Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Essie's "Olé Caliente" will have you shouting OLÉ!

In Spanish, "Olé" is an expression of excitement - which is exactly what I was feeling when I put on Essie's new firey tangerine polish Olé Caliente from the Spring 2012 Navigate Her collection. Not only is this an amazing ruby tangerine shade, but this is one of the best formulas of any Essie nail polish I own. Olé Caliente was smooth and perfect in two coats. I'm in love!

Olé Caliente reminded me of another polish in my collection - OPI On Collins Ave from OPI's Spring 2009 South Beach collection. While it's hardly indistinguishable in photos, on the nail, OPI On Collins Ave is a touch more orange than Olé Caliente. Both are amazing cream polishes that cover well in two coats.


Here is Olé Caliente compared to OPI's Charged Up Cherry, a peachy coral. Charged Up Cherry looks very pink next to Olé Caliente.

Essie's Navigate Her collection is available in February. In New York City, Essie can be purchased at many locations including Beauty 35, Bed Bath and Beyond, Cosmetic Market, and Duane Reade.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

To Buy or Not To Buy: Essie "To Buy or Not To Buy"

The New York Stock Exchange, where "to buy or not to buy" is a big decision

Essie's Spring 2012 collection Navigate Her proclaims the "self-made woman knows what she wants and exactly how to get it". From the spring collection, To Buy or Not To Buy is a great name for a polish. How often do you go to the store and hold a polish in your hand... roll it around... hold it up to the light... think "do I have anything else like it"... before deciding to buy it or leave it?

That's exactly what I did when I found To Buy or Not to Buy last week at Cosmetic Market. I was pretty convinced I didn't need this pastel purple but then I saw the sparse blue duochrome shimmer (which is undoubtedly the same shimmer used in Pink-a-Boo) and decided it had to come home with me.

To Buy or Not to Buy is a pastel pinky-lilac cream. The formula was slightly streaky and challenging to work with, so I would suggest using 3 thin coats. Unfortunately, the shimmer in the bottle is virtually undetectable on the nail.

To Buy or Not To Buy looks pinker compared to Essie's cool toned pastel purple Lilacism.

Pointer and ring fingers: Lilacism
Middle and pinky fingers: To Buy or Not to Buy

There is quite the selection of pastel purple polishes out there - I'd love to see how To Buy or Not to Buy compares to Essie's other pastel purples such as St. Lucia Lilac or Nice Is Nice. China Glaze Light as Air, OPI Steady as She Rose, and Zoya Marley might also be similar.

The beautiful shimmer looks so promising in the bottle but unfortunately is hardly visible on the nail. If you are in love with the blue duochrome shimmer, I'd recommend tracking down OPI I Juggle... Men. The same shimmer is suspended in clear polish and you can apply it over any color.

Adding one coat of OPI I Juggle... Men gives To Buy or Not To Buy the shimmer seen in the bottle.

Despite the fact that To Buy or Not to Buy's formula is less than perfect and the beautiful shimmer in the bottle disappears on the nail, I don't own a dupe for this color and think it makes a lovely addition to my collection of spring pastels.

Essie's Navigate Her collection is available in February. In New York City, Essie can be purchased at many locations including Beauty 35, Bed Bath and Beyond, Cosmetic Market, and Duane Reade.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spring 2012 is "Pink-a-Boo"ing Around the Corner

I really wasn't trying to go to Cosmetic Market (remember that place?) tonight, but it just *happened* to be on my way home. The usual Essie polishes were lined up in the usual place for the usual fantastic price of $3.99 (for a few weeks Cosmetic Market was completely out of Essie but now they're back). For some reason, about 90% of the Essie polishes at Cosmetic Market have had the labels removed. As I was picking up polishes out of curiosity and checking the bottoms for rogue labels (I wonder if anyone was like "What is that chic doing"), I came across a pale pink that flashed an amazing blue and pink shimmer like I've never seen before from Essie. I headed to the bins on the floor hoping to find one with a name... what IS this polish called?... then I found one! I had stumbled on "Pink-a-Boo" from Essie's 2012 Resort Collection!


Just look at the shimmer... I was sold!

