November 21, 2012

November 2012 Topbox

Um...can we talk about how awesome the November Topbox was?

This was my second topbox, and let me tell you that it did not disappoint. (Like my first one did.)

I eagerly awaited the arrival of this particular Topbox due to the fact that the monthly survey asked me what kind of nail polish I was the most interested in wearing. One of the options was "sparkly", and I clicked on that, praying for Deborah Lippmann Cleopatra in New York.

I didn't get it, but what I did get instead was equally awesome:

Vera Wang - Lovestruck (sample size)
Described as a sparkling floral bouquet that blooms with instant attraction.

The scent on this one is definitely super flowery, but it's not too overpowering that it starts going into grandma territory, if you know what I mean. The scent doesn't last very long, however, as far as I can tell. I put it on this morning and I don't think it's quite all there anymore. Regardless, it smells amazing, and I will probably buy a full sized bottle...time will tell.

Benefit: They're Real! Mascara (sample size)

I'm a huge fan of Benefit mascara. I have been using Bad Gal lash mascara since the summer and I have been loving it. I started with a sample size and eventually moved up to the full sized product, so I have high hopes for "They're Real!". The brush on this one reminds me of a comb, whereas the brush that comes with Bad Gal is more of a soft-bristled type brush. The box claims that 94% of people noticed a dramatic change in length and volume and visible lift.

I took a lame picture of my eye to try and see/show if it had met these expectations:

Meh. Looks pretty meh. But it might just be the odd angle -- I did notice that it looked more voluminous than normal in the 15 minutes I was wearing it.

Pari Lip Paint in "Red"

I don't usually wear lipstick, and when I do I usually don't go for bright red. I'm not sure how to feel about it, but I'll give it a shot. After all, what is Topbox for if not for trying new things?

China Glaze - I Herd That (full size)

This is the item that I was most excited for, and while browsing the internet for November box reviews, I noticed that a  lot of people had received Exotic Encounters, which is a shade that I have owned since August. Wouldn't it suck to get something that you already owned??

Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.

Look at that holographic glitter!

I Herd That is from the Fall 2012 On Safari Collection. It's a mix of fine gold and coppery glitter mixed in with some holographic bits. LOVE.

So that was my November Topbox! Did not disappoint in the slightest. VERY glad I didn't unsubscribe after my first box, which was for all intents and purposes a dud. VERY GLAD.

November 15, 2012

OPI Shanghai Shimmer

It's been a hectic few weeks for me, so I've fallen behind even more with posting, and even just painting my nails regularly has fallen by the wayside a bit. I actually had 2 separate manicures in the past 2 weeks which were never properly photographed. I have a couple of minutes to wind down before I head to bed, so I've lit my Slatkin & Co. Gingerbread 3-wick candle and I'm ready to BLOG.

Anyway, I had a job interview (the first of many...hopefully) on Monday, so I had to tone it down a couple of notches from the usual. I don't want these people to think that I'm crayyy just because I have some wild nail polish on.  I'll post swatches of my work appropriate nail colour soon, if I can ever get around to photographing them. 

Instead I'm posting swatches of a similar shade that I wore one week in September, to a bunch of important school meetings. This is OPI Shanghai Shimmer.

I would describe Shanghai Shimmer as a light berry-toned colour with a subtle green flash. If it weren't for the green shimmer running throughout, this would be a total grandma colour. It sort of reminded me of China Glaze Chiaroscuro, which is a colour I've been passing over for ages and ages...I continually pick it up and note its unique combination of colour and shimmer, and I always put it back down after a second thought. I don't think they're dupes though. Shanghai Shimmer is probably more pink, though I can't compare them directly so I might be wrong...

As you can see from the bottle shot, the green shimmer is most evident in the bottle. I bought this particular shade at a Publix in Fort Myers, FL, literally minutes before heading to the airport. It was the shimmer that got me. I mean, LOOK.

But the shimmer gets lost a bit when it gets to the nail. It's definitely there, but it's not as in your face as it could be. You can see from the flash shots how gorge the shimmer is in bright light.

Just looking at these swatches makes me feel like putting this colour on again, for my next interview on Monday. It's just too pretty! 

You probably won't be seeing me here again for awhile, but one can hope. I'm working (sorta) hard on becoming employed once I leave school this year, so the blog has slid down considerably on the priorities list. 

Wish me luck, guys! (Please?)

