Thursday, June 30, 2011

Morgana Cryptoria swatches

I recently ordered Morgana Cryptoria's (www.morganacryptoria.com) two latest eyeshadow collections: the Shifty Eyed Color Shifting Shadow Collection and the Murder Mystery Shadow Collection. As always, the quality and colour intensity of the eyeshadows is amazing. If you like the look of these and want to try them, you can order samples of both collections in sample jars for US$27.50 and save some money (this is what I did). All of the swatches below were done over Urban Decay Primer Potion. There's not much else I need to say except enjoy the pics!

These are the cute organza bags they came in.


The Murder Mystery collection: indoors (left) and in the sun (right).
Top row: Jaded Peacock, Ubiquitous Suspicions, Conspiring Copper.
Bottom row: Sinister Scarlet, Butler Did It, Secret Passage.


The Shifty Eyed collection: indoors (left) and in the sun (right).
Top row: Mystic Midnight, Lime Shift, Changing Chartreuse, Magic Plum.
Bottom row: Mystic Lavender, Shifting Sky, Enchanted Emerald.


Conspiring Copper on outer two thirds of the lid and lower lashline. Changing Chartreuse on inner third of the lid and lower lashline. Butler Did It in the crease.


Enchanted Emerald in the crease. Lime Shift all over the lid and along the lower lashline.


Magic Plum all over the lid and along the lower lashline. The last pic is in the sun so you can (barely) see the blue colour shift. It's obvious in real life but hard to capture on camera.


Mystic Midnight in the crease. Shifting Sky all over the lid and along the lower lashline. See the pretty pink colour shift? Awesome.

So are you tempted by any of these? I still have so many to try and my photos don't do most of them any justice. In particular, Magic Plum has a blue sheen and Changing Chartreuse has a pink sheen that you can't really see in my crappy photos. They're both lovely collections and I'm glad I got both of them. Next up from Morgana are some lipsticks, I think. I have two samples that are just amazing, so I may sample some more before I buy full-sized ones.

OMG! My blog is one year old!

Happy birthday to me! Well, it's a year and two days old now. I missed the actual day. D'oh!

Thanks to everyone who's stopped by and had a look and I'd especially like to thanks those of you who keep coming back. I really enjoy blogging and it's nice to know that others appreciate it. Stay tuned for a big eyeshadow swatch post later today!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nails: China Glaze DV8

I can't believe how long it's been since I've worn DV8! I wanted something quick and easy after the Avon matte polish chipped off (see my previous post here). I thought about another glitter polish, but couldn't be bothered taking the time to remove it later. Then I remembered that my holographic China Glaze polishes (I have DV8 and LOL) were super quick to dry and super awesome in general!


What a crappy photo. All you can see is its pretty tealness, not much of the holo.

I wish all nail polishes applied like this. I did two coats, but if I was in a real hurry, one would have done. I also have a topcoat for extra shininess. The drying time on this is phenomenal: I was able to do my second coat after giving it a generous 5 minutes to dry. Love it! You can see the multicoloured holo (it's not quite glitter, but it looks like it is) in the sun and at certain angles indoors. It's so pretty. Even the base teal colour on its own it nice when you can't see the pretty rainbow.


And here it is on the nails. It was night when I took this photo, so it's indoors under artificial light.

My only problem with this polish is that I don't seem to recall it chipping this easily. It was wearing at the tips on day two, so I wasn't able to get a photo out in the sun before it started coming off. By day three, the chipping was much worse and very noticeable, so I took it off. Taking it off also only took about 2 minutes! However, this won't stop me from wearing it or recommending it to others. It's just that lovely. And since it wears like a matte, at least for me, reapplying isn't a big deal when you can be done in 10 whole minutes.

