Category: Review

Julep Alma

Sweet baby Jesus on rollerskates I’m tired. Book learnin iz hard. My brain is being crammed with so much information at work that I feel almost like a zombie once I get home. To be honest, I am enjoying learning so much new stuff so I shouldn’t complain–it’s just a lot of work! If you can believe it, I haven’t been wearing nail polish to work because I’m still getting a feel for things. Since I don’t want to cause any type of waves during my probation period, I am remaining very conservative…just wait until this passes because I’ll be causing some nail tsunamis for sure! Today I decided to use the other Julep polish that I got recently: Julep Alma.

Julep Alma Swatch

Oh, Alma! You’re one of those pretty/ugly polishes that I always think is going to look better on me than it actually does. Actually, this color reminds me a lot of the creme version of China Glaze Trendsetter! I had a little weird issue with this polish and I’m wondering if it’s just my bottle or if other people had the same happen to them. When I was applying this polish, I noticed little chunks–like super tiny little balls. After the first coat, I thought that maybe I hadn’t primed my nails well and I had some residue from another product, but the second coat also had the little chunks. Remember Chunk?

Anyway, once I applied the top coat, I think the chunks pretty much disappeared, but it was definitely strange! I applied two coats here and got good coverage.

Julep Alma BM 310

I just realized that I have used this stamp combination quite often. I just absolutely love it! Both of the images can be found on Bundle Monster plate BM 310. I used the inverted full coverage stamp as my accent nail, and I love how it looks almost leather-like since I didn’t apply top coat after stamping. If you’re a stamper, I’m curious if you know of a black polish that works for stamping. I haven’t found any others that are as pigmented as my Konad Black.

You know I’m going to say it so here it is: If you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven for just a penny, you can use my referral link here and enter the code JULEPVIP. You can’t really beat one cent, can you? I am looking to explore more subscription type boxes so feel free to leave me a comment if you know of others that are good. I have been very satisfied with the Julep boxes because I think the subscription service is a great deal. Definitely give them a try if you’re curious!

I am BEYOND excited that I only have two more days before the weekend. WEEKENDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! You know what kinda sucks, though? It might be raining here. It literally was in the 80’s earlier in the week and now it’s getting cold and rainy…get it together, bipolar California! Do you have anything fun planned this weekend?

Let me know what you think about this polish and stamping. I love reading all your comments! Thanks for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon.

 

 

Disclosure: Julep Alma was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm.  All other products featured in this post were purchased by me.  For more information, please see my disclosure policy tab here.

Julep Trina

Well, hello there friends! I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t post anything after my first day of work, but I had forgotten how exhausting sitting in a training class for 8 hours can be! I actually did do my nails last night with the intention of posting them, but I felt like my nail mojo just disappeared. I seriously took about 50 pictures and not a single one turned out–they all looked shit-tastic. So I just gave up. Today I got home super flustered because I had so much stuff to do–who knew that having a job again would leave me with absolutely no time at all? Ah, well…I shouldn’t complain because getting a paycheck again means I can continue to enjoy the luxuries I have become accustomed to such as a roof over my head, food in the fridge and electricity. After finishing up my laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and preparing my lunch for tomorrow, I sat down and thought I’d give it another try. Want to know what polish I settled on? Julep Trina!

Julep Trina Swatch

Julep Trina is an amazingly rich and saturated metallic aubergine polish. It was a little on the thick side, but it was easy to work with. I only needed two coats for these swatches. Did you hear that the Julep boxes are getting holos? I hope it’s true because you doesn’t love holos??? If you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven for just a penny, you can use my referral link here and enter the code JULEPVIP. Yep, for a penny. Awesomeness.

Julep Trina Pure Ice Silver Mercedes MASH 43

I then used an image from Mash plate MASH 43 which is kind of a strange flower and vine design. I am also wowed by the polish I used for stamping: Pure Ice Silver Mercedes. I finally found a decent Pure Ice display at a new Walmart and there was ONE of these babies left. This is such an amazing polish for stamping and you seriously can’t beat the under $2 price tag!

