Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

I have resisted the siren call of the Chanel nail polishes for years.  Years!  No one needs to spend that much money on that little nail polish, I told myself.  And then I went into the local CVS-meets-Sephora-esque-beauty-shop for some toothpaste, and found myself in front of the Chanel counter, foundling the nail polishes.

They are such pretty nail polishes.  At first I wanted Pirate (a gorgeous bright red), and then it was Rose Insolent (such a lovely bright pink), then the infamous Black Pearl (jaw-dropping blackened green-grey metallic frost), but then I saw Graphite.  I actually didn't know much about Graphite.  I saw a swatch on Temptalia a while back and thought it was pretty, but promptly forgot about it.  But in person this polish is pretty unforgettable.  I'd describe it as a grey foil (with the smallest hint of green) base that is jam-packed full of silver and gold shimmer.  Like jam-packed to the point where I'm not entirely sure there is much of a base color, but that green has to be coming from somewhere.  In the US Chanel polishes are usually $25.  In Spain it was 20 Euros.  Not cheap, but I reallllly wanted it (actually that pricing was pretty competitive for the exchange rate.  Success!)  Here you can see the cute Chanel box, the nail polish with the outer cap still on, and the bottle with the outer cap removed.

In the bottle it looks a bit murkier and greener, but on the nail the shimmer really comes out to play.  The combination of gold and silver gives it a bit of a pewter effect.  It's just really lovely.  Because of the silver, it works for cool skin tones nicely, and the gold does the same for warm skin tones.  It looks different in every light, too.  The finish of this is what really makes the polish for me, though.  It has a foil base, so it's crazy metallic, but the fine shimmer packed on top of that gives it a completely new dimension of pretty.  It's like fairy dust on your fingers.  I thought my OPI Let Me Entertain You was the limit for sparkle, but oh my goodness, was I wrong.  I adore this.  The murkey silver hue keeps the shimmer from being too twee and girly, and I really like that it's not dark enough to be too vampy.  It's just a light-hearted foil-shimmer with a fun, pewter twist.  The formula was equally divine.  It was opaque in two coats with extremely fast dry time (although it dries shimmery, not glossy.  If you want a glossy finish, I suggest getting a glossy, Seche Vite-esque top coat), with minimal drag and no pooling.  The brush is long and flexible, and I had no trouble covering the nail with it.

Overall rating: A-.  The price is the only thing standing between the polish and an A+.  I was hoping one Chanel polish would stop my cravings, but I think this has only made it worse.  Black Pearl and Rose Insolent, I'm coming for you next!  You can get this in The States at amazon.com for around $34.  I've seen it all over Spain, but apparently it's selling out in the US, and since it's a limited edition color, get it while you can! 

My little adventure into the world of expensive fairy dust nail polish crack got me thinking.  What other brands had cool (but slightly more affordable) polishes on the market?  I was bouncing around Sephora, and I found Nails Inc.  Hello, new best friend.

Nails Inc Magnetic Polish in Trafalgar Square, $16 at sephora.com, Nails Inc Special Effects Electric Lane Holographic Glitter Top Coat, $10 at sephora.com: At first I was skeptical of this magnetic nail polish thing.  It seemed so expensive and the patterns weren't all that great.  But this Nails Inc version looks amazing (and has great reviews).  It comes in a metallic silver and purple, and while the top coat of the polish dries you hold a magnet in the cap over the nail, and you get a pretty pattern like that one below!  I love the idea of patterned nails, but I am lovely and not all that skilled with nail polish brushes, so this completely fascinates me.  And don't even get me started on the holo top coat.  Basically add one coat of that over your polish to get a finish that's packed with rainbow-colored glitter.  It makes any polish into a holo!  Ack.  I need both of these.

Images via sephora.com.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Outfit of the Day!

So I've done a little bit of shopping here in Spain.  Not a lot--trying to practice that whole self-restraint thing.  It's going pretty well, except where baked goods and Diet Coke are concerned (as usual).  Anyways, I've picked up a skirt, a dress, two tops, and a pair of shoes (for about 75 euro! not bad, huh...).

