Archive for the ‘Neutrals’ Category

OPI – It’s Sheer Luck!… I PASSED THE BAR EXAM!

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

As some of you may know, I’ve been on hiatus because I was studying for the bar exam. What you don’t know is that I was utterly and totally convinced that I failed the exam. The testing occurs over the course of two days. The first day, the Florida portion of the exam, beat me down and ultimately broke me. I walked out of the testing center, did the walk of shame back to my hotel room, thought about how I would be staying there again in February to retake the exam and I cried. Yes, it really was that bad. The questions were just absurd and completely unexpected. I could have memorized the study materials word for word and I still wouldn’t have known the correct answers with absolute certainty. The second day consisted of the MBE (the national portion), it was hard but very fair. My hope was that I would score high enough on the MBE to make up for my major failure on the Florida portion. The problem is… you have to wait almost 2 months for the scores to be released. I was hanging over the edge of a cliff over these scores.

Then, finally, the scores came in the mail. Not only did I pass, but to my complete disbelief, I actually scored very well on both portions.

What does all this have to do with nail polish? Well, sometimes life throws some pretty perplexing stuff my way and when it does I take the opportunity to find a color that expresses how I feel.

OPI - It's Sheer Luck

The name says it all. OPI It’s Sheer Luck is a ultra light pink toned off-white with a frost finish. This is 3 coats. This color was originally from the Las Vegas Collection (Spring/Summer 2003) but I believe it became part of the main Soft Shades Collection all of which are available on an on going basis.

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Swatches of the Essie Spring 2009 Collection

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Essie’s Spring 2009 Collection is… very Essie-esque. That is, the majority of the collection is composed of neutrals, pinks, and reds. For that reason, the collection didn’t receive the greatest reception from most nail polish enthusiasts. However, a consumer who maybe does not own a lot of nail polish and randomly ventures into a Trade Secret during a trip to the mall might pick up some of these colors on a whim. I can’t help but feel like nail polish companies are targeting that crowd when they release what we consider to be ‘safe’ collections.

We have to face it, I don’t think we (I mean ‘we’ as in the people who have a psychotic appreciation for nail color) are the target demographic for most companies. I don’t think anyone would disagree, these are pretty colors but most people who collect nail polish probably feel like they’ve seen it, done it, and done it some more. I’m an exception only because I’m stock-piling work appropriate colors for my legal debut in May and I’ve long accepted that the repetition of red and pink nail polish is just a fact of life (like mosquito bites and chicken pox). But, I can definitely sympathize with everyone’s desire to see Essie step outside of it’s company image.

With all that said, look at the magic that happens when Essie does decide to take a stroll on the wild side and throw collection caution to the wind:

essie-mesmerize1

Holy &%$#! Essie Mesmerize, in all her glory, is a  medium blue cream. (I think it’s Super Man blue but my roommates told me I have no idea what I’m talking about.) The color accuracy of the image is a bit off, Mesmerize is a slightly darker blue in real life. Oh man, this is one gorgeous, unique color. Seriously, can we get a slow clap going for this color? Mesmerize is so out of the ordinary for Essie that it almost looks kind of weird in the Essie bottle, like it doesn’t belong. The application was good but a little thicker than the other colors in this collection. It could have worked with 2 coats, but I preferred 3. I got a mega ton of compliments while wearing this polish, a testament to its awesomeness. This is definitely my favorite color of the season so far. I consider it a ‘must own’. But, beware, I suggest wearing a good base coat with this color or you will end up with smurf fingers.

essie-eternal-optimist

Eternal Optimist is a pink toned nude. This is a great ‘work appropriate’ color. It’s a lighter, less pink version of Rescue Beauty Lounge Om. Eternal Optimist is definitely not a dead on dupe but certainly the closest I’ve seen so far and a good enough substitute. This swatch is 3 coats of color.

essie-flawless

Flawless is a muted Barbie pink. Pretty and delicate, but probably not appropriate for ultra conservative work places – A-Okay for every where else. This is 3 coats.

essie-status-symbol

Status Symbol is a mid-toned pink with a semi-jelly consistency. I wore this with Maybelline Clearly in Love layered over it as my pre-Valentine’s Day manicure (I haven’t gotten a chance to post about this manicure yet but I promise I will, even though, I guess it’s a little late now. haha.) This swatch is 3 coats but I feel like it would have looked better with 4th.

essie-one-of-a-kind

One of a Kind is a red/orange/coral cream, similar to my beloved Color Club Sexsea. One of a Kind is slightly less extravagant, more toned down. It applied well in 2 coats, but I used 3 for this photo.

essie-lacquered-up1

Lacquered Up is a bright, bright, bright true red creme. It exudes sexiness. I wore Lacquered Up to a party and it quickly became a topic of conversation. The application was exceptional, perfect in two coats.

