Welcome to the Glossy Expectations blog archive!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Yes, it’s true: I’ve moved on to other blogging adventures. But I wanted to keep Glossy Expectations as an archive of nail polish reviews and advice since I am quite proud of it. I got rid of the categories and included a tag cloud in the sidebar to the right instead so you can still find your favorite posts or anything you might want to read about quickly and easily.

I am working on a new blog that will occasionally include some nail polish posts as well as other product reviews and lots of other fun stuff. Thanks so, so much to my friends and family for all your kind words and support while I was writing this blog!

The best laid plans….

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags on May 27, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Well, hello there, everyone! Long time no post, right? Sorry about that. It’s not that Glossy Expectations hasn’t been on my mind, though. Believe me, I’ve thought plenty about how I’ve neglected this blog the past few months. And I do have several swatch photos from the past couple months that I could post about but, quite honestly, I just haven’t been motivated to do it.

You see, although I’ve loved blogging about nail polish over the past year (I think it’s been almost a year since I started Glossy Expectations…), there came a point around the last time I wrote here when I realized that 1) I can’t continue to buy new nail polish at the rate that new collections and colors are released because 2) I am not willing to buy a Helmer and 3) I’m just not that excited about most of the colors I see anymore. Or rather, I also realized that I was starting to acquire three similar shades of pink, four similar shades of purple and so on and so forth. And, to me, that’s just kind of crazy. Also, quite frankly, the amount of money I’ve spent on nail polish so far is a bit staggering. Which is not to say that I’m going on some kind of buy less stuff, spend less money sort of deal, even though I probably should! haha It’s more that, you guys, it’s a serious nail polish explosion in my bathroom! I’ve filled up my medicine cabinet, another shelf thing on my counter, and almost another storage thingie in my towel closet. And like I said, I’m just not willing to continue at that pace and get to the point where a Helmer would be needed.

Painting my nails so often in order to keep up with regular posts on this blog also ended up turning my nails a lovely shade of yellow. I always brushed off that possibility when I read it about it happening on other blogs. “No way, dude. It’ll take for-ever for that to happen!” Nope. Turns out it can happen fairly quickly when you’re using acetone all the time! I also blame glitter polish, which I have sworn off at this point, too. But anyway, so I quit painting my nails so often and, as of this writing, I haven’t painted them in about two weeks. Go me! I started using some products to help restore them, and now they are gor-geous! Barbra would so approve.

“On a clear day….” You could put an eye out with those things!

Some of you may also remember that I started my first full-time, professional librarian position back in January. Let me tell you, working full-time really puts a damper on one’s nail painting time! When I started this blog, I was still working part-time and finishing up grad school, so I had oodles more time. Kudos to other nail polish bloggers out there with full-time jobs who maintain regular posts–I honestly don’t know how you do it!

I’ve also been having lots of fun over on tumblr with The Undercover Shelf, where I post about things mostly related to reading and books and such. The shorter, image based posts and fast paced re-blogging that happens on tumblr have been better suited to my life lately.

So…with all this being said, am I also saying that this is the end of Glossy Expectations? No. But I need to change things up. I would like to revamp Glossy Expectations to be more of a lifestyle blog, where I also write reviews of other products and posts about how to improve and make your life better. I think Glossy Expectations works well for all areas of life, and I’ve been working on thinking of a tagline to express that as well as other ideas such as site design, etc. Basically, I just want to make room here for other topics that I’m interested in that revolve around anything else that fits within the realm of a lifestyle blog by moi. If you have any ideas as well, I would love to hear them!

And, of course, I will still feature nail polish reviews from time to time. Like I mentioned above, I still have quite a few backlogged swatch photos, and I’m sure that there will still be some polishes in the future that I won’t be able to resist! Plus, I’m also planning a post on how to restore your nails to their natural beauty, since that’s kind of where I’m at with my nails at the moment.

Before I end this post, I would also like to give a big THANK YOU!!! to my friends, family, and anyone else who has read this blog for supporting my writing.

Stay tuned for the new face of Glossy Expectations!

Knackered by butterLONDON

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by clairesayswhat

This was one of those rare nail polishes that seemed to unite the nail polish blogging world in a fervor. Knackered appears innocuous enough from the photos on the butterLONDON website, but once you see it in person you instantly go into the have-to-have-it trance. I would say this was probably the most popular shade of butterLONDON’s spring/summer 2012 collection. Just how do those little glitter particles stay so perfectly suspended in the polish?? Well, I certainly had to find out!

