Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revlon Black with Envy - Last Day to Enter!

Guess what my Ulta just got in? A full Revlon Backstage Revealed - Runway 2011 display... which means that I was able to get my hands on the limited edition Black with Envy!

For anyone who can't find Wet N Wild Morbid from their Craze line, Black with Envy is also supposed to be another close cousin (aka probable dupe) to Chanel's Black Pearl. This small display is only supposed to be up from March through the end of May, so you'll have to look quickly to find this shade. 

Is it worth the search? It was for me because I wanted a polish like Black Pearl without having to pay $25 for it. Black with Envy went on in two coats - it has the graphite base with blue-green shimmer - it's worn nicely with only minor tipwear after housework and dish washing.

Sun - Graphite with Green Shimmer
Shade - Green Shimmer gives a pearl-like finish

But if you don't feel like dealing with the frustration of a potentially fruitless polish hunt, just enter my giveaway because Black with Envy is the tenth polish I'll be giving away! I'll also be giving away the new addition to the Lippmann Happy Birthday dupe family - Ulta Piñata-Yada-Yada!

Black with Envy, Piñata-Yada-Yada

You have until midnight PST tonight to enter. Don't miss out on your chance to get all of 10 of these fantastic polishes! The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon so hasta mañana!

Pin It!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

LA Splash Pink Dream

This is the perfect princess polish for spring!  LA Splash Pink Dream is a light pink filled with pink and silver microglitter. It's delicate, it's glittery, it makes me think of cookies and sprinkles!

Sun - Pink!...
Shade - ...and Glittery!

I had doubts about its opacity since it's a light pink glitter. How often is anything light pink opaque? Pink Dream is a bit sheer, but covers most VNL in two coats with a third coat for touch ups - like the nail tip where polishes always get a bit thin for me. This isn't a gritty glitter so one coat of topcoat makes it smooth and shiny. Since Pink Dream goes on in thin coats, removal was pretty easy.

This was my first LA Splash polish and I wasn't sure what to expect brush-wise from this thin and rectangular bottle. If you haven't seen the LA Splash brush either, don't worry like I did - it's a normal brush, medium size, nice and flexible. Also, this brand appears to be made Big 3 Free and without camphor - they include a tiny print ingredient list printed directly on the back of the bottle for easy checking.

Now on to the next round of polishes that will be included in the Fun Friday 100 Follower Giveaway...
Mystic Lilac (Fall 2010), Hang Loose (Summer 2010), Jade (Summer 2010), Flat Iron Green
Have you wanted a polish from the LE Surfer Babe collection? Or the Avon shade that's one of the closest cousins to the infamous and very long gone OPI Damone Roberts 1968? And yes, that is a bottle of Mystic Lilac. Those tricky-to-find, seasonal Xtreme Wears! Fill out the form, enter the giveaway, and these polishes could be yours!!

Pin It!

Monday, March 28, 2011

China Glaze High Hopes

I was on a blue-gray kick last week, so I had to kick it up a fun color notch for hanging out with a cool cousin-friend before she flew back to the chilly northern Midwest.

High Hopes is a bright pink-coral (a degree brighter and it could be a neon honeysuckle) creme from the China Glaze Up & Away Spring 2010 collection. I've had excellent application from every polish I picked up from that collection. High Hopes flows on smoothly in two coats and dries to a high shine (maybe I could call it patent honeysuckle?).

Sun - Looks more pink
Shade - Looks more coral

Here's a fun shot with cousin-friend's camera after dinner. 
Look how orange High Hopes can look in dim lighting! And it's so shiny!!

In some lighting, High Hopes even took on a more muted red look, but the color was too intense for my poor camera to focus on properly. Maybe one day soon *cough, July birthday, cough* I'll have a new camera that can show off all the colors that polishes are capable of achieving.

All my fun with dinner, movies, and hanging out didn't distract me from the 100 Follower Giveaway! I have two more polishes to show that you could win...
Pure Ice Busted and Dreamy
Look at that iridescence on the left. Is that a jelly multicolor glitter on the right? These polishes look even cooler in person!

If you want them, fill out the Giveaway form before Thursday night. 6 more giveaway polishes will be getting unveiled before then - come back to check them out :)

Pin It!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Polish Unpacked & Another Fun Friday Giveaway!

The good thing about unpacking is you get a clean slate for organizing your stuff. You don't have to pull everything out and move stuff around - you just have to put it away in the empty new place.  What was my favorite thing to unpack? My polish collection, of course!!

All of my polishes made it across the country in one piece. There was some leaking on a few bottles, but nothing severely damaged. Now they've all be unpacked, unwrapped, sorted, and placed in my Helmer in a way that's part alphabetical by brand, part alphabetical by location where they were purchased, part by the number of polishes from a certain brand. 

Viva Polish! reached over 100 followers this week! I can't think of a better way to share about myself with all of you than letting you have a look into my polish stash. And what better time to show it off than right after it's been freshly organized?

DRAWER 1 - OPI & Higher End Brands
OPI, Essie, RBL, butterLONDON, MAC, Lippmann, Nfu Oh, Chanel
DRAWER 2 - Brands that I tend to buy online or in specialty
(i.e. beauty supply) stores
BB Couture, Barielle, Claire's, Cult, Diamond, Funky Fingers, Misa, Nubar, Orly
China Glaze & Color Club
DRAWER 4 - Drugstore
Cover Girl, Jesse's Girl, L'Oreal, Oke Doke, Maybelline, Milani, Revlon
DRAWER 5 - More Drugstore Brands
Sinful, Sally Hansen, Ulta, Wet n Wild

Zoya & Revlon Street Wear

Truthfully, I need a second Helmer for my mini bottles, random bottles from brands I only have one or two polishes from, nail treatments, and other supplies like files, cotton, etc. I'm reluctant to buy one because I know that I'll be tempted to fill it up! I'm satisfied with just having one Helmer for now because 97% of my collection fits in it and I know where every polish is - ahhhh! Organized!!

Now how about 100 followers?  You guys are great and deserve another giveaway!  Right now, I have two brand new OPI polishes for you to win! 
Breathe Life (Spring 2009) and Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees (Fall 2009)

I'll be adding more polishes for the rest of the week up to the awesome grand total of 10, so keep checking back to see what you might win!
To enter this giveaway, please fill out the form below. You don't need to be a follower to enter, but I'd definitely appreciate your follow. You can also earn extra entries if you tweet or blog about this giveaway or like Viva Polish! on Facebook. This giveaway is open to everyone - US and International.  It starts now, ends next Thursday, and the winner will be announced on Friday, 4/1 - no April Fooling!

Pin It!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring 2011 Trends - Family & Friends Edition

Happy Spring! It's here at last!! By request, I'd like to share my opinion on polish trends for Spring 2011. I haven't been 100% satisfied with the shades picked out in the few magazines that have managed to find their way to my new address.

There's the higher end, conservative interpretation...

Whether they match the clothes, or provide an artful contrast, nails are now as much a part of a finished look as lipstick, eye shadow—or the right handbag. Spring runways witnessed the gray trend go deeper, more metallic. Silver made an ethereal appearance, and red staged a notable comeback, often in playful, not-so-serious shades of bright tomato and cherry.
  • Vogue's Picks: Dark Metallic Gray, Glittery Silver, Light Silver Pearl, Tomato and Cherry Red

The "so trendy that we've skipped right past spring and jumped right back into fall"...
Allure's Top Shades For Spring 2011 *from March 2011 issue
There's safety in neutrals. But as this season's freshest nail colors show, safety's overrated. These are the shades you'll want to get your hands on now.
  • Allure's Picks: Green, Creamy Peach, Orange-Red, Pearly White, Mulberry

And the "sweet enough to acknowledge spring... but still trendy enough to jump right into summer!!"
How to Wear Spring's Rainbow Nail Colors - Thanks to a few key tips from Ji Baek, the owner of Rescue Beauty Lounge in N.Y.C., even the most shocking enamels can become wearable everyday accents. "Think of nail polish as an accessory, like a chunky necklace or a gorgeous handbag," Baek says. "You can make a statement without being flashy." So step away from the sheer pink and embrace the color storm, one shade at a time. 
  • InStyle's Picks: Yellow, Lilac, Hot Pink, Pearl, Orange, Mint Green, Bright Blue

I know polishanistas don't chose their nail shades based on trend or season, but by mood and whimsy, so I'm dedicating this post to my family and friends. This is for moms, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, girlfriends, all my special people who are interested in good-looking nails that are current without looking crazy.

