Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Essence and Catrice - brands new to me

Just got back from good ol' Croatia. Love it. Love it.
Didn't do much shopping. Just got 2 polishes.

I think they cost 14 kune in total. That's £1.75 now I come to think about it. For two! The Essence bottles (some of them) have these pretty striped caps. This is a bog-standard lilac, I know, but I had to have a striped top and most of them did not possess the much-coveted stripes.

Clay-ton, My Hero

What's that all about? Bonkers.

I'm going to try this first. I bet it's sheer as all-get-out so I'll layer it over something.

This is Porec. The easiest way to get to our hotel was by water taxi. My daughter and her fiance thought they were in an episode of Miami Vice because we got one that was very plush and the driver-fella went very fast and waggled it (I'm well-known for my grasp of nautical vocabulary, don't you know) from side to side and kicked up a lot of spray. I loved it too, I must admit.

Back to posting some actual nail polishes soon but I've got three straight days of work looming. How did 5 weeks and 2 days go so fast?


Dear old Cutex...

Does this model look like Nicole Kidman or is it just me?

Maybe it is just me.

BUT before you run away with the idea that Cutex can't do funky. From the Sixties. Maybe early 70s. A bit pale and shimmery but  it does show there's more to Cutex than just pink/red. Cheeky hat. Love it.

See you soon now...

Monday, 30 August 2010

Yardley pink

70s. Cheesecloth. Hair. Collars. Eyeshadow.

But some funkier colours! Hurrah. Yellow and green were my faves in the 70s.
Isn't he just grim though? Something about this ad just makes me cringe. I wouldn't trust him as far as I couldn't throw him. He's a serial philanderer. Columbo would get the dirt on him for sure.

I admit it. You guessed. I'm on hols. But I am scheduling some real manis too.

I may get to read my comments. Haven't decided (at the time of writing) if I'm taking my Mac yet or if I will have the inclination to net-cafe or whatever. Back soon.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Whatever happened to Chen Yu?

An ad from the Thirties. Made in USA. So this was a brand consciously adopting an Oriental-type image. Must have been very trendy in the Thirties or something. I find long talons absolutely freaky-gross so this puts me right off, I confess. I admire the art work though and I suppose the long nails were essential for the spirit of the thing.

Same brand but none of the Oriental influence this time. I don't know how the US felt about all things Eastern after Pearl Harbor but I can imagine that things Japanese and (maybe?) Chinese weren't that popular. Chen Yu sounds Chinese to me but it could be totally made up. 

This is Forties. Look at the 3 colours at the bottom! And this was a summertime collection? Not sure about the gold jewellery but I adore the jacket, shirt and hat.

I googled Chen Yu and there is still a cosmetics brand of that name but it doesn't have an online shop so I wonder where it's sold. Anyone know?


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Mary Quant Posh Prune

I had this polish. I HAD this polish.

From Cosmo of 1974. Yep, that's the bloke's hand btw. If only I'd kept all my old cosmetics.

Also from '74. I was 18/19 and I loved Quant. I can't tell you how much. This was the era of glam rock so a lot of guys did look like this. Think Bowie, Bolan.

What do you love now?


Friday, 27 August 2010

Revlon Streetwear Burnt

Possibly the best sludge-green out there. One of anyway.

 It has gold shimmer too. There are so many Streetwear shades. I would love a complete collection. Why did they discontinue these? It's a travesty!!!

2 coats + base and top. If you like greens then get this. It isn't hard to find although there are some variants. This is the best version.

This was my holiday RH. May still be for all I know. Should probably take some layering polishes with me. Not taking my whole damned stash obviously. The LH is the Skin Food red. Red and green should frequently be seen.

What do you take on holiday of the nail variety?


Thursday, 26 August 2010


I said I'd found only one ad with black models. Now I found another. I don't know how important this is to you these days or if you feel it's an issue but I'd like to know your views. And btw how many FAT women ever feature in cosmetics ads? I'm no sylph but you don't see women like me in any of the ads.

Compulsory hat as ever in Avon ads. I wonder when they lost the hats?

And read the text! "Every day your Avon Representative perfects the art of being a woman at home." You can be assured she's been assiduously testing every product on her beautifully groomed person. Because that's what she does at home. As well as biscuits. And washing and ironing. I shouldn't knock it really. My Mum didn't go out to work and I didn't either until the girls were at school. It's just the notion that you were EXPECTED not to work. I hate being told what to do. My Dad was such a misogynist!

