Monday, February 28, 2011

Eight hours til the end of the Inque nail design contest! And some KleanColor bottle pics. :)

The Inque Nail Design contest ends in eight hours (at 11:59PM PST). Plenty of time to flex your creative muscles still. :D

And because I don't want this to just be the bad type of spam... some bottle pics of my most recent haul from KleanColor! (mmm... glitter. click for larger pics!)

Aurora, Mix Signal, Sugar Coat, Take a Hint

Afternoon Picnic, Holo Green, Midnight Seduction

My Valentine, Party Fever, Firework, Shooting Star, City Never Sleeps

read more "Eight hours til the end of the Inque nail design contest! And some KleanColor bottle pics. :)"

OPI Red Hot Glam is Red.

Surprise, surprise, I'm a sucker for a limited edition polish.

Here's OPI's Red Hot Glam, a limited edition OPI sold at Beauty Brands.

It's red. And shiny. And has a nice brush. And has a bit of a shimmery finish. And it's red.

And that's about all I've got.

Happy day, all!
read more "OPI Red Hot Glam is Red."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

China Glaze Lighthouse and White Cap (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)

One "ewww" and one "ohhhh"...

China Glaze Lighthouse
This one is the "ewww". I want so badly to find a medium yellow shimmer that I actually like. They all look horrible on me and the application on this one was not at all fun. The above is three coats (with super obvious VNL) and I didn't dare do a fourth coat because the formula was thick and hard to manage. This is on the second day of wear and I already had a few chips. :(

China Glaze White Cap

It's like fairy dust! Yes, it's sheer. It's very sheer. This is four coats but the formula was very smooth and easy to use. I don't really know how to describe this color: technically, it's white? But it's white shimmer shot through and through with this opalescent glass-fleck-like shimmer. It's seems like it's almost equal parts opalescent shimmer and white shimmer. It's just so ethereal and pretty.

Close-up of White Cap

(These polishes were sent to me by China Glaze.)
read more "China Glaze Lighthouse and White Cap (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Urban Ballerina - $OPI Shiny Dancer

I really loved the idea of the Sephora by OPI (fondly known as $OPI) Urban Ballerina collection. All the greys and pinks were right up my alley! Here is Shiny Dancer...

In the shade...

Blurred to see the beautiful shimmer...

Hehe and the polish matches my sparkly ballet flats! I thought they fit the theme as well - Urban apropos!

As pretty as this polish it, it is very reminiscent of OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous. The finish is the same foil-y metallic, but there is some variation in the tone. LLM leans more green, whereas Shiny Dancer is more blue. In the end, I decided I liked LLM better with my skin and Shiny Dancer found a new home - but I would still highly recommend it!

Have any collections out recently really appealed to you from top-to-bottom? i.e. colours, theme, marketing, etc.?

read more "Urban Ballerina - $OPI Shiny Dancer"

Friday, February 25, 2011

China Glaze Knotty & Pelican Gray (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)

Goodness gracious. What is happening? I'm starting to love the neutrals while K2K is starting to get comfy with more atypical nail polish shades. Pigs flying. All over.

China Glaze Knotty

This has to be one of my favorite neutrals (though it does lean a little more gold). A glass-flecked pale camel color that has just a bit of jellyish squish. Easy breezy application though it did need three coats (and probably could have used a fourth to get rid of VNL). This was taken on... fourth day of wear, I think? Still flawless. And because its such a neutral shade, the chips wouldn't be glaringly obvious anyway.

China Glaze Pelican Grey

This light grey with pearly white shimmer seems to pull more blue on me than on others. I don't wear this shade of grey very well -- it usually makes my hands look washed out -- but this one was saved by the fine shimmer. It looks more like a creme indoors but once you get it in the light, it's very much a shimmer. Fabulous application: the above is two coats.

(These polishes were sent to me by China Glaze.)

Psst! This is post #995. Only five more til ONE THOUSAND posts on Polish or Perish! :D

(No idea who'll actually be the one to post the thousandth post. I'm pretty sure that all of us will just forget about it and only remember at, like, post #1,012 or something like that.)

ALSO: Please note that the Inque Contest deadline is now just a few short days away!
read more "China Glaze Knotty & Pelican Gray (Anchors Away, Spring 2011)"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ulta Little Black Dress

Do you know that polish that you have in your Helmer (or on your shelf, in your drawer, whatever) that is the polish that you always reach for, that polish that makes the birds sing a little sweeter and chocolate taste even better? Oh, Little Black Dress, that is what you are to me.

