Thursday, October 31, 2013

China Glaze Halloween Monster Ball 2013

**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review.**

Happy Halloween! Grad school has really been kicking my butt and keeping me so busy that I didn't even have time for some fun Halloween nail art this year. If you did a Halloween mani yourself, we'd love to see it posted on our Facebook wall!

For those of you who are like me and don't have time to do holiday nail art, China Glaze has you covered with their newest 12-piece Halloween collection. I've got three of them to show you today.


First up is Fang-Tastic- a mix of purple, green, blue, and magenta hex glitters of different sizes in a clear base. This polish definitely isn't a traditional Halloween glitter topper but I do like the color combo. The swatch below shows one coat of Fang-Tastic over China Glaze Fade Into Hue.



Next up is Ghoulish Glow- an sheer top coat that you can use over a mani to make it glow in the dark. To get your mani glowing, apply one thin coat over your mani and wait for it to dry. Once dry, you'll need to "charge" the polish next to a bright lightbulb for about 30 seconds. Flip the lights off and watch it glow! The glow in the dark pigments are a little mattifying, but won't change the overall look of your mani, as you can see below.

See? Barely there.
Now the hardest part is definitely trying to photograph your glowing nails! Phew, I tried everything to get my spotted glowing mani to show on the camera and I just couldn't get it to work. The bottle definitely showed up though!


Now for my surprise favorite of the bunch, Bump in the Night is a one coat matte black textured polish. Yep, one coat! I was expecting application to be a little weird, as some textured polishes can. But nope! Easy application, amazing coverage, and a creepy spooky look with the texture as it dries. I'm not a fan of matte texture for every day but this is a great Halloween look!




The Monster Ball collection consists of 12 polishes and you can see them all at China Glaze's website. You can purchase China Glaze nail polish at Sally's, Ulta, and many other salons.


**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review.**

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rainbow Honey - The Final Battle Swatches

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

Happy Monday! I have a few picks from the new Rainbow Honey collection, The Final Battle for you today. Rainbow Honey does such a great job of describing their vision, I'm going to let them do it:

The Final Battle brings us 15 new shades inspired by Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII. Often touted as “the game that sold the PlayStation,” FFVII was a long and grueling gaming experience full of heavy thematic elements and strife. The game touches on eco-terrorism, over-industrialization, and the expectations and challenges we battle over the course of life. With a cast as varied as the enemies they encounter, there was no shortage of inspiration here!

Part I, The Battle, plays off of some of the main elements of the game: the heroes and the ultimate faceoff between the Planet’s Lifestream and the Meteor; Phoenix Down is a nod to the recurring battle item throughout the Final Fantasy series.

Part II, The Summons, depicts five of the attacks used by the beasts and monsters summoned in the game - a crucial part of any important battle!

Part III takes its name from The Weapons created by the Planet as a form of self-defense. These bio-mechanical monsters were massive and powerful and I have taken the chance to create a durable and colorful interpretation of each one. They are smooth, shine bright with metallic shimmer, and make a great base for the many glitters in this collection.

Lifestream is described as:  The pale green and white glitters of the lifestream flow in this shimmery, clear base.  This is stunning in the bottle and on the nail.  Packed full of glitter, I only used one coat of Lifestream over RBL Halcyon.  I love this combo.  



Ruby Weapon is described as:  A darkened ruby red with copper and gold shimmer.  This is so my kind of color!  The copper and gold shimmer is so evident on the nail and I love this color for fall.  I can see myself using the entire mini this season.  I used 2 perfect coats for opacity. 



Hellfire is described as:  Fire takes on a holographic flash in this clear base full of glitter squares, bars, and stars.  Again there is a perfect amount of glitter in this polish.  I only needed one coat and had no issues getting the stars out and it spread perfectly.  No weird glitter placement.  One coat over Ruby Weapon.


Click on this picture!  You need to see it bigger!
What do you think of these 3 from The Final Battle Collection?  Ruby Weapon is my favorite.  And from swatches I've seen Ultimate Weapon and Sapphire Weapon need to be added to my collection ASAP!  

Rainbow Honey polishes can be purchased on their website. Keep up with new collections by liking them on Facebook and following their blog!


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

Friday, October 25, 2013

Prabal Gurung for Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Fall 2013 Swatches

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

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday! I'm really excited to show you this collection.  I look forward to Sally Hansen's designer collaborations every season and Prabal Gurung did not disappoint.

Loden Green is the perfect army green.  I love this color for fall.  I used 2 coats for opacity and Nubar Diamont top coat.  I think I wore this for four days straight with no chipping or tip wear.  Amazing formula!




Night Watch is a deep, dark navy.  I loved the color on this but I had some cuticle staining.  Stay away from the cuticle and work fast to avoid the staining and the color payoff is well worth it.  2 perfect coats.



Coat of Arms is a gold foil.  I really love a shade of gold like this.  Not too gold, maybe a little silver-y.  Anna is looking for a gold polish to match her new iPhone 5s and I think this could be it.  2 coats are shown.



