Friday, December 25, 2009

Fingerpaints Winter/Holiday 2009 Collection

I had noticed there were other nail polish brands besides China Glaze and Orly's at Sally's but had just ignored them since I didn't know anything about them. I read about the Fingerpaints winter 2009 collection, available at Sally's, on Scrangie's blog, and decided that I needed to check out this collection for myself! It's pretty awesome. 

The collection contains six colors, two of which are red. I have a really hard time photographing red for some reason, so I don't have many pictures of those two bottles of polish. 

One of the reds is tomato-colored, smooth, and full of fine gold shimmer (above, left). Very pretty, see picture of the bottle below for glimpses of gold shimmery streaks. The other red is pink-toned and glittery. Again, pretty. But, well, I am not really into reds. These are nice reds, though, if you are in the market.

For me the two standouts in the collection are the gorgeous shimmery dark green ("Evergreen Dream") and the gorgeous shimmery dark purple ("Icy Iris").

Evergreen Dream is on a par with the lovely China Glaze Emerald Sparkle. The sparkle from Evergreen Dream comes from shimmer as opposed to glitter.

Icy Iris is a dark, shimmery version of Evergreen Dream. 

The last two colors are a shimmery pink and a shimmery silver. Hmm, how many times can I repeat the word "Shimmer" in this post? The silver is my third favorite of the six. It goes on very smooth and sparkly, similar to China Glaze Tinsel but smoother. (for me, China Glaze Tinsel was pretty smooth due to my slopping glossy topcoat over the slight roughness of the fine silver glitter in that polish). 

The silver, "Sparkling Snow," is below:

Below, pictures of Decked with Dazzle.

Above, an action shot shows the sparkle effect. Okay, it's blurry, not on purpose, but those are the shots that can show sparkles, what can I say?

Another snapshot of the non-reds, above. I thought the application worked really well for me, and I look forward to trying more of Fingerpaints brand nail lacquer in the future, perhaps any distinctive colors that are not duplicated in the other brands in my collection.

Euridice rating for the collection of 6 colors: 4 out of 5. Excellent!

Summary: Applies nicely, it is not the perfect concise collection like the China Glaze, but the inclusion of the dark purple and pink give some variety to the usual Christmas colors. The dark green and silver are outstanding. I just don't see the point, with six polishes, of two reds, which makes it the 4 instead of  5 in my eyes. Both reds are lovely, though. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Smile and Say Greeeeeennn!!

One of the more clever promotions around Thanksgiving was the Zoya Nail Polish "Green Friday." On the day after the American Thanksgiving, instead of the usual "Black Friday" sale, Zoya had a special where if you bought $20 worth of product, you would receive SIX FREE bottles of GREEN nail polish! 

The green polishes were: Veruschka (the wondrous velvet-like matte forest green), Midori (bright green, as the name suggests---I remember Midori liqueur from my college days), Irene (a shimmering medium green), Suvi (a medium dark green), Envy (a super dark forest green), and Tangy (another bright green that in the bottle reminds me a bit of a green Zara). 

Left to right, above: Midori, Irene, Suvi, and Envy. Oops, had some spillage on the side of the pinky nail with Envy, there.

It didn't take too much to get the $20 worth: I ordered Luna and Astra, two of the new ultra glitters, and Loredana, a dark gray matte. Tangy straggled after the rest of the order, and I keep forgetting to bring it home; once I do, I am thinking of doing a gradient mani with all the Zoya greens except Veruschka.

I have, in the meantime, worn the gorgeous Veruschka for a couple of days recently, and absolutely adore this fantastic polish! It brushes on a lovely green with wonderful shimmer---one wants it to stay this way, almost---then dries matte before one's eyes. I think that putting a glossy topcoat over Veruschka or any of the Zoya matte polishes brings back the shimmering qualities. For the most part I have gone the matte topcoat route (Essie's Matte About You having stood me in good stead), but I do think the Zoya mattes are a must!!  

