Friday, March 30, 2012

Field Trip: Sephora + Pantone Universe Pop-Up Color Shop

The Sephora + Pantone Universe Pop-Up Color Shop is now closed

In case you haven't heard, Tangerine Tango is Pantone's pick for color of the year. In a brilliant collaboration, Sephora and Pantone Universe created a collection of products in the Tangerine Tango hue including lip gloss, nail polish, cosmetic bags, and even an eyelash curler. Last week, a pop-up shop complete with larger-than-life paint swatches gave Chelsea Plaza a nice pop of color to exhibit the new line.

That traffic cone knows what's in


Sephora make-up artists showed guests how to rock Tangerine Tango

The Color of the Year Nail Enamel Set ($24) includes the shade Tangerine Tango in four different finishes: cream, matte, shimmer, and glitter.


Looove the packaging!

If you can't wait to get your hands on the color of the year the color of the year on your hands, check out OPI OPI On Collins Ave, CND Poppyfield, and Essie Olé Caliente.

While the pop-up shop is now closed, the Sephora + Pantone Universe collection will be available at Sephora in stores soon and is already online.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

butter LONDON: Flawless Basecoat and P.D. Quick Topcoat

I received butter LONDON's Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat to test out and after using both products for several weeks have a quite thorough review to share with you.

Quick note: When it comes to finding the "best" base and top coat, there are individual differences in everyone's nails that affect how well the products work for us. Think of hair products! Your favorite shampoo might not work as well for your friend :)

The Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat dries to a silky smooth almost matte base. This reminds me of Orly Ridgefiller which also evens out my nails, except Ridgefiller is milky white and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat is nude. I think Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat is very versatile because of the nude shade.

Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat dries decently fast and really gets the job done. It has a thinner consistency than other fast-dry topcoats so you aren't tricked into thinking your nails are dry but then end up denting them because underneath they are still mushy. Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat does not dry as slick to the touch as Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and isn't as self-leveling, but it also doesn't cause any shrinkage.

Wear Test

I chose butter LONDON Wallis for the wear test, which I actually won from fellow New Yorker Carly aka Lacquered Lover :) Worth mentioning - I didn't do anything that would cause more or less wear to my nails than usual.

In the first 48 hours, wear was basically unnoticeable. Tip wear set in after three days, and after four days some chips started showing up. Really, nothing too dramatic. The tip wear could easily have been filed down a little if I wanted to stretch this manicure a day or two longer.

the end of day 4


The Size
Both products are 17.5 ml/0.6 fl oz. A butter LONDON nail polish is 11 ml/0.4 fl oz.

Comes Without a Warning Label
butter LONDON's products are made without Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens.

No Shrinkage
Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat does not shrink up around your cuticle. Google image search "Seche shrinkage" if you're not sure what this is.

No Sheet Marks
I've tried other top coats that claim to be fast drying, but in the morning I wake up with my sheets imprinted on my nails. I didn't get any sheet marks while using Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat.

Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat gives your nails just a little - but enough - color to even out and prepare your nails for a manicure.

Both products had an even consistency that was easy to work with.


Topcoat Doesn't Self-Level
Hardwear P.D.Quick Topcoat dries fast, however I noticed some streaking up close and could feel tiny ridges. Doubtful, though, that anyone other than you would be able to detect this.

Tip Wear
This may be due to my personal chemistry, but I experienced a little more tip wear than usual (yes, I do wear one nail polish for 4 sometimes 5 days!) Possibly though the 
Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat is designed to wear down instead of chip off?

