Posts Tagged China Glaze
I’ve been methodically going through my polishes over the summer and trying to pare down my collection to shades I truly love – my aim is to get below 100 bottles. I’m 6 bottles away from my goal so I’m making serious progress! One of the two polishes on the chopping block was China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint – if you recall, in my review I found it none to flattering on my skin tone, and the formula left much to be desired. Nevertheless, as I discovered with Zoya’s Cho, which I hated on my fingernails but actually love on my toes, I gave the polish a second chance by wearing it as a pedicure, which sometimes does the trick. As we’re moving into late summer, I’m slowly incorporating darker shades into my repertoire, and I paired it with another chopping block contender, Essie’s No More Film, a polish I picked up well over a year ago in a swap but haven’t gotten around to swatching. Here we go!
No More Film is a deep, slightly dusty ‘blurple’ – it’s almost like a super-dark periwinkle shade. The first time I tried it, I thought it was one of those ‘almost black’ shades which I dislike, but this time around for whatever reason, it just worked! It never appeared black, even in dim light, and it looked great on. It’s extremely pigmented and I actually only wore it with one coat (but added an additional coat for swatches). It’s quite glossy on it’s own and applied extremely easily. This shade is staying!
I felt like NMF would go well with RFM as the light and dark tones, while opposites, still somehow seem complimentary. I find as summer rolls along I really like to bring out my tan which pale shades, and emphasize the deepening light with dark shades to contrast. Check out the pairing below. *As an aside, I bought these sandals to wear to an all-day concert I went to a couple weeks back, and they are the COMFIEST EVER! They’re totally like orthopaedic shoes but I figured in an edgy metallic I could pull ’em off. I don’t even care because they are like HEAVEN to wear.
I really liked the pairing of No More Film with Re-Fresh Mint, but I’m not sure it’s enough for me to keep the latter – though I’ve done the same with Cho and ONLY wear that shade on my toes now, I still find the formula on ‘Re-Fresh’ irritating and I’d always opt to wear a more blue-leaning mint shade (like MAC Mischievous Mint) than this, so to the giveaway pile it goes.
What do you think of this pairing? Do you switch it up from juicy brights to something else as the summer passes?
So yea. I sneezed funny on Sunday and then the next day I was sick with a cold. Has that ever happened to anyone else? I’m being dead serious – it’s like the sneeze dislodged the sickness or something. Ugh. Anyway, I was off work today and pretty much was a slug all day; even looking at the computer screen hurts my eyes. I am weird and don’t take medication when I’m sick (unless it’s that time of the month – then, JACK ME UP BABY) because I feel like it just masks the pain and makes me stay sick for longer. Or I’m a martyr. Either or. At least I know when I get pregnant one day I’ll be totally used to not being able to take meds (but I will not hesitate to get an epidural – eff that). So there’s that.
Anyway, I have photos of two polishes I had done comparison swatches for but never posted them, so here they are. First up is Chanel’s Orange Fizz (which I happen to be wearing this week, and seriously – I LOVE IT SO MUCH you guys should all buy a bottle, it’s good times) which I swatched against all my other orangey-coral polishes (spoiler – there are no dupes that I own, so you should just go buy a bottle of the real stuff):
You can see that aside from the LA Colors shade, the rest of the polishes are all in the same vein, but Flirty Tankini is less saturated and dries with a flat finish (though probably the closest match); Surfin’ for Boys is more pink and with a pearlesence about it; and Daytripper is more pink. What I love about Orange Fizz is that it’s super-shiny on it’s own, has a squishy quality to it, and is somehow both soft enough for spring but bright enough that it will be awesome in summer too 🙂
The next polish I have to show you is one I recently picked up from American Apparel, called Downtown LA. I was in the store a couple weeks ago buying Neon Violet for a gal at work, since she loved it so much on me, and decided to take advantage of the buy 3 for $18 deal (I also picked up their matte top coat for fun). Downtown LA is a bold red that leans ever so slightly orange. It is exceptionally close to butter London’s Come to Bed Red, though bL’s version really is more of a true red without the orange lean. I can tell the difference between the two but if I didn’t tell you, I’m sure you wouldn’t guess:
I have a hard time wearing red polish as I find on my skintone it looks a bit garish; however, I wore Downtown LA last week and actually liked it quite a bit. The warmer tone of the polish worked better on me than Come to Bed Red has in the past, and I made sure to cut my nails super-short which made the manicure less in-your-face. I won’t be stocking up on red polishes any time soon but it’s still nice to have a few great ones in your arsenal! I’ll likely pass along my butter London shade – I always hate to part with more high-end brands but I know I’ll never choose it over the AA color. I have to say, I really like AA polishes – they are almost one-coaters and apply so well!
