Thursday, October 30, 2014

Peanuts by OPI: Swatches & Reviews

Peanuts by OPI: Swatches & Reviews
Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

New from OPI for Halloween 2014 is a four piece collection inspired by the classic Charlie Brown cartoon "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown":

Peanuts by OPI brings to life Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip characters for Halloween 2014. Inspired by “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the four new limited edition nail lacquer shades include seasonal yellow and black crèmes, as well as two black-based glitter hues.
“‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ is a classic, beloved film,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador. “Peanuts by OPI celebrates the fun, youthful nature of Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus and Snoopy with four limited edition nail lacquer shades designed to capture the spirit of Halloween. With two crème and two glitter options, you can switch between a cheery yellow or chic black look, or try adding a layer of glitter for a unique finish.” [from the press release]

Let's take a look!


Good Grief!


Good Grief! is a dandelion yellow cream nail polish inspired by Charlie Brown's signature yellow shirt. It's not as highlighter yellow as it decided to photograph :) While the first coat gave me some trouble by being a bit patchy, the second evened things out nicely. This kind of yellow nail polish isn't really my jam, but I appreciate the inspiration behind the color. I'm wearing two coats. Oh, and in case you have it - Zoya Darcy is a very similar shade of yellow.



Who Are You Calling Bossy?!?


Who Are You Calling Bossy?!? is a jet black cream nail polish inspired by the color of Lucy's hair. The formula is thin but strongly pigmented. It's almost a one coat black but because the formula was thin, it was a touch patchy. If you want a solid black finish, go with two. TL, DR: ...Bossy?!? is an average black nail polish that isn't great but at the same time isn't awful.



To Be Or Not To Beagle and Where's My Blanket???



To Be Or Not To Beagle (pointer & pinky fingers) is a satin glitter made up of colorful hexagonal glitter, smaller black glitter, and black bar glitter in a clear base. Here's a nice example of bar glitter that isn't too offensive :) I was quite pleased with the amount of glitter I was able to pull from the bottle and deposit on my nails - I didn't have to fish for any shapes, either. I'm wearing one coat on my pointer and pinky fingers over Good Grief!

Where's My Blanket??? (middle & ring fingers) is a satin glitter made up of black, yellow, and orange hexagonal glitter, small black glitter, and even smaller black glitter in a clear base. The glitter was more sparse than ...Beagle. I'm wearing one coat on my middle and ring fingers over Good Grief!

The cream nail polishes in The Peanuts by OPI collection are somewhat forgettable but the satin glitters ...Beagle... and ...Blanket??? are worth taking a look at. I guess we will have to wait another Halloween to hope for an appearance by "The Great Pumpkin" orange nail polish ;)

OPI nail polish retails for $9.50. In New York City, my favorite places to shop for OPI include Ricky's (various locations), Harmon Face Values (675 6th Ave), and Duane Reade (various locations).

Peanuts by OPI: Swatches & Reviews

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Harmon Face Values in Chelsea Now Carries China Glaze

Big news, New York City nail polish lovers! Harmon Face Values, aka Chelsea's beauty mecca, now carries China Glaze nail polish. Unlike OPI and Essie which are as easy to find as Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, China Glaze has been historically difficult to find in NYC. Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island have Ulta and Sally Beauty but until now there were only a few beauty supply stores left in Manhattan that carried the brand. Beauty 35 and Gideon's Drugs carried China Glaze for a short time but the brand disappeared from shelves in 2012.

Harmon had a nice selection of permanent China Glaze polishes, similar to what you'd see at Ulta or Sally Beauty, and they retail for $7.50 each. There were no seasonal collections and to be honest, if I decide there's an older China Glaze polish I need in my life I'll probably wait until I'm near Ulta with coupon in hand. But I'm hopeful that this means China Glaze's seasonal collections may show up, especially since this particular Harmon has been great for stocking new collections. And not to start any rumors as this is purely speculation on my part: maybe this means China Glaze will be available at Bed Bath & Beyond as well. You know, the ones with the Harmon beauty sections inside?

Anyway... tl;dr: you can now find a selection of permanent China Glaze nail polish at Harmon Face Values. They cost $7.50 each.

