Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sally Hansen Gem Crush Part 2

I don't have much to add onto Allison's thorough review of the Gem Crush Collection from Sally Hansen, so definitely scroll down or click here to take a look at what she has to say.  Here are my two cents on the colors that I swatched:

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 01
Showgirl Chic

Ultra fine silver glitters with some slightly larger blue glitters.  I feel like this is a color combo I've seen before, and a good staple glitter polish to have.  I find that the drying time on these polishes are super awesome, I find myself layering the next coat on only a minute or so right after the first coat. 3 coats do the trick! The first layer is very thin, but it's buildable.

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 04

Small Turquoise Glitters with larger hexagonal silver glitters.  This polish is a lot thinner than the other ones I swatched (I did three coats in this photo, and you can see how some areas are more sparse than the others).  It's a more difficult color to work with, but I think the color is pretty awesome (in a crazy sort of way)! I definitely think it's a flashy color, something to save for a fun night out!

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 05

Ultra fine fuschia glitter with slightly larger light pink sparkles.  This is my favorite color of the 4 I swatched, it's totally cute and something I would rock.  As Allison mentioned, these polishes do go on matte, but some top coat makes it super shiny.

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 08
Glitz Gal

Charcoal colored glitter with some small ultrafine silver glitters, and with larger holographic silver sparkles.  Probably the shiniest of the 4 colors, and the most complicated color of the 4. Consistency is similar to  the others, and the color is great!

 I think that this collection is great if you are looking for more thick and matte looking glitter polishes.  They definitely can work on their own (not just as a top coat polish), and have great opacity. I like the diversity of the colors in the collection. The texture of the polishes are interesting, since it is thicker and drier than the traditional glitter polish.  I think these are definitely worth giving a try, and most of all, I LOVE the brush on these--- I really want to look into more Sally Hansen polishes after trying these out!

Disclosure: The products reviewed in this post were provided by the PR company for Sally Hansen, but all opinions are my own. View our disclosure policy for more information. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sally Hansen Gem Crush Swatches Part 1

I think the best way to describe how I feel when I'm wearing these colors is glam. I adore glitter in all shapes and forms, and for a polish with a name like "Gem Crush," I had my sights set high.

It's hard to capture the shimmering brilliance in photos, but my favorite thing about these polishes were the depth of the colors in each glitter. Each one seemed like it had layers of colors, which created a really multifaceted look without being too over-the-top obnoxious.

While a few of the colors fell flat, I think that had more to do with my skin tone than the actual color itself. The application was a little thin with just one coat, so you definitely need that second coat to create the bling-y look I achieved below. When Wendy and I were swatching, we discovered that the glitters almost seem to dry matte, but don't lose the shine. Check out all of the colors below, with individual swatches for four of the colors (more to come from Wendy, who will be swatching the other four).
Gem Crush colors 1-4. From top to bottom: Showgirl Chic, Cha-Ching!, Big Money, Blingtastic.
Gem Crush colors 5-8. From top to bottom: Be-Jeweled, Razzle Dazzler, Lady Luck, Glitz Gal.

What I actually found the most unique about these new Sally Hansen polishes was the brush—instead of the typical long, skinny brush, these were shorter, flatter and wider. The bristles held their shape really well, and the tip was rounded so it made the application incredibly easy. This is my first Sally Hansen polish in years, but I'm completely sold on the brush, which I haven't seen from any other brands yet. (I think I've read that these brushes are on the Insta-Dry polishes as well, so I may have to check those out)

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 02

I usually prefer pinks over reds, but this candy apple red was so gorgeous that I made a one-time exception. It's a thick red glitter with larger pieces of silver glitter for contrast. It seemed a little chunkier than the others (in a good way .... I think this is the first time I've ever heard chunky being described as a positive thing).

Strangely, this one didn't come with the cool brush that the others did, but I still achieved an awesome look with just two coats. I actually mentioned to Wendy that this would be the perfect Valentine's Day polish...ten months from now. Something to look forward to, I guess!
Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 03
Big Money

This was my absolute favorite glitter from this collection. It's so hard to see in the photos, but it's a golden (almost peach) color with flecks of light lavender glitter. I fell in love with this one right away. It's not so in-your-face that I'd feel awkward wearing it to a society event for work, but it's also not your plain and boring neutral.

It's definitely light on the first coat, so you'll need at least two coats for full opacity.

