Friday, June 29, 2012

China Glaze I'm With The Lifeguard

Today I've got the last of my China Glaze Summer Neons selections to show you. I only picked up two polishes from this collection but I'm quite happy with both of them. This is I'm With The Lifeguard, a bright green neon. This polish is the same color as how radioactive goo is always shown in cartoons. But there's nothing toxic about this color!

This baby is super bright. I love it! It's not quite as retina-searingly bright as my camera chose to portray it, but this is definitely still a color that will get people's attention. The formula here is excellent too. I used two coats for this mani.

I'm With The Lifeguard is just tons of fun. I have a lot of green polishes but this one is pretty unique. I've never seen a green as in-your-face as this one. That may mean it's not for everyone, but to me, this is a perfect summer color. If you love greens, I highly recommend picking this one up!

Comparison: China Glaze Man Hunt Vs. Revlon Royal Vs. OPI Dating A Royal

It's a "royal" rumble today on Nailed as we've got three royal blue jellies facing off! When I bought China Glaze Man Hunt, I was pretty sure I had dupes or very close matches somewhere in my stash, but I can't resist a good blue! I picked two contenders from my stash that I thought would be my best bet for matches: Revlon Royal and OPI Dating A Royal. So now to the pivotal question: dupe or no dupe? Let's take a look!

L to R: China Glaze Man Hunt, OPI Dating A Royal, Man Hunt, Revlon Royal

Royal is the darkest of the three and the differences between it and the other two polishes are more perceptible in real life. It's definitely in the same family as the other two, but it's not a dupe for either. If you're not an obsessive blue collector like myself though, owning Royal might be enough for you.  OPI Dating A Royal, on the other hand, is extremely close to China Glaze Man Hunt. It is a smidge lighter so it's not a 100% dupe but I'd say it's like a 98% match. The differences between the two are very, very slight. If you already have Dating A Royal, then you don't need Man Hunt.

Formula-wise, all three polishes are great. Dating A Royal is the sheerest of the trio. This was three coats of Dating A Royal and two of Royal and Man Hunt. They all have that great squishy jelly finish to them but also have nice opacity too--no VNL here!

So there you have it! If you're gearing up to make your On Safari picks, I hope this was helpful!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

China Glaze Strawberry Fields

I thought I'd take a little break from the China Glaze On Safari swatching spree to share with you a beautiful CG from their core line: Strawberry Fields, a bright magenta packed with beautiful gold shimmer. This is another one of the polishes I picked out from Beauty Stop Online and it's one I'd had my eye on for quite a while. I'd read a lot of raves about Strawberry Fields and now I finally see for myself what all the fuss is about!

As you may know, I'm generally not a big pink polish gal, but I'll gladly make exceptions when a standout pink comes along. Strawberry Fields is just such an exception! This polish is the perfect balance of classic and fun. The shimmer is incredibly gorgeous and the formula is absolute perfection. It's basically a one-coater but what you see here is two coats--with no clean-up required! I love it when that happens!

Strawberry Fields originally came out in 2009's Summer Days Collection but has since made it into China Glaze's core collection. The bright base color and vibrant gold shimmer really help it stand out from all the other core pinks out there. Even if you normally take a pass on pink, give this one a look!

This polish was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Deborah Lippmann For True Blood Preview

So how fun is the new season of True Blood, y'all?! Last season felt like a hot mess to me but this season marks a very entertaining return to form for the crazy, campy, hilarious show I've come to love. I couldn't be more pleased...unless, that is, there were more True Blood-themed beauty products for me to indulge in! I was a big fan of the Tarte for True Blood Collection last year and now HSN is going to be launching more True Blood goodies, including a set of products from none other than Deborah Lippmann! Let's take a look!

Forsaken Set: Bite Me lip color & Let It Bleed polish - $28

Bad Blood - $25, sold as one of three in a set

New Flesh - $25, one of three in set

Strange Love - $25, one of three in set
Sookie Set: Human Nature & Fairy Dust - $25

All Photos Credit to InStyle

There are several other non-nail polish items in the collection, so click the photo credit link above if you'd like to see them all, as well as hear more from Deborah about the inspirations behind the polishes. The entire collection will be available on HSN's website starting August 9th, so you've got plenty of time to save up if you spot something you like!

