Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Celebration with Butter London No More Waity Katie!

Every girl dreams of becoming a princess - pretty dresses, jewels, a sparkly tiara, and of course Prince Charming (or Prince William)!  For Kate Middleton, that dream came true today, and from tiara to toe she looked absolutely beautiful.  The wedding was amazing, and even as an American I got all warm and fuzzy inside watching it.  What a truly happy day for her and her Prince!  I'm very happy to have been sucked into watching it at 5:30 this morning.  :-)

Shortly after William and Kate announced their engagement, our friends over at Butter London went to work to create a polish to commemorate the occasion - (And you KNOW I had to have it!!) soft lavender glitter suspended in a sheer dusty purple base named No More Waity Katie.  Wondering where the name came from?  Probably not if you live in the UK.  But for us folks across the pond, Kate was given the nickname "Waity Katie" by the British tabloids after waiting so long for a proposal from Prince William.  With that stunning ring on her finger, No More Waity Katie was born!

Worn alone, No More Waity Katie is pretty sheer, so it'll take you three coats to build up opacity.  I decided I wasn't loving the sheer look, and I wanted to punch up the base color a bit, so I opted for a layered look instead.  What you see here is one coat of No More Waity Katie over one coat of Butter London Marrow.  I've heard horror stories in the polish community of how thick No More Waity Katie is and how much of a pain it can be to apply.  Just doing one layer, I didn't have any application problems whatsoever, but it does fall on the thick side.  You may want to thin this out a bit if you're going to wear it alone.



I really love this look.  It's different from any other glitter I've ever worn in that it's not sparkly.  But somehow it's still pretty!  It's really more of a delicate look.  I think this layering combo has a symbiotic relationship.  Marrow adds such depth to the base color, while No More Waity Katie adds visual interest to Marrow.  Perhaps you could say these two polishes are a perfect MARRIAGE!  (Sorry, I had to go there.  LOL)  I actually did this over a two-day old Marrow manicure, and it was perfect for a mid-week manicure "spice up."  It's not my favorite glitter ever, and I certainly think they could have come up with something better for a Kate Middleton tribute polish, but for some reason I really love it.  Maybe it's the polish collector in me, or maybe it's the princess.  Either way this polish is a keeper for me!

Typically I'd throw in a picture or two of Marrow by itself, but I loved it so much I want to do a full post on it for you guys, so stay tuned for that.  :-)

The good news is that No More Waity Katie is available at www.butterlondon.com right now (with a May ship date), so definitely get it now while you can!  The bad news is that it's not available for UK customers.  I really don't get that.  Makes no sense at all to me.  Do they think that since you UK ladies get the actual princess that you shouldn't get the polish??  So stupid.  I guess options for you ladies would be to check swap lists and eBay.

I hope you've all had a wonderful Friday (and HOLIDAY for you folks in the UK!) - and just remember, ladies:  One day your prince WILL come!  Or maybe he already did!  :-D

Monday, April 25, 2011

OPI Damone Roberts 1968

Buyer's remorse - buying something you thought you really wanted only to find out you don't really love it so much.  I'm sure we've all experienced it.  But have you been lucky enough to experience what I like to call reverse buyer's remorse (perhaps there's a better term for this, but that's what I'm calling it lol)?  It's that super special feeling where you regret NOT buying something when you had the chance to.  It kinda tears at your insides and festers there until your existence pretty much hinges on finding a way to get your hands on it.  Yeah, happens to me all the time.  But my first true experience of reverse buyer's remorse was brought on by OPI Damone Roberts 1968.

I missed the original release of Damone back in 2009 (I just hadn't discovered polish blogs yet!), so when Michelle at All Lacquered Up posted this piece last spring declaring that Damone Roberts 1968 was back, and that you should snag a bottle now while you still could - what did I do?  I passed.  I PASSED ON DAMONE ROBERTS 1968!  At the time I thought I'd never wear a mint green, and it was too much trouble (and money) to order from the Damone Roberts salon to get it.  Six months later my festering ball of regret was born.  Sigh.

