Friday, September 29, 2023

Summer Vacation Displays

Yes, it's been a month since I last posted. I was overly optimistic about what I could get done between my long trip and the shorter one I got back from earlier this week. But now I've managed to get through all the display photos I took on the long trip. I didn't document the shade names for these as I was limited in the time I could spend browsing in stores. Speaking of stores, I only went to ones I came across, so it was all Boots and Superdrug locations in London, Birmingham, and Southampton.

I'd never seen a Barry M display in person before this one. It was mostly filled with Gelly shades, but there were treatments in the upper left and lower right. The bottom row had a few Hi Vis shades.

The same store had a little section with six Gelly shades, at least one of which was in the bigger section shown above, so I'm not sure what this was about ... seasonal collection of repromotes maybe. I did note the shade names here: All in One Basecoat Topcoat and Nail Hardener, Espresso, Chai Latte, Raspberry Ripple, Grape Soda, Pistachio, Pineapple Punch.

A Superdrug in Southampton had a wider selection of Barry M. This display had In a Flash quick dry colors on the left side, with Hi Viz neon color on the top right, with Velvet matte shades, Gelly Rose Tinted collection, and some glitters below that in the right hand side.

That same Superdrug also had a big display with Gelly colors and top/base/treatments. It was so big I didn't get it all in the frame of the photo ... ooops.

There were six more Gelly shades featured in that Superdrug in a separate display section. These weren't the same six as in the Boots in London, so not sure what's going on there.

I admit I was sorely tempted by the Boots brand fake nails, but resisted as I knew I had lots of sets of other brands at home.

I'd never heard of the Collection brand before, and only ran into one display for it. The top two rows were Spotlight Shine colors and the bottom two were Gel Effect.
Like the Boots fake nails, I was also tempted by the Elegant Touch ones, as I can't get that brand at home, but again, even though fakes are easier to use up than polish, I really need to use what I already have. (I was not tempted by the Kiss nails, as I have easy access to those.)

Essie isn't hard to find at home but it was still interesting to see the displays in England. This one at Superdrug had mini bottles, a line called Love by Essie that I don't recall seeing before (it's plant based), a bunch of shades in the regular line, a smaller selection of Gel Couture, and top/base/treatments.

At Boots, the display was similar, but had more shades and instead of the Love line, had an Expressie section.

A different Boots had a trending shades section above their main Essie display. This had Ballet Slippers, Birthday Girl (sold out), Cute as a Button, Lilacism, Salt Water Happy, and Mint Candy Apple.

I only saw a Kiko display once, at what I thought of as the fancy Boots (it was at least twice as big as any of the others I went into). This had removers, top/base/treatments, and shades from the Power Pro and Smart lines.

The only Makeup Academy polishes I saw were in this standing display with neon makeup for summmer.

I miss the days when Maybelline had lots of polish releases, so many with interesting colors and finishes. I saw two lines from them in England, both with a fairly tame selection of shades. Here's the Super Stay:

And the Fast Gel:

I have a soft spot for Max Factor as it was a brand my mom used. Their presence in the US seems to have faded a lot since then but it seems going strong in England. This display had three lines of nail polish: Nailfinity (longwear gel-like colour without a UV lamp), Miracle Pure Nail (plant-based and 100% vegan), and Masterpiece Xpress Quick Dry (60 seconds high shine rich colour).

A different store had this arrangement of Nailfinity and Masterpiece Xpress:

That store's stock of Miracle Pure Nail appeared to be a limited edition collection from Priyanka Chopra Jonas, with her name printed on the labels. I did get these shade names. Top row: Sparkling Light, Sunrise Glow, Radiant Rose, Vanilla Spice. Bottom: Winter Sunset, Daring Cherry, Bold Rosewood, Starry Night.

Like Collection, I hadn't heard of the My Mood brand before I saw the display. This was arranged by groups: Need a Top Up (glitters), Nude Mood (a range of skintone cremes), Nail the Dream (shimmery pastels), Next Level Neon (neons plus a white base), On the Brightside (seems a few pastels snuck into this part), Cult Classics (surprised the blue was here and not with brights), Treatments (bases, topcoat, oil), and Power Couples (pairs of compatible shades).

A closer look at the glitters, which almost made me break my no buying polish rule for this trip:

The Nails Inc display I saw had two rows of Plant Power shades (vegan and halal-friendly) on top with the traditional line below (neons, nudes, pastels, pinks, glitters, top/base/treatments) along with a row of the 45 Seconds Speedy Gloss shades.

The polish in the Revolution display at Superdrug had neons in round bottles and high gloss shades in squar ones.

At Boots, the Revolution polishes were not showcased as well but they had more varieties: Express Nails, Neon/Candy Nails, Gel Effect, and Nail Care.

