Tuesday, January 31, 2012

China Glaze Holly-day under Essie Shine Of The Times

fun day today! found the two 2011 Zoya holiday sets at a local salon AND i called Oceana NEX (Virginia Beach)... they have in OPI's Holland collection! if you live around here head over there now... they only got in two sets. i bought one whole set, so there is only one of each color left! seems like someone in ordering messed up big time. i'm super excited to swatch it all... check out the teaser display photo at the end of this post!

today we are looking at China Glaze Holly-Day and Essie Shine Of The Times (the crown jewel of the Luxeffects collection!). this manicure was created by one of my best friends... so all the credit goes to her! H-D is a green that looks just like a Christmas tree. the color is really rich and saturated and the formula is great, two coats for full coverage. SOTT is extremely reminicient of Finger Paints Flashy, but with FAR more glittery particles... it is almost completely full coverage at one coat! my one complaint is that it eats topcoat like crazy. it's definitely beautiful and i'm so glad to have it, but i wish it was easier to make it super glossy!

one coat Seche Base, two coats H-D, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat SOTT, two coats Seche Vite.

it was tempting to add more coats of SV... but i was worried it would cause the polish to shrink back from the nail tips. i highly recommend the whole Luxeffects collection, it's an easy way to stretch a manicure another day or two once you're tired of the base color. AND it's all gorgeous!

here's the display from OPI's Holland collection! excuse the low resolution, i took it with my cell phone.

gorgeous, right?! i'm going to start swatching on nail wheels right now... Ria :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Essie Over The Top under Essie A Cut Above

people who walk by my house are in danger of losing their hearing from hearing me scream NONONONONO. i'm just trying to find the remote to fast forward through the 'the grey' trailer. it literally makes me cry... wolves are misunderstood and unjustly persecuted enough... they don't need this bad press! i guarantee wolf killing stats will go up after this movie :(

on a MUCH happier note, we are looking at a greY and pink manicure today! greY and pink are my favorite colors, amping it up with glitter makes me swoon! the polishes are Essie Over The Top paired with Essie A Cut Above. OTT is a slightly frosty steel greY pearl, it is delicious! the forumla is perfect, completely opaque in two easy to work  with coats. ACA is a chunky pink glitter with large hexagonal and small round pieces from the Luxeffects collection. it is the pink version of Essie Set In Stones... i have to say i like this one better, the pink stands out a lot more than the silver. one coat dresses up any regular old manicure!

one coat Seche Base, two coats OTT, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat ACA finished off with one coat SV.

i LOVE this manicure! since it's my two very favorite colors, it really isn't too much of a surprise... Ria :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

OPI Shorts Story under Essie Pure Pearlfection

got my three storage cubes... but dastardly Michael's was up to their usual shenanigans. unlike all the other times they have had a 25% off total purchase coupon... this one EXCLUDED sale items, i only was able to use the 40% discount. so i could have just bought them last night and saved myself the trouble of going again... but i needed a Starbuck's fix anyways, so it all worked out. i will definitely be doing a post on storage once i get everything set up.

today's post has us looking at OPI Shorts Story and Essie Pure Pearlfection. SS is a gorgeous, saturated pink. it falls on the very cool, blue side of the spectrum. formula was everything OPI usually is, perfect in two coats. PP is from the Luxeffects collection and the best one i've triend thus far. one coat and it turned into sparkly goodness! Pearlfection is a perfect description of this polish, it is a sheer white shimmer inside, totally sparkly outside!

two coats SS, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat PP, one coat SV.

i was intending to just swatch this manicure, but once i had it on i couldn't take it off, so i just applied to it to the rest of my fingers... it is a manicure Barbie would be proud to sport! happy manicuring, Ria :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Zoya Julieanne under Essie Set In Stones

hi, guys! i'm so excited, my husband got me a new laptop because mine is down for the count and he's going to Japan for a couple weeks... now we can Skype! Skype is such an awesome invention :) also, i found the storage containers i've been looking for at Micheal's, tomorrow they will be 40% off plus 25% off the total purchase! i might buy all three they have... nine drawers will make organizing so much easier! i found this idea on The Daily Varnish, the specific post is Here. go visit these girls, they have an amazing bloggie!

today we have Zoya Julieanne topped with Essie Set In Stones. Julieanne is a gorgeous metallic purple, easy formula which is opaque in two coats! it's a gorgeous color... which flat refused to photograph true to color! i'm  SO frustrated... i probably took three hundred pictures and this is the closet i could get. >.<  it photographed completely blue in almost all the pictures! grrrrrr. SIS is another win from the Luxeffects collection! paired with Julieanne, the two combined make the manicure look like a midnight sky. SIS is a silver glitter which has large hexagonal and tiny round pieces in a clear base. took only one coat and i didn't put on topcoat, it was super sparkly all on its own! however, if i wasn't just swatching i would have added topcoat because it is very rough and scratchy.

