Saturday, December 31, 2011

China Glaze Ultamate Holiday

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all have something fun planned for tonight. I saw "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" today and really loved it. I'm a fan of both the book and the Swedish version of the film so I'm happy to report that I found this version equally enjoyable. Rooney Mara isn't quite as badass as Noomi Rapace was in the original movie (That's okay though, few people are!) but she still does a good job as Lisbeth.

Anyways, today I've got another Ulta-exclusive China Glaze to show you: Ultamate Holiday! This is my current New Year's Eve mani and I think it's perfectly festive for the occasion. Ultamate Holiday is a gold glitter with a scattered holo effect.

This dries to a bit of a dull finish on its own but thankfully two coats of Out The Door topcoat solved that problem and didn't seem to diminish the holographic effect at all. Although this is obviously not a linear holo, the scattered holo sparkle is still quite strong in person. The formula on Ultamate Holiday is also really nice; this was two smooth coats. This polish is just gorgeous and it's great for when you want a little extra glitz. Definitely scoop this one-and in my opinion, all three of the polishes in this set-up while you still have the chance!

What's on your nails tonight?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Liebster Blog Award & Glitter In Their Veins Badge Featuring Nicole By OPI Kendall On The Katwalk

The lovely Anne of grape fizz nails has nominated me for the Glitter In Their Veins Badge and the marvelous Amber of Nails Like Lace nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you so much, Anne and Amber! :)

You may remember that when Amanda of Amandalandish, the creator of the Glitter In Their Veins Badge, first gave me it, I showed you all my favorite glitter, OPI Absolutely Alice (take a look HERE, if you like). Last time, I was a dummy and forgot to nominate any fellow "glitterati" for this badge. So this time I'm going to make amends by inviting any of you self-proclaimed "glitterati" to join in by posting this badge and sharing your favorite glitters on your own blogs! :)

Now onto some glittery goodness! Since I've already shared my all-time favorite glitter for this award, I thought I'd bust out another one of my favorites: Nicole by OPI Kendall on the Katwalk. Despite the obnoxious Kardashian "spelling," Kendall on the Katwalk is seriously amazing. From the second I saw swatches of this beauty, I just knew I had to have it! The base is a sheer blue shade and the dominant glitter color is blue, but there's also green and purple in the mix as well. Something about this one reminds me of Mardi Gras. Am I the only one?

This is just too pretty! The color combination is very eye-catching and gives this polish some interesting depth. I used three coats here and after two days of wearing this to work, I only had one little chip on my right index finger. I was kind of determined not to like these Kardashian polishes but I must admit, of the three I got, I really loved them all. There's something for everyone in the bunch. This one is probably my favorite though.

Oddly enough, I saw some of the Kardashian polishes at Target the other day. Weren't these supposed to be Walmart exclusives? Regardless, that's good news if you missed out on these the first time around. They didn't appear to have the whole set-Kendall on the Katwalk was one of the absent ones-so I'm not sure if my Target was simply sold out of some or they'll only be carrying a partial selection. Have you seen these popping up at your local Target-or somewhere else besides Walmart?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

OPI Metallic 4 Life

After showing you two of the cremes so far from the new OPI Nicki Minaj Collection, I thought I'd switch things up by giving one of the glitters a try. Metallic 4 Life is a black jelly base packed with different sizes of round and hexagon silver glitter. You can definitely channel your inner rocker chick with this one. It kind of reminds me of a more "bad girl" version of OPI Crown Me Already! from the Miss Universe Collection, a polish that I absolutely love. Unfortunately, if this is anything like Crown Me Already!, that also means removal will be not so fun but hey, these are the sacrifices we make for sparklies, right? ;)

Sorry that my cuticles are looking a little rough. Ack, cold weather!

Anyways, I used three coats for this mani but you could use less and save some polish by layering a black creme underneath, which I'll probably do in the future. The formula was cooperative; no complaints there. It dries quite fast so I didn't have to really wait any extra time between coats and the glitter generally went where I wanted it to go. I've had Metallic 4 Life on for two days now and minus one tiny chip, overall the wear's been good so far.

I love how glam and edgy this looks! It's definitely got a starry night sky feel to it as well. I think this would be the perfect polish for a night out and the black base means it'll go with just about any outfit-always a plus!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Spring 2012 Preview

Just a quick post to share the first snapshot of Deborah Lippmann's upcoming Spring 2012 collection with you all. The two on the right look especially intriguing to me...

Photo Credit: Eva Chen Tumblr

No word on names yet, but these are supposed to be available sometime in March. Looks very promising! I can't wait to see more pictures! See anything you like?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

China Glaze Velvet Bow

Velvet Bow is a dark, vampy chocolate red from China Glaze's Let It Snow Collection. It's like a creme version of the legendary vampy jelly Essie Wicked. The color actually reminds me quite a bit of dried blood-creepy but true.

I did two coats for this manicure. The first time I wore this polish I got really horrible bubbling-I painted my nails in a hurry that day-but the second time I had no problems, so I'll chalk the initial bubbling up to my hastiness rather than an issue with the formula. The formula is a bit streaky though so I had to be mindful of my brushstrokes to get everything to even out smoothly.

I'm not much of a red person and this is honestly not the type of polish I'd have bought if it weren't part of a minis set I got at Sally. That being said, for what it is, Velvet Bow is quite nice. It's also a virtual dupe for the original creme version of Chanel Vamp. (The current version of Chanel Vamp is a shimmer, but the classic version now retails as Chanel Rouge Noir.)  The original Vamp, released to blockbuster sales in 1994, is perhaps best known as the polish worn by Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. So if you want to get your Fox Force Five on, this is the way to do it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

OPI Pink Friday

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great holiday! :) Today I've got another OPI Nicki Minaj polish to show you: Pink Friday. Pink Friday is a pale pink creme, kind of like a cross between bubblegum pink and eraser pink.

I apologize that I still have a little bit of OPI Did It On 'Em, also from the Nicki Minaj Collection, (check out the full mani HERE) stubbornly stuck in my cuticles. I didn't notice it until I'd already put on Pink Friday. This was two coats with a third on a few nails to cover up some patches. The formula was nice and cooperative. I'm currently wearing this as a pedicure in addition to manicure. I'm not as adventurous with my pedicure colors as I am with my manicures; a good pink like this usually suits my toes just fine, although sometimes I like to switch it up with a fun blue.

If you're not a pink lover, this shade isn't going to set your world on fire or make you change your mind. But it is a really nice pink creme and I like that it's solidly pigmented but still has a soft quality to it. This would look especially nice in the springtime. I'm not a huge pink polish person but I still enjoy wearing them from time to time.

Do you like wearing pink nails or is it too safe-looking for you? Did you get any polishes gifted to you over the holidays?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Comparison Post: Essie Mochacino Vs. Orly Nite Owl Vs. Butter London All Hail The Queen

Hahaha is that the longest post title you've ever seen or what? I don't do too many comparison posts because I really try to avoid dupes in my stash but recently I noticed I have three polishes that look eerily similar. Dun dun dun! So I decided to put them side-by-side and see if they really looked alike on the nail. I thought maybe this might be helpful to anyone out there who's had their eye on one of these polishes or wants to avoid dupes in their existing stash.

The contenders are, from left to right... Essie Mochacino, Orly Nite Owl, Butter London All Hail The Queen and then Nite Owl again on my pinky finger. I used three coats of Orly and Essie and two of Butter London.

Mochacino is just a touch darker than Nite Owl. They look even more similar in-person than they do in these shots. I wouldn't say they are 100% similar but still incredibly close, to the point where I'd say you don't need both. All Hail The Queen is visibly lighter than the other two and has a fine holographic shimmer, as opposed to the silver shimmer in the Essie and Orly. All Hail The Queen is definitely the most unique of the bunch.

