Monday, February 27, 2012

[Clash of the Polishes] Artdeco - 226 vs Catrice - Genius In The Bottle

Hi guys!

As mentioned in my last post, I have the suspicion that Artdeco's number 226 and Catrice's "Genius In The Bottle" are dupes, or at least similar enough so that you don't need both in your collection. Except, you know... you have to own every pretty polish in the world. But anyway, let's move on to the comparison, shall we?

We finally had a sunny day again last week, the perfect opportunity to take the pictures for this post. Both polishes have a gold base color with lots of shimmer. They shift to green and blue-ish, depending on the angle from which you choose to look at them.

artdeco vs Catrice - direct sunlight

Both colors in direct sunlight.


artdeco vs Catrice - color shift

The color shift.


And to show you the shifting better, I made two little videos! Ain't I a genius? No? Well, anyway, here are the two short clips.
artdeco vs Catrice - color shift without sunlight

Natural daylight.


artdeco vs Catrice - color shift  in direct sunlight

Direct sunlight.


I took these pictures a week ago. I should have taken notes on which polish went on which of my fingers, because now I can't tell the two colors apart anymore. I think that middle and pinky finger are Catrice, while pointer and ring finger are Artdeco, but I can't say for sure. I remember being impressed that the Catrice polish starts the color shifting "earlier" (At a smaller angle? I suck at maths and anything related to it, guys.) than the Artdeco one.
The only tiny difference I can make out now looking at the two bottles right in front of me is that the Artdeco gold base is a teeny weeny bit more orange than the Catrice base. But that might just be my eyes playing tricks on me?

In any case, I suppose this proves that these two are almost exactly alike. Definitely alike enough to own only one of them. Unless... well, unless see above. Now let's check some facts!

CLASH!

Catrice Cosmetics - "Genius In The Bottle"
application. smooth
brush. wide and rounded at the tip
price. EUR 2.45 or EUR 2.49 / ~USD 3,29 or ~USD 3,34
(I can't find the receipt this one is on! Damn.)
content. 10 ml / 0.33 fl oz

VERSUS

Artdeco - 226
application. smooth
brush. round, ordinary/"classic" brush
price. EUR 7.50 / ~USD 10,10
content. 6 ml / 0.20 fl oz

winner: Catrice Cosmetics - "Genius In The Bottle"
reason: Better price-performance ratio.


Let me know how you liked my first comparison post! :) Hope to read you all soon.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

[haul] epic shopping spree

Hi guys!

So yesterday I went to a forum meet-up and since it was the perfect opportunity to do some "big town shopping", that's what I did! Here's a short recap of what I got.

First up, some essence colour & go.

essence colour & go


Next: Misslyn.

Misslyn


Artdeco.

Artdeco


claire's.

claire's glitters


OPI.

OPI


Now I don't know if you'll believe me when I say these were EUR 16,- each (~ USD 21). That's effing ridiculous. But yeah. I bit the bullet.

essie.

essie


Group shot of everything I bought.

group picture


Now my stash looks like this (untidiness ahead):

stash


The reason I picked up the Artdeco polish is mainly that I wanted to do a comparison with Catrice's "Genius In The Bottle" (and also that I hoped the duochrome would show up more than in the Catrice polish). I think you'll agree that they look extremely similar.
Artdeco + Catrice - possible dupes Artdeco + Catrice 2


Even without seeing them next to each other on my nails, I'd say they are almost dead-on dupes, although the gold base color is a teensy bit different in the bottles. I suppose I'm gonna do a comparison post soon enough.

Aaand some not-so-mysterious bottles that I ordered from amazon a few days ago.

not-so-mysterious bottles


I wanted to do a quick post, so I'll leave the pictures as they are for now, I'll try to get them set right tomorrow. For some reason only god knows, Photobucket turns my pictures to the wrong side. I uploaded them the way I wanted them, but Photobucket decided to flip them back onto the wrong side. Thanks so much. I'm very annoyed with this as this storage service keeps causing me problems unnecessarily, so if anyone has a good photo storage solution that's more or less easy to use, shoot me a comment. I'm sort of desperately looking for help.

Edit on February 20, 2012: Okay, so apparently the problem with Photobucket solved itself without my help. I don't know why or how, but I'm glad I don't have to do any editing except for this little sentence ^^

If you'd like to have more information on any of the polishes I bought just let me know.

Hope to read you all again soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Catrice - Run Forest Run! + brush annoyance + dry lips and hand rescue

Hi guys!

Today I'm showing you a nice green polish. Catrice Cosmetics Run Forest Run!.

Catrice Run Forest Run! shot 1 Catrice Run Forest Run! shot 2


And because I for once came home early enough to take pictures in natural "light" (I'll explain the quotation marks later)...

