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American Apparel Nail Lacquer Swatches & Review

american apparel nail lacquer nail polish bottles Say what you will about American Apparel clothes or ad campaigns but where nail polish is involved they hit a home run.  Last winter the brand introduced their collection of Nail Lacquers and they certainly didn’t play it safe.  Any brand that kicks off with multiple blues and greens automatically scores points in my book.

As I reported, there was a recall due to a bottle issue but to AA’s credit they rectified the situation in a timely manner.  Prior to that I was sent a few polishes by the brand for review but I was only into one of the colors.

I’ve been meaning to hop over to my local American Apparel store to pick up the more “me” shades but I really hate the parking sitch in that area so I couldn’t drag myself over there just for polish until recently.  I know that makes me a bad polish fanatic and believe me, I’m totally kicking myself for waiting so long.  See why after the jump!

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Priti Tulip Tree Teal for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

By on December 9, 2009
in Big 3 Free, Priti, Teal with 35 Comments
priti-nails-tulip-tree-teal-bottle September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month but Priti continues to support Nancy’s List, an organization that provides resources to cancer patients all year long.  They have committed to donate funds through sales of their teal ribbon colored polish, Tulip Tree Teal.

I’m always a sucker for a great teal creme but add in a charitable cause and I’m hooked.  I spoke with the founder of Priti, Kim D’Amato, backstage during Fashion Week and I love that she’s as committed to creating a toxic-free, organic line as she is to including fashion forward colors.  She custom blended an amazing green for eco-friendly fashion line Bodkin which you can catch glimpses of in Ecouterre’s photo recap of the show.

Check out Tulip Tree Teal and see how it stood up to my 5 Day Wear Test after the jump!

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The Arsenal – Olan Quick & Slick Top Coat

By on October 15, 2009
in Big 3 Free, The Arsenal with 21 Comments

I get a lot of questions and comments regarding the tools and treatment products I use to keep my nails healthy and in tip top shape. Since my routine changes as I test new products, I’ve launched, The Arsenal, to share with you the items that are “must haves” in my nail kit.

For as long as I can remember, Seche Vite and Poshe have been staples in my top coat collection. When it comes to quick dry, they are the gold standard BUT (and that’s a very big “but”) the major complaint has always been the thick, tricky-to-apply consistency that only gets thicker as you work your way down the bottle. Sure that’s what Seche Restore is for but what if there was a product that worked just as well without that issue? Fanatics, I’ve found it! Olan Labs Quick & Slick.

My uber-fab eyebrow waxer recommended this top coat to me a while back and I bought a bottle on the spot but let it sit in my to-be-tried box for way too long. I finally cracked it open a couple months ago when I was short on time, low on Seche Vite and not in the mood to add Seche Restore. Well color me impressed!

Quick & Slick is 3-Free, non-yellowing and quick drying. It leaves a high gloss shine and the thin, self-leveling formula applies like a dream I’m about halfway through my bottle and there’s not a sign of those telltale strings from thickening when I pull out the brush. In my opinion it’s pretty comparable to Lippmann Addicted to Speed except it’s less than HALF the price!

You can purchase Quick & Slick directly from the OlanLabs.com website for $7.95. There’s even a trial size for $2.95. I’m sure if you search online you’ll find other e-tailers but I purchased mine at John Robert’s Spa in Mayfield Heights. p.s. if you’re in Cleveland and looking for a waxer/esthetician see my girl Abby. She’s phenom!

Have any of you tried Quick & Slick before? What do you think of it?

The ALU Archives – Icing by Claire’s Money Talks & I Married Blue

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

I can’t believe that in the two and a half years I’ve been writing ALU that I’ve NEVER mentioned Icing polishes! If you’re unfamiliar, Icing is a chain of accessory stores owned by Claire’s. I honestly never shopped there until some MUA nail board girls discovered their line of nail polish. They have a wide range of colors and come out with limited edition seasonal collections quite often. AND they’re pretty cheap. You can usually find them on some kind of sale.

