Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Purple Comparison

  A couple of months back I did a swap with Marie from Mon Coin A Moua, and included in this swap was the gorgeous Catrice Floralista collection - four gorgeous spring cremes!  When I opened the package, I happened to be wearing Zoya Kieko, and I noticed what appeared to be a startling similarity...

  Both Zoya Kieko and Catrice Pink Spring are reddish-based medium purples, with a bit of a berry look to them.  In the bottle they seemed very similar to me, although the Zoya seems a tad bit more bold.

Outdoors, shade
  On the nail, however, there is a much bigger difference.  The Catrice is much lighter than the Zoya, and a bit more muted.

Outdoors, sunlight
  In the sun, they are two completely different colors - looking at this picture I almost feel silly for thinking that they were so similar, but I swear, they looked closer in the bottle.  :)  The Catrice is definitely a bit more of a lighter pink with the Zoya being a richer purple.  Both applied really well in two coats with an easy application and gorgeous finish.  I am glad to have them both in my collection!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Get in the Mood...

  Here is another one of the lovely color changing polishes from Claire's. This time, I added a bit of a design to go with it!

  This is Claire's Mood Polish in Excited/Bored.  The color on this changes from a light peachy pink color when warm and a coral pink when cool.  Again, this is 5 coats - insane, I know.. but they are rather thin and dry super speedy!  The polish actually dries rather matte, so I applied a topcoat to get the smooth shiny look.  I then added little butterflies using Konad Special White polish and BM-222.  The color changing nail polishes are so fun on longer nails! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Comparison - Purple Polishes

  Here is another comparison - this time, grape purple cremes!  I had three of these that looked pretty similar to me, so I wanted to see how they would compare on the nail.

OPI Funky Donkey, Zoya Mira, and Nicole by OPI I'm A Belieber
  In the bottle, these look pretty similar.  Even here though, you can see that I'm a Belieber is a bit lighter than the other two.

  On the nail, I'm a Belieber is much lighter than the other two.  Mira and Funky Donkey are pretty similar, but it seems that Funky Donkey is just a touch darker than Mira, and a bit more blue.  While these two are not dupes, they are definitely very close and both are probably not necessary in your collection.  Formula was good on all three of these, each opaque in two coats.

  Between Mira and Funky Donkey, it really just depends on which brand formula/brush you like better - both are excellent choices!  I am glad to have both since I will definitely be using plenty of this color for K-State games... ;)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Splatter Manicure!

  Last month while I was catching up on other nail blogs one day, I can across this absolutely gorgeous splatter manicure by Jen from The PolishAholic and I totally fell in love.  I knew I was going to have to try it out myself - and while my results aren't quite as fantastic as hers, I was still pleased with the first attempt!

Left Hand
  For this splatter mani, I started out with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Black Out for the base, then used Nicole by OPI "Baby" Blue and Nicole by OPI I'm A Belieber as my two splatter colors.  The way to create this look is to get a bit of your polish color on the end of a straw, aim it at your nail, and them blow a quick puff of air to splatter the paint onto your nails (and the surrounding area, haha... I recommend something disposable to do this over).

Right Hand
  I had a bit of a tough time getting the polish to splatter nicely (or at all) in the beginning, but with a bit of practice I started to get the hang of it more and more.  Some nails turned out much nicer than others, and I am hoping that next time I try out this technique I will get even better results.  But for now, these were really fun nails that I got a lot of compliments on!  If you are interested in creating your own splatter mani, there is a great tutorial at The PolishAholic that helped me. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Metals - Swatches and Review

  I have to admit, I am really loving the crackle craze going on right now!  While I missed out entirely on this trend the first time around (several years ago I think?) I am enjoying it now as a super fast way to get a fun manicure with a bit of something extra.  I have gotten compliments on every crackle mani I have worn and am sure I will continue to receive them!  I was thrilled to see this new collection from China Glaze, and even more excited when I was sent along three of these beauties to review!  All swatches are shown with no bast coat, with top coat.

Cracked Medallion

Outdoors, shade
A shimmery copper/bronze crackle polish.  Here it is shown over two coats of China Glaze Sugar Plums.  I love the combination of these two - this is definitely something I can see myself wearing this fall.  

