Preview: Illamasqua’s Human Fundamentalism [Spring/Summer 2012]

Yes, fellow makeup addicts, Illamasqua, the edgy cosmetics house which sponsors your ‘alter ego’, has rolled out a collection that is truly spectacular for Spring/Summer 2012.

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Stunning photography to herald Illamasqua's Human Fundamentalism Spring/Summer 2012 collection. This is what my Alter Ego would look like.

Following on the heels of the equally-stunning Theatre of the Nameless Autumn/Winter 2011 collection, the Spring/Summer 2012 Human Fundamentalism collection is scheduled to launch at Illamasqua.com on 15 March 2012 and on Sephora.com on 20 March 2012. Would you like to know more? Of course you do…and Illamasqua is happy to oblige with an explanation of concept of this collection:

Get ready for a startling celebration of humanity’s connection with colour. Introducing the Human Fundamentalism collection, where blinding flashes of pigment provide a sharp contrast to neutral tones, creating a saturated palette that catapults your alter ego to new levels of self-expression. Mix contrasting textures to express your true self, spiraling from rich metallic to pale matt shades. This is nonconformity at its most fundamental. At its unpredictable best. — Illamasqua

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Illamasqua's Human Fundamentalism Spring/Summer 2012 collection

This extensive collection is a stunning mix of bolds and neutral colors to use in whatever combination suits you. My eye is totally drawn to the neutral 4-color eye shadow palette and the teal and yellow eye shadow singles.  The nail polishes look nice and definitely look dupeable but what isn’t dupeable is Illamasqua’s amazing nail polish formula.  I’ll definitely be hauling the polishes as soon as I get the eye shadows.

Just so you know, the teal lipstick is an EU (European Union) only product.  That means it can only be sold in the EU.  No they cannot ship it to you if you live outside the EU.  Yes, I have asked Illamasqua.

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My haul picks from this collection

A few bloggers were lucky enough to get a first look at the items from this collection. Check out the swag photos here, here, and especially here.

Illamasqua is one of my favorite cosmetic brands due to their attitude, diversity of colors and textures, and the artistry of their collections and photography. In my opinion this is their best campaign to date and another quote about this collection sums it all up for me:

Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside. To rise above mainstream limitations and exist in a world where individuality is received with celebration not derision, and breaking the mould is a sign of strength not instability. We stand for freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we’re not ordinary but extraordinary, even if society refuses to accept it. We’re beyond conformity. Beyond control. Beyond hiding who we really are. We are not a religion, but the singular opposite. We are Illamasqua.

Werd.

And with that, enjoy the promo photo picspam and let your ‘alter ego’ set up her shopping list from this collection.

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This model looks very 'Jody Watley' and she's posed with a tricked-out ghetto blaster? Haven't seen one of these in years!

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This is without a doubt a perfect example of the makeup artistry and stellar photography Illamasqua is famous for.

The eye makeup is fierce! This reminds me of 'The Girlie Show' Madonna from back in the day!

Teal hair to match the teal lips--I SO wish the lipstick was going to be sold in the US.

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Urban Decay’s Friends and Family Sale: 20% OFF!!!

Urban Decay's Spring Friends & Family Sale: 20% OFF!

Urban Decay's Spring Friends & Family Sale: 20% OFF!

Greetings readers!

Are you ready to haul some Urban Decay cosmetics at 20% off?!?  Ready or not, UrbanDecay.com is offering 20% off almost all regular and sale priced items using the code: FFSPRING12.  Only the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette cannot have this discount applied to it.

Here are my recommended picks to haul during the sale:

24/7 Eye  Shadow Pencil

I love how smooth and pigmented these shadow pencils are!  The color is easy to build up and the range goes from neutral to full-on trendy.  Create a gorgeous eye look even if you’re still a makeup noob.

24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash

I reviewed this set a few weeks back and absolutely fell in love with it.  Currently sale priced at $12, the discount knocks it down to less than $10!! Go get one!

Supercurl Curling Mascara

This is my 2nd favorite mascara next to Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes only because it doesn’t come in a waterproof formula.  This mascara is no joke as it quickly builds up and curls your lashes.  I have yet to Florida Test it (I will in April) but when I can’t find my Givenchy mascara, I gladly grab this one.

