Archive for May, 2008

OPI Time-Less is More: The *Perfect* Off-white

Monday, May 12th, 2008

I have been endlessly searching for a perfect wearable off-white. Most are unacceptable to me because the colors are either too streaky, too white, or too off-white leaning towards pink. After a lot of searching and a lot of duds, I finally found the perfect off-white: OPI Time-Less is More from the Beyond Chic, 2008′s Soft Shades Collection. I was pretty excited about Beyond Chic before it came out, even though no one else seemed to be into the collection. In an effort to be less extravagant in my polish purchases, I successfully talked myself out of getting the whole collection. I own a lot of soft pinks and one of the lovely girls on MUA RAOK’d me a white with gold shimmer, thereby negating my need for the 2 white with gold shimmer polishes from Chic Shades. But, in a moment of weakness, I finally gave in for Time-less is More. I’m really glad I did. My only complaint is that it took 3 to 4 coats to achieve bottle color, but that’s to be expected with colors like this. I didn’t have much streakiness trouble with Barielle Camo as a base. Scrangie has pictures of the whole collection up on her blog (as usual), so check it out over there. Thanks to her, I now officially want the whole collection again – too bad I’m on a major-hardcore-for-real-no-breaking-this-time-no-buy.

In other news, I wrote a mini-dictionary for the site, the Lacquer Lexicon. If you ever find that you have no clue what I’m talking about shoot me an email or comment so I can clarify in the Lexicon. Additionally, I’m starting a serial segment where I answer nail polish related questions. If you guys ever need any advice about anything nail related let me know, If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it out for you, also feel free to send me pictures of unidentified polishes or color comparison requests. I’m going to get to the questions and requests I’ve gotten recently very soon, scout’s honor! : )

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Weekly Link Wrap Up

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Well this is actually two weeks worth of great links… oops.

15 Minute Beauty Fanatic and Makeup and Beauty Blog both review Essie’s new summer collection.

Scrangie reviews OPI’s newest summer collection Retro Fun in the Sun and OPI’s previous summer collections.

Urban Outfitters is launching a new line of nail polish Models Own.

Steph’s Closet compares Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle and Yellow Fever to China Glaze Tree Hugger and Solar Power.

All Lacquered Up sneak peeks Chanel’s Robertson Boulevard Collection.

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Can Grey Nail Polish Be Appropriate for Work?

Friday, May 9th, 2008

As always, I think this depends on what kind of job you have and how flexible towards fashion your job happens to be. Another consideration is whether a color is socially acceptable. I suppose, when it comes to professional-looking nail polish, there are two schools of thought. The first, I call the Essie school. The Essie school of thought holds that only nude, natural, neutral, or light pink is appropriate for work. The other, Vampy School holds that darks are also fine for work as long as the colors are not overly outrageous (dark browns, reds, plums would be ok whereas bright purple or black would not be) and the mani is clean and professional looking. For the most part, I belong to the Vampy school. Even so, I think grey is a new enough color trend that it might still strike some people as being bizarre. I’ve heard a lot of people compare it to having corpse-like nails, etc. I probably wouldn’t wear any of the dark greys to work. However, light greys like OPI Moon Over Mumbai (pictured to the left) or the similar Essie Body Language are very professional and sleek looking. Both should be acceptable for most work environments.

What do you guys think? Is grey a go or no go at work?

(As a side note: It’s sad but starting next week, because of my internship, I’ll be wearing very conservative polishes for the rest of summer, weekends excluded. So Expect to see a lot of work related nail polish articles and comparisons of work friendly colors. T_T Boooo.)

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ManGlaze Matte Nail Polish Swatches

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

The first time I saw the ManGlaze guy post on the nail board, the boyfriend pointed out that ‘ManGlaze’ is a euphemism for man spunk. I said, “no way, it’s just a play on China Glaze”… then I saw the ManGlaze website. Go ahead, click the link, then put your mouse on the yellow image. After seeing that advertisement, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind about the meaning behind the name ManGlaze. I know it’s probably not obvious since this is a blog about nail polish but I am a hardcore militant fundamentalist feminist. It goes without saying that that sort of imagery is offensive to me, and that’s what I told the ManGlaze guy in his post. But then he offered me free nail polish. After which I said, “feminism?… what feminism?” (Sorry girls, I have zero integrity when it comes to free nail polish.)

