February 28, 2011

Qtica Smart Spa Triple Action Fresh Soak

I've been looking for a yummy smelling nail soak for awhile now, so when I ordered my 3 free Zoyas from the Facebook deal, I also picked up this Qtica Smart Spa Triple Action Fresh Soak in Lemon Dream. Personally, I LOVE good lemon scents, but they can easily go into the rotten lemon/lemon floor cleaner territory. Qtica's Lemon Dream, however, is really dreamy. It smells delicious!!! More like lemon candy than anything else. Now that I have the soak in this scent, I definitely want to buy other products from the Lemon Dream range. According to the Art of Beauty website, "the Qtica Smart Spa Lemon Dream Scent is available in lotion, shower gel, sugar scrub, mask, manicure and pedicure soaks as well as gifts sets and retail display units". Sign me up for the scrub and lotion please! If you are one of those people who just dislikes any lemon scent, the Triple Action Fresh Soak comes in about 15 different scents, so I'm sure you can find one that you love!

This soak is anti-bacterial, so it is an excellent choice to prevent infection for those of you who cut your cuticles. After soaking my nails for just a few minutes, my cuticles are very soft and ready to be pushed back. My cuticles and nails also feel nicely moisturized every time I use this soak. I never feel like there is a greasy residue on my hands after using this. They just feel soft and nice, not like there is a filmy layer of product on them. Based on Triple Action Fresh Soak's moisturizing capabilities, softening of the cuticles, and the dreamy lemon scent, I give this soak a 10/10. Next time you order from Zoya, give the Qtica Smart Spa products some love too! This one is definitely a winner.

Qtica Smart Spa Triple Action Fresh Soak is available online at Zoya.

February 24, 2011

I'm Addicted to Crack!! Errr... I mean, China Glaze Crackle

I finally received my four China Glaze Crackle polishes yesterday! I had a little problem with my order, but the great people at Transdesign cleared it all up and made sure I got my polishes. I ordered Crushed Candy, Black Mesh, Lightening Bolt and Cracked Concrete.

Now since you've already seen full reviews and swatches of this whole collection on 876567 other blogs, I think I'm just going to show you some looks I am wearing with these polishes. Today I am sporting Crushed Candy over the limited edition L'Oreal Silver Star polish from a few holiday seasons ago. Revlon has a great substitute for that silver out now in their Heavy Metals collection, by the way. All of these pictures show two coats of Silver Star under one coat of China Glaze Crushed Candy. Pics are clickable, of course, so you can see the great detail of the crackle!

Now, one thing I heard people saying about these crackle polishes was that they crackled in such a linear fashion. Many people were really disappointed with the linear cracking, as they were expecting more of a random crack. I have a news flash: YOU CAN MAKE IT CRACKLE HOWEVER YOU WANT!!!!!! How cool is that??? Let me explain.

Regular Application

The above picture shows Crushed Candy applied in three strokes lengthwise down the nail, as one would apply regular polish. This looks cool, but maybe not what you were looking for? If so, proceed.

Side to side application (middle nail only)

Here, I show you what it looks like when you apply the polish side to side. Totally different, right? I think this looks cooler.

Next, we have a picture of how Crushed Candy looks if you apply it diagonally across the nail. I started my brushstrokes at the bottom left corner of my nail and worked up. This looks the coolest. So far...

My favorite application technique for these is the one I am sporting in the pictures of all four of my nails. I will call this technique "blobbing". This is exceedingly cool looking and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! To get this look, I got a medium amount of polish on the brush (not so much that it is dripping off, but there should be a slight bead of polish). Then I dotted the polish on my whole nail. I didn't do any strokes with the brush, just dotting, or "blobbing", as I like to call it. This technique creates giant cracks and that giraffe kind of pattern I was looking for.

So what do you think of blobbing? Do you like this color combination, the Tiffany blue and silver? I LOVE it! It reminds me of jewelry in a Tiffany box! I will definitely be showing you the rest of the Crackles I got very soon. I really love the look of all of them!

The China Glaze Crackles are available at a Sally Beauty Supply near you.
I don't know about you, but I'm still pouring over pictures from New York Fashion Week. If you're like me, here's some pics and info about the looks China Glaze created for some of the shows.

