Monday, January 31, 2011

Zoya Laurie

The second polish of my Zoya Facebook haul is Laurie. The Zoya website says that the intensity, with 1 being sheer and 5 being opaque, is a 3, but I'm not buying it. Laurie is a sheer baby pink that would probably be better for someone that wanted to actually wear it sheer. I am not that person, and it just wasn't fun trying to make it opaque.

The formula is a squishy jellyish creme, but it's tough to build it up to opacity without it getting streaky. This is definitely better worn sheer.

Above is four coats. There is nothing wrong with this polish, and it isn't streaky at one coat, but the more I tried to build it up, the thicker and heavier it felt. I'll be putting this polish up to swap, because, like I said, it's a nice polish, but it's just not for me. I need full nail coverage, thank you haha.
i received these products in a promotional offer. see disclosure policy for more information.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obnoxious Valentine's Day Mani

I don't get Valentine's Day. I just don't. Some people LOVE it, and that's cool, but the concept is lost on me. I love people every day of the year...I don't love them more on February 14th.

So here is my crazy attempt at a Valentine's Day mani. I got a little carried away...I also kind of don't like nail art. Every once in a while I can dig it, but most of the time I stay away from it.


Started out innocent enough with Orly Blushing Bud...



And then Orly Liquid Vinyl showed up to the party...



And then Nicole by OPI Step 2 the Beat of my ♥ crashed the place, got drunk, and barfed all over the place.


So...yeah. Haha I don't know what else to say about this except that I don't quite care for it. Well, actually, I like it better on the computer than I did on my nails. Do you guys do nail art for holidays?
some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

Orly Livewire

Orly Livewire is the first of three polishes that I received in a swap with Toes That Twinkle!. I keep calling it ''Limewire'' by accident. Livewire. Livewire. Livewire.

Just know that before you see this pictures, this polish is neon. Like I colored my nails with a highlighter or something. The color in the pictures is accurate--just picture them more neon, though.


Also, this neon has shimmer. I like that. Above is three coats and although it doesn't seem like it in the picture, you definitely have visible nail line. Ick. Soooo...layer it over white!



Way better. I don't know why it looks all blotchy, though, because in real life it doesn't look like that haha. This is two coats of Livewire over two coats of OPI Alpine White. Also, I suck at layering stuff over white.



To try to capture the neon-ness, I took a picture in my nail under the desk and no flash. It kind of gives you an idea of how bright it is.


The formula on this one is sheer, but not streaky. Theoretically you could put on coat after coat and reach the bottle color, but it would take probably six or seven at least. And it kind of makes my hands look red, but that's okay. I like this color, and I'll probably wear it as a pedicure shade. Thanks, TTT! :)


Interested in a swap? CLICK HERE!
these products were given to me in a swap. see disclosure policy for more information

Poll: Should I use a topcoat in my swatches?

Some bloggers like to use a topcoat in their swatches and some don't. My philosophy has always been to show each polish ''naked,'' as in no topcoat or anything, unless I've stated otherwise, so that the reader can see what it's really like. If a polish is bumpy or gritty, I always note that using a topcoat would be good. However, what do you think? Would you like to see the polishes as they really are, or with a topcoat?


Should I use a topcoat in my swatches?

Here I have Zoya Astra, shown with and without a Seche Vite topcoat. Which do you prefer?
i received these products in a promotional offer. see disclosure policy for more information.

Zoya Astra

A while back I showed you guys one-finger swatches of the three Zoya polishes I got in the Facebook promotion. Today I have a better look at Astra:

Astra has a clear pink base and dark pink, magenta, and a few silver glitter particles. It's similar to China Glaze Ms. Claus, but more pink and less red. Above is three thick coats and no topcoat.



With two coats of Seche Vite. And, removal is not as bad as I thought it would be. Bonus points!

