Fall Nail Polish Edit

I’ve already started to write a post where I gave some explanation for my absence over the last two months that will be up soon, so I won’t dwell on it here. In short, I just haven’t been able to organize myself enough to write and take pictures for a blog post. Ugh. Especially as of late, I’ve gotten into nail polish and now that fall is rapidly approaching, I thought I would share my picks for the upcoming season. I thought it would be especially interesting if I released it before I bought any fall shades, as it might encourage some of you to seek out shades that you already own before rushing into the latest collections. At least that’s my hope. This is a bit of a mix of traditional autumnal shades, what I see as trendy for the season and what I personally seem to enjoy wearing during the season.



Ciate Brocade Parade ($18): I’m always a fan of manicures that feel a bit more edgy and less traditionally girlie and sparkly in that sense but I feel that starting with fall, we move away from the softer glitters and accents and closer towards the tougher side. This is an expensive polish but it is a stunning glitter topper that is almost opaque in three coats. It’s an interesting tiny black circle glitter, larger hexagonal white glitter chunks and medium-sized asymmetrical silver glitter pieces. Because it dries textured, it is a fast drying shade but it’s easy to use and is not sparse. I applied three coats on its own on the nail wheel.

OPI Cajun Shrimp ($10-12): A bright red – especially one with orange-y coral undertones like this one – might not seem like a shade that screams fall, but I love the look of a bright red when the weather starts to get cooler and I’m all about comfy sweaters and scarves. It’s a nice transitional summer to fall shade in particular, sitting kind of in between a neon and a deep red or berry. I chose this one because the warm undertones are more flattering for me. There are two thin coats on the nail wheel and the application is effortless. Interestingly, Orly’s Fall collection has a similar shade.

Nails Inc Baker Street ($16): Although I have this polish in the traditional formula and not in the newer gel one, I had to include it nevertheless. It’s another less traditional shade for the fall. I would describe it as a slightly muted cobalt cream that instantly makes me feel more bold and stylish. The formula is a dream to work with, opaque in one to two coats and dries in a few minutes. There are two coats on the nail wheel. My only complaint is that it’s not super long wearing.

OPI Malaga Wine ($10-12): I’ll start this off by mentioning that this is a sort of placeholder shade, standing in for a chic oxblood or berry shade. I do really enjoy the easy 1-2 coat formula and self-leveling quality of this deeper berry hue but I don’t love it enough to wholeheartedly include it. I will be hunting down my essential colour in this category soon.

Zoya Arianna Pixie Dust ($12): This polish is a reddened berry textured take on the berry hue, with an interesting finish, a crelly base and a mixture of matte and holographic glitter. I love how fast it is as a manicure, how long it wears and how it’s a little bit different. There are two coats on the nail wheel.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark ($10-12): This blackened plum cream polish is easily my most worn nail polish and favourite nail polish of all time. I’ve gone through countless minis and now have a large bottle that I adore. It has an easy self-leveling formula that is opaque in two thin coats and dries glossy. This kind of polished deep blackened hue was seen all over the runways for the season, too. Cream polishes in general are having a real moment trendwise – they are exclusively featured in OPI’s Washington along with a myriad of other collections. There are two thin coats on the nail wheel.

Zoya Payton ($11-12): Not only is the glass-fleck shimmer in this polish unique, the darkish plum colour feels appropriately autumnal with its vampy feel. It’s a holographic polish that will appeal to anyone but the best thing of all is its easy two thin-coat formula and that it removes as smoothly as a cream. It fits more into more of a traditional colour category but it’s trendy enough that Zoya released an entire six piece collection of jewel toned polishes in this finish.

Essie Chinchilly ($10-12): I’m going to warn you, I’m about to go a bit insane over these greige kind of shades for this shade and three that remain. I wear these greige kind of shades year round but in the autumn, there is something about them that feels strangely appropriate as we get into scarves, boots and sweaters and sophisticated. This cream polish is a medium taupe with slight purple undertones and has an amazing formula that is so close to being opaque in one coat – it needs two thin ones – and applies like a dream.

