Archive for category Coral

OPI Hello Kitty collection

OPI Hello Kitty

Ok. It’s 9:01pm and I try to end my screen time at 9, but I am determined to get a post up so I’m going to make this snappy! [Edit: I went to bed before this was finished…what’s a couple more hours?] I received the Hello Kitty collection from OPI last week and it’s quite good! I know absolutely NOTHING about Hello Kitty and it’s popularity (not really into cutesy stuff as a general rule) but almost all of the polishes in this collection have a great formula and the shades are on point for spring. I’m not a fan of the cheap white ‘Hello Kitty’ print labels they’ve stuck over the regular OPI bottle tops, but it’s not a deal breaker either.

I’ve gotten all fancy today and thrown in some quick comparisons for you guys as well as the swatches. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s Be Friends! & Charmmy & Sugar


Let’s Be Friends! is a pale lilac-pink. The first coat was patchy and I worried it would be a typical pastel cream, but by the second coat it evened out beautifully – with a little care you could get away with 2 coats (I used 3 as I slept on it before taking these photos, oops). In the end this is a lovely color with a glossy finish. I wore Charmmy & Sugar (a sheer lilac shimmer with violet, blue and silver glitter and a slight greenish duo chrome) on my index finger alone (3 coats) and over Let’s Be Friends (ring finger), because let’s get real, no one wants to remove more glitter polish than necessary. It’s a great layering shade, though I prefer the ethereal look it gives on it’s own. I kind of wish this had no glitter as I love the shimmering base color but the glitter takes away from it IMO. Fairly smooth glitter and easy to apply.

OPI Beyond the Pale Pink vs Let's Be Friends! vs Patience Pays Off swatch comparisonOPI Beyond the Pale Pink, Let’s Be Friends!, OPI Patience Pays Off

OPI Charmmy & Sugar vs Nicole DC Lover swatch comparisonOPI Charmmy & Sugar, Nicole for OPI DC Lover

Small + Cute = ❤


A light pink cream. I love this color, but the formula is a PITA – the first coat was very streaky, the second a bit better, but it really requires 3 coats (or a very steady hand) if you want it to look flawless.  A shame as this was one of my fave shades of the bunch! The formula is also a bit on the thicker side to give yourself time for it to dry (aka not before bed). Due to all the coats required and the thick formula I found this chipped within days.

OPI Suzi Shops & Island Hops vs Small + Cute = <3 vs RBL Oh Slap! swatch comparisonOPI Suzi Shops & Island Hops, Small + Cute = <3, RBL Oh Slap! 

Look at My Bow!


A soft orchid pink cream. This only needed 2 coats to opacity but its not 100% perfect – it’s a touch streaky. Beautiful color but not really for me, I think it’s a bit too saturated or something. I prefer the more muted look of Chanel Sweet Lilac (below).

OPI Look at My Bow! vs Chanel Sweet Lilac swatch comparisonOPI Look at My Bow!, Chanel Sweet Lilac

Super Cute in Pink & Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

OPI Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel & Super Cute in Pink swatches

Again I paired up to avoid glitter removal. Super Cute in Pink is a medium-deep orchid crelly (creme/jelly formula). Gorgeous! You can see very slight VNL with two coats but I like it this way to preserve it’s squishy-ness. This is a perfect spring shade and was effortless to apply. Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is a semi-sheer orchid shimmer with violet, pink, blue and silver micro glitter. It required 3 coats to opacity on the index finger (worn alone) and 2 layered (ring finger). It’s grittier to the touch than ‘Charmmy’ but not terribly so. While I liked ‘Charmmy’ on it’s own, I prefered ‘Starry-Eyed’ layered, as it gives it more depth and punch in color.

IMG_3763Essie Splash of Grenadine, OPI Super Cute in Pink, Mark Cupcake

Zoya Kissy vs OPI Starry-Eyed for Daniel swatch comparisonZoya Kissy, OPI Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

Kitty White


A sheer white shimmer. Sorry for the change in lighting, I found this needed sunlight to show off it’s pearlescent quality. These kind of shades aren’t really my bag, though it is pretty. Not much to say about this one, depending on your nail length you could get away with 2 coats (or if you don’t mind VNL) as I’ve done here. I’d think 3 would still not have it entirely opaque though.

OPI Chiffon My Mind vs Go to Grayt Lengths vs Kitty White vs Make Light of the Situation swatch comparisonOPI Chiffon My Mind, OPI Go to Grayt Lengths, OPI Kitty White, OPI Make Light of the Situation

Though ‘Grayt Lengths‘ looks a lot more gray than ‘Kitty White’, when held up to the light they’re VERY similar:

IMG_3741OPI Go to Grayt Lengths, OPI Kitty White

Never Have Too Mani Friends


I’m not much of a black nail polish wearer except for layering purposes, but this is a great black nonetheless – another crelly finish, super shiny, super easy to apply (all of the crelly-type shades in this collection are a dream to apply). This is just 2 coats. It would be a great choice for anyone in the market for a black polish (or anyone who loves a good black polish).

a-England Camelot vs OPI Never Have to Mani Friends swatch comparisona-England Camelot, OPI Never Have Too Mani Friends

My Pal Joey


A saturated cobalt blue. It’s not as in-your-face as some other cobalt shades (think YSL Bleu Majorelle, Nails Inc Baker St.) – it’s a bit lighter and because of the crelly texture it’s not so bold in finish. I really like this – it’s playful and eye-catching, and these textures are seriously out of this world. 2 coats for opacity (no VNL in sight here). LOVE!

IMG_3754Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, YSL Bleu Majorelle, OPI My Pal Joey, OPI Wild Blue Yonder

5 Apples Tall


Some of these shade names I don’t get at all…ANYWAY, this is a gorgeous coral red that has a crelly finish but is fairly pigmented – if you were in a serious rush you could damn near get away with 1 coat (though I prefer the density of 2, as usual). Love the look of this! I don’t always like reds on me but this looks really flattering on my skintone (I think). So easy to apply with zero issues. It’s extremely close in color to Essie ‘Come Here!’ and I like the formula better, so I’ll be swapping this in for that!

*something* vs OPI 5 Apples Tall vs Love is In My Cards swatch comparisonEssie Come Here!, OPI 5 Apples Tall, OPI Love is In My Cards 

Spoken from the Heart


A lovely saturated warm pink. I love this one as well! Again, it has that crelly texture though it’s not as pigmented as ‘5 Apples’ so I’d suggest 2 coats for sure. Even then it gives a hint of VNL but as mentioned I don’t mind that with formulas like this, the slight translucency is what gives it that squishy finish. Again, super shiny on it’s own and a cinch to apply.

Lippmann Daytripper vs OPI Spoken from the Heart vs butter London Snog swatch comparisonLippmann Daytripper, OPI Spoken from the Heart, butter London Snog

My Twim Mimmy 


Again, WTF with the names? Anyway, this is a saturated medium yellow, very primary color-stuff (this along with the blue and red are like the most true representations of primary colors I’ve ever seen in a polish collection together). This doesn’t have the crelly texture (which would probably be a feat with yellow anyway since they’re the most annoying polish shades to work with) and is a touch streaky (I think 3 coats probably would be best so it looks flawless, but I was lazy and did 2), but as far as yellows go it’s actually not half bad. I don’t love it on my skintone especially as it’s so dense in color, but it might look better when I’m tanned.

