Thursday, September 30, 2010

OPI Burlesque and MAC Bad Fairy

I just got my Burlesque polishes yesterday! I would have swatched them yesterday if it weren't already dark, I was so excited by all the glitters! I only ordered the glitters and The Show Must Go On, plus Ink, which is not part of this collection.

L to R: Simmer and Shimmer, Show It and Glow It!, Ink (not part of Burlesque), The Show Must Go On!

L to R: Sparkle-icious, Extra-va-vaganza!, Bring On the Bling, Glow Up Already!

Also picked up my order from the MAC Venomous Villains collection:

Hot House lipglass and Bad Fairy nail polish

Here's Bad Fairy:

Coppery pink with a coppery orange duochrome and the base seems almost like a dusty pink. Really pretty. Formula was okay, but very sheer. Four thin coats shown here.

OPI The Show Must Go On!

This one is a bright fuchsia foil with a slight orange duochrome. Love this one too! Two coats shown. Formula on this was perfect, super easy to work with. Dried quickly.

I had heard that OPI The Show Must Go On! could be a dupe of Bad Fairy, so here they are side by side:

Bad Fairy on the left, TSMGO on the right. Definitely not close enough to be called dupes. Pics aren't great, but basically Bad Fairy is more coppery and has a stronger duochrome. Also, the Bad Fairy formula was more watery and much more sheer. Here is each after one coat:

Bad Fairy is very sheer while TSMGO is almost completely opaque already. I also think that TSMGO would be more flattering on a wider range of skin tones, but I do think they are different enough to justify owning both!

On to the glitters! I apologize in advance for the messiness, glitter is so hard to clean up!

Extra-va-vaganza! This one is mostly orange and silver with a sprinkling of yellow, green, blue, and magenta glitter. Definitely wearing this for Halloween!

Sparkle-icious. Equal parts purple, yellow, and blue glitter. Pics really don't do this one justice! Super fun color, like a party in a bottle!

Bring On The Bling. This one seems to have equal parts everything! I can see yellow, silver, orange, magenta, blue, and green. I like that it kind of looks like a pewter-gold at first, but it sparkles so many different colors.

Glow Up Already! This one is mostly gold-green glitter but also contains silver, kelly green, orange, magenta, and blue. I love the green tinge. I wonder how this compares to Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore? Hopefully I get my hands on that one soon so I can compare!

Show It and Glow It! This one is mostly magenta and silver but also contains blue, yellow, orange, and green. Possibly my favorite of the collection, but it's hard to choose!

Simmer and Shimmer. Mostly blue and silver, but also has magenta, yellow, orange, and green. I'm wearing this today to the Dodgers game later!

I love glitters so it's no surprise that I really like all of these! I love that they're so multicolored, being able to see all the different colors makes you want to look at them all day. Be sure to click on each image to show the full-sized version, you can see the glitter in much more detail. I have shown three coats of each and they were pretty much opaque; any bald spots you see are my own fault. I didn't use any topcoat for the swatches but they were gritty so you will probably want to use one. Topcoat also intensifies the sparkle! Drying time was fairly quick and the consistency was pretty easy to work with. I would definitely recommend all of them!

Be careful when removing them. Either place remover-soaked pads on your nails and wrap with foil or press the pad against each nail for 20 seconds and a time before swiping it away. It was pretty easy to remove using this method, but make sure to have plenty of pads on hand and use a clean section for each nail. The removed polish was rubbing onto my hands from the pads.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Monday, September 27, 2010

MAC Light Affair Dupe - BB Couture Intake Valve

My interest in nail polish started way too late for the Love Lace collection from MAC, but I saw Light Affair and really wanted it! I checked ebay and it was going for around $26 (more than double retail), so I gave up. I later saw a swatch of BB Couture Intake Valve (from their men's collection) and thought it looked very similar so I bought it. A few weeks ago I was able to score Light Affair on ebay for a decent price and I finally got it today.

They are really very similar! Both are kind of a grayish, lavender-ish nude creams that look a bit different depending on the light. Intake Valve has a very subtle shimmer in the bottle but it disappears on the nail. It looks just barely lighter than Light Affair if you look really carefully, but it's by far the closest substitute out there, and they're way too close to each other to justify owning both if you already have one. The formula on IV was easier to work with and a bit more opaque, although I am wearing three coats of each color in the pictures.

Light Affair is available on ebay, and possibly makeupalley. Intake Valve is available on BB Couture's website for $9.95 and overallbeauty for $9 (shipping not included).

