Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Layering Fun: Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm

So I've been in a pretty blue mood lately.  Not to say I'm sad or depressed, but I've been wearing only blue polishes.  I haven't worn this layering combo in forever (last I wore it was in January when I threw my hubby-to-be a surprise 30th birthday party) so I had to break it out!  I received Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening and RBL Dead Calm (as well as RBL Teal) from a blogsale over at Jessica v. Polish back at the beginning of January.  I was so excited about them I decided to wear the two together and a perfect match was made.  Something about the particular shade of pink glitter over that deep rich blue just screams match-made-in-heaven.

Putting Rescue Beauty Lounge's Dead Calm on again was so refreshing.  I think maybe I wore it once since  the first time I layered it and it's just wonderful.  It's a simple DARK navy blue creme, but it's a true one-coater and super super glossy.  This may have not been Courtney's perfect navy, but it is mine.  The thing I love the most about it is that while it is very dark, it always looks blue and never looks black.  

Deborah Lippman's Some Enchanted Evening is large hexagon pink glitter and small round pink glitter suspended in a clear base.  It is so feminine and pretty.  It's a great way to feel girly without being over top.  This is one coat below.  Please note it is a thicker coat and after the initial "painting" part I usually use a dotting motion to add more large glitter or move it around for a more distributed look.  You can also see where I've brought this to you before for my Hurricane Mani.  Some Enchanted Evening looks great over any dark creme.

Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm
Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm
Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm

Deborah Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening over Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm
One more time with the DL bottle!
Deborah Lippmann polishes are available at Nordstrom and Deborah Lippmann's site, or other online retailers like and Some Enchanted Evening retails for $18 and was originally released in the All That Jazz trio for Nordstrom in 2010, but is now individually. Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm is only available form the website and it is also $18.  Man - this is one EXPENSIVE mani.  Anyway!!!!  If you are looking for a splurge, I'd get Dead Calm, cause it's perfect.  Luckily Essie just came out with a dupe of Some Enchanted Evening called A Cut Above which is only $8!  So if I were you I'd probably get the Essie over the DL.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Black Knight Takes a Trip to Outer Space

Quick post for you guys today!  I try to come up with great layering ideas on my own, but it seems like the truly awesome ones come from others.  When I posted my photos of  The Black Knight on the nail board, a lovely lady threw out a question of what it might look like with Lynnderella Bride of Franken layered over it.  GENIUS!  The bad part?  I no haz Bride of Franken.  :-(

Improvisation to the rescue!  I grabbed the closest thing I had, Sinful Colors Hottie (dupey to OPI Last Friday Night - I guess not really that close to Bride of Franken), and slapped one coat over The Black Knight.  I couldn't have even predicted how awesome it would turn out!  Definitely click to enlarge these photos to see everything that's going on here!

 (click to enlarge)

It's like The Black Knight on space!  It's like a galaxy of multi-colored, multi-sized stars on my nails.  I never would've put this combo together on my own, but it was soooo sparkly and colorful, and I LOVED it!  If you own these two colors (or Last Friday Night), RUN - don't walk - to try this combo out!  It's amaaaaazing!

So now, maybe if we all bat our eyelashes at Jessie, she'll show us Bride of Franken over The Black Knight (when she gets it)!  Pretty pretty pleeeeease?  :-D

Monday, November 28, 2011

Another Look: Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H.

So I think you all know by now I have completely turned into a nail polish snob.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some OPI, but my RBL nail polish collection is getting out of hand.  I also wear them way more than my OPIs.  Probably because I spent so much on them if I don't wear them I feel like I just burned a bunch of cash.  Plus, I've been eagerly awaiting Anne's arrival from the BIB2 Pre-sale and this seemed like a good warm up.

Catherine H. is beautiful.  There is no secret shimmer here.  Just like Courtney said, its a wedgewood blue with pink, fuchsia and aqua shimmer.  Unlike Courtney, I think the shimmer just dances all the time, no matter what the light.  It's not sparkly, but that doesn't mean it's not shimmery.  Maybe it's because the sparkle is VERY pronounced in the bottle.  While it's a little subtler on the nail, there is no missing it.  Very typical of a polish from Rescue Beauty Lounge's "Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty" collection.  And typical to all RBL polishes, application is a breeze.  The polish flows perfectly making the need to cleanup pretty much non-existent.  I'm also a sucker for dusty polishes, blue polishes, and soft shimmers - so this puppy is everything that is right in the world.  Although if you ask me to pick between this and Catherine, I will always pick Catherine.

Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H.
Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H.
Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H.
Check out this sparkle/shimmer!  To die for :)!!!!!!