I was about thisclose to caving in to the $25-$30 listings on eBay, when I had the blessing of receiving an RAOK (Random Act of Kindness) mini bottle of Damone from a lovely lady named Marlene, decanted from her own bottle.  As soon as it arrived and I saw it in real life, I knew I'd need a full bottle. I tried one last time for a swap on MUA from a girl in my area.  Thankfully, she agreed, and we met up for an in-person swap and dusty hunting day.  We had a blast, my longtime lemming was fulfilled, and now she and I are great friends in real life!  YAY!!

So, on to the polish!  First, the name.  You may be wondering who the heck Damone Roberts is.  He's this guy - a makeup artist known for his transformative work on eyebrows.  I saw him for the first time on that show 10 Years Younger on TLC.  You probably recognize him now, right?  I haven't found an exact reasoning on the "1968" part, but I assume that to be Damone's birth year?  Maybe?  Anywho, Damone collaborated with OPI to create a polish that reflected the same mint green color of his New York salon walls.  You can see from his website that all of his products bear that same mint color.  It's a dusty mint - not your typical vibrant mint green.  It has more yellow and brown undertones.  As a pastel, I almost expected it to be streaky, but application was smooth and opaque in two coats!  I wore this as my Easter manicure.  :-)

(click to enlarge)
Note:  I SWEAR this does not give my lobster hands in real life.  Cameras just tend to do that with these types of colors.

Isn't he dreamy??  I just love how muted of a mint it is!  It's slightly more vibrant in real life, but color-wise I think the photos are pretty close.  I know there are a ton of other options for mint greens out there, but this is a unique color for me, as I have nothing like it in my stash!  Comparisons of Damone to other mints show it as slightly more yellow in comparison to some other options, so I do think this is unique even in the world of mint greens.

Unfortunately, Damone Roberts 1968 was super ultra ridiculously limited edition, so unless you want to pay out the wahzoo on eBay (current listing is going for $34.99), you may want to try to nab this in a swap or blog sale (though prices will be higher than retail here too).  From what I can tell from photos Illamasqua Milf may be similar enough to satisfy your lemming.  You could also try OPI Hey! Get in Lime!  It's also discontinued (Damn it, OPI!), but you may be able to find it for a lower price than Damone.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!  :-D

Friday, April 22, 2011

Essie Sew Psyched (and China Glaze White Cap)

Happy Earth Day!!  Hope you're all doing your part to help the environment!  I...recycled my Coke can after lunch today!  And drank my Gatorade out of a reusable water bottle!  That's something, right?!  :-)

I couldn't turn down wearing green for Green Week, so I went with one of my favorites - Essie Sew Psyched from this past fall's collection (called Fall 2010 - very creative, Essie!).  It's a greyed green with suuuper subtle shimmer.  You can almost make it out in my photos, but unfortunately it's more evident in the bottle than on the nail.  For all intensive purposes, you can file this one as a creme.  For being so light colored, it's actually really pigmented.  I used two coats, but you might could get away with just one.  Application was easy and smooth! 

(click to enlarge)

Almost grey in these photos, no?  I promise you this is green!  It does tend to look grey in some lights, which is cool with me - I love grey!  Here's a photo in slightly more dim lighting.  You can see a bit more of the green tones here.


I just love this color!  It's smooth, rich, and totally work appropriate!  It's said to be a dupe of Rescue Beauty Lounge Diddy Mow, but I don't have that one to compare.  It's now part of the core line at Ulta and new retailers like Wal-mart, so at $8 or less and easier accesibility, it more than kills my lemming for Diddy Mow (blasphemy for RBL lovers, I know!).

Just for funsies, I did a comparison of Sew Psyched and China Glaze Recycle (an appropriately named green-leaning grey).  Sew Psyched will look grey in some lighting and Recycle will look green in some lighting, but you can see the difference here below.  Sew Psyched is definitely green.

(L) Essie Sew Psyched, (R) China Glaze Recycle

The next day, I decided to see how it would look with a layer of White Cap over it.  In my head I envisioned this subtle golden shimmer glistening over that gorgeous muted green base.  



So, this isn't exactly the delicate vision I had in mind, but I still really liked this look!  I'm just loving White Cap!  It's probably my new favorite "effect" polish.  It looks great over just about everything!  The milky base lightened the green of Sew Psyched just a hair, but the overall look was definitely still green. Here's a shot in dimmer light for a bit more color-accuracy.


