February 28, 2014

Sinful Colors - Pride Swatch & Review



Sinful Colors - Pride is red and pale yellow and green and blue and magenta hex glitters in varying sizes suspended in a slightly thick, clear base. I have a couple other polishes like this (Ulta - Pinata-Yada-Yada and Milani - Gems) but this one definitely has the best glitter payoff. The formula isn't unbearably thick, either. I feel like this would be perfect for a glitter gradient!

Swatches show Rejuvacote as the base, a thin layer of Essie - Waltz, three medium coats of Pride and no topcoat.

For good measure, I then added a thin layer of Essie - Waltz. I looooove how it dulls the metallic shine of the glitters. This reminded me of a more muted China Glaze - It's a Trap-eze, which I don't yet own but have been considering getting. I have such a thing for glitter in a white base, which I'm sure I've said before.

Party on my nails!! This was, however, a little bulky what with the layers. In the future, I'd probably be a little lighter-handed with Pride and stick to using it as a full-coverage polish as an accent nail or two.

February 24, 2014

Ethereal Lacquer - Pixie Dust Swatch & Review

Ethereal Lacquer had a pre-order that had like 12 polishes I wanted buuuuuut I only got one (cue sad Charlie Brown piano song). At least the one I got is super awesome.

My first Ethereal, Pixie Dust is a delicate, medium-toned lilac with linear holo. A bit on the sheer side with the first coat but building to opacity by the third thin coat, and the formula is delightful. 

I'm also trying out Duri Rejvacote 2 against my insanely thin and prone-to-ripping nails. I'm using Rejuvacote as the base and also topcoat in the pictures.

About that linear holo, ay? I love when the rainbow is integrated into the polish base color and not just floating on top of it, unaffected by the hue of the polish. Even in lower lighting, the polish is such a beautiful, airy shade -- light without being pastel -- that I'm so glad I went with this one out of all of the ones I wanted.

February 23, 2014

Girly Bits - Get Weaponized Swatch & Review

Ahoy! I participated in a Valentine's Day swap with an indie polish group on Facebook aaaaand Get Weaponized was one of the four awesome polishes I received from my darling swap-friend. In addition to it being my first Girly Bits polish, it rules way hard for these reasons:

1. Teal.
2. Linear holo.
3. Magenta and purple glitter.
4. Super easy to work with formula.

Get Weaponized was a custom shade made for a blog's two year anniversary (Nail Polish Wars, if you were curious and were somehow just finding out through my silly blog). 

Swatches show two thin coats topped with this calcium nail hardener stuff I dug up because I don't know where my Essie G2G went to, mope. The polish dried with a hint of grittiness to it so with a better topcoat it would have looked a lot smoother in thee pixx.

The thing I like most about this polish is that it's balanced-- it's not just a holo polish or just a glitter polish. The components work together to create a comprehensive effect. Not that I don't love rainbows and sparkles at the tips of my fingers, but the elements in this polish seem to be added thoughtfully, not just "let's make this holo cuz everybody loves holo".

Does any of that make sense to you guys?

February 19, 2014

Influenster J'Adore VoxBox Review


So, on Valentine's Day my boyfriend got me him having the stomach flu and was in the hospital for two days, and then our kids decided to follow suit and I've been puked on three times now and I have somehow managed to avoid getting it, full blown-style, KNOCK ON SO MUCH WOOD (God bless Zofran).

So, I mean, stomach flu > blogging and sorry. They're all on the mend, thanks for asking. :D

I was invited to join Influenster a few months ago and I wasn't confident that it would amount to much, but a couple weeks ago I was told I qualified for my first VoxBox! Pumped!!

I took a survey just to make super sure I was fit for the box -- J'Adore VoxBox, Valentine's Day kind -- and then I got a tracking number and bam, pink box on my doorstep.

This marks the very first time I've been sent free products for review! Did I mention pumped?!

Better than the stomach flu.

