Saturday, February 18, 2012

NOTD and Fat Fingers

I've been feeling a little pudgy lately so I had to take off my wedding ring.  It left a pretty nice tan line but I wanted a way to show that I still had it even if I wasn't wearing it.  So, in the tradition of the one-finger-with-a-different-polish, here is what I did for the NOTD:
Manglaze Lesbihonest (Index, Middle, & Pinkie) and Fuggen Ugly (Ring) - 3 coats each color

I just received this polish after finally buckling down and ordering it off Amazon.  I was originally trying to buy it off the Manglaze FB page but I was having issues with the checkout (totally NOT Manglaze's fault and Mike, the owner was so super cool about it!)

I do not regret this polish at all and so you shouldn't either.

It was hard to choose the ones I'd get first to pop my matte nail polish/Manglaze cherry, but I finally went with Lesbihonest, ILF, and Fuggen Ugly.  They are gorgeous.  You need these.

Formula wise, I didn't see any of the problems that I have read usually come with mattes.  Really smooth to apply, two coats are sufficient although I went three, and I'm pretty sure with a topcoat like Seche Vite, they'd look absolutely beautiful glossy too.

Here's ILF:

Manglaze ILF - 3 coats

I love teal/blue/aqua so of course I had to have this color and it didn't disappoint either.  No streakiness, easy to apply and all three colors dried super fast which is typical of mattes.

They are a little pricey (around $12 with the 10% off) but seriously, you need these in your life.  They were worth every penny.  Not to mention Mike himself is all full of awesome-ness.   He responds quickly to any problems you contact him about and shipping was incredibly fast -- I got my order in three days from Chicago to San Diego.

I would say that if you could only buy one matte nail polish, Manglaze should be the first place you go.  With a variety of shades ranging from standard issue black (for the rockers and the posers), to hot pink (F*** Off & Dye), there's sure to be a shade in between to make you happy.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Adventures in Matte Land

I was a little skeptical of the whole "matte thing" but being one not to shy away from a challenge, I found a girl willing to swap her Essie Matte About You on MUA.  Here are the results of my findings.

Butter London - Trout Pout with Essie Matte About You (Index finger layered with Essie Flawless then Matte About You.)
I hunted this down at Ulta.  It was the last bottle and looked like it could have been opened but I gave it the benefit of the doubt.  It is an absolutely gorgeous color on it's own but with a matte finish gives it a pretty interesting look.  I plan on experimenting with other brights in the near future.

L'Oreal - Waters Edge with Essie Matte About You
Waters Edge is supposedly an Essie Greenport dupe.  As I don't own the latter, I can only rely on pictures from other blogs and it looks pretty close.  I really like this family of colors (being a Pisces) and it also looked pretty neat as a matte, but I still prefer Trout Pout.  Incidentally, I also ordered ILF from Manglaze who happens to be the purveyor of fine matte polishes.  It's supposed to be a nice teal color so I'll be swatching that as soon as I get it (which I hope is soon!)

Formula wise, MAY is nice, not too goopy like Seche Vite can be and dries quickly, which from what I understand is typical in a matte polish.  I like that this type of topcoat allows you to turn your normally glossy polish matte as opposed to turning your matte polish glossy.  Anyways, its a nice addition to my top coat family and it will probably be one I'll be using frequently to "tone down" a lot of the bright shades in my collection.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Pretty Priti - #209 Alister Stella Gray Rose

Today's NOTD is exceptional in that, after five minutes I didn't want to take it off.

Priti - #209 Alister Stella Gray Rose


Alister Stella Gray Rose is a nail polish created by Priti NYC An absolutely gorgeous shade, it's one of the first four Priti polishes I ever purchased.  It was also the one I was drooling over the most, partly because it was especially designed for Stella McCarthy's F/W 2011 Paris Fashion Week showing.   It is a soft, work-friendly coral pink that leans more pink on my skintone -- wow, am I that yellow? (J/k)

Anyways, Priti also collaborated with McCarthy to create a shade for Spring/Summer 2012 Paris Fashion Week:

#137  Sweet Pea
And here's her Spring/Summer 2012 Paris Fashion Week show:



I'm not a huge fan of sheers so I'm not sure how sold I am on it yet but I'm definitely a fan of Priti after trying Alister Stella Gray Rose.  Formula was not too thick to be difficult to work with and I reached an acceptable opacity after 3 coats.

