Saturday, September 29, 2012

butter LONDON P.D. Quick Top Coat Review & Comparison

Yesterday, I posted about an amazing deal Coterie had on butter LONDON polishes; 3 bottles plus a bottle of either matte or quick dry top coat for $36! If you are a fan of butter LONDON, you know how awesome that is!

P.D. Quick over Wallis, Seche Vite on Ring Finger for comparison
I chose butter LONDON's P.D. Quick (pretty "darn" quick) top coat as part of my bundle. I have been a long time fan of Seche Vite because it dries a mani in less than a minute, and leave it super glossy. But it is not without it's flaws. The biggest issue Seche Vite has, is a (major, imo) problem with shrinkage. If you aren't careful with your application, Seche will shrink your polish and pull it away from any free edge.

It is preventable, you have to "wrap" the polish around the tip of your nail and be extra careful how you apply the layer of SV. Even then, you might still have some problem areas and have a messed up mani.

P.D. Quick has a lot going for it, here's a breakdown of the pros and cons.

- thin formula, easily coats nail & a little goes a long way
- no shrinkage or tip pull
- big bottle, 0.6ml
- dries quickly, around 2 min.

- pricey, $18 for a bottle (tho there is a box set of base & top coat called "tops & tails" for $25 at Ulta)
- not as shiny as Seche Vite

P.D. Quick is definitely my new favorite top coat and I can't wait to try the flawless base coat!

Friday, September 28, 2012

butter LONDON Swatches

Butter london has been one of those brands that I have been dying to try, but cringed at the higher price tag. I finally got a chance to grab a few bottles through Coterie when they offered an awesome promo launch special. 3 bottle plus either the matte top coat or the quick dry top coat for $36. The offer is now over, but sign up any way, they have amazing deals!

I chose the quick dry (trying out different top coats since I am rather irritated with Seche Vite right now. More on that later.) for the top coat, and for the polishes, I chose Wallis (one of my bL lemmings), Bluey, & Knackered.

butter LONDON - Wallis 

Wallis is an amazing antique green gold, almost brass, glitter polish. It is such an unusual color, that when I first saw the swatches last year, I may have slightly melted. I am a total sucker for colors like this. The formula was a dream. Thin, but not runny, and flowed smoothly from the brush. 2 coats for full coverage and excellent dry time.


butter LONDON - Bluey

Bluey is a gorgeous dark teal shimmer (leaning glass fleck glitter). It is much more green in real and totally my perfect color. I love teal colors, and add in that extra shimmery sparkle, I am a goner. The formula was just as wonderful as Wallis, smooth as butter! (see what I did there! god I am hilarious! >_<) 2-3 coats for full coverage, depending on how you paint. Thinner coats would need three, but you could easily get away with 2, if you applied the polish on a bit thicker. I did 2 & had a teeny bit of VNL (visibe nail line).

butter LONDON - Knackered

Knackered is a blue/purple/pink duo chrome with scattered holo through out. In the bottle, it is beautiful, the duo chrome is really present, and the holo (of course) is amazing. On the nail, I was much less thrilled. I just need to stop buying these kinds of polishes. With the exception of Takko Lacquer, I have yet to find an amazing scattered holo polish. The gritty look really puts me off. That being said, the holo is really strong & twinkles very nice. The duo chrome color shift is there, but not as strong as in the bottle. Formula was, again, great. This one was a bit sheer & needed 3 coats for full coverage. Good dry time.

Overall, I am incredibly impressed with this brand, and now have to restrict myself to only buying them when there is a sale, otherwise, my husband may not like the fact that I spent all of our money on butter LONDON nail polish.

