Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette holiday 2017 swatched

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Clarins The Essentials is a ten shade eye palette Clarins releases every holiday season. With Mineral and Plant Extracts 🙂 In 2014 this palette was plum, in 2015 it was nude Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette holiday 2015 swatched , in 2016 it was lilac pink and violet, more or less Clarins The Essentials Eye Make-Up Palette holiday 2016 swatched. I wonder, what it’s going to be like this year 🙂 The design is not as much holiday this year, it’s more Clarins. Very true to their DNA. Flowery. Fresh for holiday season, I’d say 🙂 Cute. The thing you absolutely need to know about the texture of this eyeshadow is that it’s oh so loose. Oftentimes you need to really work it to get enough shade out of the box. Also, this shadow is very very soft. Almost too soft, to my taste. Clarins eyeshadow is always like that 🙂 Well, this year The Essentials by Clarins is blue grey. Blue eyed beauties will look divine wearing these shades. Grey eyed beauties will look stunning. And violet eyed beauties can join them easily in that, I’d say 🙂

 

See the flowers? 🙂

 

In each palette of the kind Clarins has a makeup chart with a little guidance as to how to use these ten shades. My personal motto is, actually – learn the rules and then just go for it your way 🙂

 

Also, there’s always a dual ended brush in The Essentials palette by Clarins.

 

One side is a classic eyeshadow brush. The other side is smaller, thinner, meant for precision application.

 

And here are our ten shades. Looking good 🙂

 

One. An off white shade, that would be just a base shade, more or less, if it weren’t for this really flattering satiny shine to it and the finest white silvery sparkle in it. As it is, this shade is light, yes, very much so, I wanna wear it on its own though. I mean, it’s one of those shiny or kind of shiny or glowy whites I love. They make you look well rested, even when you are not. Also, with all the tiny sparkle and reflection, it looks kind of holiday like. And it will create an interesting effect, if you top it with other shades.

 

Two. A matt medium grey. Doesn’t sound that interesting? Or exciting? It does though. Grey. Medium grey. Bond. James Bond… Here, let me try to get you interested. There’s something about medium grey – the key word here is medium, not too light, not too dark, but in between – where it’s ever so becoming. I don’t know why, but it looks awesome on more people you could possibly think it does. Even if your eyes aren’t grey 🙂 Not even nearly that. So, if you have this palette, do try it, it might surprise you.

 

Three. An amazing – no, I’m serious – amazing – light grey blue. Some people would say, it’s blue grey. I definitely see blue in it though, first and foremost. It’s satiny in texture. And here’s why I enjoy it to the moon and back. The balance of blue and grey in it is… perfect, for the lack of a better word 🙂 The proportion is so good, this grey blue wonder is elegant and will become a lot of people, even those of us, whose eyes – once again – are not blue or grey or anything like it.

 

Four. A satiny metallic medium to darker grey. There’s shine in it, but this shine is sophisticated, held back and not over the top. I’m loving these greys by Clarins, I’ll tell you what. They are hitting it every time they try so far. It’s so easy to slide into too light or too dark with grey colour, they don’t though 🙂 This grey is also very nice in terms of colour and intensity, you can definitely try wearing it, even if your eyes aren’t grey or blue. The shine in it is lighter than the shade itself, which makes it exquisite.

 

Five. If all the shades before this one I had to like rub seven times to get enough colour out of them – that’s what Clarins mostly does in eyeshadow, so if you like and wear this brand, you know it, if not, be prepared 🙂 – with this shade I almost got too much colour, because I was trying so hard. Too hard for this shade 🙂 It’s metallic silver, shiny, glowy, and it’s loaded with silver sparkle and then some. I mean, loaded. This silver is so silver, it’s decadent almost in its luxury. Now, that’s holiday 🙂 And special occasion.

 

Six. A darker satiny grey with some blue and with some aqua hidden in its depth, or else, reflected there. 🙂 Here’s how. It’s all due to that warm golden, kind of, sheen in it. It makes the shade womanly and noble, instead of just, well, grey 🙂 It lights it up from within, warms it up big time, like the sun it all its golden glory. This grey is like the ocean with rays of light piercing its surface and going real deep, where it’s all dark, almost black, and dancing around there. We can all try out this one. Say, do smoky eyes.

 

Seven. This shade surprised me quite a bit. In the palette it looks darker and bluish, like all those five shades in this half of the palette. Once I swatched it though, it proved to be, first of all, a very clear blue without green or grey or whatever mixed into it. Also, it revealed a metallic, or else, intense satiny finish, that I didn’t expect it to have, when I saw it in the palette. It might be leaning to violet just a little. There’s also tiny blue and lilac sparkle in it. Guess what, we can probably all pull it, especially as eyeliner 🙂

 

Eight. I wanna call this shade midnight blue. I know, that they mostly call the blues that have purple mixed into them that. To me though, midnight blue is a clear blue, only darker and deeper. Well, that’s what this shade by Clarins is. It’s intense. It has satiny finish. Also, there’s blue sparkle wrapped in it. And then it’s basically this gorgeous navy blue, maybe, with a step towards purple, but just a step. Another shade, that will probably be easy enough to wear for more people out there, who might come to like it 🙂

 

Nine. A dark dark and matt matt and deep deep blue 🙂 with some aquaish undertone to it and tons of blue and violet sparkle. The shade is definitely out of the common run. There’s something about it. I have to warn you though, that it will look best on people, whose eyes are blue. Grey eyes? Yeah. Violet? Yeah. Green? Maybe. Brown? Tough. Keep in mind, that this shade is sultry, and that it’s very intense. So, your makeup will look very dramatic. As for the sparkle, it doesn’t hold in place enough to lighten it up.

 

Ten. A dark dark and matt matt and deep deep – wait a minute, haven’t I already said that just now? 🙂 – grey. Uh! That explains it. It’s not aqua blue, it’s grey now. It’s built the same way though. Matt colour and then loads of sparkle. The sparkle is silver and blue and lilac pink. Once again, don’t forget, that this shade is dark. That’s the main thing about it. Don’t rely on the sparkle to dilute this shade, as that sparkle goes all over the place and around and just doesn’t want to stay on the eyeshadow proper 🙂

 

That’s The Essentials by Clarins 2017. At first glance, it looked very blue to me. Once I started looking into them, swatching them and wearing them though, I got more and more interested in those greys. Grey shades are amazing in this palette. They are the kind that can actually help you get into grey on the eyelids, if you’ve never really been into it. Who knows, maybe, it’s your new favorite 🙂 Some of the blues in the palette are exciting too, they even make me feel like – ugh, I wish my eyes were blue for me to be able to wear them. Then again, there are colour lenses in this world 🙂 Or, if you like these blues no less than me… Working and weaving them carefully into your whole look helps. Matching them to your clothes and accessories. Then it will all come together nicely. And allow me – and you, if you so desire – get it all from this palette, and not just grey, as splendid as it is here.

Burberry Festive holiday 2017 swatched

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The first times around Burberry did holiday makeup collections, they were so traditional, I was like almost falling asleep, in all honesty 🙂 I was thinking – yeah, yeah, I know, gold on the face, gold on the eyes, red on the nail, red on the lips. What’s new? Well, here’s what. This year Burberry did something very Burberry, finally, and I love it. I do understand, that Burberry came on the makeup market much later than, say, Chanel and Dior, and that up front they just had to do, kind of, what everyone else’s been doing for decades. To catch up, you know 🙂 I’m so happy though, they did, and now they can be themselves. The exciting selves, I might add. Where’s all the shiny gold? Where’s bright red and bright pink? There’s almost none of it in this collection. Believe it or not though, it turns out, it’s possible to be ever so festive without any of it. Here’s how.

 

Let’s go through this look step by step and see how exactly Burberry does it.

 

Face. There are so many face products here, I can tell immediately, that the accent is going to be on the tone. I mean, there are seven products in this collection, and three of them – almost a half, that is – are face products. Well, perfect skin is ground zero of any look, right? 🙂

 

One. Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base

 

The shade is called Nude Radiance № 01.

 

That is, the base and tone here is glowy. Or radiant. It makes sense in holiday context, I guess. The texture is nice.