"Los Angeles, CA – (February 2011): Always a beauty staple backstage at New York Fashion Week, China Glaze made it’s fourth consecutive appearance on the runway at the Tadashi, Ivana Helsinki and Richie Rich shows for Fall 2011. Tadashi went with his all-time favorite again, China Glaze Innocence (a sheer gauzy pink). Manicurist Josephine More said that it was perfect for accenting the understated elegance and angelic look of his Fall 2011 collection.

Ivana Helsinki’s collection consisted of rich velvets, knits, feather prints and chunky boots. While charcoal black eyeliner, beehives and an all together 60’s mod vibe was the theme for makeup and hair, clear nails courtesy of manicurist Indigo Smith and Seche Vite Fast Dry Top coat complimented the overall minimalist designs that were enhanced by different patterns and textures.

Richie Rich, who is known for his outrageous club wear and barely there ensembles, didn’t scrimp in the nail department either. Manicurist Josephine More created “Punk Looks” which consisted of China Glaze Midnight Mission with China Glaze Devotion, Nova and Solar Flare on the King Finger. She also created “Elegant Looks”, which was China Glaze Lubu Heels with China Glaze Passion and Medallion on the King Finger. The men also rocked their own personalized nail looks with China Glaze Devotion layered with Nova and China Glaze Liquid Leather on the King Finger. To top off the show, Jennifer “JWOWW” Farley of “Jersey Shore” fame closed the show with Richie Rich himself. "

Speaking of China Glaze, I received my Crackles and am seriously addicted already! I had planned to get my pictures up today, but it may not happen until tomorrow or late tonight. Stay tuned for crackles!

February 22, 2011

Zoya Dove vs. Dr.'s Remedy Healing Heather Grey

Left to right: Zoya Dove, Dr.'s Remedy Healing Heather Grey, Zoya Dove, Dr.'s Remedy Healing Heather Grey

When I posted the Dr.'s Remedy Winter Wonder-Nails swatches last week, I thought that Healing Heather Grey reminded me of Zoya Dove from the Spring 2011 Intimate Collection.

Turns out I was quite right. The two are very very close to being complete dupes. Zoya Dove is slightly lighter and has more of a blue/white tone in it. Dr.'s Remedy Healing Heather Grey is a tad darker and has more of a neutral grey tone. The Dr.'s Remedy polish, therefore, might work slightly better for warmer skintones, while Zoya Dove would be more flattering on cool skintones. If you look at my middle nail and ring finger nail in the picture, you can see the difference. That's Healing Heather Grey on the middle nail and Dove on the ring finger nail.

Only a real polish addict would see the difference in these two, and I don't really think you need to own both. The formula is great on both, so it comes down to whichever is easier for you to obtain/if you prefer the slightly lighter or darker version.

These polishes were sent to me for review by the PR agents of Zoya and Dr.'s Remedy. For more information, please see our Disclosure Policy.

February 21, 2011

More NARS Spring 2011- Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo

Continuing with my obsession over the NARS Spring 2011 collection, I thought I'd show you some quick pictures of one of the two powder eyeshadow duos in the collection, Nouveau Monde. Nouveau Monde consists of a silvery lilac metallic shadow and a rich olive green shimmery shadow. More love for Francois, because most people would not put silvery lilac with olive green.

Both of these shadows are really pigmented and smooth. They are really easy to apply and last (on me) all day without creasing. I do have dry lids, so most shadows last pretty well on me. If you have oily lids, you may or may not need a primer. Seriously. Olive green and silvery lilac. Sorry, I can't get over how gorgeous I think this combo is. I'm wearing it right now and I can tell it will get a LOT of use this spring.

Look at the chic packaging this duo comes in (by the way, this was taken on probably the third day of me wearing Desperado, and it still looks HOT)! NARS products are maybe a little pricey, but they're sooooo worth it. This duo was $33 for 0.14oz of product, but you are getting two really nicely pigmented shadows that you can use together or with other colors.

I do plan on purchasing the eyeshadow trio, Calanque, that came out with this collection. I was hoping to wait for it to come to Sephora though. I have a Sephora gift card from Christmas that I've been saving for this very purpose. Whenever I get it, I'll definitely post it up!

