Nails with attitude

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Ah, autumn. I love you so. I love all of your moody, muted colors, your dark and dangerous hues and the shine and glitter that instantly makes the everyday nails 10 times more interesting! I dug through my nail polish collection and selected a few shades I plan on wearing this fall! None of these are this fall’s new hues though, so if one polish catches your eye, you might need to look up an alternative…

Top row:

Baehr unnamed nail polish – Dark, dark metallic green. Cold green, quite intense.
O.P.I. I’m Not Really A Waitress – Gorgeous “candy apple” red, quite metallic and beautiful.
Baehr unnamed nail polish – Kind of a cool brown-beige hue, a bit like milk coffee, but a colder hue. Nice neutral shade.

Second row:

Gina Tricot Beauty 136 Purple multi glitter – Gorgeous glittery top coat with reasonably large glitter chunks mostly in silver (reflects oily hues), blue and purple.
O.P.I. We’ll Always Have Paris – My nail polish choice this week, a gorgeous, extremely deep purple(ish) wine red/brown. Looks more brown on nails than in the bottle.
Sally Hansen Lustre Shine 005 Plume – A difficult color to describe. Basically it’s a metallic gold with an oily-looking green tint, quite interesting.
Gosh Nero – A true black hue that I would combine with a glitter or gold polish.

Bottom row:

Mavala 392 Moonstone – Purple-silver glitter polish, very small, sand-like glitter that reflects blue, red and silver when you look closely.
Maybelline Forever Strong 650 Midnight Blue – Beautiful nearly black metallic blue. Looks black, until light hits it.
Nivea Colour Dynamite 711 Purple Diamond – I would call this a warm purple. It’s a hint fuchsia, with a very subtle, almost golden “glow” to it.

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glitter

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Which one(s) do you like?

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My summer nail polish favorites from Mavala

I don’t know about you guys, but for the summer (especially) I like a bit of color on my nails. Though, some days I feel like elegant and simple nude nails might be the best option. For years I’ve been a fan of Mavala’s mini-sized nail polishes because, let’s be honest, I tend to get bored of nail polish colors pretty quickly – and I’m a bit lazy when it comes to painting my nails with anything that isn’t a simple clear polish. Anyway, here are my 8 favorites for a summertime mani – all by Mavala!

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From left to right: 335 Pacific Blue, 179 Lemon Cream, 68 Sorrento, 19 Hong Kong, 34 Nicosia, 97 Wichita, 52 Toulouse and 3 Paris.

335 Pacific Blue is my newest Mavala purchase, which I believe I have mentioned here as well. It’s a pure turquoise shade that is definitely more blue than green. It has a very slight hint of pearl in it, which you can see if the sun hits the nail just right. This is basically the only blue shade I own and the only blue nail polish I’ve used since my teens. I love how fresh and summery it looks – just like an inviting, cooling ocean…

179 Lemon Cream is absolutely delicious pale yellow shade. It looks creamy with very a very small hint of pearl in the sunshine. I can almost taste lemon cheesecake when I look at this… (okay, control yourself!) I bought this a couple of years ago when I wanted everything to be yellow. Including my nails. Yet, as far as yellows go, this one is very easy to wear and would likely suit most skin tones.

68 Sorrento is a bright, “lego-yellow” shade with far more pearl than Lemon Cream. In some lights, this shade is almost like gold, in others, it’s a pure, deep yellow. I think this one is best when worn outside in the sun. Not as easy of a color to wear as Lemon Cream, but definitely a show-stopper.

19 Hong Kong is the perfect coral pink. It has a good deal of pearl in it and I would imagine it to suit most skin tones. It’s definitely a summer color and with coral being very on-trend this year, I think this baby is definitely worth spending a few euros/pounds/dollars on.

34 Nicosia is a sandy beige shade with quite a lot of pearl-like shimmer in it. I would say this is a brown-beige nude shade (with shimmer). Somehow very elegant shade which can be “dressed up” with a dash of gold glitter for an extra effect.

97 Wichita is the perfect nude shade for me. It’s a pink nude without shimmer and it’s super flattering and easy to wear. Much used and well loved, though to get a truly opaque look, I usually need to apply 3 coats, which is a bit of a process.

52 Toulouse on the other hand is the perfect pink. It’s a bit on the warm side, creamy-looking and doesn’t really have a shimmer. It’s not a very dark shade, more of a neutral intensity. Very lovely and most likely flattering for all skin tones.

