22 February 2012

Orly Rococo A-Go-Go

The amount of gorgeous micro glitter packed into this polish should be criminal. I feel like micro-glitter is real glitter's little sister who's just a little bit prettier, a little bit more friendly, and who always seems to look fabulous. Not only does it add just the right amount of sparkle to some polishes, but removal is much easier than heavy glitter and application tends to be smoother. And I'm definitely showing some favoritism between these siblings. Orly Rococo A-Go-Go is vampy deep burgundy color with fuschia and gold shimmer and micro-glitter that give it glow from within.

This is two coats of Rococo A-Go-Go. Application was easy peasy, but removal left shimmer all over my cuticles- bummer! But totally worth it for how completely stunning this polish is. I'm definitely not regretting adding this polish to my collection. Most of the colors from the Orly Mineral FX collection are gorgeous as well.

Do you prefer micro-glitter or regular glitter in polishes? Did you pick up any of the Mineral FX collection?  Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

21 February 2012

OPI Catherine The Grape

Well, this is the first nail polish bottle I've ever had to use the 'rubber band method' to open. That cap was not coming off without a fight! But ultimately won out in the end, as evidenced by this post. I picked this polish up while dusty hunting partly because I recognized the name, but mainly because I'm a lover of purple polishes and this is an especially pretty purple. This little gem is part of the 2007 OPI Russian Collection- the same collection that gave us the beautiful Russian Navy. After swatching this I finally understood why it's so sought after; It's as if the polish is glowing from within, which is a fairly rare and covetable trait for a polish. The base color is a slightly muted, dusty plum color, but it's the soft light pinkish-purple shimmer that makes this polish really shine.

This is two coats of Catherine The Grape. Application was a breeze, which is always a plus. When it dries it's not dull but it's definitely not shine-tastic, so a coat of top coat would make it even lovelier. I didn't use any base or top coat in my swatch though.

What do you think of Catherine The Grape? Is it everything your little lemming heart desires, or do you not think it deserves the hype or 'HTF' status it has attached to it? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

19 February 2012

Essence Forget-Me-Not

The nearest ULTA to me has a very limited selection of Essence polishes, and hardly ever gets any of the limited edition collections. This really bums me out because Essence has such a lovely, affordable line of polishes with a great formula and brushes that I tend to love. My ULTA did however get the 'Blossoms Ect..' line by Essence and I quickly snatched up a bottle of the very periwinkle Forget-Me-Not. The blue shimmer is what ultimately sealed the purchase of the polish for me- even though I don't wear blues very often (hardly ever!) I have this weird need to buy any blue polish that catches my fancy. Okay, that's it. I think I need to do a blue-polish-week sometime soon to justify this polish buying quirk of mine! In the meantime though, please scroll down for some swatch-candy courtesy of Forget-Me-Not.

This is three medium coats of Forget-Me-Not. The formula was a little runny and I found that it was a little too-easy to have areas of patchiness or dragging with the combination of thin polish and a slightly stiff brush. The shimmer really showed up in the second coat. This polish leans a bit more purple than I thought it would, but it still is a nice periwinkle color.

Overall the more purple cast to this polish makes it a tad more wearable for my personal preferences. The  vibrant shimmer that is visible in the bottle makes a lack-luster appearance on the nail but is still noticeable. My pictures of this polish are slightly off- it's much more purple and a little darker in person than in the photos.

What is your opinion on Essence polishes? Do you have access to the full range of colors, or do you live in an area that's lacking? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

(p.s. mini story tangent.. I tried spelling 'courtesy' like 10 times while writing this blog post, and spell check kept telling me that I was trying to spell 'curtsey'. Broke down and went to google for help. I ended up spelling it correctly the first time I typed it into the search without even thinking how to spell it. Gee, thanks for finally kicking in brain!!)

