Revlon: Blue Lagoon

July 14, 2011

While visiting, my aunt purchased and did a mani with Revlon’s Blue Lagoon, which is part of Revlon’s 2011 Summer Romantics Collection. In the bottle, this polish has a slight silver shimmer, and while this can be seen on the nail, it primarily looks like a nice blue cream.

Revlon Blue Lagoon

I believe that it is shown here with two coats – as you can see, there is still some visible nail line. My aunt also added a thin layer of Sephora by OPI black crackle and a Sinful Colors top coat.
While this color does not particular float my boat (possibly because I am currently in the mood for ‘pure’ creams?), it is a nice, gentle color, and could be great for people who love pale polishes!
(I am using the word ‘nice’ a lot here… possibly because it is the best word that I can come up with to describe Blue Lagoon. Not a fabulous color/polish, not a terrible one, but an ‘eh’ one.)

This mani was a mess. I had read about the sheerness with OPI’s Austin-tatious Turquoise, but it was also the only shade in the Texas collection that had really struck me. When I saw it for sale (at Bartell’s!) I pounced.
In the bottle, Austin-tatious Turquoise is a stunner: a teal shimmer polish that goes purple at some angles. I decided to layer it over OPI Mermaid’s Tears in order to combat the sheerness; what is seen in these pictures is three layers of Austin-tatious Turquoise over two layers of Mermaid’s Tears, plus my Sinful Colors topcoat.* That is a lot of polish.
What I had hoped to get was all that beautiful shimmer supported by a solid color, making it more opaque. From some angles, I more-or-less succeeded: while I lost a lot of the purple shimmer, my nails were definitely shimmery and teal.

OPI AT 2

From other angles… I was not nearly so successful. This picture captures it best – look at that streaky, see-through mess. (Remember that this is five layers of colored polish.)

OPI AT 3
While I am unsure how many days of wear I took these photos after (probably not more than two), also look at the chipping and tip-wear. While that may have been due to too much polish, it was disappointing.

OPI Austin-tatious Turquoise

Overall, I was not particularly impressed by Austin-tatious Turquoise, and I am very glad that I did not attempt it without a solid color underneath. Perhaps using a darker color would help to alleviate some of the problems that I had?
While this polish is still in my collection, I don’t know when I will use it again.

* I had to redo my pinky, and I believe that I used one layer of Mermaid’s Tears, not two.

Long time no post! That said, besides this mani, I have pictures of three others to get up here. I’m doing this one first because it is the biggest turn around from my last few posts.
While I was in England a few weeks ago, I picked up several nail polishes. This on, Leighton Denny’s Do Me A Flavour, was actually a free gift with a magazine! (This is something that I think that we need more of in the US. Besides nail polish, there were also lip glosses, eyeliners, eye shadows, etc. sold with magazines. I like.)
Leighton Denny is a brand that I had not heard of, and this was the only Leighton Denny polish that I recall seeing during the trip. However, I did a little research on their website, and it looks like this polish is part of their 2011 Gelato Collection.

Leighton Denny

In my pictures, it shows a little redder than in does in person: in person it is a true, bright orange. This is two coats! While it was a little patchy in places (next time I would do three coats), two coats was quite passable. I also added a Sinful Colors topcoat.

LD 2

After several days of wear, I added Sephora by OPI gold shatter on top of some nails. I liked the effect of this on the orange quite a bit (it was shiny! And glittery! Wooo). I find that this shatter is much more glittery with a top coat (as seen here) than without one.
Overall, I found both of these polishes to be fun and summery, and Do Me A Flavour scratched my itch for a bright orange polish. However… I am very, very glad that I got Do Me A Flavour as part of a four or five pound magazine, instead of paying the eleven pound normal price. That seems quite steep, especially with the US dollar still so weak.

Next up: we’ll be going back into my color family… but it will not be a rave review.

~ Nicole

Last week I wore OPI’s Mermaid’s Tears.

OPI Mermaid's Tears

Mermaid’s Tears is a dusty teal, and it is quite lovely. I had some application issues – bubbling, etc – but I applied it to my toenails for this week, and it was fine. I think that it was just a bad mani (which is why I did not post it last week!).
So, if Mermaid’s Tears is lovely and in my color family, I am must adore it, right? Sadly, no dice. I will be keeping it, as it coordinates with a lot of my clothing, but it is not currently on my list of favorites. Out of this OPI collection, Stranger Tides remains my preferred shade.
That said, I am liking it even better on my toes than on my fingers!

CG & OPI

This week, I am also wearing China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint.
Sarah mentioned, after I showed her Mermaid’s Tears, that it looked like a grown-up relative of Sally Hansen’s Mint Sorbet. Since Re-Fresh Mint and Mint Sorbet looked comparable, I wanted to see Mermaid’s Tears side-by-side with Re-Fresh Mint. The result? I agree! I think that, used together, they could make a stunning mani.
Re-Fresh Mint has a special place in my collection: it was my first non-drugstore polish, and it is one of my favorites. I was going to say that it was a pastel mint green, but in these pictures, that’s not quite right! After looking at my first batch, I was convinced that the color was inaccurate, only to go outside and realize, while taking more pictures, that it actually does have more blue tones in some lights.

Re-Fresh Mint inside:

China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint

Re-Fresh Mint outside:

CG Re-Fresh Mint

And, yes, it is nicked. Blame me – or, better yet, blame finals week!
Both polishes are shown in three coats with a Sinful Colors topcoat.

Shatter by OPI

June 4, 2011

Let me just let the cat out of the bag a little early: I LOVE this polish.

When I first heard about the idea of the crackle polish, I was apprehensive. I also sort of had this image in my head that it was a clear polish that you put over a color and then the shatter polish would somehow corrupt whatever color you’d put on and make it all crackly. Not so!

For about 8.50, you can purchase OPI Shatter at most beauty supply places. I got mine at Trade Secret. Most in my area seem only to currently carry the black kind (silver and white are also rumored to exist), but for now that’s enough for me.

Start by applying whatever color you want under the crackle. My personal favorite combinations so far are gold because it ends up looking a lot like animal print and teal, but anything in a medium-light shade goes pretty well because, come on, it’s black. Everything goes! I wasn’t a huge fan of pairing it with orange (too Halloween) or red/hot pink (too pseudo-punky) or anything even close to being considered a dark color because at that point it’s hard to tell you’re even wearing the crackle or if you just have really screwed up black nail polish on.

Anyway, after you have let the under-color dry, paint on a thin layer of the crackle. I have a tendency to apply things in thick coats, but use the crackle sparingly because otherwise it will not give the right amount of shatter and you will see very little of the color beneath. It will look really weird when you first apply it, before it has crackled. You will worry you have done something wrong, but you have not. Unless you are using a cheaper color for the under-color and didn’t let it dry all the way. If this has happened, the crackle tends to kind of grab on to the un-dried color and pull it back as it separates/crackles. The one quirk of Shatter is that it likes to crackle away from the end of your nail ever so slightly. It doesn’t peel up or anything, it just prefers to not hang out in the, like, fraction of a fraction of a fraction of an inch. So let the under color dry or it might get grabbed by the crackle and make a sort of interesting lumpy bit. It doesn’t effect the appearance of the color/crackle itself, but you may notice the lump yourself.

Only apply one coat of the crackle. It will dry matte and looks so much better with a nice shiny topcoat. Two nice things about Shatter: If you have an existing manicure that got dinged or chipped, you can make it last another couple days by applying a thin layer of crackle and topcoat. Additionally, Shatter camoflauges small knicks and scrapes it sustains because of the textured sort of appearance. It’s really nice to have in your collection just to spice it up every once in awhile or, in my case, most of the time.

