May 18, 2012

NotD: Half Lizard, All Bad Attitude

So, I loved most of the colors in the Amazing Spider-Man set from OPI, I thought I would do my own twist on a shatter mani. I love Just Spotted the Lizard as well as Shatter the Scales. However, I didn't want to cover the former entirely so I decided to only put the shatter on half of my nail.

Step 1) As always, apply a coat of your favorite base coat. I use OPI's base coat.
Step 2) Apply 2 coats of Just Spotted the Lizard.
Step 3) Take a piece of clear cellophane tape and stick it to your skin to weaken the adhesive a little.
Step 4) Once your polish is dry, put the tape over 1/2 your nail. Apply shatter, and then immediately remove the tape.
Step 5) Let dry, then apply top coat. I use Seche Vite.

Relatively simple but an amazing combo.

May 17, 2012

OPI Amazing Spider-Man Review

Okay, as soon as I heard about this set, I knew I had to have it so that I could review it for you so hear it is! While I've never really followed Spider-Man hardcore, this is a classic that many folks should know the basics to if they get the chance. OPI has released this set to tie in with the release of Amazing Spider-Man in theaters this July.

First of all, I decided to get the 4 pack of mini bottles due to budget and also because I wasn't 100% sold on a couple colors as they looked in the bottle. However, I did get full size bottles of Shatter the Scales and Call Me Gwen-ever. All of the products contained in this review were purchased by me.

All photos are at the bottom of the article.

Into the Night - A deep, shimmery blue. I was very surprised at how sheer this color is. Although my photos are 2 coats, I would definitely recommend 3 coats for this and at least one other color in this set. This color leans more on the blue side of the spectrum than Russian Navy and it's a beautiful color. This color makes me think of Raven from Teen Titans.

Call Me Gwen-ever - A deep coral shade that leans extremely towards the orange side of the spectrum. Probably the best formula of the set as it went on my nails smoothly and wasn't sheer at all. This color reminds me of a tomato red-orange but also of the typical color used for redheads in comics. Perfectly on trend as well.

Your Web or Mine? - I will admit like many other bloggers that I think this would be better suited to any set other than Spidey's (Vintage Minnie Mouse due out in June perhaps?) but with that aside, the color stands on its own pretty well. It isn't the stand out but it isn't horrible other than the theme faux pas. The color is a medium frosty pink that is definitely able to be described as 80's but it isn't garish. Had this polish been released under any other set, I wouldn't be complaining. The formula is decent at 2 coats but as with any frosty polish, it can be streaky. It goes well with glitters such as Save Me (OPI Nicki Minaj) or Excuse' Moi (OPI Muppets).

Number One Nemesis - I am a huge fan of gunmetal colors. I don't have too many in my collection but I am glad I held out. This metallic nickel is a 2 coat formula that will go perfectly with a dress that I have. It leans towards the green side of the spectrum rather than Baby It's Coal Outside's blue tone. Goes on the nail smoothly as well.

Just Spotted the Lizard - This is absolutely the stand put polish of the set. A dupe of Chanel Peridot. The base color is a yellow bronze and the edges shift to blur and green depending on the angle. It looks gorgeous under Shatter the Scales as well. A 3 coat formula unless you're layering it under a shatter or glitter. Then I would stick with 2.

Shatter the Scales -I thought I was done with shatter and then I saw this one. A shimmering green almost black shatter. I love this because it is so subtle that the color you put underneath can affect the way it looks. I prefer it over Into The Night and Just Spotted the Lizard, personally.

All in all, I feel like OPI has done this theme justice. Despite Your Web or Mine? being a little oddball it is a nice everyday frost. Stand outs include Just Spotted the Lizard and Shatter the Scales.

What do you think of the set?

4 pack of minister includes - Your Web or Mine?, Into The Night, Number One Nemesis, and Just Spotted the Lizard - $12.50

May 14, 2012

Movie Tie-Ins: Awesome or Gimmick?