18 February 2012

Essie Lacy Not Racy

Oh how I love the clearance section at my ULTA! I swear that hardly anyone in my area/state/geographical location puts much effort or time into things so 'trivial' as nail polish. And hey, that's fine by me because it makes for awesomely rewarding dusty hunting trips and clearance bin scores! So keep on keepin' on bare nail ladies of the world! More power to ya (and more polish to me)! Anyway, back to the polish. Today I'll be blabbering on about and showing you my swatches of Essie Lacy Not Racy, a vampy deep red jelly that is perfect for girls like me who like to wear their reds a bit more sultry than flashy.

This is three coats of Lacy Not Racy. Application was typical of a jelly and didn't pose any annoying or challenging issues. I think that if I had done another coat I could have achieved the dark red that is seen in the bottle, but I stopped at three because it was a swatch and not a full manicure so it wasn't that critical to me to reach bottle color. But if you really wanted the deep, dark red it is possible to get that look.

I picked this beauty up for just two dollars at ULTA and I couldn't be happier. Usually I tend to stay away from Essie because it just feels expensive at $8.00 a bottle- even though I'll happily fork over $8.50 for an OPI. What's up with that?! Does anyone else feel that way, or am I just crazy?

How you do like to wear red polish? Dark and vampy? Bright and bold? Glam and Glitzy? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

16 February 2012

OPI I Eat Mainely Lobster

This was one of the only few colors that I was craving from the OPI Touring America collection and I couldn't have been more thrilled when I received it as a gift from one of my best friends. What can I say, she knows me well! Even though I don't normally gravitate towards pinks and corals in polish I genuinely loved the warm, colorful shimmer that I had seen in swatches of this color. It added a new dimension to a coral and I wanted it. Fortunately almost all of the gorgeous shimmer you see in the bottle translates onto the nail. No disappointment here! If you're a fan of corals or just lovely shimmers in general, you'll probably love this polish.

This is three coats of I Eat Mainely Lobster. I was impressed with the formula on this one- it wasn't quite a jelly and it wasn't quite a cream, which made it smooth to apply and fairly self-leveling. I probably could have gotten away with just two coats if I had made my coats a bit thicker. The first image is taken in the shade, and the second image is more color accurate.

Of course as always I loved the OPI Pro-Wide brush, although I seem to be one of the few bloggers who actually like this brush. If you're a blogger/polish enthusiast and like this brush you should definitely let me know so I don't feel so alone in my love for it! haha!

What are some of the polishes you had to have from the OPI Touring America collection? Is this color one of the ones you loved? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

15 February 2012

China Glaze Harmony

Everyone knows that the China Glaze Romantique Collection is a rainbow of perfect stamping chromes, and that's why I purchased a few of the colors from it. I've used the chromes a few times for nail art but I've generally avoided them for daily wear because they have a tendency to show any and every flaw on the nail. And since my nails aren't perfect, my little tiny ridges are not something I want to show off! But chrome/metallic finish polishes definitely add some interesting dimension and texture when used in conjunction with other polishes in nail art so I think that's where I'll keep them. But since I'm on a mission to eliminate my untrieds the time has come for me to start swatching the ones I own, starting with China Glaze Harmony- a nice warm medium purple.

This is just one medium coat of Harmony. You know, I'm surprised! Before I swatched this I was kind of terrified that it would make my nails look terrible and you would all see the outlines of the little soon-to-be-peelies that I try so hard to combat, and it would be embarassing. But it doesn't actually look bad! +1 for nail confidence. Back to the polish though- It's a very flattering purple on warm (yellow undertoned) skin tones like mine, and removal was super duper easy.

Are you a little shy about wearing chromes like me, or does your love for polish know no bounds, regardless of finish? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

14 February 2012

OPI Berry Good Dancers

Happy Valentine's Day lacquer lovers! Now I don't know if it's my brain playing tricks on me, but it seemed like when I was applying this polish it smelled slightly... fruity? Definitely different than nail polish usually smells. Aside from my sniffer being off today I'll be showing you a swatch of OPI Berry Good Dancers. This is a medium to soft pink raspberry colored foil that's absolutely jam-packed (no pun intended... ok a little pun intended) with sparkly silver micro glitter and shimmer. It comes from the 2006 Radio City Rockette Reds Collection, which always reminds me of Christmas- although this isn't a very christmasy polish at all. Oh well! Onto the swatch!

This is two coats of Berry Good Dancers, and if you're not too picky about a teensy bit of visible nail line it could be a one-coater for you. This polish definitely surprised me. I didn't think I would really love it since it's a pink and you all know how I love my vampies, but it was so flattering on my skin tone that I honestly think I'll be reaching for it when the weather warms up. Removal was also nice and clean, despite thinking that I would end up with tiny silver glitter all over my fingers! Another plus in my book!

Have you ever kept a polish around simply because it's flattering on you, even though it's not really your thing? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

12 February 2012

OPI Peach-A-Boo

Back in June when I pretty much raided a salon on vacation, I snagged this bottle of polish. I'll admit that I picked it up because the name seemed familiar and I was looking for polishes that I would be able to swap on MUA. But ever since it came home with me it's warm golden peachy color and soft pink micro-glitter  have warmed my heart and won me over! I think it was actually another OPI with a similar peach-related name that I was originally thinking of back in June, but I can't place it right now. This one however is a lovely little 'peach' of a polish that I'm excited to share with you!

This is four coats of OPI Peach-A-Boo. Application was a breeze- no issues. Honestly, this polish is beautiful. The entire time I was applying it I couldn't stop staring at the pink micro-glitter and golden shimmer! This is pretty much 'sun-kissed' summer glowy goodness in a bottle, and come summer time I'll reach for it whenever I want something easy and stunning. Heck, I don't even mind the bit of visible nail line that is present with four coats- it's that pretty in person! Please, please don't judge this polish just by my picture- I couldn't get my camera to pick up the amazing pink glitter very well that makes this polish so dynamic.

Usually I steer clear of sheer layering polishes (mostly because I don't have the clever-polish-layering-idea-mind that so many other bloggers seem to!) but I thought that this one would be pretty over a variety of shades, and especially lovely over pinks and white. I've yet to try any layering experiments with this color but I don't doubt that after swatching this one and seeing it in action, I'll be busting out my nail wheels and start putting it over every color I can think of!

Do you enjoy using sheer polishes to layer with, or do you not mind a bit of VNL when you wear them alone? Have you tried this color before? What colors would you like to see it layered with? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

11 February 2012

OPI Done Out in Deco + Lavender Polish Comparison

You know those polishes that you sometimes find in your collection and think to yourself "Where did this one come from"? Yeah, this is one of those for me. Poor little polish, I'm sorry I don't remember how or when I acquired you, but you've had a nice home in my alex and plenty of other polish friends so I don't feel that bad for forgetting your story. Anyway, today I'll be showing you OPI's Done Out in Deco. It's a dusty lavender color, and I noticed while I was organizing my polishes that this isn't the only lavender polish in my collection. Heck, it's not even the only OPI lavender I own! I noticed at least two other similar shades to this polish so I'll be showing you those later on in this post. But for now we'll give the spotlight to just this one polish.
This swatch is three thin coats of Done Out in Deco. The formula was nice but a bit on the runny side, although not enough to really cause an issue in application. Like it looks in the bottle it's a pretty, dusty, dark lavender that is fairly flattering on my particular skin tone.

In choosing polishes for this comparison I decided to compare OPI Rumple's Wiggin' and M.A.C. Little Girl Type. In the bottles these three look pretty similar but it's very obvious that there are no dupes in this trio when they're put onto a nail. Rumple's Wiggin' and Little Girl Type are very close to each other, however Little Girl Type leans a bit more towards pink and is lighter overall. My camera again has failed at capturing the true color of these polishes, but you can still see the tonal differences clearly. Rumple's Wiggin' is on my index finger and Little Girl Type is on my ring finger. Looks like my lavender polish purchasing ways can continue without guilt!

Do you like lavender polishes, or do they sometimes give you dreaded "lobster hands" like they do for me sometimes? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

09 February 2012

Happy Birthday Lovely In Lacquer!

