Posts Tagged Nail Polish

OPI Hello Kitty collection

OPI Hello Kitty

Ok. It’s 9:01pm and I try to end my screen time at 9, but I am determined to get a post up so I’m going to make this snappy! [Edit: I went to bed before this was finished…what’s a couple more hours?] I received the Hello Kitty collection from OPI last week and it’s quite good! I know absolutely NOTHING about Hello Kitty and it’s popularity (not really into cutesy stuff as a general rule) but almost all of the polishes in this collection have a great formula and the shades are on point for spring. I’m not a fan of the cheap white ‘Hello Kitty’ print labels they’ve stuck over the regular OPI bottle tops, but it’s not a deal breaker either.

I’ve gotten all fancy today and thrown in some quick comparisons for you guys as well as the swatches. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s Be Friends! & Charmmy & Sugar

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Let’s Be Friends! is a pale lilac-pink. The first coat was patchy and I worried it would be a typical pastel cream, but by the second coat it evened out beautifully – with a little care you could get away with 2 coats (I used 3 as I slept on it before taking these photos, oops). In the end this is a lovely color with a glossy finish. I wore Charmmy & Sugar (a sheer lilac shimmer with violet, blue and silver glitter and a slight greenish duo chrome) on my index finger alone (3 coats) and over Let’s Be Friends (ring finger), because let’s get real, no one wants to remove more glitter polish than necessary. It’s a great layering shade, though I prefer the ethereal look it gives on it’s own. I kind of wish this had no glitter as I love the shimmering base color but the glitter takes away from it IMO. Fairly smooth glitter and easy to apply.

OPI Beyond the Pale Pink vs Let's Be Friends! vs Patience Pays Off swatch comparisonOPI Beyond the Pale Pink, Let’s Be Friends!, OPI Patience Pays Off

OPI Charmmy & Sugar vs Nicole DC Lover swatch comparisonOPI Charmmy & Sugar, Nicole for OPI DC Lover

Small + Cute =❤

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A light pink cream. I love this color, but the formula is a PITA – the first coat was very streaky, the second a bit better, but it really requires 3 coats (or a very steady hand) if you want it to look flawless.  A shame as this was one of my fave shades of the bunch! The formula is also a bit on the thicker side to give yourself time for it to dry (aka not before bed). Due to all the coats required and the thick formula I found this chipped within days.

OPI Suzi Shops & Island Hops vs Small + Cute = <3 vs RBL Oh Slap! swatch comparisonOPI Suzi Shops & Island Hops, Small + Cute = <3, RBL Oh Slap! 

Look at My Bow!

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A soft orchid pink cream. This only needed 2 coats to opacity but its not 100% perfect – it’s a touch streaky. Beautiful color but not really for me, I think it’s a bit too saturated or something. I prefer the more muted look of Chanel Sweet Lilac (below).

OPI Look at My Bow! vs Chanel Sweet Lilac swatch comparisonOPI Look at My Bow!, Chanel Sweet Lilac

Super Cute in Pink & Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

OPI Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel & Super Cute in Pink swatches

Again I paired up to avoid glitter removal. Super Cute in Pink is a medium-deep orchid crelly (creme/jelly formula). Gorgeous! You can see very slight VNL with two coats but I like it this way to preserve it’s squishy-ness. This is a perfect spring shade and was effortless to apply. Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel is a semi-sheer orchid shimmer with violet, pink, blue and silver micro glitter. It required 3 coats to opacity on the index finger (worn alone) and 2 layered (ring finger). It’s grittier to the touch than ‘Charmmy’ but not terribly so. While I liked ‘Charmmy’ on it’s own, I prefered ‘Starry-Eyed’ layered, as it gives it more depth and punch in color.

IMG_3763Essie Splash of Grenadine, OPI Super Cute in Pink, Mark Cupcake

Zoya Kissy vs OPI Starry-Eyed for Daniel swatch comparisonZoya Kissy, OPI Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel

Kitty White

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A sheer white shimmer. Sorry for the change in lighting, I found this needed sunlight to show off it’s pearlescent quality. These kind of shades aren’t really my bag, though it is pretty. Not much to say about this one, depending on your nail length you could get away with 2 coats (or if you don’t mind VNL) as I’ve done here. I’d think 3 would still not have it entirely opaque though.

OPI Chiffon My Mind vs Go to Grayt Lengths vs Kitty White vs Make Light of the Situation swatch comparisonOPI Chiffon My Mind, OPI Go to Grayt Lengths, OPI Kitty White, OPI Make Light of the Situation

Though ‘Grayt Lengths‘ looks a lot more gray than ‘Kitty White’, when held up to the light they’re VERY similar:

IMG_3741OPI Go to Grayt Lengths, OPI Kitty White

Never Have Too Mani Friends

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I’m not much of a black nail polish wearer except for layering purposes, but this is a great black nonetheless – another crelly finish, super shiny, super easy to apply (all of the crelly-type shades in this collection are a dream to apply). This is just 2 coats. It would be a great choice for anyone in the market for a black polish (or anyone who loves a good black polish).

a-England Camelot vs OPI Never Have to Mani Friends swatch comparisona-England Camelot, OPI Never Have Too Mani Friends

My Pal Joey

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A saturated cobalt blue. It’s not as in-your-face as some other cobalt shades (think YSL Bleu Majorelle, Nails Inc Baker St.) – it’s a bit lighter and because of the crelly texture it’s not so bold in finish. I really like this – it’s playful and eye-catching, and these textures are seriously out of this world. 2 coats for opacity (no VNL in sight here). LOVE!

IMG_3754Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, YSL Bleu Majorelle, OPI My Pal Joey, OPI Wild Blue Yonder

5 Apples Tall

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Some of these shade names I don’t get at all…ANYWAY, this is a gorgeous coral red that has a crelly finish but is fairly pigmented – if you were in a serious rush you could damn near get away with 1 coat (though I prefer the density of 2, as usual). Love the look of this! I don’t always like reds on me but this looks really flattering on my skintone (I think). So easy to apply with zero issues. It’s extremely close in color to Essie ‘Come Here!’ and I like the formula better, so I’ll be swapping this in for that!

*something* vs OPI 5 Apples Tall vs Love is In My Cards swatch comparisonEssie Come Here!, OPI 5 Apples Tall, OPI Love is In My Cards 

Spoken from the Heart

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A lovely saturated warm pink. I love this one as well! Again, it has that crelly texture though it’s not as pigmented as ‘5 Apples’ so I’d suggest 2 coats for sure. Even then it gives a hint of VNL but as mentioned I don’t mind that with formulas like this, the slight translucency is what gives it that squishy finish. Again, super shiny on it’s own and a cinch to apply.

Lippmann Daytripper vs OPI Spoken from the Heart vs butter London Snog swatch comparisonLippmann Daytripper, OPI Spoken from the Heart, butter London Snog

My Twim Mimmy 

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Again, WTF with the names? Anyway, this is a saturated medium yellow, very primary color-stuff (this along with the blue and red are like the most true representations of primary colors I’ve ever seen in a polish collection together). This doesn’t have the crelly texture (which would probably be a feat with yellow anyway since they’re the most annoying polish shades to work with) and is a touch streaky (I think 3 coats probably would be best so it looks flawless, but I was lazy and did 2), but as far as yellows go it’s actually not half bad. I don’t love it on my skintone especially as it’s so dense in color, but it might look better when I’m tanned.

OPI My Twin Mimmy vs Bee Mine Forever swatch comparisonOPI My Twin Mimmy, Bee Mine Forever

Overall, I thought this collection was really well-done and even not knowing a lick about Hello Kitty, I could enjoy all the shades. These are all without base coat as well and the majority are SO SHINY! Pretty, pretty, pretty.

What are your thoughts about this collection / about Hello Kitty? What is the DEAL?

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OPI Starlight collection for Holiday 2015, Part I: The Moody Hues

Ugh, you GUYZ. I’ve had these swatches done for a few days but Elena is keeping me on my toes, as usual! She’s been waking up at 4am for the past few weeks and is ready to PAR-TAY, she thinks it’s time to get up for the day and I’m DANG tired. Today she also thought resisting nap time was a great idea, so I’m just plain worn out. BUT I did finally get her down (I keep checking the monitor with fingers crossed that she’ll stay asleep for awhile) so what better time than to get these pics & post up?

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I am extremely surprised at how much I’m enjoying the Starlight holiday collection from OPI – metallics and glitters are generally NOT my jam, but these are really doing it for me so far! The sparkle on a lot of these really is ‘out of this world’ (cue the cheese) and they look so pretty and festive in the dim light cast by the fire and/or Christmas tree. I keep wanting to change my mani every day to try them all fully (but ain’t nobody in THIS house got time for that, sadly). I’m working my way through the swatches though so I will have them all up before Christmas, I promise! Today I’m bringing you the first 6 which are the more moody, mysterious hues of the 18 shades in the collection (which, if I’m being honest, is INSANE – 18 colors!? When did polish collections get so HUGE?).

All swatches were taken in natural light unless otherwise specified.

OPI Guys & Galaxies swatch

Guys & Galaxies – a deep dark brown-red. It looks a touch streaky in the swatch above, but IRL it’s not, though you do need 3 coats to reach full opacity. It’s very glossy on it’s own – the shot above is with no top coat. It’s an easy formula to work with overall, despite needing that extra coat (though it’s a *touch* staining). I think this is a very sexy shade – and it’s NOT near black, which makes me happy.

OPI I’m in the Moon for Love swatch OPI I’m in the Moon for Love swatch

I’m in the Moon for Love – this is a medium plum shimmer with golden micro-shimmer. Every time OPI comes out with a shade like this (Dutch’ya Love OPI?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Purpletual Emotion…), I’m like ‘eh’ – even though they all look flattering on my skintone, I just can’t get into these types of purples. There is a depth and richness to this shade that appeals to me (you can see it better in the 2nd photo, taken under artificial light), but I know it’ll just be another purple that I keep NOT wearing regardless. Good formula though, two coats to opacity, with no application issues at all.

