» blanket print nails

11/10/2013

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Collection: Summer 2013 PixieDust (Zoya)
Retail Price: $9.00 (USD) per bottle

I hurt my arm over the summer, which meant I couldn’t swatch anything for a few months. Now that I’m good as new again, I’m going to be posting some summer collections in the next few days. Get excited! :)

Anyway, this was my first time trying Zoya’s PixieDust formula. I’m pretty iffy on textured nail polish in general, but I actually like PixieDust! The sugary texture is smooth and uniform, so you get the benefits of a textured manicure without having to worry about the final look appearing like a mess. Best of both worlds!

Check out the end of my review for details on application and wear.


Destiny: This is a red-orange coral with gold glitter throughout. It photographed a bit more orange than it actually is. Looking at the bottle, the color actually reminds me of the inside of a grapefruit, which definitely echoes the summer vibe of this collection.

Beatrix: This is a bright tangerine orange with gold glitter throughout. It looks perfectly citrusy for summer, but now that I’m looking at it, I think it looks kind of pumpkin-y, too, so it can carry into fall as well. I love it when nail polish is versatile!

Solange: Simply put, this shade is yellow/gold. In person, there is quite a lot of dimension to it because the nail polish is a bright yellow, while the glitter throughout is a darker gold. If you want to rock some PixieDust at work, Solange is probably your best bet.

Miranda: This is a rosy berry pink with silver glitter throughout. It actually appears darker in the bottle, which had me thinking it didn’t really fit with the rest of the shades in this collection, but on the nail, it is quite bright!

Stevie: This is a soft lilac with silver glitter throughout. I liked it so much more than I thought I would. Lilacs like this shade usually have a “dusty” quality to them that I tend to not like, but the “dusty” quality here is in the form of glitter, which nicely shakes things up!

Liberty: This is a bright electric blue with silver glitter throughout. The base was also a little jelly-ish, and overall, the nail polish is pretty pigmented, so you might get some staining on your nails because of that. Liberty is my favorite from this collection. Perfect pop of color for chilling poolside or making a statement wherever it is you’re going this season!


For the most part, the formulas for all these shades are pretty consistent. I am wearing two coats of nail polish in all my swatches. Dry time is actually quicker than ordinary nail polish, but not that quick (you can spot a little smudge on my middle finger when I checked too soon in the Destiny swatch!). And the PixieDust formula is slightly thick, but in spite of that, application is pretty easy—just make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat (otherwise, you’ll get some pull, which will ruin the manicure because everything will just get chunky and awkward).

I wore Liberty on my nails after I finished swatching, and I was worried the manicure wouldn’t last very long without a base or top coat, which is how this nail polish is supposed to be worn; however, my manicure lasted a full week!

Destiny, Beatrix, and Solange are a perfectly citrus-y trio that scream summer to me, while Miranda, Stevie, and Liberty are not so obvious about it (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!). Overall, this is a great summer collection, but am I the only one wishing for a green in the mix, too?

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Zoya.

(Source: blanketprint)

11/08/2013

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Collection: Modern Family Holiday (Nicole by OPI)
Retail Price: $7.99 (USD) per bottle

This holiday season, Nicole by OPI is releasing five dazzling limited edition nail polishes inspired by Modern Family


Late Blu-mer: This is a medium blue with silver microshimmer throughout. OPI describes it as “vintage blue jeans that have stood the test of time,” which I just love! That’s my opinion on all medium to dark blue nail polishes; like jeans, blues magically look lovely on everyone. Out of the shimmers in this collection, application for Late Blu-mer is easiest, and in the photo above, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.

Who Red My Journal???: (Can’t you just imagine Alex or Haley shrieking the name of this nail polish?) This is a burnt red-orange with microshimmer throughout. It is interesting because the color shifts from red to orange, depending on the lighting, so it would be a great color to where as the season changes from fall to winter. Application for this shade was a little streaky, so take your time with this manicure, and I achieved opacity in two coats.

You’re My Treasure: This nail polish features large diamond and hex holographic gold glitter in a clear base. It was frustrating trying to get the diamonds onto my nails, but other than that, application is pretty good because every brush stroke brings with it a fair amount of glitter. In the photo above, I am wearing one coat of You’re My Treasure over two coats of Who Red My Journal???

Spark the Conversation: This nail polish features square holographic silver glitter in a clear base. Application is a little tricky because it was hard to get the glitter onto the brush and then onto my nails, but this one still ended up being my favorite out of the bunch. It makes me think of confetti from a New Year’s Eve party! In the photo above, I am wearing one coat of Spark the Conversation over two coats of Late Blu-mer.

Aren’t Families Grape?: (Who can hear Phil saying the name of this one?) This is a deep royal purple with red and purple microshimmer throughout—absolutely gorgeous and opaque in two coats. Application is similar to Late Blu-mer, except the formula here is slightly thicker, which makes application a teensy bit more difficult. Because of that thicker formula, drying time is a little longer, too (otherwise, you will get some pull near the cuticle upon applying a second coat).


As a whole, this collection honestly doesn’t scream holiday to me. I can see it with the glitters, and I suppose the shimmers echo what the glitters are on about, but the colors seem more fall than holiday. Maybe something green would make this seem more holiday-ish?

In spite of that, the shimmers are all jewel tones, which I find flattering on all skin tones, and the glitters are just so fun! The Modern Family Holiday collection is clearly cohesive with all that sparkle, but it is also varied enough that everyone will be able to find at least one appealing nail polish in this bunch. (Can you say stocking stuffers?)

Late Blu-mer, Spark the Conversation, and Aren’t Families Grape? are my favorites out of this collection. How about you?