Primer Potion

With the vastly-improved design and larger size, this is a good deal if you do not have oily to severely oily lids.

UrbanDecay.com offers free domestic shipping on all overs $50 or more.  The sale ends 3/10/12.

Planning to haul from the sale?  Share your finds in the Comments!

butterLONDON Spring 2012: The Rundown

Spring 2012 has indeed sprung for butterLONDON. Check out the display I saw at Ulta Beauty this past week:

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Butter London's Spring 2012 Polishes displayed at Ulta Beauty

butterLONDON’s Spring 2012 consist of the following shades (description from butterLONDON.com):

  • Disco Biscuit — Tropical hot pink with an undercurrent of tiny iridescent glitter particles.
  • Trout Pout — An opaque shade of cantaloupe, pale and retro.
  • Slapper — A truly teal lacquer, bold and very bright.
  • Bossy Boots — Light, opaque pistachio green. A beautiful take on neutral for this season.
  • Knackered — A sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles.

I picked up Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit because those colors personally appealed to me. I passed on Slapper as I already have Artful Dodger, Deborah Lippmann’s To The Beach and Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue. Trout Pout is a color I think to be easily dupeable. Knackered almost got me to buy it but I’d already picked up Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream.

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Two of butterLONDON's Spring 2012 offerings: Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit

Disco Biscuit is bright, pink and has glitter so I had to pick it up even though I wasn’t pleased with butterLONDON’s glitter polishes of late. It goes on sheer yet bright and takes about 3 coats to reach some opacity. And by some I mean I still had the dreaded VNL (Visible Nail Line) after all that. I honestly feel this color would work better over a bright white or pink cream polish first to solve the VNL problem but even by itself it is a fun color to wear. As pretty as it is, even with a base and top coat (butterLONDON’s Tops & Tails set) I had tip wear the first day and chipping the second day (more insight to follow at the end of this review).

Now you know me being the geek that I am I had to find out what Disco Biscuit meant, right? Turns out it’s something to keep you ‘dancing at the disco’. So this could range from a cup of Starbucks, a can of Red Bull or something to get you in hot water with local law enforcement and/or the DEA.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. 3 coats with flash.

Bossy Boots is a nice interpretation of a neutral color. Unfortunately it does remind me of the linoleum floor my Memaw had in her 1950’s style kitchen in North Florida. Still, the pastel looks very nice as a contrast against dark skin like mine though because it has more of a yellow undertone instead of blue, the color looks a bit washed out next to my skintone.  Regardless,  I got lots of compliments on the color. Most folks thought it was OPI and had never heard of butterLONDON until I informed them of it. It is lighter than Illamasqua’s Milf which is a deeper pastel green with blue undertones. While the first coat was streaky (a usual hazard with most cream polishes) and it took about 3 coats to make the finish look even. Another ding against the color is it started to chip after two days and chip like crazy it did.

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. 2 coats with flash.

So by now you probably think my opinion is that butterLONDON is a lousy polish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very, very, very hard on my nail polishes as I type over 120wpm (which causes crazy shear forces on the nail edge), am constantly typing all day (a hazard of working as an Software Engineer/Business Analyst), use a lot of hand sanitizer as I am a serious germaphobe, then add to that the usual daily hazards and my nail situation is, to put it in statistical terms, an outlier. I’m in the tail to the right of the bell curve. Because of my occupation and personal habits I need a nail polish that performs above and beyond the norm. butterLONDON polishes are very pretty, very trendy and have a great color assortment but the consistency across formulas is not there…yet. I love my frost finishes (Wallis and Fairy Lights wear like iron), have a love-hate relationship with the others (Artful Dodger, Tart With A Heart, Black Knight), and you will have to pry the gorgeous pearly blue-gray Lady Muck from my cold, undead fingers.