Just a quickie.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Oh, those glorious days - the Seventies

I have found a great new treasure trove of nail polish ads and I know some of you like them so ....
Oops, this isn't nail polish now I come to think of it but I was so totally seduced by the shoes that I DON'T CARE!!!!!

The wedge could be just a tad higher if I were to quibble. But look at the ankle strap. I had some black suede wedges in the 70s (higher than these) which I wish I'd kept. Look at the ANKLE STRAP!!! Sorry, I'm squealing. I love these.

We're all Imeldas at heart, aren't we? Tell me about the shoes you have loved most in your life.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Lancome Creme nacree Creme de nacre + CATASTROPHE

I love Lancome. I saw a Lancome nail product on sale. Aha!

Here it is. 2 little pots and the applicator. NOT a brush. No, no. Lancome are far too innovative for boring old brushes. This is 21st century technology, I think you'll find.

Pretty little pots.

Applicator. Cat's pyjamas. Bee's knees. All that rigmarole.
Applicator goes in pot. Transfers product to nail.

Not very even, is it?

The gold was even worse. I don't claim to be neat or good with my hands but I don't think Leonardo da bloomin' Vinci could make this work. So I did try it with a brush but this stuff just isn't polish as such. It has a different consistency. The applicator just doesn't cover the nail evenly and then when you try to fix it it just slides the product to another bit of the nail or OFF the nail altogether. Leaving more on the applicator than the nail.

Guess what? I don't think this was a huge success. Have you ever seen it about? No, I didn't think so. Hey, they tried. I wouldn't have bought it full price because I hadn't seen it all over the blogosphere and that's significant in itself.

You ever bought a nail/beauty product that wasn't just not very good but made great claims and failed conspicuously?

More ads tomorrow.


Monday, 23 August 2010

Skin Food Raspberry Jam with a hint of a glint of gold

It doesn't have a name really. This is from my swap with Green Fairy of Polished Serenity.

Really thick in a highly-pigmented way. 2 coats. No topcoat as yet. I love the paper labels on this Skin Food line. Feels like a jelly but that may just be because it really has a jammy quality that I love.

An attempt to show the "raspberry pips". Kinda works. Sorry for the hard skin on the ring finger. Retouching isn't working very well today.

Hope it lasts. I am going to pack cotton wool, remover, base and top coats and hope to buy some new polish when I get there.

And now for one of the most hideous ads I have seen.

I can say no more than that....
I have a feeling though that this may appeal to a couple of you because it is rather kitsch and there are some who specialise in suchlike. So this is dedicated to anyone who likes it!


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Misa No Shrinking Violetta

I have only seen this once on a blog. Or I found it on nailgal. Anyway it's not one of the better known Misa polishes. Misa is one of my top brands, I must say! I suppose this must be from an ancient collection.

It's not violet for sure. Pink with gold sheen. Exceptionally fine gold dust in the bottle. This is 4 coats but Misas go on like whipped cream so who's to care? I did put a coat of another pink over the middle finger and then a final coat of NSV and it appears exactly the same to me. So that's probably a way of economising on the number of coats. It's very low-key indoors and a lot of you will just find it another boring pink. But it has a duochrome quality in addition to the sheen. That's very much a feature of Misa polishes. In outdoor light it's different again.

See the bottle. Preeeeeetty. Heck, I like pink, red, taupe, nude, you name it. As well as the kooky colours obviously!

Two ads from the Seventies.

This looks as if it could be quite contemporary but the archive I'm using declares it to be 70s. I can imagine Cheryl Cole in this kind of pose.

The next is much more interesting.

A black woman. And maybe an Hispanic woman? I've been looking at polish ads for a few weeks now and this is the first ethnically-diverse ad I've seen. Actually out of 61 it's the ONLY one that doesn't show Caucasian women. 

So - do you think cosmetics advertising these days is representative of cultural diversity? Would you like to see changes in advertising and the models employed in terms of colour?


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Bourjois Violine Sublime

Shimmery gold veins in the burgundy (maybe more of a claret) in the bottle. Not SO much on the nail but still visible. Nicer than it looks here.

The ring nail yellow isn't pollen btw. It's a reflection of one of the bathroom lights.
2 coats after 15 hours wear.
It was £3 from asos. And remember that asos have dropped their P&P in the UK so it's worth it, I think. The ridge-filling properties of these are really rather good. I also got a brown one for £2.80 that will be useful in the autumn. I can shove some GOSH Rainbow over the top or the glitter franken I made to jazz it up.

