Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tony Moly Galaxy: Swatches and Review

I finally caved in and bought the Tony Moly Galaxy collection. We all know how much I love glitter, so it was only a matter of time... At first I was only planning on picking up the two or three that were my favorite, but I'm glad I got all of them because most of the others won me over completely!


Tony Moly - Mercury

Mercury is made up of lots of small silver glitter with some sky blue and red mixed in. The base is slightly tinted grey, but it doesn't make much of a difference because the glitter is so dense. This is the most shiny of the set, and ended up being one of my favorites.


Tony Moly - Earth

Earth is a translucent navy blue base with steel colored micro glitter and small fuchsia holo glitter. It's not as sparkly as Mercury, but still incredibly interesting!


Tony Moly - Mars

Mars is a mix of small copper and micro orange glitter with a sprinkling of royal blue micro glitter that's not always apparent. In fact, I couldn't really see it in the bottle until I held it in the sun. I kind of wish the blue glitter was a tad bit more prominent but it's still a really awesome accent! I love brown and copper glitter so I figured this would be one of my favorites.


Tony Moly - Neptune

Neptune is a crazy blend of green glitters in a sheer green base. From what I can tell, it has olive/gold and forest micro glitter as well as medium grass green hexes. I love green polish and glitter, but didn't expect to like this one as much. I wish it had another accent color like the rest of them to add a little bit of pizzazz.


Tony Moly - Jupiter

Jupiter is comprised of small lavender and indigo glitter and medium cerulean blue holo glitters, but to spice things up it also has a sprinkling of copper micro glitter! I wouldn't be nearly as captivated if it didn't have the copper, but this ended up being one of my favorites as well!
*Aside note:  This one kind of reminds me of The Hungry Asian's Sea Creature because of Sea Creature's purple micro glitter accent amongst the teal and blue.  LOVE.

I was surprisingly impressed with this collection! All of them had wonderful formulas that were opaque in two coats (however, they all required at least a coat of Gelous and Seche Vite to make them glassy smooth) and they weren't too thick like some glitters can be. I was so enamored with the "accent" colors in all of them, especially Jupiter.  The odd thing about them was that none of the bottle actually have the planet names on them (in English, anyway). They are labeled GT01-GT05.  Also, Neptune is 04 and Jupiter is 05... weird.

My only complaint is that they didn't do one for ALL of the planets! MOAR GLITTER!

I bought my set of these off ebay and they range from about $32-35 for the set or $7-9 each.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dandy Nails - Come Out and Play and You Set My Soul Alight: Swatches and Review

Another indie/Etsy brand! This time it's Dandy Nails. I had been contemplating Come Out and Play for a long time, and finally caved and bought it, along with You Set My Soul Alight and Colorblind (but I haven't figured out which color to layer Colorblind over yet).

Dandy Nails - Come Out and Play

Come Out and Play is a beautiful fuchsia-purple jelly base with lots of small white glitter and is opaque in two coats. This one has the "jelly sandwich" look where some of the glitters get buried in the purple jelly to create extra depth. It's so simple, yet so stunning. The brush was a bit "fluffy" on this one, but I hear Dandy Nails has nice new brushes that are a lot better.

Dandy Nails - You Set My Soul Alight

This one is a charcoal/black jelly base with multicolored micro glitter. Again, this one has a lot of depth (I love glitter in jelly bases!). At the same time, it's not to flashy in dim light, so it'd still be elegant enough for a formal setting. I didn't know how much I'd love this one until I tried it on. It's gorgeous!  I should have gotten pictures in the sunlight to show how sparkly this one can be!

I have yet to find an awesome base for Colorblind, but I'll definitely post it when I find something fun!

Dandy Nails polishes can be purchased from the Dandy Nails Etsy shop and retail for $8 for a 15mL bottle. If the one you're looking for isn't in stock, don't worry - the shop is restocked pretty often!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

KKCenterHK Nail Strips: Swatches and Review

KKCenterHK has some pretty nifty nail patches. The first kind I tried didn't seem to work well on my nails, but these are much better! These are basically very thin plastic strips.