 

The shade is a light cool glowy beige, there’s almost no pink undertone in it. It’s just a clear and a really great beige. Love it. Love the fact it’s not whitish and not sparkly 🙂

 

Two. A truly interesting thing. Burberry Illuminating Drops Glow Concentrate.

 

The shade is called Metallic Pearl № 01.

 

So-o, it’s concentrated radiance. Not a highlighter, huh just pure radiance? 🙂 That’s what Burberry seems to indicate, at least 🙂 Lighter than creamy in terms of texture.

 

These drops look whitish and silverish, instead they surprise me big time by being… light gold. Not this heavy darker gold, but light gold. Very different. Very nice. Kind of sparkly, but just a little.

 

Three. Burberry Silver Shimmer Illuminating Powder.

 

The shade is called… silver shimmer 🙂

 

This illuminating powder design with a bow is amazing. No question about that. Laconic, beautiful. I’m in awe. Gorgeous. The texture is silky. The powder looks silvery, at the first glance.

 

When I take a closer look at it though, I see golden glow in the parts around the bow 🙂 It’s mostly silvery, yes, but there is this light golden undertone there, or else, more like shimmer, and the mix of the two is breathtaking. And very very sparkly.

 

I mean, can you imagine the pale glowy skin tone we can create with these three face products? Wow 🙂

 

Moving on. Eyeshadow.

 

In this collection it comes in a stick 🙂 And in two shades.

 

One. Burberry Eye Colour Contour

 

The shade is called Sheer Gold № 151.

 

This creamy texture stick is all nice. And, yes, I know, I said, there wouldn’t be any shiny gold here. But… this is more of a counterpart of that awesome silver than anything 🙂 Here’s how…

 

This shade is a very light and pale gold. Glowy. Very sophisticated. Exquisite, really. So much better than all the shiny and sparkly madness that’s about to go on in the makeup world 🙂 Love it.

 

Two. Smoke & Sculpt Pen.

 

The shade is called Sheer Pearl № 150.

 

The fact that we can smoke and sculpt with this pen means that it can provide both washed over and precision application. Variety. Always a good thing 🙂

 

This shade is light silver. Light is the key word here, just like in that pale gold, the key word is really pale, not gold 🙂 Once again, this silver being so light is what makes it special. And chic 🙂 Oh, and it’s very sparkly.

 

These two eye shades are like holiday basics or holiday nudes. They are just so-so good.

 

A-and lip colour. In a pen. Shaping. Two shades.

 

Burberry Full Kisses. I’ve never told you about this texture before. So, I’m going to take a minute – or two – to do it right now. First and foremost, this lip colour is shaping. Up front it feels most comfortable of all shaping lip colour I’ve ever tried. But like three minutes later I can feel it start trying to do something to my lips 🙂 Shape them or whatever. Ugh. Don’t like this feeling. It’s no worse in Burberry than in all the other shaping lip colour kinds. I just don’t want lipstick or lipgloss or whatever to push my lips in any direction. I want it to make my lips feel comfy. And that’s it 🙂 The finish is real nice and pretty. And kind of hot, really. It’s full on cover with shine over it. I mean, I like this finish very much, I like all the colour and all the shine in it, I just don’t like the shaping element of it all 🙂 Off to the shades now.

 

One. Burberry Full Kisses.

 

This shade is called Deep Crimson № 567.

 

Reds are traditional for the holiday season. Remember, I told you – no bright reds here? Well, this red is so much more exciting than those, because it’s not as common.

 

Burberry says it’s crimson. Deep crimson, that is. Yeah, maybe. It’s a darker red shade. Or you could say, it’s Bordeaux, I guess. A nice version of Bordeaux without much purple. More like with some brown in it. This red shade is subdued and hot. And womanly. Ever so womanly. Due to that wet shine, among other things.

 

Two. Shaped & Full Lips Long Lasting Lip Colour.

 

This shade is called Oxblood № 549.

 

If you know Burberry makeup range, you do know by now, what they mean, when they say Oxblood. If you don’t, I’m going to tell you right now 🙂

 

Basically, oxblood is Burberry signature dark purple or – I guess, you could say – dark plum shade. They have it in different variations in their permanent range and in their limited editions at times. Oxblood is something to wear, when you want it dark, sultry and graphic in makeup department. The wet shine makes it even hotter.

 

I’ll tell you what – these shades are hot. How’s that for a poem? 🙂

 

I love this collection and the look. Here’s what I don’t understand though. Why no nail polish? Say, Burberry has Oxblood nail shade is their permanent range. Why not do a nice limited edition of it to round up the look? And, maybe, another red nail shade to go with the crimson lip colour? I don’t get it 🙂 See here, if you wanna see Burberry Oxblood nail colour and their red nail shades – and their other nail shades, for that matter 🙂 I’ve already told you about them  Burberry nail polish – all shades swatched.

 

This collection is a beauty. Seriously. It’s special. And so so Burberry. And not something you necessarily expect for holidays. This vampy look with a little bit of a vampire almost twist on it is Burberry signature look. The combinations of nobly pale – aristocratic almost – skin and sensually dark purple and red lips – is stunning in a way that it’s based on a very stark and a very strong contrast. Light versus dark. There’s style behind this makeup. Burberry style. It’s not quite like anything else out there. Still, it’s festive. Super festive. And splendid in its sophistication. Speaking about the festive element, it’s not immediately tied to the holiday season. So, you can wear it any time you feel you want to be and look exquisite. Don’t be afraid to go beyond cocktail dresses and evening gowns, when pairing this makeup up with outfits. I mean, those famous Burberry trench coats will go well with it too 🙂

YSL All Hours Primer, Concealer and Foundation swatched

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First things first – yep, all these three things last and hold and then some. I mean, you can like wear a black mask on your face after you apply them, and they won’t stain it. It’s amazing, really. I love that. Me being me, if I could possibly stain my clothes or everything around, for that matter, with my foundation, I’d be sure to do it. You can bet on that 🙂 So, I was like – there’s no way these products are going to do what YSL promises. No way. Not for me. I decided to try though for two reasons. One. I love their Anti-Cernes concealer. I’ve already told you about it here  Correct me if I’m wrong – best corrector out there. Two. The super holding and lasting power promise, you know, the whole 24 hour thing, is something I really need, want and am looking for in my base, concealer and foundation.

 

Even if I rarely wear full on foundation 🙂 When I do though, the lasting power and no staining is what I absolutely have to have. Well, these three products definitely provide that, so I’m happy 🙂 I didn’t even expect them to be that good. Now, in foundation the glowy finish has been ruling the ball and owning the scene for a while. As long as matts on the nails and on the lips and even on the eyelids 🙂 are ever so strong and definitely a trend right now, base and tone just had to catch up with it, and it did. As a result, we get a whole bunch of matt finish foundations showing up on the market. YSL 24 Hours primer, concealer and foundation are just that. What they give you is matt finish. You know, that classic and classy base and tone finish. The initial face makeup finish, so to say  🙂 Or no makeup finish. Because your face doesn’t usually glow on its own, does it? Yeah, I know 🙂

 

It all starts with a primer. In fact, if you look up any kind of manuals, articles or posts about how you can make your foundation last and not smudge, it’ll say there almost for sure, that primer is essential. I’m happy to report though, that All Hours concealer and foundation by YSL works and holds and lasts even without primer. I’m serious. I tried it both ways – with the primer and without it. Anyway, this primer is called Encre de Peau All Hours Primer. According to YSL, it’s a flawless matte long-wear primer. If you come to think of it, mattifying is probably the main purpose of primers. If that’s what you are looking for in a primer, YSL has it covered. At the same time, mattifying here doesn’t go off the cliff. So, no need to be afraid to overmattify. As it generally goes with primers, there’s only one shade of it, that’s supposed to be universal.

 

Also, do notice, that it says on the packaging – SPF 18. I don’t generally need SPF that much, unless I’m in super hot climates. Still, it’s nice to know it’s there. And maybe, you need it 🙂 Further on, base is generally there to unify and correct imperfections, sort of, but I just never find that base does it enough for me. It’s more of a prep step than a full on makeup, that is exactly why it’s called primer 🙂 And then you are supposed to use concealer and foundation, if you want to create perfect tone. To put it simply, I think this primer does its job. Whether it helps the foundation last 24 hours – I have no way of knowing that exactly 🙂 It might. It has a makeupey scent to it. I don’t know, if it matters to you. It sure does to me. I prefer no scent or, if any, I want it to disappear fast. I’d say, that this primer falls into the second category 🙂 There’s scent, when you apply it, it’s gone soon after though.

