Tag Archives: seche vite

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?


Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure – Silver Lining and Sephora by OPI – Too Good for Him

25 Aug

This hurricane that’s coming toward NYC means that it’s been cloudy and drizzly all day, which makes the weather neither mood-lifting nor good for taking pictures. Since my Revlon Blue Lagoon manicure chipped after just two days of wear, I had to change up my polish. I decided to go with something weather-related, but added a little something extra to boost my spirits.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Silver Lining, Sephora by OPI Too Good for Him (Ring finger and thumb only)

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Silver Lining, Sephora by OPI Too Good for Him (ring finger and thumb only)

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure‘s Silver Lining is a limited edition product from last spring.

Pros: I love the Sally Hansen CSM brushes, and I’m often pleasantly surprised by how innovative and trendy their colors are – especially the limited editions. This is an absolutely gorgeous shade – a shimmery, iridescent silver with a blue/green cast. It didn’t take too long to dry, which was particularly important during this application process…

Cons: This is four coats, which is a little annoying (though I once had the amazing patience to do seven coats for an Essie color I love). Only because of the application am I not too saddened that it’s no longer available.

Sephora by OPI Too Good for Him

Sephora by OPI Too Good for Him closeup

As you can see, I added a glitter topcoat on my thumbs (“Blackberry Bling”) and ring fingers. I was able to gradate the glitter on my thumbs, but the nails on my ring fingers turned out to be too tiny for it to work out! This color is Sephora by OPI‘s Too Good for Him, which was a limited edition color for New Year’s 2009/2010.

Pros: The color! It’s a predominantly fuchsia glitter with blue and silver glitter mixed in to a clear base. (I’d say 4 parts fuchsia, 2 parts blue, 1 part silver.)

Cons: Dry time sucked, as it often does with glitter top coats  – I’m just sitting here with Seche on top waiting for it to do some magic – but regardless, it’s still a great shade, which is why I’m bummed that it was a holiday exclusive. It also had a little bit of a shrinkage (pulled away from the tip of the nail) issue. However, SOPI still has some great glitter topcoats out that are fabulous, inexpensive alternatives to Deborah Lippmann polishes, and I recommend you check them out.

This was a fun manicure to do – despite the dry time issues with the glitter and the number of coats needed for the shimmer, I’d do it again!

What do you guys think? A little much for a weekday? Do you have either of these?

Revlon Nail Enamel in Blue Lagoon

22 Aug

Hey guys! Hope you’ve had a less-than-manic Monday thus far. I’ve been feeling kind of blue lately, so after taking off my glittery Ke$ha manicure, I went for a walk to my local drugstores to check out my options.

And came back with a blue nail polish.

Revlon Nail Enamel in Blue Lagoon

Revlon Nail Enamel in Blue Lagoon

To be fair, I’d had my eye on Revlon‘s Blue Lagoon for a while. It looks like it’s similar to Chanel Riva, a limited edition color that intrigued me, but wasn’t fabulous enough to get me to open my wallet for it. I don’t have any colors like this – blue is not one of my polish go-to shades – so I knew that I needed to check it out. The verdict?

Pros: The color is pretty unique and I definitely didn’t have any like it. It’s a pale sky blue with teeny tiny sparkles. It’s a great summer shade (another reason I picked it up)! If you’re a fan of Revlon’s Chanel dupes, this is one.

Cons: I found the polish to have an odd consistency – thick, but still runny. It wasn’t the easiest to apply, but I got away with three coats. I also experienced some slight bubbling, which was disappointing. It also definitely needs a top coat of Seche. However, I’m usually willing to put up with crummy application for a unique shade.

Blue Lagoon is limited edition, so if you can still find it, check it out. I just got mine at Rite Aid, but I’ve seen them in some Duane Reades and at CVS. It also seems that drugstore.com still has it in stock!

What do you think? Are you a fan of blue nail polish?

OPI Sparkle-icious

18 Aug

Okay, I know this is part of my Ke$ha manicure, but I can’t be alone in thinking this – who else thought of Fergie’s song “Fergalicious” when they read the title of this post? I’ve had it stuck in my head all day.

