Love Lists

Obsession: Pastel Nails

You're My Obsession

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When I was younger, nail polish was just for special occasions. I was a chronic nail-biter and even the most chip-proof formula lasted less than a day on my nervous little fingers, so decorating my nails was reserved for things like holidays or school shows. Even in adulthood, I’ve held jobs that have required me to keep my nails clean and trimmed short. I’d paint them on weekends or holidays, quickly removing it all on my way into work. While no longer a social taboo, the polish-deprived child in me usually gravitated towards forbidden, blackened shades of purple, blue, or greens–shades so dark they appeared black indoors. But as I began to paint my nails more and more, I’ve found I have an almost magnetic attraction towards pastels.

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I love a good gold in the summer or a seductive plum for fall, but in the late winter and into the spring, nothing strikes me quite like a creamy pastel. I’m hopelessly addicted to seafoams and minty greens, and over the years I’ve amassed an arsenal of sky blues and lavenders, but my collection is sprinkled with milky pinks and petal yellows as well. Little Me might have thought that a dark vampy nail was the ultimate eye-catcher, but I’ve come to realize that pastel nails can make a subtler, but still equally effective statement.

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(1) MAC Mischievous Mint is a soft blue-green mint cream, originally released with 2011’s Spring collection, Quite Cute–it’s been discontinued, but you can still find a bottle here and there online. (2) Julep Renee is the exactly blued-lavender of spring lilacs, while (3) Zoya Marley is slightly more pink-toned and boasts a subtle silver shimmer. (4) Julep Jessica is one of the palest sky blues I’ve ever seen, without a single trace of grey in the formula. (5) Zoya Dove is a true, neutral grey soft enough to feel pastel. (6) Polishes like Julep Emmanuelle are few and far between in my collection–while it appears to be a nude in the bottle, it wears as a pastel peach-pink jelly that’s surprisingly fun. (7) Orly Lemonade is the perfect lemon-sorbet yellow, nearly as much of a statement as (8) Rainbow Honey Pinky Promiseand ice-cream pink filled with confetti-coloured glitter.

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In the midst of winter storms and barren landscapes and sub-zero temperatures, I used Julep Renee to brighten my mood. There’s something simultaneously soothing and invigorating about the perfect lavender cream, conjuring up images of relaxing herbal bouquets and exotic gourmet pastries. Each time I look down, I can’t help but smile at the delicate lilac shade of my nails–in a season of SAD and cabin fever, what more could you ask of an accessory?

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Cosmetics, Love Lists, Monthly Picks

Metamorphosis 79.0 – May Monthly Picks!

May was considerably harder to settle on than any month previously, perhaps because my out-of-commission camera forced me to be later on this post than usual. Things started to blur together–did I start loving these products in May, or early June? Did I even get this in May? Or am I mistaking June for May since I keep writing “5/?/11” on all checks at work?

But after much consideration, I’ve narrowed it to these selections which I enjoyed throughout most of the month. I haven’t included face or complexion products since otherwise, this list would be a boring beige-coloured wasteland (my picks would have undoubtedly been OCC Tint, Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer, Bobbi Brown Pressed Powder, and Lamas Beauty Eye Repair Complex–boring to look at, right?) and it’s much more interesting to see the Sea of Coral I’ve lived in this May.

It probably all started with Zoya Nail Polish in Elodie. On the website, it looks like a soft, almost pastel melon shade but as you see, it’s really a vibrant coral-orange. It’s a gorgeous, fun shade that applies creamy and opaque in about three coats (I use many much thinner coats to avoid bubbling and “VNL”–visible nail line–so it should only take normal people three coats to achieve perfection). I also discovered creme blush (finally!) and fell head over heels for Bobbi Brown Pot Rogue in Cabo Coral. Applied to my skin or foundation pre-powder, it blends to a very pretty peachy coral. It appears rather intense but after it’s been set it’s quite subtle–best of all the colour is completely buildable! It’s also lip-safe and can be used as lipstick in a pinch.

I wore this Inglot palette Monday through Friday for most of May. It’s neutral, it’s versatile–I can use the two beiges and the taupey grey for a very clean, neutral eye or have at the greys for a graduated smokey effect. This doesn’t mean I’ll never wear red eyeshadow to the office again, but it does give me a work-friendly option.

