Review: Essie Luxeffects – A Cut Above

Full disclosure here – I’m normally not a glitter polish fan. But I couldn’t resist this beautiful pink glitter from Essie. A cut above is described by Essie as a Shattered Pink Diamond Glitz.

Image courtesy of Essie

The polish itself is octagonal pink glitter suspended in clear polish with smaller pieces of round pink glitter. I also found that there are tiiiny red pieces of glitter that flash occasionally. You could wear the polish on its own, or layered over another polish (the luxe effect, I presume!). Essie recommends layering it with wicked, a blackish-plum, or neo-whimsical and poppy art pink, both lighter pinks.

For this week’s manicure I layered a cut above over Essie’s penny talk, which is a metallic rose gold. I got fairly full coverage with two coats of the polish, but three was pushing it in terms of thickness. I also applied two coats of a topcoat, which I found was necessary to smooth down the glitter. With the topcoat, the polish is a little gritty but smooth enough that it won’t snag on clothing. I’ve heard that removal is difficult but so far I haven’t had to try it out – it has peeled off on its own so far. Lucky me!

(Click to see it larger. And apologies for the crappy pictures. I was chasing the light and this polish is HARD to capture)

You could also use this polish as an accent only on your ring finger, as I did here, or on your thumb. I got the idea from Pinterest, and it seems even the fashion mags are getting into it now.

Paired with Essie’s Penny Talk

(Click to see it larger)

Overall, I love the polish. It is a nice touch if you want to accent one nail, and it is beautiful layered over another polish. It’s glitzy, but not discoball shiny, so it is work appropriate (at least at my work. If you are a surgical nurse or a corporate lawyer, it’s probably not going to fly). The formula is pretty good to work with, it is thick but not so thick that it is difficult to apply. Just a wee bit goopy – not enough to make it a problem. You can achieve opacity with two coats.

I would classify it as a re-buy, and I’ll probably check out the other colours in the Essie Luxeffects range.

You can pick up Essie polishes at drugstores between $8-$10 dollars.

We were not compensated for this review

Leopard Girl

I went to see Dark Knight Rises this past week. For whatever reason, even though its two (or in this case 3) hours spent in a darkened room where there is absolutely no reason that anyone would be looking at you, I like to look cute at the movies. Maybe afterwards you’re going to get a drink with some friends, or go for coffee and discuss the nuances of the film. Maybe you’re going for a romantic walk along a waterfront? Listen, I don’t know what you’re doing after movies, but you might want to look cute. Plus, I have a decades old crush on Christian Bale and I feel like I should respect that by dressing appropriately.

Anywho. Here is what I wore.

Batman

I used to shy away from animal prints. I didn’t think I had the personality or confidence to pull it off effectively. But this summer I invested in some snake skin bangles and this tank. It turns out either I got some new confidence I wasn’t aware of or it doesn’t actually take confidence to pull of animal prints. What it takes is taste. Keep it subtle and clean and animal prints are classic and chic. I felt great.

Also, Dark Knight Rises was great. Christian Bale, as always, is wonderful as the troubled billionaire Bruce Wayne. He really is ‘the best of us’. Michael Cain is touching and his relationship with Bruce reaches an emotional climax. Tom Hardy as the villain Bane was, in my opinion, the most real and truly scary adversary The Batman has faced in this trilogy. Plus, he had a really cool coat. Anne Hathaway is gorgeous and lithe in killer heels, even if I didn’t always buy her as an ass kicking cat burglar. The film comes highly recommended. As does going to the movies in cute outfits that just a few months ago you would have been scared of.

Strawberry Margarita and Cognac

So, yeah. I haven’t been around much recently…and for what, I am sure you are asking. WHAT HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US FOR? Weeell. The gym. Yep. It turns out it is reaaaaally hard to travel every weekend, go to the gym three times a week, and also run errands (you know, silly errands like buying groceries and going to medical appointments).  At least for me…I was so proud of myself when I actually went to the grocery store after the gym on monday night.  That right there is what a motherfucking adult does. I felt so proud typing it into twitter. I went to the gym. And then afterwards took public transit and procured food for the week. I even had a list.

Since the last time I wrote:

1. I decided that I hate my entire wardrobe and have been systematically dismantling it. There is an incredibly large pile of clothing on my bedroom floor. Replacing it hasn’t been going so well.

