Archive for purple

Knackered by butterLONDON

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by clairesayswhat

This was one of those rare nail polishes that seemed to unite the nail polish blogging world in a fervor. Knackered appears innocuous enough from the photos on the butterLONDON website, but once you see it in person you instantly go into the have-to-have-it trance. I would say this was probably the most popular shade of butterLONDON’s spring/summer 2012 collection. Just how do those little glitter particles stay so perfectly suspended in the polish?? Well, I certainly had to find out!

Image by clairesayswhat

Knackered is a hard polish to capture in a photo due to the shifting blues and purples of the color, but the name is truly perfect. It really does remind you of the feeling of being tired/drunk/hungover and seeing stars when you close your eyes. The light blue base color with the purple and green accents is truly beautiful. It’s almost a duochrome, but not quite. More on that shortly. The glitter is slightly holographic and very evenly distributed in the polish. Somehow it just magically stays suspended in the polish! On the nail, it disperses nicely and doesn’t add any grittiness to the overall feel because it’s so small. I would still recommend using a thicker topcoat, though. Either Seche or butterLONDON’s.

This is also because this polish is quite sheer. Now, I don’t know about you, but just looking at the bottle I assumed this polish was going to be much more opaque. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why this couldn’t be the case. I think the glitter would still have shown up nicely if the base was more opaque, but perhaps then the glitter wouldn’t stay as suspended as well. I don’t know…. Either way, I needed 3 coats of Knackered for it to be opaque enough on my nail. And I did experience considerably more tip wear and overall chipping than I normally do with butterLONDON polishes. But overall, I still wore Knackered for more than a few days longer than a lot of other brands can manage, so it still gets a thumbs up in my book!

I would recommend layering this polish over another blue based color. Or maybe even over purple or green! Some of the other colors that are present in this shade might show themselves better when layered over another shade, too. Also, after trying this polish and Disco Biscuit, I really appreciate that butterLONDON is making polishes that feature glitter rather than being all-glitter-all-the-time. Stay tuned for my next post where I shall elaborate on that point….

Grape Soda Mani

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , , on March 11, 2012 by clairesayswhat

So we’re all probably familiar with scented nail polishes by now. Everyone from Revlon to Color Club has jumped on the scented polish bandwagon. And why not? It’s something fun and nostalgic for those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s. But have you ever thought that you could make your own scented nail polish? Well, I didn’t either, but I created my very own Grape Soda scented mani quite by accident!

Image by clairesayswhat

What you see here is Chunky Holo Purple by Kleanolor layered over Nubar’s Treasure. I could tell right away that the Chunky Holo Purple would need a base color, although you probably could use it by itself for a more sheer holographic effect. Or I bet it would also look amazing over some of the new neon shades that are coming out this spring! But I had Treasure, too, so I decided to use it as the base coat. I’ll review the application of each of these polishes before I get to the grape soda part.

Nubar’s Treasure is a sheer purple that’s kind of in-between a holo and a microglitter polish. This is to say that the purple itself is not like a cream polish. It is super fine purple particles in a purple jelly-ish base. It’s a bit hard to explain but, suffice it to say that you’ll need up to 3 coats to achieve complete opacity. I was expecting it to be less sheer than it is, but it’s still a great polish that dries with a wonderful glossy sheen all on its own. I’d heard a lot about their bottle cap as well, and it really is one of the better ones on the market. The top is wide and flat so that it can rest under the base of your index finger enabling you to get a comfortable grip with the tip of your index finger and thumb at the base of the cap which is kind of pinched. You can see plenty of examples on Nubar’s website to get an idea of what I mean. I also like that all of Nubar’s polishes are cruelty free and vegan. Not many companies can make that claim!

Now on to the Kleancolor. Their holo shades are pretty well known among the nail polish blogs for offering quite a big bang for very little money. The Chunky Holo Purple doesn’t offer the amount of holo particles that you’ll get in more expensive versions, but it is very pretty. And again, the Purple is very sheer, but the particles are so iridescent (flashing between gold, green, and purple) that it’s magnificent nonetheless. The base is tinted a light purple and slightly on the thick side. So if you want to get the most holo particles, I suggest several thin coats. As it was in this mani, the base of the Chunky Holo Purple did make the edges of the Treasure basecoat shrink just a bit, but that was probably only noticeable to me and no one else. I’m just glad to have this polish in my collection.–it’s beautiful just to look at in the bottle.

Now, I noticed right away that while the Nubar polish has a pleasing and not very strong smell, Kleancolor is quite the opposite. It smells very strong and not like any other polish I’ve used before. I’m not really sure why that is, though. ButĀ  after it dried over the Treasure, I noticed that it smelled exactly like grape soda! In fact, I even went back on the Nubar site thinking maybe Treasure was part of a scented collection or something, but nope! It just so happened that Treasure combined with Chunky Holo Purple smells like grape soda! Even better that it’s purple, too! And unlike polishes that are actually marketed as scented, the grape soda scent of this mani actually stuck around for more than a few days.

So the secret formula is Nubar Treasure + Kleancolor Chunk Holo Purple = Grape Soda mani!

Give it a try if you happen to have these two polishes, and let me know if you get the same result! Or if you have discovered any similar effects with other polishes let me know, too.

Mattese Elite Me Amour Review

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Oh, glitter polish, my eternal friend! I can simply never resist your charms! As we all know, glitter has been probably the biggest trend of the past year in nail polish, and I honestly don’t see it going away anytime soon. And the Me Amour collection from Mattese Elite is an excellent reason why it’s here to stay. Released just prior to Valentine’s Day, the colors in this collection reflect the theme of the holiday but they’re also perfect for the next few months when we’ll be craving all things bright and shiny!

Mattese Elite and Ricky’s NYC were kind of enough to send me some samples of two of the shades from this collection, Embrasse Moi and Je T’Aime. They arrived in a box wrapped with tape printed with the Ricky’s text, and I think I literally squeed when I saw it on my doorstep. Inside the box, they were beautifully packaged in a smaller white box.

Image by clairesayswhat

My love for Ricky’s knows no bounds so I was especially excited to get these polishes! I discovered the store on my first trip to NYC in 2005, and on every trip back since I’ve visited the location on West 23rd Street (across from the Chelsea Hotel, may it rest in peace in its former incarnation, where I stayed on that first trip) more than a few times. Besides nail polish and makeup they also carry many, many fun and unique beauty projects as well as T-shirts, accessories, and even adult toys. And for Halloween they turn into a costume superstore! There are several locations around Manhattan, but the 23rd Street one will always be my favorite. And thank goodness they have an online store now, too!

Anywho, onto the polish review, right? Right! Because these two shades complement each other so well, I decided to swatch them together:

Image by clairesayswhat

Embrasse Moi is a gorgeous purple microglitter (with a few larger pieces thrown in to really catch the light!) that turns more fuchsia in brighter light while Je T’Aime is a beautiful gold glitter that contains various sizes of glitter pieces. Embrasse Moi goes on a bit sheer at first, but I achieved opacity in just 2 coats which you see above! With so many chunky glitters around these days, I really appreciated the coverage of Embrasse Moi. It wasn’t lumpy at all, either, and didn’t eat top coat to boot! It’s just an all around great polish.

Je T’Aime is a good one, too, although it doesn’t go quite as opaque as Embrasse Moi. But really, I think I’m the only one that can notice that. Anyone else would have to take a good hard look at my nails! Nevertheless, when I wear this polish again, I’ll layer it over another gold shade. The smell of Je T’Aime also reminded me of Kleancolor polishes but, thankfully, wasn’t as strong and didn’t linger. And along with a good variety of glitter sizes, Je T’Aime is also slightly holographic! I think Je T’Aime would make a perfect bridal polish shade because it has just the right amount of drama: not too over-the-top and just sparkly enough.

These were two all around great polishes, and I couldn’t be more pleased! Thanks to Mattese Elite and the Ricky’s Blogger Blast for sending them to me for review! I can’t wait to try more Mattese polish in the future. You can score your own polish from the Me Amour collection and others at the Ricky’s NYC website.

Bootie Babe Cosmetics polish!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes a product that takes everything to the next level. The Bootie Babe polishes were just such a product for me because the bottles are shaped like, well, booties! Look:

Image by clairesayswhat

Super fun, right? The creator of these polishes, Mark O’Hara, was nice enough to send me these samples of 4 colors from the 12 color collection. The colors, left to right, are Pinky Dinky, Mean Tangerine, Blue Baboo, and Purp Slurp. I love the little boxes they came in, too, as well as the cute logo sticker on the bottle cap.

The Bootie Babe polish itself runs on the thick side (any puns from here on out are totally not intended, I swear!), but it applies and sticks to the nail quite well. I found it was best to get a good amount polish on the brush and apply it quickly for each coat. It doesn’t level very well, but it’s pretty smooth so it lays down nicely. It also dried pretty quickly and with a satin finish which I liked.

Mean Tangerine surprised me the most and turned out to be my favorite! I loved it the minute I took it out of the box, but I was skeptical since it’s such a bright neon. It was nearly opaque at two coats! As I was painting it on, I also realized just how nostalgic this particular shade is. It reminds me of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese powder! Check out the colors on my nails:

Image by clairesayswhat

I love that all these colors look so great together! As you can see, the Bootie Babe bottle is quite small. But don’t be discouraged–it holds plenty of polish! I also read via Bootie Babe’s twitter feed that they are working on re-designing the packaging to make the bottle cap taller since many others who have tried these polishes have experienced difficulty with the short cap. Personally, I didn’t have any problems with it. In fact, I find of liked it since I usually turn my brush to get the polish on the other side, and that seemed easier with this cap. Nevertheless, I did drop it once which never happens to me, so perhaps a slight redesign is a good thing after all. Also, the bottle itself is a little, um, front-heavy and will wobble a bit if you don’t dip the brush in cleanly. The bottle opening is a little small, and this was really the only issue I had with the packaging itself. And just because I know you’re curious, here’s a shot of the actual bootie part of the bottle:

Image by clairesayswhat

I gotta say, it’s pretty totes adorbs! Overall, I thought the polish quality was great–it even smells nice, which I always appreciate. Best of all, Bootie Babe polish is 3 free AND cruelty free! I promise these polishes will put a smile on your face, and they’ll make great gifts for anyone who appreciates things that stand out from the rest.

You can order these or any of the other great colors in the collection via the Bootie Babe Cosmetics shop page. They currently retail for $4 each which is a super deal. I’ll definitely be trying more colors once they launch the new bottles! Also, check out an extensive list of other bloggers that have reviewed the Bootie Babes polishes on the Bloggers section of the website. Yours truly is listed on this page, which is pretty exciting, too!

Let me know if you give Bootie Babe a try!

(Disclaimer: These polishes were sent to me for review by Bootie Babe Cosmetics.)

A Color Club Discovery!

Posted in Original Posts Archive with tags , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by clairesayswhat

Remember when I found a couple of shades from Color Club’s 2012 holiday collection at Sally Beauty this past Christmas? If you don’t, well, basically it was the first time I’d found any Color Club polish in a store in my area. I was quite excited. So one day I was on the Color Club website and decided to plug my zip code into their store locator just for fun.

I was quite surprised when a Bed Bath & Beyond location on my parents’ side of town popped up! I was also surprised that it was a BB&B since, to my knowledge and experience with the store at the time, they don’t carry makeup. But I had noticed mentions of people buying makeup at BB&B stores on blogs every now and again so I was intrigued.

This past weekend I was finally able to visit this mythical BB&B that supposedly carries Color Club nail polish, and what do you know? It does! And not just Color Club, but beauty products of all kinds! In fact, this BB&B has a whole beauty department! I was shocked to say the least! They even had some hard-to-find brands and items, such as cake eyeliner (“Wow, I haven’t seen that in years and years!” is what my mom said).

And yes, they did have Color Club polish! Quite a lot of it, too. Mostly core collection colors, although they did have a couple of displays of newer collections. None of the sets, although I’m not sure if those are even sold in store or not. I picked up about five different colors. This is Fashion Addict:

Image by clairesayswhat

Fashion Addict is a lovely lavender holographic duochrome shade. I can happily report that the formula of this shade is just as good as the other Color Club shades I have. Truly a dream to apply! It evens out and self-levels nicely as well as dries fast to boot. The color is great on its own but, of course, it truly sparkles in the sunlight! It’s also a great color to transition into Spring and those demi neon shades that will be oh so popular in a few more months.

The balance of the holographic particles in this polish is also just right. Sometimes I feel like the base color of some holo polishes is overshadowed by the amount of particles used. Of course, there’s also the flip side with cheaper holo polishes where there aren’t enough particles and the base is very thin. Fashion Addict gives the best of both worlds with a good amount of holo particles and a cheap price, just $3.99!

I will say that the BB&B beauty section did seem a bit like a product close-out section, and many of the products and other nail polishes looked on the older sign. Indeed, I was careful in the Color Club shades I chose since some of them seemed to be partially separated in the bottle. So while this isn’t a store I will frequent to find the latest colors and collections, I will perhaps make it a point to visit there every 4 to 6 months to see what they have.

How about you–do you live near a BB&B that has a beauty section?

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.

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 baseĀ  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.