This Rimmel display had Super Gel colors in the top rows and 60 Seconds Super Shine below with a few Glitter Bomb shades as well.

At another store they had a Rimmel Nail Bar section with a wider range of shades, including a couple glitter top coats. These were mostly 60 Seconds Super Shine with four rows of Super Gel in the upper right.

My old friend Sally Hansen had some represention over the pond. At Superdrug, they had a selection of Good Kind Pure, Miracle Gel, Insta Dri, and treatments.

At a Boots, they had a similar assortment of Sally Hansen.

I am still amazed that I managed to not buy any nail polish on my trip. Whenever I got tempted, I'd remind myself of the many many many beautiful untrieds waiting for me at home. I did buy three concealers and a foundation (and sunscreen and a few other things I used on the trip), and have bought a few polishes since I've been home, so as always I'm a work in progress.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Across the Ocean and Back Again

Hello! I am back from my month-long vacation which took me to/through 15 states plus one country outside of the U.S. It was a journey with a lot of different events and modes of transportation which took me and Mr. Karen to places both familiar to us and new. I put neutral (but a tiny bit sparkly because I'm me) polish on my toes and packed fake nails for my fingers and off I went. A few days before we left, I put on this set from imPress called Wash Away. It has light blue solid nails, light blue with tiny iridescent glitter nails, and light blue with a turquoise and navy flower and butterfly design nails. These started out medium length and square, but I cut and shaped them so they felt more comfortable and practical for me, as I often do with the longer fake nails.

Still looking good on day 6 (with the limited edition "XP Flavored" Coke limited edition).

I had a few nails loosen and need new adhesive tabs during the week I wore the blue set, so pretty standard. The next set of nails I used were from the Kiss Gel Fantasy Allure line. The box didn't have a name on it, but I looked online and these appear to be called How Dazzling. They have multi-sized iridescent glitter on a translucent ivory base. (The box was a bit worse for wear after being stuffed in a pocket of my suitcase for a week at that point.)

I used adhesive tabs for these, not the glue that came with them. I clipped and shaped them as I had the blue set. On the left, as they came from the box. On the right, how I wore them.

I wore the glittery nails for the whole second week of the trip. When it was time to change, I reached for a set I'd gotten off the Temu app, where they were described as "Press On Nails, Short Square Fake Nails, Beige French False Nails with Glitter Design, Glossy Clear Full Cover Acrylic Nails for Women and Girls; Color: Beige Cat Eye, Style: Gentle". The picture didn't appear to match a lot of those words, but for $3.48 I was willing to risk it.

These came with adhesive tabs. They were not short, so I clipped and filed them. They were a bit sheer, so before I shortened them, a hint of my natural nail tips showed through the fake nails in strong light.

Six days later, I hadn't lost a single nail. Those adhesive tabs were strong. I'm sure it helped that I didn't have my laptop with me, so wasn't banging my nails on a keyboard for a few hours a day like I tend to do at home.

I'd planned to change my nails again before the next phase of our trip, a seven-night transatlantic cruise, but they were holding up so well, I still had them on the day we boarded, a week after I'd applied them.

I figured I'd change to the last set I'd packed when I started to lose the beige cat eye ones as the adhesive got weakened, but they just kept hanging in there, so I ended up wearing them for the whole cruise and the multi-day drive home from New York to Idaho. There was definitely a gap at the base of my nails by that time, but given the neutral color of the nails it wasn't too noticeable.

On the trip, I was really trying to focus on experiences rather than buying things, so even though I saw polish and fake nails I don't have easy access to at home, I bought none of them. I'm kind of amazed at my self-control. I will have a display post up once I get through all the photos; hoping that won't take too long.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

A Few More Displays Before Summer Vacation

I know I did a display post just recently, but I've seen a few more things since then, and I'm about to go on a month long hiatus so wanted to get them posted before that. Thus the rare Saturday post, as I've been running around getting ready for the trip and only able to sit and work on this today. I went back to those Ardell fake nails that I shared from Fred Meyer last display post, as I decided I wanted to try a few of the sets and saw one set that must have been hiding last time, a Flash & Sparkle set with gold reflective glitter.

Ulta had a Maybelline and Essie display nowhere near where the rest of the Essie was. This had the four new Expressie FX topcoats: Iced Out, Immaterial Frost, Faux Real, and Ethereal Glow. Given I've yet to use any of the first set of FX topcoats I got, I passed on these, but I don't know how long I'll stay strong.