OPI My Twin Mimmy vs Bee Mine Forever swatch comparisonOPI My Twin Mimmy, Bee Mine Forever

Overall, I thought this collection was really well-done and even not knowing a lick about Hello Kitty, I could enjoy all the shades. These are all without base coat as well and the majority are SO SHINY! Pretty, pretty, pretty.

What are your thoughts about this collection / about Hello Kitty? What is the DEAL?

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OPI Brights summer 2015 collection {swatches & review}

[This post contains press samples] Happy second day of summer! We’ve been having a lovely June so far, with a ton of sun sprinkled with a few rainy days to keep everything lush and green. As such, I’ve been switching up my mani & pedi shades on the regular, which is also helping me pare down my collection as I go through shade after shade and determine whether it stays or goes. The OPI Brights summer collection for 2015 kept me busy for a while, but I’ve finished all the swatches and have them to show you today! The collection contains 3 existing shades from the core collection, plus 6 brand new shades – all in varying finishes to keep things interesting.

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

I did a few mani/pedi pairings to easier facilitate the swatches, and also added comparison swatches for any shades that seemed to have close relatives in my existing collection. Let’s begin with the core shade Hotter than You Pink and new shade I Sea You Wear OPI:

OPI Hotter Than You Pink and OPI I Sea You Wear OPI swatches

Hotter than You Pink is described as a…’hot pink’, how novel. It’s a bright pink shade with a blue iridescent flash that I’m sure is a favourite for many. These kinds of colors aren’t my bag, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – and the formula for this one is great, two coats to opacity and it flows easily on the nail with no drag.

I Sea You Wear OPI is yet another shimmering aqua confection from the brand, an iridescent metallic that is a classic come summer. This one is a bit sheer, like some other similar OPI shades, and requires 3 coats – even then, you can still see a bit of my nail line in certain lights (like above). It’s pretty though, and the formula otherwise is good with no patchiness.

Hotter than You Pink reminded me of the shade Hang Ten Toes from China Glaze’s Neon collection from 2012. Both that have blue flash, but CG’s polish is less shimmery and more cool-toned:

OPI Hotter than You Pink vs China Glaze Hang Ten Toes comparison swatchLeft: OPI Hotter Than You Pink; Right: China Glaze Hang Ten Toes

I figured I Sea You Wear OPI would be very similar to either the brand’s This Color’s Making Waves (recently reviewed) or Catch Me In Your Net, but it isn’t at all – it’s much more blue and shimmery (rather than metallic) than the former; and though similar in hue, it’s considerably lighter than CMIYN, with less depth.

OPI I Sea You Wear OPI comparison swatchesLeft to right: OPI This Color’s Making Waves, OPI I Sea You Wear OPI, OPI Catch Me in Your Net

Next, I paired Life Gave Me Lemons with I STOP for Red:

OPI I STOP for Red and OPI Life Gave Me Lemons swatches

Life Gave Me Lemons is a core shade, a ‘citrusy lemon-lime’ creme that is very cheerful-looking. It does have a bit of green in it, which for some might make it more wearable than just a straight yellow, which can be tricky on some skintones. While I don’t love yellow polishes on the whole, I actually didn’t mind this – it’s just so happy-looking! Also, for a yellow, the formula isn’t all that bad – it requires a bit of care when applying, but it wasn’t as fussy as other yellows I’ve come across. This is two coats.

I STOP for Red is a tomato red crelly (creme-jelly hybrid) that has the best squishy texture I’ve seen! Though the shade is nothing new, it’s the texture that really makes it stand out – it’s so juicy and delectable. On shorter nails, two coats will do, but on longer nails or if you prefer no VNL, I’d go with three.

The green tones in Life Gave Me Lemons is much more apparent when compared to other yellows:

OPI Life Gave Me Lemons comparison swatchesLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Yellow, OPI Life Gave Me Lemons, butter London Jasper

It’s much more dull (and more glossy) compared to American Apparel Neon Yellow (my fave yellow EVER and the only one I have kept in my collection), though both have that touch of green. butter London’s Jasper on the other hand, is more *ahem* butter-y, and more of a true yellow color.

OPI I STOP for Red comparison swatchesTop to bottom: Essie Meet Me at Sunset, OPI No Stopping Me Now, OPI I STOP for Red, OPI Aloha from OPI, Essie Come Here!

IT IS FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE TO PHOTOGRAPH REDS!!! Gah. The five shades above look identical, I’m sure, and though they are VERY close, they are not the same. Essie Come Here! is more pink, OPI No Stopping Me Now and Essie Meet Me at Sunset are both more orange, and OPI Aloha from OPI is more coral. Though the latter is closest in tone, it’s a straight creme and doesn’t have that glossy, squishy texture.

The last pairing I did was with My Car Has Navy-gation and Down to the Core-al:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation and OPI Down to the Core-al

My Car Has Navy-gation is a gorgeous deep indigo blue that sadly is a bit of a disappointment once worn. It’s on the sheer side (this is three coats) and is streaky in it’s application. I think they were trying to achieve that crelly texture with this shade, too, but alas it didn’t translate properly in the final product. Let’s take a closer look:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation swatch

The last of the core shades, Down to the Core-al is a ‘brilliant coral’ which has a touch of violet flash. This was quite pretty, a bit different than your standard summer coral, and easy to apply (this is two coats). Just the right hint of shimmer.

I own a fair number of blue polishes, but nothing was really like My Car Has Navy-gation:

OPI My Car Has Navy-gation comparison swatchesLeft to right: Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like, OPI My Car Has Navy-gation, YSL Bleu Majorelle

Lippmann’s I Know What Boys Like is more purple and less vivid, and YSL’s Bleu Majorelle is much brighter and without ANY purple tone.

OPI Down to the Core-al swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Down to the Core-al; Right: OPI Go With the Lava Flow

Once again, I thought a shade from the recently released Hawaii-themed collection from the brand would be very similar to Down to the Core-al; Go With the Lava Flow is a coral shimmer polish as well, but it is more shimmery and darker, and with a more murky quality to it (which you can’t really see in the photo above).

Can’t Hear Myself Pink! is described as a ‘shimmering metallic pink’, but there’s more to it than that. Though it’s more obvious in the bottle than on the nail, there is a subtle orange duochrome that elevates this shade and makes it more unique. Alone, this shade is pretty enough, but a touch sheer and requires three coats. On my index finger, I layered Can’t Hear Myself Pink! over Down to the Core-al, and this brought out the duochrome and intensified the shade beautifully. I don’t own anything even close to this shade.

OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch OPI Can't Hear Myself Pink! swatch

My regular readers know I’m not a fan of glitter polishes, and hot pink glitter On Pinks and Needles is no exception. It’s fine, it’s cute, but not for me – here it is layered over Life Gave Me Lemons (on only one nail because glitter removal is a P.I.T.A.):


Finally, we have my favorite shade from the collection, The Berry Thought of You, a ‘delectable purple.’ It’s a beautiful purple-based berry that has a touch of that crelly texture and an uber-glossy finish. Two coats and you’re good to go.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch

Dior’s Bloom polish, an LE shade from last spring I believe, is thisclose to The Berry Thought of You but a hint more pink. If it weren’t Dior, I’d get rid of it because I love the OPI shade more; as it is I’m keeping them both…for now. American Apparel’s Neon Violet has the same purple undertones but is more vivid (and matte, as neons tend to be); Nicole by OPI’s In Grape Demand looks straight-up purple in comparison.