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I'm not a bug, I'm a feature! 🙂

The truth is, butterLONDON polishes need more work on the wear longevity across the range before I can recommend them against the likes of Illamasqua. Illamasqua is the same price (though not as widely available in brick and mortar locations) yet out of the 20+ polishes of theirs I own I have yet to run across one that chips as easily as my butterLONDON polishes I’ve indicated. And cheaper brands such as Sally Hansen and even the awesome indie brand Cult Nails have a longer wear time under my use conditions. So until the consistency improves (and I will continue to buy colors that appeal to me), I wil consider this line to be in ‘Beta’–which in software geek lexicon means the code is right but it’s not ready for use by the general public until the ‘bugs’ are worked out.

butterLONDON polishes retail for $14 USD and are available at Ulta Beauty boutiques and online store, SkinStore.com and Beauty.com. Skin Store has a lot of 20% off sales so definitely check that site out first for butterLONDON polishes to see if they have the color that sparks your interest.

So what have your experiences with this polish line been?  Ping me in the comments!

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. Pretty but a very 'dupeable' color.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. A pretty tropical pink with sparkles.

Deborah Lippmann Spring 2012 Collection: The Rundown

I’ll admit I am a total sucker for blues. From bright blue to teal green there is something about the color that grabs me. Perhaps because I was born under a ‘water sign’ (Scorpios represent!) or because I am in total love with the bright blue waters of the Caribbean and the South Pacific. And obviously I wasn’t far off as Deborah Lippmann tells Lucky Magazine, “I wanted to create something that felt like a vacation no matter where you are—whether you’re actually going away or just dreaming of it.”

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Deborah Lippmann's gorgeous offerings for Spring 2012: Mermaid's Dream and At The Beach

Even though our winter here in the Philadelphia suburbs has been relatively mild, I’ve definitely been dreaming of a vacation somewhere warm. So when I saw these two polish up for pre-sale on NeimanMarcus.com I immediately pre-ordered and was overjoyed when they arrived ahead of the estimated delivery date.

Deborah Lippmann’s Spring 2012 offerings consist of two complimentary yet different shades: To The Beach and Mermaid’s Dream. To The Beach is a textbook cyan blue cream which Deborah describes as, “The French Riviera in a bottle’ . I think of it more as Tahiti in a bottle but French Rivera works for me too. It goes on the nails very smooth and the consistency is neither too thick nor too thin. It isn’t opaque in one coat (and looks a tad bit streaky) but becomes a nice opaque cyan in two coats with a smooth glass finish. I personally like three coats to punch up the color intensity. It is more blue than Illamasqua Muse and more cyan than Sally Hansen Instra-Dri Brisk Blue. Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue is a very close color hack of To The Beach. And by very I mean down to the finish and the color. Illamasqua’s Muse is too dark of a teal to be a dupe.

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At The Beach: Described as 'French Rivera Blue' the Programmer in me sees it as 'Textbook Cyan' (2 coats w/ flash)

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From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (2 coats w/ flash)

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From top: Sally Hansen Brisk Blue, Deborah Lippmann At The Beach, Illamasqua Muse (no flash/HDR)

Mermaid’s Dream is a gorgeous seafoam green pearl with flecks of turqouise glitter and it is hands-down my favored polish of this collection. A glitter-on-pearl look I’ve done separaterly using Boom Boom Pow over Nefertiti but never before did Deborah have a bottle containing both in her polish line. According to Deborah, she likes this as a ‘accent-nail look’ to just wear on your ring finger while the other nails are painted bright blue. This would definitely be a cool look as coupled with To The Beach but personally I think this shade is just too different and glamorous to not have it on all of your nails. Opaque in one coat, this is a perfect ‘glam’ shade to wear for a night out, the prom, full glitz beauty pageants and my favorite, just swimming in the pool when wearing jewelry isn’t a practical option. I have nothing in my nail polish color collection that comes close to this shade. This makes it truly unique and the ‘must have’ from this collection.  I would put it up there with Chanel June as the must-have ‘on trend’ nail shade for Spring 2012.

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Mermaid's Dream: A glitter and pearl seafoam green polish--a first for Deborah Lippmann (2 coats w/ flash)

With both shades I had minimal tip wear and both shades wore for over a week through intense 120wpm typing/coding through an 8 – 10 hour work day. The performance is in line with the other Deborah Lippmann polishes I own.

