Friday, March 30, 2012

Betsy Johnson Too Too Scented Swatch

Sephora by OPI recently released a line of Betsey Johnson nail polishes.  True to Betsey's style, the colors and bright and fun, and definitely great for this season.  Most intriguing to us was the Too Too Scented Nail Colour, a hot pink nail polish with the scent of Betsey's perfume 'Too Too" infused in it.

The polish is a hot neon pink, a little bit darker than a regular hot pink.  I definitely think there are many other polishes out there that are similar to this color, but it's definitely a type of color that all girls should own one of!  The packaging that this bottle comes in is also super cute. I would expect nothing less from Betsey!
The polish goes on smoothly, it is opaque within two coats, and as you can tell from the photo it goes on pretty shiny (that's without top coat!)

Most of you are probably wondering about the scent aspect of the polish.  Yes! It does work! The polish definitely smells like Betsey's perfume, and quite powerfully so, especially on the first day.  It is definitely floral, I'm not quite sure what is in the perfume but I can definitely smell the notes of Patchouli on my nails.  The scent is quite long lasting, I could smell it for 4 days, although the first day was exponentially stronger than the following days. I actually find that the scent was more pleasant on the second day since it wasn't quite as overpowering.

If you are a fan of Betsey Johnson, I think this would be a good one to pick up! There are also 6 other full sized polishes by Betsey, and 6 minis in a set also available at Sephora.

This nail polish is only available at Sephora.  I generally like the Sephora by OPI polishes, but the brush is on the smaller side, which I personally find more difficult to use than the regular OPI brushes

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How To: Easy Glitter Removal

So I'm a sucker for all things shiny, especially glitter nail polish. But unfortunately, the removal process is incredibly messy (not to mention time-consuming) and often leaves my hands looking like something straight out of Twilight. I've actually been avoiding using glitter in my manicures lately because it's just such a hassle. With almost two dozen glitter polishes though, it just seems like a crime not to use them—so, finally realizing that we live in the 21st century (duh!), I took to the Internet and got some awesome ideas on how to make glitter removal a pain-free process.

After trying a few different ways, I finally decided on my favorite: the tin foil and cotton ball method. First, I tore ten squares of aluminum foil, about 3"x3", then soaked the centers of ten cotton pads with nail polish remover. Placing the pads on my nail beds, I wrapped the aluminum squares tight around my fingers and left them there for about three minutes. Instead of just unwrapping the foil, I pulled them off the nail, in the same sweeping (away from the finger) motion I use regularly to remove nail polish.
The results were just incredible ... mind-blowing, even for someone who has been in love with nail polish for so long. I would say about 99 percent of the glitter came off, with absolutely no mess. With one more quick swipe of a cotton ball on each finger, I was ready to get down to business with a new manicure!

I'd love to hear how everyone else deals with the mess that glitter leaves behind ... especially if it's a way I can do it without depleting my stock of aluminum foil!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Swatches from Sinful Colors


From L to R: Luminary, Cinderella, Morning Star, Sweet Dreams
Spring is here and in honor of this sunny season I picked up a few fun new shades. Originally, I set out to just buy Sinful Colors Cinderella, but once I got there I had to restrain myself from going crazy ... at only $1.99 each, these polishes were a steal!
Although it looks a bit darker in the photo than in person, Luminary  is a soft yet vibrant coral. It's pretty much the epitome of spring, bottled up as a super cute nail polish. I wasn't crazy about the formula of this one—all of the Sinful Color polishes were actually a little bit runny for my tastes—but it's a great color. It went on with a few chunks and didn't have the smoothest application, but if you have a steadier hand, you may get better results. All in all, I did love this coral/orange and would look great with a tan.
Morning Star was my favorite of this batch of colors. It's a soft, delicate blue with a hint of shimmer (but not glitter, which makes all the difference). Although the first coat was a little sheer, with two coats I achieved the opacity I was going for. I'm actually sporting this one on all ten fingers right now, and I'm so happy with the look. The color reminds me of a pretty morning glory bloom and it's just such a great springtime polish.
In the bottle, Sweet Dreams actually reminds me a lot of Tiffany's robin's egg blue, but on my fingers it's a lot bolder. I like the color, but to me this wasn't a stand out polish. The formula was decent and so was the application, but I felt like the color (a flat creme) has been done before. Still, if you're looking for an inexpensive light turquoise, this may be a good option.
I was so sure I would fall in love with this color (which actually reminds me of my high school prom dress from many years ago), and I looked at several different stores before finally finding it right down the street at Walgreen's. In the bottle, it's the softest pastel blue imaginable, with a subtle shimmer that looks like it has flecks of pink and silver in certain light. However, when I got to polishing, it was nothing like what I imagined.