two coats Julieanne, one coat Seche Vite. it does usually look a little warmer in person!

one coat SIS.

i think this manicure would be great to wear to a ball... somehow we always end up missing the Navy Ball... maybe this year will be the year! Ria :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Orly Snowcone under Essie As Gold As It Gets

well, i bought storage drawers, but not the ones i was looking for... none of the craft stores had them! the one i ended up with is cuter than the one i was looking for, but has less room. one huge benefit... this one came already assembled!

today we have Orly Snowcone, a cornflowery cream topped with Essie As Gold As It Gets, the gold shimmery polish from the Luxeffects collection. the formula on Snowcone is awesome, so close to a one coater!! it was really easy to work with, i have no complaints at all. while the polish looks dusty in the bottle, on the nail it is a saturated, soft mid-range blue. AGAIG is a gold micro-glitter. i can't tell if it has a slightly gold base or if the glitter is so dense it appears to have a colored base! it flashes hints of orange, pink, and green. those colors are very slight, but really add to the depth of the polish on the nail. i wasn't sure if the gold would look good over the blue... i'm so glad i went for it. they compliment each other perfectly... check out the swatchies for yourself!

one coat Seche Base, two coats Snowcone, one coat Seche Vite.

one thick coat AGAIG, two coats Seche Vite.

i went ahead with two coats of SV to finish everything off because the more shiny, the more the shimmers show. i recommend this Luxeffect, i don't have anything exactly like it... and it makes the whole manicure feel understated chic. reviews for the rest of the collection coming soon!  Ria :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Essie Borrowed & Blue under Essie Barbados Blue

i'm really frustrated, apparently the storage unit i want for my polish is on strike... i've been to multiple stores and none of them have the three drawer cube! seems like the second you start looking for something, it is nowhere to be found... and once you finally aquire it... you see it everywhere!

today we're looking at some gorgeous winter blues, Essie Borrowed & Blue and Essie Barbados Blue. two different finishes filled with icy goodness! Borrowed & Blue is a light, cool blue cream which skews slightly towards robin's egg blue, but is not nearly as saturated. two coats, perfect with no streakiness!  in some lighting, it is an even a lighter, brighter shade of blue! Barbados Blue is Borrowed & Blue's frosty little sister! it is a true frost, complete with brushstrokeyness. if you hate that look, definitely skip this one! i used only one coat over Borrowed & Blue, that's all i needed to give the manicure a whole new look.

one coat Seche Base, two coats Borrowed & Blue, one coat Seche Vite.

one coat Barbados Blue finished off with one coat SV.

i think this is the most perfect manicure for winter... it just screams icy and cold! hope you enjoyed this one, let me know if you all like the seasonal and holiday manicures. Ria :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zoya Dove

Happy Wednesday! took a reallyyyy long walk on the beach today... Jemima and i were wiped, Jasper was ready for more. those are my dogs, by the way :) long walk finished off with a caramel frappucino... perfection. there is a salon next to the Starbucks which had a Zoya display in the window! i'm excited because i haven't disliked any of the Zoya polishes i've tried and the selection at my Ulta is a tragedy. can't wait to check it out, have to wait for when my dogs aren't with me, though :)

today's polish is Zoya Dove. it's exactly like a dove's coloring... a cool, soft greY cream which translates to being effortlessly chic. i used three coats to get rid of slight patchiness; it wasn't visible until you looked at it really closely... it also was only visible from a couple angles (since i tend to add an extra coat anyway, it's not a big deal). i have to say i'm completely in love. greY is my favorite color (along with pink) and it's such a light hue, i have nothing like it in my collection... all the others are much darker and most are warm tones. i have started using Seche Base under my manicures (i was using Seche Clear) which dries to a sheer pearly white... you could actually use it as a polish on its own! definitely adds a huge benefit when using colors that tend to be on the sheer side; however, i forgot to use the base on my thumb and it looks exactly like ones with the base. actually, all the Zoya polishes i've used are incredibly pigmented, so a colored base isn't necessary! now for the swatchie!

one coat Seche Base, three coats Dove, one coat Seche Vite.

this color dried Seche Vite shiny with NO SV! however, like most Zoya i've tried... it flat refused to dry! other than that, this polish checks off everything i could possibly wish for. i really can't recommend this highly enough. if you love greY or just chicness, you NEED this color in your life!... just make sure you have Seche Vite on hand to dry it.

