Review: Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer – Glitter in “Just Dance”

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I’ve been painting my nails for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, maybe five or six, I found a bottle of nail polish in the bathroom at my grandma’s house and gave myself my first manicure. It was a pearly mauve colour, and I thought it looked fabulous!

Since then, I’ve experimented with pretty much every colour and texture I can get my hands on. Over the years there have been a few things about nail polish that I’ve come to learn and accept as unalterable facts. I’m pretty sure some of these are scientific laws.

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My First Taste of Caviar…Pearls, That Is

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Here it is, folks: the latest look I’ve created with the Ciate Mini Mani Month set I bought last weekend. The feature shade is “Encore,” a creamy tomato red with a glossy finish. And, drumroll please…I finally got brave enough to try one of the Caviar Pearls. On the accent nail we have “Midnight in Manhattan.”

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Since this was my first foray into Caviar Pearls, I thought I would share with you some of the life lessons I learned along the way. It took me three tries to get a result I was satisfied with, so hopefully anyone else trying these for the first time can learn from my mistakes.

1) Always follow the directions. The directions said not to use a top coat over the pearls. I didn’t listen. The top coat dulls the pearly finish. Fail.

2) Patience is key. After applying the pearls, you’re supposed to pat them into place with your finger. The directions didn’t mention this, but it’s a good idea to wait a minute or two before patting. You want the polish to get a bit tacky first. On my first attempt, I patted right away and ended up rolling the pearls around in the wet polish, coating them in colour and spoiling the effect. Fail.

3) Shade choice matters. Looking at the bottles, I felt that the “Midnight in Manhattan” pearls (a mix of black, silver and blue) would look awesome paired with the tomato red “Encore.” And they do…but not on the same nail! When I applied the pearls directly on top of the tomato red, they clashed horribly. Fail. On my final attempt, I used black as the background for the pearls, and I’m much happier with the result.

So how do I feel about the pearls? I’ll keep experimenting with them, but I’m not completely sold. They’re certainly not foolproof, and without any sort of top coat to seal them in place, I doubt they’ll last very long. They do look interesting though, and the one thing I was most worried about turned out to be a non-issue. I was worried they would be impossible to control and make a terrible mess. Cleanup was actually the easiest part of the process. I used a tray to catch the overspill as I poured them onto the nail. Then, using the little funnel that came with the set, I poured the excess from the tray back into the bottle. No fuss, no muss.

“Encore,” by the way, is lovely. It’s smooth and glossy and shows up true-to-bottle after only one coat. It’s definitely brightening my mood on an otherwise dull winter day.

Ciate Mini Mani Month #2

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The next stop on my tour through Ciate’s Mini Mani Month set:  “Chinchilla,” an opaque blue-grey, paired with “Fit for a Queen,” a metallic silver.

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I really like both of these shades. Together they add up to a very wintery look that seems appropriate for this time of year.

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Which shades will I try next? I’m thinking maybe something a little brighter…stay tuned.

Better Late than Never: Ciate Mini Mani Month

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Behold, what I found on a recent power-shopping trip to Winners. A heavily discounted, but no less exciting, Ciate Mini Mani Month advent calendar. I scooped this up for a mere $15, and even though it’s too late for Christmas, I’m super excited about it.

So, am I going to open each door, day by day, until I’ve discovered all 24 surprises? Of course not. I tore into that sucker as soon as I got home and lined up all 24 bottles at once, admiring the range of colours and textures. You get 18 regular polishes and 6 of Ciate’s infamous textures: one glitter, one sequins and four caviar pearls.

Since I was too late to get in on the fun of using this as an advent calendar, I’m going to post pics of all 24 polishes and textures, as I try them, here on the blog.

First up is “Members Only,” a sheer peachy nude with gold micro-shimmer. It’s pretty, but very sheer and subtle. Personally, I prefer a bit more opacity, but this is great if you want a barely there look.

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Which one will I try next? Stay tuned. Do you have this set? Which polish is your favourite?

Midwinter Blues

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I always find late January-early February to be a difficult time of year. Every year, without fail, I get a case of the “Midwinter Blues.” It’s still dark and cold with lots of winter left until we see signs of spring. The excitement of the holidays is over, my birthday has passed, and now it’s just…winter. Maybe it’s seasonal seasonal affective disorder. Whatever it is, I’m working on finding ways to lift my mood, and what better way to do that than with luxury beauty products?

This little gem was a Christmas present from my sister, but unlike the rest of my gifts, I didn’t use it right away. I kept it in reserve, knowing that I was going to need something to cheer me up after the holidays.

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La Laque Couture in “Bleu Majorelle” by Yves Saint Laurent. This polish is pure heaven, an anti-depressant in luxury packaging. The shade is a rich cobalt, and the formula is smooth and glossy. I’d always heard good things about the YSL polishes, but this really is impressive. The brush is the perfect size and shape for ease of application, and the polish applies true-to-bottle in two coats without streaking.

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With nails this fabulous, who needs Prozac?