Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween my friends! I hope you are enjoying your night and have some candy to snack on :)

Back in the summer, I won the Color Club Starry Temptress polishes from the lovely Johanna of Paillette Polish Journal. I am so grateful for all the lovely neons - thanks, Johanna!!!

The neon orange "You Got Soul-ar", is simply the perfect polish to pair with Wet & Wild's "Tangled in My Web". But... "Wink, Wink, Twinkle" (the purple) and "Glitter Envy" (the green) were also great Halloween colors and the black crackle effect is SO spooky, so I simply HAD to find a way to do it all!

On my right hand, I wore "Glitter Envy" in place of "Wink, Wink, Twinkle".

I saw SO many amazing Halloween manicures around the internet! Did you celebrate Halloween on your nails?

In case you missed any of the Halloween fun here at Gotham Polish, here's a quick look back:

Who You Gonna Call? featuring China Glaze "It's Alive!" and "Black Mesh"


NYC's Spookiest Landmark featuring China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" and "Black Mesh"

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NYC's Spookiest Landmark

Nothing says "Halloween" more than this New York City landmark.

Hidden away on Roosevelt Island in the middle of the East River, this spooky gothic building in ruins is the real deal. Built in 1856, it was a hospital used to quarantine smallpox patients! The building's architect James Renwick Jr. also designed another building you may be familiar with - St. Patrick's Cathedral.

For perspective, here is a shot looking across the East River - can you spot the UN and the Chrysler building?

Isn't New York City full of wild places (and isn't that some epic sky?)

Today's spooky manicure is fall favorite by China Glaze "It's Alive". China Glaze created a stunning olive green mixed-sized glitter monster that's edgy while still very wearable. China Glaze really nailed the Halloween collection again this year, and "It's Alive" is one of the most unique polishes I have seen in quite some time.

I only needed (2) coats of "It's Alive". I love how the multi-sized glitter gives the illusion of a mossy texture while the green jelly creates both deep and light shades. While "It's Alive" swallows top coat (nothing that can't be fixed with a second coat), it doesn't have a rough finish.


Below, China Glaze "Black Mesh" creates the illusion that "It's Alive" is oozing out of the cracks. Love this look!

Visit the Smallpox Hospital by taking the tram to Roosevelt Island from 60th St and 2nd Ave in Manhattan and then walking south on the island about ten minutes.

Here is a list of retailers in New York City that sell China Glaze nail polish.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dogs in Costumes!

This past Saturday was the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade! After seeing pictures of last year's participants, I simply had to see the adorableness (and creativeness) in action. It was everything I hoped for and more :)

As you can imagine, it was challenging to get good pictures of the dogs. They were SO happy to have so much attention and there were so many smells to smell. Here are a few (OK more than a few) pictures of the dogs that posed nicely :)

Lady Gaga dog was born this way.

One of the winning dogs dressed as the M23 bus!

If there was a prize for "Best Current Events" costume, Occupy Wall Street dog would get it.

There was a wide variety of dogs. This was certainly the most unique breed!

Red Riding dog was watching out for Big Bad Wolf dogs

Check out the little arms on Dino dog's costume!

See more dogs in costumes, and a blue pug, after the break!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where to Find China Glaze Nail Polish in New York City

"Where can I find China Glaze in New York City" is a really popular question, so I thought China Glaze would be the perfect brand to kick off the "Where to Shop by Brand" guide :)

China Glaze nail polish is sold at the following locations:

Beauty 35
505 8th Ave (corner of 35th St and 8th Ave)
*Please note that as of March 2012, Beauty 35 no longer carries China Glaze*

Beauty Plus Salon
2568 Broadway (between 96th and 97th)

Brighton Beauty Supply
1305 Kings Highway (between 13th and 14th)

CLIO Beauty Supply
75-17 Roosevelt Ave, Queens (off the Jackson/Roosevelt Ave E, F, M, R stop and the 74th St/Broadway 7 stop)

Essentials Closed
123 5th Ave (between 19th and 20th St)

Essentials Plus
2259 Broadway (between 80 and 81st St)

Gideon's Drugs
1385 Broadway (corner of 38th St)
*Please note that as of November 2012, Gideon's Drugs no longer carries China Glaze*

Harmon Face Values
675 6th Ave (between 21st and 22nd St)

Kissena Nail & Beauty Supply (Queens)
5906 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367

Nails Max International (Brooklyn) *small inventory
6009 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11219

Optima Beauty Supply
22 John Street
Note: Optima Beauty Supply does not sell the China Glaze core collection. They may (inconsistently) carry the latest collection.

Sally Beauty Supply
Brooklyn: 2129 Ralph Ave
Queens: 7417 Grand Ave #3
Staten Island: 2060 Forest Avenue, Staten Island

Ulta, Rego Park Center (Queens)
61-35 Junction Blvd, Rego Park, NY

*Last updated 10/26/14

Where to Shop Map
What is this all about? Introducing the Where to Shop by Brand Guide

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wet & Wild "On the Prowl" Found in Manhattan!

