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Friday, September 30, 2011

Dior Holiday 2011 Nail Polish - Exquis and Merveille

Dior Merveille and Exquis

Just happened to run across these today and couldn't resist them!  I swatched them at the Dior counter over my (thankfully) somewhat neutral mani and ended up with these two:  Merveille and Exquis.  My first Dior polishes. (Edited to add: For Apparat Review, go here. I finally bought it!)

First up Merveille - It's in the red family, but it looks like a caliente tabasco color to me with glorious gold shimmer that makes it totally unique from any of the other 60+ red/orange shades I already have.  As usual, my photography skills, or lack thereof, do NOT do it justice.

Dior Merveille
Dior Merveille

Dior Merveille
It went on like a dream and could probably stand on one coat, but of course I applied two. The photos are before cleanup and topcoat.

Next is Exquis.  I ADORE this DIOR!!!  Again, at first glance, I thought it was probably too close to other brown/taupe/mushroom/murky colors that I already have a ton of, mais non!   It's a gorgeous coppery/mushroomy color with tons of gold shimmer and it even looks as if there are some green glass flecks too!  It even flashes that lovely murky green color I love so much! This one has Chanel Quartz beat - hands down!

Dior Exquis

Dior Exquis

Dior Exquis

Dior Exquis

The application was nothing less than awesome and I love the Dior brush!  Again, one coat would probably have done the trick, but I applied two and these photos are also before clean up and top coat.

Great formula and while not particularly unique at first glance in the bottle, trust me, you NEED them. *wink*

Edited to add comparison photos.

After I did a full mani with Exquis, I kept thinking that it reminded me of something.  Finally it hit me.  Cult Nails In a Trance.  They're NOT dupes and I am glad I have both, but you can certainly see similarities.

Full morning sun
Artificial lighting

Orange Fail

I've always hated the color orange for some reason.  So much so that I would buy a pack of highlighters and toss the orange one out as soon as I opened them.  But I do love me a good orange nail polish! I was swatching all of my orange polishes and thought it would be a good change to wear orange before summer is over here (which will be a few more months - UGH!)

I picked out Milani Neon Awesome Orange and went about my business. FOUR coats later, I still had VNL (visible nail line) which I hate. But it's a very pretty orange though!

Milani Neon Awesome Orange

Okay, FINE!  I'll just layer a coat of Essie Clambake over it and be done with it.  It's a pretty deep reddish orange.  It'll work.

Not so much.  After TWO coats of that on top of the FOUR coats of the Milani, I still had VNL.

Essie Clambake

So I took it all off and put on a khaki color. Essie Case Study.

Geesh. Next time I'll lay down a base coat of white or something first.

Essie Sand Tropez and Essie Case Study

I had THE hardest time deciding what to wear so I decided after the greens and reds to tone it down a bit.

First I chose Essie Sand Tropez.

Essie Sand Tropez
Not fond of most of the Essies I've tried, application-wise. This was no different. It's a little too thick for my liking. Not a brand I WON'T wear if I really like the color, but never one of the first ones I grab. And there are a few of the Essies that have a decent formula like Bahama Mama, Big Spender, Sole Mate...and some are WAY too thin, like Clambake. I don't like VNL (visible nail line) at all.

But this one just didn't do it for me.  I felt like it gave me "lobster hands."  Then I remembered I'd bought one of the new releases, Case Study and decided to see how it compares.

Essie Sand Tropez (top) and Essie Case Study
I didn't hate how Case Study looked so I decided to give it a go for this mani.

Essie Case Study
Case Study is a khaki sort of color that Essie describes as a "rich, camel beige."  Sand Tropez, on the other hand, looks like silly putty to me.  Essie describes it as a "soft, sandy beige."

Green Skittles!

Yes, I realize this isn't a true "skittles mani" but it's my green version.

L to R: OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window, Chanel Khaki Vert,
Revlon Moss and OCC Swamp Thing - natural lighting
Indoor artificial lighting
Have I mentioned I love the "ugly" greens? OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window had great application, Chanel Khaki Vert had the best, smoothest application, Revlon Moss had good application but dried a little wonky  and OCC (Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics) had a decent formula, but the brush SUCKS.  As I also may have mentioned a time or five, I hate clean up and avoid it if at all possible. I didn't do any clean up here, but you can see that I had a really hard time with the OCC brush and couldn't get it straight.  I don't know if it's cut wrong or fans out too much or both.

And yes, I wore this out in public for TWO days. *grin*

OPI Skull and Glossbones Swatches

Yes, I realize I'm pretty far behind on this one, as usual. But in my defense, my local HEB Plus just magically came up with an entire set of the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean Collection, Spring 2011. Being behind here in Po Dunk pays off sometimes! So I picked up Skull and Glossbones as well as Stranger Tides (LOVE!) and Mermaid Tears, which I haven't worked up the courage to try yet.

