Posts Tagged essie

Spring in a bottle: Essie Resort Fling

I’ll admit – normally I don’t like to bitch about the weather too much. We live in Canada, guys! It is what it is. But this year, I was SUPER ready for spring. It wasn’t just the bizarre-out-of-nowhere snowstorms (they at least happened on a Wednesday almost every time which meant a WHOLE LOTTA SNOW DAYS!), or the endlessly grey days that spanned for months. I think it partially was all the shit that went down that had me itching for spring and for a fresh start. So as soon as the sun peeked out even a *little bit* I was breaking out the obnoxiously colourful makeup, nail polish, and clothing. I have this awesome neon coral pink cardigan from H&M that honestly sears the eyes a little bit – every time I wear it, at least 3 people will say ‘Wow, that sweater is…BRIGHT’ (which I can never decipher to be a compliment or a put-down) – and I’ve been rocking it out non-stop just BECAUSE I WANT TO.

IMG_2197It really is that bright in real life

I always find the transition between winter and spring a bit odd when it comes to nail polish – I don’t want to get into the beach-ready brights just yet, but I’m SO DONE with the moody hues that seem to be seasonally appropriate for half the year here. Pastels are all well and good, but overall I wouldn’t say I’m all that *cute* and sometimes they can get a little saccharine to me. When I peeped swatches of the new Essie 2014 Resort collection online, I was instantly drawn to Resort Fling, but was unsure if it would work with my colouring, as it looked kinda orange which isn’t all that flattering on me. It reminded me of Zoya Arizona, which I LOVED in the bottle but HATED on the nail. It finally came in stock at Lawtons, and as soon as I saw it in person I was sold.

Essie Resort Fling

Described as a ‘creamy coral peach,’ I would say that it’s spot on. It’s more peach than coral, but that also means it’s further away from orange that I suspected, which is a good thing. It’s got a thinner formula which builds up nicely after two coats, though there is still a touch of VNL left. It doesn’t bother me that much with textures like this though; a juicy creme, almost jelly-like but not nearly as sheer – Essie’s Splash of Grenadine is very similar but a bit more creamy. ME LIKEY. Application was insanely easy – I did these swatches fairly haphazardly and got ‘em done in no time flat.

Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch Essie Resort Fling swatch

Ugh, I can’t even. I’m so happy with this shade! All the Essie shades I’ve been picking up lately have been knocking it out of the park for me I will say. It was a good lesson in ‘orange’ as well, as I realized I can come close to orange if it’s more in the peach vein rather than a more yellow-based orange.

Other than the fear of orange, another reason I held off on buying Resort Fling was that I thought it might be too close in colour to Chanel’s Orange Fizz, another shade that’s not really orange but more of a coral with an orange lean. Comparing them side by side, they looked nothing alike, but sometimes the eye can trick you.

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling

On the nail, it was clear that my fears were unnecessary, as the differences are clear. Resort Fling is not only lighter but much more ‘orange,’ whereas Orange Fizz has more pink tones in it.  The biggest similarity was their juicy creme/jelly formulas and insanely glossy finishes (I’m not even wearing top coat)!

Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches Chanel Orange Fizz vs Essie Resort Fling swatches

I love them both equally. For the current season though, I feel that Resort Fling is perfect – not too bright, not pastel, just pretty and spring-y and exactly what I wanted. I could probably alternate between this, Splash of Grenadine, and Essie Bikini So Teeny for the next few months and be quite happy :)

What say you? Do you go for full-on brights once spring arrives, or do you ease your way in to colour? Do you like polishes with a hybrid creme/jelly formula?

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Nail Art as a Substitute for Effort

Heads up guys.  I’m about to go on one of my introspective jags here in a moment, so either get comfy, or enjoy the randomly interspersed nail art – a little looky-looky for ya – and then get the heck outta here. 

So.  I just got out of the shower.  And my mental process during the entire act of cleaning the day’s dirt and grime off, was centered around this blog.  What can I write about that will get MY mojo going, let alone pique your interest!?  I tell ya, it’s been a struggle lately to find the get up and go to write about much of anything, truth be told.

Essie Nail ArtVine mani with Essie Bikini So Teeny, Essie No More Film, and Essie Limited Addiction

Actually, that’s not entirely true.  If I could maintain a beauty blog with just words and no pictures, and entice you to try fabulous products (or scare you away from the crappy ones) with just the force of my words, I’d be SET.  Sadly, I’m in the wrong kinda blogging business for that.  But, in my dream reality, that would be exactly what I’d do.

