Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well it's not quite Thanksgiving in the States yet but it's the fourth Thursday in China, so it's Thanksgiving for us! Honestly, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because there's no gift-giving. As much as I love Christmas, sometimes the gift-giving takes away from the true meaning of Christmas. There's something to be said about a holiday that makes people reflect about what they're thankful for in life. It's a very philosophical holiday, which I love.

Well, I've been saving this picture for forever, because this polish just screams Thanksgiving to me, Piggy Polish's Harvest Moon. To be honest, I know it's the name of a video game but I've never played it. But there's just something about this orangey brownish weird color that makes me want to dig into a pumpkin pie.

So what am I thankful of? The usual: family, friends, my health (though sometimes my lungs like to turn against me). I'm also thankful though for YOU, my readers, who have even decided to stick with me through my four month polish dry spell, lol. I will be even more thankful when I return back home to California and reunite with my massive nail polish collection.

Also, reader Brooke asked me about how to apply chunky glitters, like the NYC one I used for my 4h of July mani. The way I usually do it is by tilting the bottle slightly and then swirling the brush around before lifting the brush out of the bottle. Usually I'm able to get more of the chunky glitters. Hope this helps!

I will be having Chinese food this year probably instead of turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy, so eat lots for me!

Since I also know I have a few international readers too, I have to note that this whole Mumbai situation is distressing and sad. My sincerest condolences to anyone who has been affected by this.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Wow, look at all the press coverage for Obama!

Being overseas during election year has been tough...I'm not going to say who I supported or anything because that's not really the point of this blog! I will say though that it's been really cool seeing history being made as the American presidency crosses an important milestone. In China they were playing the election results and stuff even on the public buses, so that was cool.

To celebrate my home country, I did allow myself to buy another polish. Pics will be coming on that, but it's very patriotic. Speaking of which, I do miss my large polish collection but I know that if I had that with me, this is exactly the mani I would do:

Readers might remember this pic from my Fourth of July post, but this is one layering combo that I never tire of. It kind of just screams America =)

Vamping It Up

Do you ever find yourself in "color moods"? It happens to me all the time, where I get into the habit of wearing pink five times in a row, and then switch to navy blue, and then I get a craving for some other color. Sometimes I get into seasonal moods too, where I wear brighter colors in summer and I wear more darks in the winter.

Dark colors can always look classy though. Take a cue from newlywed Scarlett Johansson, who was at last night's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's" benefit for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Photo Source: JustJared

Scarlett did a great job contrasting her nail color with what she was wearing Pairing short, polished black nails not only makes her nails stand out, but also draws attention to what she's wearing too because of the color contrast.

Usually I'm not a fan of being too matchy when it comes to polish but she did it really well here. I think the peep-toe helped, as you don't see too much of it.

For more information on the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which is the largest private funder in the U.S. for Parkinson's disease, you can visit visit

Re: Minx Nails

Memory jog: this is in reference to this post

Hey guys, I e-mailed Minx about pricing, and it turns out that it's not a set price. Here's what their great PR person said:

We do not have recommended prices for the salons to charge for Minx, and it varies tremendously across the country. Some salons may offer simply Minx application with no accompanying manicure, while other salons may put together an hour "Minx-a-cure" involving reflexology massage, cuticle trimming, lotions, etc. together with the application. Also, you can imagine that salons in smaller cities charge less than those in expensive areas like Los Angeles or Manhattan. Because it varies so much, you may want to call two or three salons in your area and just find the average.

If you go online to, they have a Salons & Spas button where you can look up the nearest place to you that offers a Minx manicure. If anyone gets one, please share the experience!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More about Minx

This is the first time this week that I've had some extra time, so I decided to follow-up on my post about Minx nails

Sunday, October 26, 2008

RIP, some nail pictures

I'm so sad! I got a new camera for my birthday, a Canon SD790. But, it turned out that it came broken so I now have to wait a bit longer to get it. I really like it so far, obviously one of the most important factors for me is the camera's macro mode, since that's what I use to take nail pictures. Zoom is also important to me too, and it seems to have decent zoom and macro modes, so we'll see!

Anyway, I popped in my 2GB SD card from my Kodak into the Canon to take some pictures before I realized the Canon was broken. Unfortunately, the Canon did an override or something and erased all the pictures on my SD card before the 25th. I feel stupid because I didn't realize that shuffling SD cards from one camera to another would cause such issues.

I downloaded the trial version of Card Recovery and it turns out that my pictures CAN be recovered. Of course, they tell me that I can only save my recovered pictures if I buy the full version, which is stupid and heartbreaking. Seriously, you're going to give me all this hope but then take that away from me unless I pay $35.00? No thanks...I'm not going to spend that much money on a program that I will only use once. I'm not that desperate.

I did have a decent amount of nail pictures on the card, but I will still try to find a way to recover it. Just know that there's been a setback for recent nail pictures.

Since it was my birthday though, I splurged and got two more nail polishes, a teal one and a green one =)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blue Laguna Beach

The weather is finally turning cold here in Shanghai, which makes me happy. One thing that I've missed the most about Norcal is AUTUMN. It's my favorite season because I love seeing the leaves change colors and falling. It's so gorgeous.

Anyway, summer is long gone but this is perfect polish season, as all the limited edition summer colors are being discounted. One color to look out for is L'Oreal's Blue Laguna, which was a limited edition color over the summer for L'Oreal. It's a pretty blue color with some purple tones. Normally I don't like frosty polishes either but this was a gorgeous bright color without being too overwhelming. Here it is in the shade and in sunlight:

It really reminds me of the beach, which I also miss a lot! This picture was taken in Californian sun too...there's really nothing like it. Anyway, this picture shows Blue Laguna in three coats, although it was opaque in two. As with most frosts, you can see some brush strokes up close, but they were pretty minimal.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

100th Post!

I was catching up on some beauty blog reads (still no access to ALU, Scrangie, Polish Addict, etc.), and found two quizzes on BellaSugar about nail polish history. Put your knowledge to the test!

Nail Polish History Quiz Pt. 1
(I got 6/10 on this one)

Nail Polish History Quiz Pt. 2
(I got 4/6 on this one)

Both quizzes were interesting, I knew some and guessed on a lot but it was quite informative! Well, it's been, oh my, about half a year and 100 posts....I'm looking forward to what the next 100 will bring =)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Change Myself

This weekend I got a once-in a lifetime opportunity to go see one of my favorite Chinese singers, 王力宏, or Lee Hom as he's known in English. The title of the post is the English translation of his last album title. He's super talented and super cute, and I paid a little less than $60 USD for tickets. My dad seemed to think that that was expensive, except he probably forgot how much I paid for Christina Aguilera and Spice Girls tickets...and the seats weren't too bad, all about the same. I wish the screens were bigger, but the acoustics were good. And Shanghai Stadium is HUGE! My camera never takes good pictures at night but here's a fairly ok one of the concert:
I just need to see my favorite band, Keane, performing sometime and then my life, concert-wise, will be complete.

Anyway, I've been getting lazy about my nails since I've been sick on-and-off ever since I got back from my National Week holiday to Beijing and Dalian. But, the good news is that I do indeed have new pictures of a polish I got here in Shanghai called Rose Sheer. Not really the color you'd expect though....
Sorry for the extreme cloudiness in these pictures, I thought I fixed that with Picasa but it's just the angling of my camera and the smoggy sun
I did nail decals for the first time ever!

I didn't do so well on the nail decals this time but my ones right now aren't too bad. Anyway, yes the name really is Rose Sheer, I double-checked the label and the box. It's actually black with mostly a great olive-green shimmer but also has some blue shimmer. It's subtle but I like it. The application wasn't too bad at all, but the thing that disappointed me the most was the richness of the color. It's not exactly the most opaque of blacks, and definitely not as rich as Red Earth's polish. We'll see though.

Seventh Sense retails for 68 RMB (about $10USD) and can be found at Sasa stores in Shanghai.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Minx Nails

As you guys know, one of my weaknesses is the shallow world of entertainment- I frequent celebrity gossip sites every day (then try to justify it by spending lots of time on,, and Anyway, I was reading an blurb on about Minx Nails, which recently did Beyonce's nails for the music video for her new single, "Single Ladies. " You can read the post here. I was interested about Minx Nails based on what Jared posted, so I decided to contact them directly.

Their PR person, Janice Miller, couldn't have been nicer, and I got to find out a lot about Minx Nails. Basically, it's going to change the face of fake nails forever (in a good way). Unlike a traditional nail polish, Minx is applied in polymer strips that are heated and them applied with pressure onto the nail, where it then cools as a type of shrink wrap. The benefits of there not being an actual "polish" is that because it's a polymer, there is no chipping or smudging, and no drying time is needed. Plus, there are no fumes.

