Archive for July, 2008

Rescue Beauty Lounge Spongebob Pre-Fall Collection Swatches

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Ji Baek did it again. I am not a fan of creme sheers and I am completely and totally taken with this collection. Of course, I expected nothing less than perfection from Rescue Beauty Lounge – Ji and company consistently design colors that are in a league all of their own. Ji conjured up the Spongebob Squarepants Collection after hearing that Marc Jacobs drew inspiration for his collections from the popular children’s TV show. I love that these delicate sophisticated colors were designed based on a TV show, the silliness of which is rivaled only by Ren & Stimpy.

If delicate isn’t your thing, Ji says these colors look positively amazing layered over Rescue Beauty Lounge Underwear, the brightest white on the market. The brightness of Underwear gives these sheer colors a back-lit effect. As soon as I get my hands on Underwear, I’ll hook you guys up with swatches. Until then, enjoy these polishes in their unadulterated form.

These swatches are 4 coats each, taken in artificial light. I prefer sunlight images but I got home too late from work and I just had to show these to the world tonight. Despite having been taken in artificial light, these swatches are true and accurate depictions of these colors. It goes without saying at this point that the application of these polishes was perfect, not a streak insight.

If my addiction to nail polish could be expressed in one color, Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom would be that color. At first glance this blue looks dupish to Color Club Blue Light and China Glaze For Audrey, both of which I also love. Sorry guys, no such luck. Bikini Bottom is a very light watery blue, almost jelly like in its delicate finish. For Audrey is a greener blue creme, not jelly at all. Blue Light is a brighter light blue, also creme, no jelly. The only downside to this color is that I don’t think it can be pulled off at 2 coats – that and, this color should have been named Squidward. : P

Most people think that yellow is a difficult color to wear, Rescue Beauty Lounge Square Pants will prove those people wrong. I think there is a commonly accepted notion that yellow tends to run the risk of looking a bit garish, but Square Pants is soft and delicate. It’s visibly yellow, not pastel, but it’s not shocking on the nail. This color was put on earth for people who want to try yellow but fear it might be ‘too much’. Perfect.

Spongebob may be the star of the TV show, but for most people, Rescue Beauty Lounge Starfish Patrick is the star of this collection. Described as “wispy peach coral”, it’s definitely the most accessible of the 3 colors. Bikini Bottom is my personal favorite, but my NOTD right now is Starfish Patrick, primarily because it’s subtle enough for work.

I did take some swatches of Square Pants and Starfish Patrick at 2 coats for those of you who are not sheer polish adverse.

As you can see, these colors are wearable and streak-free even at 2 coats.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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Bling Incognito: Misa Sugar Sugar Collection Swatches

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Misa contacted me after I posted a negative review of Misa Indescribable. They said that they would do their best to rework the formula to create better, less streaky application. I was really impressed that they reached out to me as a dissatisfied customer. Indescribable was the first Misa polish I tried, since then I’ve had much better results with their polish but it’s still pretty great that they were concerned. Kudos to Misa for the excellent customer service.

Sorry guys this post isn’t for the new collection. I know, how horrible of a tease am I? I’ll have swatches of Poisoned Passion up this weekend, until then, get your fix by checking out Scrangie’s and Masa’s swatches and comparisons.

Sugar Sugar is Misa’s previous Spring/Summer collection. It is composed of 3 base colors and 3 ‘toppings’. It’s my personal opinion that these polishes were meant to be worn mixed and matched, layered over each other. The name Sugar Sugar is very fitting, all the colors in this collection look powdery and sheer on the nail. But you’ll find, like I did, that this seemingly princess-y collection has a darker, cooler side. All these polishes applied exceptionally well, no application issues at all.

First, the base colors:

Misa Sugar Daddy is my favorite from this collection. Gorgeous. I’ve been loving whites lately and this one has very fine silvery microshimmer that sets it apart from the other whites in my stash. It’s opaque but still somewhat translucent at 3 coats. I feel that Misa Confection Section was meant to be the topping for Sugar Daddy.

Misa Lolli Jolly is a soft sheer pink with microshimmer. Lolli Jolly is dupish to OPI Princesses Rule and Sinful Glass Pink. It’s still very sheer even at 3 coats. Misa Candy Girl compliments Lolli Jolly.

Misa Honeybunch is the silvery white version of Lolli Jolly. This swatch is also 3 coats. In the image Honeybunch seems to fade from very opaque on my index finger to very sheer on my pinkie finger. That is the result of shading. Interestingly, Honeybunch looks more sheer in the shade and more opaque in full on sunlight. Finally, I think the teal in Misa Sweet Pleasure compliments the silver in Honeybunch.

Here are the three base colors side-by-side. They may look similar but each one has it’s own charm. I actually did try to capture images of all these polishes layered over each other. I just couldn’t get the subtle shimmer to show up accurately with my camera. Suffice it to say that the combinations are really pretty, especially using Candy Girl and Sweet Pleasures together over Lolli Jolly as a base.

Now for the ‘toppings’:

Misa Confection Section is a chunky multi-toned glitter polish. You can use this one over any polish in this collection (well really over any polish, period) but I think it’s especially suited to be layered over Sugar Daddy.

