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Monthly Archives: November 2013

I was recently invited by the good people over at Nail Polish Canada (they do a good job of supporting my polish addiction!) to participate in their second annual Holiday Nail Art Challenge. Though I fancy myself a nail polish connoisseur, but hardly a nail “artist,” I still decided to give it a try and participate this year! Let’s see if I can keep up. 😉

The first week’s nail art challenge is “snow” – and I decided to go for an abstract look. My snow-themed nail art is inspired by the beauty of a sunny, cold day in the middle of winter, when the ground and trees are totally covered by sparkling, fluffy snow.

I started with a base colour of OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie (which I was wearing over a coat of OPI’s My Vampire is Buff already) – this was completely dry. I then sponged on a gradient of Zoya’s gorgeous blue Pixie Dust Sunshine with a hint of a blue-grey holo Colors by Llarowe called Rare Bear in the middle and OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie toward the base of the nail. Finally, I applied a few dots using Butter LONDON’s gorgeous white Cotton Buds and OPI’s glitter Which is Witch? for sparkling snow.

NPC_Snow_NailArt_polishes

Mariah Carey for OPI’s Ski Slope Sweetie epitomizes a gorgeous, snow-covered ground – it is a beautiful white with golden shimmer, so I thought it would be the perfect base for this “snow-covered” mani. I love the sparkle and texture of Zoya’s Pixie Dust Sunshine, and thought the blue was a beautiful contrast to the white mani. Finally, OPI’s Which is Witch contains holographic glitter in a clear base, making it the perfect finishing touch for a “snow” themed manicure!

NPC_Snow_NailArt2

NPC_Snow_NailArt1

And a macro shot:

NPC_Snow_NailArt_macro

What do you think?

 

If you like my nail art, would you vote for me on the Nail Polish Canada challenge page?
Feel free to also register and participate here!

 

~xo

 

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When I expressed interest in writing another guest post for The Obsessed, I was overwhelmed with the selection Aire provided to me! While difficult (insert dramatic sigh here), I finally selected 3 of the gorgeous limited edition “Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués.” Talk about a fashion collaboration made in heaven! The nail art was inspired by Marchesa’s signature couture gowns and each kit comes complete with 18 nail appliqués, mini file, buffer and cuticle stick.

Revlon_Marchesa_GildenMosaic_boxRevlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliqué Box

 

I decided to start with “24K Brocade.” This gorgeous turquoise base with stunning gold brocade detail has injected a bit of summer back into my life! The pattern has a slightly exotic, glamorous Bollywood feel to it. And the best part – the application was absolutely simple and foolproof. Between putting my little one to bed for nap time then serving his older brother a snack, I knew I had maybe 20 minutes to get these babies on! And thankfully 20 minutes was more than enough!

I started with clean, bare, dry nails and quickly pushed back my cuticles. I then lined up each finger nail underneath the clear appliqué strip to best match the size. One by one, I placed an appliqué on each nail and tautly pulled and folded the appliqué over the tip. Using the mini file, I gently filed down over the nail tip until the excess appliqué separated from my nail. Only one nail was not to my satisfaction so I followed the box’s removal instructions, pulled from the cuticle up and voila! The appliqué was removed with no remaining glue or residue.

Revlon_Marchesa_24kBrocade24k Brocade – daylight

Revlon_Marchesa_24kBrocade224k Brocade – shade

How spectacular is the contrast between the turquoise base and the metallic gold?

I kept “24K Brocade” on for 3 days, looking for any excuse to remove it for the next set…
When I noticed the slightest tip wear on one nail, I decided it was time to try “Gilded Mosaic!” (Note: these would absolutely last longer than 3 days – I was simply too excited to try the others!)

Once again following the box’s removal instructions, I removed each appliqué by gently lifting from the cuticle and pulling forward and up. There was a small amount of residue on a couple of my nails so I simply wiped each nail with polish remover for a clean, fresh canvas.

“Gilded Mosaic” looks just like it sounds – almost like a beautifully jeweled (faux) snakeskin in gold, silver and hints of black. Based on feedback around my office, this one was the fan favourite. It added sophistication to every outfit and was the perfect accessory!

Revlon_Marchesa_GildenMosaicGilden Mosaic

I tested my patience by keeping this one on for 5 days before moving on to the last (and my personal favourite) “Crown Jewels.” I contemplated using a deep black or blue base colour but decided to go bare. “Crown Jewels” was an effortlessly chic update to the standard French manicure. The appliqué tips varied slightly in design, which made each nail unique. I actually trimmed a bit of the clear base toward the cuticle so I could have more of the gold tip on each nail. I love the way this looked on my bare nails and will definitely be purchasing a few of this design to try over polish!

Revlon_Marchesa_CrownJewelsCrown Jewels

 

This is a super fun, easy and quick way to achieve a professional salon look without the salon price tag. Not to mention, Marchesa – need I say more?

