Showing posts with label Nail Polish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nail Polish. Show all posts

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Formula X #ColorCurators: Song of Style Collection

This year Formula X has launched a special series of colors called #ColorCurators. They've teamed up with 10 major digital influencers in beauty, fashion, and wellness to design a series of customized nail polishes with a new trio of polish colors launching each month. The first collaboration features shades inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song from Song of Style. I picked up the three shades from my local Sephora before they sold out in stores. The colors are limited-edition but you can still find them online at Sephora ($12.50 each).

The three shades in this collection include three cream colors:
  • A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink
  • Mintfluencer is a pastel mint cream
  • Nude for You is a beige tan nude
When it comes to pastel creams, I think formulas and application can be tricky for any brand. So many pastels look chalky or are difficult to apply smoothly if you want full opaque coverage. Many go on splotchy with the first coat, some even out with the second, but a lot require a super steady hand and I avoid them because they are frequently high maintenance to get even coverage. I was thrilled to find that the colors from the FormulaX ColorCurators collaboration this month have good smooth coverage and were not streaky. The first coat with all of the shades is on the thin side and will look a tiny bit streaky. The second coat smooths out color perfectly without any issues. The key is to let the first coat dry completely though. If it's still wet when you put on the second coat, the brush will drag the color and make it look blotchy. I have quick swatches of each shade to share in case you've been wondering about them.

A Girl's Best Friend is a pastel pink. I do think this one requires a bit more care to apply simply because of the formula. It can look messy if you get this one in the cuticles, so I recommend cleaning the nail well and making sure your cuticles are trimmed before applying. I like using the FormulaX System with these polishes because it works really well to get smooth coverage and extend the wear of their polishes.

Next up is Mintfluencer. I've mentioned numerous times on this blog that I think mint colors are hard to pull off for nails for my yellow/olive skin. If it has too much yellow or green undertone it can make my hands look sallow. If it's too pale, it ends up looking chalky and well, too pastel. FormulaX Mintfluencer has a really good mix of blue and enough color that it makes for a really fun true mint cream manicure. It surprised me how much I like it.

Another look in direct sunlight:

Last but not least is Nude For You which has a gorgeous mix of beige nude. It gives the hands a clean polished look. I think this one is my favorite of the three. Shown with two coats below:

For colors that might be seemingly basic, I give all three a huge thumbs up for color and formula. Lasting power on these polishes is very impressive - they last at least 7 days without tip wear or chipping although they absolutely need a top coat to help protect the polish. Pastels have been done a million times over, but I think creating the right mix of color and pigment is difficult to pull off in order for a pastel polish to be naturally flattering on the skintone without looking chalky. FormulaX has nailed it (no pun intended) with these colors. The shade Nude for You is absolute perfection in terms of being a true beige nude that give will the hands a nice polished look and still give it life. It has enough tan in it so it won't make the hands look corpse-like or sallow. Mintfluencer is such a fun mint cream, the fact that I find it wearable for me is huge since I'm not a big fan of mint colors for nails in general. If there was one color I would say might be ok to pass on it's A Girl's Best Friend. It's a really pretty soft girly pink cream, but I think can be easily duped with other shades from OPI or Essie. Still it's a wearable soft pink shade that I think will be a classic.

You can find the Formula X Color Curators shades exclusively at Sephora. I checked a couple stores this past week and both were completely sold out of the shades. Your stores might still have them in stock but you can still find them online at right now.

Have you checked out these colors yet? What did you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Christian Louboutin Beauté Hawaii Kawai I Nail Coffret Trio for Spring 2016

For spring this year Christian Louboutin designed a gorgeous tropical floral print for shoes, handbags and accessories in a collection called Hawaii Kawai. For beauty lovers, Christian Louboutin Beauté has launched two limited-edition Hawaii Kawaii Nail Color Coffrets ($90 each) to complement the accessories in Set 1 and Set 2. Each version comes packaged in a beautiful keepsake box decorated with the same colorful prints featured in shoes and handbags. The colors in these sets are existing shades but in miniature sizes which are 0.2 fl oz/6 ml each compared to the full size bottles that contain 0.4 fl oz/13 ml of product. Today I am thrilled to be able to share the Hawaii Kawai I with you today. The Louboutin team also sent some beautiful accessories from the collection for me to play with, specifically for this feature. The patterns and prints are to die for. The pumps featured are the Pigalle Follies (120 mm), purse featured is the Triloubi Small Chain Bag.

