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Review Post #011

We’ll keep this short and sweet. First review is of Essie’s Wrapped in Rubies. This is a dark, metallic burgundy polish with a touch of gold shimmer. Here’s a close up of the bottle so you can see:

This polish–like all other Essie polishes I’ve reviewed thus far–applies smoothly and looks great in just two coats. I’m not usually a fan of metallic polishes but this one was too gorgeous to pass up.

Click below for more swatches!

Read the rest of this entry

New Polishes!

Over the past few days I’ve been accumulating random polishes here and there. I found this amazing place called Wegman’s which is basically the best grocery store you’ll ever shop in. It had a cafe in the middle of it and even a bar. Had I not had my son with me I would’ve sat down and had myself a glass of wine before doing my shopping. It was pretty damn awesome, not to mention the selection they had. Like every other section their beauty area was massive and had every basic brand you could want. I’ve not come across a big chain store that carries this much nail polish though. They had the basics and more. I know the Wal-mart and Targets near me don’t have very good selections of Essie or OPI polishes but this place had so many available I didn’t know where to start.

Between Wegman’s and Wal-mart over the past week I’ve accrued the following:

Muse (Revlon)
Sew Psyched (Essie)
Wrapped in Rubies (Essie)
Navigate Her (Essie)
Cute as a Button (Essie)
Spice Romance (Rimmel)
Ocean Side (Sinful Colors)

My favorites out of these polishes are Navigate Her and Muse. I’m a huge fan of soft greens and khaki colors plus I had been ogling Navigate Her for a while now. It seems like a really popular polish and I can see why. Now my collection is getting to be a legitimate size for a nail blogger. I’ve noticed these huge stashes separate serious bloggers and those who use blogging as a hobby. I want to fall under the former category so I’ll keep on building my collection at this pace. I now have almost 80 bottles of polish! I think I started out with under 30 or 40 just a month ago so it’s safe to say I have a hefty addiction to polish at this point. At least it’s a fun addiction!

Manicure #007: Striking Stripes

This manicure was freehanded and took about half an hour. The base coat is Sand Tropez by Essie and the other stripes include Play Date (Essie), Big Spender (Essie), and Smokin’ Hot (Essie). At first I really wanted everything to be perfect so I actually used tape for the first stripe (the lilac color). I quickly realized I wasn’t going to have enough patience to let everything dry between stripes and decided to do it on my own. I actually kind of like the subtle imperfections but I wish–as always–I had done a better job with cleanup. I don’t know what my deal has been lately but I feel like my nails just look messy no matter what I do. I think it has to do mostly with my cuticles needing some serious help. They’re dry, uneven, and all around crappy looking. Tomorrow I’m heading to Sally’s Beauty Supply to find some cuticle remover and I might even push them back. I’ve read it’s best to avoid doing this too much so I’ll try to keep it to a minimum but I don’t think there’s any avoiding it if I want to keep things even. Anyway, here are lots of photos of this manicure. Please tell me what you think!

Are you sick of it yet? =)

Manicure #006: Tape Happy Two

Today’s manicure is brought to you by Big Spender (Essie) and Mint Apple (Sinful Colors). I had originally planned on doing more with it but the Mint Apple proved difficult. It’s hard to explain but it’s one of those polishes that just ends up really thick, even with just one coat. Because it was so goopy (new word time!) I knew that unless I let it dry for a few hours or a day it would end up peeling off with another layer of tape. Oh well, it looked good anyway, right? I wish I had cleaned it up a little better though. I was working with regular light and didn’t have the overhead on like an idiot so I missed a few things that I never saw until after the photos were taken. Ah well, such is life. Try to imagine this mani without the crappy cuticles and random spots of polish!

This manicure and the last both used Scotch tape. I don’t know why but that’s my favorite kind of manicure to do right now. It’s so fun and easy, not to mention it’s really a quick way to achieve perfect lines (which is good for someone who is so picky like me). Obviously this particular mani isn’t 100% perfect but that has more to do with me being a newbie than anything else. I have confidence that once I get a little more practice I’ll be able to do something damn near perfect… or I hope so at least!

