28 Sep 2010

Fall Nailpolish Haul

Eeeee! Polish overload! I'm a huge polish junkie and I could not wait to get this order in. Fall can officially commence now; my nails will be in style. I picked up some from the new Orly Cosmic FX collection, some Color Club, and China Glaze. I've also got two of the new Illamasqua nailpolishes that debuted out with their Art of Darkness collection. OK let's get right to the pictures! (Names are all left to right, click on the pictures for full size.)


Orly: Space Cadet, It's Not Rocket Science, Halley's Comet, Glitz & Glamour

Color Club Jewel of a Girl, China Glaze Wagon Trail, China Glaze Short & Sassy

Illamasqua: Viridian, Scarab


Now on to some detailed swatches and my overall thoughts of these polishes...


Orly: Halley's Comet, Space Cadet, It's Not Rocket Science, Glitz & Glamour

Halley's Comet: Intense turquoise multi-chrome with flashes of green, teal and gold with a unique finish. It's hard to describe the finish, it's a mixture between glass flecked, shimmer and foil.

Space Cadet: Multi-chrome color with flashes of lavender, gold, green and olive. This is so unique, I don't have any polish like this. It reminds me of an oil slick shimmering in the sunlight. Again, has that same foil/shimmer/glass-flecked type of finish. This needed 3 coats, but I think I'll try layering this over a black next time so that you don't get the "visible nail line". This colour is a must-have if you are into unique polishes.

It's Not Rocket Science: Green multi-chrome with flashes of golden olive and teal. Apparently China Glaze Zombie Zest from their new Halloween collection is supposed to be a dupe of this, but I can't say for sure (it was sold out when I placed my order.) Love this color!

Glitz & Glamour: This is a part of the Orly Holiday 2010 collection and I love it. It's a very warm toned gold (leaning almost to a golden copper) with a strong foil finish. I can't wait to wear this at Christmas time as it reminds me of gold ribbon, or golden Christmas tree ornaments.

China Glaze Wagon Trail, China Glaze Short & Sassy, Color Club Jewel of a Girl

Wagon Trail: Hotness in a bottle! A very dark olive green which glows from within, and runs to nearly black around the edges. It flashes intense golden olive in the sunlight. Applies like a dream too - I can't wait to do a full manicure with this. This originally came out in fall 2008 with the Rodeo collection, but it's still amazing now.

Short & Sassy: A rich magenta burgundy which also has that "lit from within" look and darker around the edges. Originally released with the fall 2009 Retro Diva Collection. It reminds me of cranberries - perfect for winter.

Jewel of a Girl: A deep maroon burgundy leaning to the brown side. I love this shade for fall, I'm just automatically drawn to these aubergine type of colors at this time of year.

China Glaze Branding Iron (for comparison), Illamasqua Scarab, Illamasqua Viridian

Scarab: A blend of copper, deep red and maroon is how I would describe this shade, with a beautiful shimmer finish, leaning to metallic. I've included a picture of China Glaze Branding Iron as a comparison but as you can see, it's not a perfect dupe. The colors are fairly similar but Scarab is a bit more coppery, and Branding Iron is a deeper red. Although, if you already own Branding Iron, it's probably not necessary to own both.

Viridian: Another beautiful green for fall! A mix of forest green and deep teal is how I would describe this colour, and the opacity is amazing as well. This has a strong shimmery finish. Actually, both Scarab and Viridian would make great holiday colors as well - I'm envisioning a manicure of Scarab with Viridian as an accent color on one nail. Must try that out for the holidays!


Where to buy:

(Both offer international shipping, Trans Design has a flat rate option of $18 for 9 regular sized polish bottles. I ordered this time at Head2Toe as TD were sold out of some colours.)

Illamasqua polishes available at:





Disclosure: Illamasqua provided their polishes to me for review. All other polishes seen here were purchased by myself.

27 Sep 2010

What I hate the most...

