Archive for the ‘Pink’ Category

Perplexing: Creative Nail Design Blueberries & Cream

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Creative Nail Design (CND) discontinued its old line of nail polishes in 2008. At the time, I freaked out, big time. My meltdown was followed by a haul  (duh, as a haul follows many of my meltdowns) to make sure I picked up all my CND lemmings before they became hard to find. I got Blueberries & Cream around that time, although I can’t remember whether it came from that haul or a RAOK or swap. I just remember that I had a hardcore lemming for this color. I was so excited – it was right up my alley, being a work appropriate ultra pale, somewhat dusty, lilac/pink with subtle fuchsia shimmer.

I guess the fact that I was so excited for it contributed to my extensive disappointment.

The end-product on the nail looks like an ultra-pale, dusty light pink creme. The shimmer was completely invisible – in all lights – which, I mean, is fine because I’m not the biggest shimmer fan anyway (blasphemy, I know).

I subtitled this post “perplexing” because I have never encountered a polish that is both too thick and too thin at the same time. It was simultaneously streaky, lumpy and chalky. Normally, I would use thinner with a thick polish but the formula was so thin already, I thought it might actually make it worse. I believe this mani was a total of 3 coats, possibly 4. It was very tough to even out. In a nutshell, it was really, really hard to make this look pretty. No question, this was a PITA (pain in the a**) to apply.

Another perplexing application issue - the first coat of color pulled off my base coat. I would expect that to happen with a thickly applied base coat layer or perhaps when the base coat is not dry enough but I didn’t have either issue. The sliding base coat definitely added to the streakiness problem. The same thing happened with the topcoat – seche vite pulled the color coat right off – it ended up all over my brush and inside the bottle. The end result was that the polish did not dry ultra glossy like my usual manis – it dried with, sort of, a satin finish… Wear was average. I’ve been wearing it since Sunday with only minor tip-wear and no chips. I did, however, get a few vertical cracks along the sides of my nails after I had been wearing it for a day or two, no bueno.

The whole manicure was really quite baffling – CND is super well-regarded. I hadn’t heard of anyone having these issues before and I certainly haven’t had these issues with their other old line polishes. But, many sit in my helmers untried, it’s possible that other application duds are out there.

With all that said, I did get compliments on the color – actually, my boss said she really liked it. The color was fairly flattering to my skin-tone. And after what amounted to hand-to-hand-combat style application, I ultimately got it to look alright.

I poked around online and did see this color for sale in a few places, so if you feel compelled to buy it – it’s still available albeit at higher prices. The closest base color match I found in my stash was Essie Secret Affair. Essie Pound Cake is similarly muted but a lot lighter than Blueberries & Cream. In fall of 2009, CND relaunched their polish line. I have yet to try the new collection, but the reviews online are favorable. I suspect that CND Blueberry Whip is probably the same shade with a different name, new packaging, and a better formula. I’ll try to pick up a bottle and post comparisons soon.

As an aside – I’m trying to join this century so I made a facebook page for the blog. It… was… um… hard? I don’t think I did it right. But here’s the link anyway. haha. I’m working on setting up other social networking as well, instagram, pinterest, etc.. Although I’ve made accounts, I haven’t really done anything with them yet so I’m going to hold off on posting those for the time being.

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A Compromise? + Essie Summer 2009

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I’m sure everyone is getting really sick of me going on and off hiatus, then apologizing, then disappearing again. Believe me, I know it’s annoying and I feel awful about it. Unfortunately, I’ve had very little free time since I started my new job and things don’t look like they are going to get better any time soon. So, I would like to propose a compromise? I’m still taking photographs of my nails when I do them… even though I haven’t been able to do them as often as I did before. Also, I still have a massive back log of photos that I’ve taken over the past few months. Until my schedule clears up – I’m going to post the photos without or with very little commentary. I know some of you may be thinking, “what’s the point?” Well, I think most people visit the site to see the photos anyway. I’ll try to be diligent about answering questions from the comments section that way I’m not just throwing the pictures out there in a vacuum. It’s temporary, I shouldn’t be insanely busy forever… right? (Oh man, I hope not.)

