» blanket print nails

03/16/2012

(Click photos to enlarge them.)

Collection: Spring/Summer 2012 (Butter London)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD)

I’ve already reviewed Bossy Boots (Butter London), Slapper (Butter London), and Disco Biscuit (Butter London), but I was unexpectedly sent the last two nail polishes from this collection, and figured I’d create a post with reviews for the entire collection. I know that when I search for swatches of a collection, if a blog has reviewed each shade, I’d rather see all reviews in one post vs. five different posts or something.

Anyway, I’m a big fan of the colors in this collection. They all seem so sweet, but with names like Slapper and Trout Pout in the mix, they sort of have a smirking quality among them, too. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Butter London!


Bossy Boots: This is a light pistachio green with a creme finish. Not surprising that I crave pistachio ice cream when I look at it! This is one of the “it” colors out this season. Navigate Her (Essie) is an extremely similar dupe that’s also out this season, although it is the tiniest hint darker. I am really fond of the formula for this shade. Often, with shades so light/pastel, application is really streaky, and the final manicure ends up feeling heavy on my nails, but that’s not the case with Bossy Boots. The first coat of this goes on so smooth (not streaky at all!). I needed two coats to achieve bottle color, and the final manicure didn’t feel heavy or thick on my nails at all. Such a pleasant surprise!

Trout Pout: This shade is a sweet and sunny salmon with a creme finish. When I put it next to Alicia (Julep), from afar, they look exactly alike, but really, Trout Pout is pinker and brighter, and that’s what makes me like Trout Pout more. This is the color I wanted most out of this entire collection, and I’m absolutely not disappointed! This salmon/coral shade is so versatile—you need it! It’s perfect for work, play, and everything else in-between. The formula for this shade was great, just like all the other cremes in this collection. I achieved bottle color in two easy coats. What more could you want? Maybe a matching Trout Pout lippy lipgloss? ;) Perfect for the new matching nail and lip color trend!

Slapper: This shade is a bright, punchy teal with a creme finish (this is what I call turquoise, but I know people have different ideas of what that word/color truly means). I looked online, and apparently, in Brit-speak, a “slapper” is a girl who “gets around.” Oh, my! What am I to make of the fact that this is the color I was initially drawn to when the promos for the spring/summer 2012 collection first came out? Haha! Just like with Bossy Boots, application was so smooth. This super pigmented color goes on effortlessly, and it’s so easy to create a clean manicure. Perfection! Here, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.

Disco Biscuit: This shade is a jelly-like hot pink with iridescent fuchsia micro glitter throughout. If you own Primrose Hill Picnic (Butter London), then that’s a great match for the pink of Disco Biscuit. In fact, when I picked up my bottle of Disco Biscuit at Ulta, many Primrose Hill Picnics were mixed in with the Disco Biscuits! The difference between the two, however, is that Primrose Hill Picnic has a creme finish and lacks the glitter in Disco Biscuit. I am a huge fan of the formula for this nail polish since I’m generally a fan of jelly polishes. Even though the formula is rather thin, it builds up nicely, and the finish is rather glossy, which I like. When I originally swatched this, I used two coats, but in my photos, there were bald spots all over my nails. This time around, I realized I actually need four coats to get this to look right. Looking for a dupe? Check out Gilda (Zoya), which has a thicker formula and more of that wonderful iridescent fuchsia glitter that’s so on point this season.

Knackered: This one turned out to be the dark horse in the collection for me. I didn’t realize how special it was until I got my bottle! It’s described as a “sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles.” The micro glitter is actually holographic glitter, so in my book, that makes it even better (and makes me think periwinkle blue)! Like the inside of an oyster shell, it flashes purple, blue, and green. What other nail polish could so wonderfully reflect the beach and summertime? Once I had Knackered on my nails, the first thing I thought was that Butter London took every part of my favorite nail polish shades and put them all in one bottle. This shade is magical! The formula is really sheer, though. When I first layered it on for an only-Knackered manicure, it took six coats! Sort of excessive, but just take a look at the photo above to determine whether or not it’s worth it for you. After that, the sheerness of the formula made me wonder how it would look layered, so I layered Knackered over the other four shades in this collection (in the photo above, they’re on my fingernails in the order in which I reviewed them in this post). It looked nice enough to have only one layer of Knackered over these shades, but when I photographed my nails, I realized there were a bunch of bald spots! If you choose to layer Knackered over anything, you’ll definitely want to use two coats of it to absolutely ensure you don’t have any bald spots (it’s hard to tell with all the shimmering, sparkling, duochroming, etc.). I think it looks great over all four of the shades in this collection. And doesn’t Knackered layered over Trout Pout remind you of Fairy Lights (Butter London)? All in all, I’m a big fan!