Now, there is a lame little story behind this polish; I chose it because it's the same color as this glittery pencil my teacher gave me in fourth grade for being nice to the new kid and showing him around the school. And I loved that pencil. And then I dropped it one day, and my teacher stepped on it on accident, and it shattered, like it was made of glass or something. I was picking up shards of glittery wood for like ten minutes. But anyway, when I saw that Zoya had a polish the exact color of that pencil, I laughed. And then bought it. Does that make me a little kooky? You don't have to answer that. :D
i received these products in a promotional offer. see disclosure policy for more information.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A ''Wine'' Comparison: Orly Thorned Rose vs. OPI Just A Little Rösti At This

I love me some wine colored polishes, folks. They flatter a wide variety of skin tones and they look chic as hell. Check out these two and see what you think: Orly Thorned Rose and OPI Just A Little Rösti At This.

L: Orly Thorned Rose and R: OPI Just A Little Rösti At This

The base colors are similar, but you can see that Thorned Rose is a tad browner.

After three coats, Thorned Rose is more purple and JALRAT (haha) is more red. Thorned Rose has a good formula, but the OPI creme formulas are impeccable. Either way, you can't lose.

these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

OPI Introduces New Sorbet-Style Lacquers for Spring/Summer 2011

I just wanted to pass this information along about the new Sorbet-Style nail polishes OPI is cranking out, starting with their Texas Collection. Read the press release for that here.

Turn on the Heat with Icy Finishes! 
From the company that brought revolutionary nail textures like matte, suede, and Black Shatter to women around the world, OPI announces a new special finish – semi-transparent sorbet shades. Featured first in the Texas Collection by OPI for Spring/Summer 2011, these lacquers give fingers and toes a lightly glossed appearance.
“These sorbet-style formulas for nails will be in full swing by 2012, but women can get a jump start on this trend with colors in the Texas Collection,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “Unlike thicker creams or light sheers, these twelve shades are slightly translucent – similar to the look of icy, water-based sorbet!”
From sea blue and berry pink to tangerine and bright peach, the Texas Collection features classic American colors.  Designed to complement trends from the runway, these candy-coated lacquers accessorize the season’s must-have neutral pieces.
“To achieve the desired effect, an initial coat of Nail Lacquer should be applied to all ten fingers first – without doubling up coverage,” explains Suzi.  “Be sure to start from the pinky finger on one hand and paint through to the pinky on the other hand; then, after the first coat has dried, apply a second coat.'' OPI Nail Lacquer shades contains no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and each includes OPI's exclusive ProWide Brush for the ultimate in application.
For more information, please call 800-341-9999 or visit www.opi.com. Follow OPI on Twitter @OPI_PRODUCTS and become a Facebook fan!

So what do you guys think? I'm not quite sure what this formula change will mean, or if it's permanent, but I'm interested in testing it out! Also, doesn't it sound just kind of luscious, the idea of sorbet-finish nails? No? Maybe it's just me. Anyway, what do you think?

OPI Texas Collection Preview

I don't know much about Texas, except for the stereotypes, like the ten gallon hats and big belt buckles. I'm eager to see OPI's interpretation of the Lone Star State. Read the color descriptions and see if you are, too!



San Tan-tonio
A “honey” of a ten-gallon tan!

Suzi Loves Cowboys
But she loves this campfire chocolate shade s’more!

It's Totally Fort Worth It
A shimmery lavender grey that’s so worthy of you.

Don't Mess with OPI
A lean, mean, kick-grass forest green.

Austin-tatious Turquoise
Cowgirls love this bodacious blue-green.

I Vant to Be A-Lone Star
You won’t want to share this starry Texas-sky blue.

Y'all Come Back Ya Hear?
This Texas tangerine will be waitin’ for ya!

Big Hair...Big Nails
A rosy pageant peach.

Guy Meets Gal-veston
An “engaging” coastal coral.

Too Hot Pink to Hold 'Em
A red-hot pink-red that deals a winning hand.

Do You Think I'm Tex-y?
A “berry” sexy bloom of Dallas dahlia.

Houston We Have a Purple
A galactic red-violet that’s ready to ''rocket roll!''

With the collection inspired by the second largest state in the nation (that's right, I know things! haha) comes a new formula by OPI, the Sorbet-Style lacquer.

Texas Collection by OPI will be available February 2011, at Professional Salons, including Beauty Brands, Beauty First, Chatters, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Pure Beauty, Regis, Trade Secret, and Ulta, for $8.50 ($10.95 CAN) suggested retail for each Nail Lacquer. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nicole by OPI One Less Lonely Girl Collection--The Second Part Preivew

Can you even handle it, folks? Can you? Nicole by OPI will be releasing a second part of the One Less Lonely Girl Collection, inspired by Justin Bieber. Personally, I'm excited, because Me + Blue and One Less Lonely Glitter were enough to make me squeal with delight...not literally of course. Ahem.


The One Less Lonely Girl Collection was conceived to raise awareness for Pencils of Promise, an organization that builds sustainable schools for underserved children in the developing world. In addition to educating consumers about this non-profit, Nicole by OPI has committed to building two such schools.


There are eight new additions to the collection:

''Baby'' Blue
A sweet light blue that totally loves you

One Time Lime
A vibrant lime that's worth your time

I'm a Belieber
This popular purple has quite the following

Red-y to Runaway Love?
Run away with this riveting red

Make U Smile
Mood-boosting bunches of silvery glitter!

I've Got Beiber Fever
This dark gorgeous plum is super contagious!

Not a Gold Bigger
A genuinely glamorous gold that you'll never take for granted

My Lifesaver
Go overboard in color with this soft mint green!




The polishes will retail for $7.99 and will be available in January at Walmart and February at Target, Sears, ULTA, and other retail locations.


More information on Pencils of Promise can be found here.

Sinful Colors Pretty-in-Pink Collection

Sup yo? Today I have three of the Sinful Colors Pretty-in-Pink Collection, which is cool, because Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Kind of. Not really, now that I'm looking at my calendar.

Guys, not to be a Negative Nancy--and yes, I did just use that expression, thanks--but these polishes gave me a few problems. Check out the pics below, por favor!


First up is Beautiful Girl, which is actually brighter than the picture shows, but just slightly. We're not talking neon here. I like the sweet, girly melon-pink color, but the formula was chalky and hard to work with, so I had to use four coats on my ring finger to even it all out. 3 coats, with the exception of one finger.



Pink Forever is a punchy pink. Again, just slightly brighter than the picture would suggest. Its formula was also chalky, but less so than Beautiful Girl. 3 coats.



I was kinda bummed about Glass Pink, because I had hoped it was opaque. The base is a sheer baby pink with gold shimmer. Very pretty layered, though. 3 coats, and excuse my almost-bare nails.



Layered over OPI Alpine Snow, Beautiful Girl, and Pink Forever.


Again, not to be harsh, but I didn't have a very good experience with these polishes. The formula was hard to work with and the end result was quite streaky. It also took a while to dry and, let's face it, the colors are not terribly original. Maybe someone with a steadier hand will have better luck.

some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

The Chanel Polish Mystery has been solved!

A few days ago I asked you guys--begged, really--to help me figure out which Chanel polish I was thinking of. Read my groveling here.

Got some suggestions, and Elizabeth at The Lacquered Lizard was correct:
 it's Chanel Cry Baby!

How do I know? Well, Li Lian from shortwidenails looked through her Seventeen magazines, and confirmed it:

Gorgeous, right? Unfortunately, it's sheer and doesn't appear like it does in the picture, but MYSTERY SOLVED, folks! So if you know of a polish that looks on the nails like Cry Baby in the picture, tell me tell me!

Thank you to everyone who helped, especially Elizabeth and Li Lian!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Makeup Alley

Lots of you gals use MakeupAlley (a.k.a. MUA) and I just wanted to post my username. Just, you know, in case you need to contact me via MUA I guess.

auroradowse

Also, I finished my lightbox! Now if only I had some damn nails to paint! The nubby-nub-nubs are startin' to grow out, folks! Slowly but surely.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Coral Comparison: BB Couture Tequila Sunrise vs. Essie Chubby Cheeks

Fun fact: Only five people from my ''real'' life know about my blog.