OPI The Berry Thought Of You swatch comparisonsLeft to right: American Apparel Neon Violet, Dior Bloom, OPI The Berry Thought of You, Nicole by OPI In Grape Demand

Though I didn’t find many of these truly ‘bright,’ OPI suggests layering them over white to make them truly pop, and while I didn’t try that I suspect I would have gotten a better effect by doing so. Nonetheless, I liked most of these shades and I think it’s a solid summer collection with a variety of color and finishes from which to choose. I actually am keeping a few of these, namely: The Berry Thought of You (naturally), Can’t Hear Myself Pink! (for layering over similar shades), and I STOP for Red (dat texture, tho!). Hooray for summer!

OPI Summer 2015 Brights Collection

Has summer arrived where you are? Will you check out this year’s OPI Brights collection? What kind of shades do you gravitate toward in the summer?

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Swatching ain’t what it used to be: OPI Hawaii Spring 2015 Collection

A day after returning from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl in tow, the new Hawaii-themed spring collection from OPI landed on my doorstep. Equal parts excitement and anxiety flooded me – I mean, HOORAY! for new, fun nail polish to play with; but OHMAGERD how in the EFF am I going to swatch all these with a new babe to look after 24/7?

Basically, you swatch one shade a day until you get through ’em all.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

I must say, once I finished I felt inordinately pleased with myself. NEW MOM, WHAT!?! However, its not perfection – my cuticles and hands are sort of a wreck, leftover from washing my hands 20 times a day in the NICU and then having no time to do damage control once we got home. Meh. Guess I can’t do everything.

Ok, less talky, more showy (time is a luxury, after all!).

OPI do you take lei away swatch

Starting with my favorite from the collection, Do You Take Lei Away? is a ‘creamy nude’ that applies very well for this kind of shade, smooth and even in 2 coats, and is neutral enough (not too warm or cool) that I think it will flatter most skintones.

IMG_0323Left to right: Tom Ford Toasted Sugar, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?, OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, Essie Jazz

I was unsurprised when I started pulling similar shades to compare against ‘Lei Away’ and discovered the closest match was a much-loved favorite, Essie Jazz. The OPI shade is just a hint more pink and less grey than Jazz and as such it looks a bit better against my skintone. My bottle of Jazz is halfway done (which means its almost finished, in polish terms), so I’m pleased to have a  sort of newer, better version to take it’s place.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch

‘Pastel mint green’ That’s Hula-rious! is the kind of shade that I love in theory but which doesn’t always compliment my skintone. As is common with pastels, the formula is a bit streaky and needed 3 coats. The swatch above portrays it more vividly than it is – this shade was swatched during a snowstorm (one of many!!) so the natural light is much more dim and I had to overcompensate when taking the photo. The comparison photo below gives a more accurate indication of the shade.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch comparisonLeft to right: China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, OPI That’s Hula-rious!, butter London Bossy Boots

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint is very similar, but is a smidgen lighter and less green, and the formula for it was atrocious. I far prefer this version.

OPI lost my bikini in molokini swatch

A ‘reef-inspired purple’, Lost My Bikini in Molokini feels like the perfect shade for spring – its vibrant and playful but not too bright. 2 coats were required to achieve opacity; the formula is good but not perfect and needs a tiny bit of attention to avoid streaking. This polish stained my nails a tad when I removed it, so keep that in mind.

OPI lost my bikini in molokinii swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini; Right: Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas

I thought that RBL’s Mismas would be a close dupe to this color, but in fact it’s a few shades darker. I think I like the lighter tones of the OPI shade actually – I really like wearing colors according to seasons (so sue me) and Mismas doesn’t seem to fit into any of them, in my view.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch

Described as a dark, creamy mauve, Just Lanai-ing Around is one of those midtone shades that I’m not a fan of – I prefer a strong contrast against my skintone. Personal preferences aside, the formula on this color is excellent and only required 2 easy coats to reach opacity.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI No Spain, No Gain, OPI Just Lanai-ing Around, OPI Diva of Geneva

In my mind, ‘Lanai-ing‘ was very similar to OPI No Spain, No Gain (another midtone shade I dislike), but it’s much lighter. OPI Diva of Geneva is a shimmer, of course, and in any case it’s also much darker and richer in tone.

OPI go with the lava flow swatch OPI go with the lava flow swatch

Go With the Lava Flow is a ‘golden red’ that leans coral and has a slight orange flash, which you can see only at the right angle. Normally this type of color isn’t my bag, but looking at these swatches makes me want to give it another go – it’s kind of intriguing, no? It took 3 coats to get the opacity I desired, but the polish applied well with no issues. I don’t have any shades comparable to this.

OPI aloha from opi swatch

Aloha From OPI is a ‘bright creamy coral’ that has just enough pink to keep it from being a true red. It’s been so long since I’ve worn a bright like this, it gets me in the mood for warmer weather! Though its a cream, it applied a touch streaky and I needed 3 coats to even it out to my liking. I don’t find this shade particularly unique, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 swatch comparisons - Version 2Left: OPI Aloha From OPI; Right: Essie Come Here

A very close dupe for this shade is Essie’s Come Here, a favourite of mine. Essie’s version is ever so slightly more pink, but to me they’re essentially the same. Come Here has it’s own application issues, but I think I’d keep it over Aloha From OPI simply because I like square bottles better 😉

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Halfway through, guys. At this point I was on day 7 and getting better at painting my nails between one feed, and then stealthily putting Elena down long enough to take photos between another. Swatches over showers, oh YEA.

OPI pineapples have peelings too swatch

Pineapples Have Peelings Too is…well, it’s just bizarre, what can I say? A ‘gold shimmer with colorful sparkle,’ when I pulled this shade out for the first time I was like ‘What the…?’  It is NOT pretty, you guys. Whoever thought up this shade was reaching, big time (though the name is perfect, I think). As the gold base is quite sheer, it required 3 coats to build up opacity. Interestingly enough, I actually quite like the base color, and I’m very picky about my golds (if you recall…). But the glitter bits are garish and the base covers over their sparkle to make it all look dull and blah. ME NO LIKEY (does anyone?). Obviously, this is a one-of-a-kind shade.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch

Is Mai Tai Crooked?, an ‘orange crème’, is one of those polarizing shades I think. Though it’s base isn’t too yellow, which can go terribly wrong on some people (like myself), it’s still not a flattering color on me. I do love the name though 😉 3 coats are needed to help even out patchiness, though if you were really careful you could probably get away with 2. Patchiness seems to plague most of the cream shades in this collection I find.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked?; Right: Essie Resort Fling

The comparison above is a perfect example of the small nuances that can make or break a shade on my skintone. Essie Resort Fling is more peach than orange, of course, but the pink-leaning base versus the yellow-leaning one makes all the difference for me.


Suzy Shops & Island Hops…oh how I love the look of this shade! Described as a ‘light and happy pink,’ I find this color super-flattering on my skintone. But of course, pastel shades often come with issues, and this shade needed 3 coats to even out the patchiness. But I don’t mind TOO much, because PRETTY.

