Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OPI Designer Series Exclusive

Happy Tuesday? I think so. I suppose I have to try and be excited. I'm especially excited about this particular color. It's just out of this world Amazing. It's OPI Designer Series Exclusive.

OPI : Exclusive from Designer series
While I loved the previous designer color I did, this one has a deeper pink to go with it. It makes the multicolored diamond sparkles POP like no tomorrow. They definitely look amazingly holographic.

All that glitters is not gold
I could see myself wearing this particular nail polish all the time. Although it's harder to do designs on it as it's already perfection on it's own. Any design would look silly as the whole nail would sparkle, excluding the design. The diamond chips give a rainbow effect, and these pictures are VERY true to life.

No matter which angle you look at your nails, or almost all lighting situations it will have this amazing effect. In this instance, I think the extra money per bottle for Designer Series is worth it. It's also very easy to remove unlike other "glitter" polishes, as the sparkles are not the sizes of glitter. Designer Series retails at my local beauty supply store for about $6+ USD which is at least $2 more than the other OPI polishes offered there.

A top coat is a necessity for this color, as the sparkle would just turn to silvery spots within 24-48 hours without a decent protecting coat.

Monday, November 29, 2010

O.P.I. Grand Central Carnation

I really hope everyone(in the states) had a wonderful holiday weekend. I ate way too much.
This post is happening later in the day than normal. I apologize. It's been a hectic and news-worthy Monday. I'd share, but it's a bit too personal.

OPI Grand Central Carnation : A sophisticated pink polish

Anyways, onto the swatches! I had some fun over the week with a ton of colors. One of which is Grand Central Carnation. This is a sophisticated pink shimmer color. More like a rose. Definitely a good color for almost everything. It's neither too pink nor too red. For whatever reason (maybe discontinued) it's like $20+ on amazon, however it's still available on other websites for a reasonable price.

No flash, warm indoor lighting.
In most light it looks a dusty rose, with a small bit of shimmer. It's just positively lovely and girly. The above picture shows it's true colors a lot better, as with the flash on it looks almost hot pink. However in sunlight it does achieve more luster.

All in all, it's a color I'd use again, even though it's not my main forte on the radar of nail polishes. It does look a LOT better on my nails then it does in the bottle. So I'm glad I got to try it out first because just based on looking at this hue in the OPI bottle I would've passed.

What do you think? Too pink? Too bland? Too over the top?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Due to cooking all day yesterday and today being the Holiday I haven't had a chance to post.

I wanted to wish everyone a happy safe Thanksgiving! Enjoy the day!

Metric Tons Of Stuffing!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Creative Nail Design - In The Mauve

I'm so so so in love with this unexpected color. Creative Nail Design (or CND) polishes for whatever reason were never my first choice. In reality, the colors are pretty, and they paint well. Plus sometimes you get an unexpected color from an otherwise boring bottle.

Creative Nail Design - In The Mauve
This color in the bottle doesn't look like much special. A normal reddish purple with some sparkle. However, once I painted it on I was amazed. The Mauve color was perfection. Even better, the gold sparkles just jump out from the nail but work so well with the mauve. 

I really could see myself wearing this color a lot more often. Both creme mauves and really gold colors tend to make me look very pale, but the two mixed together work really well on my super pale-pink skin.

With one coat is was almost perfect, although slightly too sheer for my tastes. Most who don't mind a slight sheer wouldn't mind. Two coats were perfection for me and the polish dried quickly.

Without flash, picture deceptive as it isn't this washed out in real
You can find this particular color online for about $5-$6 USD. I see a lot of CND polishes at C.B. Sullivan, my local professional beauty supply store. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Feet By OPI Warm Peach

So I purchased this bottle because it was on clearance. I should have taken that as a sign.
Feet By OPI polish is actually a nail strengthener with added color (although they also have clear) and straight from their website it says "Helps protect toenails and keeps them their strongest, guarding against breaks, chips and splits, even those caused by injury. This unique protective formula coats nails with liquid nylon, acting as a shield against stresses."

