Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2011 Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette, Swatches, Pictures & Review


It's not too late to get a fabulous gift for yourself or someone else this Christmas. Let me show you the greatest palette I've seen this season that can be worn shimmery, sparkly or as an accent of glow. It's perfect for that holiday party, a shopping outing or if you're like me, a visit to the doctor. Lol. I don't care what they say, I'll wear sparkle, glow and glitter anywhere. That's just how I roll. :) I don't subscribe to the theory that glitter or sparkle is for only a certain age or under. Anybody can wear it; it just depends on how you do it.

And yet, I digress. I really want to show you the Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette that was released for Holiday 2011. It contains .28 oz of beautiful eyeshadow in  four colors and retails for $45. I purchased mine at Nordstrom where you can also find yours, as well as Neiman Marcus and Bobbi Brown online.  Anyway,  I'm uber excited about this palette, so let's take a look!

The packaging is a high gloss black square shaped palette with silver writing. Most pictures I took had a red camera pictured on it, and I assure you, it doesn't come with one. :) My camera reflected because of the high gloss shine of the palette so I took a picture for you at a funky angle.

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There are four shimmering shades inside which make it nigh unto impossible to photograph all four with accuracy. So you get the best I can do. The palette comes with a plastic covering inside that seperates the shadows from the mirror so that it doesn't get covered with shimmers in addition to a mini shadow brush.

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In the upper lefthand corner is the color is Pink Rose Sparkle Eye Shadow. This is a sparkling rose with multiple colors of shimmer, including blue, pink, green, violet, white and yellow. It is rather sheer but can be layered, although if you want a lot of color out of this, rather than a sheer wash of shimmer, I'd suggest using it over a base that is tacky or colored. This rose has a bit of a taupe toned base, providing for an interesting presentation of multiple colors and multiple looks from different angles. It presents better on the lid than it does on the arm, as most shadows do.

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The next color in the swatch on my arm is located in the lower lefthand corner and is Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Shadow.

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Both shades on top are sheer and both shades on bottom have more depth of color. Black Ruby Sparkle is a blackened ruby violet, (ok that was obvious but it really is), with some rosey shimmers. It's not a super dark color even tho it has a black base. The shimmer lightens it a bit, so if you're going for a super dark smokey eye, you should apply a dark base and put these fabulous FABULOUS shimmer colors over it.

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This picture has a better photo of Black Ruby Sparkle, it just washes out the color in the upper right, Crushed Silver Sparkle Eye Shadow.

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Crushed Silver Sparkle Eye Shadow is a very light pink toned white. It has the pink sparkles in the light base, as well as gold and silver. This is an excellent highlighter to go with this palette.

On the lower right is Onyx Sparkle Eye Shadow. This is a shimmering taupe with silver sparkles.

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There you have it, you can still purchase it with overnight shipping if you hurry!! Oh, you say you would like to see the palette in use? I can do that. Here's a day I wore it kicking about, running to the doctor and such.

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The angle of the close up pictures doesn't really show off the shimmer so look at the far eye and you'll get a better idea of color and shimmer. And holy lashes, Batman!!! Courtesy of Dior Extase. I was shocked when I saw these pictures. At any rate...

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I set my eye makeup with a spritz of Mac Fix+ and it lasted all day. ALL DAY. There was virtually zero glitter fallout except for three flecks when I was applying and that was it. That is a wonder in sparkle shadows. Impressive, Bobbi!! (The crowd roars in approval).

What would a Polarbelle wear on a winter's day with sparkley eyes? Why a snowflake, of course!!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Sally Hansen Re-releases Hidden Treasure Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish. A Must Read Post!!!


Walking thru Fred Meyer, I accidentally happened upon the cosmetics section, (now how'd I do that AGAIN??), whereupon I saw a new display of four or five Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polishes, all seeming to have a purple theme. (I apologize I don't have a picture of that display but you can bet I'm going back to get one.) Imagine my shock and delight to see Hidden Treasure listed in the display, you know, where they have the stickers listing the names on the plastic? Hidden Treasure!!!