Essie Take It Outside ($10-12): This shade might not be as easily accessible as some of the other shades, as it came out in their Fall 2014 collection, but I assure you, it’s available online at a variety of places. The formula might be even better than Chinchilly somehow, being even closer to a one coat polish, despite being a lighter cement greige shade. I have two thin coats on the nail wheel but I know I could do one thick one. There are similar shades in both Essie and Orly’s fall collections but I doubt the formulas match this one.

Zoya Naturel Satin in Rowan ($12): I’m a big fan of textured polishes but I think I get the most into them in the fall because they feel just a little bit edgier, which is how I tend to like to feel in the fall. This one has a satin finish that leans in the middle of a matte and cream formula and dries very quickly. It’s a medium greige shade that is opaque in two thin coats and is fairly easy to work with. I love that it’s such a quick manicure as well.

Essie Cashmere Matte in Comfy in Cashmere ($10-12): This medium taupe shade hails from last years Cashmere Matte collection but seems to be still available and despite the formula not being the greatest – but it is workable, particularly in this shade – I adore this shade for its cool matte textured finish, with a blue iridescent lean that does not show up on camera. It chips quickly but I forgive it on account of its matte texture and unique shift. The shimmer comes out even more with top coat and it has better longevity that way, too. There are two coats on the nail wheel but I might have gotten by with one; the second was to even out my application. The polish is unique.

OPI I Cannoli Wear OPI ($10-12): This greyed-out pale neutral polish hails from last fall’s Venice collection but remains part of OPI’s permanent line. Despite being an off-white that leans half-way blue and half-way grey, it’s opaque with two medium thickness coats – although if you overwork it or do thinner coats, you’ll need three. It’s easy to work with and feels understated and autumnal with its muted out quality. These greyed out neutrals had a real moment last year but remain on trend, being featured heavily in Essie’s fall collection.

Have any favourite autumnal polishes to share?
Maggie, x.



The Perfect Greige Polish | Essie Chinchilly

I definitely have a thing for those half-beige-half-grey polish shades but despite having more than enough in my possession, I was missing the combination of the perfect colour and the perfect formula. In short, Essie Chinchilly Nail Lacquer ($8-10/0.5 ounces) is everything that I’ve hoped for a great cream greige polish to be – more specifically it’s what everybody seems to praise about Essie’s Master Plan that I never quite fell in love with and maybe even more.



For one, the formula is amazing, especially for an Essie – unlike Master Plan which suffers from the thin, sheer and streaky formula. It’s one of those rare Essie’s that borders the line between a one and two-coater, self-levels and applies smoothly. It’s much thicker and opaque of a formula that many of the Essies are, but I find that this makes them easier to manage and is not problematically thick at all. Impressively, it lasts on the nails for a solid amount of time with a top coat, looks smooth and polished and dries quickly, despite their thick texture. It lasted four to five days on me without significant chipping, if you were wondering, which is significantly better than the norm for me.

On a basic level, Chinchilly is a darker grey-heavy polish that belongs to the greige family with a cream formula. It’s taupe, and less grey than say OPI You Don’t Know Jacques and has more depth and brown undertones than Essie’s Master Plan. I would describe the colour as a mixture of the two with less dominant cool undertones.

Me and my chipping prone nails are in love. And I’m pleased to confirm that not all Essie polishes suffer from that formula. If you’ve even considered giving the neutral greige colour a go, I would highly recommend trying Chinchilly out.

Any favourite polish formulas to share?
Maggie, x.


