Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Independence Day Mani Idea: Orly Star Spangled

This is Orly's Star Spangled. A red jelly-like base with tons of sparkling red glitter. It's from the Orly Stars and Stripes collection, which is not really a "new" collection, but a set of three polishes, two are repromotes (Star of Bombay and White Out) and one is new (Star Spangled).

Even though I bought this polish just for the name, I still love the color. I can never resist a red glitter. There's just something about red glitters that makes me excited. They're so rich and sparkly, I can't take my eyes off of them.

I haven't decided exactly what my 4th of July manicure will be yet, but this might be part of a cool, festive fireworks manicure.

On a totally unrelated note, I thought I should let you know that I am still *way* behind on everything- posting reviews, responding to emails and comments and completing requests. I am absolutely buried in requests and I'm starting to feel like I'll never be able to finish. I know that lots of you are waiting for me to post your requests, and I apologize. Lately my schedule just hasn't allowed me to complete them. And if you've sent me an email that I haven't responded to, I'm not ignoring you! I promise! There's just a lot going on for me right now. I'm sure you can relate to that. Thank you for your support, I really do appreciate every one of you!

And on a happier note, I hope to have the rest of the Obsessive Compulsive polish line posted this week, and some polishes that have travelled halfway around the world to reach me, including Illamasqua, Barry M and Bloom!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebrate: The Lippmann Collection 10th Anniversary Set

I did a sneak preview of this set a while ago, and now it's finally here! It appears to be a Nordstrom exclusive set, but I didn't know that when I first posted. Though, a lot of times "Nordstrom Exclusive" means Nordstrom has it first for a little while (remember the Nordstrom Exclusive Essies?)

Superstar. Golden copper glitter in a brown jelly base. This is my picture of the original-release Superstar. The new one is exactly the same, so I saved time on swatching. This is unique in more ways than one- I've never seen a glitter shade like this one, and also, this polish has square glitter instead of round. It's totally awesome, it was really cool of Lippmann to bring this one back because everyone asked for it!

Ruby Red Slippers. Black creme base with two sizes of ruby red glitter. I adore this. This is one awesome polish. I wore it all weekend and everyone commented on how cool it was! The combination of the large, hexagonal shaped glitter and the small round glitter gives this polish a serious punch. It's flashy and sexy and glamorous all at the same time. It's like China Glaze Lubu Heels but a million times better. The glitter in this polish is very obvious. It looks like little ruby gems on your nails.

Funky Chunky. Black with large black glitter. You guys know I am a Lippmann lover, but this polish makes me sad. I have to be honest with you; This is the polish I was looking forward to most from this set, but it's the one I like the least. I hate to say it because it was such a cool concept, but this polish just doesn't work. It's very difficult to apply evenly because of the thickness of the polish. You can't really see the glitter in this unless you hold your hand up close to your face. This polish just looks chunky and bad. It looks like you don't know how to apply polish, or maybe like you punched a beehive with wet nails. I wanted this one to work so bad... And in my opinion, it would have worked if the black base was sheer and let the glitter particles show through. This black is very opaque (think Lippmann Fade To Black) and the glitter particles all clump together and look chunky and weird. Lumpy. Looks like sludge, but not in a good way. Very sad. (This picture is with two coats of Nubar Diamont topcoat)

I'm going to try adding a lot of thinner or clear polish to my Funky Chunky to see if I can make the base a little more sheer so that the glitter looks like glitter and not like chunky polish.

The formula on these seems average for a glitter polish. Funky Chunky was the thickest and hardest to work with, but Superstar and Ruby Red Slippers seemed thin and even. Opacity on these is really good. They're opaque and dense in two coats. The only downside to this gorgeous glitter polish is that it's insanely hard to remove. I used my jar that I use for removing fake nails, and it couldn't get the glitter off. Felt worked okay but it made a mess. I resorted to extremely wet cotton balls and that got the glitter off with minimal headache.

Overall, I think the set is still worth getting for Ruby Red Slippers alone, and if you don't have Superstar then it's definitely worth having.

All I can do is keep on telling you- I want you, I need you... But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you, Funky Chunky... No don't be sad... Cause two out of three ain't bad...

Lippmann Collection Celebrate is available at Nordstrom.com, but I have a feeling it might show up on Lippmann's website eventually.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fing'rs EDGE Hardcore Nail Addict 31120 Black French Manicure Nails

The black-tipped french manicure seems to be extremely popular these days. I can deal with that. Personally, I like the look and I have worn it in the past. French manicures can be tricky to do yourself, so if you need a little help, Fing'rs EDGE has something you might like.

These are the Fing'rs EDGE black french manicure artificial/press-on/glue-on nails. The style number is 31120. It includes 24 short-length (and they do mean short!) nails, a small tube of nail glue and a sheet of stick-on tabs.

Application of these is the same as with any press-on nail, and you can read about the application process in more detail in these posts I've done about them:

Revlon Color Allure Vintage Velvet
Fing'rs EDGE Hardcore Nail Addict Pink Houndstooth French
Revlon Runway Collection Stella

Anyway, here's what they look like on me:

As you can see, these nails are extremely short. This is an uncomfortable length for me as I had to file my nails down as far as they could go to apply these. If they were just a few millimeters longer, they would be much more suitable for me. However, I know that a lot of people prefer very short nails and don't have the same problem as I do. As always, with any product, your mileage may vary. These were too short for me, but might be the perfect length for someone else.

The design itself is great. It's a flawless black french tip that's perfectly even across all five fingers. The line is not too thick and it looks nice and neat. I would be hard pressed to do a black french this good on my own.

The base color of the nails is a semi-opaque milky nude pink. It's not a perfect match with my natural skintone, but it does mimic the look of a lot of salon french nails that I see on people. I think I prefer a more clear look on the nail bed, but these are especially good at covering damage or stains because they're not too sheer.

One thing I really like about the Fing'rs EDGE Hardcore Nail Addict line of artificial nails is that they all come with a sheet of adhesive tabs with enough tabs to do at least three full manicures. A lot of people wear these type of nails for a temporary look, and using the adhesive tabs instead of the glue makes these not only temporary, but also reusable. Alternately, I can see these being a first fake nail experiment or a dress-up type product for a very young girl and the adhesive tabs would be safer to use than the nail glue, but also allows the nails to be removed with hot water instead of soaking off in acetone.

The other thing I love about Fing'rs EDGE is that they have the best designs. I'm not the type of girl who wants a traditional french manicure or who wants frilly-frou-frou pretty pink princess nails... Fing'rs EDGE acknowledges that another type of girl exists (FINALLY!!) and provides products and designs that fit my personal style. I honestly love every single Fing'rs EDGE product I've ever tried. Repeating themes within the line seem to be skulls, stars and 'Rock Star' designs and that makes me very happy.

These nails are available at pretty much every drugstore I've ever been to, and I've never seen them for more than $6.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More from Diamond Cosmetics (with foils!)

Another post I have been meaning to do for quite some time... I find myself saying this a lot lately, but better late than never!

182 Metallic Blue. Bold blue shimmer. I don't know if I'd call this as metallic as much as I'd call it a frost- it is kind of frosty but not in the unflattering, brushstroke showing way. The color is bold and bright, sort of a medium blue shade that reminds me a bit of Essie Aruba Blue.

192 Hi-Ho Silver. Purple silver grey shimmer. This is a weak duochrome effect color, the duochrome is definitely there but it isn't dramatic or visible in all lighting. Just a nice, subtle change at different angles. Makes it interesting to look at. This is a little frosty as well, but not bad frosty, though brushstrokes are slightly visible when the polish is dry.

231 Party Hearty. Champagne foil. This is a really cool color. It's a champagne type color, not quite silver but not really gold either. Maybe white gold. Pale neutral. Party Hearty has a metallic foil finish that sparkles like it's on fire when it's outside. It gleams and glints, it shimmers and sparkles... It's super reflective and completely distracting.
232 Sparkling Sherry. Dark pink foil. This is a must have. I don't even like pink and I love this. It is too beautiful for words. The closest thing I can compare it to is Hard Candy Scam. It's the same type of foil metallic finish, but this one seems much more sparkly. This thing is insane.