Please note: I’ve posted two pics of the same application-one in the sun and one in the shade, just to show the sparkle in one and a clearer picture of the crackle in the other.

OPI: Ink

May 25, 2011

I purchased ‘Ink’ at Trade Secret while searching for an interesting purple color to wear under the OPI Black Shatter that I do so love. I did not find it in this polish. It is undeniably a nice color, but not at all what I was looking for. In the light of the store, it looked several shades brighter than it does in natural light or in any other indoor lighting. It is slightly glittery (I love glitter), but very, very dark; effectively black in most settings.

Now, I do love me some black nail polish, but when I sign up for a bottle of purple glitter polish, that is what I want to wear! If you’re looking for a deep, moody color, this may be your color. It has just enough visual interest in certain lightings to merit wearing as an alternative to plain black. However, if you are looking for a decidedly dark, but purple nonetheless, shade, look elsewhere. OPI has a myriad of colors and I’m sure you can find a satisfying purple in one line or another. The Burlesque line looks awesome (and glittery)-I’d start there. In retrospect, I probably would not have purchased this color if I’d had the opportunity to see it in alternative lighting, but it’ll probably end up resurfacing this winter when I’m feeling dark or dour or something.

As for application, naturally it went on like butter-it’s OPI! It was though, surprisingly sheer for an OPI after two coats, so I added a third. No big, I love painting my nails. I even smudged one of my nails and after the clear coat you couldn’t even tell. As per the usual I used OPI RapiDry topcoat and two layers of the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. This many layers of clear coat is completely unnecessary, but as I may have mentioned before, painting my nails is on par with meditation for me. Also, I like REALLY shiny nails.

Summary: If you’re looking for a dark, almost black, purple, I’d give this color a 4.25 out of 5. It’s pretty, but the movement in the light is…moderately interesting at best. If you are, like I was, looking for an obviously purple polish-2.5/5. I have to love it a little because it’s just so easy to use, but it is not at all what I was looking for.

Two Fridays ago, I bought the OPI: Pirates of the Caribbean sampler set, which retails for about $12.50 and contains mini bottles of (from right to left) Stranger Tides, Planks A Lot, Skull & Glossbones, and Sparrow Me the Drama.

pirates 2

This is, amusingly enough, the order in which I enjoy these colors. I bought the sampler set because A) my Ulta didn’t have Mermaid Tears and B) I wasn’t sure, seeing Stranger Tides in person, that I would love it as much as I loved it in some of the swatches I had seen.
After wearing it for a week? I am sold on Stranger Tides, which is a murky, dusty olive green, and will definitely be acquiring a full-sized bottle.

pirates 5
(Stranger Tides in close-up.)

Planks A Lot was my surprise!second favorite – it’s a lovely, blue-toned periwinkle, and I will also consider buying a larger bottle.
As for Skull & Glossbones… It is a nice gray. That’s really all I have to say about it; it has not been added to my (mental) polish shopping list. Sparrow Me the Drama didn’t do anything for me at all. It’s quite the bubblegum pink, and it just didn’t strike my fancy. Definitely not one that I will invest in, personally.

pirates 1

I did have a few issues with application, but I think that that may have been because of the mini brushes: they were difficult to work with, and three coats was not quite opaque. (This was really only visible in bright lights, however.) I then applied my beloved Sinful Colors topcoat to them. While I did refresh my topcoat on several fingers with my Sally Hansen Complete Care treatment, I don’t think that it made a huge difference in wear.
I mentioned above that I wore this mani for a week, which is my standard practice. I was wowed by how well these colors wore. I had tip-wear and some chipping (mainly on my “dominant”/right hand), but nothing massive. Overall, I was very pleased with this set. OPI for the win!
This week, I am going nail commando, except for Sally Hansen’s Complete Care. Nothing in my stash caught my attention this morning… I am really feeling the pastels lately, and I don’t own many of them. Hmm! Perhaps an excuse for a polish excursion.

~ Nicole