Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NOTD: OPI Samoan Sand, mattified!

I wore Illamasqua Fern and Essie Vermillionaire over the weekend (separate days!) and I was feeling the need for a palate cleanser to start the work week. I decided on one of my old "go-to" nudes, OPI Samoan Sand.

I am Chinese and my skin has a lot of yellow undertones, so most nudes are too pink for me (don't get me started on OPI Tickle My France-y!!!) I'm happy to report that Samoan Sand is one of the best nudes I've found (so far) for my skintone. Although it has a strong yellow base, it doesn't look unnatural because it is not totally opaque.

Here is the swatch that I think I've posted before: 3 coats, pretty good formula, imo.

And here is actually how I'm wearing it today: mattified

I saw a picture on NB of a matte nude and wanted to try it. I'm not totally sure how I feel about it. I think it looks different, but kind of weird. It is growing on me, though. Of course, I got some black lint in two of the nails (HOW DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN?!) so I am eyeing the remover already. LOL.

So, tell me what you think and what your go-to nude is. I need to keep searching for my perfect mannequin shade!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Illamasqua Raindrops

Hi hi, guys!

About two and a half weeks ago, I pounced on the Illamasqua UK site's sale... because they had Raindrops for 5 GBP! I placed an order for 6 bottles of polish (they had a couple other colours on the 5GBP sale) and it came to about $63 USD, shipped. Shipping was 8.50 GBP (that seems to be the minimum for 1 bottle; I ordered 6 to make it a better deal) and it arrived from the UK in about 2 weeks. Some girls on NB got them in just over a week!

They surprisingly still have Raindrops in stock! Here's the link to the 5GBP sale, if you're interested. They have other makeup ... stuff, but I am a dunce when it comes to makeup, so I can't help you there.

I had always admired this shade, but since it was a UK exclusive, I never really allowed myself to seriously lem after it. I actually almost purchased it last month when Illamasqua UK had a free international shipping code promo for orders over 40 GBP, but Raindrops was still full priced (13.50 GBP, about $20-22 USD depending on the exchange rate these days). That was way too pricey for me, so I reluctantly passed. When I got the 5 GBP sale notice, my heart skipped a beat and I checked the list of polishes and was floored to see Raindrops there. So I ordered. Yay! Patience paid off for once! :)

So long story short, I have this beautiful polish in my possession now! And I'm going to show you pictures of it... now.

Illamasqua Raindrops - 2 coats. I had read that this polish was notoriously sheer (nature of the beast, otherwise the glitter-flakes would not be visible on the nail), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that 2 coats on my little nubs seemed fine! I could have used a third coat on my thumb, but since my thumb is not pictured... you would not know that. Formula was a little thick, but not difficult to work with.

Here's a shoddy comparison with the two closest things I have in my stash. Totally worth having all three, bwahahahaha. I am a slave to light bluish greys.

Before I took it off, I wanted to see how DL Glitter in the Air would pair with it. Here's 2 coats of GitA over Illamasqua Raindrops:

Yay, I'm so happy! :D

Still planning our Japan/Korea trip, and of course, work is getting insanely busy these few weeks. Why is it always feast or famine in consulting? It is hard to keep a work-life balance, yo! So I will be working from home for part of the weekend... booooo.

Anyway, let me ask you, since I am out of the makeup loop these days, are there any Japanese or Korean "wonder" products I should keep an eye out for? Anything from face wash to mascara to lip gloss. Is there something I should keep my eyes peeled for?

Hope you guys have a better weekend than me... :')

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zoya Jana, Petra, and Neeka

Hey guys! Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was very low-key and lazy... as usual.

Early last week, I caved and ordered 3 Zoyas using the 2-free-polishes code (the promotion is now over!). I didn't plan on it. It just happened. You know how it goes.

I ordered Jana, Petra, and Neeka. They are all from Zoya's fall collection, Smoke & Mirrors.

I placed the order on Tuesday, it shipped on Thursday, and arrived on Saturday. Do you know why? Because it shipped USPS First Class Mail. None of that Fedex Smartpost crap that usually happens with my Zoya orders. WOOHOO!!

Before I post the pics, apologies for a) the uneven nail lengths and b) the lack of clean up.

I accidentally cut the free edge of my pink nail last week, so had to nubbinize it to the quick. The rest of my nails looked way too long, so I filed them down as best I could. Unfortunately, I have a long nail bed on my index finger, so that is protruding (rudely) in these pictures. Since I will need to reswatch these again anyways, I decided to be lazy and not clean up! But then I wanted to share the comparisons... so here we are. I hope you can forgive me O_o

Ok, disclaimer aside, here are the pics:

Zoya Jana - 2 coats, nice formula

I was hoping it would be a dupe for SH Concrete... I mean, bottle pics look promising, amirite?

Comparison: Zoya Jana and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Concrete

Um, no, wtf?! The Zoya dries SO much darker than bottle colour >< More than usual!!