November 09, 2012

Dupe Alert!: Urban Outfitters Sea Dust (for Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream)

Let me take you back to the beginning of August.  (Cue cheesy flashback sequence)

If you remember from previous blog posts, I went on a vacation to Florida in August. In between chillin' at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (life goal complete, by the way) and layin' out on the beach, I found some time to squeeze in some polish shopping here and there. One such "squeezed in" occurrence was the time that my mom and I tried on Deborah Lippmann polishes at both Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

Needless to say, I'm sure the staff was probably not pleased with the two Asian ladies dressed in bermuda shorts and flip flops taking advantage of the testers at the Lippmann counter.

I went absolutely gaga for Mermaid's Dream (naturally), and like an IDIOT I failed to buy it while on vacation despite its lower price in the US and a buy 2 get one free sale at Nordstrom on my last day there. Devastation set in at the airport while I was waiting for my flight.

LUCKILY, as it was summertime and I had copious amounts of free time on my hands, I was able to power through endless google searches for "Mermaid+Dream+Dupe". This is what I came up with, after about page 8 or 9 of the search results:

Aside from a few little differences in texture, Sea Dust from Urban Outfitters squashed my (pricey) lemming for Mermaid's Dream.

Sea Dust is a mixture of very fine seafoam glitter in a clear base with larger round blue glitter mixed in. I don't have any comparison shots to the actual Lippmann polish, but from what I've seen on the blogosphere, they are similar enough to not need to own both. I've read somewhere that the texture of Mermaid's Dream is much rougher and unique, but to be honest the only reason I wanted it in the first place was the colour, and Sea Dust has that spot on.

The biggest bonus of Sea Dust is its price. I bought Sea Dust with another Lippmann dupe for $8 ($4 each, plus tax). The Lippmann would have cost me at least $22 had I bought it at home, $18USD if I bought it while on vacation.

Don't you love a good deal when you see one? :D

November 05, 2012

Flashback: Happy Halloween!

(EDIT: So I totally just failed at technology -- I wrote this post ON HALLOWEEN, thinking that I had published it, but it turns out that I never did. WHOOPS! Secondly, I actually never had time to post that "more on that later" since Halloween because I've been so swamped with schoolwork and I took a me-day yesterday, so... :$)

I told myself I would never write a blog post in class, but here we are. (I'm bored as f*** right now, but I can't be bothered to do anything more interesting.)

With Halloween being only 3 days after my birthday, I actually did not do a Halloween-themed manicure this year because my birthday one was so labour intensive that I had to keep it on for at least a few days. I did have some Sally Hansen Salon Effects on last week to make up for it, but more on that later. Instead, I'm going to show you what I had on last year. LAME.

Except not, because it was pretty epic.

I used Color Club Almost Famous as a base and then I used scotch tape to mark off the bottom part of my nail before putting on one coat of Joe Fresh Crush. I ended up free-handing the white tips with Sally Hansen White On because I simply did not have the patience to wait for the lower coats of polish to dry enough to stick tape onto them -- I remember trying after a coat of Seche Vite, but even still the polish underneath lifted straight off.

I did this on my birthday last year, as a treat to myself for finishing my patho midterm. Can you guess what it is? If you can't, I hope you know that I'm judging you pretty hard right now.

Can you at least guess what (or who) my thumb was supposed to be?

I couldn't resist. .Cute little Frankenstein thumbs? Be still my beating heart!

I used China Glaze Entourage which is a light lime green with green shimmer running through it. The hair was painted on with a black striper in no particular pattern over the tip of my nail. The eyes were done using the end of a paintbrush, as this was my pre-dotting tool era. (Can you tell?)

Here's the whole hand:


Needless to say, I didn't go out that Halloween. Can't remember exactly why not, but it was probably some BS (cPhm) midterm or another. My cuticles were looking pretty awful...must have been my pre-body butter days, as well.

This year, I totally copped out. I only wish I had the time to do an epic design, but...oh well. Nail strips next?

October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

It's no secret to anybody that I am an absolute coffee FIEND. (I am a fiend for many things - it should really be on my resume.) This fact has very little to do with anything, but at the same time it has to do with EVERYTHING about this post. 

