Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nicole by OPI Holiday Glitters - Swatches and Review

  In the next couple of weeks, prepare to see several recent winter polish collection swatches.  Since my nails have been so peely and ugly lately, it has taken me awhile to get to some of these collections, and I know you have all seen them by now from others, but it can never hurt to see polish on as many different types of hands as possible when trying to decide if a color is right for you!  All swatches shown are 2-3 coats, no base, with top coat.

 My Sleigh's In The Shop

Natural light
Gorgeous fuchsia and silver microglitter.  This one dries fairly smooth.

Artificial light
Orna-ment For Each Other

Natural light
 Beautiful cherry red mixed with scattered gold glitter.  Similar to the one above, this one dries fairly smooth.

Artificial light
Glitter In My Stocking

Natural light
 The counterpart to Orna-ment, this is a yellow-gold with scattered red glitter.  It is slightly larger glitter and dries just a tad more bumpy.

Artificial Light
Snow-Man Of My Dreams

Natural Light
 This one is a light blue with multi-colored glitter.  It is also a bit larger glitter and dries a bit bumpy.  It is also a fairly close dupe for last year's OPI Simmer and Shimmer from the Burlesque collection - if you missed out on that one, I would highly recommend this!

Artificial Light
Overall Review

I was really pleased with this small collection of glitters.  All four colors are absolutely gorgeous, and the formulas were very nice for glitters.  I was a little sad that Snow-man turned out to be a dupe of last year's Simmer and Shimmer, but other than that there was nothing disappointing about this collection!  Hard to pick a favorite or clear winner here, as all four of them are stunning.  I highly recommend grabbing these if you haven't yet, before they are gone!  Also, check back later this week for a chance to win this collection!

I hope you all had a great Christmas!  Nova sure did enjoy her very first Christmas - Santa left quite a few fun toys and treats in her stocking.  Her favorite was her giant candy cane bone, which she attacked with pure joy.  Happy Holidays!  :)

DISCLOSURE: The polishes featured in this post was provided to Polishology by OPI for review purposes.  This is an honest and independent review and was in no way influenced by the company.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

  Hope everyone has been having a fabulous Christmastime week!  I know I have been having a lot of fun with family coming into town and present wrapping and decorating... not to mention my committee meeting at work that went pretty well.  I have actually been so busy with that I spent two whole days with naked nails.  Now I finally have them decked out for Christmas!

Natural lighting
  For these Christmas nails, I stared off with two coats of OPI Glitzerland on all but the ring finger, and for the ring finger did three coats of China Glaze Twinkle Lights, a gorgeous gold, red, and green glitter from their 2011 Let It Snow collection.  Then I added water marbling of the same colors to all of the other nails, using OPI Glitzerland, OPI Affair in Red Square, and Zoya Holly.  I really like how the colors on the marbled nails are just about the exact colors found in the glitter - it really ties everything together nicely!  I got a lot of compliments on this one at the family party last night, which is always fun.  :)

  Hope you all have a great Christmas Eve today and a Merry Christmas tomorrow!  As a heads up, next week I will be giving away the Nicole by OPI Holiday Glitters collection for a "New Year... New Polish!" giveaway - so be sure to come back and enter!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wintery Christmas - Free Hand Style!

  I finally did it!  I took the plunge and decided to try my luck at free-hand nail art!  I am very proud of this, since I have been shying away from it for so long, assuming it would turn out terrible.  And while it is not totally amazing, it is at least a start - and still fairly cute, in my opinion.  :)

Natural Light
  For these nails, I started off with two coats of OPI What's With the Cattitude? as the light sky blue base.  On all but the ring finger, I stamped snowflakes using Konad White and plate m59.  I also sponged white onto the tips in a fluffy gradient to give the look of snow.  Finally, I painted the reindeer on the ring finger.  I started off with OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys for the dark brown, then OPI San Tan-Tonio for the muzzle and antlers.  I did the eyes with a dotting tool and added the red rhinestone for his nose.  Finally I attempted some mouth-lines with black, but they came out a bit thicker and fuzzier than I had hoped.

  Overall I am very pleased with my first attempt at free-hand nail art.  The reindeer came out looking just a tad bit like some other sort of animal (his face is a bit too round, I realized)... so whether he looks like a reindeer to you, or he looks more like a dog/monkey/walrus/seal/otter with antlers, that is not the point.  The point is that I finally took the plunge, and whatever species he is, he is still pretty cute.  So you can expect to see me playing around with freehand more often on here now, yay!  If you have any ideas or suggestions or anything, let me know! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Gifts

  I knew I was going to have to use the gorgeous green Nfu Oh 55 for something Christmas-y, and I thought these cute little present stamps made a perfect match!

Outdoors, shade
  For this manicure, I started off with two coats of Zoya Ivanka as a shimmery green base.  I then layered on two coats of Nfu-Oh 55, and the result was pretty much exact bottle color with jut two coats of the super-sheer Nfu-Oh.  I added the cute presents using Konad Special White and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rapid Red using the Bundle Monster plate BM205.

Indoors, artificial light
   I love Nfu-Oh flakies, they are so amazing.  This polish was perfect for the season and looked great.  I don't often wear all green, but this is a great time of year - and a great polish! - to do it with!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

  Finally, a week and a half before Christmas, I have a festive mani for you.  With trying to baby these nails, the busy schedule of work/school, and being sick, I feel like I haven't had time to do half of the holiday nails I wanted to have done by now.  There is still time though!  I would prepare for quite a lot of holiday manicures in the upcoming week and a half.  :)

Natural Light
  For these nails, I started off with OPI DS Bold, followed by a heavy sponging of the tips with Zoya Ivanka.  Finally, I topped it off with silver swirls using Zoya Trixie and Konad plate m64.  The overall effect was very sparkly and festive.  I took this manicure off on Friday... and I haven't painted my nails again yet.  :(  Still sick, but I will paint my nails today - sometime in between studying for my final and sleeping on the couch.

Monday, December 12, 2011

DS Bold

  I have been sick the past couple of days... so not cool, especially considering that my final is Friday and I need to be studying.  I slept from 8:00 pm last night until 3:30 the next afternoon with the exception of maybe 2-3 hrs.  Crazy.  I also haven't gotten around to painting my nails in about 3 days because of this, so they just have a couple of coats of a clear base.  But I am proud of myself, I haven't bit them, or even been tempted - yay! :)

Outdoors, shade
  Today I wanted to share with you OPI DS Bold, the second newly released DS shade from OPI.  This bright cherry jelly is packed with pink and silver glitter.  This is two coats, which went on nice and smooth.  It is a really nice polish.

  That being said, I really have a hard time justifying this one being labeled as "DS" with the price bump.  As I am sure many of you guessed or have read, it is a dupe for China Glaze Mrs. Claus from last year's holiday collection.  It just doesn't have that extra... something... to justify the DS price tag, in my opinion.  Gorgeous?  Yes.  $4 more expensive gorgeous?  Probably not quite.  Temptation was a hard enough stretch for me, but this one, while very nice, probably doesn't quite fit in with the DS line.  Lets hope that next time we see new DS polishes, they really earn that price increase and the designation "Designer Series."

  I am curious as to what you all think - do you agree that the new DS releases aren't quite worthy of the title?  They are still very pretty though.  On Wednesday I will post a fun Christmas mani I did with this one!

DISCLOSURE: The polishes featured in this post was provided to Polishology by OPI for review purposes.  This is an honest and independent review and was in no way influenced by the company.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How many times can I Break til I Shatter?

  In my quest to grow out these peeling, unhealthy nails, I suffered another setback last week when I had a bad break and had to cut them all back.  Good news?  I think they are FINALLY starting to get a bit stronger now... but I hated losing the bit of length I had grown back.  I guess I would rather them be short and strong for now though.  Hopefully I can achieve long and strong soon!

Natural light
  After the break I went with something simple.  This is Meep Meep Meep from the OPI Muppets collection, topped off with a coat of OPI Black Shatter.  I love the contrast between these two colors and the finish on Meep Meep Meep is incredible!

  This weekend I am finally going to get around to doing some swatching!  I think my nails should be able to handle it by now, even if the swatches will be a bit short.  So expect to see a lot of the more recent collections soon!  Also, I will have a (slightly late) holiday giveaway coming up.  Hope everyone is having great end of the year!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Polka Dots and Bows

  Here is a cute and girly mani I put together using polka dots and bows.  Becky's comment was "This is really cute.  I should be wearing it, not you."  Hm... thanks Becky. :P  Surprisingly, this was not done for a K-State event, haha.. although it would have been good!

Natural light
   I started off with Zoya Kendal from the Feel collection on all but the ring finger, and Sally Hansen Xtreme White On for the ring finger.  I then used Zoya Mira for the polka dots (Kendal for the dots on the ring finger) using plate BM-211.  Finally, bows were added in Konad White (Malia for the ring finger) using plate m59.  I like the design a lot, I will have to remember it for the future perhaps with some different colors as well.  The big bows are cute.  :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Beyond the Mistletoe

  Okay, I will be completely honest, I have no idea what this color has to do with mistletoe.  That being said, this is an amazing polish.

