Archive for category Yellow

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

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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 = ❤

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 

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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.):

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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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Highlighter yellow EVERYTHING!

I confess: I have an obsession (oh, just one? ha ha). It’s rather odd, but I don’t even care because it makes me SO HAPPY YOU GUYS.

It’s with neon yellow.

You know, that eye-searing bright shade of highlighter yellow? Yea, that’s the ticket. I keep buying accessories and things in the shade and I seriously CANNOT GET ENOUGH.

It started with a yellow purse from a few years ago, as a way to add neon to my wardrobe. But then, I loved it so much that I added a pair of shoes. Then a bikini (which is a bit more lime than yellow but I’m not mad at it). When I was recently in Ottawa I picked up a fabulous scarf from Forever21 in the shade. I almost beat up a guy at work because he has the BEST NEON YELLOW RAIN JACKET EVER (except it’s $400 and I just CAN’T go there, no matter how much I want to).

Finally, it I’ve bought the ultimate accessory (considering my OTHER obsession) – highlighter yellow NAIL POLISH.

Guys. IT’S SO GOOD.

Let’s see all the things, shall we?

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Oh, HELLS YEA.

American Apparel Neon Yellow nail polishswatch American Apparel Neon Yellow swatch

Now, as most of you know, neon polish can be a PITA at times, and this was no exception. The formula applies easily, but not terribly evenly or opaque, so I applied it over Essie’s Blanc and its so much better.  I am in SERIOUS love right now! I also had to apply a top coat (Essie’s Good to Go) because neons dry flat. No matter. It wasn’t that much extra effort, and this shade is my JAM.  And I know it’s really aggressive, but I actually think it looks pretty good on my skin tone, so it’s a win-win!

I think it’s fair to say that this is my absolute favourite colour. My mother asked me recently what it was and I couldn’t think of any, until I remembered. Oh yea, that crazy other obsession of mine! But DAMN if it doesn’t make me insanely happy!!! 😀 😀 😀  With that plus the 15 degree gorgeous sunny day we’re having, I’m positively GIDDY. If only my bf were home (it’s his birthday today too – HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), I think I’d probably spontaneously combust from delight.

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Do you have a favourite colour (that you tend to buy over and over)? One that just makes to DAMN HAPPY?

 

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Quick Update on RapidLash and an Easter Manicure!

Happy long weekend, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a day off yesterday 🙂 Here it was a bit cool but gorgeously sunny, and I woke up to bird chirping outside my window – so it was impossible not to feel happy, even considering the fact that my bf left to work in Fort Mac (in Alberta, for those outside of Canada) on Thursday morning. It’s another job with a schedule similar to what he had when he was working in Newfoundland; this time it’ll be two weeks on (at work) and one week home. I’m missing him already, but the next time I see him we’ll be headed to Florida so at least there’s that to look forward to! Almost everything that made February and March SUCK has been turned around: we got the new washing machine (never was happier to do laundry in my LIFE!), we got our new (old) car, and he’s back to work so soon enough money won’t be tight any longer. Add a dash of sunshine to that and things are feeling pretty darn sweet 🙂

I have been meaning to write an update on the Rapidlash eye lash serum I tried out earlier this year. Part of the reason I’ve been holding off is due to the fact that unfortunately, it was a big FLOP for me. I think coming in on the heels of XLash, which rocked my world, it seemed even more disappointing. I noticed absolutely NO difference to my lashes, and in fact I think it made them a bit straighter? Is that even possible??  In any case, here’s the proof:

Lashes before RapidlashEye lashes before Rapidlash

Lashes after RapidlashEye lashes after Rapidlash

Not to be a jerk, but I can’t help but be amazed all over again by how well XLash worked in comparison:

Lashes after Xlash

I still can’t believe that at one time my lashes were that long. OUTRAGEOUS! I swear to god there is no mascara on there.

So, you can clearly see – Rapidlash, for me at least, was a total DUD. I’ve read a few other reviews online, and others had better success, so I wouldn’t write it off completely – just do your homework. I also found that I had some minor side effects while using it, such as super-crusty lashes in the morning, and more lash fall-out than normal. Nothing excessive, but at times I felt like I had a couple bald patches in my lash line that were kind of annoying (neither symptom did I experience with XLash). Overall I was pretty disappointed in the product.

Moving on to more fun, lighthearted things, I tricked out my nails in my usual Easter manicure! This year I took my inspiration from Michelle at All Lacquered Up, who did a sort of bubble manicure with Deborah Lippmann’s Spring collection. It’s cute and springy, and while I don’t do nail art as a general rule, I usually pull it out for holidays like this one 🙂

Easter 2014 Manicure

As I don’t have dotting tools, I had to do mine free-hand so of course, it looks about half as good as hers. But I still like it nonetheless!  I used butter London Jasper for my base, then painted on larger sea foam green dots with MAC Mischievous Mint, interspersed with smaller periwinkle blue dots via Essie Bikini So Teeny. Nothing fancy but it has the Easter/spring vibe I think!