OPI Sparkle-icious was a member of the 2010 holiday collection/Burlesque collection, and like many colors in my stash, I haven’t used it since I discovered it in my stocking last December. Which is a darn shame – this polish is fabulous!

It’s small glitter – gold, fuschia, and blue – suspended in a clear base. Gold seems to be the primary color, and while I didn’t try to reach opacity, I think it’d need at least four coats to do so. I have it on over Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Black Platinum, which looks pretty snazzy in my opinion. I had been planning on adding another step to my Ke$ha manicure, but now I’m not sure – I think it looks pretty good like this.

OPI Sparkle-icious Nail Polish

OPI Sparkle-icious Nail Polish

What do you think?

Pros: OPI Sparkle-icious doesn’t give a gritty feel to the nail like many glitter polishes do. I added Seche Vite on top just because it’ll make the glitter even more ostentatious, but my nails didn’t totally need it. I bought this as a substitute to Rescue Beauty Lounge‘s glitter shades, and while I don’t have any, I think this is a pretty adequate replacement.

Cons: The glitter doesn’t apply in a particularly even way, but that’s rare in a glitter. Minor complaint.

Here’s another shot so you can see the glitter more closely.

OPI Sparkle-icious Polish closeup

OPI Sparkle-icious Polish closeup

What do you think of this polish? And most importantly, readers, I’d like your input: should I add a silver or gold crackle on top of this? Or leave it as is? I can’t decide what would be more Ke$ha-esque.

Top Ten: Nail Polishes

4 Aug OPI Black Shatter over Orly Rage Nail Polish

I must admit, this is a VERY difficult topic for me. (Though lipsticks would be even harder, which is why I’m waiting that one out!) I have close to 300 bottles of polish at this point – a very small number in comparison to Scrangie or All Lacquered Up! – which makes it frustrating to pick my favorites. But if you are a nail polish newcomer and are looking for a jump-off point, I HIGHLY suggest the following ten shades. They’re some of the best nail polishes out there, especially as they’re versatile (you can use them during any season)!

1. Essie Merino Cool and 2. Essie Sew Psyched

These are featured together because they’re from the same collection – which was a slam dunk, by the way! I think they’re a great twist on neutral. I like to wear them most in fall and in spring. Merino Cool in particular goes with everything, but these two shades look great with any outfit, from khakis and linen to tweed and classic black.

Essie Merino Cool and Sew Psyched

Essie Merino Cool (L) and Sew Psyched (R) Nail Polishes

3. OPI Ski Teal We Drop

Super creamy application and slightly unexpected on the nail, you’ll become as obsessed with this one as I am. A great fall to winter shade, but very fabulous in summer as well. And can we just talk about the brush? OPI’s nail brush makes for extreme ease of application – it hugs the nail, especially those on smaller hands – meaning you won’t need to keep applying polish to the same nail (this causes bubbles and slows down your dry time).

OPI Ski Teal We Drop Nail Polish

OPI Ski Teal We Drop Nail Polish

4. Orly Foils: Luxe, Shine, and Rage

I know I said only ten, but you can pick your favorite amongst the three. If you love gold, go with Luxe, if you’re a silver gal, go with Shine, but my favorite might be the rose gold, Rage. I consider them all to be one entity. AMAZING reflective finish, like wearing foil on your nails, and looks exceptional with a crackle polish or a glitter layered on top. You’ll wear them all year round (not just during the holiday season, which is when they’ll really shine), because they are too fabulous to not wear. They apply so smoothly, too! You can find them in Sally Beauty stores and Ulta, but also at some drugstores.

Orly Foil Nail Polish, Luxe, Shine and Rage

Orly Luxe (L) Shine (C) and Rage (R) Nail Polishes

Check it out – Orly Rage under OPI Black Shatter! How FIERCE is that?!?!

OPI Black Shatter over Orly Rage Nail Polish

OPI Black Shatter over Orly Rage Nail Polish

5. Essie Jelly Apple

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a jelly formula in this top ten. Très chic all year round, especially with a crisp white button-down (ugh, can you tell I’m missing cooler weather?), and applies smoothly and FAST. I like to do three coats, but if you prefer it sheerer, then go for two! (Due to how sunny it was when I took the picture, it showed up a little orange, but this is a true red shade. If you’re looking for a warmer red, try Essie‘s Clambake. Same finish, same ease in application, just more orange in hue.)