Ulta had an endcap display of Glamnetic fake nails. This had three sections: Bestsellers on Top (Favorites for Every Occasion), Limited Edition in the middle (Trend-Setting, Viral-Worthy Manis), and Customizable on the bottom (Create Your Perfect Length and Shape. The bottom section was the most interesting, as it had a very elaborate nail clipper promising a perfect cut every time. It's got a dial with different nail shapes and lengths. I've been cutting and shaping mine by eye, and I think they look okay so I'll just keep doing that. I was confused by the nails in this section as most had designs that wouldn't work so well if the ends of the tips were cut off.

I saw a Kiss display with a Marilyn Monroe themed collection of fake nails. I don't know much about nail trends in the 1950s but these did seem like classic colors and styles.

Fred Meyer had a relatively untouched display of OPI Nature Strong. This said "Even More Flowerful" and "New botancial base coat, shades, and glitters" on it, but I haven't paid hardly any attention to this line since it was first introduced so not sure how new any of this is. I should do some more research on the glitters at least, to see if they really are better for the environment that the ones in traditional polish. Front row, left to right: Botanical Base Coat, Big Bluetiful Planet, Eco For It, Mind-full of Glitter, Glowing Places.Top row: Natural Origin Top Coat, Kind of a Twig Deal, A Kick in the Bud, Bee the Change, Leaf By Example.

A Walgreens had some Sally Hansen polishes lined up on a shelf next to the beauty section cash register. I almost walked on by because they weren't in a display and looked like shades I'd seen before, but I figured I was there and not in that big a hurry so stopped and found one of the new Miracle Gel toppers, Moonlit Top Coat. This is the flaky one similar to Essie Shine of the Times. The only sign of the other new one, Glazed, was the price tag stuck to the shelf. That one is also a flaky but iridescent rather than shifty (as I understand based on my five minutes of internet research). I think these are supposed to be part of the core line, but there were not slots for them in the core display area when I went to look.

The Rite Aid around the corner from the Walgreens (well, around the corner and down one very long block) had the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel 90s Nail Party display. In addition to the top and base coats and few core colors in the back row, this had eight bright shades: Did I Blue That, Nostalchick, Frosted Tips, Nice Nice Baby, Toadally Buggin', Mixtape, Be Bright Back, and Meet Me at the Mall. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to dry up into dust and blow away now, as the 90s being retro and nostalgic now makes me feel ancient.

I was very sad to see that the display at Ulta for the Sally Hansen Sesame Street collection was nearly empty by the time I saw it. Fortunately (I guess?) the slots were labeled so I could get an idea of what I was missing. Nine shades in this collection: Elmo Loves Hue, Perfect Friendship, Up to Snuff, Think Big, Scram, Turquesa Brilliante, C is for Color, Am I Not Adora-blue, and 1 Polish Ah Ah Ah. The Clearly Quick was there, too. The last slot on the right appears to have been for fake nail sets, which I surmise only becacuse there was a photo of them on a second display (see below). I looked online and Ulta already has these colors on clearance and only four were left when I looked, so I guess I'm going to have to miss out seeing the missing ones in person.

The other Sesame Street display had sets of four polishes next to a photo of those aforementioned fake nails.

I felt bad that I hadn't recorded (or even looked at) the names of the W7 polishes I shared in my previous display post, so I took the time to look when I was back at that store. I'm reusing the previous photo, as on this visit the display was a bit worse for wear (cretins who test polish on the displays need to stay home until they can control themselves). Colors left to right: Puerto Rico, Nicosia, Watermelon (pretty sure; my photo is blurry), Pink About, White, Lake, Brazen Blue, Mintimalistic, St. Lucia, Sprung Lilac, Brazil, Hawaii.

That's all for now. See you in late August if all goes to plan.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wheel G16: Charcoal and Black Shimmers

Nail Wheel Wednesday is back with charcoal and black shimmers. Some of these seem like they might actually be textured, too.

1. Orly Color Blast Hearts of Steel (2 coats)
2. Rescue Beauty Lounge An Accidental Interloper (3)
3. Milani 176 2.0 (2)
4. Wet 'n' Wild Fergie Heels of Steel (3)
5. Jesse's Girl Black Satin (2) [satin finish]
6. elf Metal Madness (2)
7. Zoya Claudine (2)
8. Essie Gel Couture Hang Up the Heels (2)
9. Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Keep Vinyl Alive (2)
10. OPI Queen of the Road (2)
11. Sally Hansen Satin Glam Silk Onyx (2)
12. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure To the Moon and Black (2)
13. Studio M Show Time (2)
14. GOSH Stardust Night Sky (2)
15. 2B Colours Jeans Look Black (2)
16. Formula X for Sephora Black Hole (2)
17. Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Diva After Dark (2)
18. OPI Center of the You-niverse (2)
19. Essence Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Edward's Love (2)
20. The New Black Gold Grenade (1)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20: