Monday, 30 July 2012

Pretty & Polished: Jawbreaker Swatches & Review

Today’s post is about an indie polish I have been dreaming of acquiring for months! It is the famous Jawbreaker by Pretty & Polished. I purchased it from Llarowe, which is an online nail polish store run by Leah Ann. Llarowe carries a lot of indie brands and my experience with them has been nothing but positive. They take Paypal/credit card and the order arrives in 10 business days in a bubble mailer straight into your mailbox. You have the option of requiring a signature on delivery or not, and you’re also provided a tracking number in the shipping notice email. On to the polish then!

Jawbreaker is an off white cream with red, yellow and blue hex glitter, purple micro glitter, large red square glitter and green bar glitter. It applies like a dream and needs just 2 coats for opacity. I finished it with Poshé top coat for extra shine. Here are the swatches:

Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker (sun)

Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker (shade) 
Pretty & Polished Jawbreaker

Adorable, isn't it?! I'm so amazed at indie polish makers and their creativity! Have you jumped on the indie bandwagon yet? How have your experiences been?

- The Manicurette

Orly Summer 2012 Feel The Vibe Collection: After Party Swatches & Review

Today's post is a review of the only dark polish from Orly's Feel The Vibe Summer 2012 Collection: After Party. I decided to take a break from all the brights and try this mysterious dark treasure! After Party is a blue-black base packed with blue, pink and purple shimmer. It is pigmented enough to be a one coater and the formula is easy to work with. Dry time is good but it does dry dull so I would recommend using a shine top coat over it. For swatches, I used 2 coats topped with a coat of Seche Vite:

Orly After Party (sun)

Orly After Party (shade)

And just for fun, here's some nail art I did using scotch tape and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Celeb City:

Orly After Party & Sally Hansen Celeb City

I don't know what Orly was thinking when they created this for their summer neon collection, but I'm sure glad they did so! What's your take on this? Too early for dark colours or good to wear all year round?

- The Manicurette

Saturday, 28 July 2012

OPI Texas Collection Spring 2011: Guy Meets Gal-veston Swatches & Review

Today's review is on a polish from OPI's first sorbet line, the Texas Collection. Guy Meets Gal-veston is a coral jelly that is guaranteed to make you smile when you put it on. The formula is easy to work with as it is self-leveling, leaving no chance of bald spots occuring. Also, despite being sheer and needing more than your average number of coats, I experienced no dragging. Dry time was fairly quick between coats. In summary, I am smitten with this polish this summer! For swatches, I used 3 coats of polish topped with Seche Vite (note that 3 coats are not enough to get rid of the VNL):

OPI Texas 2011: Guy Meets Gal-veston

I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try my favourite of all the glitters I got from Icing. Lemme See Your Peacock is a clear base with blue, green and fuchsia hex glitter. I used 1 coat over Guy Meets Gal-veston:

OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston & Icing Lemme See Your Peacock

I turned the above mani into a jelly sammich with 2 coats of Guy Meets Gal-veston on top of the glitter:

OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston & Icing Lemme See Your Peacock

What's your favourite look of the three? Mine would be the second one. It reminds me of cartoons and clowns and birthdays...basically anything fun! 

- The Manicurette

Friday, 27 July 2012

Essie Spring 2012 Navigate Her: A Crewed Interest Swatches & Review

Today's review is on a polish from the Essie Spring 2012 Navigate Her collection. A Crewed Interest is a peach creme, ideal for when you want to have well-manicured hands without drawing a lot of attention to your nails. The formula is on the thinner side and needs a fair bit of coats to build up opacity. To avoid dragging and streaking, I applied three thin coats, a top coat, and then another coat of polish. This trick really takes care of the bald patches.

Essie A Crewed Interest

I was in the mood for nail art so I did a sugar spun mani and a water marble mani. Both used A Crewed Interest and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet. Here is the sugar spun mani:

Essie A Crewed Interest & Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet

I absolutely love the colour combination of the two so I decided to try my hand at water marbling too. This is my first water marbling attempt and it took me over an hour to do it! I had no idea how stressful it is to do but I'm super happy with the result. Here it is:

Essie A Crewed Interest, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet
& Orly Prisma Gloss Silver

Here is a blurred picture to show you the bling bling in Orly Prisma Gloss Silver top coat:

Essie A Crewed Interest, Sally Hansen Mint Sorbet
& Orly Prisma Gloss Silver

Thanks for stopping buy and I hope you all have a wonderful sunny weekend!

