Sunday, June 30, 2013

OPI "Sonic Bloom" - A Duochrome delight!

Today I'm bringing you OPI's "Sonic Bloom", a shade from their 2006 Brights collection. This Blue/Green/Gold/Purple hue is sheer, but well worth the patience of layering. It's a great color for summer, especially on toes. Because this polish was made before the whole 3-Free takeover, it is an older formula with all the smelliness to go along with it. However, I do find that black-label OPI's dry faster because of this method, so be wary of the harmful effects they could have on your nails by using a good basecoat. I would recommend using a ridgefiller for this 1. to get a great even surface and 2. to perhaps need fewer layers by providing a more opaque base to paint over. There was a bit of streakiness to it, but it was only visible in certain spots and lights.

I have 5 different shots of this color for your today, to show off all of its lovely facets and "personalities"!

The reddish reflection on the bottle was my shirt - stupid me!

What do you think? This has to be one of my favorite black labels by them because of its depth and overall wearability.

Happy Polishing!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Julep - Half of my haul from the warehouse sale!

So I know I whet some of your appetites with this picture yesterday on my Facebook and Instagram:

L-R: "Stella", "Sheryl", "Dakota", "Hilary", "Julia", "Brandt", "Carol", "Wendy", "Angelica", and "Marie"

I was lucky enough to pick up 10 polishes from Julep's first warehouse sale EVER, including the "Rock Candy Nail Glaze" 4-pack on the end. Today I have swatches of 5 of these colors, "Stella", "Sheryl", "Dakota", "Julia", and "Brandt". I'll be swatching the 4-pack and "Hillary" in the upcoming week.

The formula on all of these was pretty spot on. Nothing surprised me (unpleasantly), and the only one I had any issue with at all was "Dakota" due to its metallic streaky-ness.

First up is "Stella" - A solid mustard-colored creme...I'm not usually in love with yellows, but I actually quite like how warm this one is. Most yellows tend to lean a bit green on me, but this one has such warmth and almost a wholeness to it that makes it such a comfortable shade. This took 3 coats without a basecoat underneath for opacity. As you can tell it dries a bit darker than it looks in the bottle.

"Julia" - This one might be my favorite of this haul so far. I've seen swatches of it online that tend to lean a bit more blue, but man the formula on this plus the coverage make it such a great go to for a night out or just if you're looking for a bit of fun. I actually painted these while on the phone, and barely needed any clean up because it was so easy to control on the nail. This is 2 coats but I definitely could have gotten away with one. Described on as "Purple orchid with golden micro-glitter metallic." SO SHINY.

"Dakota" - This one I did a couple of shots for you guys so you could (hopefully) see the multi-faceted glow this warm rose gold tone has. Not sure if I would call it a "chrome" as Julep classifies it, but it definitely has a pinkish hue to it. You can't really tell it from the shade on the nail, but it reminds me of a brand new shiny penny. This was 2 coats, pretty opaque...but streaky.

"Sheryl" - Hm. Don't love the name...didn't really love the color (at least not on its own). Quite sheer, this took atleast 3-4 coats for opacity. Along the same golden shade as Essie's "Shifting Power", except this has more sparkle to it. I would definitely try this as an accent coat to something else. And I really bet this would look great on darker skin tones.

"Brandt" - Julep describes it as "Trina Turk Fall '12 opaque off-black crème", obviously part of a collection. Now if by "off-black" they mean "really deep charcoal that's almost black" then sure. Great smooth formula, no surprises there, though it had some issues leveling out due to its highly pigmented dark color. This took 2-3 coats depending on the nail, but dries to a super high gloss. Definitely a great fall/winter color.

Which one of these is your favorite so far? Do you have any great deals and steals from your favorite nail polish brands?

Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

China Glaze "Flip Flop Fantasy"

Good morning all! I meant to post this one yesterday, but got called in to work a second shift at the store - anyways, this is (yet again) another one of those colors floating around in the Pintrestsphere as one of the hot hot neons for summer. Its a hot coraly neon creme, and gave me quite some trouble leveling out :( it took me 3 coats for full coverage, but the ending brightness resonating from my nails was quite worth it.

This first picture shows the truest color, and I actually took this photo in my car in the morning light before I went to work. It's a lot more pink than the other photos let on, and a gorgeous color for summer!

I picked this one up at Sally Beauty Supply.

Happy Polishing!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Essie's "Butler Please" and my first Ruby Wing Experiment with "Eternal"

Hey folks! If you haven't already, please check out the official Facebook Page I've created to help bring you all my posts straight to your feed - !

