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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