Zoya makes it easy being green! (Had to end the post on a corny note, there!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Urban Decay 24/7 Super Stash Swatches

I can't remember the last time I used a whole eye pencil. Enter the 24/7 "Super Stash" from Urban Decay!

The creamy smooth 24/7 pencils seem to be very popular, so I was psyched to get this little kit of mini pencils a few weeks ago as part of a little Urban Decay haul from ULTA (I've already reported on the outstanding Urban Decay Show Pony Shadow box). How cool to be able to try a variety of these pencils without committing to the full sizes!

Here's a little more info from the packaging (wow, shiny, I can see the reflection of me taking the photo!!):

The pencils in this smorgasbord range from the very basic and very black ("Zero") to gold ("Eldorado") to brights like purple ("Ransom") and green ("Graffiti"). On the other hand, using tiny, stubby pencils may not be as user friendly as the full size.

Left to right (above in the package and below swatched on my pale-skinned arm): Zero, Oil Slick, Corrupt, Eldorado, Graffiti, Binge, Rockstar, Stash, and Ransom.

Pictures were taken outside in late afternoon sun with some overhead clouds.

Zero (black) draws a thin, sleek fully black line.

Oil Slick NEW (black with silvery sparkle) drew a rather weak line, prompting me to draw back over it. It has some sparkle to it.

Corrupt NEW (dark brown) also drew a weaker line, which made me draw over to get it stronger.

Eldorado NEW is a bright gold with a metallic sheen to it. It went on opaque.

"Graffiti" is emerald green.

"Binge" NEW is a deep, dark blue. Could it be blurple?

"Rockstar" is a rich, deep dark brown.

"Stash" is a dark brownish olive green with iridescence.

"Ransom" is a lovely bright purple. I got the set out of order, as I couldn't get the top off of Ransom when swatching, so it comes last in my version. And, it seems to have broken off, hence the lack of clean line, there.

Below, the lighting best shows the sparkliness of "Oil Slick" as well as the full-on iridescence of of Eldorado (the gold) and Stash (olive, brownish green), as well as somewhat iridescence of Graffiti (bright green).

While I am at it, I've added to this comparison another 24/7 eye pencil "Covet" I got as part of a limited edition duo (duo with what? I'll get to that in a subsequent post!). Corrupt is a metallic dark green which showed up rather bluish green when I was in the outdoor light, qualifying it to go with a glitter eyeliner called "Peacock." Oops, I let the peacock out of the bag so to speak!

Below are the swatches under indoor lamplight, with "Covet" on the right.


These pencils glide on when doing swatches on my arm. So far, I have used the "Covet" dark green, and I give it two sets of eyelashes up, so to speak! As well as two thumbs. It drew on smoothly in a strong, thin line over glittery, chunky shadow. I look forward to trying these mini pencils next. I love different color combos with shadows.

At $36 for the Super Stash, are these gems worth the money? I would say so (use a coupon or discount!), but I know there are some perfectly good drugstore eye pencils in great colors. Hmm, sounds like a research project!

In the meantime, with ten 24/7 eye pencils to my name, I am still seeing more pencils on the Urban Decay website that I need to have. Yikes! But the next purchase for me will not be more pencils but a sharpener for all the pencils I have!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rescue Beauty Lounge to the Rescue!

So, last Tuesday I took part in a super exciting shopping event: a 50% off sale at Rescue Beauty Lounge!! I have a moratorium on new polish purchases right now because a) I have no cash, b) I have too much polish and need to use it before buying yet more, and c) I wanted to blow it out on the RBL sale! And I did, ordering 11 bottles of polish!

I haven't heard anything since ordering until this morning: a cryptic message saying simple that my order number was changed to back order. Huh?

Well, I wondered how 11 polishes could be back ordered, but just this evening I got a message saying the order was shipped!! It's still in those early stages, not quite yet "in transit," but it's giving Dec. 24 as the delivery date!!

