Duochrome Duo

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This is a super fun manicure I did, that has two duochromes. The base is Essence Where is the Party that shifts purple to apple green through a bronze. The top is Nubar Unpredictable taupe that shifts yellow gold to white gold, through a rose gold. So depending on the light I have a either a purple & white gold manicure, a green & yellow gold manicure or bronze/rose gold manicure. It’s very pretty… but extremely hard to capture on camera!!

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Viridian

Viridian Illamasqua

The polish I have on today is Viridian by Illamasqua. Viridian is a good descriptive name – it’s a very dark green with a blue tinge which is this polish is showing perfectly. It’s a gorgeous polish, super glossy and strongly pigmented. It’s also a nice colour for my short nails.

There are some near dupes out there for this one, but I love that it doesn’t stain or give me smurf cuticles which is huge for a polish of this kind.

Silver glittery goodness…

Revlon Silver + Glam Glitter

Revlon Silver + Glam Glitter

A quick manicure using Revlon in Silver (a light grey creme) and a top coat of BYS Glam Glitter. Glam Glitter is a silver holographic glitter with various sizes of glitter. It’s so pretty in real life, but struggles a bit with the BYS issue of not playing nicely with other brand polishes, and that is a bit of a fatal flaw in glitter top coat. Sigh.

Red creme – which is best? Butter London Vs Illamasqua Vs Essence

So, this is a bit of an obsession for me… a true red creme.  In this swatch I have, pinky to index finger Essence Fateful ($2.55/5ml), Butter London Pillarbox Red ($19.99/11ml), Kink Flamenco and Illamasqua Throb which retails for (~$20/15ml or whatever the exchange rate is on 13.50 pounds).

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Throb is one thick coat, whilst the others are all two coats. The middle two (Butter & Kink) lean to truer red, whilst the end two are both bluer reds. Kink is definitely the worst performing with a visible nail line until 4 coats. At two coats Butter London has very slightly visible nail line where Essence has none. I think that Essence had the best formula, followed by Illamasqua and then Butter London and Kink is definitely the worse. From experience the Illamasqua polishes are very long wearing, followed by Essence.

I think the winner here is Essence on cost and pigmentation, with Illamasqua as a close second with a great formula. The Butter London is nice as a truer red but does not live up to the price point.

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Snap – By Illamasqua

Here we have Snap by Illamasqua – a cool grey graphite-esque nail polish. It sits slightly more silvery than Orly’s Seagurl which leans a little browner side-by-side. The bottle suggests some very fine holographic glitter although it’s not obvious as holographic glitter on the nail, more just adds depth to the nail.

Snap by illamasqua swatch

Snap by illamasqua swatch

My nails are sadly short at the moment, I snapped two in quick succession and decided to cut my losses so to speak and trim them all. Dammit :/ oh well, they’ll grow back… sooner or later.

Essence Blue Addicted – Water Snake Manicure

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Isn’t this just the prettiest glitterbomb ever!?! It’s slightly blue based blue and green glitter packed polish by Essence. I don’t usually by back up bottles but this is so pretty I couldn’t resist (and it’s only $2.55 a bottle). It’s widely thought to be a dupe for Deborah Lippman’s similarly colour polish. I call it my mermaid manicure, but as I was looking for something that that could be a water snake manicure for the new year I thought of this one. It’s definitely got a water-y feel to the colours.

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Like most people I hate removing the glitter so I have opted for the Essence Peel-Off base coat. It’s a prettily packed bottle bottle of PVA glue, but it works, it’s only $2 and I don’t have to decant the PVA down into empty polish bottles. PVA tends to get used in my house for small boys craft projects anyway – and the boys know that mum’s nail polish is OFF LIMITS.

Anyway the winner of the giveaway, as chosen by random org is Why only for parties? which is a lovely blog by Daniela, and you should check her out 🙂

So Happy New Year all! Any plans?

Yummy Mummy by Butter London

This is my take on the neutral/mannequin hands trend. It’s supposed to make the fingers look longer by not breaking the colour line. No doubt would look much better if my cuticles weren’t as gross 😦

Butter London “Yummy Mummy” is a funny colour, pinky-grey-beige with a light pearl shimmer. It is surprisingly flattering for a colour that doesn’t sound great on paper. I have seen it described as mushroomy, but it really does bring to mind “nude” stockings from the 1980’s or department store mannequins with that slight shimmer in the colour. I do like it a lot though.

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Liquid Eye Liner Review – Designer Brands vs Revlon vs Illamasqua

Liquid eyeliners are part of my day-to-day makeup look, which adds that retro sexy vibe. I love the precise line that liquid liners get, and how easy they are to transport vs gel liner for on the go application. For years my HG was the Revlon ColorStay line but I thought it might be fun to do a comparison between my favourite drugstore brand Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner in Brown-Black, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in the new pen applicator, Revlon Color stay Liquid Liner both in Blackest Black in the more traditional pot and Illamasqua Precision Ink in a pen-style applicator with the reservoir of pigment in the lid.

First things first, it’s worth noting the applicators. The Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner has a very fine brush, which is how nearly all liquid eyeliners used to come. The other 3 have a felt tip, which most higher end brands use now. The brush could always splay a little, but I loved the control of the thickness and control you have over how much liner is on the brush in traditional eyeliner.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Applicators Bottom to Top; Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

The advantage of the pen is a consistency in the amount of liner flowing out a smoother, easier line. It’s a good style for applying in a hurry. The Illamasqua Precision Inks have the reservoir in the lid which allows you to have a bit more control over the amount of eyeliner you are applying.

Comparison of Eyeliners

Comparison of Eyeliners

Now onto relative sizes, the Designer Brands is a whopping 6.5ml for $7.99, the Revlon Pen a paltry1.6ml for $26.95, the Revlon pot is a 2.5ml pot for $23.95 and the Illamasqua Precision Inks are 1.8ml and cost $26. I was initially a bit miffed that the Revlon Eye Pens are that pricy, it seemed a fair increase from the old price especially with a matching downgrade in volumes.

But as you can see in the pictures, it looks like the formula has had a nice upgrade at the same time and you get a much darker line now. I suspect I probably use less liner building up a dark enough line and it definitely is nicer to transport.

Finally, these all claim smudge-proof ‘ness’. I let a line of each products set for 20 minutes on my arm and rubbed hard, aka pretty similar to my hay fever eye rubbing. The Revlon smudged, the Illamasqua largely didn’t and the Designer Brands performed best of all (now can you see why I buy their products!). If anything my gripe with the Designer Brands Liquid Eye Liner comes at makeup removal time…

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

Smudge Test; top to bottom Designer Brands, Revlon Eye Pen, Revlon Liquid Eyeliner, Illamasqua.

So which is the winner;

Designer Brands on price, quantity, smudgeproof

Illamasqua on colours, applicator

Revlon on… yeah, I’ll probably move on to other brands after my no buy is finished at this price point. I’ve heard good things about MAC but it’s so expensive in Australia.

Black and Gold, Black and Gold (Nubar tape manicure)

This is a simple tape manicure using Black Chrome and Unpredictable Taupe both by Nubar.Image

Unpredictable Taupe is a fun colour, kind of a gold duochrome that looks white gold, rose gold or yellow gold depending on the light.

I like to mix up the direction on a tape mani – while the standard diagonals/chevrons are cute they can look a little star trek uniform sometimes. Mixing up the lines breaks that up and makes it a little more funky.

Hey – so only 3.5 day until my giveaway finishes. Enter here by commenting on that post. Then come back and listen to Sam Sparro. Black and Gold, Black and Gold, Black and Gold 🙂