Archive for Orly

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.


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!

The Trouble With Teals

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by clairesayswhat

Humor me for just a minute, if you please….This happens to every nail polish addict at some point, right? When you realize you’ve bought multiple bottles of polish that are the…exact…same…color….Yeah. I realized this the other day about myself. So, my name is Claire, and I have a problem distinguishing shades of teal from one another. But in hopes of helping all of you out there, or anyone else with the inability to distinguish one shade of teal from the next for that matter, I have constructed the following compare and contrast exercise. There will be a test at the end of this post (just kidding)!

In the interest of full disclosure, I have arranged and photographed these polishes in the order in which I purchased them. From left to right, they are: Viridian Vinyl, Rise and Shine, and The Teal Thing.

I’ll start with Viridian Vinyl (which sounds like the name of a lesser-known Star Trek character…which makes two, count ’em, two Star Trek references in this post! Go me!) from the Orly Plastix collection. I bought this color awhile ago and have used it a few times. It dries with finish that’s sort of in-between matte and satin. I think it’s meant to be work without a top coat, which I tried the first time I wore it. But after about three days it started getting tacky and dirty, so off it came. Although, I did try it again later with a top coat and it’s pretty nice actually.

Now, on to Rise and Shine. I’ve written before about what I think of Sinful Colors’ polish names (they’re weird and make no sense is the gist of that story), and this one is no exception. Rise and Shine for a teal shade? Really? Anyhow, I was attracted to this color because, in the bottle, it appears to have a subtle sparkle. On the nail, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The finish is…strange, to say the least. It’s overall just plain dull. And a top coat didn’t help to bring out any of the sparkle that I hoped for with this polish. It’s blah.

Finally, The Teal Thing, which I bought most recently. Much like Rise and Shine, I was attracted to this color because in the bottle it appears to have a really pretty gold sheen to it. So I was hoping for something really spectacular with this polish. Is this sounding familiar at all? Yeah, once again, I was disappointed. The Teal Thing is on my nails right this very minute and, I can honestly say, there is absolutely NO golden sheen whatsoever. In the bright sunlight it’s somewhat visible, but not enough to get excited about that’s for sure. Orchid is apparently a nail polish company based out of San Antonio, Texas, but I can’t seem to find a website or any additional information on them.

Despite the fact that these three polishes look like they might be slightly different in my photo, I can promise you, they are all EXACTLY the same on the nail. The sparkle that I thought would be there in the latter two shades somehow gets lots in the pigmentation. It’s really quite puzzling, so I can only conclude that teal polish must be a difficult formulation to perfect. If I had to choose one to keep around, I would probably pick the Viridian Vinyl (if you want to see examples of how it looks on the nail, just search for “Orly Viridian Vinyl” in Google Images and you’ll find a ton of examples). It applied the best and, with the top coat, actually lasted a full week. I wish I could say the same about the formulas of the other two.

How about you–have you had any trouble with teals?

Raspberry Beret

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

Photo by clairesayswhat


After weeks of experimenting with cheaper nail polish brands and colors, I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to go back to the old standby! I was pretty instantly reminded why I prefer OPI to all other brands. Orly ranks a close second for various reasons, but there are more reasons why OPI stands as the most well-represented brand in my polish collection.

But first, let’s talk about this great color! OPI calls it Senorita Rose-alita which is actually a pretty perfect name for this raspberry shade. It also features a healthy dose of golden shimmer throughout that really sparkles in the sunlight. This is a great late summer color because it’s a bit richer with a kind of sunset inspiration. I think this color could also be great in professional office environments where crazier nail polish colors aren’t readily welcomed. Mauve is kind of the neutral of the makeup world, and Senorita Rose-alita offers just enough punch without being garish or overpowering in conservative settings. This color would look so great with a polished, classic grey suit or dress!

Now, about why I like OPI so much. I know some people complain about the changes they made to their brushes in the past few years but, for my nails, the wide brush works like a dream every time. It’s got the perfect amount of bristles that are just flexible and dense enough to lay down the right amount of polish. Perhaps the OPI brush also works so well for me because the surface of my nails is more rounded rather than flat. Other brushes tend to streak or lay down color more unevenly on my nails than the OPI brush. Almost all of their colors self-level nicely, too, which is not necessarily true of other brands where colors may be more inconsistent. I also just generally like OPI’s colors over other brands. They have so many and are always coming out with new collections that there’s always something new. I’ve rarely regretted any OPI purchase, and it just seems to me that they’ve done more than any other brand to perfect their polish experience for professionals and consumers alike.

What do you think? Are you an OPI fan?

Ombre Glitter Mani

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , on July 3, 2011 by clairesayswhat

All photos by clairesayswhat

So one day, I happened upon this awesome video tutorial by Jillian C. for Smokey Gradient Nails and decided to try my own version of it. Since I also recently purchased Orly’s Bubbly Bombshell shade from the Pin-Up collection I wanted to try it, too. Jillian uses something like 5 or 6 polishes in her smokey nails, which I thought was a little crazzzy although it does produce an amazing effect. She’s definitely talented.

For my version, I first used a coat of Scandal Secrets & Sparkle by Nicole by OPI. Then I layered 3/4 of my nails with a darker shade, Wink of Twink, also by Nicole by OPI. I love this shade because it’s like a disco ball after 3 coats! Scandal is thinner and less opaque. I really don’t use it all that often, but I thought it might lend itself well to creating the kind of glassy effect on the lower part of the nail that Jillian achieved.

Now, for the fun part! Using one of those good old triangular makeup sponges that you probably have around your makeup drawer (or, in my case, under the sink), I layered on the purple glitter! It’s really easy! You just glop on some of the glitter on the skinny side of the sponge and dab it on your nails. It took about 3 coats for me to build it up as opaque as I wanted it. You can watch Jillian’s video if you want to see the technique in action. Overall, this is one of the most fun I’ve ever had painting my nails, and I’m already dreaming up more ways to use the glitter polish-makeup sponge technique!