Friday, July 29, 2011

Recent NOTD: Semi-Conservative

I thought a low-key mani would be a good change of pace after DVD plus glitter, and in my untrieds I had Malt, a peachy beige creme from the latest Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure collection. I put that on but just couldn't leave it alone and added —you've probably guessed already—glitter. As glitter goes, the one I used this time is fairly subtle. It's NYC Expert Last in Gramercy Glitz from their release earlier this year. It would have been more subtle, except I ended up putting two coats of it over the two coats of Malt.

Here's what Malt looked like alone; it's almost mannequin hands on me:

And here, for comedy's sake, is me trying to figure out how to hold both bottles at once:

You may have noticed my nails are shorter here than in my previous post; by cutting them back, I was able to get rid of the last peely spots that were still hanging around. I can't hope that this will last, but it's making me happy right now!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chanel Pearl Drop

Thinking about doing the Carbonite/Graphite comparison I mentioned in my latest display post reminded me that I never so much as swatched Chanel's Pearl Drop. It's been sitting in my stash untouched since it arrived with Black Pearl. I can't now recall why I decided to buy it. I suppose there was some element of "ain't no regret like Chanel regret", but I didn't get Pêche Nacrée, the other polish in the Spring 2011 collection, so that can't be all there was to it. Maybe in addition to taking notes when I paint my nails, I should start taking notes when I haul. Maybe I should also make myself fill out a requisition form, justifying why I need to add a particular polish to my collection. That might slow me down nicely. Regardless of why I bought Pearl Drop, it's here in my stash, so on to the swatches and comparisons...

Pearl Drop is a gold-leaning white shimmer with frosty tendencies. I'm guessing Chanel intended it to be worn sheer, because it took me four coats to achieve something resembling full coverage, and even then I fancy I can still see hints of the yellow staining on my nails (my index and ring fingers are particularly bad right now). In some lighting conditions, the gold sheen is pretty obvious, in others it's more subtle. You may notice bubbling in some of these photos; that's not the polish's fault but rather summer's, as it was super hot and humid the day I did these swatches (outside, as I did not have free run of the house with its wonderful central air conditioning).

Of course Pearl Drop is not the only white with gold shimmer in my stash, so I pulled out some of the others for comparison: OPI Oh So Glam, Zoya Gaia, and Orly Meringue.

Top to bottom: Oh So Glam, Gaia, Pearl Drop, Meringue.

Top to bottom: Oh So Glam, Gaia, Pearl Drop, Meringue.

The Zoya is the odd polish out here; it's more white than the others and has a scattered flecked gold shimmer that lets the main color show through more. The OPI and Orly are closer to Pearl Drop; neither is a dupe, and I like both of them better than the Chanel. My favorite is the Orly&msdash;it just glows. It also took just three coats; the others are all four.

I thought perhaps Pearl Drop would make a good layering polish, so I tried that next. Here are the base colors I used:

Top to bottom: Revlon Top Speed Stone Wash, Borghese Boticelli Nude, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Red Hot, Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Jet Black.

I added two coats of Pearl Drop over the white, nude, and red, but only one over the black because it pretty much covered up the red at two coats; I didn't like that look and didn't want to do the same to the black.

I like Pearl Drop over the white and peach better than I like it on its own, but not enough to think I'm going to want to wear either as a full mani. If I want that look, I'll use a single polish that gets me close (like Oh So Glam, perhaps, or Gaia).

My favorite layering was the single coat over black, especially in lower light levels (last photo below). That I could see myself wearing as a full mani.

I don't exactly regret buying Pearl Drop—I did have fun playing with for this entry, if nothing else—but I don't think it's anything I'd recommend to someone, especially at Chanel prices.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wheel V1: Hot and Other Pink Shimmers

It's cooled down some since last week, so I can bear to look at hot pinks this Nail Wheel Wednesday, though since I don't have a whole wheel full, there are some more restrained shades here, too.