3 Paris is that classic red every girl/woman needs. It’s a pure, clear red that goes with everything at any time of the year. If I had to pick, I would say it’s rather a cooler kind of red shade than an orange-y shade. Very lovely.

What kind of summer nail polish favorites do you have? Have you tried Mavala’s mini-sized polishes?

PS. The blog is now also on Facebook!

Cuccio & Baehr – love at first application

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I went to an event on Women’s Day at my local hair and beauty salon. Since I can’t resist a good cosmetics bargain (especially since they are so rare in this country), I walked away with 30 euros worth of beauty products:

mccosmetic_haulThe owner of the McCosmetic salon, gave me a chance to try out one of their vanilla scented body scrubs and a milk and honey scented body butter which were sold at outlet prices in celebration of Women’s Day. I immediately fell in love with both products. The scent was absolutely heavenly – so delicious I wanted to just eat the scrub and the butter (so did my husband when I opened the first tub at home…)! I especially loved the vanilla scented scrub, so I decided to pick up both the vanilla scrub (in a large tub) as well as the vanilla body butter. I’ve never heard of the brand, Cuccio Naturalé, before, but I hope the salon keeps getting these products in the future as well. I did Google the brand and found out that it’s apparently a rather large brand used in salons worldwide. I was also super happy to see that they’ve also committed to never test anything on animals! That’s a winner in my book! The packaging looked rather cheap, but honestly, I’ve never been one for all the glitz and glam when it comes to the packaging of simple skincare products, so for me, the simple plastic tubs work out well.

Yesterday, I decided to try the Cuccio Naturalé Sugar Scrub on my body before showering. The texture of the scrub is very grainy (sugary) and your hands will feel a bit funny after having scrubbed yourself with the product. However, even though my skin has been quite dry and it can be sensitive, this didn’t irritate my skin at all. Still, I would use the product very gently on extremely dry/sensitive skin. As I was rinsing off the scrub I was having a hard time believing how incredibly soft my skin felt. It instantly felt moisturized as well, which wasn’t something that I was expecting. Scrubs that I’ve used in the past have most often ended up leaving my skin feel super clean, you know, like squeaky clean, but not particularly moisturized. After applying the luxuriously soft body butter after a shower, my skin felt better than it has ever felt – or at least as long as I can remember. The body butter absorbs very quickly, leaving the skin feeling moisturized and soft. You can very slightly feel the product on your skin, but you can definitely get dressed as quickly as you want to. The delicious scent will be lingering around you all day long… Mmmm….

In addition to the delicious scrub and butter, I also picked up the tweezers that were used on my eyebrows. They had a nice, black and white print and felt really good to hold, giving a nice, sturdy grip. As I tend to have to use tweezers daily (as dark eyebrows can be seen as soon as they pop up even slightly), I value good tweezers – especially ones that I can get at a bargain of 3 euros!

I also picked up a package of two beauty sponges (only 1 euro) which I use most often when removing masks from my face. A bit surprisingly, I also picked up some kind of a serum by DermoPro (never heard of) as it was also just a few euros and I don’t currently have a serum. This one is actually an anti-aging, firming, vitamin C serum, but I was told that as a short term treatment it could work on any age. Also, aren’t I supposed to be using anti-aging products now that I’m 30? ;)

I tested the DermoPro serum on Saturday night and found it to be quite pleasant. Its light-weight consistency didn’t irritate my skin and it absorbed very quickly. In the morning, my skin felt softer and somehow less shiny than it usually feels in the morning, which was a great feeling! I believe you can easily use this underneath your makeup as well, because it doesn’t seem to leave any kind of a film on the skin or anything like that.

The salon was currently selling some Baehr nail care products, such as nail files and polishes. The cool thing about the Baehr polishes is that they don’t contain any formaldehyde or toluene, yet the color is promised to last well on the nails. In the 3 euro bucket there were a few nail polishes, out of which this vibrant turquoise/mint green one really stood out. I don’t normally go for green or blue nail polishes, but especially during spring I feel a strongly drawn towards any shade of turquoise. I wasn’t honestly expecting much of this polish, being so cheap and by “some random German brand I had never heard of”, but I’m so glad I bought one to try! I regret I didn’t buy all the shades as this may seriously be the best nail polish I own, in terms of quality. I swear, it practically applied itself. The package feels a bit clunky, being a simple little bottle with a bit of an awkward plastic lid, but it’s what lies inside that counts! In this case, what lies inside is a lovely, creamy, shiny nail polish that goes on smoothly and flawlessly so easily that I didn’t end up getting it on my cuticles at all – and I’m really bad at applying nail polish! One coat was enough to give a perfect, opaque finish. Not the quickest to dry, but quick enough to not make me lose my mind. Perhaps you’ve seen those pictures on my Instagram?

