Friday, September 30, 2011

Rimmel London mascara review and comparison

Hi everybody! This post is totally out of my comfort zone (nails), so forgive me if I mess it up. It's my first makeup review. I'll try to cover all the basics about these two products, but if you have any questions don't be afraid to ask in the comment section. Here's the two products I will be talking about:
  • Rimmel London Extra Super Lash mascara
  • Rimmel London Glam'Eyes Day 2 Night mascara
To start I have to say that I have pretty thick and long lashes. I use mascara to define my lashes, to make them look fuller and darker and also to accentuate the outer flare of the lashes.

my naked lashes for reference (sorry for the dark circles, I can never get rid of those)

That being said let's start with the first mascara. I've had this mascara for about a month or two and I've gotten around to using it quite a bit. Here's the official description:

Unique combination of the hugely successful Extra Super Lash formula and a totally new, cleverly designed curved brush.Reaches all lashes, even the ones at the inner and outer corners of the eyes. The formula contains hydrogels that form an ultra-smooth film on the lashes that is ideal for building layer upon layer with no clumps and no lashes sticking together.

I really like mascaras with curved brushes because I feel they give that extra flare effect to the outer part of the lashes. This mascara is volumizing  enough, but unfortunately the non-clumping part in the description is totally not true. The brush comes out of the tube with a lot of product on it, especially on the tip. You have to wipe it on the edges of the tube, but even so you still have to use one of those mascara wands to get the clumps out. The lashes stick together and you can't really separate them properly. The tip of the brush, which should reach those corner lashes is so full of product that it only gets clumps in there so you better not use it. Another thing I have noticed about this mascara is that it's pretty liquid and dries in a fairly long time. I don't mind that about it, but maybe some of you will.

the curved brush
my lashes with Extra Super Lash mascara (you can see that many of them are stuck together and some clumps are still present)
Moving on to the second mascara, this is one I purchased 5 days ago, so I didn't have a whole lot of time to test it. The official description:

Rimmel introduces Glam’Eyes Day-2-Night, our first mascara that creates two dramatically different lash looks with just one brush. The secret is the magic double cap! During the day, choose the Length Cap for ultra-long, gorgeously defined lashes – perfect for those flirtatious encounters by the photocopier. And for night time, choose the Volume Cap, and plump your lashes to up to 15 times their normal thickness, leaving them voluptuously lush-looking and ready to party.

So far I really like this mascara. It's a two-way mascara that actually uses the same brush, so I guess the difference would be in the wiping the brush receives by exiting the corresponding part of the tube. The brush and the formula are great. No clumps, shorter drying time and a lot of definition to the lashes. The length part is not enough for me personally, but I'm sure it would be for somebody with shorter lashes. When I use the volume part, it only takes one coat for my lashes to look really long and defined (and not sticking together).

the brush
my lashes with the length part of the Day 2 Night mascara
my lashes with the volume part of the Day 2 Night mascara
I hope this review has been helpful and I apologize for it being so long. My conclusion is that the Day 2 Night is a much better choice in comparison to the Extra Super Lash. The price difference isn't that big (Extra Super Lash is slightly cheaper) but for the price, Day 2 Night also gives you more product (9,5 ml vs 8 ml). Don't forget to ask your questions in the comments section and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A clash of crackles: China Glaze Black Mesh

Hi guys! So for those of you that got the George R.R. Martin reference (clash of crackles, yeah), kudos. The rest of you should really check his books out! Coming from somebody that never liked Harry Potter or Lord of the rings, these books are great. 
Moving on to polish, I thought of doing a comparison between the two crackle polishes I own. One is the famous and widely covered China Glaze Black Mesh, the other one is the no name brand Butterfly Collection, that is probably available only to (Eastern) European polish fanatics. I also went for a different look with each of these crackles, so that you can see the possibilities you have when you use them. Today I'll start with the China Glaze black crackle.

The base color:

Color Club Gossip Column is a dark teal. Altough it came out in a spring collection, I have to say I’m getting more of a fall vibe from this one. Application is good, the Color Club brush is similar to the China Glaze one and the polish is opaque in two thin coats. I haven’t worn this one for a long time so I can’t really say anything about the wear time. The only thing about this polish is the fact that it stains the cuticles, being so dark and all, so take care at removal and try to smudge it as little as possible on the area around the nail. 

Sorry for the phone pictures, but the camera wouldn't capture the color of the polish properly.
phone picture again

The crackle:

Black Mesh was the first crackle I’ve ever used, so I must say I was kinda nervous the first time and thought I would maybe mess it up, but this wasn’t the case. You basically have to be careful and not apply it too thick or it won’t crack properly. You also aren’t allowed to go over the same area multiple times with the brush. Being a crackle though, you don’t have to be very careful to get the edges perfect, cause you’re going for a graffiti look. The polish is a little thick, but easy to work with. It dries to a matte finish so if you want it to be shiny, top coat is mandatory. What I’ve noticed in particular with this crackle polish is that it cracks in bigger chunks and the chunks stay on the nail and can be easily leveled with top coat. You will see in my next post why these observations are so important.


All in all, I like this look very much. The fact that I’ve used a darker base color made it not pop as much and you couldn’t really see it from the distance, but this only made it a more elegant crackle combo.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DIY nail blogging

Hello everybody! Hope you are having a great Monday and starting a great week!
When I started collecting nail polishes and reading nail blogs, I saw all these nice, but somewhat pricey solutions for storing, using and enjoying polish. But don't worry! Today I'm here to tell you that there are simpler solutions for every issue and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do nails or even take nice pictures.


This is a nice gift box that I had and kept from my birthday. I knew it would come in handy some day and it has the really nice bow on the lid. Inside it is a divider so that the polishes stay nice and separated, don't collapse or move all over the box. I made this separator out or the lid of a shoe box. My storage box has space for 54 bottles. Can you tell I'm running out of space?

This is my light box. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with what a light box is. It is used for close-up  photographs of objects and is used by nail bloggers to photograph, well, nails. I made this out of an old box I found around the house. The only things I bought were some wax paper to put as walls and some white cardboard to make a nice background. It's not very neat, but considering that I made the cuts in the walls with a  scalpel (that's what I had "around the house" :)) ), I'm just glad I have all my fingers left. You can find many tutorials on how to do this by googling "diy light box". 
I know this might look funny to you but it's an awesome phone stand I made. Many of my pictures were made with the phone, as I don't always have access to a proper camera. My Galaxy S is a great phone, but it didn't come with a stand. So instead of buying one I decided to do one myself. All credits go to the tutorial here.

Nail art

First we have some make-up sponge tip applicators that I use for sponging. These came in a pack of 12 for less than one dollar. They can be used for 4 colors (2 ends, each end has 2 sides) and you can also reuse the same tip for the same color. 
Finally, dotting tools. Now I'm sure you've seen the dotting tools in the shops and on nail supplies websites. But why spend money on these when you can use stuff you have around the house. They might not look very professional but they get the job done. We have:
  • large dotting tool - the head of a pin that is inserted in the back of a pencil for commodity 
  • medium dotting tool - the end of an old brush that I wasn't using anyway
  • small dotting tool - the round ends of a hair pin
So there you have it! You don't need a lot of money to do nice nails and photograph them. Don't hesitate to be creative and use your own ideas. And never be afraid of trying new things! You can never know how they work out unless you try!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Teal tape mani

This is my first tape mani and I'm really glad that it turned out so good. If you want tutorials about this method you can find them on Chloe's nails. Erika is the queen of tape manis and I could have never done this without her tutorials. So here's how it turned out: 

natural light
artificial light

I used China Glaze Flyin' High all over the nails and Color Club Gossip Column on the bottom half. I love this color combination! Sealed everything with Out the door top coat.

artificial light
 Unfortunately, the sun was gone by the time I made these pictures so you'll have to settle for these shade and artificial light pics. Hope you like this!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rimmel Lycra Pro Peppermint

I bought this polish during my holiday in France. It had a fairly high price for a Rimmel polish, in my opinion (I payed around 7 euros for it). But you know how it is when you’re on holiday. I’ve seen this line here in a shop for about 4 euros but then again, not this particular shade.


I would define this as the average minty crème. It is pretty close to China Glaze’s For Audrey although I think that one is a bit more blue. Because of buying this polish, I gave up on adding For Audrey to my order on . I regret that a lot, and you will see why next.


The brush is the biggest one I’ve ever seen in a polish. They called it maxi brush, and man were they not kidding. I have the OPI pro wide and I find that one small in comparison. My smallest nail, which is the left pinky one, was very hard to paint (read flooding my cuticles). The formula is ok I suppose for a pastel.  It was opaque in two coats, although on some nails it may have shown some tiny, unnoticeable bald spots. I didn’t dare to paint a third coat as I always have issues with bubbling if I do that. Even so, a few bubbles showed up on some of my nails. I don’t know if I should blame the polish or the base coat for that one.


