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Konad m85

I love nail art, and stamping is fantastic for those nail designs with super thin lines and shapes that I could never create by hand. If you haven’t tried stamping yet, I highly recommend Konad for some great designs. It took me a few tries to get used to the process of stamping, but it’s a breeze to do once you’ve got it down. Thanks to NailPolishCanada.com (which–clearly–will ship to the US) for sending along one of Konad’s new plates, m85!


These are the tools I use for stamping. I also have a plate holder from Konad, but I honestly don’t like using it. I just rest the plate on my leg.



These are all the designs on plate m85. I used Orly Iron Butterfly as a base and stamped with China Glaze Harmony.

Then, I did a full manicure with one of the designs. I’m not sure if this design is supposed to waves of some sort, flames, or groovy 70s lines, but I went with the latter interpretation and used Love & Beauty Light Green and MAC Blue India. (Love & Beauty by Forever 21 are really bad about reusing names for colors, I actually think I have 2 bottles labeled “Light Green.” Kind of annoying…)

Per FTC regulations I must disclose that product(s) in this post were sent to me by a brand or PR firm for consideration for review on my website. I guarantee honesty above all. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.

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I bought my first Butter London polish a few months ago as a birthday present for myself. $14 is something I can only justify rarely right now. But it’s a BEAUTIFUL color and I love the formula, so it’s worth it.

First, the way Butter London describes this color: “A textured twinkling vintage blue pale and slightly smoky. Things reminiscent of the Victorian era, such as corsets, top hats and Syphilis.”

I laughed pretty hard at that last descriptor!

I’d describe it as a dusty teal base with very fine silver specks of glitter.

The formula was fantastically smooth. I only did 2 coats out of habit, but it was opaque in one. Really perfect application. The bottle is pretty too! If Butter London polishes weren’t so expensive, I’d have the ENTIRE collection by now.

Bought in-store at ULTA. $14 for 11ml/.4 fl oz. Big 3 Free.

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Today I’m bringing you some nail art inspired by one of the season’s trends… tartan!! I felt a little bad about bashing MAC’s holiday nail set, so I thought I’d show appreciation where it’s due. Also, I think it’s appropriate that I welcome December with some tartan loveliness! :)

USED:
Layer 1: Gelous Base Coat
Layer 2: Asiatique Nail Lacquer
Layer 3: mixture of Icing Jaded & MAC Blue India
Layer 4: MAC Blue India
Layer 5: China Glaze Lemon Fizz
Layer 6: mixture of China Glaze Lemon Fizz & Confetti White Wedding
Layer 7: Seche Vite

I started by painting my entire nail with one coat of Gelous. I let it dry for a few minutes and followed it with a coat of Asiatique. Next, I painted half of my nail with the layer 3 mixture. Then, I painted a small spot of Blue India over the red half, right on the border of the green half. Next, I painted a line of diagonal stripes horizontally and vertically with Lemon Fizz. Lastly, I painted two vertical lines with the layer 6 mixture around the dot of Blue India. Finished with a coat of Seche Vite! I used a very thin, short-bristled paint brush from an art store for all the steps after Asiatique.

This nail art was clearly inspired by the promo image for MAC’s A Tartan Tale collection.

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The MAC holiday collection is one I look forward to each year. From the unique packaging to the products, I usually find several items I feel I have to have. As a collector, it can be quite draining on my bank account. This year it is A Tartan Tale.

Unfortunately, I have to say that I am simply not as impressed with this year’s holiday collection as I wish I were. Now, a point I would be remiss not to mention: MAC’s holiday collection, this year and every year, represent the only time in the year during which MAC products are discounted. This is a fantastic opportunity for budding enthusiasts and people who otherwise don’t spend much money on make-up to get more bang for their buck. The items all also make great gifts. Another point: there are still a couple items I will probably buy from the collection, which I’ll talk about in another post in the near future.

Since Tartan Tales is such a huge collection, I want to focus the rest of this post solely on the 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer set. This post is intended as more of a review than a beautiful post with pictures and swatches, because I have not and will not be purchasing the set.

Let’s get started already!

Set Includes: 5 mini nail lacquers: Nocturnelle, Beyond Jealous, Vintage Vamp, Asiatique & Vice is Nice
Amount: 2.5 mL / 0.09 fl oz each.
Retail Price: $25.50

To start, the only non-repromoted limited edition lacquer shade is Vice is Nice, a yellow gold frost. Nocturnelle is a black cream from the permanent line. Beyond Jealous is a deep teal cream, repromoted from F/W Nail Trend ’09. Vintage Vamp is a red wine cream from the permanent collection. Asiatique is a classic red cream, repromoted from the Dame Edna collection.

My first gripe here is the lack of new products. Yes, there are always “cult classic” colors that everyone can appreciate, but seeing as there is only one nail set, it seems that the colors would at the very least be new limited edition colors. Vice is Nice, on top of being a never-before-seen color is also a unique addition to MAC’s permanent collection (the last metallic gold nail lacquer was Gilded from Antiquitease in 2007).

