Friday, May 31, 2013

Shimmer - Liana

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

Happy Friday!  Today, I have a fun accent nail mani for you.  I love accent nails.  They just never get old to me.  I wanted to do a little "good girl gone bad" type mani so I used Zoya Piper, a sweet dusty pink on all my nails except my ring fingers.  Then used 2 coats of Shimmer Liana on them.  Liana is described as:  a midnight, navy blue glitter polish.  This is one of the rare Shimmers that has a tinted base so I got great, deep coverage in 2 coats.

 What do you think?  I really love how this turned out.  Sweet and bad ass at the same time.

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.

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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Frederic Malle- Carnal Flower - Dominique Ropion

Today I have something completely different to show you. This is a big jump from our usual nail polish posts but I’m excited to share it with you. I was recently given the opportunity to review a perfume and since I had never done that before, I figured it was the perfect chance to expand our horizons here at Polished Cousins.

First I’ll show you the full press release for the perfume. Keep in mind that I am NOT a perfume guru, so I’ll add my own review at the bottom of the post.

Carnal Flower
Dominique Ropion

What makes a floral perfume outstanding?
- Sex appeal that never crosses the subtle boundary with vulgarity ? - Lavishness that does not overwhelm ? - A capacity to bond perfectly with the wearer’s skin and still remain true to nature ?
Only the greatest perfumes resolve all these contradictions.
With Tuberose, nature offers her own take on dramatic olfactive clashes. These pretty flowers exude a mixture of flowershop like freshness and carnal opulence: Waves of watery green notes wash a raw spicy and Eucalyptus- infused heart that lays over a soft milky background.
This natural contradiction has fascinated generations of perfumers, and in 1948, the legendary Germaine Cellier composed the standard of this perfume genre. Since then, most noses have settled for creating variants of her mythical formula.
I have always been intrigued by tuberose but was very opposed to reproducing a vintage composition, so I sought a perfumer who was up to the challenge of reinventing this classic perfumery theme.
Then Dominique Ropion - probably the greatest living experts in the field of flower scents, called. He had just smelled a new purified natural tuberose absolute that he thought was miraculous.
His idea was to forget Cellier’s work. Instead, starting from the latest high- tech analysis of the odor of living Tuberose, he proposed to use whatever product was necessary, regardless of its availability or cost, to get a formula that was close to nature.
After a year of perfecting the formula it was time to transform a beautiful smell into a perfume – to create a fragrance that could mix with the wearer’s skin scent.
My frequent stays in California, where the odor of Tuberose and Gardenia is everywhere, were very inspiring and led me to encourage Dominique to reinforce the solar and carnal character of the flower. His answer was to exaggerate some aspects already existing in the natural scent, such as Coconut and Salycilates and to add a trace of musk.
After two years and many attempts, we achieved what we think is the right balance: “Carnal Flower” is Ropion’s new interpretation of this olfactory Himalaya.

No other fragrance features so much natural Tuberose Absolute.

Composition :

Ylang Ylang

Tuberose absolute DM
Orange blossom absolute
Coconut (Ald C18)
White Musc cocktail

50ml Spray : $ 195 , 100ml Spray: $ 290


I received a sample of this perfume, not a full sized bottle. The sample comes in a nice little sprayer so it was easy to test out on a piece of paper before spraying my wrist. I can be very sensitive to certain fragrances so I wanted to make sure I could handle it before spraying it on myself! 

The perfume itself is a bold yellow tone which makes me think it's filled with natural oils and not a lot of fake colors, like some perfumes can be. The full sized bottle has a gorgeous bold yet simple label that I think would stand out on anyone's vanity.

The first thing that hits me as soon as I spray this perfume is TUBEROSE. Like a smack in the face. It's soft and floral. I can definitely smell the jasmine, melon and orange blossom too. But tuberose is definitely in the front.

Tuberose has a very vintage and classic feel to me and most people either love it or hate it. I, personally, don't really care for it but at the same time this perfume is kind of nice. So hard to describe!

Frederic Malle makes a high quality perfume and it comes with a high end price to match. If you're a lover of tuberose, I'd definitely recommend stopping by a Barney's (if you have one nearby, that is!) and giving Carnal Flower a try.

