Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Matte skittles for Halloween

OK, I tried again on the Skittles and this time I actually have 5 different polishes here:
A few nails are the same mani as last time, just patched up, but I re-did the majority of them. So here's the polishes I used here:
orange - Zoya Destiny
black - Cult Nails Fetish
gold - KL Polish Casino Night
purple - Zoya Carter
green - OCC Chimera

My cuticles are horribly dry, I wish I'd remembered to put on hand lotion. (In fact, just looking closely at these pictures was enough to get me to bust out the Badger Balm.) I took these pictures in the car and the sun wasn't out so that's why they're a little dark.
I did base coat (Cuccio), two coats of each polish (although Fetish didn't really need it), a coat of Gelous on everything but Chimera, and a coat of Lucky 13 matte polish (which I forget the proper name of) on everything. So on Fetish I de-mattified it and then mattified it over again. I was experimenting. I think that the Lucky 13 matte is actually more matte than Fetish is on its own - Fetish is more of a satiny finish.

I really like Casino Night matte - it's still metallic, it just tones it down a little. I'll probably be trotting that one out again in December.

I'm happy with this version, but late tonight I may see if I can convert it  into more of a Day of the Dead palette - add a fuchsia and a bright blue, maybe? We'll see.

Oh, also, I wore black clothes and my poison-green witch's hat that I've had for several years, and I didn't have the green makeup that I used to use for a witch makeup so I just did a much  heavier makeup application than I usually do. A couple of people did a double-take (although most people didn't really seem to notice when I had my glasses on). I did a super-heavy cat's eye and a lot of the glittery colors from that Pur palette that I got from Boxycharm this past month, on my eyes and cheeks. I used that Colourbox lip pencil that I thought was too dark for normal wear (the color might have been Virginia?*), and I found a really dark lipstick to put on over it. It was perfect for this.

*Nope. Virginia is something else - a satin liquid lip, apparently now discontinued - that I bought at the same time. The lip pencil is Mamacita, and it is currently still showing up on C'pop's website. (I pulled Virginia out and I really need to wear it some. It's cute.)

Monday, October 29, 2018


I started out to do a skittles manicure, and I feel like I didn't really do a proper one, because I didn't put a different color on every nail, but oh well, I like it anyway:
The other hand has two orange nails, but this one somehow only ended up with one. I was going to do the colors I talked about in this post, more or less, but I couldn't find a green that had enough contrast to suit me, and instead of just gold I ended up using Witch & Famous, which is a topper, over the black. The Pixie Dusts do work really well for this - the purple one on my thumb is Zoya Carter, and the orange one is Destiny. For black, I used Cult Nails Fetish, which is a satiny finish - but then I ended up with top-coat on most of the black nails anyway. (No top-coats on the Pixie Dust this time.)

I just went poking around on Zoya's website trying to figure out if you could do an all-Pixie-Dust version of this. But there's not really a green that suits my idea of a Halloween green. (If you clicked on the Witch and Famous link above, you saw the one that I had in mind in that picture - it's Salon Perfect Who Ya Gonna Call? - which I think was a Halloween LE that year. It's a texture but it's more like Floam than like Pixie Dust. I couldn't find mine, though.) I have both Zoya Chita, which seems slightly too dark, and Vespa, which seems too light. Anyway, I'm obsessing over this way too much. I may well redo some of this between now & Wednesday, so it'll look fresh, so I may get another chance to experiment.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

#squadghouls (NOTD + swatch)

I was all set to do a skittles mani - I figured I could just keep it for 10 days and re-do individual nails as needed - and then I looked in the box where I put my fall polishes and I found #squadghouls, from KBShimmer, which I almost forgot completely. I would have been mad at myself if I had remembered its existence after Halloween!

#squadghouls is a dark swampy green jelly with copper glitter in it. Right up my alley. (If I'd realized how right-up-my-alley it was, I would have bought it last year when it first came out!)

