Friday, May 25, 2012

Ricky's Loves the Hamptons

What are you doing this Memorial Day Weekend? If you're heading out to the Hamptons, a.) you're lucky and b.) you should totally stop by Ricky's (yes, there's a Ricky's in East Hampton!) There will be a gift with purchase for the first 50 customers - as if spending the weekend in the Hamptons isn't awesome enough already ;)

I wonder if they have a wall of polish at their East Hampton store? Visit Ricky's on 50 Main Street in East Hampton, NY.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cake Batter Blondies and Confetti Cake Nails

These past two days have been kind of grey, so nothing better to brighten things up than baking some colorful cake batter blondies and wearing a colorful confetti cake manicure :)

The recipe for the manicure:
  • Two coats of Essie Navigate Her
  • One coat of Milani Gems
  • One coat of OPI So Many Clowns... So Little Time
Yes, it takes a bit longer to dry because of all the layers but the final look is so much fun!

As for the cake batter blondies...


The recipe for the cake batter blondies can be found on the blog of a fellow New Yorker Girl Meets Life - link! We added chocolate chips :) They are really amazing but don't eat too many and wait until your nails are dry!

Want to see more glitter sandwich manis? Here's one in pink, blue, and as a gradient.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hello, Holo! Layla Hologram Mercury Twilight is the Real Deal

A few weeks ago, the new Layla Hologram polishes must have just hits the shelves at Ulta in Queens because they had a full display. I never would have guessed from looking at the bottle that these are true, linear, and intense holo polishes (unlike how the OPI DS polishes appear in the bottle). But don't be fooled - these Layla Hologram polishes are the real deal!

Long have I considered silver holo to be THE holo of holo polishes. Because I don't have Nfu Oh 61 or Gosh Holographic, I bought Mercury Twilight and a long-time 'must-have' has been fulfilled!


This holo is so holo that it's holo inside.

Indirect sunlight, taken by my window

With flash

With flash

In the light box, you can get a better idea of what this polish looks like when the holo isn't being activated ;) The bright white-silver tone is lovely!

When putting on the first and even second coats, the holo doesn't really show up - it was after three coats that the fantastic holo was at last noticeable. And SHAKE WELL! The holo particles tend to clump up and you can see on my thumb some patchiness. But, I think this is just the nature of using such a high-concentration of holo pigment :)

I did not buy the Layla buffer, but did buff my nails slightly before applying as this polish exposes ridges. I also did not buy the special base coat.

Layla Hologram polishes cost $15.50. While on the high-end of the nail polish price range, keep in mind that the holo pigment is expensive. Also worth noting: these polishes are smaller than a typical polish (0.33 Fl Oz vs a 0.5 Fl Oz OPI). 

In NYC, Layla Hologram polishes can be purchased at Ulta in Queens (Rego Park Shopping Center). The coupon for $3.50 off of $10 at Ulta can really be put to good use :)

Online, Layla Hologram polishes can be purchase at Ulta and Zappos.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Japan Day Part Two: People, Events, and Hello Kitty

Not only was the food fantastic and plentiful at Japan Day, there were activities & events both kids and adults enjoyed.

Hello Kitty!!!

Origami lessons. There were also stations where you could learn language and calligraphy!

Karate demonstration

Chopsticks game

Pocky pocket!!!


I really love that there were so many hands-on activities and opportunities to learn about the culture and language. The organizers of Japan Day can really be proud of a great event, congrats!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Japan Day Part One: The Food

Sunday was Japan Day in Central Park. The day kicked off with a 4 mile run (my boyfriend PR'd!) and after, there were tents offering food samples and activities including calligraphy, origami and robot sumo battles. Because we took many, many pictures, this post will be about the food!

Amazing udon!!!

Preparing okonomiyaki samples - this one had the longest line!

Scallions for the udon... mmm, scallions...

Volunteers were walking around handing out these Oolong Shot drinks like they were serving appetizers at a cocktail party.

I also tried the vegetable gyoza, but ate them before we could snap a picture...

The weather was absolutely perfect and I wore OPI DS Original (thanks for your comments!!!)

More pictures tomorrow :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

What OPI DS Polish is this?

Never one to turn down a trip to a drug store, when a co-worker asked me to come along to CVS on our lunch break to print pictures for mother's day and I gladly tagged along. While the photos were printing, I conveniently had some time to kill in the beauty aisle... and it was on this spontaneous trip that I stumbled on quite possibly the most epic CVS find ever: an OPI DS polish!

Here's where I need your help - I don't actually know for certain which DS polish this is! There was no name label on the bottle of this beautifully intensely holographic lavender polish. The bar code was so worn down that the cashier had to manually enter the SKU. Maybe this CVS was doing some spring cleaning in the stock room???

As soon as I could, I Tweeted a picture of this polish and several of you guessed OPI DS Original. Mara from Bar à Ongles actually ran right over and bought the only other one. Mara is also pretty sure it's DS Original. But what about DS Amethyst?

In direct sunlight, the holo is intense and linear. The purple color is stronger than it appears inside. I didn't use a top coat and it's still so shiny!


Indoors, the holo is still impressively visible however the color appears lighter and much pinker. Because this polish looks different based on the lighting, it's hard to look up pictures online and compare :)

So what do you think this polish is? OPI DS Original, OPI DS Amethyst, or something else?

Need more pictures to help? Keep reading!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thoughts about Bikes and Red Nail Polish

Whether you're a native New Yorker or a tourist, riding your bike in Central Park or along the edge of Manhattan is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. A really unique time to ride your bike in the city is when Park Ave is closed for Summer Streets.