NARS Nouveau Monde is available online at Sephora, or at a Sephora near you.

February 18, 2011

NARS Desperado=LOVE

NARS Desperado, three coats, no flash

I'm currently obsessing over the entire NARS spring make-up collection, the nail polish, Desperado, possibly most of all. I only own one other NARS polish, Purple Rain (by the way, I REALLY need to take better pics of that one), but as soon as I saw the promo pictures for Desperado, I knew it would be mine. Desperado is a brass metallic finish polish with a little yellow-gold and green mixed in for good measure. NARS describes it as "Antique Brass", and really, brass is the best description I can come up with for this polish.

NARS Desperado, three coats, no flash

This is such a seriously beautiful color, especially in a spring collection. I feel like most people would put this kind of color in a fall collection, but not Francois <3. I love this color for spring though! It will be the perfect contrast to floral/pastel spring clothes. I also do not own anything like this color, although I do have an extensive collection of metallic golds and bronze colors. This is neither bronze, nor gold, so I doubt you will find a dupe for Desperado.

NARS Desperado, three coats, no flash

Desperado definitely requires three to four coats to hide the dreaded VNL, so I do wish it was a tad more pigmented. However, I got great wear out of this- four days with very little tip wear and only one small chip on my thumb. The one chip was actually my fault too, I was using my thumb to open something (bad, bad, bad!!). I still have this on right now as I write this post and honestly, I don't really want to take it off. I would also really like an eyeshadow in this color. That would be sweeeeettttt!

NARS Desperado, three coats, no flash

I give this polish a 9/10. I only took the point off because it could be a tad more pigmented for $17. Love love love this color!

NARS Desperado is available online at NARS Cosmetics and at a Sephora near you.

February 16, 2011

BEST Polish/Movie Collaboration- OPI and Pirates of the Caribbean Preview!

I am SOOOOOO excited for this collection! My favorite polish formula, my favorite movie series, AND A SHATTER POLISH?!!? All in the same collection??? It's like OPI called me up and asked me what I'd like to see this spring! OPI sent me some information about the collection today, read on-

"Discover a Treasure Trove of Color with New BRIGHTS by OPI, Inspired by Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

OPI captures the bright colors and breathtaking escapades seen in Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides with six limited-edition Nail Lacquers and a new Silver Shatter! Disney’s highly-anticipated fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise is directed by Rob Marshall and features an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.
To celebrate the new film, OPI launches its Spring 2011 BRIGHTS Collection, which features a groundbreaking new color addition in the Shatter coat formula– Silver. Inspired by graffiti art, this shade leaves behind a crackled, two-texture silver finish when painted over any dry OPI hue.
“OPI is thrilled to celebrate the latest film in this beloved series,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides lacquers were inspired by a world filled with mythical mermaids, gleaming treasure, and high-seas adventure. With shades ranging from sage and lavender to khaki gray and pastel pink, these colors are evocative of a warm, tropical setting, with a classic nautical influence.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides collection includes:
Skull & Glossbones- Best light gray ever, no bones about it.

Mermaid’s Tears- Few have seen this magical green.

Steady as She Rose- This gorgeous pink is your final destination.

Planks a Lot- Dive into style with this lustworthy purple!

Sparrow Me the Drama- This cool, collected pink means business!

Stranger Tides- Explore this uncharted sea of sage.

Silver Shatter- A shimmering sea of silver with a two-texture finish."

Can we just talk about Mermaid's Tears plus Silver Shatter?? I want that on my nails STAT.

Expect this collection to be hitting stores in May 2011. If you don't know anything about the movies, read this:


Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” captures the fun, adventure and humor that ignited the hit franchise—this time in Disney Digital 3D™. Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in an action-packed adventure. Crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penelope Cruz), he’s not sure if it’s love—or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know whom to fear more: Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the vengeful Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack’s longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid.

The screenplay for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, suggested by the novel by Tim Powers. The film opens in theaters on May 20, 2011, in Disney Digital 3D™."

If you have never seen any of the Pirates movies, I don't care how "cool" you are, or if you're "not into" Disney movies, you need to watch at least the first one for Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. One word: LOVE.

And one more thing... SILVER SHATTER.

that is all.

