Tag Archives: Swatches

nails-noflash
Oct. 05.

Manicure Monday: NYC Foil Explosion Nails

mm-nyc-thIt is October. The nights are drawing in. The weather is getting worse, mostly. I am starting to root out the darker polishes that just work with this time of year. And yet, with the unseasonable (can we talk about seasons in Ireland?) warm weather, I don’t want to give up on brightness too much too soon. That is why this is a perfect polish to work with this week. This week’s Manicure Monday is from New York Colour, and is from their Foil Explosion range, called Power of Elements.

nails-bottle

I’ve had the Foil Explosion range in my collection for a while now. I think I got them in 2013, but the internet is telling me that the set of 5 is still available. In addition to Power of Elements, this purple, there is a pink, green, blue and a copper coloured one. As you can kind of pick up from the name too, they are all a metallic foil finish. Now, let’s look at Power of Elements a little closer.

NYC, as a brand, has almost always punched well above its weight with me. There was only ever one product, a foundation, that I didn’t agree with. For a budget brand, that is good going. I would reasonably expect this to be no different. The lid fits in my hand well enough, without it being anything special, and the brush is, well, a brush. It flexes and spreads just as it should. It does the job. The polish, on the other hand, is something a bit more worthy of talking about. It is PIGMENTED! Some polishes claim to be one coat, and yeah, you would get away with it. This really is a one coat polish. From the moment it it my nails, they were colourful. Out of habit I went for a second coat, just because, but if I was in a hurry, I could go without. Then there is the finish of it…

nails-noflash

nails-flash

You are buying it for the metallic foil finish, right? That is what you get, no doubt about it! It delivers what it promises, and then some. Not only that, but it has staying power too. I once did my toes with this polish, and it was still there weeks later.

When you get a pocket friendly product, sometimes you are willing to put up with it being only okay. With this one, your €2.99 (if memory serves me correctly) gets you much more than that. It can be difficult at times to impress me, but this did impress me!

Robyn

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garnet-bottle
Sep. 14.

Manicure Monday: Champneys Nail Polish in Garnet

mm-garnet-thIt can be very difficult to enamour me with a red nail polish. I have a few I know and love, and I am fiercely loyal to them. But at the same time I am a blogger (or a collector, or a hoarder) and that means every so often I have to try another one. So, after having it on my desk for a long time, I finally got around to trying Garnet, from the Champneys Nail Polish collection.

garnet-bottle

This came as part of a set of six in a Christmas gift set in 2014. I picked it up in January 2015, when Boots were selling them off, and as it is more of an Autumn/Winter shade I didn’t do much outside swatching it for my nail polish board. It was time recently to start looking at those colours again (goodbye summer, we’ll miss all 3 days of you) and this was the one to try out.

The bottle, and the brush, is the same as that of the Max Factor Gel Shine Lacquers. I quite liked the brush of them, and I quite like the brush of this. The formula was workable, but, especially on the first coat, not very spreadable. It fared better on the second coat, but it really took three coats to really build up the colour intensity. I locked it in with a coat of their own base/top coat, which was part of the set.

Here’s how it looked.

Garnet-noflash

garnet-flash

I could be harsher on this, but I wont be. It is a nice enough colour. I quite like it, but I have similar from China Glaze. Obviously, with the CG being much more expensive, I expect, and get more out of it. This however, as a set of 6, had a box price of €15. I paid half that in the sale, so it was great value. It lasted 4 days before chipping too much to last any longer, and it looked good on my nails. If you are the kind of person who will gladly spend €20 plus on a single polish, you may choose to give these a miss. If you gotta have them all, or are buying as a gift for someone (that season is coming, y’know) then this is definitely something to consider. It’s not great, but it is certainly not bad either.

Robyn

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nails-flash
Sep. 07.

