Monthly Archives: October 2013

China Glaze – Autumn Nights Fall 2013 Collection, part 1

CG Autumn Nights pt. 1 opener

 

The Fall offerings from China Glaze, have got to be my favourites – and this year’s version does NOT disappoint. The 12-piece collection is broken up into two themes: the 6 shades of the ‘Strike Up A Cosmo’ set (shown here today), and my upcoming post which will spotlight the 6 hues of ‘Gossip Over Gimlets’. With rich, jewel-toned hues and mega-what shine, there’s a whole lot of gorgeousness going on here.


CG Autumn Nights pt. 1

China Glaze – Autumn Nights ‘Strike Up A Cosmo’


CG Autumn Nights pt. 1 B

Autumn Nights – Autumn Nights ‘Strike Up A Cosmo’

 

Strike Up A Cosmo – a deep rose-gold foil hue with mauve undertones as well as some copper and gold glitter shards thrown in,  in an amazing formula: great coverage even by the first coat, self levelling and brush stroke free. Absolutely brilliant sparkle at the finish, plus this shade is so totally trending right now. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Strike Up A Cosmo swatch

China Glaze – Strike Up A Cosmo


CG Strike Up A Cosmo swatch 2

China Glaze -Strike Up A Cosmo

 

Red-y & Willing – a deeply saturated ruby/garnet hue, with an almost “glowy” kind of effect, in a formula that was very easy to work with – although it does have the potential to be slightly staining (don’t skip the base coat here). Self levelling and bearing a glossy finish, I had some issues with the brush on my bottle – I’m guessing it’s an isolated incident, because the rest of the collection was fine. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Red-y & Willing swatch

China Glaze – Red-y & Willing


CG Red-Y & Willing swatch 2

China Glaze – Red-y & Willing

 

Don’t Make Me Wine – a luxuriously rich magenta hue with an inner amethyst shimmer, bearing an excellent formula that applies in a self levelling manner, leaving a high gloss behind. Strongly pigmented and with that ‘glowing centers/darker edges’ look that I love, there’s also the added bonus of it being non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Don't Make Me Wine swatch

China Glaze – Don’t Make Me Wine


CG Don't Make Me Wine swatch 2

China Glaze – Don’t Make Me Wine

 

Scandalous Shenanigans – a true sapphire hue with a matching pearly shimmer, bearing a violet undertone. This highly pigmented formula can almost be a 1-coater, and application couldn’t be easier: brush stroke-free, self levelling and with a nice shine at the finish. There’s definitely a stain potential with this shade, so do not skip your base. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Scandalous Shenanigans swatch

China Glaze – Scandalous Shenanigans


CG Scandalous Shenanigans swatch 2

China Glaze – Scandalous Shenanigans

 

Tongue & Chic – an intense viridian hue with a matching shimmer, and is a true 1-coater (it’s THAT colour saturated). Self levelling and über glossy at the finish, there is a slight stain potential with this shade as well – make sure to apply your base first. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Tongue & Chic swatch

China Glaze – Tongue & Chic


CG Tongue & Chic swatch 2

China Glaze – Tongue & Chic

 

Goldie But Goodie – an antiqued gold/pale bronze complex hue, that’s jam-packed with golden/bronze micro shimmer, as well as larger copper and gold glitter flecks – not quite a foil, nor a glittery shimmer, but a hybrid of the two finishes & very unique. An amazing formula with a super easy application, the self-levelling formula leaves no visible brush strokes, and finishes in a ridiculously brilliant shine. Some migration of the fine shimmer upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


CG Goldie But Goodie swatch

China Glaze – Goldie But Goodie


CG Goldie But Goodie swatch 2

China Glaze – Goldie But Goodie

 

The 2 foils of this group are in a word: outstanding! The other 4 shades all seem to have this hypnotic “glow” and are so incredibly colour saturated, but other than ‘Don’t Make Me Wine’, need a bit more preparation to avoid any staining issues. That being said, if jewel-tones are your weakness, you should definitely check these beauties out.

Available now wherever China Glaze products are sold, or feel free to follow via online, twitter or facebook for all updates.


CG Autumn Nights pt. 1 C

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

DAVIDsTEA – The Holiday Collection (A Box of Festivity)

DAVIDsTEA Holiday Collection opener

 

Something very different on the blog today, but no less having to do with beauty; from the artful arrangement of the tea tins, to the elegant details on the mug, there is something very soothing and personal about brewing your favourite cup of tea – perhaps to enjoy as you paint your nails, or create a lovely makeup look. See how I tied it all together?!

As a lifelong coffee lover, I confess to having had the occasional fling with tea, but those brief dalliances were never enough to keep me from heading back into the arms of my beloved coffeemaker. The upcoming launch of 8 holiday-inspired teas from DAVIDsTEA, just might be the ticket to my conversion. Not giving up on coffee … just making more room for tea.


David's Tea box set

DAVIDsTEA – The Holiday Collection


David's Tea ingredients

DAVIDsTEA – The Holiday Collection (click to enlarge & view the ingredients breakdown)


David's Tea Holiday open box

The Holiday Collection (CAD $19.50 127 g/4.4oz) – from the left: Gingerbread, Sleigh Ride, and Santa’s Secret. The three flavours have individual brewing instructions conveniently written on the underside of each tin.


Davod's Tea Holiday 3 tins

DAVIDsTEA – The Holiday Collection


David's Tea Holiday Santa's Secret

Santa’s Secret (black tea) – made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (as in the same plant that produces the heady Camellia – the beloved flower of Mlle. Coco CHANEL), black tea is renowned for its longevity, lasting easily several years before going stale, as well as having been long prized for its many curative properties. The first thing I noticed upon opening the tin, is a yummy chocolatey scent with a soft hint of candy-cane, although the peppermint leaves seem more dominant after infusing. Caffeine level: medium


DSC_0189David's Tea Holiday Santa's Secret 2

DAVIDsTEA – Santa’s Secret (black tea)


David's Tea Holiday Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride (fruit infusion) – The combination of sweet (coconut, roasted almonds, raisins, and cinnamon), tangy (pineapple, papaya, and apple), and unexpected (hibiscus blossoms, beetroot, and popped rice,) comes together in perfect harmony with this infusion; it’s very hard to pin down any one dominant note upon the first sniff. The directions state to let this tea steep anywhere from 5-7 minutes, but I found a shorter time produced a more balanced flavour (its tart/tangy side becomes quite pronounced with a longer steep time). Caffeine level: none


David's Tea Sleigh Ride 2

DAVIDsTEA – Sleigh Ride (fruit infusion)


David's tea Holiday Gingerbread

Gingerbread (rooibos) – the rise in popularity of this African staple (which is actually a bush) lies in its high anti-oxidant levels and many curative properties. The mix of common red rooibos (oxidized leaves), and the more demanding green rooibos (unoxidized leaves), combined with the warmer flavours of cinnamon & ginger, creates a unique “perfect for the holidays” kind of drink. My first impression upon opening the tin, was more carrot cake than gingerbread, but either way, it’s totally DELICIOUS. Caffeine level: none


David's Tea Holiday Gingerbread 2

DAVIDsTEA – Gingerbread (rooibos)


David's Tea Holiday Perfect Mug

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’


David's Tea Holiday Perfect Mug contents

The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (CAD $19.50) – this set comes as shown: a 12 oz mug in the elegant ‘Silver-Berries’ pattern with a turquoise interior that totally reminds me of another favourite (ahem… Tiffany & Co.), a stainless steel fine-mesh infuser that fits perfectly in the mug with a convenient tab for easy removal, and a matching lid that can also double as a plate to hold the infuser once you’re done steeping your tea.


David's Tea Holiday mug

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’


David's Tea Holiday infuser

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (with infuser)


David's Tea Holiday mug & tea

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver Berries’ (with Gingerbread tea)


David's Tea mug & tea 2

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (with Gingerbread tea)


David's Tea mug & tea 3

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (with Gingerbread tea)


David's Tea Holiday lid

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (with matching lid)


David's Tea Holiday infuser out

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’


David's Tea Holiday mug & lid

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug ‘Silver-Berries’ (lid detail)


David's Tea Holiday Perfect Mug & tea

DAVIDsTEA – The Perfect Tea Mug

 

From the three teas in this collection, Gingerbread is my hands down favourite – from the warm & cozy aroma, to the smooth taste, I can’t get enough. Santa’s Secret is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up (but not late afternoon, as it does have caffeine), and even though Sleigh Ride didn’t exactly ring my bell (sorry … I couldn’t resist!), it’s perfect for those with fruitier-leaning taste buds. In case none of the blends here grab your fancy, there’s also a limited edition 5-piece set, The Winter Collection (CAD $27.50) with Coffee Cake, Spiced Fig, White Chocolate Frost, Alpine Punch, and Choconut Oolong.

Available at all DAVIDsTEA locations and online as of November 1, 2013. Do let the staff help you create the perfect gift for the tea lover on your list!


David's Tea Holiday closer

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred

GA Four Hundred opener

 

With the recent launch of the Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquers (read an earlier review here), there was one shade I knew I absolutely had to have: #400 Four Hundred, in the brand’s signature red colour. Lush, intense, and drop-dead sexy, this shade epitomizes what this beauty range is all about: decadent perfection. My detail-oriented/beauty-obsessed self is so, so happy …


GA Four Hundred box

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA Four Hundred label

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA Four Hundred cap

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA Four Hundred

#400 Four Hundred  (CAD $32.00/6 ml 0.2 fl. oz) – The. Most. Perfect.Red.EVER. or as I prefer to think of it: “One red to rule them all” (intentionally shameless LOTR rip-off). Leaning neither too warm nor cold, neither blue based nor orange toned, this formula almost has mind-reading properties. Ok, well maybe not exactly, but it does bear a superior flow and density, applying in a completely self levelling manner, and leaving an ultra insane high gloss shine at the finish – adding top coat would be basically overkill. Best part: 100% non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat (for photo purposes only)


GA #400 Four Hundred swatch

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA #400 Four Hundred swatch 2

Giorgio Armani Nail lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA #400 Four Hundred swatch 3

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred


GA Four Hundred & Deluxe Samples

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #400 Four Hundred and deluxe samples – it pays to befriend your counter sales agents!

