Seven out-of-the-box drugstore nail picks

Friday, June 13, 2014

I haven’t covered a lot of nail-related beauty recently, so here’s a bit of catch-up: seven drugstore nail picks that all fall beyond the regular scope of “nail polish”.

Skip below the graphic to read more about these unique-but-accessible finds!

June nail feature

Nail HQ Base Coat ($7.99 CAD)

Base coats are base coats, but this newly launched one by Nail HQ describes itself as a “unique rubberized base coat” with a “sticky cushioned finish” to prep the nail for polish. Does it work? I’ll be testing it out this summer to find out!

Nail HQ Ridge Filler ($9.99 CAD)

Like the brand’s base coat, this ridge filler is available at Pharmasave, select drugstores, and farleyco.ca. It’s designed for weak, damaged nails, and is made to cover up & conceal ridges while conditioning the nail. It’s not a nail strengthener or hardener, though — Nail HQ also makes those, but they’re separate treatments.

Sally Hansen Instagel Strips in Sss-Snakeyes ($15.95 CAD)

Sally Hansen, available at most drug and grocery stores across Canada, makes two different kind of nail strips: these, and the ones below. A little more expensive than the non-gel version, the Instagel Strips are UV-cured, last up to two weeks, and come with a gel coat in the box. (Mini LED lamp must be purchased separately.) Think of them as an at-home gel manicure for the unsteady-handed.

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Nail Polish

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Textured Nail Colour in Wool Lite, Fuzzy Fantasy, Tight Knit, and Peach Fuzz

Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Textured Nail Colour in Wool Lite and Fuzzy Fantasy ($7.95 CAD)

Okay, I’ll fess up: I’m extra super not a fan of these Fuzzy Coat polishes. Like crackle-finish and “caviar” manicures, I think they look weird, and left exposed, they catch and pull on everything.

That said, they’re also pretty darn unique, and they’re formulated well — the small strips of “fuzz” haven’t curved or warped at all in the year that I’ve been sitting on these.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips in Whoopsy Daisy ($9.95 CAD)

If you don’t have a nail lamp at home (I don’t!), Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects polish strips will probably be a better buy for you. They launched last year in eight different prints (and have since added more shades), with a simple peel-and-stick application. no drying time, and no DBP, toluene, or formaldehyde.

Maybelline Polka Dots swatch review Clearly Spotted

Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots Nail Lacquer swatches: Drops of Jade, Clearly Spotted, Pretty In Polka, Blue Marks the Spot

Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots Nail Lacquer in Clearly Spotted ($3.99 CAD)

Launched alongside a set of metallic duochrome nail lacquers last year, the Maybelline Colour Show Polka Dots range includes five “spotted’ shades in a translucent base. The brand describes it as “high-fashion meets high-art,” but I see it more as indie-meets-drugstore — a spinoff of the e-tailer trend of duochromes & textural overlays, made accessible to more than just nail fanatics and bloggers.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails in Night Fever and Vamp It Up ($10.99 CAD)

These are new to the market this month (find them at Walmart, London Drugs, and Pharmasave), and offer a peel-and-press false nail that lasts up to one week. I wasn’t a fan of most of the designs, but Vamp It Up is pretty cute — a far cry from the classic French manicure falsies, it’s a pop-art, comic-book design done in neons.

Behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week SS14 with Maybelline New York

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MNY FW SS14 Richard Chai

I’ve managed to come down with (yet another) cold, so today’s post is something a little different — a bit of behind-the-scenes action from New York Fashion Week, through the eyes of Maybelline.

I hope you enjoy the backstage photos & info, and I’ll hopefully be recovered enough to blog in a few days!

The runway standard: Super-dewy skin at SUNO

MNY FW SS14 SUNO (3)

(Yes, that’s a Baby Lips balm being applied to the lids!)

To start us off, a look that we see time and time again on runways. Makeup artist Alice Lane created a really flawless, really dewy base with Maybelline Fit Me Foundation and Fit Me Shine Free Powder (though I’ve no idea where on earth the powder went), then added Dream Bouncy Blush in Candy Coral to the cheeks.

As an aside, I love the texture of the Bouncy Blushes, but the pigmentation and wear time have always left me wanting. For a cheap, super-fun fix, though, you can’t do much better than a blush that feels like a happy marshmallow!

MNY FW SS14 SUNO (1)

MNY FW SS14 SUNO (2)

On the matte side of things: Satin perfection at Lacoste

Though dewy skin is always a hit on runways, I’ve always been more of the “more is more” camp when it comes to matte and satin finishes. Makeup artist Mayia Alleaume (what a beautiful name) used Maybelline Fit Me Shine-Free Powder to perfect the skin, then added the blush and bronzer of the same line to add a sun-kissed effect to the skin.