Something else that really stands out about Minx is that it doesn't require nail polish remover to remove, nor does it require prying the strips from your nails. Or soaking in any type of crazy solution. The simple way to remove Minx? Heat. Here's what their official website ( advises:

Removing Your Minx Although Minx can last a awhile, you will eventually have to remove it as your nails will start to grow out. Do NOT use nail polish remover! We are proud that Minx is a green product and does not require chemicals to apply or to remove. We want to do our part in keeping mother earth healthy and happy. When you want to remove your Minx (so that you can put on a new set, of course), place your nails under a heat source (a hair dryer will do) and work loose an edge of Minx near a lateral nail fold. Slowly peel Minx off the nail plate going from side to side (not top to bottom). Apply a nail moisturizer when you are done, and have a back rub and a cocktail while you are at it.
The application process is similar to those stick-on nail strips that Avon and Incoco sell, but Minx is offered in lots of different colors, even metallics (which is a huge selling point for celebs). Or, they can be custom-made, as Janice told me that currently Beyonce and her sister Solange are sporting "OBAMA" Minx nails of black with silver letters. (To be politically equal because I try to be fair, I suppose you could customize them for McCain as well, with the Mc part on the thumb. If one really wanted to.)

Of course with such a high-tech and cool product, I admit I was a bit afraid to ask for the price. But, I am curious so I'll probably save up to try it sometime when I get back to the States. I love my polish, but it's interesting to try different products. Not to mention if Minx really does live up to it's claim of being chip-free, it would be the perfect solution for chipped nails on short vacations or especially business trips. I can sense this being a powerful asset for corporate women who are always on the go but want to keep a polished image.

Here's a picture of what "Golden Lightning' looks like (the same color Beyonce wore in her music video):
Photo credit: Michael Marker
Source: Janice Miller, Minx Nails

What do you guys think? It's a neat concept for sure though. I know it can't replace nail polish entirely (nor would I want it to, otherwise I'd have to find something else to blog about!), but I think as a once-in-a-while splurge, this could be a good short-term investment. It's definitely the most gentle alternative to acrylics or other fake nails, as there's no drilling and no industrial-strength glue. Alternatively, if anyone's tried it, I'd love to hear your experience.

Ok and as a sidenote, anyone who has a Nintendo DS and a R4 card, download Taiko No Tatsujin. It's such a fun game, and I've been obsessed with it. I love rhythm games, because my hand-eye coordination has only improved from playing video games lol.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Hey guys, I know news has been slow here but I just came back from like back-to-back vacations, as well as having to deal with school and a family death. I've been really preoccupied but I've really missed blogging and I've done some stuff to maximize efficiency for me so that I can get back to blogging on a regular schedule:
  • I got a SD card reader, which will make uploading pictures onto my computer faster
  • I got a new SD card exclusively for taking nail pictures, which will help me so that when I do upload my pictures I don't have tosearch through thousands of my other pictures...also so that when my friends look through my camera they don't have to see like 15 pictures of my nails
  • I downloaded Picasa, which will help me upload pictures faster to the web and will hopefully cut down on the editing time.
Granted I can't go crazy with taking pictures like I used to with my huge stash back home. But, I will get to share pictures of some polishes I've gotten in China, as well as some older pictures I have on my computer that I haven't shared yet. Hopefully with more efficiency, I will be able to post more. I've already got some interesting news to share with you guys about Minx Nails, a type of manicure you can get at salons that honestly sounds amazing. So please, stay tuned!

Minx Nails

Friday, October 3, 2008


**Blogger's Note** Ok, so I started this post the day before I left for Beijing but I totally fell asleep in the middle of posting, sorry! I'm in Dalian right now enjoying my vacation but I had to pop into an internet cafe to post this

Right now I'm packing for a vacation, I'm going with some friends and my cousin to Beijing for China's National Day (Oct. 1), except we pretty much get the whole week off. It's a big celebration, and even though the capital is going to be PACKED, I'm excited to see all the celebrations that will be happening.

I'm a bit worn out from school and running around trying to find stuff for the trip though, so this will be a short post. It's ok to just stare at this polish though, it's really amazing. Red Earth is an Australian cosmetics brand that is super popular in China (most famously, actress Zhang Ziyi used to be a spokesperson for Red Earth) and has been along longer than mainstream American brands have been in China. So even though the products are a bit pricier, the quality of Red Earth is always top-notch.

It's evident in their polish #73. I was craving a darker color so I caved when I saw #73. In the bottle, it looks like maybe a blue/purple dark grey...

But on the nails, it looks a bit like OPI Light My Sapphire!

