Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Essie Cocktail Bling Weathered the Storm

During a recent trip to Cosmetic Market to check out the Essie bins, a light grey polish caught my eye. I read the name on the bottom - "Cocktail Bling" - and thought to myself "What grey polish could this be?" I do read many of your blogs but couldn't recall seeing this polish (an Essie this color I thought for sure I would recognize), so I thought it must be very old or unpopular. But I thought it was so very pretty and decided to purchase it. When I got home, I looked up "Cocktail Bling" on your lovely blogs and the only search that came back was from previews at Cosmoprof... and then it hit me! I had somehow found a winter 2011 Essie polish!

Essie "Cocktail Bling" is a lavendery-blue toned grey. Compared to China Glaze Sea Spray, you can really see the purple tones in Cocktail Bling. This polish was perfect in two coats - Cocktail Bling is one of the best Essie polishes I have.

The polish doesn't actually come with the ring ;)

I found it a little odd that a color named Cocktail Bling would be such a smooth, creamy shade! Certainly I would have expected something more... glittery? To bring the bling, I added NYC Starry Starry Glitter on my ring finger :)

Beautiful color aside, Cocktail Bling really stood up to the wear test. I put on Cocktail Bling last Wednesday night and since then, it stood up to a Dave Matthews Band concert and a hurricane tropical storm! The pictures above were actually taken on day four :)

Will you be looking for Cocktail Bling this winter? What glitter would you pick to layer over it?

PS - remember how I said Cosmetic Market sold housewares? Yep, that glass was purchased there!

Monday, August 29, 2011

You'll Need a Shopping Cart at Cosmetic Market

But more importantly, I hope everyone on the east coast is alright and recovering from the hurricane!

New York City is a great place for really random and really awesome stores, and Cosmetic Market perfectly fits this description. Cosmetic Market is a one-of-a-kind makeup and beauty close-out store that every polish lover should get a chance to visit when in NYC. This is another great nail polish goldmine bigiyedfish over on Makeup Alley let me know about and am I ever thankful she did :)

Just look at the polish welcoming you when you enter! 

Can you read the prices? Borghese is $2.99, Essie is $3.49, and Hard Candy is $1.99!!!

Yes, those are containers and containers of Essie polishes in this aisle!!! Every time I've been to Cosmetic Market the selection has been a little different, so this is a store that deserves repeat visits. But think fast because at $3.49 each, Essie polishes will not stick around for long. Some are without name stickers on the bottom (although no sticker is needed to know that the green one is Pretty Edgy)... and you're right, the "naked" Your Hut or Mine bottle I have came from Cosmetic Market. The majority of polishes are without imperfections and even those with minor defects are just as good on the inside :)

Some products I've purchased at Cosmetic Market over several trips this summer

Other fantastic makeup finds are Stila products - right now they have the Stila Color Wheel palette for only $14.99 and individual eyeshadows are around $4 - Anna Sui lipsticks, Clinique skincare, and various products by Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl, and L'Oreal to name a few. There's also shampoo and random housewares and sunblock... but do you really need more reasons to go?!

Yes, that's the door handle

Located at 15 East 37th St between Madison and 5th Ave (note: there are some wrong addresses floating around the internet), Cosmetic Market is walking distance from Grand Central. I highly encourage you to check it out!

PS: Cosmetic Market is quite possibly the least sketchy "where to shop" location :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coming to a mall near you: Ricky's!

Yesterday I received an announcement that Ricky's is headed over the bridges and through the tunnels of NYC and will be opening stores in malls and shopping centers around the country!
"Ricky’s NYC, the king of beauty & haircare in NYC, is expanding into national malls and lifestyle centers with a new prototype. Bringing their eclectic, high-end & hard to find beauty offerings to a national level, they are poised to become the one-stop beauty paradise New Yorkers know and love for consumers across the country."
Ricky's is one of my favorite nail polish sources in New York City. With all the latest from Butter London, Essie, OPI, Orly, and house brand Mattese Elite, you are sure to find a new color to love. The fun doesn't stop at nail polish - you can find various hair products & accessories, skin care, and makeup! Hopefully they will have the wall of polish I know and love in the new stores :) Until the day Ricky's is in a mall near you, you can shop on their website: http://www.rickysnyc.com/

