Thursday, March 31, 2011

Inque Nails Contest Voting!

Voting is (finally!) now open for the Inque Nails Contest. The winner of this contest will have all their nail designs sold at InqueNails!

Please vote using the poll on the sidebar (upper right). Which nails do you most want to see as real nail stickers? Please select your top TWO choices.

There were way too many designs to put onto a single page so I uploaded them to my Flickr as sets. Each contestant designed all the nails in a given set and all nails in the winning set will be sold by Inque. Please click on each link to peruse the 10 semi-finalists' gorgeous designs!

Voting closes on April 6th, 2011 at 11:59PM PST (2:59AM EST)!
read more "Inque Nails Contest Voting!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Essie Summer 2011 Sneak Peek!

*****Don't forget to enter my Spring Things GIVEAWAY with Essie and Pradman Jewelry! Check out the post here or just enter in the sidebar!*****

OK so I managed to score a couple of the Essie Summer colours - no, Essie didn't send them to me *cough*wouldlovetoreviewResort*cough* - but I was really excited to get them! I first saw a picture of the Essie Summer colours on Musings from Manhattan and I was lucky enough to get my hands on bottles of the three that I was most interested in. Check it out!

Meet Me At Sunset:

I unexpectedly LOVED this one! I've always kind of wanted an orange polish - but one that I could still pull off with say a grey suit and not look like a crazy person that just came from a kids birthday party. I think this is it - it is a little more subdued in person than in the picture. It has quite a few drops of red in it, which I think make it more wearable.


And I unexpectedly HATED this one! I thought this was going to be my orange winner, but no. I thought from the initial photos that this one was a cream, but it actually has pink shimmer running throughout that you can see on the bottle, but is quite imperceptible on the nail. I am just not loving this with my skin - it looks like carrot paste. I can see this looking *fabulous* on someone with darker skin though. This needs to find a new home.

Absolutely Shore:

I saved the best for last!!! I've never done well with minty greens - they give me lobster hands and tend to look really garish. This one however, is a total winner! It is the palest of pale mint greens with a dab of blue and a touch of grey. It is so delicate and pretty and I love the way it looks with my skin. I can't wait to wear this over and over! Heck, I'll even be sporting it in winter!

The collection drops in June - any of the Essie Summer colours speaking to you??

read more "Essie Summer 2011 Sneak Peek!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sally Hansen Burgundy Child

Despite being one of my older polishes, I had never worn this one. Actually really like!

(2 coats)

Formula was really great. Nicely pigmented, flowed nicely, and dried nicely. Honestly, I think Sally makes some pretty legit polish. I'd have so many more if they picked one bottle, one brush, and just went with it. There's nothing I like more than my army of matching bottles.
read more "Sally Hansen Burgundy Child"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Essie Wedding 2011 Sneak Peek!

*****Don't forget to enter my Spring Things GIVEAWAY with Essie and Pradman Jewelry! Check out the post here or just enter in the sidebar!*****

The Essie Wedding 2011 collection will be appearing in stores shortly, but I was just so excited to find two polishes that I really really love in this collection that I decided to share them now! Last year's wedding assortment left me cold, but this one has two gems in it - including *drumroll please* my PERFECT RED!

First up, Borrowed & Blue:

A real departure for Essie in terms of what they usually offer to the bridal set. I have to say, this is the first pale blue I've tried that didn't look horrific with my skin - it has a touch of periwinkle in there, and is paler than most baby blues on the market. Application was surprisingly non-chalky for a colour with so much white in the base, and I think it's just adorable and will look great all through summer! I absolutely love this one, and the name is cute to boot!

And here is First Dance:

Finally!! After all the searching (including my Hunt for Red by October), I found it. My perfect, classic red polish! First Dance is quite jelly-ish, but applies absolutely beautifully. I can't tell you how happy I am to find this - I will be getting back-ups for sure. The first coat appeared quite pink, but the overall colour of the polish is warmer, so it seems that there are both cool and warm pigments in it, giving it a great neutral balance on the nail. As I've learned, finding the perfect red can be really difficult, and now that I have, I don't want to ever be without it!

This collection also includes a sheer pink and a sheer peach - pretty, but definitely things I already have in my stash. I highly recommend both Borrowed & Blue and First Dance - both of them are complete winners in my book!


P.S. Stay tuned...I have a preview of some of the Essie Summer colours coming up!
read more "Essie Wedding 2011 Sneak Peek!"

