Saturday, September 6, 2014

OPI Gwen Stefani Holiday 2014 Nail Effects

Are you ready for Holiday collections yet?  For the Winter of 2014, OPI is releasing 3 separate collections in collaboration with Gwen Stefani.  The collection I have to show you today is the glitter collection.

Let's begin with a look at the solid color polishes that come with the collection for you to layer the glitter over:

no base coat, 2 coats Rollin' in Cashmere, no top coat

First up is Rollin' in Cashmere.  A frosty yellow-gold.  To me, this looks exactly like I though 50 Years of Style from the recent Ford Mustang collection would look.  I don't have them to compare, so you'll have to tell me if you agree or disagree.

no base coat, 2 coats Rollin' in Cashmere, no top coat

Next up is Unfrost My Heart.  Made up of dense, tiny silver particles to give you a chrome finish.  Like Rollin' in Cashmere, I think this polish looks very similar to a previous OPI polish.  What do you think: could this be a dupe to My Signature is DC from the Coca-Cola collection?

no base coat, 2 coats Unfrost My Heart, no top coat

How about another photo to help you decide:

no base coat, 2 coats Unfrost My Heart, no top coat

Ok, now on to the part you (probably) came here to see: the glitters.

no base coat, 1 coat of So Elegant over 3 coats of My Boyfriend Scales Walls by OPI, no top coat

This is So Elegant.  Large gunmetal hexagonal glitters, medium gunmetal hexagonal glitters, small matte black hexagons, and micro matte black dots are all suspended in a clear base.

no base coat, 1 coat of So Elegant over 3 coats of My Boyfriend Scales Walls by OPI, no top coat

Next up is I'll Tinsel You In.  Yay!  An easy-to-apply black and white glitter-topper from a mainstream brand.

base coat, 1 coat of I'll Tinsel You In over 2 coats of My Turn by Sinful Colors, no top coat

Honestly, I thought this was just a black and white glitter.  Upon closer inspection, this polish seems to fit its name perfectly.  There are large matte white glitter pieces, matte white bar glitter, small matte black hexagons, micro matte black dots, and… what  appears to be silver chrome bar glitter, thus making it look like this polish has actual tinsel in it!

base coat, 1 coat of I'll Tinsel You In over 2 coats of My Turn by Sinful Colors, no top coat

Snow Globetrotter was the polish I was most interested in when I heard about this collection, and it doesn't disappoint!

base coat, 1 coat of Snow Globetrotter over 2 coats of Whipped by Sinful Colors, top coat

Layered over black, this polish looks like a mix of crushed jewels and galaxies on your nails!  A combination of opalescent hexagons in large, medium, small, and micro, along with matte white hexagonal glitter in sizes large, medium, small, and micro all in a clear base.

base coat, 1 coat of Snow Globetrotter over 2 coats of Whipped by Sinful Colors, top coat

In the sun, the opalescent glitter pieces really catch the light!

base coat, 1 coat of Snow Globetrotter over 2 coats of Whipped by Sinful Colors, top coat

Last but certainly not least, here is Comet in the Sky.  I tried to save the best for last, and I think you may agree.

no base coat, 1 coat of Comet in the Sky over 2 coats of You Got Me Started by Deborah Lippmann,  no top coat

Comet in the Sky is the twin to Snow Globetrotter in that it features multiple sizes of matte glitter and multiple sizes of opalescent glitter in a clear base.

no base coat, 1 coat of Comet in the Sky over 2 coats of You Got Me Started by Deborah Lippmann,  no top coat

The matte black hexagonal glitter comes in size large, small, and micro, while the opalescent glitter comes in large, medium, small, and micro, all in a clear base.

no base coat, 1 coat of Comet in the Sky over 2 coats of You Got Me Started by Deborah Lippmann,  top coat

The strong opalescent colors are most prominent in regular indoor (tungsten) lighting, unless you want flashes of sparkle, which you can get by wearing this glitter in the sun.  If you see below, you'll notice that the opalescent glitter on the bottom of my ring finger which looked clear-tinted yellow two photos above now glows a purplish-blue.

no base coat, 1 coat of Comet in the Sky over 2 coats of You Got Me Started by Deborah Lippmann,  no top coat

And there you have it!  

