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Nail Art for the Masses!

Bright Multi-Leopard Manicure

By beautopia · December 7, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Hey guys, before I talk about this manicure I wanted to put up a little note about the blog sale: with the exception of three packages that I have to send tomorrow, all packages should be out. If you haven't received your package yet and want to contact me for the status of your package, please do so. Between the zillion emails back and forth I've got for this sale and the crazy busy post office and my mind-numbing list of things to do before Christmas, I want to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.

On to the manicure... I hear you through the computer. You are probably bored of bright multi-colored manicures, let alone leopard here on this site, but I did this manicure earlier in the week and it's all I've got to share right now since I've been so busy lately. I used several of my favorite bright colors that I use often to do this multi mani.

Thumb: China Glaze Four Leaf Clover with China Glaze Something Sweet dots, Migi Nail Art Pen
Index: OPI Who THe Shrek Are You? with China GLaze Flyin' High dots, Migi Nail Art Pen
Middle: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue with Nubar Baby Pink dots, Migi Nail Art Pen
Index: China Glaze Four Leaf Clover and Nubar Baby Pink with OPI Shrek and SH Pacific Blue dots, Migi Nail Art Pen
Pinky: Color Club Puccilicious with Essie Shorty Pants dots, Migi Nail Art Pen

Click for more pics...

80s Alternative French Manicure with Neon and Leopard

By beautopia · December 2, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Hey guys, I'm back from the ether. I've been MIA a lot lately because it seems like a lot of stuff is going on. I'm trying to get Christmas shopping under control and decorating, and to top it off I've had a string of seasonal colds that just pile one on the other and I've been dead tired and lazy. Hopefully it's almost over and I can share lots of fun manicures and products with you through the holidays. Today I'm showing you a manicure I did last week, (and that I'm still wearing... I'm so lazy lately) that I really liked. It's inspired by Wah Nails, which is one of my favorite sources for inspiration. It's a play on this pointy-nailed tribal-type manicure, but my nails are obviously squared and I added my favorite leopard. It looks badass on the pointy nails, and on me it's sort of manifested itself as a chevron French manicure.

I used Sally Hansen Lavender Cloud, Wet n Wild Black Magic and Migi Nail Art Pen in Black on all nails, then for the colored stripe I used Color Club Puccilicious for the thumb, Essie Shorty Pants for the index fingers, Sally Hansen Pacific Blue for the middles, China Glaze Pool Party for the ring fingers, and for the pinkies I used Essie Pretty Edgy.

Click for more photos!

Essie Winter 2010 Nail Polish in Smokin' Hot

By beautopia · November 22, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Essie Smokin' Hot  - $8 at essie.com

Part of Essie's Winter 2010 collection, Smokin' Hot is a deep eggplant-tinged grey that is part of that dark and dusky family of colors that is so on-trend right now. It applies pretty well; only slightly sheer. Two coats made it opaque enough to my naked eye to make me happy. It wore exceptionally well, which is usually a big concern for me with Essie polishes. I wore this for three days without a chip under a coat of Seche Vite. The color is pretty unique with a couple exceptions. It is a creme, but it is quite similar to Chanel Paradoxal as far as the base color. I've included a few comparison photos of that after the jump. The color is really rich and neutral, making it a perfect choice for just about any skin tone or depth. I think it's a big winner.

NEWS!! : My blog sale will be up hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow, maybe tonight, depending on how things go. It's for the nail polish portion. I know I told a few of you I was hoping to do it last month but I've been so busy and I figure if I want to get it done before it gets too close to Christmas, I'd better do it now. I've got the photos taken and edited, and all I have to do is post it. Look for a post here to tell you it's up, and then the link will be found at the top right of the link bar at the top of the page.

Click for more photos...

Fall Picks - Essie Sew Psyched

By beautopia · September 15, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Essie Sew  Psyched - $8 at essieshop.com

Essie Sew Psyched from the brand's collection for the Autumn 2010 season is a big winner. Creamy and pigmented, it's two-coat perfection. I don't normally gush about Essie, but this is such an amazing shade. Some say from photos it seems close to Chanel's new Khaki Vert, but according to Temptalia, it's a bit more blue in comparison. Another difference is that while Khaki Vert is a creme, Sew Psyched has a touch of shimmer. I have to admit, I love the look of Khaki Vert, but I hate hate hate buying Chanel. It's just a tic in my mind that hates it. I love the polish itself, but rationally I know it's not better quality than China Glaze or Color Club which are so much cheaper. Time will tell whether I cave and buy Khaki Vert, like my heart tells me to, but for now I honestly feel like Temptalia's flash photo of KV alone looks like Sew Psyched does on my nails right now. Flash tends to wash out polishes, and I like how it looks in that photo, so perhaps that means I'd end up liking Sew Psyched more than KV? (My mind struggles to justify a purchase). Sure it might look more blue in comparison to Khaki Vert, but alone it's a green-grey perfection. It works with the beige in my skin really well and it's really chic and applies efforlessly. LOVE IT.

