Pink Friday – A Comparison

30 Jan

Happy Monday, readers! I considered waiting until Friday to post this (for semi-obvious reasons), but I have it now, so why put it off?

Nicki Minaj, image via hiphopmvp.com

Nicki Minaj, image via hiphopmvp.com

Having a music degree under my belt, I’m a big fan of music in pretty much all of its forms. It’s pretty cool for me when beauty and music mix, say, in themed collections, but I especially love when a musician collaborates with a beauty brand. So when one of my favorite musicians, Nicki Minaj, rapped about MAC and OPI on Drake‘s “Make Me Proud,” hinting at a collab, I got a little excited. I love a female performer who absolutely gives it her all and doesn’t give a damn if people have a problem with her, whether it’s in the form of her music, foul mouth, or personal style. Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga both capture this perfectly, or at least in my opinion, without seeming manufactured. (I especially respect Lady Gaga because she writes all of her own music herself; the jury’s still out on Nicki.)

I may have mentioned here on the blog that I stayed up really late with many browsers open on the MAC website in order to get the limited release “Pink Friday” lipstick that MAC and Nicki collaborated on, so when she produced an OPI shade with the same name, I knew it had to be mine.

OPI PInk Friday Nail Polish

OPI Pink Friday Nail Polish

Here’s OPI Pink Friday, after five full days of wear with no topcoat. It’s basically a trooper of a polish. This is only two coats! They’re thick ones, I’ll admit, and I had a little bit of bubbling, but that was my fault for not waiting long enough between coats.

OPI Pink Friday Nail Polish

OPI Pink Friday Nail Polish

If you’re a regular pink polish wearer, which I am not, you’ll probably find that you have similar shades to this one in your collection. This is by no means a unique color – I mean, bubblegum pink? But hoarders know what they want. And it’s the matching set. OR IS IT?!

OPI Pink Friday Nail Polish and MAC Pink Friday Lipstick

OPI Pink Friday Nail Polish and MAC Pink Friday Lipstick

I love matching. Not mani to pedi, because it is no longer 1987, but I’ll often match my lipstick to my pants/shorts/etc. (You can thank J.Crew for this.) Or nails to purse. I get a lot of pleasure out of tracking down the perfectly coordinating color – it’s deeply satisfying. (I once read as an impressionable middle schooler that Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham matched her nails to her beverages, and this was totally confusing. Even now, I don’t understand it. Anyone willing to clear this up in the comments?) I don’t match my lipstick to my nails, but I DO need to have both of these items. And mostly, because I needed to know if they matched.

It was close, but not quite. The elusive MAC Pink Friday lipstick is bluer and brighter than the polish, which is what makes it so crazy looking (why I don’t wear it often – that, and it’s limited edition and looks exactly like St. Germain).

But when have I ever had a problem with looking crazy?

Pink Friday lipstick and nail polish comparison

MAC Pink Friday lipstick vs. MAC Pink Friday nail polish, headphone earmuffs by Juicy Couture

What do you think? Are you a Nicki Minaj fan? Would you try this nail polish? Or a lipstick like Pink Friday, its sibling, St. Germain? And how do you feel about my completely ridiculous Juicy Couture earmuff headphones?!

Check Me Out – What I’ve Been Up To

26 Jan

So I mentioned in this post that I’m super busy with my hands in EVERYTHING lately. There was one thing that I wanted to keep under wraps for a little while. I wanted to really settle in and feel comfortable where I was before I shared it with you all. I’mguest writing somewhere else on the internet! However, if any of my readers are super sleuths, which I’m sure some of you are, you might have figured it out already –

I’m currently a beauty intern for Refinery29!

I am loving my new role – I have so many writing opportunities (which is unusual for an intern!), am surrounded by so many creative, fashionable, and friendly people, and am working with a really wonderful editor. I am very happy and very, very lucky to be in such an amazing environment. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to return to editorial and I’m delighted (enthralled, really) to be back.

Another reason I waited to let you guys know about this is because I wanted to be able to have a post that I was really proud of that I could share with you – today is a weird day, because not only was an article that I am SO happy with posted, but a street style slideshow with me in the lineup happened to go live as well.

Without any further ado, me via Refinery29: Chanel’s Spring 2012 runway makeup and Street Style Winter Coats (I’m slides #18 and #19)!

