Category: Beauty

blue nail polish

Monthly Manicure Report – July 2017

Nail polish is one of my favourite things in the world, so I keep wanting to share with you what I’ve got on my fingers and toes, but somehow am never pleased with the format. Can I blather on about a single polish for an entire post? I sure can. But Armour & Warpaint is not a nail blog, and if I had talked about all the polishes that I wear throughout the month, we’d only have nailpolish posts around here.

This wouldn’t have been a case for July, though, because in July I wore four polishes only – three on my fingers, and two on my toes. I’m going to throw a June polish into the mix just to spice things up a little bit (really, though).

On my fingers

avon rebel rose

Avon SpeedDry+ in Rebel Rose

You will have seen this polish here and here. It’s old and gloopy, but I just don’t want to let it go. Recently I dropped a bit of alcohol in it to thin it out, and yay! It’s with me again! I’ve been wearing it non-stop in July, intent on using it up and getting it over with. This is such a perfect bright cool-toned pink, though. When AVON rebranded their Speed Dry line, they added a similar colour named Strawberry. I own it as well, and the tone is ever so slightly different. A normal person wouldn’t notice, but unfortunately I do.

Rebel Rose has been discontuned for a while, and I believe its replacement within the AVON line has been discontinued as well.

AVON Mark. Gel Shine in Mint To Be

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In June I painted my fingers and toes with matching mint colours. AVON Mark. Gel Shine in Mint to Be is slightly easier to work with than the Oriflame Mint Zest counterpart below – but Oriflame lasts longer and has more shine. I also enjoy the Oriflame brushes more.

As much as I enjoy mint as a nail polish colour, I find it very difficult to work with. The only two shades I find harder are white and yellow. Every single white, yellow, and mint polish I have encountered in life ends up being gooey, capricious, streaky, messy and slow-drying. I love this polish, it looks amazing – but consider yourselves warned.

blue nail polish

Flormar 437 + Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in 150 Fly By

This particular Flormar shade has been with me for quite some time. They’ve got quite a long expiration date, though, and this one has just passed it. I cannot say it has affected the formula too much, but I believe it started to chip a little faster. Anyway, it’s always been one of my favourites, and I am going to attempt to use it more until it decides to cooperate no longer. Sally Hansen is a sheer shimmer polish. It matches Flormar 437 perfectly, and I think I am going to wear the two together again. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in 150 Fly By takes a long while to dry, though. A long while. I want to try wearing it over a white polish to imitate my friend’s gel manicure, but the moment I imagine the dry time of white polish and this topper, I reconsider.

On My Toes

avon on point blue

AVON Speed Dry in On Point Blue

Well this has been an AVON-heavy month, hasn’t it? I have quite a few of AVON polishes, and most of them are of great quality. This is another one of the SpeedDry series. It’s a revamped version, and is therefore younger than the rebel rose above. Blue polish is perfect for summer.

AVON On Point Blue is on the thin side, so you would need two coats – maybe even three if you like working with thinner layers. It goes on well, dries quickly, but doesn’t stay put for very long. This is a problem of every single fast-drying polish I have encountered, though.

Oriflame The One Long Wear Nail Polish in Mint Zest 31458

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The photo was snapped with my bookstagram in mind, so the focus is obviously on the book, but you can see the polish just fine. It stayed on my toes for an embarrassingly long time. Frankly, it would’ve stayed longer, because it didn’t chip or crack anywhere, but I felt it was time for a pedicure and a fresh coat of paint. Oriflame The One Long Wear Nail Polish in Mint Zest was a limited edition shade; it is no longer available.

oriflame mint zest

AVON Shine Burst Lipsticks in Calypso and Strawberry Blush

avon shine burst lipsticks

AVON lipsticks and I haven’t been getting along for quite some time. From complete misrepresentation of colour in the catalogues to hellishly drying formulas, it just wasn’t working out. But on the greater interwebs I read a complimentary review on their new Shine Burst lipstick line. I trusted this blogger and decided to risk it. One of the things that I found most attractive, funnily enough, was sheer coverage. I’m a serious fan of full-coverage matte liquid lipsticks, but even I want to take a break from them and use something light.

So. What have I got to say about them?

Calypso is a cold pink that, to my eye, has got just a touch of lilac in it.

Strawberry Blush has got quite an apt name. The colour is indeed reminiscent of a light strawberry blush. Both colours have shimmer in it, but it’s much more apparent in Strawberry Blush.

As I understand, the entire Shine Burst line (also called Gloss Sticks) is separated into 4 colour categories, which is reflected in its packaging. All the bullets are chrome metallic; they come in pink, red, copper, and purple, respectively. The two colours I own come from pink and red categories.

Although my disposition towards them was quite sceptical, I fell in love with Calypso from the get go. A sheer coverage, no visible shimmer. The colour looks great with my favourite lip pencil as a base, but on its own it, too, is amazing. A great every day colour that is also good for evening time. Upon a closer look, you can see just the tiniest amount of shimmer in the tube, but it is unreadable on the lips.