 

I love the packaging. It’s lacquer. It’s black. With golden lettering. It’s sleek. It’s chic. No, really. This rectangular primer packaging is amazing. Love it. One of those things in makeup, where, to me, design alone is worth it all the way already. Now, every time I try to get a little primer out of this awesome packaging, I fail 🙂 There’s almost no way to get a little out. This primer is liquid, like many of them, so it comes right out of the bottle in a big splashy move. No matter how easy I try to go on it, the result is always the same, so, be careful, please. Especially, when you do it for the first time, you know. Give it a tiny little squeeze and see, where it all goes. If you are Ok, then you can go full on power next time around 🙂 Also, don’t get thrown off by the colour of this primer. It’s pearly white. I was surprised to see it the first time around. It’s not glowy though, it’s mattifying, really.

 

Next step. All Hours Concealer. It’s a liquid concealer. I’m usually not a fan of liquid concealers, as they are hard to work with. To me, it’s must easier to get on terms with creamy concealers. Still, I do remember, that it’s YSL, that I love their creamy concealer, so I try All Hours. The tube is pretty cool in a way, that you can actually see the shade in the back. It seems, it’s an easy concept, while, in fact, I think, it’s pretty clever – and not that common 🙂 The packaging is cool, not as chic as the primer packaging though. Nothing can beat it, as far as I’m concerned. It says on it – full coverage 16H wear. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s not 24 hours, it’s 16 hours. Naughty naughty, YSL 🙂 It’s fine though. 16 hours is enough to me, personally 🙂 , I don’t know about you. I guess, after 16 hours we might well fix our makeup a little, right? Especially as concealer is small, and you can carry it around with you.

 

Let’s talk about the scent now. There’s a little bit of a chemical whiff up front, but it goes away real quick. So, it’s like there’s almost no scent there. The brush is spongy and comfy to use. Not too big, not too small, just right. Slides over your skin easily. The cover power is pretty good. Especially as every time you dip the brush into concealer ever so much of it comes out. It’s almost like with that primer, you know 🙂 I didn’t know how to deal with it, at first. Then I got into the habit of wiping the brush against the tube neck, after I pull it out. This way I can get rid of the excess of the concealer. And if I need more, I can always dip it again and get more. Easy 🙂 It’s great, that you can layer this concealer like that and go from almost sheer veil to full on camouflage 🙂 So, don’t be afraid to experiment, this texture is the texture to do it with.

 

The finish you get with this concealer is matt. That’s what I’m looking for in a concealer. As much as they talk about light reflection, the best way to conceal and cover up is the good old tone with matt finish. Light reflection can only cover up like super minor imperfections and only under certain angles. While this concealer can cover it all up. Even dark circles under your eyes. If you hit the right shade, that’s really close to your skin tone, you can even skip the foundation step altogether. Think about it, this concealer lasts so long – so-o long – you can just throw it on and get going and not worry about smudging. It’s awesome, right? Speaking about the shade, I got the one that’s called 2 Ivory. In makeup language and beauty language it usually means that the shade is pretty light. I would say, it holds true here. It’s a lighter and cooler beige.

 

And the last step of the three 🙂 Foundation. YSL Encre de Peau All Hours Foundation. Unlike the concealer that’s 16 hour 🙂 , this is 24 hour long-wear flawless matte full coverage foundation. Oh, SPF 20 🙂 So, it lasts 24 hours, according to YSL – I haven’t really checked, because I haven’t really worn this foundation for 24 hours in a row. It does last though. Big time. And doesn’t stain your clothes or whatever else. I mean, it’s really really long lasting. Just what I’m looking for. Flawless? Yep, like any foundation with good formula it can make your skin flawless, once you apply it 🙂 YSL says it’s matte. Absolutely. The finish it provides is perfectly matt. No glow there. A-a-and full coverage. Definitely. It easily goes on your skin, not as a sheer thing, more like as a full on foundation thing. At the same time, it looks pretty natural, especially if you go light handed on it.

 

Speaking about it, to me, it’s important in a foundation to be able to build it, depending on the makeup, look and effect I’m trying to achieve and create. From almost sheer nude to super full cover and vampy. And no matter what you do with this foundation, you can be sure that it won’t smudge and won’t let you down. That it will stay right where you put it 🙂 For 24 hours, I guess 🙂 Oh, this foundation also has YSL signature watermelony scent to it. You know, the scent they have in their lip colour products. It’s fruity, but mostly, it’s watermelony. At least, that’s what I gather from it. As scent sensitive as I am, I can get over this scent, it’s even pleasant to me, and it doesn’t really linger on my face, it somehow seems to dissipate pretty fast. I don’t know how or why it happens, but it does. So, me feeling this scent for only a bit, it being so nice, is a pleasant bonus 🙂

 

Now let’s talk about that packaging, shall we? It’s not all black and all lacquer. It’s pretty cool though. Not chic, but cool. That’s the right way to describe it. That black stripe with All Hours down the middle looks modern and very YSL. I love this design. It really stands out in the looong row of foundation bottles 🙂 You get this foundation out through a pump. A little of it is enough to like make ten people up 🙂 Keep it in mind. Start with just a bit. And if you want more, you can always add and layer. The texture is good and easy to deal with. I really made friends with it. Once again, I can’t account for 24 hours, but it hasn’t let me, personally, down 🙂 The shade is lighter beige. Not as light as the concealer shade, still pretty light and pretty cool. And a touch pinkish. A touch of pink is always good in beige foundation. It becomes it. Very much so 🙂

 

That’s what my experiences with YSL All Hours Primer, YSL All Hours Concealer and YSL All Hours Foundation are like. All three can be relied on. Together and/or separately. I don’t know what your preferences are in base and tone world, whether you are looking for lasting power in it. If you are though, you’ve got it here. YSL has you covered. What I, for one, am looking for in base and tone is that it won’t smudge and won’t get on my hands, if I happen to touch my face during the day – or night 🙂 And that it won’t stain my clothes. I couldn’t even tell you exactly, how I get it there, but I do 🙂 Well, with this primer, concealer and base I definitely found that. I’ll enjoy wearing it without worrying about all the smudging business. What I love about it is that it’s not one product. It’s three products. That is, I can actually pick what I need at the moment and what I’m going to wear. It doesn’t have to be all three. These products are so good on their own, I can even use just one. Awesome 🙂

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Citrus-Scented juicy mandarin and pink grapefruit swatched

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Well, here we go, two more limited editions of Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector. I’ve already told you about the two previous limited editions and the formula and the application and… a lot of other stuff 🙂 here Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector pink shimmer and red shimmer swatched. To recap real quick, this formula is soft on the lips, it might be balmy, but just a little, not really all the way balmy. The fluffy applicator is all soft and nice, but you might as well forget all about precision application with it 🙂 This balm or this gloss – or a mix thereof – is thicker than what you usually expect from lip gloss. You can go as light handed on it or as heavy handed as you want though 🙂 So, sheer or full on colour with gloss is your choice. The scent was all sweet last time around, we’ll see what it’s like now that it’s citrus scented 🙂

 

I did like the white design with red carnation pattern very much last time around. I have to tell you that white boxing with fruity pattern we’re getting now is no less impressive. I presume, what we see here is juicy mandarin, as that’s the name of this shade. Very nice, perky, fun and – just like all the carnations – very Clarins. I love it, when brands do something that’s really in tune with their DNA and what they are. When I look at this packaging, there’s no mistake. It can’t be anyone else other than Clarins, and that’s good news. Now, what I’m interested in here in this particular edition – or should I say these two particular editions  🙂 – is the scent. I’m very scent sensitive, so Clarins signature super sweet scent in a lot of their lip colour, especially balmy kinds, frankly, bothers me. So, I’m hoping that citrus will be less demanding and more subdued, maybe. We’ll see   🙂

 

The shade is called 14 juicy mandarin. Very nice 🙂 So, it’s mandarin on the packaging. Tangerine, that is 🙂 The tube is the opposite colourwise from what we’ve seen on the boxing. It’s orange with white tangerines, not vice versa. It looks all summery and fun, so that I wanna have it in my purse sometimes just for the look of it, you know 🙂 Now, let’s talk about the important stuff – the scent. Citrus? Yeah, there is some citrus here, definitely. But that’s not all there is there. We also somehow get… vanilla. So, in all honesty, the scent is not citrus, it’s citrus sweet. Or else, sweet citrus. It’s not unpleasant, more bearable to me than the classic and just sweet without citrus Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector scent. Still, it’s pretty strong. And the sweetness in it undermines the lightness of citrus. To me, the bottom line is – this scent is interesting and nice, still it’s too strong for me to be able to bear it on the lips for a while 🙂 Which is a pity.

