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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Qtica Half-Time Drying Drops

No picture on this review, because it's kind of unnecessary, but if you'd like to view the product, click here.  I just wanted to do a quick little mention about this product, just in case any of you have waffled about quick-dry drops, like I did.  They are good stuff.

So good in fact, I honestly have no idea how I have lived without this product for so long.  To use, apply your nail polish and TC like normal.  Afterwards, you'll apply the quick-dry drops by tilting your nail at an angle (pointed down) and then apply 1-2 drops of the product on to the nail.  It's fully dry in 5-7 minutes.  No kidding.   

Qtica Half-Time Drying Drops are made my the same company as Zoya Nail Polish, Art of Beauty.  However, unlike Zoya products, you can purchase Qtica products at one of the main e-tailers, VNS.  You can also get the at Qtica.com (use the above link).  Price is in the $5-$8 range, depending on seller.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blogger Round-Up

Sorry girls.  I kinda flaked out on the Blogger Round Ups, didn't I? *blush*

Anyway, as it's been a little while, I hope I get everyone that replied or emailed me included in this list.  Please let me know if I forgot you and I will add you.

British Street Fashion

Canadian Nail Fanatic

Starving Nail Addict

Right on the Nail

As always, if you'd like to be included in the next round-up (which will be in 2 weeks, hopefully), please reply in this post, or shoot me an email.  Also, even if your blog isn't brand-new, please feel free to ask me to be included in the round-up.  I find that there are so many blogs out there that there are some I know about and read often, and there are some fantastic blogs that I just haven't been introduced to yet.  I love reading new blogs, and I'm pretty sure that's a general feeling among nail/beauty bloggers. 

Color Club Bewitching Mini Set

For Halloween, Color Club is offering an adorable mini set.  This set has some really great colors...




Bewitching - super dark black.  This one is awesome. It's deep, rich, and opaque in one coat.  It dries to a vinyl or "rubbery" finish, so if you want it super shiny, just at some TC. I know the general consensus in the nail polish world is that, for the money, WnW Black Creme is the best black on the market.  Personally, I can't stand it.  I find the formula to be runny and the brush to be a horrible mop.  In fact, I am still trying to find my holy grail black creme.  In my Sephora haul last week, I happened to order a bottle of Illamasqua Boosh (which I am expecting to be amazing), but if you are opposed to the hefty price tag, and find yourself in my same where-is-my-hg-black boat, check this one out.  I'm not sure if CC offers a non-Halloween-themed, non-mini dupe to this color, but, IMO, this polish alone makes this mini set worth the price of admission.  

Charmed I'm Sure - deep tyrian purple with purple, blue, and pink-red shimmer particles.  This one is similar to CC Electronica, though they aren't dupes, yet a normal person would probably be happy with either/or.  Charmed I'm Sure was opaque in 2 coats, whereas it takes 3 coats for Electronica.  Electronica is also a tad lighter with a tad less shimmer.  My picture is a bit bluer than IRL.


Hocus Pocus - Holo glitter.  I have an addiction to holo top coats, and I prefer the ones that, with enough coats, can be worn on their own.  CC Magic Attraction and OPI Paris Couture for Sure are my top 2, and I think I prefer this one to Magic Attraction.    They are very close, but the glitter in Hocus Pocus is much finer in texture than Magic Attraction, which is a bit like craft glitter.  This is 3 coats, and I did have a bit of free-edge drag due to the thickness of the glitter, but that can be combated with a sticky base coat and allowing the coats to dry in-between.


















Spellbound - Neon orange.  Normally, I steer clear of oranges.  They never seem to look right with my skintone.  However, this one has enough red in it to make it work for me.  It's very bright, and as it's a neon, it dries matte.  This is a perfect Halloween polish and I plan on wearing it on Halloween (along with the below products).  Pic is 3 thin coats to try to hide VNLs (as you'll notice, I wasn't totally successful).

This set also comes with the below decals (be sure to enlarge pic to see the detail, they all have colored gems).


















Also, if you are really interested in Halloween nail art, Color Club's sister company, Art Club, has a companion gem set.

















This has black, pearl, orange, and silver rhinestones, as well as black and orange seed pearls.

The mini set is available at TD, VNS, and H2T, and the Art Club set is available at VNS.

These were sent to me for review.

RBL Sale Update

I realize this is old news for some, probably all, of you, but for continuity's sake, I figured I'd post about this here as well.  Plus, the sale is now days away, so I wanted to do a quick blurb just in case some of you didn't know (or forgot... yeah, right). 

A few weeks ago, Ji mentioned that rather than offering the sale on Black Friday or Cyber Monday (both previously mentioned), the sale will be on November 1st.  As previously mentioned, the new Tudor collection will not be included (a fact that somewhat chaps my ass).  However, she has agreed to include the RBL bath and body products (is anyone intersted in these?).  Free shipping is not an option during the saleand US shipping will take 10-14 business days (I would contact her regarding international shipping times). 

Also, she said that all carts will be emptied prior to the sale going live.  So if you loaded up your cart, entered your information, and hovered your mouse over "place order" at the start of the sale (um, not me *blush* LOL), you won't be able to do that this go around, so be sure to have your list finalized and be speedy in placing your order.

As for lists, I went a little overboard at Sephora a few days ago (damn Friends and Family sale), so my RBL budget has been drastically cut.  I realized, however, that several of the colors, I was simply picking up because they were 1/2-off and not because I had any sort of attachment to them.  I've narrowed my list down to 3 polishes (Ani, Smitten, and Scrangie).  If they were 1/2-price, I'd totally get Jane and Catherine H, and I was honestly willing to pay regular price for them, but then I got more and more irritated the more that I thought about them not being included, so I decided to forego them all together.  (Megan = fickle and bitchy).

Are you guys narrowing down your lists?  If you need any ideas, please check out my RBL label.  If I had to pick favorites (of the ones I own that are not d/c'd), I'd say the 2 remaining glitters, Frugalista and Look Rich, Be Cheap, as well as Plie and 360. 
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Color Club Edie

A few weeks ago, I received this press release from Color Club regarding Victoria Justice wearing Edie at her Body by Milk shoot...


Victoria Justice and Color Club’s Edie!

Victoria Justice wears Color Club shade Edie in October Body By Milk campaign!
Check it out! http://www.bodybymilk.com/quince click on Victoria & Stylists video then click on Gorgeous Nails to view!

Color Club Professional Nail Lacquers are ‘All about Color’! Our professional formula is the 3 FREE: DBP, formaldehyde and toluene FREE plus chip resistant, long-wearing and high-gloss with great coverage and always in demand! 























images provided by Color Club's PR
--

My first thought was "who is Victoria Justice?" (a quick Wikipedia search informed me she was a Nickelodeon star), but my second thought was "that color looks interesting".  I was already planning a haul from TD, so on a whim, I added it to the order and I was more-than-pleasantly surprised...













I love this color.  In a collection of over 500 polishes, this one is definitely unique.  Yes, it's a more-green-than-blue neon turquoise, along the lines of say China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise, but there is an inherent minty-ness to Edie that makes it stand out.  I'm not talking about pale mint here, I'm talking about the kind of mint brought to mind when one thinks about spearmint gum, or wintergreen lifesavers.  I swear, just by looking at this color, I get that cool, refreshing, tingly, minty sensation in my nose.  As it's a neon, it does dry a bit matte, but all that is fixed (if one so desires) with a coat of TC.  Pic is 2 coats.

Edie is available wherever Color Club products are sold.  I got mine at TD, but you can also find them at H2T and VNS.  They are almost always under $3 when purchased from e-tailers.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Deborah Lippmann Bitches Brew and a SURPRISE!!! - GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Here in TN, we are official in the middle of fall.  Because of this, I am finding myself reaching for deep reds and vampy colors left and right.  One of my favorites is Deborah Lippmann Bitches Brew


















I reviewed this polish several months ago, back when my nails were sad little nubs, but, as it's beyond amazing, I thought it was time to revisit it.  Bitches Brew is a dark burgundy shimmer.  It’s deep, rich, and perfect for fall.  It has a fantastic formula and it was opaque in 2 coats.  Bitches Brew and many other Deborah Lippmann polishes are available at various online retailers, including Apothica.com.

And that’s where my surprise comes in…  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was contemplating a give-away, and after that post, I’ve been wracking my brain about what to have as my prize for said give-away.  Then the fantastic folks at Apothica.com stepped in and offered to host a give-away for me!  They are offering my readers a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to their website, where you can find TONS of make-up and nail products by some of your favorite brands (Smashbox, Essie, Lippmann, Clinique, etc…).  Awesome, right?   

Here's how to enter:

You have the ability to earn up to 15 entries in this giveaway!  Though you can get as few or as many as you want.  You automatically get 2 if you reply in this post* (see below)
  • One entry for becoming a fan of Apothica.com on Facebook (link)
  • One entry for following Apothica.com on Twitter (link)
  • Two entries if you retweet Apothica.com’s tweet regarding this giveaway
  • Two entries if you leave a comment in this post.*  Please be sure that the comment is relevant to the post (comment about Apothica.com or more specifically Lippmann polishes)
  • Two entries for opting-in to Apothica.com’s November Newsletter (info can be found at the bottom of their website)  
  • Seven entries for a blog post with a link directed to Lippmann polishes on Apothica.com.  Blog post must have a minimum of 100 words regarding Lippmann polishes at Apothica.com and you must use the term Deborah Lippmann in the post and hyperlink to http://makeup.apothica.com/lippmann-collection.html
With your reply in this post, please also let me know what you have done for entry points.  If you blog about this giveaway (following the above guidelines), please give me the link to your post.  If you are the winner, all your entries will be verified.  Additionally, I ask that if you enter this giveaway, please be a follower of my blog.  New followers are always welcome. 

More important stuff to know if you are winner of this giveaway…
  1.  I will be sharing your contact information with Apothica.com.
  2. Apothica.com will contact you to verify information
  3.  Prize will be sent to the winner via email in the form of an online gift card.  Gift card can be used at Apothica.com, SkinCareRx.com, or SkinBotanical.com.
  4. Please save SkinCareRx.com as a contact in your email message book.  This will help to ensure that emails from them will not go to your spam folder.
Giveaway is open through November 8th.  Name will be drawn by November 10th.  Open to international readers.
Sunday, October 24, 2010

New Barielle Ulta Line

I recently had the opportunity to review Barielle's new Ulta line.  This line, currently comprised of 16 core colors and 2 seasonal collections, is available at Ulta brick and mortar stores, as well as at Ulta.com.  This post is quite long (but you can ignore my jabbering on and just look at the pictures.  LOL :P), as I'm putting all 28 colors and reviews in one post.  Also, as, save for the Holiday collection, I swatched the entire thing in one fell swoop, so my cuticles are looking very ragged (sorry, I tried to keep them in check).  Hopefully, that won't detract too much from the pics, as there are some really beautiful colors in the mix.  Additionally, I wanted to mention on the front-end that formula on almost all of these was great, and a big improvement from Barielle's sometimes way-too-thick formula.  Many of them, the cremes and the jellies especially, practically flowed on the nail, though I very little difficulty with any of the formulations.

First up, I have one of the 2 seasonal collections in this collection, Barielle's fall offering, Style in Argyle.    

Angora Aura - Warm golden mustard.  I think of all the colors in this fall collection, this is the one that appealed to me the most, and I think that's mainly because of it's weirdness.  You don't normally see colors like this, outside of a few here and there.  While it's nowhere near the same color, it's in the same vein as RBL No More War.  It's weird, dirty, and definitely different.  I think this one would look beautiful this fall with a purple sweater.  2 coats.


Cashmere or Loose Me - Medium pink-based brown with pink and gold microshimmer.  The lone shimmer in this collection.  It reminds me of Jessica Bittersweet, though the colors are definitely different enough to justify owning both.  The name is a little odd, I think it should be Cashmere or Lose Me, but that's neither nor there.   2 coats.




Cowl of the Wild - Dirty, olive-based brown.  This, like Angora Aura, is another dirty-weird color.  This one would look great with golden shades or even red.  2 coats.


Tight Knit - Nutmeg brown.  This one has a fair amount of pink in the bottle, though if doesn't really translate to the nail.  2 coats.


Unraveled Rust - Warm chocolate brown.  Looks like melted milk chocolate.    Don't let the name fool you, this one is not "rust", but once I realized that the name on this one was a play on Unbridled Lust, I thought it was really cool.  LOL.  Formula was very smooth.  2 coats.

Wool You Marry Me - Burgundy-based brown.  This one is a little different that the other colors in the collection, in that it was slightly cooler.  This one would be beautiful paired with navy for fall.  2 coats.

I know this collection as gotten a bit of a bad rap, as it's mainly just a jumble of browns, but I really like it.  There is a brown in here for everyone and a weird, dirty mustard color for those of you that like to be outside of the status quo.  This collection is currently available at Ulta stores, and at Ulta.com. 

Next, is the second seasonal collection, Holiday Hustle...


Coalest Day of the Year - Charcoal grey metallic shimmer.  In terms of metallic-y-ness, this one is actually on the more subtle side.  The color itself reminds me somewhat of Orly Iron Butterfly with a TC, though Coalest Day of the Year is definitely shinier.  This is a very chic color and would look great on short, squared nails.  2 coats.


Elle's Spell - Deep red jelly with gold/green/orange holo flakies.  This one went on very sheer, but was buildable.  Pic is 3 coats, and you will need that many to reach opacity, but to also give depth to the flakies, which incidentally, I found to be more uniform that other flakies I've tried (i.e. OPI Merry Midnight... I don't have any Nfu-Oh flakies to compare).  This is a beautiful color for the holidays.

Gelt Me to the Party - Old gold frosty metallic.  In the bottle, this one has subtle ribbons of light gold shimmer, which don't exactly translate to the nail.  I'm pretty sure those shimmer ribbons are what add to the frost effect.  Unlike the other 2 frosts in this collection (see below), this one had the least issues with brushstrokes, though they were still there, so you will still need to watch your strokes.  As for the name, I'm pretty sure this is either supposed to be "Get Me to the Party" or "Gilt Me to the Party".  2 coats.

















Snow Day - Silver frosty metallic.  And when I say "frosty", I mean FROSTY.  This is probably my least favorite from all the Barielles I reviewed in this post.  In the bottle, it's beautiful... a pale, icy blue-silver metallic with silver and blue shimmer ribbons.  Sadly, it just doesn't translate.  I'm not saying to count it out, as the color is pretty, but you will have to use a sticky base coat, and go slow between coats minding your brushstrokes in order to make this one work, IMO.  2 coats.

Wrap Me in Ribbon - Mauve pink frosty metallic.  Compared to Snow Day, this one is more like Gelt Me to the Party.  The brushstrokes are manageable, and it has a faint golden pink shimmer to set it apart.  It's nice to see a paler pink included in a holiday collection.  3 coats.

Jess' Champagne Toast - Lavender-grey foil with pink microglitter.  I honestly think this one is my favorite of the Holiday polishes.  That's not to say it doesn't have it's down points... the base is a tad too thick to let all the microglitter shine through (though to be fair a good amount of it does peek through).  However, when compared to another similar polish, CC Ms. Hautie, this one actually works.  Yes, it is more amazing in the bottle than it is on the nail, but I still fell in love with it.  I wore this as a mani and I kept parakeeting my nails all day long.  You will need several coats of TC as this one has a tendency to eat it up (I think I ended up with 3 coats of TC after all was said and done).  3 coats.

This collection had me torn.  I love Jess' Champagne Toast and Elle's Spell, though I thought there was maybe one (or two) too many frosts.  I just checked and this collection is currently not available at Ulta.com, though I expect it will pop up within the next few weeks.  I've you've spotted it at your local Ulta B&M store let me know and I will update this post.  I just don't have an Ulta in my area.  

And lastly, I have the 16 core colors (shades the Barielle brought over from the existing collection)...

Belly Dance - Greige base with pink, blue, and silver microshimmer.  The shimmer is what keeps this one from being your run-of-the-mill greige polish, though it is more pronounced in the bottle than on the nail.  2 coats.

















Berry Blue - Inky blue jelly.  Le Sigh.  We all know that Megan loves blue, and this color is no exception.  It actually looks like blueberry jam.  I love everything about this color... the finish, the tone, the application.  Well, it does give you smurf fingers, so I don't like that, but aside from the inherent smurfyness, it's a gorgeous shade, probably my favorite of the core Ulta colors.  2 coats (with a thinner 3rd coat on a couple nails to even it out)


Coco Bar - Deep, rich cocoa brown.  This one is deeper in tone, and in richness than Unraveled Rust.  It literally looks like cocoa powder.  I love this color.  2 coats.

Decadence - Teal green shimmer.  This color is amazing.  It's along the same vein (in tone, not in finish) as CC Untamed Luxury.  2 coats.

Ecstasy - Bright, clear red jelly.  I would call this a pin-up red.  It's clear and bright and true, meaning it doesn't clean orange or blue.  I love a jelly red that doesn't leave me with VNLs and this one fits the bill.  2 coats.

















Euphoric - Orange-based, salmon/cinnamon brown-hybrid creme.  How difficult could I make this description?  LOL.  It's too orange to be a salmon and too light to be classified as a cinnamon brown.  I would classify this a "mom" color.  It's pretty, but doesn't really work with my skintone.  2 coats.

















Expressive - Light lavender-pink creme.  Seems like a cross between OPI Lucky, Lucky Lavender and Panda-Monium Pink.  2 coats.


















Flirtini - Bright magenta jelly.  Another jelly that doesn't leave you with VNLs.  2 coats.

















Grape Escape - Medium-toned purple creme.  I know we've had a few purple cremes pop up in the last year or so, RBL Mismas, ChG Grape Pop, and OPI Funky Dunkey.  However, this one seems more like RBL Purple Haze.  Granted, it doesn't have the smokiness of Purple Haze, but the base tone is more similar.  If you love purples, you will love this one.  I think it would look amazing with yellow.  2 coats.

Lust - Deep red jelly.  This one is Ecstasy's older sister.  Definitely darker and sexier, but still bright and clear.    This one leans a little blue.  It looks much darker in the bottle.  2 coats.

















Misbehaving Mistress - Grey-brown shimmer with silver ribbons.  I found this color to be a bit odd.  I don't think it worked with my skintone.  Also, the silver ribbons made it a tad frosty on the nail.  2 coats.

















Out-grey-geous - Light grey metallic shimmer with golden shimmer particles.  This one reminded me of a grey version of CC Snakeskin.  The color is pretty, but I found the formula to be a little hard to work with (it's thin) and because of that, it has a tendency to be brushstrokey if you don't let it dry between coats.  Pic is 3 coats.

















Pink Sherbert - Pale shell pink shimmer.  I like this one because it's a pale polish that is opaque in 2 coats.  You don't have to baby it and you don't have to apply it over white or apply a 1000 coats in order for it took look great.  This is a great work-safe color.

















Sailors Delight - Light, warm, creamy pink.  Like ChG Sugar High and OPI ElePhantasic Pink's baby sister.  This one seems like it would have the ability to compliment every skintone.  Also, like Pink Sherbert, the formula was thick enough to be perfectly opaque at 2 coats.  I can't say how much I love that in a light polish.  Plus, I adore the name... "pink sky at night... sailor's delight".

















Slate of Affairs - Grey-blue shimmer with purple/blue flash.  Maybe it's the purple/blue flash in this, but a part of me wants to call this a deep periwinkle shimmer.  It definitely doesn't seem like a slate blue, IMO.  But at any rate, it's a gorgeous color.  I can't wait to wear this one as a full mani.  2 coats.

U-Concrete-Me - Medium grey creme.  This one is pretty straight-forward.  It's a grey creme.  Not too much to say about it, though the formula was nice.  Also, I think it would look gorgeous with icy and pale blues.  2 coats.

Whew.  If you stuck around that long... Thanks!  :)  This is a great line.  I kind of wish that Date Night and Swizzle Stick had been included, but I think they hit all the main points with this collection of polishes.  Also, I know the majority of us don't have a problem with ordering polishes off the internet, but if you do, I think this is perfect for you.  It makes Barielle much more accessible (provided you aren't like me and don't live in the land Ulta forgot) and gives you to see the polishes up close and personal.  Of course, if you do want to order them online, save for the Holiday line, which I would expect to see soon, all the polishes are available at Ulta.com (though they don't have Barielle in their Brand drop-down, so you will need to search).  Also, they are B2G1F through the month of October.  Retail price at Ulta is $6.

These were sent to me for review



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Barielle Jess' Champagne Toast

Today, in my nail mail, I received Barielle's new Ulta line.  Essentially, it's 16 standard Barielle shades plus the fall and winter 2010 collections.  As it's a total of 28 (!) polishes, I will do my best to get it swatched and reviewed by the end of next week.  However, I wanted to give a sneak peek with one of my initial favorites, Jess' Champagne Toast...


















I will give a full review when I review the collection, but in a nutshell... Jess' Champagne Toast is a grey-lavender foil with pink microglitter.  I absolutely love it and I can't stop looking at my nails.  Pic is 3 coats and the formula was perfect. 

It's part of Barielle's winter collection, Holiday Hustle.  Boliday Hustle should be available at Ulta stores and Ulta.com soon, and through the month of October, all Barielle's are B2G1F.  Price at Ulta and Ulta.com is $6/each.

This polish was sent to me for review.
Friday, October 15, 2010

Orly Entourage


















I found this little gem tucked in the glitter section of my organizer and decided to use it for a layering experiment.  It didn't really work for that purpose, but in the process, I discovered an amazing polish.  I got this, along with a couple other Orly minis, on a whim, a few months ago from TD.  I got it, thought it looked dull, and didn't give it another thought.  That was, until today.  It's a deep fuschia (almost purple) jelly, packed with pink, purple, and silver square glitter.  It goes on rather sheer, but it's pretty buildable.  The pic is 4 coats, which sounds like a lot, but it dried quickly, and given a few minutes between coats, it wasn't a problem at all.  The only problem is that it's only available as a mini, which is great for the pocketbook ($2 at TransDesign), but the wand is rather stubby and a bit of a pain.
Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm back!

Hey all, I got back yesterday, but as I woke up at 1:45a with a horrific gallbladder attack and we had to be on the Magical Express bus at 3:45a for a 6:30a flight, I was pretty much toast all day.  I meant to get to posting today, but my camera is packed and it may be a few days until I get around to unearthing it.  Plus, I chopped my nails down to super-nubs today (they were bugging me and breaking left and right), so while I do have a few new SpaRituals to show you, I think it may have to wait a few days.  I've also got a few ideas cooking for my giveaway and breast cancer awareness and depression awareness month.  Hopefully, I'll be back up to speed soon.  It always feels like after vacation is when I have no motivation to do anything.  LOL.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.

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