Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cult Nails Living Water~ Review and Swatches

L-R: Living Water, Iconic
Living Water has been a polish I've been eyeing since it's release so when I placed my order for Cult Nails not that long ago I knew I needed to include it! Living Water is a dark blue-teal jelly with bright aqua shimmers in it, and to me looks exactly like the name in the sun! It's very unique and is the perfect dark shade as it's distinctly blue-teal even in low light. A pet peeve of mine is shades so dark they look black except when in full sun, so this made me really happy!

Living Water applied well (just as Iconic did- you can see my review here: Iconic Cult Nails Review). I had a little bit of patchiness on some nails but that was solved with a third coat. It lasted well like Iconic did too. One thing I'd definitely like mention though is that this polish dries a weird sort of matte texture, so it really really needs/benefits from a top coat in my opinion.
Same great brush and bottle as Iconic had. I really wish my photos showed just how lovely this polish is but they really just don't capture it. I tried though!

Cult Nail's polishes cost $10 USD and are shipped really quickly and securely! I love how they're packaged in little wraps of paper-towel/cloth-like material.
Overall, I think this polish is a good pigmented and unique shade. Perfect for fall in it's richness. Though again, I think it needs to have a top coat (which for me isn't a problem as I use a top coat always anyways). I do love the Cult Nails formula though, I get the best wear and application with these!

Sprite Rating: 8.5/10- lost points for slight patchiness (i.e. three coats and some spot touch-ups) and weird matte dry-down but other than that an awesome polish.

Would I Buy It Again? Yes, I totally would. Great shade, easy application, great wear.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Indie Updates!

Hey everyone! Just some quick updates about some of my favourite Indie cosmetics companies.

Tracy from Venomous Cosmetics has started a blog The Venomous Life, where she'll be posting preview swatches, upcoming collections, giveaways etc. Near the beginning of November she'll also be releasing a Dragon themed collection which sounds awesome! I LOVE dragons so I'm exciting to see what she comes up with.

Darling Girl Cosmetics will be back online November 1st and will be having a customer appreciation sale for a week starting then. This will also be your last chance to get the Darling Ghoul Halloween collection and Twin Peaks pink eyeshadow for charity.

Cult Nails has finalized their winter collection and it looks awesome! Be sure to check out Maria's swatches of it on the Cult Nails facebook page. The coveted Unicorn Puke flakie polish will make a reappearance in this collection under the disguise of Clairvoyant.

Finally (though not least) Morgana Cryptoria is releasing her new gel lipsticks and holding a sale that starts tonight 10 PM EST or 7 PM PST.

That's all for now! Have a good friday night everyone :D

Monday, October 24, 2011

Darling Ghoul, Darling Girl Halloween Swatches and Review

I know I'm late to the party on this one, but my family has just moved houses and I've been going through midterms so trying to get my package has been difficult. I didn't get a chance to do lip swatches but Darling Girl's Halloween collection Darling Ghoul is one of the best Halloween releases of the year. I'm really happy with my order and wish I had gotten more. Though the shop is closed right now, Susan will have it back up after Halloween for a week before the limited edition collection will be taken down. 
My samples! Starting from the clam-shell clockwise: Going Batty Holo Gloss, Will-o-wisp Spectral Shift, Everything's Rosy Blush, New Grass e/s, Pumpkin Eater e/s, Darling Ghoul Sticker, Whimsy e/s, Incognito e/s
Starting from centre going down and clockwise: Corpse Candle Spectral Shift, Jack's Lantern e/s, Monarch e/s, Ghost Light spectral shift, Ghouls Gone Wild lip jelly,  Just Bitten Cream Blush, Poison Plum Kiss You Off Balm, Sweet Lips Sugar Scrub in Amaretto
A little bit about the products. Spectral Shifts are duochrome highlighters/eyeshadows/blushes in one. They can pretty much be used in any fashion you like and are completely awesome. The Sweet Cheeks Cream Blush is also multi-use in that it can also be used as a lip tint. In addition to this, I got quite a few shades from the core line so I'll make note of that  when I come to a swatch of those. First up is the lippie items.
L-R: Sheered layer of Ghouls Gone Wild Lip Jelly, Layered Just Bitten Cream Blush, Single layer Just Bitten Cream Blush, Layered Posion Plum Kiss You Off lip balm, Single layer Poison Plum lip balm.
L-R: Going Batty Holo Gloss single layer, Multi-layer Ghouls Gone Wild lip jelly, Single layer Ghouls Gone Wild, Multi-layer Just Bitten Blush, Single layer Just Bitten
L-R: Going Batty Holo Gloss layered, Single layer Going Batty, Multi-layer Ghouls Gone Wild lip jelly, Sheered Ghouls Gone Wild
Sweet Lips On The Go Sugar'd Lip Scrub in Amaretto
Sweet Lips On The Go Sugar'd Up Lip Scrub
 I was really impressed by the lip products I got from Darling Girl. My favourite has to be Poison Plum Kiss Me Off Lip Balm though. The colour is absolutely stunning for fall and I think it really suits all skin tones. A dark berry with a ton of gold and violet sparkle. The packaging is slim and easy to use, plus the label is waterproof, though it does overlap slightly. The balm itself is moisturizing and balmy in texture, but not so much that it slides around. It has a buildable texture so you can apply sheerly for a tint for layered for a lovely darker lip. I absolutely love it. Poison Plum costs $4.75 USD.
Mini Rating: 10/10 