Feet By OPI Warm Peach
This stuff goes on streaky and weird. It takes several layers to look normal. Even then something is still "off" On my feet the warm peach color looks like I'm lacking any nails at all as it blends well with my feet skin color. Go figure.

As far as less damage, I can't really tell. It chips easily, but is thicker after all those coats of polish. I didn't notice anything special going on with my toenails or fingernails when wearing it.

I suppose if you have really brittle toenails or damaged nails it might be nice to hide damage with and maybe offer some protection. But, for me, this is on the "do not use" list. Sorry OPI!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

OPI Hungary For My Honey

OPI Hungary for my Honey is a beautiful burnt orange with yellow shimmer. It's great for Thanksgiving.
It was released with the OPI European collection in '02. It's been discontinued, but you can still find it rather inexpensively online.
The color is absolutely lovely. Especially for the fall. In the right lighting you can catch the yellow sheen that sets it apart from other burnt orange polishes. This was a very hard effect to photograph.

Hungary For My Honey Review
If you're not into pumpkin orange polish you aren't going to love it. Also, to probably sport this properly your skin better be a warmer tone. It's an extremely warm color, and for some reason just looks "off" on me. I still love it though.

With 2 coats the color is pretty true to the bottle. Something I definitely like. I really dislike buying a polish without trying it but then the dried color is so different then the way it looks in the bottle.

No flash, Warm lighting
Speaking of Fall, Thanksgiving is nearing. I have to do a TON of cooking (for 2 separate celebrations). I'm starting to get excited and antsy. I haven't even purchased some of the stuff I should have grabbed already. I'm really hoping the supermarket doesn't sell out of my fave stuffing.
How much cooking do you usually do? What is you fave dish?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do French!

I love all variations of the french manicure. From the crazy to the simple pink & white. I feel like it makes my nails and toes generally look better, and it can hide tip flaws when the rest of the nail looks nice. I usually work with a white tip and a clear coat. Sometimes I go a bit wild, when I can.
My main problem with French manicures is that I chip my nails often. I hate spending forever trying to do a perfect french, to only have it chip within 24 hours.

A fun french manicure
For these nails I used square french tip guides, which didn't come out perfect as I removed them too soon. They should be left on just long enough for the polish to begin to set but not to completely thicken/dry. Remove too soon and you'll smudge, remove to late and you'll pull strings or chip. I usually leave the guide on about 60 seconds after painting the tip. You also want to try to get as little polish on the actual guide as possible.

Oops, I painted on a hair :(
For the colors I used MAC Earthly Harmony for the base, and OPI Ski Teal We Drop for the tips. It makes for an amazingly lovely combination. These two polishes were born to co-exist!

In this photo, you can kind of see the orange sparkles in Earthly Harmony
It needed a tiny bit more pizzaz in my book. After painting I used a water decal on my middle fingernails only. I found one in my Viva La Nails setup where the colors matched perfectly, at least the teal did. The flash made the blues look lighter but in real life they looked exactly the same.

Working with water decals is a pain, I'll do a how to post soon

I finished with Rimmel London 10 day lasting finish. Which as of now is my new favorite top coat. My manicures have been lasting anywhere from 2 days to over 1 week longer (on my toes, where I change things less often). I kept this design on my nails for about 4 days before the chipping began on my thumbs. During that time I got quite a few comments.

So what do you think? Posh and pretty?  Or over the top?

Polishes were purchased by me. Water decal was part of a blogger review pack from Viva La Nails.

Monday, November 15, 2010

OPI Swatches Divine from Designer Series

I got to raid my aunts nail polish collection (wee) and she has a lot of colors I wouldn't usually purchase. Mostly pinks, reds, and golds.

One that caught my eye almost immediately is O.P.I. Designer Series polishes. I decided to swatch Divine. I haven't purchased any of the designer series myself, because the price is double that of the other OPI polishes at my local beauty supply. Why OPI? What makes the designer series so special?

Swatches of OPI Divine (Designer Series)
According to OPI the series is "A spectacular diamond-dust formula. Ultra-rich, glimmering colors. And unmatched glamour for nails. In eleven shades, including nine brand-new choices, and top coat.Designer Series by OPI. Flawless by design."