Well folks, it's been an interesting first year on my blog. I kind of feel a little guilty even celebrating, mainly because for about five of those months I hardly posted at all, if at all. But after wallowing around and considering just letting my blog's first birthday just quietly pass by out of guilt, I decided that even though it was a bumpy and inconsistent first year it's the only first year this blog will ever have. So I'm celebrating. Not as in a 'throw-a-huge-party-and-giveaway' type celebration, but more of a 'thank-you-for-sticking-around-and-not-abandoning-me' kind of celebrating. Because without you guys (my lovely, lovely readers) I would just be talking to myself right now. But your constant sweet comments and support have made me smile when I really really needed to, and kept me focused on a hobby that really does make me happy.

There are a couple of things I'd like to share with you to celebrate today, and one of them is my very first swatch ever. It was of Sally Hansen's Hello Bordeaux.

Holy Macaroni I hope you think I've improved as much as I think I have! haha! For one, I've learned to push back my cuticles. And for two, I've learned about the powers of a clean-up brush and acetone!

And here's the part where I was going to show you a swatch of Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday, and I was planning on having a giveaway for the same polish for you lovely readers! But I have yet to receive the bottle of Deborah Lippmann (even though I ordered it on the 20th...) so sadly my plan must be postponed ): I'm so sorry everyone- I really wanted to make this special for you too.

Again, thank you so much for reading my blog this past year (for the months i've been posting anyway!) and continuing to check out new posts I make and leave wonderful comments. I really enjoy interacting with you guys and you make my days a little bit brighter! THANK YOU!

Love, Abby.

08 February 2012

Wednesday Review: Omega Labs Nail Art Striper Brush

Let me preface this post with one sentence.."I'm not very good at free-hand nail art". There, now that that's out of the way we can begin. As I said, not the best a freehanding- So when there's a design where I need to draw some stripes I always reach for a nail art striper. And if I don't have the color that I need.. well.. that's when the paintbrush comes out and things get a little crazy. But all craziness aside my collection of stripers (stripers, not strippers. Just in case your brain reads that wrong like mine tends to do.) consists of the Dollar Tree L.A. Colors Art Deco variety, which is pretty good quality although you run the risk of a wonky brush here and there. So when I was sent a different brand of nail striper to review by Nail de Royale I was kind of excited! And I have to say that although the Art Deco brushes have low prices and easy availability on their side this new nail striper has pretty much won me over! I present to you the Omega Labs Nail Art Striper Brush (super creative name, right?).

The color I received to review is a bright magenta pink called Hottest Pink- It's brighter and more red-toned than Art Deco Intense Pink. The first element of the product I'll be covering will be the brush. It's very thin and easily allows for a controlled, smooth line. The bristles don't seem to fall out or be as loose as those in the Art Deco stripers, and it's a thinner, longer brush. The Art Deco brush is fairly thick at the base and tapers down into a point while the Omega brush is basically the same thinness from base to tip. I like the control the longer brush gives, allowing for a smoother and more even line.

One of the things that is important to me in a striper is the amount of pigmentation in the polish. If i'm making very thin close together lines I don't want to have to do a second coat and potentially smear or ruin my design. Below are both stripers swatched on a white nail and a black nail. The Omega striper is on the right of each swatch and the Art Deco striper is on the left.

Both stripers perform well on light colored polish and stay true to bottle color. However when they are swatched on a dark color they both are fairly transparent, but the Art Deco striper is slightly more pigmented. But even though it's more pigmented it looses the bottle color and turns into a muddy pink-ish brown when used over black. I don't think either of these stripers is the right color to be used over dark polish, and neither did particularly well.

Overall there are both positives and negatives to each striper, but my clear favorite is the Omega Labs Nail Art Striper. The more jelly-like polish formula of this striper makes it easier to use than the creamier Art Deco Striper. I still love my Art Deco stripers and will continue to reach for them frequently, but I'm happy to have a different brand of striper to add to my collection!

If you're interested in purchasing Omega Labs Nail Art Stripers you can purchase them here from Nail De Royale. The stripers are available in over forty different colors!

What's your favorite brand of nail art striper? Do you use stripers or do you just use a paintbrush? Was this review helpful? Leave me a comment and let me know! Thanks for reading!

I was sent this product for review by Nail De Royale. My opinions and observations about the product are my own and are completely honest.