Friday, December 31, 2010

China Glaze Grape Crush: there's nothing I like better than an HTF that cost me a couple of bucks!

About half a year ago, I stopped in a random dusty while waiting for a Hawaiian barbecue takeout order. I walked out with China Glaze Grape Crush. For free. (Well, I bought a couple of other polishes which came to $12 total and the woman who owned the shop didn't feel right about selling me a two-thirds full old nail polish... so she threw it in. :D) It's so true: HTF lemmings do find you eventually, without having to resort to eBay scalpers!

China Glaze Grape Crush

Metallicky purple shimmer dotted with holo glitter. A little bit gritty but gorgeous in the sunlight. Three coats.
read more "China Glaze Grape Crush: there's nothing I like better than an HTF that cost me a couple of bucks!"

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Franken - Flare

Sometimes, you need a little glitter.

This is a lovely little mix that I made using all of the warm tones of the Martha Stewart glitters. I wanted to my fingers to look like they were on fire -

Eh, it didn't really work. This is over two coats of Orly Luxe, so the glitter is actually quite sparse; I wanted WOW and I got MEH. Oh well, there's always next time, right?

Happy day, all!
read more "Franken - Flare"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Color Club Enchanted Holiday mini set, Part II of II: Magic Elf & Snowflakes

The rest of the Color Club Enchanted Holiday mini set...

Color Club Snowflakes over Revlon Powder Puff

This was going to be sheer so I layered it over a soft white. Pretty iridescent glitter in a slightly cloudy base; leans towards looking pinker (as on the nail) than bluer (as in the bottle). Two coats.

Color Club Magic Elf

Saved the best for last. AWESOME grass green foil with strong gold shimmer. So bright! So sparkly! Two coats, could've used three (though the VNL wasn't as obvious IRL as it is in the photo).

Thanks to those who commented on my post about my grandfather. I hope to respond to everyone soon. The internet's really spotty in my mother's place in Taipei: the only place where I can access wifi is on floor in the middle of one of the bedrooms, as I am stealing someone else's signal. Why? Because my mother doesn't know her wifi password. She didn't know her wifi had a password. (Actually, she didn't know the name of her network either. My uncle set everything up for her so she has no idea how anything computer-related works.)
read more "Color Club Enchanted Holiday mini set, Part II of II: Magic Elf & Snowflakes"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Models Own Peacock Green

(2-3 coats - can't remember)

This kind of finish ain't really my style but the color is TDF.
read more "Models Own Peacock Green"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Color Club Enchanted Holiday mini set, Part I of II: Enchanted Holiday & Wishlist Red

I love Color Club mini sets: unlike most minis, these actually feel substantial. The bottle is nice and weighty for its size, the brush is pretty much normal, and they're a breeze to apply. Even though I feel no affinity to Christmas (which, I am aware, was a couple days ago), I was thrilled when this set unexpectedly showed up on my doorstep from the company.

Color Club Enchanted Holiday
Typical cool gold glitter in clear base. Two coats here, could have used three. Still, pretty nice for a glitter in a clear base: Color Club does these sorts of polishes so well.

Color Club Wishlist Red

This was unexpectedly beautiful. It's the same old red glitter in red jelly we've all seen a thousand and one times (usually named in reference to Dorothy's ruby slippers) but this applied extremely nicely. It was such a rich, pigmented red jelly: two coats and you can barely make out VNL.

Stay tuned for the other two polishes. :)

I did try to do some nail art with the cute stickers they included but I'm pretty incompetent so they turned out... not cute at all.
read more "Color Club Enchanted Holiday mini set, Part I of II: Enchanted Holiday & Wishlist Red"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nails Inc St John's Wood (oh and I'm going to Taipei today)

Nails Inc St John's Wort
This was a GREAT polish: pretty blurple creme that applied just perfectly in two coats. Dried very quickly too with Diamont. If only Nails Inc weren't so expensive in the US...

I'm leaving in a few hours for Taipei, Taiwan. It'll be a short trip for the amount of travel I'll be logging (over 30 hours in a plane coming and going for a visit that will last approximately six days) but I couldn't really get away for longer and I had to go. My 94-year-old grandfather is very ill and there's not much doctors can do for him. I haven't seen him in three years and we're not close at all but I think I'll deeply regret it if I don't see him one more time. This is not a trip I'm looking forward to; I just feel so sad.

