Friday, September 30, 2011

China Glaze Flying Dragon

First off, an apology if my blog posting/timing has been a little sporadic this week. My computer is broken so I've been relying on friends for computer access. Hopefully I'll have a new computer soon though. Schoolwork is a major hassle without one.

Anyways, today I have China Glaze Flying Dragon from the Ink Collection for you. It's a neon purple-y fuchsia with pink and blue glitter mixed in. It dries to a matte satin finish, but I threw some topcoat on top since I think it looks nicer that way.

 (China Glaze Flying Dragon, three? coats plus one topcoat)

I can't remember if this took two or three coats, but I think it was three. I'd been wearing this for about a day and a half and you might notice I already got some tipwear and I had a chip or two on my right hand. Since, as I said, this dries matte, I guess shorter wear time was to be expected.

I'm not sure why but I can't help but be a little let down by this one. See how amazingly bright and loud it is in the bottle? On the nail it leans much more purple and appeared darker. It's still got neon qualities to it but it just wasn't exactly what I expected. I want it to be more like the bottle though! Oh well.

If you don't go into this one with the same expectations of blindly bright neon, pink-tinged fuchsia as I did then I doubt you will be let down. This seems to be one of the more popular colors from the Ink Collection and I can see why; it's pretty unique and I like the unexpected extra kick the glitter gives it. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike this color; it just wasn't exactly how I wanted it to be.

What do you think of Flying Dragon? Have you ever had a polish that wasn't quite what you expected it to be?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

OPI Navy Shatter

So I thought I was all shattered/crackled/textured/crackled out, but then I started seeing lots of pretty combinations with OPI Navy Shatter and I decided to give it a try. I only have a few other shatters, but it seems like they are EVERYWHERE lately!

For my silver base, I used Sally Hansen Celeb City, which I wore yesterday (and you can see swatches of it alone HERE). I saw this silver/navy combo on some other blogs and it is what made me finally decide I wanted this shatter. Now that I have it, I'm really glad I got it. These two are so pretty together! The navy is just the right shade; deep and rich but still visibly blue rather than black-toned. I think this looks really sharp on the nail and you could layer it with just about anything.

The formula isn't as thick as OPI Black Shatter, which is amazing but tends to get a little gunky. I also like that when you use Navy Shatter, a little bit of the base color peaks through from underneath the colored shatter pieces. This isn't a jelly-esque shatter like OPI Red Shatter, however.

I'm a bit surprised at just how much I like this! I've also seen some nice pairings of Navy Shatter with OPI Teenage Dream and some neon yellow polishes, so I may have to try those out in the future as well.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sally Hansen Celeb City

Celeb City is a bright silver. I'd describe the finish on this as foil with just a hint of frost. I've been searching for a good silver foil and at $2, this really fit the bill!

(Sally Hansen Celeb City, three coats plus one topcoat)

The formula on this was alright. The polish is a touch on the brushstrokey side and dry time was unusually slow, even with Seche Vite on top. I knicked two nails on my right hand (one of which I messed up TWICE) because I thought they were dry and wound up having to re-do them.

I think this would be a really fun polish to layer over in addition to wearing it alone. I finally got my hands on OPI Navy Shatter and I'm going to try it with this for sure! Keep your eyes peeled for a shatter post tomorrow!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sally Hansen Rockstar Pink

I was really looking forward to showing you all Butter London British Racing Stripe Green today, which I wore this weekend, but unfortunately none of my pictures turned out well after I went back and looked them over. :( Such a shame because I am in LOVE with it! So while I'll have to show you British Racing Stripe Green sometime in the near future, today I've got some glitter to help you through your Monday!

Rockstar Pink is a great way to get a glitterbomb effect on a budget. While it's predominantly pink (obviously), it also has red, blue and gold glitter. This reminds me of a pinker version of the increasingly hard-to-find OPI Sparkle-licious from last year's Burlesque collection. Take a look and see for yourself!

(Sally Hansen Rockstar Pink, four coats plus one topcoat)

This is equally sparkly indoors, so I also snapped some shots of this inside last night.

I used four coats here, but you could probably get by with three if you're not a stickler for opacity like me. I have no complaints on the formula for this one, although just a note that it is a top coat eater. This is a total steal at $2! I am crazy about glitter so I just couldn't resist this one. Plus I really love these Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polishes; they never seem to let me down. You can't beat the formula or the price! I am wavering on whether or not to also snatch up Pumpkin Spice, another glitter from this line.

And remember, when you wear glitter, use the foil method to remove it and save yourself some time and a headache! If you're unfamiliar, you can check out my tutorial HERE.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nubar Jeans Collection Preview

Since this press image has started floating around the blogosphere, I thought I'd share it with you if you haven't seen it yet. Looks like this could be a great alternative to Les Jeans De Chanel-except the Nubar will be much cheaper, of course!

