Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cult Nails Tied Up

Tonight I have another limited edition polish from Cult Nails - Tied Up. This is another polish that Maria released for her Black Friday sale and that is supposed to be for sale again at some point later (probably later this year). Tied Up was a polish that Maria created on the way to making Time Traveler and we are all the lucky recipients!

Tied Up is a dusky cornflower blue that has strong purple undertones (I think they call this "blurple")-- in some lights it has a periwinkle feel to it. In the bottle it looks like a bright medium blue, but on the nail it is definitely not solely a blue polish. Tied Up is like Feel Me Up, in that it has a jelly creme finish and is very well pigmented. It went on a little streaky in the first coat, but a second coat even all that up and gave good coverage. I love this polish! It looks great and has a great formula.

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Seriously, this polish is so pretty. I actually don't own many "blurple" polishes, but I think I love them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Julep Helena

Today was a pretty crappy day at work, so I have a nice fun polish for you - Julep Helena! Helena came in my December Maven box, but I only got around to swatching it this weekend. And I'm sorry I waited this long, because this is a great color.

Julep describes Helena as an "ultra-saturated fuchsia." Ultra-saturated is right-- this polish feels very neon to me. It's super bright and entirely lovely. I actually think I might have to put this on soon in an effort to bring myself out of the funk I'm in. Helena dries to what Julep calls a "semi-matte" finish. It's not a true matte because it does have some shine, but definitely doesn't have a high gloss/high shine finish. Helena is wonderfully pigmented and has a great formula-- like most of Julep's creme polishes, it applies like a dream and is practically a one coater. I have used two coats in all the photos below, and no top coat, so you see the semi-matte finish.

Unfortunately, my photos aren't entirely color accurate-- Helena looks way too pink in most of these pictures and definitely not bright enough. The picture with flash and the natural light pictures probably closest represent the color, though neither of the pictures are bright enough, by far. Helena is eye-searingly bright.

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I am definitely sorry I waited so long to try out Helena. I thought that it was a bit odd that this color was in my December box, considering the time of year, but I love the fact that it's super bright.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cult Nails Feel Me Up

Today I have Cult Nails Feel Me Up for you! This was a limited edition polish that was available during Cult Nails Black Friday sale and has now sold out. Maria has said this polish will come back, so be on the look out for this to possibly be available again sometime later this year. Maria describes this as buttercup yellow, which is a pretty spot-on description-- yellow that leans slightly orange. And because of the color, Maria and her husband decided to name this color after the song "Build Me Up, Buttercup"... except that they thought the lyrics were "fill me up/feel me up" and hence the name Feel Me Up! I think that's cute-- mainly because I always sing the wrong lyrics too.

So Feel Me Up is a pretty yellow jelly/creme polish. Yellow makes for notoriously bad, hard-to-work-with polishes. Most are extremely streaky but I found that for the most part, Feel Me Up is pretty good, which is a surprise! The first coat goes on fairly sheer and streaky, but all my pictures below are just three coats and you can see the finished product looks good and there aren't any major streaking issues. I will say that I used thicker coats (1 thin and then 2 thick) and deliberately tried to use the least amount of brushstrokes I could (three, generally) to apply the polish to my nail, especially with the thicker coats. This definitely helped to build opacity and reduce any streakiness. I thought there was still some streakiness after three coats, but it doesn't seem to show up in the pictures, so maybe I was imagining it. In any case, if there wasn't, it wasn't so bad that I felt I needed to add a fourth coat.

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Feel Me Up is a great cheerful yellow! However, I'm not sure I really like the color with my skin tone, but I still like this polish. I love yellow polishes because they are so bright and cheerful, especially in the winter months. Feel Me Up, while not perfect, makes for a very decent yellow polish, which makes me happy. It's like a little bit of sunshine on your fingertips!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sephora by OPI Stop Stocking Me!

Today's polish is one that I swatched and forgot about-- Sephora by OPI Stop Stocking Me! from their 2011 Holiday Collection. I find the name kind of annoying, mainly because stalking isn't an amusing issue like their cutesy name suggests  (I have never personally been stalked, but the stories you read-- it's terrible, people are crazy) but as it's a purple polish and I got it on sale from Sephora... I guess I will have to live with it.