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

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I Want to Believe: A Tale of Two Bubble Baths

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

When my obsession with nail polish first sprouted, I really wanted to find the perfect soft shade (a mission that continues to this day.) Everyone recommended the quintessential soft color, OPI Bubble Bath. Soon thereafter I conned my roommate into placing an order for my birthday, I asked for Bubble Bath. I had never seen pictures of it so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, I just knew it was a flattering soft very light milky color . I received a bottle of very light, milky pink nail polish.

opi-bubble-bath-pink1

Since I didn’t know what to expect, I took my pink, wore it, liked it, threw it in with the rest of the stash and moved on to other colors. A little while after that, someone posted on MUA requesting suggestions for a milky off-white. Another person suggested Bubble Bath. I thought it was a weird suggestion because Bubble Bath was clearly pink, not white. So I said something to that effect in the thread. We argued back and forth a while, both of us utterly baffled at how the other could mistake what was so clearly one color for another color. Eventually another member clued us in that we were both right. The more recent version of Bubble Bath was pink. The original Bubble Bath was, in fact, white.

opi-bubble-bath-white

I hunted around for this version for a really long time and couldn’t find anywhere. I had just about given up when Dami of Perfectly Polished Tips hooked me up with a bottle. I love this soft off-white milky color way more than the subsequent pink version. However, to my major shock, the pink version which is OPI’s new formula, applied better than the the white version which is OPI’s old formula. The common belief is that OPI’s older formula is vastly superior to the newer big 3 free formula but that’s definitely not the case with this color. I had to use something like 5 coats of color with the white version and it was fairly streaky. The pink version was perfect in 3 coats, very easy to apply.

bb-bottlepics

Here they are, the sneaky polishes together. The original version does seem to have a slightly pinkish tinge. This leads me to believe (and this is all conjecture) that it is possible that the new version is a mistake, too much pink pigment in the batch. However, the color is so different that I wonder whether OPI purposefully changed the color of Bubble Bath. I’d email them and ask but I have a feeling the answer would be “we didn’t change the color.” *cues X-files music*

(Sorry, I’m watching the final disc of entire X-files series right now. I have been unduly influenced. haha.)

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Surprisingly Gorgeous: Essie Pound Cake

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

essie-pound-cake1

Many girls steer clear of Essie’s soft colors. I, however, compulsively buy them. I just can’t stop myself. The result is a drawer full of off white, taupe, nude, and a soft pink Essies that I only occasionally dig out for use. I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much I like these colors on myself. Essie Pound Cake doesn’t look like much in the bottle but it’s very chic on the nail. It’s a beige creme with a slight tinge of smokey muted pink. I would refer to it as a borderline mushroom-y color. The application wasn’t amazing, but not horrible. This mani is 1 coat Essie First Base base coat, 4 coats of color, and 1 coat seche vite. I really loved it.

Completely unrelated to this great color, I’m taking a small pseudo-hiatus until mid January. I’m sure many of you have noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of one-polish posts lately. I’ve been working on a few polish related side projects that, along with my internship, have taken up all my free time. I’m going to keep posting more or less in the same manner that I have been, i.e. NOTD posts, the Top 20, etc. but I won’t be able to cover large collections for a little while. I have a tone of collections to cover for you guys once things quiet down a bit, so I hope you’ll stick with me through this period of meagerly posting. I also want to apologize a head of time, many of the NOTDs for the next few weeks are going to be professional colors again. In any case, everything will go back to normal shortly.

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Back by Popular Demand: Work Appropriate Polishes – Rescue Beauty Lounge Edition

Friday, August 29th, 2008

I’m so happy that you guys actually enjoy these work appropriate posts. The work appropriate theme is going to comprise a huge portion of a my posts for a while since I mostly write about the colors I’m currently wearing. : )

In any case, close to 1/4 of my collection are ‘work appropriate’ colors. You’d be surprised at how much variation there are in the classic professional looking colors. Nudes, taupes, pinks, and soft shades don’t have to be boring. I’m going to start a series of articles showcasing 3 of my favorite work appropriate colors from all my favorite brands. First up, Rescue Beauty Lounge.

I’m sure that no one will be shocked that Scrangie was the source of my lemmings for the following 3 colors.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Om is a strangely calming color, making the name very appropriate. Even so, it’s probably the most ‘serious’ muted pink in my collection. This swatch is 3 coats of Om, 1 coat of Seche Vite.

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. This color came out a while ago but it fits perfectly into the current mushroomy grayed-out color trend.  Grunge looks creme 99.9% of the time but it actually has a whitish shimmer throughout. The shimmer is not highly light refractive which is why no one will ever see it. The danger of Grunge (and all similar mushroomy grayed-out colors like it) is that it may be a tough color to pull of successfully. Mushroomies seem to not flatter very pale skin tones and are seemingly more suitable to skin tones like my own. This swatch is 3 coats, 1 coat of Seche Vite.

Finally, Rescue Beauty Lounge Opaque Nude. Scrangie’s swatch (linked above) is a more accurate depiction of Opaque Nude’s bottle color. My swatch is darker due to lighting and my skin tone which brings out the ‘nudeness’ of this color. In my opinion, Opaque Nude is border-line business appropriate, perfectly okay for a less conservative office. I say this only because it might be too obvious. I feel like business appropriate colors have to be subtle, pretty but not necessarily noticeable and for most people this color will be very noticeable.

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Disclosure: I’m not 100% sure how I ended up with these colors but I believe I purhcased Grunge. I think Om and Opaque Nude were sent to me for review at my request by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

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Orly Love Collection Swatches

Monday, May 26th, 2008

First a personal update: I want to apologize to my loyal readers, I haven’t been updating often. I moved in with my family for the summer to do an internship. The way our internet was set up, I had to write all my articles in my 14 year-old little brother’s room. My brother spends all his time playing massive multi-player online games, which means all my articles had to be written to the tune of my brother screaming at his teammates on his headset. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I bought my family a wireless router. Now I can write in peace, expect more updates and please stick with me. ; )

And now for my thoughts on Orly Love Collection: NOT IMPRESSED. Generally, the colors have ok application, not streaky but almost none of the colors were flattering. Most of the colors are translucent at 2 coats, so if you’re like me and don’t like translucent colors, you’d need to use 4+ coats to get bottle color – but 4 coats = bubble hell.

On my eternal search for wearable off-whites, I had high hopes for Orly My Beau. It’s a white eggshell type color. It’s not unattractive per se but the yellow tones in it looked weird with my skin tone. This swatch is 4 coats, you can’t see the bubbles in the picture but I assure you that they are there.

At two coats, Orly Dream Boat would probably be a good french mani color. This swatch is 4 coats, same issues with bubbles. And again, it’s just not flattering for my skin tone.

Someone on MUA compared Orly Secret Admirer to a creamsicle, that’s the perfect description for this color. This swatch is 4 coats. Again, this collection just really wasn’t meant for people with my skin color.

Orly First Kiss was one of the fan favorites from this collection. It’s the only color from the Love Collection that I’ve worn as a mani. Again, the color, that I describe as a ‘dead’ pink for it’s lack of luster, did nothing for my skin tone. I wore it for 3 days and it still didn’t grow on me. I have seen people with lighter skin tones wear it very well but there are better light pinks out there for us darker girls. Using only two coats, it would probably work better for french manis, but why bother when you can get Essie Mademoiselle instead.

I actually don’t have anything negative to say about Orly Crush on You. It’s a great orange with great application, this swatch is 2 thick coats.

Orly Butterflies and Orly Crush on You are the two stand out colors from this collection. Butterflies had great application, the swatch is 2 thick coats. This hot pink is very vivid – both Butterflies and Crush on You are great colors for summer and spring.

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