Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Call For 2 Contests!

Just a quick reminder that I have 2 contests ending at midnight tonight! The Body & Soul Monthly contest for 1 complete set of OPI's Swiss Collection and the Reviva Labs Summer Sun Care Giveaway. Followers only, please. Click on the contest names for details.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Finger Paints Fall 2010: Autumn Allure

Finger Paints Fall 2010 Collection contains six shades, and even though I bought all of them, none were impressing me too much based on bottle appearances. Once again, never judge a polish by it's bottle color!


Below: Autumn Allure is a deep taupe shimmer with a pink toned base. I used 2 coats and was completely satisfied with the coverage and application. The photo below was taken under partly sunny skies, and it tends to have a slightly pinker tone in brighter lighting.

Below: This photo, taken when the sun hid behind some clouds, shows the taupe color a little more, and the pink color a little less.
Below: The macro shot shows the shimmer detail, and I certainly wouldn't call it silver, but maybe a silvery-taupe color. It's actually rather subtle, but adds just enough sparkle to dress this one up.Below: A side-by-side with China Glaze Ingrid and Essie Mink Muffs gives you an idea of how Autumn Allure compares.
Once again, I was wrong about not loving any of these. The first one I picked to swatch is a winner in my book, because I love taupes and Autumn Allure changes up a standard taupe look with some subtle shimmer and a pinker base. This is sort of a taupe with a twist--not a true taupe, but much closer to taupe than pink. Finger Paints are on sale at Sally Beauty through tomorrow, buy 2-get 1 free. I had to ask if they had them in stock because they weren't displayed, but they were happy to bring them out.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen: Emerald Fitzgerald, Midnight Mission & First Class Ticket

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection for Fall 2010 has been one of the most anticipated Fall collections this year, and in my opinion it lives up to the hype. From the 1940's themed artwork on the boxed sets, to the inspired names from an incredible era, to the colors and finishes of the polishes themselves, this collection evokes memories of a simpler, yet more sophisticated and glamorous time.

Below: You knew I'd have to start with Emerald Fitzgerald because it's green! All 3 of the shades I'm showing you seem to have a subtle black base to them, which seems to allow the color to appear deeper and richer on the nail.


Above & Below: In the shade, this deep emerald green with with blue-green shimmer is absolutely stunning...that is, if you're a fan of green polish. Even if you're not, you must admit that this is a beautiful shade. The intricate detail of the shimmer can be seen in the macro shot below.
Below: Midnight Mission, a deep blue with silvery-blue micro glitter has just a hint of grey in it. I think this gives a more subtle look than if it were strictly a navy blue.
Below: In the shade, the glitter becomes more refined and delicate looking.
Below: A macro shot shows the detail of the glitter.
Below: A deep royal purple, First Class Ticket is filled with multi colored micro glitter. This is a true purple that surprisingly, didn't turn blue in my photos!
Below: The macro shot shows the multi colored glitter, which is more noticeable on the nail than my photo above was able to capture.
These shades all covered very nicely using 2 coats, and even though I'm only three shades into this collection, I love it! The 1940's likely didn't see shades like most of these, but I'm very pleased with the way China Glaze interpreted the era into this collection. Have you picked up any (or all!) shades yet from Vintage Vixen? I'd love to hear what your favorites are.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zoya Wonderful Part II: Burke, Stacy & Kelly

The rest of the Zoya Wonderful Collection for Fall 2010! I used 2 coats on these as I did on the first three I showed you earlier today, with the exception of Stacy, which was three coats.

Below: Burke is a sienna red creme that is a slightly toned-down classic red shade. We live in an area with a lot of farms out in the country, and for some reason this reminded me of the color of a slightly faded red barn. That's kind of an odd comparison, but that's what I thought of!
Below: Stacy is described by Zoya as a mahogany red cream. I'll take that description and add to it by also calling it a vampy, rich, delicious, ultra-shiny, deep burgundy with purple under tones and a near jelly-like finish. But for the sake of limited space on a press release, I guess you could call it a mahogany red cream!
Below: Kelly is a darker stormy grey creme that has deep lavender and slate blue tones to it. This is an unusual shade of grey, and unusual is a very good thing in this case. You can see the various ribbons of color in the bottle.
The Wonderful Collection has a nice assortment of colors for Fall, and the application on all of these was excellent. I opted to go with three coats on Stacy because I had a bit of streaking that the second coat didn't quite cover. I generally prefer using two coats whenever possible, but the third coat added a much deeper dimension to this particular shade. I don't mind going with an extra coat one bit if it's going to turn out looking that nice!
*Products featured were provided by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Zoya Wonderful Part I: Shawn, Cola & Kristi

Zoya offers 6 creme shades in their Fall 2010 Wonderful Collection which are available now on their web site. All three of the shades I'm showing you covered very nicely using 2 coats. Photos were all taken indoors using an Ott lamp.

Below: First up is Shawn, a solid olive green shade as a general description, or a myrtle green as described by Zoya. This applied a little darker on the nail than it appears in the bottle, but I'm not complaining. It's still green!

Below: Cola is a rich russet or chestnut brown shade that appears to have fewer red undertones in darker lighting.
Below: Kristi, a gorgeous red described as a crimson shade by Zoya, gets added to my list of perfect red cremes.
I love Shawn and Kristi, but I don't think Cola gets along with my skin tone as well as I would have liked it to. The application on all of these was nothing short of excellent. They're very opaque, and even though I had a few spots after the first coat that were fairly sparse, the second coat perfected them. These also have an extremely high gloss finish.
*Products featured were furnished by the PR firm or manufacturer for review.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

China Glaze Fight Like A Woman Collection For Breast Cancer Awareness

China Glaze will soon be releasing their Fight Like A Woman Collection to raise awareness of breast cancer, a disease that has claimed far too many, far too soon. We've all seen the frightening numbers of those afflicted with breast cancer and cancer in general, and having lost my own mom to cancer, I will always do what I can to fight for a cure. China Glaze has once again come out with a beautiful collection of pinks to support and honor those who have fought the battle. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a portion of the proceeds from every sale of these polishes will go toward research to find a cure for this disease.

Los Angeles, Calif. (July 2010) – Join China Glaze Nail Lacquer this October in the battle against breast cancer, one nail at a time! The professional line of nail lacquers brings on the fight with three powerful pinks. Inspired by the women who fight everyday and those that support them in their battle, these fabulous shades are sure to help you defeat the toughest opponents with style and class. China Glaze representative Rachel Schafer voiced that “in an industry dominated by women, for women, it is important that we strive to work together towards finding a cure.”

The three colors in “Fight Like A Woman” include:

Encouragement – A baby pink shimmer that brings on the cheer

Endurance – Power through the punches with this raspberry shimmer

Empowerment РStand up tall with this cotton-candy cr̬me on your nails

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization dedicated to the science of cancer and promoting international collaboration in cancer research.

The “Fight Like A Woman” Collection will be available at professional beauty supply stores and select salons this September. Availability will be very limited internationally.


Above & Below: Endurance, a beautiful raspberry or deep fuchsia shimmer with glitter is shown using 2 coats. All photos were taken outdoors in sun and shade settings. The glitter is somewhat glass-flecked and iridescent, reflecting silver, light pink and violet.

Below: I don't do light pastel cremes well at all when it comes to the application, but Empowerment worked fine for me. I used 2 coats, and the consistency was just right in this medium pink creme.
Below: Empowerment in the shade shows a tiny hint of lilac, just as it does in the bottle when I lined up several similar shades.
Below: Encouragement is a delicate pale pink with multi colored micro glitter. The glitter shows primarily as silver, but it also contains pink, aqua and green glitter.


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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Come Monday...weekly newsletter

Here it is already the last week of July! I wanted to remind everyone that my OPI Swiss Contest ends on July 31, so if you'd like to enter, you can find all of the details in the upper right corner. I still don't see the Color Club mini Halloween and Holiday sets up on the VNS site, so if you're dying to get these, go ahead and eMail Yen to order them, because she said she had them in.

I'm still working on moving my polishes to Melmers and I'm assembling Melmer #4 today. They go together much quicker after the first one, thankfully! In taking a good look at all of my polishes as I move them, I realize that I'm not having the urge to buy any more after starting this reorganization project. I've been looking at some of the new collections in drug stores, and I have no desire for any of them. The Revlon sparkles (4 sparkles, 4 cremes) are showing up in several stores, as well as the Wet n' Wild Craze shades--I don't recall the collection name, but they have to do with TV shows. I've looked at both of those collections several times, trying to will myself to want them, to no avail. I may be emotionally dead with nail polish desire, although I hope that's not the case!

Above is a little feature from a recent edition of Life and Style Magazine focusing on the names of some summer shades. I have 3 of these and although there are so many more shades with great names, I'll admit I thought Turquoise & Caicos was one of the more clever ones. One of my favorite polishes that I bought just for the name and also happen to love the shade, is Sephora by OPI's Absinthe Makes the Heart. Do you have any favorite polishes that you bought because of the name?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Gift Giveaway From Reviva Labs!

The folks at Reviva Skin-Care Labs are going to help protect and prettify your skin during summer with a 5-product package of fantastic natural skin-care products.

The 5-products included are (over a $54.00 value):

1.) Sun Protective Moisturizer w/SPF #25 (1.5 oz. jar). Use daily, alone or under makeup.

2.) Vitamin E Stick w/SPF #15 in a lipstick type tube. Award winning protector for lips and under eyes. You can read my review of this product here.

3.) Alpha Lipoic, Vitamin C Ester & DMAE Cream (2 oz. jar). Not only a terrific antioxidant cream for nighttime but used under sunscreen cream daytime, zaps free radicals that get through the sunscreen. An invaluable extra layer of defense against sun damage & skin cancer!

4.) Willard Water Gel (4 oz. bottle). Amazing sunburn relief, anti-irritant and healer.

5.) Tan-Without-Sun (2 oz. bottle). For those who don’t want to sunbathe, here’s how to get a rich, attractive, natural-looking tan.

THIS IS A TRULY VALUABLE SKIN-CARE OFFER!

To be eligible to enter the giveaway, you must visit the Reviva website (www.revivalabs.com) and list which other Reviva product(s) not included in this giveaway that interest you. Leave your eMail address and the Reviva product(s) that interest you in the comments section below as your entry. This is open to U.S. residents only and the winner will receive their prize package directly from Reviva Labs. Entries due by 7/31/10 and the winner will be announced on Monday, 8/2/10.

I'm on my second tube of Vitamin E Stick with a few more in my back-up stash, so I can tell you that this is my personal favorite for an everyday lip balm. I'm on my second bottle of Tan Without Sun, and I had yet to find a self-tanner that I was totally pleased with--until this one. The scent evaporates almost immediately, it absorbs quickly, and the results are fast and long-lasting. There is no streaking with this product and the color is a natural bronze without orange tones. I just recently began using the other 3 products included in this prize package, and am very pleased with everything about them. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a slacker when it comes to using sunscreen on a daily basis. The Sun Protective Moisturizer has taken the place of my normal face cream, and I actually prefer the way it feels. It seems to absorb much better and I know it's safer for my skin to be using something with an SPF. I've recently realized this would be a great product for my hands as well.

I was introduced to Reviva Labs and their products several months ago, and one of the things I like most about their products, is that the majority of them can be used for more than one purpose. My husband has been using the Willard Water Skin Smoother at my request so I could have a broader idea of how it works, and he claims that it's very soothing on his face after shaving. He is a man of few products (unlike myself!), and he asked me yesterday if I could get him more when it runs out, so I would say that he likes it! This is a gel-like product that can be used to soothe and moisturize after shaving or waxing, as well as an additional aid in moisturizing and healing dry skin. The DMAE Cream is also a multi-use product--used under a moisturizer as noted above to give your skin additional protection from the sun, or used as a firming night cream, which is how I've been using it. This cream contains antioxidants which work to repair damaged skin and prevent future damage.

Check out their web site for a library of information on skin care and how the ingredients interact and work in each product. Reviva Labs does not test on animals and their products contain no animal ingredients.

*Products featured were furnished by Reviva Labs for this giveaway and for review.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New From Eyeko: Saucy & Rain

Eyeko has come out with 2 new Limited Edition shades, Saucy Polish for Naughty Nails and Rain Polish for City Nails. These retail for $5.50 and can be purchased from their web site for those of us not having direct access to this brand. They also offer free shipping for orders over $55.00 outside of Europe, and you can often find specials and codes via Twitter and their site.
Above & Below: Saucy is one perfect red polish. It is described as a one-coat Scarlett Red on their web site, and this is indeed a one-coater. The formula on this was excellent--unbelievable might be a better way to describe how nicely this applied for me. Both of these photos were taken in full sunlight.
Below: This photo was taken indoors with a flash, but the color of this remains one of pure, classic red in any lighting.
Below: Rain didn't give me quite as nice of an application as Saucy, but after realizing it was a bit on the think side, I added 2 drops of thinner and applied the second coat with ease. This is such an unusual shade, not quite blue or grey, a subtle hint of shimmer, a color that fits every season. This photo was taken in early evening sunlight.
Below: With a flash (below) or in sunlight, the shimmer is visible, though elusive. That's what I like about this shade. More obvious shimmer would detract from the overall beauty of this one.

Below: In the shade and in lower lighting, the shimmer all but disappears and it looks more like a creme finish. But I know it's there, and I love it. A lot.
Eyeko is impressing me more and more not only with the shades they're coming out with, but also with their formula. While Saucy is certainly not a unique shade, the application was outstanding. If you're looking for a true red that applies like a dream, this would be a great choice. I have many reds, and more often than not, when I think a polish looks red in the bottle, there's often a tinge of orange or pink to it on the nail.

Rain reminds me of my own moods...on the border of sun or rain, delight or depression. The weather can play tricks on my mind and lift my mood in an instant with a ray of sun, or slowly depress it over days of clouds and gloominess. Rain portrays that with its changing grey haze and hopeful blue hues. The calming nature of this color and the quiet shimmer work well to create a beautiful polish.

I have to mention how much I love their labels--each shade has a different label and the somewhat whimsical nature of the artwork and layout always catches my eye. The bottles are small (.30 fl. oz. as compared to the usual .50 fl. oz.), but the handle, stem, and brush are not compromised. They're not much shorter than any other bottles, but they're very narrow, making them fit nicely into my storage space.

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

Lippmann Just Walk Away Renee

I've no love or hatred for Renee Zellweger who was the inspiration for this shade, although I may be guilty of turning up the volume when I hear the oldie, Walk Away Renee on the radio. I do love Deborah Lippmann's Just Walk Away nail color though. A rich, sophisticated berry black cherry creme, this high gloss jelly-like finish is perfect for Fall.

Above & Below: The top photo is shown under an Ott lamp, while the bottom photo is with a flash. I used 2 coats on this and no top coat.
I'm still working on the Melmer assembly line and moving my polishes to their new home, although I haven't quite determined how I want to store my untried polishes. I chose Just Walk Away Renee from the untried shelf in an effort to decrease the amount that seems to be ever-growing--how does that happen?!! I may or may not have bought this polish for the name, but it's a lovely shade, so that made my purchase worthwhile. Although I may not understand or be able to work some of Lippmann's polishes the way they're intended, the vast majority of them in my collection have never failed to impress me. I love the bottle design, the application and formula is always near perfect (I don't count my personal experience with Funky Chunky in this description!), and she continues to come out with shades and finishes that are unique and beautiful. She also has a number of shades that I consider classic, such as this one.

Friday, July 23, 2010

UPDATE: VNS & Color Club Mini's Bewitching & Enchanted

Last week, I shared these promo pictures of Color Club's Mini sets for their Halloween and Holiday offerings with you. If you're interested in getting these, Yen from Victoria Nail Supply has them in stock and is hoping to get them added to her web site later today! I'm not generally a fan of mini's because the bottles can be awkward, but I love Color Club's mini's. They seem much easier for me to work with bottle-wise. These sets also come with stickers, so you can do a little nail art.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

China Glaze Halloween 2010: Zombie Zest

Zombie lovers unite! This is one perfect nail polish. Green, named Zombie Zest, glitter, very reasonably priced, China Glaze quality. While I love all 3 shades in the Awakening set for Halloween 2010, this is my personal favorite.





All of these pictures were taken outdoors in various lighting and I used 2 coats with this easy to work with formula. I can see in my photos that I could have gone with 3 coats (index finger), but hopefully you get the general idea! The first coat had to be one of the ugliest colors I've ever seen--a putrid yellowish green. It reminded me of split pea soup, but it didn't phase me because I knew it would liven up with another coat. The bright foil-like glitter is primarily light green, with small amounts of aqua and gold glitter also. Scrangie compared it to SpaRitual Optical Illusion very nicely in photographs, and it is a dead-on dupe. I studied the base color of each, and while Optical Illusion looks to be more charcoal and Zombie Zest looks to have more of a pea green-grey base, they definitely look identical once applied to the nail. Not only could you save yourself some money by choosing the China Glaze version, you also get to say Zombie Zest when someone asks you what color your wearing. In my book, that sounds way more impressive than Optical Illusion!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

China Glaze Halloween 2010: Mummy May I

Mummy May I is one of three perfectly designed polishes for the Halloween season from China Glaze. This is part of the Awakening set which also includes their Fast Forward top coat. This not quite black base with massive bright violet foil glitter is shown using 2 coats.

Above & Below: The top photo was taken with a flash, while the bottom photo was taken outdoors under cloudy skies.
Below: Will you look at the amount of glitter in there? I love how it seems to change from a violet, to a near fuchsia, to a bright lavender.

This 3 piece set from China Glaze is perfect for Halloween, from the shades to the names, it fulfills all aspects of one of my favorite holidays. The glitter applies evenly, but as you can see from the bottle, I imagine it would be even denser on the nail if I'd taken more time shaking it up. No complaints from me though. It's extremely pigmented, packed with glitter, and doesn't limit itself to a strictly Halloween polish. After I removed it, I wish I would've thought to put a matte top coat over it for a different look.
*Products featured were furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for review.

Finger Paints Fall 2010

I needed to renew my Sally Club card today, so I asked them if the new Finger Paints for Fall were in yet. She was kind enough to go in the back and bring me a set, and while they have a nice array of colors for Fall, nothing really jumps out as being exceptional.

Above & Below: The top photo shows the colors more true to life (indoors with flash) with the exception of Autumn Allure, while the bottom photo was taken in full sunlight. Autumn Allure looks more true to life in the outdoors photo. There's one creme in this collection (Shades of Fall, a plum color) and the rest are shimmers.
Below: I made the mistake of looking around while I was waiting for her to bring the Finger Paints out, and naturally I saw some other things that interested me! The Savvy polishes are from a collection called Shimmer Time (now I have Hammer Time stuck in my head) and they have beautiful iridescent shimmer.
Below: I couldn't capture how pretty the shimmer is, and I'm wondering if they might work better over a darker color. L-R: Purple Potion, Fairy Twinkle, Glass Slipper. I love the names, so hopefully I'll love the polishes.
Below: Two of my favorite treatment products, Blue Cross Cuticle Remover (gigantic bottle for only $4.99) and Mango Mend in the perfect size tube ($3.79). The Mango Mend is pricier in this packaging, but I like to keep one on my desk for a quick and easy application in between swatching and before I go to bed. I saw a green polish from Nina Ultra Pro that didn't look quite like other greens I had, so into the basket it went. This one is called Salsa.
Without swatching the Finger Paints yet, they're pretty and Fall-like--nothing earth-shattering though. That could change once I put them on my nail...who knows. The names are lacking a little in originality, as I notice they use the word Autumn in three of them. The one most appealing to me right now is Autumn Allure, the taupe shimmer. It reminds me of Ingrid from the China Glaze Vintage Vixen collection. Finger Paints are on sale this month buy 2 get one free, and they're priced at $4.49 with a Sally Club card.
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