Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New from Revlon! "Girly": an Indie-Inspired Glitter Polish


Revlon has made a noticeable effort over the past few years to keep up with the changing nail polish trends in an attempt to dominate the retail nail polish scene. While notable polishes such as Perplex, Carbonite, Whimsical, and Facets of Fuchsia had us stalking the shelves of every drug store in a (50) mile radius, these colors were hardly originals and instead were very literal copies of high-end polishes. It appeared that Revlon was just riding the wake of latest "it" nail polish instead of making waves in the industry.

This winter, Revlon added the indie nail polish-inspired glitter Girly to their ever-growing collection. With Girly, Revlon has shown they can successfully draw inspiration from a trend instead of blatantly duplicating a popular nail polish!


Girly


Girly is a mix of light & dark lavender and pink hexagonal glitter pieces densely packed in a milky cool-toned light pink base. There are even some holographic glitter gems mixed in! Girly gives you the look of a baby shower on your nails glitter sandwich manicure with only needing one polish. While Girly isn't a one (or even two) coat polish, it doesn't really make a great glitter top coat because the base color still gives a decent wash of color. Also, the glitter in Girly looks best "buried" under several layers! You may, however, want to layer it over a polish close to the color of the milky base color to give yourself a solid foundation.

Girly isn't a polish you will want to apply like a normal polish. While the glitter is plentiful and easy to pull from the bottle, I found myself dabbing and globbing and brushing the glitter on in a cross-hatch motion so I could spread it out evenly across my nails. I also suggest leaving a little extra drying time between coats - the base color is slightly on the thick side. Below I am wearing (3) coats of Girly with (1) coat of Gelous on top to smooth out the glitter.


This is the first appearance of Gelous on Gotham Polish :) I learned from several bloggers that Gelous, while intended to be a base coat, functions even better as a glitter tamer worn over your polish and under your fast drying top coat. Not being a fan of lumpy glitter, I trust what you ladies had to say and am pleased with the results.

Here is Girly pre-Gelous. Every edge of glitter is sticking up! I think Gelous really makes a difference and gives glitter nail polish a smooth and glassy finish.


I applaud Revlon for taking note of and embracing the milky glitter trend. Bonus points for thinking outside the box and creating an indie-esque shade without directly copying anyone this time. I hope Revlon keeps bringing us more unique shades in 2013!

I bought Girly at my local Bed Bath & Beyond for just under $4. I also saw it at Walgreens for $5.99. Right now, Girly may be difficult to track down but hopefully it will transition to the permanent collection and be more accessible.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

New NYC Indie Nail Polish Brand! Introducing "White Owl Lacquers"

From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
 "After all this time?"
"Always" said Snape.
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows    

With the creation of White Owl Lacquers, fellow New Yorker and nail polish blogger Mara (Mara in Polishland) can add nail polish designer to her resume! Mara has taken the leap into nail polish creation and recently released her debut collection, After All This Time. The collection is composed of six polishes - three glitter top coats and three jelly glitters - all of which draw inspiration from the world of Harry Potter.

*Mara is currently running a free shipping promotion - details at the end of this post!


Basilisk Venom


Basilisk Venom is a mix of hexagonal glitter in black, orange, yellow, and red with larger black hexagonal shapes, black squares, and an underlying shimmering gold. I probably would have guessed that this polish was inspired by Harry Potter even without knowing! Perhaps it is the magical combination of glitter in the Gryffindor colors? Basilisk Venom applies well but the glitter is not very dense. I would recommend at least two coats to evenly coat your nails with all the glitter goodies. Below I wore two coats of Basilisk Venom over Zoya Blair.


Phoenix Tears


Phoenix Tears is a polish with quite an interesting combination of glitter. Square silvery white pieces are most abundant with just a dash of purple, green, and blue hexagonal and square pieces in the mix. There is also a sprinkling of large silvery white hexagonal shapes - these elusive pieces must be the "phoenix tears"! The base is clear with a wonderful addition of blue shimmer. In this photo, I layered one coat of Phoenix Tears over a pale blue cream polish (Savina Light Mist). I had to do a little fishing to get the pieces out and would wear two coats next time.



