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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dollish Polish Putting on the Ritz

This is 2 coats of Putting on the Ritz over 3 coats of Julep Lauren, a bright fuchsia pink creme.

Putting on the Ritz is a mix of small and large black and white hex glitter in a clear base.  If you have been lemming one of the indie black and white glitter topcoats, but don't like bar glitter, then Putting on the Ritz is the perfect solution.  

Although, it's not that easy to find, as Dollish Polish is one of the more well-known indie-polish brands.  However, Dolly announced that this Friday she is restocking this polish, along with Aurora Borealis, Spank You Very Much, Random Dancing, and Urban Camo, on her website.  Unfortunately, she doesn't give exact times, though, so you have to stalk her site all day.  

Also, to help with availability, Dollish Polish is available at Overall Beauty (though with limited products and she's OOS now) and the brand is coming to Llarowe next month.  

On her website, Dollish Polish sells for $8.75 per full-sized bottle and $4.50 for a mini.  Be sure to follow her on Facebook for more information about the restocks. 

Dollish Polish Putting on the Ritz was purchased by me.  Julep Lauren was in my last Julep Maven box.  The above links link to a post on this blog, Dollish Polish's Facebook page, and various websites to purchase the products used in this post and are not affiliate links.   

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nails Inc. Burlington Arcade

For this summer, Nails Inc has released several small "nail effects" collections.  One of those collections is Nail Jewelry, which consists of four glitter top coats designed to "adorn your nails like precious jewels".  The four polishes in this collection are... Picadilly Arcade (emerald), Princess Arcade (pink diamond), Royal Arcade (sapphire), and Burlington Arcade (diamond).  Of the four, I received Burlington Arcade, the "diamond" topcoat, for review...

Burlington Arcade is a mix of silver, holographic glitter of various sizes and shapes in a clear base.  There are also shards of glitter in this one and while usually, glitter shards are on my "no-go" list, I actually don't mind them in this polish.  I think that's because they are smaller and lay flat on the nail.  

While I was swatching it, tt almost reminded me of one of the many "indie" glitter topcoats now available, simply because of the various sizes and shapes to the glitter.  Although, it's nowhere near as chunky as some indie shard-glitter topcoats I've seen.  Application on this one was perfect.  The polish flowed smoothly on the nail and there was no glitter-drag.  

I have seen swatches of the other polishes within the Nail Jewelry collection and it looks like it may be possible to almost reach opacity with the other colors.  However, with Burlington Arcade, that is not the case.  The above picture is 3 coats and I was nowhere near reaching opacity.  I did like that it gave my natural nails a flash of shimmer, though.  

I like it on my natural nails, but this is absolutely beautiful when it is layered, and, honestly, that's the whole point of this collection...

This is 2 coats of Burlington Arcade over 2 coats of Nails Inc Black Taxi, a rich black creme.  I love this over black.  It's very dramatic, and think the dark base is a perfect backdrop for this topcoat.  I really like how the black enhances the rainbow of colors that come out in the holo glitter.  That said,  my favorite way to wear this is below...

This is 3 coats of Burlington Arcade over 2 coats of Nails Inc Floral Street, an opaque, white creme.  Believe it or not, as stunning as this was over Black Taxi, it was just as beautiful when layered over this saturated white.  Unfortunately, in pictures this combination doesn't want to show off as much as Burlington Arcade + Black Taxi, but trust me... it is so, so pretty.  It's also a much more subtle look (as subtle as you can get with holo, chunky glitter.  LOL).  

I think you can guess, I absolutely love Burlington Arcade.  The multitude of glitter sizes and shapes sets it apart from other silver holo glitter topcoats, in my opinion.  I really liked it over black, but it was amazing over white.  Because of this baby, I can't wait to try the Nail Jewelry in other colors.  I've heard that Royal Arcade layered over Baker Street is especially gorgeous.     

You can find all 4 of the Nails Inc Nail Jewelry polishes at Sephora.com.  Price is $9.50 for a 0.33 fl oz bottle.  

