Wednesday, April 30, 2014

REVIEW of Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Lady Is a Tramp With SWATCHES

Hello my dears,
I was toying around with calling you "vamps" or "harlots" but it seemed like a bit much. I've benched this review of Deborah Lippmann Lady is a Tramp for a while because it was a pain in the arse to photograph. I do not know why I bother with red polishes sometimes. This is another one of the Deborah Lippmann polishes I picked up in a sale. They're not a sponsor, but they can call me anytime they want. Seriously, I'd love to have sponsors. I was looking for a fancy, grown up shade to wear to Carnegie Hall and Lady is a Tramp just felt like the perfect thing.

Color: Deborah Lippmann Lady is a Tramp is a red creme polish. After applying it, I could see why so many bloggers call it their go-to red polish. Outdoors in natural lighting I would say it's just a hair darker than a true red. It reads a little more like a blood red than a true red. Indoors, I find it a bit darker and duller like more of a brick red. As you apply the polish you can see that it's actually a bright red that darkens as you layer on additional layers of polish, as opposed to a polish that is actually just a dark red.
Formula: This polish has a thicker formula.
Application: This is my first creme polish from Deborah Lippmann so I was paying very close attention during application. The first coat applied smoothly without any drag. The formula was noticeably thick. It wasn't gloopy or difficult to work with but I did have to even it out and it wasn't self-leveling. The second coat also went on very smoothly. I again had to even it out a little but I would actually say that it was easier to even out the second coat than the first. At this point I noticed the polish clinging to the brush as I pulled it out of the bottle. It wasn't enough to form a thread as the polish snapped back almost immediately but it was noticeable. I think you could maybe get away with two coats if you were in a rush. At two coats, this polish isn't opaque enough to block out all the light during a light test but it applies evenly and I only noticed a few patches of lighter opacity on two nails. As I had an event and I was going to be photographing my manicure for swatches, I added a third coat. The third coat went on very smoothly without any resistance or drag on the brush. I don't know if this is true for all Deborah Lippmann brushes but the brush I had was the slightest bit wonky with some of the bristles sticking out at weird angles. It thankfully didn't affect application.

When I applied the polish with my nondominant hand, the polish seemed to be thicker and threading more. It was more difficult to even out the first coat of polish on the nail though it was still manageable. There were some bubbles though and the polish was not totally even. Applying the second and third coats of polish, I started to experience some drag and the polish became increasingly more difficult to even out though I would still say that it was manageable. Even at three coats, coverage was not as even.

CONCLUSION: Lady is a Tramp is a pretty red polish but given the price of Deborah Lippmann polishes, I don't think it's worth the trouble of application. You could very easily find a dupe for this red from a cheaper brand.

Drugstore Product Stalking: Ricky's 1412 Broadway

Hi chickadees,

This is going to be a quickie Drugstore Product Stalking post as I just popped into Ricky's on my way to a sample sale.
First, ALL the eos lip balms! I personally hate these and find them waxy and drying on my already dry lips but I know that a lot of people love them so if you haven't been able to find the particular flavor you want at the drugstore, you might consider trying Ricky's.

This Ricky's has a giant range of NYX products with some testers but the shelves aren't fully stocked so you might be out of luck if you're looking for a particular shade.

I'm considering getting these two glitter polishes. I know I complain about glitters and already have too many but look at how pretty they are! I know. I have a problem.

I've seen people raving about Kiss Me I'm Brazilian but it just looks like a basic bubblegum/Pepto-Bismol pink to me.

I'm a little underwhelmed by the essie summer collection. The orange looks too much like Tart Deco and the green might be a little garish. It's also probably too close to Sinful Colors Innocent and I only need one polish like that for nail art.

Vivienne Tam Sample Sale Report April 2014

Hello my darlings,

Because I love you so very, very much I braved the rain to cover the start of the Vivienne Tam sample sale today. First things first. The sale is running from today, April 30 through May 2. On Wednesday the sale opens at 9:00 am and closes at 8:00 pm. On Thursday, the sale will open at 10:00 am and close at 7:00 pm. On Friday the sale will open at 10:00 am and close at 6:00 pm. The sale is being held at 260 West 39th St between 7th and 8th Avenue. I would suggest taking the N or R.

There is a coat check (and given the weather, an umbrella check) but you will be allowed to keep your purse with you. They're only checking oversized bags like backpacks or shopping bags.
$20 sale rack
$20 sale rack
$20 sale rack
I don't know if you can tell but these are beaded dresses. They had size 0 and 1 tags but I think those are supposed to be from the old sizing system. If you wear a small, you might want to give them a look though they are super heavy because of the weight of all the beads.

