I don't usually go for golds, but this polish is so stunning that it's become one of my favourites. The gold glitters are less of a yellowish gold, which may explain why I like it so much. Add in the rainbow glitters & it's probably the most shimmering of all my glitter polishes. Since I loved it so much on my nails, I recently used it to fix up some artwork on my old leather jacket. There's now a guitar all done out in Medallion on the back of it & it looks fantastic!
Eye Shadow -MAC - mac wonder woman valiant eyeshadow quad
firework_girl 2/19/2011 12:00:00 PM
I splurged on all three quads yesterday as a treat. So far, I've only used Valiant but I absolutely love it. I'd read on some blogs that some of the shades weren't on par with normal MAC shadows quality-wise. The only shadow I've had a slight issue with is Diana Undercover. It's faded ever so slightly in small areas. Nothing horrendously noticeable, if I feel I need to make sure it stays all day, I'll pat some of my Illamasqua sealing gel over it. No big deal at all. The other three shadows; Manila Paper, Valiant & Spinning Transformation have stayed put & are just as they were when I applied them this morning. Great texture for all shadows. These haven't been particularly difficult to blend. All four shades in the quad work really well together, not something I can say for every quad I own. The look I tried this morning was Valiant on my inner eye, Diana Undercover on the outer two thirds of my lid & into the crease, Spinning Transformation in the crease & Manila Paper as the highlight. It made for a gorgeous green smoky eye that I'll definitely wear again. You could easily get a more toned-down look from this quad too. As for the complaints I've read about the packaging being tacky? It's Wonder Woman, it's not going to be subtle packaging. I actually like it, it's fun. I love the shape of these quads too, much more portable than the regular style MAC quads. If you're not mortally affronted by the packaging & like green shadows, I can heartily recommend the Valiant quad.
I'm drawn towards unusual nail colours so I had to try this. It's stunning. In the bottle, it's a metallic grey with shimmer & a green & pinky-purple flash to it. On me, the green is a lot less apparent, the pinky-purple comes through. The shimmer is obvious but not at all obnoxious. The green tinge is still there but it's more understated that the bottle makes you think it would be. It's such a beautiful, unusual shade. I've had no problems with application. Two coats & it's opaque, not streaky at all. I rarely rebuy polishes but this one is so gorgeous that I would repurchase.
Eye Primer -Urban Decay - Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Professional Size
firework_girl 2/11/2011 9:24:00 AM
I have to wonder if the formula has changed. I used UDPP in the original packaging a few years back & it really irritated my eyelids. Sore, weeping, stinging, not a pretty picture. On a whim, I picked this up & tried it out. Lo & behold, zero irritation. Holds my eyeshadow in place with no creasing, fading or smearing. I've had absolutely no problems with this new packaging. I tend to gently knead the tube before I dispense any, I don't know if that makes any difference. There's no wastage here, I can get as little product as I want & it's not a messy experience. My only issue is that I daren't use this as my everyday primer just in case the irritation comes back. The days that I do use it? I'm more than happy with it.
I spent months lusting after this & was over-joyed to receive it as a gift at Christmas. The colours are all gorgeous. I prefer cooler tones but none of the shades are too warm for me to use. None of them have an excess of glitter that some UD shades are famed for. No ridiculous glitter-ball fallout here. The textures are lovely and they all blend extremely well. Packaging is lovely & quite sturdy too. I ignore the mini bottle of UDPP, it doesn't work well for me. The shadows are fantastic over my go-to NARS primer. I've found myself reaching for this palette a lot. Whilst I do tend to grab newer items first, I can see that this isn't a novelty that will wear off. There's quite a few looks that can be created using just these shadows, even a dark, smoky eye. If I ever use this up, I'll definitely be repurchasing.
Moisturizers -Lacura - Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
firework_girl 12/22/2010 1:31:00 PM
The Lacura line is fabulous. I've been using their products for a couple of years now. My day moisturiser my change but the Night Cream is one product I can't live without. Sinks into my skin beautifully. Doesn't feel heavy or make my skin greasy. My skin feels really soft the next morning. I've tried so many night creams that it's ridiculous. This one jar that costs about £1.99 works so much better than products I've spent £30 and upwards on.
