31 May, 2012

Vintage OPI - Vanilla Zuela

I've been wearing an old, discontinued OPI on my nails this week.

I chose Vanilla-Zuela because I was in a neutral mood - and I needed to camouflage my badly torn pinky nail on my swatch hand.  Yes, it's happened to me again so I'm getting pretty good at painting my nails with my wrong hand.  I'm practically ambidextrous now!  Vanilla-Zuela is from OPI's 2002 South American Collection - this old collection spawned a lot of classic OPI shades:  Dulce de Leche, La Paz-itively Hot, Senorita Rosalita, Peru-B-Ruby, Argenteeny Pinkini.  I can understand why Vanilla-Zuela has been discontinued because it's one of the less interesting pale nude shades in a sea of nude OPI polishes, although it's a pretty good match for my yellowish skin with its peach tone.  I've almost got the mannequin hands thing happening with this creme polish on my nails.

I had to rely on lamplight for my pictures because I literally ran out of daylight and this portrays the warmth of the polish:

This is what I mean about not enough daylight:

That's all for now.

Vita :)

30 May, 2012

Soft Grey EOTD: Essence, Bloom & Maybelline

Winter has come early down here and I was really feeling it on the day I did this EOTD.  It's all about variations on the grey theme and the result was a soft dove-grey daytime eye.   I deliberately avoided my go to MAC shadows and used some of my more cheap and cheerful products to create this soft, almost sleepy look.  Everything about it is dusty and muted.  It's just me with a bit of contouring I guess...

Essence - Dance All Night
Bloom - Platinum
Maybelline - Charcoal Smokes palette

To get this look I applied:
  • Essence (Dance All Night) - all over the lid
  • Bloom (Platinum) - blended into the crease
  • Maybelline Charcoal Smokes crease shade (upper right of palette) - on the outer V and on lower lash line
  • MAC Powerpoint Pencil (Duck) on outer upper lash line
  • Rimmel Volume Flash x 10 Mascara (Black) on upper lashes only
The colours look especially soft and sheer as I didn't use an eye primer or base.

Thanks for looking.

Vita :)

29 May, 2012

Essence: Plum Perfect

It's becoming more and more difficult to find interesting polish shades at the Essence stand in Target because the shelves are always cleaned out!  The polish I'm posting today is one I bought way back last year and happens to be a perfect shade for the southern Autumn.

Plum Perfect is pretty self-explanatory.  It's a glossy, plummy red creme.  There's nothing much else to say other than it's a classic, flattering polish and translates well from day to night.  With its high lacquer finish it looks pretty posh really!

partial sun


I was asked in the comments on my last Essence post whether Essence polishes are 4 Free.  I've done some quick research and Essence don't contain Formaldehyde, Dibutyl-Phthalate, Toluene or Formaldehyde resin so they are indeed a 4 Free polish.  Essence don't make it to 5 Free as they do contain Camphor.

Until next time.

Vita :)

28 May, 2012

Priceline haul: Some things I had to try

At the end of my P10P ban I'd accumulated around $50 of Priceline vouchers (that's 6 months' worth!).  I put them to good use purchasing a few items that had passed my beauty radar since the start of the year.  These were the things I just had to try.

Here's a quick look at what I bought and why - plus a few swatches at the end!

Physician's Formula Happy Booster
Glow & Mood Boosting Blush (Natural)

Finally these are here in Australia! Yes, I'll admit I bought my Happy Booster blush after being driven to distraction by its cuteness alone.  This Violet scented blush is supposed to have mood boosting properties due to a blend of natural plant extracts.  Admittedly the scent is lovely when I sniff the pan although seriously, I don't know about the mood boosting bit - maybe I should encourage others to sniff my cheekbones if they're feeling blue! -  but I do love the packaging (sucker me!) and this blush blends out to a lovely soft and glowing shade of peach-pink.  Heck, there's a lot about just owning this cute and cheerful blush that boosts my mood!

Revlon Diamond Lust Eyeshadow
(Neptune Star)

I've been lemming just about everything from Gucci Westman's The Expressionists collection and this sparkly eyeshadow pan is certainly a new and interesting addition to my collection.  I chose the teal/blue Neptune as something different to wear after dark.  I think it would look great worked in with a smokey eye! 

 Australis Double Decker Eyeshadow Duo
(Greenhouse Effect)

Quite a few posts have popped up lately about these little creme/powder eyeshadow duos from Australian beauty brand Australis.  At just $9.95AUD a pop and just being curious I was willing to give one a try.  The dark creme base shadow sits on one end of the pot with a shimmering powder shadow on the other to be applied over the base for a multi-dimensional shimmer. 