Essie Jelly Apple Nail Polish

Essie Jelly Apple Nail Polish

6. OPI Bubble Bath

Again, another Kardashian-suggested product, and for good reason. (I can’t WAIT for the Nicole for OPI Kardashian Kollection to come out!) If you’re looking for a French manicure-ish pink (though I strongly advise against getting French manicures or pedicures unless they’re super funky shades), this is it. Again, if you like sheer polishes, go for two coats of this and you will be head-over-heels.

OPI Bubble Bath Nail Polish

OPI Bubble Bath Nail Polish

7. Essie Lovey Dovey

This is a very Barbie-esque shade, so if you’re not into ultra-girly colors, skip this one. It’s a little too feminine for me to use in a manicure (anyone who knows me will say that’s ridiculous, but it’s true), and I think it toes the line between trashy and adorable – which is why I absolutely LOVE it on my toes! Great pedicure shade.

Essie Lovey Dovey Nail Polish

Essie Lovey Dovey Nail Polish

8. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday

You already know how much I like this shade. There’s someone in my family who likes to put glitter confetti in birthday cards – this reminds me of that, but way less messy. Super flashy! I recommend putting it over a foil, white, or black, but it’s up to you! I also advise at least two thick coats of Seche Vite on top so the nail surface feels smooth to the touch. I usually buy mine at Nordstrom, but you can get Deborah Lippmann polishes on her website, at Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, and bluemercury.

Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday Nail Polish

Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday Nail Polish

9. OPI Siberian Nights

Another über-chic shade, Siberian Nights is stunning against skin of all shades. While black will always be the new black, this super-dark purple is a way more fabulous polish option. While I am pretty rigid with my pedicures (almost only red and pink), this is a wonderful and unexpected choice for toes.

OPI Siberian Nights Nail Polish

OPI Siberian Nights Nail Polish

10. China Glaze For Audrey

China Glaze is amazing across the board, so I was torn picking a color. I don’t think China Glaze gets enough credit – they have awesome seasonal shades and a terrific permanent collection. My only complaint is that they’re harder for me to find. I get mine at Sally Beauty (luckily I have a new one of those stores!) and Ulta. Their distribution should be as widespread as Essie and OPI! Anyway, For Audrey is a great spring and summer shade, considering how turquoise seems to be trendy every year. Smooth application, though the brush is a little floppy for my taste. Looks great with white or silver anything layered on top, if that’s how you roll (Tiffany’s certainly knew what they were doing when they paired turquoise and white)! This is very close in color to a Tiffany & Co. box, but not an exact match as that color is trademarked by the jewelery company.

China Glaze For Audrey Nail Polish

China Glaze For Audrey Nail Polish

There you have it, everyone – my top ten nail polishes! Do you think that they’re worthy, or did I miss an opportunity to share an awesome polish on this list?

Essie Super Bossa Nova

3 Aug

Today’s manicure is Essie Super Bossa Nova, a member of one of Essie’s Summer 2011 collections. I didn’t expect to snap it up, as it’s more of a “typical” color. I tend to gravitate to weirder colors and finishes than this one, but I still liked it. I think it’ll make an especially great pedicure color.

Pros: Heavily pigmented polish. You can nearly get away with one coat, but I did two coats to make it perfect. Gorgeous color. Maybe not the most unique, but its shimmer (pink/light purple) made it stand out a little more. It also had a exceptionally speedy dry time. I’ve found that Essie’s dry particularly slow (ESPECIALLY their pastels), so this was a pleasant surprise.

Cons: So-so application. I don’t know if I had a strange bottle or what, but its application was kind of gritty. This led to an imperfect finish, but that was nothing that a little Seche Vite couldn’t fix.

