A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Archive for June, 2012

A Fruity Manicure

nail designs from the m55 plate (fruit designs)

Over the past few months I’ve had three posts about Konad Nail Stamping.  Not that long ago I had a mini-haul and got a bunch of new plates and some new Konad Special Nail Polishes.  From that haul, one of the plates I was dying to try was the m55 stamping plate with a bunch of fruit designs on it.  I thought this was just too cute and couldn’t pass it up when I saw it.  Wouldn’t you say that it’s the perfect time of year to be sporting fresh fruit on your finger tips!?!?

bright multi-fruit manicure (nail stamping using the m55 plate)

The m55 plate from Konad has the following nail designs:

  • a bunch of Grapes
  • a slice of Watermelon
  • a cluster of Blueberries
  • a couple of Strawberries
  • a slice of Citrus (could be lime, lemon or orange depending on the colour you choose to paint it)
  • and half a kiwi
nail designs from the m55 plate (fruit designs)

This was my first time using the nail stamping plates where I had to use multiple colours of nail polish on the same design.  I wasn’t sure how well that would work out…but it was surprisingly easy.

fruit nail designs (nail stamping, plate m55)

Want to know how??  Let’s get started with the picture tutorial!

  1. Select a base colour of nail varnish for your nails.  Because I knew I was going to do multi-coloured fruit, I chose to use a white nail polish so I could have a blank canvas.  After all, I wanted the focus of this manicure to be on the fruit, not the base.  For this step, I used Paper Mache nail polish from Fingerpaints (available at Sally Beauty Supply).white nail polish to use as a base
  2. Let your base colour dry completely!  If your nails aren’t completely dry, when you push down on your nail with the stamp you might smear your base.)
  3. Next, lay your plate flat on a piece of paper towel and be sure to have your scraper, stamper and a cotton ball ready (your cotton ball should have some nail polish remover on it).nail stamping tutorial
  4. Using your Konad Special Nail Polishes, paint the designs in the colours you want your fruit.  You can see my example picture here for the blueberry design:How to: Nail Stamping
  5. Next, you want to grab your scraper and hold it at a 45 degree angle to the plate.  Swiftly swipe the extra polish off the plate.  This will leave a little bit of polish in the grooves of the design leaving you something that looks like this: nail stamping tutorial
  6. Quickly press the stamp down onto the design, transferring the design to your stamp.nail stamping tutorial
  7. Now, you want to either press, or roll the stamp across the surface of your nail.  This will transfer the design from the stamp to your nail.blueberry nail art (m55 nail plate)
  8. Grab your cotton swab, wipe clean the scraper, stamp and nail plate.
  9. Repeat for all nails.
Fruit Nail Artfunky nail art

So tell me, what do you think of this Fruity Manicure???  Do you have a favourite Konad nail plate you like to use for stamping?

nail designs using the m55 plate (fruit)

Thanks for reading!


Please check out my full Konad Nail Tutorial here.

***Konad nail stamping products can be purchased on-line at Konad Nail Art and at Nail Polish Canada.***

Green, Black, Blue, White, Purple and Red Special Konad Nail Polishes

a fun makeup look using only Drugstore products (for under $20)

After my 24 hour test of the Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow, I just had to grab a couple more colors when I saw they were on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart again for $4.99.

This time around, because I already knew I loved the product I opted for some brighter colors to have fun with.  I grabbed Edgy Emerald and Painted Purple.

Color Tattoo 24 hour eyeshadow review24 hour cream eyeshadows by Maybelline

The consistency of these two is much like Tough as Taupe.  They are creamy, smooth and glide on easily.

Edgy Emerald and Painted PurpleColor Tattoo 24 hr cream eyeshadows

The packaging for this product is fantastic – nice clear glass pots that allow you to see the colour easily in your mess collection while you are quickly trying to get ready.

24 hr color tattoo eyeshadows by Maybelline

As you can see from this swatch, the colours are rich and heavily pigmented.  They are easy to use and blend well together.  I was worried blending would be difficult (I don’t have much experience with cream shadows) but I was pleasantly surprised.  🙂

***I know lots of people who are used to purchasing higher end makeup are skeptical of this product immediately because of the price tag…and if that sounds like you, then you absolutely MUST check out my pictures and 24 hour test results here showcasing this products wear time and its quality.***

The drugstore I picked these up at had a sale on various cosmetics so I grabbed a mascara by L’Oreal that came with a bonus eyeliner.  You know me and free things….

