The Polish Influenza

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American Eagle Outfitters Holiday Nail Set Review and Swatches!

Hi everyone!

THE POLISH INFLUENZA IS MOVING. CLICK HERE TO BE REDIRECTED.

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I don’t know about you, but I am NOT about Black Friday shopping. I just don’t feel like fighting people at midnight to get some sort of electronic or other high ticket either. I’m definitely more of a Cyber Monday girl. I can get good sales from my bedroom, and have it delivered. So yesterday, I used my time not spent shopping to swatch nail polish. One of the sets I swatched was a four-piece nail polish set I picked up from American Eagle last weekend. It originally retailed for $24.50, but on sale, I got it for $17.00, and with a giftcard, it was virtually free! What drew me into the pink-themed set was the full-sized flaky glitter. I couldn’t say no!

All four polishes in the set are nice and easy to apply; none are too thick or too thin. They’re big 5 free (no toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, and camphor), which is really nice considering it isn’t a major brand. In fact, this is the first time I’ve seen nail polish at American Eagle. The polishes all radiate that “holiday feeling”, and would make a perfect gift for that nail polish lover in your life! So let’s get started on the review!

Bubbles and Baubles is what I would describe as a ballerina pink creme. It’s a very pale almost peachy pink, and on camera it showed up as more white than it actually is. It definitely has that champagne feel, but in a creme color as opposed to the usual shimmer and sparkle. It’s a very classy neutral! It is a bit sheer, but perfectly opaque in 3 coats, which is what I used for pictures below.

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Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Rose-Colored Glasses is a silvery, grayed-out pink sparkler. Though it looks like a texture polish in pictures, it is not. It’s just that sparkly! Surprisingly, all that glitter is completely smooth on the nail- it’s not rough at all! All that glitz just screams Christmas! Pictures below are with 2 coats!

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Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Gold Standard is a beautiful gilded gold shimmer with various sizes of rosy pink hex glitter interspersed throughout. This is so unique, I’ve never seen any color like this! This also applies completely smoothly, and the shine factor is so intense, I had to edit out the glare on my nails so you could see the color better! It’s a stunner in real life! Pictures below are 2 coats!

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Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

What A Shiner is the flaky polish that drew me towards the set in the first place. Originally, I thought that this polish was going to be a dupe of China Glaze’s Luxe and Lush, but it’s actually far from it. Luxe and Lush has red/orange flashing flakies, while these flakies are all over the color spectrum. They look like icy flecks across my nail- perfect for winter! The flakies are pretty dense in the bottle so placement shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Pictures below are 1 coat of What A Shiner over Bubbles and Baubles.

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Natural indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

I’m so happy I bought this set. It’s so festive in a non-traditional way. While the polishes aren’t the traditional Christmas red and green, the pink offers a sophisticated alternative for the less-bold ladies (or for pink lovers!). What do you think of this stunning set? Let me know in the comments below!

The Holiday Nail Polish Set from American Eagle Outfitters retails for $24.50, and can be found at American Eagle stores and on their website, here.

~Beth~

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Hunger Games Nail Art!

Hello tributes!

Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor! In honor of tonight’s release of the new Hunger Games trilogy movie, Catching Fire, I decided to pay homage to the popular series with a little nail art! The Hunger Games is honestly one of my favorite book series of all times. I read all three books while I was recovering from surgery last spring and it kept me engaged and distracted from the pain. I’ve heard good things about the second movie, and I love Jennifer Lawrence (such a classy lady), so I can’t wait to see it sometime soon!

The most well known symbols of the Hunger Games series are the mockingjay and fire, since Katniss is “The Girl on Fire”. On all my fingers except for my ring finger, I painted two coats of China Glaze Smoke and Ashes, a smoky black with a subtle blue and green duochrome, and is appropriately part of last year’s Capitol Colors Collection (the District 12 shade!). On my thumb, I used a toothpick and a small dotting tool to freehand Katniss’s iconic mockingjay pin using Body Central Gold. On my ring finger (which I painted with 1 coat of e.l.f. Sunflower), I created a flame inspired gradient, using Ulta Ruby Slipper (the red), OPI A Woman’s Prague-ative (the orange-y gold) and e.l.f. Sunflower (the yellow). On the rest of my nails, I used a medium sized dotting tool with Gold to create a line of dots across the sides of my black nails. I’m super happy with how this turned out! Pictures below are with OPI topcoat.

