Monday, October 27, 2014

REVIEW of Zoya Amy With SWATCHES

Hello pumpkin seeds,


Happy Halloween! I know it's an expected color for October but sometimes you have to go for the expected choice. I was thinking of trying Zoya Amy out in the summer but the moment passed and now it seems like the perfect choice for Halloween. I'm be tempted to do some pumpkin nail art if I had my video set up up and running.

Color: Zoya Amy is a deep orange foil polish. I don't think it's a true foil but more of an in between finish between a foil and a shimmer. I don't think it's quite rough enough to be a foil but it's not smooth enough to be a simple shimmer. It's not a creme base with shimmer. It's like a smoother version of a foil. I find the shade of orange surprisingly flattering. It's a fiery pumpkin orange, undoubtedly orange but with enough red in it to stop it from clashing with my skintone like some of the orange cremes I've tried in the past. It doesn't quite sparkle or glow. The best way I can describe it is that my nails look like they're on fire. If this manicure had a favorite artist, it would be Alicia Keys.
Formula: I didn't find the formula notably thin or thick. The polish is a little on the sheerer side but it isn't thin and watery.
Application: I used two to three coats of Elmer's glue as my base coat as I usually do with glitters and foils to save time on removal. The first coat went on very smoothly. The polish was already very shimmery in one coat but a little sheer. The second coat needed to be evened out a little but I had no problems at all. This polish goes on like a dream. I applied a third coat to try to get to full opacity. I think the third coat is necessary but you're not going to get to full opacity with this polish. At three coats, it still fails a light test. If you're not familiar with the terminology I use on my blog, that means when you hold your nails up to the light, the polish isn't opaque enough to block out all the light trying to pass through your nails. I do think the lack of opacity will bug some of you.
Wear: I wore this polish for four days. By the second night there was already a bit of chipping at the tips. By the fourth night, the chipping was very noticeable. I think it might have been the glue, but I can't be sure. When I tried to remove the polish, it didn't peel off cleanly but I was able to pick it off.

CONCLUSION: I would recommend this polish. The color is just so gorgeous. Yes, it is a little sheer and it might not wear that well but that color though. I love it. If you can get past the lack of full opacity, I think you'll love it too.
If you need to make a purchase at amazon.com, I hope you'll consider starting from one of the affiliate links on my site. It doesn't matter what you buy. You don't have to buy the item shown in the ad. As long as you start from my site, I'll earn a small percentage from whatever you purchase at no extra cost to you. I appreciate it greatly and it really helps me out. :)
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

REVIEW of China Glaze Holographic Nail Lacquer in OMG a UFO

Hello earthlings!

I picked up this polish in a recent Cherry Culture haul and I couldn't resist trying it soon after it came in the mail.

Color: OMG a UFO is a green holo polish. I don't know exactly how to describe this shade of green. Swampy? Mossy? Khaki? It's a kind of pretty ugly color like a mix between Butter London Dosh and Essie Sew Psyched. It's like a more muted version of Sephora by OPI Leaf Him at the Altar with more yellow. Needless to say, I love it. These kinds of colors are very flattering for the yellow undertones in my skin. If you're not afraid of color, I think this is a really wearable look. The holo isn't crazy intense and as long as your workplace or school isn't really conservative I think this is a nice option. A little fun but not too distracting. The holo effect comes out in direct bright sunlight and under artificial light at night. However, it disappears in dim sunlight, shade, or indoors when it's not night. I have no idea why. When the holo effect disappears, the polish still has more depth than your typical shimmer but it's considerably less special.
Formula: The polish wasn't notably thin or thick.
Application: The first coat went on smoothly though I did have to even out the polish a bit. The brushstrokes were kind of visible but nowhere near as bad as a frost. I could see the rainbow shimmer typical of holos even in the coat but oddly this polish loses shine as it dries. I haven't tried a ton of China Glaze polishes and I found the brush which is on the long and skinny side to be a little unwieldy. Nothing outlandish, but it wasn't my favorite brush to work with. The second coat also went on smoothly though I had to even out the polish a little more. At two coats this polish still failed a light test which reveals that the coats didn't apply evenly. I added a third coat of polish for more opacity. At three coats the polish wasn't 100% opaque but I wouldn't go over three coats unless you're really a perfectionist. I applied Seche Vite to every nail but my left pointer fingernail. There was a little less shine but no change in the holo effect. I don't think you can really see any difference in the photos.
As for the paint job with my nondominant hand, I had a bit more trouble evening the polish out but it was far from a mess. The polish wasn't thick or gloopy. It just didn't even out the way I wanted it to. But it was thin enough that there weren't thick overlapping brushstrokes. I think part of the problem (other than the formula of the polish) was that the brush was a little too soft to effectively smooth out the polish. The results were OK but not perfect.
Wear: I wore this polish for six days. I experienced a little tip wear but nothing major.

