Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: a-england Tristam

Hi everyone! Today is the first installment of an exciting concept invented by Amanda of Amandalandish and Nory of Fierce Makeup and Nails: Twinsie Tuesday! I, along with ten other nail bloggers, will be swatching a polish that fits within a particular theme. This Tuesday's theme is international polish, so what better time to show off British beauty a-england Tristam?

Tristam is a midnight blue scattered holo. You may recall I recently posted another a-england polish, Lady of the Lake, and Tristam is essentially a blue version of that polish. Not that that's a bad thing--far from it! Both polishes are total stunners!

And some flash shots...

Tristam's formula is glossy smooth and covered in two coats. Everything about this polish is to die for. The holo sparkle peeking out against the deep blue base creates a very luxurious effect. Think Essie Starry Starry Night on steroids...and for a much more reasonable price haha.

I really can't recommend both Tristam and Lady of the Lake highly enough. Both the formula and the end result is spectacular. I've also read several interviews with a-england founder Adina Bodana and she is clearly passionate about her career and her products and seeks out inspirations that are meaningful to her--I love that!

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of Twinsie Tuesday! Wanna see what my polish "twins" are wearing for their international polishes today? Just click any of the links below to check out what each girl chose!

Amanda: http://amandalandish.blogspot.com/
Anne: http://grapefizz.blogspot.com/
Ashley: http://artevolve.blogspot.com/
Jenn: http://allthatisgorgeous.blogspot.com/
Katherine: http://hauloffame.blogspot.com/
Marisa: http://marijonails.blogspot.com/
Meredith: http://polishandcharms.blogspot.com/
Nory: http://fiercemakeupandnails.blogspot.com/
Rachel: http://topcoatit.wordpress.com/
Sarah: http://seesarahswatch.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 30, 2012

China Glaze 108 Degrees

108 Degrees is a hot pink glassfleck from the Island Escape Collection. This is classic China Glaze; no one does glassflecks quite like they do. 108 Degrees not only has a beautiful shimmer, but it's also screamingly bright. This polish strikes me as very Malibu Barbie. I can see myself loving this in the summer months, on both my fingers and my toes. It may be pink but it's not boring.

I used two coats for this manicure. The formula was a little goopy but nothing unreasonable. I originally became interested in this polish because it's a dupe for OPI Be A Dahlia Won't You from the Nice Stems Collection, which of course I could no longer find once I decided I wanted it. Luckily I was able to pick 108 Degrees up during a buy 2, get 1 free China Glaze sale at Ulta and successfully conquer my lemming while saving a few bucks in the process.

If you're a pink lover, this one is a real beauty. It's very feminine and fun. If you're a pink hater, this may still spark your interest as it's got a marvelous shimmer to it, giving it a little something extra over "just another pink." I fall somewhere in between the two extremes; pink isn't my favorite polish color but I'll wear it from time to time. 108 Degrees still wound up being a winner for me. It's a good palette cleanser without being ho-hum.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Love Your Blog Award

I was recently given the I Love Your Blog Award by A Girl and Her Polish! Thank you so much! :)

So naturally, that means it's Q&A time! Here are the questions that go with this award:

1. What polish and color do you use the most?
This would be a hard one to figure out. I'd say colorwise I wear blues the most but I couldn't really single out a particular polish as my most-used one.

2. What polish is number one on your wishlist?
I would very much like to own Cult Nails Clairvoyant someday but as I understand it, Cult Nails' supplier for some of Clairvoyant's ingredients no longer stocks the materials in question so I'm not sure if I'll ever get the chance to own it. :(

3. If you could meet any celebrity who would it be?
If we include deceased celebrities in this, I'd really love to meet Marilyn Monroe. I have such a soft spot for her and think she is the ultimate screen icon. But if I'm limited to the realm of the living, I'd pick my fellow Irish-German mutt Michael Fassbender. I enjoy him as an actor and it doesn't hurt that he's foxy as all hell either. ;)

4. What is your biggest goal in life?
I don't really think I have a singular life goal. I guess I'd just like to die feeling accomplished and content--how exactly I'd acheive that is a mystery to me at this point though haha.

5. What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My Alexander McQueen dress.

6. What is you favorite store to shop at?
Target. I'm particularly obsessed with all of the designer collaborations they do!

7. What is your favorite book?
I really enjoy reading so it's hard for me to pick just one! I guess it's between To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (If my dad had his way I would be named Harper after her), In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (who incidentally was Harper Lee's best friend) and Crime and Punishment  by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

8. Who has been the best mentor in your life?
My parents.

9. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
I dunno. I don't think I look like any famous women, although I've had several people tell me I look like Jenny Lewis, which is odd considering I have neither red hair or freckles. But I like her music so hey, I'll take it.

