Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pretty Woman Designer Nails

On one of my trips back to the Midwest, I picked up some sets of the Pretty Woman Designer Nails at Five Below. The first set I tried were rose gold metallic. (No name shown on box for this design; code was PD1019.)

This set of fake nails includes both self-stick tabs and glue; I used the tabs. They're the same kind as came with the Ministry of Beauty fakes that were sold at Meijer for a hot minute in 2015. These tabs are super thin, which is good as it helps the fakes sit closer to the natural nail, but not super sticky, which is bad, because the nails are more likely to pop off sooner than with a thicker/stickier adhesive. The shape of these was much longer and pointier than what I've been wearing; I'd call it a skinny coffin shape or maybe a pointy ballerina. The curve of the nails fit my natural base curve pretty well, and the length meant they covered much better at the sides than most fakes I've been wearing.

These were very eye-catching and I got several compliments on them in the short time I wore them. The time was short because due to the extra length I wasn't acustomed to, I kept snagging them on things, and then due to the relatively weak adhesive, they kept popping off. It was annoying and felt awkward, so I took them off within a day. Next time I try a similar set, I think I'll use glue to avoid the popping off and maybe file them down a bit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Wheel U11: Textured Shimmers

Today for Nail Wheel Wednesday, I have textured shimmers, mostly from the Julie G brand. Some of these have scattered glitter in them along with the shimmer. These are my favorite kind of textures because they can be worn on their own or with topcoat to bring out their depth visually when I don't want the texture. Solid textures just look weird to me when topcoated.

(all two coats)

1. Julie G Tangerine Dream
2. Julie G Sugar Rush
3. Julie G Hot Cinnamon
4. Julie G Textured Ho Ho Ho [I like that the holiday colors say textured on the front of the bottle; that's easier to spot and looks better than the stickers on the backside of handles of the earlier releases which say "for full effect do not use top coat"]
5. Julie G Crushed Candy
6. Orly FX Pink Pixel [as established in one of my texture comparison posts, this is essentially a dupe for Julie G Crushed Candy (or vice versa; I think the Orly came out first)]
7. Julie G Sugar Plum Fairy
8. Julie G Blueberry Fizz
9. Julie G Sleigh Ride
10. Julie G Mistletoe
11. Orly FX Aqua Pixel
12. Julie G Rock Candy [more Julie G/Orly dupe-y-ness with 11 & 12 here]
13. Orly Silver Pixel
14. Julie G Silver Bells [evidently by the time the holiday textures came out Julie G was done duping Orly]
15. Misslyn Velvet Diamond Elegance [it wasn't until I had this on the wheel that it occurred to me that perhaps "velvet diamond" finish wasn't meant to be textured; a bit of research has enlightened me that the brand describes this as having an "exciting contrast between a velvety matte effect and a sparkling glitter optic", nothing about texture at all; ooops]
16. Orly FX Plum Pixel
17. Orly FX Black Pixel [I'm sort of irked that this doesn't have scattered glitter like the other Pixel shades; I like consistency]
18. Icing Quick Sand Sand Castle
19. Orly FX Rose Pixel [and yep, looks like the Icing is a dupe for this one]
20. Julie G Gift of Gold

Bottles 1 through 6:

7 through 12:

13 through 17:

18 through 20:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Essie Universe in Reverse Duo

Last summer, Essie offered two blue violet shimmers in their limited edition Mercury in Retrograde collection, an Ulta exclusive. I bought them, of course, but never got around to swatching them, much less wearing them. I was determined to not make the same mistake with this year's duo, dubbed Universe in Reverse (also known as Mercury in Retrograde II): Happy Medium and Get a Psy-kick Out of It.

Happy Medium is a bright pink with dense shimmer with a blue flash. Two coats were ample for full opacity and color.

Get a Psy-Kick OUt of It is a red violet with similar shimmer to Happy Medium. This was also a two-coater.

Despite the fact these weren't particularly sheer, I decided to try layering with them anyway. Index finger below: Happy Medium (2 coats on its own for comparison purposes). Middle and ring fingers: one coat of Happy Medium over Essie Double Breasted Jacket. Pinky: Essie Double Breasted Jacket (two coats).

I chose a deep blue base to try with Get a Pys-kick Out of It. Index: two coats of Get a Pys-kick Out of It. Middle and ring: one coat of Get a Pys-kick Out of It over Essie No More Film. Pinky: No More Film (two coats).

The shimmer showed a pink/blue shift over the dark base, much more so than on its own.

To wrap up my swatch session with these two, I laid down a base of Essie Recessionista, a deep berry creme, then topped it with Happy Medium on my index and middle fingers and Get a Psy-kick Out of It on my ring and pinky fingers. I could not tell a difference between the two shimmers on this base.

Unless you're a completist, I don't think it's necessary to buy both of these as the shimmer is so very similar. Given that it's more purple, my choice is Get a Psy-Kick Out of It.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

I Guess It's Summer Displays

The mountain resort opened for summer this past weekend; it was 45 degrees Fahrenheit, foggy, and drizzling when I took my first scenic lift ride of the season. So summer is more of a concept here at this point than a reality, but I did experience some warm weather on my recent road trip. The stores along the way were stocked with bright polishes and other seasonal fun, and of course I've spotted some things closer to home since my return. I was surprised at how many pics I did have to sort through and edit for this post, as my last display post was only last month. That's a good sign, I think; maybe the decline in retail nail polish is starting to reverse a bit.

Fred Meyer had a brand of fake nails I'd not seen before: Ardell Nail Addict. I later saw a display of these at Walgreens as well.

The China Glaze Body & Sol collection for summer 2019 is something I've only see at Sally Beauty so far. There were other colors in the back of the display with the eight new shades in front (bookended by topcoat): Skinny Tipping, Beach Buff, Beaches & Toes, Tan-Do Attitude, Copper-tunist, Glow-worthy, Bronze Ambition, and Send Hues.

I saw the CND Vinylux bridal collection Yes I Do at Walgreens. Four shades here: Cream Puff, Negligee, Skin Tease, and Mauve Maverick. There was no mini set of these shades; instead there were two mini duo packs with core colors, one with Married to the Mauve and one with Romantique.

I finally came across the Color Club rose scented matte polishes in a Walmart on my road trip. Left to right: Fresh Picked, Roses are Red, Long Stemmed & Lovely, Be Mine, First Kiss, Blushing Beauty, Perfectly Pink, You're Making Me Blush (sold out).

I still haven't bought, much less tried, the Dashing Diva Gloss nail strips that I've been seeing at Sally Beauty, but if I decide to change that, now I know I can find some designs of them at some Walmart stores, too. This one also had a set of Dashing Diva Brilliance nail art crystal designs.

I shared a small Essie summer display from Rite Aid last time, which had only four slots for the six shades. Since then, I've seen a larger display at both Fred Meyer and Kohl's. This one touted the "new demi-matte finish", which I'm skeptical about; I'm thinking that might just be spin on the way shades with neon pigment have always dried. Left to right: In Full Swing, Claim to Flame, Strike a Rose, Tangoed in Love, Take the Lead, Soles on Fire. (I also saw a sidekick with this collection at a Walgreens, not pictured.)

Kohl's is the only place I've seen the Essie Glazed Days collection in person. Unfortunately it was hard to get a good picture of these since they're in one of those backlit displays (and I didn't want to use flash in the store and attract even more attention to myself). Left to right (two slots per shade except for the last two): Glazed Days, Sweet Not Sour, Confection Affection, Ooh La Lolly, Sweet Supply, But First Candy.

Target had an Essie plus Olive & June display with Essie polishes and Olive & June nail stickers. The Essie colors, both regular line and Gel Couture, are not unique to this display. The stickers I think are Target exclusives. There are six designs: Lovely Day, Fruit Salad, Cabana Crush, My BFF is a Lama (their spelling), Rainbow Bright, In Bloom.

At $7.50 for 36 stickers in a package, they seem a bit pricey but they are cute. See the "lama" one below.

Unlike in my rounds of Five Below stores before my previous display post, this trip I did find a few new polishes in the few bins they do have these days. Funky Fingers I Glitterly Can't is an iridescent glitter.

