Friday, February 3, 2012

The Ultimate, Perfect Red... Cult Nails Quench Review + Pics

I just realized I have started off 5/7 blog posts with "Hello again," so I will attempt to control myself, haha.  To anyone who knows me, it is no secret that red is my all time favorite color and this love extends to polishes; if I see a pretty red, I will undoubtedly buy it some day.  I bought Quench originally thinking that it would be a nice addition to my collection of reds, and not much else: can I just say: DEAD WRONG!

Maria at Cult Nails describes it thusly: "QUENCH is a sexy, yet classic red.  Weather you're a pale princess or an ebony goddess, this color is stunning on everyone.  Quench dries to an extremely high shine."
And let me tell you, Quench definitely delivers. This color is gorgeous to the extreme, and truly the best non-effects red polish I've ever seen.  The application is also incredibly easy and the formula is the most forgiving one I have ever used.  As you can see, it does indeed dry to a very high shine.  The above pic was taken indoors with one coat of OPI topcoat and one coat of Seche QD, but even so, the shine was almost the same before topcoat.

And in a different kind of indoor lighting (fluorescent) , it looks vampier, which does not bother me in the slightest.  To add to the already spectacular awesomeness of the polish, can I once again say kudos to Maria on the formula?  Incredibly long-lasting for me with minimal tip wear and no chips.  This is definitely my new go-to red polish.

And lastly, in the sunlight.  Isn't it pretty? The only possible problem I can think of is that it is very sheer.  Even with 3 coats, I still had a faint VNL, so that is something to keep in mind.  To me, the color pay-off is well worth the patience in application, but those who don't like sheer polishes may become frustrated by it.  I still say that I strongly urge everyone to try this.  Even if you don't like reds, give it a shot anyway! How can you resist such a pretty red lacquer?

Not to mention that you can't help but feel kind of sexy when your nails are painted that classic, bold red :).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Zoya Kristen + Fingerpaints Flecked Review and pics

Hello!  Today I have a really cute winter manicure that I put together with Kristen from Zoya's Feel collection (Winter 2011) and Fingerpaints Flecked from their Special Effects collection (Sally Beauty in-store exclusive).  As much as I liked this combo, I have to say that I definitely look way better in dark/vampy shades.  I guess it's my natural pallor, haha.

As much as I wanted to get a picture in the sunlight to show off the beautiful flakie goodness, the weather just was not cooperating at all, so I only have indoor pics.  However, these are pretty true to life in terms of color.  This is two coats of Zoya's Kristen finished with one coat each of Flecked and Seche QD.  

While I will be the first to tell you that I love Zoya, I did have a little trouble with Kristen. An unfortunately common problem among creamy/pastel colors is that the formula can be difficult to work with.  I found that it was kind of streaky and difficult to handle.  Nowhere close to being the worst I've ever used, and a second coat evened it out for the most part, but it's something to keep in mind.  The color itself is gorgeous (as expected of Zoya), but you will definitely need some patience and a solid two-three coats to get even coverage.  

Now for Flecked;  I have never used fingerpaints before as I tend to be an impulse web buyer (almost never in store), but I have to say that I was very pleased with this one.  First of all, ZOMG, it's a BLUE-GREEN FLAKIE, which I have been wanting forever!  Also, the formula is super easy to work with, although the flakes could stand to be a bit more densely packed; in retrospect, I would use two coats rather than one to get more coverage.  I would gladly have bought the whole set, but this was literally the last one on the stand!  I am clearly going to have to stalk all of the Sally stores in my area.

Despite the slight difficulty with Kristen, I still think the end result is well worth the trouble.  See how pretty it is?  It reminds me of snowflakes!  What do you think about this combo?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

OPI's Are We There Yet? + Essie's Shine of the Times Review + Pics

  Hello again!  It would appear that I sadly missed the deadline on the Cult Nails contest (which I thought included the 13th, but I suppose not).  But I have a lovely, bright polish to share today that brightens my spirits.  This is the ever so gorgeous Are We There Yet? from OPI's Touring America collection.  This color was a dream to apply, one of the best-behaved OPI's I've ever used.  The formula is creamy and very forgiving.  I sometimes have problems with OPI's formula, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  It is lovely bright salmon color with a lovely subtle shimmer in it.  As an added plus, I have worn it for a day or two with very minimal tip wear and no chipping, which for me is a difficult thing to find in a polish, as I'm so rough on my hands.
  The color is truly lovely, but unfortunately it is impossible to photograph.  In the indoors shot it is more muted than it actually is, but the outdoors shots make it look way brighter than in real life. Sooo, picture the color as being between the two. 

  Isn't it gorgeous?  See how it sparkles in the sunlight?  Also, I put Essie's gorgeous flakie Shine of the Times over my accent nail.  It's basically a dupe of Nubar's 2010 (which I also have, but have yet to post), but the flakie pieces are smaller and more densely packed.  The flakies shift from green to orange, and I think it works perfectly together with Are We There Yet?.  It makes my accent nail look like a beautiful opal!

