Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Nail Wheel Wednesday

Nail Wheel Wednesday is on hiatus this week, and so am I, enjoying some time off work and planning to ring in 2011 with family and friends. Happy New Year a bit early!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Studio M Sugar Plums and Tinsel Time

Sugar Plums and Tinsel Time were the two other (besides Oh Joy, which I shared yesterday) Studio M 2010 holiday polishes that didn't look like re-promotes or re-names. Sugar Plums is a warm purple shimmer with a faint blue flash that was opaque in three coats. This color isn't very unusual but it is pretty.

Tinsel Time is a yellow gold shimmer that falls clearly into the "not a Karen color" category. It's less sheer than Oh Joy (though really, most polishes are), but three coats was not enough to make it opaque.

I tried a bit of layering over Sugar Plums with the two sheers I got from this collection:

Sugar Plums with (top to bottom): Oh Joy (1 coat), Oh Joy (2 coats), Tinsel Time (1 coat), Tinsel Time (2 coats).

I like Tinsel Time much better on me when layered over a more complimentary color.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Studio M Oh Joy

Oh Joy was one of the three in the Studio M 2010 holiday display that didn't look familiar to me. (The name is actually Oh Joy! but punctuation in nail polish names annoys me so I try to ignore it.) It's very sheer; I stopped at five coats and still had very visible nail line.

I thought I'd compare Oh Joy to two other shimmery whites I'd gotten from this year's holiday collections, China Glaze Frosty and Orly Winter Wonderland.

Top to bottom: Oh Joy, Frosty, Oh Joy, Winter Wonderland.

I used the aforementioned five coats of Oh Joy but only three coats of the China Glaze and Orly. Obviously Frosty wins the opaqueness category, and I think Winter Wonderland wins for texture. Oh Joy wins on price ($2.99) and probably versatility; since it is so sheer but not streaky I can see it being great for layering. I tried it over Orly Naughty or Nice:

1 coat of Oh Joy over Naughty or Nice (top), 3 coats of Oh Joy over Naughty or Nice (bottom).

I like the little winks of blue and purple I see in there. I'm not sure if there's a Color Club dupe of this one, as there usually is for Studio Ms.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Shades of the Season

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating today! I hope all your holiday wishes come true, no matter what holiday you wished them on.

If Santa didn't bring you a yard of color from CVS perhaps you can pick one up on sale tomorrow. It's 10 polishes in a clear tube: white, hot pink, taupe, red, pink, yellow, purple, light blue, coral, black. All looked like cremes to me, though I only looked at them through the tube and did not buy one.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Studio M Rudolf

There is no way I'm going to get all my untried holiday polishes swatched before the holiday season ends; that's okay, I can have Christmas in July if need be. On this Christmas Eve, I have Rudolf from this year's Studio M Cozy Up to Color collection (you can see the display in this entry). I thought this one was Slamming Red with a new name, but I bought it anyway just in case; even if it was a dupe, it's never bad to have a semi-hard to find glitter available for swapping. Rudolf definitely applied like Slamming Red; it's really thick, like lumpy cake batter, and eats topcoat like a hungry thing. But like Slamming Red, it's so sparkly and pretty I'm willing to put up with those traits. Here's two coats of Rudolf plus three coats of top coat (yep, I said three).

Of course I had to do a comparison with Slamming Red, and while I was at it I pulled out it's close sibling, Purple Medallion.

Left to right: Slamming Red, Rudolf, Purple Medallion.

Slamming Red & Rudolf. Or maybe it's Rudolf & Slamming Red.

On the nail, Rudolf and Slamming Red looked pretty darn similar. The texture was exactly the same as far as I could tell. I fancied I could see a slight color difference, with Slamming Red being redder, but that could just be normal variation in batches as well.

Top to bottom: Rudolf, Slamming Red, Rudolf.

Purple Medallion has sparser glitter and a darker, more plummy base.

Top to bottom: Rudolf, Slamming Red, Rudolf, Purple Medallion.

Top to bottom: Slamming Red, Rudolf, Purple Medallion.

Top to bottom: Rudolf, Slamming Red, Rudolf, Purple Medallion.

