Thursday, February 28, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust collection: London

Yesterday was a horrible day, today wasn't much better, so here's a pretty polish to remind me that grey isn't always a bad thing--Zoya London.  Three thin coats of sparkly, textured matte glitter.

In the shade:

London, like the rest of the Pixie Dust collection, is available at Zoya's website for $9 + shipping.

The Pixie Dust collection was sent to me by Zoya for review.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust Collection: Godiva (and an inspiration by Kayla Shevonne)

Every now and then I have to yell "But I don't like nude polishes!"  That usually happens right after I've fallen in love with one.  Butter London All Hail the Queen was the first, and Zoya Godiva was the second.  I love the finish, the texture, the sparkle and the color (which, btw, is my perfect "mannequin hands" color).  And not only do I love it, but two of my co-workers borrowed it today for quick lunchtime manicures!  The formula was easy to work with, opaque in three coats and has worn well.

In the sun:

More pics, and my take on a gorgeous mani by Kayla Shevonne after the jump!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust Collection: Dahlia

Dahlia is the second Pixie Dust polish I tried, and it's definitely love at first sight!  It's a true black with silver glitter, opaque in two coats, thick but very easy to work with.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Dahlia is a lovely take on black with silver glitter, and an absolutely unique polish.  It's available at Zoya's website for $9 + shipping.

The Pixie Dust collection was sent to me by Zoya for review.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust Collection: Chyna

Zoya's contribution to the Year of the Textured Nail is the Pixie Dust collection, and every polish in it is just gorgeous!  My first swatch is of Chyna, a deep, blue-based red loaded with sass, sparkle and chunky red glitter.  Chyna is a bit thick from all the glitter, but surprisingly easy to work with--I did zero cleanup before taking my pictures, and I'm still pretty pleased with the results.  Chyna was opaque in two coats, and of course my swatches don't have top coat.  It also wore for two full days before I removed it, with only some minor tipwear.  Considering part of my job is yanking files out of overstuffed cabinets and then putting them back, that's pretty impressive!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Chyna is incredibly rich and not at all dull, despite the definite texture and matte finish.  If you're interested in bringing this beauty home, it's available at Zoya's website for $9 + shipping.

The Pixie Dust collection was sent to me by Zoya for review.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dear China Glaze,

Recently, I paid for six of the Avant Garden polishes with my own money, with the intention of swatching them for my (very small) beauty blog and of wearing them just for the joy of the colors.  I even included them in a recent "haul post" showing off what I'd gotten because I was so very excited.

That changed the minute I read about what your contractor did to Kelly of Vampy Varnish and to Sam of Fashion Polish.  It's bad enough that she stole pictures belonging to bloggers who work very hard at photographing and reviewing your products, but that the pictures were then used on both The Shopping Chanel Canada (where the pictures are still being used!) and ShopNBC without credit to either blogger is unforgivable.  The fact that China Glaze's PR division responses to the two bloggers involved was inconsistent does not speak well of your company.

China Glaze is not a small company.  You have the power to stop allowing TSC to sell your products, and I'm sure they'd comply with a request from your corporate office to remove the photos from their website.  However, the most you have done is to offer a lame apology and even lamer excuse to one of the bloggers.

We bloggers are all small fish in your great big pond, but we are also your customers.  Those of us who love your products would prefer to know that we buy from a company with integrity.

Please do your best to correct the wrong done to Sam, Kelly, and by extension, the entire beauty blogging community.  Until then, those six Avant Garden polishes will sit on my shelf and gather dust.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Haul post!

I haven't done one of these in a while, and I've been rather piggy lately, so I thought I might as well admit to my greed. :)

From Ninja Polish:

Dandy Nails Cashmere Night, Ninja Polish Will You Be My Valentine?, Ninja Polish Cupid Floam

More good stuff after the jump!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Candeo Colors Melonball

Melonball is a gorgeous glitter topper exclusive to Llarowe.  It has red, pink, copper, green and coral matte glitters in a clear base.  It applies easily, with good distribution (no dabbing required!) and needs no more than a coat of Gelous plus regular top coat for smoothness and shine!  All swatches are two coats of Melonball over two coats of China Glaze Snap My Dragon.