Strawberry Blush gives a ‘thoroughly kissed’ effect on me. I love this effect very much, and if it weren’t for shimmer, it could be that I would’ve loved Strawberry Blush even more than I love Calypso. Unfortunately shimmer, besides everything else, also affects the texture of the lipstick. Compared to Calypso, which feels like a really luxurious balm, Strawberry Blush is a bit… chalky. That description is offputting, but don’t let that stop you – both of these lipsticks do not feel drying. They are a pleasure to wear, especially during winter.

I’ve only got two negative things to say about AVON Shine Burst lipsticks. One is the amount of product – 1.8 g only. I’ve already used up about 1/3 of both Calypso and Strawberry Blush, though I can’t say that I’ve been using it more often than my other current favourites.

Another point is they tend to bleed outside of the lip line during summer. The formula is rather creamy and sheer. They are not long-lasting in the slightest, so during the hotter days make sure you use a clear or nude lip pencil with AVON Shine Burst lipsticks.

However I did like both of these AVON Shine Burst lipsticks quite a lot. When I run out of either of these, I will definitely repurchase it. Some other colours in the line have also sparked my interest (Peach Punch, Iced Mocha…) but since I’m saving money this year, I don’t quite know when I will get my hands on them.

calypso and strawberry

What’s your take on AVON lipsticks?

Oriflame Volare Perfume

crystal roses

I am not the one to throw around statements beginning with ‘every woman wants’. Every woman is different, I’ve got no idea what all y’all ladies want – aside from less bullshit and more respect.

But.

Every woman wants a crystal rose on their vanity.

I’ve got three.

Okay, well, two. One of them is gold.

oriflame volare past bottles

My relationship with Oriflame Volare started by proxy – it was my grandmother’s favourite perfume to give to my mother. Since then the perfume bottle has gone through a couple of redesigns. I am not sure how many there were in total, but I believe the rose-shaped bottle is the third version. At least, it’s the third design I own. I’ve included the two previous incarnations of Oriflame Volare for reference.

classic oriflame volare

Together with the bottle, Oriflame has altered the scent. From where I stand, the third incarnation of Oriflame Volare EDP is lighter and easier to wear, but I know there are a lot of people out there who disagree with me.

oriflame volare

Volare EDP

As you might just guess by the shape of the bottle, Volare certainly has notes of rose in it. They’re on top for me, shifting to leather rather quickly, and then moving on to something woody. This is the perfume I wear when I want to play grown-up. It is a very ‘have to be in the mood’ scent for me. I have to really feel it to wear it.

amber rose

If you quickly flip through some Fragrantica reviews (old/ new), you will see that the scent of Oriflame Volare EDP is quite polarising. Some people hate it, some people love it. I find it classic and beautiful, undoubtedly partially influenced by the bottle. Though I like it and use it, I don’t think it suits me well.

volare forever

Volare Forever

One of the recent variations of Oriflame Volare. Still very rosy, but a lighter kind of rose. Whenever I scent this, I think of a big bouquet of white roses. This time around it shifts into citrus, and then goes into something a bit musky and a touch aquatic. Volare Forever is lighter and therefore easier to wear than the Volare EDP above, but still requires a certain mood from me.

oriflame volare forever

oriflame volare gold

Volare Gold EDP

Released to celebrate Oriflame‘s 50 year anniversary, Volare Gold has notes of peach, rose, and salted caramel. Again, you can certainly scent the rose, and I suppose the underlying sweetness that is so attractive for me in this perfume is peach.

I have a peculiar relationship with sweet perfumes. I love them – but they need to be, in my understanding, properly done. For example, I love nearly all Escada perfumes. They’re sweet as all fuck, but man I could bathe in them. What I would do for a bottle of Rockin’ Rio or Magnetism just about now, you have no idea.

And I love peach. One of my favourite scents is easily the least sophisticated one out there – Victoria’s Secret Love Spell, I’m looking at you. Again, I could just bathe in it.

volare gold

Oriflame Volare Gold reminds me of both Rockin’ Rio and Love Spell. It is heavier than either of those, with rose still being the main accord, but Volare Gold is indeed my favourite one out of the three perfumes in the Oriflame Volare line. It is a little too heady for the blasted heat of Moldovan summer days, but I can picture myself wearing it on a cooler summer evening, preferably somewhere close to a big body of water, or a gentle spritz or two to the Arctic conditioned office.

volare magnolia

Volare Magnolia

I have a teeny tiny bottle of Volare Magnolia, a limited edition Volare scent in the second incarnation packaging. My bottle – as any bottle out there, really – is old. Directly from it, these days I mostly scent rubbing alcohol in it. However on my body it opens up rather nicely. It is a very light scent, lightest of them all, and reminds me of walks under the blossoming trees during the warmer days of spring.

volare 15ml edp

Volare EDP 15 ml

Although supposedly the same scent as the Volare EDP above, this tiny bottle smells different. To my nose it’s much more powdery and quite ‘older’ than the rose-shaped bottle of Oriflame Volare EDP.

beautiful perfume bottles

Have you tried either of these?