What do you think of these colors?  Night Watch and Loden Green are my favorites!

The Prabal Gurung for Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Fall 2013 nail polish collection is limited edition but available now at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide. Sally Hansen CSM nail polish retails for $7.99. 

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

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Super Black Lacquers: Wishful Thinking

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

Erin has already reviewed Weird Girl and Anna has shown you The Whale so now I get to show you the most awesome holo, Wishful Thinking. This polish is amazing! Usually I find that the holo effect is much more pronounced in sunlight than it is under artificial light, but not in this case. The rainbows are so blinding under all lighting that I didn't even notice my visible nail line in person and was surprised to see it in the photos. A third coat might have covered that but, truthfully, I didn't see the need.
Wishful Thinking, two coats, in sunlight
Wishful Thinking, two coats, artificial light
Wishful Thinking is meant to be a topcoat and I tried it over both a pale and a dark polish but my husband accidentally deleted those from the camera (note to self: get him a camera of his own for Christmas!) However, I think it deserves to stand alone because it's so very magical on its own.

Super Black Lacquers can be purchased directly from Natalee Dee's website for USD$12 — if you order five colors with the coupon code BOXSET you'll save $5 on your order and they come in a fancy foil-embossed Super Black box! (You should also check out her comics at nataliedee.com...)

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sally Hansen Fall 2013 Designer Collection: Rodarte

**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

I look forward to seeing what colors Sally Hansen will come out with each season in their designer collection for Tracy Reese, Prabal Gurung, and Rodarte. Anna and Erin will be showing you others later on but here I have the three Rodarte colors for you — Platinum Star, a silver frost; Stocking Nude, a cafĂ© au lait creme; and Gold Roses, a coppery pink frost.
Platinum Star, two coats, no topcoat
Platinum Star brings to mind the bias-cut satin dresses worn by that platinum blonde movie star, Jean Harlow. It's a warm silver metallic frost that's very dramatic! The formula was a bit thick so it was difficult to do the thin coats needed to reduce streaking, but using a ridge filling base coat helps. Super glamorous!
Stocking Nude, two coats plus topcoat
Stocking Nude is the only creme in this collection and it's my favorite of the collection. It's similar to Bandage from last Fall's Alexander Wang collection (of which Pumice was my favorite!) but a bit warmer in tone. Application was fine and opaque in one coat but I did two to cover a couple of random bald spots.
Gold Roses, two coats, no topcoat
I was eager to try Gold Roses because my wedding ring is made of rose gold but this metallic frost has much more of a copper tone to it. The color reminds me of the frosted polishes that were so popular in the '80s — are they being retro here? The formula was thinner than that of Platinum Star so streaking was at a minimum over a ridge filling base coat.

The entire Sally Hansen Fall 2013 Designer Collection is on sale at Target this week for $3.28 so now is a good time to scoop them all up! (It is at my local Target, anyway. Not sure if it the same throughout the chain, though.)


**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

Saturday, October 19, 2013

LVX: Modena & Celeste

**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

I have two more colors from LVX to go with the ones that Anna and Erin have already reviewed for you — Modena, a bright poppy red and Celeste, a powdery pastel blue. I like the clean, modern lines of the square bottle with a silver LVX on the cap (which comes off to make applying the polish easier.) It definitely comes across as the high-end luxury product that their website proclaims. And they're vegan!

Modena, three coats, no topcoat
Modena is labeled a creme but it's really more of a crelly — it's super shiny and there was still some visible nail line with three coats. The color is probably one of the best reds I've tried this year, neither too blue nor too yellow. If I were Goldilocks I'd say this was just right. In the past I've had trouble with colors like this staining but that was not the case here.
Celeste, two coats plus topcoat
LVX describes Celeste as having complex white undertones and I think that describes it perfectly. My first thoughts were "chalky" but that makes it sound like it was a problematic formula and it was not — two coats that flowed easily and barely required cleanup at all. It's not the best pale blue for my skin tone because it appears neon, if you could possibly even have a neon pastel blue, but I think that's the complex white undertones coming into play here. Definitely dramatic.

LVX polishes retail for USD$16 each and can be purchased directly from their website or at online retailers and salons across the country. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and check their color trends on YouTube.

**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seche Clever & Confident and Wonderfully Witty

**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

Has anyone else noticed that a lot of the new Fall collections are including plum and navy? Well, count Seche in on the trend and I have to say that theirs are amazing! The formula was easy and covered in one coat, although I did two out of habit. And shiny? Like a brand new car! (Not surprising when you consider the blinding shine you get with their Seche Vite quick-dry topcoat.)
Clever & Confident, two coats, no topcoat
I'll start off with Clever & Confident, a deep, rich plum that dries a bit warmer and darker than it appears in the bottle. I love this color so much and I couldn't stop looking at my nails! Such a yummy color! Such a blinding shine! Easy application, easy cleanup, no staining. Win-win-win.
Wonderfully Witty, two coats, no topcoat
Wonderfully Witty is probably the perfect navy blue — crisp and clear and so shiny that you can see the items on my wall reflected in it! I don't think I've ever seen that before. It was such an intense blue that I was afraid it would stain when I took it off but no worries there, thank goodness. Some of the other navy blues I've tried have resulted in a minty whitening toothpaste scrub-down afterward, but not this one.