If you know you love the scent of tuberose and have some money burning a hole in your pocket, you can purchase Carnal Flower directly from the Frederic Malle website. In addition to the perfume, you can also purchase this scent in a body butter and a hair mist. I've never tried a perfume hair mist before but I think it sounds awesome!
What do you think? Have you ever splurged on a perfume before??
**The product featured in this post was provided for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

butter LONDON Slapper and Dupe Alert!

One of the advantages of writing a nail polish blog is the all of your friends know you like nail polish — and which colors are your favorites! Which is how it happens that a friend kindly gifted me recently with a bottle of butter LONDON Slapper, a gorgeous neon teal blue! Lucky me!
butter LONDON Slapper, two coats, no top coat
Slapper was such a bright teal that it brought to mind another color that I had picked up a while ago at Target when it was on clearance, Fresh Teal from the Milani Neon collection. I couldn't do a bottle comparison because for some strange reason, Milani has painted the bottles on that collection and the color of the bottle is not the color of the polish! But here's the comparison and, let me tell you, they are totally dupes! Well, Slapper is just the tiniest bit more green, but only by a whisper, so I'm calling it a dupe.
Two coats each, no top coat
I should qualify that they are dupes only as far as color goes — the butter LONDON formula was the buttery perfection I've come to expect from that line, whereas the Milani was quite a bit thinner, so it flooded the cuticle and was more difficult to control. Fortunately, neither one is a stainer so cleanup was pretty easy.

So if you've been craving a bright neon teal polish for the summer, Slapper is the go-to color for you, but if you don't live near an Ulta or if butter LONDON is out of your price range, then the Milani neons are part of their core lines and available at CVS stores nationwide.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sally Hansen Nail Strips

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

Today I have a super fun animal print mani to show you. For those of you who are mildly nail art challenged, the easiest way to get the fun look you want is to try using some nail strips. My favorite strips, by far, are Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips. They are strips that are made of real nail polish (so they are a one-time use deal, no saving leftovers for later) and they have no dry time at all. Give yourself some time to apply them properly though. You definitely need to be careful. But when applied properly, they can last up to 10 days!

Salon Effects come in a little box with 16 nail polish strips, a cuticle stick, a min file &buffer and instructions.

As you can see, the strips come in ALL sizes. Find the strips that best match the width of your nails. A little too wide is better than a little too thin.

Look at that stained thumbnail!!
Before applying the strips, wash your hands to remove any lotions and oils. Then use a cotton pad to swipe each nail with acetone to get the last of the oils off. The cleaner and dryer your nails, the better these strips will stick. Skip the base coat.

The strips have two protective covers on them. Remove the top clear cover first. Then hold the tab and remove the nail polish strip from the back cover. The underside is kind of sticky. If you accidentally touch the sticky side of the strip, it won't stick. Hold onto the tab and line the end of the nail polish strip up with your cuticle line.

First, use your free hand to press the strip down to the shape of your nail. If your strip is a little too wide, use the wooden cuticle stick to "cut" off the extra along the sides. Be careful so you are sure to keep a smooth edge.

These strips are LONG. I had a lot of excess strip and I had to be careful with removing the ends. If you pull it, it will stretch and mess up the design. The easiest way is to carefully wrap the free edge of your nail with the strip on all sides. Use the pads of your fingers to press it into place or the wooden cuticle stick that came with the kit. Then just use the orange side of the included file to buff away the extra.

While it's not necessary at all, I like to top my mani off with a coat of topcoat to make it extra shiny. It seals it in and helps with wear and tear.

Luckily, these strips are available at nearly every grocery store and drug store. They are priced at around $9 a pop but sometimes you can catch them on sale or with coupons. Check out the full line of products at the Sally Hansen website and like the on Facebook!

I kept this mani on for four whole days without any sign of wear. Just remove it with regular polish remover and move on to your next mani!

Compared to the other brands of polish strips I've tried, Sally Hansen Salon Effects are hands down the best. They are thinner and more pliable than other brands. This allows the strips to fit any nail shape and curve you might have. Love them! Have you tried polish strips before??

