Archive for jelly polish

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)!


Orly Fowl Play

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by clairesayswhat

This proved to be one of the most elusive polishes that I’ve ever had to track down! I forget where I read about it first, but it was a few months ago and I just knew I had to have it. So I started looking around, and none of my usual haunts even had the Birds of a Feather collection, of which this shade is one of six total. I finally found the collection at an Ulta but, alas, they were sold out of Fowl Play! I wasn’t all that surprised, though, being that it is the most unique color in this weird little darling of a collection.

Bless its heart, but it’s just kind of a strange one! The other five colors are not all that unique, except for maybe Night Owl and Sea Gurl. Not to mention that it sort of came out on the tail end of a bit of a bird inspired nail polish craze from early fall. The colors are surprisingly uncoordinated for a nail polish collection, too. I mean they do go together, as in you could pair some of them together or match them to an outfit, but most collections tend to have some sort of running theme. This one seems to only in the fact that each shade is inspired by birds.

Anyway, I finally found Fowl Play at a Sally Beauty, once again hiding in that little kiosk thing across from the register. It came in a gift set with two other shades, Lucky Duck and Sweet Peacock, along with a cute little purple faux suede makeup pouch with an attached feather keychain:

Image from kaboodle

The set comes packaged in a plastic box perfect for wrapping up for Christmas and would make a great gift for any friend who’s into nail polish and fun colors. Now, did I need the pouch? Nope, and I wouldn’t have bought the other shades on their own (more on this later), but I think the whole thing was priced at $12, which is a steal for 3 Orly polishes! And I was glad to finally have my hands on a bottle of Fowl Play. Some blogs are saying it’s a dupe for an earlier, discontinued OPI shade called Merry Midnight. I see a resemblance for sure, but Fowl Play’s base  is quite a bit darker whereas Merry Midnight appears to be a brighter purple. Here’s my swatch:

It is a jelly polish, so this is three coats here. I was a bit disappointed, though, because I thought the flakes would show up more since they seemed to in others’ swatches. Maybe I glopped on the coats too thickly. My Seche topcoat did cause some shrinkage, and the edges of the polish on a few of my nails chipped off within two days. But again, that’s probably due more to me than to the polish.

The formula was pretty sheer for a jelly and, when I wear this polish again, I’ll probably try layering it over a purple polish of some kind to help the flakes show up better. Overall, even though I was slightly underwhelmed with Fowl Play in the end, it’s still a fun and unique polish.

And I’m also glad to have the other two shades as well since they are pretty unique in my collection, especially Lucky Duck. I recently saw a magazine layout with two similar colors, so I’m planning a mani based on that sometime soon.

I Want a Candy Mani!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on October 10, 2011 by clairesayswhat

OPI posted this nifty tutorial for a Candy Mani on their facebook page recently (you might have to be signed in to see it), and of course I had to try it for myself ASAP! And somehow I managed to get a really awesome photo of this mani, too:

Image by clairesayswhat

The effect is quite spectacular!! And in terms of nail art projects, this one is great for novices because it doesn’t require any special effects or painting skills. It’s just coats of polish! Fair warning, though, you do have to be willing to devote an hour and a half or so to the drying time. Here are the steps (OPI has photos of every step on facebook, too) and colors I used:

1) First, use a basecoat. OPI recommends NailEnvy, of course. And I was going to get some, but the store I went to didn’t have any stock. So I just used my usual basecoat. Let this and all other coats of polish dry before applying the next coat!

2) Next, paint on one coat of  “I’m Indi-a Mood for Love,” which is a sort of soft, hot-pink shade. Think Barbie’s convertible. Or Jem’s hair!

3) Then paint on a coat of glitter. In their tutorial, OPI used “Spark De Triopmhe,” from the Serena GlamSlam collection, but I used “Crown Me Already!” from the Miss Universe collection because that’s what my store had in stock. Plus, I’d been debating on buying this glitter, too, so it was a good excuse to get it (who am I kidding?? This whole thing was an excuse to buy polish!).  Basically, though, most any metallic glitter that you have on hand will work.