Image by clairesayswhat

Knackered is a hard polish to capture in a photo due to the shifting blues and purples of the color, but the name is truly perfect. It really does remind you of the feeling of being tired/drunk/hungover and seeing stars when you close your eyes. The light blue base color with the purple and green accents is truly beautiful. It’s almost a duochrome, but not quite. More on that shortly. The glitter is slightly holographic and very evenly distributed in the polish. Somehow it just magically stays suspended in the polish! On the nail, it disperses nicely and doesn’t add any grittiness to the overall feel because it’s so small. I would still recommend using a thicker topcoat, though. Either Seche or butterLONDON’s.

This is also because this polish is quite sheer. Now, I don’t know about you, but just looking at the bottle I assumed this polish was going to be much more opaque. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why this couldn’t be the case. I think the glitter would still have shown up nicely if the base was more opaque, but perhaps then the glitter wouldn’t stay as suspended as well. I don’t know…. Either way, I needed 3 coats of Knackered for it to be opaque enough on my nail. And I did experience considerably more tip wear and overall chipping than I normally do with butterLONDON polishes. But overall, I still wore Knackered for more than a few days longer than a lot of other brands can manage, so it still gets a thumbs up in my book!

I would recommend layering this polish over another blue based color. Or maybe even over purple or green! Some of the other colors that are present in this shade might show themselves better when layered over another shade, too. Also, after trying this polish and Disco Biscuit, I really appreciate that butterLONDON is making polishes that feature glitter rather than being all-glitter-all-the-time. Stay tuned for my next post where I shall elaborate on that point….

Grape Soda Mani

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by clairesayswhat

So we’re all probably familiar with scented nail polishes by now. Everyone from Revlon to Color Club has jumped on the scented polish bandwagon. And why not? It’s something fun and nostalgic for those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s. But have you ever thought that you could make your own scented nail polish? Well, I didn’t either, but I created my very own Grape Soda scented mani quite by accident!

Image by clairesayswhat

What you see here is Chunky Holo Purple by Kleanolor layered over Nubar’s Treasure. I could tell right away that the Chunky Holo Purple would need a base color, although you probably could use it by itself for a more sheer holographic effect. Or I bet it would also look amazing over some of the new neon shades that are coming out this spring! But I had Treasure, too, so I decided to use it as the base coat. I’ll review the application of each of these polishes before I get to the grape soda part.

Nubar’s Treasure is a sheer purple that’s kind of in-between a holo and a microglitter polish. This is to say that the purple itself is not like a cream polish. It is super fine purple particles in a purple jelly-ish base. It’s a bit hard to explain but, suffice it to say that you’ll need up to 3 coats to achieve complete opacity. I was expecting it to be less sheer than it is, but it’s still a great polish that dries with a wonderful glossy sheen all on its own. I’d heard a lot about their bottle cap as well, and it really is one of the better ones on the market. The top is wide and flat so that it can rest under the base of your index finger enabling you to get a comfortable grip with the tip of your index finger and thumb at the base of the cap which is kind of pinched. You can see plenty of examples on Nubar’s website to get an idea of what I mean. I also like that all of Nubar’s polishes are cruelty free and vegan. Not many companies can make that claim!

Now on to the Kleancolor. Their holo shades are pretty well known among the nail polish blogs for offering quite a big bang for very little money. The Chunky Holo Purple doesn’t offer the amount of holo particles that you’ll get in more expensive versions, but it is very pretty. And again, the Purple is very sheer, but the particles are so iridescent (flashing between gold, green, and purple) that it’s magnificent nonetheless. The base is tinted a light purple and slightly on the thick side. So if you want to get the most holo particles, I suggest several thin coats. As it was in this mani, the base of the Chunky Holo Purple did make the edges of the Treasure basecoat shrink just a bit, but that was probably only noticeable to me and no one else. I’m just glad to have this polish in my collection.–it’s beautiful just to look at in the bottle.

Now, I noticed right away that while the Nubar polish has a pleasing and not very strong smell, Kleancolor is quite the opposite. It smells very strong and not like any other polish I’ve used before. I’m not really sure why that is, though. But  after it dried over the Treasure, I noticed that it smelled exactly like grape soda! In fact, I even went back on the Nubar site thinking maybe Treasure was part of a scented collection or something, but nope! It just so happened that Treasure combined with Chunky Holo Purple smells like grape soda! Even better that it’s purple, too! And unlike polishes that are actually marketed as scented, the grape soda scent of this mani actually stuck around for more than a few days.