A lot of you have asked me about my new job and what I’ll be doing. I just wanted to say that I’ve made a very conscious decision not to discuss any details about my job. I’ve heard of way too many horror stories of people getting in trouble professionally about stuff they post online. While I do tend to share–and overshare–a lot about my personal life, that will not include details about my job. This will hopefully allow me to share funny people stories about my job–with names changed to protect the clueless, of course! I should have gone to bed about an hour ago but I stayed up to watch the series finale of Private Practice, and it was even more lame than I had anticipated. This show really jumped the shark about a year ago so I’m glad it’s over.

Well, I’m heading to bed now. It’s Wednesday tomorrow so I’m almost half-way through my first week of work. Woot! Hope you have a wonderful day, and I will talk to you soon.

 

Disclosure: Julep Trina was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm.  All other products featured in this post were purchased by me.  For more information, please see my disclosure policy tab here.

Jessica Flash Fusion 2.5.2 Pedicure System

Today I have something pretty freaking cool to share with all of you. I know that gel manicures have been all the rage, but I just can’t jump on that bandwagon. As someone who can’t commit to a nail polish on my hands for more than two days–three days tops–I can’t even imagine wearing the same manicure for more than 2 weeks. However, I routinely let my pedicures go for weeks at a time because  frankly, my feet are usually covered up unless it’s summertime. Part of my issue with giving myself a pedicure is that the polish tends to chip so quickly and after all my Cirque du Soleil contortionist poses to apply the polish carefully, this seems like a big fat waste.  I also hate paying to get a pedi because again, the polish barely lasts a few days. I certainly don’t want to pay $20+ for a weekly pedi that’s going to chip immediately–hey, I’m frugal! So when I got the opportunity to try out the new Jessica Flash Fusion 2.5.2 Pedicure System, I have to admit that I was intrigued! I was even more intrigued when I realized that this system does NOT require a UV or LED light to cure. Hmm…interesting! Let me show you what the system includes:

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When I first read the directions, I felt confused and just thought that I would be way too much work until I laid everything out and realized that it wasn’t as complicated as it seemed. Basically you apply the primer, then you apply the colour activator (and do a little brush cleaning in between) and that’s it! For the sake of being accurate, I’m going to share the official instructions:

First Coat: Begin On Left Side

Step 1: Once natural nail is prepped and wiped clean of oils or lotions, brush a complete layer of Primer on all five nails (as you would a basecoat), sealing the free edge and leaving nail wet and shiny. Do NOT get on cuticle. DO NOT let this layer dry.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of Colour Activator to wet Primer on all five nails. Wipe Colour Activator on the side of the bottle to ensure thin application. Unlike polish, it flows so start away from the cuticle and seal the free edge. First layer will be sheet. Do not overwork colour during application.

Step 3: Pour small amount of Brush Cleaner into dappen dish. After applying Colour Activator to all five nails, wipe brush on Pro Touch Lint-Free Nail Wipe then place in dappen dish to clean for about 30 seconds. When soft, wipe again and place back in Colour Activator so it is ready for the next application. Repeat cleaning process after every 5 nails. If brush starts to harden, soak in Brush Cleaner again or replace.

Step 4: Repeat the three steps above on the right side: Primer, Colour Activator, wipe brush and put in dappen dish with cleaner. (The polish on the first application will be setting as you do the second.)

Second Coat:

Step 5: Go back to the left side and repeat the same steps…Primers, Colour Activator, wipe brush and put in dappen dish with cleaner. Finish with a final coat of Primer to seal in the application.

Step 6: Repeat same three steps on the right.

To Remove: Saturate cotton in Fusion Flash-Off Remover and place over entire surface of the nail. Wrap in aluminum foil sealing all the edges. Leave on for just two minutes then press firmly and rub slightly before removal. Wipe clean. No filing or buffing needed.

Now, let me tell you what I thought:

Step 1: The Primer is pretty thick so it wont be runny. Despite this, you still have to be careful not to get it on your skin and cuticles. The Primer smells exactly like nail glue and is super strong. I recommend that you use this in a very well ventilated area unless you want to start feeling loopy.

Step 2: The Colour Activator is very runny so for the love of sweet baby Jesus, use a tiny bit. It will spread and bond with the Primer like magic. The first coat will definitely be runny but don’t worry because the second coat will fix it.

Step 3: It is super important to clean the brush of the Colour Activator as indicated. It will get hard and unmanageable if you don’t. The Colour Activator will get goopy as well if you don’t keep the cap on but you can add a drop or two of the Brush Cleaner to thin it out a bit if needed.

