23 December 2011

OPI Nicky Minaj Collection: Fly & Save Me

Good Morning!  Happy Hannukah and Merry -almost- Christmas!  Is anyone still shopping?  I am all done!  I actually overshopped - I have a bunch of returns, but my mama didn't raise no fool - I am not going anywhere near a mall today or tomorrow!  Haha.  For Christmas, I bought myself a new car on Sunday - a Prius!  I will miss my BMW, for sure, but I love the Prius because it's friendly to both the environment and my wallet.  It's a super fun car to drive if you're a tech nerd (like I am), as the car gives you soooo much information about how eco-friendly your driving is! Haha I hope it doesn't get old. 

Anyway, as soon as I bought the Prius, what better way to not be eco-friendly than to make an unnecessary trip to the beauty supply! LOL I drove down Sunday night and was surprised to find the new OPI Nicky Minaj Collection available!  You can check out the full press release for the collection over at Fashion Polish.  I'm trying to be better at controlling my polish spending, so there were only 2 must-have colors for me - Fly, a bright aqua turquoise, and Save Me, a holographic bar glitter in a micro silver glitter base. 

These colors are AMAZING!  I did a mani with Fly and Save Me as an accent nail.  Fly was the to-be-expected OPI formula with great pigmentation, requiring only needed 2 coats.  It's a tad more green in reality than showed up in the photo (turquoise is such a hard color to photograph!).  Save Me was a little tricky to work with - you have to kind of 'place' the bar glitter on the nail - and this is also 2 coats.  I think, for the future, Save Me could use a 3rd coat, but otherwise, I loved both polishes!

Check out how Save Me looks in the bottle - it's very accurate, and it was such a sunny day that in all of my photos the sun is reflecting off the polish like crazy!  Here's another look at Save Me up close:

The OPI Nicky Minaj Collection will be available in the usual retailers beginning January 2012.  I'm sure another popular color will be Superbass, a deep purple shatter.  It was sold out at my beauty supply, but I didn't mind since I'm over the shatter craze anyway.  But, if you're interested, keep your eyes peeled - it's going to sell quickly!

17 December 2011

Chanel Khaki Vert: Mine. Finally!!

 Howdy, strangers!  What’s everyone up to this weekend?  Anything fun, or are people going to the mall to throw elbows and squeeze in last minute shopping?  Folks at the mall are CRA-ZY.  I did all of my shopping online, and anything I thought I might need to go to the mall and buy… well, that person just got re-gifted something from my own stash LOL.  I don’t do malls between Thanksgiving and Christmas, fer sure. 

I’m spending my day studying for the GMAT – less than 2 weeks to test day! – but took a break to give my tips and toes a much-needed polish change.  I decided to put on a longtime lemming, Chanel Khaki Vert.  If you hadn’t heard, Chanel released an extremely limited edition trio of nail polishes for Fashion Night Out 2010 (similar to the Le Jeans collection from this past FNO 2011) called Les Khakis de Chanel.  Google it, ya’ll – the collection was hot and sold out like crazy.  Sadly, I was not collection nail polish at the time, but as soon as I saw swatches of these, I had to have them.  A few weeks ago I found a lovely lady who was selling her collection, and while I paid a little more than retail for these babies, it was totally worth it!

Khaki Vert is a green creme with very strong warm tones.  Seriously, it’s like, the most perfect army green ever.  Especially when you pair it with the other 2 colors from the collection (which I will sometime in the future), it seriously looks like army fatigue camouflage exploded on your fingers.  I may need to remember this next time I go drinking near an army base and want to snag a man in uniform… LOL!  Here’s a look!


I’m totally loving this mani!  Sadly, Khaki Vert is no longer available, nor would I recommend anyone pay the ridiculous prices on eBay.  However, now that I have a bottle of my own, I’ll keep my eye out for similar polishes so that I can recommend polishes at reasonable prices that may help cure this lemming for you!

26 November 2011

Julep Selena

Hi Friends! OH EM GEE I know, I know, you totally thought I deserted you, right?  Not at all!  I'm so sorry I've been away from blogging this past month.  I recently made a personal decision to go to college for my master's degree, and I have been knee deep in studying for entrance exams and filling out grad school applications.  People who work and go to school at the same time - you have my utmost respect!  This is CRAZY! 

Anyway, while I'm getting admitted - and hopefully attending! - grad school I know my free time will be limited, but I still want to hang out with you all at least once or twice a week.  I'm changing my polish less frequently of course, but I still have soooo many great polishes and collections I want to share with you!

Today I decided a little pampering was in order, so I used up an old Groupon to go and get a mani-pedi at a local salon.  It was not good, my friends.  Note to self - stop buying Groupons for untried businesses!  Money is tight these days, between grad school applications and friends and family sales everywhere, and I must be more frugal.  But, I digress - when I was getting my less-than-stellar mani, I brought with me a polish from my own collection, Julep SelenaSelena is a gorgeous yellow-green creme polish.  It reminds me a lot of China Glaze Trendsetter which I reviewed here, but without the shimmer and it's a noticeable shade more green.  One thing I continue to love about Julep polishes is that this was achieved with just one coat - can't beat that!

