Make-up in the Mail, Paradoxal dupes (Revlon and Barry M) and What’s for Dinner

Erica is one of my best friends from college. She is as make-up obsessed as I am, and always knows which products are receiving rave reviews. We had many lovely Sephora/coffee dates when we both lived in New York,  and even though we’re in different countries now – she’s still sharing the make-up love. She sent me the cutest little package in the mail the other day:

There was one casualty of the mailing system – the wet n wild eyeshadow trio shattered into a fine powder (spreading over the other products and making them look dusty)…all while managing to remain tightly sealed with tape!  In case you’re wondering, it was meant to look like this:

Maybe the shattered eyeshadow was a message from the universe telling me that I already have MORE eyeshadow than I could ever use up! I’m very excited to experiment with the JANE blushes (in Blushing Blossom and Blushing Petal) and have already worn the 2 nail polishes (reviews below). Since I’ve limited my make-up purchases this year, it’s fun to have something new to play with. Thank you SO much to Erica (who occasionally reads this blog). Your package was so sweet and thoughtful…now come and visit me already!

The Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in “Naked Ambition” is a gorgeous peachy-pink with microshimmer. I like the way this colour works with my skintone – however, the formula is quite thick and streaky. I had to apply 4 (!!!) coats to achieve an opaque finish. I’ve reviewed Complete Salon Manicure polishes here and here – and have also encountered the streakiness problem with the other pink polish I tried (although “Plum’s the Word” applies like a dream). Since this is a thick polish that requires several coats, you have to allow a LOT of drying time in between to reduce the risk of imprints and smudges.

The Revlon Polish in “Perplex” is a dupe for Chanel’s Paradoxal.  I now own 2 Paradoxal dupes – this one and the Barry M “Dusky Mauve” that was sent to me last year. I don’t own the Chanel original – so I can’t compare them to it…but I did compare them to each other. The Barry M one has a slightly greyer undertone, while the Revlon formula is creamier and more pigmented – it only requires 2 coats. However, the Barry M lasts longer and shows less tip wear. I couldn’t really choose one formula over the other – but you probably don’t need to buy both! Still, I’m grateful for my 2 bottles since I’m in love with this colour, it looks very dark and sophisticated on my nails.

As you can see, my toddler shoe box container has reached maximum capacity! I can’t accumulate any new polishes before using up or giving away some of my existing stash.


Finally, here’s what we had for dinner last night: Pioneer Woman’s “Penne a la Betsy“. I made this before here, this time I used fibre-rich fusilli instead of penne. For some reason my tomato paste and cream sauce always comes out looking neon!

Disclaimer: I was sent the Barry M nail polish, but was not paid to review it. All thoughts shared on it are my honest opinions – and are not affected by the fact that the item was given to me.


  1. Justine (Productrater)
    March 10, 2011 / 7:28 am

    I love those Paradoxol dupes, too bad that the Revlon was not released in Canada, and Barry M isn't accessible to us either! 🙁

  2. Ashley
    March 10, 2011 / 3:06 pm

    Naked ambition looks really pretty but thanks for the heads up on the application/drying time. I think I'll avoid it for lack of nail patience. 🙂

  3. Lilly's Style
    March 10, 2011 / 4:40 pm

    LOVE how pretty Naked Ambition looks.That pasta dish looks so yummy…I think I'll be having pasta for lunch now 🙂

  4. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 10, 2011 / 4:51 pm

    Justine – I really hope Barry M's facebook campaign works – their products are amazing – I'd love to be able to buy their nail paints here…they have this taupe mushroom-y one that I LOVE…maybe by the time they get here, I'll have more space in my polish box LOL!Ashley – I do love the colour of Naked Ambition – but I was so terrified of smudging since I had to lay it on so thickly. Luckily it turned out fine.Lilly – I adore pasta – but I always end up eating too much LOL!

  5. Beautygirl24
    March 10, 2011 / 6:04 pm

    I've been looking and trying to find the Revlon polish, but it's as elusive as the Chanel. I hope one day to come across it, because it's such a great dupe! That pasta looks soooo good!

  6. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 10, 2011 / 7:43 pm

    Noelle – I hope you find it – I'll have to ask my friend where she picked my bottle up. I miss the NY drugstores – CVS and Duane Reade – so much choice!!! Still, we get lots of good stuff in Canada too – like Bioderma and GOSH, so I shouldn't complain.

  7. Kim's Vanity
    March 11, 2011 / 11:06 pm

    That pasta looks SO GOOD!

  8. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 11, 2011 / 11:55 pm

    Thanks Kim – it was yummy…and we're having tuna pasta for dinner tonight 🙂

  9. Lindy May
    March 13, 2011 / 3:43 am

    I have that Wet n Wild eyeshadow trio and it's one of my faves as well as the Sally Hansen nail polish. I LOVE the color (have nearly finished the bottle) but I agree, far too many coats to be easy, lol. I hope I can find the Revlon nail polish. It looks gorgeous on you. 🙂

  10. Ella Pretty Blog
    March 13, 2011 / 5:48 am

    That pinky peachy colour is such a "Lindy" colour! I guess with all the coats – the bottle does finish quickly!I've read on some blogs that the Revlon polish turned up at places like Big Lots – so it may show up at the most random places. It is such a fun colour – hope you find it.

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