Monday, 9 April 2012

New Nail Polish Shades including Catrice Cosmetics Genius in a Bottle

Hello everyone :)

I know I keep saying this is NOT just a nail polish blog but it sure looks like it for now :P

Just wanted to share with you a couple of new nail polish shades I got from Catrice mainly these past weeks.

I added another shade or 2 to my summer bright colours as you can see in the pics below. I also got 2 shades from the Catrice Big City Life collection which is actually a winter 2011 collection if I am not mistaken but I liked 2 of the shades so I got them anyway ;) I also got a bright orange shade from Inglot and the duochrome nail polish shade from Catrice which is said to be a dupe for a very famout Chanel shade ;) check out the pics and description below. Let me know what you think!

Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer shades:
Left: 820 Pimp My Shrimp - New shade with the new wide tapered brush like the brush on their Ultimate Nudes collection
Right: 030 Meet Me At Coral Island - a previous shade with the previous regular brush.
As you can see, Pimp my Shrimp is slightly more on the orange side of coral while Coral Island is slightly more on the pink side. See below for side by side swatches. They both apply nicely, but require at least 2 coats for a good opaque look.
2 shades from the Big City Life collection.
Left: C04 New York - a pretty powdered blue creme colour. Comes with the regular brush since they were out in 2011 probably. I like the imagery on the bottle... with some of the famous New York landmarks and the NY skyline :)
Right: C01 London: kind of a banana yellow shade with slight shimmer in it. Good colour payoff but requires 2 coats of good opacity too. Comes with the regular brush too and has some London landmarks on it too ;) These 2 shades are of course limited edition since they are from a specific collection but they are still available at least locally in Malta.

Here you can see my bright yellow/orange/coral shades. I was not a fan of bright warm shades such as these until last summer so I'm still working on my collection.
From LtoR: Catrice Big City Life London, Inglot 949 (bright orange with a hint of shimmer - new 2012 colour), Catrice Pimp My Shrimp, Catrice Meet Me At Coral Island, OPI I'm His Coral Friend (SUNBelievable collection 2011).

Here you can see all previous 5 bright shades swatched on each nail with 2-3 coats on each. As you can see Catrice Pimp my Shrim and Meet me at Coral Island are very similar when swatched but Pimp my Shrimp is a teeny bit more on the orangy side.

The lovely Catrice duochrome shade in Genius in a Bottle 840. I saw this shade and did not buy it but I had to go back and get it! Have to admit the duochrome effect is not as evident on the nails.What do you think? I later found out it is an exact dupe of the Chanel Le Vernis Peridot 531 which costs considerably more!!

Catrice Genius in a Bottle in the sun and swatched. Comes with the new wider/denser and tapered brush since it is a new shade. Applies very smoothly with no streaking and gives good coverage with just one coat but I went for 2 coats anyway! No chipping so far for 2 days with base and top coat as always.

Catrice Genius in a Bottle side by side with OPI Rally Pretty Pink (OPI Serena Williams Glam Slam France duo collection - came with red shatter) which is my other duochrome polish which changes from a pinky purple to a pretty golden bronzy shade.

Just FYI. Locally Catrice nail lacquers retail for I belive round €2.40 while the limited edition ones were for €2.80. Inglot shades retail for €11 locally but I got mine half price during a promotion. OPI shades retail for around €11 euro locally too I believe but I get mine online and usually they cost me a little bit less.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

UPDATED Catrice Cosmetics - Ultimate Nudes Nail Polish Review with pics + 1 week of wear photo

Hello everyone :)

Finally writing a blog post! It has been AGES! It so happens to be another nail polish review! I promise, my blog will not be about nail polishes only! For the time being however, I did want to share this review with you as I was quite pleasantly surprised with these Catrice Cosmetics nail polishes which I purchased this weekend.

I bought 3 Catrice Nail Polish shades, two Ultimate Nudes and one from the Ultimate Nail Lacquer range. The Ultimate Nudes shades have a new brush which I will be talking about. The shades I  got are:
Ultimate Nudes: 090 Karl Says Tres Chic and 050 Moulin Rouge Light
Ultimate Nail Lacquer range: 030 Meet Me At Coral Island

First off... I like the names... as you know, if you read my previous posts, I love OPI nail polishes and love their names... it seems the idea is catching on, Catrice nail polishes have some interesting names too!

The nail polishes are made in Luxembourg and seem to be of good quality. I like the packaging and particularly like the wide cap which makes it easier to open when it gets kind of stuck with the dried polish on the neck (white cap for Ultimate Nudes, black cap for Ultimate Nail Lacquer). The consistency of the Ultimate Nudes nail polish is very creamy, nicely opaque and does not streak too much. The description says that with one coat you get subtle coverage... which is true... one coat is quite enough but I like a higher coverage so I went for two coats.