What do you guys think? Have you tried any of the holographic colours from China Glaze? If so, did it chip as quickly as mine did?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review: Milani Lip Flash in News Flash

I bought one of Milani's new Lip Flash pencils in my recent Cherry Culture order, after reading rave reviews about them on other blogs. The web site describes it as a Full Coverage Shimmer Gloss Pencil and it retails for US$6.99. Cherry Culture only has pictures of the pencils themselves, while the Milani web site (www.milanicosmetics.com) has images of the different colours as they appear on the lips; however, these aren't exactly accurate.


It's a chunky pencil with a clear, tight-fitting cap.

News Flash is an amazing dark red with purple sparkly microglitter in it. If you have a look at the lip swatch on the Milani web site, it looks completely different. If you want to see what some of the other colours looks like, I'd recommend a Google image search rather than relying on the Milani web site. One of the best places I've seen for swatches is a YouTube video by Vintage or Tacky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgACmmsC2Mc. Cora goes into great detail about the pencils (I believe she has all of them), with the swatches right at the end of the video.


Left: outside. Right: inside (and yes, I forgot to white balance the camera. D'oh!). I think you can see some of the purple sparkle if you click to enlarge the pics.

The Lip Flash applies really easily. Because it's in a pencil form, this makes it easy to apply in a straight line along the edge of your lips. I'm really lazy about lipliner, so all the pictures here are with nothing underneath. Of course, I still cleaned up a little, since the pencil itself is quite fat. Once I'd done the outline, the pencil simply took about two strokes to fill in my lips. It glides on really well and definitely provides full coverage. I wouldn't really describe it as a gloss pencil, as it's not as glossy on sheer as a gloss. I'd say it's a smooth, creamy lipstick pencil. It's got the coverage and colour payoff of a lipstick, and applies more like a lippie, too.


You can see what colour the product is from the way the outside is painted. Clever!

What I really like about the pencil is that the outside shows exactly what the product looks like. I'm not sure you can see that much detail in my photos, but the outside shows a dark red with flecks of glitter in it, just like the actual product. If you had a couple, it would make it really easy to differentiate between them when they're in a makeup bag or something. The cap also fits nice and tight on the end of it, which is something I always worry about. I have a couple of eyeliners with loose lids, so I end up getting squished blobs of liner all over the other bits and pieces in my makeup bag, plus it means I have to sharpen them every time I want to use them. Annoying!


Left: in direct sunlight. Right: outside in the shade (you can definitely see the purple sparkle in the bigger version of this pic).

I'm very impressed with this lip pencil. I like how quick it is to apply, although I imagine it would be quicker and easier with a paler colour, as I wouldn't be worrying about creating such a sharp edge along my lip line. I'd definitely consider another one or two, especially considering how reasonably they're priced. My only concern is when it comes time to sharpen it. I wonder how much product will be wasted and also whether it will be easy to sharpen, since the product itself is quite soft.

Have you guys tried any Lip Flash pencils? Did you like them?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Nails: Avon Matte in Violetta

This week I wore my new Avon matte nail polish, which has been on back-order for three months! Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. It's a beautiful royal purple and it applies like a dream. It was fully opaque in just two coats.


It actually looks all nice and shimmery in the bottle.

The only real problem with it is that it dried so quick, you have to paint it on really fast. In one instance, I almost had a gluggy streak down the middle of one of my thumbnails because I had to dip the brush again to get more. The half I'd already applied was almost dry so where it met the wet polish, it needed a little work to smooth out.


If you view the enlarged pic, you can see the shimmer in it, despite being a matte polish.

This was a somewhat lazy application for me, since I had no base coat or topcoat. In the picture above, you can see a chip on my index finger and some tip wear on my pinkie. The photo was taken a full day after I'd applied it, so it's not bad going for a matte polish on its own. Of course, it was a little worse the next day and after day three, there was major chipping.