Ad-break. Another feisty one from the 1970s. Not much more to say except that I begin to detect some themes in polish advertising - fruits and berries is a very popular one. But this is the only ad I've seen that has a boxing-spin. I wonder how successful this was. I like it because it's different. Red, black and white is always quite arresting although not unique. 

And now for a very weird one from 1998. Why weird?

Maybe it's just me but does that hand look like it belongs to that woman? I think it doesn't. It seems too big for the model. I find it quite disturbing but I am prepared for you to tell me that it's completely kosher. At least they didn't have a 'plane in the ad. That would have been a bit TOO literal.

When I go to Croatia does anyone know what brands I may be able to find there? Do hope I can happen upon a novel little something!

Briefly back...

Friday, 20 August 2010

Cutex Huckleberry + Sweet Pea

Jennifer is away from her desk right now.

So let me take you back in time to yesterday. All my troubles ....
Anyway. I have 2 Cutex polishes. They used to be a huge name and I suppose they've just been taken over/merged/whatever. I research old polish ads and there's more Cutex out there from days gone by than any other brand. So 2 ads coming up.

I got these particular babies because the OPI Hong Kong collection came out and I was looking for dusty greens and blues. Now these are no dupes of Jade is the New Black or the blue one (can't remember the name) from that collection. They were cheap and available so I got them. You can't sue me for it!

Now the ads. Cutex from the 60s. 

This one also features a man. Far distance in sort-of Gone with the Wind clinch. But this woman is a bit more feisty than yesterday's hat-lady. Look at the sexual innuendo in this one! Or is that just me? She'd bite his whatsit off as soon as look at him. 

The previous girl was all Marilyn and this one is more Bardot. I know this isn't polish btw. It's for lippie but you can see her hands so it counts. In my world. Again, quite a challenging gaze. But the companies would have had to have reconciled customers' continuing demand for cosmetics with the growing awareness of feminism and the Women's Liberation movement. So they had to portray more assertive-looking women. That's my interpretation. I think I feel a thesis coming on...

Simple question for today. Which ad appeals to you more?
Plus - have you ever questioned your cosmetics-habit? From the POV of is it what you should be doing with your time/money? Does it make you a half-wit? Or maybe that's just the chemicals. Who's to know?

PS Thanks for bearing with me while I'm a bit busy.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Cheap. Cheerful. Boring. It works.

Try this. Honestly. You'd be daft not to.

It's olive oil and sugar. I deliberately showed this before the sugar had "dissolved" fully into the oil.
What's it for? Hand lotion/potion/exfoliant/emollient.
How d'you use it? Just coat your hands in it. The sugar is abrasive, the oil is .....lovely.
WASH it OFF! Your hands will feel very soft.

I use it on my face and decolletage. Knees, elbows? Yep, that would work.  Do it before you have a shower. That's probably easiest. I'm sure you could use almond oil too. I just keep this stuff in my bathroom. So simple.

From 1950. What an elaborate hat. I rather like it. I slightly resent the patriarchal male hand though. It's a bit Adam and Eve. Dumb female can't resist temptation. I'm such a feminist! 

Are you remotely bothered what men think about your nail polish/lippie/eye-shadow? Do men even notice? Have you ever changed anything because a bloke asked you to?


Wednesday, 18 August 2010

My first franken - big-time FAIL

I'm helping number 2 daughter move tomorrow. Apparently I'm on "take rubbish to the tip" duty. Nice. So I thought I needed some heavy-duty nails. That means glitter. I'd bought some glitter from a craft-shop at Christmas and had some pink translucent polish so I thought I'd go for it. Not worth enlarging.

3 coats.

Looks better in the bottle.

Started with this. Only a Nails Inc. This YSL has been lurking in the fridge for months.

Add craft glitter. Hey, you live and learn. Not nearly enough glitter and I should have used an opaque base. Other than that a massive success! ;o)

At least I don't love it and I won't care when I mess it up. That's a plus.

Today's ad. I rather like this one. It says the pink is neither prissy nor sissy. Just so as you know. I like the pinks in the ad. Also her brows - and the beauty spot by her eye is rather fetching. She looks rather disdainful. Perhaps she has her eye on a better bloke. Or the smoked salmon vol-au-vents. 

See you around...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Barielle Belly Dance + Bourjois Beige Sophistique

Removing that Bourjois red made my hands! Needed a lot of scrubbing. But the Bourjois did such a good job of ridge-filling that I had the inspired *modest? moi?* idea of using the beige one as a base coat. Then it took just 1 coat of Barielle and I was done. Here goes. 2 coats would've been better.