Essie nail art (2)Backdrop with my fabulous neon coral-pink H&M sweater :)

See, the thing is – photography is WORK.  All you kickass bloggers out there know, it often takes a bajillion shots to get just the right one.  Sometimes, I’m all over it; give me a clear, bright Saturday morning with no commitments and I’ll happily sit out on my deck and get all artsy-fartsy on your ass.  But the chance of me actually being home at all during the weekend is slim to none, nevermind having the weather cooperate (though I will say…we kinda had a stupendous August!).  The obvious solution is to find an alternative method of shooting photos when my surroundings are less than ideal (MM has taking a night shot down pat) – but here is the other problem.  I am NOT great at photography.  I’d love to have those mad skillz that many a blogger seem to be born with innately, but this here girl just does not have it.  And unfortunately for all of us, I’m not so great with bothering to LEARN things I’m not already good at from the get go.  There.  I said it.  I only wanna do things I know I’ll succeed at.  I’m a jerk.

fishtail maniFishtail mani with Chanel Azure, Gosh Holographic, and a-England Lady of the Lake

So.  We’ve established the problem and determined a solution that I’m not actually going to apply.  Now what?  That brings me to now, today, this month, the past 6 months.  I feel like I’ve been doing the blogging thing for so long now that I really should have my shit together, but I still feel like a total newb (and it shows).  It sucks, because I’m just as obsessed with cosmetics as ever and have bought some super-cool things over the past couple months I really should talk about.  But the thought of putting out one more crappy photo just leaves me sad, pissed at myself, and – quite frankly – avoidant to write about much of anything.  Which is a shame, because writing…writing is something I love.

fishtail mani (6)Sun + holo goodness :)

Having said all that….if anyone has any suggestions for me on improving my photography skills, or just to commiserate, I’m all ears.  While I’m unlikely to work TOO hard at much of anything (sad but true), I am receptive to any tips or tricks I might employ to improve my pics bit by bit.  The most ideal scenario is that all you talented photogs out there come to my house and show me hands-on – that’s how I (like to) learn best.  But we’ve already established that we’re not living in my dream reality, so I’ll take what I can get ;)

Do you steer clear of things you don’t do well?  What are your strengths?  How do you prefer to learn?

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Summer Polish Combo: Zoya Robyn with Essie Come Here

Happy Canada Day!!!  It’s been a busy week and an even busier weekend, as usual!  I had an excellent weekend celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, even despite the fact that the weather has been absolute CRAP.  Sometimes though, the fact that everyone pulls together to make the best of a shitty situation (in this case, crazy rain and wind for DAYS) is almost better than if everything had been perfect.  And when you’re doing all this with the people you care about, well, then it’s all gravy :D

Summer Polish Combo

As the weather has been hit or miss this summer so far (with more misses than hits), I haven’t been very concerned about my mani/pedi situation, but last week after picking up those few new shades, it was due time to get on it!  Below I tried out two of the shades, Zoya Robyn – a bright sky blue – and Essie Come Here, a coral red from the 2013 Resort collection.  Both are perfect vibrant summer shades that work well on both fingers and toes – I love them!

Summer Polish Combo (4)

Zoya Robyn was a unique addition to my polish collection – most blue shades I have lean teal or aqua, or are more of along the lines of a deep navy.  This eye-catching shade is perfect for spring and summer, and I really love it!  I wasn’t sure about it on my hands at first, but it really grew on me and I ended up wearing it for a full four days.  The formula is thin which means you have to be a bit careful in application, but it only required two coats so it’s not terribly fussy.  It wore exceptionally well and I only had minor tip wear after those four days.

Zoya Robyn (2)

Essie Come Here is my kind of shade!  I love the strong red leaning that sometimes leans pink and sometimes leans more orange.  It looks fabulous on toes and will go with pretty much any shade I pair it with.  Formula was lovely with absolutely no issues or tricks required for application.  100% win!  I haven’t yet worn Essie Come Here on my fingernails, but I am eager to – below I have a few comparison swatches to show you (aka justify my purchase); it’s really not like anything I personally own.