Unfortunately, since we moved a couple years ago I haven’t had immediate access to an Icing so it’s been a while since I added to my stash. Obviously I’m not up on the latest colors but I have a couple of my faves to show you. Check them out!

According to my bottles Icing polishes are 3-Free (including Formaldehyde Resin) but I would check the labels before buying, just to be sure. The formula is on the thinner side so even dark colors usually take three coats for even coverage but it flows smoothly on the nail and dries glossy.

Money Talks is a blackened forest green shimmer with silver micro-glitter floating throughout. It was packaged in a set a couple holidays back so I’m not sure if it’s still able to be found.
I Married Blue was an open stock color I picked up during one of their sales. It’s definitely in the burple family more than navy. It has a pearl/shimmer that looks a bit magenta in the bottle that I attribute to its slight purple leaning.
I realize the bottles look VERY similar to China Glaze and I know people have wondered if they’re by the same company but I think the similarities stop at the bottle shape. Icing polishes are produced in Illinois while China Glaze is based in California.

You can only find Icing polishes at their stores and this bottle size retails for $3.50 but there’s usually some kind of deal going on. You find an Icing near you using their store locator.

Where are my Icing lovers? What are your favorite shades? Seen anything new and fun that I should make the trip out east for?

The All Lacquered Up Collection from Barielle – Part 2

Who’s ready to see the second half of the Shades by Barielle All Lacquered Up Collection? If you’re looking for more color than the neutral palette I showed in Part 1 (Falling Star being the exception) then these colors are for you!

With these polishes we’re getting into richer, more opulent tones filled with glitters, shimmers and pearls (oh my!). Check out what Elle and I came up with, after the jump!


I commented briefly on the formula in the shade descriptions yesterday as each polish applies a bit differently. With these darker hues, all the polishes are perfectly pigmented two-coaters. There is no unevenness in the consistency, they are all smooth like buttah!

Pin Up was inspired by the gorgeous tomato red lip MAC’s Gregory Arlt created for the Twinkle presentation using Lady Danger lipstick. He gave the models an updated retro look, reminiscent of the classic Pin Up girl (hence the name) or modern day Dita Von Teese. It’s a lip shade that’s just CRYING for a matching nail. We added a hint of gold fleck to add warmth and character.

Lava Rock is a semi-sheer black with red pearl that looks like a blackened plum in natural light and burns deep dark ember-y red in the sun.


You know I’m a girl that loves a good brown. One that isn’t too red or too “special dark” and Make It A Latte is just that. It’s a mid-tone cocoa with a glint of golden reflect.

What do you get when you combine the best parts of Chanel Nuit de Russie and China Glaze Blk-Bila-Bong? Blackened Bleu! It’s got all the bling of BBB with the uber-pigmentation of NdR. Packed within its semi-sheer black base is a massive amount sapphire glitter to create a polish that’s smooth, glossy and high on glam.


Since the collection spans the Fall and Winter months, it wouldn’t be complete without a fab holiday red. Enter Glammed Out Garnet, a deep wine sparkler that packs the same glitzy punch as Blackened Bleu.


I told you there would be a green and this one is a gem. Polished Princess is vivid mossy green shimmer. We wanted to go to the golden side of green with a vibrant, bold hue and I’m just so in love, love, love with it. Now I can see you reaching for your keyboard, ready to ask and no, this is NOT a Zoya Irene dupe. This is much brighter and more yellow based.
The Shades by Barielle All Lacquered Up collection goes on sale in August on Barielle.com. For those of you that have asked, I don’t have international release info yet but I will post anything I hear.

The polishes retail for $8/ea but take advantage of their Buy Two Get One Free deal to stock up on your favorite Shades. Oh and if you sign up for email updates, you’ll get a discount code for your order.

So now that you’ll seen the entire ALU collection, what do you think? Which ones are must haves? If you missed the first half view it HERE!

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