- The Manicurette

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Comparison Post: Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe & Icing Sailor Boy

Today's post is a comparison between the queen of all polishes, Across The Universe by Deborah Lippmann, and Hey Sailor Boy by Icing. I bought Across The Universe about three years ago and it really is one of the gems in my polish collection. Yesterday, while passing by Icing, their nail polish display caught my eye and I ended up with six of their polishes (they make amazing glitters!). If you really like the look of Across The Universe but don't want to spend $20 on it, this may help you decide if you'd rather get the $4.50 dupe from Icing. For swatches, I used 3 coats each topped with Nicole by OPI Top Coat:

Icing Hey Sailor Boy vs. Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe

Icing Hey Sailor Boy vs. Deborah Lippmann Across The Universe

FORMULA: Both polishes are blue jellies with blue and green hex glitter and blue micro glitter. The concentration of glitter is much greater in the Icing polish than in the Deborah Lippmann, making it seem a shade lighter (as in the bottle shot). 

APPLICATIONBeing jellies, they both need at least 3 coats to cover the VNL. Hey Sailor Boy builds opacity easier as the jelly base seems a tad more pigmented than that of Across The Universe.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY: I got my Deborah Lippmann from Donato's Hair Salon for $20 and the Icing polish for $4.50 from Icing (their polishes are buy 1 get 1 50% off). Nail Polish Canada is my go to online retailer and they carry Deborah Lippmann too.

RESULT: I found that the formula of both polishes is pretty good but the main difference is in the density of glitter. Personally, I like the less crowded look of Across The Universe and being a Deborah Lippmann fan, I don't mind splurging on them. However, Hey Sailor Boy is the more economical option and has more bling to it.

Hope you found this comparison useful. Thanks for reading and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments section!

- The Manicurette

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Comparison Post: China Glaze Lemon Fizz & Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty

Today's post is the first of its kind on here...a comparison post! A comparison post is one in which I will compare two or more very similar looking polishes so you can decide which you'd rather buy if you are planning to buy that colour. This post is a comparison between China Glaze Lemon Fizz and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Yellow Kitty. Both are subtle pastel yellows that tend to compliment most skin tones and are not in-your-face bright. Let's start with the swatches (in sun and in shade):

China Glaze Lemon Fizz vs. Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty (sun)

China Glaze Lemon Fizz vs. Sally Hansen Yellow Kitty (shade)

FORMULA: Both are on the thinner side and thus relatively sheer in the first coat. ChG Lemon Fizz builds up well and I needed 3 coats to build opacity. SH Yellow Kitty is harder to build up and I needed 4 coats for opacity. 

APPLICATION: I experienced a fair bit of dragging with SH Yellow Kitty. Both are prone to flooding the cuticle because of the watery formula so be careful to avoid getting too close. I didn't use a top coat for SH Yellow Kitty as it dries extremely glossy but ChG Lemon Fizz needs a top coat for added shine.

DRY TIME: ChG Lemon Fizz dries very quick and isn't dentable after 15 minutes. SH Yellow Kitty doesn't seem to ever really dry and was dentable half an hour after application.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY: China Glaze is available at Sally's Beauty Supply for $6.49 and Sally Hansen is available at drugstores for $7.49 - $8.49 or at Walmart for $5.97 (prices vary)

RESULT: ChG Lemon Fizz has a little more white than SH Yellow Kitty, making it look less glossy and more pastel. I love the formula of the China Glaze as it is a complete dream to apply. If I were to chose one, I would pick ChG Lemon Fizz as it seems to compliment my skin better because of that extra pastel effect and far superior formula.

Hope this helps you make a better decision! If you like, I will start doing more comparison posts, especially for high-end versus low-end polishes that are alike/dupes.

