Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Lumina Lacquer The Snow Princess

Us polish addicts are always psyched to show off our newest additions, so of course I was pumped for this week's Twinsie Tuesday theme: "something new." I chose to showcase one of my latest indie acquisitions: Lumina Lacquer The Snow Princess!

The Snow Princess is a clear base filled with all kinds of pink iridescent pieces, as well as white snowmen and snowflakes. It's similar to its brother polish, The Snow Prince, but with a more feminine color palette. Makes sense. :) Here is one coat over OPI If You Moust You Moust, a bright bubblegum pink creme.

The formula is quite thick, so much so that the clear base is prone to bubbling. The larger glitter pieces, like the snowmen and the snowflakes, were not difficult to fish out of the bottle, but you do have to guide them to where you want to place them on the nail. I've worn this polish twice now  (the other time was over OPI Pink Friday, which brought out some of the iridescent pieces more) and next time, I'll definitely be adding some thinner to it to make it easier to work with.

So that's my "something new!" What was your latest polish purchase?

Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Traci at DrinkCitra

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Essie Resort 2014 Preview

If you ask me, Essie's Resort Collections tend to feature some of their best shades of the whole year. The four-color collections may be small, but they really help get me in the mood for spring colors and there is always a standout shade or two. This year's collection, Resort Fling, features three pastels and one dark blurple. Let's take a look!

Essie spring 2014
Essie Spring 2014 Resort Fling
 Resort Fling
Essie Spring 2014 Cocktails and Coconuts
Cocktails and Coconuts
Essie Spring 2014 Find Me an Oasis
Find Me An Oasis
Essie Spring 2014 Under the Twilight
Under The Twilight
I like the overall color palette here, even if the individual shades don't seem all that unique when judged on their own merits. Still, I'm intrigued to see swatches of these, especially Resort Fling. I might pick this collection up in the mini cube set Essie releases for their collections, because these colors would make for a fun skittles mani!
Are you ready for spring colors yet? Do any of these catch your eye?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

OPI Push And Shove

As a huge fan of both Gwen Stefani and OPI, naturally I have been greatly anticipating the arrival of Gwen's OPI collection! I snatched up all of the polishes (minus the Over And Over A-Gwen nail art set, which I may still go back for...) and was eager to try one on the second I got home! So what better one to start with than the most mysterious one of the bunch: Push And Shove!

OPI has been pretty secretive about this polish, which marks the debut of their mirrored chrome finish. Push And Shove is a silver chrome that also comes with a complementary mini bottle of a special basecoat called Lay Down That Base.

For a chrome, the formula is very nice. But there are some inherent quirks of the chrome finish that you still have to take into account when applying Push And Shove. You'll need to be mindful of where you place your brushstrokes in order to achieve the smoothest possible look and of course, chromes are going to accentuate any flaws, dents or ridges on your nails. I used two coats here, although a few of my more ridged nails needed three to help smooth things out. Thin coats work best to minimize brushstrokes.

OPI recommends wearing Push And Shove without topcoat, so I went without it for this mani. Even without topcoat, it is tremendously shiny and reflects light beautifully. The packaging does say that this polish is intended for "One Night Only" wear, so I don't expect it to be super long-lasting (most chromes aren't), but I'll be sure to update this post with any observations on wear time and durability as I've had a longer time to wear Push And Shove.

UPDATE: After a little over 24 hours of wear, everything was still looking good. I had a bit of tipwear here and there, but no chipping. I was pleasantly surprised! Then the 26-hour mark rolled around and that's where things started to get rough. By the end of my second day of wear, I had noticeable chipping on five or six nails. My left hand still looked pretty decent, but my right hand (I'm right-handed) needed some new polish--STAT. So I think OPI's "One Night Only" prediction was pretty spot-on. You might, however, be able to get more mileage of of this polish with topcoat.

