Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013!

2013 has been a very weird year.  I know it's super cliche to say this, but it really did go by too fast.  Faster than I realized.  It's kind of scary.  Things changed.  I changed.  I can't remember a year in my life that even compared to this year.  I know that I've been mostly absent on here, but that was just an unexpected side effect, not an intentional occurrence.

I visited lots of new places, met lots of new people, and had so many new experiences, both good and bad.  There were more good things that happened this year, but the bad was still there.  It's kinda funny, now that I think about it, that I missed my annual post on Depression Awareness because I was too depressed to write it.  Ha!  But I'm grateful at least for the balance. 

I'll cut it short here so that I don't get too mushy or rambly, but I do want to thank you all.  Thank you for coming here and leaving me nice comments and words of encouragement, and thank you for not forgetting about me.  Thank you for all the fun conversations on Twitter and Instagram, and thank you for just being super cool people.

I hope 2014 is even better!

(Enchanted Polish The Youth)
(not at all relevant to the post, I just thought it was really cool looking)
(happy new year)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Urban Decay Blackheart Nail Lacquer for Holiday 2013

 Urban Decay Nail Lacquer in Blackheart(sample provided for review)
Blackheart is a really cool color.  It's a multichrome polish with the dominant color being a murky red-toned purple shimmer (the blackened kind that looks dark on the edges and light in the center, my favorite).  The other colors come out when you tilt your nails: A sort of olive-yellow-bronze at one angle, and a green-blue-teal at another.  Throughout all the color shifts, it still maintains an overall murky-dusty grey haze.  It's a dirty duochrome.  I love it. 

Formula and application are good.  It's thin but not watery.  Due to the thinness of the polish, I needed three coats for complete coverage. 

This is the second new color that Urban Decay released for Holiday 2013.  The other one is Zodiac, which is also a duochrome (yay!).

Both the new Urban Decay polish shades are available now (and both are limited edition).

(sent for review)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

China Glaze Happy HoliGlaze Collection Holiday 2013 Swatches and Review

China Glaze Happy HoliGlaze Collection Holiday 2013
(samples provided for review)

 China Glaze All Wrapped Up 
Full-coverage indigo-blue microglitter in a clear base.

 China Glaze Bells Will Be Blinging
 Light teal/aqua blue microglitter and small hex glitter mixed with larger silver holographic hex glitter and bar glitter.

China Glaze Be Merry And Bright
 Large and small purple and magenta hex glitter in a clear base. Glitter is dense enough to be worn alone at three coats, but also makes a good glitter topcoat at one coat.

China Glaze Blue Without You
Cyan blue foil with sparkly silver flecks.

China Glaze Elfin' Around
Warm orangey-coral red foil with light gold shimmer.

China Glaze Just Be-Claws
Rich poinsettia red foil with red sparkle.

China Glaze Mingle with Kringle
Warm gold foil with chunky yellow-gold foil flakes.

China Glaze Put A Bow On It
Full-coverage plum purple microglitter in a clear base.

China Glaze Santa Red My List
Cool dark pink foil with silver shimmer.

China Glaze There's Snow One Like You
Girl, there are really no words strong enough to describe all my longing for snow-textured polish.  I don't want my feelings restrained.  Oh, babe, I just need you like never before. Just imagine you'd come through this door. You'd take all my sorrow away.  There's Snow One Like You.

SORRY.  Sorry!  This is a white semi-sheer creme base with large matte white hex glitter and a large amount of textured grit. 

China Glaze This Is Tree-Mendous
Warm golden green microglitter, gold microglitter, and slightly larger (but still tiny) blue-green glitter in a clear base.

China Glaze Your Present Required
Large matte white, cobalt blue, light purple, and light copper hex glitter with smaller copper, green, and white hex glitter, plus very small matte white glitter in a clear base. Good as a topcoat or worn alone with two coats.

The formula on these was varied.  The tiny glitters and the foils were thin, smooth, and perfect.  The larger, chunkier glitters and the textured shade were thick and somewhat gooey.  To apply the large glitters, I needed to dab the polish onto the nail to get even glitter distribution.  Dry time on all shades was fast.  