Nice, right?  It doesn't wow me, but I did get a few compliments and "What color is that?"s  for this combination.  I think it's just the right amount of bling mixed with a muted green for a perfectly splendid Earth Day manicure.  :-)

Have a great weekend and a happy Easter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Essie Turquoise & Caicos

You may not know it from the weather here in the DC metro area, but it's actually spring.  Like, Easter this weekend spring.  (I know, right?!  Where does the year go???)  I was feeling a bit festive over the weekend, and I'd been dying to bust out an old favorite of mine for months, so here she is - the beautiful Essie Turquoise & Caicos!

Turquoise & Caicos is a gorgeous green-leaning turquoise polish.  It's definitely a creme finish, but it has that same squishy, jellyish consistency that Essie Marshmallow has.  Unfortunately, that means a somewhat thin and streaky application that takes three coats to even out.  Not my favorite application by far, but the color is well worth it!

(click to enlarge)

Yes, that's a mini bottle my hand is fumbling to hold.  I got Turquoise & Caicos as part of Essie's Resort Collection mini 4-pack when they were released last summer.  I've used this polish at least four times by now, but I just can't seem to get around to getting a full-size bottle.  With Essie's whopping 5 ml mini bottle, I almost don't have to!  Seriously, that's a third of a regular size bottle!  It makes OPI's 3.75 ml minis look shrimpy!  I might scrape this one dry before getting a full-size just for the fun of it.  :-)

Isn't the color fab??  It just screams "9-day Caribbean cruise," doesn't it?  Sigh.  I sure could use a 9-day Caribbean cruise!  I think this is also a gorgeous pedi color for the summer!  As is its collection counterpart Lapis of Luxury, a stunning cornflower blue.  I actually bought the minis for Lapis of Luxury, but Turquoise & Caicos was my surprise favorite!  Here are the two side by side.  You can see how green Turquoise & Caicos pulls next to Lapis of Luxury.

(L) Turqoise & Caicos, (R) Lapis of Luxury

The best part?  Essie made both of these colors permanent, and since branching out to drugstores, you can now pick them up at your local Walmart, Target, or CVS!  Yay!!  Same great colors and formula with better accessibility.  :-)  The only drawback is that for some strange reason, Essie renamed or changed the spelling of some of their polishes in the new retail line.  For example, Demure Vixen is now "Demure Vix" and poor Lapis of Luxury is now "Lapiz of Luxury."  Like, REALLY, Essie?!  Did we really need a Z in that??  So weird.

On another note, some of you may be wondering how Turquoise & Caicos compares to the classic China Glaze For Audrey.  Well, here ya go!

(L) Essie Turqoise & Caicos, (R) China Glaze For Audrey

The difference is more subtle with these two, but you can see the green in Turquoise & Caicos here again.  Another difference is in formula.  Being a standard creme finish, For Audrey will only cost you two coats, but it doesn't have that soft, squishiness to it.  Honestly, I prefer Turquoise & Caicos, but these two are definitely different enough to own both.  

If you don't already own Turquoise & Caicos, go!  Run!  Now!  You won't regret it, I promise!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My "Bring it Back" Campaign

Calling all lacquerheads!

Is your favorite Rescue Beauty Lounge polish sold out?  Did you miss out on a limited edition collection??  

I sure did!  Last fall RBL released the Real Housewives of the Tudor Dynasty collection - four polishes named after four of King Henry VIII's wives.  The collection included:

Catherine - Named after Henry's first wife, it's a deep smokey purple with red and blue shimmer.
Anne - Named after Henry's second wife, it's a mossy green with gorgeous gold and pink shimmer.
Jane - Named after Henry's third wife, it's a greyed nude with subtle golden shimmer.
Catherine H - Named after Henry's fifth wife, it's a beautiful deep cornflower blue with pink and blue shimmer.
(You can find swatches of all of these here from Michelle at All Lacquered Up.)

So here's my sob story.  I've always had a fascination with the Tudor dynasty and English history (self-proclaimed Anglophile here!).  I devoured the Tudors series from Showtime, and I was so excited for this polish collection.  Unfortunately, I was unemployed at the time, and RBLs cost $18 a piece.  With a heavy heart I had to pass on the entire collection.