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

I’m getting so much better at freehanding things these days, I’m quite pleased with myself. I hope I get to wear this to the movies- I always take off manicures so quickly in order to blog. Guess I’ll just have to go see it tomorrow! What do you think of my Katniss Everdeen nail art tribute? Let me know in the comments!

~Beth~


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Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Fall 2013 Review And Swatches!

Hi everyone!

So yes, I know it’s Wednesday, and On Wednesdays We Wear Pink, but today, my OWWWP is going to be incorporated into my haul and review! While out running errands at Target yesterday, I FINALLY stumbled into Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear Fall 2013 Glitter collection! I have been looking for these EVERYWHERE and none of my local drugstores or beauty supply stores had them. I was actually looking for the Maybelline Brocade collection, but I could not pass these up- I was afraid they’d disappear on me again!

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The fall 2013 Limited Edition glitter collection includes 10 almost indy-like glitter bombs, each with a different base color. My Target only had 6 of the 10 bottles, and since one of them was just another matte black and white glitter, I decided to pass on it. The other 5 I picked up were all the different colors of the rainbow! Formula wise, all of these polishes had a very thin clear base (with the exception of Seal-y String), and required a LARGE amount of glitter placement. The glitter density was less than I expected from looking at the bottle, but still decent. So let’s get started on the review!

Rosey Shooter is a mix of large, medium, and small magenta/red hex glitters, medium and small white hex glitters, small silver glitters, and white bar glitters. It’s got one of the better densities of the glitters I picked up, and looks fantastic over black! This is my “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” post for the week! Pictures below are 1 coat of Rosey Shooter over 2 coats of Love and Beauty Black.

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Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Glitter Gun is a mix of medium and small gold glitters, small silver hex glitters, large and medium white matte hex glitters, and white bar glitters. This looks like a starry sky on my nails! This is also really dense and applies well to the nail. Pictures below are 1 coat of Glitter Gun over 2 coats of Love and Beauty Black.

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Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Green Rocket is a mix of white, medium, and small matte white hex glitters, medium and small green hex glitters, small silver hex glitters, and white bar glitters. There’s actually more white in this glitter than green, and the glitter was kinda sparse, so this one disappointed me. It’s still pretty though! Pictures below are 1 coat of Green Rocket over Ulta Fuchsiamania.

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Artificial, indoor light

 

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Artificial, indoor light

Seal-y String is the only polish that I bought that doesn’t have a clear base. It’s a sheer gray-blue base, large silver glitters, small baby blue hex glitters, tiny black glitters, and matte black bar glitter. I’ve heard other bloggers say they’ve found this polish to have large black hex glitters in it too, but I don’t think my bottle has any. How strange. This one isn’t my favorite (personal preference) but it’s still a nice polish! Pictures below are 1 coat of Seal-y String over Rue Beauté 040 (green) and e.l.f. Skinny Jeans (blue).

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Artificial, indoor light

 

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

Frazzle Dazzle is a mix of large, medium, and small bronze hex glitters, some medium, small, and tiny silver hex glitters, and large black bar glitter. I think this one is my favorite of the polishes I picked up! I love the mix of copper and black- it looks superb over the spring green. Pictures below are 1 coat of Frazzle Dazzle over Rue Beauté 063 (brown) and Cover Girl Appletini (green).

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Artificial, indoor light

 

Artificial, indoor light

Artificial, indoor light

I’m so happy I picked these up! I’m a huge glitter fan (as you all know) and these certainly do not disappoint! There are a few purple glitters in this collection that Sally Hansen released, but they weren’t at Target, but if I ever find them, I will most certainly pick them up! What do you think of this collection? Let me know in the comments!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Polishes retail for about $2.50 a bottle, and can be found at drugstores, general stores, beauty supply 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- 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~


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MOTD- OPI “Live and Let Die”

Hello everyone!

It’s been a good day today, Zoya retweeted my tweet! It’s not really THAT exciting, but hey, I got some attention from a big brand, it’s like reinforcement I’m doing a good job! Every comment/criticism I get helps me improve my blog for YOUR reading enjoyment, so please, keep on reading! I hope you continue to enjoy what I post!