The description from Stop Stocking Me! is a "opaque metallic golden plum". I wouldn't call this plum, though, to me it seems like more of a violet shade, but maybe that's nitpicky. This felt very cool to me and I thought the golden shimmer was difficult to see, until I looked at in natural light and could finally see it! I was surprised by the formula-- despite the description of being opaque, I expected it be thin and need several coats, but it was really nicely pigmented and almost a one coater. I used two here. As it is a metallic, it will show brushstrokes, so you definitely have to be careful with that. This reminds me a lot of Julep Alfre, but is more purple and less silvery. In same family, but definitely not the same.

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In the bottle I wasn't all that impressed with Stop Stocking Me! when I got it but I liked it a lot more when I had it on my nails. The shimmer is definitely subtle, but really pretty up close.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sally Hansen Green Tea

Sorry for the long delay in postings. I've been busy this week and when I've gotten home I've just been lazy, rather than getting anything done. So much for following my resolutions!

Tonight's polish is Green Tea, from the Sally Hansen for Tracy Reese Fall 2011 Collection. I saw swatches of these ages ago on various polish blogs, but had the hardest time actually finding them anywhere. None of my local drugstores ever got these, at least as far as I could tell... and I did spend time looking. Finally I managed to find them on Ulta's website and snatched up several of them before I knew what I was doing. Whoops. Unfortunately, though, it looks most of these limited edition polishes are gone from the website.

For someone who doesn't really like greens, for some reason I can't resist these minty/jade greens. Green Tea is a dusky mint green creme, similar to OPI Mermaid's Tears. Green Tea was almost opaque in one coat, but two gave me great coverage. However, you do need to use a light touch and few brushstrokes, because it can drag and create streaks in the polish. I did find that it applied pretty smoothly, though. Green Tea is part of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure line, and come with a very wide brush, which I love because I have wide nail beds, but I know can be difficult for people with smaller nail beds, as it lead to getting polish on your nails-- and everywhere else!

I loved this color! I ended up wearing this for a full five days, which is practically unheard of me for me, as I usually change my polish every 2-3 days. And even better, the wear on this polish was great! I used the Julep base coat and Essie Good to Go top coat and had aside from minimal tip wear, had very little shrinkage and no chips (except on the very last day). Amazing! I like that this polish is a little greyed up-- saves it from being a stark pastel and I felt made it a fun and wearable shade for fall and winter. A nice pop of color in the dreary winter months.

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The color may not unique, but I loved it! Probably my favorite green polish at this point. Very wearable, in addition to wearing well on the nail. Great polish!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A England Perceval

Tonight I have a beautiful a-england polish for you-- Perceval! This was actually one of the first a-england polishes I ever purchased, and so perhaps it is fitting that on the day I complete my Mythicals collection that I have this polish to show you! It's a crying shame that it took me so long to get around to swatching it.

Perceval is seriously, drop-dead gorgeous. The a-england website describes it as a "splendid and resplendent red"-- which does not nearly go far enough to describe how awesome Perceval is. I would describe it was a lit-from-within glowy metallic red polish. It's beautiful. I love how this polish looks like it glows. According to the a-england site and Arthurian legend, Perceval is the guileless knight-- "the elect one to witness the Grail for the first time and one of the heroes of its quest. A simple, innocent man, alone in the world who accidentally meets a group of the King's knights and decides to become one of them." At first, I thought red was an interesting choice for such a man, but according to legend (and Wikipedia), Perceval kills a bad knight and takes his vermilion armor... vermilion, of course, being a shade of red, which makes the color of this polish spot on!

Perceval had a great formula and applied really smoothly. Two coats make it perfectly opaque and it dried fairly quickly. It was shiny and glowy even without a top coat, but here I am wearing the a-england top coat, the Shield over Perceval.

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The first picture makes Perceval look more tomato red-- it most definitely is not! The second picture is definitely more color accurate.

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Perceval is the shimmery red to end all reds. Run out and get a bottle right now! This is a fabulous polish!