Overall, Butter London’s spring/summer 2012 collection is wonderful because the shades fit into both spring and summer looks and because there’s something for everyone here. Bossy Boots and Trout Pout look to be the chic, possibly worksafe colors; Disco Biscuit and Slapper look great for some wild summer nights, and Knackered is bottled fabuousness to bring it all home. This collection is so sweet, flirty, and adventurous—everything you’d want from your spring and summer. Butter London nailed it with this collection!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Butter London.

Anonymous said: Which treatments do China Glaze and Sally Hansen have? Those and other general drugstore brands are the only ones I buy, as I'm not a fan of Essie and don't have any OPI near me. Thank you!

China Glaze’s nail treatments are here, and Sally Hansen’s nail treatments are here.

josyrosado said: Hey I have a quick question. So I've been doing my nails every week since the new year and I'm trying to continue my goal but recently I've noticed my nails are now yellow and are peeling. This has never happened, I started out by using acetone remover but when my nails broke, I started using non-acetone, but I feel like that has made my nails worse. I want to continue doing my nails though, I removed the polish earlier tonight but I plan on doing a St. Patrick's design. Do you have any tips??

Constantly using nail polish and nail polish remover (whether it has concentrated acetone or not) will definitely negatively affect your nails, so it’s important to try to use some preventative measures if you mean to keep painting your nails frequently. I have a regular regimen now, which means my nails are naked for at least two days a week (usually the weekend). Leaving your nails naked will allow them to breathe and sort of air out. Natural oils will be restored, and it’s those natural oils that actually help keep your nails strong. I also remember to apply cuticle oil to my cuticles/nails on the days when they’re naked.

I try to do some soaks, too. Soaking your nails in lemon juice will help decrease staining. I hear vinegar also helps, but boy does it smell! And if you’re willing to buy something, absolutely try LUSH’s Lemony Flutter!

Sometimes, I leave my nails unpainted for more than a couple days, and wear nail treatments. Currently, I am totally in love with Butter London’s Horse Power Nail Fertilizer. It’s supposed to help your nails grow, but I find it has considerably strengthened mine, too. OPI’s Nail Envy is another nail treatment that is popular (I like it, but like I said, I like nothing more than Horse Power right now), and I know that Essie, China Glaze, Orly, and Julep all have at least one nail treatment within their brands, too.

Lastly, your nails are peeling because you’re most likely not doing enough to file them down, buff them, etc. This page has some great step-by-step tips for filing your nails. And the reason your nails might keep breaking is you might be trying to grow them out too quickly. Just like with your hair, they say it’s good to get regular haircuts as you work toward growing out your hair. It helps your hair stay healthy and strong. Similarly, if you want your usual nail length to be a little longer, you need to work up to it. So, start to regularly file your nails (I file mine once every two weeks). The strongest part of your nail is near the cuticle, so if you regularly file your nails, eventually, the strong part of your nail will be at the tip of your nail, and it will be easier to maintain longer fingernails.

I hope all of that helped! I had a couple anonymous people ask about peeling nails as well, so if you’re reading this…it’s basically me knocking out THREE birds with one stone. ;)

03/15/2012

(Click photos to enlarge them.)

Collection: Navigate Her (Essie)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD) per bottle

Today, I’m reviewing Essie’s spring 2012 Navigate Her collection, which was created to “pay tribute to the beautiful, ambitious woman of action… Never one to rest on her formidable charms alone, this self-made woman knows what she wants and exactly how to get it. She’s in the driver’s seat navigating her way through life with daring, wit and fashion aplomb.” I love that description from Essie! This is a collection with some real zing. There are a few traditional spring pastels in this collection, but just as many bright, eye-stopping colors, too. This collection is quite fun, and certainly fits the “daring and fun” mood Essie was going for. Read on for the reviews! :)


Navigate Her: This shade is a bright pistachio green pastel with a creme finish. Bossy Boots (Butter London) is a dupe, although Navigate Her is slightly darker. The formula for this is adequate. Application is slightly streaky on the first coat, but the problem doesn’t last beyond that. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of Navigate Her. Overall, this is a great spring color, and certainly one of the “it” colors this season. However, since so many collections have attempted their own versions of this light pistachio green, all I think when I see it is “blah.” It might be one of those colors I’ll totally fall in love with next spring. Regardless, if you’re a pastel person, this would be a great last-minute polish to pick up before St. Patrick’s Day this year!

To Buy Or Not To Buy: This shade is a creme pastel purple with lilac shimmer throughout. No matter what I did, I could not get the shimmer to photograph. This isn’t a testament to my “photography,” though…it just proves how subtle the shimmer is. I could really only see the shimmer if I held the bottle really close to my face and squinted! The subtle pop of shimmer was a good thought (a sneaky way to add some bling to an otherwise safe spring color), but I’d say it’s a bit too subtle if no one can even see it! Sadly, it doesn’t improve on the nail. Application is similar to Navigate Her, in that it’s streaky on the first coat, but worst of all, the shimmer really isn’t noticeable on the nail either. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of To Buy Or Not To Buy. If you choose to purchase this shade, I’d say it’s a classic spring color to have in your stash; however, since the shimmer doesn’t really show up, if you already own Nice Is Nice (Essie), you can probably pass on this one.

A Crewed Interest: This shade is a pastel peach with a creme finish. Seriously, all I could think about when I swatched it was a peach smoothie!! I’m generally sort of harsh on pastels since I think they just don’t go with my skin tone (perhaps not as well as other nail polish colors), but I rather liked this! It made me realize that what’s most notable about all the pastels in this collection (especially Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest) is they seem to pop. Since A Crewed Interest is such a worksafe color, I think the pop of color really adds some personality to an otherwise muted color. Again, application was similar to the other pastels in this collection: streaky on the first coat, but much smoother afterward. In the photo above, I am wearing three coats of A Crewed Interest. Overall, the reason I like this shade so much is it’s a fun worksafe color, and a great twist on the nude/neutral nail trend. If you like pastels, absolutely add this one to your stash. If you’re not really a pastels person…I dare you to add this one to your stash. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Orange, It’s Obvious: I love the name of this shade—how fun! It’s a bright, highly pigmented orange that reminds me of sunsets. And that’s probably because the shade reminds me of Meet Me At Sunset (Essie), except Meet Me At Sunset is slightly darker. The real difference, however, is that Meet Me At Sunset has a very thin formula (I think it’s possibly Essie’s attempt at a jelly), and Orange, It’s Obvious is a true creme. The formula for this shade was really easy to work with. Application is smooth, and I achieved bottle color in two coats. I like this orange because it’s so bright; any darker, and I’d be reminded of Halloween instead of sunsets!  This is definitely more of a summer color instead of a spring color, but that’s just as fine. It’s great for your fingernails, but I think this shade (and the other two brights in this collection) are even better for your toes!

Tour De Finance: I love the name of this shade, too! “Tour De Finance” is so creative (although possibly the most boring tour ever!), especially since I keep wanting to read it as Tour De France. In any case, this shade is an incandescent fuchsia with subtle pink and blue shimmer. It’s a really outspoken color, and certainly the most creative in this collection. In fact, I don’t think I own another pink like it. Application was an absolute dream with this shade. The formula is perfection, and it’s so easy to create smooth lines for a clean final manicure. I can’t say enough about how much I like the formula! In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Tour De Finance. Overall, I think it’s pretty clear I like this shade. It’s flirty and fun, which is perfect for summer parties or a day on the beach, and absolutely daring to work it in the office. I didn’t know it was possible to plan for a “filing your taxes” manicure until now…

