Tuesday, April 22, 2014

L'Oreal Collection Privée

Nudes appear to be all the rage again and L'Oreal has entered the ring with their Collection Privée selection of nudes that tie in to various celebrities. I tried three of the six available at my local CVS (Canada got a different selection of colors and I would have loved to try the chocolate brown creme that they got for Freida's Nude instead of the bronzy metallic we got here in the states.) I'll confess that I have no idea who some of these celebrities are so I don't know how the colors relate to the woman. Skin tone, maybe? Some of the caps had "Collection Privée" on them and some just had the plain gold cap — they were all part of the same display so I don't know if there was any reasoning behind that. Perhaps some will become part of their core colors? Two of these were dupes of colors from the Zoya Naturel collection and the other has several dupes. Let's check them out...

Doutzen's Nude, two coats, no topcoat
Doutzen's Nude is a pale, warm pink and it makes an excellent mannequin hand polish for most skin tones. Application was thin and streaky but it did cover in two coats.

Jennifer's Nude, two coats, no topcoat
OK, I know who JLo is and this gorgeous gray is similar to the fabulous transparent Chanel gown she scandalized the Oscars with back in 2001. Again, the formula was thin and streaky but covered in two coats.
Liya's Nude, two coats, no topcoat
Liya's Nude is your basic mushroomy taupe that has been everywhere and which every polish line makes some variation of. (Why do I keep buying these???) The formula was just the tiniest bit better than the other two but still not great.

So how do these compare to the competition? Let's see…

As you can see, Doutzen's Nude is nearly identical to Zoya Rue, but the formula for Rue is miles away better. The application on Rue was much easier and the finish was flawless. Jennifer's Nude is a total dupe for Essie Miss Fancy Pants and the Essie winds hands down for application and finish. Two strikes against L'Oreal!

As I said, everyone and his brother is making a mushroom taupe so it's no surprise that there are several dupes for Liya's Nude. It's an exact match for Sephora by OPI Metro Chic so if you never managed to get a bottle of that before Sephora and OPI parted ways, here's your chance, although it's also quite close to Zoya Normani and Sally Hansen Commander In Chic. Of these, I'd say Normani was my favorite in formula but I do prefer the slightly cooler Commander In Chic.

Overall I'd say this particular collection was a disappointment, both in color choices and, more importantly, application. We all know I have no problem with getting a variety of grays that only differ by degrees but if the application isn't worth it, all I can say is that I'm glad my CVS has a liberal return policy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Discount Discovery: Ulta Mud Pie

Normally I'm not a big fan of the Ulta brand nail polishes because the formula is usually too thin for my liking, but occasionally I'll find a color that I just have to have or else it's one of the free items with an Ulta reward. In this case, it was both the color and the price; I love these murky, deep taupes and it was on their clearance shelf for only $2.99!
Ulta Mud Pie, two coats plus topcoat
Surprisingly, the formula on this one was just right, maybe even a touch thick for a change, and the application was easy, leveling well with no pulling, with full coverage in two coats. Once it was on it struck me as being similar to Essie Power Clutch so I decided to do a comparison.
Ulta Mud Pie and Essie Power Clutch, two coats each plus topcoat
As you can see, Power Clutch is a bit darker and grayer. The formulas were fine on both and I really can't find a reason to prefer one over the other! I'm surprised that we haven't done a review of Power Clutch here yet since I think all three of us have it, so I'll have to take care of that soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Discount Discovery: Revlon Mocha

Lately I've been obsessing about Chanel Particulière, even though I probably already have at least a half-dozen dupes. I have some credits at Amazon and nearly buckled to buy the real thing when I saw this lone bottle of Revlon Mocha at Ocean State Job Lots. It was marked at $2 but rang up for $1.48, so even better! I decided to get it because it matched a photo of Particulière that appealed to me — I've learned that sometimes the real polish isn't actually like a photo that caught my eye and I now look for a polish that matches the photo. Does that make sense? I'll still look for the real thing if I ever find a Chanel counter that has it, though!
Revlon Mocha, two coats plus topcoat
I think this may have ended my craving for Particulière because 1. I've only had it on for a day and I'm already bored with it, and 2. I've come to the realization that even if I did have the genuine article, wearing it with my Old Navy jeans and Target t-shirts everyone would assume it was some cheap discount polish anyway, right? (But what do I care what anyone else thinks? I think my nails look fabulous even with a $1.48 polish!) Don't get me wrong —it's a beautiful shade of brown that I'm sure I'll love with just the right outfit but there just wasn't anything that made me keep staring at my nails the way some of my other taupe/browns do. I like the brush and application was problem-free, coverage in two coats, but against my skin tone the color was just one big meh. Or maybe after this endless winter I'm just craving brighter colors? So sad.