I feel like I’ve been on an OPI kick recently, and more specifically, a James Bond collection kick. So when I decided to pick a green color for today’s mani, I figured I may as well continue the trend and go OPI. The color I’m wearing is called Live and Let Die, and it’s a deep evergreen color. It’s definitely on the blue side of greens, and looks almost navy or black in some lights, but has a beautiful green glow from within. There’s also some gold shimmer under the light which really gives the polish an extra dimension. It applies like a dream and is almost opaque in 1 coat, but I used two for pictures below, no topcoat.

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Of course, since I’m addicted to stamping right now, I had to see what this looked like. I used the random linear design from the M64 Konad plate I showed in yesterday’s post with Sephora by OPI’s Bring on the Snowflakes, a bright, opaque silver shimmer. I love how it turned out! The gold in Live and Let Die and the silver in Bring on the Snowflakes blend together like a metal alloy, I adore it! Pictures are without topcoat.

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So what do you think of this polish and this design? Are you a big green fan for fall? Let me know in the comments!

OPI polishes retail for about $9 a bottle, and can be purchased at beauty supply stores, some drugstores, and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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#ManicureMonday- The Stamping Trend Continues!

Hi everyone!

Monday, back to the old grind. At least it’s spirit week at my school for homecoming! This week, our senior prank is “anything but a backpack” week. We’re ditching our backpacks and putting our books in random objects. Highlights include a trashcan, suitcase, toaster oven, shopping cart, baby seat, and a griddle (mine!). It really got the energy up today, which definitely helped the typical Monday blues.

After trying my new Konad stamping kit yesterday, I’ve gotten completely hooked. So um… yeah… expect a LOT of stamping in the near future! It really does make your nails look sophisticated and super professional. Today I wanted to get the color pay off that I was expecting (instead of the white to lavender fail of yesterday!) so I picked two very contrasting colors- a rich raspberry perfect for autumn and a bold metallic gold. It’s a gorgeous fall color combo that will put you in the height of fashion!

To create the manicure, I started by painting my nails 2 coats of a deep, vampy raspberry color. It’s called Dark Plum from a brand called Markwin. My amazing friend Naa (over at Adolescent Chic) gave me three of these polishes, a red, a purple, and a raspberry, for my birthday, and I couldn’t wait to try them out! A warning though, this raspberry smells VERY strong, so if you’re sensitive, beware. It didn’t really bother me. I know very little about the brand, so if you want to know more, ask Naa! It’s a little streaky, but evened out in 3 coats, and delivered a GORGEOUS cranberry/red wine color. Once that dried, I used an unnamed Beauty Central Gold color to paint over the swirly design on the Konad M64 plate (shown below):

From brooketysonblog.com

From brooketysonblog.com

I then scraped off the excess gold polish, picked up the design on my stamper, and rolled it over all of my nails. I LOVE THIS. The filigree is amazing looks, almost an oriental look. I’m super excited that it’s already turning out a lot better than yesterday with just one day of practice! I’ll be a pro in no time! Pictures below are without topcoat.

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Are you a fan of this Arabian manicure? Do you like the color combo as much as I do? Let me know in the comments!

~Beth~


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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink- NYC “Pink Champagne”

Hi ladies!

It’s that day of the week again- Wednesday! Ugh, who am I kidding, Wednesdays are awful. But hey, one day closer to Friday, right? And we get to celebrate Mean Girls with pink polish!

Today’s color du jour is New York Color Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Pink Champagne. In the bottom it looks like a cotton candy pale pink with gold shimmer running throughout it. On the nail….eh, not so much. It almost becomes a shiny nude on the nail, which is not my cup of tea. I expected a color like this to be sheer, but man, this was SHEER. I’m wearing 4 coats in the pictures and you can still see my VNL. It also dries super slowly, it’s still kinda gooey right now, and I’ve had it on for 30 minutes. Ugh, I’m so disappointed, I still have yet to find a good pale pink. The saving grace was the formula, at least it applied well and self-leveled fairly decently (at least for a sheer). Pictures below are without topcoat.

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Natural, indoor light

Natural, indoor light

Maybe this color would look better on someone else, but with my ridiculously pale skin, sheers just look completely wrong on me. I’ll have to give it a try as a French manicure base at some point, maybe that will help it.

In order to try and redeem my manicure, I added some glitter to at least add a little pizzazz so I can wear it to school tomorrow. My glitter of choice was Ulta Salon Formula Nail Lacquer in Piñata-Yada-Yada. Let’s all take a moment to stop and appreciate how absolutely amazing that name is. Are we good? Ok. PYY is a gorgeous rainbow confetti of hex glitters in pretty much all the colors of the rainbow! One of my favorites! Pictures below are one coat of Piñata-Yada-Yada over Pink Champagne, no topcoat.