It's pretty, but not quite as sparkley as Light My Sapphire. This was my first Red Earth polish but I will have to save up to buy a few more. The polish was very rich and opaque in one coat, so it's definitely good stuff. It definitely satisfied my craving for a vampy color.

Red Earth polishes retail for 78RMB in China and can pretty much be found anywhere. They have stands in malls, independent stores, and can also be bought at Sephora (which is where I got mine =)).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to give a birthday shout-out to EmpressStephanie, who runs Polish Addict. Words cannot express the tragedy that is my life since I cannot view her blog nor Scrangie's blog.

Anyway, happy birthday Stephanie! I hope you have a terrific and polish-filled day & year.

...and it's also my mom's birthday, so I have to give much love for my momma =) Happy birthday mommy! I love you.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is a hard season of nail polish for me to be away. True, I get cool Asian polishes but I can't get too many because it makes it difficult for me to carry back and to get through customs. Instead I've spent an hour looking at my friend Jen's pics because she has China Glaze Bahama Blues and the OPI Holiday Collection pics up. I LOVE China Glaze Blue Island Iced Tea, and I can't wait to get it! It reminds of me a pretty Sony Cybershot I saw yesterday at the Sony store, which looks like this:
Sony Cybershot DSCW55 7.2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom (Blue) via

I also really like OPI Don't Toy With Me, which I am definitely also going to get. A girl can never have too many reds! I'm actually really excited because it's been a REALLY long time since a new OPI polish has struck my fancy, and it can only go up from here right?

And let's not get started on the hotness that is ChG Emerald Sparkle, ok? Misa Toxic Seduction and ChG Emerald Sparkle are definitely the IT green colors of this year. The world could always use more green!

So I really do love Jen, not only is she my age and super cool, she got me NYC Molten Metal because I'm in China. It's a limited edition NYC, the same as NYC Midnight and Cognac Sparkle (the latter of which I missed out on). I feel like this is like an upgraded version of Chanel Kaleidascope, which I was not a fan of.
It's blingtastic and fantastic. I can't wait to try it! I've always really liked NYC polishes just for the cheap factor, but their limited editions that come out each year with their fall line is definitely something that keeps people interested. Although, I have to say that the polish is a bit more expensive than regular NYC Glossies, either $2.99 or $3.99 if I recall correctly. Don't be discouraged if you can't find it right away, they will still be around by winter. Or possibly later. But, me being me, I wanted to get it secured ASAP. I mean, look at this color! Luckily Jen and I have the same skin tone, so hopefully it will look as good on me as it does on her.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No Really, I'm Not a Waitress!

Please excuse the poor quality of the picture, since I rarely get full sunlight like I used to, I've been tinkering with some indoor lighting. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't think I can get a halogen lamp...

Anyway, for the past couple of days I've been wearing a classic OPI shade, I'm Not Really a Waitress. It's a classic red shade...and there's really not much to say other than that.
It's not to say that this isn't a good color. It's an almost cherry-cranberry shade in real life with just enough red/gold shimmer. I prefer how it looks in dimmer lights or in the shade because it borders on almost a vampy red shade. It is a very pretty color.

Other then that, I think the word "classic" sums it up pretty well. If you're looking for a staple red color and OPI wears well for you, this is definitely a must-have shade. Other then that though, red is red. There's not much that makes it stand out. Every drugstore brand makes a red like this, it's really only a matter of preference. It is one of OPI's most popular shades and a best-seller though.

I recently bought the September issue of Chinese Harper's Bazaar. It's the Fashion Olympics edition, and it's huge! Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi is on the cover, and it has some cool nail pictures and ads in it too. I've been noticing that within the past three years, nail polish and in particular nail art has really started to pick up. Anyway, I'll be posting (hopefully) pretty regularly now that one of my friends has fixed my internet. I now have consistent (albeit slow) internet, hooray! It's not too bad as long as it gets the job done =)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Impressions: Studio Tools Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover Pads

I know I'm constantly apologizing for the lack of updates, I actually caught a cold though in the past couple of days so I really haven't been in the mood to do anything but sleep and rest. I have actually gotten a couple of new polishes while I've been here in China, so I'm eager to share those as soon as possible with you guys....even though there's not much sunlight to take pictures.

So, I decided not to bring a big huge bottle of nail polish remover with me here just because of the hassle and because nail polish wasn't an immediate priority. But, to tide me over until I could buy some remover, I picked up Studio Tolls Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover Pads at Target. I used them last summer as well since they are cheap (I believe $1.99 for the box). They also come in an Acetone version, which I haven't tried yet.