If you were with me in the summertime, you'll remember I did a giveaway for a Hidden Treasure Nail Polish. I got millions of entries, (ok, maybe in the 20's range), but Hidden Treasure is BY FAR the most famous and coveted of all Sally Hansen polishes. It is the first real flakie polish. It started a sweeping trend in nail art. Let's look at this original beauty, shall we? 

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flaaaaaaaakie!!

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Holy golden flakeys, Batman!! I would guess Hidden Treasure wasn't meant to be used as a full manicure but as a transforming top coat. That's how I've used it at any rate...and I've used it just to roll around in my hands and admire the pretties, so it's given me hours of amusement just in the bottle.

So....here's where we come to the re-release. In the spot that said Hidden Treasure was a light lavendar opalescent looking polish. It seemed to go with the collection, but it was no Hidden Treasure.

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Looks kinda opalescent with some purple and green to it and minute silver sparkles scattered sparsely throughout.

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By now I know you're already ahead of me and have guessed what happened next. Since I didn't see MY Hidden Treasure on the shelf, I looked at the top of the bottle in my hand.

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Hidden Treasure???? What the flagnard?? What bonehead at SH R&D didn't know this is soooooooooooooo not the "real" Hidden Treasure?? At first I thought that this was the dumbest release ever if they weren't aware that Hidden Treasure is the name of their most coveted polish....but wait, maybe that WAS the plan....release a polish called Hidden Treasure and maybe people just see the name and think that they've got an elusive discontinued item. Maybe it's brilliant. I don't know, it just seems whack to me. I'm going to ask my queen of drugstore information, G of Nouveau Cheap  if she knows what the scoop is here.  (I call her G cuz she is my google for such info).

Since we're here, we may as well look at swatches, right? I purchased one of the other colors in the display called Cherry Cherry Bang Bang. I am a sucker for this color range. Doesn't matter if it's a creme, glitter, shimmer...if it's this reddened purple, it's coming home with me.

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Sorry for the dry cuticles. I just stepped out of the shower and haven't moisturized yet because this post was burning a hole in my brain. I had to run to the computer and write it because I'm just so shocked by this whole thing.

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I show you Cherry Cherry Bang Bang first because in my mind, this new Hidden Treaure had to be an overcoat. I thought it must be because the original was and it looked kinda sheer and opalescent. This is what it looked like over Cherry Cherry Bang Bang. Two coats CCBB and one coat Hidden Treasure, part 2.

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Eh, you mostly just see a kind of silveryness and a little of the green. I thought maybe it's meant to be over a really dark color, like so many overcoats look best. So I pulled out Dior Tuxedo...super dark blue.

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You know, that doesn't look too bad in a photo but I hate it in real life. It's just a milky green atop the Dior, with some shimmer. I didn't like it on either of those, so I thought maybe it's meant to be worn alone after all. I layered three coats to get this:

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In the picture, I can see some different colors and shimmers in there but in real life, it just looks like a shimmery sheer white. Eh, it does nothing for me but perhaps you might like it. However, there was a pretty Easter colored lavender that I keep thinking about....

But at any rate, if you have any insight into this debacle or brilliance, I'd love to hear it!! And if your friend calls you and says hey, I found that Hidden Treasure that you've been wishing you had....ask him or her what color it is, lest you be duped by the dupe.

I would like to edit this post to add two pictures of the display so that you know it's not the work of elves on my imagination. Days later, I am still confounded at what's been done. (Iphone pictures, sorry!)

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and close up......

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Breaking News!!! The Sally Hansen Company has expressed to me that they liked the name Hidden Treasure so they wanted to use it again on a new and more beautiful color. New, ok...more beautiful, not in my opinion, but that's just me.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Breaking News At Nordstrom Beauty In Anchorage

My assignment was to visit Nordstrom and make a Christmas list. Well, it didn't *have* to be Nordstrom, but well, you know....anyway, I turned around and I got all dizzy and lightheaded because there before me was.....wait for it...a Georgio Armani Makeup Counter!!! ARMANI!!!!!!!

This means I can swatch for myself to see what the colors look like and it also means I don't have to go to a fancy boutique and pay sales tax. I want to turn my head down and whisper like Brick on The Middle...Armani. Armani!!!

