Essie – I’m Not Impressed

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Back in November I bought this Essie set in TKMaxx. I was very excited as I’ve never tried Essie before. It was a pretty good deal too.

The shades are (top photo, from left to right): Russian Roulette, Head Mistress, a metallic shade without a name, Beyond Cozy, and Bobbing for Baubles.

So, I’ve tried wearing these nail polishes with different bases and top coats and THEY CHIPS after 1 day. I’m really disappointed. I love Essie’s colours and formula. The two red shades are perfect for the holiday season. And the Beyond Cozy is a lovely beige/gold polish with tiny, tiny glitter. It doesn’t seem to dry out my nails but perhaps that’s also because I don’t have it on for more than one day since it chips so quickly. One thing I have to say is they dry almost instantly, which makes applying it very easy.

I’ve heard so much about Essie but it just doesn’t work for me. Is it just me?

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Can a £2.50 Nail Polish Be as Good as High-end Ones? Kiko Nail Polish Review.

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Short answer, yes it can. However, there are some trade-offs.

Kiko is an Italian makeup brand that has been hugely successful in Italy, France, and Spain. It’s now also available in the UK.

What’s so great about them: Kiko is famous for selling good quality products at very affordable prices. They have a wide range of products: makeup, skincare, sun protection, accessories etc and they rarely exceed £15.

What’s not so great: availability. They only have 3 stores in the UK so if you don’t live in London you can only purchase Kiko products from their website.

Nail Polish

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The shade I got is 376. It’s a very light, warm pink matte polish. The formula is really nice. The polish is quite opaque (I have two coats on in the pics) and almost gel-like: it’s very soft and takes a while to dry. Even when it dries completely I have an impression that it is softer than other polishes and it scratches easily. However, it’s super long lasting. I think I had it on for 7 days without it chipping away. That’s amazing given that OPI chips on me after 2,3 days. I also really like the colour. It’s very delicate and I can imagine it would work well on everyone. For £2.5 nail polish it’s outstanding.

However,

There were some drawbacks. You can really smell the chemicals they used when you’re painting your nails. It’s a very strong smell. I was trying to blow on my nails to make them dry faster and inhaled by mistake. I literally felt dizzy afterwards and felt the chemicals in my throat. Also, when I removed the polish after 7 days my nails were really yellow. I paint my nails all the time and I’ve never seen them looking that bad. To be fair, I think I didn’t use a base coat for the first time in a while so it might not be all due to the polish. Still, it’s quite clear that despite great colour selection and fantastic performance there is a reason this polish is so affordable and it’s the quality of ingredients. I will definitely use a base coat next time to protect my nails.

I do like Kiko nail polishes and will be purchasing more shades in the future. I’m not sure if I would buy a foundation or a skincare item from them for the above reason but I think their nail polishes work really well provided you don’t forget to use a base coat.

Manga Nails

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Here is my recreation of Cutepolish’s (here) cartoon nails design. I like it cause it looks like something out of a manga comic. One person I was talking to said they remind him of pop art. It’s not a simple nail art to recreate and as you see border isn’t as straight as I would wish it to be. I hope, with a bit of practice, next time it will look even better.

Cutepolish is my favourite nail artist. I think her designs are absolutely stunning. And most of them are quite easy to recreate.

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I used:

Two coats of Max Factor Lacquer Noir. It chips and I don’t like the formula so next time I will buy another black nail polish.

Two coats of China Glaze Fifth Avenue. It’s a bit darker than the one cutepolish used.

Maybelline Winter Baby for light reflections.

Rimmel Pro Matte Finish top coat.

Snow Leopard Nails: Pictures and Tutorial

Animal print nails have been really popular lately. Here is my take on this trend. I went with snow leopard as I really like how the three colours look together. Also the weather outside makes me think of snow and ice and not the hot sands of Africa. There is a short picture-tutorial below for the very few of you who have not yet seen how to do animal print nails.

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And here is a short tutorial:

1) Pain your nails with two coats of white polish. I’m using Maybelline Color Show in 130 Winter Baby.

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2) Use a dotting tool and a light brown polish to create the central part of rosettes. I used Rimmel shade 520 At Ease.

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3) Use a dotting tool and a black polish to create the external parts of rosettes. Add smaller black lines. I used Max Factor in 36 Lacquer Noir.

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4) Wait for them to dry and apply a top coat.

Hope you enjoyed it 🙂

January Blues (lots of pics + step by step guide)

Or rather purples.

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January and February are my least favourite months of the year. It’s cold, it’s dark, and nothing exciting happens. It’s no surprise that people are feeling a bit blue.

I’ve been wearing this combination of OPI blues recently. The polishes I used are: OPI Tomorrow Never Dies from the Skyfall collection and OPI Can’t Let Go from the Mariah Carey collection. Both polishes are purple although they photograph blue, for some reason.

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With a topcoat

These are really simple to make:

1) Paint your nails with a matte or satin polish

2) Wait for them to dry completely

3) Create lines by sticking pieces of sellotape on the tips of your nails: create either straight lines for ‘tips’ effect or angular lines as I did

4) Add a textured or glitter polish on the tips

5) Wait for your nails to dry and remove sellotape (add a topcoat if you like)

You could do this with polishes in different colours but I really like how it looks with polishes in a similar shade.

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Incidentally, a new OPI collection has just came out: EuroCentrale. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of these!

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OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand Collection: Lots of Photos

“My name is Youngforgood and I am a nail polish addict” – is how I think I should start introducing myself… I wasn’t planning on getting any more polishes but I was intrigued by the new OPI liquid sand finish from Mariah Carey collection.

I have mixed feelings. The liquid sand finish is really nice. It’s a matte finish with a lot of texture. It reminds me of crushed jewels and precious stones. The name ‘liquid sand’ is very accurate. All four polishes have a colour base, some small and large pieces of glitter and girt that looks like sand. They are less ‘glittery’ than other glitters and are meant to be worn without a topcoat to preserve the matte textured finish.

I absolutely love this finish. I think it’s elegant, sophisticated, and classy, while at the same time fun and unusual. I think these polishes are more wearable than other glitters.

What I don’t like is the fact that without a top coat they last less than a day. They start to rub off at the tips after a couple of hours. Luckily they also look nice with a topcoat. Still, using a top coat changes the finish of the polish: see below for photos with and without a topcoat.

Another thing I don’t like are the colours. OPI makes some of the most amazing shades on the market. Yet, these colours are really simple, almost basic.

Here are some photos of OPI’s new liquid sand finish polishes.

Liquid Sand collection

Liquid Sand collection

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No topcoat

Can’t Let Go is my favourite. It’s probably the only one I really like. It’s purple with just a bit of sparkling glitter. It has larger matte purple pieces of hex glitter and a lot of grit. The glitter is the same colour as the base so it doesn’t add sparkle, just texture. I really love this one. With a topcoat it looks even more amazing.

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Can’t Let Go

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Can’t Let Go no topcoat

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Can’t Let Go no topcoat

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Can’t Let Go no topcoat

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Can’t Let Go with topcoat

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Can’t Let Go with topcoat

The Impossible, matte fuchsia colour with pink glitter, is probably my least favourite of the four. It’s quite glittery especially with a topcoat. It has small and large pink glitter and some larger glitter stars. Pink and fuchsia are not my favourite colour combination so I’m not a fan of this one.

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The Impossible

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The Impossible no topcoat

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The Impossible with topcoat

The Impossible with topcoat

The Impossible with topcoat

Get Your Number is a nice aqua blue with blue and silver glitter. It’s the most ‘glittery’ of the four. It’s quite nice although not very opaque. Even without a topcoat it’s not very matte. I think the formula is slightly different in this one. Get Your Number reminds me more of gel polishes. It’s also much paler on the nails than it is in the bottle.

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Get Your Number

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Get Your Number no topcoat

Stay the Night is interesting: a black gritty polish with small pieces of red/pink glitter. It reminds me of hot lava. The effect is quite interesting. I think this is my second favourite.

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Stay the Night

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Stay the Night no topcoat

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Stay the Night no topcoat

The liquid sand polishes are not as difficult to remove as other glitters. I like the idea behind them and really like the finish. I just wish they were more long-lasting and had better colours. OPI announced that they will introduce more liquid sand polishes in 2013 and I’m excited to see them.

China Glaze Whirled Away: Looks Great, Pain to Work With

I love a good top coat. China Glaze Whirled Away from the Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away collection blew me away when I first saw pictures of it. Here it is over China Glaze Dress Me Up.

Whirled Away

It’s a clear base with black stripes, medium black hex glitter, and large white hex glitter. I say ‘glitter’ though these are more like coloured pieces of paper. It looks stunning layered over any other non-glitter polish. I’ve tried it with a number of colours and the results are always spectacular. Still I wouldn’t recommend this polish for a number of reasons:

 1)   It’s a real pain to apply. The formula of this polish is a bit weird. When you apply it, there is hardly get any glitter on the brush. You have to fish it out of the bottle. When you manage to do so and apply the polish with normal brush strokes all of the glitter ends up at the tip of your nail. I usually use a toothpick to place the glitter where I want it to be. Obviously this creates bumps and lumps and I need to smooth it over with a top coat. Another option is to dab it on but this creates bubbles and looks a bit messy. As a result this polish is a bit hit-and-miss.

2)   Difficult to wear. Black strips in this polish do not stick to the nails properly: the ends stick out. Hex glitter pieces also have the tendency come off after a day or so. So the polish chips quickly and you have bits and pieces of it sticking out of your nails.

3)   It’s a pain to remove. All China Glaze glitter polishes are difficult to remove. Some, like Living Daylights, are worth the hustle cause they look great and stay on for a long time. Others, like Whirled Away are really not worth the pain. Even with a top coat this polish chips so quickly it’s hardly worth it.

 

I love the black and white, hex and stripe effect of this polish. But applying it is a real chore. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Coming up:

Friday: OPI Mariah Carey Collection: Liquid Sand Effect

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