Archive for the ‘Creme’ Category

Essie Yogaga Collection Fall 2012 Swatches

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Back in September I reviewed Essie Yogaga and noted that there weren’t very many swatches of the Yogaga collection online. Sure, it’s not the most exciting Essie collection to date, but the lack of coverage still seemed odd. My theory is that a lot of bloggers passed on this collection because it didn’t seem Earth-shattering. Well, on the surface that is true – nothing here is likely blow your mind. Even so, this collection is like a sleeper cell - the seemingly run-of-the-mill colors are all surprisingly flattering and a few are definitely worth owning. (Yes, yes, I know a collection of all crèmes appeals to me, more so than to everyone else). In any case, here are the swatches albeit a bit late.

Essie Boxer Shorts is a light muted periwinkle creme. This photo isn’t accurate – in real life the shade is much less vibrant. These blue/purple shades are just impossible to photograph accurately. The application was good, this is 3 coats. I liked this color more than I expected to – it complimented my skintone nicely.

Essie Spinning Again is a dark brick red crème – also very flattering. The application was smooth like butter. This is 3 coats. I wore Spinning Again during the work week. I think most reds will fly at all but the most conservative offices but Spinning Again, being a red terracota-like shade, is particularly work safe.

Essie Pilates Hottie is a mushroomy lilac. If you’ve read through my archives, then you probably know that lilac is one of my white whales – I *love* lilacs but they all look HORRENDOUS on me. Pilates Hottie, which leans pink, did not look terrible… dare I say, it even looked good. The application however, left something to be desired. The formula was chalky which caused the polish to apply unevenly. I smoothed everything out with a thick slathering of Seche Vite. I’ve found that a self-leveling quick drying top coat like Seche will fix most polishes with problematic application.

Essie Marathin is medium dusky, grayed-out rose-pink. I believe this is what is often referred to as a “grandma” color - still though, it’s professional and flattering. While I get, and appreciate, the gym motif of this collection, but my inner-feminist is not a fan of the name. It would have been much cooler to name this classic shade Marathon instead of Marathin. The formula was a bit thick and it took 3 coats to even everything out.

Essie Gym Dandy is a grey-toned putty with a touch of brown and army green. From this set of colors, I was most excited about Gym Dandy, love it. This color is ”professional, but edgy” personified. It’s slightly darker on the nail than in the bottle. Applied well, would have been good at 2 coats but this is 3 coats.

And finally – this one you’ve already seen but to keep the collection together, I’m reposting the photo.

Essie Yogaga is definitely my favorite from this set. You can read my original post here. Last time I posted Yogaga, people wondered how it stacked up against OPI Did You ‘Ear About Van Gogh and Chanel Frenzy. I still don’t have DYEAVG (Sorry! I’m working backwards so I’m still picking up La Collecion De Espana!) but Frenzy is slightly darker and much more pink toned – not dupish at all.

I’m behind the game since Essie’s Winter collection is already out – my friend recently wore Essie Beyond Cozy and it was ridiculously gorgeous. I hope to have swatches up soon.

So what’s the verdict? Love it, hate it? Is an all crème finish collection the kiss of death?

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Disclaimer: This collection was sent for review by Essie’s PR representative.

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Blue for Diabetes Awareness Month: Sephora by OPI Cartwheels on the Catwalk

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Last week I received a touching email from a very inspiring woman named Hannah. Rae, Hannah’s 10 year-old daughter, was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Hannah describes her daughter as beautiful and incredibly resilient. Hannah’s email explained that November 14 is world diabetes day – around the world people encourage diabetes awareness by wearing the color blue. While I’ve never dealt with diabetes on a personal level, I have many friends and loved ones that have battled the diabetes. Hannah’s email prompted me to pull out the blue helmer drawer and select a fitting color to show support for Hannah, Rae and the 26 million other Americans that fight Diabetes everyday. So here are some more facts from the American Diabetes Association:

1 in every 400 children and adolescents have diabetes.

1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010.

While Type 1 Diabetes is not preventable, a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of the Type 2 Diabetes.