 L'Oreal Volume Million Lashes (Extra Black)
 Finally, the mascara:  L'Oreal seems to have relaunched its mascara range (or have I just noticed?) and I'm always on the hunt for a volumizing, defining mascara for daily wear.  I like flexible molded brushes because I find they make application easier and this mascara has an extra flexible brush and apparently an anti-clump wiper in the tube(!?!).  I've yet to break this out of its packaging only because I don't like to have too many mascaras on rotation.  It's next in line after I toss one out.

Now for the swatches...
Swatched L- R:
Natural, Neptune Star, Greenhouse Effect

Have you found any drugstore gems lately?

That's all for now.

Vita :)

27 May, 2012

Is Topshop's Zodiac a dupe for Chanel Graphite?

I hope you're all having a happy weekend!  Mine's almost over...

I was wearing Topshop's Zodiac on my nails all last week and I couldn't stop admiring my nails.  Zodiac is from Topshop's limited Sisters Of The New Moon collection.  It's  peculiarly described as black although this stunning gold flecked pewter foil polish is anything but that.  It's pretty well amazing and my camera kept freaking out, having trouble focusing on this complex sparkly polish.  With a base and top coat I had no chips or tip wear all week either, which suited me fine because I wasn't in a hurry to remove this beauty.

Full sun



Now, I went past the Chanel counter late last week and picked up the tester bottle of Graphite to compare to my Zodiac manicure.  Now to my eye, my Zodiac nails were an exact match to Graphite in the bottle!  It makes this little bargain all the sweeter because I bought Zodiac for $12.95AUD which is a heck of lot less than around $39AUD I'd have to pay for a bottle of Chanel.

So - Do you think this is a dupe for Graphite?

*EDIT* - For a direct comparison click on Kristy of The Polish Haven's post here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Vita :)

26 May, 2012

Some polish gems from Avon!

 Another mini nail haul -

It's been a long time since I've bought nail polish from Avon because I find the colour selection to be limited for the Australian customer and it can be a bit hit and miss getting the colour I want. The way something looks in the brochure doesn't necessarily translate accurately to real life!   Having said that, Avon recently released some more interesting shades that I was willing to take a chance on.  I bought these two which really caught my my eye:

L- R:
Violetta  Sparkle, Sequined Turquoise

Gorgeous in the bottle aren't they?  Violetta Sparkle is a deep grape with a gold sparkle, and Sequined Turquoise is obviously turquoise shot with a silver sparkle.  These shades were full of promise so I did some quick (and sloppy!) tape swatches of the colours alone and over black because that's where I think they're going to be more interesting.  Worn alone they're rather sheer and need three coats to get the full impact whereas one to two coats over black yields a more intriguing result.  I'm looking forward to the next sunny day to do a full manicure of one of these.

Swatched L-R:
Violetta Sparkle alone, over black, Sequined Turquoise alone, over black

 Have you tried Avon nail polish?

Until next time.

Vita :)

24 May, 2012

Glitter layering: Revlon Radiant over Essence Viva La Green

I know they say "blue and green should never be seen" but I don't agree!

I thought Essence's Viva La Green would be the perfect base to try one of my new Revlon glitters from the recent Expressionists by Gucci Westman collection.  Radiant is a medium dense mix of blue and silver glitter in a clear polish base.  The larger silver glitters are sparsely mixed in with the sea of blue glitter and micro-glitter pieces giving an added dimension to the polish.  I used a single coat and loved the result - my only disappointment is that I only wore it for one day on the weekend.

Full sun



I am curious as to the slight variation in the Australian release of these polishes in both the formula and labeling.  Radiant was originally released as Blue Mosaic in the US & UK and included some green hex glitter in the mix.  Interesting.

That's all for now.

Vita :)

23 May, 2012

Back 2 MAC: Rebel satin lipstick swatched (and a purchase)

Oh Rebel lipstick, how much do I love thee?  

 A lot obviously because this is my second tube!  Now that's saying something because it's pretty rare that I'll repurchase a lipstick shade with all the new shades (or variations of) and finishes constantly catching my eye.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm usually a bit of a lipstick whore so you won't see me buying multiple back-ups of my one and only HG lipstick.  OK, so now you realise how special I think Rebel is and why it was my Back 2 MAC choice!

