Saturday, January 29, 2011

OPI Black Cherry Chutney

The unthinkable happened today.  My super weak nails  decided to revolt against me.  I got a small break on the corner of my pinky nail on my left hand, a huge crack in the nail on my left middle finger and then, just to put the cherry on top, I got a huge break on my right pointer nail.  It hasn't been a good week for me in general, so the last thing I wanted to do was file down my long nails to nubbins.  Luckily, I didn't have to file down as short as I was thinking I was going to have to go.  To "celebrate" my shorter length, I decided to bust out a good vampy color - the kind that always looks great on short nails.  Enter OPI Black Cherry Chutney.

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By the way, I SWEAR I'm not this pale in real life.  I think the combination of my Ott-Lite and the dark polish sent me to Paleville.  I only recently got this (I know, right?!), after seeing how wildly popular it is on MUA.  It's kind of the Queen Bee of vampies, and I can see why.  It's a blackened plum with fine reddish shimmer.  It's dark, but definitely not black.  I'll have to see how it looks under the fluorescent lighting at work to get a better feel for it.  I'm sure application would've been great, if it weren't for the fact that I wound up with a wonky brush.  I had to surgically remove two bristles from it that were saluting me, and then the bottom of it was still pretty frayed out.  *Sigh*

But overall, it's a great color - chic, and I liked it more than I thought I was going to.  It's also super easy to find, as it's part of the core collection.  So, if you're like me, and have almost no vampies, this is a great place to start!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Essie Limited Addiction

So, I know this came out a good solid couple months ago, but I figured I'd pay homage to the red that finally ousted OPI An Affair in Red Square as my favorite red.  I didn't think it could be done!  An Affair in Red Square was the first polish I ever needed to have.  It was the first time I felt from a polish that draw and allure that is all too familiar now.  Oddly enough I picked up Limited Addiction on a whim.  I needed a good deep-ish red creme, and it just seemed to fit the bill.  Classy, luxe, and beautiful.

Application is a dream with Limited Addiction.  It's almost a jelly, but two coats is still plenty to get the coverage you need.  I used three coats here, but that's because I'm a doof and managed to put a dent in one of my nails.  I threw a third coat over just the one, but then it was a smidge deeper than the others (D'oh!), so naturally the rest had to get a third coat as well.  Oh well, it was worth it.

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Mental note:  In the future, take pictures of Essie polishes with your right hand so the bottle doesn't look upside down (oops lol).  It was surprisingly hard to photograph this.  No matter how hard I tried, I still couldn't get it to be exactly color accurate.  Sorry!  Imagine it to be maybe a shade cooler and a little brighter, but still just as sexy.  If you don't already have your Holy Grail red, try this little number out!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Favorite "Edgy Neutrals"

Edgy neutrals are some of my absolute favorite polishes.  I really can't get enough of these purpley-taupe colors.  While I wouldn't say these are really "interview-appropriate" colors, I would definitely say these are safe to wear around the office (unless you work somewhere with a super conservative dress code).  They're perfectly low-key, without being boring in the least.  These types of color have really surged in popularity over the last few years, which I couldn't be happier about!  There's a ton of them out there, but these are five of my personal favorites!  As always, click to enlarge the photos to see the details.

 OPI You Don't Know Jacques - This dark mushroom brown creme has become one of OPI's staple colors, but would you believe I only just got my hands on this about a month ago??  It's so popular, sometimes it's hard to pin down.  Application was good, but it took three coats to really even out.  It's thinner than I would expect from OPI.  The first coat goes on kind of streaky, but it smoothes itself out nicely by coats two and three.  It was originally released as part of OPI's France collection in fall 2008, but luckily, this has become part of the core collection, so for $8.50 you can pick this baby up at your local Ulta.

Sephora by OPI Metro Chic - A purpley-taupe creme dream.  This one is lighter, dustier and more purple than You Don't Know Jacques.  This polish was a HUGE hit when it was released in fall 2008, and has really become the face of the edgy neutrals.  Application is good with this as well.  Usually this is a two coater for me, but my skills were lacking today, so I used three.  This is only available at Sephora, and for whatever silly reason you'll pay $9 for it instead of the standard $8.50 for OPI.  The brand has been affectionately abbreviated "$OPI" in the nail polish community.  I don't see any difference between pigmentation or application between the $OPIs and the regular OPIs, but at least know that it'll be $0.50 more well spent!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mystic Lilac - I would put this polish in my top five polishes of all time - I love it that much!  It's a dusty lilac purple with the most gorgeous contrasting green shimmer.  It sounds like it would be the most awful color combination, but look at it!  It's beautiful!  Application is smooth, but in order to really allow the green shimmer to show through, it has to be very sheer.  Therefore, this is definitely going to be a three-coater.  I've seen some get away with fewer when layering it over another color (Sally Hansen XW Concrete is popular), but I prefer it all by it's gorgeous self.  The downside is that this was released this fall as part of a limited edition seasonal collection.  It can be a little hard to track down now, but if you can, I'd highly suggest it!  It's the only polish I have a backup of, and I'm thinking of trying to hunt down at least two more!  lol