I just wanted to make a quick announcement - Duane Reade on 2nd Ave and 80th Street in Manhattan has the Wet & Wild "On the Prowl" polish display! I picked up "Tangled in My Web" and "Correction Tape" and can't WAIT to try them out! Colors left in the display are "Buy Me a Drink", "Cougar Attack", "Ready to Pounce", and "Inkwell". I've been searching for the "On the Prowl" collection and this is the first time I've seen it :)

In case you need a few more reasons to head up (or down!) there to check this out, they also had Wet & Wild Dream Weavers palettes, holiday eye shadow palettes, and the "What Happened Last Night" display. This is the first time I have seen any of these displays in NYC so I am REALLY excited and hope you are too!

Across 2nd Avenue is a Rite Aide that was also full of win. They had two FULL displays of the L'Oréal "Project Runway" collection - YES including "Owl's Night" - and the Jesse's Girl "Julie G" collection. This was the first store I've seen the "Julie G" polishes, and I think we've all been having trouble finding "Owl's Night" so these were some great finds.

I hope this helps someone find what they are looking for :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Introducing the Where to Shop by Brand Guide

Are you looking for nail polish in New York City? You've come to the right place! You may be familiar with the Where to Shop page and the Map, but perhaps you're searching for a certain brand of polish. Hunting a lemming. Stalking your favorite store for a limited edition item but want to find somewhere new to look.

The next addition to Gotham Polish will be a 'where to shop for nail polish by brand' guide! I'll be posting a list of locations that sell a particular brand, and then creating a link to that post on the Where to Shop page so you can easily find it in the future. This will be an on-going project as new stores are added, discovered, or removed so on the bottom of each post, I'll put the date the post was most recently updated.

I hope this is useful, and I love hearing from you! If you have something to add or suggest to enhance this resource or notice something is missing or incorrect, please let me know.

Happy nail polish shopping!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nail Polish at a Street Fair

Street fairs are a common sight throughout the summer and the fall in New York City. Typically several blocks, you will see a wide array of vendors selling street meat, jewelry, orchids, smoothies, crepes, and $5 pashminas. There's even a website dedicated to keeping you informed about what street fair is where and when!

Honestly, I usually steer clear of street fairs - I have a way of unintentionally coming across them (much like parades) while I'm trying to get somewhere and they do get crowded. I also get the same vibe from many of them. Today, I stumbled upon a street fair on Lexington Ave and the fair was less crowded than the sidewalk so I took a stroll through it. Good decision! In the midst of gyros and cell phone chargers, I found a cosmetic vendor!


This vendor (appropriately named "Street Fair Cosmetics") had a large tent of makeup - mostly old various drug store brands, but I did see Lancôme Juicy Tubes. They had a very decent selection of polishes including several Essies, Hard Candy (Beetle and Sky), 2012 crackles, $1 Maybellines, and Jordana.

Count it as a "dusty"! In fact, because they have a Facebook, Street Fair Cosmetics will go on the Gotham Polish where to shop list :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Field Trip: the New Meatpacking District Sephora

Sephora's newest NYC location can be found a few blocks away from Chelsea Market and the Highline. While this isn't the largest location, I found it the most visually appealing! There is art displayed - but it's not so loud that it over powers the products. The lighting here is much more sophisticated than most NYC Sephoras - you don't get the feeling that you are in a shopping mall :)

Unlike most Sephoras where the nail polish is found within the brand's designated area, this location has the nail polishes in one section. 

While we were asked not to take anymore pictures of the products, the associate directed our attention to a colorful glass chandelier looming over the perfume section we could photograph - and wow am I ever happy he pointed this out! Upon closer inspection, we noticed that it was made up of probably one hundred oddly shaped glass bulbs. The associate told us the bulbs are not just random glass pieces, but were once fragrance distillers! The different shapes are used to capture different scents. "Where beauty and art collide" was the text of the promo ad, and here is a perfect representation of this.

See more pictures inside the new Sephora over on Racked NY.

Visit the new Meatpacking District Sephora on 9th Ave and 13th Street. The map has been updated (Sephora locations are the pink push-pins)!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who You Gonna Call?

Do you recognize this firehouse? Yes, it IS Ghostbusters headquarters! Located at 14 North Moore Street, Hook & Ladder 8 is a working firehouse with a very famous exterior :)

Outside Ladder 8 is this awesome painting on the sidewalk:

Speaking of Ghostbusters... does this apartment building look familiar?

In the movie, 55 Central Park West was home to the demon Zuul, of course!

Maybe China Glaze channeled Slimer when they created a really fantastic glow-in-the-dark top coat this season, appropriately named "Ghoulish Glow". With one coat, this smooth, milky polish just slightly lightens your nails and in the dark gives off a subtle glow - or with several coats, your nails will glow just like Slimer. Anyone craving Ecto-Cooler now?