Saturday, May 25, 2013

NOTD: Yellow Comparisons

Yeah, I know. It's odd to see me comparing yellows when Anna has so many and they look so good on her! But occasionally I like to spark things up a bit and when I spotted the new SinfulColors Sail La Vie collection at Walgreens one of the colors I had to get was Anchors Away. (The others were three of the four blues, no surprise.) I had expected it to be close to the other yellows I have, but I was wrong. Yay! It's a rainy Memorial Day weekend here in MA, so I've got to get my sunshine where I can.
Pointer to pinkie:
Sally Hansen CSM Butterscotch
OPI The "It" Color
SinfulColors Anchors Away
SinfulColors Pull Over

I found the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Butterscotch (and the blue Resurrection) in a clearance bin at Ulta, so it was marked down to a price I'd be willing to pay for a "maybe" color. It's a hot dog mustard kind of color that, surprisingly, looked pretty good on me — not what I'd call a "butterscotch" color, but I don't name 'em... Great for the summer!

OPI's The "It" Color was from their Mod About Brights collection a few years ago. It's a bright taxi cab yellow and it would be a fabulous color for summer pedicures.

SinfulColors Anchors Away is from the new Sail La Vie collection so I can't say yet if it's an LE or will become part of the permanent line of colors. It's the most orange-leaning of my yellows and may be my second favorite after Butterscotch.

SinfulColors Pull Over was originally from their Tropical Ecstasy collection, I think, but it was re-promoted in last year's Study In Style collection, where it was totally eclipsed by the new color-of-the-moment, Leap Flog. It's very similar to The "It" Color and may be one of the core line now.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and I hope you all have some real sunshine!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Different Dimension - Time, Another Brick In The Wall & Wish You Were Here

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

Happy Friday before a holiday weekend!  I'm so stoked for Memorial Day weekend and lots of relaxing and I hope you all have some fun plans.  Today I have my last three Different Dimension polishes, Time, Another Brick In the Wall & Wish You Were Here.  I just realized realized that I showed Comfortably Numb yesterday and I should have grouped it with the other two Pink Floyd polishes today, oops!

Another Brick In The Wall is described as:  a clear base with hot pink, holographic silver, black and white glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Confession - I hate Pink Floyd.  That music makes me want to claw my ear drums out.  I respect Pink Floyd and I know people love them but I just hate them.  BUT, omgstopiticanttakeitthisistoomuch I love this polish so much.  I layered one coat of ABITW over Zoya Wednesday and topped it with Out The Door.  This screams awesome summer mani to me.  

The white "bricks" kill me!

Time is described as:   a clear base with grey, black and purple glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes. This polish may require some extra patience in applying and may be best dabbed on.  I did dab this on some but it was totally worth it.  I'm in love with those tiny stars!  I layered one coat over Zoya Piper and topped it with Out The Door. 

Wish You Were Here is described as:   an amazing glitter topper! Pink, fuchsia, blue and silver glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes are mixed throughout. This polish may require some extra patience in applying and may be best dabbed on.  This polish is just bad ass.  I've seen other swatches where it's been layered over black and it's just so good that I had to do it too.  I did dab some but I can't stress how easily all of the glitter came out of the mini bottle.  If you get a full size, you should have no problem.  So gorgeous.  

My camera freaked out at those amazing silver circles!

I'm sad that I'm finally done swatching all my Different Dimension polishes!  They were all so awesome and I can't get over how much I really loved every one.  I've never tried a polish with those blog circles and really didn't think I was a fan but I loved them on the nail.  Do you own any DD polishes?  Are there any that I just need?  Other than Whatever from the 80's Collection?  That will be mine.  

Different Dimension is available on Etsy and retails for $8.50-$10 for a full size bottle.  Make sure to like their Facebook page for updates and specials! 

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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Different Dimension - Hey You, Money & Comfortably Numb

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

Happy Thursday!  I'm back with another round of Different Dimension polishes today and I'm super excited about them.  On Sunday, I showed you a few holos and today I have some glitters.  Let's get right to the swatches.

Hey You is described as:  a creamy lavender base with purple glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes mixed throughout. This polish is opaque in two coats but may require an extra coat of topcoat.  This is definitely my favorite of three because I am such a sucker for lavender polishes.  I really wanted a good color pay off so I layered one coat of Hey You over Pomegranate Lacquers Prince Charmer, one of my favorite grayed out lavenders.  Hey You is perfectly packed with glitter and I love how this turned out.  

The translucent purple hexes are TO DIE FOR. 

