NCLA Life is a Beach! Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


How fun are these? This is my first time trying out luxury polish brand, NCLA. These new lacquers are playful pastel cremes with cute names. NCLA is a non-toxic, 5-free formula; free of Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Camphor, and animal testing. I immediately fell in love with the color story—I would wear all of them. It’s rare for me to want to wear an entire collection…I can’t decide which one to wear first. Right up front, I want to disclose that I have not had the chance to test the wear time on these yet. They were so cute and springy, that I wanted to bring them to your attention as soon as possible!

AM: Beauty Sleep, PM: Shopping Spree

AM: Beauty Sleep, PM: Shopping Spree is a pale mint creme. This one might take some special care with application. Its consistency is a tad on the thin side, and will look patchy and a little streaky with two coats. All is not lost, as I was okay with three coats. Allow some extra drying time. [Read more…]

essie Spring 2013 Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


essie spring 2013 collection

essie spring 2013—a fashionable itinerary…

This season, essie brings us a collection of six new nail polish shades inspired by some of the most fashionable destinations in the world. From Tokyo to Rio, each shade represents some pretty swanky shopping destinations. Who doesn’t love shopping? I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little retail therapy!

Speaking of shopping—did you hear about the former Park Avenue princess that once flew to Paris just to pick up a hard-to-find Chanel polish? Crazy, right? Sheesh!

Madison Ave-Hue, Go Gina, Avenue Maintain, Bond With Whomever, Maximillian Strasse Her, Hip-Anema

Let’s check out the swatches… [Read more…]

Quick Sneak Peek: China Glaze OMBRE ‘Wait Teal You See!’ Collection


I just got my hot little hands on this baby, the new OMBRE set from China Glaze in Wait Teal You See! The OMBRE Collection sets are available in three colors (also don’t miss the pink—‘Sweet Sensations’, or purple—‘Grape Expectation’ kits), and I’m dying to have a chance to experiment with this.

I haven’t ever attempted a full ombre/gradient manicure on my nails before, and I’m hoping this kit makes it easy—because it comes with four full size shades, and 10 sponges with directions. In Wait Teal You See!, you’ll score full size bottles of White on White, For Audrey, Aquadelic, and Turned Up Turquoise. These sets will retail for about $12.99 each, and will be available at Sally Beauty Supply.

I’ll update with my results in a few days! Wish me luck!

An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine our opinion of the product in this post. Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding our policies for using editorial samples. This post may contain an affiliate link.

China Glaze Hologlam Holographic Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


Remember the China Glaze OMG! Collection from 2007? I wasn’t fortunate enough to grab any of those holographic goodies back then…but no worries! China Glaze is stepping back into the holographic game this April with the Hologlam Collection, so get ready! Back by popular demand, these polishes use reflective, holographic particles to reflect light in a unique way in the nail polish world.

Simply put: I am now OBSESSED.

China Glaze Hologlam Holographic Collection

The dimension these give off is incredible, so much more incredible than a camera can capture in these swatches, because light at different angles really makes them come alive. And in natural sunlight? OMG! They’re BEAUTIFUL! I feel like my swatches barely scratch the surface of the dimension these offer, so please do yourself a favor and check them out in-person. [Read more…]

ZOYA Pixie Dust Special Texture Edition Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


Texture is the new big thing in nail polish, and ZOYA brings us their take on this trend with the Pixie Dust Collection. This special edition collection is comprised of six shades; all of which sparkle beautifully, dry matte, and have a textured look and feel. With Pixie Dust, you’ll want to use base coat, but you’ll skip top coat. The use of top coat will eliminate the special textured effect. (ZOYA actually recommends skipping base coat too, but I didn’t find that the use of one hurt the final look. I’d personally still wear it.)

When I first spied this trend, I wasn’t entirely sold on it—and you’ll see it from several brands this season. But as usual, ZOYA sealed the deal for me, because I think theirs turned out beautifully. I love the sugary, sparkling look!

Zoya Pixie Dust Special Texture Edition

In terms of application, these are actually pretty easily. The flow of the polish is consistent and even, and it takes about 10 minutes for the product to dry to a completely matte-textured finish. You’ll want to allow each coat to dry before applying the next. (For example, wait five minutes before applying coat two, then wait five more minutes to dry.)

