BARRY M. TAKES AMERICA.

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barry m 2But not really. A more appropriate title would’ve been Barry M. Takes Succhisimples(.), but that somehow doesn’t seem as eye-catching. And yet succhisimples HQ (look at me, getting all official and such) is USA-based, so here we are. A lovely friend of mine from London was kind enough to bring these back for me from her recent trip, and of course I was over the moon when she landed with these beauties in her suitcase. This is no exaggeration-maybe just a little bit-I was more excited about four nail polishes than any human being should be. But can you blame me? Those colors. I’ve got the shades (L-R in top photo) Blueberry, which I’m also sporting on my nails in the second photo, a stunning periwinkle shade, Mango (true orange), Kiwi (blue-toned green), and Guava (bright teal with a hint of yellow/green). The formula of these surpassed all expectations: they’re everything we here on American shores could hope for-judging from the extreme hype surrounding them on the blogosphere-and much, much more.  Opaque in a single coat, glossy, true gel-shine like you’ve never seen it before outside of the salon. Don’t even get me started on the lasting power: I wore the shade Mango on my toenails for two straight weeks without a single chip (this includes many, many beach days). These outperform even some of my high-end polishes in the succhisimples stash (Chanel, anyone?) for a fraction of the price. Bottom line: Barry M., America needs you.

THE NEW THING: ESTEE LAUDER CYBER LILAC.

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had been brainstorming about a witty title for this post, but I figured I’d spare you my severely lacking comedy skills and get on with the makeup, sans a punny post title (pun very much intended). Apologies for my lack of imagination, but you have to admit, just looking at this gorgeous product does something to inspire makeup creativity. I’ve been a faithful lover of purple eyeshadow for absolutely ages, but, being the play-it-safe kind of neutral shadow gal that I am, have always shied away from wearing it boldly as anything but eyeliner, or in the form of a toned-down taupe/purple like MAC’s aptly named Satin Taupe. As much as I love that shade, I’ve been on the hunt for a purple shadow that looks sophisticated on the eyes, rather than one that makes it look like a toddler that got too happy with a crayon and no mirror. Side note: the search may or may not have been inspired by the look sported by Lisa Eldridge in this video (you can find a separate tutorial here). Fast-forward past overturning my stash to a trip to Nordstrom, where I happened to spot this beauty, Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gelée Eyeshadow in the shade Cyber Lilac. What a mouthful. Name aside, it was love at first swatch: the texture is absolutely buttery, without the excessive fallout that usually comes with such soft powders. While it is a sort of hybrid product, meant to be a cross between the texture of a cream whilst still being a powder, this works stunningly well both wet and dry. Use it dry, and you still get wonderful color payoff that sheers beautifully if worn allover the lid and into the crease. It has a lovely, almost duochrome effect such that it looks blue-silver, depending on the lighting and placement on the eyes, making it definitely one of those shades to use if you’re looking to do bright, one-color smokey eyes. Used wet, it has a high-sheen, metallic finish that retains the vibrant color even after it dries. Yes, it’s still a bold, in-your-face color that can be quite scary to wear, but I think it’s a very chic, grown-up type of purple that keeps things from looking too wild.  (P.S.: the GWP from Estee Lauder on Nordstrom.com if you spend $45 is to die for, check it out here.) All in all, definitely a must-have if you’re in the market for a purple eyeshadow fix.

What are your tips for wearing bright eyeshadow?

WOMT #1: ESSIE LAPIS OF LUXURY

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Oh, I do love a good pastel blue. This one is no exception, but it’s a bit of a twist on your classic sky-blue, with more periwinkle and purple-ish undertones. While the shade IS gorgeous, the formula is kind of funny compared to your usual creamy, milky pastel polish, since this one’s really sheer. Here, I had to layer on three coats to get full opacity, but a white base might help.  All in all, a gorgeous spring and summer shade if you’re willing to put in extra work. While this was from a resort collection a few years’ back, you can get it here.