Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ORLY Halley's Comet-Cosmic FX

I have another shade from ORLY's Cosmic FX Collection today, Halley's Comet. This vivid turquoise shade with foil flecked glitter is similar to other manufacturer's polishes, so I didn't find it to be terribly unique.

Above & Below: This has a somewhat metallic finish that becomes almost foil-like in the shade (below), but without the dreaded brush strokes, which is often a problem with this type of finish.

Below: The glitter is delicate but abundant, and reflects shades of gold, green and blue.

This is a nice shade--bright, turquoise, sparkly--but if you already have Zoya Charla it's an exact match. I've also heard the same about OPI Catch Me In Your Net, which I don't have to compare it to. I tried to find any difference at all between Halley's Comet and Zoya Charla, and from what my eyes see, there is none. I would say the the ORLY polish is a little more pigmented because it gave me more even coverage on the first coat, but not enough to sway me that it's better. I still ended up going with three coats and now that ORLY is generally more expensive these days, I guess it's just a matter of personal preference.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jessica Muse Collection: Fall 2010

Jessica Cosmetics has a new collection coming out for Fall and I have swatches for you today. This collection contains 6 shades that are perfect for the season, including 2 shimmers and 4 cremes.

Jessica's MUSE collection presents mesmerizing rich tones that reflect the beauty and sophistication of Fall Fashion. Each colour individually allows you to become inspired and exert your inner MUSE!

Are you ready to exert your inner MUSE? Let's do it!

Above & Below: Intrigue, a haze of purple according to the press release, is one of my favorites from this collection. In the bottle is appears as a pale mauve creme, but once on the nail, this one reveals taupe, grey, and mauve depending on the lighting.

Below: Bittersweet is described as chocolate brown, but it has more than that going for it. This lighter cocoa shade is laced with fine gold shimmer within the brown creme adding a touch of elegance.

Below: Victorian Crush is an army green creme that is sure to please those of us with an affection toward the olive green family.

Below: Scarlet is a daring red creme with warm tones. The first photo below is a little washed out by the sunlight, and I'd say that the second photo is more true to color.

Below: Majesty Blue, a royal blue with silver shimmer is a very nice dark bright navy blue color. The shimmer is fine and seems to remain quite subtle even in the sunlight (below). It's more noticeable in brighter artificial light, as evidenced in the second photo.

Below: Crimson Reflections is a burgundy wine creme that has a near jelly finish. This shade appears as a medium berry shade in brighter lighting, and a burgundy shade in lower lighting.

Jessica's Muse Collection is a nicely done assortment of Fall shades with some fairly common shades and some shades that are a little more daring and trendy. As I've found with all Jessica polishes, these applied very well and I used two coats on them. If you haven't had the pleasure of using this brand, I highly recommend giving them a try. Their formula is superb, their color and finish range is expanding nicely, and with the pricing of many other brands increasing, these are very reasonably priced for the quality.

You can find the most current shades on the Jessica Cosmetics web site (the MUSE collection will be available within the next month), and I have purchased many of my Jessica polishes from hellogorgeous.net. They have a large inventory of shades and are priced at $4.95. A Google search will often yield a coupon code for $5.00 off and their shipping and response time is very good.

How many of you have tried Jessica brand polishes? If you have, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about them.

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Let's Mix All Of The ORLY Cosmic FX Shades!

I don't know why, but ever since I first the ORLY Cosmic FX collection promo pictures, I've wondered what the final outcome would be if the shades were all mixed together. Clearly, some things are not meant to be tampered with! I mixed 10 drops of each shade together for this new shade which is shown below in various lighting, both indoors and outdoors.

I'm not sure what I expected, but this wasn't exactly how I'd envisioned it. Not a bad color--sort of a deep green, a hint of charcoal with multi colored glitter--oh well, now I know!

ORLY It's Not Rocket Science-Cosmic FX

ORLY'S Cosmic FX collection is a mixed array of shades that I'm finding to be quite unique, although It's Not Rocket Science is a close match to China Glaze Zombie Zest and SpaRitual's Optical Illusion. I did a quick swatch test and found the ORLY to have better coverage, but if you're looking to save some $$ and already have one of the others, you don't technically need It's Not Rocket Science.

Above & Below: The photo above was taken with a flash, while the photo below was taken in the shade. This olive green shade required 3 coats and is packed full of golden olive foil glitter.
Below: This photo was taken in full sunlight and I don't know what it is about this line, but I have a hard time getting the detail to photograph in brighter lighting.
Because I already have the China Glaze and Spa Ritual shades mentioned above, I didn't find this one to be as unique as the others I've swatched so far in this collection. I still recall my excitement over Optical Illusion, which was my first foray into this shade, so if you're thinking about getting this one and don't have the others, you'll love it.

I have heard about the price increase from ORLY and while I can't tell you why they chose to go with an increase because I have no idea, Yen from VNS has asked me to pass along the suggestion that you send her your order in an eMail to get accurate pricing. I picked mine up before the price increase, so I can't tell you what her new price is, but she'll be happy to let you know.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rimmel Hot Cocoa Layered With Milani High Fashion

I picked up Milani's High Fashion today from the same display that holds Dress Maker (Haute Value LE collection), and wanted to take a quick look at how it worked as a layering polish. My NOTD is Rimmel's Hot Cocoa, a dusty carnation shade with a very slight pink-toned mauve color to it. This shade is a little too light to get the best look from Milani's High Fashion, but I must say, it is reminiscent of the properties found in Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure.

Below: I used one coat of Milani's High Fashion and it has very small silver, pink and green holographic glitter in a milky base.
Below: In the shade, the glitter takes on a coppery pink hue, similar to Sally Hansen's Hidden Treasure on a much smaller scale.
I definitely want to try this over a darker color and use a second coat, but if you like the copper pink glitter in Hidden Treasure, you might want to pick up Milani High Fashion. Obviously, the glitter is much finer that HT, but that's nice for a more subtle look.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Product Review: One Bath & Body-Hand & Body Lotion & Shea Body Butter

One Bath & Body offers many body care products with a philosophy that natural beauty products offered in recyclable eco-friendly packaging "rejuvenate the planet and save the spirit". They believe that going green does not require a compromise in quality or luxury, and they are committed reducing packaging waste in our environment. Their wide product range includes natural soaps, solid shampoos, lotion massage bars, bath salts and fizzers, lip balms, after-shower skin conditioner bars, a variety of bath & shower sponges, and the products I'll be reviewing today. Their pricing is extremely reasonable and their ingredients are a minimum of 95% natural.

One Bath & Body products can be purchased on line and in store at Target, and also at Walgreens on line. It looks like they have an on line store coming soon to their web site as well. You can join them on Facebook and Twitter for additional news and updates.

One Cloud 9 Hand & Body Lotion: This product comes in an 8 oz. recyclable tin tube and is also available in three additional scents, including one that sounds heavenly to me, Vanilla Almond Custard. Cloud 9 has a light clean fragrance that has a subtle lavender fragrance to me. This is a fairly rich and thick formula that seems to melt right into my skin. It absorbs quickly and isn't sticky or greasy. The scent is noticeable, but not overbearing at all. With ingredients like Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Beeswax and Glycerin to name a few, my hands are left feeling soft, nourished and protected. I've been using this product on my hands in the morning and at night for about a month now, and find it to be quite effective. A little product goes a long way and my tube is still about 80% full. This product retails for about $9.00.

One Citrus Peel Shea Body Butter: The Shea Body Butter is packaged in a 7 oz. tin canister and also is available in three additional scents. The Citrus Peel scent is fairly strong during the application, but dries down nicely. This is probably the thickest body butter I've ever used, but like the Hand & Body Lotion, it seems to melt into my skin on contact. The Body Butter takes a little longer to absorb than the Hand & Body Lotion, but not enough to be bothersome. I've been using this product as my daily body moisturizer, as well as applying a little extra on dryer areas (elbows, knees) at night with very good results. My skin still feels soft and looks moisturized 14-16 hours after I've applied it. The main ingredients include Mango Fruit Extract, Sweet Almond Oil, Beeswax, and Glycerin. This product retails for about $10.00.

*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ORLY Space Cadet-Cosmic FX

Today I've swatched my second shade from ORLY's much anticipated fall collection, Cosmix FX, and they seem to get more interesting each time! Space Cadet is a glitter/foil/duo chrome with shades of purple and olive.

Above & Below: The top photo was taken with an Ott lamp, while the photo below taken outdoors in the shade, reveals a more foil finish.
Below: In full sunlight, the purple glitter takes center stage, while the photo below this one again shows the foil tendencies in partial sun.

Below: The purple in Space Cadet seems to sit more on top of the green, almost as if I'd applied a purple glitter over an olive tone.
Below: My first thought when applying Space Cadet was that it was similar to the concept found in Sally Hansen's Emerald Amethyst (below). Certainly not dupes by any stretch, but the same color combination and duo chrome flash.
As with Galaxy Girl yesterday, I went with three coats on Space Cadet for even coverage. Like most of you, 2 coats is generally my standard, but these are definitely worth taking the short time needed for a second coat. The drying time on today's shade seemed closer to normal, and again, I am having a hard time photographing these shades for some reason. The color in real life is more vivid, and the glitter detail and duo chrome are more pronounced and defined.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ORLY Galaxy Girl-Cosmic FX

Orly's Cosmic FX collection is one that I've been excited about ever since I saw the first promo pictures. Now that I have them, I'm not disappointed in the slightest. Galaxy Girl is a deep grape shade with hints of wine or burgundy. There is no shortage of glitter in this one and the aqua/green glitter contrasts nicely with the base color.

Below: A macro shot of the finish shows the complexity of colors that Galaxy Girl contains.

I don't have any sun to work with today and I did find this shade to be a bit difficult to photograph properly, probably because it has a lot going on with the glitter and the colors. I ended up going with 3 coats to get even coverage and it seemed to dry a little slower than what I'm used to. The formula itself wasn't problematic, but it's just different--I'm guessing because of the mineral ingredients. The foil glitter seems to shift color with movement, giving it a definite duo chrome feature while adding sparkle at the same time. This collection will definitely be included in my Best of the Best Polishes & Collections for 2010.

I was very happy to see ORLY branching out in their social media circle by signing up with Twitter recently. If you'd like to follow them, you can join them here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

NARS Tokaido Express

NARS Tokaido Express, named after Japan's express rail line, is an eggplant purple shimmer with multi colored glitter. I used 2 coats on this and have no complaints about the application, although the drying time seems to be a bit longer than I prefer.

All in all I've always liked the NARS polishes I have, but I wouldn't say there's anything about this one that makes it stand out above other similar shades. NARS describes it as a black amethyst infused with gold. That's not exactly what I see, but it's pretty--I don't know if it's $16.00 worth of pretty though!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen: Hotsy Totsy Set

I finally got around to swatching the second set of China Glaze Vintage Vixen shades--I guess that's not too bad, considering I still haven't touched my Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection from last year yet! The Hotsy Totsy set contains a perfect mix of shades for the Fall season and I was not disappointed with any of them. Like the others in this double-set collection, they all applied nicely using 2 coats.

Above & Below: Hey Doll is a rose mauve shimmer with multi colored tiny glitter. I didn't think I would like this with my skin tone, but I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Above & Below: Foxy, a darker rich copper shade, is a shimmer with coppery golden highlights. This is a nice shade of copper for me, as it doesn't seem to pull too much orange.

Above & Below: Jitterbug is a darker silver grey shade, with a metal flake glitter finish. The finish on this is smooth as glass and virtually brush-stroke free.

Above & Below: Swing Baby has the same metal flake glitter finish as Jitterbug, and is a shade that look more gold in brighter lighting (above) and more of a darker golden taupe in lower lighting (below).

Above & Below: Ingrid is a rich taupe creme with gold micro glitter that shifts to green and pink. Taupes are a favorite of mine and the shimmer colors add a nice touch.

Above & Below: Bogie is the slightest bit frosty, but don't let that bother you. This toned down purple with multi colored micro glitter is still a beautiful shade, and I love the actual shade of purple, because it's almost a dusty or muted version of grape.

The polishes in both of the Vintage Vixen sets are so pigmented that the application was quick and easy on all of them. I don't think I can pick a favorite because they're all beautiful and perfect for the upcoming season. I love the varied shimmer/metallic finishes and am thankful they aren't actually frosts, as we thought they were from the promo wording! China Glaze has once again come out with a fabulous collection, and I think we all appreciate not only their pricing, but also their willingness to listen to what their customers want .