Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback: China Glaze Techno Teal

Happy Thursday! I have a Throwback Thursday kinda post today. While digging around in my folders and folders of unposted photos, I came across a few impromptu snaps I took of my nails while walking around Iona Beach (yes, almost a year ago) on a super-sunny day. On that day, I happened to be wearing a particular holographic nail polish, and we all know what happens when holographic nail polish and bright light come together, right?

(Please excuse my dry hands)
GORGEOUSNESS. The answer is gorgeousness is what happens. Such shiny! So holo!

I can't believe that pretty much this time a year ago, I was wandering around outdoors, enjoying the sea breeze and clear blue skies. Do you know what the weather is like in Vancouver right now? There is snow on the ground. There is never snow in Vancouver. Of course, considering our temperatures are above-zero right now--which is more than I can say for literally the rest of Canada, including some parts of BC--I can't complain too much.

Here's hoping spring comes back soon so we can all have more shiny, shiny moments like this.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sweet hearts

Hello! I intended for this nail look to go up on Valentine's Day, but due to work things and generally not feeling well, I'm a week late D:

Source: National Post Valentine's Day 2014 gift guide
You might know that I am a fan of DAVIDsTEA, both for the tea and the cute, modern designs on their product. Inspiration struck again when they released their Valentine's Day collection (no longer available, sorry!), including a box set of teas and Valentine's Day cards in a pretty repeating heart pattern on white. I really loved this design and just had to recreate it on my nails.

Here's the result: a sweet and playful "skittles mani" using five different nail polishes. Although Sinful Colors Snow Me White is fantastically opaque, I find it a bit thick and unforgiving, so I decided to have the heart design only on one nail. (Related: nail polish enthusiasts, please share your favourite white creme polish with me!) On the little finger is e.l.f. Bubblegum Pink, a dusty coral pink; middle finger is China Glaze Peachy Keen, a brightened pastel peach; index finger is Sinful Colors Folly, a gorgeous deep pink crelly. The ring finger has a base of Sinful Colors Snow Me White, topped with hearts drawn with China Glaze Peachy Keen, Sinful Colors Folly, and Orly Artificial Sweetener.

I used my second-smallest dotting tool to create the hearts: first by creating two dots side-by-side, then using the same dotter to connect them with a "v". In retrospect, I think I could have used the smallest dotting tool for finer "v"s with a more pronounced point. I prefer to make a very small "puddle" of nail polish on to an old membership card to dip the dotting tool in, rather than dipping it it in the bottle itself.

Are you into the "skittles mani" look?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


In partnership with LGBTQ organization All Out, LUSH is calling attention to the anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia, currently hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The #signoflove campaign is inviting people to post selfies wearing a pink triangle symbol on their bodies or faces. (The pink triangle was used in Nazi concentration camps to identify homosexual men; this symbol has since been reclaimed by the gay rights movement.) LUSH will be compiling the selfies into petition photo books to send to the Russian government on February 14, Valentine's Day in a show of solidarity with the LGBTQ community.
Russia's ban on "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors" came into effect last year; it's been described as allowing for "vague definitions of propaganda". In my view, the ban is vague enough that just the discussion of non-traditional (read: non-heterosexual) relationships in a positive light could be "propaganda", punishable with fines, deportation, or imprisonment.

Although it's not quite a "selfie", I posted my pink triangle nails on Instagram over the weekend. I thought about how to interpret the design on to nails for a while before I decided that a simple look fit a simple message: love is a basic human right. The fact that not everybody is free to be themselves or love who the love is a sad and terrible truth. Anti-LGBTQ attitudes exist all over the world, even if they may not be passed into law as in the case in Russia.

To participate in showing support and raising awareness to end discrimination against the LGBT community, post of a photo of yourself wearing a pink triangle with the hashtag #signoflove.

For more information, see the LUSH campaign page. You can also donate towards the campaign here.

Friday, February 7, 2014

LUSH Prince Charming & Neon Love

As promised, I'm back to report on Prince Charming shower gel and Neon Love bar soap from this year's LUSH Valentine's Day collection.

Prince Charming shower gel is the first-ever LUSH product with fresh pomegranate juice, which put it at the top of my list for things to try from the collection. Fun fact #1: I love eating pomegranate seeds and will eat an entire fruit's worth in one sitting if left unsupervised. Fun fact #2: I used pomegranate juice as paint for my art project in senior year of high school; I even pressed the juice out of the seeds myself.

