Friday, September 17, 2010

CND Night Factory Duo

Everyone knows that I regularly get excited about nail polish. But it's pretty rare that I get fanatic about one. But I am fanatic about this duo. CND's fall "fashion trend" is a creamy teal called Urban Oasis and its effect counterpart is Teal Sparkle. And Teal Sparkle is only the greatest thing to happen to nail polish all fall. I'm so in love with this effect it's not even funny. I've never bought any of the effect, so I ordered all the sparkles. I've been playing with them since the second I tore open the box and they are so much fun! The combination possibilities are endless.

I mentioned before that I'm digging teals this fall, and Urban Oasis is a unique one to me. It has just the slightest hint of dustiness to it, a quality that I'm always crazy about. And I was very pleased to see it was different from the other teals that have come out recently!

Comparison- left to right: Essence Meet You In Budapest, OPI Ski Teal We Drop (dupes to RBL Teal and Sonia Kashuk Taunting Teal), Urban Oasis, and the teal from StrangeBeautiful Volume 4. Urban Oasis is pigmented and smooth enough to be a 1-coater!

And here's the SPARKLE!! All the Sparkle Effects have flecks of flashy sparkle in them, like a flakie but smaller and more uniform in size. The flecks in Teal Sparkle, in direct light, show up blue, green and gold, giving an overall teal-y look. It's... well... amazing!

And as cool as it is in bright sunlight (which I'm SO glad I got today! It was supposed to storm on my Sparkle parade!), it's absolutely breathtaking indoors. When the sparkle catches a hint of indirect light, the whole nail looks like it's glowing. Think a slightly darker Zoya Charla. I love that these look even better indoors, cause we all know that's where we'll be spending more time during fall!

I started trying Teal Sparkle out on a bunch of other colors to see what I like and don't like. It's impossible to make this thing look bad. I've only bought 1 back up of a color ever, but this is back up worthy. Totally getting another bottle in my next order.

Over darker colors the teal color comes out beautifully, and it's best over black. My absolute favorite combination (so far) is over a dark purple, the contrast is epically amazing!

Left to right: OPI You Don't Know Jacques, RGB Plum, Barry M Grey, WnW Black

Here's more of the gold flecks:

Indoors, with flash:
Over lighter colors it looks pretty too, though I'm not as into these for fall.

Left to right: OPI Ogre the top Blue, Damone Roberts 1968, What's with the Cattitude? China Glaze Flyin' High

Seriously, looks SO much better indoors!

If you like teal, or sparkles, even just a little bit, the Night Factory Duo is MUST HAVE.

And a tip for using the Sparkle Effects: top coat between polish and effect is a must, because even if you let the polish dry the effect brush will pick up pigment and turn the clear base colored.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

RGB Crimson

And here today we have the rarely seen dominant hand NOTD picture... shhh, don't make any sudden movements, you might scare her back to her natural habitat behind the camera...

I majorly broke a nail on my left hand so we're going to try this for a while. It's hard. I have never, not even once, done a full and proper clean up on my right hand, so I'm taking on the challenge until I perfect it. I think the clean up turned out okay on this one, but taking pictures with my left hand did not go well. Holding the bottle in my right hand was weird too.

I picked up this polish in hopes of satisfying my intense lemming for OPI Vampire State Building, and I think I lulled the LemBeast into submission! I compared my nails to many pictures online and the color is close enough for me to be happy. And the slightly jelly finish makes me beyond happy with this color. The mani wasn't without trouble though; I got a defective brush from RGB. There were some odd bristles sticking up and having to landscape and trim the bristles on a brush seriously pisses me off. That's a mistake that I feel should NEVER happen with ANY company, especially not from a more high end polish like this. I don't even let it slide with Maybelline. Bad brushes shouldn't happen to good people! Now I have 6 other bottles of RGB that have been problem free, so I'm not condemning the brand by any means, but it does make me question their quality control a little.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Butter London Marrow

Fall is in full swing for me, I mean take a look at my front yard:

It was fully green just 2 days ago!

I spent an entire evening packing away all my summer shades and pulling out everything I want to wear for fall and lining up all 40 bottles on the top shelf of my desk. So much to choose from! I'm loving teals, vampies, taupes and anything that's really greyed out. I wore BL Marrow a few days ago and it was awesome. I love the hidden shimmer to it, it makes the polish feel a bit like a Chanel, and adds a wonderful depth to a great shade of purple. This wore really well for me, I had 3 full days with no chips!

Monday, September 13, 2010

OPI Red My Fortune Cookie

I've been so into reds lately, but this one was a disappointment. I was so glad this was an RBL Bangin' dupe, and I'm also really glad I saved myself over 10 bucks because I was not liking this red. It's borderline neon and very in your face, and I didn't get a sexy feel from it, which I expect from my reds. Tossing it into the swap bin!

On a positive note, I wore this for 4 days (that's not the positive part, I was so sick of it lol!) and it still looked great! Check out the minimal wear on this mani!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Goodbye, Summer!

Summer is over and so are summer mani's, but I'm so ready to move on to fall! These were the last things I wore in August:

Butter London Victoriana, just as amazing as it looks! I think this is seriously a must have.

China Glaze Strawberry Fields, which I got tons of compliments on. I liked it but I'm still not a huge fan of pink on my fingeres.

Essie Turquoise and Caicos. My dear Essie... Why do you make it so hard to love you? I've come to terms with the skinny brush, we're good, we're cool.... but why do you need 3 coats and then take FOREVER to dry?! I don't like having a dented mani. Love the color though.

Essie Lapis of Luxury. Same problems as the above, though this time I scheduled my mani with some downtime so I wasn't using my hands for an HOUR after my mani.... still got dents. Which really sucks, because this color is amazing.

I'm already in to my fall color stash and it keeps growing a little bit every week. I can't get enough of fall colors, but need to use them quick because as soon as OPI Burlesque comes out it's glitters all the way!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last days of summer...

Summer is winding down and for the last month I've been going through my favorite brights like crazy! With the last couple weeks I'm going to try and finish all my summery untrieds before moving on to Fall, and Fall-inspired hauls. Yesterday I knocked 2 colors off my list with a fugly-yet-cute gradient mani. I used ALU's gradient method with Butter LONDON Chuffed layered on top of OPI Who the Shrek Are You? then topped the whole thing off with 2 coats of a sparsely dense flakie from Urban Outfitters. I got sick of it by mid-afternoon but it was fun for a little while!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vampy Sunday: Off With Her Red!

So it's not really a vampy color, but after seeing last weeks True Blood preview I thought this would be the most appropriate color seeing as how the Queen of Louisiana is making an appearance tonight. Seriously, is there a better Sophie-Anne color? She wears red herself and the name couldn't fit any better. I'm seriously in love with red creams right now, this one is no disappointment. It's slightly tomato-y and a perfect pin-up color. This was 2 coats and a trouble-free application. And look, so shiny!! What's not to like?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Butter London's

Butter LONDON announced their new shades last week and I could not wait to buy Marrow. I've been hyped about it since it was shown during fashion week. I have an extreme passion for dark purple! So I ordered that and, oops, the other 3 new shades jumped in my cart too! I'm so excited to do full mani's with these, but I needed a small taste of them today so I did a quick skittles. They clash with the other 6 fingers still being pastel blue, but it's okay to have an ugly-eccentric nail day every once in a while!

From left to right is Marrow, Victoriana, All Hail McQueen and Bumster. Marrow is a deep purple with a whisper of shimmer. You have to know it's there to even see it, and even then it really doesn't show, but it does add a certain depth to the color. Victoriana is, color-wise, dupey to RBL 360, except this baby is loaded up with silver shimmer, it's so pretty! All Hail McQueen is the total star of this collection. It's a holographic neutral, something that I normal wouldn't even look twice at. It's not that I'm not a huge holo or neutral fan, I just never really go for them. But together they make the cutest little taupy-holo baby! I'm so glad I did with this one, I think it looks great with my skin tone! Lastly is Bumster, which confuses me so much. It is gold. I wish I could just leave it right there. But without a shimmer it doesn't really seem gold, it seems like a caramel color. But it really is gold! Not sure if it goes with my skin tone too well but I'm still going to rock it because the color is so interesting to me.

It was cloudy today so I didn't get the best pictures to show off the holo. When I do a full mani with it I'll pick a sunny day! But for now, here it is with super flash:

And no flash:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

OPI What's with the Cattitude?