By a freak stocking accident, I managed to snag Catherine H a few weeks ago when it became available again for a few hours before it went out of stock again.  But I'm still lacking my coveted Anne, Catherine, and Jane.  Sobs!

Thankfully, Ji Baek (RBL's creator and commander-in-chief) is doing another "Bring it Back" vote.  We all have two votes before tomorrow morning, April 17th at 10:00 AM EST.  Top three are brought back in stock to give all us polish lovers a second chance.  YAY!  My vote is hands down for Anne and Catherine.  They look beautiful and they've been calling my name since the initial release last fall.

Here's where you come in!  Since we only get two votes, Ji encouraged "campaigning" to get more votes for your most beloved polishes.  I'm asking you guys to head over to blog.rescuebeauty.com and cast your votes for Anne and Catherine.  Just because you're all awesome, and I'd be ETERNALLY grateful!  I'm hoping Jane will also gain enough votes to win, but if I had to choose two, those would be the ones.  

If your heart has already been taken by another one of Ji's gorgeous RBLs, I understand.  But I figured I'd give it a try!  Who knows, if Anne and Catherine win...maybe I'll even host my very first giveaway!  ;-)

Make it so!
(Yes, that's my second Star Trek reference.  You know there's more to come!)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zoya Edyta

Zoya is just one of my favorite nail polish companies.  They come up with some really great collections, and their color range is unmatched.  The Wicked collection from this past fall was no exception.  Counterpart to the Wonderful (creme) collection), Wicked is the sparkly half with all of its polishes named after the ladies from Dancing with the Stars - Cheryl, Kym, Edyta, Julieanne, Carrie Ann, and Karina.  I nabbed up Cheryl and Edyta as soon as I could get my hands on them, and today I have for you the lovely Edyta!

Edyta is a mossy green beauty!  There's a ton of gold to the bottle color, but on the nail it seems more silverish.  Hubby called it a "gunmetal" green, and I think he pretty much nailed it.  The finish is somewhere between a glass-fleck and a foil.  It's chic and sexy indoors and then it's a sparklefest in the sun!  Application is perfection, as usual for a Zoya with this kind of finish.  This is two coats.

(click to enlarge)

How sexy is this?!  I feel like I should've photographed it in low lighting with a big statement ring and a glass of fine wine, because this polish just has a sort of sophistication to it.  It's interesting enough for a night out, but it's also understated enough to wear to work (I've been wearing it at my office all week).  It's absolutely stunning.  I've worn it like four times since I got it, and believe me I don't cycle through my polishes very quickly!

Edyta has been said to be a near dupe to Nubar Verde, but I don't own that one to compare.  From what I can see in other comparisons, Edyta is sparklier, while Verde is just a smidge more green.  The price tag for each is pretty similar - $8 for Edyta and $7.49 for Verde.  If you ask me, sparkles always win, so I'd go with Edyta, but if you've already got Verde, you certainly don't need both.

*Pours a glass of pinot noir*  Happy Friday!  :-)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Half-Moon Manicure and Tutorial

A few days ago a friend of mine (Hi Dana!!) asked if I had any tips for doing a half-moon manicure.  A half-moon manicure is created with two polishes so that the little "half moons" of your nails are a different color from the rest of your nails.  To be honest, I'd never done one before, but as I was feeling a bit uninspired for my weekend mani and always willing to help a friend out...CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

I decided this post may work best as kind of a photo tutorial, so I took as many pictures as I could throughout the process.  :-)

I've seen lots of different color combinations for half-moon manis.  I think, in general, these look best with two very contrasting colors, so I went with black and silver.  I decided I wanted to do the ring finger in reverse colors for added funk and to see how that combination would look as well.

This is two coats of Wet 'n Wild Black Creme and two coats of Color Club What a Drag!   I also wanted to play with different texture combinations, so I decided to make the black matte with a coat of Essie Matte About You.  I applied a coat of Seche Vite over What a Drag to speed up the drying process.


Now to create those half-moons!  You could always free-hand them, if you're skilled and blessed with a steady hand.  As I am neither skilled nor steady-handed I need to "cheat."  I learned on MUA the best way to achieve that look, and it comes from a rather unexpected place....


