Posts from the ‘Green’ 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: Blurple Multichrome 6-6-6



2027 Set the Dua-Tone


CE 64




43 Berry Potter & Plumbledore






At 1x each


At 1x each


At 2x each










Violet Flicker








Glacier Bay Blues


Rainha da Bateria


2x each


Zoya Olivera has an indigo base, but at 2x dry, she flashes more green …


OPI Glacier Bay Blues and Colorama Rainha da Bateria have teal bases, yet at 2x dry, they flash more blurple …



Mysterious Curse (same as Royal Velvet, for some reason I thought I had that one instead)


Cosmo with a Twist


Galaxy Girl


Evil Queen


Loves Me Not


308 (the label fell off the bottom, so I took advantage by tipping the bottle to show you this amazing little wonder)

This post has taken me an entire day to complete, and I’m still not done at past 11:00 p.m.!

My internet is super duper slow due to it being the end of the month, hopefully all of the images will load properly and I can add a few photos of the completed 6-6-6 wheel tomorrow …

xx boo! berry milk tea

Catching up with Essie, Fall 2016 – 2017

Whatcha been doin’?

As the song goes, lookin’ back, lookin’ back, lookin’ back …

Here’s a retrospective from this Fall season to last (I wasn’t interested in either Summer 2017 or Winter 2016-2017):


Fall 2017 As If (what I bought, 3 of the 6):

1936 As If!
1937 Knee-High Life
1939 Mixtaupe

Purchased at Rite Aid in August 2017

I’d like to buy the pink from this collex, if only to compare it to the pink from Spring 2017 …


Wild Nudes 2017

1001 Skinny Dip
1003 Bare With Me
1005 Wild Nude
1007 Without a Stitch


1009 Mooning
1011 Exposed
1015 Clothing Optional
1017 Winning Streak

Purchased all but the first two from a full display on an early summer trip to Rite Aid; went back shortly thereafter for the first two … and the display was almost cleaned out! These are all so beautiful, much more than they appear here. The subtlety is very similar to what I see Japanese brands produce, like Smelly (Urban Research), Addiction or Three.


Resort 2017

1916 Resort Romanza
1917 Strike a Pose-itano
1918 Ciao Effect
1919 Sorrento Yourself

Purchased in early April 2017 from Target. I didn’t know anything about this collection (I thought Resort collections were issued between Winter and Spring, and I had bought Essie Spring back in February 2017?); initially, I had found these mixed in with a bunch of unrelated colours and was really confused. But I quickly got myself sorted upon my next trip to a different locale, and scooped up all four from their dedicated display, especially since I hadn’t seen these anywhere else but at Target stores.


Spring 2017, B’aha Moment

1047 On the Roadie
1048 Excuse Me, Sur
1049 Backseat Besties


1050 B’aha Moment!
1051 Designated DJ
1052 All the Wave

Purchased February 2017 from the auction site … I had thought I’d be passing on this collection; the price must have been irresistible 🙂


Fall 2016, Kimono Over

997 Maki Me Happy
996 Playing Koi
998 Kimono Over


999 Now & Zen
1001 Udon Know Me
1002 Go Go Geisha

Purchased in August 2016 from the auction site. I had seen this collection much earlier at CVS in a reduced display of four, and even then I knew I wanted the whole enchilada!

Immediately after purchase, I did a manicure with all six of these based on a design I had seen in a Japanese nail book. Still loving this collection to pieces!


For the comparisons, I’ve limited myself to the Essie shades within this post:


Resort Romance, B’aha Moment, Knee-High Life, Maki Me Happy


2x each:  Resort Romance, B’aha Moment, Knee-High Life, Maki Me Happy


Designated DJ, Kimono Over


2x each: Designated DJ, Kimono Over


Kimono Over, Winning Streak, Ciao Effect


2x each: Kimono Over, Winning Streak, Ciao Effect

To be continued tomorrow … I’m out of light (and energy).

Be sure to check back for the updated post, honoured café patron!

xx blueberry milk tea 

International zingy chingy roundtable

These bottles had convened long before and in honour of St. Patrick’s Day … but the varnish ambassadress herself missed the boho boat 😦

The sleek, jeweled Italians: Kiko 392, 533, 535, 536

The luxuriously swank Poles: Inglot 138, 320, 981, 986, 966 (which I had misread upside down as 996, thus it’s out of numerical order)

The cosmopolitan yet unjaded Americans: Urban Outfitters Green (multichrome), Destined Take A Hike, Zoya Edyta, SH Insta-Dri Emerald Express

The filthy rich yet understated Brits: A-England Dragon, Saint George, Proserpine

A stunningly glamorous Swede, Make Up Store Charmaine, accompanied but not outdone by gem-bedecked Italian Layla, Emerald Divine

And they sit down to wine and dine, dazzled by one other’s unique beauty at two coats!

xx blueberry milk tea

Collections: JulieG Bohemian Dreams

These six bottles have been living in my bedroom for a good month now — they fit right in with the scene!

Aria, Eden, Faith, Henna, Harmony, Karma

Aria, Eden, Faith

Henna, Harmony, Karma

Aria – named after the Pretty Little Liars character?






Available on a very appealing small end-cap display in American Rite Aid stores; also on the Jesse’s Girl website, $4 USD each.

xx peace! blueberry milk tea


Yesterday afternoon, I was wishing and yearning for August to arrive very soon in order to get my hands on this:

Chanel Le Vernis – Horizon Line

(Uploaded from beautyalmanac; unsure if image belongs to them or to Chanel)

I’ve also maintained an interest in Monochrome and Garconne, but it must not be active since as of yesterday, they haven’t found their way into my collection.