Essie Come Here comparisonEssie Meet Me at Sunset, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Come Here, butter London Snog

Essie Come Here! comparison Essie Come Here! comparison (3)Top to bottom: butter London Snog, Essie Come Here, China Glaze Surfin’ for Boys, Essie Meet Me at Sunset

I thought Snog was going to be quite close, but it’s far too pink.  Surfin’ for Boys is in the right vein but much lighter and with shimmer.  Meet Me at Sunset is clearly too orange, but it has the same intensity of saturation.  From what I understand, Essie’s Ole Caliente and Flirt are very similar to Come Here, so if you have either of those, you’re probably set.  Bottom line: It’s a great shade that I’m totally diggin’!

What do you think of this combo?  Have you come up with any great combinations of your own lately?

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Holiday Color Pairings

Holiday Colors

When I start to think about it, it’s not really a surprise to me that I love makeup.  When I was a kid, I use to spend hours pairing my crayons together in color combinations I thought looked good together (which was also a great indication of my obsessive tendencies toward organization, but that’s a whole OTHER topic in itself!).  While I don’t feel societal pressures to follow trends in shades (woohoo, Emerald for 2013!), nor feel like I ‘should’ wear darker colors in winter and brighter colors in summer, I choose to follow these paths often because it just makes sense to me.  I love the idea of changing the shades I wear according to seasons – heck, I even do it with the change in weather!  Rain means somber shades of grey or blue; sun means warm tones of gold, or brights like aqua and orange; and snow equals icy silvers and cool pinks and purples.  Its just how I roll, ya’ll!

Holiday Colors (2)

As it’s the holidays, of course I imagined an array of festive shades to represent the season, and since the work was already done, I thought I’d share them with you!  On the weekend for the first time I matched my lips to my tips, and it was a lot of fun.  I’m not entirely sure I’d do the same with eyeshadow, but the colors below all complimented a polish I own so well I figured what the heck.  I hope you enjoy!

Holiday Colors - SilverBobbi Brown Chrome Eye Shadow in Pewter; Chanel Le Vernis in 529 Graphite

Holiday Color Swatches - Silver (2) Holiday Color Swatches - SilverChanel Graphite; Bobbi Brown Pewter

Both of these silvers are so much more than plain ol’ silver.  They both veer into a warmer tone rather than stark icy shades, which means they’re quite wearable for all skin tones.  Pewter is currently unavailable as this was an LE shade, but at times Bobbi Brown brings it back in palettes and such, so keep your eyes peeled!  Graphite has had a ton of reincarnations over the past year since it was released (though I don’t believe it’s LE anyway) – the best being Sally Hansen’s Shoot the Moon which was just featured on All Lacquered Up.

Holiday Colors - RedEssie Limited Addiction; Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in #46

Holiday Color Swatches - Red (2) Holiday Color Swatches - RedEssie Limited Addiction; MUFE #46

MUFE’s #46 Rouge Artist lippie was the red shade I wore on the weekend to compliment my red manicure (done with China Glaze Ruby Pumps).  I ADORE this lipstick; it is by far my favorite red that I own.  It’s more of a true red I think, and looks so darn good on!  The moistness of the lipstick keeps it looking so juicy and festive without being overwhelming in the least.  It feels amazing on and I just can’t get enough!  The only downside is that it’s only available at MUFE Pro stores and kiosks, but well worth the effort.

Essie Limited Addiction was, unfortunately, limited edition, but there are a billion reds out there I’m sure that are similar – just a bit deeper than your typical shade and neither warm nor cool.

Holiday Colors - GreenMAC Jealousy Wakes; a-England Saint George

Holiday Color Swatches - Green (2) Holiday Color Swatches - Greena-England Saint George; MAC Jealousy Wakes

Hot DAMN Saint George is beautiful!  I don’t wear this polish nearly as much as I should, mainly because when I bought it last year, I wore it about three times in a few weeks – obsessed, I was!  I’m wearing this to my work Christmas party this week and I’m super excited!  Its one of the few greenish hues I own, and one of the few of that color palette I like.  In truth it’s more teal than green but whatever – evergreen, shall we say?  I LOVE IT and all it’s prismatic shimmer.

Jealousy Wakes is also another shade I rarely wear, probably because I don’t wear color in my shadows nearly as much as I used to, but I still enjoy it from time to time when I do pull it out.  I dislike the texture of the shadow immensely – it’s so stiff and rough! – but it IS a lovely shade.