I would advise you to start with the two racks near the register by the windows. Here you'll find $20 items identified with yellow tags. The sizes and styles vary widely. There were mainly lighter, summery items. I saw a lot of tank tops and a few dresses.
$20 top
$20 dress

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hi chickadees!

I know I've been quiet for a few days so I just wanted to let you know what's going on with me so you don't get worried. I'm still busy testing products and coming up with new ideas for blog posts but I'm just not in a place where I'm ready to publish anything right now.

I've run into some bad luck when it comes to photographing my manicures for polish reviews so those reviews are on hold until I can figure out how to edit the photos. It's very important to me that you feel that you can come to me for color accurate photos so I try and always do my best though sometimes there are polishes that thwart my endeavors.

I do want to figure out how to do nail art videos but as of now those plans are still far in the future as I work on my filming and editing skills. My voice also seems to sound horribly unpleasant in recordings so I'll have to work on that. Don't you dare say anything.

I do still plan on writing some book and movie reviews but that's not really the focus of this blog so I'm still trying to get back into the mindset of formal writing and to figure out my tone and voice because I don't want to be too constrained by pseudo-professionalism.

I can't seem to stop biting my lips long enough for them to heal so I can do lip swatches but there are lip product reviews coming. I know it's spring but you'll be getting a combination of dark and bright lippies as I've been holding onto some of these reviews for a while. I know. I'm terrible. I'm trying to stop. There's a reason why it's called a compulsive behavior.

And for those of you who mainly check in with me for my sample sale reports, there just hasn't been a sale that I've found worth covering, unless it's the current 45% off sale at Pearl Paint. I think you have until the 17th. Go now if you're at all interested. I got some sketchbooks and brushes and watercolors. They're mainly for writing and nail art and randomness but I've been thinking about getting back into doing non-nail art related art again. If I produce anything worthwhile, I might stock up my etsy store again.

As always, you can leave any requests in the comments. I love to hear from my readers.

Thanks for reading. I'll talk to you soon (hopefully!),

Thursday, April 10, 2014

REVIEW of Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in 315 Frozen Over With SWATCHES

Hello snow angels,

It is time for my review of Maybelline Frozen Over. Look at this polish. It looks like Sinful Colors Cinderella and it reminds me of my favorite of the newest Disney animated princess films, Frozen. Of course I was going to pick it up at Target. Do I regret that decision? Maybe a little. Let's get into it.

Color: Maybelline Frozen Over is a pale blue flakie polish. I would describe it as having a sky blue creme polish base with what appear to be silvery or iridescent translucent flakes. Depending on the lighting, the flakes can appear flatter and more like a pale blue, or shimmery with flashes of pink. I get the same sense that I did with polishes like Zoya Skylar, Sinful Colors Cinderella, and Sinful Colors Sweet Dreams that the flakie finish gives this polish a greasy look. However, as I wore this polish, it did win me over a little more. I think it can look a little garish and cheap in the wrong lighting but in the right lighting it can look very pretty and frosty and Frozen-inspired. Thus, it ended up being one of those polishes that I liked at some points and disliked at others.
Formula: This polish has a thicker formula.
Application: Application of the first coat went smoothly without any drag but coverage was fairly sheer and not even. With the second coat, application was still uneven and I had to work to even out the polish with the brush. It wasn't that the polish was gloopy or that the brush dragged but the polish was just thick and resisted my attempts to even it. The third coat again went on smoothly without any drag but the polish didn't end up being opaque or even. I didn't feel like bothering with a fourth coat, so I just left it at that. When I was painting with my nondominant hand, I had the same issues but of course they were a little worse because I have less control with that hand.
Wear: I wore this polish for five days. It wore pretty well without much damage or dulling but it was somewhat annoying to remove. The polish came off relatively easily for anything other than a light-colored creme polish but the shimmer lingered on my skin and nails even after a good deal of scrubbing with a nail polish-remover soaked Q-tip.
Dupe: I have heard that this polish is a dupe for Sinful Colors Cinderella and they do seem very similar. I will have to do a comparison. Until I do, I will cautiously say that I think the application of Frozen Over went a little more smoothly than that of Cinderella so if I had to pick one of the two polishes, I would pick Frozen Over. I used four coats of Cinderella when I did that review and I think it's possible that Frozen Over might be the more opaque of the two. If you want me to put a rush on the comparison post, tell me so in the comments.

CONCLUSION: It's difficult to recommend this polish because of the application. I think it is manageable and the final product ends up looking alright, if still somewhat sheer and patchy. However, if you've seen swatches of this polish and you know you want it, then nothing I say is going to stop you. So in that case, I would say I think I prefer the Maybelline version to Sinful Colors version but if you ask me to in the comments, I will do a comparison of both polishes as well as trying to layer them over one of the light blue polishes in my collection to see if they perform better as top coats.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Vivienne Westwood Sample Sale Report April 2014

Hello bunnies,

Whew! Two down, one to go. We can do this. Vivienne Westwood was actually my first stop of the day. This sale is gigantic but it was relatively calm when I stopped by late this afternoon. The sale is being held on the sixth floor of 20 W 36th St. Yes, I mean the entire sixth floor. The sale will continue to run until Sunday April 13, opening every day at 10:00 am and closing at 6:00 pm.

For once, there's actually a decent sized men's section for a non-Hugo Boss sale. Guys, you will find shirts, lots of jackets, and maybe a rack or two of pants on the far right side of the room. I didn't pay much attention to the sizes but like everything else at this sale, most of the items are still a few hundred dollars. However, if that's in your price range, this sale might be worth a look.

Next to the men's section you will find a ton of handbags. There was a nice variety in size from smaller wallets to medium sized bags to larger bags as well as style with more conservative black patent leather bags to colorful prints. Items are individually tagged with prices. If there isn't a written tag then the price is half of whatever the tagged price is. No, I don't understand that either but that's what I was told and that's what my notes say. As with apparel, the items I checked were still fairly expensive. Wallets were still marked as $300 though I'm not sure if that was the tagged price or if you were suppose to halve that price.

Fenton and Fallon Sample Sale Report April 2014

Hello peanuts,

Alright, round two. I stopped by the small Fenton and Fallon showroom at 152 W 36th St (suite 701) to check out their wares this afternoon. The sale was relatively quiet, especially compared to the craziness of something like the Dannijo sales. I'm not quite sure why, as in my mind, Fenton and Fallon and Dannijo produce similar items in terms of style and quality. Regardless, the sale will reopen tomorrow April 10 at 9:00 am and close at 7:00 pm and open at the same time on April 11 but close an hour earlier at 6:00 pm. There will be restocking but the inventory will be the same. There is no coat or bag check for this sale.

I am a delicate flower so this kind of heavy costume jewelry isn't really my style but I think the prices were pretty good given the prices of similar brands. Prices are generally indicated by the color of a sticker attached to the item but there are also some items with price tags. In general, the larger, layered necklaces run from $90 to $100+ while most of the other items were $30-$40. There was also a small shelf of items that were only $20.

I just saw this update from Mizhattan. "Starting April 10th, all merchandise reduced an additional 25%. Prices range from $15~$100."

All of the necklaces on this table were $90 to $100+. 

The earrings were mainly $40 on these shelves and the heavy, layered necklaces were in the $100 range. 

Elie Tahari Sample Sale Report April 2014

Hello buttercups,

Oh my God, I'm so tired. You'll see why in a few hours when I finish writing and posting three sample sale reports. That's right. I don't what possessed me to try and cover three sample sales in one day in my new-ish high-heeled boots but I don't recommend it. Thankfully, the Elie Tahari sale was worth the trip.

First, let's start with the basics. The sale started yesterday, April 8, and will run until Saturday April 12. From Tuesday through Friday sale hours are 8:30 am to 7:30 pm and on Saturday the sale opens later at 10:00 am and closes earlier at 6:00 pm. The sale is once again being held on the second floor of 501 5th Avenue between 41st and 42nd St.

I don't know what changed from the last time I covered the Elie Tahari sale at this location but this time all the staff was super friendly. There is a coat and bag check as always. I got away with my small handbag (about 7x10) so I would guess that you could get away with a bag that size or a small baguette or wallet. Just to be on the safe side though, I'd come prepared to have to check your bag.