The Review | CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat

Truth be told, it’s been a good while since I’ve blogged about polish and that’s likely because in the craziness over the last few months, I had not exactly found the energy to paint my nails. However, I’ve gotten back into it with gusto and I’ve realized that I want to sing the praises of a particular top coat – as I adore it, even though it’s going on a year old and I don’t use it as intended. While I don’t get a week of chip-less wear out of a single manicure with the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat ($12.25), I have noticed that I have the longest lasting manicures with this top coat out of any that I’ve tried, and that’s even using the system as unintended – the seven days is only promised in combination with the matching polish that I’ve never gotten around to trying. Before I get onto the other details, I have had friends use my top coat who have way less fidgety and chipping-prone hands and nails and they have consistently gotten a week of solid wear out of a polish when combined with this base coat. I’m coming to the conclusion that polishes just tend to chip on me faster than others, but with this top coat, it’s the least bad.


The system promises chip-free wear for seven days when combined with polishes from the system – and while I can’t comment on this, I find that it gives me 3-5 days of solid polish wear without noticeable chipping, even with my constant scratching away and fidgeting. In terms of getting to the point here, the top coat works in my experience to add serious longevity to your manicure, even when you’re using it without the matching polishes. This top coat is one of those ones that hardens in response to natural light over time, making it more durable as time goes on; I can definitely agree with this claim, while I experience some minimal chipping because it prevents the polish from breaking down on my nails when in contact with surfaces and picking at them. It’s also intended to add serious shine, which it definitely does, often looking as glossy as a salon manicure.

The top coat is not specifically described this way, but in my experience, it’s definitely one of those thicker top coats and as a result, it smoothes out the texture of polishes in an instant and leaves behind gel-like shine. It’s not one of those fast drying polishes as a result, but I can’t complain given its other attributes – and it’s not like it’s the slowest drying top coat either. Because of the thicker formula, it can definitely get gloopier over time. However, I found my bottle did not do this until far after the sixth month mark and I was able to restore my bottle with ten or so drops of polish thinner. I guess even though I’m using this top coat in a non-label fashion, it is my favourite top coat.

What’s your fave top coat?
Maggie, x.

The Disappointment: Essie No Chips Ahead



In my experience, (and what I’ve gathered to be the experience of the consensus of others who talk/write about such things) Essie polishes are either fantastic or finicky, being gorgeous but sheer requiring a multitude of coats and effort and based on my experience with this top coat, the Essie No Chips Ahead Anti-Chip & Shine Top Coat ($9-10 CDN), I would wager that their treatment and coating products are very much the same. It’s not that the top coat is outwardly bad, as it adds that shine expertly and has that smooth top coat feel but it doesn’t work particularly well at preventing chips and it takes ages to dry so it can lead to less than spectacular results – bubbling or marks, anyone?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m less than stellar at all things nails so I’m definitely open to the possibility of user error, however, I just feel that despite the name, this is not the ideal top coat for someone with chipping prone nails that I have and less patience than desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten nice looking manicures with this top coat but they have required a wee bit more patience than usual and they haven’t lasted much longer than they would without a top coat.

I will note that I was actually quite fond of this top coat worn alone on the nails because I found that it wasn’t too thin, didn’t smell weird, applied easily, added that gorgeous shine/smoothness and felt rather nourishing on the nails – it’s not marketed as nourishing or anything so I cannot exactly be certain – and I likely will use more of it this way. I would not recommend this top coat even to those with chip-resistant nails and infinite patience because if one is that saintly, I still wouldn’t recommend shelling out around ten dollars for this. I have heard fabulous things about their regular Good to Go Top Coat and honestly I wish I had listened to my first instinct and bought the standard one rather than hoping for more with the chipping-directed one.

And it’s not pink, originally anyway. I may have tried to apply the top coat over a vampy polish before it was not exactly dried down…

What’s your favourite top coat?
Maggie, x.