Holiday Colors - GoldSephora Brand She Sparkles; SpaRitual Aurum

Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (2)Holiday Color Swatches - Gold (3) Holiday Color Swatches - GoldSpaRitual Aurum; Sephora Brand She Sparkles

Oooh, sparkly indeed!  Though Aurum is sort of a crap color on me – probably on most people, it’s so damn blingy I’m going to HAVE to pull it out for the holidays!  Look at that sparkle!  It’s a bit more greenish-gold than the orange-y gold of She Sparkles, but they both shimmer prettily together, don’t you think?  I wore She Sparkles like crazy the last holiday season (when I purchased it), but haven’t given it much love since.  I’ll surely be pulling it out again this month!

Holiday Colors - BlackMAC Dark Soul Pigment; Illamasqua Creator

Holiday Color Swatches - Black (2) Holiday Color Swatches - BlackIllamasqua Creator; MAC Dark Soul

Though I’m not a huge lover of black nail polish, Creator has won me over with its glittery goodness, and looks both elegant and edgy at the same time.  It compliments Dark Soul so perfectly!  I could totally see rocking these two shades together, it’s like they were made for each other.  I rarely wear Dark Soul for sort of obvious reasons (its a shimmery charcoal shadow – the rockstar look doesn’t exactly work at the office), but I’m trying to find ways to implement it more when I can.  It’s definitely a perfect shadow for the holidays!

It was fun making these pairings and a huge throwback to my formative years :P  It’s also scary to see that I happen to have enough polish and makeup that I can actually make pairings that coordinate so well… ~shrugs~ I’m a collector, what can I say?

Have you gotten into the matching trend?  Would you be willing to try it, or do you avoid it at all costs?  What colors say ‘holiday’ to you?

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Filler Post Alert! Essie’s Bikini So Teeny, Take One

I am not too bright on Friday’s it seems!  I had this fantastic post (well…ok, I had A post) written that I was going to put up today, but I left my USB at work so I’m totally out of luck until Monday.  Stupid dummy! (That’s what I said to myself when I realized my mistake)  Anyway, I’ve been slower posting lately with all the moving business etc., and I don’t like it, so I’m going to give you SOMETHING to look at this evening if it kills me.  Maybe even two things, if you’re lucky :)

My alternative post, which I planned on putting up at some point soon anyway, was my first ‘Summer Polish Combo’ of the season, but goodness gracious – I could NOT for the life of me capture the vivid neon of China Glaze Beach Cruise-R, AGAIN, like I wasn’t able to capture most of the bright shades from the Summer Neons collection last month.  I even have it layered over white polish, to make it pop, and of course my fab shiny new camera takes infinitely better pictures, but it’s near impossible.  I’m sure a better photographer than me can do it no sweat – I just don’t have the patience/skill (yet).  So you’re gonna get a runner-up to the runner-up post!  How do you like them apples?

…Yea, that’s pretty shabby of me, I know.  But what do you do?  So, I’m going to show you Essie’s Bikini So Teeny – shots that unfortunately aren’t my favorite just because one of my fingers has a small nick in the cuticle and it’s generally not my best mani – it was taken a few days after application and I had some tip wear – but the color is fairly accurate and I absolutely LOVE this polish, so I won’t mind re-posting better shots down the road.  Hope that’s OK with you!!

So, here it is:

With flash

Indoor lighting

Fab, Fab, Fab.  I adore this color so much!!  What’s really hilarious is that it is super-close to Essie’s Lapiz of Luxury from a few years ago (it looks to be a bit darker than ‘Bikini’), which I bought, tried, HATED on my skin tone, and promptly swapped it on MUA.  Those were still the early days of funky nail polish colors, and it was probably one of the first I tried that wasn’t your standard pink/red/purple/neutral shade.  Now several years later, I am LOVING these colors, and this one in particular I think stands out in a good way on my skin.

It’s very similar in tone to Lippmann’s I Know What Boys Want – just lighter

I’d almost given up on this polish, as I hadn’t seen it around in stores anyway, and I’d made a pact with myself not to buy it online – but it popped up in Shoppers last week AND it was on sale, so I snatched it up – and I’m so glad I did!  I have China Glaze’s Sea Spray from Spring 2011 which I though was like, THE standard pale blue, but it’s so greyed out and doesn’t really look all that nice on me, so I rarely wear it.  This is pale but at the same time bright, and not a true sky blue but more of a periwinkle, in my opinion.  It’s just really lovely, and the formula is pretty good for an *almost pastel* creme.  Two coats to opacity if you apply them with a steady hand; I had a couple nails I had to do a third coat on as they were showing just a hint of patchiness.

