Like a Cup of Hot Cocoa: Sinful Colors Nirvana

Hi! Today I have a simple brown polish to show. One of my nail polish goals has been to find a brown that flatters my skin tone. Like a red polish or a nude polish, there’s a brown polish for every skin tone out there–you just need to find the one that has the most flattering undertones. I am happy to report that Sinful Colors Nirvana is one such polish, at least for me.

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Shown here in indirect natural lighting: OPI Ridge Filler, 2 coats of Sinful Colors Nirvana, and Essie Good to Go. In real life, it doesn’t look this yellow-toned. It’s softer and has taupe undertones.

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I decided to slap on one of my favorite glitters as an accent–Elevation Polish Kilimanjaro. This polish really deserves its own review. It’s a mixture of silver, gold, and copper circle glitters of various sizes, and it looks fantastic over many different colors. I love having polishes I can mix-and-match!

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Another natural light photo of this combo. 

Sinful Colors Nirvana Quick Review

Formula: A little thin and patchy, but workable. I pulled it off in two coats.

Collection: I think this is a part of Sinful Colors’s permanent line.

Where to buy: I found mine at my local Walgreen’s. You can also find Sinful Colors at other drugstores (Rite-Aid, etc.) and at big-box superstores like Wal-Mart.

Would I wear again: Yes, probably for work. This is a sophisticated neutral.

Overall: 4/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

 

Mannequin Hands with Essie’s Topless and Barefoot

Hello! It’s Wednesday–which means we’re nearly halfway through the week! Woo-hoo! Anyway, today I have for you my perfect nude shade. To give you some idea, I have very fair skin with slightly cool undertones. I’m not sure what that would be in MAC’s makeup system, as I don’t wear MAC foundation, but I can say that I always wear the lightest shade of foundation in any make-up line. 

Anyway, without further ado, here is Essie Topless and Barefoot.

  Essie Topless and Barefoot with bottle    

Shown here is OPI Ridge-Filling Base Coat, 2 coats of Essie Topless and Barefoot, and Essie Good To Go. This is natural lighting. This polish is definitely significantly pinker than what this picture is showing; I need to work on my picture-taking skills.

Essie Topless and Barefoot

Ok, this is a little more accurate to how it looks in real life, but my skin isn’t quite so red as it looks in this picture. Ugh. 

Essie Topless and Barefoot label

Here it is again, looking decidedly not pink-toned when it should be. Argh. Anyway, the important thing is that I have finally found a flattering nude polish for my skin tone. 

The next question I asked myself was: How does this compare to OPI My Very First Knockwurst? See the results below. The Essie is on the left, the OPI is on the right.

Essie T&P vs. OPI MVFK

While both polishes are technically pink-toned nudes, the OPI is significantly pinker and a little dustier than the Essie. The OPI also has a slightly better formula. However, the OPI definitely has a more awkward name. (Yes, I consider stuff like this when comparing polishes.)

Essie Topless and Barefoot Quick Review

Formula: Awful! I used a ridge-filling base coat (my secret weapon for problem polishes) and the polish still streaked and ran. It has a very thin and runny formula. I think it was only with the grace of the polish gods that I did not flood all my cuticles. I pulled it off in two coats, though.

Collection: Essie A French Affair, Spring 2011

Where to buy: I found mine at Ulta. However, since this is an older polish, you may not be able to find it in brick-and-mortar stores. If you absolutely must track it down, I suggest checking Amazon.

Would I wear again: Yes, but I’ll have to be in the mood to deal with the horrible formula.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

 

 

Attempt at a Sponge Gradient

Hi! So yesterday, I sat down with the resolution to do some non-sucky nail art. I decided to do a simple sponge gradient, using makeup wedges. Well, after two failed attempts at that, I was getting pretty frustrated. (The upshot is that scrubbing my nails with remover so many times also removed most of the staining that’s been plaguing my tips.) This is my third attempt, using those spongy eyeshadow applicators instead.     Aqua sponge gradient And voila, the finished product. This isn’t quite as neat as I would have liked. It looks like white-capped ocean waves, which I guess is cool, but I was going for more of a soft gradient effect. Pictured here is OPI Ridge-Filling Base Coat, two coats of China Glaze For Audrey, and then butter LONDON Fiver and OPI Angel with a Leadfoot sponged on the tips. I finished with Glisten N’ Glow HK Girl Top Coat. Oh, and this is my very first time attempting clean-up with a small brush and some pure acetone.