As pictured, the bottom two fingers are two coats of Cinderella, and I was so underwhelmed by the effect that I decided to try layering it over a coats of different whites. The top finger is one coat of Cinderella over OPI's Funny Bunny, and the second finger is one coat over OPI's Alpine Snow. Alpine Snow is probably my least favorite white from OPI, but it definitely showcases the color the best. However, none of these were really the look that I was trying to achieve with this color, and overall I'm really disappointed with everything from the opacity to the application.

OPI Germany Collection Fall 2012

Yet another preview of an amazing OPI collection. This time, it's the Germany Collection for Fall 2012 with a batch of nude-hued cremes and jewel-toned metallics. It seems like they're taking a world tour via nail polish, this collection following the highly successful Holland Collection from Spring 2012.

From L to R: My Very First Knockwurst, Don't Pretzel My Buttons, Berlin There Done That, Dont Talk Bach to Me, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!, Schnapps Out of It, Suzi & The 7 Dusseldorfs, Every Month is Oktoberfest, Unfor-greta-bly Blue, Deutche You Want Me Baby, Danke-Shiny Red & German-icure by OPI.

Personally, I'm the most excited for the metallics, as they'll give an extra pop of color for what can be somewhat of a drab season in Southern California.

Which ones are you looking forward to? We can't wait to get our hands on these and swatch!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

China Glaze Electropop Collection Swatches

China Glaze released the Electropop Collection this season, with some really fun springy colors.  With both lights and brights, they are perfect for the colorful girl. In my personal collection, I have plenty of pastels and plenty of brights, and so I was really interested in the "Lights" from this collection.  I picked up 5 of the 12 colors, and swatches are below!

This first one is Kinetic Candy, pale Robin's Egg color. It's has a creamy finish and does require many coats to reach opacity. I personally love this color because it's the color of my bedroom---and it always reminds me of home. I think that this probably one of the more unique colors in this collection.

This next one is Aquadelic, a bright bluish-green aqua color.  This is also creamy in consistency and very easy to apply. This type of color is so popular this season! I'm going to do another post soon on these minty blue-green colors.  Another thing I like to do with a color like this is paint a vintage floral pattern on this blue background.  Super cute!

This one is Electric Beat, a light blue periwinkle.  I love love love my Essie Borrowed and Blue last Spring, and I think I'm going to take a step away from super pastely colors. And this might be the replacement for a favorite blue polish this season. I think these pale bright colors are super chic!

The last of the creamy colors I picked up is Sweet Hook.  This is a light lavender and I've been looking for a color like this! I love my OPI Do You Lilac It, and this is a lighter, less purple color.  However, it's more purple than "Care to Danse?", the light purple I reviewed from the NYC Ballet Collection.

Finally, Techno! Ahhhh silver glitter polishes, my weakness! After mooching off of Allison's bottle of OPI Servin' Up Sparkle for weeks now, I think I've found my own glitter polish that will work in it's place. This glitter polish consists of both small finer glitters and larger circular glitter particles.  A great glitter topcoat!