In short: BUY THIS POLISH.  I can’t imagine it not looking wonderful on everyone and anyone – but then again, I’m biased.  Be sure to keep an eye out for me posting this again in the future; it really deserves better than the photos I’ve taken above!

Here’s the failed Summer Polish Combo attempt – so frustrating!  The pedi shade – Zoya Wednesday – came out accurately, why can’t Beach Cruise-R!?!?!

Since I’m crapping out on you on pretty much all fronts, I’ll just throw out the general question of: Thoughts??

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Yet Another Polish Review (But Special, Just the Same): Essie’s Power Clutch

It’s probably getting dull around here with all the polish posts, but hey – I had a lot of polishes to show, and my schedule has been hectic so I’m not so good with the original ideas lately *brain fried*  I do have some fun stuff coming up soon so don’t you worry, my beautiful ladies! :)

Anyway, it can’t be all bad – all these polishes are so pretty!!  And scream Fall, which is my favorite season and I’m beyond happy that the air is getting cooler and the leaves are falling….sorry for you warm-weather gals, but bring on the chill!

I actually wrote this post on the way to work today, because I just had to get all my thoughts down.  OMG this polish.  Seriously.  I put Essie’s ‘Power Clutch’ on last night, as it matches the gray days we’ve been having here in Hali since the first day of October (rain, rain, and more rain!). I cannot stop staring at it!!  Its endlessly interesting to me what colors we gravitate toward and end up smitten by. At first glance, Power Clutch is your standard gray creme. And really – that’s what it is!  But for whatever reason, whether its the hint of brown/green in the shade, or its flawless application (two easily flowing coats), this polish has captivated me!  Riding the bus to work this morning (no way am I walking in that torrential downpour!), I kept admiring my nails (hence the furious writing of this post), conscious of how vain I looked but unable to stop myself. It just suits my skin tone perfectly; not too blue, which is common for gray shades and tends to make them look stark on my olive/caramel coloring. Not so here!  With top coat, the shiny concrete hue looks both edgy and elegant.   I feel it’s entirely work appropriate (not that that’s ever really a consideration for me) without being boring or unoriginal in the least.   Just supreme awesomeness ~swoon~

Yeah, I’ve got it bad.

Enough of that, I gotta show you photos!!  Note how it changes in tone depending on the angle/light (more green/gray/brown):It’s entirely possible that my rambling just led you to the biggest let down ever lol.  Remember, I did tell you it is just a gray creme, with no bells and whistles.  But something about this polish…my oh my.  It just does it for me.  And in person, it looks even better – trust.  However, please feel free to let me know I’m ridiculous – I’d love to hear if you agree/disagree!   I won’t listen if you tell me it sucks ~ you understand ~ but I like to hear your opinions regardless :)

Have you tried this or one of the many gray shades out there this season (NARS Galion, Deb Lippmann Stormy Weather, China Glaze Concrete Catwalk)?  Would you wear gray polish to the office?  What do you consider ‘office appropriate’ shades?

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Double Feature! Summer Polish Combo(s): Contrasting Brights & Bubble-Gum Pink and a Sexy Holo

I’m doubling up on polish combos today because 1) I didn’t post my last combo (deliquent!), and 2) once September 1st arrives, Summer is essentially over for me, so this will be my last Summer Polish Combo for this year ~tear~.  I know, I know, we still have three weeks of official Summer, but I can never shake the old ‘School Year’ mentality and of course, once you’re back to school, your Summer is officially kaput.  And let’s get real, once all the fabulous Fall shades start to crop up everywhere, who can resist dropping the fabulous brights of Summer to get dark and dirty with Fall?  This girl here canNOT.  Fall is my fave season!

So, without further ado, here’s what I have for you today: Earlier in the week I was sporting two shades you’ve already seen, which just have NOT gotten enough play this Summer (due to mass amounts of yet untried polishes I still have to swatch/wear!).  I mean, it’s all well and good to be a polish collector of sorts, but if I never get an opportunity to wear the shades I love more than once, that’s just not on.  So let’s rectify that, shall we?

Presenting (again) Essie’s ‘Meet Me at Sunset’, with American Apparel’s ‘Neon Violet’:Bam!!  That’s how I felt while I was wearing this combo.  Totally in your face and contrasting but in a fun way, not a ‘she did her nails in the dark’ kind of way.  Love it!  Wish I wore this combo more often this Summer.

The second polish combo I have to show you is of two shades you haven’t seen (yay!).  I have been meaning to swatch these two for ages but there were always more pressing (read: newer) shades to show.  I finally realized I’m never going to have the time/ambition to show you all the new shades right off the bat, so I’m just going to go with that and not worry about it anymore.

Particularly in this case, I had to forgo other ‘pressing’ matters to show you this shade before the sunlight starts hiding out on me and I am unable to capture the polish in its full glory.  Of course, I’m talking about a holo – notorious for needing true sunlight in order to really showcase its beauty.  However, this holo stands out from many others in the fact that it’s a true ‘linear’ holo, and not just holo shimmer, so you can see the holographic nature in most lighting.

{Yeah, yeah, Get to the holo already!!!!!}

Ok, jeez, here it is – GOSH’s ‘Holographic’ polish:

I miraculously managed to scoop this up in an MUA swap I did a couple years ago.  In that time, I may have worn this polish three times.  I know, that’s absolutely ridiculous, because I mean – look at it! – but honestly, hear me out on why: 1) it’s HTF and therefore precious and to be used sparingly; 2) it chips very easily so can only really be worn for a specific event before needing re-application/removal; and 3) IT IS AN ABSOLUTE BITCH TO APPLY!!!!!!!

There.  I said it.  My HG (holy grail) of holo polishes is a PITA to apply and it pisses me off.  Just because it’s all pretty and stuff doesn’t mean it gets to act like a jerk and get play all the time.  Nuh-uh.  Its a serious love-hate going on.  I will never give it up, but MAN it is frustrating!  Aside from the super-easy peeling nature of the polish once it’s on, it goes on so bizarrely (because of it’s true holo nature) that it took four coats to reach this opacity without patchiness, bald spots, and pulling.  Yikes!

Now, bear in mind…this is how the polish applies when you use a base coat.  ANY base coat it seems, except Nfu-Oh’s Aqua Base, which I have heard is the way to go but of which I do not own nor am likely to since it’s another online-only-purchase-with-crazy-high-shipping-costs type of item.  So.  What’s a determined girl to do?

Skip the base coat.

Seriously, I applied this polish to one hand with base coat and one without.  While it’s not foolproof without base coat, it applies infinitely better and I only required three coats on that hand, and had minimal pulling/dragging/patchiness.  Still not ideal application, but doesn’t make me want to throw the polish bottle against the wall and have my very own all-the-time rainbow in our flat.  Super.

Moving on…the shade on my toes is the super-girly ‘Muchi Muchi’ by Essie, a name which I totally don’t get but I’m sure it means something valid.  Whatever.  I realized yesterday that as far as toe polish goes, I look good in either brights, really dark vampy colors, or pastel shades.  Anything else – murky, or in-between colors – look too close to my skin tone and make my toes look unattractive.  Anyway, so bearing that in mind, I chose ‘Muchi Muchi’ as its one of my last complimentary pedi shades that I haven’t shown you yet.

The polish itself is sugary sweet, a pale sheer pink (but not too pale) that goes with almost anything.  This is three coats, with base and top coat, and it has that slightly jelly-ish, squishy texture that looks almost pillowy.  Like foot candy!  It’s far more feminie than the shades I normally wear, and I feel a bit strange – but I do love the way it looks.  Totally pretty.  Its just a *touch* streaky and stills shows a bit of VNL (visible nail line) but it’s a sheer so its supposed to I guess.  I don’t mind it much.

And there you have it. Two for the price of one…but looking at how long this post is, I really made you work for it, huh!?  My apologies!  I have SOO many great Fall shades to show in the upcoming weeks, I had to make the last entry in the combo series count!  I hope you enjoyed it :)

What I’d really like to know is: What are your top three favorite nail polish colors?  And what kind of polish finish do you like the best (eg. shimmer, creme, frost, sheer, jelly)?  Gimme the scoop!

Bye for now!

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Another Comparison: butter London ‘Come to Bed Red’ and Essie ‘Queen of Hearts’

Again with too much time on my hands!  I’m home again from work today, still feeling pretty under the weather, and I want to make sure I get a ton of rest so I can get over this as fast as possible.  My bf has had it for about two weeks now and I just don’t want that!!  So gotta take care of myself.