The shade will actually determine how many coats to apply. I used two coats in all of the swatches below, but in hindsight, I wish I had used three on a few of the pale shades. While you can feel the textured bumps with these on the nail surface, I find that the ZOYA Pixie Dust formula is smoother than the OPI Liquid Sand finish, and that the effect is much more dynamic. Actual length of wear is still questionable for me with these since I haven’t had them long enough for a proper wear test, but I’m hearing around the blogosphere that the wear is still pretty decent, considering you’re not using a top coat. [Read more…]

OPI ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’ Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


In an exciting new collaboration with Disney, this time OPI channels the upcoming film, Oz The Great and Powerful with a limited edition 7-shade collection. This collection is a little bit of a mix of textures and finishes; with three SoftShades, three glitters, and one with the new Liquid Sand textured finish. With the exception of the Liquid Sand shade, I think this collection is best for layering—but I have to say I think the SoftShades stand strong on their own.

 “OPI is very excited to take this fantastical journey with Disney,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director.  “Inspired by the magic of Oz The Great and Powerful, this SoftShades collection captures the whimsy seen in the film, from glittery shades packed with white, gold and silvery iridescent confetti – Lights of Emerald City, When Monkeys Fly! and Which is Witch? – to soft neutrals in white, beige and pink – Don’t Burst My Bubble, Glints of Glinda and I Theodora You.

“The new Liquid Sand nail lacquer – What Wizardry is This? – features OPI’s groundbreaking technology for a textured, matte finish infused with reflective sparkle,” adds Weiss-Fischmann.  “This rich taupe hue was designed for James Franco’s character, the great Wizard of Oz, and is sure to make a bold statement this spring.”

Soft Shades — Don’t Burst My Bubble, I Theodora You, Glints of Glinda [Read more…]

My Favorites: MAC Archie’s Girls Collection “Betty”


I am so sorry, and I realize this is a little after-the-fact, but my MAC Archie’s Girls samples arrived after most of the products were sold out on the MAC site. This collection is so comprehensive, that it really took me some extra time to go through and pick my favorites for both the Betty and Veronica portions. Just because some of it is sold out online, doesn’t mean you won’t find it at a counter! So I feel this info is still relevant and wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the pieces I really loved.

I’ve decided to break Archie’s Girls up into two posts; this one—my “Betty” favorites, and in an upcoming post, my “Veronica” favorites. (UPDATE: Veronica is featured here.) These “favorites” aren’t super-comprehensive reviews, but please consider them more as “highlights”. I hope you see some pieces you like, and that you’re able to make them your own!

MAC Flatter Me Pearlmatte Face Powder & Betty Bright Lipstick

What spoke to me most about the Betty products, was the sheer femininity and everyday wear-ability of the pieces. Nothing here is too over-the-top, and they all sing spring to me. I’m so ready for fresh, pretty, girlie color! I know a lot of you in the Midwest and on the East coast are over the cold already too, and want to break out your sandals and short sleeves. I feel like Betty gives us that glimmer of hope that it’s coming soon! [Read more…]

OPI Euro Centrale Collection Review, Swatches, Photos for Spring/Summer 2013


opi euro centrale collection

I’ve been pretty excited about this release from OPI for Spring/Summer 2013—the Euro Centrale Collection! It features a mix of both classic and contemporary shades, in bright playful hues, to creamy dark shades. From the palest shades, to the deepest blues, Euro Centrale will be the easiest fashion accessory you can wear this spring.

Ready to take a closer look at some of the shades that have stolen my heart? Let’s go! [Read more…]

China Glaze Glitz—Bitz ’N Pieces Collection Review, Photos, Swatches


Launching in February from China Glaze, you’ll find a new, limited-edition collection of six unique glitter nail lacquers, the Glitz—Bitz ‘N Pieces Collection. This is a new generation of three-dimensional glitters, in which a combination of black glitter particles (micro-glitter, small round, hexagonal, and bar glitter) meet with a single highlight color of glitters in each shade. Let’s take a closer look…

In the bottle, looks can be deceiving, as they look pretty much like any other glitter with a transparent base. But once you apply them, the effect is pretty cool—almost like a paint-splat manicure, but with 3D glitter, instead. Most of the time (and with glitters that have larger particles or bar glitter), you have to not only coax the glitter out of the bottle, but then onto your nails too—practically getting into a fight with the brush as you try to lay the polish down on the nail. I’m happy to report that with Glitz—Bitz ’N Pieces, I didn’t have that issue. The glitter came out decently in one coat, but did look best with two.  [Read more…]