Essie Summer Collection 2010 - Mini Color Cube Set

By beautopia · July 20, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Essie Summer Collection Color Cube - amazon.com

The Essie Summer Collection might not have a clever name, but it has big appeal to this girl. Every single color interested me this time around, which is a first for Essie and me. I decided Instead of buying full-size bottles of them all I'd buy the set of minis with four of the shades to see what I thought. You can get the set many places online ranging from $10 -$17 or so, but I personally got mine on eBay for $12 shipped which I thought was a really good deal. The colors included are Haute as Hello, Knockout Pout, Demure Vixen and Pretty Edgy and each bottle is .16 fl oz. I really liked all these shades, though I have to say that Demure Vixen looked horrendous on me.

Click for swatches...

Avon Jade Comparisons: Charlotte Russe, Essie and China Glaze

By beautopia · June 16, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Index to pinkie: Avon Jade, Charlotte Russe Jade, Essie Mint Candy Apple, China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint

Avon Jade: I liked the formula of this one a lot. The first coat is a bit sheer, but it builds well. I like the color the best of these four as well because while it's cool enough to give a bit of contrast against my skin, it's got a slight touch of warmth. Also, it's neither too light nor too dark. Plus, It was incredibly cheap. Check out the full review here.

Charlotte Russe Jade: This one is supposed to be a duple of Chanel Jade, and with it's miniscule minty shimmer, it's gorgeous enough to deserve that honor. It's a bit sheer, but if you take your time you can make it work. Check out other photos of this shade here. It's similar to the Avon, but more sheer, and obviously with that shimmer.

Essie Mint Candy Apple: I've shown this one to you many times, and I still like it. I like the white base and the wash of blue-ish mint injected into that stark base. Again, it's a bit sheer upon the first coat, but builds up beautifully.

China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint: The lightest of the four, it's most similar to MCA, but with less blue. This is the closest you'll come to finding a pastel true mint. It's a little streaky, like the rest, on the first coat, but layers well. Lovely color. All four are so pretty in their own way.




Nubar Pastel Fever Collection Comparisons

By beautopia · June 15, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

A couple days ago I posted swatches of the Nubar Pastel Fever collection with the promise to do some comparisons... Well here they are. I had a difficult time finding polishes in my stash that are similar to Green Tea and Pink Cream, but otherwise there are pretty close polishes for each of them, though none had dupes (in my collection anyway). So If you'd like to see the comparisons, keep on reading!

Click to view the comparisons!

Essie Mesmerize and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

By beautopia · May 20, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Ahhh! I haz nubbins! I filed my nails wayyyyy down, and am actually really happy about it. For now.

I know we've already been over this Hidden Treasure thing here on Beautopia, but I was going through my blog reader and this post from Coloruza had me panting. After seeing her lovely layering, I was sprinting to get my bottle of Hidden Treasure, and Essie Mesmerize (as close of a blue as I have to the Misa Heather used in her post). Mesmerize alone is one of my favorite polishes, one of Essie's best in my opinion. It's the most clear toned cobalt blue I've ever seen in a polish, and it works beautifully as a base color for Hidden Treasure. It's not too light, so it allows the flakies to really show up, and it's not so dark that it looks so Halloween-ish, darkening up the flakes till they mainly look orange. Plus the blue really enhances the rainbow characteristics of Hidden Treasure since it's own rainbow effect ends with green. This is two coats of Mesmerize (streak-free and opaque, Essie is it really you?) with one moderate coat of Hidden Treasure. Check out a few more photos after the jump!

Click to see more photos...

Beauty News: L'Oreal to buy Essie

By beautopia · April 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

There's been some to-do lately over the L'Oreal Passport to Paradise being dupes for the Essie North Fork collection, and while some people are noticing some differences in the formula of these polishes, the similarities in the two brands' collections may turn out to be less of a coincidence than anyone thought. L'Oreal has announced it will acquire Essie, but isn't giving many details. Essie Weingarten, founder of the eponymous salon nail enamel brand has stated that she has contracted with L'Oreal to stay on board with the brand for "several years."

I can't say I'm surprised. I personally thought that eventually Essie was going to fade into the sunset. While Essie has long been one of the best-known salon nail enamels, their insistence on releasing pale pink after pale pink and an unwillingness to step outside the box has been making it easier for nailies and frugalistas everywhere to push new Essie releases to the side in favor of other brands' unique and trend-setting shades. Essie will be a recognizable name in nail polish to women everywhere for some time to come, and that will be an obvious boon to L'Oreal, but the distribution, marketing, and color selection will no doubt be revamped and broadened. The formula, which many consider streaky and or "chiptastic," may or may not change. L'Oreal is acquiring the brand, but might not do much or any fiddling with the polish formula itself. I think we're just looking at being able to find it in more places. Maybe for perhaps a lower price, but I doubt that. L'Oreal has brands with a drugstore polish presence. I think that Essie will remain a salon brand at heart but start popping up everywhere a la Orly and OPI. I, for one, and tickled pale pink about the whole thing.

Starry Night Blues - Some Night Sky Polishes

By beautopia · April 15, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Like a lot of nailies, especially blue-loving ones, I've got a bit of a thing for polishes that look like a night sky. Deep sapphire with loads of sparkling glitter shining out from within. What's not to love? I'm going to show you six of my favorites in this family of polishes today. From cheapie drugstore treasures to hard-to-find salon anomalies to a homemade mix by yours truly, there are some lovelies in here.

Wanna see them up close? Click here to read on!

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