I picked up Essie’s ‘Queen of Hearts’ a couple weeks ago when it was on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for $2.  $2 Essie!?  Count me in!  In the bottle its a pretty red with slight pink leanings, and subtle silver sparkle.  This was part of the ‘Essie Loves Diamonds’ collection by Judith Ripka, which came out a couple years ago.  I’d never heard of it or her, but apparently she is a jewelry designer.  The silver sparkle in the polish is supposedly genuine diamond dust.  Okey dokey!Again, yesterday when I was going through my stash, I realized that it was uncannily close to ‘Come to Bed Red’ by butter London, a beautiful, glossy, true red creme (previously reviewed here).  Paired side by side, they look pretty close, with the Essie being slightly more faded.Once on the nail, you can see the slightly more muted tone of QofH as well.  They’re not complete dupes, but pretty darn close – enough that I definitely don’t feel the need to own both.  Check it out:In all shots you see ‘Queen of Hearts’ on the index and ring finger, and ‘Come to Bed Red’ on the middle and pinkie.  The shots above show the slightly faded quality of QofH as compared to CTBR.  Also, in all shots taken, the fine silver shimmer is absolutely nowhere to be seen.  I couldn’t even see it with the naked eye in outdoor light, once on the nail.In these other two shots, I find that you can barely distinguish between the two – especially the last shot.  Personally, I think that if you didn’t know I had two different polishes on, you’d never ever guess.  And to me, if that’s the case, then these polishes are dupes.  Of course I can say that one is more muted, and I’m sure you can see that slight difference, but if I don’t let on and you can’t tell?   Absolutely NO reason to keep both, in my opinion.  To nitpick over the smallest of differences seems silly to me.  But, that’s just how I feel about it!  Clearly I’m not a true nail polish connoisseur as I’ve got less than 100 bottles, and many bloggers I’ve encountered have upwards of 700!!  So what do I know? :P

Details: As these polishes were just applied for swatching purposes, it was just two coats of each polish with no base or top coat.

Size, Price & Where to Buy: Essie polishes are 0.5 oz and usually retail for $11 CDN at drugstores (they’re about $2 cheaper at Walmart!).  This particular shade was Limited Edition.  butter London polishes are 0.4 oz and retail for $18 CDN at select locations (in Halifax you can buy them at Spirit Spa on Hollis St.).

In this case, butter London’s wins out over Essie’s version – mainly because I love b.London’s formulation, it is slightly brighter, and it irritates me that you can’t see the shimmer on the nail at all in QofH. Regardless of it being ‘genuine diamond dust‘.  And, I paid full price for CTBR!!  LOL so that’s something to consider, too.

What are your thoughts about dupes?  Do you feel the minute variations make all the difference?  Or are you the opposite, and feel that a red is a red, etc.?  How many nail polish do you own?

Ok, I’ve been sitting up for longer than I’d like, and its nap time (again!).  I hope I wake up tomorrow feeling back to normal and ready for the weekend!  If not, well…I hope everyone else has a fantastic weekend – enjoy it, have fun, drink a glass of wine, and take ‘er easy :)

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Summer Polish Combo: Red & Blue

OK, actually the description “red & blue” isn’t really accurate – it is more of a deep red and black-blue (mincing words, I know, but there’s a difference, I swear!).  In any case, these shades aren’t really very ‘Summer-like’ but they suit my purposes at the moment.  I’m wearing a long flowing goddess-type dress to a wedding this weekend, and red nails really needed to happen – particularly on toes.  I’m going to be wearing a bronze-colored shade on fingernails for the event, but since I just picked up 3 Joe Fresh polishes last week and have been dying to try them, I thought I’d coordinate with them for the work week for fun.

This is my first foray with the Joe Fresh cosmetic line, and I’m not entirely sure I’m sold just yet.  Before I get into THAT, let’s see some pictures!The shade is called ‘Navy Marine’.  If I didn’t tell you the name of the polish, I’m sure you’d think this was a black or charcoal shade.  In the bottle in person it’s clearly a deep, dark blue, but in photos and on the nail itself, it looks pretty near black.  It’s the closest-to-black shade I’ve ever worn actually.  But it does have that hint of blue – which I hope you can see a bit in the photos – and I like it quite a bit.  However, I’m NOT a fan of the formula AT ALL – first coat went on patchy and pulled if you didn’t get it on in the first couple strokes.  Additionally, the polish was somehow both runny and thick, if that’s even possible?  But there it is.  Lastly, because of the shape and size of the bottle cap, and the smallness of the bottle itself,  it was hard to see how much polish I was getting on the brush each time, and it didn’t help in getting thin coats to avoid bubbling – which I got on both my thumb nails :S   So, while I enjoy the color, I think there are likely better formulas out there in a similar shade; it’s by no means unique I’m sure.  And if I could, I’d choose a shade a touch lighter so you know it’s blue and not black.

