Monday, September 30, 2013

Sally Hansen Red Velvet

Today I have another textured polish to share with you-- Sally Hansen Red Velvet. This summer Sally Hansen released two different sets of textured polishes (or as they call them, Sugar Coats) and I found the second set to be a lot more interesting than the first collection. When I found the collection at my local Fred Meyer, I picked up three. The first I have for you is Red Velvet, which is a metallic raspberry texture. There's no glitter in this polish, but it does have a shiny, sort of frosty finish.

I used three coats  of Red Velvet, though you might be able to get away with two. And of course, being a textured polish, I didn't use a top coat.

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 I really like this textured polish-- even though I tend to prefer the sparkly, glittery ones, the metallic finish of Red Velvet keeps it from falling flat. Literally. Plus, I love the rich raspberry color of this polish-- it's perfect for fall.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Football Friday: Arizona Edition (Part I)

This is probably my last big Football Friday manicure, as we've got between 2-3 weeks before our babies are born! So I except the next few posts (assuming there are ones) will probably be fairly simple. Tomorrow we start Pac-12 play against the Arizona Wildcats (and then later on will play Arizona State, hence the Part I). Last year we lost terribly to Arizona, but this year is more difficult to predict-- it's early in the season and neither team is really proven, though theoretically UW has played the more difficult schedule thus far. I'm also making the decision to skip this game and I'm glad, because there's supposed to be a huge rain and wind storm hitting the Seattle area and that doesn't seem appealing to me at all. 

This week I went back to my favorite nail art technique, a sponge gradient. I wanted to play off our uniforms a little so I used FingerPaints Bare No Secrets as my base and then sponged FingerPaints A Grape Catch on top of it. Then to add to zing, I layered Wet n Wild 18K Gold over it. I really like how this manicure turned out. It's subtle, but still spirited.

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Go Dawgs! Beat the Wildcats!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Essence Stuck on You

Today I have another Essence polish to share with you-- Stuck on You. This is a gorgeous shade of creamy greyed out indigo blue with silver shimmer. I saw this shade reviewed on a few other blogs and fell in love with it. Given Essence's easy on the wallet price tag ($1.99, woo), it an easy decision to grab this. I feel like this color is perfect for fall-- a slightly darker color, but with a nice shimmer to elevate it.

Stuck on You really wanted to be sheer in the first coat, so I recommend using a light touch so you don't thin the polish out too much. Two coats made my swatches totally opaque, no issues. I'm not wearing a top coat in these pictures, so you can see it dries to a relatively high shine. This can be dark under certain lighting conditions, but doesn't look black. The shimmer does become a little more difficult to see in these same lighting conditions, but you never lose it entirely.

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Wow, my fingers look terrible in these pictures. Sorry about that. They need some love! In any case, I hope despite my awful lack of hand care, you can see how lovely Stuck on Your is. Unfortunately, I think this polish may be getting phased out and don't see it available on Ulta, but you may still be able to find it in stores or on other websites (depending on where you are).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

FingerPaints Our Tips Are Tealed

Today I have a new polish from FingerPaints to share with you-- Our Tips Are Tealed, from the "A Pair Affair" collection that was created by legendary nail polish blogger Michelle Mismas, author of All Lacquered Up. Now, All Lacquered Up was the very first nail polish blog I was ever introduced to and definitely helped to kick off my nail polish love and desire to eventually start my own blog. When she announced that she had teamed up with Sally Beauty to create her own nail polish collection, I was excited and when I saw the final polishes I knew I would get them all. Generally, a polish like Our Tips Are Tealed doesn't really jump out and grab me, but for some reason this was the first polish from the collection I wanted to wear-- given how pretty it is in the bottle, that may not be a surprise.

Our Tips Are Tealed is an "emerald leaning teal with metallic foil flecks and glitter," as described by Michelle herself. The first coat was a little sheer, but two coats gave me good opaque coverage. The glitter in this polish makes the finish a little gritty, but a top coat takes care of that easily. This polish has a very luminous, lit-from-within quality to it. My pictures show it to be a little bit more green than in real life, but it's definitely teal. The natural light pictures are very close to the true color.

