Thursday, January 28, 2010

OPI Hong Kong Collection Spring 2010

My Bling Dynasty bottle broke in transit so I wasn't able to swatch it at the same time as the rest of the collection.... I'll upload it here as soon as I get a pic :)

Lots to cover here... on to the pics!

A Good Mandarin is Hard To Find. A bright summery looking orange creme. Very saturated, not a faded or pale orange by any means.

Chopsticking To My Story. This is more of a burnt orange creme. This seems like a fall-caramel-pumpkin pie color to me, definitely unexpected for spring! I rather like it. It's a little bit like Ginger Bells... I did a little comparison.

Index: Chopsticking To My Story
Middle: Ginger Bells
Ring: Out Of This World
Pinkie: OPI And Apple Pie

Dim Sum Plum. The sunlight kinda warps and washes out this color. It's really not what I'd call plum, maybe plum blossom instead? It's a purple-berry kinda magenta creme. Not totally unique but I like this version because it's cooler and goes better with my skin tone.

Hot And Spicy. Somehow I forgot to take an indoor picture of this! I'll add one when I add Bling Dynasty. Anyway, this is a light orange creme. Reminds me of shrimp. Very pretty. I love orange.

Jade Is The New Black. The star of the show. This is a very unique green. I don't have anything else in my collection quite like it. It's a very blue based dusty green. Not so dusty that it looks grey, but it is more 'faded' than 'fresh' looking. Love.

Lucky Lucky Lavender. The sun really does weird things to these violet-pinks! Anyway, this one is a pale pastel violet-pink. It says lavender, but it's more pink to me than lavender. Pink with a kiss of lavender. It's a little softer and not as stark looking as, say, Mod About You. Little bit like Essie Neo-Whimisical from the spring collection too.

Meet Me On The Star Ferry. Shimmery warm red-purple with a little gold frost. Very complex finish- it's not straight shimmer and not straight frost. Has a few little flecks of foil mixed in. Reminds me slightly of Queen of West Web-erly from last spring. Not matches, though, just slightly similar.

Panda-monium Pink. A cool pastel baby pink creme. It has a little bit of lilac to it, it's not straight pink. It's also dense but not as stark as some other similar 'mod' type white-pinks. Looks springy to me, like the flowers that grow on my neighbor's tree in spring.

Pearl of Wisdom. Ooh! Surprise coolness. It's an iridescent/duochrome sheer shimmer shade, very cool looking. The main color is pink, but it also flashes green, purple and a little silver and gold. Looks nice alone, but it's AMAZING over black. The shimmer in this is really nice too. (This color might actually be a re-release, I'll have to see if I have the original)

Pearl of Wisdom over black. See how all the colors come out? You can see the green and pink and purple but you can also see the little flecks of shimmer scattered on the nail too.

Red My Fortune Cookie. BRIGHT red creme. I think this is the kind of red I like. I'm not really drawn to medium reds or dark reds in creme or shimmer, but I love reds like this. It's bright and happy and kinda retro looking. I want to say this is a little on the warm side because it has a slight orange undertone.

Suzi Says Feng Shui. Dusty blue! I know it looks really bright in my pictures, but it has a definite soft and faded look to it. Again, pretty unique, I can't think of another dusty blue quite like this. Love love loooooove

The formula on these was great. Consistent. A little on the thin side, but pretty standard for OPI. I had no trouble with any of them. I did two coats of all, except for Pearl of Wisdom which is three. Good opacity, no streaking, good wear. Great dry time, too. The one odd thing I noticed about these is that they smell WEIRD. They don't have a nail polish smell like I was expecting... It actually smells like Sharpie to me! Permanent marker. Very odd. The smell doesn't stick around long after it dries, but you can definitely smell it when it's wet. I wonder if they changed formula again? Hmm....

As for the theme of the collection (Hong Kong)... I don't have a clue! I don't know if these are typical Hong Kong colors or not. When I think of Hong Kong I think of red and gold, and this collection is surprisingly easy on the red! Not a bad thing, just surprising cause OPI always does lots of reds. One red and one gold in this collection. The other thing I think of when I think of Hong Kong is neon signs. Yellow, green, red, orange. I'm surprised there wasn't a yellow in this collection too! But, overall, not bad, I actually like all the colors. No duds. And this time they did a green and a blue! Big improvement over South Beach from last spring which didn't have too much color variety.

Another surprising aspect of this collection besides the amount of red is that they're almost all cremes. Only three shimmers. I like cremes so this is not a flaw to me, but it is surprising because it seems like they always do half-and-half with collections. Six cremes, six shimmers. But I'd rather have a red creme than a red shimmer and an orange creme instead of an orange shimmer... so I'm happy. There's green, there's blue, there's orange, there's a duochrome.... Pretty good for spring!

I don't know the exact release date of these, but I'll check and update when I have the date. Early-to-mid February is my guess.

(These were sent to me for review.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New drugstore awesomeness

I'm a huge Wet n Wild nail polish fan. Always have been. I noticed some new displays of Wet n Wild polish while out grocery shopping the other day and picked up these gems!

