Saturday, July 30, 2011

OPI Miss Universe collection

Happy Friday everyone! Yesterday evening I went out with the sole intention to pick up some Italian takeout for dinner, but came home with OPI's new Miss Universe collection. How the heck did that happen?! Well, just two doors down from the Italian restaurant is a little indie nail and beauty supply. It's housed in the tiniest, claustrophobia-inducing space--every inch, top to bottom, is filled with inventory from the most obscure, independent brands to more well-known brands like OPI, Zoya, Essie, Jessica, and Orly. After a long work-week, it's sometimes fun to browse and see what's new or hunt for a long-discontinued treasure hiding on a dusty back shelf. So...being the polish fiend that I am, when I saw the shiny new OPI Miss Universe display beckoning to me I knew I couldn't take just one, and exited the store with a lighter wallet and my little paper bag with all four shades inside. A bit of trivia: this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant and it is scheduled to take place on September 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although I am not what could be considered a true pageant fan, I will probably tune in to check out what the contestants are wearing!

Crown Me Already!

Swimsuit...Nailed It!

Congeniality Is My Middle Name

It's My Year

In indoor lighting above and below:

In sunlight above and below:

Above and below in indoor lighting 

  In sunlight below: 

L-R: Congeniality Is My Middle Name, It's My Year, Crown Me Already!, Swimsuit...Nailed It!

Congeniality Is My Middle Name is a lovely shade to transition to fall. It has very subtle shimmer. With two coats it is a berry shade, but with three it transforms into a deep bordeaux wine.

It's My Year strongly resembles Rally Pretty Pink, the shade that was included in the Serena Glam Slam duo set from earlier this year. It seems to have more purple tones, but has the same sparkly gold foil finish. If you liked Rally Pretty Pink, but missed out on it, or didn't want to purchase the pricey duo set, this is a great substitute!

Crown Me Already! is silver glitter in a clear base. I noticed three different sizes of glitter flakes, but there may be more! If you plan to wear this on its own and want a fairly solid glitter look, three coats will do the job. (All swatches shown above are with two coats.)

Swimsuit...Nailed It! should be seen in person to be fully appreciated. It's very pretty with a coat or two of high-gloss topcoat to really bring out the shimmer. I have a few shimmery blues, but this is one of the more striking ones I've seen. My short, broken-off nails really don't do it justice. Visit Rachel Marie's Nails for a better look at this shade. I think fans of teals and blues will love this one.

Overall this is a nice little collection for those who don't mind a little glitter and shimmer!

On an unrelated note, I recently tweeted a picture to the lovely Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog of my 2 year-old Maine Coon kitty next to Evolution Revolution lip glass, which she created for MAC's Blogger's Obsessions collection. I was honored to see her photo included (along with another of an adorable little parakeet) in this post. I love the smoky-eye look she features here!

Miss Kitty & her EvRev gloss

I'd also like to give a special thanks to:

Sternchenslove for the Sunshine Award. She has a makeup collection to envy and features some of the loveliest eye looks around!  

The Beauty Reductionista for The Liebster Blog Award. She's on a quest for beauty simplicity, and her well-written and entertaining posts are a source of inspiration!

Polarbelle for The Stylish Blogger Award. Her detailed reviews, swatches and photos are a great resource, and I see we share a common love for nail polish! 

Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NARS Delphes shadow trio and Pago Pago lipstick

Hope everyone is having a great week! Here is a closer look at the NARS Fall Collection Trio Eyeshadow Delphes ($45) and Pago Pago Sheer Lipstick ($24). I wore the trio yesterday to work and it creates a very soft green smoky look. The grey is quite sheer, but does make a nicely diffused crease color. The peachy-champagne is useful to add a bit of sparkle and brightens up what could otherwise be a rather somber look (I experienced some fall-out with this one, when I used it without a base). The sage green shade is definitely the most pigmented of the bunch and has a finely milled texture.