I cannot BELIEVE that I have neglected to post Ulta Little Black Dress until now! LBD is one of my favorites of all time, and I do not say that lightly. It's a two-coat black with a smattering of silver glimmer that gives it that WOW factor when it hits the light. It's edgy yet elegant and a dream to apply. I seriously cannot say enough about this incredible polish.

Do you own LBD? Are you as in love with it as I am?

Happy day, all!
read more "Ulta Little Black Dress"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Done Out In Deco Dilemma

I wanted a little pop of colour in the cold weather, and decided on OPI Done Out In Deco. On other people's swatches, it looked like the perfect winter purple - dusty, vivid but not too bright, and cool toned - a not-quite-lavender. I hunted it down and....was disappointed!

On my hands it looks totally different than other online swatches - heck, it looks like Do You Lilac It! (Which no, it isn't.) I was expecting something dustier and bluer and more...wintery. To be honest, looking at the picture, it looks pretty! But it wasn't what I was hoping for. My dilemma - keep it and love it for what it is, or keep trying to find the colour in my head. Maybe both?

Do you have Done Out in Deco? What does it look like on you?

read more "Done Out In Deco Dilemma"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zoya Dove & Dannii (Intimate, Spring 2011)

Took me about six weeks but finally got done with swatching Zoya Intimate. (Now... starting on China Glaze Anchors Away!) Intimate is such an amazing collex. Unique, fascinating, beautiful... and most are pretty nice, application-wise. I'm SO glad I bought the entire set!

Zoya Dannii

One of the more gorgeous (if a little brushstrokey) polishes in the Intimate collection. Pretty red-based purple shimmer, chock full of pink and gold shimmer. It just constantly glimmers. Two coats.

Zoya Dove

Not the most original name ever, given that this is pretty much the definition of a dove grey. It applied SO beautifully though: perfect in two coats. I don't really like light greys on me but this one was simply flawless.
read more "Zoya Dove & Dannii (Intimate, Spring 2011)"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Zoya Gemma & Jules (Intimate, Spring 2011)

And the countdown to 1,000 posts begins... this one is #991, I believe.

These were two were unique polishes to me. I don't have anything like either of them.

Zoya Gemma

Slightly murky green creme, filled with non-subtle (but not glaring) blue and purple shimmer! The application on this one was aggravating: the formula was thick but sheer. I still had some VNL after three coats but I was terrified of bad cuticle drag if I tried a fourth coat. So I left it as is. I thought I'd like it better than I did but I still love the color; the application was just a bit of a pain.

Zoya Jules

This is downright IMPOSSIBLE to capture on camera. It's a light grey/dusty purple shimmer base with gold and maybe a light purple (?) shimmer that pretty much threatens to steal the show from the base. It reminds me of the MAC Idol Eyes eyeshadow: looks like a delicate metallic silvery gold but is shot through with the ghost of a purple tint. Do you guys know what I mean? It's like that purple just rises from the polish for a flash of an instant but kind of disappears immediately... yet leaves behind this really strong impression that you're looking at something that is purple... but not.

OK. I sound crazy there. Either way. It's a beautiful, interesting polish. Three coats, I think... this one was definitely a bit streaky.

(In case you missed the announcement: the Inque contest deadline has been extended to Monday, February 28th! In addition to the prizes offered by Inque, I'm also putting together surprise goody bags for the winner and runners-up.)
read more "Zoya Gemma & Jules (Intimate, Spring 2011)"

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The new deadline for the Inque Nail Design contest is Monday, February 28th. (It's a whole extra weekend to flex your creative muscles!) All submissions must be in by 11:59PM PST (2:59AM EST).

For those who have missed out on the original announcement, the contest is for one Polish or Perish reader to have her own guest artist series of nails sold at Inque. Anyone is welcome to apply: simply design a series of nail sets! Your fellow readers will vote on which nail set series they think Inque should sell next!

The winner will not only see her nails sold on Inque's website (and on other peoples' nails!), she will also receive a 10% commission on all sales (and get some free Inque nails to boot). Runners-up will receive some free Inque nails.

I will also be putting together nail polish goody bags for winner and runners-up: I plan to give away some Street Wears, some Anchors Away China Glazes, some overly sparkly Asian polishes and other goodies from my personal stash. :D

For more details, read the rules posted here!

A handful of submissions have come in and they are looking fabulous. However, please read the guidelines over carefully! All submissions must have a MINIMUM OF FIVE (5) sets of right and left nails. (The maximum number of designs per submission is 20.)

If you look at the guest artist "galleries" on Inque's website, you'll see that each guest artist has at least 7 designs for sale. For instance, Grey (the LeGothique blogger) has 17 designs. These are 17 different SETS of nails. The winner of this competition will be one of these guest artists and will thus need at least 5 sets of nails to have her own "gallery".

Also, please do try to adhere to the format of the submission guidelines. These are in place so that when your fellow readers go to vote on which set they'd want to buy the most, they will be able to see all your beautiful creations clearly.

(Trust me, if you do not submit screenshots as specified in the guidelines, readers are unlikely to vote for you because they won't have a clear idea of your grand vision for their nails!)

Please post questions if you have them or contact me using the form above!

OPI Black Shatter

I do not live in a hole, and I realize that you have seen fifty million photos of OPI's Black Shatter...

AND I DON'T CARE! It's awesome, it's awesome, it's awesome and I LOVE IT!

Shown here is Black Shatter over China Glaze Millennium and it is AMAZING! I taught a ceramics class the day after I applied this lovely combo and at one point I had to stop the critique because too many students WERE DISTRACTED BY THE AWESOMENESS ON MY NAILS. True story.

... and talk about a dream to remove! Presto and it was gone!


Happy day, all!
read more "OPI Black Shatter"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Red Re-visited - Essie Limited Addiction

After my Hunt for Red last year, I was pretty burned out on reds. However, during my red hiatus, I've felt as though perhaps I dismissed a couple red options too quickly, and that they deserved a second look. The first red I wanted to re-visit - Essie Limited Addiction.

I can't even tell you how many people have raved about this colour! Not the least of which is Piff - who puts it in her 2010 Top 20! (She may not be in love with it, but I think it looks darn good on flinty here was well!) This colour seems to have converted so many people who weren't even red fans to begin with, so I definitely had to give this another whirl.

Verdict? Definite keeper. It's still darker than my 'ideal' classic bright red, but its simply gorgeous in most lights and I really enjoyed wearing it. Like all reds, there are just some lights it looks dark ugly in - like the heavy fluorescent light in my looks like dried up rotten ketchup in there! Somehow I'm learning that there is no way around this unfortunate problem. All colours change in different kinds of light - duh right? But for some reason I can tolerate and enjoy this change in all colour families besides red. I think I might just need therapy. But Limited Addiction is now a member of my permanent stash!

Have you ever kicked something out of your collection only to fall in love with it later?

read more "A Red Re-visited - Essie Limited Addiction"

Friday, February 18, 2011

A few from my Top 20; re-swatched

In December, MUA's nail board had a Top 20 survey and I went on a swatching binge of my Top 20 colors of all time. I've posted these colors before, but I like these swatches better.

China Glaze Recycle

(2 coats)

Cool greys don't look so great on me so I love this one, which seems to have just a touch of brown in it.

BB Couture Moon Over Manhattan

(2 coats)

I need to pull this one out for a full mani soon. It's been too long.

Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Tobacco

(2 coats)

This is so freaking underrated. This has got to be one of the best reds ever.

Essie Limited Addiction

(2 coats)

Another great red. In terms of number of wears my #1 polish of 2010 by far. So many manis.
read more "A few from my Top 20; re-swatched"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zoya Kelly

Grays and grayed out colors have been so trendy for the past year or two, my collection of them has been ever growing and I feel like I need to filter which ones I buy now, there are just so many of them now! Zoya Kelly is a beautiful gray with touch of purple that the camera didn't pick up. It dried darker than the bottle and a little less purple than what is in the bottle. (sorry, grandma hands! winter has not been kind to me)

Kelly went on flawlessly with two coats and I am never let down by the Zoya brush! Sometimes their formula is different from their other shades, but for the most part I never have a problem controlling it with this brush. :)

Anyone else have an overwhelming amount of grays or grayed out shades?
read more "Zoya Kelly"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CND Sparkle Effects - Raspberry and Sapphire

I resisted these Sparkle Effects for a while, but when I fell, I fell hard.

Here is Sapphire Sparkle:

And Raspberry Sparkle:

Both are absolutely MAGIC over Ulta Wild Night, a lovely dark navy shimmer. These Sparkles are unbelievably capable of transforming a polish; the Sapphire Sparkle coats your polish in a dusting of bright blue shimmer and the Raspberry Sparkle gives it a light coat of pink shimmer. I am amazed by how different your base color looks when topped with what appears to be a simple top coat but is in reality a game changer.

I find myself thinking about interesting color combos with these Sparkle Effects - yellow base color with blue, orange with pink... the possibilities are ENDLESS!

Happy day, all!
read more "CND Sparkle Effects - Raspberry and Sapphire"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cutesy Valentines Mani!