The coverage in each of these glitter polishes for just one coat was great.  No fishing for the larger glitter pieces was necessary!  The glitter applied smoothly and laid flat on the nail when dry.

I bought this collection on eBay for relatively the same amount it would cost at a beauty supply store, so if you can't wait for this collection like I couldn't, try checking online sellers, since this collection hasn't been officially released yet.  You can buy it at Ulta or JC Penney's (or any of your preferred retailers) when it becomes available in the fall.  But, you know, why wait when you can buy it online.  Right now.  Go!

But first, share your opinions!  What do you think of this Holiday collection?  Better than the last?  What do you think of this Gwen Stefani collection compared to the last?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chanel Sweet Star for FNO 2014

Are you in Australia?  Are you attending Fashion's Night Out (FNO)?  If you were in debate about it, here's the reason you should go:

image from

Yes, that is a new Chanel Le Vernis.  And it's exclusive to FNO 2014.  If you're lucky enough to live in Australia (Sydney to be precise, since Australia's pretty big, it's not going to do you any good if you're sitting at home in Perth or somewhere across the continent), then run to Myer Sydney City Makeup Studio!

According to Vogue Australia, this polish will be at the (below) Chanel location for FNO.  And you can only get it if you go in person.  Tonight.  In Australia.

For more information, follow this link to visit Vogue Australia's info on the FNO exclusive: Chanel at Vogue Fashion's Night Out

Now, if you're like me and do not live in Sydney, then we just have to wait until November for the Chanel Delights collection to become available (according to this article from Vogue Australia).  

Unfortunately, I called my local Chanel boutique to confirm, and they said that the United States will not be getting in any of the FNO products.  I'm going to make a wild assumption here and state that I think Sweet Star will become available the way Cosmic and Magic did from last year's FNO exclusives.  So this polish may be available to you later this month.  At this time, I do not know if any other countries participating in FNO will be able to get Chanel Sweet Star on their FNO date/time (for example, FNO for the UK is occurring on September 23), but I'll keep you updated if I hear any more news about where you can find Chanel Sweet Star.

Note, at the time of this posting, FNO in Australia is set to start in a little over 3 hours.  So, you know, if you're on the opposite side of Australia, you can still run to the airport and fly out to Sydney.  

If you're one of the lucky ones to have gotten a bottle, please share some pictures!  Comment below, or tag me on Twitter and/or Instagram and I'll try to update this post so everyone can share in the nail polish exclusivity!  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nails Inc NailKale and Illuminator Review

Kale and nail polish.  Who would have thought they would come together in one bottle?  Nails Inc. has jumped on the kale bandwagon and created a line of nail polish that are enriched with kale extract.  So now you can get the benefits of nail polish and kale all in one bottle!

Lets look at one of the colored polishes in the line and then we will look at the Illuminator polish that is meant to work as a nail brightener.

"…get the benefits of nail polish and kale all in one bottle!"

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

Ok, first off, look at that shine!  This is without top coat.  That's right, this is dry to the touch and is more shiny than it would be with a top coat.

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

Now indoors, and in most lighting, this nail polish is a green-leaning black.  Like a creme version of Nars Zulu, lighting brings out the green, so the more light, the more green that shows up in the polish.

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

You can see in the above picture, in direct mid-day sun, this polish is a true forest green creme.  And it is still very reflective and shiny.  Now on to the Illuminator.

"Now on to the Illuminator."

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

Nails Inc. has a few new products besides colored polishes in the NailKale line.  The NailKale Illuminator is one of those polishes.  I consider it separate from the colored polishes because: (1) it has an extra word on the front of the bottle denoting it is an "Illuminator," (2) it has it's own tab on the Sephora website separate from the other polish color options and separate from the NailKale base coat, and (3) you're supposed to wear it like a colored polish (so, by itself) but I think it's great for layering as well (see below for what it looks like layered).

