Thursday, December 29, 2011

Barry M Croc Nail Effects

Tired of the whole crackle nail fad? I thought I was but then I saw this post by Vicky and was instantly seized by the lemming monster.
Instead of cracking vertically like most crackle polishes, the Barry M Croc Nail Effects creates a pattern reminiscent of a reptilian hide as it dries. A thin coat would give you the smaller "scales" you see in Vicky's post and a thicker coat will give you bigger scales. I guess this means if you want an ultra realistic pattern, you would do a thin coat on either sides of the nail and then a thicker coat along the crown of the nail.
Whilst crackle polishes tend to have the same consistency as cottage cheese, the Croc Effects polish is very thin and easy to control. It also dries glossy instead of matte.
The application process (dude, did I just call putting on nail polish an "application process?!) is also slightly different to applying a crackle polish. Crackle polish can only be applied to dry nails, but the Croc Effects polish must be applied to nails that are still slightly tacky in order for the pattern to develop. It takes a while for the pattern to finish developing so hold off that top coat for a few minutes.
I found that it worked best over polishes that are 1 coat opaque, metallics and frosts in particular create a really good contrast. For my NOTD I used Orly Rage - a beautiful rose gold metallic.
Barry M products are unfortunately not available in Canada but you can purchase the Croc Nail Effects for £3.99 from their online shop which ships internationally. Those in the UK can find it in Boots and Superdrug.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Revlon Lip Butter swatch and review

So the Revlon Lip Butters have finally made its way into Canadian pharmacies. It's been available across the border for quite some time but I've never been able to pick any up as the displays were always either empty or the colours I wanted have all been opened and tested.
In Canada, these retail for just under $10 each. I've seen them go on BOGO and 50% off at various pharmacies so don't ever pay full price if you can avoid it xD.
I first came across the full line of 20 colours during the Revlon, Almay London Drugs Beauty Event. I received Red Velvet from the event's swag bag, Sugar Plum as a Christmas pressie from my friend Eva and bought Lollipop and Sweet Tart when they were on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $3.99
Left: Red Velvet. Right: Sugar Plum
Left: Lollipop. Right: Sweet Tart.

Revlon sez:
"- Buttery Balm + Shiny Color
- Buttery balm with beautiful shiny color to give you baby soft, healthy glowing lips94% of women felt lips      were softer, smoother, and instantly hydrated.
- Hydrating mango, shea and coconut butter formula boosts lip moisture by 156%
- Pampering gel formula provides super charged hydration and glides on lips buttery smooth
- Sheer to medium color with buttery shine
- Available in 20 luscious shades"
Nunu sez:
Before Revlon Lip Butters came into my life, I thought the Maybelline Baby Lips were the shizzle. I take that back, Revlon Lip Butters are the shizzle.
Whereas the Maybelline Baby Lips were more balmy, the Revlon Lip Butters felt like an ultra moisturising lipstick. The finish is high shine and almost jelly like. Think Dior Addict and you're pretty much bang on. The Lip Butters are also way more moisturising than the Maybelline Baby Lips balms. Texture wise, the Maybelline Lip Balms are rather hard and waxy, the Revlon Lip Butters really apply smoooooth like buttahh (Dorothy I'm saying this in your ghetto way xD)
Darker shades tend to wear for longer and will stain lips slightly, but on average I had to reapply every 2hrs or so. 
The price makes me wince slightly but the quality is superb. I would not hesitate to buy when they goes on sale.
Swatches from left: Red Velvet and Sugar Plum
Red Velvet:
Sugar Plum:
Swatches from left: Sweet Tart and Lollipop.
Sweet Tart:
Bonus Christmas NOTD:
 Quo by Orly - Wine & Dine and Sinful Colors - All About You
Do you like my Christmas present?xD

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rimmel HD Glam Eyes review and swatches

Thanks to the kindness of Vicky, my smuggler of all things across the pond, I managed to get frostbitten paws on two of the Rimmel HD Glam Eyes palettes before they hit Canadian shores.
I believe these have recently cropped up in pharmacies in the US and go for around $5 a pop. I have yet to see these in Canadian pharmacies but if the Revlon Lip Butters are anything to go by, we should be seeing them sometime in the new year. 
Packaging is in the usual meh plastic compact with a see through lid. A duo ended sponge applicator is included. 
The true standout of these palettes is the ingenious way in which the shadows are arranged to form the shape of the Union Jack/British Flag. As an ardent lover of all things Pommie (except for their horrid food), the palettes made me squee a lil xD.
There are a total of 6 colour combinations: English Oak - warm neutrals/browns; Black Cab - smokey greys; Royal Blue - blues; Purple Reign - purples; Green Park - greens; and True Union Jack - a mixture of bright fuchsia, blue and white. I picked up Green Park and Purple Reign.
Left: Green Park. Right: Purple Reign