 

Uh, here we go with the fluffy cushiony tip. Once again, I just can’t get rid of the feeling that the whole design with this bright tube and this soft tip looks very much like my very first lip gloss variations, banana and something like that 🙂 You know, when there’s no colour to it, just a touch of shine and a distant pleasant scent and, maybe, a sparkle or two. Anyway… it’s all the same in this limited edition in terms of formula and application. This balmy gloss is thicker than most lip glosses. Probably, because it’s balmy 🙂 You can build it on the lips though from sheer to full on shiny lip colour. Do remember though, that the soft tip with all the fluff on it hinders precision of application like crazy, even if it’s super comfy to the touch. So, forget about throwing on an extra layer of gloss on the run. This thing here requires work, work and then some 🙂

 

The shade is intense, bright and happy. Orange. Medium orange, I’d say, although – again – you can dilute it or build it all you want. The formula allows as much.

 

Next, please. I wanna see that grapefruit on the packaging. Uh, here it is. Pink with yellow and orange against the white. Wonderful. It’s like they grabbed you and dipped you into summer all of a sudden. Not a bad thing in the middle of fall steering towards winter. And I can’t stop admiring the fact, that the grapefruit leaves on the box are white. It makes the whole pattern and the whole packaging design so stylish. I must say, grapefruit looks kind of like… peach here. Now, if they released lip gloss or balm or something that smelled like peach, I’d be like rushing to get it 🙂 Because peach scent is pretty cool and rare in makeup. But no… Instead there’s still the same sweet citrus or citrus vanilla something. Ok, maybe, some people will like it as much as I like peach, who knows 🙂 I sure hope you do and can get a kick out of it.

 

This shade is called 13 pink grapefruit. Ok, Ok, I know, grapefruit, not peach. Missed it that much, huh? 🙂 The tube and the shade and everything is pink, which makes sense, given the name of the shade. It all tracks, Clarins – orange tangerine, pink grapefruit. Well, last time around, in that limited edition with red carnations and without the citrus vanilla scent 🙂 the pink shade was, in all honesty, hard to pull for a lot of people. So, I’m hoping this pink colour will be an easier undertaking… Yep, this pink is warm, but pretty clear, there’s nothing really mixed into it. So, most of us can enjoy it without going nuts trying to match our clothes and look to it and somehow fit it in there and make it work. The bright pink tube has white grapefruit on it in this one. Instead of white tangerines on the orange tube in juicy mandarin 🙂

 

I couldn’t possibly tell you why, but I get a bigger splash of joy and emotion, when looking at the orange tube. Oh, guess what, it’s probably because orange presents a starker contrast to white than pink. Still, this tube is small, light in my hand, because it’s made of thinner plastic than a lot of lip colour tubes are, so it will fit into all those purses and pockets and whatnot. By the way, even though the plastic of the tube is so light, you need to squeezes it pretty hard to get the lip perfector to show up on that fluffy tip for you to be able to use it 🙂 I don’t know why, but that’s definitely the way it goes for me. Speaking about lip perfector, I can’t say I feel it perfecting my lips much or at all even 🙂 Perfecting is a tough job, you know, and only few things in makeup and life, if you come to think of it, can perfect anything or anyone. Well, not this thing 🙂

 

You know what’s so great about Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector 13 pink grapefruit – other than the packaging 🙂 Cool pinks are common, warm pinks are rare.

 

That’s our sweet couple – or should I say citrus sweet couple? 🙂 – by Clarins. If you do enjoy the scent, then these two are nice to have. Be sure to get a good sniff before you buy though, just in case, you know. Also, do take your time to learn how to operate the tube and the fluffy tip and master the squeezing, because it doesn’t really feel quite like anything else I’ve tried before. Say, Juicy Tube by Lancome is made of different plastic, I guess, so the whole squeezing process is different, believe it or not 🙂 Anyway, once you get past the scent, the squeezing and the thicker than usual texture and get tuned and adjusted to all of the above, you are all set and ready to enjoy the shades and the design. I’ll tell you one thing, these two small little tubes by Clarins are two vibrant pieces of summer and sun that you can always have with you, wherever you go.

ANNY Elena and the Unicorns swatched

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Unicorns are hot. There’s so much hype about them. They are cute too. So, it’s no surprise 🙂 This nail polish collection by ANNY is yet another link in the long chain of unicorn stuff getting thrown at us at every corner 🙂 Who’s Elena? I don’t know. It’s a fairytalish name. There’s a book called ‘Elena and the Unicorn’ (unicorn in single person), but there’s nothing, really, that’s called Elena and the Unicorns (in plural). So, I’ll just presume ANNY came up with this collection name, as they needed something unicornish. As usual, they have six shades in their collection. Not that many, if you come to think of it 🙂 All six come in the finish, that they call Chrome in ANNY. I’ll decipher it for you. In simple terms, chrome finish by ANNY is metallic. Or, I guess, you might say, it’s like super metallic finish. That is, finish, stuffed with pearl and then some. Well, that’s what these shades are. Metallic. Shiny. Pearly. All that. Ok, Ok, ANNY, they are chrome 🙂

 

This finish makes sense in the context of unicorns and fantasy world, as far as I’m concerned. Even if you aren’t really into unicorns though 🙂 , metallic are a trend now, the kind of trend that seems to be persistent. We keep seeing metallics on the lips and on the nails, naturally, as lip colour and nail colour are related in certain ways. Also, there’s a bit of nineties feel floating around. And metallics in makeup – and manicure – and even clothes 🙂 – were very hot back then, hence, all the shiny shades emerging. So, this collection is a compact and easy way to quickly dip your fingers into the whole metallic frenzy. Here’s what I like about this batch in particular. Even if the shades are super shiny and metallic, they are wearable. The artsiest shade of all here is turquoise. The rest are pinks and reds and corals and beiges. Also, I’d like to tell you up front, that these shades – as any metallic shades – get pretty streaky, so, do use a clear top coat over them to even them out.

 

One.

 

155.80 innocent unicorn tears

 

A10.155.80

 

This shade is medium orange or coral.

 

Or else, pearly orange or pearly coral. It’s all pearly here, remember?

 

If you like corals, it might be a fun way to do a little tweak on your usual manicure routine.

 

It could be a big time, super bright, neon like orange. It’s not though, and that’s what makes it interesting 🙂

 

There’s something sophisticated about it, something stylish. And I don’t even love corals 🙂

 

Two.

 

176.60 magic candygirl

 

A10.176.60

 

Magic candygirl. How cute is that 🙂 I love this name.

 

As for the shade, it’s purple pink. Or pink purple, I guess you could call it that, why not? 🙂

 

Some people will even say it’s just purple.

 

To be more precise, it’s bright metallic purple with mysterious gleam to it.

 

This shade is fresh. An awesome modern purple or pink manicure option.

 

Three.

 

379.20 funky rainbow drops

 

A10.379.20

 

This is aqua. Or turquoise. You pick 🙂

 

Metallic aqua? Sounds almost like it’s too much. Bright aqua – shiny aqua?

 

Rest assured though, it’s not too much. Not over the top. It’s pretty 🙂

 

The kind of aqua you can wear all year round. Not only in summer. Imagine that 🙂 Cool, isn’t it?

 

A very nice shade. Very rare too. Full of funky rainbow drops.

 

Four.

 

317.10 born to sparkle

 

A10.317.10

 

This shade looks greige in the bottle.