So, with the advent of movie tie-in sets for cosmetics, and more specifically nail polish, I wanted to take a moment to look at some of the recent sets and put my thoughts on how well they embody a movie's themes while still releasing a quality product. I've found that when shopping for nail polish especially, this is a difficult task. Some companies put together an amazing set overall that really fits the themes and some only partially do it with some off the wall colors. Luckily, I have yet to see a set that entirely misses the mark. This relieves me because a lot of these tie-ins are movies or general subject matter that I love.

From L to R: Steady As She Rose, Mermaid's Tears, and Stranger Tides.
One of the first movie tie-ins that I bought polishes from was the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides set from OPI. This set comprised of true pastels (a hue with both white and black  mixed in) and ended up to be some great subtle shades. I use this a lot for zombie themed nails where I put the Silver Shatter on top. The reason I still love this collection? I have yet to see the colors duplicated which is something that OPI is infamous for doing.

From L to R: Gettin' Piggy With It, Excuse' Moi, Divine Swine, Fresh Frog of Bel Air, Gone Gonzo, Rainbow Connection.
From L to R: Wocka Wocka, Meep Meep Meep, Designer... De Better, Warm and Fozzie, Pepe's Purple Passion.
The Muppets collection is one that I fell head over heels for. There is only one thing that I found out later that has me a little irked that I hurried out to buy it. One of the more popular colors, Rainbow Connection, is available in the Nicole by OPI set Kardashian Kolor under the name Rainbow in the S-Kylie. You can find swatches here at Polish-A-Holic's blog.

Even then, it's nice to know when a polish can possibly be replaced but there should be a line drawn. These collections weren't even released 6 months apart. I also just purchased most of the colors out of the Amazing Spider-Man collection and I am very happy with them so far. Now the color Your Web or Mine? doesn't necessarily fit the theme, but I think the color is a great one when not associated with Spider-Man (more to come in my upcoming review).
From L to R: Metallic 4 Life, Fly, Pink Friday, and Save Me
Some of these thoughts not only apply to the movie tie-ins but to pop culture tie-ins in general. There was one color of the Nicki Minaj set (pictured above except Superbass Shatter and Did It On 'Em) that was too close to one of the Shrek Forever After colors for comfort. Comparison shots show differences between the two but it also was a strange color for me (Fiercely Fiona being a yellow and Did It On 'Em being a warm yellow-green). Yukie has done some awesome side-by-sides here.

China Glaze's Capitol Colours set was probably one of the only ones where I haven't found myself disappointed and finding dupes. I personally own Fast Track, Stone Cold, Agro, Harvest Moon, Riveting, Electrify, and Luxe and Lush. Even after the change in marketing, names, and inspiration, I felt that most of the colors were spot on and the set itself was balance between bright, glittery, cremes, mattes, and neutrals.

All in all, I think it is wise to do as much research on colors as possible before you rush out and buy a limited edition collection. Also, buying partial sets is something that everyone can and should do. With my blog being so focused on geek oriented items, it's so hard to figure out what's worth my money going toward. How do you feel about movie tie-in sets? Do you love them? Hate them? Let me know!

May 4, 2012

NotD and Review: China Glaze's Optical Illusion

So I decided on a simple mani today. I decided to go with China Glaze's Optical Illusion which is a part of their new Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection.

In the bottle, the nail polish looks absolutely stunning. At rest, it looks aqua/turquoise with plenty of silver glitter mixed in but when I lifted the bottle up, the glitter shifted to highlight the purple. Photos really do not do this polish justice at all.

While the shift is a lot more subtle on the nail, I wasn't disappointed. The formula took only 2 coats (although 3 are on my nails for swatching purposes) in order to get a solid glitter look to it. The glitter stays in place, but you still want to wait 1-2 minutes for the polish to set before adding another coat. This ensures that the glitter won't shift.