OPI Cosmo With a Twist swatch OPI Cosmo With a Twist swatch

Cosmo With a Twist – a royal blue with lighter blue shimmer that looks purple in some light due to a duo chrome finish. This SHADE, you guys!!! So, so gorgeous – it really looks like Outer Space to me. It needs 3-4 coats to reach full opacity, but it’s totally worth it. I would have never picked up this shade if left to my own devices, but I’m SO happy I got to try it out. Perfect holiday shade that’s not your typical red/silver/gold.

OPI Give Me Space swatch

Give Me Space – a bold, medium blue with silver shimmer. This has a VERY slight prismatic effect that’s really only visible in sunlight – so don’t let that be a reason you pick it up! The first coat went on sheer but it managed full opacity in two coats. I found this shade a touch fussy to apply, it can pull in spots if not applied with a relatively quick hand. I suggest loading up the brush and applying coats in one go, versus dipping back into the bottle. This is a beautifully rich shade, but along with the shimmer being a let down it didn’t wow me.

OPI No More Mr. Night Sky swatch OPI No More Mr. Night Sky swatch

No More Mr. Night Sky – a sparkling gunmetal. This is quite sheer; it requires at least 3 coats and looks best with 4. Despite that: he-LLO, gorgeous! This is another polish I would have never picked up as I don’t gravitate toward shimmers, but holy smokes – this is so pretty!! It’s the most beautifully sparkly, twinkly polish I think I’ve ever seen. It looks particularly amazing in low lighting (the 2nd photo), so it’s PERFECT for the holiday seasons parties and hanging out by the Christmas tree.

OPI Centre of the You-niverse swatch

Centre of the You-niverse – a charcoal with silver shimmer and black glitter bits. This is 2 coats, though depending on how thickly you apply your coats you may need a 3rd. Even though it’s got minimal glitter, they’re so tiny they’re a pain to remove entirely. For black polish lovers though this is a great shade; top coat makes it really gleam.

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Sooo, basically I want to keep 4 of the 6 shades shown…that does NOT help me decrease my polish collection! Dang it. I just think these are so lovely for the holiday season or for any time you want a bit of sparkle that’s a little understated (re: not a full-on glitter) but still fabulous. Well done so far, OPI!

Photo outtakes: Last night when I took the bottle shots Elena hightailed it to where I was and got her grabby hands in there lol…at least I got one good shot (above) before the destruction!

IMG_3113 IMG_3118 IMG_3116 IMG_3115 IMG_3112Who, me?

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YSL La Laque Carmin D’Or: Christmas in a bottle

You know you’re a beauty junkie when you buy things and forget about them. During the Sephora sale, I kept thinking I should buy something festive from one of the holiday collections, since I didn’t pick anything up from any of them….OH WAIT, YES I DID – the YSL Carmin D’Or polish from the ‘Kiss & Love‘ holiday collection, a gor-ge-ous scarlet with fiery golden shimmer throughout. Oops. I forgot. (I also bought Dior’s insanely beautiful Gris-Or from the ‘State of Gold’ holiday collection, which I ALSO forgot about….eeks. Review to come!) Right. But! Now it’s December, and it’s time to wear all my pretty festive nail polishes! So, we’re starting with this beauty:

YSL Carmin D'Or polish swatchNatural light

YSL Carmin D'Or polish swatch YSL Carmin D'Or polish swatchArtificial light

It’s actually got a significant blue lean that I had a hard time capturing on camera – meaning it’s not a true red at all but more of a pink-red. I didn’t realize that when I swatched it in store, but I kind of like that because it makes it different than your standard golden red polish. The shimmer is incredible, it absolutely GLOWS no matter what light you’re in (although my outdoor pic doesn’t show that). The formula is also wonderful, with a thin-to-medium viscosity to allow easy application – two coats to full opacity, no fuss. This is my second YSL polish and so far I’m very impressed. It hurts to pay $27CAD (although it pleases me that it’s the same price in the US) but the upside to buying less polish overall is that when you do, you don’t feel so bad spending the big $$ on a shade you love. And that squared off bottle? SEX-AY.

I just received the OPI Starlight Collection yesterday so I have a bunch of holiday polish shades coming your way. I may do a countdown with a different shade each day…I’ll try my best! I’m in a major holiday spirit, we put up our lights on the house last night and it looks fab! I’m working on the inside now – we went to Homes for the Holidays here in Halifax on the weekend and looking at all the decorations makes me feel so festive! And also brings out my inner Martha. Check out this wreath I made!:

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Yahooooooo!! Let the holiday season truly begin!:)

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YSL La Laque Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue

About a year ago, I finally decided that bright, bold, cobalt blue nails WERE, in fact, as fabulous (about 3 years after the trend surfaced), but as I wasn’t sure if the shade would suit me, I dipped a toe in by picking up Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Pacific Blue for $2.99. If it didn’t work out, no harm no foul at that price. As it turned out, while I liked the shade I wasn’t over the moon about it, and I promptly put it away never to wear it again.

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

Still, the color haunted me. I wasn’t satisfied for some reason, and onto my wishlist went YSL’s Bleu Majorelle, one of the most iconic iterations of the shade (I believe Nails Inc. Baker Street was the first of it’s kind). The high $27CAD price tag deterred me however, and I kept holding off, until one day I came to notice that my local Sephora stopped stocking the YSL polishes altogether. At that point, of COURSE then I had to have it ASAP. Conveniently, my observation occurred during the Sephora ‘Love Notes’ spring sale, so into my online basket it went.

YSL Bleu Majorelle

There are NO regrets, people. THIS is what I was really looking for. Though Pacific Blue is a close contender and would do in a pinch if you’re looking to get on the cobalt blue bandwagon on the cheap, Bleu Majorelle has a richness and brightness that the Sally Hansen shade lacks, and it truly makes all the difference (to me anyway).  On top of that, the formula is TOP NOTCH – along with a ridiculously smooth and easy 2-coat application, note that these photos were taken 5 days into my manicure with not a chip in sight. This rarely happens for me – no matter what the brand, I almost always have chips by day 3. For once, I feel like the higher price tag is (nearly) justified.

YSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

YSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue comparison swatchesYSL Bleu Majorelle vs Sally Hansen Pacific Blue comparison swatchesLeft: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue; Right: YSL Bleu Majorelle

YSL Bleu Majorelle swatch

These are the kind of polish purchases I enjoy now: one in, one out – I have no need for SH’s version so it will be passed on for someone else to enjoy. I should have known better, really, because I always prefer the ‘real thing’ and any time I try to make substitutions (with almost anything in life – food, makeup, etc.) I end up feeling unsatisfied and filling that void until I go ahead and get the real thing in the end. In this instance it wasn’t a big deal/loss, but something I really try and adhere to.

YSL Bleu Majorelle swatch

On a final note…bonus points for anyone who notices what is different in the picture above😉

Did you get on the cobalt blue trend when it began? Are you content with ‘dupes’ or do you need the ‘real deal’?

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Swatching ain’t what it used to be: OPI Hawaii Spring 2015 Collection

A day after returning from the hospital with my beautiful baby girl in tow, the new Hawaii-themed spring collection from OPI landed on my doorstep. Equal parts excitement and anxiety flooded me – I mean, HOORAY! for new, fun nail polish to play with; but OHMAGERD how in the EFF am I going to swatch all these with a new babe to look after 24/7?

Basically, you swatch one shade a day until you get through ’em all.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

I must say, once I finished I felt inordinately pleased with myself. NEW MOM, WHAT!?! However, its not perfection – my cuticles and hands are sort of a wreck, leftover from washing my hands 20 times a day in the NICU and then having no time to do damage control once we got home. Meh. Guess I can’t do everything.

Ok, less talky, more showy (time is a luxury, after all!).

OPI do you take lei away swatch

Starting with my favorite from the collection, Do You Take Lei Away? is a ‘creamy nude’ that applies very well for this kind of shade, smooth and even in 2 coats, and is neutral enough (not too warm or cool) that I think it will flatter most skintones.

IMG_0323Left to right: Tom Ford Toasted Sugar, OPI Do You Take Lei Away?, OPI Maintaining My Sand-ity, Essie Jazz

I was unsurprised when I started pulling similar shades to compare against ‘Lei Away’ and discovered the closest match was a much-loved favorite, Essie Jazz. The OPI shade is just a hint more pink and less grey than Jazz and as such it looks a bit better against my skintone. My bottle of Jazz is halfway done (which means its almost finished, in polish terms), so I’m pleased to have a  sort of newer, better version to take it’s place.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch

‘Pastel mint green’ That’s Hula-rious! is the kind of shade that I love in theory but which doesn’t always compliment my skintone. As is common with pastels, the formula is a bit streaky and needed 3 coats. The swatch above portrays it more vividly than it is – this shade was swatched during a snowstorm (one of many!!) so the natural light is much more dim and I had to overcompensate when taking the photo. The comparison photo below gives a more accurate indication of the shade.

OPI that's hula-rious! swatch comparisonLeft to right: China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, OPI That’s Hula-rious!, butter London Bossy Boots

China Glaze Re-fresh Mint is very similar, but is a smidgen lighter and less green, and the formula for it was atrocious. I far prefer this version.

OPI lost my bikini in molokini swatch

A ‘reef-inspired purple’, Lost My Bikini in Molokini feels like the perfect shade for spring – its vibrant and playful but not too bright. 2 coats were required to achieve opacity; the formula is good but not perfect and needs a tiny bit of attention to avoid streaking. This polish stained my nails a tad when I removed it, so keep that in mind.

OPI lost my bikini in molokinii swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini; Right: Rescue Beauty Lounge Mismas

I thought that RBL’s Mismas would be a close dupe to this color, but in fact it’s a few shades darker. I think I like the lighter tones of the OPI shade actually – I really like wearing colors according to seasons (so sue me) and Mismas doesn’t seem to fit into any of them, in my view.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch

Described as a dark, creamy mauve, Just Lanai-ing Around is one of those midtone shades that I’m not a fan of – I prefer a strong contrast against my skintone. Personal preferences aside, the formula on this color is excellent and only required 2 easy coats to reach opacity.

OPI just lanai-ing around swatch comparisonLeft to right: OPI No Spain, No Gain, OPI Just Lanai-ing Around, OPI Diva of Geneva

In my mind, ‘Lanai-ing‘ was very similar to OPI No Spain, No Gain (another midtone shade I dislike), but it’s much lighter. OPI Diva of Geneva is a shimmer, of course, and in any case it’s also much darker and richer in tone.

OPI go with the lava flow swatch OPI go with the lava flow swatch

Go With the Lava Flow is a ‘golden red’ that leans coral and has a slight orange flash, which you can see only at the right angle. Normally this type of color isn’t my bag, but looking at these swatches makes me want to give it another go – it’s kind of intriguing, no? It took 3 coats to get the opacity I desired, but the polish applied well with no issues. I don’t have any shades comparable to this.

OPI aloha from opi swatch

Aloha From OPI is a ‘bright creamy coral’ that has just enough pink to keep it from being a true red. It’s been so long since I’ve worn a bright like this, it gets me in the mood for warmer weather! Though its a cream, it applied a touch streaky and I needed 3 coats to even it out to my liking. I don’t find this shade particularly unique, but it’s pretty nonetheless.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 swatch comparisons - Version 2Left: OPI Aloha From OPI; Right: Essie Come Here

A very close dupe for this shade is Essie’s Come Here, a favourite of mine. Essie’s version is ever so slightly more pink, but to me they’re essentially the same. Come Here has it’s own application issues, but I think I’d keep it over Aloha From OPI simply because I like square bottles better😉

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Halfway through, guys. At this point I was on day 7 and getting better at painting my nails between one feed, and then stealthily putting Elena down long enough to take photos between another. Swatches over showers, oh YEA.

OPI pineapples have peelings too swatch

Pineapples Have Peelings Too is…well, it’s just bizarre, what can I say? A ‘gold shimmer with colorful sparkle,’ when I pulled this shade out for the first time I was like ‘What the…?’  It is NOT pretty, you guys. Whoever thought up this shade was reaching, big time (though the name is perfect, I think). As the gold base is quite sheer, it required 3 coats to build up opacity. Interestingly enough, I actually quite like the base color, and I’m very picky about my golds (if you recall…). But the glitter bits are garish and the base covers over their sparkle to make it all look dull and blah. ME NO LIKEY (does anyone?). Obviously, this is a one-of-a-kind shade.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch

Is Mai Tai Crooked?, an ‘orange crème’, is one of those polarizing shades I think. Though it’s base isn’t too yellow, which can go terribly wrong on some people (like myself), it’s still not a flattering color on me. I do love the name though ;) 3 coats are needed to help even out patchiness, though if you were really careful you could probably get away with 2. Patchiness seems to plague most of the cream shades in this collection I find.

OPI is mai tai crooked? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Is Mai Tai Crooked?; Right: Essie Resort Fling

The comparison above is a perfect example of the small nuances that can make or break a shade on my skintone. Essie Resort Fling is more peach than orange, of course, but the pink-leaning base versus the yellow-leaning one makes all the difference for me.

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Suzy Shops & Island Hops…oh how I love the look of this shade! Described as a ‘light and happy pink,’ I find this color super-flattering on my skintone. But of course, pastel shades often come with issues, and this shade needed 3 coats to even out the patchiness. But I don’t mind TOO much, because PRETTY.

OPI suzi shops & island hops swatch comparison

I must be having a pink moment, because I also love RBL’s Oh Slap!, which is close to ‘Suzy Shops’ though without as much white in the base. I’m tempted to only keep the RBL, but I really love the way the OPI looks so despite it being kind of a PITA to apply, I’ll hang on to it for a while, anyway.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch

Hello Hawaii Ya? is a ‘dusky purple’ and the type of color that used to appeal to me, for whatever reason. But though it works with my skintone, it’s kind of drab, and I prefer bright and punchy for spring shades. Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, for this collection), the formula wasn’t great and I needed 3 coats to smooth out patchiness, which still didn’t fully even things out. I think this color would be lovely on a lighter or darker skintone than mine, but it veers into that ‘midtone’ territory and I have too many other polishes in which to devote my time.

OPI hello hawaii ya? swatch comparisonLeft: OPI Hello Hawaii Ya? Right: OPI Parlez Vous OPI?

I think the reason I thought I’d like this shade is because when I first got my hands on OPI Parlez Vous OPI?, I adored the way it looked on me. But my tastes have changed over the years, and now I find it looks dull and muddy. These are clearly not dupes but they’re definitely distant relatives.