I can only imagine how difficult it must for a parent and young child to cope with a disease as all-encompassing as Diabetes. So here’s Sephora by OPI Cartwheels on the Catwalk for Hannah and Rae! <3

I picked up Sephora by OPI Cartwheels on the Catwalk recently. I saw someone post it on twitter and immediately called Sephora to see if they had anymore bottles available. It was released as a part of the Betsey Johnson Spring 2012 Collection. At the time the collection was on clearance so I snagged it and a bottle of Sephora by OPI XOX Betsey for a mere 5 bucks a pop. *does a snoopy dance*

Cartwheels on the Catwalk is a gorgeous, intriguing shade of ultra light blue that leans towards green. Not exactly pastel, it’s a sleepy, muted light blue. I LOVE the color, it’s very flattering to my skin-tone. The application however… well, we have a word for it: PITA. I had to do battle with this one – it was a bit thick and chalky. As expected, it applied unevenly. Each coat pulled off the previous coat no matter how long I waited between coats. This even happened with the top coat, causing a lackluster finish. Usually I would have just left well-enough alone, but this time I decided to try to fix it. As it turns out, an extra coat of top coat solved the problem pretty well. This NOTD is 3 coats of color and 3 coats of top coat (Cult Nails Wicked Fast under Zoya Armor under Cult Nails Wicked Fast). I wouldn’t call this color work appropriate but it’s demure enough that if someone were so inclined, they could definitely sneak it into a work/office environment. (*wiggly eyebrows* Whaaaaat? It was for a good cause!)

Ultimately, I like the color enough that I’m willing to overlook my application woes. But I’m still hunting for the perfect shade of light blue. If you remember, I posted about my dream wedding shade. I didn’t know this at the time but Oscar de la Renta actually makes that polish!!!!! (I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me when I first saw that color… I mean a lot of big name designers have polish lines. I guess I just automatically assumed it was some sort of nail artist franken created especially for that runway show.) I ordered bottles of it recently, we shall see if it lives up to those gorgeous photos!

 

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Some More Belated Cult Nails Swatches

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

I meant to post these during all the Cultober festivities, but the last two weeks at work have been hellish. The upside is that I was so distracted by work that I managed to go nearly two full weeks without buying anything (woo hoo for small victories); the down side is that I neglected the blog big time. I also nervously picked at my nails the whole time such that they are now injured, little nubbins. The nubbins were also accompanied by peeling, oh the horrible peeling. My nails are in such bad shape, they have never been like this before. I can’t figure out whether the peeling is a result of my nervous picking (both from using my nails to pick and from the damage to the nail bed caused by peeling off nail polish) or whether it’s the new base coat I’ve been using, Nail Tek Foundation III. To combat these issues, I picked up some Biotin today. The next couple of weeks will be stressful too, but they shouldn’t be as bad as the last two. I’m making a conscious effort to stop picking. Hopefully, we’ll see some improvement too.

In any case, the polishes in this post were my biggest Cult lemmings. And, oh boy, they are every bit as amazing as I hoped they would be. All four polishes were worn as manis. I was very impressed with the quality, good consistency, perfect application and wear. The bottle style is standard and sturdy. I liked the brush style too. These retail for $10.00 on the Cult Nails website. All in all, I’m pretty impressed with this brand.

Cult Nails Awakening… LOVE IT. I first saw this color on twitter, instant lemming. Subsequently, I went into a panic when Maria tweeted that this color was being discontinued and that supplies were running low. I’m so glad I was able to get my hands on this before it was gone. (Hopefully, Maria will bring it back some day). Awakening is a very deep, dark muted teal that leans toward blue as opposed to green.  I would say this is a crelly, definitely more creme than jelly. This is 3 coats, excellent application. I wore this one to work. Not exactly work appropriate but I thought it was subtle enough that it wouldn’t offend anyone. The wear was outstanding: 5 days, no chips.

Cult Nails Vicious, another beauty, is a dark, red-leaning plum creme. The color is very well pigmented, great formula and application. Perfectly opaque at two coats. I used Vicious as the base for an evolving mani that I will post soon.

Cult Nails I Got Distracted is fine holographic glitter and small green hexagonal glitter suspended in a blackened green base. This was another twitter-initiated lemming and it’s pretty amazing. Totally not work appropriate but I wore it to work anyway because I’m a sneaky-sneak. My husband said it was okay because even though it’s blingtastic-like-whoa, the darkness of the base makes it as subtle as something this blingy can be. This mani was 3 coats, but it was good at 2. IGD is a top coat eater for sure, I used 3 coats of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Cult Nails Living Water is blue and green micro glitter suspended in a dark blue jelly base. I love colors like this, dark and sparkly without being ‘in your face.’ It dries a bit matte so I used a coat of Gelous under Wicked Fast. People are constantly raving about Wicked Fast – the jury is still out for me but my initial impressions were good. It was ultra glossy and it dried very quickly to the touch.