235 Decadence. Chocolate metallic foil. Noticing a trend here? Diamond Cosmetics does foils extremely well. They are rich and flashy and sparkle like crazy. This particular shade is a rich chocolate brown with hints of gold. I have a feeling I'll be wearing this a lot when the leaves start changing colors.

256 Seafoam Spray. Light seafoam green pearl. The color of Seafoam Spray is so pale and beautiful, it makes me feel relaxed looking at it. It's tranquil. Not the best color with my skin tone, but that won't stop me from wearing it. On top of the soft seafoam green base, there's an overlay of white pearl finish. It looks like the white is floating on top of the grean, and it looks smooth and pearly. So dreamy.

295 Hue Are You? Warm golden burgundy foil. Hey, look! Another foil! This one is different from the other ones, it's mostly a dark red burgundy base with gold flakes making the foil finish. The other foils seem like silver flakes with a colored sheer base that lets the silver shine through while adding tint. This shade screams fall to me. I love it.

302 Dirty and Flirty. Metallic taupe shimmer. The name of this one cracks me up. Taupe doesn't really scream dirty or flirty to me, but hey, maybe it does to someone! Anyway, beautiful smooth metallic pearl shimmer, borderline frosty. Nice soft color. Lots of sparkle.

The formula on these was perfect. I had no application problems. The brushes were consistent and the texture of the polish was smooth and even. I applied all of these using the Diamond Cosmetics Base Coat and Quick Dry Topcoat. The basecoat provides an even yet sticky surface perfect for the polish to adhere to and the topcoat is smooth and glassy and is comparable to any good quick-dry on the market.

Since their online color chart is nameless and sort of nondescript as far as swatches go, you'll have to go by the numbers when ordering.

Diamond Cosmetics polishes retail for $2 each (excluding the neons, which are $2.50) and as far as I'm aware, can only be purchased from their website. Shipping is a flat rate of $4.95 for ten bottles or less, orders of more than ten bottles are charged exact shipping.

I still have more Diamond Cosmetics swatches to come :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Zoya Truth and Dare Fall 2009 Collection plus my first ever giveaway!

I know, I really dropped the ball on these. I should have had them posted ages ago. I had a really off week. It happens to everyone once in a while. Well, here they are now, better late than never, and to make up for it I have a special surprise at the end!


Anaka. Shimmery dark pink. This color is ridiculously pretty. I don't even like pink and I love this. It's on the darker side as far as pinks go, but it has so much depth and shimmer that I can't stop looking at it. It has little golden and slightly iridescent flecks and also a very faint blue reflection. Unusual choice for fall, but I'm not complaining.

Drew. Soft mauve pink shimmer. This one feels a little more fall-like! It's a greyed-out medium pink, I'm calling it mauve. We used to have carpet this color in the 80's. You may think that's a bad thing, but it's the opposite- I like it because it reminds me of those happy memories.

Isla. Blackened red shimmer. Whoa. When I first saw the promo pics and color chips for this, I was thinking... Oh joy, another red shimmer. But wow! I didn't expect it to be this hot. It's one of those reds that looks black on the edges and bright in the middle. I love colors like that. Surprise favorite for me.

Kalmia. Red and gold shimmer. I don't know if I can truly call this copper, but it's sort of coppery looking. Very metallic. Not quite rose gold, not really copper... It's more of a red-gold fusion. Unlike most metallic shades, this one doesn't show brushstrokes.

Penny. Golden metallic shimmer. Since this is called Penny, I feel like I should be calling it copper, but it looks more gold to me. A warm, orangey gold. It's bright and shiny, also very metallic and it shows a little bit of brushstroke but nothing major.

Salma. Red shimmer. This is a loght warm red, almost kind of orange looking. This is probably the most fall-like shade for me, it reminds me of maple leaves changing colors and gently floating to the ground.


Ciara. Warm red-purple creme. This is a bit softer and more purple in real life. All of these Dare colors were so hard to capture! Reddish purple creme. Pretty straightforward.