halfway to Friday! hoping to head out to Michael's tomorrow, need to get some more polish storage! i will make a post about how i store everything once it's all put together... won't my husband have fun?! Ria :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OPI Sparkle-icious under OPI Turquoise Shatter

great trip to Ulta, got lots of pretties! i swatched them all on nail wheels and i'm very excited to start manicuring away. the big surprise of the day was finding a CND colour and effects two pack at the military exchange! i have never seen anything but OPI in the salon... unfortunately, the saleslady didn't seem to know if they'd ever get  any more. the store is doing inventory, so i'm guessing the packs randomly showed up in some closet. the pack is from 2010... i know that because it's printed on the front of the box! happy find :)

today we have a fun manicure of shatter over glitter. the glitter is OPI Sparkle-icious topped off with OPI Turquoise Shatter. i layered one THICK coat of Sparkle over a purple base. it's made up of gold, blue, and plum glitter. it adds up to a fun party look all on its own... throwing TS on top amps it up to fab party look! the TS is nice and opaque pearl. it looks more like teal (especially because it's pearly) than a true turquoise.

one coat Sparkle under one coat Seche Vite.

one coat TS topped with one coat SV.

hope everyone enjoyed this look, i certainly had fun wearing it! Ria :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

China Glaze Near Dark

horrors! i had to go to the dreaded grocery store today... and my thumb nail ripped off! i always had a bad feeling about that place haha :)

quick post today, we're looking at China Glaze Near Dark. it's a strange color... a very dark olivey green/baby poop. i know, so gross, right?! it does just look like a dark brown/green built up. first coat is a streaky mess (plus has that gross color), second coat seemed to cover fairly well. i say seemed because when i took the photos, a few pretty wretched looking bald spots showed up. they definitely aren't noticeable in real life unless someone has their nose on your nail... and i sincerely doubt that would happen! i wouldn't have bought this color if i had not gotten it on sale; i don't know if it was worth the $5.49 i paid for it and i definitely can't say i recommend running out to buy this color!

two coats topped with one coat Seche Vite.

i went ahead and topped this off with Finger Paints Flashy because i just wasn't in love with it on its own... and because i made a mess with the SV on my right hand! Ulta tomorrow to use my 20% off entire purchase coupon... Happy Shopping, everyone! Ria :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nicole by OPI It's Possible under China Glaze Fireside Glow

enjoying a super lazy Saturday, just blogging and lying around watching tv with my husband. we're watching 'Murder, She Wrote',  it's something we both loved watching when we were kids (for my foreign loves, it's a murder mystery show starring Angela Lansbury). i can't believe how far filmography has come since the eighties... the quality of the picture is disconcerting when you are used to watching things in high definition. the sound crackles sometimes and you often catch the 'bodies' blinking and shifting around! that makes the show even more fun to watch... you want to catch them doing all those things. this combo is sparkly and fun to fight off the gloom and doom, greY, rainy day here in Virginia Beach!

today we have Nicole by OPI It's Possible layered under China Glaze Fireside Glow. IP is a frosty blue toned pink... i know most people hate frosts these days, but i still love them! as with most frosts, there are visible brushstorkes. this one leans slightly towards a a foil so it has less brushstrokeyness than some. the was almost a one coater! two thin coats made for perfect coverage... i really love colors like this. nudey colors that give an almost mannequin hands effect... i do also love complete mannequin hands looks.

FG is copper and holographic micro-glitter. i used one one thin coat under one thick coat, it gave a completely opaque look, IP was a perfect base color. i really like the suede look it gave after it dried, i'm usually not a big fan of the non-shiny look, but this one is delicious! now for the swatchies :)

two coats IP topped with one coat Seche Vite.

two coats FG over IP.

i went ahead and put two coats of SV over everything because i couldn't stand the sandpapery feeling. the shine really brought out the holo glitters!!

this combo came out surprisingly well, i wasn't sure the warm toned glitter would look good over the cool toned base... but it's actually droolworthy! hope everyone's had a relaxing Sunday and is refreshed for the new week, Ria :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Zoya Marley

quiet Saturday, my husband picked up a white pizza for lunch... so good! i like to just invert my favorite pizza. which means, i have cheese on the bottom and tomato slices on top. not adventurous, but quite tasty!

today yields yet another dreamboat color, Zoya Marley. i'm in awe over the opacity and color payoff of Zoya polishes... they are beautiful in the bottle and completely delicious on the nail! i used three coats to even everything out... but, i'm confident it would only take two coats if i could just get a handle on how to use these teensie little brushes! i can't believe how much i'm struggling with using traditional brushes. the big fat OPI brushes really throw off how you approach nail painting with any other type of brush. plus, the Zoya brush is tiniest one i've seen.

