Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wheel N14: Red Shimmers

Red shimmers were what caught my eye the last time I was in my studio, so that's what I have for this Nail Wheel Wednesday. Some are very subtle shimmers; one probably would be better on a glitter wheel. Some lean orange; some lean pink. I continually need to remind myself that perfection is not the purpose of this project. Getting all my polishes out of the bottle for at least one tip's worth is the goal, and every wheel gets me closer to it. (Not buy new polish would also help, but that's almost certainly not going to happen any time soon.)
 

1. Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstinis Sangria (2 coats) [such a long name for such little bottles]
2. Christian Dior Tout Paris (1)
3. Ciate Kitten Heels (3)
4. SinfulColors Sinful Shine Shine Annie (2)
5. SpaRitual Intention (3)
6. Nicole by OPI Always a Classic Coca-Cola (2)
7. OPI The Color of Minnie (2)
8. Revlon Top Speed Orient Express (2)
9. Finger Paints Hollydazzle (2)
10. Zoya Amal (2)
11. Finger Paints Turn Out the Night (2)
12. Salon Perfect The American Sheen (2)
13. L'Oreal He Read My Mind (2)
14. L'Oreal Jennifer's Red (2)
15. Essie #essielove (2)
16. Essie Love Beverly Hills (2)
17. Essie Surpise & Delight (2)
18. Elf Red-y or Not (2)
19. Red Carpet Glitz & Glamorous (2)
20. China Glaze Ho Ho No (2)

Bottles 1 through 5:
 

6 through 10:
 

11 through 15:
 

16 through 20:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to get the shimmer to show in the shy and subtle ones:
 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Kokie Spring Trio

PR sample provided for review
 
Today I've got three polishes from Kokie to celebrate the arrival of spring. Up here on the mountain where I live, the weather is still wavering between winter and spring, with plenty of snow still piled up (about three feet of it outside my back windows, for instance) but also some warmer days when it's comfortable to go out without multiple layers under my outerwear. Before too long, it'll be mud season, when the rains come and things get dreary for a few weeks. Then I'll really need pretty polishes like these. Left to right: Mystic Mauve, Celestial, and Blossom. (Yes, when the caps are tightened down, the elephant doesn't always like to be front and center; that I can look at this photo and not strongly want to reshoot is a sign I've made a lot of progress with letting go of my perfectionism over the years. Which has nothing to do with this post but my mind, it wanders where it will.)
 
Kokie Mystic Mauve, Celestial, and Blossom
I started with Blossom, a pale peachy pink crelly. Two coats gave my nails a slightly better than natural look, a nice palate cleanser. This is on the sheer side of crelly, but is buildable and self-levels nicely.
 
Kokie Blossom
 
Kokie Blossom
Of course I had to experiment with layering Blossom. I painted my tips with Kokie Iced Out, one of the polishes the brand sent me this past winter, and topped with two coats of Blossom for a bit of a twist on a classic French mani. This approach nicely took care of hiding the slight yellow cast my natural nails seem to have regardless of how careful I am to use base coat under polish.
 
Kokie Blossom
 
Kokie Blossom
Celestial has a clear base densely packed with small metallic glitter accented with a sprinkling of small holo glitter. I used three coats for full coverage, though two coats probably would have worked if I'd made them a touch thinner. I did add clear topcoat, too, though this wasn't especially bumpy. This color is a bit of a chameleon, sometimes looking more silver, sometimes more platinum or even light bronze, but it always looked nice and sparkly yet somehow also subtle (though my idea of subtle may be skewed by having used so much bright color and big glitters over the years).
 
Kokie Celestial
 
Kokie Celestial
Here's Celestial showing off its colors in regular room light:
 
Kokie Celestial
Mystic Mauve is a warm purple creme, opaque in two coats.
 
Kokie Mystic Mauve
 
Kokie Mystic Mauve
You know I had to try layering Celestial over Mystic Mauve. I added one coat of Celestial plus clear topcoat. One could argue that Celestial is too glitter-filled to be a good topper, but I liked the combination.
 
Kokie Mystic Mauve and Celestial
 
Kokie Mystic Mauve and Celestial
Before I put these polishes away, I tried combining all three into one dotted pond mani, starting with two coats of Blossom, dots of Mystic Mauve themselves dotted with Celestial, then two more coats of Blossom. I think instead of "pond" I got "petri dish" but decided to share it anyway because experiments are good even when they don't quite turn out as hoped.
 
Kokie Blossom and Mystic Mauve and Celestial
These shades (along with dozens of others) are available at Sally Beauty stores for $4.99 per 16ml bottle. They're also online on the Sally Beauty and Kokie websites.

Kokie Website    Facebook    Instagram

 
 
The polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes. The content of the entry was not dictated by the provider, and I get to keep the polishes for my own use.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wheel M14: Toppers from Revlon and Essence

I took a break from greens for this week's Nail Wheel Wednesday and pulled out some sheer toppers, swatching them over tips I painted the ends of black before I started.
 

1. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Starlight
2. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Beam of Pink
3. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Sunstruck
4. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Lavender Light [yeah, I didn't notice the flash on some of these tips before I started painting]
5. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Night Light
6. Revlon Color Beam Sheer Bright Sky
7. Revlon Color Flip [the $3.28 price sticker still hanging on to the cap made me smile so I left it]
8. Revlon Transforming Effects Pink Glaze
9. Revlon Transforming Effects Gold Glaze [cap of this got covered in a Zoya topper in a breakage incident; I gave up on cleaning it off]
10. Revlon Transforming Effects Matte Pearl Glaze [this seems to have evaporated quite a bit; I know I haven't used it that much]
11. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Piña Colada Pop
12. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Banana Blaze
13. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Apricot Freeze
14. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Grapefruit Glimmer [this showed more colors over black than I expected]
15. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Strawberry Sizzle
16. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Cherry Fizz [not much glimmer in this one; doesn't look like it settled so maybe the particles dissolved?]
17. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Grape Shimmer
18. Revlon Glimmer Gloss Blueberry Burst [another very low glimmer one]
19. Essence Colour 3 Stop for an Ice Cream [as I like to do, I separated the double ended bottle; where the other halves are now is a mystery ... in a box somewhere most likely]
20. Revlon Glimmer Gloss It's Just a Little Crush

Bottles 1 through 5:
 

6 through 10:
 

11 through 15:
 

16 through 20:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Pop Beauty Nail Glam Duo

My most recent jaunt to the county to the south of me (to get my 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine—yay!) didn't yield any new displays to share but did lead to me discovering a mystery in a cosmetics bin on the clearance shelves at Walgreens: Pop Beauty Nail Glam polish, which I'd never seen at Walgreens before. I thought this brand was long gone, having not seen it anywhere in years. I bought a bunch when Ulta carried them back in 2011. Those were full size 15ml rectangular bottles; these are 8ml half size in square bottles. Despite being in the clearance bin, they rang up at full price: $6. There were only two colors in the bin: ZZZ Pink and Black Cherry.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam ZZZ Pink and Black Cherry
ZZZ Pink is a medium pink with pearly shimmer.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam ZZZ Pink
This was plenty opaque in two coats. Unfortunately the shimmer pretty much disappeared on the nail, leaving just pink. Which maybe is why they named it ZZZ Pink ... it's so uninteresting it puts me to sleep. Yes, pink polish is classic, and looks pretty. No problem if that's your thing. It's not my thing anymore. Yet I still buy it to satisfy the collector in me, so I guess I'm encouraging brands to keep pumping out the pinks and reds and skintones. They're going to do that anyway, though ... always have.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam ZZZ Pink
In direct light, the shimmer was ever so slightly visible.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam ZZZ Pink
To add a pop of interest to ZZZ Pink, I added funky French tips with Black Cherry, which we'll take a closer look at shortly. Yes, my lines could be smoother, and I might as well have used a cheap black creme for this, but it is more interesting to look at.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam ZZZ Pink and Black Cherry
I had high hopes for Black Cherry, which has lots of small deep pink glitter in a black base.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam Black Cherry
Two coats of Black Cherry plus topcoat (to smooth out the glitter) later, I was let down. The glitter disappears into the base on the nail, which makes having to add topcoat to deal with the texture frustrating. (I don't think it's supposed to be a textured polish.)
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam Black Cherry
Okay at this angle I can see the tiniest hints of glitter showing on some of my nails. I can also see the uneven texture despite already having added one layer of topcoat.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam Black Cherry
Getting up close in direct light does let the the glitter shine through more. In daily life, I am not this close to my own nails very often, much less letting anyone else get that close (especially in COVID times).
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam Black Cherry
I did try putting a black creme base on and trying to do a thin coat of Black Cherry to see if that would help. It was hard to tell. Maybe a tiny bit, but I still needed bright direct light to see the glitter.
 
Pop Beauty Nail Glam Black Cherry
 
So yeah, I'm underwhelmed by these two. I do like square bottles for how space efficient they are to store, and the formula of these has good opacity (too good in the case of Black Cherry). I see that more shades are available direct from Pop Beauty, but as there are no swatches, it's hard to know if things like the blue glitter or the purple shimmer are worth getting.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Wheel L14: Pale Green Shimmers

Still on my spring green kick for Nail Wheel Wednesday, this time with pale green shimmers. Some lean yellow, some are more cool-hued. The shimmer finishes range from sparkly to pearly to so subtle you can't really see the shimmer. A few are really textures but I decided to leave them on there.
 

1. Esssence The Gel Soft Metal Turn the Lights On (2 coats)
2. Essie At Sea Level (2)
3. Kiko Velvet Satin 694 Honeydew Melon (2)
4. Nina Ultra Pro Hint of Mint (2)
5. Max Factor Diamond Hard Starlet Satin (3)
6. Studio M Pro Frosted Mint (2)
7. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Mint Condition (2)
8. L'Oreal Pistachio Dream (2)
9. Essence I Heart Trends So Lucky (2)
10. Joe Fresh Mint (3)
11. Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Sea (3)
12. Sephora Formula X Illustrious (3)
13. Essence Hidden Stories Enchanted by Hint of Mint (2) [oops, this belongs on a texture wheel]
14. Miyo Menta (2)
15. Avon Nailwear Pro+ Honeydew Dazzle (2)
16. H & M Scented Green Apple (2)
17. Essence Floral Grunge Grunge Me Tender (2) [another oops, this is a texure]
18. Princessa Green Apple (3)
19. GOSH Frosted Soft Green (2) [maybe this should be on a glitter wheel? or a texture?]
20. SinfulColors Bring It Sheer (3)

Bottles 1 through 5:
 

6 through 10:
 

11 through 15:
 

16 through 20: