Sunday, November 3, 2013

Top 10 Fall Favorites: Nail Polish

Hey guys!  Today I thought I'd do something that I don't do much on here, to coordinate with a YouTube video I'm about to film.  I've picked out some of my favorite fall nail polishes to show you.  I've started off with the bottle shots, and then there are swatches at the end.  I apologize for the lack of actual nail swatches; I'm currently out of acetone, and my WalMart is terrible about keeping it in stock.

All the red-purple-blue colors

First up is Color Club Winter Affair.  This is a gorgeous burgundy fleck polish with hints of gold, orange, and purple.  It doesn't actually show on the nails as multi-faceted as it appears in this shot, though, so it looks a bit more like a plain dark red that's just really sparkly.  As someone who doesn't really like plain shimmer/metallic finishes though, I like this one a lot!  

The next color is Queen of West Web-erly from OPI.  This is a gorgeous color, although it's quite runny and sheer, and requires 3-4 coats for anything near opacity.  It has a shimmer finish, but the shimmer is quite subdued, and there are no streaking problems like many shimmers have.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure is a gorgeous eggplant/aubergine colored creme polish.  I've had it on my toes for the past few weeks, and it's just dark enough to scream "Fall!" without being barely distinguishable from black.  It applies very smoothly and evenly, as do most of the colors from this line.  

Salon Perfect Playful Plum is a gorgeous berry color with specks of blue shimmer in it.  They don't look like chunks of blue glitter on the nail, they just give it an overall blue tone and shimmer.  I think this might be a perfect dupe for China Glaze's Gowgirl Up, which is a polish I loved years ago and I used a significant portion of the bottle I had.  Salon Perfect and China Glaze are owned by the same company, IIRC, so that dupe would make sense.

The cosmetics line from Bongo is fairly new at KMart (and, I believe, exclusive to KMart), and most of the colors were fairly boring/normal to me, but this one stood out.  Poppin Bottles is a slate blue with specks of bright blue iridescence.  This does take 3 fairly thick coats for opacity, but I've been wearing two over coordinating undies.  

The Chameleon line was recently downsized, so I'm not sure if this polish is still available, but I've had Waltz for quite a while and only recently started using it.  I really can't put my finger on what makes this one look so special to me, but I wore it a few days ago and couldn't stop staring at my hands.  The duochrome effect isn't quite as strong on the nails as it appears in the bottle, so I think the tint around the edges just makes it look like it has a bit more depth to it.  Or something like that.

All the neutral colors

Flash Back is one of the polishes from a newer (I'm not sure if it's currently still the newest) collection from NYC.  I've been absolutely obsessed with these kinds of neutral, slightly multicolored fleck/foil polishes lately, which I'm sure you can see from my next few favorites.  What's kind of unique about this one is that the particles are aaaalmost small enough to just be shimmer, but not quite.  This gives a very unique effect, but the color makes it not too "out there" and I think this would even be work-appropriate, in some less restrictive offices.

Zoya Edyta was another polish that I'd had for years and only recently discovered that I liked.  The base is sort of a blackened green, with orangey gold flecks in it.  It goes on very smoothly, and is opaque in two coats.

You may have noticed that this "Top 10" actually has 11 polishes in it.  That's because these two are so similar, they pretty much count as one.  Revlon Rich is a new, limited edition (I assume) polish this fall.  But Sally Hansen Shoot the Moon is in the permanent line as far as I know, so if you miss out on Rich, Shoot the Moon should make a very near (if slightly more expensive) dupe.  Both take about 3 coats for opacity, 4 if you want to make sure, but neither gets too goopy to work with.  As I mentioned above, both of these are that multicolored neutral fleck appearance that I've been absolutely obsessed with lately.

Finally, Revlon Elusive is probably the most unique polish I've tried lately.  Unfortunately, it doesn't get quite as bright on the nails as it is in the bottle, but there's definitely more visible glitter than I was able to capture in my swatch below.  This is a great example of companies going for the "indie" effect in their polishes, with a black jelly/crelly base, and multicolored glitter.  There's larger teal and green hexes, as well as tiny fuchsia/pinkish microglitter in there.  Since I bought a backup bottle of this, I've actually been thinking about experimenting with this polish and diluting it about 1:1 with clear polish, then layering over black undies to see if the colors look any better that way.

Winter Affair, Queen of West Web-erly

Trouble Maker, Playful Plum

Poppin' Bottles, Waltz

Flash Back, Rich

Shoot the Moon, Edyta

Rich, Shoot the Moon - for comparison.  As you can see they're nearly identical.

