Monday, January 30, 2012

Chanel Peridot... DUPED!

Let me just say, there are practically NO circumstances under which I am willing to pay designer prices for nail polish. This is even more adhered to when bottle size is small relative to the average size of a bottle. I'm only recently coming to terms with paying for Butter London at full retail, and honestly, if there is a way for me to pay discounted price I'll go for it.

When I first started reading polish blogs (earlier last year) I thought that Peridot was beautiful but by no means was I going to rush out and shell out my hard earned $$. I just sought alternatives. Well, there really is no true alternative to Chanel but... Peridot? Of course there is! Of course I've heard of several Chanel dupes, and I've come across them and usually pick them up. The same goes for Deborah Lippmanns. So, naturally, when I found out (and quite by accident) that Jessica Cosmetics duped the entire Illusion d'Ombres Collection for Fall 2011 I immediately purchased the dupe for Peridot and Graphite. I passed on the dupe for Quartz, I don't care for frosts and none of the swatches I'd seen changed my mind. 

Jessica Cosmetics completely won me over. Their collection is called Peacock Queen and I picked up this beauty, Iridescent Eye and Smoky Feather (Graphite dupe). The third color is called Bronze Tailed. I also threw Hologram Chic in my cart since I don't have any linear holographic polishes and it came with the aqua base. 

The color is everything I could have hoped for, green (my fave) and gold! It really glows. The predominant color is an olive leaning gold that looks like a chrome from a distance but under direct light and under sunlight the shimmer just explodes. The shift from gold to green is most noticeable along the edges of the nails and at certain angles the color comes across as entirely green with a blue/turquoise lean to it.

Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye


 
Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye

Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye

Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye

Application was what I'd expected, no more and no less. Rather sheer, I used two coats with the second being thicker than the first. This polish is prone to visible brush strokes even though none of these photos captures that. I was very, very careful with my application to try and avoid as many brush strokes as possible. Really, only my thumb on my left hand has any noticeable evidence. I'd hoped that my quick dry top coat would be able to smooth out the brush strokes but unfortunately it didn't. No biggie, you don't see them anyway unless you've got your nails up to your nose. Which, btw is easy to do with this color because it's just so pretty!

Wear turned out to be better than expected. I took a long HOT shower after one full day of wear and by the next afternoon I had greater than average tip wear, some very small chipping on the corners of my free edges, and some cracking in the paint. Since we left for Pomona Friday afternoon, I had no time to change my mani or even slap on a fresh layer of top coat. I took care of that Saturday morning though and it did the job. It made my nails feel more rigid and strong (I tried a different base coat combo and it left my nails feeling a little too bendy for my taste) and I had no more chipping. Wrapping the tip with the fresh top coat helped with that I believe.

Removal was super easy, no scrubbing necessary but I made sure to get a fresh cotton ball to clean up any excess shimmer from removal. There's some left on my skin as I type this, but that's nothing a good scrub at the sink can't handle.

Just look at that shimmah!

Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye

Jessica Cosmetics - Iridescent Eye

I should mention something I didn't care for when ordering from the website. I placed my order on the 20th of January, so really just over a week ago, and promptly got an email from a staff member with an invoice and a thank you for my order. I never got a shipping email, or confirmation, or any indication of shipping time/expectation. Since I was busy with school I didn't have time to think about it until a day or so later and by the time I got time to think about sending an email inquiry, I'd forgot. It just slipped my mind, and then showed up on the 25th. 

Five days from order to delivery? That's not too bad I guess, it could have never showed up for all I knew but at least it did. It didn't have to go very far at all though, from SoCal to S. Nevada. I just wish I'd had some sort of shipping info prior to delivery.

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sometimes, I have to look professional...

Hello Lovelies, happy Friday! While this is normally a day of, well... not quite rest but more like winding down for me, I am all over the place trying to get everything together to take a trip out of town to SoCal for the Grand National Roadster Show (classic and antique cars, etc.)  in Pamona and a weekend of "relaxing" with my hunny. Laundry, packing, tidying up the house. All those fun things have left me with no time to give myself a fresh mani for the trip. I don't really need one, but I like to give myself a manicure that will last and give me strength for the weekend so I don't have to worry about chips or breaking. I'm currently wearing Jessica Cosmetics Irridescent Eye, a Chanel Peridot dupe, and it is beautiful but I'm packing BL Wallis and a non-qd top coat in case I have any chipping or extreme tip wear after showering. I've already got this beauty lined up in draft to be posted upon my return!