Olé Caliente: This shade is a bright coral reddish pink (or pinkish red?) creme. In fact, it looked more like a pink than a red to me at first, so “coral” really is the perfect term to describe it. I love this shade, and I think it might be the most obvious favorite from the collection; it’s never in stock at my Ulta! The formula for this shade is similar to Tour De Finance, in that application is smooth and easy, and it’s practically effortless to create a flawless manicure. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Olé Caliente. Again, this would be a great color for your fingers and toes. It doesn’t really remind me of the spring (like I said, these brights all make me think of summer), but that’s okay. If you’re looking for a cute shade that can add a pop of color to any wardrobe, Olé Caliente is your dance partner all year. It’s a fun staple you need in your stash!


Overall, I have mixed feelings about this collection. I’m kind of “blegh” about the pastels, although I think both Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest are interesting, and might possibly seem more alluring when I’m not swamped in spring colors. I love the bright in this collection, though. They are so in-your-face and unapologetically fabulous! 

Going back to Essie’s theme for the collection, I think they succeed in creating a fun and daring collection for the ambitious woman. The shades in this collection are fashionable since they certainly go with spring and summer wardrobes (they seem so representative of a lot of what I saw from New York Fashion Week this year, too!), but even more notable is that each shade has its own personality, meaning you can wear these colors in my favorite way: based on your mood instead of your wardrobe! So, despite my mixed feelings on some of the shades, I’d still have to say Essie nailed it with this collection. :)

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Essie.

03/14/2012

(Click photos to enlarge them.)

Colors: Alicia (Julep) and Portia (Julep)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD) per bottle

I receive a Julep Maven box every month that’s specially tailored to fit my Bombshell style profile, but this month, I decided to try out the Boho Glam box instead. Read on for my review of the nail polishes and the very special organic Moroccan argan oil that also came with the March Boho Glam box this month!


Alicia: This shade is a bright and sunny coral with a creme finish. As is always the case with Julep cremes, it was opaque in only two coats, and applied easily. This salmon shade is so chic, and transitions effortlessly from work to play. I can see it being a worksafe shade to rock from 8 to 5, a flirty color to pair with a cute outfit for any spring or summertime party, and a breezy, relaxing color for your fingers and toes for those days you just want to lounge around. This shade is so versatile and unique; Alicia needs to be in your life!

Portia: This shade is really what made me switch my box this month from Bombshell to Boho Glam. Doesn’t it absolutely remind you of the beach? Honestly, it reminds me of mermaids! However, as lovely as it is to look at, I wasn’t quite as pleased with the nail polish. Portia is a sheer tropical sky blue with transparent and pastel multicolored glitter throughout. When I layered it over Alicia, the sheer blue nail polish didn’t even make an impact. It looked as though I’d layered a glitter polish with a clear base over it! Even when I layered on three coats of Portia on one of my nails, I just barely got any hints of the blue. Portia did look considerably better layered over Kristen (Zoya), though. I tried to find a blue that reminded me a little of the sheer base in Portia, and that seemed to help me pull off the look/colors that Portia-in-the-bottle made me think of. Aquadelic (China Glaze) is, possibly, an even better icy blue to pair with Portia. So, while this nail polish looks magical in the bottle, it might take a little more effort to achieve the look that it makes you imagine.

Julep Elixir: The Julep Elixir, or organic Moroccan argan oil, is amazing! You can use it for your cuticles, hands, face, hair—just about anything you can imagine. It hydrates and smooths your skins, helps to remove scars, and really just adds a healthy glow to your skin (or hair). I’ve used it on the heels of my feet and elbows for a couple weeks now, and they’re both considerably smoother now. I also use it on my face after I wash away all my make-up for the day, and use a couple drops (a little goes a long way) to rub all over my hands, too. I do this all before I go to sleep at night, and when I wake up in the morning, I feel so fresh! Best of all, the Julep Elixir is completely odorless, so after you use it, there are no funny smells to haunt you for hours afterward. This stuff is magic in a bottle, and completely worth buying. You won’t regret it!


Overall, I was fairly pleased with the March Boho Glam box. Alicia is a wonderful creme, and a shade that everyone absolutely needs; and even though Portia did not meet my high expectations, it is versatile, so I can see it being a fun addition to your stash. I think the Julep Elixir is what really made the box for me. It’s one of those awesome products you don’t even realize you need until you finally get it for yourself.


Want your own Julep Maven boxes every month? View the bottom of this entry for all the details you need to sign yourself up. And to get started, click here and use the code SHAREONMARCH at checkout to get your very first customized Julep Maven box (with over $60.00 (USD) of products) for only ONE PENNY! Treat yo’self! (Or a friend!) ;)

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Julep.

03/13/2012

Color: Twisted (Finger Paints) layered over Black Lingerie (Revlon)Retail Price: $4.99 (USD)
This flakie is from Finger Paints’ spring 2012 Special Effects collection. Interestingly, every bottle in this collection looks exactly the same with a sort of eerie, milky appearance. However, once you layer these over a nail polish color, the fun really starts! The flakies in Twisted are of various sizes and flash red, orange, green and blue, although, at a glance, the flakies seem to flash all colors of the rainbow.
The displays for this collection suggest layering these flakies over a solid black base color, and I also agree. The flakies are more apt to react against a darker background, although, layered over a lighter solid base color, they do still subtly flash some colors. In the photo above, I have one coat of Twisted layered over two coats of Black Lingerie (Revlon).
The formula for this flakie is great! Application is smooth and easy, the flakies spread evenly, and best of all, everything dries flat. Your manicure will look glossy if you top it off with a Finger Paints Special Effects flakie, and you’d only want to add a top coat over it to seal in this fun design!
I find myself wishing I’d splurged and bought some more of the Special Effects flakies while they were available in stores! Now, you can really only find them on eBay for about three or four times their original retail price! :(
If you were lucky enough to pick up a bottle from the Special Effects collection while these were on sale earlier this year, or are willing to pay the extra bucks to purchase a bottle now, I think any shade in this collection is the perfect way to add something special to any manicure—especially a darker manicure. Can you say instant nail art? A+, Finger Paints! I am absolutely impressed!

Color: Twisted (Finger Paints) layered over Black Lingerie (Revlon)
Retail Price: $4.99 (USD)

This flakie is from Finger Paints’ spring 2012 Special Effects collection. Interestingly, every bottle in this collection looks exactly the same with a sort of eerie, milky appearance. However, once you layer these over a nail polish color, the fun really starts! The flakies in Twisted are of various sizes and flash red, orange, green and blue, although, at a glance, the flakies seem to flash all colors of the rainbow.

The displays for this collection suggest layering these flakies over a solid black base color, and I also agree. The flakies are more apt to react against a darker background, although, layered over a lighter solid base color, they do still subtly flash some colors. In the photo above, I have one coat of Twisted layered over two coats of Black Lingerie (Revlon).

The formula for this flakie is great! Application is smooth and easy, the flakies spread evenly, and best of all, everything dries flat. Your manicure will look glossy if you top it off with a Finger Paints Special Effects flakie, and you’d only want to add a top coat over it to seal in this fun design!

I find myself wishing I’d splurged and bought some more of the Special Effects flakies while they were available in stores! Now, you can really only find them on eBay for about three or four times their original retail price! :(

If you were lucky enough to pick up a bottle from the Special Effects collection while these were on sale earlier this year, or are willing to pay the extra bucks to purchase a bottle now, I think any shade in this collection is the perfect way to add something special to any manicure—especially a darker manicure. Can you say instant nail art? A+, Finger Paints! I am absolutely impressed!

03/12/2012

Color: Slapper (Butter London)Retail Price: $14.00 (USD)
This shade is from Butter London’s spring 2012 collection. It is a bright, punchy teal with a creme finish (this is what I call turquoise, but I know people have different ideas of what that word/color truly means). I looked online, and apparently, in Brit-speak, a “slapper” is a girl who “gets around.” Oh, my! What am I to make of the fact that this is the color I was initially drawn to when the promos for the spring 2012 collection first came out? Haha!
Just like with Bossy Boots (Butter London), application was so smooth. This super pigmented color goes on effortlessly, and it’s so easy to create a smooth, clean manicure. Perfection! Here, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.
It was surprisingly difficult to photograph this nail polish! I tried photographing indoors and outdoors, and no matter what, the photo would look like I was wearing sky blue nail polish. Finally, I had to just do my best to edit the coloring in Photoshop. I held up my bottle next to the screen, and I think it’s a pretty close match! No idea what was going on with the photos, though! Anyone else tried photographing your Slapper manicures?
I think this would be a fun pop of color to add intrigue to any look, but it would really shine in a summertime look. Overall, I’m a big fan of Slapper—not only because I tend to love green (and greenish) colors, but because this would look excellent with all skin tones. So, get yourself a bottle, or maybe one for a friend—or both!
Disclosure: Product sample provided by Butter London.

Color: Slapper (Butter London)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD)

This shade is from Butter London’s spring 2012 collection. It is a bright, punchy teal with a creme finish (this is what I call turquoise, but I know people have different ideas of what that word/color truly means). I looked online, and apparently, in Brit-speak, a “slapper” is a girl who “gets around.” Oh, my! What am I to make of the fact that this is the color I was initially drawn to when the promos for the spring 2012 collection first came out? Haha!

Just like with Bossy Boots (Butter London), application was so smooth. This super pigmented color goes on effortlessly, and it’s so easy to create a smooth, clean manicure. Perfection! Here, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.

It was surprisingly difficult to photograph this nail polish! I tried photographing indoors and outdoors, and no matter what, the photo would look like I was wearing sky blue nail polish. Finally, I had to just do my best to edit the coloring in Photoshop. I held up my bottle next to the screen, and I think it’s a pretty close match! No idea what was going on with the photos, though! Anyone else tried photographing your Slapper manicures?

I think this would be a fun pop of color to add intrigue to any look, but it would really shine in a summertime look. Overall, I’m a big fan of Slapper—not only because I tend to love green (and greenish) colors, but because this would look excellent with all skin tones. So, get yourself a bottle, or maybe one for a friend—or both!

Disclosure: Product sample provided by Butter London.

03/11/2012

500 FACEBOOK FANS NAIL POLISH GIVEAWAY!!!

To celebrate 500 fans on Facebook, I’m hosting a nail polish giveaway! There will be TWO randomly selected winners. The first will receive Navigate Her (Essie) and the second will receive To Buy Or Not To Buy (Essie), both from Essie’s spring 2012 collection.

Click here for rules and to enter the giveaway! Note that this giveaway is hosted on Facebook—not on Tumblr. Also, this giveaway is open internationally, so everyone may enter. Good luck!

Color: Agro (China Glaze)Retail Price: $6.50 (USD)
This is another shade from China Glaze’s Capitol Colours collection, which is inspired by The Hunger Games. It is a shimmery olive green and…that’s about it! Sadly, I wasn’t really a fan, which is really strange since I love green nail polishes! The finish was really flat and uninteresting. I felt as though the shimmer should’ve added more sparkle than it actually did!
The formula for this shade is average. You’ll need a steady hand to ensure you don’t get a streaky finish. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Agro.
If you like this shade, then the good thing is that olive greens fits well in spring, but are naturals in the fall as well. I’ve looked online, and this shade is getting really mixed reviews. People either really love it or they really don’t! So, if this is a color you were looking forward to, you might want to go ahead and buy it to see if you like it more than I did. Good luck!

Color: Agro (China Glaze)
Retail Price: $6.50 (USD)

This is another shade from China Glaze’s Capitol Colours collection, which is inspired by The Hunger Games. It is a shimmery olive green and…that’s about it! Sadly, I wasn’t really a fan, which is really strange since I love green nail polishes! The finish was really flat and uninteresting. I felt as though the shimmer should’ve added more sparkle than it actually did!

The formula for this shade is average. You’ll need a steady hand to ensure you don’t get a streaky finish. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Agro.

If you like this shade, then the good thing is that olive greens fits well in spring, but are naturals in the fall as well. I’ve looked online, and this shade is getting really mixed reviews. People either really love it or they really don’t! So, if this is a color you were looking forward to, you might want to go ahead and buy it to see if you like it more than I did. Good luck!

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