Clinique Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick

If you checked out my last post, you’ll know that I got my LivBox yesterday and that within it laid something that caused me to nearly explode with glee. Makeup products are almost annoyingly rarely a part of this box so I was super pleased to find both the lipstick and my special reward, the nail polish, in the box.

As I’ve never purchased or tried a Clinique lipstick before, there was one thing that immediately confused me: the packaging. The packaging looks… very cheap and toy-like somehow. It’s not very attractive, just a minty green colored tube with a thin silver band around it. In Finland this is priced around 24 euros, which I think is a pretty steep price – especially if you happen to know that it sells for 15 DOLLARS (which is 10 euros – which is nothing!) at Sephora, where the packaging also is completely different and more luxurious… Interesting…

Sephora describes the lipstick as follows:

“The creamiest, richest, smoothest lip colour you can imagine. Our revolutionary gel formula delivers the shine of a gloss, the comfort of a lipstick. Drenches lips in moist, lush color that glides on buttery-soft, feels luxuriously smooth.”

When I opened the lipstick, I briefly felt a moment of terror. The color, labeled Pink-A-Boo, looked almost glittery and really kind of a coral red, a shade that rarely suits me. With shaking hands, I proceeded to apply the product to my lips only to find it to be a very lovely, extremely natural shade that gives me that ‘your lips, but better’ kind of a look. Definitely suitable to wear everyday – with everything! How fortunate! Last time I got a lipstick in one of the boxes, it was a dr. Hauschka lipstick which, unfortunately, I’ve used maybe once. It has a very strong, unpleasant scent and the color is too warm for my rather cool and pale skin. Unfortunate, because the texture of it was really nice. Not as nice as this Clinique lipstick though!

The Clinique Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick (jeebus, what a name!) goes on really smooth and soft, feeling almost like a lip balm on the lips. Though the product looks kind of glittery in the tube, it doesn’t look glittery on the lips. It does however look a lot like a rather subtle lip gloss, but I think this is far safer to wear on a windy day than any gloss I own… I actually don’t own that many glosses these days as I prefer the texture of lipsticks more – especially the really soft, creamy ones.

I wouldn’t say that this lipstick is super long lasting on the lips, but honestly, since it’s unscented (and not play-doh-like) and feels good, I don’t mind reapplying every 2-3 hours. Though, if you keep in mind the fact that this is pretty much equivalent to the natural color of my lips, I won’t really have to worry about it wearing off and showing any unsightly lines or patches. I haven’t really had a chance yet to test how long this could last on the lips, plus I do keep wanting to put it over a lip balm as I do with all of my lipsticks.

I do have to admit that though the first impressions of this lipstick are really good and it feels creamy and moisturizing, it does, after a while, start to feel a bit… off. It won’t really turn dry, but I somehow become more aware of its presence and end up wanting to “fix it” somehow. A bit of lip balm and another application helps. This happens to me with some lipsticks, so I’m not sure if it’s just my problem or one of the qualities of this Clinique lipstick. Any ideas?

Would I purchase it for myself? Well, perhaps for the 10 euros / 15 dollars it is at Sephora, I would. Would I buy it in this cheap-looking tube for 24 euros (33 dollars / 20 pounds)? Nope. Nope. Nope and nope.

Another thing that was in the box, as I mentioned, was the Essie Luxeffects Top Coat:

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I fell in love with glitter polishes last winter, though I hate trying to remove them. I actually also fell in love with sequins and might have ordered three sequined t-shirts that all scream DISCO so loudly that even my co-workers were convinced that I was either a disco ball or a Christmas ornament – long before the holiday season. And yes, I wore them to work. And yes, we have a very casual office, as most businesses in Finland do.

Anyway, I do love glitter nail polishes, but I’ve kind of already swapped the super glittery looks to pastel nails and bold colors – which are also far easier to remove! So the timing of this product was perhaps a bit off, but I have a feeling I will be trying this on this weekend anyway (and regretting it later when it’s time to try to take it off).