Essie Super Bossa Nova Nail PolishGotta say, it’s hard to take a picture of your nails without your fingers looking extremely awkward. Anyway, like I said, Seche took away a lot of my fears about Super Bossa Nova – but I felt it still needed SOMETHING…

China Glaze Tarnished Gold Crackle over Essie Super Bossa Nova Nail PolishI layered China Glaze‘s Tarnished Gold crackle over it – and I think it really spiced things up! A little less Bossa Nova, a whole lot more Bollywood! It was my first time using China Glaze crackle (I’ve only used OPI’s before) and I found that this crackle works well with a thicker coat. I very much enjoyed using this crackle, and I’ll definitely use it again. I put another coat of Seche Vite on top of the gold to make it pop.

What do you think? Do you like the crackle trend? Do you prefer the Essie alone or with the China Glaze on top?

Disclosure: I purchased these polishes myself.

A Few of My Favorite Things: Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without

2 Aug

Hi there! Hope you’re all having a great day so far. (I’m personally in dire need of a caffeine infusion.) I thought I’d share my favorite products with you in this post – I’ve found that when friends approach me and ask me for recommendations, I usually turn to these items. They’re my basic, every day, must-use beauty products and tools (so no lipsticks in this post, sadly). You also won’t see a moisturizer in here, because I am on a very frustrating quest right now for a new one. But read on! I’ll be listing my faves in order of how I apply them.

Eye Primer/Shadow: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

MAC Cosmetics Paint Pot in Painterly

MAC Cosmetics Paint Pot in Painterly

I will say here and now that I credit Kim Kardashian for turning me on to this product. She doesn’t do natural eye looks often, but when she does, she uses this. I tried Painterly after reading on her own blog that she uses it, and once I did, I was hooked. (That post is no longer on her site, but you can still catch up on her faves here on Celebrity Beauty Buzz.) People are generally surprised to hear that I favor this over Urban Decay’s primer, but I do for a key reason – I use this instead of eyeshadow all the time! Not only does it grip pigment very, very well, it is quite close in color to my skintone (but better), making my eyelids look flawless. (Someone once asked me if I was feeling okay because they could see all the veins in my eyelids. It was the first time they’d seen me without Painterly on. Sigh.) A little goes a long way, and I usually apply it to nearly my entire eyelid, not quite up to the brow.

Foundation: L’Oreal True Match in N1, applied with a foundation brush

L'Oreal True Match Foundation N1 and Foundation Brush

L'Oreal True Match Foundation N1 and Foundation Brush

Anyone with a hard-to-match skintone knows how frustrating it is to find your perfect foundation. So far, L’Oreal has been my go-to. If you have fair skin with a pink undertone, you will never be lacking for foundation options, but I have an olive undertone to my super light skin. So far, I’ve found maybe five that are close enough to wear, L’Oreal True Match in N1 being the…truest match. (I found out a while ago that Dita Von Teese wears this shade too!) The key to foundation, however, is applying it over clean, exfoliated and moisturized skin – WITH A FOUNDATION BRUSH. You won’t believe the difference – it’s outrageous. I often have people asking me what my trick is to my supposedly flawless skin – this is it. The brush makes your skin look airbrushed. I only use about a capful of product on the T-Zone area of my face and under my eyes.

Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero

This may come to no surprise to many beauty fans, but this is (as of late) my liner of choice. I wish that I could find a cheaper alternative – I run out quickly as the crayon is so soft and I use it every day – so I’m currently testing some. It’s hard to find a black pencil eyeliner that is dark enough, doesn’t fade, and (my biggest problem) doesn’t print itself onto the upper lid. So far, Urban Decay has the market cornered on all of those.

Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

People seem to either love or hate this product, but I am a huge fan. I have disliked many of Maybelline’s mascaras in the past, but I feel that this one is a home run. It has an awesome brush and gives me drag queen eyelashes (my goal). (I’ve had people ask me on several occasions when wearing The Falsies if I was wearing falsies. Nope!) But not unlike most of the women in my family, I am constantly on the prowl for the best mascara – so while Maybelline’s The Falsies is the front-runner right now, there is potential for a newbie knocking it out of first place.