Hardwear P.D.Quick Topcoat isn't quite as glossy as Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

butter LONDON's Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat retail for $18.00 each. *Tomorrow, 03/26/12, you can pick up both products (Hardwear P.D. Quick Topcoat and Nail Foundation Flawless Basecoat) at Ulta for $19 as a promotion for the 21 Days of Beauty*

Where to Find Butter London Nail Polish in New York City

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The one with the water bottle, polka dots, and Zoya Kristen

I received some really awesome samples at Bloggers Night Out, and recently I've been loving Zoya Kristen (from a sample Birchbox) and an Earthlust water bottle. This little stainless steel water bottle has been coming on all my weekend nail polish treks :)

From the Birchbox, my favorite sample is Zoya Kristen, of course! Kristen is a pastel periwinkle creme from the 'Feel' Collection. Kristen goes on thick but isn't quite a one coater - I used two and it was perfect.


I love this color. It isn't quite as bright as the other pastel blues in my collection (Color Club Take Me To Your Chateau) but it's certainly not greyed out (China Glaze Sea Spray).

While I was putting on Kristen, Essie Navigate Her was on my table and the two colors looked like a great pair! Using the end of a thin paintbrush (fancy, right?), I dotted Navigate Her on my ring finger as an accent. Doesn't it look like an Easter egg?

Shopping guide: Where to find Zoya in NYC

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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

New York City loves parades. While there aren't any floats or balloons, the St. Patrick's Day parade is full of marching bands, bagpipes, NYPD, organizations, bagpipes, firefighters, drill teams, bagpipes, and even a few Mounties (pictures after the break!)

Like many of you, I was having trouble deciding what to wear on my nails for St. Patrick's Day! After pulling out all my greens and laying them on the floor, I decided to layer CND Jade Sparkle over OPI Jade is the New Black (JITNB).

CND Jade Sparkle is from the CND Effects series. I love how - with only one coat - Jade Sparkle transforms JITNB, but still keeps the original color true (see JITNB alone). The look is so even and seamless! Jade Sparkle is a bit of a chameleon as it flashes both gold and green based on the light.


CND Effects polishes retail for $11.00 per bottle, For CND Colour & Effects e-tailers or regional salon and spa availability, please visit In New York City, CND polishes can be purchased at the Polished Beauty Bar on 250 West 78th Street.

See more parade pictures!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Butter London Bluey

Chelsea Market Wishing Well

Toss a coin in! If you wished for an alluring shimmery deep blue with a hint of turquoise, Butter London heard you and answered with Bluey. From the Fall 2011 collection, Butter calls Bluey a "slightly dark metallic Peacock blue". Even though this color may look like you're staring down 100 feet into the clear sea, there's nothing watery about Bluey. Control was great = no pooling around the cuticles. The formula was a bit thin and I used three coats here, but because it's on the sheer side this color has some interesting layering potential.

Worn with Butter's Flawless Basecoat and P. D. Quick Topcoat, Bluey held up well and I wore it for three days. A more comprehensive review of Flawless Basecoat and P. D. Quick Topcoat will follow!

In New York City, my favorite retailers of Butter polishes are C.O. Bigelow, Ricky's, and Windsor Pharmacy. And there are many more! Here is a list of retailers in New York City that carry Butter nail polish.

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Polish: Agro

"With THE HUNGER GAMES about to begin, Capitol citizens can show their support for their chosen district through China Glaze®’s exclusive Capitol Colours nail polish collection. The collection combines rich crèmes, soft shimmers and bold glitters to create the limited edition 12 shade nail polish collection inspired by the most anticipated movie release of the year."

District 11 is the agricultural center of Panem. In the games, it is the district that Rue, Thresh and Seeder represented. Even though the residents spend long hours harvesting grain and tending to orchards, the food is sent to the Capitol and they are one of the poorest districts.

From the China Glaze Capitol Colors collection, Agro is a mossy green with a lively metallic shimmer. Isn't this the most perfect Hunger Games color? The yellow and brown tones in this green remind me of winter grass. Like Stone Cold, Agro is a true one coater! Because it is slightly metallic, be careful that you brush this one on straight to avoid any wiggly weird streaks. I wore Agro to work and not only did my co-workers love it, it held up well showing the expected amount of tip wear after three days.

