Friday, 31 December 2010

KOH: Wipe It Away Review



It's about time I wrote a post on this, before the year ends. This really is a long overdue review and it's also something symbolic for me. Wipe it all away and start with a clean slate for the new year.

This is the last of the KOH products in my stash that was sent to me by KOH a few months ago to review. Wipe It Away was actually released early this year.

The premise of KOH Wipe It Away is that it's a handy, very portable nail polish remover that you can conveniently (and stylishly) carry around in your bag. It's not the kind of nail polish remover that we are accustomed to as this one is super concentrated and as you would have noticed, it's in a conventional nail polish bottle with a nail polish brush.

According to KOH (excerpts)
This innovative and revolutionary nail polish remover without acetone removes all coloured polishes very fast and easy.

Because of the special combination of this instant nail polish remover with Vitamin E and Castor Oil, the nails are cleaned and degreased mildly which also makes this extremely suitable for brittle and dry nails.

Instructions for use:
Generously apply Wipe It Away with a brush to the entire (polished) nail and leave it to work for 8-10 seconds. Do not spread the layer like you do with a nail polish, but leave a thickish layer on the nail for the best results. Subsequently, rub your nail clean with a tissue or cotton pad, moving from the cuticle to the top of the nail. This prevents polish running underneath the cuticle.


My Experience
Wipe It Away does take some getting used to. I took these pictures a while back with KOH Neon Roze. That would be two coats of polish with a stamp design. This is how it works.

How To Use
Before


Applied a thick coat of Wipe It Away on nail and waited about five seconds. Then in one movement, I used a cotton pad to rub the nail polish off. There is still nail polish remaining on the nail.



Repeat with a second thick coat. Nail polish is substantially removed but the cuticle and sides of the nail could still do with some extra cleaning up.



Cleaning Power
I experimented with different types of polishes. Averagely, I needed three to four coats of Wipe It Away per nail to get the nail totally clean. The number times would depend on (a) the number of coats of nail polish, (b) the type of nail polish used (glitter would of course take more coats and effort).

The sides and the cuticles are the hardest to clean. The brush does get to these parts, but it's the cotton pad that sometimes fails to reach them. Because the formula is thick and highly concentrated, you can swipe only once with each coat of Wipe It Away.


Sequence
The cleaning should be done nail by nail. One musn't wait too long after applying Wipe It Away. Otherwise, it would dry on the nail, making it impossible to rub off. Apply Wipe It Away on one nail, then rub off. It won't work if you applied it on all nails and then tried to rub off. Wipe It Away would have dried by the time you got back to that first nail.

Other Observations
I once tried applying it on the nail and left it to dry. What it ended up being was a top coat! Interesting.

Nails seem less dry (but only marginally) after using Wipe It Away compared to conventional acetone-free nail polish remover.

The liquid has a mild chemical smell but strangely, after rubbing it off the nails, the nails are left with a pleasant scent, quite like the scent of KOH Body Sensations products - a cherry blossom scent, I believe.

Like all KOH nail polishes, Wipe It Away comes in a lipstick holder-like case. This is definitely a luxury product. Wipe It Away retails for €19.95 (10ml).

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Adorned Nails: Arcancil Bleu Demoniak


Don't be fooled by the name. This is really just a blue crème nail polish. It's a blue so dark you'd think it's black. I know some of you think it's way too foreboding and perhaps lacking in character, but oh, I love Bleu Demoniak. I'm convinced now that I was born with a dark soul.




Application was problem-free and I did two coats here. If you're not too convinced that it's a blue, here's evidence that it is. Thank you, sun.


Right, a nail polish this broody and with a name like that definitely deserves a foreboding stamping design. I found it in Fauxnad plate T04 from Chez Delaney. I have loved this dragon design ever since I first set my eyes on it. I think Bleu Demoniak provides a great backdrop for it. The silver polish used for the stamping is an old discontinued polish from Catrice called Silver Moon (I've used it for stamping several times before).

I didn't want to have too many dragons on my nails, so I placed it only on the ring fingers. On the other nails, I stamped only the 'wing' part of the dragon, just for design's sake.





Less than a week more to go to enter the Arcancil Nail Polish Giveaway! Check it out here.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

PUPA: Diva's Rouge Lipstick


Here’s the other half of Italian brand PUPA´s Perfect Match Kit that I showed in my previous post. It’s a lipstick called Diva’s Rouge and, of course, in the shade Euphoria Red. Well, actually, on the lipstick packaging, the shade is just a number: 14. I, for one, would like to call it tomato red, just like for the accompanying Lasting Color nail polish. The silver casing looks chic with the red trimming, don’t you think?



According to PUPA (as per the packaging):
Colour Intense Lipstick.
Absolute Cover.
Instantly perfect colour release for full, sensual lips with just one stroke.
Creamy, extra-rich, feel-good texture.


