Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Limited selection of Lippmann Collection polishes on sale at Luscious Cargo with promo/discount code

Luscious Cargo is a perfume etailer and does not even have that many Lippmanns (mostly reds, nudes and sheers) but hey, 25% off this brands, if you just wanna try it out. Code: FALLSALE (expires: October 31st, 2009).

What's really tempting me right now are not the polishes but the Calypso EDTs. I have been secretly lusting after Chevrefeuille for... two, three years? With shipping, it'd be $50 (which is a little better than $60-something) but I would never be able to use it up. Which doesn't stop me from buying a ton of nail polishes but somehow... perfume is different.
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China Glaze Atantis and the Vagina Dentata

Hello everyone! Graduate school is still extremely stressful and my program is not at all what I was expecting, but I'm dealing with it. Nail polish helps! :)

Here is my latest NOTD, China Glaze Atlantis, 3 days in. I have some chips on the corners of my nails but nothing too major. This is 3 coats of color with 3 coats of topcoat.

[Edit]: China Glaze Atlantis is from the new China Glaze collection consisting of 50 glitters! You can purchase some of this collection (including Atlantis) at Sally Beauty Supply stores or online from e-tailers such as 8ty8Beauty, Head2ToeBeauty, and Victoria Nail Supply. Transdesign does not yet have the glitters but I would assume they'll be receiving them soon.

As usual, click the pics to see larger.

HOLY CRAP. Do you see this????

I think I'm in love here.

(With flash):

I'm particularly excited with glitter because it does tend to last longer than typical polish and it's pretty, so Atlantis really cheered me up during this tough week. I'm hoping to get some more money (student loans...ugh) soon so that I may take some of it (I'm bad, I know, but a girl's gotta live!) and buy some more fabulous China Glaze glitters!!

And here's the "Vagina Dentata," as I named it, which is a certain nail polish remover available at Target and recommended by the Nailboard girls over at MUA.

I have not yet tried it but I plan to tonight and will report back with my results asap. According to the MUA girls it removes glitter with ease, which will be amazing for me as I love to wear glitter but often don't because I dread the removal process (even using felt and acetone). Fingers crossed!

[Edit]: So, my "Vagina Dentata" nail polish remover proved to live up to it's hype!! All I had to do was stick each finger in one at a time, soak it for around 10 seconds, then rub it around on those spiky things, which felt like little massagers! Both hands were done in less than 10 minutes and my fingers aren't sore (like they would be if I had used felt). The acetone left my fingers a little dry but some cuticle oil and moisturizer fixed that up. So yay! If you like glitter, go get this remover!

Thanks for reading!
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Zoya Swatches

I thought I would contribute to the Zoya swatches on this blog in celebration of Zoya's BOGO promo.

Zoya Maya

An orange-y pink jelly. It's more saturated and a bit more orange than in the photo. Applies nicely. 3 coats.

Zoya Jinx

A beautiful coppery brown. Applies nicely. 2 coats.

Zoya Ashley

A berry creme. I got this in a swap w/ Flinty. Now that I've finally swatched it, I quite like it. It's a bit more red than in the photo. Applies OK. 3 coats.

Zoya Gaia

A white sheer w/ gold shimmer. Ugh I love this so much. Applies like a nightmare. 4 coats.
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Reader Request: some Pa swatches

I recently discovered a place to get Pa polishes, a Japanese brand, for about $4.40 each: Orange Lighthouse. Be forewarned that neither customer service or spelling seems to be this etailer's forte (the box my polishes came on had a return address "Oraneg Lighthouse" which I thought was a dental hygiene company at first). You can try getting the 20% off discount coupon from them by signing up for the mailing list but this is by no means assured and I had to email a couple of times... only to be given a code that didn't work. As much as I would like to pick up a few more, my patience is out with this company. No more Pa polishes for flinty, I guess. Just as well because $4.40 is overpriced for a bottle that looks less than 0.3fl oz.

Pa A81
As with all my red polishes, this looks much better in person. It's a bright candy apple red jelly with a lot of silver glitter. Unlike a lot of polishes that are jelly with silver glitter, the silver glitter doesn't seem to glint through as much. A bit of a disappointment.

Pa A32
Dark green jelly. Super squishy and gorgeous.

