Saturday, March 31, 2012

Deborah Lippamnn - Sweet Dreams!

  This pretty pink is from the new Deborah Lippmann Spring 2012 collection - bright pink and flakies, how could I possibly say no?

Outdoors, evening light
  This is three coats of Deborah Lippmann Sweet Dreams, a sheer bright medium pink packed with golden orange flakies.  It was a bit on the gloopy side to apply, but no worse than any other flakie-packed polish.  This polish is perfect for spring or summer - I can definitely see myself wearing this one on the beach in a couple of months... :)  It is really amazing in the sun but the camera had a bit of a hard time capturing it.

Close up
Outdoors - shade
Outdoors - full sun
Angled close-up
  I ordered this from HSN.com, although it appears to be out of stock there (at the time of writing, perhaps it is back).  I also found a first-time buyer coupon for 15% off and it already had free shipping, so that was nice - getting a Lippmann for less than $14!  Way worth it.  :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fingrs Flirt Stamping Kit and Plates Review

  About a month or so ago I was checking out the polish aisle in WalMart (which I usually try to avoid since I have no money, haha), and I was a little surprised to see stamping sets!  Since they were fairly cheap and I have no will power, of course I picked them up.  Here is a review of the overall quality of the contents of these sets.

Left - set of two individual stamping plates; R - Set with stamper, scraper, polish and one plate
  These sets are produced by Fingrs Flirt, and so far I have only seen them at WalMart but I am sure they could probably be found elsewhere as well (their site claims CVS and ULTA among others).  I can't remember exact pricing now, but I believe the starter set with the stamper/scraper/polish/one plate was about $7-8, and the set with two plates was about $4.

The Plates

These are the three plates I got.  I think they may be the only plates produced right now, as they are also the only three I can find on their website.  One is available with the starter kit and the other two in a separate pack.  Mostly they consist of individual images, although there are a couple of images that could be considered "full nail" images.  The full nail images are smaller than full nail images on other plates such as Konad or Bundle Monster - I did manage to (mostly) fit it on my somewhat short middle finger, but for longer nails this wouldn't work so well as a full image.

Comparison of Konad (L) to Fingrs Flirt (R)
Additionally, these are not backed like Konad or the second gen BM plates, so they are a bit scratchy, although this has never really bothered me much.  Despite the smaller size and lack of backing, the actual images stamped very well - I was pleased with how the polish settled into the design, how the design picked up, and they cleaned nicely as well.  Overall the plates aren't as nice as Konad, but for the price they are still a great alternative.

The Scraper

Konad (L), Fingrs Flirt (R)
 I was so excited to see the scraper was plastic, since I would love a spare.  I am not a fan of metal scrapers, as they scratched up my plates when I used to use one.  However, this scraper did not work well at all.  It left streaks of polish that were so thick they transferred to the stamper and to the nail - not good.  I tried several different times with different pressures/angles, but no such luck.  Here is a picture of what an image looked like after scraping with the Fingrs Flirt scraper.

Streaks - boo
The Stamper

Large end of double-ended Konad Stamper (L), Fingrs Flirt Stamper (R)
 The stamper was the same size as a normal stamper, or as the large end of a Konad double-sided stamper.  The rubber picked up the image and transferred well.  It has a super short little handle though, so I will still be using my Konad double-ended stamper.

The Polish

The little bottle of white stamping polish works alright, although I felt like it wasn't quite as opaque as my Konad Special White polish that I normally use.  Here are some examples of stamped images (over China Glaze Aquadelic)

Stamped Images
As you can see, the polish stamped fine but maybe is just a tab bit more transparent than some other white stamping polishes.

Overall Verdict

While the tools in the kit (scraper/stamper/polish) are not my favorite ever, I do really like the plates.  They have a lot of cute images, although some are of course very similar to Konad images.  If you have been thinking about trying stamping but haven't yet invested in Konad or other systems, it is a cheaper alternative and easier to find if it is stocked in your local WalMart/other nearby stores.  If you already have stamping equipment, the plates are worth having in your collection for the price.  I won't be using their stamper or scraper but I am sure the plates will see plenty of use from me over time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

That hits the Sweet Spot!

  Here is another polish from the Deborah Lippmann Fashionista trio that my sister Christy got me for Christmas - Deborah Lippmann Sweet Spot!

Outdoors, shade
  Sweet Spot is a pinkish bronze metallic.  It is really fun in that it is a total chameleon - in certain lighting it looks almost completely chocolatey-bronze, in others almost completely rosy pink.  It applied super smooth and was opaque in two coats.  As with most metallics, there is the faintest hint of brushstrokes if you really look for them, but honestly I felt like it applied smoother than quite a few other metallics I have worn.

