Thursday, October 29, 2015

Chanel Infiniment Illuminating Powder Review, Swatches and Photos

Despite the fact that in the world of make up we left summer behind somewhere in July, there are some late summer/early fall releases lingering about the counters still worth looking at. Today I have Chanel's permanent late summer/early fall release the Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder ($72.00 CA) Photos in natural light on NC 35 skin.

Chanel has jumped hard on the highlighting/illuminating powder bandwagon in the last few years with their luxurious, limited edition releases such as last holiday's Camelia de Plumes. The Infiniment Chanel Illuminating Powder they released in late August is a different, though very wearable, sophisticated take on the trend of luminous (dare I say "strobing"?) skin.

Infiniment Illluminating Powder is more of an all over finishing power a la Guerlain Meteorites. It has a sheer slightly peachy matte base with tiny shimmers. The overall effect is understated but very pretty - a fresh matte finish with a luminous, definitively "non makeup-y" look.

The powder itself looks like a standard translucent powder in the case, with medium the Chanel logo "embroidered" in the middle in a medium coral powder. The C's are large and thin enough that using the two powders separately is not really an option. Swirled together and buffed over the skin, this powder really flatters the skin, giving you a naturally matte yet radiant glow.

I hesitated at providing a swatch of this, mainly because I knew it would not show up on camera. People who want a noticeable highlight or strong "strobing" effect should skip this. Fans of Guerlain's Meteorites or Hourglass's Ambient Lighting powders will find this a beautiful product.

Chanel Infiniment Illuminating Powder (swatch between lines)

The only downside to this product for me (other than the usual hefty Chanel price tag) is the scent. It has the classic Chanel rose scent, but in a much stronger, dare I say unappetizing version? I'm used to the way their lipsticks smell and I don't mind it. But this product smells gross to me. It's not so gross that I won't use it, but gross enough that I feel I need to comment on it, and that says something because I'm usually indifferent to scented products. It has the same scent as Dior Diorshow Mascara which I similarly find a bit nauseating.

Other than that this is a great finishing powder. It really does give your skin a photoshopped effect without looking artificial or made up.

Grade: B+

Update: This is a permanent product.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wayne Goss The Anniversary Full Review

Wayne Goss The Anniversary Set brushes #1- #5 (bottom to top)

I've now had over a week to use and collect my thoughts about the Wayne Goss Anniversary Set. The Anniversary Set, which as the name suggests, celebrates two years of Wayne Goss's brushes. This limited edition set ($225.00 US), which is hand crafted by artisans in Japan,  is identical to the original Collection with two exceptions. The first being that Goss enlarged brush #1 a slanted, duo fibre foundation brush by 4x. The second being that The Anniversary Set includes an updated (and now permanent) version of brush #5, a pencil tipped eye brush. Since I don't own the original Collection, this review will not address the differences between the new #1 & #5 and the original versions.

Overall my impression is that the natural hairs used in the brushes are of an exceptionally fine and soft quality (goat and squirrel) and the shapes are very well formed and symmetrical. Wayne Goss states that it takes over 20 people to complete one brush and you can see that care in the product - there are no wayward hairs or loose ferrules here. The handles are also of a good length and diameter (medium) and fit well in the hand. The all black ferrules and handles with Goss's name lazered on in fuschia add a stylish touch.

Brush #1

As I stated in my first impressions post, the Anniversary version of the #1 is 4x bigger than the original #1. Even at 4x the size, the #1 seems average size for a foundation brush. It's a great brush to buff out and stipple on foundation, though I would recommend you begin your application by using your fingers to loosely spread your foundation out (to save on product, as a dense brush like this will soak up product.) As an aside, I tried this brush to apply loose powder and it does it like a dream, giving good coverage and buffing it into the skin. The slanted shape also makes this great for getting into corners like the side of the nose. Grade: A

Brush #2

Brush #2 is a small domed, tear drop shaped brush which is good for precision powdering, highlighting or contouring. Out of all the pointed/tear drop brushes I own (including Hakuhodo J5521, Hakuhodo + Sephora Pro and Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt), this is my favourite powder brush for the under eye area. Super soft and just the right size to make spot powdering easy, fast and fool proof. My favourite brush of the set. Grade: A+