 

To be more precise, it looks greige with silvery gleam to it. Darker silvery gleam.

 

The silver pearl overpowers everything in it though, once it lands on the nails.

 

So that the shade almost looks metallic silver.

 

I so wish there were more greige in this shade. I would be ecstatic then. As it is, this silvery shade is nice, but pretty common.

 

Five.

 

299 #annycorn

 

A10.299

 

This shade looks copperish in the bottle. It gets more bronze like, once it settles comfortably on your nails.

 

It’s holiday season now, so there’s a lot of bronze and gold floating around.

 

Which makes it easy to compare this shade to the rest of the shiny stuff 🙂

 

And even if this shade is bronze metallic, it’s not crazy shiny and out there in the least.

 

Instead it’s chic and glamorous and celebratory. Wonderful, really 🙂

 

Six.

 

222.61 twinkle twinkle

 

A10.222.61

 

This shade looks warm pink in the bottle.

 

When I apply it though – and when you apply it, if you do 🙂 – it reveals a strong red undertone.

 

As a result, this shade looks more like red pink. Or even pink red – depends on your colour perception.

 

Metallic red pink? Shiny red pink, that is? Now, that’s exciting.

 

Twinkle twinkle is high end, it’s sophisticated, it’s amazing. And rare, once again 🙂

 

That’s Elena and the Unicorns by ANNY. I have to be honest here, when I thought about the concept of this collection, when I looked at the promo photos, and even when I got hold of the six shades and held them in my hand, I was like – another bunch of metallic pinks and golds, huh? I’m so happy I was proved wrong by ANNY though. This batch of six is splendid in a way, that even people who generally shun metallics, can wear them and enjoy them. These shades are lush, not too shiny, and you’ll feel comfortable with them on any given day. They are like a handbook on basic metallic nail shades. It’s like – start with these ones. Or – if you are thinking, what metallics you should get – grab this collection and add it to your stash. It’s an easy way to be exquisite. And one of the best ways to follow the metallics trend and make it your own all at the same time. There’s just something about these nail colours that’s ever so appealing 🙂

   

   

   

Givenchy Striking Night Lights holiday 2017 swatched

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Holiday collections are in, and even if you are not celebrating this upcoming holiday season, why don’t you stack up on some pretty shades and cute limited editions? 🙂 The first holiday collection I’m looking at this season is Striking Night Lights by Givenchy. Striking Night Lights? Sounds good and just right for the holidays. Or parties, for that matter 🙂 We’ll see how exactly striking those lights by Givenchy are going to be. Givenchy collections tend to be compact, that is, there aren’t that many items proper in them. Also, of late nail polish hasn’t really been part of Givenchy collections that much. Which is a pity, by the way, because manicure rounds up our look nicely usually. Here’s good news though. In holiday collections especially – not only in holidays ones though – Givenchy usually does kind of artsy and beautiful packaging design. So, I hope to see something special this year.

 

Givenchy stands out among the luxury brands that produce makeup in a way, that it’s artsy and edgy and chic at the same time. It’s more like couture artsy, as opposed to real big time edgy like, say, Urban Decay, which is very different. It’s certainly nice to see something off the beaten track a little in luxury makeup world and bring in some fun elements into our looks, even if those looks tend to be womanly and sophisticated. Givenchy edginess is pretty safe, they don’t push the limits too much, so it’s a good way to try something in that field. Especially when this something is packaged the way it is in this collection 🙂 The packaging here is amazing, really. And green. Or else, grey green with some blue and purple here and there. Amazing 🙂 The boxing looked so purple in promo pictures, I was pleasantly surprised, no, stunned really, when I saw all the gorgeous snaky glittery green and grey of it in real life. Green is my favorite 🙂

 

The first item in the collection is Prisme Libre.

 

The shade is called 9 Eclats de Rose.

 

This powder is pretty much light pink, but very very light, so light it works like Meteorites by Guerlain, more or less, that is, it evens out skin tone, lights it up a little bit, but it doesn’t paint it any specific shade. It also has tiny holographic silver pink and then shining all kind of kind of colours glitter in it that you can’t see almost. It’s more of a light reflecting thing. They always say such shades are universal, I do believe though, that they work better on fair skinned beauties and on those who have any sallow in their skin tone, because pink neutralizes it best.

 

Next in this collection we have a very Givenchy thing – mascara top coat.

 

The shade is called 04 Eclats Violines.

 

I’ve already told you about how I made friends with this mascara top coat shovely brush. I mean, it looks impossible to operate, but once you do it, it’s actually quite easy and efficient somehow 🙂

 

The mascara top coat is amazing violet colour with a whole bunch of purple and blue sparkle in it. It has a lot of blue sheen in it too. Beautiful. I love it. I’ve told you already, how violet in makeup is rare, underrated and extremely becoming. It looks good on almost everyone and brings out the very best of your brown, blue or green eyes. Also, it looks very exotic, by the way, when you clash it with warmer yellow tone eyes.

 

On we go. Eye palette.

 

La Palette Eclats Nocturnes

 

The starry sparkly design is stunning and then some. Also, it really stands out. Even among holiday limited editions. Givenchy managed to take their signature star and turn it into a beauty of an eye palette form.

 

We have three shades here:

 

Lighter satin violet with silvery sheen and tiny little pink and purple and blue sparkle hidden in its depth. This shade will make for a dangerously hot combination with that violet mascara top coat.

 

Satin bronze with golden pink sheen and tiny bronze and pink sparkle. See, what did I tell you about clashing violet against the yellow of your eyes, huh? That’s exactly what Givenchy is doing here with this shade and the violet shade.

 

Darker vintage copperish gold. It’s all sparkly and shiny, not satiny, its texture is different from the two other shades. It’s pretty loose and very very sparkly. Very festive. And for once it’s not that crazy shiny kind of gold that we always seem to get for holidays. This is a much nobler version of it and a much better match for that violet shade. Try to swap the usual shiny holiday season gold for this one here. You might achieve some incredible results 🙂

 

We are getting to the finish line here 🙂 Le Rouge.

 

The shade is called 328 Grenat Nocturne.

 

Once again, this lipstick is not really matt 🙂 I don’t know why they keep calling it that 🙂 It’s a classic creamy satin finish, maybe, a little less shiny and, maybe, a little more satin than the good old creamy one. Still…

 

The makeupey powdery scent is still there, and I do hope you like it, because it’s as strong as ever. In all honesty, it’s always that strong. Too strong for me. It makes me like Le Rouge less than I could otherwise. Then again, I’m very scent sensitive, maybe, you aren’t.

 

The shade is brown red. I guess, you could call it a darker brick shade. That is, if brick is orange red, this is, once again, brown red. It’s a nice darker sultry red shade that’s not too common and that’s easier to pull for more people than femme fatale like black cherry.

 

And… the last item in this collection. Le Rouge a-porter.

 

The shade is called 306 Brun Nocturne.

 

When they just came out with this variation of Le Rouge, I was like – lose the scent, lose the scent, please – but no, it’s still there. A little more manageable, yes, but it just wouldn’t go away. I guess, there are a lot of people out there who enjoy it 🙂

 

This is a lighter and shinier version of the red brown we’ve just seen in Le Rouge, really. It’s more diluted, there’s a slight chance there’s a touch more orange there, still it’s definitely very close and in the same family.

 

See, told you, for some reason there’s usually no nail colour in makeup collections by Givenchy. At least, it’s been true of late. They used to have some really good limited edition nail shades before. I wish they got back to making them 🙂

 

That’s it. Striking Night Lights by Givenchy. Everything in this collection makes me love it so much. The stunner of the green and grey design, the starry eye palette, the shine that’s there in a kind of holiday way but without going overboard. Here’s the best thing about this collection though, in my opinion – the shades. The shades are handpicked and matched so carefully, they really stand out from the row of incessant holiday golds and pinks and reds. You know what I’m talking about 🙂 These shades by Givenchy are truly exquisite proving that anything is possible, and shine and sparkle can be sophisticated and elegant, if you so desire and think carefully, when you put your makeup and look together J This small batch of products is a great way to add that very zest to your look that’s ever so stylish, you know. And not just your holiday look. Your everyday look too 🙂

Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother and Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda

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I’ve told you many times about the colour and care trend in makeup. It’s been going on in all planes and territories – in nail colour (and care), lip colour (and care), all over the place. And you know how I’m mostly skeptical about these type of products, because once you try to do two things at the same time, it doesn’t always work so well. You do remember, how to me, Lip Lover by Lancome is pretty much the only colour and care thing in lip colour that really really works. Well, guess what, as much as I’m happy with one thing done perfectly usually, there’s this one department in makeup, where the colour and care concept seems to actually rock. Base and tone. That is, face department. Why is that? Probably because the texture and formula of base and tone products is close enough to all the lotion and cream and serum variations, where they can be mixed together easily.

