Wednesday, September 30, 2009

OPI Suede: We'll Always Have Paris

Above & Below: OPI Suede in We'll Always Have Paris, outdoors with no flash. This is 2 coats and it was almost opaque in just 1. No top coat.

This is the third Suede I've used, and I absolutely love this collection. The colors or shades are average, but the shimmer and finish, combined with the fact that the application is close to perfect in just two coats, makes this collection a winner in my eyes. These all dry extremely fast and I love how smooth to the touch they feel. We'll Always Have Paris is a medium toned plum shade with silver shimmer. This one seems to have a little more silver than the other two I've tried, but it may just be the contrast in the colors. I didn't put a clear coat over this because I wanted to wear it matte, but as most of you know, adding a clear top coat enhances the shimmer and gives it a more dimensional look.

I received the exclusive Japanese Glitter today that Color Club is furnishing Victoria Nail Supply with and I'll have lots more on that tomorrow. It's a fairly clear polish with multi-colored micro glitter that is somewhat holographic, in that the glitter changes color at different angles and in different lighting. I'm playing around with it today, primarily as a layering polish and I love it! It's available on their site now, along with the other four exclusive Japanese Glitters here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

OPI Glow-Ink The Dark

Above & Below: OPI Glow-Ink The Dark is a beautiful shade of cornflower blue that applied very nicely, although it took 4 coats! I should say it finished nicely because I love the final look, in spite of having to use 4 coats.

Below: A bad quality photo of the 'glow'.
Glow-Ink The Dark is a relatively new offering from OPI for Halloween 2009. It can also be found in their 4 piece mini set called Tattoo Ta-Boo. I'm not exactly sure why I bought this, perhaps for the novelty of the glow in the dark idea. It's a very pretty shade of cornflower blue with very fine shimmer, which is actually the glow in the dark material, a phosphorescent pigment. It finishes with a semi-matte or eggshell loo, but a satiny finish is sometimes a nice change from the total mattes or glossies we've gotten used to. The formula dries quickly, but applies very thin, as this look took 4 coats. I imagine putting a clear coat over it would diminish the glow factor significantly, but because it's so thin, using a coat of it over another color would work fine for a bit of 'glow'. It would also work well using it as a Konad stamping polish, especially if they make a Halloween plate (which I'm not sure of). It does glow a nice greenish color, but I wasn't able to photograph it very well, unfortunately.

Monday, September 28, 2009

China Glaze Glitter in Stellar

Above & Below: China Glaze Stellar is a dazzling, sparkly polish with a beige or khaki base. The pictures don't do it justice because I couldn't capture the silver glitter that really dresses up this shade.

Stellar is one of the new glitters in the Glitters, Shimmers & Cremes collection from China Glaze. This one has the smaller micro glitter, as opposed to the larger pieces of glitter found in many of the other polishes in this unusually large collection. Not that I'm complaining about the size of the collection, but I honestly don't recall any company coming out with such a massive amount of polishes in one collection before. On to the description of Stellar...this is a khaki shade packed with silver glitter that covered very nicely in 2 coats. I happened to have a bottle of Orly's Country Club Khaki on my desk when I was applying Stellar and it is a very similar base shade. Add in 50 million pieces of silver micro glitter and you get a beautiful, sparkly shade that is a winning combination. If you want a clean and simple look with a little bling, this is the perfect shade.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

OPI Designer Series in Glow

Above & Below: OPI's Designer Series in Glow. Above photos are outdoors in full sun, below are outdoors in shade with no flash. The glitter in this shade is quite intricate in it's componants and adds a definite twist of unique beauty to the overall look.

Yesterday I posted about the new DS Mystery, and how although the polish shade itself was fine (a deep blackened purple with gold to olive gold shimmer), I was terribly disappointed that it didn't have the holo effect that DS polishes are known for. DS Glow doesn't have any holo effect either, but casting aside my hopes for a holo, I do think this too is a beautiful shade. It's a coppery golden shade with an enormous amount of silver and gold glitter. I'll call it glitter rather than shimmer because the pieces are more defined and are different sizes and color, whereas a shimmer to me, is extremely fine, generally the same color as the polish, and all the same size. The glitter in this one lends itself to an extreme amount of sparkle, due to it's color as well as to it's cut. The silver glitter in the formula seems to brighten up the sparkle even more. Both of the new DS shades are fairly unique and most definitely pretty, but if you're hoping for a holo, you won't find it in either one. They are similar in application to the other DS polishes I've tried, in that they have a smooth application and are opaque in 2 coats, with quick drying time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

OPI Designer Series in Mystery

Above & Below: OPI Designer Series in Mystery. Photos taken outdoors, no flash.