I love the colors that I picked up!  I would be interested in picking up Wicked (a bright raspberry color) and Gothic Lolita (a grape purple with shimmer).  Fun for spring! I've heard the complaints of this collection is that it is not that unique, however, I think that if you are looking for spring colors and are building your collection, this is a great place to start!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Hunger Games!

Hunger Games comes out tonight and we are so excited! Just wanted to show off the mani I'm wearing to tonight's premiere, inspired by Katniss's own manicure when she entered the arena (Cinna, you are the best for making our kickass hero stylish as well!).  I recall when I read the the book, that Katniss's polish chipped during the games.  Girl needed a better topcoat!  Anywho, Allison also did a Girl On Fire inspired nail look, which you can check out here! Here's my rendition:

China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, China Glaze Electrify, OPI Big Red Apple

I thought it would be fitting to use some of the colors from the China Glaze Capitol Colors collection for this look. I started off with China Glaze's Strong Adhesion Base Coat (please don't skip this step! Dark polishes will stain your nails!).  Then I put on one coat of China Glaze's Smoke and Ashes on all of my nails, one of my favorites from this collection.  Using OPI's Big Red Apple, I put one one thin swipe at the tip of each nail. It is a sheer layer, and I use it as a guide for the next step, which is putting on the glitter.  For the hardest part of this mani, I put on random vertical swipes of Electrify to make the flames.  Electrify is absolutely perfect for this look,the gold and red glitters make it way easier to emulate the fiery look.  Next I went back over the red region, and put another light coat of Big Red Apple  over it to seal together the look.  Finish off with Top Coat, and you're ready to let the games begin!

OPI Vintage Minnie Mouse Collection Coming in June


As a sucker for all things pink, I am already falling head over heels for this new collection from OPI, to be released in June 2012.

From L to R: I'm All Ears, Nothin' Mousie 'bout it, If You Moust You Moust and The Color of Minnie.

Since they'll be coming out in my wedding month, I'm hoping to deck my toes out in one of these beauties, likely If You Moust You Moust, topped off with what looks like the sheer glitter (with heart-shaped flecks?) of Nothin' Mousie 'bout It.

I'm loving that OPI is coming out with all these collections (62 shades by the end of 2012!), but my wallet definitely isn't!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

OPI New York City Ballet Swatches!

So I was really really excited for this particular collection to come out, especially since I've been taking ballet classes lately. It's every little girl's dream to look like a princess wearing a tutu, and to dance with the grace of a ballerina.  And I still happen to have these dreams!

 Just at the beginning of this year, Allison and I were actually travelling in New York and we stopped by the Lincoln Center, home of the New York City Ballet. The shades from this collection are based off this and they perfectly portray the elegance of the ballet.

Allison and I outside of the Lincoln Center

The collection consists of a variety of sheer and pale soft shades.  In all honesty, I'm not a the biggest fan of sheer shades (I'm a bright color lover!) so I was pleased to find the Minis of these polishes to try them instead of opting to buy all of them in the full size.  The Minis had 4 of the 6 colors in this collection (My Pointe Exactly, Don't Touch My Tutu!, Care to Danse?, and Pirouette My Whistle).

From Top to Bottom: Pirouette My Whistle, My Pointe Exactly, Don't Touch my Tutu!, Care to Danse?

First off, Pirouette My Whistle, is a glitter polish with a clear base.  Even the glitter polish felt very dainty on, with the tiny flecks of silver glitter, and larger silver sparkles.  They are hardly overpowering though.  Usually glitter tends to be more glam, however, for this one, I would say it is more of a twinkle. This polish would look lovely over any of the other shades in this collection.

As for the other 3 shades, you can see that they are quite sheer.  It took me 3 coats to achieve the color in the photo and the three colors are quite similar with a subtle difference in each one.  My Pointe Exactly is the light gray shade, and probably has the most color of the four that I've swatched.  Don't Touch My Tutu!, the white shade, is probably the most opaque of the three, although it still went on pretty sheer upon the first swipe.  Lastly, Care to Danse, the light lavender, is the most sheer and almost goes on clear.

