Friday, February 27, 2015

New Shades of Sally Hansen Triple Shine and FingerPaints

For today's post, I pulled two groups of polish out to play with each other, simply because they were both in my swatching queue and both were new shades in their respective polish lines. Given that there were a total of 16 shades, getting them all into one post meant doing a lot of combinations, like this look involving three base colors and a glitter with a jelly sandwich on one nail thrown in for good measure.

We'll get to the details on that in a little bit; first let's look at what we're dealing with. There are ten new shades of Sally Hansen Triple Shine, which I felt compelled to buy all of because I've at least Skittle swatched every shade in the line since it was introduced in 2013 (see first 29 colors plus the topcoat, the Palm Beach "jellies", and the Tahiti Sunset collection). There were so many in this group they wouldn't fit nicely in my lightbox. Left to right: Wet Suit, Seas the Day, Make a Splash, Water Lily, Redflection, Watts New, Deep End, Shelling Secrets, Shark Bait, and Peach Party.

The Triple Shines would have been plenty to swatch at one go on their onw, but also kind of boring what with all those cremes in there, so the glittery new FingerPaints shades seemed like the perfect companion set. Left to right: Such a Fake, Daubigny's Garden, You Gotta Be Kitsch-ing Me, Still Life Strawberry, Th-ink Outside the Box, and Violaceous Vase. (I understand that there are four additional shades being added to the line, but my Sally Beauty store only had these six in the display I saw. Not sure if the others were already slipped into the core display or if they'll be featured in a special display coming up.)

Okay, back the swatches. That first look started with the three Triple Shine shades that I thought I'd like the least on me, the light peach, beige, and light orange ones. Top to bottom: Shelling Secrets (3 coats), Peach Party (2), Shark Bait (2), Shelling Secrets (3). I was surprised that Shelling Secrets was sheer; I assumed it would be a regular creme. It was quite well behaved, not streaky, and would make a great French manicure shade. Ideally for my skintone, I'd want it to be a touch pinker. The two cremes here were also nice to work with, and needed only two coats is a bonus in my mind.

To the above, I added one coat of FingerPaints You Gotta Be Kitsch-ing Me, a multi-colored multi-sized hex glitter topper. It's got silver, gold, green, blue, pink, and orange in it. On my index finger, I added another coat of Sally Hansen Shelling Secrets to make a jelly sandwich. I quite liked that.

The four cremes in the middle of the bottle shot seemed destined to be Skittled. Top to bottom: Water Lily (red violet), Redflection (dark red), Watts New (warm deep purple), and Deep End (cool deep purple). These were two coats, except for Deep End, which was one.

I chose to top these cremes with one coat of the FingerPaints black and white glitter topper, Th-ink Outside the Box. In retrospect, that was poor choice, as the black glitter visually blended in with the darker of the base colors. Ah well, stuff like that's gonna happen now and again.

The last three Triple Shine Colors are all cool tones: the light blue Make a Splash (the only shimmer in bunch), the teal blue Seas the Day, and the blue grey Wet Suit. On my pinky, I freehanded a soft wave of Wet Suit on a base of Seas the Day and topped both with Make a Splash. These three were all two coaters, though the cremes might have been okay at one if I'd been attentive to application.

I didn't think those two shimmery nails were a good base for a glitter topper, so I stripped those nails and made a Wet Suit/Seas the Day alternating palette for FingerPaints Daubigny's Garden, which has translucent and iridescent glitters that gold, green, and blue in the bottle and over cooler toned base colors like I used here.

The next FingerPaints I tried was not a topper, but rather a full coverage polish with multi-colored glitter in a gold metallic shimmer base. I did three coats of Such a Fake (I probably could have topped at two), then accented my ring finger with two coats of FingerPaints Still Life Strawberry, which has pink-leaning red glitter in a clear base.