Manicure Monday: Flormar Jelly Look Nail Enamel

nails-flormar-thI was recently at the Irish launch of Flormar, an Italian makeup brand, founded in the 1970’s in Milan before going global. While there I was told there is a choice of 1,000 nail polish shades to choose from. Yes, you heard that right, 1,000! (Yes, I do want all of them). Fortunately I have the first in my collection, in this case shade JL10, simply called Turquoise Green, from their Jelly Look collection.

nails-bottle

Turquoise happens to be a great fit for me, being the December birthstone, and it helps that it is such a bright blue green, considering we are rapidly running out of good weather. The brush included is quite wide and quite flat, allowing great movement of the polish. The polish itself though concerned me a little. After one coat the coverage left a lot to be desired. It was patchy and streaky and wasn’t looking promising. The second coat though made things so much happier. Having a base layer of the polish really allowed the coverage to pick up, and the difference was plain to see. I added a third coat though, just to ensure that the colour was perfect. I’m glad I persevered, as the finish is spectacular. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves though.

nails-noflash

nails-flash

It is gorgeous, isn’t it? I am annoyed with myself for trying it so late in the year when I will end up switching to darker colours, but I am thinking that this will be high on my spring list, and that I need to find a Flormar stand soon to check out the other colours! I will let you know when I find out more about stockists and prices (though this particular range of polishes is about €4.50 IIRC), but the EXCELLENT news is that these are very pocket friendly!

Have you tried, or seen Flormar? What do you think of this colour? And do you follow the whole bright in summer, dark in winter thing? Please do let me know!

Robyn

*Product was provided for review

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nailsinc-noflash
Aug. 10.

Manicure Monday: Nails Inc Optic Collection – Optic Wave

mm-nailsinc-thToday’s Manicure Monday is brought to you courtesy of toothpaste. I was shopping in Boots, and noticed that you could get nail polish free with toothpaste. As the toothpaste is much cheaper than the nail polish, it was a good deal, so I picked it up, along with Optic Wave, from the Nails Inc Optic Collection, which was made exclusively for the toothpaste offer.

nailsinc-bottle

One of a small handful of colours available as part of the Optic Collection (The Colgate Facebook page has a picture of three, a pink, a red and this blue), Optic Wave was the one that jumped off the shelf at me, as it is a really striking rich blue. It isn’t shimmery or sparkly, like some of my other blues are, but is really creamy. I generally find Nails Inc to be fairly pleasant to work with, and this was no exception, applying nicely with two coats, looking opaque and even. It dried in a reasonable space of time, which is ideal as I was applying it not too long before bed.

And this is how it looks on my nails. As usual, presented without, and then with flash, for comparison purposes.

nailsinc-noflash

nailsinc-flash

I really like this colour. It is a little brighter, and doesn’t sparkle like my all time favourite blue (Sinful Colors Blue By You) but is one I can see myself wearing quite often when looking for something summery. What do you think?

Robyn

P.S. My research tells me that this is the second time this offer has been done, as it was also done last year. Last year was also a pink, red and blue, but the red and blue shades are different. Interestingly, they carry the same names through both years. Here’s images of 2014 (top) and 2015 (bottom) from Colgate’s Facebook page.

2014 optic

2015 optic

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matte me swatch
Jun. 02.

Tried Tuesday: Sleek MakeUP Matte Me Lipstick – Rioja Red

tt-sleek-thYou may have heard of Sleek MakeUP. For such a long time it has been a brand often heard of, but not often seen. That was a pity, as their products have always been great quality at a great price. Here on Robyn Rants and Raves, we are fans of the well known i-Divine Palettes, and the overly tinted, super powerful Pout Polishes. Well today I have another product to try out. It is one of their Matte Me Lipsticks, and is in the shade Rioja Red.

matte me tube

Rioja Red is one of six in the range, and has the usual suspects of nudes, pinks and a very interesting looking purple in addition to this red. The tube, in line with most Sleek products is very understated. The only way you know who makes it, aside from picking it up from a Sleek stand is to look closely at the contrasting black on black of the lid. I am a big fan of products that aren’t overly showy, especially if they are able to back it up with something to make you go wow. Does this do so, or does it fall flat?

