Nail Art: Black French Manicure

Black French Manicure Title 1

I’ve wanted to try a black french manicure since last year. I’m a nail art novice and I envy all the people who are coordinated and artistic enough to make creative designs and pictures on their nails. It always looks so cool and I’ve been afraid to attempt any nail art on myself beyond an accent nail. However, today I thought I’d give it a shot.

Tuxedo Nails with Pixie Dust Accent

Step 1

Paint all nails except ring finger with a black nail of your choice.

Step 2

 Paint ring finger with Dahlia(2-3 coats)

Step 3

Top all nails EXCEPT ring finger with matte top coat.

Step 4

Paint tips with clear coat.

Black French Manicure Process

I ended up doing the shiny tip freehand so my lines aren’t crisp. When I try this next time I’m going to get some nail striping tape to save myself the headache.

Products Used

Sephora by OPI What’s A Tire Jack(discontinued)

Sephora by OPI – Matte Top Coat(discontinued)

Zoya Pixie Dust – Dahlia($10)

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength – Flawless($3.98)

Tuxedo Nails with Pixie Dust Accent

Are you a nail art expert or a nail art novice? Feel free to leave me a comment.

A Blue For Fall: Zoya Pixie Dust – Sunshine

Sunshine Pixie Dust

Neutrals and wines are a fall staple, but I’m big on blues when it comes to nail color. Blue is one of those colors that feels off the beaten path to me so I tend to gravitate toward it when I’m deciding what to do with my nails.

Zoya Pixie Dust - Sunshine
Zoya Pixie Dust – Sunshine($10)

This is another Zoya Pixie Dust from the Fall 2013 Collection. It’s called Sunshine. It’s a “cool toned navy blue with a sparkling finish”.

Zoya Pixie Dust in Sunshine

I love a dark blue. It took 2 coats get an opaque look. I’ve tried Pixie Dusts with and without a basecoat and haven’t noticed a difference in wear or application. However, use your own judgment.

Now that Fall is here what nail colors will you be reaching for these days?

Zoya Pixie Dust in Sunshine is $10 and available where Zoya products are sold and zoya.com

Milani Cosmetics Total Lash Cover Mascara Review

total lash picmonk

Because I was excited about the Milani Grandissimo Mascara I purchased the Total Lash Cover to try it out.

Milani Cosmetics Total Lash Cover Mascara
Milani Cosmetics Total Lash Cover Mascara ($4.99)

“It doesn’t get more major than this multi-faceted mascara wand. With three separate “zones” – one for defining, one for volumizing, one for curling – it gives 360-degree, instant impact. And the formula? It’s smear-proof, clump-free and built to last. Available in the Richest, Deepest Black.” – milanicosmetics.com

IMAG2665_1

milani total lash cover eye

This is a good mascara for the price. It’s black and coats the lashes well. However I had a bit of trouble with the brush.

Milani Total Lash Cover Brush ($4.99)

I was intrigued by the brush because it was a combination of bristle and comb. I figured the combination would give me separation along with volume and I got that. I also got poked in the eyelid. It’s not the worst thing in the world. While it’s a good mascara it doesn’t lend itself to a quick swipe before running out the door.

Should this keep you from buying it? No. It’s just something to keep in mind if you do.

Milani Total Lash Cover is $4.99 and available at where Milani Cosmetics are sold and online.

Milani Lipstick Dopeness: Sangria and Violet Volt

Milani Color Statement Lipsticks: Sangria and Violet Volt

Milani lipsticks are dope. I keep featuring them on the blog because I like them so much. They come in various finishes and glide on like a dream. You also can’t beat the price for the quality of these lipsticks. With that said this is Violet Volt and Sangria.

Violet Volt and Sangria Swatch on dark skin
Top: Violet Volt Bottom: Sangria

Violet Volt

This pinky purple has a metallic finish. Violet Volt stains but I think that’s the nature of purples.

Milani Violet Volt Lipstick

Sangria

A deep berry colored lipstick in a matte finish that isn’t drying.

Milani Sangria Lipstick

Milani Color Statement Lipsticks ($5.99) are available at milanicosmetics.com and drugstores.

5 Ways to Know It’s Holy Grail

5 Ways To Know It's Holy Grail

There comes a time in every beauty lover’s life that they hit the jackpot with a product or brand. The skies open up, the seas part and harps play for your discovery. Some of us call it the holy grail or HG for short. This is 5 reasons a brand/product is considered holy grail.

It causes you to rethink what you knew about makeup.

NARS Exhibit A made me realize that after years of saying I couldn’t wear blush I actually could and should.

NARS Cosmetics Exhibit A
Nars Cosmetics Exhibit A Blush

You keep coming back to it.

I’m not talking about a rut. I’m talking about trying different things only to end up reaching for that familiar product whether it’s budget friendly or not.

You’re hoarding it.

You have a stash of products waiting for the day you get the awful news it’s been discontinued. You love the brand so much you feel like you must have everything.

NARS Cosmetics is my Holy Grail Brand
And I still want more…

There’s an emotional attachment.

There are products that work better but you can’t see yourself using something else because it not just about the product. It’s about the feeling you get when you use it.

And finally, There’s no real explanation, you just love it.

So which brands or products are your holy grail and why?

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara Review

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)
Milani Grandissimo Lashes ($4.99)

I’m a big fan Milani lip products, however, I’ve been slacking on checking out their other products. I decided to pick up Grandissimo Lashes Mascara to rectify that. Michelle at MichelleAmanda.com said it was similar to an expensive favorite of mine and that was all I needed know. I think it lives up to that comparison. I won’t get into which favorite it is just know that it’s popular.

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Brush
Big brush, big volume
bare lashes
bare lashes
Milani Grandissimo Lashes
w/ Milani Grandissimo Lashes

Grandissimo Lashes has a huge brush. I tend to lean toward the plastic comb-like brushes and yet I didn’t mind this one having bristles. I liked the way my lashes looked after 2 coats. It gave my lashes curl. It gave my lashes volume. It gives the $20+ mascaras a run for their money and at a bargain price. It also smells like chocolate.

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara $4.99)

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara is $4.99. It’s available in drugstores nationwide and milanicosmetics.com

Zoya Pixie Dust in Carter($10)

Zoya Pixie Dust: Carter Make Ya Twankle and Glisten

I ended up posting my usual Wednesday post a day early. I forgot what day it was and scheduled it like I normally do, only to realize that it wasn’t my posting day. Que será, será. However, in the interest of consistency I’m posting today and will have a Friday post as usual.

This is Carter from the 2013 Zoya Pixie Dust Collection.

Zoya Pixie Dust in Carter($10)
Zoya Pixie Dust – Carter ($10)

Carter is a gorgeous textured royal purple with magenta sparkle. Carter took about 3 coats to get the look I wanted. I’ve tried Pixie Dusts with and without a base coat and didn’t notice much difference. You can use a top coat but I prefer them matte.

Zoya Pixie Dust Swatch - Carter
Ooooo, baby! I love glitter!

I love these so much that I haven’t tried the textured polishes from other brands. That may change and that may not.

The Fall 2014 Pixie Dust are coming soon so check out Glitter Gloss Garbage for a look. I’ve got my eye on all three because I’m a hoarder.

Zoya Pixie Dust are $10 and available where Zoya is sold and zoya.com.

OCC LipTar - Black Metal Dahlia

OCC Lip Tar Black Dahlia and Black Metal Dahlia Photos+Swatches

When I think of liquid lipsticks Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar is what I think of first. Coming in at $18 they’re a little bit more expensive than other lipsticks yet low enough in price that you probably won’t experience sticker shock. They’re vegan and cruelty-free so you don’t have to worry about that issue. They’re pigmented. They last forever. You can wear them as is or mix them together to create your own unique lip look. Today’s post is about two that have similar names but different finishes.

This is Black Dahlia. It’s described as a blackened blackest red.  It’s a matte finish and a great addition to your fall lipsticks if you don’t already have it or want another dark red.

OCC Lip Tar - Black Dahlia
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Black Dahlia($18)

OCC LipTar Black Dahlia

Similarly named is Black Metal Dahlia. It’s a blackened burgundy with red pearl. It’s slightly redder than Black Dahlia with lots of sparkle. It’s on the outer edge of being vampy to me but deep enough for fall.

OCC LipTar - Black Metal Dahlia
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Black Metal Dahlia

OCC LipTar Black Metal Dahlia

These are highly pigmented so it doesn’t take much to cover your lips. A lip brush comes with each lip tar, however, if you’re in pinch you can use your finger. Exfoliating your lips will help with a smooth application. You can use a primer or dab a bit of lip balm on before you apply it as well.

Black Dahlia and Black Metal Dahlia Swatches
Left: Black Dahlia Right: Black Metal Dahlia

Do you own any Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars?

OCC Lip Tars are $18 and come in an assortment of colors. They are available at occmakeup.com and at Sephora.

Lips Like Autumn Leaves: 3 Browns From Milani Cosmetics

Milani All Three picmonk

Typically, a vampy lip rules the fall season. Lipsticks described as a wine, bordeaux, and burgundy move from the back of our drawers to the front. However, there are other choices. Today I have three lipsticks from Milani Cosmetics that fall into the brown range.

Milani Lipsticks Double Espresso, Cinnamon Spice, Teddy Bare

Milani Lipstick Swatches: Teddy Bare, Cinnamon Spice, Double Espresso

The first is Teddy Bare. It’s a pinky-brown nude with a cream finish. I had no complaints about application and wear. However, I did line my lips with a dark brown pencil give it a bit more definition.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick - Teddy Bare

Milani Lipstick - Teddy Bare

Next is Cinnamon Spice. It’s also another cream finish lipstick. It’s coppery with a pink undertone to it. I used a dark brown liner with this one as well.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick - Cinnamon Spice

Milani Lipstick - Cinnamon Spice

Last is Double Espresso. It’s a pearl finish so it’s a bit shinier than the previous too.Milani Color Statement Lipstick - Double Espresso

Milani Lipstick - Double Espresso

If you want a break from the deep reds and purples this fall, browns are a good way to go. Brown lipsticks are also good if you’re not quite ready for the starkness of black lipstick.

Milani Color Statement Lipsticks at $5.99 and available at drugstores and milanicosmetics.com

For Your Consideration: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade- Dark Brown
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade ($18) Also pictured: Brush #12 ($18)

Anastasia Beverly Hills is THE name in brow grooming so when the Dipbrow came out I knew I had to have it. I went through a process of trying to guess which color was for me along with a Sephora cast member. At that time 5 shades(there’s 8 now) were available so my choices were between Dark Brown and Ebony. I landed on dark brown because it was closer to the brow powder I was already using.

This creamy, multitasking product glides on skin and hair smoothly to create clean, defined brows. The standout formula works as a brow primer and provides color, sculpture, and shading. It is ideal for oily skin and in humid climates.(Sephora.com)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade - Dark Brown

 

I get home to use it and I’m at a loss. I don’t understand it. It doesn’t look right. So I toss it in my drawer fully intending to return it but never do. Fast forward some months later and I find this video:

A light bulb went off. I was trying to paint the brow on(if that make sense) instead of using a tiny bit and blending it into the brow. Once I corrected my mistake I realized the pomade is actually a great product.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow - Dark Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade Swatch - Dark Brown
Anastasia Dipbrow – Dark Brown

I followed the instructions, applied it, and VOILA! happy brows. I never liked the look of pencils because they rarely gave me the result I wanted. It’s the main reason why I stuck to brow powders, but this is making me rethink that.

Using Anastasia Dipbrow - Dark Brown
This was a mascara and gloss kind of day with soft brows.

Dipbrow truly is smudge-proof and it held up on my oily skin. With brow powder I can practically rub it away with my finger, but the Dipbrow stayed put. Trust me, I rubbed my brows trying to see how much of it transferred to my fingers and barely anything did.

Have you tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade? Love it or hate it?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade is available in 8 shades for $18 at Sephora, Ulta, and whereever Anastasia Beverly Hills products are sold. Brush #12 is also $18 

An Ode to Gorgeousness

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