Still Life Strawberry got a little lost against the busy gold base, so I gave it a chance to star on its own over Sally Hansen Insta Dri Navy Fleet. This is one coat of each:

The last FingerPaints left was Violaceous Vase, which has purple glitter in a light lilac shimmery base. I wanted to see how this would layer, so did Sally Hansen Triple Shine Deep End on an accent nail first. I topped Deep End with one coat of the FingerPaints and did three coats on the rest of my nails. The base shimmer has a pink/purple shift to it that showed up over the dark base on my accent nail.

I wanted to have a little more fun with Daubigny's Garden, so I layered it over this last purple look.

I wish I'd taken even more time to play with Daubigny's Garden, as it transforms over different base colors, sometimes showing only purple and pink in the glitter. Go look at Seize the Sparkle and Lavish Layerings to see some other faces of this glitter. I'd like to go back and do some more playing with it, using it over various colors and at various numbers of coats (I only used one in my session).

Instead of doing another look with Daubigny's Garden, I instead did a comparison between FingerPaints You Gotta Be Kitsch-ing Me and FingerPaints Tangled in Tinsel, which was part of a limited edition trio they released for last Christmas. Can you tell which is which without seeing the labels on the bottom? Yeah, me neither.

Here they are alternated over Sally Hansen Insta Dri Enchantment. Doesn't matter which is on what nails, becuase they are the exact same glitter mix.

These new additions to the Sally Hansen Triple Shine line seem like decent basics; nothing too exciting. I was surprised to find my favorite was the pale peach; I can see using that for delicate jelly sandwiches all spring long. The new FingerPaints are much more interesting by comparison. The black and white glitter is my least favorite, mostly because I feel like I've seen too many similar to it already (funny how fast that happened; it wasn't so long ago black and white glitter was the hot new trend). Sure, I've seen plenty of multi-colored toppers like You Gotta Be Kitsch-ing Me, too, but those feel more versatile and usable to me than black and white.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

SinfulColors CitrusTwist Swatches and Shenanigans

SinfulColors has certainly been keeping me busy swatching. First there were the Valentine and St. Patrick's glitters, then the opalescent toppers, and today I've got the three jelly shimmers from the CitrusTwist display: Ring the Belini (yellow orange), Zest of Times (hot pink), and Horizon Shine (red orange).

I tried these first on their own. Top to bottom: Ring the Belini, Horizon Shine, Zest of Times (3 coats of each of these); pinky has a layer cake of Ring the Belini, Horizon Shine, Zest of Times, and Ring the Belini. You can see that these can be worn on their own (though with my skintone, I likely won't with Ring the Belini, but it sure is fun to use it to layer with). They don't all have quite the same finish; Ring the Belini has shimmer and a big helping of microflakies, while Zest of Times has a more balanced mix of shimmer and even smaller microflakies, and Horizon Shine is mostly shimmer with only a scattering of microflakies.

Given how well these CitrusTwist colors layered with each other, I was excited to see how they'd look over different base colors. I reached first for Sally Hansen Insta Dri Enchantment (which was still hanging around from the SinfulColors Opalescent swatching session). I did two coats of that on all my fingers to start. Top to bottom below: Enchantment alone, plus 1 coat of Ring the Belini, plus 1 coat of Horizon Shine, plus 1 coat of Zest of Times. The combination with Ring the Belini yielded an orange shade that looks very weird with my skintone but I can see looking really good on other complexions. The other two pairings were quite pretty, I thought.

I figured the Sally Hansen shades had had enough fun with SinfulColors for a while, so pulled out the Bonita All Summer Long set to serve as bases for the rest of my swatching session. None of the Bonitas are labelled with shade names.

I gave Ring the Belini a chance to shine with a more compatible base color, the Bonita pastel yellow creme. I left my index finger with just the two coats of the Bonita, then built up coats of Ring the Belini over that, doing one on my middle finger up to three on my pinky. With a more orange yellow base, this could be the most subtle ombre mani ever.

For my next experiment, I put on two coats of the Bonita green shimmer, then topped with two coats of Ring the Belini on all but my accent ring finger. The SinfulColors really warmed up the green and the golden yellow microflakies and shimmer added so much visual interest. This combination would be perfect for St. Patrick's Day, for sure.

