Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Swap Goodies from Portugal

I did another swap with Akuma Kanji, my friend I've never met who writes Under the Gravity's Nails. Look at all these goodies she sent:

Not in the photo above are some lovely photo cards of Portugal she sent along with a letter she wrote which included extra information about all the polishes, which is why I'll be able to tell you about them as we look at the detail photos.

The Cliché lineup, which I am told is their fall collection:

Left to right above: Nunca Se Sabe (You Never Know), Atitude (Attitude), Mostarda (Mustard—I am loving the pretty ugliness of this one), Atira Te (Go for It), Orquidea (Orchid), Silencio (Silence).

The Andreia Pocket colors—130, 127, 131, 12:

From Incocos—Beijinho (Sweet Little Kiss), Chi Coracao (Tight Hug), Ternura (Sweetness), Miminho (Little Sweet Nothing), and Meninas Purpurinas (Glitter Girls, which I can't wait to use).

Rounding out the polishes are a quartet from H&M and a new to me brand called Purple (kinda confusing but I love it). Left to right: H&M Matte Metallic Purple Metal and Blue Metal, Purple #77 Emerald, H&M Scented Rose Pink and Green Apple.

I am hoping I get a chance to try some of these very soon; it'll just be hard to decide which one to grab first! Right now I'm out of my usual environment, visiting my mom in Illinois and helping her get her house sorted out so we can put it on the market sooner rather than later. It's been more draining a process than I anticipated, so I don't think I'm going to be doing all the posts I'd planned to this week. Guess I'll have to see how the rest of the days go.

Friday, October 25, 2013

OPI Miss Universe 2013 Collection Swatches and Comparisons

I was fortunate to get bottles for review of the OPI Miss Universe collection for this year. As of the time I did my most recent display post, I hadn't seen these in stores yet, probably because I hadn't been in a Ulta for week or two. There are three colors in this group: I'm Feeling Sashy, This Gown Needs a Crown, and Miss You-niverse.

I'm Feeling Sashy is a warm medium slightly murky purple creme. My swatch is two coats plus topcoat (added because my nails were looking kind of ridgey and that wasn't the polish's fault).

I'm Feeling Sashy reminded me of much the beloved and now retired OPI Parlez-vous OPI so I had to do a comparison. The two purples have a similar feel, for sure, but they are not dupes. PvOPI leans more cool than Sashy, which looks more red-toned alongside it. Left to right below: PvOPI (2 thick coats), Sashy (2), PvOPI (2 thin coats, which let my ridges show), Sashy (2).

Miss You-niverse is a very deep blue violet creme. As with Sashy, my swatch is two coats plus topcoat because ridges.

This one reminded me of OPI Sapphire in the Snow. This pair was closer to being dupes than the PvOPI-Sashy duo. Sapphire is a touch more blue and You-niverse a touch more purple but they are both so dark that the difference visible on the nail was negligible in most lights. Only in very bright light could tell them apart, and only then because I was studying hard. Left to right below: Sapphire, You-niverse, Sapphire, You-niverse.

The star of this collection is This Gown Needs a Crown, a fine silver glitter that the cap proclaims has a "satin finish". It also comes with a crown ring—a silver-toned rhinestone-studded crown shaped charm on a stretchy clear elastic band. The first coat of this looked a little sheer to me, so I was surprised when I was able to stop at two coats and still have decent coverage. I agree with cap; "satin finish" is a good way to describe this. It's not matte, but it's not shiny and blingy like most silvers are. If I could use only one word for this, I'd call it "soft".

I like swatching smaller collections like this because they leave more time for playing around with nail art. Here's This Gown Needs a Crown with dots of I'm Feeling Sashy and Miss You-niverse plus topcoat for added shine (so much shine my camera had some trouble focusing):

I'm Feeling Sashy with freehand diagonal blocks of The Gown Needs a Crown:

Miss You-niverse base with one dotted accent nail and one silver accent nail plus funky French dotted tips on the other two nails:

You probably already guessed that my pick from this collection is This Gown Needs a Crown. The cremes are nice if you don't already have similar polishes (though I do wish Miss You-niverse were not quite so dark so the color would come across more).

The polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Revlon Evening Opulence Collection

There are four nail colors in the Revlon Evening Opulence display for Holiday 2013: Elusive, Rich, Divine, and Seductive.

Divine is a deep burgundy shimmer. I used two coats, no topcoat, for my swatch.

Divine looks its best in lower levels of direct light; see how glowy it is:

Seductive is a very deep plummy purple creme. Just for fun, I did some funky French tips with it on Divine and smoothed over the whole look with topcoat. This ended up being a more subtle combination than I expected.

When I swatched Seductive on its own, I did two coats, then added dots of Rich (plus topcoat) on an accent nail because Seductive alone wasn't doing it for me. I like purple, sure, but Seductive is so dark it barely registers as purple with my brain.