So the secret formula is Nubar Treasure + Kleancolor Chunk Holo Purple = Grape Soda mani!

Give it a try if you happen to have these two polishes, and let me know if you get the same result! Or if you have discovered any similar effects with other polishes let me know, too.

Mattese Elite Me Amour Review

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Oh, glitter polish, my eternal friend! I can simply never resist your charms! As we all know, glitter has been probably the biggest trend of the past year in nail polish, and I honestly don’t see it going away anytime soon. And the Me Amour collection from Mattese Elite is an excellent reason why it’s here to stay. Released just prior to Valentine’s Day, the colors in this collection reflect the theme of the holiday but they’re also perfect for the next few months when we’ll be craving all things bright and shiny!

Mattese Elite and Ricky’s NYC were kind of enough to send me some samples of two of the shades from this collection, Embrasse Moi and Je T’Aime. They arrived in a box wrapped with tape printed with the Ricky’s text, and I think I literally squeed when I saw it on my doorstep. Inside the box, they were beautifully packaged in a smaller white box.

Image by clairesayswhat

My love for Ricky’s knows no bounds so I was especially excited to get these polishes! I discovered the store on my first trip to NYC in 2005, and on every trip back since I’ve visited the location on West 23rd Street (across from the Chelsea Hotel, may it rest in peace in its former incarnation, where I stayed on that first trip) more than a few times. Besides nail polish and makeup they also carry many, many fun and unique beauty projects as well as T-shirts, accessories, and even adult toys. And for Halloween they turn into a costume superstore! There are several locations around Manhattan, but the 23rd Street one will always be my favorite. And thank goodness they have an online store now, too!

Anywho, onto the polish review, right? Right! Because these two shades complement each other so well, I decided to swatch them together:

Image by clairesayswhat

Embrasse Moi is a gorgeous purple microglitter (with a few larger pieces thrown in to really catch the light!) that turns more fuchsia in brighter light while Je T’Aime is a beautiful gold glitter that contains various sizes of glitter pieces. Embrasse Moi goes on a bit sheer at first, but I achieved opacity in just 2 coats which you see above! With so many chunky glitters around these days, I really appreciated the coverage of Embrasse Moi. It wasn’t lumpy at all, either, and didn’t eat top coat to boot! It’s just an all around great polish.

Je T’Aime is a good one, too, although it doesn’t go quite as opaque as Embrasse Moi. But really, I think I’m the only one that can notice that. Anyone else would have to take a good hard look at my nails! Nevertheless, when I wear this polish again, I’ll layer it over another gold shade. The smell of Je T’Aime also reminded me of Kleancolor polishes but, thankfully, wasn’t as strong and didn’t linger. And along with a good variety of glitter sizes, Je T’Aime is also slightly holographic! I think Je T’Aime would make a perfect bridal polish shade because it has just the right amount of drama: not too over-the-top and just sparkly enough.

These were two all around great polishes, and I couldn’t be more pleased! Thanks to Mattese Elite and the Ricky’s Blogger Blast for sending them to me for review! I can’t wait to try more Mattese polish in the future. You can score your own polish from the Me Amour collection and others at the Ricky’s NYC website.

butterLONDON Disco Biscuit

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Because who can resist a nail polish named after a slang term for that most favorite drug of the 1970s, Quaaludes! An episode of Law and Order: SVU (or was it CSI? I don’t know–I don’t usually watch these shows, but I don’t have cable at the moment) reminded me that I needed to go and get this polish before it sold out. Oddly enough, in that episode they were totally acting like you could still get Quaaludes because they found some in the suspect’s bag and acted like it was a normal thing. I thought to myself, “Hold up, detective. Those babies haven’t been available in the States since the 80s!” But apparently Quaaludes are currently the most widely used recreational drug in South Africa. Who knew? Thanks, Wikipedia! Maybe South Africa is where disco defected to. If that’s the case, sign me up for a ticket ASAP! Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Studio 54…..Bianca! Andy! Liza! How sad that the kids these days (gosh, am I getting old or what?) know less and less about the fabulous fripperies of the 70s….

But along comes that most fantastic of brands, butterLONDON, with just such a polish to put a little of the 70s back in our well-heeled step! Now when I first saw this polish on the Internet, I thought it was just another hot pink-ish shade. It was pretty, but not necessarily something I was planning on buying. Until I saw it in person!

Image by clairesayswhat

It’s difficult to capture in a photo, but there are bee-u-tiful holographic blue sparkles hiding in this polish! When I picked up the bottle at Nordstrom I was instantly transfixed….it was as if I was wearing a gold lame maxi dress and spinning under the lights while the latest Donna Summer song swirled in the background….Ok, enough with the disco references, but how can I resist!

