Finally, I get a chance to do a review on this one!

So here’s the short story: if you were hoping for this to be a purple version of Across The Universe…this ain’t it. In fact, it’s closer to Lady Sings The Blues.

Details: This was one of the two individual colours released for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This was apparently inspired by the Lady Gaga video of the same name, which is reason enough for me to avoid it. (Not a fan of hers) However, it looked SO PRETTY, and because I do nails for the girls from my church I figured this had to make its way home with me. I also work hard, so the almost $20 for a special occasion seemed like nothing.

The colour itself is a blackened eggplant/purple with purple duo-level (hex and mini) glitter. As with the other Lippmanns, removal is a beeyotch. How bad? Try soaking in the acetone tub for a minute, then soaking the other nails, then going for another minute (my tub has three openings) and using the fingernail to scrape off the glitter. That’s what you get, though…

I was hoping that this would be like Across The Universe, in that there was the jelly finish so that you got the nice multi-layer effect. But as I alluded to earlier, this is more like Lady Sings The Blues in that you want to have two coats to get opacity-but then it basically only shows the top layer. It’s almost a case of you want to have a polish down beforehand if you don’t want to basically waste the glitter.

The one positive I have about this is that the colour is super-pretty, and it’s kind of unexpected to see that sort of thing. But I think it could have been executed so much better. Either that, or I was spoiled as Across the Universe was the second one of the Lippmanns that I tried, and the first of the ones that got a full manicure. (Some Enchanted Evening was one coat over LPH matte, on the left hand only as that’s all I had time for). Is it worth it? Maybe. Would I pay retail for it again? No.

Admittedly, I had avoided the Lippmanns for a long time. One reason was the uber-high cost…it’s hard for me to justify paying $18 a polish all the time. However, with most all my readily-available OPI lemmings in hand and me not buying any new Essies (I may make an exception for the Morticia Addams set), I am starting to branch out. Getting a set of 3 for $40 seemed less painful. Second, when I worked at BBW, she actually had some polishes come to stores-but it was a diffusion line and BOY DID THEY SUCK. They were among the worst polishes I ever used, and I may still have one or two kicking around. A textbook example of bad polish ruined by even worse packaging.

But these? Completely different story.

Starting out with the packaging-the trio comes in a box-no surprises there. The bottles themselves, though, are gorgeous. They definitely aren’t the typical bottles-these are a weightier glass, with a pedestal detail at the bottom. It then goes to a true square, which tapers/curves up a bit at the top. The cap is a black matte plastic, and the entire look of the bottle is definitely more luxe than your typical OPI or Essie. Those, to me, are more utilitarian-but when you’re charging more per bottle you can afford to go a bit more luxe and these do.

The formula on these is B3Free (which is the standard preference; however it doesn’t matter to me and I prefer the chemicals sometimes), but it also has biotin which many people swear by as a fix to help get long, strong nails. Me? Doesn’t matter. My nails are long enough anyways:) I have found that for the glitters, the best way to apply is to lay the bristles on the nail, then smooth out-you get thicker coats that way, and with these you definitely want to do the thick ones.

Now let’s get to the colours! Read the rest of this entry »

So today, I went to the big Nordstrom-no, not the flagship, but the arguably nicer one-and I got some preorders done for the Anniversary Sale.

First up, I did a MAC preorder. I fully expected to get a Look in a Box, but then I remind myself: it’s $60, and I might only use one or two products in there. Definitely something that can wait til I get up to the outlets, that’s for sure. However, I did end up with two Dazzleglasses and two of the Dazzle lipsticks. Liquid Lurex is the novelty for the Dazzle lipsticks (a little greenish), and there’s a really dark, blackened-purple Dazzleglass that I got as well.

I don’t need any brush sets, as I am trying to convert to just using full-sized ones for the most part, and they always end up at the outlet.