Pa A32 with Pa 127 on top

Pa 127 is small round gold glitter with medium-sized blue hexagonal glitter. No way would it ever be opaque by itself (the above is two coats) but it's interesting as a topcoat. Mostly because people generally don't throw in blue and gold glitter together.

Video of Pa A32 with Pa 127 on top

Amoresse Tootie Fruitie with Pa 122 on top
All the Pa glitters were very sparkly which make up, in my mind, for the fact that they can't be built up that well. See my (short) thumbnail? That's three coats. I would have loved for this to be built up: lime green jelly with green and gold glitter would've been awesome.

Video of Amoresse Tootie Fruitie with Pa 122 on top

Diamond Cosmetics Mudd with Pa AA12 on top

Pa originally caught my attention with polishes like this: different shapes suspended in glittered jelly. Totally cute and totally something I wouldn't wear to class. The flowers were so-so but the butterflies were awesome: they reflect light really well and so it looked like they're glowing on my nail!

Video of Diamond Cosmetics Mudd with Pa AA12 on top
I have some Diamond Cosmetics swatches coming up also but I gotta say right now, Mudd's a pretty nice dark chocolate color.

And finally, my favorite combination...

Amoresse Cool in the Pool with Pa A121 on top

Blue tinted jelly with small round bright blue glitter and opalescent medium-sized hexagons. I love how the hexagons disappear and reappear in different lights. What a difference direct sun and in-the-shade-on-a-sunny-day makes for photos of glitter, eh? No good video for this one but there is a close-up...

Close-up of Amoresse Cool in the Pool with Pa A121 on top

read more "Reader Request: some Pa swatches"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mini Zoya post

I've got a couple Zoya swatches to go with the promo Flinty posted below!

This was my Fourth of July Mani. Thumb and index are Zoya America (2 coats) and pinky is Zoya Ginessa (2 coats). Middle fingers are not Zoya (Misa On the Edge with Pure Ice Strapless layered on top).

(As usual, click to see larger. I promise one day I'll figure out how to post my pics large lol :P).

Thanks for looking! :)
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Zoya BOGO promo code

Zoya is having a Buy One Get One free sale with code BG3 (expires: 11:59PM, Wednesday, September 30, 2009). I tried to find an old swatch of a Zoya that I've done to break up the monotony of the repeated sale posts but came up empty-handed.
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Walgreens discount/promo code for 99¢ shipping for beauty products

The Walgreens website's beauty section is pretty meager BUT for enthusiastic frankeners, this cheap shipping is a great way to stock up on Wet n Wild Mega Shine polishes (clear, black, white).

Dunno about you all but the clear one is always sold out of my Walgreens and I find it indispensable for frankening. I've tried other clear polishes but this one is the smoothest and cheapest, even though they do come in slightly smaller bottles. (Don't let the tall shape fool you as it fooled me for awhile there; I apparently never totally got the whole Piagetan "conservation of liquid" principle and I felt ridiculously dumb when I realized I had been duped.)

Anyway, 99¢ shipping for all beauty products with code SHIP99 (expires: October 1st, 2009).
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Cherry Culture promo/discount code: 20% off your entire purchase / free shipping at LotionSource! / 10% off AveYou purchase / VS free shipping

CherryCulture has a discount code for 20% off your entire order, FS20 (expires: September 30th, 2009). Free shipping over $40. A great source for LA Girl polishes!

LotionSource, which sells Toma and a limited range of discounted Nubar (including my beloved Nu Nails and Diamont), is doing free shipping over $40. I'm very tempted to just load up on Nu Nails and Diamont since I go through them lightning fast. (Warning though: people have mixed experiences with this etailer. They've been fabulous for me but unresponsive to others.)

AveYou has a 10% off all purchases with code: AYBSFALL09 (expiry unknown)... not that that matters because they usually have 15% off with AVEYOU15FORME. OPI, SpaRitual and some other brands are found here.

