Friday, August 31, 2012

Fancy Friday: OPI DS Opulence

I have off the next couple of days and I'll get to be outside more than usual so I thought I'd put on a polish that really shows off in the sunlight — one of the OPI Designer Series polishes, DS Opulence. These polishes are formulated with diamond dust so they really catch the light and sparkle! Even indoors they seem to glow and it's like jewelry on your fingertips. I can't stop looking at it!
OPI DS Opulence, indoor shot.
OPI describes the color as a "magnificent mauve drenched in diamonds" but the color changes so much depending on the light that it's hard to pin it down. The formula is a bit thin but since there is so much pigment and sparkle you don't really notice it. I used two coats here and was tempted to put on a third after I still saw some visible nail line, but then I decided against it because it was dazzling enough as it was. It dried semi-matte so I added a coat of Seche Vite, which sometimes dims the holos but in this case it really brought them out.
Out in the sunlight it really comes to life!
DS Opulence is still available at places like Ulta, as well as a few online sites, so even though it's been around for a while it's not hard to find.
Label shot for the numbers.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Polished Components- Reality

Today I have a glitter polish from indie seller Polished Components for you. Reality is from Ashley's Connection Collection. From the etsy description- Reality is 7 different glitters of various shapes and sizes that are all holographic and meant to capture the rainbow and shine in the light. There really are a lot of different glitters in this polish and it's hard to even describe each one. This is a total glitter bomb without being overwhelming. To me it looks like Jeweled Sand on steroids.

I wanted to test Reality over a few different colors before deciding on a manicure. Below is one coat of Reality over two coats of a base color. First is Essence- Walk on Air, then Essence- Walk of Fame, then Essence- You Belong to Me, and finally OPI- Skull and Glossbones. I was obviously feeling the Essence love that day. I really love how one coat of Reality looks. Not too much glitter, even coverage, and just enough sparkle to make it interesting.

Well, I still couldn't make up my mind on what to wear so I went with my two favorite, Walk on Air and Skull and Glossbones. I totally spaced and didn't take pictures of my full mani for you guys! I did most of my nails with Skull and Glossbones and added a few accents of Walk on Air on my left pointer, my right thumb and right ring finger. I loved it and wore it for 3 days! No chipping or tip wear issues with my Essie Ridge Filler base coat and HK Girl top coat.

Creme mani before I attacked it with glitter

Glitter attack!

Pros- I love that this doesn't have those giant hex glitters to make it INYOURFACE glitter. It's subtle and pretty.
Cons- I really hate the taped on label around the top. The bottle doesn't have the Polished Components name on it so I kept forgetting who made this polish when it was sitting in the indie drawer of my Helmer.
Overall- I don't have a lot of go-to glitters but this is definitely one of them now. I might even grab up a full-sized bottle to keep on hand.

You can purchase Polished Components from Ashley's etsy store. Full sized bottles are $9 and minis are $4. Keep up to date on the newest collections by following the Polished Components blog and Facebook pages!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NOTD Zoya - Kimber

Hi all!  I have a quick NOTD post for you today.  I apologize for the late post, some days are just crazy and life gets in the way of nail polish.  I bought the Pinterest Trio from Zoya a while ago and just got around to wearing Kimber this week.  I wanted a fun, summery color before I start on all my dark, vampy fall shades.  Zoya's website describes Kimber as:   Rich, bright and saturated medium magenta pink with strong gold metallic shimmer and a foil-like finish. A huge hit of color and a shot of shiny gold metal make this polish look electric.  I agree!  

 These pictures show base coat, two coats of Kimber and one coat of HK Girl.  

Foil goodness!
What's your NOTD today?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blue Monday: GAP Neptune and Mermaid

This week's Blue Monday is a shade that took my breath away — I'm not sure I can find words to describe just how beautiful this color is, so you will all just have to head to your nearest GAP and check out Neptune for yourselves.
GAP Neptune
Neptune is a deep, rich, dimensional blue that dries to a satin finish. I just couldn't stop looking at it! I think it may be the perfect shade of blue to go with my skin tone. The formula is fine, but as with every other dark blue, I make a mess of my cuticle area for some reason, or maybe it's just that dark blues are more difficult to clean up completely? But unless you stick my fingers up to your eyes, the beauty of the polish overcomes the shortcomings of my application. Love, love, LOVE this color! To play the Chanel guessing game with this one, I'm guessing Blue Satin. What do you think? (The color is much deeper in person than in my photos, closer to a navy.)

