Thursday, November 29, 2012

NYX Enchanted Forest

Hello lovelies! I'm overly excited today because tomorrow is my last exam. I can't wait for it to be over so I can have some fun for a change. I also have some glitter to show you, and I have layered it over Benecos Expressive Mint, which I've shown you yesterday. Let's see what we have here.

NYX Enchanted Forest over Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial light
NYX Enchanted Forest is definitely a layering glitter. It consists of different sizes of green glitter in a sheer green tinted jelly base. The best and most unique thing about this polish is the presence of huge hexagonal glitters. Unfortunately these are very hard to fish out of the bottle, which led to a bit of disappointment from my part.

NYX Enchanted Forest over Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial light
I did 2 coats of the glitter polish on top of my previous minty manicure and the application was very difficult. The jelly base is really thick and the glitters don't really stick to the brush. This all leads to a huge amount of base piling up on the nail, without many glitter pieces to go with it. You can see that the density of the glitter is still pretty low at 2 coats. I know that this is not meant to be opaque, but I still think there should be more glitter on the nail even in a layering mani. The few large pieces of glitter you can see in the pictures were very hard to fish and they didn't lay perfectly flat on the nail, although I had no trouble with them coming off or anything. What I do like about the glitter in this polish is that it's sort of holographic, in other words you can see all sorts of colors in it when the light hits it. You can get a glimpse of this effect in the following picture.

NYX Enchanted Forest over Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial direct light
I'm pretty pleased with how this glitter looks at 2 coats, although I would love for it to apply more easily. I will try to add some thinner next time to see if that doesn't make it better. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Benecos Expressive Mint

Hello my lovelies! How is your week going? Everything went well with my exam on Monday and now I'm preparing for my last one. Only 2 days left and I will finally be free. The polish I'm showing you today is not season appropriate. It's almost December and I'm showing you something minty. Oh well, I don't always wear season appropriate polish, so why should my blog be any different? 

Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial light
First of all, let me tell you that this brand is totally new to me. Not only is this the first Benecos polish I try, but I haven't even heard of them before. This polish came in the goody bag from the blogger meeting we had a few weeks ago in my town. So, naturally, I was excited to try it out because I love finding new brands and because, let's face it, the color is gorgeous. By doing a little research, I found out that Benecos is a German brand that sells vegan or organic cosmetics. Not sure what that means in terms of polish, but I can tell you that the polish is 3free, so no nasty chemicals are in it. I believe the brand is only available in Europe and don't even know where it can be found, but I've been told that organic shops carry the products. You can check out their website if you wanna know more. 

Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial light
Expressive Mint is a gorgeous pastel green, that can be easily called mint leaf. Application was kind of tricky because it needed 3 coats to look decent. It went on streaky and pretty sheer at first, and it was really hard to level out. Seche Vite did the trick and made it look better in the end. 

Benecos Expressive Mint indoors, artificial direct light
The first thing I thought of when seeing this polish was how close it looked to my beloved OPI Mermaid's Tears. So of course I had to do a comparison for you guys. They are indeed very close, although not identical. The OPI is a bit lighter, while the Benecos is darker and dustier than Mermaid's Tears. The difference looks bigger in photos than it is in real life. 

OPI Mermaid's Tears versus Benecos Expressive Mint without top coat, artificial light
The photo above has no top coat and you can see that both polishes tend to apply a little streaky. Truth is, Mermaid's Tears doesn't have a great formula either. They both need 3 coats to be completely opaque, although the OPI is a bit more pigmented. I also noticed that Mermaid's Tears dries faster than Expressive Mint. 

OPI Mermaid's Tears versus Benecos Expressive Mint with top coat, artificial light
After adding top coat, both polishes leveled out nicely. Again, I would like to point out that my camera made them look more different from each other than they really are. I'm sure that for the untrained eye, these would practically look like the same thing. All in all, I'm glad I tried this new brand and found something so close to a famous and hard to find polish. I'm sure you can find Mermaid's Tears online if you really look for it, but for us Europeans the Benecos polish can be a good alternative. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Blues: Ombre Nails

Hello my lovelies! Another Monday, another exam for me. As I'm writing this post it's Sunday night and I'm really really tired and can't wait to go to bed (although it's only 8 pm). So I won't be blabbering too much and will cut right to the chase. For today's Monday Blues post, I decided to show you not one, but 5 blue polishes. Are you excited? 

