Monday, January 21, 2013

Liquid Euphoria Nirvana - A Treasure I Didn't Know I Had!

Every now and then you hear a story about a guy shopping in a small-town thrift store, who stumbles upon a bona fide original Picasso. Or someone who bought an old photo album at a rummage sale, and discovers a 100+ year old baseball card in it worth $100,000. I always wish something like that would happen to me. Well, it finally did. Not that it'll make the news and not that I'll get rich off it, but it was nice to find that I have a little treasure in my nail polish stash that I didn't previously know was a coveted item of value.

Last week, I was poking around online looking at nail stuff, when I stumbled upon this old LiveJournal nail polish sale from last summer. The last comment on the post shows that someone bid $150 on this 2/3 full bottle of Liquid Euphoria nail polish. My eyes bugged out of my head, and I said, "What the...!!!!! I HAVE THAT!!!!" and I went running to my nail polish racks, and yep, it was sitting right there, unloved and unused for years.

Left: Liquid Euphoria Bliss
Right: Liquid Euphoria Nirvana

Apparently Liquid Euphoria brand nail polishes were discontinued some time ago and are now extremely hard to find and highly coveted. I have two of them: Nirvana and Bliss. I picked them up for $5 each at Hot Topic about 11 years ago, possibly 12 years ago. At the time, I really wanted all of them, because they looked so neat, but I remember being broke as a joke at the time, so I only bought two. I haven't touched them in years, and in fact, during Zoya's Earth Day 2012 sale, where you can send back old nail polishes to be disposed of in an environmentally-responsible way, I almost sent these in with my other crummy old nail polishes. At the last minute, I decided that even though they were sludgy and unwearable, they were so pretty that I'd keep them, so I pulled them out of the box.

When I found out how rare they are, I was so glad to find them still sitting on my nail polish rack! Someone suggested adding a little nail polish thinner, so I bought some, added six drops to one bottle and four drops to the other, and voila! the polishes were as good as new.

Today, I'm showing you Nirvana. It's pretty when worn alone, but really mind-blowingly spectacular when worn over a dark base. So here are a whole bunch of pictures of Liquid Euphoria Nirvana on top of a black base. I apologize for the dink and chips -- I managed to get a dink in it right away when I did my mani on Friday night, but didn't want to re-do the entire nail. Then last night, I scrubbed (I mean SCRUBBED!) my bathroom and forgot to put on gloves, so I ended up with a couple of chips.

And now, Nirvana in all its glory!

Direct sunlight:

Here it is in direct sunlight from a different angle, and where it begins to get really interesting:

These photos were taken outdoors in the shade:

These photos were taken outdoors in the shade, but with flash added:

These last few photos were taken under a few different types of lamplight inside my house:

This last photo shows a different shade of dark green that I couldn't catch while holding the bottle, hence the different style of photo. 

Isn't Nirvana pretty? Photos don't even begin to capture how beautiful it is. When I'm laying in bed, from a certain angle of the lamplight on my end table, the color on my nails actually looks like a deep teal. But of course I haven't been able to capture that on film.

I'll do a post with pics of Liquid Euphoria Bliss soon.

Have you ever discovered a rare "treasure" that you owned? 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Worksafe Pink/Gray LOTD with Sugarpill

This look was from a week ago. I love seeing pink and gray eye looks, but never think to do those colors on myself. I'm glad I finally remembered. I really wanted to use my Sugarpill since I bought Tiara a year ago but hadn't used it yet! (Yes, I have a hording problem.) However, I had to make it soft and work-safe. 

Gorgeous jewelry is from Moon Maiden Jewelry, owned by my good friend, Blix!


Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Tick:Tock Supernova base
Sugarpill Decora on inner ½ of lid and beneath inner ½ of lower lash line
Sugarpill Tiara on outer ½ of lid and beneath outer ½ of lower lash line
Sugarpill Bulletproof lightly applied to outer V, blended into crease, and beneath outer ¼ of lower lash line
Sugarpill Lumi around tear duct area and lightly dappled over Decora and Tiara
MAC Brule on brow bend
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline lining upper lashes
Sephora Pure White Nano Pencil to line upper and lower waterlines
Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
Sephora Advanced Lash Boost mascara on upper lashes
Benefit They’re Real! mascara on lower lashes
Chinovi Dark Brown and Deep Auburn brow powders
Anastasia Brow Gel

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque under eyes and on red patches
Lipsi Cosmetics Aphrodite Powder to set corrector under eyes
Make Up Forever High Definition Primer in Neutral
Paula’s Choice Resist Foundation in Light
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC25 to set foundation
MAC Pinch O’ Peach blush
Benefit Stroke of Light to highlight cheeks, nose, and cupid’s bow
Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Rose as finishing powder

Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion
Darling Girl Cosmetics Almost A Ghost holo-gloss layered over MAC Odyssey lipstick 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Make Up Forever Holodiam vs. TKB Trading Iridescent Powder

I have some sparkle for you!

What is this magical sparkle, you ask? Read on!

It all started back in late-October... or was it early-November? Either way, I was at Sephora and was lured in by the sparkle of Make Up Forever's Limited Edition Holodiam Powder. The Holodiam Powder is described as "a loose powder that catches the light in a glittering rainbow or iridescent colors...color becomes light, and even black sparkles...With its multifaceted mother-of-pearl flecks, the Holodiam Powder creates a 3D holographic effect. As the angle of refraction varies, it reflects three different colors in a shimmering play of light. The intense, shifting colors produced by this optical effect give the eyes a spectacular holographic look."

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, it is. It is even more amazing than it sounds. I saw one of the SA's at Sephora wearing something spectacularly sparkly on her eyelids, and as soon as she told me what it was, I had to have a jar of it...even at $25 for the little itty bitty teeny weeny 1 gram (0.035 oz.) jar.

I purchased #303 White, which the website states has gold, green, and blue highlights. I also wanted Plum (turquoise, violet, and pink highlights), but at $25 a pop, I just couldn't justify it.

I was so impressed by the sparkliness that I put a little in a sample baggie to give to my friend, Blix, since she's pretty much the Queen Of Glitter. She looked at it and said it looked to her like the TKB Trading iridescent powders. She gave me some samples of of her TKB Moon Dusts and TKB Star Bites, and then together, we ordered samples of TKB's Mermaid Collection.

Blix was right. The MUFE Holodiam Powder is pretty much the same thing as the TKB Moon Dusts and Star Bites. The TKB Mermaid Collection offers a similar effect, but the particle size is significantly larger, whereas TKB's Moon Dusts, TKB's Star Bites, and MUFE's Holodiam Powder are all a similar particle size.

I decided to swatch all of them together -- the MUFE Holodiam Powder, the TKB Moon Dusts, the TKB Star Bites, and the TKB Mermaid Collection. Here is a series of photos. I used different lighting and camera settings to try to capture the sparkle and shiftiness of the colors. My apologies that the swatches are crooked on my arm. I tried to hard to make them look nice, and they still came out wonky!

The top of each color is over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy and the dark base at the bottom of each color is NYX Black Bean Jumbo Pencil.

Left to Right: TKB Shanira Sun, TKB Cherika Moon, TKB Indu Rose, TKB Crescent Crimson, TKB Lavender Luz, TKB Luna Blue, TKB Marinda Star, TKB Aisha Gold, MUFE Holodiam Powder #303 White, TKB Gold Dust, TKB Silver White, TKB Blue Diamond, TKB Fairy Violet, TKB Siren Red, TKB Seawitch Green


Blurry photo shows more of the awesome sparkle!

Bottom to Top: TKB Shanira Sun, TKB Cherika Moon, TKB Indu Rose, TKB Crescent Crimson, TKB Lavender Luz, TKB Luna Blue, TKB Marinda Star, TKB Aisha Gold, MUFE Holodiam Powder #303 White, TKB Gold Dust, TKB Silver White, TKB Blue Diamond, TKB Fairy Violet, TKB Siren Red, TKB Seawitch Green

I put the MUFE Holodiam Powder in the middle so you could see how similar it really is to these TKB iridescent powders. It blends right in with all of them in every way.

I was curious to see if I could dupe the MUFE Holodiam Powder #303. I took a small scoop of TKB Shanira Sun and a small scoop of TKB Luna Blue, put them in a 5 gram jar, shook it really well, then applied the two colors side-by-side on the back of my hand. The following photos were also taken under different lighting and camera settings.

