Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OPI Don't Touch My Tutu

OPI Don't Touch My Tutu is from the NYC Ballet collection, OPI's Soft Shade offering for 2012. Despite being comprised almost entirely of sheers, the Ballets were quite popular amongst nail addicts. The one non-sheer polish was a lovely silver and white glitter called Pirouette My Whistle, which for some reason I've still not been able to find! The vast majority of those sheers aren't my cup of tea, but I've been lusting after a nice white jelly, so I decided to try this.

And I don't know about you all, but my nails are crazy stained. I mean, I have this ~gorgeous~ yellow gradient thing goin' on at my tips, so I figured I couldn't pull off a sheer. WRONG. Check this out.

So fresh, so clean. And I gotta tell y'all, the formula on this was perfect. Zero cleanup, effortless application. I used 3 coats of Don't Touch My Tutu over 2 coats of Essie Fill the Gap. No top coat on in these photos because I layered over it, and you will be seeing the result on Friday. Here it is in the sun:

You can see some of the weirdness in my nails when there's direct sunlight on 'em, but luckily that is not the usual lighting condition.

Being a white jelly, Don't Touch My Tutu has tons of possible alternatives out there. OPI Funny Bunny is one, but based off of swatches that seems like a more stark white. Definitely more opaque, too. Essie Marshmallow and Essie Waltz are also pretty standard white jellies, but I've heard that Marshmallow has a nightmarish formula. 

I kind of want another one of these sheers now. You Callin' Me A Lyre, probably. The beige one looks too close to the white, and I would probably look dead in the lilac and grey ones, sadly...

Have you tried any of the OPI Ballets? What did you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Contrary Polish Anna Maria

Good morning! Today I'll be showing you my one of my favorite Contrary Polishes, Anna Maria. It was released in Fall 2012 with the Islands trio. The other two colors in the trio are Aruba and Santorini, which are a lighter bluish teal with green shimmer, and a bold royal blue with white shimmer. They're lovely, and definitely on my wish list, but in my opinion, Anna Maria is the standout.

Anna Maria is a gorgeous, slightly murky teal jelly with gold/yellow shimmer. Because it's a jelly, it needs 3 coats for opacity, but the formula is excellent. 3 coats, plus top coat, in the shade:

It's such a cool color! And so unique. The shimmer has a lovely texture. In the sun:

Come on, you gotta admit, this is pretty awesome. I can't think of any dupes for it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Revlon Urban + Heavenly

Happy Friday!!! Today I have 2 fabulous polishes from Revlon to show you. Both Urban and Heavenly are from the Bubblegum Days/Urban Nights collection that was recently released by Revlon. I believe the colors are all still available in stores. By far, the most popular color from that collection seems to be Girly, a milky glitter that seems vaguely reminiscent of HARE Rad Cloud and Magic Mist, but to be blunt....I don't like it. It looks kind of messy and chaotic to me. I did pick up a third color from this collection, Eclectic, and you will hopefully be seeing that in a few weeks. Spoiler alert: it sucked. A lot.

Urban and Heavenly, however, do not suck! At all. Let's start with Urban. Urban is a lovely navy creme with purple-ish undertones, which is a nice contrast to the green-tinged dark blues I've been seeing lately. It's solid in 2 coats, not streaky, and dries nice and glossy on its own. In the shade:

Sorry about the dry hands. I did moisturize before taking these photos, I promise, but it's not doing me much good right now. Silly winter weather, making things difficult. In the sun:

Isn't it awesome? So rich and glossy. I didn't use top coat before taking these pictures, by the way. To this manicure, I added one coat of Revlon Heavenly.

Since Urban is dark, the glitter in Heavenly really pops over that base. And I think it's a fun change to layer iridescents over dark blue instead of black. I get bored of layering over black...

Heavenly suspends the glitter in a slightly milky base, but it doesn't interfere with the layering at all. I do think the glitter mix seems...unbalanced, somehow? But it's a fun combination.

Dat color shift. And, as you know by now, I love squares....I also love green-blue iridescent glitter...not quite as much as blue-purple, but it is still awesome.

