Posts from the ‘German nail varnish’ Category

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

Effect topper experiments with OPI lab rats

With the intent to honour my self-imposed nail polish purchasing ban for the rest of the year, I pulled these out as a distraction from the ILNP toppers that never fail to tempt me …

NYC Shimmer Blast Sparkle Top Coat 016
OPI Vant to Bite My Neck?

NYC Shimmer Blast Sparkle Top Coat 017 – Sweet Candy
OPI Suzi & the Arctic Fox

Essie Kisses & Bises
OPI Miss You-niverse

Maybelline Colorama Top Coat 35 Cold As Ice
OPI Roadhouse Blues

CND Effects Jade Sparkle
OPI Turn On the Northern Lights!

Ella Fashion Effect Color 185 – Purple
OPI Who Are You Wearing?

Impala Meus Segredos – Fiquei Rosa
OPI First Class Desires

Passe Nati Dancers – Lambada
OPI DS Mystery

Passe Nati Sabrina Sato Dancers – Baile
OPI Diva of Geneva

Hits Speciallita Guerra dos Sexos – Carolina
OPI Black Cherry Chutney

Colorama Reflexos Furta-Cor
OPI Eiffel for this Color

Colorama Reflexos Azulados
OPI Vampsterdam

Catrice Million Styles Holo Que Tal?
OPI Muir Muir on the Wall

Catrice Siberian Call LE C03 Sky & Snow
OPI Have You Seen My Limo?

Catrice Frosting Top Coat
OPI Embarca-dare Ya

Essence Special Effect Topper 05 Time for Reflection
OPI The One That Got Away

Essence Light Reflection Top Coat 28 Magic Play of Light
OPI Bogota Blackberry

1/2 China Glaze Travel in Colour
1/2 China Glaze My Little Pony – Hay Girl Hay
OPI Germanicure by OPI

After being photographed last weekend, this gorgeous wheel spent the rest of the week outside after its fumes gave me a baaad headache. The gardeners used their blowers over it, insects landed on it, and only my conscience that it was a piece of heavily layered varnished plastic kept me from tossing it out with the garbage.

In the end, I cleaned it off and brought it back indoors to the fold. Its beauty remains absolutely spellbinding, even after having been abandoned to the elements!

xx blueberry milk tea

Spooky series: moody autumnal skies

Risqué Silver Shine, Bonita Dying to Party, Essence Urban Messages TE Skyscraper

A-England Cathy, Essence Crystalliced TE It’s a Snow-woman’s World, Impala Novo 70 Boho Chic, Essence C&G Grey-t to Be Here

Essence Vintage District TE Get Arty, Essence Crystalliced TE Iced Age Reloaded

Nails Inc. Ballet Sheers Covent Garden Ballet, Impala Cores do Oceano Agua Viva, Orly Sweet Dreams, Layla Softouch Effect 03

Scherer Chameleon Hula, OPI Yokohama Twilight

Revlon Smoldering, Colorama Abre Alas, Colorama Misteriosa Turquia Lua Crescente

All swatches above, two coats

Kiko Quick Dry 849, Dance Legend Mist Way Collection 09 Hedgehog in the Fog, Illamasqua Raindrops, Sinful Colors Kylie Trend Matters Shimmer Matte Angel Magik Touch

Rescue Beauty Lounge Morning Light, Sinful Colors Kylie Trend Matters Demi Matte Velvet Kurtsey

Icing by Claire’s unnamed 1/4 of a mini set, Orly Pixie Dust, OPI I Don’t Give a Rotterdam

Essence Beauty Beats TE As Long as You Love Me, Sinful Shine Kylie Signature Collection King Kylie Slay Grey, Colorama Hypnose

All swatches 2-3 coats

xx blueberry milk tea

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

In the red — a teaser

Overwhelmed not only me, but my camera!

What a sight, what a task …

Organized by brand.

Once I get my hands on some sticks, I’ll swatch first by brand, then move the sticks around by shade as I have them in my drawer.

Yes, that drawer is on the verge of collapse! 🙂

Can never do these bottles justice.  They’re so much more beautiful in person.

Dior Lucky, Glory, Tie & Dye, Star, Pandore

Chanel Dragon, Coromandel, Lotus Rouge, Barcelona Red

Deborah Lippmann Sexyback, It’s Raining Men, Girls Jessa

Givenchy Carmin Escarpin

Rescue Beauty Lounge Gondoliere

Paul & Joe Annatto, Paprika

The bottom row, above, consists of flashy sparklers:

L’Apogee Be Happy Delicia

OPI You Only Live Twice, Ali’s Big Break

Dance Legend Red Show 06, 07, 09

Estee Lauder Fiery Hot

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune # plum glitz

Misa Forgive, Forget, For Me I Will

Uslu Airlines KBJ Kings Canyon

Orly Precisely Poppy

American Apparel Lipstick

Sation Pink Fury, Baron Red

NYC Pink Promenade Crème, Times Square

CQ Pink Candy, Crème Berry, Cardinal

Revlon – Colorstay Delicious, Fearless, Revlon Red

Nails Inc. Festival Hyde Park, Kensington High Street

Barry M Raspberry

SH Insta-Dri Quick Fire, Ablazing!, Sonic Bloom, Rapid Red

SH X-treme Wear Heritage Red

Next up, a brand row-by-row with higher quality photos 🙂

xx blueberry milk tea

More Mavala reds on the way from Canada, and I’ve since realized I forgot to raid my Asian drawer for the above photos …

PFF Series: international purple accords

The Americans and South Koreans came to immediate agreement …

Essie Spring 2016 Lounge Lover – Shade On

Innisfree x Paul Frank – 183

Italian diplomats Kiko 331 and 332 opted for a decidedly paternal approach.

Members of the American delegation bonded in fraternity.

Nina Ultra Pro Lilac-ing Discipline

OPI A Grape Fit

The Brazilians got catty with a bright Brit.

Hits Speciallita Hello Kitty set – Plum

Nails Inc. Lexington Gardens

American NYX ASF Lavender sidled up in appreciation of British Nails Inc.’s warmth.

China Glaze All Aboard felt rather ostracized due to misidentification.

She is by all appearances a rather muted American national, but was mistaken due to her name badge for bored mainland Chinese.

A lively German joined the talks, quickly stepping into line, just as a doppelganger delegate from South Korea showed up in support of her countrywoman.

Catrice 130 Lucky in Lilac

Nature Republic 22

Brash American WnW On a Trip horned in next to her younger, more subdued fellow Yank Essie.

Members of the American and Italian contingents felt right at home with the exceedingly bright Turks and Swedes.

Flormar Super Neon Colors N009

Face Stockholm One Hundred Seven

New York representatives Nolita’s Lavender and Jacaranda Flower remained a mere vote shy between them of reaching purple peace.

Although American OPI Do You Have This Color in Stock-holm’s and Brazilian Impala Fun Ploc’s stomachs were churning, they managed to stand tall and make pointed remarks, respectively.

Brit Rimmel and Yank China Glaze found affinity with the beleaguered North-South American pair.

Rimmel Salon Pro Purple Rain

When session reconvenes:  the roundtable, aka the nail wheel.

xx blueberry milk tea