The base color difference shows up best in really bright light, like that of a camera flash.

Top to bottom: Rudolf, Slamming Red, Rudolf, Purple Medallion.

As far as I'm concerned Rudolf might as well be Slamming Red; if I see any on clearance after Christmas I'll snap them up for swapping, but I suspect they'll all be gone by the time I get back to the store after my holiday break.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

NOTD: Orly Winter Wonderland

This is one of those rare times when my actual nails correspond to the nails of the day I'm posting. If all had gone according to plan yesterday, this wouldn't have happened, but instead of working from home and thus having two extra hours in my day to play with polish, I had to go into the office because my remote access wasn't working. I eventually got that sorted out but ended up getting home very late and very tired since the sorting out had to be done in addition to my normal work. This mani still looked fine, so I left it be. It's Orly Winter Wonderland from this year's holiday collection.

This one's surprisingly tricky to capture in photographs. I'm not sure what to call this finish; it's similar to a foil in texture but pearly rather than metallic. It looks sort of chunky in the bottle (and in photos) but it's smooth on the nail.

It looks more silvery and sheer in pictures than it does in real life. It is sheer; I'm wearing three coats and can see my nail line in most lighting conditions. Because of that, I'm sure it's going to be great for layering.

I really like this one. It makes me think of snow, clean sparkly new fallen snow.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wheel U: Silvers and Friends

If you read yesterday's entry and thought me having four almost identical vampies was bad, just click away now, because today's Nail Wheel Wednesday flirts with "that chick's a hoarder" territory. After I did the cremes and glitters and shimmers wheels, I still had three snowmen to swatch, the foils. Doing a foil wheel seemed logical, but I've got my stash arranged (for now, anyway) by color, not finish, so rather than look for all colors of foils, I concentrated on silvers plus a couple cool colors I had in my swatching queue, then I filled in with silver shimmers that were right next to the silver foils in that Helmer drawer. (I'm not even 100% sure I got all the silver foils; sometimes it's hard to tell in the bottle.)

Nail wheel

1. Models Own Blue Moon (2 coats, as were all of these)
2. Ulta Pro Blue Kamikaze [from the Cocktail Hour mini set]
3. Snowman blue foil
4. LA Colors Color Craze Metallic green foil
5. Snowman green foil
6. Orly Shine
7. Wet 'n' Wild Toast
8. China Glaze Cheers to You
9. Milani PC Girl
10. Massini Fall Promo Shade
11. Hema 11 [well, that worked out nicely; shade #11 in slot #11]
12. Ulta Twisted Tinsel
13. Maybelline Express Finish Silver Aluminum
14. Snowman silver foil [which looks more pewter next to these true silvers]
15. Sally Hansen Salon Shooting Star
16. Cover Girl Mattalic Triple Platinum [as the name implies, this dries matte; I got this in a swap and would love to know what other colors this line had in it]
17. L'Oreal Concorde
18. Sally Hansen Insta Dri Silver Sweep
19. Revlon Street Wear Silver Lining
20. Nina Ultra Pro Velvet Revolver

Even I, queen of excess, can't justify having all of these silvers. I am sure I could lose at least half of them and not even notice. Resolution for
2011: have that blog sale I've been talking about.

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

That should have wrapped up the snowmen as far as wheels went, except I just came across one I didn't have in a Rite Aid slightly outside my usual hunting grounds. Of course it came home with me; it's a light gold sparkly shimmer:

While we're on the topic of snowmen, here's a picture from earlier this month of one of the mosh pits that Meijer has them in:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Really Deep

Today's comparison is a perfect illustration of why I either need to exercise a great deal more self-restraint in beauty supply stores or just admit I'm basically running a nail polish museum in my bedroom closet. The topic is vampies, namely OPI Naughty or Nice, China Glaze Naughty and Nice (ChG doesn't make you choose), Finger Paints Shades of Dark, and OPI Lincoln Park After Dark. These are all dark, dark cremes, so dark it's hard to tell if they're purple or plum or burgundy or what. They all look pretty much the same in the bottle.