Now, Heavenly is the latest in Revlon's series of high-end dupes and approximations, and this is apparently a dead-on dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Stairway to Heaven. Based on swatches, Urban looks similar to China Glaze Calypso Blue, but because swatches of the latter vary so much, it's hard to tell. I've never seen Calypso Blue in person though, since it was released before I became a polish addict, so take it with a gigantic grain of salt.

Have you tried any of the Bubblegum Days/Urban Nights polishes? What did you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Contrary Polish Firebrand

Contrary Polish Firebrand is one of the original six shades. According to Carrie, Firebrand is one of her top sellers, and I completely understand why! It seems like a pretty boring red, but it's really lovely.

I've told you countless times of my love for vampy reds, and this one is a shimmery jelly to boot! So pretty. I did use 4 super-thin coats, but they dried quickly, and zero bubbling. Bonus: it cleans up nicely! Most reds and vamps tend to spread their reddish pigment around when you try to clean up, so your skin looks angry and inflamed, but this is not an issue with Firebrand.

It has some berryish tones that keep it from being a plain dark red. This is such a flattering, classic color. Since it's a berryish red, I'm sure there's a dupe or something close out there, but I'm quite pleased with this one.

Have you tried Firebrand? What do you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, February 18, 2013

HARE King of Carat Flowers

Blegh, Monday. On the bright side, I have my first HARE polish to show you! King of Carat Flowers was released last fall with the Finders Keepers collection, which was packed with interesting and unexpected glitters. This is one that could be worn on its own, but I've been advised that layering really helps, so I chose to layer 2 coats of King of Carat Flowers over 2 coats of SHCSM Dorien Gray, which I've already gushed to you about.

Check it out! Yellow/gold glitter, lavender glitter, delicate gold shimmer, and glints of iridescent blue glitter in a light grey base. I really really love this. Let's take a closer look:

Since I layered it, application was a breeze, and I didn't have to place the glitter or anything. It distributed itself nicely with my normal application method. I had this on my wishlist for a few months before I caved and bought it, and I'm so glad it didn't disappoint! Now I just need to get my hands on Bisbee and Archipelago.

Do you have any HAREs? What do you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, February 15, 2013

OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh?

Yaaaay it's Friday! Unfortunately, my exam schedule is starting to get into high gear, so we'll see whether or not I can keep up with posting this semester...I might switch to posting on weekends instead, lol. I dunno. We'll see. I'll definitely peace out for a bit once finals approach.

Anyway, today I have for you my new favorite neutral! OPI Did You 'Ear About Van Gogh? is from the Holland Collection for Spring 2012. It's a really strange choice for me, but I. Love. It. 2 thin coats, no top coat.

As you can see, it is a sandy beige with some strong grey tones. I'll admit, this was a total impulse buy, and I kind of expected to hate it as I started my manicure, but luckily I experienced the opposite outcome. In the sun:

Now, let's talk about the formula. It is fantastic. I had no trouble with the Pro-Wide. At the first coat, it was kinda runny and watery so it flooded a bit, but I quickly got the hang of it. It's actually passable at a single coat, if you were so inclined! This will definitely be one of my go-to colors when I'm in a hurry. It dries nice and quick.

Honestly, I suck at comparing neutrals, but Zoya Farah is apparently a dupe. It's interesting, Zoya and OPI apparently had quite a bit of overlap last spring...but if you're anything like me, Zoya cremes do not work so well for you, so I would recommend this over Farah.

Have you tried OPI Did You Ear About Van Gogh? Or was there perhaps another color that you expected to hate, but wound up loving?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Contrary Polish Inky Fingers

Today I have a Contrary Polish to show you! Yay. I have 5 Contrary Polishes, actually, so you'll be seeing four of those over the next month. Aside from Inky Fingers, I have Firebrand, Anna Maria, Purple Smoke, and Desert Fruit (which is the one I've not yet photographed). Inky Fingers is a really cool dark blurple with subtle, greenish blue shimmer. It's solid in 2 coats, and I should also note that the shimmer is more apparent in person. It's also more purple than it appears. It's kind of like a smoky, cooler-toned version of Zoya Pinta, with shimmer.