Disclosure: Product samples provided by OPI.

(Source: blanketprint)

11/01/2013

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Collection: So So Skullicious (OPI)
Retail Price: $18.95 (USD) for the mini 4-pack + nail decals

The concepts for OPI’s mini 4-packs are so fun, and So So Skullicious is no different. This set actually came out in fall 2012, but I’ve seen them on sale again this year. Definitely a must-have set to add a lovely pop of color and style to your Día de los Muertos festivities!


Hi, Pumpkin!: This orange creme is literally the color of a pumpkin. It looks brighter in the bottle; upon application, it actually looks a teensy bit lighter and brighter. The formula for this shade is a little on the thin side, so I needed three coats to achieve full opacity.  Regardless, application is smooth and easy. This is such a fun, bright fall color!

A-Rose from the Dead: OPI calls this hot pink, but I always picture hot pink being a little closer to neon. To me, this looks like a berry pink. It is a creme, but the formula is slightly jelly-ish, too. The color is nicely pigmented, and I was able to achieve opacity in two coats. The berry undertones make this a great shade for the fall, but pinks are always in, aren’t they? I love it when a nail polish shade looks great all year. :)

Mourning Glory: This is a basic black creme—an absolute staple in any nail polish stash. Mourning Glory has the best formula in this mini 4-pack. Application is practically effortless, and it is opaque in two coats. Yet another shade that is good all year!

Candlelight: This is a bright mustard yellow creme. I’m usually not nuts about yellows, but Candlelight has enlightened me. ;) Unfortunately, the formula isn’t so great; it is way too thin! Moreover, application is frustratingly streaky, which meant I needed three to four coats to achieve opacity. Candlelight has this lovely warm yet bright quality to it that makes it perfect for fall, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if the formula is worth the trouble.


The great thing about this mini 4-pack is it also comes with nail decals! Instead of using them all at once, I would suggest using a couple/few on accent nails. That way, you can make them last for more than one manicure!

Overall, I’m very pleased with So So Skullicious, and I love all four colors (even if I don’t love the formula for Candlelight). I normally wouldn’t put these colors together, but now that I see them here, they really do make a nice set, don’t they? Amazing, creative, and fabulous. A+, OPI!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by OPI.

(Source: blanketprint)

03/29/2013

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Collection: Lovely (Zoya)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD) per bottle

This is the spring 2013 Lovely collection from Zoya. It contains three fresh blooms of cream and three dewy metallics. These colors are perfect for the spring season (and Easter weekend!), and add a great pop of color to any look. Read on for my thoughts on this collection!


Jacqueline: This shade is a light beige creme with warm yellow undertones. It’s a great nude for skin tones with similar warm undertones, and a work-safe shade for all. Application is smooth and easy, and is opaque in only two coats.

Neely: This shade is a muted and dusty light green. Zoya claims it is a perfect “vintage” shade, and I have to agree! I always love green nail polish, so this was no exception. Great formula, and opaque in only two coats. No complaints here! Looking for a dupe? Check out Bossy Boots (Butter London), which is slightly brighter.

Blu: This shade is a soft baby blue creme. I’m not sure if I go a wonky bottle or if it’s because I took my photos under the sun, but my photo makes this shade look a bit brighter than other swatches I’ve seen. At first glance, it reminded me of Kristen (Zoya), but it’s not nearly dusty or dark enough! The closest dupe I own is Borrowed & Blue (Essie), though Blu is not quite as bright. The formula for Blu was a teensy bit on the thick side, and was opaque in two coats.

Julie: This shade is a dewy lilac shimmer. I was going to describe it as dusty at first, but when it reminded me of No More Waity, Katie (Butter London), I compared the bottles, and Julie is so much brighter! It seemed like a lie to call Julie dusty. In any case, I liked this purple so much more than I thought I would; I think it’s a nail color that would look flattering on many skin tones. Additionally, the formulas for the shimmers in this collection are so easy to work with. Application is forgiving, and I achieved full opacity in only two coats.

GeiGei: This shade is a cheerful cherry blossom pink shimmer. It’s a good fit within this collection, but I think you could find a dupe for it just about anywhere! Still, this is a great pink for spring, and an easy color to match with several looks. Once again, the formula for this shade is easy to work with, and GeiGei is opaque in two coats.

Piaf: According to Zoya, this shade is a “forsythia yellow metallic.”  Forsythia flowers are gorgeous, but I don’t think this shade is bright enough to do the flower justice! And it has slight metallic tendencies, but I’d call this a shimmer before a metallic any day! Still, I really love Piaf. This soft, dusty yellow makes me think of powdered gold dust. It’s got this dreamy quality to it that’s perfect for work or play, and doesn’t quite match anything else in my stash. Once again, I only needed two coats for full opacity. Definitely a keeper!


Out of the cremes, I especially like Jacqueline, but I think that’s because I find it looks great with my skin tone. And out of the shimmers, Julie and Piaf are the winners because I was surprised by how much I ended up liking them on my nails!

Overall, I really love this collection as a whole. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of pastels, but I like these colors because they are not too washed out and because the dewy/dusty quality lends the collection a sense of uniqueness missing from other similar nail color collections.

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Zoya.

07/02/2012

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Collection: Heavy Petal (Jessica Cosmetics)
Retail Price: $7.50 (USD) per bottle

This is the spring 2012 collection from Jessica Cosmetics. It contains three pinks and three purples, which makes it rather adorable at first glance, but I think the “petal to the metal” theme in the nail polish names makes these shades cool enough for a rocker chic manicure as well. Read on for my thoughts on this collection!