 

You know what I’m saying, right? Base and tone with care element in it has been around for a while. It just seems to make sense. In our time and in our world, when everything around is moving oh so fast, it’s nice to be able to do two things in one run. Say, even out the tone and disguise the imperfections and do base. Or moisturize and do tone. And, yes, I do think that you can actually do it efficiently enough with the products that are out there in the market. Keep in mind though, that skin care – even when it’s part of makeup 🙂 – is even more individual than makeup itself. Try to find the things and products that are right for you specifically. And not just for everyone. How can you do that? By reading reviews online and by testing and trying stuff. Try your favourite brands and textures and you’ll hopefully find what will be a blast for you.

 

And I’m going to tell you here about the things that work for me 🙂 Who knows, our preferences might coincide, or at least, you’ll learn some things about these products and, maybe, conclude that they aren’t really what you need. Anyway… here’s one thing that seems to be a really good match to me – primer and smoothening and tone evening skin care. I mean, it’s just logically compatible 🙂 Primer is there to even out skin tone and disguise imperfections. There are whole ranges of skin care that actually do just that. Say, Ibuki by Shiseido. So, when they came up with this primer not too long ago that combines makeup qualities and traits of their Ibuki skin care line, I was like – hm, this might work. So, I tried it, and here’s what I found 🙂 The product is called Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother Filtre Lissant Instantane.

 

The first thing I always do is read into what it says on the packaging. You’ll be surprised, how much you can learn, if you read past the name and whatever else it says on the front in big letters 🙂 Well, for starters, it says that this product blurs imperfections. Ok, that’s what primers are for 🙂 so, good. Now, if we look closely at the French on the packaging 🙂 (see, it’s not only small letters and caps, whatever they say there in different languages can also differ 🙂 , we’ll see that it filters and smooths it all out ‘instantly’. Nice 🙂 Next. From the back of the packaging I learn that it’s serum. See Smart Filtering Smoother (Serum). Uh-huh. It’s a good thing to know. Some of us like serum as skin care, others don’t. So, be forewarned. You know that serum is the most concentrated kind of skin care, it’s most intense, that is.

 

Next thing I wanna know is what this product is supposed to do. According to the packaging – once again – it visibly corrects: shine and pores. Let’s decipher that. How can something correct shine and pores? By mattifying. That’s the action behind the smoothing here then, I guess. Well now, I’ve learned a lot here already 🙂 I like learning new stuff, so I’m pretty happy. There’s nothing wrong with mattifying. Just be careful with it, if your skin is dry, Ok? And remember, as long as this is serum, don’t use too much. Once again, serum is a very concentrated thing, and if you use serum as part of your skin care routine, you know that you need a couple of drops of it, really. And as long as Shiseido Ibuki smoother is serum, the same goes for it. Also, the packaging itself gives us a hint we should only use a little, because it’s just so… small 🙂

 

Ibuki Smoother by Shiseido needs to be shaken up before use. It’s very light pinkish in colour. It has a makeupey skincarey scent that’s not too much, still, it’s conspicuous enough, it’s there, and it hovers over your face for a while, after you apply it, so in case you are scent sensitive, please, be careful. The bottle it comes in is small and thin, so you’ll be able to fit it into most of your purses, probably, and carry it around to fix your makeup on the run. In terms of what it does… It doesn’t really make you up. It doesn’t have colour to it or almost none. It’s more of a unifying skin care thing, when it comes to texture and action. So, you’ll need to top it with base to actually fully correct the imperfections. It does help to deal with pores and breakouts and things like that though, once it’s on. And it seems to do it in the long term.

 

The long term part is the best part of it all. It means, pretty much, that you’ll get less of the issues you are trying to deal with day by day, when using Ibuki Shiseiso Smoother. It’s not skin care all the way though. So, don’t think that you’ll deal with your skin needs that go along the lines of Ibuki Shiseiso range by using this Smoother alone. If you want skin care proper, go for the whole range by Shiseido or for the range of the kind that you like best. As for the primer in question, it’s a good primer (primer is the key word here). It doesn’t work miracles, but it’s solid in terms of quality and actually works. A good example of successful skin care and makeup fusion.

 

The second product in colour and care family I found that works for me is not a primer. It’s a full on base that does have shade and colour to it. Base and tone is probably the best liaison in terms of colour and care. There are even products now, where you can add drops of colour to skin care products and come up with your own mix. Say, Clinique has a thing of the kind 🙂 I found this tinted cream base here by going to one of my favourite brands. Told ya, it’s one of the ways to do it 🙂 This product is called Crema Nuda by Giorgio Armani. The first thing I gather from the name of this product is that it sounds like Crema Nero, a high end skin care line by Armani. According to the packaging – once again – it’s a supreme glow reviving tinted cream. Tinted cream. Interesting. It pretty much says here it’s more of tinted skin care than colour with a skin care element to it.

 

I’m also noticing that it’s glow reviving. It sounds like a product that will bring out the natural glow of our skin, but something’s telling me that it’s going to be one of those glowy bases that have been hot for a while now in makeup world. We’ll see. It says on the box too that it hydrates, corrects, unifies. Correcting and unifying sounds primer like and base like, these are traditional face makeup functions. The exciting and skin carish element here is that Crema Nuda is supposed to hydrate our skin. Hydration is what skin care does, generally speaking, not makeup. What is hydration, in essence? Mosturizing. Moisturizers are hydration products. We know, that in terms of skin care, hydration is one of the most important or even the most important thing period. It’s what our skin needs most. And what the environment tends to deprive it of 🙂

 

It’s also seemingly the easiest thing to do. Moisturizing. Sounds much easier to achieve than correcting imperfections, anti age treatment and what not. Still, finding the right moisturizers that work efficiently and give you what you of all people need is a tough cookie to crack. When it comes to me, it’s all about trying all kind of products and reading about them. Say, just recently I’ve reading online about moisturizers here  https://www.reviews.com/face-moisturizer/ and found a couple of products I might want to try. You know why I read about skin care? Its components and ingredients are complex, and sometimes it takes expertise and knowledge to decipher it all and understand it all to the full. Ok, Ok, I’m back to Crema Nuda by Giorgio Armani here 🙂 that, according to the packaging, hydrates.

 

The key word in the description of how Crema Nuda feels is the first word we saw in its description on the box. Remember that word? No? Supreme 🙂 Supreme glow reviving tinted cream. Well, sure enough, this tinted cream does feel supreme. Feels awesome, lush and wonderful. There’s this extra something there. That extra kick on top of it just feeling caring and soothing and nice and pleasant. It has makeupey skin carey scent to it. It’s not too much, but pretty persistent. In terms of hydration, I’ll tell you something, there’s something there, something skin care like, in this product, I can’t tell you for sure though, whether it’s hydration, nutrition, care or what. It just feels good and feels lush on the skin. And I love that. Now, in terms of glow, it’s glowy, very much so. Might be too glowy for me, personally 🙂 It’s not just glow reviving, the product itself is glowy.

 

The shade I got is 02. And it’s called light glow. The shade is a lighter beige with rosy or pink undertone to it. A very nice and flattering shade. The packaging is heavy in my hand, in a good way. It’s posh looking and feeling. There’s also a small little shovely thing there, so that you don’t have to go into the jar with your fingers. All in all, Crema Nuda by Giorgio Armani is a great colour and care product. It works as base and tone and feels like skin care. Keep in mind though, that it’s not just base, it’s a glowy base, so be sure, that you like glow in your face products, really like it, before you venture into wearing it. The quality is so good, you don’t have to top it with powder, unless you want to.

