Friday, December 31, 2021

Nails ~ Purple snowflakes

Ok the snowflakes are not really purple. That's just a song stuck in my head. But yes, purple nail polish and snowflakes go great together.

2 coats - Sun

I made a newbie mistake and applied the stickers when the polish was not fully dry. Some corners got wrinkles. Luckily, it wasn't too obvious on the pics. This is why I had to take off the whole thing from the index and pinky. The good thing is that this purple circle glitter looks like baubles to me, and the whole thing matches the NYE look.

2 coats - Sun

However, this Anna Sui nail polish has a really weird applicator in place of a brush. I understand what they were trying to do, and this makes it easier to pick up single glitter pieces and place them in specifics parts of the nail, but I liked this polish enough to wear it on its own on the whole nail, and without the brush it was very challenging. Anyway, I had never encountered something like this, when you open it there's no brush, just a plastic applicator that has a bulb at the end. They call it a "drop-shaped chip applicator". Reinventing the wheel here.

2 coats - Sun

2 coats - Shade

I'm loving the contrast between the silver holo and the metallic sheen of this polish, as well as the added purple metallic glitter. I was really excited to see that they made a purple version of Anna Sui 300, which is one of my all-time favorites.

2 coats - Sun

This combo is going to be my go-to for many years to come, especially because using stickers is such a time saver. I think this would look great with gold snowflakes over a navy foil or a dark violet multichrome, while making the other two nails have a gold holo glitter gradient.

2 coats - Sun close-up

Layering Order:
Kokoist Mega Stick Base Coat  Gel
Kokoist Excel Builder Gel
Essie Smooth-E Base Coat
2 coats China Glaze Holee Shift!
1 coat Color Club Alter Ego (middle and ring)
2 coats Anna Sui 210 Purple Punch and dotted on the sides of the snowflakes
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Top Coat

💜--------------------------------------------------💜

This is what the polish looks like without the stickers.

2 coats - Sun

I like Alter Ego at 3 coats or over a gunmetal polish to make it look really dark. At two coats, it still looks patchy to me.

2 coats - Sun

I love this oldie but goodie nail polish. I think I purchased it at a Bed Bath and Beyond that used to sell the whole range of Color Clubs many years ago. They used to have such amazing colors, and I believe their main brand, Forsythe Cosmetic Group, made amazing polishes for other companies like Urban Outfitters. But don't quote me on that.

2 coats - Shade

I like to wear metallics and chromes in the Winter, especially on New Year's.

2 coats - Sun

Layering Order:
Kokoist Mega Stick Base Coat  Gel
Kokoist Excel Builder Gel
Essie Smooth-E Base Coat
2 coats China Glaze Holee Shift!
1 coat Color Club Alter Ego
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Top Coat


Where to buy in the US:

Sally and Rite Aid sell China Glaze, but I bought mine from What's Up Nails. I purchased the Anna Sui directly from their US website, the shipping was ok. Color club can be purchased directly through their website, although I think this one is discontinued. The snowflakes are still available at Daily Charme, they have a wide range of stickers for the holidays.

Fine Print: If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, typos, different opinions, etc. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor a nail tech, nor an aesthetician, so please take everything with a grain of salt. Actually, take anything found on the internet with a grain of salt <3

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Makeup ~ Decorte Marcel Wanders Face Powder 2018

A while back, I was on the quest to find a good setting powder that didn't dry my skin at the end of the day. I was using a lot of acids (BHA, AHA) to tame some stress-related acne, and I realized that skincare alone was not cutting it.

The 2018 Decorte MW Face Powder cover is made with the designer's signature blue ming, and it resembles Italian brocato art in a mosaic-like pattern

At the time, I was really into makeup, and I was always looking for stuff that had skincare in it, or mild ingredients that wouldn't irritate my skin. I found a couple of hybrid (skincare within makeup) brands that I love up to this day, such as 100% Pure and Rituel de Fille.  At the time, I was still using the staple face powder that everyone uses by Laura Mercier. Then, I bought the Jill Stuart loose powder and immediately made the switch. I was really happy with it, but I wanted something pressed that I could use on the go. The Marcel Wanders 2018 was not it, as it proved to be too heavy for my makeup bag. Nevertheless, I really liked it, and I plan to repurchase it when I run out. It seems to be a recurring theme, as I noticed that most years the packaging is rather bulky. This is a collectors piece, and meant to be sturdy and long-lasting, I guess. As an example, this is this year's powder (2021):

source

I had to do a lot of research before narrowing it down to this. The price was a bit over the top (~$250) and the packaging seemed almost too pretty to use. Luckily, I stumbled upon Everglow Cosmetics, a legit website that delivers items from Japan in a timely manner. This was back at the end of 2018, beginning of 2019. I literally had to stalk the website, because this is a limited, highly coveted item, that apparently they make few sets of every year.