As far as clean up is concerned, the Colour Activator comes off from the skin pretty easily with some acetone. However, if you get Primer all over the place, that will be harder to remove because it gets hard and crusty. I gave myself a pedicure and then removed it to see how difficult it would be. I am happy and surprised to report that it was rather painless using the foil method. The Primer and Colour Activator came off easily and my nails did not looked messed up afterwards. After I knew I could do this correctly, I recruited one of my friends to be a foot model because frankly, my toes are a little horrific and I would not want to put any of you through that pain. After pouring over the 6 available colors, she decided to go with Adrenaline. Are you ready for some foot pictures?

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We weren’t trying to be all Foot Zoolander in these pictures…we just wanted to get some decent shots of the pedicure that I did on her. I did a pretty good job on the pedi if I do say so myself. The pedicure set in about 5 minutes, was rock hard to the touch and extremely shiny.

Even though this is a pedicure system, I decided to give it a whirl on my hands so I could give you a close-up shot of the finish and colors.

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This is what the colors look like up close. This is two coats of Colour Activator plus a coat of Primer as a top coat. As you can see the colors are extremely shiny and wet looking despite being 100% dry and rock hard.

As far as removal is concerned, I think all of us  nailphiles are familiar with the foil method–especially if we dabble in chunky glitters.

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The foil method consists of soaking some cotton with remover, placing it on your nails and then wrapping some aluminum foil around your nails to hold the cotton in place and giving it time to soak the polish off. You only really have to leave the cotton on your fingers for a couple of minutes.

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After the two minutes, I removed the tin foil and started to remove the cotton to show you how it had dissolved the polish. You don’t have to do any harsh scrubbing–just apply some pressure and rub off the color they way you would with any normal nail polish.

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The first picture on the left show my nails immediately after I removed the cotton and rubbed off the color. I had a little residue left so I grabbed another cotton square with some remover and clean off the rest. And on the right are my nails after washing my hands and putting on a little moisturizer. As you can see, my nails look healthy–not damaged in the least bit.

So what do I think about the Jessica Flash Fusion 2.5.2 Pedicure System? As a gel newbie, I have to say that I am very impressed! Here are some of the things that I really liked:

1) The system is rather easy to use–just make sure you read the directions! As someone who routinely does not read directions and then I wonder why things blow up in my face, I found the directions were clear and easy to follow.

2) Time, time, time! I know we are all busy so being able to get this pedicure done so quickly is very important.

3) The system does not appear to be harsh on nails. I have heard some bad stories of damaged nails with traditional gel manicure systems so I was very happy–and relieved–when my nails were fine when I removed the manicure/pedicure.

4) No need of a UV/LED light. I know there have been concerns about long term exposure to these lights and what affects they may have on our skin.

Here are some things that I didn’t like:

1) Woah, Nelly the fumes are strong! I am used to painting my nails (obviously) and using stuff like acetone. The fumes from the primer were strong even for me.  You have to use this stuff in a well ventilated area, and I certainly learned my lesson the first time.

2) You have to be really careful when applying the primer which can be difficult if you are a little messy with your polish application in general. If you get Primer on your cuticles, it will look like a crusty mess and will be difficult to remove.

3) While the 6 color collection is nice, I think they need a little more variety. However, 12 more colors will be released this month so this is just a temporary complaint.

All in all, I think this is a great system and will definitely be using it for my pedicures. Since I still don’t have information on the longevity of the pedicure I did on my friend, I will be updating this review at the one week mark and again at the two week mark to let you know if she has experienced any issues. How do you feel about long-lasting results such as this? Do you get gel manicures or pedicures? Let me know! I’d love to hear what you think.

1/27/2013 Update Week 1: I spoke with my friend and she said that he pedicure is still intact. There is no chipping or peeling whatsoever and she said it still looks great!

For questions or to order Flash Fusion 2.5.2, you can contact Jessica at 1-800-582-4000 or online at www.jessicacosmetics.com

About Jessica:

A global powerhouse, the Jessica brand of nail care from Jessica Cosmetics International is available in more than 35 countries at the finest salons, spas and retailers and at www.jessicacosmetics.com. Jessica Vartoughian–founder and creator of Jessica Cosmetics–“The First Lady of Nails” by the New York Times and “Manicurist to the Stars” by Vogue. Her complete colour and treatment line has been designed to promote healthy, beautiful nails.