I believe the trio set will sell for $19.99, which is less than one Chanel polish ($25). I'm guessing these will also be available individually as well. Do you think you'll be picking up anything from either the Nubar or Chanel Jeans collections? I'm going to pass on the Chanel but maybe I'll look into some Nubar. I actually don't own any Nubar yet but I desperately want to! They have so many pretty shades and I've read great things about their polishes!

Friday, September 23, 2011

OPI It's MY Year

Today I've got the last of my OPI Miss Universe polishes to show you. (You can see the other two, Crown Me Already! and Swimsuit...Nailed It! HERE and HERE, respectively.) If you've been following my Miss Universe swatches, then you know I'm crazy about this collection! I got them all except Congeniality Is My Middle Name, because I think it's quite similar to another OPI I already own, The One That Got Away (swatches HERE).

Anyways, this gorgeous polish is It's MY Year, a mauve shade with tons of gold glitter. This type of polish really seems to be having a moment right now. We've seen similar shades like Zoya Faye, OPI Rally Pretty Pink, Orly Rock The World (swatches of that one coming soon), Orly Ingenue, etc. It's MY Year is a purple version of those pink and gold glitter combos.

(OPI It's MY Year, three coats plus one topcoat)

And an indoor shot, for comparison's sake:

This is STUNNING on the nail! While I think this looks gorgeous in all lighting, it really is spectacular outside when the sun's out. I just HAVE to re-swatch this once there's more sunshine outside so you can see it at its best.

I really can't pick a favorite from the Miss Universe polishes because I love them ALL! The formula on this is perfection too, the same as the other Miss Universe polishes I own. I've been wearing this for two days now and while I have a bit of tipwear, there's been no chipping so far. If you don't already have Zoya Faye/OPI Rally Pretty Pink/one of the thousand other versions of this color, in my opinion this is a must-have. GET IT!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wet N Wild Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire

Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire is a light blue holographic polish. I think it's kick-ass that you can get a holo fix for just two dollars at the grocery or drug store! I swapped some Meijer can return money for this polish, so I'd say it was money well-spent!

 (Wet N Wild Blue Wants To Be A Millionaire, four coats)

The name is pretty cringe-worthy, as are all the names in this particular Wet N Wild collection. They're all TV-themed and full of some Godawful puns. Case and point: Hannah Pinktana? Teal of Fortune? Sa-green-a the Teenage Witch? Buffy the Violet Slayer? *Shudder* It pains me.

But it's forgivable because this polish is pretty darn cool. The formula is on the thick side though and this was a bit of an ass-ache to work with, but nothing TOO miserable. I liked though that I didn't get any chips while wearing this, because holographic polishes aren't exactly known for their long wear. I wore it for about a day and a half with no problems. I did four coats here in order to get complete coverage, but maybe three would have been fine.

In terms of finish, it dries a bit on the dull side but I still wore it without topcoat, because topcoats tend to dull the holographic effect in these types of polishes. I wouldn't say this is a true holo but it has a nice irridescent rainbow shimmer to it and it really comes alive in the sunlight.

P.S. If you're a fellow Allendale gal looking to score, they have this at the Jenison Meijer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: Sally Hansen Quick Care Clean-Up For Manicures Pen

Confession: I tend to make a mess when I paint my nails. Usually my problem is flooding the cuticle area on the sides of my nails. So, I decided to pick up the Sally Hansen Quick Manicure Clean-Up Pen when I spotted it at Target the other day.

At $9.99, it wasn't cheap, but I figured it'd be something I'd get a lot of use out of and that it would save me some time and hassle since I re-paint my nails so often. Plus I feel Sally Hansen products are generally good quality and this would probably work well, unlike the $2 clean-up pen I'd bought at Sally Beauty Supply that did next to nothing.

Using this is pretty self-explanatory. You swipe the pen over the area with smudging or excess polish and the acetone on the tip removes the polish. (Sally Hansen also makes a $5 non-acetone version of this, but I don't really like acetone-free remover so I didn't give it a try. I know it's worse for your nails to use acetone but it seriously works better!)

First, the good news: This works. I used it to clean up my last two manis and was happy with its performance; the chisel tip easily gets into those hard-to-reach edges and removes messes and mistakes well. But now, the bad news: I'm not sure how LONG this will work. After using it on those two manicures, the tip was already getting gunked-up with excess polish and a little worn from my pressing down, making removal more difficult. The directions say to wipe the tip after each usage but that didn't seem to help much and most of the polish was still stuck on the pen. Although this comes with two replacement tips (attached in a clear cap at the top of the pen, which is a cool touch-no lost tips!), I have a feeling I will work my way through them pretty quickly.