As for Lay Down That Base, it's not an aqua basecoat or anything like that. In fact, as far as I could tell, it looked and applied like typical basecoat. But I'm not a chemist so who knows, maybe it has some special ingredients that enhance the chrome finish. It was a nice touch for OPI to include it though, especially for those who might not ordinarily use basecoat. But basecoat aficionados may already have something in their stash that works just as well.

Overall, this is a gorgeous example of a high-shine chrome finish that was beautifully executed by OPI. I can see this being a very popular polish, with both casual and die-hard lacquer lovers. It's a little high fashion and a little rock n' roll, which totally captures Gwen's aesthetic. I hope Push And Shove will be the first of several chrome polishes from OPI!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lumina Lacquer A Bell Will Ring

With its mix of red, green and silver glitters in all shapes and sizes, Lumina Lacquer A Bell Will Ring was a shoe-in as my Christmas mani. I'm loving all the circle glitter in this polish, but of course, the piece de resistance is the addition of holographic bell-shaped glitters. They're very unique and festive! Here is one coat over OPI Live And Let Die.

The formula is wonderful. Everything spreads evenly and I didn't have to fish at all to find plenty of bells on my brush. Since they are on the larger side though, I found it works best to dab and place them where you want, to ensure that they lie flat on the nail.

Like the rest of Lumina's Christmas polishes, A Bell Will Ring is such a charming, fun mix of glitters. Their holiday collection was my favorite this year from any brand, indie or otherwise. I'm already looking forward to what they'll do for next Christmas!

You can purchase Lumina Lacquer from their website.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI Live And Let Die

If you've been following the last couple TT posts, then you might have been able to guess this week's theme: something old. The polish I chose, OPI Live and Let Die, isn't exactly ancient but it's been sitting in my untrieds for over a year now, so I figure it's time this one had its moment. It's pretty much impossible for me to look at this polish without hearing the iconic theme song from the movie in my head...and remembering what a bitch and a half the violin part was to get so frustrated with that I'd decide "Eff this, I'll silently mime along for the rest of the song" play back in my high school orchestra days.

Going back to the polish itself, Live And Let Die is a very dark, blue-based green with gold shimmer. This is a shade that really looks best in direct sunlight, but seeing as we're in the middle of a snowstorm (and have been for pretty much the past week and a half), I couldn't snap any outdoor pics. Sadness. :( So I apologize that this swatch doesn't do Live And Let Die full justice.

Sorry if the edges look a little messy. I used this polish as a base for my Christmas manicure, so I didn't do much clean-up in between. Anywho, the formula is excellent and virtually a one-coater. I used two here just to get everything nice and even.

Be sure to take a look at what my Twinsies did for their "something old" manis today. If you celebrate, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! I'll see you after the holiday!

Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Traci at DrinkCitra

Monday, December 23, 2013

OPI Spotlight On Glitter Preview

There is always room in my life for more glitter, so of course I was excited to see that OPI is releasing a collection entirely devoted to one of my greatest polish obsessions. The Spotlight On Glitter Collection, slated for a March 2014 release, will have six new springtime sparklies!


I feel like OPI has been branching out with their glitter combinations lately, so I'm anxious to get a better look at these and see all of the different elements in each polish. I Reached My Gold! looks like it might be channeling a bit of When Monkeys Fly from the Oz Collection, while Chasing Rainbows seems to be in the vein of Rainbow Connection, OPI's take on Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday. 

Overall, it looks like a very intriguing collection! My inner glitter whore is practically salivating. Do any of these glitterbombs have you counting the days until March? What are some of your favorite OPI glitters from past collections?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nicole By OPI Early 2014 Preview

Nicole by OPI is releasing 14 new shades this coming January, with everything from glitters to cremes to metallics. Take a look!

Nicole by OPI Be Awesome
Be Awesome
Nicole by OPI Sweet Surrender 
Sweet Surrender
Nicole by OPI Fabulous Is My Middle Name
Fabulous Is My Middle Name

Nicole by OPI Always a Flirt
Always A Flirt!
Nicole by OPI Something About Spring 
Something About Spring

Nicole by OPI At Least I Pink So 
At Least I Pink So

Nicole by OPI I'll Have The Salmon 
I'll Have The Salmon

Nicole by OPI Oh That's Just Grape 
Oh That's Just Grape!