CONCLUSION: If you like these kinds of colors and can find this polish on sale, I would recommend it. Application isn't perfect but it's manageable. The polish is a little sheer but looks fine on the nail at three coats. This wasn't a perfect, out of this world polish but I'm happy to have it in my collection.
If you would like to help support this site please consider making your next purchase at amazon.com through one of the affiliate links on my site. It doesn't matter what you purchase. As long as you get to amazon through one of my links, I will get a small percentage of the revenue at no extra cost to you. It really helps me out and I appreciate it greatly.

SWATCHES

Sunday, October 19, 2014

REVIEW of Essie Blue Rhapsody With SWATCHES

Hello my morning glories,


Get it? Cause they're blue? Anyway, Essie Blue Rhapsody is yet another one of the polishes I picked up in my San Gennaro polish haul. I was hoping it would be somewhat of a dupe for Confetti Rhapsody in Blue which is one of my favorite polishes but now that I've tried it, I don't think that it is. I can still do a comparison if you'd like me to. Just leave a message in the comments.

Color: Essie Blue Rhapsody is a metallic blue chrome polish. For me, it's not smooth enough to be a proper chrome but that's what they're going for. It's too metallic to count as another finish. There's not a lot to say to describe the color of Blue Rhapsody. It's a metallic blue, somewhat muted. It's not pale enough to be close to the pastel end of the spectrum but it's not dark enough to be a medium blue. If you want a cool-toned blue that's not cold enough to be really icy, Blue Rhapsody is your color.
Formula: I think this is a little on the thicker side but not too much so.
Application: The first coat of polish went on smoothly. This was my issue. So you know you use three brushstrokes to cover the nail? Well, with that third brushstroke in the center, I could not get an even coat. Either the third brushstroke was hard to even out or the edges of the first two brushstrokes wouldn't smooth out. I was into the way it looked like I had painted liquid metal on my nails. The second coat also went on smoothly without any drag and it was easier to even the polish out. Still, the results were not fabulous. The polish isn't thick enough to make the overlapping brushstrokes a problem but it could look nicer and there was a bit of bubbling/grit on some of the nails. It was more on the nails of my right hand which is why you don't see it as much in the photos. With a chrome I don't want bubbles or to see the seams/overlapping brushstrokes so this was a letdown. On short nails, I think two coats of polish was sufficient for opacity.
Wear: I wore this polish for 5 days. I experienced considerable tip wear with a little bit of chipping at the tips of two nails. Now, as previously mentioned on this blog, my version of chipping is not that big of a deal. But considering that I barely even get tip wear with most polishes, I think it's notable. I'm not sure if this was because I only used two coats of polish or because this polish just chips more easily than most of the other polishes I've tried. Even though I removed the polish after 5 days, the chipping occurred a day or two before that.

