Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top 10 Essie Nail Polishes!


Monday, July 22, 2013

New Video :)


OPI San Francisco - Full Collection Swatches & Review (Fall 2013)

Hello lovelies :)
I'm SUPER excited to share today's post with you because I have swatches and photos for ALL the OPI San Francisco colors today! As a warning, this post will be SUPER picture heavy because I not only have photos of each polish, which there are 15, but I also was given permission to use some photos taken by a friend of mine named Griffin. He's a professional photographer and an old co-worker of mine and takes fantastic photos of all things Bay Area and California. Since this was the San Francisco Collection, and I grew up here, I thought it only appropriate to include some of the visually incredible things I experience on a daily basis, and wanted to share them with you. Griffin's photos really truly capture the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Bay Area at it's core. His Instagram username is @MoonMan415 (go follow him!) and here's the link to his Facebook page. I'm very proud to be from such a wonderful area, and also to know Griffin, and thought it would help get you guys into the San Francisco mood while looking at my swatches :D
That being said, the San Francisco Collection is OPI's Fall 2013 collection. It includes 12 colors and an additional 3 Liquid Sand polishes. Officially the release date for this collection is the first week of August, but my local beauty supply store was able to get me the full collection early!
Here are the colors:
  • A-Piers To Be Tan - creme finish. Warm caramel brown type of color. 
  • Dining Al Frisco - shimmer/frost finish. Sky blue with silver shimmer/frost and tiny tiny blue microglitters. The microglitters barely show up when the polish dries down though, which is a pity. It'd be so much prettier if they showed up!
  • Embarca-Dare Ya! - shimmer. Pink toned red with gold shimmer shot through it. Definitely swatches to be more red than it looks in the bottle.
  • First Date At The Golden Gate - creme. Golden Gate red, with a little deeper of a base. It's still a bright orange based red, it's just not as light. There's a definite brown tone to the polish, especially in the bottle. In the sunlight, which is where I took the photos, it comes off much redder than in just regular everyday viewing.
  • Haven't The Foggiest - metallic. Titanium or chrome like silver with a foiled metallic finish. This has a definitely darker cast to it than Orly's Shine, which is the only other silver foil that I have. 
  • I Knead Sour-Dough - shimmer. This is an interesting mix of a color. It's a brown toned base with a red shimmer. In the swatches it's much more true to color than in my video (which will be up soon). I like the neutral quality of this color but the surprise of the red shimmer that makes it unique to other colors in my collection.
  • In The Cable Car-Pool Lane - creme. Plum toned purple. Sort of your standard fall berry tone. 
  • Incognito In Sausalito - creme. Deep teal toned blue. Love this, and that it adds to my "alternatives to black" category. I love my darks in the fall, but like the spin of having super dark tones of colors versus just wearing black.
  • Keeping Suzi At Bay - creme. Bright cobalt blue. 
  • Lost On Lombard - creme. Similar to Golden Gate, but has more brown in the base. It's thus, darker, and a little bit more sultry. It's difficult to tell in the photos but they are most definitely different colors and not as similar as they seem. My camera seems not to favor photographing red polishes.
  • Muir Muir On The Wall - shimmer. Brown shimmery base shot through with a deep garnet red shimmer. This is similar in concept to Every Month Is Oktoberfest, just the red version. Very good for fall, although from far away it just looks like a dark red shimmer, so may not top a lot of people's "must purchase" list.
  • Peace & Love & OPI - shimmer/multichrome. Dark graphite base that shifts to green and pink. I love when OPI does colors outside of it's comfort zone. The green and pink shift is very strong in the polish, in all lighting, and is a cool color. I also like when they put out colors like this for the fall, as opposed to the subdued cremes in jewel tones.
  • Alcatraz...Rocks - liquid sand. Blurple base with gold and pink glitter. Very glitzy and fun. 
  • It's All San Andreas's Fault - liquid sand. Taupe. Dry mud. Bleh. Not a fan of non-glittery textured polishes lol. For me, the glitter makes this finish, and without it, it looks like an undone manicure, and this color especially is off-putting for me (but it may not be for you! so make sure you look at it, and all of these, in person!)
  • Wharf! Wharf! Wharf! - liquid sand. Bright cobalt blue. Meh.