These 2 colors I picked up on my birthday as a little treat to myself! I got Essie's "Butler Please" at Ulta with a $2 off coupon they emailed me, and I grabbed Ruby Wing's Eternal for $3 (!!!!) at Five Below - what a deal! Ruby Wing normally retails for $10 on their website....oooooo yeahhhh!

"Butler Please" - HOOOOOOLY BLUE! This color is super super fantastic and gorgeous - it came out as part of their Winter 2012/2013 collection. I feel like they picked this highly pigmented blue creme to break up the typical reds and golds and glitters you see in holiday collections, because this is such a perfect color for the summer! They've definitely used neon-type pigments in this color, as it dries to a satin-matte finish. This is opaque in 2 coats, which go on rather thick because of the formula. However, because it is a neon-pigmented color, it dries rather quickly (thank goodness). The formula almost reminded me of an actual acrylic paint as opposed to a nail lacquer, with that kind of thickness and smoothness. I applied SH Insta-dri over top to add some sheen. LOVE.

The next series of pictures documents the color-changing properties of Ruby Wing's "Eternal", a bright almost-neon aqua teal that shifts to a cool grayish color in direct sunlight. ** Note  - The first couple of photos are in sunlight through the window - the color did not shift until I was outdoors.

Ruby Wing is a part of Color Club nail lacquers, so you'll recognize the bottle shapes are similar with the difference being RW's gold branding and cap.

The formula on this was funny enough, similar to "Butler Please" above - went on nice and smooth, and was opaque in 2 coats. This however dries to the glossy finish below, and this color is actually a bit greener than these photos let on. The grayish color that it fades to you'll notice has a reddish-pink tinge to it, to neutralize out the greens in the indoor color. It was incredibly hot outside today so I didn't stay out long enough to let my nails fully shift, but you get the idea.


Outdoors - Incomplete shift

Outdoors (Shade) as it attempts to shift back to teal.
Since this was my first Ruby Wing (and at a STEAL) I'd say that if you're into the novelty of the color changing, then by all means invest. They have some really great colors in their stock, including ones that have less of a dramatic color shift, as well as ones that are scented like flowers after they dry....perhaps I'm just curious enough to check that one out!

Because I like the teal color of "Eternal" so much, I'm wondering if a UV blocking shield top coat will prevent the color from changing in the sunlight - I'll have to experiment with that at another time!

Are you loving these summer brights as much as I am?

Happy Polishing!
- Maggie

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me! Orly neon primary colors mani + Triple holo Birthday Manicure!'s my birthday! I was feeling a bit creative today and got this idea in my head that a dry-brush effect mani with my three Orly neon colors would look this is what I came up with:

I got this interesting almost lava-lampy look using Orly's "Glowstick", "Passion Fruit" and "Royal Navy" just stroked over each other using a small brush. Super duper funky!

Then, I decided that was maybe a little TOO hectic for today, and decided to layer some holos together...nothing like having a nightclub on your nails!

This has definitely got to be one of my favorite manis so far. It all just goes together so well! Layla's "Flash Black" (2 coats) with butter LONDON "Fairy Cake" and Julep "Paris" on the tips.

The three different holographic glitter types in this mani not only contrast off of each other but jive so well since they share that holo characteristic. Is this party enough for you?

Happy Polishing! (And Happy Birthday to me!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Julep Maven "It Girl" Starter Box + "Julianne"

I apologize in advance for the fact that my swatches will be less than amazing for the next couple of weeks, a bunch of my nails have cracked and broken and are now quite short again. Reason being - I was hasty in the past couple of gel removals, and now I pay the price. Oh well.

I recently decided I was going to join Julep's Maven subscription service (hooray!) and then decided for my first free box I wouldn't go along with their recommendation (you take a "style quiz"), but rather with the one that caught my eye the most...of course, the one with the chunky holographic glitter top coat, right?

In addition to the starter box I also ordered 2 colors, "Julianne", a dusty blue creme, and "America the Beautiful" which I'll be saving to swatch for July 4.

Here's what I got:
  • Paris - Chunky Holo Glitter top coat - LOVE
  • Alice - "Vintage" lavender shimmer
  • Mackenzie - Bright lime green shimmer
  • "Rock Star" hand creme sample
  • A Julep emery board
  • A Julep nail polish remover pad (barely enough for what I needed)
  • A whole bunch of literature on stuff I don't care about.
    The three colors from the starter kit came wrapped all cute-like in that pink paper.

"Alice" "Paris" "Mackenzie" "Julianne" and "America The Beautiful"

Alice is described as a "Vintage Lavender Shimmer" - it's definitely on the more mellow end of purple, definitely a great spring color. Within the formula itself is the subtle pearly shimmer with some barely there specks of purple shimmer within. Great formula, this is 2 coats below, no topcoat. The edges just look a bit off since my nails are so darn short :(

Next up is Mackenzie - This actually surprised me a little, I didn't think I would like this green as much as I did. Similar formula to Alice above, same sheen. This might take 3 coats in some spots depending on how you apply it, still a great color nonetheless. Nothing like it in my collection yet, definitely unique.