Now on to the more interesting part... the brush! Now I have been a fan of the OPI Pro Wide brush but I think this new Catrice brush will take first place on my books! Their regular brush (on the Ultimate Nail Lacquer polish) is of medium lenght, flat and the ends are cut straight. It is a regular black bristled brush, nothing too impressive, slightly thinner than the OPI Pro Wide brush. The New Brush on the Ultimate Nudes however has white bristles for one thing, feels more flexible for some reason, is thicker/denser and slightly shorter I believe. Most importantly however, the ends of the bristles are tapered! They are kind of rounded which makes the brush PERFECT to apply polish to the cuticle area without making a mess!! I LOVE this brush!

In terms of shades, the Catrice Cosmetics Ultimate Nudes Nail Polish collection has 7 shades, which range from subtle pinks to nudes and browns

Their Ultimate Nail Lacquer collection on the other hand currently has 40 shades according to their website.

Locally, they retail at 2.50Eur which I believe is an excellent price for the quality of the polish and the quantity you get (each bottle contains 10ml - OPI shades contain 15ml but cost a lot more).

All in all, I do recommend these polishes, in terms of quality I think they may be on a slightly higher scale than the e.l.f. polishes I have. They are worth checking out if you are a nail polish junkie like me ;)

See pics below! Hope you enjoyed this review. Please note that I bought these products and was not paid to do this review!

Until the next post, take care ;)


After 1 whole week of wear - polish still looks bright and shiny, no actual chipping, still looks decent and wearable! Slight wear along the nail edge and since my nails grew a bit longer, bottom part of the nail is slightly exposed (it probably wore off from the cuticle area a little bit too) - Excellent wearablity over all I would say!

090 Karl Says Tres Chic - Catrice Cosmetics Ultimate Nudes Nail Polish - 2 coats

090 Karl Says Tres Chic - Catrice Cosmetics Ultimate Nudes Nail Polish - 2 coats

Ultimate Nudes 090, 050 and Ultimate Nail Lacquer 030

Notice the difference between the 2 brushes?
After 1 whole week of wear

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

OPI Black Shatter Nail Polish over Bright Coral!

Hello everyone!

It's been quite a while since I last posted... shame on me! There is so much stuff I would LOVE to blog about but there is so little time and I was horribly sick over the Christmas holidays! :(

However I had to share this at least.

Up to yesterday I had long nails which I had been growing for a while since December but after an "almost broken in half" nail accident I decided to finally chop them off... which I did. So I now have the more comfortable and practical shorter nails I love :)

I've had my OPI black, white and silver shatters for a while but went back to them recently. I was wearing my white shatter over the Spark du Triomphe.... LOVE that glitter! So yesterday I decided to go for black.

1. As a base I used my OPI Nail Envy Maintenance as usual (OPI have a range of treatments in the Envy range - I use Maintenance since my nails are rather strong already and using a hardner would make them break).

2. I then used OPI I'm His Coral Friend from their 2009 Summer SUNbelievable Collection and topped that with KIKO's Sparkle Touch nail polish in No4. (KIKO is an Italian makeup brand that has some awesome products at fantastic prices) to make it just a little bit sparkly... who doesn't love sparkles??  ;)

3. Once that was completely dry (very important) I applied a thin coat of OPI Black Shatter and let that dry (Black shatter has been out for a while, there are now a number of shades from black to blues to red and pink and purple and white). I applied my shatter polish vertically as usual but you can try applying it diagonally or in sections for a different shatter effect!

4. I then applied a top coat. OPI recommend this step to lock in the shatter and avoid chipping. It also makes the colours more vivid but if you like the matte effect of the shatter polish you may want to skip the last step ;)

Have a look at the pics below.

I personally love the Black Shatter... I find it crackles nicer than it's white counterpart and creates an AWESOME effect on bright shades like this coral colour!!

Give it a try ;)

Until the next blog post, take care x x

The nails - OPI I'm His Coral Friend + KIKO Sparkle Touch no4. + OPI Black Shatter

Nails and the products used ;)

Nail products used - OPI Nail Envy Maintenance (for already strong nails), OPI I'm His Coral Friend from the Summer 2009 SUNbelievable Collection, KIKO Sparkle Touch No.4, OPI Black Shatter, OPI regular top coat.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

NYX butt "naked" eyes Palette - a Review with swatches

There has been a great hype over "nude and naked" makeup looks possibly since the inception of the ever famous Naked palette by Urban Decay and NYX has given it's share with products like the Nude on Nude palette and the Nude on Nude kit which came out last year I believe. I recently came across this pretty little palette/kit while browsing though Cherry Culture and of course, being a NYX lover and a lover of all colours nude I had to buy this one!!