Well, here begin the real issues. This polish was a chip fest.  I’m not kidding, this one looked like a 50 cent polish and in no case like a 7 euros one. It started with a big chip on the night of the same day I painted it. I thought it was my fault because I was opening a soda package. So I patched it and did one more coat of top coat. But the next morning, the same nail chipped on the other side. After that there were a lot of chips. So, 4 patches and a lot of minor chips later, I can tell you that on the 4th day of wear it looked horrible. And a 4 day flawless wear is a very important condition for me, as I don’t have time to paint my nails very often. Also I need my polish to be bump-resistant and that’s surely not the case with this one. Sorry Rimmel, but you totally failed on this one.


Nice color and good application but not at all reliable. I will not be using this very much in the future, maybe for toes or nail art, but not for a full manicure. I might try it one day on very short nails to see how it holds up. All in all, not a good experience with this polish.  Too bad because I love the color.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't miss these giveaways!

Here's some giveaways I'll be entering this week. Be sure not to miss them!

Traci over at The TraceFace Philes is having two new giveaways:

The first one is the 1600 follower giveaway and ends october 7th
Enter here.

The second one is the Llarowe giveaway ending October 14th
Enter here.

Hermetic is having a 200 followers & one year of blogging celebratory giveaway 
 You can enter here. Ends September 30th.

Finally, Esther over at Fab Fingertips is having a Revlon nail polish giveaway
Enter here. Ends September 30th.

Crystal over at Crystaliciousss is having a 30th B-day giveaway extravaganza 
  Enter here. Closes September 30th.

These are all open internationally so anyone can enter them!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Summer is not over yet!

Today I thought of doing some nail art and since it's still hot and summery over here, I came up with this blue sea inspired mani. I actually planned this around yesterday's cute dolphin stencils. Here it is:

Sorry but this was the only picture where I  could crouch my hand in order to get all the fingers in. I actually got a cramp doing this.
For this mani I used:
  • base coat: Vita Nail n.6
  • one thick coat of Essie Coat Azure
  • Essie Smooth Sailing sponged over half the nail
  • China Glaze Skyscraper sponged over the tips
  • Golden Rose 134 and stencils for the dolphins
  • top coat: Out the Door

     Hope you like it!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Local haul and swatches

    Today I did a bit of shopping, sampling the brands that are available locally. I'm trying to branch out so I covered about every brand that I found and that looked decent. So here we go:

    L-R we have: Farmec nail treatment with vitamin B5, Moyra 88, Aden Cosmetics 92, Golden Rose 134,  Eveline Holografic Shine 405, Kallos 54, Butterfly Collection blue crackle, Enamel Art 1000 nail art pen and some dolphin stencils
    Now on to the swatches. Sorry I didn't swatch these on my nails, but my cuticles are just terrible today. I also used the treatment above so I'm taking a break from nail polish. Let's see how long it's gonna last...

    • Moyra 88 is a blue-purple (blurple if you will) opaque in 2 coats. 
    • Aden Cosmetics 92 is a blue polish that is more sheer, so it needs about 3 coats for it to be opaque (hence the fingerprint because I touched it too soon). These both come from the same retailer and are said to be produced in the EU, but it's not really clear from what country they come from.

    • Golden Rose 134 is a light grey. This was pretty opaque after the first coat, but I used 2 here. This is a Turkish brand, despite the fact that it's full name is Golden Rose Paris.
    • Butterfly Collection Artistic Cracks is a blue crackle (no name or number of the shade on the bottle).  I haven't found much about this on the internet but it seems to crack pretty well and it's a nice color.

    • Kallos High Gloss Nail Colour 54 is a nice bubblegum pink, opaque in only one coat. Too bad that it smells like cheap paint. We'll see...
    • Eveline Cosmetics Holografic Shine 405 is a purple holo! It's one of the few holos you can find over here. This is pretty sheer so it probably needs about 3 coats, or it could be layered over a purple creme.
    So what do you think? Would you get any of these colors yourself?

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    A purple accent mani

    China Glaze Grape Pop is a polish I’ve been wanting for a long time. It’s not a very uncommon color. If you have OPI Funky Dunkey, Orly Charged Up or RBL Mismas you probably won’t be needing this, as they are very similar. I’ve also added a bit of bling to the mani by painting a coat of INM Northern Lights hologram top coat on the ring finger (you can see both these polishes in my last haul). 


    Grape Pop is a medium purple, similar to grapes, as the name states. It has a lot of dupes or very similar colors (see above), but I think it’s a staple color that everyone should have in their collection.


