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Nail Art for the Masses!

OPI Skyfall - Tomorrow Never Dies

By beautopia · October 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I had been so excited for this new collection, OPI's Skyfall, because not only does OPI historically does amazing holiday collectios, and I'm a huge 007 fan, and since Adele (who I'm also a huge fan of, duh) sings the theme song, I figured I'd be loading up the truck on the whole collection, but so far I've only caved on the above polish; Tomorrow Never Dies. I am in love with this shade. It's somewhat similar to A-England Avalon in that it's a very vibrant purple and it has the same "lit-from-within" look. TND is slightly more blue than red, but it's pretty similar. They're both very vibrant and glowy. The other awesome thing worth noting is that TND is extremely pigmented and smooth to apply. 

Click for another photo

Tagged with: Skyfall, OPI, purple, nails, nail polish

Zoya Ornate Collection

By beautopia · October 17, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

The Zoya entry into the Winter 2012 arena is basically amazing. I'm pretty much limiting myself to purchasing only polishes that cannot be passed up, since I've been using Shellac so much and all my clients are pretty much doing Shellac at this point. I need to purge at least 50% of my enormous stash as it is, so I really don't need non-essential polishes at this point. Ornate, or at least most of it, qualifies as essential for me. I offer several season-specific shades of China Glaze, OPI and Zoya at the salon, and by far the most used is Zoya which honestly surprised me. I love Zoya and everything, but I assumed people would go for the more recognizable brands, and since Zoya is for the most part only available online and in some salons it's pretty crazy. 

Anyway, I passed up all but one of the new OPI Skyfall polishes, and considering I'm a huge 007 fan, OPI Holiday collection fan, and Adele fan (I may go back and get Skyfall since she sings the theme song), that's a huge deal. I also don't feel as psyched about the promos I've seen for China Glaze's holiday offering, so Zoya was the only must-buy holiday collection for me. Weird. 

On to the swatches and reviews!!!

Pantone Jewel Lacquers at Sephora

By beautopia · August 11, 2012 · 0 Comments ·
Pantone Jewel Lacquers at Sephora
Don't these look amazing? I spotted these on the Sephora site here: (http://m.sephora.com/sephora-pantone-univese-alchemy-of-color-jewel-lacquer-P375646) and was so excited.

They weren't out yet at my Sephora, the manager said they were getting them on Monday, so they're extremely new. They appear to be a mix of metallics, duochromes, and some speckled iridescent glitter/shimmer, so I'm very excited to see how these look.

There also appear to be some lipsticks and a gloss that are similar, and look like duochromes and seem to have some iridescent glitter also. Very intriguing. I don't remember the collection name but it had the word "Alchemy" in it so it's got to be good.

Are you interested in trying these? Do you think these will be new and unique or just rehashed from other brands? How do you feel about the possibility of duochrome glitter lip products? I'm curious what you guys think of these.

Julep Maven Subscription Service Review and Swatches

By beautopia · July 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

You may have heard of Julep Nail Vernis at some point recently, be it on the Sephora site or one of their stores where the polishes are $14 a pop (for a .27oz bottle, whoa). Or you may have seen the name on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest, jeez man that name is everywhere. I watched the Julep Mania for a few months with a jaded eye until I finally gave in. If you haven't heard the name Julep, well, it started with a salon in Seattle, then grew to include a nail polish line, and now there is a monthly subscription box where you can have a selection of these polishes delivered to your door at a much lower price than their retail stickers. 

If you'd like to join, here's a referral link if you click it, thanks in advance, that's awfully nice of you:)  (if you refer people, it counts toward getting a free month, pretty nice) Don't forget to enter your code COLOR2012 to get the intro box for a penny. There are other codes to only pay $5 and $10 but I used the penny one and it worked just fine.