OPI suzi shops & island hops swatch comparison

I must be having a pink moment, because I also love RBL’s Oh Slap!, which is close to ‘Suzy Shops’ though without as much white in the base. I’m tempted to only keep the RBL, but I really love the way the OPI looks so despite it being kind of a PITA to apply, I’ll hang on to it for a while, anyway.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch

Hello Hawaii Ya? is a ‘dusky purple’ and the type of color that used to appeal to me, for whatever reason. But though it works with my skintone, it’s kind of drab, and I prefer bright and punchy for spring shades. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, for this collection), the formula wasn’t great and I needed 3 coats to smooth out patchiness, which still didn’t fully even things out. I think this color would be lovely on a lighter or darker skintone than mine, but it veers into that ‘midtone’ territory and I have too many other polishes in which to devote my time.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Hello Hawaii Ya? Right: OPI Parlez Vous OPI?

I think the reason I thought I’d like this shade is because when I first got my hands on OPI Parlez Vous OPI?, I adored the way it looked on me. But my tastes have changed over the years, and now I find it looks dull and muddy. These are clearly not dupes but they’re definitely distant relatives.

OPI this color's making waves swatch

This Color’s Making Waves should look familiar… This ‘shimmery, lagoon blue’ is a pretty marine shade makes me long for summer in a big way! It’s kind of a pain though, as it needed 4 coats to reach this opacity. It’s quite thin and watery, and as it’s not terribly unique I am less than enamoured by it. I have a very close dupe in…

OPI this color's making waves swatch comparison

Chanel’s Azure. Obviously. For the nitpicky among you, they aren’t exactly the same – Azure has more green in it, and OPI’s version has tiny silver flecks of shimmer running through it to set it apart. Both have a duo chrome flash, but Azure’s is more teal-blue-green, whereas ‘Making Waves’ is more teal-blue-purple. Meh. To me they’re damn near identical, and Azure only requires 2 coats (and, um, it’s Chanel), so it’s the winner in my books!

OPI my gecko does tricks swatch IMG_1934

Finalement. My Gecko Does Tricks. A ‘bright and pearly green’ that has a sort-of orange flash in the right light (as seen in the second photo, which I took with my phone and I previewed on Instagram). I’m not a fan of green polishes generally, which I’ve mentioned on several occasions. Though I probably won’t wear this much if at all (except St. Patty’s Day and maybe Christmas), it kind of grew on me a bit – it isn’t too yellowed (blech)/saturated (due to the shimmer)/dark (and therefore murky) to turn me off, I guess. It’s almost…flattering, if you like greens. It did need 3 coats however, so there’s that.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Overall, the collection was a mixed bag in terms of formula and shades. Many of the polishes were somewhat subpar in terms of performance and some of the shades weren’t to my taste (that’s just my opinion though!). I did have some favorites though, namely Do You Take Lei Away?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Go With the Lava Flow, and Suzi Shops & Island Hops (despite the crappy formula).

The Hawaii Collection by OPI is available now in both nail lacquer and GelColor formulas, at professional salons nationwide as well as ULTA and Nail Polish Canada.

*Product samples were provided for my unbiased consideration.

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Summer Polish Combo: Zoya Robyn with Essie Come Here

Happy Canada Day!!!  It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend, as usual!  I had an excellent weekend celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, even despite the fact that the weather has been absolute CRAP.  Sometimes though, the fact that everyone pulls together to make the best of a shitty situation (in this case, crazy rain and wind for DAYS) is almost better than if everything had been perfect.  And when you’re doing all this with the people you care about, well, then it’s all gravy 😀

Summer Polish Combo

As the weather has been hit or miss this summer so far (with more misses than hits), I haven’t been very concerned about my mani/pedi situation, but last week after picking up those few new shades, it was due time to get on it!  Below I tried out two of the shades, Zoya Robyn – a bright sky blue – and Essie Come Here, a coral red from the 2013 Resort collection.  Both are perfect vibrant summer shades that work well on both fingers and toes – I love them!

Summer Polish Combo (4)

Zoya Robyn was a unique addition to my polish collection – most blue shades I have lean teal or aqua, or are more of along the lines of a deep navy.  This eye-catching shade is perfect for spring and summer, and I really love it!  I wasn’t sure about it on my hands at first, but it really grew on me and I ended up wearing it for a full four days.  The formula is thin which means you have to be a bit careful in application, but it only required two coats so it’s not terribly fussy.  It wore exceptionally well and I only had minor tip wear after those four days.

Zoya Robyn (2)

Essie Come Here is my kind of shade!  I love the strong red leaning that sometimes leans pink and sometimes leans more orange.  It looks fabulous on toes and will go with pretty much any shade I pair it with.  Formula was lovely with absolutely no issues or tricks required for application.  100% win!  I haven’t yet worn Essie Come Here on my fingernails, but I am eager to – below I have a few comparison swatches to show you (aka justify my purchase); it’s really not like anything I personally own.

Essie Come Here comparisonEssie Meet Me at Sunset, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Come Here, butter London Snog

Essie Come Here! comparison Essie Come Here! comparison (3)Top to bottom: butter London Snog, Essie Come Here, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I thought Snog was going to be quite close, but it’s far too pink.  Surfin’ for Boys is in the right vein but much lighter and with shimmer.  Meet Me at Sunset is clearly too orange, but it has the same intensity of saturation.  From what I understand, Essie’s Ole Caliente and Flirt are very similar to Come Here, so if you have either of those, you’re probably set.  Bottom line: It’s a great shade that I’m totally diggin’!

What do you think of this combo?  Have you come up with any great combinations of your own lately?

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Skincare and Sunscreen and Polish, Oh My!

In the past couple weeks, I’ve been picking up or receiving packages full of great treats which I’ve thoroughly been enjoying.  At the moment, I’m still in the testing phase for most of the products so no reviews quite yet, but so far everything has been really stellar.  I’ve also purchased a few new nail polishes, and hope to get some pictures up tomorrow!  For now, I’m just going to leave you with a few teaser photos and some quick thoughts.



Boscia Tsubaki Facial Oil – I picked this up during the Sephora sale in April but just opened it within the last month or so.  Even though the consistency is lighter than my beloved Tarte Maracuja Oil, I find it’s a little more oily somehow so I only need the smallest amount.  Otherwise, it’s quite nice and is a pleasure to use, though I’m not sure it gives me the same results as the Tarte oil.

Boscia Clear Complexion Treatment – Lately I’ve been breaking out here and there, which is very unusual for me.  I attributed it to something going on with my skin so I picked up this natural BHA product to see if it would help clear out my pores.  While it feels really great going on – lightweight and absorbs quickly – and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, I think the real reason for the breakouts was putting coconut oil in my hair every night; I think it was getting on my pillow and clogging my pores a bit. Since I’ve stopped doing that, the breakouts have been clearing up – but who know, could be this product too!

MD Formulations Moisture Defense Antioxidant Hydrating Gel – I needed a new antioxidant product and have read a lot of great this about this gel.  It’s excellent for oilier skin, especially in these warmer months, as it absorbs lightning fast with no residue yet still hydrates.  I am already in love with this!