matte me wand

As you can see from the wand, the product is amazingly pigmented, and well, a little shiny. It also looks smooth and silky, which is a good sign. Mattes tend to be very dry, and some can look dry even directly from the tube. This doesn’t. It invites use. The flat sided wand makes it a doddle to apply, and carries a lot of product. I somehow don’t think you will need to go applying multiple coats of this.

matte me swatch

Here is a simple swatch of colour on the back of my hand, so it has been spread a bit, and you can clearly see just how vibrant the colour is. While some products can look highly pigmented until you spread it out, this one delivers in a very impressive way. It also looks shiny here, but that is my fault. I took the photo of this swatch too soon after applying it to my hand, which didn’t allow it any drying time. But, to make up for it, let me show you the finished look.

matte me lips

Now in all of its matte gloriousness! This is it after it has set, and with a couple of stray marks from where I tried to tidy up a little (pro tip: clean it up before it has a chance to dry!). If you are thinking it looks a little orange, you are right. It is an orange toned red. I wouldn’t let that put you off though. While it is not my perfect red, I would wear this! You do need to give it a little respect, as it is a matte, and mattes are drying, but this is not overly so. If you take good care of your lips (and you should) you will not have much of an issue with this.

These are available online and through selected pharmacies (but to make life easier an interactive stockist finder is here) for a pocket friendly price of just €6.49! Now, bring me Fandango Purple, next on my list!

Robyn

Note: Product was provided for review

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nails-inglot
Apr. 20.

Manicure Monday: Nails to Match my Mood

nails-thumbLast week wasn’t the best of weeks for me. There was lots of medical stuff to handle, but I got through it, and it’s the start of a new week. It is always good to start the week off positively, especially with such lovely weather waiting just outside the window! To work with my mood, which is nice and upbeat (it helps that I am starting to see progress from my get fit work) I wanted something on my nails to match my mood. This is what I came up with.

nails-both

It would be too easy to go for my favourite blue (Sinful Colors, Blue By You) which is packed with glitter and looks like the Mediterranean on my nails. Instead I went to a polish that has been on my shelf for a while without getting much love. It satisfies so many requirements for my mood inspired nails. It is light, springlike and pastel. It is an upbeat colour. It’s just what I need. It is I Need a Refresh-Mint, from the Wet n Wild Megalast Range. I also wanted some kind of accent that catches the light. Glitter would probably be too much. But, I had an alternative. One from Inglot. A shimmer in a clear base, which changes between gold and blue-green depending on how the light hits it. No clever or creative name here. Very simply it is shade 205.

Application of the mint was nice, but not without issues. It has quite a wide brush. For most nails that is grand, but I had a little difficulty with my little fingers, as when he brush spread, it spread over the sides. Nothing a quick cleanup couldn’t fix, but still mildly annoying. It also on coat 2 started to drag on a couple of nails a little. I believe it was down to my working too quickly, and got tidied easily on coat 3, which otherwise wouldn’t have been necessary. When it dried though, the colour was beautifully intense, so I would be happy to work with it. The shimmer was a delight, applying densely after a couple of passes, and added what looked like a opalescent fish-scale effect. I think it looked exceptionally pretty.

There was one issue with the shimmer though, which these pictures demonstrate.

nails-noflash

nails-flash

Without flash, everything looks delightful. You can see the shimmer on my ring finger perfectly. Under flash however, the light hitting part of the nail at an angle causes the shimmer to look green (which it is meant to do), but on top of a green background, it doesn’t do the polish justice, in a static image. Imagine it catching light as the hand is moving though, and the colours are changing between green and gold constantly. It really works, and I think suits my mood perfectly.

Robyn

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selection
Apr. 10.

Something Else Saturday: Makeup Revolution Haul

ses-revolution-thI was fortunate enough that on Friday the postman arrived with a package. Just a small package of bits from Makeup Revolution, the young gogetter company from England, who only recently celebrated their first birthday. As they had an offer on to celebrate, where if you spent £25 or more you got freebies worth £26, I felt it would be wrong not to try some bits and pieces. This is what arrived.

selection

The haul in all its glory

There’s only 17 items there. Not a lot really, but to make it easier to work through, I’m going to break it down into sections. We shall start with face products.

