Holographic Shimmer

It was love at first stroke for this grape holographic shimmer nail polish from Julep. Mostly because of the glitter, it is right up my sparkle alley. The polish is quite sheer with one quote so I had to apply two quotes to get an opaque look and to bring out the purple — it almost looks dark grey with the one coat. But even with one quote the holographic shimmer is awesome. Even better with two.

This holographic shimmer has a grape backdrop that shows off the shimmer nicely.

This holographic shimmer nail polish is called Reece. Which automatically brings up images of Terminator and John Conner’s dad.

A holographic shimmer in artificial light.

These types of glitters are more for the wearer’s benefit than for the viewers — I am personal obsessed with looking at the shimmer.

In different light you can see the base colors changes.

Surprising to myself the glitter practically disappears in daylight and just looks like a solid grape.

The holographic glitter almost disappears in natural light.

To really see the sparkle check out my quick Instagram video:

This polish is still available as of this post at Julep for $11.20 if you are a Maven (highly recommend if you wear a lot of polish) or $14 for everyone else.

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Topic Links
* Get your holographic shimmer from Julep

Racing Stripes

This weekend I decided that Julep’s Isla and Cover Girl’s Grapevine should meet. I think it was a pretty good collaboration and that the sheen of these two polishes work well together. I decided to paint the purple on in two blocks leaving a clear strip down the middle for Isla to fill in. I thought about using strip tape but didn’t bother as I didn’t have the patience (working with tape makes me cranky too).

Cover Girl's Grapevine in two blocks on each side of my nail.

My husband said they look like racing stripes, hence the title.

In some light Isla looks like a shiny white.

While Cover Girl’s grapevine is very forgiving with the brush strokes I didn’t find it to be the case with Isla even though I was working with such a small area. I have a feeling on a full nail it would show all kinds of horrors — that being said, I would like to try it as a french tip with a dark blue or matte black for kicks.

Grapevine is pretty true to color with what I see in the bottle.

When I ordered Isla I actually thought it was a silver chrome but it looks more like a mother of pearl white to me. If you are interested it is currently on sale at Julep for $4.99. It looks like Grapevine is still available from drugstores and I found it on Amazon and linked it below.

My racing stripes nail art in natural light.

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Topic Links
* Get your Grapevine from Amazon
* Get Isla from Julep

Playing with Crackle

In the early fall I bought a bunch of Avon nail polishes including these two. At the time I bought them I had not planned to put them together when I pulled them out of the box last week it seemed like a good plan. Meh.

By itself the Suddenly Sunny Speed Dry goes on streaky. Even with a few coats it wasn’t very even. I then thought it was good choice for layering under something. It does dry super fast by the way.

Two coats of Avon's Suddenly Sunny on my nails.

The Mosaic Effects top coat is amazing says the geek in me. It is so cool to watch the cracks get bigger. And I love the color, Plum Illusion — it has a lot of fine sparkle. It’s a nice formula but I couldn’t play with it as the top layer dries pretty fast as it begins to crack. Even with the sparkle I find it a bit dull and think a top coat is required (shown with top coat).

Followed by one top coat of Avon's Mosaic Effects in plum illusion.

I’ve decided I am not much of a yellow person at least when it comes to nail polish colors. I’m definitely a purple fan though. I am also not a fan of the yellow/purple combination.

I really wanted to try the Mosaic Effects plum with another color so I swirled some blue (L’Oreal Not a Cloud in Sight) and gold shimmer (L’Oreal’s Because You’re Worth It) around (dry marble technique) then tried the cracking top coat. While the marbling of the blue and gold worked out nicely I am disappointed it didn’t show through as great as I thought it would through the cracked plum.

I experimented by swirling blue and gold shimmer together for my base under the purple crackle.

It is nice enough but I was just hoping the gold would have been more visible. Oh well, it was good practice. I did notice the second time around that the Mosaic formula is not as nice as when I first opened it — it has thickened up and become a bit goupy.

My final results with the purple crack over the blue and gold nail polish.

Have you tried any crack formulas?

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Topic Links
* Get your Mosaic Effects top coat from Avon

Pat On the Black

This month I received a bottle of Pat on the Black nail polish complimentary from Influenster via their Sally Hansen Vox Box (along with two other colors I will post about separately). There are a couple things I like about the Complete Salon Manicure lacquers. First the large bottle size, it’s easy to hold and the name is right on top of the cap so I don’t have to go hunting for it. The large brush is king, it makes getting polish on before it starts to dry quick and easy. It has a nice rounded tip to give me more control near the cuticle. I am disappointed however that they changed the black rubber band to just plastic — the black rubber makes it significantly easier to open the bottles.

