Sunday, January 26, 2014

L'Oreal The Statement Piece

Textured polish is still having a moment in the nail world, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personal preferences and pretty much all the brands, drugstore and high end, are jumping on the trend. When I saw the promo pictures for L'Oreal's textured collection, Gold Dust, featuring nine textured polishes I immediately wanted all of them. When I finally came across a display in a local store I exercised great restraint and only snatched up five. Now of course I wish I had the other four, but oh well. Today I have The Statement Piece to show you-- this is a pale champagne gold texture polish with larger glitter pieces throughout.

One thing I noticed when applying this polish is that the brush was rather stiff. I'm not sure if this is all L'Oreal brushes (I don't have many of their polishes) or if it's just the textured polishes. I didn't mind it, but it did tend to drag polish I already laid down on the nail if I wasn't careful. I used two coats of The Statement Piece and even though there might have been a hint of visible nail line, it didn't bother me. In fact, if I hadn't had some drag marks on the first coats I might have left it at that. Of course, I left off the top coat and the textured feeling was slightly gritty but not too rough and did smooth down as I wore it.

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Personally, I love textured polishes. They are easy to use and dry quickly-- you don't really need to use a base or top coat. And even though they start out gritty they tend to smooth down the longer you wear them. Now that I'm mom (wow, cliche time!) I really appreciate every spare minute I have, and with the twins on a schedule I actually have a few spare moments (hooray!) and textured polishes make for a super easy manicure when time is precious and limited.

You'll notice that I have four fingers in these pictures-- I am trying something different. I am not a fan of my pinky and think it looks weird when I hold the polish bottle, which is why I usually do three fingers. But the vast majority of bloggers seem to use four fingers so I've decided to give it on try on new swatches. What do you think: yay or nay?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

OPI The World is Not Enough

And here is another shade from OPI's 2012 Skyfall Collection-- The World is Not Enough. Not my favorite Bond movie, especially as it features Denise Richards as a nuclear scientists with the lamentable name of Christmas Jones. Ugh-- let's move on to the polish! I would call The World is Not Enough a metallic taupe, though the finish on this polish is foil and has a pink and blue shimmer.

The World is Not Enough went on a little sheer in the first coat, but built up nicely. I used three coats to make this opaque, but you could get away with two if you used thicker coats. I didn't have any issues applying this at all and it dried quickly. I didn't use a top coat on this and you can see that with the flash this polish is incredibly reflective.

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Clearly, given the reflective nature of this polish, I had a bit of a hard time capturing it on camera. Hopefully you can get a sense of the color from my photos. I feel like this is a slightly unusual polish for a holiday collection, but the color is cool and wearable. A fun twist on a neutral, that's for sure!

Friday, January 24, 2014

OPI Live and Let Die

Another "oldie"... sort of. Today I have OPI Live and Let Die from the 2012 Skyfall Collection, which was released last year for the holidays. I have had this swatched for some time (last January, cough) but time got away from me and I never posted it. Time to rectify that! Live and Let Die, aside from being one of my favorite James Bond themes, is a deep forest green with gold shimmer. The green is pretty murky and deep, but I don't think it ever looks black, even in lower light. The shimmer also doesn't disappear into this dark base, which is great, because I think the shimmer really makes this polish.

Unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to write down any notes for Live and Let Die, even though I did apparently to do it for all the other colors I swatched that day! Very annoying. I'm fairly certain I used two coats here, though you might be able to get away with one. The formula was good (again, as far as I remember)-- I certainly don't remember having any issues with it.

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Sorry for the half-assed review-- hope you enjoyed the pictures! I don't have another polish like this in my collection. I do like that this polish, while part of a holiday collection, doesn't necessarily say "holiday" and you could definitely wear it at other times of the year.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Julep Olivia

Today I have the base of my Lacquistry Cornucopia manicure-- Julep Olivia. I'll be honest: I have a love/hate relationship with brown polishes. I want to love them and often think they look very rich, but I never seem to gravitate to wearing them. At some point last year (or even late 2012?) Julep was having some sort of sale and I decided to grab Olivia to add to my collection. Julep describes Olivia as a "rich and graceful, dark chocolate truffle crème." It's a pretty spot-on description-- I definitely think chocolate when I see this polish.

Olivia was extremely easy to use and had a great formula, which I find to be fairly typical of Julep's creme polishes. It went on smoothly and I used two coats for opaque coverage. This dries to a nice glossy finish.