Brush #3

Brush #4

Brush #3 and #4 are pointed creases brushes, #3 is larger and thicker and both brushes are for applying washes and blending. Both of these brushes are of excellent quality, and both do their intended job well, though I find the inclusion of both to be redundant (more on that later.) In terms of quality though, both are excellent. Grade: A

Brush #5

Brush #5 is the other new addition to the set and will be a permanent replacement for the old #5. It is a small, finely pointed pencil brush which can be used to cut a crease or line the eyes. This brush is finely pointed but not scratchy and versatile. Grade: A

Brush #6

Brush #6 is Goss's version of the MAC 217, made for applying washes and blending. It has a longer cat's tongue shape and is relatively floppy.  I like this brush but I don't love it - it is a great brush for blending, but I prefer the crease brushes for applying washes of colour. I find that the #6 is less precise than I want (even for soft washes), and I have a harder time controlling the placement of shadow. Part of this is related to my eye shape - with my very shallow creases, I need to be very precise where shadow goes or it ends up taking up too much real estate on my lids. People with larger lids and deeper sockets may not experience this problem with this brush. Grade: B+

Brush #7

Brush #7 is a minuscule flat shader which is excellent for highlighting around your tear ducts. Goss also maintains this brush is good for brows and for applying lipstick but I did not try either. If you do a lot of precision eye shadow application, this would be a great tool to help you fit multiple colours on your lid. Grade: A

Brush #8

I have to admit when I saw this tiny push liner I wasn't convinced it would be all that useful. Like Goss suggested in his video, I used this brush to tight line my eyes with powder and I'm happy to report it does this job exceptionally well without scratching or poking your eyes. Definitely a unique brush and a great addition to my kit. Grade: A

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt in my mind that Wayne Goss has created brushes of an exceptionally high quality in The Anniversary Set. Because of the high quality, I believe that the exceptional price can be justified because if cared for correctly, this set will last a life time.

My only criticisms about this set is the inclusion of two crease brushes (#3 and #4). As someone who has very shallow creases and prefers to apply shadows with flat shaders, I find two crease brushes redundant, particularly when there are other brushes included that can do aspects of what the crease brushes are designed to do (deposit colour in the crease and blend). Brush #5 can be used to cut a crease beautifully and #6 is described by Goss as primarily a blending brush. Another argument for including a flat shader is that none of the shadow brushes (beside the #5 and #7) can really densely pack colour on. To further this argument, brushes #5 and #7 are so small that they really aren't practical to use for that purpose. If I were given the chance to redesign the set I would trade brush #4 for a flat shader.

My final thoughts are that this set is an excellent investment. The quality. luxury and functionality is there, the only thing that holds this set back from being perfect in my eyes is the choice of brushes. for versatility I would have liked to see a flat shader.

Overall Grade (as a set): A-


Sunday, October 25, 2015

MAC Magic of the Night In Extra Dimension Skinfinishes Review, Swatches and Photos

The star of MAC's 2015 holiday colour collection "Magic of the Night" are two new limited edition In Extra Dimension Skinfinishes ($38.50 CA/$35.00 US). The hybrid, baked/gelee formula with a high impact sheen is extremely popular in the current culture of highlighting/strobing. Photos in natural light, swatches on NC 35 skin.

In Extra Dimension Skinfinish: Oh Darling and Shaft of Gold

This holiday MAC gives us two new colours, Oh Darling and Shaft of Gold. At the time of this post, Oh Darling is currently sold out online, but still might (if you're lucky and persistent) be available at counters and stores.

In Extra Dimension Skinfinish: Oh Darling and Shaft of Gold

The textures of both shades is consistent with the In Extra Dimension Skinfinishes of the past - soft, smooth and buttery despite having a drier feeling in the pan. The colour pay off for both shades is intense, a soft, wispy brush like a fan brush will be the best tool for getting a natural glow. If you want to get an intense metallic finish, you can easily get it with a stiff dense brush or by applying with finger tips.

Oh Darling

Shaft of Gold

Oh Darling (sheered out L, heavy swatch R) and 
Shaft of Gold (heavy swatch R, sheered out L)

Oh Darling - is described as a "metallic gold", it's a light medium gold with yellow undertones. It reminds me of BECCA's Champagne Pop minus the peach. Naturally this was the first shade to sell out because it's a universally flattering colour. Grade: A

Shaft of Gold - is a "deep bronze", it's a medium dark bronze with coppery undertones. On my yellow toned skin it reads slightly peachy, but on cooler skin tones it will come across as more orange. This would be stunning as a highlighter on deep skintones and on lighter skin tones this could be used a a bronzey blush. Grade: A

Anytime MAC releases In Extra Dimension Skinfinishes is a time for highlighter fanatics to celebrate. Get your holiday glitz on by applying these on the high points on the face, or even on the collarbone and down the length of your shins. Get your party on!

Overall Grade: A


Friday, October 16, 2015

Wayne Goss The Anniversary Set First Impressions!

Well dear readers, I finally pulled the Wayne Goss trigger yesterday. I have been eyeing his brush collection for a year or so now, but kept putting off getting it because of our steadily tanking dollar. But when a few days ago I got an email from Beautylish inviting me to get early access to Goss's The Anniversary Set, I couldn't (didn't want to) hold out any longer.

Wayne Goss The Anniversary Set brushes #1- #5 (bottom to top)

The Anniversary Set, which as the name suggests, celebrates two years of Wayne Goss's brushes. This limited edition set ($225.00 US) is identical to the original Collection with two exceptions. The first being that Goss enlarged brush #1 a slanted, duo fibre foundation brush by 4x. The second being that The Anniversary Set includes an updated (and now permanent) version of brush #5, a pencil tipped eye brush.

I ordered these Wednesday morning from Beautylish and literally got them Thursday afternoon, so I haven't had any time to test or try these yet. So consider this post a sneak peak/first impression of the set with a full review to come later. I was just so excited to finally get my hands on these that I wanted to share the pictures right away! As stated by the man himself, all Goss's brushes are hand crafted by artisans in Japan and each brush takes over 20 people to make.

Brush #1

My only thoughts about brush #1 is that if the Anniversary version is 4x bigger than the original #1, the original #1 must be tiny because in my opinion the Anniversary version of #1 is normal/average sized for a slanted foundation brush. This brush is exclusinve to The Anniversary Set and is limited edition.

Brush #2

Brush #2 is a small domed, tear drop shaped brush which is good for precision powdering, highlighting or contouring.

Brush #3

Brush #4

Brush #3 and #4 are pointed creases brushes, #3 is larger and thicker and both brushes are for applying washes and blending.

Brush #5

Brush #5 is the other new addition to the set and will be a permanent replacement for the old #5. It is a small, finely pointed pencil brush which can be used to cut the crease or line the eyes.

Brush #6

Goss's version of the MAC 217, made for applying washes and blending. Soft and floppy. 

Brush #7

Brush #7 is a minuscule flat shader. This would be good for highlighting the tear duct and according to Wayne, also good for doing your brows and lips.

Brush #8

Again another minuscule brush! (I'm getting the idea that Wayne loves small brushes.) This time it's a tiny, tiny, tiny push liner. According to Wayne you can tight line your eyes expertly with powder and this brush.

Stay tuned for my full review!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

MAC MACnificent Me Pro Longwear Paint Pot and Fluidline Review and Swatches

From my MAC MACnificent Me haul, I also have two Pro Longwear Paint Pots for review. The two Pro Longwear Paint Pots I purchased were Stroke My Ego a "pink silver shimmer" and Nice Composure a "midtone cool grey" (LE, $26.00 CA/$22.00 US.) 

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots (L to R): 
Nice Composure and Stroke My Ego

Like other colours from the range, these Paint Pots have a creamy texture which sets to an almost indestructible, long wearing shadow. Of the two I purchased, Nice Composure has the most traditional Paint Pot texture in that it's opaque and smooth.

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots (L to R): 
Nice Composure and Stroke My Ego

Nice Composure - As MAC aptly describes, this is a cool matte mid tone grey with excellent pigmentation and a smooth even texture. This would be great on it's own or a nice alternative to black for layering under duochrome or shimmer eyeshadows. A+

Stroke My Ego - A shimmery mid tone taupe with pinky-mauve overtones. I found this shade to be a little on the sheerer side which made application a little less smooth, but this colour is still buildable. Very pretty. B+

Overall I think these are solid offerings in the Pro Longwear Paint Pot range. Good neutral-ish shades for fall and both shades are flattering to all skintones. If you are a lover of this product don't wait too long to get these!

