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

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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 🙂

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

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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

More green (eggs &) spam

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Misa Got It Made in the Shade, Essie Da Bush, SH Miracle Gel Camo Queen, Barry M GHS Olive

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Kure Bazaar Boyfriend.  A rich hippie version of Essie Sew Psyched (which I don’t like, but have a habit of reacquiring and giving away).

So I don’t know why I paid $16 USD for a shade I keep getting rid of in its commoner and more economical incarnation…

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Boyfriend, Dance Legend 420, Colour Alike 442

Colour Alike is an excellent, affordable Polish brand; this came out around the time of Chanel Khaki Vert and Essie Sew Psyched…

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GOSH Lazy Green, Ginger + Liz Sam-Poole Sale, Zoya Dree, Dior Amazonia

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Uslu Airlines ACE Arrecife, Floss Gloss Faded, China Glaze Don’t Get Derailed, Misa Trust Fund

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One must be careful what she wishes for, especially when in the vicinity of a discount retailer.

Just found four items this afternoon that have been on my radar, for $4 USD each.  Essie Vested Interest was one.

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In these batches of green eggs and spam, turns out there isn’t anything quite like her… so good on me!

xx blueberry milk tea

Box of bonbons, part one

Intended for Valentine’s Day, so a little overdue…

Meanwhile, lunch is served at the café, before we partake in some dessert-like varnishes!

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Baked tofu gratin over Thai jasmine rice.

Other kitchen sink ingredients include uncured pastrami, shaved broccoli stalks and carrot, organic tofu, Japanese kokumaro stew cream, artisanal bacon cheddar cheese, French fleur de sel.

vanilla buttercream

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I was absolutely smitten by these two SH CSM varnishes from the new NYFW collection.

When I brought them home together last week, I had no idea they would be so close to OPI and Essie…

milk bordeaux

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Any idea yet which filling you’re going to choose?

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cherry nut buttercream

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????????

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dark choco raspberry heart

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dark soft centers

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Ugh, I’m stuffed!

This post took forever (way past Valentine’s Day, yes?) to put together, and the display of sweets isn’t over yet — I omitted Essie Cashmere Matte Wrap Me Up from the Vanilla Buttercream lineup, so will include her in part two, where I’ll swatch and compare the assortments above.

The Skinfood trio set also deserves its own post and commentary — después de haberme desempalagado (after getting rid of this sickeningly sweet feeling). 🙂

Love,
xx blueberry milk tea