I initially had a couple of problems getting the nail polish smooth (no lumps in the middle of my nail) but now, after some practice, it's a smooth formula and goes on a lot easier.

As you can see, in natural light, the shifting quality is captured just a little better.

On the Left is Optical Illusion... On the Right is Prism

May 3, 2012

New Gallery

Okay, so I thought I would try to organize some of my swatch photos and in the process, I am redoing a lot of them to try and get better photos. I am going to be adding a tab at the top for a gallery. What this is going to do is link to a Tumblr account and also in the tab, I will be including tabs for various brands, colors, and cosmetic types that are tags for Tumblr so it will make it easier for you to find swatches of various colors.

This reorganization will take a while because I'd also eventually like to include my reviews in links but that will be the next step after uploading and cataloging the photos. I just thought I would leave a note here so that folks know what's going on.

The main gallery is at:

March 19, 2012

Girl on Fire Week - Review - China Glaze Capitol Colors - Fast Track

No flash, indoors.
Today's edition of Girl on Fire Week is a review of China Glaze's Fast Track from their Capitol Colours collection.

Although this color is now supposed to represent District 6 for Transporation, it will always represent what it originally was supposed to, Katniss Everdeen. Some of you may know that China Glaze changed the marketing strategy for this set, and I'm absolutely okay with that as the new marketing appeals to a wider audience.

With that aside, this has got to be one of my favorite colors out of the entire set. It's a sandy brown packed with gold glitter. The perfect every day color for someone who wants a little bit of pizazz. It reminds me of how Katniss came from The Seam which are the slums of District 12 but as she becomes the Girl on Fire, there's another side to her.

The color itself is a two coat color so a good formulation. My only complaint is that even with a base and a top coat, my polish tends to chip on certain fingers. I am very hard on my manicures as I type at a computer a lot and my phone is a touch screen so if you want this to last, a few touch ups will be in order. Luckily, though, the chips aren't that apparent if they're small due to the neutral nature of the polish, so I've not really had an issue with letting it chip a little bit. With that in mind, it stayed for about a week.

Overall, one of the best colors if not the best color.

March 18, 2012

Girl on Fire Week - FotD - The Parade

Katniss in her Parade costume. Scanned from the Illustrated Movie Companion.
I have been ramping up for The Hunger Games for almost a year now. I've read the first book twice already and I am preparing to read it for a third time next week in preparation for the movie.  I thought I would do Girl on Fire Week in order to lead up to the premiere of the movie this Friday.

Today, I have a look inspired by the above costume and makeup. This is the outfit that Katniss wears during the initial parade of tributes and where she earns the nickname "The Girl on Fire". The look is so simple, that I wanted to give some suggestions on how to do this look at home. It is subtle enough for every day wear as well as able to be spiced up for evening.

No flash...

List of items used:
  • Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen
  • tokidoki 24k eye shadow palette - Sabbia
  • tokidoki Cromatico eye shadow - Adios Star
  • Shiro Cosmetics eye shadow - Thinking With Portals
  • Maybelline Falsies Flared Mascara - Blackest Black
  • Geek Chic Cosmetics Geek Gloss - Happy Ending
  • Wet n' Wild ColorIcon Bronzer
First, I put a dab of Laura Mercier Eye Basics on each eyelid and spread with my fingertips until smooth. This helps the eye shadow to wear longer as well as hide any imperfections on the lid. Then, I took Sabbia which is a pale off-white color (More info can be found here at Musings of a Muse). I chose this color because it's neutral and doesn't really stick out that much. The key to a lot of Katniss' looks outside of the interview and the parade are that they are very natural and they stay that way even when she's dolled up. Due to the nature of the Laura Mercier base though, you can choose to wear just that, I just felt that when it came to adding the orange flare, it was easier to blend.