…is the post-Halloween-tutorial-filming clean-up! It gets like this every single time after filming an elaborate look. Not my favorite part of the whole process but it's usually a sign that I've put in some effort. :)

I just filmed another look tonight, I'm really liking how it turned out! My next video will be another Halloween tutorial.


 




26 Sep 2010

Rihanna Who's That Chick Look




I decided to try to recreate the look that Rihanna wears in her latest video (Doritos commercial? Whatever!) because I loved the bright colors. This look would be perfect for those with darker skin as well. This is definitely a very dramatic look perfect for a music video, it could definitely be more toned down for a more wearable look. I'd go for a natural and less bright application of the blush, and use the same colors for the eyeshadow but maybe make them more muted and less intense.




Products I used:

Face
Nars Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc, Nars blush in Crazed and Desire

Eyes
Mehron Tropical Palette (yellow facepaint), Ben Nye shadows in Sun Yellow, Chartreuse, Dark Brown, MAC Carbon & Dazzlelight, MAC Feline kohl pencil, Max Factor mascara in black

Lips
MAC Chatterbox, Margaret Astor lipgloss

Nailpolish
Barry M - Limited Edition Pink, China Glaze - Sexagon






23 Sep 2010

Urban Decay haul and fall nails

I recently acquired the Urban Decay Naked Palette, thanks to a very nice Swiss subscriber of mine who offered to custom purchase one for me on her trip to London. (A custom purchase, aka CP, is when someone buys you something and sends you the product, and you pay them back for it. This is sometimes done for hard to find products.) Since Urban Decay isn't available in Switzerland, I was so happy to get my hands on this! (Thank you Fabienne!)


It comes with 12 neutral color eyeshadows, a mini Primer Potion, and a dual end 24/7 eyeliner in black (Zero) and brown (Whiskey). This palette has been much discussed in the beauty world, and I've heard from some it's a little bit hard to come by in the States now. For what it's worth, it's available at Sephora and Ulta in the USA, and House of Fraser, Debenham's and Boots in the UK. Ordering online through those sites might be your best bet.

For internationals, I contacted HQhair.com before I obtained this one, and was informed by a customer rep: "I can confirm that we will be stocking this item and it will be in stock at the end of this month." So fret not if you don't have it yet, and please don't pay exorbitant ebay prices for it! Don't quote me on this, but I think HQhair ships worldwide, hopefully that will count for this palette too.

Please don't expect any tutorials with this quite yet, I'm currently still ploughing through Halloween looks. Maybe I'll have time to do a look with this before Halloween is over but I can't promise anything.

Lastly I wanted to show you one of my favorite nailpolishes for fall. I give you China Glaze "Foxy".


It's a bit more brown toned in real life, but I absolutely love this shade for fall; the perfect blend of copper, brown and red. I do believe I'll be wearing this loads!

That's it for today. My mother is visiting this weekend for a few days, so I probably won't be around much. So wishing you an early happy weekend!

xx

19 Sep 2010

Visual Kei Extravaganza!





Oh how long I've wanted to do a Visual Kei look! It's been frequently requested as well and since Halloween is coming up, what better time to do it? If you're unfamiliar with what Visual Kei is, please read this Wikipedia article. In short, it's a style of dress, flamboyant hairstyles, makeup and culture associated with a popular form of music, which is a mixture of rock, metal and punk. The Visual Kei movement originated in Japan in the late 80s and 90s, but has spread to other parts of the world over time.





Products used:

Face
Dinair airbrush foundation mixed with white for pale effect

Eyes
MAC Carbon e/s, MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack, false lashes (generic brand purchased at Daiso), rhinestones, Duo lash glue

Lips
Essence black eyeliner, MAC Go For It lipstick, purple and purple duochrome e/s from Calypso Minerals (discontinued brand)


Link to my video tutorial on Youtube

17 Sep 2010

First Class Ticket

Today I did a manicure with China Glaze First Class Ticket from their Vintage Vixen fall 2010 collection. What a lovely blurple shimmer! Yes, I  went there. It's blue and purple! Oh blurpley goodness how I love thee, thy blue flecks shimmer so lovely in a sea of purple.