I don't know what it is about these mustard yellow/yellow-green lime/dirty olive colored polishes, but I am seriously in love with them all this season, and Julep Selena is no exception!

Julep Selena is currently available at Julep.com.  Julep polishes retail for $14 for 0.27fl oz bottle.  It's a little pricey, but there's always a discount code when you order from Julep!  Currently you can use code MARYROSE to receive $15 off an order of $30 or more. 

What do you think?  Are you loving Selena?  Does she make you think of the singer (I know she does for me!) And what yellow/green polishes are you loving this season?  Sound off in the comments below!

29 October 2011

NARS Mato Grosso

 Happy Halloween weekend!  I hope everyone is having fun and being safe!  I’m laying low this holiday weekend – Halloween was never really my scene.  I know I’ve been a little MIA lately.  I’ve done a lot of traveling these past few weeks, and trust me, it is starting to wear a girl out!  I’m also a glutton for punishment and recently decided to get my but in gear and finally go to grad school for my MBA.  Step one of that process is studying for – and passing – my GMAT exam.  Holy crap this exam is hard!  Did I ever know this much information?  The GMAT makes me feel so dumb I wonder how I ever went to college in the first place LOL.  There’s a lot of demands on my time right now, but I’m working out a schedule so I can keep blogging and sharing my hobby/love with you!

I had a lot on my schedule for this weekend, but my first priority was to make time for a manicure for my poor, abused nails.  I gave them some much needed TLC and reached for NARS Mato Grosso for my polish color.  Mato Grosso is a rich, dark brown crème.  Seriously, this color is so dark, it’s nearly black; it’s the darkest brown can get before it gets black.  There’s a lot of fun undertones to this one, though – when I did the first coat I noticed strong hints of red and purple in the color, and the second coat really solidified the brown color.  This is 2 coats of Mato Grosso, and I used Seche Vite for my topcoat.

This is such an interesting color to me!  Until Mato Grosso came into my life, the darkest brown I owned was OPI Suzi Loves Cowboys from this past spring’s Texas Collection, but Mato Grosso is at least 2-3 shades darker by comparison.  However, I never mistake Mato Grosso for a black polish – which I am not a fan of – so I love that it is shows on the nail as a distinguished brown.  In all honesty, when I saw this polish it totally reminds me of the candy Junior Mints!  I love love love Junior Mints – I’m a total sucker for that mint chocolate flavor! 

photo by Mark Bonica via Flickr

Hahaha, now that I have Junior Mints on the brain, I totally want to go get some Halloween candy to nibble on after all.  Must resist the urge!

NARS Mato Grosso is currently available at NARS counters and online at narscosmetics.com.  NARS polishes retail for $17 for a 0.5fl oz bottle.  I believe this is limited edition, so you may want to grab a bottle while it’s still available!

What do you think?  Is Mato Grosso catching your eye?  Do you like these dark, inky colors that blur the lines to black?  And which NARS polishes do you love?  Sound off in the comments!

20 October 2011

Sephora Friends & Family Sale Is Here!

  Just like Christmas and Starbucks Eggnog Latte, it only happens once a year.  In case you haven't heard, today is the first day of the Sephora Friends & Family Sale!

To take advantage of this great deal, click on the image above to go to the Sephora F&F site.  There you'll need to enter your email address to receive a one-time use code for 20% everything.  There is a limit of one code per email address, but you can use up to 5 email addresses on a single PC to generate a code.

Bonus: You can use multiple codes on the same Sephora account and rack up those Beauty Insider points!  I will become a VIB before the end of the year, mark my words!

If you want to shop the Friends & Family sale in-store - well, you're just going to have to know a Sephora employee or make friends with one quickly.  This code is only valid online at sephora.com, but Sephora employees have a limited number of personal cards to give to their friends and family, so if someone will give you their card, you can use it to shop in-store.

Once you make your purchases, come back here and tell us what you're hauling!  I did my first haul this morning on line, but foresee at least 1-2 more hauls during the sale.  I love sharing hauls, so stay tuned!

19 October 2011

Deborah Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad

Good morning!  As I mentioned last week, this past Sunday was AIDS Walk Los Angeles.  I made it!  Yes, I managed to walk a whole 10K – and then some, about 8 miles total – and with the help of family and friends, raised over $700 for AIDS Project Los Angeles.  I am excited about this achievement, and can’t wait to do it again next year! 

For AIDS Walk, I wanted a fun mani to keep me going and so reached for a new polish for the holiday 2011 season, Deborah Lippmann Good Girl Gone Bad.  How much do I love the name of this polish?  Good Girl Gone Bad is my favorite Rihanna album, and has my favorite 2 favorite Rihanna songs, Disturbia Breaking Dishes.  But I digress.

Good Girl Gone Bad is described as a ‘cabernet glimmer'.’  The color is definitely a cabernet/red wine, but I’m not sure what a glimmer is – so I’d call this a micro-glitter.  What surprised me about GGGB was the rough texture of the finish – it was very grainy, and you’re going to need a good thick topcoat, like Seche Vite, if you’re like me and prefer a smooth, high gloss finish on your manicures.  This is 2 coats of GGGB:

I wouldn’t say I loved Good Girl Gone Bad quite as much as I expected, but it’s still a beauty!  I used CND Shiney as a topcoat for this mani – before I realized the texture was so gritty and dull – so I’d like to try the mani again with Seche Vite to see if it could really shine!