Revlon_Marchesa_24kBrocade3Another view of 24k Brocade

Revlon by Marchesa Nail Art 3D Jewel Appliqués are available in limited release in drugstores throughout fall 2013,  in eight beautiful designs. For more information, head to Revlon.com, or become a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram fan!

Do you have a favourite design yet?

 

~xo, Artemis

 

Happy Sunday!

Today’s post… will cast a spell on you!

Well, I have been waiting over a YEAR to share this news with you… and the big day is finally here! Today I bring you… Bewitch, my collaboration shade with piCture pOlish!

When piCture pOlish first contacted me after Blog Fest 2012 to ask if I would be interested in participating, I must admit, I was shocked. My blog was still relatively new at the time, and there were far more established bloggers than me they could have selected. This was a huge honour, but even more so for a newish blogger!

When I finally collected myself after the shock wore off, I knew what I wanted. Loving dark, moody colours, my shade would have to be vampy… maybe holographic. I was inspired by one of my favourite piCture pOlish shades, Monroe, a jelly base with holo pigments, and asked for an aubergine shade with perhaps a sprinkling of golden fairy dust. And as we approached the final round of collaboration shades being released today, BEWITCH was born!

picturepolish_bewitch_btl

Bewitch is a complex aubergine shade that starts out as a purple jelly base with holographic particles, filled with golden shimmer. It is a moody shade that, though starting out with a cool purple base, looks warmer once applied, and slightly shade-shifts in different light. And it is shiny and sparkly, and truly: gorgeous!!!! I am so proud of this collaboration shade!

Have a look:

picturepolish_bewitch_shade_200wmIn daylight

picturepolish_bewitch_sun_200wmIn direct sun

And of course, a macro to show you the complexity of Bewitch:

picturepolish_bewitch_macro_wm

You can see some of the purple jelly base on the perimeter of the polish in the macro. I just love the juxtaposition of cool and warm tones in Bewitch! And that gold and holographic shimmer…!

picturepolish_bewitch_collage

A huge THANK YOU to the girls at piCture pOlish for allowing me the opportunity to create my very own polish shade! The collaboration shades are a phenomenal idea, and I personally own many bloggers’ creations.Thank you for being so supportive of us bloggers!

You must see this shade for yourself to be “bewitched…” and I hope you love it as much as I do!

I would love to know what you think, so please feel free to comment!

Get your very own Bewitch directly from piCture pOlish (they ship internationally!), or from their Network. Don’t forget to follow piCture pOlish on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, and check out their YouTube channel!

~xo

On a recent trip to Dior (more on that here), I headed to the Dior counter looking to stock up on my Diorshow Mascara…  instead I was led to this miraculous, non-greasy oil. Launched this past summer (2013), this product somehow evaded me until my fortunate trip to the Holt Renfrew Dior counter last week, where somehow, in conversation, the DBA (designated beauty advisor) asked me if I had tried Dior’s Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil… then proceeded to apply some over the lipstick swatch smeared on my hand. With a little rub, the colour almost melted off my skin, and with a damp wipe, left my hand glowing, nourished.. and not oily!

Rated as one of InStyle’s Best Summer Skincare Products for 2013, Dior’s Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil truly is remarkable. Suitable for all skin types, this oil dissolves makeup when massaged onto skin, leaving no greasy residue yet preserving the natural hydration of skin. Formulated with Pure Lily Extract, also present in Dior’s Instant Cleansing Water, it helps to inhibit skin inflammation. Possessing a slight, soft and very pretty scent, it is not strong enough to be offensive to those not fond of scented products.

I am so obsessed with this product that I can’t imagine living without it anymore. I literally pump twice into my hand each night, emulsify and warm up the clear oil by rubbing hands together, and rub on my dry face including the eye area (can be used on dry or damp skin). Eye liner, mascara, foundation – it all starts to melt off! You can add some water and continue massaging to remove the makeup, or use a soft cloth while rinsing to wipe the face clean, which is what I like to do. I usually follow up with my regular foaming cleanser. What’s incredible is the fact that it actually rinses clean and leaves no residue or film behind, truly cleaning your face of all its makeup.

dior_CleansingOil

Have you tried Dior’s Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil, or another cleansing oil?

This product is now available at Dior counters nationwide, as well as at Sephora.com and online at thebay.com! For more information (but no shipping available to Canada), head to Dior.com. (And if you head to Holt Renfrew’s Dior counter on Bloor Street in Toronto, be sure to see Ronnie Yung, the DBA who made me an addict!)

~xo

Recently I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive Dior Institut express/mini facial, featuring Dior’s intense age-defying skincare from the miraculous sap of the Chateau d’Yquem vines: L’Or de Vie.