I have a bike, but honestly sometimes I'm intimidated to ride outside the parks :/ I'm happy though that steps are being taken to make NYC more bicycle-friendly: new bike lanes are being installed (one is going in now on 1st Ave in the Upper East Side) and there is talk of bringing are plans for a bike share program in the city.

Here are some great resources for NYC bicyclists:
NYC bike maps
A New Street Code for NYC Cyclists
Transportation Alternatives

Let's talk red nail polish. If I hadn't received Orly Haute Red as a gift from my dad, honestly I probably wouldn't have bought it. With so many crazy colors out there - duochromes, multichromes, holos - my eyes pass by the red cremes. But I would have seriously been missing out because Haute Red was love at first brush stroke. Haute Red has changed my opinion of red polish from "meh" to "YAY" :)

Over CND StickyHaute Red applied evenly and with impressive control. There is nothing runny about it - I might as well have been painting my nails with a permanent marker. Haute Red is also very pigmented. One coat was almost good enough, but I used two to cover up some faint visible nail line-age.

Haute Red has a dash of orange in it so I wanted to see how it compared to Essie Olé Caliente.

Olé Caliente is creamier and more coral than Haute Red. In the bright lighting above, the difference is subtle but if you saw this in person there's no way these colors could pass for dupes.

Here's a low light photo - while this photo won't win any awards, you can get a much better idea of how different these colors are ;)

I love that the permanent line of Orly polishes are sold in "mini" versions and can be purchased individually. OPI and Sephora by OPI also offer mini polishes, but they are sold in sets. Worth noting that at 5.4ml, the "mini" Orly polishes are less than a third the size of a "full sized" 18ml Orly polish. The price for the minis is between $3 -$4.

In New York City, Orly polish can be purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Manhattan Beauty Supply, and Ricky's.

Are you on team red nail polish? What red polish was it that won you over?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Margarita Mani

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than by wearing a margarita on your nails (yes, I know it was yesterday). The gradient manicure trend has really taken off! While there are many ladies who have this technique down much better than I, it's probably safe to say this is the first gradient manicure that's rimmed with salt ;)


  • yellow polish (my pick: Wet & Wild 423B... it's really old)
  • light green polish (my pick: OCC Wasabi)
  • dark green polish (my pick: China Glaze Gaga For Green)
  • clear top coat (my pick: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat)
  • a slice or two of fimo fruit (my pick: Bundle Monster lemon fimo cane)
  • salt

1. Start by painting your nails yellow.

2. With your eyeshadow sponge, dab on some of the lighter green starting at the base of your nail to the middle of your nail. With the other side of your eyeshadow sponge, dab on the darker green polish mostly at the base of your nail. Touch up as needed until the colors blend together the way you want.

3. When you're happy with the gradient, add a clear top coat of nail polish.

4. Add a fruit slice or two (PLEASE be careful when handling a sharp blade and cutting fimo canes). I just used a dot of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and plopped them on.

5. Top with salt. Again I used Seche as the "glue" and just stuck on the salt where I wanted it.

And there you have it! A margarita manicure that's sure to draw attention! 

Bonus - here's what we made for dinner last night :)

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

Saturday, May 5, 2012

GAP Gold Rush is Duochrome-licious


Happy Weekend! What are you up to? It's kind of overcast here and since the boyfriend is riding in the 5 Borough Bike Tour tomorrow, we're having a relaxing day in.

Did you know GAP is selling nail polish again? Next time you stop by, look for little squarish bottles either by the counter or in clear round containers placed around the store. While there are lots of creme shades, there is one polish that stands out and will basically blow your mind.

Gold Rush is essentially a dupe for Chanel Peridot in all regards except for price. It was Carly's review on Lacquered Lover that convinced me I needed this polish in my life!

The shift from golden orange to cool cobalt reminds me of "thermochromism: the property of substances to change color due to a change in temperature" (source: I just learned that word, but you know the concept. Like a mood ring. Or, this.

Goose from Goose's Glitter photographs her duochrome polishes underwater, so I thought I'd give it a try :) Don't you just love how the duochrome pops in the water?


Gold Rush wore well - for me, that was (3) good days with no chipping and very minimal tip wear. If I wasn't itching to try out my new Layla holo I would have kept it on for longer ;) The finish is somewhat of a cross between a chrome and a foil and brush strokes were not an issue. I used (2) coats.

If you're interested in seeing how Gold Rush compares to Chanel Peridot and others, check out Carly's post:

GAP polishes can be purchased at the GAP for $6. You probably already know where your closest GAP is, but I will tell you that Gold Rush was sold out at the 59th & Lex and 23rd & 8th locations (although it might be worth seeing if they'll sell you the tester bottle if this shade is calling to you). I found this at 54th & 5th. Alternatively, look for OPI Just Spotted the Lizard.

This reminds me, few "vintage" GAP polishes I should show you sometime...

Keep reading for more duochrome goodness!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lilacs and Lilacism

While lilacs come in many shades of pink and purple, Lilacism from Essie's Spring 2010 collection "Art of Spring" is of the beautiful bluish-purple variety. I adore this pastel spring shade despite its less-than-perfect formula - I needed three coats for smooth and even coverage.

Thinking this polish might be a dupe to Essie To Buy or Not To Buy? I did! To Buy or Not To Buy is actually pinker compared to Lilacism (comparison picture here).



We photographed these lilacs in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden last month :)

Lilacism is part of Essie's permanent line - yay! In New York City, Essie can be purchased at many locations including Beauty 35, Bed Bath and Beyond, Cosmetic Market, and Duane Reade. Now if only this polish smelled like lilacs :)