Overall, I love this polish. The colour is intense, it's matte yet it's still got some interesting shimmer going on and it dries really quickly. It's great for a super-quick manicure. However, I haven't seen this in the Avon catalogue since I ordered it, so I don't know how easy it is to get. I'd even consider other colours -- it was so long ago that I don't even remember what they were, although I think there was only a handful to choose from.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Nails: Milani Purple Gleam One Coat Glitter

This week I wore my new Milani One Coat Glitter in the colour Purple Gleam from my recent Cherry Culture order. It's a very unique glitter nail polish in that it's not just purple glitter. There are super-fine particles of black microglitter to give it better coverage and more dimension. The purple glitter particles themselves are pretty small, too.


It looks like your standard, run-of-the-mill glitter nail polish in the bottle.


This is it swatched on a white business card. If you view the full-size image, you can see both the black and purple glitter.

The application was strange. Good strange, I mean. At first, it seemed as though there was no way one coat was going to do it, but then I just used the side of the brush more and it applied better. It's not too thick or runny, but it dried ridiculously fast. By that I mean I needed more when I was halfway through doing my thumb, so by the time I dipped the brush in the bottle and started applying again, it was already well on its way to being dry. Crazy!


After one coat. This is before I cleaned up, so forgive the mess. You can see a patch of nail showing through on my thumb.

As you can see, one coat looks pretty good. Actually, it's pretty amazing for a glitter polish, I must admit. However, there's no way I'd just leave it like that. With a second coat, it's incredible. There's absolutely no nail peeking through at all. And because it takes so little time to dry, a second coat was no biggie anyway.

The other thing I wanted to point out in the picture above is that the black in the polish gives it a semi-matte appearance, despite the glitter. I loved the way it looked, so I applied a BYS matte topcoat to keep the look. The purple glitter makes it sparkle, but the matte topcoat tones down the black glitter and makes it look three-dimensional. I just love it. The only problem is the fact that I've got a cheap matte topcoat ($4.95 from Gloss) that chips within a couple of days. I've already had to do a touch-up.


Left: indoors. Right: outdoors. See how it's still kind of chunky?

The only real criticism I have is the texture of the polish. Because the glitter is so fine, it's not so rough that it catches on my clothes, but it definitely needs that topcoat to smooth it out a little. Something thick like Seche Vite would smooth that baby right out, although I found that even with a thinner matte topcoat, it was smoother, if still a little bumpy.

Can anyone recommend a decent long-wearing matte topcoat? I know mattes will never last anywhere near as long as a thick, glossy polish, but there's got to be something better out there than the one I'm using. I love this polish so much that I'm sure I'll wear it again in the next few weeks with a glossy topcoat for comparison.

So what do you guys think? I need to see what other people have said about these in the blogosphere, but I'm seriously considering another colour if they all contain that extra black (or other colour) glitter to give it something more. I can honestly say that I've never seen a glitter polish like this one before.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Inglot eyeshadow

I've now had the chance to wear all of my Inglot eyeshadows at least once and it's definitely love. I fell in lust with my new palette when it first arrived (read my previous post here), but it's blossomed into love now.

They're amazing eyeshadows: long-lasting, super-pigmented and really easy to blend. There's also the fact that there are hundreds of colours to choose from, as well as a number of finishes. I ended up choosing three pearl colours, one shine and one AMC. They were all quite lovely.



My palette features (left to right) 74 AMC, 420 Pearl, 32 Shine, 419 Pearl and 441 Pearl.

The AMC eyeshadow is kind of matte with glitter particles in it. The pearl eyeshadows are almost metallic-looking to me: shimmery without any glittery particles. The shine eyeshadow is what Urban Decay's glitter-infused eyeshadows should be: smooth and shimmery like the pearl finish, only with tiny glitter particles in it for extra sparkle (not big, chunky glitter like UD's Uzi, for example).

The pearl and shine eyeshadows were my favourites. Of course, I'd love to get some more eyeshadows (perhaps another five-pan palette?), but this time I'd give the matte shades a go, as well as maybe another AMC colour and a DS (double sparkle). If you already have a palette, you don't really need an additional one. You could always put some of the eyeshadows in a magnetic palette and swap out the ones currently in your palette. This is probably what I'll end up doing.