Outdoors, sunlight
  Color Club Beyond The Mistletoe is a dazzling light blue holo glitterbomb.  This is three coats, and application was fairly decent, for a chunky glitter.  Like most chunky glitters it had some chipping problems, but I am totally willing to put up with it.  Look at that holo effect!  This polish is just totally and completely stunning.  It is the only one I got from this collection (darned budget) and I am glad it is the one I picked.  So wintery and fun!

Outdoors, shade
  Gorgeous even in the shade, with light blue and holo rainbow glitters.  I am sort of wishing I had gotten some more from this collection... maybe I will have to order a few next time I order online... :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I've Got the Winter Blues

  But in a good way.  :)  I absolutely loved this manicure.  I wore it for four days and only took it off because it was time to do Thanksgiving nails... I would have worn it for longer otherwise.

Outdoors, shade
  This manicure starts off with two coats of the lovely Zoya Kristen, from the Feel collection, as the base.  Added to this were darker blue swirls in Nubar Boyfriend Jeans and plate BM201.  Finally, I added delicate little white flowers using Konad Special White and plate m37.

Outdoors, sunlight
  Looking at this manicure just makes me want to wear it again... now.  I am totally in love with this pale blue and love the way the darker blue compliments it.  I should have Zoya Feel collection swatches for you soon!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Can't Resist Temptation

  When I saw the promo pics for the latest OPI DS shades, I knew that Temptation was going to quickly become a favorite of my collection.  I was not wrong.

Outdoors, shade
  As is often the case with purples, these pictures don't quite do this polish justice.  It is a bit more reddish-toned and way more sparkly, but at least this will give you some idea.  This polish is actually a very sheer navy base, completely full of purple, pink, and blue glitter (predominantly purple).  The final effect is simply stunning.

  This polish sparkles no matter what lighting you have it in, and it is so easy to catch yourself staring at it.  And, of course, it is perfect for K-State games (which I have already worn it to once, haha).  Overall an amazing addition to the DS line.  I highly recommend it!  I will review the other new addition, Bold, a bit later.

DISCLOSURE: The polishes featured in this post  were provided to Polishology by OPI for review purposes.  This is an honest and independent review and was in no way influenced by the company

Friday, November 25, 2011

Go Chiefs!

  A few weeks ago I went with my Mom to a Kansas City Chiefs game.  I haven't been to one in quite awhile, and it was a lot of fun, even though it was kind of a terrible game.  I am not very into NFL football (I really only care about my KSU Wildcats, sports-wise), but of course I had to mark the occasion with some special Chiefs nails!

Outdoors, shade
  These nails were done using two of the glitters from the Nicole by OPI Holiday Glitters collection - which I promise I will have reviews of soon for you!  Also, if you want a bit of a heads up.... all four of those glitters will be a prize in an upcoming giveaway, so I hope you like them!  :)  I started off with Orna-ment For Each Other, the red glitter with some gold mixed in, on all nails but the ring finger.  On the ring finger I went with Glitter In My Stocking, a gold glitter with a bit of red glitter mixed throughout.  I then sponged the opposite color onto the tips of each nail.  Since the sponging came on a bit strong, I sponged just a tiny bit of the original color at the top, overlapping the line between the two, to get more of a gradient effect.  We may have played awfully and lost horribly, but at least I had pretty red and gold nails for the team!  :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Water Marble

  Hope you all are having a fabulous Thanksgiving week so far, and have a lot of fun (and food) planned for tomorrow!  I wanted to do a Thanksgiving water marble this year, and although it turned out a bit differently than expected, I am still really pleased with the results.

Indoors, artificial light - right hand
Indoors, artificial light, left hand
See Hidden Treasure Shine!
  I started off with two coats of OPI Take the Stage from last year's Burlesque collection, which is also the polish I used for last year's Thanksgiving Day nails.  After trying a lot of combinations of polish that refused to play nicely with marbling, I settled on OPI Cheyenne Pepper, OPI Uh-Oh Roll Down the Window, and China Glaze Mommy Kissing Santa for water marbling.  This gave a fairly muted effect on some nails, stronger on others, but overall there is a nice fall feeling.  Then I topped with a coat of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, and added Konad using Essie Little Brown Dress and leaves from BM04.