So, like I mentioned in my last two posts covering OPI's Nicki Minaj collection, I had to wait to wear the super vibrant colors. I had a meeting lined up for preliminary discussions regarding an internship opportunity and I didn't think that almost-neon skittle nails would be completely appropriate. (I did however wear them to a tabling event the following day!) Since I'm a student of the environment, I felt a green was in order and dug out a color I haven't worn for a while: Da Bush by Essie.

Da Bush is a dusty pistacio/avacado green, very subdued and extremely complimentary to my complexion. These first few photos are not quite color acurate, but the ones I took under the kitchen light more adequately represent the dustiness. Incidentally, when I was browsing the sale bins at Ulta I came across quite a few of the POTC OPI's and picked up Stranger Tides and discovered the dupe! For some reason I feel like I may have already known this but since I wasn't interrested terribly in the collection as a whole it may have just never stuck. I finally picked up Skull and Glossbones recently, and only because it was on super-sale. Not sure why exactly I wasn't all that into POTC... hmm. The world may never know. :)

Essie - Da Bush
Essie - Da Bush
Essie - Da Bush
Essie - Da Bush

Day two, because I get bored easily (and mostly because I love Glass Slipper) I added a coat of Sally Hansen's Glass Slipper and really liked the combination. It is very understated but sparkly, at certain angles the flakies all but disappear. The combo actually makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream, that doesn't make sense completely because there are no brown or black "chips." I'm thinking that its because the GS flakes make me think of ice crystals that show up after ice cream has softened and then refrozen.

At the same time, I think of pistacios. MMMM, delicious.

Sally Hansen - Glass Slipper 
Sally Hansen - Glass Slipper

Application was pretty breezy, no major issues. I'm getting used to Essie's smaller brushes and although I don't think they pick up as much polish as OPI's pro-wide brushes do, they do provide for better control of application. If I didn't leave enough polish on the brush for the second coat, this color was prone to dragging and leaving bald spots so I used a thicker second coat. I think that is my typical application anyway.

Essie - Da Bush

You can see that the kitchen light gives me lobster fingers with this green, it doesn't appear that way irl fortunately. Tip wear was excellent and I believe I wore the combo for a total of three/four days. Removal was also easy, no major issues with the flakies.

Sally Hansen - Glass Slipper

Oh, and I got the internship. I had my second meeting this Wednesday and I'm super excited!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nicki Minaj skittles and the appearance of Lefty!

So, it's been a while. Sorry. :( It blows my mind just how quickly this semester has descended upon me and I have been overwhelmed with adjusting to my new schedule and 50% more credits. I'm getting up way earlier and going to bed later, reading almost 100 pages a day, setting up an internship, working, and doing my best to get through general every day life stuff. I have next to no free time any more and it is striking. 

On to the nails... with my new time crunch I've only been doing my nails once or twice a week at most, and that means I've been more selective about my colors so I can handle wearing them for a few days. I just can't afford to spend the time changing colors like I'd prefer. Anywho! After I got my package and had to resist a skittle mani since I had an interview, I promptly changed into these vivid colors when I got home.

Wear was good, I wore them three full days, and removal was fairly easy too. I used the foil method on my thumb and pinkie for the glitter. Each color is only two coats, except for Save Me which is two coats over two coats of Orly Shine, a silver foil/micro shimmer/glitter. 

Both Fly and Did It On 'Em were jellyish in texture but closer to a jelly-creme, with two coats each color showed vnl. It was most obvious for Did It On 'Em. Fly is definitely an aqua but very blue leaning, next to Ogre the Top Blues they are very close. Cousins maybe. I'll be wearing Fly as a full mani soon, with CND Sapphire Shimmer. I did a preliminary swatch on some tape and the combo looks very promising.

Pink Friday was fully a creme, slightly chalky but not difficult to work with. Self leveling wasn't the best but my top coat took care of that. I did have a little cuticle drag but I just made sure to leave more polish on my brush when I moved on to other nails (my left hand).

Metallic 4 Life is an amazing polish, the first coat was very sheer and I was worried that I would have to really build up layers for opacity but the second coat did it!  Holy Cow!

OPI - Fly Skittles

OPI - Pink Friday Skittles

OPI - Fly

OPI - Metallic 4 Life

OPI - Did It On 'EM

OPI - Save Me
Look! It's my left hand! I figured since I did a super LOUD skittle mani on my picture hand I would try and balance it out with a solid mani on my left. Overall, both hands made me happy and smile-y.