Revlon Perplex - Look familiar?  It's because it's an exact dupe of Chanel's super popular fall release Paradoxal!  I hunted this sucker down something fierce.  I went to six CVS's in one day about a mont ago with no luck.  Turns out I just jumped the gun a smidge, because they're out at most CVS's now.  This a gorgeous dusty purple with subtle shimmer.  It's sooo lovely!  The shimmer is less noticeable indoors, but even then it looks like a chic purple creme.  Application is unbelievable with this.  Revlon really outdid themselves here.  With careful application, this is a ONE coater!  But you know I need two.    LOL.  If you like this, go hunt it down now, because it's limited edition!  Only cost me about $6, but you could probably catch this in some kind of BOGO 50%.

China Glaze Recycle - Another one of my all-time favorites.  This is a perfect concrete grey creme with an *almost* greenish tint to it.  ALMOST.  I don't know what it is about this polish, but I just adore it.  There's a lot of greys hitting the market recently, but this one is still unique.  Application is flawless in two coats.  It debuted in spring 2008 as part of China Glaze's Ecollection (all of the polishes being named after eco-friendly things), but you can still get this fairly easily online and probably for cheaper than its original price.

Hope you enjoyed!  I'd love to see these colors more often in the office environment!  I need to try to follow up this post sometime with my favorite blingy glitter "don't-even-think-about-wearing-this-to-work" polishes.  :-)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe

Well, HELLO GORGEOUS!  I've had this baby since Christmas, but I've been saving it for just the right occasion.  When a friend of mine invited my husband and me out for happy hour at the cutest little restaurant/bar, it just felt like the perfect time to bust it out!

Across the Universe is a cocktail of small blue glitter with larger blue and green hexagonal glitter, suspended in a deep blue jelly base.  And boy is it delicious!  Deb really knocked it out of the park with this polish.  It's absolutely stunning.  I used three coats here for opacity, but it would look just as gorgeous with one or two coats layered over a navy or teal.

Application was actually a lot easier than I expected.  The jelly base isn't runny at all and really stays where you put it.  You should definitely let each layer dry completely before starting the next to avoid cuticle drag or accidentally moving around the glitter.  Also, it dries a little flat and bumpy, so you'll want a nice layer or two of top coat to smooth everything out and get that high gloss finish.  Please click to enlarge the photos and see this polish in all its glory!

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I just adore this!  Hubby actually said this was probably his favorite polish that I own.  That's a HUGE compliment coming from him!  I also love that Deb's inspiration for her polishes is music.  She names most of them after songs.  I think the Beatles would totally approve of Across the Universe's namesake.

The only downside to Lippmann polishes is the hefty $18 price tag, but trust me, it's absolutely worth every penny!  Run, don't walk, to your nearest Nordstrom or (Can you really run to a website? *shrugs*) - you won't regret it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Zoya Veruschka

Veruschka...what a sexy name for a sexy polish!  This was released as part of the Matte Velvet collection last winter, but I just scooped it up in a recent swap.  I've been dying to get my hands on this deep emerald green beauty (or get it on my hands?) for a while now, and it really did not disappoint!

It dries completely matte, and it's super pigmented.  An even application could probably get away with one coat, but as you can tell by that ring finger, I don't have even application.  :-)  Two coats it is for me! Mattes are kind of hard for me to work with, since they're usually a little thick and they dry so darn quick.  Like, ridiculously quick.  The fewer brush strokes, the better with this stuff.  But look how chic it is!

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But the absolute best part is that this is like two polishes in one!  Look how gorgeous it is with a top coat!  Hubby prefers the matte look, but since mattes also tend to chip pretty quickly (and I'm wanting this to last until Friday), I'm opting for the glossy look.  I love this!  It looks so plush - like real velvet.  It's got such dimension and such versatility, and that's what makes Veruschka so awesome.