  I am really happy with how this turned out! What do you think?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cult Nails Let Me Fly with China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint

Hello, again!  Today I have a manicure I created in honor of the 1-year anniversary of the wonderful brand Cult Nails.  Of course, I ended up being pretty late with my post, but I hope the sentiment still speaks for itself. I used Let Me Fly as a base and I stamped over it with China Glaze Refresh-mint. Let Me Fly is described on the site as a "dusty turquoise shimmer with gorgeous silver shimmer."  It is a perfect description.  This polish is gorgeous and easy to work with, not to mention that it is stunning in the sunlight.  I put this manicure together on Wednesday and it held up with minimal chipping or tip wear until today, which for me is incredibly long.  This is only my second time using Cult Nails polish and I am already very impressed with the brand, and I encourage everyone to check it out if you haven't done so already.

For the anniversary, Maria from Cult Nails is holding a nail art contest.  I submitted a picture to her, so hopefully I made the deadline (she said by the 13, so I took that to mean by the end of the 13).  In any case, I  really love how this one turned out; it looks kind of retro.  I'll post the link to the facebook page where people can vote if I did indeed make the deadline.  A lot of amazing nail designs have already been submitted, so I'm a little nervous.  Oh well, here's hoping!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A-England's Tristam

Hello again! Today I thought I would share one of my very favorite polishes EVER: A-England's Tristam.  This is a gorgeous blue with very fine holo. It looks breathtaking in the sun and pretty amazing in not so ideal lighting as well.  Since the sun will apparently never come out again where I live, I am using old pics from the last time I wore it (over Thanksgiving).  This is two coats with on coat of Seche QD.  Isn't it gorgeous? 

A-England's polishes are consistently wonderful.  The formula on all of the ones I have tried is so easy to work with and very forgiving.  The pigmentation on them is amazing and the colors are part of the reason why A-England is one of my very favorite brands ever.  Seriously, if you have not given them a try, I urge you to do so!
Although I am a bit late, this was intended to be an anniversary post for A-England, as the one year anniversary of the launch of the lovely Adina's first collection, the Mythicals, was the 8th of January.  The Mythicals is all based on Arthurian legend, which for a BBC Merlin-watching nerd like me is like the holy grail (pun intended, haha) of nail polish collections.  As of the other day, I can proudly say that I own all of them (even if they aren't all here yet).  The Mythicals collection can be purchased here.

Adina has also announced that a new collection will be launching soon; The Legend, based on the story of St. George.  A sneak peek of this collection (including swatches, which are to DIE for) can be found here, at the Ommorphia Beauty Bar.  I have preordered St.George and Princess Tears.  Which shades from A-England are your favorites?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cult Nails Iconic + Konad special Gold

Hello again!  Today I was running around all day, so I didn't have the time to do my A-England manicure that I planned for their 1 year anniversary while the sun was still out, so I settled for adding to my Iconic manicure.
While out at the mall the other day, I bought a few new Konad plates and polishes, so I was really excited to try them out.  I think it turned out really well!  I only wish that the sun had come out for longer, because the best pics I were able to get were inside during my hair appointment, but it looks so amazing in the sun :(.  In any case, I still think it looks pretty. Also, a note: I was indeed correct in my assumption that my chipped thumbnail was not usual, and probably my own fault.  I repaired that one, and the polish has held up great, with only minimal tip wear. 

Please ignore my awful cuticles/painting ability.

Sorry this post isn't more exciting, haha.  But I'll have some gorgeous A-England pics for you all tomorrow!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cult Nails Iconic

Hello again! Today I have a lovely shade from Cult Nails. This was my first time wearing one of their polishes, and I have to say that I was not disappointed.

Here it is in sunlight

And indoors

Look how gorgeous it is! I have such a huge thing for red nail polish that even your run of the mill red creme will make me happy, but this is really something special. It's a beautiful raspberry color with red flakes and really gorgeous and subtle gold shimmer throughout. I couldn't stop staring at my hands all day! It was very easy to apply and even though I was worried by its apparent sheerness, it covered just fine in two easy coats, with one coat of Seche QD on top. I got several compliments at work and I think it is a very flattering polish. I, of course, have very pale skin, so what looks good on me might not work on everyone, but if you're a little on the fence about buying this, please try it; you won't regret it!

I only noticed one small thing; the polish on my thumb chipped a bit around lunchtime (I painted my nails last night). As none of my other nails have any chipping whatsoever, I assume it was probably an isolated incident due to user error, as I am pretty rough on my hands and can manage to chip even the most resilient polish in half the time everyone else does. I thought I would mention it though. Overall, I am very impressed with the formula and the color is beyond gorgeous. Very glad I bought it!

Also, look what arrived today!
My Urban Decay Book of Shadows IV!

I can't wait to try it out!