Clinique A Different Nail Enamel stock swatches & color photos | New 22/04/13

Monday, April 22, 2013

A launches from the past few weeks…

More importantly, Clinique just launched their Cinique ‘A Different Nail Enamel’ Nail Color ($16 USD). I think I speak for all of us when I say, “excuse me, but what?!” because I honestly did not see this one coming at all.

I don’t know if I should be incredibly pleased or extremely freaked out, but these 21 shades are available now alongside an ‘A Different Nail Enamel’ Top & Base Coat (also $16 USD).

Clinique 70s and Sunny, Really Rio, Juiced Up

Clinique 70s and Sunny, Really Rio, & Juiced Up

Clinique Fizzy, Indie Rock, Made of Steel

Clinique Fizzy, Indie Rock, & Made of Steel

See the rest of the shades! »

YSL Tie and Dye La Laque Couture | On Our Radar

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

YSL La Laque Couture Tie and Dye

I’m not really sure what’s going on here, and I think it’ll probably turn out to be very ill-advised, but: intrigue! Suspense! Potentially terror!

What YSL has to say about the Tie and Dye La Laque Couture nail varnishes:

“Inspired by the Couture Tie & Dye, YSL nail lacquer plays colour in gradation effect just like a sophisticated total look. The coloured base is covered by a “pop coat”for a sugary glossy result. Top Coat can also  be used alone for a “sheer” glittery result on the nails.”

YSL Tie and Dye nail polish 02

I’d like to see reviews for this one: if the concept works, it’s bound to be very cool, but I feel like we’re more likely to just end up with a lot of awkward swatches instead.

$25 USD & limited edition, in four shades. Get it.

YSL Jade Impérial La Laque Couture #34 review, photos, swatches | For nails so dysfunctionally gorgeous they look like they’ve been Photoshopped

Thursday, March 7, 2013

YSL Jade Impérial La Laque Couture swatch

The product: YSL La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in 34 Jade Impérial

An alternate title for this, I think, could well be “the perfect winter nail to take you into spring,” but then, that would depend on where you were in the world, wouldn’t it?

We’re starting to see warmer temperatures here, and it admittedly (unfortunately) makes me love Jade Impérial less. As a winter nail, though–and it can be, for the future; it’s a permanent shade in the La Lacque Couture line, new with the Arty Stone collection–it’s absolutely on.

YSL Jade Imperial swatches review La Laque Couture

YSL La Laque Couture review Spring 2013 Arty Stone

The formula

In all honesty, what really gets me about this polish isn’t the (gorgeous) shade — it’s the phenomenal formula.

Smooth and very fluid, the La Laque Couture formula applies beautifully, settling in so easily that even the nails on my right hand looked hand-model-flawless (and I am terrible at applying polish with my non-dominant hand.)

While two coats was perfect for this formula, I think I could have gotten away with one if I really needed to — and on some of my (smaller) nails, a single brush stroke was all I needed.

YSL Nail Lacquer 24 Jade Impérial

YSL La Laque Couture review, swatches - packaging

The packaging

Just to note, the chic gold gap of the polish does come off (à la Chanel, etc.) with a firm “click” — it feels very sturdy and well-made, keeping in line with the luxe profile of the thick-walled glass bottle without sacrificing function.

The brush (medium-wide and thin/flat) works perfectly as well; it reminds me of the OPI Pro-Wide brush in the way that it fans out to make application a breeze. This one is less-wide, though, and the bristles less floppy and straight, giving more control over application on the whole.

YSL La Laque Couture Jade Impérial swatch

The shade

While I didn’t get around to photographing Jade Impérial until just this past week, I’ve been fantasizing about the colour all winter — that gorgeous, smokey green-grey.

There are a lot of ways to describe it, but I like to do it as a feeling: it feels like an abstract representation of a mild winter, obscured; green, but with hints of blue and a marvellously heavy dose of grey.

I’ve never been a fan of teal, blue-green, or jade, for that matter, but YSL’s desaturated take on the idea absolutely hits the spot for me — it feels so wonderfully unique, so unexpected.

YSL Jade Impérial swatch, photos, review

YSL grey green polish swatch - Jade Imperial

The verdict?

The price tag of the La Laque Couture line ($25 USD/$27 CAN) is a tough one to come to terms with, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love this polish. 

From the colourful-but-melancholic shade to the flawless way that the formula applies, I can’t find fault in Jade Impérial — not even in the chunky glass packaging, which reads as wonderfully luxe instead of woefully cumbersome.

The shade isn’t exactly for everybody, but the formula — well, how can you not love a great formula?

Availability: Nordstrom; in Canada, Holt Renfrew & select Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, and Murale boutiques. This is a permanent shade.

The ingredients & layered holo swatches (because, well, why not) »

Adele at the 70th annual Golden Globes: not Ellie Goulding; still pretty awesome.

Friday, January 18, 2013

So, I’ve been seeing this guy who thinks–actually thinks, not a word of a lie–that Adele and Ellie Goulding are the same person, with like, different hair or under a different record label or something. I don’t even know.

The only explanation I can give you is that ridiculous music hipsters hate Billboard artists like beauty bloggers hate brands who don’t understand copyright law. It’s kind of the best thing.

Anyhow. Fun fact of the day, because I’m too feverish and disoriented to start covering Spring until next week (spoiler alert, it’s going to be an absolutely amazing season) — Adele showed up at the Globes last week with drugstore polish on her nails.

Shock and horror!

Celebrity manicure - Golden Globes 2013, Adele

(Image courtesy Coty Canada)

Copy the look at home with a sheer coat of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in So Much Fawn topped with two coats of Copper Penny.

The Globes winner was wearing an additional topcoat to enhance the colour of Copper Penny, but you’ll just have to do without, I’m afraid: it was created exclusively for use at the Globes.

(I am secretly convinced that it was a reinforcing layer of vibranium covered in gold microparticles. Those nails talons are pretty hardcore; reinforced fingertips are totally the new exploding pen.)

The Best of Burt’s Bees review & photos | A Boxing Week skin saviour

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, Almond Milk hand cream

The product: Burt’s Bees Best of Burt’s Bees set (Holiday 2012)

This year’s Best of Burt’s Bees set ($24.99 CAD) contains three full-size Burt’s bestsellers, and is basically a hit of major hydration in a box. With targeted treatments for dry hands, feet, and cuticles, I like to think of it as my little “prairie saviour” box — perfect for soothing your holiday-shopping-tired feet and wind-chapped hands. 

(And by wind-chapped, I totally mean shopping-mall-chapped.)

The Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream review

A Burt’s Bees classic, the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is waxy and unyielding, and takes a moment to apply . That said, though, it does its job well — that same waxy texture also means that it’s highly portable (in any climate), and stays on your cuticles like nobody’s business.

I haven’t tested this out long enough to give it a ringing endorsement, but from what I’ve seen of it so far, it definitely does a great job of locking in moisture without getting your fingertips or hands greasy. You don’t have to use a lot of it each time, and what you do put on withstands a respectable amount of wear & washing, to boot.

Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme with Vitamin E

The Coconut Foot Cream

Rather unexpectedly (for someone who rarely-if-ever uses foot creams), this was my favourite of the bunch! Despite living on the prairies and having chronically dry skin, my feet don’t actually tend to get terribly dry — less so than the rest of my body, even.

The Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream is strangely gelatinous, while still being petroleum-free and 99% natural. Like their Peppermint Foot Lotion, Burts’ coconut cream feels luxurious and has a bit of a minty tingle — but that’s where the comparisons end.

Burt's Bees Foot Cream - Coconut

Where the peppermint lotion is thin, white, and sinks in quickly, this one reminds me of a thick honey butter, flavoured with a slightly-spicy coconut and a little sticky. It’s made to sink in overnight (follow up with cotton socks, of course), and delivers deep hydration while having what I’d actually describe as quite a pleasing scent!

The Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream

Burt's Bees Hand Cream - Almond & Milk

Like the coconut foot cream, Burts’ Beeswax Hand Cream has a lovely, interesting texture — in this case, the texture of a waxy butter, solid in the jar but which melts easily as it’s worked into the skin.

While rich and moisturizing in terms of formula, my complaint with this product lies in its portability and fragrance. The latter is overdone (a problem I have with a surprising number of Burt’s Bees products), and has a sharp, synthetic edge that may be headache-inducing for some. And, while the 2 ounce jar is a great sink-side or desk-drawer addition, it’s far from portable — just something to consider, with the way hand creams need re-application in climates like the prairies!

Burt's Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream

The verdict?

At $25, this set is a good deal… but only if you already love all three of the included products. With the way I (don’t) go through products, I tend to prefer sets like the Burt’s Bees Tips n Toes Kit  — that is, ones that let you try out a lot of different products, rather than those that get you stocked up with old standbys.

So, while I liked this set, I’d actually recommend that you give the other one a go, instead! (Or, hey, any one of these.) Something like the Tips ‘n Toes Kit is just $19 CAD for the same awesome formulas plus three others, but minus the commitment of full-sized containers.

Or, y’know, skip the hand care entirely and just go for the Coconut Foot Cream. I’m having a lot of fun with the texture! And, okay, the giant hit of moisture and tasty fragrance are pretty nice too, I guess.

Keep reading! »

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