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My only issue with Our Tips Are Tealed is that it chipped (on me) fairly rapidly. Now, part of that may have been my base coat/top coat combination (I was using Essie treatments) and also perhaps due to all the hormonal changes happening in my body but I'm just throwing that out there. Generally, I don't expect my manicures too last too long anyway as I change my nail polish fairly regularly and I am pretty rough on my hands, but this time my manicure did seem to chip slightly faster than "normal" for me. However, I wouldn't necessarily blame it on the polish, for reasons I have mentioned above.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Football Friday: Idaho State Edition

Time for another Football Friday post! Last week was an away game and we won, which was awesome! The Huskies actually moved up in the polls and this week we face an FCS opponent in the Idaho State Bengals (seriously... tigers in Idaho?). This should be an easy win for the Dawgs, though every FBS fan knows that it's a mistake to overlook an FCS opponent-- just ask Michigan, Oregon State or Kansas State. Sadly, I won't be attending the game tomorrow, just for the sake of not overtaxing myself. I love football games, but they are not super relaxing to attend and so I will stay home on the couch. Given that the weather calls for rain, this is not entirely a bad thing. I'll miss the atmosphere, of course, by I'm sure my body (especially my puffy feet) will thank me,

For this week, given the opponent and the fact that I'm not going I decided to go fairly simple with my manicure this week. I picked out Julep Reece, an add-on polish from my September Maven Box. Reece is a scattered purple holographic polish-- that also happens to be a duochrome! Depending on the light, Reece can shift from purple to a greenish grey. But straight on it's a gorgeous metallic purple with some holographic sparkle. Slightly low key with just the right amount of flare-- basically what we need at our game tomorrow.

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I'll probably do a full review of this polish at a later day, but I loved the surprise duochrome and the holographic qualities.

Go Dawgs! Beat the Bengals!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Essence Grey-t To Be Here

Tonight I have a "new to the blog" brand to share with you, even though this isn't a new brand at all. Essence is a European cosmetics brand and from what I can tell, seem kind of like the European version of Wet n Wild-- aimed towards a slightly younger crowd, extremely affordable and is commonly found in drug stores/pharmacies. I was recently at my local Fred Meyer at they were having a buy 1, get one half off sale on Essence products, so I picked up two nail polishes to play with. The first one I have for you is Grey-t To Be Here, which is a medium grey polish with a pink shimmer.

I found the formula of Grey-t To Be Here to be a little on the sheer side-- there was still some visible nail line after two coats. Two coats did give pretty good coverage, but I used three to be thorough. The grey color gets a little deeper the more coats you use. The pink, while definitely apparent in the bottle and on the nail, does want to disappear in certain lighting conditions-- though for the most part you can see the shimmer. 

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I think the pink shimmer in the grey is a nice contrast and I don't think I have another polish like this in my stash. I like that Essence polishes are very affordable (retailing for $1.99) and while they don't have a ton of colors, tend to have ones that are on trend. The formula was good and I like that the brush is bigger (despite the small bottles), which is great for my large nail beds.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Football Friday: Chicago Deep Dish Edition

Hey all! After a break last week due to an early bye, I'm back this week with another Football Friday look! The Huskies are in Chicago to play the Fighting Illini of Illinois. These two teams have actually met 9 times, which blows my mind, but the most recent match-up was in 1972, so it's been awhile. Originally my husband and I thought we would go to this game, but obviously things have changed and traveling is not really an option right now. So we'll watch the game on TV, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Road games are always frustrating to watch and the Huskies tend to struggle when they travel. Illinois hasn't been a great team over the last few years, but they seem to be on a hot streak right, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I am trying to temper my optimism so I'm not disappointed, though obviously I hope the Dawgs run away with the score.

Since we've also got a couple of other engagements tomorrow in addition to football, I have a great purple ombre maternity dress that I plan on wearing and still be spirited.  My Target maternity dress (the colors are off as the top isn't nearly as bright in person) looks like this:

So I decide to recreate my dress as my manicure! First I grabbed Cult Nails Vicious as my base, which is a warm deep purple. Then I decided to sponge on Julep Padma, a shimmery dark purple on the tips of nails to recreate the deeper purple bottom of the dress. Add  top coat and viola!

Note: sorry about all the bubbling on my ring finger-- my Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat is obviously on its last legs, ugh. So annoying!

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Sorry for the short post tonight-- it's been a busy week and I didn't have a lot of time (and I started this too late). I like this manicure, but I need to work on my sponging as I'm never really happy with the way it turns out. 

Go Dawgs! Beat the Illini!

Update: I was much happier with the actual gameday manicure I did than the one I did for the blog. My nails are a bit shorter and the sponging is a bit more subtle, but I was really happy with how it turned out. I had a hard time capturing it, so all my pictures have flash (you will see the reflection in my nails) but I just want to share a few more pictures! The clean-up isn't perfect, but I was much happier with this manicure in general.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Julep Kai

Tonight I have another textured polish to share with you, this time from Julep. This is Julep Kai, described as a "baby blue sea salt" polish-- sea salt being Julep's term for textured polish. I bought this during a Julep sale, and I don't think it's been offered in a Maven box or as an add-on. In fact, I didn't even know this polish existed, except when I was browsing the sale. What's really cool about Kai is there is a darker blue sparkle to this polish as well, which helps create the textured effect.