These swatches are two coats of color with no top coat. Usually, it would be blasphemy to not use a top coat. I made an exception this time because the ManGlaze guy BEGGED me not to put top coat on his polish. ManGlaze’s whole angle is “glossy has been canceled.” Their polish is supposed to gritty, matte… those things, I suppose, are thought to be synonymous with manliness… or something. Anyway, originally I was going to stick it to them by putting a million coats of top coat on but their polish, but I decided against it. I love this polish now, but my blue-haired 16 year-old self would have *really* loved this polish. The polish really is pretty awesome without a shiny top coat.

However – the girls on the board that have ManGlaze have been putting top coat on it. It looks amazing. Both ManGlaze Black and Grey have this ultra subtle multicolored micro-shimmer that can’t really be seen when it dries matte. One coat of top coat brings out all that hidden shimmer and it’s really very stunning.

ManGlaze Black reminds me black asphalt and black electronics casing. Take a look at Scrangie’s comparison pic of it. With top coat on, it kind of reminds me of the way the sky looks when you are out in the middle of no where.

This is my NOTD. I really love it. I’m wearing it as is, matte, all day. Tomorrow, I think I’ll slap some top coat on it. (Sorry – ManGlaze guy.)

ManGlaze should name these colors (every other aspect of their marketing is geared towards disgruntled male youth, the price is $6.66, the name, the ads, why not have a matching ‘edgy’ name for the colors? I’m thinking something like Rubber, Asphalt, or Coal for the black and something like Steel or Grit for the Grey.) ManGlaze should also release a matte top coat – like I said, not using a top coat is taboo. Also, they should put out a matte dark blue and blood red… oh man… I would LOVE that.

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Disclosure: Although it should be clear from the context of the post, in an overabundance of caution, these were sent to me for review by Man Glaze.

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3 Products That Will Change Your Life

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Product #3 Bag Balm

Being a member of the MUA nail board means you get to hear about all these really amazing random products. Bag Balm, for example, is a very impressive intensive moisturizer that comes in an unexpected green tin. You can get it at any drugstore. The catch is that… well…. it’s for cow utters and it smells like death. It’s basically just petroleum with an added chemical that helps prevent cow utter fungus. I can’t figure out why it works better than regular petroleum but it’s amazing for cracked feet and dry hands. Shockingly, it’s not expensive at all. I’m actually a little suspicious that the chemical that prevents the fungus also extends the life of your mani. Ever since I started using Bag Balm, I’ve gotten 2 or 3 days extra days of wear from my nail polish without changing any other part of mani routine. Now, I can’t prove that it is bag balm – yet – I plan to experiment.

Product #2 Barielle Nail Camouflage

I have a lot of streaky polishes so the girls on the nail board pointed me to Camo. It’s a bit on the expensive end but very worth it. It hides ridges, discoloration, and imperfections on the nail very well. More importantly, for some inexplicable reason, it evens out streaky polishes… yes… even those extremely streaky Essies. My only criticism is that you can’t wear it with all polishes. It seems to make polishes that are not streaky, goopy and more difficult to apply. I had this problem recently with both OPI Just Groovy and Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle. Neither polish is actually goopy but with Camo they were almost impossible to apply. All was well with both polishes when I used a regular base coat. Even though Camo is an extremely effective ridge filler, I don’t recommend it as a work horse. But if you’re like me and you have a ton of really difficult to apply streaky polishes that you love none-the-less, Camo is an investment.