2. I found the perfect summer nail polish colour – O.P.I.’s Strawberry Margarita.

3. I bought a brown purse. I know. AM I FUCKING KIDDING!? No. I bought it. It’s brown (although I call it cognac because while I’m not okay with having a brown purse, I am okay with carrying something around that is the colour of booze. It’s my booze bag. Look, I never said I was a rational human being )

I’ll be back later in the week with more nattering about purses and my dwindling wardrobe!

Pops of Neon

Irene and I were talking the other day and she informed me that she finally found a sheer black blouse, after searching for one for an entire year! Yay for her! I told her she needed to immediately pair it with one of her many cobalt coloured items (seriously, girl is addicted) and then I had a brainwave – NEON.

Neon is a huge trend this summer (see here, here, and here). For those of us born in the early 80s (myself anyway) it brings back a huge wave of nostalgia- who didn’t have a neon Lisa Frank notebook, one of those neon shirt clips with rhinestones, neon laces for your hi-tops, or those spandex leggings with neon stripes down the sides? Bonus points if you wore it all at once like me.

I love neon. LOVE. I don’t want to wear a whole neon shirt though….that is just not kind to my almost 30 year old face. So when Irene was like ‘ooh yes, cobalt pencil skirt and sheer black blouse’ I commanded her to “ADD A NEON BELT! DO IT! DO IT!’  She stopped texting me after that point, but I love it. Adding pops of neon is fucking hot, it’s a grown up way to add neon to an outfit, and it might be a little more flattering on us folk who wore it the first time round.

Pops of Neon

See? That is hot. Imagine wearing this little outfit some steamy summer night. With lots of black eyeliner and nude lips. IRENE, ARE YOU LISTENING? 😉

I want to look like a CUTE sweaty tomato, okay!?

Soo, I joined a gym this week. Started working with a personal trainer. Still haven’t managed to curb my pizza consumption, but you know…baby steps!

I went for my first personal training session on Monday and it was actually embarassing. I had no idea that people actually wore fancy lululemon shit to the gym! I thought everyone was in sweatpants and that ratty t-shirt you stole from your ex-boyfriend. Apparently not! So not only did I resemble a large and sweaty tomato, but I was wearing baggy soccer shorts that I bought in junior high and a baggy men’s running shirt. It was like 1994 all over again. I just need some Ace of Base and TLC on my walkman and I’ll be living the dream again.

No, what I actually need is workout gear that doesn’t make me look giant. I want to look cute while I work out. I don’t care how shallow that is.  I already resemble a large and sweaty tomato…is wearing cute workout gear too much to ask!?

cute workout gear
Also, Q: is Lululemon realllly worth it!?

Thanks to H&M for the most compliment filled day of my life.

I wore this sunny yellow dress to work yesterday.

sunny yello

At least 6 people told me how pretty it is. So, thanks H&M for making my day. I don’t actually have those shoes, but aren’t they adorable?

Things Are About to Change. For the Better. I Hope. We’ll See.

This blog was initially started as an outlet for our mutual love of fashion and pop culture. See – it says so up there in the banner. We planned to talk about, critique, and make light of movies, music, television, celebrity gossip, blah blah blah you get it. Somewhere along the line we seem to have gotten side tracked and ended up focusing almost exclusively on fashion. I love shopping as much as (more than) the next girl, and writting this blog has actually been a great out let for my shopping problem, but the insanity must stop. It’s time to start paying a little more attention to the whos and whats and holy shits of the celebrity world.

I started last week with a post about my disappointment in the current season of Mad Men – I did talk about Peggy’s clothes a little. In the future you can look forward to posts about The New Girl, HBO’s Girls, any number of Kardashians or Real Housewives, as well as whatever currently insane things Lindsay Lohan or the hot mess of the moment is up to with more of a focus on the people and stories. Maybe I’ll even post something about Kate Middleton where I don’t talk about her clothes (confession: No I won’t, that will never happen.)

Summer Work Wardrobe Pt.2

How was everyone’s weekend? I cleaned, got groceries, did laundry, watched the Sex and the City movie because it was on TV (side note: Canadian television does not censor ANYTHING. Ladies who have seen the movie know what I’m talking about!) AND I gutted my wardrobe and then went shopping. I’m actually a little exhausted. I hope your weekend was a bit more relaxing!