Down to business: right now we have BB Couture Tequila Sunrise and Essie Chubby Cheeks, two gorgeous coral polishes. Seriously, I love the color and these babies are no exception.

Left is Tequila Sunrise and right is Chubby Cheeks, one coat each.

Three coats each. Chubby Cheeks really only needed two, but I threw a third on there for comparison's sake. Tequila Sunrise has an orange shimmer and Chubby Cheeks is a creme, but their base colors are super similar, if not identical. It all comes down to which finish you prefer.

Also, sorry my fingers are all torn up :/
some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's talk bottles...

I couldn't for the life of me come up with a better title. But, yes, this post is about polish bottles. My feelings aren't hurt if you completely blow this post off haha. Also, to everyone who has sent me get well soon wishes, I want to thank you so much. Each and every one made me smile. I am starting to feel better--my fever broke in the middle of the night and I woke up drenched in sweat. So much so that I thought I'd wet the bed! Okay, TMI! TMI. But the point is, I am on my way to recovery from whatever this nasty bug is.

Oh, yeah. Nail polish. I was thinking about it and, how much attention do you guys pay to the different bottles different brands have? Do you even notice? And, if so, what kind of bottle do you like? PS: when you haven't had the strength to leave your bed for a few days, you start to wonder about these kinds of things! :D

What is your ideal polish bottle? I know some people LOVE the Nfu-Oh bottles, with their cute corset tops.
www.fabuloustreet.com

I personally think the Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes are very modern and chic.
www.rescuebeauty.com

The Np2 Beauty bottles are pretty funky, because they contain two parts: a topcoat, and the polish.
www.np2beauty.com

For example, I used to hate the Orly bottles. Hate. Don't know why. The rubber cap just bugged me. But they're tough bottles (I drop things a lot) and the rubber cap is actually very handy, so I guess it just grew on me. The BB Couture purple top makes it stand out from all my other bottles, so that's kind of cool. And I adore the Essie bottle, with the cute white top and the name sculpted in the glass. I still don't like the Nicole by OPI bottle, though. It's just...weird.
From L to R: Nicole by OPI, Zoya, BB Couture, Orly, OPI, China Glaze
From L to R: Color Club, Nailtini, Entity (Spring/Summer), Entity (Fall/Winter), Essie, N2p Beauty (w/o the topcoat)

So what do you think? Do you even care about what kind of bottle you're using?





Do you notice the shape of the bottle?
Which brand's bottle is your favorite?



Oh, and the polishes in this post are:
Nfu Oh 556
Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie
Np2 Beauty Electromagnetic
Nicole by OPI Me + Blue
Zoya Jo
BB Couture Blue Bahama
Orly Ginger Lily
OPI Cuckoo For This Color
China Glaze Awaken
Color Club Catwalk Queen
Nailtini Velvet Fizz
Entity Pearl Fuchsia
Entity Brown Plum
Essie Mint Candy Apple
Np2 Beauty Atomic

some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One badass Shatter mani!

I am still sick as a dog, but I wanted to post this mani from a few days ago. I know I showed you guys the fabulous combo that is OPI Black Shatter Topcoat over China Glaze Millennium, but here it is in a full mani.

And before you look, just know that my nails are looking FUG. Like, just awful. Crappy nubbins that aren't even cute because they aren't all the same length. My cuticles are trying to take over the world. And I got a little crazy with the Seche Vite so there's top coat all over my skin, but yeah.


some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

I was an eight year old Jersey Girl...

Sorry for the lack of real posts and swatches recently. Now I'm battling a fever, cough, ect. but if I can't really leave my bed and if I don't do something, I might lose my mind. Secondly, my nails look seriously crappy at the moment. Soon, though, I should have up the China Glaze Anchors Away! Collection, which is available for a giveaway, as well as some swap items that are coming soon! If you are thinking of entering the giveaway, make sure to read the clarification, please!