I'm not really sure if I love this color in its own, but I've seen some pictures of it with black patterns stamped on top and I think it looks great. "Love Lace" made me think of lace, of course! This pattern isn't lace exactly, but it's certainly reminiscent of it:

I used Konad plate m71 with Konad special polish in black. I'm not sure if this is the case with other black polishes but this one was hard to clean up! It left black smears everywhere and I ended up having to clean everything with nail polish remover and then soap and water.

In other (nail) news, I ordered some polishes from the OPI Burlesque collection and they should be here by the end of the week, yay!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chanel Khaki Skittles

Ever heard of "Skittle nails"? It's a trend where people basically paint each nail a different color, usually creating a rainbow-type effect. I actually think it's pretty cute, but Asami did one where she sticks to a certain color palette and I think it looks more sophisticated (maybe even work friendly, depending on the colors and work place). When I saw the teaser pics for the Chanel Khaki collection, I thought those colors would be perfect for this type of mani! Funnily enough, it's suggested in the description of the polishes on the website. Here is my Khaki Skittles mani:

Left hand: Khaki Brun on pinky and index, Khaki Vert on ring and thumb, Khaki Rose on middle.

Right hand: Khaki Brun on pinky and index, Khaki Rose on ring and thumb, Khaki Vert on middle

I have to say that I was skeptical about Chanel polishes as I have never tried them before, but I am very impressed! Application was perfect, especially for a cream! I used two thin coats but could have gotten away with one good one. They dried quickly with a glossy finish, even without top coat. I wasn't sure about the look at first, but the more I stare at it the more I like it! I know some people have been doing camo manis with these colors but I'm not that skilled and I personally think this looks a bit more chic; the colors suggest camo but aren't as obvious as an actual camo pattern.

I'm always a sucker for packaging and the bottles are lovely of course, but they also came with a cute little drawstring bag:

All the shades are actually pretty great by themselves, surprisingly. I was only really interested in Khaki Vert at first but after I got it I decided I wanted Brun and Rose as well. Vert is a lovely army green, kind of a grayed sage. Brun is like a brownish olive, kind of muddy and swampy looking, very unique brown. Rose is pretty much a pinkish brown taupe. I'm not a big fan of taupes but this one is nice. Neutral but chic. I imagine this one is the most popular of the collection, though I personally like Vert the most.

Really loving all the new fall colors!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dior Lemon Balm and Color Club Fashion Addict

I do apologize in advance for posting such a HTF color, but I love it so much! Plus, the whole purple/brown/taupe color is such a big trend for this season so you will be able to find something similar. Dior Lemon Balm:

I really don't think this picture does it justice. It looks different in different lights, sometimes more purple, sometimes more brown. It's kind of a mix of all three, with a bronze-brown shimmer. Great fall color! Application was good and there are three coats shown here, but you could get away with two.

Annnd, a holo! Color Club Fashion Addict:

I really love Color Club so far! Application was a dream. The consistency was perfect, not too thick or thin, very easy to work with. Of course the color is really pretty too! This one is a pinkish lavender holo; the holo effect is a bit more obvious than in my pictures. I think it is best seen under moderate indoor lighting.

After this I decided to put in a big Color Club order which should be coming soon! Also, I got my Chanel Khaki Vert but I decided to order the other two which are on their way as well. Whew, I think after this I am done for the season (until the next Rescue Beauty Lounge sale)!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Color Club Underneath the Mistletoe

I love sparkly polishes, and this one is one of my very favorites! It's actually Studio M Gel-ous, which is exactly the same as the Color Club. I am so loving Color Club and found a place that's not too far away that sells them!
It's an apple green jelly base with pale gold glitter. The formula is great, very easy to work with, and dries pretty smooth, not gritty. Like most glitters, though, it was a pain to remove. I found that if I soaked a part of the cotton pad and gently pressed it against a nail for 20 seconds, it was much easier to remove.

Here's my attempt at some Ruffian manis (streaky b/c I did these quickly, as experiments):
The green cream is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green with Envy.

Yellow polish is Color Club Almost Famous.

Here's a great tutorial for how to do Ruffians:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zoya Savita

My first attempt at an un-traditional French:
Tried to adjust to show the color accurately but it made my skin look pink, which was distracting, so I tried to crop it as much as possible. This is Zoya Savita with Seche Vite on the tips. I did this free-handed, but I think guide stickers could be used because the polish dries quickly. My right hand didn't fare quite as well, but overall I did a pretty rushed job. Anyway, the polish was a little weird to work with, maybe because I'm not used to working with mattes. I like this look, though; I will definitely be trying it with more mattes. Speaking of which, I will have to buy some more...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sally Hansen Dive Deeper and Top Coat Comparison

Hi everyone! My BF has been home the past ten days because he has pink eye. I haven't caught it yet, thank goodness, and he seems to be getting better. I bring it up b/c I feel a little silly taking pictures of my nails in front of him! The only thing he thought was funny was when I gripped my iPod Touch in the last picture so that I could show my thumb, haha.

