Archive for Essie

Hot Off the Glosses: The latest Spring/Summer 2012 Nail Trend!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Even though I actually sneaked a peak at their new collection yesterday, I just saw this tweet from butterLONDON:

butter LONDON
butterLONDON
 S/S 2012 Nail Trend – Demi Neon. The evolution of neon, still bright & in the family but more sophisticated and subdued bit.ly/zCyWJ
Clicking the shortened link above will take you to the official butterLONDON website where you can purchase their newest Demi Neon colors. I’m a fan of Disco Bisquit and Trout Pout! Which ones strike your fancy?
Essie also has a collection in the Demi Neon color family coming out for Spring called Navigate Her.You can check it out over on the inimitable Scrangie. I can’t stand the name of the Essie collection. It sounds like a Harlequin Romance series title, doesn’t it? One where a desperate single mother starved for love after a nasty divorce falls in love with the captain of a cruise ship on a singles cruise her wilder and sluttier best friend drags her on. But I digress! I do like a few of the colors quite a lot, though. A Crewed Interest, Navigate Her, and To Buy, Or Not To Buy? will all probably come home with me as soon as I see this display in the drugstore.
I quite like this new Demi Neon trend. Full-on neon polishes are notoriously hard to work with and many even require the use of a white basecoat. And, while fun, let’s face it: neon polishes carry a distinctively young vibe. I’ll wear pretty much any color or finish, but neon is just a bit much for me in general. But if it works for you, go for it! This new Demi Neon trend will be great for the office, weddings, and other spring/summer events where you want to stand out for all the right reasons! I also like how many of the nail companies are moving away from all the greiges and more traditional neutrals and towards more shades that have a bit more pop.
I’m excited to see more spring and summer collections from the other companies! Also, look for more Hot Off the Glosses posts from Glossy Expectations for details on new colors, trends, and collections!
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Essie Merino Cool

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , on December 28, 2011 by clairesayswhat

I never thought I would embrace a color like the one I’m featuring today, but it’s happened. In the beginning of my nail polish odyssey I just couldn’t understand neutrals. And there are still quite a few that don’t strike my fancy. Indeed, a polish has to be just the right shade of neutral for me to truly love it.

Merino Cool by Essie is just such a shade. Every time I would visit the Essie stand at Walgreens it seemed to call out to me. But like the nice guy who tries too hard in a cheap Harlequin romance novel, I kept leaving it on the shelf. Nevertheless, by page 125 (because you know the action always happens right in the middle of those books) it was coming home with me! And I’m so glad I picked this seemingly nice, boring neutral, too, because it is anything but. Actually, it reminds me of the actress, Frances Farmer, more than anything, but perhaps that’s because I was reading a book about her in which the cover prominently featured a color similar to this one. It had kind of an art deco layout going on, which made sense considering her heyday in motion pictures was the 1930s. But anyway, check out Merino Cool:

Image by clairesayswhat

In the bottle and in low-light situations, Merino Cool is a nice, smooth dark-ish gray. But in the sunlight, it transforms ever so subtly to show it’s slightly purple side! It’s hard to capture in a photo, but I think my image does it a good amount of justice. It’s a gorgeous color and perfect for those times when you want a neutral with just a bit more pizazz than the others.

It applies and wears like a dream, too! I did a near perfect job of applying it this time, if I do say so myself (this only seems to happen about once every 12 times I do my nails so allow me to gloat just a little). And guess what? I’ve actually been wearing it for so long that I’ve forgotten how many days–at least a week! What you see above is 3 thin coats (over OPI’s base coat and Seche Vite for top coat), and I’ve experienced absolutely no chipping and very minimal tip wear. I am truly impressed with this polish! Some readers may remember that I featured it in a muti-colored mani a few months ago, but Merino Cool stands out even better when it’s given center stage as the stand alone color.

I seem to have much better luck with Essie’s cream polishes than any other brand. They just apply so well with minimal pooling, great coverage, and fantastic leveling. I think Essie is the brand to watch in 2012 as they’ve certainly upped the ante with their past several collections.