Next, I took a flat liner brush and used Adios Star to tightline my upper lash line and add the tiniest flare that follows my lower lash line at the outer edge. This color is a glitter packed black, which I love. After lining, I used Maybelline Falsies Flared mascara in Blackest Black to further enhance my lashes and give them that luxurious and fuller look.

Onto the cheeks, this was the hardest as my skin isn't the best right now but I tapped my brush once in my bronzer and swept it across my cheekbones. No more than that. Also, for my lips, it looks as though she is wearing a clear gloss and my favorite is Geek Chic Cosmetics' Happy Ending. It is a glitter packed clear gloss and my go to for everyday.

Well, that's it for this intallment...

And may the odds be ever in your favor!

February 28, 2012

OPI's Pink Friday, Metallic 4 Life, and Fly

So, when I first heard that OPI and Nicki Minaj were pairing up for a set of nail polishes, I thought it was a match made in heaven. With Nicki's personas and brightly colored wardrobe, I knew this would be a set to watch out for. I was unfortunately only able to get 3 out of the 6 colors in the set but I am okay with that for now and I will explain in a moment. The colors I got were Pink Friday, Metallic 4 Life, and Fly.

First up we have Pink Friday which is probably my favorite out of the set. I got this because the pale bubblegum pink is a subtle color for everyday. In some lights in my house, it even blends in with my skintone when the pink isn't as apparent. However, with this being a pale color, it is extremely hard to get smooth even after 3 coats or more. In the picture above, you can see Pink Friday used as a part of a leopard print manicure for Valentine's Day as the center of the spots. The base color is Wocka Wocka from The Muppets collection.

Fly is a creme teal color that I originally was going to skip over but I thought of some interesting nail art to do with it. The basic color is similar to Who Let the Dorks Out from Sephora by OPI's Glee inspired line and it is indeed a pretty close match. The main difference being the creme finish of Fly as opposed to the glittery peacock finish of Who Let the Dorks Out. This polish was a simple 1-2 coats and it turned out incredibly smooth. Be on the lookout for a manicure inspired by Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb in the future thanks to this color. ;)

Now we have Metallic 4 Life, a silver glitter polish set in a semi-transparent black gel. This gives it a distinct gunmetal look and this might rival the upcoming Set in Stone from China Glaze's Hunger Games inspired polishes. I like the medium glitter and it is a very basic glitter polish. A little too much for everyday but I can see this working for dressy occasions. The polish applies well and above you can see what it looks like with two coats on a press on nail.

Overall, I was pleased with the colors I got. Pink Friday takes some practice to apply smoothly but works well for nail art where you're only adding a little bit here and there. Metallic 4 Life and Fly are better for special occasions or if it fits a costume or outfit you are wearing. They are 1-2 coat polishes though. I will be trying Metallic 4 Life over 2 coats of the creme Black Magic by Fantasy Makers to see what that looks like as one coat would probably look amazing.

Would I Buy Again? Probably... While not perfect, I can see myself using these polishes when I travel.

February 20, 2012

James Durbin's Ultimate Fan Site Contest

Hey everyone,

Not really an entry in and of itself but I have entered James Durbin's Ultimate Fan Site contest. What does this mean? I need to spread the love around and I hope you can help me do it. I hope to share videos, photos, and quotes from one of my favorite recent Rock artists.

You can find the fan site: here
James' official site: here

His debut album Memories of a Beautiful Disaster is out now and it's an album that I've seen convert non-Rock fans to fans. A diverse album with slow and upbeat songs.

You can listen to a few of his songs using this widget:

Music Monday: Danceable Music

Okay, so this week's playlist is arguably one of my longest. I love music with a beat. It doesn't matter the style, if it gets me up and dancing, it's usually something I gravitate towards. Whether it's hip-hop or eurobeat, the beat moves me and these are some of my favorite tracks. Some were used in shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and others were ones I heard on the radio but all of them make me bob my head.