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If you have OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow Suede, you probably can do without Veruschka.  They're very close, but from comparisons I've seen, Veruschka has just a smidge more depth to it than HTAT Suede.  And it's $1.50 cheaper and easier to find.  That's a win in my book!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Butter London Henley Regatta

Can you tell I'm having fun with my Nordstrom birthday haul?  ;-)

Butter London Henley Regatta is like Zoya Charla's sister on steroids!  It's a similar blue-green glitter, but it's a much finer glitter in a clear base.  Perfect for layering!  I used one layer of Henley Regatta over one layer of Wet n Wild Black Creme (gotta love one-coaters!) for the majority of this look.  The accent nail is four coats of Henley Regatta on its own.  The fine glitter means it definitely takes at least three coats for opacity.  I probably could've stopped at three, but I just wanted ooooone more coat for vibrance!

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Is she stunning or what?!  So much more gorgeous in person.  It just doesn't translate as well in pictures.  I think I love it best over black - like little blue-green stars in the night sky!

Don't get me wrong about Charla though, they're definitely sisters and not dupes.  One day I'll actually get a nail wheel, but until then here are some scotch tape swatches.  Apologies for the horrible pictures - I couldn't believe how hard it was to capture these!  (This is actually OPI Catch Me in Your Net, but that really is a Charla dupe!)

(L) Butter London Henley Regatta - one coat; (R) OPI Catch Me in Your Net - one coat

(L) Butter London Henley Regatta - two coats; (R) OPI Catch Me in Your Net - two coats

You can see the difference between the two even at one coat.  Henley Regatta is blue and green glitter (you can see each color separately in real life) suspended in a clear base.  Catch Me in Your Net is a blue-green duochrome shimmer in a blue base.  I'd definitely say Henley Regatta is sparklier. but CMiYN is more opaque.  Definitely different enough to own both!  :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Butter London All Hail The Queen/McQueen

I needed a total change of pace after my glitter-ific birthday mani, so it couldn't have been more perfect that my Nordstrom order decided to show up at my door today.  My mom got me a gift card, so of course I splurged on a couple Butter Londons and one Lancome polish.

Butter London is a lesser-known, but definitely fabulous and on-the-rise brand.  One of their founders is English-born, and thus the super cute and cheeky English pun names like Aston, Snog, and Big Smoke.  This is All Hail the Queen.  It's exactly the same as the (apparently) limited edition All Hail McQueen, in honor of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.  I wasn't aware that the name was going to be changed, so I'm a little bummed that I didn't pick it up a while back when it was still McQueen.  Oh well.  :-)

All Hail the Queen is a dark nude/beige with holographic shimmer.  My pictures don't quite pick up on the holo as well as I'd hoped, but it's more noticeable in the sun anyway.  It's so hard for me to find nude polishes that work well with my skin tone, but I think the dark beige of this one is what makes it work.  The application was good overall, but I did notice that it didn't really spread out on its own.  I felt like I was constantly dipping back in for more polish.  Luckily, the formula is buttery (pun...intended?) smooth, so it wasn't really a big deal.  Ok, enough of my jabber.  Behold!

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Nice, right?  I'm not totally smitten with this, but I do really like it.  It's the perfect palate cleanser, without being boring at all!

UPDATE:  The sun decided to finally show it's beautiful face!  So here's All Hail the Queen in full sun:

Sorry my camera doesn't seem to like sunlight pictures very much.  But you can see the holo shimmer so much better.  It really is lovely!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, today is my birthday (YAY!), and I decided to celebrate with a fun and bling-tastic mani!  I orginally saw this on MUA and immediately knew it just HAD to be my birthday mani! 

I used Color Club What a Drag! (similar to other silver foils - Sally Hansen Celeb City, China Glaze Cheers to You, etc.) as the base color.  Then I added a very thin layer of OPI Mad as a Hatter, starting about 3/4 of the way up the nail.  I finished up with two gradient layers of Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday, starting the first about half way up the nail and the second about 1/4 up the nail.  I'm so thrilled with how this turned out!

This is so fun and festive, and I'm so happy to share it (and my birthday!) with you!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


And so it begins...

My blog, that is!  I'm SO excited for my first post!  I've been interested in nail polish for as long as I can remember.  It's such a fun and easy way to accessorize and have fun with color!  Over the last year I've discovered new worlds like All Lacquered UpScrangie, and the Makeup Alley Nail Board, and watched my stash quadruple in size!  Though I'll never compare to the goddesses behind those sites, I decided to create a home for my own polish love on the web, where I can show and review my current polishes, as well as the new ones I pick up along the way.  I hope you find my blog to be welcoming and informative, but most of all FUN!  I look forward to sharing my passion with you!

So grab your favorite polish and pull up a chair!  Without further ado, I bring you the *stunning* China Glaze VII!

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Isn't she beautiful??  I really didn't expect anything more than to "like" this polish, but I absolutely fell in love!  This is 2 coats and it practically applied itself.  It was super shiny, even without Seche Vite.  It really hides its beauty in the bottle - you have to see this one on the nail.  PURE.  LOVE.