Okay. I'm not even going to be humble about it. This polish looks friggin' amazing on me. It's like a cashmere sweater for my fingers. Sadly, it's not a very "me" color... one of my friends even grabbed my hand and asked me if I'd fallen and hit my head before doing my nails! Even though What's the with Cattitude doesn't really go with my personality, I love, LOVE the color. It's amazingly cute, and with the buzz about the upcoming Chanel, it's looking like it's going to be a trendy color. This was with 3 coats; 2 thin and 1 thick, and it applied really well for a pastel shade.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vampy Sunday - Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ

Now I see what all the fuss is about. I've seen OPI Mrs. O'Leary's BBQ on so many 'must have' lists but never thought twice about it. I picked it up just because I don't have anything like it, and it's changed my view on colors like this. Now I'm super excited about the Swiss collection, there are a couple colors in there that are on my 'must' list after seeing how much I love this one!

This color is awesome. It's a deepened berry-ish red with just a hint of a brown undertone to it, a surprise to me that I'm really liking about the color. This was with 2 coats, which dried with a high gloss shine. I think I got an older bottle because it didn't have the Pro-Wide brush, and while it wasn't the worst brush I've ever used it really isn't as nice as the newer ones.

Vampy Sunday is going to be my new thing, in honor of new episodes of True Blood on Sunday nights. It's the best night of the week in the Summer! I only have a few more untried vampies, so this is the perfect excuse to haul some more!

Friday, July 16, 2010

China Glaze Orange Marmalade

I know orange really isn't the most flattering color on me, but I can't help but love it. Especially when it looks like this. I wish China Glaze would come with a glass flecked collection once a year so that I could get this formula in every color imaginable! Orange Marmalade just glows... I love it. This was with 3 coats and there's still a bit of a VNL, which I can forgive, and you really need 2 coats of TC to make the shimmer sing, but I can also forgive that.

Color accurate picture:

Glass flecked sparkle awesomeness:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue

Seriously, you do! I don't even have words for it. It's bottled blue shimmery perfection!

For only the second time in a year, I cheated on Seche Vite, but this time it was with the notorious Poshe. And wow... I might be a convert. It's less thick than SV so I didn't get any bubbles (though I rarely got them from SV I was still always paranoid), and I'm on day 4 of this mani and it still looks exactly like day 1, not even a bit of tip wear! The only downside to Poshe was that it wasn't as shiny as SV when I first used it, but what really makes it better is that it hasn't lost any shine like SV does and it hasn't scratched up from normal day to day abuse. It still looks exactly like I just put it on. Poshe, I do believe this could be a forever kind of relationship! I need a few more trials runs before I dump SV though.

I also have Russian Navy, and considering how much I love this one was thinking about tracking down Ink. Thoughts? Is it worth it if I already have the other 2?

Monday, July 12, 2010

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

While I like vampies much better in the fall, I've been so absorbed in vampy TV (True Blood sucked me in... haha, get it?... I know, I'm terrible) that I had to switch it up. Sadly Lincoln Park After Dark, a much loved OPI, is a miss for me. Let's face it, it's black. That's all well and good, but I was hoping for a deep rich shade of purple, and while I see it in the bottle it doesn't translate on the nail. I hope to have better luck with my next vampy...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chanel Paradoxal

I was really unsure about why I dropped so much cash on this polish. Chanel is hyped up and I'm never sure if I should buy in to the hype or not. This time around though, I'm really happy I did. Paradoxal was worth it! I love the smoked out feel to it and the light shimmer. Sadly I hate the application. Since I'm paying top dollar, would it kill Chanel to design a better brush? And maybe add a little more shine to the polish? I'll forgive you once, Chanel, since this color is so pretty! I don't think I'll be wearing this much in the summer though, it's definitely a fall color.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

OPI Keys to my Karma

What's more perfect for 4th of July then a bright red? I've had a ban on almost all reds from entering my collection for a long time... such a big ban that I only owned 1 red (Ruby Pumps of course!) for the last 2 years. I refused to buy them thinking they were so cliche. But recently something in my snapped and I've gone red crazy. I ordered 8 reds I was curious about, and I have to say, I'm quite happy about them. OPI Keys to my Karma was the one I was most excited about and it did not disappoint. It's a perfect maraschino cherry red with a yummy squishy jelly finish. I swear, I wanted to dip my finger in a glass of 7-Up to see if it could sweeten the drink a bit, that's how good this polish looks! Application took 3 coats like most jellies do and it applied perfectly.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

G-Rated Lohanicure

Dear Lindsay Lohan,

You were once super cute. I remember watching The Parent Trap maybe a dozen times when I was a kid. You had talent and a bright future. You should really grow up, kick the addiction and take your career seriously again.