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

This is a gem of a polish just for the blue "glow" alone.  Unfortunately sizing down the file size of each photo takes away from some of the awesome shine power, but click on any photo to enlarge it to see the great blue shimmer that streaks through this milky white polish.

"…click on any photo to enlarge it…"

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

In direct sunlight the shimmer is amazing!  

 no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

And now to see it layered!

 no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

The blue shimmer in the Illuminator really comes out over a dark polish, and layering it over Bruton Mews really makes the blue shimmer sparkle as the whole nail looks blue.

no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

And there you have it!  This is what you get when you mix kale with nail polish.

Both polishes were beautiful.  While Bruton Mews isn't a unique color, it is still a beautiful color and is worth purchasing for the glossy shine alone.  The Illuminator Bright Street is supposed to be "a nail polish with iridescent pearls that brighten the pink nail bed, leaving the appearance of whiter tips and healthier nails" (according to the Sephora website).  It certainly does whiten my nails, as it is a glossy white in color.  The blue shimmer adds to the appeal, rather than distract or detract.  The only downside to the Illuminator is the slightly slow dry time, but a quick-dry top coat will solve that problem in an instant.

Nails Inc. touts the NailKale polishes as being "formulated with kale extract known for its high levels of vitamins A, C and K which stimulate advanced keratin production. Making the nails stronger, brighter and more nourished. The entire Nailkale range also features Nails inc.’s patented Regenerating Complex (a two-fold Aldehyde, Zinc and Calcium blend) that boosts the production of keratin for harder, stronger and healthier nails" (from the Nails Inc. website).

I did a trial run of the NailKale Illuminator and wore it for three days.  It had good staying power (no chips), and I can say that even a week later I don't see any peeling or splits in my nails, but that could also be because I recently filed down my nails, so I can't connect the health of my nails to the use of NailKale specifically.

Personally, I'm interested in trying the NailKale Superfood Base Coat that's supposed to be keratin-enriched and have other healthy stuff in it.  While many people say that adding nutrients to nail polish is useless because your nail plate is dead the way hair is considered dead, I find that any little thing can help keep up the health of nails, so if it works for you, why not try it?

A quick note on the redesigned Nails Inc. bottles:

If you examine the bottles in the above photos, you'll notice that in the first picture the bottles have silver lids, and then in the subsequent photographs, I have taken off the silver lids, which left me with the smaller black handle.  So now Nails Inc. bottles are like many other companies (Chanel, Nars, etc.) where the bulky outside lid removes to reveal a smaller and easier to manage lid/brush.  The brush itself has been redesigned as well.  It now fits with the wider, curved-edge brushes that all the companies seem to be favoring.

Overall, the redesign of the bottles really seems to work.  Each bottle feels like its made out of thick glass, giving it a heavy, weighted feel.  The weighted feel makes it seem higher quality than if the packaging was thin and easily breakable.  The curve of the glass also makes it easier to hold, and more comfortable in the palm of the hand.

What's your opinion/position on nail polish and kale?  Have you tried NailKale yet?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Or, Guardians Of The Galaxy Nail Art)

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet?  If you haven't, you should go now.  Today.

In fact, if you still have your safe-for-work beige polish on, skip to Step 2 (and then while you're waiting for Step 3 to dry, you can buy your tickets online), and you'll have some awesome nail art to go along with the awesome soundtrack that you'll soon be hearing!

Here's a list of the Things You'll Need for this nail art:

  1. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape
  2. Beige Nail Polish (that matches the look of aged parchment) - Used here is You're So Vain-illa by OPI
  3. Red Nail Polish (or an orangish-red to be more precise) - Race Red by OPI from the new Ford Mustang Collection matches perfectly for this occasion
  4. Sharpie fine point Permanent Marker in Navy
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (but an image of said soundtrack will suffice if you have not yet purchased this great collection of music)
  6. Groot - You will need to buy a Groot.  No, really, you will need him later…. Ok, not really.  But he is adorable.  So having a Groot handy is fun 
  7. (Not pictured) Scissors
  8. (Not pictured/optional) Cardstock - to stick the painter's tape on once it has been used
  9. (Not pictured/optional) Tweezers - to pull the painter's tape off your nails (see Step 3 below for a better understanding)

"You will need to buy a Groot."

