Sunday, June 30, 2013

Model City "Fairy Fight"

Nina at Model City - can I just say how much I adore you?

Let's rave about this from start to finish, shall we?

Firstly, this polish is called 'Fairy Fight.' As in, that fight between the fairies (Fauna and Merryweather, maybe?) in Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' where they try to alternately make Princess Aurora's dress pink or blue. How awesome is that inspiration? Total genius.

Secondly, the packaging. Hello! Look at this - a sleek little black bag, a nail file (THANK YOU - dare I admit that I didn't own one yet??), a hand written thank-you, the beautiful polish, AND a lollipop (...not in the picture, I may have eaten that right away. Yum!). A++ for presentation and thoughtfulness.

Thirdly, let's just talk about how awesome this color is. From arm's length it is a gorgeous medium lavender shade, almost neon in some lighting. Totally amazing. Up close there are tons of tiny red and blue glitters that are the "fairies fighting" - very small glitters, smooth finish even without a topcoat. Which of course I used anyway. The formula is sheer but thick and doesn't drip; three VERY quick-drying coats and I was done! (Muchos apologies for the sad sloppy cuticles, it actually cleaned up very easily!)

This is such a nice soft shade, I feel like I'll be getting tons of use out of this one. Overall A++, and I'm looking forward to trying some more Model City polishes!

OPI "Bubble Bath"

 This is a lovely pale pink, described by the manufacturer to exhibit romance, softness, elegance, and style. It is very sheer. I put on two coats. It reminds me of that makeup trend, the "no-makeup makeup look," that is supposed to be "natural but better." It gives your nails a nice soft pink color, a beautiful glossy finish. The formula is very thin. So if you are fond of doing thick coats (like me) because you are impatient and like to do as few coats as possible, this is not the polish for you. It will pool around the sides of your nails. No bueno. Might be a good base for a french manicure. If you are looking for color, this again is not the polish for you. It is a nice change of pace though, a nice sweet palate cleanser.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cult Nails "Let's Get Dirty"

Wax-like finish (pardon the back-drop)

Oy. Totally in love with this polish from Cult Nails. I came across this gem while trolling the nail blogs for the perfect neutral shade.

This is a lovely neutral soft taupe with hints of purple - mauve? - and a lovely shimmer. It actually has a finish that is described as 'wax-like,' a soft matte finish that dries in like 30 seconds. Very pretty. I've never seen anything like this. Add a top coat and this stuff just glistens with little silver shimmers. For some reason, the longer I wear it the more purple it looks. Right now it seems like a dusty lilac, when I swear it was milk-chocolate-mousse to start off. Weird. Maybe I've worn all the brown pigment off?
My only complaint is that this stuff dries soft, for lack of a better explanation. Even after a topcoat. The polish dries fast, but even DAYS later, that gorgeous soft shimmer get all sorts of creases - not chips... it's like an ice rink, right after it's polished, you know? And then everyone starts skating and well everything is still technically 'white,' but it shows the mark of everything that's passed over it? That's kinda like this stuff. It creases, and looks like wrinkly laundry.

With top coat

Has anyone had a problem with polish like this? Should I try a different top coat? (Using the Revlon top coat right now). It's so strange, I've never had a polish that is this soft before. And it's a shame because this color is just a fabulous neutral.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A England "Lady of Shallot"

So I know I said I was going to post a coral, but HOLY CRAP - I was having a craving for a navy polish. Do you ever have a color craving? Like, 'oh man, wouldn't a dark sparkly navy be just divine??' or 'Hey, I could really use a hit of turquoise today?' I was totally dying for a navy polish, and one with sparkle that would still be work-place appropriate. 

And I am new to the Nail Polish World, I know, but I've been doing my research online and saw how everyone was raving about A England polishes. To top it off, the designer Adina just so darn creative and clever with her names and colors! She describes this one as  "a captive and ethereally beautiful sapphire heart, shrouded in a blackened curse." Isn't that just the most poetic thing you've ever heard? Of course I was hooked. 