GAP also sells glitter polishes and, although I'm not a huge fan of glitters, Mermaid was so lovely I just had to get it as well. I used it for an accent nail here but I also tried it on a nail wheel over some unlabeled matte green (I think it was SinfulColors Rise and Shine, but I'm not certain) and it looked equally as amazing. And it turned out not to be the pain to remove that glitters usually are, so I may use it layered over other polishes when the mood strikes for some pizzazz. Because it's made up of several shades of blue and green micro-glitters the options are endless!
GAP Mermaid
Loads of blue and green micro glitters!
Blurry cell phone shot of Neptune label.
Not-blurry shot of Mermaid label, and close-up of the glitters!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

GAP Luxe

Part of the fun of getting a GAP polish is trying to figure out which Chanel polish it's duping (if there is one at all.) Luxe is so distinctive that it was pretty easy to narrow down — I'm betting it's a dupe of Gold Fingers, part of a limited release at the beginning of the year to celebrate the opening of the Chanel boutique in the Bellagio in Las Vegas. They're both a gold foil with the tiniest gold glitters, but it's hard to tell for sure if it's a dupe based on blog photos because everyone uses different cameras and lighting. I will take it on faith that it is because there's no way I'm paying $50 on Amazon for the real one!
GAP Luxe, gilding the lily with gold micro-glitters in a gold foil
Luxe is a very sheer gold, with visible nail line even with the three coats shown here. Oddly, until I added the top coat, the tiny glitters were nearly invisible but they really popped once the top coat dried. Whew! It would be a shame to lose them in the glory of the gold foil.
GAP Luxe
As with any foil there are bound to be brush strokes, but if you do the sides first and end with the center of your nail they are a little less obvious, and the glitters offer some distraction. This really is one gorgeous polish!
Just in case you need a number.
So is it a dupe for Gold Fingers? Short of a side-by-side comparison it's hard to say. But for $6 or under for Luxe (depending on if you get it on sale) versus $60 on Amazon (or at the Chanel boutique in the Bellagio if you happen to be going to Vegas) for Gold Fingers, I know what I'm choosing! Spend that extra money at the gaming tables!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

SinfulColors Leap Flog and Zoya Evvie Comparison

I know when I'm thinking of getting a new polish one of the first things I do is check online for comparisons to see if it's different enough from one that I might already have to warrant getting the new one. OK, it usually is, but I still like to see comparisons, don't you? When SinfulColors came out with its Study in Style collection earlier this summer, Leap Flog was the only new color — one of the grayed-out greens that are so popular right now. I read that it was a dupe for Revlon After Party and since they were both available to compare at Walgreens I could see that they were close enough that I didn't need both. Leap Flog was part of the 99¢ sale at the time, so no contest! But how does it compare to Zoya Evvie? Let's see...
Decisions, decisions...
Erin already reviewed Zoya Evvie last month so I won't review it again, but I thought I'd do a side-by-side with Leap Flog so you could decide for yourself if you need both. As you can see, Evvie is a bit darker but it's still the same hue, just with a little more black to it. Seeing them next to each other I'm drawn to Leap Flog more, but on their own it's a difficult decision. I definitely need both!

SinfulColors Leap Flog
The formula for Leap Flog was a bit thinner than other Sinfuls, although it evened out quickly and could easily be a one-coater, but I decided to put on a second coat to see if it made any difference. It didn't, so not only is it a one-coater, it dries super shiny so you don't even need a top coat unless you're in a hurry and want to use a quick-dry.
Label shot for the number.
Formula-wise it was also a draw with Evvie. The pigmentation is strong enough on both that you could get away with a single coat, and they dried shiny enough to need no top coat. The photo at the beginning shows two coats each with no top coat. Adding the second coat made no difference in the appearance at all so it's a matter of personal preference if you want to do two. I didn't notice any staining either so you might even be able to go without a base coat (but I never do...)
Zoya Evvie is on the pinky and middle fingers. Close, but not the same!
Do you need them both? Hard to say; if I had to choose only one I'd probably go with Leap Flog, but only because it was 99¢ (or $1.99 when it's not on sale) as opposed to $8 for Evvie, and it's more widely available. SinfulColors are available at Rite Aid, Walgreens, and some Targets, but not all of them carry all the colors. I'm not sure if Leap Flog will become part of their core line, so if you see it near you I'd get it while you can. It's one of those trending colors you're not going to want to miss out on!