Nicole by OPI Yoga-then-Yogurt 

Nicole by OPI That's Putting it Mild 
That's Putting It Mild

Nicole by OPI Taupe of My Class 
Taupe Of My Class

Nicole by OPI I Shop Mintage 
I Shop Mintage

Nicole by OPI Teal Me Something New 
Teal Me Something New

Nicole by OPI Emerald Empowered 
Emerald Empowered

Nicole by OPI This Blue is So You 
The Blue Is So You

One of these shades, Fabulous Is My Middle Name, was actually a Walmart-exclusive polish back in 2012, so if you missed out then, you have a chance to snag it now! Some of these colors look similar to ones we'll be seeing in NOPI's other January release, their collaboration with Carrie Underwood, but I do think there is a nice variety of shades and finishes here overall. I'm especially curious to see how Be Awesome and I Shop Mintage look in person. What about you?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lumina Lacquer The Snow Prince

For my money, Lumina Lacquer put out one of the best Christmas collections this year. Each of the brand's holiday polishes are so colorful and fun that I found them impossible to resist--and subsequently wound up with almost all of them!

The Snow Prince is a festive glitterbomb filled with white and blue glitters of all shapes and sizes. A few of the shapes I found in my bottle were snowflakes, hexes, hearts and squares. There's even snowmen-shaped glitter, although I wasn't able to fish any out of my bottle this time around. But seriously: snowmen glitter. How can you not love that?! There are also iridescent glitter pieces that flash blue and bronze, giving this polish a beautiful fire and ice look. This is two coats over a-England Tristam, a scattered holo in midnight blue.

The formula is a little thick, but the glitter pieces still spread evenly across the nail without any fuss. I am a little bummed I didn't find a snowman glitter (they all seemed to be handing out around the outside edges of the bottle) but there was plenty of other glittery goodness to keep me happy. This is an absolutely stunning polish that you could easily wear after Christmas too, since it's winter-y without being explicitly "holiday."

You can purchase Lumina Lacquer from their website.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Milani Holographic HD

I have only ever seen Milani's Holographic line at CVS and those stores are few and far between where I live. (Is it exclusive to CVS? If you know, please enlighten me in the comments!) So of course I was thrilled to find some Milani Holographic polishes in my latest nail mail from the always wonderful Amanda! I was looking for a good silver to serve as a base for my Lumina Lacquer Candy Cane Lane manicure a while back, so HD, a scattered silver holo, wound up being the Milani Holographic I reached for first.

The holo effect on this polish is on the subtle end of the spectrum. You get a gorgeous glimmer of it when the light hits your nails the right way, but it's definitely more of a soft glow that peaks out here and there than a full-on rainbow.

HD applied smoothly but it is pretty darn sheer. Even after four coats, I could still see some nail peeking through. Topcoat visibly diminished the intensity of the holo, so you'll probably want to skip it.

I'm more of a linear holo kind o' gal, so while HD won't be dethroning Color Club Harp On It as my all-time favorite silver holo, I do really like the dimension HD has. When you look closely, you can see the different sizes of holographic sparkles, which gives this polish a unique look, almost like there are teeny-tiny holographic flakies floating around in the base. I know I didn't do the best job of explaining how it looks, but hopefully you get some idea of what I mean. I can't think of another holo out there that has this same kind of effect!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: China Glaze Beyond Brocade Nail Wraps

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme is "something blue." Along with green, blue is my favorite polish color, so I had plenty to choose from! In the end, I decided to go with something a bit different and bust out some blue nail wraps from China Glaze.

China Glaze did a pretty poor job of advertising these, because I had no idea they even made nail wraps until I saw a whole rack of them on clearance at Sally Beauty a while back. They were really cheap (like, a dollar per set cheap), so even though I'd never tried them or heard anything about them, I was willing to take the gamble when the price was that low. I picked up three different designs, one of which was Beyond Brocade, a blue and white brocade pattern. At least, they looked blue in the packaging. But once I put them on my nails, they took on almost an indigo sort of hue to them. Close enough though, right?

Like Sally Hansen and Incoco, CG's wraps are made with actual nail polish, so they have a very thin, flexible feel to them as opposed to a sticker. They are extremely easy to work with and I was able to apply them without any creases or bubbles. Love it! 

The instructions suggested wearing these with topcoat, but I didn't want to put one as thick as Seche on top, so I used some of Jior Couture's topcoat. Other than some visible tipwear, these are still going strong after four days of wear with no tearing or peeling. It's a shame these didn't get more attention, because they really are excellent quality. I am excited to try out the other two sets I got!

Given how much I love blue polish, I'm looking forward to seeing what my Twinsies did for their blue nails today! I'm sure I won't be getting out of this one without at least a few new lemmings.

Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Meredith at Polish and Charms
Rachel at Top Coat It
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Traci at DrinkCitra

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review: Lush Snowcake Soap

One of Lush's big Christmas bestsellers is Snowcake soap. After reading so many raves about it, I had to snag a slice to try for myself!

Snowcake's scent is a light blend of marzipan and rose. It's a lovely, feminine scent that is especially nice if you like something more on the subtle side. I personally prefer fragrances with a bit more "oomph" to them, so while this isn't one of my all-time favorite Lush aromas, I still like it!

But what really endeared me to Snowcake is its soft, creamy consistency and its rich lather. Lush's soaps generally fall into two categories: glycerine-based soaps that don't lather much but leave you feeling squeaky clean and softer soaps that produce more lather. Snowcake definitely falls into the latter group. It leaves my skin feeling clean, soft and smooth, making it an excellent winter soap--convenient considering that you can only buy Snowcake during the holiday season. So whether you're a curious newbie or a Snowcake fanatic stocking up for the months ahead, time is running out to pick this one up!

Have you tried Snowcake? What's your favorite Lush holiday scent?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Zoya Giovanna

Meet Giovanna, one of my favorite Zoya's...well, ever. I have been lusting after Giovanna sooooooo badly until the lovely Amanda made my polish dreams come true and brought Giovanna into my life! (Thank you!) If you ask me, this may just be the ultimate emerald green. Pictures really don't do it complete justice.

The formula is fabulous and completely opaque in three coats. But holy hell did this stain! I had some major smurf fingers. But I am so blinded by my love for Giovanna that I can even overlook that.

 If you like green, then you NEED this one. Full stop.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ke$ha-Inspired Evil Eye Nails

The decor of my boyfriend and I's apartment is fairly eclectic, especially the living room. Our walls are a mish-mash of random stuff we like, from a vintage Billy Joel poster to signed comic books to a picture of Catherine Palace in Russia that's made entirely out of thread. There's really no rhyme or reason to it but I dig it. One of the things we have up is an evil eye that hangs over the front door. A friend of ours who lives in Turkey brought it back as a gift. Fun fact: Evil eye in Turkish is "nazar."


Anywho, I was looking at it the other day when I thought it might be fun to try an evil eye mani. I went looking for inspiration and came across this interpretation of it worn by Ke$ha (this is the one and only time I will conceed to typing the $):

I liked the design and the colors, so I figured I'd give it a go. I opted out of the fake eyelashes though, 'cause they strike me as kinda impractical...and a lil' creepy. So here's how my version turned out!

Base: Deborah Lippmann Let It Bleed
White: Illamasqua Scorch
Iris: China Glaze Bahamian Escape
Pupil: Sally Hansen Black Out

I freehanded the eye using a striper brush and a dotting tool. Kesha wears her nails more rounded at the tips than mine, so I had to adapt the shape of the eyeball a bit to make it work for my squoval-shaped nails. Getting that shape right was the hardest part. It didn't come out perfectly, but I had fun with it! :)