10. What is your favorite candy?
I love Twix bars and Hershey's Cookies N Cream bars!

11. What is the first thing you would buy if you won 1 million dollars?
My dream house! I don't want or need an especially large house but I'd like one in a nice area that I can decorate to my heart's content.

The award doesn't specify how many people you should pass it on to, so I'm nominating:
1. ladyboss at My Vanity Case
2. MariJo at Polish Obsession
3. Lyndsay at Pixie Polish

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine

Today I've got another lovely Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty polish to show you. This one is named for Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, although he would ultimately marry three Catherines in all! Catherine is a dark purple shimmer with blue and fuchsia. Purple, the color of royalty, is a fitting color for perhaps Henry VIII's most regal wife.

Flash brings out the shimmer a bit more...

It goes without saying that the formula here is excellent. I'd expect nothing else from RBL. Catherine is very pretty but I must admit I don't like her quite as much as Jane and Anne. I wish the purple base were maybe a touch lighter but that's just a matter of personal preference. You really can't go wrong with any of the Tudor polishes though. After I try Catherine H I think I'm going to have a difficult time crowning a winner amongst the four. Each polish is beautiful in its own way but has something different to offer--great news if you, like Henry VII, crave variety haha. :)

Also, fun fact: Did you know that although most dramatizations portray Catherine as having dark hair and eyes, she was actually a blue-eyed redhead?

Like many people, I'm fascinated by the lives of Henry's wives. Catherine is the one I admire most, as she was renowned not only for her beauty but also her intelligence, eloquence and strength of character.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

So it's time to announce the winner of my first giveaway! The winner will receive a Konad starter kit, the Konad polish of their choice and will be entered in an additional drawing to win $200 of Konad supplies, all courtesy of Nail Polish Canada!

A big thanks to everyone who entered! I really enjoyed having the opportunity to give some goodies to my readers so shoutout to Nail Polish Canada for providing an awesome prize! I had 34 valid entries and assigned each validated entry a number from 1-34, then used a random number generator from random.org to select a winner.

The winner is... Marlee!

Congrats Marlee! I've sent you an e-mail at the address you listed in your entry. The e-mail has instructions on how to claim your prize so please e-mail me back within 24 hours or else I will have to choose another winner as per the contest rules. UPDATE: I have received an e-mail from Marlee so the giveaway is now officially closed! :)

I hope you all have a great weekend! I'm glad it's here since I think I didn't do so hot on the quiz in my geology class this morning... It's always nerve-wracking when you have your first quiz or test with a professor because you don't know what their exam style is like and this one was not what I was expecting. Oh well. You win some, you lose some, right? Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine graced my digits during this ill-fated quiz, so I'll be showing her off to you tomorrow! Stay tuned. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Orly Green Apple

This polish was a gift from the ever-generous Rach of stuff i (s)watched and boy, did she ever nail--no pun intended--this one! Few polishes make me happier than a perfect green! Orly Green Apple originally came out in the Hot Stuff Collection and as the name implies, it's the color of a green Granny Smith apple.

Green Apple looks so summery and fresh. If you haven't guessed by now, I really love it! The formula is on the streaky side but nothing unmanagable. I used three coats here. I like how this color is bright but also has an almost pastel-like softness to it. It reminds me of a cross between OPI Gargantuan Green Grape and Essie Navigate Her. Ironically, I dislike green apples (too sour for me) but I adore Orly Green Apple. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Finger Paints Motley

I recently made my first Finger Paints purchase when I picked up three of the new Special Effects flakies at Sally. I couldn't find Twisted though, the one I wanted most! Ugh!! But that's okay (sort of...I guess...not really), I at least came home with some other new goodies.

The first one I have to show you is Motley, an iridescent blue-green flakie in a sheer, milky base. This is two coats of Motley over two coats of my favorite black creme, Rimmel Black Satin.

With flash...

I also wore Motley over my OPI Ski Teal We Drop manicure that I showed you yesterday.

And some with flash...

I actually like it much more over black than over Ski Teal We Drop. The black brings out the colors in the flakies more and really makes them pop. Blue and green are my favorite polish colors so naturally I'm going to love a blue and green flakie! The formula was completely cooperative and smooth so that's a plus as well.