L-R: Box, Individual Package, Pad

Quantity: 6 individual pads

Claims: Extra-thick felt nail polish remover pads are ideal for easy and convenient nail polish removal. Each pad contains a special formula to help soften cuticles, and add strength and resiliency for more beautiful nails. One pad cleans all ten nails.

My experience: The felt inside the packets is thick and supersaturated with remover. The scent is strong and a bit unusual, not like any remover I have smelled before. Not pleasant but not entirely unpleasant (it's bearable, for lack of better words) and quite strong. Also, one pad doesn't clean all ten nails, it can clean up to five since all the remover dries up by then.

  • convenient for traveling, no worries about spills
  • price isn't too bad
  • the way the remover feels against bare skin, because the pad is so saturated with remover, it can make your fingers feel pruny
  • the remover also feels very sticky after, which added onto the pruny fingers makes it feel very uncomfortable
  • kind of drying
  • the remover dries so quickly that by the fourth and fifth nail it becomes a struggle to remove the polish- I actually found out that this can be avoided by keeping the pad folded as shown in the picture above, but the trade-off is that your fingers get prunier.
Conclusion: They kind of suck but they are good for short-term vacations when you don't have anything else, since they are so convenient. That being said, I need to find some real remover ASAP.

Also, I'm sad because there are some beauty blogs that I can't access, like ALU, Scrangie, Nail Addict. It's very weird. Luckily I am able to see my own blog, but that means I can't always keep track the latest nail trends in the States for four months =(

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mini Nicole-fest

Hi guys! I actually AM alive! I've just been having issues with internet and I've also been having a blast in Shanghai. No matter how many times I've been to this city, I'm constantly rediscovering more stuff to do and my friends and I have been having lots of fun just wandering around.

So, a bit of belated business to tend to...the Canadian Nicoles! First of all, Canada was awesome and I just love Niagara Falls...

The American Falls & Horseshoe Falls from the Rainbow Bridge

American Falls at night

Isn't it so beautiful? I could just sit and take pictures forever. Obviously with the sightseeing and soaking in all Canada could offer in the four days I was there, I didn't get to see much nail polish UNTIL the very last day I was in Canada. We stopped by the Shopper's Drug Mart inside the Eaton Shopping Centre in Toronto, and I got some Nicole's on sale! They were priced at $7 instead of the $13 CAD they usually are. Pricey, especially with the sadly weaker dollar, but it's a unique souvenir for me. Now, these aren't any regular Nicole's...these are two Nicole's that actually can only be bought in Canada! They are exclusive to only Canada, so I'm really glad to have gotten my hands on them.

I adore vampy, or darker, colors even though my parents hate them and always give me weird looks whenever I wear darker shades. But, I feel like polish is very expressive so I love wearing dark shades when I'm feeling fun or down. Also, they just look cool sometimes. The first shade is Drama in the Dark, a black base with slight green and blue sparkles.
It's actually a bit of a plain color, but I'm always really weird about wearing just straight black...most of the time, I just can't pull of straight black creme polish...I'm always tempted to layer something over it. It's a pretty color, but not much of a standout. I did get good, opaque coverage in one coat, this is it with two coats.

However, since I am a fan of green polishes, Nicole Drama in the Dark was what really grabbed my attention. The base is a dark green and it has green shimmer sparkles as well.

Shade picture:

I love it! It's shown here with two coats although in hindsight I should have put three. I'm so glad that many polish companies have started to make more green polish. It may seem a bit "out-there" for some people...I will admit that it took a lot of courage for me to wear green polish because I always thought it would look weird. But, I kind of thought that with red too and now I love red polish. Green is actually a lot more flattering than other people think. I do know though that for some people, it can be a giant step out of the comfort zone. However, you never know unless you try!

I really wanted to find the Canadian version of Respect the World because it's apparently's the American version, a pretty teal color that's a bit frosty.
In shade:
It would be prettier darker, but I do like how the American version looks too. I miss my polish collection!!!

Well I'm practically falling asleep as I write this, but I promise you that I will find a balance here soon so that I will get back to posting pics soon. I have a bunch of pics that I saved up just so I wouldn't run out of things to post about during my four-month time here. So, stay tuned!

Oh, before I forget though, according to reader Danielle, for all those in the Niagara Falls area, they are building a Sally's Beauty Supply in St. Catherine's!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Hey guys, just a quick update. I'm sorry I haven't really had a choice to post, and from the looks of it I might not get the chance to post pictures for a while. I'm using my cousin's computer to write this, but I don't know when I'll be able to get internet for my computer, which is where all my pictures and stuff are. Hopefully I will have internet by the 28th, which is when I move into my student apartments.