Back to the subtle ombre idea, I made one with a base of the Bonita pastel orange creme, adding coats of SinfulColors Horizon Shine in the 1 on ring to 3 on pinky pattern used above for the Ring the Belini yellow/orange look. It was hard for me to tell much difference between one and three coats over the soft orange base.

The ombre approach was much more effective with the pale orchid creme Bonita and Zest of Times. I could definitely see wearing this as a full mani, though I'm not sure what I'd do on my thumbs. Maybe I'd reverse the order of the fingers and do three coats of Zest of Times alone on my thumbs.

We all learned as kids that red and blue make purple, and I love purple so thought I'd try it with Zest of Times, layering two coats of it over the Bonita pastel blue creme, leaving an accent finger blue to show the transformative effect of the shimmer. This says "Easter candy" to me.

There was one more color left from the Bonita set, so I couldn't let it go untried. I did two coats of this hot pink shimmer, then layered one coat of Ring the Belini, Horizon Shine, and Zest of Times over it on successive nails. This is the same pattern as in the look I did with Sally Hansen Enchantment; Ring the Belini makes a much better for me orange shade over this pinker base.

I had to have a bit more fun before I finished up, so I did quick chunky gradients over the top of the above look, brushing on the CitrusTwist colors that weren't already on each nail. Some of the combinations were more pleasing than others, but all of them made me happy to look at.

I think SinfulColors has done a great job putting out interesting polishes this season. I do wish they'd be clearer on the displays which colors are new/core/repromote/limited edition, but I suppose that's what the internet is for, with an ad hoc army of intelligence specialists who figure this stuff out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Random Beauty Supply Finds

The other week I was at a Sally Beauty a little outside my normal shopping routes and across the parking lot I noticed an independent beauty supply. I suspected it would be, like most similar places around here, a "hair store" full of wigs and extensions and either no nail polish or a very little nail polish in displays that hadn't been updated with new stock in a while, but I hadn't been to this particular one before, so tromped across the snow to see what I could see. It actually had a whole aisle of nail stuff, so that was a pleasant surprise. They didn't have the latest from OPI or China Glaze or Orly, so I won't be adding them to my regular rounds, but they did have some older colors and some brands I rarely see at retail locations, like Ruby Kisses and Kleancolor and NK (Nicka K). Of course I found a few things to buy. Left to right below: Ruby Kisses Deal with the Devil (this was 50 cents because it's an old bottle style), Orly Sapphire Luck (September polish from the birthstone collection which I think was 2004; this was $1.99), NK Neon Glitter Purple and Panorama, Kleancolor Playful Lavender (I am hoping that fill line being down is due to evaporation, not swatching in the store, but there are enough chemicals in there I'm not worried about cooties in any case).

Ruby Kisses Deal with the Devil is a deep navy blue with very subtle shimmer. I used two coats.

Here's a direct low light shot so you can see how very subtle the shimmer is:

Of course the blue looked like a great canvas for the glitters, so I popped those on. Top to bottom: Kleancolor Playful Lavender, NK Panorama, NK Neon Glitter Purple, all three glitters. I added topcoat to smooth and shine. All of these glitters have a mix of smaller and larger hexes. Playful Lavender and Neon Glitter Purple have a monochromatic look; lighter lilac for the Kleancolor and rich purple for the NK. Panorama has small lilac and larger holo silver, turquoise, and pink. I think these all work quite nicely together. (I also think I could have done a better job of clean up, but I was excited and distracted by my new pretties.)

I expected Orly Sapphire Luck to be on the sheer side based on the other colors I have from this collection, so I put Ruby Kisses Deal with the Devil on an accent nail first, topping it with one coat of Sapphire Luck. I did three coats of Sapphire Luck alone on the remaining three nails. I also slicked on some topcoat for added shine and smoothing. The Orly has a slight blue/purple duochrome, which you can see best on the dark base color. I'm quite liking the microflakie shimmer finish of this Orly.

I also got an RK by Kiss matte shimmer, a deep green called Deep Green. This turned out to be a wonderful one-coater that reminded me a lot of the OPI Suede collection. I liked this one so much that if this particular store were on my usual routes, I would have gone back to see what other colors there were. I still might even though it will require a trip out of my way.

Deep Green looks good with topcoat, too.

Much as I enjoy stalking new collections, it's fun to pick up some oddballs like this every now and then. (And that right there is why I have so many Helmers full of polish; it's all fun to me.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Little Later Than Mid-February Displays

For a change, it hasn't been way too long since my last display post, at least not judging by the number of photos piled up in my folder to be posted. Maybe it's just a slow time for new polish.

Butter London gets us kicked off with their Spring 2015 collection, High Tea, which I saw at Ulta, in the now usual spot down the aisle instead of on the top shelf above the core polish display on the endcap where they used to be and where I was more likely to see them. The confusing thing here is that while I expected six polishes based on the press release, and there are six polishes here, they aren't all the same colors as promised in the press release. Instead of Cheers, a yellow creme, this display has Doily, a milky pastel pink with white glitter topper that was part of the Sweet Somethings collection for Bridal 2014. And it's not a mistake in shelving, since Doily is on the printed card attached to the shelf. The other colors are Tiddly, Ruby Murray, Kip, High Tea, and Sloane Ranger. Sloane Ranger is not new, either, but the others I don't recall seeing before. There's a tutorial on the display showing how to doan ombre mani (by which they mean gradient) using something called the Butter London Ombre Brush, which seems to be a really fat, flat brush. I actually think I might have one of those; I should look.

One of the things keeping me busy this month was a trip to Idaho, during which I both skied and worked yet still managed to make some time to hunt for displays. Fred Meyer had the Essence Like an Unforgettable Kiss display, with four polishes amongst the other makeup: Always on My Mint, Pink Me, Nothing But Lovestoned, You Let my Heart Skip a Beat.

As of my last display post, I was on the hunt for a proper Essie Cashmere Matte display, and I did find one, at a Walgreens a little outside my normal shopping grounds. The bottles weren't arranged properly but I did not have time to fix them (I was on my way out of town for a girls' weekend). As as aside, when I am queen of the universe, there will be a zero tolerance policy for testing colors on a display. I don't care what the excuse is, do this in my world and you'll be banned from retail stores until you prove you can behave yourself, and that will be a high bar to get over.

Here's how that display should have been arranged, as seen a couple weeks later at a Bed Bath & Beyond:

I also saw Cashmere Matte in the salon bottles at Ulta.

The Ulta display had a card next to it with a nail art idea:

Ulta also had the Essie resort collection, Suite Retreat. Four colors here: Suite Retreat, Stones 'n' Roses, Time for Me Time, and Cocoa Karma.

There were three nail art ideas for this collection:

I ventured into Walmart, not expecting much since new displays have been scarce there in recent months, but found a relatively unmolested endcap with Nail'd It Nail Lacquer colors from Flower in it. These seemed to be a mix of new colors as well as some that were in the original line launch (you can see those displays in this 2013 display post). Top row: Quick Dry Top Coat, Rose Gold Top Coat, Gold Top Coat, Make My Daylily, Pansy Shmansy. Second row: Thistle or That (old), Good Bud-dy (old), Aster Place, First Bloom (old), Budding Romance (old). (Remaining rows were repeats of the first two).

At a Walgreens in Idaho, I saw something I'd never seen before: an Incoco Nail Polish Applique display. This was called Love Story and by the time I got there, had four designs left: Sweet Surprise, Hello Sweetheart, Love is in the Air, and First Crush. (The missing ones, based on the photos on the display, were Love Spell and Sealed with a Kiss.) These were smaller packages with fewer strips than the ones I've tried via review samples and online ordering and had a lower price. Now that I'm looking at this photo again, I'm wishing I'd bought more than the one set I grabbed.