I promised to report back what I bought, and I am proud to tell you that I stuck to my plan! I bought things AND I thought in outfits. So, what did I get?

1) two pairs of skinny cropped pants

2) a short sleeved ruffled cardigan

3) a coral lace dress

Add in the items I bought earlier this spring and I have a pretty healthy start to a summer work wardrobe:

Sumer Work Wardrobe Update

One note about the cropped pants – last year I bought looser fitting, shorter capris and I looked like a hobbit. I’ve found that the trick to wearing capris is finding a slim cut pant that hits you at the slimmest part of your leg. The other trick is your shoes. If you don’t want to look like you live in the shire, you gotta wear heels or wedges. You can probably get away with ballet slippers, but wear anything clunky or too wide and you will look like Frodo’s sister. So, beware capris.

Updating the work wardrobe

Well! My apologies for falling off the face of the earth recently. Work, wedding planning…its all getting in the way of the fun stuff! Which is, OF COURSE, this blog and you guys!

I was in a blind panic this morning as I rushed around trying to get ready because I had nothing to wear. NOTHING!! I have like no clothes for work. How did this happen? Clearly I have been falling down on my wardrobe makeover. Why is this!? I think its because I have the attention span of a squirrel. I go to the mall with very specific objects in mind, like skinny ankle pants and an a-line skirt, and walk out with like a skillet and a pair of earrings. I also just buy things that I like with no regard as to how they will fit together. I lack cohesiveness, and thus my wardrobe is just a…chaotic mess.

Well that is sooo changing. I am going to the mall this weekend with a plan! The plan is:

1) think in outfits
2) actually buy things

So simple. Yet apparently very hard for me. I have already been buying things, so I have a head start – a teal chiffon dress, nude wedges, a coral lace top. Here are the things I still need:

1. Skinny ankle pants (two pairs)

 

2. blouses and tops (two)

 

3. a-line skirt (two)

 

 

4. dress (one)

 

 

5. lightweight cardigans (three)

 

 

 

 

So that is the plan. I’ll report back how I do!

P.S. All of these lovelies are from Jacob

Beauty Product Review: MAC Studio Fix Power Plus Foundation

I wanted to love MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation SO BAD. I love MAC – I’m totally crap at picking out colours and shades, so going to a counter and surrendering myself to someone who knows what they are doing is heaven.

I want a pretty shadow that will make my green eyes pop?

Courtesy of MAC

Da Bling. Done.

I want a light, neutral pink lipstick?

Courtesy of MAC

Creme Cup. Done.

Having gone so right with the lipstick and eye shadow, my next foray into MAC was foundation.

I used to use L’Oreal Mineral Makeup powder foundation, which I loved. I switched to MAC Studio Fix because I wanted a longer lasting foundation. I found that the L’Oreal didn’t last. I applied at 7:30 AM and needed to refresh around 3 PM.

At first, Studio Fix was a dream. It covers evenly and beautifully, both with the sponge it is sold with and my own makeup brushes. I was matched to NW15, which is perfect for my skin tone. I found that it did last all day, even though I still needed to blot at mid-day. I love the way my complexion looks with the foundation – it is really smooth, even and beautiful. Like airbrushing.

Courtesy of MAC

Unfortunately, I can’t continue using Studio Fix as I’m sitting here with my face totally broken out and hurting, like actually stinging. I have some issues with my skin – nothing big, just the usual stuff: oily T-Zone, prone to hormonal breakouts, and can have an uneven tone. I never had breakout problems with the L’Oreal foundation, ever. This is my second time trying the MAC Studio Fix foundation and my second time with a totally painful breakout. The first time I broke out I suspected it was the MAC as it was more painful and severe than normal, but it could have been hormonal. I stopped using it, breakouts cleared up, so I started using it again last Sunday. I think the breakouts are definitely the Studio Fix, unfortunately.

So, I can’t recommend Studio Fix for daily use. However, I know that some of my friends use it daily with no problem, so I can’t say don’t ever buy it. Your skin may like it!

All this said, I will keep the foundation and use it for special occasions because it does provide such even and smooth coverage.

I do recommend MAC eye shadows and lipsticks, very heartily. But that is another post.

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