Outdoors, natural light, right hand
Outdoors, natural light, left hand
  As I said, this is not exactly what I was envisioning originally but I do enjoy the final effect.  I love what Hidden Treasure brings to this manicure.  It kind of looks like all of the colors you might see in the leaves this time of the year, and I love that.  A great fall - and Thanksgiving - manicure.

  Hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow!  What are your big plans?  We have two different family meals we are going to, so I know I will be completely stuffed by the end of the day.  I am so excited to spend time with everyone though, and then for the Christmas season to officially begin!  :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butter London Toff

  This is my very first (and only) Butter London polish, a brand I have been wanting to try for a long time.  This color is very unique - a kind of dusty muddy rose pink?  I love it.

Outdoors, shade
  This is I believe two coats of Butter London Toff.  It applied very nicely, silky smooth and creamy.  I was really pleased with this polish!  I will have to consider getting some more Butter London polish in the future.  Like I said, the color is very unique - I feel like it might be one that you either love or hate, and personally I loved it!  It felt classy and totally perfect for fall.

Outdoors, sun
  So glad I finally tried this brand - I will have to put a few more colors on my wishlist for the future!  :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zoya Gems and Jewels - Swatches and Review

  As soon as I saw the press images for this collection, I knew I was going to absolutely love it.  And I was right!  This lovely winter collection features three foils and three fabulous bar glitters.  All foils are shown with two coats, and all glitters are shown one coat over the corresponding foil.  All shown outdoors, shade


 A gorgeous raspberry-pink foil.


This amazing glitter is full of small pink and holo glitter with large holographic bar glitter.  The holographic effect of the bar glitter is amazing.  This is the star of the collection, in my opinion.  Shown over Izzy.


Medium blue foil.  Think last year's Crystal, but without the gold flecks.  While I think I prefer Crystal overall due to the gold, this is still a gorgeous color, and perfect for winter.  It just makes me think of snow and icicles.


Bright blue glitter, with large bar glitter that flashes blue and green.  While this glitter lacks the amazing holo effect of Kissy, it is still very pretty.  Shown over Noel.

Emerald-green foil.  This is a very pretty green, and very festive - a perfect Christmas green!


Emerald green glitter with blue-green bar glitter.  Again, amazingly festive.  This looks to me like a wreath.  In fact, you may very well see this in some sort of wreath-like nail art later... haha.  Over Holly.

Overall Thoughts

The foils in these all apply amazing smooth and cover perfectly in two coats.  The glitters are a lot of fun - bar glitter can be a pain but I think it is done very nicely here, and it is unique.  Kissy is the standout of the collection if I had to pick, due to the strong holo effect of the glitter, but all six polishes are really wonderful.  I did not show the glitters alone, but you can wear them on their own and build up to opacity in about 3 coats.  However, like most chunky glitters they can have a tendency to chip like crazy if worn alone, and the bar glitter can make for some nasty overhang if you aren't careful.  I would recommend they be layered over a corresponding color (or a totally different color, for a different look).  Lots of layering possibilities here!  Great formulas on all and beautiful colors get this collection a definitely thumbs-up from me!

DISCLOSURE: The polishes featured in this post was provided to Polishology by Zoya for review purposes.  This is an honest and independent review and was in no way influenced by the company.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Glorious Glitter and Flowers, Take 2

  Last November, I shared with you a manicure that I did using Zoya Gloria and topped with stamping using Zoya Valerie - you can see this post here.  I used this same combination this fall, although with a different stamp, to give the departmental seminar a few weeks ago.

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sun
  I really love the combination of these two polishes, I think they work really well together.  This time, the stamp I used was from plate m74.  It looked perfect with my outfit!

  In other news, I just got back from an international conference in San Francisco where I presented a poster on my work, that was a lot of fun!  And the reason I kind of missed out on posted a lot lately.  Also, I am keeping my nails super short and not changing my polish much right now.  I am determined to overcome this peeling nastiness that has gone on ever since I had a total breakdown and chewed them all off.  I am so upset about that still.  However, they are finally starting to get there - another week or two and I am hoping that the peeling will be grown out on all but the worst nail - I picked at one and peeled back to almost halfway up the nail, yikes.  Anyway. I have several collections sitting in queue right now to swatch but I think I need to wait until my nails are a bit stronger, so expect to see collections like OPI Muppets, Nicole by OPI Holiday Glitters and Kardashian Kolors, and Zoya Feel sometime starting in a couple of weeks.  I already swatched Gems and Jewels and that will be up for your enjoyment on Friday! :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Boyfriend Jeans

  When the Chanel Les Jeans collection came out, I was drooling over Blue Boy.  I mean, they were all pretty, but something about that color just really called to me.  Unfortunately, Chanel is just a tad bit beyond my price point, heh.  Then, I found the glorious Nubar Jeans collection, and I knew that Boyfriend Jeans would have to become a part of my collection!

