Thursday, May 31, 2012

Late May Displays

When possible, I like to share the displays before I swatch the polishes in them (if I'm going to swatch them, that is; I don't buy everything, though I know it might seem from my nail wheels that I do). Thus today I have my third display post this month, because I've got three or four posts planned with swatches of some the colors you're about to see.

Ones you won't be seeing me swatch anytime soon are the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails ones in the Summer Splash display I found at Walgreens, because these are core and I feel like I can get around to them whenever (or never, though I sometimes think it might be fun to pick a line and just swatch my way through the entire core collection). Left to right: Rock Candy, Tough Chick, Hard Lemonade, Rock 'n' Roll (bonus points for correct use of apostrophes there, Sally!), Firm Fig, and Teal Steel.

In my last display post, you saw the Sally Hansen Magnetic display at Meijer, which had six slots for eight colors. At Walgreens, I saw a different display for these. It was at the end of an aisle and had five shelves for the eight colors, along with some Mega Shine Top Coat hanging below one of the shelves. On the left side, Golden Conduct shared a shelf with Polar Purple and Kinetic Copper was paired with Red-y Response. On the right, Silver Elements got its own shelf, Ionic Indigo (I keep wanting to type "iconic") and Electric Emerald shared, and Graphite Gravity went solo. (Apparently this store thought that putting giant price tags with "GREAT BUY!" on them would distract a person from heading down the street to Meijer where the magnetics were $2 cheaper.)

Target had theirs both along the back wall of the cosmetics section and on an end cap, in both cases with ten slots for the eight colors—the two grey ones had two slots each.

At Rite Aid they had yet another display configuration; this one had one slot for each color. The OCD part of me heaved a sigh of relief at seeing this.

In other magnetic polish news, Ulta had the Orly Magnetic FX. There are three colors here: Opposites Attract (deep blue), Force Field (deep berry), and Paint on Electron (charcoal). I was quite surprised to learn that these are priced at $15 each. Sure, that's 50 cents less than the Layla magnetics for a bigger bottle, but Orly and $15 do not go together in my head.

In still more magnetic polish news, Rite Aid had a display of Magnetique by Blue Cross. These were $4.99 each and had no color names. I saw a red, a purple, a grey, a bronze, and a green; it wouldn't surprise me to find other colors at other stores if the snowmen and pumpkins that Blue Cross does are any indication.

There's been so little action at my CVS recently that I had to resort to taking a picture of the Nailene SensatioNail gel polish display, which I've been ignoring because I do not need to get into gel polish. (It's similar to the "no flannel" line I drew for myself when collecting quilting fabric.)

Rite Aid hasn't been slacking; in addition to the Sally Hansen and Blue Cross magnetics, they had a L'Oreal display I hadn't seen before called LA Entourage. On closer inspection, these colors aren't new; they're the ones that were in the Trendsetter section of the big display when the Colour Riche line launched at the end of last year/beginning of this year. Left to right: Tweet Me, Boozy Bunch, Check Me Out, Penthouse Pink, Club Prive, and VIP Status.

The Essie summer colors that Rite Aid had were new: Mojito Madness, Off the Shoulder, Fear or Desire, and Bikini So Teeny.

Target had all six of the Essie summer 2012 shades on an end cap. Left to right: Cascade Cool, Off the Shoulder, All Tied Up, Fear or Desire, Mojito Madness, and Bikni So Teeny.

Also at Target (and only at Target for a limited time, according to the sales associate who saw me studying them): Cos Bar colors. These don't have names on the bottles, but the tags on the shelf called them Purple, Lime Green, Copper, and Bronze.

Finally, I saw two Sinful displays at Walgreens that I hadn't come across before. First, there's Dare to Play, with eight colors intended for something they're calling a "rock star French" mani; judging by the photo this is a funky French with glitter tips. I don't think any of these colors are new, but Sinful has fooled me before. Left to right: Pink Forever, Frenzy, Hottie, Why Not, Rise and Shine, I Miss You, Nail Junkie, Boom Boom.

The other Sinful display was called Suit Up. I don't think any of these are new either. Left to right: Star Fish (two slots, repromote from Adventure Island), Open Seas (two slots, also from Adventure Island), Casablanca (two slots, repromote from Lone Star), Boom Boom, and Unicorn.

Now I just need to decide which swatches to share tomorrow and which will have to wait until next week. Choices, choices.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wheel H3: Warm-toned Violet Shimmers

I'm not sure how many purple shimmer wheels I have all told, but I do know I have one today for Nail Wheel Wednesday.

1. Zoya Venus (3 coats)
2. NYC Nail Glossies 239 (2)
3. OPI 3 Plums I Win (2)
4. Nina Ultra Pro Dragon Berry (3)
5. Orly Amethyst Decadence (3)
6. Maybelline Colorama Grape Spritzer (3)
7. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Plum Power (2)
8. Cover Girl GlitterSlicks Purple Frost (2) [this has glitter stored in the handle that's supposed to be sprinkled on the polish, but I didn't do that; maybe someday I'll get brave and try unsealing the flip top cap]
9. Orly Get a Grip (2)
10. Ulta Cushion (2) [cushion? what kind of name is that? I guess I could have written it down wrong but what would have inspired me to write "cushion"?]
11. Sephora Bellydancing (2)
12. Milani Hot Metal (2) [brighter and lighter than it looked in the bottle]
13. Essence Multi Dimension Dress to Party (2)
14. Zoya Hope (2)
15. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Chic Creme (2) [by "creme", Sally meant "very subtle shimmer"]
16. OPI Two Plums Up (3) [I could make a good case for this being on a red/wine wheel]
17. Maybelline Colorama Burgundy Blaze (2)
18. CHI Check Out the Venus Goddess (3) [my favorite on this wheel; so glowy]
19. Borghese Pomino Plum (3)
20. Revlon Plum Attraction (2)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recent NOTD: Essie Main Squeeze Plus Lynnderella Love Lace and Lilacs

Every year my employer puts on a user conference for our customers, prospective customers, and partners, and most years I end up working at least part of it. We're issued shirts to wear, usually purple or black, as those are the two key colors in our logo (the third is lilac, and I'm guessing most of the guys would revolt if we got lilac shirts; the fourth color is grey, but it's a very minor player). Of course I ponder my nail color choice for this event carefully; it has to coordiate with the shirt and logo and not be too flashy because there will be people in attendance from conservative business environments who shouldn't be frightened lest they decide not to spend their money with us. The last two years I've gone grey and shimmery, with OPI It's Totally Fort Worth It last year and OPI Sheer Your Toys the year before. This time, I decided to push the boundaries a bit. I used a base of Essie Main Squeeze, a sheer lilac shimmer. On top of two coats of that, I added one of Lynderella Love Lace and Lilacs, a mix of white glitters in different shapes and sizes in a clear base. Yes, it's glitter, which I usually wouldn't do for a conservative business look, but it's white glitter, not super blingy metallic glitter. Against the pale base color, the glitter really wasn't noticeable from the distance most people saw my hands from, but it did give me something interesting too look at when I had downtime between my duties.

I didn't end up getting very many of the long bar glitters onto my nails, which was fine for my purposes. If I'd gone to a second coat of Love Lace and Lilacs that might have changed, but I didn't want to push the glitter look too far for this occasion.

Sun shot (in the car, with added shine on my skin because I am in the habit of rubbing on Mango Mend at stoplights):

I used only one coat of Sally Hansen Insta Dri top coat and that was enough to smooth out the glitter. This combination wore well for me; I ended up having it on for over a week. The pale sheerness meant tip wear didn't really show.

2nd Blogiversary Giveaway Winners

I'm back at work today after the three-day holiday weekend, during which I spent very little time online. Mostly I lazed around the house, but I did talk Mr. Karen into going to see Dark Shadows with me and we tried a Mexican restaurant we hadn't been to before (I don't know that we'll rush to return, as it was very noisy, and not in a festive sort of way). Now that I'm back in front of my computer, I can announce the winners of my 2nd Blogiversary Giveaway as selected using the random number generators at

Prize #1: Ice Cream Cone Glitter Topcoats is heading to Tina, who's here in Michigan (though not so close to where I am that I considered being all stalkerly and dropping the package off in person).

Prize #2: OPI Serena Glam Slam Duo will be winging its way to Katarzyna in Poland.

Prize #3: Piggy Polish Trio is going to Spain to live with Sympathique. Perhaps they'll make an appearance in her blog.

Prize #4: Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie will be part of Naomi's collection.

Prize #5: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Trio are heading south to Brazil to be with Sara.

Prize #6: Milani 3D Holographics will be heading west to the woman behind The Days in my Life blog.

Prize #7: Studio M Trio are going to be with Justine in Massachusetts.

Prize #8: Spoiled Chunky Glitters will be moving in with Janay in Maryland.

Prize #9: Cult Nails Trio is heading across the ocean to Slovakia to be with Lubica.

Prize #10: Sinful Spring Shimmers get to retire to Florida to live with Kayla.

Prize #11: Jessica Disco Diva is going to Lendoxia.

Prize #12: Sally Hansen Duo will be joining Jenni in Pennsylvania.

The Google+ bonus prize is going to my crafting buddy Jodie (her knitting blog is Disasters with Yarn).

The most popular choices this time were the Milani 3D Holographics, RBL Scrangie, Sinful Spring Shimmers, and the Cult Nails Trio. Those Milanis seem to be an ongoing favorite; I included them this time based on their popularity in a previous contest and they were just as strong this time. Maybe I should pick up another set right now for a future contest just in case they disappear from stores as pretties are wont to do.