If you're trying to choose between Mochacino and Nite Owl, I think Nite Owl's formula is less goopy than Mochacino's plus it costs a buck less, but honestly they're both great shades and extremely similar, so I guess it's a matter of your brand preference and whether you want to go a tad lighter (Nite Owl) or a tad darker (Mochacino).

You can check out individual swatches of these polishes by clicking the links below:
Hopefully this was helpful! If you celebrate it, Merry Christmas! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

China Glaze Mistletoe Me!

Mistletoe Me! is one of three China Glaze Ulta exclusives for the holidays. I picked up all three since I had a 20% off coupon and Ulta had a buy 2, get 1 free promotion going on for China Glaze. Oddly enough, neither Ulta or China Glaze seem to be doing any PR for these polishes, which is a shame because they're all very pretty. Mistletoe Me! is a bright pink foil. Unlike some of the OPI Ulta holiday exclusives this year, this is not a repackage from a previous China Glaze collection.

Mistletoe Me! is a dupe for Color Club Hot Lava from their recent Foiled Collection, so if you wanted that polish but don't have easy access to Color Club, see if you can scope this out at your nearest Ulta. The formula on this was alright-a little brushstrokey but many foils are. I'm not a huge pink polish person (odd considering it's my favorite color in general, but definitely not for polish) but this is just so bright and metallic that I couldn't resist it. The 3 for 2 deal Ulta had also gave me some added incentive to pick up the whole set rather than pass on this one, which is good because it's actually pretty cool.

Have you seen any of the polishes from this trio at your local Ulta? They were virtually the only China Glaze mine had left in stock. I guess nail polish is a popular Christmas gift this year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

OPI Did It On 'Em

I've really been looking forward to OPI's latest collection, a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. She's one of the few rappers I actually like and the colors looked really awesome. I picked up everything except the Super Bass purple shatter; it just didn't call to me. First up I've got Did It On 'Em to show you. It's a bright chartreuse creme. This isn't so much a dupe of OPI Who The Shrek Are You? from the Shrek Collection as it is a combination of that shade and another Shrek polish, Fiercely Fiona. It falls somewhere between the two shades on the color spectrum. Right away I can tell Did It On 'Em is going to be a love it or hate it kind of polish but personally I love to wear shades like this!

So cool! It leans more yellow or green depending on your lighting. Sorry for the shadows in the last pic. I was trying to show off Did It On 'Em's yellow side and this is the lighting in my bathroom that made that show up on camera haha. I used three coats here and the formula was on the streaky side, although it self-levels fairly well. I can't get enough of shades like this, so my experience with the OPI Nicki Minaj Collection is off to a good start! I'll keep on showing you the rest in the next several days!

Which polishes are you most excited for from the Nicki Minaj Collection? Have you seen it in stores near you yet? (I bought mine from an etailer.)

China Glaze Blonde Bombshell

This polish was part of a surprise polish giftbag given to me by my friend James! James and I have worked together for six years or so-and at two different jobs, no less! I feel old now haha. We worked together at an ice cream place and then left to go work at the same department store. He recently saw a beauty supply place that was going out of business and since he knows about my obsession blog, he picked out some polishes (China Glaze and Zoya) to give to me at work as a surprise! Thanks James! I have cool friends, what can I say?

Blonde Bombshell is part of China Glaze's latest release, the Eye Candy 3D Glitters Collection. It has two sizes of round yellow gold glitter, plus some sparse bar glitter in a similar shade of gold. The bar glitter isn't super noticeable unless you look at this polish up close, but it's a nice surprise and gives this polish a little something extra.

Blonde Bombshell's formula is a bit thick; not enough so that I would thin it but still enough that I noticed some drag. This polish is very Vegas showgirl to me; it's glamorous, flashy and fun. I'm glad I have this one in my stash since I don't have a whole lot of gold polishes, especially gold glitters. You could easily layer this if you wanted to go for a different look and maybe bring out each individual type of glitter in this polish more, but it also looks really lovely on its own.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window

Let's get this out of the way: I hate the name. I know it was widely discussed and some people liked the humor of it but I think it's just kind of gross. Regardless, I still picked this one up and it's one of only two colors (the other being the fantastic Road House Blues, which you can see HERE) from the Touring America Collection, which overall I, along with many of you, was disappointed by. I still see a lot of fully stocked displays for it at Ulta and other suppliers. I think this polish was by far the most buzzed about shade of the bunch, probably because of its rather unique name.

Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window is a swampy army green creme. It's not super unique but I'm always drawn to colors like this one.

A lot of the bottles I saw of Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window, including the one I bought, have this weird, unmixed look to them. But despite how the polish appeared in the bottle, thankfully that didn't translate over to the nail and I had no problems with the formula or the consistency. I used two coats here.

If you're wondering how this compares to another swampy green from the fall collections, China Glaze Westside Warrior (swatches HERE), the OPI is lighter and at least on me, it leans a bit more yellow. They are not dupes. Personally, I prefer Westside Warrior and to be honest I'm not sure I like Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because I'm so crazy about Westside Warrior. Don't get me wrong, I still like Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window-it's a swamp green, of course I'll be happy with it-but I can see myself reaching for Westside Warrior more often than Uh-Oh Roll Down The Window. I just think it's a bit more flattering on my skintone. But I always heed the call of the swamp; I can't get enough of these murky greens.

For me, Road House Blues remains my one must-have from Touring America. I've worn it like four times since I bought it and I really just adore it. It's trendy, a little edgy and perpetually chic all at the same time. Plus it matches my favorite pair of jeans exactly!

Which polishes did you pick up from Touring America? Are there any hidden gems you think people may have passed up?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Essie Resort 2012 Preview

Even MORE new polish previews to share with you all today! Hopefully you're not tired of being bombarded with upcoming collections-I think it's fun to take a look ahead! Today we'll be checking out Essie's 2012 Resort Collection, which will consist of four new shades.

(L to R: Pink-a-Boo, Sure Shot, She's Picture Perfect, No More Film)

The last two in the bottom picture intrigue me the most. I really like the color palette Essie is using for the spring season; very cheerful and feminine. (Also scope out Essie's A Spring To Invest In HERE.)

What do you think of Essie's Resort Collection? Which spring collection(s) are you looking forward to the most?

Orly Nite Owl

Hey all! I hope you are enjoying your week so far. I realized the other day that it's been quite a while since I've featured an Orly polish on here so I decided to bust this one out since it's been on my untried list for a few months now. Nite Owl is a taupe polish with silver shimmer, very similar to Essie Mochacino (check it out HERE). The two polishes are virtually dupes (I've actually got a comparison coming up for you soon so you can see firsthand), so if you've already got Mochacino, you don't really need this one. Nite Owl came out as part of Orly's Fowl Play Collection and I still see it pretty frequently at Ulta. While the titular Fowl Play (swatches HERE) received most of the buzz from this collection, Nite Owl is a very nice shade as well.

Sorry about the vertical swatches. For whatever reason, Blogger did not want these uploaded horizontally. Anyways, the formula on Nite Owl was great. I used three coats since I still had a little patchiness in some spots with just two. This would make an excellent work-appropriate polish that you can still have some fun with. I tend to gravitate toward bright shades but when I do wear more neutral colors, I like them to have a little something extra to keep them from looking too bland. I think Fowl Play is still the true must-have from this collection but this makes a good second pick! I also kind of want Sweet Peacock now...

On a polish-related note, yesterday I received a wonderful nail mail gift from the lovely and very sweet Rach of stuff i (s)watched. I also got a surprise nail polish giftbag from my friend James yesterday too. So a super big thanks to both of them for being so thoughtful and for being total enablers! :) Yay! You will be seeing all of their generous gifts swatched on here in the very near future-they both nailed my taste exactly-but in the meantime, I promised I would post some new pictures of my Corgis as a little thank you to Rach. So here they are!

This is Natalie. She used to be a show dog before my family got her. But as you can see by this picture of Natalie passed out in my dad's lap while he watches a hockey game, she enjoys the retired life immensely now.