Harmon Face Values is located at 675 6th Ave between 21st and 22nd St. Not in NYC? Check out the website to see if there's a store by you!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cirque Colors: The Metropolis Collection "La Vie Boheme" and "Concrete Jungle"

Cirque Colors La Vie Boheme and Concrete Jungle
Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Last month, Brooklyn-based indie nail polish brand Cirque Colors launched The Metropolis Collection, "a monthly release series of creme-finished nail lacquers highlighting the great city of New York." [from the press release]. The first color in the series, NYFW, was a huge hit and I (as well as I'm sure many!) eagerly awaited the next color. Much to my delight, for October Annie released two new creme colors! Let's take a look at La Vie Boheme and Concrete Jungle.


La Vie Boheme


La Vie Boheme is a super saturated dark plum creme nail polish. Depending on the lighting, the color will range from looking like a dark black cherry to a dusty eggplant purple. La Vie Boheme dries a shade darker than it appears in the bottle. The formula is very thick (probably due to the extreme pigmentation) but I didn't find it difficult to apply. Coverage is almost perfectly opaque in one coat - I'm wearing two plus Cirque's Liquid Laminate top coat. Because it's so pigmented, you'll have purple fingers when you remove it. VIVA La Vie Boheme!

Cirque Colors La Vie Boheme

Cirque Colors La Vie Boheme

La Vie Boheme is as dark as Zoya Toni and Monica. While the hue isn't exactly the same, it falls in between the two but is closer to Toni.


Concrete Jungle


Concrete Jungle is a cool grey cream nail polish that's neither light nor dark. The hue is very slightly blue-leaning, but it's pretty much a grey-grey. The formula was packed full of pigment and a little streaky. I'm wearing two coats plus Cirque's Liquid Laminate top coat. Grey nail polish was a big trend several years ago and has since "faded" a bit, but Concrete Jungle has definitely rekindled my love of grey nail polish!

Cirque Colors Concrete Jungle

Cirque Colors Concrete Jungle

Compared to two similar grey nail polishes in my collection, China Glaze Concrete Catwalk and CND Asphalt are close but are both a shade darker than Concrete Jungle.

The release of La Vie Boheme and Concrete Jungle brings Cirque Colors' creme nail polish count to five. Annie has certainly established she can consistently create high quality creme nail polishes. I'm already looking forward to November's color/s!

Cirque Colors La Vie Boheme and Concrete Jungle

La Vie Boheme and Concrete Jungle retail for $13 each and are available now online at CirqueColors.com. Refer to the Stockists page for participating retailers.

Cirque Colors The Metropolis Collection

About
Cirque Colors™ is line of hand-blended nail lacquers based in New York. The name Cirque, meaning ring or circle, represents the color wheel and the endless color possibilities in the continuum. Founder/Creative Director, Annie Pham, sought to develop colors that transcend those of conventional brands by experimenting with unique pigments and raw materials. All nail lacquers are 3-free, which means they do not contain toluene, formaldehyde or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). They are also scented with a blend essential oils that leave a light floral aroma after the polish dries. Made in the USA. For more information, please email info@cirquecolors.com.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zoya Ignite Fall 2014 Nail Polish Collection - Swatches & Reviews

Zoya Ignite Collection
Zoya Ignite collection provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

For fall 2014, Zoya released twelve new nail polishes in two collections: Ignite & Entice. The six nail polishes in the Ignite collection are rich and full of complex shimmer while the Entice polishes all have cream finishes. Let's take a look at the Ignite collection! These polishes dry slightly gritty so I'm wearing top coat in most if not all of my swatches.


Autumn


Autumn is a metallic copper nail polish with flecks of golden shimmer. Don't let the word "metallic" turn you off - this is not the streaky or frosty kind of metallic! The shimmer is quite visible - it rises to the surface and doesn't get buried in the base color. The formula was great and coverage was opaque in two coats. As overused as the term is, I will reluctantly admit that this nail polish screams "pumpkin spice". In the words of Doge: much fall, very impress, wow.

Zoya Autumn


Teigen


If you casually follow Game of Thrones (say, for example, someone you live with has read all the books and tries to explain to you what's going on but you don't really pay attention), you might think that Teigen is the name of one of the characters. It's not. Teigen is a berry pink nail polish loaded with golden shimmer. Some of the shimmer flecks appear gold on the nail and some pick up pink tones. The formula is great and I'm wearing two coats.

Zoya Teigen


India


India is a rich reddish purple nail polish with a ton of complex shimmer. In the bottle, the shimmer appears primarily golden but on the nail most becomes tinted reddish. The formula is easy to apply and I'm wearing two coats. I know Sansa is getting all the attention in this collection, but just look at India!