Pumpkin Pasties


This polish looks good enough to eat! Pumpkin Pasties is a festive mix of orange, red, yellow, and brown hexagonal glitter with a dash of red and yellow square glitter suspended in a sheer peach base. The formula is easy to apply and while sheer, it is not runny. Pumpkin Pasties is not packed full of glitter so I used three coats. I love how the glitter pieces get buried with each coat of polish.



Kittens and Teacups


Kittens and Teacups was inspired by Dolores Umbridge :) I love the simple composition of this polish: pale pink hexagonal glitter and smaller black square glitter suspended in a semi-sheer milky white base. The formula of the base color is wonderful and similar to Zoya's gloss polishes. The glitter pieces unfortunately did sink to the bottom of the bottle. Even after rolling the bottle in my hands to urge them to the top, they were tricky (but not impossible) to get out. In the photo below I am wearing four coats. You could layer Kittens and Teacups over a white base, but I like how soft it looks alone and how the glitter gets slightly covered with each layer.



Dwelling On Dreams


Dwelling On Dreams is a perfectly named polish. Hexagonal glitter in light blue, gold, and turquoise dreamily floats in a sheer pale cool-toned white base. The glitter is nicely distributed and transfers to the nail with little effort. The colors Mara chose for the glitter are so lovely but I do admit favoring the light blue pieces :) I used three coats below.



Moony


Moony is a glitter top coat with a mix of reflective silver hexagonal pieces, black hexagonal and square shapes, and tiny silver glitter suspended in a clear base. The pieces apply easily and just one coat gives me all the coverage I need. This metallic mix of glitter has an industrial feel to it - I think it would be really interesting  over a charcoal grey polish and matted. Here is one coat of Moony over Zoya Robyn.


I love the brush shape that Mara chose for her polishes. It is thick and wide which is very conducive to applying this kind of glitter.

Congratulations Mara for creating White Owl Lacquers and this inspired first collection! It is always so exciting when nail polish lovers design polish because not only do they know what makes a "good" polish, but with each bottle, you get to peak inside their creative minds :)

White Owl Lacquers retail for $9.00 each and can be purchased online: http://www.whiteowllacquers.com/ You can also purchase all six After All This Time polishes in mini bottles for $27.

***Mara is offering free shipping when you purchase three polishes or more with the code IHATESHIPPING now until February 2, 2013.

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sephora X: Chaotic


"Let these illusionary topcoats alter your reality and add another dimension to transform any color into something completely new. Innovative textures and particle sizes transform your manicure with never-before-seen effects. A savvy substitute to your traditional topcoat with all of the benefits, it features a patented formulation for invincible long-wear, anti-chip, UV protection that is also water- and detergent-resistant. Wear alone or layer with a Sephora X nail color to add an edge to your look." [source]

Back in November/December, new displays started appearing in Sephoras around Manhattan and the country of a new nail polish line by Sephora called Sephora X. The line includes about 40 polishes spanning a broad range of color and finish and boasts "unprecedented color, spectacular shine and incredible long-wear".

While the initial reviews of Sephora X polishes have been average, there is one polish in the lineup that seems to be getting decent attention - the "illusionary graffiti black and white confetti" Chaotic. Black and white glitter may be nothing new to those familiar with independent nail polish brands, but Chaotic is the first to be available at a national beauty retailer.

Chaotic


Chaotic is a mix of black and white variously sized hexagonal glitter and thin black bars suspended in a clear base. The glitter is densely packed and a breeze to apply - I only needed one coat to evenly sprinkle my entire nail with 'chaotic' bits. The narrow brush - which is similar to the Sephora by OPI brush - is not doing the great formula any favors and I wish it were wider.

Here is one coat of Sephora X Chaotic over OPI Shorts Story (one of my all-time favorite pinks):


One coat of Sephora X Chaotic over China Glaze For Audrey looks awesome:


Here is one coat of Sephora X Chaotic over CND Asphalt (received for review) and topped with Essie Matte About You matte top coat:


I love that the Sephora X bottles are sealed with plastic, something I wish other manufacturers would take note of. Now I know for certain that someone wasn't painting their name or doodling all over the display with the polish I just purchased ;)

About that cap. The Sephora X caps are large and angular and unlike Chanel or butter LONDON, it doesn't pop off to reveal the smaller applicator. The square Sephora X cap twists off and the brush is actually attached to it. Not only is this shape and size awkward to hold, but the cap is thin plastic and not reinforced at the base. I do expect that it will eventually crack either while opening or closing it, especially if you are like me and need the cap to line up with the bottle.