All polishes shown within this post were sent to me for review by Nails Inc's PR.  The above link links to this product on Sephora.com and is not an affiliate link.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jessica Cosmetics Gelato Mio! Collection Review

It seems like we have been seeing neons as the nail trend this summer, with every major brand releasing a neon collection, and like with almost all trends, I embrace it early on, and then get a little tired of it as the season wears on.  That's why when I saw the press release for Jessica's Gelato Mio! collection, it was a breath of fresh air.

Gelato Mio! is a collection of six ice cream inspired creme nail polish shades, that, while not at all neons, practically screamed summer to me...

Banana Peel - light banana-pudding yellow.  As I've mentioned several times, I have really fallen in love with yellows over the past few months, and while I think I prefer brighter yellows on my skintone, I really like Banana Peel.  And I'm not sure if you can describe a nail polish as "fluffy", but that's the word that came to mind while I was swatching and reviewing this polish.  It's so light and airy, and like all of these polishes, perfect for summer.   

Barely Blueberry - light blue.  It seems like I have been searching for the perfect sky blue for years with no luck.  Then over the last few months, I find three that I love... Julep Jessica, Deborah Lippmann Let's Hear it for the Boy, and this one.  Honestly, I would have a hard time choosing a favorite between the three, but if Juleps are out of your comfort zone because of bottle shape and expense, and the Lippmann is no longer available, then Barely Blueberry would be a fabulous option.  It's is such a pretty sky blue, and unlike some blues I've tried along these same lines, it doesn't give me red-hands.  

Lime Cooler - light, kiwi green.  Gorgeous light, yet bright green, that is pretty unique in my collection. If you are looking for a lime green that isn't too yellow, definitely check out Lime Cooler.   Sometimes, like with certain pale blues, this type of color can my skin look red or dirty, but this one doesn't.  It also had one of the thicker formulas.  

Strawberry Shake It - pale candy pink.  To me, this one is color of strawberry taffy.  Like Banana Peel, the color was almost "fluffy".  It is a gorgeous shade, but I think for me, it's almost too light to work with my skin.  It's still super pretty, and I think it would look fantastic on darker skin or tanned skin.

Surfer Boyz 'n Berry - light aqua.  This one is a great marriage of blue and green and reminds me of the color of the water in some exotically tropical locale.  It seems similar to Zoya Wednesday, but I think Wednesday has more green in it.  I love this kind of color, and Surfer Boyz 'n Berry is no exception.  It's my favorite of the collection.  It also has one of the the thicker formulas.

Tangerine Dreamz - light-toned, creamy, medium orange.  This one is the color of orange push pops.  It's also a lighter orange that works with my skintone.  Looking at it makes me want ice cream or an Orange Julius.  :P  This one is one of the brighter shades in the collection.

As you will notice, I didn't really say much about the formulas or the number of coats in my descriptions.  That's because the formulas are very similar.  The lighter colors, Banana Peel, Barely Blueberry, and Strawberry Shake It, had the thinnest and streakiest formulas, but they were still manageable and opaque in 2 coats.  The darker shades, Lime Cooler, Surfer Boyz 'n Berry, and Tangerine Dreamz, had thicker formulas and were two-coaters.  

As I said above, I think this is a perfect summer collection.  My favorites is Surfer Boyz 'n Berry, but there isn't a one of them that I don't like.  I would probably not pick up Strawberry Shake It, simply because it did look a little chalky on my, but it's still beautiful and if you have more olive in your skin, it would look super pretty.  

Jessica Gelato Mio! is currently available at Jessica Cosmetics' website.  Jessica polishes retail for $7.50 a bottle.

Jessica Gelato Mio! collection was sent to me for review.  The above link links to Jessica Cosmetic's website and is not an affiliate link.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Duality Cosmetics Nail-Pak Product Review

When I travel, I hate taking nail supplies with me.  That's because I always have leaks and I end up with a mess in my cosmetics bag.  Thus, I am always looking for products that make traveling with nail polish easier and neater. 

That's why I was really excited to see the press release for Duality Cosmetics Nail-Pak hit my in-box.  As recently seen on ABC's Shark Tank, Nail-Pak is the first product from Duality Cosmetics, and it's an all-in-one manicure system, designed to make manicures easier.  Each Nail-Pak set consists of a bottle of nail polish, and an attached container that holds a nail file and 40 remover-soaked pads... 

This is the product when it's put together.  
This picture shows the size of Nail-Pak.  It's LARGE.  It's about 3.5 inches tall and the size of a US half-dollar around.  

This picture shows what you see when you separate the base and the polish.  The lever to press to open the bottom container was a little wonky on mine. 

This picture shows a close-up of the base with the remover pads.  This was incredibly had for me to open.  I read the instructions on Duality's site and I still struggled with it for minutes.  However, I finally discovered that the secret is to push down hard directly under the little tab with your finger right up against the side of the container.  Basically, the file is a seal and it's thicker than you think it is.  You have to break that seal in order to use the pads.  It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. 

One of the remover-soaked pads.  These are about the size of a US quarter and are really thin.  However, they have to be thin in order to fit 40 in the base.  I found that despite their thinness, they actually do remove your nail polish effectively.  You will need to use probably 3-4 to remove a full manicure and I wouldn't even try to remove a glitter or another hard-to-remove polish.  You would end up using the entire 40.  Also, these smell really nice.  

I used 2 coats of Rosa for the above swatch.  Rosa is a shimmery pinkish-red with a small amount of pearl in the finish.  It's a very pretty color, and while admittedly, it's not something I would gravitate towards, I think that it is a color that appeals to a lot of people.  The formula was nice and it flowed well on the nail. The brush and the brush handle are easy to hold and use.  

For me, I thought this was a little large for a travel product, but I really liked the concept.  If I did use this for travel, I would also have to take a separate topcoat, which sort-of defeats the concept of an all-in-one product.  But, I'm also a person that's never without a topcoat on my nails.  If you don't mind being without a topcoat, then this may work with you for travel.  Also, I think Nail-Pak would be a perfect item to give to someone just getting in to nail polish. 

Nail-Pak is available at Duality Cosmetics' website and is also available at QVC.  They also have a broad color range for those of us that aren't as conventional in our nail polish choices.   However, the color selection at QVC is much more limited than if you purchase them from Duality Cosmetics directly.  Nail-Paks sell for $15 each at Duality's website and $21.36 for 2 at QVC. 

Duality Cosmetics Nail-Pak was sent to me by PR for review.  The above links link to ABC's website, as well as websites to purchase this product and are not affiliate links. 
Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Julep Maven Box

Back last year, when I first joined Julep Maven, I had plans of showing you my monthly Maven boxes.  Then life got a little topsy-turvy and I just never continued past my first box.  

However, as I now have a Julep Maven giveaway in the works (link below), I figured I would show you this month's box because I think it's particularly awesome!

All Maven Boxes come in a pretty standard black shipping box, but the fun starts when you open it.  Here what I found inside June's Classic with Twist box...

Such cute packaging.  I love that the boxes always follow a theme.  I loved the orange tissue paper and the Pixie Sticks were a nice touch.  

Bonus lip balm!

Unless you choose the all-polish box, It Girl, then you will receive on product.  This month's product was Daylight Defense Hand and Nail Cream (sorry for the out-of-focus picture).

Normally, I'm a Bombshell, though I will often pick It Girl because of all the polishes, but I switched it to Classic with a Twist simply because of the names of the polishes.  Lauren is my sister's name and Claire is my daughter's name.  Plus, the colors were super pretty and summery.  Here they are swatched...

Claire - turquoise blue creme.  Gorgeous color.  I love this kind of blue and Claire is no exception.  Fantastic formula.  2 coats.

Lauren - bright fuchsia pink creme.  This one is a beautiful bright pink.  I loved this one on my nails.     Plus, hot pink = instant tan.  Same formula as Claire.  2 coats.

For me, this was my favorite Julep box in a while, and that's saying something because there have been some good boxes lately.  I adore both of these colors, and while I'm usually not a product-girl, I figured this face cream would come in handy because I'm out in the sun so much this summer.

If you are interested in becoming a Julep Maven, I am hosting a Maven introductory box giveaway.  To enter the contest, click here.  

Don't want to wait? You can go to Julep.com and use code MAVENINTRO to receive your introductory Maven box for $0.01!  

I received the products within my post through my Maven subscription.  The above links link to my giveaway blog post and to Julep.com.  The Julep.com link is an affiliate link.  If you become a Julep Maven using that link, I will receive a credit and for every 2 credits, I receive a free month.  You will receive your own link referral link when you become a Julep Maven.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dollish Polish Toxic Avenger

So normally, I try to avoid posting swatches of polishes that are extremely hard-to-find.  I know that personally, I hate perusing blogs and seeing a polish I love and then finding out it's long-discontinued or a super rare limited-edition.  I like to be able to go and purchase something once the lemming fire has been lit.

Probably like most of you, my most recent lemmings have been for indie brands, despite my claim that I've given up on indies.  LOL.  My general rule on posting indies is that if I have the indie polish, I will post a picture of it, provided that at some point, it will be restocked.

However, I had to make an exception for this baby.  Isn't she gorgeous?

This is one coat of Dollish Polish Toxic Avenger over 2 coats of Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather.

You may remember that my entry to last year's Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection contest was an oilslick polish.  I based the entry on a picture that I took the day after Christmas, right after we had our first-in-a-million-years white Christmas.  

An oilslick polish has been my dream for years and I was inspired by the picture.  I wasn't even planning on entering the contest and then I saw that gorgeous swirly rainbow in the middle of a dirty gas station parking lot, and I couldn't help myself.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Ji Baek didn't feel the same as I did and my idea wasn't selected as one of the finalists.  Boo.  

After my submission was rejected, I tried to find a polish that hits all of my check boxes when it comes to my dream "oilslick".  Some have come close, but so far, I had not found a polish that has the same feeling as my inspiration picture.  In fact, I pretty much decided that it was an urban legend.. a mythical being, and given up.

Then I saw Toxic Avenger on Krystal's blog a few months ago.  Yes, it's a holographic polish, but it's so much more.  There is also a duochrome shift to it, which unfortunately, I didn't capture in my pictures, but it shifts from pink to green.  And because of the spectraflair pigment, I think this one would look holographic in a cave.  :P 

I did think that it was too light to be my perfect oilslick polish, but a base of dark grey fixed that.  I opted to layer it over my new favorite grey creme, Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather.  Also, because I have a mini bottle (and this stuff is like liquid gold, IMO), I will probably continue to layer it when I wear it.

Unfortunately, it was a limited edition polish and I didn't know if Dollish Polish was going to ever restock it.  Then, I saw it listed as the "mystery polish" when Dolly re-opened her store last week.  I added it to my cart quick as a bunny, and I am so, so, so happy I did.  I think I could stare at my nails for a week and not get bored.  

As I mentioned, Toxic Avenger is a LE polish, and while Dolly is continually restocking her store on a relatively frequent basis, I'm not sure if Toxic Avenger will be making a come-back.  I hate showing you a polish that requires you to make deals with Rumpelstiltskin to acquire, but I just couldn't help it.  Please forgive me for any lemmings this may have created.

Dollish Polish Toxic Avenger was purchased by me.  The above links link to a post on this blog and Polish Galore and are not affiliate links. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Julep Maven Giveaway

I am so excited to share with you a fantastic Julep giveaway!

As you all may have guessed, I am a huge fan of Julep and the Julep Maven program.  I just love my monthly box of nail-mail, and I would like to share that with you.  Thus, I have paired with Julep to give away an introductory Maven box.

Like all Maven boxes, this box is a $40 value, and you can see examples of what you will find inside the introductory Maven box by clicking here.  Personally, I'm a Bombshell, that occasionally switches it up to It Girl, but if you win, you can select your own Maven personality.

To enter the giveaway, simply click below using the Rafflecopter widget.  All entries must be made via Rafflecopter and giveaway will end on 6/29/2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and thank you so much for entering!

For more information about becoming a Julep Maven please click here.  Also, be sure to use code MAVENINTRO to receive your first Maven box, including shipping, for $0.01!   

Giveaway prize provided to me by Julep.  The above links link to Julep's website and the second link is my Julep Maven affiliate link.  If you join the program using my referral link, I will receive credit and for every 2 people that join, I receive a free month.  When you join the Maven program, you will get your own referral link to share.  :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I wanted to do a special manicure for Father's Day, but I couldn't decide on what.  This idea is one that has been floating around in my brain for several months now, and I thought Father's Day was the perfect occasion for which to make it happen.  And for any other "Good Eats" nerds out there... yes, this was inspired by Alton Brown's mixer.  :P

I think it turned out perfect.  :)

This is 2 coats of Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather, a rich, graphite grey creme, as a base.  I then applied the flames using BundleMonster plate BM12 and Konad Special Polish in red and yellow.  To create the swirled effect in the flames, I first covered the design with the yellow stamping polish and then topped that polish with drops of the red stamping polish and used the pointed end of an orange stick to mix them.  I then scraped the polish and applied the stamp as usual.  

On my ring fingers, I wanted to create an accent nail, so rather than starting with the yellow polish, I first put down the red polish and then topped it with drops of yellow.  I then sealed in the whole thing  with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat.  

I love this look.  Even Tim, who usually couldn't care less about my manicures, said this one looked "bad ass".  I hope you love this one as much I do, and for any dads reading... I hope you have a fabulous day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Duri Keep Your Options Open Spring/Summer Collection Review - Part 2

Yesterday, I brought you the first part of this collection, and today, I have for you the 6 remaining colors, and I think I've saved the best for last...

Celebrate the Sunset - Dusty pink creme.  I was really drawn to this color.  Given the name, and the dustiness and slight purple tinge to this color, I was immediately reminded Mountbatten pink, a dusty pink used to camouflage warships at dusk (though I think this is pinker than true Mountbatten pink, that may actually have been closer to the mauve-pink below).  It's also the exact shade you will sometimes see at sunset when the sky near the horizon turns pink.  I had good coverage with the formula and was able to reach opacity in 2 coats.

How to pink a winner - dolphin-skin grey creme.  This is such a pretty grey with a lot of blue in the base.  It reminds me of Zoya Kelly and Caitlin, in that regard.  Also, in the bottle and on my nail, it is a bit bluer that it appears in my pictures.  It doesn't really scream "summer" to me, but it is a really nice color, nonetheless.  2 coats.

Keep Your Options Open - deep, vampy purple with subtle red, blue, and purple micro-shimmer.  You may be saying to yourself "oh another vampy purple", and it is a vampy purple.  However, it's the shimmer in this one that sets it apart.  The base is a jelly-ish creme and the micro-shimmer gets suspended in the base so when you move your fingers, you see sparkles of fine shimmer.  The shimmer's not exact hidden or secret, but it's not an overtly-shimmery polish, if that makes sense.  It was a little hard to capture the shimmer with my camera, but my ring finger in the top picture and my pinky finger in the bottom picture are good examples.  The formula was good and I had no issues.  2 coats.

Lazy Days - Medium-toned, dusty mauve.  When I first saw this one in the color, I thought it was going to be very "mom-ish".  Then I put it on and I fell in love with it.  It really reminds me of the long-discontinued Essie Lyford Lilac, though it's more purple than the Essie.  This one had the best formula of the lot and it was opaque in one coat, though I applied two.  

Steal the Spotlight - Bright, orange-based red with golden micro-shimmer.  I think this one is my favorite polish in this collection.  The color is warm, but is very wearable on my skintone, which can sometimes be an issue with orange-reds.  It's so bright and summery and would look fantastic with a tan.  I had no issues with the formula.  2 coats.  

The Big Score - rose champagne metallic.  This lone metallic in this collection is also the one which stumped me the most in coming up with a description.  The color is a pretty mix of mauve-pink, silver, and champagne gold, and while it's a foily-metallic, there are also large particles of silver and pink shimmer in this one.  This one is pretty unique in my collection.  The formula was good and I had no issues.  2 coats.  

I thought the previous colors from this collection were nice springy colors, but I absolutely love the colors in this second grouping.  If I had to pick favorites, I'd say Celebrate the Sunset and Steal the Spotlight, but there isn't one I don't like.  

Duri polishes are available at Duri.com and retail for $5 a bottle.

Duri Keep Your Options Open was sent to me review.  The above links like to a previous post on this blog and Duri's website and are not affiliate links.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Duri Keep Your Options Open Spring/Summer Collection Review - Part 1

Sorry for taking a short break.  This summer break is all about trying to manage my time and at this point, I'm not doing such a good job of it.  LOL.

Anyway, today, I have for you part 1 of Duri's Spring/Summer 2012 collection.  When Duri sent out this collection, both in press releases and in samples, they broke it in to groups, Spring and Summer.  These polishes are from the "Spring" grouping and tomorrow, I will show you the "Summer" group...

Far and Away Adventures - hot, rose pink shimmer.  When I first swatched this one, I thought I wouldn't like it.  I honestly thought it was going to be a frosty mess.  However, it surprised me.  What I thought was going to be frost was actually a slight purple flash.  I really love the color, too.  I'm not sure, if I could wear it for a full manicure, but I think this would look fantastic as a summer pedicure.  The formula was fine, though I still had thin spots at 2 coats, so I applied three.  Also, while it's not a frost polish, it is apt to show brush strokes, so it's wise to go slow with this one and watch where you place your strokes.  

Necessary Luxury - light, putty grey creme.  This polish would fit nicely in the "greige" family, and is a great work-safe polish.  There is a slight lavender tone to it in the bottle, but that didn't really translate on to my nails.  Formula was fine with no issues.  3 coats.  

Off the Beaten Path - light, lilac creme.  This one is so light and airy and I think it's a perfect spring polish, though it would look just as lovely in the summer.  It's a beautiful purple with a hint of blue.  3 coats.  

Set the Mood - Milky white sheer.  The color on this one is very pretty, but I really didn't like the formula.  I can handle sheers on occasion, provided they aren't streaky (which a non-streaky sheer polish is a rare find).  This one wasn't as streaky as some I've seen, so you may be able to tame it with a sticky base coat.  I still had thin spots at 3 coats, so I'm not sure if you can reach opacity with this one.  That said, I think this would work well as a french manicure polish, provided you could control the streaks.  3 coats.  

Stay in Splendor - creamy orange creme.  This one was the color of orange creamsicles.  I think this one would look fabulous with a tan.  Formula was a little thin for me.  3 coats.  

Trust Your Instincts - light pink-lavender.  This one is the baby sister to Off the Beaten Path.  It's a super light polish, but I was able to reach opacity rather quickly.  I found the formula to be thick, yet a little runny, but it was easy to control.  2 coats.

I thought this was a really nice offering for spring.  My favorites are Off the Beaten Path, and oddly enough, Far and Away Adventures.  Be sure to check tomorrow for the second part of this collection.  

Duri polishes are available at Duri.com, as well as other online retailers and brick and mortar supply stores.  Polishes retail for $5 a bottle.

Duri Keep Your Options Open collection was sent to me for review.  The above link links to this collection on Duri's website and is not an affiliate link.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.



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