Elusive - The glitter actually does show up a bit better than shown here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe discovered something new to try.  I'd love to hear your favorite fall polishes down in the comments :)

Sephora by OPI Review and Swatches

The Sephora by OPI line has, as far as I understand, been recently discontinued from Sephora stores.  Consequently, it's been popping up at discount retailers, including Hautelook, which is where I got mine.  I figured I'd put up a quick review of the polishes I picked up in their $3 sale for anyone else who might see them on sale and be curious what the quality is like.

L to R: It's Bouquet With Me, Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild, Indi-go With the Flow, Cover Me in Petals, Go With the Flow-er (over Cover Me in Petals), I Come in Peas, Casting Call, Shiny Dancer, Already Famous

First up, the three glitters.  It's Bouquet With Me was the most disappointing, partly just because I didn't like the color.  I'd looked up swatches of these online before I bought any of them, and this one must have looked a lot more interesting online, because I would never have picked out a polish that was just silver and pink glitter.  It applied with decent coverage, though.  Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild is a pretty mix of small lavender hexes and large holographic lavender hexes.  It applied fairly well, too.  Indi-go With the Flow was one I was hoping would be a dupe for Essie's Stroke of Brilliance, but alas, this polish applies with all the goopy, awful coverage of the Spoiled polishes which retail for a dollar or two.  What you see in the swatch above is four coats, with a lot of playing around to make the glitter somewhat even.

Cover Me in Petals and Go With the Flow-er are a very nice coordinating match.  Cover Me in Petals applied quite nicely, opaque in two coats, and without a goopy application.  Like most glass fleck finishes, Go With the Flow-er was still sheer after 4 coats, so for this swatch I put two coats over a coat of Cover Me in Petals.  Both these polishes are a tad more red than my camera would pick up, but they both have that same almost neon intensity that the picture shows.

I Come in Peas was one that I bought pretty much just for the name, but I like the color, too.  It's a deep green creme polish, and it doesn't lean too close to black, teal, or anything else.  Two coats gave good opacity, and like all the cremes I got, it applied very smoothly, without streaking.  Application was the same for Casting Call, it went on very smoothly in two coats.

Shiny Dancer and Already Famous were the two I was most excited about, but also the two that were the most annoying to work with (besides Indi-go With the Flow).  Shown here are 4 coats each.  You could maybe get away with three, but as you can see from the lumpiness on the swatches, I had a little accident with my swatch wheel and was trying to cover up the gouges.  They're both very pretty colors, and could probably be worn with only two coats over similar colored undies, or used for a glitter gradient over a creme polish.  Shiny Dancer is a slate blue and silver foil looking polish, and Already Famous is a taupey-gold.

And now for some bottle shots:

My overall impression of these is that I'll likely use them, but I didn't need them, and I'm not terribly excited about most of them.  They're not unlike anything you can get at a drugstore, and since the quality wasn't exemplary, I'd stick to cheaper polishes unless you find an amazing deal on these.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sally Hansen Triple Shine Review and Swatches

My first review in a loooong time, how exciting! I found the new Sally Hansen Triple Shine display at my Walmart a few days ago!  I wanted ALL THE COLORS!  But I only decided to try out 4 of them, because while the glitters were all gorgeous, none of them looked exceptionally unique compared to things I already had in my collection. 

Unfortunately, because I decided I was going to return two of these, I only swatched them on one nail each and didn't get any more pictures before I made my decision.  Then once I'd decided to return them, it seemed pretty tacky to keep using more of the polish just for swatches.  The four I got, as they appear in the photos below are: Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, and Play Koi.  And honestly I got Play Koi solely because of the name.  As I mentioned in my Halloween post, orange is my absolute least favorite color, as well as the only color that I dislike almost every version of, almost all the time.

Slick Black and Sparkling Water

Slick Black was one of the polishes I decided to keep.  It has a fleck type of finish, with mostly black/dark gunmetal colors, but also some hints of green/teal and magenta.  It has great opacity, too - completely opaque in two coats, which can be unusual for this type of evidenced by Sparkling Water.  Sparkling Water is a gorgeous teal and blue fleck polish, but it's really more of a jelly finish as far as opacity.  It looked stunning in the bottle, and would probably have looked nice over coordinating undies, but it was similar enough to Watermelon Rind by China Glaze that I just didn't think I needed both.  I couldn't get pictures to show the color correctly, and it's really not as blue as it shows up.  It's definitely more of a teal shade.