Mercury Glass Mani with Essie A Cut Above

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Some people go out on Black Friday and buy things like TVs or Blu-Ray players or digital camera or clothes or whatever. But what did I do this year? Well, I hit up Walgreens and Ulta for some new polish, of course! I was especially looking for the new Luxeffects holiday polishes by Essie. I ended up with 3 of the shades: As Gold As It Gets, Shine of the Times, and A Cut Above.

I also picked up a couple of OPI shades at Ulta (it was buy 2 and get a base coat or top coat for free, too!), one of which was Birthday Babe. This is probably an older or permanent shade, but its silvery sheen caught my eye. For some reason, in the store, I thought it had a bit of a holographic element. Call it triptophan trauma or something because, alas, this was not true. Birthday Babe is just kind of a run of the mill, opalescent silver. It’s pretty but not spectacular.

Until you combine it with A Cut Above! All of the shades in the Luxeffects collection are meant for layering. For instance, As Gold As It gets is a sheer microglitter and Shine of the Times is a flaky. But if you ask me, the true standout of this collection is A Cut Above. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pink glitter in quite this tone before. It’s so deliciously retro and reminds me of those 1950s tinsel trees. But layered over the silver of Birthday Babe it reminded me of mercury glass more than anything. Here, see for yourself!

Totes gorg, right? So I just did two coats of Birthday Babe and three coats of A Cut Above. While the glitter is of mixed sizes and there are lots of larger round pieces, the base is kind of goopy which makes the glitter a bit difficult to distribute evenly. So if you use a basecoat with this shade, make sure it’s good and dry before you apply this glitter.

What really gives this the mercury glass look is the tiny glitter. The base of A Cut Above is actually clear but when the metallic glitter is suspended over a metallic silver like Birthday Babe, the  tiny sized glitter almost gives the whole thing a slight pink sheen. I was initially hoping that I could get this glitter to completely cover my nail in 3 coats, but I quickly figured out that wasn’t going to be the case. But never mind because I like the mercury glass effect even better! It’s a standout that’s definitely been noticed by several people. And I like that Essie saw fit to include a shade like this in a holiday collection. I’m not big on red and green polish in general so, aside from all the golds, holiday collections generally leave me slightly miffed. A Cut Above definitely loves up to its name!

Glitterbomb!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Clearly the trend in holiday polish collections for 2011 is GLITTER. They don’t say that disco and an economic recession go together for nothing! Practically every brand is coming out with either a full line of glitter polishes or including at least a few in a larger collection. It’s been a sight to see all the swatches on the other blogs, and to help you keep track of what will be on the market soon, let’s explore some of the popular brands that are focusing on glitter polishes this season!

China Glaze Let It Snow

Image from hollywoodnailsupply.com

So this collection features seven glitters, although none of the colors in this collection are particularly awe-inspiring. But it’s a good chance to stock up on these colors for your collection if you don’t already own them. I plan on hunting down Champagne Bubbles because lord knows I am a sucker for a gold sparkly polish! Plus, this one has larger pieces of silver glitter that form a nice contrast against the bright gold base.

Essie Luxeffects

Image from bodycare.becomegorgeous.com

Talk about a collection after my own heart…wow! If you google this collection and look at photos of the display, you will note that it features two rows of the gold polish on the left. It’s definitely the first shade I’ll be buying! The one next to it is also a flakie, so take note if you don’t own one of those already as they are great for layering. I also really like that sort of mauve glitter shade. The silver and white are pretty skippable for me, but they’re nice nonetheless. Actually, the more I stare at that mauve and silver glitter together, the more I really like that combo! Very vintage.