Left: MUFE Holodiam #303
Right: Blend of TKB Shanira Sun & TKB Luna Blue


You can see that I didn't quite match it. However, it took me all of about 30 seconds to toss these in a jar, without measuring beyond trying to eyeball a fairly event amount of each color. Imagine what I could have done if I'd actually spent time to figure out the correct ratio of Shanira Sun to Luna Blue; I'm guessing I could have easily come up with a dead-on dupe. You can probably understand why I'm kicking myself for spending $25 for the MUFE Holodiam Powder.

I really wanted the MUFE Holodiam in Plum, and now I know I can duplicate it myself! And do you know what's really amazing about the TKB iridescent powders? The price.

Remember the MUFE Holodiam Powder is $25 for 1 gram.

Samples of the TKB Star Bites are $2.95 each. The samples are ~2.5 grams each.

Samples of the TKB Moon Dusts are $2.95 each or all five for $12. The samples are ~2.5 grams each. 

Samples of the TKB Mermaid Collection are $1.50 each or all six for $7. The samples are 2.5 grams each. 

Long story short: At the $2.95 TKB price, you get 150% more product for 88% less than the cost of the MUFE Holodiam Powder. And you can mix and match and make your own colors. And if you spill some, you won't cry (like I wanted to tonight, when I was swatching and spilled my MUFE Holodiam Powder -- not because I can't dupe it, but because it was too dang expensive to spill!)

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out! I won't get suckered in by the MUFE sparkles again! And I'm going to have a blast playing with all of my TKB iridescent powders to see what new combos and colors I can create.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shopping My Stash - Neutral Edition

Happy New Year! I'm going to try to get back into the habit of blogging in 2013!

One of my new year resolutions is to stop buying so much makeup, bath/body products, skin care products, and perfume. I have written a list of rules I am going to be living by, and I'll be sticking to them! I am giving myself a small allowance each month to go toward things I want that aren't necessities, and of course if I get gift cards, points, etc., I will be using them for new stuff.

Since I'm not buying much stuff, I'll be doing a lot more shopping my own stash. My good friend Blix gave me a TON of samples from her Aromaleigh collection last year, and not long after I had a negative experience with Aromaleigh, so I haven't used as many of the samples as I would have hoped. So today, for my first day of shopping my stash, I shopped my Aromaleigh stash, and I love the colors I chose. I also used an eyeliner and a mascara that I hadn't used in ages, a lip gloss I hadn't touched in over a year, and a blush sample that I didn't even know I had and have never used.

I also started a makeup group for a group of girls who are all trying to save money and have gone on a no-buy or low-buy for beauty products. One of the girls in the group had the great idea that we do a challenge every two weeks to help motivate us to shop our stash. The challenge that came out today was to discover less-than-loved neutrals.

Here's the neutral look I created today for this challenge. I apologize for the photos -- the sun is super bright today, and reflecting off the snow makes it even brighter. I had a heck of a time trying to get photos that weren't completely washed out, so my apologies in advance for the quality of the images and inconsistency of the colors. Of the close-ups, the first and third photos are pretty true to what it looks like when I look in the mirror.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Darling Girl Glitter Glue
MAC Brule on brow bone
Aromaleigh Marigold above crease
Aromaleigh Underworld on outer 1/3 of lid and lower lash line, blended lightly into crease
Aromaleigh Spark on middle 1/3 of lid and center lower lash line.
Aromaleigh Sophie on inner 1/3 of lid, tear duct area, and inner lower lash line
MAC Rich Grounds Fluidline along upper lashes, very lightly along outer 1/3 of lower lash line
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner to tightline upper lashes
Benefit They're Real! mascara on lower lashes
Sephora Atomic Volume mascara on upper lashes
Chinovi Dark Brown and Deep Auburn brow powders

Make Up Forever HD Primer in Neutral
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque used under eyes and to correct random red spots
Etude House Precious Minerals All Day Strong BB Cream
Sheer Minerals Buff Apricot blush
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NC25
Guerlain Meteorites in Teint Rose

Morgana Cryptoria Cozy Coffin gloss