Does it contain actual diamond dust? That would explain a premium cost. From my searches it seems that this is the case.

This color is an awesome deep pink, with holographic multi changing sparkles. It will look like a rainbow of sparkles on your fingers. This picture is pretty true to life.

OPI Divine
Not only does it sparkle like crazy, but it also is a pretty shiny polish even without topcoat. I highly suggest a good top coat as the nails will lose their luster pretty fast. The sparkles remove with ease with %100 acetone, so I was able to do a great french tip on my toes with this color.

Am I willing to pay more for a rainbow of sparkles? Yes, because the top price of OPI designer series in my local beauty supply is still less then most retail costs ($6.75 about).

Good luck finding this particular color. Designer series Divine is said online to be a Japan exclusive. I know for a fact my Aunt purchased this color in the USA at either CB Sullivan OR at her beauty school (Blaine!). I've seen it on E-bay and google shopping for $35-$50 a BOTTLE. Insane. Maybe I should talk her into selling it. hehe.

Do you like holographic nail polishes?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bluefly for handbags

This is a paid post brought to you by BlueFly. All opinions are 100% mine

Christmas is all about purses for me. I don't know why. I tend to purchase most of my bags in the fall/winter.  Maybe it's cause I visit the mall more often, or hit the outlets whenever I can looking for gifts for family. I also tend to ask for ones I really want for the Holidays. Like I said before I don't have the extra money to spend on big ticket bags myself since starting a family so I'm always on the lookout for places to find nice purses.

BlueFly offers some great brands at really great discounts. Including Prada Handbags. Their slogan is "The ultimate hook-up for the fashion obsessed"

Prada $215

I'm also in love with this particular bag because it has a hand clutch and shoulder strap. I wish they had more color choices in this design, I love the color, I just know I'd ruin it.

Rebecca minkoff handbags $299

They also carry handbags I can only dream about owning. Although, I love looking over the site and drooling over them. Like this diamond in the rough of black studded wrath. It has a punk twist with the chain links and studs. I'm sure if I owned this one my younger sister would probably ask to borrow it!

Marc Jacobs Handbags $2459

Bluefly also carries shoes and clothing from famous designs at deep discounts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

O.P.I. Swiss Collection Ski Teal We Drop

Probably the only color I've really really wanted from the Swiss Collection by OPI Ski Teal We Drop
. I've been so in love with the swatches I've seen but my CBSullivan seems to always be sold out. I finally broke down and ordered it through Amazon(for double the price, ouch). Amazon told me I'd have to wait a month for shipping, but I got it within 2 weeks.

O.P.I. Swiss Collection 2010 Ski Teal We Drop
The color is lovely cream navy blue in most light. Which I love. I could see using it for all sorts of fun designs. In fact, I did a colored french design I'll post next week. Overall it's a great fall/winter nail polish.

In warmer light
The downside is, in warmer lights or at night time it actually appears completely Forest green. Gag. Green is one of my favorite colors, but for some reason forest green nails just look funky to me. To me, thats the biggest downside to Ski Teal We Drop. It bugged me so much I removed my polish a day before I had originally planned.

Because I had trouble finding it at my beauty supply store (they had the rest of the swiss collection) I can only assume its popular. Many sellers on Amazon do in fact carry it, including Amazon itself with free prime shipping. Don't be turned off by the shipping time, it really did not take over a month for them to plop it in the mail - more like 5 days.

Do you like Navy polishes?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Viva La Nails Part 1 review

Viva La Nails Sent me some items for review. These opinions are %100 mine.

I finally received my Viva La Nails pack. Which was a huge unexpected smorgasboard of items.
Glitter, Crushes Seashells, Water Decals, Stickers + more
I wanted to do a specific review on the company. I ordered my package on 8/11 and didn't receive it until 2 months later. However... The customer service was amazing. So I'll explain what happened.

My first order went through to them and was sent into the vast system of international mailing quite fast. However, I waited... And I forgot... In September(about 20 days later) I realized nothing had come in the mail. So I contacted Viva La Nails customer service to let them know I never received the package. They said no problem. 

