Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review & Swatches - Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Collection

It's no secret that I've been really loving this textured polish trend. I recently got the chance to try out Nicole by OPI's contribution to the trend, so I'll be sharing those swatches with you today.

A-Nise Treat is a black base with lots of fine silver glitter. I'm pretty sure this is a dead-on dupe for Zoya Dahlia from their original PixieDust Collection, so if you already have that one you definitely don't need this one. Conversely, if you can't get Zoya where you live, this is the perfect alternative. The formula was really great and I've shown two coats below.

Blue-berry Sweet On You is a denim blue with fine blue and silver glitter bits. I like this colour as a texture quite a bit. The formula was really good and I used two coats for the photos below.

Candy is Dandy is a rosy pink with fine pink and silver glitter and larger holo chunks. This one reminds me of the first textures we saw from OPI in the Mariah Carey Collection, which I love. I think the chunkier glitters add some extra dimension and visual interest to the texture. The formula was really good and I used two coats below, although I think it could have done with a third.

Cinna-man Of My Dreams is a cinnamon coloured base with a complex mix of fine glitters throughout. There's copper, pink and silver, and maybe a few more colours that are hard to pick out because of the complexity. This is really unique and unlike anything we've seen in a textured polish yet. It's definitely a favourite for me. The formula was great and I needed two coats.

I Lilac Gumdrops is a lilac base with silver flakes of glitter. This is similar in colour to Zoya Stevie, but the difference is those glitter flakes, which make this one really interesting. This one starts out sheer and a bit thinner than the others, but it still builds up nicely in three coats.

My Cherry Amour is a deep cherry red with lots of holographic sparkle. Oh I love this one so much. The colour is just beautiful. It actually reminds me of a textured version of Zoya Aurora! The formula was really great and I used two coats for the photos below.

Overall, I like this collection. My personal favourites are Cinna-man Of My Dreams and My Cherry Amour.

I actually have two other Gumdrops shades to show you, although I'm not really sure which (if any) collection they belong to. They don't belong to this one, so it's possible they're just individual shades. Either way, I'll look into it a bit further before showing you those.

The Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Collection is available most everywhere now, but doesn't release in some locations until July or August.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Palm Tree Sunset - China Glaze Sunsational Nail Art

Hey there!

On Monday I posted my swatches/review of the China Glaze Sunsational Collection. Although I really like the whole collection, a couple of the shades are super sheer, so many people (myself included) probably wouldn't wear them on their own. However, my friend Rebecca found a great way to make use of them! Basically, you can apply them in layers to create a really awesome gradient! I wanted to test it out for myself, so I created this palm tree sunset mani using a couple of the colours.

For the gradient base, I used the same shades that Rebecca used - China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts and Isle See You Later. Instead of going into a full explanation of the gradient technique, Rebecca has a quick tutorial in her post so you check that out here. After that had pretty much dried, I used a small nail art brush and China Glaze Liquid Leather to draw on a couple of palm trees on two accent nails.

I think this gradient technique is pretty much genius. It cuts down on the time and the slight mess that come with sponging gradients. And my favourite part is that the first base colour doesn't have to be completely dry before adding the second colour, which is the case with sponging. I'll definitely be testing this technique out with some other jelly polishes from my collection.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

piCture pOlish - Hope by Vernis en Folie

piCture pOlish has been banging out so many new and beautiful collaboration shades lately that I can't keep up! I seriously want them all. One of the new ones is this one called Hope and it's created in collaboration with Be from Vernis en Folie.

Hope is a deep teal-leaning blue with lots of that tiny holographic flake glitter that piCture pOlish does so well. There's also larger hexagonal blue glitters throughout which add some extra dimension and visual interest. It's a really beautiful shade.

Formula wise, Hope is excellent, which I've really come to expect from piCture pOlish. It starts out a bit on the sheer side due to the jelly base, but it builds up quite nicely in just two coats.

Just look at this macro shot! OMGLOVE.

Hope can be purchased through the piCture pOlish store. They do ship internationally, but there's also many network members all over the world whom you can purchase from. Refer to the Network Members List for a complete list of where you can find piCture pOlish.
Personally, I bought this one from Nail Polish Canada, but I've also purchased piCture pOlish from llarowe and Harlow & Co. as well.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review & Swatches - China Glaze Sunsational Collection

Hey there!

First of all I want to thank everyone who took the time to wish me well in regards to my sprained wrist. I really appreciate it. My wrist is doing much better, albeit still a bit sore. Luckily it's healed enough that I was able to get a good amount of swatching done yesterday, so I have a post-filled week ahead. :)

First up is China Glaze's new Summer 2013 Sunsational Collection. I was really excited about this collection because last year's Summer Neons Collection is still my favourite collection released in the last three years or so. So when I heard China Glaze was tackling neons once again this year, I was pumped.

The Sunsational Collection is broken down into two parts - the cremes and the jellies. I'll start by showing you the cremes. In regards to formula, I had read that these are pretty bad. I didn't find them as bad as some other bloggers have, but they're not effortless like a lot of China Glaze cremes. I wouldn't go as far as to say that they're difficult, but they do require some patience. I found that most of them applied a little unevenly and they had trouble self-leveling.

Bottoms Up is a bright candy pink creme. The formula was ok, albeit a little thin and patchy. I used three coats to even everything out.

Highlight of My Summer is a vivid mint green creme. My skin colour looks a little off in these photos because my camera really didn't like this polish. I had to do some colour correcting to get the polish to appear accurate, which distorted my skin colour. But the polish is accurate, which is what's most important.

This one is a favourite of mine colour-wise (it's like a neon version of China Glaze Re-fresh Mint, one of my favourite pastel polishes ever), but one of the worst formula-wise. It applied unevenly and didn't want to self-level. I suggest applying thin coats and waiting a minute or two in between coats so that you don't experience any dragging. I've shown three coats below.

Neon & On & On is a bright coral-pink creme. This is like a creme version of China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, another of my favourite China Glaze shades! The formula was a little uneven, but still ok. My photos show three coats.

Sun of a Peach is a neon peach creme. What a great name for a great colour. This is easily a favourite for me. The formula was similar to Highlight of My Summer, so take your time when applying it.

That's Shore Bright is a vibrant purple creme. This one isn't quite as bright as the others, but it's still really pretty. It also had the best formula of the cremes. I only needed two coats for my swatch.

Too Yacht to Handle is a vibrant aqua blue creme. Take a quick look at my blog and I'm sure it'll come as no big surprise that I really love this one. The formula was similar to Highlight of My Summer and Sun of a Peach. Three coats is what I needed to even everything out.

Now it's time for the jelly half of the collection. The formula for these was definitely better than the creme half, although a couple of these are super sheer. Take a look.

Are You Jelly? is a medium purple jelly. Love the name and love the polish. It's a great colour, great formula and great opacity for a jelly. I've shown three coats below.

Heat Index is a bright hot pink jelly. This is one of the sheerer ones, but it's decent. The formula was pretty good and I used three coats for my swatch.

Isle See You Later is a very sheer blue jelly. This one is by far the sheerest of the bunch - it's basically like tinted water. I've shown three coats below and as you can see, there's still quite a lot of visible nail line. The formula was good though.

Keepin' It Teal is a teal jelly. This one is less sheer than Isle See You Later, but not by much. And it's a shame because I really love this colour. The formula was good and I used three coats for the coverage you see below.

Shell-O is a coral jelly. This one is by far my favourite of the jellies. I absolutely love the colour and it builds up pretty nicely. I've shown three coats below.

You Drive Me Coconuts is a hot blue-based pink jelly. This one was the most opaque from the jellies and also had the best formula from this half of the collection. I like the colour a lot. My swatch shows just two coats.

After reading some of the reviews, I wasn't sure if this collection was going to be a bust or not. However, I'm really pleased with it personally. I wish that a couple of the jellies were more opaque and the creme formulas aren't the best that I've seen from China Glaze, but the colour choices make up for that for me.

Most of my favourites are from the creme range (Highlight of My Summer, Neon & On & On, Sun of a Peach, Too Yacht to Handle), but there's also a couple of jellies that made the list (Shell-O and You Drive Me Coconuts).

The China Glaze Sunsational Collection is an June release so it should be available now wherever you find China Glaze in your area. You can also find it online from etailers such as Nail Polish Canada.

Friday, June 21, 2013

KBShimmer What's Your Damage? Neon Matte Mani

Hey guys!

I apologize for not being around the past couple of days, but anyone who follows me on twitter may have read that I recently sprained my wrist. It's not a bad sprain, but it's bad enough to bum me out. I had to cancel all of my client appointments this week to give it time to rest/heal and I've been unable to do much in the way of creating blog content. Needless to day, I've felt extraordinarily unproductive these past few days.

I was feeling good enough to paint my nails last night, and it didn't hurt too much, but holding up my chunky camera to get photos of this mani was the biggest issue. Oh what we wouldn't do for an awesome manicure. So hopefully you like this one considering the pain I went through to get the photos, haha.

KBShimmer What's Your Damage is from the new Summer 2013 line. I already own three of the shades from this collection (and I showed you swatches here) and I recently placed an order for four of the others. I can't wait for them to arrive!

What's Your Damage? features a milky white jelly base with lots of black, hot pink and neon green glitter. The glitter comes in varying shapes and sizes; there's hexes, squares, circles and small shards. To create a fun and coordinating mani, I decided to paint What's Your Damage? on only my index and middle nails while I used China Glaze Hang-ten Toes on my ring nail and China Glaze I'm with the Lifeguard on my thumb and pinky nails.

We all know that neons typically dry to a semi or completely matte finish, so the two China Glaze neons had pretty much dried and were looking fairly matte. I decided I liked the matte look, so instead of adding Seche Vite to the mani like I had planned, I instead used my OPI Matte Top Coat. I'm really glad I decided to go matte because I think this looks pretty cool!

I read recently that KBShimmer is releasing another new collection! My god this brand is absolutely murdering my wallet!

KBShimmer polishes are available directly from the KBShimmer website for those of you in the US. But don't worry if you're not in the US because they're also available from Harlow & Co. They always sell out pretty quickly from Harlow & Co., so be sure to keep up with them on Facebook for restock info.

Some of the product(s) in this post were provided by the manufacturer or their PR in exchange for an honest review.
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