Cap design flaw and thin brush aside, Chaotic is an amazing polish and one of my top nail polishes of 2012. I could keep going and going layering Chaotic over different colors! What polish would you layer Chaotic over?

I thank Mara (http://www.marainpolishland.com) for introducing me to the Sephora X polishes and Chaotic in particular. Mara compared Chaotic to Lynnderella's Connect the Dots here.

Sephora X polishes can be purchased in Sephora stores and online. The price of Chaotic was marked $11.50, but when I bought it, it rang up $9.50 as some kind of promotion. Link!

Have you tried any of the Sephora X polishes yet? Volatile and Pyscho also intrigue me.

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

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekend Shopping: Ginger + Liz Ricky's Exclusives, 3/$30 butter LONDON, Subway Tights, and More!


Happy Friday! I'm slowly coming back to reality after spending a few days in the land of Mickey and Minnie where I cheered on my boyfriend in the Disney World half marathon AND marathon (aka the "Goofy Challenge"). So we'll probably be in most of the weekend recovering - the temperature has plummeted in New York City and we just picked up Mad Men Season 5 from the library :)

There are some fun nail polishes to shop for this weekend! What's on your shopping list?

butter LONDON has a great sale, but today only: 3 polishes for $30! My picks: Jack the Lad, Black Knight, and Wallis. Enter promo code "LACQUERED" at checkout. Again, this promotion is only available today, 01/18/13. The new spring collection is not included. Link!

Celebrate Cult Nails' two year anniversary and get Fetish, Blaze, and Tempest for the special price of $30 AND a receive a free gift. Details here.

Pre-order the Zoya PixieDust polishes - shipping February 1st or sooner!

The OPI Mariah Carey collection has landed at Ricky's stores! Are you a fan of the liquid sand finish?

Speaking of Ricky's, they are now carrying Ginger + Liz polishes AND have three exclusive colors: Sparkle Box, Like Clockwork and Gimme A Break. These polishes are available in stores and online now.

Did you hear that Color Club is going to release more magnificent holos this spring?

Not nail polish... but check out these subway map tights.

Happy weekend :)

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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Look Mauvelous with Winter Dusk and Midnight Kiss by étoile


Following the Winter Central Park collection, New York City based nail polish company étoile has released two new polishes infused with real diamond dust: Winter Dusk and Midnight Kiss.

The holidays may be over, but who says the sparkle of the season has to fade? Make your New Year mauvelous with two variations on one stunning shade: Midnight Kiss is a soft cozy mauve and Winter Dusk is a darker, brownish mauve, both infused with our signature ingredient - genuine diamond dust.

Winter Dusk


Winter Dusk is a brownish purple mauve that is SO richly pigmented that it's almost a one-coater. If you were in an "I only have time for one coat" pinch, you could put on one coat of Winter Dusk & top coat and be satisfied. Even though the color is deep and opaque, the diamond dust shimmer still shows through. The formula felt a little thick so I recommend allowing for a little extra drying time between coats to be safe. Winter Dusk dries a touch darker on the nails than it appears in the bottle and is more brown/less red than other mauves in my collection. If khaki purple was a term (is it?), Winter Dusk would be it.


Midnight Kiss


Midnight Kiss is a subtle pinky nude and a paler, less saturated variation of Winter Dusk. With my coloring, this polish looks quite neutral. The formula of Midnight Kiss is thick (not quite as thick as Winter Dusk) and is also just about a one-coater. This is a really lovely and different hue for a neutral polish!


You can see the shimmer in these bottle shots. While it doesn't transfer to the nail quite as intensely, you can better see how the diamond dust adds a glistening effect.