I waited again and nothing. I felt like giving up. I went back to check my customer service inquiry and they had asked me to confirm my address again (which I totally didn't see) so this time around it was "my bad". I confirmed the address and within 7 days my package was here. YAY! So I can only assume that without issues thanks to USPS or international posts that I would've received my first package fast and on time.

The customer service was fast, friendly, and understanding. I also wasn't expecting so much stuff!

Viva La Nails carries tons of professional and home nail art supplies including genuine Swarovski crystals, Water Decals, Nail Stickers, Konad items, rhinestones, crushed seashells, striping tape, fimo canes, and more. Pretty much any nail art item you might need all on one place. Then they also have buffers, files, and other tools.

Prices range from about USD $1.21 in their sale section and up. The company is from the UK so prices are in British Pounds (GPB). Shipping is about USD $4.75 but free for orders over $80 to the US.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

CHI Ceramic Nail Lacquer Out On The Town Brown

I got a chance to dig through my Aunts nail polish collection. Yay! She has colors and brands I usually don't purchase so this was a lot of fun. First is CHI Ceramic Nail Lacquer. Color is Out On The Town Brown.
CHI Ceramic Nail Polish Out On The Town Brown (Flash)

This color is gooooorgeous. With flash or warm lighting it comes off very orangey, but it's really not that orange. More of a medium brunette brown with sparkles of gold and orange. It applies nicely, but the brush is very skinny so sort of a pain to work with.

One coat provided good application, although two was needed to clear up any streaking. This would be a great polish to layer with.

Natural lighting, color more true
I hope I get a chance to use this color again soon for Konading as it has a lot of depth to it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A French Manicure

It snowed this morning! Eek! I really dislike snow, and cold. It's actually just mild and windy now and most of the snow has melted.

Last week I was sporting a french pedicure on my nails for most of the week. I decided to also do a french manicure and test out my new nail art brushes.

A french Manicure

For the finger nails I used OPI alpine snow (2 coats) and then fixed the smile line with acetone & a craft brush. It may not have been the best idea because the Alpine snow does not remove well with acetone. It took me forever to get decent smile lines and even then they were a bit off.

I then applied 2 base coats which I let dry, then I used acrylic paint (like craft store paint) in white with my new nail art brushes and dotter to do the design.

French Manicure with OPI Alpine Snow and nail art

The beauty about using acrylic paint for the nail art is you can wash it off with warm water and soap and start again if you make a mistake. Once done I sealed with 2 coats of Rimmel London 10 day lasting finish. Which BTW is a great top coat. My nails didn't chip for many days.

French Pedicure

For the toes I used acrylic paint for the smile line too. It worked OK. I say ok because on the big toes with the paint becoming lumpy after requiring 2-3 coats of paint for good coverage. I did the nail art with acrylic paint also and again sealed with 1-2 coats of top coat. With acrylic paints its a good idea to cap the end of the nail (essentially, paint the free edge/tip). If water reaches the acrylic paint it will begin to wash away.


This post brought to you by Carmex®. All opinions are 100% mine.

The switch from Summer to Fall this year has been exceptionally harsh on my hands, feet and lower legs this year. I also stopped clipping my cuticles and began just pushing them back. I pulled out all my usual cuticle creams and moisturizers but either one of two things happens:

1. They moisturize well, but leave me greasy & yucky. I wash it off - therefore defeating the purpose. Alligator skin begins around mid October and cuticles begin splitting.

2. They absorb fast and I'm better off than before but still dry. 

If you've been watching my posts recently you can see my cuticles are actually faring better than they did earlier on during the hot months and here is why...

I was sent Carmex® Healing Lotion and Carmex® Healing Cream
a few weeks back to test out and to be brutally honest about their products. I love Carmex lip balm in the winter, so I had high hopes for the new body lotion and cream.

Firstly, let me say this stuff is awesome. I used the Healing Cream (which is heavier) on my hands, feet, elbows, knees and spot treated it on my cuticles. It helped a lot with my dry skin. The best part was, although it goes on feeling very thick and greasy I was surprised how fast it fully absorbed. I never got a yucky feeling from it, and I didn't have to slather it on then place on special booties/gloves (like some of my other products) which is a big bonus.