So, I hope this keeps you entertained until I get better! I usually go into repair mode when I’m sick and rarely stay down for long, so I’ll be up and kickin’ by the weekend I’m sure 😀
What do you do with your nail polish dupes? Do you find red a difficult color to wear?
Since I’ve been so busy, I’ve been relatively slow in my manicure upkeep – at the moment I actually have just a couple coats of Deborah Lippmann’s ‘Turn Back Time’ base coat on since fixing nail polish chips while traveling is SUPER annoying. Last week, I threw on a pair of China Glaze nail apps I’d received from Nail Polish Canada as they seemed easy to apply and required no drying/wait time. What more can you ask for?
The China Glaze nail apps are made from real nail lacquer, and are like a decal for the entire nail. Each pack retails for $11CAD on Nail Polish Canada and contain 16 apps of various size, which is essentially good for one application with a few leftover for mistakes/emergencies. I chose the ‘Cherry Blossoms’ design, which is cute little red cherry blossoms on a creamy white background. The process is insanely simple. After separating the decal you want from the strip, you peel the backing off the decal and then the front and apply the sticky side to the nail, choosing the appropriate size for each. Then you merely tear off the tab, fold the free edge down, and file it off to your nail shape. It’s really as easy as that! The whole process took me maybe 5-10 minutes to completion. They also provide the file and orangewood stick for you to push your cuticles back if need be.
I wore these decals for about 3-4 days and had absolutely no peeling, chipping or the like – just minor tip wear which I actually think I caused when I originally filed them. While I liked the ease of these decals and durability, the one drawback was that the sizing seemed off. There were many small decals that did not fit the width of even my smallest nail, and only a handful of sizes that were the perfect fit for most. See evidence below.
However, this problem was not terribly noticeable and I can get past it. It’s going to be impossible to have a one size fits all as everyone has different shaped nail beds. Overall, they were fun and easy, and while not the *cheapest* option for just a regular-day mani, they’d be fabulous for an event – and they’d probably last a lot long than I left them on. I was able to wash my hair and do my regular thing without even a hint of peeling (strangely however, they came off easily by just pulling an end and peeling off). If you’re in the market for some fancy nail art, for whatever reason, I think these are a great option and pretty much fool-proof!
Have you tried nail apps before, or would you? Do you still paint your nails while traveling or leave them be?
*Product was provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
You remember how yesterday I talked about my admiration of those fabulous bloggers who were in the business of swatching full collections of nail polish on the regular? Well today I’m in admiration of anyone who buys a home!! Holy moley, let me tell you – it is SUPREMELY exciting to buy your first home (I guess, any home really!) – but there is so much to learn and info to absorb, wowza!!! It’s a lot for a brain to handle. Thankfully we’ve had absolutely stellar people working with us to find the condo and get our financing in order, but its been a relatively consuming pastime for the last few weeks. Well worth it, but mindblowing all the same!!
Anyway, we spent some time at the bank tonight wrapping things up, then come home to make dinner, then talked numbers some more…suddenly my evening has gone *poof* and I’ve hardly even done anything! I really wanted to get the second part out for the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze though, so here I am! The second half is just as eye-popping as the first, so get ready!
I’m With the Lifeguard is a ‘glimmering lime green,’ and while I love this shade in theory – makes me think of lime koolaid! – I’m not liking it on my skintone at all, though it is lovely to look at. The last picture is the most accurate for how bright this is. I found 3 coats was best to even out a bit of streakiness, and it had a similar formula as most other shades – thicker but fairly easy to work with. This dried semi-matte.