Included in my J'Adore VoxBox waaaas:

1. A big-ass bag of Hershey's Kisses (which, let's be real, who doesn't love?)
2. Four individual bags of Red Rose Tea in Creme Caramel and Lemon Chiffon
3. Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask
4. John Frieda Frizz Ease Flat Iron Spray
5. Kiss 'Looks So Natural' Eyelashes.

Thus far I've tried the Creme Caramel tea which, since I had been avoiding caffeine for a couple days as to not completely destroy my stomach, was a pretty delicious transition back into caffeine. Not too bitter, with a definite sweet caramel presence. I'm way more into coffee than tea on a regular basis but I'd seriously be okay with buying this for when I am feeling tea-y.

I don't have the frizziest hair in the world, just thin and split-endsy, so I'm not sure how the John Frieda Flat Iron Spray is going to work with my hair, but I'm interested in finding out nonetheless.

My skin tends to get super dry in the winter (though this year I've been loads better about staying hydrated) so it's not at its shiniest, but the Boots clay mask also claims to remove impurities and deeply cleanse in addition to shine removal. I'm excited to try it.

Aaaand finally my eyelashes straight up suck. They're thin and sparse and sad and decidedly un-come-hithery (not unlike the rest of my entire awkward existence). I've tried false lashes in the past and they made my eyes look like those of a drag queen's. My boyfriend, however, has the eyelashes of effing Aphrodite and they kind of give mine a complex. Maybe with the Kiss lashes, they'll be able to feel confidence for the first time in their stupid, thin and sparse lives.

Oh, um, and I'm eating the kisses now.

February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Gradient Nail Art

I say this a lot, but I don't often have time for nail art-- if I do manage to do any, it's while the kids are napping so I only have around an hour these days. I wanted to do something cutesy and pinksy and heartsy for Valentine's Day since that's what people do, right?

I found a tutorial about sponged gradient hearts (which can be found here) and being that I haven't successfully done a sponge gradient yet, I wanted to go a little bit out of my nail comfort zone (which, I guess, is a thing for me now) and gradate the sh out of my nails. But with a heart for good measure because Valentine's Day!

I used Julep - Joan, Essie - The Girls are Out and Madison Ave-hue for the gradient, and Sinful Colors - Pale for the background of the accent nail. Essie G2G topcoat to finish 'er all up.

It's not the most intricate design in the world but for me for V-day, it gets the message across all right. Happy Valentine's Day, guys. If you're not into that sort of thing, happy Day-Before-a-Bunch-of-Chocolate-Goes-On-Sale Day!

February 12, 2014

Finger Paints - Hammered Terra Cotta Swatch & Review

I have one of the new textured additions to the Finger Paints core line today called Hammered Terra Cotta. True to its name, HTC is a textured metallic copper (think brand new penny) with small gold hex glitter. Application was a breeze, free of texture bump-clumps and opaque in 2 coats.

The first two pictures shows two coats only. The color is brighter and more metallic looking in real life.

(I forgot to take a third picture without topcoat. Oopsie.)

The next set of pictures shows two coats with a coat of Essie G2G on top. I KNOW I STILL NEED TO GET GELLOUS.

Top coat deepens the color and gives it more of that terra cotta shade. I really like this polish overall-- it's one of those colors that when it's on I find myself looking at throughout the day, all finger-wiggly and stuff. I love the addition of the gold glitter. My only qualm is that I wish the bottle had any indication that this was a texture polish. I know there are a couple others, but there are a few colors that I'm not sure whether they're just glitters or what. As much time as I spend with nail polish, you'd think I'd be able to tell these things.

February 11, 2014

PinkDipsyBulle - Coral Reef, Caribbean Sea and Arctic Ocean Swatches & Reviews

My first spam-ish post!

I've got three discontinued colors from PinkDipsyBulle today. There are a couple bottles of each for sale on her website still (at $4.50 each!!!). They come in 10ml bottles, so while they contain less than the 'standard' amount, for the price ($6 regularly) I'm not complaining.

Coral Reef is a bright pink jelly with a pink flash. Slightly sheer, this built to opacity in three coats. Shown below without topcoat.

I had just a tiny issue with brushstrokey-ness but nothing that would prevent me from wearing the crap out of this in the summer. I don't always pink, but when I do, I PinkDipsyBulle - Coral Reef.

Caribbean Sea is an icy light blue (though PDB describes it as light turquoise) with subtle linear holo and what appears to be flakies. I noticed that there's a sediment deposit at the bottom of the bottle that looks like it's made up of nothing but these flakies. They do end up on the nail but they're barely noticeable. The sheerest of the bunch, shown below is three coats without topcoat.

The holo was a bit lost in photos but it's there, and I do love the color, although I kept thinking that this one was Arctic Ocean because of how much it reminded me of cold things.

Finally, we have Arctic Ocean which is a rich royal blue with just a whisper of a purple duochrome, with scattered holographic particles. It does have a bit of a blue flash-- I love how this looks like it's glowing on the nail. A little brushstrokey here too, but the color is so lovely that I totally forgive it. Shown below is three coats without topcoat.

I'm glad I picked these up before she was sold out of them. Looking through her past sales, there are a few colors she no longer has pigments to make and I'm sorry I missed out. I truly believe that PDB is a totally underrated indie polish brand, especially for the price.

February 10, 2014

Enchanted Polish - January 2014 Swatch & Review

I'm still kind of on the fence about Enchanted Polish.

I totally bought into January 2014 during the EP pre-sale being a mystery color. I figured I didn't have too much to lose since 1.) people are still totally ape-poop over EP;  2.) nobody sells EP at or below retail; and 3.) if I didn't love the color, I could sell it for what I paid so, like, everybody wins, right?

January 2014 came in a pretty shiny black box this time with the signature holographic foil-accented logo. If nothing else, EP's branding design is super easy on the eyes.

Upon removal, January 2014 looked like a dark dark gray creme with linear holo. Then I noticed that there was some bright blue super-fine particle action going on (not unlike what's sparkling around in A Little Fishy Told Me). Then I realized that the polish wasn't grey, but a blackened teal.

The formula is pretty dreamy-- just thick enough to avoid cuticle flooding, but it's self-leveling and deeply pigmented so that opacity happens in two easy coats. Plus, it's nice and glossy without topcoat.

It's pretty though, right? I don't know that it's $17 pretty, but I get that EP has grown into kind of a designer indie brand and part of the cost is in the name itself. The reason I'm on the fence about EP is because of the insane hype surrounding it. I wasn't in the, uh, polish game when EP transitioned from lesser-known indie brand to bottles-going-for-twenty-times-their-original-price territory, and I'm curious as to when exactly that happened. Most EPs are genuinely lovely polishes, but I would never dream of spending 10 polishes' worth of money for a single, "htf" bottle. I get why people do it, but there are too many awesome indie brands out there (and my budget is far too limited) for me to ever be that person.

If you bought this polish, are you happy with it? If you didn't, do you wish you had?

February 7, 2014

Finger Paints - Chromatic Creation Swatch & Review

Visited my Sally Beauty yesterday to take advantage of the 2-for-1 sale on Finger Paints nail polish. In addition to Chromatic Creation, I got one of their new textures, Symmetrical Symphony and a gorgeous red glass fleck I hadn't noticed before. I really like Finger Paints' rebranding-- the bottle font before was just so, I dunno, wacky.

Wacky, she says.

By the way, I don't love chrome polish. I'm pretty interested in OPI - Push and Shove but I'm pretty excited for the day when polish can be formulated to have a legitimate mirror finish. Chromes just fall a little flat to me. Metallics, in general, just aren't my thing.

That being said... Chromatic Creation is a silver chrome with barely-there linear holo. Neat that Finger Paints tried jumping on board the holo train but I wish it had more of an impact. I didn't, uh, use a base coat for this swatch so you can see the true effery that is the state of my poor abused nails. I have every intention on getting Duri Rejuvicote or Nail Envy, really.

Chromatic Creation built to opacity in three thin coats (though I'm sure two would probably be acceptable) and is shown below without topcoat.

I'd like to note that I tried every available light source around me to bring the holo out and this was the strongest I could get it (my trusty OttLite who I swear does not endorse me in any way). This is how it looked even in direct sunlight, in my camera's flash... even in the awful kitchen light that I have dubbed The Holo Whisperer.

If you're looking for a decent, bright silver metallic/chrome, this isn't a bad option. Just don't get it looking for dem rainbowz because the chrome is definitely more of what this guy is about.

February 5, 2014

Color Club - Wild at Heart Swatch & Review

Color Club - Wild at Heart was one of those colors that I saw a swatch of, fell in love, acquired a bottle and upon receipt decided that it wasn't as awesome as the pictures made it seem. It looks just okay in the bottle... I didn't make it a point to swatch it immediately. Dumb!

Now that it's on my fingers, I'm in love again. Wild at Heart is pretty crayon-purple base with medium linear holo that applied reasonably and was opaque in two careful coats.

Pictures show two coats without topcoat. I used a base coat this time because without it you could see my poor nail's ridges even more than you usually do.

Purple's one of those colors I kind of forget about until I find something that I really like in the color (liiiike nail polish). It's kind of insane that it took me as long as it did to get around to putting it on. I wonder how many other colors I've overlooked like this...

February 3, 2014

Sinful Colors - Jasmine Jazz Swatch & Review

I somehow didn't even know thrift stores had nail polish until a couple months ago when I found this guy for sale in a bag with a couple pink Sally Hansens and an unlabeled pearly taupe nightmare at good ol' Village Thrift.

Jasmine Jazz is a gray/lilac base with lovely pink/purple flash. The formula was straight-up meh for me... pretty close to opaque in 3 coats but streaky and thin and unrelentingly non-leveling (possibly due to its thrift store-ness?). I think I'll try layering this over a gray polish next time to give it something to stand on, you know?

Photos show three coats with Essie G2G on top. The shimmer looks a lot more purple than pink, here.

I'm suuuuch a sucker for shimmer or "flash" (how do I use this term correctly here even?) that's close to the color of the base but brighter -- I love how it pops in the light. Sinful Colors does this super well, but the formula often leaves something to be desired with their lighter colors. For $2 at most, I guess, it's not the worst thing in the world.

I seriously have so many untried SC (thanks to <3 Big Lots <3). I really need to get on those, yeah?

February 2, 2014

Smitten Polish - Out of the Blue Swatch & Review

Hay frans.

Smitten Polish restock last week. I forgot about the first one of the day, and converted the time zone difference in my head incorrectly for the second, so the polish I wanted the most (Blue Footed Booby Dance) was sold out by the time I made it to the site. However, being blue's number one fan, Out of the Blue was my (not sold out) second pick!

Out of the Blue is about as blue as blue gets. Its fairly pigmented jelly base builds to 'opacity' in three thin coats and its got a subtle linear holo that managed to get lost in every light except for the one in my kitchen, which produces abysmal photos.

Below shows the three coats with no topcoat.

I do absolutely love this color blue, I only wish the linear holo was stronger outside of my crappy kitchen light. To be fair, it's probably all *BLANG* in the sunlight, which we in NEO probably won't be seeing for the next two months. Sigh.

February 1, 2014

Ulta - Material Girl Swatch & Review


I, um, painted all ten of my nails in celebration! ...

Sooo today we've got a polish from Ulta called Material Girl. I picked this up when they were having a sale so it was only, like, $2 I want to say. I'm pretty all right with that.

Material Girl reminds me of polishes from Zoya's Ornate and Zenith collections, namely Peyton. I don't own Peyton (yet) but judging from swatches, Material Girl appears to be brighter and possibly more berry-leaning than Peyton. Also, Material Girl dries quite gritty unlike the Zoyas I do own from those collections, but a layer of Essie G2G smoothed it out.

Below shows three coats of Material Girl with topcoat. The formula was kind of thick but workable, and a third coat was definitely needed for me to get to an even finish but if you've got steadier hands and less suckitude you could probably get away with just two.

You can't really go wrong with scattered holo in a jelly base in my book. My book called 'things I enjoy about nail polish'.