OPI - Pink Friday
OPI - Pink Friday
Light from my kitchen (very bright and white).

OPI Nicki Minaj Skittles

Daylight - definitely washes me out.

OPI Nicki Minaj Skittles

Hopefully, I will be able to work out the kinks in my schedule to update more regularly. I've got several drafts lined up so it should just be an issue of doing the write ups. I think I might have to abandon the water marking for the time being, it simply takes too much effort to do since I am really only working with my iPhone camera. For now, you might see some posts with watermarking and some without.

Oh, and hello to my new followers! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nicki Minaj has arrived!

Yay, I got mail!  I swear I thought this was going to take forever to get to me but it finally arrived, and on my day off too! 

I ordered the OPI Nicki Minaj Collection from bloom.com with the help of a Plum District voucher that only put me out of pocket for $17 and change. It included shipping too! Sweet deal.  :)


I ordered six polishes and they came wrapped two to a bundle of bubble wrap. They all arrived unharmed. And look, samples!


Here is one coat of each: Pink Friday, Did It On Em, Fly, Save Me, and Metallic For Life.


Two Coats. You can see that each of the cremes cover well in two coats as well as Metallic For Life. Save Me is obviously a layering glitter and I will most likely give it a whirl over a silver foil.


Bottle shots! I will wear a skittle mani this Friday (since it's casual lol) on my left hand and probably Pink Friday will get my right hand.


I love these and I'm glad I just went ahead and got them all. I was a little hesitant at first about Pink Friday and Did It On Em because I thought I might have similar colors, and I do but they are different enough to justify the purchase at such a discounted price. I passed on the shatter because I have never cared for the trend. I think it makes nails look dirty. Does that make sense? I do have a black shatter though, worn only once.

Sorry no swatches today. :( Even though it is my day off I had a meeting today to set up a volunteer/internship opportunity and I had to change in to a work appropriate shade. Essie's Da Bush, love it. I'll have pictures of it up sooner or later.  Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Day ...At the Bus Stop?

Yes, that's right. Christmas. A whole ten days after the New Year I'm posting my Christmas Day mani, and it isn't even one I'm super duper proud of. Orly's Bus Stop Crimson was a random purchase months ago when Sally's was having a promotion. I cannot for the life of me remember what the promotion was for exactly, maybe a free bottle of Seche Restore/Retain/Repair? Not sure. Anyway, it sat in my untrieds since then waiting for the right opportunity to slip right in between all the colors I HAD to wear first.

What I liked about this  was the deep crimson color that dried very shiny. Bald spots showed up under bright lights and I provided a picture down below to see what I mean.  These are two coats bc, Seche Retain and Gelous, two miserable coats of Bus Stop Crimson, and no top coat. This was supposed to be my solution to China Glaze's Velvet Bow because I didn't want to shell out retail for a color I thought I might already have. I ended up getting it for just over $1 at Sally's super after Christmas clearance. So, score for me!

Orly - Bus Stop Crimson
Orly - Bus Stop Crimson
Orly - Bus Stop Crimson

This was a hit and miss for me. Consistency was thin, runny, and not very controllable. It flooded my cuticles like crazy and even though I did clean up immediately (because it was necessary) it stained my cuticles bright red. It isn't very opaque but more jelly-like in consistency and if I didn't get enough polish on my brush the first time I got major dragging that left me with plenty of bald spots. It was pretty much impossible to get an even coat out of this bottle. Very frustrating. 

I decided to try out Essie's Luxeffects top coat in As Gold As It Gets to add some sparkle and "Christmas Flare." I think it fell rather flat but by the time I removed the mani it made me think of a warm fluffy sweater for some reason. It lasted rather a long time for me, I remember removing it a day or two after the holiday but with plenty of time to spare for another mani change-up before NYE. 

As Gold As It Gets is very pretty, I just wish the flakes were a little larger and it was less of a "sparkle" effect. Different lighting to show how well this covered up BSC's bald spots.


Essie -  As Gold As It Gets
Essie -  As Gold As It Gets

Essie -  As Gold As It Gets
Essie -  As Gold As It Gets

Removal was a nightmare and although BSC didn't stain my nails, it sure as hell made my fingers look like a bloody mess! lol Seriously, it looked like my fingertips were bleeding and I had to change up cotton balls more frequently than normal to do an effective job during removal. My cuticles remained affected, stained if you will, for the next two manis. No Bueno.
If I wear this color again, I think I will try CND's Sapphire Sparkle as a topper to give it that bruised look. I tried it over GAIG before removal and I think it might have potential.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

So ugly it makes my heart swoon!