Spring is a real season and I'm going to acknowledge it as one! So I shopped my stash and here is what I think is on trend for Spring 2011...  After the moody dark colors from this cold winter, it's time for lighter shades that are soft yet saturated - nothing stark or overly bright yet because that's what you wear at the pool and beach when we're in the full swing of sweltering summer days. 

First, our classic colors - red and pink. If these are your colors of choice, then the runways and Pantone have declared Tomato/Orange-Red and Honeysuckle to be The Red and The Pink you should be wearing for Spring 2011.

I don't have that many orange-reds but here are some ideas of the warm, yet soft, reds that would look nice this spring. I included OPI Big Apple Red on the left and Zoya Paz on the right as color references to these colors compared to a true red and orange.
Reds - Zoya America, OPI Don't Socra-tease Me, BB Couture Sex on the Beach

I also don't have that many honeysuckles but I've been on the lookout for them this year. Nubar Honeysuckle and CND Smoochie are also supposed to be excellent choices for the honeysuckle nail. I included OPI Strawberry Margarita on the left and OPI I'm Indi-a Mood For Love on the right as color references to show how warm, but still pink these shades are compared to a warm and cool pink.
Honeysuckle - China Glaze High Hopes, OPI My Chihuahua Bites!

Now for let's take the trendy shades and make them work-appropriate...
If you loved gray last year, you're going to love all the options you have this year! Take the grays from last year and soften them for spring with some shimmer. Pearl and metallic finishes are in so the shimmer can be as subtle or as out-there as you want to wear it.
Shimmer Grays - Sation Gray Opal, Zoya Laney, Zoya Harley

Blue polish is still very in this year, but not necessarily the most work- appropriate. Try a gray that leans blue instead - it's more mature than sky blue while still keeping some of that blue edge. It might even be a gateway shade to a periwinkle pedi in the near future ;) As an availability FYI, if you like the light gray shimmer Sag Harbor, L'Oreal High Tide and China Glaze Sea Spray are reasonable dupes.
Bluish Grays - Essie Sag Harbor, Sally Hansen Gray by Gray, Misa Office Polish-tics

Spring is the time for pastels, but my mom cringed when I said "pastel polish," so it might not be for everyone. Instead of melon or yellow, how about we ease into it with lighter, softer shades of more conventional colors? Specifically, I mean light pink - but make it opaque! And try pink with a touch of purple if lavender and lilac are too child-like for your tastes.
Light Pinks - China Glaze Encouragement, China Glaze Something Sweet, OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender

How about the "pastel" version of an office-appropriate taupe? Take You Don't Know Jacques (on the left for reference) and lighten it up and add some pink or gray to make it more spring-like or current.
Light Taupes - OPI Over the Taupe, OPI Tickle My France-y, Orly Country Club Khaki

If a lighter taupe is too nude, try a taupe touched with purple. Or go with my favorite new color of this season - gravender. (Yep, that gray is everywhere this year!)
Touched with Purple - Barielle Putt-e On Me, Revlon Perplex, Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid

I think green is easier to pull off in the winter months when it can be dark and rich, but this is NOT the time of the year to be wearing dark green. Mint green is still in this spring but if you're on the fence about wearing pastels and you're unsure about wearing green, why would you wear a pastel green??

Even without wearing a green, I think there are so many options out there for my working friends and family to suit every color taste and preference this spring. Take the polish shades you like, give the color a 2011 spin, and go show off those lovely hands! It's Spring!!!

Pin It!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Butter London No More Waity, Katie

I have to admit that I'm fascinated by Prince William & Kate Middleton's upcoming wedding. I'm already in a wedding frame of mind for 2011 because all of my friends' upcoming nuptials and I think Kate is so stylish - not that I would wear all of those tiny hat things, but they look cute on her!

As soon as Nonie Creme, Butter London's Creative Director, started making the fashion press rounds talking about this new limited edition shade, I knew I would have to have No More Waity, Katie. I didn't do the pre-order but I did buy it from B-Glowing immediately after I saw a tweet that No More Waity had already sold out on Butter London's website. I think it's back in stock and available at both online stores right now.

The official description of this color is a "soft, elegant greige shade with a splash of lilac glitter." Isn't "greige" the combination of gray and beige?  I'm seeing lilac glitter, I'm seeing gray, but I'm not seeing the beige.  If anything, I'd describe this shade as "gravender" because this gray definitely leans purple.

