Sunday, September 30, 2012

CIRQUE Neko Over Green and Pink

A polish like Neko, the black shard top coat from CIRQUE's All Hallow's Eve collection, is great to have in your arsenal because the random pieces of shredded black glitter can completely transform a manicure. I have been having fun layering Neko and wanted to share two of my favorite creations (so far) with you.

Neko over Cult Nails Deal With It is Halloween perfection! The black shards are a great contrast to the glowing green polish reminisce of childhood icons such as the Ninja Turtles ooze, Nickelodeon slime, Ecto Cooler, or anything radioactive on The Simpsons. Now you all know how old I am ;)

Take the innocent and preppy pink OPI Shorts Story (one of my all time favorite polishes). Add one coat of Neko and BAM! now you have an edgy punk-rock manicure Avril Lavigne would approve of.

I swatched Neko over Kabocha and have some glow-in-the-dark swatches here.

For best results, try plopping a glob of Neko in the middle of your nail and then do some rearranging with your brush instead of traditionally painting it on. Like glitter polish, these black shards are tough to remove. A manicure with Neko would be a good candidate for a DIY glue base coat. Do take care when wearing Neko as stray shards may stick up and could catch on a sweater or any fabric that pulls easily.

Both Neko and it's All Hallow's Eve counterpart Kabocha are now sold out, but you still have a chance to win both polishes here :) I also encourage you to check out the rest of the CIRQUE lineup here.

Did you grab Neko before it sold out? What have you worn it over?

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

butter LONDON Toff LIPPY & Lacquer

"The matchy-matchy lip and nail trend is here to stay!  Inspired by the high-impact lips seen on the catwalks this season, the LIPPY A/W ‘12 collection includes bold pops of color, chic nudes and a vampy hue.  The shades are rich and highly pigmented for a look that’s luxe and perfectly on trend!"
When it comes to polish, I have an aversion to wearing the same polish on fingers and toes. But matching polish and lip color? Yes, please!

I love the idea of transforming Butter polishes into lip products. We know Butter makes fabulous nail polish, but I wondered what kind of lip product they would create? While the packaging is sleek and classy, honestly, my expectations were not very high - I thought LIPPY could possibly be a low quality and somewhat gimmicky product. I am very happy to report that my speculations couldn't have been more wrong!


I tried Butter's LIPPY in Toff, a dusty mauve shade eponymous of the lacquer. Immediately I noticed the lovely sweet vanilla scent - it isn't overpowering and doesn't linger. LIPPYs are not flavored. The consistency is thick and not sticky and the wand has a doe foot applicator on the end.

Toff gave my lips a decent wash of color with better coverage than I expected. I'm actually quite self conscious about wearing color on my lips - silly, I know, and I'm working on that. But Toff is such a great shade and I've been confidently wearing it at work for over a week now. This is the kind of shade that enhances my lip color while still looking natural. Toff wears longer than the other lip glosses I keep in my work bag and doesn't disappear moments after I put it on.

While this is my first time trying one of Butter's LIPPY products, I understand that the formula and scent of the A/W LIPPY collection has been vastly improved from the initial collection. You may want to consider giving the LIPPYs another chance if you were disappointed previously. Jessika from Polish Insomniac wrote a great review about the old and new formulas here!


Toff the lacquer is a fantastic fall shade perfect in two coats. This lovely mauve cream polish is sophisticated and has impressive lasting power - I wore Toff for a whole week with better than average signs of wear.

While not true dupes, Toff the polish is very close in color to Toff the LIPPY. Toff the LIPPY is slightly lighter, less purple, and more nude.

Have you tried a butter LONDON LIPPY yet? What polish would you like to see as a lip product?

The Autumn/Winter LIPPY collection includes Toff, Come To Bed Red, Tea With the Queen, La Moss, and Queen Vic. LIPPY products do not contain parabens, petroleum, phthalates, sulphates or bismuth. LIPPYs retail for $17 and butter LONDON polishes retail for $14.

In New York City, my favorite retailers of Butter products are C.O. Bigelow, Ricky's, and now Henri Bendel. 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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

WIN IT! CIRQUE All Hallow's Eve Collection

UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations, Mette!

