Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Revlon Masquerade: Midnight Haze, Royal Cloak & Phantom Angel

Revlon has a fairly new display out that features a collection called Masquerade. These are Limited Edition shades, and there are a total of eight different polishes. I picked mine up at Walgreen's a couple of weeks ago and you can view the display here. These are the three shades that came home with me.

Midnight Haze is a medium charcoal grey shimmer. The formula was very nice, and I used two coats. I guess it's nothing out of the ordinary, but I love a nice basic charcoal shimmer, so it's all good!



Royal Cloak is a must-have if you like purples and flakies. The glitter isn't overpowering at all, but it does add that special something, don't you think? I like this shade of purple, and you could call it a medium purple or a deep lavender. It's actually a bit of a muted shade in reality. Again, a great formula that took two coats for this look.



Phantom Angel is a soft white shimmer with a pearl finish. This one took three coats, and I'm not entirely satisfied with the coverage. Every now and again I come across a white that I love, and while I like this one, it's not love. I thought this might be something like Revlon Powder Puff from the Matte Suede line only with a glossy finish, and it is to some degree. It just didn't cover as nice as Powder Puff did after only two coats.




I'm loving the names of these polishes, and I'm very happy with the look of Midnight Haze and Royal Cloak. I can still see some streaking on Phantom Angel after three coats however, so that makes me like the name better than the polish! Have you seen this collection yet?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lynnderella A Very Pretty Vampire

Lynnderella recently had a pre-sale on her Early Halloween Collection and according to her blog update, the shipping process has begun! Here's a quick look at one of the colors from this collection, A Very Pretty Vampire. I tried this shade on its own, but I'm quite certain that it was intended for use over a darker shade. I used two coats of this over a charcoal grey shimmer (Revlon Midnight Haze). The sun wasn't cooperating entirely, so these were taken under partly cloudy skies. *Click to enlarge glitter detail.*


This is described by Lynn as having multiple sizes of burgundy hexagons and squares in a dark blood-red base with scattered black and red multi-sized accents. Suitable for any blood type.

I used the Glitter Tamer top coat, and this is a new product from Lynnderella. I believe the larger orders received a free bottle, and she is testing the waters to see if it becomes a permanent addition to her product line.

Review of Glitter Tamer: This is rapidly becoming a favorite top coat for me on glitter polishes. It does an incredible job of giving a smooth finish on the most unruly of glitters, it defines and enhances the glitter, it eliminates the tiny fish eye bubbles that I sometimes get with darker base glitter polishes, and the shine...un. believable. It's like a polyurethane coating for your nails! This is a fairly thick top coat, but it dries very quickly. I can normally get the glitteriest of glitters to look smoother and feel somewhat smoother with a top coat, but Glitter Tamer far surpasses anything else. The only drawback is that it's stringy. You know how when you get toward the end of some base and top coats, you'll notice very fine, web-like strings of the product forming off of the brush? That's how the formula is on this product from the start. Honestly, for all of the good things about it, I'm fine with the little web fly aways. I did add 6 drops of thinner to mine, and it seemed less stringy. I'm concerned about causing some kind of chemical imbalance in it by adding too much thinner, and I'd rather tolerate the little strings than diminish any or all of Glitter Tamer's super powers!


Back to my thoughts on A Very Pretty Vampire...she is indeed, very pretty. The formula is sort of jellyish, so I find those a little trickier to apply. The glitter places itself fairly evenly, and I only added a second coat to get more glitter over my nails. Over a darker shade, this reminds me of Deborah Lippmann's Ruby Red Slippers. The blackened base covered my darker Revlon base well, so I have to experiment with this one a little more over lighter bases to see if it makes much of a difference.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jessica Rebel Glam Fall 2011 Collection

Today I have swatches from the Jessica Cosmetics Fall 2011 Rebel Glam Collection. This six piece collection contains a vampy jelly creme, a couple of purple/plum hues, a deep green shimmer, and two brown tones that are grungy and murky. Grungy and murky don't sound like very nice descriptive words, but when they're used to describe nail polish, I'm not at all turned off by those words! Especially because both of these brown cremes have hidden shimmer. All photos were taken outdoors in full sun and I used two coats. I'll talk more about the formula after the photos. Take a look!

Showstopper is a bronzey creme with slight olive undertones and pale blue/green hidden shimmer. This is a color that may not appeal to everyone, but I am rather intrigued not only with the unique shade, but with the shimmer as well. The other brown shade in this collection, Wild Thing, is very similar. It too has the hidden shimmer, but the color is more of a muddy medium brown.