The application of all these polishes were extremely smooth and were not streaky, which is a really big plus! I really enjoyed these colors, and I think they would be perfect for a french manicure (instead of the typical pink and nude tone, it's a subtle hint of purple or grey, which is really chic!).  I am kind of disappointed that my pack of Minis didn't come with Are You Calling Me a Lyre? (the pink one).  Assuming that it has the same consistency as the other 4 polishes, I think it would make a perfect french manicure color-- I definitely want to pick it up to try it out!   The last color in this collection that I didn't get the chance to try is Barre My Soul, which has a super cute name, and is beigey tone, probably also awesome for a frenchie!

All in all, I do like this collection! I wouldn't recommend buying all of them, since they are so similar, but I would probably pick one up if you need a neutral sheer tone for your collection. Also, I think this collection would be perfect if you were getting married (like someone I know ;) ) or if you just needed a professional clean polished look for work.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy Hand Creme Review

So I'm not usually a lotions and hand cremes kind of girl, but one of the perks of my new job is that I occasionally get free samples ... and who can say no to free stuff?? One of my coworkers scored a bag of Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy products, and while I had actually never heard of this company before today, I'm now a huge fan.

I've never had an everyday creme repair my dry hands so well. When I say I have a dry skin problem on my hands, well ... I really have dry skin. It doesn't help that I'm a fanatic hand-washer, so on a regular basis the skin between my knuckles is always cracking.

With just a few days of using the BodyCare hands beauty formula, my hands felt almost as soft as a baby's bottom. Almost. I'm not sure that anything will reverse the wear and tear that I put my hands through, but it comes pretty darn close. My hands are soft and completely hydrated, leading me to believe that you really can pay for quality.

According to the company, the Bodycare anti-aging complex and maracuja oil in the creme nourish, regenerate and protect. Pigmentation concerns are diminished and the nails are strengthened. The skin is softened for a velvety feel. Hands no longer show their age.

This hand creme comes in a pretty pink tube with a heavyweight cap, sealed in a silver and pink box. It's lightly scented—a subtle floral perfume that reminds me that spring is here. With a $105 price tag, it's definitely a splurge, but if you owe yourself a treat (maybe an overly indulgent birthday present?), do your hands a favor: indulge!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Like Wendy, I don't pull off green very well, but I absolutely love this combination—just not on my fingertips! I used the jade green Don't Mess With OPI, paired with the sage green OPI Thanks a Windmillion from the Holland Collection as an accent color. Top it off with four green rhinestones and you've got yourself a lucky shamrock manicure!

Lots of new swatches coming up—in addition to the Capitol Colors from China Glaze (who else can't wait for the movie to come out next week?!), Wendy just picked up the OPI NYC Ballet Softshades minis, plus a few glitters from the China Glaze Prismatic collection AND the new China Glaze magnetic polishes.

China Glaze Capitol Colors Swatches

In honor of the Hunger Games movie opening on in just a few days (five days, 6 hours and 25 minutes, to be exact), we decided to finally swatch our China Glaze Capitol Colours ... which we were SUPER excited about!

The build-up to this collection was absolutely unbelievable ... never have all three of us wanted a collection so badly. In person, we admit, we weren't entirely impressed, but once swatched ... can I just say, wow! Wendy even went back and picked up her own bottle of Agro because she loved it so much.

Without further ado ... Happy Hunger Games! (And may the odds be ever in your favor.)
From top to bottom: Luxe and Lush over China Glaze Caribbean Blue; Stone Cold; Riveting
District 1—Luxe and Lush: Sorry for the bad picture, but Luxe and Lush is a really fun flakie top coat. I layered it over China Glaze's Caribbean blue for a really bright look, but I think this would look good over just about any color. Wendy had a bit of trouble layering it, but I didn't run into any problems; it went on smoothly and I achieved the look I was going for. My only issue came the next day: I guess I didn't put enough top coat on, because it started to peel at the corners of the flakies. It was kind of like looking at a Monet—beautiful from far away, but close up it's just a mess. Nevertheless, I would definitely buy again.