*sigh*

Love the formula on this one too! A smooth liquid but opaque in two coats, and very easy to apply. China Glaze is one of my favorite brands because of it, not to mention their unique colour palette.

I also went the whole nine yards and cleaned up the gap edges with acetone and a filbert brush. That's why this manicure looks so neat. It's a bit of a tedious process but it makes a huge difference I think. Maybe I'll do a tutorial on that someday…

Oh, I did a review of the whole collection a while back, check it out if you missed it.



16 Sep 2010

Back on Lilash

So I've been back on Lilash for a few months now and my lashes have reached their maximum splendor again so I thought I would show the reults. I don't have a good "before" picture because I forgot to take one, but this is pretty much how my lashes look now. All I'm wearing here on my lashes is Max Factor Lash Extension mascara, no eyeliner or shadow whatsoever. My natural lashes are quite unspectacular without using Lilash.




I apply the Lilash both on my top and bottom lashes each night before going to bed, just a tiny smidgeon will do (no need to re-dip to apply more product.) It does take a while to see results but I think it's worth it. I don't quite like how the lashes are curled here - I'll blame that on my cheap lash curler.

*Makes mental note to buy either a Japonesque or Shu Uemura lash curler when I get the chance.*

This mascara is actually pretty awesome for lengthening. This is Max Factor Lash Extension Effect.



It has one of those spiky rubber wands which is very long and thin, which is great for getting to the inner and outer corners of your eye, as well as the lower lashes. There's been similar wands as this seen on other brands like Cover Girl, and even high end like Lancome and Dior. But often these brushes are much thicker, making it hard to get a nice application.

This mascara really does "lengthen" my lashes, but does virtually nothing in the thickening department. It's also virtually impossible to get clumps with this mascara, even after several coats. Overall I'm pretty pleased with this, and reach for it often when I want a natural but long lash effect.

I made a video about Lilash back in February, talking about my overall experience with it, pros and cons, etc. I'll re-post it here for good measure - if you have any questions, please watch it first.



If you're interested in purchasing Lilash, you can do so here - that's where I got mine:

LiLash - Purified Eyelash Stimulator

15 Sep 2010

Essie Van D'Go Comparisons

Essie released Van D'Go nail polish in their Art of Spring 2010 collection, and it was an instant favorite for many nail polish connoisseurs. Some said it was a dupe for MAC Seasonal Peach which was a limited edition product released some years ago. While I don't have that particular shade, I thought I'd compare the Essie to some similar products I own.

Left to right: Barry M Baby Pink, Essie Van D'Go, Barry M Lilac

Barry M Lilac isn't really a good match at all as it has a cool lilac undertone, but not nearly as lilac as some other polishes. It's a really pretty polish in it's own right; I would describe it as a pink-lilac.

Left to right: Barry M Baby Pink, Essie Van D'Go, Barry M Lilac

And again the same swatches in slightly different lighting…



So really none are a true dupe of the lovely Essie. Van D'Go is a beautiful pastel peach shade, with just the right blend of coral, peach and pink. It's also really opaque, unlike other more sheer versions of this type of shade. It's not too orangey - much less orange than Tart Deco which was released with the same collection. The only gripe I have with it (and every other Essie polish I own) is the application. It just doesn't go on as smoothly or evenly as other brands, such as OPI. Something about the formula makes it really thick and almost gloopy, and I just hate the non-descript Essie brush which is round and thin and makes an even application really hard. I tend to get it all over my cuticles, and I often don't have time to spend on meticulous clean-up.



Nonetheless it's a really pretty color and I do love it! Who cares if fall is coming, this shade just makes me happy.

14 Sep 2010

Model's Own Purple Gray nailpolish



A while ago I blogged about the 50% off sale that Models Own was planning once they reach 10,000 followers on their Facebook page. Well, that sale has come and gone but a haul was indeed made. I have a full video coming up soon and lots of swatches.

But I wanted to give you a little preview of one of my favorites I bought during that sale. This is Model's Own Purple Gray. The name says it all - a nice mix of aubergine and "greige" to create this lovely fall shade. Some have said that it's a good dupe for the outrageously expensive Chanel Paradoxal ($25 and up for a nailpolish? No thanks) only the Paradoxal has a purple shimmer to it whereas the Models Own is a cream finish. But the base color is virtually spot on, and Models Own did have this color first. Was Chanel looking to this company for inspiration? Who knows.

All I know is that I love this color. It's so perfect for fall and is a nice spin on the "dirty" gray and taupe colors we've seen in the last year or so. I shall be wearing this frequently this season!

Model's Own can be bought in the UK at pharmacies, and online though their own website or Asos. Beware of high international shipping fees through their website, but more on that later in my full review!

What's your current favorite nailpolish? Share in the comments :)

xo,

Julia

13 Sep 2010

My Daytime Look

I often get questions from my viewers if I wear the bright and dramatic looks that I create on my Youtube channel out. Well, the answer is, yes sometimes I do - if I'm going out to a club, or to some special event or just when I feel like it. But my day to day makeup look is very simple and pared down. For daytime I usually wear a natural look, something very easy like this:




It just isn't practical to have to touch up and check my makeup all day to see if everything still looks good. And who wants to wear heavy makeup for a long day at the office? So this is more along the lines of what I would throw on day to day.

I focus on getting my skin looking good, reducing under eye dark circles (the plight of porcelain doll fair skin is that circles are really hard to conceal and show up very easily) and adding a touch of color to my face. Either I'll wear a colorful lipstick (red, pink, coral) and go neutral with everything else, or add a nice color of blush on my cheeks. I rarely wear totally nude dead-looking lip products with minimal makeup, it washes me out and makes me look so unhealthy. For neutral lips, I go for the "my lips but better" option.

What I'm wearing today:

Face
Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc, Makeup Forever Lift Conealer Nr. 3

Cheek
Nars Gilda blush, MAC Petticoat MSF

Eyes
MAC Untitled Paint as a base, Shu Uemura shadow in IR 860, MAC Vanilla eyeshadow, Margaret Astor Colour Proof Automatic Eyeliner in 002 Brown, Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara in Black

Lips
MAC Mattene lipstick in Flattering, Body Shop lipgloss in Guava


How do you wear your everyday makeup?

12 Sep 2010

Fall/Winter 2010 Runway Trend Look




This look was inspired by the strongest trend for fall/winter 2010 that we've seen on the runways of Roberto Cavalli, Anna Sui, and Oscar de la Renta. The trend is for rich brown eye makeup with highlights of bronze, gold, or deep auburn and orange tones. Try it out for fall!




Eyes
Urban Decay Primer Potion, MAC Bronze Cream Color Base, MAC eyeshadows in Woodwinked, Mulch and Carbon,  Ben Nye eyeshadows in Toast and Dark Brown, MAC Feline kohl pencil, Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara, Illamasqua Precision Ink in Alchemy

Lips
NYX Perfect lipstick, NYX Lipgloss in Gold, MAC Melon Pigment

Cheek
MAC MSF in Global Glow and Stereo Rose

Nailpolish
Revlon - Plum Attraction


Direct link to my video tutorial

9 Sep 2010

Myths and Legends Inspiration Pt. 2

I thought I'd provide some more inspiration for my Myths and Legends Contest on Youtube and this time provide a few more unique suggestions as to characters or stories you can draw ideas from. You don't have to recreate entire pictures, remember you can take elements from any inspiration to come up with a unique makeup design.


First Nations Masks The myths and legends of the First Nations people in North America can be a rich and endless source of inspiration! Not only are the masks colorful and intricate, but they each hold wonderful mythical stories behind them.











Hindu Mythology Hinduism is a religion rife with mythological gods and deities that are not only colorful but also a great source of inspiration. Some more well-known Hindu gods and godesses are Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, Shakti, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Kali and Rama.












Egyptian Mythology The Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces in themselves. These deified forces included inanimate elements such as air, animal characteristics such as the ferocity of lions, or abstract forces like the authority of kingship. The Egyptians thus believed in a multitude of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and human society. Many gods in Egyptian mythology represent a different force - for example: Amon is associated with wind, Hathor is the goddess of love, dance and alcohol, Horus has the shape of a falcon with the sun and moon as his eyes, Nut was the mother of the sun, moon and heavenly bodies, Osiris is the king of the dead in the netherworld. The possibilities are endless!










Chinese Mythology Historians have conjectured that the Chinese mythology began in the 12th century B.C. The myths and legends were passed down in oral form for over a thousand years. Some myths survive in theatrical or literary formats, as plays or novels.



Nu Kua (Creation Goddess)

Chang Er (Mood Goddess)

Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy)



8 Sep 2010

Illamasqua Precision Ink Liners

Today I've got a review of the new Illamasqua Precision Ink Liners (£16.50) of which there are currently two colors available: Alchemy (gold glitter liner) and Abyss (jet black). They are liquid eyeliners with a felt tip that allow for precise application.


(Left: Alchemy, Right: Abyss)

Alchemy is quite interesting because it's not a typical glitter liner, which is often a clear gel with chunky glitter particles contained therein as I have seen from other brands. Rather, it seems to be a lot of micro-glitter so densely suspended in the liquid that it doesn't separate from glitter particle to the gel. Hard to explain but see what I mean from the picture below.



I decided to compare the Illamasqua liners to some budget alternatives from the drugstore. Below you can see the Illamasqua liners on the right hand side, on the left are two similar products from other brands.

(From left to right: Essence glitter liner in Angel's Eyes, L'Oreal Super Liner in Carbon Gloss, Illamasqua Alchemy, Illamasqua Abyss)


The Essence liner is one of those liners I talked about where the chunky glitter particles are suspensed in clear gel that forms the liner, I had to apply several coats of it to get the color payoff on this picture, whereas Illamasqua's Alchemy (and all other liners seen here) is one stroke.

But where these liners really shine is their longevity in staying power. The Illamasqua Precision Inks just do not fade, and last until the moment you decide to remove them with an oil-based makeup remover. I was told by Illamasqua that the liner contains a special type of adherent that behaves a little bit like cosmetic glue that helps the product to literally stick on, but doesn't contain latex. I noticed this especially with Alchemy. In the picture below, you'll see how all these liners behave after running cold water over them and a little bit of smudging with a finger.


The Essence and L'Oreal liners are well on their way to rubbing off, whereas the Illasmasqua liners still look flawless. In the final picture, I've added more water and rubbed a lot with my fingers.




The Essence and L'Oreal liners have completely rubbed off, and the Illamasqua liners have taken some damage, but are still going pretty strong.

Conclusion:

Hands down, these are the most long-lasting liquid liners I've ever used. The special adherents make for a very strong protective barrier against smudging and bleeding. The only down-side is that removal of these liners does take a little bit longer than conventional liquid liners. You must use an oil-based eye makeup remover doused on a cotton pad to take these off, and avoid scrubbing back and forth. (Baby oil will work in a pinch too.) I found it best to let the cotton pad with the remover sink into the product for a few seconds, then gently dabbing off. Especially with Alchemy, you might see some clear residue that takes a bit longer to remove. I also love the fact that a mixing ball has been added to the product bottle, which makes it much easier to shake up the product before applying.

I'm hoping that Illamasqua comes out with more of these liners, especially in the glitter variety, as Alchemy is really superb. It's easy to use, very opaque in one swipe, and the glitter really stays put. I would love to see these in colors like teal, silver, copper, and purple! I would recommend these liners to people who love wearing the dramatic winged liner and want it to really last all day, or suffer from watery eyes.