True Blood is one of my biggest not-so-guilty TV pleasures, so I'm personally quite excited for this collaboration. That Forsaken Set has my name written all over it!

See anything you want to sink your fangs into? Have you been watching the new season of the show? (P.S. Joe Manganiello a.k.a. Alcide is ten million kinds of fiiiiiiiinnneee. Just sayin'.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Essie Braziliant

I'm in an orange phase lately. I don't know what it is, but I've been getting orange lipstick, orange polish, orange eyeshadow, orange EVERYTHING! So when I was recently contacted by Beauty Stop Online to select some polishes for review, I had to slip an orange in there somewhere! Beauty Stop Online sells Orly, Essie and China Glaze at discount prices, along with a slew of other beauty products, and I'll be showing you all the polishes I picked out from there in the coming days! But first, let's kick things off with Essie Braziliant! Braziliant is a bright, summery orange with pink shimmer.

Braziliant is a very vivid, juicy orange. It’s vibrant without being like a construction barrel orange shade. It’s much more a citrus orange and a beautiful one at that. The haze of pink shimmer with the orange really brings this polish to life and sets it apart from similar shades. Braziliant has totally got that coveted “lit from within” glow.

The formula is extremely smooth and easy to apply. I did three coats here. I think the Braziliant Collection, along with the preceding 2011 resort collection, was a big turning point for Essie as a brand. That was when they really started to diversify their color selection and go with bolder, more unique shades than we'd seen from them before. Braziliant is the perfect orange for summer, especially with the current Tangerine Tango craze. I think this color may migrate down to my toes too very soon!

This polish was sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

China Glaze Man Hunt

China Glaze Man Hunt is a royal blue jelly from the new On Safari Collection. This is another huge winner for me from the collection!

Man Hunt is so vivid and rich. I really love the color and how it has that great squishy jelly finish without sacrificing opacity. The formula is excellent and goes on very smoothly. I used two coats here.

The more colors I try from On Safari, the more I love the collection as a whole. It's a really fabulous bunch of colors and Man Hunt is no exception. If you like the look of this color, I've got a very close dupe to show you later this week. If you know your blues, you might already have an idea of what it is! Any guesses, girls?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI I Lily Love You

This week's Twinsie Tuesday was a toughy: a polish from your favorite brand. It's really hard to pick a favorite from all the different brands I've tried, but ultimately I settled on OPI. OPI was my first love and the brand that got me really into polish. I still have a huge soft spot for OPI and I always get excited for new collections from the brand.

As for which polish to show, I went with something a bit rare from OPI: a flakie. I Lily Love You has a pink tinted base with several different colors and sizes of iridescent flakies. There's a nice mix of smaller flakes with larger mylar pieces and the flakies show up as different colors depending on your layering base. For this mani, I used OPI Play The Peonies, a pearly pale pink which, like I Lily Love You, came out in last year's Nice Stems Collection. This is two coats of I Lily Love You over three coats of Play The Peonies.

You could wear I Lily Love You by itself if you don't mind the lack of opacity, but personally I think layering it really makes the flakie colors pop. Over Play The Peonies, I see purple, pink and orange shades in the flakies, but over black, for example, you see more blue. It's interesting to experiment with this polish and see all the different sides it has to it. I probably do this particular combo the most though just because I think it looks so adorable and girly, like candy cupcake sprinkles!

Have you discovered any other fun layering combos with I Lily Love You? Which polish brand is your favorite? I can't wait to see which brands all of the other Twinsies pick as their favorites today!



Sunday, June 24, 2012

China Glaze Kalahari Kiss

The On Safari train keeps on rollin' today with another new China Glaze! This time I've got Kalahari Kiss, a light golden yellow creme. I think this will be one of those love it or hate it polishes. Polarizing yellows is kind of a China Glaze thing, isn't it? Classic Camel, Trendsetter, Celtic Sun... But as for Kalahari Kiss, count me firmly in the LOVE category!

Like with Exotic Encounters, the formula felt a bit thick but also very opaque. This was nearly a one-coater but covered completely in two coats--impressive for a yellow! This is completely different than the type of color I normally go for, but I was very intrigued by it once I saw the preview pics. Now that I have Kalahari Kiss, I find it surprisingly flattering. I'm kind of shocked how much I like it. The color actually reminds me a little bit of peanut butter. Mmmm.... But I think there's also something oddly chic about this polish and it's really not as "out there" as I thought it might be. It's unusual yet understated.

