Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lips and Tips

Priceline had their legendary 40% off cosmetics sale last Tuesday and Wednesday. And you bet I ventured out in the morning to my local store to swatch, pick things up, put them down again, search for reviews on my phone and contemplate any purchases as if they were important life decisions. Aimless indecision made me almost want to walk out of the store empty-handed, but I finally committed to buying more lipstick and nail polish, the two things I have in greatest abundance. Even though this was the third time they've held such a sale (see here and here for previous hauls), somehow the prospect of scoring any cosmetics item for almost half price couldn't go ignored.

I was meant to stick to a list I made beforehand, but I only had one item on it: a base coat. I never believed in base coats before, but the absence of one has made me feel uneasy about my whole nail painting ritual. I was planning on picking up an el cheapo one but couldn't find one from Essence. I've tried the Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat and was contemplating buying it again, but decided to go for something different with Essie First Base.

Speaking of Essie, can we take a moment to talk about the prices of their polishes in Australia? (OPI also isn't exempt from this conversation.) The First Base Base Coat retails for $17.95 when it's $8.50 in the US. The normal polishes are $16.95 each. Yes, products are marked up ridiculously in Australia and none of this is news, but still. I'm not understanding how there could be any justification. Rimmel, Maybelline, Max Factor and CoverGirl price their polishes around $5-$10 while brands like Essence and Ulta3 have polishes under $3. It's just nail polish.

The upside to Priceline stocking Essie is that you can occasionally take advantage of marked down stock being subject to further discounts. I spotted some polishes from the Encrusted Treasures Holiday 2013 Collection that were already discounted to $8.47. With a further 40% off, they were a bargain at $5.08 each. After much deliberation, I chose Hors D'oeuvres and Peak of Chic. Hors D'oeuvres could very well be the blingiest nail polish I've ever laid eyes on, while Peak of Chic has made me want to give up on bar glitter from here on out. Still, I love a challenge and am determined to try and make it work.

I also picked up Rimmel Salon Pro nail polish in Hip Hop, because my friend was wearing these juicy, slightly orange-leaning red nails the other day and it looked so classic and modern and Christmassy and feminine that I immediately set out to buy something similar. I almost never wear red nail polish, but Hip Hop looks like the kind of red I could get into.

Finally, the lip products. I felt out of the loop when it came to "drugstore" lip releases, especially whatever newfangled glosses or gloss/stain/balm/lipstick hybrids were being released, so I set to take a closer look. I wanted to purchase a Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick but they didn't have the shade I was after, Pink Pong. I happened to come across a L'Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinaire stand and after swatching all the shades on display, decided Nude Vibrato (600) was the one for me. (I did briefly contemplate buying the lone Nude Ballet (601) left, said to be worn by none other than Kim K on her wedding day, but it was not a good look on me.) I was interested in buying a Maybelline Color Sensational Color Elixir simply because I'd seen them everywhere on blogs. It was next to impossible to pick one, but in the end I played it safe with Rose Redefined (090). The other shades seemed inappropriate for the office (not that I shy away from brights, I just prefer them to be strongly pigmented and ideally, matte) or way too pale.

l-r: L'Oréal Nude Vibrato (600), Maybelline Rose Redefined (090)

l-r: Maybelline Rose Redefined, L'Oréal Nude Vibrato

l-r: Revlon Elusive, Maybelline Rose Redefined, L'Oréal Nude Vibrato, MAC Patisserie

Maybelline Rose Redefined reminded me of Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Elusive, and sure enough the two swatch similarly. Elusive is brighter in tone and obviously much more pigmented. I was trying to find the closest match I have to L'Oréal Nude Vibrato, but MAC Patisserie still has noticeable differences, mainly it's surprisingly sheerer, less peachy nude and more of a darker orange/redder in comparison. The L'Oréal can be very thick in terms of both texture and pigmentation, so I prefer to apply it to just my bottom lip then press my lips together to transfer it to my top lip and sheer it out. The Maybelline is a touch too glossy for my liking and the conservative rose colour doesn't excite me (no one to blame there but myself for that). It also seems to work better applied thinly with the fingers rather than layered with the applicator, which can cause unevenness on the lips. The texture however, is gloriously plush and cushiony, and almost redeems the ho-hum shade.


  1. I really like the title you gave to this post! :D Nice haul - the Essie Hors D'oeuvres really caught my eye, it's gorgeous *o*

  2. Damn I didn't know that Essie was on 40% off too. What a shame, I wanted to pick up a top coat. Awesome haul.

  3. Great products! I like the lipglosses!
    My Beauty Blog

  4. I own both Hip Hop and Hors D'oeuvres and I love them! You won't be disappointed. Great polishes for the holidays!

    Rebecca |

  5. I knew prices were marked up in Australia, but I didn't know they were marked up by so much! Hors D'oeuvres looks like a really pretty polish for the holidays.

  6. loove these sparkly polishes! perfect for new year.. kisses

  7. Ohhh Sales <3
    The essie nail polishes look so pretty! <3 And I really that top coat in my life! I got their apricot oil and I'm in love.

  8. LOL @ aimless indecision - I think we all hear you on that.

    I have Rose Redefined and like how it feels, but the scent is starting to grate on my nerves for some reason. I also have one of the L'Oreal Extraordinaires in a purply shade and never thought to apply with fingers! It looks so goopy and glossy on the lips that I only wear it mixed with a matte lipstick, never on its own. That one also has a scent that I can't stand. :s

  9. I have both of those lip products and they're some of my favorites!

    Missmacbeauty | Missmacbeauty

  10. Those mark-ups are just crazy aren't they, the Australia tax does my head in... I love the lip shades you chose, perfect everyday shades, I'm a fan of the Loreal Extraordinaires, (although I know what you mean about the thickness of them!) I'll have to go in and have a swatch of Nude Vibrato.

    Angie || the maquillage

  11. Oh man, that opening spiel is me 100%! I go into the Priceline 40% off sales completely unprepared and walk around just trying everything and googling reviews, then once they're over all the things I had on my wishlist come back to mind.

  12. Great little haul! I totally would love to see you using those two glitter polishes! You always have the best combinations and simple but flawless nail looks! The Maybelline elixir is stunning, love that rose shade and how it shows up! I've yet to buy any yet but I mean to!

    1. Oh and please do stop by my blog soon! I'm holding a beauty giveaway right now! :)

  13. Both lip products look stunning, I'm a sucker for sheer, glossy lip colours so I'll have to have a look at both of them very soon! xx

  14. I really like the colour elixirs but always reach for Caramel Infused and neglect the other shades. By the way, Pink Pong is awesome and totally worth still searching for, I adore the formula of those so much I have 3 and plan on buying more


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