PS – does that nail polish look familiar in the second link? :)

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

25 Jan

I’ve found that when packaging is especially adorable, the contents can disappoint. So far I haven’t found that to be true with Anna Sui products, and I’m happy to show you all a new one – Nail Color N 904! How did this one hold up to the test? Read on and find out!

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904 - so cute!!!

This was a gift from a friend and I squealed with delight upon opening the box – wouldn’t you? A polish bottle in the shape of a dress form?! Not to mention it’s a gorgeous shade of green. I often don’t buy greens myself – I only have one or two that I really like and I’ve managed to pick others that were very unflattering – so I was happy to receive such a pretty one.

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

When I started painting my nails, I found that the shape of the brush was very easy to work with – like a firmer OPI. The polish fumes were also far less noxious than usual, and I realized that this is because the lacquer is scented with roses. (Can you believe I’ve had two surprise scented polishes in the span of about a month?) It dried insanely fast. And the best part was that it looked flawless with only two coats! It was a really quick manicure – maybe fifteen minutes tops. I had a great time applying this polish.

Until I messed it up.

To be fair, it wasn’t my fault. The culprit, to my great disappointment?

Seche Vite!

The only thing that I felt this lacquer lacked was serious shine upon application, which is common in quick-dry colors, so I was excited to slap a layer of topcoat on top. Unfortunately, this formula didn’t react well with Seche Vite, causing polish shrinkage – a major bummer. You can see it on the tips and the sides. HOWEVER! This will not keep me from wearing this polish – I’ll just have to get Anna Sui’s topcoat! I’m sure that this wouldn’t happen with their own formula – or I’ll experiment with other topcoats of mine.

And for those of you who don’t use topcoat, this issue won’t even bother you!

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

Anna Sui Nail Color N 904

So, to recap:

Pros: Awesome brush, won’t choke you to death with its scent (in fact, I could smell the roses days later), very fast drying, perfectly opaque in two coats.

Cons: Doesn’t play well with Seche Vite. The brush was a little unwieldy, but I got over that pretty easily – I’ve used worse.

Want to try it for yourself? Find a location here on Anna Sui’s website, or call to order from the NYC store (212-941-8406). Ask for Monique or Shari!

What do you think, readers? Definitely pretty, don’t you think? Have you ever experienced shrinkage?

Chanel Graphite

20 Jan

Hey, y’all. I warn you now, this is going to be a long little doggie of a post. I know, I’ve not been around that much. I have my fingers in a little bit of everything, but those fingers are wearing Chanel. Chanel Graphite, if we’re being specific. I’ll explain later what that everything is, but for now, just check this out:

Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

So this is Chanel Graphite, which came out this fall (to bated breath, typical of any Peter Philips production). I didn’t get when it came out because I swore that after Paradoxal chipped after four days that I’d never spend $26 on Chanel’s polish again. Of course, I ended up impulse buying it while Christmas shopping. I’m weak. The worst part was that once I got home, I realized that I had Revlon‘s dupe of it (Carbonite) sitting untested on my vanity. I felt like a real putz over this (still do!) but I thought, “hey, maybe it will be my dream pewter!

Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

Chanel Graphite Nail Polish

It was not. (I’ve been on this pewter quest for a specific reason – and it doesn’t match my purse! *stomps like a toddler*) The SA at Bloomingdale’s warned me that it has a lot of green undertones, which you can see from my swatch, but his warning fell on deaf ears. If you can imagine a cartoon version of me, I had interlocking Chanel C’s for eyes popping out of my head, spring noises and all, and there was no turning back. Sigh.

At any rate…it’s a foil, but not your average foil. Predominantly dark silver, with gold and green mixed in, to give it that sea-green cast. It’s definitely stunning.

Pros: The wear has been, to my surprise, pretty great. Three smooth coats. No chipping, no cracking – it’s pretty gorgeous overall, and unique (save for the decent dupe in Revlon‘s Carbonite).

Cons: Dude. It’s $26. That kind of money is for blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, half a good foundation (ha!), brushes – pretty much anything but mascara (drugstore, guys. Drugstore is where it’s at) and nail polish. ALL NAIL POLISHES ARE THE SAME. I’m paying for the packaging, the name, and for the innovative color – and the color thing is a stretch. The ingredients are basically all the same for all makeup except skincare – and often, not even then.

