Archive for blue

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….

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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.

Bootie Babe Cosmetics polish!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a product that takes everything to the next level. The Bootie Babe polishes were just such a product for me because the bottles are shaped like, well, booties! Look:

Image by clairesayswhat

Super fun, right? The creator of these polishes, Mark O’Hara, was nice enough to send me these samples of 4 colors from the 12 color collection. The colors, left to right, are Pinky Dinky, Mean Tangerine, Blue Baboo, and Purp Slurp. I love the little boxes they came in, too, as well as the cute logo sticker on the bottle cap.

The Bootie Babe polish itself runs on the thick side (any puns from here on out are totally not intended, I swear!), but it applies and sticks to the nail quite well. I found it was best to get a good amount polish on the brush and apply it quickly for each coat. It doesn’t level very well, but it’s pretty smooth so it lays down nicely. It also dried pretty quickly and with a satin finish which I liked.

Mean Tangerine surprised me the most and turned out to be my favorite! I loved it the minute I took it out of the box, but I was skeptical since it’s such a bright neon. It was nearly opaque at two coats! As I was painting it on, I also realized just how nostalgic this particular shade is. It reminds me of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese powder! Check out the colors on my nails:

Image by clairesayswhat

I love that all these colors look so great together! As you can see, the Bootie Babe bottle is quite small. But don’t be discouraged–it holds plenty of polish! I also read via Bootie Babe’s twitter feed that they are working on re-designing the packaging to make the bottle cap taller since many others who have tried these polishes have experienced difficulty with the short cap. Personally, I didn’t have any problems with it. In fact, I find of liked it since I usually turn my brush to get the polish on the other side, and that seemed easier with this cap. Nevertheless, I did drop it once which never happens to me, so perhaps a slight redesign is a good thing after all. Also, the bottle itself is a little, um, front-heavy and will wobble a bit if you don’t dip the brush in cleanly. The bottle opening is a little small, and this was really the only issue I had with the packaging itself. And just because I know you’re curious, here’s a shot of the actual bootie part of the bottle:

Image by clairesayswhat

I gotta say, it’s pretty totes adorbs! Overall, I thought the polish quality was great–it even smells nice, which I always appreciate. Best of all, Bootie Babe polish is 3 free AND cruelty free! I promise these polishes will put a smile on your face, and they’ll make great gifts for anyone who appreciates things that stand out from the rest.

You can order these or any of the other great colors in the collection via the Bootie Babe Cosmetics shop page. They currently retail for $4 each which is a super deal. I’ll definitely be trying more colors once they launch the new bottles! Also, check out an extensive list of other bloggers that have reviewed the Bootie Babes polishes on the Bloggers section of the website. Yours truly is listed on this page, which is pretty exciting, too!

Let me know if you give Bootie Babe a try!

(Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Bootie Babe Cosmetics.)

Revlon Whimsical (aka Anemic Cupcakes)

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

Revlon has done it again with another great Deborah Lippmann dupe! Previously, they released Facets of Fuchsia as a dupe for Lippmann’s Bad Romance. If you missed it the first time around, check the new Revlon Brilliant Color display at your local drugstore, and you’ll find it’s been re-released once again as Scandalous. It was quite the popular polish!

Now, in this same display, Revlon has also bestowed upon us a shade called Whimsical, which is a dupe for another Deborah Lippmann polish called Glitter In the Air. I normally avoid Revlon’s nail polish as their formula can be so hit or miss, but since Facets of Fuchsia was so great and the price is certainly right, I couldn’t pass up Whimsical.

Although, I must admit, I ended up being quite taken with this polish. It’s such a different shade and not one that I expected to end up liking as much as I did.

Image by clairesayswhat

It’s one of those polishes that has a semi-sheer, almost snotty (gross, I know, but that’s truly what it reminds me of!) base that can be notoriously difficult to apply. The base here is light blue, and there is blue and pink hexagonal glitter as well as smaller silver glitter and iridescent blue microglitter suspended all throughout.

Surprisingly, I didn’t experience any issues with the formula. I used 3 coats, and each dried nicely. The glitter effect builds up as you increase coats: some of the glitter from the previous coat becomes opaque while the newer glitter is brighter. This makes for a kind of 3-D, reflecting pool effect. It’s really quite beautiful. The base color is less blue on the nail than in the bottle, and it’s for this reason that I thought of  “Anemic Cupcakes.” It’s like if you took a cupcake and made it a halftone lighter, then you’d have this shade. That’s the best way I can think of describe why I thought of calling it that! Maybe it makes sense only to me…haha Another way I can think of describe it is like a crystal ball. It’s as though you’re looking through glass and can see through the layers of liquid beneath.

Anyway, let me give you a heads up on the glitter in this polish. It tends to sink to the bottom, so you’ll want to kind of plunge the brush down into the bottle and wipe the excess off carefully in order to get the best amount of glitter on the brush. I found that I got the best distribution of glitter on my larger nails, such as my thumb. Most of my other nails required me to strategically place a few extra bits of glitter so they wouldn’t so bare. If you have shorter nails, you may find this polish more difficult to work with. I’d suggest using a thin nail brush or even an orange wood stick to catch and apply the pieces of glitter to your nails if you find that you have trouble getting enough with the brush.

Also, you will never get this polish to be opaque, so don’t even try! You have to accept the fact that the sheerness is part of what makes Whimsical so special. If you take your time and let each coat dry before applying the next, I promise that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the effect you achieve!

I expected this polish to chip very easily, but it didn’t! In fact, I ended up wearing Whimsical for a full week. The blue in the base did seem to get paler as the week went on due to hand washing and light exposure, but overall the effect held up.

Whimsical is a really great polish, and certainly worth the incredibly cheap price when compared to its Deborah Lippmann original. I can’t personally compare it to Glitter In the Air, but swatches on other blogs confirm that it is a pretty spot-on dupe.

