The Polish Influenza

The only cure is a manicure


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Happy Halloween From The Polish Influenza!!

Hi everyone!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Hope everyone is having a spooktacular day! We got to wear parts of our costumes to school today (pictures at the end of the post) and there were some pretty creative ones! Of course, to celebrate the day, I did my nails up all special. I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed for the orange, Love and Beauty Black for my ring finger and thumb, Ulta Little Black Dress for the writing, Sinful  Colors’ Snow Me White for the ghosts, and Rue 21 Glow in the Dark over the ghosts for a boo-tiful glow! Pics are without topcoat!

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

I tried to get a shot with the glowing ghosts for you guys, except, this is what happened…

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I considered water marking this, just for the lols, but opted against it. Too much work!

And of course, I can’t leave without showing you my Halloween costume! While I didn’t go trick or treating (I’m a little too old for that now- I just take candy from our own candy bowl!) I still wanted to get all dressed up. You’re never too old for that! I saw an amazing makeup tutorial to transform yourself into a doe from a makeup guru called From Head to Toe. She’s got some great wearable makeup too. I followed her instructions, stuck on a pair of antlers, and voila! I have become a deer! Here’s a pic.

Doe-n't I look cute? (Deer pun lol)

Doe-n’t I look cute? (Deer pun lol)

So that’s it for me today. I hope you all had a great day full of tricks and treats! Stay boo-tiful!

~Beth~

 

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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: Rue Beauté “068”

¡Hola amigas!

It’s Wednesday once again! And thanks to Mean Girls, we all know what that means…. we must wear pink. And I have the most amazing pink glitter bomb to share with you today!

Rue Beauté’s 068 is a matte and shimmer rainbow glitter bomb all in an opaque hot pink base. You know, when I started collecting polish, I used to be really dubious of polishes like these. I always thought to myself “well, won’t the base just cover up the glitter and make it look like a lumpy mess?” But when I saw this color on sale at Rue 21 this summer (I know, I know, it’s sat in the untried pile for way too long) on sale for $1, well, how could I resist?

I’m so glad I opted to buy this polish. It’s such a unique blend of glitter, and my original suspicions did not hold true. It’s actually quite easy to see the glitter through the pink base, but the base is opaque enough that you can wear the polish by itself, and not just layered over another color. And speaking of the glitter, there is SO much glitter in here! Medium hex glitters in orange, yellow, blue, pink, green and silver, and tiny hex glitters in the same colors. There’s a high likelihood I’m missing some because the glitter is SO DENSE, but you get the point. It’s a rainbow explosion! The hot pink base is a true neon, very similar in color to Claire’s Hot Stuffjust more blue based as opposed to Hot Stuff’s orange base. The polish is a bit thick due to the glitter, but still pretty workable, and the glitter requires no placement. Pictures below are 2 coats of 068, no topcoat.

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Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

As you can see, the polish dries satin. If you want the polish to have a shine to it, a coat of topcoat should do the trick. But I really like it this way, I think it helps the glitter to stand out. What do you think of glitter bombs like this? Let me know in the comments!

Rue Beauté nail polishes retail for $3.99 a bottle (though are frequently on sale for 2 bottles for $5) and can be found at Rue 21 stores and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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MOTD- Essie “The Lace is On”

Hiya!

Whew, has it been a busy day. That seems to be my M.O. recently- I’m always busy doing something. It’s tiring, but I like being on the go. It’s much more exciting than just sitting around!

Today I have a gorgeous polish to show you from Essie’s fall 2013 “For the Twill of it” collection. I know I’m a bit late showing these fall polishes, but hey, better late than never, right? I actually used this color recently in my cotton candy water marble, but I’ve never shown it on its own. The Lace is On (the color du jour) is a deep purple/magenta metallic. It’s almost blackened in some light on the nail, which adds a great 3D depth to the manicure. But there’s also some subtle pink shimmer running through the polish, as well. It’s definitely a stunner. Formula wise? Um… definitely not a fan. First of all, the brush seems to be really stiff. I’ve never had that problem with an Essie polish before, so I have to wonder if it’s just a bad bottle. The polish was also kinda gloopy and hard to apply (which you can tell by my swatch pictures). It’s pretty uneven and kinda patchy, even after the second coat, and it’s so thick I wouldn’t want to apply a 3rd. It’s a shame, because the color itself is such a stunner. Pictures below are 2 coats of The Lace is On, no topcoat.

