Wednesday, November 30, 2011

China Glaze - Lorelei's Tiara

You may get sick of hearing how much I LOVE every single polish I post about, but that's kinda how my blog works. See, I follow a LOT of nail blogs (you can see them all in the sidebar under "Blogs I Love") and I keep on the lookout whenever I hear about a new collection or polish coming out. I read and research reviews and swatches - A LOT - before I buy my polishes (yes, I buy my own - they are not PR samples). So usually what ends up in my nail polish collection are only those that I really deem worthy, and those are the ones I wear and post on my blog. I have hundreds of polishes and I truly "like" almost all of them and "love" more than half of them. Sometimes I'll end up putting on a "bum" one, but then usually I don't even feel like taking pictures of it.

So there you have it. That's why I gush over almost all of the polishes I post about. Not because I feel an obligation to a company or to advertise for anyone. I write what I honestly think of each and every thing that I post on here. I have received a couple of PR samples, and those too are reviewed honestly in my own words of my own opinion (but that's not what my blog is really about - it's more about just sharing all these pretty things that I really enjoy).

So without further ado, ANOTHER awesome polish! This is Lorelei's Tiara from the new China Glaze Eye Candy collection, and it's sooooooper sparkly! This is how is looks in normal indirect daylight. Very shiny!

China Glaze - Lorelei's Tiara

And then in the sun the sparkle is blinding! Probably one of the most sparkly polishes in my collection, and such a gorgeous icy blue effect.  It was hard to capture the intensity in a still photograph - you HAVE to see it in person to appreciate it!

In the shade, the blue glitter comes out a little more, but it still maintains an almost mirror-like effect.

I feel like my fingernails should be icy cold to the touch with this on them. I like that this is wintry more than Christmasy, so that I can wear it into the new year as well.

I found this at my local Ulta, which has had the Eye Candy collection for a few weeks now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Milani Ruby Jewels (China Glaze Ruby Pumps dupe)

It may be hard to believe, but out of my hundreds of nail polishes I actually do NOT own China Glaze Ruby Pumps *gasp*! Instead, I had this one already, and it's a dupe for Ruby Pumps. This is Milani Ruby Jewels, and it is just as breathtaking as that "original red glitter."

Milani - Ruby Jewels

For some reason, I could not get my camera to pick up the depth in this polish, and it also shows as a slightly warmer red here than in person. But in my defense, I actually have never seen a picture that accurately depicts this polish (or any of its dupes). It is the epitome of Christmas red. This polish also applies very nicely, taking just two easy, thin coats to achieve this bright cherry red sparkle.

*EDIT:  I had it wrong... it's Ruby JEWELS, not Ruby Gems  :o)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some Sally Hansen Star and Fire Opal Swatches

Although the Sally Hansen Nail Prisms are the most popular, the Star Opal and Fire Opal collections are pretty awesome, too. Here are some skittles showing a few of the cool ones: Wildfire Opal (Fire), Goldspun Opal (Fire), Amber Opal (Fire), Red Opal (Star). The order listed in the first picture is the same for all the other pics following.

Sally Hansen Wildfire, Goldspun, Amber, and Red Opals (1 coat over black)

Sally Hansen Wildfire, Goldspun, Amber, and Red Opals (2 coats over black)

And an underwater picture that shows off the duochrome:

Here they are on their own at 3 coats:

Sally Hansen Wildfire, Goldspun, Amber, and Red Opals (3 coats)

I got these from NailXchange's blog sale, and she may have some still available! She is very awesome and even threw in a couple of these as gifts (maybe because I ordered SO MANY from her :o)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Model's Own Beetlejuice Collection Swatches and Review

As soon as the Model's Own Beetlejuice Collection was announced, I was super excited. So when they were released, I ordered them all (except for Pinky Brown, which was out of stock already). Since this is my favorite picture of the bunch, I wanted to put it first so it shows up in the blogroll:

This is an underwater pic of Purple Blue (the one that resembles Orly Galaxy Girl), and you'll see it again at the end.

On to the polishes:

Model's Own - Golden Green

This one is the one I thought might dupe Chanel Peridot (I was hoping, because I desperately need a backup). It turns out it's quite different, but still utterly gorgeous. It looks like a bright olive/lime green from straight on, and takes on a more grassy green at the edges and at high angles. Unfortunately, it didn't look spectacular underwater, so I didn't bother taking pictures. I really do like this one, and it had nice depth at three coats (shown).

