Essie Minimalistic

I’ll admit that, with my new job, conservative is the way to go. So I am digging out all of my neutrals and – just quietly – I’m falling in love with them all over again.

Today it’s an Essie – Minimalistic.

Minimalistic is alot like the rest of Essie’s seemingly endless array of soft pinks. The colour is beautiful. The formula is squishy.

BUT, unlike alot of their soft pinks, this soft pink gets opaque. Quickly. As in two coats. Yes, this is two coats plus a coat of Seche Vite over the top!  Those of you familiar with Essie pinks will know this kind of opacity is a rarity.

I love this because it’s neutral, non-controversial but still just stunningly beautiful. I get endlessly complimented when I wear this. It makes my hands look tanned and my fingers longer.

5 Hair Raising Myths

Along with skincare, I’ve learned alot about haircare in the last 12 months. Myths have been banished, replaced with scientifically proven truths.

Here are five of my favourite hair myths. Let me know in the comments some of your favourite – and disproven – hair myths.

And, remember, these are just my opinions from my own research.  If you have a different opinion, please share it in the comments – I’d love to hear what you think.

 

Myth 1: Silicone is bad for your hair

Silicone is not automatically bad for your hair.

According to Dr Jasmine Karsono, of Pantene, silicone products are generational.  Some earlier formulations did tend to coat the hair and not wash out, leading to breakage and weakening of the hair shaft over time.

But, like anything, science works in beautiful – evolutionary – ways.  Most silicones found in conditioners are water soluble so they will easily wash out of your hair.

To be on the safe side, always use a regular clarifying shampoo to wash out ALL product.  But rest assured that silicone is not the devil incarnate.

 

Myth 2: It’s ok to wash your hair every day

According to the gorgeous Barney Martin, no-one should be washing their hair on a daily basis.

It strips the hair and scalp of nutrients and encourages excess production of sebum.  It ends up being a horrible cycle where your hair feels dirty, so you scrub it clean, your scalp begins to produce sebum to compensate for the loss, and – at the end of the day – your hair feels dirty again.  So you wash it.  And on it goes.

Barney advises washing your hair 2-3 times a week and using dry shampoos in between.  Alternatively – and I thought this was a rather clever suggestion (proving Barney is smart as well as supremely hot) – just wet your hair and re-style, rather than washing it.  It will make your hair feel and look better but won’t result in excess sebum production.

 

Myth 3: Brushing your hair makes it healthier

I remember reading Enid Blyton books where all the girls brushed their hair 100 times a night. What Enid didn’t mention is that all these girls went bald.

Over-brushing will dull your hair by destroying the cuticle.  Over-brushing also excarcerbates breakages and split ends.

Realistically, use your brush to untangle your hair only.  Use good shampoos, conditioners and treatments to keep it looking its best.

 

Myth 4: Immunity to shampoo and conditioner

What a load of caca this myth is.  The way it gets told, you use a shampoo and conditioner for a few months and, all of a sudden, your hair doesn’t look so good any more.

The reason why your shampoo and conditioner has stopped working is because your hair has – in all likelihood – built up residue.  Get your hands on a good clarifying shampoo – my favourite of ALL TIME is Mop’s Basil Mint Shampoo – and you’ll find that your old shampoo and conditioner will once again give you the results you once loved.

 

Myth 4: Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe

Just because a manufacturer claims a product is all natural, it does not automatically make it safe – especially for those of you pregnant and/or breast-feeding.

Always check the labels, work in a well-ventilated area and, try and avoid products with ammonia in them.

Boots No 7 – Caca Gold

This lacquer was sent to me by my mother in law and – quite frankly – while it looks amaze balls in the bottle, on the nail….. we’re talking big ol’ caca lacquer.

The formula isn’t great, it streaks and it leaves me with bald spots in abundance. Seriously, I’ve seen less balding at an Ashley & Martin Information Seminar.

BUT, have a close look at the lacquer. The way the light plays on the lacquer. It’s almost like delicate strands of gold. So much potential. It almost makes me want to cry.

Burnout Ocean Tested Physical Sunscreen

I know I tend to lecture you guys about sunscreen but I do so with good reason.

90% of all aging is caused by the sun. Protect your skin and you won’t need to buy expensive anti-aging creams, lotions, and/or have to see a plastic surgeon.

But it’s hard to find a good physical sunscreen that doesn’t cost the earth. In the past, the cheap ones I’ve found all leave a white cast and are hard to apply. I feel like I’m rubbing my face off.

The expensive ones work beautifully but they cost me anywhere between $60-$100 for a 30ml tube.

Thank God for Burnout Ocean Tested Physical Sunscreen. $18 for a 100ml tube and it’s the BEST physical sunscreen I’ve tried. Read on to find out why.

 

Packaging

The packaging on this is fairly basic. It comes in a tube with an open mouth.

Egads, though, I hate the yellow colour. Perhaps it’s just me but, whilst the colour of this tube would be useful in situations where I need to guide planes in to land, it’s just damned ugly.

On the bright side, when I’m sleepy in the morning, I can always find this.  I swear it glows in the dark.

 

Product

So, let the rave begin.

Formula wise, this applies like a chemical sunscreen. One of the big criticisms of physical sunscreens is that they are not easy to apply. This is perfection. It’s like a moisturizer.

This doesn’t leave a white cast. That’s right. It’s a physical sunscreen (with 18.6% zinc) and there is no cast. So you don’t need to worry that you look like a ghost when you apply it.

It doesn’t pick upon flakies and/or dry skin. Physical sunscreens tends to highlight dry skin and grab onto flakies, making them look ten times worse (I’m looking at you Marie Veronique Organic Sunscreen, bane of my sunscreen existence). This doesn’t highlight any dry spots.

This not only protects my skin but is also the world’s most perfect makeup primer. I’ve found that this never quite stops being sticky on the skin (which may put some of you off, I realize). Because it retains a sticky texture on the skin, foundation sticks like glue. As in, it doesn’t move. I can apply my foundation over this at 8am and it will be in place at 10pm (although, as with any sunscreen, if you’re not topping it up during the day, protect your face with a hat or umbrella.  Even the best physical sunscreen will only offer up to 6 hours protection).

And finally, it’s reasonably priced. I pay $18 for a 100ml tube from the US. So, by a country mile, this is the best value physical sunscreen on the market.

Makeup Geek Starter Kit

If you watch Marlena from Makeup Geek on YouTube, you will know that she recently launched a range of eye shadows.

It took a hot minute – aka 10 seconds – before I was ordering the Starter Kit.

The Starter Kit comes with eight eye shadow selected by Marlena to help launch her eye shadow range, with a mixture of shimmer and mattes included in the eight.

Read on to see what I thought, although I say from the outset that I am a Marlena Fan Girl, so this review will – no doubt – be a wee bit biased.

 

Packaging

The packaging on these are bright and made me smile as soon as they came out of the package.

Each refill is packaged in its own card board casing.

Open up the outer packaging and you will find the refill sitting in loose card.

Each shadow comes as a refill pan. And here is my own complaint about these. I can understand that Marlena is used to moving shadows in and out of Z-Palettes but, in the world of Makeup Town, I am the official Village Idiot.

I find using palettes messy and I always seem to gouge chunks out of shadows when I move them around.

I would have preferred these to be packaged in a palette, but that’s just my own personal preference. I know some of you will love the flexibility of being able to move these around.

If any of you want to come to my place and fix these into a palette for me, I will pay you with Pepsi, Cheezels and Motley Crue playing out the stereo.

 

Product

Whatever issues I have with the packaging, there is no arguing with the quality of these. Marlena took her time working on this project and it shows: these are an amazing debut from an indie makeup company.

Each of these feels almost wet when first applied on the eye. The ‘wetness’ makes them easy to work with and extremely malleable on the eye. I load up my brush with a small amount, pat it on (whilst revelling in the cool wetness on my lid – seriously, I actually get PHYSICALLY excited when using these because I love the coolness of these shadows hitting my lids) and then blend it out.

For the most part, these are super pigmented. There are only two shadows that are a little chalkier and take a little more effort in terms of building up the intensity: Purple Rain and Unexpected. The rest are one swipe shadows. One swipe with your brush will pick up more than enough product.

Longevity wise, these last all day so long as you use a good, sticky primer as your base. I haven’t noticed any creasing during the day or fading when using a primer. If I don’t use a primer, and sometimes I am lazy and/or forget, they will crease after around 6 hours.

In terms of standout colours, everyone is going to be different. For me, there are three that I love and find myself dipping into more than the others:

  • Corrupt – if you’ve been reading reviews, you will have heard about Corrupt being blacker than MAC’s Carbon.  I have no idea as I don’t own Carbon, but I can say this is one bad boy of a black.  It’s densely pigmented.  You only need the tiniest amount.  I use this as a heavy duty eyeliner or as a shadow (where I apply it just along the lash line and then blend upwards to create an ombre smokey eye).
  • Shimma Shimma – if you watch Marlena’s videos, you’ll know she loves her some shimma shimma.  This reminds me of MAC’s Bare Study Paint Pot, except that it’s easier to work with and doesn’t tend to clump like Bare Study.  I pair this with Corrupt or, if I’m feeling particularly steady of hand, some thick liquid liner for a simple, but dramatic look.
  • Glamorous – is a gorgeous, bronzey gold.  For whatever reason, I think of Beyonce in Baby Boy.  You guys know the part – where she’s gyrating in the sand.  It’s another one colour look: as in I can just apply this with some thick mascara on the lashes, and I’m done.

Here are photos of all the colours AND some finger swatches.  I would have done a look but my eyebrows are currently a monobrow and NO-ONE wants to see an angry caterpillar mixed with beautiful shadows.