I bought Lincoln Park After Dark partly for the name (I grew up near Chicago) and partly because it seems like this one is a classic that any complete stash should have. I have no idea when or why I got Shades of Dark; I'm sure I had a good reason at the time. Naughty or Nice I got because I had all but two of this year's Orly holiday collection, and I do love a complete set. Naughty and Nice I bought because I wanted to compare it to Naughty or Nice, since both were released about the same time. If I had more fingers on my photo hand, I could have added more deep darks into this mix, but let's just focus on these four.

Top to bottom: Naughty or Nice, Naughty and Nice, Shades of Dark, Lincoln Park After Dark.

I used two coats of all of these. If one of these things is not like the others, it's the China Glaze, which is redder, more of a berry base color. Finger Paints is the darkest, such a deep purple it might as well be black as far as I can tell. The Orly and OPI are the closest to each other, both just a touch less dark of a purple than the Finger Paints. It's really hard to see the differences in normal room light, though, so here is an overexposed flash picture:

I'm thinking I can probably let go of the Finger Paints and the Orly (if the OPI didn't come from the Chicago collection, I'd keep the Orly and give up the OPI because I like the Orly bottles better) but not until I do a vampy nail wheel for documentation purposes.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Recent NOTD: OPI Sapphire in the Snow

I took a break from this year's holiday collections and went with one from last year for my nails last week: OPI's Sapphire in the Snow, a dark blue violet (a.k.a. blurple) creme. It pulls more blue on me than purple; these photos are pretty close, at least on the monitors I've viewed them on. I used two coats of this one.

Again, work kept me from changing polish midweek, though I did have to touch up some chips on day three. This is the second time I've used Orly Nailtrition under Salon Sciences Instant Artificials as my base and the second time I've had chipping earlier than I would have expected, so it seems those two don't play nicely together with my body chemistry.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Even More Revlon Displays

When I did that last display post, I forgot to include the one for Perplex. A comment from Serena reminded me that I had snapped a photo of that display when I saw it at Ulta. Perplex is Revlon's version of Chanel Paradoxal. I've only seen it at Ulta and at one CVS. It's a small display, with eight bottles of that one color, and made of paperboard.

Speaking of small displays, I spotted two others from Revlon (these aren't cardboard, though) while doing a Walgreens tour last night. First, there was a compact version of Heavenly Metals (the bigger one is in that last display entry). I think it had all the same polish colors in it, but as this one was also on a shelf above my head, I can't say for certain.

I also saw Suede Rhapsody in that same compact size (the bigger version has been around for several months; there's picture of that in this entry). Since this one was on a shelf at a normal height, I could see that it had the same four polishes as in the bigger one.

I even saw yet another Top Speed display; it was the tabletop size as shown in the last display entry but had a different assortment of colors than that one. I dont have a picture because it was almost empty and the color names were printed in silver text on clear plastic, so not very legible. I think that's quite enough from Revlon for now.

Holiday Giveaway Winners

I realized I never publicly announced the winners of my holiday contest. I mentioned I'd chosen them and notified them by e-mail but neglected to follow up with details as I'd intended. No time like right now. As with previous giveaways, I used to draw numbers corresponding to lines on the spreadsheet that Google Docs generated from the entries. Here are the winners:

Prize #1: Ulta Wicked Wonderland mini set went to Mel from Delicious Beads.

Prize #2: Savvy Red Caviar and Garland are heading to Biba of Biba's Beauty Corner.

Prize #3: Snowmen in tropical colors are going all the way to India to live with Rhea of The Chain Nail.

Prize #4: Snowmen in blue and silver were won by Margaret in Canada.

Prize #5: Snowmen in Christmas colors were won by twistergirl85 of Twisted Nails, who still needs to tell me her address.

Prize #6: Snowmen in Christmas colors v2 will be moving in with CucumPear of CucumPear's Onyx Phalanx.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Revlon Displays

I don't know if I'm just paying more attention or if Revlon is putting out more displays lately, but there sure do seem to be a lot of them. I've got pictures of a few to share today.