Model's Own - Aqua Violet

This, too, was one that didn't show its colors underwater, but the prominent sky blue and lavender both show most of the time in person. While the colors aren't intensely bright, the duochrome is almost always apparent. Very pretty. I'll have to get Sally Hansen Lapis Amethyst out to compare them sometime. This also took three easy, thin coats to get nice depth and coverage.

Model's Own - Emerald Black

Holy gooses. I didn't think this would be such a stunner. Even thought the duochrome is a lot harder to see in this one, it is such a rich dark emerald green that I was captivated by it right off. I think this is a perfect Christmas green if you like dark vampy colors. At high angles you can see a navy blue side to it, but it's not often visible, and it covers in two easy, thin coats. So lovely.

Model's Own - Purple Blue

I'm pretty sure this is the one of the group with the strongest duochrome, and it does resemble Orly Galaxy Girl, but is not quite the same. It shifts from blue to pink and into the orange/gold realm. Three coats are shown.

This is one that DID show off nicely underwater:

There are a couple of these that I thought might have dupes, but so far I haven't seen any true duplicates.  The Polishaholic did some awesome comparisons here if you'd like to see.

What do you think of the Beetlejuice Collection? Did it live up to your expectations?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Orly Au Champagne and Little Bird

This was really the only one from Orly's winter collection that I really wanted. I love white polish that looks like snow, and from swatches I could tell this one fit perfectly. Here it is at three thin coats with not top coat. Notice how it dries to a satin-matte finish. Beautiful!

Orly - Au Champagne

I loved how it looked with the satin finish, but because I had stuff to get done, I needed it to dry quickly so I put a coat of Seche Vite on top of it. Here is how it looks shiny:

I really don't know which way I prefer. It's gorgeous both ways! In a day or two I'll probably end up putting China Glaze Snow Globe over it.

And here is a bonus picture of another pet: my little feather-baby named simply Little Bird or LB for short. I took this picture because I thought it was a hoot that Neiman Marcus sent one little bottle of nail polish (Nars Purple Rain) in this big ol' box.  LB is extremely curious (doesn't he look like he's reading the label?  haha) and destructive, so most likely he tore right into the box shortly after this picture.

Little Bird (white-bellied Caique)

Femme Couture Lip Luster - Sahara Rose

I don't know what possessed me to write this post, except for the fact that this product seems to be pretty dang awesome. I never buy makeup... because I hardly ever even wear makeup... EVER.

I was in my local Sally Beauty Supply (looking for nail polish, of course!) when I came across this display of lip glosses and this one caught my eye: Femme Couture Lip Luster in Sahara Rose. It looked like Orly Galaxy Girl in lip gloss form!  The bottle shows the duochrome pretty well, though it's not as prominent when it's on.

Femme Couture Lip Luster - Sahara Rose

This is how is normally looks: brownish-raisin color base with teal sparkle.

Here's an alternate shot to show the pink/orange/gold side of the duochrome:

It's actually a pretty nice, light lip gloss that's not sticky or gritty in the least.  It has a very sweet scent and lightly sweet flavor.  I'm not sure how long it will last, but I'm pretty pleased with it.  I love the oddball teal sparkle that shows most of the time.

Obviously I don't normally photograph makeup, so the pics aren't that great (also, I ran out of nice natural light)...  I'll work on it for next time, haha.

Now after getting them home I see the differences in the base colors, but the duochrome sparkle seems to be very similar. Here is an old, blurry (bad) pic of Orly Galaxy Girl. I plan on re-swatching this one to compare it to the Purple Blue duochrome from the Model's Own Beetlejuice collection soon.

Orly - Galaxy Girl

What do you think?  Have you tried any of these Femme Couture Lip Luster glosses before?  I'm going to have to go back and see if there are any other cool duochromes in that display!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zoya Isla

I'm sorry, I just couldn't wait any longer to take off the Incoco and try more of my holiday polishes. Today I was in the mood for a nice rich glowy red, and Zoya Isla fit the bill perfectly.

Zoya Isla

This covered nice and easily in 2 coats. I'm head over heels for this color, and it's making me feel so Christmas-y! I absolutely cannot wait for Thanksgiving this Thursday, because that means it's officially the Christmas Season! While I'm not religious at all (I'm actually atheist/agnostic), the holidays are one of my favorite times of the year just because of the time spent with my family. I'm so very close to all of my family and our get-togethers are always lots of fun!