FACE:

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm (£5):

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm outer packaging

Ultra All Day Prime & Anti-Shine Balm outer packaging

Primer compact

Primer compact

Primer product (not shown: applicator sponge)

Primer product (not shown: applicator sponge)

I ran out of primer recently, so this was a good choice to try a different one. It is tidy, compact and comes with an applicator sponge.

Blushing Hearts Triple Baked Blusher – Blushing Heart (£4.99):

Blushing Heart Outer Package

Blushing Heart Outer Package

Blushing Heart Box

Blushing Heart Box

The Blushing Heart (so adorable)

The Blushing Heart (so delightful)

Seriously, how cute is this. I may never use it, it looks so adorable, but I do like how there are three shades included in it.

Vivid Blush Lacquer – O’ Boy (£1.99)

Vivid Blush Lacquer Bottle (pump under protective lid)

Vivid Blush Lacquer Bottle (pump under protective lid)

Very pigmented swatch

Very pigmented swatch

This is a liquid blush with a pump lid, but I will caution you now. Be gentle. This thing is seriously pigmented. I can still see some on my hand from where I touched it on the sheet I was using earlier.

LIPS:

Amazing Care Lipsticks – Electric Love & Love Pink! (£3):

Cute Rose Gold Packaging Boxes

Cute Rose Gold Packaging Boxes

Lipstick Tubes

Lipstick Tubes

Electric Love Bullet & Swatch

Electric Love Bullet & Swatch

Love Pink! Bullet & Swatch

Love Pink! Bullet & Swatch

These are glossy lipsticks with an inner colour core surrounded in an Argan Oil jelly outer. They look like you would have to reapply them often, but your lips would be super comfortable wearing them.

#Liphug – I think you’re amazing (£2.50):

Red #Liphug box

Red #Liphug box

#Liphug tube (longer and slimmer than others)

#Liphug tube (longer and slimmer than others)

I think you're amazing bullet & swatch

I think you’re amazing bullet & swatch

A product named after its own hashtag! A mix of comfort, colour and staying power, it is probably not a shade I would have picked for myself, but I do love the name, and I think I’m amazing too!

Lip Power – Can’t Escape Me & Anticipate It (£3):

Double Ended Lip Powers

Double Ended Lip Powers

Can't Escape Me bullet, gloss & swatches

Can’t Escape Me bullet, gloss & swatches

Anticipate It bullet, gloss & swatches

Anticipate It bullet, gloss & swatches

I do like rooting through my lip drawer for glosses to put on top of lipsticks, and here we have them perfectly matched up into one pack. There’s also two completely different shades here, a vibrant pink and a dark, almost vampy berry.

EYES:

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer – Matte (£2.99):

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer Tube

I Heart Makeup Eye Primer Tube

Eye Primer nozzle & swatch

Eye Primer nozzle & swatch

A large tube of the matte version of the I Heart Makeup Eye Primer. I find myself reaching for the Focus & Fix primer a lot lately, so it will be interesting to see how the two stablemates compare to each other.

Amazing Volume Mascara – Ultra Black (£2):

Amazing Volume Package

Amazing Volume Package

Amazing Volume Mascara Tube

Amazing Volume Mascara Tube

Mascara Brush

Mascara Brush

I’m always confused by products that come in black and beyond black (in this case ultra black) but I can see beyond that. It does also come in a waterproof version, and the brush looks quite nice. I am interested to see if it can do what it says!

Pure Pigments – Levity & Starless (£1):

Pigment Jars. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Pigment Jars. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Swatches. Levity (l) Starless (r)

Swatches. Levity (l) Starless (r)

I already have one of these (a sparkly brown called Grandeur) and happily added Levity, the pinky purple to my basket. As part of the free gift I received the sparkly black, Starless, and… Another Levity. I am guessing the free gift packs were pre picked, and it is luck of the draw, but I am not complaining either way. When applied over a primer to give them something to cling to, these guys pack serious power.

