Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zoya Irresistible Collection

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

Hi everyone!  Zoya released three amazing collections for Summer 2013 - Irresistible, Stunning and Summer Pixie Dusts.  The Irresistible Collection is made up of gorgeous foil metallic shades that complement the colors in the Stunning creme collection.  I can't get over how much I love them all.  I used Rejuvacote base, 2 coats of polish and Out The Door top coat for all the swatches shown.  Let's get to the pics, I have a ton!

Amy is described as:  a full-coverage, red orange foil metallic.  This is a hot color for summer!  

My first thought when I saw Amy was this looks like China Glaze Riveting from the Hunger Games collection.  So here is a quick comparison shot.  Amy is on my ring finer and Riveting is on my pinkie and middle.  Not dupes, but close.  Amy is definitely more complex and has more gold in it.  If you are going to get one, get Amy

Bobbi is described as:   a full-coverage, hot magenta pink foil metallic.  I didn't really love this in the bottle even though this is totally an Erin Color but when I got it on my nails, I changed my mind.  Super sexy!

Hazel is described as:   a full-coverage, blue green foil metallic.  Hazel was a surprise favorite for me.  I am not a blue polish girl by any means but Hazel is just so cool.  I see almost a copper foil in it.  I really love this. 

Kerry is described as:   a full-coverage, yellow gold foil metallic.  Kerry was also a not so surprise favorite.  I love gold and I'm really in love with bright yellow gold right now.  This one is stunning!

Rikki is described as:   a full-coverage fern green foil metallic.  I'm not a green polish fan but I still liked the way this turned out.  Fern green is a great color description.  

Tinsley is described as:   a full-coverage, rose gold foil metallic.  Oh, Tinsley!  How do I love thee??  Hands down, my favorite of the collection!  I wore this polish for four days and I really had no desire to take it off.  It's edgy but girly and rose gold just DOES it.  Love!

Pros:  As usual, Zoya impresses!  I love the range of colors.  The foil metallic screams 'sparkle summer' to me.
Cons:  My only con is the removal.  The fine glitter particles will stick on your skin for a day or so afterwards.  I used Qtica Sugar Scrub to get it off and was happy with the results. 
Overall:  I love them!!!  

Zoya retails for $8 and is available on zoya.com and in stores at Ulta, nationwide. 

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.

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

Monday, April 29, 2013

Alessandro- Sweet Blackberry

Today I have a gorgeous new polish to show you guys from Alessandro. Alessandro is partnered with Tweezerman and this new line of nail products. I was pretty excited to get the opportunity to review one of the colors for you.

Sweet Blackberry is a deep dusty rose with a silver shimmer throughout. With the first coat, I was so happy to see that I got the same shimmer from the bottle on the nail! The brush is wide and not too fat and the formula of this polish was AM MAZ ZING. Seriously, guys. Buttery and smooth, it practically poured itself on my nail and I barely had to do any cleanup. I used two coats for the swatch below.

Pros- Amazing formula and bottle shimmer showing up 100% on the nail?? I can't WAIT to try more.

Cons- The square top of this bottle does not come off to reveal a smaller top underneath like most square tops do. If you don't like working with larger tops, this might bother you. I thought the dents in the bottle helped a lot too.

Overall- I was so pleasantly surprised by this polish. The color is not my favorite on me but I was so impressed that I can't wait to try more!

You can purchase Alessandro directly from their website. Keep with with products by liking them on Facebook, and following them on Twitter and Instagram.

**The product featured in this post was provided for an honest review**

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - Candy Stripe

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday!!  I have a super fun mani to share with you today.  I was thrilled when we got the opportunity to review Sally Hansen Nail Salon Effect Real Nail Polish Strips.  I've never used a nail polish strip before and since I'm TERRIBLE at nail art I was so excited to look like I had done something creative on my nails with basically zero effort. You just pick one that fits your nail shape (there are a ton of sizes in each package), peel off a backing and press on to your nail.  File the free edge and you're good to go!