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I wanted to hide some of the imperfections of the polish, so I decided to layer a glitter over it. I picked OPI’s Lights of Emerald City, which is a matte white square glitter with iridescent small square glitters interspersed. I’ve reviewed it before, here. I really like the combo. Pictures below are one coat of LOEC over 2 coats of TLIO.

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I like how the iridescent squares look firey red against the magenta base of the Essie polish. So, I guess all in all, it is a win-manicure today. Have you had the same issues with The Lace is On as I have? Let me know in the comments.

Essie polishes retail for between $7-$9 a bottle, and can be found at most drugstores, beauty supply stores, and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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NYC In a New York Color Minute Topcoats Review and Swatches

Press Sample

Hi everyone!

Recently, with my busy schedule, I have not had the time to do my usual nail art on my nails. There just isn’t time between schoolwork, extracurriculars, and work to take time out of my day for an artistic manicure. It’s disappointing, because there’s nothing I like more than having an intriguing design on my nails. I’m not the kind of person who likes to wear a “plain” manicure (though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!) Fortunately, the new NYC In a New York City Special Effects Topcoats provide a quick and easy element of pizzazz to any  manicure, in a flash!

bottles

 

Today, I have two “effects” to show you: the Sparkle Topcoat, and the matte topcoat called Matte Me Crazy. Both come in 0.33 fl. oz. bottles, which should last for PLENTY of manicures. Each has a thin application brush for precision, which especially helps in the glitter placement of the Sparkle topcoat. I was so excited when these came in the mail, so let’s get to the review!

The Sparkle topcoat is a small blue and pink hex glitter mixed with a very fine silver glitter, all in a sheer pink base. It looks very similar to Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear’s Supernova in the bottle, but Supernova isn’t nearly as glitter-dense as this NYC beauty, and Supernova doesn’t have a pink base, either- it’s base is clear. Since the base of the polish is pink, I thought it would look best over other pink polishes (though I also wanted to see it over a blue since there is blue glitter in the polish itself). The colors I chose to test the Sparkle topcoat with are below:

From thumb to pinky: Ulta "Fuchsiamania", Love and Beauty "Pink", Claire's "Hot Stuff", NYC "Empire State Blue", Revlon Scented Parfum "Cotton Candy"

From thumb to pinky: Ulta “Fuchsiamania”, Love and Beauty “Pink”, Claire’s “Hot Stuff”, NYC “Empire State Blue”, Revlon Scented Parfum “Cotton Candy”

Then, I applied one coat of Sparkle topcoat over all of them…

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Holy glitter Batman! I love this over all of these combos except over Hot Stuff. I think the base is just too coral-y for the cooler pink and blue to really stand out. Now, over Revlon Cotton Candy, this glitter is divine! I also love how the pink is played up over a blue polish base. I can’t wait to experiment with more color combos! Overall, the glitter requires minimal placement, if any at all, and looks great in one coat, though, the more coats you add, the more of a “punch” you’ll give your nails! Formula was nice, not too thick or thin. Love this!

Matte Me Crazy I will admit I was dubious about. I have an Ulta matte topcoat that I got for about $10 in a set of 4, and I really hate it. It turns my nails satin, not matte at all- the shine still peaks through. So when I found out this polish was under $2 at drugstores, I really had my doubts. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a whirl. To fully test it, I picked some really shiny base colors to layer it with:

From thumb to pinky: Fresh Paints "Dragon Lady", Revlon "Scandalous", OPI "A Woman's Prague-ative", Love and Beauty "Peacock", Essie "For the Twill of it"

From thumb to pinky: Fresh Paints “Dragon Lady”, Revlon “Scandalous”, OPI “A Woman’s Prague-ative”, Love and Beauty “Peacock”, Essie “For the Twill of it”

All are super pretty on their own, but let’s see what mattifying them with Matte Me Crazy does…

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Um, wow. Just wow. I have no words. THIS IS FANTASTIC. Look how matte they all got! I love it over Love and Beauty Peacock because it really brings out the subtle purple duochrome of the polish (which my camera refused to pick up on, but I promise it’s there in real life). And please, do NOT get me started on how much I love Matte Me Crazy over Revlon Scandalous. It really emphasizes the pink hex glitters against the black jelly background. I really love every single one of these pairings! Formula-wise, Matte Me Crazy is pretty identical to Sparkle Topcoat, easy to apply, not too thick or thin, and super fast drying because of its matte nature. A real winner, easily beats Ulta as my favorite topcoat of all time.

I’m in awe at both of these polishes. They seriously blew me away, and far exceeded my expectations of a drugstore brand. They’re worth every penny (and they don’t cost that many pennies, either!) Applause to NYC, you very well might have made me a matte lover. And that is not an easy task to do.

So what do you think of these two special effect polishes? Will they be making their way into your stash in the near future? And are you a fan of nail art? Let me know in the comments!

NYC polishes retail for $0.99-$1.99 a bottle, and can be found at drugstores, Target, and on their website, here.

~Beth~

Product featured in this post was sent to me for review by a brand representative. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.


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Update: New Page “The Stash” Available for Viewing!

Hiya everyone!

Sorry for my absence this weekend, it’s been pretty hectic. I promise I will resume my usual posting schedule on Monday!

Today, I took the time to catalog my entire nail polish stash. Here’s a picture to emphasize the severity of my addiction…

Dat stash

Dat stash

I think the total is 226… Yeah, I have a problem xD But I mean, this isn’t even that big compared to other nail gurus, so I don’t feel too bad about it…*shifty eyes*. The number 1 brand dominating my collection is Ulta, followed by Sally Hansen, Rue Beauté, and Wet n’ Wild. But I have a pretty good representation of everything!

The fruit of my labor is now available for your viewing pleasure. If you head over to my new page, The Stash, there’s a link to a googledoc containing my full polish catalog, which I will do my best to update on a regular basis as more polish enters the stash. It’s alphabetized by brand, but also lists polish name, color, finish, specialty, and, if applicable, collection. Feel free to browse through and let me know which is your favorite, which ones you’re lemming for, and which ones you flat out hate! I’m curious to hear your opinions.

Hopefully as my polish collection grows, my follower base will also grow. Thank you so much to everyone who follows me, your support means so much. I love hearing your opinions on my work, and I’d love to get my work out to a broader audience. I appreciate everyone who has helped me in my efforts. Let’s continue to spread the influenza!

~Beth~


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Friday Fun Nail Art- Cotton Candy Water Marble!

Hi all!

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… sorry for that, I’m just so glad this week is over! SUCH a relief! I hope you all have fun plans for this weekend, I have a 6 hour rehearsal for my school’s fall play tomorrow! Long, but I love the cast, so it’ll be a great time!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done nail art, so I decided to get back in the swing of things today and try my hand at a water marble design! I knew I wanted some brighter colors to counteract how gray it has been outside this week, and Essie’s The Lace is On from the fall 2013 “For the Twill of it” collection seemed like a great polish to start with! One of my favorite color combinations of all time is pinks/purples and blues/turquoises, so I decided to pair the beautiful purple sparkle of The Lace is On with Zoya’s Giovanna, which is from their fall 2013 “Satins” collection, and is a deep, rich green-based teal. I decided to mellow out the sparkles of both of those polishes with a minty creme, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear’s Mint Creme was the perfect color to complete the trio. I swirled them around in lukewarm tap water and got the design you see below! Pictures below are with NYC’s In a NYC Minute topcoat.

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What do you think of this color combination? Are you a fan of water marbling? Let me know in the comments below!

I love creating nail art like this, it’s easy and fun, and it impresses everyone who sees your nails! If you need an easy show stopper, this is the technique for you! Just make sure you tape your cuticles before dipping your fingers in the water, or you’ll get polish EVERYWHERE! Tape will help reduce the mess.

I’m currently taking suggestions- what would you like to see me do for nail art in the future? Please give me feedback so I can give all of you amazing readers what you want. I strive to make this blog enjoyable to a large audience, so don’t hesitate to let me know what I’m doing right and wrong (in a nice way, of course!). Once again (I say this ALL THE TIME), I love you all, and thank you for your continued support!

~Beth~


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MOTD- Pink Ice “30”

Hi everyone!

Man, is it ever a busy day today. Spanish test, Academic Bowl competition, homework, ugh! I need a break! Luckily for you lovely readers, my breaks usually involve painting my nails/writing blog posts. Here’s the product of my daily relaxation!

I have a lovely blue to share with you today from Pink Ice by Rue 21, and it’s called 30. Though I love Rue 21’s polish and prices, I really wish they’d name their polishes, even if they were just called “blue” or “pink” or “yellow”. They’d just be easier to store in my stash. Although, I guess most people aren’t obsessive polish hoarders like me…. oh well.

30 is a beautiful, satin finish blue, leaning in the way of turquoise. It’s a very bright blue, with somewhat of a green undertone to it. It dries semi-matte (hence the “satin finish”) which I love with this polish. It makes the nail look like sea glass! Formula-wise, it’s a bit streaky and patchy, but eventually levels out in 3 coats. The first picture is without topcoat, and the second is with topcoat to show it shiny, with Zoya’s Maria-Luisa on the ring finger as an accent nail.

Indoor artificial light

Indoor artificial light

Indoor, artificial light

Indoor, artificial light

I actually think I prefer the matte version of this polish to the shiny version. Maybe sometime I’ll try mattifying Maria-Luisa at some point with this polish, I bet that would look great! Which do you prefer- shiny or satin? Let me know in the comments!

Now, I can’t review this polish honestly without mentioning the Godawful brush. Seriously, this brush is a nightmare. ALL of the Pink Ice brushes are. And it makes me so sad because the polishes are so cool with the satin finish. But the brush is permanently stiff, bent out of shape, and makes controlling the polish almost impossible. If you know how to work with with it, it can work, but for a polish beginner? It’s going to be really hard.

So, overall, I want to like this polish, but I have to dock it some points for the brush. Have other people who have used Pink Ice polishes had this problem? Let me know!

Pink Ice polishes retail for $3.99, but are often on sale for a 2 for $5 deal at Rue 21 store locations, and can be bought at Rue 21 stores and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink- Zoya “Sarah”

Hi ladies!

Happy hump day! This week is dragging by for me, I hope it’s going better for you! After a day jam-packed with tests, I needed some pink polish to brighten my day, and thankfully, I got it! I know I’ve been posting a LOT of Zoya recently (and there’s more coming!) but I could NOT resist posting this color today. I was at Ulta over the weekend, and they were having a buy 2 get 1 free sale on their luxury brand polishes, and I ended up getting 3 Zoya colors, and this was one of them! So let’s get started with the polish!

Sarah (which also happens to be the name of my lovely sister) is a rich, reddish pink sparkler. It’s from the 2010 holiday collection, which the Zoya website lists as the “Flame” collection, but I’ve also seen it referred to as the “Fire and Ice” collection. In the bottle, it looks like it has some gold running through it, but I’m having a hard time finding it on the nail. Nonetheless, this polish still has a huge amount of depth- there are tiny bright fuchsia glitters amidst a darkened raspberry base. It’s a stunner! It almost looks squishy, even though it’s not a jelly at all. It has a great formula, applies easily, almost opaque in one coat! No patchiness or streaking. Pictures below are two coats of Sarah with no topcoat.

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I love bright colors like this! It’s not necessarily what you would call a “fall” color, but in my opinion, pinks like these are a staple that can be worn year round! My nails look like plump, juicy berries! Are you a fan of this Zoya gem? Let me know in the comments!

Zoya polishes have a recommended retail value of $7.99-$8.99 a bottle, and can be found at select beauty supply stores, and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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MOTD- Rue 21 “Glow in the Dark”

Hey chicas!

It’s been a rough Tuesday (but then again, what Tuesday isn’t rough?). I have 3 tests tomorrow and have been studying like crazy, which is why this post is late/short. Hopefully you’ll still love the polish I have for you today, it’s perfect for Halloween!