The cashier is to the immediate right of the coat check and the dressing rooms are on the far side of the room to the right of the cashier. This time they are accepting both cash and credit. The sale was pretty busy when I stopped by and there was a short wait for the dressing rooms. There didn't seem to be a limit on the number of items you could bring in to try on.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk merchandise, sizes, and prices. I'm not going to lie. Things are a little chaotic at this sale. Everything is sort of jumbled together. I was told that if there was a black tag on an item, you should check the size and if there was a white tag, it was one size fits all. I would just sort of eye it and try on anything you like to see what actually fits. Compared to the fall sale, the items at this sale were flashier. They struck me as a little more Nanette Lepore than Elie Tahari. The sale seemed to be dominated by colorful spring and summer pieces though there were some darker (mainly navy and black), heavier items in all of the sections including a few racks of leather apparel. Among the leather items I saw a fair number of jackets and skirts and one pair of pants. I would describe the majority of the apparel as things you would wear to a wedding or a garden party. There were some heavier fall gowns and some jackets and dresses that could pass for business casual but generally you're going to more luck if you're looking for brightly colored cocktail party dresses. Shoes and handbags are located on the upper level to the right. Personally, I didn't find anything I liked here but as I was leaving they announced a flash discount where all shoes were $20 so it's at least worth a look. The men's section is relegated to the opposite side of the upper level. It's only a few racks of clothes so it's not really worth the trip is you have to go far out of your way.

I was told that they would be restocking the sale tomorrow night but that they would simply be replenishing the same inventory that's already out on the floor. I hope this report helps you decide whether or not this sale is worth your time.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

REVIEW of Ginger + Liz Colour Collection Polish in Tuck Me In

Hello darlings,

That's right. You're darlings today. If you haven't been able to tell, you're usually darlings when I'm in a good mood. And I'm in a great mood. I attended a fantastic concert this weekend which reaffirmed my love of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. What? You thought I went to a rock concert? Have you forgotten whose blog you're reading? Anyway, I picked up this Ginger + Liz Colour Collection polish during a Ricky's sale a few months back and it felt like the perfect color to pair with my outfit so that's what I did. By the way, the name of this polish is Tuck Me In. You might not know that if you just tried examining the bottle to locate the polish's name. It is printed in teeny tiny letter near the barcode. I do not understand why some brands insist on hiding the name of the polish like this. It is ridiculous and frustrating.

Color: Ginger + Liz Tuck Me In is a metallic silver polish. Now here's where it gets tricky. I wouldn't necessarily call this a shimmer, a chrome, or a foil polish. Metallic shades like this don't really look like shimmers. This polish doesn't look smooth enough to be a chrome. Yet it also doesn't look rough and gritty enough to be a foil. I guess it's somewhere in between a chrome and a foil. Regardless, like other metallic shades, it functions well as a neutral shade and should complement a wide range of colors as a piece of gold or silver jewelry would. I find it a little less blinding than Zoya Trixie but I can do a comparison if you want me to in order to verify that.
Formula: This polish has a thinner, fluid formula though it did thicken a bit towards the end of my manicure. I would describe it as painting with liquid metal. It isn't very sheer like a lot of thinner formulas tend to be but it was very easy to work with.
Application: This Ginger + Liz polish had a wider brush, more like an OPI brush than a Sally Hansen brush, which initially made me a little nervous, but it didn't seem to affect application. The first coat of polish went on very smoothly. As I said, it made me feel like I was painting with liquid metal. The only issue was that the brushstrokes were very visible and for some reason on my thumbnail there were these three small dots. I'm not sure if they were bubbles or grit that was part of the polish. I've included a photo below. As for the second coat, application was still smooth without any drag. You do want to be careful to a clean job though because of those visible brushstrokes. If you don't paint in straight lines, you will be able to see that in your finished manicure. I feel like if you were in a terrible rush you might be able to get away with two coats of polish even though this polish fails a light test at two coats. Application is just so even. I of course ended up applying three coats of polish to achieve full opacity. On my right hand, three coats were necessary as for some reason the polish appeared more sheer at two coats.
Wear: I wore this polish for five days. I usually do my manicures at night so on the third night that I checked this polish it was already showing signs of tip wear. It was very minimal but notable because usually my polish wears away evenly but this time the polish at the tips of my nails appeared slightly chipped. Also, I got a paper cut the day I did my manicure so I was constantly switching out band aids on that finger. After two days of that abuse, the polish on that nail either peeled or chipped off and I had to redo that nail. I've included a photo below.

CONCLUSION: I don't think wear with this polish is fantastic, especially for those of you who do more potentially manicure-damaging things with your hands than I do. However, this polish is very beautiful and easy to apply so even with the visible brushstrokes and not so great wear time, I would still highly recommend it.
And because I love you so much, I made you a present. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

REVIEW of Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in 240 Twilight Rays

Hello moonbeams,

I know this seems like a weird polish to be reviewing at the end of March but sometimes your palate cleanser comes in the form of black creme polish with gold flakes that you buy on clearance. I am of course talking about the bottle of Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in 240 Twilight Rays that I picked up in San Francisco.