It dries a little satiny, so you will definitely need top coat. The formula is good, no complaints there.

Such an awesome color. I should note that the brush is a bit different- it's kinda wide and flat, not nearly as big as the OPI Pro-Wide, but definitely bigger than say, a China Glaze or Essie brush. I'll show you how it compares in one of my next Contrary Polish posts. I quite like it, personally, and if you're a murky shimmer fan you definitely need to check these out.

Do you own any Contrary Polishes? What do you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, February 11, 2013


First of all, I'd like to clarify that I'm referring to this kind:

(screencap from spirefour's photobucket)

Not the sparkly, creepy vampire stalker kind. Anyway, if you know me from anywhere else on the interblags, you might know that I'm a big Zelda geek, so when I was RAOKed this custom, I was STOKED. Still am. Twili is a dark, murky teal with green shimmer. It's subtle, but not hidden at all. It's super cool and awesome and I love it 5ever (dat mean moar den 4ever). In the shade:

There was no sun that day, so I took a picture under artificial light.

I believe YSL Wintergreen is similar, but that one looks more saturated, whereas Twili definitely has some grey in it. Wintergreen is also quite expensive, which is not surprising, considering it's YSL, and if I'm not mistaken, it's also discontinued. You could probably franken this pretty easily with OPI Ski Teal We Drop, Pure Ice Heartbreaker, and a bit of grey, if you were so inclined.

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wet n Wild Back Alley Deals

Wet n Wild Back Alley Deals was released with the Ice Baby collection in late 2011. There was a ton of hype around this collection, and I remember going insane trying to find it. I finally found the three I wanted at a Walgreens near my uni. Aside from Back Alley Deals, I picked up Cost is No Issue and It's All in the Cut, the aqua and lavender glitters. I've worn these glitters several times in the year that's elapsed since I acquired them, but I've had a hell of a time getting decent photos of them. Here's 2 coats of Back Alley Deals over 2 coats of China Glaze VIII. I used a coat of Gelous, but as you can see it's sunk in a little bit, so it could have used a second coat.

I should also note that accurately photographing purples....oy. You know how it is. Back Alley Deals is warmer in person. This is closer, but not quite there:

Anyway, Back Alley Deals is awesome. Standard formula for a full-coverage glitter, and I didn't have trouble with application.

I love the little glints of fuchsia here and there.

The Ice Baby collection is long gone, but there is a dupe: Nails Inc. Bloomsbury Square, which is available at Sephora.

Thoughts? Have you tried Back Alley Deals or Bloomsbury Square? What'd you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

SHCSM Greige Gardens + Lynnderella Connect the Dots

SHCSM Greige Gardens is a relatively new core color. I don't know details of the release, but I started seeing it in stores last spring. I love these types of greige/purple-y colors, but I always worry about how they'd look against my skintone, so I never bought any, but I recently found Greige Gardens on clearance at Target, and decided to cave. I'm glad I did, because it is lovely.

This is 4 coats, without top coat. It dries glossy, and the formula is smooth, but it's a lot more sheer than I think a creme should be. 4 coats for a creme is a bit much. I'm hoping this will go the way of Dorien Grey and improve with time, because I really like this color.

Then I decided to top it with 2 coats of Lynnderella Connect the Dots, and one coat of Gelous. I am in love with this combination.

YAY, square glitter! Those black squares are my favorite part of Connect the Dots, aside from the gigantic black hexes. I know there are tons of alternatives and approximations of Connect the Dots out there, and lots of drama associated with all this, but I still think this one is the nicest. Even with the bar glitter. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the bar glitter fits in really nicely with the other glitters, without reminding me of bacilli or beard trimmings.

It's also worth noting that I've now had this polish for roughly a year and a half, and I've had no issues with sinking glitter, or warping/bleeding/melting, so I'm very pleased in that regard. I totally understand why extensive testing isn't practical for indies, but it is still one of my concerns as a consumer, so I thought I'd throw that in there. If only Lynnderellas still cost $12...