Green Park swatches:
Purple Reign swatches:
Texture wise the shadows are incredibly soft. I did these swatches using the included sponge applicator and it made huge dents in the shadow. The finish is akin to a MAC Veluxe Pearl - a smooth pearly sheen.
The above swatches are all 1 swipe and the pigmentation, as you can see, is utterly amazing. 
Wear time was impressive too, I wore the purple palette sans primer for work and it stuck around from 7am-7pm with no creasing although it had faded slightly.
The one thing that really annoyed me about this palette was that apart from the shadow in the main cross pattern, the shadows the four corners were next to impossible to get to because they are SO TINY! You'd probably have to use the corner of the smallest brush you have to get anything out.
For $5 each, these palettes just can't be beat and I am so hauling one of each when they hit Canada!
May all your wishes come true!! I hope you all spent it with your loved ones, consumed large quantities of food glorious food and got lots of presents!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yet more L'Oreal Color Infallible swatches

Exactly what the title says, I have yet more L'Oreal Color Infallible swatches to share with you.

Sahara Treasure, Gold Mine, Bronze Goddess, Emerald Lamé, Black Onyx and Golden Mahogany (a colour I don't own) all recently arrived on Canadian shores as part of the L'Oreal L'or L'or L'or collection. All Night Blue is from their permanent line.
 Swatches from left: Black Onyx; Bronze Goddess; and Emerald Lamé.
It was insanely difficult to correctly capture Emerald Lamé. For some odd reason, greens tend to throw my camera off kilter. The photo below is blurry but is the one that best shows what Emerald Lamé truly looks like - light emerald green with an intense golden flash.

 Swatches from left: Gold Mine; Sahara Treasure; and All Night Blue
Gold Mine was a bit difficult to swatch - it is a sheer pale gold.
 For your ease of reference, here are swatches of the other Color Infallibles in my collection.
Swatches from left: Endless Chocolat; Permanent Kaki; Purple Obsession; and Time Resist White.
 From left: Burning Black; Hourglass Beige; and Flashback Silver.
 What my current collection looks like:
I still refuse to buy the light blue, peach or black ones. Or the dodgy matte ones.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Weekend in poor quality cellphone pictures

We were getting too comfortable in our relationship with Sushi Garden as our go-to cheap sushi joint so we decided to try out somewhere different but close to our abode. 
The first potential was SushiHolic. We got there at 7:40pm only to discover it was packed and there would be a 20-30min wait and that the restaurant closes at 9pm. 
Our second option was Sushi Moto which is located at 2221 Holdom Ave, right across from the Holdom skytrain station.
Cute paper lanterns above our booth
Someone's collection of figurines. I love this type of restaurant decor, it gives it such a personal touch and nosey diners like us enjoy snooping through the collection. I love that they put a light saber on a stand that's normally for a katana xD
Takowasabi - raw octopus marinated in fresh wasabi:
I'm not usually a mollusc fan but was intrigued by the menu's description of the dish. It was our first time trying this dish and we are now HUGE fans!! It was amazing!!!! chewy pieces of octopus in a savoury wasabi and pickle marinade that you scoop onto sheets of roasted seaweed. This is a MUST EAT item!
Saba (mackerel) sashimi. I love saba and for $9 that is a lot of sashimi!
Spicy chopped scallop roll and negitoro roll:
Baked scallop:
Again, not being a mollusc fan this was in fact Mr. Nunu's order. He gave me a couple of spoonfuls and I really regretted not ordering one for myself!! It was creamy savoury awesomeness!
I somehow forgot to take a photo of it, but we had another roll called the "Lion King" roll which is a California roll topped with baked tuna and tai and finished with a drizzle of misonnaise. It was interesting but not a standout.
I really recommend trying this place if you're in Burnaby! They also have very reasonably priced beer/sake and sushi combos! No TV or I'd totally be here for all the playoff games.
In other news, I needed a new storage solution for my nail polish collection. The Ikea Helmer is heralded as having the perfect dimensions for most nail polish bottles, however, it is also unforgivably ugly. I must've looked at it on at least 5 separate occasions yet I couldn't come to grips with ugliness. Not to mention that it is beige and made out of metal and would stick out like a sore thumb amongst all our black and white furnishings.
Finally Mr. Nunu discovered these Ikea drawer inserts that we could add to our Expedit bookcase and they worked out pretty well. The drawers come in a set of 2 for $40, and each drawer can house about 60-70 bottles of polish.
I end this post with the reason why I can't have blog sales. Everything we own is covered by a thin coat of cat fur and saliva.
Now I'm off to find me a mixer so I can bake my Christmas cookies!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