In New York City, reader Green Man spotted the Hunger Games polishes at Gideon's Drugs (1385 Broadway, corner of 38th St). I'd also try the Ulta in Rego Park or Sally Beauty in Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island. Click here for a list of China Glaze retailers in NYC.

PS - I have a hard time saying "Agro" without following it up with "Crag"...

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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Your Moment of Zen

Somewhere on 38th between Broadway and 6th, someone's selling off their nail polish stash in the window of what may or may not be a barber shop. I actually did a double take just like in the cartoons.

I wanted to investigate further, but this store place was closed, possibly forever. See anything you like? ;)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Beauty 35 will no longer carry China Glaze

Reader ♥NAZIN♥ of Nailcicles broke the sad news recently that Beauty 35 is no longer going to stock China
Glaze. I called to confirm and wanted to spread the word (I've also updated older posts to reflect this). Hopefully you'll get this message before heading there in search of China Glaze :/ There are still a handful of other locations around NYC - here is the listing.

But there have been some exciting nail polish sightings around town!

Carly from Lacquered Lover spotted the Color Club Magnetic polishes at Ricky's. Check out the store locator for a Ricky's near you. They sell for $13 at Ricky's... for a bit less, head over to Essentials (123 5th Ave between 19th and 20th St) where they're only $8.

Adrianna from Polish and Paillettes found China Glaze nail polish for sale at her Hot Topic. There's actually a Hot Topic in Queens and on Staten Island! Has anyone else seen China Glaze at Hot Topic?

Jen from The Girly Bits spotted the China Glaze Magnetix collection at Beauty Plus Salon (2568 Broadway between 96th and 97th).

Thanks so much for sharing nail polish sightings and news!

Monday, March 5, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Polish: Stone Cold

"With THE HUNGER GAMES about to begin, Capitol citizens can show their support for their chosen district through China Glaze®’s exclusive Capitol Colours nail polish collection. The collection combines rich crèmes, soft shimmers and bold glitters to create the limited edition 12 shade nail polish collection inspired by the most anticipated movie release of the year."

In Panem, District 2 specializes in mining and stone cutting. District 2 is also where Peacekeepers are trained and weapons are manufactured, but most importantly District 2 is home to "The Nut" - a large mountain used to house the military and hovercrafts.

From the China Glaze Capitol Colors collection, Stone Cold is a striking matte grey polish with silver flecks of shimmer. Stone Cold dries to a smooth, matte finish but the most impressive feature of this polish is that you only need one coat. On Gotham Polish, I often say a polish is "almost one coat but I used two". Stone Cold seriously is a one-coater by my standards, as in, I would use one coat and not need a second to make it look better.

Like a reversible bag, this is one product with two looks. Add a top coat and Stone Cold comes alive - the grey becomes deeper and the silver shines even brighter.

Stone Cold with China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat 

The downside of the one-coated-ness is that Stone Cold starts to wear away after only one day. My boyfriend asked "what's up with that", and I told him that it's due in part to the fact that you don't use a top coat with a matte nail polish... to which he replied "what about a matte top coat"?

Well ladies? Has anyone tried it? Does using a matte top coat over a matte nail polish extend its life?

In New York City, the best chance of finding the latest China Glaze collection is at Ulta in Rego Park or Sally Beauty in Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island. Click here for a list of China Glaze retailers in NYC.

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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Top 5 Spring 2012 Nail Polish Trends and NYC Events

It could be the mild winter we've been having, but now that we've made it to March spring is positively noticeably in the air. The days are getting longer - I've finally started to see daylight after work!

With warmer weather on the horizon, we pack away the extra blankets and move those heavy sweaters to the bottom of our drawers. In our nail polish drawers, the darker, dusty colors work their way to the back as we rediscover our pastels and bright polishes.

For each trend I'll share a polish in my collection and a link for you to see some other options!