Good Girl gone Bad was released as a part of the Deborah Lippmann Holiday 2011 Collection.  It retails for $16 for a 0.5 fl oz bottle and is currently available in stores at Planet Beauty and online at lippmanncollection.com.

18 October 2011

OPI Touring America: Swatches & Review

 Happy Tuesday!  Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately!  This has been a crazy few weeks.  So far this month I’ve been to Dallas and San Francisco, heading to Phoenix this weekend, and then Indianapolis in a few weeks!  Whew!  Either way, it’s no excuse for ignoring my love of nail polish! 

Today I have for you a few polishes from the OPI Fall 2011 collection, Touring America.  For the most part this collection underwhelmed me – I thought the collection was bloated, full of colors we’d seen before and names nowhere near as creative as collections past – but, I was shopping a few weeks ago and decided to give these 3 polishes a try.  If you like your polishes dark and vampy, there’s probably something here for you to enjoy.  Read on!

First up is I Brake for ManicuresI Brake for Manicures is a grayish purple crème.  It walk the line between gray and purple very nicely – just when I think it’s leaning more to one side of the color spectrum, I take another look and find it to be dead center between the two colors.  This was 2 coats of I Brake for Manicures.  The formula was great, as to be expected from OPI, but overall I thought the color was not at all flattering on me – very flat/dead, and the gray base just reminds me of ashy-ness! Haha.  Take a look for yourself!

Up next is Honk If You Love OPIHonk, as I like to call is, is an eggplant purple crème.  Again, the formula on this one was impeccable, needing just 2 easy coats for full opacity.  I love crème polishes, and I love me some purple, so does it surprise anyone I find Honk If You Love OPI to be full of all kinds of WIN?

Last but not least is my favorite from the trio, Road House Blues.  Gah, I am on such a blue kick lately!  Road House Blues is a navy tinted blue crème, and while I figured I would, I didn’t have anything like it in my collection!  Everything that I have this dark is much more of a true blue.  This is 2 coats, and I love that this is a dark blue without being near black (since, you know, those kind of colors actually show up as black on me!).  Take a look!

And there you have it!  While I’m still less than impressed with the collection, I’m happy to welcome Honk If You Love OPI and Road House Blues to the Polish & Tonic collection.  I Brake For Manicures may be hitting the gas pedal to my swap/share pile, though.

What do you think?  Am I being too harsh on I Brake for Manicures?  Did you pick up any other polishes from this collection? And have you snatched any polishes from the other OPI collection that’s getting a ton of buzz? (Don’t worry, I’ll be reviewing the Muppets polishes soon!)

12 October 2011

AIDS Walk Los Angeles

Hi Everyone!  I know this is supposed to be my nail polish/beauty blog, but all this week I have been focused on a very non-nail polish subject that is important me, and since this is my blog, darn it, I figure I may just try to use it for some good!

Here are some interesting facts to think about:

  •  There is a new HIV infection every nine minutes in the United States.  In the time it took me to draft this blog post, 4 more people were infected.
  • In 2006, the rate of new HIV infection for black women was nearly 15 times as high as that of white women and nearly 4 times that of Hispanic/Latina women. 
  • 25% of those infected with HIV don’t even know it.
  • In the 28 years since we first learned to diagnose HIV/AIDS, there is still no national plan to fight the epidemic.

These sobering statistics are just a few of the reasons why I am participating in AIDS Walk LA this Sunday, October 16.  While HIV/AIDS awareness does not garner nearly the amount of attention it did in the 80s and 90s in the public media, it’s still an epidemic, education is still an issue as the numbers of new cases reported each year are astounding, and we are still without a cure.
If you have $1, $5, or $10 to spare, then I would love it if you would consider making a donation to AIDS Walk LA through my fundraising page.

Donations to AIDS Walk LA primarily go to AIDS Project LA (APLA), which provides urgently needed food, dental care, safe housing, and much more to people with HIV/AIDS who also face poverty, hunger, and homelessness. APLA also runs the county’s largest network of community education and HIV prevention programs to end the epidemic in Los Angeles.  If you’re not familiar with the amazing work the men and women at APLA do, please check out information here and here.
Thanks for taking the time to read through my babbling!  I will now return you to your regularly scheduled polishing.

Pink Wednesdays: RBL Poco a Poco

 IMG_1433Happy Wednesday!  I’m blogging today from San Francisco!  I had to fly up for a work conference, and since I have my laptop with me, I figured what better opportunity to squeeze in some writing! 

Before I get to today’s post, I want to quickly mention that this Sunday I will be participating in AIDS Walk LA, a 10k charity walk/run to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and help support the amazing organizations in the Los Angeles area who provided much needed food, medical care, and services to people living with HIV/AIDS as well as educational and prevention programs to the community to reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS cases reported.  This walk is important to me, as African-Americans and women are disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS virus, and this is one way I help support HIV/AIDS awareness every year.  If you have a minute, please drop a comment below to encourage and support me in this effort, or stop by my donation page and help me meet my personal goal to raise $500. $5 would be a big help!