OPI this color's making waves swatch

This Color’s Making Waves should look familiar… This ‘shimmery, lagoon blue’ is a pretty marine shade makes me long for summer in a big way! It’s kind of a pain though, as it needed 4 coats to reach this opacity. It’s quite thin and watery, and as it’s not terribly unique I am less than enamoured by it. I have a very close dupe in…

OPI this color's making waves swatch comparison

Chanel’s Azure. Obviously. For the nitpicky among you, they aren’t exactly the same – Azure has more green in it, and OPI’s version has tiny silver flecks of shimmer running through it to set it apart. Both have a duo chrome flash, but Azure’s is more teal-blue-green, whereas ‘Making Waves’ is more teal-blue-purple. Meh. To me they’re damn near identical, and Azure only requires 2 coats (and, um, it’s Chanel), so it’s the winner in my books!

OPI my gecko does tricks swatch IMG_1934

Finalement. My Gecko Does Tricks. A ‘bright and pearly green’ that has a sort-of orange flash in the right light (as seen in the second photo, which I took with my phone and I previewed on Instagram). I’m not a fan of green polishes generally, which I’ve mentioned on several occasions. Though I probably won’t wear this much if at all (except St. Patty’s Day and maybe Christmas), it kind of grew on me a bit – it isn’t too yellowed (blech)/saturated (due to the shimmer)/dark (and therefore murky) to turn me off, I guess. It’s almost…flattering, if you like greens. It did need 3 coats however, so there’s that.

OPI hawaii spring 2015 collection

Overall, the collection was a mixed bag in terms of formula and shades. Many of the polishes were somewhat subpar in terms of performance and some of the shades weren’t to my taste (that’s just my opinion though!). I did have some favorites though, namely Do You Take Lei Away?, Lost My Bikini in Molokini, Go With the Lava Flow, and Suzi Shops & Island Hops (despite the crappy formula).

The Hawaii Collection by OPI is available now in both nail lacquer and GelColor formulas, at professional salons nationwide as well as ULTA and Nail Polish Canada.

*Product samples were provided for my unbiased consideration.

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Quickie Post: Rescue Beauty Lounge Oh Slap! swatches

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I’m trying to clean up any lingering photos I have kicking around that I haven’t yet posted, start the year off fresh. I actually am feeling a bit more inspired lately so hopefully that translates into some interesting stuff for you guys to read/see! But I gotta do a little housekeeping first:) Last year there were some pretty good promos coming from Rescue Beauty Lounge – free shipping being one of them. Almost every time Ji offered free shipping (I think it happened at least 3 times), I ended up picking up a shade or two; I just couldn’t resist. Truth be told, I’m actually not a HUGE fan of some of her shades – they’re a little too ‘out there’ for me at times (guess I’m boring like that) – but her formula has always been spot on, if nothing else. Over the course of the year I picked up 3 shades: Stormy, a moody grey creme; Mismas, a bold purple creme; and most recently, Oh Slap!, a girlish pink crelly. I have yet to wear any of these shades as full manicure yet (shame on me), but I hope to rectify that very soon. However, I already have a favorite – Oh Snap is such a feminine, pretty pink that I can’t resist it’s charm. RBL Oh Snap! swatch This is 3 coats, and though you can still see VNL, I don’t mind it at all. It flows on the nail so nice and evenly that the sheerness doesn’t seem to detract from the polish itself (in my humble opinion). It’s just so darn gorgeous! As always, I checked for dupes in my existing collection, and was nervous at first because another RBL polish I own, Poco a Poco, seemed mighty close to Oh Slap! in the bottle. However, when applied, the two are definitely different. While they run in the same color vein, Poco a Poco is completely opaque, and leans a bit greyish. Additionally, Poco a Poco has very fine reddish shimmer, whereas Oh Slap! is just one creamy tone. Below you can see the differences clearly; Oh Slap! is on my index and ring fingers, Poco a Poco is worn on my middle and pinky.

RBL Oh Snap! vs Poco a Poco swatchDirect sunlight.

IMG_4023Shade.

RBL Oh Snap vs Poco a PocoArtificial light.

I think Oh Slap! is going to be THE perfect shade to wear come spring (though it’s suitable for any season, really), and I can’t wait to pull it out again and again. It’s a great shade that would go with a lot of looks but isn’t too neutral or boring in the least. Now all I need to do is just WEAR it already!!

Do you own any RBL polishes? What are your thoughts on the shades in general?

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Covering the fall polish bases with Essie and Zoya

As many of you are aware, I’ve been scaling way back on my beauty purchases lately, for various reasons (personal quest to reduce, baby on the way, and working toward a new home to sum it up). SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE. I’m so tired to repeating the same ol’ every friggin’ day, and I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it! SO, today I had the chance to take a ton of photos of a bunch of fun makeup and the like, some purchased and some received, and this week I plan on showing you guys all the good stuff that’s helping me keep my beauty game tight (or as tight as it can be given the circumstances). Today we’re going to start slow with the few nail polishes I’ve added to my collection that are just perfect for fall.

Fall nail polishes

As soon as the Zoya Entice and Ignite fall collections were announced, I knew I had to scoop up some of those gorgeous shades! Zoya is probably the brand that’s most represented in my collection, followed closely by Essie. I love both brands for different reasons – Zoya tends to come out with original shades that just reel me in every. damn. time., and Essie creates beautifully feminine and elegant shades that always make me feel at once both chic and refined. It should come as no surprise, then, that the three shades I have to show you today are from both brands. Let’s begin with the Essie shade I’ve been eyeing for ages and finally purchased – Master Plan.

