Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Zoya Naturel Satins Preview

Happy New Year, everyone! Any big plans for tonight? I got invited to two parties, but I will be lying at home with the flu, probably watching trash TV. There's a pretty bad bug going around and just when I thought I was in the clear, it snuck up on me. Ugh! Anyways, please be safe tonight and remember to always have a designated driver!

Now onto some polish. I gotta admit, Zoya's annual Naturel Collection is not one of my most-anticipated releases. I love brights, so an all-neutral collection isn't really my thing. But Zoya switched it up in a big way this year, not only added more colors to the mix, but also making a whole collection of satin polishes!

Naturel Satins sampler
L to R: Leah, Rowan, Sage, Tove, Brittany, Ana

 Naturel Satins plate

These look awesome! Well done, Zoya! I love the satin finish and dusty pastels are some of my favorite colors to wear for spring. The collection's official release date is January 15, so look for it at your local nail haunts soon!

Do you like the new direction of the Naturel Collection or are you yearning for classic neutral cremes? See you in 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Katy Perry "Dark Horse" Nails

 EDIT: So I jumped the gun and accidentally posted this waaayyyy too early for Twinsie Tuesday. I'll do something else when the theme actually comes up, so in the meantime, enjoy these. Also, I'm dumb. Carry on.

We're borrowing some looks from Hollywood for this week's installment of Twinsie Tuesday, where we've been challenged to re-create a nail look worn by a celebrity! So I turned to arguably the queen of celebrity nail art, Katy Perry. Her music is a guilty pleasure of mine and I love how much fun she has with her make-up and nails. Katy always has something fun and flashy on her nails, but for this challenge, I chose to copy a mani from the video for the song "Dark Horse."

Katy actually wears three different nail looks in this video. I chose her triangle-tipped nails as the ones I wanted to re-create:

It seemed like a relatively simple manicure to do and I love the contrast between the gold and the bright blue. I used Essie Strut Your Stuff, Essie Good As Gold and some scotch tape for my version. Here's how it came out:

I botched taking off the tape on my ring finger, so that one came out a little wonky, but otherwise I'm super happy with this mani! I tried free-handing a similar design a few months ago for some Lana Del Rey-inspired nails and I gotta say, the tape makes it soooo much easier. They may not be 100% perfect, but I'm still really proud of these nails!

Is there a celebrity you look to for polish inspiration? I would say my big ones are Katy and Zooey Deschanel. Their nail game is always on point!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Born Pretty Sailor Moon Stamping Plate: Review & Swatches

Sailor Moon, both the anime and the manga, was a huge part of my childhood and young adulthood. One of the only times I ever faked sick was so that I could stay home from school and watch a marathon of Sailor Moon on UPN. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade? Something like that. I still enjoy watching the new series, Sailor Moon Crystal, but the original show will always have a special place in my heart--yes, even the cringeworthy US dub.

So when Born Pretty asked me if I would like to review some of their stamping plates, I had to try the Sailor Moon-themed one! I mean, just look at how freakin' magical this is, you guys!

Before I go any further, I wanted to note that Born Pretty has actually changed up the design on this plate since I received it. The individual pictures are bigger now and simplified the overall design. I think that should make some of the images, like the one of Sailor Moon right in the middle, easier to pick up with your stamper. Here's how the plate currently looks:

The other thing I wanted to make sure I tell you guys is that I have never tried stamping before. I've always been too intimidated by it! But for Sailor Moon, I will try! 

So I looked at a couple tutorials online and then gave it my best shot. It's definitely something that takes practice and it took me quite a few tries to get it right. But damn if it wasn't satisfying when I finally got that first stamp right! I played around with stamping some designs, using Essie Good As Gold, over my OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls manicure that I showed you all yesterday. Here's a look at the designs I tried:

I really wanted to get that image of Sailor Moon herself onto my nails, but after at least two dozen attempts, I couldn't quite get it--although I did come close a few times! Any issues I had are completely due to my lack of experience rather than any defect with the plate itself, which is very nice quality. I just need to practice my technique more!

While it can be a little tricky, I still had a lot of fun finally trying out stamping! I think for a first try, I didn't do too bad. I've got two other BP plates to review, so hopefully I'll keep getting better!

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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls

I looooove a good white or off-white polish. One I constantly see other bloggers raving about is OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, from the Amazing Spider-man Collection a couple years back. So when Anna was kind enough to gift it to me for my birthday, I was thrilled to finally have this much-hyped shade in my collection. My Boyfriend Scales Walls is...well, it's pretty much perfect, you guys. It's a gorgeously simple white creme with just a touch of grey mixed in.

If pure whites remind you too much of painting your nails with white-out, then you need to give this polish a shot. The grey gives a soft, cool undertone to the white that's super pretty and clean-looking. This may just be the ultimate blank canvas shade.

The formula is also ridiculously good, especially for a white polish. It's very creamy and smooth--not streaky in the slightest. Two coats was enough for most of my nails, but a few did need three.

Friday, December 26, 2014

China Glaze Road Trip Preview

For those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I have the day after Christmas off for the first time in a long while, so I'm looking forward to another day of relaxing and spending time with my parents.

If you're looking for a way to burn some of your newly acquired holiday cash, then China Glaze's upcoming spring collection, Road Trip, might not be a bad place to start. Take a look at the 12 new beauties CG has in store for us!
Trip of a Lime Time 
My Way Or The Highway
License & Registration Pls 
Boho Blues
Dashboard Dreamer 
Pack Lightly 
More To Explore
Pinking Out The Window 
I Brake For Color
Pop The Trunk 
Sun's Up, Top Down

I love the mix of brights and pastels. Plus it looks like there are some beautiful blues in here, which you know I'm all about! I wasn't too interested in most of China Glaze's 2014 collections, so here's hoping my love for CG bounces back in 2015.

I couldn't find anything on an official release date for these polishes, but I'm guessing we won't have to wait too long. Will you be getting any of these?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Twinsie Tuesday: Holiday Manicures

Twinsie Tuesday is back! As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we decided to take a short hiatus due to the craziness of this time of year but now we're back for some holiday fun this week with manicures for Chanukah and Christmas!

 I decided that rather than take a more literalistic approach (a.k.a. I wanted to avoid nail art), I would go with manicures that feature the traditional colors of each holiday. So for Chanukah, I cooked up something with blue, white and then a dash of sparkle and shine, since Chanukah is the festival of lights. :)

The main polish here is Rainbow Honey Spirit of Wonder (one of the brand's awesome holiday polishes) and then the accent is another Rainbow Honey called Skyward Bot. I tried adding some additional glitter over the top of both polishes, but it just came out looking kind of a hot mess, so I decided to leave well enough alone here.

Then with my Christmas mani, I got OPI Don't Speak--their latest 24k gold topcoat--on clearance yesterday, so I was itching to use it in a holiday mani. So I layered it over OPI I Sing In Color, a vampy deep red. It looks almost brown here, which is kind of a bummer, because it didn't quite pop the way I wanted it to. So while I do wish I had used more of a classic holiday red, at least the deeper base really brings out all the fabulous flakies and glitter of Don't Speak.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a safe and happy time with your loved ones and that you're gifted some pretty polishes! ;)

Alaina at The Little Canvas
Amanda at Amandalandish
Amber at Nails Like Lace
Anna at Going to the Showing
Bridget at A Painted Nail
Chelsea at Nailed Blog
Cordia at Seriously Swatched
Elizabeth at Did My Nails
Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Kelly at Tuxarina
Lakeisha at Refined and Polished
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les
Stephanie at A Little Polish
Tiffany at Polished To Precision

Monday, December 22, 2014

KBShimmer Spot Sign

KBShimmer Spot Sign sounded like one of the most creative and innovative polishes to come out of the indie polish community in a long time. Yeah, it has black circles and silver holo microglitter, which is all well and good, but the big selling point on this polish is that it has leopard spot-shaped glitter--yes, that's apparently a thing now! Why was this not invented sooner?!

As someone who has always wanted to do a leopard print mani but doubts my ability to actually pull it off, Spot Sign was super intriguing to me. Unfortunately, I found that while it's an absolutely fantastic idea on paper, the execution left something to be desired. Take a look and see what you think. Here's Spot Sign over Sally Hansen Fuchsia Power.

Part of the problem I had with Spot Sign is the formula. I used two coats here and I probably could have used a third to get more of the leopard spot effect with this polish. There is a lot of clear base with this polish; the glitter is pretty sparse, especially the leopard spots. When I actually did fish out some spots, they seemed to always be stuck together. So I'd have to try and pull the interlocked glitter pieces apart and then it was tricky to guide the spots where I wanted them to go. I guess this polish could work better if you were to fish out the spots one at a time and then place them with a toothpick or something, but I wanted my swatches to show you how Spot Sign applies without any special tricks.

So yeah, this polish was sort of a letdown for me. :( I love the concept behind it so much that I'm willing to play around with Spot Sign some more to see if I can get it to look the way I want it to. I just wish it was easier to work with.

You can purchase KBShimmer from their website.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

China Glaze Reggae To Riches

I bought this polish after seeing so many other bloggers rave about it--and now that I have it myself, I can honestly see why! China Glaze Reggae To Riches is a bright fuchsia with iridescent blue shimmer. The shimmer is very vibrant, to the point where this polish almost looks like more of a duochrome.

The formula was a touch runny, but not bad overall. I used three coats here.

Reggae To Riches is such a perfectly executed shade. It's more than deserving of its cult classic status. I love how bright the base color is and no one does awesome, life-of-their-own shimmers like China Glaze does.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Brie Mode Nails

So I confessed to you guys in the latest Twinsie Tuesday post that my boyfriend and I are pro wrestling fans. Yes, it's kinda dumb and I know it's "fake," but I love the spectacle and theatricality of it. It's like a superhero cartoon come to life.

Well, tonight, we are going to our very first live WWE event--the RAW show in Detroit--and of course my nails had to be decorated for the occasion! I had a lot of ideas on what I wanted to do, but ultimately I decided to do some nails inspired by one of the WWE Divas (a.k.a. lady wrestlers), Brie Bella:

I have a lot of thoughts on how the WWE treats their women's matches (hint: it's mostly not good), which I won't bore you with here, but Brie seems like a cool chick and she's one of my favorite Divas. One of her signatures is when she's setting up a big move in the ring, she climbs on the ropes and yells out "Brie Mode," almost like she's powering up:


Trying to explain it makes me realize how dumb it sounds, but I digress. Long story short, I made some Brie Mode nails in Brie's signature colors of red, white and black. Enjoy.

My thumbs, which you can't see here, are just plain ol' Rimmel Black Satin, then my red is OPI Over And Over A-Gwen. I did the lettering with a white Sally Hansen nail striper. My bf actually took this picture for me, so a big thanks to him! The B and the R were definitely the hardest parts, especially since I had to write them with my non-dominant hand. I had to re-do the R a couple times and then it had the audacity to smear when I applied topcoat over it, but other than that, I think this came out pretty decently. 

There were a few awkward moments at work when a couple people asked what was on my nails and I'd sheepishly change the subject, because I haven't 100% embraced the whole "why yes, I'm a college-educated woman who will publicly admit to loving professional wrestling" thing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

OPI Cuckoo For This Color

Have you ever seen a blue spruce tree?

Well there. Now you have. You're welcome.

Random question, I know, but a blue spruce is what came to mind when I was trying to come up with a way to describe OPI Cuckoo For This Color. It's a pine green shimmer that also has a decent amount of blue in its base (almost teal, but not quite), so the blue spruce seemed like an apt comparison, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Blue spruces are a popular choice for Christmas trees.

Anyways, why the hell have I devoted so much time to discussing trees? Let's look at some polish already! Here's two coats of Cuckoo For This Color.

This polish came out as part of the Swiss Collection in 2010, but you can still find it online for cheap. I have a soft spot for the Swiss Collection, because it takes me back to the time when I was getting super into polish; when it went from something I liked to a bit of an obsession. But nostalgia aside, it was a pretty great batch of polishes too! Yeah, there were too many reds (what else is new?) but the rest of the colors were fan-freakin'-tastic. You had classics like Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, Ski Teal We Drop, Yodel Me On My Cell, Glitzerland (a.k.a. my all-time favorite gold) and of course, Cuckoo For This Color isn't too shabby either!
It's also a pretty unique green. I think the closest thing I have in my huge collection of green polish is maybe Butter London British Racing Green? Based on swatches I've seen of China Glaze Emerald Fitzgerald, that might be similar as well, but I don't have it to compare in-person.

Is there a polish that reminds you of something completely random? Is there a particular polish or collection

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

KBShimmer Dressed To Gild

KBShimmer Dressed To Gild just might be the most sparkly polish in my entire collection. This holographic gold textured polish with splashes of lime green and lavender glitter is ridiculously vibrant. Pictures don't even begin to do it justice; it's too hard to capture how pretty Dressed To Gild looks as the light hits it. And you know something? This has quickly become one of my favorite polishes...well, ever!

 Slightly blurry shot to show off dat shimmer...

Considering how dense this polish is, I thought it'd be really chunky and thick to apply. But I was pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the formula is. There's no drag at all and the consistency is spot-on. I only needed two coats. Dressed To Gild is meant to be worn as a textured polish, so I skipped the top coat here. Dry time was very quick.

So yeah, absolutely loooooveeee this. It has so many of my favorite things: holo, glitter, gold, bright colors... Seriously y'all: buy this polish. You'll thank yourself later.

You can purchase KBShimmer from their website.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Orly Pretty-Ugly

I love me some pretty-ugly shades, but honestly, I think this one from Orly is so misnamed! To me, pretty-ugly shades are more along the lines of China Glaze Trendsetter and Orly's very own It's Not Rocket Science (one of the first swatches I ever did on this blog, so you've been warned as to its quality). But I don't find a delicate baby blue with iridescent blue shimmer like Orly Pretty-Ugly ugly at all!

I absolutely adore the shimmer in Pretty-Ugly. So often, shimmer isn't as intense on the nail as it looks in the bottle (Essie is especially guilty of this), but this is a shade that absolutely delivers in that respect. This polish has a lovely formula too, with none of the streaking or runniness that can plague pastels. What you see above is three easy coats.

A big thanks to Amanda for sending me this beauty! What are some of your favorite fuglies?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

a-england Briar Rose

If you've never tried an a-england polish, I can't recommend them highly enough. It's easy to see the amount of love and passion Adina puts into her polishes and I am always fascinated by the inspirations behind each shade. The shade I'll be sharing with you today is called Briar Rose. It comes from a-england's Burne-Jones Dream Collection, inspired by artist Edward Burne-Jones' series of paintings depicting scenes from Sleeping Beauty. Adina has also created collections that draw from mythology, legends, ballet, history and poetry. I love how she draws on things she finds beauty in to create beauty of her own, in the form of some truly fabulous polishes.

As for Briar Rose, it is a rich cranberry with a beautiful prismatic finish. At first, I was tempted to label this as a scattered holo but honestly it's more special than that. It's got this ethereal glow to it and while the holo is not super strong, Briar Rose still pulses and shines like it has a life of its own. a-england's holos always have this almost dream-like quality to them, which is one of the many reasons I'm such an a-england fangirl--if you couldn't tell already!

The formula here is stellar. I used two coats and then skipped the top coat, to keep the holographic shimmer fully intact. Even without top coat, I got some excellent wear out of this mani. After three days, I only had one chip and virtually zero tipwear.

Are you an a-england fan too? If you had your own polish line (a girl can dream, right?), what would it be inspired by?

Friday, December 5, 2014

OPI I'll Tinsel You In

OPI definitely borrowed a few pages out of the indie polish playbook for this one--and that's totally fine by me! I love my indie glitterbombs for how unique and creative all the independent polish makers out there are, but it is still fun to see more mainstream brands incorporate some popular indie elements into their polishes as well.

I'll Tinsel You In is a matte black, white and white glitterbomb with hexes, bars and squares that brings to mind indie classics like Lynnderella Connect The Dots. (They aren't dupes, mind you, but they do play in the same sandbox.) Here it is over another OPI holiday shade, Rollin' In Cashmere.

Very nice formula here. I didn't even have to guide the bar pieces away from the edge of the nail, which is usually a concern for me. I used to hate bar glitter (I thought it was weird-looking, I dunno) but I've really come around to it. Application is hassle-free and the glitter payoff is great, no shaking or fishing required. This is one coat.

While I wasn't too impressed with the main part of OPI's holiday collection this year, I'll Tinsel You In was an instant must-buy for me. It's a super fun glitter and the fact that it's mostly black and white means you can layer it over anything!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OPI Rollin' In Cashmere

I love color. I will wear just about anything, be it clothes or polish, and all that matters to me is that I like it. That being said, the one color that consistently gives me pause is yellow. I'm pale and blonde, so yellow isn't always my friend. Yet I found myself intrigued by OPI Rollin' In Cashmere, a very yellow gold from the Gwen Stefani holiday collection. I wasn't sure I could pull it off without looking jaundiced, but I kept thinking about the polish so I finally decided, "Hey, what the hell, let's give it a shot." And y'know, I'm really glad I did!

Visible brushstrokes are a concern here--this polish verges on frosty territory--but I don't think they're as noticeable in person as they are on camera. Still, you'll want to watch out for those when applying. This is two coats.

I am surprised just how much I like this polish on me and I can say that I don't have anything else like it in my collection, since I usually avoid these types of shades. I've seen some chatter wondering how similar this is to 50 Years of Style from the Ford Mustang Collection and to my eye, 50 Years of Style is less frosty and not as yellow-toned of a gold as Rollin' In Cashmere.

While I like Rollin' In Cashmere on its own, I love it as a base for glitter. I paired it with another Gwen Stefani holiday shade, Comet In The Sky, for last week's Twinsie Tuesday post and I'm currently wearing it with I'll Tinsel You In, from the same collection. It's different-looking enough that it still provides a nice pop as a base, but like any good metallic (which work like neutrals, in my book), it can still fade into the backdrop to let the glitter take center stage.

What was the last polish to surprise you? Are there certain shades you absolutely will NOT wear?