When I started at U of T, I hated coffee. Couldn't stand the stuff. I once went to Starbucks, ordered a Vanilla Latte thinking it would be like a Tim Horton's French Vanilla, took three sips, and then threw it out because it "tasted too much like coffee". Then, one day, everything changed:

My BFF (omg, can't believe I'm using that term again. kill me now), who despised coffee as I did, suggested that I try a gateway drug...I mean, Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

This happened:

And now, I can't get enough of the stuff. It was a steep and slippery slope leading from PSLs to my apparent coffee addiction today. Why am I telling you this?

  1. I am most likely enjoying a Venti PSL as you read this to help me take away the pain of the exam I just wrote
  2. This next colour I'm about to show you reminds me of my most beloved Starbucks favourite

Essence Colour & Go in Gorgeous Bling Bling is a burnt orange shade filled with gold flecks. It's a gorgeous colour that just screams, FALL!

The formula was flawless as always: could have gotten away with a single coat if applied more carefully. Also, is anyone else totally digging how even the cap has gold flecks in it? I think it's a great special touch to the packaging to have the lid match the colour on the inside, down to the gold flecks.

Personally, though, I think this shade leans a little bit too red/brown for it to be flattering to my warm skin tone. I think this would look amazing on somebody much paler or less...yellow. (Just keeping it real.) Nevertheless, it is a wonderful fall colour and even though it's not my cup of tea, it certainly is like a cup of PSL. :D

I'm really impressed by these little Essence polishes. They're affordable, they're cute, and the colour selection has been exquisite. I'm excited to see what shades they'll come up with next!

October 28, 2012

Cupcakes, Glitter, and Rhinestones, oh my!

At the beginning of the school year, I told myself that I wouldn't let myself get behind on anything: school work, social life, extracurriculars, and this blog. Sixty days later, and I'm 0 for 4 -- especially when it comes to posting on here. 

BUT today is my BIRTHDAY, so as a present to myself, I'm going to try and get caught up. (Or, at the very least, I'm going to post my birthday mani.) It's my last year of school, and it's only fitting that, after 4 consecutive years of birthday midterms, I should have one last birthday midterm to deal with before I get the heck outta here. 

The concept for my birthday mani flip flopped through a number of different concepts, many involving Halloween nail appliques, gold leaf, and glow in the dark nail polish. I tried to combine all the ideas in my head, but when I finally got down to painting in all the base colours, it looked so tacky I could have died...sort of like a skittles mani on acid. So I made an executive decision: to bring on the bling.

Lightbox (more colour accurate)


I used Nubar Violet Sparkle (3 coats) on the pinky, middle, and index fingers. Violet Sparkle is mixture of densely packed, finely milled glitter in a purple base. The purple leans more to the red side than to the blue, as seen in the lightbox pictures, which are more colour accurate. I do have to warn you, however, that this one is topcoat hungry. I used 2 coats of clear polish + 1 coat of Revlon Quick Dry, and it still feels gritty.

The cupcake was a last minute addition to this ensemble. I love cupcakes, I love to make them, so why wouldn't they be featured in my birthday mani? I painted a french tip on my ring finger with Essie's She's Picture Perfect and used a striping brush to paint on the stripes in Joe Fresh Iris. The icing was painted on using a large dotting tool, and the sprinkles with a small dotting tool.

And just in case there wasn't enough bling already:

I have never actually used rhinestones before, and when I bought these at Walmart I thought that they were simply rhinestone "stickers", so I waited for my 2 coats of Iris to dry before I even opened the package. Lesson learned.

Blurry shot to show off the SPARKLE
I ended up using a wooden cuticle stick dipped in clear polish to help me place the rhinestones, which worked well enough. The sheer number of rhinestones I used was just cray. The second "2" is a little wonky just because I didn't have enough space for it. :S

By the time I finished the "22" on my left thumb, I was in no mood to do it all over again on my right, so instead I stuck with a simpler (but by no means easier) heart design:

Right Thumb

Despite the fact that I didn't end up putting in my most extravagant ideas into my birthday manicure, I'm pretty pleased by how it turned out. It took forever to do, but I would say it was worth it if only just to have awesome nails on this gloomy, rainy day.

Back to work, I guess. :(  Happy Birthday to Me!

September 26, 2012

OMG: Oh My Glitter!

Good morning! I hope everyone's week started well. Mine was just barely tolerable, to be honest, but I'm sitting here writing up this blog post to cheer me up.