Dazed Dahlia: This shade is a bright berry creme that leans slightly toward fuchsia. It seems somewhat ordinary, but the formula for Dazed Dahlia sets it apart. Application is practically effortless, and it was opaque in only one coat! As lovely as this is on nails, personally, I think it’s even better on toes during the summertime.

Witchy Wisteria: This shade is a dark plum creme with subtle reddish orange shimmer that really helps it to fit in with the “rocker” theme in this collection. The formula for Witchy Wisteria is great; it’s very pigmented, and is opaque in two coats (although this was almost a one-coater). I absolutely love how this sparkles in the sun, so again, I think this one’s even better for the summer season.

Hotter Than Hibiscus: This shade is a silvery pink frost. Honestly, I’m not crazy about frosts because the application process is generally a nightmare due to streakiness. However, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised because the streakiness wasn’t too bad for this shade. The formula was rather good since, compared with other frosts, it was easier to create a smooth manicure with Hotter Than Hibiscus. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.

Geranium Gypsy: This shade is a silvery lilac frost. Unlike Hotter Than Hibiscus, the formula for this shade confirms all the reasons I typically dislike frosts. Application is really streaky (you can see my brush strokes quite well in the photo above)! And although the formula is a bit too thin for my taste, I needed two coats of nail polish to achieve bottle color. In any case, if you like frosts, this shade (or Hotter Than Hibiscus) would be a great staple for you because the pastel-ness fits in with spring, but I think the gleam from the frost makes it a cool (or frosty?) touch for summer or winter, too!

Rolling Rose: This shade is a light, almost white baby pink with blue shimmer. It’s no secret that I dislike pastels, but I feel as though the fact that it looks almost white makes me like Rolling Rose a bit more than I anticipated! Color me pleasantly surprised. :) Regardless, the formula for this nail polish is a little on the thick side, which made application slightly tedious. I am wearing three coats of nail polish in the photo above. Looking for a dupe or a similar shade that you’re more likely to find in your local beauty store? Try Kim-pletely in Love (Nicole by OPI), which is included in the Kardashian Kolor “Celeb-bitties” Nicole by OPI mini pack!

Born 2 Pansy: This shade is a pastel lilac with blue shimmer; it’s basically the lilac version of Rolling Rose. I’m disappointed that the shimmer doesn’t really show up (not even in the sun), which just makes it way too similar to all the other pastel purple cremes that come out every spring. Like Rolling Rose, the formula for Born 2 Pansy was a little on the thick side as well, and I needed three coats to achieve bottle color. Looking for a dupe? Check out To Buy Or Not To Buy (Essie).


I love the darker, more saturated Heavy Petal shades, yet as the shades get lighter, the less I like them! So, my favorites are Dazed Dahlia and Witchy Wisteria, and even though I don’t like frosts, I’m willing to give a nod of approval to Hotter Than Hibiscus because it’s not as streaky as most frosts I’ve experienced. Another great thing about the darker shades in this collection is I think they’ll transition effortlessly into the fall, too.

In essence, I have mixed feelings about this collection, but I suppose that might be because there is something for everyone here. That’s pretty close to a win/win, right? You be the judge!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Jessica Cosmetics.

06/21/2012

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Collection: Love & Acceptance (Essie)
Retail Price: $8.00 (USD) per bottle

Love & Acceptance, Essie’s 2012 bridal collection, “celebrates brides who are confident and want to have fun with color, yet with a nod to tradition.” It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of pastels, so it takes a lot for pastels to impress me. Read on to find out what I think about this collection!


Love & Acceptance: This shade is an “ultra-chic creamy, dusty lilac.” It immediately reminded me of To Buy Or Not To Buy (Essie) from the spring 2012 collection, but Love & Acceptance is a slightly greyed out version of it and doesn’t have the lilac shimmer to go with it. Then, I was reminded of Nice is Nice (Essie) from the 2011 bridal collection (I’ve used the shade in some nail art, but for some reason, I never swatched it for yall—apologies!), but Nice is Nice is more saturated than Love & Acceptance. Here is a photo of To Buy Or Not To Buy, Love & Acceptance, and Nice is Nice all lined up next to each other. Overall, I am conflicted because all three purples are annoyingly similar! I suppose if this purple is your jam, then you could warrant owning all three; otherwise, you probably don’t need to drop everything and get this shade. As far as the formula is concerned, I highly approve; it’s not streaky at all, and I was able to achieve bottle color in only two coats!

Like To Be Bad: This shade is a “semi-sheer reflective pink” creme with fuchsia shimmer. The shimmer looks fun and unexpected in the bottle, but I was sad that the shimmer didn’t appear on my nail at all! The formula for this shade was a little on the thin side, and I needed three coats to achieve bottle color. This sweet pastel will perfectly complement any blushing bride!

Who is the Boss: Essie describes this shade as a “freshly-minted cream green,” but I don’t get that at all! For starters, my bottle looks more like a greyed out, muted green creme, and on my nails, there appears to be a tinge of blue there, too! I was quite excited about this color (I love green shades), but in the end, I was just confused. What’s supposed to be happening here with the color?! Fortunately, Who is the Boss has the best formula out of all the shades in this collection, and was opaque in an easy two coats.

Instant Hot: This shade is a “white rose creme with glistening stardust,” according to Essie. And by stardust, Essie is referring to the slightly holographic silver shimmer. Because of the holo shimmer, I was sure this shade would be stunning outside (which is where I took all my swatch photos), but Instant Hot suffers from the same problem as Like to be Bad—the shimmer completely disappears once the nail polish is on my nails!  With the shimmer not working for me, I’d say this ends up being the most conventional color of the bunch. The formula was also similar to Like to be Bad, and was opaque in three coats.


