Tonal play with new-to-me H&M

When I received my long-awaited H&M parcel today, my intent was indeed to play … but gee, did this turn out to be a lot of work!

Perhaps it was ill-fated from its inception — none of the varnishes and only a few of the eye shadows shown here were the ones I had chosen in my original, never-arrived order, placed way before Thanksgiving. By the time I re-placed the order (for which I am *still* awaiting a refund), the original shades I had ordered were no longer available — they had sold out.

I’m more than content with what I’ve received, but things started going awry from the get-go. My backdrop fell on top of the nail wheel with the four freshly painted H&M chips, so they have more coats than the other 14 chips, in order to remedy the dents.

It was very windy here in Northern California today, which caused me a number of problems, even though I was indoors. First, lack of light (my house is rather gloomy, even though it faces south). Then, there were the bubbles and/or debris appearing from nowhere on the chips. Especially with Giorgio Armani Parma Greige, which when I had used it for a manicure, was an utterly flawless formula! Enormously frustrating. I almost threw in the towel, since the images looked horrendous on my camera viewing screen.

I still don’t think the images I halfheartedly captured do any justice to what I see in person, but I posted anyway, because in the process I learned a lot about each varnish. Some of these I’ve had for years and hadn’t even used yet.

Below are my field notes:

1 – H&M Cloudburst and 4 – H&M Volcanic Mud required a third coat to reach evenness and opacity, whilst 2 – H&M Taiga and 3 – H&M Cobblestones were opaque at two coats. Cloudburst and Volcanic Mud also had, like, dried varnish specks in their more transparent formulae, which were no longer visible after the final third coat. Volcanic Mud is a much more interesting shade than it appears in the bottle, with green-blue undertones somewhere in that medium grey.

I probably should have included Chanel Khaki Vert to compare to the beautiful H&M Taiga (opaque at 2x), but I just grabbed whatever was staring me in the face on one of my varnish shelves. Khaki Vert was tucked in the back of the lineup somewhere. (As an afterthought, I should have included all of the Les Khakis here!)

H&M Cobblestones (opaque at 2x) is more of a neutral taupe with lilac undertones (as I had hoped it would be) — online swatches I referenced show it as a much warmer, yellower-leaning shade, with no cool purple undertone whatsoever.

5 – D&G Jaipur Blue – bliss at two coats. Great brush, colour, smooth formula. Shade is slightly dustier than you see here. This brand is worth every extra shekel you pay.

6 – Giorgio Armani Parma Greige – same as above accolades for D&G, including the dusty comment, although today the chip looked hideous. Debris, bubbles, ugh … only because I’ve used it before for a full mani do I know that it is indeed a thing of beauty.

7 – Chanel Horizon Line – this is a tester bottle, recently purchased in a panic on the auction site at a discount. I knew it was limited edition, but I had no idea back in August it would sell out so quickly. I don’t like the brush or the formula at two coats, same thoughts I had when I first tried Turban (the only one I’ve actually tried of these new Chanel bottles, although I have others). It’s like they’re heavy on plasticizers and that thin brush just wallows in and drags them around. Note to self: test your other new bottle Chanels before acquiring any more. Another thing: does anyone know how OPI Taupe-less Beach stacks up to Chanel New Dawn?

8-11 – Kure Bazaar Chloe, Boyfriend, Khaki, Hipster, all at two coats. Colours are smooth, opaque and pretty, but I don’t reach for these often. They’re touted as safe and natural, but they still smell just as strong and nauseating as the chemical-laden varnishes. I could not imagine using these while pregnant. Plus, on me, they never, ever dry — even on my toes at the height of summer. I must be doing something wrong.

12-13 – YSL Call Me Grey and Fur Green, both at two coats. Call Me Grey’s brush had a few wonky hairs. I left the tolerable wonkies and pulled out the worst offender. Stuff like this bothers me, as M. Saint Laurent’s image should not be allowed to tarnish in even the smallest detail, and it’s too late. A few years ago, when I ordered a Black Opium sample from the faux-luxe website, it never arrived. Then suddenly I received several, one after the other, each bearing a slightly different version of my name on the address label. They must have young marketing interns with no idea of the brand’s heritage in charge of this stuff. Fur Green, on the other hand, was perfection. Love this one.

14-18 – Uslu Airlines MYK, NIM, SBT, ACE, ABS. Perfection in a bottle, all. Two smooth coats. Beautiful brush, excepting SBT — it has the skinny old one. I can no longer purchase these in the U.S.; good thing I made a run while I could, although there are still several I yearn for that I missed. Oftentimes I imagine having to forsake my entire collection and being forced to choose only one brand for keeps. Uslu Airlines would be my choice.

xx blueberry milk tea

Ombre roses

Seashell, Gelato, IV, Wild Mink

Steal His Name, Lion Around, Innocent, My Place or Yours, Your Hut or Mine, Mrs. Always Right, Swept Off My Feet

Trouville, Southern Bell(e)

Above and below, beautiful at one coat

Below, even more beautiful at two coats

SONY DSC

Below, the back story.