The description of Ride the Waves – a ‘dark ocean blue’ – is so terribly enticing to me. Due to the sheer, thin, jellyish formula, it really made me think of the deeper waters of the Caribbean! To avoid any VNL, 3 coats is absolutely necessary. I really like this shade – it reminds me of Nails Inc. Baker St. (which Beyonce was apparently wearing shortly after she had Ivy Blue, hence everyone wanted it) but it’s not quite as electric, though it’s still really very eye-catching. It’s darker and not as cool-toned in real life, and the squishy nature looks like you could just drink it up. As I was wearing it as my mani this week, I realized it would be perfect as a base for Lippmann’s Across the Universe!
Just as juicy and ripe-looking as the fruit to describe it, Under the Boardwalk, a ‘fluorescent raspberry’, has almost the same formula as ‘Ride the Waves’, but not quite as jellyish. Again, 3 coats best, though 2 is workable here, and it’s deeper in tone than it looks in photos. I feel pretty ‘meh’ about this shade – it’s quite nice but nothing stand-out to me in any way.
Love’s A Beach, a ‘sizzling hot pink’, is slightly warmer than ‘Hang-Ten Toes’, but the differences are slight and I personally wouldn’t feel it necessary to own both. If I had to chose, I think I’d pick this shade, as the blue-leanings are less pronounced. Formula was good; it applied easily without fuss. 3 coats were used here for good measure.
In theory, Surfin’ For Boys would be the ultimate shade: a ‘glistening bright coral’? Sign me up! However, there’s something off about this color for me; I think it’s the shimmer which looks almost purplish in certain light, and just feels a bit gaudy to me. It’s actually remarkably similar to another shade I own, LA Colors in Magnetic Force, except I think I like that polish better (well, at least the color). However, I think this is still a great shade for summer, and definitely a perfect pedi shade. It went on very easily in 2 coats, and dried semi-matte.
Last but not least, we have Flirty Tankini, a ‘shimmery strawberry smoothie pink’ with a particularly good formula. I could have done 2 coats with no problem but I did 3 to be nitpicky. I really liked the sweetness of this shade and though it went particularly well with my skintone. The shimmer was understated (as it didnt’ contrast with the base color) and I’m looking forward to wearing this as a full mani very soon!!
That wraps it up for the China Glaze Summer Neons collection! I liked this half equally as well as the first, and I have my faves – Ride the Waves, which grew on me, and Flirty Tankini, which is just too darn pretty! Though I enjoyed the formula of most shades as a whole, it was a bummer to apply 3 coats for almost all of the polishes here. A suggestion was made that I could layer these shades over a white polish to let the neon qualities really pop, and I think I’ll take that recommendation to heart. Every single shade was majorly bright, and to enhance that aspect would only serve to make this collection that much more special (and allow less coats of color overall!).
As a whole, I found a few of the shades in the collection not as unique as I’d like – some seemed to replicate shades I already have in my stash. However, I chose those shades for a reason, so what’s not to like? lol One complaint I have about the collection as a whole is that there are a fair amount of shades that are quite similar to each other – there are no dupes, but they’re close enough that I personally wouldn’t feel like I needed to own both/all. However, in person the differences between them are more obvious, so you may refute me there and I would be OK with that 🙂 Really, this collection is the epitome of fun, splashy shades for Summer, and if you want them all, who am I to argue?
What is your idea of the perfect Summer polish shade(s)? Would you try out a neon polish?
*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Before I begin, I just want to give some serious accolades to any bloggers out there that have swatched an entire nail polish collection for our viewing pleasure. O.M.G. I’ve done maybe 4 swatches at a time, which was still quite a task, but 12 shades!?! Good grief! I spent most of my day Saturday and part of my day Sunday painstakingly applying each of the 12 shades of the Summer Neons collection from China Glaze, fearful that I was going to lose my sun, waiting between coats, hydrating and rehydrating my cuticles, and taking shot after shot of my nails to capture each shade as accurately as possible. Man Oh Man. It was truly exciting to have the opportunity – receiving the big box in the mail and knowing I’d never otherwise have such a chance – but I just wanted to give a shout out to the more established bloggers who are used to this sort of thing. You rock!! It’s quite a job, and I will forever have a different appreciation for collection swatches moving forward. Thank you, my lovelies 😀
Ok, with that out of the way – let’s get to the polish, shall we? Today I bring you the first part of my swatchapalooza; there really wasn’t a defined split between the shades, so I just kind of put them together in a way that made sense to me. The collection as a whole was a surprize hit for me. In promotional shots, I was unsure how I felt about a bunch of neon shades with shimmer – typically odd colors like electric green and eyeball-searing yellow do NOT do it for me, and I’m not a fan of shimmer overall – but somehow they made it work in a big way with this collection.
