Monday, April 30, 2012

Blue Monday: Nubar Boyfriend Jeans

Since I have so many blue polishes, I thought I might showcase one each week for a Blue Monday post, starting with Nubar's Boyfriend Jeans. As usual, I found out about the Les Jeans de Chanel collection about a year after they came and went and fell in love with Blue Boy. But, fortunately for me, in that time period Nubar released dupes of the collection and I was able to get all three colors for less than the cost of one Chanel! (I love a bargain...)
Here's the whole set in its somewhat battered plastic case.
I really like the faded denim color of Boyfriend Jeans — it's different enough from the other blues in my collection in that it's a more muted shade of a medium blue. I also liked that it's a creme, so I can either wear it as is or embellish it with any number of effects polishes layered over it. Essie's Luxeffects and Finger Paints Special Effects come to mind...
The tone makes it almost a neutral, don't you think?
The formula was a bit thinner than I'm used to, which meant that it leveled well, but did bleed into my cuticles a bit, as you can see from my photos. I find blue to be a really hard color to clean up because the pigments show so strongly against my skin color. I used three coats here, with my usual Seche Vite topcoat. It wore pretty well through two days of work, although I did find that it began to look faded for some reason by the time I took it off. Maybe I was just bored with it at that point.
Label shot.
Bottle shot, with the rest behind. Yes, I should have put the lighter one on the right. Shoot me.
I really like that polish companies are duping the designer brands, for a number of reasons. First of all, naturally, is the price. A polish would have to be amazing and unique for me to justify spending upwards of $25 on a single bottle. Also, I hardly ever empty a bottle of polish, so it's not worth spending the money when I can get "close enough" for so much less. I understand that formulas are different and that there are little extras, like subtle shimmers, that might be in the original, but it's rarely been enough of a draw for me to shell out the big bucks. So far, KOH Blue Universe has been the only one to even tempt me, and that's only because I have a friend who is heading over to the Netherlands for a few weeks and she has promised to look for it, if possible.

But never fear — I have plenty of blues to get through the rest of the year, at least!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fancy Friday- butter LONDON- The Black Knight

For this week's Fancy Friday (the one day a week where we show off our fancy $10+ lacquers), I have another butter LONDON color for you.

The Black Knight

butter LONDON describes The Black Knight as "A dark dazzler from butter LONDON, this glitter fusion lacquer contains black, pink, blue, and silver suspended in a black base."

The Black Knight is pretty gorgeous. But it is thick. Too thick. Bad thick. I knew from the last time I wore this color that it needed some underwear. One coat doesn't give full opacity and building up this polish makes inches of layers on your nails. Plus the black base ends up swallowing a lot of glitter and it dries dull on the nail. The glitter dries gritty too. One coat of The Black Knight over  a black creme is perfect.

Now, I started with the basics. The fancy basics. I picked up butter LONDON's Tops and Tails kit a couple of weeks ago and this is my first time trying it with a butter LONDON polish. I tried it once with another brand and it didn't go so well. I'll save that review for another time.

Tops and Tails set is available for $25

The square caps come off
As far as black goes, everyone reading this needs to throw out their go-to black polish RIGHT NOW and go buy Sinful Colors Black on Black. It's $.99 this week at Walgreens! Only until tomorrow (4/28/12) though, so go quick!

Oh did I mention it's also a ONE-COATER? Yeah. The pictures below are one coat, no top coat. Perfect underwear for layering polishes AND perfect for stamping. And it retails for $1.99 so even if you miss the sale, you're good.

ONE bald spot. Not bad for a black polish under $2
After my black underwear dried (ha!), I added one coat of The Black Knight. I took a few pictures before adding a top coat so you guys can see the difference.

Kind of dull for glitter, no?

Since I already knew The Black Knight dries super gritty (seriously, there's a sandpaper thing going on here), I added one coat of Gelous and then finished with bL's Hardwear top coat.

Even after Gelous and a top coat, it's a little bumpy
So overall, this isn't my favorite polish. It looked so promising in the bottle too! My Aunt Judy bought it for me when it was released over the holidays. I picked it out! I had such high hopes! I do love the look of it over black because microglitters are pretty much always awesome. But at the same time I feel like there's a similar glitter polish out there with a clear base and that if I layered it over black it would look the same. It also probably wouldn't be as bumpy.

The good news? The Hardwear topcoat worked out much better on a butter LONDON polish. It was dry to the touch in minutes and rock hard about an hour later.

butter LONDON polishes and treatments are available at butter LONDON's website, Nordstrom, and Ulta

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Barielle- Falling Star

I picked up my first Barielles when Hautelook had them for sale for $4 a piece a few weeks ago. I also bought Elle's Spell, Buddha-ful and Slate of Affairs. Any swatch requests?

Barielle describes this color as "marine blue with gold glitter." Well, I'm sorry Barielle but that's just not true! I'll give them the marine blue, fine. But I'm pretty sure we can all see that the glitter in this polish is copper, not gold. That's what makes it so awesome! When was the last time you saw gold glitter in a polish? Probably yesterday. Maybe even on your nails right now. When was the last time you saw copper glitter in a polish? Right. That's what I thought.

My failed macro shot. Welcome to Blurrytown, USA!

As far as formula goes, Falling Star is thick. The first coat just wasn't happening. The glitter was sticking to my nail and the thick polish was globbing around it making lots of blobs and bald spots. I had to take it off, add a few drops of thinner and start again. After it was thinned out a bit, I achieved the mani above in two easy coats. I applied a coat of Gelous and topped it off with Seche Vite. From other swatches of Falling Star I had seen online, I could tell the glitter dries a bit bumpy. Seche Vite caused a little shrinkage at the tips though.