My nails with Sally Hansen's Pat on the Black nail polish from the Complete Salon Manicure collection.

I was able to get opaque color with two coats and it dried really fast — no smudges. It’s super shiny too. I love how the color looks like deep purple-plum in some light and almost black in others. It’s a fun shade.

The plum black nail polish from Sally Hansen.

I had some tiny chips two days later but they were super easy to touch up without telling — I put a little dab on, let it dry, then put a thin coat over the whole nail.

My nails under a bright lamp.

I wore Pat on the Black for four days before I switched it up with some Copper Penny (I know I am addicted to this glitter). You can see the nail edges were starting to wear a bit.

My Pat on the Black nails with a top coat of Sally Hansen Copper Penny.

Sally Hansen’s line of Complete Salon Manicure is available in 49 nail polish colors from most drug stores at prices ranging from 7.99 to 10.99. This line boasts seven benefits in one bottle: base coat (I used a base coat anyway because it is a dark color and I am paranoid), strengthener, growth treatment, color, top coat, chip resistant, and gel shine finish.

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Topic Links
* Check out the colors at Sally Hansen
* Check out my Jaded Nail Polish from my Sally Hansen Vox Box
* Check out my Red My Lips Nail Polish from my Sally Hansen Vox Box
“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

This week I tried my very first imPRESS Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails. They were sent to me in my first Influenster Vox Box, the Maple Vox Box (first one in Canada) for review.

The imPress kits comes in a plastic nail case that opens across the middle.

I haven’t worn artificial nails since highschool. Way back then they were super long pieces of plastic I had to trim to live in the real world. I really like the nail art design on these “short length” nails. And unlike the press ons back then that used a crazy glue-like substance these ones have an adhesive already on the back of the nail. I just had to pull off the adhesive protection tag and press on my nail.

A macro close up of the nail art design.

The hardest part was figuring out which sizes would fit each nail. There seemed to be an awful lot of really small (or what I would call pinky finger) options.

The kit includes 24 nails, a prep pad, and a mini file.

Besides the nails it includes a mini file for smoothing the tips and a prep pad for cleaning the nails before application.

The very tiny file and prep pad.

There are 24 nails, two of each size, so twelve sizes to choose from.

There are 24 nails, two of each size.

For the most part all the nails fit really well and were super easy to apply. You do have to be certain before you press though because the adhesive is really strong and once pressed it can’t be straightened. One of my nails wasn’t centered properly so I have a bit of a gap on one side. I probably could have wrestled it off and used one of the remaining nails (there are 24 in a package) but decided against it.

The side view of the nail I didn't put on so straight.

I am trying to grow out my nails so these came at a great time, where I am paranoid about breaking one. I feel like they have some extra protection against breaking now. And they have a really cute nail art design.

My imPress nails in place.

The packaging says it will last up to a week so I look forward to putting it to the test. So far it doesn’t interfere with the buttons on the remote control so that is a bonus!

Holding my remote control with no interference from press-on nails.

I’ll store the leftover nails in the handy see-through container they came in. I might not be able to use them for a full mani but I can probably use some for accent nails down the road.

Leftovers put back in plastic nail container for storage.

Overall I am happy with the experience so far. I’ll update you to let you know how long they last. The imPress Press-On Manicure is available from Walmart for about $9 to 11 and there are lots of different patterns to choose from, solids too.

Update: I kept the nails on for four days. I wasn’t exactly gentle with them. I cleaned the bathroom, reorganized some furniture, and did a lot of hand washing. As a preventative after showers I gave them a little dry air from the blower drier and pressed them like I did when I first applied them — along the middle then the sides. Removing them was easy but not incredibly easy (I probably could have gotten away with another two days of wear). I just worked them off a little at a time, eight minutes.

I was surprised to see that my nails had softened underneath which was a disappointment at the time because I’m growing them out and I thought they’d end up tearing but within a few hours of removal they returned to their normal state and I made sure to condition them before bed.

ImPress press-on nails are definitely a fun product and I enjoyed the experience. I may even try them again in the future if I happen to see a nail art pattern I’d like to try. But for me, they would have to be on sale as I find $9 a bit expensive for five days of wear, even it I am paying for the no-mess convenience.