Not all foundation testers are in yet but when they get there, I am trying it!!! They do have the selections for holiday, however, so...on the same counter as LaMer...check it out!!

Yeah, should have taken a picture, but I was too stunned and busy swatching it all. Sorry!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

China Glaze "Colors From The Capitol" Official Color Swatch Sheet


Oooooh, there's some colors here that I think look really fantabulous and I'm so interested to see them upon their release in January. Lookee! Lookee!!  I see a flakie, and perhaps some glitter and shimmer, taupes, greys...everything that's uber-hot right now. Check out the following Press Release from China Glaze:


This collection of 12 new nail polish shades is inspired exclusively by one distinct setting in The Hunger Games - the Capitol of the nation of Panem. Awash in lavish fashion, food, and entertainment, Capitol citizens enjoy extreme cosmetics and body modifications, bold wigs, and outlandish costumes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Question Most Asked Of Me Is...

When I travel out of state and am on an airplane or in a store and people find out that I'm from Alaska, they always want to know one thing first. The question most asked of me is what is the 24 hours of day and 24 hours of night like? I've decided to answer that question here because it does have to do with beauty blogging.

First of all, I live in the city of Anchorage. It's in Southcentral Alaska, way below the Arctic Circle. Let's look at a map for a minute to get an idea of where Anchorage is. It's a little small, so get out your reading glasses. Southcentral is the yellow portion of the map.


When I was a kid, I always loved the shape of my state. It looked like a face, so it was easy to remember. I supposed it looks like Nixon's face. Yikes. Anyway, Anchorage is at the innermost portion of the blob that sticks out of the yellow part. The water that comes up to meet the city is ocean water and is called the Inlet. There's whales there. Whales!

Anyway, that's not the question. The question is what is the light and dark like. The 24 hour light and dark thing takes place north of where I live, around the Artic Circle and above. Having said that, where I live comes close to the 24 hour thing, making swatching a challenge especially during winter. We have about 4 hours of what passes for daylight in the depth of winter, which is December. Hoo-rah, the days begin to lengthen next week!!

This is a picture I took at 1 pm on December 12th. You have to drive with headlights on.

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There is no such thing as waiting for the sun to come out to take swatch photos. It has to be done inside. I admit to being jealous of bloggers who have the luxury to take swatch photos in sunshine. Jealous!

Anyway, the other end of the spectrum is more enjoyable. Here's a photo taken at 11:30 pm sometime in late May, looking east. That's the moon there in the sky.

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Same moment, the view west. Notice the blinding glare that is so white with light it blends into my blog background, even at 11:30 pm. You can tell it's late May because there's still snow on the mountains and they haven't cleaned up the gravel on the parking lot from winter yet.

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Both extremes play havoc with a person's natural body clock and other physiology. And as much as I despise the dark and cold of winter, I adore the Midnight Sun...but bedrooms that face west must take extra measures to block that sun out in order to sleep.

The second most asked question, no, I can't see Russia from my house. Perhaps the people in Nome can since they stick way out on the nose part, and there are little islands out from there that once the ocean freezes, it makes for a short walk to Russia.

So, if you sit next to me on an airplane and find out I'm from Alaska, or I show you my Alaskan driver's license when using my credit card, now you know the answer to the question you want to ask most. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments section and as a sourdough, (life long Alaskan), I'll do my best to provide you the answers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Introducing Venique Nail Lacquer With Swatches and Polish Review

I'm so excited today to bring you a new nail polish that's just hitting the market. The brand name is Venique and it's made in the USA. What's different about Venique Nail Lacquer is that it is made with Sil-Tek which allows the polish to bend with the nail rather than to chip or fracture allowing for longer polish wear. I'm finding that to be true in my wear.

I was able to pick up the initial release of seven colors and I am told that in January, there will be an addititon of 78 different selections. Coming in summer are all kinds of nail products such as nail hardener, cuticle oil, superior shine top coat and a fast drying top coat. I can't wait to see the shine top coat!!! I'm all about the bling.