Review Post #009

Well, I bought way too much nail polish again. I’m lucky I made some decent money from selling jewelry or else I would be in a world of hurt right about now… Unfortunately it seems that my desire to do my nails far outweighs my desire to create new jewelry so this might be something that will change in the future. Besides, I should probably wind down on the amount of polish I’m buying anyway. I need to keep my addiction in check =)

Anyway, I ended up buying 10 bottles:
1. Smokin’ Hot (Essie)
2. Mink Muffs (Essie)
3. Limo-scene (Essie)
4. Club Prive (L’oreal)
5. Safari Chic (L’oreal)
6. Audacious Asphalt (Maybelline)
7. Tenacious Teal (Maybelline)
8. Let’s Meet (Sinful Colors)
9. Mint Apple (Sinful Colors)
10. Hazard (Sinful Colors)

Of course anyone familiar with nail blogs knows that new purchases = lots of reviews. I’ve chosen four for this post.

First one up is Hazard by Sinful Colors.

I was immediately drawn to this color as soon as I saw it. In the bottle it’s a bright neon orange color that’s perfect for summer. It reminds me of being little and seeing this color a lot in the early 90s back when neon was big. Hazard proved to be as appealing on my nails as it was in the bottle. Sometimes polishes can look different once applied but this formula actually stays true to the color you see at first glance. The only thing I don’t like about this polish is that it’s kind of gooey (if that makes sense). It applies nicely but it’s sheer so like most polishes you have to apply several coats. Unfortunately every coat makes the polish thicker and thicker and it’s easy to end up with uneven nails as a result. I think once I get some practice with it this will no longer be an issue. Using a topcoat helped smooth things out as well.

The photo below isn’t a good picture so bear with me. I might actually go back and take better photos of each of these polishes in the future. I usually try to do them during the day time so I can utilize the sunlight as it does the most justice when it comes to snapping pictures. Unfortunately I tried these all at night so I had to use artificial light and it’s hard to find a good balance (at least with this iPhone 4). Hopefully I’ll get a “real” camera in the near future or find the one I lost during our move…

Next is actually not one of the new polishes but it’s one of the only Essie bottles I haven’t reviewed yet. It’s called Sand Tropez and it’s a gorgeous beige color. Beige is so neutral that it will go with anything. It’s almost the new black even.

At this point I probably don’t even need to mention that this formula applies beautifully as it is made by Essie. It’s also long-lasting too… even without a topcoat.

The polish below is none other than Smokin’ Hot by Essie. Unlike many polishes they gave it a genuinely descriptive name. This polish really is smoking hot. It could honestly pass as several different colors when it comes down to it. I was trying to think of a way to describe it but couldn’t pick which is most fitting. It’s basically a mix of dark grey, coal, and a deep, dark lavender color. It’s not purple hence the “lavender” description and it’s definitely not black. If you wore it with purple it would match well enough and the same goes for any other dark colors, really. Of course this polish also goes on easily and stays on just as well as long as you give it plenty of time to dry and set.

And last but not least is Tenacious Teal by Maybelline. I have never bought or used any polishes by them before so I was excited to try this one out. I was sort of let down at first but once I played with it a little I was actually really pleased. If you aren’t careful you can end up using too much and it can get too thick and messy quickly. I ended up doing two very thin coats to achieve the following and I was happy with it:

Hopefully I’ll be able to pull together an actual manicure or tutorial tomorrow but our Saturday is looking busy already. One of our neighbors is having his birthday party and another is having a cookout. My days are usually taken up by my son but my husband is home this weekend so perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze something in. Usually the way it works is that I’ll put my son down for his nap, paint my nails, and he always seems to wake up before they’re totally dry. It never fails. Thank god for nights and weekends though, right??

Review Post #008 (a re-review)

I feel like I never gave Play Date by Essie a fair review because the photos I took then didn’t do it justice. I was in a hurry while applying the polish as I had several different kinds to try out and was a bit too excited. I’m sure you all know how that goes! Because of this I decided to sit down and show you how this polish actually looks when applied correctly (or at least as correctly as a beginner like myself can apply it, haha).