Review: Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder

My fellow oily-skinned girls, have I got a treat for you! Hate having your make-up melt off your face or having to blot every few hours? Let me introduce you to a product that worked miracles for me: Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder.

I finally, after many years of searching, found a foundation I was completely and utterly in love with (MAC Pro Longwear, for reference), so now I just had to find the perfect setting powder for it. I wanted something that was long-lasting, wouldn’t cake and would keep my oil under control. Enter Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder, my gift from the cosmetics gods.

De-Slick Mattifying Powder is a translucent finishing powder that is designed to set make-up and provide oil and shine control throughout the day. The powder comes in a purple compact that feels sturdy and has a satisfying weight to it; it’s small enough to be very travel-friendly but it doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all. The compact itself is also quite pretty.

Although the powder is white in the pan, it’s invisible once applied on the skin. There is no tint to it at all, making it workable on multiple skin types and tones. Since the powder is completely translucent, it doesn’t cake and it doesn’t look or feel as if I’ve put anything extra onto my face. It’s like an invisible oil barrier.

I’ve been using this product for about two months now and I still cannot believe how well it works. I am oily all over, not just in the T-zone. I’d grown accustomed to having to constantly re-touch my make-up throughout the day or sneak a peek in mirrors to make sure my foundation wasn’t melting up my face. But with De-Slick, all that worrying is history.

I have never found anythingthat controls my oil as well as this, plus I adore that it doesn’t disturb my make-up at all. I can dust it over my face and it doesn’t move around my foundation or make my face look powdery. I used to have to use blotting papers multiple times a day, but with De-Sick, I only have to use them maybe once all day, if at all. Or instead of blotting papers, I can simply pat on a bit more De-Slick and I’m good to go.

The compact comes with a cute little sponge which sits nicely inside:

However, I’ve found I get better results by dusting on the powder with a big, rounded, fluffy brush. I use my Bare Escentuals Flawless Face Brush, but if you have anything similar, that should work just fine. The sponge works well for touch-ups, but I feel a big brush makes it easier to distribute the powder for all-over application and that method of application seems to give me better initial oil control as well. You don’t need much, just a gentle dusting across the face. I typically put a little extra on my chin, since that’s where I tend to get oiliest throughout the day.

At $32, it’s on the pricier side, but you get a lot of product here (11.4 g) and a full application does not require much powder. After about 60 days of near-daily use, I don’t even see a dent in the pan. De-Slick also comes in a gel and spray format. I’ve never tried the gel and while I really like the spray, I feel the powder is a little more effective for me personally. (You could even use the powder in conjunction with the spray if you like—sometimes I do!) Your mileage may vary, but personally, this is one of those rare products that if it were ever—God forbid—discontinued, I would easily buy up a whole back stock without a moment’s hesitation. I love, love, love this product!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

China Glaze Exotic Encounters

Yesterday I showed you one of China Glaze's new On Safari polishes, I'm Not Lion. Today I've got another one for you: Exotic Encounters, a green-leaning teal creme.

I thought I'd have a lot of potential dupes for this polish in my stash, but after seeing it in person, it actually strikes me as pretty unique. The closest polish I think I have to Exotic Encounters is Essie School Of Hard Rocks, but even then, Exotic Encounters is darker and doesn't have the same dusty look to it that School Of Hard Rocks does. Exotic Encounters' formula is on the thick side but the thickness also makes it very opaque. It's close to a one-coater but I used two here.

I'm always drawn to these jade-looking polishes. One of the first polishes I became truly obsessed with was OPI Jade Is The New Black and Exotic Encounters is in that color family. Like the rest of the On Safari Collection, I'd say it strikes me as more of a fall color than a summer one, but it's a very rich, beautiful shade nevertheless.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

China Glaze I'm Not Lion

I have been looking forward to the China Glaze On Safari Collection for a looonngg time, so I was over the moon when I was finally able to get my manicured claws on it! I picked up six polishes in all from the collection and the first one I have for you is I'm Not Lion, a gold holographic glitterbomb. Yep, I wore a glitter first. Are we surprised? ;)

And now some flash pics to show off that delicious holo goodness!

I'm Not Lion is beautiful enough in indirect or indoor light, but it really comes alive in direct sunlight. I could stare at this polish and watch it twinkle for hours. It is gorgeous--and shiny! So, so shiny! The holo glitter gives I'm Not Lion some extra depth and makes this polish truly mesmerizing. It reminds me of a more cool-toned version of China Glaze Ultamate Holiday. The formula here is perfect and covered in three coats.

I love absolutely everything about I'm Not Lion. It's going to be really hard for any of the other On Safari polishes to top this one in my books, but we'll see!

Have you gotten your paws on any of the On Safari polishes yet? Which ones are you looking forward to most?

Butter London Friends & Family Sale

I thought I'd share that now through the 27th, Butter London is having their Friends & Family Sale, meaning everything is 30% off!

Need help putting together a shopping list? I think I can offer some assistance... ;) Click HERE to take a look back at all of the Butter-y goodness ever featured on Nailed. Happy shopping, girls!!

Zoya Hot Lips Lip Gloss in Marachino: Swatches & Review

Did you know Zoya makes lip products? I didn't--at least, not until I received this Zoya Hot Lips balm as part of a birthday present from Jenna of I'm Still Thinking... (Thanks Jenna!!) Since many of us already know and love Zoya's nail polish, I thought I'd share my experiences with Hot Lips.

The shade I got is called Marachino, so as you might guess, it's a cherry red gloss with a light cherry scent. The scent dissapates pretty quickly, so if you don't like scented lip products, I don't think this one would bother you. The product itself comes in a travel-sized squeeze tube with a rounded applicator. It's the perfect size to pop into your pocket or bag when you're on the go.

This gloss starts off as a red shade, as you can see in the swatch, but within a few minutes of applying it to my lips, it morphed into a pinker shade, almost like those pH-reactive lip products we've been hearing so much about lately. Zoya doesn't seem to market these as pH glosses so I'm not sure if it's a feature of the gloss or just something that happened to me personally. Either way, I thought it was pretty cool and I liked both colors Marachino showed on me. Pigmentation is on the more sheer side of spectrum, but there's a nice shine in addition to the tint.

The gloss itself has a satisfying thickness to it, but it's not too sticky. The texture feels silky and rich, so it only takes a little squeeze of gloss to coat your entire lips. On my lips, it felt moisturizing and smooth. Zoya claims this is a lip gloss with the therapeutic properties of a lip balm and in my experience, that description was dead-on. I wore this for about three hours until I took it off to eat dinner and it still looked pretty much the same as when I'd first applied it.

I was really impressed by this gloss! For $6, you get an extremely generous 0.42 oz. of product. (For comparison, MAC lipglasses are 0.17 oz and a standard-sized Burt's Bees lip balm is 0.15 oz.) I like that these have a rich feel to them but with minimal stickiness. Why doesn't Zoya market these more?! They're fabulous!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Essie Camera

Essie Camera was an awesome birthday gift from my friend Brandi over at The Collegiate Nail! Camera, a bright red-based coral jelly, is part of Essie's Poppy-razzi Collection released earlier this summer. Although this color is quite bright, it's not an eye-scalding neon. I guess whether that's a good or bad thing depends upon your polish preferences, but personally I really like this polish!

The formula here felt a little runny to me so I had some trouble keeping things neat around the cuticle area. This was three coats. Pictured here was day three (going on four) of this manicure and as you can see, it held up really well!

I love how squishy this looks! You don't see too many neon jellies. Even though it's a jelly, Camera has enough opacity to it to cover up any pesky VNL. This color also seems to be very similar to OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston from the Texas Collection so if you missed out on that one or just like bright, cheerful jellies, give Camera a look!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI Glitzerland

It's Tuesday, so you know what that means: another installment of Twinsie Tuesday! This week's theme is metallic or duochrome. I decided to go with my all-time favorite gold polish, OPI Glitzerland from the Swiss Collection. (Please pardon the glare from the flash. I didn't remember to take pictures until it was already dark out! D'oh!)

I love Glitzerland so much that I actually don't own another gold foil. *gasp* I know! I have a thousand iterations of about every color but gold, because I think Glitzerland is absolutely perfect! The tone is just right; not too warm, not too cool. This would flatter a wide range of skintones. The formula is very workable and although it's a foil, it's not brushstroke-y. I used three coats here.