Dangerously Dark is a purple leaning toward plum shimmer shade. This shade has multi colored shimmer with a lighter violet shade being the predominant one.

Vampy Vixen has the same type of shimmer finish that Dangerously Dark does. The shimmer in this deep viridian green shade is a pale aqua. I love this rich green jewel tone, especially in the Fall.

Purple Edge has an interesting formula that looked like it was going to be a sheer jelly creme finish during the first coat. This purple shade is the color of grape juice and it has a sparse amount of silver shimmer that I didn't notice after the first coat, although I did see it in the bottle. If you enlarge the picture and look at the area near my cuticles, you can see how sheer the first coat was. Amazingly though, the second coat adds plenty of pigmentation for a finished look.

Street Swagger is a perfect vampy deep wine colored cream with a jelly finish. This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite discontinued China Glaze shades, Dripping Wet. The nice thing about Street Swagger though, is that I only needed two coats for an opaque look, whereas with Dripping Wet I normally need about four coats to achieve an opaque look. Blackened red. Love this one.

Wild Thing is more brown than Showstopper, but I think these two shades are almost too similar to have them both in the same collection. This medium brown creme has basically the same type of pale blue/green hidden shimmer as Showstopper. I'm having a hard time describing this shade with words, because while it is a medium brown, I wouldn't call it straight up brown. A deep antique gold, mud brown, yellow toned drab brown...I'm open to suggestions!

Macro shots show the shimmer colors. Note that I cropped the areas on my nails where the light was hitting them so you can see the shimmer colors better, but that makes the base colors appear lighter.



I'm a big fan of Jessica nail polish, and I think their formula is right up there with the best of them. They have high pigmentation, the formula is smooth and easy to work with, and they flow evenly during the application. Generally, two coats is all you need from this brand for a completely opaque finish. I'm pleased with all of the colors in this collection, and the range of colors definitely gives me a Fall vibe.

Jessica polishes retail for $7.50 on their web site here. Check out this super cute Halloween Collection they have here too!

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Color Club Back To Boho Fall 2011: Part II

I've got the second half of Color Club's Back To Boho Fall 2011 Collection for you today! You can click here to see the first half. Like the first half, there are a couple of shades that I may have dupes for, but there are some that are pretty unique. Formula-wise, this half is also excellent, with the exception of Boho Mojo. That particular one just has some bad mojo, I think! All of these photos were taken outdoors (some were taken indoors and in the shade, and are noted as such), and I used 2 coats with the exception of Boho Mojo, which is shown using 3 coats.

I'm going to start with my favorite "if I could only choose one from this collection" shade, Nouveau Vintage. Shimmer, sparkle, a little duo chrome action, earthy tones, metal tones...everything I love. The perfect understated vintage frosty gold is the official description, but don't let the word "frosty" frighten you away from this gem. An interesting note about the colors in this shade--when I removed it, the bronze color was surrounded by a distinctive burgundy creme ring on the cotton ball. I do see some burgundy in this shade, especially on the first coat, but the way the colors separate on the cotton was unusual.

The photo above in full sun shows a brassy bronze shade, and if you click on it to enlarge, you'll be smitten with the multi colored micro glitter. Below in the shade, the shimmer and glitter is enhanced and the olive green tones come out. You can see a the slight burgundy/brown duo chrome vying for attention as well.

Indoors with no flash shows a lighter bronze shade with less definition on the colored shimmer/glitter.

Macro shot of the finish outdoors.

Voodoo You Do is another gorgeous shade that I'm quite fond of. This perfect charcoal grey for the season with blue undertones is a sort of subtler version of what I think of when I envision a blackened teal. This is a shimmer with metallic tendencies and very little streaking that's often found in this type of finish.

Here's a look at it in the shade.

In the macro shot, you can see that it also has multi colored micro glitter.

Nomadic Nude is a must have neutral for the season; off-white and creamy. Never one to reach for a nude/neutral color very often, I do believe Nomadic Nude and Earthy Angel, also from this collection, are among my new favorites. In addition to thinking that they work better with my skin tone than other colors in this category, their high pigmentation and ease of application have won me over. This is a creme shade that could be described many ways...buff, chamois, and putty all come to mind. There may be something similar out there, especially with so many collections offering these work-safe colors lately, but I don't recall any of them having such a creamy, smooth application.