The ones above were in my car, in late afternoon indirect sunlight. This last one is crappy but I present it just for contrast - it was taken in my living room:

Added: I realized I had never shown the swatch of this, so I'm just chucking this in at the bottom. I don't think anybody really cares about seeing the swatch for its own sake, but for completeness' sake I'm putting it in here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Topic Tuesday: "One and Only"

So today the question is, what brands do you own only one of? I actually have a quite a lot of these. (I grouped them into two lists: indies and not.) I bought a bunch of stuff from blog sales back a few years ago so that's where some of the strays came from, but I think mostly I just like trying a lot of different things! I went ahead and put the names of the individual polishes and I'll put in pictures for some, too.

(I added links to my swatch posts for the indies - I don't know if I'll get around to the rest but there should be links here if you want to see them!)

Indies (indies are expensive so I buy them one at a time a lot!)

  • Aldo - Gold Digger
  • Barry M - Silver Glitter LE
  • Cirque - Lichen
  • Clinique - Hi Sweetie
  • CND (Vinylux) - Red Baroness (I do have the Vinylux top coat, also, but this is the only color CND that I have!)
  • Confetti - Purple Pizzazz
  • Dear Rus - #601 (Shuffle Green)
  • Femme Fatale - The Necromancer
  • Jordana - Crystal Glitter
  • Khroma - Fairy Dust
  • Kleancolor - Sparkle Purple
  • LA Girl (3D Effects) - Black Illusion
  • Lancome - Hotel Particulier
  • Live Love Polish - Basilisk
  • Models Own (HyperGel) - Pitch Purple
  • Nfu Oh - #51
  • Nina - Boyz 'n' Berries
  • No.7 - Pillarbox
  • Nyx Salon - Enchanted Forest
  • Pixi - Evening Emerald
  • Pure Ice - Witch & Famous
  • RGB - Slate
  • Sation - Holiday Spirit
  • Urban Decay - Vice
  • YSL - Bleu Cobalt

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Naked Palette

I meant to have this done to post on Sunday, but I guess I'll go ahead & put this up on Monday morning now since I didn't. Direct from Sephora at half-price:
This is the original one, and I know seemingly everybody bought this ages ago, but I'm one of the ones that didn't, and I looked at some videos and blog posts with people using this and decided that it seemed like something I might actually use. Now that it's half-price, the bronzy colors appeal to me. (The more recent Naked Palettes don't appeal to me as much as this one - except for the new one, the cherry one. But I'm still not paying $50 for that one, either.)

This was everything that came from Sephora with the palette, but it's all samples otherwise. The Youth for the People lotion (in the little cardboard box) is a 100-point bonus item.
Aside: apparently Sephora is trying to improve their VIB loyalty program, so I've heard. I've been a VIB for the last couple of years, and I'll probably still be one next year, too, because I'm already pretty close, but I have really slowed down on purchases from them lately. (Partly that's because I decided to face up to the fact that I've got enough moisturizer and serums to last at least a year or so, and I need to slow down on buying any more until I use some of that up!)

I decided I would try swatching these on paper - I actually did several different palettes this way, and this one was the one that went onto paper the least well; however, except for the first couple of very light colors, I do think you can get an idea about the colors, just the same.

box back

Friday, October 19, 2018

October Boxycharm box

It seems to be my pattern that I get two Boxycharm boxes and then I cancel - at least, I've done it twice now. All these full-size items, all these palettes - it's just too much! I've kept a couple of palettes because I want to start wearing eyeshadow more, but I don't need more. (Although I have to confess that I did buy a Naked Palette on clearance, the other day.)

Anyway, back to Boxycharm - here's what I got:
I don't have a card to go by - either it wasn't in there or I just mislaid it - so I'm not sure of the sizes and values and stuff like I was last month. But here's what I've put together about these items:
  1. I found the PÜR palette on their website - it's $38 (more on that below)
  2. It looks like the "Superhero" mascara is $24 - that's some pretty pricey mascara. (Mascara just makes me cry, though, so I haven't bought any in years. I get them in these boxes and just give them away.)
  3. The lippie is Kat Von D, as you can probably see. I'm just not a fan of matte lipstick, but I also heard that she's been throwing around anti-vaxxing ideas, which makes me very uncomfortable. I've never actually bought any of her products, in any case, although I've had samples before from Sephora. You may can see the color in the picture below, depending on your monitor! (it doesn't show up much on the one I'm looking at now.) I haven't tried it because I intend to give it away anyway, but it doesn't look like a color I'd be remotely interested in, even if it was another formula. It's Bow n Arrow, and the value is $20.
  4. The last two items look more like really premium samples/travel sizes than full-sized items. The Briogeo is only two ounces - it seems to be this leave-in mask  but that's 4 ounces, for $28 - so I guess we can consider this to be worth $14. (I'm not really complaining about the value, but doesn't Boxycharm say that their items are full-size?)
  5. And then the final one is Ahava Mineral Hand Creme, and it's even less of a full size. This item, per the website, is 3.4 oz for $24, but what I got was only 1.3 oz, so well under half. (I've tried it and I do really like it, though, and I never go through hand creme very fast, in any case.)
So as far as the retail value, even if you only value the hand creme at $9 (which is what I got, approximately, when I did the math), that's still over $100 total value.