Misa Candy Girl is a pink jelly base with suspended blurple microshimmer. Ultra sheer, it’s gorgeous layered over Lolli Jolly. It’s my second favorite from this collection, you’ll see why below.

Misa Sweet Pleasure is teal toned microshimmer suspended in nude jelly polish. This is 3 coats in the sunlight. Even in the full on midday Sun this polish is very subtle and tame. It’s beautiful, I don’t say that very often about sheers.

Now for the really exciting stuff – the ‘toppings’ over black:

Sugar Sugar is rocking the major undercover bling.

Candy Girl is blue to purple duochrome! DUOCHROME! *dies* Confection Section becomes green toned over black, very ‘the truth is out there-ish’ so I think this will be my mani for the X-Files opening this weekend. Sweet Pleasures over black looks a bit like Zoya Kotori but more blinged out.

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

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Alternatives to Chanel Kaleidoscope

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Like I said before, I usually don’t buy Chanel nail polish *but* Chanel Kaleidoscope was so beautiful and unique, I just had to have it. The minute I saw a swatch of it taken by MUA’s Mrs_Brightside, I called Nordstrom and put a bottle on hold. That was incredibly out of character for me but it was totally and completely worth it. Even though I can honestly say that I love Kaleidoscope, I want to show you guys some possible alternatives to it. With the economy the way that it is right now, a luxury item like a 20 dollar bottle of nail polish, is probably not the most prudent way to spend money. Of course, some colors are must-have, recession or not, but if you can settle from something less extravagant, why not do so? (I’m a hypocrite, I know.)

First, here she is (are bottles of nail polish female? hmm) in all her glory:

*Heavy Sigh* In the sunlight, Kaleidoscope shimmers with ultra bling. Indoors and in the shade, it’s more of a subtle mirrored greenish platinum color. It’s beautiful but I have no idea why it’s called Kaleidoscope, neither does Scrangie. If the other shade is Gold Fiction, why not call this one Platinum Drama.

Essie Steel-ing the Scene is the closest thing to Kaleidoscope in my stash. These are actually fairly close color siblings. The main difference is that Kaleidoscope has the greenish tone and a lot more shimmer. However, if you really want to follow this trend but don’t want to blow the cash, Essie Steel-ing the Scene is a great alternative.

Here is Kaleidoscope and Steel-ing the Scene side by side. Despite several attempts, I couldn’t get the image to show the differences between these colors. I blame the inferior camera. While these colors are very close they really don’t look as similar in real life as they look in the image. Steel-ing the Scene has a smoother finish, less bling, less shimmer and is less mirrored.

Adorée Rockport Gray doesn’t have a mirrored finish. It’s a pseudo-metallic light silverish gray with some mossy shimmer throughout. Rockport Gray is not a dupe but it’s a pretty good alternative, especially for people who don’t want to go full out metallic. This is my NOTD right now, it’s subtle enough that I was able to get away with it at work. The application and wear is excellent.

I first lemminged Milani Key Lime Shine when I saw it on FiveZero. The polish doesn’t show the brush strokes, the lines on the surface are actually my nail ridges. If I did this as an actual mani, which I will soon, I would use Camo as a base to eliminate that issue. Key Lime Shine is a highly mirrored metallic light lime green. This is the only one of the colors exhibited here that is available at drug stores, although it is rumored to be hard-to-find.

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Disclosure: Adoree Rockport Gray was sent to me for review by Esther’s Nail Center.

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Essie Fall 2008 Collection Swatches

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

What is this collection named? I have no idea. It’s a very mysterious collection, but the colors are great. While other polish companies are doing grays, purples, dark colors, and metallics for fall, Essie stayed true to form and maintained their usual palette range. These colors are more classic than they are exciting but these are colors that should be standard staples in all stashes. Scrangie has reviewed these already and I agree with her insights. The reds are *hot* and I, too, love the jelly-like finish that these colors sport. I wouldn’t call them true jellies per se because the colors aren’t completely translucent, but the finishes definitely have a unique quality. I imagined that these colors would be ultra glossy, but strangely, they weren’t. I know some people like the finish to be somewhat matte but I like my nails to blind oncoming traffic, so I plan to top these with an ultra gloss top coat. Finally, these were all 2 coaters, excellent application. Well played, Essie. This collection should be out in August.

Essie – Big Spender is a sophisticated purple-y pink. It’s not a neon shade, but it reminds me a lot of the neon colors that were so popular this summer. For that reason, I think it would be good transitional color to wear from the switch between Summer to Fall. Even if you don’t have those sorts of seasonal concerns, it’s still a sexy color.

LOOOOOVE this red. Essie Forever Young, a tomato red, is gorgeous, plain and simple. I used top coat for this swatch because of the matte drying. I’ve noted where I’ve taken the images with top coat, notice the contrast?

In my swatches, Essie Lacy Not Racy looks deceptively similar to Essie Tomboy No More pictured below. Both are ridiculous sexy colors, but they’re very different. Lacy Not Racy is more of a true red, while Tomboy No More is a deeper more vampy red. This swatch was taken with top coat, if you look at the swatch of Tomboy No More in contrast to this swatch, the matte drying is really apparent.