Rebel is from MAC's  satin finish line so it's semi-matte but feels weightless on the lips and I don't find it drying at all.  The pigmentation is rich and true, doesn't bleed and fades evenly after eating or drinking.  I'm a fan of the satin formula but it's the a-may-zing colour I'm in love with - Rebel looks a little deceptively scary in the tube but on the lips this becomes the most flattering shade of beet.  It's vibrant but not too light and bright and I think it would suit most colouring.  It's a lovely day to night shade and when it fades, leaves a flattering stain on my lips. 

Oh, I also made another repurchase while I was at the MAC counter and bought my favourite everyday purple eyeliner Bordeauxline.  This Powerpoint pencil liner has just the right hint of plum/purple to set off my green eyes without being too distracting.  Offce appropriate but not boring!  I love my plums, beets and berries at this time of the year!

Bordeauxline & Rebel

Now for the money shots.  I'm getting a little more confident at doing lip swatches and I wanted to show you just how lovely Rebel looks in action...


Indirect light

What's your favourite winter bright?

Until next time.

Vita :)

22 May, 2012

Essence: Viva La Green

A quickie Tuesday night post -

I'm mixing it up with a pop of colour featuring a smooth creamy green from Essence's Colour & Go line. Viva La Green is a cool but vibrant mint (almost turquoise?) green and would be a fantastic spring/summer shade for fingers and toes.  This is China Glaze For Audrey's distant green cousin.

It's a pretty straightforward creme finish and the formula was a little on the thick side so the coverage was a teeny bit uneven.  Nothing a few drops of lacquer thinner can't fix!   This is two coats without top coat.  Essence creme polishes have a wonderful glossy finish so you can easily go without an extra layer of sheen.



I like how the cool undertones contrast with the yellow undertones of my skin. 

Until next time.

Vita :)

21 May, 2012

Topshop NOTD: Gypsy Night

 Happy Monday everyone - let's get onto the first of my Topshop NOTD's!

I felt Topshop's Gypsy Night polish had "date night" written all over it when I saw it, so of course I wore it out to dinner last Saturday night.  This black glitter polish has a jelly-like translucency to show the multi-coloured glitter to its full effect but worn on its own could look a bit murky like muddy water on the nail.  I applied a single coat of Revlon's Black Lingerie as the base to get the black opacity I wanted and then applied two coats of GN.  The glitter looks multi-tonal in the bottle but the warm copper glitter really dominated the look on the nail.  I prefer more of a rainbow but it still has a bit of oomph.

It was another sunless day so I used lamplight to pick up the sparkle:


Outdoors daylight

Thanks for looking as always. That's it for tonight.

Vita :)

20 May, 2012

A tiny Topshop haul

Hi everyone!

It takes a brave forty-something woman to enter into and navigate the wilds of Topshop without being accompanied by an attractive, fashion conscious twenty-something for protection.  And, you know, I've done it twice now.   The first time was purely a reconnaissance mission to find out what was there - the second time a few weeks ago I was there to BUY! 

This little post is to share the trophies of my second mission (Enough of the silliness, OK?).  Topshop have a veritable rainbow of nail polish colours so I knew I was going to choose at least one of those and I also wanted to see what else would catch my eye in the rest of the makeup line.  Considering the inexpensive prices I walked away with a reasonably small haul of three items:  two bottles of nail polish and a cream blush.
Clockwise from top:
Cream blush (Prime Time)
Nail polish (Zodiac & Gypsy Night)

I surprised myself by ignoring all the rainbow brights and pastel polishes, and zoned in on the metallic and darker hues.  The seasonal influence of winter was clearly at play when it came to my fingertips!

Zodiac -  is a limited edition shade from Topshop's Sisters Of The New Moon collection and the Topshop website describes it as black.  It's actually a silvery/pewter metallic which reminds me a little of Chanel's iconic Graphite.  I can't see any black undertones in it at all!

Gypsy Night - is a multi-coloured glitter mix suspended in a jelly black base.  I bought this with plans of wearing it over an opaque black creme polish for an after-dark mani. 

Now I wasn't very rapt in the quality of the eyeshadows when I swatched them in the store but I was pretty impressed by the feel and pigmentation of the cream blush.  I chose Prime Time for its vivid candy pink just because it looked like a cheerful colour.  According to Topshop this is a cream to powder blush fomulation which "melts into the skin, giving a natural luminous, radiant finish".  I can tell you it does feel lovely and buttery when you swipe it with your fingertips.  The pigmentation is very rich so  it's a case of dotting the smallest amount before blending into the cheeks.

Now for the swatches. I've done these quite heavily and this is photographed in full sunlight.

 Top to bottom:
Prime Time
Gypsy Night

 I've already worn the nail polish so I'll post full manicures of these shades soon.

That's all for now.

Vita :)
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