Tag Archives: red

OPI Trend On Ten mini set

We’re starting to get bombarded by holiday ads, Black Friday ads, and Cyber Monday ads.  That’s OK, because I feel like you can ignore them if you’re not interested but if you are shopping for gifts, then it’s good to know what’s out there.  I’m a planner and a compulsive list-creator, so Christmas shopping really pushes me to make a list and check it twice.  Or ten times.

And speaking of ten, OPI has released its annual holiday mini set of ten polishes.  The 2012 set was called The Top Ten, 2013 had Take Ten, and this year’s is Trend On Ten.


The colors are:

  • Haven’t the Foggiest
  • Alpine Snow
  • Bubble Bath
  • Tickle My France-y
  • Princesses Rule!
  • Toucan Do It If You Try
  • Cajun Shrimp
  • Big Apple Red
  • Malaga Wine
  • Lincoln Park After Dark

The photo above is a CG one and if you look at a real photo, you can see that Haven’t the Foggiest is much more glittery and some of the shades look a bit different.  Ulta has the set for $27.50 but I’ve read that Costco has it for $19.99.


The set comes boxed in two groups of five polishes each, so if you wanted them for gift-giving, you could give all ten, two sets of five, or individual ones as stocking stuffers.

As far as I know, none of the colors are new and most of them are well-established, so finding swatches of each color online should be easy.


Dancing Nails

Today when I was at Walgreens buying mini sizes of Kleenex, Tylenol, and Tums to keep my travel bag stocked — BOR-ing!! — I decided to get myself one little bottle of polish.  Wags had quite a few from various brands at great clearance prices and there are lots of holiday items and sets out, but I reached into the basic Sinful Colors display.

Bought Dancing Nails, or should I say, re-bought it.  This is an older shade that I had, gave away, then wanted again because I never swatched it for the blog.  The regular SRP of Sinful Colors is $1.99 for a full-sized 0.5 oz/15 ml bottle, and while I usually wait ’til they’re on a half-price sale, what the heck.  $1.99 is still good.

Dancing Nails is a light red with silver shimmer.  I have plenty of bright reds and dark reds, but few light reds.  It seems to be a hard color to make without venturing into the Land of Pink.

Here are two coats, no top coat, under indirect bright outdoor light and then with the flash:

Dancing Nails

Dancing Nails flash

Brushstrokes are slightly visible but not bad.  Would make a great, budget-friendly color for the holidays.

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-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.


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.



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.

Bling on the Holidays with Pure Ice

Haven’t mentioned Pure Ice polishes in ages.  But how about some new holiday glitters from the WalMart-exclusive company?

Pure Ice doesn’t appear to have an actual web site, but they do have a Facebook page and just changed their main photo to…

PI Hol14 banner

Note that not all the polishes shown in that picture are new, but there are five new glitters.  Behold.

Pure Ice Holiday2014 set

Pure Ice retails for a budget-friendly $1.97 each, and while there’s nothing earth-shatteringly original in these five, they’re sparkly and have a pretty mostly-monochromatic look, good for top coats.  Would be great stocking stuffers (a phrase I’m probably going to waaaaay overuse in the next six weeks).

Santa Merry Me

PI Hol14 Santa Merry Me

Winter Blues

PI Hol14 Winter Blues

Gold Peppermints

PI Hol14 Gold Peppermints

Pure Icicles

PI Hol14 Pure Icicles

And the title shade, Bling on the Holidays

PI Hol14 Bling on the Holidays


Cover it up, cover it all up

Here’s a post I’ve been meaning to write for ages yet putting off because it’s such a massive (to me) subject — correctors and concealers.  Cosmetics companies frequently use the terms interchangeably.

I’m an expert in neither, but the fact that I have genetic dark undereye circles that are the envy of raccoons and pandas everywhere means I’ve spent my adult life in search of The Perfect Concealer.  Let’s get this out of the way right now; ain’t no such thing.  But I’ve tried a plethora of brands and formulas so will share what I’ve found.  Actually, I just wanted to use the word “plethora.”

First, correctors aka neutralizers.  These are not mysterious, although they can look pretty weird.  As you might guess, they are to correct an unwanted color or tone.  Remember the color wheel we all learned about in school?

Color wheel

Think opposites.  If you have a red spot or area on your face you want to tone down, use red’s opposite color, green.  Are your undereye circles blue-toned?  An orange or peach shade will neutralize the darkness.  Is your face sallow (yellow)?  Purple is yellow’s opposite.

[A brief note about skin color — I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other health care professional, but if your skin color or tone changes, either suddenly or gradually, it could possibly be the symptom of an underlying condition such as jaundice, poor circulation, or something else.  Always check with your health care provider if you’re concerned about your skin color.]

Resist the urge to go hog wild with correctors.  You are not four years old with a new Dora the Explorer coloring book.  Putting a few dabs of green on red spots, some yellow on undereye circles, and a wash of lavender over perceived sallowness will look like a hodgepodge.  Pick one or two things you want to neutralize.

