Archive for cream

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!


Labor Day Neutrals

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by clairesayswhat

It’s your lucky day, readers! Just for Labor Day I’ve got a special “2 for 1” post for you today. Two reviews, one post! Get it? Ok, so it’s not that clever, but that’s sort of why I haven’t updated in the past week or so. Every time I thought about it I just couldn’t seem to find anything fun to say. It happens. Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with neutrals lately, which is something totally new for me. After I stopped biting my nails, I was all about the glitter and anything shiny or metallic. If a moth could be attracted to ethyl acetate instead of a flame, well, you might say I was that moth.  But I’ve been noticing other colors that I never would’ve considered even six months ago have begun to get my attention.

The first neutrals to catch my eye were the colors from Essie’s new fall Carry On collection. I kept noticing the ads for them in magazines and finally broke down and decided to give three of them a try.

Image by Clairesayswhat

You see, I came to the conclusion that I liked the colors really well together as opposed to by themselves. The lady I purchased them from at Walgreens thought this was funny and couldn’t believe that I was really going to wear all three shades at the same. But look how fun!! These three shades (left to right) are Case Study (a kind of khaki brown shade), Lady Like (a pretty lilac), and Carry On (a very dark, blackberry shade). I was so in love with this color combo that I wore it for a full week, which is rare for me! I also got lots of compliments on it. I started by painting the pinky nail of my left hand with Case Study and continuing with alternating the colors on each finger. Now, I’ve done manicures with one accent nail before, but three colors at once was new for me, too. I will definitely be repeating this look in the future, though. And I’m still undecided if I’ll wear any of these three shades by themselves, on all my nails. I just like the way they look together so much! There are also three other shades in this collection, but I’m on the fence about getting them. We’ll see….Overall, I just love the 1970s vibe of the Carry On collection.

The most surprising thing about these shades is how well they applied. I was super impressed with the formula, and I’ve had some not-so-great experiences with certain Essie shades (I’m looking at you, Smooth Sailing). But these all applied like a dream! They are smooth and highly pigmented and each self-leveled very well. They also had a bit of malleability so any mistakes could be fixed pretty easily before the drying started.  I would say the formula of these is somewhere between a cream and a jelly and if Essie is changing the formula of more of their polishes to match these, then count me in!

Now, the craziest thing happening right now, is that I am actually wearing brown polish. For the first time ever. On all of my nails. I have a history with hating brown, but I’ve started to explore this color more in the past few years.

Image by Clairesayswhat

This is Cashmere or Loose Me by Barielle, which I got during Barielle’s recent buy-one-get-one-1/2-off sale (thanks, Mom!). A shade like this is something totally different for me and, surprisingly, I really like it! It’s basically the color of melted milk chocolate. The formula was similar to the Essie polishes but maybe slightly creamier. It applied very nicely, too. I tried layering another shade that I ordered at the same time, Buddha-ful, over Cashmere, but Buddha-ful was more opaque than I thought it would be so I removed it and reapplied Cashmere. I’ll post a separate review of Buddh-ful soon.

What I noticed that all four of these polishes have in common is a thin brush. I used to love the OPI brush above all for its wide width and quick distribution of polish, but I’ve really grown to love a thinner brush for the level of control that it gives. I can paint the sides of my nails with more precision and less mess than with a wider brush, which I like. I think I’ve also gotten better at painting my nails in the past few months. Practice does make perfect! But I do like that the Essie and Barielle formulas work so well with their brushes, and these are now two brands that I’ll look to more readily in the future.

Lily Pulitzer mani

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2011 by clairesayswhat

So I wanted to try the Konad stamper again with some new polishes I got but didn’t have any luck. Both were too thin. My initial plan was to stamp the green over the pink. I was in a bit of a rush and didn’t let the polish dry quite enough. Needless to say, I made quite the mess. And to top it all off, I was out of paper towels (which is what I use to take of my polish)!

So I decided to just take the mess off the thumb nail of my left hand and off two other nails of my right hand that I had smudged in the process and apply the green to those nails. This was the end result:

Photo by clairesayswhat

I’ve discovered that I’m a big fan of mismatched nails! Essie’s new Carry On Collection has several colors that I want to get specifically for mismatched manicures. I just think it’s a cute look. Anywho, the pink shade above is Lilac of the Valley by Orchid, and the green is Fresh by Orly. What you see on my pinky nail in the photo is more accurate to the actual color saturation of Lilac of the Valley. Lilac is a cream shade, but the formula was a little weird. Honestly, I think I’m just about ready to swear off cream polishes. I just always seems to have trouble with them, and I’m never satisfied with how they look in the end. The Orchid company makes some pretty colors, but so far every polish I’ve tried by this brand has been less than outstanding in some way. So I think I’m done with that brand for now.

Fresh, however, is great! The color is bright and cheery and applied well. Thank goodness for Orly, which has proven itself to be a brand I can trust. My grocery recently got a bunch of Orly mini bottles in stock, and I need to get some soon. This color combination reminded of Lily Pulitzer, a fashion company that was founded by Lillian Pulitzer Rousseau and is known for it’s bright, fun patterns that usually include flowers and animals, often in pink and green. The brand’s fun dresses and separates were made famous by the likes of Jackie O and other ladies of the day. Lily Pulitzer patterns always recall summertime and the beach and, if I were a rich retired lady in Florida, I would wear her stuff everyday! How cute would it be to have a flower girl for a wedding dressed in a Lily Pulitzer dress, too? Super cute! The Lily Pulitzer stationery below is a good representation of the company’s designs:

Image from

As I mentioned earlier, I’m still having a bit of trouble with the Konad. I haven’t been able to find very many polishes in my collection that seem to work. That or I’m too slow with the scrape and stamp process. So I think I’m going to order some of the polishes that Konad makes especially for stamping and try my luck with those. They don’t dry as fast as regular polish, which is what I think I need at this point. If you have any non-Konad polishes that you’ve had success with, though, please let me know!

Best Little Whorehouse

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , on July 12, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Lately, I’ve been on a kick of trying more cheap, drugstore polishes because the salon/professional brands don’t have all that much new out right now. I keep looking at colors and not really seeing anything I dig. Plus, I’m trying to branch out and try some different colors and brands. There’s no better way to do that than with drugstore brands! If you try one and really don’t like it, then you’ve only wasted $2 to $4 as opposed to $10 to $12.

Photo by clairesayswhat

This is really 224 Times Square from the NYC Color In a New York Minute Quick Dry collection, but I can only ever think of the ho stroll with any shade of red. Truth be told, Times Square IS the perfect name for this polish, especially if one thinks back to when it used to be dirty movie theater capital of the world! All of the colors in this collection are named after NYC related things such as streets and neighborhoods. This shade is more of an orange-based red then blue-based, and I actually really liked the color! You see, I’m not all that big on reds and generally avoid buying them. I think this is the first red shade I’ve bought since I was like, nine, and thought red nail polish was the height of fashion (blame 90210). My photo doesn’t do it justice, but more on that in a bit.

The formula of this polish is truly pretty great, and I will totes recommend this line to friends in the future. Not to mention I’ll be snapping up more of the colors in this collection myself since they’re so cheap! Times Square is a cream (creme?) polish which, to me, are notoriously hard to work with. This was one applied beautifully, though, and it really does dry fast. Not quite as fast as, say, Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure, but fast nonetheless. Overall, this is a good quality polish with a beautiful array of unique shades to choose from.  I’m a tad disappointed that they left out Christopher Street, though, because that shade would most certainly be one fabulous glitter! But this isn’t a glitter collection. Note to NYC color: come out with a second version of this collection, and name all the colors after historic NYC gayborhood streets and drag queens! I would buy EVERY color!

Now about the photo. My apologies for the particularly bad color of this one. I would link to the NYC website, but their example is actually no better. It’s a digital swatch and appears magenta on my laptop screen. Go to your local drugstore (I bought it at Wal-Mart) and check this one out in person to be sure. I have since learned that the light in my kitchen is best for taking photos in my apartment. So there will be just a few more not-so-great quality photos, and then all photos after that will be much improved, I promise!