There were also a couple of Fresh Paint cremes I hadn't seen before: Thank U Next and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Walmart had a display from imPress advertising "The 1-Minute Mani & Pedi", which had fake toenails on the top and fake nails on the bottom. I have yet to try fake toenails, since my pedis last a long time and I rarely break toenails, but I'm getting tempted by some of the textured designs here. I think the "1-Minute" part is rather optimistic; I use fake nails all the time and it's not that fast. Maybe if I started the stopwatch after I'd picked all the sizes and peeled off all the tabs from the adhesive. I saw a much smaller shelftop display with this same theme at Walgreens as well.

The Just Add Sun UV color changing polishes are back again this summer. One Walmart I was at had a display with polishes on top and hair accessories on the bottom; it also had a spot with a light you could click on and see the color change, which was something I hadn't seen before and thought was a great idea. I also saw a Just Add Sun display at Fred Meyer; it didn't have the hair accessories but did have a space for the light alongside the polishes.

Top row: Unicorn Fantasy, Tangerine Dreams, Reckless. Middle row: Baby's Breath, After Party, Get Your Pink On. Bottom row: True Blue, Ruby Slipper, Reckless.

I saw an LA Colors sidekick display at Walmart that was not as much of a mess as things usually are there. The notable part of this one was the top two rows, which were the Color Craze Gel Creamy Neon shades. Top row (two slots each): Gossip, Good Vibes, Day Glow, Lucky. Second row (two slots each, though last two were down to a single bottle each): Chill Out, Splashy, Girl Talk, Jazzy. The other sections had a mix of things we've seen before in other displays (some Mermaid Magic, some core Gel colors, some Hypno).

Also at Walmart, there were some LA Colors Color Last displays with a vaguely 4th of July theme. There are red, white, and blue polishes in here, but they don't seem to be limited edition and are mixed in with a mish mash of other colors, including some of the metallic finish shades.

Rite Aid had two displays of LA Girl repromoted shades for summer jammed together on a shelf. The one in front is Summer Charm and has colors from the Gel line: Star Dust, Sensual, Desire (a bit bright for this assortment), Bella, Charming, Lingerie, Striking, and Clear. The one in back, Summer Glow, contains brights from the Color Pop line: Plunge, Peacock, Leap, Striking, Rad, Roar, Swanky, and Feisty. The Summer Charm colors were all also in the Nail Bar, but only Feisty from the Summer Glow display was.

Sally Beauty now has Morgan Taylor. The Rocketman collection is a movie tie in and has six cremes plus a glitter topper (I am kicking myself now for not moving the purple up to the front row before I snapped this pic. Shades here: Just Me & My Piano (purple), Sir Teal to You (teal), Put on Your Dancin' Shoes (red), It's the Shades (deep pink), Tickle My Keys (pink), Glow Like a Star (yellow), and Bedazzle Me (glitter topper, which I resisted but now I see the pic and want it bad). Ulta also had some of these colors in the core display unit; they were missing the red and yellow there (not even slots for them).

Walgreens had a Sally Hansen Mega Strength display that was notable not for the colors in it but for the two gift sets, each of which had two colors, the top coat, and cuticle oil packaged in a zip top cosmetic bag. The Bold & Bright set (on the left side of the display) had Money Pink Power and Just Getting Started while the Soft & Subtle one had She-Ro and Boss Gloss.

At Rite Aid, I saw a summer Insta Dri display from Sally Hansen called Tropical Brights, which also has leg makeup along with the polishes. I've only seen these colors at Rite Aid so far. Six shades here: Hit the Deck, Flamin-go, To the Peach, Cruisin' Blue, My Ca-Banana, Strawberry Heat.

The Sally Hansen Color Therapy pastel shades and floral stickers from spring showed up at Ulta in a display I hadn't seen before. The interesting thing was this also had Crushed Metal kits in Rose Gold, Gold, and Silver. The display says these give a textured metallic look. The kits have base coat, effect coat, and chrome finish polish.