 

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm.  For more information, please see my disclosure policy tab here.

Sation Dance With The Drummer

Happy Saturday everyone! It’s super chilly today so I slept in a bit this morning even though I have a lot of things to do and errands to run. While I worked on today’s mani, I was watching Resident Evil: Retribution which I got from Redbox last night. Ok, I have to admit that I am a huge HUGE fan of horror, sci-fi and zombie/monster movies so I always watch the Resident Evil movies when they come out. I don’t think the story quality of the movies is as good as the first two, but I watch them anyway. Speaking of zombies, do you watch The Walking Dead? Ever since I cut my cable, I have had to watch The Walking Dead online and I haven’t watched it for a couple of months so I can’t wait to find out what has been going on. I love me some bloody zombie stories! Moving on from the undead, today I decided to wear another blue: Sation Dance With The Drummer.

Sation Dance With The Drummer Swatch

Sation Dance With The Drummer Swatch

I decided to share two sets of pictures of Sation Dance With The Drummer because I was having some serious issues with photographing this polish. It seems that green and blue polishes are my mortal camera enemies because the color never comes out true to life and to top it all off, I get major lobster hands! Despite my lobster hands issue, I really really love this polish. It is super pigmented and smooth so it only needs two coats for full coverage. When I first saw this polish, I thought that it looked exactly like Sation Rock-A-Guy-Blue which I reviewed here. However, once I took both bottles out, they are definitely NOT dupes, but they are kissing cousins. Rock-A-Guy-Blue is darker and more vibrant while Dance With The Drummer is more dusty. Do you need both, probably not. Would you want both? Uhm, yes please!

The other day, Siobhan posted her swatches of Essence Blue Addicted and I instantly remembered that I hadn’t used my bottle in a while. (You can see her post here.) The first time I used it, I had just cut my nails down to nubs so I don’t think the mani looked as nice. Now that I have some length to my nails, I decided to give it another shot.

Essence Blue Addicted Swatch

Essence Blue Addicted is a pretty dead-on dupe for Deborah Lippmann’s Across The Universe, but I don’t know how readily available Blue Addicted is. I had never seen it at my Ulta so I got mine as a gift from one of my sweet enablers: Sabrina from Polish In Paris. In fact, I think this polish might be discontinued since it is in the old style bottle, but I know Siobhan got hers on super sale recently so they still may be floating around. If you like beautiful glitter and love the combo of blue and green, this is the perfect polish for you! I layered two thin coats over Dance With The Drummer because the base of Blue Addicted is a sheer blue jelly that doesn’t really look good on its own.

Well my dears, what do you think about these polishes? I still have another movie to watch that I got from Redbox last night: Ruby Sparks. I really hope it’s good because I thought the whole premise is so cute when I saw the previews for it. Today is also my crazy cleaning day so I have tons of stuff to clean–mainly the bathroom. I know everyone thinks I’m weird for it, but I do like cleaning the bathroom…especially the tub! I stocked up on Mr. Clean Magic Erasers today so my tub has no idea what’s coming. Muawhahaha! I think my place would be super clean if I lived alone, but since the mooch (aka as my youngest brother) lives with me, he gets everything so dirty. Why do boys have to be so dirty? I don’t get it. I am afraid to step into the bathroom after he has been in there.  Don’t even get me started on the scents that emanate from his bedroom…

Well, I hope your day is more interesting than mine which is full of cleaning, laundry and movies. Thanks for stopping by today, and I will talk to you soon.

 

Disclosure: Sation Dance With The Drummer was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm.  Essence Blue Addicted was a gift. For more information, please see my disclosure tab.

Vapour Vernissage Ether

Today I have a new-to-me brand to share with you: Vapour Organic Beauty.  I first came across Vapour when I was looking for some new foundation solutions since my skin is incredibly difficult to work with when the winter months arrive. Perusing through their site, I immediately noticed that the also had a line of nail polish so I’m glad to be able to share my experience with the following three products.