Marley is a light lavender with a hint of pearl essence that gives it depth. i love colors like this, and Marley stands out against competition. this is three coats (which dried fairly shiny) topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

i highly recommend picking up this polish if you see it. i just bought it on clearance at Ulta for $3.99, regularly $8! cheers to finding things on sale, Ria :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nicole You're S-Teal The One

i'm so sleepy today! my dogs are lying down, after i type this i'll probably take a nap with them. gotta love those furry little heaters! Jemima (the Princess) has her own bed, Jasper bunks with me... he's my snuggle buddy :)

today we have Nicole by OPI You're S-teal The One. it's a brilliant blue foil with a slight pink reflect... i really like it... but the formula is a major let down. i used three coats, but color refused to stick to the ends of my nails! so, even before i added Seche Vite, it had the appearance of tip wear... bright light makes it even worse! i would also have liked for the reflect to show up a bit more... but that's always the wish with reflects, they are very shy! i added two coats of SV to make it superrrr shiny. surprisingly, SV did not cause the polish to shrink back very much from the nail tip... usually SV is the cause of the faux tip wear effect. the other surprise is that when i woke up today, all the SV glassy shine was gone! it basically looks like no topcoat was applied at all... can't explain that. major bums because nails can't be too shiny in my book!

i chose this swatch because it shows all the ways this polish can appear due to different lighting. metallic foil (remember that because the camera such close images, the shimmers lessen and look far more foil like in real life!), deeper blue in the shade, the anemic tip of the nail, and finally, the slight pink reflects at the sides.

somehow i'm not enjoying this color very much on this second day... maybe it's because i had a bad morning?

bottom line... when i use this bottle up, i will definitely repurchase. unless, of course, some other brand comes out with the same or similar color in a better formula! i'm always, always on the hunt for blue nail polish. i'm not sure why i like it so much, blue is not my favorite color... greY and pink are. it's just so fun and startling on nails! what colors are you guys constantly on the hunt for? Happy Friday! Ria :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

China Glaze Celtic Sun (Neon)

didn't feel well at all this morning, so my mom had to go to the big move seminar by herself... and it turned out that the receptionist had given us the wrong seminar day! how lame is that?! since she gave the wrong date to multiple (!!) people, the advisor went ahead and gave the correct info packets and stuff to everyone.

today's polish is China Glaze Celtic Sun (Neon)... yep, (Neon) is on the label! and it certainly is neon highlighter colored... which is super fun on the nails. the camera did it's best but it absolutely could not capture how bright this color actually is! in some lights the color looks exactly like the photos... but in others it is a blinding neon! the formula was a complete nightmare. i used one thin coat followed by three thick coats, but still some fingers looked a little streaky. not noticeable to the average bear, but it bothers me. it dried very matte, i have photos of both the matte finish and a topcoat finish. if you are like me and have fairly oily skin, it is not going to stay matte for long... any time you touch your nail it becomes more and more shiny.

four coats. (matte)

four coats plus one coat Seche Vite.

i do love the color of this polish (even more so with topcoat) and will be definitely be rocking it again... but the formula is enough of a deterrent that i will not wear it very often. in the next week i will be swatching more neons from China Glaze... but i have the feeling all the polishes are going to be streaky and hard to work with. tomorrow's Friday! Ria :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Essie Trophy Wife under Essie Carnival

whew, somehow this week is dragggggging by. i can't believe it's only Wednesday! tomorrow i have to get up bright and early to go to a seminar about our upcoming big move... from the east coast to the west coast. i'm SO excited! one beach to another, doesn't get better than that. my husband is a Naval Officer and is going to attend a naval postgraduate school for his masters degree. the climate is supposed to in the sixties (F) all year... and that is my fave temperature. so ready to leave all this blistering hotness and humidity!

today is our first look at Essie polishes... they are phenomenal! even though it's a traditional brush, the polish is a dream to work with. i used Trophy Wife, a pearly turquoise. i had to buy it because my husband calls me his trophy wife... nauseatingly cute, right? it was opaque in two coats and i didn't have trouble with bubbling... even  on my ring finger, which is my Achilles heel for some reason. i completed the look with Essie Carnival. i hemmed and hawed over whether or not to purchase this one, i do own several holographic glitters. this one is brilliant in its simplicity... it is chock full of tiny round glitter. i'll let the swatches speak for themselves!

two coat TW topped with one coat Seche Vite.

one coat Carnival topped with another coat of Seche Vite.

