Friday, January 29, 2016

Orly Infamous Collection

Where does the time go? Feels like I just picked up the Orly winter/holiday collection, yet here it is nearly the end of January and I'm just posting my swatches. There are six shades in this group: 15 Minutes of Fame, Gossip Girl, Front Page, Scandal, Makeup to Breakup, and Frenemy. Originally, I bought just the three most blingy of the colors, then on a return trip to Sally Beauty picked up the other three because a) Orly, a favorite brand of mine from way back, seems to need my help as I see them in fewer places than I used to and b) I like having a complete collection and when there are only six that's easier to justify.

I started my swatching with the color I had the most concerns about: Front Page. This ivory shimmer looked suspiciously frosty in the bottle, reminding me of the bad old days when all shimmers were really frosts. On the nail, these concerns were confirmed. I did three coats of this, with the third mostly just because I was trying to get my brushstrokes straight (I did not succeed on all my nails). Sure, sponging on the last coat would likely help this look better, but I don't want have to sponge unless I'm getting a nice gradient out of the effort. All that said, this is a pretty glowy color that looks good with my skintone. And the brushstrokiness isn't near the worst I've seen, so that's something.

I decided to see if I could camouflage the brushstrokes in Front Page by topping it with 15 Minutes of Fame, a red jelly with scattered microglitter and flakies. Adding one coat of 15 Minutes of Fame did provide some distraction from the frosty base but they were still there lurking. The combination of shades did make a nice cheery coral red color, though.

Next I tried 15 Minutes of Fame on its own. At two coats, it was not quite opaque and gave me a hint of phantom dirt line, but the sparkle was pretty.

More colors popped in direct light:

Scandal is a deep red creme. I used two coats for my swatch.

I couldn't just leave the plain red be, so I added two coats of 15 Minutes of Fame to all but my index finger. I liked this layering combination quite a lot.

In direct light:

The second creme in the collection is Makeup to Breakup, a dark teal blue. I used two coats of this one as well.

Gossip Girl has gold hex glitter with gold and red microglitter in a clear base. I put one coat of it plus topcoat over Makeup to Breakup, leaving my index finger plain as an accent. I bet this would have gotten opaque on its own, as one coat layered didn't leave much of the blue base showing. Since I was sure some other nail blogger swatched it that way, and I'm not that into gold, I moved on.

What I moved on to was the last polish in the collection, Frenemy, a black jelly with silver holo microglitter and flakies. Three coats of it alone was not quite opaque, but it didn't do the phantom dirt line thing, so that was good.

As with its red sibling, the colors popped more in direct light:

Before I put these away, I did one last combination: Makeup to Breakup topped with one coat of Frenemy. I really, really liked this look.

Frenemy is my favorite of this group, for sure. 15 Minutes of Fame is nice, too. If you like gold, I could see grabbing Gossip Girl. The cremes are fine, but nothing special color wise. Front Page is too frosty for me to recommend.

Did you buy any of these? Will you if you see them on clearance?

Monday, January 25, 2016

LA Colors Color Craze Gel Duo

I picked up a couple colors to try from the LA Colors Color Craze display, even though the main benefit touted on the display—high shine—is not really a concern since for a full mani, I'd use topcoat anyway and get my shine from that. But you know I'm a sucker for pretty colors, and these were pretty and $2.49 so it's quite remarkable I only got two: Magical and Masquerade.

Magical is a lilac with pink and gold shimmer.

Magical is on the sheer side; I used three coats for my swatch and could still see some visibile nail line at most angles. I think four might have made it opaque, as I did an extra swipe on the outside of my pinky nail and that seemed to cover the nail line.

Sheer polish means layering fun, so I tried Magical over some base colors. Top to bottom: three coats of Magical alone for comparison purposes, one coat of Magical over Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Cafe au Lait (skintone color for me), one coat of Magical over L'Oreal High Spirits (lilac creme), one coat of Magical over unknown white creme.