Vapour Organic Beauty

Because of my constant swatching and the fact that I am a bit of a clean freak, my hands are constantly beat up. One of the most important and crucial things that you can do for your hands and nails is to keep your cuticles well-moisturized. I always make sure to have a good moisturizing lotion on hand as well as some cuticle oil. Since it has been rather chilly and dry here in Southern California, my cuticles have been in a deplorable state. After using my usual cuticle remover, I proceeded to use Vapour’s Replenish Organic Nail & Cuticle oil. The first thing that I noticed about it is that it has a very pleasing and citrus-y scent. Like all cuticle oils, it is best to really work the product into your nails and cuticles if you don’t want it to just sit there and give your greasy fingers. Replenish is made with a unique collection of high-grade organic oils and botanicals traditionally used for facial treatments including Evening Primrose, Pomegranate Seed Oil and Reishi Mushroom. I felt that Replenish sank in to my skin fairly quickly and my cuticles are still soft and moisturized despite numerous hand-washings throughout the day. Of course you have to keep using the a product like this to see long-term results so I will let you all know what I think down the line.

Vapour Vernissage Ether
Direct Sunlight
Vapour Vernissage Ether
Artificial Lighting

Ether is an inky midnight blue with some purple tones to it. It also has a shimmery quality that is only visible in direct and bright light. The formula was very nice and easy to control–I didn’t have to do any clean up! While it was a little on the thin side, I only needed two coats for full coverage. The thing that most surprised me about this polish is how incredibly shiny and glossy it dried before I even applied a top coat. Vapour’s Velocity Top Coat is a quick drying top coat, but I did not feel that it gave me the results that I was expecting. While it does dry the polish fairly quickly on the surface and leaves a very glossy finish, I don’t think that it dried the polish completely because 2 hours later, I accidentally bumped my nail and it made an indentation.

Overall, I am very much liking the Replenish nail and cuticle oil and will continue to use it especially during these cold and dry months. Ether is a lovely color that I would wear regularly even if it is not entirely unique. I very much like the formula and finish of the polish even though I didn’t quite get the results I was hoping for with the Velocity quick drying top coat. You can find more information on their diverse product lines by visiting www.vapourbeauty.com The Replenish cuticle oil, Velocity top coat and Vernissage polishes retail for $12 which is definitely on the pricey side for such tiny bottles.  An important note: Vapour Organic Beauty does not test on animals nor are any of the raw ingredients in Vapour tested on animals. Have you ever tried products from Vapour Organic Beauty? Are you familiar with their line of products?

Thanks for checking in with me today and I will talk to you soon. I hope you enjoy your weekend and stay warm!

 

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR firm. For more information, please see my disclosure tab.

Jessica It’s A Girl Thing Collection Spring 2013

Hello, my name is Cynthia and I am a Summer hater. I know that sounds strange from someone who is a born and raised Southern Californian, but I just can’t stand it when it gets hot outside–I feel miserable. Since I live a few miles from the beach, it doesn’t usually get too hot here even in the middle of summer, but if I have to go inland I just want to DIE. So why am I talking about the Summer when we are having record-low temperatures? Well, because guess what I got in the mail yesterday? My very first spring 2013 polish collection! I don’t think it’s officially Winter until tomorrow and the Spring collections are starting to come out already–I love nail polish! As much as I like winter, I think that Spring is my favorite time of the year. I don’t agree with TS Elliot’s statement that “April is the cruellest month”–not at all. (For you fellow lit purist, don’t freak out about me using the opening line of The Wasteland to wax poetic about nail polish. Nail polish can be poetic–just look at Clarins 230!) The brand spanking new collection I have for you today is the Jessica It’s A Girl Thing Collection for Spring 2013. Let’s see what Jessica Cosmetics has to say about this collection:

“Girls just want to have fun!” the classic song says, and that truth finds colorful expression in the exciting, new Spring 2012 collection It’s a Girl Thing–exclusively from Jessica Cosmetics.

It’s a Girl Thing celebrates girl power and girl fun–the confidence that you can be anyone or anything you want to be. Just dream big. The only limit is your imagination.

The collection’s six fresh and fun colors, all original to Jessica, are perfect for playing dress-up and expressing your secret seld or for adding a spark of super-charged color to a serious work-day look.

Take center state as Ava, the “New Kid in Town,” break some hearts as Alexis “Ruby Empress,” or party in pink as Amira the “Smitten Kitten.” Wearing these and other inspired hues in It’s a Girl Thing, you can live out your fantasies in vibrant, dreams-come-true color.

For the first time in Jessica history, the Spring 2013 collection features the fabulous girls in Jessica’s life–each girl plays dress-up in her favorite color that evokes her distinctive personality.

Are you ready to see the collection?

Jessica It's A Girl Thing Collection Spring 2013

Jessica Sun-kissed Beauty Swatch Sun-kissed Beauty (Alia) is “a deep, stylish sunset-orange.” This color is incredibly saturated and buttery. The first coat appeared to be a bit patchy but the second coat covered my nails completely. This color reminded me of OPI A Roll In The Hague and Essie Orange It’s Obvious but it’s not a flat creme like those two because Sun-kissed Beauty has a slight shimmer that sparkles in the sun. I am usually scared of orange polishes because they are stainining nightmares, but I am happy to report that I had no staining from this polish.

Jessica True Blue SwatchWhile Jessica calls True Blue (Sophia) a robin’s egg blue, I immediately thought that it looked more like a periwinkle shade. Even though this color is super bright, it also has a bit of smokiness to it that I love. Just like Sun-kissed Beauty, this polish also had some lovely shimmer peeking through.  The formula was fine. I felt that it was maybe a tad thicker than I was expecting, but it was easy to control and self-leveling.

Jessica Smitten Kitten SwatchI feel that in the last year, I have gained a true appreciation for pink polishes so I was happy to see a vibrant pink in this collection. Smitten Kitten (Amira) is such a girlie color and I think it works perfectly in this collection. As bright as it is, it’s not overwhelming on my skin tone. It has a good formula so I only needed two coats. Again, this polish has that pretty hidden shimmer.

Jessica Ruby Empress Swatch Ruby Empress (Alexis) has the best formula of the bunch. It can easily be a one coater if you’re careful enough, but I applied two thin coats out of habit. I thought this would be a more pure red, but it does lean a little bit orange. I would have liked to see it be less orange since Sun-kissed Beauty is also in this collection.

Jessica New Kid InTown SwatchI am a huge fan of dusty lilac/lavender shades so New Kid In Town (Ava) is right up my alley. This color is pretty similar to Essie She’s Picture Perfect minus the pink shimmer. There is a very pretty silver shimmer in this polish but it’s not very noticeable unless you’re in direct sunlight. This polish was a little sheer but it builds up nicely without any issues.

Jessica Sterling Queen SwatchAnd lastly, this is Sterling Queen (Nadia) which is described as “refined silver-gray.” When I first saw this polish in the bottle, my first thought was “ick.” However, once I applied it, I was won over. I don’t think I have a single polish in my collection that is quite like this. It’s not really a frost or a shimmer…it’s just so icy looking. The formula is great, and I think it looked really nice with one coat but I applied two to show the color at full opacity.

With a nice variation of vibrant shades, I think this collection is a lovely step towards Spring. While these colors may not be altogether unique, I appreciated that these were not just flat cremes but had that beautiful hidden shimmer. Considering the dark and vampy shades I tend to wear, I was quite surprised to realized that Sterling Queen was tied with True Blue as my two favorites from this collection. What do you think of this collection? Do you have a favorite? Thanks for stopping by and talk to you soon.

 

All Jessica colors are formulated with antioxidant vitamins for maximum conditioning and UVA/UVB protection from the sun. Jessica polishes are quick-drying and eco-friendly, free of toluene, formaldehyde and DBP.

The It’s a Girl Thing collection will be available at the end of January 2013 at www.jessicacosmetics.com and at salons and spas internationally.

 

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were provided by the manufacturer or their PR firm. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy tab.

Winstonia 8 Piece Nail Art Set Review

When I first started doing free-hand nail art designs (thanks to the 31 day challenge), I realized that it was super important to invest in a decent set of brushes. In fact, here are some recent designs I am kind of proud of.

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When I was contacted by a rep from Winstonia who asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their 8 piece nail art set, of course I said yes!

Winstonia 8 Piece Nail Art Set

The 8 piece nail art set comes in this pretty black satiny pouch and includes:

  • A 5 piece dotting tool set
  • A 3 piece nail art brush set
  • A bonus nail file/shaper

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There is nothing revolutionary about this dotting tool set; it is identical to the most popular dotting tool sets that you can find all over ebay and amazon. If you are a nail art beginner, a dotting tool set is the best investment you can make. A dotting tool will seriously help you do so many cute designs that require little skill and time. The nail art brushes are the first legit nail brushes that I own. The bristles are soft but firm and really help you maintain control of the polish. I created 4 different designs with the dotting tools and brushes just to show you how they work. They are just quick designs that anyone can do!

