Haulage! The Ordinary by Deciem, Part I (March 2017)

DECIEM — The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Blemish Formula Review

Niacinamide was one of the first skincare products I ordered from DECIEM’s The Ordinary, and over the course of about four months, I used up a full 30 mL bottle.

The product’s full name is Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula, and it is meant to fade blemish spots, reduce skin congestion, and brighten skin tone.

DECIEM The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Blemish Formula

Here is DECIEM’s description of the product:

Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt of pyrrolidone carboxylic acid to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.

Contraindications: If topical Vitamin C is used as part of skincare, it should be applied at alternate times with this formula (ideally Vitamin C in the PM and this formula in the AM). Otherwise, Niacinamide can affect integrity of pure-form Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid).

Notes: While Niacinamide and Zinc PCA reduce the look of blemishes and balance visible sebum activity, neither is a treatment for acne. For persistent acne-related conditions, we recommend the use of Benzoyl Peroxide and/or Retinoic Acid. DECIEM doesn’t recommend ongoing use of BHA such as Salicylic Acid for persistent blemishes. For temporary improvement in appearance of blemishes, Salicylic Acid would help. This formulation can be used alongside acne treatments if desired for added visible skin benefits.

Independent studies suggest Niacinamide is also an effective ingredient for brightening skin tone.

As per instructions, I did not use any Vitamin C with Niacinamide; other studies have suggested that use of these two in conjunction on the skin may not be a problem—for example, the TIA’M Vitamin C serum I am using at the moment actually contains niacinamide, as well!). However, I wasn’t introducing any Vitamin C to my skincare routine at the time I was trying out the Niacinamide, so I did follow DECIEM’s recommendation by default.

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Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Rainbow Wishes (Sparkle Like a Unicorn Duo), swatch

Nails Inc. — Rainbow Wishes (Sparkle Like a Unicorn Nail Polish Duo) Swatch & Review

It’s Friday the 13th!

Bit of trivia: I have never seen a Friday the 13th movie! (Well, unless you count the crossover movie Freddy vs. Jason.) I think this month, I should catch up on my classic slasher films. I haven’t watched any horror movies this October, at all!

Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)

Collection: Nails Inc. 2017 Spring, Sparkle Like a Unicorn

Anyway, today’s polish is as far as you can get from horrifying. It’s from Nails Inc.’s Sparkle Like a Unicorn Nail Polish Duo. Pretty much everyone has jumped onto that shiny unicorn bandwagon, these days! I can’t say I hate it: I love me some iridescent nail polish, and purple and rainbows and stuff. Also, it’s produced My Little Pony makeup collaborations (yes, I have a mini set of the China Glaze MLP polishes, and I have the ColourPop MLP palette on order), so you’ll hear no complaints from me.

[Also, I woke up this morning to news from Nails Inc.: they’ve introduced another unicorn collection, Dirty Unicorns! (And my database link.)]

Today’s polish, Rainbow Wishes, is described by Nails Inc. as a “soft rainbow sheen.”

It is a very shimmery pearl that flashes blue, lavender, and pink.

Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Rainbow Wishes (Sparkle Like a Unicorn Duo)

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Julep Nail Color in Christi, swatch

Julep — Christi (Nail Color) Swatch & Review

Collection: Julep 2017 Fall, October “Trancing in the Moonlight”

It’s rare for me to find my name in a cosmetic item—even though I really do not have an uncommon English name—and I almost always buy a similar-named one when I see it. Over the years, I’ve picked up NARS Christina lipstick and nail polishes Zoya Christinna, NYX Christine, and Julep Chrissy and Christa. Only one of those is my actual name!

So, when Julep released a polish named Christi in their latest collection, I was thrilled to see that it was a color I liked, and included it in my October Maven Box. Julep calls it an “enchanted teal shimmer”. I don’t think it’s super-enchanting (somehow that evokes iridescence in my mind) but it’s hot stuff, nonetheless.

It’s a deep, vampy teal shimmer that leans a little more green—at least on me—though when I removed it, it looked very blue and stained my nails blue. These deep, rich blue shades always seem to stain horribly. Small price to pay for such gorgeousness, in my opinion.

Julep Nail Color in Christi

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Rebecca Minkoff, Small Soft Love Crossbody with Guitar Strap, in Beet

Happy National Handbag Day! Rebecca Minkoff — Small Soft Love Crossbody with Guitar Strap Review

Happy National Handbag, everybody!

Last month, I shopped a sale at Rebecca Minkoff (referral link—plus, code HANDBAG25 gets you 25% off selected styles, plus free duties and taxes to Canada, for today only!) and picked up two bags for my upcoming birthday (yes, yes, it was three months early, but sales this good don’t happen every month, y’know). The RM team had apparently been having customer service issues at the time—which I didn’t find out until after I placed the order, naturally—and I admittedly did have some issues with their website functionality. However, the order did go through properly, and my bags arrived promptly in Canada via BorderFree shipping. Maybe they’d gotten their act together by the time I ordered, but my order went smoothly.

I will mention one thing for Canadian customers: RM.com offers free international shipping with a US$300 order. But, when you switch over to the Canadian site with prices in Canadian dollars, they don’t tell you how much you need to spend. Now, it’s obviously my fault for submitting my order without checking to see if I was getting free shipping (d’oh!) but it turns out I had spent exactly US$299. I ended up paying CA$35 for shipping when I could easily have added a low-value item (not that there are loads of those at this store) to my shopping cart and gotten free shipping. Bleah! But, lesson learned. At least I did get CA$12 back via ebates.ca (referral link).

The sale was pretty awesome: I paid CA$197.06 for a Small Soft Love Crossbody with Guitar Strap in Beet, which had an original price of CA$295.04 (US$225), and CA$193.14 for a Geo Quilted Love Crossbody in Mushroom, which was originally CA$386.83 (US$295.)

Rebecca Minkoff Geo Quilted Love Crossbody in Mushroom, Small Soft Love Crossbody with Guitar Strap in Beet

I’ve not generally been a fan of many of Rebecca Minkoff’s newer styles, which are often a bit too inspired by popular luxury bags, and usually I just don’t think they look anywhere as nice as her more original designs (MAC, MAM, etc.).

The Love Crossbody is one exception. It’s clearly inspired by the immensely popular and immensely expensive Chanel Boy bag. But there’s something about RM’s take on it that really appeals to me, and much more so than the original bag does. Every time I see a Boy, I admire its luxe look, but gosh darn it, it looks ridiculously heavy! The Love Crossbody is a lot less expensive, and as such it doesn’t have that heavy, chunky hardware and thick leather. It has a more lightweight, playful vibe that I personally prefer. (It also doesn’t have the large in-your-face logo that the Chanel has.)

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Londontown Lakur Enhanced Colour in Emerald Tower, swatch

Londontown — Emerald Tower (Lakur Enhanced Colour) Review

Brand: Londontown

Londontown is, like butter LONDON, an American nail polish brand inspired by all things British, complete with British spelling and slang.

I recently came across a few Londontown shades, and picked up a couple for review. I’d heard of them before, as I they were offered by Ipsy a while back, though I sadly did not receive one.

Emerald Tower is described as a “creamy hunter green.” It’s a rich, ultra-dramatic shade of vampy green in a cream finish.

Londontown Lakur Enhanced Colour in Emerald Tower

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The Face Shop Trendy Nails Duo Marvel 2017 Collection, Spidy & Thunder Storm (Spider-Man & Thor)

The Face Shop — Thunder Storm (Trendy Nails Duo, Marvel Collection) Review

Collection: The Face Shop 2017 Summer, Marvel

Over the summer, The Face Shop released a collection of makeup and nail polish in collaboration with Marvel! The characters included in the nail polish were Black Widow, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor. Captain America’s logo was used for some of the makeup items (they were super cool-looking—kind of wish I’d picked up one of the palettes!). You can see the collection here.

I hadn’t tried The Face Shop’s nail polishes before, or any of their makeup at all, so I didn’t feel like going whole hog and ordering all four Trendy Nails Duos. I picked up two: Spidy (Spider-Man) and Thunder Storm (Thor). No idea why they didn’t just go with the original character names. And Spidey’s misspelled, to boot!

Anyway. The packaging is nice, and makes for collectible items:

The Face Shop Trendy Nails Duo Marvel Collection, Spider-Man and Thor

The Face Shop Trendy Nails Duo Marvel Collection, Spider-Man and Thor

Each Duo comes with two small bottles of polish.

The Face Shop Trendy Nails Duo Marvel Collection, Thunder Storm (Thor)

Thunder Storm (02) comes with a magenta and green flake topper (1) and a soft metallic gold (2).

Purple and green seems better suited to the Hulk, but for whatever reason they went with Thor, instead. I’d have gone with a silver and red flake for the Norse
god—seems more obvious, no?

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Sothys Nail Lacquer in Rouge des Arts, swatch

Sothys — Rouge des Arts (Nail Lacquer) Review

Collection: Sothys 2017 Fall

Sothys Paris is a French beauty brand that is sold primarily in beauty institutes and spas worldwide. I had never before tried their line of skincare and cosmetics, and was intrigued when I was contacted to review a few of the nail and makeup products from their Fall 2017 collection.

I was sent a Nail Lacquer (but of course!), Cream Blush, and Rouge Mat Velvet Effect Lipsticks for review. Today, I am reviewing my favorite of all beauty products, the nail polish!

Sothys Nail Lacquer in Rouge des Arts

As befits a luxury brand, Sothys’ cosmetic packaging is elegant. The Vernis/Nail Lacquer comes in a 5 mL glass bottle, which has a pleasing heft despite its smaller size.

Sothys (pronounced so-tees) is rather romantically named for the French form (Sothys) of the Greek translation (Sothis) of the ancient Egyptian name (Sopdet) for the brightest star seen in the Earth’s night sky. In English, we know the star as Sirius. Ain’t etymology cool?

The brand’s logo is a depiction of the Egyptian personification of Sopdet as a goddess.

The sole nail color (I think) in their Fall 2017 collection is a classic red cream, Rouge des Arts (310).

Red creams are perhaps my favorite of all nail colors, and this red is especially opulent and dense, a throwback to the 1930s. It is a vibrant, deep, true red that is perfect both day and night. The pigmentation is really excellent, and to me, that’s mainly what makes this a more luxurious polish.

Susan Hayward, 1930s.

Susan Hayward, 1930s.

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