Blackmail. This is from their new line, it comes in squatty little round bottles. This shade is a black base with multi-colored glitter. Along the same lines as Sephora by OPI Never Enough Shoes and Sally Hansen Midnight in NYC, but I like this better. Why? More glitter. The glitter in the other two is too subtle for me, this one sparkles more. There's gold and red and something that looks iridescent or multicolored but it's small so I can't tell.

Blue Moon. HOLY CRAP. SO HOT. It's a dark blue shimmer with a green sheen/slight flash to it. It reminds me of my favorite blue from Jessica (Midnight Moonlight!), except this is 99 cents. It's rich and beautiful and not so dark that it looks black. Right on, Wet n Wild!

Night Prowl. Black base with hot pink/magenta glitter. Love at first sight. This is a bit like Petites... something... Amethyst something... I can't remember the name. The color of the glitter is rich and bright, not faded and silvery and it really stands out against the dense black. No glitter gets lost in the black base! So awesome.

Formula on these is on par with the rest of Wet n Wild's polishes- perfect. Pretty opaque, all looked good at two coats but I did three cause I'm like that. Good dry time. Excellent price tag.

The new squatty-bottle Wet n Wild line had a dusty blackberry/purple/mauve color that looked cool but I didn't grab that one. The others were mostly pinks and berries, but there were a few interesting ones sprinkled in. The Wild Shine line had a handful of new colors too, one was a glitter that looked like China Glaze Snow Globe, one was a lavender duochromey color and one was a silver? Oh, and two pinks.

Love me some Wet n Wild...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Essie Art Of Spring Collection Spring 2010

I really like this collection... I was not wowed by the promo pictures initially (except for Lilacism, that one was great from the start!), but I'm so glad I gave them a chance and tried them on my nails.

Lilacism. This is slightly less blue in real life, but not by much. Maybe half a shade to one shade less blue. I'm wearing it right now and it's definitely on the blue side of lilac. This is sooooooooo pretty. It's creamy and stark and obvious, but not so stark that it's like white-out. It's refreshing. This is two coats.

Neo-Whimsical. This is slightly reminiscent of one of my favorite Essies- Guchi Muchi Puchi. It's a light milky pink with a splash of violet to it. Looks more purply in some lights, more pink in others. Three coats here.

Pop Art Pink. A really light milky jelly pastel pink. It's like a pink version of Marshmallow. This one is pretty versatile because at one coat it's a sheer-clear pink gloss, barely any color on the nail at all, at two coats it's a semi-sheer milky natural looking pink and at three coats (pictured here) it's a nice jelly milky pink. So, if french manicures are your thing, this would make a good base color. I like it at three coats, myself. It looks squishy and cute.

Red Nouveau. This is just... Perfection. The formula on this one was like butter. Serious pigment to this polish and it was like my nails painted themselves. It's a fairly opaque but still a bit translucent bright red on the first coat (and zero streaking so you could get away with just one if you don't mind visible nail line) and a slightly darker opaque glossy cherry red on the second coat. I love the brightness and the vibrancy of this shade. It's retro-glamorous and it just screams Valentine's day to me.

Tart Deco. Kind of an... orangey... salmon-y... coral kinda color? Creamy orange coral? Maybe a little peachy? Hard for me to describe. Soft peachy pastel cantaloupe. Very dense and milky looking. This is only two coats, I anticipated it needing more but it was surprisingly opaque and streakless.

Van D'Go. Kinda like MAC Seasonal Peach's baby sister. It's peachy and pinkish, milky and soft but still has that kind of stand-out bold creme finish that I like about Seasonal Peach. This is a lot softer, less vibrant of a shade and pinker. Two coats of this one, too.

The formula on these was all over the place. Very inconsistent. Van D'Go and Tart Deco were very opaque and thick, maybe even a little goopy but not unmanagable. Lilacism and Neo-Whimsical were on the watery side. Pop Art pink was about average, not too thick, not too thin, and Red Nouveau was absolutely flawlessly perfect. I'm surprised the formula varied so much within one collection! The drying time on these is excellent, even at three coats. Also, the wear seems pretty good, as I've been wearing Lilacism for two whole days now and there's not a chip or crack in sight even after heavy cleaning without gloves, excessive typing and obsessive hand-washing.

Overall... yeah... I can't deny it. I love this collection. It is so not 'me' at ALL... But just looking at these gives me a cheerful almost romantic feeling. They make me happy. This winter has seemed unusually dark for me and on top of that I am almost always wearing very dark vampy colors.... So looking at these brightens my day a little. Kinda like China Glaze Up & Away. Lighthearted.

What I think really draws me to these is that they remind me of my favorite Valentine's Day candy. You know, those little pastel colored hearts that everyone else seems to hate, but I love? They taste kinda like flavored chalk and have cutesy and often nonsensical sayings printed on them?

Last year for Valentine's Day my friend got me some really great ones... Instead of the usuall "call me" or "be mine" on them, they have more interesting phrases...