Outdoors, shade
  This is two coats of Nubar Boyfriend Jeans, an amazing medium blue, dusty creme.  I am totally in love with this color, it is so gorgeous.  I just want to go put it on again now, just looking at it!  Application was fabulous, as was wear.  If you were lemming after the Les Jeans collection but couldn't bring yourself to spend your life savings on three polishes, then I would seriously check these out!  This one in particular.  I am very glad I got it!  :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Elegant Neutral

  Here are some simple and elegant neutral nails that I wore to my Papa's funeral last month.  I still have a hard time believing he is gone, and I dream about him often.  It is difficult, never having lost anyone close before, to experience for the first time.  When I get really sad about it I just try to reflect on all of my happy memories and remember how lucky I am that I got to have all four of my grandparents with me for 25 years!

Outdoors, shade
  Sorry for the slight green tinge to the cuticles, that is leftover from Viridian Vinyl.  This is two coats of Deborah Lippmann Waking Up In Vegas, followed by a simple white design using Konad Special White polish and BM-213.  Simple and elegant, which is what I wanted to go for for the occasion.  This is such a gorgeous color, I really love it!  And Lippmann's apply beautifully.  I think I may need to get me some more.  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vinyl Nails

  I have had this polish for over a year now, and as gorgeous as it is, I have put off using it due to my general lack of ability in applying mattes nicely.  However, I decided it was finally time to give this pretty a go!

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sun
  This is two coats of Orly Viridian Vinyl, a matte turqouise polish.  It is a bit shinier than traditional matte, and really does have a vinyl sort of finish.  I really loved the effect of the finish.  I did get a couple of bumps, most likely due to my inexperience at applying these super-fast drying matte polishes, but overall it was fairly smooth.  I also wore this without topcoat, and although I only wore it for a couple of days, I was pleased with the wear in those days.  I'm glad I finally tried it out, and now I am looking forward to trying a few more mattes I have been saving in my stash.  I also finally ordered a matte top coat, and am really excited to play with that!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

  Originally I was going to do a totally different mani for Halloween... but then I received CG It's Alive a bit early and decided I was going to have to use that instead!

Indoors, artificial light
  For this manicure, I started out with two coats of the amazing China Glaze It's Alive, a yellow-green glitter bomb from this year's Haunting Halloween collection.  It is a perfect Halloween green and I am really glad I finally broke down and ordered it.  On top of that, I sponged on a layer of China Glaze Ick-a-Body on the bottom half of the nail, followed by China Glaze Mummy May I? on the tip.  This was gorgeous alone and I wish I would have taken a picture!  For the final touch, I added OPI Black Shatter to all of the nails.

Outdoors, shade
  While this is not the most overtly Halloween mani I have done so far (I think that honor belongs to the orange and black pumpkin mani), I still really like it a lot!  The glitters look amazing together and the shatter is very fun.

  Hope everyone has a fun, safe, and Happy Halloween!  Dan and I will be watching scary movies and answering the door tonight... what are your plans?  :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Marbling/Go CATS!!

  Today is two days before Halloween.  It also happens to be Homecoming at K-State, and I am lucky enough to get to go to the game!  That's right, I am talking about my #10 ranked, undefeated K-State Wildcats!  So what to do, Halloween nails, or KSU nails....?  How about I just combine a bit of both for the ultimate mani?

  Purple and white in honor of my Cats, and orange and black in honor of Halloween.  I started this off with two coats of OPI Funky Donkey on all nails but ring finger, and three coats of Wet n Wild Fantasy Makers Creepy Pumpkin on the ring finger.  Then I did water marbling with SH Xtreme Black Out and OPI Funky Donkey on all nails, including on the tip of the ring finger (using a tip guide).  I then added cute little skulls from BM-225 (index finger) and BM-211 using Konad Special White.

Early Morning Sun
  I love how this came out!  It is a bit different than I originally planned - in my original thoughts for this mani, I was not going to have an entirely orange accent nail.  But then I found Creepy Pumpkin and I had to do it.  It is a gorgeous, squishy jelly orange full of microglitter.  It was a bit of a pain to apply but I love the final look.  And the bottle is completely adorable!

Bottle Shot!
   Have a great weekend-before-Halloween!  I am off to root for my Cats now... it is going to be a tough game for them (we are playing #11 Oklahoma) but I think we can pull it off.  :)