You can buy Barielle from their website for $8 a piece (and Im pretty sure it's always Buy One Get One 50% Off too!). Don't forget to like them on Facebook to get updates on new colors and products.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lac Attack - Goldenrod

Today I have Lac Attack Goldenrod for you.  Goldenrod is a bright, golden yellow polish.  I would call it a buttery gold shimmery-not quite a frost.

Lac Attack describes Goldenrod as:  Goldenrod is a delicate golden yellow polish with a beautiful shimmer. Opaque in 2-3 coats, it is a gorgeous spring color and perfect for layering.

In the bottle this polish looks very sheer but it built up to opacity in 2 easy coats. I used one coat of China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat, two coats of Goldenrod and one coat of Out the Door.  I'm not happy that the pictures show bubbles on my middle finger because they were not there in person.  The application was smooth and the polish dried quickly.  I will definitely try layering this over black or red sometime soon.  Or maybe turquoise like Robin's gorgeous golden turquoise mani.

The bubbles on my middle finger were not there in real life!

Shimmery butter

So pretty and sunny

Bottle Porn!

Lac Attack polishes are available through Etsy.  Check them out and let me know what you think! 

**This product was provided to me for an honest review.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lac Attack- Peacock-y

 Lac Attack sent us a few samples of her Wild Thing Spring 2012 Collection to review. Here is Peacock-y! The Etsy description says that this polish is filled with red, pink, gold and blue glitter. Any glitter fanatics probably need to have this in their collection.

Here is the bottle standing upright. I obviously had NO issues with glitters sinking to the bottom!

 I wanted to try this on a bare nail first so I could figure out how I wanted to use it. Pretty great glitter coverage in one easy coat! There was no need to manipulate the glitter at all.

I immediately thought Peacock-y would look great with OPI- Houston, We Have a Purple from their Texas collection. It's a great raspberry jelly. The swatches below are 3 coats of OPI with one coat of Peacock-y.

Why, oh why did I not put another coat of Houston, We Have a Purple over top? This would have been a perfect jelly sandwich and I totally missed the opportunity! I guess I'll just have to use it again :)

I really love this glitter and I can't wait to see what else Lac Attack has up her sleeve in the future!

Lac Attack - Perfect Passion Fruit

We recently received some awesome nail mail — polishes from Lac Attack's Wild Thing Spring 2012 Collection!  We decided that we would all take one and review it.  I like to look at swatches on different people with different skin tones and lighting before I make polish shopping decisions...maybe you all do too?  Or maybe I'm the only crazy person who googles as many swatches of the same polish as possible?

The first polish I'm going to show you is Perfect Passion Fruit.  I'll be honest, when I opened this polish I thought it looked... strange.  Lac Attack describes this polish as:  Perfect Passion Fruit — new addition and sister polish to the popular Jewel of the Nile neon glitter. This is a bright pink jelly base with whitish pink, neon pink, purple, and orange glitter is the most juicy — just like passion fruit!

I have nothing like it in my collection.  I thought it would be a layering polish but it's not and I love it.  It is seriously such a cool polish.  These pictures are China Glaze base, 2 coats of Perfect Passion Fruit and one coat of Gelous and one coat of Out The Door. It was definitely a little glitter hungry and maybe could have stood one more coat of OTD but it was fine without it.  Application wise, the formula was great.  I didn't have to manipulate the glitter and it flowed on smooth and easy.  This polish is unique and cool.  This post is picture heavy because I wanted to make sure everyone understands this polish.  I'm taking polish love to a whole new level, people.

I said I would moisturize better.  And I lied.  Get off me. 

Wearing Passion fruit on my fingers.  So in love with the jelly neon base.

Glitter shot!

Do you have anything like this in your stash?  Because I sure as hell didn't!  Points for originality.

Bottle Porn

Lac Attack polishes are available through Etsy.  Check them out and let me know what you think!  There are a few more that I've added to my wishlist.

**This product was provided to me for an honest review.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Turquoise effect!

As the weather warms and the days lengthen, I wanted to get some brighter colors on my nails so I went for the very beachy Now You Sea Me by L'Oreal. It's the perfect shade of turquoise! (I read somewhere that turquoise is the best color for bridesmaids dresses because it's flattering to almost any skin tone. Just so you know...)
L'Oreal Now You Sea Me in full sun
L'Oreal Now You Sea Me in shade
Isn't it gorgeous? So summery! Makes me want to don a starched cotton frock! The application was pretty good, although I did see some bald spots on my ring finger. I'd planned an accent layer, though, so I wasn't going to obsess about it.
L'Oreal Now You Sea Me & Essie As Gold As It Gets
Anna and Erin had been raving about the Essie Luxeffects so, naturally, I just had to go scout them out in my area. It was already on clearance at my CVS so I couldn't find the Shine Of The Times that Erin liked so much (must have been really popular!) but I grabbed As Gold As It Gets because, well... clearance! I thought it might make a nice accent nail over the blue because I'd seen it layered over Zoya Kristen over on Polishaholic and thought it looked amazing (but I didn't want to copy that exactly.) I've always used flakies over darker polishes and never thought to use them on lighter ones, let alone a gold over blue, so I was interested to see the outcome.
A single accent nail
I absolutely loved the effect! It looked like the raw turquoise stones you find at those trading post kinds of tourist shops. I loved it so much I had to do all my nails and not just an accent.
In all its full splendor!
Even though this started out as a summery kind of manicure, with the gold flakes I can see it as a great holiday treatment, too. I wore this for a full three days before I started to get bored with it, and even then it was more because the tip wear was starting to get noticeable (but don't forget how hard I am on manicures, what with all the keyboard tapping and all.) I think I need to go out and get some sundresses or something to go with this...