Nail wheel

1. Ulta Megawatt Pink (3 coats)
2. Color Club Electro Candy (3)
3. Studio M Hot Zone (3)
4. Massini Volcanic (2)
5. Wet 'n' Wild Craze How I Met Your Magenta (2)
6. Crayola Bubble Gum (2)
7. Maybelline Wet Shine Diamonds Plum Solitaire (3)
8. Massini Pink Thong (3)
9. Cover Girl NailSlicks Very Berry (2)
10. China Glaze Endurance (3)
11. Sally Hansen Laquer Shine Vibrant (2)
12. OPI Pompeii Purple (3)
13. Revlon Top Speed Lava (1)
14. Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine Strawberry Burst (2)
15. Rimmel Play Fast Punch (2)
16. Rimmel Play Fast Addictive (2)
17. Maybelline Colorama Raspberry Sorbet (2)
18. Sally Hansen No Chip 10 Day Always Amethyst (3)
19. Massini Starry Violet (3)
20. Jesse's Girl Magenta (3)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Displays Update

I'm still waiting for Milani's summer display with the High Speed Fast Dry polishes to show up (and am now wondering if I missed it, since it was supposed to be out in July and we are quickly running out of July), but other companies have been putting out new things to distract and entertain me, so that's what I have to share today.

Target had an endcap display recently that had some new Nicole by OPI colors along with some not as new ones. Left to right, below: Play Fair, You're an Angel, Ink a Dink Pink, Stolen Kisses, Virtuous Violet, Light a Candle, It's Not Me It's Blue, Respect Yourself, Green Up Your Act, Sounds Grape to Me.

My Ulta did get full size bottles of Nice Stems, though as you can see the display was pretty well picked over by the time I got to it. The important thing is there was an I Lily Love You, and that came home with me.

Ulta also had the two latest OPI Glam Slam duos from Serena Williams, long after I'd given up on seeing them and bought mine online. One is Grape Set Match and Servin' Up Sparkle and the other is Your Royal Shine-ness and Servin' Up Sparkle.

Still at Ulta, there was display for a new brand called Pixel, which has a lot of colors in little bottles (5ml) that retail for $1.99.

Sally Hansen has been busy; I've seen new displays for three more of her lines in recent weeks. Let's start with Xtreme Wear, which has ten new colors: Time to Shine, Midnight Sky, Deep Blue Sea, Teeny Greeny Bikini, Very Cherry, Pumpkin Spice, Set the Stage, Teal-y Cool, Twinkle Twinkle, and Pink-y Ring. The first five are shimmers (maybe tending toward foil) and the last five are glitters.

There are eight limited edition Insta Dri shimmers in this next display: Emerald Express, Teal-y Fast, Grape Escape, Cocoa a-go-go, Quick Brick, Ruby Rush, Bronze Ablaze, and Presto Pewter.

There are also eight colors in the Nailgrowth Miracle display: Lush Lavender, Polished Pearl, Creamy Olive, Perfect Peach, Desert Clay, Radiant Red, Plum Parfait, Chocolate Creme. I think these are all cremes but I didn't examine then closely.

Walgreens seems to be the hot spot for the Sally Hansens, though I also saw some of the Xtreme Wear colors in an endcap at Target (mixed in with previous releases) and expect Rite Aid will have these before too long.

Finally, Meijer is the only place so far that I've seen the newest Revlon Chanel copycat: Carbonite, which is all by itself in a display called "Grit & Grandeur". I did buy Graphite in my last Chanel order, so I picked one of these Revlons up to do a comp soon.

In addition to the Milani I've been looking for, I've heard there's a new Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine display with some new colors and some re-promotes, but that hasn't turned up in any of my stores yet, either. Maybe by my next display entry I'll have seen them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Recent NOTD: Purpley Blue Goodness

After the Silver Lilac awfulness, I didn't want to take chances with my next mani, so I turned to things I knew I'd like—purple, duochrome, and glitter.

I'm holding a Sally Hansen HD bottle there, but that polish, DVD, wasn't the only contributor to this look. I used a cast of three: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Deep Purple was my base color (two coats), then one coat of DVD went on over that, then finally I did accent fingers with a shimmery glitter I got at Forever 21 (it's labeled Dusty Blue/Silver).

The accents nails were a slow to dry, even with my trusty Sally Hansen Insta Dri top coat. I don't know if that was a case of the Forever 21 not getting along with it or the layers being too thick or what. I did eventually dry but not before I'd gotten a couple dents in those nails and had to use the "lick and rub" approach to smoothing them out.

I wore this for six days, during which I kept trying to capture the blue/purple duochrome of DVD on camera and had no great success but was at least entertained by the effort.

In these later pictures, you can see the tipwear, but I'm pleased to say I had no chips in it when it was time to remove it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun with Frankens: More Glitter Plus Layering

I haven't been able to carve out the time needed to mix any new frankens lately, but I did manage to play a bit with one I'd already made and written about, Sugar Plum Sparkle. I thought it needed more hex glitter, so I dumped in some Wet 'n' Wild Dancer from last year's Christmas minis collection, then applied three coats to my nails, which looked like this:

I couldn't really see any difference from before I added the Dancer. I could maybe convince myself I noticed a bit more glitter floating around in the bottle, but it didn't seem to show up on the nail. I guess I should have used a more hex-packed glitter than Dancer, which has a lot of tiny glitter in it as well:

I was also curious how this would look layered, so I got out a few base colors to try: Revlon Top Speed Sugar Plum (because I liked it so much when I tried it as underwear before), Borghese Palermo Plum (because it was in the front of the Helmer drawer I opened looking for a not too dark purple or plummy creme), and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Pat on the Black (because it seems to have become my go to vampy). I left the franken by itself on my index finger for comparison purposes and once my other tips were ready, put two coats of the base colors on them (the Borghese could have used three but since I knew I was layering, I didn't bother).

Top to bottom: franken, Revlon, Borghese, Sally Hansen.

Then I added two coats of Sugar Plum Sparkle to the fingers that didn't already have some and got this:

My absolute favorite from this layering experiment was the sparkle over Pat on the Black; I loved how the really deep base brought out the blue in the shimmer and the black pepper sprinkles didn't stand out but just added depth to the look.

I might actually have to wear this combination as a full mani, or the very least a few accent nails.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gold Foil Polish from Born Pretty

The Born Pretty nail art store was kind enough to send me a few more products to review. I chose this foil polish to try because I was curious about the brand and whether it would be good for stamping. The brand isn't listed on the product page on the website; the bottle I got is labeled BO and the shade number is 061. (I think I'll that Bo, like the Obama's dog, or Bo Jackson, rather than BO, which makes me think of b.o.)

This polish has a very strong, old school chemical smell. If you have a delicate nose, you might want to avoid it, but since I'm old enough to have been wearing polish since before there was such a thing as B3F it sort of made me nostalgic to get a whiff of it. Application was fine; it covered in two coats and dried quickly. On my ring finger, I used Revlon Lunar as a base and stamped with the Bo on top, using a design from the "Hello Kitty" plate Born Pretty sent me earlier this year. The Bo worked fine for stamping, though because it's a foil finish and not a chrome, the stamping looks stippled or mottled rather than solid.

This polish costs $2.85 for 16ml. There are two other foil colors, blue and pink, as well as others in other finishes, sold individually or in sets. If you use code KARENDK31 you will get 10% off on any products from Born Pretty from now through October 31, 2011. My bottle arrived wrapped in multiple layers of thin foam sheeting, so even though it had to come all the way from Hong Kong to Michigan it arrived safely.

The gold polish and stamping plate used for this entry were provided to me for free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider, and I get to keep the products for my own use.