I've only seen Zoyas at Ulta, but if you don't have one of those near you, you can always find them on the Zoya web site. I tend to wait for a coupon to get them at Ulta, and with an account at the Zoya web site you can often find a deal.

Click the link to create a new Zoya account and you'll get a coupon for a FREE Bottle of Zoya Nail PolishTIP: If you use this coupon and add 2 more polishes to your order, you get free shipping too! The coupon will appear in the "My Coupons/ Promos" section of your "My Account" Page.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aphrodite Lacquers- Romance Novel Collection

Ok so it's Fancy Friday but instead of showing you guys ONE super fancy lacquer, I'm showing you THREE semi-fancy lacquers. So I have a few polishes from Aphrodite Lacquers Romance Novel Collection today. I love how Aphrodite creator, Rebecca, makes subtle color changes or glitter shape shifts between her polishes to really make them seem like a cohesive collection. 

All of these colors have very lightly tinted bases. The color comes from each of these polishes being packed with microglitter. I wasn't sure if the microglitter would provide coverage or not, so I showed swatches with them on their own as well as layered over matching bases. Each swatch shows three coats of Aphrodite on its own on my pointer and ring fingers, and one coat over a matching color on my middle and pinky fingers.

Here is Enchant- An aqua jelly base packed full of green microglitter and white glitter

I layered Enchant over two coats of Revlon- Posh

Here we have TemptAn blue jelly base packed full of sky blue microglitter and white glitter.

I layered Tempt over two coats of Zoya- Song

Last we have ForbiddenAn purple jelly base packed full of amethyst microglitter and white glitter

I layered Forbidden over two coats of Zoya- Suri

Pros- As it turned out, each of the polishes had pretty good jelly coverage on their own. But I still prefer them over the matching bases for that extra pop
Cons- Even though I like the jelly covered of these polishes on their own, they show a lot of VNL and I know how many of you hate that.
Overall- Great glitter coverage and placement, interesting glitter combos. Go buy them! And like Aphrodite on Facebook too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Everybeauty Boutique Misty Rocks

Erin reviewed another Everybeauty Boutique polish in July, Columbus Circle, a glitter that was layered over Misty Rocks. Because its beauty was hidden under the splendor of that glitter we decided that it needed its own post. I mean, with a polish this beautiful, why would you want to cover it up?
Everybeauty Misty Rocks
Misty Rocks is a great name for this polish because the color reminds me of the ocean in winter and it made me feel like a mermaid wearing it (and I can't even swim!) It's a greenish teal that I truly haven't seen in any other polish (and you know how many blues and greens I have!) and it's striking in its beauty. It also has the extra sparkle of a bazillion little micro glitters. Seriously, this is a glitter bomb without the hassle of trying to remove a glitter bomb. The combination of the aqua-teal polish with the gold micro glitter is truly a classic.
Look at all that glitter!!!! Like bubbles rising to the surface.
On its own it dries to a semi-matte slightly textured finish which is absolutely lovely, but I still had to see how it looked all shiny. I added a top coat of Gealous to make it smooth and glossy — perfection.
Misty Rocks with a glossy top coat.
Everybeauty Boutique is a shop on Etsy and Misty Rocks sells for $6 + shipping. Go grab a bottle before it sells out!

**This polish was provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review**

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blue Monday: Zoya Kristen

Kristen was the first Zoya polish I ever bought, way back when the Feel collection first came out this past winter and I have no idea why it's taken me so long to review it! Possibly because at that time of year I was still so taken with taupes and dusty roses, or maybe because this felt too pastel for winter. In any case, now that I've picked up a few others from that collection and loved them (Kendal, with Avery and Megan still to review) I figured I'd better get through my pastels before summer is over and I switch back over to the darker jewel-tones of fall and winter. I used to think that their Feel collection was the best one ever until they came out with the Diva and Designer collections, so they just keep getting better and better!
Zoya Kristen
This is a chalky powder blue in the bottle but it doesn't appear chalky on the nails — it's a completely pure pastel blue with no grayed out tones to it at all, unlike the others in the collection, so it appears a bit brighter. In sunlight it makes my skin appear a milky white, but indoors they get a redder tone, but not quite lobster hands. I don't know what it is with Zoya and their colors that I get such a range of colors depending on the light!