Here’s a side shot to exhibit the gorgeous glitter. Finally, like the others, the application and wear was awesome.

I’m really looking forward to picking up some polishes by Cult. Do you have any Cult favorites that I need to own?

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Disclaimer: These were sent for review by Cult Nails.

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Julep Pedi Brights 2012 Collection Swatches

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

 One thing that I’ve found striking now that I’m blogging again is the abundance of new (or new to me) brands that have sprung up in my absence. Julep is one of the “new to me” brands that popped up on my radar when I returned. This collection is my first experience with this company. Unfortunately, these polishes, while gorgeous, are too “out-there” for work, so I haven’t had a chance to wear these yet. Consequently, these photos are all swatches. I do have some work appropriate Juleps that I plan to rock soon so I’ll post my thoughts on wear, drying time, etc. in the future. With regard to this collection, it is touted as pedi-specific, but as every polish addict knows – brights are for finger nails, silly nail polish companies.

Julep Lauren is a neon hot pink. This was an unexpected neon – in the bottle, it just looked like a regular hot pink creme but on the nail it really popped. It dried matte, as most neons do, so I used SV as a top coat. I didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did, but it was pretty flattering to my olive complexion. I don’t know why, but I always feel like these colors are really sexy once I’m wearing them. This swatch is 4 coats, it was good at 3 coats but I had slight VPL. Formula was fine, no major application issues.

Julep Claire is a medium sky blue creme. My swatch is not color accurate, I apologize for my constant inability to capture blues properly. In real life, the shade is a lighter hue of blue. My first thought when I saw Claire was that it would be dupe-y to Zoya Yummy, OPI Just Groovy and Misa Right Here Now, No More Later. It’s not, Claire is greener in comparison. Claire, unlike Lauren, gave me some application problems. The formula was very thick, and the thickness problem was compounded by a wonky, bushy brush. This polish would have benefitted from a good old-fashioned thinning. This swatch is 4 coats. It would have been good at 3, but the pigments in this color are very unforgiving of nail imperfections (which I have a ton of right now) so I added an extra coat to cover the bumps and groves on the surface of my nails.

Julep Lily is a bright neon fuchsia. The photo is fairly accurate but the shade is a touch lighter in real life. It dries matte, so I used SV as a top coat and 3 coats of color. Like Claire, Lily was very thick. I decided not to thin it because I think Lily and Lauren would be a good combination for a marble mani – I’ve never done one before but I imagine using a thicker polish would work better. We shall see… if not, Lily will be getting a thinning as well.

Julep Morgan is a violet toned frosty purple with blue and fuchsia microshimmer. The photo is a bit inaccurate. This polish is less blurple in real life and way more violet. It reminds me a lot of the OPIs of yesteryear. This swatch is 3 coats + SV. I didn’t have application issues at all with this one, which leads me to believe the thickness in the other polishes resulted from the neon pigments.

Julep is big 4-free and retails for $14.00. They are available on the Julep site and at Sephora. The bottle design is aesthetically pleasing, slender and square-shaped with a paint splash cut-out on the side of the bottle. However, the design is impractical and unstable. I kept feeling like the bottle was going to tip over at any minute. Additionally, the bottles are pretty small in comparison to other “higher end” brands, which means you aren’t getting the same bang for your buck. Julep has a monthly beauty box service called Julep Maven. I’m not a maven and I don’t know much about it, but I’m assuming that being a Maven makes these polishes more affordable. I would say it’s definitely worth looking into if you are hoarding-inclined. While I was doing background research for this post – I saw that there was a ton of drama with the program last year as well as mixed reviews on Julep polishes in terms of wear and drying time, application, etc. I haven’t really formed any final conclusions about Julep yet – I am excited about their new Trina Turk collection (which I should be able to wear, swatch, and post soon) so I think I’ll keep an open mind for the time being.

What are your feelings about Julep? Love it, hate it? Are you a Maven? Is it something I should do (since I happen to be hoarding-inclined, haha)? What are you thoughts?

*Sorry about the lack of pep in this post – I have a HUGE headache, my eyeballs hurt and my vision is all blurry. I’m only posting under these conditions because I wouldn’t have another chance to post until Sunday or Monday and I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging… you know, trying to be a reliable blogger and all. With that said though, I don’t have it in me to reply to comments tonight – I have to get in bed. I promise I will reply to all the comments left on the last post soon. *hugs* If you want me to get in touch with me quickly in the interim, you can catch me on twitter.

