Archive for the ‘Sheers’ Category

Experiments in Layering: Hits Phenomena Moonbow + Essie Grape Crush

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I started writing this post during that week that my site went on the fritz. I gave up after I banged my head against my computer and had to go outside to burn a WordPress effigy. Last week, I finally figured out what caused the issue in the first place. As it turns out my website does not like the WordPress Jetpack Plug-in. I deactivated it, along with everything else, when I was trying to fix the problem originally. It didn’t help instantly, but after being deactivated for a couple of days, I logged back in to find that everything was working perfectly. Fast forward to a few days ago, I tried to check my stats and I realized that that function is dependent on Jetpack so I reactivated the plug-in. Instantly, the site stopped working again and it took about 24 hours after deactivation for the site to function normally. At the very least, I finally know what happened but I’m flying completely blind in terms of site stats. Haha.

In any case, back to the post, I got an email recently from a newly minted nail polish collector who was interested in layering techniques. I don’t layer often because my nail polish OCD compels me to wear a color in its unaltered form the first time I wear it. But when I do layer, I love it. And some colors scream “layer me!” despite my obsessive tendencies.

Hits Moonbow

Hits Moonbow, from the Phenomena collection, is precisely that type of color. This polish is ridiculous. Just ridiculous. It’s a color-shifting multichrone glitter suspended in a cloudy base.  The glitter shifts from green and fuchsia to purple and occasionally it flashes gold. When I first saw photos of this color I was instantly obsessed, I had to have it, stat! However, from the swatches I saw, it didn’t look like a glitter polish, it looked like… well… magic. So I was a little disappointed when I received it and discovered that while it was still quite magical, it didn’t really look the way it looked online. (This is the second time this has happened recently *makes Mikayla is not impressed face*). My next hope was that it would be a buildable glitter, meaning the whole surface of the nail would be completely covered within a few coats. It is buildable, sort of. The glitter will cover the surface of your nail but it takes about 4 coats. That would be fine, except that, for whatever reason, the glitter does not coat the tip of the nail very well. The end result looks a bit like tip pull. You can definitely see what I’m talking about in the photo above – needless to say, it’s not very flattering.

Hits Moonbow Top View

Because of that issue, I don’t recommend wearing this color on its own. It is gorgeous for sure and it definitely has a crash-inducing-stare-at-my-nails-while-driving quality to it but it looks infinitely better layered over another color.

Hits Moonbow over Essie Grape Crush

Case in point, Hits Moonbow over oldschool Essie Grape Crush. Looks much better, right? Grape Crush, a sheer purple glaze, is from an older Essie collection that consisted of all sheer glazes (as opposed to more modern jellies). For reference and comparison Essie Cherry Pop, which is still widely available, is from the same collection and has the same look and consistency. The beloved Essie Night Cap is also from that collection. I somehow neglected to photograph Grape Crush on its own – bad nail blogger, bad. I’ll make that up to you, I do plan to post the whole collection soon. I’m only missing one more polish, Essie Apricot Fizz, to complete the set of 6 from the original collection! In any case, this NOTD is 3 coats of GC and 3 coats of Moonbow. I know, I know that’s too many coats. But I liked the end result and I didn’t have any drying issues after a coat of Seche.

Hits is a new brand to me. I’m a little biased because it hails from the mother country, Brazil. The Phenomena collection is my first experience with this brand and I was pretty wowed by it even though it wasn’t what I expected. There are a few more Hits polishes on my lemming list, including pretty much ALL OF THE HOLOS. My one gripe is that the bottle is pretty small so you end up with that noticeable, and uber distressing, dip in the bottle after just one mani. It gave me some serious angst, another aspect of my nail polish OCD, so I do plan to get a back up bottle.  These bad boys retail for approximately $6.50 to $7.00.

When I was on the hunt for Moonbow and company, all the e-tailers had it listed as out of stock. That day, I placed orders with both Llarowe and Ninja Polish for several other colors. I included a note in the comments section of my order for both e-tailers that I really needed this color and asked that if they happened to have a bottle laying around in the stock room to please add it to my order and charge me for it. Ninja Polish did just that (excellent customer service on their part), meanwhile Llarowe very kindly included a bottle of it in my order without charging me. Even though I do want a back up bottle of this color and I was very grateful, I felt badly because I like to support small nail polish related businesses whenever I can. I figured that the best way to repay that kindness was to gift the bottle that I bought to another blogger and keep the gifted bottle. I did that in hopes of spreading the awesome around because more swatches = a better world, right? In any case, I don’t say this often but I highly recommend both e-tailers. They are both great so you can’t go wrong with either one. 

 Thoughts on Hits or Moonbow? What about nail polish OCD? Do you have it? If yes, how does it manifest for you?

PinterestEmailShare

Cult Nails Giveaway Update & Some Work Appropriate Cult Selections

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Good news, I’m back from my trip to Savannah, GA. Bad news, I’m super swamped with work and life after being gone for most of last week. To add to that, I’ve been, and I still am, pretty sick. In other words, it’s going to take me a couple of days to catch up - so I probably won’t get a chance to judge the Cult Nails Internet Meme Giveaway until this weekend. For that reason…

 I am…

EXTENDING THE CULT NAILS CONTEST UNTIL NEXT SATURDAY NIGHT AT 11:59PM EST.