So there you have it: my favorite gold! For more metallics and duochromes, check out the other Twinsie Tuesday blogs below.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pixi Straight on till Morning Liner: Swatches & Review

So after my fabulous experience with the new Pixi polishes, I decided to finally pick up the eyeliner I've been wanting from their new Tinkerbell-inspired collection. The Straight on till Morning Liner is a deep olive green packed with golden-green shimmer.

The pencil itself feels very soft and smooth, not unlike the Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencils. It glides on effortlessly. Pixi markets these as waterproof so to test that claim I tried removing these swatches with cold water and a tissue. When I pressed down, they didn't budge. When I scrubbed really hard (to the point that the tissue became all wadded up and useless), they smeared a bit but still remained mostly intact. It's safe to say this is waterproof. The pencil came off very cooperatively with some oil-based remover though, so when you're ready for it to come off, it's not a hassle like some waterproof products can be.

As a side note, the packaging to this line is absolutely adorable. Pixi really paid attention to detail here and stayed true to the Tinkerbell theme without making the products look too juvenile. It has some whimsy to it (as any good Tinkerbell collection should!) but it's got a sophisticated feel to it as well; it doesn't look like play make-up. The pencil has some very pretty artistic detailing on it, as you can see above, and the box itself is equally beautiful. I almost don't want to throw it out!

Overall I'm extremely pleased with this pencil. At $15, it costs more than your average drugstore pencil, but I feel the quality is higher than some of the Revlon, Rimmel and Covergirl pencils I've tried in the past, so to me the extra couple bucks is justified. You can buy Pixi products are your local Target or their official website.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Guest Post At Amandalandish

Hey everyone! I've got a guest post up at my friend and fellow Twinsie Amanda's blog, Amandalandish. Since Amanda is away attending a wedding, all of her guest posters decided to do something wedding-themed. I went with a "something blue" post featuring, in my opinion, one of Essie's most criminally underrated polishes. Click HERE to check it out!

OPI Pirouette My Whistle

OPI Pirouette My Whistle is the one polish that really caught my eye from OPI's newest Soft Shades collection, NYC Ballet. Although I'm a glitter hoarder, I don't have another one remotely like this in my stash. However, it does appear to be very similar to Nubar White Polka Dot, which I don't own. Pirouette My Whistle is a clear base with sprinklings of silver microglitter and pearly white hex glitter. You would likely need many coats to make Pirouette My Whistle opaque on its own, so I layered one coat of it over two coats of China Glaze Recycle, a grey creme.

The formula was great. It spread very evenly and there is generally a good ratio of the microglitter and hex glitter. Here and there I had to place a few pieces of hex glitter in order to fill some gaps on my nails, but otherwise I didn't have any issues applying Pirouette My Whistle.

I love how delicate and cute this polish looks.  I also like the extra twinkle the silver microglitter adds. Pirouette My Whistle could easily work over a variety of colors and brings an extra feminine touch to any manicure. You could even wear it alone if you wanted a demure look that still has some sparkle to it.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nicole by OPI Nothing Kim-pares To Blue

I don't care for the Kardashians and I don't watch their multitude of E! shows, but I must admit that I really like their NOPI collections. Ssshhh, don't tell! In the most recent installment, I was immediately drawn to Nothing Kim-pares To Blue. Can I just say that the name is ghastly though? My friend asked me today what polish I was wearing and I was seriously embarassed to say the name out loud. Luckily the color itself is beautiful! It's a lovely pastel blue shimmer.

The formula here was okay. I dislike the NOPI brushes, both the current style and the ironically named Perfect Stroke brushes, and it felt like this polish wanted to go on in globs rather than apply nice and smoothly. I used three coats here.

Formula issues aside, this is a really pretty polish. Nothing Kim-pares To Blue reminds me of a more shimmery version of Essie Bikini So Teeny. (Coincidentally, I'm wearing Bikini So Teeny on my toes right now!) Bikini So Teeny looks like it has some shimmer in the bottle but it completely vanishes on the nail. That's not the case with Nothing Kim-pares To Blue though! If you like the finish of the shimmers in OPI's Holland Collection, this reminds me a lot of those. The shimmer compliments the base color beautifully and gives a vibrant shine and sparkle to this polish.