Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nails Inc. Franklin's Row — Swatches & Review

Nails Inc. Franklin's Row is another polish I got while I was in NYC earlier this month. This is my first Nails Inc. polish, and I took forever picking out which color polish I would try first. I picked this shimmery pink/purple/blue duochrome because it really stands out from the other colors in the display. It looks so gorgeous in the bottle that even though I know full well that I hardly ever actually wear anything besides cremes, I found myself bringing it up the register.

I like the Nail's Inc brush. I found it had just the right fullness and flexibility for easy polish application. I did three coats, but I probably only needed two.

I bought this polish at the Sephora on 5th Ave between East 48th and 49th, which is just a block from Rockefeller Center. (Yes, I was indulging in typical tourist activities! Luckily it wasn't horribly crowded that afternoon.) If you're ever in the neighborhood, I recommend going shopping in this location. This was the Charles Scribner's Sons building and it's just gorgeous. Because it was designated as a landmark, the building is preserved outside and inside. The interior has a vaulted ceiling with fancy moldings and all sorts of other pretty details. If you're like me and you have a thing for interesting architecture, you'll enjoy seeing this place. Besides, it's full of so many makeup goodies. There's even a display completely dedicated to nail polish from various brands.

You can click either of these pictures for an enlarged version. Here's the plaque on the outside of the building which explains some of its history and architectural style.

Sephora has Nails Inc. in a lot of their stores, and also on their website for $9.50. Next time I'm going to pick out a creme. Anyone have a favorite?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chanel April — Swatches, Review & Comparison

After a few days of wearing Chanel June, I had to go back to SoHo to pick up April. Something about the color wouldn't let me stop thinking about it. (Sounds insane, but I know my fellow polish fanatics understand!) So back to the boutique I went. As soon as I painted my nails with this lovely polish, I was very glad I went back for it.

April is a soft burgundy or garnet. It has a hint of brown and is slightly muted, but still a very rich color. I think it's quite sophisticated!

This shot under artificial light shows off the slightly muted tones of the color.

I don't have a lot of colors in this family in my stash. I had nothing that looked like it would be close at all, but I made a comparison anyway in case anyone finds it helpful. On my index finger is OPI Manicurist of Seville, and on my ring finger is Zoya Sofia.

Application for this polish is so smooth and dreamy. It's seriously flawless and easy. Two coats are all I needed for saturated color and a glossy finish. I've been wearing it for four days and it's holding up beautifully with only very minimal tipwear (normal for any polish). I have a feeling this polish is going to be one of my all-time favorites.

Like May and June, April is available on Chanel's website for $25.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chanel June — Swatches, Review & Comparison

I'm finally back from New York City! I am not yet skilled enough at blogging to have things scheduled to post when I go away. I hope someday soon I'll get it together for that so there won't be such long pauses.

Whenever I go to New York I can't resist making a trip to the Chanel boutique in SoHo.  This time I even went twice, and the first time I came back with June (#539). June is one of the three nail colors from Chanel's Spring 2012 Harmonie de Printemps collection. In French this means Harmony of Spring, or Springtime Harmony. The three nail colors in this collection really do look harmonious together. (On my second visit to the SoHo boutique I came back with April (#533) which I will post about tomorrow.)

June is a pastel tangerine/peach/apricot color. The formula is what really makes this color so nice. It's a cross between a jelly and a creme. I used three coats for total opacity. The first time I applied this color I did a full manicure on rather long nails. It wasn't overly difficult to control the polish, but I found it easier on shorter nails. This polish has a very nice consistency and isn't streaky at all. I think Chanel did a great job on the formula for this one. It has a very nice, glossy finish.

I took a picture after just one coat to show how nicely this polish applies. You can also see the jelly-ness of it. You can also see that the color becomes more intense after two more coats.

I compared June to two polishes in my collection: China Glaze Peachy Keen and Essie Tart Deco. Obviously Peachy Keen is a much closer match than Tart Deco. Peachy Keen is definitely quite similar, but it lacks the lovely jelly texture of June. It's also streakier and chalkier, and leans a tiny bit more pink. Tart Deco of course is much pinker.

I think this shot under artificial light shows the difference between Peachy Keen and June more obviously.

I wore June as a full manicure for about four days and experienced no chipping at all. It still looked glossy and perfect.

June, along with April and May, is currently up on the Chanel website for $25. I love the convenience of shopping online, but for me half the fun is making a purchase in the boutique where you get to experience the perfect, smooth customer service.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Glitter Gradient in Festive Green

Hello everyone! Sorry about the sporadic updates; as is typical for many of us, life gets pretty busy this time of year!

Here's a manicure that I did using the quick and easy no sponge glitter gradient method. (The how-to is in this post here.) I was partly inspired by this manicure by Sharon at Polish Infatuated. I wanted to create a festive manicure that isn't too over the top, but still has a holiday feel.

I used two coats of OPI Jade Is The New Black for the base color. It's a lovely true green with smooth, easy application. Next I added Zoya Ivanka to the bottom part of the nail, trying to fade it out at the middle of the nail. Finally I topped it off with a layer of Wet n Wild The Gold & The Beautiful for a little extra golden sparkle.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to invent some more festive holiday manicures to show you this season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

China Glaze Prize Winning Mare

Here's a polish from China Glaze's Fall 2008 Rodeo Diva collection. Prize Winning Mare is a rich gold with a strong hint of brown.  It's got complex, multicolored shimmer.

China Glaze Prize Winning Mare
China Glaze Prize Winning Mare

I used two coats and application was fairly easy. This collection came out around when companies had just switched over to the new B3Free formulas, and it has a little of that odd runny/thick texture, but it's easy to overcome those issues with a little extra attention and care.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter Review & Swatches

Hey, who got lipstick on my nail blog?!

I knew eventually the day would come when another type of beauty product would edge its way in here. You know how it is! I'm into nail polish, but sometimes lipstick scrambles my brain and I wind up buying it. Given how infrequently I actually wear lipstick, this happens all too often! But in this case, I'm glad because I really like the two Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters I picked up at CVS during a BOGO 50% off sale.

This line has 20 shades all together, but there were maybe 5 left in the display. These have been getting great reviews and hype, so no wonder most of them were gone already. Luckily for me, there were still tubes of Lollipop and Candy Apple. The packaging is cheap looking but also cute and not too flimsy.

The lipstick swivels up smoothly and locks firmly in place when you swivel it back down.

Candy Apple is a bright red with orange undertones, and Lollipop is a vibrant fuchsia with a small amount of fine glitter. It's subtle and you can't see it most of the time. I swatched each color twice on the back of my hand. The upper swatch is just one swipe of the product, and the lower swatch is three. I wanted to show how pigmented both shades are even at just one swipe.

These are meant to be a cross between lipstick and lip balm, and in my opinion they succeed beautifully. I have read some mixed reviews of some of the lighter shades in this line. I think going for the more vibrant colors gave me exactly what I wanted out of these. I found the texture very smooth and easy to work with. It really does feel buttery and moisturizing, too. These are easier for me to apply these than a full blown lipstick because these glide better and the first swipe is less intense than a traditional lipstick. Because I'm a little shy about bright lip colors (but not nail colors!) I like being able to build and control how much color is on my lips. For me, this is just the right style of lipstick to help me branch out into more exciting lip colors.

These retail for about $7-$8 at drugstores and you get .09g of product. They are not limited edition, so if you missed the temporary display, no need to worry. I've been hearing they'll be integrated into the permanent display around New Year's.