Close up of  Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H.
Catherine H. is currently sold out - but it's coming back along with the rest of the Tudors in December.  Please be warned though, that Anne just came back in stock and it's stock my not last long enough to get us through the rest of the Tudor re-release.  Courtney and I just got our Anne's, so one of us will bring her to you soon.  As always RBLs can be purchased for $18 from the RBL website.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thanksgiving Manicure: OPI Warm & Fozzie

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!  I know everyone will be super busy cooking and stuffing their faces today (At least I will be!), so I'll make this short and sweet - just wanted to share my Turkey Day manicure with you guys!  I went with OPI Warm & Fozzie, a polish I actually received in a swap about a month ago, but I immediately decided it was so perfect for Thanksgiving, I had to save it.  :-)

Warm & Fozzie is kind of hard to describe.  Let's see if I can even remotely come close.  It's a brownish bronze-y foil with flashes of gold, orange, and even green.  It looks super duochrome-y in the bottle, but you lose a bit of that on the nail (seems to be the M.O. of most duochromes).  The formula is pretty good - I just tend to always fight with foils for some reason.  I used two kind of thick-ish coats here, but I'd recommend doing three if you can do thinner coats.  Ok, now I'll let the photos do the talking...

 (click to enlarge)
 (click to enlarge)

Warm & Fozzie - what an adorable name, and completely perfect for this polish.  It really is warm and cozy and a perfect for fall.  Plus, it's also named after my second favorite Muppet (next to Kermit, of course)!  When I was a kid, I had a teddy bear of the Muppet Babies Fozzie.  I loved it so much, I could never get rid of it, even when I was a teenager.  I thought I'd save it for my child.  Well, Hurricane Katrina had other thoughts regarding that!  Even so, it's nice to have such a beautiful reminder of my childhood.  Plus, you can't go wrong with a Muppets polish on Thanksgiving!

The OPI Muppets collection is available now in retail locations.  If you're not into huge, chunky glitters, the shimmers side of the collection is really beautiful, and I heartily recommend Warm & Fozzie.  It's beautiful.  I may need to re-wear it when we go watch the Muppet movie!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Eat so much it hurts!!  :-D

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butter London The Black Knight

I try not to get the Lemming Monster get to me too bad, but sometimes something so good comes out I just can't help but give in.  I really thought after my big Ulta Buy 1 Get 1 haul in September that I was pretty set on Butter Londons for a while.  Famous last words, right?  Just a couple weeks later the lovely Mary from Body and Soul posted the promo images for Butter London's Holiday collection, and I was sucked in.  Now, Butter London (as much as I adore them) have just as bad a habit as OPI of using these strange "artist rendering" images instead of real bottle photos, but even then I just knew that I had to have The Black Knight!  I feverishly stalked my local Ulta, but impatience got the best of me, so I just ordered it from the Butter London website.

The Black Knight is a mixture of pink, blue, and golden glitter suspended in a black base.  Butter London says that third color of glitter is silver, but I swear it looks more gold to me.  Shrugs.  The base is a little on the sheer side, so you'll definitely need two coats (which is what I'm showing you here), unless you choose to layer it over black.  The application is less than ideal, and that's sugar-coating it.  It's SO jam-packed with glitter that's it's thick as molasses and doesn't spread very well.  I thinned the crap out of it twice and still fought with it to get a smooth application.  And then of course it dries super gritty, so it took one thick coat of Gelous, followed by one thick coat of Seche Vite to smooth it out, and then a coat of my OPI Designer Series top coat the next day for good measure.  The redeeming quality?  It looks like THIS:

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Hubba HUBBA!  That is worth the struggle.  I love it!  Sparkly and mysterious all in one!  Heinous application aside, this polish is pretty darn fabulous.  And can we talk about the name?  Hubby loves it because it reminds him of this:

I love it because it reminds me of this:

I'm invincible!!

So, at $14 a pop, do you need The Black Knight?  I'd say if you're not a fan of glitter or if you've got semi-decent frankening skillz (see recipe here at Chalkboard Nails), you can pass on this one.  Otherwise, grab your bottle of polish thinner and grab this sucker while you can!  :-D

The Black Knight always triumphs!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Reswatch: Sephora by OPI Metro Chic

It's been a looooong time since I've worn a greige.  You may remember the last time I wore one I was kind of disillusioned with "edgy neutrals."  Pretty much every brand has their own version of the purpley-greigey-taupey polish, so after a while it's a bit of a "You've seen one, you've seen 'em all" kinda thing.  Having said that, sometimes you just need an old standby.  It's been over five months now, and I kind of got the itch to break out an old favorite of mine - $OPI Metro Chic.