Now, onto Essie’s Limited Addiction, which I hunted for on MUA for months before I finally got someone to swap with me for it.  I’m very happy with this shade – I haven’t yet worn it for a full mani or pedi because I received it in early Spring, at which point I felt it was more of a Fall/Winter shade…however, as mentioned before I needed something specific for my dress and this fit the bill perfectly.The second photo reflects more accurately the depth and deepness of the red tone.  This is a slightly brown-leaning red, and likely why it looks good on me – blue-based reds just don’t work on my olive-leaning skin.  Easy-peasy to apply, although Essie’s brush is sometimes a PITA because it’s so itty-bitty.  Regardless, this is a classic shade and a definite keeper.I think the two together look sophisicated and timeless in this day and age where black (or darn near) is the new neutral.  I feel that the dark blue shade, while very vampy, is still work appropriate and will go with anything in my wardrobe.  Again, this isn’t what comes to mind when you think ‘Summer’, but I still think it works somehow.

Details: Two coats on both the Joe Fresh and Essie polishes.  Base coat used for both (S.Hansen Age Correct No Chip), and top coat (Seche Vite) used for Limited Addiction. 

Where to Buy: Joe Fresh polishes are only found at Superstores/Loblaw’s across Canada.  Essie can be purchased at Shoppers Drug Mart, certain salons, and online at spaboutique.ca – however, this shade was limited edition from the Fall 2010 collection and is no longer available on this site.

What do you think of wearing darker shades in the Summer?  Faux pas?  Or are these particular shades seasonless?  Do you wear certain shades in certain seasons?

We’re getting more settled into the new place and more accustomed to each other’s typical routines, so hopefully I’ll be posting more again soon!  Miss everyone, I hope you’re all having a great summer!

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Summer Polish Combo: Orange & Purple

Sorry for the delay, this combo was several days in the making!  I did my fingernails on Monday, and then my toenails over the span of a few days.  It was a continuous work in progress…My vision was to wear Essie’s ‘Meet Me at Sunset’ as my mani, and then use OPI’s ‘Merry Midnight’ on my toes – but because it’s sheer, I wanted to layer it over a coat of MMAS so there would be an orange tint.  I wasn’t loving the effect, so I used L’Oreal’s new orange sparkler ‘Coral Starfish’ as my base (which required two coats – three for sure if you were wearing it alone – not a fan) and then put three coats of ‘Merry Midnight’ over top.  That sounds crazy because that’s FIVE coats of polish, but ‘Starfish’ was soo super sheer, and MM is pretty sheer too, and I wanted the depth.  Sigh.

After all that, I still wasn’t entirely satisfied, so I used for the first time Sally Hansen’s ‘Hidden Treasure’ flakie polish, which I miraculously managed to grab in a swap ages ago (I just wanted it because it was HTF, but truth be told I’m not sold on it’s awesome-ness yet).  One coat of this over all that other polish, and BAM!  I got exactly what I wanted.  The beautiful flakie colors of ‘Merry Midnight’, with extra depth because of ‘Starfish,’ plus some more flakies from SH – which also lightened the polish somewhat to make it more Summer-friendly.  Wooo!  It was quite the experiment, I tell you.

So…now for the unveiling (beware – mega pic-heavy!):*Note that I used two coats of MMAS here, but you could get away with a third – I can see a slight smile line on the nail in person.  All pictures were taken in natural lighting (yeah, its sunny in Halifax today!)

Overall, I’m really liking the combo, even with all the trials and tribulations.  The darker shade isn’t normally what I’d go for in Summer, and using the bright shade on fingers rather than toes, in particular, is very unlike me.  I wanted to break out of my normal routine.  And get away from wearing blues!  I love them dearly, but I was getting predictable!

What do you think of THIS combo?  Something you would wear, or shy away from?  What’s your own go-to combo??

Happy Hump Day everyone!

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