CONCLUSION: I can't enthusiastically recommend this polish but if you love the color and can deal with the issues it might be worth looking into. It's opaque in two coat on short nails but application is a little iffy and it doesn't seem to wear well. However, it's an interesting enough color that you might not find a dupe that easily. Personally, I think I'd rather have another bottle of Confetti Rhapsody in Blue but I'm sure I'll find uses for this.
Please consider making your next purchase at amazon.com through one of my links. Regardless of what you purchase, as long as you start your shopping trip by clicking one of the links of my page, I will get a small percentage of the revenue at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support.
SWATCHES

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Drugstore Product Stalking: Harmon Face Values 2131 Central Park Avenue

Hello ladybugs,

I thought I'd just ride this wave of productivity and write up this Drugstore Product Stalking post while I'm on a roll. There's not a ton of stuff to share so this post shouldn't be too long.
Let's start with Frozen merchandise because Harmon's certainly did. These were the first two displays I saw when I walked in the store. I really wanted to get one of these tissue boxes but the Elsa boxes which I think have the better designs put the fold in the box over the Elsa panel. Have some respect, tissue box designers. I'm still tempted to get one so I can use it for decor once the tissues are gone.
Water bottles, post it notes, decor... So much Frozen!
These Tervis cups are cute but soooo expensive. 
I don't know when Real Techniques landed at Harmon's but I'm hoping for a sale or some coupons in the future. Not all the brushes are in the right displays so be a little wary of the prices in these photos.





I think this L'Oreal polish display was the only new polish collection on display. But then I'm off my game as far as new polish collections are concerned. I used to follow all the blogs but I'm getting a little more lax on that front. I picked up a bottle of 24-carat, the gold top coat for $5.49.

Cherry Culture Haul

Hello sugarplums!

I thought I'd just quickly share a little Cherry Culture haul I did during their 40% off sale. If any of you shopped the sale, you'll know that it was quite a while back but for some reason even though I placed my order on September 13, I didn't hear from them until I wrote in on the 29th. So my order only just arrived October 3rd. But let's put that ridiculousness aside to talk about what I actually purchased.

Now, with my obsessive nature I hem and haw about things for so long that some of the items I want are often sold out by the time I'm ready to place an order. So a large part of this haul ended up being NYX blushes. I didn't intend to pick up so many blushes but after the items I wanted sold out I thought, why not just try a bunch of NYX blushes to familiarize myself with the brand a little? I do own some NYX items that I've purchased and received in ipsy glam bags but it's not a brand I really keep up with. For me, NYX is for when I really want something from another brand and try and come up a reasonable dupe. For example, I have NYX Root Beer because I don't feel like paying for a brown blending shadow from MAC.
I was originally going to get more cream blushes but the swatches online are confusing as all heck. So I thought I'd be safe and just try out one of them. I can always pick up more later, if not on Cherry Culture then at Ricky's. I know Harmon's also carries NYX but I don't know if they carry the blushes. I was hoping to find a dupe for one of the Stila cream blushes because my mom loves them. I like them but I don't use cream blushes I can't apply with my fingers that often because I don't like running through makeup sponges.

I'm not sure if any of these powder blushes look like I expected them to but perhaps they look different on the skin.






It wouldn't be one of my hauls if there weren't polishes. This is Goldie But Goodie. I know I have so many golds but I've wanted this for a while.
I have a bunch of greens. And Running in Circles is not really my style as a green polish. But it got so many rave reviews that I felt like I had to try it.
Now OMG A UFO is my style. A holographic pretty/ugly olive green? Yeeessss.
I've been burned with mint polishes in the past but I wanted to give this a shot and it'll be my first NYX polish. I always like to try out a new brand and form an opinion. Oh, and I have Color Club Silver Lake on my nails in this photo, not NYX Pastel Mint.
I've already swatched Jordana Foiled in Pink on a nail wheel and sadly it does not seem to be anything like a foil. It seems to be a pretty standard shimmer. Boo. But I have some pink glitters I need to swatch over something so I'm not totally brokenhearted.