Overall Grade: B+ and A+

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

MAC MACnificent Me Mattene Lipsticks Review and Swatches

MAC's current fall collection, MACnificent Me features the return of the Mattene lipstick. I have three of the four LE shades for review today: Personal Pick, Strutting Fabulous and Own the Look ($22.50 CA/$19.00 US). Photos in natural light on NC 35 skin.

MAC Mattene Lipstick (L to R): Personal Pick, 
Strutting Fabulous and Own the Look

According to MAC the Mattene formula is a "moisturising matte lipstick that delivers a creamier, softer, glide-on application." A silicone rich formula, the Mattene lipsticks do have a soft, creamy texture with a very smooth application. Out of all the matte texture formulas MAC offers (Matte and Retro Matte), this formula is my favourite. I typically do not like matte lipsticks because they tend to emphasize my usually dry lips and do not feel comfortable on. However, the Mattene formula feels weightless on the lips, and though I would not categorize it as moisturising (in the sense that it actually adds moisture), I do not find it drying to wear.

 MAC Mattene Lipstick (L to R): Personal Pick, 
Strutting Fabulous and Own the Look

Personal Pick - A pretty mid toned dusty rose with subtle blue undertones, a versatile colour that will suit both cool and warm skintones. Opaque in two passes. B+

Strutting Fabulous - A mid toned lavender with very cool undertones. Pigmentation is slightly sheer, so this needs 2+ passes to be opaque. A very unique, stunning colour that will no doubt create a "statement" look! B

Own the Look - A deep wine toned purple with tiny violet shimmers, a versatile colour that will suit both cool and warm skintones. Opaque in two passes. B+

MAC's Mattene formula is a great lipstick for those who otherwise can't or won't wear traditional matte lipsticks. The colours in the MACnificent Me collection offer a little something for everyone - a pretty pink for more conservative looks, a fall purple for evening or vampy looks, and an edgy lavender for those wanting to push the makeup envelope.

Overall grade: B/B+

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 27, 2015

It's Beauty Squared Round-Up time! We've been delinquent. September has been a very, very busy month.

But there's lots to share with you. And good stuff too!

  • Decoding makeup brushes. Here's a great article about the different types of makeup brushes and how they can be used.
  • InStyle rounds up the best beauty looks on the 2015 Emmy red carpet.
  • Jane Fonda (she's a spectacular 77 years old!) was in Toronto for TIFF this year, to promote her film Brenda In Youth. Beauty Geeks spoke to MUA Eddie Malter about the look Jane wears in the film, and the vastly different one he created for her for the TIFF red carpet.
  • You've got to see the beauty looks for Marc Jacobs' Spring 2016 runway show. Think the iconic looks of Ziggy Stardust and 1940s starlights, but the morning after.
  • In contrast, on the Gucci runway models looked bare-faced. But they weren't. In fact, as is typically the case, a "no-makeup look" requires a surprising number of products.
  • Taking inspiration from the runways of Milan, here are some ways to wear bold colour.
  • In Korea, a DIY (and potentially dangerous) trick to curl their eyelashes, which involves a lighter and a cotton bud. Here's how you do it if you're brave. I'll stick to my eyelash curler, thanks.
  • The Body Shop's new Fresh Nude Foundation comes in 16 shades, and innovatively, you can also purchase lightening and darkening drops to mix into the foundation so you can match it perfectly to your skin, no matter what season it is.
  • Do you want some Marilyn Monroe beauty tricks? Here you go.
  • Basic beauty tips: how to contour your eyes.
  • Dolce & Gabbana's Sophia Loren-inspired lipstick.
  • How to:
  • And finally, Megan Koester took a class called "Wow-Factor Makeup for Instagram" and wrote about it for Jezebel. Yes, there are classes being taught on how to do your makeup so that you can take selfies. Sigh, I guess how you look in real life doesn't matter as much as how you look on someone's smartphone. When is the next flight off the planet happening? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 13, 2015

Happy Sunday! Hope you're having an excellent day.

