Posts from the ‘Italian 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: Blurple Multichrome 6-6-6

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2027 Set the Dua-Tone

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CE 64

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Intuition

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43 Berry Potter & Plumbledore

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Amethyst

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Pondering

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At 1x each

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At 1x each

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At 2x each

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Violet Flicker

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Waltz

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Emocionante

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Olivera

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Glacier Bay Blues

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Rainha da Bateria

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2x each

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

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

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

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Cosmo with a Twist

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Galaxy Girl

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Evil Queen

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Loves Me Not

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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

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

Pinky Promise II

111 Boa

217 Splendeur

489 Rose Insolent

519 Rose Exuberant

547 Pulsion

619 Pink Tonic (shimmer)

579 Plaza, 653 Darling, 658 Capeline, 661 Bonheur, 678 Creoles

Above:  Chanel on the left, Dior on the right

Kiko 503, Essie Brides No Grooms, Mavala 71 La Paz

Now these are what you call PFFs …

NARS Schiap, WnW Cherry Blossom on Top, Kiko 289, Essie Bachelorette Bash

Above, left:  these four are also true PFFs.

Essie BB is a crelly, maybe even a jelly … so squishy 🙂

xx blueberry milk tea

Pinky Promise I

Please don’t … don’t dupe it, baby.

(I’ve gone and done it for you!)

DL Break 4 Love (pinker than the rest of the wheel, included as a foil though difficult to discern here), Dior Bouquet, Dior Pink (shimmer)

Tropicalia, Dreamy Poppy, Pretty Woman (pinkest, by a hair)

Kiko 282, Essie Guilty Pleasures (feels like a crelly), Chanel Fracas (shimmer)

Kiko 360, Dior Wonderland, Chanel Tutti Frutti (shimmer), Chanel Turban (new formula)

Warhol postcard on top of Ikea box lid 🙂

2-3x each chip

xx blueberry milk tea

Great balls of fiery rainbow holo, part II

A long overdue continuation of part I, here.

L.A. Girls 3D Effects GNL 307, Sparkle Ruby

L.A. Girls 3D Effects GNL 305, Dazzling Pink

Layla Shock Pink

I painted this wheel long ago and it was none too sparkly, so I gave it a dusting off and each chip a fresh coat.

Ludurana Aurora Boreal Magnifica

NCLA Drop of Teal (why do almost all of my NCLA holos have wonky brushes? I avoid them due to this serious flaw …)

Sephora Formula X Athena

Etude House Play Nail #4 (I regret missing out on the other holos from this series — Etude House and its Korean contemporaries varnishes are my personal favourites, bar none)

Bonita Forget Me Not – not holo, but not forgotten either

NCLA Mermaid Tales

2-3 coats each

A-England Sleeping Palace

Bonita Flirty Shirley

NCLA Iridescent Dreams

Nfu-Oh 64

Sephora Formula X Aphrodite (almost bought another bottle in the clearance bin at 75% off the other day, forgetting I already have this … it leans more silvery under horrible shop lighting)

Nfu-Oh 63 (o heavenly flame)

NCLA Vacation on Mars

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