Outdoors, sun
Oxidized Aqua

Outdoors, shade
 Gorgeous silvery turquoise foil crackle.  Shown here over China Glaze Midnight Mission.  Also really enjoying this combo!

Outdoors, sun
Platinum Pieces

Outdoors, shade
 Light silver foil crackle.  Shown here over China Glaze For Audrey.  While this combo doesn't make the crackle polish pop like the other two, I like the light airy look of these two together.

Outdoors, sun
Overall Review

I really love these metallic crackle polishes.  They have a gorgeous foil finish and really sparkle in the sunlight!  While my favorite combination out of these three might be the first, with Cracked Medallion, there are endless possibilities to the looks you can achieve with crackle polishes depending on the base color, so play around and get creative!  I have a ton of other ideas on base colors, so expect to see more of these in the future.  If you like the shatter/crackle look, then I definitely recommend adding a couple of these to your collection!

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

Friday, July 22, 2011

Are You Feeling Flirty? Or Shy?

  While searching through my polish drawers for a fun untried polish, I remembered that I had yet to wear three out of the four Claire's Mood Polishes that I bought last fall.  Especially since I had some nice long nails for a gradient/tip effect, I decided to play with these babies some more!

Outdoors, shade
  Claire's Flirty/Shy Mood Polish is a really great blue color changer - dark indigo when cold and a warm blue when hot.  The coolest thing about these polishes, for me at least, is that my normal body temp seems to be perfect to create a gradient look.  However, when I am freezing to death in my lab all day they tended to stay quite dark, haha.

Outdoors, sunlight
  While this polish is totally gorgeous and the effect is awesome, application and wear are a bit tricky.  This took five coats to get totally opaque and smooth - yikes!  The first few coats were very streaky and nasty, and four (thicker) or five (thinner) coats are necessary to have no VNL.  Wear is also a challenge - after two days I started getting some rather large chips.  But the effect is cool enough to make it worth it, I think.  Do you all have any of these fun mood polishes?  If so, how do they hold up for you, and do you have any tips on keeping them nice longer?  I'd love any advice!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tropical Flowers

  A few weeks ago I had an Ulta rewards to use for a free polish (yay!), and I was having the toughest time deciding what to get from my long list of wants.. until I stumbled upon this gorgeous pink Essie that I knew I had to have!

Outdoors, sunlight
  Essie Your Hut or Mine?, from the 2011 Resort collection, is a gorgeous warm pinkish coral with subtle gold and pink microshimmer.  It is a stunning summer pink!  I applied two coats for opacity, with great application.  On top of that, I stamped tropical flowers using Konad Special White and BM-221.

  This fun tropical manicure made me think of hanging out on the beach in Hawaii... I can't wait to get back there!  :)  A fabulous color for a fun summer manicure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comparison - Baby Blue Polish

  I recently stumbled across some comparison photos that I took awhile back that I had totally forgot about - some were ones that were asked for by readers and others were ones I wanted to do for myself, but I figure it is time to share these!  I will work them in between nail art and swatches over the next couple of weeks. :)

  First up is one that a reader asked for a couple months back, comparing OPI What's With The Cattitude? to Nicole by OPI "Baby" Blue.  Both are baby blue creme polishes, and in the bottle seem to be pretty similar.

Direct sunlight
  One of the main differences between these polishes is opacity - the "Baby" Blue applies in 2 coats, while Cattitude takes 3 coats for full coverage.  Both apply fairly nicely, although I felt that Cattitude was a bit more smooth.  "Baby" Blue is a bit brighter and more saturated, while Cattitude is slightly more muted and a bit lighter.

 Overall, these two blues are very similar, with some subtle differences in color.  The main difference is in application - 2 coats vs 3 coats, one being a bit smoother than the other.  I have a feeling "Baby" Blue would work well for stamping, where as Cattitude is bound to be too sheer for stamping.  Either polish is a great choice for a baby blue polish, it just comes down to personal preference.  And while it is not necessary to have both, they do have difference applications (good at stamping vs. smoother application) that make owning both a nice bonus.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Nails!