So with two great Deborah Lippmann dupes from Revlon now on the market, I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with next!

St. John’s Wood by nails inc.

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , on November 14, 2011 by clairesayswhat

It was my birthday recently, and my cousin Carolyn surprised me with the perfect present–a giftcard to Sephora, of course! And it was perfect timing, too, because those little Sephora fairies kindly sent me an e-mail informing me that a $25 online purchase would entitle me to a deluxe sample bag. Woohoo!

So I perused the website for a little while but, needless to say, I spent the giftcard on polish. All the better to blog about! I chose 3 colors by the British brand, nails inc., which recently launched stateside at Sephora. This is St. John’s Wood:

Image by clairesayswhat

(Pardon the not-so-fantastic photo, please. I was having a tough time getting the lighting right on that day for some reason, hence the slightly naff flower border to distract you!)

As I was scrolling through the nails inc. colors, St. John’s Wood immediately got my attention because it’s such a unique shade of blue. Now, I’m not a blue polish person at all, but I decided to try this shade since it’s so pretty and unique to my collection.

The color also reminds me of one of my favorite Britcoms, Keeping Up Appearances, and its main character, Hyacinth Bucket (“It’s boo-kay, dear”), and her infamous collection of Royal Daulton china with the hand-painted periwinkles. Indeed, after checking back at the Sephora website, St. John’s Wood is described as “dark periwinkle” so I must’ve chosen it subconsciously! I’m well chuffed (as the Brits would say) with it, too. The cool gray undertones of this blue, as opposed to darker shades, work nicely with my skin tone.

St. John’s Wood is a highly pigmented creme polish, and you could get away with 1 coat if you are very careful in applying it and have a light touch with the brush to prevent dragging. I went with 2 coats, of course. You don’t get very much polish in the bottle, but the fact that it’s so highly pigmented mostly makes up for that. Also, the silver cap is all there is, meaning it does not come off to reveal a smaller, black cap underneath (like the magnetic polish cap). I thought this would be an issue, but it surprisingly wasn’t. I’ve been wearing this shade for going on 3 days, too, and there is absolutely no tip wear or chipping. Overall, the formula of St. John’s Wood is spot on.

I really like the nails inc. brand. All of their polishes have fun, British-centric and Anglophile names, and most of the colors are unique compared to everything else on the market. I was also very impressed with the quality of their polish. At $9.50 a bottle and with less product inside than other brands at similar price points, you definitely want to get your money’s worth and nails inc. does not disappoint so far. I can’t wait to try the other two colors I ordered and review them for you all! Stay tuned!

And don’t forget to like Glossy Expectations on facebook!

Glacier National Nails

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by clairesayswhat

So my boyfriend and I recently took a trip up to Glacier National Park in Montana. Trust me, it was his idea, not mine because I let him know from day one that I am not the camping-in-the-woods-leave-no-trace kind of gal. So he took pity on me and we just did a couple of day hikes around the park. There was also an ill-fated trip up to Canada. The northeast side of Glacier National Park is about 50 miles from the US-Canadian border, and I’ve never been to Canada. But it started to snow when we were near the border, so we turned around. Oh well. I guess this just means our next trip will have to be to a city in Canada where I can shop and go to museums!

The week before we left for this trip, I thought I’d try and get in the spirit of things by going with a blue theme:

Image by clairesayswhat

I decided to forgo the Polaroid look because I thought this particular manicure looked better without it, and I like the contrast of the background (thanks, Andy Warhol calendar!).

You may remember Hannah Pinktana, the Wet n Wild polish from the Jem-inspired Set Your Sails manicure. Well, the blue glitter shade in this manicure is its BFF, Blue Wants to Be A Millionaire. It is just as spectacular as Hannah Pinktana, and I really hope Wet n Wild comes out with more glitter shades in this formula. For such a cheap price, the sparkle factor is truly outstanding! They’re more of a micro glass fleck than a holo, but they pack quite a punch nevertheless.

On a trip to Target, I spied the accompanying opaque blue shade by Sonia Kashuk, Blank Slate. I’m not usually all that keen on darker blue polishes, but the neutral factor of Blank Slate caught my eye. Plus, I don’t actually own any other Sonia Kashuk polishes and have been wanting to try them. Initially, I thought these two shades would be slightly closer in tone but, once I got Blank Slate home and compared it to Millionaire, this was obviously not the case. I decided to go ahead with the combination anyway.

I painted Blank Slate on my pinkie and pointer finger and thumb of my left hand while Millionaire went on my ring and middle finger. On my right hand, I switched Millionaire to the pointer and middle finger just for fun. Did you follow all that, by the way? But I really like wearing two shades like this. It’s fun and unusual and lends itself to my penchant for coordinating rather than matching colors.

Blank Slate applied really well. So well, in fact, that you can get away with one coat! But since I can’t let myself do one coat like I can’t skip using a top coat, I went ahead and applied a second coat. The color is a smooth, soft navy that dries slightly glossy. In the bottle, Blank Slate looks lighter, more like a darker powder blue. Yet on the nail it is definitely closer to navy.

Like I said, this was my first time trying a Sonia Kashuk polish, and I was quite impressed. I was pleased to find out that this brand utilizes a thinner brush which, for me, offers better application control. The Wet n Wild brush is thicker and holds quite a bit of polish, but I feel it works well for their particular glitter formula.

So needless to say I made it back safe and sound from the Montana trip. I was quite nervous of getting attacked by angry grizzly bears, but we only saw them with our binoculars on a mountainside that was far, far away. The only other ferocious creatures we encountered were chipmunks and a snake. It’s good to get out of my comfort zone every once in awhile but nice to come to the land of nail polish!