(Also, I still hate traveling by plane. Getting better at it though. And flying across the Pacific is a long flight. Or rather, it's a long flight flying up the West Coast of the US, Canada, Alaska, across the Bering Sea, then down the coast of Russia, over Japan and the East China Sea. I think it's... faster? that way around rather than flying clear across the ocean.)
read more "Nails Inc St John's Wood (oh and I'm going to Taipei today)"

Hard Candy Beetle

You know when you pass something by and kick yourself later, only to be given a second chance by another brand? THANK YOU, Hard Candy!

Please feast your eyes (yet again, as you've probably seen this fifty times) on Beetle by Hard Candy -

After passing over Orly's Space Cadet during a (rare) frugal moment in Ulta and kicking myself for days, I waltzed on in to a Walmart and was granted this little lovely. A color-changing wonder, this is another one of those car accident colors - a color so intriguing that you risk running into other cars while turning your wheel because "OOOOOOH look at that color!"

Here she is "in motion" -

Olive-gold-orange-pink, Hard Candy is all that an a bag of chips. Whether you opt for this one or Space Cadet, get one of these lovelies for your tips.

Happy day, all!
read more "Hard Candy Beetle"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! - OPI Smitten with Mittens

My perfect Christmas polish!

Smitten with Mittens is from the Holiday 2009 collection - one of my all-time favourite OPI collections! I really fell in love with it last year, and cast aside my similar polishes (aka China Glaze Ruby Pumps) in favour of this particular red glitter. It is absolutely stunning - a deep red with gold glitter. The glitter mostly appears red though because it's twinkling at you from underneath a thin layer of red jelly polish.

Don't you feel festive already?

This one is getting a lot of buzz this year for some reason, with many people scrambling to find it. I don't remember it being that big a hit when the collection released, but I'm glad to see this polish finally getting the recognition it deserves! It makes me feel like I should be off decorating cookies, trimming a tree, or drinking some Gluehwein! Which I think I am going to go do right now...

What mani are you wearing to get into the holiday spirit??

Merry Christmas everyone!

read more "Merry Christmas! - OPI Smitten with Mittens"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Layering Love - Essence Choose Me

Well all know that this was the Year of the Dupe, right? Case iwhatn point, Essence Choose Me, also know as OPI:CMIYN/Zoya:Charla/Orly:Halley'sComet.

So what do you do when you have a lot of dupes? See what they look like over other polishes, that's what.

Shown above is Essence Choose Me over a black polish - China Glaze Black Diamond, I believe. The darker base allows this the foil surface to really shine and gives your nails a dark, brooding look. Super sassy!

Give it a shot, ladies!

Happy day, all!
read more "Layering Love - Essence Choose Me"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Giving Season - Chanel Fire

I've had this polish for a while, but I wanted to save it until this time of year because of the story that comes with it!

I have a friend on the internet. Yes, someone I have never met! She lives in the UK and we message and chat about all sorts of things and we send each other items we can't get in our respective countries. It's definitely nice and we've discovered that we even have a lot in common!

And then out of the blue she just sent me Chanel Fire to thank me for sending things to her (which, let me tell you, she paid for in full so it's not like she owed me money or anything!) and to assist with my Red Hunt in October. She probably doesn't know this, but I was really touched by this gesture. A person who has never met me, and perhaps never will, sent me a truly kind and thoughtful gift.

Plus, I think it looks fab on!

When I think about this I get all warm and fuzzy inside, and it reminds me that the smallest things can say to someone - "I really care". This is the season to remember your friends, and I hope it reminds you to give a little something to the people in your life, even if it's just a few words of appreciation.

So to Alison - thank you! You really are a true friend, and I do hope we can meet one day!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,

read more "The Giving Season - Chanel Fire"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

OPI Sparkle-icious and OPI Show It & Glow It!

(3 coats)

In LOVE with this one.

(3 coats)

But I didn't care for the rest of the Burlesque glitters.
read more "OPI Sparkle-icious and OPI Show It & Glow It!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CND Amethyst Sparkle

You know when you buy something simply because Everyone Else is buying something, and then you realize that they were buying it because it is AMAZING?

Enter CND Effects Amethyst Sparkle:

Well, hello there, my love! You are a light dusting of purple shimmer AND I LOVE YOU.

This is Amethyst Sparkle over Ulta's Smoke Screen, and I have to tell you, this was one of my favorite combinations EVER. Gaze into the shimmer, my friends -

I tried this CND Effect over a metallic and you could barely see it, but over a dark creme? Hello, nurse. What I think I liked the most about this polish was it's mullet-like effect on my nails. What does that mean, you might ask? Well, some describe a mullet (short hair in the front of the head, long in the back, also known as "The Kentucky Waterfall") as "business in the front and a party in the back," and that is exactly what this was on my nails - all business and professional from a distance, but under examination, POW! A party. I wore it to a Board of Trustees meeting and loved every minute of it.

Go get yourself some mullet nails.

Happy day, all!
read more "CND Amethyst Sparkle"

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Russian Substitute, Part 2 - OPI Unripened

In Part 1 of this little mini-series I brought you a polish that I thought resembled Chanel Feu de Russie from the Paris-Moscou Collection - OPI Tease-y Does It. (See that post here.) Now it's time for the next Russian Substitute!

Chanel Nuit de Russie was just gorgeous - a dark polish with teal shimmer. Of the three Russie polishes released, I think this was the one I most coveted. But not anymore! One of the OPI Halloween releases from this year evokes the same feeling for me - OPI Unripened. (See a comparison from the Alluring Mum here.) Both have that gorgeous teal shimmer that looks like it's submerged in a dark sea...mysterious and magical!

My pictures are really not capturing how vibrant the teal shimmer is. In reality it really pops out at you! Like it's friend Tease-y Does It!, this one is hard to photograph...

Please note, I do NOT say they are dupes. They really just give me the same vibe and are similar enough for me to stop lemming the Chanel!

In the bottle OPI Unripened flashes purple as well, but that's nearly impossible to detect on the nail. I know this was a disappointment to some people, but to me this polish is the perfect substitute for Nuit de Russie - so I'm quite pleased! Heck, I don't really like duochromes anyways!

What do you think of my Russian Substitutes? Have you had polishes that you *really* wanted that you got a substitute for?

read more "A Russian Substitute, Part 2 - OPI Unripened"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Del Sol Trick or Treat (color changing!)

Wait, it's December, d'ya say? NOT October? Not EVEN November??

Well, here's a Halloween polish I wore for a few days. I love Del Sol polishes but I've heard tell of extremely bad customer service from less-than-happy customers. The color-changing is just a never-tiring novelty that I so enjoy.

Unfortunately, I wore this on a very cloudy (and drizzly) day and the color change wasn't nearly as drastic as it when it nice out. My SO looked at me like I was crazy standing outside on the balcony in knee-length house dress, no shoes and a sweatshirt, sticking my hand where sun usually hits at this time of day, staring intently at my nails... and then after awhile, running into our home office and snapping a few pics using a lightbox.

Del Sol Trick or Treat (before sun exposure)

Del Sol Trick or Treat (after sun exposure... on a very cloudy day)
Before: orange, red and gold glitter in a clear base. After: orange, red and gold glitter in a black jelly base. This photo doesn't show the color change as well because of all the clouds and running around. Love the polish, absolutely hated the application. It was smooth enough for a glitter -- it only needed one coat of Diamont to have a relatively glossy finish -- but I had to use six coats to get it anywhere close to opaque. Which it is not. Still, awesome concept.

Video of Trick or Treat
So here... we have the opposite problem: I couldn't get the video recording on my iPhone working fast enough to catch what the polish looked like before UV exposure. BUT! You can see how dark it really gets.

read more "Del Sol Trick or Treat (color changing!)"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Russian Substitute, Part 1 - OPI Tease-y Does It!

*sigh* Could. Not. Photograph. This.

It's gorgeous and I couldn't capture it in one (or even two) photograph(s). So how about a ton of crappy ones!? Yaaaayyy!!

With flash:

No flash/shade:

See the depth of the sparkle? Awesome. (This is probably the best/most accurate picture. Sad, I know.)

In bright light:

In the shade:


See how it flashes gold sometimes?

It's hard to describe this polish. Suffice to say that it is quite special. The base is deep and smoky and rich, but not black - not purple, not anything. The not-quite-glitter-not-quite-shimmer sparkle is pink, then every once in a while it's gold.

