Archive for the ‘Taupe’ Category

Random Cremes From Essie & My Newest Obsession

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Recently, I discovered the glory that is audiobooks from the library. I can download them on my iPhone and listen while I get ready in the morning, garden, do my nails, cook, clean, drive, walk the dogs, and pretty much any normally quiet daily activity.  As a result of all this “reading” that I can now do, I’ve been expanding my book choices into the unprecedented. As an unreasonable book snob, I vowed never to read anything that could be considered YA. But after several friends convinced me to give The Hunger Games a try and the possibility of listening instead of reading, I decided,  ”meh I guess I can listen to it – what’s the big deal?”

Well, the big deal is that it totally triggered my fandom like whoa. I. am. obsessed. The angst, the cheesy love triangle, the dystopian future, the battle against an oppressive government, the action and actually competent, badass female lead. Yes, YES!! I can’t believe my book snobbery would have kept me from checking this series out sooner. I listened to all three books in 3 days and then walked around in a daze afterwards, depressed that the series was over and missing the characters. I cannot wait for the Catching Fire movie to come out in November (and I really hope that they take the time in the movie to represent the nail art that Katniss wears throughout the books.) I’m slowly collecting the China Glaze Capitol Colors Collection as an extension of my fandom too. *squee*

In any case, I present you with some random Essie swatches. These are some colors that had been on my lemming list for a while and they did not disappoint.

Essie Case Study

Essie Case Study is a taupe-ish dark clay brown, with a touch of green, it’s sort of a chameleon. Definitely work appropriate with a twist – I wore this one to my first homicide trial. This is 3 coats but it would have been fine at 2 coats.

Essie Glamour Purse

Essie Glamour Purse is a mushroomy muted brown leaning taupe. GP had excellent application, another 3 coater that would have been fine at 2. In addition to being work apropos, it was very flattering to my skintone.

Essie Going Incognito

*cat calls* Essie Going Incognito. Gorgeous, just a freaking unbelievably gorgeous deep dark blue toned emerald green. I would classify this one as more of a crelly than a creme – the application is somewhat thin because it’s buildable. The shine is eye-popping. I LOVE this one and it’s a contender for the top twenty, possibly even to knock-out a different green.

Essie Lilacism

Essie Lilacism is a delicate lilac creme. I suppose I will stop calling lilac one of my white whales because at this point I’ve encountered a few that I consider flattering, including Lilacism. I started lemming it after I saw it on a friend from work. While I loved the color, I was disappointed with the application. It’s a PITA, very thick while also thin causing it to apply unevenly. It required 4 coats to even out on the surface of the nail. Despite the application woes, it did wear well. With Seche Vite and Sally Nail Quencher I got a full 5 days of wear with no chips and minimal tip wear.

Essie Plumberry

And finally, Essie Plumberry. This color could not be more aptly named because it is without-a-doubt a plum toned berry creme. My photo, sadly, does not capture this color very well. In real life it’s a little deeper, darker and moodier. The photo captures more of the berry tone and not as much of the plum. Wonderful application – 3 coats but would have been good at 2. While I don’t usually wear colors like this often, I lemminged it after seeing swatches on another blog. I can see why berry, like red and pink, tends to be more popular. My love for more unique colors aside, this sure is pretty and it does flatter my skin-tone (and probably would flatter most).

Did you lemming any of these colors too? And now that I’m taking a foray into YA, any other books I should check out?

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Disclaimer: These colors were sent to me for review by Beauty Stop Online. BSO is a new-to-me e-tailer that carries several of the biggie brands. Essie retails on their site for $5.99 a pop. 

 

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Some Random Swatches from Nail Girls London and a Sad Story About the Worst Mani Ever

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

 I recently traveled for a wedding in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. Things were so hectic right before I left that I didn’t have time to do my nails (that and I was wearing a really fabu color that I didn’t want to take off, Nicole By OPI A Phil’s Paradise, review and post coming soon). Normally, I take my mani kit with me everywhere I go, but I couldn’t on this trip because the airline had some seriously oppressive baggage weight limits. So, my only option was a professional manicure. I never, ever get my nails done professionally, never. In the last five years, I’ve been once… for my wedding. And I really regretted not having done them myself. But I figured, eh, it’s just this once, what’s the worse that can happen, right? Famous last words.