Let me just say - I love Valentine's Day. I love LOVE. I love it in all of its cheesy glory!!

Onto the manicure...

Once upon a time I got some really cute heart sequins/glitters as a swap extra. I thought they were adorable, but I waited until the right time to use them - Valentine's Day was obviously going to be that perfect occassion! I wanted to do a mani that was festive, but not overly 'themed' because I was going to wear it for a little while. So I chose a soft pink manicure with a heart-themed accent nail.

This is the result!

The non-sequin nails are Essie Put A Ripka Ring On It - which is my absolute favourite opaque baby pink creme - 2 coats to creamy goodness! The formula has specks of what is supposed to be diamond dust in it - but it basically looks like the sparsest glitter on the planet. So sparse that you never see it unless its in the bottle...and even then...ehhhhh.... So that was a gimmick, but I adore Judith Ripka jewelry, and the colour and application of this are absolutely divine! Even though I own so many polishes, this is one bottle I'm already halfway done with.

On my thumbs I did several coats of Essie Mini How High and put the hearts over that. Initially I wanted to layer the hearts over each other to cover the whole nail, but they were too thick to do that, so I ended up just scattering them over top. I think it looks pretty cute, and the hearts reflect irridescent purple/blue/green in the light!

I hope all of you enjoy your Valentine's Day - and celebrate the love you give and receive in all of its forms! Did you/are you going to do a themed manicure to celebrate?

read more "Cutesy Valentines Mani!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Apology and a Wild Night

First of all, I would like to deliver my sincerest apology to all of you lovely readers of PoP.

I've been really absent of late when it comes to posting, specifically when it comes to responding to comments, and for that I am incredibly sorry. Time has been of the essence lately (isn't it always? I petition for four more hours a day, is anyone with me?) and though I value all of you so much, I really have had a hard time posting let alone responding to all of your comments. I faithfully read all of your statements at the end of my posts, I just don't seem to be able to devote the time to responding all of the time. I promise to attempt to be better about this in the future and if I fail at this, please know that I do value everything you say and I love reading your responses!

That being said, please allow me the pleasure of taking you all for a run with a Wild Night -

Ulta's Wild Night, of course! (I'd love to also take you out for a wild night filled with nachos and margaritas, but I don't think we are geographically blessed enough for that to happen!)

Wild Night is a deep, moody navy blue with an incredibly lovely blue shimmer throughout. It's definitely a cool-toned blue vamp, and I loved every stroke of this one. The application was flawless - two coats and not a stroke to be seen. This one also works as a lovely layering polish, which you'll see in my next post (hint, hint).

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Ulta has seriously won my heart with their polishes. My only complaint is that I've purchased all of their funky colors. Let's work on this, Ulta! Throw me some crazies!

Happy day, all!
read more "An Apology and a Wild Night"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Zoya Caitlin & Marley (Intimate, Spring 2011): a return to swatching

....and boy, if you don't use it, you lose it.

I haven't really swatched anything -- I've worn stuff but not swatched -- in months. And it shows.

Also, I forgot to use basecoat. Which I NEVER do. I always used basecoat when swatching.

Anyway, this was the wrong collection to re-start my swatching habit. The colors are so interesting and subtle... and I've become rather ham-handed with the camera during my swatching hiatus. :(

Zoya Marley

This was a surprising color to me: it looks like a greyed-out pale lilacky creme but it's actually full of pearly shimmer. Not at all obvious in the bottle but hard-not-to-notice in the sunlight and on the nail. Also, this got opaque fast for a pastel: the above is two coats. It applies a little thickly but I'm quite pleased with it.

Close-up of Marley
Lots and lots and lots of pearly shimmer. Not typically a fan but I like it in this one. :)

Zoya Caitlin

This is the MOST IMPOSSIBLE COLOR to capture. I had to fiddle around forever with the white balance settings on my camera to get anything that even remotely resembled the color of the polish. A lot of photos I've seen online make Caitlin look like a bright-ish (yet dusty) cornflower blue. On me, you can still see the cornflower but it's as if the blue was deeply desaturated; it's still closer to blue than it is the grey (I think the top photo is more accurate than the bottom) but it's a lot closer to grey than a lot of pics I've seen of it so far.
read more "Zoya Caitlin & Marley (Intimate, Spring 2011): a return to swatching"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stick It On! - Sally Hansen Nail Effects in Cut It Out

There's been huge buzz about the Sally Hansen Nail Effects polish strips lately - they've been popping up in drugstores all over the country and nail-obsessed people and 'civilians' alike have been quizzing me about them!