(Oddly enough, it was also announced this week that mall staple "Spencer's" will be coming to NYC...)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flaming Cactus, Flaming Nails

Street art in New York City can range anywhere from really bizarre (bridge-and-tunnel bear traps) to really fabulous (the knitted bull!) The "Flaming Cactus" project hands down falls into the latter category. Designed by The Animus Arts Collective, thousands of neon zip ties were pulled around light poles, creating a surreal landscape around Astor Place out of something so common. Read more about this project and others (check out "Buddha Bunny") on the Animus Art website.

Let's take a closer look at those light poles...

Wait a second! Those aren't plastic cables, those are... bottles of neon China Glaze polishes!!!

Doesn't China Glaze make some of the best neons? We all loved the Poolside Collection - hello, Flip Flop Fantasy! Another winner and part of their core collection, Shocking Pink, remains the single most neon pink in my collection. Opaque in three coats, this pink is precisely the color of the brightest pink highlighter you've ever seen.

In low light, a telling indicator of a neon's intensity, Shocking Pink lights up.

I wore Shocking Pink to the last Summer Streets of 2011. When riding your bike, wearing a neon polish is optional but wearing your helmet is not!

See more Flaming Cacti :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Swatches! L'Oréal Color of Hope Fall 2011 Nail Polishes

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to come across all four polishes from the new L'Oréal Color of Hope collection at Duane Reade. L'Oréal is donating $1 for each product sold to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund - how great is that?!

The four polishes in this collection are Whimsical, Devotion, Valiant, and Mystery. They are the perfect summer to fall transitional colors. For some reason, these four reminded me of the Sex and the City characters! Without further ado, here they are!

Whimsical is the Charlotte of this collection. Feminine yet a little flashy, this is a peachy champagne shade with a foil finish. I really love this look and don't have anything else quite like it.


Devotion is our Miranda of the bunch. Warm and creamy like milk chocolate, there is a hint of ash in this color that adds a level of sophistication. Milani Teddy Bare is slightly darker.

Like Samantha, Mystery is bold and edgy. Mystery is such a dark and wonderful shade - I examined this polish in the store and couldn't quite figure out if it was black, dark grey, or blue. Since I couldn't decide, I had to buy it of course :) I thought of Nars Galion, but after comparing this to Ommorphia Beauty Bar's beautiful swatch, think Mystery is a dash more green and a touch less grey.

And to complete the set, I'll share Carrie Valiant again! Valiant is a shimmery, foily, pewter metallic shade... picture a tarnished nickel. Valiant is a complex shade with a hint of warmth.

I really love these polishes, and creating a collection of four colors makes it very justifiable to get the whole set! This was actually my first experience with L'Oréal polish since back in the day when the bottles were wide. I am very impressed - the brush was appropriately wide and each color only needed (2) coats.

L'Oréal polishes are $4.99 in New York City. I saw Color of Hope displays at Walgreens and Rite Aide, however polishes weren't part of those displays. If you're going out to hunt these down in Manhattan, I'd suggest trying the Duane Reade-s with the "Look" boutiques - you know, the ones with the giant cosmetics sections? Here's the store locator!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

L'Oréal Color of Hope Fall 2011 Nail Polish Collection

Today I came across an almost brand new display of the L'Oréal Color of Hope Fall 2011 collection today at Duane Reade, and was very impressed by the four nail polishes. I haven't come across any swatches yet so this was a very exciting and surprising find :) They are all just so pretty... and come on you can't break up the set... so I bought all four! Dear polish companies: small collections are great because it's very easy to justify impulsively buying the whole collection.

The four polishes in this collection are Whimsical, Devotion, Valiant, and Mystery. They are the perfect summer to fall transitional colors. For some reason, these four reminded me of the Sex and the City characters!

