Sunday, October 31, 2010

Essie Ballet Slippers

Simple. Classic. Ballet Slippers.

This was the perfect choice for the marriage of two great friends of mine this weekend. Congrats M&S!!!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dare To Wear Back To Basics Collection

So I ordered this collection of polishes after seeing Lextard's swatches on her blog.  Seriously, when I need lemmings, I just check out her blog.  I have a nail crush on her.  I got these from Ebay for around $30 (USD) after shipping.  Not a bad deal, I think.  I really like all of them except I had some trouble with the white one, which I'll explain later.  For now, here are my swatches!

First up, this is True Red.  Seriously, this one's a perfect cherry red creme.  I used two coats for this swatch, but I could have gotten away with one if I'd been a little more careful.

This is Yellow Twist.  I don't usually wear yellow polish, but I do know about how difficult they normally are.  This yellow isn't difficult to work with at all.  I only needed two coats and I will definitely use this one as my perfect rainbow yellow from now on.  Great formula.

Enchanted Forest is a deep, mossy green.  I was under the impression that this was a jelly and I have no idea where I picked that up.  I might be confusing it with Nars Zulu.  This is definitely a very pigmented creme and I only needed two coats for this swatch.  Still, it's a great color and I'm glad I have this set.

Ocean View is a medium blue creme.  It's super pigmented as well and I only needed two coats.  It's been a while since I swatched these, but I wrote "perfect" in my notes when I swatched this one.  It's seriously perfect.

Powerful Black.  I needed two coats here, but the formula is super creamy and pigmented.  When I reach for a black creme for layering, I usually go with Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme, but I just might reach for this one next time.  Sure, I needed one more coat, but it's super glossy and nearly perfect to work with.  Very nice, indeed.

And lastly, this is Rue St. Vincent.  Unfortunately, I think my bottle sucks.  The formula is chunky and watery at the same time.  I carefully applied three coats for this swatch, but I would definitely not wear this one as a manicure when there are much nicer white polishes out there (Sally Hansen White On, for instance).  I swatched this one first and was a bit disappointed so I'm glad the rest made me change my mind.  Since this was the only one with a horrible formula, I'm thinking that it's just a fluke.

Overall, I really like these.  The kit came with a clear top coat as well.  I'm pretty sure it's not fast drying, but I'm going to try it out with Seche Vite to see if that'll stop the shrinkage I get with Seche Vite.  All these swatches are without top coat (most of mine are) and you can see how glossy they are.  I am very glad I ordered these.

UPDATE:  I tried the Dare To Wear top coat underneath Seche Vite and it ended up wrinkling.  :o(
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Colors I knew I wouldn't like but bought anyway.

I think all of these polishes are beautiful. They're just not my style. Does that stop me from falling prey to the peer pressure? Hellz no.

Lunar Eclipse

(2 coats)

So prettyyyy. I even like my own swatch of it! But I remember I couldn't wait to get it off me.

Royal Navy

(2 coats)

I don't actually mind this one. It's just that the swatch doesn't look like reality at all. I feel like nobody else stressed that this is not what Royal Navy actually looks like in person! It's so much darker in person (at least on me). The sun somehow really lights this one up. I find that it's almost 119-esque indoors. I own plenty of dark blue jellies. So this just wasn't one I needed.

Space Cadet

(2 coats)

Isn't the duochrome effect cool? Amazing?? Too bad I hate duochromes. I'm an idiot.


(2 coats)

Ugh. I KNEW I didn't like this one. Why? WHY?!

Nouvelle Vague

(2 coats)

I actually don't mind this one. But For Audrey is on my middle finger, so... I really didn't need this.

These are all gorgeous colors! They're just not my style. I hope you ladies are enjoying them!
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Glitter Gal Deep Green

I'm leaving for NYC tonight. Another red-eye flight: my favorite... It'll be a really short visit: getting there Friday morning and leaving Sunday evening. But I haven't been home in a few months so it'll be nice to get a couple of days in the city at least.

I'm sorry I've been sort of absent from the blog. It's been a busy few weeks and my mind is just elsewhere and all over the place. I even wore the same mani for a week last week... and didn't even get a picture! (Pity, because it was MAC Bad Fairy... and man, the tipwear on that one was not pretty. Hence, no picture.)

But here is another pretty polish:

Glitter Gal Deep Green

Darkened teal shimmer with golden-green shimmer... PLUS HOLO GLITTER. A winning combination and such a great formula: this was two coats. Glitter Gal polishes may be small but man, the payoff is so worth it. :) I just love this polish.

You might be noticing that I haven't been updating with my exercise regimen. BIG part of this reason is that I haven't been working out for the last week. Why? I started a new medication and have developed a really bad tendency to forget to eat... so by the time I usually work out in the evening, I'm usually pretty woozy from not eating from 8am to 8pm. And then by the time I eat, I just don't want to move anymore. Given that, I don't really think running on a treadmill would be great for me. I'm still adjusting to it and now have taken to setting an alarm so I remember to eat.

Also, I've been feeling sort of melancholy, unmotivated and very under the weather. I think schoolwork has been really overwhelming for me this quarter. A cough that won't die doesn't help.

But I have played 12 hours of Rock Band 3 in the last 40 hours. This did not help me get my schoolwork (or packing for my trip) done. Not even close. BUT! My SO and I are first place for vocals on our (mutual) favorite song, with me on melody and him on harmony. We did it four times over because we kept on coming in second... and when you take two stubborn perfectionists and you dangle first place in front of their masochistic little faces... you get PEOPLE WHO GET THE NUMBER ONE SPOT. Because otherwise, they wouldn't be able to fall asleep. And humans need sleep. was an issue of survival. ...really.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Grey Comparison

It's comparison time again!  This time I thought I'd compare some of my grey polishes.  Here's the cast of characters:

I applied three coats of each in the same order as above, from thumb to pinkie.  I took this picture in the sun.

I took this picture in the shade.

And I took this picture with the flash.

I was hoping to find a dupe for Waking Up In Vegas, but I didn't.  What I actually found was that it's probably my least favorite of these polishes.  It just seems to not go as well with my skin tone, unfortunately.  Oh well, I still needed to have it for the name.  It seems like a lighter version of Recycle, but I prefer Recycle with my skin tone.

High Society and Vintage Gray are very similar in color, but Vintage Gray is lighter.  There's probably no reason to own both since they're quite similar, though if you like this type of color, then owning both might be a good thing for you since they aren't dupes.

Point Break and Recycle are the darkest greys in this comparison.  Point Break leans blue whereas Recycle seems to lean a bit green.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

OPI Let Me Entertain You

Now THIS is what I am talking about!

I was so ready to be "in like" with this polish, but I am a lusty mess for it! "Let Me Entertain You" from OPI's Burlesque Collection has it all - fantastic color, amazing finish and wears like iron. I mean, seriously, I know you've seen this polish like fifteen times, but look at it!

It's like a candy-coated dream, and I rocked this polish for way longer than I normally wear polishes, simply because I enjoyed saying "look at it! look AT IT!" over and over again to people that, let's be honest, I probably shouldn't have been saying it to. No one was safe; postal workers, grocery store cashiers, the husband. I'm sorry I did that to you, but let's hope it happens again soon!

Is everyone out there still enjoying their Burlesques?

Happy day, all!
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Happy B-Day Mom! Chanel Paradoxal

Today is my mother's birthday, and because of her, I wear Chanel...Paradoxal to be exact!

In outdoor lighting how it generally looks on me - smoky and mysterious:

Speaking of mysterious, here's the hidden shimmer:

Another shot for funsies:

I love this polish. I'm bummed out that so many people thought it was supposed to be a shimmerbomb, and were disappointed when it wasn't. It's not *supposed* to be chock full of shimmer - it's supposed to have that chic and elegant subtle hidden shimmer that Chanel does so well. It just adds one extra layer of subtlety to the polish...gorgeous!

Again - Happy Birthday, Mutti!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Butter LONDON All Hail McQueen

When I bought my first Butter LONDON polishes from an Ulta in Chicago, they were out of it so I wasn't able to post it when I posted swatches of other colors from this collection. But it found its way to me and now it is mine mine mine!