On to today’s mani!  The recent RAOK I received from a lovely friend included a polish from Rescue Beauty Lounge’s 2011 fall collection, Poco a PocoPoco a Poco is a dusty pink polish with a gold shimmer.  The color really reminds me of a more grey version of OPI Sparrow Me The Drama from this past spring’s Pirates of the Caribbean collection; memo to self to do a comparison post of the two later this week!  Either way, Poco a Poco continues the tradition of the RBL exceptional formula, as this was very easy to apply.  Below is 2 coats for full opacity.  Take a look!


Of course I love Poco a Poco, and am happy to have it join my RBL collection.  This was a great work-friendly polish and the subtle gold shimmer is stunning!  Absolute love.

Poco a Poco is currently in stock and only available online at rescuebeauty.com  I’ll be picking up one or two of her friends from the fall collection later this week at the RBL pre-order for the Bring-It-Back polishes.  This pre-order will include the re-launch of past RBL faves (Mismas, Orbis, Anne, Scrangie, 360, and Locavore).  The pre-order is a private event, so if you’re interested, please be sure to head over to rescuebeauty.com to sign up to on their VIP mailing list!  You’ll receive instructions Friday morning via email on how to participate in the pre-order.

Make it a great day!

06 October 2011

The Untried Diaries: Zoya Dove With a CND Sparkle

Good Morning!  Is everyone starting the countdown to the weekend?  I’m actually flying to Dallas for the weekend for sorority stuff, and looking forward to the heat!  LOL I know, I know, it drops below 70 degrees one day in LA and I’m ready to whip out the turtlenecks!  Even though I spent my first 25 years on the east coast, living in LA the past 6 years has made me a weakling!

Today I have for you some polishes I purchased last spring but still hadn’t worn.  First up is Zoya DoveDove is a light grey creme with a slight blue hue.  I applied 3 coats for this mani, as the formula was a bit streaky.  This is my first light grey, so I’m not sure if this is just how the color tends to be – like yellows – or if it’s this particular brand.  Either way, I really liked how Dove looked on me!


I think Dove is a great work appropriate grey creme for a paler friend.  It looks good on me, but because it’s so pale I think it contrasts more than a medium or darker grey would, so something darker may blend better and appear more neutral on me.

To have some fun with Dove, I whipped out one of the CND Effects polishes that has been collecting dust in my untrieds, Sapphire SparkleSapphire Sparkle is a layering polish with micro glitter that appears blue or raspberry in color, depending on angle and lighting.  Take a look!



LOVE!  I think the blue hue from Zoya Dove is perfectly paired with CND Sapphire Sparkle, and the raspberry tinted sparkle is a nice bonus!

04 October 2011

Julep Maven: October Sneak Peek Box!

 Happy Tuesday!  It's October, a new day, a new month... and a new Julep Maven sneak peak box!  Once again I was not feeling the polishes picked for my Maven profile, "Classic With a Twist", so I completely skipped out on it to go for another Maven profile - "It Girl":

Edgy and bold, your statement-making look exemplifies the modern rock n' roll chic. You love bright, bold, fun, and innovative cuts and hues for your wardrobe. Inspired by colors and accessories that exclaim anything but ordinary, you're not afraid to stand out

Sounds fun, right?  This month's sneak peek box included 2 Julep polishes, Jaime and Leighton, as well as the Julep Age Glow On Age-Defying Hand Brightener.  


I immediately loved these polishes when I saw the email from Julep back in September.  I had just bought a similar combination of a blue and silver Butter London polish days before, so of course I had to snatch this one up too!  Julep Jaime is described as an “ultra-saturated dark turquoise” creme that dries to a slight satin finish.  To my eyes it’s much more blue than a traditional turquoise, but there is a tint of green that shines through.  Leighton will be released later this month as a part of the Julep 2011 holiday collection.  It’s a bold silver polish with a frost finish.  Here’s a look at both polishes!


There were some side issues with my order, but otherwise this is another winner for Julep!  The company has been having a lot of issues with the launch of the maven program for the first few months, but it looks like they’re finally making a turn for the good and getting the program on track.  I’m so excited, and can’t wait to see what they come up with for next month!

If you haven’t signed up yet to be a Julep Maven and you’re interested, I’d appreciate you clicking through my personal referral link to join!  To check out past Julep Maven sneak peek boxes, click here.

03 October 2011

Cult Nails In A Trance

Good Morning!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I was out in LA at one of my favorite spots to celebrate a friend's birthday, and then Sunday I finally unpacked my last box!  Whee!  Moving is officially over!  Now is the fun part, when I get to start shopping for furniture to fill out the place.

Today I have for you Cult Nails In A Trance.  This is a new brand to my blog - it's a small boutique brand started by Maria, a longtime blogger at www.r3daily.com.  Maria is so passionate about polish that she started her own brand - how inspiring!  I had heard about Cult Nails for the past few months, but made my first purchase when I saw a swatch of In A Trance. In A Trance is an olive green polish with a gold shimmer.  Cult Nails has a great, highly pigmented formula - the first coat fully covered the nail, and the second coat really added 'oomph' to bring out the beauty in the polish.  Take a look!

If you all can't tell, I have been really excited the past few months about finding green polishes that look great on me.  In A Trance is decidedly in the 'love' category with other past faves, and I'm so happy I bought this!

In A Trance was released as a part of the fall 2011 Hypnotic Collection.  It's currently available on the Cult Nails website.  Each polish retails for $10/each, and while only about a year old the Cult Nails line already includes a variety of creme, shimmer, and glitter polishes.  To celebrate reaching 2,000 fans on FB, Maria is offering free shipping on all Cult Nails orders now through Thursday 10/6 11:59PM EST.  If you're interested in trying out the brand, this would be the perfect time!

UPDATE: Maria is currently hosting a giveaway on her blog!  One lucky winner will receive 1 polish in each color from the current Cult Nails collections.  If you're interested, head on over to R3 Daily for the details on how to enter! "and tell 'em Large Marge Amber sent ya!"

What do you think?  Do you have any olive green polishes in this color family?  Are you an instant fan of Cult Nails?  And what polishes are you thinking of picking up while there's free shipping?  Sound off in the comments!

29 September 2011

Fall ‘11 Watch: Chanel Peridot

Good Morning!  I know, I know, I’ve been M-I-A this week.  I really wish I had a good excuse for you.  But I don’t.  I painted my nails Saturday for the first time with a new brand, Illamasqua, just to play around with it, so I didn’t bother taking photos.  Obviously I also didn’t expect to still be wearing it 5 days later, yet here I am.  It’s wearing like iron and blowing my mind, but I promise to do some swatching this weekend!

Today I have for you another polish from the Chanel fall 2011 Illusions d’Ombres collection, PeridotPeridot is a gold polish with hints of green, depending on the angle you look at it.  I wouldn’t call it a true duochrome, but it’s definitely trying.  It ends up looking most of the time like a gold polish with a green cast to it.  I did 3 coats for this mani, but I could have gotten away with 2 – I think the 3rd coat just helped the polish to pop more for the photos.  Take a look!

You can kinda see the green/teal duochrome peeking out the sides, but it never really makes a full on appearance on the nail.  While I don’t normally go for these warm-toned gold polishes – actually, this may be the only gold polish I own! – I’m still cuckoo for Peridot.  Somehow, some way, I just think it works for me... or maybe I’m just in a very special place of denial.

Chanel Peridot is limited, so grab a bottle while you can!  I also previously reviewed another polish from this collection, Graphite, and apparently it’s already sold out on the Chanel website.  Pick up Peridot while you still can.  It retails for $25 per polish, and is also available at Nordstom and Macy’s.

What do you think?  Would you call Peridot a duochrome, or just another gold polish?  Do you have any polishes similar in color?  And what fall collections do you have your eye on?

23 September 2011

Les Jeans de Chanel: Coco Blue

Happy Friday!  I hope you're all getting ready for your weekend!  I am not at all looking forward to my WW weigh-in tomorrow - this has not been a good week.  But, it's a new day, I'm shaking off the mistakes of the past few days, and looking to getting it right today!

Today I have for you the third and final polish from the Les Jeans de Chanel collection released for FNO, Coco BlueCoco Blue is a light blue polish with a sparkling blue shimmer.  I could not catch the shimmer well on camera on all - my apologies.  It's a pretty color, but it reminds me more of summer than fall.  To me, Coco Blue was the weakest polish and least fave in this collection.  It is pretty, though, so maybe I will love it more next spring/summer!



I dug around in my own personal collection to see if I had any polishes similar to Coco Blue.  To be honest, I don’t wear light blues like this often, and I only came up with one that was even close – OPI What’s With the Cattitude?, a limited edition light blue crème released last year as a part of the OPI Shrek Collection.  Coco Blue is noticeably darker than WWtC, and also has a shimmer (which is more apparent in the swatch below) that is missing from WWtC. 

L-to-R: Chanel Coco Blue, OPI What's With the Cattitude?

I prefer Coco Blue because it’s darker and works better with WWtC, but I’m also a fan of WWtC because it was my mani for my 30th birthday last year!


Lesson learned: Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Jager Bombs. Let’s just say I’m not sure how much I remember of the night after this drink, but my friends tell me I was epic.

22 September 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I have a nail swatch to share with you later today, but first I wanted to take a moment and talk about something special that happened to me earlier this week.  I personally think I hang out at the best nail forum on the entire interwebz, and the women I meet with over there to discuss all things nail polish are fun, hilarious, and extremely kind.  We aren't allowed to swap or sell polish to each other there, just share in enjoying our addiction. 

When I first started hanging out over there I heard of these things called RAOKs - Random Acts Of Kindness.  Think of RAOKs as care packages from one nail polish lover to another.  I have sent a few RAOKs to some folks who helped me out at one point or another (like when I was planning for my London trip, and needed help figuring out what to bring back) or just because someone was really desiring a polish I had but knew I would never use.  Well, I’m sure you can see where this is going – last week a member contacted me to let me know she had an extra polish on my wishlist and wanted to send it to me as a RAOK.  She sent me that polish – and a lot more! – and the RAOK has floored me. I swear, I even cried a little as I opened the package.  I can’t even say this was like Christmas in September, because my family doesn’t really celebrate Christmas anymore, so this was even better! 

Here’s my RAOK package:

L-to-R: Le Metier de Beaute Silk Road Collection, Rock 'N Romance Collection

L-to-R: OPI Creme de Menthe, Mad As A Hatter, Damone Roberts 1968, Julep Whitney

Clockwise from top: Rococo Gold Leaf, Illamasqua Hectic, RBL Black Russian, Poco a Poco, Chanel Quartz

I am so grateful to the amazing angel who sent these to me!  I’m cherishing them all, and expect to see swatches soon!

20 September 2011

NARS Night Series Collection: Swatches & Review

 Happy Tuesday!  Today I have for your one of my favorite collections from this fall, the NARS night series collection.  Based on their popular eyeshadows, NARS released 4 polishes in this collection and it's sure to have something for everyone.  I've posted the polishes in order of least fave to most fave.  Let's take a look (and don't forget to click on the pictures for larger images).

First up is Night Rider.  No, I can’t say the name without thinking of David ‘Don’t hassle the hoff” Hasselhoff either.  Night Rider is a soft plum with silver glitter polish.  Honestly, it reminds me less of a glitter, and more of plum version of Chanel’s Graphite with the foil finish.  This was my least favorite of the collection – it just doesn’t do anything for me and doesn’t pop against my skin tone.It's also really different from the other polishes, and stands out - for all the wrong reasons.


Up next is Night Breed, a black base polish with TONS of silver glitter. No, really – a TON of glitter.  It’s blingy awesomeness.  My only dislike is the black base – I’m not a huge fan of black polish, so I really really liked this, but the black base held me back from instant love.

The next 2 polishes are not only faves from this collection, but also faves in my overall collection – that’s how much I love them.  Night Porter is described as a blackened polish with green pearls.  On the nail, it looks like the polish is green with black shadows around the perimeter – it’s so hawt!  Even if you don’t normally wear greens, or shy away from bold color polishes, check this one out – I think Night Porter would be flattering on most skin tones, because it’s so dark and vampy.


And now, my friends, my favorite polish from the collection – Night Flight.  Very similar to Night Porter, Night Flight is a blackened polished with cobalt blue pearls.  This polish is pure SEXY.  I seriously could wear this every day from now till Christmas and be just as happy each day as if it was the first time I’d worn it.  Okay, maybe not that, but you get the idea.  It’s FANTASTIC.
Do you see the purple flecks in Night Flight? How beautiful is that?!?!

And there you have it!  For me, Night Flight and Night Porter are the absolute must haves from this collection.  Black polishes with silver glitter has been done many times before, so while Night Breed is nice, it’s not unique.  Night Porter gets a complete pass from me – it just doesn’t seem to fit the collection at all.

NARS polishes retail for $17 and are available at NARS counters in Nordstrom or online at NARS Cosmetics.  These are limited edition, so grab the ones you like while you can!

What do you think?  Have you picked up any polishes from this collection? Do you loved these blackened polishes like Night Flight and Night Porter? Or am I completely overreacting, and you've totally seen this look before?   (And if you have seen it, tell me where!!!)

18 September 2011

Les Jeans de Chanel: Blue Rebel

Happy Sunday!  Today I have for you another polish from the Les Jeans de Chanel collection for FNO, Blue Rebel.  I reviewed Blue Boy last week, and Blue Rebel is definitely the darker, sexier jean to Blue Boy’s well-worn denim feel.  If Blue Boy is my favorite comfy pair of jeans, Blue Rebel is the slightly uncomfortable, slimming dark jean I whip out for nights out on the town. 

Blue Rebel is a dark navy creme with smoky tones.  It is highly pigmented and has a squishy formula – like Blue Boy, it feels like a jelly, and has a high gloss finish like a jelly, but is still a creme with full opacity in just 2 coats.


Blue Rebel is a little lighter in the photo than IRL; the deep color on the pointer finger is probably most accurate.  It’s dark, but not too dark that one would mistake it for black – it’s definitely blue.  This is another winner from Chanel!

I went through my collection to see if I had any polishes similar to Blue Rebel.  The best I could come up with is a polish I picked up in my Euro haul this past summer, Mavala Smoky Blue.  Mavala is a Swiss brand I don’t think is available here in the states.  As you can see in the photo below, Smoky Blue is very close, but it’s slightly more gray and has a light blue shimmer, while Blue Rebel is a true crème. On the right I also swatched another navy blue crème, China Glaze First Mate, to show you the gray undertones in Blue Rebel.

L-to-R: Chanel Blue Rebel, Mavala Smoky Blue, CG First Mate

If you haven’t grabbed them yet, Les Jeans de Chanel is still available online at Chanel.  The collection retails for $29/polish.  They’re supposed to be available until the end of September, so be sure to pick up a polish or two while you can!

17 September 2011

Fall '11 Watch: China Glaze Trendsetter

It's a gorgeous day in LA!  What is everyone up to?  I did a lot of swatching and photographing this morning, and am about to head out to do some dusty hunting and look for old nail polish favorites!  Although being so nice out, I may let myself be derailed and lay out by the pool for a few hours - we shall see.