Ghouls Gone Wild is very pretty but much more subtle than I was hoping. Certainly it is full of holographic glitter which is non-gritty but I was personally hoping it would impart more of a green tint when applied than it does. When you look at it in the pot, it has this amazing light green irredesence but this doesn't transfer to the lips, it really goes on clear. I also wasn't crazy about the pot, as though it was full I had to be really careful when opening it as the whipped texture had a tendency to drag and get outside the pot edge. It does feel nice on though, slightly moisturizing and non-sticky. Doesn't last too long however is better than some glosses I have. It will make a nice layering product. Ghouls Gone Wild Lip Jelly costs $4.25 USD.
Mini Rating: 7.5/10

Going Batty Holo Gloss at first looks scary and unwearable but is the exact opposite in reality. It's absolutely stunning and I wish I bought the full size product instead of just a sample. It's a dark-medium brown based gloss with holographic, orange, pink and green sparkle. On the lips it goes a pretty pink-brown with fantastic sparkle. I've never seen anything even remotely like it. It has a slightly stiffer texture than Ghouls Gone Wild but feels very similar on. Gloss-like with no stickiness and slightly moisturizing. It has decent wear-time for a non-sticky gloss too. I think it looks great on it's own and would be a nice addition over lipsticks in berry and wine shades too. The holo glosses cost $4.50 USD.
Mini Rating: 8.5/10

The Sweet Lips On The Go Sugar'd Up Lip Scrub is a wonderful product too. It is a sugar scrub that you can choose the flavour of out of 36 different flavours (that's a HUGE amount!). I chose Amaretto (my favourite alcoholic drink. I particularly love it mixed with strawberry daiquiri instead of rum. Yummy!), and I am SO glad I did. This smells amazing and exactly like Amaretto does (a sort of almond-cherry for those of you who haven't tried the drink). Plus it tastes awesome too, lovely and sweet without being overpowering. A bit tough to get the hang of, you only need the smallest amount of scrub from the top of the overpacked spin-up tube to sufficiently scrub dry patches from your lips. When you're done you can sort of rub/wash/lick away the excess. *guilty of licking* It doesn't leave much of a residue, though I kind of wish it did. Though I found my lips very soft and smooth afterwards, I did feel that I needed a balm after to really finish treating my lips as they felt a bit battered. This may be because I used a bit much on my first go though (I'm still experimenting with perfecting exactly the right amount to use- you need so little it's hard to estimate at first.) Overall, this is the best lip scrub product at the most decent price I've found to date. Most of the bigger brand companies only offer lip scrubs at exorbitant prices in pots. I love not having to dip my finger in a pot then transferring it to my lips afterwards. This lip scrub costs $5.50 USD.
Mini Rating: 9/10