I think my favorite one is the "PWNED! MEH." one. Some of the other ones say things like, "6 wives okay?" "I been creepin", "parole is up!", "Up yer meds", Prenup okay?" and stuff like that... LOVE THEM.

Which also reminds me of being in high school and writing my own phrases on them with a Uni-Ball pen... "Your mom"... "5u1c1d3 15 y0ur 0n1y 0p710n".... "Pics now"...

Woo! Random candy tangent! Although... I think Red Nouveau is more Red Hots than chalk-hearts. And the mint green is missing! I bet Mint Candy Apple would fit the bill.... Oh, and the yellow! I don't know what color the yellow should be... Barbuda Banana?

(These were sent to me for review.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nubar Sparkles Collection Spring 2010

I am totally over-the-moon in love with this collection... Love love love love love... GLITTER!!!!!!!!

Fire Sparkle. Woohoo, a red glitter that isn't a Ruby Pumps clone (AND it's not named "Ruby Slippers" or any variation on that theme)! It's a red tinted base- I'd call it a jelly but it's really more just sheer red, not much of a jelly look to it. It's a bold red, very rich in color and it has glints of golden color. I think Fire Sparkle is the perfect name for this.

Hyacinth Sparkle. This is a little less blue looking in real life, but it still leans to the blue side of lavender to my eye. At first I thought this was going to be really dull and sheer, but it totally blew me away. It's not dull or sheer at all, it's sparkly and colorful! Pretty unique shade as well, vibrant purple glitters are *very* rare.

Meadow Sparkle. My only disappointment of the bunch. It's certainly not bad, it's just a completely different shade than I was expecting based on the promo pics. If you're looking for a shade like in the promo pic, try Grass Green Glitter. Anyway, this is a very pale and delicate silvered light green glitter. Super pretty but not the best with my skintone.

Night Sparkle. Man, I really should have worn some topcoat for this swatch... Yikes! Anyway, Night Sparkle is a deep blue tinted base with bright blue glitter. It's dark but it's still colorful- that makes me happy. Sometimes dark blue lose their sparkle because they're so dark they look black. This is nice and sparkly and obviously blue.

Petunia Sparkle. This one is so much better in real life. I don't think I captured all the bright rich color in this glitter. Totally unique. It's just so rich and colorful and vibrant! I've never seen another glitter like it. So much color!!

Sky Sparkle. Bright turquoise-ish blue. It's mostly blue but seems to have something a little extra, it reminds me a little of Hot Topic's Turquoise Glitter. Very bright, very colorful. This one is three coats, it was a little less dense than the others.

Star Sparkle. Silver and hologram glitter. Nice but not super unique. It's a light subtle holo glitter that can be easily worn alone without doing 459867 coats, but it seems too dense to make a very good holo topcoat.

Violet Sparkle. Saved the best for last. This is AMAZING. I can't even tell you how incredible this is. I have been waiting for a glitter like this forever, it seems. It is a super colorful, bright, bold, vibrant, saturated PURPLE!!! glitter. It's a little more sheer than the others so I did three coats here, but it is well worth it. This could be my favorite glitter of all time. I can't even tell you how excited I am that this polish exists.

The formula was great. Their claim is that these shades are opaque in two coats, so I did two coats of all except Sky Sparkle and Violet Sparkle. So... not ALL of them are opaque in two coats, but most are! Just be gentle with your brush and make sure you have enough polish on it- if the brush is too dry and you press too hard, you're going to wipe off all the glitter. Three coats would probably look even better, but I was satisfied with the coverage at two. Drying time is decent, on par with most Nubar polishes, maybe a touch faster. I recommend using at least one coat of thick topcoat with these. Diamont seems the obvious choice because... it's super thick (which matters when you're using chunky glitter) and you can do multiple coats of it without it shrinking (something you can't do with my usual Seche Vite topcoat).

Though... if you don't use topcoat... these actually look pretty cool. They have a very sparkly yet almost matte look. Reminds me of glitter glue... remember glitter glue?? I do like the way they look without topcoat, but they will feel a bit rough without it.

I am totally completely in love with these. It's really rare to find such bold, colorful glitters. I keep using the same words over and over- bright, bold, vibrant, colorful. That's what these are. Rich! Saturated! That's so exciting to me. There are some colorful glitters out there but they're usually few and far between. Nubar seems to be pro at glitters. Their line already contains bright grassy green, teal, blue, orange... These are a perfect addition to the Nubar glitter line.

The most exciting thing to me is the presence of a true vibrant violet purple glitter. Why has no-one done this color glitter?? I just can not think of any other glitters like it. I think the polish companies are holding out on us. If Nubar can do this amazing shade of purple without fading it or making it take two million coats... why hasn't anyone else done it yet?? There is a serious lack of bright purple and pink glitters on the market! I want more purple glitters!

So...yeah... love everything about this collection of glitters. Are you surprised?? XD

This collection comes out this week on No price increase for these, either :) (Which reminds me, I'm almost ready for my 'real' Prisms collection review since we had a little sunlight last week!)

(These were sent to me for review)