New York City based nail polish brand CIRQUE recently released a limited edition Halloween collection that has completely sold out online! But you still have a chance to get your hands on Kabocha and Neko (swatches) from the All Hallow's Eve collection. Annie from CIRQUE has so kindly offered to send one set of these polishes to one lucky Gotham Polish reader!

Please note that this giveaway is open internationally except for Brazil and Italy for shipping reasons (sorry).

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Annie for sponsoring this giveaway! In case you missed out on the All Hallow's Eve polishes, I encourage you to check out the rest of the CIRQUE lineup here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Shopping: L'Oréal Project Runway, Sale Polish at DR, and More!

Happy weekend! What are you up to? We have the new iPhone 5 in our house apartment-hold, but unfortunately our internet router is being goofy so it's off the the Apple store to get it up and running :) I'm blogging on the floor tethered to the wall - it's funny how much this fat, blue cord reminds me of my dorm room days!

This week in polish shopping, there are many new products and sales to be found!

Mara from Mara In Polishland spotted new OPI Germany polishes Unfor-Greta-bly Blue and Don't Talk Bach to Me at Duane Reade on 69th St and 3rd Ave for $4.25.

Duane Reade must be purging some polishes as I also spotted a sale bucket at 62nd St and 2nd Ave. Polishes included Essie Damsel in a Dress, OPI Suzi and the Lifeguard, and many Nicole by OPI Texture polishes all for around $4 each.

I came across a gold mine of new displays (mostly full) at Walgreens on 70th and 2nd! New collections included Sally Hansen Lustre ShineL'Oréal Project Runway, and Revlon Halloween. I have some pictures of the Project Runway polishes over on Twitter taken with my iPod (sorry I would have posted them here but... no wifi :/). Temptress Power and The Muse's Attitude are the two I think will disappear from displays the fastest!

Pre-order the Zoya Ornate holiday collection here (sneak peek here) and the Real 18K Gold Trio here.

Ricky's is having a flash sale online ( Get 15% off beauty purchases all weekend with code FLASH15.

What's on your weekend shopping list?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Backstage at Skaist-Taylor: Makeup and MAC Nail Polish

For Skaist-Taylor's Spring 2013 fashion show, expert makeup artists created a flawless, natural look in the 70's Troubadour club style, the inspiration behind the collection. The hair, makeup, and nails were all important in creating Skaist-Taylor's 'modern hippy'.

Key makeup artist Polly Osmond creating a flawless base


Key makeup artist Polly Osmond described the makeup look as "very natural" with "lots of lashes". Because the show took place outside, translucent powder was used to create a matte base to avoid looking overly-shiny in the sunlight. Ms. Osmond wanted to make it look like someone "hadn't really done anything" to their skin, but "still has a flushed cheek". It's "very simply, very pretty, and easy to do".

To accentuate the eyes, Ms. Osmond added a faint line in the crease. The specific lid color used is a discontinued shade, but Ms. Osmond said "any light coffee or brown pencil would work". She also created a  full and thick brow. The eye look was completed with a thick, black mascara and false lashes were use on some models.

Colors from the MAC PRO Lip Palettes Select Plums and Preferred Pinks played a dual role and were used on the cheeks as well as on the lips.


London's expert nail technician Marian Newman used MAC Faint of Heart and Nocturnelle on Skaist-Taylor's modern hippy models. It was quite a special occasion as this was the first time MAC has sponsored nails for a show!

The sheer nude polish Faint of Heart was used on fingers and the glossy blackest-black Nocturnelle was used on toes. Ms. Newman said the 2012 modern hippy girl "has clean, manicured fingers". The boots for the show were all open-toed and the black polished toes were "really accessorizing the boots".

Both Faint of Heart and Nocturnelle are available as part of MAC's permanent nail collection.

Faint of Heart (left) and Nocturnelle (right)

"If you've got black on your toes and you chip it or it goes dull, do it again," Ms. Osmond advised. "You cannot have anything other than immaculate on toes."

Fabulous hair, makeup, and nails are done!

Looking flawless on the rooftop runway

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Backstage at Skaist-Taylor with Lead Hair Stylist Kien Hoang

Designer Gela Nash-Taylor looks on as stylist Kien Hoang works his magic

The inspiration behind Skaist-Taylor's Spring 2013 fashion show was 1970's Troubadour, the famous Los Angeles nightclub where artists such as Elton John and Joni Mitchell careers took off. A key part of creating this look was fabulous hair!