OPI Skull and Glossbones
OPI Skull and Glossbones
This went on like most other OPI polishes...smoothly. It was just a smidge thicker than most, but still no problems. When I saw it and passed on it the first time around, I figured it was too close to other grey polishes I had.  Until I tried to do newspaper nails and realized I didn't have any nearly this light. It's a light murky grey which is PERFECT for newspaper nails and certainly fills a small hole in my grey collection.

Red is for Ready!

Ready for what I don't know.  But I've been in a red mood lately.  Of course my guy likes red nails and after OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window the other day, I thought he'd appreciate it.  He HATES those wonderfully fantastic murky olive greens that I am so in love with.

I started out slowly with something "new" I found in the red family (actually it's a pretty reddish magenta pink, but he called it red so it was all good. Thank goodness for that wonderfully frustrating half colorblind Y-Chromosome.)  By "new" I mean it's actually from an old collection that just somehow magically appeared at my local HEB Plus the other day. Gotta love livin' in PoDunk USA sometimes.  It's OPI Peru-B-Ruby. As I said, it's a reddish magenta pink and it has a lovely pink shimmer.  Glides on like a dream and covers in one coat but I used two.  It's from the OPI South American Collection and I *think* now part of the Classics. If I am not mistaken, it's from Summer, 2002.

OPI Peru-B-Ruby
OPI Peru-B-Ruby
Next was an actual new one! OPI Hussy, a Merle Norman exclusive. I wasn't a huge fan of this one. It applied smoothly but dried to a weird semi-matte.  I normally use a topcoat anyway, so that, in itself, wouldn't have put me off, but it just reminds me of a China Glaze Ruby Pumps wannabe. And it falls short. It has the shimmer, but it's just not that unique or interesting to me. I have two entire nail wheels full of reds and I really could've done without this one. Love the name though!

OPI Hussy after topcoat
Finally I decided to go for a true blue-based red and was reminded that there's nothing better than a true red. China Glaze China Rouge. Perfect application in two smooth, easy coats.

China Glaze China Rouge
China Glaze China Rouge
How awesome is THAT?  (And that's before the topcoat!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! Model's Own Duo Chromes November 2011 - AMAZING!

This is the first time I've been THIS excited for any of the Fall/Winter nail polish collections.

Model's Own Beetlejuice Collection
They released this information today via Facebook and I had to wipe the drool off of my screen!

From their Facebook page:

 NEW from Models Own and launching this November - The BEETLEJUICE Collection! 
Consists of FIVE new multi-tonal shades - GOLDEN GREEN, a fresh energetic acid; PINKY 
BROWN, a warm rusty pink; PURPLE BLUE, a vibrant punch of fuchsia indigo; AQUA VIOLET, a true sky shimmer; and EMERALD BLACK, a bold-blackened midnight peacock!
 Each bottle contains four pearlescent colours mixed into one gleaming shade, and the 
complex colour-shifting, with flashes of vivid tones and ethereal hues, gives a shimmering 
duo chrome finish. Priced at just £5 each and available early November exclusively at our 

I want all of them!  How about you?

And yes, they confirmed that they DO, in fact, ship to the US.  The minimum order is the equivalent of 20 GBP, which I don't see being a problem AT ALL. *giggle* They can be purchased here once they're available.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wet n Wild's Shameless Promotion Month

Yep - for a free chance to win a Wet n Wild gift bag, shamelessly promote them.  I don't have a problem doing that since I already use their nail polishes - with great results. ya go!

I've already posted photos of some of the Wet n Wild polishes in action, like Ocean Grotto, Hannah Pinktana (which I use as toppers) Rain Check, Tropicalia, Nocturnal, Fuchsia-Rama and the new On The Prowl Collection.  In fact, I'm wearing Wet n Wild Megalast in Caught Red Handed right this very minute!

Wet n Wild Ocean Grotto
Wet n Wild Nocturnal
Wet n Wild Fuchsia-Rama
Wet n Wild Tropicalia
Wet n Wild Rain Check
Available at most local drugstores right now.  GO!  Whatcha waitin' for?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window Swatches and Review

OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window
Um, WHAT? I don't know who is naming OPI's polishes lately, but this name certainly appeals to the 12 year old boy humor in me. I usually only let that part of me out to watch South Park - now it gets to come out and play while painting my nails!

I guess this is the color you turn when you don't roll the window down fast enough? *giggle*

This one is from the new-for-Fall OPI Touring America Collection 2011 and is my favorite by far. The other colors are:  Are We There Yet, I Eat Maine-ly Lobster, My Address is Hollywood, Color to Diner For, Honk if You Love OPI, Road House Blues, Suzi Takes the Wheel, French Quarter for Your Thoughts, A-Taupe the Space Needle, Get in the Expresso Lane and I Brake for Manicures.  Scrangie does a great review with swatches of all of them on her blog here.