First up, we have Sun-Kissed, described as a ‘hot highlighter yellow’, and it was exactly that! I would never in a million years imagine I’d like a shade like this, but consider me converted! Somehow, this super-bright shade won me over, and I definitely see a full manicure with this in my near future. Obviously, I don’t have much experience with yellow polishes, but from what I hear they can be tricky to work with – this shade, while slightly streaky, was relatively painless to apply; you can get away with 2 coats but I applied 3 for the best opacity. Like many shades in the collection, it dries semi-matte.
Next up, Orange You Hot? – a ‘bright orange with attention-grabbing gold glimmer.’ I find the shimmer particles very fine, and the gold tone is lost in the base shade, but it’s still lovely. I liked it but didn’t love it on my skintone – I think it’ll be more of a pedi shade in my rotation than anything else. I felt similarly about the formula; it was good but not great. I applied 3 coats to get the smoothest application possible.
~Ah~ Pink Plumeria. My personal favorite of the whole collection. A ‘light pink with gold shimmer,’ it came out more like a coral-pink on my nails, and was soo flattering. It retains quite a neon look but in a way that’s tasteful and eye-catching rather than gaudy – it’s actually brighter in person than I was able to capture in these photos. The gold shimmer really gave it an extra-pretty sheen. Application was pretty good – 2 coats was sufficient, and how I wore it as a full mani, but I think 3 would probably be better, as it had a hint of patchiness on a few nails.
Hang-Ten Toes was actually the first polish I tried on from the collection; a ‘bubblegum neon pink with iridescent purple shimmer’, it looked and sounded far too enticing to pass up. In person, this shade is searingly bright – I found it difficult overall to capture the true neon nature of most of the polishes in the collection, this one in particular (I took about a million shots of this polish, and I’m still not satisfied!). Easy flowing with good consistency (you don’t need too much on the brush), it dries to a semi-satin finish. At an angle, the shimmer is somehow both obvious and elusive, which gives it mysterious depth. 2 coats is enough to reach good coverage, but 3 erases any VNL. I found the drying time of this shade was slower than I’m used to – which I found for a handful of shades in the collection (perhaps because I was applying 3 coats for many of them).
On of the best formulas of the bunch, Beach Cruise-r is a ‘glimmering fuchsia grape’, which only required two smooth coats to full opacity. On the nail, it reminds me a lot of American Apparel’s Neon Violet except with shimmer. This kind of color is a bit unexpected in Summer I think, because it has a deeper jewel tone that makes me think more of Fall, but the brightness makes it appropriate and fun for the warmer months too. Like Neon Violet, I’m slightly ambivalent toward it as a mani, but quite like it as a pedi shade. It’s brighter and more richly hued in person – closer to the last shot, below.
Finally, we have Splish Splash, a ‘bright sky blue shimmer,’ also with a great formula, though 3 coats is still best. This is not at all my kind of shade, but is an absolutely glorious color on it’s own – I want to own other things in this shade (just not wear it on my nails). Looking at these photos, I’m mesmerized by this color; but with my skintone, it looks a bit garish. In person it’s much more blue than aqua like it looks in these photos – closer to the last shot, below.
And so we conclude Part I of the Summer Neons collection! Overall I felt that there were some beautiful shades, even if they all didn’t ~go~ with my skintone. While many of the shades required 3 coats to look best to my liking, I still felt that the formulas overall were quite good; they didn’t dry too quickly and cause dragging, and applied very easily for the most part, with an excellent consistency in formula. Mostly I found that they were just a touch sheer and just the slightest bit patchy, but applying 3 coats cleared any of those issues up with ease. I also normally do a fast-drying top coat, whereas I used none in the swatches above (nor base coat), which could be why they seemed to take longer to dry than normal. In any case, I liked some of the shades so much that I’d be more than willing to put up with the extra coats. They all scream Summer to me, and just make me happy looking at them!
What are your thoughts on these shades from the collection? Are you into neon brights? Would you prefer them with or without shimmer?