Speaking of weekend… have a good one all!

Amazing Friday surprise!

February LivBox

My March Livbox came by mail today – delivered neatly to the office. To those of you who don’t know, LivBox is essentially a box of cosmetics that is monthly delivered to your home or office, depending on your preferences. I did however just learn that these days the post office doesn’t “have to” carry these home anymore, so people who have ordered them to their homes, now have to go to the post office to pick it up. Ruins the purpose of the box somewhat, I think!

Anyway, I always really look forward to my box and it rarely completely disappoints. This month’s box was particularly great in the sense that save for one product, I’m going to be trying and using all of its contents! I apologize for the quality of the pictures, I didn’t have my camera with me at the office and I was eager to just snap some photos ASAP, so you guys have to settle for some Samsung Galaxy S4 pictures – taken with very shaky and excited hands.

My LivBox contained these items:

  • L´oréal Paris Elvital Fibralogy Thickness Booster (7,90€ / 30ml)
  • Oral-B 3D White Luxe Glamour Shine (3,99€ / 75ml)
  • Clinique Color Surge Butter Shine Lipstick in 37 Pink-a-Boo (26,40€ / 4g)
  • Lumene Lab Age Correcting Repairing Night Cream (34,90€ / 50ml) SAMPLE
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy Edp (66,10€ / 50 ml) SAMPLE
  • Jurlique Rose Body Cream (31,00€ / 150ml) SAMPLE
  • Essie Luxeffects Top Coat in Jazzy Jubilant (13,90€ / 13,5ml) BONUS product for long-term subscribers

The only item that I wasn’t interested in was the L´oréal Paris Elvital Fibralogy Thickness Booster hair product. I’m honestly not interested in complicated haircare treatments and products and this seemed like one. My colleague took this one out of my hands. Everything else I aim to try and test and I’m especially looking forward to the new toothpaste, believe it or not! My teeth have been in a miserable condition lately, I think it might’ve been all the medications (I’ve been ill with all kinds of viruses, sinus problems and what have you almost the whole year), so I’m hoping to see at least a slight improvement with this new toothpaste… though the idea of really shiney teeth scares me a bit!

Now, when I say I’m excited about the toothpaste… take that excitement and multiply it by about 20 and you’ll get the level of excitement I had the moment I saw the Clinique lipstick in the box! I did, of course, instantly try it on… though that is another story!

Overall, I can’t wait to get to try all the products – even the “wrinkle cream”…

What a fun and amazing surprise for Friday as well as for the Women’s Day tomorrow!

February Favorites, Part 3

Mixed FavoritesHere are my February’s mixed favorites – deodorant, nail polish, lip balm and hand cream. After using spray deodorants for a few months I settled for this Rexona stick deodorant, Clear Aqua Crystal Anti-Perspirant, Anti-Transpirant dry deo stick with 0% alcohol. Works well for my needs and the scent is a nice, clean and simple fresh scent, which I love. I haven’t noticed this staining my clothes either, so that’s a plus!

Sally Hansen nail polishes haven’t been in Finland for more than maybe 2-3 years now, give or take, and they are priced ridiculously high here, compared to what they were in USA, back when I got my first bottle. These babies cost around 15 euros here, but I still decided to get the Complete Salon Manicure range’s 110 Cleard for Takeoff to use as a base nail polish as well as a top coat if needed. Normally, I use Mavala’s quick drying top coat, which comes in an annoyingly small bottle… I really like this Sally Hansen’s nail polish however as the bottle is generously sized, the polish dries quickly and lasts a loooong time even as the only polish on my nails. Very nice!

The last two products both came from my LivBox subscription. There was a Carmex lip balm in the February’s box, but it was the basic one, where as this cherry flavored one I received in the fall – just never got around to using it as I’ve always hated cherry flavored things. However, I’m now hooked on this, cherry flavor and all, and I tend to reach for this even over my trusty tub of Vaseline… The SPF 15 may well be why.

The Neutrogena’s concentrated hand cream arrived at just the right time to rejuvenate my parched hands. At first, I was a bit hesitant to try this as I tend to hate really potent hand creams that take forever to dry. While this isn’t exactly the cream to slap on after each hand washing, or while trying to use your hands for something, it’s good for when you’ve got an hour or two to just sit and relax, watching TV. I often put this on at night, put on some cotton gloves and let the lotion work its magic while I sleep. Waking up with silky smooth hands every time!