I really loved the light pinks from this collection, delicate and work appropriate. My favorite from this collection is Cubby Cheeks – it reminds me lobsters. : )

Essie - Funny Face

Essie - Luscious Lips

Essie - Chubby Cheeks

Essie - Not Just A Pretty Face

Essie - Cute As a Button

(WTH is that… ectoplasm?)

Essie - Lovie Dovie

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

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Ultra Belated Valentine’s Day Mani – Essie Status Symbol + Maybelline Clearly in Love

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Essie - Status Symbol + Maybelline - Clearly in Love

I know what you guys must be thinking – is she really posting a Valentine’s Day mani… in September. I know, I know, but I’m trying to catch up on my mani photo back log. Back in February I decided against posting this mani, mainly because everyone else’s Valentine’s Day manis were so elaborated and beautiful. Mine paled in comparison.

I’m a pretty big fan of the Maybelline heart polishes. Sadly, I’ve only been able to snag one bottle over the years because the displays are ALWAYS empty when I find them. My sole lonely heart polish is Clearly In Love and it’s comprised of medium grain silver glitter suspended in clear polish with silver holographic hearts. Some girls complain about the application of these polishes. They’re finicky because the hearts are big and heavy enough to make it fairly difficult to apply strategically using the brush. If you want a random pattern of hearts, like in my picture above, just use the brush. If you want your hearts strategically placed, try using the fine point of an orange wood stick to pick the hearts off the brush and position the hearts carefully on the nail. This mani used two coats of the Maybelline Clearly in Love.

The base color here is Essie Status Symbol, a mid-tone pink and a semi-jelly consistency, from the Spring 2009 Collection. Speaking of Essie – take a minute to take their survey. They’re trying to fine tune their customer service and you can get a promo code for a prize after completing the survey.

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Disclosure: Status Symbol was sent to me for review by Essie.

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The Big Return: Color Club Spring 2009 Catwalk Queen Collection

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

I’m back! Things are going to be a bit slow at first because, frankly, my life (and nails) are still a huge mess. But rest assured, I will respond to all the emails and comments very soon. Posting frequency should pick up shortly thereafter.

In any case, I know you’ve all seen it but here’s Color Club Catwalk Queen Collection. Like Femme Fatale,  this collection is composed of sheers and solids that can be mixed, matched, and layered. I like this collection but it’s a little depressing looking at these pictures. The photos are from a few months ago, my nails were so long back then. Man, the bar exam takes away everything.

Color Club - Catwalk Queen

Catwalk Queen, the collection namesake, is a vampy tyrian purple with complex amethyst and subtle blue shimmer. This swatch was 3 coats but this polish is pigmented enough that coverage would be fine with just 2 coats. (This image is a little blurry because I was trying to capture the shimmer – I failed. The shimmer is way more obvious in person.)

Color Club - Fashion Addict

Fashion Addict is my favorite from this collection. Lilac holographic? Sign me up. The holo is medium grain like the holos in the Femme Fatale collection. Like Worth the Risque and Revvvolution, the holo has a greenish cast. The polish gets darker with each layer so it’s slightly lighter with 2 coats, this picture is 3 coats.

Color Club - Fashion Addict 2

Here’s a shot of the holo flash. I hope Color Club does a few more holos in the future because these were just superb. Personally, I would love to see a dark green holo.

Color Club-Front Row Diva

Front Row Diva is an extremely pale gray that leans towards lavender, it has a pearl finish. It’s chic and work appropriate – which is pretty much all I’m wearing now so I’m stocking up on colors like this and you’ll see plenty of them featured here in the months to come.

Color Club - Runway Muse

Runway Muse is one of those sadly deceptive duochromes. In the bottle, it’s a predominately green duochrome that flashes pink. On the nail, it’s a frosty sheer with pink shimmer that only flashes a subtle green rarely. I so wish that the bottle appearance was comparable to the on nail result, nonetheless, it’s pretty amazing over black. Scrangie has all the sheers from both the Femme Fatale collection and the Catwalk Queen collection over black on her site.