Baked Eyeshadow – Electric Dreams (£2.50):

Baked Shadow Box

Baked Shadow Box

Electric Dreams Shadows

Electric Dreams Shadows

Electric Dreams swatches (l-r from top left)

Electric Dreams swatches (l-r from top left)

Swatching these was a little more difficult than some of the other shadows, mainly as the baking process leaves them a bit drier than normal, and then working dry onto a dry surface is awkward. There is a hint to how pigmented these are, and built onto a primer or worked wet, these could be beautiful! I am also giving away my love of purple here 😉

Palettes:

Here’s the piece de resistance! Three palettes that in most cases do almost everything, and the other is just too spectacular to include in the eye section. Starting with:

I Am Naked (£5.99):

I Am Naked Palette

I Am Naked Palette

I Am Naked Shadows

I Am Naked Shadows

I Am Naked Swatches (l-r from top left shadow, lipstick at end)

I Am Naked Swatches (l-r from top left shadow, lipstick at end)

6 neutral eyeshadows, and a nude lipstick, in 1 cute portable set. It’s all there, ready to go for whenever I want to get naked (stop sniggering, Cat ;-))

Go! To The City (£6.49):

Go! To The City Palette

Go! To The City Palette

Go! To The City Products

Go! To The City Products

Go! To The City swatches (top, middle rows are shadows. Bottom is blush & highlighter)

Go! To The City swatches (top, middle rows are shadows. Bottom is blush & highlighter)

6 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, and a highlighter. All pigmented, all colourful, and all ready to go!

Salvation Palette – Give Them Nightmares (£6):

Give Them Nightmares Package

Give Them Nightmares Package

Give Them Nightmares back cover with shadow colours

Give Them Nightmares back cover with shadow colours

Give Them Nightmares Palette

Give Them Nightmares Palette

Give Them Nightmares Shadows

Give Them Nightmares Shadows

Give Them Nightmares swatches (same layout as palette)

Give Them Nightmares swatches (same layout as palette)

12 shimmer shades and 6 matte, at 33p per shadow. That and, well look at it. How gorgeous is everything, EVERYTHING to do with this palette. Never mind nightmares, this is like my dream palette!

So, that is my haul. A lot of fun to be had with it, but tell me, what caught your eye out of everything here?

Robyn

Note: While some products were free, they were a gift with purchase, and were not given for review consideration.

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loreal-ft
Apr. 07.

Tried Tuesday: L’oreal Color Riche Blake’s Red

tt-loreal-thEvery woman should have a go to red lipstick. It’s that simple. It looks classic and elegant, and you don’t really need much else to go with it. So, after their Color Riche Collection Priveé nudes collection, each named after a celebrity and to flatter a particular skintone, they gave the same treatment to reds, this time called Collection Exclusive. So, I picked one up, and today I am sharing Blake’s Red with you.

loreal-tube

There are four in the Collection Exclusive range, two for warm tones, and two for cool tones, and are inspired by Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore & Liya Kebede. All ate described as matte but hydrating. I’m a cool toned person, but I am not one to stick to the rules, so I went for the one that called to me the most, and that was Blake’s Red.

loreal-colour

Blake’ Red is described as a pure ruby red that is designed to suit warm skintones, with a matte finish and hydrating texture. Looking at it in the tube you can see why it was drawing me to it. It is such an intense colour, that acts effectively as a siren song, dragging beauty lovers to it. I saw it, and couldn’t wait for it to be mine! And so it came to be mine, so I can show you how it looks on the lips.

loreal-lipsHere I have it on over a Revlon red lipliner, and I am very impressed with it. It is super super pigmented, applies beautifully with a brush and lasts! The claims about hydrating texture are a bit off though. It is a matte. It will dry your lips somewhat, and you should make sure your lips are in good shape first. I do love it though.