And, last but not least... I completed my a-england Mythicals collection today, receiving the last three polishes I needed, thanks to the anniversary sale earlier this month!

Additionally... I also got four polishes from the new Legends collection!!

So I have lots of great polishes to show you guys! I can't wait!

Friday, January 20, 2012

OPI Warm & Fozzie

Tonight's polish is another one from OPI's Muppets collection - Warm & Fozzie. This is named after Fozzie Bear, the Muppet's residence (terrible) comedian. Similarly to Designer... De Better, Warm & Fozzie is a unique polish. It's a foil polish that has a bronze base with very fine gold and red glitter in it. Additionally, Warm & Fozzie seems to have some duochrome action to it-- at certain angles it flashes almost green, but I wasn't really able to capture that in my photos.

The formula was pretty good on this-- I used three coats to achieve opacity. Two coats was almost opaque, but not quite. But there were no issues and it went on smoothly and dried fairly quickly. This polish is so pretty! It seems very unusual to me, which is why it was one of the few polishes from this collection that I decided to pick up in the end. I love the combination of colors-- I know it will sound corny, but this does feel a little "warm and fuzzy" for a polish-- I want to wear it wrapped up in a blanket by a fire with a mug of tea and a book. It seems like a darker, more sultry version of OPI Pros & Bronze, which was released this summer.

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I love this polish! It's so beautiful-- even though this was released as part of OPI's Holiday Collection, I think it would be perfect for fall!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

NOTD: Winter Wonderland Manicure

So, quite unusually Seattle has been "hammered" by a snow storm over the last few days. While Seattle does get snow from time to time, it doesn't happen often and we don't have a lot of experience dealing with it. Even though snow is a huge pain in the butt when you become an adult, I still love it! The snow makes everything so pretty and love how quiet the world seems when it snows!

This is my world in the snow! I love it! Even though getting around the city is a pain, somehow I can't feel too angry because the seven year old inside of me loves the snow so much.

Now... onto my manicure! On a whim tonight I decided to do a snow inspired manicure.  I pulled out Kristen from Zoya's recent Feel Collection and decided on an accent nail using a-england Morgan Le Fay. I will do full posts on both these in the future-- Kristen is a blue leaning grey creme polish and Morgan Le Fay is an icy silver shimmer. These polishes just called out winter to me.

Sorry I was only able to capture this under a couple of lighting conditions because I wanted to post it tonight (and I started the manicure at about 7pm PST). You can see Kristen shift between looking more blue or more grey depending on the light.
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I love this combination! Really pretty... soft but the shimmer gives it a little edge-- in addition to being really pretty. Happy winter, everyone! Stay safe and warm and dry out there!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OPI Designer... De Better!

Today's polish is from OPI's Holiday Collection - The Muppets! To be honest, while I enjoy the Muppets, I didn't grow up religiously watching them. I wasn't necessarily attached to this collection on a nostalgic level, after seeing some swatches there are definitely some polishes I was attracted to. Designer... De Better is one of them. I can only assume the name refers to Miss Piggy's job as editor of a fashion mag in the new movie.

Anyway, Designer... De Better is a very unique polish.  It's basically a metallic shimmer polish is mostly silver with flecks of bronze throughout-- in real life the silver and bronze shimmer combine to give this polish a cool rose gold looking finish. I had a hard time capturing it with my camera, but this polish is truly awesome. I love it so much! I was a little worried at first because the first coat of Designer... De Better was pretty sheer but amazingly enough it became opaque in the second coat. One of those magical polishes-- I have no idea how that works, but it's wonderful. I'm seriously in love with this. It's brilliant. But don't take my word for it-- see for yourself!

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You can see under the more yellow lights of my bathroom that the polish takes on a more golden look, which is really not accurate-- while this polish does have a fickle nature in terms of color, it's not yellow gold.

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Sorry, the natural light pictures are little blown out. I hope you can see the specks of bronze in there-- the polish isn't overly silver in real life either. It's really stunning. This polish would probably be fabulous with some evening gown... not that I have one laying around my closet (or an excuse to wear it)! In any case, these polishes sell out fast, so if you see a display of these, this is a fabulous unique polish that could find a place in your collection. You won't be disappointed!