The package for both was on sale for $6.99, down from it’s regular price of $9.99.

voluminous false fiber mascara

On the side of the packaging there is a little diagram showing how this mascara creates the effect of false lashes.  It also says “visuals are dramatized”.  🙂  At least they are honest about it.

Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara

The Voluminous False Lashes mascara itself comes in a highly reflective, twisted triangle shaped, gold container.

Loreal Mascara

The wand isn’t too bulky so it should work on the majority of eye shapes as well as those hard to reach lower lashes and inner corner lashes without making a mess.

Voluminous False Fiber Lashes

The bonus Voluminous eye liner comes in a sleek easy to handle tube, with a chisel felt tip.

Loreal Voluminous Eyeliner

chisel tip black eyeliner

Given the shape of the tip, you can actually use this eyeliner to create 3 different thicknesses quite easily.  Take a look at my swatch below:

Voluminous eyeliner swatch - black

As you can see, you have a lot of versatility with an eye liner that has a chisel tip like this one.

I thought it would be fun to create a quick eye makeup look using all four of these new products to see exactly what is possible for under $20.  Here is what I ended up with:

makeup look using Color Tattoo 24 hour cream eyeshadows (Edgy Emerald and Painted Purple)

I really love “Painted Purple” and “Edgy Emerald” together, I find they really compliment each other for a fun summery look.

teal and purple makeup look

What shades are your favourite from the Color Tattoo 24 hour collection?  Do you have cream shadows you prefer to this product?  AND tell me, what is your favourite drugstore mascara???

Thanks for reading!


Have a Heart

Flirty Tankini and Have a Heart nail polishes (how to make the perfect coral manicure)

After my “too dark for Spring” mani “Seduce Me“, I was ready for something bright, fun and refreshing.  I decided to go with a new neon I picked up from the China Glaze summer neon collection for 2012, “Flirty Tankini”.  This shade reminds me a bit of “Flip Flop Fantasy”, another neon by China Glaze (from their permanent collection).

Flirty Tankini is a super pretty coral neon with just the right amount of shimmer!

Flirty Tankini: indoors with flash

coral nail polish from China Glaze's 2012 neon collection for summer

Flirty Tankini: outdoors in natural daylight

I was dying to use my new top coat by Nicole that is a clear base with tiny little glitters and big chunky hearts (purchased at Wal-Mart for about $9).

Nicole by OPI - heart nail polish

If you are wanting a heart on each nail, be prepared to do some fishing to pull them out of the bottle.  It’s not overly convenient, but very much worth it in my opinion!

Nicole by OPI heart nail polish top coat

Because the hearts are so large, they will stick up off your nail a little bit.  Once I had them all in place, after about a minute I top coated again with this polish (avoiding the hearts) to help seal them into the manicure.  It really helped smooth out the texture on my nail and I’ve had no issues with any hearts falling off.

Have a heart nail polish from Nicole by OPI

Flirty Tankini and Have a Heart nail polishes

What do you think of this fun coral manicure?  Do you have a favourite from the China Glaze 2012 Summer Neon Collection?



Flirty Tankini and Have a Heart nail polishes (how to make the perfect coral manicure)

My first Lancome experience (haul and make-over)

So I had never been to a Lancome counter before and although I’d heard good things….there are so many options and alternatives out there, it just never became a priority for me to try.  Or at least that was the case until about a week ago and my husband and I were in the mall and I stumbled my way into Sears.  I’m such a sucker for “Gift With Purchase” promotions and I’m all for the so-called “free” product.  For this promotion you needed to spend $45 before tax and you would receive a customized kit with varying products.

They also happened to have a makeup artist on site that day and offered a full makeup trial at no charge so I could see what sorts of product I might be interested in.  I’m all for trying new things, so away we went.

When choosing colors for a look, I gravitated towards the Emerald Boudoir eye palette.  The color scheme didn’t strike me as typical and even though I have all of those shades of shadows at home I never would’ve thought to put them together…so I was eager to see what it would look like.