Color Club at New York Fashion Week!

Color Club Where's the Soiree

I'm not sure if you figured this out by any of my fashion week posts or my recent tweets, but I SERIOUSLY WISH I WAS AT FASHION WEEK RIGHT NOW. I'm obsessing over any and all pictures from fashion week, and I have even watched some of the shows that were livestreamed. If you're like me, check out some of the pictures that Color Club sent over from their work using Color Club Where's the Soiree at the Zang Toi show.

Ahhhhh, maybe someday I will get to put on a rocking outfit and head on down to fashion week. Not this time I guess. Booo!!!! Doesn't Where's the Soiree look pretty? I think I need that now!

February 14, 2011

Dr.'s Remedy Winter Wonder-Nails 2011 Collection Swatches

Last week I posted a preview of the Dr.'s Remedy Winter 2011 collection with information about the four shades in that collection: Healing Heather Grey, Revive Ruby Red, Desire Dark Brown, and Nurture Nude Pink. I have three of those colors to show you today. This is my first time trying Dr.'s Remedy nail polish and I found them to be great quality polish, more about that later on.

An interesting fact about Dr.'s Remedy polish is that their Enriched Nail Polish is the first-ever nail polish on the market approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. As a dancer whose primary concern is the well-being of my feet, I thought that was really cool! I will have to look into more of their polish colors for use on my toes! All of these polishes contain Vitamin E, Tea Tree Oil (a natural antibacterial), and Wheat Protein to "promote healthier, stronger nails", according to the company.

All pictures were taken with no flash and three coats of polish.

First up, we have Desire Dark Brown, a rich creamy dark chocolate creme. Application on this one was very easy, the polish flowed smoothly onto the nail. There was no streaking or unevenness to be found here. I easily could have used two coats, I just did three for consistency. I love the richness of the shade. I own other dark browns, but this one just looks yummy! This is a seriously shiny polish also. I am showing it with top coat, but it is quite shiny all by itself!

I haven't tested the wear time for any of these polishes yet. I think I will do another post commenting on wear time and also on any effects the healing ingredients (Vitamin E, Tea Tree Oil, etc.) have on my nails.

I think Revive Ruby Red was my favorite of these three polishes. It is a gorgeous ruby shimmer that has a lot of depth to it. I don't own a red shimmer quite like this. Others I own are lighter and more pink (OPI Thanks So Muchness) or have that blackened look (Zoya Colbie). This is a true ruby shimmer and I am loving it. I can't wait to wear this on my toes. This is three coats again, but two would be fine if you weren't taking pictures of it! It always surprises me when, despite the quantity of red polishes I own, I find one that is unique. Application was nice and smooth, no problems at all. Very pretty!!!

Lastly is Healing Heather Grey. It seems that every nail polish company has jumped on the grey wagon this year. Not that I mind, I always love a good grey. I think it is eye-catching and makes a statement, which is what I really want in a nail polish after all. When I was swatching this one, my brother's girlfriend (who doesn't really wear polish) said "Oooo, wow! I would never think to wear that color, but I love it!". Grey was definitely a shade that NO ONE wore just a few years ago and now look at it's popularity!

Anyway, enough about grey in general, let's talk about Healing Heather Grey. After applying the first coat, I was a little nervous because there was a lot of Visible Nail Line (VNL), but that disappeared after the second coat, and the polish was totally opaque after three coats. This is a really lovely pale pale grey creme. I think this kind of color is a great alternative to white. It's still quite stark, but it has a grungier, tougher feeling to it. I love greys like this, and this one applies nicely and drying time was fairly quick as well. I will be comparing this to Zoya Dove later on in the week, as I think they are fairly similar. But if you're looking for a chic grey with Vitamin E and other healthy ingredients, here it is!

Overall, I like these polishes quite a lot. Revive Ruby Red is the most unique of the three and my personal favorite. If you have really weak and sensitive nails, maybe you will want to try this polish that has been developed by doctors. Again, I haven't tested out the wear time or the healing benefits of this polish, so I will save any comments about those things for another post. As far as the colors and application of these polishes, I think they are on par with brands like Zoya and OPI. The brush is a little thinner than some, so it might be hard to do the three-stroke application if you have wider nails.

I give these polishes an 8/10 for color and application.

Dr.'s Remedy polishes are available online at Remedy Nails, or by calling 1-877-323-NAIL.

These polishes were sent to me for review by the PR agent for Dr.'s Remedy. For more information, please see our Disclosure Policy.

February 13, 2011

Gradation Semi-Fail

OK so here is my failed first attempt at a gradation mani. Why am I showing you a failed attempt? Well, I think the colors I used look amazing together, so you may want to experiment with them yourself. Also, I have some vague idea of why this failed, so I can share that with you and maybe try this again successfully. I think first attempts at nail art never come out that great, so bear with me here!

For this gradation, I started out with two coats of Sally Hansen Black Platinum. I let those coats dry completely before starting the next step. I read a gradation tutorial that recommended waiting for the base color to dry, but I think this would have come out better if I had done the next step when the polish was wet.

Next, I started about 1/3 of the way up the nail and did a coat of NARS Desperado. I let that dry also. I went up a bit more on the nail and did another coats of Desperado. I let that dry. Then I coated the tips of my nails in Desperado and let the whole thing dry (but obviously not for a long enough time as the color is pushed back at the tips a bit). I picked up a cat hair in the middle nail somewhere along the way, lovely.

So, my main problem with this gradation is the presence of the obvious lines where I started each coat. The tutorial I read said that a coat of top coat would blur those together. That obviously did not happen. The next time I try a gradation, I am not letting any of the coats dry. I think the polish will blend together much better if I do all of the coats while it is wet. Maybe even just do one nail at a time, so the polish is really fresh and moves around more.

My other problem is that this takes a LONG time to dry. I didn't use a fast dry top coat with this, obviously I will next time. It ends up being about 6 or 7 coats of polish at the tips, that doesn't dry very quickly!

Have you tried a gradation before? How did it work out? Is this color combo sick, or what?

(I'll have a full review of NARS Desperado up later in the week, by the way!)

February 12, 2011

Dr.'s Remedy Winter Wonder-Nails preview

Tomorrow or Monday, I'll have three of these Dr.’s REMEDY® Winter Wonder-Nails shades to show you, including Revive Ruby Red (shown above). Read more about them:

"Sleigh bells are no longer ringing,
snow is well-past glistening, and the
mere thought of walking through a winter
wonderland has you worrying – way too early – about next year’s Christmas plans.

Enter some seasonal delight to make you sizzle (literally): Dr.’s REMEDY® introduces
four fabulous shades of Enriched Nail Polish, perfect to ring in 2011
and wear throughout the rest of winter (wonderfully).

The Collection Includes:
• Healing Heather Grey: a seductive pewter with deep blue undertones
• Revive Ruby Red: a shimmer-infused,Wizard of Oz-inspired shade of crimson
• Desire Dark Brown: a cocoa-meets-hot fudge handsome hue
• Nurture Nude Pink: a delicate, damsel-in-distress barely-there beautiful

Dr.’s REMEDY® Enriched Nail Polish is available for $16 online at www.remedynails.com or by calling 1-877-323-NAIL."

Valentine's Day Drag Marble Attempt!

Don't judge me... this is my first attempt at a drag marble! I've been eyeing Colette's drag marble tutorials over at My Simple Little Pleasures, and decided to give it a go.

I used Sinful Colors Boom Boom and Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl for this look (see my review of them here). I think this came out pretty good for a first attempt, but I have a few comments about it. First, I think I would like it better if the colors had more of a stark contrast between them. For example, I might try this again using red and white. I think these two pinks are just not quite different enough to stand out. Of course, a subtle drag marble might be the look you're going for! Personally, I like BOLD things. I was also thinking of trying white as a base color and Boom Boom as the dotting color, that would be really pretty!

Second, as this was my first time doing this, I didn't really know how many dots I should make with the second color. I wanted to do less than Colette, as my nails are so much shorter. On my middle finger, I only did two dots of Beautiful Girl, and I don't think that was enough. I think you need three or four, depending on your nail length. I did four on the ring finger, and that kind of looks like a big blob, so many three would be best for me!

I really like this look and will definitely try it again. Like I said, I think I'll be doing it with two colors that are completely different though. Black and white would be neat, don't you think?