Demi. Medium purple creme. I love this!! This color also looks different in real life. It's a fantastic purple creme, but it's a little more dusty looking and it's a lot richer and deeper. Photographing these was more difficult than I anticipated!

Envy. Blackened green creme. Wow. Seriously. Wow. Deep, dark, leafy green. Like the forest at night. Beautiful. It has a slight amount of shimmer that is really only barely visible in very bright light. I'm declaring it a creme for sanity's sake. It also has this interesting textured look- like there's a bunch of little green spheres in a green base.

Ibiza. Shimmering midnight blue. Dark, velvety, mysterious. This is a very dark blue, not quite black-looking but pretty much as dark as blue can be before it looks black. It has a little bit of soft shimmer to keep it interesting.

Pinta. Dark purple creme. This picture isn't even remotely color accurate. I couldn't capture the purple color of this polish at all. I'm only posting it here so the set of pictures can be complete. In real life, this isn't blue. It's purple. Deep, dark, sexy purple. It is gorgeous. You might just have to see it for yourself because I don't know if I'll be able to keep it from turning blue in pictures.

Vanessa. Deep berry creme. This is darker in real life. This is a straight up, no-frills berry creme. Not much else to say about it! Reminds me of Moxie.

I didn't expect Dare to be such a challenge to photograph! All of the colors kept changing on me! If I can get better pictures, I will. But, at least between my bottle and swatch Dare pictures you can get a general idea of what they look like.

Anyway. Formula was good on these. Very good. Smooth, even-textured, not thick or runny. They didn't give me any application problems at all. The opacity was great, almost all of them were two-coaters, but I did three on everything just to see how they looked that way. The polish itself is perfect. The only thing that gave me a hard time were the brushes- all of the brushes in these seem to be cut at an angle... almost in a V shape... I'm thinking they got a bad batch of brushes, because I've never had problems with Zoya brushes before. They normally fit my nails like a glove and give me perfect coverage, but these made me have to actually pay attention to how I used them.

My favorites from these collections are Anaka, Isla, Demi, Envy and Pinta. Anaka and Isla really surprised me, they were totally unexpected but entirely gorgeous on the nails. Demi and Pinta are perfect purple cremes, and there are not enough good purple cremes in the universe. Envy... do I really have to say anything about Envy? It's dark green. It's fan-freakin'-tastic!!!

So, now for the surprise!

These polishes aren't available until July 15th, but Zoya and I are giving you a chance to get your hands on them before they're released! You'll be the only one besides the media to have them!

I have a full set of Truth and Dare polishes up for grabs. That's the entire fall collection, all twelve polishes. Starting from right now until noon Central on Friday, you can enter your name and email for a chance to win both sets before they're released. I'm leaving this open for everyone, both US and International.

The winner will be drawn at random. Good luck!! :D

Friday, June 19, 2009

Scrangie by Rescue Beauty Lounge!

The cat's out of the bag!  :)  It is true!  I've been collaborating with Rescue Beauty Lounge to create my very own color!  And it's not what you might think...

It's been almost a year in the making and it still needs the finishing touches, but I am SUPER excited about it!  You have no idea how hard it was to keep this a secret for so long!

My color, named Scrangie, will round out a trio of blogger-created shades available from Rescue Beauty Lounge.  You'll also be seeing a polish created by Stephanie of Polish Addict and Michelle of All Lacquered Up!

I'm not going to ruin the whole surprise just yet, so you'll have to stay tuned to see what color mine will be :)  

Thursday, June 18, 2009

China Glaze Fall 2009 Retro Diva Collection

China Glaze's fall collection this year is all about retro, hippie, frosty, bohemian type shades loaded with shimmer.

Cords. Metallic warm grey shimmer. This one reminds me a lot of China Glaze Stone Age and also perhaps Beatnik. I call this a warm grey because it seems to pull out the warm tones in my skin.

Cruisin'. Sheer golden orange shimmer. This one gave me problems. Four coats. This is sort of an orangey, coppery golden frosty shimmer. The shimmer in it is very fine. This color is quite sheer and watery.