Here are the polishes:

Aqua sponge gradient polishes

Left to right: China Glaze For Audrey, butter LONDON Fiver, OPI Angel with a Leadfoot. 

Eyeshadow applicators--sponge gradient

These are the cheap eyeshadow applicators I used. I found mine at Sally’s Beauty Supply, but you can find these just about anywhere, really.

Aqua sponge gradient

Another shot in natural light. 

Overall, I liked this mani, but I think next time I’ll try it with colors that contrast a bit more.

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin: A One-Coat Wonder

Hey there! Today I removed my interview mani (the thumbs were chipping–hmph) and contemplated what to wear next. Despite the fact that I have over a hundred bottles of polish (and that is not even including the “support equipment” of various bases, top coats, etc.), I still have that “oh-my-goodness-I-have-nothing-to wear” moment embarrassingly often. (You can roll your eyes now. I won’t judge.)

Anyway, after a few minutes of indecision I reached for an untried, Sinful Colors Blue Crushin. Man, the formula on this baby!

 Sinful Colors Blue Crushin

What you see here is Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and one–yes, ONE–coat of Sinful Colors Blue Crushin. No top coat! Yes, the polish is really that shiny and glossy by itself!

Sure, this is more of a fall color than a summer color. But the end of August is upon us, so fall is right around the corner. (Sort of.)

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin in natural lighting.

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin thumb

I can’t comment if this deep teal creme is a dupe for OPI Ski Teal We Drop, as I don’t own that one, but I can tell ya that one is no longer on my wish list! Blue Crushin has ‘crushed’ my teal lemming ;).

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin

The only downside to this wondrous one-coater is that in shady and indirect light (as pictured above) it swerves into almost-black territory. Not a fan of that…but it looks so luscious most of the time that I can forgive it for that.

Sinful Colors Blue Crushin Quick Review

Formula: Hello! It’s a one-coater, people! Need I say more?

Collection: Sinful Colors Chill Out, Summer 2014

Where to buy: I bought mine at Walgreen’s. You can also find Sinful Colors at other drugstores like Rite-Aid and discount superstores like Wal-Mart.

Would I wear again?: Yes! This will be one of my ‘lazy day’ polishes since it only requires one coat to look good.

Overall: 5/5 stars

Do you have a favorite teal polish?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

Interview-Worthy Polish: OPI Berlin There Done That

Hi! Today I have swatches of a nice neutral polish. I had a job interview, so naturally I had to paint my nails to add to my professional demeanor calm my nerves. I reached for an untried, OPI Berlin There Done That.

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This is two easy coats, between Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and Essie Good To Go. I am slowly amassing a larger collection of neutrals, but this is my first-ever taupe polish! I can’t say how it compares to the classic OPI You Don’t Know Jacques (which apparently is the taupe to end all taupes). However, Berlin There Done That is quite nice too. 

OPI Berlin There Done That

This is the same combo, natural lighting. This is closest to how it looked most of the time on my nails in real life. I don’t know why my skin keeps looking so lobster-y in these natural light photos.

OPI Berlin There Done That label

This is the obligatory thumb/label picture. Still natural light.

OPI Berlin There Done That

Berlin There Done That looks slightly darker and more brownish in the shade.

OPI Berlin There Done That bottle

OPI Berlin There Done That Quick Review

Formula: Good but a little thin. I was able to use two coats, but I had to be careful not to flood my cuticles.

Collection: OPI Germany, Fall 2012

Where to buy: I bought mine on sale at my local mall’s Regis Salon. You can also find OPI at JC Penney salons, Ulta, Sally’s Beauty Supply, or your local beauty supply store.

Would I wear again: Yes! This will come in handy for work.

Overall: 4/5 stars

Do you have a favorite neutral polish? Have you ever been to Berlin? 

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

OPI Keeping Suzi At Bay: Navy Blue Perfection

Hey there! Today’s post is a simple color that I am actually pretty excited about. Feast your eyes on the perfect navy-blue creaminess that is OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay:

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay

Shown in natural lighting with Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, 2 coats of color and no top coat! Yes! Check out that glossy finish!

Admittedly, navy blue is one of my favorite colors anyway. It’s appropriate for all seasons and coordinates well with a lot of other colors. 

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay

In sunlight, as you can see, OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay looks slightly lighter, but is still shiny and creamy.