The Hawaii Kawai Set 1 is packaged in a box a white colored background (Set 2 has a black background). The colors in this one are:
  • Very Prive - a deep jelly wine color, it applies red with the first coat but deepens to a darker shade with the second coat, in direct sunlight it looks brighter than in natural light where it appears more deep
  • Batignolles - described as a cross between a sky and turquoise blue, inspired by the timeless beauty of Paris, this is such a fun aqua cream, two coats gives you full coverage
  • Miss Loubi - one of my favorite colors, it's a bright coral pink, I already own this in the full size, it's one of the most cheerful corals I own

First a little reveal/box opening. The presentation is so fun - opening the box was half the fun!

A red felt cover is nestled inside:

When you open the box, the setup looks like a doll house for fancy nail polish. The red bits of ribbon help you pull out the polish - they are securely cushioned in the box so they don't move around while in transit:

The proportions of the bottle and brush are similar in the mini versus full size. Sometimes with mini polishes, brushes can be uber tiny and hard to use but I didn't have any issues with these. The brush is slightly smaller in size but noticeably shorter:

Some close ups and swatches of each color in the Hawaii Kawai I Set. Up first is Very Prive which is like a blood red color. The first coat applies like a true red. Once you add a second coat and it dries it turns into a deep wine color. The texture is smooth and applies evenly. Coverage is pretty full but with the first coat it feels like it has a jelly finish because it's just the slightest bit transparent.

Next is Miss Loubi. I'm obsessed with peachy coral creams. This one sometimes looks more pink on my skin, other times it looks more coral or peach. Either way it's something that brightens the mood. I love it for fingers or toes, year round.

Below shown with two coats. The Louboutin polishes have a naturally glossy finish, but I still top with a top coat. Below I used Chanel Le Top Coat over Miss Loubi.

Last but not least, Batignolles - one of the best aqua colors I've tried. I also own this in the full size (so yes, I do already own 2 of the 3 in this set). This is a full coverage opaque cream color (no shimmer). Long time readers know I'm kinda anti-green when it comes to nail polishes, this one has enough blue in it so it doesn't look yellowish.

A quick look at the back of the box:

The items in the Louboutin Beauté line are the epitome of luxury when it comes to cosmetics - they come with an expensive price tag but after testing a number of their polishes I really believe the quality, packaging and design make them phenomenal in terms of performance. On me the polishes last remarkably well without chipping or tip wear. I can get up to 7 days of wear and by day 7 the polish still looks perfect. The colors apply smoothly and most of the shades I've tested have extremely good pigment and coverage. (Some of the nudes require three coats to get the coverage I want, but coverage is still very smooth and every nude in the line is absolutely quite perfect.) The packaging is truly a work of art. 

If you've been eyeing the Louboutin Nail Polishes but were hesitant to spend $50 on a single bottle, I think the nail trios offer a nice way to try three shades for $90 instead of spending $150 (even though they are minis). I think the minis are adorable and there seems to be enough to get a decent number of manis or pedis out of them. At $90 a set, these make for a very luxurious splurge, but this breaks down to $30 each polish for the minis which I think is easier to justify for a luxury product compared to the $50 price (although I have splurged on quite a few by now).

The Louboutin Hawaii Kawai Collection I and II are both limited-edition ($90 each). You can find them online for a limited time while supplies last at Christian Louboutin, Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman.

Will you be checking these out? Do you have any Louboutin Beauté favorites? I'm still waiting to see the lipsticks in person but am dying for a few good nudes because the formula is so good!

The nail trio was provided courtesy of Christian Louboutin for review. Accessories kindly loaned to style photographs for this post.