  • Starting off the Round-Up this week is some shimmer and glow, with Karen of the Makeup and Beauty Blog's favourite five highlighters.
  • Cover FX has a product called Custom Cover Drops which can be used to add pigment to your foundation, moisturizer, BB cream and concealer if you find you need a little more than the products on their own. Here's an XOVain article about them.
  • Have you ever looked at an eyeshadow quad in the store, or bought one and wondered how exactly to use it? This Into the Gloss article looks at creating a smoky eye with an eyeshadow quad and breaks down how to make most eyeshadow quads work for you.
  • The Sunday Girl blog breaks down the different textures and types of concealers.
  • A great DIY brow gel trick.
  • No more denying it, fall is on its way. But don't be sad, now we can start pulling out the fall beauty and style looks! Here are four of fall 2015's biggest makeup trends and how to do them.
  •  Blushes and bronzers that look great on women of colour.
  • A fantastic makeup brush washing trick - making it quicker and easier to do this chore that we all procrastinate on.
  • Some common beauty blunders - too much blush, too much powder, clumpy eyelashes, etc -- and how to fix them!
  • Korean flight attendants share their beauty secrets.
  • How to deal with adult eczema.
  • Check out this very cool version of ombré hair colour - the bleached halo effect.
  • It's pretty stressful, as well as exciting, when you decide to change your hair dramatically. Three Elle Canada editors talk about their own dramatic hair transformations.
  • Beauty blogger Jordan Bone does beautiful makeup looks online, and has decided to open up about her disability after getting frequent comments and questions (many rude and disgusting) about her hands which she has been unable to use fully since a car accident. You can see her inspiring video here

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beauty Squared Round-Up for September 6, 2015

Hello, and a happy Saturday to you!

  • It's a trend that's been around for awhile, but it's taken off again recently. Eyebrow slits.
  • There are some beauty rituals you should skip in the days just before your wedding (or any major event when you want to look your best).
  • We're in that transitional period where summer fades into autumn. What nail colour do you wear that's not completely un-summery but not entirely autumn either? Here are five ideas for you.
  • Fake eyelashes can be hella intimidating, but here are some tips if you're keen to wear them!
  • Some great makeup tricks that can make you look younger.
  • Kohl eyeliner, or kajal as it is known in different parts of the world, has been around for centuries. XOVain takes a look at some of the best kajal products.
  • Here's part one of Mascara Wars' Makeup Artist's Guide to Deep Black Skintones. Even if you're not a makeup artist, it's worth a read, especially if you've got dark skin.
  • Do you sleep in your makeup? Even just sometimes? Well, you should read this.
  • And on the flip side of that, here are ten beauty things you can be doing to your skin while you sleep.
  • Did you know that common anti-aging ingredients such as retinol lose their efficacy when they're exposed to air and light? That means that anti-aging moisturizers packaged in jars, requiring you to dip your fingers into them aren't as effective as those that come in tubes or bottles.
  • The 10 (Unbreakable) Laws of Always Looking Polished.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NYX Shadow Stick Eye Pencils Rose Gold and Almond Review, Photos and Swatches

I love eyeshadow pencils. They're so easy to use, easy to store and so perfect for summer, or anytime for a smudgy, sexy, quick look. They're easy to pop into your handbag for carrying with you and don't require any brushes. 

Sadly, they tend to be a trendy thing for brands and there isn't a lot of selection for shades. NYX carries a fairly good range of shades in both their Jumbo Eye Pencil line and their Infinite Shadow Stick lines. 

This post will look at two of the NYX Infinite Shadow Sticks - Rose Gold and Bronze. I'm not sure what the difference between the Jumbo Eye Pencils and the Infinite Shadow Sticks are though the Jumbo Eye Pencils come in bolder shades (32 shades - green, blue, purple) as well as more neutral shades (nine shades in grey, brown and creams) and the Infinite Shadow Sticks come in much softer, neutral shades (the most dramatic shades are black and a soft pink). The Jumbo Eye Pencils ($4.50) are half the price of the Infinite Shadow Sticks ($9 US) and there are variations in their ingredients, but they do the same thing in the end. 

Here's how NYX describes the Infinite Shadow Sticks:

Infinitely awesome this shadow stick glides on easily and stays put. Waterproof and smudgeproof, you can really make this look last and last without creasing, flaking or fading. Have fun with an assortment of shades that will really make a statement day or night.

I like using eyeshadow pencils to do smudgy, sultry looks, so the two I choose were Rose Gold, which actually reads more orange than rose gold, and Almond, a pearly taupe. I was disappointed that there weren't darker greys and browns in the Infinite Shadow Stick selection. So much for smudgy and sultry. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

This is the Rose Gold Shadow Stick. There's definitely some rose and definitely a hint of gold, but overall, I see orange. Which isn't a terrible thing, since orange is an excellent complement to blue eyes but I do have already have an orange eye pencil and I actually don't typically wear orange on my eyes alot. I know it's complementary, but it's ORANGE. It's obvious.