Catrice Run Forest Run! natural light 1 Catrice Run Forest Run! natural light  2

Sorry for the blurriness of the second picture. I tried my best to keep my hand from trembling, but it didn't work too well, and that's the best it would get.

Run Forest Run! is a nice shade of green, neither very dark nor very light. It was easy to apply and perfect after two coats. I added my MNY nail care My Top Coat drying effect, and finally got my first ever mani without any sheet marks, finger prints or whatever else that ruins your look! I'm so happy, lol. I think I need to get a second bottle of the MNY top coat, it's the first quick drying top coat that actually works for me.
Also, never mind my short pointer finger nail... I had to cut it. It was getting dangerously thin and curved upwards because my nails like to shed their topmost layer a lot. I had to cut both index finger and thumb nails because of that stupid problem... Maybe I really am lacking vitamins/minerals? But all my female family members also have ridiculously weak nails, so I suppose it's also a bit of a genetic thing... Blablabla am I boring you yet? :)

Now something that I find annoying about Catrice polishes is this:

Catrice brush annoyance

Sometimes, the brush isn't as well fixed inside the cap as it should be, so it sticks to the teensy amount of polish that collects and dries at the rim of the bottle. Not a big problem, but annoying.

And here's the reason for the quotation marks above:

white landscape, white sky

That's what the sky looks like all the time these days. White to grey-ish. We had like 2 days of sun so far this month. What's more, it still gets dark fairly early. I love winter, but the constant darkness and bleakness make me go insane. At this point, I really yearn for spring.

On a related note, these little helpers arrived yesterday:

Avène Cold Cream stick lèvres Eucerin Lip Aktiv
two lip balms; one by Avène and one by Eucerin

These are specially for dry lips. The Avène one is even specially formulated for lips that suffer damage from the cold. AND BOY MINE ARE A MESS DURING WINTER. As are my hands, by the way, so I decided to try the hand cream as well:

Avène Cold Cream Crème mains

And a little sample that the pharmacy sent:

Avène sun protection sample

Avène Très haute protection Réflexe Solaire SPF 50+

I have to tell you that this reminds me of my mom forcing sun blocker with SPF 50 on me "because of my unbelievably pale skin". I'm not THAT pale, mom. SPF is exponential. So if I can stay in the sun for 5 minutes without getting a sunburn (ridiculously short time ahoy!), this cream will multiply the time by 50 = 250 minutes. Why would I want to stay in the sun for over 4 hours...?

Anyway. I think I might use this sample. We'll see if I remember it in about 4 months when summer is finally here, haha!

Alright, I think I babbled enough for today. If anyone is still reading this... Have a great weekend :)

Hope to read you all again soon!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

essence - romeo, julia + Bijou Brigitte shopping

Hi there!

My dear, 7 followers! Welcome to my blog. ^_^

Today I'm showing you essence's romeo, which is part of the nail art twins-line.

essence nail art twins colour base 02 romeo  bottle shot essence nail art twins colour base 02 romeo mani

It's a very nice shade of grey, not too dark, not too light and it leans slightly blue. I really liked how it looked on me. I needed two coats, but I believe that is mostly due to my nails' "structure" (ridges, bumps, etc.). That naturally makes it difficult for any polish to even out; for people with smooth nails, one medium to thick coat might be sufficient.

Next I applied one coat of Astor Nail Artist gloss to see what it would look like. It's like a shiny top coat, just that it's not a top coat? Lol.

I topped everything off with one coat of MNY Maybelline New York nail care my Top Coat Drying Effect (okay, now that was a long name...), one of my recent discoveries from a shopping trip to dm (a drugstore chain). It worked quite well, and as far as I remember it was inexpensive, too.

Right before taking the polish off again, I applied a bit of the glitter topper that goes with romeo. You've probably guessed - it's called julia ('Cause that's what Juliet is called in Germany, you know?).

romeo und julia 2 romeo und julia 3

left: one thin coat; right: one thin and one very thick coat

It's funny how this is the only pair (of four that I own) where the base color has the man's name and the glitter topper has the woman's name. Kind of funny, don't you think? :)

Another discovery from that trip to the drugstore (That sounds weird, doesn't it?) is my new base coat from P2. It's called Base + Care Coat. Before I bought that I only had China Glaze First & Last (came in a pack with two other polishes). That one was okay; dried fast but didn't help even out the bumps and ridges in my nails. So I looked for a different base coat. Most of the ones I could find had some property or other that I didn't want (nail whitening effect, contained formaldehyde, etc.), so I went for the P2. Sadly, it doesn't do a good job of filling in ridges or eliminating bumps, either. What's your preferred base coat? Any recommendations?

And to finish this wall of text off, have pictures of my newly acquired brooch and necklace:

flower bling brooche key necklace

I don't know yet when I'm gonna wear the brooch, but it just begged me to be bought and I can never resist shiny things...

So there you go for today! Do you own any essence nail art twins? What do you think of them?