Application was a little tricky, with bald spots in the first coat that were mostly covered by the second, but a few areas needed some extra attention, although it still covered in two coats. I used a new bottle of Seche Vite as a top coat and noticed some shrinkage at the tips, which was not usually a problem with Zoyas so I don't know if it's this particular color, the new bottle of Seche Vite, or what. I rarely wear a polish for more than a day or two so it doesn't really bother me.
Label shot.
Kristen might still be found at Ulta but if you can't find it, it's available for $8 at their website along with the rest of the collection. I may have to order Carey while it's still there, since I haven't been able to find it anywhere else.

Click the link to create a new Zoya account and you'll get a coupon for a FREE Bottle of Zoya Nail PolishTIP: If you use this coupon and add 2 more polishes to your order, you get free shipping too! The coupon will appear in the "My Coupons/ Promos" section of your "My Account" Page.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

OPI Schnapps Out Of It!

The second polish I got from the Germany collection (the first being Berlin There Done That) is called Schnapps Out Of It!, which every other blog is describing as a terra cotta color, although OPI describes it as mauve. (Mauve??? It's not like any mauve I've ever seen!) It is that, and maybe even a rusty red-brown, but what has me flummoxed is that this collection has a light beige color that they've named Don't Pretzel My Buttons. If you had to name this polish, wouldn't you choose a pretzel name for it? I totally would! I think they must have mixed up the labels when they were naming the batches...
OPI Schnapps Out Of It!
Since I'm trying to avoid calling this a terra cotta with sparkles, I'm going to say this is like a toasted pretzel with salty flecks throughout. Unfortunately, much like Essie and their shimmers, the little gold flecks are more apparent in the bottle than they are on the nail, but at least they are there in enough number that they do give that extra snap! when you look at it, you just need a magnifying glass to see why. And, as usual, application was a breeze with no problem with bald spots or clean up. I do love the OPI polishes! Two coats over a base coat, but this time I used OutTheDoor for my quick-dry top coat because I need to get a new bottle of Seche Vite. I didn't see it on my nails, but in the photos I can see brush strokes — my apologies for that, but I didn't feel like adding another top coat and taking more photos.
Schnapps? Nein! Pretzel? Ja!
I'm really surprised at how much I am loving this collection, especially as my initial reaction when I saw the first swatches of it was sort of meh. In a side-by-side view of the bottles, German-icure is a dupe for Royal Rajah Ruby, which I already have, so I didn't even bother with that one, but after trying Berlin There Done That and Schnapps Out Of It!, I know I'm going to want more. Thank goodness for Ulta coupons and rewards points!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Windestine Friday! - Secret Garden

Hello!  It's Windestine Friday today at Polished Cousins!  So let's check out Secret Garden. Because I am picky and demanding discerning, when I saw the advance pictures of Secret Garden I knew I needed it, without the heart glitter.  Call me a glitter purist or whatever but I don't like hearts, stars, moons, flowers, etc in my polish.  But I loved the color and look of Secret Garden.  The amazing Freda whipped me up a bottle without the hearts!  

Windestine describes it as:  Secret Garden consists of tiny white hearts among pastel green & pastel purple hex glitter in various size.  The base is clear and the polish is packed full of glitter but not obnoxiously packed either.  My swatches show one coat of Secret Garden over a few different bases.  First up, Secret Garden over Essie Splash of Grenadine.  This manicure is so feminine and delicate.  That's my best description of this polish.  I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee it.  I love how you can clearly see that the glitter is pastel green and purple.  You can even see the color in the mini glitter. 

Beautiful, evenly dispersed 

Underwear shot

Love how Windestine changes the font to correspond to the name of the polish.  This is a total secret garden font!

Glitter love!

Here are a few shots of Secret Garden over some other colors.  Um, I love them all so much that I'm going to use up this bottle doing different manis!  
Middle Finger:  Wet and Wild Black Creme
Ring:  OPI I Don't Give A Rotterdam 
Pinky:  Sally Hansen Petal Pusher 
I think I'll try it over Color Club Hydrangea Kiss next.  I love the look of the blue but I want the shimmer in Secret Garden to stand out more and Rotterdam is taking it over.  

 Pros:  This polish is beautiful, the glitter is perfectly distributed, spreads evenly and lays flat
Cons:  I can't think of one.  Now that my bottle has no hearts, it's perfect (for me)!
Overall:  Like I said before, Windestine's lastest collection is killing it!

Windestine is available on Big Cartel for $6-8 for a full size bottle and Secret Garden is available!  

***This polish was provided to me for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.***