Product # 1 Seche Vite

Seche’s company motto is “Feel Complete” and I do. Seche completes me – I’m not kidding, really. I refer to my life before I tried Seche as the dark ages. I only changed my polish once a week because it was such a tedious process. I just didn’t have the time to do it more often. In the dark ages doing a mani meant 1 coat of base coat, wait a few minutes, paint a coat of polish, wait a few minutes, another coat of polish, redo any nails that have bubbles, wait a few minutes, 1 coat of top coat, the entire process took about 40 minutes. After that the endless dry time wait began, usually upwards of an hour for my nails to be dry to the touch. During those darkest of hours, I was completely incapacitated. The slightest move could potentially destroy the mani and set me back another 30 minutes of waiting. And of course, I would never paint my nails at night or else risk the dreaded sheet marks. I had tried fast drying top coats before, I was never impressed. Which is why I was so reluctant to try Seche… I thought pfft, really, how fast can it possibly be? I thought for sure it was just another gimmick but I caved and got it. I can only describe the moment I tried Seche as enlightenment. The clouds split open, an angelic light shone down on my nails, harps were playing, doves were flying around. I cried, it was beautiful. Now, I’m a true believer and I preach the Seche gospel whenever possible. It’s a little bit on the expensive side but you can, seriously, do your nails and be out the door in 15 minutes. I can do my nails 20 minutes before bed – NO sheet marks. What’s more, Seche is *high* gloss, self-leveling, and it fixes everything. Are you bad at application? Get Seche. Do you have a problem with bubbles? Get Seche. It’ll walk your dog and mop your floors too, it’s that amazing. There has to be voodoo in it. Life after Seche means I can do my nails as often as I want, whenever I want.

The downside is that Seche tends to go bad at about half a bottle. It gets very goopy and difficult to use, even with thinner. You also might have to change your application style because Seche causes tip pull when you apply really thick coats of polish. I haven’t had the problem with my Seche getting goopy yet, but I thin it religiously – every 3 manis or so. Adding new Seche to freshly thinned Seche has also worked very well for me.

If you don’t have these products – go out and get them, especially Seche, they will change your life.

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Color Club Flower Power Collection Neon Swatches

Monday, May 5th, 2008

This isn’t the entire Flower Power Collection – these swatches are just the colors that are going to be available in the 7-pack that Color Club released recently. The collection in its entirety includes just about every neon shade you can possibly imagine. The entire collection is really amazing. Not included here but worthy of mention from this collection are Wild Child, Blue Light, 220 Volts, and Bizerk Turq. Check them out if you haven’t already. All these swatches are 2 coats of color and 1 coat of Color Club Vivid Color Intensifying Top Coat. Vivid is a really great top coat to use for matte drying neons. It really brings the color to life.

Limelight is a really vibrant neon green. I usually have a hard time with the application of neons, especially greens, but this applied really smooth. It’s tough to capture neon colors on film so none of these pictures do these colors any justice. I *love* this green.

LOVE Orange Revenge – it’s perfect. The neon collection has two other great shades of orange but Orange Revenge is the most vibrant and unique. Orange polish is definitely really trendy right now so if you’re in the market for a neon orange, this is an excellent (and inexpensive) one to pick up.

Power Play is one of the more popular shades from the Flower Power Collection. This picture isn’t the best depiction of the color – it’s more hot purple in real life. It’s a really beautiful color, not subtle but not the flashiest of the bunch either. It’s a good compromise for people who want to try neons.

This is my current NOTD – it’s gorgeous in all its neon flashiness. It pulls a little towards orange as opposed to a true fuchsia, but it’s still really great. I know a lot of people feel that this color is too much for tips… I don’t agree… but you can’t argue with taste. I double dare you to wear it on your tips but if you really just can’t do it, try it as a pedi.

The Flower Power Collection has several excellent pinks. I plan to do a side by side comparison of all of them soon. Pink Lust reminds me a bit of the pinks from OPI Indian Collection with just a little more zing.

Lazer Pink is my favorite pink from this collection. It’s a classic neon Barbie Pink. Alas… there is a difference in color batches a la the OPI Bubble Bath fiasco. I have two bottles of Lazer Pink. One is brighter than the other, but both are very pretty. I’ll post the comparison when I compare the pinks.

This collection is available at both Head2Toe and 8ty8.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Color Club.

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