Most nail patches I've tried that are not actual nail polish have been kind of thick and tend to wrinkle because of the curved shape of some of my nails (if you want to see what I'm talking about, check here).  These are different in that they are very thin and flexible, as well as a bit stretchy.  They worked MUCH better for me than the others (although still not quite as nice as 100% nail polish strips).

KKCenterHK Nail Patches

As you can see in the closeup, I got a few tiny wrinkles on some of the nails, but honestly I got better at it with each nail I did, stretching it just perfectly to minimize the crinkles. Just like the 100% nail polish strips, these take a little bit of practice. Overall, though, they're pretty easy and the result is nice.

I didn't get a chance to test the wear - I only wore them for a day. The problem came in the shower... one and only one of the stickers started to peel up on all the edges. The rest were still stuck nice and tight. I'm not sure what I did differently on that finger, maybe I accidentally touched it and ruined the adhesive before I applied it. Not sure. They were easy to remove though. They peeled off easily without doing any damage, and left the adhesive as a film on the nails that came off right away with polish remover.

As you can see, they come in a sealed package like Incoco, but since these aren't nail polish I don't think they dry out after they're opened. I'm saving the extras for accent nails, so I'll update this post when I find out.

Overall, I actually really liked these!  The design is nice (although I wish the little "tail" of black had fit onto my nails), and they'd be perfect for a special occasion or night out.  They were much easier to manage than other nail patches and didn't bother me with rough or peeling edges.

These can be ordered from the KKCenterHK site here, along with lots of other cool nail patches!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

OPI NY Ballet Collection: Swatches and Review

This was an unexpected love for me. I'm not usually the sheer/pink/nude type, but something drew me in: these are beautiful, elegant JELLIES! I've been crazy about the glitter/jelly sandwiches lately, and I have a feeling these would be perfect for them!

OPI - My Pointe Exactly

This is my favorite. My Pointe Exactly is a light grey jelly that is semi-opaque at three coats (shown). Even with a bit of VNL, I still loved the look of this. Elegant and edgy at the same time!

OPI - Don't Touch My Tutu!

Don't Touch My Tutu is a nice clean white jelly. Along the same lines as Essie Marshmallow but a little bit more sheer, I think it would work even better for the glitter sandwiches. I love the way white jellies make glitter look like sprinkles on a cupcake.

OPI - Care to Danse

Care to Danse is a light purple jelly. The bottle looks more purple than it appears on the nail.  I'm not sure, but this may be my second favorite.

OPI - Barre My Soul

Barre My Soul is a very nice peachy beige jelly.  This would be a lovely base for a French manicure!

OPI - You Callin' Me a Lyre?

You Callin' Me a Lyre is a a peachy pink jelly that's more saturated than the others in this collection. Again, it'd be a great base for a French manicure base.  I think of the collection this was the most opaque at three coats.

OPI - Pirouette my Whistle (over each of the colors above)

Pirouette My Whistle is a clear base with silver micro glitter and large white/silvery pearl hex glitters. Most pictures of this at one coat didn't have too many white hexes, but my bottle seemed to be packed with them. I had to actually TRY not to get too many because I wanted a sparse look. Either way, it's quite elegant for a glitter. I think I like this even better than Nubar White Polka Dot.

All of these applied very nicely and easily in three coats, although it seems easiest to avoid streaks by using medium-thick coats. I suggest waiting a few minutes between each coat to prevent bubbling as well. They do kind of self-level though, which is a plus.

OPI is available at Ulta stores as well as in JC Penney Salons. I prefer JC Penney because if you buy two or more, they're only $6 each instead of $8.50 at Ulta.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fish Egg Friday (aka. Banding Together Against Ciate)

This picture was never actually meant to be posted. I decided to try the "fish egg" look a couple weeks ago and took this picture just to show some friends and my mom.

However, after I started seeing these "Fish Egg Friday" posts going up around the nail blogs, I wanted to join in. I support my fellow bloggers and it's irritating to see companies attack them for ridiculous purposes. (Not to mention, it's kind of just plain stupid on their part if they understand the blogging community at all.)