Winter Dusk and Midnight Kiss are lovely additions to étoile's line up. While most of étoile's polishes are light and conservative, I hope to see more deep and rich colors like Winter Dusk in the future!

étoile polishes retail for $18, but you can purchase both Winter Dusk and Midnight Kiss for just $26. étoile polishes are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) free, and made in the USA. Shop online: http://www.etoilepolish.com/

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zoya Lovely Spring 2013 Nail Polish Collection


Zoya's spring collection is composed of six "lovely" polishes. While all six shades are springy and pastel, half of the polishes have a micro diamond particle shimmer finish and half have a cream finish. Piaf, Julie, and Gie Gie were custom colors developed for Zang Toi's Spring 2013 collection and Julie debuted on the runway at New York Fashion week (here is a look backstage at the Zang Toi show and see the dresses that inspired the polishes).

Blu


Blu is blue pastel perfection! Almost perfect in one coat, this bright pastel cloudless-sky blue polish applies like a dream. Is it the most unique shade? No, but the formula is so perfect that I can safely discard my other pastel blues and not think twice - until now, I've "tolerated" sub-par formulas of blue creams because they are so beautiful. Blu has the best formula of this collection. I wore (2) coats here but could almost get away with one.




Neely


Neely is a pale bluish pistachio cream. The formula is not as perfect as Blu but is still above average and I still only needed (2) coats. I have a feeling this shade of green is going to be popular this spring - it seems pastel green is done a little differently every year! PS - has anyone else noticed pants in this color in, like, EVERY store? I admit I bought some already from TJ Maxx...




Jacqueline


Jacqueline is a creamy off-white shade similar to the color of pasta. If you look close in the bottle, there is a teeny tiny trace of shimmer that is unnoticeable on camera and I couldn't even see it on my nail. But it's in the bottle - just trust me on this one :) This shade really complements my skin tone and doesn't look stark bright white. Dare I say makes me look tan? The formula is similar to Neely, but I noticed some imperfections after (2) coats so I used (3). This may not look like the most exciting polish, but if you get a chance to see it in person you'll probably fall in love.



Piaf


Originally created for Zang Toi's Spring 2013 collection and inspired by his beautiful dresses, Piaf is an icy yellow with a micro diamond particle shimmer finish. The formula is sheer but not watery and very easy to apply. I would wear (2) coats, but in the light box I could still see some bald spots so I added a third coat. The shimmer is strong and not frosty. Piaf looks like a sugary lemon :)


Julie


Julie is a pastel lavender with fine micro shimmer also created for Zang Toi's runway show. The formula was a little thinner than I expected, and I used (3) coats for full coverage. I love how soft this shade is. The shimmer isn't quite as strong as Piaf but it gives Julie a little something else to set it apart from a pastel cream of the same hue.


Gie Gie


Inspired by Zang Toi's dreamy dresses, Gie Gie is a baby soft pink with fine micro shimmer. The shimmer appears stronger than in Julie and gives Gie Gie a more pearly looking finish. Gie Gie is sheer so I used 3 coats. I love how soft and girly this polish is!


Here is a close up capturing the micro shimmer in Gie Gie, Julie, and Piaf:


...and the beautiful dresses by Zang Toi that inspired the polishes:


Now just picture these dresses floating down the majestic runway of Lincoln Center to this song (around 1:18).

Zoya's Lovely polishes are essential spring shades - light, feminine, and refreshing. Zoya's cream formula of Neely, Jacqueline, and especially Blu is top rate. When I wear PiafJulie, and Gie Gie created for Zang Toi I feel like I'm wearing a piece of the runway. From what I've seen so far, it appears pastels are going to be a big trend in nail polish for spring 2013!

Zoya nail polishes retail for $8.00 and the Lovely Spring 2013 collection is available online now. In New York City, Zoya can be purchased at several locations including Gideon's Drugs (1385 Broadway, corner of 38th St) and Ulta in the Rego Park Center. See the full list of retailers here.