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay

Another natural lighting picture. I absolutely love how OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay never looks black. You can always tell it’s dark blue.

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay

OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay Quick Review

Formula: Fantastic! 2 coats of glossy blue goodness.

Collection: OPI San Francisco, Fall 2013

Where to buy: I found mine on sale at my local Regis salon. You can also find OPI at JC Penney salons, Ulta, Sally’s Beauty Supply, or your local beauty supply store.

Would I wear again: Uh, yes! I also can’t for my nail art tools to get here so I can try out some cool nail art on this color!

Overall: 5/5 stars

Do you have a favorite ‘year-round’ polish? 

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

 

OPI What Wizardry is This? Swatches and Review

Hello! Today I’m showing a polish that, until recently, I didn’t really care for.

OPI What Wizardry is This

1 coat of OPI Glitter-Off Base Coat and 2 coats of OPI What Wizardry is This?. No top coat! Shown in indirect natural lighting.

When this first came out as a part of OPI’s Oz the Great and Powerful Soft Shades collection, I remember just breathing a sigh of relief that this was definitely one polish I did not feel the urge to buy (and therefore, my wallet was safe!). I thought it looked like clumpy dirt. 

However, the day came when I began to hanker after this polish. I think it may have had something to do with my newfound liking for more neutral polishes. I looked at this “clumpy dirt” polish with new eyes, thinking instead that it looked like the pebbled leather of a really expensive handbag. 

OPI What Wizardry is This

So, thanks to a sale at my local Regis salon, I am now the proud owner of this clumpy-dirt polish! Haha. It’s actually quite beautiful and sparkly in the sunlight. I know the color isn’t for everyone, but props to OPI for daring to produce such a unique color!

OPI What Wizardry is This full bottle

OPI What Wizardry is This label and thumb

OPI What Wizardry Is This? Quick Review

Formula: Great! Just two coats were needed for full coverage. Removal was also surprisingly easy–I just pressed down for a few seconds with an acetone polish remover and then wiped. (The Glitter-Off base coat did not work as well as I anticipated…more details in a future post.) No dreaded foil method needed here!

Collection: OPI Oz the Great and Powerful, Spring 2013

Where to buy: I bought mine at my local mall’s Regis salon. You can also find OPI at Ulta, JC Penney salons, Sally’s Beauty Supply, or your local beauty supply store.

Would I wear again: Yes, but not until fall rolls around. This brownish bronze is more of a fall/winter color for me.

Overall: 4/5 stars

Have you ever completely changed your mind about a polish?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

Mixing and Matching with Revlon’s Graffiti Top Coat

Hi! Today I present a combination I’ve actually worn a couple of times, because it grew on my (usually) glitter-hatin’ heart.

Revlon Optimistic and Revlon Graffiti Top Coat

Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, 2 coats of Revlon Optimistic (bright pink creme), 1 thick coat of Revlon Graffiti Top Coat (black-and-white matte glitter), and Glisten n’ Glow HK Girl Top Coat. Pictured in indirect natural lighting.

Revlon Optimistic and Graffiti TC bottles

Revlon Optimistic and Graffiti TC tops

Obligatory bottle shots.

I love this black-and-white glitter top coat! I swatched it over a few different colors on the nail wheel below.

Revlon Graffiti combos on nail wheel

From left to right: 1 coat of Revlon Graffiti Top Coat over OPI Keeping Suzi at Bay, OPI Live.Love.Carnaval, China Glaze For Audrey, butter LONDON Fiver, Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather, and solo.

I think it looks best over brights and pastels, but I was also surprised at how much I liked it over Stormy Weather (a grey creme).

Revlon Optimistic Quick Review

Formula: Great! Only 2 coats needed for full coverage. However, this baby is a stainer (as I found out the hard way), so don’t skip the base coat!

Collection: N/A

Where to buy: I purchased Revlon Optimistic at my local Walgreen’s. You can find Revlon polishes at just about any drugstore (Rite Aid, CVS, etc.) as well as superstores like Wal-Mart and Target.

Would I wear again? Absolutely! I’ve already worn this on both my fingers and toes multiple times.

Overall: 4.5/5 stars

Revlon Graffiti Top Coat Quick Review

Formula: Thick but workable. I “blob” the glitter onto my fingernail and spread the pieces around instead of painting it straight on like a normal polish.

