Tag: nail polish

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

Outgoing! November 2016

Welcome! to the first ever Outgoing! post on Armour and Warpaint. It’s just an empties post, nothing revolutionary, but from now on I’ll try to keep up and do these at the end of each month. I go through so many products, it’s ridiculous. There’s really no need for me to keep a mountain of empty bottles and tubes in the living room. Especially these days.

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Two AVON Planet Spa Neck and Chest Serums

AVON Planet Spa Dramatically (?) Firming Neck and Chest Serum with Colombian Coffee Extract and AVON Planet Spa Heavenly Hydration Uplifting Neck and Chest Serum with Mediterranean Olive Oil

These two are virtually the same from where I stand – there is a difference in the scent and in packaging, but here the distinguishing characteristics end for me.

Both serums are a transparent liquid. The consistency is runny, so the pump in the packaging is very handy. I needed at least two pumps to cover my neck, decolletage, and chest. Both AVON Planet Spa Neck and Chest serums spread well and absorb really quickly, leaving no sticky residue in their wake. Although I can say that they provided additional hydration and made skin very smooth to the touch, I noticed no firming and definitely no ‘uplifting’ properties whatsoever. So if you want an additional boost of hydration for your decolletage, this might be the product for you. Everything else – look elsewhere.

I believe these particular AVON Planet Spa products have been discontinued, but I’ve seen the Colombian Coffee Extract Neck and Chest serum crop up recently, so maybe there’s still some stock left.

bourjois-so-laque-11-rouge-diva

Bourjois So Laque! in Rouge Diva 11

This is a terrible horrible abominable nail polish, and you must never ever buy it. It is a complete waste of money, especially considering all the other amazing cheaper alternatives on the market. Even though it’s not a jelly, it kinda behaves like one. To get it fully opaque you’d need three coats. Three amazingly long-drying coats. Not to ruin this one until it dries fully is almost impossible – it seriously takes ages to dry. And once it’s dry, it will chip in about, I don’t know – twelve hours? I don’t know if this is the entire range or this shade in particular, but I don’t want to pay another fortune to find out.

(Though admittedly this Chanel dupe looks very attractive.)

bourjois-so-laque-rouge-diva

I have to say that I have what looks like an old range of So Laque!, so maybe with the release of the new one they updated the formula. There are many complimentary reviews out there, but for me Bourjois So Laque! behaved badly from the start.

bourjois-so-laque-rouge-diva

I painted my nails in the morning. Here it is in the afternoon.

It is worth noting that on my toes it behaved exactly the same. I found two huge chips the next day. On feet, people. Where polish goes to survive the nuclear war.

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Oriflame Love Nature Hydrating Face Scrub with Aloe Vera

While it didn’t do damage to my skin, it did feel rather harsh, no matter how gently I’d press when massaging my face. In terms of exfoliation I also can’t praise it. Not the worst, but overall quite mediocre.

delia-soothing-face-toner

Delia Cosmetics Dermo System Soothing Face Toner for All Skin Types

My first skincare product from Delia. This is an okay toner. I can’t vouch for ‘soothing’, but certainly not irritating. A tiny bit on the drying side. I would be inclined to buy it again, but unfortunately its scent is too harsh for me.

gojo-shower-gel

Gojo Showerfresh Refresh! Hair and Body Gel

My father picked this up from Lord knows where. The skin on my body is very thin and sensitive, so I decided to use this as a hand soap instead. In that quality it performs well. A pleasant scent, not overly drying.

dr-sante-cucumber-series-face-cream

Dr Sante Cucumber Balance Control Face Cream

I will be writing a detailed post on Dr Sante Cucumber series eventually, so just a short note here: While this is not a bad cream by any means and I might purchase it again, it simply did not provide enough hydration for me. I am the proud owner of oily but sensitive and constantly dehydrated skin. If you’re just oily and just sensitive, then you will like this product a lot. If you need additional hydration, then this alone will not be enough.

Another thing: When in the jar, it has a pretty recognisable ‘cucumber’ scent. However, when you apply it on your face, it smells like if you’d push your face in a bag of freshly dug out beets. I have no idea why it does that. The sensation doesn’t stick, though. It’s only during the application.

viorica-cosmeplant-shampoo-for-oily-hair

Viorica Cosmeplant Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Viorica product reviews in English will have a very small audience, but I don’t give two shits and this shampoo is getting its own post later on, because it saved my life. Rather a dramatic statement, but I’ve been going through this phase of terrible scalp irritation. It would react to everything, so in a fit of despair I just started buying every shampoo available on the local market. This one was the second or the third one I bought, and after first use the irritation was gone. Since it’s very cheap, and the list of ingredients* is very generic, I thought it was a fluke, and after a use or two decided to try another shampoo. BAM – itchy scalp again. So for a while there I could only use this to wash my hair. Gradually I was able to switch to other products, and currently use one that is less harsh on the hair shaft, but I try to keep this one in my bathroom at all times and use it a) if I feel my scalp acting up again; b) as a clarifying shampoo. I will buy it again and again, and I hope they never change the formulation. Wouldn’t mind it being a touch less aggressive, but don’t want them to fix what’s not broke. I love it so much, I’d add it to soup.