Before we get into pictures, I have to tell you that when you apply this polish, you will notice immediately that it is different. It is rich looking in a way that I can't even describe. But the look is something that people notice and will ask what kind of polish it is. My husband noticed and complimented me on my nails asking what kind of polish it was and why did it look different and nicer than other polishes. Read that sentance again. My husband noticed!!!!

This post could feel like picture overload to you as we get into it because the polish is so interesting that I took over a thousand pictures to try and give it justice. I don't have a superhero camera but I'll show you what I've got. Let's look at the color polishes first.

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The colors, from left to right are: Blue Suede Shoes, Skating On Thin Ice, Runway Sparkle, Stylish Spectator, and B-Ceen-B-Gorgeous. Blue Suede Shoes is a dusty denim color with micro-shimmers in it that are tone on tone. Skating On Thin Ice is a dusty light purple with tone-on-tone micro shimmers. Runway Sparkle is a deep red jelly with red glitter floating within. Stylish Spectator is a medium tone grey with micro shimmers. B-Seen-B-Gorgeous is a dusty medium pink with tone-on-tone microshimmers. The microshimmers in the colors give a gorgeous sheen and the super macro pictures almost betray the true beauty of the shine of these polishes.

And then there's two glitters, one of which is so different than any I've seen before that I swatched it as soon as I purchased so I could see what it looked like. Left to right they are Twinkling Snow and Twinkling Glitter.

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Look at how milky looking Twinkling Snow is. Isn't that wild? I couldn't imagine what it was going to look like but the milkiness is actually little teeny glitters that mix in with the holographic hex glitters you see. It is totally crazy awesome! Twinkling Glitter is full on Holographic glitter. Both glitters are pure silver glitters that reflect every color of the rainbow.

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Here's a super close-up of Twinkling Glitter since I've shown you close-ups of Twinkling Snow.

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I initially swatched all the colors and had planned to wear B-Ceen-B-Gorgeous with Twinkling Glitter on top as my test manicure. I had purchased those in a set and thought I should try them together. Then, when I swatched Blue Suede Shoes, I immediately knew it would be an exact match to the color I was wearing for my anniversary so I applied that instead. More about that in a minute.

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Let me quickly tell you a few things about this polish. It applies with perfection with NO streaking. The only reason you see streaking in the purple is because I dripped an extra drop on it and smeared it some. The streaking is completely operator error and not at all due to the polish itself. They are completely smooth as satin, or dare I say...silk. The glitters are lightly bumpy but nothing a good top coat can't smooth. I did find that Runway Sparkle was completely holographic when wet but as it dried, it's harder to see the glitter within. I imagine it's something about how the Sil-Tek fibers dry.

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All swatches were done with two coats. Most colors could be one coaters, except for Stylish Spectator, Twinkling Snow and Twinkling Glitter, but I two coated everything because that's just how I roll.

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As I spoke of above, I changed my decision on what color to wear first when I saw the dusty denim blue of Blue Suede Shoes. I had a top I was going to wear for our anniversary dinner and I just knew these would match perfectly. At dinner, my husband marveled over how perfectly my nails matched my outfit. I couldn't have planned it if I'd tried. He normally hates blue on my nails but he loved this one and the richness of the finish. He noticed it and asked why it was different so I gave him a sales pitch. :)

Here is my Anniversary manicure and a comparison with my top:

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I know, right? Blue Suede Shoes was made for me!!! A few days later, I applied Twinkling Snow over it because I loved how it looked when I swatched it that way.

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I have received many compliments as I wore Blue Suede Shoes alone and as I wear it with Twinkling Snow over it. People have asked me what brand I'm wearing because it looks different and somehow a bit "fancier" than the average polish. Venique Nail Lacquer will be carried in salons, not mass markets, and the suggested retail price is $7.50. I would urge you to ask at your salon for them to carry the brand so that you might try it. It really is cool!

I have a ton of pictures showing off the colors, and you'll be likely to see more as I complete manicures with the other colors. I am going on six days at the time of this writing with ZERO tip wear. I put Seche Vite on top on my right hand to see if it affected the glitter, (which it didn't), but it did cause some shrinkage. Always wrap your tips people!!!

Please let me know any questions you might have that I haven't covered here or if you need to see more pictures, just let me know. Good to see everyone!!!

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