Oh, back to the shower gel: made with grapefruit, pomegranate, vanilla, marshmallow root, and almond oil, I was expecting Prince Charming to be fruity and refreshing, with a bit of sweetness. Although the scent has a slight sour edge from the fruits, it's much sweeter than I expected. I get mainly marshmallow and vanilla; no surprise considering that marshmallow root and vanilla pod infusions are the first two ingredients on the list, meaning they are the most predominant ingredients in the formula. If you found Snow Fairy overwhelmingly sweet, you might like Prince Charming, which is a step down from the cotton candy-scented holiday fave. As with other LUSH shower gels, this one lathers perfectly well and a little goes a long way. My skin feels clean but not stripped, and there's also an addition of almond oil, which helps hydrate skin.

PS: I absolutely love the dusty rose colour of this shower gel. Any lipstick or nail polish dupes come to mind? (Serious question. I want this colour in all forms possible.)

Ingredients: marshmallow root infusion (aqua, Althaea officinalis), vanilla pod infusion (aqua, Vanilla planifolia), water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium cocoamphoacetate, propylene glycol, lactic acid, lauryl betaine, grapefruit oil (Citrus paradisi), fresh pomegranate juice (Punica granatum), sandalwood oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill and Fusanus spicatus), geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens), almond oil (Prunus dulcis), titanium dioxide, citronellol, geraniol, linalool, limonene, fragrance, D&C Red No 33, D&C Red No 27, FD&C Red No 4, methylparaben, propylparaben

Neon Love soap is as Valentine's Day-themed as it gets: a bright reddish-pink bar soap with a white heart (if you're lucky to get a good cut like me) featuring bergamot, rosewood, and cinnamon leaf. On first sniff, I wasn't sure I liked the spicy, slightly woody scent from the cinnamon leaf and rosewood oils, but it grew on me pretty fast. Plus, after you wet the soap and start lathering up, I feel like the scent becomes more complex and the fruity notes come to the surface.

I generally prefer LUSH soaps over the shower gels, since the soaps tend to contain more oils that hydrate the skin (this one contains relatively high concentrations of rapeseed oil and coconut oil.) Surprisingly, I even prefer the smell of it over Prince Charming: Neon Love turned out to be less spicy and intense than I expected, and Prince Charming was sweeter and less fruity than I had hoped. My favourite LUSH soaps are refreshing and zesty, like Sea Vegetable and Sexy Peel, but Neon Love was a pleasant surprise and a nice change of pace.

Ingredients: water, propylene glycol, rapeseed oil, coconut oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera), fresh passion fruit (Passiflora edulis), cornflour (Zea mays), sodium stearate, fresh figs (Ficus carica), fragrance, cinnamon leaf oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), rosewood oil (Aniba rosaeodora), bergamot oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), titanium dioxide, glycerine, sodium chloride, EDTA, tetrasodium editronate, sodium hydroxide, citral, coumarin, eugenol, geraniol, linalool, limonene, FD&C Yellow No. 8, D&C Green No. 8, D&C Red No. 27

Sweet and marshmallow-y or spicy and woodsy--which do you prefer? Do you eat the tiny white bit inside the pomegranate seeds (Bf doesn't, it's a point of contention.)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chinese New Year Nails

Happy Chinese New Year! I decided to celebrate with traditional lucky colours of red and gold in a half-moon mani considering it's a new year in the lunar calendar. Usually it's good to wear red clothes on Chinese New Year, but since I don't really have anything red I figured I could at least wear red on my nails :>

I used one coat of Orly Luxe as a base, and one coat e.l.f. Smokin' Hot on top. In terms of colour, Smokin' Hot is almost a dead-on dupe for butter London Pillar Box Red, but application is another thing entirely: not as smooth due to a strange brush that seems to be cut unevenly, and the coverage is not nearly as good. Luxe shows through the single coat of Smokin' Hot and changes it from bright, classic red to a darker brick red.

The half-moon look is super easy to do: all you need are the circular reinforcements used to fix torn holes in paper. The hardest part is making sure your base colour is completely dry before placing the reinforcements, otherwise the adhesive side will pull off the polish! Then simply paint your second colour from the reinforcement to the tip and pull the circle off immediately. It's best to use a not-too-thick polish with high coverage for the base colour. Even though Luxe fulfills both requirements, it still took forever to fully dry. I tested it by gently placing a reinforcement at the tip several times--and pulling off a little polish in the process each time--before it was finally good to go. The nice thing about testing at the tip of the nail is that Smokin' Hot later covered up all the missing bits.

My parents warned me that this year would be a bad year for Rabbits, but Chinese horoscopes online promise it's a good year career- and money-wise, so hopefully the latter is right!

Are you celebrating Chinese New Year? What's your astrological sign?

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