I saw on a post on ALU here, that this was fairly close to Chanel's Feu de Russie. This really tickled me because I had always wanted to own the Paris-Moscou Collection! (In fact, I think I like this even better than Feu de Russie!)

This just shows me that good (and sometimes better) things come to those who wait! Stay tuned for another Russian Substitute...

read more "A Russian Substitute, Part 1 - OPI Tease-y Does It!"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ulta Smoke Screen

As we all know, I am not a neutrals girl, but be still my beating heart! Allow me to introduce Ulta Smoke Screen -

This little creme number was an afterthought during an online Ulta binge, and thank goodness it was. It's a cool-based deep gray, and it is SUBLIME. It applied like butter, wore incredibly well and was unlike everything else in my arsenal... it's love.

And did I mention it's the same color as my angry-yet-lovable rabbit?

Oh Ulta... you make me love you in so many ways.
read more "Ulta Smoke Screen"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Sultry Season - Essie Going Incognito

Today I have another polish from the Essie Winter collection this year - a collection that grew on me and now I own all but one!! (See my posts on Hot Coco, Smokin' Hot, and Masquerade Belle - which I have now grown to love.) Going Incognito is a rich and sexy green - it's like OPI Jade is the New Black's chic-er older sister.

For some reason this polish is giving me a real 1920s vibe. I know that people in the 1920s didn't wear green polish, but somehow this colour evokes a certain sensibility - one that makes me feel like the frivolous and decadent Daisy in the Great Gatsby - sultry, yet playful.

And again, it feels spot-on for the's a good time to feel sultry!

Has a polish collection ever grown on you so that you ended up collecting them instead of buying them all outright? I'm usually so good with knowing what I like, but Essie Winter got me somehow!

read more "The Sultry Season - Essie Going Incognito"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

iHaul: making up for lost time

I've bought literally no nail polish for the past two months (except for a huge bunch of Street Wear for super cheap when I was in NYC at the end of October, including the teal creme Moody!). I didn't have time, didn't have that much interest and I was trying to pre-emptively make up for the fact that I needed a new laptop. My three-year-old MacBook Pro was literally breaking down. The real scare was when I got this error screen (and even my friend's fiance, who works at Apple, was like, "WTF?"):

Aren't they pretty colors? Especially the first screen. I mean, that's every greyed out shade that I just adore. But it's not so pretty when that's all you get when you boot up. I needed a laptop that wasn't going to spontaneously stop working. Hence, a little less nail polish for a little while.

Anyway, my abstinence from nail polish came to an end with the end of my quarter last Friday. Today, I dragged my SO to the local premium outlets and did me some shopping. He did him some shopping too: he's a great cook and he got a gorgeous Le Creuset stock pot for half off (it matches the set of mini cocottes I got him a few months ago)! And it was his idea to stop off at Target (with a Ross and CVS next door). And I totally made up for lost time. Grainy iPhone pics ahead...

Haul from CVS: Milani Silver Dazzle, Blue Flash, Gold Glitz (those were the only ones that CVS had, boo).

NYC Empire State Blue, Love Letters; Revlon Perplex (Paradoxal dupe!), Jaded. Wanted to grab more of the Revlon but I really haven't had great luck with Revlon polishes in the past.

Then we stopped at Ross: Color Club sets from Holiday and Halloween 2009 ($2.99 each).

Also, found a brand I've never used before called Tres Risk but the dark green and purpled-out grey were super pretty ($4.99).

And finally, Mezzanotte Blue for $1.50 (can't see it in the pic but it's a very dark purply-blue).

Target didn't yield much: only Nicole by OPI Such a Go-Glitter and Pitch-Black Glimmer (which I thought was called "Bitch-Black Glitter" at first because the label was smudgy). These are SUPER DUPER SPARKLY with holo glitter but it totally doesn't translate to indoor iPhone pics.

And FINALLY then we got to the premium outlets and I stopped at the Cosmetics Company Store (of course): scored Estee Lauder Ultra Violet ($12.75, was $18) and MAC Seriously Hip ($9.75, was $12... though it seems that MAC polishes now retail for $13).

Sigh. Old habits reestablish themselves quickly. I think I'm going to do a mani with Mezzanotte Blue with one of the sparkly Nicole polishes over it now. :)
read more "iHaul: making up for lost time"