In the sun:

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

If you want a summer beauty that gives you visions of watermelon with a little pizzazz, pick this one up!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dandy Nails Cashmere Night

To those who know me, it is no secret that I love purple and that I love matte nail polishes.  Dandy Nails Cashmere Night is a beautiful purple matte polish, so ergo, I love it!  Cashmere Night has a smooth, slightly thick, well-behaved formula.  The color is a rich indigo, much more blue-toned than my other purple matte love, Orly Purple Pleather.  It was opaque and perfect in two coats, and dried so quickly that I immediately painted my toenails with it so I could get them back into my warm slippers ASAP. ;)  All swatches are two coats.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

In the sun:

Of course, I had to try it with top coat, which reveals itty-bitty blue sparkles!

Dandy Nails polishes are available on Etsy and at Ninja Polish.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nicest bear, best bear, cleverest bear!

One of my Goodreads friends is a lovely young woman named Heidi.  Her moderator tag on GR is "Nice bear, good bear" but I think after seeing the following pictures, you'll agree that she's the nicest bear, the best bear and the cleverest bear around!

When I got home from work on Valentine's Day, there were no cards in my mailbox, but there was a package from an address I didn't recognize.  I put the dogs out, let them in and fed them, and then bundled Mouse into the car to have his Frankenear checked at the vet's.  When I got home, $50 poorer and much tireder, I opened the package.  Inside, I found seven roses of a type I'd never seen before:

They're made from bubble wrap!

Then when I took apart the roses, I found seven beautiful polishes, including OPI Bastille My Heart (because my birthday is on Bastille Day) and OPI Shim-merry Chic, which is both HTF and out of my price range, plus $ephora by OPI, Borghese and Estee Lauder!

So thank you, Heidi, for a lovely Valentine's Day gift which I will remember for a long time!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cult Nails Charlatan

Last year, Cult Nails came out with five beautiful top coats designed to add that little something special to your nail polishes.  I only got one, Charlatan, but I think it's the cream of the crop!  One coat of Charlatan adds a pink-to-purple duochrome shimmer to any polish.  The formula was perfect, as always, and I adore the color shift.  All swatches are one coat of Charlatan over two coats of Tempest and one coat of Fetish, no top coat.  You can see the color shift best in the first picture, and over white, Charlatan mostly seems like a pink-toned coral.  I love that it's so different depending on the base color!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

In the sun:

Not only is Charlatan utterly dreamy, but it and all the Cult Nails nail polishes are on sale for $8 each!  That's a savings of 25%!  Add them to your cart and use code FB10K and the price will drop like magic to celebrate 10,000 Cult Nails followers on Facebook.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Orly MegaPixel FX Collection

Clearly, the matte glitter finish is The Finish of the year, at least for the big nail polish companies.  We've had OPI Liquid Sand and Zoya Pixie Dust, and now Orly is getting into the game with the Megapixel collection.

Slip on some sparkle this spring with six new shades of pixelated perfection from the MegaPixel FX Collection. ORLY’s innovative 3D formula provides millions of glitter pixels for a multi-dimensional finish. Just two quick drying layers create a long-lasting, hi-res manicure.

Silver Pixel: Silver 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish
Rose Pixel: Rose 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish
Pink Pixel: Pink 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish
Aqua Pixel: Aqua 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish
Plum Pixel: Plum 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish
Black Pixel: Black 3D Glitter Nail Lacquer with a Pixelated Finish

I'm looking forward to these, since Orly is one of my favorite brands--how about you?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Part II: Free Shipping at Incoco and Barielle!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Not a long post, but my NOTD today is Heart to Heart by Incoco.  These are the first polish strips I've tried from Incoco, and I found them very easy to use, with lots of cute patterns and extremely reasonable price.  The Incoco strips are priced comparably to the Sally Hansen Salon Effects polish strips, with a very small shipping charge (under $3).  These also stood up to wrestling with putting a giant plastic cone on my Labrador and then taking it off and putting it back on, so they're pretty sturdy!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

In the sun:

Even if I haven't had a Valentine for years, these are cute and candy-themed, so I love them!  Heart to Heart, other patterns and colors are available at Incoco for $7.99 and up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cult Nails Second Anniversary collection: Fetish and Tempest

In addition to Blaze, the Cult Nails Second Anniversary collection also included Fetish and Tempest.