From left to right: Whimsical, Devotion, Valiant, and Mystery

Valiant is a shimmery, foily, pewter metallic shade... picture a tarnished nickel. Valiant is a complex shade with a hint of warmth. This was the polish that made me stop and take a serious look at this collection. I actually didn't have very high expectations, but I'm very impressed with this polish! The brush is wide and Valiant applied well, needing only two coats. I hope the others are of the same quality. Would anyone with Chanel Graphite care to share how this compares?

Keep watch at your local drug stores for the L'Oréal Color of Hope Fall 2011 collection.

I do hope you stop back for swatches of Whimsical, Devotion, and Mystery!

Read more about this collection: http://www.lorealcolorofhope.com/ (Note: the polishes are either labeled wrong on the website or on my bottles!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere...

Gotham Polish is growing! In less than six months, I've reached thousands of readers in over 80 countries and created close to 100 posts (this is post 98). Many readers have shared that they have used the Where to Shop list and Map as a guide for finding polish in New York City. I love reading your comments, and these in particular really make me smile because creating a resource for nail polish shopping in NYC was one the reasons I started Gotham Polish!

What's Gotham Polish up to next? The fall top five will be coming soon, and I'm really looking forward to sharing Fashion's Night Out adventures! A recent addition is the Greatest Hits page, which is a collection of pictures I'm particularly amused by. If you are new to Gotham Polish, it's a great place to start.

Recently, several blog awards have been passed along to Gotham Polish. Thank you to Chic & ShinyDiava's Lacquer Box, Forever '92Ha Bisky! NailsOpinionated Little Finger, Polished Casual, Polishically Uncorrect, and Talon-ted But Tawdry for thinking of me :)

One of these awards asked that I share (7) Random Facts. I'd like to share (7) things I've learned as a new nail polish blogger.

1. I've learned... that the size/shape/length of your nails doesn't matter.
Before I started blogging, I was worried that I wouldn't be successful if my nails didn't look like (insert the name of your favorite blogger's nails here). What DOES matter is that you take good care of your nails and cuticles!

2. I've learned... how meaningful feedback is.
For a long time, I was an avid reader of many of nail and beauty blogs. I loved seeing what these bloggers created and bought polish based on their reviews. But not once before starting Gotham Polish did I leave a comment. I had no idea how great an impression leaving a comment makes - and I guess it's hard to fully appreciate this until you have a blog. When you hit "post" and send your thoughts out into the world, it's easy to walk away from your computer like nothing happened. Hearing from the people who are reading what you're putting out there makes it all seem... real.

3. I've learned... to take better pictures.
If you haven't noticed, the photo quality on Gotham Polish has vastly improved over time (ex: swatch number one). Everything has changed, from the lighting set up (I love this swatch in the light box) to how I import images. I'm still looking to improve and through Gotham Polish, I have gotten to know my camera much better.

4. I've learned... there are no 'guidelines' for a nail polish blog.

My advice to new bloggers or those thinking about becoming bloggers would be to think about what you have to offer that's different than what's already out there. Do what you like and post about what you know, and imagine how you can take the blog world by storm with your great ideas! The Lacquerista wrote a great post sharing her thoughts about originality and nail polish blogs.

5. I've learned... I don't need to buy every nail polish.
Another misconception about blogging I had was that I needed to purchase every color that came out right away or else my blog wouldn't be useful. I am now challenging myself to use the colors I have in new ways.

6. I've learned... that Twitter is actually useful.
I used to think Twitter was a place where you would share what you had for lunch and that you're bored at work. I honestly didn't see the point.. until starting Gotham Polish! Now I know Twitter is a great resource for getting a quick answer to a question, reading about the most recent releases, and connecting with other bloggers. I'm GothamPolish if you want to chat!