Bad Romance is such a gorgeous polish. It's the nail equivalent of MAC's Young Punk MES. I do wish that the glitter was a little more obvious, even the hexagonal flecks can be hard to see against the black background. A good, shiny topcoat can help it sparkle a little more, but it's not a dazzling sparkle at all. Rather, it's more subtle, if a black, glittery nail polish can be called as such. It can be awkward to get an even distribution of glitter particles on your nails. I found dipping the brush back into the bottle until more appears on it helps, as does gently manipulating the glitter into place whilst the polish is still wet. Apart from that, application is superb. It doesn't streak & doesn't have that thick look some glitter polishes can get, especially once they've dried. Would I buy this again? Absolutely. It's a beautiful polish.
Eye Primer -NARS - Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
firework_girl 12/17/2010 8:39:00 AM
I've been using this for a couple of weeks now & I'm quite impressed. Every other primer I've tried had been a failure from the start or it would begin in a promising way only to end up creasing after a few weeks of use. I don't blame the primers altogether, my lids get really oily. Combine that with hooded eyes & it's a recipe for disaster eyeshadow-wise. My only crease-free experience with another primer was the original UDPP. The problem with that is my lids have some sort of reaction to it; stinging & my eyes get very, very weepy. Etude Proof 10 is my other favourite, but again, it's not perfect. No irritation but I do experience a small amount of creasing. However, it's significantly less creasing than with other primers. The NARS primer, once again, isn't 100% for me. I'm now doubting whether any primer will be. That said, it rates up there with the Etude primer. A small amount of creasing at the end of the day, just on the inner corners. It's probably not noticeable to anyone but me, I know it's there though & it annoys me. I love the texture of this more than any other primer, however. It glides on and dries very quickly to a soft, powdery finish. I have noticed that if a primer stays tacky, it usually means my shadows will crease quite badly. There's been little to no difficulty with blending shadows over this, something that could be slightly problematic for me with UDPP. Because this dries clear, it doesn't affect the colour of my shadows either. It has a really nice effect with frostier shadows. They tend to look more glowy than out & out frosty when used with this primer. Packaging:- Ah, now that's the crux. Whilst it is functional as a new tube, it's the same old story as UDPP & other primers with similar packaging. I'll need to saw this open once I get further down the tube. Especially at this price, I don't want to waste any product. Right now, I'd say that I'd give the Etude a 4 out of 5 & this a 4.5 out of 5, purely for the texture & the fact it seems to hold my shadows on a little longer before those tiny creases set in. If you do suffer from oily lids but they're not outrageously so, this primer will work absolute wonders for you. Like I said earlier, it's not 100% for me but it's probably as close as I'm likely to get. For that reason (and the texture), I'll continue to repurchase.
Angelika is my go-to pink blush. I'm more of a peachy-pink blush fan. I've found a lot of pink blushes are hard for me to wear. MAC's Dollymix looks gorgeous in the pan but the shade really does nothing for me on my skin. It looks like I've been slapped. I own a few brighter pinks but I prefer a more toned-down blush. Angelika is just right. It's obviously pink but it doesn't make me look as if I've been slapped or I've got sunburn. MAC's 188 is my brush of choice for blush. It tends to lose a lot of the sparkle that Angelika has. No big deal, I can add a little more if I want more sparkle. Great pigmentation. Looks just as it does in the pan. It also stays on really well. Far better than my MAC blushes do. Packaging is standard Nars. Decently-sized rubbery case with an okay mirror in the lid. I would definitely repurchase but it may take me a while to do so. I've had this for some time now & there's barely a dent in it.
In my seemingly never-ending quest to find a good primer, Proof 10 is yet another I had to try. My ideal would have been the original UDPP. No creasing, smudging or fading. There's one big drawback; it irritates my lids. Having pretty damn oily lids that are slightly hooded has made this search a very frustrating challenge. Proof 10 is one of the better primers I've tried. It dries to a nude colour, which is great. Feels very smooth & creamy upon application, eyeshadow blends well over it. Whilst it does prevent my shadows from smudging or fading, it does still tend to crease on the inner corner of my eyes. Having said that, it's a tiny amount of creasing compared with other primers I've tried (the worst offender being TFSI, hello Crease-City). It's probably nowhere near as noticeable to someone else but I know it has creased. It does seem to take longer to crease than other primers too. Around 6 hours or so before I notice it. Packaging is so-so. It'll be hard work getting the last of this out of the little bottle. I do like that the doe-foot applicator doesn't seem to have as much product clinging to it as in the case of other primers. It makes it harder to put too much on. Price is great. This stuff comes pretty cheap from eBay. Proof 10 may not do a perfect job on my eyes but someone with less oily lids will probably get outstanding performance from this primer. For me though, I may have to give up on the dream of ever having shadow that doesn't crease (without having irritated eyes). I'm currently trying out the NARS primer to see if that works any better. If not, Proof 10 will re-enter the picture as it's given the best results so far.