I know that OCC Lip Tar made it’s way onto the list last month, too, but this time it’s Interlace. It is hands-down the perfect nude in my collection and makes any look instantly more chic. I like to apply it lightly, blot off any excess, and set it with a clear or nude gloss (like BITE’s Prosecco or MAC Cremesheen Glass in Lightly Prancing). Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss in Citrus was my go-to gloss this month, living exclusively in my purse and swiped on almost every day. It’s a beautiful peachy-orange shimmer in a clear base and while it’s on the stickier side, it is the longest-wearing gloss I have ever owned. I have swiped it on at 9AM only to find my lips are still shimmery and a little tacky at 7PM when I’m driving home. Considering my lips are on the drier side, I find it highly moisturizing.

And last but not least, the product that has everyone and their mother talking, Make Up Forever Aqua Liners in 10 Iridescent Red and 04 Diamond Lagoon Green. I know, everyone has raved about them to no end but honestly they’re that great. They don’t budge for DAYS if not properly removed and they come in such a variety of bold, powerful colours they really are perfect for the bright eyeliner trend that’s been so hot this season. Of the 16 shades available, I scored 10 for 50% off at the Makeup Show. If you don’t get them with a pro discount or show special, they’re a bit pricey at $23 a piece. But I would have paid it anyway–the formula and applicator remind me a bit of MAC’s Superslick liners, but thicker and with a longer felt tip “brush.” Personally, I wish these had an actual brush and a shorter top for application, but I love them anyway. In May, the green was pretty much my everyday liner shade, while the red was for those days I really needed a pop of colour to get me through the day.

And there you have it. My May was a bright blur of corals, not quite Spring but not quiteSummer either. What products did you love in May? Have you made the jump to your Summer look yet, or are you still clinging to Spring?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Love Lists, Monthly Picks

Metamorphosis 65.0 – April Monthly Picks!

Wow! April was a major haul month, between the IMATS, Beautylish event, and Sephora sale, I’ve had a lot of new things to try out and play with. But there have been a few things that I’ve come back to again and again this month–here’s what I’m loving:

I managed to snag a 20 palette from Inglot at the IMATS for a pretty impressive discount, but even at full-price, this would probably rank amongst my best beauty buys of all time. These shadows are buttery, blendable, and amazingly pigmented all in the convenience of a palette. I don’t travel often, but this would definitely be a go-to item for future trips–such beautiful colours all in one place! I also got my hands on quite a number of OCC Lip Tars at that show, and Anime has quickly become one of my favourite lip colours. It’s a bright, bold neon pink that dries matte and stays on my lips for almost 9 hours at a time, even through food and drink!

After thoroughly loving theBalm blush I received from Beautylish, I purchased Mary Lou-Manizer during the Sephora %15 Off Sale. The texture of these products is just amazing for pressed powders–they’re soft and blendable, but not at all dusty. The luminizer is a beautiful shade of pale-golden beige that’s just right for highlighting my skintone. I also grabbed Korres Wild Rose Mask during the Sephora sale after reading up on the benefits of rose for complexion-brightening. I’ve only used this mask twice now, but it’s an absolutely luxurious experience–not only does it smell amazing and leave my skin feeling soft and moisturized, I swear my skin glows after using it.

Anyone who follows my Twitter feed knows how badly I’ve been dying to try butter LONDON. Lucky for me, my local Ulta started carrying their line and my ever-wonderful, amazingly attentive mother picked these up for me. I have a full review forthcoming, but I’ve been wearing this combo for a few days now and it is by far the shiniest, smoothest, most luxurious polishes I own. This colour, Blagger, was definitely on my list, but I likely wouldn’t have gotten the top and base coats simply because I all ready have so many–but I’m glad I did try them, because I really don’t have anything comparable! The top coat is impossibly shiny and the base coat is a creamy beige that dries matte, giving the polish a nice surface to adhere to. After five days of intense typing, working out, hand-washing, and my own personal nailbiting/picking habit, this remains chip-free and gorgeous. I think I’ve found my Holy Grail nail system!

What have you been loving this month?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Love Lists

Metamorphosis 52.0 – Creme de Menthe, a minty-green love list!

Every few weeks or so, I come down with some sort of colour-bug. Certain colours stick in my head and I just can’t get enough of them. These past few weeks it’s been mint green. In all honesty, mint has always been one of my favourite colours. I think my synesthesia is partially to blame, but the creamy, soft texture of mint has always struck a chord with me. (In fact, “Menthe” was an early web-moniker of mine.) But for Spring, it’s really hard for me to pin-point a better colour: it’s fresh, it’s delicate, and it goes well with everything. Lately, I’ve been pairing it with lilacs and corals.

Here are some of my favourite mint-coloured products at the moment. Full reviews of these products are forthcoming, I promise!

Shiro CosmeticsKawaii Shadow in Banzai is a very pale mint green with strong blue tones. The satin texture makes it perfect for highlighting or as a base for darker shadows. It’s fairly opaque on its own though it can be built up or blended out. I’ve been using this in the inner corners of my eyes for a bright pop of minty colour!

Evil ShadesFaerie Garden is a slightly darker green, more of a fresh mint than a creme-de-menthe. On site, it’s described as “primary green with golden shimmer,” but I’d say it’s a slightly blue-toned green with a shimmery finish. I usually pat this on my lid with a flat brush for a sweet, herbal green base.

I’ve really never been a body-shimmer type of girl, but I’ve really been loving Meow CosmeticsWildcats powder in Jungle Cat. I was obviously hesitant when I ordered a green body-powder, but it blends beautifully to the barest, palest minty sparkle. Like mint frosting for your skin! I use a large, flexible Taklon kabuki brush to dust this powder over my chest, shoulders, cheekbones, and brows for a very subtle highlighting effect. (It also works nicely mixed into a pump of body lotion or sunblock!)

I have to admit, I haven’t yet had a chance to wear Lime Crime‘s Mint to Be lipstick out of the house yet! Of course as soon as it arrived, I ripped it open and slathered it on, but I just haven’t had an appropriate occasion for it otherwise. Like most of the reformulated Lime Crime lipsticks, this is perfectly opaque and creamy when properly applied. I suggest covering your natural lip colour for truest-green results.

For a little bit of not-quite-swatchy fun, this is a shot of my pigment-encrusted hand after opening up and fiddling with all the jars for these shots. You can see quite a bit of Jungle Cat on my fingers and a bit of Faerie Garden on my palm.

Obviously, wearing all these beautiful minty products together might be a little green-overkill. As I said above, they pair beautifully with lilacs and lavenders (like Sugarpill’s Paperdoll or Weekender), peaches and corals (like Morgana Cryptoria’s Peach Daiquiri and Evil Shade’s Faerie Kisses), even bubblegum pinks (like Sugarpill’s Birthday Girl).

What colours are you loving for Spring?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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Cosmetics, Love Lists, Monthly Picks

Metamorphosis 50.0 – March Monthly Picks!

I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to do a sort of product feature. Weekly seemed kind of ridiculous, and seasonal seemed too infrequent, so monthly sounds good. I’ve got thirty-odd days to think up new features, and that’s perfect.

This month, my picks are all products I got in March. I’m not sure if that will always be the case, but this month it certainly is. When I get new products, I tend to test out every aspect of their usage especially if I’m reviewing them so I get really attached to a lot of products.

My first pick is Wylde Ivy‘s Silken Body Oil in Little Shop in Salem. It’s like a nifty little moisturizing perfume that goes on smooth, soaks in quickly, and leaves you smelling wonderful all day. The oil itself is made from a combination of Coconut and Jojoba oils with addition oils from various fruit seeds. I particularly like it in this scent because it’s a light incense-y blend that’s sweet and a little dusty and layers perfectly will all sorts of other fragrances. Plus, it doesn’t give me (or anyone else around me) a headache after too long, as most fragrances often do.

Zoya Nail Polish in Dannii is a soft pink-purple with an amazing multi-coloured sparkle. I’m always amazed by the depth of colour in Zoya polishes, which is why they’re my favourite hands-down. This particular colour is great for spring–it reminds me of newly-budding flowers.

For some reason, I was all about the metallic eyes this month. Meow Cosmetics‘ Heiroglyph from the Egyptian Treasures Collection was definitely one of my go-to shadows. It’s described on-site as “metallic chartreuse with verdigris overtones and metallic gold undertones,” but I see it as a darkened, antiqued gold.

You’ve seen how beautiful Brazen‘s Cherry Bomb lip gloss is. If you haven’t, go read my review right now. It’s richly pigmented but still layerable, it’s smooth and creamy, and it stays put for hours. I haven’t seen this listed in the shop yet (which is live again after a brief hiatus!), but the owner is always more than happy to do custom listings if something you want is “out of stock.”

I’ve never been a blush girl, but lately I seem to be obsessed! The more unusual, the more shimmery, pigmented, sparkling, or complex the colour, the more I love it. Meow Cosmetics’ PINK, Inc blushes are really gorgeous. They apply like a dream, they’re incredibly blendable, and they have just the barest hint of shimmer that really bring them to life. My favourite is definitely Slip. On site, it’s described as “bright warm coral PINK with a slight refreshing twist of citrus peach,” but it definitely reads as a light coral-y peach. I ordered it in the 10g size, though I sort of feel like I should have gotten the larger jar.

–and there you have it! Five items I fell absolutely head-over-heels for this month. Also, all $10USD or less.

What have you been loving this month? Products, foods, music, websites, events?

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

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