- The Manicurette

Monday, 23 July 2012

Illamasqua Phallic & Viridian

I got some Illamasqua goodness for you today! Illamasqua has such unique, drool-worthy polishes that every time I go to Sephora, my sister has to pull me away from the nail polish display. They are on the pricier side at $18 a bottle, but so worth splurging on every once in a while. I'll review Illamasqua Phallic and Viridian for you today, with some beautiful ideas for further embellishing them.

Phallic is a deep royal blue with blue shimmer. Once applied, the shimmer seems to float just beneath the surface. The formula is perfect, opaque in 2 coats. I find that deep colours like Phallic look best on shorter nails...very modern Hollywood a la Lea Michele at the 2010 Emmys or 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Here are swatches with 2 coats of Phallic and 1 coat of Seche Vite:

Illamasqua Phallic

Illamasqua Phallic

I added a coat of Zoya Opal, a magical green fleck effect top coat:

Illamasqua Phallic with Zoya Opal

Illamasqua Phallic with Zoya Opal

Viridian is a metallic dark teal that leans green depending on the lighting, in other words, the colour viridian. The formula is also a 2-coater and brushstrokes are barely noticeable. When I saw the bottle, the first word that came to my mind was 'mysterious'. Here's 2 coats of Viridian:

Illamasqua Viridian

I felt the urge to bust out the ol' shatters and I picked OPI Silver Shatter. I love how this turned out!

Illamasqua Viridian with OPI Silver Shatter

Which do you prefer? The shatter or the flecks? I think both have their own charm and I love both the effects. The flecks are definitely trendier. However, this has inspired me to  get all my shatters out and try more combinations.

Thanks for reading!

- The Manicurette

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Essie Bridal Collection 2012 Swatches & Review

Today's review is on a very pretty collection by Essie, the 2012 Bridal Collection. There are four polishes in this collection: Love & Acceptance, Instant Hot, Who Is The Boss and Like To Be Bad. I find all but the first name very confusing as they don't exactly sound wedding-themed. Swatching these made me realize how you can have very good and very bad formula in the same collection. 

Love & Acceptance is a dusty purple creme with strong grey tones. The formula of this polish was a delightful surprise as it was thin and easy to work with. I used 2 coats to achieve opacity, which is almost unheard of for most cremes:

Essie Bridal 2012: Love & Acceptance

Essie 2012: Love & Acceptance

Instant Hot is a warm white creme with white shimmer. The shimmer can barely be seen in the bottle, let alone on the nail. The formula was on the thicker side, and application was somewhat streaky. I'm glad I now have a white I can wear without it looking like white-out on my nails! I used 3 coats to level out the streaking:

Essie Bridal 2012: Instant Hot

Essie Bridal 2012: Instant Hot

Who Is The Boss is a dusty blue creme with strong grey tones. The formula of this was absolutely marvelous, with no streaking. I don't think I've ever come across a colour like this before. I needed only 2 coats for opacity:

Essie Bridal 2012: Who Is The Boss

Essie Bridal 2012: Who Is The Boss

Like To Be Bad is a peachy pink with pink shimmer. Again, the shimmer is not visible at all on the nail. The formula on this was the worst in the collection as it was extremely thick and goopey, causing major streaking. There was also major bubbling with this one. I re-did this manicure three times to get rid of the bubbling...but alas, it failed me. You can see the bubbling in the pictures below. I used 3 coats:

Essie Bridal 2012: Like To Be Bad

Essie Bridal 2012: Like To Be Bad

My favourites from the collection are Who Is The Boss and Love & Acceptance. Such beautiful colours and flawless formula! Like To Be Bad was a huge let-down formula wise. Which of these would you wear to a wedding?

- The Manicurette

Friday, 20 July 2012

A-England The Mythicals: Lady Of The Lake and Perceval Swatches & Review

Today I have some more A-England swatches to show you guys from their Mythicals collection: Lady Of The Lake and Perceval. I feel comfortable saying that A-England has quickly become one of my favourite nail polish brands and I am constantly amazed at the formula!