In terms of formula, I had a good experience with all the polishes. I didn't seem to have formula issues with any of them, both when swatching on to my own fingers as well as onto a swatch wheel. Each polish was basically opaque in 2 coats. Some of the shimmers I did 3 thin coats but 2 regular coats will work for those.
Also, in my video I elaborate MUCH further on the colors, so make sure you watch ;)
As a collection, I think it's a good collection. Hear me out! A lot of people in the nail polish community have sort of viewed this as a boring collection, and yes, if you collect polish, it is. But viewing it as it's own Fall collection, which companies do, so they can sell it salons and to other various buyers (fashion houses for fashion week, for example), these polishes cover almost all the basics of a good fall collection. There are varying textures and finishes. There's neutrals, for office appropriate wear because that's mostly what salons cater to. There's darks for those that like to experiment some with their polishes, which occasionally salons cater to as well for people getting their nails done for a special occasion. There are your colors that are "in" right now, like the blues and the textured polishes, specifically those in the matted out finish. And, if you're new to collecting, this collection offers you a wide variety of colors to pick up and to be able to expand your collection with. In a "business" sense, I guess, versus a "blog" sense, this is a really well rounded and thought out collection.
Does it reflect San Francisco as a city? Not really. I would have picked an army green, or any green for that matter, definitely a gray creme of sorts, and some other polishes, but it wasn't my choice. Are there polishes on the market that offer these colors already? Absolutely. Do I wish there was more variety? Of course. But again, OPI and most major brands don't make collections to satisfy bloggers and collectors, but to prosper as a headlining brand for the beauty and entertainment industries. 
I feel like I end up saying something along those lines every fall, because it seems like every fall collections come out and they're "more of the same", but I think people, especially online, tend to forget that very very easily.
Each of these polishes will retail for about $9 and should be available the first week of August in stores near you like Ulta and other various beauty supply stores.

What do you think of the collection? Any must haves for you??

Photo Courtesy of Griffin Moon


Indoors with Flash

Outside in shade

Outside in shade

Outside in shade

Indoors with Flash

Photo Courtesy of Griffin Moon

Photo Courtesy of Griffin Moon

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ninja Polish Divinity - Photos & Swatches!

Hello, hello!
Today I have swatches of the Ninja Polish color called Divinity. I believe Ninja Polish first started as an etailer for indie polishes and overseas brands and then took over the creation of colors like Floam. They also started making a bunch of colors with that multi-shift shimmer that's become really popular and in-demand since Max Factor's Fantasy Fire came on the scene.
I only own one of these since they seem to be out of stock whenever I'm browsing Ninja Polish, which to be honest, is NOT as much as I browse Llarowe or Harlow & Co.
Divinity is a purple red jelly base with a shimmer that shifts from a reddish orange to a greenish blue. The strongest color to come out of the shimmer is definitely the red - in certain angles and lighting it looks just like a shimmery red with a little bit of a purple undertone, which is most notably seen in the edges of the nail. But in other lights the green flashes very strong, especially in the bottle:
It's base keeps it from being a super opaque color, but for me I reached a good color opacity at 3 coats. Most of these sort of polishes have that same sort of formula - naturally on the sheer side because of it's somewhat jelly like texture. I say "somewhat" because it's not a fully jelly, it feels more like a shimmer when you apply it, it's just super sheer.
For the swatches I have three coats of the polish on each nail with no top coat.
This polish is available on Ninja Polish's website and retails for $11.
What do you guys think of these types of polishes? Do you like this finish or prefer a different one? Or do you wish more companies made polishes with this type of shimmer?
Indoors, Fluorescent lighting

Indoors, Natural lighting

Indoors, Flash

Indoors, Natural lighting

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Neon Ombre - China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Flip Flop Fantasy, Pool Party

For the people who want something completely opposite from Chanel Taboo, well here's a little neon for you today.
Just at the beginning of my summer, I cut my nails down to nubbins, and ombred them with some neons. And it was fabulous. And obnoxious. And the best.
Using the makeup sponge technique I used China Glaze Sun Worshipper, Flip Flop Fantasy and Pool Party (from top to bottom) to create a crazy bright and bold neon ombre. As an accent I used a white base and layered Wicked Polish's Pox which has pink and orange neon glitters to match my ombre. I loved it.
Some tips when ombre-ing:

  • Layer over a white (or dark) base so you don't have to layer the polish a million times to get an opaque coverage.
  • Cover your cuticles with tape so that you can protect them and clean up will be easier
  • With neons, you may need to do more cleanup - you can still see some in my cuticles because I didn't clean thoroughly (I use acetone and a small concealer brush).
  • With the makeup sponge, cut it to get close to your nail size so when you paint the stripes of polish and sponge it on, it will be neater
I love ombre-ing and this is the second Ombre manicure like this that I've featured on my blog :)
I used Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab kit for base and top coats. I had this manicure on for a bout 3 days before I dinged my index finger and removed it for something blue (which you will see soon).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chanel Taboo - Swatches & Review