I did use the cream on cracked/open cuticles in the beginning and it didn't burn for me... BUT it does contain menthol so I would imagine it could really hurt on open cracked skin.

I used the Healing lotion on my legs and arms and it also absorbed very very fast without any yucky greasy feeling but it was slightly lighter than the healing cream. I'm usually big on using shea butter pots, but the Carmex lotions are definitely less mess. When I ended up in sweaty situations (running, hot rooms) I felt like I was able to perspire normally without becoming an oil slick. I know that sounds gross, but it's a big reason why I dislike most thick moisturizers so I felt it important to include.Even better, my husband loved it too.

I personally like the smell of Carmex, which has sort of a menthol-spice scent. However, it almost reminds me of my grandmothers medicine. The scent was light, but I can see how a lot of girls might not enjoy the smell. It's definitely a unisex scent, so anyone in the family could use it.

I've already used up over half of my samples and plan on buying more.

The packaging fits well with the Carmex brand, but if I was out shopping I'm not sure I'd even notice it unless I was specifically looking for it. The products retail for $5.99 each and will be carried at Walgreens, Walgreens.com and Drugstore.com

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

E.L.F. Nail Polish Royal Purple

Sorry about the lack of post yesterday. We had a small family emergency. This year is turning about to be crazy.

So how was everyones Halloween? We had a lot of fun as it was a combo birthday for my niece and trick or treating event. Check out this awesome decoration we saw! Dracula actually pops up inside the carriage.

Anywho, onto the swatch. I painted my nails purple for Halloween. I used E.L.F. Royal purple which is a deep sparkley purple. Very lovely.

E.L.F. (EyesLipsFace) Royal Purple
In bright light it looks warmer medium purple, in darker settings its way more deep and cool. I used some matching purple nail art on it after Halloween, but it blended too well in dark settings.

Under lower light
This unfortunately was one of my funky E.L.F. polishes though, this particular bottle was a bit thicker and had fibers in it. Made it a little hard to paint but not impossible. It also dries fast like most of the E.L.F. polishes. A good base and top coat is required to prevent staining and to make it very shiny.

See below for coupon
Another reason I wanted to post this is E.L.F. is currently doing a %50 off their 25 fave  items, which includes nail polishes! So if you've been hankering for some items from Eyes Lips Face now is a good time to jump on it. If you need fillers, I totally recommend the mineral line (especially the eyeshadows), and the studio brushes. I especially LOVE my Studio Kabuki brush as it's the softest mineral brush I've ever used. The other studio brushes are great for acrylic nail art paint (not good for use with acetone however).

Half Off 25 Insider Faves with coupon code FAVES through 11/23. Minimum order $25.

Monday, November 1, 2010

O.P.I. Alpine Snow

I've been looking for a really great coverage white polish. So I picked up O.P.I. Alpine Snow. At the time I was hoping for a pure white creme and thats exactly what Alpine Snow is. In school growing up I always painted my nails with white out, hoping for this exact result (of course, white out looks horrid on nails). I worked with this color on a previous post with MAC Bad Fairy.
O.P.I.  Alpine Snow Swatch
The polish takes 2-3 thick coats for full coverage. It's exactly the color I want, however it has some serious flaws. Maybe it's just my bottle, but I'll outline them here. 

My bottle of nail polish has the almost consistency of melted marshmallows. Its THICK. Which is really hard to get non streaky or non lumpy nails. It also takes a very long time to dry even one "thin" coat of the goopy polish. Blah. However, painting it thin can cause lots of streaks or what looks like shadowed areas.

Also, I tried to do a few french manicures with it. It was a pain to clean up the smile lines with a craft brush and acetone . Acetone seems to have a harder time removing this particular color over the others I've used. I'm not really sure why. I'm wondering if I just got a funky bottle.

All in all, I love the color, but I can't see myself using it as much as I'd like (I love white nails and traditional french manicures with bright clean white tips) so I'm going to continue looking for that perfect pure white polish. Any tips?
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