Sunday, January 31, 2016

OPI My Twin Mimmy

OPI My Twin Mimmy is a sunshine yellow creme. I love pastel yellow polish but with yellows like these, I have to be really careful. I'm super pale and super blonde, so yellow is generally not my friend. Really vibrant, "traffic light" yellows do weird, unflattering things to my skin tone and you can definitely see that in my swatches, so just a forewarning.

I'm about to give you a very important piece of advice for applying this polish: Be patient. The formula here isn't a complete horror show, but it ain't great either. Yellow polishes tend to be temperamental and this one definitely is. What you see above is three coats. You'll want to allow extra dry time between layers, otherwise you'll wind up with uneven application and bubbling-soooo much bubbling, you guys.  I snapped these pics shortly after finishing my mani, but before long, the bubbles started to appear and there were a ton of them. I should have taken a picture but I was to horrified to do anything other than bust out the polish remover and take the whole damn thing off. Leave yourself extra time and you'll be a-okay. Rush and you'll wind up with complete ass. Such is the way of yellow nail polish.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

OPI Kitty White

OPI Kitty White is a mother of pearl shimmer. I'm normally not big on these types of shades, but I actually liked this one quite a bit! It's pretty alone, as you'll see below, but it also makes a nice base for layering (like in last week's Twinsie Tuesday post) or you could put it over top of another shade to add a dash of shimmer.

I kind of became obsessed with photographing this polish. I took swatch pics in a bunch of different lightings, so hopefully that will give you a very thorough idea of how this shade looks!

And then a pic with flash to finish things off. It's been a long time since I posted a swatch with flash but I thought it brought out the shimmer nicely.

As you'd probably expect with this type of shade, it's more on the sheer side. I wore three coats above and while that was not completely opaque, it was close enough that it didn't bother me. I was worried this would look frosty or brushstroke-y but it really doesn't, so that's a huge plus in my book!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Twinsie Tuesday: Grey and Gold

Kudos to whoever came up with this theme, because gold and grey is one of my favorite color combos! I kept this one pretty simple. I started with a grey base of Deborah Lippmann Chasing Pavements and added a sprinkling of holographic gold glitter with Nubar Gold Celebration.

I loooooove Chasing Pavements. Such a perfect grey! Not too much more to say on this one--like I said, it's simple, but hopefully pretty too. :)

Be sure to check out my fellow Twinsies' grey and gold manis today! I like these colors so much that I'm sure I'll be borrowing an idea or two of theirs for future manis!

Alaina at The Little Canvas

Amanda at Amandalandish

Amanda at Fashion Footing

Amber at Nails Like Lace

Bridget at A Painted Nail

Chelsea at Nailed Blog

Claire at Kerruticles

Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer

Marisa at Polish Obsession

Marisa at Polish Those Nails

Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les

Savannah at Addicted to Polish

Sharon at Behind Green Eyes

Tiffany at Polished To Precision

Disclosure: The Nubar polish in this post was sent for my honest review. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Orly Pacific Coast Highway (Summer 2016) Preview

It seems a little early to be looking at summer polish, but I (and my wallet) always appreciate a look ahead! So today we'll be sneaking a peek at Orly's offering for the season, Pacific Coast Highway. The collection features six new shades.

L to R: Road Trippin, Summer Sunset, Put The Top Down, Scenic Route, Life's A Beach, Paradise Cove

Cute collection, right? The colors aren't a big departure from the usual fare for summer, but I do like the shades here. Scenic Route is calling to me in particular. 

I don't believe there is an official release date for this collection yet, but my completely uninformed guess would be May. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

OPI Small + Cute = Heart

OPI Small + Cute = <3 (I had to spell it out above to get Blogger to accept the HTML tag for this post, but the name is in fact stylized as <3 rather than the word.) is the most adorable shade of ballerina pink. It reminds me a little bit of one of my very favorite OPI pinks, Pink Friday from the Nicki Minaj Collection. Pink Friday is a lot more warm-toned, but they have this same kind of softness to them that I really like.

The formula is pretty nice for a pastel. It self-levels well and isn't too streaky. I used three coats for this mani. I apologize for the messy painting on my pinky. I had some polish peel around my cuticle line there.

I liked this one more than I expected to. Just like the name says, it's really cute! I think it'd make a great base for glitter too.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

OPI Super Cute In Pink

We're continuing our journey through the OPI Hello Kitty Collection today with Super Cute in Pink, a magenta crelly. This shade is extremely similar to one of my favorite (and oldest--seriously, it's one of the first polishes I ever swatched here) Essie colors, Splash of Grenadine. I would go so far as to say that if you have one, you don't really need the other unless you're a huge fan of this type of shade.

For some reason, this photographed a little too pink on my nails. It pulls slightly more purple in real life. What you see in the bottle in the pictures above is more true-to-life. The formula here is a smidge sheer, since this is a crelly, but still reaches opacity in three coats.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Twinsie Tuesday: Shattered Glass

I'll admit, I had to look up what this technique was because I'd never heard of it before. But near as I can tell, a shattered glass mani involves large iridescent mylar flakes laid across the nail. The nearest thing I had in my collection to replicate this style with was Studio M Covered In Diamonds, which has a clear base filled with mylar pieces.

I like the way this polish looks but I don't wear it much because 1) it's a bitch to remove and 2) the mylar pieces are pretty jagged and easily get snagged on things. A thicker top coat is a must with this one. (I used Nubar Diamont.) My base was OPI Kitty White from the new Hello Kitty Collection.

This combination didn't come together quite as I envisioned it but it did make for an interesting pairing nonetheless. It has a cool, kind of opalescent look to it that like. It looks way more complex and multifaceted in person than my camera could pick up with all the colorful flakes. I had to layer up Covered With Diamobds to three coats to get it to stand out against the pearly white background of Kitty White, so my nails felt hella rough, but they looked sparkly and shiny so that's what truly counts. ;)

Alaina at The Little Canvas

Amanda at Amandalandish

Amanda at Fashion Footing

Amber at Nails Like Lace

Bridget at A Painted Nail

Chelsea at Nailed Blog

Claire at Kerruticles

Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer

Marisa at Polish Obsession
Marisa at Polish Those Nails
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les

Savannah at Addicted to Polish

Sharon at Behind Green Eyes

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Deborah Lippmann Afternoon Delight (Spring 2016) Preview

Deborah Lippmann's Spring 2016 collection is something a little different from the brand, as it marks the debut of colored polishes to DL's gel-alternative line, Gel Lab Pro. I'm not sure if this means all of Deborah Lippmann's future new releases will be part of this Gel Lab Pro deal or if it will branch off into an entirely separate "brand-within-a-brand" thing like OPI Infinite Shine, China Glaze EverGlaze, Orly Epix, Butter London Patent Shine, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel...the list goes on.

 Although Gel Lab is my all-time HG base and top coat, I must confess that I am getting a little sick of so many brands releasing entirely separate "gel-alternative" color lines. I am all about gel-alternative base and top coats--they're pretty much all I wear--but having a whole other line of special long-wear colors (that are usually more expensive than the regular polishes, too) meant to go along with them seems kind of unnecessary to me.

Anyways, I'll get off my nail polish soapbox now and show you the pretty colors, because that's what we're here for! :)

Top row, L to R: The Pleasure Principle, Peaches & Cream
Bottom row, L to R: Get Lucky, Dirty Little Secret

Despite my little rant against the proliferation of gel-alternative colors, I do have to admit DL has put together a super cute collection here. Peaches & Cream and Get Lucky are both calling to me. The moral here I guess is that beautiful nail polish makes hypocrites of us all. ;)

The other new talking point for this collection is the introduction of a re-designed brush tip. This one appears to be more rounded than DL's traditional rectangular one.


 Afternoon Delight is already available on the Deborah Lippmann website, individually or as a set for a discounted price.

So, what do we think? Like the collection? Gel-alternative polishes: can't get enough or cut it out? I will buy a gel-alternative polish here and there strictly if I like the color itself, but otherwise, I don't feel compelled to buy replacements for existing shades I have from "regular" lines or anything to that extent.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

OPI 5 Apples Tall

Is that the cutest name ever or what? If you didn't know, "five apples tall" is Hello Kitty's official height, according to Sanrio. I'm loving how adorable the whole OPI Hello Kitty Collection is!

The polish itself is an orange-leaning red creme. It's not a unique shade in OPI's color library (polishes like Red Lights Ahead... Where? and Cajun Shrimp come to mind as potential sisters for 5 Apples Tall) but it's beautifully bright and glossy-looking. The shine and color make me think of a candy apple, appropriately enough. This is a classic type of color that every nail aficionado should have at least one of in their collection.

The formula is excellent and covers in two easy coats. I've worn three of the Hello Kitty polishes so far and I'm very impressed with how smooth and buttery they all are, even the pastel pinks!

As I mentioned above, I think this type of color is deserving of a place in any stash and 5 Apples Tall is certainly a stellar example. I think the versatility of the shade coupled with the added collectible appeal of the Hello Kitty packaging will make this a very popular polish!

Friday, January 15, 2016

China Glaze House Of Colour (Spring 2016) Preview

Let's kick off the weekend with some preview pr0n, shall we? This day we'll be checking out China Glaze's upcoming spring collection, House of Colour. 
Top row, L to R: Shut The Front Door!, Chrome Is Where The Heart Is, Sorry I'm Latte
Bottom row, L to R: Glitter Me This..., Girls Just Wanna Have Sun, Let's Chalk About It
Top row, L to R: About Layin' Out, Pink Or Swim, In The Near Fuchsia
Bottom row, L to R: Moonlight The Night, Come Rain Or Shine, Do Not Be Shallow


I like the variety of colors we're getting in this collection. It's of course a lighter palette for spring, but it's not all pastel cremes like we see with so many spring collections. I don't see anything that gives me an immediate case of "WANT" but I am really intrigued by Moonlight The Night. As a side note, I also think it's time for us all to admit that China Glaze has now reached OPI levels on the bad pun scale.

We should be seeing this collection on shelves any day now, as CG is already talking about it on social media. What will you be getting? Which of the spring collections we've seen so far are you most excited for?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Madam Glam Color-Changing Gel Polish in Hot Hot Hot

I've been hardcore crushing on Hot Hot Hot after seeing it on Amber from Nails Like Lace, so when Madam Glam reached out to ask if I'd like to try some of their gel polishes, this one was at the tippy top of my wish list! It's been a while since I did some gel nails, but I was feeling the itch again. It's nice to mix it up every now and then and I love how invincible my nails feel with gel polish on--no worrying about chips or cracks!

Hot Hot Hot is a very unique shade: a thermal polish that goes from a poppy red shade to a warm orange when you expose it to heat. And the best part? It's got lots of silver glitter in it too! Because everything is better with extra sparkle!

Here's how the polish looks normally...

...and then here's what it changes to with heat. Please excuse the complete change in lighting here. I took these pictures at my bathroom sink so I could photograph my hands fresh out of warm water.

For the sake of completion, I wanted to throw in a shot of Hot Hot Hot mid-change too.

I could not stop staring at this polish. It's so much fun and I can't help but feel a teensy bit happier when I look at it. It's like a little dose of summer on my nails in the midst of all this terrible wind and snow.

I paired this shade with all Red Carpet Manicure products (base coat, top coat, lamp, etc.) and it worked great. I applied two coats of Hot Hot Hot for this mani. I was definitely impressed with how it went on. Gel polishes in general have thicker consistencies, but this one was still nice and workable. It even self-levels, which is super helpful when you're dealing with gels, as the thickness can sometimes result in bumpy, uneven application.

You can purchase Madam Glam from their website.

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

December Empties & Mini Reviews

Another month, another set of empties! I hope you all are enjoying this addition to Nailed, because I'm having a lot of fun keeping track of my empties. I started blogging about them in an attempt to motivate me to finish more of the products in my ridiculously huge stash and I feel like it's really working. I've already surprised myself with how much I've been able to get through! Here's what I finished up this past month!

Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser: This is desert island, HG, must-have... Whatever you want to call it, I just NEED this fantastic makeup remover in my life no matter what! You can read my full review HERE for more details on Purity's awesomeness.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: I've really come around on this. At first I thought it was kinda clumpy but I got the hang of it after a while and quickly became obsessed with the volume this mascara gives! I feel like the formula performs better after it dries up a teensy bit in the tube. It's a little too "wet" before that and would gum up my lashes. This mini came with my Stardust Palette and I found it completely dried out waaaayyy quicker than my full-sized tube did. I would definitely re-purchase a full-sized one again.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara: Delivers everything it promises: length, lift and definition--even with my straight, stubby lashes. It is strictly a lengthening mascara though, so you'll need to layer a more volumizing mascara over top if you want more dramatic lashes. Makes a fantastic partner for Better Than Sex.

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus: It's hard to draw too many conclusions from a sample size, but overall I enjoyed my trial run with this serum. It's got a nice, smooth texture that makes my skin feel soft and supple, plus I love that it can be used for both face and eyes.

Algenist Firming and Lifting Cream: This moisturizer is rich without feeling greasy or heavy. Lack of volume isn't really a concern of mine (I have a super round face) so I can't comment on it it really lifted or plumped my skin, but I did enjoy the feel of it. A good choice for the winter months. I've used several other Algenist products (I got this one as a gift with purchase) and have liked them quite a bit, especially the Complete Eye Renewal Balm.

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation in Light 44: This stuff will cover anything! I've repurchased it several times because I love the full, flawless coverage it gives and how long it wears. I had a little trouble with the texture when I first used it, because it is quite thick and it dries fast, but applying with a Beauty Blender made a huge difference and helped me fall completely in love with this foundation. I don't recommend it for dry skin, as it's extremely matte, but if you have oily skin and want/need serious coverage, give this a try! I always get a lot of compliments on my skin when I wear it, which makes this acne-prone girl feel good!

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation in NW15: Another favorite foundation. I wish it had slightly more coverage (just my preference), but I adore the longevity and smooth finish of the formula. I'd describe it as a medium-buildable foundation, so you can layer it to full coverage if desired. 

IT Cosmetics Brow Power: I used this pencil exclusively until I discovered the magic of Anastasia Brow Wiz. It's still a fantastic product, but I've come to prefer the skinny tip and more precise application of Brow Wiz to the wider, oval-shaped stick of Brow Power. This is a great pencil for filling brows--it'll even fill in and stick to areas where you have hair--but the wider tip makes it a little trickier to shape your brows. I'm a big fan of the IT line in general and find most of their products to be excellent quality and this one is no exception; I just found something I like better for me.

Jack Black Lip Balm in Natural Mint: No, this line has no relation to the actor. They do make a fantastic lip balm though! This is one of the very few I've tried where I feel like my lips are being nourished and hydrated, not just covered in gel that will leave my lips feeling parched again in a few hours. The mint gives it a very cooling, soothing feel on the lips too.

Redken All Soft Heavy Cream: A great conditioning treatment for dry, brittle hair. I like to do a mask of this and Redken Extreme mixed together to help keep my hair healthy after bleaching it.

Elizabeth and Janes Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo: I knew I'd love the scent of this, because Nirvana Black is one of my very favorite perfumes, but I didn't expect it to be such an amazing dry shampoo too! Really de-gunks and de-greases. Why don't more fragrance brands make dry shampoos? It's a pretty clever idea. The scent is a woodsy mix of sandalwood and vanilla--very sensual yet cozy too. 

Bath & Body Works PocketBac in Heirloom Pear: I always have one of these clipped on my purse. This one smells like pears... Yep. That's pretty much it.

So there you have it: December is in the books! I'm off to a pretty slow start with January empties so far, so I don't think I'll finish quite as many products as I did this past month.

What was your favorite product you recently finished? I'm always looking for new recommendations, so feel free to let me know in the comments section! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Twinsie Tuesday: Dotticure

TT is returning from holiday hiatus this week with dotticures! I must confess I spent a good deal of time thinking of how to cheat my way out of this one, but in the spirit of the new year, I decided to give it the old college try instead...

...aaannddd of course that ended in a string of spectacular failures. I tried the bandaid method and turned out the holes aren't big enough...and my nails weren't dry enough. I tried doing sharpie dots and that actually came out great, until I put the top coat on and it completely destroyed everything. I debated using a dotting tool, but I find them terribly frustrating and by this point I just wanted to have presentable-looking nails, so...I cheated. *sigh of shame*

Enter Deborah Lippmann I'm Not Edible. This polish uses the exact color scheme and aesthetic I was trying to create on my own: pastel pink base with little black polka dots.

I feel guilty for not doing a proper dotticure but I'm hoping the cute polish will be penance enough. I'm looking forward to a new year and new challenges with TT! Hopefully you'll join us along the way for 2016. :)

Alaina at The Little Canvas

Amanda at Amandalandish

Amanda at Fashion Footing

Amber at Nails Like Lace

Bridget at A Painted Nail

Chelsea at Nailed Blog

Claire at Kerruticles

Jessica at Blue Velvet Lacquer
Marisa at Polish Obsession
Marisa at Polish Those Nails
Róisín at Cuti-CLUE-les

Savannah at Addicted to Polish

Sharon at Behind Green Eyes

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Deborah Lippmann Miss Independent

Meet one of my new absolute favorite vamps: Deborah Lippmann Miss Independent! This is the perfect shade of blackened plum. I have a lot of really deep burgundy and red polishes, but I haven't gotten into dark purples too much in the past and man, have I been missing out! I'm just a little bit obsessed with this color.

The formula is top-notch. What you see above is two effortless coats.

This mani was also my first time trying the re-formulated version of Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab base and top coat duo, which is now known as Gel Lab Pro. The original Gel Lab is my HG (you can read my full review HERE) but I gotta say, the Pro version improved on an already-fantastic formula even more. It's super, super shiny and the consistency is just perfect. Gel Lab is one of those products that you kinda hate to love, because it's pricey, but it's so damn good that I keep coming back to it!

Friday, January 1, 2016

OPI Alice Through The Looking Glass (Brights 2016) Preview

Happy New Year! And really, what better way to start 2016 than with some breaking OPI news? OPI's original Alice In Wonderland collab spawned two legendary lemmings: Mad As A Hatter and Absolutely Alice. So it's not all that surprising that OPI is launching another collection for the latest Alice In Wonderland movie, Alice Through The Looking Glass.

This collection, featuring nine new polishes, will serve as OPI's annual Brights Collection this year. Sadly, it doesn't seem OPI will be re-releasing any of the shades from the original Alice collection, but I will of course post an update of that changes. For now, let's take a look at what we can expect when the new collection launches in May!

 I confess I've tried to watch the previous movie several times but always wind up bored to tears. So while I won't be seeing the movie, I'm sure I'll pick up a few of these puppies anyways. I'm eyeing Fearlessly Alice and A Mirror Escape in particular! I don't really think the off-white of Oh My Majesty! or the pastel pink of I'm Gown For Anything! (Can I say too that I hate OPI's insistance on including punctuation marks in so many of their polish names?) have a place in a "brights" collection, but oh well. 

Are you excited for this new collection? Were you lucky enough to snag some of the original Alice polishes? I got Absolutely Alice on Ebay and it's one of my very favorite OPI's! I've never been able to stomach the prices for Mad As A Hatter though...