i can't say enough positive things about my first experience with Essie... can't wait to pick up some more! i got  a 20% off entire purchase at Ulta coupon in the mail yesterday... definitely getting more Essie! i think tomorrow i'm going to do a post on China Glaze Celtic Sun (Neon)... so happy to try it out. i'll post a swatch without and with topcoat, it looks matte without anything on it. i have no idea which one i'll prefer! halfway to the weekend! Ria :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nicole One Time Lime

whew, ended up going to my hometown. *shiver* so glad i don't have to stay! awesome to see my friends, though, so it was totally worth it :)

today's polish is Nicole by OPI One Time Lime. this is my first review of the brand, but not my first time actually using it. the colors are easy to work with and cover in two to three coats. the new 'Perfect Stroke' brush is AMAZING! i think i like it better than OPI 'ProWide'... and that's saying a lot. (future post :: brush breakdown!) the traditional brush is okay, about the usual... easy to work with because the polish itself is easy to work with. the new brush totally amps things up! OTL is the color of most sour apple flavored candy... not an actual apple. it's not the color of an actual lime either, the polish has a more saturated color. well... let's leave at it's a beautiful green! i used three coats, however, two would have been sufficient. as usual, i want my nails to look far more thick than they actually are! it dried really shiny, but i did top it off with Seche Vite... because it can't be too shiny!... right?

here's the swatch!

quick tip :: different types of lighting can cause this color to have a much yellower undertone.

i'm officially a HUGE fan of Nicole by OPI polishes! Ria :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Orly Galaxy Girl

so glad my husband had the day off today... it made a really nice start to my week :) think i'm going to head down to where i grew up sometime this week... not so nice! at least it'll just be for the day, then back to beach.

today we're looking at Orly Galaxy Girl, a purple and blue metallic duochrome. this is my first time ever using an Orly polish. it wasn't awful, it wasn't astonishingly great. my major complaint is that if you don't match the coats up perfectly, there is a yuck looking plum color left behind. bottom line... beautiful color, easy application (opaque in two coats), but not run around the house screaming BEST POLISH EVER good. i have a multichrome from them that i'll be swatching in the next week or two. i'm curious to see if i like that better since i have more of a handle now on how to best apply it. here's the swatches!

GG two coats, topped with one coat Seche Vite.

light ::

shade ::

 i think i would have preferred that the base color be blue with the duochrome effect purple... but blue is my favorite nail color, so no surprise there! tomorrow we'll be checking out an Essie polish... check back to see which one and how well i liked it (it's also a first try of the brand!). Ria :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zoya Gemma

picked this beauty up at Ulta yesterday! if you have an Ulta near you i would suggest heading over to check out the clearance, mine had OPI, Nicole by OPI, China Glaze and Zoya heavily discounted!! (January 15, 2012) went to Target today because i had a dollar off coupon for Essie. i managed to lose the coupon somewhere in the store and then apparently the checker lost the polish at the register. grrrrr. since i wasn't charged for it, it's not a huge deal... but still irritating!

today we have Zoya Gemma. i almost didn't post the swatch because it has dents in it... but i figured it would be a good idea to show that it didn't want to dry! the formula was great, two easy coats and dried shiny. i topped it with one coat off Seche Vite. although i waited between each coat, it still stayed malleable overnight... and i can still can dent it with my fingernail! i'm really disappointed because the color is gorgeous and i'm excited to try the other colors i picked up. is there a special trick to drying Zoya?

and now, the swatch!

please excuse my cuticles, my fingers do not appreciate this cold snap! i really do adore this color, the olivey base with blue reflects is absolutely gorgeous! also, the Zoya brush seems a lot easier to work with than China Glaze... but not nearly as easy as OPI! hope you're having a great weekend, Ria :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

China Glaze For Audrey

hope everyone's weekend is kicking off to a great start! swatched my new colors on a nail wheel, having so much trouble picking which ones to wear next! so awesome seeing my friend, i wish she lived closer. my dogs were really excited to see her, too :)

today we have the famous China Glaze For Audrey. i have to say, i'm disappointed that it isn't closer to the actual Tiffany blue... it's a few shades darker than the real deal. it does have a good formula that covered nicely in two coats. these first China Glaze polishes i've been using seem to have a consistency that tends to dry lumpy... but again, that could be user error! as i continue swatching away i will keep you all updated!

just for funsies, i swatched FA on my Tiffany bag and box! i just can't force myself to throw away any of my Tiffany boxes... they ooze happiness in a little blue box :) the little bag is a closer match than the box... but i have had multiple colored bags even within the same order... seems like they could use a little quality control? i just feel like the gold standard in jewelry should be a little more consistent. the boxes, however, are always the exact same color. without further ado, here's two coats FA topped off with one coat Seche Vite!

in other news, my dogs stole a loaf of bread off the counter AND broke my mom's bowl. they have never done anything like that!! very frustrating and also scary, they could have cut themselves really badly :( guess we all get a wild hair every once in a while! Ria :)