I guess I have mixed feelings about this one. I think I have some buyer's remorse. While it works, I think 10 bucks is a little steep for something that might not last me too long. I think there are similar pens out there that probably do the same thing for less, but I'll be curious to see how long this winds up lasting. I like it enough that I plan to continue using it as long as possible. Maybe I am pressing down too hard on the tip? If you've got a good polish remover pen you'd like to suggest, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Waking Up In Vegas

Waking Up In Vegas is a putty grey creme. Although it's named after a Katy Perry song, this polish is perhaps best known from when Lady Gaga wore it on the cover of Vanity Fair last year.

Very chic! I really love grey polishes and think this one is just perfect! It's work appropriate and would look good on a variety of skin tones.

The formula on this was excellent. I used two coats here and had no problems. If you love grey, this is definitely one to get!

Also, look how adorable the bottle is! For my money, Deborah Lippmann has the best-looking bottles on the market right now.

Monday, September 19, 2011

OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It!

I have to say, when I first heard the idea of OPI doing a Miss Universe collection, I was pretty "meh" on the whole concept. But after seeing the polishes in-person, I am WOWED by these! I previously showed you the drop-dead gorgeous Crown Me Already! (swatches HERE) and now I've got Swimsuit...Nailed It! for you all to drool over too.

 (OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It!, two coats plus one topcoat)

This has a finish almost like a foil. It's very intense with great pigmentation and shine. It was pretty cloudy out when I took these and this color still picked up a lot of light. It's one of those "lit from within" shades that I'm so crazy about. The formula is fantastic, as I've come to expect from OPI. I used one coat of basecoat and still got some staining around the tips and cuticles though, so take care when applying.

This polish has been compared a lot to Orly Stone Cold, but I think Stone Cold is a bit darker and the finishes are extremely different. You can see for yourself by checking out my swatches of Stone Cold HERE. I'm not sure which one I like better because I love them both! I would say, however, that Swimsuit...Nailed It! is quite similar to Orly Sweet Peacock from the Birds of a Feather collection, although I don't actually own Sweet Peacock to show you firsthand; from pictures I've seen I think they're too close for me to justify owning both, although I think they're equally lovely.

While it didn't quite manage to de-throne Crown Me Already! as my reigning favorite from this collection, Swimsuit...Nailed It! is still a great addition to any polish collection. If you're like me and love blues, I'd say this is a must-have.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Essie Mochacino

Mochacino is a nice, cool-toned taupe shade, but what really makes this polish cool is the silver shimmer! Kind of unexpected for a taupe polish but very pretty nevertheless. I'm not really happy with the lighting in these pics, but oh well. The trees by my apartment kept getting in the way of my good light!

 (Essie Mochacino, three coats plus one topcoat)

This reminds me of China Glaze Ingrid, but with silver instead of gold shimmer, so if you like Ingrid you will probably like Mochacino as well. Mochacino dries a bit on the dull side, but the topcoat really helped to bring out the shimmer and give it a glossier finish. The formula was fine-maybe a teeny bit on the runny side but I might just be feeling picky. This is a great color for fall or a good work-appropriate polish that still has a little something extra to keep things exciting.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Revlon Starry Pink

I've finally got the last of the Revlon Expressionist glitters for you today! You can view my swatches of the other two, Blue Mosaic and Facets of Fuschia, HERE.

While I opted to layer Blue Mosaic over black just for fun, Starry Pink is really the one that NEEDS layering. The base of Starry Pink is very sheer on its own and having worn it once already alone, I can honestly say I didn't care for it as much without a stronger color underneath. Milky neutrals aren't really my thing and I thought it looked kind of goopy alone.

So for these swatches, I put one coat of Starry Pink over two coats of Essie French Affair, a baby pink creme. I think it turned out pretty nicely! Sorry for the messy edges. I ruined this whole manicure by accidentally hitting my hand against a door so I re-did it kind of quickly to fix the major dents and smudges.

The formula of Starry Pink is a little on the watery side. It makes for a fun layering polish and the base is sheer enough that you could probably put it over a variety of colors. But I honestly think this is my least favorite of the new Revlons. Overall though, I like the Expressionist glitters a lot and I hope Revlon follows through with similar glitters in the future!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

OPI Road House Blues

First thing's first: Let's start this post off right.

Much better! Now that we've got a proper soundtrack in place, let's talk OPI!

Like the song, this polish is straight-up sexy. Road House Blues is an indigo creme from the new Touring America collection. Although it's on the darker side, this polish is still visibly purple-hued, not black. I'm wearing a pair of dark wash True Religions today and, over the course of a slow-moving Journalism class, realized this polish was pretty much the same color. Higher education in action!