Essie Master Plan swatch

Master Plan is described as a ‘mischievous soft grey’ and I’d say that’s reasonably accurate. To my eye, it’s one of those true ‘greige’ shades, that falls smack dab in the middle of grey and and beige and tends to be incredibly wearable for most skin tones. Interestingly enough, initially I felt that Master Plan looked odd against my skin, almost clashing with the brown tone in a bad way – but after wearing it for a mere day, I completely did a 180 and decided that I loved how striking it looked, and the ‘clash’ I had perceived was actually a good thing, as it kept the shade from being too plain and melding too closely to my skin.

Essie Master Plan swatch Essie Master Plan swatch

The formula on this polish was particularly wonderful, as Essie does tend to be a runnier, thinner formula. This shade had a thinner yet intensely pigmented formula which *almost* allowed it to be a one coater, but of course I used two because c’mon – two just looks better. It flowed so easily on the nail, and was a quick and easy manicure to pull off, which is a HUGE plus for me lately as I just can’t be bothered to fuss more often than not. It was quite shiny on it’s own (these shots were taken after 5 days of wear) so I skipped top coat. Glorious all around!

The two shades I picked up from Zoya’s Ignite collection (the Entice collection was lovely, but a little bit more unoriginal in my opinion) were Remy, a ‘brilliant indigo with copper and gold liquid metallic,’ and India, a ‘deep, luxurious red with a gold liquid metallic shimmer.’ I found that both descriptions were close, but not completely on-point. Remy is a gorgeous deep teal-indigo shade, yes, but the shimmer I see is not copper and gold, but rather a lighter teal. This could just be that the base shade has coated the copper and gold shimmer – either way, it’s a complex and beautiful shade that I absolutely love. Two quick coats plus top coat to really amp up the shine and shimmer, and you’re good to go!

Zoya Remy swatch

Unfortunately, while wearing Remy the sun made a disappearing act for a few days, so I don’t have any shots of it in it’s full glory – but I think you can still get the idea of the depth and of it’s inner glow from my swatches (indoors – above; and in natural yet overcast light – below).

Zoya Remy swatch Zoya Remy swatch

India in the bottle, is indeed a deep, luxurious red, and I can see the golden shimmer better here – but it does lean a touch plum in the right lighting. I was hoping for it to be a bit more ruby red, but nonetheless this is also a stunning shade that is absolutely perfect for fall. Again, application was a breeze with two quick coats plus top coat.

Zoya India swatch

Above, in overcast light, you can still see the shimmer but it’s glowing quality is reduced somewhat. However, can you see what I mean about the plummy tones? Below, the shimmering goodness is on full display in sunlight, and it’s here that the polish really comes to life. The second photo again you can see a bit of a plum leaning to India – totally pretty, just not what I’d expected.

Zoya India Swatch Zoya India swatch

Both Remy and India were easy to apply, but take care in removal because they are a touch messy (but not really that bad). Remy I found stained my nails a bit more than India, but nothing too serious.

I’ve made a point this year to pull out 10 of my favourite fall polishes and display them on my dresser, to be the only shades I wear during the season (an effort to use things up!). However, I feel a strong urge just to put these three polishes on rotate, as they cover the bases for me in terms of what I desire in a fall polish – an edgy neutral; a unique, moody hue; and a feminine shade with just a hint of vampiness. I’m utterly pleased with all of them!

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Have you picked up any new polishes for the season? What types of shades do you gravitate toward the most this time of year?

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Beauty Envy Bag – End of Summer Giveaway!

We’ve dished about our favorite products that help shift our summer beauty routines into fall, and now it’s time for one of you to win a bag filled with these essentials. If you haven’t yet gotten to know all of the ladies behind the Beauty Envy Bag, here’s a quick intro:

refined-and-polished

Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger living in Georgia. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.

beauty-obsessed

Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she’s also a closet gamer and is a die-hard Walking Dead fan. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

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 Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.

burbbeauty nail blog swatch review Ozotic Pro 505

Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.

Check out the reviews for the featured products in this season’s Beauty Envy Bag:

Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:

  • Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your favorite way to shift your summer beauty routine into fall.
  • Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Open internationally
  • Must be 18 or older
  • Giveaway closes on Sunday  September, 21 at 12:00 AM EST

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Duke-ing it out for Chanel’s Le Vernis in Sweet Lilac

On Friday I swung by our local Chanel counter to see if they’d gotten the summer collection yet. For once, my timing was perfect, as they had *just* gotten the line in the day previous. Despite the beautiful-looking collection, the only thing I was really interested in was the nail polish Sweet Lilac – I’ve vowed never to buy another Illusion d’Ombre (I find they get compressed after using them a few times and then it’s a pain to get any shadow out) and the other polishes were really pretty but also pretty dupable, IMO. And all those juicy sweet but ultimately clear glosses! Bah. No thanks!