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What do you think of this super sheer pink-nude color? Love or hate? Let me know in the comments!

NYC polishes are available from $0.84 to $3, depending on the line, and are found in drugstores and on their website, here.

~Beth~


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OPI Gwen Stefani Winter 2014 Collection!

Hi everyone!

Big news! Gwen Stefani and Suzi Weiss-Fischmann of OPI have teamed up to make a dynamic collaboration collection to be released this coming January! This collection features 5 polishes inspired by Gwen Stefani in what OPI is calling “Breakthrough Finishes” Two of the polishes will be a “satin” finish (which I believe will be something like half-matte with some sheen left to it), two will be “creme glosses” (maybe similar to their “sorbet-like finish” of the Texas Collection coral color Guy Meets Galveston?) and the last will be a sparkly glitter topper. There will also be a 6th color, which has been named (it’s called Push and Shove) but the color has yet to be released. Executive VP of OPI Suzi Weiss-Fischmann describes the collection as follows:

OPI wanted to create a collection as dramatic, diverse and glamorous as its namesake. With crème and glitter hues, new satin matte texture, a mirrored chrome and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, Gwen Stefani by OPI presents the latest in pigments and finishes, while combining elements of haute couture and street fashion.”

Here are some press photos below!

Pictures are from http://www.everything2k.com/

Gwen Stefani By OPI Color

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In addition to these amazing shades, OPI will also be releasing a signature Gwen Stefani LE red, called Over & Over A-Gwen, which will be packaged and sold similarly to the gold leaf topcoats that have been released for the James Bond Winter 2012 and the Mariah Carey Winter 2013 holiday collection. The box will include the limited edition polish, and nail studs and gems to punk-ify your manicure just like Gwen Stefani herself!

There will also be a special base coat released with the special colors Over & Over A-Gwen and Push and Shove, called Lay Down That Base. While OPI has not specifically stated what the purpose of this is, I’m interested in seeing how this base coat varies from their standard fare.

So what do you think of this upcoming collection? Are you excited to try out these new colors? I’m super intrigued about the glitter In True Stefani Fashion, but then again, I’m a HUGE glitter fan! This collection is currently scheduled to be released to the public in January of 2014, so stay tuned for more details!

~Beth~


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100th Post! MOTD- OPI “Golden Eye”

Hi ladies!

First of all- 100 POSTS! WOO! I’ve enjoyed writing every single one of them, and I hope you’ve loved reading them! Thanks for your continued support- here’s to 100 more!

We’re getting the remnants of a hurricane here today, so it’s ugly and rainy outside :/ Mondays are rough enough already, but add rain and tornado watches on top, and you get an extremely miserable day. To combat the gloominess outside, I wanted to make sure my nails sparkled like the sun! And what better color than gold? More specifically, OPI’s Golden Eye, from the Winter 2012 James Bond collection!

Golden Eye is a brilliant gold glitter in a gold-tinted base. It sparkles like a newly polished piece of jewelry- the glitter just dances in the light! The gold glitter particles are very fine, and give nice, even coverage. It’s a little patchy on the first coat, but 3 coats will plate your nails in rich liquid gold. You’re going to have Midas fingertips while wearing this polish! It’s nice and liquid and easy to apply. A showstopper in a bottle! Pictures below are 3 coats of Golden Eye without topcoat (yes, all that shine is WITHOUT TOPCOAT!)

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Natural, indoor light

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This polish also works great as a shimmery topper. I used one coat here over Sinful Colors’ Let’s Talk, a rich royal purple that I though would look perfect with my regal-themed mani. I used one coat of Let’s Talk and one coat of Golden Eye below!

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I seriously love this polish. I’m really sad I only got a mini bottle. OPI, if you’re reading this, I’d love another bottle of this fantastic lacquer! Or really a bottle of any of OPI’s colors- they really have one of the best formulas and selections of colors of all the nail polish brands out there! What do you think of this polish? Let me know in the comments!

OPI polishes retail for $8-$9 a bottle (although the mini sets are usually 4 bottles for $12.95, like the one I got Golden Eye in) and can be found at select drugstores, beauty supply stores, official salon retailers, and on their website, here.

~Beth~