That all being said, I enjoyed wearing it this week. If you’d like to buy it, you can buy it directly from Chanel‘s website (I’ve never ordered from them, but I’d expect some pretty fancy packaging in the mail), or you could get it here from Bloomingdale’s, like I did.

A NOTE on SOPA: This is a very, very important issue for our generation, especially for anyone involved in social media. SOPA would bring blogging to a screeching halt. Say a multi-billion dollar company saw one of my BRILLIANT AND SCINTILLATING (kidding!) blog posts – and say they didn’t like it because I said that it looked cheap. Or it didn’t wear well. Or that another company’s was better. You know – #sh*tbeautybloggerssay. That would be enough to totally shut down my blog. I am going to bust out my Elle Woods voice and say, “Hello?! Freedom of speech?!” And that is just not right.

One of my awesome readers and commenters, Derek, asked if I had a list (or knew of one in existence) compiling beauty companies who DON’T support these bills. Unfortunately, I don’t, but I’d love to know who out there in the beauty world is against this stuff! I checked the official list of who does support SOPA, and it seems like the biggest names in beauty, fashion, and publishing are all backing this. I doubt that smaller, more independent beauty companies would be behind anything like SOPA because blogs help get their names out there, but who can say? I’d love to know for sure. As for the bigger companies I was talking about?

Let’s just say this particular post would be shut down in a post-SOPA world.

On a less apocalyptic note! I’m not around as much because I’m going back to school in a few weeks! I’m starting a graduate program in something completely unrelated to beauty. I’m a little anxious but excited about this new endeavor. However, just because I’m a new student again doesn’t mean I’ll neglect you guys! I’ll still be here.

If anything, the reason I’m not here as much is because I’m going to be a guest somewhere else on the internet for a while. It has been an AWESOME experience so far and I can only expect it to get even greater! More on this soon.

So what do you guys think about Graphite? Chanel polishes in general? Or about SOPA? Do any of my readers support it? I’d be curious to hear why.

China Glaze Tinsel Town

5 Jan

Hey readers! I’d like to share what I wore as my New Year’s Eve manicure this year with you all. As you might guess, glitter is involved…

China Glaze Tinsel Town nail polish

China Glaze Tinsel Town Nail Polish

As soon as I saw swatches of China Glaze Tinsel Town floating around the internet, I knew it had to be mine. It’s perfect for winter! Look at that – a pewter microglitter with larger silver glitter flakes. It’s pretty magnificent…and what’s more…

Pros: It’s pretty much opaque in two coats, but I went with three to be safe. It also lasted for a solid week with no problems. Many similar colors came out this season, but it’s somewhat on the unique side.

Cons: Needed two coats of Seche to prevent grittiness. This was a pretty rough one – but that’s such a minor complaint for such a gorgeous polish!

I’m always on the lookout for pewter nail polishes, as I’m trying to match my nails flawlessly to a purse of mine (sigh…). While this is a great shade, this is not a perfect match – otherwise, however, it’s a perfect polish! China Glaze has never disappointed me with their holiday collections and they continue to delight. Tinsel Town received many compliments as I rang in the new year, and if you can still find it (perhaps at your local Sally Beauty), I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! My advice?

Wear Tinsel Town with leather pants. You won’t regret it. The ultimate fashion pairing to be sure.

Pretty New Year – My Beauty Resolutions for 2012

3 Jan

Happy New Year, readers! I can’t believe it’s already 2012! To be honest, I have no complaints about moving on to this year. I don’t know about you, but I’m in dire need of a fresh start. Do you make any New Year’s resolutions for this year? I’m pretty terrible at keeping resolutions myself, but I figure that if I make them beauty related, that I’ll be more likely to stick to them. (We all know that even if I intend to start working on my fitness, keep my room clean, or improve my math skills, somewhere around February my resolve to do any of those things will peter out.) Are you the same way? If so, here are seven pretty New Year’s resolutions that I’m going to stick with that will be good for me in the long run – some fun, some challenging – and feel free to take them for yourself!