And if you were interested at all in their Beauty Rush polishes (they don't seem too interesting), Victoria's Secret is doing free shipping today only (I think) with code: FREESHIP.
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Two NOTDs from this week

My classes started up this week and already I'm exhausted about thinking of my coursework. When am I going to have time to do research? When am I going to do grading (fifty papers every two weeks)?! I fully expect to have my ass kicked thoroughly by the advanced statistics class: structural equation modeling looks like it's going to be an awesome thing to learn but I haven't had a stats class yet that hasn't put me through the ringer. I love statistics and think that it's crucial that I understand as much as I can as fully as possible... but I am so bad at it. It's weird -- and frustrating -- to do something you enjoy but at which you completely and totally suck.

Also we're in a terrible classroom without tables or desks. It's hard to do straight-up stats lecture and take notes on your lap.

H&M Goddess on Stage
I got this in a swap from a lovely MUAer. I've found polish at some H&Ms but not all of them. This is a dark purple with red and gold shimmer. Pretty plain until the light hits it: it reminds me of a toned down version of Milani Totally Cool. Alas, it didn't survive too well, as you can see from the tipwear and chip after one day. I WAS doing a lot of housework with it but still... one day?

Amoresse Mambo Madness on top of H&M Goddess on Stage

Blurple with silver glitter (mostly -- there may be some blue glitter in there). It doesn't sparkle as much as it just shines. Continuously. Very luminous in all lights. Truly striking color, I absolutely love it. It's also extremely dense and can be built up to be completely opaque; the above pictures show only one coat.

Closeup of Mambo Madness on top of Goddess on Stage

As for Amoresse polishes, I don't find these very often... and I don't even think they're supposed to be called "Amoresse". The bottles (which are identical except for logo to the Adoree bottles down to the stylized A on the top of the cap) say "Philtra Colour by Amoresse", Amoresse being the surname (I think) of Lauren Amoresse. ...anyone else think that Amoresse is a better brand name than "Philtra"? It's sort of stereotypical, almost a portmanteau of the words "amorous" and "caress", but I just think it looks and sounds better than "Philtra Colour"

Many of my NOTD posts will probably take this format of "old NOTD with new NOTD layered on top of it" now that school's started again and I don't have as much time to do a new mani every day. I hope to at least refresh it every day with a new layer of something or other -- heaven knows I have enough glitters and sheers to do that.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

China Glaze Shooting Stars

Out of all the China Glaze glitters, the one I was most excited about (next to Atlantis) was Shooting Stars. This polish is small holographic glitters and larger iridescent glitter in a clear base... think Fairy Dust plus larger iridescent sparkles.
This picture best represents the true awesomeness of this polish.

One thing to know about me and polish, I dislike layering... it's VERY rare I buy a polish with layering in mind, so I applied two coats of this polish since my nails were in good enough shape to wear something sheer.
IMG_1807 China Glaze Shooting Stars
Lovely, isn't it?

I got to thinking about the origins of this collection, they were designed for the Japanese market and this is indeed a very japanese looking polish, but I didn't think my manicure looked especially Japanese! So, I decided to break my rule about layering and make some improvements.
I added a gradient using Maybelline Violet Water on top (a very, very sheer purple).

The same manicure indoors.

I absolutely adore this manicure, I couldn't even begin to get the beauty of it to show up in pictures!

Speaking of the ChG glitters, are there any that anyone is especially interested in seeing swatched? I have a good portion of the collection.
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Diamond Cosmetics Matte swatches

An interesting discussion has been simmering on NB and on the blogs for a little while (but it hasn't yet totally exploded): do bloggers get free polishes, how often do they get them and are they paid to review them (or to push specific companies)?

There are seven of us here on Polish or Perish and I can't speak for the other six but this is a discussion that I have had with most of them: do we accept free polishes? (As far as I know, nobody here has been offered actual cash for our obsessive little hobby.)

I personally have no problem accepting freebies but I am very uncomfortable with not telling our readers about it: in my opinion, you guys have the right to know whether you should be reading my review with an extra skeptical eye and critical mind. I try my best to give an honest review but psychology -- and, you know, life --has taught us again and again that bias can exist unconsciously.

Like I said, I can't speak for the other P or P bloggers although I think most would agree with this action: if I've gotten something for free, I will say so. If there are more "details" that might influence my opinion, such as a commission or a continuing offer to receive more polishes or, like, a free cotton ball, I will say so. I will review as honestly as I can but I'm nowhere near an impossibly objective person and so I warn you guys when I may be unconsciously preferring a polish simply because of their company's preferential treatment towards me. Deal? :)

Which brings me to today's swatches! Diamond Cosmetics sent me these for free to review a couple of weeks back: Mattes!
I'm beginning to think that the matte trend is more of a textured-finished trend: matte, satin, glitter, suede as opposed to smooth and glossy.

The new Diamond Cosmetics line of polishes are not what I would consider "matte"; they are closer to "satin". I predict that people are going to choose not to like these as much as they would have otherwise because they were expecting a gritty, light-absorbing matte (like most polishes labelled "matte"). Disappointment is not a good feeling.

ALL that being said, I think these are decent polishes in their own right and they certainly are worth their inexpensive pricetag.

Diamond Cosmetics Matte Black
These mattes are much closer in finish to the finish that Orly Matte Top gives to polishes (and what I imagine their current matte line looks like). I've been calling this finish "satin" -- because of an old Orly line -- but when I put this on, the first thought that occurred to me was that they look like pleather pants. It is rather pleather-like! Smooth, tight-fitting with a soft, diffuse sheen. If it weren't for the finish, it'd be a basic black creme and would probably look very harsh and chalky if it were a truer matte. So kudos for the pleather finish. ;) A one-coater.

Diamond Cosmetics Matte Smoke
Grey. The color reminds me of a dolphin or shark's skin. I wore this as my NOTD for a day and it held up very well save for a couple of indentations when I absentmindedly nibbled on the tip of one of my nails within half an hour of applying it. Two coats. No chipping or tipwear, unlike most matte polishes. It won't pink in the can either.

(Extra credit will be granted to whomever can tell me the origin of the reference without going to Google. Super extra credit if you can tell me where I heard this reference first.)

Diamond Cosmetics Matte Mulberry
Fun color! What color are mulberries anyway? The way these dry resembles the way neons dry down but the finish is more reflective somehow.

Diamond Cosmetics Matte Burgundy
This one was a pain to apply (the rest were pretty easy). It doesn't go on as evenly as the rest so even though all these fingers are two coats, my index and pinky look like they got one more coat than the fingers in between. Still, a nice wine red that didn't get all over my fingertips when I took it off. I really appreciate a polish that doesn't make me curse (in dismay) when I take it off. (I curse in joy as well so I had to specify.)

You will need a good ridgefilling basecoat (if you have rougher nails) because they do show flaws more than regular polishes, but they do not cling like matte polishes. You can work more slowly since they dry slower than mattes, giving you more time to correct manicurial (not a word) mistakes. They also last longer than a lot of mattes, the finish being famously chip-prone.

I think the texture is nifty and I've been saying so since comparing the effects of Orly Matte Top to Essie Matte About You and Nubar V for Men: it's not matte, it's different from matte, but that doesn't mean it's not good on its own merits. All that being said, if you want a mattiemattematte polish, these aren't the polishes for you. If you want pleather nails, they're pretty great for $2 each.

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Sally Hansen's Opulent Cloud and Borghese's Ecstasi Indigo

As I mentioned I had a great mini-haul on Friday.

Actually - I had a great day on Friday in general. In the morning I caught the ferry to Governor's Island and went biking around the island for 3 hours.

(Notice the Statue of Liberty! I hadn't seen it since I moved to NY.)

Then, on my way home, I stopped by a Duane Reade where a lovely MUA-er had tipped the NB off regarding where we could find Opulent Cloud. I got there and there was one left. OH YES.

(pinky 1 coat; 2 coats everything else)

Sally Hansen HD Opulent Cloud is a wacky duochrome. The base is a light purple that is packed w/ a shimmer that can flash gold, silver, and a lime-y green.

The other blogger photos of this stuff are amazing, so I suggest you go there b/c I don't have the patience to do this polish justice.

I've seen some amazing swatches where it looked like a crazy silver/gray gone wild. That's not what I have experienced w/ this polish. It looks purple to me in the bottle and mostly purple on my nail.

The application is good, very smooth, needing only 2 coats and drying well. But this polish is brush-stroke city.