Friday, January 13, 2012

China Glaze Dorothy Who? vs OPI Absolutely Alice

woohoo Friday! went to Ulta and had a great reason to avoid the grocery store... a surprise visit from one of my best friends! plus, my husband has a three day weekend... cheers to a fabulous weekend!

today we're comparing the blue glitters OPI Absolutely Alice and China Glaze Dorothy Who?. i layered them both over China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-Le. AA is a warm toned blue glitter that has gold glitter mixed in a clear base. DW? is a cool toned blue glitter with silver glitter in a blue jelly base. both only took one coat over SPWL to give a completely opaque look. you actually cannot even see that there is lighter color underneath the glitter! i do prefer DW? because i tend to go for cooler colors, and i definitely love silver more than gold! the blue jelly base does give more depth as well. i did have to GLOB on the Seche Vite to get the shiny glass look on both of them... that's my only complaint!

 here are a few shots showing the polishes at different focuses so you can see the colors of each glitter and then how much it sparkles... on to the swatches!

here's the close up... you can see how dense the glitters are!

and here we have the glimmer of the glitters...

and finally, check out that sparkle!

hope you enjoyed this comparison. i got so many new polishes today from brands that are all new to me, can't wait to get swatchin'! let me know what you guys would like to see next, spread my link around... and have a great weekend!!! Ria :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-Le

Happy Thursday! no Ulta today... tomorrow it is! sadly, i also have to go one of my most dreaded places... the grocery store. yuck!

today we have the first swatch of a basic color polish that is not OPI! it's China Glaze Secret Peri-Wink-Le. the name seems lame to me... are all the dashes necessary? i get where they were going with it, but... ick on all the dashes! SPWL is a gorgeous blurple (blue purple) cream. the color is beyond gorgeous. it is truly the color of periwinkle flowers. wish i had a flower to take a picture with the polish... but i live in an apartment complex that doesn't plant them AND it's winter! i used three coats... but i'm marking it down to user error because it's literally the first time in years i've used a traditional polish brush with regular colored polish (not topcoats). i do prefer the fatter brushes, but the skinny ones aren't terrible.

here's three coats SPWL topped with one coat Seche Vite.

i'm so excited to try out the other colors! tomorrow will be a comparison of blue glitters between China Glaze Dorothy Who? and OPI Abolutely Alice. they are very similar, but one is warm toned and the other cool. check back tomorrow to find out more! Ria :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OPI An Affair In Red Square vs. OPI Speak For Your-Elf under OPI White Shatter

*sigh* raining again! at least it's not cold... andddd it's halfway to the weekend :) hopefully i'll get to Ulta tomorrow, Virginia Beach is huge and while Ulta's still in VB, it's about a half hour away. growing up in a town that wasn't even five miles long caused me to have a little bit of culture shock when i first moved here! but, i hated where i grew up, so glad i left it in the dust, no regrets :)

a comparison of OPI reds is what we'll be looking at today, along with OPI White Shatter. first up we have OPI Speak For Your-Elf! (from Ulta's exclusive Christmas 2011 collection). it is sparkly metallic goodness, completely opaque in three coats. i would have preferred two, but it's worth the added coat! it has warm undertones and is so glittery it could *almost* qualify as a complete glitter. if i could only have one red, this would be it, hands down. it's brilliant for the holidays, but gorgeous year round! red should definitely be a staple in everyone's polish collection. OPI An Affair In Red Square (Russian Collection) is a cool toned red pearl. doesn't lean frosty or shimmery... a true pearl! in the bottle these two reds look far more similar than they do applied to the nail. in the bottle, SFYE sometimes looks like your regular run of the mill red... but it never looks that way on the nail! AAIRS probably has lots of dupes, i don't own any though. in the bottle it looks like a great dupe for OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress, which most say is a must for every collection... gotta get it one of these days!

and now... the swatches!!

three coats SFYE topped with one coat Seche Vite

sorry the swatch of AAIRS is so blurry... it's the closest i could to the true color of the polish without showing shimmers that do not show up at all in person. it is still a *little* more cool toned than this, sorry guys!! 

two coats AAIRS topped with one coat Seche Vite.

OPI White Shatter is my favorite crackle... i have never disliked it paired with anything! it's the one i always reach for... i guess it helps that i love wearing white polish by itself. but, that is definitely not to everyone's taste :) the key to crackles is shake them up REALLY well. it doesn't make air bubbles like it would in a regular polish. the formula went gross after a couple uses, which really ticked me off! shaking it brings it back to the original (or close to it) consistency. like most crackles, it dries very dull.

one coat WS over SFYE and topped with one coat Seche Vite.

hope you enjoyed this post, i love comparing polishes! i have firmly decided to branch out brand wise, hence the Ulta trip!! what polishes would you like to see swatched and compared? Ria :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finger Paints Twisted over OPI Suzi Says Da!