I'd wear any of those combinations. Over the skintone creme, it's subtle; over the lilac, it looks like the bottle color without having to do so many coats, and over the white, it's surprisingly and delightfully blue-toned (though I'd need to work harder on getting an even coat of Magical since the bright white base shows up where I got sloppy).

Masquerade is a dark warm brown shimmer that reminds me of black cherry soda.

Masquerade was not sheer; I used only one coat for my swatch. It dried a bit on the satin side, which I found odd given all the references to "shine" on the display. The shimer pretty much disappeard on the nail, which was disappointing.

I added some topcoat and put my nails in direct light, which did coax a bit more of the shimmer to show, but still wasn't what I was hoping for. I wish the base were less dark and the shimmer a touch more prominent.

But wait, I had some prominent shimmer in layering form quite handy, so I popped a coat of Magical on top of Masquerade. Now we're talking.

I loved this combination. When I added topcoat and popped my nails into direct light, I really really loved it.

It's very early in the year, but I'm going to go ahead and say that Magical is in the running for my 2016 Top 20. Masquerade, not so much.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Essence Nail Candies

When I first saw the Essence Nail Candies at Fred Meyer, I bought only two of the colors to try them out, in keeping with my ongoing attempts to slow my stash expansion. But then on this last display hunting trip, I noticed the whole line was marked 50% off because it was going away, so I panicked and bought the rest of the shades. Thus today I have all eight that were in the display. Left to right: Oh Lolli Lollipop, Always in My Mint, Peachy Keen, Sweets for the Sweet, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, Soda Pop & Candy Shop, Like Love Birds, A Hint of Mint.

I started with A Hint of Mint, putting one coat on my index finger and building to four on my pinky. I was impressed that the single coat looked so even; was thinking it would be streaky since this color is so pale. I'm not sure that the slight green tint is so great with the slight yellow staining on my nails at one coat, but it looks okay by the time we get to three coats.

I did the same one to four coat approach with Like Love Birds. This is a more flattering color for me.

All the Nail Candies have a slight shimmer to them. It's shy, and I could only get it to show up in direct light, and even then only scattered sparks of it.

The above two were the original ones I got to try the line; when I brought the rest home I thought comparisons were in order. I started with the two green ones. Below, left to right: Always on My Mint, Hint of Mint, Always on My Mint, Hint of Mint (three coats of each). These are super close; Hint of Mint is a touch more opaque.

Then I put on the pinks and purples. Left to right below: Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, Like Love Birds, Soda Pop & Candy Shop, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch. All are three coats. Like Love Birds is the most pigmented of these pales. I like Soda Pop & Candy Shop best with my skintone.

Finally it was the peaches turn. Left to right: Sweets for the Sweet, Oh Lolli Lollipop, Peachy Keen, Sweets for the Sweet. I had a hard time seeing any significant differences among these on the nail.

Given how sheer and buildable these were, I wanted to try making a milky jelly sandwich, so topped the peaches comparison with Orly Color Blast Multicolored Gloss Glitter followed by one coat of Nail Candies Peachy Keen. I liked this combination quite a lot.

I had to Google to find out what the "6 in 1" on the caps of these refers to. According to the Essence website, these "...the nail polishes harden, protect your nails from daily demands, even out irregularities, have a fruity scent, dry fast and give your nails a high-shine finish". (Essence, unlike me, doesn't go for the Oxford comma.) I looked this up only after I swatched them, and do not recall any fruity scent, but that could be because I was already high on remover fumes. I also didn't notice them drying particularly fast, though the room I was working in was somewhat cold. They were shiny and did self level nicely. So I guess if you're in the Pacific Northwest and like these, run to your Fred Meyer before they disappear. But you don't need all the shades, as the comparisons show, so that should make the hunt easier if you choose to embark on it.

Monday, January 18, 2016

First All Inland Northwest Displays

One of my New Year's resolutions, informal though that list may be, is to not let my display photos back up so much, thus here I am, not even three weeks since my last display post with more shopping finds to share. These are all from my recent trip which took me not just to the nearest big-ish city of 40 thousand people but also to the even bigger city closest to that of 200 thousand people plus. Even combined, they're no match for the huge metro Detroit area I'd gotten used to but there's still lots of polish to see.