7. I've learned... there's a LOT of nail polish in New York City
I'll admit, when I moved here, I had no idea what I would do without Ulta, Target, and Sally Beauty. But after exploring and coming across some really great polishes and random stores, I knew I had to let others know about these great places. And that's how Gotham Polish started :)

Thank you, all of you, for welcoming me to the nail polish blog world! I'm excited about where Gotham Polish is headed and hope you'll come along for the ride. <3, Amy

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Streets

Last Saturday was the second of three Summer Streets festivals. Sponsored by the NYC Department of Transportation, Park Ave from Central Park all the way down to Brooklyn Bridge was closed to cars and people came out on bikes, rollerblades, running, and walking dogs to enjoy the day. This is the fourth year of Summer Streets, and I honestly have been looking forward to this since I went last year. With music, food, activities, and events, Summer Streets is kind of like a really long block party!

It was wonderful having the street closed to cars and to get out on my bike! For a few hours, we imagined how cool a car-free city would be (or at least how the nice it would be if it was not as scary to ride bikes around town). In this picture, you can see all the way down to Union Square, which is still about 25 blocks away. But on my bike it took only about 15 minutes!

I wore American Apparel Neon Coral so everyone could see me coming on my bike (if you recognize these benches, we went up to Central Park after and rode the park loop).

There are stops along the way with fun events like a rock climbing wall, a guacamole making demonstration, and Crunch workouts. Secure "Bike Valet" stations were set up so you didn't need to worry about finding a place to lock up your bike, and you could still walk around and enjoy the events (there must have been some serious research-design minds behind Summer Streets). At the Foley Square stop, there were sandboxes and tools to build sandcastles. These guys were serious sandcastle architects! Do you recognize these NYC landmarks?

At the 25th St stop, there were lots of food samples - thanks, Whole Foods! I had some Greek yogurt, Odwalla juice and bars, "to go" applesauce, and the most amazing Ciao Bello blood orange gelato!

Summer Streets final day is next Saturday, so if you're around, grab your friends/bike/skates/dog/running shoes/self and go. I hope that next year Summer Streets is more than three weekends!

See some more pictures...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More Infiltration of the Mob (collection)

Earlier this week, I was excited to share with you news about Mattese Elite's latest release: the Cosa Nostra Mob collection. After seeing them in person at Ricky's, I actually felt that I already had a color too close in my collection to warrant a purchase :) They are lovely shades and are perfect if you're missing any of these tones from your collection.

Itching for some swatches? Fellow New Yorker Carly has swatched the ENTIRE Cosa Nostra collection over on her blog Lacquered Lover! I encourage you to head on over to her blog to check these out :) Way to go, Carly!

The Cosa Nostra collection is available at Ricky's and online, and Mattese Elite nail polishes cost $5.99. Check out the Gotham Polish Map for locations!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spotlight on Manhattan Beauty Supply

Manhattan Beauty Supply is one of those places I'm not sure I would have gone to had it not been for two things: 1. having this blog and 2. fellow blogger and New Yorker Claudia from Chromatic Misadventures. A few months ago, Claudia told me about some great stores she finds polish in, and Manhattan Beauty Supply was one of them. While having this blog has heightened my Spidey "OMG they have polish" senses, I had no idea there would be a nail polish wonderland hiding at 121 Chambers Street.

Quite simply put, Manhattan Beauty Supply is a nail polish gold mine... a diamond in the rough, if you will. You will find old OPI (black label old), Essie, Orly, Milani, NYX, NYX Girls, LA Colors, Ruby Kisses, J2, and Nicka K/NK polish (as well as "electrical supply" as indicated on the store's banner). Unlike some stores that carry many brands but have a limited selection, Manhattan Beauty Supply has an impressive number of polishes from each brand. Their stock of NYX, NYX Girls, and LA Colors was especially remarkable. The only core brand missing was China Glaze!

While I feel every store I've reviewed on Gotham Polish so far is worth visiting, let me literally underline this one: do not miss visiting Manhattan Beauty Supply :) Located at 121 Chamber Street, it's walking distance from Century 21 (AND there's a 7-Eleven around the corner on Church Street). Thanks, Claudia, for this great find!

Below is NYX Girls "Spotlight" over Sinful Colors "Dream On". I simply am not skilled enough to photograph the neon purple-ness of "Dream On" in all it's glory. Also oddly enough, in the picture below, it looks as if this polish has a jelly finish which it surely does not. NYX Girls "Spotlight" is one of those shades I am compelled to layer over every manicure. This magical polish is composed of small holo glitter and large hexagonal holo glitter. With Sinful Colors polishes at $1.99 and NYX Girls polishes around $1.50, this is one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck combos out there!