Chanel Sweet Lilac

Though items sell quickly at our little Chanel counter, they had a bottle of Sweet Lilac left in stock, though it was a narrow window of chance – while trying it out in store, another woman exclaimed how great it looked on me, and proceed to buy a bottle of her own before I had purchased mine. When the SA said ‘that’s the last bottle’ I thought she meant MINE (yes, even though I hadn’t shelled out the cash for it yet, it was MINE) and I literally said ‘Uh, NO.’ LOL Then she clarified to say that the other client was getting the last bottle, AFTER mine had already been pulled. YA DAMN SKIPPY. There would have been a throw-down folks. It woulda been EPIC.

While I kind of would have loved to start a huge cat fight over a bottle of polish (don’t you just wonder if you’d be able to kick ass or not?), either way I’m happy there was enough to go around, because this is a pretty polish. While it’s not outrageously unique, the soft pink shade with a hint of purple is not replicated in my stash, and it’s got that ‘radiant orchid’ tone to it that works really well on my skin. The formula is pretty stellar – two coats to easy perfection, no hard work required. I added a top coat to maximize shine and amp up the almost jelly-like quality, though like many Chanel polishes it is fairly reflective on it’s own.

Chanel Sweet Lilac swatchIn direct sunlight

Chanel Sweet Lilac swatchIn the shade

I did some comparison swatches because that’s the first thing I do before and after I make a purchase these days. Before I had seen Sweet Lilac in person, I wondered if it was close to Zoya’s Marley – the only other lavender-type shade I own. It was a needless concern, as it’s the least like that polish out of the 3 other shades I compared it to.

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison

You can see that it’s in the same vein as my beloved Essie Splash of Grenadine, but lighter; it’s also along the lines of RBL’s Poco a Poco, though you’d never guess from the bottle. Once I swatched them on the nail however, the similarities were much more apparent, and in some lights they look incredibly close. But the golden shimmer of Poco a Poco gives it a much warmer tone overall.

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison swatchThumb to pinky: Chanel Sweet Lilac, RBL Poco a Poco, Essie Splash of Grenadine, Chanel Sweet Lilac, Zoya Marley

Chanel Sweet Lilac comparison swatchMy mother really wanted me to take a photo with a contrasting background, hence this second photo!

 My collection of Chanel polishes has now reached 7 bottles, mostly permanent items with a couple of LE ones thrown in there for good measure.  Sweet Lilac is a great addition to my little stash :0) I refuse to buy shades unless I love them, so it’s been a slow-growing process, which I’m entirely OK with. Many of the LE shades don’t wow me, and I have a few of the permanent ones on my radar for pick-up when I’m feeling ‘spendy.’ I think I need to throw a red in there soon, I don’t have a Chanel red and that seems sort of wrong somehow, no?

Did you pick up Sweet Lilac? How many Chanel polishes do you have? Do you have a recommendation for a good Chanel red?

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Highlighter yellow EVERYTHING!

I confess: I have an obsession (oh, just one? ha ha). It’s rather odd, but I don’t even care because it makes me SO HAPPY YOU GUYS.

It’s with neon yellow.

You know, that eye-searing bright shade of highlighter yellow? Yea, that’s the ticket. I keep buying accessories and things in the shade and I seriously CANNOT GET ENOUGH.

It started with a yellow purse from a few years ago, as a way to add neon to my wardrobe. But then, I loved it so much that I added a pair of shoes. Then a bikini (which is a bit more lime than yellow but I’m not mad at it). When I was recently in Ottawa I picked up a fabulous scarf from Forever21 in the shade. I almost beat up a guy at work because he has the BEST NEON YELLOW RAIN JACKET EVER (except it’s $400 and I just CAN’T go there, no matter how much I want to).

Finally, it I’ve bought the ultimate accessory (considering my OTHER obsession) – highlighter yellow NAIL POLISH.

Guys. IT’S SO GOOD.

Let’s see all the things, shall we?

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Oh, HELLS YEA.

American Apparel Neon Yellow nail polishswatch American Apparel Neon Yellow swatch

Now, as most of you know, neon polish can be a PITA at times, and this was no exception. The formula applies easily, but not terribly evenly or opaque, so I applied it over Essie’s Blanc and its so much better.  I am in SERIOUS love right now! I also had to apply a top coat (Essie’s Good to Go) because neons dry flat. No matter. It wasn’t that much extra effort, and this shade is my JAM.  And I know it’s really aggressive, but I actually think it looks pretty good on my skin tone, so it’s a win-win!

I think it’s fair to say that this is my absolute favourite colour. My mother asked me recently what it was and I couldn’t think of any, until I remembered. Oh yea, that crazy other obsession of mine! But DAMN if it doesn’t make me insanely happy!!!😀😀😀  With that plus the 15 degree gorgeous sunny day we’re having, I’m positively GIDDY. If only my bf were home (it’s his birthday today too – HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), I think I’d probably spontaneously combust from delight.

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Do you have a favourite colour (that you tend to buy over and over)? One that just makes to DAMN HAPPY?

 

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