I've shown you this one before in one of my very first posts showcasing my favorite edgy neutrals (so I'll spare you the full review), but I think my nails have come a long way since then, as well as my lighting and photo-taking skillz.  As boring as these colors may be nowadays, Metro Chic really is one of my favorite polishes ever, and I think it deserves better.  So I re-present to you the lovely Metro Chic!

 (click to enlarge)
 (click to enlarge)

Ahhhh...nice to wear you again, old friend!  Absence makes the heart grow fonder!  Still edgy and neutral-y and cozy and perfect.  :-)

I think a lot my polishes deserve some better photos, so I'm thinking this will be the inaugural post in a new series of "Reswatch" posts.  It'll give me the chance to wear some of my old favorites again and give you guys some better photos to look at!  lol

I hope you all have a great day and a fantabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Catrice Dirty Berry

So while my husband-to-be and I were in Germany I had one mission (besides go to Ocktoberfest) - haul me some Catrice.  I was specifically on the hunt for the Out of Space collection I saw posted on The Swatchaholic.  I just had to have Beam Me Scotty due to the name and color. :)  I also realized once we were in Germany I had not done any research ahead of time.  I hadn't looked at swatches or made a list of which one I really wanted.  Ironically enough, it took 3 drug stores in Garmisch to actually find Catrice.  That really surprised me because I had done research on which drug store to go to (DM) and they had just about every brand BUT Catrice.  So once we finally found the display in the 3rd shop, I was pretty excited.  Unfortunately, they didn't have any of the Out of Space collection or really anything I was dying for.  So I started scour the store and found a plastic container full of them.  The first one I pulled out was Dirty Berry.  I instantly remembered swatches or this one online and was excited to pick up 2, one for me and one for Courtney.  I did also find 1 Beam Me Scotty (squee!!!) and a few other beauties I brought home.  However, I think Dirty Berry must be the best one.

Dirty Berry is a really pretty dusty purple packed full of holographic shimmer.  Please know that this isn't a strong holographic effects, but it is there.  This is a scattered holo, which seems to be what I prefer.  It went on in two easy coats.  I was pretty happy with the formula, considering these were under 3 euro each.

Catrice Dirty Berry
Catrice Dirty Berry
Catrice Dirty Berry
Catrice Dirty Berry in the shade
Acquiring Catrice in the US is very tricky.  To my knowledge, there is no place to buy it here.  It's available in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  According to MUA, it's also available in a few other countries in Europe.  You can find it on Ebay as well, but not that often.  Best to find an overseas friend to grab some of these for you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lynnderella Lucky Numbers

It's been a while since I've experienced the dreaded "reverse buyer's remorse" (a silly term I coined to mean the feeling of regret experienced after not buying something - symptoms usually occur at least one month, but sometimes sooner, than the incident of non-purchase).  A few months ago when Lynnderella opened shop with her incredible Early Halloween collection, I wanted pretty much every polish.  Unfortunately I missed the first sale (D'oh!) and then my sound reasoning got the better of me and I decided that there was no way I could afford the five polish minimum, so I missed out on the second sale as well (D'OH!!).  Thankfully the amazing Jessie came to the rescue and agreed to add a second bottle of Connect the Dots to her order so that I could at least get ONE of my heart's desires!  I was content with just the one polish...until about three weeks ago.  Maybe it's been the recent photos popping up on blogs and the MUA Nail Board, but all of a sudden I wanted NEEDED more Lynnderellas!

Fast forward a few months later and whisperings of a second collection, Funny Money began to spread.  By some miracle I just happened to catch a posting on MUA that the shop had reopened.  I cranked out an email order so fast it made my head spin.  I mostly wanted to catch up on the Early Halloween polishes that I missed out on the first time, but I couldn't help but also throw in one of the new guys - Lucky Numbers (Merry Early Christmas to me!!).  As soon as they came in, I couldn't wait to try Lucky Numbers first, so that's what I have for you today!

Lynnderella's description of Lucky Numbers is "a clear base with red and black glitter squares and hexagons as well as red and white shimmer."  It's also got red and black bar glitter, which usually isn't my thing, but I love when it's mixed in with other shaped glitter like Lynnderella does so well.  It's definitely buildable to near opacity in three coats, but I just love the look of these polishes when layered.  I'm showing you one coat over OPI Your Royal Shine-ness, a warm-toned silver foil.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

DUDE.  How amazing is this?!  It's got the same kind of feel as Connect the Dots (which I'll show you guys at a later time), but it's more like Connect the Dots had a baby with a pack of playing cards!  Lynn herself told me she had "cards and blackjack" in mind when creating Lucky Numbers, and I can totally see it.  I feel like I need to go to a casino wearing this polish.  Or go buy a lottery ticket.  Or BOTH!  This is just one AWESOME polish!