As you can see, I took my swatch photos outside, and I think the sun sort of washed out these pastels. Like to be Bad and Instant Hot look nearly identical! That’s unfortunate, considering many spring/summer weddings take place outside.

Essie boasts that these shades are “pure fun and a little unexpected,” but I’m not feeling it. If anything, pastel is very expected when it comes to bridal collections (and some might argue pastels are even more expected coming from Essie). I thought the shimmer in Like to be Bad and Instant Hot looked great in the bottle, but that’s sort of useless if I can’t see it on my nails! Essie’s verbiage to describe this collection makes me think the collection had potential, but the end product does not live up to the hype. I still love you, Essie! But maybe you’ll try harder to impress me with next year’s bridal collection…

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Essie.

06/04/2012

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Collection: Sailing in Sardinia (Priti NYC)
Retail Price: $12.50 (USD) per bottle

Priti NYC’s spring 2012 Sailing in Sardinia collection consists of four blue nail polishes, inspired by ”Sardinia, a Mediterranan island right off the coast of Italy, where the blue of the sky melts into the blue of the sea.” What a beautiful description!

I actually already reviewed Partridge Breast and Hardy Plumbago earlier, but now that I have Spring Gentian and Cherry Ingram, I thought I ought to post all four shades together in a cumulative collection review. Enjoy!


Spring Gentian: This shade is a shimmery royal blue jelly. It’s my absolute favorite out of this collection, and I think it would be flattering on any skin tone. The best thing about Spring Gentian is its formula; though it’s a tiny bit on the thin side, application is smooth and forgiving (as with all jelly polishes!). In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Spring Gentian; however, you can see a bit of visible nail line (and that line that runs down the nail on my ring finger), so I’d say three coats is what you really need for full opacity.

Cherry Ingram: This shade is a slightly shimmery aqua creme. I think Cherry Ingram most closely resembles what I imagine when I think of vacations at the lake or afternoons at the pool, so this is perfect for summertime! The formula is pleasantly pigmented, and it applies surprisingly opaque for such a bright/light color. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of nail polish.

Partridge Breast: This shade is a blue-tinged teal with bright green shimmer. It almost looks like a duochrome, but it’s really the green shimmer just doing its thing. Photos honestly don’t do this color justice! It is gorgeous, and completely reminds me of the sea. The formula for this shade is so easy to work with. I expected application to be streaky since that’s been my experience with similar shades, but that’s not the case. In fact, when I was applying a second coat of this color, I could hardly tell the second coat apart from the first! All that basically means application is forgiving. In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Partridge Breast. Looking for a dupe? Ocean (Revlon) and Megan (Julep) both come pretty close!

Hardy Plumbago: This shade is a sky blue creme with darker pieces of sky blue glitter throughout. The concept for the Hardy Plumbago formula reminds me a little of Flying Dragon (China Glaze), although with Hardy Plumbago, the blue glitter doesn’t show up on the nail as much as I would’ve liked. As you can see in my photo, the glitter is so much more prominent in the bottle. The glitter in the formula makes application a little tricky. I had a harder time than usual forming clean lines/curves for my manicure. Moreover, the glitter in the formula makes for a rough-looking final manicure. You will absolutely need to finish up with a top coat to make your manicure look smooth! In the photo above, I am wearing two coats of Hardy Plumbago.


I love the concept for this collection. Not only is each color great for spring or summer, but I think non-navy blues are creeping back into focus, so Priti NYC is totally on point. I find blue nail polishes are a bit like the blue jeans of nail polish; they look good with everything!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Priti NYC.

05/30/2012

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Collection: Vintage Minnie Mouse (OPI)
Retail Price: $8.50 (USD)

I am so excited to review OPI’s summer 2012 Vintage Minnie Mouse collection. I think I’ve waited my whole life for this! It’s a tiny little collection, but it really packs a punch. It fits right in with the bold, vibrant colors that are trending this summer, and it’s also a collection you’ll want to come back to every year for Valentine’s Day, too!


The Color of Minnie: This saturated red frost speaks for itself; it absolutely resembles the shade of red most commonly associated with Minnie Mouse. I am such a fan of how this looks on my nails (in fact, I wore this nail polish to my graduation last week!). Application was really easy. Here, I am wearing two coats of nail polish, but this shade is actually so pigmented, you might even be able to get away with one coat!

If You Moust You Moust: When I first saw this shade, I thought it was a dupe for Pink Friday (OPI), but it isn’t at all! It’s a bright fuchsia with a creme finish (whereas Pink Friday is simply a light pink creme). I was pleasantly surprised with the formula because it was slightly on the thin side, but actually applies very smooth and opaque. I needed two coats to achieve bottle color.

I’m All Ears: This is my absolute favorite shade from this collection! It is a magenta shimmer with jelly-like qualities. I’m All Ears is super saturated, but due to its jelly-ness, I thought I’d need to layer it on to get any action. Not true! This shade was opaque in an easy two coats!

Nothin’ Mousie ‘bout It: I was most excited to try out this confetti/glitter polish, but I’m sad to say my experience with it wasn’t that great. The formula is sort of thick, it dries sort of bumpy, and you’re lucky if you can even manage one heart per nail. I almost wish the hearts weren’t in this polish because the light pink glitter is so pretty on its own. In any case, I’ve layered two coats of Nothin’ Mousie ‘bout It over I’m All Ears (middle finger), If You Moust You Moust (ring finger), and The Color of Minnie (pinky finger), and I used a toothpick to fish out hearts for these swatches. I think this combination looks great with the saturated red and pink, but I don’t really like it over If You Moust You Moust because the color of the confetti hearts too closely resembles the color of the creme nail polish. Overall, this confetti/glitter polish is cute in concept, but it ended up being a pain! Nonetheless, I know I’ll put up with it whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around!


For the most part, this collection lived up to my expectations. My favorite thing is that even though it’s such a tiny collection, every kind of awesomeness a nail polish can provide is in it: there’s a frost, a creme, a shimmer, and a glitter/confetti. I love the names for each shade, too! And regardless of the fact that Nothin’ Mousie ‘bout It is a bit of a high-maintenance nail polish diva, I would still recommend buying it because I think it’s unique (especially compared with the kinds of glitters OPI typically releases).

This limited edition collection will be available beginning June 2012.

Disclosure: Product samples provided by OPI.

05/20/2012

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Collection: Blooming with Color - Brights (Salon Perfect)
Retail Price: $2.98 (USD)

Salon Perfect is helping us bring some color into spring this year with 14 new shades in their limited edition Blooming with Color collection. If you need to ease yourself into the warmer weather, then you might enjoy the sweet pastels in the first half of this collection; if you’re completely over winter, the saturated brights in the second half of this collection are perfect for you!

Since there are so many shades in this collection, I will only review the Blooming with Color brights in this post; you may find the pastels in my previous post.

Salon Perfect’s Blooming with Color collection is available in Walmart stores starting May 2012.


Spicy Tomato: This shade definitely reminds me of the color of tomatoes. It has a creme finish, although I think it’s sort of jelly-ish too because it ends up looking kinda juicy, if that makes sense! The formula for Spicy Tomato is my favorite out of this entire collection (probably because I love jelly polishes). It’s practically effortless to apply, and the long Salon Perfect brushes make creating a clean manicure so easy. I needed two coats to achieve bottle color.

Tangy Tangerine: When I put this bottle next to Spicy Tomato, the difference is so subtle! But on my nails, the difference is definitely more obvious, as you can tell from the side-by-side swatches in this entry. Tangy Tangerine is technically a creme, but it has the same jelly-like qualities of Spicy Tomato. Once again, I really like the formula, application was great, and it was opaque in two easy coats. 

Sour Apples: I really like Sour Apples, but that’s a given because I’m generally a fan of green nail polishes. Salon Perfect describes this shade as a “true blue-green,” but it reminds me more of mint green than apple green. In any case, it’s definitely the alter-ego of Blue Mint (Salon Perfect). The formula for Sour Apples is a little thinner than most of the other shades in this collection, though. I needed three coats to achieve bottle color.

Blue Raspberry: This shade is a “vivid azure” with a creme finish. It’s one of the colors that always reminds me of sunny days and lazy weekends, so I think it’s a perfect addition to this collection. Moreover, I think the blue nail polish trend is catching on, so I’m sure many people will be pawing at this shade. The formula for Blue Raspberry is a little on the thick side (the consistency reminds me of China Glaze cremes), but surprisingly, that didn’t cause any problems during application. I needed two coats of nail polish to achieve full opacity.

Plum Sorbet: First of all, I don’t understand the name for this shade; it’s way too bright and light to be a plum! Anyway, from afar, Plum Sorbet looks like a magenta creme, but up close, you’ll notice it has some very subtle shimmer throughout. It is similar in color to Pretty as a Portrait (Finger Paints), but the shimmer makes Plum Sorbet unique. Within a collection of mostly cremes, this shade certainly stands out, but its formula is like an added bonus. I’ve basically needed two coats of nail polish to achieve bottle color for all my Salon Perfect swatches in this collection, but Plum Sorbet is a one-coater! Color me very pleasantly surprised!

Berry Pink: This shade is a saturated, highly pigmented hot pink with barely-there shimmer. It’s another one of those fun, girly colors that reminds me of summertime, and I think it’s perfect for your tips and your toes! I think the shimmery shades might have a significantly different formula because just like with Plum Sorbet, I only needed one coat of Berry Pink for full opacity. Berry nice! ;)

Bubblegum: I know I’ve said this a lot, but this is yet another shade that is accurately named; but I really mean it when I say it about this color. When I was a kid, any time my dad drove me anywhere, it meant I got a piece of the bubblegum he used to always keep in his jacket pocket. Considering I immediately thought of that memory when I saw this shade, I’d say the name is a total match! Salon Perfect, however, describes this shimmery creme as a honeysuckle pink. Perhaps that’s fitting, but honestly, honeysuckles only ever make me think of yellow! (Maybe I have Bath & Body Works to thank for that, lol.) Interestingly, I didn’t expect to like this color for some reason, but I’m glad it ended up being the dark horse for me because now that I’ve swatched it, I just love how it looks on my nails! The formula for this shade is also slightly thick like the other two shimmery shades in this collection, but due to the lightness of the pink, I ended up needing two coats of nail polish instead of the one I needed for Plum Sorbet and Berry Pink.


Now that I’ve swatched and reviewed both halves of this collection, I can say with conviction that the brights are my favorite. The pastels are interesting shades, but not enough of them actually qualify as pastel in my eyes, and the brights are just so much more cohesive as a group.

Despite my personal preference for the brights over the pastels, I think this collection is great. The variety of colors makes it appealing to just about everyone, and overall, I think these are excellent nail polishes for a really inexpensive price. If you liked any of the nail polishes you saw in part one or part two of my review for this collection, I think it’s definitely work purchasing them for yourself or a friend (or both!).

Check out my previous post for part one of this review, where I swatch the Blooming with Color pastels!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Salon Perfect.

05/19/2012

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Collection: Blooming with Color - Pastels (Salon Perfect)
Retail Price: $2.98 (USD)

Salon Perfect is helping us bring some color into spring this year with 14 new shades in their limited edition Blooming with Color collection. If you need to ease yourself into the warmer weather, then you might enjoy the sweet pastels in the first half of this collection; if you’re completely over winter, the saturated brights in the second half of this collection are perfect for you!

Since there are so many shades in this collection, I will only review the Blooming with Color pastels in this post; you may find the brights in my next post.

Salon Perfect’s Blooming with Color collection is available in Walmart stores starting May 2012.


Perfectly Peach: This shade is perfectly named; peach is exactly what I think of when I see this color. It has a creme finish and reminds me of a lighter version of Tart Deco (Essie), though honestly, I like Perfectly Peach much more! Sometimes, I have a difficult time swallowing pastels because I find them too light, but I like that this shade isn’t too dark or too light—it’s just perfect(ly peach)! ;) Application was a little tricky because the formula for this shade was on the thick side, so the first coat ended up really streaky; fortunately, everything smoothed out by the second coat.

Lemon Zing: This shade is a sunny, saturated yellow with a creme finish. I’m not really sure why it’s chilling with the pastel half of this collection, but oh well! Lemon Zing reminds me of Sun-Sational (Ulta), although I think Lemon Zing has a better formula, which makes it worth buying. Application was smooth, and the shade was opaque in an easy two coats. 

Kiwi Lime: This shade is a light lime with a creme finish. At first, I thought it was out of place with the pastels, but I think the lightness of this shade is what makes Kiwi Lime a pastel instead of a bright. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this shade. It’s one of those colors I like in general, but never imagined I’d want to wear on my nails…until now! The formula had perfect consistency, so application was great; I needed two coats to achieve bottle color.

Blue Mint: As you can see, my bottle mysteriously arrived without a label! It was basically a process of elimination to figure out that it’s Blue Mint. Again, this shade is accurately named. It sort of reminds me of mint ice cream because it’s so cool and icy, but it has a blue tinge to it that keeps it from being a true mint. I love how this color looks on my nails; it’s so cheerful, if that even makes sense. Application, however, was an absolute nightmare. Considering mine was missing a label, maybe my bottle was just from a bad batch, but the formula was so ridiculously thick (a bit like what happens when you accidentally leave a bottle of nail polish open for a few days or something). Thank goodness I had Seche Vite to smooth out the two very lumpy coats that ended up on my nails. I’ll obviously need to douse this in nail polish thinner before I use it next, but I guess it’s a testament to how much I like this color that I’m willing to put up with that!

Berry Blue: When I first put this shade on my nails, my immediate thought was that it’s the exact periwinkle blue I imagined Hermione Granger’s Yule Ball dress to be in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the book!). I may be biased, but I rather love this shade for that reason alone! It has a creme finish, and I really liked the formula as it’s on the thinner side, which made application very easy. The color was opaque in two coats, but because of the thin formula/light color combination, you may be tempted to add a third coat. This one’s a keeper for me!

Purple Sorbet: This lilac creme is another that has me wondering why it’s grouped with the pastels. Compared to the other purple-ish colors labeled as brights, Purple Sorbet is certainly less bright, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s adequately pastel. Still, it looks rather cute next to Berry Blue and Blue Mint, doesn’t it? So, I suppose the pastel half of this collection is more cohesive with Purple Sorbet included. Still, I really like this color. It’s not quite a bright and not really a pastel either, so I like that unique middle area it occupies. The formula was good and application was easy; it was opaque in two coats.

Lavender Icing: This nearly white lilac creme is the only shade I think truly resembles what I typically imagine to be pastel. Of course, the fact that it’s nearly white is what makes me dislike most pastels! Nearly-white pastels just makes me think of people who only use salt to flavor food. What about other spices and herbs?! Haha! Anyway, Lavender Icing’s saving grace is its formula. I thought the first coat would be streaky, but it wasn’t at all. The thin formula went on smooth, and application was flawless. If you’re a fan of typical pastel shades, this color might be for you!


This collection was my first time trying Salon Perfect nail polish. There were definitely shades I really loved, and some that I really didn’t (for various reasons), but for the most part, it turned out to be a positive experience. One thing I do rather like is the Salon Perfect brush. It’s skinny like Essie brushes, but the bristles are much longer, which makes it easier to create straight lines for a clean manicure.

Check out my next post for part two of this review, where I swatch the Blooming with Color brights!

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Salon Perfect.

03/16/2012

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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.

03/15/2012

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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.

03/09/2012

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Collection: Nicki Minaj (OPI)
Retail Price: $12.50 (USD) for the mini 4-pack

This is my first time purchasing one of OPI’s mini nail polish packs. I come across them often, but for the first time, the Nicki Minaj 4-pack had every color from this collection that I wanted. Perfect! And funnily enough, I think it might be due to a packaging error! Here is a photo of the package I bought. The glitter, Save Me, is actually labeled as Metallic 4 Life. I googled other swatches of the 4-pack, and it looks like other people really did receive Metallic 4 Life in their Nicki Minaj 4-packs. Strange…but I’m not complaining! I rather like Save Me, so I’m happy. :)


Did It On ‘Em: This is a perfect chartreuse green with a creme finish. I absolutely love the color! It’s a bit like someone juiced a highlighter and mixed in some lime—daring and fun! The formula was a little thinner than I had hoped, though. It took me four coats to achieve bottle color. This shade is perfect for spring or summer, or any time you’d like to make a statement. Better yet, be inspired by the chartreuse dress/bold red lip trend many celebrities are pulling off by painting all your nails with Did It On ‘Em, and using a bright red creme for your tips!

Fly: This is a highly pigmented aqua teal with a creme finish. It’s bright and unique, and makes me wish I was sitting poolside in the summer! The formula for this shade is stellar; it’s opaque in two coats, and goes on smooth and easy. Fly deserves a spot in your stash because its naturally cool blue hue makes it a welcome pop of color in your winter and spring looks, and the “zing” from the pigmented teal makes this perfect for summer. As wonderful as this looks on my nails, I actually think it’s a color I’m going to be using for my toes this summer!

Pink Friday: If you’ve ever wondered what bubblegum pink looks like…this is it! This is the third creme in the Nicki Minaj collection. The formula is a little on the thin side, but not as thin as Did It On ‘Em, since I was able to achieve bottle color in three coats. I didn’t think I’d like it so much, but the pink has such a vibrance within that makes it stand out from other pinks. It’s a little too bright to be a pastel, and it’s definitely not desperately reaching toward any reddish hues. Pink Friday is a perfectly flirty pink that’s great to bring out any time of year!

Save Me: This nail polish features silver glitter and holographic bar glitter, all suspended throughout a clear base. It’s absolutely the most versatile of all the shades in this collection. You can pack on the layers for a truly blinged out final manicure, or you can layer one coat of Save Me over any nail polish to add some sparkle to an ordinary manicure (or to wake up a manicure midway through the week). In the photo above, I’ve layered it over the three cremes in this 4-pack, and honestly, I think it looks great over each shade. The holographic bar glitter really helps with that since it flashes all shades of the rainbow, meaning Save Me looks wonderful layered over absolutely any bright creme. As far as I’m concerned, this one’s a must-have, and my favorite from the mini 4-pack!


My favorite thing about this mini 4-pack is it’s the perfect gift—for yourself or for a friend! The colors are lively and unique, which inspires my favorite kind of nail polish use—based on mood and not on wardrobe! Feeling spunky? Did It On ‘Em is calling your name. Want a flirty Pink Friday? Or a relaxing Friday with Fly? I know a little sparkle can sometimes Save Me. ;) No matter your mood, this Nicki Minaj mini 4-pack is sure to fit or lift your spirits!

02/25/2012

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Collection: Oscars (Julep)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD) per bottle

Today I’m reviewing the Oscars collection from Julep. Each shade was created to honor one among many of our favorite leading ladies, and the glitter, of course, was created on behalf of Oscar, himself! This is such a fun idea for a nail polish collection. Even if you won’t be in your Oscar Sunday best tomorrow, surely you can deck out your nails for the occasion!


Glenn: This shade is named after Glenn Close. It is a bright and shimmery berry red, sure to make a statement. The formula for Glenn is stellar; ordinarily, I need two coats to get Julep colors opaque, but surprisingly, this is opaque on the first coat! Glenn certainly gets my vote, though you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a base coat with her. She’ll stain your nails!

Elizabeth: This shade is named after Elizabeth Olsen. It is a shimmery midnight blue with the tiniest hint of purple. In the bottle, it actually looks incredibly similar to Maggie (Julep), but Maggie is more deliberately purple, whereas Elizabeth definitely leans more blue. I love how mysterious this looks; it makes me think of the night sky! I needed two coats to achieve bottle color.

Meryl: This shade is named after Meryl Streep. It is a soft gray with a creme-jelly finish. I know that’s a weird description, but the formula isn’t as opaque as most cremes, yet it’s not as thin as most jelly polishes. It sits in the middle. Now that I think about it, the formula reminds me of Deborah Lippmann’s formula for creme shades. Meryl goes on so easy, feels light on my nails, and as Julep promises, is opaque in only two coats (despite the thin formula!). I love grays in general; they’re such a fun twist on the neutral trend.

Marisa: This shade is named after Marisa Tomei. It is a bright royal blue with a shimmery finish. It is a dupe for Blue Year’s Eve (China Glaze), although the formula for Marisa is much better. With the thin formula for Blue Year’s Eve, even after three coats of polish, I still had some visible nail line! Marisa, on the other hand, is opaque in only two coats. Definitely a fun color that will turn heads, whether your look is casual or formal.

Rachel: This shade is named after Rachel Weisz. It is a burnt red-orange copper with a shimmery finish. Initially, it reminded me of Zoe (Julep), but when I compared the bottles, I realized they are nothing alike! Zoe is so obviously orange, and the red-orange mix makes Rachel look so much more complex. It was opaque in two coats, but was the tiniest bit streaky, so you’ll need a steady hand during application. I’d have to say this is the most unique shade in the collection. I love it!

Viola: This shade is named after Viola Davis. It is a deep plum with a creme finish. Honestly, I find it a little too dark. My swatch photo is taken outside in the sun, but indoors, this just looks black! Moreover, the formula was tricky. Julep shades usually require only two coats for total opacity, but when I first took photos of my nails, I realized there were bald spots all over them after two coats! I had to add a third coat for full coverage. I think this shade would’ve worked out better if it was a touch lighter.