Check back tomorrow for my review on butter LONDON P.D. Quick Top Coat!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Essence Color & Go Swatches

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a few bottles of the new re-designed Essence Colour & Go polish line at Ulta. I've played around with some of the Essence make up, but never the polish. For $1.99 a bottle, I figured, it was worth giving a go.
The bottles for Colour and Go are a new design that features a clicking cap that is the same color as the nail polish. Quite a neat little feature!
Essence Colour & Go - Grey-T to be Here

Grey-T to be Here is a little purple toned grey cream with a hidden pink shimmer. The shimmer is very subtle, and sadly, much more present in the bottle than on the nail. It does peak out at the right angle, or with enough light, but I wish it was just a bit more prevalent. Pink and grey is such a great color combo. The formula was iffy. Streaky on the first two coats, and finally leveled at three. Despite that, the dry time was very good. The brush was really problematic, fluffy and uneven.


Essence Colour & Go - I Love Bad Boys

I Love Bad Boys is a bright turquoise cream with a bright turquoise shimmer. Unlike Grey-T, this shimmer is very noticeable and very sparkly! Formula is the same, however, streaky and needs 3 coats to even everything out.


Essence Colour & Go - Chic Reloaded

Chic Reloaded is a black/purple/blue/green duo chrome with a tiny bit of shimmer. The color shift is ridiculously hard to capture, but very noticeable in person. This one had a great formula, no streaking, 2 coats for full coverage. Surprisingly, I really liked this one. Like I've said in the past, I'm not a huge fan of dark colors (though I seem to be picking up more lately), but the range of colors in this polish is just too pretty to pass up.

I'm glad I gave these little polish a chance, despite the tricky formula (kinda expect that with cheaper brands) I really like them.

Essence Colour & Go is available at Ulta, online and in stores. (FWI, my Ulta had more colors available than on line.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nail of the Day: Show some PRIDE!

This weekend was Gay Pride in Austin. To show my support, I painted a Pride inspired mani!

The LGBT community holds a very special place in my heart. My mother-in-law is gay, and I have gone through my own struggles of gender identity and sexual experimentation. My first Pride celebration was an amazing experience, and something that I will never forget. I hope to take my daughter one day (when she is an adult!) to a pride with my husband and m.i.l. We want her to understand, above all, that everyone deserves to be loved, and we should all be able to love who we choose. Now enough of my soapbox, on to the mani! ; )

I decided to try some very basic nail art and free handed a rainbow striped accent nail, along with the "NO H8" logo on my middle finger. My stripes and lettering aren't the best, so be kind!
I used Spoiled by Wet n Wild Visibly Slimming black cream as a base and the following colors for the rainbow stripes:
Sephora by OPI/Betsey Johnson - Pushing Your Luck
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear - Sunkissed
Maybelline Color Show - Fierce N Tangy
Maybelline Color Show - Go Go Green
Nails Inc - Baker St.
Zoya - Dannii
For the "NO H8" lettering, I used:
Maybelline Color Show - Porcelin Party
Zoya - Dannii
For more info on Austin's Pride community, please check out Austin Pride.
Please remember to respect my opinions, if you leave a comment, and I will respect yours. Any offensive or derogatory comments will be removed and the author will be blocked. Thank you & have a nice day!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nail of the Day: Happy Jack

The other night, while doing a bit of blog reading, I saw this post on Oooh Shinies and fell head over heels for that bottle of Catrice. Sadly, Catrice isn't sold here in the US (lame), & my search on ebay came up empty. Days later, I still couldn't get that color out of my head, so I did the next best thing - Franken! I used to franken polishes waaaay back in the day, when nail polish was something fun & I wasn't serious (or obsessed) like I am now. But I decided to grab some older polishes and tried my hand at mixing.
Yellow toned Orange w/ shimmer a.k.a. "Happy Jack"
I love how it turned out! It's a great orange & the shimmer is really eye catching! I decided to call it Happy Jack, because it looks so much like the perfect pumpkin shade.
Here's my "recipe"
1/3 Sally Hansen ( Xtreme Wear) - Sun Kissed
1/3 Sally Hansen (HD Collection) - Lite 
1/3 Maybelline Color Show - Fierce N Tangy

Since I was going for a copycat look, I added a top coat of Essie Shine of the Times and finished with Hard Candy's Matte-ly in Love. I really like how the matte brings out a neon quality!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Nails Inc Neutrals Collection

This past weekend was very dreary and rainy and a bit chilly. I think the grey weather put me in the mood for some soft grey polishes. While virtually browsing Sephora, I ordered this cozy neutral toned collection of Nails Inc polishes.