Blue-Topia will put you in a Utopia state of mind if you love dark blue jelly polishes. Just as it sounds, the perfect shade of deep blue is a good description from Color Club. This is a deep navy blue that darkens up considerably with a second coat. Again, a perfect formula.

Artsy Crafty, a medium forest green creme is described as the ultimate muted military green. It is a touch muted, which makes me appreciate it all the more. And how can I not like it with such a cute name?

Oh Boho Mojo, I tried to make you work, but I give up! I mentioned that I had swatched this collection once before, but I wasn't able to retrieve the photos from my dying-now-dead computer, so I re-swatched them again recently. This time, knowing what I was working with, I did everything I could to make it better the second time around. I let my base coat dry much longer than I normally do, and I used less polish on the brush and a lighter touch when applying it. While it did turn out substantially better this time, it's still not a favorite for me at all. This shade reminds me of the back side of aluminum foil, a lighter silver metallic or dulled chrome shade. The formula's consistency seems fine, but it covers thinly and caused some drag near the cuticles. The streakiness factor is strong, although with a careful application, you can reduce that to some degree. This is described as a silvery beige pearl, which sounds nice in theory, although I don't see the beige in there.

All in all, this is a nice collection with some interesting and unusual shades and finishes. But as I said in Part I, the larger collections always seem to have several possible dupes and this collection is no exception. I also have to keep in mind though, that not everyone has the range of shades in their polish collection that a lot of us do. The average consumer (I'm quite certain I'm not average in this department!) would likely see this collection as a good range of varied colors and finishes that will work nicely for the Fall season and beyond. The only real disappointment for me was Boho Mojo. It's not a shade that I adore, so I don't feel that bad about not being able to achieve a look with it that I'm satisfied with.

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Color Club Back To Boho Fall 2011: Part I

After losing my original swatches of Color Club's Fall 2011 Back to Boho Collection due to the death of my computer, I've got new swatches in Part One of this collection today. Part II will go up tomorrow. This collection has 12 shades, and it's heavy on the creme finishes. All six of the shades shown in this post had an excellent formula. I used two coats, and there were a few that had some bald areas, so after touching up those spots, I applied the second coat.

New Bohemian is a medium shade of turquoise with a hint of green. I notice that it has a more aqua look indoors and in lower lighting. This one had a little bit thicker formula than the others, but a "good" thick! This is such a pretty color, and the nice application makes me love it even more.

This shade is described by Color Club as a new 70's take on Tiffany Blue. It's a little more muted as you can see by this indoor photo, but it is a good description.

Shabby Drab is neither shabby nor drab, in my opinion! Purple Greige is the official description, and that it is. It's a greyed out lavender with a dusty tone, and it's simply lovely.

Rad Nomad, a Purple Brown Creme is a smokey shade that's perfect for Fall. The slight purple hue works well with the brown to give it a bit of a dusty finish.

Red-ical Gypsy is a new take on a vintage classic red. While not unique in color, this berry red creme has a high shine finish and a perfect formula.

Rebel Spirit is a deep chocolate brown creme with an ultra high gloss finish. This shade has just a hint of reddish brown, which I like because it isn't so dark that it looks black.

Earthy Angel is described as a gorgeous creamy camel. This neutral shade is a medium beige with peach tones, and again, the formula was perfection. I don't wear too many shades like this often, but there's something about this one that totally appeals to me. It reminds me of malted chocolate!


I can't say enough about how nice the formula was on all six of these shades...creamy, smooth, pigmented...it's all there. I'm a product of the 70's, so that makes me (old!) love the theme and the names of this collection. The 70's was a wonderful time to come of age, so the nostalia factor plays strong and deep to me. As far as the shades themselves go, seldom do I fall in love with all of the shades in these larger collections. I wish that companies would focus on creating unique shades and finishes in smaller collections, rather than coming out with larger collections that seem to include a number of shades that we've already seen. I can still remember my excitement when I caught my first glimpse of Color Club's Fall 2009 Wild at Heart Collection. That was a perfect Fall Collection to me.

Having said that, of the six shades I'm focusing on today, Rebel Spirit and Red-ical Gypsy are nothing unique in my opinion. Again, great formulas, but color-wise, I'd venture to say they've been done before. Earthy Angel may have a dupe out there somewhere, but I don't recall wearing a similar shade and actually liking it as much as I do this one. I've had difficulty finding a flesh tone that works with my skin tone, so this one gets my vote. Rad Nomad and New Bohemian are shades that we have seen variations of during the last couple of years, but dupe or no dupe, the formula on the Color Club shades is perfection in a bottle. Shabby Drab brings no dupe to mind, and I adore this one.