There is a certain squishiness to Seductive, though I wouldn't go so far as to call it a jelly since it does cover in two coats. A crelly, maybe.

Rich, as you saw from the dots above, is a charcoal foil tinged with golden olive tones. This was another two coater.

Some of you may be thinking that you've seen Rich before somewhere. I know I was. Digging into my stash, I came up with another Revlon that looked just like it:

That's Carbonite on the left above, Rich on the right. Carbonite was Revlon's answer to Chanel Graphite. Perhaps Rich is Revlon's answer to leftover Carbonite.

Left to right below on the nail: Rich, Carbonite, Rich, Carbonite. They look pretty much the same to me. If pressed to find a difference, I might say that Rich is a touch more olive-toned, but it's so slight it could be chalked up to a difference in batches or how I'm holding my fingers.

Another angle below, with Rich on top, Carbonite on the bottom:

Elusive is the most interesting polish in this collection. In the bottle, I thought it would be a similar to Revlon Sparkle Aplenty, which had silver and black glitter in a black jelly base. But no, it was not. Elusive's black base is not a jelly but rather a satin finish creme. This means the green and blue green glitter in it stays rather hidden; one might even say it's elusive. Here's what it looks like at two coats, no topcoat:

I'm not sure if this was an attempt to do a textured matte glitter or what. It definitely dries with a texture, one I call lumpy.

As you'd expect, topcoat helps with the lumpiness. The glitter is still submerged in the black base, of course, but the topcoat helps the pieces that are closer to the surface show a bit more by heightening the contrast between the black and the glitter.

The more I looked at Elusive with topcoat, the more I liked it. Yeah, I wish the base were a little less opaque so the glitter showed more, but on the other hand, the murkiness here gives it a different look than a lot of glitters out there, and different is good.

For me, Elusive is the clear keeper in this collection. Rich is nice but only if you don't already have Carbonite or something similar like Chanel Graphite or OPI Number One Nemesis or Nicole by OPI A Phil's Paradise. It's the same story with Divine and Seductive; colors like this are good to have in a well rounded nail polish collection, but most of us already have them. There's a comparison of Divine to OPI Germanicure on Nouveau Cheap that convinced me they're dupes. I don't own Germanicure but I'm sure I have something that's close enough. As for Seductive, it's no secret that I own an excess of purple cremes already. I don't need another vampy one. Some people do, I'm sure. Revlon could let those people could shop in the core display, I think, to make room in the holiday ones for more interesting choices.

What's your take on Evening Opulence?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wheel J5: Purple Shimmers

Today for Nail Wheel Wednesday I have purple shimmers ranging from medium to dark.

1. Essence Show Your Feet Purple Magic (2 coats)
2. Revlon Royal Cloak (3) [so gorgeous; I wish Revlon had put this in the core line]
3. Sinful Fiji (3)
4. Borghese Rapido Violetto (3) [I miss Borghese a little less when I see these brushstrokes]
5. Sally Hansen Salon Night Hydrangea (2) [I miss the old SH Salon line a lot]
6. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Deep Purple (2)
7. Essence Paradise My Little Orchid (2) [such a nice silver shimmer in this one]
8. Wild and Crazy Fancy Dream (4)
9. Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine Eggplant Frost (3)
10. Orly Midnight Star (2) [not loving the brushstrokes]
11. BB Couture Maleficent Magenta (2) [not magenta]
12. Misa Fatal Affair (2)
13. Sally Hansen Salon Purple Heart (2)
14. Orly Velvet Rope (2) [needs topcoat due to the shimmer really being tiny glitter]
15. Icing Purple PJs (2) [#16's darker, more opaque sibling]
16. Sinful Daddy's Girl (4) [4th coat only because I messed up the 2rd and had to smooth over; this is one of Sinful's best colors]
17. Joe Fresh Imperial (2)
18. Revlon Street Wear Grape (2) [one of the only Street Wear colors I remember buying when these were first released; I think this particular bottle is one I swapped for later, though, since the level doesn't seem to be low enough to be my original bottle]
19. Sweet Georgia Brown Grapeful Dead (3) [could have been 2 coats but again, I messed up, which the big ol' cotton fuzz hair stuck in there attests to]
20. Massini Groove Thang (2)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Of course there are dupes and near dupes I could destash here. When are there not? Never, that's when.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mid-October Displays

As per usual, I've got a lot of displays to share, so let's get right to it, starting with a few Halloween things I didn't see until after I did my last display post, which is unfortunate as that focused on Halloween things.