Zoya India


Sansa


Sansa is a deep grape purple (like the color of the grape Jolly Rancher) nail polish with a complex golden shimmer. Some flecks of shimmer appears gold and some pieces pick up some of the purple base color. But the shimmer doesn't get buried under the purple, which is true nail polish magic! The result is very luxurious. The base color has a semi-jelly transparent quality to it. The formula is sticky and doesn't glide on, but it is opaque in two coats. Sansa lives up to the hype!

Zoya Sansa


Yuna


Yuna a cool greenish-grey nail polish with gold flecks of shimmer. I even see a flash of green in the sparkle. I had my doubts that the sparkle would get swallowed in the grey and not show up on the nail, but it does! More of that nail polish magic. So much win. The formula was easy to work with and I'm wearing two coats. Isn't Yuna a really interesting polish?

Zoya Yuna


Remy


Remy is a super-saturated blue nail polish with golden shimmer. On the nail, the shimmer becomes tinted blue. This polish = looking into a bottomless & mysterious crystal clear cave water hole (is there a word for "cave water hole"?). The formula is easy to use. I'm wearing two coats.

Zoya Remy

Many times I've been disappointed by nail polishes that, in the bottle, appear to have amazing shimmer only to find that it doesn't translate to the nail - classic nail polish catfish action. But, the Ignite collection delivers on shimmer. While I think to a degree the shimmer will always look better in the bottle because it clings to the sides, at no point did I find myself thinking "meh, it looked better in the bottle" about any of the Ignite polishes.

Bonus bottle pictures, because SHIMMER!!!

Zoya Ignite

The Ignite collection is all around a great release. The colors are rich, the shimmer is impressively complex, and the formulas are solid. Even for the gal who has it all, there will be a few must-haves from the Ignite collection!

Zoya nail polishes retail for $9.00 and the Ignite collection is available online. In New York City, Zoya can be purchased at several locations including Gideon's Drugs (1385 Broadway, corner of 38th St) and Ulta in the Rego Park Center. See the full list of retailers here.

Zoya Ignite collection provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

OPI DS "Tourmaline" and "Titanium"

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

"This fall, OPI introduces a new Polished Quartz formula with two new semi-precious stone-inspired hues – DS Tourmaline and DS Titanium – to the Designer Series by OPI collection. Each Designer Series Polished Quartz nail lacquer features a semi-matte finish with intense three-dimensional sparkle." [from the press release]

DS Tourmaline


If you're an October baby, you're probably familiar with Tourmaline - it's one of your birthstones! You've probably also heard the word associated with hair dryers & flat irons (check out this article if you're interested in learning why). According to minerals.net, tourmaline is "is the most colorful of all gemstones. It occurs in all colors, but pink, red, green, blue and multicolored are its most well-known gem colors. Scientifically, tourmaline is not a single mineral, but a group of minerals related in their physical and chemical properties." [source]

OPI DS Tourmaline is bright pink with with pastel iridescent hexagonal glitter and very fine pink shimmer. There is no shortage of sparkle! Tourmaline has a satin and semi-textured aka "bumpy on purpose" finish, so let each coat dry fully before applying the next one. Tourmaline was easy to apply and I used two coats. Something about this polish reminds me of prom dresses of the 2000's.




DS Titanium


Titanium is the element Ti (and the name of a song by David Guetta - ha, now it's in your head!) While it's best known as a super strong material, I learned that it can also be a gemstone! I'm not even going to try to explain it, but if you're interested you can read all about that here and here.

OPI DS Titanium is a metallic steel grey with pastel iridescent hexagonal glitter and very fine iridescent shimmer. The first coat was disappointingly thin, but the thin formula permitted the glitter to show through the dark base color. I'm wearing two coats but probably could have used a third (see: pinky). Titanium has the same satin and semi-textured finish as Tourmaline. In the bottle this polish look amazing but unfortunately I wasn't crazy about how it looked with a semi-textured finish.



Because of the large glitter pieces, both polishes were stubborn to remove.

While Tourmaline and Titanium deserve credit for being packed full of pretty bits, I would have liked them more without the satin semi-textured finish (what OPI calls the "Polished Quartz" formula). They aren't as gritty looking as Lapis and Pewter were (which had what OPI called the "Raw Granite" formula) - instead, I'm sad to say that the "Polished Quartz" formula yields what appears to be just a lumpy glitter manicure. I'm not one to pile on loads of top coat over textured polish to achieve a smooth finish, but I hear it's something people do :)

It isn't clear which direction the Designer Series line will take next: the DS polishes have ranged from holographic, super glittery, shimmery, and now textured finishes. And to add to the confusion, the last four polishes have been named after gemstones and metals with semi-textured finishes named after rocks & minerals (just a small detail that is probably bothering lovers of the natural sciences and pedants alike.) The DS line almost appears to be OPI's special "test kitchen" and the only consistencies are the silver cap and higher price point.