My poor sister-in-law scoured the town looking for a reputable nail place. She went to about 5 different places before finding a salon that didn’t totally skeeve her out and had appointment availability. (Just to be clear, this salon was a random local NC salon, it was not affiliated with the Nail Girls salons in England). The nail tech was really nice but it was the worst manicure I’ve ever gotten. She took a scorched-earth approach to my cuticles, pushing them back so hard that it still hurts. She didn’t even remove all the polish I was wearing before she started painting. The paint job was uneven at the cuticles and had bald spots everywhere. While I did ask for her to fix certain issues, there was so much going horribly wrong that there was no way to keep asking for corrections without seeming completely rude and insane. So, mostly, I just kept my criticisms to myself and silently endured the crimes against my nails. 30 dollars and nearly 12 hours later, I fell asleep and woke up with sheet marks. SHEET MARKS!! I had to go to Sally’s to buy a bottle of China Glaze Ruby Pumps and Seche Vite to paint over the original OPI Vodka & Caviar mani and save the day. In conclusion, I will never, ever, ever get another professional manicure ever again, ever.

I’m sharing this sad tale of woe and despair for two reasons: first, doing your own nails is the way to go, period. Especially if you are neurotic like me.  If you don’t like doing them yourself, that’s totally fine too but make sure that when you do find a good nail tech you stick to him or her like glue because not all nail techs are created equally. And a truly bad manicure can have some long term consequences. It’s probably going to take at least a month for my cuticles to get back to normal.

In any case here are some swatches from the new-to-me-brand, Nail Girls London. Overall, I’m really impressed with this brand – good formula, good application, and great colors. I also really love the color name concept – don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the wacky OPI names but there’s something so intriguing and mysterious about a naming system as simple as ‘actual color + number’.

Nail Girls Teal 1

Nail Girls Teal 1 is a Dolphins-ish teal (ugh, sorry for the sports reference but I didn’t know how else to describe it and I happen to be a Floridian), leaning more green than blue. This color is seriously flattering, I got a ton of compliments when I wore it. The application was smooth and easy. Teal 1 is extremely pigmented and this mani was perfect at two coats.

Nail Girls Taupe 5

Nail Girls Taupe 5, is a gorgeous mushroomy greige. The base color is similar to Chanel Frenzy, but Frenzy is a smidge deeper and darker. What makes Taupe 5 unique is the dark ash-like particles suspended in the color. The specks give the color a cookies and cream type effect, but not too obvious. The over all look reminded me of throwing clay. This is unique, but work appropriate – conservative enough that I wore it for a trial. This NOTD was 3 coats.

Nail Girls Taupe 5 Bottle

The ash-specks are much more visible in the bottle shot above.  Although I really loved this color, the ash-specks do make the color look somewhat grungy, which I suspect will turn some people off to it.

Nail Girls Purple 8

And, finally, Nail Girls Purple 8 is a mushroomy griolet (think grayed-out-grape). The consistency during application was a bit like a jelly polish so this is 4 coats. The formula here was on the thick side, but not terrible. I was really impressed with the wear time. This was a Monday to Friday mani with no chips and minimal tip wear.

In terms of where to purchase these, I was able to get confirmation – these polishes are available on the Nail Girls London website (careful, it’s definitely not a .com lol). And they do ship throughout the United States because they have a distribution center here. (Which does makes sense since these polishes are manufactured in the United States.) These retail for £10.50 a pop, with the current exchange rate that is a little under $16 US.

 So, have you tried Nail Girls? Any other colors I should seek out? What about nightmare manis? Been there?

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Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Nail Girls London. 

Edited to include updated information about shipping and also to explain that my manicure-nightmare was not at the hands of a Nail Girls manicurist. 

