Hey readers! I’m starting at my new job today, and I’m very excited for my grown-up life to begin (yeah, right…hahaha). Sadly, it’s one that requires me to be in business attire, and I now have to keep my nails in check. To celebrate (perhaps mourn) the occasion, I’m posting a polish I could never wear to the office. Sigh.
Nubar’s Violet Sparkle. I got this at Winners a few weeks ago for a reasonable price (under $7 probably?). I’ve never seen Nubar being sold anywhere else in Vancouver, so I had to give it a shot. Glitters are not typically my thing, but this one hypnotized me. It’s a highly reflective, super bright purple glitter, with its tiny particles suspended in a clear base. A party on your nails! It dries to a pretty gritty finish, so I had to follow with another coat of top coat the next day. Not really a big issue though.
As expected, removal is a big pain. With glitters, I sometimes like to apply one more layer than necessary (over a base coat). Followed with two coats of top coat, and you’re left with a brittle, thick layer over your nails – that is so easy to chip/peel off. I know it’s horrible for my nails, but the base coat makes it easier to peel off without damaging the natural nail. The glitter comes off in several pieces, and you don’t have to use nail polish remover (which just gets glitter all over the place)!
Well bless me. It’s colours like these that remind me why I love OPI so much.
OPI’s Every Month is Oktoberfest, from the 2012 Germany collection, is one of those OPIs with an old-school feel. It’s a beautiful inky colour with a deep purple-blue base, filled with subtle yet highly reflective red shimmer. The combination of the dark base with the intense shimmer makes this polish one of those “glowing from within” types. In the shade, it looks like a vampy creme, almost black. But when the light hits it, it positively glows. Shimmer aside, it also has a beautiful glossy finish.
The formula is also reminiscent of the old-school OPIs – smoothly flowing, liquid-y, never gloopy. Yet, it’s quite opaque – you should only need two coats with this. As always, the ProWide brush is fantastic and makes application a breeze. Definitely worth checking out for the fall season!
Holy crap. Just take a look at this one.
Nails Inc.’s Baker Street. I’ve actually been eyeing this particular polish for months now, but have never quite gotten around to buying it. Thank goodness I haven’t, because one of my best friends just came back from Europe and got this for my birthday! :)
While I was lusting over this colour though, I bought a Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear polish in Pacific Blue, which looks like Baker Street‘s lighter cousin. It’s not a bad choice for those of you on a budget who want that intense cobalt colour. Fair warning, though - Pacific Blue is probably the most disgusting smelling polish I’ve ever used.
Back to the star of this post, Baker Street (thankfully it smells just like your average polish). Check out that bejeweled cap! How fantastic is that? And the colour, of course – the most beautiful cobalt blue I’ve set my eyes on. It leans the tiniest little bit to the purple side, but I would in no way describe this shade as anything other than pure cobalt blue. Amazing, eye-searingly bright, opaque colour; applied brilliantly in two even coats. LOVE.
In the wake of recent nail polish trends (crackles, flaky glitter top coats, and Peridot dupes, to name a few) comes another – magnetic polish! I’ve already blogged about one before (Color Club’s Magnetic Force), so I’m clearly on the bandwagon. Hey, I write a nail polish blog…I need to keep up with the trends for new material, right? I’m not in denial.
I swear most beauty and fashion bloggers have suffered from that sort of skewed rationalization at one point or another.
Sally Hansen’s Magnetic Nail Color in Silver Elements starts off as a very frosty and metallic (read: somewhat streaky) mid-tone silver. With the magnet applied (located in the removable cap), stripes of darkened grey sprinkled with lighter silver sparkles appear. This is a very interesting magnetic polish! Unlike the previous Color Club one I tried, this one appears to have varying finishes after magnetization. What I mean is, the lighter stripes are just metallic, while the darker stripes are metallic and sparkly. I always thought magnets would just affect the colour of the polish without changing the “sparkle” factor of a certain area, but this colour proved me wrong. I hope all of that made sense!
This is a rather lovely effect which makes you look like you spent hours doing your nails. But nope! All I did was coat all ten fingers in one go with one thin coat of the polish. Then I did each finger individually with a thicker coat, and hovered the magnet over each finger before moving to the next one. 15 minutes, tops.
One important thing to note is that you must let magnetic polish dry completely before applying top coat. If you don’t wait long enough, the top coat will drag bits of the polish over the surface, leaving you with streaky lines and ruining the striped magnetic effect.
I’ve finally found a magnetic polish that didn’t break the bank and actually works!
It’s Color Club’s Magnetic Force. Doesn’t it mesmerize you? I was very happy with the overall look and the ease of use. I started off with one coat of the polish on all ten fingers without using the magnet, which is located in the removable cap (the polish by itself is a frosty, almost chrome purple-y taupe). I then painted each finger one at a time with a second coat, followed by the magnet (which turned parts of the polish into a flat dark brown). The trick is to hold the magnet steady and as close to the nail as possible without actually touching it, and to use a thin enough layer so that globs of polish won’t be attracted to the magnet.