Weekly Medley #52

20150126-185056In the last week I’ve experienced the cold in both the worst and the best way; I both came to the realization that I had quite a cold and enjoyed the cold weather brought on by the blizzard. I really should have figured out that I was coming down with a cold earlier than this, with the extreme fatigue and the beginnings of congestion that developed into quite the sore throat and cough but the last few days have left me aware with complete certainty that my current state and general sense of grogginess has been brought on by that lovely thing that is known as a cold. On the more exciting front, it’s been a winter wonderland outside – aside from the freezing rain and general iciness – with snow falling and that authentic cozy feeling all around and I have to say I rather enjoyed Tuesday’s snow day where I enjoyed being a generally unproductive human being without shame. Now, let’s get onto the other points of interest this week…

(1) Hello October’s “Going Out-Out” post

I really really love Suzie’s blog in general and more specifically I adore these kinds of chatty/wordy posts that describe a makeup routine with some general product thoughts and ramblings included. Once upon a time, I used to write these posts frequently but as of late I seem to have stopped, but it should be noted that mine tend to involve much more aimless rambling. I have got to get back into writing my ‘The Daily Face’ posts; note to self.

(2) Live Chat With The Paula’s Choice Research Team – “How to Treat Your Most Frustrating Facial Concerns”

In the last month or so more generally, I’ve discovered and loved these hour long informative skincare videos with the research team at Paula’s Choice and Friday’s was a particularly enjoyable one. I love that their information is unbiased, despite having their own range to promote and clear and I also get a kick out of the sense of humor of the staff hosting the show. I highly recommend giving these a watch if you want to learn more about skincare – even if you feel you are already somewhat educated – or specific skincare products/ingredients and you enjoy some sense of humor thrown in more often than not.

(3) This Week’s  Posts

I’m well aware that I am my worst critic, but as a whole I have been happy with the four posts I’ve done in the last week, especially when you take how busy classes have left me and that lovely cold that I’m currently experiencing. I didn’t feel like any of my posts were rushed and I was pleased with my mediocre photography, despite the general lighting issues. However, if you’re someone who works full-time or juggles classes with an actual job, I have some serious respect for you – I have no idea how you do it and I’m in awe. Finally this week, I managed to post the long-promised review of the DiorSkin Star Foundation.

(4) Two Costco Acquisitions

I’ve been impressing myself recently with my shopping restraint; I haven’t been casually strolling into the drugstore and coming out with four or five things every week or so at all, or doing any sort of indulgent splurging on anything resembling the regular. This aside, I ventured into Costco on Friday with the mother and picked up two things: the Eucerin Calming Daily Moisturizing Cream and a book titled The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King. I’m running low on moisturizer for my eczema-laden skin and the Eucerin offering seemed to fit the bill with a suitable ingredient list and a large affordable tube amount plus there’s something wonderful about reading a book for fun that can make life seem a little less frightening and repulsive. I might have read a fair amount of the book and I might have enjoyed it tremendously.

(5) The Nail Obsession

I go through the strangest phases of enjoying nail polish and then being annoyed by the maintenance of the stuff but this week in particular I have been obsessed, painting my nails multiple times and actually writing a polish-centric blog post. Also I’ve enjoyed obsessing over nail polish with my friend instead of doing anything productive, ideally the piling mountain of schoolwork.

How was your week?
Maggie, x.


Essie Nail Lacquer in On a Silver Platter


I have to start this post with an odd to my lovely friend, Lauren, and I promise this ode is related at the very least tangentially to the content of this post. Even though I harass her just about every time that I see her, I love her dearly for reading my blog from the beginning with actual interest and letting me talk her ear off about all things beauty willingly. She’s my nail-polish obsessed friend – her stash might be more impressive than my collection of blushes – and she definitely inspired me to get into painting my nails and has gifted me a number of polishes that I adore dearly. Most of all, today on the snowy but wet Wednesday, she indulged me with a fanatical nail polish chat today with genuine enthusiasm that distracted me from just how blaaargh I was feeling. Last week, she jokingly (kind-of?) informed me that the blog was lacking on the nail polish front and here I am, beginning to remedy that to the best of my ability.


I’m not a glitter girl in the slightest, putting it into the hated pile as I associate it with ridiculously girly blingy and frou-frou-ness but I bloody love the Essie Nail Lacquer in On a Silver Platter ($9-10) and the effortlessly edgy vibe it has. It has a slightly sheer tarnished silver base with reflective gold shimmer running throughout and cobalt glitter chunks. I really enjoy the unique multidimensional reflectiveness and texture of this nail lacquer “effect”. Believe me, my description is making it sound much less exciting than it is but in truth, it’s a complicated colour so it’s not a breeze to describe. In two coats, the polish is semi-opaque with a pigmented enough base that no additional polish is required underneath. The formula dries extremely fast but unfortunately chips easily in chunks within a day regardless of my base coat and top coat attempts. Also, the chips tend to cover at least a third of the nail so its much more noticeable than your usual small chips around the tips of your nails.

I have two random tidbits to leave you with: it’s one of the six polishes from Essie’s ‘Encrusted’ collection and the polish has been on my nails for one day in the pictures. Oh and despite my irritation with how quickly this chips, I think its a good ‘un.

What’s on your nails at the moment?
Maggie, x.

That First Nail Post



I’m going to start (yet again) with something I’ve said before on multiple occasions: for most of my life I haven’t been a nail polish girl due to my inadequacy and general lack of skill at the task and its tendency to chip insanely fast on my nails after the effort was made. This in mind, while the Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Bakers Street ($11.50 CDN) isn’t flawless, the formula of this neon cobalt hue delivers the compromise on the fronts of my issues of application and longevity; the polish is easily the most opaque that I’ve ever tried, one of those one-coat wonders — but I wore two for good measure — and requires minimal talent to apply, drying quickly to boot and it might not last for a week like the best Essie shades, but it comes pretty damn close, wearing nicely for 4-5 days (I’m on day three here in the pictures).

It also doesn’t hurt that it is quite possibly the most quintessentially “me” kind of shade, vibrant enough for summer but with that different kind of edge that keeps things looking a little bit cool and less manicured to perfection and fussy. If you’re from overseas, I’m sure that these polishes are old news but now that they’ve come over to Sephora, this Canadian girl has got her hands on one and doesn’t plan on stopping with this one.

Have you tried Nails Inc polish?
Maggie, x.

P.S. I’m choosing to ignore the unfortunate gradual-tanner between-the-fingers situation.

Winter Essentials Edit – The Miscellanious Edition




It’s taken a bit of adjustment to get back into the swing of things blogging-wise now that school has started up again even though I was only off for a month and this post was long overdue, a companion to my recent makeup post. This is going to be a little more chaotic and disorganized – a summary of the beauty bits that have proved essential to me in this winter weather when it’s difficult to muster the effort to lift yourself out of bed in the morning.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark Nail Polish ($9-10 CDN)

Recently I’ve mentioned that I’ve turned into a usual nail-painter but I haven’t been mentioning particular products because I can’t commit to anything, ever but this polish may be the exception to the rule – before starting the blog, this was the only nail polish that I mustered the effort to apply over and over again but then I lost it and it was tragic but luckily I got a mini-size for Christmas again. As cliched as it is, I love the vampy almost-black-but-not-quite shade, particularly in the winter with purple-undertones and a opaque cream finish. It has good longevity on the nails and is almost fully opaque after one coat. Because of the darkness of the shade, it makes a statement of sorts but doesn’t involve the effort of pairing everything with of a red or bright.

Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her Polish ($8 CDN/ 6)

I know I’m horrible for including a limited edition polish from what I believe was the Spring 2013 but I picked this up recently at the Canadian version of the TK/TJ Maxx enterprise called Winners which I’ve recently become very interested in rummaging around through. In the last few months, I’ve grew a little bit tired of the red polish and I think this is an alternative option that still is seasonally appropriate with it’s wintry iciness. The formula of the polish is phenomenal, very opaque and it lasts on my nails for the longest of any polishes I’ve tried – I can get a week out of this on my chipping-prone nails. The colour is a paled-out dirty green with a greyish lean to it, which does not sound attractive but I love it. It’s a lighter and dirtier version of the famous (but also limited edition) Mermaid’s Tears, that is my staple summer polish.