Below: This shade looked very promising from a bottle look standpoint, but I was disappointed.
Mystery is one of two new Designer Series shades recently released by OPI. It's a very deep shade of purple, similar to eggplant. It's so dark that after two coats, it's difficult to determine if it looks purple or black. The shimmer is primarily gold, but under different lighting, the shimmer can also look more of an olive gold, which is about the only thing I liked about this shade. I was extremely disappointed in the lack of holo-ness in this one. All of my other DS polishes have a good to over-the-top amount of the holo effect, and this one falls completely flat. Yes, the sparkles are pretty, but I buy DS polishes primarily because of their superior holo effect, and this one has none of that. I haven't seen enough pictures of it elsewhere to know if I just got a bottle with a bad formula or if this is indeed the way it really looks. Again, it's a pretty polish with all of the shimmer, but I think the big Mystery with this one is...where's the holo?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wet n Wild Festive Flirt Holiday Bottle Pics

Above: 4 of the shades from Wet n Wild's Festive Flirt Holiday collection L-R: Holly, Frostbite, Gilded and Gumdrop.
Above & Below: Massini's new Fall Promo polishes. Look at the purple and turquoise glitter in the bottom row! I saw these pumpkin polishes and had to get them!
When I was at Meijer last week the sales girl in the cosmetics department told me they had Sally Hansen's new LE HD Display, but wouldn't be putting it out until this week. I've been stalking the shelves ever since hoping to get Opulent Cloud, but they still haven't put the display out yet. I did however, spot Wet n Wild's Festive Flirt Holiday display, although there were a couple of empty slots, so I don't know what those shades were. I picked up 4 of them and there was also another gold (Blitzen) and another red (Ho, Ho, Ho). I'm guessing there are 8 polishes in the collection, and although they are smaller (0.29 fl. oz.) than your average bottle of polish, the colors look to have some unique finishes.

Holly-a deep red shimmer with what appears to be glass flecked shimmer in deep red and gold.

Gilded-a gold glitter with micro gold glitter and larger octagonal multi-colored glitter.

Frostbite-a bright silver shimmer that looks like it would have a foil finish.

Gumdrop-a golden bronze with similar colored micro glitter.

I also located Massini's Fall Promo polishes and several of these are repromoted shades I believe, and 2 of them I'm certain are duplicates found in Color Club's Wild at Heart collection, as Forsythe is the manufacturer of both of these brand lines. There are 9 polishes in this collection, and they had 8 left, so I'm uncertain as to what the other one is. The turquoise and purple glitters are the ones that really caught me eye though. They have no names on the label, just the words "Fall Promo". I'll put these in line for swatching during the upcoming week. So no Opulent Cloud (yet!), but not a wasted trip. I hope everyone enjoys their first weekend of Fall!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

China Glaze Glitters: Luna, Polar Ice, Nova, Shooting Stars

Above & Below: Index=Shooting Stars, Middle=Nova, Ring=Polar Ice, Pinkie=Luna. Photos taken outdoors with no flash, under cloudy skies.

Below: A close-up of the glitter shapes and colors. L-R: Shooting Stars, Nova, Polar Ice, Luna.
Below: Today's cast L-R: Shooting Stars, Nova, Polar Ice, Luna.
Below: Want to save yourself some time when removing these polishes? Read more about this product below.
Today I have 4 more of the China Glaze Glitters to show you, and I tried to group these into similar colors. These are all somewhat silver-toned, although Luna could be categorized as more of a silvery grey-blue shade. All of these were done using 3 coats and while I think Polar Ice is a little on the sheer side, I still love it. The formula and application went well on all of them and I'm happy that the glitter in these applies very evenly. I've tried many polishes with the larger glitter pieces that don't 'land' very evenly on the nail. On to the descriptions!

Shooting Stars, which is on my Index finger, is a lighter shade of silver that has both micro glitter and larger octagonal glitter. The micro glitter appears to be silver, but is somewhat holographic, giving it a multi colored look on the nail. The larger glitter is multi colored in pink, aqua and blue and also has light reflecting properties, causing it to change color at different angle. I swatched some on a piece of card stock and I think it actually has a clear base, but the amount of glitter gives it a silver look.

Nova, on my middle finger, also has 2 sizes of glitter. The smaller glitter, although not as small as the micro glitter in Shooting Stars, is a charcoal silvery color, so it's darker than Shooting Stars. The larger glitter is round and multi colored. It is not as large as the glitter in Shooting Star, but it is somewhat holographic also, giving it more of a rainbow effect.

Polar Ice, found on my ring finger in the photos, has more of a milky white base color, although still somewhat clear. The glitter is quite small, although not a micro glitter. This one has the rainbow effect also with regard to the glitter, and although it's more sheer than the others in this group, I think it's beautiful and would likely make a wonderful layering polish over a darker base color.

Luna, on my pinkie finger, is a silvery grey shade with both silver micro glitter and small multi colored holographic glitter. The base color is such a pretty shade, I'd love to have it by itself in a shimmer without the glitter. Once applied to the nail, Luna has a slight foil finish, which combined with the glitter, is truly a unique shade.

For those of you dreading the removal of these polishes, I urge you to stop by Walgreen's and pick up a jar of Studio 35 Salon Formula Polish Remover. The formula reminds me of Sally Beauty Secrets because the scent is pleasant and it is very gentle yet effective. These run $2.49 in the store and $2.19 on their web site. You can add more of your own remover to them as it gets used up. There is a sponge inside that fits the shape of the jar and it has 3 cuts in the sponge, allowing you to insert 3 fingers at a time. I leave my fingers immersed for less than a minute and when I pull them out, most of the polish is already off, so I just swipe a cotton ball over the remaining polish and it comes right off. This alleviates the continuous rubbing that is usually necessary to remove most glitter polishes. If you don't have a Walgreen's, check some of your other chain drugstores for a similar products. Your nails and the surrounding skin will thank you!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skittle Glitters: China Glaze Trophy Wife, Blue Hawaiian, Sunshine, Sour Apple

Above & Below: Photos were taken outdoors under cloudy (sigh, again) skies, no flash. Index=Trophy Wife, Middle=Blue Hawaiian, Ring=Sunshine, Pinkie=Sour Apple.

Below: Bottle pictures L-R: Trophy Wife, Blue Hawaiian, Sunshine, Sour Apple.
Realizing that if I don't start posting more I'm never going to get through all of these polishes at the rate they are coming out, I decided to do a quick 'skittles' with some of the new China Glaze Glitters, Shimmers and Cremes. This isn't my favorite way to present a polish, but it gets the point across!

Trophy Wife is one of the shimmers and it's a subtle salmon pink shade with silver micro-shimmer pieces. My first thought when describing the color was a dusty rose, but it does have some salmon tone to it also. The silver shimmer is abundant in this one, which I think adds to the beauty. It applied well in 3 thin coats, although the formula was on the thin/runny side. The shimmer is reminiscent of a couple of polishes in Color Club's Wild at Heart collection, giving it the slightest holo look.

Blue Hawaiian is a brighter and lighter shade of turquoise, packed full of multi-colored reflective glitter. The green and blue glitter are the most apparent, although there is some bright pink and yellow glitter that shows up as well. This also was done in 3 thin coats and the formula did not seem as jelly-like as some of the previous Glitters from this collection that I've tried. In fact, all 3 of these Glitters seem to have a nicer formula than the others I've used.

Sunshine is of course, the color of sunshine...bright, yellow and fun. The glitter appears to be primarily silver in the bottle, but once applied the pieces reflect the light and you end up with a variety of colors. I see blue, red, pink and gold upon closer examination on my nail. This also is 3 coats and it's still quite sheer. I'm sure that if it were to be applied over a white or yellow base, it would look much better.

Sour Apple reminds me of the color of apple flavored Jolly Rancher candies. Again, this polish is filled with multi-colored glitter and appears too sheer for my liking in 3 coats, but a base color would likely take care of that problem. Some of these sheerer shades would look fantastic over black, particularly this one.

Updates: VNS Exclusive Color Club Glitter Pictures, Nice Things Swap Package!

Above: Color Club's Exclusive Japanese Glitter that Victoria Nail Supply will have in stock later this week. I posted about this shade last week along with a picture of swatches of the color, as well as pictures of the color layered over other polishes.
Below: The goodies from another wonderful swap with Helen of Helen & Sheenie's Nice Things. L-R: OPI Nutcracker Sweet, Collection 2000 in Wow, Collection 2000 in Intense, Collection 2000 in BMX Bandit, Barry M in Gold, Barry M in Blue Glitter, 2True in Shade No. 15. This started out as a swap for Illamasqua lip gloss in Soul and it grew from there! She also included a tube of L'Occitane hand creme and a packet of yummy British tea.
Good morning! I hope everyone's doing well this morning. I received an e-mail from Yen at Victoria Nail Supply regarding their exclusive Japanese Glitter from Color Club and they should be receiving it this Thursday. I'm hoping to have a bottle shortly thereafter, but in the meantime, I posted the promo pictures above, and you can read more about it in this post. Based on the sample swatches she sent, this should make a fantastic layering polish. Color Club is also going to be making full-sized bottles for VNS of Yule Love It (red glitter) and Under the Mistletoe (green glitter) which are found in the Wonderland mini set. Here's some pictures of those polishes, if you're interested. Dynasty and Electric Lilac (China Glaze Glitters) should arrive at VNS on Thursday. I received 12 more of the China Glaze Glitters yesterday, so I'll be posting those in the upcoming days.

Helen from Helen & Sheenie's Nice Things blog recently sent me a fantastic swap package. I always enjoy swapping with Helen because we both seem to know each other's likes and dislikes very well and she never fails me in her selections. If you're not familiar with 'Nice Things', be sure to check it out for some great photos and products and as always, very entertaining writing. Thank you Helen for another wonderful swap! Hopefully we'll be able to meet in person some day, perhaps at an International Bloggers convention?!! What would you ladies think of that idea? Helen asked about the possibility of having one in NYC. How fun would that be? We'd probably spend more money on shopping, eating and drinking than we would on our flights and accommodations!

Spotted in Walgreen's this morning: Sinful's Halloween Display containing 4 polishes. There was a black (Black on Black), a neon green (Irish Green), a purple shimmer and an orange glass-flecked polish in the display. I imagine they're repromoted colors and although it was a cute display, I didn't pick anything up from it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Borghese: Festivo Fuchsia

Above & Below: Borghese Festivo Fuchsia is filled with tiny silver and fuchsia glass flecks. Photographed outdoors, no flash, heavy cloud cover.

Below: Bottle close-up shows the density of the shimmer. It actually has silver veining also, but unfortunately, I couldn't get that to photograph.
Recently I spotted a new collection of Borghese polishes at Rite Aid, and I believe it was called Festiva. I wanted to take a picture of the display, but there were several people in the aisle with me and not wanting to draw strange glances, I decided against it. The name of the polish I picked up is Festivo Fuchsia, so it got me wondering if the name of the collection was indeed Festiva and not Festivo, but I'm quite certain it was Festiva. The collection has 6 shades, 3 shimmers and 3 cremes. The cremes didn't look like anything out of the ordinary, but the shimmers (there's also a gold and a silver) all had tiny glass-flecked shimmer pieces, which is why I chose Festivo Fuchsia. I've always been drawn to glass-flecked polishes and this one has tiny flecks in both silver and fuchsia. It is a pink toned shade of red, although not as bright of a pink that I picture when I think of a fuchsia.

The application was nearly opaque at 1 coat, but I did use 2 coats in these pictures. Borghese polishes have a double brush and a very short rectangular stem. Although it takes a little getting used to, it's actually a superb design. It's designed to cover the entire nail in one pass, and it comes close to achieving that. They also contain protein, Vitamin E and Olive Oil for the health of your nail and are Big-3 Free. These are priced at $8.00, which in my opinion is a little on the high side, considering the bottles are 0.4 oz. as opposed to the standard 0.5 oz. Their nail care line has been in existence a relatively short time (March 2008, I believe), but they usually offer a unique color or two in each collection. They are a better than average quality as far as the application and formula go, so I'll continue adding to my Borghese collection whenever I see one that seems different with regard to the shade or the finish.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playing With CND's Effects

Above: These are not good pictures, and I apologize because the difference is rather interesting to see, but we have heavy cloud cover today. Click to enlarge. On the left are the colors I used (listed below). On the right are the same colors topped with the Effects that I have. The 3 white shades on the wheel that have no number are the Effects. The one at the top is Crimson Sparkle, the one on the right side is Ice Blue Shimmer and the one on the left side is Copper Shimmer. The 'nails' that follow each one without a number are topped it that Effect. All number 1's are the same color, just different Effects, all number 2's are the same, and so on. My favorite has got to be the transformation of number 6 on the left.
Above: A quick manicure using CND Raisin in the Sun (a very deep chocolate brown creme) topped with CND's Effects in Ice Blue Shimmer. Quite a change from the dark chocolate shade.
Above & Below: These are the colors I used and they correspond to the numbers on the color wheel. 1-CND Raisin in the Sun, 2-CND Relay Red, 3-CND Marshmallow Rose, 4-Finger Paints Plum Crazy, 5-Misa Push Upon It, China Glaze Gussied Up Green. Below are the 3 Effects I used, L-R: Crimson Sparkle (top of wheel), Ice Blue Shimmer (right side of wheel), Copper Shimmer (left side of wheel).
Yesterday I talked about CND's new Colour Effects line that recently came out, and today I did a little swatching to see how the Effects performed over various base colors. I had a little too much fun doing this, but that's always a plus when a polish gives us a some entertainment value too! There are 3 types of Effects according to CND's website: "Pearls—the finest opalescence. Shimmers—more dramatic. And Sparkle Effects—the blingest!" I only have one Sparkle and two Shimmers, but am very tempted to get a Pearl after this layering experiment I did this morning. The Sparkle doesn't change the base color as dramatically as the Shimmers do, except over the darkest shade I used, which was a very dark chocolate brown creme (CND's Raisin in the Sun). It does however, add a very fine coating of glitter or sparkle to any base, and obviously, different base colors give you different glitter or sparkle colors. The Shimmers not only add a fine shimmer effect, but completely transform the base color, especially on the darker shades. I found myself anticipating and guessing what each base color would turn into once I layered the Effects over it, and I don't think I was disappointed in any of them.