It doesn't really feel 'holiday', does it?  It doesn't to me, at least.  It is heavy on the red like a typical holiday collection, but there's a lot of other non-traditional shades mixed in here as well.  Your Present Required doesn't look like any other color I own, so that's pretty cool.  The fine glitters are full coverage and extremely sparkly, which I also appreciate.  The foils are shiny and reflective like foils should be, but the colors themselves aren't particularly interesting or new. 

The one problem I have with this collection is the textured polish, There's Snow One Like You.  It looks promising, but it's so incredibly thick and lumpy that I had a very hard time applying it.  It's like there's too much texture. It applies clumpy and all the glitter and grit stick out at weird angles because it's so dense.  Maybe that's the point, though?  To look like freshly fallen snow, while it's still fluffy.

 The China Glaze Happy HoliGlaze Collection is available now!

(samples provided for review)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Urban Decay Zodiac Nail Lacquer for Holiday 2013

 Urban Decay Nail Lacquer in Zodiac
(sample provided for review)

Zodiac is one of two new limited edition holiday nail polish shades by Urban Decay.  It's a dark blue-green base with dense gold-green duochrome foil shimmer, plus a decent amount of bright blue microglitter. If you look closely, there are even little flashes of pink/purple duochrome microglitter as well, but they're not as obvious as the blue. The dark base gives the polish a blackened look, but the shiny metallic shimmer looks even brighter because of it.  Very nice contrast in this color.

The formula on this polish was very good.  It has a thin texture that applies smoothly and without running or pooling.  The brush is a little too soft for my taste, but otherwise it's nicely shaped and gives a good, precise application. I needed three coats for complete coverage.  Dry time is quick.

One thing that's cool about this polish is that it has a matching Moondust eyeshadow.  The color of the Zodiac polish is a little different from the Zodiac shadow, but they're close enough to be cousins, if not siblings.

I can't even tell you how excited I am that Urban Decay is making nail polish again, let alone full sized bottles.  The minis were cool, but I much prefer these. The packaging is amazing.  I mean, come on! It has a skull on the top! What's not to love? Now if only they would bring back Toxin in that skull-topped, black-chrome-handled bottle.  I can dream, right?

Zodiac is a limited edition shade and is available now on urbandecay.com.

(sample provided for review)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

You warned me!

Remember how I was raving on Twitter and Instagram about how amazing these new Maybelline Color Show Brocades polishes are? And how you all warned me that they were going to chip pretty much immediately?

I was wearing Gilded Rose (which I honestly still adore, it's too gorgeous not to love), and I was just about to photograph it for a post, when I noticed...

Maybelline Color Show Brocades in Gilded Rose

Well, damn.  That's unfortunate.  And what a weird place for it to chip, too.  In my defense, I wasn't wearing basecoat, so there's still hope.  Right?

I guess that means I get to switch colors now.  Always a silver lining.  Hah!  Okay, but seriously, these are absurdly pretty.  Prettiest (mainstream) polishes I've seen in months.  They remind me of the China Glaze Prismatic collection glitters, but with more variety.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Autumn Spice

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel in Autumn Spice

I've had my eye on this color ever since I first saw the Parfumerie collection on Nouveau Cheap.  This particular shade combines several of my favorite things: multichrome/color shifting glass fleck shimmer, dark, vampy color, the words autumn and spice in the name, very attractive packaging, and a gimmick (it's scented!) to make it completely irresistible to me.

Finally found it just last weekend and it's even better than I anticipated.  Color? Gorgeous.  Formula? Excellent.  Scent?  Surprisingly un-artificial and not excessively strong.  Perfect fall polish.  I love it.

I like scented polishes, but sometimes they can be overpowering and headache-inducing.  This one strikes a good balance between being noticeably scented, but not so noticeably scented that it turns your stomach because it's all I can smell.  It has a spicy (duh), rich cinnamon scent.  Very pleasant.

I also grabbed Italian Leather and Sunlit Grass because they were buy two, get one free at Meijer.  Have you tried any of these?  Which other scents are good?  I was thinking about getting the Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream dupe but the mint scent didn't sound too appealing to me.  Should I go back for it?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Enchanted Polish Seven Nation Army

Here's a cool one from indie brand Enchanted Polish.  It's a polish made up of multiple sizes of matte black and white glitter, with some holographic microshimmer in between to fill in the gaps.  You can wear it alone as a topcoat:

Enchanted Polish Seven Nation Army, one coat

...but it looks even more amazing worn solo (three coats):

Enchanted Polish Seven Nation Army

(Looks like granite, right?  I think so at least.  I think it's awesome. And bonus points cause Jack White. Mmm hmm.)

The formula on it is good.  I didn't have any noticeable texture or application issues.  One thing to be aware of is that it is a sparse glitter polish, likely intended to be worn as a topcoat.  The coverage isn't so heavy that the base polish won't show through.  That's a good thing.  However, if you want to wear it by itself (and you will, cause look at that!), it's a three coat minimum (I'm wearing three coats here).  It's not particularly rough or gritty when it dries, but you'll still want to use topcoat for shine.

This has been sold out for ages, but I'm hoping it'll be back in stock at some point.  You can see it here on Enchanted Polish's website: Seven Nation Army.

(sample provided for review.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Textured Polish Collection Swatches and Review

Flashback to earlier this year: Textured polishes.  Textured polishes EVERYWHERE.  So many textured polishes.  Not many of them catching my interest.  Okay, lumpy nail polish, it's different, kinda cool, not really my favorite, it'll pass soon.  But textured glitters?  Ones that look like sparkling, sugar-coated little gumdrops on your nails?  Oh yeah.  Now I'm paying attention.

 Nicole by OPI A-Nise Treat

 Nicole by OPI Blue-Berry Sweet On You

 Nicole by OPI Candy is Dandy

 Nicole by OPI Cinna-man of my Dreams 

 Nicole by OPI Lilac Gumdrops

 Nicole by OPI My Cherry Amour

These can be worn with topcoat, but it negates the gumdrop-textured finish:

A-Nise Treat with topcoat

Cinna-Man of my Dreams with topcoat

The formula on these is perfect.  Good texture, great coverage, very easy application, no running or clumping.  Very fast dry time as well.  This is three coats of each, but most of the colors looked exactly the same at two coats.  Blue-Berry Sweet On You was the only one that I felt needed the third coat.  Since these are glitters and have added grit, they need, at the very least, three coats of topcoat if you want to cancel out the textured finish and wear them like a regular glitter polish.

My favorite from this collection was Candy is Dandy.  The candy pink shade paired with the sugary-looking glitter (accented with a little bit of hologram glitter!) really drives home that sugary gumdrop theme.  Cinna-man of my Dreams was nice because of the multi-color glitter, but it didn't immediately make me think of gumdrops. 

(samples provided for review)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dior Dioriffic Vernis in Diva (Grand Bal Collection Holiday 2012)

Dior Dioriffic Vernis in #901 Diva

Whoa, flashback!   I was just thinking about all the polish collections that came out for last year's holiday season and remembered that this is what I was wearing last year around this time.  I remembered being pretty smitten with this color when it came out, but I only ended up wearing it twice.  It's a black creme base with tiny gold flake shimmer accented by a little bit of (mostly red and purple) multicolor microshimmer.  The shimmer isn't immediately obvious, but it reveals itself every now and then when the light hits it just right.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Fan Collection 2.0 by Rescue Beauty Lounge Swatches and Review

Introducing The Fan Collection 2.0
(press samples)

As I lined up the six square bottles of ReBeL dream colors, I screamed out loud, “Doctor! Doctor!” I clenched my heart with the palm of my right hand. Thank goodness I was alone at the studio, otherwise 911 would have been dialed. What collection can get my heart rate to ramp up to dangerous levels? The Fan Collection 2.0, of course. For me, making people’s dream colors feels like Christmas morning.      

Forget about the countless and exciting submissions or the nail-biting voting process (which was a rivetingly palpitating event in and of itself). This was all about the tender loving thoughts that went into those stunning inspirational boards. They transformed me into a wild-color- mixing-witchcrafting state that lead me into the gates of color heaven.      

We have connected flawlessly through the language of colors and may I just say—our ReBeLs know what they want and need—period. The birthing process, which transformed their dream colors into the realm of reality, was beyond all of our expectations. It’s truly my privilege to introduce The Fan Collection 2.0! And I thank all of the ReBeL winners for your time, participation, and passion. Cheers to our color-hood! (Please don’t drink it!)