The box comes with 2 powders, one is inside the case, and the other one (left) is the refill

I was already familiar with Decorte, since I had tried some of their eye shadows (reviewed here), so I trusted the brand. I was not familiar with the designer, Marcel Wanders, but I fell in love with the packaging and the ingredients.

Ingredients in English for the Decorte Marcel Wanders Face Powder 2018

Luckily, the quality of the powder met the quality of the gorgeous case. The performance was better than the Laura Mercier one, but not entirely perfect. I still prefer the Jill Stuart for my eye area, as it is more seamless. This Decorte powder is finely milled, but for some reason, it looks cakey when I apply it on my eye lids and under the eyes. I have to use a special brush, and make sure to use it very lightly. Aside from the SPF 15, I like that it is very moisturizing, meaning that my face feels soft throughout the day, and after a long day, I wash it and it feels like I wasn't wearing any makeup at all.

The powder also comes with a puff applicator and a velvet pouch

The color is not very inclusive, in that it is pale, and there are no other options for purchasing a different shade. I am unsure if this was meant to be a setting powder or a finishing powder, but to me it performs as both. If I pack it on too heavily with the puff that is included with it, I do look somewhat ghostly. So again, I have to tread carefully. My favorite way to use it is with a wide tapered Hakuhodo powder brush; just a few taps and gentle swipes over my sunscreen. It acts as a great setting powder over my 100% Pure foundation, but sometimes I have to add a bronzer in some areas afterwards. I mean, it depends, because if I'm going out at night, it looks flawless, but for using it during the day, here in the California sun, it may look really white sometimes.

The texture is a finely milled whiteish powder

I think that would be my only complaint: the color, Other than that, this piece of art is worth every penny. It is as soft as silk, and it just looks magical in pictures. It really lasts all day, so I don't really need to carry it around for retouch, and my skin does not feel or look oily after many hours. It sets the concealer, suncscreen, or foundation, and does not transfer, etc. The flowery scent is wonderful, sort of like lilies, but not quite like Anna Sui roses or loud violets a la Guerlain. I wear it all day and never get bored of the scent.

Arm swatch indoor lighting, top is bare forearm, while bottom is with the powder

The dent I made on the powder after a couple of years, I have not even started the refill yet

It won't cover the bigger pores, but it does a great job at evening out the skin tone. The finish is not shimmery whatsoever, it is actually on the matte side, without looking dull or overdone. The texture is velvety, and it imparts a glow from within, which looks really natural. The coverage is what I would expect from any translucent powder. Once in a while, I layer it over other setting powders to use it as a finishing powder, and it does make a tiny enough difference on the surface of my face. It kind of makes it all look put together. When I do this, I use a different brush that is not as dense as the Hakuhodo, or I lightly tap with the puff that is included in the set. Overall, I believe this was a good investment for me.

Where to buy in the US:
Best bet is Everglow around Christmas time.

Fine Print: If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, typos, different opinions, etc. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor a nail tech, nor an aesthetician, so please take everything with a grain of salt. Actually, take anything found on the internet with a grain of salt <3

Friday, December 24, 2021

Nails ~ Teal, Gold, and Red

Well, now that Thanksgiving and Halloween are a distant memory, it's time to start doing my nails with Holiday themes :) love this time of the year.

2 coats - Sun

I first realized that teal and red go well together when I did a valentines day mani with Dior Nymphea. I wanted to try to capture that here. Seems romantic and girly.

2 coats - Sun

Dare To Wear glitters have lived in my stash for as long as I can remember. Although they do get a little bit thick, thinner revives them. I think it's been 10 years or so. I am always amazed at the longevity of some of my nail polishes. The trick is to check them often, shake them from time to time, and store them away from the light.

2 coats - Sun/Shade

I like rearranging my polishes, it seems to bring me a new perspective every time I do it, and it stirs up nostalgia, since each one has a story. I am definitely one of those nuts with a polish spreadsheet. It's the only way I avoid buying dupes.

2 coats - Sun flare

I have to keep practicing nail art. I think I had like a two year hiatus, and now I'm feeling like an amateur with this mani (compared to this one from 2019). Baby steps, and I know practice makes perfect.

2 coats - Sun

Layering Order:
Kokoist Mega Stick Base Coat  Gel
Kokoist Excel Builder Gel
Essie Smooth-E Base Coat
2 coats China Glaze She's So Extra Terrestrial
2 coats Dare To Wear Strobe Lights (middle and ring only)
Gold trees, green tree, red star, and red candy cane decals (glitter in pots)
Teal medium hexagons (ring only)
Seche Vite Top Coat


Where to buy in the US:
This Dare To Wear glitter has been discontinued, but they have very nice colors on their website. Sally and Rite Aid sell China Glaze, but I bought mine from What's Up Nails, because they ship super fast. The decals can be found at some Nail Supply stores, Etsy, or Glitter Unique.

Fine Print: If you find something wrong with this post, please let me know, broken links, typos, different opinions, etc. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor a nail tech, nor an aesthetician, so please take everything with a grain of salt. Actually, take anything found on the internet with a grain of salt <3