OPI DS nail polish retails for $12.50. In New York City, my favorite places to shop for OPI include Ricky's (various locations), Harmon Face Values (675 6th Ave), and Duane Reade (various locations).

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

OPI Ford Mustang Collection: Swatches & Reviews

OPI Ford Mustang
Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

OPI and Ford Motor Company are going full throttle and taking the “pedi to the metal” with the official launch of the limited-edition nail lacquer collection inspired by the popular Ford Mustang. The OPI Ford Mustang collection features six Mustang-inspired shades that are set to hit U.S. stores in July.
Coinciding with Mustang 50th anniversary celebrations this year, OPI marks the milestone with a standout collection of colors – all capturing the spirit, passion and excitement of Ford Mustang.
“For five decades, Mustang has represented some of the best of American culture, inspiring a feeling of freedom and independence,” says Melanie Banker, Mustang marketing manager. “We are excited to celebrate the iconic Ford Mustang with OPI and tell its story through color.” [source]

Race Red


The hero color of the collection, Race Red pays tribute to one of Mustang’s signature colors and brings to life the passion and excitement of the iconic car [source]

Race Red is the beloved fiery orange color of the Ford Mustang. Much like the Purse Blog forums, you better believe there are car forums - I found this thread dedicated to Ford Mustangs in Race Red :) The formula of Race Red (the nail polish!) is fantastic and it's almost opaque in one coat. I actually wore just one coat last week as my mani - it's been so humid I didn't feel like doing two. While a little thin, the coverage was even and looked fine. However, it chipped after one day :( Maybe if I had done a second coat it wouldn't have chipped so fast? Anyway, I think it's super awesome that this nail polish was created to exactly match a car color.

OPI Race Red


The Sky's My Limit


There is nothing like the freedom of the open road and shimmering, endless blue sky. This aqua hue awakens a woman’s sense of adventure and is a trend shade for summer going into the fall. [source]

Unlike some polishes that look amazing in the bottle but disappoint on the nail, The Sky's My Limit is the exact opposite. I actually didn't understand why everyone online was raving about this polish until I tried it. The Sky's My Limit is infinitely more beautiful than it looks in the bottle and than my pictures can capture! The shimmer is colorful and complex. The formula is equally impressive and covers well in two coats. While I'm not sure that it fits with the rest of this collection, for me The Sky's My Limit is the winner.

OPI The Sky's My Limit


Girls Love Ponies


A woman is multifaceted; this grown-up pink acts as a reminder of her femininity, even as she takes to the wheel of the powerful pony [source]

Dear OPI copywriters: I don't need to be reminded of my femininity when I drive a car. The Mustang may be 50 years old, but this antiquated attitude has got to go. Girls Love Ponies is an unremarkable pink cream nail polish but the formula makes this one worth taking a look at. The first coat applies evenly and is just shy of being completely opaque. I'm wearing two coats.

OPI Girls Love Ponies


Angel With a Leadfoot


Drive up and say “halo” to this celestial white. Whether worn alone or as an accent, white is essential to a woman’s wardrobe and to making a statement [source]

Angel With a Leadfoot is a stark white cream nail polish. The formula was decently opaque and not too streaky. If you're careful when you apply and limit the amount of brush strokes you use, you can get away with applying just two coats. I wasn't careful and needed three. I wore Angel With a Leadfoot for four days and it held up really great, although by the 3rd day it started to turn yellow. I'm not sure if that had to do with my top coat or the sun... has anyone else experienced a similar yellowing while wearing white polish?

The Mustang comes in white - Ford calls it Oxford White. Not sure why OPI didn't give this polish the same name?

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot


Queen of the Road


Inspired by Mustang’s dramatic and perfectly appointed cabin, a black interior evokes sophistication and will always be a classic – just like the little black dress [source]

Queen of the Road is a super dark graphite with a hint of silver shimmer. I was really looking forward to this polish, but the formula was thin, a little runny, and not as pigmented as I hoped it would be (which was surprising for such a dark color). I'm wearing two coats. I like that Queen of the Road is inspired by the interior of the Mustang.