The palette is called Midnight Masquerade:
As you might guess, the colors in it are fairly bright:
They seem to have a nice consistency. Most of the shadows look glittery in the pan but don't seem to go on looking that way.

Elastic Stretch Mascara? I have no idea.

Added: here's Kathleen's video, for comparison. She got three of the same items - palette, mascara, and the lip stuff in a different color (that I like better than what I got). Both of the items I didn't get are way better than the ones I got - or at least more expensive. Yeah, I know I'm being whiny but I cancelled Ipsy a few years ago over crap like this, and I don't think I'm the only one that thinks it's important that all the boxes be equivalent. I actually like my last two items, both of them, but like I said, I just don't really feel like they're full-size. Plus I would like to have tried out that Farmacy stuff!
(Going by Kathleen's reaction, I might be happy to give the mask a pass, now that I think about it!)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NOTD: It's Alive!

I just looked this up to see if it actually had an exclamation point or not, and Scrangie, at least, says yes. (Which tells me how long this polish has been around, because Scrangie hasn't done reviews in several years, I think! Nitpicking add-on: I did remember to check my bottle later, and it actually does not have an exclamation point. I'm leaving it on the title because it feels to me like it really ought to have one.) She says it was from the Haunting Collection, in 2011.

The cashier at McDonald's liked It's Alive, when I drove through to get a mocha earlier! We are actually having cool enough weather that a mocha sounded really good. - Bear in mind that our idea of cool weather is like, the 60s at night. Everybody is suddenly going around in hoodies, it gets kind of comical.

So this is two coats of It's Alive, with NailsInc basecoat underneath, and then Gelous and NailsInc topcoat to get out most of the bumps.

I really like this - it's not near as yellow-leaning as a lot of the greens you see around at Halloween. I'm glad I bothered to find it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Topic Tuesday: colors for Halloween

This is a fun prompt, from #topictues: top 5 colors to wear for Halloween. Not that I think my choices are any different from what anybody else is going to pick, but it's a good excuse to put some pictures up illustrating my choices.

1. black, of course
2. pumpkin orange
3. offbeat greens, or lime green
4. purple
5. yellow and gold

I don't see any point in putting up a picture of a black creme, because they all look alike. There are some fun black and near-black things around, though, like Triple Shine Slick Black:
This is discontinued, unfortunately. For the record, I go with your basic Wet n Wild Black Creme if I want, well, a black creme. I also have Cult Nails Fetish which is a "wax finish" black, which is kind of cool and different. Just a matte black isn't going to look all that different, really, though. I should say that in practice I rarely wear black alone, even at Halloween. I might do a black accent nail, or a "skittles" manicure in all of these colors. That seems like a good choice for the week of Halloween.

For an orange, well, here's one you can still buy (not an affiliate link), Zoya Destiny, which is a PixieDust (aka texture):
It looks very coral here, but I found that when you get into multiple coats it reads as more of a plain orange. Here's another couple that I'm partial to which are probably discontinued:
This is Orly Retro Red (which again, totally reads as orange, at least if you like your oranges on the red-orange side, which I do) and OPI Y'all Come Back Ya Hear? which leans a little more yellow (and is also jellyish - I think OPI calls this a "sorbet"). I showed Retro Red a while back when I talked about fall colors - I think I must have been talking about layering when I took the pictures with the skull backgrounds, because it's two different pictures but they both have Retro Red in them. Anyway, I poked around and I saw the OPI on eBay, but Retro Red was also around for ages so it might be findable as well.

