Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the New Year with Dior Silver Pearl

Happy New Year (though not according to this blog because the times are all PST)! I just got home after finishing my fourth New Year's Eve four mile fun run around Central Park. Last year, it was deathly cold. This year, it was warm (read: above freezing)... and very slushy. It was my second worst run time-wise but I've been so out of shape this past year, I'm just glad I finished it in under an hour!

Anyway, I didn't want to forget to update the blog on New Year's so I thought I'd show off my NOTD:

Dior Silver Pearl

This is one of two polishes in Dior's Spring 2010 collection. I got my hands on slightly early because apparently, Saks gets Dior stuff early. And I happened to walk into Saks the other day. And promptly dropped $20+tax for this polish. It is the most I've spent on a polish. The color is a beautiful burnished silver that has a slight greenish cast to it. Depending on the light, it can look straight up silver, blackened silver or even a mossy silver. It's satiny and not at all glossy; it almost looks slightly mattefied to me. It's subtle but striking. Up close, I think of it as another *yawn* silver and kind of a dull silver at that. But once in awhile, I'll catch a glimpse of my nails from arm's length or in a mirror and I just stop and stare at my own nails. It really pops at a distance. It's not flashy but it's attention-getting. 

Application is what I have come to expect from Dior polishes: the small flat brush is perfect for my small nails and the polish is thick, smooth and very obedient: it goes where you want it to go. I used three coats though it could've been a two-coater. It dried before I could get the topcoat on! And I suspect the topcoat (Sally Hansen Mega Shine, which I really don't like but it's what I keep at my mom's place) is the culprit for the exceptionally advanced tipwear at 12 hours. :( 

So the question comes to this: is it worth $20? It is worth it to me because I have designated Dior polishes as my supreme manifestation of nail polish luxury: I'll buy them at that price because I've decided that they're my exception to my "No polish is worth over $16... and it had better be damn good if it's over $10" rule. These polishes make my nails feel invincible. For those who need a $20 polish to be all that, a bag of chips and a ready and willing slave that will make you breakfast in bed with freshly squeezed orange juice... no, it's definitely not that. Not magical. 

I actually kind of wish it was a dupe of Opulent Cloud but with the fabulous Dior formula. Alas, no, it's kind of just the lighter, airier, greener version of Silver Purple. I have the same feeling towards Silver Purple: "Eh" and a shrug. But I find myself strangely mesmerized by both. 
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Happy New Year!!

I'm so sorry I haven't been actively posting! My job has been taking up a lot of my life, I barely have time to swatch or paint my nails as often as I like. During the week I wear boring work appropriate colors and on the weekends I do paint my nails, but really don't get a chance to snap a picture of it while the sun is still up. I only managed to take pics of two of my holiday manis this month.

First up is Sally Hansen Project Runway. Project Runway unfortunately is a Canadian exclusive, it is such a gorgeous color I wish this was more readily available. It is a green loaded with bits of gold shimmer/mini flecks. Absolutely stunning, perfect in two coats! I feel bad for posting it because many of our visitors won't be able to get it unless you live in Canada or have a friend in Canada.

Sally Hansen Project Runway

close up of Sally Hansen Project Runway

After a couple days of wear, I topped it with Ulta's After Party which is a red, silver, and multi color glitter in a clear base. I put one coat of After Party and then one coat of Nubar Diamont to make it smooth. A perfect glitter top coat for a holiday mani! I haven't tried it by itself, but this is so fun layered over everything. I'm sorry i think the week I wore this it rained all week and could only capture indoor pictures of it, but you get the idea.

Sally Hansen Project Runway topped w/ Ulta After Party flash

Sally Hansen Project Runway topped w/ Ulta After Party without flash under artifical light

My other holiday mani was Essie Jelly Apple topped with Ulta After Party of course. No picture of Jelly Apple though since it's your standard red creme. Although it is my only red creme and I am quite happy with it, that's why it is my only red creme. It's actually a jelly and goes on perfectly in two coats. I couldn't get a picture of this until after a few days of wear so there is some tipwear, but it held up very well! After Party was really hard to capture in the sun for some reason, my camera just didn't want to capture all of its glittery goodness!