I wish my photos really captured how absolutely gorgeous this was. The best way I can describe this is "the sophisticated woman's black polish." In the harsh fluorescent light of my work environment, this is a dark, sexy inky navy blue, almost black. In the sunshine it is captivating. It's black without being goth, darkly colorful without being vampy. Just spectacular. It flashes with deep blue sparkles, like sparkles of stars reflecting in the ocean. (Is my poetic description as image-evoking as Adina's??)

I thought a dark polish like this would take me back to my not-so-flattering goth teen days (black lipstick anyone?), but this is just so grown-up! This isn't a goth/vamp dark polish, this is a 'holy shit I'm wearing sapphires on my finger nails - I must be a friggin princess' kind of color. I am so enamored.

So this collection is entitled 'Gothic Beauties,' and there are four more polishes that sparkle with red, green, purple, and silver sparkles. I may have to have each and every one of them. I am shamelessly going to refer you to Ommorphia Beauty Bar - and show you a picture of her 'Lady of Shallot' swatch and admit my own humble shortfallings with photography (perhaps my next hobby!). (But look at this photo! Look at it!! How amazing is this polish?!)

Did I mention this was a gloriously thick polish, completely opaque in 2 coats, and dried completely in UNDER 2 MINUTES? A++ in my book. 

Go out and buy this. RIGHT NOW. Do it. You will thank me for it, I promise. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Essie Avenue Maintain

Essie describes this delightful shade "Avenue Maintain," and the description reads : fashionably adroit, this lovely Parisian blue nail lacquer channels the je ne sais quoi of the capital of chic. 

I describe it as "one wallop of blue!" Nearly a one-coater (could be if I was more careful in my application!), this is blue, blue, blue!! I have never worn anything this bold, but I have to say I have gotten half a dozen compliments today! Someday I will figure out photography, in the meantime I will just apologize for my cruddy  (... using my iPhone for now). 

The formula is beautiful, smooth and thick and self-leveling. If you like bright bold hues, this is a nice "Parisian blue," creamy and glossy- lovely formula- quick drying, but very bright! Wish every Essie formula was this nice! :)

Have a nice coral polish next, stay tuned dear readers!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Revlon Flirt swatch

I just can't get enough of this color! Something about this shade against my skin tone (I'm very fair with pink-ish undertones) is just amazing. I'm really a minimalist when it comes to polish, not all about the glitters and designs (yet!) and this shade is just... yummy! I have a condition called Raynauds phenomenon which 1) makes my hands turn blue/white when cold, stressed, or highly caffeinated (so.... all the time) and 2) makes me incredibly self-conscious. Somehow the pink in this color balances my skin tone out. (Did I just advise picking one's nail color based on a medical condition? ... yes, yes I think I did). 

Also, I think I realized why I LOVE Essie T&C -- it is exactly the same shade as my Dior facial care products (best in the world, I will never use anything else after trying this!). ;) 

New stuff tomorrow, dear readers- I hope you having a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Essie Turquoise and Caicos

Oh Essie, how you torment me so! You give me the most beautiful color, a milky turquoise that looks more blue or green depending on the light. Essie describes it as "frolic in the sublime waters of this flirty polish. Vibrant, tropical aqua nail color refreshes mind, body and fashion wardrobe."It is the most gorgeous color. Ever. Seriously, I would wear this forever. You really shouldn't judge this color by the bottle, it is so vibrant in real life! 

The chip-resistance can't be beat .... but the application! Oh, the application.

It takes 3 coats to be opaque, and hours to dry in between each coat.

Ain't nobody got time for that. (Sorry for the terrible swatch shot below, check out this website for a more true-to-life picture!)