Rescue Beauty Lounge Coquette
“Duality. Dichotomy. The essence of the feminine contradiction—Who’s that girl? The surface belies the woman within. The intensity and intellect of Marilyn was masked by the shell of a vixen. The demure facade of Jackie concealed the passionate seductress within. Stereotypes defied. The Girl next door and the Goddess. Whimsy, charm, flirtation, seduction and rapture.” This is what Sarah wanted.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Fire Queen
“My color inspiration comes from Depression Era glass from the 1930s and 1940s—specifically, the pale jade color of the Fire-King line made by the Anchor Hocking   Glass Company commonly referred to as “jadeite.” In a sea of imposters, no one has been able to capture the magic of the genuine Fire-King and thus it has become highly coveted since the 1960′s: a small decadence of lean times turned luxury. When you hold a piece of Fire-King up to the light it glows with history. This hue has a build-able jade jelly and the end result looks like milk glass veneers on your fingertips. Both edgy and full of vintage charm, this polish is the perfect fit for any 'Fire-Queen.’” Jaime’s desire.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Lotus Elise
“My dream RBL would be something that I have wanted to see Ji do for a while—the inspiration came from a unique and rare gemstone found mostly in Sri Lanka: the padparadscha sapphire. While most sapphires are blue, this one stands out amongst the rest as it varies in color from pink to orange, spanning all the range in between. RBL has some very lovely pale and girly pinks, but this pink would be different. I envision the gold shimmer to run as a thread throughout (like the flash of orange running through Piu Mosso), while the orange microglitter would be more visible.  Because these three colors (pink, orange and gold) are analogous on the color wheel (next to each other), the result will be a seamless blend of shades that would work well with each other, allowing this polish to be worn by those who are daring, as well as those a little more reserved.” Candice’s dream.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Lucciole
“Or fireflies in Italian, remind me of the most magical time in my childhood when I was still innocent and the world was a safe and magical place. This color is reminiscent of the color of a deepening summer night sky after sundown, between dusk and midnight. In my mind’s eye, I see interspersed throughout this glorious base, random flecks of blue and/or green iridescent luminescent flecks (like the ones that are visible in Cuprum) that randomly sparkle when the light hits it, reminiscent of the fireflies’ sparks of light.” By Mindy.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Naked Without Polish
“It would be a pure carnation pink base. Very basic and very creamy, no jellies (as much as I love them). I want a polish that is opaque in 2 coats. I want the pink base to be filled with a gold shimmer, for the sun to catch the gold and just make it shine! I want my polish to be soft and girlie, but still make an impact and stand out. I want it to be a color people can wear year-round, a color that cheers you up on a bad day. I’ve been   dreaming of this polish ever since I can remember. I’ve been a polish lover since I was 13 and I can’t find anything that comes close to being my absolute dream polish, even though I do have several on my favorites list. This ONE polish is always in the back of my mind. Just the thought of it takes my breath away and makes me smile.” On Becky’s wish list.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Réveillon
“My vision for Réveillon is based on the cold winter afternoons growing up on the Quebec/NYS border. This is the borderland where we speak both French and English; for many on the American side, it’s the furthest south our families migrated. Réveillon is a holiday dinner held for Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve. It is an event of tradition and family, marking the transition from night to day as the dinner/party lasts well past midnight. Réveillon is celebrated with luxurious feasting in the company of family and friends. Given that it takes place after the winter solstice, the holiday suggests the coming of spring, albeit many months from that day. The color in my mind is a cool, silver-toned blue (more silver than blue) inspired by the icy landscape of late December. There is an internal flash of gold/white shimmer, perhaps violet, representing the light as reflected off ice, as well as the fireworks often used to light the night sky on Réveillon. Réveillon is mysterious with a complex depth and internal shimmer/light.” Cara’s longing.

The formula on these was thick but easy to control.  The thickness can cause the polish to pool at the edges of the nails, but a couple extra swipes of the brush takes care of the excess polish.  I used three coats of each polish and I think they look best at three coats.  Dry time is on the long side.

My thoughts?  WOW.  Good job, guys!  This collection is full of visible duochrome shimmer (not hidden shimmer!), interesting textures of shimmer and glitter, and really interesting colors.  The soft, translucent, milky jade glow of Fire Queen?  I don't have another polish like it. 

The 48 hour pre-order for these starts at 12pm EST on October 17th on rescuebeauty.com!

(samples provided for review)