Yay! Merry Christmas to me! I do hope they arrive on the 24th since I am shipping them to my mother's (and my childhood) home in Georgia, where I am spending Christmas resting and working on the house, and just finding some peace and quiet after a super busy and stressful workplace recently. If there is a delay, I might miss them and that would be a disaster to have my precious RBL polish stuck in Georgia after I return to the mid Atlantic, eek! Holiday suspense!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Khrrrrrromes! Part Deux

So much exciting polish has been released this fall that it is hard to keep track of it all. Add my discovery of wonderful past masterpieces, such as the China Glaze OMG series (omg! holo!), and even the most amazing polish can fall through the cracks.

Which takes me back to the really cool little collection of chromes China Glaze released earlier in the fall: the "Khromes." A couple of these polishes were included in the Sally Beauty Glitters and Khromes before the Khromes set was released. I did add the additional Khromes to my arsenal, so let's go back and take a look!

Left to right: Sci Fi, Robotika, 2030, HiTek

The chrome finish on these is just amazing! I would love these in more colors!! These polishes are easy to apply. Certainly, the usual caveats that I've discovered for chrome or metallic finishes apply: ridges on the nail surface show through, and it's hard to avoid streaks and visible brushstrokes. I do think, however, that the application is much nicer than many other chrome metallics, making them ideal for nail polish novices who want to take part in the metallic trend.

They are completely opaque and apply like a shiny foil! The surface on these is crisp and mirror-like.

Millennium is the beautiful silver I had gotten at Sally's. To recap, here it is again from my earlier post:

Metallic Muse is a lovely silvery blue-green:

Man, I wish my right index fingernail would grow back out to that length again!!

Sci Fi is an additional silvery polish. I've heard it described as containing lavender tones. I had a bit of a blooper applying Sci Fi so put on a second coat to try to smooth things out. It came out looking pretty nice in spite of that, shown on my current stubby index nail.

The gold polish Twenty Four K in the Sally collection was not, as I had discovered, a true chrome finish. The Khromes supplies two true chromes in gold tones: 2030 (next two pictures, below) and Hi Tek (third and fourth photos below).

2030 has an icy yellow tone, while Hi Tek has a more burnished gold tone.

Robotika is more of coppery tone. I felt I was in the zone on this one, with a really nice application. I can do it!! woo hoo.


A nice shiny metal surface can add a bit of interest and "bling" to an outfit, much like a metallic handbag! Which reminds me, what handbags do I have to match these....hmmm....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Comparison of OPI Holiday Glitter Reds

OPI really delivered on reds for the holidays this year! After I selected "Smitten With Mittens" I decided to add a couple of other glittery reds from this collection to see how they compared. (I can do such experiments when I have coupons and discounts!!)

The two reds I purchased were "Dear Santa" and "Crimson Carol." They are both bright glittery red polishes that are very, very similar. The "Dear Santa," however, has a more orange tone to the red, while "Crimson Carol" has a more raspberry pink tone. If you are looking for a bright red but have a definite preference for a cooler or redder tone, then one of these two selections could be the answer.

"Dear Santa" on left, and "Crimson Carol" on the right:

Now joined by "Smitten with Mittens" on the right, very noticeably darker than the other two.

Same order, below. All three polishes show a bunch of fine gold glitter in the bottles.

"Dear Santa" on my indexer finger.

Christmas Carol on the ring finger. I had a bit of spillage with this polish, onto the cuticles.

Let's compare to "Smitten With Mittens" on the middle finger, Dear Santa still on index and Crimson Carol on ring finger.

Outside in the late afternoon sun:

The pictures of the polish on the nails are reminding me of strawberries because of the tiny little dots showing in the polish....just like the surface of strawberries!!

It seemed that in addition to being brighter colors of about the same intensity, Christmas Carol and Dear Santa showed more sparkly and glossier than the Smitten with Mittens. Both are very pretty reds. If you like sparkly red polishes of slightly differing shades, get both Christmas Carol and Dear Santa, plus the darker Smitten with Mittens. If you have a preference for one version of sparkly red over the other, get Smitten for darker red, Dear Santa for an orange-tone red, and Christmas Carol for a pinker-tone red. All three apply well with the larger OPI brush, with two coats needed and perhaps a third for maximum coverage. Ho ho ho!
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