For the past four centuries at the Chateau d’Yquem, a unique vine has grown stronger and more beautiful every year. After identifying ten polyphenols (which are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals; free radicals are thought to be responsible for aging in our skin) in the heart of the sap, Dior researchers have continued to unravel Yquem’s mysteries. In 2011 they discovered a new active molecule that has the power to reverse the effects of time, and in 2012, revealed Botrytis Cinerea, the new secret from this vine. Botrytis Cinerea is a substance that is normally a plague to vines, but in Yquem it mysteriously reverses the process, becoming beneficial to the vines.

ChateauDYquemsource

Delicately removed from the sap of the vines, the precious molecules are extracted through a 17-step purification process, then carefully concentrated into the luxurious L’Or de Vie collection. L’Or de Vie promises smoother, firmer and more luminous skin.

Dior_LordeVie1

My express-facial felt like a mini-oasis in the midst of an urban storm. I was welcomed by Dior’s PR executive and Dior’s lovely Education Manager, Annemarie Van Meer, who proceeded to take me to a private cabine to relax, unwind and enjoy this most luxurious treatment. Though short in time, the experience felt anything but, as Annemarie educated me on L’Or de Vie’s history and products while applying them. I truly felt rejuvenated and best of all, my skin actually glowed after the treatment!

DIor_lordevie2The Express Facial Experience

My express facial included the L’Or de Vie 5-part skincare ritual:

The Lotion
*Deeply purifies, rebalances and re-plumps the skin

The Serum
*Penetrates to the heart of skin to deliver the quintessence of the Yquem vine sap for the ultimate anti-aging action

The Creme
*Blends delicately into skin to nourish it intensely and leaves a velvet finish behind

The Creme Riche
*Provides long-lasting nourishment for even the driest skins

The Eye and Lip Creme
*Fades away shadows, smoothes fine lines and redefines lip contour

All L’Or de Vie products are available as refills.

If you would like to experience the full L’Or de Vie Cabine service (facial)**, attend the
Magic of Dior event between December 9 and 14th, 2013!

Exclusive to Holt Renfrew
Meet Ricky Wilson, Dior Celebrity Artist

in Toronto:
Holt Renfrew Bloor Street
Friday, December 13, 2013 – from 12 – 8 pm

Holt Renfrew Yorkdale
Saturday, December 14, 2013 – from 11 am – 5 pm

Dior_Magicofdior**Customers who attend the Magic of Dior event are invited to attend a L’Or de Vie facial in January; to be booked at time of the Magic event.

L’Or de Vie is available in Canada exclusively at Holt Renfrew. For more information (but no shipping available to Canada), head to Dior.com.

~xo

WATCH IT! Celebrity Couple Inspiration Holiday Gift Guide

The Holidays are going to be here before you know it! Enjoy this Celebrity Couple Alter Ego holiday WATCH IT! gift guide, showcasing fun and fabulous designs for the couples in your life!

Happy shopping!

WATCHIT!_Holiday_Nov4

For more information or to purchase, head over to WatchIt!’s website!

Launched last month just in advance of the Miss Universe competition, this very limited edition trio of shades includes the dusky purple I’m Feeling Sashy, the vampy blackened plum Miss You-niverse, and the textured matte platinum This Gown Needs a Crown with a satin finish. The three shades were inspired by the women of Miss Universe, embodying glamour and the ultimate prize of the coveted crown. Highly wearable and gorgeous, this mini-collection is… dare I say it? Perfection.

Judge for yourself!

I’m Feeling Sashy is a medium-toned dusty purple creme. The formula was amazing. And the shine!! Here are two coats in sunlight (pre-top coat!):

OPI_MU_ImFeelingSashy2

in the shade it looks more like a dusty lilac:

OPI_MU_ImFeelingSashy1

Miss You-niverse is a blackened plum creme, and it is very dark – right up my alley! I love how vampy this shade is, but it has enough colour to not look black in daylight. This was an even nicer formula than I’m Feeling Sashy – definitely a one-coater if you’re quick, but I applied two coats. And no staining upon removal! Again, the pictures are pre-top coat in sunlight:

OPI_MU_MissYou-niverseSeriously, how gorgeous is that?? (I’ve already worn it twice!)

I love it with a French tip of This Gown Needs a Crown:

OPI_MU_MissYou-niverse_Frn

 

Lastly, This Gown Needs a Crown is a textured matte platinum that is not quite as textured as the OPI Liquid Sands. It’s actually quite smooth to the touch so if you are not a fan of textured polishes, this is a great option for you! And I absolutely LOVE this polish! The colour, the finish, the sparkle…  It’s easily one of the nicest silvers I’ve ever used. And it provides great opacity at two coats. OPI recommends wearing it without top coat to maintain its finish, so here are two coats on their own:

OPI_MU_ThisGownHow cute is the crown charm on this polish bottle?

And a macro shot to show you the holographic sparkle:

OPI_MU_ThisGown_Macro

 

These shades are now available at Professional Salons and Spas. For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

So…? Do you agree – are they not perfection? Which one is your favourite, and do you have any of these yet?

~xo

 

(Products were provided for consideration and review. All opinions are my own.)

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