Essie Jelly Apple w/ Ulta After Party

These pictures seriously do no justice to how amazing After Party is!! If you have an Ulta nearby, you should def pick this one up if you like glitter and enjoy layering it over polishes!

I hope everyone is having a safe holiday and see you all next year (hopefully with more nail polishes)!! :)
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Street Wear Haul-o-rama!

The last day of 2009! I've been feeling under the weather for the past few days but I hope I feel good enough to run four miles at midnight: the NYC Road Runners sponsors a fun run through Central Park every New Year's Eve. This would be my fourth year of ringing in the New Year with a runner's high. ;)

Anyway, like I had mentioned, I made a huge Revlon Street Wear haul from a dusty in midtown Manhattan with shopping_sushi_style on Tuesday. She and I accidentally met last summer at Sephora Times Sq. We were both looking for $OPI 212 when we started talking about our interest in nail polish... which led to a conversation about Nail Board. It was then we realized we knew each other through NB! Small world, huh? Anyway, she took me to this incredible dusty -- the name escapes me at the moment -- where baggies of four random Street Wears (and some Maybellines) are sold for $1 each!! Here are some iPhone photos of what I got:

L to R: Maybelline Bolt of Blue, Red Hot, Mediterranean Coral, Get Strappy, Fairy Pretty, Taupe Tulle, Sheer Ivory, and L'Oreal Lemon Twist

I took a picture of the back of these Maybelline Coloramas because there sale stickers all over their fronts. From L to R: Sonic Sunset, Ruby Rays, Tangerine Tips, Mango Sorbet Tips, Candy Apple, Cherry Tips.

Because the SWs came in fours, I ended up with a lot of extras of several colors. These are all Burnt.

This too is called Burnt even though it looks very different.

I also got a lot of Jelly. One of them is actually missing from this picture.

All of these are Grass Stain... Why one has a black label is beyond me. I think it may have very, very slightly different shimmer?

These are labeled "Ggrass Sstain". Not sure why Revlon used the same names for different polishes.

Taxi! (You know, I almost never purposefully buy dupes. I know I won't finish anything ever really... it feels impossible right now!)

The first two are Gold Mine; the third is Ggold Mmine. It seems to reflect more blue while the other two reflect purple.

Slip, which is prettier in person: a shimmering champagne with holo microglitter.

The first two (again different logo labels!) are Stain. The last two are Sstain.

Ones I have two of, L to R: Gun Metal, Psychedelic, White Out (probably my fave white), and Mmoody. Alas, I couldn't find Moody, which I think is a creme.

Mmm, holo bar glitter!! L to R: Hologram, Midas and Nightmare.

Cremes, L to R: Drab, Nothing, Matte It... is that a topcoat?

Shimmers with microglitter: Angelic, Halo, Illusion, Incognito, Lighten Up and Shooting Star.

Greys and blues, L to R: Steelo, Sky, Tux, Midnight, Vice.

Beiges and browns, L to R: Whip Cream, Imagination, Chick and Scheming.

And the last four: Jam, Raw, Blood and Ruined.

Whew! This post took awhile to do on my iPhone. I can't wait to get my computer back from repair! Hopefully later today. :)
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Adoree sales and other discount/promo codes!

All Adoree is currently going for $3.99 (as opposed to $5.99) at Esther's Nail Center. Great opportunity to try out a wonderful brand!

Take an extra 20% off sale items at CherryCulture and Sephora. For CherryCulture, enter code SALE20 at checkout (expires: December 30th, 2009). For Sephora, enter code EXTRA at checkout (expires: December 31st, 2009).
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Some of yesterday's haul...

I haven't gotten around to lining up and photographing my big Revlon Street Wear bonanza (too. many. polishes!) but here's a pic of shopping_sushi_style's hands and some of the SWs we got. It looks like we're playing chess. People in the cafe we were in were giving us funny looks.