 

That’s my duo of colour and care products that work for me. Ibuki Smoother by Shiseido and Crema Nuda by Armani. See if you agree with me 🙂 Personally, I’m confirmed in my opinion that in all of makeup, base and tone is the best direction to take, when trying to do skin care and makeup fusion. The two merge without colliding and bring out the best in each other. A perfect match 🙂

 

OPI Iceland fall/winter 2017 swatched

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What do we know about Iceland? Iceland is a Nordic island state with subarctic climate that’s similar to the Alaska Peninsula climate. It’s located on the juncture of North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The capital of Iceland is Reykjavik. Anyway… my geography lesson is over here, don’t you worry. To cut the long story short, our image of Iceland is mostly of a Northern European, Scandinavian country with pretty cold weather and beautifully stern and laconic nature. At least, that’s my image of it. If you live in Iceland, please, weigh in and tell us about your homeland. I would love to hear your stories and thoughts, because OPI decided to call their fall/winter collection Iceland this year. It’s an interesting choice that seems to make sense in terms of this country landscape and nature and weather, in my opinion. Here’s why.

 

They call Iceland the land of fire and ice. Or the land of ice and fire, for that matter 🙂 This metaphor has something to do with Iceland climate and history. Also, they often say that Iceland is a country of extremes. It has both glaciers and volcanoes in it, for one 🙂 And it has an exciting combination of warm and intense shades and silver white and blue colour shades in its landscape. I’m going to presume though, that as long as this here a fall/winter season collection, it’s going to be more about moody and subdued nail shades than anything else. With a couple of bright warmer spots in it here and there. The other thing that comes to mind immediately, when I think about Iceland, is its Scandinavian cultural roots. There’s so much there, so much heritage, so many myths, a whirlpool of images and possibilities that can be reflected in this collection.

 

Now, are you ready? ‘Cause here it is – Iceland by OPI – fall/winter 2017. We have twelve shades here, the usual number for OPI. And the dozen is…

 

Here’s my first impression. This collection does strike me as being on the cooler and darker side. There’s a lot of greige and a lot of violet here with a touch of green, blue, coral and pink.

 

The formula is good and solid, very much like OPI. In terms of texture, there’s a lot of cream and a handful of pearl scattered around. No glitters – they are all reserved for holidays 🙂

 

Now, before I get to shade by shade breakdown, would you take a minute to listen to these shade names. I mean, just listen…

 

Icelanded a Bottle of OPI, Suzi & the Arctic Fox, That’s What Friends Are Thor, Turn On the Northern Lights!, Krona-logical Order, This Isn’t Greenland, Less Is Norse, One Heckla of a Color!, I’ll Have a Gin & Tectonic, Aurora Berry-alis, Check Out the Old Geysirs, Reykjavik Has All the Hot Spots.

 

Well, there are some puns in the names, some history and culture and some economy even 🙂 I’ll take one more minute before moving on to the shades proper to draw your attention to the fact that OPI bottle design is changing obviously. In this batch of twelve shades I’ve come across both old design (on the left) and new design (on the right) that’s very much like Infinite Shine formula bottle design, if you take the Infinite Shine words out of the equation 🙂

 

Twelve shades. Iceland by OPI. On we go.

 

One.

 

Icelanded a Bottle of OPI

 

NL 153

 

What a great pun in the name of this shade. I wish there were such a verb, actually, ‘to iceland’ 🙂

 

The shade numbering system also changed, obviously. Interesting.

 

The only part of the numbering that is intact is NL and a number part.

 

The shade is medium to lighter greige. Under certain angles it looks grey, under other angles it looks beige.

 

If you like both grey and beige manicures, this is the shade for you.

 

Two.

 

Suzi & the Arctic Fox

 

NL 156

 

OPI co-founder’s – Suzi Weiss-Fischmann’s – first name traditionally makes its appearance in each collection by this brand 🙂

 

You know, she’s the one who’s known all over the world as the First Lady of Nails. Anyway…

 

Arctic fox is super cute. I mean, super cute. No, really 🙂

 

The shade is an amazing deep blue violet. Rare. Very rare. Moody.

 

If you love dark manicures, if your eyes are violet or blue, do get it.

 

Three.

 

That’s What Friends Are Thor

 

NL 154

 

Another good pun in the shade name. And a mention of Thor. All in one. Nice 🙂

 

What did I tell you about the Scandinavian myths that had to make it here somehow, huh?

 

And in all of the Scandinavian mythology Thor is the most important figure, that’s for sure. God of Thunder. The big boss guy 🙂

 

This shade is a cooler darker greige. A dark milk and coffeeish colour with a lot of grey undertone in it.

 

A very nice and languid shade. A great balance of light and cool.

 

Four.

 

Turn On the Northern Lights!

 

NL 157

 

I love this shade name. Yes, let’s turn on the Northern Lights 🙂

 

I mean, the Northern Lights are beautiful.

 

Yes, this shade does have something in common with the Northern Lights.

 

It’s metallic violet with tiny little purple sparkle hidden in its depth. Pearly and nice.

 

If you like metallics, but are always worried that they might be too much, you might really enjoy this shade.

 

Five.

 

Krona-logical Order

 

NL 155

 

For starters, this pun is clever. Also, how do you like bringing economy into a nail shade name? 🙂

 

It’s really cool. You can paint your nails and be reminded that krona is the currency of Iceland.

 

The shade is a darker greige with a big time grey undertone in it.

 

You could even say this shade is brown, that’s surprisingly cool and has a lot of grey colour in it.

 

A very interesting dark manicure option. Modern and sophisticated all at the same time.

 

Six.

 

This Isn’t Greenland

 

NL 158

 

No, m’am, this isn’t Greenland, this is Iceland. Iceland by OPI, that is 🙂

 

A light warm khaki green.

 

A serene and easy chic shade that has a little bit of an edge to it.

 

Even if you don’t like green in manicures, you might surprise yourself by liking this shade a lot.

 

There’s nothing artsy about it. It’s full of understatement and warmth and languid mood.

 

Seven.

 

Less Is Norse

 

NL 159

 

Less Is More. True. Less Is Norse. True too. In case of this collection especially 🙂

 

This shade is a head turning combo of blue, violet and grey.

 

The violet shades in this collection are spectacular. And there are so many of them.

 

Violet is not too common in manicure world. There are many more warm purples out there than violets.

 

While violet is an awesome dark manicure option without being too dark.

 

Eight.

 

One Heckla of a Color!

 

NL 162

 

O-okay, in this shade we have some geography, obviously. You know what Hekla or Hecla is? No?

 

It’s a volcano in the south of Iceland. One of the most active volcanoes in this country, in fact.

 

This is a moody lilac shade.

 

All of a sudden lilac is not pastel, it’s… well, fall like.

 

And that’s great. Because there are so many pastel lilacs in this world and only few shades like this one here.

 

Nine.

 

I’ll Have a Gin & Tectonic

 

NL 161

 

How’s that for a pun, huh? Bringing cocktails and geology together in a shade name, I give OPI credit for that. By all means 🙂

 

This is a lighter to medium coral shade.

 

Sometimes it looks warmer, at other times it looks cooler.

 

Depends on the light you are in.

 

This shade is definitely not one of those summery corals though. It’s elegant, really.

 

Ten.

 

Aurora Berry-alis

 

NL 164

 

Two shade names in this collection are devoted to the Northern Lights, huh. Aurora Borealis is their Latin name, so it’s the second one.

 

The Berry-alis part of it all is due to this shade being berry like, I presume.

 

It’s an interesting mix of purple and pink, that’s what it is.

 

Pretty bright, but not too bright.

 

A very womanly colour. A perfect modern day classic thing. Well balanced and classy.

 

Eleven.

 

Check Out the Old Geysirs

 

NL 160

 

Geysir – or the Great Geysir sometimes – is the name of a geyser in the south west of Iceland.

 

The English word ‘geyser’ is actually derived from this geyser name – ‘Geysir’. While the word ‘geysir’ itself comes from the Icelandic verb ‘geysa’.

 

‘Geysa’ means pretty much ‘to gush’, it dates back to the Old Norse language.

 

This shade is medium linen blue like blue that can make you love blue manicures, even if you couldn’t even imagine ever – ever – painting your nails blue.