I think most of you know already what an ombre manicure is. But in case you are not familiar with it, it's when you paint each nail with a different polish from the same color family, going from lightest to darkest. Since I'm a lover of blue, it's obvious that I have a lot of them and was able to chose the right colors to do a good gradient. I'm very happy with my result. 

So from thumb to pinkie we have: Flormar 423, Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream, OPI No Room For The Blues, GOSH Gypsy Blue and Rimmel Blue Eyed Girl. Clicking on each of the names will take you to the corresponding individual post. 

I hope you liked my blue ombre. For more blue awesomeness please visit these ladies right here: 

Gosia from Life in Color
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Joanna from The Treasure Chest

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Polyvore Collage Day: New York Style

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! I have to admit that this week's collage theme was quite a hassle for me. I have no idea what people in New York wear, nor do I know anything about fashion. So my inspiration came from the outfits in the show Mad Men. After all, they do live in New York, even if it takes place 50 years in the past. Here's my result! 

New York Style

This dress is very retro, but I think it's something that can be worn today as well. I really like the color and I think it brings a fresh feeling to the whole outfit. I went safe with shoes and bag, choosing some elegant Louboutins and a little black bag. The makeup is by NARS and the nail polish by Chanel. I included Chanel Particuliere and Paradoxal from last year's fall collection because I think they are very stylish, just perfect for a New York girl. What do you think? 

Please check out the other collages for today's theme! 

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Manicure Challenge: Half Moons

Hello my lovelies! Sorry I haven't been around this week. I've already told you about the studying and exams thing. Truth is, I'm not really in the mood for blogging these days. I hope that will change next week and I will hopefully catch up with all the nail pics that I have to show you. I'm also really behind on reading blogs, so I'm sorry if I haven't commented in a while. One more week and then stuff will be back to normal. Today's post is a very exciting one for me, so I couldn't miss it. It's the first time I'm participating in a challenge with my fellow Romanian bloggers. We had to do some half moon nails for today and here's what I came up with. 

Today's nails are entirely made with a-england polishes! Some of you know that I love this brand, I love the formula and the amazing colors. So I chose 2 a-england cremes to complete these challenge, and since they are purple, they also work for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

I started this manicure with 2 perfect coats of a-england Elaine. After it was dry, I used some of those round stickers that you can find in the office supply store to mask the half moons at the base. Then, I painted the rest of the nail with a-england Guinevere. I had a little trouble with the stickers not sticking properly to the nail in some spots, so they didn't come out perfectly, but I still like the end result. 

This is actually the second time I do a half moon manicure. Compared to the first one (which can be found here), the moons on this one are smaller and I think I like it better that way. I'm still having trouble with the stickers lifting up at the edges, but I guess it's part of the learning process. 

Thank you for reading! Here are the other ladies participating in today's challenge: 


PS: Don't forget to check out my giveaway if you haven't yet!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beauty Blogazon Holiday Giveaway

Hello beautiful readers! Exciting news! And what better way to announce something exciting than my 300th post. I'm glad this worked out so well because this giveaway is the perfect way to celebrate. It's a way to say thank you to my old followers and people who have stood by my blog over this past year. I've teamed up with a few amazing bloggers from the Beauty Blogazons to bring 5 people a smile on their face this holiday season. You have the chance to win a Visa gift card worth 100$! And there will be 5 winners! I really want my followers to win so please enter! And make sure you subscribe to the other bloggers as well, so you have more chances to win! 

The giveaway is international, so anyone can enter. There will also be the option of receiving your prize via Paypal or a Cashier's check. The giveaway ends on December 21st 2012. Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget below! Additional terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of the widget. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Farmasi 52

Hello my lovelies! How are you doing today? First off, I want to tell you that my exam went well and I want to thank everyone who wished me luck, whether it was in a comment or just in their mind. I'm still a little shaken from the last week and I'm trying to relax a bit before studying for my next exam. Luckily, that's an easier one, so no need to worry this time. Today I want to show you a little discovery of mine. It's an awesome polish from a less known brand, and it also might be a dupe to something very famous. 

Farmasi 52 indoors, artificial light
Some of you might know the beautiful a-england Perceval. It is truly a gorgeous red and it has been on my wishlist for quite some time now. But you know how I am with red. I hardly wear this color, so I just couldn't justify spending so much on a polish I would rarely wear. Then one day I saw this beauty on a random blog. I immediately had to run to the local Farmasi counter and get it. 