This is a layer of "Paris" over "Mackenzie". This glitter, just like any other is a little temperamental, but should place fine if you have a little patience for it. I currently have a complete solid layer of it on my toes and it looks just so freakin brilliant in the sunlight.

This is one of the colors I ordered separately, "Julianne". Its a dusty pale blue creme, definitely high-gloss. Kind of reminds me a bit of OPI's "I Don't Give A Rotterdam" minus the shimmer - 2 coats.

I'm saving "America The Beautiful" for swatching on July 4th - believe me, it's tough staying away from it. I will however have even MORE Juleps to swatch soon, as I just learned my recent warehouse sale purchases got shipped today! I got TEN new colors, so stay tuned for all of those lovely beauties! And if you're not a Julep Maven yet, I would definitely recommend it if you're into saving big on high-quality nail lacquers (and other beauty products).

Happy polishing!
- Maggie

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Favorite Nail Polish Color Combinations!

Hey all, I know, I know, it's been a while. Funds have been low, and therefore I haven't come by a lot of new color recently. However, I ordered my first Julep Maven box today, along with a couple of other colors on sale, so expect those swatches & reviews to be up here within the next 3-5 business days!

So, I started to think about my buying habits, and I've often realized that 1. I buy my polishes in pairs, often because of a two-for deal and 2. the polishes I buy tend to compliment each other in one way or another, especially with the current trends! Therefore, I thought I'd feature some of my purchased pairs, as well as some others from my current collection which I think go great together. You can pair these as nail-toe combinations, with color blocking, or accent nail manis!

1. butter LONDON "Snog" and "Dodgy Barnett": This one wasn't a 2-for deal, but they were on sale for $9 and the limit was 2, so these are the ones I picked! Because Dodgy Barnett is on the subtler side of the holo spectrum *no pun intended!* I'd say this follows a more metallic & bold color pairing trend. The rich red of "Snog" (one of my personal favorites) really pops against the subtle shimmer of DB.

2. Orly "Glowstick" and "Royal Navy" : Neon Neon Neon! I bought these 2 separately, but within days of each other. Naturally, yellow and blue are complementary colors, and what better way to celebrate summer than with neons? Royal Navy has a bit of a teal shimmer throughout which breaks up the solid neon blue quite nicely, and the shimmer itself is brought out a bit by the bright kick in the butt that Glowstick gives.

3. Essie "Cute As A Button" and OPI "Jinx" Liquid Sand: This is one I sort of made up out of nowhere, not following any trend, really. The most important thing about this color combo is that they both have a similar, if not the same base color, they're just different textures! Obviously Jinx adds a little more oomph with a gold shimmer and the liquid sand aspect, but I think this would be a great pairing for hands and feet if you wanted to stay more subtle up top but wanted a little more kick on the bottom.

Tommorow Never Dies and Goldeneye

OPI Ink and When Monkeys Fly

Suzi and As Gold As It Gets

4. Any purple and gold, specifically OPI's "Suzie and the 7 Dusseldorfs" "Tomorrow Never Dies", "OPI Ink" paired with OPI "Goldeneye", Essie "As Gold As It Gets", or OPI "When Monkeys Fly"-

Here's my thing about purple and gold - they just go well together. As evidenced by plenty of my previous manis, gold and purple are a perfect pairing, especially when I'm repping the Baltimore Ravens, or I'm just feeling really freakin' royal that day...I mean, what else says luxury other than a luscious royal shade of purple enhanced by some sparkly glowing gold glitter? Exactly.

5. Essie "Shop Til I Drop" (or my franken) and China Glaze "For Audrey": Once again, we find ourselves on opposite sides of the color wheel - I'll bring up a similar (yet drastically different) color combo up next, but you can almost always bet on teal and coral to be a great offsetting match.

6. Essie "Haute As Hello" and "In The Cab-ana": Aqua and a pale, bright orange. Perfect for summer, we're looking at one color that perfectly embodies the clear cool waters of basically any ocean paradise, as well as a color that basically has the word "hot" in it's name. Savvy?

EDIT: I have some swatches of the above combo HERE.

7. OPI "Glints of Glinda" and "A Definite Moust-Have" - I recently picked up the latter and will do a full swatch & review next week - for this pairing, we're talking neutral and bold. I wouldn't necessarily do an accent nail or color block mani with this combo, though Glinda looks chic and simple on nails while Moust-Have screams crazy and fun on toes.

What are some of your favorite color duos for summer?

Happy Polishing!