Lead stylist Kien Hoang created a fierce "power puff" look for the show using Oribe hair products. It was really great to meet Mr. Hoang and speak with him about the hair for this show!

Mr. Hoang explained that the first step was to weave the models' hair into giant pins then press it with a flat iron.


The stylists then took the pins out and pulled the hair apart and sprayed the models' hair with a dry spray. This step was fast and furious - there was lots of fluffing and spraying! Mr. Hoang said that the look was to be "light and airy and not stiff", and also to promote confidence with curly hair!

A stylist removes the pins from this model's hair while her makeup is being done

Lead stylist Kien Hoang perfecting the power puff

The final look was incredible - the hair was huge, fluffy, bouncy, and subtly crimped.

Amazing, right?! And this dress is going RIGHT on my wish list!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zoya at NYFW: Rafael Cennamo's Spring 2013 Presentation

Walking into Rafael Cennamo's Spring 2013 Presentation was like stepping out of the real world and instantly being surrounded a dream. Over a dozen beautiful women were poised on tiered pedestals like life-sized dolls wearing dresses that left me absolutely speechless! It would be difficult to pick a favorite look from this collection as each dress was intricate, feminine, and unique.

Zoya polishes were used on the models' nails. Instead of choosing one or two polishes for the presentation, I learned backstage that the Zoya team chose about fifteen polishes from their extensive collection to match the colors in the dresses. The color matching was unbelievably spot on - it was as if the fabrics were selected to match the polishes!

Wearing Zoya Raven

Wearing Zoya Caitlin

Wearing Zoya Kelly

Wearing Zoya Caitlin (I think)

Wearing Zoya Trixie

Wearing Zoya Raven

Wearing Zoya Yummy

I think this polish is Zoya Lucy

Aren't these dresses fantastic! Do you have a favorite? Congratulations to Rafael Cennamo and Zoya on a beautifully breathtaking presentation!

Backstage photos and information about the nail look here!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Zoya at NYFW: Backstage at Rafael Cennamo Spring 2013

Models wearing Zoya polishes Raven (left) and Trixie (right)

When selecting polishes for Rafael Cennamo's dreamy Spring 2013 collection, Zoya didn't use one or two. They used over fifteen. Working closely with the designer, the Zoya team chose polishes from their extensive line-up that matched the colors seen in Rafael Cennamo's spring collection.

 Polishes included Yummy (saturated sky blue), Katy (bold pink), and Tracie (shimmery green)

The Zoya team was visibly excited to have been selected to work with designer Rafael Cennamo, who they learned is a nail polish fan himself! Excitement about Zoya polishes was also shared by the models, who adored shades like Trixie, a bright dazzling silver, and Caitlin, a greyish-blue cream.

When initially meeting with Mr. Cennamo to discuss polishes for the presentation, manicurist Sunshine Outing brought about thirty to thirty five Zoya shades. Ms. Outing carefully matched the polishes to color swatches from the looks the girls would be wearing. It took two tests to match up the colors just right and narrow down the selection to the fifteen or so used in the presentation today. Ms. Outing thought it was great that a variety of colors were used!

Zoya's Erin Giddings (left) and Rebecca Isa (right) with designer Rafael Cennamo (center)

This is Zoya's sixth season at New York Fashion Week - they have come a long way from doing one or two shows. This season, Zoya is involved in nine shows, two of which use colors that were custom made! Has the use of nail polish at Fashion Week changed since their first show? Media coordinator Erin Giddings replied "it's much more experimental now than it was in the beginning. Everyone was doing a lot of nudes."

"People have gotten a bit braver," color expert Rebecca Isa added. "And I think they are beginning to view nails as an accessory. So the same way they would experiment with hair or with jewelry, they're now beginning to see nails in that same light, and I think that makes it very exciting and very fun for nail lovers!"

Wearing Zoya Caitlin

Wearing Zoya Neely (one of the Peter Som Spring 2013 custom colors)

Wearing Zoya Wednesday

Wearing Zoya Tracie

Wearing Zoya polishes in Neely (left) and Yummy (right)

Giving a Neely manicure

I wore Valerie!