"Pink-a-Boo" is a pale, sheer pink with a duochrome shimmer that shifts from blue to deep pink. The shimmer is similar to OPI's "I Juggle... Men" but more dense. Below, I used (3) coats and you can still see the tips of my nails. The shimmer is visible on the nail but is not as intense as it appears in the bottle.

The amazing duochrome in the bottle doesn't translate the same to the nail.

Layering "Pink-a-Boo" adds a lovely shimmer to any pastel pink creme polish. I wish I could tell you that the duochrome is as impressive as it appears in the bottle. Regardless, adding "Pink-a-Boo" is a subtle way to upgrade to a manicure.

Two coats of "Pink-a-Boo" layered over pointer and ring finger: Essie "Fiji" Middle and pinky finger: Essie "Raise Awareness"

"Pink-a-Boo" is a sheer pink with a sophisticated shimmer. The shimmer is subtle enough to be work-appropriate and the formula was smooth. Look for "Pink-a-Boo" in stores this spring as part of Essie's 2012 Resort Collection!

Visit Cosmetic Market at 15 East 37th Street (between Madison and 5th Ave).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Happy Chinese New Year, or Kung Hei Fat Choi! Next weekend, the streets of Chinatown in NYC will be filled with celebration and dancing dragons. To welcome the Year of the Dragon, I'm wearing "Jade is the New Black" from OPI's spring 2010 "Hong Kong" collection.

Jade is an important and significant stone in Chinese culture that "symbolizes beauty, nobility, perfection, constancy, power, and immortality" (source:  http://chineseculture.about.com/cs/history/a/JadeCulture_2.htm). In reading about jade while writing this post, I am amazed at the role it played in ancient history - Taoist alchemists actually ate jade elixirs in hopes of becoming immortal (source: http://www.chinafacttours.com/facts/art/chinese-jade.html). Do check out the article, it's fascinating. And I thought jade was just a good luck charm!

While "Jade is the New Black" was one of the stand-out polishes of the Hong Kong collection, I picked this polish up only recently when I found it marked down at Ricky's for $3.99 (win). I'm not a green nail polish fanatic, but "Jade is the New Black" has completely won me over. It came as a bit of a surprise to me when I found this polish to have a bit of a jelly-like consistency when it looks so creamy in person and in photos! I'd say the texture falls between the sorbet polishes from the OPI Texas collection and a true cream. Whatever it is, I am in love - the final look is smooth and shiny.

Next Sunday is the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. According to About.com, "the parade usually winds throughout Chinatown along Mott, Canal, and Bayard streets, and along East Broadway" between 11:30AM and 4PM.

Chinese characters source: About.com.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Enjoying the Snow and Wearing - Not Getting - "Frostbite"

Yesterday was the first snowfall here in the city since that crazy October snowstorm! While it was more messy and grey than picture perfect snow, kids had fun sledding and building things.

Having some snow on the ground finally gave me the chance to wear my awesome new grizzly bear Hunter boot socks and this icy blue Savina polish I picked up at Nordstrom Rack called "Frostbite".

"Frostbite" is a periwinkle purple-blue polish with icy, shimmery flecks. We've been seeing a blue-with-icy-flecks nail polish trend (ex:  OPI "I Don't Give a Rotterdam" and Zoya "Skylar") going on, haven't we! No complaints about application and "Frostbite" looked great in two coats.

I wish I had Essie's "Smooth Sailing" to compare it to. But what I can show you is "Frostbite" next to Zoya's "Caitlin" to give you a better idea of the color. "Caitlin" is a lavendery grey-blue and "Frostbite" is a tad more saturated and a bit more blue.

Savina nail polishes can be purchased at Nordstrom Rack for $3.97 and online at 8ty8 Beauty for $2.68. In NYC, Nordstrom Rack is located at 60 East 14th Street in Union Square (next to Best Buy).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Field Trip: Gaga's Workshop

This past holiday season, the 5th floor of Barney's was transformed into a crazy funhouse Gaga's Workshop. With every inch decked out in bright colors and patterns, Lady Gaga music looping, and larger than life fantasy creations, the experience truly felt like stepping into the mind of Lada Gaga.


There was Gaga everything for sale - Gaga candy necklaces, Gaga marble notebooks, Gaga light up yo-yos, Gaga playing cards, Gaga tape measures, even these "Little Monster" dolls. The strangest/most awesome product was the Gaga "egg spin toy".