I found that Kai was a little streaky and uneven, and I needed three coats to get the coverage you see in my photos. I thought the texture was a little uneven, but it's difficult to tell. I actually think it was ok, but have a hard time discerning that from my pictures (or quite honestly, even looking at my nail). The texture of this polish seems much finer than some of the other textured polishes I have, but that may be due to the fact that there's no glitter in this polish.

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I would definitely recommend wearing a base coat with this polish (I didn't for swatching it) and it wanted to stain my nails, even after wearing it for a short time. This is a decent polish, but I'm glad I paid the sale price and not full price for it because I'm not totally in love with it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Clinique Indie Rock

Tonight I have my other Clinique polish to share with you, Indie Rock. I would describe Indie Rock as a "smokey purple metallic", but certainly has some brown and grey tones to it, almost making is a purple metallic taupe. The formula was excellent and went on very smoothly-- I used two coats here. Because it's a metallic polish, you do have to be careful of brush strokes and overloading your brush with pigment, but I found that I didn't have problems applying it-- and I sometimes feel like these metallic polishes are my downfall. Indie Rock doesn't dry to a very shiny finish on its own, so you definitely need a top coat to give it a nice shine.

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This polish definitely says "autumn" to me. I love the smokey quality and think this will fit in perfectly with the darker colors and heavier fabrics of the autumnal season. This is a pretty color and I don't think I have very many like it in my stash. Hopefully I'll have time to reach for it this fall in between dealing with the babies!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Clinique 70° and Sunny

Today I have a fun polish to share with you, from a brand I haven't tried before. I have Clinique 70° and Sunny, which is a polish from Clinique's revamped (or possibly brand new-- I'm not sure) line of polishes, also called "A Different Nail Enamel for Sensitive Skin," and the formula is not supposed to irritate your eyes when your fingers come in contact with them. Personally, I don't think I can say that any of my polishes actually irritate my eyes, but given that I wear contacts and have an unfortunate tendency to rub my eyes a lot it's nice to see a line of polishes that are attempting to prevent any irritation due to the chemicals in the polish. One of my good friends gave me two of these Clinique polishes for my birthday-- it's just taken me awhile to try them.

The first polish I went for was 70° and Sunny, which is a sunny, warm egg yolk yellow creme. Perfect for adding some cheer to your grey September days (as they have been here in the PNW recently). Like most yellows, it's not perfect, but comes pretty close. The first coat was a little streaky, but two coats evened it out nicely and I used three just make sure there were no streaks. I was really happy with the formula, and I love the warmth of the color. Here I didn't use a top coat and while it doesn't dry to a super shiny finish all on its own, it still looks great.

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I love this color yellow, and while I'm not sure the formula is actually good for sensitive skin, I did think the formula was good in terms of application. I also thought the polish had less of a scent than some polishes (even other 3/4/5-Free polishes), which I really appreciated since my nose is extra sensitive right now.

You can find Clinique nail enamel at their website, and there is an even wider range of shades available on the Nordstrom website. These polishes retail for $12.50 each.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Julie G Tangerine Dream

Today I have a pretty cool polish to share with you-- and a textured one at that! This is one of the first textured polishes I got, when I purchased the Julie G Frosted Gumdrops collection through Groupon (hooray good deals!). This is Tangerine Dream, which is described as a "citrus orange with specs of sparkle." The color of this polish definitely optimizes citrus and looks just like a ripe, juicy orange with tons of gold shimmer.

Now, I have a quick disclaimer: my pictures below are four coats. That said, in normal everyday wear, you don't need four coats to wear this polish. I initially put on two coats, but then spent several days helping to move my lab and my manicure suffered. Since I'm also trying to photograph polishes as I wear them, I slapped two additional coats on top of my old manicure so it wouldn't look completely awful. I think 2-3 coats would be fine for Tangerine Dream-- there was just a hint of visible nail line with two coats, so I think three would get rid of it completely. Additionally, while I generally find textured polishes are no more difficult to remove than regular polishes, four coats required a little bit more elbow grease to remove.

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Textured polish is HUGE right now and looks to remain that way at least through the end of year, since Zoya released a fall "Pixie Dust" collection and OPI is including five Liquid Sand polishes in their holiday collection, and I get the feeling it's a love it or hate it relationship. I honestly thought I wouldn't like them, but when I got the chance to try them, I found that I actually really love them. The texture gets worn down as you wear them, so even if it's a bit rough to start, it eventually become smoother. Additionally, they're super easy to wear: base coat (or not), slap on a couple of coats, and you're good to go! As far as my own taste goes, I prefer the sparkly textures to the flat ones, but to each their own! Tangerine Dream looks stunning in any lighting condition.

I love the way Tangerine Dream looks on the nail and definitely love how easy the textured polishes are to wear. I have worn several of the Julie G texture polishes and so far have been really impressed with them all. Hopefully I can the rest of them swatched and on the blog soon!