It was simply delightful to spend time backstage with the Zoya team and fellow blogger Carly from Lacquered Lover and hear about today's look. Carly will also be sharing pictures so look for her post soon over on her blog!

Check back soon for pictures of Rafael Cennamo's presentation!

Sneak Peek: Zoya's 2012 Holiday Collection!

Update: Swatches and review here!

Backstage at Rafael Cennamo - post coming soon! - Carly (Lacquered Lover) and I were lucky enough to see swatches of Zoya's new holiday collection! Wow, are we in for a treat this year - this is an entire collection of "must haves"!

From left to right, the colors are (descriptions are unofficial):
Blaze - red holo
Electra - full coverage holo bar glitter
Ziv - liquid metal gold
Storm - black holo
Aurora - purple holo
Logan - emerald green glitter

Color expert Rebecca Isa wearing Ziv

Carly gets ready to share the first pictures of the holiday collection!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Deborah Lippmann at NYFW: Kate Spade Spring 2013

Kate Spade New York's Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week presentation celebrated the brand's 20th anniversary with everything we love about Kate Spade - fashion that is fun, energetic, and girly! Neon pink lights, scaffolding, and buckets of flowers set the scene as girls wore outfits in colorful patterns. There were many eye-catching pieces in this collection and one accessory in particular was a huge hit - the nails!

Designed by New York City's own Deborah Lippmann, the nail look for Kate Spade Spring 2013 was a long stiletto nail in either a picnic-perfect gingham pattern or solid white. The longer nail shape created a lovely palette to display the adorable gingham pattern.

In a truly collaborative effort, Deborah Lippmann worked closely with Kate Spade's team in designing the final nail look. To create the gingham pattern, Deborah Lippmann started with (2) coats of the opaque white polish Amazing Grace (also used as the pedicure polish). The gingham pattern was then hand-painted with a striping brush. Variations in colors prominent to Kate Spade's collection were created in yellow, orange, blue, pink, and mint green.

white base: Amazing Grace | yellow: It Girl

Deborah Lippmann's team worked meticulously to file and shape the pre-painted nails to fit each girlSome of the models wore the look in Amazing Grace sans-gingham.

This mint green shade is a custom hue Deborah Lippmann created by mixing Amazing Grace, On the Beach, and Yellow Brick Road! I simply had to ask - could this mean that a mint green polish may be in the works? Ms. Lippmann replied "You never know! We'll see the response today - it's really pretty and happy!"

white base: Amazing Grace | royal blue: My Prerogative - a new polish! Coming soon in the She's Always a Woman set

white base: Amazing Grace | orange: Lara's Theme

Stylist Brad Goreski was filming his reality show "It's a Brad, Brad World" while making final decisions backstage. I know I'll be watching for a glimpse of some gingham nails!

How amazing is this retro radio clutch?

Deborah Lippman, sharing information about the nail look

With limited time backstage, how does Deborah Lippmann get a model's nails "runway ready"? She starts by filing their nails to a uniform length and shape and "then we groom the cuticle with a proper cuticle remover to soften the cuticle before we push it back... we push it back really well so you get a very, very nicely shaped - the way it's supposed to be shaped - cuticle. And that's the base."

With colors and patterns from polka dots to now gingham on the runways, nail polish is certainly becoming more prominent than ever at New York Fashion Week. In Ms. Lippmann's respectable career doing runway shows, "it hasn't been until the last three or four years that color even became really strong on the New York runways... now, the sky is absolutely the limit." She added "Nails are the new accessory. They are really an accessible accessory, and an affordable accessory. Changing your nail color changes the way you feel."

So what's next from the brand that brought us revolutionary polishes like Across the Universe and Glitter in the Air? "We have some fun things coming out for spring!" Ms. Lippmann replied. While details are being kept under wraps, I can't wait to see what's in store.

Aside from seeing her work on the runways, you can hear Deborah Lippmann sing at the ISPA show in Orlando next month.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet Deborah Lippmann and see her work. I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak with her about the look and learn more about the creative process! She is truly a pioneer on both the runways and in the polishes she creates. Congratulations to Deborah Lippmann and her hard working team on a successful show.

Watch out, polka dots - here comes gingham for spring 2013!