You can see the Beige beneath because I'm not exactly meticulous about these things but people don't habitually grab my hands and rate my nails. Although the woman at the check-out in the CoOp last week did say I had an interesting concept i.e. different colour nails on the 2 hands. So now I have conceptual nails. I'm almost Picasso.
Belly Dance. Ghastly name. Belly dancing is becoming popular though. You can even take lessons these days. It's not the most flattering colour on me and does make my hands look lobster but I still like it. It's sort-of pinky-purple although it also ISN'T. It was on a BOGOF so I don't mind that I don't love it. The Bourjois is now my default ridge-filler. It works better than anything else I've tried.

Today's ad

  • Plasteen - where are you now?
  • 15 cents
  • What a vast range of complex colours!
  • Can anyone figure out what those brooches are, please? This is really bugging me.
  • And for AggieP (should she be reading this) a redhead! Natural, I'd say.
  • It's one of those photos where you start to wonder, "What is she thinking? Who's she talking to? What's going on?"
What polish do you wear that you believe doesn't really flatter you but you like it regardless?


Monday, 16 August 2010

Butter London Rosie Lee

Full sun. 2/3 coats. Don't know really. I just sploshed it on.
This is one of my all-time faves.
Butter London is one of the best higher-end polishes IMO for quality. I got 3 in a bargain-pack from ebay. Didn't spend the usual £10 on them.
Rosie Lee (if you didn't know) is Cockney rhyming slang for tea. Rosie is also my younger daughter's name (well, Rosemary). I love this polish. And I love my daughters and I love tea. So that's easy.

And outside in shade.
Sod's law dictated that the Bourjois red DID chip after a couple of days after I'd said it would be good for a month or so!
I'd definitely recommend this brand (Butter) even though I'm fairly sure it's not actually British. Because I'd had chipping I wanted glitter or foil as those finishes are more robust. The Claire's Mood polish that Rebekah sent me turned out to be a foil and lasted brilliantly.

Not quite sure what the brand is but I don't think this ad would ever have enticed me to buy the polish even in a much more media-innocent era.

Look at the print she's wearing. That has to be 60s. And, yet again, the saleslady is a very proper person who wouldn't dream of selling you Avon products without wearing her pill-box hat. D'you think it was a rule? Thou shalt not flog lippie without your trusty hat! I'm sure this was quite a funky ad for the time and Avon were trying really hard with their packaging.

My favourite ads are the meerkat ones. Cosmetics advertising leaves me cold. What cosmetics have you been tempted to buy on the strength of the advertising rather than blog recommendation or just browsing?


Sunday, 15 August 2010

Scarlet Woman + Bourjois Effet Faux Ongles Rouge Modele + Cover Girl Candy Apple

24 hours after application. Daylight.

The Bourjois is on 3 of the visible digits. 2 coats + B + T.
"False-nail-effect" doesn't sound that appealing to me (which is what this polish claims) but it plays a blinder, does this. All it means is that it smooths out my deep-as-the-Marianas-trench ridges. And THAT is no mean feat. I have another colour (beige) and I'm getting 2 more while they're cheap at asos. 2 for £5 odd and no P&P. The colours are not exciting but Bourjois say they are going to widen the range. I know from the beige one that this polish lasts and lasts. I'm delighted with this.

Inside with flash. From which you can tell I have a chip on the index finger (the Cover Girl) and that the Bourjois has the barest hint of shimmer.

Why don't we wear more red? Is it SOOOOO boring and beneath our notice? I am loving this on my nails. Partly the colour and partly the fabulous coverage properties.

False nails? Acrylics, glue-ons? Don't know why I'm snobby about them as my hair is as far from natural as you can get (think straw). Perhaps it's because I knew someone who got a terrible fungal infection from wearing false nails. It was really gross. It's more common with fake nails than natural, isn't it? I also don't like the regularity of fake nails. Mine are atrocious and I can't shape them for toffee but they look sort-of honest. Which again is ridiculous because my hair is entirely UNauthentic. Prejudice is an odd thing. Totally irrational.

Anyway, I am now on a massive red-binge. I have about 5 reds out of over 300 so it won't last long.

Revlon ad from the Seventies (that's a guess). I think Fire and Ice is a nice idea for a range. I wonder if this model was air-brushed? She has a great figure. Probably genuine but one becomes so cynical.

Any red ideas for me? Mainstream or funky?