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Disclosure: This collection was sent for review by Julep’s PR.

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The Return of Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral, Grunge & Moulin Rouge

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

I’m probably a little late to the party on this one as I know the blogosphere has been buzzing with this for the past week (you can check out the excellent swatches already posted by Nails and Noms and Scrangie). But, as an RBL fangirl, I’m going to hop on the bandwagon too. Both Coral and Grunge are long time favorites of mine, so I’m glad these beauties are available again. As a disclaimer, my swatches of Coral and Grunge are of the original release - so I recommend checking out newer swatches in addition to mine, as it appears that there may be some slight differences worth noting. Originally, I planned to reswatch these for this post – but I’m stuck with very short nails for the time being and I felt like my new stumpy nubbins wouldn’t do these colors any justice. Consequently, I’ve recycled my old swatches. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the lack of photo uniformity in this post.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge - I lemminged this color FOREVER. Back then it was pretty unique, and still is – it’s very refreshing to see “soft shades” with bad a** names. Oh yes, I’m a child of the 90s, flannel, Nirvana and all. For these reasons, Grunge, in all its mushroomy glory, is always going to have a special spot in my collection. To quote myself: “Rescue Beauty Lounge Grunge is my stick-it-to-the-man color (Ohh hoo hoo I’m sitting in your meeting wearing a color called Grunge, ha!). It’s a serious business appropriate color but at the same time it’s very moody and edgy.” You can read my entire original review here.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral. Ooh, this color brings back memories. The last time I wore it was way back as a final hurrah before a long period of color fasting. I was just beginning my career then, looking at the old photo and post makes me nostalgic because so much has changed. Here is an excerpt from my original review: “Rescue Beauty Lounge Coral is g o r g e o u s. I began lemming this one because of the bottle image on the Rescue Beauty Lounge site. I don’t know why but I was immediately drawn to it. It’s very chameleon-like in the sense that the color varies in different lighting. It can be described as a bright pink, sometimes coral, sometimes orange-y.” You can read my entire original review here.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Moulin Rouge is a very deep chocolatey, wine toned vampy. I don’t often agree with the brand description of nail polish color, but Ji is right on this one. It really does look like the inside of a cherry bonbon. Although this NOTD is with Seche Vite a top coat, the polish itself is very glossy. If you look closely, you can see my reflection. : D Application was great at two coats, but I used 3.

The universe aligned for me to wear this color. I think I’ve discussed this a few times, I have many forms of neurosis when it comes to this hobby. For example, when my nails are long, I wear a lot of neutrals, soft shades, etc. When my nails are short, I wear a lot of vampies, darker colors, and stranger/unique colors. I was going to hold off on posting this color until I had nubbins again. And since my nails were newly pretty long, it was going to be a while before I filed them down out of my own volition.

In any case, I had a day off from work, so I was planning to sit down and do some serious swatching. I get everything all set up, nails are long and swatch-ready. I’m about to plant myself on the couch for the foreseeable future… when BAM. Our Welsh Corgi, Roy, the most clumsy dog in the world, runs into my mani lamp’s electrical cord, knocking it over, shattering it into a million pieces. Cursing-up a storm, I go to our bedroom to find suitable clothing to go out and buy a new lamp. You see, I was wearing PJs – a.k.a. formal swatching attire. As I’m digging through a pile of clothing to find some jeans (because we’re bad at house-keeping so instead of a closest… we have a pile…) one of my nails chips, diagonally, down to the quick. Oh boy, my wrath knew no end. Husband cowering in fear, dogs hiding under the bed, I stomped around angrily for hours. The break was so bad repairing it was impossible. I expressed my frustrations on twitter, tweeps sent condolences. Once I tuckered myself out from being angry at my misfortune, I took a nap. When I woke up, I cut my losses. haha. That, my friends, is how I ended up with these awful, stumpy nubbins. *sobs* Buying a new lamp took the rest of the night so I wasn’t able to swatch at all. The bright side is that I ended up with a much better mani lamp and I had an excuse to wear Moulin Rouge, so I guess every accident prone Corgi initiated disaster has a silver lining.

Do you all have any nail polish neurosis? Anything goes at all times? Or do you vary the colors you wear by occasion, season, nail length, etc.?

(Also, as an aside, I’m using a different lighting system now than I was back in 2008-2009. Comparing my old swatches to my new swatches, as I’ve done in this post, makes me feel like I need to make an adjustment – the highlights seem to overpower the polish, I don’t like it. I’m going to start trouble-shooting this – please bear with me while I work the kinks out.)