I started the morning with eggnog and the Muppet Christmas Carol while I crocheted some gifts for my family.  I can't wait to put up the Christmas tree and decorations on Friday!!

N.NAIL Water Decals French Tip Nail Art- WDB069

Today I have for you some French tip water decals from KKcenterhk. Even though they are flowery, they feel really "fall" to me. Check out this awesome design (N.NAIL-WDB069):

Unfortunately, I had a bit of trouble with application. I think it may take me a few times to get the hang of water decals like this. For some reason, when I tried to file off the ends they ended up kind of ragged, so I tried to put topcoat on first before I filed the extra off... that didn't really work either. Also, the Seche Vite top coat I put on smeared the decals. I was really surprised about this because Seche Vite rarely ever smears polish, even if it's wet, and these were dry. I imagine there are topcoats that would work with these decals, just like there are topcoats that work over foils while others don't. I'm glad I only used a few of them for this swatch so I can try it again with the ten that are left on the little sheet.  Hopefully I'll get a little better results with a second try.

These are available on KKcenterhk's site here along with many other nail art decals. I'd love to try some foil ones in the future!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Incoco 24 Karats Wear Test Results

Well, here are the results from my Incoco wear test, and I must say I'm EXTREMELY impressed.

This photo below was taken today on the 13th day of wear (I put them on the morning of Saturday the 5th).

Incoco 24 Karats (Day 13)

I honestly cannot believe how perfect they look after 13 days. The only "flaws" in them are the little bit of out growth (I had been extra careful to push back my cuticles and place them as close as I could), and very slight tipwear. The tipwear shown here actually showed up within just a couple days of wear and hasn't gotten any worse since then. I have had ZERO chips the entire time.

All this said, I feel like I DEFINITELY got my $7.99 worth out of this product. A product that I can put on and wear for my entire 10+ day vacation without having to worry about my nails at all is definitely a winner. This is the only Incoco I've tried to actually wear for this long, but I imagine any of their glitters should have this lasting wear time. I have tried other Incoco strips that were a solid color, but I ended up taking them off after just a few days because I get anxious to change my polish, although I don't know that they'd wear as well as the glitters do. I've also tried Sally Hansen Salon Effects, but haven't had as good results with those either (though I haven't tried their glitter).

My one complaint about this is that I really HAVE to wear them for a long time for the price to be worth it to me. I mentioned in my original post that this is my all time favorite color gold, and I wish so badly that someone would come out with this color gold glitter in regular polish so I could wear it for a day or two at a time and not feel guilty. I was so badly hoping that China Glaze Blonde Bombshell was going to be close, but alas, it's too yellow...

Now here's my dilemma: I almost want to keep these on (I'm still not sick of the color) just to see how long is DOES take for them to chip... BUT I'm soooo anxious to try all the other holiday colors I have and do some more swatches, and I feel like it could be FOREVER before these chip!

What do you think I should do?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Incoco 24 Karats Swatch and Wear Test

Well, I'm in Loreto, Mexico right now and will be for nine days, so I figured instead of taking nail polish stuff with me, I'd try and do a wear test of the Incoco strips. I had this very same color, 24 Karats, on for a whole week before and they looked nearly perfect even when I took them off. Normally I'm too anxious to change my polish so I'm never able to do long wear tests, so I figured this vacation might give me a perfect reason to try out Incoco again.

Incoco - 24 Karats

When I first ordered a set of the 24 Karats strips I was disappointed because I thought the color was dull and plain, but once I put them on I realized it is the definition of a perfect gold glitter for me. I love these better than Milani Gold Glitz AND Butter London West End Wonderland, and that's saying something! Needless to say, I actually don't think I'll mind having these on for ten days straight. I've also gotten much more skilled at applying these after doing it a few times (with both Incoco and the Sally Hansen Salon Effects), and these were very quick and easy to apply. I got it right up against the cuticle and there are no bare spots around the edges at all. They look perfect, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Butter London West End Wonderland and Milani Gold Glitz

Tomorrow I'm leaving for Loreto, Mexico for a vacation with Chief and his family, and I'm going to try and see if my 24 Karats Incoco strips will live up to the 10-day wear test (which is how long we'll be there). But before I took off West End Wonderland, I wanted to compare it with Milani Gold Glitz since they seem very similar. Here they are:

Butter London West End Wonderland (index and ring) and Milani Gold Glitz (middle and pinky)

The Milani is definitely more orange/coppery while WEW is more traditional warm gold. Both look wonderful on my skin which has yellow base tones. They both take two easy coats, though I applied the Milani a little unevenly because I was impatient. Also, the Milani is shown with only one coat of Seche Vite on top, but I had put two coats (which sunk in a little over time) on WEW since it was a full manicure. Both are mostly smooth with two coats of SV.