I ended up really loving the combination of the peach and the green together.  It was soft and subtle because of the neutral browns but still had pops of color to make it a bit more exciting.  What do you think?

Lancome makeup look

makeup look using lancome makeup

In order to get the “free gift” I purchased two items.

Lancome purchase

My Lancome Haul: I purchased the two items on the left and received everything on the right as my gift

The first item I purchased was the lipstick from the make-over look above.  It is from Lancome’s “Rouge in Love” collection – shade 240M (Rose En Deshabille).  This collection of lipsticks boasts high potency color, 6 hour wear and a featherlight feel.  This shade in particular is a very soft and subtle pink that I see myself getting a lot of use out of.

lancome lipsticklipstick swatch on lips

The second being “Pure Focus exfoliator“, an oil free deep pore refining scrub with micro beads.  To be used only 2-3 times a week Pure Focus unclogs and tightens pores while leaving your skin soft and matte.  I have been using it for a week now and so far I absolutely love the feel of this scrub!

Pure Focus Oil Free Exfoliator

When it came time to checkout we started the process of putting together the GWP.

Sears Gift with Purchase 2012 - Lancome

Every customer gets a good sized sample of the Flash Bronzer.  At 60ml this is just under half the size of the full sized version available for purchase at $38.00 CAD.  Flash Bronzer is a tinted self tanning leg gel with pure vitamin E.  I haven’t tried it yet out of fear of ending up orange or streaky, but a fellow beauty blogger gave me the best tip.  She said to mix it with lotion so the pigment isn’t so strong and apply it to your leg that way for a more natural look.  Thanks Rebecca!  Now I am actually looking forward to trying it.

You had a choice of two eye creams.  I got the Genifique Eye Cream , a youth activating eye concentrate to be patted daily over the brow bone and under eye area.  At 7g, this is also just under half the size of the full sized version, which is available for purchase at $80.00 CAD.

You also had a choice of two face creams.  I got the Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Sunscreen, a high potency daily moisurizing cream that is enriched with vitamins.  This sample is 15g, about one-third the size of the full sized version, which is available for purchase at $58.00 CAD.

Bienfait Multi-Vital spf 30 sunscreendaily moisturizing cream by Lancome

For the cosmetic side of things, you could choose between a mascara/makeup remover or an eyeshadow palette (all sample size).  I opted for the set of 4 eyeshadows.

Daylight – matte

Fashion Admirer – matte

Off the Rack – metallic

Little Blue Dress – shimmer

Lancome GWP eyeshadow

And last but not least, for lips, you could choose between a lipstick or a juicy tube.  I grabbed a lipstick “Designer Bloom”, with a sheen finish.  You can see it here, swatched next to my 240M shade that I purchased.

240M Rose En Deshabille Lipstick swatch

Left: 240M Rose en Deshabille
Right: Designer Bloom

Each gift was also made complete with a spring colored reversible tote-bag that all of your items were neatly tucked away in when you left.  Given the value of this gift with purchase, I couldn’t have been happier with my Lancome haul.  Out of the products I have tried so far, there have been no disappointments at all and I look forward to trying the rest.

And even though I don’t believe Sears still has the Gift with Purchase event on for Lancome anymore…their website www.lancome.ca has a promotion right now that is similar.  (Spend $50.00 and get a sample gift valued at $129.00, for complete details, please click here.)  Be sure to enter the promo code RADIANCE upon check out to take advantage of this great offer.

Are you a big Lancome addict?  What is your favourite product from them that you can’t live without?



Headband Curls (my first attempt and my failure)

So, I was perusing around on youtube and I found a very cool tutorial on how to get curls by using only a stretchy headband (a no-heat method).  You should all have an idea of my laziness when it comes to hair after my last hair post: How to get a full head of crimped hair (in 10 minutes or less).  So when I saw this tutorial, I just couldn’t wait to try it.

The tutorial:

My attempt:

long dark hairhow to get curls using only a headbandheadband curls

My results:

curls using only a headbandmy headband curls first attempt

As you can see, aside from the hair around my face (where my shorter layers are) and the very ends of my hair, it didn’t do much of anything other than create a bit of a soft wavy look.

I’ve seen reports of other people that have thick hair struggling with this technique as well.  So I am thinking that was my issue.