Collection: N/A

Where to buy: I purchased Revlon Graffiti Top Coat at my local Walgreen’s. You can find Revlon polishes at just about any drugstore (Rite Aid, CVS, etc.) as well as superstores like Wal-Mart and Target.

Would I wear again? You bet! This glitter looks great over lots of different colors and is totally worth the pain of removal.

Overall: 4/5 stars

I know I’m a bit late to the black-and-white matte glitter train, but I love this one and it’s easy to find! What colors would you put it over?

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

Angel With Dots and Pastel Application Tips

Hi and happy Friday! Today I have for you the only other color in OPI’s Ford Mustang collection that caught my eye–Angel With a Leadfoot! I needed a basic white creme, so I figured Angel with a Leadfoot would fill that gap in my collection (and let’s be honest, the cool printed cap may have had something to do with the decision as well).

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot bottle and fingers

Since this is a standard white creme, it doesn’t have multiple personalities in different lighting conditions like a duochrome or shimmer polish. Shown with Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and Essie Good to Go top coat.

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot indirect natural light

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot in indirect natural lighting. As you can see, it looks very clean and canvas-like…

…so I added some dots to match one of my favorite skirts!

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot dots

I’m waiting on an order of dotting tools to come in (my first ones!), so I did these quickly with a toothpick dipped in Essie Flirt (a coral creme polish).

Now, the main issue with pastel and white polishes is the application. They can go on streaky and the formula can be difficult to manage. What you see on my nail is two medium coats of Angel With a Leadfoot, and application was not actually that bad. Here are a couple of tips I have for applying a white or pastel polish.

Pastel Application Tips

  • Use a ridge-filling base coat. Even if you don’t have ridges, a ridge-filling base coat comes in handy for creating a smooth and slightly opaque surface on your nail. It helps polishes with difficult formulas go on more evenly, and it also provides some coverage under sheer polishes if you’re not into the VNL (visible nail line) look. I like OPI’s Ridge Filler.
  • Do not overwork the polish. Once you’ve painted your nail, resist the urge to repeatedly run the brush over your nail to even the polish out. I’m guilty of painting my nails like this, but with pastels, overmanipulating the polish on your nails just makes the streakiness worse.
  • Cover your nail in as few brushstrokes as possible. Let the brush fan out fully over your nail. The wide OPI brush is great for this.

OPI Angel With a Leadfoot Quick Review

Formula: See tips above. Thick and streaky, but with a ridge-filling base coat and super careful application, I managed to pull it off in two coats.

Collection: OPI Ford Mustang, July 2014

Where to Buy: I bought mine on Amazon. You can also find OPI at Ulta, JC Penney salons, Sally’s Beauty Supply, or your local beauty supply store.

Would I wear again? Yes! I also see serious nail art potential in this polish.

Overall: 4/5 stars

If you found these tips helpful, or you have your own to add, please comment! Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

OPI The Sky’s My Limit Swatches and Review

Hi all! Today I have for you a release from OPI’s recent (July 2014) Ford Mustang collection. OPI The Sky’s My Limit is a beautiful jewel-toned teal with gold shimmer. It reminds me of water in the Caribbean.

OPI The Sky's My Limit

This photo was taken in indirect sunlight. You can see its jelly-like, translucent texture here.

All swatches are with Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, two medium coats of OPI The Sky’s My Limit, and Essie Good to Go (quick dry top coat). (Can you tell I hate waiting for my nails to dry?)

OPI The Sky's My Limit

Full bottle shot. I apologize for the blurriness :(. The gold shimmer is quite apparent in the bottle. Check out the awesome printed Mustang logo on the cap. I like how OPI is starting to do fun printed caps for its more special collections.

OPI The Sky's My Limit

Indoor natural light shot. Looks like a deeper teal here.

OPI The Sky's My Limit

Another indoor natural photo. This is most accurate to how TSML looks most of the time in person.

And finally…

OPI The Sky's My Limit

The bottom label (and my thumb).

Formula: Thin but workable. I suggest medium coats since this polish is rather see-through in certain lights.

Collection: OPI Ford Mustang, July 2014.

Where to buy: I bought my bottle through Amazon. You can also find OPI at Ulta, JC Penney salons, Sally’s Beauty Supply, or your local beauty supply store.

Would I wear this again? Absolutely! I will have this one on heavy rotation in my collection.

Overall: 4.5/5 stars

I did purchase another color from the Ford Mustang collection. Come back tomorrow to see which one!

Thanks for reading!

❤ Jessica

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