I’m having a super-chill, kick back weekend puttering around the house so far and I’m loving it. I’ve been doing some major culling of all my things – makeup, nail polish, clothes – which I plan on continuing, and I’m also going to plant some herbs later today! I’m definitely into Spring Cleaning mode. I’m off on Easter Monday as well so I’m really relishing in the down time!

How are you spending your long weekend? Do you do an Easter manicure every year? Have you tried any lash serums that rocked your world?

 

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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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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.

Indoor lighting

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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.

Indoor lighting – looks so purple!SunlightSunlightSunlight

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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Review: LAQA & Co. Nail Polish Pen and Remover Pads

A few weeks back I received two LAQA & Co. products to try from eBeauty.ca – a nail polish pen ($16CDN for 0.17 oz), and ultra handy polish remover pads ($7CDN).  Both products would be awesome for travel – the polish pen is super portable, and the remover pads come in a small, lip-balm-sized plastic container that holds 32 pads.  As I change my nail polish often and everywhere, the remover pads in particular are a great find!

The shade I received for the polish pen is called ‘I Want a Pony,’ and is a light canary yellow.  To use, you have to click the bottom of the ‘pen’ until the polish reaches the tip of the brush applicator, and then away you go! However, unfortunately my experience with this polish was very poor.  It goes on extremely thin, takes forever to dry between coats – which means a lot of pulling and patchiness if you can’t wait – and would probably need about four coats to reach opacity.  It was thick and didn’t distribute evenly on the nail whatsoever.  For a great idea, it really fell flat for me.  Considering the cost of the polish pen and the actual size you get, this is a pretty big fail in my eyes.Alternatively, the remover pads were relatively successful.  The scent is not at all remover-like; it smells a bit like vanilla, albeit not necessarily an improvement over acetone as it’s slightly sickly.  Not a deal-breaker however.  The pads removed my polish fairly easily and left my nails feeling hydrated and not dry in the least.  The only real worry I have with this product is that the pads may dry out over time – already they seem to be less ‘saturated’ than they should be, but I think the problem could be remedied by pouring a touch of water or other polish remover on the pads to revive them. Overall, I am not totally impressed by LAQA & Co.’s products, and while the remover pads are certainly handy, I’m not convinced I would purchase them on my own.  I think the extremely poor performance of the polish really tainted the brand for me and colors my overall opinion.  If you travel a lot and tend to need polish touch-ups, I would suggest giving these a shot because they are effective – but otherwise I would say skip them both.  Especially with the polish, even if it were priced much cheaper, I wouldn’t waste the money on it – it’s one of the worst formula’s I’ve tried in the past few years 😦

Have you tried any products from LAQA & Co.?  Did you have a different experience than I?  Do tell, I’d love to know if I just got a bad batch!

*These products were sent to me for consideration by eBeauty.ca

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Trying Out the Ugly/Pretty: China Glaze Trendsetter

In my nail polish shopping extravaganza last month, I picked up two of the Fall offerings from the China Glaze Metro collection: Midtown Magic (to be reviewed) and Trendsetter ($6.49 each at Chatters Salon).  There were a lot of beautiful shades in the collection, but in an effort to buy more unique shades rather than repeating colors over and over in my stash, I picked out the two that were the most original to my eye.

Trendsetter is one of those so-named ‘ugly/pretty’ shades; in this case a mustard-chartreuse with a hint of shimmer.  I generally avoid these shades as the ugly/pretty doesn’t really call to me, and while they do look nice and interesting on some, as a general rule they are not flattering on my skin tone.  But here I am, trying to break out of the box and try something new 🙂Above, the shade in natural light.  In this light particularly I find it rather unattractive.In indoor lighting, while no one would probably call this a ‘pretty’ color, it does have an unique and warm appeal, and at the very least, is certainly a conversation starter 😛  This is what it looks like most of the time.  In these last shots, you can see how vivid this polish can look in the right lighting – the chartreuse of the polish comes to the forefront and really makes it stand out.

I wore this polish for three days, and by the end of it, I was surprizingly NOT sick of the shade, which I suspected would happen.  I wasn’t eager to keep it on either – it’s really not my kind of shade – but it grew on me, and in certain light looks really neat and made me feel edgy in a way I haven’t felt in a while.  Which I guess is fitting as it was a ‘Metro’ collection China Glaze released – and this was from the ‘Downtown’ part, which I equate with cool and chic.  So, it hit the nail on the head I’d say!

Formula was spot on – thicker but flowed easily, no issues at all.  I’m not sure I’ll wear this much, maybe around Halloween and if for some reason it looks more striking on me when I lose my tan, but you just never know!  It was fun to break out of the box for once and really switch it up.  Hopefully I’ll keep trying new things moving forward – isn’t that the whole point of life?

Ok, I am WAY tired tonight and I can see this getting a bit rambly so I’m shuttin’ ‘er down here.  I hope everyone is having a great week and are looking forward to an even better weekend!!

Ok, dish: What do you think about this polish?  On me, and in general?  Can you get down with the ugly or is it just too far out there? 

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