Lady Of The Lake is a purple holo, quite complex like its blue friend, Tristam. The formula is slightly thinner than Tristam's so you need two coats to get rid of the VNL (visible nail line). The holo effect is gorgeous in the sunlight! I used 2 coats of Lady Of The Lake topped with 1 coat of Seche Vite:

A-England Mythicals: Lady Of The Lake

A-England Mythicals: Lady Of The Lake

A-England Mythicals: Lady Of The Lake

Perceval is a true metallic red with red shimmer. I would call this polish "radiant" and it was quite a challenge to capture it on camera. The formula was super easy to work with and I didn't have staining around my nails on removal, which tends to happen with most red polishes. I used 2 coats of Perceval topped with 1 coat of Seche Vite:

A-England Mythicals: Perceval

A-England Mythicals: Perceval

And here is the wonderful super-promotion that A-England is running right now, which is the reason my A-England collection is going to expand once my package arrives from London: 

How amazing is Adina for having free international shipping and $8 per polish?! That's $5 less than what it normally is..there's only 2 days left so now's the time if you want to try them!

I hope you enjoyed today's swatches! Let me know if you'd like to see swatches for a specific collection or brand and I shall do my best to make it happen :)

- The Manicurette

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Essie Summer 2012: Bikini So Teeny

So I wanted to show you all some more A-England holo swatches today but since it is way too cloudy, I'm leaving it for when there is plenty of sunlight. Instead, I have a polish I talked about swatching a while back: Bikini So Teeny from Essie's Summer 2012 collection. In case you missed the review of its equally famous counterpart, Mojito Madness, you can find it here.

Bikini So Teeny is a light dusty blue with strong tones of periwinkle. In the bottle, there is vivid shimmer but none of it is visible on the nail. The formula is on the thicker side but easier to work with that a lot of cremes by Essie. There is some streakiness in the application but I found that the third coat does the trick of leveling everything. One of the reasons this colour is so popular is because it flatters all skin tones. I used 3 coats of Bikini So Teeny topped with 1 coat of Seche Vite:

Essie Bikini So Teeny

Essie Bikini So Teeny
I decided that this is the perfect base for a gold glitter gradient!! I used OPI Spark De Triomphe to do a reverse glitter gradient:

Essie Bikini So Teeny with OPI Spark De Triomphe

Essie Bikini So Teeny with OPI Spark De Triomphe

What do you think of the glitter? As always, thanks for stopping by!

- The Manicurette

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Collection: Riveting and Agro Swatches & Review

This one's for all the Hunger Games fans out there! Today I'll be reviewing two of my favourites from the China Glaze Hunger Games Capitol Colors Collection: Riveting and Agro. I'm a huge fan of the books and the movie was pretty darn good too. I'd say my favourite character from the series is Cinna..maybe it's the fact that he's so different from everyone at the Capitol, or that he takes such big risks with the dresses for Katniss despite knowing the creepy President Snow is on to him? Anyway, I could go on about this forever. Here are the swatches:

China Glaze Hunger Games: Riveting (left) and Agro (right)

Agro is an olive green metallic with subtle multi-coloured and gold shimmer. Agro is named after the Agriculture District 11, Rue's district. The formula is very pigmented and truly a one-coater. Because this is a metallic, you can see the brushstrokes in the sunlight. In the shade, however, they are less noticeable. Here's 2 coats of Agro:

China Glaze Agro (sun)

China Glaze Hunger Games (shade)

Riveting is an orange jelly packed with golden shimmer. This is named after the Technology district, District 3. I don't what the colour has to do with technology as it reminds me more of The Girl On Fire. I used 3 coats to build the colour up and the result was just magical:

China Glaze Riveting (sun)

I just had to add the mockingjay pin to this:

China Glaze Riveting with Mockingjay Nail Art

I hope you enjoyed today's post! And because I can't help myself...May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour!

- The Manicurette

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A-England The Legends: Saint George Swatches & Review

Today's review is on A-England's most popular creation: Saint George. After the success I had with A-England's Tristam, I couldn't resist getting my hands on a ton of other polishes by them. You can read the Tristam review here

Saint George is a deep green holographic polish. The formula is truly a dream and I used one coat of polish for the swatches below. Tell me, when was the last time you applied just one coat of a polish and got this effect? Our friends over at A-England sure know what they're doing! Here you go:

A-England Saint George

A-England Saint George
A-England Saint George

A-England Saint George

A-England Saint George
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

- The Manicurette
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