Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review and swatches I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) Siréne

Yesterday was a great day! Not only was it raining buckets (and believe me California needs it) I came home to some wonderful nail mail!

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These are my very first polishes from the I Love Nail Polish (ILNP) brand, but they have been majorly hyped online in the various online nail communities I frequent.

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I purchased, from left, Cygnus Loop Holo (after seeing some amazing swatches of it on Instagram), Siréne and Reminisce. Not knowing what full manicure to sport first, I did a quick and dirty swatch of the three and asked various online channels what they wanted to see.

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After I took this photo, I made the craziest noise. Like, "WOW, I can't believe these colors are all THIS beautiful!!!" My husband was video chatting with a friend of his and they thought I was crazy! But seriously, aren't these colors absolutely amazing?!?! P.S. Sorry for the weird claw position my fingers are in, but I didn't want my previous manicure to ruin the beauty of the new swatches!

Choosing was difficult, all my online friends wanted to see different ones. Reminisce was definitely my favorite, but Siréne seemed to have the strongest shift (out of the new releases, Cygnus Loop was not new). So I went with Siréne, and I have a bunch of shots to share!

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Above is my most perfect shot of Siréne. It looks best outdoors, not in direct sunlight. I was expecting it to be cloudy today because it was so stormy yesterdays and we are between storms in Northern California, but it was sunny this morning as well so I have some sun shots to show you as well.

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In direct sunlight, the nails look teal, see above. But if you cast a tiny shadow or move your nails slightly they can shift to purple, see below.

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Indoors, softer light helps bring out the hues and shifts more, so I have a couple of shots to show you, including the last in my office under fluorescents.

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Overall I was highly pleased with this purchase! Now onto the details!

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Application: The polish was actually quite thin and a little patchy on the first coat, but it really started to show up well after two coats. I added a third to make sure the shift was amazing! All shots shown (with the exception of the quick and dirty swatches of all three polishes) are three coats with Essie On The Go top coat.

I have to say the shift in this polish is amazing and VERY easy to see. You don't need a black undercoat like you do with some other duo and multichromes. I was disappointed with my CrowsToes Indian Summer (one of my first duochromes) because the shift was so shy. Siréne is quite the opposite!

Where to purchase: I purchased these during ILNP's presale of their Spring Collection. Their website features all of their new spring polishes (including some pastel holos if that is your thing). You can purchase Siréne here for $12.50. The Spring Collection goes on sale March 7.

What do you think? Do you like this color shift? Do you want to see another manicure featuring one of the other ILNPs I purchased? What ILNP colors do you like the most?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Welcome to my redesign

So I've redesigned by blog. I'm totally nerdy and geeking out over polish stuff and thoughts I have and I think my friends and family on Facebook could care less, so I've decided to write a blog.

This blog will have a lot of nail updates, along with some other updates I feel like along the way (let's not forget I'm a writer too, I still plan on writing now and again). I'll review what I'm wearing, what's coming in the mail, what new collections I'm interested in, what works for me, what doesn't work for me. Tips when I have them.

Also I've begun stamping, which is an awesome way to update any manicure! More tips and excitement about that in upcoming posts.

So to begin, here is what I'm currently sporting on my nails. It's LA Girls 3D Effects Teal Dimension with a stamped on image from my Konad M64 plate.

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This is one of my favorite finishes of nail polish. I first discovered it with Zoya colors Blaze, Aurora and Storm. It's a scattered fleck holo and it is gorgeous. It doesn't distort the original color (as the holo flecks are suspended in a jelly polish) and just gives a gorgeous glow and a hint of rainbow.

When I learned about the LA Girls 3D Effects polishes (less expensive versions of the Zoya colors), I knew I had to get a few. Teal is one of my favorite colors and this polish is quickly shooting up to the favorites category for me.

Application: The formula was good, but the polish felt a little thick or watery (I know those are opposite, but I don't know how to describe it) like too much came off of the brush with every stroke. The color made up for it though, it's worth the delicate application! It went on in two coats, I think I added a third for good measure.

Where to Purchase: You can purchase the LA Girls 3D Effects from, where the polishes are on sale for $2.40 each (but I find their shipping costs outrageous) or from (which is where I got mine from) where they are $3.99 a piece but you can bundle it up with many more beauty items to get free shipping!

Looking ahead: It just started raining here in the first time in forever, and I need to sport something less holo blingy since there is no sun out. I'm trying to choose between Pretty Serious Galaxy Invader (a duo chrome) or Hits Moonbeam (a duo chrome sparkle). But if my nail mail comes today, that might change my plans completely!

Coming in the mail: I've got three new I Love Nail Polish multichrome colors coming my way (Siréne, Reminisce and Cygnus Loop Holo). I can't wait to get to the multichrome amazingness (my first ILNPs ever)!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

European Secrets Rock Top Coat Review

So as I was browsing the internet recently, I came across someone spouting off about how amazing this long lasting top coat was – European Secrets Top Coat. They claimed it was similar to the CND Vinylux top coat (which wears incredibly great) but it doesn't lose it's shine like Vinylux does rather quickly.

So of course I go to my local Sally Beauty Supply to acquire this top coat and test it out.

The first challenge was finding a manicure that I would be happy with for up to a week! That's tough for me as I'm finding I want to redo my manicure more frequently as my polish collection grows!

This was directly after the top coat was dry enough to photograph. I found that this top coat was definitely shiny upon application but it did not dry easily. I found that my nails were very delicate to the touch for more than a day after application. I had to be careful not to bump my hands hard against any surfaces, because this did not dry Rock solid as it claims. Took I think at least 48 hours for it to feel not soft anymore. The top coat was definitely thinner than most forgiving top coats (Seche, etc.), so if you want to hide bumps, this is not the top coat to do it. I could feel the dots from my dotticure the entire time I wore this manicure.

Day 2:

Top coat stays glossy.

Day 4:

Some minor tip wear begins to show, manicure still holding up nicely.

Day 6:

The manicure is definitely ready for removal as the top coat has begun to crack and really look old. The manicure is still shiny though!

Overall, I feel like this top coat really did last a long time and retained its shine throughout. You have to be very gentle with your nails the first 36-48 hours you wear it (more exposure to sun really does help), and that alone makes it somewhat difficult to use. But if you are willing to go through that and you want your manicure to last a decent amount of time, I suggest you give this a try.

In comparison with the CND Vinylux, I still feel like that is a more solid, thicker and forgiving long-lasting top coat, but the fact that it doesn't retain it's shine really bugs me. I've tried using CND Vinylux, letting it dry and then topping it with a shinier top coat, which makes it last but the shinier top coat does eventually peel off. Maybe next time I'll try the Vinylux top coat, let it dry and the next day I'll apply a coat of Rock Top Coat.

Have you tried Rock Top Coat? What are your experiences with it? Know of any other long-lasting top coats worth checking out?