or dark spots, but after using this plus a light finish of Mineral Veil from Bare Minerals I’m very pleased with the appearance of my skin.  I plan to keep using it and do a followup post at a later date.

Bottom line when buying a BB or CC cream — read ingredients, read reviews, and know what you’re getting.  Some of the marketing claims are ridiculous.  But you may be perfectly fine with a light tinted moisturizer with sunscreen as opposed to a heavier cream or a foundation.

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