Indeed Labs Hydraluron – I grabbed this on a whim as I needed to spend $50 to get 20x the bonus points at Shoppers last weekend.  It was on sale for $20 from $27 and I’d been wanting to check it out at some point, so I made the purchase.  I use this during the day when I want my skin to look plump and hydrated without the accompanying greasy look from many other moisturizers.  I can’t tell if this does much else to my skin just yet, but I’m definitely not noticing any issues!


SunscreenI had to insert a photo of my new VS bikini somehow – I love it so much!  I have a purse, a pair of flats, and now this swimsuit in this neon lime-yellow color….I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Vichy Capital Soleil Mexoryl XL Sheer Lotion SPF45 – this sunscreen is FANTASTIC.  I tend to steer clear of chemical sunscreens due to my eczema, but read a good point somewhere about Vichy and La Roche-Posay being great brands to try for broad spectrum sun protection because they are often formulated for sensitive skin.  Whatever the case, this really is excellent on my fussy skin and I’ve had absolutely no problems or irritation from it whatsoever.  It’s also incredibly lightweight and non-greasy, and doesn’t leave a whitish cast on my skin at all.  It actually makes me want to wear sunscreen all the time.  I adore it!  It’s not cheap at about $27CAD, but it does go on sale (I purchased it for about $18) and it’s well worth the cost.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid Lotion SPF60 – I just purchased this last weekend along with the Hydraluron, and I haven’t opened it yet as I am *just* finishing my Clinique sunscreen now.  I have tried a sample of this however, and really liked how thin in consistency it was, how easy it spread on my face, and how it doesn’t leave a whitish cast.  I have high hopes for this one!



Dior Spring Ball – my first Dior polish!!  I wasn’t interested in these spring polishes at all, until I tried this one on at Sephora a few weeks ago and fell in love.  However, it was sold out everywhere by that time – but I persevered and ordered it online from Sephora (along with two shades of NARS’ Radiant Creamy concealers – which I LOVE).  Unfortunately, I’m a little disappointed in the shade – it’s not as beautiful as I remember, sadly.  But it’s still very pretty and wearable, and I don’t regret the purchase too much.

Essie Come Here! – I have so many polishes in this color vein…but I can’t help myself ~sigh~  I got a hankering for a pretty coral red and felt I *needed* to have one, but I probably have a bunch of shades similar to this.  However, I really do love it and I find this kind of tone works for just about every outfit.  But – NO MORE CORALS.  At least for a little while ;0)

a-England Sleeping Palace – the latest a-England release kind of crept up out of nowhere (as usual), and I ogled the beautiful shades along with everyone else.  I actually have quite a few of the brands polishes, and usually pick up one or two from each collection.  This was the stunner for me – a gorgeous dusty mauve with prismatic shimmer.  It doesn’t feel like a summer shade to me, but come fall I’m going to be all over this.  It’s really quite beautiful!

Zoya Robyn – I saw this on Lakeisha’s blog a couple weeks ago and decided I had to have it.  It looks better on her than I, but I still like it a lot and can’t wait to wear this as a pedi shade.  I had no colors like it at all so I’m pretty happy to add it to the collection.

As you can see, I have a lot of new things on the go!  I’m almost at a skincare utopia which feels pretty damn awesome – I’d just like to get an antioxidant masque (Kahina’s looks/sounds perfect), an exfoliator of some sort (the Pure + Simple Organic Vanilla Cleansing Powder Becca mentioned here is right up my alley), and a cleansing oil (maybe Tatcha’s??) when my Clinique Take the Day Off balm runs out.  In the sunscreen arena, I’m blissfully pleased with Vichy’s offering, and suspect I’ll feel the same about LRP’s too.  The polishes weren’t all ectasy-inducing, but I’m pretty happy with them as well.

What sort of products have you been buying lately?

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Polish Comparison Swatches – The Best Kind of Post When You’re Sick

So yea.  I sneezed funny on Sunday and then the next day I was sick with a cold.  Has that ever happened to anyone else?  I’m being dead serious – it’s like the sneeze dislodged the sickness or something.  Ugh.  Anyway, I was off work today and pretty much was a slug all day; even looking at the computer screen hurts my eyes.  I am weird and don’t take medication when I’m sick (unless it’s that time of the month – then, JACK ME UP BABY) because I feel like it just masks the pain and makes me stay sick for longer.  Or I’m a martyr.  Either or.  At least I know when I get pregnant one day I’ll be totally used to not being able to take meds (but I will not hesitate to get an epidural – eff that).  So there’s that.

Anyway, I have photos of two polishes I had done comparison swatches for but never posted them, so here they are.  First up is Chanel’s Orange Fizz (which I happen to be wearing this week, and seriously – I LOVE IT SO MUCH you guys should all buy a bottle, it’s good times) which I swatched against all my other orangey-coral polishes (spoiler – there are no dupes that I own, so you should just go buy a bottle of the real stuff):

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisonsLeft to right: China Glaze Flirty Tankini, LA Colors Magnetic Force, Chanel Orange Fizz, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (2) Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (3)Chanel Orange Fizz comparisons (5)Thumb: China Glaze Flirty Tankini; Index: Chanel Orange Fizz; Middle: LA Colors Magnetic Force; Ring: China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys; Pinky: Deborah Lippmann Daytripper

You can see that aside from the LA Colors shade, the rest of the polishes are all in the same vein, but Flirty Tankini is less saturated and dries with a flat finish (though probably the closest match); Surfin’ for Boys is more pink and with a pearlesence about it; and Daytripper is more pink.  What I love about Orange Fizz is that it’s super-shiny on it’s own, has a squishy quality to it, and is somehow both soft enough for spring but bright enough that it will be awesome in summer too 🙂

The next polish I have to show you is one I recently picked up from American Apparel, called Downtown LA.  I was in the store a couple weeks ago buying Neon Violet for a gal at work, since she loved it so much on me, and decided to take advantage of the buy 3 for $18 deal (I also picked up their matte top coat for fun).  Downtown LA is a bold red that leans ever so slightly orange.  It is exceptionally close to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, though bL’s version really is more of a true red without the orange lean.  I can tell the difference between the two but if I didn’t tell you, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess:

American Apparel vs butter Londonbutter London Come to Bed Red; American Apparel Downtown LA

American Apparel Downtown LA (3) American Apparel Downtown LAIndex & ring: butter London Come to Bed Red; middle & pinky: American Apparel Downtown LA

I have a hard time wearing red polish as I find on my skintone it looks a bit garish; however, I wore Downtown LA last week and actually liked it quite a bit.  The warmer tone of the polish worked better on me than Come to Bed Red has in the past, and I made sure to cut my nails super-short which made the manicure less in-your-face.  I won’t be stocking up on red polishes any time soon but it’s still nice to have a few great ones in your arsenal!  I’ll likely pass along my butter London shade – I always hate to part with more high-end brands but I know I’ll never choose it over the AA color.  I have to say, I really like AA polishes – they are almost one-coaters and apply so well!

So, I hope this keeps you entertained until I get better!  I usually go into repair mode when I’m sick and rarely stay down for long, so I’ll be up and kickin’ by the weekend I’m sure 😀

What do you do with your nail polish dupes?  Do you find red a difficult color to wear?