Best of luck to you!

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard that Lindsay Lohan has to do some time in jail. As an aside, my heart weeps for the fact that this made the national news... seriously, Brian Williams? Must have been a slow news day. But her nails, while slightly profane, were seriously cute. She was wearing a pastel air brushed design with a secret message to the judge. I used that as inspiration this morning. I'm not much in to nail art so I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but I actually thought it turned out super cute! I used 2 coats of OPI What's with the Cattitude as a base, then sponged on China Glaze Grape Pop, Heli-yum, and a bit of Essie Pretty Edgy. I used Lincoln Park After Dark and a toothpick for the message.

And really, aren't puppies cuter than the F-bomb? (There's a Friends reference in there for anyone who's a mega-fan :D)

Can't wait to wear Cattitude on it's own, it's a really pretty color!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

OPI Ogre the Top Blue

Continuing the theme of brights, I put on Ogre-the-Top Blue yesterday. This one is definitely an eye catcher. It's bold. It's a cute color but I'm not sure how much I'll really wear it. Too bad since the formula was amazing! OPI has really stepped up their game. This one is so pigmented that I nearly got away with one coat, but I ended up doing two to even out some slightly bald spots. It also applied perfectly, of course, since it's OPI. I'm a little disappointed with the lack of shiny-ness; Seche Vite can add a good amount of shine but I like a polish that can contribute to that factor. Though I may be a little biased since my last mani of Pretty Edgy was sooo shiny. As a side note, can't wait to wear that one again. I actually didn't want to take it off, which is rare for me since I love to change things up!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Essie Pretty Edgy

After having naked (and sad) nails for a week, I needed something bright. Essie Pretty Edgy arrived yesterday in the mail and I seriously couldn't wait to put it on. And I have to say, this color really pisses me off, and the reason is because it is so awesome... and it's Essie. Honestly, if Essie came out with colors like this (and the Resort collection) and added a new brush, she would dominate. I wouldn't even mind shelling out full price on a regular basis. But as it stands, her hits, while amazing, are too few. But I guess I shouldn't complain, because I really love this color. I dare say it might be the most perfect kelly green in existence. It's bright, bold, and feels crisp and fresh. It was perfectly opaque in 2 coats, which is always a crowd pleaser, and this color is so me it's not even funny. I even have a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses that match it almost exactly! Sadly, with this revelation, Jade is the New Black has been shoved deep into my OPI drawer... I only have room for one green on display on my desk and Pretty Edgy is now the reigning champion of that title.

I could add to my Essie rant, talking about how funny her bottles are to hold when taking pictures... and how my fingers never quite settle on them in the right way... but I'm just gonna let it go because I seriously can't stop looking at my fingers!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back... with many pretties

I've been gone waaay too long. I took a long vacation to Oklahoma (did you know it's hot there?), and while it's nice to get away I couldn't be happier to be home. The hotel I stayed at had a Dollar Tree right down the street, and a Sally's just a block from the local Wal-mart. Both of these I have never been to, and both of these I hauled from.

Sounds like a fun trip, huh? Not so much. I got bit by a rattlesnake, and yes, it got me with some venom. I was in a car that was headbutted by a pissed off bison. And I had a tarantula the size of my shoe jump at my legs, which elicited a scream that is only heard by those who are in mortal danger. Okay, so I'm not an out doorsey kind of girl... that much I think anyone can see. And while I did get a few manis in (within the safe, air conditioned sanctuary of the Holiday Inn), I also didn't get a single picture of my NOTD's (there were only 3, but I'm still ashamed).

The good news is that I came home refreshed, and scared enough of nature to want to stay inside and swatch pretty nail polishes all day. And my fear of nature wasn't helped by the fact that my Minnesota home-coming was completely filled with tornadoes. Luckily I live outside the fray, and I still managed to get in some good pictures!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Other stuff I've been wearing

So I realize there was a huge gap in between blogs, and it was all due to a really bad break I had on my photographed hand. I still took pictures, but they're only with 2 fingers. I still like to show what I've been wearing, even if I didn't follow through with clean up and it's only half a hand!

RBL Coral was huge on my lemming list for the longest time, but after putting it on I was disappointed. Yes, it is the most true coral shade I've come across, but it's so freakin' bright on my fingers! I have a couple other shades in my stash (OPI My Chihuahua bites and something from Forever 21) that are close to dupes and only a fraction of the price, so this really isn't a must have. I kind of regret dropping the cash on such a not-unique color. And it didn't even hold up, I had chipping within 18 hours.

Much like Coral, Butter LONDON Artful Dodger was has been on my lemming list a long time. A looooong time! I put in an order as a belated b-day present for myself, along with a few other shades. Unlike Coral, however, this one far exceeded my hopes. I fell in love with this the instant I put it on. It's the most perfect turquoise cream ever. It applied beautifully and wore like iron for 4 days.

I took a quick bottle comparison picture just to show the color. Artful Dodger is bluer than China Glaze Flyin High but greener than Essie Shelter Island.

Butter LONDON Fash Pack was the only BL shade I waivered on. There weren't a lot of swatches around for me to check out, and I couldn't tell if it would look good or terrible on me. At the last second I added it too my order and I'm SO glad I did. As if the perfect greigy color wasn't enough, there's a hidden pure gold shimmer to it that adds amazing depth. This also applied perfectly and wore like iron for 4 entire days before I removed it.

The gold shimmer:

Butter LONDON doesn't seem to get a whole lot of love on the NP blogs, but it's really highly ranked for me. They put out amazingly unique shades with cute names and they recently changed their formula. The change includes a bigger bottle and change to the brush. You can now easily remove the top square cap to reveal a round top to grab.

Let's compare the new Tramp Stamp to the old bottle of Portabello Pink.

The new bottle has a sticker telling you that the top portion is removable, the old bottle is pretty much impossible to remove (unless you get all Hulk on it, which I was unable to do...)

Overall, I do think that Butter LONDON is worth the money, but I recommend ordering from I did so, and I received a free bottle of Portabello Pink, free shipping and $10 off my entire order. Even though the free NP isn't my type, I can use the bottle for a franken and I still got a much better deal compared to the Butter LONDON website.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

StrangeBeautiful Volume 4 part 3

Let's start with the most strange of the bunch. A very wrong color choice of a cheap foundation. This color I'm not really getting. It reminds me of caramel popcorn (yum!) but I'm not really sure that's something I want to wear on my nails. I might be liking it in the fall or winter but it's too warm for spring and summer. This was 2 coats.

This is the grey, which I couldn't figure out the name of. It's a pretty standard gray with a slightly brown undertone to it. Not strange at all for the nail polish world! I love any shade of gray, I think this lighter one will tide me over until the next RBL sale when I plan to order the two awesome grays there. This was 2 coats.

An orange turban in a 15th Century Florentine portrait titled Matteo Olivier. This color is amazing. It's the most unique orange I've ever come across. It's slightly burnt but still has a crisp feel to it and it's bold without being neon and in your face like the standard neon oranges that pop up in the summer. I'm making this my official summer pedi color! This was 3 coats.

Overall this collection is really awesome. I can see myself wearing 7 out of the 8 colors over and over again, and maybe I'll eventually warm up to the last one. I'm so glad I splurged on this now, it's so perfect for summer!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

StrangeBeautiful Volume 4 part 2

The poem Lapis Lazuli by William Butler Yeats, aka the blue. I had a hard time getting this to photograph well. It looked fantastic on my nails, all super richly-blue and smooth and shiny, but my camera lightened up the shade and made it look dull and kind of icky. Trust me, in real life, this one is a stunner. As if the color wasn't awesome enough, I did this swatch with 1 coat. Also for reference, this is deeper and richer than OPI Ogre the Top Blue.

Pink color of Rose champagne, the pink. I'm completely smitten with this shade. It's so elegant! I've said it before, but I'm not in to pink polishes. They're a dime a dozen from every nail polish designer out there and it's tough to find a shade that's unique enough to love, but this is one of them. I can actually see myself wanting to wear this more than once. This was with 2 coats and also dried super shiny with no top coat.

Aged Chartreuse, the ugly-but-loveable green. I adore ugly greens. With the new shades from OPI Shrek being so popular I hope this becomes a trend. Maybe Chanel will come out with Avacado, Under Ripe Banana and their own Rich Chartreuse as a mini ugly green collection? I can only hope! When I start applying this I was unimpressed with it's sheerness, but it turned out to be a buildable jelly and only took 3 coats to be opaque yet squishy. Is there anything more lovable than a jelly ugly green? I think not.

And to top it all off, the color reminded me of my favorite guilt-free snack... pickles!