Fetish is a one-coat black polish with a rubberized matte finish.  It's utterly lovely and perfect as underwear, and will be my go-to black from now on!  Of course the formula was perfect. :)  Sorry for the nail wheel swatches--I didn't realize I hadn't done a full swatch of Fetish until I started writing this post.  All swatches are one coat without top coat.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

Tempest is a lovely two-coat white polish, with a slight satin finish and an absolutely blinding lack of color.   Again, the formula was perfect and it's going to be amazing under neons.  All swatches are two coats with no top coat.
Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

In the sun:

The Second Anniversary collection is no longer available as a set, but all three polishes are now part of the Cult Nails core line, where they retail for $12 + shipping.  Blaze is a glorious polish and Fetish and Tempest are wonderful staples to have in your polish wardrobe!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cult Nails Second Anniversary Collection: Blaze

It's hard for me to believe that Cult Nails is only two years old!  Maria's quality is always excellent, her colors are gorgeous, and her customer service is top-notch.  Until she brought out this collection, I'd not even remembered that she started such a short time ago.  Anyway, on to the first polish from this gorgeous collection.  Blaze is a blend of copper, gold and holographic micro-glitter with an overall bronze hue.  One coat is just barely thin enough for layering, but it's opaque in two.  Like every Cult Nails polish I've tried, the formula is perfect--smooth and a joy to work with.  Because the glitters are super-fine, they do tend to get everywhere during the removal process, but Blaze is totally worth the trouble.

Two coats of Blaze in the sun, living up to its name!

More pics after the jump!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Whimsical Ideas by Pam: In the Whole Wide World

The minute I saw In the Whole Wide World on Jen's nails, I was a goner!  Thankfully, it's a recent release from Pam, and within a week of being smitten by it, it was part of my stash and worn in two different ways on my nails!  In the Whole Wide World is a clear jelly with pale pink hearts, small mint green hexes and iridescent micro-glitter.  I have to mention that I did absolutely no fishing for or placing of any of the hearts or hexes--I just painted my nails the way I'd use any polish and got gorgeous results!

Indoors with flash:

Index is four coats, middle is three coats, ring is two coats and pinkie is one coat.

Indoors without flash:

Index is four coats, middle is three coats, ring is two coats and pinkie is one coat.

After I'd swatched In the Whole Wide World, I knew I needed to wear it right away!  I layered it over my favorite soft white.

Over two coats of Orly Au Champagne, indoors with flash:

Over two coats of Orly Au Champagne, indoors with flash:

Whimsical Ideas by Pam are available through her Facebook page and retail for $10 each.  If you want a delicate spring polish, you couldn't do better than In the Whole Wide World!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Whimsical Ideas by Pam: Persian Violets

Persian Violets is a pale purple jelly base stuffed with purple and lavender glitters in various shapes and sizes. The base is a bit thick, which it has to be to hold the glitters, but surprisingly easy to work with. No fishing or dabbing is required with this beauty! My swatches show from 1-4 coats without top coat.

Indoors with flash:

Index is four coats, middle is three coats, ring is two coats and pinkie is one coat.

Indoors without flash:

Index is four coats, middle is three coats, ring is two coats and pinkie is one coat.

In the sun:

Index is four coats, middle is three coats, ring is two coats and pinkie is one coat.

Whimsical Ideas by Pam are available through her Facebook page and retail for $10 each.  If you like purple, you need Persian Violets!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hare Polish: Electric Flame

Electric Flame was part of Hare Polish's Fall 2012 collection, The Illuminated Life.  Based on a luminescent sea creature, it's a coral-pink jelly polish stuffed with violet-blue flakes and hexes.  It doesn't cover completely on its own--my swatches are four coats with visible nail line, but it can be worn over a similar base color if VNL bothers you.

Indoors without flash:

Indoors with flash:

Hare Polish is available on Etsy and at Llarowe, but I don't believe Electric Flame is available any more.  Still, there are plenty of other gorgeous Hare polishes! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

OPI The Great and Powerful Oz collection

Coming in March, to coincide with the movie, The Great and Powerful Oz.

Don’t Burst My Bubble
I Theodora You
Glints of Glinda
Lights of Emerald City
What Wizardry Is This
When Monkeys Fly

Which is Witch

I'm most excited for the four glitter polishes--how about you?