Slightly Obsessed With…Barielle Nail Brightener


I wear a lot of nail polish (like you, I’m sure!) because I’m a polish fanatic. There are days where I swatch up to 12 shades in a day when I’m reviewing a collection—in addition to my regular application of the color of the week. That’s a lot of polish on one’s nails! All of that tends to make my natural nails look a little dull, and let’s face it—there are days when I want my nails to be sans color (scoff!), but I still want them to look polished and professional. I’ve recently become obsessed with Barielle Nail Brightener as a result.

What it is…

Nail Brightener is a hybrid of treatment and polish. It contains anti-oxidizing properties, with very faint nail brightening pigments. It appears to be translucent on the nail, but if you view it very closely—you can see extremely subtle hints of a light-reflective shimmer that almost make the nail “glow”. Barielle promises that this formula has the ability to hydrate the nails, but to be honest I haven’t worn it long enough for any one period of time to test that theory in its entirety. I just change polishes too often to notice! But good to know, right?

Here’s a before & after… [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: OPI Nice Stems! Collection for Summer 2011


OPI harnesses the power of pink this summer with their latest collection, Nice Stems! Four new variations of the ever-popular girlie shade to tickle your fancy (or tickle you pink—if you prefer) are yours for the taking. I had a chance to try out all of the new lacquers, and I guess you could say I was tickled pink by them myself! With three solid colors and a multi-dimensional pink glitter/foil top coat to partner them up with—the choice is yours for tips and toes. What shades will you go with?

“These vibrant, feminine hues complement 60’s ladylike fashions, 70’s glam looks, and bold color-blocking, which are the season’s staples,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “The Nice Stems! collection also offers an interesting contrast and feminine accent to the punk and biker looks on the runways.”

Here’s the shade breakdown from OPI: [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Zoya Touch Collection — Pandora, Minka, & Shay


The Zoya Touch Collection came when I least expected it, but I’m sure glad that it did! Remember the other Zoya collections for summer it seems like we just reviewed? Touch is a welcome departure, and I could not be more impressed. These are all creamy, opaque nudes with a light shimmer that make me want to reach out and touch them. If they had textures, I imagine they’d feel like cashmere sweaters and soft knits that I’d want to cuddle up with while drinking a creamy latte. It may seem odd for summer, but WOW—these are NICE! Two coats for each shade delivered complete opacity for me, with a smooth flow.

Minka is a light beige with warm yellow undertones with a very subtle shimmer. I was worried it wouldn’t look well with my cool-toned complexion, but I think it looks flattering (in my humble opinion). I think it will be even more flattering on darker and olive skin tones for sure.   [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Shades from the Jessica Cosmetics Carte Blanche Collection


Last week, I was walking through GAP (The Gap for us old fogies), and I marveled at how gorgeous all of the neutral and nude shades looked on all of the displays. There were blush tones, soft peach colors, nudes, and pale greys paired up with white—and it all looked so fantastic. When I saw the Jessica Carte Blanche Collection, it instantly brought me back to that experience. Shades like these are certainly chic, and pretty timeless—not to mention—look great up against a faux tan! While I don’t have all six shades to show you from the collection, I do have three of them, and they’re very soft shades of grey and lavender. Let’s take a peek…

Trés Chic is an opaque lavender/grey pearl, but takes on more lavender than grey.  [Read more...]

Review: Broadway Nails Nail Dress Stick-on Wraps Nail Stickers


Nail art isn’t easy, Minx manicures rarely come on the cheap, and sometimes just painting your own nails can look more like a crime scene than a perfectly polished set of fingernails. It’s hard to achieve a perfect 10, so several companies have launched at-home nail art/nail polish stickers to help us out. While some are actual nail polish strips, these are from Broadway Nails. Their Nail Dress Stick-On Wraps are actually stickers to help you create an instant nail makeover. I tried them out to see how easy they were to apply, and how well they lasted…let’s see how they did!

[Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Zoya Mod Mattes Collection For Summer 2011


Now that is some SERIOUS neon, right? Maybe not as eyeball searing as these neons Vampy Varnish posted, but the Zoya Mod Mattes Collection reminds me of a time when all I wanted was a pair of pink Reebok hi-tops and “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama was at the top of the charts. Those were the days…

These days, things aren’t so simple (at least for me)…so when I see something that makes me go all retro in my head, I get a little excited. Here’s the shade breakdown:

  • Lolly — bold magenta with a matte velvet finish
  • Mitzi — yellow-toned lime green with a matte velvet finish
  • Phoebe — azure electric blue matte with velvety soft shimmer

See swatches below: [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: NARS Cosmetics Summer 2011 Collection


From NARS:

The Summer 2011 Collection is a range of warm, sophisticated, shimmering shades, punctuated with shots of vivid, nature-defying color. Eyes are washed in icy sea foam, silver-green and frozen turquoise. Lips are infused with mandarin orange gloss and hot pink matte color. The look is finished with nails in bold sunflower yellow or matte opaque white for a modern, edgy effect that’s strictly NARS.

Wowza, I couldn’t have said it any better myself! For a few weeks I’ve been dreaming of seeing this entire collection with my own eyes and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. While I may not have all of the products from the collection to share with you, I feel I probably have the best and most versatile pieces from the collection that almost anyone would enjoy wearing. Let’s get started…shall we?

[Read more...]

Review & Swatches: Shades from the Essie Resort Collection 2011


Last year’s Resort Collection from Essie had me dreaming of sparkling oceans and warm sand between my toes—this year’s theme is a little more on the wild side. Not as in crazy-wild, but nature-wild; think of the colors of a wild nature safari…that’s Essie’s Resort Collection for 2011! These shades are little more earthy, but are still stepping out for Essie since she’s known for her incredible sheers and pale shades.

The shade breakdown:

  • Your Hut or Mine? — glittering golden poppy
  • Lion Around — imperial peach
  • Fair Game — Tahitian platinum pearl
  • Da Bush — sun-drenched khaki green

I didn’t have the opportunity to try out Lion Around (and I haven’t located it in salons yet), so I’m sorry that it’s missing! But here are swatches of the rest of the collection…

Your Hut or Mine? is a slightly shimmering hibiscus pink, with a golden glow to warm it up. The gold is a little more reflective in the sun than in this photo.  [Read more...]

Review & Swatches: OPI Shatter Nail Polishes in 3 New Blue Hues


Since the release of Black Shatter earlier this year, OPI has been on a roll—cranking out their crackling-effect polishes in several new colors. Most recently, the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Collection launched a Silver Shatter, while the latest in the Glam Slam! France Collection from Serena Williams debuted both a Red Shatter and a White Shatter. It looks like this instant nail art trend is still going very strong, because we have three new blue Shatters from OPI, as an expansion of the Shatter Collection.

Black Shatter was received with great fanfare, showing that women are looking for new ways to express themselves and are excited to try different textures on their nails,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “By adding a variety of colors to the line, there are more options for every woman, whether she is looking for a funky aquamarine or elegant deep blue. Unlike traditional nail art which can be complicated and difficult to replicate, Shatter is easy to use and allows everyone to experiment with this new trend.”

And here we go with swatches of all three of the new shatters paired up with some of my favorite OPI shades:

Turquoise Shatter is a nice and vibrant shimmer. When I paired it up with the chartreuse green of Simply Smashing!, I thought it gave a fantastic peacock feather-like effect!  [Read more...]