Saturday, March 26, 2011

kittytokaren's Spring Things GIVEAWAY - Pradman Jewelry & Essie!

It's that time again, lucky readers!

Pradman has offered to do a giveaway with me again for spring, so of course I said yes! Like in winter, I wanted to pick out my favourite coordinating combination for the season. So without further ado, here is my favourite spring combo - Essie Milky Way (J Crew exclusive) and the Pradman Green Chrysophase Bangle!

Here is the nice little set of goodies the winner will receive...

Here is the combination on me - I've been loving Essie Milky Way as you can see in this post. (My Michael Kors watch is not included! This is how I wear it though, so I wanted to share.)

And a close up of my favourite spring things together! I love how the neutral polish sets off those beautiful stones...

The bangle is 65mm in diameter and is set with three large green Chrysophase stones. I know some people might want to pair a punch colour on the nails with this bangle, but I think the warm tones of Milky Way harmonize beautifully with the gold of the bangle - the combination really lets the spectacular chrysophase stones be the star of the show! Can you imagine this with a crisp white ensemble paired with a khaki blazer? Or even further into summer with a long print dress and a tan? Mmmm....

So if you like my favourite spring things, please enter our GIVEAWAY! The winner will receive 1 BRAND NEW bottle of Essie Milky Way and 1 BRAND NEW Pradman Jewelry Green Chrysophase Bangle.

- One entry per person.
- Anyone in the world is allowed to enter.
- If you win, you will be contacted the next day for your address. If you do not respond after 7 days, a new winner will be chosen.
- Giveaway closes April 13 at 11:59 PM EST.

The entry form is below, and will be in the sidebar of Polish or Perish for the duration of the GIVEAWAY! All you need to do is fill out your name, email address, and tell us what YOUR Pradman pick for spring would have been. (Check out the Pradman Etsy store for reference.)

Pradman have all sorts of giveaways via their Facebook and Twitter sites that are independent of PoP - I highly suggest checking it out!

Thanks again to Nicole of Pradman Jewelry for partnering with me again for this giveaway! Good luck & happy spring!

read more "kittytokaren's Spring Things GIVEAWAY - Pradman Jewelry & Essie!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Essence Ultimate Pink

I'm telling you, Essence and Ulta are fighting it out as to which one should receive all of my love.

For 99 cents, how do you pass these little buggers up?

This is Essence Ultimate Pink, a pure bubblegum pink if I ever saw one. Think Barbie... lots of Barbie. It was a tad bit sheer and took maybe three coats to build up, but it dried like a champ and wore really well. And for 99 cents, I'll slap that third coat on with a smile.

Now if only I could get my hands on more interesting colors of Essence. My Ulta seems to roll out the same colors all the time and never dabbles in collections. Does anyone else have that problem?

Happy day, all!
read more "Essence Ultimate Pink"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Huemorista bottle pics... (and again, I don't mean to be an over-privileged spoiled brat...)

Because of the heavy rains, my apartment building (and about half of the town) lost power for about half the day today. This is a great spring break I'm having this year...

A college buddy of mine came through town en route to a nice romantic getaway with her SO. (Happily, her romantic getaway was not a literal wash-out like mine was. However, their nice leisurely drive down Highway 1 through charming California towns turned into "oh crap, it's wet and windy with no visibility and traffic lights are not working because power lines are down.")

We were planning to meet for lunch so the early part of my afternoon was spent calling about a dozen restaurants and asking, "Hey, are you serving lunch? Yes? Do you have electricity? No? Great, thanks!" A surprising number of restaurants stayed open even though they had no power. I guess you don't need it to assemble a salad or to serve a soda!

To make today not a complete bust in terms of polish: I took some bottle pics of my recent order from Huemorista, an Etsy seller who makes some very pretty (but kinda small) frankens. She sells them in sets of 3 for $12 per set. I bought two. :)

As other bloggers have noted, the wrapping was super cute. Shipping was a bit slow -- she's a one-woman operation so I don't hold this against her -- but she included a free shipping coupon to make up for the delay.


From the back:

And some close-ups...
Bubble Bath
Light blue (possibly jelly) with opalescent glitter and (it looks like) flakies.

Midnight Invite
Glitter and flakies in a dark blue jelly. Yum!!

Kisses de Tulips
Coral pink jelly with opalescent flakies.
Hidden Rainbow
Not a very well-hidden rainbow. :) LOOKIT THE GLITTER!