Front of packaging
Back of packaging with product info
Palette lid with the much commented about name :)
Bottom of palette with ingredients listed

So starting with the basics, the palette is sleek and glossy black with nude coloured writing on it. It is approx. 14.3cm x 10.8cm in size and is 2cm thick. Inside it you get a variety of eye shadows as well as blushers and contouring shades. The package includes: a good sized mirror - the size of the box basically and two sections. The top section contains the "15 cherry picked eye shadows" as NYX states on their packaging along with 2 double-ended sponge applicators. The second section is a pull-out drawer which contains 4 blushers, 1 bronzer and 2 face illuminators - "for the most natural "naked" look!" as NYX says.

Opened palette - pic with no flash
pic with flash
Being a "naked" look palette, the shades of the eye shadows are of course on the neutral end. However there are some darker more dramatic shades which make this palette very versatile. I would describe them as pastel colours. There is a mix of shimmery and matte colours with more shades being on the shimmery side, however the shimmer is quite subtle and not exaggerated. There is only 1 shade that sparkles in a way that I would call glittery and it is still very pretty. The shades range from a shimmery white, to neutral flesh tones, light pinks, lilac, silver tones, greys, beiges, browns, a black shade and a glittery dark purple shade. I shade in particular I find very intriguing is a shimmery pink shade that is almost opalescent and looks golden when applied (see swatches and pics below). Thus this palette caters for cool and warm toned individuals very well. The pans are approx. 2.6cm in diameter. In terms of pigmentation over all I cannot complain. Most of them particularly the shimmery ones are quite pigmented, one or two of them are slightly less pigmented and possibly slightly on the chalky chalky. However they are very blendable and very creamy to the touch on the whole. I used a couple of them to create one look and they were very easy to work with and the result was stunning.

pic with flash
close up with flash
no flash
Bottom row swatches
Middle row swatches
Top row swatches

In terms of face colours then, there are 4 blushers each approx. 3x3cm. 2 shades are warm toned and 2 are cool toned with 1 of each being matte and another slightly shimmery. The pigmentation on these is quite adequate with the matte pink being the most pigmented of the lot.

The bronzer and face illuminators are each 4.4x4.4cm approx. The bronzer is a matte one while the illuminators are both shimmery, one being a light yellowish shade and the other a more pinky beige shade. Pigmentation on the illuminators is not excessive however they are buildable. The bronzer is quite sheer too but I personally like it as you do not risk putting too much colour at once and looking like an oompa loompa!

pic with flash

no flash
Blushers swatches
Bronzer and illuminators swatches

The quality of the packaging is actually very good. The box feels quite solid and doesn't feel like it's made of cheap plastic that will break easily. I like the big mirror inside and the fact that you get 2 double ended sponge applicators - it's great for travelling.
double ended sponge applicators

size comparison - e.l.f. 32 piece palette - NYX butt "naked" eyes palette
Look done using shades from this palette - please ignore the untamed eyebrows

Over all, I think that this palette is worth buying. For the price of approx €20 (from Cherry Culture) you get 15 lovely eye shadows which are quite good in terms of quality and you get 4 blusher shades of a decent size with a matte selection which is great!! You also get a MATTE bronzer (something you don't always get) and 2 illuminators.

I can say that I am happy with my purchase for the time being and would recommend it to anyone who loves natural soft looks or wants a neutral palette for work/office looks and wants a cheap alternative to the more expensive nude looks palettes and doesn't mind the "butt naked" name of the palette.. haha... I still think NYX could have been a little bit more original and chosen another name for it though.... I feel like it is an obvious try at imitating the once original name of the UD Naked palette. This does in no way make it less of an awesome palette that you should try though :)

Hope you enjoyed this review... let me know what you think if you purchased this yourself or if you have any questions about it ;)

Monday, 5 December 2011

Super Cheap Makeup Brush Guards Review!

I just had to write this post when I recieved these brush guards today! For those of you who do not know, brush guards are little plastic netting tubes that you put your brushes in while drying, travelling or just for everyday storage to keep them nice and firm and stop them from turning into a bushy mess...

This is especially useful if you spend loads of money on makeup brushes or even if you have a few brushes you would like to take care of, regardless of their price. I do not own too many expensive brushes but I still have quite a collection and like to take care of them.