Meijer and Walgreens both had variations on the Fantasy Makers from Wet 'n' Wild displays I shared last time. Meijer had a shelf top one with just the tombstone polishes plus a sidekick with the tombstones plus other makeup:

Walgreens had a sidekick with none of the tombstones but three Megalast polishes and three FastDry colors along with other makeup:

Moving on to Fantasy Makers stuff I hadn't seen in any display variation before, Meijer had the Neon Clairvoyance collection. Even though the display had the Fantasy Makers branding, with a photo of the same dark haired model as others of their displays, the polishes here were in regular Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine bottles. There are six neon colors here: Werewolf Vision (yellow), Ghoul Time (lime), Frank is Mine (green), Jealous Lover (purpley pink), Jailhouse Shock (orange red), and Vengeful Bride (warm pink).

Tucked into a shelf away from the usual nail polish area at Sally Beauty, I found a Sally Girl Trick or Treat Yourself display with two colors in fun bottle shapes: a skull with black polish and a pumpkin with orange.

I don't know if the Disney Villains collection at Walgreen is considered Halloween merchandise—probably not because it didn't show up in stores until late September or early October, four to six weeks after most Halloween products appeared. Regardless, it seems to fit in with the theatrics of Halloween. The nail polish portion of this collection consists of a cube with twelve mini bottles from elf, a trio for each of four Disney baddies: Cruella de Vil, Ursula, the Evil Queen (a.k.a. Snow White's stepmother), and Maleficent. The draw here is the packaging—I see now that I should have swapped the left two boxes before I took the photo so Ursula and Maleficent could have matched up like Cruella did. I know at least some of the colors in here are not new, as they match ones in the set I got at Target last Christmas; I suppose I should be glad they didn't just rename them with a villain theme to try and fool me.

Some but not all of the Walgreens stores have Disney Villains nail art kits from Kiss as well, one for each of the ladies.

In the still sort of theatrical department, I finally saw some Cover Girl Hunger Games displays with all nine Glosstinis polishes somewhere other than Meijer. Bed Bath & Beyond had a freestanding floor display that looked very similar to the sidekicks that Meijer stores have (see that at the bottom of my mid-September display post), and CVS had this shelf top version:

REMINDER: My Cover Girl Hunger Games giveaway ends tomorrow, October 23rd.

I'd seen the Zoya Fall PixieDust polishes before, but hadn't seen the display until I came across it at Ulta earlier this month.

At Sally Beauty, they had a smaller version of the Orly Surreal collection display than I'd seen back in August; it still had all six colors in it, though.

Walgreens had the Wet 'n' Wild Fall 2013 Be a Runway Beauty display before, with some Megalast polishes included. A couple shades I'd seen before, as they're core; the others were new to the Megalast line but some look quite a lot like colors in other Wet 'n' Wild lines, which doesn't surprise me at all. Shades here are: Rudy-dolph, I'm Not Shrimpy, Under Your Spell (core), In Too Deep, Playing All Suits, Disturbia (core), Violet Attack, Up in the Air, and Sea Ya Soon (hidden behind the eyeshadow price sticker hanging down).

At Meijer, I saw the new line from Sally Hansen: Triple Shine. I did not think Sally Hansen needed a new line, but they routinely disagree with me on that point, which is why I have dozens of different bottle styles from them in my stash accumulated over the years. Unlike lines like Lustre Shine or Fuzzy Coat which debuted with a manageable number of colors, Triple Shine showed up with 29, plus a clear top coat. At first I thought there were 30 colors plus topcoat, as I counted the 10 bottles across in the bottom row and multiplied by the 3 rows; it took me a long time to notice that the middle row is nine bottles across. (There are also slots for three bottles dynamically displayed diagonally; most stores I saw this at hadn't put anything in those slots.) I'll have the color list after this photo:

I wish I'd taken the time to turn all the bottles so the white print on the cap faced forward. You might have already noticed that in the bottom row, someone has already take off the removable outer cap from one of the bottles; maybe they thought they were doing everyone else a favor by showing off this new to Sally Hansen feature?

Colors, top row: Bait Me, Clam Up, Blow Bubbles, Drama Sheen, Pool Party, Make Waves, Great White, Oyster Bar, Slick Black, Pixie Slicks.

Middle row: Reef-Raf, Flame On, Red Snapper, Play Koi, Lemon Shark, Statemint, Kelp Out, Dive In, Vanity Flare.

Bottom row: Pearly Whites, Twinkled Pink, Dream Sequins, Fanta-sea, Scale Up, Seanic, Sparkling Water, Hypnautical, Wavy Blue, Sparks Fly.