Regardless of the name, I LOVE the color. My favorites are purples and murky/olive drab/dirty greens and this one makes the olive drab category.  And it's a creme which is my favorite finish. They're easy to work with, easy to remove (sorry glitterati, but I just can't go that PITA removal process for glitters) and for me, just have that classic feel. Even the loudest color seems somehow okay in a creme.

This OPI formula was no different than most - smooth, easy application. Medium thickness. Two coat perfection.  Thankfully, their super-thin polishes aren't colors I am naturally drawn to, so I only have a few of them.

The first photo was taken in direct natural light. As is this close-up...

OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window

The next two photos were taken in indirect natural light.

OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window

OPI Uh Oh Roll Down the Window

I can definitely see this color becoming one of my go-to polishes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cult Nails Vicious Swatches and Review

Cult Nails

Cult Nails

What's Better Than Nail Polish Tacos?

Nothing beats a nail polish taco. That's what.

I received my Cult Nails order from Maria today - Get It On Base Coat, Wicked Fast Top Coat and Vicious, the prettiest purple creme! It's an eggplant/aubergine creme that's gonna be a classic, for sure. Cult Nails colors are $10 each and can be purchased here.

I couldn't even wait for tomorrow's sunlight to swatch it! And I couldn't wait to do clean-up either!  Sorry. However, the formula and brush are so good that there's minimal clean-up to be done.

Cult Nails Vicious
 This is the most color accurate:
Cult Nails Vicious
Twinkie sensed the excitement and just had to get in on the act. Of course the camera focused on her rather than on my nails.  LOL!

Twinkie asks "Whatcha doin' Ma?"

Now I just wanna know when I'm gettin' my Unicorn Puke. =)

October 23

Just had to come back and add more pics of Vicious. It's gorgeous. The nails are short now though.

Cult Nails Vicious
Cult Nails Vicious

Cult Nails Vicious

Chanel Khaki Rose - Khaki Collection FNO 2010

Chanel Khaki Rose in  Sunlight
Today I'm wearing Chanel Khaki Rose - it's like wearing hot cocoa on your fingers. Mmmmm!  Unfortunately, all of the talk of Autumn has me wishing that was actually a real season where I live. Feeling VERY homesick, as I always do this time of year.

I received this collection as a ROAK (Random Act of Kindness) earlier this year and I just love it.  All three in the collection are just so ME. They were released as a limited edition collection for FNO (Fashion's Night Out) in 2010.

Different lighting...

Chanel Khaki Rose

Chanel Khaki Rose
This is a creme, as are all the others in the collection, and goes on perfectly. Ease in application is a biggie for me as I hate clean-up and none of the photos have had any clean-up.  It's medium thick, so it covers well in one coat, but reaches perfection of coverage in two. Definitely not too thick though.

I've done a swatch comparison of all three and for reference have included Chanel Particuliere and Rimmel Steel Grey (touted as a Chanel Particuliere dupe.)

Chanel Khaki Collection

These are using one coat of each.  As you can see, Particuliere is greyer than Khaki Rose, which has more red undertones.  Khaki Brun is a murky/dirty dark olive brown and Khaki Vert is THE perfect olive green. The Rimmel Steel Grey is a little greyer and has more purple undertones than the Particuliere.

If that's not the most perfect 5 colors ever, I'll eat my shorts.

Friday, September 23, 2011

OPI DS Magic: Review and Swatches

OPI DS Magic
OPI Designer Series: Magic

This is, in my opinion, the blue version of China Glaze Ruby Pumps. Seriously blingtastic bright royal blue!  Lit from within. Application was good, not a one or 2 coat easy-peasy application, but still good. I did one light coat and one medium coat and still felt it wasn't even so I did a third coat and Voila!  

This addition to the Designer Series was one of two that made numbers 10 and 11 to the existing nine prior to their Fall 2010 release.  The other was DS Radiance, which I will get around to eventually.  Heck, I'm only a year behind on this one! Ha! (Basically, that one looks like aluminum foil. *grin*)

Some of the reviews I've read describe this as a metallic. Maybe there are two different versions of this? Mine isn't what I call metallic at all. It's chock full of shimmery blue glass flecks, hence the "lit from within" appearance. And it has a wonderful duochrome quality...sapphire blue and violet/purple!

Outdoors/Natural lighting:

OPI DS Magic

OPI DS Magic

OPI DS Magic
Indoors/Artificial lighting:

OPI DS Magic
OPI DS Magic
OPI DS Magic
Okay, so maybe I can see how someone might describe this as a metallic now, after seeing the photos above.  But it would only be confused as such at a distance. It's no more metallic than China Glaze Ruby Pumps.

Boy, for someone who was scared to death of blue finger nails a few months ago, I sure have gone Virginia Slim on the blue!  I've come a long way, Baby!

Happy Friday!!!