I have no experience with green or purple correctors.  I get a red spot occasionally but cover it up with a skin-toned concealer.  Here’s something simple from Maybelline if you’re so inclined.

Maybelline green corrector

If the color you want to neutralize is an overall tone, there are lotions such as this drugstore one from Eucerin:

Eucerin lotion

I tried some peach-toned neutralizers/correctors on my undereye circles but found them too orange, and so tried several yellow-toned ones and they work better.  Here are two I still have, Cover Everything Concealer in Corrective Yellow by e.l.f, and Hide the Blemish Concealer in #201 Neutraliser from Rimmel.  The e.l.f. one was $2.00 at a big box store and the Rimmel was about $4.00 on sale at a drugstore.

2 correctors

2 correctors open

As you can see, the e.l.f. one is a brighter yellow and the Rimmel is more beige but still yellow.  I couldn’t photograph good swatches of these, nor the concealers further on in this post, because they don’t show up well on my skin.  Which is rather the point!  The Rimmel is a bit thicker than the other, and I consider both of them merely so-so, don’t think they do that much for my undereye circles.

I prefer to use concealer by itself most of the time, part of the trouble being that if one uses concealer on top of corrector, the products can look a bit thick or cakey.  On older, crepey skin, that’s not good.  Whichever product(s) you use, pat them on and blend them in gently, either with your finger or with a brush.  Don’t pull or tug or rub, especially on thin undereye skin.

Concealers… sigh… I’ve tried so many.  Creams, liquids, sticks, even a powder.  I’ve tried drugstore brands and prestige brands.  Here’s what currently resides in my stash:

7 concealers

7 concealers open

As you can see, they’re not all exactly the same color.  Some are lighter or darker, some are more pink or beige.  My skin isn’t the same color all year long; although I wear sunscreen every day and try to avoid tanning, some happens.  I use darker concealers in the summer and early fall, and lighter ones the rest of the year.  Here are my impressions of these seven products.

1.  Bare Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer, Broad Spectrum SPF 20, color Bisque.  Shown in center of photo.   I got this one in a Bare Minerals sample pack at Ulta, and had never used a powder concealer.  I found out why.  Maybe it works well on younger and/or oilier skin, but on my older, somewhat dry skin, the powder seemed to emphasize every fine line.  It was only so-so at covering up the undereye circles.  I’m not going to toss it, though, will use it as a matte beige eyeshadow base!

2.  Nyx Above & Beyond Full Coverage Concealer, color Light.  Lower right of photo.  This is a cream in a small pot that I tried on a whim because in general I like Nyx eye and lip products.  Unfortunately, the cream is slightly dry, stiff, and tacky to the touch so I don’t care for the formula.  Now that I’ve shown it in on the blog I’ll probably toss it.

3.  Tarte Colored Clay (CC) Undereye Corrector, color Light-Medium.  Shown in upper left.  I bought this at Ulta based on glowing reviews, despite the price ($24 before being on sale and using a coupon).  Can you say, “Buyer’s remorse”??  It’s all right but nothing special, and definitely not worth that price to me.  I do like the flat compact — no mirror though — that it comes in, so I keep it in my travel bag.

4.  Maybelline DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, color Radiant.  Bottom of photo.  This is the only liquid concealer in the bunch.  You twist the bottom of the container which pushes the liquid, which you can see in the center, up into the brush on the top, then you dab that on, then blend it with your finger or the brush.  I find this one awkward to use and its coverage only average.  Plus there’s actually only a tiny amount of actual concealer, 1.5 ml/0.05 oz., and the brush gets icky if you don’t wash it after every use, which wastes more of the product.  Toss.

Now we come to my favorites, the Cover Girl concealers.  Good news/bad news.  Good news is that two of these are my absolute faves when it comes to concealers and have been for years.  Bad news is that they’ve been discontinued.  Yes, that sound you hear is me weeping bitter tears.

5.  Cover Girl & Olay Simply Ageless Eye Concealer, color #210 Light.  Shown top center.  If this little pot looks a bit ragged, there’s good reason.  I’ve used this concealer more than any other, and I think this particular one is probably the third or fourth I bought, having used each one up and then restocking.  It’s a solid cream but has swirls of Olay moisturizer in it and is very creamy, with excellent coverage.  Since I liked this one so much, when I couldn’t find it any more I bought…

6.  Cover Girl & Olay Concealer Balm stick, color #330 Light.  Upper right of picture.  Also works well and looks good but is not quite as creamy as the Simply Ageless.  I’m going to use these two Cover Girl products until there is nothing left.

7.  Cover Girl TruBlend FixStick Concealer, color Medium Light.  Second from bottom.  I went back to the fount of Cover Girl and picked this up recently; it’s a fairly new product.  The crayon-like product twists up from the bottom and application is easy.  However, it’s too dry for my undereye skin yet works well on blemishes and small sun spots.

So that’s my roundup.  Sorry that my favorite one, the CG Simply Ageless cream, has been discontinued.  I’ll keep searching for a good substitute.  At least I know now that I want a cream and not a powder, liquid, or dry-ish crayon.

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

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


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.


Coming Monday, big news.  Have a great weekend!


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