74 AMC: a matte dark reddish pink with silver sparkles.


420 Pearl: a greyish purple shimmer.


32 Shine: a shimmery turquoise with silver sparkles. Forgive the horribly wonky eyeliner!


419 Pearl: an olive shimmer.


441 Pearl: a shimmery red-based purple.

In all of the above pictures, I'm just wearing UDPP, no Pixie Epoxy or anything. The Inglot shadows are all over the lid and along the lower lashline in most cases. I love all of these eyeshadows and I'll definitely be adding to my collection when I can. What do you guys think? Awesome or what?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Review: Venomous Cosmetics

I recently did an order from Venomous Cosmetics (http://venomouscosmetics.com/) after seeing a bunch of swatches on a number of different blogs. I like the fact that they have loose and pressed eyeshadows, as well as lip glosses (called Lip Poison). I also think the branding is awesome: there's a different creepy crawly on each page and the eyeshadows have names like Blue-Ringed Octopus and Gila Monster.


Row 1 (top to bottom) : MAC eyeshadow for size comparison, full-sized pressed eyeshadow in Venice Love Affair.
Row 2: Amazon Rainforest Expedition, Starburst, Wandering Spider.
Row 3: Chupacabra, Sea Urchin.

It was difficult to decide on what to get since there are so many colours to choose from, so I just did a small order to begin with: 9 loose eyeshadow samples (US$1 each), 6 pressed eyeshadow samples (US$2 each) and 2 mini Lip Poisons (US$3.50 each). I also received two free loose eyeshadow samples! The other thing I received was the full-size version of the Venice Love Affair pressed eyeshadow. Tracy included a lovely handwritten note explaining that they were out of sample sizes, so she included the full-size version at no extra cost. How's that for amazing customer service?


Row 1 (loose eyeshadows, left to right): Starburst, Mega Star, Lochness Monster, Coral Snake, Boomslang.
Row 2 (loose eyeshadows): Falling Star, Vegas Casino, Alien, Platypus, Starfish (free sample), Rosie (free sample).
Row 3 (pressed eyeshadows): Chupacabra, Starburst, Sea Urchin, Amazon Rainforest Expedition, Wandering Spider, Venice Love Affair.

The loose samples come in little baggies, while the pressed samples are in tins about the size of a 1c piece (remember those?). The glosses come in little tubes with a doe-foot applicator wand. Everything was shipped safely a tightly packed with bubble wrap. It took me a while to get everything unwrapped, but I appreciate the care and time it took to keep everything as well-protected as possible. I love that effort!


I'm wearing Platypus on my lid and Boomslang on the lower lashline.

The eyeshadows, both loose and pressed, apply like a dream. The vibrancy of the loose eyeshadows is insane, especially over Pixie Epoxy. The pressed eyeshadows also have wonderful payoff -- while I haven't tried them over Pixie Epoxy, the colours pop really well over my regular eye primer. I imagine they'd be insane over Pixie Epoxy!


Platypus in the sun. Drool!

The glosses are nice, although they're a little different in texture from one another. Trouble is a frosty pale pink. It's a little too pale for me on its own, so I wear it over a dark lipstick. Hysteria I wear on its own: it's a bright pink with a purple sheen to it. Trouble is thicker and frosty, yet it still applies smoothly and makes my lips feel soft and moisturised. Hysteria is glossy and shiny, so it applies a bit more sheer and is smoother on the lips.


Left: The mini doe-foot applicator. Aww. Right: Trouble on the left and Hysteria on the right.



Left: Trouble. Right: Hysteria.

Overall, I'm very impressed with Venomous Cosmetics. Customer service is clearly a high priority and the makeup itself is fantastic. A new collection has just been released, so I'll definitely be doing another order soon for some more eyeshadows and Lip Poisons. It's really good value too, so I urge you to give them a go. You won't be disappointed.