Nail art and nail polish played a big role in the Workshop. Yay!

You could purchase these awesome press on nails for $225. Geesh.


$225 makes the Deborah Lippmann "Edge of Glory" 3D Holographic duo seem like a deal at $40.


I did not buy the Deborah Lippman "Edge of Glory" 3D Holographic duo for $40.

Gaga's Workshop is now closed, but that means the sale has just begun. Head on over to Barney's website to see what's been marked down!

See more pictures inside the Workshop...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get Rocked at Ricky's NYC with NAIL ROCK Creative Director Zoe Pocock

Mark your calendars! On Tuesday, January 24th from 2-6PM, NAIL ROCK's creative director Zoe Pocock will be at Ricky's Soho location AND you can receive a complimentary NAIL ROCK manicure!

Image courtesy of d2publicity

"Ricky’s NYC and NAIL ROCK’s Creative Director Zoe Pocock have teamed up to celebrate the stateside launch of NAIL ROCK designer nail wraps at their Soho store location. Attendees can get a full set of their choice of wraps applied to their nails (first come, first served)."

What's NAIL ROCK? NAIL ROCK is a "line of designer nail wraps from London from creative director & premier nail artist, Zoe Pocock, who counts singer Adele, Fergie and Kerri Hilson among her clients. These runway-inspired wraps require no heat, waiting or drying time and last up to 10 days on the fingers and 2 weeks on the toes."

NAIL ROCK has become the UK’s "leading nail wrap brand with trend-led designs and easy to use, long lasting applications." Check out www.nailrock.com for a full list of nail designs. I love the UK flag one!

Ricky's Soho is located at 590 Broadway (between Houston and Prince Street). While you're there, look for the new Mattese Elite "Carnival" collection and new Butter polishes, as well as browse the large selection of Essie and OPI.

Out of town? Shop for NAIL ROCK products on http://www.rickysnyc.com/.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Award your Nails with Duri's Red Carpet Collection

It's awards season! Celebrities will be walking the red carpets looking fantastic (or in some cases, not so fantastic) and if you're like me, you'll be checking out what's on their nails. Wouldn't it be great if in addition to "who are you wearing" the interviewer asked "what nail polish did you choose tonight"?!

Just in time for awards season is Brooklyn based Duri's Red Carpet collection. This expansive nine piece collection has polishes in every category - from the classic, to flashy, to cutting edge, there's a polish for everyone.

What would a red carpet collection be without a stunning red? The velvety red cream "VIP Lounge" screams Hollywood glamour. The formula was a tad watery (you can see the pooling in my pointer finger cuticle) and I needed three coats. But the shine was fantastic! You can see my lamp so clearly reflected in the polish, and I didn't use a top coat!

"Behind the Scene" (the press release name is "Behind the Scenes") is a deep eggplant cream and has the same formula and fabulous shine as "Behind the Scene". I thought Essie's "Carry On" would be a dupe, however "Carry On" looks more burgundy next to "Behind the Scene".

Duri describes "Limo Ride" as a copper shimmer but I'd say it's more of a frosty-melon-chrome. What kind of finish would you say this is? While it might officially be a "frost", "Limo Ride" didn't leave funny brush strokes typically associated with "frost" finishes. The final look was sleek like a shiny new car (is that a weird way to describe polish?) and it was almost perfect in one coat. While I was blown away with the quality of "Limo Ride", the melon shade wasn't the best for my skin tone.

"Tabloid Rumors" is a graphite shimmer the exact color of a pencil (you know, when you turn it on an angle and shade something in?) I have a few neutral greys, but none that have a silvery shimmer like "Tabloid Rumors".

"Celebrity Scandal" is a bright white silver foil. I love silver foil polishes for stamping and look forward to trying this one out. The formula was great and the polish was easy to control.

"Paparazzi" is a perfectly jewel-toned emerald green - it's slightly less blue and a tad darker than the photo below. I can imagine a stunning red carpet dress inspired by this shade! The formula was fantastic and I only needed two coats. Do be careful of staining when removing this color.

"Addicted to Fame" is a fiery, metallic tangerine nail polish. In the bottle, it looks frosty but on the nail, it comes alive! Just like "Limo Ride", there were no dreaded brush strokes and again I'm left wondering if it's a frost or a chrome. Three coats made it perfect.