(Ectasi Indigo - pinky 1 coat, all else 2 coats)

Sitting right next to the HD display was a possibly new collection from Borghese. I didn't pay much attention to the little display in general b/c I zoned in on this dark purple and couldn't look away.

I had been fooled by Inglot, but there was no doubt in my mind. THIS was a dark creme purple. OH YES 2.0

I didn't own a single Borghese, so I couldn't justify the $8 retail price w/ claims that I love the quality of this brand. However, I could justify the price w/ claims that I am getting this purple and I don't care what my wallet has to say.

I'm really happy w/ this polish! I love the brush. Flat and wide but nicely rounded. I did 2 thin coats - most of you will want 3 (or 2 thicker coats), BUT the bright light made the application seem a lot less opaque than it looked in person.

It also dried so fast! I could touch it w/out fingerprints w/in a few minutes.

My only wish is that it had a BIT more red.
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

NOTD China Glaze Sunshine

Biggest disappointment of this collection so far. Not quite as bright and smooth as I hoped.

China Glaze Sunshine
Bumpy. I wanted it to be prettier than this. Either more opaque or more jelly -- this is an annoying in between. Again, square glitter with some blue/green hexes thrown in. It's interesting -- which is enough for me to keep it for now -- but I can't see wearing this again.

China Glaze Sunshine
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kleancolor's Beach Blue and Starry Purple

(Swatches of the first 2 are coming along in another post. I had a mini-haul on Friday.)

My local beauty supply shop is awesome and has the new Kleancolor display that was featured on ALU a couple months ago!

It had tons of neons (I mean EVERY SHADE) and lots of really dazzling glitters (at least half a dozen). It, of course, had the requisite row of reds and browns. All in all a great little display - something for everyone!

I didn't even notice how much they were charging - I think it was $1.50 a pop.

I think the bottle shape is very cute!

(Beach Blue - 3 coats; pinky 1 coat)

As I was applying this, I was convinced it was a neon; it was just so bright on the nail. BUT it dried totally glossy! This swatch has no top coat! Ahhhh neon jellies, you are wonderful. Then when I tried to photograph, I KNEW it was a neon. Impossible to capture. This is a neon-turquoise, so make that swatch there just a bit greener in your mind.

(Starry Purple - 1 coat index; 1 coat over black middle and pinky; 2 coats over black ring)

Buoyed by my recent glitter mani success, I picked this up b/c it was just too pretty in the bottle. They had a variety of these glitters, along w/ some multicolor moons and stars. All were lovely. This one came home w/ me.

As you can see, this magenta glitter is incredibly sparse.

This is a close up of 2 coats. There are 3 sizes of glitter and even the tiny glitter is little hexagons!

  • Will these get worn? Neon - sure, once in a while. Glitter - ehhhh probably not, but it's cute.
  • Application? Neon - great, super-smooth jelly that's opaque in 3 coats. Glitter - annoying, really sparse, you have to fish for the big hexes. You end up w/ these super thick coats of that gel they use for glitter, just to get a few pieces.
  • Dry time? Slow. Both are wonderfully glossy, but you need a quick dry top coat so you can get on w/ your life.
  • Brush? Flat and wide, which I like. Fans out well. But it's too blunt, it was hard to get close to the cuticle.
  • Black? That's SH Xtreme Wear Black Out. That bottle is 2 years old and I literally have not worn plain black in all this time. It is great! A nice re-find.
read more "Kleancolor's Beach Blue and Starry Purple"

Reader Request: China Glaze Stellar and Goddess

At the behest of two readers, a couple of other China Glaze glitter swatches.

China Glaze Goddess (without and with flash)

Three coats. Silvery gold glitter with gold shimmer. Not as blingy as I would've expected, though. Sort of atypical for a gold glitter for a two reasons: the glitter is (again) square and there is also subtle (compared to the glitter anyway) shimmer interspersed so emptyish spaces on the nail left by the glitter aren't as bereft as they are usually.

Close-up of Goddess
(I decided that horizontal bar close-ups was less visually distracting than vertical ones unless I'm doing two side by side.)

China Glaze Stellar
It's hard to get a good picture of this one. It looks like it's gold and silver microglitter suspended in a shimmery purple-leaning mauve. Pretty unusual. It's glittery but nowhere close to blingy.

Close-up of Stellar

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