Outdoors, indirect sun
Outdoors, direct sun
  For this manicure, I did DL Sweet Spot on all nails but my ring finger, which I painted with Nicole by OPI Not A Gold Bigger.  I then used the alternate color on each nail and Konad plate m85 to add the design.  The gold and the rosy bronze really complimented each other well, and I thought the look was very elegant and classy.  What else would you expect from a "Fashionista" collection?  :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

OPI NYC Ballet Soft Shades Collection - Swatches and Review

  This collection consists of five sheer pastel jellies and one glittery top coat.  I have to admit, when I first got into nail polish I kind of hated wearing sheer polish - it drove me a bit crazy to have any VNL at all.  Sheer has definitely grown on me, though, whether they are bright fun colors (like the OPI Texas sorbets) or light and airy colors like these, which look very sophisticated.  A year ago or so ago I would not have been a huge fan of this collection, but now I love it!  All full-nail images are shown at three coats, with no base coat but with top coat.  The pictures of one, two, and three coats do not have top coat.  Also, I apologize for my yellowed nails - my cute bumble bee mani kind of took its toll, and it's still growing out.  :)

Barre My Soul

Outdoors, shade
 Light beige sheer jelly.  This one was very skin-toned for me.  Love that jelly finish!

Outdoors, sunlight
Three, two, and one coats of polish
With one coat of Pirouette My Whistle
Don't Touch My Tutu

Outdoors, shade
 Sheer milky white jelly.  Kind of makes me think of marshmallow fluff, haha.

Outdoors, sunlight
Three, two, and one coats of polish
With one coat of Pirouette My Whistle
You Callin Me A Lyre?

Outdoors, shade
Light rosy-pink sheer jelly.  I love this one - perfect for french manicures!
Outdoors, sunlight
Three, two, and one coats of polish
With one coat of Pirouette My Whistle
Care to Danse?

Outdoors, shade
 Pale lavender sheer jelly.  While this is very purple in the bottle, it looks a bit more pinkish on the nail - though definitely more purple than Lyre.

Outdoors, sunlight
Three, two, and one coats of polish
With one coat of Pirouette My Whistle
My Pointe Exactly

Outdoors, shade
Sheer slate gray jelly.  This is definitely more gray than blue, but has a touch of blue to it.

Outdoors, sunlight
Three, two, and one coats of polish
With one coat of Pirouette My Whistle
Pirouette My Whistle

Outdoors, shade
 This gorgeous glitter is made up of small and large hex silver glitter.  It is perfect for layering - above you have seen it over each of the other five colors in the collection.  It also looks fairly nice on its own - here I am showing three coats alone.  This one will definitely get a lot of use from me as a layering top coat!

Overall Review

While I knew I liked sheers now, I was still surprised how much I liked these.  The formula is perfectly smooth, and these can easily be worn as one, two, or three coats for different looks.  They are also great for french manicures, which I actually wore earlier this week.  I really love the milky base on each of these, and that squishy jelly finish.  I also love the glitter, it is a fabulous top coat that I am sure will see plenty of use from me.  While I like some of the colors more than others with my skin tone, there is enough variety in the shades available that there even if one doesn't look right on you, others will.  I would definitely recommend picking up some of these pretties to add to your collection.  They are very classy and elegant, as well as being totally work appropriate.  And who doesn't love a good jelly?  :)

 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.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Busy as a Bumble Bee!

  I have had this idea for a manicure sitting around in my head for such a long time - I am so glad I finally took the time to do it!

Outdoors, shade
  For these nails, I started with China Glaze Sunshine Pop on all but the ring finger, which I painted with China Glaze Kinetic Candy.  For the yellow nails, I added small strips of blue painter's tape and painted over each with black using Sally Hansen Xtreme Black Out.  Finally, on the yellow-and-black nails I added small 3D blue flowers I got from... somewhere.  I topped it off with about a bazillion coats of Seche Vite.  For the blue ring finger, I first added flowers with Konad Special White and plate m82.  Next I painted on the little bee using CG Sunshine Pop and Sally Hansen Black Out, and added the little trail of dots with a dotting tool.  I also added yellow to the middle of the flowers with Sunshine Pop and a dotting tool, and finally added a yellow rhinestone to the center of the largest flower.

Outdoors, sun
  I absolutely love how this manicure turned out!  I think it is totally adorable and perfect for spring!  I have to admit, the little 3D flowers drove me insane - I kept messing with them, which probably didn't help them to stay on.  A few fell off over the course of the three days I wore this, some in the shower and another while just working.  I think if I had used nail glue to attach maybe they would have stayed on better, but mine had dried up so I just attached them with polish (and the bazillion coats of Seche Vite).  I got a lot of compliments on this one!  It took awhile but it was totally worth it.  :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Katwalk Nail Art

  Here is a fun and simple little mani I did awhile back using Nicole by OPI Kendall on the Katwalk, one of my favorite blue glitters.