Just Bitten Sweet Cheeks Cream Blush was originally made as a dupe for the Tarte for True Blood Cheek Stain, and I have to say I like the texture of this one even more! Though slightly expensive for the size at $6.50 USD you need so little of this product to get the needed amount for your cheeks it will take you quite an amount of time to get through the pot. It's a beautiful red flush with a very subtle and spread-out gold shimmer (you can only sometimes barely see it). I do wish the gold showed up a bit more personally but others who complained about the Tarte True Blood one having too much gold shimmer will like and appreciate this one. This product spreads well and sinks in super quick. Despite some of the main  ingredients being oils they aren't bad for your skin oils but instead ones that are good for it instead- meaning it won't break you out. I love the flush this gives and it makes me want to try out other shades from the Sweet Cheeks range. I'm not too sure I like the pot, just because I find it kind of deep so as I go through it I can see having to angle my finger weird to get product out and I don't like grooves near my blush/gel products because I'm spoiled and messy and am likely to eventually get product stuck in the  threads.
Mini Rating: 8/10
Whimsy eyeshadow (Main Collection)
New Grass eyeshadow (Main Collection)
Everything's Rosy Blush (Main collection)
Incognito eyeshadow (Main collection)
T-B: Ghost Light Spectral Shift, Pumpkin Eater eyeshadow, Will-o-Wisp Spectral Shift 
L-R: Monarch eyeshadow (Main collection), Jack's Lantern eyeshadow, Will-o-Wisp Spectral Shift 
T-B: Corpse Candle Spectral Shift, Ghost Light Spectral Shift, Pumpkin Eater eyeshadow
L-R: Pumpkin Eater eyeshadow, Ghost Light spectral shift, Corpse Candle spectral shift
I tried to get these as colour accurate as possible but some of them are off or only showing one part of the duochrome effect. I tried but I wasn't as successful as I'd hoped to be. All the eyeshadows and spectral shifts came with sticker-sealed shifter tops on them.

The spectral shifts are lovely products. Well pigmented and slightly washed out shades they have awesome duochrome to them. I LOVE Corpse Candle and Ghost Light- both are truly unique and pretty. Corpse Candle is a light grey with lavender duochrome. Ghost Light is a washed-out teal/medium blue with lighter blue duochrome. Exactly what a ghost-light I think would look like. The shade is really other-worldly and ethereal. It's not as bright as the pictures show it to be in real life. Will-o-Wisp is a slightly coral pink shade with slight blue reflect. Another really unique shade though I'm not quite sure how it will look as a blush I'm highly tempted to try it as such. 
Spectral Shifts Mini Rating: 8.5/10

Pumpkin Eater is a bright orange metallic shade with really small green glitter. I was a bit disappointed with this one as I was hoping for a more obvious/denser green sparkle as it is really subtle. It is a very pretty shade though.

Jack's Lantern was the last of the Halloween eyeshadows I got. It is a black-plum shade with a medium/dark purple/burgundy highlight. It's supposed to represent the glowing cut out portions of a Jack-o-Lantern. I think the colour idea is a great one and I get the feeling of the inspiration from it but personally find it a bit too black/charcoal-like. I had to layer it quite heavily to get the burgundy/aubergine aspects to really show up.
Mini Rating for the Halloween Eyeshadows: 6.5/10

Monarch eyeshadow was the Gift with Purchase for the week that I purchased my order from. It's a reddened brown with super-sparkly blue/green shimmer. It's reminiscent of Mac Club though not as duochromy or dark as that and less green. It also reminds me a bit of Fyrinnae's Sumatran Tiger eyeshadow. It's a nice shade that was prettier than expected because of it's uber shimmer but one I don't think I'll use too often.

Whimsy is a light grey shade with a light green duochrome. Very pretty and subtle but an interesting everyday shade. It was well pigmented too.

New Grass was a free sample from my purchase. It's a bright grass green with an interesting but subtle purple/red glitter. Not obvious enough to make it look christmasy or strange but unique for sure. 

