Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Manicure: Nails Inspired By The Punisher

I would be hard-pressed to come up with two things more diametrically opposed than The Punisher and nail art. But I like polish and I like comics, so in my world, they kinda sorta go together.

If you're not familiar with Punisher, he was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man in 1974 and went on to star in his own series in the early 1980s. He's been in numerous series since then, from his own books to his current stint in Thunderbolts. Following the murder of his wife and children, Punisher takes to the streets as a vigilante and becomes obsessed with wiping out criminals in the most violent ways possible, including society's greatest threat: litterers.

"Give a hoot, don't pollute, bitches!"

So in honor of Marvel's trigger-happy anti-hero, I did a quick mani featuring the Punisher's skull logo. The matte topcoat smeared things a bit, so I had to do some touch-ups, but other than that, I think it turned out halfway presentable!

I started off with a white base of Illamasqua Scorch for the accent nail and then freehanded the details of the skull using a black nail art striper. The rest of my nails are Rimmel Black Satin, a.k.a. the best black ever (if you ask me, at least). Then I mattified the whole thing using Essie Matte About You, because, I dunno, the Punisher's all edgy and shit, so it seemed like the proper thing to do.

I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween today!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Lush Cinders Bath Bomb

I normally don't review Lush's bath bombs. Don't get me wrong, I use them frequently, but when I do, I tend to just want to relax and think about absolutely nothing. It's refreshing, but probably wouldn't make for the most descriptive review. But my recent experience with the Cinders bath bomb was such a let-down that I felt compelled to share it.

In theory, Cinders sounds like a home run: a lightly fruity scent with a lingering hint of cinnamon spice, topped off with popping candies meant to mimic the crackle of a roaring fire. Based on the reviews I'd read, there seems to be some kind of quality control issue with Cinders. People either have a great experience or a total dud. But it sounded so ridiculously inviting and relaxing that I had to try it for myself! I had visions of a cozy bath, enveloped in a warm haze of seasonal spices and crackling ambience. But what I actually got was the most underwhelming experience I've ever had with a bath bomb.

When I took it out of the bag, I noticed my Cinders didn't have much of a scent to it. Where was the cinnamon?! Then when I dropped it in the tub, it fizzed for a few seconds, letting off a little puff of orange foam, then quickly sank to the bottom tub, where it gradually disintegrated without releasing any color or crackling sounds whatsoever. By the time the bomb had dissolved, my bath water still looked and smelled like ordinary bath water, albeit with a slight yellow-ish cast to it. 

Doesn't look super exciting, does it? While I originally had high hopes for Cinders, it turned out to be a huge disappointment. Part of me wants to try again to see if I get another dud, but then I'd rather spend the money on a bath bomb I know I'll love instead of potentially wasting it on Cinders again.

Have you ever tried Cinders? Was your experience anything like mine?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: Space-Inspired Manicure

"SPAAAAAAAACE!" The Portal series is a favorite of mine, so that was my first thought when I saw this week's Twinsie Tuesday theme was to do a space-inspired mani. If you've played Portal 2, I'm sure you remember the hilarious and endearingly annoying Space Core. If you haven't played the game, I'll probably do a terrible job of explaining the reference, but I'll try my best!

In the Portal series, you play as Chell, a test subject trapped in the abandoned Aperture Science labs. The only other entity that remains inside the labs is a psychotic AI named GLaDOS who is hellbent on stopping your escape from the testing center. Portal's puzzle gameplay is addicting and really makes you think, while the game's dialogue will consistently make you laugh out loud. One of the funniest characters you come across in Portal 2 is the Space Core, a corrupted AI personality core that is obsessed with traveling to space.

So I decided to have a little fun with this mani and draw the Space Core hanging out in space!

For my nail with the Space Core on it, I started with a base of Illamasqua Scorch, a white creme, then drew the lines of the Space Core using a black Sally Hansen nail art pen. His "eye" is Rainbow Honey Gilded Angel. The rest of my nails are Rimmel Black Satin with China Glaze Haunting layered over top. I was going to try and scrawl one of the Space Core's many, many space-related quotes on my thumb, but my silver Sally Hansen pen decided to crap out halfway through, so sadly I had to abandon that idea and paint over it.