The only downside to this polish is that it is on the pricier side, $12.50 USD per bottle but it makes up in a decent formula and gorgeous color payoff.  But for me, this is a polish I would definitely want a backup bottle of.  Not to mention the color online actually matched what I received.  Shipping was fast -- I placed my order on Tuesday and had them on Friday -- and they do have a "clearance" section where bottles are half off.  The color line itself is pretty work-appropriate and I don't regret choosing to buy Priti over Rescue Beauty Lounge this time around.

In addition to this shade, I also ordered #511 - Dusty Miller, #559 - Coffee Bush, and # #593 - Lamb's Ear, with the latter two being part of their new 2012 Pre-Spring collection.  I'll have photos up on the other three as soon as I can bring myself to take off Alister Stella...hopefully sooner, but probably later.

XOXO

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Secret Valentine Surprises and Things of That Nature

Well a few interesting things have happened thus far and its only Hump Day.

I got my Secret Valentine package from a very awesome Andrea who sent me four wonderful polishes in all my favorite colors and included a Hello Kitty *gasp* treat as well:


I was so excited I swatched each polish on my right hand, swatching the scented polish on my index and middle fingers:

Thumb to pinkie: Piggy Polish - Around Sundown | Revlon - Pretty in Papaya (index/middle) | Orly - Fresh | OPI - Who the Shrek Are You?  (My pinkie got a little messed up when a cotton ball landed on it)
It's always nice to get nail mail.  :)   In case you're wondering, the Revlon scented polish does actually smell quite nice once it dries.  Each color is two coats over Essie - Lady Like (I told you I was excited.) 

I also realized that I need to consider investing in a better storage container for my growing polish pile:

Polish Organizational Fail.
What does the rest of the week hold for me after all this excitement?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giveaway Winner, OPI DS Dupe, & Why This Week Feels Like a Polish Bust

Congratulations to Bridget who won the "Besties Forever" giveaway!  Your palette will soon be on its way and I hope you love all the colors!

For everyone else who entered, make sure you check back soon because if I can hit 150 Facebook fans by my birthday (March 16!) I have a very special giveaway planned that's HUGE!

******************************

OPI DS Magic was a recent acquisition from the nail salon at the Walmart Supercenter by my parents and my first DS.  Needless to say I was excited especially since the price I paid seemed reasonable for a Designer Series polish.   I just couldn't resist the silver cap:


I thought it might be similar to OPI Ink which is another great color but Magic leans a lot more blue than Ink does and there's a ton more sparkle.  Its also slightly less opaque, requiring approximately 3 coats for full coverage.

So its a great polish right?  Well, for what I paid (let's just say its more than the usual bottle of OPI) I was expecting it to be a unique shade that I definitely wouldn't own a dupe of especially since I still have a fairly small collection.

Boy, was I wrong.

Noticing it earlier tonight, for a minute I thought I had accidentally put the silver cap back on my bottle of Ink.  When I went to pick it up, I realized it resemble another color I had procured a few weeks ago on clearance while buying Seche Vite and Sally Hansen Glass Slipper at Walgreens.


Here they are together.

Why it took me this long I'm not really sure but I showed them to my husband as soon as I noticed.  He asked if they were "cons."  It was cute.  These are the results of my findings.
 

Can you tell which is which?  Yeah, neither can I.  OPI Magic is on the Middle/Pinkie fingers, Milani is on the index/ring fingers.  OPI took three generous coats, Milani took two and Milani was a quick dry.  If you can still find the Milani polish, I would highly recommend picking it up if you like this particular OPI DS color.  Chances are it'll be on clearance like mine was and it'll save you upwards of $8 or more depending on where you usually buy OPI. 

I also swatched two other polishes I recently acquired, OPI Fly from the Nicki Minaj collection and LA Colors BCC 564 that I picked up from my local Dollar Tree for $1.  They weren't so dupey but it was close.