I purchased 3 - Laced Up (black lace on a nude background), Girl Flower (multi-colored flowers), and Cut It Out (black and white flowers). Initially I was going to go for Laced Up, but I went with my gut feeling at the moment - Cut It Out. extraH just made it look so good in her initial post about these!

Unfortunately I was so mesmerized by these, I forgot to take a photo on Day 1!! I was so busy staring at them, that I didn't take a photo until...

Day 3

I have to say, I adored the pattern. I'm not a big nail art person, but this was neutral enough for me to handle. I kept staring at it. Other people did too! I got so many compliments from random strangers.

However what was really important for me was wear time. I managed to keep them on/stay sane until...

Day 7

Looks pretty good except for some growth right? I did get a little chip on my index finger...which was enough to drive me over the edge to remove it. I was also pretty antsy to change my polish!

My take on these? FAB. I have the Girl Flower ones on my toes right now and I'm really loving them. I don't want to subject you to my grotesque foot digits, but suffice to say that after a couple days, they still look great! I think these are a perfect alternative to Minx. To be honest, my Minx experience was short-lived and highly negative. These are cheaper, easier, and last longer. The one downside? There aren't enough patterns that I would feel happy wearing on a daily basis. Sally Hansen - call me up. I have some great ideas for work-appropriate strips!

Speaking of designing your own nail strips...(imagine me wiggling my eyebrows at you right now)...check out our Inque nail design contest!! Aren't finding a pattern you like? Design your own, get them sold by Inque! I can't wait to try the winning design!!

Have you tried nail strips yet? Love it or leave it?

read more "Stick It On! - Sally Hansen Nail Effects in Cut It Out"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

China Glaze Hi-Tek

This one was my favorite of the 4 I got (Millenium, 2030, Hi-Tek and Sci-Fi).

It was the exact color of a new penny. I loved it.

(1 coat)
read more "China Glaze Hi-Tek"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

*Insert "getting shellacked" joke here*

I did it! I finally broke down and returned back to the nail salon, which is exactly what the fine people of CND wanted when the created the miracle Shellac, isn't it?

I'm going to be honest - I am not a nail salon kind of girl. With a passion for polish like mine you'd think that I would love those havens of hand massages and racks of color, but alas, no. Instead of being a treat, I tend to associate those places with strangely shaped nails and gooey polish and I rely on my own at-home manicures which I think are very nice, thankyouverymuch. Also, I like to humor myself and think that I am saving myself money by staying out of the salon, which then means I can buy more polish. It's a viscous cycle.

So anyway, enter the CND Shellac. I couldn't do it myself, so I found myself in a shwanky salon with incredibly comfortable chairs and lovely workers that kept offering me water. You know how it works, so I'll just show you the fairly awful photo that I took a few days after my manicure. Here's my CND Fedora manicure -

I know, bad photo, right? Right after I received my manicure, I left for an artist residency and proceeded to beat the hell out of it for a week and only stopped to take a photo after several days of work, so I apologize for the crapola image. Here are my thoughts on the Shellac in no particular order:
  • I got a hell of an awesome manicure, I have to admit. I don't know if it was because the manicurist had to be trained to a certain degree in order to be able to do my mani or what, but it was killer. Nice job, Mandy!
  • The color selection was totally limited - I know, old news. Here's the thing, though - CND is all about claiming that you can layer colors to make bold and bright versions, right? Yeah, not so much. When I popped this idea on Mandy, she made me a little sample of the colors I wanted (Fedora with a coat of Tutti Frutti in order to get a shocking blue) and what came out was a color that looked like brown with a coat of pink on it. I ended up just opting for Fedora.
  • The wear was pretty darn good, because I was not being coy when I said I beat the hell out of it. We're talking hands-in-water-for-hours followed by lots of picking at stickers and occasional power tools. HELL.
  • shiny, shiny shiny! This polish retained its shiny quality until the moment I took it off.
I enjoyed the Shellac, I really did, but I was a little disappointed in the wear of it. I really expected to have to chip this crap off, but it started coming off on its own after a week, and I have to tell you, I DID NOT have to do that with *gasp* the Sally Hansen Salon Effects stickers that I put through a similar hell a few weeks prior.

Speaking of taking it off, I'll be honest - I peeled it off. And I enjoyed it. My nails may not have enjoyed it, but I did.

In conclusion - good manicure, shiny, expensive, didn't wear as long as I would have liked it to. I'll pass on the Shellac for now and opt for stickers until I desperately need a manicure AND they come out with more colors. The end.

Happy day, all!
read more "*Insert "getting shellacked" joke here*"