I can't help but wonder what Joan Rivers would have to say about the glistening cornflower blue polish "Fashion Police". While this is the sheerest polish in the collection, it isn't watery and is easy to control. "Fashion Polish" reminds me of pictures I've seen of China Glaze "Blue Island Iced Tea". Below, I used three coats.

"Oscar Party" was the big surprise - at first, I saw only a bright shimmery grass green nail polish. But then as I took "Oscar Party" out of the box, I saw it. The way the light was throwing off glowing orange embers. Duri has given us a green/orange duochrome!

There really is a color for everyone in the "Red Carpet" collection. I was a tad disappointed there wasn't a fabulous gold foil - it could have been called "Envelope, Please"! :)

Duri polishes are $5.00. I've seen Duri at Optima Beauty Supply on 22 John Street in downtown Manhattan. As Duri is a Brooklyn-based brand, I was told they are available at many Brooklyn beauty supply stores!

Duri polishes are used at the following salons in NYC:

112 Christopher Street, 212-337-1966

Fifi Salon
47 West 57th Street, 212-581-6430

Gideon's Nails
1385 Broadway, 646-404-2186

Lia Schorr Skin Care
686 Lexington Avenue, 212-486-9670

Soho Sanctuary
119 Mercer Street, 212-334-5550

You can also shop online: www.duri.com. All Duri nail products are completely safe, environmentally-friendly and free from DBP, TOLUENE and FORMALDEHYDE.

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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butter London "Knackered" is the Polish of My Dreams

Ever since I received an email announcing Butter's new Spring/Summer line up of "Disco Biscuit", "Bossy Boots", "Slapper", "Trout Pout", and "Knackered", I have been having nail polish dreams about finding the holo-duochrome (multichrome?) wonder "Knackered". Today - on Friday the 13th of all days - I found the entire collection including "Knackered" at Ricky's on my lunch break!!!

Butter describes "Knackered" as "a sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles". I love every word in that description, it's so dreamy, isn't it? "Knackered" is British slang meaning exhausted. A most excellent name for a polish, however, this isn't a shade I will soon tire of!

"Knackered" was just as difficult to photograph as it is to describe in words. This beauty captures silver, blue, pink, purple, and blue-green shades depending on the lighting. Like other pearl or "oyster" duo/multichrome polishes, "Knackered" is a bit sheer - below, I used (3) coats. I LOVE how the tiny holographic flecks are so visible on the nail!

These next two pictures capture the range of colors in "Knackered":

In lower light, the pink tones really stand out. This is much more vivid in real life.

The blue-green tones can be seen in this next picture:

"Knackered" simply must be seen over black! Keep reading for more swatches and "Knackered" over black.

Goodbye, Sephora at 67th and 3rd!

On Gotham Polish, I love welcoming new stores with you! But every once in a while, we need to say goodbye. Sephora at 67th and 3rd is now closed.

In case you missed the announcement - this was the footnote in a recent email blast from Sephora (the subject was something about "new jumbo products") - if you shop at either the 57th and Lex location or the 86th and Lex location, present this coupon for double points.

Don't be too sad, nail polish fans - this location didn't sell Illamasqua or Nails Inc. The associate at this Sephora actually gave me a strange look when I asked where the Nails Inc was... the "I've never heard of that product" look. Interesting!

Head on down to 57th St or up to 86th St if you are around the Upper East Side and need a Sephora fix :) The map has been updated!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Field Trip: Inglot's Chelsea Market Studio

In New York City, we are lucky to not only have one Inglot store but TWO! In addition to their Times Square location, Inglot has a beautiful and gigantic retail store and studio space on the 5th floor of Chelsea Markets. I hope you enjoy this photo tour - it feels a bit like sharing a secret with you :) While it's open to the public, every time I've been there I've been the only one in the store shopping!

What an inspirational setting to have your makeup done!

I spy TONS of nail polish! Check out the professional set up in the back (and boxes and boxes of product)!

Inglot's AMC Lipgloss is simply stunning. Dear Inglot, could you please bottle some of that multichrome-goodness into a polish?

A table-full of rich pigments

Inglot is located in New York City on 1592 Broadway (at 48th St) and in Chelsea Market at 75 9th Ave on the 5th floor (that's between 15th and 16th St). You can shop online as well.