 

Exquisite, beautiful, classy. It’s all here. Love it. Oh, there’s some sort of holographic pearl in it too, that doesn’t make it metallic, but gives it a sort of surreal – in a good way – sheen at certain angles. Wow.

 

Twelve.

 

Reykjavik Has All the Hot Spots

 

NL 163

 

Another geology reference in the name of a shade.

 

In geology they call volcanic regions, that are fed by super hot mantle, hotspots or hot spots. So, that’s what it’s all about.

 

If you took greige, warmed it up to turn it into cappuccino and then made it metallic and pearly… then you’d get this shade.

 

Doesn’t sound so great? But it does. It is, that is. It’s oh so great.

 

Love it. There’s tiny little silver sparkle in it too. Pretty.

 

That’s Iceland by OPI. I’ll tell you what. It’s like it’s the ultimate fall/winter nail colour collection. These twelve shades are perfect for colder weather. They are moody and darker without being too dark. They are very sophisticated in just how subdued and understated they are. At the same time, OPI managed not to go to the off black territory. Instead we have all the violets here. Amazing violets. Rare violets. Special violets. Becoming violets. A great chance to try violet manicure, if you haven’t tried it yet. Also, there are some greiges here. Greiges are so chic. And the range of greige in this collection is a good one. From lighter to deeper and more intense. To suit any taste. And then, of course, there’s blue and there’s green there. I do like both colours in manicure. These two shades in particular though happen to be just wonderful.

   

   

   

   

   

   

 

If you are a traditionalist in manicures, check out that coral shade and that berry shade, purple pink, that is. You’ll probably enjoy them. They are a classic with a zest. And… don’t forget about the warm greige with a bronze edge. It’s a splendid shade. You’ll see  🙂 All in all, Iceland by OPI looks very fall like to me. It belongs in fall with its held back dignity and its small little artsy colourful streak. In the winter this collection will look exquisite, because these twelve shades aren’t all the way wintery. Or else, they aren’t necessarily, what we expect to see in winter nail colour collection or what we are used to seeing there. I really appreciate, when something is done in manicure and makeup alike, that’s off the beaten track, sort of. After all, fall and winter come every year, and every year we wear those shades, so it’s nice to see something new there, you know 🙂

Halloween makeup and manicure ideas 2017 with Urban Decay Electric eye palette

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You’re ready for Halloween? Not celebrating Halloween? Ready to party then? 🙂 If you come to think of it, Halloween makeup and manicure and just party makeup and manicure have a lot in common. Here’s how. What is the most popular or common path to take, when in comes to Halloween makeup and manicure? Dark, sultry, smoky. Right? Well, what’s the most popular or common way to make up, when you are going out? Uh-huh 🙂 Smoking hot and darker, more intense, that is, seems to be the strategy the two occasions share. When I hear Halloween makeup and manicure, I can’t help seeing images of red lip and red manicures, dark purple and plum lips and black manicures, black arrows, smoky eyes and such. Me being me though, I can’t help wanting to go a different way 🙂 To me, Halloween is not a yearly occasion to do red lip or paint my nails black. I mean, I can do it on some other day or days 🙂 I wanna do colour for Halloween. Wha?? What? Colour? For Halloween? Yep. Let me explain.

 

Halloween is the best time of the year to try new things. Tell me, what other time can you paint your lips… green? Or yellow? Or blue? Or use red mascara? Or highlighters with green and lilac sparkle? Only for Halloween. Unless you are going to a costume party or ball. And isn’t that what Halloween is, essentially? One giant costume party. How many other occasions do we have in life, when we can do something out of the box in makeup and manicure department? Not that many. Most of us can’t do it at work. At home? Maybe, but this kind of manicure and makeup that’s special, to put it simply, calls for a special environment and special atmosphere, where it will work best. It also calls for dressing up. So, just hanging at home made up like that or going shopping in your neighbourhood made up like that is not as fun as doing that at a Halloween party or just a party. No, you don’t have to do it for Halloween necessarily. You can just go clubbing and be the centre of attention there with your look.

 

The simple way to create the look I’m talking about in terms of makeup and manicure – and in clothes department too, by the way – is doing something you don’t usually do. Say, when we go out, a lot of us tend to do brighter eyeshadow – green or blue – and brighter lip – red or pink. Makes sense. A lot of people do it. Well, why don’t you swap it? Red eyeshadow and green or blue lip. Now, how many people do that? How often? Uh-huh. That’s the simplest example. It can be your starting point, and then you can just let yourself go and do just anything your imagination will tell you to do. Trust me, a colourful look of the kind will be no less striking as the usual dark Halloween look. Be sure to rehearse and test run your makeup and manicure on the eve of the event. In fact, any special occasion makeup and manicure should probably be tested before the actual day and time you are going to wear it. This way you’ll have time and chance and room for improvement. Always a good thing 🙂

 

There are so many interesting and exciting shades out there in the world. You don’t have to be super artsy, if that’s not your kind of thing, you can just go a little outside you usual range, be a little bolder and a little more daring in your makeup and manicure. If you are looking for inspiration for your Halloween look, check out my two posts about what you can do and places you can go, when you are considering, what you want to look this Halloween, any other Halloween or any time you are going clubbing or partying, where it involves dressing up. Halloween manicure and makeup and  Halloween manicure and makeup 2016. I just want to show you this one palette by Urban Decay called Electric to give you an idea of what I mean, when I talk about brights in makeup. It’s eyeshadow palette, but when you see it, you’ll know where to go in terms of lip colour and nail colour and anything else, if you so choose.

 

The design of this palette itself is very much in tune with how I feel about this year Halloween look 🙂 See how vibrant and intense it is? Just look at this major splash of colour. Too much? Think about it this way. It’s just so happy looking 🙂 Wouldn’t you agree? If such bright shades – neon like shades even – are way too much for you, don’t forget, that you can introduce elements of brights into your look. Don’t want to do eyeshadow or lip colour that’s so artsy? How about doing it in eyeliner or manicure department? 🙂 It’s easier to do it there. You are going to be surprised how small bright touches – here and there – can change your whole look. You might come to like it so much you’ll use these techniques and new elements you’ll discover this Halloween in your everyday makeup and manicure and your party makeup and manicure. That is, you’ll find something new, some new things you enjoy. To me, that’s the best thing that can happen. I love new things 🙂

 

Ok, back to my example. Electric eyeshadow palette by Urban Decay. Ten shades that definitely stand out in the best possible way 🙂 Let’s get to know them better. Here’s what we have:

Revolt is a whirlwind of silver pearl and sparkle

 

Gonzo is matt aqua with blue taking over green in it conspicuously, and a couple of handfuls of metallic light cool blue sparkle

 

Slowburn is matt bright orange with a lot of metallic pink sparkle wrapped in it

 

Savage is matt cool and bright pink, neon pink

 

Fringe is classically aquaish aqua, pearly, metallic, that is

 

Chaos is matt bright blue that’s not dark at all, but bright and intense instead, with a bit of metallic purple sparkle, sprinkled here and there

 

Jilted is satin fuchsia with cool lilac sheen in it and super tiny lilac sparkle, just a touch

 

Urban is a super cool and intense satin violet with really cool lilac sheen and super tiny pink sparkle

 

Freak is an ever so pearly and bright tropical jungle like green

 

Thrash is neon acid pearly yellow green packed with golden sparkle

 

That’s Electric palette by Urban Decay. And that’s my take on Halloween makeup and manicure this year. Instead of going dark, I’m going bright. There’s something fresh about these shades. Something artsy and edgy. Something modern. And it’s a good thing. It’s always nice to open new territories and discover new grounds. To me, that’s what makeup is all about. It’s about having fun. So, it goes well with parties, with holidays and with Halloween, in particular. Because isn’t that what they are all about? About having fun 🙂 Of all holidays, events and occasions, Halloween happens to be the one to give us most opportunities and space for experiment. You don’t have to celebrate Halloween, you can just go out on this day – night, that is 🙂 – go party and try something in your look, that you haven’t tried yet, but really want to try. This way you’ll know, whether this something can really work for you, or you’ll see that it’s a one time thing. Both outcomes are pleasant and beneficial, as far as I’m concerned. Now see what you think 🙂