I first spotted the Fire & Ice collection at the end of October. It seems to be a 48th anniversary throwback concept, at least that's what I got from the juxtaposition on the display of Jessica Biel in 2010 with Dorian Leigh in 1952. (Confession: I had to look up Dorian Leigh's name. Also: I find the 1952 photo more appealing.) Why not wait until 2012 and do a 50th anniversary collection? Or maybe they'll do that, too. The colors didn't grab me: All Fired Up (red creme), Siren (orange creme), Temptress (pink shimmer), and Demure (coral shimmer). I get it, they're classics, but I've already got versions of all of these colors that I'm happy with. I do like the retro script on the bottle handles, though.

Some stores have a freestanding floor display for Fire & Ice, with the same nail polish colors plus some other makeup items.

And then, just to screw with me, some stores have a different tabletop display than the first one. This variation adds Vixen to the four nail polishes in the other displays. Vixen is a core color, so what it's doing in a Limited Edition display, I have no idea. Perhaps someone at Revlon said "we've got to have a purple; I don't care what we were selling in 1952, in 2010 we need purple". That's what I'd say if I worked there.

A couple weeks after the Fire & Ice displays started showing up at drugstores, Revlon Top Speed appeared. At least some of these colors were available in Canada this past summer, so when I saw them I thought "oh, I remember those from the nail board". There are several types of displays for these as well: tabletop, free standing, and corner end cap.

You may have already spotted an annoying aspect of these: not all the displays have the same colors. The tabletop has 16 (Ocean, Jaded, Stormy, Grape, Orchid, Jelly, Sheer Cotton, Black Star, Bubble, Chili, Golden, Espresso, Cloud, Pink Lingerie, Fire, Sugar Plum). The free standing unit has 24 (Sheer Pearl, Sheer Cotton, Pink Lingerie, Candy, Electric, Jaded, Ocean, Cloud, Royal, Violet, Lily, Vintage, Peachy, Poppy, Fire, Espresso, Golden, Emerald, Bubble, Orchid, Lava, Sugar Plum, Stormy, and Black Star). The corner end cap has 32, including some shades that are in neither of the other two (Metallic, Cherry, Guava, Jelly, and Cupid).

Also annoying: the way stores print their sale tags to make one think it's a better deal than it is. That yellow tag on the corner endcap that says 50% OFF in big letters also says "Buy One Get One" right above that, so the disount is really 25% in total. Still a sale, true, but not so fabulous as half off. This example is from Walgreens, but other stores do it, too. Meijer usually puts "BUY ONE GET ONE" in big letters and 50% off in tiny ones below it. Bah.

The Fire & Ice and Top Speed displays are nowhere near close to being sold out of polish in most stores, but that has not stopped Revlon. Yesterday I spotted a new display of scented polishes. Walgreens had quite unhelpfully put it on the very top shelf above shaving supplies near the back of the store. I'm 5' 7" (170 cm) and had to reach up over my head for the bottles. The display says "treat yourself to Revlon's first ever scented nail enamel", which seems odd since they've put out scented shades at least the last two summers and these bottles are newer than that. The bottles are new but the colors don't seem to be: Grape Icy (purple shimmer), Cotton Candy (light pink shimmer), Ocean Breeze (teal shimmer), Beach (acid green shimmer), and Bubble Gum (hot pink creme) were part of the Scents of Summer release this year; Not So Blueberry (periwinkle shimmer), Mon Cherry (red creme), and Mad About Mango (orange creme) were in 2009's Fruitful Temptations.

I stopped at a different Walgreens on the way home from work to see if perhaps they had the scented display in a better place for me to get a good photo. They did not; evidently some directive came down from Walgreens corporate to put these out of reach. The second store did have something I hadn't seen yet: another new Revlon display called Heavenly Metals. It, too, was on a very high shelf and also behind a little wire fence to make it even more difficult to get at. By standing on my tip toes and reaching way up, I managed to get down one of each color of polish to look at. There are three: Silver Dollar, Gold Coin, and Copper Penny (I think you can guess what colors these are), all look like foils/metallics. The copper looked the most interesting to me so I took a close up of that one (still wearing my grippy fleece gloves; it's been so cold my hands take a while to warm up once I'm inside).

With all this new stuff now, I wonder if we'll get anything fun in the doldrums of January or if I'll still be looking at these in stores when I really, really need a pick me up in the depth of winter.