* Worth noting that it contains no colorants, parabens, silicons, and paraffin.

oriflame-nature-secrets-shower-gel

Oriflame Nature Secrets Exfoliating Shower Gel with Energising Mint and Raspberry

First things first, this stuff smells amazing. It also has some exfoliating particles, so it’s a bit of a gel-scrub. Nothing too serious, though; do not expect mega-scrubbing action. I enjoyed using it, but as I mentioned before, the skin on my body is very thin and very sensitive, and this shower gel dried it out a lot. It is a common problem for me, however, so I wouldn’t blame it on the product.

I believe Oriflame has slowly been discontinuing their Nature Secrets line, but if you love fresh scents and don’t have problem skin on your body, then go for this one. It’s very refreshing.

sto-retseptov-krasoty-hair-balm

Sto Retseptov Krasoty Hair Balm with Sea Buckthorn for Dry and Damaged Hair

‘Smoothing and regeneration’ are two of this hair conditioner’s promises. Overall a pretty generic hair conditioner, that does not however fail at its job. You just need to keep it on your hair longer – washed off immediately it doesn’t do much.

I bought it because I needed a hair conditioner and had very little money – and Sto Retseptov Krasoty is a very budget-friendly skin and hair care line. I also really liked its scent. I have this really odd relationship with sea buckthorn-scented products. I love them, but sometimes there’s the undercurrent of something sickeningly sweet.

I’m a master of recs, aren’t I?

I’d probably purchase this one again if I had little money and needed a hair balm.

oriflame-activelle-cotton-dry-antiperspirant

Oriflame Activelle Cotton-Dry Antiperspirant

I’ve written a full review of this line in a separate post, which you can read here. This is yet another finished product from the line. As mentioned in the original post, I would be buying this again when on offer.

oriflame-optimals-body-firming-lotion

Oriflame Optimals Body Firming Lotion

I will be reviewing the Oriflame Optimals Body line in a separate post, but for now I can say this: When I used this lotion on my less problematic areas (arms and legs, for example) – I felt the firming effect quite extensively. Used on the rest of my body, the effect is minimal. So if you don’t need extensive action in skin firming department, then this product will do you good. Any other case – skip.

oriflame-and-avon-mascaras

Three Mascaras – Two Oriflame, One AVON

giordani-gold-mascara-brush

Giordani Gold Luscious Volume Mascara

My favourite of the three, I am very sad that this mascara was discontinued. It gave black, long, voluminous lashes, all in one coat. When I applied two coats, it was all drama, all the time. Very sad to see it go.

oriflame-the-one-lash-resistance-brush

The One Lash Resistance Mascara

Another discontinued product I believe, but here I can certainly see why. The brush is weird, it gave little volume, it wasn’t fully black, and it would run in about… two hours? And what didn’t run, would crumble in another three. Despite these two points, The One Lash Resistance mascara was very hard to remove. Resistance indeed. However, there were two positive things about this Oriflame mascara – it separated the lashes beautifully, and it also gave great length. I’ve been complimented on the length of my lashes nearly every time I’ve used this product.

avon-big-and-false-lash-brush

AVON Big & False Lash Volume Mascara in Blackest Black

My least favourite of the three. I used it for about a week, and then let it go. If anything, it made my lashes look worse. They kept sticking out in all weird directions. Brushing through was difficult, because the formula would freeze your lashes and make them very hard to brush through. As you can deduce from that, applying more than one coat was nigh impossible. Though it’s not grey, it is certainly not ‘blackest black’. Also, it gave no volume what so ever.

I always like to give some benefit of the doubt – so perhaps my tube was faulty? Have you ever used this product? How did you like it?

shea-moisture-african-black-soap-shave-butter-creme

Shea Moisture SHAVE African Black Soap Shave Butter Creme

Unfortunately I cannot comment on the product’s scent, because the jar I had was very old and smelt a bit on the rancid side. However, it did not diminish the qualities of this product. Very similar in consistency to a body butter, it spread well and made shaving very smooth and quick. Plenty of hydrating properties here – if you are so inclined, you can easily use this as an in-shower body moisturiser. Shea Moisture is only available on the grey market here, so I don’t know if I ever encounter this product again. If I do, however, I will repurchase. Highly recommended*.