Hope to read you all again soon!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Catrice - Snow Motion! and essence - blair + My First Adventures in Dotting Land

Hello there!

Yet another post from me, indeed! I just have to share this manicure because I think it turned out great. I was out with two of my girls (colleagues from work). That thing I'm holding is the necklace I wore.
Catrice Cosmetics Snow Motion! and essence blair  3

First, three coats of Catrice Cosmetics' Snow Motion! (now officially discontinued, by the way).
Catrice Cosmetics Snow Motion! 1 Catrice Cosmetics Snow Motion!  2

To make this more interesting, I added essence's blair. I patted it on rather than making strokes, since the hex glitter will never spread evenly otherwise.
Catrice Cosmetics Snow Motion! and essence blair 1 Catrice Cosmetics Snow Motion! and essence blair  2

What do you think? My friends actually asked if I did my nails myself! I was surprised to be honest, it doesn't look professional to me or anything, just pretty. ^^ I thought about adding the glitter to all nails, but that would've felt too "disco" to me, so I left it at painting my ring finger as accent nail.
Removing blair was kind of a pain, especially the chunky hexagon-shaped glitter. I suppose that's no surprise, though.

Also, here are my first adventures in dotting land! Haha... Not that great. I think I "overdotted", so it looks too crammed in and just kind of weird.
dotting fail
thumb: ordinary color polishes from P2
pointer finger: essence glitters
middle finger: Catrice glitters (finer glitter than in the essence polishes)


On another note, I need more swatch wheels! My first three are full...
swatch wheels 1 - 3


I so need to label these, but I don't have a CD marker... And I'm afraid everything else might rub off with time. What's more, I don't want to just write numbers on it, but I need a pen with a fine tip to write the actual names. I think I'll just try with a permanent marker and see how it turns out...


Hope to read you all again soon!

Friday, February 3, 2012

essence - Choose Me! and Astor - 066 + Yves Rocher soaps

Hello there!

It's Friday! Finally, don't you think? :) First of all I'd like to say thanks to my 4 followers! I hope you enjoy my blog.

Today I'd like to show you what I wore on my nails yesterday (never mind that I'm holding mascara in the last picture):
02.02.12 mani  without bottle
02.02.12 mani  2 02.02.12 mani 1 02.02.12 mani  with mascara, lol

And here's what I used:
Astor Fash'n Studio 990 / 066
Astor Fash'n Studio number 990 - 2 coats as base color (really sheer after only one)
It could also be number 066... I don't know which way to read it! Should have checked at the store today, but I forgot...

Edit on February 5, 2012: It's 066 - looked it up on the website.

essence colour & go Choose Me!
essence colour & go number 38 Choose Me! - 2 coats on my ring fingers (need moar glitter!)
I tried to capture the duochrome effect, that's why the photo is so blurry.

essence nail art special effect! topper soft touch
essence nail art special effect! topper soft touch

I LOVE how this came out! I put the matt top coat over everything on a whim and it was perfect. Drying time was good, a bit long for the ring fingers, but hey, five coats is quite a lot to deal with, and I didn't use quick dry top coat (I only have shiny ones). The matt effect makes the Astor polish look like it's been frozen over.
Teal Thursday ahoy! :)


Look what arrived in the mail today!
dotting tools
Dotting tools! Can't wait to play around with them. Polka dots and clouds, here I come! I shall post pictures of any successful ventures.


Completely unrelated to nails, but still nice: Soaps from Yves Rocher. This company is well-known for botanical beauty products.
Since it's my aunt's birthday soon, I decided to get her some special soaps from Yves Rocher (along with 2 little sponges, a bath pouf...).
soaps
top left: organic oats; top right: olive oil; bottom: "Tradition de Hammam"


I have to show you a close-up of the "Tradition de Hammam" because it has this beautiful pattern on it... it photographed greenish in the middle for some reason, but it's not in real life. It's a deep brown.
"tradition de hammam" soap


The organic oats and olive oil soaps are 300 g (10.58 oz) each, the "Tradition de Hammam" is 150 g (5.29 oz). Each of them was EUR 4.95 (~ USD 6.50).

I imagine the two heavy ones are a bit hard to handle, not only because they are heavy, but especially because of the square shape. I suppose it should be easier once the edges and corners aren't as sharp anymore.

The organic oats and the "Tradition de Hammam" soaps give off very strong smells. I'm not a fan of that, so I wouldn't buy them for myself. The olive oil one isn't as "in your face", so I like it best from the trio.

If you'd like to check them out yourself, go here (US website).
They are currently all available for USD 8.00 per piece. I'm a bit surprised that they are more expensive than here... But then again, Yves Rocher is a French company, so I suppose it makes some kind of sense.

Ouf, this is long! I hope some of my rambling was interesting for you. :)

Hope to read you all again soon!