A few months ago I received two Essence magnetic polishes for my birthday, but the magnetic effect did not work well at all – a combination between the crappy polish and the ineffective magnet. I was about to write off magnetic polishes until I tried this one – so glad the Color Club one works delightfully! Found at Winners for $6.99CAD, it’s also the least expensive magnetic nail polish I’ve seen (other typically go for around $12 a pop).
Okay. You know already that I love coral. I own enough coral polishes for two girls, but I can’t stop adding to the collection. Besides, Misa is a brand I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. I jumped at the opportunity.
Misa’s Bop Til You Drop from their Fall 2010 Hip to My Jive collection, is a lovely addition to my already large collection of corals. It’s very much a true coral that doesn’t lean too orange or pink, with a beautiful golden microshimmer running throughout. This is my first experience with the brand Misa, and I was pleased. Pictured above is two coats, and I encountered no weird brush or formula issues.
I bought this polish from Well.ca, “Canada’s largest online health and beauty store”, with a $10 off coupon code. They sell your typical drugstore polish brands (e.g. Revlon, Sally Hansen, Rimmel, L’Oreal, NYC), but also ones that are slightly harder to find in Vancouver (China Glaze, Essie, Misa, Milani). Best of all, free shipping within Canada!
I love American Apparel polishes. They come in all kinds of beautiful colours – plenty of work-appropriate neutrals, but also lots of quirky brights. I’ve tried around seven of them, and all of them have stellar formulas that go on nearly opaque in just one coat. Best of all, the main line consists of all creme finish polishes (my favourite finish)!
American Apparel’s The Valley is a flat light-medium robin egg blue creme, and is no different from the other AA polishes. Gorgeous formula, easy application, exceptional finish and colour. The photo makes it look like it leans slightly turquoise, but I would say it’s a true blue. It’s bright, but not in-your-face obnoxious.
Some people complain that the AA formula is a touch on the thick side, but as long as you’re careful with the brush by removing all of the excess polish, including the polish collecting on the stem of the brush (there is a lot on there), you’ll be fine. A few drops of nail polish thinner should also help.
Sorry for the hiatus! Finals season hit and I barely found time to put on a fresh coat of polish, let alone photograph and blog about it. I’m back now to share a polish I bought in celebration of finishing all my undergrad exams!
Illasmaqua’s Jo’mina. This is a colour you have to see in real life to appreciate – I haven’t seen anything like this by another brand. It’s a very bright warm purple creme. It’s nearly neon and has the quality of purple highlighter. In fact, I held up my fingers to a purple highlighter I have and it is the exact same colour. Jo’mina is very opaque (i.e. not at all a jelly, unlike American Apparel’s Neon Violet – review here - full disclosure though, Neon Violet is a completely different colour) and goes on near-flawlessly in one coat. I used two coats, mostly out of habit, and to go over some tiny patchy bits.
I salivate over this. I can’t stop looking at my fingers. I’m constantly surprised by how gosh darn BRIGHT this is. I mean, as bright as it can get for a light-medium purple creme. You need this. Worth the $18CAD, I would say, as this is a colour I see myself going back to time and time again, especially for the warmer months.
On a somewhat unrelated note, who else is peeved that we Vancouverites only get Illamasqua nail varnishes here? I’m waiting with bated breath for the full makeup range to arrive at some point. Fingers crossed!
I’m a huge fan of coral. If I had to choose one colour to wear for the rest of my life, I think this would be it. It’s the perfect mix of orange, pink, and red to make such a happy and summer-y hue. I probably own too many coral polishes for one girl (actually, you could cross out the word “coral” and this sentence would still be valid).
Essie’s California Coral. One of the first corals I’ve owned, and one of my favourites. A lot of other ones tend to be too orange or pink. This one has a nice mix of everything, and it’s not so saturated or dark that it veers into one colour or another. It has kind of a strange formula – a creme-jelly hybrid? If you apply sloppily, the colour can appear patchy and darker in some areas. Best to use one thin coat followed with a thicker one to avoid that.
Of course the name of this polish would be appropriate for me to wear on my grad dinner night – I am a Commerce student after all! I gotta make the big bucks :p
Sally Hansen’s Gem Crush Nail Color in Big Money. I’m not a huge fan of glitters – they’re terrifying to remove and a little too much for everyday wear. I do love this one though! The tiny base glitters are a neutral gold, almost metallic taupe, interspersed with larger round particles of lavender glitter. It’s one of the more unique and wearable ones I’ve seen, and it’s pretty dense for a glitter polish. Tips: To make removal easier though, I started with a coat of OPI’s Tickle My France-y (review & swatch here), and used two coats of Big Money. Also, glitters tend to “eat up” top coat , so you might want to use two layers of top coat if you want that ultra-glossy smooth finish.
Close-up of the neutral gold + lavender glitters
Bonus – it went with my dress beautifully! (Say hello to my friend Justina on the right – she was integral in persuading me to start this blog, by the way! Justina, don’t hate me for using this photo please :p).