Anyway, here's my most recent mani, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Dive Deeper (from the LE Tracy Reese collection):
Dive Deeper is a pearly pale blue. Application was okay; the wide, curved brush makes it easy. I like it more than the OPI Pro Wide one b/c the curved shape makes application more accurate. Dry time took a while, but my biggest complaint is that this color is so sheer! I wore it alone, without base or top coat, because I wanted to test its claims to being a "complete salon manicure." It actually held up pretty well, but it took five coats to get the coverage you see in the picture with still slightly visible nail line. I do like the color but next time I'm going to start with a coat of a light blue cream polish to make sure there's enough coverage.

Here it is with a coat of Essie Carnival (a new purchase!):
It looks a bit more washed out in this picture, the first one shows the color more accurately. Carnival is a clear topcoat with holo glitter. Love it! From pictures it looks pretty similar to China Glaze Fairy Dust, but I'm not positive that they are complete dupes since I don't have CG to compare.

I love Carnival so I decided to do a comparison of top coats to see how it compares to the others I have.
Thumb to pinky: Sally Hansen CSM Hidden Treasure, Tony & Tina Lucid Dreams, Essie Carnival, OPI Pearl of Wisdom, China Glaze Kaleidoscope Him Out (all one coat over American Apparel Hassid, no top coat).

Hidden Treasure is very interesting! It's an opalescent flakey with clear base. As you can see in the picture, it mainly shines orange with some yellow and green duochrome. Application was fine but it took quite a while to dry. Dense enough to wear alone with good coverage in a couple of coats. I know this has been pretty HTF lately, but Nubar 2010 is pretty close and readily available on ebay for decent prices.
Lucid Dreams is probably hard to find, but I included it b/c I'm sure there are many dupes out there. This one is an opalescent glitter in a clear base, mostly shines aqua with some orange. Dried quickly, dense enough to wear alone.
Carnival, as I stated above, is a holo glitter in a clear base. Quick drying time, and the finish is almost satiny. The glitter isn't very densely packed, so I would only wear it alone if I was going for a very subtle glitter effect. I'd like to try this over a French, maybe.
Pearl of Wisdom looks like a sheer white pearl in the bottle but shows up over black as a duochrome! I'm sure this would work over other colors as well. Very cool effect. Good drying time. Could be worn alone but it would be very sheer, obviously.
Kaleidoscope Him Out isn't really a top coat, but I thought I'd try it over black just to see. I think it does look kind of cool over black, but I can't wait to try it alone. It's a light blue jelly base w/ holo powder. I'm sure this would be opaque on the nail in two or three coats, and would also look more blue.

What top coats do you like to use?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Orly Cosmic FX

Finally got around to swatching these, and I love all of them! They are really so gorgeous, the pictures don't do them justice, but I tried! Each swatch is three coats, no topcoat.

Galaxy Girl
If I had to pick a favorite of the bunch, this would be it. The base is kind of a dark, prune-y color and it shimmers plum and sky blue. There can also be some orange or green tones, depending on the light and angle.

Lunar Eclipse
This one is a beautiful royal blue with purple duochrome and sometimes you can see some orange.

Space Cadet
I'm guessing this is going to be one of the most popular colors. The base is kind of a goldy green with a champagne pink duochrome, but it could look more yellow or orange, or even almost lavender. The duochrome in this one seemed the strongest (or multi-chrome).

Out of this World
This one was a blackened purple base that shimmered purple and orange-yellow, although the duochrome was pretty weak. It mostly shows up as a very pretty, interesting purple.

It's Not Rocket Science
The base on this one was kind of a dark olive, with gold-green shimmer and apple green duochrome. This one was also pretty weak, but a very cool and unique color nonetheless.

Halley's Comet
This one is a gorgeous, bright teal with yellow-green flash. I don't know if this one is technically a duochrome, but it still holds its own in this collection. Perfect "mermaid" shade.

I can't say enough about these! All the shades are shimmery and glittery at the same time. It seems like they are filled with small flakes, so although they look sparkly, they are smooth to the touch. I think I topcoat would really bring these out more, but they are awesome on their own as well. With every color, I couldn't stop staring at my fingers. Each color is really complex and interesting, and I just loved tilting my hand at different angles in the sun to see what other colors would show. Application was mostly great, although Space Cadet could have used another coat. Drying time was pretty short. Highly, highly recommend these!