* It bears noting that I have only used this to shave various parts of my body. I have never tried using it on my face, as I have no need for that.

starlooks-lip-sugar

Starlooks Lip Sugar

Received in one of the Lip Monthly bags back when I was still subscribed. Felt pretty much like brown sugar suspended in oil, but the list of ingredients is a little more complicated than that. Overall a good non-drying lip scrub that I have at times found a bit too soft. You can definitely use this generously.

oriflame-le-hand-creams

Three Oriflame Handcreams

I’m writing a huge overview post of all the Oriflame hand creams I’ve used so far, so keep your eyes open for that. ;-) The three above are either limited edition or discontinued. P.S. I Love You was a Valentine’s Day special release, and remains my absolute favourite, especially in terms of scent. Eco Beauty came a close second – and I’d say it was more nourishing.

oriflame-nail-file

Oriflame Nail File

Perhaps an odd thing to include in an empties post, but Oriflame nail file is one of my favourites. It doesn’t damage the nail no matter what direction you file. Very gentle on the nails. However, it does a good job on gel nails as well. Keep in mind that it wouldn’t last as long – perhaps three-four uses only.

Incoming! November 2016

Strangely enough, one of the most popular posts on my blog, according to Google Analytics, is the Incoming! one. Yes, I said ‘the incoming one‘, because indeed I only put up one post of such nature and then dropped the idea. But to satisfy the masses, I am bringing these posts back.

I buy a lot of beauty products for the average person. Soz. I also buy books and stationery, random home ware, clothes and jewellery, and stuff for cats, so I suppose that would be the extent of the subjects of these Incoming! posts.

golden-rose-matte-lip-crayon

Golden Rose Matte Lip Crayon

Pretty much love at first sight. I’ve been looking at these lipsticks on blogs for weeks now, and finally went and bought one. I chose an easy to wear every day shade, because I wanted to see how it performs throughout the day before getting a deeper colour. Let me tell ye – it performs extremely well. Soft, non-drying, very creamy for a matte lipstick formula – any lipstick formula, for that matter. Doesn’t bleed, doesn’t feather. Does wear off when eating, but stays put through tea, water, and light snacks. Very lightly scented (thank you, Golden Rose, for updating the scent of your lip products!!).

golden-rose-matte-lip-crayon-swatch-11

I love, love, love this crayon, and already have my eye on two other shades. My only gripe is that these are not automatic and you would have to sharpen them. It’s not that big of a deal, and sharpening pencils and crayons is something of a calming weekend ritual for me. However, it wastes much more product than the automatic ones do.

delia-serums-collagen-and-hyaluronic-acid

Two Serums

I continue exploring Delia products with these two serums. These are very decently priced. It’s hard for me to grade them for performance against their high-end counterparts – simply because I never had any. Matter of fact, I really only had one face serum ever in my life – the Shu Uemura one from the Depsea Hydrability kit. However, I’ve been pleased with results. My skin feels much more even and very soft to the touch.

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Two Face Creams

Two cheap moisturises this month because I had an unexpected salary cut – one for oily skin, one for all skin types. I’ve been using these at night. Their price is ridiculously low – just over $1 each. In combination with the above serums, they’ve been doing a very decent job at keeping my skin hydrated. No breakouts. Pleasant scent. I might actually buy them again, we’ll see.

ultra-doux-aloe-and-vegetable-milk-conditioner

Garnier Ultra Deux Softening Conditioner with Aloe Vera and Vegetable Milk

There’s not much to say about this line, is there? It does leave my hair softer and shinier. The scent is non-offensive and even enjoyable.

nivea-inshower-body-milk-cocoa-butter

Nivea In-Shower Body Milk Cocoa Indulging with Cocoa Butter

Been meaning to pick this one up for quite a while. I went for an option with Cocoa Butter for normal to dry skin. Although I still need additional hydration when using this in-shower body lotion, it performs much better than the AVON one I’ve tried some time ago. I’ll be buying more from this series.

oriflame-nail-polishes-antique-bronze-and-amethyst

Oriflame Nail Polishes

And my quest to collect all the Oriflame nail polishes continues. A tiny addition this month – another duochrome shade much like the Golden Rose one I already own (would you like a deeper comparison post?), a gorgeous deep purple with golden glitter – the one from their winter collection of yesteryear that I had thought I’d lost a chance to buy forever, and a green with golden glitter one – missing from the picture, because I have yet to pick up my order.

tender-care-ginger-bread

Oriflame Tender Care

I am not going to wax poetic about these balms. Okay, maybe I am – in a later post. Technically, though, they are just glorified petroleum jelly. But they’re so well made, and the formula has a really lovely almost-whipped texture, and the scents are so well selected, and the packaging so cute – I just buy every single scent they come out with.