Money is described as:  a white crème/jelly base with neon green, neon yello, gold, black and blue glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes mixed throughout.  I layered 2 coats of Money over Essie Who Is The Boss and I love this combo.  I'm not usually a green fan but it's so sparkly and fun and I love the big circles. 

Comfortably Numb is described as:  a clear base with pink shimmer hot pink, and yellow glitters in a variety of shapes and sizes. I'm slightly obsessed with this combo.  I layered one coat of Comfortably Numb over China Glaze Dance Baby and it's so fresh and summery.  The pink shimmer is just gorgeous and the yellow glitters pop so well over the pink polish.  

What do you think of this round of Different Dimension polishes?  I'm super impressed with the color combos and the quality.  

Different Dimension is available on Etsy and retails for $8.50-$10 for a full size bottle.  Make sure to like their Facebook page for updates and specials! 

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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun In The Sun Multi Blogger and Shop Giveaway! 35+ Winners!

Hello friends!!  Another fun giveaway for you, this time hosted by Jen from Musings of the Wife of a Jedi!  A HUGE thank you to her for putting this together!  There are soooo many prizes up for grabs here because there are so many great blogs involved!  We love all these bloggers, and as always am really excited to work with them on this!  Our prize is in the US section!

There are 27 US only prizes and 9 US and international prizes up for grabs!  You can see all of these listed below!  Because of the two categories, there are TWO RAFFLECOPTERS, so please be mindful of which one you fill out.  There are tons of entries available, so enter to win and discover some phenomenal new blogs and shops while you're at it!  Ends June 12th!

US ONLY Rafflecopter: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

US and International Rafflecopter: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US ONLY Prizes

Girly bits Boo-berry, Colorama Gota and Sombra, Jindie Nails Mini Swoon

Prize 2 from Pointless Cafe
ButterLONDON Champers and Poole

Prize 3 from BeautyPopShop
Shop exclusive Maya H2pOp polish and a Do-Mo Panda Coin Purse

Prize 4 from Cosmetish
Coastal Scents Reach Mascara, NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait, NYX Lip Cream in Strawberry Parfait, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Strawberry Milk, Revlon Scented polishes Strawberry and Cherry

Prize 5 from BeautyGnome
$15 Llarowe Gift Certificate

Prize 6 from Princess Polish
China Glaze Bump and Grind and In the Rough

Prize 7 from College Polished
Zoya Yana and Bobbi

Prize 8 from Galactic Lacquer
KBShimmer Vegas Bomb, Pretty & Polished Phoenix, and 
Nicole by OPI Strike a Pose and Ladies in the Limelight

Prize 9 from Polished10
Orly Space Cadet, Essie Leading Lady & OPI Meet Me On The Star Ferry

Prize 10 from Beyond Beauty Lounge

Prize 11 from Manicurator
Dior Vernis Riviera

Prize 12 from Rain Down On Me Beauty
$20 Gift Certificate to Sephora

Your choice of ATC colour from bigcartel site

Prize 14 from SoFlaJo
Two full size polishes from upcoming collection

Prize 15 from Jindie Nails
Jindie Nails polish from

Prize 16 from 6 Harts Craft Company
Full size bottle of 6 Harts Bat Crap Crazy and 6 Harts Sea Glass

Prize 17 from Girly bits
Franken Starter Kit

Prize 18 from Lacquistry
Polish from Lacquistry

Prize 19 from Literary Lacquers
Polish from Literary Lacquers

Mystery Prize

Prize 21 from Polished Cousins

Prize 22 from Pretty In Paint

Prize 23 from The Nail Files

Prize 24 from Colorsutraa

Prize 25 from Jilltastic Nail Design

Prize 26 from Mandie's Manicures

Prize 27 from You Had Me At Makeup

US and International Prizes

Prize A from The Lacquerologist
$15 Gift Card to Llarowe

Prize B from Glisten & Glow
$25 Gift Certificate to Glisten & Glow

Prize C from Puzzled & Polished
Two custom polish pieces

Prize D from My Life In Polish
$20 Gift Certificate to Llarowe

Illamasqua Raindrops

Prize F from Girly bits
Polish from new upcoming collection

Prize G from Cosmetic Sanctuary

Prize H from Love For Lacquer