Monday, March 31, 2014

Barielle Spring Vibrants: Review & Swatches - Part Two

Last week, I showed you the first half of the Barielle Spring Vibrants Collection and today I've got the second half to share! The first half had more warm-toned shades so we'll be looking at some of the cooler shades this time around. :)

Money Talks is a mint green creme. I love the color itself but the formula was a pain in the ass! It was chalky, had a ton of drag to it and didn't self-level well (as you can see by my kinda wonky-looking paint job on my middle finger). Such a shame, because it's a lovely shade!

I also wanted to note that Seche Vite had a weird effect on this polish. What you see here is Money Talks sans topcoat, but when I applied Seche Vite on top of this polish for my Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip manicure, it visibly changed the color of Money Talks, which took on a bit more of a blue tinge. It's not a huge difference, but it was noticeable. So if Seche is your go-to, you've been warned!

My City Apartment is a blue-based grey creme. The name is appropriate, as this shade reminds me of freshly mixed cement. Greys are my favorite neutrals and this one is simply perfect! The formula was thankfully worlds better than Money Talks'. This is two easy coats.

First Class Ticket is a sky blue creme. Another buttery smooth formula here and I was especially impressed with how well it self-leveled. This is two coats.

Overall, this is a fabulous collection of cremes in a fun variety of spring colors. My favorites are Take Me Shopping (featured in part one) and My City Apartment. Money Talks would be on that list as well if it weren't for the crappy formula. :-/ But the rest of the collection is an absolute joy to apply!

You can purchase Barielle from their website.

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

OPI A Woman's Prague-ative

OPI A Woman's Prague-ative is a warm-toned copper foil infused with a vibrant gold shimmer. I am lucky enough to have two bottles of this beauty, both of which were gifts: one from the lovely Cordia and another from my wonderful boyfriend. A Woman's Prague-ative is one of my go-to's during fall so I'm glad to have more than one bottle of it! Plus a pretty polish is always that much more special when it comes from a friend, don't you think? :)

OPI has done some really beautiful coppers and this one ranks right up there at the top for me. The shimmer absolutely gleams and it definitely adds a lot to this polish! The formula is excellent and reaches opacity in two coats.

I get kinda weirdly nostalgic for OPI bronzes, because my first real polish splurge was buying the bronze duo pack (with Take The Stage and Extra-va-va-ganza) from the Burlesque Collection. I was a flat broke college kid in the blooming stages of polish addiction so that was a big purchase for me!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip

Lumina Lacquer Mint Chocolate Chip does a perfect job of embodying its ice cream inspiration. With its mix of black speckles, brown hexes and a variety of shapes--hexes, squares, stars and butterflies, to name a few--in shades of mint green, it looks almost good enough to eat! This is one coat over Barielle Money Talks, a mint green creme.

The excellent formula glides across the nail, with no fishing needed to coax out the larger glitter pieces. I got several stars on my brush easily, as well as one butterfly, which you might not notice right away but it's on the side of my ring finger. :)

There are quite a few mint ice cream-inspired polishes out there, in both the indie and mainstream lines, but I don't think I can imagine one cuter than this! It captures the color palette nicely and the addition of fun, whimsical shapes like the stars and butterflies give this polish an extra bit of personality.

You can purchase Lumina Lacquer from their website. I think Mint Chocolate Chip has sadly been discontinued, but Lumina always has something lust-worthy to check out!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Azature Latte Diamond

Azature Latte Diamond is a creamy light taupe imbued with a soft haze of silver shimmer. Like all Azature polishes, Latte Diamond is made with one real black diamond. In addition to adding an air of luxury, I've found the diamond in Azature polishes really makes the sparkle and shimmer in their shades come alive. I gotta admit, I wasn't sure about Latte Diamond in the bottle, but I fell in love with it on the nail! Those delicate veins of silver shimmer are truly gorgeous!

The formula is divine and reaches opacity in two coats. One of the things I like about Azature's polishes is they have the high level of quality befitting a luxury product--it's not all glitz with no substance behind it.

You can purchase Azature from their website.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Julie G Crushed Candy

Just when I thought spring was finally coming, it decided to snow here yesterday! Ugh! I feel like all this snow is never going to melt... But with spring (allegedly) on its way, this week's Twinsie Tuesday theme has us showcasing winter to spring transition polishes!

I like to wear something sparkly on my nails...well, all year, really, but especially during winter time. Come spring, I tend to favor pastels. So I picked a polish that had a little something of both: Julie G Crushed Candy! This glittering pink textured polish (part of Julie G's "Gumdrop" line) reminds me of cotton candy you might get at the fair. It's so cute!

The formula is excellent and covers in two coats. The only place I know of to buy Julie G is Rite Aid and the Rite Aid by me is super jank (It's like stepping into a dirty, early 90s timewarp) but my fellow Twinsie, the always helpful Amanda, was kind enough to hook me up with some of these Gumdrop polishes! So a big thanks goes out to her!

I haven't worn a textured polish in a while now so Crushed Candy was a nice reminder of just how much I love them. Plus I've got an extra busy day at work today, so I need a polish that will wear like iron on me and textures never let me down!

Be sure to take a look at what my fellow Twinsies picked as their transitional polishes!

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, March 24, 2014

Barielle Spring Vibrants: Review & Swatches - Part One

As the name suggests, Barielle's Spring Vibrants features some brighter hues than its sister collection, the nude-heavy Spring Velvets. You know I can't resist a good bright and this collection has lots of pretty ones! Today we'll be checking out one half of the collection, so let's get rolling!

Fire Me Up is a very bright orange creme. I am pretty picky about my oranges but this one is hot! It's intense without veering into "neon traffic cone orange" territory, which I try to stay away from. Juicy oranges like this always remind me of summer!

Fire Me Up photographed a bit too red-toned on my camera. It's slightly closer to a true orange in real life, but still just as bright!

Designer's Shoe is a periwinkle creme. It's got a stellar formula and was very nearly a one-coater.

Take Me Shopping is a hot pink creme. This one was my favorite of the collection so far. Like Fire Me Up, it's another shade that really puts me in the mood for summer! It would make a fabulous beach pedi, don't you think?

All three polishes reached opacity in two coats. I didn't have any formula issues with this bunch. They all applied effortlessly!

You can purchase Barielle from their website. Stay tuned for part two of the collection soon!

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

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Barielle Natural Nail Camouflage

I could have sworn I posted this review already but I saw it still sitting in my drafts folder, so I guess I was mistaken. So this post is long overdue: a review of Barielle's Natural Nail Camouflage!

This lightly tinted base coat works especially well with sheers and jellies, as it helps cover VNL, staining and yellowing. It's a great way to increase the opacity of sheers so you can get the coverage you want without having to apply so many coats.

Here's a quick comparison. On my middle finger, I'm wearing Butter London Pink Ribbon, a sheer pink, with no base coat. On my ring finger, I've got the same polish on, except with Nail Camouflague underneath. My middle finger took four thick coats to reach opacity. My ring finger was three thin coats, no special application methods required. My ring finger also has by far the worst staining out of all ten of my nails, but the Natural Nail Camouflague helps tone it down and make it a breeze to cover, even with a sheer polish.

If you work somewhere that you can't wear colored polish or you simply don't feel like wearing it for whatever reason, you could use Natural Nail Camouflage to make sure your nails still look well-groomed. It dries down to a natural, semi-matte finish, so no one will even be able to tell that you have anything extra on your nails, but you'll still get the protection of having a base coat on and that bit of coverage if you need to cover any little imperfections.

If you have severe staining and you want to wear Natural Nail Camouflage alone, you'll likely need a few layers to even things out, as it's not super pigmented on its own. After all, this is not a polish, but a prepper, so it's not designed to be opaque. Otherwise, one coat is all you'll need to wear this as a traditional base coat, but of course you can add additional layers if desired.

On top of its unique benefits, Natural Nail Camouflage is just a plain nice base coat. It spreads well across the nail, dries quickly and helps prevent staining. 

You can purchase Barielle from their website.

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

Friday, March 21, 2014

OPI Miss Piggy's Big Number

OPI Miss Piggy's Big Number is a gleaming midnight blue. There is a very, very slight purple shift to this polish at certain angles but it's not so perceptible that I would label this a duochrome. One thing this polish does have though is some major shine! It absolutely glows on the nail and has a mirror-smooth finish, almost like a chrome polish.

I was afraid this polish might be brushstroke-y but I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it applied. The formula felt a little runny but not to the point that it was difficult to work with. I used three coats here.

I'd say this is the best blue OPI has put out since Swimsuit...Nailed It! from the original Miss Universe Collection (OLD swatch alert, by the way--proceed with caution). The silky smooth finish and the way it catches the light really make it a stunner. Throughout three days of wear, I could not take my eyes off this beautiful blue! It's just so shiny and rich!

I do wish the name were a little better though. I had a couple people ask what polish I was wearing and it was a little embarrassing to reply, "Miss Piggy's Big Number," hahaha. I'm not 100% sure why Miss Piggy's shade is blue, either. Pink is the color that instantly comes to mind with her character, but maybe the name has some significance in the movie?

Have you ever had an awkward name moments with polish? What comes to mind for me is when stranger asks what I have on my nails and the name is something suggestive, like OPI Pussy Galore. I personally love those types of names, because they fit my sense of humor, but they can create some uncomfortable situations!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Deborah Lippmann Hannah

Hannah is pretty much the reason I bought Deborah Lippmann's Girls set. Yes, the other colors are all pretty and I'm sure I'll enjoy them, but Hannah? She is something special! I have a well-documented obsession with green polish so it's no surprise this dusty hunter green creme stole my heart!

The formula is excellent and reaches opacity in three coats. I'd been wearing this mani for about four and a half days when I took these swatches and as you can see, it held up wonderfully! I had no chips and only very minimal tip wear. For the past couple weeks, I've been using Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab base and topcoat set (full review forthcoming) for most of my manis, including this one, and I'm absolutely loving it! I can't wait to tell you all about it in my complete review soon!

As for Hannah, she is lovely. I like the slightly muted quality this polish has. I guess if I had to assign a "season" to this color, I'd say it's a fall shade, but really you could wear this year-round. I'd love to see Hannah stick around as part of Deb's permanent line. I think she could use a few more greens in her line-up!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Tip Nail Art

It's Tuesday so you know what that means... Time for another Twinsie Tuesday post! This week, we're doing manis featuring nail art at the tips. There are a ton of different ways this theme could be interpreted but I (unsurprisingly) decided to go the sparkly route and do a glitter gradient! Despite my obsession with all things glittery, I've actually never tried a glitter gradient before so this was a bit of an experiment for me. But I think it turned out pretty decent!

For my base, I used Barielle Fire My Up, a bright orange creme. Then I topped it off with Lynnderella Pentimento, an insanely diverse glitterbomb made up of countless shapes and colors. I won't even attempt to list them all, but there are dozens of different glitters in here! But the overall effect reminds me a lot of party confetti.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have picked a glitter as abstract as Pentimento is, because it was hard to get a consistent-looking gradient going when there are so many types of glitter in just one polish. But hey, live and learn. Considering this is my very first attempt at a glitter gradient, I'm happy with how it turned out! It's not perfect, but it'll do. :)

And if you're nursing a St. Paddy's hangover, I bet looking at some more nail art will help! So stop on by my Twinsies' blogs to see what they came up with for this theme!

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, March 17, 2014

Review: Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser

Today I'll be sharing some thoughts on my all-time favorite make-up remover, Philosophy's Purity Made Simple! I've used it for a little over two years now and it's become an absolutely essential part of my skincare routine. If you want a cleanser that will melt away even the most stubborn long-wearing make-up, without leaving behind harsh irritation and that yucky stripped feeling, then I think you'll love Purity as much as I do!

I do not have the kind of skin where I can get away with just using a wipe to take all of my make-up off. I am oily and breakout prone so a lot of times, if I use a wipe to take my make-up off, my complexion will be paying for it the next day. I only keep a small stash of wipes on hand in case I have a night where I am so absolutely burnt out that I can't muster the energy to do my regular skincare routine. (The No. 7 Quick Thinking Wipes are my favorite! While I still reserve them for only very occasional use, they don't mess with my skin as much as other wipes I've tried.) But using Purity is almost just as fast as using a wipe, except my skin feels a lot cleaner afterwards with Purity!

You don't need much product to do your whole face. a 16 oz bottle lasted me about a year and that was with near-daily use! Typically all I use is a quarter-sized amount of cleanser. Then I rub it across my damp face for about 30 seconds and rinse. Super quick and easy!

What I love most about Purity is how it effortlessly melts off my make-up without irritating my skin. This stuff will take off anything--full-coverage foundation, waterproof mascara, liquid eyeliner, long-wear lip color, you name it. But it won't leave your skin feeling stripped afterwards! In fact, my skin usually feels nice and smooth.

The only thing I'm not 100% thrilled about with Purity is the smell. It's difficult to describe but it's kind of...medicinal. I've heard others say they love it because it smells "clean" but I find the scent sorta blah. When it works this good though, I'm willing to put up with a less-than-stellar scent.

I should note too that Purity comes in both a cream and gel. While this review focuses solely on the cream version, I've used the gel before and it does an equally fabulous job of removing make-up. However, I find sometimes it can leave my skin feeling a little tight. So I personally prefer the cream, but if you're the type that likes a "squeaky clean" feel and you've got rather oily skin, the gel might be for you. I don't think one is necessarily "better" than the other; it's just a matter of which version is right for your skin.

All told, I love, love, LOVE Purity and keep several bottles on hand so I can take it with me when I travel and to ensure that I never run out. I even keep an extra tube at my parents' house so I never have to worry about forgetting my Purity when I visit. I start to see a negative difference in the clarity of my complexion after only a day or two without it!

Have you tried Purity? Love it or not so much? Let me know in the comments!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Essie Wedding Collection 2014 Preview

It's a spring tradition for us polish lovers: the Essie wedding collection is almost here! While last year's offering had some slightly brighter colors, this year marks a return to the pretty pastel hues this annual collection is generally known for. Here's a look at what we can expect when the collection launches April 1!

She Said Yes
Meet The Parents
Got Engaged!
Love Every Minute

 As you would expect from a wedding collection, the color palette is decidedly soft and romantic. I did like seeing some pops of color in last year's collection, but I can also recognize the classic, timeless appeal of these shades.

If you're married, what polish did you wear on your big day? Are there any polish shades that you wouldn't consider "bride-appropriate"? I'm a big proponent of showcasing your personal style on your wedding day, so I think the only color I'd ever put off-limits for me personally would be brown polish. But that could just be 'cause I don't like browns much in general... If you could rock brown polish as a bride though, more power to ya!

Friday, March 14, 2014

OPI 4 In The Morning

OPI 4 In The Morning is a midnight black with a satin finish that mimics the look of rich leather. This wound up being a surprise favorite of mine from the Gwen Stefani Collection. I rarely wear black polish nowadays, unless it's as a base for glitter, but the satin finish really won me over! To me, there's something very elegant about this polish.

The formula is excellent and covered in two coats. I was very impressed by the wear time on this polish as well. I wore it for four days with zero chips! That's especially impressive when you take into account that I skipped topcoat in order to preserve the satin finish. When you put topcoat over 4 In The Morning, it just kinda looks like plain black and you really lose what makes this polish so special.

Perhaps more than any other polish in the Gwen Stefani Collection, I think 4 In The Morning really encapsulates Gwen's signature mix of punk and high-fashion. This isn't the same black polish you wore in your faux rebellious high school years. (Maybe that's just me.) The satin finish transforms this polish into something much more sophisticated, but it still maintains a bit of an edge too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Barielle Spring Velvets Collection: Review & Swatches - Part Two

As promised, I've got the second half of Barielle's Spring Velvets Collection to share today! If you missed it, you can check out part one HERE. Let's get to it!

My Week Away is a dusty pink with a subtle iridescent green shimmer. I do wish the shimmer was punched up a bit more, because it looks so cool and different, but the base color here is still pretty too. It's a nice, demure shade that reads pretty nude on me but I'd imagine it would pull more pink on darker skintones. I used three coats here.

Sexy Mood is a muted orchid creme. This is one of my favorites from the collection. It's got this warm undertone to it that's very pretty and unique and I love the dustiness this shade has as well. This would be a great way to rock the Pantone color of the year, Radiant Orchid, if you tend to shy away from brights but still want something fun and on-trend. Sexy Mood photographed slightly too pink-looking here but otherwise these pics are close to color-accurate. This is two coats.

Uptown Girl is a light beige creme. This was a surprise favorite of mine. It didn't interest me all that much in the bottle, but on the nails it was divine! I love how clean and crisp it looks--almost like porcelain! It really brightened up my hands too. This would make a fabulous palette cleanser or a good blank canvas shade for glitter or nail art. I used three coats here.

The formula on all three shades was absolutely excellent! The consistency was perfect, making application a breeze. I'm really liking the Barielle brush too--kind of reminds me of the Deborah Lippmann brushes, which are another favorite.

Of this trio, Uptown Girl was the one to steal my heart, although Sexy Mood is gorgeous as well!  Up next I'll have Spring Velvets' sister collection, Spring Vibrants! As you can probably guess from the name, Spring Vibrants focuses more on brights, as opposed to the more muted and nude shades from Spring Velvets. There are lots of fun colors in store, so I hope to have those swatches up soon!

You can purchase Barielle from their website.

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rainbow Honey Summer Blossom

What's the surest way to get my polish-loving heart all a flutter? Flower glitter! Something about it just makes me giddy inside. So it goes without saying that I am a huge fan of Rainbow Honey Summer Blossom, a yellow, white and orange glitterbomb complete with little flowers!

This is two coats over Deborah Lippmann Flowers In Her Hair, a bright mint creme.

I had a bit of a hard time deciding what base to pick for Summer Blossom but I'm pretty pleased with how it looks over Flowers In Her Hair. I think the contrast makes the oranges and yellows really pop! I've been lemming Summer Blossom for quite a while now and it definitely did not disappoint! It's such a fun polish that makes you long for warm days and sunshine!

Summer Blossom is like a warm weather version of Sakura Matsuri, the Rainbow Honey polish that launched my love affair with flower glitter. I think it's impossible to look at this polish without smiling at least a little bit! It's so darn cute!

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Color Club Miss Bliss

"You have so much nail polish! How could you possibly have trouble picking what to wear?"

In the life of a polish addict, we've all been there: dozens of polishes but you still feel like you have nothing to choose from. When you absolutely cannot decide, that's when you fall back on your old faithfuls, which is what this week's Twinsie Tuesday theme is all about: sharing our go-to polish!

I don't really have a specific go-to polish, but more of a go-to color. Whenever I am absolutely stumped on what polish to wear, I pretty much always reach for a pink. Yeah, it's a bit of a safe choice, but it'll work with any outfit or occasion!

And what better pink to choose today than one gifted to me by a fellow Twinsie? I received Color Club Miss Bliss from the fabulous Amanda as part of our Twinsie Tuesday holiday swap! This linear holographic pink is one of Color Club's much-loved Halo Hues. For my money, Halo Hues are absolutely the best holos out there! They're very vibrant and they apply effortlessly.

One of the many fantastic things about Halo Hues is that you don't need a special aqua basecoat to really bring out the holographic effect or to ensure streak-free application. I used Deborah Lippmann Fast Girls under two coats of Miss Bliss and it worked beautifully--no streaking, no dragging and the holo was still breathtakingly intense! I did skip topcoat to keep the holo nice and vibrant but luckily the dry time is quick so you're not waiting around forever with wet nails.

I really can't recommend the Halo Hues highly enough and a big thank you goes out to Amanda for helping me expand my collection of them! :) Color Club can be a tough brand to find where I live, so I was thrilled to receive more of these amazing holos!

Do you have a go-to polish? Or are you like me where you just have a go-to color or style of polish? If you're in need of some good workhorse polishes, be sure to check out what my Twinsies chose as their go-to's 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