  I went to the final Harry Potter last night at midnight (after waiting in line for six hours) and it was really amazing!  While it of course cannot stand up to the book, it was very nicely done and I was really pleased with the adaptation.  I of course had to do some Harry Potter nails for the event!

I really like how these turned out - so much fun!  Here is what I used to create this manicure:

Thumb: 3 coats OPI Grape Set Match as the base, with stars stamped in Zoya Trixie and Nicole by OPI Not a Gold Bigger using BM21

Index Finger - Gryffindor: 2 coats of Zoya Sarah as the base, with the pattern and tips stamped in Nicole by OPI Not a Gold Bigger using plates m60 and m19

Middle Finger - Ravenclaw: 4 coats of Zoya Kotori as the base, with pattern and tips stamped in Zoya Trixie using plates m60 and m19

Ring Finger - Slytherin:  3 coats of Zoya Suvi as the base with pattern and tips stamped in Zoya Trixie using plates m60 and m19

Pinky Finger - Hufflepuff:  3 coats of Nicole by OPI One Voice as the base with pattern and tips stamped in Konad Special Black using plates m60 and m19

  Hufflepuff looks totally different than the other four nails, haha.  And the gold for Gryffindor should have been more yellow-ish, but I didn't have anything the right color that would stamp well - so I did my best.  :)  The midnight showing was a lot of fun - lots of people dressed up!  It is sad that Harry Potter is now officially over, but I know I will continue to enjoy the books and the movies for years to come.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OPI Serena Williams Grand Slam England

  I have loved pretty much all of the Serena collections that have come out so far... but I have to say this one is by far my favorite.  That is saying something, trust me!  This collection consists of two gorgeous shiny colors plus an amazing holo glitter topcoat!

You Royal Shine-ness
Silver foil.  Perhaps not the most unique polish in the world, but for a foil it has a really nice formula.  This was two coats, and I had no problems with streaking, which can be a problem with foils.  If you are looking for a great silver foil this is a nice one.

Your Royal Shine-ness + Servin' Up Sparkle

Two coats of Servin' Up Sparkle layered on top.  This is a gorgeous holo small + large hex glitter in a clear base.  I love this for layering!  On top of Your Royal Shine-ness is makes a super sparkly silver look.

Grape... Set... Match

My favorite polish of this collection!  It is a gorgeous red-toned purple full of purple, blue, and pink shimmer.  The shimmer gives it a bit of a duochrome effect.  It is a truly gorgeous polish - these pictures do not do it justice!  I used two coats here, and it looked fine indoors... but as you can see (especially on the pinky) it was a tad thin so three coats is really necessary for full opacity.

In full sun you can see a bit more of the red-toned nature of this polish, as well as a bit more of that sparkle!

Grape Set Match + Servin' Up Sparkle

One coat of the glitter on top - I adore this combo!  It will definitely be a full mani sometime soon... possibly to a K-State game?  :)  I took this one a tad fuzzy to try to give a better impression of the holo glitter.

Overall... love this collection!  Grape... Set... Match and Servin' Up Sparkle are must-haves in my opinion, and Her Royal Shine-ness is a very nice silver foil.    A great set of polishes by OPI!

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, July 8, 2011

The Polish that Started it All!

  I was never really into nail polish when I was younger.  I would occasionally paint them, but mostly my nails were naked and bitten down to painful nubs.  If I polished my nails, I never really looked at them and said "wow, that is gorgeous"!  Until one day, my mom gave me a set of minis from OPI (my first high-end polish) and I fell in love!  One of the minis was this gorgeous pink that looked different depending on what angle my nails were at and I used the whole thing up.  I was really sad when it was gone.

  Fast forward to last month... I was thinking about that polish.  I had no idea what the name of it was, but I thought it maybe had something to do with Broadway?  So I searched around... and I found that fabulous polish!  I was thrilled - of course I had to go find it on eBay and order a bottle!  What was this fabulous polish, you might ask?

OPI Movin' Out
From the 2003 Holiday on Broadway collection

  Movin' Out is a very sheer, shimmery medium pink.  It also has a gorgeous multichrome effect to it that is very subtle when on its own, but intense when layering.  I definitely plan to layer this soon, however I first wanted to wear it the way I remember wearing it back in 2003.