District 2—Stone Cold: I actually thought I would like this color a lot more than I did. I've been really curious about matte polishes, never having bought one before, and I was a little disappointed. It achieved full opacity with just one coat, but it went on really goop-y. The look was really cool, but I just don't think the application was worth it to use on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.

District 3—Riveting: Now I'm not usually an orange person, but I fell in love with Riveting. There's so much depth to this orange that it doesn't fall flat like a lot of other colors I've tried. Two coats of this baby and I'm ready to go! 

From top to bottom: Hook and Line, Electrify, Fast Track
District 4—Hook and Line: I really, really wanted to like this polish. I loved the color, but the application just, well, sucks. It's streaky and no matter how many coats I applied, it just couldn't be fixed. If the application could somehow be smoother, it'd be a top choice for me. I'm open to suggestions on improving the application!

District 5—Electrify: With a clear base, I felt that Electrify fell flat as a polish to be used on its own. Pictured above is two coats. I'm a big fan of glitter, but only if it's worth it—the removal is such a pain, that I've started only using glitters that I really love. I think layered over Riveting for a "girl on fire" look, Electrify will be a real winner.

District 6—Fast Track: In other photos I've seen, Fast Track has more of a pinkish hue to it. Wendy and I compared skin tones, and while her skin has more brown to it, I've got more pink to my fingertips. Fast Track looked more gold next to my skin, and it was a pretty unflattering shade. I did like the application on this one; it was smooth going on and looked great with two coats.

From top to bottom: Harvest Moon, Dress Me Up, Mahogany Magic
District 7—Mahogany Magic: I did these upside down, and I'm sorry for the poor picture quality. This one was a rich, creamy brown. To be honest, this color reminded me a little bit of poop ... not exactly what you want to come to mind as you gaze down at your fingers. It's a beautiful color, but just not for me.

District 8—Dress Me Up: You can't tell in this crappy photo, but Dress Me Up is a soft, creamy pink that would be more aptly named "Primrose." I'll try to get a better photo later, because I really loved this color.

District 9—Harvest Moon: Of all the colors in this collection, I thought I'd like this one the least. However, it's absolutely fantastic when applied. It's a rich copper with orange tones and lots of shine.

From top to bottom: Foie Gras, Agro, Smoke and Ashes
District 10—Foie Gras: I thought this color looked strangely familiar, so I swatched OPI's You Don't Know Jacques and lo and behold, we have a near-dupe. They're so similar that to the average eye, there's very little difference. I do love this color however, and the creme-based polish went on smoothly for a gray-ish brown-y purple-y look.

District 11—Agro: This one was Wendy's absolute favorite from this collection. I admit, it had a great shimmer and application, but didn't mesh well with my skin tone. It's a dark, olive-y green that I had some problems applying. It was a little runny so I couldn't get a clean line around my cuticle, but otherwise a good, solid addition to this collection.

District 12—Smoke and Ashes: Finally, a black that I'm in love with. Despite my serious issues with application (take a look at the mess I made of my cuticles), the color itself is wonderful. It's a metallic-based black that has hints of color in the flecks of glitter. This picture truly doesn't do it justice ... just make sure you use a good base coat!

To recap ... loved Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, Harvest Moon and Luxe and Lush, but honestly I could have done without the rest of the collection. However, as a huge Hunger Games AND nail polish fan, the entire collection was a must-have.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Glitter

With St. Patty's Day just around the corner, we thought we'd be festive and put a little green into our nails.  As I have mentioned before, I have a harder time pulling off greens (and blues) since I'm a warmer tone skin color.  I've just recently discovered that not all greens are created equally and that there are some exceptions to this! Warmer greens (with a yellower undertone as opposed to a blue one) suits my skin tone, and I'm developing a new love for green polishes!  