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Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of these brushes and I will be looking through their site for additional supplies because I definitely have the nail art bug now! If you are interested in purchasing the 8 piece nail art set, it retails for $8.95 on the Winstonia store site. They offer pretty competitive prices, are US based and offer free shipping for orders $25 and up. From now until January 31st, 2013, you can get a 10% discount by using my special discount code. Just jump up and down, pull your left ear once and howl like a wolf to qualify….just kidding but hat would make me laugh. You can enter OFLIFEANDLACQUER at checkout for your 10% discount. 🙂

Thanks for visiting today and hope to see you again soon!

 

***Items were provided for review consideration. All opinions are my own.***

LCN Mystique Burlesque Collection Holiday 2012

Guess what? I have another pretty holiday collection to share with you today. The LCN Mystique Burlesque Collection is perfect for the holidays with its richly saturated jewel tones that will definitely demand attention. The formula on all of these polishes was pretty consistent: smooth and opaque. The first coat appears deceivingly thin, but the second coat completely covers the nail. I find jewel toned polishes incredibly difficult to photograph so bear with me. I’ll stop blabbing now and show you the swatches.

LCN Green Emerald Swatch          LCN Green Emerald Swatch

Green Emerald

LCN Ruby Red Swatch          LCN Ruby Red Swatch

Ruby Red

LCN Violet Amethyst Swatch          LCN Violet Amethyst Swatch

Violet Amethyst

LCN Blue Sapphire Swatch          LCN Blue Sapphire Swatch

Blue Sapphire

This is such a beautiful and cohesive festive collection. These colors are not for the faint of heart: they are deep, saturated and outrageously season appropriate. Every time I look at Blue Sapphire, I thinking of doing one of those pretty snowflake manicures. As as I said in my previous review of the LCN Urban Expressions Collection, the price for these polishes is my only reservation because they are $7.50 for an 8ml bottle. You can also purchase these 4 polishes in one of their trend boxes for $29.90 at the LCN Boutique.

What do you think of this collection? Do you have a favorite color? Thanks for stopping by and talk to you later!

**These products were provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.**

LCN Urban Expressions Collection Fall 2012

For all of you rabid neutrals fans, you are going to love this. Even if you don’t normally gravitate towards neutral colors, I think that this cohesive set of four buttery neutrals is going to impress you. The LCN Urban Expressions Collection was released for Fall 2012 and brings us 4 polishes that showcase the chic sophistication of some of the most exciting fashion capitals of the world.  Are you ready to see the polishes and which city inspired each shade?

LCN Paris Chic Swatch          LCN Paris Chic Swatch

Paris Chic is described as a nougat beige, and I think it is a very apt description. Out of the 4 polishes in the set, I found that Paris Chic had a difficult formula. It might have just been a fluke since the other three were great, but this one was very thick and applied very streaky. Once I added a few drops of thinner, it was MUCH better. I normally don’t like to thin bran new polish, but sometimes you have to make an exception.

LCN London Glam Swatch          LCN London Glam Swatch

London Glam is a slightly pink leaning gray which is a color that I always seem to be attracted to in all its infinite variations. I think that it is one of those shades that is work appropriate yet it is not boring whatsoever. The formula on this one was great–buttery and opaque at two coats.

LCN New York Beat Swatch          LCN New York Beat Swatch

New York Beat is definitely my favorite shade from this collection. It’s such a gorgeous smokey gray-green that I defy anyone to tell me it’s not current and fresh. It reminds me a bit of Essie School Of Hard Rocks but it is less green and more gray. Still, it’s a great shade with a great formula as well.

LCN Tokyo Expressions Swatch          LCN Tokyo Expressions Swatch

And lastly, here we have Tokyo Expressions. Could this collection really be complete without a creamy slightly blue-leaning gray? I can see myself wearing this color through fall and through winter because it has that steel

As a creme polish lover, I absolutely love this small collection. I like all the colors and the formula was great (well, except for Paris Chic). The LCN Urban Expressions Collection is available now on the LCN Website. One thing I would like to mention is that these polishes run pretty small at 8ml. each and sell for $7.50 each or $29.90 for the quad. Have you tried any LCN products before? Which is your favorite color of the 4? I’d love to hear what you think.