OPI Queen Of The Road


50 Years of Style


Just like Mustang, celebrate all your milestones with this made-to-party golden pearl [source]

Nope nope nope nope nope. 50 Years of Style is a dingy old looking frosty metallic gold nail polish. I didn't find it flattering, flashy, or special in any way - I won't be celebrating any milestones while wearing this polish if I can help it. If you work quickly, you can avoid excessive brush strokes. But the brush strokes aren't a deal breaker - the color & finish of this polish is. I'm wearing two coats.

OPI 50 Years of Style

In partnering with a car company like Ford, I can't help but think it was a missed opportunity not creating an entire collection of nail polishes in the same colors as Mustangs. One of the things I remember thinking about as a kid while being dreadful bored car shopping with my parents was how cool it would be if, when your parents bought a car, you would also get a matching nail polish in the same color of the car (and also that you would get a mini Matchbox car version of the car). I'm sure I'm not the only kid who was thinking about that :) I took a look at the colors the Mustang comes in. "Deep Impact Blue" and "Triple Yellow" in particular would have made great nail polishes!

While overall the Mustang collection isn't thrilling, I enjoyed seeing an actual car color become a nail polish. The Sky's My Limit is the clear standout, even if it is the most random color in the collection.

OPI nail polish retails for $9.50. In New York City, my favorite places to shop for OPI include Ricky's (various locations), Harmon Face Values (675 6th Ave), and Duane Reade (various locations).

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cirque Colors: The Metropolis Collection "NYFW"

Cirque Colors NYFWProduct(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

New from Brooklyn-based indie nail polish brand Cirque Colors is The Metropolis Collection: "a monthly release series of creme-finished nail lacquers highlighting the great city of New York." [from the press release]. That's right, each month Annie will add a new NYC-inspired creme color nail polish to Cirque's growing line-up! The first color in the series, NYFW, launched today - let's take a look!


NYFW


For September 2014, the first color in the new Metropolis Collection appropriately named NYFW is a seriously vibrant blue. It's electric & vivid. It's dark or bright depending on the lighting. It glows like the blue screen of death. NYFW really lit up in the light box, so I adjusted the color and turned the brightness down a touch. In low lighting, it looks darker.

Like Memento Mori and Carpe Diem, Cirque's debut creme finish nail polishes, the formula of NYFW is first rate. The polish flows easily and at the same time is a breeze to control, which I find extra impressive for a hand-mixed creme nail polish. The pigmentation is great and NYFW is just about opaque in one coat. I used two. NYFW dries to a satin finish so I added Cirque's Liquid Laminate top coat for extra shine in my swatches.

Cirque Colors NYFW

Cirque Colors NYFW

Wear time was excellent. I wore NYFW for four days with Essie Fill The Gap basecoat and Poshe topcoat without any tip wear. The edges started to peel off on day four, but that's been happening to me lately with anything I wear over Fill The Gap. NYFW earned extra points by not excessively staining my fingers and fingernails blue when I removed it.

While there are similar colors available like Color Club Bright Night, Essie Butler Please, Kiko Electric Blue, nails inc Baker Street, RBL YKB: 2012, and Yves Saint Laurent Polish Bleu Majorelle, I actually don't have any of them! The closest color I have is a Color Club & Birchbox exclusive called Insta-This. Next to NYFW, Insta-This - a color, if you remember, I totally went crazy for - looked dull. I was wearing NYFW during a trip to Ulta and took a look at my mani next to nails inc Baker Street. In comparison, NYFW is a little bit darker, but that was just by looking at the bottle. I should really put them both on my nails before officially saying that ;)

The debut color in The Metropolis Collection really has set the bar high with regards to both the color and formula. So far I am impressed with Cirque's creme finish polishes and am already looking forward to seeing the next color!

NYFW retails for $13 and is available online at CirqueColors.com. Refer to the Stockists page for participating retailers.

Cirque Colors The Metropolis Collection

About
Cirque Colors™ is line of hand-blended nail lacquers based in New York. The name Cirque, meaning ring or circle, represents the color wheel and the endless color possibilities in the continuum. Founder/Creative Director, Annie Pham, sought to develop colors that transcend those of conventional brands by experimenting with unique pigments and raw materials. All nail lacquers are 3-free, which means they do not contain toluene, formaldehyde or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). They are also scented with a blend essential oils that leave a light floral aroma after the polish dries. Made in the USA. For more information, please email info@cirquecolors.com.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. Read my disclosure policy here.