The first three photos used artificial lighting and the rest used natural sunlight. To the naked eye it looks more like the last few photos but in the right lighting it certainly appears to be a neon purple [as it looks in the first two photos]. Enjoy!

I would also like to share an update on a polish I applied a few days ago, Essie’s Fishnet Stockings. I wore it for two days and this photo was taken at the end of the 2nd day after hand washing a sink full of dishes. As you can see there is only one teensy tiny chip on the tip of my ring finger but the rest of it still looks absolutely flawless. I am becoming more and more convinced that my Essie polishes might just be the most superior brand in my quickly growing collection. At first I balked at the idea of spending $7.75 a bottle (you can get it for this price at Wal-mart which is as cheap as you’ll find it unless you have a card for a beauty supply store that carries it or find it online for a cheaper price) but then I realized it’s worth every penny. I would rather buy one bottle of Essie than two bottles of anything else. It’s about quality, not quantity, amiright?

Expect more posts as the day goes on!

Polish Review #007

I told you it was a slow day for me! A few minutes after posting my last manicure I decided to go ahead and review the other bottle of Essie polish I purchased, Fishnet Stockings.

Okay, first of all I hate the name. It inspires images of fish sticks and prostitutes for me and it’s pretty obvious as to why. I’m sure that’s probably not the case for most people but it bears mentioning nonetheless. Of course most polishes aren’t known for their alluring names now are they? Many of them are just downright ridiculous. It’s almost as if the companies that make these polishes are trying to be humorous in a way. I often wonder though… If they’re being serious about some of these names, what the hell are they thinking??? Before I get going what do you think is the worst polish name you’ve come across? Let me know in the comments section!

Now onto the actual review. Per usual Essie has made another stellar polish. This red color is absolutely classic and can be paired with just about anything outfit wise. It can dress up a casual getup or it can add some fun to an otherwise boring look. I’ve always loved this cherry red polish and I’m glad I finally bought a bottle of it from Essie. I’m starting to think they’re the best brand of polish I’ve used thus far. (So far the brands I own include Revlon, China Glaze, Essie, L’oreal, Fast n Dry, Sinful Colors, Urban Outfitters, Orly, Sally Hansen… There are more I’m forgetting.) I used to think Revlon’s version of this popular color was my favorite but Essie has officially won me over.

As always this polish goes on smooth, it’s easy to work with, it doesn’t become sticky or clumped up, and it’s so shiny you don’t even need a topcoat (however I added one for a faster drying time). Not only this but it looks fantastic after just one coat. Make it two and you’ll have an amazing set of nails!

One more thing: I have taken several different photos in various kinds of light including natural lighting outside, natural lighting inside, and in one photo I used a flash. This variance of lighting really shows how consistently amazing this polish looks no matter where you are.

What do you think of Fishnet Stockings?

Polish Review #006

Today’s review is going to be on Essie’s Big Spender. I’ve basically reached the conclusion that all Essie polishes are simply fantastic and nothing less. Obviously this is a well established opinion among many bloggers and nail aficionados alike but I’m here to say it yet again nonetheless.

First of all, I love Essie’s brushes. They’re narrow and their formula does not glob up (so to speak) at the end of the brush. Once you apply it you can push down slightly and the brush fans out creating a very straight line that helps get perfect edges near your cuticles when utilized properly. I’m far from perfect when it comes to painting nails as you can probably see but the Essie polishes help make it look like I might even know what I’m doing, haha.

Secondly, their formula is amazing. Once again I know I’m stating the obvious but still… This stuff is wonderful! It goes on so smoothly and you could definitely get away with one coat if you’re in a hurry like I often am. Here’s a photo of my pointer finger after just one coat:

I swear on everything that this photo has not been retouched save the watermark and a little sharpening (the lighting was terrible and made it difficult for my phone to take a good photo that wasn’t blurry). I actually only used four brush strokes to achieve this. After a second coat the deal was sealed so to say. I knew I was in love after I finished my first nail!

Lastly the color is absolutely gorgeous. Big Spender is an extremely rich fuchsia color and it has tons of shine. You won’t even need a topcoat. I used one for a quick dry and longer wear but my nails would’ve looked just as good without.