Honestly, I don't know which I like better! They are most certainly not dupes, and they both have excellent formula (and of course, both are a pain to remove). I'll probably be wearing both this holiday season, along with all my other festive reds, greens, whites, and glitters!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Butter London - West End Wonderland Swatch

I'm pretty sure I've found my new favorite gold glitter. I don't know what it is, but warm gold looks wonderful with my skin. I saw Butter London West End Wonderland on Alexandra RC the other day and knew I had to go straight to Ulta to pick it up (and usually I think twice about most polishes more than $10 each). Check out how beautiful this is!

Butter London - West End Wonderland

Wow.  Such a stunner.  I'm pretty sure this will be one of the few polishes I don't want to take off.  I love this gold.  It's mostly warm light gold micro glitter with a few pieces of copper micro glitter mixed in.

I already can't wait for the holiday season, and this is just so festive it feels perfect for my mood!

My first thought was that this looks somewhat like Milani Gold Glitz (my picture of it is a little bit too saturated), but this is lighter and less orange/copper.  They have similar formula, going on in two easy coats.  I'll try to remember to do a comparison before I take this off.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bloop H198 Franken

I've been drooling forever over Kaz's swatch of Bloop H198 over at Pretty Random, so I decided to try and franken a dupe for it.  I think it came out fairly well!  Bloop H198 is a teal jelly filled with multi-color micro glitter.

Bloop H198 Franken (3 coats)

So what do you think? It's a tad bit more vibrant and green in person that the photo shows, but I couldn't get my camera to capture it without making my skin look super yellow. Honestly in person it looks nearly identical to Kaz's photo except that I think Bloop's base is a little less greyed. I think I added a little too much black to the mix so the Bloop looks more vibrant teal at two coats than mine. However, when they're built up to three coats, they look like very near dupes to me. Also, I can't tell whether the Bloop just contains holo glitter or whether it has actual multi-colored glitter, so I used both and love the way it looks.

If you'd like to try this franken for yourself, here is the general recipe (thought I don't know proportions because I added things little bits at a time):

Multi-colored micro glitter - I used Kleancolor Midnight Seduction
Silver holo micro glitter - I used China Glaze Fairy Dust
Dark green jelly - I used Nfu-Oh 569
Dark royal blue jelly - I used NYX Ink Heart
Black jelly - I used China Glaze Liquid Leather
Clear - I used some glitter suspension base and some plain clear, but I don't know if this is necessary

I just had to play around with the proportions until I found what looked right, but I suggest not adding too much black to the mix to begin with like I did. I may add some more of the blue and green jellies in the future to try and counteract the grey in the mix, but for now, I love it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hawaiian Color Matte and Blitzen

Of course, because everyone loves China Glaze Fortune Teller mattified, I had to try it with Hawaiian Color as well, and here it is! I just hate how matte topcoats make the polish cloudy instead of just matte. This is China Glaze Matte Magic, but I think I'm going to go looking for Essie Matte About You because it looks like it may be a little better.

China Glaze Matte Magic over Island Girl Hawaiian Color and China Glaze Liquid Leather

NOTE:  Seche Vite's shrinkage drives me nuts... but it's the only one I've found that REALLY dries my polish in minutes.  As in, I took two rambunctious German shepherds to puppy school RIGHT after finishing my nails once and didn't get a single ding!

Oh speaking of, here's a bonus pic of my little white shepherd boy, Blitzen.  I adopted him from the White German Shepherd Rescue here in Phoenix last November and I consider us to be each others' Christmas present last year.

 Blitzen (White German Shepherd)

Isn't he smiley?  He's ALWAYS smiling, where my little girl dog always has sad puppy dog eyes.  It may not show in the picture, but this guy has a HUGE HONKER.  It's a diabolical nose that knocks over anything and everything.  Also, he's the shedding-est dog EVER, and I wouldn't give him up for anything in the world.


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