Desire is an invasive and unreasonable motivator.

Early last summer, I had lined up all of the above and below in order to convince myself that I did NOT need, nor need to buy, the China Glazes, Essies, NARS or L.A. Girl …

… that I obviously ended up buying anyway. 🙂

Essence Colour & Go 153 Sweet or Nude?

Innisfree Pro 76

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mauve It

Peripera PK007

Innisfree Pro 162, 161, 163

Etude House Play Nail Forest Aurora Collection 380

Kiko 486 Tea Rose

Innisfree Pro 164

Kiko 365 Tattoo Rose

Orly Pink Chocolate (this bottle comes before the two above in my swatch notebook, it’s out of order in the lineup)

Flower Aster Place

Kure Bazaar Tea Rose

Kiko 364 Dark Crimson

Wet n Wild Haze of Love

Sonia Kashuk Spice It Up

Nature Republic 51

xx blueberry milk tea

all ombred out 🙂

Endless Summer: multichrome + metallic moody oceania

… for an equally moody teenager, despondent since waves can no longer be caught whilst sitting in a classroom …

Sinful Colors, in order of their emergence on the scene and into my varnish drawers:

Gorgeous – 293

Palm Breezy – 1407

Sheer Flight (opalescent) – 1517

Kylie (denim + bling duochrome) Kameleon – 2097

Maybelline Color Show Holographic (?!?) 25 – Mystic Green

Dance Legend Mystery Collection 6 – Ghost Inside

Dior Summer 2013 Bird of Paradise Samba duo – 794

OPI S/S 2015 Hawaii – This Color’s Making Waves

Revlon Chroma Chameleon Topaz

Maybelline Color Show 700 Avante Green

H&M Lady Luck

Impala Rebelde Tweet’s

Impala Trem da Vida Verde Passaro

All first shown here

Sephora 67 Moody Woman

Misa 271 The Great Green Whatsit

Peripera P027 Metallic Green

Anny 368 Hello Hollywood

Missha HGR01

NOPI Mer-maid for Each Other (swatched with next batch on separate nail wheel since I ran out of chips)

Initially shown here, but I had inadvertently deleted the photos due to running out of space and not knowing I could purchase more :/

All swatches are two coats.

I’ll label the above photos soon, when I’m not so tired out!

NOPI Mer-maid for Each Other

Ulta Jaded

GOSH Golden Dragon

Maybelline Be Scene in Green

Ulta, GOSH and Maybelline were originally shown in this post, but those photos suffered the same ignominious fate as my other early efforts …

Dear BB, may you look back on your summer surf excursions with the same bittersweet nostalgia I feel upon plucking these oceanic beauties from their drawer … when every trip to the drugstore was an absolute delight, as the market was exploding with multichromes several years back — just as I had lost my job with scarce to no pocket money to spend on these little bottles of liquid gems. Fortunately, I had made wonderful international connections via a shared varnish passion, and many generous ladies granted my every wish and more. In spite of my long spell of unemployment, I had begun to fill my treasure chest with gifts of multi-coloured jewels, which I now share with a small world of like-minded souls. Your tribe is out there awaiting your return to the shared element, my love.

xx blueberry milk tea

New in: Yves Rocher

Yves Rocher

A misnomer, since this, too, has been languishing in my drafts since early June, due to the photo file size and format … it was unknown, enormous, and would not budge in its settings.

From left to right:

54 Orange cosmos

56 Tangerine intense

203 Sorbet framboise

61 Blue Nigelle

53 Capuchine

503 Orange tropicale

xx blueberry milk tea

Collections: off-season theme with variations

From Chanel Fashion Night Out, Fall 2012

Kure Bazaar random trio, culled from my collection

So Vintage, Tea Rose, Phenomenal

Kiko Milano gorgeous random quint, plucked from my collection

366 Rose Terracotta, 375 Bois de Rose, 379 Eggplant, 486 Tea Rose, 499 Dahlia Mauve

From L’Oreal Fall 2015 Chateau Royale

Five of the seven members: 203 Wine Spritzer, 205 High Spirits, 207 Pinot Purple, 211 Sangria Splash, 213 Pass the Vino

All nail wheel swatches in this post, 3x each

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

xx blueberry milk tea

slideshow background is “The Captive” from Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, Vintage Books edition copyright February 1970, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff

A butter sandwich

My intent was to put the finishing touch on this post, since I dreamed of doing so last night!

Either my camera or the photographer is suffering, cos the image above is the only one of the series that turned out even remotely in focus …

Kiko 369 is square in between Misa Hot Couture, pictured above, and Misa Silly Daffodils, more dusty golden yellow (included in one of the shots that didn’t pan out).

If I can get my mustard mojo back, I’ll show you the other bottles I have that are brighter and darker than those pictured.

They remind me of Luis Barragan’s house in Mexico, especially when paired with a searing hot pink!

xx blueberry milk tea