Offbeat Greens
I like weird greens so much I have a tag for them ("funky green") and I've talked about them a lot. I need to make sure I wear China Glaze It's Alive this year, because I bought it last year and didn't wear it because I swore at some point to wear orange until the Astros lost, and by the time the playoffs were over, and they won, it was November and Halloween was over and I was out of the mood to wear it. (I wanted to wear something copper, I think.) Really, I don't know why I couldn't have gone ahead and worn it. It was silly not to. Sometimes I get carried away with the whole "seasonal" thing. I decided that this year the Astros are going to have to survive without visible support on my nails.
This is discontinued, too, but I found it on eBay or somewhere, and I didn't pay a mint for it, either, so it's not completely unobtainable. There are probably other similar things around, too.

I'm middle-aged, so I can tell you that the Halloween palette has changed over the years. It used to be pretty much just orange and black and maybe yellow accents, but somewhere over the years other colors got added - that seems to mostly be green and purple.
Above is Zoya Carter, which is another PixieDust and is also a current color. This is my very favorite PixieDust, in fact.
This is OPI Feel The Chemis-tree from last Christmas, so it should still be around. It's a dark red-violet with some shift going on.

Yellow and Gold
I don't wear yellow so I don't have any examples - it's the only color I've never ever bought. It's just spectacularly unflattering on me. But I do have quite a lot of metallic gold. I was going to use KL Polish Casino Night as an example of something currently available, but it's actually sold out right now. Still, presumably it will be back eventually.
(You might not be able to get this exact polish before Halloween, but there are a ton of metallic golds around. I have faith in your ability to find something!)

Monday, October 15, 2018


I wandered by Butter London's website one day lately and saw that Mauvelous was marked down. I usually think BL's polish is too expensive, but I can't resist anything that says Pantone on it, so I bought that and a couple of nail files for good measure.
$10 is definitely too much to pay for a mini, but $5 seems reasonable enough. I can't really say it's anything special, though - it's just a grayed-out purple creme:
To me mauve is more red-violet than this.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


This is my first beauty-related empty from Since I don't have any other empties to talk about right now, I thought I would also just talk some about Brandless in general. (Disclaimer: nobody's paying me to do this! Or even giving me freebies.) (NOTE as of 2020: Brandless is apparently out of business. I'm leaving the links, and the website is not completely dead as I'm writing this, but don't expect any of these links to lead to actual products.)
I think this was the first real beauty product that I had bought from them. I like their tissues (which are not regular paper but are instead made of bamboo and sugarcane grass) but I think this is a more recent addition.

I really like Brandless, which has mostly organic/non-GMO etc. products, and everything is $3. And I like this lemon-verbena sugar scrub - I've already reordered it. It's a smaller portion of sugar scrub than many you see, but for $3 it's still a bargain, I think.

(Here's the back, in case you want to read the ingredients or something!)

I also have sulfate-free shampoo from them that I got just lately, and so far I really like it, too. ($3 for 8 ounces of sulfate-free shampoo is really a bargain - at least, everything I've been buying is considerably more than that.) It doesn't smell as wonderful as that rosemary-scented one from L'Oreal, but you can't have everything, I guess!

They have all kinds of stuff. I've bought spices and flour and brown sugar from them. And maple syrup. They came out with knives a few months ago, and my old breadknife (which I've had for, god knows, twenty years or so) was getting dull so I bought a new one from them and it seems to be really good-quality, especially for $3. The only nail-related item I've seen is nail clippers and files, but they seem to be expanding fast, so who knows what they'll come up with next! I did try their hand soap - I bought the cranberry spice one and it smells really good and works fine.

They have free shipping with a $39 purchase, unless they have specials, or there is also a yearly membership that gives you free shipping. It's regularly $36 but they have fairly frequent specials on that, too, so watch out for that if you're interested.

I should mention that prepared food is kind of hit or miss. I've only tried a few things. The popcorn was okay but kind of bland. Rob really liked the blackberry spread. The applesauce just tastes like normal applesauce, but hey, it's organic!