(Since I plan to be back later today with some sort of polish entry, I'm turning comments off on this one.)

Friday, May 25, 2012

L'Oreal Summer 2012 Collection

In my end of April display post I said I'd be buying the two glitter polishes from the L'Oreal summer display as soon as I saw them on sale. As it turned out, when I saw them on sale, there was also an in-store coupon $2 off, which worked just the way I'm sure they hoped it would: I bought all four polishes in the collection. Left to right below: Pink Carat, Precious Coral, Silver Sparkle, and Gorgeous Gold.

Pink Carat is a warm medium pink creme. I used three coats but if I might have been able to get away with two. Ice Queen had trouble with the formula of her bottle of this, but mine behaved. Not sure if I got lucky or she got unlucky or what.

Surprisingly, I didn't find any dupes for this in a quick flip through my nail wheels. It's in the same color family as OPI Charged Up Cherry and Sephora by OPI Diva in Training but not a match for either. Maybe I need to study my coral wheels a bit harder since it seems I should have something like this already.

Precious Coral is a red-leaning orange creme. Like with the pink, I used three coats of this but could have probably stopped at two.

Again, I didn't find any exact matches for this in my stash. It's similar to Orly Poison Apple and OPI Off With Her Red, though it's more orange than either of those.

Enough with the cremes, let's get to the exciting stuff: glitter! Silver Sparkle is so many things besides silver. I put on three coats, no topcoat, and then proceeded to take many, many photos because it was just so pretty. The base is pale, pale silver, and it's packed with small metallic glitter and larger iridescent glitter that glows in soft blue, green, and gold.

I added a layer of topcoat and took some more photos just so I could keep looking at Silver Sparkle. If I were getting married again, I think I'd wear this polish.

At three coats of Silver Sparkle I could see just a hint of visible nail line, and I bet you know what that means. Yep, layering experiments. Here's one coat of Silver Sparkle over Pink Carat. I don't see much silver in this combination; the warm pink base brings out the gold and colorful side of Silver Sparkle.

And here's Silver Sparkle over black (Wet 'n' Wild Wild Shine Black Creme). This is one coat of the glitter on all nails, but on my ring finger I used a lighter touch and left a couple bare spots, which normally would bother me but in this case makes me think this polish might be the key to doing "galaxy nails" the easy way. The black base really deepened the colors of the iridescent glitter.

If there hadn't been one more polish in the collection that I needed to swatch, I might have kept this combination on, I liked it so much.

Gorgeous Gold had a tough act to follow. I was hoping it would be a gold version of Silver Sparkle, despite it not really looking like that in the bottle. I used two coats plus topcoat, and it's no Silver Sparkle. It's a gold shimmer base with several sizes of gold hex glitter. The base is slightly yellow-greenish, which provides some contrast with the warmer gold of the glitter.

Gorgeous Gold is not so gorgeous on me. Look what Narcissistic Nails did with it, though: a sponged ombre with a milky pink and a copper finished with this gold. Looks great on her!

If you couldn't tell, Silver Sparkle is far and away my favorite of these four. It might even be a Top 20 of 2012 candidate. The two cremes are fine. The gold is not for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Recent NOTD: Unnamed Purple Magnetix from Pretty Woman

Thank you to everyone who shared supportive thoughts and kind words on the loss of my sister-in-law. I was truly touched.

I'm back to blogging today, easing in with a nails of the day look from earlier this month. It's one of the Pretty Woman Magnetic polishes which I picked up at Rite Aid; some locations are sold out of them now but I have seen them at some stores recently. They don't have names on the packaging or bottles, at least not that I could see; there were product numbers on the boxes, things like FH7446, but I didn't bother keeping track of those. The one I chose to try first is a warm purple, let's call it Polarizing Plum. These come with two magnets, one with straight lines and one with wavy. I used the wavy one. The magnets are surrounded by soft rubber, so they're easy to hold onto. There's a curve cut into the side that gives you a spot to line up your finger, which helps with consistent placement.

I used a base of Barielle Pro Nail Rebuilding Protein, then two coats of the Magnetix, holding the magnet to the second coat while it was wet before moving on to the next nail. I finished with Sally Hansen Insta Dri Top Coat.

The bottle shape is unique in my collection; it's a rounded triangle cross section at the top, has asymmetrical curves along the sides, and a round cross section at the bottom.

Some lights and angles made the waves show up more than others, which I guess makes sense since that's true of shimmers, and this base color is definitely shimmery.

I wore this for five days before I got my first chips, which I thought was pretty good wear for a novelty polish. If the box had said "lasts 10 days" maybe I would have been disappointed by those day five chips, but it didn't and I wasn't. Given that I pretty much bang my fingers on a keyboard all day during the work week, I was happy I didn't have to touch up until Friday.