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Disclosure: I’m not really sure how I ended up with Coral and Grunge. I believe Coral was sent to me for review back in 2008. I believe I purchased Grunge. Moulin Rouge was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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Some Swatches from Sephora by OPI Indian Summer 2012

Monday, September 24th, 2012

This is another strange collection like the Essie Yogaga collection. There’s been some coverage online, but most sites (like mine) only have a few colors from the collection. And it seems that at least some of the colors belonging to this collection are possibly re-promotes from another collection, Bohemian Brights. As far as I can tell from the Sephora website, there are six shades in this collection – four are shown here – the other two are What Aura You Gonna Where and It’s Totally Karma. Some sites are treating other shades as belonging to this collection too, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ll try to get some clarification on this.

These photos are all swatches and not NOTDs – I try my best to wear the colors I review but none of these are even mildly work apropos, not even a little. And since I can really only wear one ridic color per week during the weekend, I haven’t had a chance to wear these yet. There were some potential dupes in my stash for two of these colors – I will post comparisons soon but for now I’ve included links to other fab blogs for your viewing pleasure.

Sephora by OPI Paisley Attention to Me! is a bright, vibrant tangerine creamy crelly. It’s way brighter on the nail than in the bottle, shockingly so. This swatch is 3 coats. It applied well but the consistency was a bit strange, almost water-like. I didn’t quite get the name so I googled “paisley,” apparently it’s originally a Persian fabric pattern, made popular along with some Indian fabric patterns during the 1800s by the East Indian Trading Company. *shrugs* Learn something new every day? If I can get my hands of Cirque Neko (sadly sold out), Cirque Debris, or some other awesome black glitter, I might attempt a Halloween jelly sandwich with this one. As far as dupes, it’s tough to tell from bottle shade alone because of PATM’s crelly texture. Bottle-wise China Glaze Style Wars looks very similar but maybe a smidgen deeper. The other similar color in my stash is an older pre-2009 OPI that… HAS NO LABEL – OOOOH HOHOHOTHE HORROR!!!!!

I took it to the nail board, sadly we weren’t able to come to a consensus. I believe it’s OPI Atomic Orange. It’s definitely not Tangerine Scene or Osaka to me Orange – I have those and they both still have labels. : ( In any case, I’ll post comparison swatches soon (which will be totally not helpful to anyone since I have no idea what color this is, haha).

Sephora by OPI I’m So Sari is really complex. The base color is turquoise, the shimmer is very dense glass fleck, and the whole thing is topped off with small hexagonal holographic glitter. The glass fleck shimmer gives it a textured and somewhat foiled finish. It’s not a jelly, but the consistency is sheer-ish during application. Even so, application was issue-free. This polish was fine at 3 coats, but I was going for glitter-bomb-ultra-bling so the swatch is 4 coats. This polish eats top coat – this is two coats of Gelous and one coat of Seche. Overall, this one is pretty unique, the concept seems similar to Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream. Clearly, not dupes in anyway but maybe a suitable lemming place-holder.

Sephora by OPI Henna-Thing is Possible is a deep fuchsia with purple flash microshimmer that gives it a somewhat frosty finish that Sephora calls “metallic.” The application was excellent. This shade looks so familiar to me but I couldn’t find anything exactly like it in my stash. Even so, I feel like I’ve seen it before. In terms of base shade, the closest polishes in my stash were Zoya Tama, Zoya Anaka, and the coveted China Glaze It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere. Obviously IFOS has that bluish glow and glass fleckies that make it so special – but the base shade is pretty close.

Annnnd my favorite one from this collection, Sephora by OPI Seriously, It’s a Naan-Issue, a deep, gorgeous, dark purple. This is as dark as purple can get and still be purple. This was great at 2 coats, but I did 3 per usu. I’m pretty impressed with this color – I had no dupes for it. It was a shade between Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas and China Glaze VIII. When I say I’m mostly indifferent to purple, I mean purple shimmers… purple creme, however, gets me every time. Love it.

I do apologize for not having the whole collection to show you. I’ll probably skip buying What Are You Gonna Wear, but the lime-y-ness of It’s Totally Karma is calling my name. What do you think? Pick it up or leave it be?

Sooo… any idea what my mystery old OPI might be?

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Disclosure: This collection was sent to me for review by Sephora’s PR.

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