Farmasi 52 indoors, artificial light
Farmasi is a Turkish brand and this is the first polish I try from them. I don't know a lot about their products. They are very inexpensive (the polish was 1.4$) and they contain toluene, so they do smell accordingly. As many of the low-end brands, Farmasi polishes don't have names, only numbers. The one I'm showing you has the number 52 and it's a lovely metallic red. I don't know how close it is to Perceval (it's probably a little darker), but to me it does look very similar and satisfies my lemming for now. 

Farmasi 52 in the sun
I was pretty happy with the formula of this polish, although that's not a surprise, since toluene helps smooth out any formula. I did 2 coats and they went on like butter. I wanna mention though, that it did seem a little sheer, so the second coat was a little thicker than I normally do, which led to some bubbling on my middle finger. It dried very fast and I applied a coat of Seche Vite to smooth out the bubbles. 

Farmasi 52 in the sun
All in all, I'm happy to have found such a bargain and I will check this brand to see if they have any other interesting colors. I will probably not get Perceval, since I'm happy with how close this looks to the a-england. What do you think? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Blues: MUA Shade 1

Hello lovelies! Monday again and this is an especially though one. When this post goes live I will be taking a hard and challenging exam. Please wish me luck! Meanwhile you can look at some blue nails and get rid of those Monday Blues. I chose this MUA (Make Up Academy) polish for today's post because they are currently having a sale. You can get 35% off and free international shipping for a minimum spend of 10₤. So head over to their website if you don't wanna miss this great offer (code MUA35). 

MUA Shade 1 indoors, artificial direct light
This is the first MUA polish I've tried, but I have reviewed some of their makeup before (here and here) if you are interested. I found this lost bottle of Shade 1 in a Superdrug when I was in London, and I suspect it was sitting there for quite some time considering how run-down it looks. I really wanted to get this one because I love dark colors like this and the MUA polishes only cost 1₤, so it was worth a shot. 

MUA Shade 1 indoors, artificial light
I was kind of disappointed by this one because the blue shimmer doesn't come out properly on the nail. The really dark (almost black) base makes it really hard for the pretty shimmer to come out. That's why most of my photos are in direct light. The only light box picture is the one above, and you can see that it doesn't look good at all. Unfortunately wearing this was almost like wearing black polish. There's nothing wrong with wearing black, but I really wanted the blue to look blue. 

MUA Shade 1 indoors, artificial direct light
The formula was not the best either. It needed 3 coats because it was still sheer after the second. The bottle is small (6.3 ml) and the brush is tiny, which makes for a difficult application. I also had some shrinkage, but I guess that's just Seche Vite's fault. 

MUA Shade 1 indoors, artificial direct light
If you are a fan of really really (and I do mean really) dark polishes then this one's for you. I still want to try some other ones from MUA, since the price is so low that I really don't mind a miss or two. Their makeup is very good, so I'm sure some of the polishes are good too. 

Don't forget to check out these ladies' blogs for other blue pretties: 

Gosia from Life in Color
Marisa from Polish Obsession
Joanna from The Treasure Chest

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

W7 Metallic Mercury

Hello beautiful readers! How are you enjoying your Sunday? I'm studying again, so no surprise there. I finally managed to swatch the last of my W7 Metallic Planets polishes. Considering I got them in March, it took me quite some time. But better late than never, right? You can check out the other posts here: Metallic Neptune, Metallic Jupiter and Metallic Venus. Finally, today I'm showing you Metallic Mercury!

W7 Metallic Mercury indoors, artificial light
It's not a surprise that I left this one at the end, since this is the most fall appropriate of all and it deserved to be worn in November. I actually wasn't expecting much of a duochrome effect from it, but I was very surprised because there was plenty of duochrome and it even showed up in the pictures. 

W7 Metallic Mercury indoors, artificial light
Mercury has more of a glass fleck effect, similar to Jupiter, where a really dark sheer base is filled with flecks that range from purple to copper and gold tones. I would even dare to say that it looks better in my photos than in reality. It's usually the other way around with this kind of polishes, but somehow the colors all came out to play in my pictures. 

W7 Metallic Mercury indoors, artificial direct light
I wasn't too pleased with the formula however, because the base is really sheer and I had some bald spots that required a 3rd coat to even out. If you are new to the brand I must warn you that W7 polishes contain toluene and smell terribly! It did dry very fast though, but I spotted a few bubbles on the nail. Nothing a good coat of Seche Vite can't solve. 

W7 Metallic Mercury indoors, artificial direct light
So what do you think of this lovely? I think that W7 polishes are a bargain and for such a low price, you can never go wrong.