I think this one would make a great accent nail as well, maybe for a springtime mani using a soft lavender as your main color.
Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 06
Razzle Dazzler

It's not quite as glam as the others, so I was a little disappointed by the name (as cute as it is). I can appreciate a muted glitter, and this one is pink, pink and more pink!

It's one I could probably live without, however. The color is similar to OPI Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry Collection, and although they have different opacities when applied, I'm not one to duplicate colors. This is a great pink though, for someone looking to add this shade to their collection.

Sally Hansen Gem Crush - 07
Lady Luck

I think it's a curse that I like the polishes that have the not-so-cute names. What I love about Lady Luck is the rich, jewel-tone of this purple-y red. It reminds me of a juicy berry squeezed into a bottle of nail polish. Probably not the look Sally Hansen was going for, but all the same, it's a great color.

You would think that with a darker polish, you'd only need one application ... but with two coats, you're good to go with bright, sparkly fingers sporting a twist on the classic red polish.
All in all, I have to say I'm impressed with this collection from Sally Hansen. As die-hard OPI girl, one thing this blog is teaching me is to love and appreciate all forms of beauty, even in polishes I've already written off. Bravo, Sally Hansen, for this amazing collection of glitters that's getting a lot of great buzz in the beauty world!

Disclosure: The products reviewed in this post were provided by the PR company for Sally Hansen, but all opinions are my own. View our disclosure policy for more information.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Pastels

Happy Good Friday everyone!

I'm here for a cute Easter look (or Spring look if you don't celebrate Easter), incorporating some pastel colors!  So actually, today I was trying to attempt a watercolor nail look, but epically failed. :( I was trying to follow this tutorial, but it didn't work out for me. Not only was it super messy, I also had trouble transferring the polish from the foil to the nail.  I actually finished doing my entire left hand until I realized there was no way on Earth I would be able to continue to do it for my right hand.  Let me know if you guys know of a different and easier way to do this! Anyways, I went a different route with my springy look, and I think this one turned out pretty cute (and is way easier to do!) so I thought I'd share it. :)

OPI Pedal Faster Suzi!, OPI Alpine Snow, China Glaze Aquadelic, China Glaze Electric Beat, China Glaze Sweet Hook., China Glaze Lemon Fizz

I painted all my nails except my accent nail with OPI Pedal Faster Suzi from the recent Holland Collection.  It's super cute and perfect for this holiday, pinky with silver glitters. Then on my accent nail, I used Alpine Snow as my base color.  Although Alpine Snow is a popular white polish by OPI, I actually have difficulty applying it (any suggestions on where to find a good white polish, anyone?).  For the actual design on the accent nail, I didn't use a sponge or anything, just freehandedly painted short strokes of the various pastel colors onto that nail (most of the colors were from the recent China Glaze Electropop Collection).  Then I used OPI Top Coat over the polishes, 30-40 seconds after I've painted them (still wet!) to kind of blend the colors together.  Because there were silver shimmers in the pink polish, that was also blended throughout the nail, which I thought was a super cute touch!

Have fun with the nail look and I hope you have a good Easter Weekend!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Floral Nails

Springtime is here, and the weather has been beautiful in Southern California.  I had the pleasure of visiting the Rose Gardens in front of the LA County Museum of Natural History, and was inspired by all the lovely roses in all the different colors. 

How lovely is that?
Now I know nail art is quite difficult, especially for something as intricate as a rose, so I looked for a tutorial on YouTube that might make it a little easier. I found a great one from CutePolish (check her out, she does amazing nail art tutorials!!), and I tried to replicate the look.  

Orly Gumdrop, OPI Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore, OPI Big Apple Red, Wet and Wild Caribbean Frost

 Of course, I used my own polishes that I already owned for this nail art. For the flowers, I used Suzi Sells Sushi By the Seashore and Big Apple Red, both from OPI, and I used Wet and Wild's Caribbean Frost for the leaves.  As for the base color, I used Orly's Gumdrop, a personal favorite of mine. I absolutely love this kind of green! 

I own three colors that are similar to this green -- China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Orly's Gumdrop, and China Glaze's Aquadelic.  I would say that these colors are somewhere along the line of aqua verging on Tiffany's Blue.   I don't own the very popular "For Audrey" by China Glaze, but I have tried it and it actually isn't very flattering on me. If you're skin tone is similar to mine, you may want to opt for one of these instead!

Top to Bottom: China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Orly Gumdrop, China Glaze Aquadelic

Call me a nut, but I love the vintage roses on the green background. I even have a backpack in this print! A great look for spring, I really hope you try it out!!