Monday, April 9, 2012

Supermodel by DL


This gorgeous manicure was featured in my Engagement Pictures Round 1 (Round 1 because my fiance and I are awkward and spazy in front of the camera). I was inspired by the classic red half moon manicures sported by Keira Knightly and friends while I was watching Atonement. I swiped on a coat of OPI's Samoan Sand, which I'd venture to say is the perfect nude, and then used DL's Supermodel instead of a simple red. Not only is it one of my personal best executions of the half moon look, but this color could not possible be more stunning. The polish appears transparent in the bottle, but it only needed to coats to achieve this brilliant opacity. It's a mix between fire and blood orange that I just can't find the words to describe. This picture does show a top coat, useful for smoothing out multilayer looks, but the DL polish had a brilliant shine all on it's one. I didn't experience chipping or tip wear during the entirety of the manicure. Once again, DL has absolutely blown me away with the quality and beauty of their product. 

Rating: A+++

Warm and Fozzie by OPI

Though this manicure would have been perfectly suited for October or November, that didn't stop me from loving it. Continuing through the OPI Muppets Collection brought me to Warm and Fozzie; I think this may actually be my favorite from the entire bunch. I accented it with OPI's DS Extravagance, and it was absolutely the perfect compliment to Warm and Fozzie's gorgeous depth. Both colors stand alone as perfect shades, but the barley there glitter adds a layer of complication that plays perfectly with the light. As is par for the course with any OPI color, application was a breeze and chipping was nowhere to be seen. I can't wait to break this one out again in the Fall!

Rating: B+

Fresh Frog of Bel Air by OPI and Midnight by Love and Beauty

This was my Engagement Pictures Round 2 manicure. My wedding colors are eggplant, emerald, and sapphire, so when I dreamt up this combo I couldn't get over how perfect it was. This picture shows three coats each of the glitters covered by "Matte About You" by Essie. I used this matte top coat in order to tone down the flash a little bit so my nails wouldn't steal the show. I love the final product. This was also my first experience with the Love & Beauty brand (purchased at Forever 21), and I was pleased with the quality. The glitter matched OPI's in color, shape, size, and durability, and it was a fourth of the price! Overall, both colors dazzled me and added a fun pop to the engagement pictures (seen below!). 

Ballet Slippers by Essie

Let's start with, excuse how sloppy this manicure is. Now that we've taken care of that, I just need to say that this color lived up to my very high expectations. I've always heard that Ballet Slippers is one of those classic barely there colors that everyone needs in their arsenal. It's also widely known as one of the top bridal manicure picks. Since I'm currently planning my wedding I figured this was an appropriate time to finally take the plunge, and I'm so glad I did. You all know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Essie polishes, and this was no different. The color went on easily and was completely opaque in just two coats. This is incredible, because so often these pale colors don't really become full bodied until three of four coats in. I experienced no chipping or tip wear the entire time I wore it, and I received numerous compliments. If you're ever looking for a subtle, feminine color to complete your look, this should definitely be one of your top picks.

Rating: A

Frenzy by Sinful Colors

This honestly might be one of my top manicures ever. I began with a base of Xpress Nails "Black Out" and DL "Between the Sheets," and topped them both with the gorgeous sparkle blend from Sinful Colors. I used two coats of the glitter to really make it pop. I love manicures like this because the accent nail adds diversity, but the glitter provides unity to the look. I don't have much experience with the Sinful Colors brand, but this polish held up for a week and a half--I loved it so much that I just couldn't bring myself to take it off. I'm excited to play around with other combos for this color, and even try it solo. 

Rating: A+++++

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tart Deco by Essie

I know, it's on the first week of February and I'm already dipping into my Spring colors. It's just that when I come across colors this gorgeous, I can't help myself. I bought this gem amidst an armful of purples and glitters, but I just loved it so much. In the bottle it's almost a genuine orange, but on the nail it's much closer to coral. I'd describe it as coral-tangerine. It was hard to catch the true complexity of the polish with a picture. The application was a breeze, and only required two coats. I know Spring collections are being released by the truckload, but if you're on the hunt for the perfect Spring color, Tart Deco should definitely be in the running. 

Rating: B

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bumster by Butter London

Today's color is very dear to my heart, because it is actually my first attempt at yellow. As we all know yellows can be scary and sometimes impossible to pull off. Unless you've been blessed with a perfect yellow-friendly skin tone, finding the right shade can be a nightmare. So as you can imagine, when I found this warm golden hue I was nearly ecstatic. Butter has never led my astray before, and this was no exception to the rule. 

The color itself can be seen on my pinkie, ring finger, and thumb. My index finger is sporting OPI's You Don't Know Jacques, and my middle finger features many layers of my custom copper glitter which I layered on top of the other colors as well. The application was hassle free, and I achieved total opacity with just two coats. Not too dark, not too light, and not a single streak in sight--is this the perfect yellow, or what??

Rating: A+

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lo by Zoya

After falling so deeply in love with China Glaze's Kiwi Coolada , I knew I had to get my hands on some more neon. I'd had such a great experience with my first Zoya polish that when I came across this gorgeous color I knew I couldn't go wrong. Lo is a neon candy pink that adds an electric pop without looking cheap. The application was a piece of cake, it only required two coats and I didn't encounter any streakiness, and it wore really well. The polish as a gel quality that I love in my pinks--it gives them a great depth without being too harsh. I can already tell that there will be so much more neon and Zoya in my future. 

Rating: B+

Crushed Candy Crackle by China Glaze

I have experimented with crackles before, and I've consistently found them hard to use. This time around I determined to figure out the secret to crackle success, and I DID! Now, first things first for any crackle beginners--you can't brush over any portion of the nail that you've already put crackle polish on. This is not a multi-coat friendly nail effect. The second thing to know is that it's best to be generous. Often times if you put the polish on too thinly the crackling won't really be dramatic enough. So, you only have one chance to get the perfect amount of polish onto the nail. I've always tried to accomplish this with one broad swipe with the brush on the center of my nail. THAT IS NOT THE BEST WAY. When using the China Glaze crackle I figured out that I should start from one side of my nail and work my way across! This allowed me to completely cover the nail with two or three side by side stripes of color. This method was so much less stressful, and I LOVED the result. 

Now that we've covered method, let's talk color. This polish is very similar to China Glaze's For Audrey (which we will get to at some point in this journey). I paired it with Essie's Fall 2011 gem Powder Clutch (which we will also discuss in further detail down the road), and I adore how the two colors contrasted with one another. A huge benefit of crackle is not having to wear about tipwear or chipping, because it looks like it was intentional. That being said, I was still impressed with how well this manicure held up. I wore it for an entire week and it looked just as good on day 6 as it did on day 1. 

Rating: A+

Kiwi Coolada by China Glaze

As evidenced by the SS'12 collections we've been seeing on the runway, neon is finding popularity that it hasn't know since the acid wash days of the '80s. I love this trend for so many reasons. Neon can definitely be overwhelming, but the right pop in the right place can do wonders for any outfit. That's why I was so excited to get this incredibly vibrant neon green polish. Even though it's probably more suited to be worn poolside than in the middle of January, the break from shimmers and "fall" colors was definitely welcome. The polish itself was a little hard to work with. This picture shows three coats, because after my ideal two coats the finish was still streaky. After getting past the streakiness, it wore like a dream. I fell so in love with the color that I wore it for almost an entire week, and I didn't have to battle any tipwear. On a side note, I feel like this color is an amazing candidate for being worn matte. As soon as I try it out you guys will be the first to know what I think of the result. 

Rating: A-