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This is a lovely rich brown, a nice alternative to black if you want something dark but still a little warm. Looking at this, I feel like I need to get over my fear of brown polish and try wearing it more often! What do you think? Is brown polish something you wear or avoid?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lacquistry Cornucopia

Today I have another fall themed polish from Lacquistry-- Cornucopia! This polish is similar to Lacquistry I Make It Rain (Leaves), but they are definitely not the same. Cornucopia is made up of larger glitters-- predominantly hex glitters in various colors, but also includes some bar glitter and some irregularly shaped pieces in a variety of fall colors and is definitely more of a layering polish. I Make It Rain (Leaves) contains much finer glitter and could probably made opaque on its own if you wanted to take the time and coats to do so.

I like this polish, but the formula was a bit of a nightmare. There is a lot of glitter in here, but I found it very difficult to get the glitters on the brush... and when I did it was easy to glop at lot of polish on the nail. It was definitely frustrating. I used two coats here over Julep Olivia, a chocolate brown polish. I thought the brown base would be good for the autumnal theme-- warmer than black.

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Overall I like this shade and think it's perfect for fall, but I wish the polish hadn't been so thick, which made it difficult to work with. This polish isn't currently available, but if you like Lacquistry's polishes, keep an eye on her Etsy shop as she does put up seasonal collections so there will probably be some cool fall/Halloween polishes available later this year.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Julep Alice

Today I have Julep Alice to share with you! This was a polish that was released as part of the May 2013 Boho Glam Maven Box and was inspired by the Roaring Twenties. Alice is described as an "antique lilac shimmer." Not sure where the antique descriptor comes from, but Alice is a pretty lilac polish with a strong silver-blue shimmer. With the creme base, I only needed two coats to get perfect coverage. This polish was easy to apply and I didn't have any issues, though I was careful not to go over polish I had already laid down in order to avoid any dragging. I wearing this with Cult Nails Get It On base coat and Wicked Fast top coat.

This polish wore very well-- my pictures were taken after I had been wearing this for three days and there was only very minor tip ware! Hooray!

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I love this polish! It's pretty and soft and I love the shimmer. I originally swatched and wore this in May, but unfortunately not when there was any sun (thanks Seattle), and that's too bad because this is really pretty in the sun. I wasn't all that sure when I received my Maven box how much I would like this polish (I thought it would be frosty) but I ended up loving it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Julep Sharon

Julep Sharon is a polish that has been kicking around my untried pile (more like a mountain these days) since last Christmas, if I'm not mistaken. I bought this one as part of a set and primarily because it shares a name with my mom. Julep describes Sharon as a "dark, bold red shimmer" and as you'll see it's a fitting holiday polish. We're in the new year now, but a shimmery red is never really out of style! The formula on Sharon is pretty good-- I needed two coats for my swatches below and the polish went on smoothly and easily. I didn't put on top coat in my photos-- you can see how shiny and shimmery this polish is!

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These types of red never go out of style, though the shimmery ones tend to be more prevalent around the holidays. Sharon does have a lovely glowing quality to it, but ultimately this polish is reproducible-- especially if you ever have checked out an OPI or China Glaze holiday collection. Still, I have a soft spot for this polish because it shares with my mom and is pretty much her color (she loves red).

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a good time ringing in the New Year! 2013 brought some big changes to my life and no doubt 2014 will see other changes. Of course, my big resolution is to get back to blogging on a regular basis (even if that's only 1-2 times a week). This probably won't happen right away, but I hope as the boys get older that I will be able to devote a little bit more time to the blog. I do have a lot of swatches sitting around to share, so hopefully I can get through some of those! I want to work on my photography skills and I desperately need to focus on my untrieds pile, which is seems like half of the polishes I own right now! 2014 is going to bring some financial changes, due to the fact that I will be working part time for awhile, so I will have to be careful about picking the polishes I purchase-- and I won't be able to purchase as many as before. I also have grand ideas about trying to do more nail art, but given my time constraints, this is probably a long shot.

I can't really do a round-up post but I do want to re-post some of my favorite manicures from the past year. Not all the polishes are from 2013, but they are all reviews I posted in 2013, so that counts. These are in no particular order-- just manicures and polishes I really liked over the past year.

Happy 2014 to all of you and may this year be all that you wish it to be!