Dream On Spotlight

Manhattan Beauty Supply is located in Lower Manhattan on 121 Chambers Street, between Broadway and Church Street. The map has been updated!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New! Mattese Elite Cosa Nostra "The Mob" Collection

Who's the boss? I received an email today announcing a new mob-themed nail polish collection from Ricky's house brand Mattese Elite. Mattese Elite invites you to "Polish off your summer with the hottest trends in nails, available exclusively at Ricky's! Mattese Elite's new Mob Collection - Cosa Nostra - has crime-worthy colors that'll make you feel good being bad."

I giggled at the "quick overview" description on Ricky's website: "Bang Bang Bang! Be the Boss with Mattese Elite's 2011 COSA NOSTRA Nail Polish Collection!" Mattese Elite definitely wins points in the "original theme for a collection" category.

The Cosa Nostra collection consists of (6) shades:

The Boss: a fierce, metallic shade of gunmetal

Vig: a deep cobalt
Consigliere: a muted teal
Goomah: a splash of hot pink
Whack: a rich plum
Capo: a tinted silver gray with a hint of sparkle

I think (6) polishes is a good collection size. I think I'll swing by Ricky's* tomorrow after work to check these out in person!

The Cosa Nostra collection is available at Ricky's and online, and Mattese Elite nail polishes cost $5.99. Check out the Gotham Polish Map for locations!

*What's Ricky's? A really awesome NYC beauty store! Check out this post for more about Ricky's:)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Slurpee in the City on Liquid Jelly's Friday Food and Nails

Have you seen the first edition of "Friday Food and Nails" over on Liquid Jelly? The above photo was my entry this week and I'm wearing Essie Da Bush topped with OPI Silver Shatter. Oh, and the Slurpee flavor is Cowboys & Aliens Alienade :) I love that Liz has started this series - seeing lots of different contributions makes it so much fun. You too can share your food and nails! Just send Liz your photo by Thursday 9PM EST... well, read the full instructions :) I'm looking forward to seeing another assortment of photos this week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Central Park Peacock Just Needed a Spa Day

On Tuesday, Central Park's resident peacock decided it deserved a break from working those long zoo hours and took a mini vacay around the Upper East Side. Much to everyone's surprise and enjoyment, the peacock hung out on 5th Ave and after having enough, returned home. What a sight that must have been - could you imagine looking out your apartment or office window and seeing a peacock? Read the full account of his adventures over on the NY Times Blog!

I created peacock-inspired nails with Color Club Gossip Column (a deep teal blue), Jesse's Girl Firefly (dense golden-green shimmer), and NYX Girls Fame (royal purple glitter). It's a pretty flashy combo, I think the peacock would approve!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Year is It?! ...at the 77 Candy Store

77 Candy Store

New York City is full of hidden places... alleys, tunnels, bars, and... turn of the century candy shops?! This fully functioning outpost is like a super awesome version of the street candy vendor and looks as if a "Wizard of Oz" style twister dropped it out of the sky and into the financial district. I read about this magical location over on my new favorite NYC blog, Scouting NY, and ventured downtown last weekend to see it in person. I really did have to see this place with my own eyes. Check out Scouting NY's post here for lots of pictures!

While you can't buy nail polish at the 77 Candy Store, you can head across the street to Ye Olde Duane Reade.

Of course another candy manicure is in order! The ingredients in this "glitter sandwich" are (from bottom to top) Essie Fiji, followed by Milani Gems, and topped with OPI Step Right Up. Back in May during the dark ages pre-light box days,, I did another version of this look with a pale blue. I'm really not great with nail art or even using tape, but this look is so easy to create!

Candy mani

Here are great glitter sandwich creations from some talented bloggers - I love how each look is a little different!

Visit the 77 Candy Store at 77 Water Street in lower Manhattan. No joke, this place DOES exist!