I just can’t get enough of these reds. Essie Tomboy No More would be perfect to use for the half moon mani, well actually all three reds would be. Love it.

This color is just one huge mystery. Scrangie and I, apparently, have different colors both named No Boundaries. My bottle was a hot pink as you can see above, but hers was a vampy plum. I like my version of No Boundaries but I really like Scrangie’s, so boooooo. I’m a little confused as to what happened, I’ll let you guys know when I figure it out.

People haven’t been very excited over Essie Swept Off My Feet but it’s my absolute favorite from this collection. It’s a muted pink, Scrangie describes it as dusty – I completely agree. I love these muted dusty colors that been released as of late. There’s just something about them, to me they seem edgy but classic. I love it.

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

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Confessions of a Polish Addict: I Am a Compulsive Moisturizer User

Friday, July 18th, 2008

I get a lot of emails asking how I go about taking care of my hands and cuticles. The overly simplified answer is that I own 9 trillion different hand creams, balms, salves, and moisturizers. It’s so ridiculous that if you look in my purse right now you will find 3 hand creams (Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, Jaqua Butter Cream Frosting, Eucerin Healing Ointment), a nail salve (Embrace Bath & Body Nail Salve), and two cuticle balms (Sally Hansen Shea Butter Cuticle Balm, Qtica Cuticle Repair Balm). That’s *just* in my purse.

Why does one person need a virtual army of moisturizers? Look, this addiction thing is no joke. In my compulsion, I’ve found that different products work better for different situations. For general cuticle care, I use cuticle balm several times daily. For after hand washing, I usually use the heavy duty ointment type stuff, Norwegian Formula or Healing Ointment. These have no scent and are very effective. However, every once in a while, I want something that moisturizes and smells delicious. The two wonderfully scented products in my purse are Jaqua and Embrace. I plan to eventually tell you guys about all the moisturizers I use (mmm fun), but today I’m going to give you the skinny on Embrace Bath & Body.

I try to support small companies whenever I can. Embrace Bath & Body is comprised of two girls from Port St. Lucie, FL (right around the corner from where I live). They sell their products on Etsy (adorable) and just recently expanded into supplying vendors like Esther’s Nail Center. They make all natural highly affordable products: lip balms & tints, body powders, body & hand creams, foot balms, and hand & nail salves, etc. I can’t vouch for all their products, yet, but I love their Coconut Lime Verbena Nail Salve and Peppermint Fresh Feet Balm (more on this at a later date).

The topic of today’s post is Coconut Lime Verbena Nail Salve. It contains mostly all natural ingredients: Olive Oil, Beeswax, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Tea Tree Oil, fragrance (sadly, the frangrance is synthetic but oh well) and Vitamin E. To me the lime and coconut scent makes the nail salve smell kind of like mojitos, minus the alcohol. As someone who has used just about every moisturizer under the sun, I’m really impressed with Embrace Nail Salve. I love products that contain Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Beeswax, or any combination of these ingredients, because these are all excellent and extremely effective natural work horse moisturizers. My mom, for example, has been using Olive Oil for as long as I can remember and her hands are the softest on earth.

I use the nail salve the same way I would use a cuticle balm, rub into my cuticles and nails, but then I spread it all over. It does give my hands a somewhat greasy feeling initially, but the product gets absorbed quickly. Afterwards, all that is left is a light sheen and the delicious but subtle scent of coconuts and limes. The packaging, a small balm tin, is perfect. I love tins because they don’t let dirt get into the product, unlike pop-off or screw on caps. That’s important to me because, frankly, I live in filth, my purse is no exception. When I run out of Coconut and Lime Verbena, which will be soon at this rate, I plan to try out Embrace’s other nail salves Lavender Vanilla and Oatmeal & Honey. When I do I’ll let you guys know what I think.

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Disclosure: These products were sent to me for review by Esther’s Nail Center.

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Color Club Fall Preview!

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I am SO excited for these!!!! I’ll have swatches up as soon as humanly possible once I receive them.

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These beauties belong to the official Fall collection. I’m not 100% sure of the name of the collection but I think it might be the ‘Dance’. Cremes seem to always be standard for the Fall so I applaud Color Club for doing shimmers – or are they metallics, duo-chromes!? Gaaaah, I have to know! Either way they look amazing. Blue! Black! Gun Metal Gray! Cannot. Wait.

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I’m not even going to bother raving about this because you guys should know how I feel about glitter by now. Really though, an entire collection of glitter polish…. *explodes*. It’s like a dream come true. I think this collection can possibly help quench some of the thirst for the re-release of the China Glaze Wizard of Ooh Ahz Collection, at least temporarily.

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Color Club decided to jump on the go-green nail polish wagon and release this new eco-friendly line. I don’t know the deets yet but I’m assuming these are going to be big 3 free. I’ll let you guys in the scoop as soon as I get the press release.

Special thanks to Color Club for allowing me to share these promotional images.

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