You can get the gist of what's going on here on their site, or on their freakishly busy Facebook page, but here's basically what happens:

  • Take a quiz about your favorite things and Julep will magick up your perfect style profile (you don't have to buy the one they choose for you)
  • You pay $19.99 (or a penny if you use the code COLOR 2012, duh which one would you rather pay?) and they send you your intro box. This box at this point comes with your two colors and a fairly amazing pedi creme, or three polishes and no creme if you choose the It Girl style profile).
  • If you like it, every month afterward you will have a four day period, between the 20th and 24th of each month to decide if you want to skip that month's box, or if you'd like to choose another style profile.
  • If you continue past the intro box, you get billed your $19.99 for your first monthly on the 27th of the month, which is the day the box is sent out. 

Here are some interesting things to add:

  • Each month has a new theme, and there are several new polishes added to the line each month, so there's nearly always something new.
  • Recently they have been doing a thing where you can add on two (sometimes more) items to your box for $4.99 each (which is way cheaper than you pay at Sephora). 
  • You get a 20% discount on anything that's not "new" that month in the Maven Boutique. (In my opinion the price on these items is still pretty steep, though I did purchase Taylor at retail price so who's stupid now, lol).
  • Each month in addition to polish there is another product. Last month it was a lip gloss (which I really liked) and this month it is a tote bag and a polish remover in a pump.
  • They always send little extras which range from files, cuticle oil, creams, to free polish vouchers, to candy, so it's sort of fun to open each month. 
  • Each month tons of "Golden Boxes" get sent out randomly to subscribers and they include the polishes from every style profile box that month which is actually a pretty rad idea. 
  • The customer service is very fast, very nice and very effective. 

Click to read more and see the swatches...

Butter London - Wallis

By beautopia · July 11, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I finally got it! Don't ask my why it took me so long, because Wallis has been on my wishlist since the very second it came out, but I bought the flipping polish and I am not disappointed. I won't wax poetic about Wallis, you've heard the praise being sung before, but DAMN! It's is gorgeous. Sephora is finally carrying Butter London and so I really didn't have any reason to delay anymore. This is two coats, and the color is a bright golden olive and the finish is just to-die-for. It's unbelievable. It's like a foil/glass fleck/flat microglitter or something. And it almost appears speckled. Also it basically glows in the sun. Wow. 

China Glaze On Safari - Elephant Walk

By beautopia · July 1, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

China Glaze Elephant Walk 

Long time, no see! I have been away from the site for a little while due to a huge move. We recently relocated to the other side of the city... I honestly think cross-town moves are worse than longer-distance moves... It's sad but true that I've been completely preoccupied with getting the house in order for literally a month. The move absolutely played Hell with my nails, so my almond shape is gone for a little while so that I can grow out a couple breaks I sustained. Ick. I had taken a few photos of polishes and designs while my nails were still in the pointy-ish shape, so I will be posting those later this week, but they're older. Right this second, my poor, beleaguered nails are the short squares you see here... Anyway, on to the post!

From the upcoming On Safari collection from China Glaze is Elephant Walk. This s one of the more interesting shades from the collection in my opinion. It's billed as a grey, with no mention of the gorgeous green leanings it has. I was really pleased with this polish, the color is wonderful and unique, but the formula was great as well; great coverage. There's a bit of colorless ribbon-candy shimmer in there that just gives the polish more depth, you really don't notice it in most lights. The tealy-green tint makes this polish really special. It's similar to Essie Sew Psyched down to even the shimmer, but it's cooler than SP. It's almost like China Glaze Recycle and Essie School of Hard Rocks had a baby, but with some shimmer. As a bonus, it also matches one of my favorite handbags; my Hayden-Harnett Lorca in a color called Zeus, which is a green tinged stormy grey! I was wearing Elephant Walk this past week and I was thinking what a cool color it was and how I'd love to have a top or a bag that color and I realized I did! Very serendipitous and I can't wait to wear them together this Fall! 

Click for more photos and some comparisons...

Rescue Beauty Lounge - IKB:2012

By beautopia · May 30, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Rescue Beauty Lounge - IKB:2012 - $20 at rescuebeauty.com

I was so excited about this release because the blue known as International Klein Blue is my favorite color. Since it's such a rare and distinctive color, I decided to splurge. I only have three or four RBL polishes and like with Chanel, I only buy the ones I find to be unique enough to add to my inventory. I was a little sad about this one.