Outdoors, shade
  I wanted to do something that would highlight the purple and green glitters that are found in the base color.  I used OPI Grape... Set... Match! to add sparkly purple tips to each nail, then I added the green dots using a dotting tool and Zoya Holly.

Close-up of detail
  While this manicure was fairly simple, I really like how all of the colors worked together.  I absolutely love this glitter and really like the purple and green mixed in with the blue, and this was a great way to showcase all of those colors!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a-England Saint George

  I have been lemming after a few of the a-England polishes for a very long time.  When the new collection came out, I knew it was finally time to give in and order a few.  It was hard to pick which ones to get, since I wanted quite a few of them, but in the end I got Tristam and Lady of the Lake from The Mythicals collection, and Saint George from the new The Legend collection.  I had a tough time deciding which to try out first, so I went with the newest of the bunch, a-England Saint George.

Outdoors, sunlight
  St George is a super pigmented rich teal with a somewhat subtle but still gorgeous holographic effect.  When I say super pigmented, I really mean it - this is one coat.  Granted, it was over a fairly opaque ridge-filler base, so normally it may have taken two coats, but I am still pretty impressed.  And that holo is so gorgeous!  It is not as holo as the other two I got, but it is still stunning.

Mmmm, holo
Outdoors, shade - still pretty!
  Since I was dying to try out the other colors too, I later decided to try a water marble with them just on the ring fingers.  While they played well with the water, they turned out a bit too dark to really see much of a difference, but it was still kind of cool so here are some pictures of that as well.

Right hand, water marbled ring finger
Left hand, water marbled ring finger
  Overall I would say water marble with colors this similar and dark doesn't work so well, haha.  But it was still very pretty.  You can also kind of tell in these pictures that the other two colors are more holo than St George.  I am totally in love with these three polishes (I am actually wearing Tristam now as I type this, and can't wait to try out Lady of the Lake soon!) and I may be back to place a second order sometime in the near future.  In particular, I am thinking I should have added Dragon to my collection, but maybe next time.  :)  What is your favorite a-England polish?

Monday, March 19, 2012

OPI Holland - Comparisons

  Here are the comparisons I have done with several of the polishes in the OPI Holland Collection.  If you have any more comparisons you would life to see, let me know and I will get them done as soon as I can!

OPI Did You 'ear About Van Gogh vs Zoya Farah

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
 These polishes are very similar.  As you can see here, the OPI is just a tiny bit darker than the Zoya.  While not dead-on dupes, one of these is probably sufficient.  Both have smooth two-coat application, so it is really up to your brand preference which to get, in my opinion.

OPI Thanks a WindMillion vs Zoya Bevin

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
 Once again, these are very similar.  In this case, Bevin is just a touch darker than WindMillion, but once again, both are probably not required in your collection.  Similarly, both have smooth two coat application, so it's a toss-up here as well.

OPI Thanks a WindMillion vs OPI Mermaid's Tears

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
 These two are definitely in the same color family but have some clear differences.  Mermaid's Tears is lighter and has a bit more blue to it, while WindMillion is darker and a touch murkier.  I think it is worth having both of these in a collection, since Mermaid's Tears is more of a brighter pastel and WindMillion is darker and more dusty.

OPI Pedal Faster, Suzi! vs Orly Artificial Sweetener

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
 In the bottle these two looked somewhat similar to me, but they are fairly different on the nail.  While they are both medium dusty pinks with shimmer, the Orly is much darker with much more subtle shimmer.  The silvery shimmer is the OPI is super-noticeable, while the Orly's silver and gold shimmer really only pops in the sun.  Worth having both.

OPI Rotterdam vs OPI Herring Problem vs Zoya Skylar

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
These three blues all have subtle differences in color and shimmer that make each unique.  Rotterdam is much more of a cornflower or periwinkle blue than Herring, which has much more green to it.  Skylar is somewhere in the middle of these two in terms of color - slightly less green than Herring, slightly more green and brighter than Rotterdam.  Skylar's shimmer is also even more dramatic than the two OPI's shimmer, which is impressive since all three have very strong silvery shimmer effect.  I love them all!

OPI Kiss Me On My Tulips vs Nicole by OPI All Kendall-ed Up

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
Apparently when I was swatching these I wrote down that Tulips was ever so slightly darker, but honestly, looking at it now I can barely see a difference between these two.  I would say they are just about dupes, and you probably don't need both.  So it just comes down to brand - and which brush you like better - here.

OPI Dutcha Just Love OPI? vs Zoya Tru

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunlight
 These are pretty much dupes - pick your favorite brand.  :)

Hope these comparisons help some people in deciding what to buy from this year's spring collections!  Let me know if there are any more you want to see, and I will always do my best to help out with what I've got!

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