#5 Shimmery Periwinkle

This icy cool purpley-blue hue made it into almost every spring collection this year. Maybe it's because periwinkle is soothing to look at but I think it was the brilliant touch of shimmer that convinced us we need every version out there!

Savina Frostbite

Color Club Hydrangea Kiss (Chloe's Nails)
Finger Paints Grape Gumball (Polish You Pretty)
OPI I Have a Herring Problem (NailZilla)
Zoya Skylar (Polish and Patience)

#4 Bubble Gum Pink

This year, several cool pink creme shades busted into the nail polish scene proclaiming "And you thought you've seen it all!" Best described as bubble gum pink, this polish is a fun and girly accessory that is sure to spring-ify any outfit you wear.

China Glaze Dance Baby

Color Club Blushing Rose (Lacquered Lover)
MAC Pinkly Fresh (Temptalia)
OPI Pink Friday (My Nail Polish Online)

#3 Extreme Flakies

Flaky nail polish is a nail polish lover's delight. Crazy extreme flaky nail polish is a dream come true! This spring, flakies of all colors, shapes, and sizes are flying off shelves and on to nails faster than high-end polishes are being duped (oh snap...)!

Finger Paints Twisted

American Apparel Meteor Shower (Goose's Glitter)
China Glaze Luxe and Lush (Rachel Marie's Nails)
Color Club Diamond Drops (Enamel Girl)
Cult Nails Unicorn Puke/Clairvoyant (Dizzy Nails)
Finger Paints Special Effects Polishes (Let Them Have Polish)

#2 Avocado-y Spring Green

Let's face it - there's a new green in town this year and it isn't quite last year's mint green! This fresh green is the color of new flowers poking through the ground and wearing it on your nails says you are SO ready for spring.

Essie Navigate Her

China Glaze Gaga for Green (Gotham Polish)
Dior Waterlily (Ommorphia Beauty Bar)
Nubar Kiwi (The Hungry Asian)
Sinful Colors Olympia (Frazzle and Aniploish)
Yves Saint Laurent Duo Manicure Couture Nail Polish Set in Edition 7 (Fashion Polish)

#1 Indie Polish

The best nail polish shades this spring aren't actually found in the stores. They're found online! Whether it's a polish you stumbled across on Etsy or something special you ordered from overseas, wearing a lacquer that isn't massed produced is the hottest trend this spring in nail polish.

Cult Nails:
Elixir Lacquers:
Girly Bits:
The Hungry Asian:
Nerd Lacquer:
Nostalgic Lacquer:

And now in order by date, here are my top 5 spring event picks in New York City:

Cherry Blossom Season at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
April 1 - 29, Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Once a year, cherry trees bloom delicate pink pom poms. At the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, there is a Cherry Esplanade and Cherry Walk where you can be surrounded by beautiful pink blossoms in April. It looks simply dreamy!

Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival
April 8th 10AM - 4PM, 5th Ave from 49th St to 57th St
The NYC Easter Parade is quite unique. It's highly disorganized but highly enjoyable - people dress in their Easter best or dress up like a bunny on a Segway.

NY Baseball Opening Day
Mets vs Braves: April 5th, 1:10PM
Yankees vs Angels: April 13th, 1:05PM
Spring is baseball season and New York City is a baseball town! Catch a game at Shea Citi Field or Yankee Stadium and don't forget to wear sunblock :)

Tribeca Film Festival
April 18 - 29
Check out a new film! "The Festival’s mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking center. Tribeca Film Festival is well known for being a diverse international film festival that supports emerging and established directors."

Fleet Week
surrounding Memorial Day Weekend
"Since 1984, New York City has held Fleet Week to honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The week features extensive military demonstrations, as well as the opportunity for the public to tour some of the visiting ships. The Memorial Day commemoration is a highlight of the week's festivities, featuring the singing of Taps and a military aircraft fly over in honor of those who lost their lives in service to the United States."

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