Sunday, August 30, 2015

Alice + Olivia Fall 2015 Collection for Nails Inc.




Nails Inc. is among my favorite nail polish brands. I love the design of their wide brush, which makes application a breeze, and their opaque formulas cover so well and dry to a glossy finish. When I learned that Nails Inc. had teamed up with New York based fashion label, Alice and Olivia, I knew this would be a collaboration worth investigating! 

The shades in this collection were inspired by Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet's Fall/Holiday 2015 Ready-to-Wear fashion, which is said to have a "sexy 1970s vibe, and a dark, bohemian twist." These limited-edition shades retail for $15 each and are currently available at Sephora and directly from NailsInc.com

There is also a nice little set available for $25 with four mini-sized polishes. It contains the shades Next to Nothing (shown below), as well as three others that are not sold individually, Ruby Night Sky, Gold Goddess, and Paris Rouge


Left to right: Black Diamond, Midnight Merlot, Rosé & Poetry, and Next to Nothing

Midnight Merlot and Black Diamond

Midnight Merlot is a quintessential vampy bordeaux creme shade. I have quite a few similar shades, but I like that this one, despite being very dark, does not cross into almost-black territory (you can see photos of it worn at Really Ree).

If you were to pick up just one shade from the collection, I would recommend Black Diamond. It is my favorite and in my opinion, it is the most unique and fun shade of the bunch. It is a gorgeous, sparkling gunmetal with fine multi-toned microglitter.

Next to Nothing and Rosé & Poetry

Next to Nothing is an opaque, pale beige creme with slight pink tones. This is a perfect, subtle neutral. Everyone should have at least one shade like this in their collection! 

Rosé & Poetry is a beautiful, deep, raspberry creme. Again, there are many similar colors on the market, but this is a nice one with a great formula. This is the sort of classic color that works well year-round, but I think is particularly lovely for the fall!


Left to right: Midnight Merlot, Black Diamond, Rosé & Poetry, and Next to Nothing

What are your thoughts on the Nails Inc. Alice and Olivia collection? Do you have any favorites? I anticipate getting a lot of use out of all four of these! 



Have a great week! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Healthy Glow Powder Duos in Light Brunettes and Natural Blondes


Earlier in the spring Guerlain launched a new range of Healthy Glow Powder Duos ($53/0.35oz), currently offered in four shades categorized in Guerlain's traditional Terracotta "Blondes" and "Brunettes" classification system. From lightest to darkest they are: 00 Clair/Light Blondes, 01 Clair/Light Brunettes, 02 Naturel/Natural Blondes, and 03 Naturel/Natural Brunettes.

You might assume that Guerlain has done the work for us in figuring out which shades are ideal for brunettes and which are best for blondes, but try not to get too hung up on the names. If you're blonde you might be surprised to discover that a "Brunette" shade works much better for you, and vice versa. 

The Blondes have a neutral tan shade with a pink-toned brightening shade, while the Brunettes have a warm tan shade with an apricot brightening shade, in varying degrees of intensity with Light being more pale and Natural being darker. All four of these are sheer, so you do not have to fear looking sunburned or like a strange oompa-loompa, as long as you do not go overboard with the more colorful (crescent) shade. 

It's worth mentioning that these have a noticeable fragrance, described by Guerlain as containing freesia, orange blossom, tonka bean and vanilla notes that "create the sensation of a cocoon" and have "sunny facets that embody the essence of Terracotta." I'm no fragrance expert, but I was not able to detect tonka bean or vanilla, but rather an unidentifiable floral "vintage makeup" sort of scent. It's not something that you would notice once it's on the skin, but you can definitely pick up a waft of scent when you open the compact and brush it on. 

I chose 02 Naturel Blondes (the darker blonde shade) because it provided the most noticeable color, and 01 Light Brunettes (the lighter brunette shade) because I thought a shade with an apricot tone might provide a more natural-looking warmth to the skin. 


Terracotta Joli Teint 02 Naturel / Natural Blondes and 01 Clair / Light Brunettes

On the left is Light Brunettes shown with individual swatches of the tan shade, followed by the apricot, and then both colors mixed together. On the right is Natural Blondes swatched in the same manner. You can see a bit of shimmer in these photos and swatches, which were taken in very bright sunlight, but in softer lighting the shimmer is barely detectable. 

Terracotta Joli Teint 01 Clair / Light Brunettes


Terracotta Joli Teint 02 Naturel / Natural Blondes 


These powders were designed to give a hint of sun-kissed glow to the skin rather than a full-on bronzed effect as can be achieved with the classic Terracotta bronzing powders. I found that they do deliver on this promise: at first when I applied them in the store I was underwhelmed with the pigmentation, but later as I was walking through the mall and caught my reflection in a mirror, I noticed that I looked brighter, healthier and dare I say, more youthful, but in the most subtle of ways. The effect was not something that someone could point to and say, "Oh, she is wearing makeup." It looked like my natural complexion, only better! 

Some might be disappointed if they purchase this product with the intent of using it as a true bronzer. At most, the darker shades could function as a light blush on fair skins. I'm not sure if these will show up well on medium, medium-dark or dark skin tones (for reference I wear MAC NC20 / Bobbi Brown Sand). This is the sort of product I would say is best to try in person to see how it will work for you.


Have you tried any of the Joli Teint powders? If so, let me know your thoughts on these. As always, thanks for stopping by and have a great week! 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chanel Les Beiges Collection Nail Colour for Summer 2015



Happy Saturday everyone! If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen some of these photos. I came across the Summer 2015 "Les Beiges" collection at Nordstrom recently and, being the nail polish fanatic that I am, you know I was unable to go home without at least one of these in my shopping bag! My initial pick was #663 Lovely Beige, but not long afterward I kept thinking, why not get the others and make it a complete set? Yes, I am a little obsessive that way! So here you have a peek at all four of the shades in the collection. 


Left to right: Lovely Beige, Precious Beige, Beige Pur, and Beige Rose 
  
Lovely Beige and Precious Beige 
Lovely Beige (#663) is a light mocha creme with slight rose/red undertones--kind of like a milky hot chocolate with cinnamon! I love shades like this, but tend to be in the mood for them more in the fall or winter. This one has a nice formula that covers evenly and is fully opaque in two coats, but you might even be able to get away with only one.

Precious Beige (#661) is a delicate, warm, flesh/taupe-beige with subtle silver shimmer, which is not very apparent once on the nails, but does lend some dimension. I own similar shades, but the very fine shimmer in this one makes it unique in my collection. No complaints about the formula, but note that it is somewhat sheer so you will probably need to apply three coats if you prefer opaque coverage.    

Precious Beige and Beige Pur 
Beige Pur (#659) is a pale, sheer buff beige without any shimmer. This is one of my favorites. It is the most neutral of the bunch, and is a perfect shade to achieve a natural but polished look, suitable for any occasion. I wouldn't be surprised to find a dupe for this from Essie or a number of other brands--but let's face it, not many other brands feel quite as luxurious as Chanel!

Beige Rose (#655) is obviously not a beige at all, but this pretty and feminine ballet pink creme ties in nicely with the color story of the Les Beiges collection. One caveat, and it could just be the bottle I got, but this particular shade seems to require a little more care than the others to avoid streaking.   


Beige Pur and Beige Rose 

One coat
Two coats
Three coats 

Overall, this is a nice selection of easy-to-wear shades. I can't say that any of them are groundbreaking or statement colors, but I reckon that is not to be expected within a "Les Beiges" collection. Instead, they are the type of elegant and understated shades that will stand the test of time.



Wishing everyone a safe and relaxing Memorial Day!