The Candy Stripe set is a gorgeous silver and pinkish lavender ombre.  I knew I wanted to use them as accent nails so I did my ring and middle finger with Candy Stripe and the rest of my nails with 3 coats of Essie To Buy Or Not To Buy.  I used no base or top coat with this manicure and wore it for 3 days.  The nail strips still looked completely perfect but my polish chipped on my other nails so had to take it off!  Removal was simple, just regular nail polish remover and it comes right off as easy as any polish.

I love this mani so much!  I have a set of pink leopard print nail strips that I'm dying to use.  Look out for that post soon!  Don't forget to enter our giveaway!

***This product was sent to me for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.***

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Butter London- Shandy

***This polish was provided for review.  All opinions are my own.*** 
Good morning! Today I have another gorgeous butter LONDON creme polish to show you guys. butter LONDON knows how to do cremes. The formula is one of my favorites. Shandy is a little bit yellow leaning as a nude, but it still definitely works next to my skin tone. I used butter LONDON Nail Foundation Base Coat, two coats of Shandy, and one coat of butter LONDON Hardware P.D. Topcoat for the swatches below.

I wanted to try to spice this nude mani up a bit so I added a thin French tip with butter LONDON Jack the Lad. What do you think? My ring finger ended up a little crooked but I like it overall!

Pros- Easy creamy smooth typical butter LONDON formula. I love it.

Cons- This is obviously not an ideal "nude" for everyone. I'd love to see it against different skin tones.

Overall- Another win from butter LONDON. Give me all the cremes!!

You can purchase butter LONDON directly from their website, and at Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom stores. Keep up with the latest collections and sales by liking butter LONDON on Facebook!

***This polish was provided for review.  All opinions are my own.*** 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Essie Miss Fancy Pants

I've already compared Essie Miss Fancy Pants with Milani Bare to Wear, but I think it deserves a post of its own (and maybe another comparison, because I need to rationalize my obsession with grays.) I can never have too many neutral grays because they coordinate differently with my wardrobe. OK, who am I kidding? I just love the color and I can't resist when I find a new one, all right? Anything wrong with that? Huh? Huh? I thought so...
Essie Miss Fancy Pants. Can you blame me for loving it?
The warmer neutral grays seem to go better with my skin tone, surprisingly, and I have several of the lighter shades, as noted in my Bare to Wear post, where I also compared that polish to OPI Berlin There, Done That, one of my favorite grays. So how do these two compare to each other?
The start of a beautiful ombré!
They are very similar in tone, with Berlin There, Done That being just a few shades darker. Both were an easy two coats to full opacity and a breeze to apply so I have absolutely no preference based on formula. That makes it so hard to decide which to wear! I also have Essie Jazz and Master Plan, so they would make a great ombré except that Master Plan is a slightly cooler gray than the others. I think that means I need to find a warm neutral gray in the same tone as Master Plan. Isn't it nice to have something to look forward to? They're such wonderful palate cleansers after I've been swatching a collection of brighter colors.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Polished Cousins Blogiversary Giveaway!!!

*All of the products in this post were either donated or purchased by us*
Guess what, Lovelies?? We hit our One Year Blogiversary back in February and it snuck up on us so fast! We've been working since then to get this awesome giveaway set up for all of our amazing readers! So even though this is a bit late, it's still here to celebrate our first year of blogging as well as some of our favorite products.

We've got three prizes set up and ready to go. I'm sorry to say that this giveaway is for our US readers only. With all of the international shipping issues that have been going on, we'll have to figure out a way to do a separate giveaway for our international readers soon. I promise we'll come up with something!

Prize #1- Sation and Mont Bleu!

Prize #1 includes: (from top to bottom) Trench Coat, Midnight Blue, I'm so Ogre It, Blue Sky's the Limit, Queenie in a Bottle, Seriously Slate, Strawberries, Electrical Storm, Super Nail-Tural Powers, Stirring Silver, Chocolate Chip Resistant, Paint Some Sugar on Me, a pair of rainbow stud ear rings from Mont Bleu.