On the eyes, the models wore Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadows in (what else?) Tough as Taupe and Bad to the Bronze, topped with one of the new Master Smoky Longwearing Shadow Pencils in Smoking Charcoal.

MNY NYFW SS14 Lacoste (2)

MNY NYFW SS14 Lacoste (1)

Glowing eyes at Tibi, bold orange lips at DKNY, and a violet haze at Mara Hoffman

These looks need no further introduction.

Okay, maybe just a little bit more of an introduction. The looks at Tibi and Mara Hoffman are both so beautifully ethereal & easy to do at home — I’m really hoping to see them on the streets next spring.

On the other hand, there’s nothing easy about flushed cheeks paired with an orange lip, but can you really fault me for including the look at DKNY it in these photos? If someone drops a photo of Karlie Kloss in your inbox, you post that photo. You post it good.

NYFW SS14 at Tibi

Karlie Kloss at NYFW SS13 DKNY

NYFW SS14 at Mara Hoffman

All images courtesy of Maybelline New York & edited for theNotice.

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara: review, photos, swatches

Monday, July 23, 2012

The product: Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara in Very Black

The lash: Illegal Length gives exactly the kind of effect you’d expect (and want) it to: long, defined lashes with very little volume in tow.  As someone who isn’t actually crazy about volumizing mascaras (because let’s be honest; 9 times out of 10 that “volume” is simply clumps masquerading as being intentional), it’s right up my alley.

The end result is really natural; intensely black but with “clean” vibe (no sootiness here) and great separation. I find I get the best results with a simple, smooth sweep of the brush; no wiggling or zig-zagging necessary.

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara on lashes. (…Lash swatch?)

The wear: While I didn’t get the kind of wear I love out of this (which is to say, 18+ hours), it can definitely make it through a regular workday. As long as you make sure you don’t let your lashes droop while applying it, Illegal Length should hold a long, defined curl with no smudging or flaking for a good eight hours or so — just try not to over-apply, mmkay?

Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara brush.

The brush: The brush on this one is pretty basic; straight and spiky and perfect for separation. It’s not the kind of brush (or the kind of formula) that you’d want for volume, so keep your strokes basic — just a few layers, with no drying between coats (as recommended on the Maybelline site), and you should be good to go.

(Honestly, I’ve read a few of the negative reviews online, and I have no idea what people are doing to make this clump and flake. If you were that dead-set on getting volume, you shouldn’t have bought a product called “Illegal Length”!)

The verdict?

Illegal Length Fiber Extensions does a great job of delivering “illegally” long, separated lashes, if you ask me. It’s not perfect–I do get smudges by the very end of the day, but no drooping,– and it won’t deliver anything on the volume front, but it’s good at what it’s been designed to do.

If you’re looking for a really clean, defined lash look, or if you’re on the hunt for a cheap, paraben-free, non-tubing mascara with fibers, then check this one out. (I think it’s the only one that fits in that latter category, to be honest!)

Illegal Length retails for $9.99 CAD, and can be seen on my wimpy Asian lashes here or here.

Keep reading! »

Don’t miss this | A vampy lip look, inspired by the 2012 Met Gala

Thursday, June 7, 2012

For this week’s She Said Beauty look, I wanted to do something based off this year’s Costume Institute Ball; something with the dark, vampy lips that were so popular on the red carpet. It’s not your typical Spring lip, but I love a moody red – they’re really striking, but (for once!), the high-impact look requires very little in terms of eye makeup skills, making it easy & accessible. 

I swatched a number of different products to pick my vampy shade, and I thought I’d share the swatches with you – after all, my idea of the perfect plummy-red isn’t everyone’s! For something with more brown in it, I liked the MAC Plum + Rimmel True Vintage combination; for something lighter and more neutral, maybe try Bobbi Brown Rose + MAC Desire.

Lipliner swatches, left-right: MAC Plum, MAC Vino, Paula Dorf Tapestry, Bobbi Brown Rose.

Lipstick swatches, top-bottom: MAC Desire, Rimmel True Vintage

In the end, I went with MAC Vino underneath MAC Desire - I liked the intense, plum-bitten red tones of Vino, and Desire (a sheer, Lustre-formula lipstick) toned it down just enough to take it from bright to vampy.

Strangely enough, though, the real star of this show was Maybelline’s Illegal Length Fibre Mascara. I’ve been testing it out the last few days, and I’ve been really impressed – I’ve been getting some smudging by the end of the day, but for super-long, defined lashes, I think it might just be a hit.

It doesn’t do much for volume, but to be totally honest – paired with a good, black liner, I’ll take long lashes over “volumized” ones any day.

Keep reading! »

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