I had a glow-in-the-dark nail polish in middle school and wore it over everything - but it was chalky and chipped easily. "Ghoulish Glow" is light-years ahead of glow polishes of the past! If wearing neutral polish is part of your office dress code, "Ghoulish Glow" is a polish you can wear while knowing it has a secret, or a (glow-in-the) "dark side" if you will ;)

Two coats of China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" over OPI "Step Right Up" as underwear

Four coats of China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" - color/brightness levels have not been altered

How could glow-in-the-dark polish get better? You can crackle it (more after the break).

Monday, October 3, 2011

Helmer Adventure Part 2: Construction and Storage

Did you miss Part 1, aka "Helmer and the Water Taxi"? No worries, click here!

Over the past few years, my nail polish collection has grown significantly from a small stock of whatever my mom didn't want and some Wet & Wilds (re: OLD Wet & Wilds). Back when I started reading your lovely blogs and was inspired to take care of my nails and cuticles, I remember seeing the Helmer and thinking how lovely it would be to organize polishes... but I would never have so many to need it!

March 2009 collection photo - the OPI and China Glaze were my first big purchases!

September 2010 collection photo (I should do this again sometime!)

Well... two years later, four shoe boxes and two plastic drawers were overflowing with polish. I looked at what Bed Bath & Beyond and The Container Store had to offer for a new polish home... but then decided to go with the unit nail polish collectors around the world adore: the Ikea Helmer!

I am amazed that the Helmer came out of such a small cardboard box. Gotta love Ikea's packaging design engineers. This meant, of course, maximum do-it-yourself-age! I followed the directions closely and kept Rescue Beauty Ji's guide close by (THANK YOU, JI!) and two hours later, the pile of metal was a Helmer. The only set back I had is that the holes made for the screws to attach the wheels were way too small. My boyfriend had a tool to make the holes bigger, but one hole is still being stubborn and another I accidentally made too large... but at this point, it's up and standing and I can always fix the wheels later :)

Right now, I have four of the drawers dedicated to polish (organized by grouping brands) and two drawers for "stuff".

From top to bottom:
  • Nail wheels aka the "room to grow" drawer!
  • Top coats, base coats, loose glitter, nail polish remover pads, random nail art
  • Older and less commonly used drug store polishes
  • Newer and favorite drug store polishes, Mattese Elite, Finger Paints
  • China Glaze, Color Club, American Apparel and minis in boxes - this is a very colorful drawer :)
  • Special boxes/"high ends", OPI, Essie, and Zoya

I preferred grouping polishes by brand instead of by color because I love seeing the neat rows - especially the square bottles :) And now that my nail wheels are safely stored, I can reference them if I want to search within a color family. The next step is to find drawer liner to keep the polishes from sliding around!

My polishes and I are both so happy that I no longer need to shuffle shoeboxes around and there's a place for everything. The Helmer is large enough for my collection that there is room to grow into it. I also feel proud that I conquered the Helmer instructions and made it myself!

What do you keep your polishes in? How to you organize them?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Helmer Adventure Part 1: the Ikea Water Taxi

Yesterday was Helmer day! The closest Ikea to me is in Brooklyn and there are a few ways to get there by public transportation, but the best is by water taxi. On the weekends, the water taxi is free from Pier 11 (by Wall Street). I hope you enjoy my journey to Ikea Brooklyn in search of the Helmer on the water taxi :)

A dramatic fall sky over the Brooklyn Bridge

Lower Manhattan

Remember the Real World Brooklyn? The house was the building with the red awning!

Docking at Ikea beats parking at Ikea :)

My Helmer on the way home!

While taking the water taxi to Ikea is certainly awesome, do keep in mind that this means everything you buy isn't simply tossed in the trunk of your car and driven home. As a cab to my apartment from Red Hook, Brooklyn would have rivaled Ikea's $99 shipping (OK so that may be a slight exageration), my boyfriend painfully carried my 30 pound Helmer many blocks, down a few subway staircases, and over the turnstiles. Oh, and he'd like me to mention that this was after he ran in a half marathon earlier in the day. THANKS, BOYFRIEND!!!

Tomorrow I will share with you my completed Helmer :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Raise Awareness" - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! "Raise Awareness" is a cool-toned pink cream polish that Essie created in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and "a portion of the proceeds from each bottle will be donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer".

I wasn't expecting "Raise Awareness" to apply as amazing as it did. The Essie cream pinks I've experienced have either been too watery or too streaky. But "Raise Awareness" is smooth and perfect in two coats (much like "Cocktail Bling"). I hope Essie continues working with this formula!


The picture below was photographed in natural light beside my window. In this lighting, you can better see the cool tones in this polish that I really adore.

In New York City, Essie polishes can be purchased at drug stores and beauty supply stores such as Beauty 35 and Manhattan Beauty Supply. I purchased "Raise Awareness" at Cosmetic Market (although they were sold out as of a few weeks ago). Online, I see that "Raise Awareness" is available from Nordstrom and Transdesign.