Friday, February 28, 2014

China Glaze Spontaneous

China Glaze Spontaneous is a blue-based purple creme. What it really is, though, is pretty much my perfect purple. I bought this as part of one of CG's ombre kits that I got mostly because it contained a long-time lemming of mine, Grape Pop, so I didn't anticipate loving Spontaneous as much as I do. But it wound up being one of the best purple cremes I've ever tried! Plus on top of how beautiful it is, it photographs 100% color accurately--not a concern for the average gal, but an easy way for a purple polish to make it into the heart of this nail blogger.

The formula felt a little watery on the first coat, but it built up well from there. What you see above is three coats.

Spontaneous has been around for a couple years now, but it's not that hard to find. I believe it's still a part of China Glaze's core collection. If you have slightly warmer undertones to your skin, I think this would make an especially flattering purple!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Butter London Bossy Boots

Butter London Bossy Boots is a greyed out pistachio creme sure to appeal to any lover of unconventional polishes. I wavered forever over whether or not I needed this polish. I'm really a sucker for off-beat greens, so I was convinced I had something close to it in my stash. But after I finally gave in and just bought it, dupes be damned, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't have anything in my collection quite like Bossy Boots! Score!

The formula applies smoothly and covers in three coats. As you can see, this color did give me a major case of lobster hands but I love it so much that I really didn't mind! I can't resist a good pastel, especially when it has a little grungy edge to it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Barielle Intensive Nail Renewal Oil

Ever wish your nails had a "reset" button? A way you could start fresh and be done with all the cracks, peeling and brittleness? Well, Barielle's Intensive Nail Renewal Oil may be the treatment for you!

This oil is designed to restore the nail's natural lipids and oils that are stripped by soap, water and countless other things we expose our hands to throughout the day. It uses ingredients like keratin, sunflower oil, coconut oil, Vitamin E and calcium to help increase nail strength and flexibility to prevent breakage.

This oil can be used over polish or on bare nails. Simply brush it over your nails and cuticles, then let it go to work. I find it works best to use it right before bed, so you can allow all of those beneficial ingredients to soak in overnight. When I wake up in the morning, my nails feel smoother, stronger and more hydrated. Areas where I'd noticed initial signs of peeling are visibly smoother and no longer look brittle. This is such an easy and effective treatment--you're basically sleeping your way to healthier nails!

The Intensive Nail Renewal Oil and Barielle's equally awesome Nail Strengthener Cream have made my nails feel stronger than they've ever been. I cannot believe how long they're growing, yet they still feel very healthy! My nails have never looked or felt this good! I'm seriously impressed and would recommend both of these products in a heartbeat. I use the Nail Strengthener Cream during the day then bust out the oil as a nightly treatment, so my nails can be nourished 24/7!

You can purchase Barielle from their website, where a 0.5 oz bottle retails for $12.50.

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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: OPI Come To Poppy

After sitting out last week's post, I'm excited to be back in action for Twinsie Tuesday again! This week has us sharing our favorite polish brand. I actually think we might have done this theme before, but heck, we have some new Twinsies since the last time around (don't ask me exactly when that was--after two years it's hard to keep track! :p) so it'll be fun to see what everyone chooses.

I would have a very hard time picking a definitive favorite brand, especially when it comes to choosing between indie and mainstream brands. But that being said, my go-to answer is almost always OPI. They were my first love and I still get a special sense of excitement about new OPI colors. I've got probably around 150 of the little buggers so there were plenty to choose from for this post!

Ultimately,  I was in a pink sort of mood so I chose Come To Poppy, a vibrant coral with a pearlized finish. OPI doesn't do this type of finish very often but I really wish they would! The color is so stinkin' cute and the pearly shimmer doesn't look the least bit frosty.

I expected this to be a little brushstroke-y but it actually was a breeze to apply! I used three coats here.

What's YOUR favorite brand? Is there a particular "gateway"polish from the line that made you fall in love with it? I think the polish that really kicked off my love affair with OPI was Jade Is The New Black!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
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
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra

Monday, February 24, 2014

Rainbow Honey XOXO

Rainbow Honey XOXO is a clear-based glitter topper with holographic gold microshimmer and two sizes of holographic magenta hexes. The first thing I noticed with this polish is how crazy sparkly it is! The holo catches a lot of light, even in low indoor lighting, and the gold microshimmer really makes that effect come alive even more.

While XOXO is technically a Valentine's Day polish, seeing as it was part of Rainbow Honey's Sweet Talk Collection released earlier this month, I think you could wear this one year-round, no problem. Plus it looks good over just about any color! I chose China Glaze For Audrey as my base this time around. I absolutely love the contrast between these two polishes!

And then I took a quick, somewhat blurry shot in low light. I think it showcases that beautiful microshimmer pretty well:

The formula here is fantastic and applies effortlessly. I used one coat for the mani above.

This is actually my second time reviewing this gorgeous polish! XOXO was one of the polishes from the original Sweet Talk Collection, which came out last year. You can check out my original review, where I paired XOXO over a cocoa brown, HERE. (I think the pictures from that review also show off the intensity of the holo a bit better!)

You can purchase Rainbow Honey from their website.

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

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Barielle Blackened Bleu

Barielle Blackened Bleu is a black base with a dense, rich teal shimmer. If you're a fan of "night sky" shades, then chances are you will love Blackened Bleu. It reminds me of the VHTF OPI Unripened, except I actually like Blackened Bleu better, because the shimmer is so much more noticeable and vibrant!

For such a dark shade, the formula was surprisingly sheer. I thought it'd be a two-coater but it took four in all to get Blackened Bleu completely opaque. One plus to the sheerer formula though is, as I mentioned above, the shimmer stays nice and bright and doesn't get swallowed up by the black base.

You can purchase Barielle from their website.

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Deborah Lippmann Tip Toe Through The Tulips

Deborah Lippmann Tip Toe Through The Tulips is an adorable shade of creamsicle orange from Deb's new Spring Reveries Collection. I can't resist a good pastel, so this collection was calling to me big time! Tip Toe Through The Tulips is bright, but there are some peach-y tones in the mix here that help still maintain that pastel softness.

I was pleasantly surprised by the creaminess of the formula. Most pastels are at least a little streaky or chalky but this one glided on like butter. I used three coats here.

I wasn't sure this shade in particular would be the most flattering with my skin--oranges and I don't always get along--but I couldn't help but be won over by it. What can I say? I have a weakness for anything that reminds me of desserts! This polish did make me crave a creamsicle something fierce though...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Rhyming Dictionary Review & Swatches: Part Two

So after a bit of a break, I've got part two of my review of polishes from the indie line A Rhyming Dictionary! If you missed part one of my review last week, you can check it out HERE to learn more about the line and see additional swatches!

Kicking things off this time is Kaliko, a shredded topper with silver, black, white and purple bits. Sometimes these shredded polishes can have sharp edges that stick out but that wasn't the case with Kaliko! This is one coat over China Glaze Sweet Hook. I enjoyed this combo a lot and it reminded me of something that I couldn't quite put my finger on... Graffiti? Candy? Whatever it is, I like it!

Next up is The Foolish Owl, a collage of matte pink hexes and squares, white hearts, silver holo stars and black circles. I love the graphic effect the black circles create and the interesting contrast they provide to the sugary, sparkly pink elements in this polish. My motto is that circle glitter is always a good thing. This is two coats over China Glaze Spontaneous.

Then we have Kite Island, which has a rainbow of hexes in orange, blue, pink and magenta, plus white and emerald green squares. I love all the different colors in this one, so summer-y! Plus some of the hexes are holo, so you get a disco ball-like effect with tons of sparkle and shine! This is two coats of Barielle Blackened Bleu.

All three polishes had fantastic formulas and were a breeze to apply. The glitters are all mixed well, ensuring you get a nice variety of colors with each swipe across the nail. The polishes with larger pieces, like Foolish Owl, didn't require any fishing. One of the things I enjoyed most about trying these polishes was the sheer variety of shapes and colors in each bottle. You never knew what was going to pop out next!

You can purchase A Rhyming Dictionary polishes from Etsy. Their polishes retail for $7.50 each, making them some of the most affordable indies on the market, but the quality of the polishes themselves as well as the creative inspiration behind them are both top notch!

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

Nicole By OPI Roughles Preview

Nicole by OPI is bringing us a new, stucco-esque take on textures with their Roughles Collection. I gotta admit, it took me a while to understand the name. (Get it? "Rough"-les, like ruffles?)

NOPI describes these as matte textures with a "pebbled finish." Even if I wasn't quite sold on the idea of sparkle-less textures, I wound up really liking the one I tried from China Glaze a while back, so I'm willing to give these a shot!

Rock The Look

I'm Stucco On You

On What Grounds?

Sand In My Shoe

The Roughles will be released in March. Are any of these four shades on your radar?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Stash Pics

Hey all! So today's Twinsie Tuesday has us sharing our stashes! But sadly, I can't take part in the hoarder-ific goodness. :( I went out of town a few days ago and lousy weather has forced me to come back later than originally planned, so I'm still away from home and therefore, my stash as well. I was originally going to come home on Monday morning and take pictures then, but obviously that didn't pan out.

A big apology to all of my fellow Twinsies and I hope you will check out of all of their stashes today to get your polish pr0n fix!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
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
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream

I think most of us have at least one "problem nail"--that one trouble-maker that just loves to peel, break or crack. I'd had ongoing issues with breaks and peeling on my right index and middle fingers, which would force me to either trim down my other nails to match or make do with two out of place short nails. Frustrating!

So I turned to my blogging friends for help and the lovely Lakeisha suggested Barielle's Nail Strengthener Cream as a remedy for weak, breakage-prone nails. Lakeisha was kind enough to send me a tube to try and I was hooked straight away. So I was very happy that Barielle sent me some of this miracle cream to review!

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. Before I talk about results, let's start off with a quick rundown of what the Nail Strengthener Cream is designed to do. Originally developed to protect and condition the hooves racehorses, this cream became a popular product at the world-famous Belmont Park Race Track in New York, where the jockeys noticed it produced similar results for their own hands and nails. Barielle reformulated the product for human nails and launched the company we know today on the strength of this one product. (I love neat trivia like this!)

The cream itself contains three key ingredients to help strengthen nails and provide protection against splits, peels and breaks. It has glycerin, which acts as a humectant to help attract and retain moisture, Vitamin E to nourish nails and vegetable protein to build strength. (Nails themselves are mostly composed of proteins, after all.)

You can use this cream on bare nails or over polish. When I'm changing up my mani, I apply it as soon as I remove my polish. A little bit goes a long way yet it doesn't feel thick or greasy at all. I massage it in and try to give it at least half an hour to absorb into my nails before I go ahead and apply polish. It's also a great product to keep on your nightstand so you can slather some on before bedtime to let everything soak in overnight.

Now that you've got the skinny on what the cream does and how I like to use it, the biggest question of course is whether or not it delivers on its claims. Well, after over a month of using the Nail Strengthener Cream, I've been able to form some solid opinions on it and let me start by saying one thing: it really works! Since I started using it, I have yet to break a single nail, which is pretty amazing! Even my two problem nails are still going strong and growing out more than they have in a very long time. I actually had to file them down because they were getting too long, which is crazy!

I'm absolutely thrilled with the results I've had with this cream and would recommend it to anyone looking for a solution for weak, brittle nails. My nails feel so much stronger and more flexible than ever before. I love that I've been able to grow out all of my nails without compromising their strength. I'm going to be using Nail Strengthener Cream for a long time to come!

You can purchase Barielle at retailers like Beauty Brands and Sally Beauty or through Barielle's website. They offer this cream in in both a 0.5 oz tube for $10 (great for keeping in your purse) and in a 1 oz container for $17. Or they currently have a special on their website where you can buy both the tube and the container together for $14.99.

Have you ever tried this cream? If so, I'd love to hear what your results were!

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

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Born Pretty Lacy Blue Nail Wraps: Review & Swatches

So I have to begin this post by saying that Saturday night, I was able to officially cross something off my bucket list: I got to see Billy Joel in concert! I've mentioned on here before that I am a huge Billy Joel fan so seeing him live was seriously amazing! He put on an excellent show and can still really sing. I was geeking out the whole time!

Anywho, on to the nail stuff! I've become a big fan of nail wraps over the last couple months and I have a new set of them from Born Pretty Store to show you today! These wraps, which you can see HERE on Born Pretty's website, feature a winter-y lace design in blue and white.

These wraps are not quite as thin as the ones made with real nail polish, like Sally Hansen or Incoco, but they apply just as easily! Other then one teeny crease at the tip of my index finger, they went on completely smooth. They're super easy to apply and durable too. I've been wearing them for three days now and haven't had to deal with any tears or crinkling, just a little tip wear here and there.

The wraps retail for $4.99, making them some of the more affordable options on the market, yet the quality rivals the more expensive nail wraps I've tried. Whether you're already a nail wrap fan or a first-timer looking for an inexpensive way to try some out, I think you'll like these!

If you would like to purchase anything from Born Pretty, they offer 10% off for Nailed readers:

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

Friday, February 14, 2014

OPI Fashion Plate (Collaboration With Major League Baseball) Preview

UPDATE: I've included a new picture I took of a magazine ad that shows all of the colors and their names.

It's a good time to be an OPI fan! The brand seems to be rolling out more collections than ever before this spring/summer season--and teaming up with plenty of new partners along the way. Along with their recent announcement that they'll be releasing a Coca-Cola collection (no preview pics available yet), they are also collaborating with Major League Baseball! The collection, dubbed Fashion Plate, features five colors inspired by team uniforms. This isn't the first time OPI has taken inspiration from the sports world--you might recall their collaboration with tennis star (and licensed nail tech) Serena Williams--but it is the first time OPI has partnered with entire teams.

Kind of sucks if you're a Pittsburgh Pirates or Oakland A's fan, huh? I'm not, but I'm just sayin', you're sort of the only teams that didn't get any representation in the color palette here. 

Sadly, this preview image doesn't have color names on the display and I can't find anything further on the web about this collection, but I will update this post as more information becomes available! The collection is expected to launch in March.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Born Pretty Leopard Pattern Water Decals: Review & Swatches

I've got another review of Born Pretty Store's water decals for you today! I can't get enough of these things. There are so many cute designs to pick from and they make it so easy to create awesome nail art--just wet 'em, stick 'em on and go!

I love me some leopard print, so this time around, I was drawn to this fun set of animal print decals, which you can see HERE on Born Pretty's website. There's lots of different animal-themed decals on this little sheet and I decided to do a manicure with some of the leopard and zebra print decal stripes. I paired the decals with Deborah Lippmann Break 4 Love as my base and used OPI 4 In The Morning and OPI Push And Shove for some accent work.

I've used Born Pretty's water decals countless times and this was the first set that ever gave me any type of trouble. I don't know what it was, but these just did not want to stick to my nail. I originally wanted to use the leopard print hearts on this sheet for my Twinsie Tuesday Valentine's manicure, but I could not get them to lie flat or stay put on the nail. They kept curling and when I tried to just cover them in topcoat to get them to stay on, the silver lining around the hearts started to crinkle and sort of come apart. It was a strange effect and something I had never experienced before with water decals.

After struggling to apply three of the hearts, I abandoned the mani altogether and did the one you see above instead. Maybe there is some type of different component to the metallic parts of the decals that doesn't get along with topcoat and makes these harder to stick to the nail? I really am not sure. :-/

These weren't a total wash--after a few wrecked decals with my first manicure and a little babying with the second, I did get them to stay put and they do look pretty once they're on--but they didn't have the quick, no hassle application I'm used to with Born Pretty's decals. While I absolutely love their water decals in general, this particular set wasn't 100% up to par.

If you would like to purchase anything from Born Pretty Store, they offer 10% off for Nailed readers:

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OPI Muppets Most Wanted Preview

OPI and the Muppets are at it again this March with an all-new batch of colors to celebrate the release of the Muppets' latest movie, "Muppets Most Wanted." OPI's first collaboration with the Muppets was one of my favorite OPI collections in recent memory, so I'm looking forward to seeing how these newest polishes compare. 

We'll start with a look at the collection as a whole, then I cropped out each individual color so that you could get a closer look at each shade. Enjoy!

Muppets World Tour
Miss Piggy's Big Number
Kermit Me to Speak
Gaining Mole-mentum
Int'l Crime Caper
Chillin' Like a Villain
I Love Applause
Let's Do Anything We Want!

I think the collection could have done with a wider variety of colors--after all, the Muppets themselves are so colorful--and some of the softer shades don't exactly say "Muppets" to me, but I am excited to see Kermit Me to Speak and the glitters! What about you?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Deborah Lippmann Break 4 Love

With February 14 just around the corner, this week's Twinsie Tuesday theme had us creating Valentine's manicures. I tried doing some heart-themed nail art but it didn't work out. Surprisingly this was not due to my own incompetence but rather, some stubborn decals that didn't want to stick to my nail--but more on that with a review later this week. So instead I took the extremely uninspired route of just putting on something pink and girly. I usually just wear a simple pink or red on Valentine's Day anyways! I opted for the perfect shade of bubblegum pink: Deborah Lippmann Break 4 Love.

Break 4 Love was created with fashion photographer Inez van Lamsweerde, one half of the famous Inez and Vinoodh duo. Inez originally came up with this color by mixing together two other Deborah Lippmann shades, Daytripper and P.Y.T., in an attempt to replicate a shade of pink she saw worn on the TV show "Mad Men." She reached out to Deborah to see if they could make her home blend part of the Deborah Lippmann line and the result was Break 4 Love!

The formula had a little drag to it, so I do recommend allowing a bit of extra dry time between coats. What you see above is three coats.

This truly is a perfect pink that's strikes the perfect balance between retro and modern. It's got a warm, almost slightly coral, undertone but still has a certain softness to it. The color reminds me a lot of one of my favorite lipsticks, MAC Viva Glam Nicki, so if you were a fan of that lip color or if you're just looking for a fun new pink, then you'll fall head over heels for Break 4 Love!

I am sure my Twinsies will be sporting much more creative Valentine's manis today, so be sure to take a look at their blogs today!

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
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
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Traci at DrinkCitra