Monday, July 28, 2014

Adventures at Cosmoprof North America: NYX Cosmetics

Good morning, dear readers, and happy Monday! I hope you have had a great start to a new week! I still have a lot more to share with you from my time at CosmoprofNA, so let's get to it.

Today's post is featuring NYX Cosmetics. I was excited to see they had a booth at the convention and just had to stop by. My beauty budget is tight, and NYX Cosmetics is arguably my favorite brand for affordable makeup. I love that I can pick up several products and it isn't painful on my wallet. The quality is on par with so-called "high-end brands", so I never feel like I am missing out. Here are some of the new products featured at the show.

Honey Dew Me Up Primer
Honey Dew Me Up is a gel face primer that contains honey, gold flecks, and collagen. The price point of $17 is a little higher than usual for NYX products, but given that it is currently sold out on their site online, it must be in demand! I now have some of this primer to try for myself; my opinion about it will be coming up soon!


Proof It! Waterproof Eye Shadow Primer
I remember a time when I used to spend a lot of time on my eye makeup only to have it smeared and dull after a couple of hours. Thankfully I was introduced to eye shadow primers! NYX Cosmetics has their own eye shadow primer, and I also have one to test out. I'm crossing my fingers this works well for me. I've only found a couple primers that work well for me, but the $7 price point of this particular product from NYX makes me much happier!



The Adorable and The Sex Bomb Eye Palettes
More eye shadow palettes! Yes! I first got into the NYX Cosmetics brand because of their eye shadow palettes. I really like the colour combinations in both these palettes, but my favorite part is these palettes contain both matte and shimmer eye shadows. Now that I am getting older, I personally prefer to not wear all shimmer eye makeup, and all mattes are just too boring and flat for my taste. The Sex Bomb shadow palette will be making an appearance on my blog in the near future. I'm really curious about that red matte!


Hot Singles Eye Shadow
If you're not a palette kind of person, NYX Cosmetics also has numerous eye shadow singles to choose from the create your own fabulous eye look.


Primal Colors
Vibrantly colored, these pressed pigments are designed for all your special effects needs. This is the ultimate product for the stage and runways.



Balance and Renew Skin Elixirs
I could not get a decent photo of these skin elixirs and editing them only makes it worse; my apologies for that, dear readers! I still wanted to show these skin elixirs to you. Balance uses tea tree oil while Renew incorporated coenzyme Q10 to give your skin a smooth and vibrant finish. While not touted as a primer, I've heard people use these under their foundation for a nice even finish. I'd love your feedback on that if you've tried it!


All Over Balms
These are just two of the three All Over Balms from NYX Cosmetics. Each all-purpose body balm is infused with nourishing oils to improve the health and appearance of your skin. These two are infused with macadamia nut oil (left) and coconut oil (right); the third is infused with argan oil.


Have you tried any of these products? Are there any you are wanting to try out? I'd love to hear your thoughts about them!

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day! XO!







Saturday, July 26, 2014

Literary Lacquers: A Wrinkle in Time Collection

Happy Saturday, dear readers! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful and relaxing weekend. While you are kicking back and hopefully enjoying yourselves at the pool or the beach, how about I share swatches of the upcoming (this Monday) A Wrinkle in Time collection from Literary Lacquers for your enjoyment. Just a little warning: this post is LOADED with photos, and the colours are GORGEOUS! So I'm not repeating myself like crazy throughout the post, all polished were swatched using three coats of polish and then topped off with HK Girl top coat. The formula was sublime and easy to work with, in true Literary Lacquers fashion. I'll make additional comments about each polish as needed as I get to them on this post. Are you ready? I sure hope so! Let's do this!