Resolution No. 6: Play with My Hair

Resolution No. 6: Play with My Hair

  1. This may be a little gross, but I have a tendency to pick at my skin, often for no reason (i.e., even if I have no pimples). Sometimes I really can’t help myself. I’ve gotten a lot better at controlling this, but I am going to stop picking, poking, and squeezing this year. I have nice skin! I should leave it alone. (Science fun fact: this is called dermatillomania.)
  2. This is another bad one: I am not great at remembering to take my makeup off before I go to bed. Especially with the advent of so many makeup removal wipes on the market and the fact that I received a limited-edition Clarisonic Mia for my birthday this year, this is inexcusable behavior. (And the more regularly I remove my makeup at night, the better my skin will be – therefore, the less I will have anything to pick at. Good habits beget more good habits!)
  3. Moisturize with more regularity/frequency. I guess the importance of this is especially apparent to me in winter, when parts of my face (I have combination skin) are flaking off like a sfogliatelle and the rest of it is just drier than usual – but my face is the only part of my body that I give any moisturizer love to because of its high visibility. I need to moisturize my whole body ALL the time. I recently read somewhere that I should keep my moisturizer in the shower so I can apply it as soon as I towel off – and I’ve started doing that. I’m pretty forgetful, but this has worked out pretty well so far!
  4. Start an anti-aging skincare regime. I’m in my early twenties, sure, and I am very lucky that my skin is in the shape that it is, but I am getting a little anxious about my skin. I especially need to start taking care of the area around my eyes, my forehead, and around my mouth, because I am highly expressive. Related: I need to find my ultimate everyday SPF facial moisturizer. Recommendations, anyone?
  5. Switch up my beauty routine! I completely love the beauty look I have now, but sometimes I feel like I’ve taken the easy way out and that I’m too comfortable with it. I know there’s the whole adage, “find what works for you and stick with it,” but beauty is an art – and artists should take risks! I wear “crazy” lipstick shades often, but in high school I used to wear bright eyeshadow shades with way more frequency than I do now – I’m going to try to get back into doing that, at least once in a while.
  6. On a related note to the last, I NEVER experiment with my hair. I don’t mean cutting it all off, because I’ve had short hair, long hair, bangs, layers, and everything in between. My hair is ALWAYS straight, however, and I never take the time to curl it or make it wavy, so I want to play with my hair more this year. And I’ve never dyed my hair and I keep thinking about taking the plunge, or at least with semi-permanent dye – is this my year?
  7. Drink more water. You might be thinking this is an easy one, but only in the past year have I started to drink more water. I am really proud of myself about my hydration habits and this year, I’m keeping it up! I drink maybe three or four glasses a day, so I’m going to attempt to up the ante a little bit. It’s so good for the body and the skin – and I get migraine headaches, so I’m hoping that drinking more water will help them.

Okay, everyone – what do you think of my New Year’s beauty resolutions? Am I going to stick with them? Do you have any advice for me to help me keep my resolutions (I would love the help!)? Are there any on here that you are going to try to keep yourself this year?

Thank you so much for reading my blog in 2011. I’ve really appreciated all your visits and comments, and I hope you stop by in 2012!

China Glaze Party Hearty

29 Dec

Hey readers! Did you get up to anything interesting over the holidays…or perhaps get any beauty treats? I got some great new nail polishes that I’ll be sharing with you, but let me show you what I wore this week!

Orly Luxe Nail Polish with China Glaze Party Hearty Glitter Topcoat

Orly Luxe Nail Polish with China Glaze Party Hearty Glitter Topcoat

For those of you who celebrated Christmas this week, I have to admit that this manicure was too festive to keep me from wearing it just once. You may remember the lovely Orly Luxe from a recent post, but the glitter topcoat, China Glaze‘s Party Hearty, is from last year’s holiday collection, and I prefer it much more to this year’s similarly-colored glitter holiday offering from China Glaze, Twinkle Lights. TL is tightly packed red, green and gold microglitter – but Party Hearty is more of a true topcoat, and far more unique. The bottle contains primarily green glitter, with gold microglitter and large red hex glitter mixed in. To me, the large red glitter pieces look like holly berries (too adorable)!

Pros: Unique for a glitter topcoat, definitely, and long-lasting. Cornerstone on festive!

Cons: Seriously gritty without heavy coats of Seche – I found myself picking off flakes of glitter because I didn’t apply enough topcoat. I’m sure it’s very hard to find now, too…

Come on guys, what’d you get for the holidays?! I need to know! Any NYE plans?

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