I’ll cut to the chase and mention that what PUPA says is quite true. It is pigment-rich, delivering fantastic colour intensity. I love how it applies – smooth and creamy. There are not many brands of lipsticks that I can use without a lipbalm base. I tried applying Diva’s Rouge on my bare lips and my lips fared quite well. To a certain degree, it did melt into the lips. My lips felt all right for the first couple of hours but as the moisturising effect wore off, I could feel my lips shriveling a bit. Well, don’t mind me and my chronically dry lips, ladies! I think if your lips can take just about any XYZ lipstick on the market, then Diva’s Rouge would work fine for you.


It lasts for a good few hours – four to five in my case. There is colour transfer on the cup, but that’s usual.

The ingredients:
Please click to enlarge.


Unfortunately, parabens are on the list, for those of you who do mind.

So, is it a ‘perfect match’? I say yes.


Note: This Perfect Match Kit was my own purchase. It was on offer for €14.95.

Further reading: PUPA Lasting Color nail polish in Euphoria Red
More information: PUPA Milano website




Enough tomato reds for now. I promise it will be something else next!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Adorned Nails: PUPA Lasting Color Euphoria Red



I've noticed that PUPA Milano loves coming up with makeup kits comprising different makeup items. One such kit is called the Perfect Match Kit - a cute silver makeup pouch containing a lipstick and a bottle of nail polish of the same colour. At the store, there were four Perfect Match Kits to choose from: Deep Violet (purple), Pop Pink (pink), Passion Red (dark red) and Euphoria Red. I settled for Euphoria Red in the end as I have neither a lipstick nor nail polish in this colour. Besides, it's got such a fabulous name. Woot!



Tomato red best describes Euphora Red. It's such a happy colour. And oh, this jelly-like polish went on so beautifully! I have absolutely no complaints about its application. A two-coat application gave about 90% opacity but I thought that was good enough. The nail line wasn't that conspicuous.


Here's the best part: I've had it on for four days and have noticed only some tip wear. There was no chipping at all. Hardy indeed. It certainly lives up to its name - Lasting Color.

The recommended retail price for the Perfect Match Kit is €18.50, but it was on offer at the store and I paid €14.95 instead. The nail polish bottle is cute and small – only 5ml – but I think it's a pretty good deal as the accompanying full-size lipstick alone retails for €18.50.

Coming up tomorrow: PUPA Diva's Rouge Lipstick
More information: PUPA Milano website

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Greetings



How do you like my very simple Christmas manicure? I don't know how to draw Santa freehand.......wait, let's rephrase that. I don't know how to draw. Period. Of all the stamping images I've got, this is the only one that comes close to looking Christmasy (it's from Chez Delaney's H28 plate). I'd like to think of it as a reindeer, a reindeer galloping somewhere in Lapland.

It's tempting, but let's leave the nail polish for another day. Right now, I'd like to wish all my readers and friends peace and joy this Christmas.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas! Prettige Kerstdagen!

Friday, 24 December 2010

A Box of Josie From Jeanie


You know, mere words aren't enough to express how much I appreciate all my readers who follow my writings. That's why it's nice to be able to 'give back' through the giveaways that I hold now and then for all of you.

Well, truth be told, it's also nice to receive! Just the other day, I received this package in the mail. It was a prize that I won in a giveaway that Jeanie, or jv, of Makeup Merriment held a few weeks ago. She loves beauty products with natural ingredients, and so do I. Umm, our one vice is perhaps nail polish? Jeanie really knows her stuff when it comes to beauty products and I love how she expresses her thoughts on them in her posts.

This is what Jeanie sent me:
Josie Maran Love Nest - Josie's Argan Favorites (she included two teabags too!).


It's a limited edition travel-size giftset containing Josie Maran's four favourite argan oil products:


L-R
Argan Color Stick in Petal Pink
GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara
Argan Illuminizer
100% Organic Argan Oil

Am I thrilled or am I thrilled? What a great way to get to try some Josie Maran products for the first time!

Thank you so much, Jeanie!!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

ELLIS FAAS: Eye Look With Light VII



I have a tendency to stick to safe eye looks – nothing too colourful, nothing too dramatic. The last time I did a look that was rather dramatic was back in July, a surreal month during which my father passed away. In fact, I had dedicated that eye look to him. To this day, I still wonder what he might have thought of it.

......Anyway, today’s eye look verges on the dramatic side, minus the emotions. It’s actually a simple look using a total of only three products, all from ELLIS FAAS. They are:




L-R:
Light E304 (metallic lilac/medium purple)
Milky Eyes E203 (dark blue with a hint of shimmer)
Mascara E401 (black)





This is my first experience with Light E304. From the press photos, I had expected the colour to be a pale lilac. In person, the colour looks a bit darker, more like a medium purple. It nevertheless looks lilac in these photos here because of its metallic finish.