OFFICE SUPPLIES.  Yup, those are just standard paper hole reinforcements.  This is one of those fancy boxes where you pull the tab and then the stickers just magically pop out of the top.  Kind of helpful when working with wet nails, actually!

These stickers are actually stickier than you think.  You'll want to stick these against the palm of your hand a couple of times before you apply them to sort of de-sticky them a bit - a FAB tip I learned from Erika over at Chloe's Nails.  Put half of the sticker on the top of your nail near the cuticle.  Where exactly you put it will depend on how big of a half-moon you want.


Next apply one to two coats of your contrasting color and remove the sticker immediately.  If you wait until the polish is dry to remove the sticker, you could end up pulling off a big chunk out of the polish off, which we obviously don't want.  Annoyingly, the stickers wouldn't stick down completely on the nail, so I did have to free hand at the very edges, but I promise it wasn't too hard.  :-)

Here's the look after I added the second color to all my nails:

First:  I wasn't too happy with that ring finger.  I didn't put the sticker low enough on my nail, so the half-moon wasn't quite as big as I would have liked.  I didn't get the line as clean as I would have liked, ether.  The other ones turned out pretty well though, I think!  Then of course I still needed to mattify the black, so I free-handed another coat of Essie Matte About You over the top.  Since the silver doesn't have a glossy look to it anyway, I didn't have to be too precise with the matte top coat.  If you're using creme colors, you may want to put another sticker on as a guide if you add any special "effect" coats on top.

Second:  I realized the hard way that this manicure is probably best done in two parts, on two separate days.  Wear your bottom color as a manicure one night, and then add the second color the next day so you know everything is DRY.  I almost lifted up the silver at least four different times when removing the sticker.  I blame that entirely on my impatience.  That won't happen when your bottom color is completely dry.  :-)

So here's the finished look!


Ooh la-la!!  I love the matte black in contrast to the blingy silver!  This is one fierce look, and it would be perfect for a night out!  (So where did I wear this?  Totally on my couch watching a Netflix movie - d'oh!)

Here's a few more posed pictures, just for funsies:


Bottom line?  I definitely think there's a learning curve here.  It took a few nails to get the hang of it, but I think it got easier and looked better with each nail.  Here's my right hand, just so you can see:


See?  Much more even!  I'm sure my next half-moon mani will look even better.  :-)  The hole-reinforcement stickers aren't a fool-proof trick, but they're certainly easier than free-handing those lines!  I think if I can do this, anyone can!

Dana, I hope you found this helpful!  Let me know what colors you choose and how it turns out next time you give it a try!

If you guys have any other requests, feel free to shoot them my way, and I'll do what I can!  :-D

Friday, April 8, 2011

Orly Out of This World

If I had to pick the most epic collection from last year, Orly's Cosmic FX would without a doubt be it.  Full of six unbelievable duochrome polishes, it was like Orly bottled up a little bit of magic in each one.  Yes, magic!  Being a complete nerd, they sold me on their space-themed names and futuristic looks, so I managed to pick up the entire collection over the last six months or so between getting the actual Orly polishes and then some of their dupes.  Just for the record, I have:

Orly:  Space Cadet
         Galaxy Girl
         Out of This World. 
Dupes:  Sally Hansen Laser (dupe of Lunar Eclipse)
            China Glaze Zombie Zest (almost dupe of It's Not Rocket Science)
            OPI Catch Me in Your Net (dupe of Halley's Comet).

I'm sure I'll end up showing you every single polish from the collection, but today I have for you the lovely Out of This World.  (You can find the entire collection and amazing swatches here from Michelle at All Lacquered Up.)

Out of This World is a deep blackened purple with brighter, more red-toned purple and gold duochrome shimmer.  It's almost a foil finish, but I'd still file this one away as a shimmer.  Application was a breeze in two coats.  I'd say in terms of color, it's slightly more red-toned in real life than in these pictures (stupid purples always photograph more blue - whyyyy?!), but these are pretty darn close!

(click to enlarge)

I just love this color!  It's got such depth!  Unfortunately, it's probably one of the least duochrome polishes in the collection.  You can see that gold flash around the curve of the bottle, above the Orly "O", but it just doesn't translate to the nail very well.  Ah, well...so the duochrome won't catch your eye from across the room, but I promise you that gorgeous, mysterious color will!