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Celebrating the Arrival of Spring With New(ish) Nail Polish Pretties!

Though I’ve been in somewhat of a nail polish slump, similarly to filling in gaps in my makeup collection, I’ve been picking up polish shades here and there that fit in nicely with the array of colors I already have.  For the most part, I’ve been beefing up my existing collection with shades that are generally thought of when we think ‘spring’ – pale, pastel-like shades that have a fresh, soft, feminine quality to them.  I know that there’s no need to stick to ‘seasonal’ colors any more, but I personally like to change the tones I wear (for both makeup and nails) each season, and typical spring shades are no exception.

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish

I actually don’t own a large array of pale nail polishes, as I normally gravitate toward broodier, richer tones, but this season I’ve accrued five new shades that I’m totally digging, which means I now have a good handful or two of polishes that are just perfect for the spring season.  My two favorites from past years have been Zoya’s Marley and MAC’s Mischievous Mint, and now joining those two are: Sally Hansen Barracuda, a pale yet bright blue; China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around (new from this season’s Avant Garden collection), a shimmering white; butter London’s Bossy Boots, a pale pistachio green, and Jasper (new from the Sweetie Shop Spring 2013 collection), a pale lemon yellow; and Chanel Orange Fizz, a slightly muted coral orange.

Sally Hansen Barracuda is a Complete Salon formula, which is supposed to mean that its the full meal deal, with base & top coat qualities rolled into the one polish.  I actually do find these polishes to wear better without base coat, and the swatches below with sans top coat – as you can see, this baby is SHINY.  There really is no need for top coat unless you need a quick drying one to get it on and get out the door.  I found it did require three coats to achieve full opacity and to look it’s best, so if you’re in a hurry you may need a fast-drying top coat anyway.  However, I found that it dries relatively quickly on it’s own, so its not an absolutely necessary step.  Also, I have to mention that I adore the brush on these polishes – it’s wide and thin and covers almost my whole nail bed in one go.  Application is a breeze!

Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (2) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (4) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches (3) Sally Hansen Barracuda swatches

China Glaze Dandy Lyin’ Around was a recent lemming of mine, having only first seen it on All Lacquered Up (a blog, by the way, I’m pleased to see back in action!) this past week.  A couple weeks ago, Taylor of My Lucite Dreams posted about a white polish, and it looked SO lovely on her but I knew the white polish trend was NOT going to be my friend.  However, when I saw Dandy Lyin’, I had a feeling that it’s softer, sparkling quality might be a way for me to try the trend, and I was right!!  I really like this polish a lot, even despite the fact that it’s sheerness and slightly streaky quality requires three coats – just be careful in your application.  It’s worth the effort for me as I’m loving the look on my hands!  I can’t wait to try it on summer toes 🙂  Note that no top coat was used, and I don’t feel it needs one, unless you want to get that smooth, uber-glossy look.

China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (8) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (20) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (24) China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (26)

butter London Bossy Boots has NOT been a recent lemming; in fact, I wanted this bad boy last year but held out until a couple months ago when I got it on discount.  As a general rule, I do not like green nail polish – not on others (typically) and definitely not on me.  However, light greens are totally exempt and I love the way they look.  I’m not 100% sold on the yellowish undertones in Bossy Boots as being the best for me, but I still enjoy this shade and am glad I finally picked it up.  The application was good with no real troubles – shown is with two coats – although it would benefit from a top coat to give it a bit more gloss and shine (no top coat used in photos).

butter London Bossy Boots - Natural Light butter London Bossy Boots - Artificial Light butter London Bossy Boots - Flash

butter London Jasper was another longer-term lemming of mine since the launch of the Sweetie Shop collection earlier this year.  I could have easily bought every shade from the release, but held myself back to just this one.  I don’t own a single yellow, and dislike most versions of the shade, but this pale shade hooked me from the get-go.  I love it on and it just screams spring to me.  I’ve read conflicting reviews on this color’s formula – I don’t have a lot of experience with pale yellows, but I think that this formula is pretty darn good.  It does require a bit more attention to application, but as far as it goes this is a good formula with minimal issue, for me at least!  I did go with three coats just to get the best opacity, but it wasn’t that much of a pain.  Like Bossy Boots, it would benefit from a shiny top coat, which I did not use in these photos.

butter London Jasper swatches (19) butter London Jasper swatches (12) butter London Jasper swatches (16) butter London Jasper swatches (2)

Chanel Orange Fizz was sort of a random buy, which happens very rarely these days.  When I picked up a few things from Chanel earlier this year, I was disappointed with the spring shades released but wanted a new polish.  This one grabbed my attention and I’m super-happy that I bought it, it’s a stunner!  This shade is obviously more pigmented/intense than the other shades I’ve shown above, but it still has a soft quality to it that feels spring-like to me (though this will also be kick-ass in summer!)  The formula is thicker (typical of many Chanel polishes, I’ve found), but flows well and is self-leveling – again, just take care in your application and you should have no problems.  I love the glossiness of this polish on it’s own – no top coat needed!  I used three coats in these swatches, and you can still see slight VNL, but in person it’s hardly noticeable, and you could probably opt for two coats – I’m just fussy 😛

Chanel Orange Fizz Chanel Orange Fizz (9) Chanel Orange Fizz (3) Chanel Orange Fizz (6)

So there you have it!  A handful of pretty polishes – a perfect way to shove usher in spring 🙂

New Spring 2013 Nail Polish (2)

So!  What spring shades are you lemming/have you picked up?  Do you go with softer shades or stick to whatever floats your boat at the time?

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Summer Favorites (I Couldn’t Pick Just One!)

G’day to everyone!!  I have been MIA for a while, longer than usual anyway – I have a backlog of photos of products to post, but I can’t seem to get inspired to write anything about them!  Not that they aren’t all great in their different ways, but I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m just pumping out product reviews and not enough substance, you know?  I need some time to do some more FOTD’s with underused products – now THAT was fun 🙂

I’m also doing an overhaul of my makeup stash and letting go of even more products that I just don’t use.  I’ve been obsessing over my wishlist far too much and it’s getting to the point where I’m almost turned off the whole thing (as in, the buy buy buy! cycle).  I updated my swap list on MUA and have been engaged in several different exchanges, trying to acquire things that I’ve been lemming but are core color products of a brand – I want to save most of my purchases for seasonal items or ‘big-ticket’ purchases that aren’t so easily swapped for.  I’m thinking about doing a blog sale as well, though I don’t know how exciting some of the products may be…thoughts!?

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a ‘Summer Favorites’ rundown, versus my favorite of the month, because there hasn’t been just one thing I’ve been loving in July, but there have been a handful of things I keep returning to over and over!

Even though I love brights in the summer – vivid tropical hues that I never wear the rest of the year – I rarely have opportunities to wear them (I sometimes get ~crazy~ at work but overall I try to keep it appropriate).  Often, my palette includes more natural, glowing hues that highlight my tanned skin and healthy glow, rather than being in-your-face.  It’s one of the few times of the year where wearing less usually works to your advantage, and I like to capitalize on that!