After several fruitless trips to Superdrug, I finally managed to get my hands on this. I'm really pleased with it, especially when you consider how cheap it is. True, you won't get a wild variety of effects as you would with something like the Konad plates but for quickly doing a bit of nail-art, this stuff is great. Paint on a coat over your chosen nail colour & let Instant Nail Effects do all the work for you. It looks like a matte nail polish until it crackles. One thing I have found is you can vary the effect you'll get depending on how thick a coat you apply. A thin coat leaves a pattern with lots of smaller bits whilst a thicker coat leaves bigger bits with bigger gaps (I had one nail come out looking like a sort of cow print doing it this way). It dries pretty quickly too. Add a glossy topcoat & you're good to go. As stated before, it won't replace my Konad but for something fast when I feeling too lazy to deal with all the clean-up after using my Konad, this stuff is great. At less than £4, it's an absolute steal.
My go-to liner for natural/nude lip looks. Previously to buying Subculture, I'd tried Spice but it was very dark & looked orange. Subculture has a hint of pink to it but is still very natural looking. Works really well with nude colours, pale pinks & peachy shades. It has quite a firm texture but not overly dry. I find it's better to apply after I've let some lip balm sink in. Good staying power, need to reapply a few hours later especially after eating & drinking. I've repurchased a few times now & will continue to do so since I wear this particular liner a lot & have no complaints about it.
Lip Gloss -MAC - Devilishly Stylish (Venomous Villains)
firework_girl 11/22/2010 11:49:00 AM
A coat of Devilishly Stylish over the top of Subculture lip liner is my current go-to lip look to pair with smoky eyes. On me (pale, NC 10 to NC 15), it comes off as a glossy, pale-ish peachy colour with a slight hint of sparkle. It does add a slight bit of colour to my lips, but not so much that it takes any focus away from a smoky eye look. Usual MAC gloss consistency; slightly thick & a touch sticky but it applies smoothly. Stays on for a couple of hours or so, even when eating or drinking. Doesn't dry out my lips but doesn't feel overly-moisturising either. Although it's a great colour & I'm really enamoured with it at the moment, I wouldn't repurchase. Mainly because something else will catch my attention & to be honest, it's unlikely that I won't be able to find a colour that's similar further down the road.
Hair Color -Amphigory - Special Effects in Atomic Pink
firework_girl 11/22/2010 11:29:00 AM
Special Effects blows every other semi-permanent, brightly coloured dye I've ever tried out of the water. When I first decided to get some of the black stripped out of my hair & go pink, I was stuck using Directions. A week after dyeing, it was faded. I remembered reading about SFX & thought I'd give it a try. I can go two months before having to redo my hair. Even then, it's mostly due to roots needing bleaching & a little of the residue from my black dye running into the pink parts & discolouring after washing my hair. Atomic Pink is a gorgeous, eye-wateringly bright shade. However, I feel like it isn't quite the pink for me. To remedy that, I mix Atomic Pink with Cupcake Pink & get the perfect shade. Extremely bright, hot pink. The added bonus comes if I use CP as the base shade. CP doesn't tend to stain, whereas AP does. Probably because of this, Cupcake Pink doesn't last as long. The combination of the two is absolutely perfect. I've rebought both shades numerous times & see absolutely no reason to change to another dye.
I absolutely love this. Usually, I'm not much of a fan of gold glitter, the only one I've ever truly liked is China Glaze's Medallion. That's probably due to it being a pale gold with silver. Luckily, the gold glitter in Party Hearty is small & I mostly don't notice it that much due to the gorgeous green & red larger, hexagonal glitters. This is, to my mind at least, more suitable to use as a finishing touch to another coloured polish. It'd take a fair few coats to make this one completely cover your nail & would be a nightmare to remove if used that way. One of the nicest combos I've tried so far has been Jolly Holly as the base colour (gorgeous metallic green from the same collection as PH) with a coat of Party Hearty over the top. It looks like a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and is absolutely stunning. It would also look pretty over a black base. Not a polish I expected to fall heavily for, but the JH/PH combo totally swayed me to the beauty of this stunning polish. If I were to finish the bottle, I'd definitely repurchase just for that particular look alone.