4) Last, apply a coat of “Do You Think I’m Tex-y,” and watch the transformation! It’s the jelly (or sorbet, as OPI calls it) finish of this shade that truly gives this mani its dreamy quality! Soooo pretty! Tex-y is already one of my most favorite shades on its own, and to see it do something else that’s equally as beautiful was so fun. Oh, and did I mention that I bought my first bottle of back-up polish with this shade? Yeah….anyway, give everything a bit of extra dry time, splash on a top coat, and voila!

The overall effect of the Candy Mani is multi-faceted and even a bit 3-D due to the way the color of the jelly polish attaches to the glitter. I also want to try this look with two of the other jelly shades from the Texas collection, “Houston We Have a Purple” and “Too Hot Pink to Hold-Em.” I only have one glitter polish that comes close to mimicking the effect of this mani, and it requires three coats to build it up, so this process really wasn’t that much different. Also, even though this mani might take a bit longer than average, it will pay off in wear time. You should be able to get a week and then some out of this look because 1) it involves glitter, and 2) the glitter is fused with two layers of polish and a topcoat.

Give it a try, and I think you’ll really love the results!

Very Mysterioso!

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

One day whilst trolling the Internet and checking my usual websites, I stumbled on Candy Coated Tips and Jackie’s swatches/reviews of Deborah Lippmann’s Bad Romance vs. Revlon’s Facets of Fuchsia.

Basically, Facets of Fuchsia is what’s known as a “dupe” (short for duplicate) in the nail polish blog world. The drugstore brands are often influenced by designer brand colors and frequently come up with similar or identical dupe colors. But it’s not often that a dupe ends up being as on par with its designer counterpart as Facets of Fuchsia is! I love how Jackie  pits these two polishes against each other in a fight to the “death.” Too cute!

So of course, I’ve been on the hunt for Facets, and it wasn’t easy! I looked at several places before I finally spied it at Target. I expected it to be out in its own display with the other shades from this mini-collection but, no, it was hiding way down with the other Revlon polishes on the shelf. I was so excited to find and try it! Here are my results:

Image by clairesayswhat

If you checked out Jackie’s comparison swatches at Candy Coated Tips, you’ll see that this is practically an identical dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s Bad Romance! I don’t think that even a nail polish expert could tell the two apart–they look that similar. And at a fraction of the price, who can resist the Revlon! Not me, that’s for sure! I actually think Revlon’s version is even a bit better because it has more of the micro purple glitter.

Now, I’m sure the base of the Deborah Lippman shade is darker than Revlon’s, which is a sort of sheer black jelly. I ended up needing 3 coats, and I can still see some patchiness if I hold my nails up to the light. Other bloggers have posted about using various shades as a base for Facets of Fuschia, and I think in the future I’ll give Essie’s Carry On a try as a base coat. The dark, blackberry tone of that shade seems like it would be a good counterpart for the fabulous purple glitter.

Facets of Fuschia is a totally fun shade that is out just in time for Halloween! In fact, I’m thinking about wearing it with my Jem costume. The application is somewhat annoying (again, I’m sure Bad Romance is better in this regard), but you can’t complain too much considering the price! I might do an update on the removal of this polish, too, since I suspect it will be a pain in the you-know-what. I tend to avoid shades with larger glitter pieces since I usually always end up needing to scrape some of them off with a metal file, but Facets of Fuschia was simply irresistible! I’m also not usually into shades this dark, but I love the very mysterioso vibe that the brightness of the purple glitter creates as it’s suspended in the black base.

Kudos to Revlon for giving us such a great dupe, and here’s to (hopefully) many more!

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.


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

I can think of no other word, made up or otherwise, to describe these two shades from OPI’s Nice Stems collection. These two together are simply pinktastic!

Image by Clairesayswhat

The base shade is Be a Dahlia Won’t You? that I topped with the fantastic glitter shade from this same collection, I Lily Love You. Dahlia is a fuchsia foil that is as bright and in-your-face as it looks in the bottle (although in the photo, I’m holding the Lily bottle). A very fun shade that makes you happy just to look at it. It’s a bit thin but applied well.