Product(s) in this post were provided for review. This post contains an affiliate link. Read my disclosure policy here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nail Polish, Braids, and Jewelry at the Arrojo Holiday Pop-Up


Back before the holidays, I stopped by the Arrojo Holiday Pop-Up (as in Nick Arrojo of What Not To Wear fame!) There were local jewelry designers, a braid bar, and a DIY nail bar by Cirque. I took lots of pictures for you :)

manicures at the nail bar

this gal chose Cirque Epoch for her mani

Annie (creator of Cirque) rocked Trousseau with a beaded accent nail

Christina from Arms & Armory wore a steely gradient that matched her rings

One of the ladies modeled her mani (XX over Cape Liz) with one of my cards! Sweet!


Keep reading for jewelry and braids...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pretty Jelly "Glamorous Thief" Holographic Polishes: Grape Escape and Diamond S-teal-er


You may know Liz Park from her blog Liquid Jelly, but as of November 2012, Liz opened up an Etsy shop and began selling her own nail polish line called Pretty Jelly. Her debut collection was holiday themed glitters and now Liz's second collection, Glamorous Thief, takes a more daring direction and tackles a concept many indie polish makers don't dare attempt: hand-making truly holographic polishes! I have two polishes from the Glamorous Thief collection to share with you and I think you are going to LOVE them.

Diamond S-teal-er


Diamond S-teal-er is an incredible light aqua polish that flashes a rainbow of linear holo goodness. This shade of aqua is absolutely stunning - it reminds me of an inviting swimming pool or tropical waters. It reminds my boyfriend of the Little Mermaid. I found the brush on the narrow side, but the formula was impressively wonderful. I did not encounter any of the formula issues that can typically plague holos such as patchiness or streakiness. Diamond S-teal-er was opaque in (2) coats.

light box, no flash

halogen lamp, no flash

automatic setting, flash

automatic setting, flash

taken with iPhone 5, direct sunlight

I have nothing remotely close to Diamond S-teal-er. The only polishes that comes to mind are China Glaze DV8, which looks bluer and darker, or Glitter Gal Blue, which is light but is also missing the green. While not holographic, Zoya Zuza may be similar in color from what I've seen.

Grape Escape


Grape Escape is a vivid silvery lavender that reveals linear holographic particles in sunlight and in some indoor lighting. Like Diamond S-teal-er, the formula was wonderful and the polish flowed evenly and freely. One thin coat covered impressively well but I used (2) coats for an opaque finish.

light box, no flash

halogen lamp, no flash

automatic setting, flash

taken with iPhone 5, direct sunlight

Grape Escape reminded me of OPI DS Original. DS Original is a bit more "blingly", but the formula is much thinner, not to mention it's no longer available and stinks of a non-big-3 free polish.

light box, no flash

Sorry I forgot to label this photo, but the order is the same as the picture above: DS Original is on my pointer and ring fingers. Grape Escape is on my middle and pinky fingers.

automatic setting, flash

Wearing a top coat slightly de-intensifies the holo in indoor lighting, but this wasn't a difference my camera was able to pick up (I tried!)

I have nothing but great things to say about these holos and highly recommend them! Choosing to hand-make holographic nail polish is quite a ambitious goal, and Liz created a remarkable collection I think even the pickiest holo lover will approve of. I would never know this was an "indie" polish as the quality is that of my best mass-produced holos.

Grape Escape and the rest of the Glamorous Thief holographic polishes by Pretty Jelly retail for $10 (full sized - 15mL) or $5 (mini - 6mL) each and can be purchased on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrettyJelly. Liz writes: "All polishes are made with great care and are 3 Free and cruelty free! Glitter polishes are made with solvent resistant glitter that do not bleed. We also use stainless steel mixing balls; full size contains two, minis contains one."

For updates on new colors and collections, follow Liquid Jelly on Facebook and Twitter (@liquidjelly76).

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

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Reservoir, Central Park & Reservoir by étoile

 

The Central Park Reservoir is one of Central Park's awesome sights to behold. This man-made structure holds over a billion gallons of water and was once New York City's water supply. There is a mile and a half track around the Reservoir that is great to walk or run - it's quite the escape right in the middle of Manhattan.





I had to see how the color of étoile's nail polish Reservoir from the Winter in Central Park collection compared. I think the desaturated blue is captured perfectly in the polish, especially on this overcast day.



Full review of Reservoir (the polish) found here. See more pictures...