Harmon Face Values Haul

Hi peanuts,

I'll admit. This is kind of a boring, practical haul. I tend to go to Harmon's to stock up on essentials and only occasionally get crazy items at a discount. This haul is a little of both. I'll be doing a Drugstore Product Stalking post for Harmon's soon so you can judge me for not picking up more interesting things.
Three bottles of nail polish remover? Did I go a little overboard? Maybe...? #SorryNotSorry #SorryForTheHashtags Harmon's makes my favorite nail polish remover. I use Zoya for the heavy duty removal like glitters or foils but I don't care what they say, I think the Zoya brand remover dries out my nails. For me, Harmon's makes a gentle polish remover that works great for cremes. I have been out of the stuff for weeks and it sent me into panic mode. Thus, three bottles.
I basically can't go into Harmon's and not buy Seche Vite everytime I remember that it's only between $6-$7 and not $10-$12 like it is in the city. 
I'm a die hard Seche Vite fan but it does thicken up annoyingly when you're halfway through the bottle and sometimes it's full of bubbles. So after a lot of recommendations, I've decided to give Poshe a chance. Despite what everyone has told me, I've hated the Sally Hansen top coats I've tried but maybe this Poshe top coat will be different. We shall see.


And now for the fun purchase. Look at it. It's so shiny I'm going to die. I don't know if gold leaf nails are over. I don't really care. I have a flakie from Essie and Zoya Maria Luisa but none of them are dupes for this bottle of gorgeousness. I saw L'Oreal 24-carat and had to have it.

And back to the boring. I'm a gel liner girl but I've picked up a lot of pencil liners lately and they need to be sharpened. Of course I've misplaced my tarte sharpener somewhere so I decided to just pick up another sharpener in the meantime while I look for it.

I think this is supposed to be their take on a konjac sponge. I had a konjac sponge that I got at The Face Shop for around $5 but it got destroyed with hair dye. I do not want to talk about it. I don't know how well this will work but I'm willing to give it a shot.

REVIEW of Pure Ice Nail Polish in First Love With SWATCHES

Hello love bugs,


Full disclosure, I'm in a weird mood today. Anyway, let's put that aside to talk about another one of the polishes I purchased in my San Gennaro polish haul, Pure Ice Nail Polish in First Love. I've never come across Pure Ice polishes before as they are Walmart exclusive and there are no Walmart's near me.
Color: First Love is a white shimmer polish. It's a soft sheer color like a cream satin with a slight pink undertone. It can also throw off a little green but I think that's just when I get it around technology and it's reflecting off some of those colors because this is definitely not a duochrome. If you'd like I can do a comparison with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure and Confetti I <3 U as those are the closest colors I have in my collection. I don't hate First Love but it's not really a stunner for me. I just wanted to take it easy after cutting my nails super short and wanting to get my manicure over with very quickly late at night. It's at those times that I really reach for the nude polishes or the inky dark polishes because application is usually a breeze.
Formula: The polish is sheer but it's not super thin. The consistency and viscosity are about the same as a standard creme polish that doesn't have a notably thin or thick formula.
Application: As expected, the first coat went on super smoothly. The second coat also went on smoothly. You have to pay a little bit of attention and make sure you're aligning your brushstrokes so all the lines are pointed in the same direction as this does show brushstrokes a little but I had no issues with getting nice even layers. I also liked the brush. It was firm but flexible with the bristles spreading nicely to get flush with the skin. At three coats, the polish was not opaque but I think this is one of those polishes where you're not going to get full opacity. The manicure was very even though.

CONCLUSION: I think this polish is prettier in the bottle than it is on the nail. It still has that pearlescent, satiny quality on the nail but you lose a lot of the depth because it is on the sheerer side. If you just cannot deal with visible nail line, this is not the polish for you. I may try layering it in the future even though that's something I generally don't do. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see this layered over black polish or some color. This isn't that special of a polish but if you like the look of these kinds of sheer opalescent polishes, application was excellent, so I would recommend checking this out. I was impressed at how smooth it looked and I think that stopped the polish from looking as cheap as it actually was. If you're going to go for a sheer, pearlescent polish totally go for the one that's only a dollar or two and has a really easy application with great results.

Please consider making your next purchase at amazon.com through one of my links. Regardless of what you purchase, as long as you start your shopping trip by clicking one of the links of my page, I will get a small percentage of the revenue at no extra cost to you. I appreciate your support.
SWATCHES