Elizabeth St., Jermyn St., The Thames, Porchester Square

Elizabeth St.
Elizabeth St is a sheer warm pink jelly/cream hybrid. This is a great polish as a "palette cleanser." One coat is incredibly sheer and would be good to even out nail coloration when you want a clean look. It does have a tiny bit of streaking problems, but levels really well as it dries. 3 coats for full coverage. Good dry time.

Jermyn St.

Jermyn St is a dusty red/brown mauve cream. I didn't really like this one until I put it on. It is really flattering for my skin tone, and not out dated like I thought it would be. 2 coats, great coverage, nice flow and good dry time. My only issue was a few stray bristles on the brush, definitely a lack of quality control.

The Thames

The Thames is a dark grey cream with blue/green undertones. This one is my least favorite of the set & horrible for my skin tone. Hello lobster hands!!! Similar formula as Jermyn St & Porchester square. And the same brush issue as Jermyn St. Two polishes out of four with wonky brushes is pretty bad.

Porchester Square
Porchester Square is a light purple toned taupe cream. Nails Inc claims it is the original "Greige" color. It is actually a great color, soft and simple. Great for days when you want to have a nice clean look, instead of flashy, bright or glittery. Same formula as Jermyn St and The Thames, but thankfully no brush issues.
Overall, this is a really great set if you are in need of a good range of neutrals or work appropriate colors. It's a great deal as well, four full sized polishes for $25. Nails Inc continues to impress me with their formula, brush quality aside.
Nails Inc is available for US customers in stores and on line at Sephora

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Layla Ceramic Effect #52 (Butterfly Effect)

Layla Butterfly Effect has been one of my lemmings for a while now. It always seemed to be out of reach and out of stock! But I finally was able to snag a bottle from Ninja Polish.
Layla Ceramic Effect #52 (Butterfly Effect)
Butterfly Effect is a deep royal purple jelly with red/green flakies and coppery pink micro glitter. I am completely astounded by this polish. It is possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever put on my nails! The formula is great as well. 2 coats for full coverage, good dry time, and smooth application. The glowy color shift of the flakie/micro glitter combo is amazing!

Layla Ceramic effect is available on line at Ninja Polish

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine: Lava and Copperhead (Pic Heavy)

A few weeks ago, I saw a post floating around twitter, about a new Sally Hansen collection of duo chrome polish called "Lustre Shine" and searched for swatches, bottle shots and any info available. I fondly remember Sally Hansen's Prism collection (even tho I no longer have any of the bottles! ::sob::) and had insanely high hopes for this one. Apparently, each polish has silver infused in the formula, which adds to the luminescence. I literally stalked every beauty department I came across looking for the new line, and finally found them today!

Sally Hansen Lustre Shine - Lava
Lava is a gorgeous pink/red/orange/gold duo chrome glass fleck foil. It looks very similar to MAC Bad Fairy, but I don't have MAC to do a comparison. 2 coats for full sparkly coverage. Formula was okay, I did have a bit of drag while swatching and if I went too fast over a previous stroke, I would lose some glitter. The trick is load up the brush and go slowly! It was a bit slow on the dry time, as well. 

It has an incredible sparkle in full sun. That lense flare, in the last pic, was not added in photoshop. Almost too much shine for my little camera to handle!

 Sally Hansen Lustre Shine - Copperhead
Copperhead is a coppery reddish brown/purple duo chrome. Now this is a great fall color! Unique for a duo chrome too. I don't think I have seen a color shift like that! The purple flash is a bit toned down, but it is there, especially outside. The silver particles really stand out in this one, creating such a pretty twinkle! 2 coats again for this one as well, which is good for a pricier polish. Formula was okay, not the greatest. It has a tendency to show brush strokes if you're not careful with application. Dry time was slooooowwwww. Even with a top coat of Seche Vite, I still managed to wrinkle my pinky nail a few minutes afterwards.