I hope you enjoyed my silly little space mani today! Be sure to take a look at what my Twinsies did for their space nails today too!

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, October 28, 2013

Review: Lush Blue FUN


I'm betting most of us have fond childhood memories with Play-Doh, making everything with it from spaghetti to little animals. Don't lie, at least once in your life, you totally tried tasting some too! If you loved Play-Doh growing up, you'll want to check out Lush FUN. There are a bunch of different ways you can use it! Obviously, the first thing you'll probably want to do when you unwrap FUN is to start making some awesome creatures with it. Then once you've molded and modeled to your heart's content, you can take it with you in the shower and melt it into a foamy lather to use as shampoo or body wash or run it under the faucet to create a bubble bath!

FUN comes in a variety of colors, each with its own scent. Blue FUN is lavender and chamomile-scented, so it makes for a very relaxing bath. It lathers surprisingly well too and is super creamy as a body wash. I think the best part about FUN though is just how friggin' entertaining it is to mess around with! It's a shamelessly silly product that I think just about anyone would enjoy.

I had originally bought Blue FUN last Christmas with the intention of giving it away as a gift. My boyfriend had tagged along when I made the purchase and later on, when he saw FUN sitting on my gift-wrapping pile, he gave me a bit of a sad look: "Oh, you're giving that away? I thought it sounded pretty cool..."

Needless to say, no one received Blue FUN for Christmas that year. We had a blast with it, making our FUN action figures fight each other before meeting their tragic ends with death by bubble bath. (There are worse ways to go.) A single roll of FUN goes a long way, so you can have plenty of adventures before it's all used up!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lumina Lacquer Mick Or Treat

My pal Jenna has been telling me that I had to try out some Lumina Lacquer polishes, so I finally snapped up two polishes from the brand earlier this month, one of which was the Halloween glitterbomb, Mick Or Treat. This glittering grab bag of a polish has it all: circle glitter, crescent moon-shaped glitter, star glitter and even holographic Mickey Mouse-shaped glitter, along with festive pops of orange, yellow and red. I think there is even supposed to be some pumpkin-shaped glitter in here somewhere, although I didn't find any this time around. This is two coats over MiniLuxe Lynnfield.

I absolutely love this polish and the Mickey Mouse glitter is such a fun touch! It makes an already kick-ass polish something special. I had to fish a lot to grab one of the Mickeys (you can see it on my ring finger), but I was determined to get one on my brush! Even without the Mickeys though, there is plenty of glittery fall goodness here to keep you happy. It was a lot of fun applying this polish because I couldn't wait to see what type of glitter would come out of the bottle next--and the excellent formula certainly didn't hurt either!

I'm planning on wearing Mick Or Treat as my Halloween mani and I can't wait to wear it again. I'll probably do it over a light base next time, just to see how it compares. As for Lumina Lacquer, I'm totally hooked!

You can purchase Lumina Lacquer from their website.

Friday, October 25, 2013

MiniLuxe Luxe Polish: Review & Swatches

MiniLuxe is a nail and beauty bar company with locations throughout Boston. They also have their very own line of polish, Luxe, and I've got two of their newest fall shades to share today!

MiniCure is a delicate pale pink, although it pulls almost nude on pale ole' me, Casper the Friendly Nail Blogger. This is a classically beautiful shade that makes for an excellent palette cleanser. It's soft but has a fantastic amount of shine to it too. Sometimes sheers can get a little goopy after applying multiple coats, but not this one! It applies wonderfully and can be built up to full opacity in four coats.

All net proceeds from the sale of MiniCure go to The Ellie Fund, a Massachusetts non-profit organization that provides services like grocery delivery, transportation to medical appointments and childcare free of charge to breast cancer patients and their families.

Lynnfield is a deep oxblood red. I love a good autumn oxblood and Lynnfield is seriously perfect! Deep reds like this are one of my go-to's for fall. Lynnfield applies a little streaky at first, but evens out at three coats.