Shimma Shimma

Unexpected

Purely Naked

Purple Rain

Mocha

Glamorous

Corrupt

Cocoa Bear

Sally Hansen Digital

It’s 2016, so let’s kick it off with a heart starter. Sally Hansen’s Digital is so bright, it could be used on lonely country roads to guide lost travelers.

This is a gorgeous lacquer. It’s bright. It’s happy. It makes me smile.

My only qualm is the way it dries. It dries to a satin matte finish. I’m guessing this is due to the fact that it is a neon, and most neons don’t dry glossy. But it’s still disappointing.

So, the photos below are, initially, without top coat, with the last three photos featured with top coat.

Regardless of the finish, this is so beautiful. It’s Sally Hansen bringing out the big guns and obliterating all before it.

And here it is with a top coat.  For me, the top coat really makes this lacquer come alive.

Models Prefer Girls Night Out

Models Prefer are OFF THE CHAIN at the moment. Every lacquer I’m trying is a total winner.

Today’s it’s Girls Night Out which is one of those amazing Aurora Borealis lacquers.

But, as always with Models Prefer, the brush on these is a total let down. As in, the brush is a complete load of pants. This one was particularly bad. It would have done a better job cleaning my toilet than painting my nails.

Dear Models Prefer, your lacquers are phenomenal.

Please fix the pants brush.

Love, Jacie

piCture pOlish Flake-orama

Lord knows we all love flakes. They are like the be dazzlers of the nail world.

So I was thrilled when piCture pOlish sent me their three new flakes to trial. You better believe I got bedazzling.

Nfu.Oh flakes are the benchmark for flakes. These aren’t quite as complex as the Nfu.Oh flakies but they are still utterly gorgeous. All of the swatches below are two coats and, as you can see, they dry to a smooth, glassy finish.

Best thing about these is the price. Just $11.90 for a full sized bottle. Talk about kicking off 2012 with a bade-bing!

 

Festival

It’s important to match these with an appropriate base colour, and preferably a dark colour.

I matched Festival with the ever resourceful Illamasqua Boosh.

 

Hypnotic

You can see how these dry glossy and smooth. But you will get flakies going everywhere and a perfectly clean finish is almost near impossible.

Here is Hypnotic over Chanel Vendetta.

 

Splendour

Splendour is my favourite. Here, I’ve overlaid it over Maybelline Fruit Juice (review on that lacquer coming up later this week). It’s like my nails are on fire.

How to get a 7 day manicure

There is nothing worse than investing time in a manicure, only to find it chipping after a couple of days. Let’s not speak of the horror we all feel when a manicure chips in less than 24 hours.

Today, I bring you my top tips on extending your manicure so that it will last at least seven days, maybe even longer.

 

Buff the top of your nails

This sounds strange but having a slightly abrasive nail bed will ‘grip’ product better than a smooth, perfectly polished nail bed.

What I do is use a buffer (of course, I recommend the YGN Buffer) and gently buff the nail bed with the dark grey side so that it’s not entirely smooth. It’s not rough enough that it will impact the final finish but it’s not shiny either.  As Goldilocks would say, it’s ‘just right’ for grabbing onto your base coat and giving you a flying start.

 

Clean the nail before applying your base coat

Cleanse your nail thoroughly before applying your base coat.

After you have finished buffing your nails, douse a cotton round in remover / acetone and clean the nail. This will not only remove any debris from buffing, it will also remove any oil / grease / residual moisture, leaving you with a dry and clean surface.

If you do have any oils or moisture on your hands, your base, colour and top coats won’t grip and you’ll find your manicure will peel within a couple of days.

 

Always use a base coat

A base coat is absolutely essential in any manicure. A base coat preps your nail to hold onto colour. It also prevents against staining.

To make the most of your base coats, apply it immediately after cleaning. And wrap your tips. You’ll find out why later.

 

Always use a top coat

Like a base coat, top coat is essential for me.

Think of your top coat as sunscreen. It will protect your precious colour from fading, chipping and wearing.

For me, I love thick top coats like Seche Vite.  They provide a physical wall against the elements and they maintain the shine and wear of my manicure.

 

Wrap the tips

Perhaps the most important tip of all. Always wrap your tips. Wrapping your tips involves ensuring that base, colour and top coats are applied to the very tips of your nails.  If you’re still not sure how to wrap your nails, this tutorial might help.

 

Wrapping the tips of your nails will protect the tips against the usual wear and tear we put our hands through.  If you open drink cans with your nails, or lift sticky tape with your nails or wash the dishes without gloves, wrapping the tips will minimize the chance of your manicure chipping or wearing away.

Maybelline Mini Colorama Fruit Juice

I really like these Maybelline Mini Colorama lacquers.

The colors are vibrant and bright – perfect for those of us in summer, and perfect for those in winter who are wishing for summer – and the formulas are pretty damned awesome.

Fruit Juice is an orange based red which, as you all know, is not my preference when it comes to red. I’m far more fond of deeper, blue-based reds.

But this is impossible not to like. It’s so bright, happy and deliciously squishy. And it’s opaque in two coats.