Fly is on the middle/pinkie fingers while BCC 564 is on the index/ring fingers.  BCC 564 was greener but only took 2 coats while Fly leaned more blue and took 3 coats.  I would argue you don't necessarily need both and if you want a more saturated color, BCC 564 is the way to go especially for $1 + tax.  



Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Mani Challenge: Crackle

This is my first Mani Challenge anything so I wanted to put my best foot forward.  Unfortunately, the theme was crackle and I am still on the fence about it.  So, I wanted to find a way to make crackle work but not do the whole nail so this is what I came up with!


I used Color Club Blue-topia as a base, (although you can't really tell) CC Revvvolution, OPI Red Shatter, and then LA Colors Art Deco in black.  I think it turned out a little 80s Tony Montana.  x_X 

oops.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

butter LONDON Love at First Brush

It was hard to decide which butter LONDON polish to buy first but I managed to choose Wallis because a) I was looking for a gold polish and b) it looked absolutely lovely on all the swatches I found online.

Named for Wallis Simpson, the woman who so beguiled a king he abdicated, is a mature shade which, in my opinion, is pretty work appropriate especially on shorter nails.  It feels like a dark brown/black that's been washed with an almost matte gold layer of shine, not so much shimmer.  Its an absolutely gorgeous color and has sort of got me jonesing for the rest of the line.

Judge for yourself:



The most wonderful thing about this polish is that it only took two coats for me to be happy with it opacity wise.  Lately I've been on a "two coat policy," in which, a polish passes or fails solely based on if I can get it opaque in two coats.  Clearly, Wallis doesn't disappoint. 

I'm always curious to see how shades like this come across on Asian skintones.  For example, I look terrible in most green polishes so I've pretty much decided to give up on them.  The interesting thing about Wallis is that its not a bright gold by any stretch.  Its more of a patina-ed gold that gives it a very interesting olive tone to it.  This actually brings out the red in my skin even though you can't really tell in the pictures.

In the beginning, I wasn't sure if I'd like this polish.  But, in the week or so I've had it, I've worn it three times.  I think that's saying a lot.  I'm not sure about tip wear yet so in terms of longevity, its still yet to be tested, but when it comes to my overall first impression, butter LONDON's Wallis is as equally charming as the Duchess of Windsor herself.


A Candy That Won't Give You Cavities...

...except maybe in your pocketbook!

I went to one of the local beauty supply stores near my mom's house a few weeks ago and finally took serious notice of their Orly display.  It's not terribly unique; a lot of the colors are very Mom and Auntie colors -- light pink, nude/creams, bright reds, and pastels -- so I wasn't really that interested but I had been walking around aimlessly looking for China Glaze Trendsetter but they were sold out.  Not wanting to leave the store empty-handed, I searched around and found Rock Candy, an Orly color that was on my short list.  It was about $3 cheaper than the Orlys at Ulta so I snapped it up and took it home. 

It sort of reminds me of the reformulated Sally Hansen polish, Hidden Treasure.  You can see it on ThePolishAholic's website here.  I don't own it so I can't really make comparisons over whether or not they are dupes but considering the Orly polish was waaaayyy cheaper, I won't lose sleep at night not owning it since they seem to share some attributes. 

Originally I layered it over Orly Ancient Jade.  The pictures didn't come out that great so I'm not going to put them up. :P

Today, I put it over Orly Pure Porcelain (sense a pattern with the Orlys?  Yes, they are my new favorite polish in the whole wide world!) -- every single time I try to remember Pure Porcelain, I always think of a local "gentleman's club" called Pure Platinum -- and I think it turned out rather nice.

Here is Pure Porcelain (3 coats) in the buff:

I got this on "clearance" from Ulta for $5.49.  I guess I should count myself lucky for having options in terms of where I can buy Orly because Ulta would NOT be my first choice unless the price was right.  =/

Here is Pure Porcelain with 1 coat of Rock Candy on top:


Because the lighting is so crappy in the new apartment, it's hard to capture the iridescent quality of RC but it really helps lighter shades along, I think.

I haven't tried wearing Rock Candy on it's own because I hate sheer polish but it makes a great layering polish.  I'm still obsessed with creating a "mermaid"-inspired mani so maybe I can include RC in the mix.  In the meantime, this is definitely a polish I would buy a backup of and its definitely one I want to shout about on the mountain top.  The formula is wonderful to work with and using it just to layer means I'll be able to use it for quite a while.  :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pop A Cork In It

So I finally succumbed and picked up a bottle of Sally Hansen Glass Slipper for myself after picking up a bottle for a friend in Brazil I'm swapping polishes with.  Its a flakie, not very iridescent -- very much like glass.

Anyways, I was originally only going to repaint my nails Because You're Worth It, but after I was done I thought, "hey I wonder what this would look like with Rock Candy on it," and decided to paint Orly Rock Candy, a pretty, definitely iridescent polish that's fairly transparent and makes for great layering.  It looked nice.  It "silvered" it up a lot and cast a frost on it without making it look 80s (everybody who remembers frost nail polish from the 80s knows what I mean!)  Anyways, trying to get creative, I decided to try Glass Slipper.

Here's how it turned out:


It dented my polish a little and made it look like it had wet spots.  But it also did remind me a little of champagne and those little bubbles that form from carbonation.



But I'm still not really sure how I feel about Glass Slipper.  >_<

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nails Inc Porchester Square or, My Latest Ebay Haul

I have recently discovered the joys [and evils] of Ebay.  You can find obscure and/or discontinued nail polishes, lipsticks, and all sorts of wonderful things and avoid generally paying an arm and a leg.  In my case, the key is, if my total bid after shipping costs as much as walking into the store and buying it myself then I won't buy it. 

Anyways, this haul included a polish I've been absolutely drooling over and is what sent me into a nudes tailspin.  Made by Nails Inc in the UK, Porchester Square looked absolutely brilliant when I saw it first on ThePolishAholic's blog.  She had purchased a bottle of Porchester Square and also Primrose Hill but swatched only the former.  Anyways, I loved the shade of greige and swore I would either get a hold of a dupe or save up all my pennies and buy it from Sephora.

Luckily, as I was browsing Ebay as I often do, I came across an auction that included Porchester Square, Fouberts Place, and Elizabeth Street.  Not only that, but for all three, I could potentially spend less than $20!  Of course I placed my bid and waited.

This is what came in the mail today:




and



I had also bought some NYX lipsticks because I had read they were great little lipsticks and came in a variety of colors well-suited for Asian skin.  :)  A pink lipstick that doesn't make me look strange is always a good thing.

So I went to swatching the Nails Inc polishes.  I started with Elizabeth Street because it was such a pretty shade of pink but it ended up being a pretty sheer polish.  I'm one of those girls that likes my color to be pretty opaque but even at four coats, Elizabeth Street was unmanageable to me.  So much so that, even though I completely swatched both hands, I refused to take photographs of my -- em, lack of handiwork.  Elizabeth Street may be getting swapped/sold.  =/

!I moved on to the piece de resistance.  In ThePolishAholic's pictures, Porchester Square was a lovely grey-beige shade and was nothing like what I had.

This is what Porchester Square looked like on me:

Excuse my cuticles!
It didn't look horrible but it didn't look as nice as I thought it would.  Maybe because I keep insisting on wearing cool tones when I am clearly warm?  I'm not quite sure but it actually looked a little pink on me compared to the other  nudes/greys I have.

Index - Nude 4 (Urban Outfitters | Middle - Glamour Purse (Essie)
Ring - Porchester Square (Nails Inc) | Pinkie - French Quarter For Your Thoughts (OPI)
So it's definitely not a color I have (although, really in the grand scheme of things I don't actually have that many polishes yet) but it is one of those colors that had to really grow on me before I was convinced once I saw it on my hands.  I'm not sorry I bought it; I think it fills a void between Glamour Purse and Skulls & Glossbones that I didn't have before.  I'd also stil really recommend it as a polish to have if you're into nude/grey shades like I am.  It was a thick application but I still needed 2-1/2 to 3 good coats for opacity.  

All in all a great, first polish from Nails Inc.  This is definitely NOT the only bunch of bottles I buy (my new obsession is with Charlotte Mews) which means I'll probably be visiting my local Sephora store really soon.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Walgreens Haul

I don't normally buy a lot of things at Walgreens because I found them to be historically more expensive than other stores.  However, I was in search of Sally Hansen Glass Slipper and they happened to be on sale there so I thought, why not?

I'm glad I went.  I'm also glad I went to a Walgreens I don't normally go to because as it turns out, the girl in the beauty department was a nail enthusiast like me and was more than happy to help.


As you can see, I didn't get SH Glass Slipper but I did end up with a lot more...for a the price of two bottles of polish and a protein bar.

I managed to get my hands on the LAST bottle of clearanced out Seche Vite at that location (I now plan on scouring every other local Walgreens that has it in stock) for $4.79(!) and I got a bottle of Loreal nail polish because the girl swore by it.  I figured it has something to do with the Essie relationship and picked up a pretty bottle of gold that was not only $1 off, but another WG employee ahead of me in line gave me her Loreal coupon for another $1 off.

Here's the polish I bought:

 L'Oreal - Because You're Worth It

For some reason, the middle finger was really streaky and applied poorly.  I had to remove it and re-apply it to get it to look like the other nails.



This was a weird gold.  I've been wanting to try one and purchase Wallis earlier in the week on Ebay but this is a shade that I hated when I first applied it and have slowly grown to really love it.  Its a strong metallic shade that has a really cool tone to it, which really surprised me.  It almost feels like having a light gold foil on my fingers.

Application was streaky but 3 coats sufficiently cleared up the streakiness and opacity.  I have light tan skin with yellow-to-olive undertones so gold normally looks really nice on me but I honestly believe this might be better suited for cooler toned gals.   Either way, I loved the overall shininess of it all and I didn't regret buying it like a few of the other polishes I've bought in the past.

Retail price on the first display I found it on said $6.49 but it was on another display listing it for $5.99 with another $1 off from the Walgreens coupon.  Another Walgreens employee hooked me up with her personal L'Oreal coupon so ended up paying $3.99 for it.

All in all the nail polish WAS worth it -- meaning I'd probably buy another bottle once I ran out -- and of course you can't go wrong with 14 bottles of nail polish remover and Seche Vite for less than $5.

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Giveaway Time!


I felt like doing a Giveaway (finally, right!) to help spread the word about Muse Minerals!  I'll be giving away one of my pressed palettes:

LOVE, ACTUALLY pressed palette.  Available now: http://museminerals.etsy.com

Called BESTIES FOREVER, it include four of my most popular shades - Halo, Pumpkin, Hot to Trot, and Envy Me -- all in a convenient little pressed palette.

Rules are simple:

* GIVEAWAY IS OPEN TO US & INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTS of all ages (woohoo!)

* The Winner has 24 hours to respond to my email.  If there is no response, a new winner will be chosen.

* Giveaway end at 12:01AM EST on January 20th, 2012.

* Enter using the RAFFLECOPTER form below.  Any entries left in the comments section of this post or on Facebook unless specified in the giveaway form WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

* If you have any questions about the rules or about the form, please email me at museminerals@hotmail.com or alyssa@museminerals.com

Orly Galaxy Girl or How I Learned to Love the Multichrome

As of late, I have not really had much love for nail polish that sparkles.  I should probably explain that when I was a child (an only one I should mention) the only shades of nail polish I was allowed to wear had to be in the very barest pinks, beiges, and any other color that qualifies as an "80s nude" shade.  This is why seeing my Aunt's best friend paint her nails in one of Chanel's deep chocolate brown nail polishes when I was around 12 or 13 played such an important role about how I viewed polish in my adulthood.  

Its very much like my obsession with shoes and handbags; keep the outfit simple and classic, go crazy with the accessories.  (And nail polish is definitely an accessory.  I should also note that I took piano lessons from my early childhood into my teens so my nails were always a stubby, not-so-attractive length so I didn't feel as compelled to paint them.)

Anyways, whenever my nails get to a point where I think they're "long enough" I decide it's time to get to painting.  I recently placed my first Zoya order and picked up a few beautiful shades -- Kristen, Codie, Kiki, Reece, Adina, Yasmeen, etc. -- a nice mix of "flat" colors and colors with glitter and duochromes.  Of the colors I bought Kristen and Codie were the ones I fell in love with.  They were perfect and neutral enough to wear in most situations and I was happy. The others just didn't feel right quite yet.

So they've been sitting in my polish box -- relegated to a fate unknown -- but hope for sparkle wasn't lost on me it seems.  Today, while perusing the Facebook nail polish group I belong to, I was inspired by a couple gals that had taken a trip to their local Ulta and discovered a cache of nail polish bottles.

I decided I would drag my husband to the one and only Ulta store in San Diego hoping to find some diamonds in the rough and I wandered in feeling like I wouldn't find anything.  The store is huge compared to the beauty stores I normally go to and it features a salon but the selection feels -- incomplete.  Despite serving a client base of young college aged women who attend UCSD nearby, and the generally upper middle class, I was disappointed with the selection as soon as I walked in.  I wandered aimlessly around the store searching for any sign of nail polishes besides the ones in the Sally Hansen aisle and finally, after the kids had gotten tired of being warned not to touch anything and consequently taken out by my husband, I found what I was looking for.  Tucked in the back near an alternate entrance and the "salon" was a oblong shaped island that featured the more popular OPI/Essie/Orly shades.  I must've circled it five times.  I decided to stop in front of the Orly polishes, searching for some life in the sea of common colors.  I picked up a bottle on the top shelf of the polish rack.  It was Galaxy Girl.  I was only really familiar with Space Cadet -- mostly as a cheaper alternative to the more elusive Clarins 230 -- but I thought, "why the hell not?" and picked it up along with Out of This World after some humming and hawing.  They were labeled with prices, but I thought as long as they didn't go over $8 I'd be happy.  

These were the (3) shades I decided on (L-R Out of This World, Yara, Galaxy Girl).  The Orlys ended up being a little more than I expected but I also signed up for the Ulta Perks Card and the girl took off an extra $3.50 from my purchase so it was like getting the Zoya polish for free!  (That's Kiki in the background in case you were wondering.)

After wandering around some more, I found a disheveled aisle of clearance items.  Sifting through separated bottles of OPI, Essie, Zoya and Orly was a little sad but I managed to score a bottle of Zoya's Yara for half price.  Not wanting to jinx my already good fortune of finding a Zoya color I was sort of wanting and two Orly colors that looked hard-to-find, I decided it was time to checkout.  In the Orly's were a little more than I expected but I figured they'd be worth it.  I'll let you be the judge.  


Here is Galaxy Girl paired over Wet N Wild's Morbid:

It was really difficult to capture the color shift fully...especially with a plain ole' point-and-shoot but you can kind of see the chameleon glitter shining here.

At certain angles, It just looked like a dark nail polish with a very fine green glitter.



In any case, it is an absolutely beautiful duo-chrome and I'm really excited about it.  I have yet to try Out of This World (mostly because I ran out of cotton balls and nail polish remover) but I'd imagine it won't disappoint me either.  

I think the thing I loved about Galaxy Girl the most was that I could do (1) layer of it over Morbid and it still looked amazing.  I think I'm definitely going to be experimenting with this one.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

100 Followers Giveaway Entry

So, over the course of the last year, I've become a little bit of a nail polish addict.  That being said, I try to enter giveaways when I come across them (although I don't typically win) and this morning was not an exception.  I came across All Things Meve Love's blog, who happened to be giving away a set of nail polishes!  So, check out her blog; she's giving away (2) Quo and Orly nail polishes for a total of (4) bottles and make sure to follow along!!

And bon chance to everyone who entered!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year Indeed

Its the beginning of 2012.  I have a lot of big plans, mainly for Muse Minerals.  Its definitely been a learning experience but I'm really excited about all the new products I'll be rolling out this coming year.  And I'll try to make it a point to blog at least once a week -- usually about makeup, maybe about other things.  :)