While at Rue 21 with my friends this weekend, I stumbled across this lacquer in their “new arrivals” section. It’s called Glow in the Dark, and is a bright, neon yellow that, well, glows in the dark! I knew right away I had to have it.  Now, I figured that this was going to be a pretty sheer polish, but I decided to try it without undies anyway. Bad, bad, bad idea. It looks like my nail yellowed a TON. Not attractive at all, and in 3 coats, it’s nowhere near close to being opaque, I’d imagine it’d take at least 5-6 coats to start building the color, and even then there’d still be VNL! Here’s a picture in case you were wondering…

Indoor, artificial light

Indoor, artificial light

Like Zoya’s Maria-Luisa from yesterday, this polish is meant to be layered. For the rest of my nails, I started off with 2 coats of Sinful Colors’ Snow Me White, let that dry, then applied two coats of Glow in the Dark. Over white, Glow in the dark has a very mellow, almost semi-electric butter appearance to it (I know, what a strange description, but that’s what you get when your blogger is dead tired!). I actually kinda like the yellow. Pictures below are without topcoat.

Indoor, artificial light

Indoor, artificial light

Now, the true test of a glow in the dark polish is, well, its glowing capabilities. The polish directs you to hold nails up to the light for several seconds before turning the light off for maximum glow. I followed the instructions, and wow! The glow really works! Of course, taking pictures in the dark is a pain and my camera wasn’t having it, but here’s what I *attempted* to get.

Dark

Dark

Darkness

Darkness

Super glowy, no? Sorry the pictures are miserably awful, but they were the best out of the 30 I took…. It still manages to show the effect though!

While I doubt I’ll be wearing this polish on its own, you can bet that I’ll definitely be incorporating it into my Halloween manis for this year (all next week- be watching for them!). It has got almost a slightly gritty texture when dried- definitely not like the Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polishes but still kinda rough. Not a big deal, but it does deter one from using it as a full manicure color. I’ve been wanting a glow in the dark polish for a while now, and I’m glad I’ve finally gotten one! What do you think of this kind of polish effect, hot or not? Let me know in the comments!

Rue 21 polishes retail for $3.99 a bottle, but are frequently on sale for 2 bottles for $5, a great bargain! The polishes can be bought at either a Rue 21 store location or on their website, here.

~Beth~


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MOTD- Zoya “Maria-Luisa”

Hello all!

It’s Monday once again! I had my first college interview today, and impressed the interviewer with my nails! Never underestimate the power of nail polish, people. It can change the world! And you guys are going to love the world-changing nail color I have for you today!

I’ve been lemming Zoya’s Maria-Luisa ever since it was released with their fall collection this year. It’s a gorgeous gold flaky glitter in a slightly yellow-tinted base. It’s somewhat thick due to the glitter density, but it’s still perfectly usable. While the entire Cashmeres/Satins collection was (and still is) to die for, THIS color was the one I knew I needed, no matter what, and it’s finally mine! And it lives up to my expectations. It’s really meant to be a topcoat, but I decided to try it out on its own. This picture is with 2 coats.

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Yeah, I know, not good looking. However, it’s a whole other story overtop of other colors! I chose a wide variety of colors to swatch Maria-Luisa over. I have Sinful Colors Snow Me White on my thumb, e.l.f.’s Flirty Fuchsia on my pointer finger, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure’s Nightwatcher on my middle finger, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure’s New Wave Blue on my ring finger, and Love and Beauty’s Purple on my pinky, each with one coat of Maria-Luisa overtop in pictures below.

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I really like the pairings I’ve chosen, especially ML over Snow Me White, the gold really stands out! My other favorite is definitely ML over Nightwatcher, the deep navy creme makes the gold glitter look like a smattering of little shiny stars! Which combo is your favorite, and what color combo did I miss that you’d like me to try? Let me know in the comments below!

Maria-Luisa is a great alternative to the super expensive gold leaf topcoats out there. OPI’s The Man With the Golden Gun had a suggested retail value of $30 when it was available in stores, and now it’s hard to find it at all under $75! While ML isn’t a perfect dupe for real gold leaf, it does give a similar effect at the fraction of the real thing’s price, so it’s definitely worth checking out for all my polish sisters on a budget!

Maria-Luisa is a part of the Zoya “Satins” fall 2013 collection, and has a suggestion retail price of $8-$9, as do all regular Zoya polishes. Zoya can be found at select beauty supply stores, as well as on their website, here.

~Beth~