This past Spring, Chanel released a line of glosses and polishes that were permanent to their collection (at least according to Temptalia. I'm 99% sure this is permanent anyways). I saw this polish, and was SO excited, because it's so so pretty. Look at it. Of course, when it came out, I couldn't afford it. And for like a month, I still couldn't justify it.
And then one day, I just sort of bought it because I was having a bad day. Which is a stupid reason. But, I mean.... look at it.
What really sold me was Ommorphia's swatch of it on her Instagram. I really just decided I needed it. And I also got straight A's last semester, so it was also a "yay me!" present to myself lol.
Chanel's Taboo is a deep royal purple shimmer with a bright red shimmer infused into it. It's the deepest, most magical purple I have. The closest thing I have to it is probably OPI's Every Month Is Oktoberfest which is really not at all that similar. It's similar in concept - it's a dark purple shimmer with a red infused, but it's a totally different tone of purple and the shimmer is much more reflective in the Chanel.
In this manicure, I used 2 coats, and used Julep's Freedom Top Coat and OPI's Nail Envy as a base.
This manicure was on for about a week, and this is what my manicure looked like after a week. Little to no wear, little dimishing of shine, and just the slightest amount of shrinkage on the top of my nails but nothing super noticeable.
I love this polish. It's totally worth the $28, and you can purchase it at Nordstrom.
Now, some pictures :D

Monday, July 15, 2013

Something Fun & Different - 11 Questions Tag!

I generally never really do things like this on my blog, and this was a pretty cool tag, so I thought, why not? Holly, or MissHollyBerries on YouTube, tagged me to do this. She's got amazing videos and a cool blog as well so go check her out! She's also the one that started the Roy G Biv nail polish series which I have going on my channel now so go thank her for providing me with more nail polish videos ;)
As for the tag, here are the rules:

  • Rule 1: Post the rules 
  • Rule 2: Answer the questions the tagger asked you, then make 11 new ones. 
  • Rule 3: Tag 11 people [ or how many you feel like ] and link them to your post 
  • Rule 4: Let them know you’ve tagged them  
If you want to know what Holly's Questions are, then click the link to keep reading to find out more :)

NOTW: Sharks Playoffs Nails 2013

So yeah, this is a few months late as well. But whatever.
This year I did a lot of glitter for the Sharks Playoffs season. The first manicure (above) was completely inspired by Leah Light, which is one of my favorite nail artists on Instagram. She's amazing! And she does a lot of graphic and geometric manicures in her salon down in New Zealand.
The first manicure is:

  • OPI Black Onyx with a matte top coat
  • Nubar Teal Glitter
  • White striper
I painted each nail with the polishes listed above, then used the white striper and glitter to create a little accent on my index finger.
My second manicure, below, was definitely much more girly. This was inspired by a Pretty Little Liars manicure on the character Hannah. She had a leopard and coral red alternating manicure and I took that concept and made it teal and glittery instead.
Here's what I used:
  • Orly Luxe (gold foil base)
  • Konad leopard print plate to stamp
  • Zoya Charla (teal glittery base)
  • Lynnderella I Don't Mean Rhinestones (glittery teal accent on middle finger)
  • Lynnderella Chocolotta Love as brown glitter accents
Each of the polishes I used are readily available. Lynns are available on eBay and retail for $23 each. Zoya is available at Ulta and on their website and are $8 each. Orly Luxe you can find on etailers online. And then Konad is easily available online as well.
I had each of these manicures on through each of the rounds of playoffs, which is why I had only 2 manicures this year :( But nonetheless, I loved each of the manicures I did this year!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pastels & Neons - Wicked Polish "Hung Over The Rainbow"

Guys! It's that time again! NOTW Catch up timmmmeeeee :)
I did this manicure like three months ago. I'll state it again, if you want a current and up to date stream of my manicures, follow me on Instagram. I pretty much immediately post pictures of my nails after I paint them.
This was inspired by the purchase of Wicked Polish's "Hung Over The Rainbow", which is a mix of yellow, blue and pink neon glitter in a clear base. When layered, the glitters make a crazy neon rainbow on the nail.
I wanted to layer this and make it even more rainbow, so I picked out 5 pastel polishes.

  • Blue - OPI What's With The Cattitude?
  • Purple - OPI Do You Lilac It?
  • Pink - China Glaze Something Sweet
  • Orange - China Glaze Peachy Keen
  • Yellow - China Glaze Lemon Fizz
I used two to three coats of each of the pastel polishes, and then on top I used 2 coats of the neon glitter. It looks different, and awesome, on each color. I think my favorite has to be over the purple though because the neon yellow really pops.
Wicked Polish "Hung Over The Rainbow" is available on Harlow & Co and Wicked Polish's website and retails for $10. However, Rylee, who creates all the polishes, is currently in the middle of moving so I don't know when the next restock will be. She actively updates her Instagram though, so make sure you follow her - @wickednails :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer 2013 - NOTW: China Glaze "Neon and On and On" and "Shell-O"

I've recently picked up some new polishes, both from China Glaze's summer collection, the Sunsational collection. It's a full 12 color collection, of all neons! I was certainly very excited for this collection because China Glaze is the company responsible for my favorite neon of all time, Flip Flop Fantasy. When I read that the Sunsational Collection was going to be half cremes and half jellies, I became even more excited. I really like that jellies are catching on, and the thought of neon jellies got me all up in a tither. 
Too bad though because the formula for these SUCKED.
I'm so SO glad that I only decided to pick up two to begin with and hold off (due to low funds lol) on the other colors that I had wanted. 
The two colors I picked up were:
  • Neon and On and On - bright warm toned pink creme. It's an almost pastel type of color that packs quite a punch color wise. In pictures, it's fantastic. It's gorgeous. In fact, by just looking at my own swatch of it, I really do want to try it again and wear it because it's so girly, and punchy, and pink, and cute, and perfect for summer. But no, no no no, I'm definitely not going to because the formula for this was awful. It was patchy, streaky, and hard to deal with, which is like the trifecta of horribleness for anything beauty related. On first coat, it was definitely streaky. On second coat, even after adequately waiting for it to dry, it looked super patchy, and then on third coat, it was really difficult to manipulate to look as smooth as it looks in the photo. I definitely don't recommend this polish, even though it's so pretty :(
  • Shell-O - this is one of the jellies form the collection, and is a coral neon jelly. Again, formula issues! It's so, so, sheer. The photo shows 5 coats. It's similar, I'm assuming, in sheerness to the L'Oreal candy polishes that came out in the spring. I wish these were slightly more opaque, so they were easier to use; using five coats of polish is ridiculous, and in reality, you'll use half of that bottle up within 3 applications. It wasn't a sticky formula, which is good, but it just seems like it could have been made so much better. The color is pretty, and when dry is also very shiny. It wasn't difficult to use like Neon and On and On, which was good. *sigh*
These were both purchased at Ulta and were $7.50 each, but I (luckily) had a coupon for Ulta so got them for less. I am definitely not happy with these polishes, and it just makes me reiterate that the China Glaze Pool Party collection is SO much better than these are!
I had each polish on for about 2 days and didn't use top coats on either, just to see what they were like on their own. The base coat I used was Deborah Lippman's Gel Lab base coat. Neither polish chipped within that time, although there was a little bit of wear on both when I removed them.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

NailNation 3000 Holos Part 2

Here's part 2 of the NailNation 3000 swatches.
Within the time of me purchasing these and posting these, it seems Llarowe has stopped selling this particular brand. You can, however, still purchase them on NailNation 3000's Store Envy site, which can be found here.
What first attracted me to this brand was that Llarowe posted about how they made neon holos, which was totally up my alley because a) I'm the holo hoarder and b) neons are the best!
I ended up purchasing 14 NailNation 3000 colors, and have 7 of them to show you in this post.
  • #97 Baby Doll - pale lilac holo. Super pretty and delicate, but has a slightly translucent finish which makes it less feminine and more "high tech" looking. Opaque in 2 coats.
  • #411 LimeLight - smokey gray holo. The most similar color I have to this is Dance Legend Spacecraft, but Spacecraft is darker and has a thicker consistency. The NailNation 3000 polish is thinner, and almost applies like a shimmery or frosty nail polish - thin but opaque in 2 coats.
  • #449 Glow Worm - bright inchworm green color. It's like a brighter, slightly translucent version of Katydid by Chirality. Opaque in 2 coats.
  • #450 Amaze-Ballz - bright magenta pink, wich a slight berry tone to it. It's also got a slight translucent formula to it. I think this is closer to what I wanted the neon holos from the previous post to be light, just with a more opaque base. This was still opaque in 2 coats though.
  • #451 Awesomesauce -  bright reddish orange with the same formula as Amaze-Ballz. Again, I think it's what I wanted the neon orange from the last post to be. 
  • #452 Wicked Cool - deepest blue-green base with holo. Same slightly jelly like formula. Opaque in 2 coats. I love the off-black of this polish. It's like a slightly bluer version of Glitter Gal's Lizard Belly.
  • #453 Glam~bot - bright Barbie pink neon. Opaque in two coats.
These polishes range between $12 and $15, again available on their site which is linked up above. I was less disappointed in this batch of colors than with the previous batch of colors, and love the definite holo in all of the colors. The formula for all of them was easy to apply and the holo comes out very strong.
What do you think? Any holo brands I have to try?!