Incognito was my other free sample with purchase. A bright reddened purple shimmer. It's very rich and pigmented. 
Eyeshadows Mini Rating: 7/10

Everything's Rosy Blush is a yellow based medium pink with very faint gold in it. It is very pigmented so you'd have to go extremely light when applying this but it is a nice shade. Not too unique but pretty.
Mini Rating 6.5/10

Darling Girl has a slightly long TAT (Turn Around Time) of about 14-16 buisness days but everything is well packed and her samples are generous. Plus I got little goodies with my order (a package of Candy Corn a Darling Girl Sticker and two Halloween rings which was cute). The variety of product sizes was great (most things have a sample size, a small size and a large size). The prices are also reasonable and the shipping is low. Plus Susan the owner is an absolute sweetheart to speak to in person or over facebook. Plus she keeps a blog that regularly updates with information about what is happening in her life, what is going on at Darling Girl and upcoming products.

The most popular products from the Darling Ghoul collection are Poison Plum Lip Balm, Ghost Light Spectral Shift, Bats in the Belfry eyeshadow and Jack's Lantern eyeshadow, if you want a starting point at what to look for!

Sprite Overall Rating: 9/10

Would I buy from Darling Girl Cosmetics again? Yes! I'd love to try more of their products. This company is so unique and the quality is really there. Not to mention the sheer variety of products!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Venomous Cosmetics Birthday Sale!

I really enjoy my Venomous Cosmetics stuff, especially their lipglosses! So if you like them too, or are interested in trying them out tomorrow is their 1 year birthday, and Tracy the owner is offering 10% off all orders, a free purse size lip poison gloss (my fav. gloss formula ever! My Review Here) and some select products further discounted! YAY!

Now I just have to hope I can resist buying anything else this month :/

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

True Blood Vampire Lips

Official True Blood Lips
I've been asked before how to capture the Vampirey goodness that is the True Blood Lips and this is my take on it! Enjoy!

I used:

  • Scarecrow Small deluxe Vampire Fangs
  • Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain in Twilight
  • Mac Kissable Lip Colour in Love Peck
You could also use:
  • Any set of Vampire fangs you want (though I highly rec. the Scarecrow brand, you can read my review here!)
  • Nars Cruella Matte Lip Pencil
  • Hourglass Siren Lipgloss
  • Any Dark Red Lipstick, to make a red darker apply a light layer of black lipstick and layer the red over it, you'll get a lovely rich red!
  • Also the paler you make you face the more the red will standout- I recommend a white matte eyeshadow over any skintone tone to lighten your skin colour without having major mismatch between you face and neck :D

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hi-Fi Cosmetics 20% off Sale

Hey everyone! Hi-Fi cosmetics is having a Sale TODAY ONLY! It's 20% off everything on the site, plus full size Halloween items are even further discounted. I've placed my order already! It's the first time I've ordered from them, but I've heard really good things about them. The Beauty Spot has a bunch of lovely reviews and swatches on them so check them out there. Shipping wasn't too bad either so that's nice.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cult Nails Iconic~ Review and Swatches

L-R: Get it On Base Coat, Living Water, Iconic, Wicked Fast Top Coat
Not too long ago I made an order from Cult Nails during a sale that Maria had. I ordered two colours and her top/base coat combo. However, this review is only on Iconic, a beautiful deep berry/burgundy with gold shimmer and gold flakies. (The other polishes reviews are coming).
Cult Nails for any of you that don't know, is a polish brand that was started by a fellow blogger, Maria from her love of polish. On her blog R3Daily (which I follow and love) you can really see the passion, creativity, hard work and care that she puts into each and every one of her polish colours. All her polishes are cruelty-free and lack the big 3 and Camphor which is great! This also means they don't smell nearly as bad as normal polishes. 
Cooler light
Warmer light
This colour Iconic is part of her main line and as soon as I saw it I fell in love. Normally, I'm not too traditional in my nail colour choices- I tend to avoid pinks and reds, but this colour is anything but traditional! Depending on the lighting this colour is rich royal red, deep burgundy, or a unique pinked berry shade. Not to mention the amazing gold shimmer and gold flakies throughout. Most of you probably don't know this, but I adore flakies. I just love how each nail is a little different and the effect they give is just fantastic.
Warm, Sunlight