Deborah Lippmann polishes retail for $16 on average with some variation according to finish.  At The Beach retails for $16 while Mermaid’s Dream retails for $18.  Both colors are available now at LippmannCollection.com, NeimanMarcus.com and coming soon at Beauty.com.

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Deborah Lippmann's Mermaid's Dream from Spring 2012 collection

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Deborah Lippmann's At The Beach from Spring 2012 collection

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly: The Rundown

Scented nail polish?  Say what?!?  The beauty side of my brain just told the geeky side of my brain to stop trying to figure out the chemistry formula involved and just buy the damned color because it’s ‘cool’. So yeah, I bought it.

DISCLOSURE ALERT > I own stock in Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH) group which is the parent company of Dior couture.

For Spring 2012,  as part of its Garden Party collection, Dior presents us with two scented nail polishes.  The first is a purple pastel called Forget-Me Not (aptly titled as the polish is the same color of said flower) while the other is a murky mint green aptly called Waterlilly.  As I already own tons of purple nail polish, and the price of this polish is pretty steep at $23 for .30 ounces, I opted for Waterlilly.

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Dior Vernis in Waterlilly--gorgeous pastel green shimmer polish

Packaged in a stunning silver box and contained it a beautiful glass bottle with ‘Vernis’ etched into it, Waterlilly smells pretty much like any other high-end nail polish out of the bottle.  The green is a mid-tone pastel with flashes of pink iridescence which are more apparent in the bottle than on the nail.   It comes with a wide brush I’ve seen in my Sally Hansen quick-dry polishes and I am not a fan of it.  The brush felt awkward in my hand and the polish seemed to want to stick to the brush more than my nails.  I worked my way around it and the color payoff is gorgeous to say the least. Against my cool skin it screamed ‘spring is coming!’ in a classy fashionable way.

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Dior Vernis in Waterlilly. 2 coats, no flash (HDR)

Compared to Illamasqua’s Milf, Dior Waterlilly is a darker green and not a cream polish.  Illamasqua Radium is more yellow-toned with shimmer.  The only thing I have close to the color of Waterlilly is Essie’s Mint Candy Apple with Pure Pearlfection over the top to add shimmer.  Even still, it isn’t as vivid a green as Dior Waterlilly but it’s close enough for a good color hack. If you have cool undertones, this color will definitely pop on you.  Warmer skin tones could also wear this color but as it leans more cool (think Illamasqua Milf) than warm (think Illamasqua Radium).  No matter your skin tone, this is a very ‘bleeding edge’ fashionable shade of green for spring that very few people will be rocking.

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From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each with indoor flash)

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From top: Illamasqua Milf, Dior Waterlilly, Illamasqua Radium (2 coats each without flash)

Drying time wasn’t measured as i used Illamasqua top coat (quick drying) and Nicole by Opi Drying Drops to speed things up as I am beyond impatient about drying nail polish.  When dry, I did notice a faint violet smell but nothing that made me want to continuously sniff my nails.  It’s a nice touch but pretty forgettable as i noticed no smell after the first day of wear.  After two days of 120 wpm tying/coding, I noticed no discernable tip wear at all.  Like with other luxury nail polishes I own (Rescue Beauty Lounge, Chanel) I get no chipping of the polish on the nail and only slight wear on the tips.  Because of the etching (and this is just me), I find this bottle to be highly collectable and definitely worth having in your nail color wardrobe.  The price is steep for how much you get but considering this is a haute couture design house and not MAC for Gareth Pugh, and there are no existing true dupes for it, plus the outstanding wear makes it a worthy beauty investment.

Dior Vernis in Waterlilly is available from upscale retailers such as Nordtrom and Neiman Marcus and of course Dior.com and retails for $23/bottle.

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How cool is the etching of 'Vernis' on the bottle? So luxe.

Sneek Peek: Guerlain Spring 2012 Pinks and Blacks

It is soo cold here in the Philly ‘burbs that I can’t wait until Spring and my Easter trip to Disney World. In anticipation of visiting the Guerlain boutique in the France Pavillion at EPCOT, here are photos of some of the pieces from the Spring 2012 Pinks and Blacks collection. Review to follow soon!

Heads up–If you want the Cruel Gardenia highlighter, don’t wait. It’s already sold out at Nordstrom.com.

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