Happy Tuesday! it's BEAUTIFUL here in Virginia Beach today! went on a long walk at the oceanfront... nothing better than walking on the beach. my mom and dogs went with me, i walk the dogs and she searches for shells. sadly, not many shells today. i think we just missed the tide... but the ocean was such a gorgeous color that it made up for everything that wasn't quite perfection. plus, there was even a USN destroyer way out at sea. those are my favorites because that's what my husband was stationed on :)

on to the beauty of Finger Paints Twisted! (available January 2012 at Sally's). i layered it over OPI Suzi Says Da! (Russian Collection). SSD looks exactly like chocolate syrup. it's another one with a wretched first coat and a second that evens it out. i unfortunately had to do a third coat because i managed to hit my fingers against something. grrrrr, hate when that happens! Twisted is the rainbow flakie... it's delicious. one thick coat covered my nails in complete flakie goodness. it did dry very dull, so i went ahead with two coats of Seche Vite to make it glass shiny. *sigh* perfection.

three coats SSD topped with one coat Seche Vite (but it was very shiny on its own!)


one coat Twisted topped with two coats Seche Vite.

i do really love this one, but i'm not in love with it over SSD. of all the combos, i think OPI Midnight In Moscow is the best to use as the base color. it's dark with that subtle red shimmer to add depth... it's definitely my first choice! as to the flakies, i'm pretty well tied up between Twisted and Flashy (which is actually the one swatched over MIM). how about you guys? which base color have you liked the best? and which flakie calls your name?

Ria :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Finger Paints Flecked over OPI Ruble For Your Thoughts

dreary day here in Virginia Beach. the dogs are upset because they hate getting rained on... you'd think they would figure out the faster they go potty the faster they get to back inside. nope! so, everybody gets a soaking :)

today we're looking at Finger Paints Flecked (Special Effects collection, January 2012) over OPI Ruble For Your Thoughts (Russian collection). Flecked is another sparsely flakied polish... but one really thick coat does the job. its got a green blue flash, very pretty! wearing it over RFYT is not my favorite combo. to me, Flecked looks better over cool toned polishes. RFYT is another yuck in the bottle, amazing on nails... it just looks dusty orangey in the bottle, but turns into a beautiful rose! very strange. it's another that i never use because it looks so ugly on the rack! i was able to get away with only one final coat of Seche Vite on this one as well!!

this is two coats RFYT topped with one coat Seche Vite.

one thick coat Flecked topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

still don't know why adding the flakie top coat causes the polish to change color... the base for it is clear!

tomorrow we will have the final flakie, Twisted... get ready to drool! Ria :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sally's Seche Vite Promo!

super short post today, i stayed up way too late last night... just watching tv. yep, i'm one of those!

went to Sally Beauty today and the sales lady told me about their great promotion... buy the top coat Seche Vite and get a free bottle of China Glaze! she was sweet enough to ring each one as a separate transaction, so i just bought all the Seche Vite they had, which was six. i go through a bottle every week to two weeks, so it'll get used up quickly :) the promotion is going on now (January 8, 2012) and ends January 31, 2012. there is a coupon code in the digital flyer on their website (Sally Beauty), you can also just pick up the coupon in the free flyer available in store. these colors will be swatched over the next few weeks! the yellow is the one i'm most excited about... it's neon highlighter colored... not that you can tell in the picture :)

i have been a hardcore OPI user for years now... but i feel the need to branch out now that i've started blogging! this was an awesome way to try a new brand, can't believe the deal is this good! if you use Seche Vite i recommend running to Sally's immediately... Ria :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Finger Paints Flashy over OPI Midnight In Moscow

went to the Virginia Living Museum today... and found i had forgotten to charge my camera's battery! so frustrating :( but since we're members it isn't that big of a deal, i guess. all the animals were out playing today which was awesome! my husband's favorite animals are otters and i love... well, all animals, but especially anything canidae :) they have red wolves there, i am happy just to stand and watch them for hours. the museum participated in the government's captive breeding program a few years ago; the three wolves they have now are the father and two sons. how cool is that?!

and now, the polishes of day... and i'm happy to report we are back to the flakies! today's flakie is Finger Paints Flashy (get the Special Effects collection at Sally's now *January 2012*) layered over OPI Midnight In Moscow (Russian Collection). this combination is my favorite so far, everything about the polishes complement each other!

MIM is a dark, dark burgundy which can appear black. it has very subtle wine colored shimmers which give it depth, so even at a distance it looks much warmer than pure black. the formula will scare you, it is a sheer, streaky mess on the first coat. luckily, the second coat evens everything out!  this is such a sexy nail polish, perfect for a date... but i wear it whenever :)

two coats MIM topped with one coat Seche Vite.