You need to see this larger to appreciate the amazingness going on here
 See! Do you see the awesome?! I wore this for Thanksgiving this year (Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October), and my entire family loved it. And yes I did show it off and ask them all including my mother, grandparents and my great uncle. The poor souls have to put up with the cosmetic addiction.
The formula on this was fantastic too. I can't tell you exactly how long it wore for (because I'm testing the Cult Nails top/base coat at the moment and telling you would negate the results for that review, which I want to try some other polishes with the top/base combo first) HOWEVER, it applied like a dream, especially for a flakie polish. For any of you that have used polishes with flakies or large glitter pieces before, I'm sure you know what I mean when I say sometimes there is dragging issues or clumping, but I didn't experience any of that with this polish at all. I had a little difficulty at the tip of one nail but a quick sort of re-swipe over the area fixed it up no problem, so that is more of a flakie handling issue than a fault of the polish. All the photos above are with only two coats. At first I was worried as it looked magenta on the first coat but a second coat turned it into a beautiful rich berry.

Cult Nails polishes are $10 USD, which is fantastic because the quality (including the packaging which is easy to use, and has excellent brushes) is better than more expensive brands by far. Shipping isn't too bad either, especially because Maria often has sales and deals up. My polishes came to me individually wrapped in rough fabric-paper (which my gerbils adored being able to chew up into nesting material) and surrounded by cotton balls- which makes the polishes safe and provides you with nail polish removal. Not to mention eco-friendly!

Overall, I think this polish is fantastic. It's perfect for fall as it's a rich hue and it goes with just about anything. It makes me feel all sophisticated and chic when I wear it.

Sprite Rating: 10/10. This is going to be one of my staples I'm sure of it, especially for pedicures and in the fall. There is nothing bad about the polish, everything about it blew me away from formula to packaging to design. Maybe if they can get a consistent sticker on the bottom of the polishes (they have different fonts/layouts) but that's not an issue really as I rarely look at the bottom of my polish bottles anyways.

Would I buy it again? Yes. Absolutely 100%. Needless to say I'm excited to try my other colour Living Water and you all will be reading more Cult Nails on here in the future!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spa Ritual Howl~ Review

Nail Polish by SpaRitual at ShopStyle

SpaRitual's Howl polish from the fall Wilde collection was the only shade I felt I needed in my life. All the blogger photos were gorgeous, it looks stunning in the bottle. A dark brown with copper shimmer throughout. However, on the nail is just seems to fall flat. Even in bright sunshine you can barely see the shimmer at times, and the dark brown base looks black in most lighting. Plus, if you want any hope of seeing the shimmer you need a super shiny top coat. I tried it first with an older topcoat I had hanging around and it pretty much killed the uniqueness of the polish. 
I tried very hard to show the shimmer in these pics, they were all in direct sunlight but as you can see there isn't very much. This makes me sad because the polish in the bottle looks so gorgeous! Or when I'm in the process of removing it and the base removes a little before the shimmer so you can see it more.
The formula itself was pretty good. It went on easily in two coats and wear was about average for me (which is 2-3 days before major tip wear and chips).

Overall, I'm kind of disappointed. I was really hoping for a more unique and glowy sort of polish but mostly it just looks black or black-brown. Sparitual is vegan though so that's a plus, and I love the bottle, not only is it shaped nicely the rubber cap rocks.

Sprite Rating: 5/10, lost points for the potential it had but didn't live up to and the need for a super shiny top coat.

Would I Buy it Again? No, I wouldn't. I liked the idea of it and other bloggers seem to be able to coax out it's hidden wonders but on me it just looks black most of the time. *sigh* And I had such high hopes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Indie Halloween Collections- 2011 Part 2

Hello all! I just wanted to say before I really got into the post that I'm not putting up all the Indie Halloween collections. This is mostly because I find the gory Zombie fad quite disturbing and so I just can't bring myself to post the Zombie collections up. In my previous post I literally hummed and hawwed for about 5 minutes on whether to include Meow's Zombie collection, and I did for completeness but that's it I just can't do it anymore! I'm a vampire girl at heart so I apologize but decay bothers me. So I just want to say I have nothing against these brands and their Zombie lines but I just can't deal with some of the promo images/packaging/names.

Onto what you're actually here to read about! (And if you missed it here's Part One Indie Halloween)

Venomous Cosmetics Happy Halloween Collection (i.e. not the Fear collection)
This one hasn't been released yet, but it should be available to buy on the 15th I believe. I can't wait as these swatches from VC's facebook page look gorgeous! Below is both swatches from the Fear collection and from the Halloween collection. I've mushed them together because I think swatches on skin are helpful and both of these collections will be for sale at the same time. You can see though that I've noted which items are from which collection. Fear is currently available and Halloween as I stated above will be released soon. These are Limited Edition though, I believe VC plans to take these down November 2nd. This isn't the full collection either there is still 2 more loose shadows VC will be adding to the Halloween collection.
P.S. I heard from a little birdy that Oct. 21st is Venomous Cosmetics birthday and that they'll be offering a 10% discount. Might be worth popping by their site that day. :D
Jack-O-Lantern: Pumpkin Orange Shimmer Lip Poison
Halloween Collection
Pressed Shadows from Fear collection L-R: Apocalypse, Claustrophobic, Secret Vampire, Buried Alive
Fear Collection loose shadows Clockwise from top Left: Paranormal, Haunted, Nightmare, The Beyond, Zombie's Reign
Lip Poison from Fear collection in Panic
Lip Poison from Fear collection in Spiders and Snakes
Lip Poison from Fear Collection in Epidemic
Lip Poison from Fear Collection in Pitch Dark
Lip Poison from Fear Collection in Drowning
Pressed shadows from Halloween Collection in L: Magic Potion, Loudest Heartbeat
Loose shadow from Halloween Collection in Curse of the Werewolf
Lip Poison from Halloween in Candy Apple
Aren't they fabulous?! I'm so excited to order from these collections! Curse of the Werewolf just looks amazing.
Next up is Morgana Cryptoria. Firstly, she released new Lip Glosses for fall with quite a few halloweenish colours, however they aren't specifically the Halloween release. Two new Lip Glosses (or Ghouloss as they are called on the site) were added for Halloween, as well as an eye themed eyeshadow collection. There will be a new blush called Gravely as well a purple-grey shade, and the lip glosses are now available to buy in sets of three mini tubes with a unique holder. The Gel Lipsticks are going to be coming out soon too. Can't wait!
Witches Brew Gloss
Sexy Spellcaster Gloss
Fangtastic Gloss
Eye See You Halloween Shadows collection
Swatch of Creepy Peepers shadow (doesn't it look awesome?)
Mini Gloss Trident
I think there collection image for Geek Chic Cosmetics says it all but I'll let you in on a hint it's a halloween cult classic movie.
Sweet Transvestite Lipstick swatched
Make sure to check out their facebook page for super close-up photos of the shadows for this collection. Wow bright! You can get the entire collection for a reduced price or purchase individual shades. :D
Here are a couple other places you can find swatches
Toxid Lotus Blog
Geek Chic Cosmetics Facebook

Fyrinnae is being slightly difficult this season because although some bloggers have gotten the collection, there is no sign of it (or any of their eyeshadows) on their site at the moment and no clue when they're coming back. However, here are two girls that have swatched the collection for you so go check them out. I've always had good experiences with Fyrinnae shadows in the past quality-wise and they are much more complex in person than can ever be shown on a computer screen. These shadows are not limited edition so there is no rush for you to order, unless of course if you want to wear any of the shades for Halloween.
Le Gothique
Makeup Zombie

Two smaller Indie companies that I've not tried anything from (nor do I know much about) are also getting sort of an honourable mention here. RagDolls Bath and Beauty, and Persephone Minerals.
Persephone Minerals is known for their Duochrome shades and I know next to nothing about RagDolls Bath and Beauty.
Persephone Minerals All Hallow's Eve Collection
L-R: Spirit Realm, Pumkinhead, Graveside Manner, Devil Doll, Cemetery Dirt, Deadringer
RagDolls Bath and Beauty This is Halloween Collection
The Beauty Spot has also got swatches and a review up of the This is Halloween Collection by RagDolls.

So that's it. Crazy right? But I love the halloween collections, everything is always so spooky and well named. Any collections you're definitely going to be buying from? Shades you are on the look-out for? Let me know!