Even when I thought it had dried, FINALLY, I was wrong. Even with a quick-dry top coat. This stuff smudges and smears for almost half a day before finally hardening. Once it does, this stuff is like concrete. It doesn't chip, even after a week at my job, where I am quite hard on my hands. I am almost afraid to see how much work it will take to get it off... but the color is so incredible, I'm holding out as long as possible. I've been reading through some other swatch blogs, and it seems that a lot of people have had trouble with this formula. If y'all have any tips or tricks to make polish dry faster, I'd LOVE to hear them!

After searching the internet for possible duplicates (the colors is THAT good and the formula THAT bad - I would totally spring for another polish), I found a site that compared it to China Glaze - For Audrey and Essie - Greenport and Barry M - Mint Green. Close, but no cigar. Maybe it is worth dealing with this formula for this color.

I've been to Turks and Caicos before, on a vacation by myself. I'd just finished a particularly grueling year at work, and had a week of vacation. My SO couldn't get the time off, so I rewarded myself with a week in paradise, catching up on my reading, getting a tan, walking the entire 7 miles of the gorgeous Grace Bay daily. Just hearing the name of this polish instantly transports me back to the most delicate white sand beaches, calm clear turquoise waters, perfect temperatures, and absolute relaxation.

You should really go, dear readers. And polish your fingers with this delightful color before you do (you'll have hours to let it dry on the plane ride!)   ;)

Here are two photos I took while there, just to give you an idea... The one on the left is taken at sunset, the one below in the early morning. Grace Bay is the most incredible place on the planet. Definitely a worthy namesake for this color!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Beginning

And so it begins. The purpose of this blog is to 1) provide the reader with a candid opinion on varying shades and brands of nail polish and 2) provide the writer with a cathartic outlet. I am employed in an amazingly busy, stressful, male-dominated profession where the uniform is strict. I had really hit rock-bottom emotionally, feeling tired, burned out, androgynous and, let's be honest, not at all sexy (to my SO's -significant other's- frustration). I was at the grocery store when I noticed this loud, beautiful shade on the shelf and I thought, well, the only rule about nail polish at work is that, if it is worn, it cannot be chipped or cracked. So why not?

Now I have never worn nail polish. Ever. On my toes in the summer, maybe. But on my fingers? I don't think I ever did it even as a kid. Like ever. My job requires a lot of work with my hands, and I it just never occurred to me to wear nail polish because my few female co-workers don't do it. 

But WOW. Can I just say how empowering it was to come to work with this gorgeous pink-lilac shade shouting from my fingertips? You ladies know how wearing bright red lipstick (a real no-no at my work) makes you feel instantly more bold, sexy and confident? This is the red lipstick of the nail world. It really knocked me out. I got some admiring comments and some not-so-discreet mockery, but there is no rule about nail color and so the staff can't do anything about it. Which made me feel rebellious and powerful. (I was the  kind of teenager that thought rebellion was staying up until 10:30 at night.... purple nails are a HUGE step!)

Since then, I have varied my shade at least twice a week, for almost a month now. I am hard on my hands and manicures often start chipping after three or four days. When I do my nails, it is this magical hour twice a week that I take for myself, completely to myself, to listen to music and just relax. In my highly stressful world, it has been better than any therapy session- hence the title of this blog. 

So here I am, pouring my heart out. 

From this blog! 

Anyway, let me tell you about this color. It is Flirt from Revlon, from my grocery store, for like $4. I stole the above picture from another blog because a) I forgot to take a picture of my own nails when I did it and b) of all the pictures I found online, this one seemed to be most accurate representation of the color. 

I'm not sure how much experience y'all have had with Revlon nail polish, and it may be bourgeois of me to say this, but I ADORE this polish. The color is bold and gorgeous, it lasted a WEEK on my hands after only 2 coats and a top coat, dried in just a few minutes, and had the easiest and smoothest application ever. Highly recommend. 

I hope to bring you a few more posts in the up-coming days, to get caught up on the colors and brands I've tried so far. Stay tuned, dear readers!