Oscar: And finally, the inspiration for all the fuss on Oscar Sunday! Julep says you can “sparkle like a star with this ultra chic, multi-dimensional gold glitter,” and I have to agree. This is the perfect touch of magic to top off this collection. The formula surprised me a little when I first opened the bottle. It’s sort of thick, goopy, and almost…gummy? If you’ve tried Essie’s Luseffects collection, you know those have goopy formulas as well, but Oscar is even thicker. I was so worried about application! But strangely, it works! The thicker formula makes this glitter surprisingly opaque on just the first coat; here, I am wearing two coats of Oscar. I was going to provide photos of Oscar layered over the other shades in this collection, but after some experimentation, I realized it’s simply too opaque on the first coat for layering. You can hardly notice the colors beneath the glitter! I would suggest wearing Oscar on all your nails for a really blinged out look, or using it on just one or two nails to accent a manicure with one of the other shades in this collection.


The inspiration for each shade, the corresponding names, and the perfect gold glitter all leads to a creative and cohesive collection. I love it, and think my fellow nail polish lovers will totally appreciate how much thought went into this collection. My favorite shades would have to be Rachel because I don’t have anything else like her, Meryl because I love the formula, and Glenn because she’s the only red I have that’s pleasantly opaque in just one coat. But honestly, every shade in this collection has its merits. I’d say Julep nailed it for the Oscars!


Want your very own Julep Maven boxes every month? Check out the bottom of this entry to learn how you can get your first box containing over $60.00 (USD) of products for only $5.00 (USD).

Disclosure: Product samples provided by Julep.

01/29/2012

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Collection: Resort (Julep)
Retail Price: $14.00 (USD) per bottle

Today I’m reviewing the Resort collection from Julep. Honestly, when I received these colors, at first glance, I wasn’t sure how the colors went together as a collection; however, now that I’ve been working with them while swatching and typing up these reviews, I think this collection is so cohesive, and has the perfect mix of shades for the spring and summer.


Leah: I had to review this one first! Green is my favorite color, and I don’t have any other greens in my stash that are this bright. It’s just toeing the line between bright and neon, and I love it! I know it looks like it has a creme finish, but this shade actually has a tiny bit of barely noticeable shimmer, which makes this green so much more stunning in the sun. I think greens are great for the spring (St. Patrick’s Day!), but the brightness makes Leah perfect for summer as well. Best of all, unlike other similar shades like Irish Green (Sinful Colors), I only needed two coats to achieve bottle color. This one’s a keeper!

Megan: I actually already reviewed this shade (here) because it was a part of my January Bombshell Julep Maven box, but my previous swatch was indoors, and this one is outdoors, so now you can see the difference. Outdoors, Megan looks more blue than aquamarine, and while the shimmer is less obvious in a photo, it actually makes quite a statement as you move your hand around under the sunlight. This shade reminds me of the ocean, and most obviously felt like it belongs in the Resort collection. Though Megan goes on extremely sheer on the first coat, don’t be fooled! By the second coat, I achieved bottle color. Magic!

Heather: This shade is a sultry greige with a shimmery finish. Honestly, I was expecting to like this color the least. “Greige” is the color lovechild of gray and beige—a bit like taupe—so I wondered how it could possibly scream (or even whisper) Resort. However, Heather won me over once I got her on my nails. This shade looks so gorgeous and chic, and was opaque in two coats. It makes me want to join the cast of ABC’s Revenge (my primetime guilty pleasure this TV season) so that I can go to beach parties and yacht soirees with a glamorous outfit to match these nails. Heather is sophisticated enough for the board room, perfect for lounging on the beach, and, of course, glamourous enough for any party. Best of all, after summer, I think this would transition beautifully to fall as well. Heather is a shade you can’t miss any time of year!

Maria: This shade is an exact dupe of Fairy Lights (Butter London), which was a limited edition holiday 2011 shade, so if you run out of your Butter London shade, Julep’s got your back! Maria is a dusty rose pink with a frosty, shimmery finish. Like Fairy Lights, my final manicure looked a bit like I had liquid metal on my nails. It was mostly opaque in one coat, but I decided to use two coats, which is what Julep recommends. What I find interesting to consider is Fairy Lights is from a winter/holiday collection, whereas Maria is part of a spring/summer collection. To which season does this color really belong? Honestly, I think it works in both collections. The frosty finish on a grayed out pink makes this shade wintery, but with the way sunlight bounces off the shimmer in Maria, this shade belongs in the summertime, too. Maria can look fun and girly in the sun, or cool and subtle indoors. Best of all, it’s versatile enough to make appearances in your wardrobe all year.

Maya: This shade is bright and peachy (it reminds me of a peach smoothie!) with a shimmery finish. Sun-kissed and sweet, in the bottle, I thought Maya was the best shade in this collection, but unfortunately for me, I think it looks awful on my nails! I think it just looks strange with my skin tone…I can’t quite figure out why. Perhaps it looks better with lighter skin tones? Or darker? The other problem I have with this shade is it’s really streaky (only shade out of the bunch where I had this problem). You need to take your time with application, and make smooth, straight, and steady strokes. You can sort of see where my stroke got a little unsteady on the left side of the nail on my middle finger. In any case, if you like this color, it’s a great spring/summer shade to add to your stash. It’s subtle enough for work, and playful enough for the beach. Best of all, as Julep promises with all their nail polishes, it’s opaque in two coats. Fabulous!


Like I mentioned before, this collection is so cohesive, and I think you’d be set for summer if you picked up all five colors. Within the span of this one collection, you have bright, fun pops of color that are great for a day on the beach; you have chic, sophisticated shades that transition effortlessly from professional to party; and you have subtle yet memorable shades that are sweet enough for work and sassy enough for everything else on your schedule. The shimmer in each shade is the neat little bow that perfectly ties this collection together. Well done, Julep!


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Disclosure: Product samples provided by Julep.

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