    The polish has the regular China Glaze formula and was very easy to apply. I used 2 coats. It could be opaque in only one, depending on how thick your coats are and how carefull you are. The brush is medium width, but has a very long stem so you have to be carefull because while applying, drops of polish come down from the stem and could ruin your nail.


    I wore this for 5 days and had some minor chips on the 4th day of wear. Considering that I didn’t put any base coat under it and put my nails under a lot of stress in these days, this polish has a pretty good wear time.

    A blurry picture to see the holo effect on the ring finger


    I just love this color and will be wearing it a lot this fall (even if it’s a spring color). And of course love the formula of China Glaze too, so no issues there.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011 haul

    A few weeks ago, I ordered some polishes from the fairly new retailer that claimed to sell OPI after Transdesign stopped selling the brand. However just a few days after I've placed my order, OPI polishes were completely gone from the site and never returned since. Right now I don't think it is possible to order OPI's at a reasonable price other than from Ebay.

    Anyway, my order was sent promptly and traveled about 9 days (weekend included) from the US to Romania. Shipping is a bit pricey and that's why it's better to order more polishes at a time to cut on the shipping per bottle.

    Here's what I got:
    • OPI Siberian Nights - a lovely dark purple, perfect for fall
    • China Glaze Grape Pop - this has been on my wishlist for a while now (you can tell I'm on the purple wagon right now)
    • China Glaze Skyscraper - this is from this year's fall Metro collection and is my introduction to glitters
    • China Glaze Black Mesh - I've been wanting to try crackle for a while and thought I'd start from the basic black
    • Color Club Gossip Column - this looked blue in the swatches I've found online but is actually a more green leaning color (teal is the word)
    • Color Club Matte-ified - matte nails is another big trend that I'm trying to catch up on
    • INM Northern Lights Silver Hologram Top Coat - I just had to try this!
    • INM Out The Door fast drying top coat - I didn't have a top coat that was fast drying and since a lot of people criticize Seche Vite, I thought I'd better try this one instead. 

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    A few giveaways I'm entering this week

    Adventures in Acetone's 150 follower giveaway

    Open internationally, ends September 3thand you can enter here.

    That's So Fresh Julie G Collection giveaway

    Also open internationally, ends today so hurry!

    Chalkboard Nails Wet N Wild On the Prowl giveaway

     This one is also international and you have until October 5th to enter here.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Paws on my paws

    So as I was telling you the other day, I felt that my ELF Desert Haze manicure was too neutral and plain looking, so I decided to spice things up with a little nail art. I painted the paws with stencil stickers from the local DM (Drogerie Markt) store and S-he Stylezone 500, a taupe color, also found at DM.


    I think this manicure turned out pretty cute and I've gotten a lot of compliments on it. Sorry for the bad quality pictures, but I think they were done at night.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Going nude with ELF

    ELF Desert Haze is a 1 $ polish from their Essentials collection. I have been eyeing this one for a while now and I finally got it in my last ELF UK order (we actually pay 1,5 pounds for the product, which is almost two and a half times more than the US price). It’s my first ELF polish and I was really curious as to how they would behave. I’ve heard good things and bad things about them.


    Well I guess you could call this a nude crème. Maybe a greige. I don’t know cause I’m not very good at describing colors. It’s certainly a sand type color. A color that I’ve always rated as boring and “work appropriate” (man I hate those). Surprisingly, after putting it on, I really liked it, especially on my freshly cut nubs. This is a very neutral look for me and I still feel kinda dull with it on my nails. It’s so plain that it screams nail art to me.


    This is not very pigmented. It requires at least 3 coats for opacity. I did 3 but I probably should have done 4 in order to cover all the bald spots. It applies easily and dries pretty quick. The packaging though is definitely showing it’s cheapness. The brush, which was pretty big, had 2 longer bristles that created streaks on my nails while I was painting. I will probably trim them in the future, but was too lazy to do it at the time. The bottle cap is square, big and slippery and so not confortable for holding. It was the first time I’ve dropped a bottle cap since I’ve started to paint my nails. This makes me worry about the H&M polishes that I have and didn’t use yet, that also have a big square cap like the ELF one does.


    For a polish worth one buck, I have to say this is pretty good quality. I wore it for a week and it only started chipping after about 6 days. Of course by that time I had applied some nail art (which I will show you soon) and one more coat of top coat. But all in all it is a pretty stress resistant polish.


    Nice color, decent application and good wear time. I guess this is a winner in my book. I’m glad I bought it and took the chance.

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