Flashy is a combination of green and orange flakies... there is really nothing bad to say about this polish!  it is so easy to work with, one thick coat is all you will need. on the other flakie post i said that they should be topped off with two coats of Seche Vite... this one dried so shiny it could almost have been left alone. adding just one coat of SV made it SUPER shiny!

hope you're having a great weekend!! Ria :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

OPI Fair Dinkum Pinkum

sadly, i have to interrupt the Finger Paints flakie series for a simple OPI swatch. today has been crazy! it's already 11pm, so i'm barely even making this post while it's still Friday!

we're looking at OPI Fair Dinkum Pinkum, a light pink with glass flecks. i have to say, i'm really not a fan. it's got a watery, thin formula that took four coats to build up to opacity. however, it is thin enough that it was easy to keep air bubbles at bay... so, what you see that looks like air bubbles is actually the glass flecks. they are GORGEOUS in the bottle, but once on the nail they are very, very sparse and just give the polish a yucky look. i'm also going to show OPI Pink Friday from the 2012 Nicki Minaj collection.

four coats FDP topped with one coat Seche Vite.

and that was three coats of Pink Friday with one coat Seche Vite.

as you guys can see, PF is a saturated blue pink, while FDP is a neutral beige pink. if you only want one light pink, there is no contest in my opinion... Pink Friday is the way to go!

hopefully, we'll be back to the flakies tomorrow!

i just realized i'm talking about Pink Friday and it's... Friday! Ria :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finger Paints Asylum over OPI Catherine The Grape

hi, guys! while i've been editing i've had World's Dumbest Criminals on in the background. i've seen this episode multiple times but i never get tired of any of the World's Dumbest episodes! my dogs went and hid because i laugh so loud it freaks them out... *sigh* it's just so funny!

today from the OPI Russian Collection we have Catherine The Grape. this polish is strange... when i look at in the bottle, i hate it and i can't remember why i liked it so much. when it's on, it looks nothing like the bottle color! it turns from a dusty drab medium toned purple to a gorgeous rich plum that is close to a frost, but leans more towards a pearl. it you can see some brush strokes but i actually don't mind them, i think i'm one of the few polish fanatics that still loves a good frost! it has a great two coat formula, too! from the 2011 Finger Paints Special Effects Collection (available January 2012 from Sally's) Asylum is a fantastic flakie with predominately blue and orange flashes, but has limey green flashes from different angles!

here's two coats of CTG topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

and one thick coat of Asylum with two topcoats of Seche Vite.

the Finger Paints flakies look so much more awesome with two coats of topcoat. it amps it up from cool to drool worthy awesome! as you can tell, for some reason the flakies changed the whole look of the base polish... not sure why. i would have preferred that it stayed the same gorgeous purple, but the flakies are so awesome i can overlook it :)

haven't decided which flakie to show tomorrow, but the final polish of the five will be Twisted, the crown jewel of the whole collection! these flakies are officially a run don't walk situation... call your local Sally's first before heading out because they are flying off the shelves. my Sally's actually held all five for me when they got in a restock shipment. i didn't have to pay anything for them to hold the polishes, which is great on the off chance you hate the collection! i've heard other ladies say that their Sally's will hold new polishes as well, i hope yours does! Ria :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finger Paints Motley over OPI Russian Navy

WHERE did the warm weather go?! this beach bum is miserable :( we went from 60F+ one day to wind chills in the teens the next! the weather this winter is bizarre. we had a balmy Christmas... such a change from last year's blizzard! eesh... i'm putting in a formal request for the warm weather to return.

i'm so excited to bring you guys the first blog of the winter 2011 Finger Paints Special Effects collection available now (January 2012) at Sally's... which is FLAKIES! like most polish fanatics, i can't resist a flakie... true confession... just the thought of flakies makes me drool a little :) i'm layering it over polishes from the OPI Russian collection from a few years ago, it was a special request from my love, Dawn! today is OPI Russian Navy over Finger Paints Flecked. RN is a delicious dark blue that shimmers in direct light. fantastic formula, completely opaque in two coats! Motley has soft blue and green flakies, they change color constantly... distracting because all you want to do is sit and roll your hand around to see all the gradients of color!

this is two coats of Russian Navy topped with one coat of Seche Vite.

the shimmers!

and here's one coat of Motley topped off with one coat of Seche Vite.

there are five polishes in this collection which i will be swatching over the next few days... tomorrow is Asylum layered over OPI Catherine The Grape!

it's Wednesday... halfway to the weekend! Ria :)