Battle for the Beat - District 78 - This was a song I first heard on Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance with Jose Ruiz and Dominic Sandoval as opposing knights bboying it up. It was one of my favorite dance routines of the season.

The above is a live video of the routine that helped me fall in love with the song. As it turns out, District 78 is one of the composers for the music in The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers which you can watch on Hulu here.

Game On - The Cast of The Guild - Although maybe not as good as their original hit, (Do You Wanna) Date my Avatar, I've always had a weakness for Bollywood style music as it's used as an escape. This one even has a geeky gamer twist which gives it a +10 to Charisma. ;)

Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendex and The Black Eyed Peas - A seminal salsa hit but remixed by The Black Eyed Peas so it has a little bit of a hip-hop vibe. It stll keeps the flavor of the original and Salsa is all about having fun.

Stop, Drop, & Roll - Chonique Sneed and Lisette Bustamante - Another SYTYCD song. The routine was an amazing hip-hop routine that featured all of the girls. They were dressed in Japanese inspired outfits which is another passion of mine.

The rest of the playlist is here and as always, let me know if there's anything you might add. Who knows? It may end up in the playlist.

February 13, 2012

Music Monday: Valentine's Day 2k12

One thing I really enjoy doing is making playlists of some of my favorite music surrounding various themes. I use Spotify for them which is a free app for download at I thought I would try and share some of my musical finds and this week, I want to put the spotlight on my Valentine's Day playlist for 2012. I thought about most of the songs and while not all of them are the original versions, there is some reason why I love them. I will go through some of the highlights.

Ben - Glee Cast - This is a song that I always used to listen to on cassette tape (that's right people, I listened to music on cassette tapes) and would rewind it back and forth endlessly. The tape was originally either my brother's or my parents'. This is a song from a movie sequel to a psychological thriller named Willard but the song itself is about companionship and friendship which made it a no brainer for a Valentine's Day playlist. When Glee recently did their Michael Jackson episode, I almost cried when Kurt and Blaine sang this song mostly because I have such great memories of it and I was happy that they included music from all eras of Michael's career.

Falling Slowly - Glen Hansard and Marketa Irgova - I had first heard this song when Elenowen performed it during their blind audition on The Voice season one and the slow ballad as well as the lyrics just touched me to no end. I looked up the original (which is the version featured here) and fell in love all over again. It's from the movie Once which is about an Irish busker who falls in love with a Czech flower seller. A classic boy meets girl love story.

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee - Do I really need to explain this?

If you want to listen to the rest of the playlist and you have Spotify just follow this link and let me know what you think. Are there any specific songs you would add? I tried to mix both old and new as well as originals and covers.

January 31, 2012

A New Year: State of the Blog

First of all, I would like to apologize for the radio silence all throughout January. I've been traveling to 2 conventions as well as trying to gather information and plan things that I would like to write for the new year.

The next thing I would like to announce is that I am changing the name of the blog. Today, inspiration struck me and I had always been planning to change the name once I figured out what I wanted to write about and where time took me as I blogged. I found that I want to blog about more than just makeup but still keep a focus there. Once I design a new header and figure out the new layout, the blog will henceforth be known as Beam Me Up, Beautiful. Although I will not be changing the address so that it is easy to find.

I feel that this name encourges geekiness in all areas and is something that allows me to stray some from the topic of beauty without going against the expectations of my readers. It also still references that it stated off as a beauty blog and that those posts and reviews will still be an integral part of what I do here. Some of the items you might see in addition to make up are:

  • Video Game Reviews
  • Movie Reviews
  • Convention Reports
  • Cosplay Tutorials
  • Book Reviews
  • Anime
  • TV Shows (Particularly shows that are genre such as Game of Thrones, Alcatraz, Once Upon a Time, Touch, and Face Off)
  • Interviews
I hope you all will stay with me through this as it is an adventure for me to explore everything geeky. As I gather a list of events I'll be at, even as an attendee, I will post it here.