Now if only Big Lots and Job Lots would start to get in some couture clothes for cheap!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Discount Discovery: Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down

I'll confess. I got so many polishes at Big Lots when they had the Sephora by OPIs that you'll be seeing a lot of them, but I want you to be able to have a chance at getting them while they're still available if you're lucky enough to have a Big Lots near you. Today I've got another great military green, Caught With My Khakis Down.
Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khakis Down, two coats plus topcoat
I don't know why but I have been drawn to these dusty olive greens lately (I have a few more coming up, too.) This one has the faintest, slightest shimmer to it, barely noticeable but enough to add a nice glow to the color. Application was a breeze and it was opaque in two coats. Love this one!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fancy Friday: Sephora by OPI Already Famous and Come To Pappa-Razzi

OK, so it's also another Discount Discovery so, technically, it doesn't qualify for Fancy Friday status but it's just so fancy! Look at this eye-popper! I present to you… Already Famous.
Sephora by OPI Already Famous and Come To Pappa-Razzi
I'm not really a fan of glitters but this gold foil with gold micro glitters is perfect for a special occasion, all shimmery and magical. Adding an accent nail of Come To Pappa-Razzi, with its copper, gold, and black glitters in varying sizes just sends it over the top. Fancyfancyfancy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Discount Discovery: Sephora by OPI Neutral Beauty

Here's another of the Sephora by OPI polishes I grabbed when Big Lots had that huge bin of them, Neutral Beauty. I wasn't sure how it would look with my skin tone but it was only $1.80 so I took a chance. What do you think?
Sephora by OPI Neutral Beauty, two coats plus topcoat
Personally, I think it's a little too gray-yellow for me, like a dijon mustard color, so I can't see me wearing it a lot but it would team up well with another color for nail art and it would be très chic with the right outfit. The formula was a bit thin on this one but with a third coat, or a second topcoat, it would give a smoother finish. Coverage was fine with two coats.

Are you lucky enough to have a Big Lots in your area?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Discount Discovery: Revlon Muse

Ulta has been making up for the months of lean pickings on their clearance shelves by stocking them with great finds lately! This is a Revlon that was from (I think) their Spring 2012 collection, although I don't remember ever seeing it before. How did I miss this beauty? I'm glad I did because I got to scoop it up for only $1.29!
Revlon Muse, two coats plus topcoat
Color-wise it's like a paler version of SinfulColors Beau Khaki and formula-wise it was impressive. I loved this one so much that I wore it for four days and there was no noticeable wear other than some faint scratches on the topcoat. This one is so going in my favorites pile!
After four days of wear!
Check out the clearance shelf at your Ulta — maybe you can find this one, too!

Friday, March 21, 2014

KB Shimmer Spring 2014 - Part 2

***Product provided for review.  All opinions are my own.***

Happy Friday!  I have Part 2 of the KB Shimmer Spring Collection today, 4 great cremes.  Make sure you check out Part 1 here.

HoneyDew List is described as:  just like ripe honeydew, this dusty pastel green is perfect for spring or summer. This is the ideal color to wear under Rush Flower Traffic, or pair with Ice Queen for a sparkly spring manicure. Full coverage in just 2 coats.  I used 3 coats for this one but you could get away with 2 if you were careful.  Great spring green!

A Touch of Glass is described as:  this light aqua mint cream reminds me of tumbled sea glass. A pastel green with blue undertones, this color is covers in 2-3 coats. This one definitely needed three coats but the payoff is worth it.  Smooth and gorgeous.

Sky Jinks is described as:  I love those days, the ones when there is not a cloud in site, and the sky is the most stunning shade of bright blue. This medium blue cream with a hint of dustiness, reminds me of those perfect days. Sky Kinks covers in 1 coat with careful application and is perfect in two.  This is a true one coater!  Such a gorgeous blue and almost no staining when I removed it.  

Pansy-Monium is described as:  this pansy purple cream offers full coverage in just two coats. With a slight red undertone, this purple will look great even on warm skin tones.  The red undertone in this polish makes so wearable.  I really loved this purple.  Unfortunately my camera hates purple polish and didn't pick up the redness.  It's not as cool toned as it looks in my swatch.  You have to trust me on this one!

Whew!  That was a lot of KB Shimmer this week!  I really loved them all.  I can't say enough good things about the formula on these creme polishes.  Smooth and shiny and self leveling.  I used no top coat in all of these swatches and look how shiny they are!  What do you think?  Did you have any of these polishes?  

The Spring Collection is available on KB Shimmer website for $8.75.  