Now, as for the polish formula and application itself, well, it’s a bit tricky. This is basically a jelly polish, but the blue sparkles give it a kind of strange grittiness that’s hard to describe. It’s most apparent on the first coat, but by the third coat it mostly events out; however, I did use a coat of butter’s Hardwear topcoat followed by a coat of Seche since this shade also doesn’t dry super shiny. The application was good, and I didn’t experience any issues other than the grittiness. And, as you can see, the top coats gave everything a nice sheen overall. The blue sparkles are quite subtle in indoor light, but they really pop like strobe lights in the sunlight! It’s truly gorgeous and something that’s very unique on the polish market right now. I hope to see more unexpected color/sparkle combos like this from butterLONDON and other brands.

Disco Biscuit is part of butterLONDON’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection and is available for $14.00 at Ulta and Nordy’s, but it’s selling out quick! I was going to use my $3 off Ulta coupon on Disco Biscuit but then it expired, and Ulta was all sold out anyway. Luckily, Nordy’s had 1 bottle left! Of course, you can also snag a bottle from the butterLONDON website as well. I also scored a bottle of Knackered, which has been probably the most popular shade from this collection. I’ll be reviewing it soon!

How about you? Are you feeling the spirit of Studio 54 with Disco Biscuit? Let me know! And don’t forget: what happens in the bathroom at Studio 54, stays in the bathroom (at least until Andy finds out and puts it in his diary)!

Lady Gaga Edge of Glory set by Deborah Lippmann

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2012 by clairesayswhat

So I meant to have this review up in time for The Grammys, but it just didn’t happen. I’m still trying to find a groove for updating with new posts. The goal has been to use my half day on Fridays to get three posts written and set to upload throughout the week. Still workin’ on that one, too!

But anywho, today I have Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory Deborah Lippmann polish set set for review! My mom surprised me with it for Christmas (and the wacky egg spinner toy!), and you can see a photo of the box in my Glad Tidings post. I waited awhile to try this polish, too, since black and really dark shades aren’t normally my thing. Thankfully, the Edge of Glory polishes–like Gaga herself–are amazing! Have a look-see:

Image by clairesayswhat

Are you freaking out over the gorgeous flakies yet?! I was so amazed when I applied it and saw that the flakes showed up as different colors over the black polish. Totally cool! Other flake topcoats I’ve tried have been just one color, so this was a very unique effect for me.

With this set, you get the black polish and the flake top coat. Both are named Edge of Glory. If only that video had been as amazing as this polish is! Actually, I don’t mind that video. It’s just that the dance sequence goes on just a little too long. You and I is actually my favorite song/video from the Born This Way album.

But back to the polish! I applied the black polish first, of course. It is wonderfully dark, opaque and inky and not watery at all like a lot of black polishes tend to be. I still had to do clean up, but it was pretty minimal compared to when I’ve used other dark polishes. This polish adheres to the nail really well and, amazingly, didn’t drag at all. I think I may have actually used just one coat here, too! Now, would I wear it on its own? Absolutely not. But the flake top coat completely transforms it!

The flakes in the top coat show up as green, blue, and orange. The effect really reminds me of color film negatives for some reason. My favorite color is the blue and the way it contrasts with the black base. On the box, the Edge of Glory is billed as “Two Step 3D Holographic” and, while I don’t think it quite achieved 3D status, the holographic effect was genius and beautiful. In fact, I think Deborah Lippmann should make the Edge of Glory holographic topcoat part of core nail lacquer line since I think it would look amazing over many of her other polishes.

Best of all, even though this set was part of Gaga’s Workshop for Barneys New York at Christmas last year, you can still get it–on sale even! It’s currently available at the Barneys website for $29, which is a steal, really, considering Lippmann polishes retail for $18 each. Get it before it’s gone! And maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll still send it in the nifty Gaga’s Workshop bags!

With nail polish collaborations being the latest thing in fashion and makeup right now, I really hope that Lady Gaga teams up with someone to release her own line of nail polish. I can only imagine the colors she’d come up with!

UPDATE: Apparently Barney’s took the Gaga’s Workshop stuff down just after I wrote this post. That or everything sold out. So if you still want the Edge of Glory set, I’d suggest watching ebay at this point. Also, there are quite a few flake topcoats out now that are similar to this one, such as the ones by Finger Paints that are available at Sally Beauty Supplies stores and online.

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