Archive | March, 2011

Orly – Gumdrop

30 Mar

So sorry for the lack of updates lately, I’ve been a bit busy/lazy! But I’m back to share one of my favourites…

Orly’s Gumdrop, from their Spring 2010 Sweet collection. Previously blogged about in my Skittles Shatter NOTD. It’s a clean-looking turquoise (blue-green) pastel creme. Love. It.

Such an adorable colour, perfect for spring! I spent a good amount of $$$ for it in Hong Kong, though. I’m sure if I was more resourceful I could’ve got it for less. Enh. I love the colour too much to care! I’ve been told it’s a very close sister of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague, which would’ve put a much larger dent in my wallet.

However, there are some application issues. I can’t control this polish well…it’s a bit runny, yet goopy, which makes getting the right amount somewhat of an art. Longevity isn’t great either. This is one of those polishes I can easily peel from my nail in a solid layer (that’s actually how I often remove my polish – after a shower, where the steam makes it pretty easy to peel it off. Probably not great for my nails?).

Ah. It’s such a nice colour, I think I can forgive. My polish turnover is like two days anyway, so I’ll think of it as a blessing to be able to remove it so easily.

And look at how cute it is once you throw some polka dots at it! I did this a few months ago using the Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in white.

Have a great hump day!

Check It Out (Literally)!

24 Mar

Last week, I was at Zellers and finally saw the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips! I was absolutely dying to try these out. There were a bunch of options, ranging from flat cremes, neons, glitters, to patterns. I settled on the houndstooth one named Check It Out because I figured I would never be able to do this pattern on my own. The other non-pattern ones I could easily paint on myself. I mean, for a $9CAD+ luxury I’d better be buying something that I can’t do for way cheaper!

How do they work?

It comes in a little box that contains 16 nail polish strips, an orangewood stick for pushing back your cuticles, and a nail file with three surfaces – one for shaping the nail, one for polishing the nail’s surface, and one to remove the excess nail polish strip. The nail polish strips come in varying sizes to fit your nail beds, and you have to pick the best fit.

Each nail polish strip has a tab at the end, and is covered with a clear protective layer – you peel that off. Then you peel off the nail polish strip from the sticker base, then stick it onto your nail bed. Smooth it over (the strips are a little flexible so you can stretch them a bit). Fold the excess over the free edge of your nail, and file the excess off. Sounds easy enough!

Yeah, yeah, I’ll show you what it looks like.

Cool, right? The strips actually come in two packets of 8, but because my nails are short, I could double-up each strip, and ended up using only one packet. I also followed up with a layer of top coat to increase wear time.

PROS:

  • The pattern looks awesome. You can’t do a (perfect-looking) houndstooth by yourself. Really. Unless you have Konad (which I don’t).
  • Pretty simple to use. I didn’t come into many problems application-wise. No bubbles, tears, etc. It helps if your hands are warm so you can effectively stretch out the strip without ripping it.
  • Easy. You literally just stick it on, smooth it out, and file off the excess. No need to worry about getting the perfect shape around your cuticle!
  • Don’t have to wait for it to dry!

CONS:

  • Picking the best nail polish strip to fit is quite tricky. The strips can be weirdly shaped. It took be FOREVER to strategically find ones that would fit my nail bed. I did a lot of trimming as well. That ate up most of my time – took me at least 30 minutes.
  • The design/print job is not of the highest quality. If you look closely, you can see that the black parts can look a bit cloudy or dirty (they came like that).
  • Expensive! One box of these, with 16 nail strips, is at least $9.00CAD. I could get a full bottle of nail polish for way less than $9.00, and get way more than just two applications out of it.

VERDICT:

These strips are great for those who have trouble applying traditional nail polish – if it gets everywhere, you can’t get a nice smooth cuticle line, or you hate waiting for it to dry, etc. For me though, I don’t have too much trouble with that and would much prefer using cheaper traditional nail polish. However, since I can’t do such a complex pattern on my own, and I don’t have Konad, I would buy these (or another pattern) again!

The one that started it all: Chanel Paradoxal

21 Mar

And by “started it all”, I mean it’s the one that confirmed that I officially had a problem hobby.

Chanel Paradoxal is already a Chanel classic in its own right, right up there with Particulière, Black Satin, and Blue Satin. This is the first polish release for which I waited with bated breath. And then actively sought after. I even tried to get my brother to buy this for me in France (he couldn’t find it. Still don’t really understand how French Chanel beauty stores drop the ball on new releases, but whatevs). After weeks of lusting after it, I finally found it in the form of two bottles of Paradoxal I accidentally received for my birthday (one from my mom, one from my aunt). Well, we overshot the goal a bit but at least I got there!

Holy effing crap do I ever love Paradoxal. Am I hyping this up too much? I hope not! This polish is definitely not as flashy as the bottle suggests—the smoky dark purple-y gray creme base dominates, making the polish appear as a creme from further away. Almost none of that intense bright violet shimmer would appear on the nail.

But it’s still so freaking pretty. You don’t always crazy in-your-face shimmer for a polish release to do its job. Elegant, yet edgy. Conservative, yet has a hidden bit of excitement in the shimmer. The bright violet shimmer keeps Paradoxal from being a boring flat taupe-y purple gray that’s been reimagined hundreds of times. Especially if you look at your nails under sunlight or incandescent light, the shimmer jumps out at you from the centre of the nail.

Formula? Great. Applies like buttah. Two coats and you’re golden. Brush – like it a lot! It’s a traditional brush (which I usually find just average), but strangely, I found I could control this one very easily. Although that could be due to its exceptional consistency.