Oh, and the glazed almonds are totally yummy.

Added: I remembered a nail-related thing I've tried, and that was their cotton rounds, which sucked. The layers wouldn't stick together. I don't know if this is an ongoing problem or I just got a bad batch. (I didn't think to ask for a replacement at the time.)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pansy Pop!

Here's the other thing that I bought with my Neiman Marcus coupon, a Clinique Blush Pop:
I guess the background thing to know here is that I have been on a hunt for a long time for the perfect berry-colored blush. I had one that I loved once way back (Benefit I Lotused You Looking, which was LE ten years or more ago) and ever since I have been hunting for something similar - on the purple side but not too purple, and also not too dark. That's really the kicker: you can find violet/berry blushes but they tend to be dark, or very bright, so it's that combination that is hard to find. I've been wearing ones that are more on the pink side but lean a little towards berry, when I can find them. I wore Benefit Thrrrob until they discontinued it, and then I found MAC Full of Joy, which I liked fine, but then I found out that's now discontinued also - or at least I haven't been able to find it anywhere. And my existing Full of Joy blush is not gone yet but I hit pan on it some time ago, so I figured it was time to start hunting seriously for something else.

The higher-end brands that N-M carries had several things that looked like possibilities, and I decided just to try something while the good coupon sale was on. I looked at a bunch of things - I think there was a Laura Mercier one that looked really good, but it was out of stock, so I decided to try this Clinique one. The color is Pansy Pop, and here's what it looks like:
It looks really purple in some of these pictures but really it's just perfectly between pink and purple, to me, and it's very sheer, so it's not at all too dark. If you wanted it darker I think you could build it up, but I want it pretty light, for my skin-tone, and it's really just perfect.
The daisy is adorable, and it's fairly deeply-etched, so it's going to stay there a while.
I'm using my little Sephora 45.5 brush to put it on with - this is the gold version that I got just lately.  I think maybe you can get an idea of how sheer this blush goes on from what's on the brush there.
This is the label on the brush - you usually see it called the "mini-multitasker." (I think there's a larger multitasker that's #45.) This is my favorite blush brush.

So, so far so good! We'll see if I continue to love this one in the long-term but for now I'm very very happy with it.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

NOTD: Geological Wonder

(NOTE: my cuticles are a mess right now, sorry. Definitely don't look at the large version of these pictures if that's going to bother you!)

Man, I love this polish.
This is Rogue Lacquer Geological Wonder in full early-October sun (which is still pretty powerful, here in Texas). The reason I love this is not because of the holo-ness that you can see here, though - I love it because of the copper flakies, which you can't really see above, or not very well. It shows up better in the picture taken under the fluorescent lights at work:
Also the base color is sort of indistinct here, but it's a dark teal. It looks more green on the nail where in the bottle I read it as more blue. Here's the other hand, in case you can tell more there.

(Also here is my swatch post, for the record.)

In case you like the idea of the copper flakies but you think this is too dark, I ganked a picture from Rogue Lacquer so you can see the other colors. As you can see, this one is the darkest by far.
(I like this so much I'm tempted to get another one!) Added:  I should point out that while I keep referring to the flakies in this as copper, they're actually sort of mixed metals, I think. In the dark base the copper shows up the most. I don't know if that would be true of the lighter colors.

And I'm pretty sure I posted this before but here's Jess' swatches, too:
(Hmm, Jess must have done much thinner coats than I did, her swatch of this doesn't look near as dark.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Marc Jacobs Runway set

This is a Marc Jacobs set called "Fall 2018 Runway Edition"...
It's two polishes, Lapis of Luxury & Plum Fiction.

This is the back of the box (as you might guess).

I showed the Lapis of Luxury manicure yesterday, but here's the swatch:
It's blue-violet, very shimmery and maybe also a bit shifty. I like the MJ "Enamored" formula on the polishes I've tried - I had at least a couple before this.

And then here's Plum Fiction:
It's very much a plum color, a dark shimmery red-violet.

This is everything I got with my Neiman Marcus coupon, including a couple of samples:
(I'll talk about the Clinique "cheek pop" later on. The scents, I don't much bother with, because it's not like you can smell them through the computer.)