I bought Sally Hansen's In A Flurry ages ago, but I hadn't swatched it until December. So much for timely swatching! We may get a few snow flurries late tomorrow night, so this post is slightly topical.
I thought In A Flurry might be similar to butter LONDON's Jack the Lad, but nope. Compared to the bL, Flurry is more charcoal than green. The shimmer may not be as gold, and there's purple shimmer rather than pink shimmer. As far as I can tell! I think there are different colors in it every time I look. I used three thin coats, which really allowed the shimmer to shine through.
While it mainly looks black on the nail- you'd be hard pressed to say it's specifically green- it does sparkle nicely. While the brush on this particular Insta-Dry was cut slightly unevenly, the brush itself was thick yet springy making it easy to get a pretty decent curve by my cuticles. I actually like this polish, which surprises me because I've been hard to please (nail-wise!) these days. If you wanted to pick this one up, you could possibly find it in any place that sells Sally Hansens but doesn't get too much foot traffic. I'm sure this color is still out there!
I'm kind of a sucker for Egyptian things. Exhibit one: my handsome husband. Exhibit two: Lippmann's Nefertiti and my newest acquisition, Cleopatra in New York. I didn't even bat an eyelash as I bought US$18 worth of glitter nail polish at Nordstrom because yep, I'm a sucker. I had to have it as soon as I saw the name, regardless of the color. For shame!
Described as "gold studded black," Cleo is a sheer black with two sizes of wan gold glitter. Yes, I'm Princess Crabbypants right now and I'm telling you that this polish... just didn't thrill me the first time I wore it. Maybe I'll like it better next time? I'm looking at these pictures after wearing Cleo and kind of liking it at the moment. I do want to use a black polish as "underwear" next time so that I have an opaque base coat and so I have to use less of Cleo with each manicure.
If you like the look of Cleo but not the price tag, you could take a gander at Howl at the Moon by Girly Bits. If you must have the Lippmann, there was a $10 off code for first time customers on HSN.com (plus free shipping), making one Lippmann polish less than $10, but I'm not sure if that's still valid.
I think this is still a little sheer for me at three coats. I can't put my finger on why I'm not fully enjoying this polish. I do like it more than one Egyptian thing I will never, ever like- molokhia. Putting leaves in soup is one way to ruin a perfectly good soup. My husband would definitely disagree, though.
Water You Waiting for is from China Glaze's Cirque du Soleil collection, which ties in with the "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away" movie. I haven't seen that movie, but I have seen a traveling Cirque show. Some of those folks tumbled just as hard as my heart did when I put WYWF on.
But I just could not get a decent picture of this polish. It's incredibly frustrating because WYWF is really pretty. You'll have to take my word for it. This next shot was supposed to show off the different glitter colors:
All I can tell you is that you should really take a look at this polish if you like blue glitters. The addition of purple (indigo?) glitter really makes this outstanding. Water You Waiting For is definitely on my top five list of China Glaze polishes that were released last year. I paid full price for it at Ulta and I don't regret it at all. I had to have it as soon as I saw it! You, the savvy shopper that you are, can find it for less at various online retailers.
I was more than happy to see 2012 end. The last four months were not great, but here's hoping 2013 will be much better for all of us. I have several months of pictures and posts half done, so I should have enough content to help me get my mojo back. As always, if there's something you'd like to see swatched, or you'd like better pictures of something I've already shown, just let me know!
Pahlish is currently having a sale on discontinued colors. On New Year's Eve, I decided to do a few super quick swatches of the discontinued colors that I own. Not the best timing since I ran out of time to do my nails for a party, but I did have enough time for hair and makeup and let me say... I looked fabulous. I grabbed some butter LONDONs to put underneath the Pahlishes to show how sheer or opaque they were. Swatches of the bLs by themselves can be found here. Swatches of the Pahlishes can be found on Etsy under their individual pages, which I've linked to in the next paragraph. I highly suggest checking those out, especially for Combustible Lemon. I could not get a decent picture of it.