First off, the color lacks the gorgeous glow of IKB, it's positively dull. Secondly, it's a lot more purple than IKB. I can understand it's hard to make a polish that exact color, as it's so complex, but the promotional bottle pics all made it look exactly IKB. My photo makes it seem a little brighter than it was in person due to the flash. Regardless, it's still a very pretty color and I'd have been willing to forgive it for it's very un-IKB-ness except that applying this polish is like trying to spread craft paste on with a popsicle stick in a room with a high-velocity fan blowing directly at you. I've used literally a couple thousand different polishes in my life and I was just horrified by this. I love my other RBL polishes, but this one is a stinker. I saw at least one pre-release review that shouted that this polish was "self-leveling" and although I've met precious few polishes that DO NOT self-level, I'll be damned if this one DID NOT for me. The finish is plasticky, and the polish that inevitably dries around the neck of the bottle turned into a flaky, cheap plastic-like mess.

I hate to give such a negative review, especially for a product by a brand that I admire so much, but I intensely disliked this polish and want to put this out there for anyone debating what to do with that $27.50 ($20 plus $7.50 in shipping) burning a hole in their pocket. I heard that the early ones that shipped to people for reviews had the same sort of symptoms that I'm experiencing, but that they would be addressed, but unless I got one of the original formula, the issues were not addressed, so caveat emptor my friends. 

OPI Just Spotted the Lizard

By beautopia · April 29, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

OPI Just Spotted the Lizard - $8.50

OPI's new The Amazing Spiderman collection is about to be released in store and there has been a lot of noise about this polish. Not only because it's a pretty rad multi-chrome, but because it's a Chanel Peridot (see my Peridot review here) dupe. With Chanel polishes now fairly assaulting wallets at a price of $26, it's nice to see a less expensive alternative to a popular shade. I've got several photos of OPI JSTL, and then below I have a couple comparison photos.

As far as this polish, It's pretty much a dead-on dupe of Peridot. It's somewhat sheer, but with three thin coats you get full coverage. The color in most lights is pre-dominantly an amber gold with a seafoam green and light turquoise showing up from time to time. The wear was pretty average, I tested it for two days and didn't have any tip wear or chipping. It doesn't show stroke lines as much as Peridot, which really didn't have much in the way of stroke lines in the first place; it's just mainly more metallic whereas Peridot does have some foil-like flecks which scatter light a little more. JSTL doesn't really have that and so it has a more linear light  reflection.

Click for more photos!

Betsey Johnson for Sephora by OPI - XOX Betsey

By beautopia · March 23, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

XOX Betsey - $9.50 at sephora.com

I very nearly didn't buy this, but I can't resist a pinky sandy nude to save my life. Up till this point, my favorite nude polish had been another Sephora by OPI: Don't Feed the Hand Models, which I used in this manicure. I still love that one, but this is now on top. It is a bit pinkier, and has a bit more grey in the base, but really the main reason is because it's so much more smooth and opaque. Also, I don't know when this started, but Sephora by OPI polishes are coming with a flat brush similar to the OPI Pro-Wide which makes me like it even more. This polish went on perfectly in two coats. That's a first for me with a nude polish, especially one this pretty. The color changes a bit depending on what light you're in. Sometimes is a really pale milky beige, and in others it's a light pinky grey sand. Sounds strange but, have mercy, it is gorgeous! It looks sexy on the nail, in my opinion. LOVE IT!!

Click for more photos...

Illamasqua Jo'mina

By beautopia · March 18, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Illamasqua Jo'mina - $14 at sephora.com

Here's an Illamasqua polish I've been debating purchasing for a really long time. I thought that I'd be ok with just Color Club Puccilicious, because in photos they look so similar, but in the end, they're pretty damn different. Jo'mina is lighter, pinker and maybe a bit warmer. It's awesome. It's got a great formula just like all the Illamasqua I've tried. Very pigmented and it takes only two coats for excellent coverage. It will be amazing with a summer tan, I'm telling you! I don't have any other polishes that are dupes, though it's somewhere in between Puccilicious and OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender.

Click for another photo...

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