Archive for lilac

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 preppyprincess.com

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!