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?