Monday, July 29, 2019

Anna Sui Minnie Mouse Collection

When I moved out west in 2015, there were some polishes that received special treatment and got to make the trip in small boxes, packed extra carefully, rather than the bigger boxes the Helmer drawers went into (those were packed just regularly carefully). These five Minnie Mouse shades from Anna Sui were among those, as the bottles are unique and I hadn't used any of them yet (they were released in 2013).

The boxes are pretty fancy themselves, with Minnie in a different pose on each one (though on the top of the boxes the poses are all the same, which I found a bit of a curious design decision).

The bottles are Minnie Mouse in a ball gown; I've turned the second one from left around so you can see the back is detailed as well. Shades left to right: 001 Stardust Silver, 002 Snow White, 200 Midnight Purple, 300 Neon Pink, 400 Passion Red.

Neon Pink is definitely pink, but not neon (and never was according to swatches I found that were done close to the time this collection came out). It's a warm bright pink with very subtle purple shimmer that only showed up in direct light. I used three coats for full coverage. One thing to note about all the colors in this collection is they have a noticeable rose scent, especially once they're dry.

Snow White is a sheer white with pink shimmer and small to medium silver holo glitter. I used one coat as a topper over Neon Pink. The glitter is on the sparse side, so there is quite a variation in how much comes up on each brushful; some nails got a little, some a lot. The shimmer in it does show up even in indirect light, thought that's hard to see on the pink base.

Midnight Purple is a deep purple with blue and pink shimmer that shows up on the nail in both indirect and direct light. I used two coats for my swatch.

The last two polishes in this collection are glitter toppers in clear bases, so I went ahead and put them on over Midnight Purple. Stardust Silver (on my pointer and ring fingers) has small silver glitter, while Passion Red has small red glitter plus large red circle glitter. I used one coat of the glitters and am pleased to say no fishing was required to get the circles out of the bottle of Passion Red. These lay flat, so I didn't even bother with topcoat.

These polishes are fine, but the main draw here is the bottle. Why they didn't tie the names more in with the Minnie Mouse theme, I'm not sure; that seems like a missed opportunity.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wheel V11: Glitters from Essie

Nail Wheel Wednesday, along with the rest of the blog, is having a lazy summer, but it's back today with glitters from Essie.

(all two coats plus topcoat, except for #5 Golden Nuggets, which is three coats plus topcoat)

1. Essie Peak of Chic
2. Essie Beyond Cozy
3. Essie Hors d'Oeuvres
4. Essie On a Silver Platter
5. Essie Golden Nuggets
6. Essie Luxeffects Rock at the Top
7. Essie Luxeffects Summit of Style
8. Essie Luxeffects Tassel Shaker
9. Essie Luxeffects A Cut Above
10. Essie Luxeffects Fashion Flares
11. Essie Toggle to the Top [my favorite on this wheel, just a touch deeper and pinker in color than #12 Leading Lady]
12. Essie Luxeffects Leading Lady
13. Essie Luxeffects Fringe Factor
14. Essie Ignite the Night
15. Essie Luxeffects Frilling Me Softly
16. Essie Luxeffects Set in Stones
17. Essie Luxeffects Stroke of Brilliance
18. Essie Starry Starry Night [revival version; why they couldn't have duped the original I don't know, since other brands came closer with their attempts than this revival, like Llarowe with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star]
19. Essie Luxeffects Jazzy Jubilant
20. Essie Belugaria [no idea how this one got through to market; guess I just don't understand the vision behind this lumpy murky mess]

Bottles 1 through 4:

5 through 8:

9 through 12:

13 through 16:

16 through 20:

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.