Now, my point of contention…Chanel polishes are not cheap, obviously. Can’t remember the exact price but it’s gotta be at least $20CAD a pop. That’s not even the problem (after all, I didn’t pay for it, hahaha). Chanel polishes are just not ideal in the longevity department. I haven’t actually had this chip on me, but it’s because I don’t wear the same colour for extended periods of time. But on the second day of wear, you can already notice very noticeable tipwear, and it really gets on my nerves. Feh.

Sigh. I guess nothing truly is perfect. For the sophistication of the colour alone, though, it instantly made it onto my all-time favourites list!

It’s a galaxy? A mermaid? The Canucks?! Deborah Lippmann – Across the Universe

17 Mar

I don’t really know what else to say. Just let the pictures do the talking.

Deborah Lippman’s Across the Universe. Yes, if there was some way you could translate the universe into nail polish…it’s this. Actually, a more accurate metaphor would be the ocean, what with the green hexagonal glitter. Okay, if a mermaid’s scales exploded on to your nails. That’s it.

I LOVE THIS. Deep blue jelly with small round glitter and large hexagonal glitter, in varying shades of silver, blue, and green. Oh, you know what? This is such a Canucks manicure. The blue and green. It’s like the exact same colours.

I’m just all over the place.

Yeah first coat of this thing was a bit of a let-down. Reeeally sheer and jelly-like. You have to be strategic when applying this – even if the application appears splotchy, try to get the glitters evenly distributed. Somewhat thicker layers helped. All was good after three coats.

Downside: quite expensive. I got this at Murale for around $22. OUCH, goes my wallet. But, I seriously couldn’t resist. It’s freaking fabulous. Just look at the close-up! Gah!

China Glaze – Unplugged

14 Mar

Another nail polish I bought on my mini-spree over the past week:

Oooh, how do I describe China Glaze Unplugged (from Spring 2008’s Ecollection)? It’s…a very rich warm brown, ever so slightly red, packed with copper/gold shimmer. Another one of those shimmery dark polishes that’s dark round the edges, light in the centre…seems to be glowing and lit from within.

I like the colour, but I’m not sure about brown nail polish. Will just have to get used it it, I suppose!

I’ve actually only tried two China Glaze polishes before, and I’m kind of ‘meh’ about them. The brush is seriously way too skinny and small and doesn’t fan out over the nail very well, making it difficult to shape around the cuticles. I had to do a lot of fix-up with a brush and nail polish remover after. I suppose that’s compensated for with the runny formula (which I’m not a fan of), but the brush makes it sooo hard to control. The polish kind of accumulates at the top as you’re trying to wipe off the excess, and you’re left with a huge goop of runny polish on your nail. With the two China Glazes I’ve tried, I’ve had to be VERY careful about getting just the right amount of polish on the brush. Sigh.

At least it was inexpensive – a couple of bucks at Winners. Even at regular price it’s not too damaging on the wallet. I will have to try out a few more CG’s to see if they’re all like this, but it might be worth dealing with the less-than-ideal formula for their more unique colours!

OPI – Tickle My France-y

10 Mar

Hmm, nudes. I’m not a huge fan of “mannequin” hands – a few months ago I was sort of enamored with the idea of having nails that were exactly the colour of your skin. I’ve learned since then that it’s a hard look to wear, because it requires your nails to be in tiptop condition – every minor cuticle issue just becomes so apparent!

I’ve tried a couple of nudes, and I find that the ones that somewhat blend into the skin, but still offer some contrast, are ideal. Does this one live up to my expectations? Well…

OPI Tickle My France-y, another gem from their 2008 France collection (at this rate I’m going to own every polish in that collection…). I really like it! The shade is just a bit darker than my skin, and the colour is definitely pinker than my skin – the most muted taupe-y pink/lavender you’ll find. It looks elegant and clean, non-fussy but still pretty.

I think the problem I generally have with nudes is that they have a tendency to make you look jaundiced or give you lobster hands. And with a cream nude especially, formula is important – a lot of them can be super streaky and difficult to apply. This one was fine though, two coats and the streaks sort of meld into each other and become smooth again. And of course, you know how much I love the OPI ProWide brush!

Thanks to my friend Justina for letting me know about this colour! I remember asking her several times last term about her nail polish when she had this colour on. I love it! :)

H&M – Peppermint Fusion

7 Mar

I had a very interesting week. Probably the most stressful I’ve ever had. Two papers, two assignments (all due within 12 hours), and a crazy difficult Income Tax midterm on Friday night…goodness. GOODNESS. That explains my lack of posting. Though that didn’t stop me from picking up 5 new polishes during this stressful time…hey, everybody needs therapy, and what better than retail therapy?

I FINALLY had a free(ish) weekend and spent part of it pleasantly shopping with Alison (the ingenious one who christened the blog’s name), and picked up this number:

H&M Peppermint Fusion. I know that H&M makes nail polish and on several occasions have been thisclose to actually purchasing, but have always put them down. No real reason, maybe just my subconscious telling me: YOU HAVE TOO MUCH NAIL POLISH. Couldn’t resist this strange one though.

The base colour is a dusty, gray-ish periwinkle blue, shot through with very fine and subtle bright blue shimmer. Oddly enough, this $5.95CAD polish reminded me of a Chanel polish, what with the dusty base colour and very subtle, lit-from-within shimmer. Chanel Paradoxal is so similar to this in texture and finish, although of course in a completely different colour.

Check it out, the shimmer is way more obvious close-up and under a camera flash!

ooooOooooOoo. Pretty.

It went on with no problems, and was opaque in two coats. Not bad for an inexpensive polish!

Oh yeah, and Peppermint Fusion? I honestly thought it was labelled incorrectly, because what part of this colour reminds you of peppermint in any way? Whatever. Nail polish names…why can’t you and I ever get along?