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Zoya Smoke Collection Fall 2011: Like Old Times

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

This is my first collection review as of the relaunch! I chose to begin with the Zoya Smoke collection for three reasons: first, this collection pretty much encompasses everything I love about nail polish – very rich, creme, smokey, unique, moody colors presented together thematically. Second, I consider many of the colors in this collection to be consistent with the new theme: work appropriate with an edge. Finally, if you follow Zoya on  Facebook or Twitter (and if you don’t you really, really should) you know that their Account Holder Buy One Get One Free Sale ends tomorrow one minute before midnight, so I figured this post would be timely for anyone still on the fence about making an order.

This collection might be old news for some, but when I decided to start blogging again this collection really popped out to me after scouring Scrangie’s blog for new lemmings. It was released in Fall of 2011 as one half of the Smoke and Mirrors Collection (I’ll be swatching Mirrors soon). I really love the theme here – the concept of smoke, which evokes images of smoldering color and sultriness, was really well executed. Zoya has seriously stepped up their game while I’ve been away, so hats off to them. Part of the reason, it took all week to get these swatches together for this post is that I wore three of the six colors in this collection as NOTDs. The whole collection is worth owning for anyone into moody cremes.

Zoya Petra was my first NOTD from this collection – I LOVED IT. It’s a dark smokey purple creme. The color in the bottle looks more murky and mushroom-y than the color appears once it’s on the nail – which is significantly darker. This mani was 3 coats. Application was average, not the best but not the worst. On the work-apropos scale – I would say this shade is appropriate for all except the most conservative environments. It’s purple, but it’s not “in your face” – it’s very chic and demure. I know colors like this have been very popular in my absence and since my collection is still frozen in time, I didn’t really have anything comparable in my stash – the closest thing was Sephora by OPI Metro Chic but Petra is much more purple.

Zoya Jana, in the same vein as Petra, is a dusty, moody purple tinged putty taupe creme – this color is chic personified. It even elicited compliments from my husband who very rarely comments on polish. Like Petra, Jana was worn as a NOTD. I got really excellent wear out of it – I think it was over 5 days with no chips using Sally Hansen Nail Quencher as a base-cost and Seche Vite as a top-coat.  Also, like Petra, this one dries significantly darker on the nail than it looks in the bottle. Application was great, almost full coverage with one coat. However, the very pigmented formula was not forgiving of nail surface imperfections with less than 3 coats. On the work-apropos scale – in my opinion this one is safe anywhere. The closest color in my collection was Sephora by OPI Call Your Mother, but CYM is much more purple and less muted.

Zoya Anja, another NOTD, is a deep burgundy creme. Vampy goodness all around – I never, ever get tired of vampies. I didn’t spot any exact dupes in my vampy drawer but I don’t own Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter which Temptalia believes is a very close dupe. This is 2 coats, perfect application. I filed my nails really short, partly to wear this color. I do believe it’s work appropriate on short nails. I’m certainly not telling anyone how to wear their nails, but short is my personal nail length preference for vampies and almost blacks. I often see women around the courthouse wearing darker shades, but always on short nails - accordingly, I believe that’s the social convention for professionals. So, for the time being, I’m labeling this one conditionally work-apropos.

Holy $&$($&^@&*##@#(#&. Zoya Codie – the best way I can describe this is green toned liquid smoke with a creme finish. Definitely in line with the collection theme, smoke. It’s an almost black, but it’s beautiful. Like Petra and Jana, it’s darker on the nail than in the bottle. I wasn’t brave enough to wear this one to work. Sadly, this beauty is probably not work safe for any environment that is even remotely conservative. I’m definitely planning to whip it out on a weekend, when the swatching schedule permits. This swatch is three coats. The formula was a little watery so you have to be careful of pooling during application. Codie is my favorite from this collection.

Zoya Cynthia, my second favorite from this collection, is a smokey teal toned dark navy, almost black. It’s very difficult to see (and my camera totally failed to capture it), but this color has a beautiful ultra fine shimmer that is effectively invisible but gives the polish depth. (It’s shimmer for shimmer-haters like me. Haha.) This swatch is 3 coats, the first coat was very watery. Again, probably not the best choice for most office environments.