Pros: could easily be one-coaters because the pigmentation is so thick.

Cons: Noticeable tip wear after one day, but no chipping after three days.

Overall: I was really happy to see that Seche is adding color to their lines because I'm a long-time fan of their quick dry topcoat and these did not disappoint!

Seche Vite polishes will be available at Ulta in October, but you can view the collections at their website.

**These products were provided for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.**

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Super Black Lacquer- The Whale

Today I have a super awesome polish that I'm SO EXCITED to share with you. When we got the opportunity to review some Super Black polishes, I had a little SQUEE moment before I casually played it off to my cousins like it was no big deal. You can see Erin's review of a different Super Black polish here.

Do you know who the genius behind Super Black nail polish is? Natalie Dee! Do you know who Natalie Dee is? You better, because she's the Queen of the Internet as far as I'm concerned. Natalie (and her husband) have been drawing web comics for as long as I can remember laughing at web comics. I'd show one here for you to see as reference, but I'm pretty sure that's copyright infringement. So I'm just going to link you to her website again where you can enjoy her over 3,000 web comics yourself.

Ok, ok. On with the polish. I'll put my fangirl freakout aside for a minute to tell you how much I love this nail polish. I've never seen anything like it and I definitely don't have anything I could compare it to in my collection. 

The Whalethe result of our quest to make a flattering grey nail polish. It is a medium, neutral grey creme polish, with an aqua blue irridescence. A really pretty polish, and a favorite of the SUPER BLACK human guinea pigs

This medium grey base is loaded with a light blue shimmer. The bottle is so shimmery and pretty and I'm usually so disappointed when the shimmer I see in the bottle doesn't show up on my nail. Not this time! I couldn't believe how pretty this baby looks on the nail. The bottles are sleek and thin with a long, thin brush to match. I usually prefer flatter, wider brushes, but this one worked well for me. I used two coats for the swatches below and topped them with my HK Girl top coat.




True story- I've worn this polish FOUR TIMES since I've had it. I don't have many polishes I can say that about!

Super Black lacquers retail for $12 each and can be purchased directly from their website. Don't you love that gorgeous shimmer?

Super Black

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

LVX- Deco & Mynt

**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review**

Happy October! Today I have a new-to-me brand to show you, LVX. Erin reviews some other LVX polishes here. Here's what LVX has to say about their brand:

******
LVX: Latin; Light
the essence of all color.

Avant-garde
LVX recognizes the importance of beauty within Fashion. LVX is a deeply devoted fashion brand providing an in-depth understanding of emerging runway trends and high fashion. Our unique color collections are meticulously selected to be the top colors of the season, and will be the perfect complement to your wardrobe. LVX is committed to creating palettes that exceed seasonal trends while maintaining a timeless essence.

Innovative & 5 Free
Our long lasting, chip resistant and non-streak formula is free of toxic and harsh chemicals. LVX products are formulated without the use of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, and Camphor. We are devoted to providing you with top quality, socially responsible, and vegan-friendly, luxury products without compromising quality, durability and finish.

LVX nail lacquer is cruelty free. All products are produced in the U.S.A. 


******

These polishes come in chic square bottles with minimal labeling. Only the letters LVX across the front of the lid, plus a color name label on the bottom of the bottle. The square top lifts off to show the easy grip round handle underneath. The brush is nice and wide (but not too wide!), just the way I like it.

First up is Deco- Tantalizing and feminine, Deco is the quintessential go-to color this season. This vibrant coral is a fundamental summer shade and is a must for beauty and accessories. For an ultra refreshing look, pair Deco with soft and delicate shades of blue and green. This shade is definitely the perfect coral! The formula was a bit off for me though. It was sort of thick which caused some streaking. I ended up using 3 coats on the swatches below to get everything to even out. I think I might have had better luck if I used a different base coat or waited longer between coats. Maybe the LVX 3-in-1 Treatment would have been a better match than the Essie base coat I used.


Here is MyntStimulating and revitalizing, this cool mint is the perfect summer pastel. Mynt pays homage to the significant prevalence of green this season. Invigorating and powerful, this serene green will prevail as a top choice for the warm summer days that are ahead of us. I really love a mint creme and this baby did not disappoint. I didn't have the same formula issues with Mynt that I had with Deco. Two easy coats for the swatches below.


LVX polishes retail for $16 a piece and can be purchased directly from their website as well as many other online retailers and salons across the country. What do you think? Have you tried any LVX polishes yet? What are your favorites?

LVX


**The products featured in this post were provided for an honest review**