Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sinful Colors "Leather Loose"

So I've been on a dark polish kick. Recently I came across this post and was immediately intrigued by "Leather Loose." When I was at Walgreens I saw the display and, for $2, I HAD to have it. I am definitely a fan. This is an espresso-brown matte polish with copper colored micro shimmer. Gorgeous. I did add a topcoat, as I'm not really a fan of the matte finish. See the above link to see what it looks like without topcoat!

Did I mention this polish is amazing? Yes, it has an amazing color - but I've worn it for 3 days with barely any tip wear. And Chanel made it barely a day without major chippage, for 19x the cost. I daresay that this wins in my opinion. This polish really made a splash in the nail polish community, and it's easy to see why. This polish is an A++ in my book. Be sure to google it and see all of the gorgeous photos folks have taken to prove it to yourself, and then go out and buy it. It's well worth the $2.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Colors of Charleston

This is a type of post that has been rattling around my brain for a while.

Do you ever walk through your home town, or have a favorite place, and think about how beautiful it all is? All of the colors, working together? The thought struck my brain yesterday as I went out for a run through Charleston, SC. It was a gorgeous day, bright and warm but starting to cool off just a touch, maybe high 70's. There was a light breeze, the sun was shining, I just drank it all in.

And then I started thinking. If I could sum up this town in a series of colors, what would they be?

And of course, being the nerd that I am, I started to wonder if there were corresponding nail polishes. Like how OPI did a 'San Francisco' collection. I started doing some research, and here's what I came up with, with links to the lovely folks who did the swatches!

Firstly, I'd like to introduce Downtown Brown by Maybelline. A brown-blue duochrome, this lovely shade reminded me of the water in the harbor. With all of the rivers feeding into it, it always has a silty undertone with the blue sparkling along the top. I think this polish does a great job at imitating it! I will have to find this one for myself.

Swatch done by The PolishAholic

Next up is OPI Who the Shrek are you? I must admit I had no idea that OPI had a line of Shrek-inspired polishes, how fun!
This shade reminds me of the lime green that the marsh grass takes on when contrasted with the harbor. Almost always scented with salt water and pluff mud, marsh grass really reminds me of home. However, my complexion would not get along with this shade well, personally.

See this page for swatch credit!

This is awesome. What is more Charlestonian than pink and pearls? A lovely pearlescent pink shade, this is OPI Princesses Rule!

See this page for swatches!

This is Chanel's Riva. This is the color of the sky over the city, a lovely light blue. The sky in Charleston always seems to be lighter than anywhere else - perhaps it's the humidity? Anyway, this color is lovely. I may have to pick it up next time I'm near a Chanel display!

Credit here!

Lastly, Revlon's Rainforest. A deep green with lighter green flecks, this is supposed to remind one of jungles. However, it screams pine trees to me. I got this shade to wear at Christmas and I just can't wait!

Credit here

Has anyone else ever thought of how their hometown or favorite place might be described by polish, or am I the only one?

Chanel "Vamp"

Ah, Chanel Vamp. 

I was researching dark vampy reds (because that's what I do...) and came across this gem. An iconic color akin to Tiffany Blue, Chanel Vamp is so popular it even has it's own Wikipedia page! First introduced to the market on the Chanel runway in 1994, this beauty was apparently a true revolution. This website lists the seven most popular shades on Chanel polish ever - and what comes in at #1? Vamp. With over $1 million in sales, it is one of the most popular polishes of all time.
See where I'm going with this? It was super popular in the 90's, and Chanel has reformulated it several times. The most current manifestation has trace amounts of ruby red microglitter, which the original did not. I would call this a crelly formula, nice and opaque in 2 coats. Took longer to dry than Essie or Opi does. This was my first Chanel purchase - I don't live anywhere near anyplace that would sell this, so when I was traveling with the SO and saw a Chanel polish display in the mall, I HAD to snatch it up! 

A little disappointed with the wear on this. The color IS fabulous, but at $27 / bottle I expect no less. I am sure I will wear this anytime I want to feel extra-special, but this started chipping on Day 1 and the pictures below were taken on Day 3 - ew! WAY less durable than Essie or Opi shades. I will try to do a comparison with some of the other vampy colors I have! 

In short, if you want to buy a piece of history, and don't mind the price, this is perfect. The color is stunning, but takes awhile to dry even with a fast-dry top coat, and doesn't wear well. I'd give it an A. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Essie "Bordeaux"

Am seriously drooling over this color right now. A gorgeous dark wine red, not quite vampy, is Essie's "Bordeaux." A pure red without hints of berry or purple, this shade will be the perfect start to fall. I think it looks quite chic in person. It is a nice jelly red, opaque with minor pigment variations noted in two thin coats and some visible nail line, but only on camera. Can't see it in person. I am actually going to re-apply this color now - absolutely adore it, great formula, no staining. A++!

Natural light. My natural complexion is pasty. 

Artificial light. One week tip wear! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

OPI "Alcatraz.... ROCKS"

Top Coat on index and ring fingers
I was really excited to try this polish from the OPI Fall 2013 San Francisco collection. It's one of their 'Liquid Sand' textured polishes. I'd never tried a liquid sand polish before, but the swatches of this one were so pretty that I couldn't resist! 
"Alcatraz...ROCKS" is a medium navy jelly that is just FULL of sparkle - gold, purple, even a little green. It is almost hypnotic. You aren't supposed to add a top coat to this, but I did anyway. It wasn't really as 'matte' as advertised, the sparkle was SUPER prominent and the texture wasn't as gritty as anticipated (I guess I was expecting sand paper! This was very fine). I did use one coat of Seche Vite top coat, and the color became darker and deeper. There is literally TONS of sparkle on this color. It's unlike anything I've ever tried. Really a dizzying color. A+ : totally unique, gorgeous color, easy-peasy application. 

Close-up of the shimmer
Top coat on index and ring fingers. Ignore the messy application, it cleaned up easily, I swear! 

Essie "Allure" and ORLY "French Tip"

Oy vey. First attempt at doing French tips - I found these cute little stickers at one of the local beauty stores and decided to give it a try. Turned out to be WAY harder than anticipated. I started with a base coat and two coats of Essie "Allure" (the color that Kate Middleton supposedly wore on her wedding day - of COURSE I had to have it!) and used ORLY's "French Tip" for the tips...

So "Allure" is a very nice sheer pink/white that makes your nails look clean and well, polished. Nothing special, just sophisticated. I'd give it an 'A'. 

This dang polish though? Sticky, goopy, takes forever to dry, and once I removed the stickers managed to smudge all over EVERYTHING -- I removed this manicure after 24 hours, I couldn't stand the icky lines any more. Will probably try again with a different polish. Will likely NEVER use this ORLY polish again. YUCK.