Finally in the Sally Hansen section, I have a better lit, better stocked Xtreme Wear Pride display than the one I shared last time. As mentioned, these are all core colors. Front row: Red Carpet, Drop the Beet/With the Beet, Coral Reef/Giant Peach, Blue Blitz/Babe Blue, Pine Shine/Silver Storm, Jam Sesh, Iris Illusion/Lacey Lilac, Disco Ball. Back row: Invisible, Red-ical Rockstar/Rebel Red, Sun Kissed, Mellow Yellow, Jazzy Jade, Pacific Blue, Rockstar Pink, White On.

Last display post I shared the Nailtural line from Sensationail that I'd only seen in Canada. I was surprised to find it at a Rite Aid here in Idaho, just rattling around in bins on the end of the Nail Bar. I almost missed them.

As shown in my last display post, I found the SinfulColors Naughty Nudes in the Fearless Color display at one of my local Walmart stores. In my travels, I ran across a dedicated Naughty Nudes display; it was very picked over, so no telling what it was meant to have in it besides the nudes.

I mentioned last time that I'd seen the SinfulColors Silky Matte shades starting to show up in frosted glass bottles after initially being in regular bottles. As the Walmart stores restock the displays, I'm seeing more and more of the frosted bottles. This store had one shiny shade left but all the rest were frosted. Left to right: Purplexed, Coral Craze, Dragonfly, State-mint, Let's Flamingle, Blue Me Away, Blacklist, Mattifly Top Coat, White Lies.

As far as I know, very few Walmart stores got the SinfulColors SinfulShine Cosmic Dreams display, so I felt fortunate to find one on my travels that was pretty much full.

Top three rows below; ones marked with * are part of the Cosmic Dreams collection, which is another Vanessa Hudgens collaboration. Top: Liquid Gold (times 4), Galaxy (*), Tutu Thrill (times 2), Spice, Poison Apple. Middle: Spice (times 2), Space Dust (* times 2), Galaxy (*), Wine Not (times 2), Poison Apple, Prosecco. Bottom: Plumberry (times 2), Magic Dragon (times 2), Dark Matter (* times 2), Shimmarine, Top Coat (times 2).

Bottom three rows below. Top: Aurora (* times 2), Magic Dragon, Celestial (* times 2), Mercury (* times 2), Prosecco, Top Coat. Middle: Diamond in the Raw (times 3), Mercury (*), Pragmatic, Galaxy (*), Interstellar (* times 2), Top Coat. Bottom: Shimmarine, Galaxy (* times 2), Shimmarine (times 2), Diamond in the Raw, Poison Apple, Aquarius (* times 2).

Ulta slipped the Caribbean collection of their Ulta Beauty Gel Shine line into the backlit core display. Left to right: Freshwater Pearl (repromote), Vacation Mode, Girl Boss (repromote), Passports & Pineapples, Bahama Mama, Cabana Boy, Mint Condition (repromote).

At Target, there was a Defy & Inspire Vita Fit display, a line I hadn't seen before. Left to right: Sweat is Liquid Awesome, I Love Me, Fitalicious, No Pain No Gain, Victory Lap, Ion the Prize, Can't Stop Won't Stop, Ion the Prize. I thought I recognized this bottle shape even though I knew I hadn't seen this particular line before; then I recalled the Confetti brand that CVS had for a while. These are the same sort of bottles as those were (see an example here).

All of the Vita Fit colors are core; I found them plus some others in the regular nail polish section a few steps away from the shelf top display. Left to right: Better Sore Than Sorry, Less Words More Actions (sigh), Work In Progress, I Love Me, One Dream (sold out), Can't Stop Won't Stop, Ion the Prize, Victory Lap, No Pain No Gain, PE Teachers Rule, Fitalicious, Sweat is Liquid Awesome, Challenge Your Limits, Run Harder Than Your Mascara, Stop Making Excuses, Sweat Smile Repeat.

There does seem to be some confusion on the part of the Defy & Inspire folks about what glitter is. The last eight polishes are all labeled "glitter" on the display. Only one is what I'd call glitter. The others are shimmers. See Fitalicious below for instance.

Some things I haven't seen yet that I'm looking for are the three additional Essie summer collections: Gorgeous Geodes, Sunrush Metals (Gel Couture), and Rocky Rose. I'm heading out on a plane soon; maybe I'll see them on my travels.