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This one is Gingerbread and it’s fricken amazing. I want to slather it all over my body and eat whatever is left, it just smells so good.

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Bell Trio Eyeshadow

I have had the fondest memories of Bell Cosmetics. It’s one of the first brands I’ve ever used, and their products were one of the first I’d bought on my own. They are marketed as ‘hypoallergenic’. On that I cannot comment, because I have, thankfully, never been allergic to any makeup item to date.

bell-trio-shadow

I picked up this eye shadow trio because the colour selection is lightly (very lightly) reminiscent of the Mary Kay Autumn Leaves set. It’s nowhere near being a dupe, but the idea is there – a green, a purple, and a gold/ neutral. So far I’ve only really used the neutral shade. The others have only been swatched. I might report with a full review later, but for now: Rather pigmented for the product of its caliber; powdery; the two brighter colours seem to stain; use a primer; wear period is medium, but not atrocious; packaging very hard to open.

oriflame-matte-liquid-lipstick

Oriflame Lip Sensation Matte Mousse

I picked up one of Oriflame’s recent releases – their matte liquid lipstick. I had thought it would be a good every day pink for me, but… meh.

oriflame-matte-liquid-lipstick-swatch

I’m currently working on an overview post of all the Oriflame lipsticks I own from different lines, and will have an indepth review there, but in short: Unfortunately, unimpressed.

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Chernii Zhemchug Mousse-Foam Face Washer with Precious Oils

I needed a new face washer because the Bourjois one has failed me. Read a lot of good things about this Precious Oils series from Chernii Zhemchug, so decided to give it a go. It’s not as harsh as the Bourjois one and the scent is much more… I guess you can even call it comforting. One pump is plenty, which is always a huge plus in my book. However, I do think this is more of a quick morning face washer rather than a step in a night time skin routine. But it’ll do for now. Next time I’m going to try an Eveline gel wash with hyaluronic acid that’s been on my list for a couple of months now.

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Some Tools

I picked up a brush for the purposes of dry brushing and an angled eyeliner brush that’s been long overdue in my collection.

romantic-beauty-angled-eyeliner-brush

The angled eyeliner brush is very good, especially for its price. There are, perhaps, better brushes out there, but for the purpose of every-day non-precision gel eyeliner and for the price tag of $1 it does a great job.

angled-eyeliner-brush

The body brush is by Oriflame. When I ordered it from the catalogue, I had thought it would be bigger. In reality it is rather small, but still a good size. Aside from brushing bristles, it comes with massage uhh… thingies built in.

oriflame-massage-body-brush

It’s hard to tell you about results just yet as I’ve only started my dry brushing routine, but so far, so good.

Some Books

My friend is a huge King fan, so I bought two books of his that aren’t horror to finally give the guy a go. Horror genre and I do not agree (I’m as surprised as you are, but that’s true – I am a complete chickenshit and find the Scary Movie franchise scary), so by Oxana’s recs I picked up Dolores Claiborne and by my own interest I picked up On Writing. On Writing I’ve skimmed through before in English, so it’s interesting to read the translated version. The photographs are missing, because the shelf with the new books has been obscured with the Wall of Boxes.

On Kindle I bought Fingersmith. I’ve been looking into Sarah Waters works for a couple of months now, and finally decided to go for Fingersmith first.

Not so much bought as exchanged – Night Call is a selection of stories about law enforcement agencies, and one of the stories in the volume is set in Kishinev. Now, let me tell ye – not many books are set in Kishinev, so I had to get this. The book itself is a typical detective story of the Soviet Era, but reading it was exciting because I really enjoyed recognising the city I live in on the pages. You big city dwellers are lucky bastards, you get to recognise your Londons and Moscows and New Yorks in nearly every other work. Finding a book set in my country – my city! – is refreshing, to say the least.

If you’re keen, take a look at the Kishinev category on my other project, Inner Moldova.

Also bought the first volume of Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84, which I have lovingly nicknamed “IQ84”. I mean no harm; I love Mr Murakami’s works. The photo, too, is missing, because the book is behind the Great Wall of Boxes.

spanish-graded-readers

And finally, a couple of Spanish readers. One is a shameful Beauty and the Beast with literally like 10 paragraphs of text in it, but since it’s Disney and all colour, it actually cost more than the others. The other four are readers with exercises. Three of them are still too high of a level for me (I’m currently somewhere between 1 and 2), but I bought them to ensure that I would have them. I had thought that Spanish study material would be easier to come by here, but boy was I wrong.

Sidenote: Would you like me to write about books more? I’ll never be able to write deep thoughtful reviews of what I read – I am not a deep and thoughtful reader – but if you’d like a few notes here and there, I’m sure it can be done. ;-)

That’s it for November! Man, it adds up. I was sure I didn’t buy anything this month, ahahah.