China Glaze Agro, OPI Fresh Frog of Bel Air

For the base color I used one coat of China Glaze's Agro. I had originally passed up picking up this shade from the Hunger Games collection, but upon trying out Allison's bottle for this nail look, I loved it so much, and had to pick up my own!  You definitely can build up the color and put on another layer, but I just decided to stick with one since one coat already gave it full coverage.

On top of that I used OPI's Fresh Frog of Bel Air (I know, cute name, right?), a green glitter with silver hexagonal flecks interspersed within it.  Finished it off with top coat.

Absolutely loving this combo, definitely can't wait to wear it out to grab a drink at the pub this upcoming Saturday.  We're hoping they're serving green drinks!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

OPI Holland Collection Swatches (Part 2)

I'm here to finish off the Holland Collection swatches that we promised!  We finally got a hold of the rest of these colors and are excited to show them to you!  Here you are:

Pictured from Top to Bottom: I Don't Give a Rotterdam, Dutch Ya Just Love OPI, Vampsterdam, Thanks a Windmillion

We are just continuing to loooove this collection from OPI! Up top, is I Don't Give a Rotterdam, which is a dusty blue color.  The best part of this polish (although it's difficult to see in the photo) is that it has slight shimmer that look beautiful against the base color. The shimmer is quite apparent, but it's not as chunky as actual glitter, so you definitely get the best of both worlds with this one.

Next is Dutch Ya Just Love OPI, which is also the color of the pictured bottle. We were expecting this polish to appear a bit of a deeper purple, but it doesn't quite have the opacity of the others. The first coat is a bit sheer, and it does require some building up, which is a bit surprising for a such a seemingly dark color.

Vampsterdam was definitely one I was looking forward too! It is a deep brown color, and as the name suggests it is a dark and spicy.  This color gives off a nice shine.

And last but not least, Thanks a Windmillion, which is my favorite of the four I swatched from this collection. It is a muted seafoam green color and gosh I always have a hard time pulling off green polish but I really do love this one!  I have heard that this is similar to Mermaid Tears from the Pirates of the Caribbean collection, let me know what you guys think!

All in all, loved this collection! We've been hauling nail polishes like crazy so we've got a ton more swatches to come! (China Glaze Electropop, China Glaze Hunger Games, China Glaze Prismatic, China Glaze Magnetix, and OPI NYC Ballet, oh my!)  We really can't help it though, with all these awesome spring collections coming out. Until next time! <3

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

OPI Ink and I ... Juggle Men

So I’ve been on a brief hiatus from polishing lately (wedding planning apparently keeps a girl very busy), but I wanted to post a quick review of OPI’s OPI Ink and I … Juggle Men.

About a week and a half ago (I know, I can’t believe it’s been that long either), I layered up two coats of OPI Ink and one coat of I … Juggle Men. It was a fabulous combination—I love the dark purple with subtle hints of blue shimmer, plus the polish went on incredibly smooth. However, I … Juggle Men is so sheer it didn’t do much except make the polish a bit brighter and shinier. I only put it on my left hand since it didn’t make much of a difference.

At least that was my initial thought … here are three photos—the first is my nails a week ago and the second/third are shot from earlier today.
One week ago: Left hand with OPI Ink and I Juggle ... Men
Today: Left hand with OPI Ink and I Juggle ... Men (and top coat)
Today: Right hand with only OPI Ink and top coat

As you can see, with the exception of a little wear along the tips, the polish is still practically perfect on my left hand. On my right hand, however, the polish is chipped and cracking. I’m so impressed with the way OPI Ink and I … Juggle Men lasted. Definitely marking this in my book as a winning combination when I need a mani that will last me more than a few days.

P.S. Wendy picked me up the rest of the Holland Collection polishes I needed, so more swatches to come!