This last photo is as true to the color as it gets. It really is that beautiful! This polish has now become one of my top five out of the 60 or so bottles I now own and love. Speaking of which, this morning I bought two bottles of Essie, three bottles of Sinful Colors, and two bottles of L’oreal polish. So far I’ve tried one of each and have to admit that I am not impressed by the latter two. I’m still going to give them a chance by trying the others out and I’ll post more about them later on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Polish Review #004

Two posts are scheduled for today starting with this polish review of two Essie polishes I just purchased. I was too excited to wait any longer so here I am posting the review!

First one up is Mamba.

As you can well see this polish is a lovely nude shade that can be paired with anything you could possibly dream of wearing. It works with a black tie affair or a day at the beach and anything in between. While I did not leave it on long I did do the dishes by hand and not a single chip occurred. I did not use a top coat on it either. Suffice it to say this polish is shiny on its own and doesn’t need any help from a glossy over coat.

On to the next and last polish for this post: the aptly named Play Date. This polish is a lovely pastel purple color and is very pleasing to the eye to say the least. I could throw in tons of descriptions and such but none would do it justice. I only applied two coats and left it on for several hours. Once again I cannot guarantee it will last long but I have a feeling that like many other Essie brand polishes it is worth the money. I purchased these two bottles for $7.75 each at Wal-mart which is about a quarter less than average from what I can tell. I am not disappointed!

Do you like Essie polishes? Please let me know in the comments section and feel free to share your own reviews.

Manicure #001: Mocha Delight

Posted on

Here goes nothing, my first manicure! In case you didn't read the introduction post, it is important to know that I am a beginner when it comes to anything nail-related. I'm being as honest as Mother Theresa when I say that in my 24 years on earth, I have never done so much as give myself an actual, honest-to-god manicure until one week ago. It's needless to say I have become addicted! Unfortunately there are some things that come with the territory. I will not be using a nice camera but instead my iPhone3 and because my nails have never been cared for and I create jewelry for a living, my fingers look awful right now! Hopefully they will improve in time!

One more thing before getting started: It is my hope that not only will I help others but that others will help me. Please feel free to leave suggestions, photos, links, tutorials, whatever in the comments section!

On to the manicure. I'll call it "Mocha Delight."

In order to keep this blog and its tutorials as simple and easy as possible I will be including lots of photos. With that being said, here is what you'll need:

From left to right: Top2 Bottom base coat by Orly, Quick Dry Top Coat by Revlon, Sand Tropez by Essie, NYC Quick Dry Polish (color not given but it is dark burgundy), and Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.

1.) Apply one base coat. It does not need to be perfect.
2.) Apply two coats of Sand Tropez by Essie. (Here is a wonderful tutorial on how to paint your nails perfectly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_pBr1m9dKg (I wish I could directly link but it isn't working/I don't know the HTML... yet.) It is by far the best one I've found so far!)
3.) Let the first two coats dry for at least 15 minutes. The polish needs to be set before moving to the next step or you will end up peeling off parts of it.
4.) Use a generic white tip guide and place it a few millimeters from the tip of your nail.
5.) Apply a coat of burgundy NYC Quick Dry polish.
6.) Let this coat dry for at least two or so minutes. It does not need to be perfect but it needs to cover the nail tip as it provides a dark base color for the next layer.
7.) Apply Diamond in the Rough by wet n wild.
8.) Apply top coat. It does not need to be perfect.
9.) Use a q-tip to remove any renegade polish that made its way onto your cuticle or finger.
10.) Let everything dry for at least 15 minutes (longer is preferable as the longer you allow your nails to dry, the less likely it is something will smudge them!)

Another photo:

There you have it! I found this manicure to be extremely simple. It is, however, somewhat time consuming. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish. It would probably take less time had I not made the mistake of not allowing my nails to dry 100% before applying the tip guides (obvious rookie mistake, of course). When I peeled them off they took plenty of sand Tropez with it and many cuss words ensued. Moral of the story? The more dry time the better! Pace yourself and you'll have a beautiful manicure.

Please keep returning for updates. Thank you for reading!