Posts from the ‘Gel’ Category

Trusty Brit trio

Caviar base + top coats, former round bottles purchased at a deep discount from the bargain bin at Sephora a couple of years ago

Covent Garden Place – on toes for over a month now (when this photo was taken), still intact and very shiny!

xx blueberry milk tea

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

Spooky Series: The Devil Wears Nada

Ghostly sheer or ghastly pale?

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1 – Catrice Urban Baroque LE – C01 Pearls & Chains
2 – C03 Princess & Ballerina
3 – C02 Rock Barock
4 – H&M Bleached Peach

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5 – Catrice Neo Geisha LE – C01 Discreet Artist
6 – Kaviar Gauche for Catrice – C01 Butterfly Kiss
7 – C02 Honey Blossom
8 – Barry M Nude

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1 – Catrice Urban Baroque LE – C01 Pearls & Chains
2 – C03 Princess & Ballerina
3 – C02 Rock Barock
4 – H&M Bleached Peach

5 – Catrice Neo Geisha LE – C01 Discreet Artist
6 – Kaviar Gauche for Catrice – C01 Butterfly Kiss
7 – C02 Honey Blossom
8 – Barry M Nude

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9 – Formula X for Sephora – Unforgettable
10 – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Groove-y!
11 – SpaRitual Breathless

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1 – Catrice Urban Baroque LE – C01 Pearls & Chains
2 – C03 Princess & Ballerina
3 – C02 Rock Barock
4 – H&M Bleached Peach

5 – Catrice Neo Geisha LE – C01 Discreet Artist
6 – Kaviar Gauche for Catrice – C01 Butterfly Kiss
7 – C02 Honey Blossom
8 – Barry M Nude

9 – Formula X for Sephora – Unforgettable
10 – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Groove-y!
11 – SpaRitual Breathless

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12 – Essie Gel Couture – Dress is More
13 – Essie Birthday Suit
14 – Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Birthday Suit
15 – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pearl Up

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16 – Sally Hansen CSM – I Nude It Was You
17 – Sally Hansen CSM – Icing on the Cake
18 – Sally Hansen CSM – Devil Wears Nada

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1 – Catrice Urban Baroque LE – C01 Pearls & Chains, 3x (sheer with barely there scattered finest shimmer)
2 – C03 Princess & Ballerina, 3x (sheer with barely there scattered finest shimmer)
3 – C02 Rock Barock, 3x (sheer with barely there scattered finest shimmer)
4 – H&M Bleached Peach, 3x

5 – Catrice Neo Geisha LE – C01 Discreet Artist, 3x
6 – Kaviar Gauche for Catrice – C01 Butterfly Kiss, 3x (sheer with barely there scattered finest shimmer)
7 – C02 Honey Blossom, 3x
8 – Barry M Nude, 3x

9 – Formula X for Sephora – Unforgettable, 2x
10 – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Groove-y!, 2x
11 – SpaRitual Breathless, 2x

12 – Essie Gel Couture – Dress is More, 2x
13 – Essie Birthday Suit, 2x
14 – Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Birthday Suit, 2x
15 – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pearl Up, 2x

16 – Sally Hansen CSM – I Nude It Was You, 2x
17 – Sally Hansen CSM – Icing on the Cake, 2x (sheer with sheen-like fine shimmer)
18 – Sally Hansen CSM – Devil Wears Nada, 1x

groovy ghoulies!
xx blueberry milk tea

Background: a favourite AMcQ-esque scarf from Topshop

Understated British pageantry, Part II

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Models Own HyperGel – Paradise Pink, Nails Inc. The Perfect Nude – Elizabeth Mews

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Nails Inc. The Perfect Nude – Charlotte Street, Rimmel Salon Pro – Chic Chick, Rimmel 60 Seconds Rita Ora – Let’s Get Nude

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Rimmel Salon Pro – Soul Session, Rimmel 60 Seconds – Caramel Cupcake

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Models Own HyperGel – Naked Glow, Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine – Lychee

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Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Almond, Burberry Ash Rose