Butter LONDON All Hail McQueen

Tanned beige holo prettiness! This was three coats, it went on very easily and though it isn't a super holo glitter bomb, it's a very nice neutral... with a glittery twist. Something you can wear to work (IMO) and not have it be too showy... but then you can stick your fingers in a stray ray of sunlight and watch the holo come to life. Like I said, it's not crazy holo but it's a nice little pop of rainbow. :)
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Essie Demure Vixen and Pretty Edgy

I think Adrienne posted a photo of Pretty Edgy and Demure Vixen from this Essie collection months ago but I have this in my "to post" folder and so... I am posting it. Gosh, the beginning of spring seemed like such a short while ago...

Essie Pretty Edgy
I wish I had had more light for this; I remember it being brighter in person. I wore this for three days because my SO just adored this polish. He actually commented on it several times a day. Such a rich, vibrant, eye-catching green creme! I think I put on two coats but it needed three. This photo was taken on the third day of wear; as you can see, no big chips, nearly no tipwear with Gelous bc and Diamont tc. (I've had great luck with this bc/tc combo for B3F polishes. It's not super shiny after the first day but it lasts and lasts...)

Essie Demure Vixen
It's a very aptly named polish, I think. It's a dusty rose (the sort of color that seems old-ladyish and dull) but then it has this brilliant magenta/purple shimmer that shows up beautifully in the sun. I only wore it with two coats here since I kind of liked having it be semi-sheer. Not my style but I think it's a good alternative to a conservative look.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sally Hansen Haute Chocolate

Don't get me wrong, Haute Chocolate, you are a good polish and you have a lovely personality.

Here's the deal, though, Haute Chocolate - you did not floor me. Don't get me wrong, you have a wonderful formula, and your brush - I gotta say it, I love your brush. Your shimmer is nice, your pigmentation is great, I even kind of dig your bottle even though some do not. You just didn't floor me with your COLOR, Haute Chocolate, and that's where I have to draw the line. I was looking for a speeding-down-the-highway-with-wind-in-my-hair kind of color, and you drove me to grocery store for bananas while doing the speed limit.

Maybe in a different life, Haute Chocolate... maybe in a different life.

Happy day, all.
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Some Illamasqua greens! Hectic and Smash.

My cuticles weren't perfect when I took the Hectic photo about two months ago but I look back on the photo with nostalgia. The colder weather and the less time I have to pamper my hands is really starting to show in my photos. (Also, I'm on a new medication which is incredibly dehydrating. I can drink water all day and still be parched.)

Illamasqua Hectic
If you've read this blog for awhile, you know I love swamp/army/camo green. It was so perfect. Two coats, super smooth application. Maybe not totally worth the price AND shipping from the UK but it got here quick and I love it so... quite happy.

Illamasqua Smash
Not as easy to apply as Hectic but still a lovely grass green two coater. I was showing my SO this mani and in order to relate on his level (sort of), I said to him, "It's called Smash. Like 'Hulk smash!'" He looked at me with disbelief. Said: "The Hulk was emerald. That's not emerald."

He's right. It's not emerald.
read more "Some Illamasqua greens! Hectic and Smash."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some OPI Designer Series Swatches

I have to admit that the Designer Series polishes are my favorite holographic polishes.  They aren't quite as holographic as the Nfu-Oh holographic polishes, but they apply a whole lot better.  In fact, they apply just like regular polishes.  None of that crappy, streaky, draggy formula where you have to be careful to let the previous layer dry completely before moving on.  Nope.  The Designer Series polishes are fantastic.  You don't even need a special base coat to make these work.

First up, this is Original, a light purple.  The holographic effect on this polish is top notch and one thing I like about this color is that it's still gorgeous in the shade.  Of course, the holographic effect goes away in the shade, but it's beautiful either way.  I used three coats for this swatch.

I decided to take some pictures of these at a different angle to really show off the rainbow effect.

This is Shimmer.  Shimmer is a silver holographic polish that really should be saved for top coat use only.  It's very sheer and I needed four coats for this swatch.  I don't want to waste it so this is probably the only time I'll use it alone.  Still, this one is very holographic and just gorgeous in the sun.

This is Signature, a cool pink holographic polish.  I don't usually go for pink polishes, but this one is really pretty and I could picture myself wearing this one and loving it.  Hey, add holographic particles to most anything and it makes it better, right?  I used three coats of Signature for this swatch.

I saved my favorite for last.  This is Desire, a tan holographic polish.  I love, love, love this polish.  It's holographic and it's neutral enough to wear to work, in my opinion.  Although, I do work with a guy with a bright red mohawk so that just shows off our lack of a dress code.  I could get away with just about any polish for work so this is seriously tame.  I really wish I had more holographic neutrals.  I used three coats of Desire.

That's it for the rest of my holographic Designer Series polishes.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed swatching these beauties.
read more "Some OPI Designer Series Swatches"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Swapper's Remorse...Redeemed! - OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees

Those who know me best know that I'm a chronic purger - everything from polish & make-up to pots & pans. I don't keep clothes if I don't wear them in 12 months (cocktail and gala dresses being the exception), I don't keep things I don't use or need, I don't hoard, I don't collect.

Swapper's remorse is an odd thing - a special kind of regret that comes from trading a polish away...and then realizing that it's the perfect polish for that very moment and nothing else will do! You'd think after all my purging and swapping that I would have experienced this by now, but this was my first serious case of swapper's remorse!

I swapped away OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees a while back. For what reason I don't know. And then I wanted it back in my life in a very bad way...luckily the beautiful thing that is swapping brought back to me what I had lost! I was able to get my hands on it again and I put it on immediately:

I thought it looked pretty cool with my Pradman onyx ring (You can buy them HERE - I have a bunch! Love!), so I put my fears aside to show you a full hand pic!

Ahhhh embarassing to show you my whole feels weird. My nails are quite "long" (for me) here, but I didn't bother cutting them down - I was just so desperate to put on SSitP!

The colour of this one is a dark, smoky grey with a blue undertone that verges on the cusp of being black. It also has one of the more interesting textures I've seen - the same consistency of Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow from the same collection. It's jelly-ish, but in the first layer you can see that it's kind of...grainy? I'm not sure how to define it, but it's not rough at all and the final result isn't splotchy or anything. To be honest I really like it! I'd like more polishes with this consistency.

Have you ever had swapper's/purger's remorse??? Were you able to get the polish back?

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ulta Ultra Violet - A Car Accident Color

I thought I would like this color. I thought it would be bright and vivacious, lovely and girly.

Little did I know that I would LOVE it!

Not only is this a neon purple/pinkish color, but it goes on like a dream in three coats and it has a blue shimmer to it! The shimmer was evident in the bottle, but I figured that it would probably disappear on the nail like some other polishes I know (I'm looking at you, Sally Hansen). I'm proud to say that it did NOT. It was so incredible to look at that I've informally designated it A Car Accident Color - you know, a color so awesome that you tend to look at it more than, say, the street while you are driving. Did I say that? I mean... never mind.

And since we know how I feel about layering, here she is with Nfu Oh 54 and OPI's Catch Me In Your Net -

The Nfu Oh just added to the shimmer and the OPI took on a slightly purplish tinge that was lovely, adding to the Car Accident-ness of this mani.

Anybody else have any Car Accident Colors?

Happy day, all!
read more "Ulta Ultra Violet - A Car Accident Color"

Street Wear Vice and E=mc²

Whenever I start trying to swatch on a theme, I inevitably get bored if there are more than twelve polishes that follow that theme in my stash. Hence, I haven't gotten through as many Street Wears as I've wanted to in the past year. But here are two more...

Revlon Street Wear Vice

Gunmetal grey shimmer. A little bit on the sheer side for a dark grey polish: three coats. And it's so totally brushstrokey, which I think is normal for polishes from this era. But it doesn't mean I love it. There's still something kinda badass about this polish though and I liked it better than I though I would.

Revlon Street Wear E=mc²

I would have been happier with this polish if I could ever get it opaque. This is four coats and I think six would've been perfect but I didn't have the patience for six that day. Still, I really liked this manicure, even though it was a bit sheer: it looked icy and textured and odd... and that appeals to me. This photo was taken after the second day of wear.

Close up of E=mc²
Sparse-ish blue and silver glitter in a grey-blue shimmer base. Interesting, though maybe not pretty.
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