I managed to snag Urban Decay’s ‘Lucky’ 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in a swap last year, and although I loved how it looked, I didn’t wear it too often.  However, this year in my effort to spread the love throughout my stash, I started playing with it more, and I think I’ve found my go-to makeup look: this, smudged over black eyeliner on both top and bottom lashes, enhances my eyes subtly but with a kind of bad-ass twist.  It’s been a staple in my summer routine many days now, and I absolutely LOVE it.  The metallic nature of this liner and the warm coppery hue, toned down a bit by the black, gives a depth to my makeup that is just perfect.

On days when I’m aiming to look even more natural, or to give a subtle glow to my look, I opt for MAC’s Melon Pigment, also another swap find (yay to being economical!), a peachy-gold metallic.  On fair-medium skin, I hear the peach tones help it look particularly striking, especially on blue-eyed gals.  On my skintone, it looks more golden than peach, and is fairly subtle – though it can be built up if need be, or applied wet.  With just this and a whole lot of black mascara, I can create a wide-open eye that catches the light just so.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could even use this as a highlight on my cheekbones (though this probably only works for darker skinned gals).

The Milani Sunset Beach bronzer is one of the most inexpensive items in my stash, yet I wear this every day – the brownish tone is a slightly warm but overall neutral hue that works fabulously as a contour shade just under the cheekbone.  It’s not too orange or muddy, and it’s got a great pigmentation that’s not heavy but just right to work well in layers if needed.  If I’m in a hurry, buffing this on my temples, bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline as well gives me a great warmth and really makes me look polished with very little effort.

Obviously you’ve already heard all about my love of Chanel’s Inattendu polish – it’s just the perfect nude, especially for summer, when the warmer tones flatter skin so nicely.  And because I wear SO many brights this time of year, it acts as the perfect counter-point.  You really can’t go wrong!

MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass is a glorious coral-pink shade with golden shimmer, and is so pretty on that I forgive it’s sticky texture.  I can wear this with a variety of looks, either bold eyes or more natural, with golds and brights and jewel-tones, and it works for each one of them.  On my somewhat pigmented lips and with my darker skin, it looks warm and juicy, giving my lips just enough color without ever being overwhelming or stealing the show.  While I have decided not to buy any more MAC Lipglasses because of the texture problem mentioned, I’ll be genuinely sad to see this one go – and it’s only got about 1/3 left!

While all of these shades work perfectly for day or night, I’ve generally been wearing only loose powder to lightly even out my skintone during the day.  When I’m headed to an event or out for the evening however, I like to look a bit more pulled together, and I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body foundation* in #18 ($40CAD) – a super lightweight foundation that covers imperfections without feeling heavy or like you’re wearing much of anything.  As it’s water-based, its quite thin and is perfect for the hot, makeup-melting days of summer.  It can also be built up to give extra coverage where needed – and can be used on the body as well (I love me some multi-purpose products!).  #18 (for medium skin with olive undertones) is a very good match for my summer-tanned skin, and is warm, not ashy, which is great.  I’m thinking about mixing a bit of this with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation when the cooler months arrive, as it leans a touch light and grey on me, and I think the two formulations will mix fairly well.

Here are some swatches of all the products above (left to right – MAC Lychee Luxe, MAC Melon, UD Lucky, Milani Sunset Beach, MUFE #18):

Artificial lightWith flash

Honourable mentions go to MAC’s Arena eyeshadow (I’m plugging that shade hard, aren’t I?) and some of my other fave polish shades – Essie’s Bikini So Teeny (can’t get enough), MAC’s Mischievous Mint (the bottle is half-empty – seriously!), China Glaze’s Pink Plumeria (look for an upcoming ‘combo’ post with this shade), and Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (check it out below!).

Artificial lightWith flash

My mother keeps telling me I should be showcasing my polishes with color-contrasting objects, and I just happened to buy this especially pretty pale aqua throw pillows, sooo…

Pretty, huh?  Initially when picked this up, I was disappointed when I tried it on – it’s more of a jelly texture, which is great, but not what I was expecting.  And in artificial light, the shade fell a bit flat.  However, the next day, I totally turned the other cheek – I couldn’t get enough of how lovely it was!  It’s extremely shiny on it’s own, and so juicy – the jelly texture actually really makes it more than your regular coral polish, it just too this ol’ gal a little longer to see it ;P

What are some of your favorite summer items and looks??  Do share, I’d love to get some more ideas!

*Product provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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China Glaze Summer Neons Collection: Part II (Swatches and Review)

You remember how yesterday I talked about my admiration of those fabulous bloggers who were in the business of swatching full collections of nail polish on the regular?  Well today I’m in admiration of anyone who buys a home!!  Holy moley, let me tell you – it is SUPREMELY exciting to buy your first home (I guess, any home really!) – but there is so much to learn and info to absorb, wowza!!!  It’s a lot for a brain to handle.  Thankfully we’ve had absolutely stellar people working with us to find the condo and get our financing in order, but its been a relatively consuming pastime for the last few weeks. Well worth it, but mindblowing all the same!!

Anyway, we spent some time at the bank tonight wrapping things up, then come home to make dinner, then talked numbers some more…suddenly my evening has gone *poof* and I’ve hardly even done anything!  I really wanted to get the second part out for the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze though, so here I am!  The second half is just as eye-popping as the first, so get ready!

I’m With the Lifeguard is a ‘glimmering lime green,’ and while I love this shade in theory – makes me think of lime koolaid! – I’m not liking it on my skintone at all, though it is lovely to look at.  The last picture is the most accurate for how bright this is.  I found 3 coats was best to even out a bit of streakiness, and it had a similar formula as most other shades – thicker but fairly easy to work with. This dried semi-matte.



Sunlight (different setting)

The description of Ride the Waves – a ‘dark ocean blue’ – is so terribly enticing to me.  Due to the sheer, thin, jellyish formula, it really made me think of the deeper waters of the Caribbean!  To avoid any VNL, 3 coats is absolutely necessary.  I really like this shade – it reminds me of Nails Inc. Baker St. (which Beyonce was apparently wearing shortly after she had Ivy Blue, hence everyone wanted it) but it’s not quite as electric, though it’s still really very eye-catching. It’s darker and not as cool-toned in real life, and the squishy nature looks like you could just drink it up.  As I was wearing it as my mani this week, I realized it would be perfect as a base for Lippmann’s Across the Universe!

Indoor lighting

With flash

Natural light


Just as juicy and ripe-looking as the fruit to describe it, Under the Boardwalk, a ‘fluorescent raspberry’, has almost the same formula as ‘Ride the Waves’, but not quite as jellyish.  Again, 3 coats best, though 2 is workable here, and it’s deeper in tone than it looks in photos.  I feel pretty ‘meh’ about this shade – it’s quite nice but nothing stand-out to me in any way.

With flash



Love’s A Beach, a ‘sizzling hot pink’, is slightly warmer than ‘Hang-Ten Toes’, but the differences are slight and I personally wouldn’t feel it necessary to own both.  If I had to chose, I think I’d pick this shade, as the blue-leanings are less pronounced.  Formula was good; it applied easily without fuss.  3 coats were used here for good measure.

With flash

Natural light


In theory, Surfin’ For Boys would be the ultimate shade: a ‘glistening bright coral’? Sign me up! However, there’s something off about this color for me; I think it’s the shimmer which looks almost purplish in certain light, and just feels a bit gaudy to me.  It’s actually remarkably similar to another shade I own, LA Colors in Magnetic Force, except I think I like that polish better (well, at least the color).  However, I think this is still a great shade for summer, and definitely a perfect pedi shade.  It went on very easily in 2 coats, and dried semi-matte.