This is what I did for this look:

1. Dabbed with finger the blue of Milky Eyes E203 on the entire lid except for the lid fold. Using the finger helps to fade out the edges.
2. The aim was to elongate the eye, so I pulled the blue out to way beyond the outer corner of the eye. I used an angled eyeliner brush to create a more defined outer edge of the blue.
3. Applied the medium purple of Light E304 directly on the lid fold using the pen’s brush. Due to the way my eyelid folds, I had to make sure not to go beyond the boundaries of the fold. Otherwise, it would have looked rather odd in my case.


4. Still using the pen’s brush, I coloured my lower lid with the metallic E304, extending the line to meet the blue.
5. Lined the upper and lower lash line with the blue of E203.
6. Curled lashes and applied three coats of Mascara E401.


That's it, really. Just two liquid eyeshadows and a mascara. There is no blending, the two shades were deliberately left clearly defined.

The other dramatic look: ELLIS FAAS: Eye Look With Light III

This look would not have been possible without the kind generosity of the folks at ELLIS FAAS who provided me with these pens.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Adorned Nails: Make Up Store Britta



Ooh, I’m (un)fashionably late to the party, I know, but I finally got myself a holographic nail polish! For the life of me, I don’t know why it has taken me this long to try one.

Here’s Britta, a very Scandinavian name from an equally Scandinavian brand. Make Up Store is a Swedish brand. It has stores all over the world, so chances are, you would have already come across this brand before.

Britta applied fairly well, but I did notice, after two coats, some small bald-ish areas where the grains didn’t cover the nail sufficiently. As this is my first time with a holo, I wouldn’t know if it’s normal. Anyway, that issue wasn’t something that a third coat couldn’t fix. I applied two coats on all nails except for the ring finger here. That one has three.

Britta is a pale pink with micro holographic shimmer. I think for those who are all too familiar with holos, you would be quite apathetic about this pink holo. As for me, I'm simply enraptured by Britta.

It looks gritty on the nails but in fact, the finish is smooth. Holographic nail polishes tend to fascinate many of us because of the micro mirrors (or are they prisms?) that reflect light, thus giving the wonderful iridescent effect. It’s like having rainbows on your nails.

True to tradition, just like so many ladies before me who have ever featured holographic nail polishes on their sites, I will now show polychromatic Britta from different angles. It looks plain without good lighting or when viewed from a disadvantageous angle – like metallic matte – so thank goodness I had rays of sunshine pouring through my window!

Plain Britta in the shade



Holographic Britta in the sun








The shape of the bottle does remind one of GOSH nail polish bottles. I did a quick comparison and found the one from Make Up Store to be a tad taller. Make Up Store nail polishes retail for €14.50 per bottle (8ml). I purchased Britta from its store in Amsterdam.

Note: I’ve also updated my article, Beauty Shopping In The Netherlands: Branded Stores, to include Make Up Store in the list.

More information: Make Up Store website.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Rituals: Eyeshadows



Meet Jade Delight and Jade Jewel. A pale chartreuse and a khaki green.

I acquired these Rituals Cosmetics single eye shadows at different times, which on hindsight, was not very smart of me. If I had known earlier that I was going to get both these colours, I would have gotten better value for money by purchasing the Duo Eye Shadow called Double Jade instead. Double Jade has the same two shades!

The Product
Colours: Single – 16 shades; Duo – 8 combinations
Net weight and Price: Single – 2.4g at €12.90; Duo – 4g at €16.90

According to Rituals (excerpts)
• Natural gemstone powders allow the skin to breathe while leaving the skin feeling sensationally soft
• The ancient gemstone Sapphire strengthens the “third eye”, thereby deepening intuition and insight, while having a beautiful brightening effect
• Mild formula: natural gemstones – pure minerals – perfume-free – paraben-free – dermatologically tested

Ingredients
Please click to enlarge.


The eyeshadows are housed in sturdy square black compacts. Each comes complete with a decent sponge-tip applicator and a mirror. The compact shuts with a magnet, a pretty strong magnet, in fact.

These are powder eyeshadows with bits of shimmer. They crumble only slightly. They apply well and I’ve experienced minimal fallout. As usual, an eyeshadow primer helps a great deal to intensify the colours. In this eye look, I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

Left: Jade Delight; Right: Jade Jewel
Top row swatches: Without eyeshadow primer
Bottom row swatches: With Too Faced Shadow Insurance


I really, really love this colour combination. Jade Delight, the pale chartreuse, looks goldish on the skin. Jade Jewel is something between khaki green and khaki brown. On the skin, the shade reminds me of antique brass. I had the perfect eyeliner shade to complement these two colours and that was Velvet Touch Eye Liner from GOSH in the shade Metallic Brass. I completed this look with GOSH Wonder Volume Mascara.



Rituals calls this gemstone makeup as these eyeshadows contain sapphire powder, amongst others (have a good look at the ingredients list above). Again, I refrain from saying anything further about that. Let's just enjoy the eyeshadows as they are.

Further reading: The Usual Unusual Ingredients - Gemstones
More information: Rituals Cosmetics website

Win it! These two colours can be found in Double Jade, the duo eyeshadow featured in the Rituals Cosmetics Makeup Giveaway. It's on till 6th January 2011.