And, finally, Zoya Dree, a muted, dusty drab olive green creme. Coverage would have been good at 2 coats, but this swatch is 3 coats. Application on this one was perfect. Like the others in this collection, this one also dried slightly darker on the nail. The first obvious possible dupe would be Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War – but it doesn’t seem close. NMW seems much darker, although it’s tough to judge based on bottle shade alone since Dree appears slightly darker on the nail. I will post comparison pics soon. This one, again, is probably not office appropriate.

In case anyone is looking for more Zoya swatches for the BOGO Sale – check out my Zoya Category for your lemming creation needs. : D Are you planning to get, or have you gotten, anything from the sale? I know some girls hauled big time!

In other news, should you stumble upon the nail art article in the September issue of Allure and you might recognize nails belonging to a certain someone. :  ) You can see the post that that photo came from here: Cover Girl Crackle Lacquer.

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Disclosure: This collection was provided for review by Zoya.

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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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Spring 2009: China Glaze Romantique Collection Part II – The Warm Set (Sort of)

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Whoooooops. Apparently, Joy is from the warm set and Admire is from the cool set. My apologies, I mixed up the colors while I was swatching and neglected to double check the sets before posting. Thanks to Sminkan for pointing out the discrepancy. In any case, here is the second set of colors from the Romantique collection. Like before, these are all one coaters and I didn’t use a top coat. Enjoy!

(Please take note of my side comment in the Cool Set post concerning the color accuracy of these swatches.)

china-glaze-admire

China Glaze Admire is a pink metallic-y shimmer. The warm set is much more ‘feminine’ that the cool set so I figured this color belonged to the warm set.

china-glaze-delight

China Glaze Delight is a metallic-y brown. Love this one. I have a soft spot for brown cremes, but every once in a while a shimmery one finds it’s way into favor as well.

china-glaze-emotion

China Glaze Emotion is like… metallic pink bubble gum. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. In a way, it’s unique. I think I have to wear it as a full manicure to make a final decision.

china-glaze-magical

China Glaze Magical is a sort of pinky-taupe metallic. Scrangie hated it, I love it. This is one is borderline work appropriate, if you can get away with slightly out of the ordinary work polish.

china-glaze-passion

China Glaze Passion is an antique gold. This one is my absolute favorite from this collection. It’s very wearable. In my opinion, it’s not too yellow. I’m always looking for the perfect gold for when I finally try the MAC Antiquitease mani I’ve been meaning to do – I think Passion is it.

china-glaze-poetic

Finally, China Glaze Poetic is a… uh… bronze-y pink/peach? It’s a strange color. I’m not sure how I feel about it.

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

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The Polish Addict’s Top 20 Polishes of All Time: #18 Sephora by OPI – Metro Chic

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Alright, I have to post faster if we’re going to get through all 20 polishes in a timely manner. I present to you, #18 Sephora by OPI (affectionately dubbed ‘$OPI’) Metro Chic:

Bet you guys didn’t see that one coming. I do love this color, but it’s on this list because of the impact it had when it hit the market. Metro Chic was a polish phenomenon. I have hopes that Metro Chic will have revolutionary implications. Is the existence of Metro Chic an indication that the nail polish industry is going to become more innovative? That is my hope. So many people pursued this polish in a ridiculous frenzy, it proves, once again, that there is a viable market for out-of-the-ordinary colors. (Although, the frenzy was probably exacerbated by scalpers buying available bottles to flip them on ebay.) There is such a thing as innovation in this industry and it seems like polish companies often forget that. Consumers are obviously hungry for something different, it’s time that something different is given to us! In any case, it’s a fairly rare occurrence when the general population frenzies over a shade. Nail polish collectors frenzy constantly but it’s extraordinary to see a color that is so universally appealing that it actually moves non-collectors into action. That is why Metro Chic is on this list.

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