My pointer finger is butter LONDON Artful Dodger and Pahlish Typewriter Keys, the middle finger is butter LONDON Blagger and Pahlish Goldmine; Gutted, the ring finger is butter LONDON Come to Bed Red with Pahlish Combustible Lemon, and the pinkie is butter LONDON Dahling with Pahlish Your Possible Heart (which is now sold out- I snoozed, you lost. Sorry! ) The bL polishes were two coats, while all of the Pahlishes minus Typewriter Keys were one coat. I don't think TK can be built up to full opacity without a billion coats. I did wear four coats of Goldmine; Gutted in early November and it was pretty opaque. I received tons of compliments while wearing it, so it's good if you're looking for an eye-catching, attention-grabbing polish.
And from the side to show off opacity better:
A few months back, I received a big box of indie polish goodies from my buddy Shannon of Pahlish as a pick-me-up. It totally worked! I will work on swatching all the different indie brands I now have thanks to her, but I've been super unsatisfied with the pictures my cameras are taking. I'm not entirely happy with these pictures, but I really dig Typewriter Keys and Goldmine; Gutted and wanted to try to share them. If you need better pictures of any of these, just leave a comment or email me and I'll try to get to swatching ASAP.
While I'm not a huge Bond fan, I fondly remember watching 007 movies with my family around the holidays when I was younger. I can't say I was interested in the Bond movie coming out this winter, but seeing the trailer of "Skyfall" in an IMAX theater made me contemplate actually watching it in the theater. Doesn't everything look better in IMAX? I'm sure Javier Bardem will look extra handsome on the big screen.
I carefully studied all the swatches I could find of this collection, then ordered four polishes online. I almost ordered two bottles of Live and Let Die, but I restrained myself. After seeing the collection in person, the only other color I bought was You Only Live Twice. (I'm not counting The Man with the Golden Gun, as I knew I needed it like I need oxygen and technically it's a top coat anyway. ) I have to give a round of applause to people like The Polishaholic who do timely swatches so the rest of us can decide what we're going to buy when a collection finally comes out.
Casino Royale is a plum crème that surprised me. I love the color in bright light, though it's a bit more muted (as is my love for it) in low light and the shade. It's a good color, but get into full sun and it turns into an amazingly flattering and pretty color on me.
Since Casino Royale is a crème, it is the perfect base for The Man with the Golden Gun. I wish the gold wasn't so sparse with one coat, but I think the flakes of gold may be bigger than those on the SOPI gold top coat. That top coat is on sale, so if you don't care about the size of your gold flakes, that's the cheaper way to go. I do think TMWTGG dried a little dull, so use a coat of top coat after it. The textured (in look, but not touch) shards of gold look amazing. My camera just couldn't catch that detail. If this polish had been cheaper, I would have stocked up! One tip: cut the sticker on the bottom of the display box that TMWTGG comes in and use the more stylish sticker on the top as a hinge.
I do have pictures of the other three colors I bought and will be posting them soon. I took the pictures before Sandy started bringing us gusty wind, overcast skies, chilly temperatures and rain. I hope that everyone in Superstorm Sandy's path is staying safe!
Despite the fact that everyone who loves to shop at my nearest Target also loves to try nail polish on... I still check the clearance products to see if there's anything I'm interested in. I just try to ignore the fact that some of it may have already been used. While "if you wouldn't pay full price for it, you probably don't really want it" is a good rule to live by when shopping, I tend to forget it when looking at all the pretty colors for cheap.
I totally asked my husband to take a picture of the end cap, so he did. He's a keeper! On your left on the top shelf: beige snakeskin-like Sally Hansen Salon Effects nail polish strips, e.l.f. nail polish, the Prabal Gurung Sally Hansens, some nude (plus a red) L'Oreals and a few Revlon ColorStay longwear nail polishes. Double-ended Revlon polishes and elf emery boards are in the open containers.
I bought e.l.f.'s 20417 back when it was US$2, but now it's only $1.70. I love the black and gold snakeskin top and the gold lettering. The whole collection has snazzy packaging and style, from the palettes to the tweezers. I was tempted by a polish that had festive gold shimmer or glitter with larger iridescent glitter, but I managed to resist for now.
