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Monday, August 30, 2010

Jessica Muse Collection

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try the new Muse collection from Jessica cosmetics.  This is a beautiful collection and with all the fall collections lately, I am so happy that it's less than a month away.  This one, in particular, really makes me want to break out the sweaters and jeans.













Intrigue – Greige (grey + beige) creme.  This one seems like it has some lavender in the base and it's slightly smoky.  Honestly, I don't have many of these kinds of colors, so I really don't have anything to direct-compare it to.  I did compare it to the other taupes in my collection and among that small group, it's totally unique.  This one would be a good work-safe color that will work on almost any skin tone.  Compared to the others in this collection, the formula was a bit on the thin side, but nothing too hard to work with. Pic is 3 coats.

Bittersweet – Medium-toned, yellow brown with golden shimmer.  Jessica describes this color as milk chocolate, and honestly, I think that description is a bit off.  There's far too much yellow in it to be a milk chocolate brown, IMO.  So why the description is off- the-money, the color is dead-on awesome.  In addition to the yellow and brown, there's also a hint of olive green.  It’s a beautiful color, and I can't even thing of any dupes. The formula on this was perfect. It flowed nicely on my nails. Pic is 2 coats.














Victorian Crush – True army green. I think this is probably my top pick of this collection. If you were to look up “army green” in a color dictionary, you would find this color. Like I mentioned in my Victorian Crush/RBL No More War comp from a few days ago, this color, isn’t as yellow, murky, or dirty as NMW. So if you have NMW, you can definitely pick up VC and not feel like you are getting a dupe. OTOH, if you are jonesing for NMW and want an inexpensive fix, Victorian Crush might just fill the bill. Personally, I like it better than NMW. Pic is 2 coats and the formula was perfect.


Scarlet – is a bright (and by bright, I mean BRIGHT) red crème. Because of the brightness and high shine, you’d think this one would be more of a summer red, but there is a certain warmth to it that makes it appropriate for a fall/winter collection, IMO. This one really reminds me of Zoya Kristi, though I’m pretty sure Scarlet is a tad brighter. This will make a gorgeous color for the holidays and I’m already plotting wearing it with a black or chocolate brown sweater. This one had the same great formula, but it did take 3 coats to reach opacity.

.
Crimson Reflections – is one I kind of waffled on. I think I typed my description at least 4 times. In some lights, this looked like a straight-up burgundy crème, and yet in other lights, it looked like a brown-based, deep berry crème. I think if you are a fan of berry crèmes, you will love this one. Formula was great. Pic is 2 coats, though I probably could have used a third (I see a few thin spots as I type this review).


Majesty Blue – Shimmering blue with lighter blue shimmer. Okay, girls... you know me and shimmery blues, and while this one is lovely and I will definitely wear it, there was a faint frostiness in this one that, IMO, missed the mark (just a bit, it's still a beautiful color).  However, the shimmer in this one is very nice.  Of all the polishes in this collection, this one was the thickest in formula, but nothing unmanageable.  Pic is 2 coats.

All in all, I think this is amazing collection for fall/winter.  Victorian Crush is a winner, as are Bittersweet and Scarlet.  Though, there isn't a single one that I don't like.  Jessica polishes are $7.50 available on their website.

These were sent to me for review
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another e-Tailer Price Increase

I just wanted to give you all the heads up that Orlys are now full retail at TransDesign and are "log-in for price" at Victoria's Nail Supply.  I just checked and Orlys are still $3.75 - $5.00 (Cosmic FX) at Head2Toe Beauty, but I have no clue how long that will last. 

Oh well, just another brand that I won't be hauling anytime soon.   Once Essie forced e-tailers to raise their prices, I haven't bought a single one.

EDIT 9/17/10: I just checked and it looks like Head2Toe has now raised their prices to $6 for regular polishes and $10 for Cosmic FX.  Thanks, Orly.  :\

Blogger Round Up #5

Yes, it's Sunday morning and yes, I forgot the blogger round-up again.  :P  I swear, I need to start scheduling these posts again.  LOL.  Here are the new blogs for this week...

Poka Pika Nails

For Your Nails Only

If you'd like to be listed in my blogger round up, please either reply this post or email me.  If you requested to me in the round up and I missed your email/post, please let me know and I'll add you to this week's and next week's.

Thanks!
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Color Club Covered In Diamonds over Black

Yesterday, I posted my review of Color Club's Untamed Luxury collection for fall 2010.  In my post, I showed you Covered in Diamonds over my natural nails.  It's pretty, but IMO, to fully appreciate this polish you have to see it over black.














Doesn't it look like stained glass?

This is 2 thick coats of Covered in Diamonds over one coat of WNW Black Creme (I don't own a Color Club solid black polish).  I also applied a top coat to help even out the polish.  Up front, I want to mention that this is not a practical application.  I did it thickly so you all could see the beauty of Covered in Diamonds over a dark base.  That said, you can definitely acheive this look if you have a bit of patience.  If I wanted to apply this to actually wear it as a full mani, I would allow the black to dry completely and then thinly apply 2 coats of Covered in Diamonds, allowing each coat to dry in between (you could maybe even do a third if you did it thinly allowing for drying time).  I would then apply one coat of TC once both coats of the Covered in Diamonds has dried.  Because of the thickness of this polish and the chunkiness of the flakies, it's important that you let everything dry in-between or you'd be left with a gooey mess.  You'll also want to be a bit more careful than I was in making sure that you don't have any of the flakies hanging over your free edge or on your cuticle. 

So this look may take a bit more time, but the end result will make it all worth it.  It's totally unique.

Covered in Diamonds was sent to me for review.
Friday, August 27, 2010

Color Club Untamed Luxury Part 1 (Diamond)

Okay, normally, I don't like to split up collections, but Untamed Luxury is so large, at 14 polishes, that I am breaking it up based upon Color Club's own division in the collection... the Diamond polishes and then the Indulgence polishes (which will be up soon).

I was really excited about this portion of the collection because Color Club does amazing glitters, and the glitters and glitter-variants in this collection (mostly) did not disappoint.


De-Luxe-Cious - Blue-grey foil with holo glitter.  Reminded me of a more-pigmented and foil-y version of the Color Club Japanese glitters from last year.  I think this is a very pretty, definitely unique, though you will have to use probably 2 coats of TC in order to even it out.  The formula was a little thick.  Pic is 3 coats, and due to the thickness of the formula, I had drag on my 2nd and 3rd coat.  To combat the drag, you would just need to wait a bit longer in between coats.

Ms. Hautie - Gunmetal grey satin finish polish with rainbow holo glitter and copper micro-glitter.  In the bottle, the copper glitter gives it a slight duochrome effect, and this one was probably my favorite of the collection.  In the bottle.  On the nail, it was a bit disappointing, though I am reserving final judgement until after I put a TC on it, wear it as a full mani, and see it in sunlight.  For me, with the copper glitter, this one had the same concept as Barielle Falling Star*  (which is a slate blue with larger copper glitter dispersed throughout), though they are not at all similar in finish or color.  This one was a bit better in formulation than De-Luxe-Cious, but there was still the risk of drag.  Pic is 2 coats.














Red Velvet - Jelly black base with red glitter. If Ms. Hautie was my favorite in the bottle, then Red Velvet would be my favorite on the nail.  If you like the concept of China Glaze Lubu Heels or OPI Midnight in Moscow, but were disappointed in the end result, then you will LOVE Red Velvet.  For me, I found the glitter in Lubu Heels to be too dark to stand out and Midnight in Moscow was too muddy.  Red Velvet is neither of those things.  Because of the jelly base, the red glitter was able to be suspended in the base and become more pronounced with following coats (though you won't need many).  Also, unlike OPI Midnight in Moscow, this one does not look brown from a distance.  It is definitely a black with red glitter.  It's crazy awesome and I can't wait to wear it as a full mani.  You will need a coat of TC, probably 2 coats to even out the finish, but that's pretty commonplace for glitters.  Pic is 2 coats and the formula is fantastic!

Untamed Luxury - Turquoise blue jelly base with blue and green glitter.  Now, I've never been there, but something tells me, if you could take the Caribbean Sea and turn it into a glittery nail polish, it would be this polish.  In tone, it's very similar to Zoya Charla and her dopplegangers (okay so OPI Catch Me in Your Net and Orly Halley's Comet aren't evil, but they are triplets with Charla and I just wanted to use the word doppleganger.  LOL), but it's not similar in finish.  Charla, et al, are glass-flecked foils, whereas Untamed Luxury is a straight up glitter polish.  They aren't dupes at all and if you love blue-greens and green-blues, you need this one.  The finish on this one reminds me of the Color Club Holiday glitters from last year.  Formula was great, but as it's a glitter, it has the tendency to do the free-edge-glitter-drag (as I call it), but if you go slow and take a little time between coats, you'll be fine.  Pic is 3 coats.

Resort to Red - Burgundy red pearl finish with red and pink micro-shimmer.  What can I say?  It's pretty, but it's also pretty common.  The pink and red mico-shimmer make it a bit unique, but you don't notice the shimmer unless you really study this polish.  That said, I think this would be a great polish for the holidays. Because of the pearly finish, this one did have a tendency to show brushstrokes, so you'll have to watch your strokes.  Formula was fine, though, and pic is 2 coats.

Snakeskin - Grey-based olive satiny foil with a golden shimmer.  In the bottle, this one looks like the olive/golden version of Ms. Hautie.  Yet, while Ms. Hautie disappointed on the nail, Snakeskin did not.  It has a similar finish to Ms. Hautie, in that it dries to a satiny finish (though not nearly as matte as Ms. Hautie).  In the bottle, there was a grey/olive duochrome thing going on that didn't quite translate to the nail.  It's a gorgeous color and if you love muted olive shimmers (the one coming to mind is OPI At Your Quebec and Call, though I don't have it to compare), you are going to love this one.  Like Resort to Red, it was apt to show brushstrokes, but given the foil finish, the stroke marks actually looked good with Snakeskin.  Formula was great.  Pic is 2 coats.

Covered in Diamonds - Clear top coat with large-sized, rainbow holo flakies.  In other swatches of this top coat and in Color Club's own PR pics, I wasn't really drawn to this polish.  For me, it looked a little odd, like someone had just crumpled up cellophane on their nails.  However, in person, this is a totally different story.  I can see how this color would transform any color into a completely different polish (tomorrow, I will have a pic of this over black.  AMAZING).   If you like flakies, and layering top coats, then you definitely have to check out Covered in Diamonds.  Pic is 2 coats, and, due to the slight thickness of the formula and the big flakies, I would wait a few minutes between coats so you don't get free-edge drag. 

All in all, I love this portion of the Untamed Luxury collection.  Resort to Red was a bit ho-hum and Ms. Hautie was a bit of a miss on the nail, but I still feel Color Club did an awesome job.  Red Velvet, Untamed Luxury, and Snakeskin are worth the price of admission alone.  This collection is available at both TD and VNS and color club is usually in the under-$3-range.

These were sent to me for review

EDITED: To change this from Wishing on a Star (which I think is a black with silver glitter by Misa)
Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jessica Critical Care and Nourish Nail Treatments

In my box, along with Jessica Muse (which is coming shortly, I promise), were 2 nail treatments.  I was excited to try them, but also a little apprehensive because I think nail treatments are a little iffy to review... one person's holy grail is the other person's it-peeled-my-nails-and-I'll-never-use-it-again.  That said, I really like these 2 products...





























I am using both Critical Care and Nourish in this picture.

Critical Care is a nail stregthener and it specifically mentions on the bottle that it's "intensive care for soft nails", and boy howdy... do I have soft nails.  They have healed from the acrylics/glue-on damage, but there's still some long-term effects and weak nails is the main culprit.  According to Jessica's website, Critical Care  "sets a new standard for boosting growth and strength of severely weakened nails that just won’t grow. Using our exclusive Protein KSW® fortified with calcium and intense strengtheners, penetrates the nail and increases keratinization, creating a protective barrier to allow for maximum growth."
I've been using Critical Care now for about 2 weeks and I've really noticed a difference in the hardness of my nails.  I also feel that my nails seem to be growing faster.  So, in my experience, does this product do what it says it will do?  Absolutely. 

Now, I know in the past, I mention that I loved Dermelect and I still love Dermelect, as I feel it single-handedly helped me overcome my nail disaster last year.  I also know that the Dermelect Nail System has been making the rounds on the blogs and is a blogger favorite, so it's definitely good stuff.  However, I find myself reaching for Critical Care more and more.  I find that my body chemistry + Dermelect + some brands of nail polish just don't play nice.  I have to be very selective with what brands I use with the Dermelect products.  I'm not finding that to be the case with Jessica Critical Care.  One coat of Critical Care and about 3-5 minutes is all it takes for me to be ready to polish my nails. 

It's comparably priced with Dermelect treatments as well.  Both Dermelect Launchpad and Makeover Ridgefiller are $18 and Jessica Critical Care is $17.  It's not a ridgefiller, however, so if you were looking for a direct Dermelect comparison, it would be Launchpad.  If you have deep ridges, you may find that you need an additional ridgefiller.  You can find Jessica Critical Care on their website (click the link above as I had to do a search to find it). 

I was also sent Jessica Nourish Therapeutic Cuticle Formula.  My cuticles and I have a complicated relationship.  They flake, they get hang nails, and no matter how much I baby them, they still aren't always camera ready (a fact, I am sure, you all are well aware of.  LOL).  Because I'm never satisfied with my cuticles, I'm always picking up one thing or another to help with them, whether it be oil, creme, lotion, or another kind of treatment.  So, I was skeptical of Nourish, to be honest.  According to Jessica's website, Nourish is "an all-time classic cuticle therapy, this pure blend of antioxidant vitamins and healing agents provides instant hydration and continuous moisture to nourish and soothe cuticles and nails. It feeds the matrix of the nail as it’s massaged in to stimulate circulation and growth." 

I've been using it now for the same amount of time as Critical Care, 2 weeks, and I'm finding that I'm getting less flaking and hang nails.  The first thing I noticed about Nourish is the scent, a soft floral.  Sometimes, cuticle treatments can smell a little strong.  For example, I know Mango Mend is a little too sickeningly sweet for some people.  That's not the case with Nourish.  Seriously... this stuff smells like it should be from Crabtree & Evelyn.  It's that nice.  It also has a very nice consistency.  It may seem a bit greasy when you first apply it, but it's aborbed quickly in to the skin.  The only downside is I think it may be a tad expensive, at $12.50, for the amount you get, but it only takes a small amount, so the tube will probably last a long time.  Nourish is available at Jessica's website (click above for link). 

Do I recommend these products?  Yes.  I find them both to be great products, that, IMO, do what they say they are going to do.  If you have weak, soft, and/or hard-to-grow nails, and/or problem cuticles, I encourage you to try both of these.

These were sent to me for review
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Top 50 Nail Blogs

Yesterday, I received an email letting me know that I was on the Top 50 Nail Blogs list as compiled by Spa Beauty Schools.  It was really cool to see my name included with some of the bigger nail bloggers.  I'm extremely flattered, but I'm also wondering how they decided who made the list, as it seems there are some pretty big names missing from the list.  That said, it was nice to discover some blogs that I hadn't seen before.  If you are always looking for new blogs to follow, I encourage you to check out the list.  And, if your blog was on the list, Congratulations to you!

Checking in!

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I'm still here.  LOL.  Work is pretty busy right now, so I don't have much time to do anything else.  I have a bit of a backlog of collections to swatch for you, so I hope to set aside sometime w/in the next few days for swatching and reviewing.  I have OPI Swiss, Color Club Untamed Luxury and Jessica Muse to show you.  I had Muse already to go and then I looked at my pics, realized they sucked for such an AWESOME collection, so I need to re-do them.  I really hope to get these out soon. 

Don't forget Friday's blogger Round-Up.  Please comment or email me if you want to be included.  Hopefully, I'll be back soon with swatches. 
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday Blogger Round-Up #4

I know, I know, it's Saturday, but yesterday was the first day of school for my boy child, and he was more than a little bit excited.  He was up at 4am because he wanted to wear his new shoes.  LOL.  Sad thing was, I was having a usual bout of insomnia Thursday night/Friday morning, so I wasn't able to fall asleep until after he decided he wanted to be awake.  Plus, I had to get up at 6:30, so I was pretty much a zombie all day.  I was doing to good to remember to breathe.  :P

Anyway, here are new and new-to-me blogs for this week:

Crazy Cajun Cousins

Drop of Polish

As always, if you would like to be mentioned in next week's Round-Up, please reply to this post, or email me.  Also, if for some reason, you contacted me but I missed you in the Round-Up, please reply and let me know.  I'll add you to this week's and also put you in next week's post. 
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

OPI Soho Nice to Meet You

Isn't it funny how you can find yourself absolutely in love with a color at one point, and then at another point, perhaps years later, you find yourself not liking it much at all?  OPI Soho Nice to Meet You is one of those colors. 














It's pretty enough, right?  It's a shimmery, cool red that is very similar to OPI I"m Not Really a Waitress, though SNTMY is a little pink-er.  Back when I first discovered OPI (when I first started getting acrylics before my wedding in December 2001), this was one of the colors I fell in love with.  Years later, after my twins were born, I started getting regular manis, and my manicurist had a bit of a spotty selection, so I picked up a few colors so I could take the polish with me, as well as do touch-ups and polish changes it home.  Soho Nice to Meet You was the first color I bought.  It also was the only color I kept when I decided my small nail polish collection (app. 8 bottles) had to be given away (I have no idea what I was thinking) about 6 months later.  I used it off-and-on until my nail polish collection just exploded and then it got stuck in my cabinet and was promptly forgot about.  I think the last time I used it was in 2008.

Last night, I was digging through my reds looking for another shimmery OPI red, Rose to the Ovation, when I happened upon Soho Nice to Meet You.  The bottle was almost dry so I decided to do a little nail polish CPR and bring it back to life.  After a ton of thinner, lots of shaking, and a night spent on it's head, it was revived.  I was so excited.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the same as I remember.  It was pretty, but it looked so commonplace to me.  Like something I've already seen 5000 times.

After my not-so-favorable blast from the past with OPI Kimono'ver Here (pardon the crap pic in the post), it makes me wonder if I didn't see all my old polish loves through rose colored glasses (though I'm still in love with Orly Red Sea Pearl, so I know that's not completely true).  Or maybe, and more accurately, I'm the one changing.  I already find myself preferring cremes to shimmers and blues to reds, so it could just be that my tastes are morphing as I fall deeper and deeper down this rabbit hole.   
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Milani Totally Cool

I'd heard great things about Milani Totally Cool.  So, I figured, as long as I was spending 5 bucks on shipping anyway (for Dress Maker), I might as well pick up this one as well.  Turns out, my little add-on was my favorite of the 2 Milanis I ordered.

It's a dark, grape-purple jelly base loaded with pink/gold duochrome shimmer.  Though it's a jelly-ish base, I was able to reach opacity in 3 coats (the shimmer helped). 
Saturday, August 14, 2010

MIlani Dress Maker

Long ago, in a mystical land far away, there lived an elusive green polish named Jade.  Jade lived in a candy castle with her friend, Baby Unicorn, and she was so sought after that some fanatics spent their rent money on eBay in an effort to obtain her.  A few were lucky enough to own her.  To many, however, Jade was just a myth.  An old wive's tale fabricated to drive us crazy.

Sorry, I've been reading stories to 4 year olds.  :P  LOL

Anyway, more than likely, you are aware of Chanel Jade.  It was released last year, along with Jade Rose, and was quite the buzz in the np world.  I don't own it, but in my understanding, Jade is a soft jade green (like the lighter jade, not the deep green jade) creme with subtle "secret" shimmer.  It was for sale for like a minute last year and since then, has been one of the most lemmed colors in the np world.  NIB bottles of Jade have been going for $200+ on eBay. 

Thankfully, Milani has answered our cheap, Jade-dupe prayers.  Recently, they came out with Dress Maker, a soft jade green with secret shimmer (hmmmm, sound familiar).  Here's a pic:














Now, I don't own Jade to do a direct comparison, but looking at swatches, they look very similar.  If you are interested in a direct comparison swatch, Steph over at Steph's Closet has a good one.  They look like dupes to me, so if you are lemming Jade and don't want to fork over $200 to get it, Milani Dress Maker may just be your answer.

As for the color, I like it, but I feel it doesn't really like me.  One of the reasons I passed on Jade in the first place was because minty/pale greens have a tendency to make the skin around my nails look red and dirty.  There are exeptions, like ChG Re-Fresh Mint, Nicole P's and Q's or BB Couture Hangover Blues (which admittedly is more turquoise than mint).  Sometimes, if I like the color enough, I'll wear it anyway, like I see myself doing with Dress Maker, but for the most part, I either buy them and give them away or I avoid them.

The formula was a little on the thin side, but it had to be thin in order to layer the shimmer.  I used 4 coats, but if I'd been more careful and used a sticky base coat, I probably could have gotten away with 3.  You just don't want too apply this to thick, or you are going to have drag.  Also, this was my first time purchasing a Milani polish and while it seems like the have a good color selection, I'm really not a fan of their bottles or handles (too dang short and skinny).

Dress Maker is available at CVS (and perhaps at other places where Milani is sold), but it is also available at Milani's website (where I got mine).  Polishes on the website are $4.49 and shipping was $5 (I also picked up Milani Totally Cool).

PS... if any np manufacturer is listening, I like Dress Maker, I do.  Jade just isn't my "why in the hell did I pass on it" Chanel lemming, so I'm not completely stoked.   That said, if someone wants to make a dupe of Nuit de Russie (or Ciel de Nuit on the outside chance), then I'll be doing cartwheels in my front yard.
Friday, August 13, 2010

Color Club Untamed Luxury (press release)

I just realized that I'd meant to post these a few days ago, but my brain is swiss cheese, and I forgot.  LOL.














Top picture is the glitters and the bottom picture is the non-glitters.


Untamed Luxury!

Color Club pushes the limits of All-Out Glamour with Untamed Luxury. Rich colors meet superb quality for long-wearing Haute style!

Untamed Luxury is more then one collection of luxe colors it’s two collections; the Indulgence Collection and the Diamond Collection!

The ‘Indulgence Collection’ includes Pretty in Platinum, Wild Orchid, Positively Posh, Soft as Cashmere, Nothing by Truffle, Jewel of a Girl and Ready to Royal. The ‘Diamond Collection’ includes De-Luxe-Icious, Miss Hautee, Red Velvet, Untamed Luxury, Resort to Red, Snakeskin and Covered in Diamonds. ‘Covered in Diamonds’ is our luxury topcoat to give each shade a unique abstract design and ‘Covered in Diamonds’ flare!

Color Club intensely fashionable professional nail color that’s ‘All About Color’! Our high-quality formula is Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP FREE and always in demand!

--

I am pretty excited for this collection.  I love Color Club.  They have amazing colors and their collections are very affordable.  Plus, they make great glitters, so I'm sure the glitter half of this collection is gonna ROCK!

Friday Blogger Round-Up #3

Sorry for being a little late with this.  My job is in full swing, so I've had to really cut back on my blogging time.  I hope to have the new Jessicas up for you soon, as well as a few other things. 

Anyway, here's the third installment of my Friday Blogger Round-Up. 

Gilded Lily

Nail-ing Life Online

Va-Va-Varnish

Drop of Polish

Three Four new blogs for you all to check out!

Remember, if you want to be added to next week's blogger round-up, please reply to this message or shoot me an email.

EDIT: I added one to the list that I previously missed.  :)
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nfu-Oh GS14

Do you ever have those moments where you are browsing nail blogs, minding your own business and then... blam... LEMMING!?!?  Surely, it's not just me.  LOL.

Anyway, one such moment happened a few days ago while I was reading Bright Lights Big Color and came across Landa's post about Nfu-Oh GS14 and Icing Blackout being a dupe, and I was instantly smitten.  I had to have it.  Now, I think there is an Icing store on the other side of town, but I'm much more comfortable to click, click, click, buy, then hunt all over town for a polish.  In fact, this is the same reason I ordered Milani Dress Maker online tonight rather than even try a CVS.  Or, maybe I'm just profoundly lazy.  LOL.  So I decided to go with the Nfu-Oh rather than the Icing.  If I lived closer to an Icing store, I would have gotten it instead.  Now, I've never bought Nfu-Ohs in the past, but I promptly made my way over the FabulouStreet and picked up a bottle.  She came yesterday (am I the only one that refers to her nail polishes as females?), and holy smokes... totally ahhhhhhhhhh-some.  Here she is...














Be sure to enlarge to see just how beautiful it is.  I don't even know if I can wear this out, at least while I'll be driving a car.  It might get in an accident from staring at my nails.  :P

GS14 is a black base with a ton of rainbow, holo glitter.  It was a little thick, but I think if you do thin coats and give it awhile in between coats (just a couple of minutes), it will work great for you.  This was just swatch, but I do plan on doing a full mani with it w/in the next few days.  So, while I can't speak to finish yet, I'll be able to soon.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comp: Jessica Victorian Crush vs. RBL NMW

Just think of this post as a sign of things to come.  I haven't had a chance to finish the entire Jessica Muse collection, so I figured I'd post this, as I haven't seen a comparison post anywhere and I was dang curious myself.

RBL No More War on index and ring fingers, Victorian Crush on middle and pinky fingers

When I first saw this collection reviewed on Vampy Varnish, Kelly mentioned that Victorian Crush and RBL No More War were NOT dupes.  I believed her.  LOL.  But being from Missouri (not really) and Missouri being the Show Me State (really), I figured I'd swatch them side-by-side to see just how similar/not similar they really are.

Well, they are both in the olive/army green family, but within that family, they are actually much different.  NMW is a true olive green.  It's dirty, and murky, and it makes me want a martini every time I see it.  Victorian Crush, OTOH, is more of an army green.  It's also much clearer than NMW.  Army green, in and of itself has a sort of innate murkiness, but aside from that, it's a pretty straight-up color, especially when compared to the swampy, oliveyness that is NMW.

I lemmed NMW for months.  As soon as the 1/2 off RBL sale was over last year, I immediately regretted not purchasing it.  Like an answer to my NP prayers, Ji brought it, along with Scrangie, back out of retirement.  So, I bought it.  Paid 25 bucks for it after shipping, only to get it and realize that it's just too much for my pink skin.  It really brings out the redness.  Don't get me wrong, I love the color and will probably wear it more in the winter, but I'm pretty sure that NMW, like stinky cheese, is an acquired taste. 

Victorian Crush, however, is different.  Sure, it's a green, but if you like greens or if you are curious about greens, VC is much more approachable.  Plus, the price is more friendly as well.  Jessica retails for $7.50, whereas RBLs are $18 with $7.50 shipping.

EDIT: I had the price wrong on the Jessica.  They are $7.50 retail.  I also linked to VV's post about this collection.  :)
Sunday, August 8, 2010

NOTD: BB Couture for Nails Dragon's Breath















I've reviewed this one before, but as that was when I first started my blog, was using glue-ons, and had no idea what I was doing, I figured I'd post it again.  My daughter requested a purple on my nails, and I was happy to oblige, and this one just happened to be the first one I grabbed from the purple drawer.  I hesitated using it because with 400+ nps, I don't like to review stuff twice, but like I said, I'd been over a year, so I think it's okay.  Plus, this time around, I can actually do the color some justice.  This is a beautiful, red-based, wine-y purple that is loaded with silver, blue, and pink fine glitter.  Like with my last review, I had to use 3 coats to hide all the thin spots, and to reach the true color.  I also used 2 coats of TC to make it smooth.  (EDIT: after several hours, I had to apply a third coat of TC as it was looking a bit dull and muddy).  I love this color and I have no idea why I waited a year to use it again.  LOL.

Also, though I don't own all that many, BB Couture is one of my favorite nail polish brands.  They are a small boutique brand that actually knows how to be a boutique brand (looking at you Ginger + Liz).  They have a rather extensive line, and unlike a lot of other, smaller brands, theirs is full of colors that us nail polish addicts can appreciate.  Seriously, they have something like 20 greens.  Yay!  Also, they seem to be right on the pulse of what's happening in the world of nail polish.  Plus, the customer service, through both them and their retailer, Overall Beauty, is top notch.  Once, I had an issue with a bottle of Fairy Blood (the neck was chipped) and though I certainly didn't expect it, they sent me a new bottle.  So, if you haven't tried BB Couture for Nails, I encourage you to try them.  They are in the $9-10 a bottle range and you can get them from both their website and from Overall Beauty.  Also, you can follow Overall Beauty on Facebook or Twitter and be the first to know of sales and specials.
Saturday, August 7, 2010

KOTD: Crazy Zebra

Tonight during my training class, I decided that the new cover on my Blackberry would make a great design for a konad.  So instead of during my homework, that's what I did.


I started with a base of Piggy Polish Silver Scream.  I then used bits and pieces from the zebra full-nail image from plate m57 in a variety of colors to create this design.  I used the following:

Orly Sol Cabana
Essie Mesmerize
Konad Black
OPI Who the Shrek are You?
ChG Turned up Turquoise
ChG Heli-Yum
ChG Grape Pop
Friday, August 6, 2010

Piggy Polish Review

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a few polishes from Piggy Polish's line up.  I wasn't very familiar with this brand prior to trying them.  The concept of Piggy Polish is that it's meant for your toes.  I chronically neglect my toes, plus, there's no way I'm going to show feet pictures on this blog (shudders... I have issues with feet.  :P), so I figured I'd go an swatch them on my fingernails.















Piglet – Pale, creamy pink crème that is slightly deeper in tone that my picture would indicate. This one reminds me of a paler, slightly softer version of OPI ElePhantastic Pink or ChG Sugar High. This one took 3 coats to reach opacity, but the formula was nice and flowed pretty easily. I did have to check and make sure I didn’t have too much on my brush with each coat, but that’s fairly normal. I love this color. Plus, after I first saw “Babe”, I became slightly obsessed with baby pigs, so I adore the name.















Keep It Teal – This is what it would be like if ChG Four Leaf Clover and ChG Turned up Turquoise had a shimmery baby. It’s a bright, teal green shimmer. It definitely leans more teal that the Borghese green shimmer I posted the other day. When I first put it on, I thought it was going to dry to a satin finish, but as I applied more coats, I could tell that wasn’t the case. Pic is 3 coats, as I had a few thin spots at 2 coats. I definitely think you could get away with 2 coats, though, if you were more careful than I was.














Silver Scream – Speaking of matte… this is a light sliver matte. I had no idea this was going to be matte, but it’s very pretty. It dries super-fast. I applied 3 coats to reach opacity and it was dry enough that I could apply a TC (to my middle finger) within 3-4 minutes. Like I mentioned, I did put a TC on my middle finger, so you can see the difference, though in this pic, it's not very noticeable.  Plus, the one coat of TC made it more of a satin than shiny.  I think if you wanted to make it look like a traditional shiny finish, you'd need 2 coats of TC, and perhaps a high-shine TC at that.















Pimp – This one, I had to request, simply for the name. I mean come on… it’s Pimp. That’s in BB Couture “Adios Mo Fo” territory in regards to awesome-name-ness, if you ask me. LOL. Unfortunately, the color didn’t quit live up to name expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty, albeit kind of sheer, squishy medium bright pink shimmer. Formula was a little thin on this one, but manageable. Pic is 3 coats and I still had VNLs. Though, I think it’s the kind of polish that even if I applied 15 coats, I’d still have VNLs. It’s very jelly-esque.  Which is great if jellies are your thing.  I tend to avoid them because nail line has a tendency to be wonky. 














Smootch – Medium red-based purple shimmer. Had much of the same squishy, jelly finish as Pimp, though I was able to reach opacity with 4 thin coats. This is a pretty purple, and something unusual in my collection, as this one definitely leans red.  However, while the color is pretty, it looks a little “watered down”, if that makes sense, though that may be a result of the finish. When you first look at this one, it looks like it may turn out to be a duochome, but it’s not, at least, not on the nail.














Shake Your Blue-ty – Bright blue shimmer = LOVE!  I know, I know, I have TONS of colors like these, but this one is a tad different. Unlike, say, Essie Aruba blue for example, this one leans more marine blue than straight-up blue. It’s a beautiful color, but I wasn’t really expecting it, as in the bottle, this color looks like a purple-blue with silver ribbons. Weird. This one had the best application and formula, IMO, and pic is 2 coats. I’d say this one, along with Piglet, is my favorite of the 6 I received for review.  It's also the one I've worn as a full mani (I did that w/in 20 minutes of getting the box.  LOL).

All in all, I like these.  If I had to rank them, I'd say Shake Your Blue-ty, Piglet, and Keep It Teal were the real winners for me.  When I first started applying them, I was a little frustrated.  I found the brush handle to be small and short and a little difficult to control, but I quickly got used to it.  By my second swatch, I was an old-pro.  You'll notice that all Piggy Polishes come with a cute flower toe ring.  Some of my bottles don't have them, as my daughter quickly took them over.   You can find Piggy Polish on their website for $9 each.

BTW, as you all may notice, I've been playing alot with nail shape lately and I think I finally found one I liked (what's in the above pics).  Unfortunately, in a cleaning frenzy, the corner of my L index finger snapped off, so I had to round off the edges again.  That'll teach me to clean with naked nails.  And now I'm back to square one (or perhaps... "not-square" one. LOL).  Guess square nails and I just weren't meant to be.  Damn. *sniff*

Friday Blogger Round-Up #2

Here's my weekly round-up of new and new-to-me blogs.  Please click on the hyperlink to go directly to the blog. 

As always, if you are a new blogger, or an old-timer blogger that is not listed in my blogroll, and you would like to be listed in my next Friday Blogger Round-Up, please comment with your blog URL or shoot me an email.  I'll be sure to put you in next week's Round-Up.

Candy Coated Tips

War Paint Guru

Lacquer Love

Ali's Nail News

Clever and Colorful

Positively Polished

Pazurkowy pamiętnik

That's it for the week.  Seven new blogs to check out.  Not as many as last week, but like I said, whether I get 1 or 100, I'm still going to do my Round-Up.  Also, I've tried to list all of these blogs and a few from last week that I missed in my blogroll.  Also, if you have a "follow" button on your blog, I became a follower of your page as well.

This post was created and scheduled at 11:22p ET.  If you contacted me after this time, I will be sure to add you to next week's Round-Up.  BTW, if you request to be added in a comment, please make sure the comment is in the most recent Round-Up post.  I have a BAD habit of not checking the comments of older posts, and I want to make sure your request isn't lost. 
Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NOTD Borghese Pistachio

Okay, girlies, I apologize in advance for the lack of clean-up, messy cuticles, and the glitter from Happy Birthday that just won't go away.  I almost didn't post this, but I figured I'd do it while I have the time (more on that in a bit).  Here she is...



This was my very first Borghese.  Well, I purchased Pistachio and Stellar Notte from eBay a few weeks ago, but this is my first time using either one of them.  Having never used a Borghese polish before, I must say that I'm impressed. 

The color is a bright, emerald green shimmer, that leans ever-so-slightly blue.  I bought this one because I had read that it was a little similar to the super-duper HTF Essie Dominica Green, which is a HUGE lemming of mine (so huge and so rare, I don't even bother putting it in my wish list).  Now, without even owning DG, I can tell you that Pistachio is not a dupe.  DG is more golden and less blue that Pistachio.  That said, for a polish that is $6 and relatively easy to find, compared to one that can go for $40+ on eBay and as rare as finding a baby unicorn, I'd say this is a good compromise.  No, it won't kill your lemming for DG, but it will help quiet it a bit (at least it has mine).  BTW, Essie, I know you sold your soul to L'Oreal, and don't really need it, but if you could bring back Dominica Green and Starry Starry Night, you'd essentially be creating a license to print money.  People would be hoarding them like canned goods before Y2K. 

As for formula, I'd read (after I bought it of course) that it was super thin and hard to work with.  Well, the super thin part, I agree with.  However, for me, it was so easy to control.  Yes, it was thin, but in a good way.  The pic is 4 coats.  Because the polish is so thin, it was very build-up-able (:P).  It dried fast, and I didn't get any drag on the later coats.  I stopped at 4 coats, because I didn't know if it could have handled a 5th coat, so there a couple of thin areas on 1 or 2 nails.  However, I think a 5th coat would have been no problem.  I know, I know... 5 COATS!?!?!  But, the 4 I applied really didn't take that long, no longer than say 2-3 coats with another brand.  Because the formula applied so well and dried so fast, it really went quickly.  From first coat to TC, it took maybe 15 minutes, and that's with me playing Freecell in between.  LOL.  Borghese is available at drugstores, at a few online stores/drugstores, and on eBay, though I think Pistachio was LE and may not be available anymore through drugstores. 

Before I go, I know I mentioned above that I may be short on time in the near future.  Over the next few days, I will be finishing up my prep for my new job.  Unfortunately, I was brought on just as they were switching over to a new system, so basically, I get no work and more training.  :P  Oh well, at least I can invoice for it.  Not a minute to soon, either, as we just upgraded our Disneyworld resort hotel again.  :S  So, while I'll try to do NOTDs and a few of the reviews I have coming (I have some Piggy Polishes in the queue and some Jessicas, and possibly some OPIs and Orlys on their way), I think my China Glaze Vintage Vixen Konad Challenge* will have to go to the back burner, as well as the VV and Zoya W/W comps*.  If there is anything you want to see in particular, please let me know and I will try to get to it, but since my time will be so limited, I'll have to limit the comps to requests only.

*If any of you have one, some, or all of the Vintage Vixen collection and want to challenge yourself to create konads using them, or if you want to do comps with Zoya Wicked Wonderful, I would be more than happy to post them here or link to your blog.  I just hate leaving things un-done.  :)
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Orly Cosmic FX Collection (press release)

I know this one has been making the rounds, but I just had to post it here as well. 

--
ORLY Cosmic FX


Next Generation Nail Lacquers Offer the Latest Texture and Color Innovations…

As ORLY continues to pioneer the nail category with distinct and trend setting finishes and color, the brand introduces its latest addition to its portfolio of textured finishes with Cosmic FX. The new, limited-edition collection delivers multi-dimensional flashes of intense shimmering shine that is so electrifying your nails will explode with color! This lighting phenomenon is achieved by ORLY’s exclusive MINERAL FX technology.

The innovation infuses natural rock minerals, crystals, and glass to give nails a special optical effect with extreme luster, rich pearlescence, and a smooth, sparkling spectrum of concentrated color.

The MINERALFX technology includes specialty mica, that allows for a clearer, vibrantly bright lustrous shimmer. Crystals allow for a multi-dimensional color transformation. Glass particles carefully controlled in shape and size create a luminous phenomenon. This combination infused with the Silica and specific colors selected create this exclusive technology that gives nails a unique optical effect that’s magnified as the lighting source intensifies or viewing angle changes.

Cosmic FX perfectly accentuates the looks seen in the Fall 2010 runway collections – from the futuristic Audrey Hepburn at Miu Miu to Ann Demeulemeester’s feathered and metal cuffs and Issey Miyake’s colorful leggings.

The six Lacquers in the Cosmic FX Collection include:

Lunar Eclipse: Blue with Pink Purple Fx

Galaxy Girl: Purple with Blue Green Fx

It’s Not Rocket Science: Green with Gold Blue Fx

Space Cadet: Green with Purple Gold FX

Halleys Comet: Turquoise with Green Yellow Fx

Out of this world: Purple with Pink Silver Fx














Apply two coats of the Nail Lacquer to achieve the ultimate in color.

All ORLY Nail Lacquers including the Cosmic FX Collection are free of DBP, Toluene and all traces of Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin.

The Cosmic FX Lacquers will be available starting September 2010 for $10.00 each. ORLY Nail Lacquers and Treatment products are available at orlybeauty.com, Sally Beauty, Ulta and other purveyors of beauty throughout the U.S. and in over 70 countries worldwide.

---

Okay, Holy Smokes does this look like an amazing collection or what?  I loved Orly's Foil FX collection, so I can't wait to see this one.  I'm thinking I need them all (of course, I thought that from the first moment I saw it.  LOL).
Monday, August 2, 2010

NOTD: Zoya Kristi w/ Lippmann Happy Birthday














Okay, I think I may be OD'ing on the Lippmann Happy Birthday.  LOL.  I'd planned on showing Happy Birthday over several colors, but not this soon.  :P

However, as much as I love Zoya Kristi, it looked so weird last night after I applied it.  I think it's because I've transitioned out of reds.  I'm more of a blue girl now.  LOL.  Seriously, what's happened?  I'd rather put blue on my nails than red nowadays.  So that's why I ended up with another Happy Birthday manicure.

EDITED because my brain is swiss cheese and I didn't finish my thought.

KOTD: OPI MPJ holo w/ Konad White

I took my MPJH mani from yesterday and added a konad design using Konad White Special Polish.  Plate is m77.

Sorry for the tipwear on this one.  I didn't realize it was that bad until I took pics. 
Sunday, August 1, 2010

NOTD: OPI My Private Jet Holo

I'd chopped my nails down and decided I needed something amazing on my nails so I grabbed my bottle of OPI MPJ holo.  I know I've already posted this as a NOTD color in the past, but come on... LOOK AT IT.  :P  I couldn't help myself.  It's like sex in nail polish form.  It's that awesome. 

In case you didn't know, OPI MPJ (original holo version) is a deep charcoal base with rainbow holo.  Color Club Revvvolution is similar (and from what I understand Diamond Cosmetics Chainmail Charm is as well, though I don't have that one to compare).  There is currently a My Private Jet in OPI's regular line up, but it's nowhere near as awesome as this.  It's still a pretty color, but not like this.  If anyone is interested, I can do a comp with MPJ and Revvvolution. 

Unfortunately, this color is extremely rare.  You can occasionally find them on eBay (which is where I got mine a few months back), but for the most part, they are limited to dusties and swaps.  I really wish OPI would bring it back.  Why they changed it, I have no idea. 

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