I’m now tempted to hunt down Liya’s red though. It is the cool toned sister of this, and I would be interested to put them to the test to see just how it compares. Coupled with the fact that as a beauty blogger, I can never have enough red llipsticks!

Robyn

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Sinful Mauve Nail Art
Mar. 30.

Manicure Monday: Mauve & Spotty

mm-sinfulmauve-thI am a divil for picking up polishes from Sinful Colors in Dealz. They’re €1.49 (comparison – €2.49 on boots.ie, $1.99 on Walgreens.com) and come in a range of delightful colours. I’ve written about them several times before, and they are taking up more and more space in my Nail Polish Stash. It is probably not surprising, then, to tell you that I have added 3 more bottles to my stash, including the one I am talking about today, a shade called Mauve.

First, according to Wikipedia, Mauve is a pale purple colour, typically containing more grey and more blue. Asking WordPress here to reproduce the colour code for mauve gives us this. Now, let’s look at the bottle.

Sinful Mauve Bottle

So far, so fairly close I think. This does have the slight purple tint to it that works for a mauve shade, and I was drawn to it for the purpleness. In keeping with its equally sinful sisters it is pigmented and creamy, and applies really well, becoming nicely opaque in two coats. However, this on its own, while pretty, could do with some jazzing up, if you are not in a situation where spotty nails are frowned upon. Fortunately I’m not, so I broke out this wheel of colouredy goodness.

Sinful Mauve Nail Art

This wheel comes from the PS Love range at Penneys, and as you can see is a batch of various coloured shapes. It came in a pack with two cuticle sticks and a nail file for the budget busting price of €1.30. There are a couple of different styles too, depending on what you are in to (I also have one that is various jewels). And with this I embellished my ring finger a little, sealing it with a coat of top coat. The end result is like this, as always, shot without and then with flash.

Sinful Mauve Noflash

Sinful Mauve Flash

In the picture without flash, you can just about make out a violet/lilac tinge to it, which just washes out under the intense light, leaving a blue grey, which is in no way unpleasant. I like how the pink spots add a bit of colour to it, but if I had to, I would be in no way against wearing Mauve on its own. Another good pick I think!

Robyn

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swatches
Jan. 12.

Manicure Monday: The Swatch Board

mm-swathboardI’ve previously admitted that I have a bit of a nail polish obsession. In fact, I have 162 (at the moment) nail polish obsessions, and most of them live harmoniously on the shelf just above my head, looking down on my desk. The trouble is, I tend to reach for the same ones over and over again, and that isn’t right. I decided recently to do something about it, and this is what I came up with…

board

This is the swatch board. 162 little reminders of what each polish looks like on nails, and hopefully reminders to try something new, something old, or something that catches my eye. The great news too, is that it was remarkably easy (but time consuming to do).

The backing is a piece of photographic mount board that I had lying around, things are held together with a roll of white electrical tape, and the nails came in a big box of 200 from Boots. They’re the Nailene ones that cost €10, and never mind that they are different sizes. You could go high class and try and find ones all the same size, but I was looking for easy and cheap! I did originally have each nail mounted on a cotton bud with the ends taken off, thinking of doing a peg board style job, but later decided that a 2D fixture would be easier to store, and less likely to lose parts of. It was then just a case of painting each individual nail a different colour (I used 2 coats each, so you also get an idea of coverage) and setting them aside to dry. In a situation like this, where you may be doing a large amount of them, I will advise you, batch working is your friend. I worked in batches of 10, which meant that process time left long enough for previous batches to dry enough to handle.

swatches

It is really handy to have all of them staring me down too, as I have already noticed some that have slipped through and never been used that I now absolutely must try, but there are also some older ones that I now remember why I bought them. All that remains is for me to make sure my Nail Polish Stash list online is updated too. I’m a bit behind on that!

What do you think of this idea? Daft, genius, or crazy in a good way? (FYI, I am crazy, I know that) Let me know in the comments!

Robyn

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