Besides SWs, I also went on a high end polish bender. Totally by accident. Sort of. I went back to Henri Bendel to exchange my KO Pool for KO Liberty... and avoided buying anything else in there. I thought these were enough:

I couldn't resist a polish called Calamine that looked so close to Calamine (and to answer a reader's question from yesterday: I don't use a Helmer but I suspect that these are too tall for them). $18 each? Ouch.

Most of the colors at Bendel's seemed pretty standard so I scooped up the three most interesting ones (IMO): Carnaby Street, St John's Wood and The Thames. $14 each, not bad, considering that's how much I had paid for them from the UK via eBay. (They also had some exorbitantly priced polishes with crystal encrusted caps.)

After my second trip to Bendel's, I ducked into Bergdorf's next door. I almost felt too lazy to go downstairs for the beauty department. And that's where I found my second big nail polish bonanza of the day: all three StrangeBeautiful volumes for 30% off. It's still $55 each (super ouch!)... maybe if you divide it by eight, it's not so bad?

They are sooo much prettier in person! I can't believe I bought all three. I just couldn't decide and I knew if I only bought one, I'd regret it. So... All three. I think the photos are in this order (I may be wrong): Volumes 3, 2, and 1.

But was I done at Bergdorf's? Nope. I saw a Paul & Joe counter... which I don't think I've ever seen in any store before. I couldn't resist picking one up. I'm a sucker for more obscure (in the US anyway) brands. It took awhile because they were out of stock of a lot of their polishes, but I eventually walked out with this: #20.

It's a greenish charcoal-like shimmer with what looks like gold microglitter... as well as a foil-y finish. Super pretty and interesting looking in the bottle. I think it was $14. Which seemed cheap at this point of my shopping day (which actually started out with old Street Wears at $1 for a random baggie of 4).

That's a scary point to be at. Probably should've gone home but... Saks was down the street. I totally expected not to come out with anything but I stopped at the Dior counter and lo... they got the Dior Spring 2010 polishes early. So I spent the most I had ever spend on a single polish: $20. With tax. (...I cannot believe how much money I dropped on freakin' nail polish on one day! I'm pretty much resolved not to spend anything else for the remainder of my trip.) Anyway, I really wanted the Dior because they wear amazingly well on me so... now I own Dior Silver Pearl. I think it will be my NYE mani.

It's a silver metallic with a very, very, very slight green undertone. I'm totally returning it if the quality isn't as great as I've had with Silver Purple and Black Sequins.
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The Face Shop's PP406, BR804, BL607

I love this brand! It is based out of South Korea and I saw them pop up in a few department stores while I was traveling around.

I picked up 3 in Ho Chi Minh City. They were about 2 bucks each. I wish I had gotten more. The shape of the brush is fantastic: flat but not too wide. The top of the cap is indented which makes it really comfortable to hold and paint.

The application is ultra-smooth. Although, it is not B3F. Not surprising considering wonderful formula + low cost usually = chemical city.


(3 coats)

A purple jelly (in no way blurple) with lots of silver shimmer.


(2 coats)

This is a great work color. Champagne metallic (frosty perhaps?) with a little bit of silver sparkle throughout. The application of this one was a freaking dream. I can't even.


(2 coats)

This one was the hardest to photograph. This is a navy base and it has both pink and blue shimmer (the pink would not come through in pics, sadly).

I wish I had gotten a creme so I could really put the brand to the test.
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Playing with Konad and Layering

Hello! Guess what? I got 2 more grades the other day and I got....2 As! WOOHOO!!!! Now I'm in the midst of writing my 4th paper for the semester and then I'll be done! Thanks to everyone who offered their support - I really appreciate it. I won't have the 4.0 GPA I wanted but I'll aim for a 3.9.

This is yesterday's Konad of the Day (KOTD). I received all of the Coraline (one of my all-time favorite movies) Konad plates (from kit #1 and #2) for X-mas. Please be kind - I'm still new to Konad and I'm not good at it yet. Anyway, I started out with Orly Wild Wisteria, a dark purple. Then I layered CND Crimson Sparkle on top of it to make it more interesting. Lastly, I used Konad Special Polish in silver for the designs. My ring finger is just Wild Wisteria and I stamped the button/skull French design multiple times.