Step 1 comprises of the base color.  Above is pictured 1 coat of base coat + 3 coats of You're So Vain-illa by OPI + 1 coat of quick-drying top coat.  Wait for this to completely dry before moving on to Step 2.

"Step 1 comprises of the base color."

Here is where you will need to have your painter's tape handy.  Start by cutting 3 different sizes of strips of painter's tape.  You will have 3 different "categories" of thickness, where each category should have 10 strips of tape that are all roughly the same thickness.  After all the cutting you will have a total of 30 strips of painter's tape (provided you have 10 fingers which you are painting).

  • Category 1:  Will be placed at the bottom/free-edge of the nail.  Also, these strips of tape are the thinnest out of the 3 categories.
  • Category 2:  Similarly thin compared to the width of the tape strips in Category 1.  Consider these the "middle strips" as they will go between Categories 1 and 3 on the nail.
  • Category 3:  The thickest strips of painter's tape you are cutting.  These pieces of tape will be used to mark the highest point on your nail where the second color will reach.

Now to place the painter's tape:

Start by placing a Category 1 strip of tape at the bottom/free edge of your nail, but far enough up your nail so the bottom stripe of nail polish you will be layering on in Step 3 is thickest at the bottom of your nail than it will be for the other two stripes that will be painted (scroll down to Step 3 for image reference).

Move on to placing the strips of painter's tape from Categories 2 and 3 on your nail.  Category 2 will go above Category 1, and Category 3 will be the top-most strip of tape, being placed a sliver above Category 2.  The end result will be 3 strips of tape for each nail.

The easiest way to make sure the gaps/lines will line up evenly between all of your nails is to go nail by nail, starting at the bottom/free-edge of your nail and working your way up your nail.  Repeat on the next nail, making sure that each strip of tape for each Category lines up with the same Category strip on the other nails.

"...3 strips of tape for each nail."

Step 3 consists of layering on your red polish.

The faster you pull off the strips of tape after painting, the less likely you are to have "strings" of polish, where the polish has become tacky and sticks to both the nail and the tape, and leaves a tiny string of polish in the gap where the the tape once was.  For this reason, only paint one nail at a time.  After painting one nail (up to the bottom edge of the Category 3 strip of painter's tape as mentioned in Step 2), quickly pull off each strip of tape on the nail.

Pull the strip of tape off the nail in the same horizontal direction it is laying on the nail.

Repeat the painting and pulling-off process for each nail until all 10 nails have been painted.

 "...only paint one nail at a time."

Step 4 is the simplest step, but you need to wait the longest amount of time before starting.  You will be painting a top coat on top of your newly-created stripes.  If your stripes are not dry, you will get streaking…and then you'll have to start all over at Step 1 (after taking off your almost-completed nail art creation), so wait a while before painting on the top coat!

"...wait a while before painting on the top coat!"

Adding the text is the last step!

Grab your Sharpie (in Navy, because the regular Blue hue comes across a bit too vibrant for the aged parchment look).  As "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" is the name of the album/mixtape/soundtrack (and a very important part of the movie) split the title across all of your nails to get your art spread out along a larger canvas!

Don't add top coat after writing!  Yes, this makes the overall manicure more temporary, but unless you are sure your top coat will not cause streaking of the lettering, skip the top coat and wear this art tonight!

"Don't add top coat...!"

There you have it!  You're ready to go see Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy!  Or watch it again!  And again!

Extra picture of Nail Art + Groot!

Woot, woot!  Groot, Groot!  Dancy, dancy!

Can you guess what's written on my right hand?  If you've seen the movie you should have some idea.