Normally I don't pay much mind to the Finger Paints display at Sally-no particular reason, I just never got into the brand-but I'm really glad I gave these a shot. All of the Special Effects polishes look super similar in the bottles to the point where it's tough to tell them apart without consulting the labels but they definitely come alive on the nail and each one has its own look and personality. I'll be wearing the rest of the ones I picked up in the very near future. These polishes are limited edition and seem to be creating quite a stir--the three I bought from my Sally were literally the last ones left in the store--so hopefully you have better luck than I did and find all the ones you want! :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OPI Ski Teal We Drop

Just a reminder that there's only a little time left to enter in my Konad giveaway, so be sure to get those entries in if you haven't already! The giveaway ends at midnight tomorrow. If you've been dying to try stamping, you're getting an instant starter kit with polish, plates and all the other tools you'll need!

Alright, so today I've got Ski Teal We Drop for you, a rich teal creme from the Swiss Collection. I love teals and this is one of my favorites. OPI discontinued this beauty back in November but it's still easy to find it at stores and online; the existing supply hasn't dwindled yet. It sucks Ski Teal We Drop isn't permanent anymore because OPI doesn't offer a whole lot of colors like this one. Why not discontinue one of the endless array of pinks instead? (Sorry pink polish lovers!) But I digress...

The formula on Ski Teal We Drop was fantastic; almost a one-coater. I used two coats here, however. This is definitely a great teal creme to have in your collection so if you like this one, pick it up while you still can. NOPI Khloe Had A Little Lam Lam (which you can see HERE) has quite a bit in common with this polish, but I'd say Ski Teal We Drop leans more blue compared to the dark emerald slant of Khloe Had A Little Lam Lam.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wet N Wild Spoiled Preview

Wet N Wild has a new CVS-exclusive line out called Spoiled, featuring 72 colors--and some of the most WTF-worthy polish names ever haha. Some are new colors while others appear to be re-releases of some limited edition Wet N Wild polishes. In particular, I spotted a few polishes originally from last year's notoriusly hard-to-find On The Prowl Collection. (Cougar Attack, Correction Tape--now known as Trust Fund Baby, etc.) These are available at both CVS stores and the CVS website for $1.99 each.

I haven't seen these in person yet but for such a good price, I'd like to check these out sometime! Here's a look at all 72 colors. Click to enlarge so you can get a closer look...and of course read the questionable names. I can't decide if the names are funny in a trashy way or just plain trashy. I mean, "Use Protection"? Really, Wet N Wild?

Have you seen any of these at your local CVS yet? How do you feel about some of the names?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

a-england Lady of the Lake

Theyyy'rrreee heeereee! My very first a-england polishes arrived the other day and I couldn't wait to try them! I got the much buzzed about scattered holos Tristam and Lady of the Lake during a-england's anniversary sale. I'd wanted them forever and the price was right so I finally just went for it. The amazing part is that even though these shipped to me all the way from the UK, international shipping is free on all of a-england's orders! How awesome is that?!

If you're not familiar with a-england, they're an indie polish brand based in (Where else?) England and made a big splash in the blogopshere with their first collection, The Mythicals, which is themed around the legend of King Arthur. Today I've got Lady of the Lake to show you, a scattered purple holo that is lovely beyond words. It doesn't get much more luxe than this.

And finally, one with flash:

I think the sheer amount of pictures I posted is evidence to how much I love this polish. It's ridiculously beautiful and I can see why this brand gets so much buzz in the blogosphere. The formula is silky smooth and covered easily in two coats. This is a scattered rather than a linear holo but the holographic effect is still quite apparent. I keep staring at my hands and watching the little rainbows appear! Lady of the Lake is just too gorgeous! If you're a holo lover-or just looking for a new brand to try-you need to check this polish out. I really can't recommend it highly enough.

I'm so glad I finally got to try a-england and I am not let down one bit! I already have the upcoming a-england collection, the St. George-inspired and linear holo-filled The Legend, on pre-order and eagerly await its arrival. You can buy a-england from either their official website or from US stockists like llarowe and Overall Beauty

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nicole by OPI Peas and Q's

Here's kind of an obscure NOPI for you--at least, it's not one I seem to see an awful lot of on the blogosphere. Peas and Q's came out a few years ago and I believe it was a Target-exclusive. It's a mint green creme with a touch of dinginess to it.

I love this color to pieces but there's one big problem: the formula is honestly one of the worst I've ever used. I think I've got a dud bottle or something because this is just bad. It's incredibly streaky but yet somehow also very thick, like trying to spread glue on your nails. I used four coats here and it was more or less an ass-ache the whole way through. If the formula wasn't so dreadful this would easily be one of my go-to colors but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Such a shame. I still like to wear this every now and again because I enjoy the color so much, just not the process of getting it on my nails. :p
What's the worst polish you've ever used in terms of formula? I'd say this one and OPI Austin-tatious Turquoise are right up there with the worst for me, but I love the colors enough to put up with their less than stellar formulas. Are you willing to overlook bad formula if you like the end result or is bad formula a dealbreaker for you?