But if your hair isn’t super thick, I hope you give it a try and let me know how it goes!  Lots of people use this daily and rave about the results, so I hope you are one of the people that has success with this no-heat technique for getting curls!



P.S. I have yet to try the sock-bun method for getting overnight curls.  Has anyone with thick hair tried it and had it work for them?

Seduce Me

china glaze nail polish swatch - seduce me

Just a quick post to rave about “Seduce Me”, my favourite nail polish at the moment.  It is a gorgeous creme shade from China Glaze’s permanent collection.  You can purchase it at sallybeauty.com (or in store), it should also be available anywhere else China Glaze polishes are sold (Cosmoprof, Nail Polish Canada, etc).

creme berry nail polish

I would say that the colour itself is best described as a creamy berry shade.  It is a deep rich berry pink/red with no shimmer or glitter.  (Imagine Sexy Silhouette, but as a creme polish.)  It is certainly a cool-toned colour, but given that it isn’t too dark or too bright, every skin tone should be able to pull this one off.

china glaze nail polish swatch - seduce me

What I love most about this shade is that the coverage is excellent.  You can almost get away with one coat, but in order to achieve a perfectly opaque and even look, you will need two.

creme berry polish

Even though this is probably a nail polish better suited for fall or winter I am absolutely in love with it and I don’t care what season we are in!  I love that it is bold, without being over the top – that is exactly what I want out of a versatile nail polish that is suitable for all occasions.

berry creme nail polish

What is your favourite nail polish right now that you can’t get enough of?



Feeling Dramatic? (eye makeup tutorial)

dramatic eye makeup

I believe everyone knows by now that I love playing with bold and bright makeup, but I also have a lot of fun with dark and dramatic makeup as well.

I wanted to use one of my MAC pigments that I hadn’t gotten around to trying out yet, the Gold (pro) metallic shade.  And I ended up with this dark golden cranberry look.

metallic eye makeup

It is a very dramatic makeup look and not very suitable for day, but perfect for a night out.

eye makeup look using Gold (pro) MAC pigment

Let’s take a look at how to create this look:

eye makeup tutorial

*follow any of the links below for swatches, where to buy and other shades available*

  1. As always, fill in your brows first to help frame the area.  I used Mystery eyeshadow by MAC Cosmetics for this.
  2. Prime your lid and all the way up to your crease.  I used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.  It is super important to use a primer if you want long wear time and to avoid creasing.  Your shadows will also apply more vibrantly and stay true throughout the day/night.
  3. Using a flat eyeshadow brush, dab the Gold pigment all over your lids (from the inside of the eye to the outside of the eye).
  4. Using the same brush (brush off the gold first on a kleenex) use your Cranberry eyeshadow throughout the crease and up onto your brow bone.
  5. Then, using a fluffy crease brush, lightly dust a true black gently back and forth through your crease.  For this, I used Corrupt eyeshadow by Makeup Geek.  I’ve never seen a black so black!
  6. I then highlighted my brow bone and inner corner of my eye using Zephyr eyeshadow by Urban Decay, a shimmery white.
  7. Using the same Gold pigment again, I went and lightly smudged it below my lower lashes.
  8. For eyeliner I used Master Precise Felt Tip Liquid Liner (available at Ulta in the US and at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada) on my lid and Blacktrack Fluidline by MAC on my waterline.
  9. Finish the look with at least two coats of mascara (remember we are going for dark and dramatic here).  I used Clinique’s High Impact Mascara.
  10. (Optional) Add false eyelashes to your look.  I used #305 accent lashes by Ardell.  (They are only on the outside corners)

how to create gold and black eye makeup look
How to get the rest of this look:

Face > For my under eye concealer I used Erase Paste by benefit in shade No.1.  Then, all over I used Makeup Forever HD Foundation in shade #118 topped with MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed Powder in shade Light Plus.

Cheeks > Margin Blush by MAC Cosmetics

Lips > Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polishin shade Leslie

Hair > I used a 1″ Bombshell Curling rod by Sultra to create the long waves.  I love to use this on my hair, because your hair keeps its length as opposed to using a curling iron or a straightener where you get ringlets and your hair shrinks up several inches.

Golden dramatic makeup look

What do you think?  Do you see yourself ever wearing a look like this?  If not, what would you change?

Thanks for reading!



dramatic makeup look