Have you created nail art for a movie recently?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Making Piet Mondrian Patriotic

Maybe you don't know of Piet Mondrian by name, but the artwork below will likely look familiar.  Mondrian's "Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow" is a well loved artwork and has been reproduced as patterns in fabric, handbags, and yes, nail art.

 image from

For this national holiday, I decided replacing the yellow with blue in recreations of Mondrian's most famous works would turn the designs into red, white, and blue compositions perfect for the patriotic feel of the 4th of July.

Nail lacquers used for this design (from left to right as shown above) are Coca-Cola Red by OPI, Regal by Illamasqua, Pacific Blue by Sally Hansen, While On by Sally Hansen, and Raven by Zoya.  You will also need painter's tape, scissors, tweezers, a black permanent marker, and a piece of card stock or scrap paper.

Begin by layering a smooth white polish on your nails.  I chose While On by Sally Hansen, but any white will do.  Finish with a quick drying top coat because you will be using painter's tape on top of the polish and need it to be completely dry in a short time to move on to Step 2.  (I waited a whopping two hours before moving on.  Just to be sure.)

Whip out the Scotch blue painter's tape for Step 2!

Remember that there will be black lines that "box off" each square of color in the final nail art, so for Step 2 the blue painter's tape will work in place of where those black lines will be.

Cut slim strips of blue painter's tape and begin by sectioning off each nail into geometric patterns with different sizes of rectangles that will be filled in with different colors.  Since the goal for this nail art is to make it look like a work by Piet Mondrian while keeping with the patriotic color scheme, each nail should have both red and blue on it.

Regal by Illamasqua dried quicker than the OPI and Sally Hansen colors, so I painted that on last.  Since three different lacquers are being used at one time per each nail, you must work quickly to fill in the squares before the nail polish gets too tacky and attaches to the painter's tape, then coming off when you pull off the painter's tape.

When moving on to Step 3, you can either choose to put a top coat on, or forgo top coat keeping in mind that you cannot add top coat after Step 3 (you'll see why in a minute).

For Step 3, you will still need the painter's tape, but now you will also need the permanent marker, tweezers, and card stock.  Rather than waiting for the nail polish you used in Step 2 to dry completely, you will be cutting the blue painter's tape into strips that are as wide or as narrow as needed to use as the black lines for the Mondrian nail art compositions you are creating.

After cutting a strip of blue painter's tape, place it on the piece of card stock leaving one edge of the tape free so you can easily peel off the tape later.  Color the tape in with your black permanent marker so that the strip of painter's tape is completely covered in black ink.  (While you may want to try painting the painter's tape with black nail polish - and that would work - remember that you will have to place the strips of tape on your nails and if you are waiting for the black nail polish to dry, it may smudge during placement, thus the reason for using a quick-drying permanent ink.)

For each black line you will be adding to your nail by way of the colored painter's tape, match one free edge of the painter's tape to the end/beginning on your nail of where that line will be.  Then you can easily see how long of a piece of painter's tape you will need, and you can cut off any excess colored painter's tape with your scissors.

Use your tweezers to pick up the small strips of painter's tape and place them on your nail.  You can also used the tweezers to push down on the colored strips of painter's tape so that it adheres securely to your nails.

Note: because you are not using black nail polish for the strips, you cannot add top coat after putting the colored strips of tape on your nails without the colored ink from the strips bleeding onto your nails. (Believe me on this - I tried it out just to check.  You'll end up with a gray mess.)

And now you have your final look!  Because we've used black tape instead of black nail polish, this nail art look is only temporary and will start to peel off a few hours later, but the adhesive from the tape does help this look last through dinner and a fireworks show!

So, what do you think of this look?  Have you tried coloring in tape that was not originally meant as nail art tape before?  Would you be willing to try using painter's tape for this purpose, or would you rather just buy nail striping tape?

Hope everyone in the States had a good 4th of July and that those of you that are international readers are enjoying your weekend!  (And don't forget - red, white, and blue are common flag colors - this look could work for many different national holidays across the globe!)