Deborah Lippmann: Sweet Dreams Nail Polish Review & Swatches

Sweet Dreams is described as a “candied pink” nail polish with a “3D holographic effect”. I think this color combination is really beautiful. It is bright pink with different sized golden flecks giving it the holographic appearance. This is another of the Deborah Lippmann limited edition summer colors. Like Ray of Light, this also has as a jelly-like finish. I liked this polish a little better as it seemed easier to apply – but that may be because I was getting used to the thicker formula after some practice. I couldn’t help but think that this nail polish would be what Glenda the Good Witch and Barbie would come up with if they collaborated on a color – hot pink and sparkly! Like Ray of Light, this formula felt a little thick, but looked great. You could wear this alone or over another color of your choice for a different effect. These photos were taken after 2 coats on bare nails.

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As of earlier today, it looked like this was still available on the Bloomingdales website for $18. Thoughts? Would you wear this to work or just for a special occasion?

Deborah Lippmann: Ray of Light Nail Polish Review & Swatches

Ray of Light is one of Deborah Lippmann’s limited edition colors for summer, described as “electric indigo”. It has a deep blue base with  metallic flecks that look almost copper in some light and greenish-teal in others giving it a “3D holographic” effect. It kind of reminded me of fish scales – in a good way… Like a mermaid tail! Looking at the bottle, I thought this  was going to be very similar to Cult Nails’ Seduction polish, but the application and color payoff was very different. Ray of Light was very thick with a jelly-like finish. It was the first time I had tried a polish like this so it was a learning experience. I ended up having to almost dab this polish on, because my normal sweeping motion would just wipe it right off. Initially, I thought this would make a pretty top coat, but it ended up being very opaque on its own.  The photos were taken after 2 coats on bare nails. I think the end result is really pretty, and a nice change from glitter. My only complaint is that it was so thick that I felt like it took forever to dry – which for me personally is a no-no since I have limited time to paint my nails while the baby naps.

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I am on the fence about this, as I really liked the color but for me it was just a bit of a hassle. This is a limited edition polish that I picked up at Bloomingdales for $18. What do you think?  Have you tried jelly finish polishes before? Let me know if you like them & why!

The Look – Urban Decay Naked Palette Smoky Eyes and bronze cheeks

Here’s one smokey eye look I did using the Urban Decay Naked palette with bronze/peach cheeks and natural lips.

 

What I used:

Face: Benefit the POREfessional, NARS Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz, NARS Concealer in Custard, NARS loose powder in Eden

Undereyes: Amazing Cosmetics’ Amazing Concealer in Tan Golden, Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in shade 2

Eyebrows: Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil in Brunette, Anastasia Brow Gel in Espresso

Cheeks: NARS Luster Blush, Smashbox Bronzer in Sunkissed Matte for under cheekbone contour, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle for top of cheekbone highlight.

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Palette: Virgin over entire lid, Hustle from the crease down, Sin in inner corner, and Creep in outer corner & over eyeliner. Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Zero, Benefit They’re Real! mascara

Lips: NYX Lipgloss in Frosted Beige

 

Thakoon for NARS Nail Polish Review & Swatches

Earlier this year, NARS released a set of six vibrant nail polish shades inspired by Thakoon’s spring 2012 collection and I tested two of them out. Impressive is not a descriptor I thought I would associate with nail polish. Chip resistant, long wearing, easy to apply – sure. But impressive? Not exactly my go-to adjective. These were the first nail polish colors that I have tried by NARS and they left me pleasantly surprised. No – they left me impressed!

The first color up is Ratin Jot. In case you were curious like I was, Ratin Jot is an “Alkanet root which is Beetroot coloured and used as a colour in Tandoor dishes” according to Spices of India. NARS describes this color as “Orchid purple”. It is a lovely purple-pink, almost magenta color that looked very purple in some lights and pink in others. It applied wonderfully smooth and almost fully opaque on the first coat, but I applied 2 for good measure. It is such a unique color and while bright, I did not find it to be workplace inappropriate. If you are feeling like matching your nail polish to your makeup, I found that this color would match really well with MAC’s Up the Amp Lipstick & Coy Girl blush, which are both a very similar shade of purple-pink.

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The next color up was Koliary. This shade is described as “Cyan Blue” on the NARS site. What can I say? This color just made me happy. I have pale blues, navy blues, and blue greys, but nothing like this. It made me think of a super clear, bright blue sky the day after a good rain. It didn’t apply quite as smooth as the Ratin Jot, as there were still a few visible streaks after the first coat – but that could have been more due to my haste in application than anything else, as I was anxious to hold my 5 month old! After 2 coats, it was perfect!

If you haven’t picked these up yet, I would recommend doing so quickly as they are limited edition colors. Although they are more expensive than other polishes available, I think they live up to the hype and are well worth the price.

NARS ‘Joie de Vivre’ Oversized Anniversary Cheek Palette (Nordstrom Exclusive) Review & Swatches

Yesterday marked the first day Nordstrom’s much anticipated Anniversary Sale. (Lucky cardholders got to shop early, beginning on July 11th) I am not lucky enough to have a Nordstrom near to me, but I hear that people take vacation days to shop the sale and after looking at what was available online, I can understand why!

One of this year’s beauty exclusives was the NARS ‘Joie de Vivre’ Oversized Anniversary Cheek Palette. I was lucky enough to get one of these online before it was sold out but if you can find this in the store and you don’t already have more than 2 of the included colors, I would definitely recommend it. Also, I noticed some items that had been listed as out of stock became available again a few days later – so check back!

I love the texture of NARS blushes and this palette is no exception. They glide on, are easily to blend, and don’t sink into and accentuate pores.

Descriptions:

Laguna Bronzer: This is the perfect everyday bronzer that will work on most light and medium skintones. It has just a bit of golden shimmer to give a glow. Though I know many people do, I would not recommend using this as a contour color because of the shimmer. The light reflecting properties will make features stand out instead of sink in.

Albatross Highlighter: This is a nice golden toned sheer highlighting powder. You can layer this on top of any of your matte blushes or bronzers if you want to add shimmer, or just use it to highlight the top of your cheekbones, brow bones, inside corners of eyes, etc.

Orgasm Blush: This was my first NARS product after hearing all the rave reviews that gave this blush its cult status. It is described as “peachy pink with shimmer.” This is a nice color that will work across a wide variety of skintones and clothing choices

Gaiety Blush: This is a nice bright matte pink. It is buildable so you get a nice wash of pink with light application but if you want a bright, intense cotton candy pink, you can layer

Angelika Blush: Angelika is described as “cotton candy pink with gold and silver sparkle.” I love the pink color, but be aware that the sparkle may be chunky for some tastes. It is definitely more glittery than the orgasm.

Luster Blush: The NARS website describes this color as a “sheer golden apricot”. I think this a beautiful natural warm color that could be worn alone or layered over another color. This reminds me of MAC’s Melba blush with a golden sheen.

Swatches in natural light:

From Left to Right: Laguna, Albatross, Orgasm, Gaiety, Angelika, Luster

Here was today’s look using the Albatross highlighting powder and Gaiety blush.

For full details on what I used click here.