Prize #2 

Prize #2 includes: (From left to right) Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment, Julep Laura, China Glaze Pink-ie Promise, Windestine When <3's Collide, Zoya Nyx, Zoya Dahlia, Zoya Godiva, Hits Zeus, Nail Pattern Boldness A Good Man Goes to War, a pair of rainbow stud ear rings from Mont Bleu.

Prize #3 Sinful Colors and Mani Basics

Prize #3 includes: Seche Vite and Seche Clear, Sinful Colors Matte Nirvana, Matte Top Coat, Show Stopping, Cinderella, Winter Wonder, Smokin, Fantasy, Sweet Tooth, a pair of rainbow stud ear rings from Mont Bleu, a cleanup brush and a small glass container for your cleanup acetone.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bondi New York - Chasing The Sun

Hi! I was super excited for a number of reasons when we got the opportunity to review a polish from Bondi New York.  Bondi New York is a five free brand, free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, DBP and Toluene.  The collection is available as 20 fashion forward colors and I picked Chasing the Sun, a hot hot hot orange to review. They will be launching two collections per year, as well as occasional limited edition collaborations.  Most importantly, 100% of the net profit from the sale of polish is donated to their own non profit which makes grants to charitable organizations.  Amazing!  

Chasing the Sun is a traffic cone orange polish with a great creamy formula.  I wore this with CND Sticky base, 2 coats of Chasing the Sun and topped it with Seche Vite.  Bondi New York also makes a long wearing top coat, I'm Vers to be used with their polishes.  I thought I would need to use three coats but it leveled out nicely and only needed two.  I really loved the rubberized cap and the square bottle, so chic! This is a perfect summer pedicure color!

Orange is such a hot color for summer and I love the sensibilities behind the brand.  Great formula, donates to charity and 5 free?  You really can't get any better! 

Bondi New York is available on their website and retails for $15 per bottle.  Make sure you like their Facebook page for updates and specials!

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

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hard Candy — Part 3

**These polishes were provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review.
All opinions are my own.**

Finishing off our reviews of the latest Hard Candy collections (Erin gave you Part 1 and Anna gave you Part 2) I have three more polishes for you. I'll start off with my favorite of the three, Lil Lilac from the Itzy Glitz collection. I'd say this was more of a pink than a lilac but that's probably because it was so packed with gold mica that it changed my perception of the color. It almost has a duo chrome quality to it if you look at how the color changes with the angle of my nails, but the gold highlights nearly overpower it all! This is one gala polish! Two coats over a clear base coat here with no top coat.
Lil Lilac from the Itzy Glitz collection.
Next is Cotton Candy Pink from the Candy Sprinkles collection. I used two coats over a clear base coat but I really think I could easily stopped with one coat. The pink jelly base is pigmented enough to show color and the sprinkles are plentiful enough that there is sufficient coverage with a single coat. The only reason I put on a second coat is because there were some bare areas on a couple of nails, so with more careful application I think a single coat would be the most attractive. This has two coats of Gealous to try to smooth out the texture and I think a single coat of the polish wouldn't be as textured. I really liked this one!
Cotton Candy Pink from the Candy Sprinkles collection.
Finally, here is my least favorite of the three, Fun n' Festive from the Crystal Confetti collection. Truthfully, though, it's not fair to even call it a least "favorite" because I thought this was a huge disappointment. In the bottle it looks all holiday festive with tiny green circles, medium hexes that shift from amber to red, and large gold hexes, all suspended in a dark green jelly, but when you try to apply it, it was thick as molasses and difficult to place the glitters. Used alone it looked like disco sludge so I tried a single layer over two coats of SinfulColors Seaweed. That lightened the color up a bit but placement of the larger hexes was nearly impossible and I had to avoid the ends of my nails to keep it from pooling into a thick mess. A big fail with this one, unfortunately, because it had so much potential.
Fun n' Festive from the Crystal Confetti collection.
Pros: selling exclusively at Walmart, these polishes sell for a very reasonable $3.97 and the Itzy Glitz and Candy Sprinkles collections are reasonable copies of more expensive lines.

Cons: selling exclusively at Walmart, that means it's hit-or-miss as far as finding them and, if you do find them, having them not be opened and smeared all over the display.