The Cosmic FX collection was released in fall of last year, which means it's pretty much gone by now.  You may find a few spare bottles at your local Sally's or Ulta.  The good news is that this collection was so awesome it was duped by pretty much every company out there.  If you love Out of This World, but can't track it down, go for Zoya Julieanne instead.  You can get it for $8 at http://www.zoya.com/.

Out of This World and Julieanne are reminiscient of Zoya Mimi from their summer 2010 Sparkle collection, so I did a quick comparison of the two for you.  What you see below is one coat of each, and this is where you see the major difference between the two (as usual, these two are both more red-toned in real life). 
(L) Orly Out of This World - one coat, (R) Zoya Mimi - one coat

Mimi is much more sheer than Out of This World (I can't speak to the opacity of Julieanne, as I don't own that one), and also a brighter, more vibrant purple.  Below is both of them at complete opacity.  Sorry for the strange background - it's my hand!  I had to put it behind the nail wheel, because my camera just wouldn't focus otherwise!
(L) Orly Out of This World - two coats, (R) Zoya Mimi - three coats

Yup, Mimi's a three-coater!  She also isn't even remotely duochrome, but she is stunning!  I wore Mimi as a pedicure a few weeks ago, and just loved how sparkly my toes were!  Out of This World/Julieanne is like Mimi's sultry and refined older sister.  Perfect for a night out or to say "Come hither..." with your nails.  ;-)

Verdict?  I absolutely adore both of these and think they're definitely different enough to own both.  I think it just depends on what kind of look you're going for!

Hope you all are having a happy Friday!  :-D

Monday, April 4, 2011

OPI Russian to a Party

This polish has a little bit of a back story.  I had been going back and forth on MUA with a girl in my area (Hi Jessie!!  *waves frantically*) about finalizing a swap - my Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance for her OPI Damone Roberts 1968.  Since she lived so close, I suggested that perhaps we could do an in-person swap and then do some dusty hunting after.  "Dusty" is a term used on MUA to refer to nail salons or beauty supply stores with an older stock of polish that might, quite literally, be dusty after sitting there for so long.  Dusty hunting is the act of going to this places to check out their stock and is a great way to find some old discontinued polishes that may be going for absurd prices on eBay.  It's kind of like a scavenger hunt.  Not all places sell their polish, and it may take some bargaining at the places that do.  She agreed, and our day was set!

You guys, it was SO fun, and we found a ton of awesome stuff!  The day's total finds, all OPI, all brand new:

Sapphire in the Snow
Merry Midnight (came in a pack with Sapphire in the Snow, a backup for me)
Paris Couture For Sure
Absolutely Alice (I already had this, but who couldn't use a backup?)
Russian to a  Party
Glacier Bay Blues
At Your Quebec and Call

 I gave hubby the choice of Sapphire in the Snow or Russian to a Party for my weekend manicure.  He chose Russian to a Party - a warm rusty red with golden red shimmer.  :-)

I forgot how strange it was to work with the old black label OPIs!  The formula is much thinner, and of course they don't have the pro-wide brushes (which I'm ok with, 'cause those brushes are just a little big for me anyway).  Even though the consistency is thin, the polish is still pretty easy to work with overall.  What surprised me was that it took three coats to reach full opacity and bottle color.  Three coats?  For a red?  From OPI?  Red is what they DO!  I mean, it wasn't a big deal or anything, but I'm just not sure I've ever come across a three-coater red from OPI.  Shrugs.

(click to enlarge)

Pretty, right?  It's so perfect for fall (so of course I'm wearing it in spring - d'oh!).  It's not flashy, and I'd definitely say this is work-friendly.  It's a color I think my mom would LOVE, but I wouldn't chalk it up to be a "mom color," if that makes sense.  It's just a really pretty and unique color.  I'm actually shocked that OPI ever discontinued this in the first place, especially considering their knack for awesome reds.

Unfortunately since this one is long gone, you'll have to resort to the interwebz to nab this one up (or go dusty hunting!).  You can get it between $10 and $15 on eBay.  If you love unique reds or warm feel-good colors, I'd say this one is worth the extra price to get it.  :-)