Anyway, I dug up this little gem in an old photo album at my house over Christmas. I found that classy ensemble in a TJ Maxx with my mother and I HAD to own it. I was living in New Jersey at the time, and my best friend A and I were simply obsessed with being ''Joisy Girls.'' I guess that meant super long press-on nails (which we applied in secret, lest our mothers find out!), dancing around like maniacs to Aqua's Barbie Girl (and later on, the song Jersey Girl), and having a penchant for flamboyant outfits and animal print (see left.)

We were also die-hard Spice Girls fans, and I had to own a shirt that said GIRL POWER, like the junior high girls did, but that's another story for another day.


Nowadays, I reside in North Carolina, but back in my military brat days, I wanted to be a guidette. Tough, too, because I'm about as Irish as they come.


And now, just to brighten--or ruin--your day:








Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Color Club Alter Ego Collection Preview

I could have sworn I posted this, but maybe I accidentally deleted it? Anyway, I know you guys have seen this before, but I am pumped for this collection! Pumped, I say!


Alter Ego!

Color Club lets you create high-fashion looks for every identity with Alter Ego, their latest collection of diverse, long-lasting lacquers!

Alter Ego’s consists of 12 shades! Go incognito with our opaque shades or rendezvous in full view with our sheers of Alter Ego ‘LIGHTS’ and ‘DARKS’!

Alter Ego’s ‘Reveal Your Mystery Collection’ 7 piece salon pack includes Get a Clue, Revealed, Incognito, Secret Rendezvous, Sheer Disguise, and Give Me a Hint shades plus Milky White Base Coat. Their ‘Keep It Undercover Collection’ 7 piece salon pack includes Alter Ego, Secret Agent, Total Mystery, Alias, Ulterior Motive and Masquerading plus Vivid Top Coat. 




So who's excited for this collection? Because, um, I AM! I know I rave about Color Club every time, but I just think they are so...awesome. Haha. Which polishes catch your eye? Honestly, I'm eager to see all of them! The collection will be released 15 February 2011!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sinful Colors Pretty-in-Pink Collection Preview


SINFUL COLORS INTRODUCES A PRETTY-IN-PINK COLLECTION
Perfect for Valentine's Day
                             
Love is in the air, romance is in bloom and pink is paramount. Welcome February 14th, a day marked by kisses, sweethearts and flirting, of course. This year, treat your tips to a Valentine’s makeover, coating them in a feminine, delicate, or dynamic shade of pink. From bubble gum to baby doll – and everything in between – Sinful Colors has the best array of pink polish to pretty-you-up for the big day.

The 6 loving shades in the collection include:
Pink Forever: Bazooka meets Bam-Bam to equal beautiful.
Beautiful Girl: Classic ballerina with a flirty finish.
Glass Pink: Sheer, shiny, shimmer-happy bliss.
Boom Boom: Magenta-infused pink, which pops on toes and tips alike.
Scandal: No-nonsense neon, slick and sensational.
Soul Mate: Muted peachy pink with a melon twist.



Help me? What polish am I thinking of?!?!?!

Oy to the freakin' vey, folks. I have been racking my brain for years--yeah, years!--trying to remember the name of this Chanel polish I saw once in Seventeen magazine. Then I realized, duh. I am surrounded by nail polish addicts. Maybe one of you guys can point me in the right direction, if not help me figure out which polish I'm thinking of!

It's a Chanel polish. Shimmer, maybe glitter. The color is kind of a coral pink with orange shimmer? Maybe it's slightly holographic? I can't think of the name!

It was in Seventeen, the October 2004 issue. Katie Holmes is on the cover. If you have ANY idea, PLEASE let me know! I would be forever in debt!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Don't forget to share your nail/beauty tips with us!

Don't forget to leave your nail and beauty secrets here!

To see past beauty secrets, click on the Beauty Tip of the Week archive!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I've been tagged!

There are some sweethearts out there, because I've been tagged for the Stylish Blogger Award! Thanks so much to Katie, Carissa, and the Varnish Vixen!
EDIT: The Navilventuress and Nail Crack also tagged me! You guys are makin' me blush here!




So these are the rules to the award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!