  For this coverage, I used four coats - yes it is that sheer!  But it applied really well otherwise.  It was really fun to find this old polish - the very first polish that ever made me look at my nails and say "wow"!  From them on, I really enjoyed painting my nails.  Although I didn't go totally polish crazy until last year, haha.  I plan on layering this beauty soon to show off her amazing multichrome nature, but for now I hope you enjoyed my story of the first polish I ever loved. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OPI Nice Stems! - Swatches and Review

  What a fun little collection of pinks!  The OPI Nice Stems! collection consists of four gorgeous pink shades perfect for summer.  While I enjoy a wide range of polish colors, it is always fun to go back to a "classic" pink manicure!  I did not swatch I Lily Love You by itself (too sheer) but you will see it over each of the other three colors!  All colors are shown without base coat, with top coat, in natural outdoor lighting.  All pictures can be clicked to see maximum detail.

Play the Peonies

 A very pretty pale pink with delicate shimmer throughout.  This is a really nice feminine, safe color.  I used three coats for full coverage.

Play the Peonies with two coats of I Lily Love You.  This combo creates a gorgeous light/medium pink with great rainbow glitter and flakies.  I love this combination!

Come to Poppy

Bright coral pink with a touch of shimmer.  I really love this for summer!  One coat was almost enough but just barely not... so this is two coats for full coverage.

Come to Poppy plus two coats of I Lily Love You.  Another gorgeous combo.

Be A Dahlia Won't You?

Super shimmery fuschia with blue undertones.  I just love polishes like this!  It sort of reminds me of Wing It! from last summer... perhaps I will have to do a comparison?  Two coats.

Be A Dahlia plus two coats of I Lily Love You.  This ends up almost looking like the bottle color!  I wore this as a full mani for a few days, very pretty.

Overall Thoughts

A great collection of summery pinks! The clear must-have for me is I Lily Love You, since it can be used as a top coat to so many different colors to give them that gorgeous sparkle flakie look!  However all colors in this collection are fabulous, and there are both bold and safer colors to choose from.  Overall very pleased with these summer pinks!

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.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

  Hope everyone is having a fabulous Fourth of July - whether you are here in the US celebrating Independence Day (and hopefully a day off) or you are elsewhere simply enjoying a lovely Monday.  :)  I of course had to do something red, white and blue for the holiday!

Outdoors, full sun
  For these nails, I started out with three coats of China Glaze Ruby Pumps, a gorgeous glittery red I have shared here before.  It is a fabulous red.  On top of that, I used Bundle Monster plate BM21 with Konad special white to add stars.  I topped that off with Seche, waited for it to dry, then used tip guides to add OPI Absolutely Alice (one of my favorite all time polishes) to the tips.  I added silver rhinestones to the centers of the large stars, one for coat of Seche and was good to go!

Outdoors, shade
  I really love how this turned out!  I had a lot of different ideas for what to wear today but I am glad I chose this one.  Can't wait to show it off at the family pool party later!

  In other non-nail news... we decided to keep the puppy!  After a week long "trial separation" where she stayed with the in-laws, I was so depressed and missing her we just had to have her back.  I am so happy - I know we will find a way to make it work when we go back to clinical rotations.  Isn't she so cute and festive in her red, white, and blue bandana? :)

  Have a great day! :D

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Zoya Touch Collection - Swatches and Reviews

  I was very excited to receive the Zoya Touch collection, which consists of three gorgeous nude shades with a subtle shimmer.  Finding a good nude to match your skin tone can be difficult, but Zoya provides three lovely options so you are bound to find a great fit in at least one of the three!  All swatches are shown with two coats, without top or base coat, in both shade and sun.


Minka - Outdoors, shade
Zoya Minka is a yellow based beige with a touch of soft silvery microshimmer.  Minka is intended especially for those with olive skin tones.  I personally found this one to be a bit too yellow on my skin.