I’ve had so much fun reading your entries and I figured I might as well keep the contest open until I have an actual chance to sit down and pick a winner. This will also give me a chance to post some Cult Nails swatches for your viewing pleasure. If you haven’t seen it already, here is the link to the original post detailing the rules for contest.

As I began emersing myself back in nail culture, Cult Nails was one of the brands that everyone, and I really mean everyone, said I needed to check out. After that I began amassing a mega-list of Cult lemmings. When Maria contacted me about the giveaway, she was kind enough to fulfill some of those Cult lemmings for me. Sadly, none of my Cult lemmings were work appropriate so Maria, knowing that I’m trying (quite unsuccessfully) to focus on professional shades, was kind enough to send me some of those too.

Cult Nails Enticing is a delicate, milky baby pink with a very subtle pearly white shimmer that is nearly invisible. I wasn’t able to capture it, but Let Them Have Polish has great swatches that exhibit the subtle shimmer very well. This color is billed as a buildable sheer and that’s an accurate description. This swatch is 4 coats, but it was fully opaque at 3. This color was a part of the Divas and Drama 2012 Collection (of which I now need ALL).

Cult Nails Cruisin’ Nude is a darker toned nude with very fine magenta microshimmer that glows. Suprisingly, I found the shimmer more visible indoors, than outdoors. If your skin-tone is like mine, this color is a spot-on BABB (Band-Aid But Better). CN is definitely work appropriate, but with an interesting twist. This swatch is 3 coats. Cruisin’ Nude was released in 2011 in a collection entitled A Day at the Races.

I’m going to hold off on my new-to-me-brand comments (i.e. bottle style, brush, application, quality, pricing, wear, etc.) until I post Cult Nails Awakening and Vicious – which I wore as NOTDs. (However, rest assured, I have nothing negative to say). I was on vacation the week I worked on these swatches so I used that as opportunity to rock some non-professional shades. If you’re new to this brand too, they are available for $10 from Cult Nails.

What do you all think about Cult Nails? Only picking up the “different” shades, or do you love them for their more traditional colors as well?

_____

Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Cult Nails.

PinterestEmailShare

The Polish Addict: Wedding Edition!!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

My husband and I got engaged last year. So, obviously, the most important decision I made after that was deciding what to do with my nails for the wedding (totally not kidding). This was an arduous process – the stash was thoroughly examined, scrutinized, and analyzed. When I first set out to plan my wedding mani, I wanted to do something different. Soft shades are obvious, I wanted something more unique. I stumbled upon Oscar De La Renta’s Spring 2013 Bridal Collection and fell in love with this concept.

(Photo Credit: Society Bride)

A subtle, light watery blue mani accented with opal-like blue toned jewelry. I wouldn’t have to do much searching as there were a few options in my stash that could mimic that look, China Glaze Moody Blue and Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom immediately came to mind. Unfortunately, and probably not surprisingly, my Mom was less than thrilled with my blue nails idea.  So, in the end, to minimize stress, I decided to compromise and go with more typical wedding fare. Some of you are going to be disappointed, haha, that I decided to do a standard french, using Essie Mademoiselle and Essie Marshmallow. But I did spice it up a bit with two coats of Orly Twilight.

Orly Twilight is a gorgeous sheer layering polish – it consists of very fine iridescent silver toned shimmer suspended in somewhat cloudy clear polish. Mostly, I’ve seen Twilight layered over darker shades, but it’s very pretty over lighter shades. In my case, it added the perfect amount of glam to my potentially boring standard french. I did consider a holographic topcoat – but after several swatching attempts, I thought it look a little too ‘young’ for the style I was trying to achieve. I, sadly, did go to a salon to have my nails done. It’s been years since I’ve entered a nail salon for anything other than a mini dusty hunt. Ultimately, I regretted it a little – the nail tech did a good job, but I’m pretty particular about my nails and I think I would have been happier doing them on my own.

(Yes! I do have thumbs!) None of the wedding photos of my nails show the beautiful shimmer of Orly Twilight, so I’ll have to post a swatch in the future. Although, I would say that this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of the overall look – Twilight is really subtle over Mademoiselle so my nails weren’t blinging all over the place.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “how was this a compromise, you totally sold out!”  Well, I hope my sellout status is mitigated by my pedicure. I decided to do Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom both as a pedi and as my “something blue.” Originally, to mimic the Oscar De La Renta nails, I was planning to layer Bikini Bottom over a jelly light color like OPI Don’t Touch My Tutu or OPI Barre My Soul. That layering combination would have created a more watery, cloudy, more subtle light blue. On my toes, I didn’t think I needed to be more subtle so it’s just 3 coats of unadulterated Bikini Bottom. I think the light blue nails with the ivory shoes made a really chic combination. And, finally, the dress:

This is us! Our wedding was a really small dinner party in the middle of hot, hot, hot July (yes! we’re very newly wed!), so I decided on a short dress. My wonderful Mother-in-Law pretty much did all the planning and decorating – she’s so amazing! My dress is Sasha from the Little White Dress Collection by Amsale. The shoes are Nina in the style Neva. My Mom, a very talented seasmstress, altered it extensively and added a panel of lace to the skirt. The whole wedding was DIY for the most part, my Mom and M0m-in-Law even made my bouquet by hand! I was so happy with how everything turned out! It was a really happy day for us and we’ve been silly-happy ever since. : )

What about you all – what nail polish did you wear to your wedding?