Color Club Backstage Pass

Image from amazon.com

Ok so this collection is for the truly adventuresome! Please see Scrangie for her excellent swatches of these polishes and to experience their true glory as the photo I’ve used doesn’t do them justice. The glitters in some of these shades aren’t even going to pretend to lie flat on the nail, which is why I say they are for the adventuresome. Personally, I can’t stand when larger glitter pieces start to lift off on my nails, so I won’t be getting any of these shades. Once again, though, the gold shade in this collection is very pretty. The thing I like the most about Color Club (even though it’s hard to find in my area) is that they always offer their collections in these nice wham-bam-thank-you-m’aam sets, and they include a topcoat, too!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Ice Baby

Image from everydaymakeupblog.com

Remember the other day when I said I liked this polish but probably wouldn’t be buying anymore of them? Yeah, I went back today and got 2 more. For the price, who can resist?! Also, I’d forgotten to pick up the Back Alley Deals shade, which is said to be a dupe for the nails inc. shade, Bloomsbury Square. You can google the other blogs and see for yourself, but I don’t think anyone could tell the difference! And yes, I still had to stand on the bottom shelf and reach up high to get to this display at Walgreens since they still don’t have it out yet.

OPI Muppets collection

Image from shoppingblog.com

Last but not least (of course, or Miss Piggy would give me a sound headbutt!), is the OPI Muppets collection. I’ve heard that the most popular shade, Rainbow Connection, is sold out in most places already, which is no surprise. This was true of an Ulta I visited this week; however, they did still have quite a few of the gift sets that have Rainbow Connection packaged with Excuse Moi!. If you don’t like either one of those shades, buy the set for the one you want and gift the other to a friend. They’ll love you for it, I promise!

And there is also that kollection which shall not be named that is available exclusively at Wal-Mart. Of course, I re-named the shades in this collection back when it was first announced, and I still think my names are better! Anyway, if you can find it, one of them is a dupe for Rainbow Connection, too.

Are you all glittered out yet? If I missed any collections, please let me know so I can update this post. Also, be sure to post a comment here if you’ve tried any of these glitters, and let me know which are your faves or not!

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.

Subtle Harlequin Hearts

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2011 by clairesayswhat

So I graduated last weekend from my Library and Information Sciences master’s program and, as a graduation present, the fantastic Miss Sarah got me a Konad stamper and some Bundle Monster plates!! Once you get into nail polish/art and start reading the blogs, it doesn’t take long before you come across the wonders of the Konad. It’s like rubberstamp art but for your nails! And the Bundle Monster company makes a ton of designs, from little pictures to patterns that cover your nail to designs just for your tips. The first design/nail polish combination I tried didn’t work too well, but I gave it another whirl this evening. After all, practice makes perfect! This is my result:

Photo by clairesayswhat

Can you see the hearts? I know, it’s super subtle, but in person the hearts show up a bit more. Overall, I really like the effect! The base polish is OPI Seniorita Rose-alita, and the heart is stamped in Tea and Crumpets by Essie. I tried another, more intricate design that didn’t work at all first, so then I decided to give something more simply a go since I’m still new at using the Konad.  Most of the patterns that are supposed to be for your whole nail are a little small for my nails since they’re so long, so I’ll have to experiment with using those.

The whole thing is a pretty simple process. First, you paint some polish over your chosen Bundle Monster design, which are on small metal discs. Next, you use the little scraper (or an old gift card works, too) to wipe off the excess polish from the plate. Then, you use the stamping tool to pick up the polish off the plate, sort of just like a rubberstamp and an ink pad. The stamper tool has two ends–one smaller and one larger–that are made of smooth plastic that’s kind of squishy. After the polish design is transferred onto the stamper tool (which can be tricky, but if you miss a portion of the design, just stamp it off on a paper towel and repeat the process), you then sort of press-and-roll it onto your nail and voila! Instant art! Well, not quite instant. It is a bit time consuming, but it’s fun to see the design transferred instantly onto your nails!

I still need a lot of practice with the Konad stamper, and I need to find some thicker, darker polishes that will make the designs really pop over other colors. Miss Sarah and I will be having lots of fun trying new designs, so expect lots more pictures!