Now, let's talk about similar polishes. For Greige Gardens, three polishes come to mind: Parlez Vous OPI?, A-England Guinevere, and China Glaze Below Deck. Parlez Vous OPI is warmer, more purple, and discontinued; Guinevere is more purple, although I have a hard time judging warmth vs. coolness because of variations between swatches; and Below Deck is darker, warmer, and more purple. Below Deck is definitely the most different of the four.

Connect the Dots, as I've previously mentioned, has a buttload of cousins. I vaguely considered listing them, but ain't nobody got time for that. Except for Chalkboard Nails. Her black & white glitter mega post is awesome and really helpful, so I'll just direct you over there, and you can see for yourself.

Greige seems to be one of those love it or hate it sorts of colors- how do you feel about it? Have you tried Greige Gardens, or Connect the Dots? Or perhaps any of the other black and white glitters? Thoughts?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and I hope you're having a great week!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine Copperhead

Today I'll be showing you a Lustre Shine. These were released fairly recently, last fall I believe? In stores, there are six colors available (Plume, Firefly, Moonstone, Lava, Copperhead, and Scarab), and I've heard that online, there are two others available (Gilt and Azure). Most of these are dupes to other recently released polishes, and Lava looks really similar to OPI The Show Must Go On, so I passed on everything but Copperhead. I'm reasonably pleased with this one, I guess? It's not awful. 3 coats, no top coat:

It's a brownish, coppery metallic. Sadly, that greenish shimmer you can see in the bottle doesn't actually show up on the nail. It is a bit frosty, but with careful application, you can minimize the brushstrokes. It's solid in 2 coats, but I found that a third really adds depth, so I'd recommend the full 3. Drying time is quick, but I noticed that the wear was not so good. My tips started wearing down by the end of the day...disappointing. At least it's an interesting duochrome?

I have to admit, I think the greyish/plummy shift was a really weird choice. I don't think it complements the base color that well, so this is one of those rare cases where I'm glad that the duochrome isn't super obvious. Oh well, they can't all be winners. Luckily, my mom loves this one, so it'll be headed for her stash.

As far as dupes go, I can't think of any. I'm guessing most companies haven't put out a duochrome like this because the colors don't complement each other too well, lol.

Have you tried Copperhead, or any of the Lustre Shines? What did you think?

Thanks for looking and commenting, and have a great week!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pahlish Toxic and Timeless

Happy Friday, y'all! Today I've got Toxic and Timeless to show you. Just a note before I start with the photos, my bottle is from an older batch, has no bar glitter, and a darker, sheer teal jelly base. I think the barless batch was an anomaly, as was the sheer teal base. It's definitely a lot bluer than what's shown in the current listing, so I don't think this version exists anymore. Incidentally, I'm quite pleased with what I've got! Here is one coat over my franken, Across the Ocean. I had been wearing my franken for 5 days at that point, so I apologize for the growth. And for the cell phone picture, haha. I just really wanted to show you what this looked like!

Then I decided to layer 2 coats of Toxic and Timeless over Nails Inc. Kensington, the dark teal jelly/creme that was sold with the Wyndham flakie. Here it is on day 1:

I put this on just before finals last semester, so I had no time or energy to think about the state of my manicures. I made an excellent choice though, because check out the wear on this mani. Day 10:

There's growth and a bit of tip wear, but it never lost that glossy shine. I am quite pleased.

Toxic and Timeless is quite thick, but it's not unmanageable by any means. I despise greenish yellows, chartreuse, all that fun stuff, so I'm quite surprised to say that I love the bright hexes in this. They And when you add an additional coat of Toxic and Timeless, the sheer teal base turns the hexes into an awesome lime green.

I don't have any other Pahlishes, but I think Prayers for Rain and Like Calendars Dying are calling for me. Added to the ever-growing wishlist...

Have you tried Toxic and Timeless, or any other Pahlishes? Did it wear as well for you as it did for me?