Monday, January 18, 2016

YSL Spring 2016 La Lacquer Couture Nail Lacquers: Love Pink and Peace Green

For spring YSL has launched two limited-edition La Lacquer Couture Nail Lacquers in Love Pink and Peace Green ($27 each). I ordered these as soon as they popped up online directly from YSL but they appear to be sold out everywhere now, at least online. I never saw these at counters - I'm not sure if they sold out, never arrived or haven't launched yet in stores. If you're interested in either shade, I suggest you try calling your local counters to see if they have any sooner than later. Update: thanks to my Cathy for letting me know they are now available online at Nordstrom!

Both are iridescent shimmers with medium coverage. Two coats offers smooth coverage but with a slightly transparent quality. I preferred three coats for both of the shades. They are both duo chrome in the bottles. Love Pink flashes a little bit of green and Peace Green flashes a little bit of opal pink. On the nails the shimmer is more subtle. These have a milky kind of sheen and shimmer and the duo chrome quality is very subtle. I love aqua colors for the nails but often times feel like they look so un-natural on my olive skin tone. Peace Green is soft enough that it doesn't look sharp. Sometimes greens + my olive skin just doesn't look good together. Peace Green has a softness that makes it pretty wearable, even for me.

I haven't been able to test these for lasting power since I'm in the midst of swatching and shooting some photos for nail polishes. In my past experience with YSL nail polishes, lasting power is very good (at least 5 days without tip wear and no chipping). The brush and formula are really good - there is a noticeable difference in application, pigment and shine to me to justify the high price of these over other brands like Zoya, Essie or OPI but that's just my personal take.

Onto the swatches. The duochrome is very subtle so I took several photos to try and capture the dimension of the shimmer. It was a bit difficult since the blend of shimmers in these meld together into a milky kind of sheen. Love Pink is a really pretty soft pink shimmer.

Sometimes I like matching nails to accessories. Do you do this too? Shown with 3 coats:

Indoor natural light, no flash:

In direct sunlight with flash:

Peace Green, shown below with three coats:

In sunlight with flash:

Indoor, natural light, no flash:

I think both are really pretty soft pastels for spring. The shimmer makes these really unique with the milky kind of blurred shimmer effect. It gives them a soft sheen that I don't see in many other shimmer polishes. I'm not really familiar with the launch dates of the YSL collections so even though these are sold out online, it's possible they might still be available at counters and stores. If you've spotted the collection - please let us all know in the comments.

Both Love Pink and Peace Green are limited-edition shades. If you've been eyeing these I hope you can find them somewhere! Available right now online at Nordstrom.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Chanel Collection L.A. Sunrise for Spring 2016 - The Beauty Look Book Picks

Chanel Collection L.A. Sunrise

Spring beauty collections are usually my favorite of all the seasonal releases and the first one I'm reviewing this year is the Chanel Collection L.A. Sunrise launch for Spring 2016. I saw the collection a couple weeks ago in stores and picked up a few items. This one seems very different from the typical spring collection for Chanel - everything is very bright, vibrant and has a more summery vibe. I would say that at first glance most of it was not my cup of tea, but I think there are a couple stand outs that are not to be missed. The items I picked out:

Rouge Coco Shines in Shipshape, Mighty and Energy ($37)
Le Vernis Nail Gloss in Sunrise Trip ($28)
Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Purple Croc ($33)

Quick swatches of my picks and then more closeups and thoughts on each item:

Sunkiss Ribbon Blush is the star of the collection. It's a stunning blush with a mix of five different shades. The surface is embossed in the most beautiful print, like a ribbon. I swatched the colors individually with a detail brush, but for the face, I just swirl a blush brush and apply to the cheeks. It's a warm pink with coral on me - almost has a bronzed effect but in blush form if that makes sense. It adds life and warmth to the complexion with a subtle luminous glow. The powders do have shimmer but it's not frosted and it's finely milled. Texture is smooth and easy to blend. It's pure love.

Many have asked how it compares to the Horizon Blush de Chanel from Spring 2012 - I miraculously still own it and swatch compared it below along with some other shades. The Spring 2012 is more pink while this year's is more coral.

Blush Horizon de Chanel (discontinued)
Le Blush Creme de Chanel Affinite (discontinued, review here)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Radiant Magenta (review here)
Tom Ford Blush in Wicked (review)
Chanel Blush in Tumulte (discontinued)
NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Panic

Rouge Coco Shines in Shipshape, Mighty and Energy ($37) are three bright but medium-sheer glossy lipsticks. I was immediately drawn to Mighty a cool pink. I decided to pick up the other two as well even though they are outside my comfort zone. They are bright but can be sheered out for a more wearable look. I like to apply these straight from the tube, but you can get more coverage and pigment if you apply with a lip brush. These are scent-free and taste-free. Lasting power is average - it has a glossy finish so it's not super long lasting. At the same time it's not one that will disappear within the hour (as long as you don't drink or eat) but I don't mind reapplying. They have a smooth luxurious feel and I find them moisturizing on the lips.

Swatches straight from the tube and then with a lip brush next to it:

On these lip swatches the colors are applied straight from the tube:

Le Vernis Nail Gloss in Sunrise Trip ($28) is a new formula of nail polish for Chanel. It's called a Nail Gloss and it is indeed different from the regular Chanel polish. It looks almost navy black in the bottle but it has a jelly finish which applies as a bright gel-like color. It's a bright but deep blue purple color. In some light it looks more purple, in others it appears more blue. It has a flawless smooth jelly finish that is streak free. I do get even coverage with two coats and the coverage is impressive for a jelly gel. You can still see a tiny bit of the nail underneath but there are no streaks.

Here it is with two coats and one coat of the Chanel Le Top Coat, but even without the top coat it has a very high-gloss finish that is very reflective, it's so shiny it twinkles in direct sun as captured by the shot below:

Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Purple Croc ($33) it's been a while since I've given anything a blatant thumbs down review. I am really picky with what I feature on this blog, and I am particular about what I purchase. If I'm going to share something with my readers I want it to be worth their while to read about. Even with items I am iffy about I try to review it with the thought that something that doesn't appeal to me, might still appeal to someone else and try my best to be objective. I swatched this on my hand at the counter and it looked so pretty. It's a unique metallic pencil with the prettiest bright violet shimmers. It's possible mine could just be a dud, but I am really sad that this one is a complete fail.

Swatched with a very heavy hand:

The upside is that it's smooth and glides onto the skin without any tugging. The downside is that it's super sheer with one swipe, with several swipes back and forth I can build more color, but it's very blotchy as a liner. Another downside is that it's so creamy it never really set on my eyes which is strange because I've had such good experiences with other colors in this formula. I thought since the pencil acted more like a cream shadow I could smudge it on my eyes along the lash line as a cream shadow but once smudged the color just disappeared and it looks like a smokey mess. If you've tried any of the eyeliners in the spring collection please let me know your thoughts. I've tried several attempts to make this one work and so far it's not going well.

There are some other items in the collection that I passed on. There are three Illusion D'Ombres and I thought I would fall in love with the Moonlight Pink shade - it's a lovely nude pink, but when I swiped it on my hand it matched my skintone so I suspected it wouldn't show up on the lids. It's still calling my name so there's a chance I might go back and try it again. The other two Griffith Green and Ocean Light were clearly outside of my comfort zone so I passed. There is also supposed to be a quad but I haven't seen it anywhere yet - I've heard that it's a bright one and that my local counters didn't receive it but are expecting it to arrive any day. There are two other Stylo Yeux Pencils in a Blue and Green Shade, they looked super bright at the counter so I didn't swatch them. The last item I passed on was the Rouge Double in Tender Beige. I'm not sure if this is a new color or a repromote - but I passed as well.

Overall, I think the winner is the Sunkiss Ribbon Blush. It's so pretty and the pigment and texture are really good. It's easy to blend and adds a nice glow to the skin. There's enough color that it shows up but it's not over the top bright. Sunrise Trip is a lovely color with a unique gel formula. I really like it but for right now it seems to have more of a summer vibe rather than spring. Still I do recommend it - I don't own anything like it and do think it's unique.

You can find Chanel spring at counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and

Did you pick up anything from the Collection LA Sunrise launch? If yes, what did you think?


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