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!

06 September 2011

Cuticle Care

Wow, it's been too long, my polish-lovin' friends!  I can't believe it's been over a week since the last post!  But, here I am, alive and well, blogging from a much more awesome - and larger! - new home.  Even after the long weekend I still am only about 2/3 unpacked, and I haven't quite yet figured out my setup for nail polishing/blogging/photographing.  I actually painted my nails Saturday night sitting cross-legged on my kitchen floor - not ideal, but we were going out drinking, and a girls got to do what a girls got to do!

I was hoping to be up and running by now, but alas, it isn't so.  I have so many new polishes from fall 2011 collections to show you!  Oh well - hopefully they'll start later this week.   One thing  I do want to talk about today is nail care - it's been on my brain a lot these past few days, as moving wreaked HAVOC on my nails.  I've had to trim most of my nails down - and the others I didn't trim was because they broke off - and give my cuticles some much needed TLC.  

Healthy cuticles are important to maintaining healthy nails, and there is no shortage of products available on the market to help get your cuticles in tip-top shape.  Cuticle care is available in both oil and a balm formulas.  I used to used cuticle oil regularly, but I didn't feel it penetrated and worked very well as I'm constantly washing my hands and would only sometimes remember to reapply afterwards.  Instead, I switched to using balms which, in my opinion, last longer and work better.

For days like today, when the cuticles are particularly damaged and need a lot of help, I go for Qtica Cuticle Repair Balm.  Qtica is the sister brand to Zoya, and the Cuticle Repair Balm reminds me of the texture of Vaseline.  A little goes a long way, and I carry this around to reapply 2-3 times a day.  I can normally see improvement within the first few days, and really use Cuticle Repair Balm only when I need to do just that - repair the cuticles.

Once my cuticles are healthy and back to normal, I switch to LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Balm.  Lemony Flutter is the balm!  Hehe.  Seriously, it's a lightweight formula, and kind of feels like butter once it has softened at room temperature.  A little bit of Lemony Flutter goes a very long way - the picture below shows a new Lemony Flutter after using it 2x a day for about 3 weeks.  I apply Lemony Flutter at night before bed and again in the morning as I'm heading out the door, and my cuticles are all the happier for it.

So there you go!  Have you tried either balm from Qtica or LUSH?  What do you use to keep your cuticles happy and healthy? And are there any other products from these brands that you think are must haves?  Sound off in the comments below!