Too bad this polish has a terrible bushy brush that splays outward at the bottom, which makes it a pain to polish with. I also found an errant brush strand, but it didn't cause me as many problems as the one on Laura Mercier's Lavender Cloud. The color is pretty much black with pretty blue shimmer. It looks black most of the time with the shimmer not being very visible until the light hits it. Even when I used top coat, this polish wasn't particularly shiny. I think I ended up with three coats- two when I initially polished, then one more to cover up the pretty good tip wear I got in the day between polishing and taking pictures. When polishing my nails with this, I found the scent to be more obnoxious than usual. That may just be how e.l.f. polish smells. I like the shimmer in this one, but I wish it was more visible most of the time. I wish the brush was better, too, because the bottle is stylish.
Sally Hansen's Ivory Skull is a white crème. I'm sure it has a dupe, probably even within the Complete Salon Manicure line, but this color is a good core color to have in your collection. The entire Fall 2012 Prabal Gurung Fashion Week polish line is on clearance, including Gilded Lily which I've heard is a bit similar to OPI's Golden Eye. In the store, I thought that the grays and whites from this collection were a little off, like a little gray or yellow, but I can't really tell that this isn't plain white on my nails. The brush was a bit unevenly cut, with some strands sticking out a little, but still usable. The formula was thin but not runny. Two thick coats or three thin coats gives good opacity and dry time was also good. The Complete Salon Manicure line is generally solid, and I think Ivory Skull isn't outside the norm for CSMs. I think it's worth the $3.84 I paid for it.
A few Revlon ColorStay polishes were on clearance, including Sequin and Cayenne, plus the Moon Candy and French Mix collections. This display picture was snapped at Bed Bath and Beyond a few months ago. Before you ask, yes, my husband took this picture, too.
On the bottom of the Target clearance end cap were some cute cosmetic bags in various sizes. You could pick some of those up plus a few cheap polishes, some emery boards and then some cosmetics to make stocking stuffers or birthday gifts for some of the ladies (young or not so young) in your life. If you're putting together a bag for me, I'll take a Guerlain Rouge Automatique and the Tarte SmolderEYES pencil set. Dream big, right?
I noticed that there are more Nails Inc polishes for sale on Sephora's site. I don't like the formula of Porchester Place so I understand why it's on sale. But Warwick Way? Is being a solid, normal teal crème its only crime? I'm not seeing it for sale on sephora.com currently, but it was there a few days ago and it may reappear before too long. It may also be in the sale section of your local store. It's well worth pawing through the small bins of sale polish because you can find some goodies in there.
I can see Warwick Way looking great on a number of different skintones. I'm cool-toned and I really like this color on me. It doesn't make me look red and it harmonizes with my skintone nicely. It is slightly more green and more jelly-like than it appears in the bottle, which I assure you is definitely a good thing. Two thick coats (like on my pointer finger) or three thin coats (on my other fingers) give good opacity, though it's still a tiny bit sheer at that point. My camera wouldn't pick up this particular shade, so I had to do some color adjustment on the next two pictures:
Fitzroy Square has fine aqua glitter and slightly larger blue glitter. I used one coat on my ring finger. I think these two polishes look good together. I'd recommend this one if you like glitter and blue shades of nail polish. This picture shows you how my camera kept picking up Warwick Way:
I bought both of these at full price as soon as they were available at Sephora. I think Warwick Way is a great color, so if you can get it for only US$5, it's a great deal!
I ordered four of the new Skyfall OPIs last week, but You Only Live Twice didn't make the final cut. I was on the fence about it, but ended up purchasing it after seeing it sparkle in person. I didn't order it last week because it didn't seem very unique, and I still agree with that assessment after trying it.
You Only Live Twice (HL D11) is described by OPI as "rich, high-shimmer magenta." It can take on more of a red tinge in base color and shimmer depending on the angle your nail is at. I can see magenta and red on the same nail sometimes. I have a nagging feeling that this color has a dupe, but I can't think of anything specific off the top of my head. It may not be reinventing the wheel, but it's very pretty and I like the color shift. The formula was fantastic- two thin coats for polish perfection- and I had zero issues with the brush.