 

__________

Disclosure: Bikini Bottom was sent to me for review by Rescue Beauty Lounge.

PinterestEmailShare

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.

______________________

 

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

PinterestEmailShare

Brights of Yesteryear: OPI Give Me the Moon

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

opi-give-me-the-moon

OPI Give Me the Moon was included in the 2007 Summer collection Night Brights. Not a particularly ‘bright’ color per se, but definitely a unique, interesting color. The base shade is like an icey gray but the dense blue iridescent shimmer gives it a bluish over all glow. It’s definitely a sheer-ish color but this swatch is only 3 coats.

opi-give-me-the-moon-flash

Here is a photo taken with flash to exhibit the exquisite shimmer.  I’d be interested in comparing this color with the new OPI Breathe Life (which I have yet to obtain, curses!) The base color looks different but Breathe Life seems to have the same shimmer that makes this color so great.

PinterestEmailShare

Color Club Spring 2009 Femme Fatale Collection

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The forces of the universe have been conspiring to prevent me from posting this collection. First, a while back, I decided to take a new approach to swatching. Instead of just painting my nails for a quick photo and just writing about my brief opinions, I decided to actually wear all the colors in collections I review. The result was a copious amount of notes on each color, similar to what I usually write for posts on manicures. But then, to my chagrin, the evil google virus did away with all my efforts. As far as nail polish goes, the notes lost, are the equivalent of the Library of Alexandria burning down. Sadly, here are my briefer impressions based on what I remember from wearing this colors.

Color Club had an interesting concept for this spring collection, these colors were intended to be mixed and matched to create various funky frenches. I can totally see where they were going with that idea, these colors (a mixture of shimmery sheers and opaques) do compliment each other well in the french format. However, this collection also lends itself to amazing layering combinations. I would have loved to have shown you guys the sheers from both Catwalk Queen and Femme Fatale over black and white but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t had the time. But, fear not, Scrangie has some great swatches of these shades over black.

color-club-femme-fatale

Color Club Femme Fatale consists of ultra sparkly pink and yellow toned micro-glitter suspended in a gel like whitish polish that applies clear. This is 4 coats, it’s simply gorgeous over black. (Please excuse the perpetual yellowness of my nails.)

color-club-oooooo-la-la

Color Club Oooooo La La is a stunning, wearable white with a pearl finish. I usually don’t like pearl finishes but I absolutely loved this color. This is 3 coats. The application was a bit off – the coats applied unevenly so you have to be careful to be apply as evenly as possible. While I would consider this color a PITA, it’s not impossible to work with and I think the pay off is worth the extra effort. This color is perfect as a base on which to layer the sheer colors in this collection.

color-club-oui-oui-oui1

Color Club Oui! Oui! Oui! consists of a very fine green shimmer in a sheer whitish base. My picture isn’t very accurate as far the shimmer, the green is way more obvious in real life. This one is also stunning over black. I believe this swatch is 4 coats.

color-club-revvvolution

Color Club Revvvolution is just, wow. WOW. I guess I might be biased because I love all holos – but this one is particularly brilliant. It’s a dark charcoal, pretty much black for all purposes, medium grain holo. The holo has a predominately greenish cast to it. Revvvoltion is very well pigmented. For me, it was essentially perfect in one coat but I applied two for good measure. I haven’t done a side by side swatch, but from memory, I can tell you that this is darker and more opaque than OPI My Private Jet. MPJ is one of my favorite polishes of all time, but I actually think that Revvvolution might take it’s place.

color-club-revvvolution-holo

I’ve gotten a lot of complaints about the quality of my images of holographics so I’ve been trying to find alternative forms of lighting that are better suited to showing the holographic effect of these polishes. This picture isn’t as vivid as Revvvolution is in real life but I think you get the idea.

color-club-wheres-the-soiree

Color Club Where’s the Soiree? is a black creme that doesn’t dry glossy. It’s not exactly matte, but closer to a satin finish. It applies well in 2 to 3 coats. I would want to maintain the unique finish so I would probably either use no top coat or a matte top coat. Where’s the Soiree? is also perfect as a base for layering the other colors in this collection.

color-club-worth-the-risque

Color Club Worth the Risque is a medium grain holographic silver with a bluish cast. Like Revvvolution, the holo has a greenish cast to it. It’s a 2 to 3 coater. LOVE it.

color-club-worth-the-risque-holo

Here it is in different lighting… *drool/dies*.

______________________

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

PinterestEmailShare