Bait Me and Play Koi

Bait Me is a very pretty, slightly off-white.  It was a bit sheer - I believe I used three coats for that swatch - but not overly goopy or thick once it was on.  I returned this one, but not because of the quality, simply because I don't use shimmery whites enough to need it.  Play Koi, I bought just for the name.  This one didn't show up well in the pictures, but at 3 coats, there's still definitely VNL.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with this one, besides maybe a jelly sandwich with some non-matching color underneath so it alters the bright orange hue.  If you're looking for an orange jelly (I'm thinking this looks pretty similar to the orange from that L'Oreal collection earlier in the year), this was a pretty nice polish.  It applied with no streaks, and wasn't excessively goopy even at three coats. 

Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, Play Koi

Slick Black, Sparkling Water, Bait Me, Play Koi

Overall, the formula on these seems a bit on the thicker side, but they also seem to dry fairly well, and don't stay goopy forever if you use a fast-dry topcoat with them.  If I didn't already have so much nail polish, I'd definitely be interested in more shades from the collection, but most of the colors in the line are very similar to, if not dupes for, things already in my collection.  The packaging is one of those where the large square "overlid" comes off, and there's a small, round, "normal" handle inside of it.  The brush was nothing particularly special, although my Play Koi brush had several stray hairs on it.  As pretty as a lot of their packaging is, I do with Sally Hansen could just stick with one or two bottle designs.  I'm normally not one for excessive attention to packaging, but these bottles just remind me too much of obelisks or tombstones for me to think they make cute polish bottles.

Happy Meowloween!

I'm not really one to get into all the "spooky" aspects of the Halloween season.  Horror movies, zombie gore, and all that stuff has just never been my thing, although I have cut up a dead body before, and found it thoroughly interesting.  I'd originally intended to do an orange, green, and maybe purple mani, but when I started experimenting, I remembered that I really hate orange, and any shade of orange is literally my least favorite color ever.  As far as I'm concerned, pretty orange does not exist, and I have orange polish in my collection solely for goldfish and koi.

I decided on this green and purple goop mani, but since I'd done a glowing kitty mani last year and really liked it, I wanted to add that to this year's as well.  Although one died several years ago, both the cats my family had growing up were black cats, so I've always had a particular affection for that Halloween symbol.  Like last year's, this one glows, but this year I used the Sinful Colors glow polish.  For $2, I wasn't expecting miracles, but the glow isn't really anything astounding.  I keep thinking I'd really like to get one of those more expensive indie ones that glows SUPER bright in the dark, since mine glowing wouldn't even show up in a picture.  (It definitely did glow noticeably, though, just not insanely brightly.)

One thing I didn't like so much was the way the purple really brightened up with the glow in the dark topcoat (har har, I'm soooo funny, I know).  But really, what started out as a deep, almost vampy purple turned into this soft, bright purple.  I still like the color, but I had been envisioning something a lot darker for Halloween, and it didn't seem to change the appearance of the green as drastically.  I painted the cats on after I had put the glowing coat on, specifically to avoid any problems with weird colors.

Side note: like my new "lightbox"?  It's actually my shower.  I'm sure eventually there's going to be some very awkward explaining to do to my roommate about why I'm standing in the shower fully clothed, taking pictures of my nails, but I've found that that's the lighting that works best in my apartment.  I have no idea why, but for some reason, all the lighting in our kitchen and living room just seems...too dim.

I suppose at some point, I should probably list the polishes I used....

Purple: China Glaze Grape Pop
Green: Sally Hansen In Record Lime
Black: Sinful Colors Black On Black
Yellow: Milani Yellow Whiz
Pink: Sally Hansen Berry Juicy
Glow topcoat: Sinful Colors Glow in the Dark

And now for some closeups.

Someday I will have enough fine motor skill to draw cat pupils evenly and nicely.  As well as enough patience to make sure the yellow globs have fully dried first.  But I think they came out pretty nicely - the ones on my left hand, at least - and from more than a couple inches away, the wonky eyes aren't even noticeable.

So that was my Halloween mani.  I haven't been posting much lately because honestly I haven't really been doing much nail art.  I've been really loving darker, multicolored fleck polishes that I prefer to just leave plain, but I also have quite a few nail art ideas I've been thinking I want to try, as soon as this week (midterms) is over and I have more time on my hands.

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