China Glaze Nail Polish in Ingrid ($8 CDN)

Years ago, when I was going through one of my brief periods when I was determined to give nail polish a go (before quickly abandoning the seemingly futile effort) I picked this one up after OPI You Don’t Know Jacques was sold out pretty much everywhere and the salesgirl told me this one was very similar. The formulation is fantastic (as all of these mentioned are as I’m very impaired at nail polish application), not quite as long-lasting as the Essie but it wears for a long time and applies very opaque with minimal streaking. I’m beginning to notice that I seem to like slightly-grungy and dirty colours; yet again this is a dark taupe with fine golden-brown microshimmer running throughout and it’s much more amazing than this description is suggesting. I usually hate shimmery and absolutely detest sparkly polishes but this one is the exception for me. It’s easier to wear on my warm-leaning skin because it leans slightly more on the brown side.

Aveeno Skin-Relief Body Wash ($8 CDN)

I suffer from eczema along with generally very sensitive body skin and this is a great gentle body wash that does not irritate my skin even in it’s fragile state. I didn’t realize that this contained fragrance as it’s hardly detectable and non-irritating but I do want to give the fragrance-free one a go sometime. The worst eczema I suffer is on my legs and it’s quite painful and by far this is the best thing to shave my legs with due to it’s gentleness and the instant hydration in provides. I sort of can’t believe I’m talking about body wash but alas…

Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright Serum ($40 CDN)

With sore winter dry and irritated skin, a chemical-exfoliant with acids sounds like the last thing you need but it’s been a saviour for me. The formulation of this serum is hydrating but concentrated with the lactic acid that exfoliates the skin without being abrasive and it’s one of the only things that has helped to reduce the severity of the dry patches I do get. It doesn’t burn on the skin either and beats manual exfoliation in ways other than gentleness, as it helps with pigmentation and dullness – the latter which is a large concern of mine and I imagine it to be an issue that many face with winter pale skin.

By Nature Organic Rosehip Oil ($26/13 CDN)

I’m an avid blog reader myself and before I was always dismissive when I read posts boasting about the wonders of oils on the complexion. It’s not that I was worried about the oiliness or anything of that sort but more of that I’d been down that road before with minimal success. This one has been a recent addition in my routine every night and every morning or two, bringing much-needed radiance to my face paired on top of moisturizer (or the serum above). It really seems to moisturize and soothe irritated and dry skin but also works wonders on angry breakouts – but mine are the dry itchy kind so keep that in mind. This was another purchase from Winners.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($26 CDN)

This glorified lip balm is very expensive and I haven’t purchased a tube as I’m still working on the sample from the Sephora birthday gift but as much as I hate to say it, it’s worth it. I have naturally dry and chapped lips and this performs the best at hydrating them after the balm wears off rather than just coating the lips which many others do. It outperforms the close contender, the more affordable and popular EOS balms.

Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50 CDN)

Yes, this masque is ridiculously expensive and I’ve only used it a handful of times but I already know it’s worth it. I have the kind of hair that is death to untagle, eats up conditioner and is difficult to keep hydrated and this product is worth it to me. It has that amazing spa-like scent but I would purchase this even without the scent – It’s one of the rare masques that actually is concentrated and a quarter size is more moisturizing than palmfuls of other (not cheap) intensive conditioners and I rarely find that. It doesn’t weigh down my insanely dense mass of fine-textured wavy hair while leaving it feeling nourished for longer than a few hours. I find it keeps the hair soft and helps my hair to curl in the way I like. It’s beautiful, that is all; it’s that perfect wintry hair-saving treatment.

Bumble & Bumble Texture (Un)dressing Creme ($17/34 CDN)

I’ve rambled on about this before but in the winter my hair really begins to lack life and just hang and regardless of your hair type, this treasure adds texture and vitality without tangling and drying the hair. This has really become a staple product when you’re headed out the door in a minute or two and your hair is catastrophically flat and dull.



What are your winter essentials? Have you used any of these?