Revlon has a new line, too: Parfumerie, scented polishes in square bottles with round caps. I first saw these at Bed Bath & Beyond but soon after they showed up at CVS and Rite Aid, too. I've seen two different displays. First, there's a shelf top with 16 colors divided into three groups: Fruits & Florals, Freshes, and Sweets & Spices. I haven't noticed a lot of consistency in which colors are in which group at different stores, so I'm not sure which colors Revlon intended to go in which group. I can tell you which ones are where in this particular version, though. Fruits & Florals: Sunlit Grass, Apricot Nectar, Pink Pineapple, African Tea Rose, China Flower. Freshes: Fresh Linen, Lavender Soap, Moonlit Woods, Surf Spray, Watermint, Italian Leather. Sweets & Spices: Wild Violets, Spun Sugar, Beachy, Bordeaux, and Autumn Spice. Based on the name, I'd move a few of those to different groups for sure, but I think the groupings work nicely by color the way they're arranged here.

The above was at Rite Aid (I saw similar at BB&B); at CVS I found a free standing tower display which also had 16 colors, but not the same 16. This had three colors not in the other display: Ginger Melon (which appeared to be sold out, as its slot was filled with Beachy), Lime Basil (bright green), and Chocolate Truffle (brown). There were no slots for Sunlit Grass, Lavender Soap, or Italian Leather.

OPI has extended their Liquid Sand line with a limited edition shade My Current Crush, which I saw at Ulta in The TXTure Effect set, which has the polish and their Natural Nail Base Coat.

I shared a couple winter/holiday displays last time, so it only makes sense that I've got way more this time. Revlon has the Evening Opulence collection by Gucci Westman, which I've seen at Rite Aid and CVS. There are four polishes here: Elusive, Rich, Divine, and Seductive. (The eye shadow in this collection must be really popular, as it's been sold out almost every time I've run across this display.)

My Kroger grocery store is the only place so far that I've seen the Nicole by OPI sets with one Selena Gomez color (Scarlett or Pretty in Plum) and one mini called Gumdrops (on the front of the box) or Silver Gumdrops (on the back), which is confusing. This silver is not any of the colors that were in the Nicole by OPI Gumdrops collection. According to the back of the box, this Gumdrops is a textured glitter, too.

Ulta is the only polace so far that I've seen Essie's winter collection (some of my drugstores still have the summer one hanging around next to the fall colors). Six shades here: Shearling Darling, Mind Your Mittens, Toggle to the Top, Sable Collar, Warm & Toasty Turtleneck, and Parka Perfect.

I've come across two holiday displays from Sinful Colors, both at Rite Aid. The first is Glitz & Glittered, with six new glitters and two old ones. Shades are: Gilded (new), Holiday Rebel (new), Decadent (new), Full Spectrum (new), Unwrap Me (new), Ice Dream, Charmed, Silver Belle (new).

The second Sinful Colors holiday display I've seen is Naughty or Nice, which has six polishes and three nail art colors. Polishes are: Kissy, Call You Later, Ice Dream, Sugar Sugar, Blue by You, and Aubergine. I don't recall seeing Aubergine before, but it's quite possible they slipped it into the core display when I wasn't looking. The nail art stripers are a silver glitter, a green shimmer, and a gold shimmer. Why they weren't put into the display with the all three colors in the front row, I don't know (the next time I ran into this display, I did rearrange them, but didn't get a photo for some reason).

Wet 'n' Wild has a Color Icon glitter collection for the holidays called In the Spotlight. I've only seen this at Jewel Osco in Chicagoland so far but I expect it will be turning up here in Michigan at some point soon. Because this is Wet 'n' Wild, I wouldn't be surprised to find that some or all of these are all rebottles from other lines. Colors are: The Golden Rule, Social Circles, Seeing Stars, Silver Linings, At the After Party, and Cruisin' the Blvd.

Maybelline has some glitter polishes for the holidays, too, in their Gilded in Gold collection. At this point I've only seen the makeup display that has two of these new Brocade polishes, Crushed Crimson and Silver Swank. I guess Brocade means chunky and fine glitter mixed together? (Like the Revlon holiday, the makeup in this one seems to be popular; both times I've run into this display it's been pretty bare.)

The snowmen from Blue Cross (sold under the Ornaments name) are back again, and this year they've blinged out their hats with rhinestone bands. That touch helped distract me from my annoyance that Christmas stuff is in stores before Halloween now.

The snowmen brought along some tubes of mini polishes with them under the Ornaments banner. There are four different sets of colors, two of them scented.

That'll do it for today's shopping excursion. You might have noticed we skipped the pink sections for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Maybe I'll do a separate entry on those before the month is out or maybe I'll just trust those who want to see them will find them elsewhere. I have decidedly mixed feelings about pink nail polish in October.

There are several displays I have been keeping an eye out for but haven't seen yet, including the rest of the Maybelline Gilded in Gold Brocade polishes, Sinful Colors Crystal Crushes, NYC Disco Inferno (really afraid I missed this one), and the new holiday colors of Julie G Frosted Gumdrops.