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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?!

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.

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?

China Glaze Frosty and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Hidden Treasure

22 Dec

Happy holidays, readers! This week marked the start of Hanukkah and Christmas is just around the bend – so, of course, I have another holiday manicure for you.

Flake glitter nail polishes are booming in popularity right now, including Essie‘s Shine of the Times from their Holiday 2011 Luxeffects Collection. It looks like there’s even going to be a flake topcoat in the upcoming China Glaze/Hunger Games collaboration, and that shade will be called Luxe and Lush. The great thing about flakies is their transformative power – they totally change the look of whatever shade you happen to be wearing beneath. I saw tons of looks floating around the internet with flake polishes over frosty white, so what better colors to use than China Glaze Frosty and Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Hidden Treasure?

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Hidden Treasure over China Glaze Frosty nail polish

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Hidden Treasure over China Glaze Frosty nail polish

This is one of my favorite combos that I’ve applied in a while! It’s extremely glimmery – to me, it looks like snow that’s frozen over. It’s hard to capture in a photograph, but the iridescence of the flakes add a lovely dimension to the white shimmer polish. And for some reason, this manicure has been pretty much bulletproof. I’ve worn it for over a week with no tipwear or chips.

I have to say, however, that the manicure was tedious to apply, and the blame goes to Frosty – it took six thick coats to reach opacity. There are two coats of Hidden Treasure on here and my only complaint about its application is that it dried a little bit gritty (which is nothing a little Seche Vite can’t fix).

Both of these shades were limited edition, but you can find Hidden Treasure‘s twin in Essie‘s Shine of the Times. It’s available here at Image Beauty, or try an Ulta near you.

What do you think, readers? Does this look make you hope someone will surprise you with a bottle of flake glitter topcoat this holiday season?

Orly Luxe and Color Club Orna-Minted

15 Dec

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gang! I know I said that Warm and Fozzie was a great choice for all your winter social events, but I’ve got to show you this baby. After all, it’s one of my favorite nail polishes of all time. With an intro like that, how can you resist?

Orly Luxe nail polish

Orly Luxe nail polish

Meet Orly Luxe! You may remember that I wrote about her rose gold sister, Rage, a little while back. Along with their third sister, silver Shine, they are all totally stunning – and my (not-so-secret) easy way to jazz up an outfit. Just like your jewelry, these shades go with everything. Like greige, they’re the perfect neutral polish, but way more fab. They’re equally amazing with jeans and a blazer as they are with your holiday Little Black Dress. Plus, unless you work in finance or something equally suffocating (sorry?), I can see you getting away with these bad boys in the workplace.

Orly Luxe nail polish

Orly Luxe nail polish

I try not to pick favorites, but Luxe is actually my go-to of the three shades. Surprising, as I never wear gold jewelry – but the polish looks so clean and bright, does it not? It doesn’t even need a topcoat, and in fact, I prefer the finish without one – it gives more of a realistic “brushed metal” jewelry effect.

But I kind of wanted to take it to the next level.

I had a holiday party to attend last weekend and was in a crazy rush to get out of the house. And by that, I mean I had twenty minutes to get dressed, put on my makeup, switch purses, and leave. Oh, and I wanted to add a glitter topcoat to my nails. Color Club Orna-Minted handled the pressure well – and added a little surprise to the frenzy before the festivities.

Color Club Orna-Minted nail polish

Color Club Orna-Minted nail polish

As I applied a liberal coat of Orna-Minted glitter topcoat to my ring fingers, I smelled something. And it wasn’t nail polish. It was like Orbit Sweet Mint chewing gum…which has never happened to me while applying nail polish before. I was kind of afraid that I was having an olfactory hallucination, but I didn’t have time to worry about it. I did keep sniffing my nails like a weirdo. FOR TWO DAYS. (By then, I had checked and found out that Orna-Minted is a part of Color Club‘s Scent-suous Collection for this holiday season.) The scent was very strong – in a pleasant way – and lasted even under a thick coat of Seche Vite! I was impressed. The glitter is not typical, which is what drew me to purchasing it at all (I have enough silver glitter topcoats by now). The glitter shapes alternate between small glitter and large, emerald cut pieces – it looks like a bottle of diamonds!

Pros: This is, to be blunt, a bad ass manicure. Yeah, I said it. They’re total Beyoncé nails. They’re also pretty much like Kryptonite in terms of lasting power. Orly Luxe is opaque in two coats. If you’re into scented nail polish, Color Club Orna-Minted is a great one! Not only is the polish itself durable, it lasts a long time scent-wise, with a very pleasant smell to boot. Oh yeah, and this combo is super festive!

Cons: Not the most convenient removal process. Foils are definitely easier to remove than glitters, but I still use the glitter removal technique shown in this post to cut the time I’m chilling with the acetone. The glitter polish was not great to remove, especially the larger pieces. Still – worth it!

Interested in picking up Orly Luxe? You can find it here on Ulta‘s website. I got my bottle of Color Club Orna-Minted at Sally Beauty.

What do you think, readers? Is this not a great alternative to plain red or (shudder) a French manicure for the holidays? It’d look great holding a Champagne flute! Am I right?

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