Now, as you may know, there is a genuine Brush Guard brand you can buy that has various sizes from very thin ones for small eye brushes to larger ones for kabukis. Granted, it's a  good thing that you get all the varying sizes, however, to be very honest with you I think that they are kind of expensive.

The cheapest variety pack I found on ebay coasts €9.90 (incl. shipping to Malta) and it contains 6 brush guards - 1 extra small, 2 small, 2 medium and 1 large. It can be found from this seller here: . Now this is quite a reasonable price in reality when compared to other sellers on ebay. You can also purchase these from Coastal Scents and they cost about €10.86 (incl. shipping to Malta) from there.

I am in no way saying they are no good. They are probably superior in quality to the ones I bought, however, I still feel that paying €10 for 6 flimsy plastic tubes is somewhat expensive.

And here is the alternative.....

I looked up brush guards on ebay and came across this seller: . This seller sells a pack of 15 brush guards for the awesome price of €1.43 (incl. FREE shipping to Malta). Note however, that they only come in 1 size unlike the original Brush Guard variety pack. It does say however that they will still fit the smallest brushes you have and from what I can see it is quite true. It fit my MAC 219 (pencil brush) perfectly and even fit my huge e.l.f. Body Kabuki!! (See pics below for evidence!)  I am quite impressed in fact I ordered again to keep them as backup!

As I said I am in no way saying that the genuine brush guards are no good, I never tried them and they probably are superior to the ones I got here but when you compare the price..... weeeellll... superior or not I think I will stick to these for now!

What do you think? Did you purchase any of the genuine Brush Guard Packs? 

With just one pack I covered all these brushes (including 3 duo fibre ones in the brush holder).

They fit even the smallest of brushes - maybe not too tightly but still well enough to protect them.

They fit kabukis perfectly too!

They fit all shapes of larger brushes

Awesome for duo fibre brushes.

They are ideal for travelling to keep those particularly large fluffy brushes safe in your brush roll.

Each pack contains 15 brush guards of the same universal size.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Review: e.l.f. cosmetics - 100pc Eye Shadow Palette - with photos and swatches

I finally got my hands on the e.l.f. cosmetics 100pc Eye Shadow Palette which can be bought from their website: if you are in the UK or EU or if you are in the US or other countries.

In all honesty I was somewhat hesitant at first since I already have their 32pc palettes in Natural and Bright and thought it would be the same colours all over again. However I was quite pleasantly surprised :)  (see pics below)

In terms of size: the palette is 19cm in height by 23cm in width. The eye shadow pans which are all the same size are 1.7cm x 2.1cm.

The 100 colours are a mixture of matte, silky and shimmery shades. They are quite creamy in texture and a good number of them are quite pigmented! There are a few shades that could have been more pigmented and slightly less chalky but over all, especially when you consider the price, I think it's great value for money. I would definitely recommend using a primer beneath them to improve the colour and staying power as with other e.l.f cosmetics eye shadows.

You get a nice combination of neutral highlight colours, yellows, golds and browns, greens and a few blues, pinks and purples and oranges and reds and a whole column of white, greys and blacks. I would say the focus is one neutrals and pinks judging by the number of those shades. All in all, this palette is very versatile, providing you with shades for basically ANY eye look under the sun from a basic work friendly neutral to a dark dramatic smokey look for a night out.

Another think I would like to point out is that the shades, while quite similar to some in the 32pc palettes, are in fact NOT the same which is great! :)

Packaging is not too bad either, the box it comes in looks nice. The actual palette is made of plastic but the kind of plastic it's made of feels a bit flimsy at times, I'm scared I'll drop it some day and break it :( and the hinges are quite small for a palette of it's size... I fear they could break easily.

The palette also comes with a small mirror and 2 double ended sponge applicators which is nice :)

My verdict:
Price: Excellent... especially if bought during sale period like I did ;)
Quality: Very good average.... especially considering the price and the colour range you get
Packaging: Not too impressive... I think the quality of the plastic used could improve as well as the hinges.
Would I repurchase: If I EVER finish all these shades... I think I would!

See pics below:

Palette in packaging - Front

Palette in packaging - Back

Front look of palette - closed

Palette open - you can see how small the hinges are to hold the lid which is quite large in comparison

Mirror and sponge applicators

Some swatches of the shades - nice colour payoff

The e.l.f. 32pc Bright Palette - which I love :)

The e.l.f. 32pc Natural Palette - which I also love :)

I hope you enjoyed this review and find it useful while deliberating whether or not to buy this palette :)

As always, I bought this palette myself and am totally honest in this review.