***Product provided for review.  All opinions are my own.***

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Super Black Lacquers Spring 2014 Collection

***Polish provided for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.***

Hi!  I have five great new Super Black Lacquers shades for you today.  I've said it before but Super Black really has one of my favorite formulas.  It applies like butter and the colors are always original and fun.  Let get to it.

I'll start with my absolute favorite, Majestic.  Super Black describes it as:  Majestic is a super-smooth, creamy orchid polish.  Excellent texture and shine.  Opaque in 2-3 coats.  Use a top coat or skip it... it's up to you.  Majestic has a shiny, smooth finish on its own.  This is Spring polish perfection.  I love it.  Two easy coats and no top coat!

The Grackle is described as: a sparkling turquoise blue with a black base. Opaque in 2-3 coats. Pictures don't do this polish justice! Slap on a top coat to smooth it all out. Shimmery and distractingly pretty.  I completely agree that pictures don't do it justice.  The shimmer is turquoise, pink and purple and it is to die for.  I wore this to Anna's bridal shower and got a ton of compliments!

The Stag is described as: a glowy spring green polish with a rich bronze shimmer. Smooth with a subtle metallic sheen, like a beetle's shell. Awesome texture, dries smooth and shiny. Use a top coat if you want, The Stag will be slick either way.  I will admit...I am not a green polish girl.  But The Stag may change my mind.  I love the bronze shimmer and the formula is complete perfection.

The Haymaker is described as: The Haymaker is a knockout! Deep, eggplant polish packed with 3 different sizes of matte, neon red-orange glitter. Opaque in 2-3 coats. Top coat is recommended. Crazy beautiful.  This polish is AWESOME.  The matte glitter just sets it off.  Interesting and so super cool.

Framboise is described as:  a saturated raspberry jelly polish, with a ton of glitters: tiny black, matte pink, holographic lilac, and chunky matte white hex. Sheer enough to show the layers of glitter on your nails, but pigmented enough for opacity in 2-3 coats. Add a top coat to smooth out the glitter... try a matte top coat for a really unique effect. Fans of SUPER BLACK Lacquer's The Bends will love Framboise!!  I really couldn't capture the awesome in this polish and that's disappointing.  This swatch is 2 coats and it was way more opaque and smooth than it looks.  It's really gorgeous and I love the big white glitter and tiny black glitter.

What do you think about the new Spring Super Black Lacquers Collection?  Majestic, The Grackle and The Stag are my favorites.  Actually they are all my favorites!

Super Black retails for $12 and can be purchased here.  Make sure you keep up with them on Facebook for news and specials!

***Polish provided for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.***

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

KB Shimmer Spring 2014 - Part 1

***Product provided for review.  All opinions are my own.***

Hi! I have Part 1 of a 2 part post for the new KB Shimmer Collection. KB Shimmer has branched out into cremes and like everything that she does they are amazing. The formula is perfection and the colors are great for spring.

Life Rose On is described as: This is my perfect pink, bright cheery, and it covers in 1-2 coats. This vivid cerise polish has blue undertones, making it wearable for many skin tones. Pair this with your favorite glitter topper or use in stamping for a girly manicure.  This is my perfect pink too!  My clear favorite of this part of the collection.  So wearable and classic.

Chick Me Out is described as:  this bright yellow cream is the ideal shade to welcome warmer weather. Full coverage in two coats, I love this under Rush Flower Traffic.  I'm not a yellow polish girl but I do like this fun, cheery yellow.  Yellow polish tends to be patchy and streaky and this polish was perfect in 2 coats.

Daisy About You is described as:  a pale green creally, this spring polish features neon green hex glitters swimming among purple and lavender hexes and a scattering of lavender daisy glitters. Best in 3 Coats.  I think this would have been better with 2 coats over one coat of white but I tried to build it up with 3 coats.  I love the mix of colors and even with 3 coats the glitter wasn't thick or chunky.  A perfect Easter polish.

Rush Flower Traffic is described as:  a metallic glitter top coat with fuchsia, gold, green, sapphire, and aqua glitters in hex and dot glitters fill this polish. Ideal as 1 coat over our Chick Me Out or Honeydew List creams, this topper can be worn over so many colors!   This is one of my favorite glitters toppers that I've seen in a long, long time.  The colors are gorgeous and there is a gorgeous golden holo shimmer in the base that you can't really see in the pictures.  I could put this over every spring mani!

What do you think of Part 1?  Life Rose On and Rush Flower Traffic are my clear favorites!

The Spring Collection is available on KB Shimmer website for $8.75.  What are your favorites from this collection??

***Product provided for review.  All opinions are my own.***