Herbal Steam
Muted moss green with fine blue (?) shimmer.

Clover Fields
Nope, not a dupe for Creme de Menthe but a cheerful pastel emerald shot through with what appears to be fine gold shimmer.

Can't wait to try these! I think I may put one on now to celebrate the fact that I have electricity! :D

read more "Some Huemorista bottle pics... (and again, I don't mean to be an over-privileged spoiled brat...)"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another iNOTD: China Glaze Crushed Candy over Essie Smokin' Hot

Got home from Napa yesterday night Still exhausted and completely drained (and without the will to unpack my camera for a real NOTD). Why so tired after your relaxing Napa getaway, you may ask?

Well, I'll tell ya but first my NOTD:

China Glaze Crushed Candy crackle over Essie Smokin' Hot

For Audrey-like Tiffany blue creme crackle. I applied very thin layers and I dunno if I like the thinness of the cracks... it's a cool effect but you can barely see any of Smokin' Hot underneath.


I do kind of like the really thin strands of crackle that connect the bigger slices...

So, the story: In an effort to show my SO's mom the stunning Pacific Coast Highway, we managed to get lost in the Santa Cruz Mountains for several hours. The GPS couldn't figure out where Highway 1 was! (It hugs the coast; it's a little hard to miss.) And it led us through some gorgeous old forests and some very narrow and winding mountain roads... and then we came to a complete dead-end near an apparent Men's Correctional Facility (or so said the sign where we took one of many wrong turns).

When we started out, it was late afternoon. It didn't take long for the sun to set and the fog to start rolling in. Driving on dark, foggy winding roads is, like, not at all fun, especially if you have NO clue where the hell you are and no reason to believe that the GPS knows what it's doing (and because we're in beautiful, pristine forests, there's no cellular service either). And, of course, no one thought to bring a map because everyone assumed GPS and cell phones were sufficient. (They are not.)

Anyway, we finally made it home, having never found our way to Highway 1. And I'm still worn out by the whole escapade. I get extremely motion sick very easily so I was thoroughly miserable throughout 95% of the drive. It was okay as long as it was light because the scenery was so breathtaking (and distracting) but there ain't much to look at in the dark. :P
read more "Another iNOTD: China Glaze Crushed Candy over Essie Smokin' Hot"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

iNOTD: Essie Merino Cool... except not (because I misremembered)

Edited (6:07pm): thanks to the sharp eyed readers who pointed out my error!! :)

In Napa, at a wine tasting; realized I didn't schedule a post to go up today while away from home!

So here is an iNOTD to tide you all over... Me grasping a wine glass. ;)

Essie Merino CoolSmokin' Hot

I love this polish even if it's more of a fall color. Dusty dark purple (or purple-leaning dark grey). This mani has been great for me so far: 2 coats for perfect coverage. And this is Day 3. There's a bit of tipwear and minor scuffing but otherwise looking great. I'm thinking of putting on ChG Crushed Candy crackle over it when I get home. And, you know, post a real update.

read more "iNOTD: Essie Merino Cool... except not (because I misremembered)"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick Silk Stockings - Essie Au Natural

Just a quick shot for you today - normally I wouldn't share this as its just a snap with my cell phone camera at the bus stop and doesn't really show off the colour or finish, but I loved how it showed off the shine! (Check out those little star shaped reflections - you can almost hear them say *pling*!)

I wasn't feeling really manicure-inspired, so I put on two coats of Essie Au Natural - it looks taupe in the bottle, but what it really is is silk stockings in polish form. My mother always says that "Ladies always wear stockings!" and this really embodies that. It looks clear - like bare legs - from a distance, but the tone is evened out and there's a little bit of a sheen to it...

I'll show you a good shot of this one of these days, but to be honest my nails can't bear the close-up right now! Suffice to say this is one of my favourite sheers - it never looks yellow (ick) or pink (just not in the mood sometimes). I highly recommend it!

read more "Quick Silk Stockings - Essie Au Natural"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

KleanColor Jewelry Red

I continue to shop my stash (and love the money I've been saving!!). I always thought that I had a very low untried count but if I'm honest with myself, I have tons of polish that I have swatched but never actually worn.

Enter KleanColor Jewelry Red: I cannot begin to tell you how these photos do not do this color justice. The depth of the golden shimmer is unmatched. Plus, you usually see darker reds with gorgeous deep, "lit from within" shimmer. Not bright fiery ones! So pleased with the color.

(2 coats)

However, I can't say enough bad things about the formula. It's quite terrible. It applied very well but the smell is unspeakable. Really. And it stained the hell out of my nails. I've never had staining this bad, this yellow. I wore this color for about 24 hours and that's all the time it needed to do damage.

The part I find most annoying is how this would not dry!! I wont bore you with the saga of getting this mani to be semi-presentable and dry enough that I could go about my day, but I will say that it was... involved. And it still was easily dentable hours and hours later. I have several KleanColors in my stash and I realize now that they just do not work for my lifestyle. Back when I was a student and I would laze about, swatching and having the freedom to do a couple manis a day, I never really noticed how bad KleanColors were (this is not the first KC I have tried that has refused to dry and smelled like death). But when I have to be off to work and look reasonably professional, I do not want to be worrying about being careful with my nails and, worse still, having a dented up, trashy looking mani.

Working girls, KleanColors are not for you.
read more "KleanColor Jewelry Red"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Milani Silver: has such potential but this mani was a mess...

...this has been the worst week. Every. single. day. someone let me down on something. Everyone was running late (if running at all!) and god... every day!

It's going to be raining all weekend during the trip to Napa with my SO and his mother. But that's not the sad part. The sad part is: because it's been so rainy... part of the Pacific Coast Highway fell into the freakin' ocean and now the romantic getaway that my SO and I had planned to Big Sur... it's no longer practical to go. :( I had been looking forward to this week for the last month. I know it's so bratty to bitch about this sort of thing given the physical and political turmoil of the past month across the world -- but gosh darn it.

Anyway. Enough bitching. Onto nails!

Milani Silver (in lightbox)

Milani Silver (with flash)
Bright silver hex glitter in clear polish and NOTHING else. It takes a lot of patience to pull this mani off effectively though: this was five coats. And I waited a couple of minutes between coats (which I never do -- and it's impossible to get a nice opaque layer of silver glitter without waiting). And then I had to shift around the pieces of glitter with a cuticle stick. And even then... I didn't do a good job:

Closeup of Silver
Argh. My eyes suck and I didn't notice how many gaping holes there were in this manicure until I saw the macro photos. :(

read more "Milani Silver: has such potential but this mani was a mess..."

Friday, March 18, 2011

More Lippmann: Waking Up in Vegas

This one was surprising. Wasn't expecting much from this light taupe-y putty color but it ended up applying very well.

Lippmann Waking Up in Vegas
As usual, my skintone somehow makes this polish look different on my nails than others. It leans a bit purple on me. I was expecting more of a yellow-ish tinged taupe but I like it much better on me like this. Two coats, applied beautifully (though I did shake the heck out of it beforehand).

This week has just flown by. I spent about seven hours straight cleaning yesterday. Yay for Diamont. I was able to do my nails in between two bathrooms and my mani was fine after twenty minutes dry time. (And I was scrubbing the hell out of the tub.) :)
read more "More Lippmann: Waking Up in Vegas"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lovely, dark and deep - OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow

A little something green for St. Patrick's Day!

Deepest, darkest dark green - with the most interesting texture! (Just like Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees.)


No flash:

Sometimes you just want something dark and vampy that *isn't* burgundy/wine/dark red/plum. And this fits the bill perfectly. Plus I'm a total sucker for the pseudo-jelly-speckly formula. I just love it and I don't even know why!

This reminds me of running around in the woods late at night when I was a kid. I was never scared because I knew the woods so well - every tree, every little hill, every turn. Dark and mysterious, but familiar and comforting all at the same time. It's actually amazing how the colour of this polish evokes these memories to me. I can almost smell the air...clean and fragrant, but laced with the scent of pond water. I miss home so much it hurts sometimes.

Do you have a polish that reminds you of home or a specific childhood memory?

read more "Lovely, dark and deep - OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An old Lippmann: Call Me Irresponsible

Hmm... didn't get as much done on my blog to-do list as I wanted to yesterday. But today's another day.

I also wish it weren't so overcast outside: it's no fun to be restricted to using my lightbox. :(

Lippmann Call Me Irresponsible
Can't decide whether I like this one or not. It's very jelly. Three coats. Goes on pretty well. But I love the bottle color and the jelly-ness of the polish lightens it to the sort of reddish purple that I'm not the biggest fan of. Meh. I waited a long time to get this and now that I have it... I don't know if I regret spending the money or not.
read more "An old Lippmann: Call Me Irresponsible"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lippmann Glitter in the Air over Avon White French Tip

It has such promise in the bottle:

I don't know what's worse in the photo: my cuticles or the polish (either of them).