Color Club - Vintage Couture

Vintage Couture. Scrangie called this a mod lilac pink baby creme and that’s definitely the best description for this color so I’m going to steal it from her. It’s pinker on the nail than I expected but it’s still pretty stark. The application was finicky. I forgot to write down exactly how many coats I used but if I remember correctly, I believe it took 4 to even everything out.

Color Club - Ready To Wear

Ready to Wear is my current NOTD and as you can see my nails are little yellow nubbins right now. *More sobs*  Ready to Wear is a frosty opalescent sheer with warm pink shimmer. Usually sheers like this require 4 layers but I actually got good coverage with 2 coats, but since my nails are so yellow, I went ahead and added another layer. Edit: I’ve been wearing this color for a full day now and I want to revise my review. It’s definitely a duochrome, it’s not really noticeable until you see it in sunlight. It flashes a warm light coppery gold tone, almost some what metallic. The mixture of the gold and the pink reminds me of a sunset. I love it when colors present surprises in the sunlight.

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

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Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection Spring 2009

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I know I’ve been apologizing a lot lately but I have one more. My computer caught a horrendous virus last week and I haven’t been able to do anything on it since then. My images are okay, but sadly all the notes I’ve taken on all the colors I’ve been swatching were lost. That means I have to go by memory and some of these colors were swatched so long ago I’ll only have a vague recollection of my impressions. Also, if you’ve sent me an email or left a comment, I swear I’m going to get to it soon, I’m just totally disorganized and I’m trying to get everything together.

In any case, to get back into the regular flow of nail polish blogging I’m starting off with the Lancome Pink Irreverence Collection which is in stores now. I have the Lancome Le Magnetiques but this is my first rodeo with their Le Vernis line. These are some pricey polishes but I have to say I’m pretty impressed overall. The formula for both these colors is excellent – smooth, perfect application. The brush size and wand length is absolute perfection. The wand is just long enough to keep the polish flowing consistently without cuticle pooling. The brush is like a toned-down version of OPI’s Pro-wide, making Lancome’s brush shape and size just perfect for the shape of my nails. My one major critizism is that Lancome opted to go with the non-removable square cap. Other companies like Chanel and Butter London make the square cap removable, which is preferrable because square caps can be awkward to hold. With that said, I love the over all style of the bottle – mirrorred cap and a sleek bottle body with a mirrored silver rose stamped in the corner.

lancome-piha-black

(Ahhh, I’m kicking myself right now because I had such elaborate meticulous notes concerning this color.) Piha Black is black (I’m captain obvious) with glass fleck glitter. My picture doesn’t properly exhibit the sparkliness of the glitter – it’s visible but not in an ‘in your face’ kind of way. There are a few blacks with glass fleck glitter that have varying prices and are different degrees of rarity on the market. Just to name a few, there’s Dior Black Sequins, Sally Hansen Salon Raven’s Wing, OPI Baby It’s Coal Outside, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Black Diamond and Pure Ice Electric. You can see comparisons of a few those on Steph’s Closet and if I can ever get it together, I’ll have comparisons of the latter 3. Without having side-by-side swatches for true comparitive value and by only eye balling the bottles, my initial impression is that none of these look exactly alike. There are slight variations in the depth of the black as well as the luster and density of the glitter for each polish, however, if you’re on a recession budget the lower end polishes (that Pure Ice will only set you back $1.50, tops) might be worth your consideration. What makes Piha Black stand out from the others, at least for me, is that it’s completely opaque in one coat. Making it not only perfect for nail art as pictured below, but also saving application and giving you double bang for your buck.

lancome-sassiness1

Sassiness is a soft translucent pink, perfect for french manicures. The subtle genius of the Pink Irrevence Collection is the dichotomy between the edgy black and the feminine pink… which together… kick butt. Instead of doing a traditional funky french, I decided to do a chevron and a half moon just for illustration purposes, I absolutely love the way these colors compliment each other. My index and middle fingers are 4 coats of Sassiness. It applies perfectly so one coat looked excellent but I wanted to test buildability. Sadly, it doesn’t build. Sassiness looks pretty much the same at 4 coats as it does at 2 coats, which is pretty much the hallmark of a good french manicure base color. I can only hope that the colection’s designer, Aaron De Mey, is secretly attempting to usher Lancome into the realm of nail art. I hope Lancome takes the plunge.