Okay, seven things about me...


1. I am terrified of garbage disposals. I just...bleh! I feel like I'm going to get my hand stuck in there or something. My dad ran it yesterday and I had to leave the kitchen! Haha. Wonder how many followers I'll lose once they read how crazy I am!


2. I love to watch tv. Love it.


3. When I was born I had a TON of black hair and yellow skin (jaundice, okay? It's normal for newborns! haha...) My dad has said that if he didn't see the actual birth, he would have thought that the doctors had given him the wrong baby.


4. I love makeup and fashion, but I don't have the time/patience to go shopping or get all dolled up. I basically just have a ton of jeans and sweatshirts.


5. I have fabulous friends from Sweden that have inspired me to try to learn Swedish. I already know the important words: kåt, full, gräsa...haha.


6. My blood type is O negative.


7. I adore Broadway. When I was younger I was determined to be a star in all the musicals. I can't really sing, though, so it didn't work out.




Alrighty, now who am I tagging? I'll tag...
1. Never Unpolished
2. Lextard
3. GingerKittyDesigns
4. Scandalously Polished
5. Nihrida
6. Bright Lights, Big Color
7. The Hungry Asian
8. Narc's Nails
9. Black nail polish and lip gloss
10. alizarine claws
11. Acetone Nail Blog
12. !Kendal
13. Kiss My Acetone


Whew! Now I'm off to bed, folks! See you in the a.m.!

My 3 Facebook Zoya Polishes!

A few days ago I asked you guys which three polishes you picked up in the Zoya Facebook offer. Well, here are the swatches of the ones I got!


Astra is a pretty pink! It has a clear base tinted pink, and pink and silver glitter pieces. There's a reason why I bought this polish, but I'll explain it when I do a full swatch, which is hopefully soon!



Jo is a gorgeous periwinkle blue with shimmer. Not dusty, but not bright. Loves it!



And then there was Laurie. Laurie is a sheer creme pink, with a kind of jellyish texture. Above is three coats, and you can kind of see nail, but it's not awful. Also, you MUST wait until each coat is dry, otherwise it screws up the previous coats completely.


Like I said, maybe one day I can actually have real swatches of these. :D What do you think?

i received these products in a promotional offer. see disclosure policy for more information.

I Swap!

Yes, yes I do! I swap. So take a look at my new page at the top, appropriately named Swap.

Look at my wishlist here and see which polishes I'm willing to swap here. I'll update these lists as often as I can,   so check back soon!

Interested? Email me at auroramermaid@yahoo.com!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playing around with OPI Black Shatter

Who I likes crack? I do! Okay, lameass joke, and it's been done, I'm sure. BUT, I layered OPI Black Shatter over a few more polishes, so see how you like them! More to come :D




Over Last Friday Night. It actually looks pretty cool in real life. I'm trying to get a clear shot!



Over Teenage Dream. This one also looks pretty cool in real life.



Over China Glaze Millennium. You smell that? Is something on the stove? Oh, yeah, it's AWESOME SAUCE! I completely adore this look. The metallic polish just pops out from behind the black cracks and the contrast is awesome.


For those that have it, what have YOU tried it over? Any particular polishes you would like me to layer it over? Tell me!!!
some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

Reader's Requests: Layering!

Guys, I am SO behind on answering comments it's not even funny. I'll get right on it as soon as I have time to sit down and reread all the ones that need responses! Comments make me so happy, guys! Thank you so much!

And again, sorry for these crappy one-finger shots...I need some Miracle-Gro for my nails or something!

Brittany from Brittanys Beauty wanted to see Color Club Untamed Luxury over a teal or blue. I chose to layer it over China Glaze Shower Together, and it looks awesome, especially in person!




The Narc wanted to see OPI Teenage Dream over a midnight blue hue, so I chose my beloved OPI Russian Navy. I would never have thought to put the two together, but I like the end result!


Don't forget, if you guys have any requests, let me know! If I have the polishes, I'm happy to swatch them for you!!!


some of these products were sent to me to review. see disclosure policy for more information.

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