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Topic Links
* Where to buy your Broadway Nails imPress Press-on Manicure
* Learn more about vox boxes from Influenster’s official website

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

Sinful Colors

This past week I had the opportunity to try two new (to me) polishes by Sinful Colors. This was my first time using the econo-brand (less than $3) which offers an excellent array of colors choices. I picked up Gorgeous which is a light blue with a minute sparkle and Let’s Talk which is a dark blue with an iridescent purple (or purple on purple depending on the light). These two polishes could not be more different from one another and I am not only referring to color.

Sinful Colors “Gorgeous”

This is an incredibly thin nail polish that was hard to control. It just moved all over the place on the nail and for the most part I do not use a lot of polish on the wand when I am painting. It was really sheer too. Four coats later and I ended up with the results you see here.

My first color is "Gorgeous" which is a lovely blue.

If I had not purchased the two bottles at once I probably would not have purchased another. The color was beautiful but the application turned me off.

I paired it with a bright red accent on ring finger and thumb.

This polish didn’t seem to last very long either, it didn’t chip but it faded near the tips. (I used Revlon base coat and Julep Freedom top coat).

In this close up you can see the faint sparkles.

I paired this polish with the red Rendezvous from L’Oreal which is easily my most favorite red at the moment.

Sinful Colors “Let’s Talk”

This polish was the complete opposite. It was a nice consistency, stayed on where I put it and it only required two coats. I probably could have gotten away with one but there were a few peek-a-boo spots that needed to be covered up.

My second attempt was a very intense purple.

I used the same base and top coat with this color as I did with the blue and the polish stayed on much longer with no fading.

I definitely love this color more than the blue.

I think the color is amazing, I don’t think I have ever worn purple nail polish even though power purple is a favorite color of mine.

A close up of the purple.

The iridescence of this polish is so much fun; for the most part it is very purple but in some lighting it looks very blue.

This image shows how blue the polish can look under the right conditions.

Sinful Color can be found at drug and department stores as well as online at Amazon.

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Topic Links
* Get your Sinful Colors from Amazon

Purple and Gold

When I saw Jen’s (PolishAholic) Purple Ombre Waterfalls I thought they were so incredibly elegant looking and so simplistic I could definitely recreate them “no sweat”.

I think the side to side gradient color from nail to nail is an awesome look and I really liked the contrast of the purple and the gold. I quickly realized I only had a few purples and they really were not complimentary enough to put together so I thought, “Hey, it would still look awesome with one dark purple” and I had a new one from Julep — a free one actually — Julep had sent me an email saying that since I received three Maven boxes in a row they were giving me a free bottle. So I ordered Gayle, the lovely dark purple you see below.

On my nails I have a dark purple by Julep called Gayle with a gold L'oreal accent nail.

Gayle is semi-sheer with one application and perfectly opaque with two. I absolutely love the color. For my gold waterfalls (they look like tall golden grass to me) I used L’oreal’s Because You’re Worth It and a nail art brush. Unfortunately, those beautiful whispy lines on Jen’s nails were not as easy to recreate. I am thinking my brush was too thick.

My purple nail polish with wisps of goad painted on.

I don’t mind the gold on purple look I ended up with but I definitely hate the outcome of the purple on gold of the accent nails I thought was brilliant at the time. I think I might trying painting over those ones tomorrow.

Purple nail polish with gold accent wisps.

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Topic Links
* Visit PolishAholic purple ombre waterfalls
* Get your Gayle dark purple nail polish from Julep

Essie’s Boxer Shorts

My last ditch at summer colors was wearing Essie’s Boxer Shorts (1034). I applied two not really smooth coats for an opaque color look. I absolutely love this color which is actually a bit more lavender than the photo highlights.

Essie's pretty lavender nail polish.

In spite of really loving the color I couldn’t help jazzing it up a bit with a coat of Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails xtreme wear Supernova (235) a few days later. Love it! Got a nice response on Instagram for it too.

Essie's boxer shorts topped with a purple sparkle by Sally Hansen.

This sparkle top coat has flecks of purple, pink, and blue. It does look lovely over a light pink polish too.

Sally Hansen purple sparkle on top of Essie's lavender.

Boxer Shorts is part of Essies 2012 Yogaga collection and not available on their website or Amazon. I did see it at Macy’s online shop if you live in the U.S. In Canada you can probably still find it in a Shopper’s Drug Mart, where I found mine. The Supernova top coat is still available in stores where Sally Hansen is sold and at Amazon (see link below).

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Topic Links
* Get your Supernova from Amazon