Blush: NARS Sin (left) and Orgasm (right)

NARS Blushes in Sin and Orgasm

NARS Blushes in Sin (left) and Orgasm (right)

There’s a reason Orgasm is such a bestseller – it looks great on everyone, and who can resist a product with a provocative name? Despite its name, it’s a fairly modest color, and I use it a lot in the summer (combined with bronzer, which I never wear year-round and thus is not featured in this post) or when I wear red lipstick, which is fairly often. A great alternative to Orgasm is Sin. Sin looks terrifyingly dark in the pan but gives you a fierce pair of cheekbones and a natural, plummy flush. I sometimes mix both so I can get the best of both worlds.

Brows: Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel or NYX Eyebrow Powder

Rimmel Brow Pencil in Hazel and NYX Brow Powder

Rimmel Brow Pencil in Hazel (top) and NYX Brow Powder (bottom)

They have since changed the packaging of the Brow Powder to add brow wax – looks like I need to upgrade! – but if I want a more natural filled-in brow, I use the powder. (I have pretty strong brows already, but I like to fill in my arches to give them some oomph.) If I really want to go all out and make my brows a focal point on my face – great with bright lipstick! – I use the pencil. You can keep them in place with a little bit of hair gel.

Indispensable Tools: Everyone needs a few extra tools to make sure their look is perfect. Sharpeners are generally the same across the board, but try to get a dual sharpener featuring a wide barrel and a normal barrel. My other three favorites (save for the foundation brush, which I’ve already mentioned) are as follows.

Eyelash Curler: Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler in Black Nickel

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler in Black Nickel

No matter how little room is left in my makeup case when I travel, I force this bad boy in. My lashes are pretty straight (I have straight hair, so that’s probably why), so I couldn’t live without this. Used in conjunction with the right mascara, the curl will hold for hours. DON’T CURL YOUR LASHES AFTER YOU APPLY YOUR MASCARA! Not only will you mess up your mascara application on your formerly flawless lashes, you can snap those suckers right off. Yup, your eyelashes can break off. Be warned. (The one above is limited edition, Black Nickel. It’s the hotness, but I’m not sure you can get it anymore. Don’t worry, they all work the same – I’m just a big sucker for packaging and limited edition stuff.)

Lash Comb: Tweezerman

Tweezerman Metal Eyelash Comb

Tweezerman Metal Eyelash Comb

I know it looks like a medieval torture device, but it’s also one of the most underused and under-recommended tools. It’s a metal eyelash comb. Most are made of plastic, meaning this one actually works and will duke it out with your mascara’ed eyelashes to get rid of clumps. (Try not to accidentally stab yourself in the eye – I’ve done it, and it hurts.)

Tweezer: Tweezerman

Tweezerman Tweezer

Tweezerman Tweezer, Breast Cancer Awareness

I have very little to say about these, because I think Tweezerman’s reputation speaks for itself. However, I will say that they come in all kinds of fabulous patterns, sizes and shapes, some styles benefit certain charities (mine is for breast cancer awareness!) and if your pair has gotten a little dull over time, you can send them in and they’ll sharpen them for free!

Bonus!: Base Coat (CND Stickey) and Topcoat (Seche Vite)

CND Stickey Basecoat and Seche Vite Topcoat

CND Stickey Basecoat (L) and Seche Vite Topcoat (R)

I originally thought I’d save these for a nail post, but I could rave about them all day. Not everyone realizes the difference a good base and topcoat are to a manicure or pedicure – I do my nails myself, and my nails very rarely chip. Sometimes it’s up to the polish formula (I sadly have problems with Chanel chipping), but I’ve found that doing your nails with these two products can keep your manicure looking great for at least five days. You might not want to use CND Stickey with very sheer shades, because if you apply it heavily it will show up turquoise on your nails, and Seche Vite tends to get very thick after several months, but otherwise I have no complaints about them and use them religiously. Seche works especially well protecting heavily designed or glittered nails.

You can get many of these products through Sephora, a MAC store, or drugstore.com, in addition to beauty supply stores. (Disclosure: I purchased all of these myself – except for the Black Nickel curler, which was a supremely awesome birthday present.)

There you have it, everyone! I totally have more products to share with you – eyeshadows, lipsticks, different color eyeliners – but these are the ones I wear every day. I hope that maybe you found a new favorite in here. Are there any makeup items or tools that you can’t live without?

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