This wasn't the easiest polish to apply. The base is sheer, but the formula is a bit thick and gloopy, so it took three coats plus touch up to be opaque and it still looks like there's visible cuticle drag and too much polish bunched up at the tip. It doesn't look too bad in these pictures, but I think a good layer of top coat helped smooth it out to lay more evenly on the nail.

I think I'll add a few drops of thinner next time I wear No More Waity, Katie. That should help the polish apply more smoothly *fingers crossed*.

This might be a polish that's riding the wave of collectible memorabilia being pushed on to the market to cash in on the royal wedding, but it really is a well thought out shade. All of its elements are feminine, edgy, and unique from the lilac glitter to the purplish gray base (that I'm calling the It Color of Spring 2011 - it's certainly my favorite new shade of the moment).  Even the opacity of the polish makes sense - the base had to be thin enough to suspend the glitter at different levels for a multicolored layer effect. It's all lilac glitter but it looks brighter purple the closer it gets to the surface. 

I think this shade is brilliant!!

Pin It!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Purple Gala

What to wear for Mardi Gras?  Something purple, something gold, something festive & sparkly... time for Purple Gala!!

This is a limited edition polish from the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear line. The display didn't specify a season and it started popping up in July and August, so I'll say it's from their Fall 2010 collection.

Purple Gala is a sparkly foil with purple, silver, and gold glitter in a smoky purple base overlaid with lots of larger gold glitter pieces. You'll see more purple versus more gold depending on the lighting. This polish was opaque in 2 coats, but I put on a third coat for a little more depth.

This was a challenging polish to find even after it was recently released. Since that was almost a year ago and this is a limited edition shade, it might be near impossible to get Purple Gala now.  But never fear! If you like the look of Purple Gala, I recommend picking up Hard Candy's Mr. Wrong, which is close enough in color and finish to be a dupe to the casual observer.

Pin It!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Essie Wedding 2010 Collection

While exploring our new city, I stopped by the Ulta and found some Essie Mini 4 Packs on clearance for $5. I'm off to a bridal shower this afternoon so here are the shades from the Essie Wedding 2010 Mini Collection. All of these swatches are shown with 3 thin coats over a pink-tinted ridge filler base coat and Redi Quick Dry top coat.

Walk Down The Aisle - a soft, creamy white.  This was my least favorite of the set because it was so streaky!! This shade was probably about 90% even after 3 coats and a leveling top coat. I think it looks wonderfully elegant in the shade and less direct lighting, but OPI Funny Bunny will still be my go-to sheer white because its formula is easier to work with.          

Petal Pink - a sheer light pink. This shade wasn't streaky at all. Why wasn't Walk Down The Aisle this easy to apply?  Petal Pink looks like a very light white-pink in direct light with a more pronounced pink tint in the shade. I'm not sure this will replace China Glaze Innocence as my go-to sheer pink, but this was a good polish for this mini collection.

Show Me The Ring - a white shimmer with a gold flash. This was the most opaque polish in the set. I couldn't capture it in these pictures, but there's a beautiful multicolor microshimmer that sparkles in the sun. The lower the lighting gets, the golder this polish looks.

Sunlight - White Gold Shimmer
Shade - Light Gold Pearl

Main Squeeze - a light gray shimmer with a lilac flash. I could see a blue and pink hidden shimmer in the sunlight - I think that's what gives this shade such a strong flash that it almost looks like a gray-purple duochrome effect.

I thought this was a comprehensive mini bridal set - streak-free sheer pink, soft white, white-gold shimmer, gravender shimmer.  It has a classic feel with a touch of new spring trendiness.  The mini brushes are full and I didn't find one stray wonky bristle.  I also love how cute the box is!

There are little squares of the colors inside all over the box.  Each polish even fits in right by their corresponding shade square on the inside of the box.  And even though they're minis, the polishes still have the "e" on their bottle top. I appreciate these little details :)

Now off to the first bridal shower of my wedding-packed year!!

Pin It!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Online At Last!

I'm back!!!

After 3 1/2 loooong days of driving, we made it to our new place in sunny & warm Casa Grande, AZ.  After 5 more even longer days, they turned on our internet & cable!!

It's going to take our moving company about 5-15 business days to get here. Isn't that time range a lovely estimated date of arrival? *grrr* Until then, I only have the polishes I could pack into one photo box. All the rest are coming across the country slowly with the movers.

It's not a ton of polishes but it's still enough to take some pics and do some posts, so look forward to that!  New polish post coming up soon :)

Pin It!