Then I hopped over to Clarins, where the lady was surprised that I was even aware of the stuff! I told her how I got hooked on what I was preordering, and how it’s an absolute must-have for me. I’m talking about the SPF 40 Day Screen, and it is amazing: it protects, it doesn’t clog my pores, and it mattifys my face, so my makeup looks amazing. I am trying DAMN hard to keep my skin looking young, and when you compare it to many other brands Clarins is actually very reasonably priced. They have a duo for $58, while a single bottle is $42-so yes, it was the right time to buy. I also find that my moisturizer-I use Murad Vitalic-is awesome, but you always want to use a separate sunscreen even if your moisturizer has sunscreen, because the moisturizer apparently can dilute it. It’s one of those “honourable mentions”, but it isn’t a blue ribbon. Also, it takes awhile to absorb in. It can be nice, since I put it on post-eye makeup to sweep away the fallout, but I like to do my face immediately after. Keep in mind, I don’t typically do foundation, but powder is hard to blend on a slick canvas. This makes it easier.

The only other things I intend to order are the Lippmann polishes-all of them. The two singles AND the Jazz set. I might as well-they’re the sort of thing that I could be very popular for at the church manicure sessions that I occasionally do. Part of the main reason why no more? Simple-MAC has In The Groove and Alice & Olivia hitting on the same day, and I already did a preorder for Dare to Wear. I ordered Sassy Grass and Sky Blue shadows, and then Gimme That DTW Glass.

Alrighty, this is one of my favourite times of the year because this means beauty exclusives GALORE. It seems like all the big brands bring out the big guns, and this year is no exception. I’m going to do this by brand, so if you have a particular brand you’re looking for scroll down and you may (or may not) find it.

3Lab
Perfect Eye/Skin Set-$125 (Full Size Shine Stop moisturizer and WW Eye Cream, plus travel sizes of Ultimate Lift cream, Perfect cleansing gel, Super H serum, and Perfect mask)

Ahava
Mineral hand cream duo-$20

Anastasia
Eye Lift set-$68 (eyeshadow quad, mini of Lash Lifting mascara, and Line Erasing serum)
Ultimate Brows set-$36 (brow enhancing serum and shaper/highlighter duo)

Anthony Logistics for Men
32 ounce Glycolic Facial Cleanser-$35
Best Shave Cream Ever duo-$35

Aquolina
Pink Sugar Travel Bag-$35 (1 ounce EDT, and 1.7 ounce lotion, shower gel, and scrub)

Armani
Acqua di Gio set-$70 (3.4 ounce and .16 ounce EDT, 2.6 ounce deodorant, and 1.7 ounce body wash)
Armani Code set-$70 (2.5 ounce sizes of aftershave balm and EDT, 2.6 ounce deodorant)
Travel brush set-$75

Baby Quasar
Infared Light Therapy wand-$399 (This is the sort of thing that may just have to be a Christmas present to myself, because it looks amazing)

Balenciaga
Balenciaga Paris set-$130 (has a 2.5 ounce EDP and 6.7 ounce lotion)

Bare Escentuals
Refillable Mineral Veil brush-$35
In Fashion collection-$49 (Gold Leaf and Steel shadows, Legit liner, Gala blush, Rose gloss, double-ended eye brush, angle brush, and a burgundy bag)

Beauty Society
Enormous Lashes & Beautiful Brows set-$99 (Enormous Lash, Enormous Mascara, Brow Doctor)

Bliss
Fabulous Foaming Face Wash set-$34 (has a 15.5 ounce size of the cleanser, with a mini Best of Skintentions)

Bobbi Brown
Chocolate & Navy set-$75 (Brownie lipstick, Pink Blossom gloss, Caviar Ink gel liner, Everything mascara, and a 5-shadow palette with Navajo, Cement, Copper Cocoa, Gold Bar, and Royal Navy)

By MD Skincare
Double Peel Power Plus set-$120 (Has two 30-application sets of the peel, plus a half-ounce of vitamin C serum)

Carolina Herrera
CH fragrance gift set-$90 (3.4 ounce EDP and lotion, plus a lipgloss with leather case)

Chanel
Quatuor Boutons quad-$65
Coco Mademoiselle Moisture Mist-$45 (also has a rollerball and a mini bag)

Chantecaille
3 Indispensables set-$135 (Pure Rosewater, Rice & Geranium foaming cleanser, Vital Essence)

Christian Dior
Ready to Wear palette-$54 (four shadows, two glosses, a blush, a 3-shade bronzer, and mini applicators)
Intimate Bronze Dior Addict gloss-$25 Read the rest of this entry »