Overall: I like the bottle shape and brush, but as Anna pointed out, these bottles are 0.26 oz of product compared to the standard 0.5 oz so you're getting about half the amount. (But how often have you actually emptied a bottle of polish, wink, wink?)

**These polishes were provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review.
All opinions are my own.**

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fancy Friday: Mont-Bleu Glass Files

**This product was provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review.
All opinions are my own.**

I don't suppose you can get fancier than being encrusted with Swarovski crystals, can you? (Unless maybe it's real diamonds...) I must confess that before I received this glass file, my experience with them had been limited to one that I had seen in a bin by the checkout counter at a discount store, and I wasn't terribly impressed with it. Then I tried a name brand that was better, but not amazing. I now realize that judging all glass files by a $2 impulse item is like judging bakery cupcakes by a cellophane-wrapped lunchbox treat — not even in the same universe!

Mont-Bleu glass files are made in the Czech Republic, an area known for its fine crystals and glassware. Aside from the pretty-pretty factor of the pink and white Swarovski crystals along the top, the size and thinness of the file are perfect for shaping my tiny nails. The grit, if you want to call it that, is so fine that I don't even need to buff the edges of my nails after filing, yet it's strong enough to take down length easily. After using it exclusively for several weeks, my nails have never been in better shape! (And dare I admit that I saw back-and-forth and not in one direction, as is generally advised?)
Mont-Bleu glass file with Swarovski crystals
I was provided with the 135mm/5.31" file but Mont-Bleu also makes them in two other sizes; 90mm/3.54", and 195mm/7.68". They have a variety of painted and jeweled designs along with clear or color alone and they will even make custom files with your company logo! Definitely visit their website to learn all about how the files are made and see what other lovelies they make — I know I was fascinated.
The file comes in a velvet slipcase.
This is the mid-size 135mm/5.31" file that sells for 10,00€.
Pros: the quality of the filing surface is so fine that it almost sealed the nail edge. Impressive!

Cons: As of now, they can only be purchased from their online shop, so you have to deal with the exchange rate and international shipping. Also, I wish it came in a durable case instead of a velvet slipcase so I could throw it in my purse without worrying about it breaking. It stays on my dresser to be safe!

Overall: I have to say that this is the highest quality glass file I've ever used, so much so that I'm tempted to order several other items from their shop. I hope they eventually become available locally!

**This product was provided by the manufacturer for an unbiased review.
All opinions are my own.**

Shimmer Polish- Part 4

Good morning lovelies! We've shown you a bunch of Shimmer Polishes lately and today I have even more for you. Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 too! These are my kind of glitter bombs. Small glitter, great color combos and even coverage. Love it. For the most part, these girls speak for themselves. On to the swatches!

Here is Karen, one coat layered over BB Couture Bunny Boo Boo. 

This is Kim, I love the dark blue glitters here. One coat over BB Couture Bunny Bum.

This is one coat of Julie over BB Couture Honey Bunny. 

I wanted to show you these undies alone first because I love them. Two coats of Julep Simone.

One coat of Mary over Simone. Mary is the only polish from this set of swatches that has a tinted base. The larger black hexes add a fun ladybug-ness to it!

I have Christina here to show you two ways. I thought Christina was a perfect "peacock feather" glitter bomb but I was wrong! No idea how I didn't notice the red glitters mixed in there. I love the look though. Here is a glitter gradient of Christina over Essie Sugar Daddy. At the end I decided to try and get Christina to full coverage on one nail. It took 3 coats. The nail looks thick because it's three coats of Christina over 3 coats of Sugar Daddy!

Pros- Easy application, complex yet simple glitter bombs. I'm happy!

Cons- None that I can think of. Unless you just don't like glitter!

Overall- I love seeing all of the different combos that Shimmer comes up with and I love how each one is a woman's name. I can't wait for an Anna to come along :)

Keep up with the latest additions to the Shimmer collection by following their blog, liking them on Facebook. You can purchase the polishes directly from Shimmer through their Etsy shop.