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

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A More Work Appropriate Kind of Spring: Barielle Shades Spring 2009

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Sorry for my extended absence. I took the MPRE last week and then took a mini-vacation for spring break. I’m back now so normal posting will resume. : )

I like the approach that Barielle took to Spring. Now wait, before you throw stones, let me explain. This Spring collection is not very Spring-like, it’s all work-safe variations of pinks and a sheer taupe, whereas traditional Spring colors tend to be bright. Barielle probably would have gotten fire from me for releasing a collection like this with nothing more. But, Elle and Barielle, knowing best, released the Spring and Summer collections nearly simultaneously.  Together, these collections contain something for everyone and my irrational (irrational because soon I won’t be able to wear them) desire for out of the ordinary colors is well met. (I’ll have swatches of Barielle Summer 2009 soon but Scrangie already has some excellent swatches for your viewing pleasure.)

As an aside, I’m trying a different approach to my swatching. I’m going to be using for left hand for a little while in order to get swatching done a faster. I’m sure you have all noticed that I’m really behind on the Spring collections so I’m playing catch up. The added benefit is that my left hand is no where near as yellowed as my right hand so you’ll get more accurate swatches. Bare with me as I get the kinks worked out, photographing my left hand is still very awkward.

barielle-shades-nauti-gal

Barielle Nauti Gal is a translucent taupe with tiny flecks of translucent glitter. It’s a great professional/work appropriate shade. I’m a little disappointed in it only because it looks opaque in the bottle. I am a huge fan of taupe so I was really excited for this color only to find that it applied sheer. I love sheers but I just can’t wear them properly anymore, my nails are just too yellow. Nauti Gal applies very well. Not a streak in sight so this would make an excellent french manicure color at 1 or 2 coats. Even though it applies sheer, it is build-able so at 3 to 4 coats you get a semi-translucent nearly opaque shade of taupe. If my nails weren’t so horrifyingly yellow, this color would be stunning. This swatch is 4 coats.

barielle-shades-sailors-delight

Sailor’s Delight is a somewhat muted although vivid medium pink creme, very flattering. At first glance I thought it was going to be too pink to be considered professional but on my skin-tone the color tones down and the muted-ness of the pink becomes more pronounced. I suspect it might look different on girls with lighter skin. The consistency of the polish is chalky but it applies well, this is 3 coats.

barielle-shades-beaches-and-dreams

Beaches and Dreams is a very light sandy-ish creamy peach creme (a little tough to describe haha). I think it might be too stark for an ultra-conservative office but it’d be perfect any where else. I really like this color, it’s like a peachier version of Color Club Coastal Creme. It’s my favorite from this set.

barielle-shades-skinny-dip

Skinny Dip is a delicate muted pink nude sheer. It’s perfect for french manicures at 1 or 2 coats but the color is build-able. This swatch is 4 coats with no top coat.

barielle-shades-sand-al-chic

Sand-al Chic is less muted than Skinny Dip and more pink. It’s also makes an excellent french manicure shade but builds well. This is 4 coats with no top coat.

barielle-shades-shell-shock

And finally, Shell Shock is a slightly lighter than a traditional barbie pink. It’s sheer like Skinny Dip and Sand-al Chic but I don’t think it would make a good french manicure color because it’s a little too bright. Also I had trouble with the application. This is 4 coats. The color applies smoothly but the sheerness is such that it takes some effort to build it properly.

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

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