It's actually closer to Revlon Stormy / SH Commander in Chic / Rimmel Steel Grey / Confetti Moonstruck / China Glaze Below Deck / Essie Merino Cool / ... you get the picture

Comparison: Zoya Jana and Revlon Stormy

Since Revlon Stormy is basically my HG taupe, I don't need to keep Jana in my stash. I don't like it when taupes pull purple on me (without being straight-up purple) so out this goes.

Zoya Petra - 2 coats, the formula is a little thinner than Jana, but it's still pigmented. Sorry about the cuticle drag on the middle finger. I was antsy.

So this, I was hoping would be a dupe for Nina Never Glum Plum, my only Nina polish. I don't like having single bottle brands in my stash, so I was hoping to replace it with a Zoya! Tell me I'm not crazy for thinking this way.

Comparison: Zoya Petra and Nina Never Glum Plum

I don't think it shows in the pics, but Petra is a tiny bit darker and more purple than the Nina. The formulas are nearly identical, but I prefer the colour and brush on the Nina. So no luck getting rid of that single bottle!!

Essie Smokin' Hot and Sally Hansen Grey Area should both be very close to Petra as well, so I would pass on this if you have either of those (or the Nina).

I have already swapped my bottle of Zoya Kelly, but it's really different from Petra. Here's a comparison at Haute Lacquer if you can't find a comparison!

Okay so... 2 are already in my swap pile. *facepalm* BUT, not all is lost...!

ZOYA NEEKA!!! - 2 beautiful, smooth pigmented coats.


As you probably realized, pretty much all my pics are taking with diffused flash, so it shows off the polish a bit better than under regular lighting.

However, I took a pic with my new P&S camera to show you that even using a worse camera and under awful lighting, the polish is still very special:

(Ugh, I swear, this picture looked perfectly exposed on the LCD, but then I transferred it to my computer and it looks like this dark, broody mess! Sorry guys!!)

So yes. I whole heartedly recommend Neeka. I was going to compare this to RBL Catherine, but I have already swapped it. This is better than RBL Catherine, just trust me on that.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nfu Oh 63

Hi guys! Sorry I am a bit MIA, we are busy planning our vacation next month! DBF and I are going on a 2 week trip to Japan and South Korea. Lots to do! Any recommendations for places to see, places to eat, and places to shop? :)

I wore Nfu Oh 63 this weekend, an untried. Here it is 2 coats over 1 coat of Barielle Manicure extender as my base (I was too cheap to buy the Aqua base, but I have yet to have a problem using a qdtc as my base so far!).

With diffused flash

No flash, just standing under my room lights (yellow bulbs, obviously!)

No flash, but in the corner of my room, not right under the room lights

No sun pics, since it's cloudy out!

I already know about the Nfu Oh store in Seoul... I am definitely planning an excursion there :D Though, I haven't decided how many bottles of polish to buy on my trip or how much to spend. What do you think is reasonable for a 2 week trip...?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Butter London Wallis

I finally got my BL Wallis in the post from Nordies! I was really dying for this polish, but after receiving it, I'm not sure if I love it.

The finish is beautiful. It's foil-y and darkened at the edges. The formula is great; it was opaque in two coats. But I don't think the colour is flattering on my skintone. Bahhh. Since I decided only to keep polishes I love, I'm afraid I need to either take this back or swap it.

I'll at least wait for DBF's shoes to come in (somehow my polish got here faster than the shoes he ordered at Nordies) in case he needs to make an exchange as well. I'd like to take a look at the other fall BL polishes. Maybe I can find something I like better! :)

By the way, this is not a Nordstrom's exclusive. They just got the fall collection early, I think. But I've heard that Wallis was available at Ulta even before Nordies. Soooo, if this is your type of colour, and Nordies is too far, try Ulta!

Here's a bottle pic along with ChG Zombie Zest and OPI At Your Quebec & Call:

Here are the comparisons on the nail. Sorry I don't own Chanel Peridot.

Comparison: BL Wallis (2 coats) and China Glaze Zombie Zest (3 coats) - In person, the ChG is a lot more "snotty" looking. You guys all know how it looks :)

Comparison: BL Wallis (2 coats) and OPI At Your Quebec & Call (3 coats) - Similar base colour, but the finishes are completely different. Also BL Wallis is a little more yellow-greenish.

Comparison: BL Wallis (2 coats) and ChG Zombie Zest (1 coat) layered over OPI At Your Quebec & Call (3 coats) - This combination is sort of an approximation of BL Wallis. Not the same finish exactly, but if you aren't sure about this colour, maybe you can try this combo out.

I hope you guys had a good weekend. Mine was nice. DBF's family is really sweet and low-maintenance (compared to some of my friend's SO's family!). I went to Six Flags Great Adventure (the one in Jersey) with DBF's youngest brother (who is around 14, I think) and his cousin (she is late 20s) and we had a great time... although it was incredibly hot and the lines were horribly long. LOL.

We went on this roller coaster called Kingda Ka:

Here's a video I found on youtube of the front seat view:

It was amazing.

Ok, toodles! :)