 

I do believe I may have found my Holy Grail red crème lacquer in Giorgio Armani’s #400 Four Hundred. I can’t praise this shade enough, especially where the formula & colour are concerned. The price, on the other hand, is less than desirable – especially when you factor in that it’s basically half the size of conventional bottles of nail polish. That being said, if there’s only one shade you pick up from this brand, then make this the ONE.

I bought this at Holt Renfrew, Montréal


GA Four Hundred closer

Demeter Fragrance Library – Winter & Holiday Classics

Demeter Winter & Holiday opener 2

 

Have you ever sniffed something that instantly produced a memory? That’s what Demeter Fragrances are all about, and to that end, they have compiled an impressive list of “memories” in their Fragrance Library – over 240, in fact (you can read an earlier review here). These single note scents are meant to be worn however one wishes, whether singly or layered, and as their lasting power is not excessive, you can basically change them up to match your mood.

With the holidays looming ever closer (I know, right? ALREADY!), it’s never too late to start thinking of gift ideas, and with the Demeter Winter & Holiday Collection of scents, you can extend the spirit of the season long after the last gift has been unwrapped!


Demeter Winter & Holiday opener

Demeter Fragrance Library – Winter & Holiday Classics


Demeter Winter & Holiday

Demeter Fragrance Library – Snow, Sugar Cookie, Mahogany


Demeter Winter & Holiday 2

Demeter Fragrance Library – Gingerbread, Egg Nog,Christmas Tree

 

What I love about these fragrances, is that they smell EXACTLY like what they’re named – no confusing or overwhelming mish-mash of scents, although I do have a soft spot for unique and complex fragrances as well — just not for every day. The best part? Their wallet-friendly price points means you can more than afford to indulge in several … not to mention how they’ll make amazing stocking stuffers!

Demeter Fragrances have no binders, emulsifiers, artificial colours or phthalates and are made with alcohol naturally fermented from corn.

Suggested Retail Price: CAD $15.00/30 ml for the Cologne Spray and available at select Loblaw banner store locations, or you can order online (products ship to Canada)


Snow Background

snowflake source

*Disclosure: Product samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration

Giorgio Armani – #705 Black Petrol Lacquer

GA Black Petrol opener

 

Upon spotting the new Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquers a few weeks ago, I think I may have stood rooted to the spot for a few moments, simply taking it all in. Then the dilemma: which shade to pick up first? After going back & forth between the 18 shades, I decided on #705 Petrol – as much for name, as the colour – an inky, swirling, mysterious & chameleon-like shade.

This new range of lacquers is reported to boast a new shiner & longer-lasting formula than conventional polish, with no need for either a base or a top coat, although I personally would not recommend skipping the base.


GA Black Petrol box

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol label

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol ingredients

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol (ingredients list)

GA Black Petrol cap

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA Black Petrol 2

#705 Black Petrol (CAD $32.00/6 ml USD 20.00/ 0.2 fl.oz) – A blackened teal base bearing an ultra finely ground emerald and sapphire shimmer, in a formula with AMAZING viscosity & flow: this beauty stays exactly where placed, with no cuticle pooling, or dragging. The wide & flat paddle-style brush has an excellent density to the bristles, although my brush here did have a couple of wonky hairs (easily remedied by trimming, although at this price, I shouldn’t have to, right?) and I found the length of the wand very easy to use. Totally self-levelling and with a natural high-gloss shine at the finish, there’s almost an ombré effect seen in some lighting – with this shade looking darker around the edges of the nail, and a glowing center. BONUS: completely non-staining upon removal. Coats applied: 2, plus top coat


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch 2

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch 3

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol


GA #705 Black Petrol swatch macro

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol (detail)


GA Black Petrol 3

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer – #705 Black Petrol

 

Somehow, I’m not surprised at the exceptional quality of this lacquer; everything Mr. Armani touches, seems to be very carefully thought out, with no detail spared. The range, while not huge, does have the basics: nudes, paler pinks, reds, corals, wine, and a few unique colours, as well as varying finishes – from crème, pearly/opalescent, shimmer and even duo chrome. My biggest complaint? The Canadian price. I cannot even begin to comprehend how these polishes are $12.00 more here, and while I am impressed with the line, that alone is almost enough to keep me away. Except for the fact that I’ve already caved and picked up one more. But that’s it. I swear. Maybe…

I bought this item at Holt Renfrew, Montréal.


GA Black Petrol closer