Thursday, December 30, 2010

Giveaway @ Gilded Nails

For those of you looking to rock the vampy green look, Gilded Nails is giving away one bottle of the coveted Nars Zulu in honor of the new year.  Click here to check it out. Make sure you get your name in by January 20 to enter.  This is one polish I've definitely been longing to try!  Hunter Green Jelly? Yes please.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

L'oreal B. Outrageous

Isn't this a pretty yellow?  B. Outrageous is from the L'oreal Gems collection.  The bottle describes it as "precious effect nail color," but I call it "a study in lobster claws."  Unfortunately it's wrong for my skin tone, but it is a very pretty polish, though I can't think of what gemstone has this color.

It comes in a .2fl oz. bottle, which is tiny!  I don't remember what I paid for it.  The brush is longer than usual and wide.  I found it floppy but workable.  The polish was thin.  This is three coats and I can still see a visible nail line.  Were I to wear this polish, I would layer it over an opaque white.

L'oreal Gems B. Outrageous, three coats, direct sunlight

L'oreal Gems B. Outrageous, three coats, direct sunlight
Here is a yellow sapphire I thought had a similar color:
Yellow Sapphire, image courtesy of

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sinful Colors San Fransisco

I remember buying this polish back in high school when I was looking for something hunter green.  (If only I had known about Nars Zulu!)  I probably wore it once and then it got shoved back in the box of nail polish under my bed, dormant for years.  Recently I learned about the hard-to-find OPI Rainforest and how this is a close substitute.  Obviously I was excited to pull it back out!  Let's have a look.

Sinful Colors San Fransisco is a shimmery emerald green.  This is three coats, as it wasn't very well pigmented.
Sinful Colors San Fransisco, three coats, with flash
For $2 at Walgreens I'd say its a good buy, especially if you're looking for a nice Christmas green.  Now if only they could make it scented like evergreen.  OMG...genius idea coming on...a Christmas collection scented like evergreen and candy canes and sugar plums...oh my.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

China Glaze Party Hearty

You'd have to be a Grinch not to like this.  This is the Christmas polish to end all Christmas polishes.  Party Hearty, from the China Glaze Naughty and Nice collection, has red hexagonal glitter, smaller regular green glitter and specks of silver and gold glitter.  I used one coat on my pinky, two on my ring finger, three on middle, and four on index so you can see how it builds.
China Glaze Party Hearty, one, two, three and four coats
As you can see, four coats gives you almost complete coverage while one coat gives you a nice smattering of Christmas confetti.  This one is also great layered over other polishes.  I wore two coats over Sephora by OPI I'm With Brad as a complete manicure.

China Glaze Party Hearty, two coats over Sephora by OPI I'm With Brad

China Glaze Party Hearty, two coats over Sephora by OPI I'm With Brad
I show you I'm With Brad a lot but never on it's own.  I guess I like it for layering etc. because it's black with a sultry red shimmer.  I'll review it soon.  Back to Christmas-in-a-bottle, I love party hearty.  Oddly though I haven't worn it as much as you might think.  I've kinda been saving it for Christmas Day when I slap four coats of it on each nail and say to hell with removal!  The bling factor will be worth it.

What's your favorite glitter?  Do you like them alone or do you layer?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

China Glaze Tronica Promo

Things I love:

  • China Glaze
  • Holographs
  • A new china glaze holographic collection!
That's right, China Glaze announced today on their blog that they will be releasing a collection of 12 limited edition holographic shades.  Have a first look at the Tronica collection:

  • Techno Teal – Turquoise Holographic
  • Virtual Violet – Violet Holographic
  • Electra Magnenta – Magenta Holographic
  • Gamer Glam – Purple Holographic
  • High Def -  Blue Holographic
  • Hologram -  Silver Holographic
  • Hyper Haute – Rasberry Holographic
  • 3D Fantasy – Peachy Pink Holographic
  • Digital Dawn – Dusty Rose Holographic
  • Cyberspace – Taupe Holographic
  • Mega Bite – Gold Holographic
  • Laser Lime – Lime Green Holographic
The ones that jump out most at me are Digital Dawn (Dusty Rose), Hologram (Silver) and Laser Lime (Lime Green).  With my recent adoration of 2NITE from the OMG holographic collection, I absolutely cannot wait for these polishes.  They'll be available starting Jan/Feb 2011 at BSG and March/April 2011 at Sally Beauty Supply.

Here's another look at how amazing 2NITE is:

What do you think? Will you be sporting these for summer?

China Glaze 2NITE

I LOVE THIS POLISH!  Ok I apologize for the perhaps jarring enthusiasm, but seriously a periwinkle holograph is something to shout about.  (Especially when you bought it for $1!)  China Glaze 2NITE is from the OMG collection, a special collection inspired by the lingo and flashy fingers of texting.

2NITE has a great application, as long as you remember: Don't use a base coat.  Holographs apply much better without them.  You also don't need a top coat, it minimizes the holographic effect.  But it's ok, because holographs dry really fast, making this a perfect in-a-rush manicure.  Literally 5 minutes and you're done.  (Insert that's-what-she-said joke here.)

I took lots of pictures to show you the many facets of 2NITE.  Enjoy!
China Glaze 2NITE, two coats, direct sunlight 
China Glaze 2Nite, two coats, direct sunlight
 Heres what the color looks like with no holograph:
China Glaze 2NITE, two coats, shade
 And now back to the holograph because it's so pretty:
China Glaze 2NITE, two coats, flash

China Glaze 2Nite, two coats, direct sunlight
China Glaze 2NITE, two coats, direct sunlight
Isn't it amazing?  What I'm really pleased about is that the holographic effect is very pronounced.  Sometimes with polishes they leave me wanting more, like OPI DS Extravagance and China Glaze Sugar Plums.  My hand is always searching for the perfect lighting to show a huge holographic effect, but inevitably its always on the subtle side.  But not this polish!  I can't wait til summer to wear every day.

If anyone has any lemmings from this collection let me know!  I'll check the beauty store where I picked this one up and see if the rest are on clearance too.  Seriously, one dollar!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

OPI Texas Collection

Here's a heads up about OPI's forthcoming Spring/Summer 2011 collection, dedicated to none other than the great state of Texas.  It consists of 12 polishes from every shade of the spectrum, and while some look like we've seen them before, I'll be interested to see if can OPI make them unique.

  • Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em- A red-hot pink-red that deals a winning hand.
  • Do You Think I'm Tex-y- A “berry” sexy bloom of Dallas dahlia.
  • Houston We Have A Purple- A galactic red-violet that’s ready to “rocket roll”!
  • Suzi Loves Cowboys- But she loves this campfire chocolate shade s’more!
  • I Vant To Be A-Lone Star- You won’t want to share this starry Texas-sky blue.
  • It's Totally Fort Worth It-A shimmery lavender grey that’s so worthy of you.
  • Austin-tatious Turquoise- Cowgirls love this bodacious blue-green.
  • Don't Mess With OPI- A lean, mean, kick-grass forest green.
  • Y'all Come Back Ya Hear?- This Texas tangerine will be waitin’ for ya!
  • Guy Meets Galveston- An “engaging” coastal coral.
  • Big Hair...Big Nails-A rosy pageant peach.
  • San Tan-Tonio-A “honey” of a ten-gallon tan!

Obviously the clever names and descriptions are enough to hook me on the whole collection, but here are the colors that look the most trend-setting to me:
  • It's Totally Fort Worth ItWe've seen grey coming into vogue this past season, especially in combination with other colors.  (think Deborah Lippmann Waking Up In Vegas, the "greige" worn by Lady GaGa on the cover of Vanity Fair.)
  • San Tan-Tonio: There's always a search for the perfect nudetral. (Get it, nude+neutral?)

While I'm inclined to like Houston We Have A Purple, I think that's just for the name.  It looks like a pretty shade, but not terribly unique, especially from OPI.  Y'all Come Back Ya Hear?  Is the shade thats closest to the ubiquitous UT orange, and I don't see how you could have a Texas collection without that!  Don't Mess WIth OPI Also looks fun, but come on OPI, we've seen the matching Green/Blue pairing in two of your most recent collections-  From Hong Kong: Jade is the New Black and Suzi Says Feng Shui; From Swiss:Cuckoo For This Color and Yodel Me On My Cell.  As for the rest of the collection, it seems like your normal varying shades of Pink.  Depending on what you're looking for, one of these could be perfect for you.  And maybe it's time to get back to some more "traditional" colors after the onslaught of unique shades and glitters the nail polish industry has been overloaded with lately.

All in all, I think the best aspect of this collection is the polish names.  Now I turn it over to y'all:  What do you think?  Anything grab ya?  Would you buy polish based solely on a witty name?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Zoya Free Spoon Friday erm, Saturday

Greetings from Richmond!  Zoya is a brand I haven't tried yet but have heard only good things about.  They're Big 3 Free and have hundreds of gorgeous colors, making it really difficult to decide which one(s) to buy.

Well, they've made things easier on that end.  Zoya recently started selling spoons, or little plastic lacquer swatches you can place over your nail to see what a color will look like against your skin tone.  Ordinarily the spoons are $0.50 each and you get a matching credit towards your next Zoya purchase.  Today however Zoya has extended their Free Spoon Friday, offering 6 spoons of your choice, free, and with a $3.00 Zoya credit.  Oh and if that isn't enough, the spoons ship for free as well!  Just enter in the code SP6 at checkout.

This is definitely a deal too good to pass up.  What spoons will you order?

One more thing on Zoya:  If they hit 20,000 likes on Facebook by January 3, everyone will get a code for 3 free bottles.  Way to go Zoya!  You may be my new favorite brand because yes, I can be bought by freebies.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Polished at the Jersey Shore

As my polish collection increased steadily, one question plagued me throughout the fall:

"What colors am I going to bring for my month-long Winter break in New Jersey?!"

I gave this serious consideration, especially since one of the last times I traveled I had a rather unfortunate lacquer incident.  Granted, it was my fault for putting my bag of polishes in the front compartment of my suitcase.  But my bottle of OPI Midnight Blue Glitter shattered, spilling its contents all over its companion bottles and ruining my makeup bag AND Seacret Nail Buffer.  Those things are great btw.  I got sucked into buying one at the Galleria but got some good use out of it before it's untimely demise.

Anyway, I no longer travel with polishes I'd be upset about losing.  So while I'd love to wear Paradoxal and Bad Romance 24/7 I left those behind in favor of mainly China Glaze, since I have about half of their Christmas collection and am running out of time for it to be seasonally appropriate.

From Left to Right:

  • Orly Bonder
  • Butter London Matte Finish Topcoat
  • Seche Vite
  • China Glaze Frosty
  • China Glaze Swing Baby
  • China Glaze Mrs. Claus
  • China Glaze Sugar Plums
  • China Glaze Mummy May I
  • SEPHORA by OPI I'm With Brad
  • China Glaze Naughty and Nice
  •  Wet n Wild Morbid
  • China Glaze Watermelon Rind
  • L'oreal Waters Edge
  • China Glaze Party Hearty

The Clears and Shears:
Orly Bonder, Butter London Matte Finish, Seche Vite, China Glaze Frosty, China Glaze Swing Baby
The Reds:
China Glaze Mrs. Claus, China Glaze Sugar Plums, China Glaze Mummy May I, SEPHORA by OPI I'm With Brad, China Glaze Naughty and Nice
 The [Mainly] Greens:
Wet n Wild Morbid, China Glaze Watermelon Rind, L'oreal Waters Edge, China Glaze Party Hearty
Mummy May I is my fill-in for Bad Romance, and I'm hoping to find Revlon Perplex at a drugstore to fill my Paradoxal void.

As an addendum, my dear friend who drove me to the airport gave me OPI Bring on the Bling as a gift, so that obviously came too.  Swatches to follow!

Monday, December 6, 2010

China Glaze Watermelon Rind

This polish holds a special place in my heart as one of the first bottles of China Glaze I ever bought.  I was looking for a sparkly teal and thought this would be just that.  While it wound up being more green than teal I still love it.  It goes on pretty thin so I needed three coats, and even then I could still see patchiness in direct sunlight.  I think if you used a thicker second coat it would fix that.
China Glaze Watermelon Rind, three coats, shade
China Glaze Watermelon Rind, three coats, direct sunlight
See the ugly thin patches on my middle finger? Grrr.
China Glaze Watermelon Rind, three coats, indirect sunlight
This one is absolutely spectacular in the sun!  I remember wearing it in late August and being mesmerized.  It's still nice for winter though and I feel like since it's sparkly green/teal, and Mrs. Claus is sparkly red/pink the two would go together nicely for a Christmas manicure.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Orly Space Cadet

Space Cadet is the only color from the ORLY FX collection that captured my attention, so when I finally saw it available in the display I had to snatch it up.  It's a purple/green/yellow triochrome (?) with an intense coppery glitter in the sunlight.  It looks very different depending on the lighting you're in, which is one of the really fun things about wearing it.  I tried to capture it's different personalities in the pictures below.

The polish applies well though it is a little transparent.  I needed three coats for full effect.  This first picture is with flash, it captures both the coppery glitter effect and the green duochrome.
Orly Space Cadet, two coats with flash 
This picture is in direct sunlight.  Here Space Cadet looks very purple with a copper flash and green undertone.
Orly Space Cadet, two coats, direct sunlight
Here I tried to capture the most of the duochrome effect that I could.  You can see the purple towards the tip, then the green in the middle and yellow towards the base.  Meanwhile, the bottle looks very purple.
Orly Space Cadet, two coats direct sunlight
Here's more of the duochrome effect in indirect sunlight.
Orly Space Cadet, two coats indirect sunlight
None of these pictures really capture how your nails look at any given moment while wearing this color, however they do demonstrate the many facets of this polish.  I think this would be a really fun summer pedicure.

Friday, November 26, 2010

NYX Tahitian

Here's a polish I've had forever, couldn't remember buying and don't think I ever wore until this past spring.  NYX Tahitian is a lime green with a great shimmer.  I don't know what that has to do with Tahiti, it makes me think of fiestas and margaritas.  It's very sheer in one coat, I used three for these swatches.  The polish was pretty thin but it wasn't too difficult.  Personally I'd rather deal with a runny polish than a thick gloopy one.  (I'm talking about you, L'Oreal Waters Edge.)  Maybe one day I'll get around to investing in a good polish thinner...  Anyhow, NYX Tahitian in shade and sunlight.
NYX Tahitian, three coats shade
NYX Tahitian, three coats direct sunlight
It's a nice color and for $4 the formula isn't bad.  The main thing that deters me from buying more of this brand is that it isn't big 3-free.  Anyone have any good lime green 3-free suggestions?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I originally hadn't planned on posting today, but so many things to be thankful for have been popping through my mind all day.  I'd like to take a moment to share them with you.

Things That I Am Thankful For
1. My wonderful, supportive, inspiring and amusing friends and family
2. My good health
3. The ability to make a living playing music and my beautiful French Horn
4. The internet
5. Cell phones
6. Winter outerwear- because it's cute and without it we'd be very cold
7. 9-1-1- Thankfully I haven't had to use it, but I like knowing it's there
8. Air travel
9. My Honda

I feel like maybe I'm forgetting something...

Oh Yeah!

10. Nail Polish!
Specifically, fabulous colors and manicures that last.  As I rush of in my elastic-waistband leggings to go be a complete glutton, I'd like to leave you with pictures of Chanel Paradoxal, a manicure that I did on Tuesday that has held up through three days and some serious Thanksgiving cooking.
Chanel Paradoxal, two coats with top coat, indirect sunlight
I'm also thankful for you, Chanel.  This is my second time wearing Paradoxal and I love it even more than the first.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  I'd love to hear what you are thankful for!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Suzi Says Feng Shui

Here's a color I love but haven't worn too much recently.  Suzi Says Feng Shui from the OPI Spring 2010 Hong Kong collection is a dusty blue creme.  The exact shade of blue is hard to describe.  It's bright but not in-your-face, it almost has a neutral quality to it.  Here are two photos, the first in shade, the second in sunlight.
OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, two coats shade
Cremes don't get any higher shine than this!
OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui, two coats direct sunlight

While the color works for Winter the finish definitely says Summer.  With what little light there is available during these shorter days, I need at least some shimmer in my life.  I wonder how this would look under Party Hearty or Bring on the Bling...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

China Glaze Sugar Plums

Here's another from the China Glaze 'Tis The Season Holiday 2010 Collection.  Sugar Plums is a velvety maroon with flecks of holographic glitter.  This polish is interesting because without top coat, the glitter gives it a textured effect, like it's literally coated with a dusting of sugar.  You can chose to wear it like this, or you can add a top coat, which brings out more of the holograph.  I found the holograph to be very subtle and would probably wear it this way in the future.  Given the choice between texture or bling, I gotta go with bling.

China Glaze Sugar Plums, two coats no top coat with flash

China Glaze Sugar Plums, two coats direct sunlight

China Glaze Sugar Plums, two coats with flash
China Glaze Sugar Plums two coats with top coat, flash
I love this color.  I think the particular shade of maroon is very Christmasy.  Ideally the holograph would be more pronounced, but I'm willing to forgive that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe

So. Pretty.  A sheer navy base swimming with aqua sequins, green sequins and blue glitter, Across The Universe is truly one of the most fascinating polishes I've ever worn.  This was released by Deborah Lippmann along with Bad Romance for Fall 2010, and it's hard to say which I like better.  Across The Universe has more sparkle and much more glitter, but there's just something about the black/purple glitter combination that calls to me.  Anyway here are pictures of ATU so you can decide for yourself!  This is three coats with top coat.

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe, three coats, sunlight

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe, three coats sunlight

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe, three coats shade

Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe, three coats direct sunlight
You can see it has a higher concentration of glitter than Bad Romance, and the sequins are two different colors instead of just one.  This is probably why I couldn't decide between the two polishes and had to get both!  Thank you Nordstroms San Antonio for encouraging my Lippmann Addiction.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal

Paradox, n: any person, thing, or situation exhibiting an apparently contradictory nature.  What a perfect name for this polish.  Chanel's Limited Edition shade for Fall 2010 alternates between purple and taupe, with its purple shimmer most visible in bright sunlight.  I wasn't planning on buying this since $23 is a bit much for a polish, but after sampling it at Nordstroms with a friend, we both just about died.  Then when a friend of hers at Saks offered to hook us up with a discount on two bottles, how could I say no?

I was in a rush when I did this manicure.  Having only an hour between dress rehearsal and a concert, I had to decide between shower, food or manicure.  (Obviously I went with manicure.)  Application was just ok but I blame that on my rushing, not the polish.  Every time I lifted the brush out of the bottle the bristles caught the afternoon sunlight and it was just gorgeous.  The first picture shows Paradoxal's purple side while the second two show its taupe alter-ego, which is how it looks most of the time.

Chanel Paradoxal, two coats direct sunlight

Chanel Paradoxal, two coats shade

Chanel Paradoxal, two coats shade
Because I was in a rush I topped it with one coat of Seche Vite, which I think might have dulled the shimmer just slightly.  Next time I'd like to skip that, since the natural finish on Chanel polishes are reputed to be great.  This manicure wore really well for six days with only minimal tipwear, and I really only changed it because I was in the mood for something different.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

China Glaze Awakening for Halloween 2010

Free time is a dangerous thing when you're a polish addict.  Today after I got done teaching I wandered into Sally Beauty Supply and was greeted by an amazing find: The China Glaze Awakening collection for Halloween 2010...
Zombie Zest, Mummy May I, Ick-A-Bod-Y



China Glaze has been nailing it lately and this collection is nothing short of fantastic.  It consists of three wonderfully named glitters: Mummy May I, Zombie Zest, and Ick-A-Bod-Y.

Mummy May I is purple glitter in a dark purple base.  This polish is along the lines of Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance but without the different sized glitter.  Already having Bad Romance I could've passed on this one, but it was only two dollars!  It went on a little sheer and streaky, I needed three coats.
China Glaze Mummy May I, three coats, indoors with flash

 Zombie Zest is a boogery green glitter.  With one coat it makes your nails look like deathly Zombie nails, I could see this being a good look to go with a costume.  After three coats it was opaque, and I have to say this polish has one of the best applications of any that I've ever tried.

China Glaze Zombie Zest, one coat
China Glaze Zombie Zest, three coats, shade
Zombie Zest also has a fantastic glitter in the sun!  The picture doesn't do it justice, but you can get kind of an idea.

China Glaze Zombie Zest, three coats, direct sunlight

And finally my favorite, Ick-A-Body-Y.  First of all, I LOVE the name, especially imagining the situation in which somebody might say that.  This polish is orange glitter in a green base.  The color combination makes me think of pumpkins and scarecrows and all things Fall.  After applying one coat I  thought holy cow, it looks like I have dirty, grimy corpse hands!  Another perfect Halloween accessory, I would totally wear just one coat of this.
China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y, one coat
I ended up wearing it as a manicure in two coats.  It's cool because the glitter stayed towards the base of my nail, so in sunlight you can see more of the green showing through at the tips.

China Glaze Ick-A-Body-Y, two coats, with flash
China Glaze Ick-A-Bod-Y, two coats, shade
Mummy May I and Ick-A-Bod-Y were very gritty and would need one or even two coats of seche vite to make them smooth.  The dry time on all these polishes was good.  I know they're for Halloween, but honestly I was a little surprised to see them on clearance.  Maybe it's because I'm a junkie, but I would wear these outside of October.  What do you think?  Which do you like?  Would you wear them all year round?