Color: Maybelline Twilight Rays is a black creme polish with gold flakes. A flakie polish, if you will. The gold flakes in Twilight Rays are very small. They're larger than shimmer or microglitter but not by much. As the flakes of gold are irregularly shaped, there are a few that are a bit larger than the average flake but again, not by much. This polish ended up looking duller than I would have liked. The black creme base isn't an inky black, which is really what I think you expect from a black creme. Why would you want an off-black polish? The gold flakes don't really pop. They are noticeable but not terribly so. I find it easier to notice the flakes outdoors. Indoors, it's really difficult to see that there are flakes unless you're looking for them and you are within close proximity.

Formula: The formula isn't notably thin or thick.
Application: The first coat went on smoothly without any drag though it was quite sheer for a black creme polish. The application of the second coat didn't go entirely smoothly. The brush didn't drag but application could have been better. After two coats, the polish was still nowhere near opaque. When I applied the third coat of polish, I figured out what the issue was. The brush doesn't drag but when you even out the polish with the brush, it ends up not looking as smooth. I think perhaps the flakes prevent the polish from behaving like a traditional creme polish. It doesn't self-level or flow as nicely and perhaps going over the polish with the brush redistributes the flakes. Regardless, I ended up with a fine manicure with no major unevenness. 
Wear: I wore this polish for four days. It started off looking duller than I would have liked but it grew increasingly dull during that time. There was a bit of tip wear, mainly where I had wrapped the tips of my nails.

CONCLUSION: Application was alright but not amazing. The polish looked fine but a bit dull. Honestly, I would recommend just getting a nice inky black polish like Confetti Black Tie and a gold flakie top coat and layering them. Of course, if you don't want to have a big nail polish collection and you'd rather save a step, Maybelline Twilight Rays might be just what you're looking for. I just found that it didn't meet my expectations or needs for a polish like this. 


Mint/Seafoam Green Polish Comparison: Orly, Maybelline, Essie, Nicole by OPI, Wet n' Wild

Hi chickadees,

I thought I'd do a quick polish comparison for you today as they seem pretty popular based on the number of hits they get. Was that a not so subtle passive aggressive hint that I'd like you to leave more comments so I don't have to infer these things from page views? Maybe. I may be picking up the wrong things from Community. Anyway, I have a couple of polish comparisons planned but this seemed like a nice color to focus on right before the start of spring. This was intended to be a mint green polish comparison but in swatching these polishes again I've found that some of them lean more blue or more sea foam green.

I've already reviewed all these polishes on this blog. I've linked to the reviews to make it easier. Just click on the name of the polish and it will take you to the review.
Thumb- Orly Gumdrop
Pointer- Maybelline 320 Green With Envy
Middle- Essie Mint Candy Apple
Ring- Nicole by OPI Alex by the Books
Pinky- Wet n' Wild I Need a Refresh-mint

Formula/Application: Using these polishes again, I had many of the same opinions. I was still annoyed by the wide, streaky brush on the Wet n' Wild polish which made smooth, even application difficult. The Nicole by OPI polish was noticeably less opaque than the others. These two polishes had the worst formulas and application experiences. The Orly polish was easier to apply but it was still not as good as the application of the Essie and Maybelline polishes. Though, I would still say all of the polishes had their issues and were nowhere near the standard of perfect creme polishes. Based on the formula and application, I'd recommend going with Essie Mint Candy Apple or Maybelline Green With Envy.

Color: Orly Gumdrop and Wet n' Wild I Need a Refresh-mint are the darkest of the five polishes. Gumdrop is a deeper marine green that pulls more green than blue. I Need a Refresh-mint is an aqua that pulls more blue than green. The three lighter shades are closer matches for each other. However, no two are dupes. Maybelline Green with Envy and Nicole by OPI Alex by the Books are greens while Essie Mint Candy Apple is a light blue polish. Green with Envy is a lighter pastel green while Alex by the Books is more of a light seafoam. Alex by the Books is darker than Green with Envy but still considerably lighter than Gumdrop or I Need a Refresh-mint.

CONCLUSION: There are no exact dupes here. If you are a crazy polish addict, you could decide to own all of these polishes. But personally, I would just choose which one you really want. I'd recommend the Essie or Maybelline of this group as they have the best application. These kinds of colors tend to be popular so I'm sure you could find dupes of the others with better formulas.