By the way, I'm in China! I'm so excited to be here, despite the fact that it took a total of 13 hours of flying yesterday to get here. Canada was amazing as well, special thanks to readers Danielle and Jackie who live in the Niagara Falls area and tried to offer some ideas where I could get some good nail polish. Unfortunately, I was too busy sight-seeing and stuff to be able to get anything from Niagara Falls except for this really cool t-shirt. It's so beautiful there though, I wish I had more time to stay! Both the American side and the Canadian side have great places to just sit and be alone with your thoughts, and just take in all the beauty. It's really great. I did, however, get two Nicole Canadian Exclusives while in Toronto, so those pics will be coming soon.

So, I won't be able to post for a while. However, if you guys have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly at .

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Blue Bird

I am so pleased that my favorite tennis player, Serbia's Novak Djokovic has advanced into the quarterfinals of the Olympics! Unfortunately tennis matches last way too long for NBC to show it in prime time but hopefully they will show the final, which will most likely be another fantastic Nadal-Federer showdown. I'm still rooting for Djokovic to push through though! The last three nights of Olympic coverage has really focused on gymnastics, and the stuff those gymnasts can do is really incredible. I could never play a sport where you can practice so hard and do a routine so perfectly over and over and then mess up in a competition....KNOWING that you can do it is just way too heartbreaking.

Speaking of heartbreaks, let's talk polish! China Glaze's Blue Sparrow, from their recent Ink Collection, is one that kind of breaks my heart. It's sooo beautiful in the bottle, and also when you first apply it. It's a neon blue with just a cornucopia of light blue glitter. It's pretty, yes. Here it is with two coats

As with all neons, it dries matte because of the amount of pigment they have to put in it. However, the downfall of Blue Sparrow is what makes it beautiful: the extraordinary amount of glitter in the polish not only makes it dry matte, but also gives it a gritty finish. Now, I've mentioned before that my favorite topcoat, INM Out the Door is super thin. Needless to say, in order to make the finish of Blue Sparrow smooth, you will need a thicker topcoat, such as Seche Vite, Poshe, or Oh So Wet. I used THREE coats of Out the Door and the finish still wasn't smooth. I will have to try this polish some other time with another topcoat combination, because the only reason I had patience to put on three coats of freaking topcoat is because the Olympics were on.

Blue Sparrow was a pretty polish, but I was kind of unsatisfied with it. The grittiness and the overabundance of the glitter distracted from the pretty base color. Maybe with a glassier finish, it would be a lot prettier and the glitter would sparkle more. On the upside though, with three coats of topcoat the color wore like iron.

I could say a lot more about BS (bad acronym for the polish name!), but I have to get up in oh I dunno, three hours? for my flight =/. I had to get this post out though because a) blogging is quite a stress reliever and b) I will have internet in Canada but I'm not sure if I will have time to edit some swatch pics I've taken.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pink is Power

Sorry for the lack of updates, I'm trying to get everything sorted out with my upcoming vacation to Niagara Falls and my studying abroad to China! There's also the matter of the Olympics, did anyone catch the amazing opening ceremony? Truly memorable. I'm usually more of a fan of the winter Olympics, but these summer games have been really exciting, especially American Jason Lezak's extraordinary comeback in yesterday's 4x100 medley for swimming. Crazy!

Anyway, another reason why I've been busy is because I attended two weddings in the past week! For both weddings, I sported light pink nails. I really love pink polish because I feel like it's a pretty neutral color to wear on nails and I love these two polishes.

For the first wedding, this was my dress, a silvery pinkish dress that has a paisley print.

To match, I wore Essie Pink is Powerful, a milky off-white color with the tiniest hint of pale pink. A gorgeous sheer, though naturally since I'm not a sheer fan, I used four coats to get to opaqueness. Of course, I mentioned before that some Essies have this gorgeous microshimmer and this is no exception.

For the second wedding, I wore a cute green/teal/brown dress which I LOVE. So adorable.

On nails, it was Chanel Rose Tourbillon. I had forgotten how pretty this color was even though it wasn't too long ago that I got it. I know I showed pictures before, but here are some others, including one with flash that shows the yummy silver shimmer

Also, a reader pointed out that for my last post, Zoya Trixie might be a possible dupe for MAC's $$$$$ Yes. After looking at Scrangie's silver pictures (love this girl and her crazy awesome swatch skills), it's clear that they are not very similar; Trixie's shimmer is a bit larger and seems grittier while $$$$$ Yes has more of a foily finish. If anything, Scrangie's picture of Sally Hansen Sterling, three pictures up from her picture of Trixie, is more similar....Misa Got to be Reel seems to be a close contender as well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Early Morning Hotness: $$$$$ Yes & Firehouse

So today while with my sister at Macy's, I was wandering around when the sales associate at the Dior counter literally bombarded me with all the new Dior stuff. She was showing me their new perfume (which did NOT smell good actually), their fall collection polish (a deep berry red with subtle red shimmer, pretty but nothing special), lipglosses, etc. Then she told me that if I bought the new red polish and Gold Nugget she would give me a gift. And then she showed me the adorable white/teal bag.

Well, luckily I came to my senses and while I was VERY tempted by her offer, Gold Nugget alone was not enough to sell me. Which is why I ran over to the MAC counter and got two MAC polishes for almost the price of one Dior polish. It's called being efficient =)

The polishes I got were a part of MAC's new Lustre Twins collection, and I got 2/3 polishes. I passed on the purple one because it just wasn't very stunning. I 'll stick to my purples from Misa's Fall/Winter collection, thank you very much.

I wasn't really sold on $$$$$ Yes, the metallicy silver one, but I took the plunge because it just looked so beautiful on the ad picture. Here's the ad picture:
Gorgeous, right? Well, it's kind of that gorgeous in real life, with the right lighting. It does dry fast and is kind of streaky, but the end result is just beautiful. It looks like liquid aluminum foil on your nails! I used three coats and yes there are brush marks. The only downfall of this polish, really. It looks a bit dull without topcoat, but these are inside pics and not really a good representation. I just couldn't wait to share these pics with everyone, haha.

Here is $$$$$ Yes in normal light, with flash, and far away with flash respectively.

As you can see, it looks a bit dull in the first pic but the flash really captures the shimmer well. I was surprised how well it looked with my darker skin tone, I'm going to have to do a proper mani with the color and see how it looks in full sunlight. I've heard that Zoya Trixie is similar, if not a complete dupe of this color.

Firehouse is gorgeous though! It's a red with some orange undertones, but ultimately pulls to a true bright red. It was opaque in one coat, here shown with two coats:

Kind of looks like two colors completely huh? The second is definitely more accurate, though in real life it's a bit like a mix of the two. I don't know if it's because the most Project Runway episode was on or what (the challenge was to design an outfit for a USA athlete that could be worn for the opening ceremony of the Olympics), but this red reminded me of a very true red, a very patriotic red too. Despite it being frosty and showing brush marks too, I still really like it. I promise I will take more accurate pictures in sunlight soon.

I'm glad my first experience with MAC polishes has gone over so well. I was really iffy after buying it because I occasionally suffer from CSS (chronic [credit card] swiping syndrome) and then regret it after, but I'm really happy that I reluctantly took the plunge and a color out of my comfort zone, not to mention a fun red that's not much like my other reds.

MAC polishes retail for $11 and can be found at Macy's, Nordstrom, and indepedent MAC stores as well as online at

Picture source: MAC Lustre Twins

PS: So excited about the opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight! Yay China!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cheap + Good = Satisfying

Petites polishes are the cheapest at Walmart ($1.24), and they are oh-so-satisfying. For a tiny bottle, .25oz (half the size of a full-sized Essie polish), it sure delivers and there is quite a bit of product to go around. Another reason I love Petites? Some of their polishes have gorgeous flaky glitter that is unique and fun, but flat so it still looks professional and very "together" from far away. I'm a big fan of bringing out the inner childish delight in everyone, can't you tell?

I've showed a preview of Juke Box before, but here is a proper mani of it. The base is a pinky-rose color and once enlarged, you can see the flaky glitter. This is three coats, and naturally my application turns out well when I'm not really paying attention to it. Such a pretty color.

Unfortunately, I revisited Walmart and it seems as if Petites have remodeled and reformulated a bit. The Petites label is no longer sideways, the font is right-side up and it seems as if all the flaky glitters are gone =(. Peach Orchid used to have gorgeous flaky glitter in a milky pinky-peachy base and now it has regular gold shimmer.

Today I saw the OPI France collection in real life at Ulta and was pretty disappointed. Nothing really called out to me and I realized to my horror that I haven't gotten anything from the Russian, Hollywood, India, Softshades, or France collections....making it FIVE collections in a row that have underwhelmed me. Ahhhhhh! Luckily, China Glaze's Rodeo Diva collection includes some yummy numbers, don't forget to check out Scrangie's amazing swatches on her website. I'm definitely gonna add more ChGs to my collection in the future.

Tomorrow I will do a bit of swatching, and I'll have to swatch some cool flaky glitters for everyone! They are super cool and fun. I still have to decide what polishes I'm going to take to China other than OPI Shanghai Shimmer, not to mention what polish I'm gonna use for a family trip to Niagara Falls from the 14th to the 17th. I'm getting so excited for all my traveling this summer!!!! It's going to be hard to part with my polishes for four months when I study abroad though....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sometimes Hype is Justified

Yesterday I spent the entire day in San Francisco. While there, I quickly ducked into the Lush store in Union Square to try some of their Lemony Flutter, which is a cult fave over at the MUA nail board. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Here's the description from their website:

Softens stubbornly scaly skin wherever it may hide If you have dry skin that would make an elephant shudder, then pick up a pot of lovely Lemony Flutter! This rich butter isn't just for fingers, it's for anywhere that dry skin lingers. Elbows, knees and heels feel royal when you butter them with mango, avocado and flaxseed oil. Wonder why you lived your life in the rough, when with Lemony Flutter you can strut your silky stuff.

I applied some to my left elbow, because I have super dry elbows and ankles....well ok, dry skin in general. I was exhausted by the end of the day yesterday night so I forgot about it, but this morning I woke up with a super soft left elbow (my right elbow, sad to say, is still kind of dry and icky) and was reminded of my little experiment yesterday. Needless to say, I was really impressed. Despite the fact that it's kind of pricey, $13.25 for 1.5 oz, a little goes a long way and I was impressed by how it really, really worked on my elbows (something my beloved Eucerin wasn't even able to accomplish). I think that if I don't go back to SF anytime soon, I'll have to place an order for this. Lush may be expensive, but for now I'm totally buying into the hype of their Lemony Flutter. Not to mention their cosmetics are cruelty-free, handmade and as organic and natural as possible. Jen raves about their bath bombs too, which I will maybe try....I'm not much of a bath person though. But I think I should relax more.

Now, a bit of a confession....I normally would have gotten the Lemony Flutter regardless of the steep $13.25, just so I could try it about report about it here. But...I kind of made a big purchase prior to that, a uber-cute bikini from BCBG. I got it for a good price (and come on! 70% off at BCBG, how could I resist?) though, but it was still pricey enough on a student's budget for me to not spend money for the rest of the trip, except for food because that's important. I am going to get around to getting it though, because wow, this could finally solve my dry elbows and dry cuticles problem once and for all!

I do have to say though that this cream has a very strong lemon scent. If you're not a citrus person, it may be too strong for you, though they say the scent gets better once you rub it in a bit. I love citrus scents and citrus in general so it's not an issue for me, but for those that have an aversion to strong citrus scents, it may be a bit too much.

I leave you now with a picture of a sea lion posing like the awesome diva he is. Very fierce.

Click on the picture of the Lemony Flutter above to be taken to the site to buy it. Or, find it and browse other products at the Lush website.

Friday, August 1, 2008

SH Salon Navy Baby & Comparisons

So the other day I was browsing Ulta and saw a special display for Sally Hansen Salon line polishes. Imagine my surprise when it was a display specifically for Navy Baby, a navy blue that I've heard about but never seen in person (and wasn't expecting to, all the stores around me at school are very slow when it comes to new polish displays). Take a look at this beaut:

In sunlight:

In shade:

After swatching them, I realized it looked a bit like Nina Out of the Blue, which reminded me of Chanel Blue Satin. So here they are together...please ignore a) the messy application and b) the weird positioning of everything because this was the best picture I got.

Here's Blue Satin up close:

A close-up of Out of the Blue...

And a close-up of Navy Baby

As you guys can see, they are all very similar. I will have to say though that the Chanel has a more vibrant/noticeable shimmer up close and in real life that didn't translate to the pictures. Here are Out of the Blue and Blue Satin by themselves:

All in all, if you're not crazy like me and don't need all three, I would pick the Nina one to own. Not only is it the cheapest option here (I think around $3 at Sallys? Compared to $6 for the SH and $19 for the Chanel), it's also easiest to find and once thinned the application and wear is pretty great. But, I will say that there is just something about the Chanel, a unknown WOW factor that just makes me love it. If it weren't so expensive I would buy more backups of the Chanel for sure. Good thing there are dupes!

PS: Has anyone been watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel? I love it!
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