*Product samples were provided to me by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big follower of trends – not because I’m too cool for them, but because sadly, I’m just not that trendy LOL! I often favor classic and simple over original and eye-catching – though from time to time I’ll branch out and try something new and exciting. This week, I was able to check out for the very first time, a trend that blew up in the nail polish world this past year – crackle polish. China Glaze has come up with several adaptations to the crackle phenomenon, and this time around it’s meshing with another popular nail technology, glitter! The China Glaze Crackle Glitters feature four shimmering shades:
– Glam-More: a bold fuchsia
– Luminous Lavender: a luscious light purple
– Gleam Me Up: a bright sky blue
– Jade-d: a radiant bright chartreuse green
As it’s my first run-in with crackle polish, I made sure to understand how to use them properly. A lighter coat creates a fine crackle, and a thicker coat will offer a deep shatter effect. Apparently, you can brush it sideways or at an angle to also create different looks. I suspect the technology has improved since the first slew of these polishes as it really wasn’t that challenging – the main point is to be sure that the coat(s) of whatever base polish you use is fully dry before applying any of the crackle polish, or the effect won’t come out as well. I found out the hard way, and the crackle pulled apart my base coat as well and left bald spots (as evidenced by my pinkie).
I began my experimentation using OPI’s I Brake for Manicures, a deep dark eggplant, as the base shade. I think black would’ve look best, but shamefully I don’t own one (something I must remedy IMMEDIATELY). After a little trial and error, here’s the results (first picture, natural light; second picture, with flash):
My first go around didn’t fully produce the results I wanted – Luminous Lavender is the sheerest of the bunch, and as such, the crackle effect was nearly negligible. As well, I wasn’t pleased with how Glam-More, my favorite of the four, turned out. Re-done, here’s my second try (first picture, natural light; second picture, with flash):
MUCH better!! (Note that I didn’t use top coat in any of these shots) With the ‘effects’ properly showcased, I was able to analyze just how I felt about the crackle trend. Sorry to say, it’s still not my cup of tea – I guess my anal nature likes things to be a bit more precise, and the crackle effect just looks haphazard and messy to me. But, if I were feeling particularly ‘adventurous’ shall we say, I’d certainly give Glam-More and Gleam Me Up another shot – the color of these two shades is simply luminous and would look absolutely stunning against a true black base. Partially because of it’s sheerness, and also because of it’s pale tone, Luminous Lavender left me cold – and Jade-d, while quite funky, just isn’t my bag either.
For those of you who DO love a good crackle to spice up your manicure, China Glaze’s Crackle Glitters will be available at salons and beauty supply stores nationwide in May. As always, China Glaze polishes are free of DBP, toluene, and added formaldehyde!
What do you think about crackle polishes? Do they rock your world, or can you take ’em or leave ’em? Any of these pique your interest?
*These products were provided for my unbiased consideration by the PR company/brand.
In the spirit of the Holiday season – here’s another red polish for your viewing pleasure 🙂
This polish has quite a history (not my particular bottle, but the shade itself :P). It was released as part of China Glaze’s first go at the Wizard of Ooh Ahz collection back in 2001 – WELL before I began my journey towards polish insanity. They re-released the collection in 2009, but I heard the shades weren’t as gorgeous the second time around. In any case, I picked up this beauty in the summer of 2010 and instantly fell in love. It truly looks like Dorothy’s ruby red slippers! The rich red sparkly within the slightly darker, somewhat sheer red base is mesmerizing. I wear this every Holiday season – though I admit it doesn’t get much play during the rest of the year (though I’ve read from several other blogs that they frequently use it as a pedi shade).
Unfortunately, I simply could not seem to capture this amazing polish on film, so my pictures below are not doing it justice in the least. Imagine it much more sparkly and eye-catching in real life:Truly, in any lighting, this shade simply glows with radiance. I wore it over one coat of Essie’s Limited Addiction so that I would get better depth (and you can still see a touch of VNL without a base, unless you apply several coats) – next time I think I’ll use a brighter red as the deep shade of L.Addiction pulled to color down a bit. Anyway, this is a great polish, easy to apply with absolutely no issues whatsoever, and I think you can still pick it up around various retailers of China Glaze. If you’re feeling festive, I highly recommend scooping this up!