Here's the dress I got (no full-length mirror in Espana, sadly).  It's from a store called Sfera and it was about 22 Euros-ish.  It's a scarlet chiffon-weight dress with little white polka dots, tank sleeves, smocking at the waist and a bow tie at the v-neck.  The belt is vintage and the leather jacket is from Wilson.

I really, really like this dress.  It has a very Alps-y feel to me for some reason (probably the Swiss dots), and I love the sweetness of the ruffles and the bow, especially against the toughness of a leather jacket.

And I might even be getting a little better at this hair curling thing!  Now I'm just waiting to go back to the States so I can buy a curling iron like a big girl and stop using my straightener.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hair Dye Adventures in Espana

I know, I know, I'm a bad little blogger.  To be fair, I have been traveling a lot and my internet is so slow it takes 3 hours to upload an album to Facebook.  Excuses, excuses, I know. (I also have to read all of Don Quijote, parts 1 and 2 for class.  Please, kill me).

I don't have that much news, but I did dye my hair!  Again.  So long story short, it's naturally a dark blonde/light brown.  Then I dyed it brown for year, and for about the first 6 months of the year it was red.  Like red-red-red.  But I got tired of it, and I wanted it to go back to brown.  So I dyed it medium-dark golden-brown literally 3 separate times.  It was still red, and worse than that, it was strawberry blonde on the bottom half because I have too much hair for one box of dye and the color on my ends had faded away.  This made me very frustrated.  So one day,  I freaked out and grabbed 2 boxes of a neutral dark brown and dyed my hair.

It's dark!  Dark dark dark.  It also looks like I have highlights because now my hair isn't taking dye evenly (damn you, red hair dye), but I guess that makes it more natural looking?  Either way, I really like the dark.  I had it this dark when my hair was way shorter--just over chin-length--and that felt a little harsh.  I think the extra length softens it up a lot, and I feel much more Spanish now!  Haha.  But no, really, the red hair + epic paleness was getting stares and comments from creepy old men on the street.  So.  Oh, and I slept with it in braids last night and attempted to make it wavy today.

I've been bouncing around Spain quite a bit since I got here.  So far I've been to Madrid, Toledo, Cadiz, Sevilla (obviously haha), Huelva, and Granada.  Here are some pics I took of the Alhambra in Granada--the last Moorish palace built in Spain in the last city conquered by the Catholic Kings.  Sigh.  Isn't it gorgeous?  It was abandoned by centuries and random squatters lived there before it was reclaimed and restored by the state. 

And on a totally random note, I've been doing a lot of online shopping in my downtown.  Being in Spain without being able to use my beloved iPhone and being stuck relying on my stupid little Movistar piece of junk has gotten me thinking about watches.  I'm normally that girl that walks around clutching her iPhone in a death grip so she always knows what's going on.  But not being able to do that has gotten me thinking, and honestly...it's a little obnoxious.  I'd like to be able to have a watch so I'm not constantly playing with my iPhone.  The one problem is that I HATE how watches look on me.  So when I found these bracelet-watch hybrids from La Mer, I got really excited.  La Mer Collections Moscow Braided Chain Wrap Watch, $110 at lamercollections.com, Brown Leather-Copper Motorcycle Chain Watch, $120 at lamercollections.com:

I know these are basically the same.  I really like the combination of skinny watch face, long brown leather straps, and chunky chains mixed in.  The watch face is so delicate and lady-like, the leather adds an equestrian/slightly preppy-aristocratic feel, and the chain brings it all back down to earth and gives it some grit.  The basic dilemma is between silver or gold.  I think I like the silver one better.  And all the rest of my rings/bracelets are silver too...hm...And momma, if you read this, I may or may not be asking for this for Christmas.  Love you! 

That's all for now, darlings.  Hasta luego!

Images via lamercollections.com.


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