With flash:


Blurred to show red sparkles:

Orly Wild Wisteria and CND Crimson Sparkle can be purchased from most of the major e-tailers. The Coraline Konad plates can be purchased from OCNailArt.

Have a great New Year's!
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Yesterday's TJ Maxx and Ricky's hauls

Quick update with quick pics of my haul from yesterday. (Wait til you see today's: it's a humdinger! A veritable ton of old Street Wears! I hope to have time to post pics of those tomorrow...)

Some Barielle treatments for $3.99 eachincluding Manicure Extender and Camo. Someone else CPed me Camo already but I figured I couldn't go too wrong with a backup.

From Ricky's: some Mattese neons which are really Color Club. These are exactly the ones from the Electro-Candy collex but I'm forgetting the precise names right now. I also got Orly Polo Princess and a mini glass nail file to keep at my mom's. All polishes were on sale for $1.99 at Ricky's.

Some Essies were also on sale for $1.99. I know what you are thinking: "what boring colors!" Here's the thing: my collection has practically no light pinks and sheers. So I made up for that and picked up Naughty n Nice (soft white), Tie the Knot (beige), Luscious Lips (light pink), Flawless (dusty rose), Chubby Cheeks (dark pink peach), and Mini Shorts (neon orange).

Today's haul is the super exciting one though. In addition to a LOT of old Street Wears, I got some Nails Inc and KO Knockout polishes for waaaay more money than a sane person spends on nail polish. (I'm actually on the subway to go back to Henri Bendel's because I grabbed KO Pool instead of KO Liberty! I need my mint green!)
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A couple of Snail Slicks: 25 and 40

These have been languishing in my swatch folder for quite awhile (one longer than the other) because the polishes had been unceremoniously tossed into my "keep, but organize later" drawer. Since they were numbered, I definitely had no memory of what they were called so... I delayed ever posting these photos. 'Til now.

You can get Snail Slicks polishes at Supply Source, where you can also get "David", the topcoat king as determined by The Edge of Sanity. (I guess this would also be a good place to discuss my experience with David.) But first, the Snail Slicks.

Snail Slicks 40 over Revlon Street Wear Drab

Before you ask, no #40 doesn't get opaque in three coats (maybe five, but with patience and drying time in between coats). It gets pretty dense but doesn't ever cover up the whole nail. So I used 40 to doll up my Street Wear Drab manicure that David ruined. Well, I ruined it: I ruined it by assuming that 12 hours after doing my mani, I could move my hands around normally and not get big dents in my polish. For several polishes I've tried (Revlon Street Wear, Estee Lauder, Avon), it dries to about "95% dry" but then the last five percent never seems to dry. For other polishes (Adoree and a couple of others I can't immediately recall), it dries quickly and dries completely, almost as quickly. I'm still trying to figure out which polishes work and which do not.

Oh, right, I was supposed to be talking about the Snail Slicks: anyway, #40 is a super pretty mix of green and gold glitter. Dense enough to make a good topcoat but not dense enough to wear on its own.

Snail Slicks 25 over SpaRitual Falling in Love

For some reason, I really like this orange sherbet-colored super glittery topcoat. Photos don't communicate how seriously sparkly this one is. As far as I can tell, it's got a bunch of gold microglitter and holo microglitter and just glitters up a storm. The video shows it reacting to the light much better:

At about $4 each, these are probably a bit overpriced for what they are but I can't say I regret them. I do recall testing a black shimmer out and that wasn't so hot, prompting me to assume that unless I'm ordering more David or empty bottles any time soon, I probably won't be getting more of these. Basically, it's not worth the $25 minimum for just Snail Slicks but if I had other things to get, I probably wouldn't be adverse to picking up a couple more. There are a couple of other glitter ones that look like they'd be awesome. That and I think the name "Snail Slicks" is totally adorable. :)
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