Also, in case you guys were curious, here's Your Royal Shine-ness on its own.  This was two coats, and it applied super easily.  It's not your standard silver foil, and I liked the warmness of it against my skin tone.  It's also super shiny!

If you were lucky (hehe) enough to get an order through for Lucky Numbers, I hope you love it as much as I do!  If not, Lynnderella will be opening her blog shop again this weekend!  Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled to llarowe starting in December.  Lynnderella polishes will be available there with no minimum purchase AND international shipping!  As I mentioned in my previous post, you can also find A-England, Ozotic, Glitter Gal, and more!

In addition to Lucky Numbers, I also got All Hallow's Eve, She Lived in a Swamp, Bibbity Bobbity Boo Blue, Love Potion No. 99, and Very Pretty Vampire (in addition Connect the Dots from the last order).  I'm SOOOO excited to show you all of them!  :-D

Friday, November 11, 2011

A-England Lady of the Lake

I think I've told you guys probably at least three thousand times how I'm like, a huge Anglophile.  It's an addiction, and one day I'll get help for it.  Maybe.  Anyway, when I heard there was a nail polish line with a KING ARTHUR themed collection AND it included two holos, I was all:

Oh yeahhhhh!  You know I love it when I get to use my James Van Der Memes!  But seriously, I NEEDED those holos!  One is Tristam (which I'm still hunting down) and the other is Lady of the Lake.  I was fortunate enough to snag the latter in a swap, and I just needed a couple of nice, sunny days to show her off!

Lady of the Lake is a deep violet purple jam packed with scattered holographic shimmer.  Of course the holo effect shows up better in sunlight, but there's SO much shimmer in this baby that it gives it this amazingly plush, almost velvety look in the shade.  The application is just as awesome.  It applied so smoothly and stayed right where I put it.  I was able to use super thin coats, but still only needed two coats for full opacity.  I know it won't surprise you at all when I say that these photos lean a little too strongly on the blue side (Bob DARNIT, purples!).  Check out the sunlight photos for better color accuracy.

Under my Ott-Lite:
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(click to enlarge)

Sunlight (This was the next day, so not quite as shiny.  Sowwy!):
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Can you tell I'm smitten?  It's not a super strong holo effect, but it's still just beautiful.  If you're a fan of King Arthur, purple polishes, or holos, you need this!

The only catch here is that on this side of the pond, A-Englands may be a little tricky to get ahold of.  You can order them from A-England's website, but they'll cost about $15 a pop, not including international shipping on top of that.  Your best bet will probably be through llarowe, a pretty awesome website that makes it easy to get some international brands at a decent price.  A-England is $12, and while you're there you can check out other cool brands like Glitter Gal, Ozotic, and LYNNDERELLA (coming in December *dies*)!

Speaking of Lynnderella, I JUST got in my order of six polishes from her, and I'm literally squealing with excitement to try them out!  Stay tuned for utterly fantabulous glittery goodness!!  :-D

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The REAL and very AWESOME adventures of a Shellac Manicure

As some of you that have been following us for a while may know, when I moved I got a Shellac manicure and promised to document the results.  In reality it was a gigantic failure and you can read about it here.  However I've gotten Shellac before and had much success, so when my new live-in boyfriend (Chris) and I were leaving for our trip to Germany, Austria, and Italy, I got another one.

This time around I went back to the only woman I let do my nails and PAY for it - Suzy at the LifeSpa in Columbia, MD.  If you ever are in the area I highly recommend her.  She is meticulous and everything about her manicures are perfect!  So 2 days before we left I got my manicure, and chose Shellac Purple Purple.  I'm totally smitten with this color.  It's a beautiful royal purple with a teal flash.  Shellac lasts for 14 days guarenteed and this manicure sure did hold up.  So take a look below and my manicures adventures through Europe - including a very special announcement...

So here we are on Day 2, Chris and I are waiting for the plane to take us over to Germany.  We are going for his cousin Christine's wedding, but doing some traveling while we are there.  Shellac on day 2 is looking perfect, like I just got it done.  It's shiny and beautiful.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 2
Now it's Day 3, we had an overnight flight to Munich and we've got a rental care and we are headed to Italy (although we did make a few stop in Germany and Austria first).  The sun is not out yet, but my mani is happy to be in Germany.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 2
Our first stop is Oberammergau, where the family of the bride lives.  We stopped by to drop off our large suitcases and wedding attire so we didn't have to schlep them all over Italy.  As I wait by our little Peugeot, I  do another mani picture.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 2
My failed attempt at getting a picture in the sun, but at least you get to see a cute Oberammergau street.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 2
Still on Day 3, but now we have crossed into Austria, which we are pretty much just driving through.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 3

Still Day 3, but we've made it to Italy!