It's so ugly! And oh, so pretty! I'm feeling short on words today, but I can say that I did not expect to enjoy this color as much as I did. I didn't even buy it until it was on clearance for less than two dollars at Sally's and by that point it was more of a "oh, what the hell?" kind of a purchase. I'm glad I didn't pass this one up.

China Glaze - Trendsetter

Two coats of the usual base coat combo and two coats of this golden glass fleck, mustard beauty... even though it only needed one! This color is such a chameleon too, under certain lights (much like the light cast by the lamp I use to photograph) it appears a smashed pea green while the golden flecks give it the distinctly yellow hue of baby vom. <3

Photos shown with one coat quick dry top coat. Clean up was a breeze and this baby lasted about three days on my tips without major damage/wear/chipping. Three days seems to be my max with wearing a color unless life is just too hectic for nail time. At minimum I try to give a color a day to get over whatever apprehensions I may have and give a polish a fare shake at things.


China Glaze - Trendsetter

China Glaze - Trendsetter

China Glaze - Trendsetter

China Glaze - Trendsetter

I would readily wear this polish again, the color is great and for some reason I place it in with my neutrals. Hmm. This is a thought that just struck me now! lol

We've had some very good news as of late and today seems like one of those days where everything is on the upswing. Hell, it's Friday Eve! Woo Hoo! I will most likely spend a good portion of my weekend wrapped up in a kindle book. And maybe some yard work if the bf is lucky. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Orly - Oui

Happy Tuesday! It's my Monday really, at least until the semester starts and then classes are bright and early Monday morning. I'm not really looking forward to two weekly doses of Energy Economics at 8:30am but it will all be worth it in the end. I've got about two weeks left of "lounging" before I kick back into gear and you better believe that I'll be doing my best! :)

These photos are obviously from before I edited my backlog of NOTD's and so random in the "modeling." Not cohesive in the slightest lol but I was trying to catch the awesomeness of this color. Purple/gold metalic/shimmer? Simply amazing at two easy coats. I thought this far outshone OPI's It's My Year because the purple in the base is much darker and more my style. Orly Oui is from the 2011 Holiday Soiree collection and I ended up with Oui, Au Champagne, and Androgynie. I passed on Ingenue because I already have Rally Pretty Pink, the rest of the collection was unremarkable and dupable by colors I already have.

Two coats of bc, two coats of Oui, and one coat of quick dry tc.

Please enjoy the most random assortment of photos designed to capture color and lustre! :)

Orly - Oui

Orly - Oui

Orly - Oui

Orly - Oui

Orly - Oui

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Orly - Androgynie

Happy New Year! 2011 was both a good and a bad year but mostly good and nothing too terrible happened. I'm healthy, happy, in love, and this time next year I'll be a graduate! Cheers to 2012!

Our evening was pretty mellow, a few friends came over and we played Monopoly. It sounds silly but it was a lot of fun and its even more fun when polishing off a bottle of wine.  :) We popped the cork on some champagne at midnight and sipped bubbly as we each eventually went bankrupt playing Monopoly. I spent the afternoon getting the back yard cleaned up for a bonfire but we didn't end up going outside at all. So, to be completely honest... I didn't have time to put on a NYE manicure.

GASP! I base coated for strength and protection but never got the chance to sit down before company arrived. My plan was to wear Orly's Androgynie with a little extra glitter sponged on the tips but since I didn't have the time I thought I'd show it as a swatch. Really, it's a NOTD but oh well.


Orly -  Androgynie

Orly -  Androgynie

Photos are with one coat Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out as a base and two coats of Androgynie. I read many accounts of the glitter sinking to the bottom of the bottle so I let it set at several different angles hoping to get it to more evenly disburse and then gave it a good rolling.  Overall I thought enough of the iridescent glitter ended up on the nails but would have preferred more. It is a shame that the blackened jelly base doesn't let the first layer of glitter shine through. 

Wouldn't this look pretty with a blue or purple base, rather than black?? 


Orly -  Androgynie

Orly -  Androgynie
Today has been so nice and relaxing. I slept in 'till noon and it was glorious! Once the semester starts, that won't be happening any time soon so I really enjoyed it. 

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