With flash


Sunlight – different setting

Last but not least, we have Flirty Tankini, a ‘shimmery strawberry smoothie pink’ with a particularly good formula.  I could have done 2 coats with no problem but I did 3 to be nitpicky.  I really liked the sweetness of this shade and though it went particularly well with my skintone.  The shimmer was understated (as it didnt’ contrast with the base color) and I’m looking forward to wearing this as a full mani very soon!!   

With flash

With flash


That wraps it up for the China Glaze Summer Neons collection!  I liked this half equally as well as the first, and I have my faves – Ride the Waves, which grew on me, and Flirty Tankini, which is just too darn pretty!  Though I enjoyed the formula of most shades as a whole, it was a bummer to apply 3 coats for almost all of the polishes here.  A suggestion was made that I could layer these shades over a white polish to let the neon qualities really pop, and I think I’ll take that recommendation to heart.  Every single shade was majorly bright, and to enhance that aspect would only serve to make this collection that much more special (and allow less coats of color overall!).

As a whole, I found a few of the shades in the collection not as unique as I’d like – some seemed to replicate shades I already have in my stash.  However, I chose those shades for a reason, so what’s not to like? lol  One complaint I have about the collection as a whole is that there are a fair amount of shades that are quite similar to each other – there are no dupes, but they’re close enough that I personally wouldn’t feel like I needed to own both/all.  However, in person the differences between them are more obvious, so you may refute me there and I would be OK with that 🙂  Really, this collection is the epitome of fun, splashy shades for Summer, and if you want them all, who am I to argue?

What is your idea of the perfect Summer polish shade(s)?  Would you try out a neon polish?

*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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China Glaze Summer Neons Collection: Part I (Swatches and Review)

Before I begin, I just want to give some serious accolades to any bloggers out there that have swatched an entire nail polish collection for our viewing pleasure.  O.M.G.  I’ve done maybe 4 swatches at a time, which was still quite a task, but 12 shades!?!  Good grief!  I spent most of my day Saturday and part of my day Sunday painstakingly applying each of the 12 shades of the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze, fearful that I was going to lose my sun, waiting between coats, hydrating and rehydrating my cuticles, and taking shot after shot of my nails to capture each shade as accurately as possible.  Man Oh Man.  It was truly exciting to have the opportunity – receiving the big box in the mail and knowing I’d never otherwise have such a chance – but I just wanted to give a shout out to the more established bloggers who are used to this sort of thing.  You rock!!  It’s quite a job, and I will forever have a different appreciation for collection swatches moving forward.  Thank you, my lovelies 😀

Ok, with that out of the way – let’s get to the polish, shall we?  Today I bring you the first part of my swatchapalooza; there really wasn’t a defined split between the shades, so I just kind of put them together in a way that made sense to me. The collection as a whole was a surprize hit for me.  In promotional shots, I was unsure how I felt about a bunch of neon shades with shimmer – typically odd colors like electric green and eyeball-searing yellow do NOT do it for me, and I’m not a fan of shimmer overall – but somehow they made it work in a big way with this collection.

First up, we have Sun-Kissed, described as a ‘hot highlighter yellow’, and it was exactly that!  I would never in a million years imagine I’d like a shade like this, but consider me converted!  Somehow, this super-bright shade won me over, and I definitely see a full manicure with this in my near future.  Obviously, I don’t have much experience with yellow polishes, but from what I hear they can be tricky to work with – this shade, while slightly streaky, was relatively painless to apply; you can get away with 2 coats but I applied 3 for the best opacity.  Like many shades in the collection, it dries semi-matte.

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Next up, Orange You Hot? – a ‘bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer.’  I find the shimmer particles very fine, and the gold tone is lost in the base shade, but it’s still lovely.  I liked it but didn’t love it on my skintone – I think it’ll be more of a pedi shade in my rotation than anything else.  I felt similarly about the formula; it was good but not great.  I applied 3 coats to get the smoothest application possible.

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~Ah~ Pink Plumeria.  My personal favorite of the whole collection.  A ‘light pink with gold shimmer,’ it came out more like a coral-pink on my nails, and was soo flattering.  It retains quite a neon look but in a way that’s tasteful and eye-catching rather than gaudy – it’s actually brighter in person than I was able to capture in these photos.  The gold shimmer really gave it an extra-pretty sheen.  Application was pretty good – 2 coats was sufficient, and how I wore it as a full mani, but I think 3 would probably be better, as it had a hint of patchiness on a few nails.

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Hang-Ten Toes was actually the first polish I tried on from the collection; a ‘bubblegum neon pink with iridescent purple shimmer’, it looked and sounded far too enticing to pass up.  In person, this shade is searingly bright – I found it difficult overall to capture the true neon nature of most of the polishes in the collection, this one in particular (I took about a million shots of this polish, and I’m still not satisfied!).  Easy flowing with good consistency (you don’t need too much on the brush), it dries to a semi-satin finish.  At an angle, the shimmer is somehow both obvious and elusive, which gives it mysterious depth.  2 coats is enough to reach good coverage, but 3 erases any VNL. I found the drying time of this shade was slower than I’m used to – which I found for a handful of shades in the collection (perhaps because I was applying 3 coats for many of them).

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On of the best formulas of the bunch, Beach Cruise-r is a ‘glimmering fuchsia grape’, which only required two smooth coats to full opacity.  On the nail, it reminds me a lot of American Apparel’s Neon Violet except with shimmer.  This kind of color is a bit unexpected in Summer I think, because it has a deeper jewel tone that makes me think more of Fall, but the brightness makes it appropriate and fun for the warmer months too.  Like Neon Violet, I’m slightly ambivalent toward it as a mani, but quite like it as a pedi shade. It’s brighter and more richly hued in person – closer to the last shot, below.

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Finally, we have Splish Splash, a ‘bright sky blue shimmer,’ also with a great formula, though 3 coats is still best.  This is not at all my kind of shade, but is an absolutely glorious color on it’s own – I want to own other things in this shade (just not wear it on my nails).  Looking at these photos, I’m mesmerized by this color; but with my skintone, it looks a bit garish.  In person it’s much more blue than aqua like it looks in these photos – closer to the last shot, below.

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And so we conclude Part I of the Summer Neons collection!  Overall I felt that there were some beautiful shades, even if they all didn’t ~go~ with my skintone.  While many of the shades required 3 coats to look best to my liking, I still felt that the formulas overall were quite good; they didn’t dry too quickly and cause dragging, and applied very easily for the most part, with an excellent consistency in formula.  Mostly I found that they were just a touch sheer and just the slightest bit patchy, but applying 3 coats cleared any of those issues up with ease.  I also normally do a fast-drying top coat, whereas I used none in the swatches above (nor base coat), which could be why they seemed to take longer to dry than normal.  In any case, I liked some of the shades so much that I’d be more than willing to put up with the extra coats.  They all scream Summer to me, and just make me happy looking at them!

What are your thoughts on these shades from the collection?  Are you into neon brights?  Would you prefer them with or without shimmer?

*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.

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