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold swatched (NW15 skintone)
Here it is on my face in what Raja, of Rupaul's Drag Race fame, calls "garage door eyeshadow". Don't judge, Raja! How else am I going to show my readers what this eyeshadow looks like?

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

In these photos I'm wearing Rose Gold on my top lids, and Almond along my lower lash line. As you can see, there's a nice, subtle sheen to both of them. 

The texture of Rose Gold is slightly on the dry side, so it does tug at the skin around my eye a little more than I'd like. It is possible to use a brush to apply it instead to cut down on this. But if not, it's blendable using your fingers and it sets, so it does not budge. I always use an eye primer, and Rose Gold stays put for at least 12 hours. When my Urban Decay Primer Potion starts to give up, that's when I might see Rose Gold start to crease, but really, 12 hours and I'm still wearing it? It's time to wash my face at that point.

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

Let's look at Almond. It's a super-soft bronze shade that's very easy to wear. Bronze is in right now, don't you know? 

It's not terrifically dramatic, but if you want an easy-to-wear shade and you've got fair to medium skin, you could do worse than Almond. It's also a good base for a more dramatic look.
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
Almond is a lovely mix of gold and medium brown, and like Rose Gold, applies slightly on the dry side so it does tug at the skin more than I'd like it to. I need to work quickly to blend it as well, since it doesn't take long to set. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
I like the shade of Almond more than Rose Gold. I pair Almond with my Tarte SmolderEYES pencils for smudgy smoky eyes, and it's an easy shade to slap on quickly for a simple day look as well. 

NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond
It's a pretty, subtle metallic shade that would suit lighter skintones. It works well as a base, and lasts a long time. 
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Almond

For the price, the NYX Shadow Sticks are great value. I just wish there were deeper, richer colour options. These two are a bit on the dry side, but they set well and stay set for a long time.

Grade: B

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste Review, Photos and Swatches

Jill and I have long raved about Illamasqua's nail polishes (case in point: here, here, here and here). They are easily some of the best nail polishes out there in terms of quality, price point and colour/texture selection. 

In this post, I have Baptiste, a rich, metallic purple shade, to show you. I'm at the point in the summer when I'm ready for it to be over. Warm weather and I are frenemies and each year I do my best to be patient and understanding, but every year, warm weather is a monster to me, and I stop trying in mid-July to be nice to it. Since it's now September, I'm pretty grumpy about warm weather and wishing for autumn.

Because of this, the fall shades start making an appearance around this time. The deep lip and nail shades start calling out to me. I miss them, and in my desire for cooler weather, I embrace fall and winter in the small ways I can. Mind over matter, right? Sod off, summer, I'm over your corals and pinks and neons and light, shimmery makeup. Bring on the vampy, the moody, the dark, rich tones of fall and winter.

Hello, Baptiste! I haven't seen you since last winter! I've missed you.

Baptiste is a dramatic royal purple, cool-toned, but with a hint of red to it. It's also very shimmery, and almost metallic depending on the light. Also depending on the light it can look inky and almost black. 

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste
See how pretty it looks? It look so luxurious and rich. It makes me want a giant bed covered in purple velvet that I can wrap myself in naked. 

Anyway... Velvet, that's what Baptiste makes me think of. 

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste

You can see hints of the red shimmer, as well as the silvery-fuchsia shimmer that make this inky purple metallic. This is a dark polish, first and foremost, with the shimmer playing second fiddle to the rich colour. It's a subtly shimmery polish.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Baptiste

And here it is on my (short) nails. Baptiste is a challenging shade to photograph. It looks inky in the shade but the shimmer pops when in direct light (like a camera flash). 

Application-wise, Baptiste is like the other Illamasqua nail polishes I've tried - smooth consistency, a good brush that allows for control, quick-drying, high shine, and opaque after one coat.

In this photo, I'm wearing two coats plus a top coat. Wear time with Baptiste is also like the other Illamasqua polishes I've tried - with a top coat, four days pass with only minor signs of wear.

Welcome back to my manicure, Baptiste!

Grade: A