On that same note, even if all the colors were repromotes, why these colors? Nocturnelle… a black cream… really? Wasted space in my opinion. Beyond collectors, most people will say a black cream is a black cream, and they can easily get cheaper (not to mention MORE) black creams at Sally’s. Beyond Jealous is one of those colors that looks black in low lighting, and isn’t as punchy as the season’s trending teal color (as seen in the collection’s promo picture).

Next, beyond the colors, is the lack of variety in finishes. Asiatique and Beyond Jealous are mistakenly labeled as frosts, but trust me: they are both creams, which makes 4 of the 5 mini lacquers cream finishes. For a set that represents the opportunity for people to try several colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized lacquers, they definitely should have offered more variety here.

Lastly is the seriously minuscule amount of polish you’re given with the set. Yes, you get 5 different colors for the price of (roughly) 2 full-sized nail lacquers. However, the amount of product itself? 2.5 mL in each mini lacquer bottle, compared to the full-sized nail lacquer’s 10 mL. One full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer is $13. It takes just a bit of simple math: 5 nail lacquers x 2.5 mL in each bottle = 12.5 mL of nail polish TOTAL in the set. That is just slightly over the amount of polish in ONE full-sized bottle of MAC nail lacquer! You are better off buying 2 full-sized nail lacquers, and you will get more product for your dollar. There is very little value in the set.

So, with all of those complaints, I guess it’s obvious that I wouldn’t recommend this set to anyone. It’s unfortunate, because it’s been so long since MAC did a nail lacquer set, and I was truly looking forward to it. Hopefully next year they will have some better (and bigger, or cheaper!) options. We’ll have to see.

Below, check out swatches of Nocturnelle and Beyond Jealous side-by-side. Does this set really need both colors? Do you agree with the points I’ve made above, or disagree? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Direct sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indirect sunlight.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.


(Beyond Jealous on index & ring fingers, Nocturnelle on middle & little fingers.) Indoors, with flash.

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Just thought I’d mention that I tried water marbling for the first time today. It was sort of a failure :P, but I’ll post pictures soon!

Ever since product pictures were revealed for MAC’s Venomous Villians/Maleficent nail polishes, the beauty community has suspected that two of the polishes from Orly’s CosmicFX collection, Galaxy Girl and Space Cadet, were dupes for MAC’s Formidable! and Mean & Green. I wanted to post some comparison swatches of the four polishes along with my thoughts.

To get it out of the way, you definitely don’t need all 4 polishes. Space Cadet and Mean & Green, and Galaxy Girl and Formidable! are so similar to one another that unless you’re an avid collector of some sort, it’s be redundant to add them all to your collection.

Pictures are below. I’ve posted several because getting the same light on each finger while photographing proved to be impossible. Please forgive the messiness!

USED: (no base or top coat)
Orly Galaxy Girl (index finger): 2 coats
MAC Formidable! (middle finger): 3 coats
Orly Space Cadet (ring finger): 3 coats
MAC Mean & Green: 4 coats

Reviews

MAC Formidable! is beautiful, but is exactly the same as Orly Galaxy Girl. (Full review here.) I have seen people say that Formidable! has more of the blue sparkle than Galaxy Girl, but this was not my experience at all. Formidable! was perhaps slightly more sheer, but when coated to opacity (I used 2 coats Galaxy Girl and 3 coats Formidable!), they look exactly the same.

Mean & Green was EXTREMELY sheer in one coat. And although Mean & Green and Space Cadet contain the same colors and the same multichrome, Space Cadet appeared to be much more “sparkly” than Mean & Green. Space Cadet (full review here) is, for lack of a better description, all bling-bling all the time. Even in low light, the pink sparkle is beautiful and stands out against the olive/emerald green base. Mean & Green, disappointingly, did not exhibit as much of this pink sparkle as I would have liked. That being said, these are pretty much the same polishes. If you have one or the other, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

So what’s the bottom line? Here we go: Orly raised their prices with the CosmicFX collection for the first time, so Galaxy Girl and Space Cadet go for around $10 online. Formidable! and Mean & Green, on the other hand, cost $13 at MAC. What’s more, all of the MAC polishes are sold out online and likely at every counter and store you’ll find. Case in point, MAC is amazing at marketing limited edition collections. You may still have a chance to find the Orly polishes at Sally’s and on online retailers. In addition to being cheaper, the Orly polishes have a more consistent formula which means quick drying time, beautiful sparkle finish, and long-wearing quality polish. Also, I’ve seen at least a dozen complaints online about some of the MAC polish brushes being wonky. (If you received a polish with a wonky brush, you should be able to contact customer service to get a replacement cap.)

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I didn’t do a tutorial on this look, but did get some pictures so I wanted to share! But ughh, my mascara in these pictures is terrible..

I don’t remember everything I used but here’s what I know..
Prep & Prime Skin
Studio Fix Powder+ Foundation
Dainty Mineralize Blush
Painterly Paint Pot
Teal Pigment
Grape Pigment
Vanilla Pigment
Blacktrack Fluidline
Penultimate Brow Marker
Plum Royale Lipliner
VIVA GLAM V Lipstick

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