I swung by Bed Bath & Beyond and saw a new L'Oreal display, Haute Florals, which looks very spring-like. It's got six base shades and a floral glitter topper. Left to right: Wispy Clouds, Spring Showers, Hint of Lavender, Violette, Rose Symphony, Sweet Nectar, and Garden Bouquet (times 2).

Here's a closer look at Garden Bouquet:

Maybelline Rebel Bloom showed up at Bed Bath & Beyond. The first display had polishes and something I hadn't seen from the brand before: nail art stripers called "Nail Laser Liner". The stripers in front: Custom Coral, Purple Play, and Onyx Improv. The polishes in back: Beach Blossom and Rose Candy. The polish bottles have a pretty floral design printed on them, too.

The bigger Maybelline Rebel Bloom display has eye and lip cosmetics and an expanded selection of polishes: Beach Blossom, Rose Candy, Fiery Tulip, and Purple Madness.

The OPI Hawaii collection has popped up at Ulta. Twelve shades here, starting at top left, skipping over topcoats and basecoats: That's Hula-rious, My Gecko Does Tricks, This Color's Making Waves, Pineapples Have Peelings Too, Do You Take Lei Away, Is Mai Tai Crooked, Aloha from OPI, Go with the Lava Flow, Suzi Shops & Island Hops, Just Lanai-ing Around, Hellow Hawaii Ya, Lost My Bikini in Molokini.

Sally Beauty had a much smaller OPI Hawaii display.

Rimmel has a Rita Ora collection display out with size polishes as wel as some lipcolor. The polishes: Blindfold Me Blue, Rita Rouge, Let's Get Nude, Pillow Talk, Pop Art Top Coat, Oragasm, and Raw as Night. I saw this at Fred Meyer in Idaho and at Kmart here in Michigan.

Sally Hansen keeps pumping out new colors. The Colors That Soar display has eight limited edition Xtreme Wear shades: Social Butterfly, Sweet Nectar, Fan Appeal, Cuteapillar, Fly By, Wing It, Painted Lady, and Monarch-y. I saw this first at Fred Meyer on my travels and later back here at home in Michigan at a CVS.

When I posted the SinfulColors Kiss My I'm Stylish St. Patrick's Day display last time, I remarked that there was no Irish Green in it. Well, I found the display at another store (Walgreens instead of KMart) where there was Irish Green included. Lineup here was two slots for Green Ocean (looking like they were slightly different dye lots or something), Irish Green, 2 slots for Shamrockin', two slots for Snow Me White, and then the red Sugar Sugar, which seemed an odd choice for this theme but I suppose it does coordinate with the model's lips.

As if two different assortments of polishes for this same display weren't enough, there's also a variant in which the Shamrockin' glitter is different. All the displays I've seen in Michigan have the version I swatched, with green metallic glitter in the mix. Well, out in Idaho I saw both that version and the lighter, no green metallic glitter, one in different stores. I don't get it. Why release two versions at the same time with the same name? I'd given up on seeing the light version and begged a friend to buy me a bottle before I left for Idaho, which I think made this version appear in my path finally.

Back home in Michigan, I found the SinfulColors About Blooming Time display, which has three Bloomblast milky glitters and some repromotes: Petal Be the Day (Bloomblast), Tempest, Flower Power (Bloomblast), Sail La Vie, Engergetic Red, Cream Pink, Cloud 9, and Standing Bloom Only (Bloomblast).

Ulta had the Zoya Naturel Satins (for 2015 Transitional, which I guess is a season now; not sure if it comes before or after Resort season—or maybe Essie just takes off for a resort to avoid being around for transitional). Sorry, I got distracted there. Six shades here are Tove, Brittany, Ana, Leah, Rowan, and Sage.

I was hoping to see Orly spring by now but Sally Beauty didn't have it yet, and Ulta has not gotten any new Orly in a while. Not that I am hurting for new polish to play with, of course.