So I'm loving four out of these six! What do you think about these shades...any favorites? I'm curious how you feel about the larger collections that Color Club, OPI, and China Glaze put out. Have you ever found an entire collection with 12 or more polishes that appeals to you entirely? Or would you prefer to see smaller, more unique collections? Certainly we're free to choose individual polishes to purchase if we don't like all of them, but as a consumer and a collector of polishes, I prefer to have the complete collection if I like the majority of them.

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OPI Holiday 2011 Celebrates Disney's The Muppets


This holiday season, OPI pays homage to America’s favorite Muppet friends as they hit the big screen in Disney’s The Muppets. With an all-star cast including Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Kermit, Miss Piggy and the entire Muppet crew, the family comedy opens in theaters nationwide on November 23, 2011.

Inspired by the film’s namesake lively and colorful characters, OPI launches twelve limited-edition Nail Lacquers for Holiday 2011. “OPI is so excited to work with Disney to celebrate this long-awaited movie release,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “Not only do The Muppets characters inspire fun, bright and joyful colors, the fashionable Miss Piggy lends her name to three high-shine pink-based hues, ranging from bold red flecked with silver to a multi-dimensional strawberry shade.”

This line features six shimmery reds and neutrals, as well as six glitter-packed shades, including:

Animal-istic This wild bright red cannot be tamed!

Meep-Meep-Meep Missing out on this fuchsia would make you weep, weep, weep!

Wocka Wocka! The popular deep berry makes everything fun and merry!

Pepe’s Purple Passion This deep, decadent shade is the best purple ever, okay!

Designer, de Better! And this light metallic bronze is ready for the runway.

Warm & Fozzie A feel-good shade of metallic copper.

Rainbow Connection The rainbow glitter of your dreams.

Excuse Moi! Ahem! This pink glitter has something to say!

Gone Gonzo! The aqua-blue glitter is taking over the world!

Fresh Frog of Bel Air A glitter that prefers the greener things in life.

Divine Swine The finest, most fabulous magenta glitter ever.

Gettin’ Miss Piggy With It! Red glittery fun for everyone!

Lacquer packed with micas and sparkle gives a 3-dimensional textured look that makes nails look like jewelry. With shades ranging from textured glitters in rainbow, red, green and blue to softer shimmers in copper and bronze metallic hues, these twelve colors provide the perfect accessory for the holiday season.

As with all OPI nail lacquers, these shades inspired by Disney’s The Muppets contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature OPI’s exclusive ProWide™ Brush for the ultimate in application.

This limited edition promotion will be available beginning November 2011 at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and ULTA, for $8.50 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer.

For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Come Monday Weekly Newsletter

Happy Monday to everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and that you're enjoying the end of Summer. We're having beautiful sunny days and cool nights, so it feels like Fall is just around the corner. I've been trying to get some--lots!--of collections swatched here and there, because I'm terribly behind in that department. I'm behind more than usual because my daughter's out of school for three weeks and we're entering week two. I've mentioned before that she's mentally impaired, so while it can sometimes be a challenge keeping her entertained as well as they do at her school, we're having lots of fun. She's a very good shopping partner and we're just about done with back to school shopping. We've got a trip to the zoo planned next week, which she's really looking forward to. And I've planned little activities and outings every day so she doesn't get bored, but I'll admit, she's wearing me out. Of course I'm having fun too, so no complaints!

I've been working on a Farewell to Summer theme week, so look for that next week. I'll be focusing on products to help transition us from Summer to Fall/Winter...it's turning into a pretty varied array of products, from color transitions in nails and cosmetics for the cooler months ahead, to skin care products for the dryer weather, and much more. There will be lots of giveaways both here and on Facebook, so if you'd like to join me on Facebook, just click the logo in the right column.

Speaking of contests, Random.org has chosen Leslie K. as the winner in my August contest. Leslie will receive Orly's Birds of a Feather Fall Collection! Congratulations to her, and thank you to all who entered.

Urban Outfitters is having a free shipping sale with no minimum purchase! They carry some unique brands of polish including Pop Beauty, RGB, Anna Sui, Butter London, and Paul & Joe. The offer is valid from 8/22-8/25 (at 3:00 AM)and excludes International shipping. Enter FREEFALL at checkout.

