Zoya Professional Lacquer in Temperance (mini), swatch

Zoya — Temperance (Professional Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: Zoya 2015 Summer, Mystery Trio

Zoya occasionally releases Mystery Trio nail polish sets, and I don’t often get a chance to pick them up since the Canadian shipping cost can be a bit high for my liking. However, back in April, Zoya ran one of their Earth Day Exchange and I was able to get some of their “fun size” mini lacquers at 3 for $10. Temperance, from their 2015 Summer Mystery Trio,  was one of the options and I snapped it up.

I actually swatched this last week, but accidentally deleted the photos in my coffee-deprived stupor. This morning, I got fully drenched in the downpour here in Toronto and was inspired to pick up a rainy day shade for today’s blog post.

Temperance (ZP8102R) is described by Zoya as a “cool medium gray with a pink shimmer”. This is pretty spot-on, except I find that the pink has a magenta tint to it, possibly because of the cool tone of the surrounding gray.

Zoya Professional Lacquer in Temperance (mini)

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Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Cream for Face SPF50

Shiseido — Ultra Sun Protection Cream for Face (SPF50) Review

I’ll be very honest here: I never really bothered to use sunscreen—unless I was at the beach or something—until I hit my 30s. I’m not an especially outdoorsy person, though I’m fond of long walks on not-too-hot days. I generally need to fry for a few hours under a tropical sun to burn at all, and I tan quickly. And I quite like the look of my skin when tan: I turn a burnished gold! But I never seek it out, of course.

Tanning easily and burning rarely sounds like a nice combo, doesn’t it? But in my early 30s, I started to notice that the more delicate areas of my skin—neck, chest, shoulders, backs of knees—would develop a rash within a half hour of being in even moderate sun, and even through thicker clothes! No burning and flaking, or even much redness—just an itchy, slightly bumpy reaction which lasts for a couple of days (ugh).

It appears to be a sun allergy, which can develop when you haven’t been exposed much to the sun (um, I live in Toronto, so yeah) and it can improve with more exposure (no, thanks).

This new reaction prompted me to get with the sunscreen program, which really is a good thing, since who wants sun-damaged skin and heightened risk of skin cancer, right?

Now, applying sunscreen to my body is pretty easy, but I’ve long known that sunscreen—at least the kind that’s usually added to foundations—can give me acne. Aaaargh.

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Essie Nail Lacquer in Bonded, swatch

Throwback Thursday! Essie — Bonded (Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: Essie 2004 Winter, Frozen Assets

Essie have founded the first ever (US) National Nail Polish Day! They’re also running a contest on their website, though I think you may have to be US-based to enter.

In full support of this new day, today’s Throwback Thursday is, of course, an Essie.

Bonded (492) is long discontinued, but still one of the prettier reds I’ve ever come across. It’s a clean, clear candy apple red shot through with fine red and silver microglitter. The glitter is just dense enough to look sprinkled on, but not so sparse that it looks haphazard.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Bonded

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Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask

Mamonde — Rose Honey Sleeping Mask Review

I’d never tried a sleeping mask before this one by Korean brand Mamonde. I think the jar just looked so pretty, and rose as an ingredient in anything tends to sway me!

The jar is a cute, beehive-inspired hexagonal shape, presumably because the product contains honey, and the design is all around adorable in a vintage way. The jar is glass and the lid is metal, for bonus tactile points. It’s a surprisingly small jar, containing 80 mL, as you can see in this photo I took with a Revlon nail polish for scale:

Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask, with Revlon Nail Enamel for scale
Mamonde Rose Honey Sleeping Mask, with Revlon Nail Enamel for scale. (Sorry, I don’t remember which Revlon it was. I’m guessing it was Dreamer.)

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Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Poke, swatch

Illamasqua — Poke (Nail Varnish) Swatch & Review

Brand: Illamasqua

Cult British makeup brand Illamasqua has been stirring things up a little bit in the news! I agree with their Anti-Facism Pledge (’cause who wouldn’t be, really—except cowards and fascists) and applaud them for their stand.

We’re realistic. We know we can’t stop anyone buying our products. But we also know that no matter how hard some people work to make themselves beautiful on the outside, make-up can never hide the ugliness inside. So please, if you don’t agree with the above DON’T BUY US.

Prejudice, sexism and racism should never be tolerated. Whether you’re a brand or an individual join us and, together, we can be the change we want to see.

Hear, hear!

Today’s swatch is for Illamasqua Poke (no, not that kind of poke), a midtoned violet purple with fine, bluish silver shimmer.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Poke
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Poke

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Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Glamorous Life, swatch

Throwback Thursday! Deborah Lippmann — Glamorous Life (Nail Color) Swatch & Review

Brand: Deborah Lippmann

I don’t know exactly when this shade was released, but a quick Google tells me that the earliest online reviews are from 2011, and that Deborah Lippmann spent ages trying to get a nail polish to match a rose gold Rolex watch. That is exactly the kind of dedication I like in my nail polish brands!

Rolex Day-Date watch in Everrose Gold
Rolex Day-Date in Everrose Gold
Image: rolex.com

As a result, Glamorous Life—pity she didn’t go with a horologically-inspired name—is less of a pink rose gold and more of a classic jewelry rose gold. It’s not basically pink (see The Semiotics of “Rose Gold”), but a regular yellow gold that’s been slightly warmed up with the addition of some copper, making it less brassy and more bashful.

Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Glamorous Life
Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Glamorous Life

It’s weird when I Google for images of this polish, because a few of them look quite blush pink, and the others look more like mine, a soft gold, or maybe a touch copper. It could be that the color has changed over the years, but I don’t really remember this bottle looking especially pink when I got it, either. It also looks gold in the photos by a couple of bloggers who swatched back in 2011/12, so maybe I’ll just chalk it all up to lighting differences. I can’t see my bottle looking very pink under any lights, though. Batch inconsistencies could be a culprit, too.

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MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Like My Gown?, swatch

MAC — Like My Gown? (Studio Nail Lacquer) Swatch & Review

Collection: MAC Spring 2016, Fashion Pack

I’m kind of on a roll, now, so here’s another clearanced MAC polish that I picked up for CA$6.

Like My Gown?, from this spring’s Fashion Pack collection, is a vibrant magenta cream. It reminds me of Essie Footloose, which I ought to swatch one of these Throwback Thursdays.

The color is midtoned, and I think it’s one of those seasonless shades, though it’d probably look especially hot as a summer pedi! However, it’d also be a perfect pop of purple-y pink against the usual whites, greys and blacks of winter gear.

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Like My Gown?
MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Like My Gown?

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