They are a bit on the pricey side for drug store polish, $8.49 at the Walgreens where I got mine. Overall the collection has eight shades, and I have seen six of them. There are at least two more on my list (of the six I have seen), Firefly and Scarab. But those will have to wait until my bank account is less empty. Lava is really special, and I think everyone needs to grab that one. Copperhead too, if you like unique looking polishes!

Have you seen any of these? Which ones are on your wish list?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nubar Swatches

Nubar has been one of those brands that I don't have very much experience with, but love from afar. I broke down a while ago and did a bit of splurging.
Nubar Indigo Illusion
Indigo Illusion is one of Nubar's most popular duo chromes and I could instantly tell why as soon as I swatched it. The color shift, steel grey/blue/purple/pink, is outstanding and incredibly vibrant! Formula was flawless, perfectly thick, great flow and quick dry time. 2 coats to perfect duo chrome goodness. Indigo Illusion was the first one I tried, and it sold me hook line and sinker. I am completely smitten with Nubar!

Nubar Star Dust
Star Dust is another one of Nubar's amazing duo chromes. It has a gorgeous pink/orange/warm golden color shift. Again, the duo chrome effect is very obvious and so lovely. Same amazing formula as Indigo, a tad bit thinner tho. 3 coats for full coverage.


Nubar Gold Feather
Gold Feather is quite the deceptive polish. It is a sheer peach with a fantastic light green shimmer. Together, they create a stunning duo chrome effect. Despite the sheer quality, it took just 3 coats for full coverage.

Nubar Ruby Red Glitz
Ruby Red Glitz is a blue toned red jelly with red glitter. This isn't my usual polish choice. I'm not huge on red colors and tend to pick more unique finishes like Gold Feather. I think I am secretly getting excited for the holidays, and decided a glittery red jelly was just the thing to decorate my nails when December comes around. The glitter is really pretty and very sparkly, just rather hard to capture digitally. 3 coats, again, for full coverage.

Nubar Gem (from the prism collection)
Gem is a metallic purple toned taupe with chunky scattered holo. Out of all the bottles I ordered, this was my least favorite. It appears very pretty in the bottle, with an amazing holo sparkle, but the size of the glitter doesn't exactly sit in the polish, and dries rather gritty. 2 coats for full coverage.

I am definitely a fan of Nubar now, and I can be certain that I will be getting more of their amazing duo chromes! Any recommendation?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

TonyMoly Swatches

Late one night, trolling for nail polish on ebay, I stumbled across a Korean brand called TonyMoly and this lovely little three piece of soft milky glitters.
GS08 (Milky Way), GS09 (Shooting Star), GS10 (Pinky Star)
All three have similar formulas, and I will have a write up after all the swatches.


GS08 (Milky Way), Four Coats

Gs08/Milky Way is a pale blue jelly with blue, pink and silver hex glitter. Looks very similar to Deborah Lipman Glitter in the Air/Revlon Whimsical. I haven't had a chance to compare with the Revlon dupe, but will doing so very soon.

One Coat

Two Coats

Three Coats
GS09 (Shooting Star), Four Coats
Shooting Star is a pretty purple jelly with a rainbow of hex glitter. It has the most opaque coverage out of the three and surprisingly, my favorite!
One Coat

Two Coats

Three Coats
GS10 (Pinky Star)
Pinky Star is a soft pink jelly with gold, red, and pink hex glitter. It has the most sheer coverage, but still looks very nice.
One Coat

Two Coats

Three Coats

Each dries with a satin finish, so a good shiny top coat is recommended for the full squishy jelly effect. Formula was tricky with all three. Leveling problems and slow dry time, combined with a fluffy brush did nothing to win me over. But there is something to be said for the dreamy quality these polishes have.
There is little info available about the brand TonyMoly (except for their global brand site), and they claim the polishes do not contain harmful ingredients and are safe to use, but there is no mention of them being "3 Free" so take that as you will.
There isn't an online vendor that I have found, other than a handful on ebay. Average price is about $6 per bottle.
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