Now that I'm all setup in my new apartment with my shiny new light tent, I am soooo ready to start whipping out the fall polishes!  At least over the next few days, if not weeks, I'm going to be taking a look at all the new polishes released this fall.  Some brands have left a lot to be desired with their fall collections - I'm looking at you, OPI Touring America! - but others have really stepped up to the plate and brought awesome us awesome colors and textures!

Today I picked out a color perfect for transitioning from summer to fall, China Glaze TrendsetterTrendsetter is a mustard yellow polish with the most gorgeous yellow gold shimmer.  This polish is so atypical from my normal style!  I tend to shy away from warm-toned polishes, but since discovering my love for olive green/ugly pretty polishes like RBL No More War, I've been out hunting and buying up everything remotely in the color family.  Including Trendsetter.

And just because it's a stunner, I did a close up to really show off the shimmer:

Trendsetter is even more amazing because when you see the bottle at first you think 'ooh, might there be a shimmer in there?' but when it's on the nail, the shimmer is so much brighter and noticeable!

Trendsetter was released as a part of China Glaze's fall 2011 Metro Collection.  Polishes retail for $6-$8 each for a 0.5 fl oz bottle.  Check  back soon for more swatches and reviews of other polishes from the Metro Collection!

What do you think? Are you into these murky yellow polishes?  Have you already picked up any other polishes from the Metro Collection?  Sound off in the comments below!

16 September 2011

Dior Purple Mix With A Sparkling Twist

Happy Friday!  I'm happy it's the weekend, but more happy it's September 16.  Why, you ask?  What's so special about the 16th?  I have 2 words for you: Ryan. Gosling.  Yea, that sessy man has a new movie out today, Drive, which I have been dying to see!  I cannot wait - will probably check it out tomorrow, even though my movie buddy is out of town this weekend.  Also on the agenda is to play with my new light tent!  I'm trying to upgrade the photo quality here at P&T, and this should be a big help!  Can't wait to swatch and try it out over the next few days!

Today I have for you Dior Purple MixPurple Mix is a deep purple creme with strong gray tones.  I think this color is the perfect transition from summer to winter.  It's not too summer bright, but not quite a fall vamp color, either (although you can vamp it up with Dior Rock Coat, which was released in the same collection this past spring).  This was a great formula, as to be expected from Dior, and only required 2 coats.

To spice up the mani, I did an accent nail using Kleancolor Midnight Seduction.  Kleancolor is an awesome cheapie nail polish brand popular for it's holographic flakie and glitter polishes, and the popularity is well deserving.  Their polishes are awesome for layering!  Midnight Seduction is a micro glitter with silver, teal, and pink glitters.  It's so beautiful!  Because it's micro glitter one coat would have sufficed for layering, but I wanted to fully bling out the nail, so I added a second coat.  Voila!

Let's just say today was full of love - I love Purple Mix, I love Midnight Seduction, and I love my new light tent!  I can't work out the light tent, though, until I have something to photograph - so I'm off to swatch!

What do you think?  Do you like this particular shade of purple?  Are you taking your time transitioning to fall colors, or have you nose-dived right into the season, with dark, sultry vamps and all?  And what photography tips do you have for me?  Sound off in the comments!

14 September 2011

Pink Wednesdays: OPI To The Rescue!

Happy Hump Day!

This morning I was looking through my untried pink polishes in order to decide what to wear today, and originally I was planning to bring you a pink polish from my first Julep maven box.  I did my nails all up - and the polish turned out to be a not-hot, streaky, bubbly mess!  To add insult to injury, I even used all Julep products (base coat, polish, top coat) for the mani!  I was not happy - Julep's formulas I'm learning can be very inconsistent one polish to the next - but luckily I was stuck on a conference call for work, so I had time to swatch on a new mani!

The mani started today with OPI Sparrow Me the Drama.  I had previously reviewed Sparrow Me the Drama with a few other polishes from the OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection a few months ago, but I hadn't yet actually worn it as a mani - surprising, because I loved the color so much in my review!  Well, SMtD came to the rescue this morning.  It's a rose-pink creme with a slight dusky quality to it; it made me think of a pink nail polish with a little dirty water mixed in (not as gross as that sounds, I promise!).  I also decided to bling the mani up a bit, so I added a coat of OPI I Lily Love You from the Nice Stems collection, also released earlier this summer.  ILLY is a holographic flakie polish in a pinkish red jelly base.  I think the combo came out well, but take a look for yourself!

Here's a close up of the flakie gorgeousness that is ILLY:

This is such a sparkle-tastic mani!  The reddish-pink jelly base of ILLY really transformed the color of Sparrow Me the Drama, but I was okay with it. It makes the mani more warm toned all-around, and I just keep staring at my nails today, looking at the holo flakies from ILLY.  Love!

Both Sparrow Me the Drama and I Lily Love You are still available.  You may want to check out your local ULTA to find them, or if you're in CA, head to Planet Beauty - one of my new favorite boutique beauty shops.

12 September 2011

Julep Maven: September Sneak Peek Box!

Happy Monday!  How was everyone's weekend?  I had an awesome weekend, filled with both unpacking the new apartment and lots of movies and girl time!  My friends and I saw Contagion on Friday, and then a sneak preview of I Don't Know How She Does It, starring the always beautiful and fashionable SJP.  Contagion left me unsatisfied - it has so much unused potential to be great! - but IDKHSDI was totally fun with a great cast.  Definitely see it next weekend when it releases nationwide!

