Thursday, September 27, 2012

Butter London "Knackered"!

I had been wanting "Knackered" from Butter London for a few months now, but I could never bring myself to pay the $14 price tag, so you can imagine how excited I was when had their big promotion! For those of you who don't know, they had a pre-sale prior to the opening of their online store where you could purchase 3 Butter London colors and a matte top coat for $36, and then add a code for $25, bringing the total to $11 shipped! (I think this promo is over, so sorry to anyone who missed it.)

Knackered is a purple duochrome with a scattering of holographic glitter. The secondary color in the duochrome is a light blue. Knackered is a bit sheer, so I had to pair it with some undies. I chose "Zeus" from Sinful Colors. Zeus is a purple shimmer with a hint of pink.

I am so happy with this color combination! I'm in love. Unfortunately it was overcast this morning when I was taking photos. I still think the photos turned out good. Now for some swatch spam!

This one was indoors by the window. It's blurry, but it shows the holo glitter better.

Butter London "Knackered" and Sinful Colors "Zeus".

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dupe Alert! Sephora + Pantone Universe "Reflecting Pond" and Essie "Dive Bar"

I had a crazy weekend (my youngest son turned 5), so I didn't have time to do my nails this weekend. Shocking! However, I do have a post to share with everyone.

A few weeks ago I went to Sephora for the first time, and I picked a bottle of Sephora + Pantone Universe "Reflecting Pond", a dark blue shimmer with a hint of purple duochrome. As it turns out, I've had a dupe for this color for months! I noticed how similar they were this weekend, so I swatched them on nail wheels to be sure. Yep! Essie "Dive Bar" is the same color.

The dupe factor is not as obvious from the bottle shots, because of how thick the glass bottle is on the Pantone Universe Reflecting Pond.

The prices are comparable, but Dive Bar is cheaper. Dive Bar is $8 for .44 oz., and is sold at most retail locations (but it is a Fall 2011 Collection color, so availability could be affected). Reflecting Pond is $9 for .37 oz., and it is a Sephora exclusive. It's from the Pantone Universe Fall 2012 Collection. The Reflecting Pond has a flat brush, which is a plus to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire over 1/2 of Revlon Cosmic Effects Galactic

I've got a bit of a Love It/Hate It for you today.

First up, the Love It! A couple of months ago I won a Max Factor "Fantasy Fire" from a giveaway from Set in Lacquer. Fantasy Fire is a "top coat effect" polish that has a purple base, but also flashes blue, green & bronze in the right light. It's meant to be worn over another polish, and it is absolutely gorgeous! Due partly to my lighting, and partly to how dark my base color is, these pictures only show the bronze shimmer.

Unfortunately, there's a catch: Max Factor no longer sells nail polish in the United States, so Fantasy Fire is pretty hard to get your hands on here. As I said, I was lucky enough to win mine in a giveaway. If you really want some, you might be able to get it from eBay, but it's $14+ for a tiny little 5ml mini bottle.

Now, for the Hate It. I mentioned that Fantasy Fire is a top coat effect polish, so I decided to layer it over a dark blue. The dark blue I used is half of the Revlon Moon Candy collection called "Galactic". It comes in a unique bottle that is dark Navy Blue on one side and a turquoise blue flakie top coat on the other side. I had so many problems with this polish. :( It wouldn't go on smooth, and it flooded my cuticles something awful. Some of this might have been because I found the brush awkward to hold, since it had the other bottle of polish attached to it (and there's nothing you can do to avoid that, due to the duo bottle design.) But the worst part was when I got out my acetone to try to clean my cuticles. This stuff stained my cuticles horribly. Also, instead of cleaning up neatly, the blue "bled" all over my fingers and deeper into the cuticles. I'm not sure if I'm describing it right, but it was awful. With how badly this polish bleeds and stains, I'm really not looking forward to removing this polish AT ALL. I'm going to have to scrub my nails with baking soda and peroxide or something.

If you're curious, I swatched the flakie turquoise top coat onto a nail wheel, and although it looks cool, it was kind of thick and goopy. I don't think it would be fun to manicure with. :-/

I still love my Fantasy Fire, but next time I'll layer it over something else!

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Midnight Seduction" over "Plenty Of Fish In The Sea"

Today's manicure features two of my favorite things: Teal polish and Glitter!

Photo taken inside, but in the sunlight.

My base color is two coats of "Plenty Of Fish In The Sea", a teal/turquoise blue polish from Spoiled by Wet n Wild, a line of polish that is exclusive to CVS. It retails for $1.99. It's just a little sheer, so if I was wearing it by itself I would have used three coats to get rid of any visible nail line, but since I was planning on the glitter top coat, I only used two.

The glitter is two coats of "Midnight Seduction" by Kleancolor. "Midnight Seduction" is a multi-color holographic micro-glitter in a clear base. The main colors I see are turquoise, pink, and gold. I've mentioned before that Kleancolor isn't sold in my area, so I bought this one from a seller.

Something you'll probably notice from these photos is shrinkage! You can see the tips of my nails, and this is NOT tip wear, but shrinkage from the top coat. I used Jordana 60-second Quick Dry. I had lots of problems with shrinkage when I used Seche Vite, too. I only have a shrinkage problem when I use glitter.

I've tried to take a variety of photos, both inside and outside, and in the sunlight and shade, to show you how it looks in different lighting.

Photo taken inside, but in the sunlight.

Photo taken outside, but in the shade.

Photo taken outside, in the direct sunlight.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mac Cosmetics "Formidable"

First off, let me apologize for how long it's been since I wrote a new blog post. I had a busy birthday then holiday weekend. :)

Second, let me apologize for how crappy these photos are. I say this way too much--these pictures don't do this polish justice!

MAC Cosmetics "Formidable" is a metallic purple shimmer with a slight blue duochrome effect. It's not strong, but it's there, especially in the right light. My photos show three thin coats. Just using one coat it was the color of grape jelly. Two to three coats produces the gorgeous dark purple you see in the photos. This color is such a different shade of purple than I'm used to seeing, and I fell in love with it when I tested it. Formidable is from MAC's "Venomous Villains" Collection, which was released 2 years ago in 2010. The other two polishes in this collection are called "Bad Fairy", which I'd like to get, and "Mean & Green", which is a dupe for Orly "Space Cadet" & Hard Candy "Beetle" (I have Beetle).

I got this polish at Nordstrom's, and it's pretty expensive... but it was  my birthday, lol!

This unfocused photo with flash shows the pretty shimmer.

You can see both the reddish-purple and the bluish-purple in this shot.