More Natalie!

Taxi, our first Corgi! We got Natalie when he was four (he's five now, Natalie is two) and they're actually half-siblings. His current obsession is the gas-heated fireplace in our living room, which he loves sleeping in front of.

So that was my brief Corgi intermission for the day. I hope you all don't mind. :) Thanks again to Rach and to James for their amazing gifts!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne

I find Tudor era English history extremely fascinating, so I was thrilled when Rescue Beauty Lounge announced they were bringing back their Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty Collection, featuring nail polishes named for four of Henry VIII's six wives. (But where is the love for Anne of Cleaves and Catherine Parr? Apparently the upcoming Fan Collection will at least feature a polish named for Anne Boleyn's sister Mary.) Anne, named of course for Henry's second wife, the infamous Anne Boleyn, is a muddy olive green with pink and gold shimmer. It sounds like that combo might not work, but it actually makes for a very unique and surprisingly cohesive look!

I love this polish, both because it's an excellent color with a stellar formula and because it's a great collector's item for the lacquerhead or history buff in your life-or for yourself, of course! I used three coats of Anne here and wore it for three days with no chips and virtually no tipwear! RBL is expensive but definitely a quality polish.

Anne leans a bit more brown on me but I've seen it look more green on others, it all just depends on your skin tone and the base color actually changes quite a bit in different lighting. The pink/gold shimmer is subtle but adds a lot of depth to this polish. This is a pretty unique and complex shade; there's something almost mysterious about it. It's different but still sophisticated.

I'm so glad they brought this one back! You can still pick up Anne at the RBL website as part of their Bring It Back series (but Anne's limited edition so act quickly if you want to make sure you nab her) and the rest of the queens-Jane, Catherine and Catherine H-will be joining her in January!

Monday, December 19, 2011

China Glaze Summer 2012 Preview

Good gracious it seems like China Glaze will be releasing a LOT of collections in 2012! There is just too much awesome stuff to keep up with-but hey, that's a problem I like to have! Now, I've already shown you what's on the docket for early 2012 (check it out HERE) and spring (Magnetix and Electropop Collection previews HERE and the long-awaited official Hunger Games promo HERE). I have updated all of the previews with names and individual bottle shots (except Hunger Games, which already had names-albeit new ones I like less than the old ones...), so check those out again if you saw them before!

First up we've got the Summer Neons Collection. China Glaze has done several other neon sets in the past, but let's check out the latest additions.

 Love's A Beach

Hang Ten Toes

Beach Cruiser

Under The Boardwalk

Ride The Waves

Splish Splash

I'm With The Lifeguard


Orange You Hot

Surfin' For Boys

China Glaze Flirty Tankini

Pink Plumeria

A lot of these look pretty similar to some of the colors already in China Glaze's cavalcade of neons, but China Glaze does do a great job with their neon shades so I'll reserve judgment until I see these in person. Clearly these would be marvelous for the beach though. I can already picture myself sporting some neon pink, sand-covered toes! Yes, I know it's December. Sigh...
Next up is the On Safari Collection, not to be confused with the discontinued HTF polish China Glaze Out On Safari or the old African Safari Collection from whence it came. I haven't seen much talk about On Safari yet, so it's either just breaking or it's not officially confirmed yet. I'm thinking this is real though because really, who else but nail polish PR workers could come up with such pun-laden names? ;) Regardless, here's what I managed to dig up. My journalism professors would be proud...kind of, haha.

Adventure Red-y

Call Of The Wild

Desert Sun

Elephant Walk

Exotic Encounter

I Herd That

I'm Not Lion

Jungle Queen

Kalahari Kiss


Prey Tell

Purr-fect Plum

On Safari looks perfect (Or should I say "purr-fect"? Oh China Glaze, you are walking down a dangerous road... Just ask OPI.) for fall! I'm not crazy about the puns, but I looovveee these colors! The upcoming year in polish just keeps getting better and better!