These are both great staple shades and I had a lot of fun with my first Luxe experience! You can check out MiniLuxe's website to learn more about the brand!

Disclosure: These polishes were sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Butter London Snog

I picked up Snog a while back solely because Butter London was offering it in a specially-priced trio where I really wanted the two other polishes. In comparison to the other polishes in the set, a hot pink crelly didn't seem as exciting or unique, so I honestly didn't care one way or the other about having Snog; it was just along for the ride so I could get the deal price. So I was surprised how much I liked Snog once I actually tried it on!

Snog has an excellent formula that is nearly a one-coater, although two coats were ultimately needed to even everything out. It's not a unique color but it's a fantastic example of this type of shade and something you can wear year-round for any occasion.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI This Gown Needs A Crown

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme was to do a manicure inspired by weather. The weather here has been pretty crappy lately: all rain--and not cozy, curl up with a book rain, either. Instead, we get a whole week of depressing grey rains and awful winds. So I am looking forward to getting past this gross transitional weather and to some actual snow! Hence I had winter on the brain for this theme. My choice may not be the most literal one but hey, it's pretty so that counts for something, right? ;)

This Gown Needs A Crown, from this year's Miss Universe Collection, is a gleaming silver in OPI's new Satin finish, which is set to play a big role in their upcoming collaboration with Gwen Stefani. The satin texture of this polish and the way the light casts such a beautiful sheen across it reminds me of sunlight on freshly fallen snow. It's a perfect silver for wintertime!

The formula is excellent and applies very effortlessly. I used three coats here, although one or two nails needed four. The Satin finish is meant to be worn without a topcoat, so I skipped one for this mani. However, I did still use my regular basecoat and that did not seem to impact application at all. I thought the Satin finish would have a bit of grittiness to it, almost like a toned down Liquid Sand, but it is actually glassy smooth, even without any topcoat! I can't wait to try more Satin polishes!

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, October 21, 2013

Rainbow Honey The Final Battle Collection: Review & Swatches

It's no secret I am a big-time Rainbow Honey fangirl. I am always excited to see what the theme of their next collection will be and of course, to catch a glimpse of their newest polishes! Their latest collection, The Final Battle, is another video game-themed collection from the brand, which makes both the gamer and polish lover in me extremely happy!

Inspired by Final Fantasy, the collection features polishes that pay tribute to the characters, creatures and weapons of the game. This is Rainbow Honey's largest collection yet, with 15 new polishes in all. I have three to share with you, so let's get to it!

Diamond Dust is named for the signature attack of my personal favorite FF summon, Shiva. This gorgeous silver holographic glitter topper also has a ridiculously breathtaking iridescent purple shift to it that really takes this polish to another level. For my money, this is the prettiest holo topper I've seen! There are lots of variations on this theme out there, but the shimmer in Diamond Dust just looks so...alive! This is one of those polishes you have to see in person to truly appreciate. I took these swatches under a hot lamp so you could really see how crazy gorgeous the shimmer is. Since Shiva herself is blue, I figured it was only fitting to choose a blue as my base. So here is one coat of Diamond Dust over Essie Bikini So Teeny!

If Chanel Graphite had a badass older sister, Diamond Weapon would be it! This steely gunmetal shade also has a rich gold shimmer, giving it some amazing depth. Those flashes of gold are what really make this polish for me. Diamond Weapon applies a bit sheer at first and took four coats to reach full opacity.

Soldier is a pewter and dark purple glitter topper. It's a unique combination and I spent a long time trying to figure out a good layering partner for this polish. This is one coat over Rainbow Honey Skyward Bot from their Robot Collection. This pairing has almost kind of an industrial vibe to it, with all the cool metallic tones together, and I think suits Soldier well.

So there you have it: another awesome collection from Rainbow Honey! I am continually impressed by the variety of colors and finishes they are able to incorporate into a single collection while still keeping it cohesive. Of the three I reviewed, Diamond Dust is my favorite, although all three are fabulous!

You can check out the whole collection on Rainbow Honey's website. You have the option of purchasing the polishes individually, in three sets (Part I: The Battle, Part II: The Summons and Part III: The Weapons) or getting the whole collection at a discounted price. The sets are available in both mini and full sizes, which is great if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck! I'm hoping to eventually buy a few more polishes from the collection, myself. Hellfire, Emerald Weapon and Phoenix Down in particular are calling to me!

Disclosure: These polishes were sent to me for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: OPI Teenage Dream

I've shown you Teenage Dream before, but it's one of my all-time favorite OPIs, so I figure it can't hurt to show it off again! Plus I'm going to a Halloween party tonight and Katy Perry is my costume this year, so this sugary pink glitterbomb from Katy's OPI collection seemed like the perfect fit!

Teenage Dream is pink perfection, pure and simple. I love everything about this polish and it applies like, well, a dream! (Sorry, I'm writing this at 2:00 in the morning and I just couldn't help myself.) This is three coats.

I wish like hell I had bought a back-up when it was in stores, because now it's going for more than twice the normal retail price online. And yet, this polish is so pretty that I've become increasingly tempted to pay up!

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: Ruby Wing Rose

I apologize for the lack of BCA post yesterday. I had a mani all lined up for yesterday's post, but the pictures I took turned out terribly, so I decided to wait and do something that you guys would, y'know, actually enjoy looking at. To make up for it, I'll be doing double BCA posts today!

First up is Ruby Wing Rose, a color-changing pink glitter. Indoors and in low light, it's a sheer pink base filled to the brim with holographic glitter. Outdoors, that base changes to a deep rose shade.

Since the base is so sheer, I prefer this polish layered. I did take a few quick snaps of Rose on its own though, so you could see the color change better. Here is two coats of Rose over OPI Pink Friday.

Then here's one coat of Rose all by itself indoors...

...and in sunlight.

The formula is a little goopy, but still manageable. I do have to say though that the scent of this polish gives me a bit of a headache. It has a rose fragrance to it and it's probably the most intense scented polish I've ever tried, which is bad news for someone like me who can't handle strong florals. Even when my hands were down by my waist, I could still smell it! It's not a bad scent necessarily, just one I am sensitive to, so heads-up if you are the same way with floral fragrances. The fragrance does diminish after a day or so though, so then I was free to enjoy Rose's glittering goodness in peace. :)

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: OPI More Than A Glimmer

I've been lusting after this year's Pink of Hearts set from OPI, so I finally broke down and bought it earlier this week. The set comes with two polishes--a glitter called More Than A Glimmer and a pink creme called Pink-ing Of You--some pink ribbon-themed nail decals. Of course I felt compelled to play with the glitter first!

More Than A Glimmer is a milky pink base filled with a rainbow of pastel glitters. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about this polish is that it dries to a satin finish. It gives More Than A Glimmer a really unique look!

The formula here is top-notch and due to the satin finish, this polish dries extremely quickly! I used three coats here. I am not usually a big fan of mattifying glitter polishes, but I like the finish on More Than A Glimmer a lot. It doesn't shine, but rather it has a pretty, velvety sheen to it. OPI seems to be experimenting more with this type of finish, both with the newest Miss Universe Collection and their upcoming Gwen Stefani collaboration. After my experience More Than A Glimmer, I'm excited to see more of it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: Rainbow Honey Unstealable Jewel

I knew I wanted to do some pink glitter at least once during this week of all pink manis and Rainbow Honey Unstealable Jewel was practically calling to me from my untrieds! Unstealable Jewel features silver holographic diamond-shaped glitters, pink and silver holo glitter and gold microshimmer, all rolled up into one shimmering, ultra girly package. I love it! This is one coat over Sation Of Corset I'll Call You.

The formula is excellent. I was able to easily get plenty of diamond glitters without having to fish for them. I'm loving how this pink-on-pink combo turned out!

Although this polish is inspired by the video game Chrono Cross, what it really reminds me of, with its sparkling pinks and diamond-shaped glitter, is Marilyn Monroe's iconic performance of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: Sation Of Corset I'll Call You

Today's BCA pink manicure features my first-ever Sation polish: Of Corset I'll Call You. I fell in love with this marshmallow pink creme straight away. It's so soft and cute! Plus it's from their Marie Antoinette-inspired Miss Antoinette Collection and I am a total sucker for that kind of thing. :)

The formula is great and covers in three coats. This polish has a squishy look to it, almost like a jelly. This has quickly become one of my very favorite pinks! It's a timeless color that goes with just about anything. I have a fun layering to show you with this polish tomorrow, which I hope you'll love as much as I do!

Twinsie Tuesday: Most Hated Trend

This week's Twinsie Tuesday theme dared us to rock our most hated nail trend. Mine is probably when people shape their nails in very...*ahem* unconventional ways (lookin' at you, duck nails--click if you dare) but obviously I'm not going to do that to myself, so I had to substitute something else I dislike. I have to confess that I have never been a fan of the traditional French manicure. There are definitely ladies out there who can pull it off, but it's just not my personal style and I've never worn one. I did a funky French once for a past Twinsie Tuesday theme, but we shall not speak of that monstrosity.

I decided to do my French mani with matte black tips instead of white, in an attempt to make it a little more "me."  For my base, I used three coats of Essie Ballet Slippers, then freehanded the tips with a black Sally Hansen nail art pen.

I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't take me half a dozen attempts to do each nail. I actually did all of the tips on my first try! Yay! So from a technical standpoint, I'm happy with how this manicure turned out. It's still not really my thing style-wise but it was fun to play around with and try something very different from what I normally wear on my nails.

What is your most hated nail trend? I bet my fellow Twinsies will have some fun ideas for this one!

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, October 14, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: Claire's Candy Shop

In case you missed yesterday's post, all this week, myself and several other bloggers will be posting pink manis in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My pink mani for today is Claire's Candy Shop, a bubblegum pink jelly base filled with rainbow hex glitter. This is a pretty blatant knock-off of Deborah Lippmann Candy Shop (I mean, really, Claire's didn't even come up with a different name!), which I've had a lemming for forever, yet somehow still haven't bought.

I've never tried a Claire's polish before so I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of quality. (I had sooo much Claire's jewelry back in middle school and the metal bits always turned green and nasty after a little while.) But this actually applied quite nicely. I used three coats here.

Based on pictures I've seen, Claire's version of Candy Shop has a darker pink base than the original. I still have a lemming for DL's version (I need to just buy the damn thing already) but this polish is a decent way to get the look for less. I got my bottle about a year ago, so unfortunately I have no idea if Claire's still makes it anymore though! If you've spotted it recently, I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Week: Layla Retro Pink

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, myself and several other bloggers will be posting all pink manicures every day this coming week. Each post will also feature a fact about breast cancer. You can click on the fact and it will take you to a website where you can learn more, if you wish.

To kick things off today, I'll be showing you Layla Retro Pink, a light pink linear holo from Layla's Hologram Effect line. I'd been waiting to snag some of the Hologram Effects on sale but was bummed when I missed out. Luckily my friend Alya was kind enough to give Retro Pink to me! :) This was my first experience with Layla's holographic polishes and the holographic effect is pretty intense, just the way I like it! Things have changed since Color Club came out with their Halo Hues, but for a while, I think Layla really had the edge on the mainstream market with how vibrant the holo is on the Hologram Effects!

I find most holos apply best without a basecoat, so I skipped one for this mani. I didn't use a topcoat either, as I didn't want to diminish the intensity of the holo at all. So what you see here is just Retro Pink! It applied smoothly, with no streaking or dragging. This is three coats, although one or two nails took four to cover up a stray patch here and there.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Color Club Wicker Park

Color Club Wicker Park is a surprisingly tricky color to peg down. In the bottle, it looks lavender, but on the nail, it takes on a much more pink hue with lavender undertones and is a lot brighter than the bottle originally led me to believe! It's a surprisingly unique shade, amongst both my pinks and my purples.

The formula applies well and covers in three coats. This is a pretty unusual shade for a fall collection but I like it! You may have seen it earlier this week in my Twinsie Tuesday post with Naild'It Child's Play. Since it's both kind of pink and kind of purple, I think it has a lot of potential for layering!

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