Minka - Outdoors, direct sunlight

Shay - Outdoors, shade
 Zoya Shay is a peach based beige with the same silvery shimmer.  This was my personal favorite - I feel it complements my skin tone very nicely, almost giving me "mannequin hands."  Intended for warmer skin tones.

Shay - Outdoors, sunlight

Pandora - Outdoors, shade
 Zoya Pandora is a pink beige with silvery microshimmer.  To me, this leans a bit more to a blush pink than beige.  I also like this one a lot on my skin.  Intended for cooler skin tones.

Pandora - Outdoors, sunlight
Overall Thoughts

Zoya has provided a great collection of nudes here in which you are bound to find at least one polish complimentary to your skin - I found two I really loved.  The polish is of the high quality you would expect from Zoya, with great application and a smooth glossy finish.  I definitely recommend these polishes if you have had a hard time finding that perfect nude for your skin.  If you are unsure of which color will look best on you,  remember that you can always order a Zoya Color Spoon to try it out first!

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.

Friday, July 1, 2011

CND Shellac Review!

  I have to admit, ever since I heard of Shellac I have been dying to give it a try.  I gave my mom a gift certificate for a local spa for Christmas and waited to go with her... and waited and waited, haha.  She is not normally a nail person but does enjoy it occasionally - but she hates chipping and would definitely not want to redo her nails ever few days so this seemed perfect for her!  We finally went near the end of May before our vacation, so we would not have to mess with our nails there.  Let me point out that these nails endured not only a lot of use while at work but also a lot of swimming, lake sports and a week with (the most adorable ever) baby!  I picked Tutti Frutti, a fun and bold summer pink.  So here we go!

Day One

Indoors, artificial light
This shows my nails late the same night that I had them done.  Really wonderful application, smooth and shiny and perfect around the cuticles.  I was really pleased!

Day Five

Outdoors, Shade
 Starting to see a little bit of growth and a tiny bit of tip wear.  And some nasty cuticles (sorry about that, haha).  Still smooth and shiny and looking great!  Regular polish would most likely have chipped by now.

Day 10

Indoors, natural light
 Slightly more growth, just a smidge more tipwear.  Still gorgeous and shiny and wonderful!  There is no way I could have worn a regular polish this long.

Day 14

Outdoors, sun
 Finally hit the two week mark!  And got those nasty cuticles from day 5 looking lovely. :)  14 days is how long CND claims Shellac lasts.  Day 14 and I am seeing no reason to take this off yet.  A bit more growth, about the same (small) amount of tipwear.  Still shiny!

Day 18

Outdoors, shade
 Time for me to say bye-bye to Shellac on day 18.  If I was a normal person, I totally could have worn this longer, but I was just dying to change up my color at this point (and to try the new Zoya Touch polishes!) so it had to go.  This would definitely last three weeks if you were okay with the same color and the outgrowth.  After 18 days it is still gorgeous and shiny, with just minor tipwear.  I did have the tiniest of chips on my other hand, but I am 99.9% sure that this was because of a standing weakness in the top layer of my nail before application.


Okay, removal was a pain.  Rather than get it removed professionally I went for a DIY at home (those Zoya's were calling to me...) and used the foil method.  Left foil on for 10 minutes each and it was still rather hard to got off.  It involved a lot of rubbing and some light scraping with my other nail (not enough to damage the nail but just enough to get the last bits off).  The tough removal was worth it though, for the convenience of gorgeous color for 18+ days!
Overall Thoughts

Amazing.  While I will not be doing this all the time (I couldn't stand to have my nails the same color constantly), I will definitely keep this in mind for vacations where I just don't want to mess with my nails.   This was a really great experience and I can't wait to try it again on our next trip.  My mom and sister were also very pleased with theirs.  In addition, I feel like my nails are a bit stronger after Shellac - maybe it was just having that time without me messing with them every two or three days, but they really are growing nicely right now.  I'm sure they will break tonight now that I said that, haha.  I recommend giving this a try at least once, even if you are a chronic polish changer like I am!  It is a lot of fun.

Click here to learn more about Shellac and find a location near you!

Thanks so much to Tammy, the awesome nail professional that applied our Shellac manicures - you did an awesome job!  Expect to see us again soon - we have another trip coming up.  ;)