Megatron
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Amy has this way of making colours that I normally don't wear make me swoon. Purple isn't a colour that I am usually drawn towards, but the added glitters really win me over. It definitely keeps it an interesting polish even when the holo is subdued indoors.
A royal purple linear holo with purple and silver holo sparkle added
Megatron is inspired by the nickname of Meg Murry, our awkward but loveable square-peg of a heroine. Meg’s struggle in the book is one of learning to embrace her idiosyncrasies, to see her faults and differences as strengths. Ultimately, it is her stubbornness, rudeness and tendency to be headstrong (along with her limitless capacity for love) that saves the day and rescues both her father and her little brother from IT, the evil disembodied brain that is the villain of this story. She ultimately triumphs over IT not through eloquent pleas or persuasive rhetoric, but through the sheer power of a love too great for words.
"She knew! Love. That was what she had that IT did not have. She had Mrs. Whatsit's love, and her father's, and her mother's, and the real Charles Wallace's love, and the twins', and Aunt Beast's. And she had her love for them. But how could she use it? What was she meant to do? If she could give love to IT perhaps it would shrivel up and die, for she was sure that IT could not withstand love. But she, in all her weakness and foolishness and baseness and nothingness, was incapable of loving IT. Perhaps it was not too much to ask of her, but she could not do it. But she could love Charles Wallace. She could stand there and she could love Charles Wallace."


Happy Medium
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


Yellow polishes have really been growing on me lately, and true to the name, this shade certainly is a happy colour. The microflakes definitely make this polish sparkle!
A bright yellow linear holo with yellow microflakes
The Happy Medium lives on a planet where everything has been evened out to a medium gray, but she herself is a different kind of "medium,”. And she is indeed happy, though it seems she gets to be that way through pretending unhappy things don't exist Her cheerfulness is not that of a person who looks at the world straight-on and still finds cause to be optimistic, but of some who maintains a positive mood by sticking her fingers in her ears and singing "la la la" when anything upsetting comes up. She uses her crystal ball to show the children more about the evil that they are up against. The Happy Medium's power to show the kids the shadow of the Black Thing over Earth strengthens their will to fight. She also offers another kind of lesson, to Meg at least, that maintaining a happy medium, or a Happy Medium, at the cost of self-enforced ignorance is not a worthwhile goal.
"Watch!" the Medium told them. The Darkness seemed to seethe and writhe. Was this meant to comfort them? Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure. Then, slowly, the shining dwindled until it, too, was gone, and there was nothing but stars and starlight. No shadows. No fear. Only the stars and the clear darkness of space, quite different from the fearful darkness of the Thing. "You see!" the Medium cried, smiling happily. "It can be overcome? It is being overcome all the time!"

Swallowed Up in Blue
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


I wish my photos did Swallowed Up in Blue justice, but I'm afraid I just couldn't quite capture the amazing pink shimmer that was obvious on my nails without adding in extra glare. I've included a few photos with the extra lighting, and you can hopefully see the shimmer next to the glare spots on my nails. This is certainly one of my favorites from this collection!
A sky blue linear holo with a strong pink/red shimmer
This polish represents Charles Wallace, the third of our trio of young adventurers. Charles Wallace Murry is a precocious five-year-old boy, the youngest son of the Murrys. He has a command of language far beyond what might be expected of a boy his age, although because he did not begin to speak until he was four, most people think he is stupid. Charles Wallace has a gift of understanding things that fall outside of normal human experience. It is he who first befriends the Mrs. Ws, and he has an uncanny ability to know what others are thinking. He can even understand the wind talking to the trees. Charles has a little too much pride and a desire to know at all costs. It is this that makes him even more vulnerable on Camazotz than Calvin or Meg. As a result, he is taken over by IT.
"Look into my eyes. Look deep within them and I will tell you." Charles Wallace looked quickly at Meg and Calvin, then said, as though to himself, "I have to," and focused his clear blue eyes on the red ones of the man in the chair. Meg looked not at the man but at her brother. After a moment it seemed that his eyes were no longer focusing. The pupils grew smaller and smaller, as though he were looking into an intensely bright light, until they seemed to close entirely, until his eyes were nothing but an opaque blue. He slipped his hands out of Meg's and Calvin's and started walking slowly toward the man on the chair. "No!" Meg screamed. "No!" But Charles Wallace continued his slow walk forward, and she knew that he had not heard her."

Aunt Beast
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


Some days I just want a neutral shade, and Amy really hit it with Aunt Beast! The taupe microflakies add a fun level of complexity while still keeping the overall colour subtle. I think I have now found my go-to neutral polish!
A tarnished silver linear holo packed with taupe microflakies – a true neutral
Aunt Beast is one of the aliens on the planet that the Murrys and Calvin tesser to in order to escape IT and Camazotz. The entire planet is grey and brown, largely colorless, and it turns out that the beings on this planet have no eyes and no mouths. They communicate telepathically and are confused by the humans’ reliance on their visual senses and attachment to words. The theme of communication is key to Aunt Beast's role in the story. It turns out that it's not her lack of mouth that is the main barrier to shooting the breeze with the humans, but her lack of eyes. As Meg realizes first when she tries to explain light, and then when she attempts to conjure Mrs. Whatsit, her very language is shaped by how she sees things, which makes talking to a being that has no conception of sight difficult to say the least. Aunt Beast's lesson for Meg is not, however, of the limitations of blindness, but rather of the limitations of sight. Meg's relationship with Aunt Beast drives home once and for all the message that appearances are deceiving, or at least insufficient; the things that really matter are beyond the reach of sight.
"But she realized now that here on this planet there was no need for color, that the grays and browns merging into each other were not what the beasts knew, and that what she, herself, saw was only the smallest fraction of what the planet was really like. It was she who was limited by her senses, not the blind beasts, for they must have senses of which she could not even dream."

Tesseract
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight



Finally, a white polish I enjoy! I'm not really sure what it is about white polishes, but I always feel that I look like I have painted my nails with White Out whenever I wear them. Tesseract has a lovely opalescence that keeps it from looking too harsh against my skin. It is one of the more sheer polishes from this collection, so plan to wear three coats to avoid visible nail line. In some angles, it looks like my nails might have needed a fourth coat for opacity. You're going to want to use this one when you have a little extra time for your nails or you can layer it over another polish if your time is limited. Tesseract is the whitest of white holographic polishes I have seen, and one I think is worth the additional time.
A pearly linear holographic policy – best at 3 thin coats
A tesseract is the method by which the characters travel through time and space in an instant, the Mrs. Ws try to explain it to the children thus:
"Mrs. Who took a portion of her white robe in her hands and held it tight. "You see," Mrs. Whatsit said, "if a very small insect were to move from the section of skirt in Mrs. Who's right hand to that in her left, it would be quite a long walk for him if he had to walk straight across." Swiftly Mrs. Who brought her hands, still holding the skirt, together. "Now, you see," Mrs. Whatsit said, "he would be there, without that long trip. That is how we travel." Charles Wallace accepted the explanation serenely. Even Calvin did not seem perturbed. "Oh, dear," Meg sighed. " I guess I am a moron. I just don't get it." "That is because you think of space only in three dimensions," Mrs. Whatsit told her. "We travel in the fifth dimension. This is something you can understand, Meg. Don't be afraid to try."

Camazotz
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


Is it black? Is it purple? Blue? Let's just say Camazotz is awesome! It looks a little different depending on the angle and lighting, and I love it! It's certainly complex, and I don't have anything quite like it in my collection. Camazotz is a great shade for your toes and going out at night. It's also a great colour for when it starts to get colder and fall comes around.
A black linear holo with a blue/red shift
Camazotz is the planet that has been swallowed up completely by the Dark Thing. Mr. Murry is being held captive there by IT, the evil disembodied brain that controls everything on Camazotz. Free will is an illusion on Camazotz: anyone who deviates from the norm is considered a mistake, and either forcibly brought back into conformity or destroyed. It's utopia...or hell, depending on your perspective. As Meg discovers when she’s fighting off the control of IT, like and equal are not the same thing at all. Here’s the children’s creepy first look at the people of Camazotz:
"Below them the town was laid out in harsh angular patterns. The houses in the outskirts were all exactly alike, small square boxes painted gray. Each had a small, rectangular plot of lawn in front, with a straight line of dull-looking flowers edging the path to the door. Meg had a feeling that if she could count the flowers there would be exactly the same number for each house. In front of all the houses children were playing. Some were skipping rope, some were bouncing balls. Meg felt vaguely that something was wrong with their play. It seemed exactly like children playing around any housing development at home, and yet there was something different about it. She looked at Calvin, and saw that he, too, was puzzled. "Look!" Charles Wallace said suddenly. "They're skipping and bouncing in rhythm! Everyone's doing it at exactly the same moment." This was so. As the skipping rope hit the pavement, so did the ball. As the rope curved over the head of the jumping child, the child with the ball caught the ball. Down came the ropes. Down came the balls. Over and over again. Up. Down. All in rhythm. All identical. Like the houses. Like the paths. Like the flowers. Then the doors of all the houses opened simultaneously, and out came women like a row of paper dolls. The print of their dresses was different, but they all gave the appearance of being the same. Each woman stood on the steps of her house. Each clapped. Each child with the ball caught the ball. Each child with the skipping rope folded the rope."

Who Which Whatsit
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


This lime green shade is another colour that is just cheerful and happy. The added shimmer really makes it glow. A stunner for sure!
A lime green linear holo with green shimmer
The three Mrs. Ws, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit are the mysterious women who find the Murry children and Calvin on Earth and lead them on their adventure to rescue the missing Mr. Murry from the evil Dark Thing. On Earth they appear to be old women, tramps and vagrants, but on the gorgeous green planet of Uriel they reveal themselves to be stars and angels, warriors of the light combating the Dark Thing, the evil that threatens the entire Universe.
"Now, don't be frightened, loves," Mrs. Whatsit said. Her plump little body began to shimmer, to quiver, to shift. The wild colors of her clothes became muted, whitened. The pudding-bag shape stretched, lengthened, merged. And suddenly before the children was a creature more beautiful than any Meg had even imagined, and the beauty lay in far more than the outward description. Outwardly Mrs. Whatsit was surely no longer a Mrs. Whatsit. She was a marble white body with powerful flanks, something like a horse but at the same time completely unlike a horse, for from the magnificently modeled back sprang a nobly formed torso, arms, and a head resembling a man's, but a man with a perfection of dignity and virtue, an exaltation of joy such as Meg had never before seen. No, she thought, it's not like a Greek centaur. Not in the least. From the shoulders slowly a pair of wings unfolded, wings made of rainbows, of light upon water, of poetry."

Strong Steady Hand
Indoors with "Daylight" Bulb

Outside in the Sunlight


Strong Steady Hand is another favorite of mine from this collection. It is packed with glitter, and it looks sparkly no matter what your lighting source might be! Even though it is loaded with glitter, it still applies very easily with no clumping issues. It does have a slight gritty finish, but it smooths out nicely with top coat. Strong Steady Hand is another great summer to fall transitional shade.
A sparkling coral holo loaded with masses of holo sparkle
Strong Steady Hand is Calvin O’Keefe’s polish. In A Wrinkle in Time, Calvin is mentioned over and over as being strong and having a steady hand for Meg, taking her hand over and over again to reassure her and give her strength. Unlike the Murry misfits, Calvin is a popular basketball player at school, but he doesn’t value that popularity, says that it’s for “all the most unimportant reasons” and yearns for true connection. He finds that connection with the Murry’s, especially in Meg and he finds that he’s falling in love with her.
"Well, you know what, you've got dream-boat eyes," Calvin said. "Listen, you go right on wearing your glasses. I don't think I want anybody else to see what gorgeous eyes you have." Meg smiled with pleasure. She could feel herself blushing and she wondered if the blush would be visible in the moonlight. "Okay, hold it, you two," came a voice out of the shadows. Charles Wallace stepped into the moonlight. "I wasn't spying on you," he said quickly, "and I hate to break things up, but this is it, kids, this is it!" His voice quivered with excitement. "This is what?" Calvin asked. "We're going." "Going? Where?" Meg reached out and instinctively grabbed for Calvin's hand. "I don't know exactly," Charles Wallace said. "But I think it's to find Father."


Wow, that was a lot of photos! Hopefully you are still with me! My top picks from the collection are Megatron, Swallowed Up in Blue, Aunt Beast, and Strong Steady Hand, but that answer might change tomorrow. All the colours are stunning in their own right; Amy certainly has another winning collection on her hands!

This 8-piece collection will be available for purchase at the Literary Lacquer etsy shop this Monday (July 28th) at noon Mountain time so you have some time to pick your favorites. Each bottle will be available for $10, but if you just can't choose (they are all gorgeous colours, so I can't fault you for that one bit!), you can purchase the entire collection at the discounted rate of $75.

Until next time, dear readers, have a wonderful day! XO!