I Lily Love You, however, is a bit tricky. The iridescent glitter is suspended in a pink, jelly-like base, but the trick is that there are some larger, flake-ish pieces mixed in with the regular glitter. These pieces are fun and a cute way to mix up a sheer glitter, but they’re a bit hard to work with. A couple of the pieces didn’t lay completely flat on my nails, and this really bothered me. In the future, I’ll probably inspect each nail while it’s still wet and push down any of the flake pieces with a toothpick if they stick up a bit. Also, unlike a glitter shade such as Last Friday Night from the Katy Perry collection, Lily is not as dense so the glitter doesn’t always spread across the nail as evenly as the more densely packed glitters. This is perhaps because Lily was definitely made to act as a glitter topcoat for the other three shades in the Stems collection, whereas something like Last Friday Night can totally stand on its own.

The other two shades in this collection, Come to Poppy and Play the Peonies, are fun as well, but I’ll probably stop with the two I’ve got so far. Just like the seasons, my taste in nail polish appears to be changing….Stay tuned!

Set Your Sails for Adventure….

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Is the song in your head yet? Do you remember this from the far back reaches of your childhood? Give up?? It’s a Jem and the Holograms song, silly!! A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I noticed that the Hub channel was airing some episodes of the series. I immediately made him DVR them. The first episode we watched featured this song and subconsciously inspired today’s post:

Photo by clairesayswhat

I bought these two polishes not long ago and was deciding which one to try first on my drive home the other day. Then I thought, duh, try them both at once! These are both again from Wet n Wild’s Fastdry collection. I have become such a fan of this polish line and haven’t been disappointed by a shade yet! They are truly are fantastic. The darker shade, on my thumbs and pinkie fingers, is FusciaRama. Surprisingly, it’s a jelly! I thought for sure, based on how it appears in the bottle, that it was a cream. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This shade applies beautifully and is great for beginners because you can really brush it on and not worry about streaks or dents.

My other three fingers are painted with Hannah Pinktana. Once this shade dried and I saw it in the light on my nails…WOW! I cannot emphasize enough how gorgeous this shade is!! I even put a coat of it on my thumbs and pinkies to complete the look. Hannah Pinktana is a sheer purple micro-glitter, but I built it up to three coats. It’s still not opaque, but that doesn’t bother me. I quite like the glassy look. In the light, this shade sparkles with flecks of gold and pink. It sparkles so much that it’s almost a holo! Run, don’t walk to get this shade. Seriously!

As soon as I looked at this manicure completed I realized how influenced by Jem it was! These two shades of purple and the glitter together are so reminiscent of the fabulous fashions of the series. Some of the outfits were so ahead of their time! Of course, others are pure 80s trash (mostly worn by The Holograms’ musical arch nemesis, The Misfits), but that just makes the series all the more endearing. I had a Jem doll as a little girl, and she was the most awesome doll EVER because she was larger than a Barbie and had articulated wrists that you could pose. I became slightly obsessed with trying to find my doll on the Internet the other night, and my boyfriend found this amazing website, Jem, that has picures of every Jem and the Holograms doll ever released AND the extra outfits you could buy! I had the Rock ‘n Flash Jem/Jerrica doll, of course the rarest of all the Jem dolls. Look at that dress! Loves it! And there’s the yellow and pink-splattered hoodie dress for her less flashy Jerrica look.  For some reason, I remember her hair being much more pink, but perhaps I’m confusing the doll with the TV version. I’m also now considering being Jem for Halloween this year. I already have a blond wig, so I would just need to add some pink clip-in extensions. And let’s not even discuss the possibility of light-up earrings!

Anyway, this is one of my favorite nail polish combinations that I have done to date. Also, if you have a twisted and slightly inappropriate sense of humor (like myself), you should watch the hilarious Jem parodies on this YouTube channel.