Shellac Purple Purple Day 3
Day 4! We spent the night in Verona and at this point we are back in the car and headed to Maranello, Italy to go to the Ferrari Museum and Factory.  We had some great sun.  The manicure still looks perfect, no chips, scratches or dullness.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 4
Shellac Purple Purple Day 4 - See that teal sparkle!
This is a little later I believe, but still Day 4, here we are on our way to Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 4
Shellac Purple Purple Day 4
So after some much needed pizza, wine, and rest, we make it to Day 5 of the Shellac mani.  It's still looking perfect, because low and behold, while Chris and I are hiking in Cinque Terre he's got a pretty amazing surprise for me....

Shellac Purple Purple Day 5 + My engagement ring!
A proposal!  Right there, between Manarola and Corniglia, in the middle of a vineyard on the Italian coast, the love of my life got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  He even threw in this awesome ring as part of the deal :).  Needless to say I said yes!  After the initial excitement and celebration and a few "Oh my god!"s occurred, Chris then said "NOW you can take a swatch picture;" so I did (see above).

Here is Chris and I right after we got engaged, this is literally the spot he asked me.  I'm beyond happy and my manicure looks freaking sweet!

Chris and I, about 10 minutes after we got engaged!
A little later in the hike the sun come out so I snapped some pictures of Purple Purple with my ring and Corniglia in the background.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 5
And just because I want to show off the awesome taste my fiance has, there is the one and only close up shot you'll get of the ring.

My engagement ring
The rest of the day was sunny sunny sunny, so I couldn't help but get more pictures with the gorgeous backdrop.

Shellac Purple Purple - Day 5
And here we are later that night, with some celebratory Grappa!  After 6 hours of hiking my manicure still looks perfect.  Not a scratch or dent or chip to be seen.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 5
Day 6 is finally here and we have to leave Italy to head back to Germany (through Austria again).  This picture isn't clear, but it shows the teal flash so well.  The one right after shows the true purple color.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 6 - blurry picture to show teal flash
Shellac Purple Purple Day 6
Day 7 and we are at the wedding in Oberammergau (actually the wedding was in Ettal next door) which was at this amazing church - Ettal Abbey.  I'm pretty sure all the German wedding guests thought I was a crazy American.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 7
Shellac Purple Purple Day 7
Day 8 and it's time to celebrate at THE Munich Oktoberfest!  This was SO much fun and hopefully one day we can go again.  I even got to wear a drindl (traditional Bavarian dress) that Chris's Aunt loaned me.  SO much fun!!!  Mani still looks great too.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 8
Day 9 and we have to go home soon, so on our last day in Germany, Chris, his mom and I hike to the top of the Koffel over Oberammergau.  Hard work but the view was worth it.  Again, mani still looks perfect!  The growth is starting to get pretty noticeable.  You can see that in the second picture below.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 9
Shellac Purple Purple Day 9 - check out that growth!
Shellac Purple Purple Day 9 over Oberammergau
So now we are back home in the USA and I didn't do a very good job keeping track of the rest of my Shellac mani.  This is Day 11 and the last day I took pictures.  I think the excitement of being home and celebrating the engagement, not to mention catching up on work and trying to start to find a venue really got in the way.  Fortunately Day 11 is pretty representative of Day 14, when I took of the polish.  As you can see the polish is still very very very shiny.  I have the slightest of tip wear.  Normally tip wear is horrible for me, so that is pretty amazing.  And my growth is INSANE.  I had no idea my nails grow so fast.  You'll see below the only issue I had was with my thumbs.

Shellac Purple Purple Day 11
Shellac Purple Purple Day 11
Shellac Purple Purple Day 11
So here is a representation of my thumbs.  Both of them looked like this.  Chips in the corners which led to the Shellac starting to lift.  I ended up throwing some Gelous over it until Day 14 to make sure what was left didn't damage my nail.
Shellac Purple Purple Day 11 - Thumb damage
Overall I am very pleased (once again) with Shellac for my vacations.  As long as you have a good nail tech who know how to apply the product correctly, you will get fantastic results.  I am actually really excited to see OPI's version of Shellac called OPI GelColor, whenever that hits salons, but for the time being I'll stick with Shellac.  Shellac usually runs about $20-30 more than your average manicure.  I think this one cost me $48 and it was worth every penny!  Have you ever gotten "Shellac"ed?  Any questions I can answer?