Wish me luck as I try to keep up with my daughter the next couple of weeks! I hope everyone has a fabulous week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New! Revlon Masquerade Collection

I think this is a new collection from Revlon...it's new to me at least! I blame Nouveau Cheap for sharing that L'Oreal had new Color of Hope items, and the fact that my hair dryer broke this morning so I needed to get a new one. Luckily, I didn't run in to anyone with my undried hair!

The table top display holds 8 shades, two of each color. They are noted as being Limited Edition shades. The first four shades (front) from the left looked to be cremes. There's also a pretty pale metallic gold shade in the back row, center. I picked up the remaining three shades. I also picked up a Sinful shade from a small, what looked to be Halloween display. The Sinful shade is called Secret Admirer, but it's not a new shade.

Revlon Royal Cloak would've landed with my purchases for the name alone! It's a gorgeous medium purple with iridescent shimmer and larger flaky glitter. There isn't a massive amount of flaky glitter in this one, but it is in there. Revlon Midnight Haze--also a cool name--is a steel grey shimmer. I fell in love with this one when upon closer inspection, saw micro glitter in aqua and green. Sinful Secret Admirer is the darkest of grey shimmers with tons of silver micro glitter.

Here's a look at the three Revlon's I picked up and the Sinful. The other shade I selected from Revlon's Masquerade Collection is the white one on the left. It's called Phantom Angel--love the names in this collection! It's a white shimmer that I'd hoped wasn't frosty, and thankfully it is not.


I didn't spot any of the nail polishes out from The Color of Hope Collection, but you can view those here on Nouveau Cheap. The Sentimental Splendor Palette is what I really wanted, so I picked that up. Look at that shade in the top left!

Look at it closer!


Have you seen Revlon's Masquerade Collection yet? There are so many collections coming out right now, it's hard to keep up. I was hoping to find Maybelline's Fall Collection, but all my Walgreens had was everything from the Runway collection except the nail polish. There are just a couple of shades that I'd like to pick up from that collection, but it'll show up eventually.

Happy Birthday Coco Chanel!

You may be gone, but your influence and iconic style remains at the front of the fashion world. You gave us the little black dress and Chanel N°5, which are just a few of your lasting legacies. Your inspiration in the fashion world is undeniable, and as you once said “May my legend prosper and thrive. I wish it a long and happy life.”

Your legend indeed lives on. While I may not be able to afford many of Chanel's creations, I do enjoy being able to splurge on some of their cosmetics. There's something about Chanel that has an air of decadence, and there's nothing wrong with indulging in a little something that makes you happy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Clinique Fall 2011 GWP & Some Fall Black Honey Items

Clinique is a brand that I can normally pass on for the most part, but I'll admit that I've been a fan of their Black Honey Almost Lipstick for many years. When I saw their Fall Black Honey Collection, there were a few items that caught my eye, so I thought I'd take advantage of their Fall Gift With Purchase and pick those items up. The GWP is free with a purchase of $21.50.

Here's what's included:

•Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
•Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
•Colour Compact
•Instant Lift for Brows in Soft Blonde
•Different Lipstick in Tenderheart
•High Impact Mascara in Brightening Black
•Cosmetic bag

The first item I wanted from the Fall Black Honey Collection was the Gradient Powder Blush, simply named Black Honey. It doesn't have a strong gradient effect, but it looks like a good color combination for my skin tone ranging from peach to a rosy brown. This retails for $29.50. It comes in a heavy silver palette with wide rib imprints.





The other item I picked up from this collection is the Black Honey Brush-On Cream Liner. This shade is a reddish medium brown with delicate subtle gold shimmer. It dries almost instantly, and less than a minute after I swatched it on my hand, it didn't smear at all. This retails for $15.00.






My town is very small, so the only big name brands at the only counter in town are Clinique, Lancome, and Estee Lauder. The Clinique counter is the only one that seems to have the current collections in on a timely basis, so I was happy they had these available. I wanted to get some items from Lancome's Fall Collection and Estee Lauder's Fall Collection, but they said they wouldn't have those in for a couple of weeks, and that they no longer stock Lancome's nail polish. So I guess I'll be ordering those items on line.

Are you a Clinique fan? I'd like to see them come out with a wider range of cosmetics, because I do like the few pieces I have. Maybe they'd even consider doing some nail polish again!
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