Thanks for catching up with me today and talk to you later.

 

**These products were provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.**

 

Jessica Glamarama Collection Holiday 2012

Oh my dear glitter God, where do I begin? Last week I showed you a sneak peek of the Jessica Glamarama Collection which is their holiday collection for 2012 and we were all left wondering if it would be red overload. Let me tell you…this collection is freaking amazing. Yes, there are 4 “reds” in this 6 piece collection but they are all different enough that I did not think it was too much once I actually saw them in person.  Let me also say that I really appreciate smaller collections such as this because when they are 8-12 polish collections, I inevitably feel like that are a lot of filler polishes without any real inspiration behind them. Before I blab your ear off, I’m going to move on to the swatches which is why you’re here, right? Right?!

Jessica Velvet Fantasy Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Velvet Fantasy Swatch Glamarama

Velvet Fantasy is one of those one coat wonders that is just a classic and a staple. It is so incredibly pigmented that you don’t need more than one coat and the formula is just perfect: smooth, highly pigmented and glossy. I have to say that I generally love red nail polish, but it’s really hard to find one that has such a perfect formula like this one.

Jessica Magic Spell Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Magic Spell Swatch Glamarama

Magic Spell is what I imagine my brain sees when I eat a bunch of Red Hots all at once. Jessica calls this a “deep crimson” which doesn’t really fit this polish in my opinion. I think that my lighting makes this polish look a little more orange than it is, but crimson wouldn’t be the first description that comes to mind. This polish was also really easy to work with and was fully opaque at two coats.

Jessica Heart's Desire Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Heart's Desire Swatch Glamarama

Heart’s Desire is gorgeous! If it reminds you of Cinnamon Kiss from the Spicy Dream Collection, you are right: the colors are in the same family because of the shimmer and glowing quality, but the actual color is different. Cinnamon Kiss is a lot darker, but they are definitely cousins. The formula on this one was a little tricky. It felt thicker than the other two polishes, and it felt like it was almost gooey. It’s nothing that a drop or two of thinner won’t fix so I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I thought it would be worth mentioning.

Jessica Hot Hot Hot Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Hot Hot Hot Swatch Glamarama

Hot Hot Hot definitely surprised me. I did not think that I was going to like it as much as I do. In fact, I love it!!!! It’s a very fine red glitter with a smattering of silver holo glitter throughout. If you want to wear this on its own, it will take 3 coats for decent coverage. It dries matte and gritty so a thick top coat such as Gelous is a must. This is also an amazing topper so I can’t wait to layer it on top of other polishes. (You’ll see some layering at then end.)

The two following shades are something that Jessica is introducing as “Disco Glitters” and they definitely look best layer over solid nail colors. I decided to swatch them on my bare nails below.

Jessica Platinum Wishes Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Platinum Wishes Swatch Glamarama

Platinum Wishes is not really…platinum? I see a mix of steely blue-green glitter and some red-orange glitter to boot. The formula feels thick and a little goopy. I applied 3 coats for the my swatches and it was way too thick to apply that many layers. Again, this is good as a glitter topper and I do not recommend you wearing it on its own.

Jessica Glitterati Swatch Glamarama          Jessica Glitterati Swatch Glamarama

Glitterati is described as a champagne gold which I can definitely see, but there is also a very unique multi-chrome quality to it when you see the polish in the bottle. I see flashes of green, red and gold in the bottle but it’s not very apparent once I applied it on my nails. The formula was exactly the same as that of Platinum Wishes: thick and meant to be layered.

Now, I did a quick layering of the glitters on top of Velvet Fantasy:

         

From pinky to pointer: Glitterati, Platinum Wishes and Hot Hot Hot (on middle and pointer fingers)

The Glamarama collection is available now and retails for $7.50 each at www.jessicacosmetics.com and salons and spas internationally. All Jessica polishes, including the Glamarama collection, are formulated with vitamin A for maximum conditioning and UVA/UVB protection from the sun’s damaging rays. Plus, they’re quick-drying and eco-friendly, free of toluene, formaldehyde and DBP.

So, what are your thoughts on this collection? Let me know; I’d love to hear from you!

 

**These products were provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.**