So it's September, which means I received an all new Julep Maven Sneak Peek Box!  As you may recall, I took the Julep Maven quiz and my sneak peek box is Classic With A Twist.  This month, the sneak peek box included the Julep Everyday Hand Cream with SPF 30, Julep Essential Cuticle Oil, and Julep nail color in Toni.  Last week I mentioned that I prefer cuticle balms over cuticle oil, and since I already had a Julep Essential Cuticle Oil from a previous purchase, I decided to use the shelf pull option and get something else instead of the Essential Cuticle Oil.  What did I receive instead?  Julep nail color in Ellen.

Here's a look at everything in the Classic With A Twist Sneak Peek Box!

Another bottle shot of Ellen and Toni:

I am okay with everything that was in this month's box.  Nothing really knocked my socks off, but still good nonetheless.  This morning I decided to try on Julep ToniToni is a purple-tinted taupe creme.  The formula could definitely benefit from  few drops of nail lacquer thinner - it was soooo thick!  This is 2 coats of Toni:

Julep Toni, in direct sunlight
Julep Toni, in shade

I went through my stash to see if I had any similar colors to compare to Toni.  I came up with 2 polishes that seemed to be very close in color:  Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Commander In Chic, and China Glaze Below Deck.  Commander In Chic is missing the purple hue, and stands on its own as a true taupe.  Below Deck was very close to Toni, but Toni seems to be a warmer version, while Below Deck is noticeably cooler.   Most polish lovers probably don't need both.

L-to-R: SH CSM Commander in Chic; Julep Toni; CG Below Deck

For some reason, I just love mushroom taupe colors like these so much in the bottle, but I feel like they do nothing for me on my nail.  [Note to self: stop buying polish in this color!]  Yes, they're fantastic and work appropriate, but I luckily have a job where my coworkers like my eccentric nail polish, so I don't have to play it safe.  Given the issues with the thicker formula, Julep Toni is likely going to find herself in my share/stash drawer.

Julep Toni is available online at julep.com.  It retails for $14 for a 0.27fl oz bottle.  If you haven't already, go and check out the Julep Maven program - it's such a great deal for only $19.99/month!

09 September 2011

Les Jeans de Chanel: Blue Boy

Happy Friday!  What will you be up to this weekend?  The insane heat wave has finally broken here in LA, which should mean some quality time at the pool for me!  I'm also hoping to catch a few movies as well, so it should be a fun weekend all around.

What better way to kick-off a fun weekend than to celebrate Fashion's Night Out 2011 last night in West Hollywood?  LA had big parties at Century City, Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive, and West Hollywood/Robertson.  I went over to Robertson, home of my new favorite Chanel boutique.  Finally - I have an awesome SA for Chanel!  The SAs at Macy's and Nordstrom were not great at all, so now I'm happy to have someone I want to go to for all my future Chanel needs.  As a part of FNO, Chanel released a special limited edition collection of blue polishes named Les Jeans De Chanel.  These Chanel FNO collections are always hot items - just head over to eBay and look at the prices for last year's Les Khakis de Chanel collection!  I picked up each of the polishes in the collection: Coco Blue, Blue Boy, and Blue Rebel.  I instantly fell in love with all 3!

Today I am wearing Blue BoyBlue Boy is a medium blue polish with strong gray tones.  It is a thin formula, and was very squishy, feeling almost like a jelly when I applied it.  It's definitely not a jelly, though, and built nicely to full opacity in 2 coats.  My recommendation is to start with a thin coat, and let it dry, as you will get drag if you try to paint over a wet nail.  Then, I applied a thicker second coat to get the perfect mani.  Take a look!

Chanel Blue Boy, outdoors, natural lighting

Chanel Blue Boy, indoors, artificial lighting

 You didn't doubt for a minute that I was in love with Blue Boy, did you?  If I could marry Blue Boy, I probably would.  Or at least offer up myself to him to be his baby mama - wedding ring be damned.  Kinda like how I feel about Kevin Alejandro on True Blood.  You know.

I also dug around my stash to try to see if I had any polishes similar to Blue Boy.  The closest I could find was Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gray By Gray.  They're close, but definitely not identical.  Where Blue Boy leans blue, Gray By Gray is most definitely a gray.  To also show how gray-influenced Blue Boy is, I also swatched OPI Dating A Royal, a true blue creme, to show you the difference in the colors.

L-to-R: OPI Dating A Royal, Chanel Blue Boy, Sally Hansen CSM Gray By Gray

Les Jeans de Chanel is currently available online at Chanel.  They retail for $29/polish, which is a steep price tag, even for Chanel (regular polishes retail for $25 each).  I believe there was a limited quantity of the collection available in Chanel Boutiques and in Neiman Marcus.  If you're going to try to pick up Blue Boy or any polishes in the collection in person, do it soon and definitely check ahead - many locations sold out last night, and my particular Chanel said that while they didn't sell out, they were instructed to pull them off the shelves after the FNO events concluded.  They should be available online through the end of September, or until they sell out, whichever happens first.  Don't miss out on these!