Polyvore Collage Day: Favorite Piece of Clothing

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! Today's collage theme was something fairly easy: Favorite Piece of Clothing. People who know me are aware that I literally live in jeans. They are the only type of pants I wear, and since I rarely wear a skirt, you will always find me wearing one of these babies. I have a lot of pairs and after nail polish, they are the second thing I like to buy excessively (if we ignore my small obsession for eyeliners, of course). So I made this collage to show you some of my favorite types of jeans. Enjoy! 

Favorite piece of clothing: jeans

On the left we have the skinny jeans. Most of the jeans I wear these days are skinny. I love darker washes and I also love grey jeans. On the right there are some fun bright colored pairs. I looked everywhere for some turquoise jeans this summer but all the ones I found were not looking good on me. But be sure that I will resume my search next summer! Then there are some classic bootcut jeans. I still like to wear these sometimes because they are so comfy. And they make me feel like a cowboy! For me they will never go out of style. Finally, in the middle we have the hottest thing around: printed jeans. I usually don't like them, but I found this awesome galaxy pair that is totally dreamy!

Hope you liked my collage! Don't forget to check out what the other participants' favorite pieces of clothing are!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Flormar M112

Hello lovelies! Excited for the weekend? I'm not very happy because I have a huge exam on Monday. I'm actually writing these posts in advance for you, so I can focus on studying. Today I'm showing you a lovely polish from Flormar. It's not something I would normally buy, but I'm glad I got it in the end because it's a lovely color and formula. 

Flormar Supermatte M112 indoors, artificial light
I first saw this lovely on a colleague's nails one day and I had to ask her what it was. Of course when I heard it was Flormar, I just had to get it. The color is kinda hard to describe. I would say sort of a dark raspberry, right between red and purple. I had to alter the photos a bit because they came out very very different from reality. Again I must apologize for that. I don't like doing it but I think it's better than showing pictures that are completely off. I still didn't manage to make it look identical to reality. It's a tiny bit more pink in real life. 

Flormar Supermatte M112 indoors, artificial light
As usual with Flormar cremes, the formula was flawless. This is actually the first one I try from the Supermatte line and it didn't disappoint. 2 easy coats just glided on the nail and dried to a shiny finish. Of course I had to add top coat out of habit, but I assure you that it was very glossy before that. 

Flormar Supermatte M112 indoors, artificial direct light
As always I'm very pleased by Flormar polishes. They are cheap, have an awesome formula and come in a large variety of colors. What else can you ask from a brand? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup 11/16/2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Maybelline Colorama 104

Hello lovelies! As I've told you before in a previous post, November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Every med student has certain causes they grow fond of during the course of their studies, and pancreatic cancer is one of mine. This disease is a real problem because there are no methods of screening and the symptoms only show up when the tumor is too large to cure. That's why the 5-year survival rate for this type of cancer is under 5%. Unlike with other forms of cancer, there are no screening methods to detect the tumor at an early stage. So research is crucial for this disease and we have to get involved as much as we can. To find out what you can do, go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network website. You can donate to the Hirshberg Foundation or go here to find out how you can donate and enter a raffle with nail polish prizes! The color for pancreatic cancer is purple, so I have a purple manicure for you today.

Maybelline Colorama 104 indoors, artificial light
This is the first Colorama polish I have tried since Maybelline revamped the packaging. I believe the colors are the same from before and I'm not sure about the formula, cause it's the first time I purchase this particular color. It's a beautiful dark purple, that is more red-toned compared to a-england Elaine, which I posted last week. It's a bit lighter in reality, but for some reason these shades always photograph darker.

Maybelline Colorama 104 indoors, artificial light
I wasn't too happy with the formula of this polish. It was opaque in 2 coats but it applied rather streaky and uneven because of the stiffness of the brush. Pigmentation is not optimal either, so my coats were rather thick, which led to a few bubbles on the nails. It all leveled out with some top coat though, so it wasn't that bad in the end.

Maybelline Colorama 104 in the sun
I wore it by itself for one day and it didn't wear well either. You can see that the pictures are a little older. My nails were on the short side back then, so there was really no reason for it to chip on the second day like it did.

Maybelline Colorama 104 indoors, artificial direct light
On the second day I added one coat of Max Factor Fantasy Fire. Of course the result was unbelievably gorgeous. I couldn't stop staring at my nails!

Maybelline Colorama 104 with Max Factor Fantasy Fire indoors, artifical direct light
I like this polish a lot, but I love it even more with Fantasy Fire on. FF is definitely one of the best fall polishes I own and it makes everything better!

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