NOTD - Starry night in Provence

Steve from NailPolishCanada braved a gaggle of giggly, makeup obsessed girls to attend our 2nd annual Vancouver Beauty Blogger meetup and I'm so glad he did because now I've discovered one more place where I can feed my nail polish disease!
Let's face it, Canadians don't have access to half the cool polish brands that Americans do, so we resort to e-tailers who either jack up prices or charge us an arm and a leg to ship to our poor deprived igloos. changes all that. It is Canadian owned (in Vancouver of all places! OMG! West Coast has something cool!), has reasonable prices and, best of all, free shipping on all order over $29.
For example, Zoya (A.K.A. They Who Won't Ship To Mooseland), retails for $8 on the Zoya website, NailPolishCanada's Zoya prices range between $5.50-$8.75!
Zoya, CND, Spa Ritual, OPI, China Glaze, Color Club, Essie, Seche Vite, LCN (the magnetic ones!!), and Soulstice Spa are just some of the brands they carry.
Steve kindly provided each of us with 2 Soulstice Spa polishes to try out.
Soulstice Spa Nail Colours are vegan, cruelty free and 3 free. Usually this culminates in gloopy polish (*cough* Sparitual *cough*) but the two that I tried are amazingly smooth and easy to control.

Provence is a light lavender along the lines of CG Light As Air. It has a jelly finish, and is a 3 coater. I did not experience any cuticle pull and both polishes dried glossy and wore for 4 days with minimum tip wear.
Soulstice Nail Colours are $8.50 each on NailPolishCanada
Provence on its own:
I threw on a coat of NYC Starry Silver Glitter (micro silver glitter with larger pink and blue hex glitter in a clear base) to make this NOTD more festive xD
Thank you for introducing me to an awesome new brand NailPolishCanada!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Photographic evidence that the 2 Tines occupied the same city for 8 days A.K.A More photos from NYC

2 nights ago, Tine2 whined about the lack of photographic evidence on my blog that the 2 Tines occupied the same city (and apartment!)for 8 days. I have been working some very enjoyable 14hr days lately so photograph editing took a bit of a back seat. In any event, here are more photos from our trip to New York, New York.

Did you know that you can't get cellphone signal inside New York trains? This provided exciting times for us when we tried to arrange to meet up with people whilst travelling to and from places. We did, however, manage to find Labbit in the end and she took us to a ghetto Target where her and Tine2 proceeded to bully me into buying a leopard print, kitty eared beanie. The we went to Applebees for lunch cos we're so klassy.
Tine2 and laaaabiiit:
Then we found Domo inside Bloomingdales(?!)! and after I made them go in to every F21 in the city we finally settled for a dinner of Korean BBQ. I have never seen so much banchan in my life.
We had dim sum the next day where we proceeded to throw peace signs, take photos and fight over the bill like good fobs.
Then I dragged Tine2 to the Museum of Natural History with me where I proceeded to make excited squealing sounds over every fossil. Look!! it's Tyrannosaurus Rex! EEEEEEEeeeee!

My favourite nurse standing next to my favourite dinosaur. Yes I have a favourite dinosaur and no my favourite FRIEND was not Ross!
In a hallway filled with rat and bird carcasses (creepy) we found this lil guy. I <3 opossums!
The infamous blue whale!! He is humongous and it was so hard trying to take a photo of him!
Hahah I thought this toy looks like my cat Munchie xD
Rockafeller Center
Do you think he's trying to make up for the size of something else?
St. Patrick's Cathedral. Tine2 and I both took photos of this place cos our mothers kept asking if there are (Catholic) churches in New York City. Yes there are surprisingly lots of them.
I will still insistently call it "mot-chi" xD
More Shake Shack! Delicious Shake Shack! See how the receipt says "Justine" even though I ordered under "Christine"? This was further evidence that Justine and I are the same person xD
This was before she discovered that her sausage burger was buried under a mountain of sauerkraut
Said sauerkraut mountain:
Laabbit wearing her cat dress and throwing fob signs:
Grand Central Station. There was a surprising lack of flash mobs happening.

We did find this snazzily dressed fellow though:
I whinged and whined until everyone went with me to Braai for dinner. Braai is an Afrikaans (South African Dutch) word for barbecue. Our server was from Soweto and we spoke in clicks.
Our one and only complete group photo:
My biryani(a kind of spicy stew on rice)was freaking awesome!
Koeksusters and Malva pudding:
I taught everyone the Taiwanese way of posing for sticker photos:
Note how Laabbit and I have the same cat dress but in reverse colours. Yes we are crazy cat ladies are we are proud.
Domo said this pose is called "The Starfish" and "The Jellyfish" combined.

As you can see, my obsession with the nudie bars of Time Square was still going strong:
Next installment of photos will contain Justine's birthday and our "we're too cheap so we're just gonna stay on the ferry" visit to the Statue of Liberty!