I have a swatch here from this epic haul of shame that I got within days of school starting this year. It included, but was not limited to several new Essence Colour & Go polishes, plus a crapload of different funky pairs of earrings. I was looking for Essence I'm the Boss, but unfortunately that particular colour was either sold out or not currently on sale at Shoppers.

This, the first of 6 (or 7, I lost count) polishes, is Oh My Glitter:

Oh My Glitter is a medium purple with pink and blue micro glitter. A bunch of the new Essence shades have this wicked micro glitter running through them, and they're all stunning. This is no exception!

The formula was, as with all Essence polishes, was awesome. I used 2 coats, and although I got full coverage, these pictures make me think that a 3rd coat wouldn't have hurt. Maybe. I can't tell if those are bald spots or just reflections of light.

This colour was absolutely gorgeous. I almost didn't want to take this one off! I don't have any other purples in my collection that have this exact shade of purple, nor do I have any with this pretty shimmery glitter.  These new Essence polishes retail for $1.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

(Sidenote, has anybody seen the season premiere of How I Met Your Mother? Holy awesome.)

September 24, 2012

Turning Green

There goes yet another unproductive weekend. I swear, if I don't start doing stuff I'm actually going to die under the mountain of assignments and topics I'm going to need to cover before midterms.

So here I am with another post.

I have my priorities in order, clearly.

This next manicure I did a week or two ago in an attempt to squeeze out the last seconds of summer in the first days of school. The colour is Icing Little Blue Box, which I'm assuming is supposed to refer to Tiffany, but...this colour is definitely not Tiffany blue. It's more of a blue-leaning aquamarine. It applied nicely enough in two thick coats.

What I did next was inspired by The Polishaholic, Barielle's Do Unto Others and Buddha-ful were 2 colours that I had as lemmings in the past, more or less killed with the Finger Paints Flecked collection (in the case of Buddha-ful), or forgotten.

On top of Little Blue Box, I did 2 coats of Finger Paints Flecked, my favourite green-blue flakie polish. The results were stunning -- I could not take my eyes off my fngers.

HOWEVER, not everything was nice and perfect and ocean-y. I enjoyed the blue hue of the polish and the shifting of the blue and green flakies against it. I went to bed thinking all was ewell with the world.

Something happened with the pigmentation of the polish!

When I took the above picture, I didn't notice that any colour changing had occurred. I noticed as I was leaving for school the following morning, when I realized that my nails were now bright green instead of aqua. The yellow pigment of the polish must have been drawn out by the base of the flakie polish. It looked totally different from before! I wish I would have snapped a picture to show it  to you guys,.

I kept this on for about 2 days. I would have done longer if the colour had remained true to what it looked like upon application. Don't get me wrong: both these polishes are awesome, but maybe they  shouldn't be used together without waiting for proper drying time in between layers.

This colour sure was a beauty, and I can't wait to wear it on its own next time so we can truly appreciate its loveliness. :)

September 20, 2012

Something A Little Less Epic


I feel like I haven't posted anything in ages, since I've scheduled the last 10 or so posts from before school started. On paper I'm up to my eyeballs in things to do, but there's still some part of me that's in denial and still chillin' on vacation mode. 

This is my last year in school, and that coupled with my extracurriculars, I often stay up late (ish) to get some extra work in. I just wasn't feeling it tonight. Falling asleep on top of my keyboard every 5 seconds, making some useful additions to my drug chart.

I should hope Angioedemafgfffffffffffffffffffffffffg is rare. It sounds terrible.
Anyway, the point of it all is that I was ready to head off to bed, despite the fact that I'd promised myself that I would come on here and get caught up on my posting. How sad it is, that I'm behind not only on schoolwork but on this too? Crazy. I'm even falling asleep as I write this.  bnhhgggggggggggggggggggggggg

What brought me here was this post on my friend's awesome blog. Which is 8261024842804 times more well written than mine. So in response, I'm bringing you something much less epic than Pikachu nails.

This is OPI Danke-shiny Red. I don't usually do reds, but I had a meeting coming up and I couldn't show up with the lined paper nails I had on right before this.

Danke-Shiny Red is a true red with shimmer that makes it almost feel metallic. This was one of those impulse buys, mostly due to the name. It was just too cute.

So there you have it. A post. A single post. With something very non-remarkable.

It's probably safe to assume that the days of nail art and epic ideas are behind us. It's going to be solid colour city over here for the next few weeks. YOU'RE WELCOME, bare rap battle nail.

Good night.  vbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb