Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So Sorry

I have been having some health issues lately and then the beginning of school for my son, so I haven't had a lot of free time to post swatches etc.  I apologize for that.  I have plenty of swatches to post, just haven't been able to post them. 

In my last post I showed you Essie French Affair, and today I am going to show you another color from this collection.  For your viewing and informational pleasure I present Essie Nice is Nice.

 This color is the reason I bought this mini set, it was a nice light lavender for Easter and I couldn't beat the price.
sun-ish, this washes the color out slightly, it definitely has more purple to it, the shaded parts are more true
Nice is Nice is a light/soft lavender color perfect for Spring and/or Easter.  Unfortunately, the formula and application on this was the same as with the other Essie polishes I have been swatching.  That is, it appears to be ok in the bottle, not gloopy or too runny, but when it comes to actually getting it onto the nail it wants to streak on the first coast and then not self-level on the second.  For a brand that costs as much as Essie does, I would definitely expect better application.  The color is spot-on for a Spring collection, but nothing that is terribly unique or original.  Until nest time, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pink Wednesday - Essie French Affair

It's Wednesday which means it's time for pink polish.  Today I have for you Essie French Affair, which is the namesake polish of Essie's Spring 2011 French Affair collection.  I got this polish as part of one of Essie's mini sets, 4 mini bottles from a particular collection.  I was looking for a nice pastel purple for Easter, and this just came along in the collection.  I probably would never have bought it except the set was on clearance at Beauty Brands so I got it 50% off.

Bottle in the shade, the sun picture washed it out too much.
French Affair is what I would call a petal pink, almost bubblegum but leaning very slightly lavender.  A dusty Barbie pink, all in all a very pretty color, I got a few compliments from complete strangers on this color.


The swatches are a base of Seche Retain, two coats of polish and a top of Seche Vite.  The formula on this one was ok, I seem to be having issues with almost all of Essie's polishes in terms of formula.  It wants to pull and streak on the first coat, and the the second coat doesn't want to self-level very well unless you put it on really thick, which leads to dry time issues.  The polish itself seemed of a good consistency coming out of the bottle i.e. didn't seem really thick and gloopy thus requiring thinning or really thin and runny.  It was a good consistency which is why I was surprised that it gave me so much trouble in application.  Unfortunately this seemed to be a going trend with all of the Essie polishes I have swatched recently.  It won't keep me from using the colors I really like, but it was a bit frustrating.

And since I never seem to be able to leave good enough alone, I present to you, for your viewing pleasure, the Essie French Affair funky french.

For this I just added Orly Butterflies to the tips and another coat of Seche Vite.  You can see a little bit of shrinkage on the end of my pinky finger, but it's not really noticeable without the macro setting on my camera.

So there you have it, Essie French Affair and a funky french with Orly Butterflies to close out another Pink Wednesday.  I should have the other three colors I have of the French Affair collection posted in the coming days, stay tuned.  Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pink Wednesday

Today I have for you Zoya Renee. 
 Zoya describes this as "Ultra-bright red-toned medium neon pink creme" well OK, that clears everything up.  Some people would call this a fuchsia, others would call it more of a bright raspberry, I call it awesomesauce, and all of the above, because really it is.  This was originally part of Zoya's La-Di-Da collection that came out in the summer of 2009, and this is the perfect summer polish.

excuse the cat hair on the top, didn't notice until I edited the pictures.
This bright but not neon raspberry pink takes my pale skin and makes it look tan, and if you already have a tan it's going to make it look so much better.  When I look at my nails with this color on I instantly think summer, to me, Zoya Renee is summer in nail polish form.

shade picture
This is a base of Brucci Miracle Nail Hardener and Essie Beam Up, two medium coats of Renee and a top of Seche Vite.  The formula on this was what I have come to expect from Zoya, which means almost flawless.  I say almost flawless because this polish wasn't the greatest at self-leveling and almost seemed to get thicker in the bottle in the time between the first coat and the second coat.  For this color it definitely wasn't a deal breaker.  I believe that some of the reason for the slightly problematic application was because of what Zoya says in their description, "neon".  Most neon polishes that I have used are somewhat prone to application issues because of the formula required to get a neon color.  I didn't buy the neon claim until after putting the first coat of this on, it dried to an almost vinyl or satin-matte finish, it was definitely not shiny and glossy on it's own.  There is a slight visible nail line (VNL) with 2 coats, but I didn't notice it until I held my hand up to a light source, three coats would almost definitely deal with that problem.  Dry time was good and made better by the addition of a coat of Seche Vite.

sun picture, this makes it look more coral than pink, it is definitely a bright raspberry pink
The SV really brought out the beauty and wow-factor of this polish.  It turned a satin-matte finish into a squishy almost jelly-like finish, which is one of my favorite finishes, I love the juiciness of it.  It also brought forth the shiny, and this color knows how to own the shiny.  If you're looking for a polish that screams "I am summer, hear me roar!" Zoya Renee should be at or near the top of your list in that department, this and China Glaze 108 Degrees are definitely my 2 go-to summer polishes this year.

So what do you think?  Do you own Zoya Renee?  Have you thought about owning Zoya Renee?  What are your go-to polishes that scream summer?

Thanks for stopping by and having a look, until next time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MOTD (Mani of the Day)

In honor of the area that I live in entering its second straight week of excessive heat advisories I decided to do a manicure in its honor.  When I asked my husband what nail polish I should do today he said this one, since he liked the swatch I did on my nail wheel a little bit ago, so I figured it was fate. 
I got this idea originally from MaD Manis.  Here it is.

For this I used China Glaze Papaya Punch, which is a medium yellow orange from their Summer 2011 collection.  I only bought this color because I found it on clearance at Sally's Beauty, and because I wanted to try this manicure.  Oranges and yellows do absolutely nothing with my skin tone except make it look terrible, I figured the red crackle would counteract that horribleness and for the most part it did. 

Speaking of crackle, I will be the first to admit that I am not real fond of them, it's not that I dislike them per se, just that I didn't find them nearly as exciting as everyone else did.  I always thought they made your nails look like they were falling off, especially the black crackle over red polish, very gory.  Anywho, since I'm not a real big fan of crackle there was no way I was spending $6-$8 for a bottle of something I knew I would hardly ever use.  Then along came Pure Ice Crackle, only $4 a bottle, so I picked up Show Stopper for the sole purpose of doing this manicure.  I like the way that it turned out, looks like lava, which is what the air feels like outside right now, so I consider it appropriate.

This mani is 2 coats of base including Essie Beam Up, one coat of Papaya Punch, it's extremely pigmented so I really only needed one coat since I knew I was going to layer crackle over it.  If I was going to wear it alone (not likely) I would have added a second coat just to even a little pulling at the cuticle out, but Papaya Punch can definitely be a careful one-coater.  I waited for the Papaya Punch to completely dry and then put a thin coat of Show Stopper over the top.  They key to getting decent cracks on your crackle polish is to apply it quickly and try not to go over an area you have already polished.  I find that thin coats work best and crackle the most, the thicker the coat the less it will crack.  It also cracks mostly in the direction that you apply it, I applied from the cuticle to the tip so most of my cracks are running down the nail vertically.  If I had applied horizontally across the nail most of the cracks would have been horizontal.  This crackle dried quickly and matte, as do most crackles, so I applied a coat of Seche Vite for the shiny. 

That weird black mark on my ring finger is an Ed Hardy nail tattoo, it didn't show up like it was supposed to, I got them for $.50 on clearance at Sally's.  It's a skull and crossbones with fire around it, but duh, fire isn't going to show up on an orange and red manicure, so I just ended up with the skull and cross bones.  I keep thinking it's a smudge and trying to rub it off when I catch it out of the corner of my eye lol.  I like this mani on me a lot more than I thought I was going to so I may keep it for a few days.

That's all I have for now, thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hard Candy Beetle

Today I have for you a Hard Candy polish called Beetle.  WalMart is the only place I have seen Hard Candy brand, and here they retail for $4 a bottle.  They usually only have 6-8 polish colors out on their displays they seem to be much more into the bright (BRIGHT) and sparkly make-up.  I only own 3 Hard Candy polishes (one is a matte top coat so I'm not sure if that counts), and man am I glad this is one of them.  I didn't really like this color when I saw it in the store the first 274 times I looked at the Hard Candy display, it just looked like a brownish polish with gold and purple glitter in it.  I am here to say it is soooooo much more than that.

See, kinda brown with mostly gold glitter, it's the edges of the bottle that are telling
Beetle is a multi-chrome polish.  A lot of people say it is a dupe for Orly Space Cadet, and from the swatches I have seen they are absolutely correct, I can't show you because I don't own Space Cadet and see no need for it now that I have Beetle.  The difference here is in value, Orly Space Cadet retails for between $7 (at my not-so-local CVS who only has a limited supply) to $10 (at Ulta, also not so conveniently located to me but closer than CVS), Hard Candy Beetle is only sold at Walmart and goes for $4-$5 depending on your area, a much better value.

sun, you can see a little bit of the green flash here.
 I did this as french tips, this is a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up, 2 coats of Beetle on the tips, a coat of China Glaze Love Letters and 2 coats of Seche Vite.  The Love Letters and SV barely dulled the multi-chrome on this if at all. 

sun, here you can see the purple
Beetle looks like a slightly purply brown, but I'm here to tell you that the base color of this polish is actually an aqua blue, the blue doesn't necessarily show through on the nail, but when you take this polish off, you get purple and gold glitter and aqua blue polish on the cotton.  So didn't expect that. In terms of multi-chrome, this looks brown, but flashes purple, gold and green.  It is sheerish on the first coat, but becomes opaque with 2 coats.  the formula was good, easy to work with and relatively quick drying.  On to the picture spam, because a few pictures just won't do it.

you can see the green and the beginnings of gold here
Blurry to show the sparkly
Inside, no flash, check out that gold on the pinky

you can really see the gold here

Purple, greenish gold and gold
So that is Beetle and she's a beauty, so glad I decided to pick this up, it has become one of my favorites, may have to swatch the few Orly Cosmic Collection polishes that I have soon.  Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

China Glaze Shower Together

First off I would like to welcome the new followers, I can only assume you followed the link I left in Ice Queen's Nail Parlor, thanks for stopping by and following, it means a lot, really.

Now on with the show!

I love the name of this polish, I do not love how it refused to be photographed in the correct color.  No matter what I did or how I tried to color-correct the pictures I just couldn't get it to show the way it does in real life.  A problem with duo-chromes or glitters but this is a cream.  So be warned these are not color correct at all, I'm posting mostly to show opacity and formula.  I did notice that I'm not the only one that has issues getting this color to show true, almost every swatch I looked at was different from the one before and the one after, and none of them actually looked like my nails did lol.  So, I don't feel quite so bad now.
full sun
Even the bottle wouldn't photograph correctly.  This makes it look ocean/cerulean blue, it is actually a very green leaning teal something like this.  It is a truly gorgeous color, I just wish I could get it to show up right.

inside, blurry, was the closest I could get to the actual color and it's still a little too blue

This polish was originally released in the Spring 2008 Eco-llection, it looks like this is now part of the permanent collection, I've seen it in almost every China Glaze display I have come across, and it was a good choice, this is a dusty deep teal leaning towards the green side, a very striking color.  In terms of formula, the above pictures are all with a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up, 2 medium coats of Shower Together, and no top coat.  China Glaze's creams always impress me with how shiny their creams are without top coat.  I have found with the creams that since they are now Big 3 free you are best off using medium coats, if you try to put it on too thin you end up with drag marks and streaking, if you put it on too thick, you get bubbles.  These are the trade-offs for not poisoning yourself I guess.  I can live with that. 

Totally didn't mean that pun, but I'm leaving it in anyway.

This went on like a dream and self-leveled perfectly and was nice and shiny een without top coat.  I still recommend a top coat to protect your manicure and help it last longer, I rarely keep mine on long enough to justify what I spend on Seche Vite, but I still use it every single time.

After I took these pictures I added a coat of Orly Love Each Other, which is a trippy french manicure color, I can't even describe it, sort of duo-chromy, with micro glitter in it.  I then topped it with the usual coat of Seche Vite.  I did not take pictures of this because it was such a subtle effect that I knew for a fact that it wasn't going to translate to pictures at all, but it was very pretty in person.

That's all for me, thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

China Glaze Peri-Wink-Le

I had this polish in my hand at the store so many times and always decided to put it back.  I finally just went in with the sole intention of buying this particular color, and I'm glad that I did.

We had zero sun yesterday, so I got pictures in daylight but without direct sun.  You work with what ya got right?  Surprisingly, these  pictures came out more true to actual color than most of my sun pictures, go figure.

outside, overcast

This is a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up and 2 coats of Peri-Wink-Le no top coat, admire that shiny.  This is a periwinkle cream, no shimmer, no glitter, just a straight up cream.  I don't know whether to call this a bluish lavender, or a lavenderish blue, both descriptions would be accurate, but I guess looking at it on my nails I would have to say it is a bluish medium lavender.  The formula was good, not too thick but not so thin it was running into my cuticles, it went where I wanted it to.  The first coat was a little streaky, but the second coat self-leveled nicely and solved the streaky problem.

inside, flash
The picture with the flash really sort of completely washed the lavender out of this polish and made it look sky blue, it definitely has more purple than this in it.  The outside picture above is the closest to actual color.

I really like this color, and am so glad that I finally just buckled down and bought it.  It's good for every season of the year, it's a good staple color to have in your collection.  It also makes a good background for many different types of nail art.  I put a coat of inm Northern Light on top of this and then a coat of Seche Vite.  There was no sun so I took a picture inside with my flash.

click to make larger and to see the sparklies
That is all I have for today, thanks for stopping by, until next time.