Basically, Ciate has been sending C&D letters to bloggers who have been using the term "Caviar Nails" or "Caviar Manicure" with the explanation that they are IN THE PROCESS of trademarking it. Not only is this silly because they do not yet HAVE the trademark, but there is also another issue: someone else had done it first! THIS blog post on the idea was posted over a year ago! The full story of the letters sent to one blogger can be read here.

Fish Egg Manicure

So here are the Kaviar/Fish Egg nails! This look can be done for a FRACTION of the price of Ciate's (the Ciate Caviar Manicure retails for $25!). I got a set of microbeads from Michael's scrap booking section for about $7 for 6 "tubes" (that will last for MANY manicures). You don't need any special polish either. I found that using a coat of Gelous OR Seche Vite both worked to stick the beads on, though with SV you have to work really quickly or the beads won't stick.

So join me and the other bloggers in boycotting Ciate and their overpriced "fish egg" manicure. To quote Cris from Let Them Have Polish...

"Ciate can kiss my microballs!"

Here are some of the other bloggers who participated in Fish Egg Friday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paris Sparkles - Chataigne and Cobalt Surprise: Swatches and Review

Most of the polishes I've bought in the last two months have been from Etsy shops. Here are two from a shop called Paris Sparkles: Chataigne and Cobalt Surprise.

Paris Sparkles - Chataigne

Chataigne (which is "chestnut" in French, I believe) is a tinted auburn base with small tan and medium silver holo glitter. This is my favorite of the two, especially since I recently discovered my love for brown glitter. It's just incredibly flattering and sparkly! It takes three coats to build up to be opaque, but it seems to dry quickly so it's not a hassle at all. It requires a coat of Gelous and Seche Vite to be smooth.

Paris Sparkles - Cobalt Surprise

Cobalt Surprise is a royal blue jelly with lots of small silver and medium silver holo glitters. I think it originally had pink and/or purple glitters, but they may have bled off their colors into the base. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful royal blue glitter that's easily opaque in two coats. This, too, requires a coat of Gelous and Seche Vite to be glassy smooth.

Chataigne and Cobalt Surprise (as well as MANY other beautiful polishes) are available in the Paris Sparkles Etsy shop for $7.00 for a full-sized (15mL) bottle.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Zoya Beach and Surf: Accent Nails

The first thing I noticed about the Zoya Beach and Surf collections was that they all seem to have a "match" in the other collection. There are plenty of swatches out there for Beach and Surf already, so I wanted to give it a twist and show how wonderfully these work for multi-finger accent manicures! I like more contrast for single-finger accents, but prefer the colors to be more closely related for the multi-finger accents.

Check out how well these go together!

Zoya - Wednesday and Zuza

Zoya - Tracie and Meg

Zoya - Arizona and Myrta

Zoya - Shelby and Rory

Zoya - Lara and Kimber

Zoya - Reagan and Carly

Of course, you don't have to pair them up with the most matching color. You can also pair random ones together. For instance, I loved the look of the orange and teal together so I paired Arizona with Zuza for this single-accent:

Zoya - Arizona and Zuza

Overall, while the colors are quite pretty and beach-y and summery, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the collections.  After the killer Sparkle (Summer 2010) and Sunshine (Summer 2011) collections, I was REALLY hoping for more spectacular bling from Zoya for this year.  I know that many others love shimmers and cremes and will be delighted with this collection, but I can't help but feel let down a bit.

I think Arizona was my favorite even though I don't own or like very many orange polishes.  It is the perfect soft, yet bright creamsicle orange that I think would be perfect on finger or toes at the beach!  Carly was also a standout.  It's a rich, intense purple foil that I have nothing even close to in my collection, and it's nearly a one-coater!  Some of the others I liked, some I didn't, but all had excellent formula.  Most are slightly thick and cover in two coats.

The Zoya Beach and Surf collections are both available now at the Zoya website.  They retail for $8 each or $48 for each sampler set.

(These products were sent for review.)


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