Drive-In. Red shimmer. I really like the shimmer in these, it looks like little pearls. This is a red shimmer, it seems to be on the cool side... Not much else to say about this one!

Far Out. Warm golden tan mauve shimmer. This is an odd color. It's mauve, but it's also brown, but it has strong gold shimmer. It reminds me of something from last year's Rodeo Diva, but I can't remember what.

Free Love. Bold orange shimmer. Ooh, I love it! It's a bright, punchy, fiery orange with gold shimmer. A lot of the colors in this collection have that 'lit-from-within' look where they seem to be glowing in the center and darker on the edges- this is a light version of one of those shades.

Let's Groove. Deep purple shimmer. This picture is pulling much more blue-purple than it really is. It's a Zoya Yasmeen type purple. Extremely gorgeous. It doesn't look like much in the bottle, but once it's on your nails it really shines.

Short And Sassy. Deep vampy cranberry shimmer. An unexpected favorite! It's deep and velvety looking, very vampy. Another lit-from-within color, this one really does look like it's glowing.

Skate Night. Magenta shimmer. This is magenta, right? If it's not magenta, I'd call it a light toned purple that leans waaaay red.

Stella. Warm purple shimmer. Another amazing purple! I love it! I can never get enough purple. This one is lighter than Let's Groove and also more red toned. Really nice. I love purple so this one really appeals to me.

Street Racing. Nearly duochrome reddish rose gold metallic. I say nearly duochrome because it doesn't really flash between two colors, but it does show two distinctly different tones when exposed to different lighting. It's mostly that light red/orange/copper color but also has a lot of cooler gold in it.

Stroll. Deep burgundy with golden shimmer/glitter. Four coats. Glitter!! This glitter is really different, it's not traditional glitter. It's like paper thin little flakes of gold. Very reflective golden glitter in a rich wine-like sheer (but not really jelly) base. I still had visible nail line at three coats, so I did four.

Thunderbird. Glowing blackened red. One more lit-from-within shade. The edges look black and the middle looks like molten red metal. Beautiful.

The formula on these was so-so. It was pretty three-freeish, thick and watery at the same time. These shades weren't as thick as the past few China Glaze collections, so the formula seems to be improving, but they were still runny. I didn't get a chance to gauge the drying time on these. None were dry by the time I was done taking the pictures, so I'd say that based on that observation alone, these have a slightly longer dry time.

These aren't really the type of shades I was expecting when I heard about the Retro Diva collection! I was thinking... Avocado... Orange... Chocolate... Almond... Brady Bunch type colors. This seems to be a more 70's themed collection, but I'll admit that I all I know about 70's colors, I learned from my in-laws' kitchen. So, maybe there was a lot of red stuff in the 60's and 70's... But, I also think of disco and glitter and outrageous hair and makeup and outfits. I feel like they could have ditched half the reds and oranges and added in a little more variety.

But, overall, not too bad. I really love the purples and the glowy vampy wine shades. My favorites are Let's Groove, Stella, Stroll, Free Love, Short and Sassy and Street Racing. While there are a lot of really nice interesting colors in here, I feel that they're very safe and not 100% unique. I would wear almost all of these, but I would have liked to see some ugly 1970's appliance shades in here!

What do you think? Does it say 'retro' to you? I didn't exist in the 60's and 70's so I have no insight into how truly retro this is. But hey, I love purple, glitter and vampies, so I can't complain too much!

My Kat Von D Gypsy Look on Sephora's Blog!

On an unrelated note, I did manage to get some decent pictures of Zoya Truth and Dare, I'll try to get them posted either later today or tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Zoya Fall 2009 Truth and Dare Bottle Pictures

Since there's no natural light today, I can't really take adequate swatch pictures of these, but here are some bottle pics for a little preview of the shades :) As always, click the images to enlarge. They're GINORMOUS.













Pinta (This is purple, not blue- it won't photograph correctly)

Vanessa (a bit more muted and less pink than this)

I'll do a complete review as soon as I can get some swatches done :)