Then, as yesterday turned into last night, I tripped and fell over stacks of varnish boxes in my bedroom, knocking over a table of even more loose varnishes in trays. Those varnishes, in turn, went flying and fell onto a supercute tartan plaid train case in the shape of a hatbox, where all my Zoyas were cohabitating.

Whilst attempting to salvage the traincase from several spilled bottles of OPI that had landed and broken on top of it, I thought I’d better take a gander at the Zoya content inside …

And that’s when, after cleaning and organizing my Zoya collection by tone/shade, I discovered these.

Jacqueline, Charlotte, Ireland, Dree

Cho, Farah, Misty, Charli

Jacqueline, Charlotte, Ireland, Dree

Cho, Farah, Misty, Charli

Left side:





Right side:





Two coats each

So chic, yet edgy!

Perhaps I’ll pass on Chanel after all, thus continuing in my effort to purchase only cruelty-free when possible 🙂

xx blueberry milk tea

Summer afternoon play date

I know, the colours in this comparison are so 2011 … but it’s all about the names.

That, and clearing the backlog of these straggler ideas so I can make way to catch up — I never got round to either finishing or starting several posts from holidays past (those three red A-Englands were actually supposed to be ready for Valentines Day past, not Summer present), and I’ve three seasons of Essie 2017 yet to show you … then there’s Summer from several other brands, but every time I pull them out to play, I have no inclination to actually wear them.

Lately my thing is moody, shimmery dark blurples and deep sparkly greens :/

On to my observations made whilst going through hundreds and hundreds of varnish bottles in an attempt to make sense of it all …

Each of these is China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, Spring 2010 Up & Away

Both were purchased during the same shopping jaunt at Ulta in 2016.

Both bottles were at a deep discount, and I couldn’t decide which I liked more, so both made the trip home with me.

In bottle and on chip, left is whiter and cooler.  Right has much more yellow/warmth.

WnW I Need a Refresh-mint.  Included only because of the “refreshmint” part.

I’m pretty sure this bottle was purchased last year, thrown in as an extra with almost the entire content of that mid-2016 (?) rainbow display of newly-issued varnishes.

Glad I bought it then, cos I’ve noticed this is no longer included in the now-meager core Megalast endcap display.

I know this because just last week (forgetting I already had this and heavily jonesing it), I went on a wild goose chase to several drugstores in search of.

Regarding the bottle seen above, which I was beyond thrilled to discover living a quiet existence on the corresponding floor of the Alex condo, I don’t know if it’s the original shade that’s a For Audrey dupe or the reported 2013-ish shade change to an even bluer, less minty shade.

Having purchased several bottles of this (and For Audrey) in the past to gift to overseas varnish mates (not liking either shade myself when they were actually popular :/), I remember those older ones in my brief possession as being bluer, not minty greener, than this present one …

Two versions of Wet Cement.

This is another one I didn’t like at all in its moment of fame.

I don’t even know why I have or where I purchased these two bottles.

I do remember buying several for alelvi123 around 5 years ago — maybe I kept one for myself!

Wet Cement on the left with the slightly domed cap is the “older” one … I used my (admittedly minimal) powers of deductive logic to figure this out, since all of my more recent seasonal and LE WnW Megalasts have the flat cap seen on the right …

Thus, I must have picked up the bottle on the right within the past few years, deciding I liked the colour after all … which is weird, cos way back yonder when You Don’t Know Jacques came out, although I was first in line at the downstairs beauty salon in my office building to pick up YDKJ, I promptly decided it was awful in and out of the bottle.  In fact, I think it was my very first swap!

Sinful Colors Apeasing (left) and aPEAsing (right)

Core colours added either late 2016 or early 2017

Who does Sinful Colors think they are with those witty mid-word CAPS? Cosnova? Lol

I bought both bottles in late 2016 or early 2017 at Walgreens.

Pretty sure I plucked them from the same massive display, thinking they were two different colours.

The Cosnova wannabe (aPEAsing) on the right is slightly brighter and bluer than its Apeasing counterpart, both in the bottle and on the nail wheel.

China Glaze Dope Taupe, Fall 2016 Rebel

Love love love this.

Every time I see Dope Taupe at a discount retailer, I have to shield my eyes with both hands to keep from buying yet another backup. (Same thing goes for the three OPI Brazil neutrals …)

Shortly thereafter comes Sinful Colors with not one, but two China Glaze (and Cosnova … those exclamation points! After everything!) doppelgangers.

I actually bought So Daupe! before Taupe is Dope!, but for the sake of numerical consistency, I switched them around.

Left 2189 Taupe is Dope!

Right 2198 So Daupe!

When I had picked up So Daupe! in either late 2016 or early 2017, I wasn’t even aware of the existence of Taupe is Dope!

After checking the Sinful Colors web site (where btw there was no mention of So Daupe! in the new additions to the core collection), I made excursions to several different Walgreens locales to hunt down Taupe is Dope!, just so I could perform a thorough comparison of this tocaya (same name) trio.

Above and below, Dope Taupe, Taupe is Dope!, So Daupe!

Initially, the difference between Taupe is Dope! and So Daupe! appears negligible, but once on the nail wheel, So Daupe! is slightly lighter and cooler-toned.  Closer to China Glaze Dope Taupe.

2x each

xx blueberry milk tea