There is more of a dark raspberry tone in lower light situations, so I did a color adjustment on the picture above in an attempt to replicate that. You Only Live Twice probably isn't going to be to your taste if you're not fond of reds or pinks, but if you like them and love shimmer, this is worth taking a look at. I found it at Ulta, where there were quite a few polishes missing from the display already. The Man with the Golden Gun is also available at Ulta, and I bought one of two boxes on the display table. If you're going to be buying the Bond OPIs at Ulta, I'd suggest checking them out sooner, rather than later!
We're right in the middle of doing some work on the house (I can't wait to have an actual backsplash!), but I had to take a quick nail polish break. I wanted to do some quick swatches of the Lippmann Christmas in the City set in case anyone was trying to decide if they need it. It is up on Nordstrom's website now and is priced at US$45, not the $42 listed on the front of the box I bought. As an aside, Cleopatra in New York needs to be mine ASAP!
Let It Snow! is frosty, silvery white that does show brushstrokes. If you're careful with your application, they won't be so bad. The shimmer is always visible, but unless you look hard, you might think all of the shimmer is silver and miss the pink and aqua shimmer. Despite the brushstrokes, I kind of like it. I would perhaps suggest a ridgefiller as a base coat since this is three coats and it's still not opaque. I feel like this would be even more smashing with a sparse holo top coat, like the Northern Lights silver or gold holographic shimmer. I might try that when I use this for a full manicure.
Run, Run Rudolph is great. In bright light, you see a brilliantly shimmery (maybe with a few brushstrokes, but who's counting when you have a color like this?) cherry red, but in lower light, the slightly lighter than the polish's base color irregular flakes become visible. I did one coat over clear base coat, so I'm very happy with the opacity of RRR. The flakes aren't as obvious on the nail as they are in the bottle sometimes. If you're not sure if you like flakes in your polish, this is a good way to try them out because they aren't in your face.
I will note that I couldn't figure out why one of my cameras kept picking up colors other than red in the flakes. After starting the removal of Run, Run Rudolph, I noticed that the flakes were starting to appear orange and green. I wonder if the base of RRR is just thick enough to mute most of the color shift in the flakes. It's certainly appearing now that I've tried to remove most of the polish:
I actually kind of like that look, minus the cotton fuzz.
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree is a sheer black with two different sizes of red and green glitter. Glitterphobes beware- there's a copious amount of glitter in this polish! It's very much like what you see in the bottle. You might get away with two thick coats or three thin ones for opacity. Like Run, Run Rudolph, RATCT is another "different take" on traditional Christmas colors:
What I'm seeing on the nail is in between the lightbox picture and the flash picture that really shows off the glitter.
I'd recommend this set if you love the colors, love Lippmann Collection polish, or are just branching out into polishes with more unusual effects.
One curious thing I noticed this week:
I'm guessing Lippmann will be a prestige brand (this display was on an endcap in the prestige cosmetics section) and not subject to most of the usual Ulta coupons, but we'll see. Here's hoping for some Ulta exclusive shades from Lippmann in the future! If no testers show up at my store, I give it two weeks before the heathens here have opened up half the (non-tester) bottles and swatched them on their fingernails, toenails and the display itself.
I'm so excited that I had to get this blog post in tonight, even though my pictures aren't the best! Apparently my local Nordstrom just put this new Lippmann set out today. It's been chilly and damp here, so I'm kind of feeling the Christmas theme right now. The box is a rich red, not so pink, and the text on the front is gold.
When you remove the red top on the box, this is what you find:
Run, Run Rudolph is a red shimmer that appears to have irregular red flakes (that reflect gold in the first picture):
Let It Snow! is a shimmery white with tiny aqua and pink microshimmer:
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree looks like an almost black base with two different sizes of green and red glitter:
Note that the sticker on the front of the box says that the cost is US$42. The Nordstrom price tag on the back showed $45, though. I had to ask what the right price was. The Nordstrom sales associate said it was ringing up at $45, but she'd give it to me for $42. She then proceeded to take the $42 stickers off of the rest of the boxes! Wow. I'm not sure that was the right thing to do and I'm still not sure which price is right since I can't find this set online at Nordstrom's website.
The polish on my thumb is four coats of L'Oreal The Bigger The Better, a black and silver glitter polish that I'm not a huge fan of. More on that and swatches of this set are coming soon!