The formula on this applied like an absolute dream; very creamy and smooth. Although I used two coats for these pictures to cover up a few patches here and there, this is basically opaque with just one. I also wore a base coat underneath because I hear this is a big-time nail stainer, but my Seche Vite base coat solved that problem just fine.

I love Road House Blues! It's sexy, vampy and sophisticated all at the same time. This is definitely one of the polishes to grab from Touring America.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Butter London No More Waity, Katie

Much to the chagrin of my wallet, I have recently fallen in love with Butter London polishes. They make some really unique, quality polishes and just look how cute the bottle is!

Like with Chanel polishes, the square top twists off so you can use the round brush handle underneath for easier application:

Seriously adorable! Anyways, enough of my raving; on to the actual polish itself. All Butter London polishes have English-themed names (which I love!) and this polish, of course, is named for Kate Middleton. While I'm not a big royal watcher (a friend and I actually spent the Royal Wedding watching "Machete" and eating Egg McMuffins at McDonald's), I am a total fan of this polish!

No More Waity, Katie is a greyed-out lavender with purple sparkles. This might not be for everyone but I really like it!

 (Butter London No More Waity, Katie, three coats plus one topcoat)

I'd read some other reviews saying the formula on this was really troublesome but I didn't think it was too bad; a little on the thick side but nothing unmanageable. I used three coats for these pictures.

This polish reminds me of a rain cloud for some reason. If you like glitter but don't want something that's over the top, or just want to try something a little different, this might be up your alley. Butter London polishes sell for $14 at Ulta, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and a few etailers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Re-Swatch: OPI Pros & Bronze

Truth be told, I was never really happy with my original swatches of this polish and I was really in the mood to wear it today. Plus, since it's such a gorgeous color, I thought you wouldn't mind if I showed it to you again.

If you missed out the first time around, Pros & Bronze is one of the polishes in the Serena Williams Glam Slam US Duo. The other polish is Love Is A Racket, a very lovely neon red glass fleck. But to me, Pros & Bronze is the true must-have from this set.

 (OPI Pros & Bronze, three coats plus one topcoat)

Look at how ridiculously SHINY it is! This polish goes absolutely crazy in the sunlight. I tried to capture it better with these new swatches, but Pros & Bronze may be one you just have to see for yourself in-person!

You can read more about Pros & Bronze and see some additional (albeit shittier) pics at my original post: HERE.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Orly Rock Solid

Yesterday I showed you Stone Cold, a sweet new blue shade from Orly's latest line, Mineral FX. So today I thought I'd continue the trend by showing you another Mineral FX beauty, Rock Solid. Rock Solid is a silver polish with specks of holographic glitter. It has the intense shine of a foil but the texture of Rock Solid's finish is completely different and quite unique; click to enlarge these pictures to get a better idea of what I mean.

 (Orly Rock Solid, two coats plus one topcoat)

Like Stone Cold, Rock Solid is a major topcoat eater. I only used one coat of OPI Topcoat here but I could've definitely used two to help conceal the grittier texture these FX polishes have when dry. As far as the formula goes though, I have no complaints.

As you can tell by how many pictures I took of this one, I really, really like it! I was very happy with how well the holographic glitter shows up on the actual nail and not just in the bottle. I'd be interested to see how Rock Solid stacks up against Chanel Graphite. While I don't think they would be dupes, I get the feeling that they would have some similarities.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Orly Stone Cold

You may remember the Orly Cosmic FX polishes that I am so very fond of. Well now Orly has a similar new line out, this time called Mineral FX. Like Cosmic FX, they cost more than the typical Orly polishes ($8.99 at Sally Beauty and $10 everywhere else), but also like Cosmic FX, they are kickass!

Stone Cold is like Orly Lunar Eclipse and China Glaze Dorothy Who? had a baby. I have a hard time describing the finish on this, but I guess if I had to choose I'd say it's kind of like a glass fleck. Either way, it's extremely cool-looking.

I can't remember if this was two or three coats. :-/ I was talking while doing this manicure so I didn't really keep track. But the formula was just fine, as I've come to expect from Orly. I seriously think I'm becoming something of an Orly fangirl. This did, however, eat topcoat like crazy, so I did two thick coats of Seche Vite on top. The Mineral FX polishes dry with a texture to them, so a topcoat will probably be essential for these anyways.

Stone Cold is somewhat similar in color to OPI Swimsuit...Nailed It! but the finishes are completely different. They aren't dupes, but I'll post a comparison picture for you very soon so you can see for yourself! I also grabbed Rock The World from this collection, so keep your eyes peeled for that one sometime this week too!