Sparkly sheer champagne-peach

Sheer matte dove grey

Shimmery sage-green

Sage plant from the vegetable garden outside my office

Top liner is MAC's Eye Kohl Phone Number & bottom liner is Sephora Nano Eyeliner Soft Brown
Mascara is Make Up Forever's Smoky Lash

Pago Pago Sheer Lipstick

Pictured above and below in sunlight:

Below is a photo in indoor lighting which more accurately reflects the color, which is a semi-sheer nude-pink with silver sparkles:

To see the two items featured here alongside the rest of the NARS Fall 2011 collection, visit earlier post here.

Thank you for stopping by! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NARS Fall 2011

Nars Fall 2011 launched recently in stores and on The collection is described by NARS as "edgy" and "avant-garde." It is definitely not your typical mix of colors. The bold, electric blue matte shadow is especially unexpected among the more subdued dusty rose, taupe, and earthy green and gray shades. I purchased all except for the Mascate Pure Matte lipstick and the Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, but have included below an iPhone photo I took at Nordstrom of these two shades: Train Bleu is eggplant/aubergine (I'd love this as an eye pencil!), and Mascate is an intense red. (The model in the display photo above is wearing Outremer Single Eyeshadow, Rue Saint Honoré Large Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, and Pago Pago Lipstick.) 

For better photos of these two shades as well as the entire collection, visit Makeup and Beauty Blog
Stop by Messy Wands for photos and a review of Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. 
Irish Beauty Blog has product photos and a peek at some of the new Larger Than Life Long-Wear eyeliners. 

Delphes trio eyeshadow: sheer shimmery champagne-peach, matte dove grey, and sage green shimmer

Outremer single eyeshadow: vibrant cerulean blue

Grand Palais duo eyeshadow: silvery-plum-taupe and dusty rose

Oasis blush: brownish plummy-rose with gold shimmer flecks

Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick: bright rosy pink

Pago Pago lipstick: light dusty nude-pink with silver micro-shimmer

Oasis Lip Gloss: mauve-berry, with very subtle gold shimmer  

Galion Nail Polish: grey noir (cream)

Pictured above in sunlight, same order as prior photo
What a difference lighting makes in the way a color appears! In sunlight these almost look like they have blue tones, but they appear more warm-toned under fluorescent lighting. 

Pictured above in indoor lighting

Pictured above in sunlight

Pictured above in flash lighting

L-R: Oasis blush, Montego Bay, Oasis gloss, Pago Pago

Note: In sunlight the blush and lip products appear to be brighter and warmer. 
The flash photos look a bit closer to reality. 

  Oasis gloss does closely resemble Oasis blush, and it has the same tiny flecks of gold shimmer. 
It's a perfect "your lips, but better" shade. 

I wore the Grand Palais duo to work today and below is the quick and basic look I did this morning (had trouble getting these colors to show up well on camera). I used the silvery taupe shade on the lid and the dusty rose in the crease. I don't wear dark pink shadows often, but this one is fairly subtle. I may try using it with chocolate brown or bronze next as I'm not sure I'm loving it this way. I prefer the silvery-taupe shade all on its own, and would have been happy to buy it as a single! If anyone has creative ideas on other ways to use this duo please share! :)  

Montego Bay lipstick topped with Oasis gloss 

At first glance, my favorites from this collection are Oasis gloss, the silvery-taupe half of the Grand Palais duo and the gorgeous soft green shade from the Delphes trio. Although Oasis blush is not new, it's also a long-time favorite. And though it may not be entirely unique, I love Galion nail polish for an intense, glossy, almost-but-not-quite black look. 

Pago Pago is a soft and pretty pink-nude, and the only downside is its micro-shimmers which tend to stick around once the lipstick has worn off. The color of Montego Bay is lovely, but the Pure Matte formula seems to require a few extra steps to make it look decent on me (but this is probably because I am no spring chicken). I usually blot it with my finger to spread it evenly and to make it less bright/intense, and then add gloss on top--guess this totally defeats the purpose of a matte lipstick? :) 

Do you have any favorites?