One of the things I was looking for this time was the Essie display with the Starry Starry Night reformulation, but the situation at both of the Ulta stores I went to was this:

Signage, but no trace of the display or the polishes. I thought maybe they just hadn't put them out yet, so circled back around to one store after I'd run the rest of my errands but there was still nothing. I asked and the sales associate got the manager to come talk to me; she said "yeah, I don't know why we put that up; we don't have those yet". Okay then.

I saw this janky display for the LA Colors Color Craze Gel line at a Fred Meyer store. Usually patrons there are better behaved than to "test" polishes like this. These aren't new; I just hadn't run into them before. The bottles were somewhat mixed up by the time I saw them, but fortunately the display itself listed the colors that should be there, complete with colored stripes to show the shade family: Frosting (clear), Damsel, Mademoiselle, Socialite, Vampy, Fierce, Knockout, Stunner, Posh, Untamed, Vixen, Muse, Risque, Rockin' It, Daring, and Tempt.

In a different Fred Meyer, I saw a different LA Colors Color Craze Gel display that had 16 new colors (how new, I'm not sure, but the display was much less molested that the first one). Again, bottles were somewhat randomly place but the display copy showed me what should be there: Dazzling, Pink Sugar, Intuition, Giggle, Sassy, Magical, Spontaneous, Amplify, Foxy, Ice Princess, Ravishing, Red Carpet Ready, Envy, Chateau, Never Ending, Masquerade.

Sally Beauty had the OPI Hello Kitty collection. Top row: Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel, Super Cute in Pink, My Twin Mimmy, 5 Apples Tall, My Pal Joey, Never Have Too Mani Friends. Bottom row: Kitty White, Charmmy & Sugar (sold out), Let's Be Friends, Look at My Bow, Small + Cute = Heart, Spoken From the Heart.

There were two gift sets as well. Charmmy & Sugar and Let's Be Friends with Hello Kitty printed toe separators was one; Look at My Bow and Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel with a Hello Kitty coin purse was the other.

Also at Sally Beauty, I saw a four-shelf display celebrating the 40th anniversary of Orly. Apparently they are celebrating by not making new colors for the occasion. Top shelf is 40 Years of Favorite Color: Va Va Voom, Haute Red, Purple Crush, Mirrorball, Glowstick. (I would have loved to see them bring back some earlier colors, like a few of the birthstone collection, for instance). Second shelf is 40 Years of Pinks: Hot Shot, Beach Cruiser, Kiss the Bride, Passion Fruit, Oh Cabana Boy. Third shelf is 40 Years of French Manicures: White Tips, Beverly Hills Plum, Rose Colored Glasses, Sheer Nude, Bare Rose. Bottom shelf is 40 Years of Treaments: Tough Cookie, Bonder, Argan Oil Cuticle Drops, Nailtrition, In a Snap. (I'm sad that Nail Defense isn't there; it was the first nail treatment I really fell in love with.)

Last time I shared a Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure display with 14 new shades; this time I saw a larger display at Fred Meyer with those 14 colors plus another seven. Front row (these are ones that weren't in the smaller display): Chocoholic, Bordeaux Glow, Pink Stiletto, Midnight Mod, Flash-ionista, S-teal the Show, Slate-r Girl. Middle row: Head Bang, Scarlet Starlet, V-amplified, Motley Hue, Punk-ish Purple, Rock On, Stilettos & Studs. Back row: Pink-terest, Electric Pop, World Wide Red, Byte Blue, Let's Get Digital, Digi-teal, Gigabryte.

Fred Meyer had a SinfulColors With Flying Colors Display which said it was "2016 New Launches" but that line definitely didn't apply to all the shades here. Left to right: Clear Coat (not new), Yolo Yellow (maybe new; shade number is 1598 but I don't recall seeing this before), Snow Me White (not new), Lie-Lac (new, #1701), Wondermint (maybe new, 1599), Hush Money (new, 1702), Blue La La (not new), Poisonberry (new, 1700).

Walgreens had SinfulColors Live in Color 2016 touting "hot new shades", which again did not seem apply to all the colors in the display (white, black, clear, I'm looking at you especially). Front row: Gold n' Roses, Cherry Blossom, Rebel Rose, Devil's Stare, Clear Coat. Back row: Snow Me White, Mint2BCool, Yolo Yellow, Mist-erious, Black on Black.

I also saw some Sinful Shine displays, starting with Shine Into the New Year at Fred Meyer. Most of the front row was all topcoat; the color on the end of the front row is Shimmer Shivers. In the back row: Diamond in the Raw, Gold Star, Prosecco, Tutu Thrill, Shine Annie. I know Prosecco is not new, but not sure about the others. Based on shade number, I'd say the newest are Shimmer Shivers and Gold Star, but that's just me guessing.

Walgreens had a different Sinful Shine display with the shades above plus more. Top row: Gold Star, Rendevous, Shimmer Shivers, Come Hither, Wisp, Top Coat (times 2). Bottom row: Haute Shine, Diamond in the Raw, Most Sinful, Prosecco, Shine Annie, Top Coat (times 2).

Finally, I spotted Wet 'n' Wild 1 Step Wonder Gel at Walgreens. This is their entry into the no light gel-like category, priced at $4.99 a bottle. Top row: It's Sher-Bert Day, Missy in Pink, Pinky Swear, Pale in Comparison, Condensed Milk, All That Jazzy. Middle row: Peri-wink-le of an Eye, Lavender Out Loud, Bye Feluschia, Pardon My Peach, Coral Support, Crime of Passion. Bottom row: Cyantific Method, Pretty Peas, Stay Classy, Left Marooned, Under My Plum, Power Outage.

That's all for now. There was nothing new at any of the Rite Aid stores I checked; I was hoping for some Bonita but no such luck. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More Swap Goodies

I was lucky to do a second international swap late last year, with Maria of Un poco de esmaltes. In a twist, she was traveling to the US so I shipped to her at her hotel and she shipped to me via the US Postal Service, which meant less expense and customs hassle. She packed a lot of lovelies into this cute bag:

She also wrote a note telling me which brands came from which countries, so I grouped the bottles that way for their photos, starting with the ones from Brazil. Left to right: Risque Color Effect in Granulado Rose and Nuvem de Paete, Linha Degradê da DNA Italy ombre kit in Lilás, Hits Phenomena in Air Glow, Miss Rôse unnamed color in an adorable apple bottle.

Brands from Columbia: Masglo in Brillo Escarlata and Vogue Fantastic Efecto Tornasol in Centella.

Brands from Argentina: Diva Duo Chrome Lilacblue, Cuvage 50, EV Arandano Dorado, Desseo Fantasia 1, Dulce Diallo Japon Okinawa, Amodil Spiagge (not sure of shade name), Laqueada in Clone Wars.

I couldn't resist the apple bottle, so started with the Miss Rôse, which is an autumnal orange creme. I used two coats.

The cap of this is unusual, too—sort of a wing shape.

I added two coats of Risque Granulado Rose to three of my fingers because glitter is usually a good idea.

I was curious about the DNA ombre kit, so tried that next. I first put the creme shade on; this was nicely pigmented and only took two coats, which was great for a light color like this. Then I added the sheer purple topcoat: one coat on my index finger building to four coats on my pinky. The topcoat was very thin so even adding four coats to the two of the creme didn't make that nail look too overloaded with polish.

I topped two coats of the Vogue duochrome shimmer with one of the Masglo glitter. I unfortunately didn't get a really good picture of the combination but hope this shot shows how the glitter blended with the brown/rust side of the duochrome shift and contrasted but still coordinated with the olive green side.

The black and white Laqueada glitter topper went perfectly over a base of two coats the Cuvage hot purple creme.

I finished my swatching session with the two milky glitters, putting two coats of the Dulce Diallo on my index finger and three coats of the Desseo on my other digits.

Even in retirement, I still run out of time to swatch before I run out of polish, but I hope to try the other lovelies from this swap one day soon.