Lippmann Glitter in the Air over Avon White French Tip
First, the white avon: three coats, still not opaque. Grr. Second, GiTA: if I had a LOT of patience and the perfect milky blue, this would be beautiful. As it is... this was a terrible mani.

Today is going to be a "catch-up-on-blog-stuff" day. I'm going to finally have time to respond to comments. Finally going to have time to swatch. Finally going to put the Inque contest results up for a vote (probably to be posted tomorrow). My spring break hasn't technically started but the majority of the work I've had to do for the quarter is complete. It has been a REALLY rough quarter and I'm so grateful that it is nearly over.

(Also: Misa sent me their two spring collections and China Glaze sent me some Crackles... but not the pretty purple or turquoise ones! That's alright though: I went ahead and bought them off of Amazon...)
read more "Lippmann Glitter in the Air over Avon White French Tip"

Monday, March 14, 2011

CoverGirl Candy Corn

I am trying to crowbar spring into my life!

To wit, I went with this cheery but soft orange creme.

(3 coats)

The formula on this one is not so good. (Sticky, bubbly, *had* to do 3 coats). But I do love the color. At first the orange was kind of shocking and novelty-ish. But as I settled into it, I kind of loved it and thought it looked pretty cute.
read more "CoverGirl Candy Corn"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Simply grown up? - Essie Secret Affair

Thinking about graduating in December (fingers crossed?!) has me thinking about polishes that would work in a more conservative work environment in case that's where I end up - I am soooo not staying in academia! I think this fits the bill nicely.

Essie Secret Affair is a pinkish light nude that is lightly opalescent/pearly thanks to the subtle shimmer.

Pretty. Neutral. Interview-worthy.

Simple. Unlike my life right now.

read more "Simply grown up? - Essie Secret Affair"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nicole by OPI One Less Lonely Glitter (...yes, from the Justin Bieber collection)

Yes, yes I did buy this:

What a name, eh?

It is, however, a joy of a nail polish!

Nicole by OPI One Less Lonely Glitter

Small and larger hexagonal glitter in amethyst purple suspended in a clear jelly. This was four coats and it's still not perfect coverage, but it's still super sparkly, super pretty and so girly, I could cry.

Close up of One Less Lonely Glitter
I think I have a dress somewhere that is made of a fabric that looks like this...

read more "Nicole by OPI One Less Lonely Glitter (...yes, from the Justin Bieber collection)"

Friday, March 11, 2011

China Glaze Sunset Sail and Starboard (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)

China Glaze Starboard
Marvelous emerald green creme. This one just kept going and going. This was taken on the fourth day of wear (with Gelous and Diamont). A bit of tipwear but that's about it!

China Glaze Sunset Sail

I felt that this one was unexpectedly pretty and flattering. I don't wear peaches well (very lobster hands) but this peachy beige with silver shimmer was a nice surprise. Three coats, though it probably could have gone with two.
read more "China Glaze Sunset Sail and Starboard (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some apparently retail-exclusive Essies: Jamaica Me Crazy and Dive Bar

As most people already know, L'Oreal recently acquired Essie and now Essie polishes are being sold at drugstores. I had heard they were only Walmart and Walgreens so far but I found the following at CVS. They retail like any other Essie (about $8).

(Hey, do you all remember the good ol' days when the etailers sold Essies to non-professionals for half the price? Those were good days.)

Essie Jamaica Me Crazy

Doesn't another company have a polish named this that's also a similar hot pink color? Pure Ice, maybe (another Walmart brand). I'm not one for fuchsias -- and I always misspell it -- but this one just LEAPT out of the display... and into my shopping basket. (Funny how that happens, eh?) It's such an exuberant and cheerful color! Very, very shimmery. Simply put: hot. I think I'd wear this on my toes. Two coats. Applied beautifully.

Essie Dive Bar

Photos do not capture this polish at all. Here, it just looks like your regular sexy blackened blue/teal shimmer. But it's actually a bit more duochromey than that. It gets kind of black and kind of green, depending on the angle, and while it is a weak duochrome effect, it's still pretty awesome. The application was less awesome: kind of brushstroke-y. And surprisingly: three coats. I would've assumed this was a two-coater.
read more "Some apparently retail-exclusive Essies: Jamaica Me Crazy and Dive Bar"