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Barry M Cappuccino, Burberry Dusky Mauve

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Brit-Brits!
xx blueberry milk tea

Roly poly

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Jolies!

xx blueberry milk tea

Understated British pageantry, Part I

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White Horse Street, Savoy Place, Porchester Square

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Porchester Square, Porcini, Midsummer Mauve

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White Horse Street, Savoy Place, Porchester Square

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Porchester Square, Porcini, Midsummer Mauve

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The other similar shades on this wheel are all Polish brands … lately I’ve had a *thing* for neutrals a la the three OPI Brazilians and have found the easiest way to deal with my already vast collection of variations on Bossa Nova, Taupeless and Sao Paulo is to divvy them up by country of origin, lol.

This method still doesn’t prevent me from fruitlessly hankering after the following *true* Brazilians:

Ana Hickmann Coffee Shop
Anita Café com Leite
Finaflor Amarula
Hits Speciallita Pop Up Store Filippa
Top Beauty Bandida, Lencol de Seda, Pacoca

xx blueberry milk tea

Collections: Sinful Colors Kylie + Sinful Shine King Kylie

When these collections appeared last year, I remember being absolutely enchanted by North Star first, then picking up a smattering of others here and there whenever popping into Walgreens. Later, I found a few bottles heavily discounted at Target, and was really surprised by the defacement of the display for this collection. Insults and ugliness, left in nail varnish and ink, directed at Miss Jenner. Whatever her reputation among the target (and Target, lol) demographic for her cosmetics, my opinion of her collaboration is sky-high. So much so that when I came upon scads of half-price bottles at a different well-stocked Walgreens locale, I shopped to my nails’ content. No regrets; here’s what I have.

These four are Trend Matters Angel shimmer mattes:

2111 Angelik, 2113 North Star, 2088 Butter Kup, 2110 Magik Touch

2111 Angelik, 2113 North Star

2088 Butter Kup, 2110 Magik Touch

2111 Angelik

2113 North Star, 2088 Butter Kup, 2110 Magik Touch

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2062 Miss Majesty

Next three are Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte:

2082 Mauve On, 2078 Silhouette, 2085 Kozy

2062 Miss Majesty, 2082 Mauve On

2078 Silhouette, 2085 Kozy

Top to bottom:

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2062 Miss Majesty

Next three are Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte:

2082 Mauve On, 2078 Silhouette, 2085 Kozy

Above and below, Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2048 Slay Grey

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2077 Kurtsey

Denim & Bling Matte 2109 Kurves

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2084 Kurtain Kall, 2079 Kommotion

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2077 Kurtsey

Denim & Bling Matte 2109 Kurves

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2084 Kurtain Kall, 2079 Kommotion

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2077 Kurtsey

Denim & Bling Matte 2109 Kurves

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2084 Kurtain Kall, 2079 Kommotion

Denim & Bling Matte 2109 Kurves

Trend Matters Velvet Demi Matte 2084 Kurtain Kall, 2079 Kommotion

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2045 True Kolor, 2053 Minty Fresh

Denim & Bling Duochrome 2109 Kurves

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2050 Kryptonite

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2044 Koko-Nuts, 2049 Miss Chief

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection:

2047 Kommando

2058 Karamel

2055 The Royal Me

Trend Matters Satin Matte 2132 Holly-Wood

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2046 Kween, 2051 Real Regal

Sinful Shine King Kylie Signature Collection 2054 Karnival

Twenty-six bottles in all.

Unsure how many comprised the collections; I’m not fan enough to do intensive Internet homework so it was difficult to decipher on my own what was what in order to break down what I had.

Since I had initially filled up a wheel of 18 chips with what I had (not anticipating buying more), they were organized by colour on the wheel and in my notebook by collection/finish.

That was last year.  When I ended up collecting eight more bottles in the interim, I just put them in the box shown in the background and saved it all for another day.

Those bottles ended up on a different nail wheel, just painted.  Lots of work and confusion!

Now for some comparisons among other similar Sinful Colors 🙂

xx blueberry milk tea