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Sula Paint and Peel Polish Swatches and Review

By on July 10, 2009
in Big 3 Free, Lilac, Sula Beauty with 27 Comments
A number of you have inquired about Sula Beauty’s Paint & Peel Nail Polish. I must admit I was hesitant because the idea of peeling anything off my nail beds seemed unhealthy but in the name of research I was willing to give it a go.

If you haven’t seen this brand at your local ULTA yet, Sula is a water-based nail polish that you can remove by peeling. Being water based, it is safe for pregnant women and ideal for those fanatics who are looking for non-toxic nail color. Check out my swatches and full review after the jump!

I had the opportunity to test Sula’s Modern Mauve nail color and Metallic Base/Top coat. Both are water based and non-toxic so it is recommended that if you do not use Sula’s base/top coat, you wear the polish on naked nails.

I wore Modern Mauve for a week to give it a thorough trial run and when my friend Jewels spotted it on me, she of course asked about the brand. I told her it was a peel off polish and her response was, “like that old school Bonne Bell peel off polish?” Let’s just call this is the grown up version of that.

Application: To say the polish applies streaky is an understatement. Without the chemicals that make traditional polish flow, you have to be very careful to keep the finish from being lumpy. Even after three coats, Modern Mauve was a bit uneven regardless of using their base coat. The bottle instructs you to avoid hot water for 3 hours after applying.

Tip: Wait time between coats is essential to avoid severe streaking. The polish dries with a rubberized finish and is completely dry and touchable in minutes.

Modern Mauve looks like a pale lilac in the bottle but on the nail it dries darker and more vivid. It’s very eye catching. For me, it’s dark enough to avoid my light purple “alien hand” syndrome.
The Metallic Base/Top Coat applies milky but dries perfectly clear and doesn’t alter the polish hue in the slightest. It’s not so much a metallic as a micro-glitter top coat. The particles are very small pieces of silver glitter that dry smooth. There’s no gritty texture here.

I did a 5 day wear test with Metallic Base/Top on my index and ring fingers and just the polish on the middle and pinkie fingers. As you can see, my middle finger suffered the worst wear. The rubberized finish is mostly to blame. Similar to how Minx start to lift after a couple days, this polish’s slightly tacky surface snags on things and will start lifting. Otherwise the wear was impressive. I expected it to look much worse after five days.
Removal: According to Sula, you can safely peel the polish off your nails. It takes a bit of picking to get the polish started but tears off in decent sized chunks. I’m sure my fidgety fanatics out there will revel in the removal process.

My experience: I had WAY too many people tell me how easy it was to remove Sula and how it wasn’t AT ALL damaging to their nails. Though after testing Sula myself I wonder if those people wore the polish for any length of time or were just swatching it for fun. Because when I went to remove the polish after 5 days, I saw actual pieces of my nail bed rip off and I was left with severely dehydrated tissue. Halfway through removal I used acetone remover and saw no damage to my remaining nails.
Modern Mauve was one of Sula’s original Paint & Peel shades but now they have 13 additional Trend Collection polishes to choose from.

Final Verdict: Sula is a unique product. It’s not the first paint & peel polish on the market but it’s more accessible than other brands I’ve heard of. It’s great for fanatics who want fun nails but need a non-toxic polish. It’s an ideal diversion for people that tend to pick at their cuticles as long as they don’t leave it on too long. In terms of extended wear, I just HIGHLY recommend removing with a polish remover. I don’t want to see any of you taking off layers of your nail.

Sula Paint and Peel Nail Polish retails for $9/ea and is available online at and and in stores at ULTA.

Have any of you tried these polishes yet? What has your experience been? Have you tried other peel off polishes?

Finger Paints Sunburst Summer

Coming soon to a Sally Beauty Supply near you is the Finger Paints Sunburst Summer collection. One look and I immediately think of ice cream. Do you remember as a kid, going to the Baskin Robbins and staring at all the fun colored ice creams like Superman, Pink Bubblegum, Orange Sherbet, etc.? Well, they’re all right here in Sunburst summer. And for those of you that dig Icees, there’s a red that looks just like a cherry slushie.

It’s total nostalgia. I’m ready for the ice cream man to come round so I can get a push-up. They were always my fave.

Now I’ve mentioned Finger Paints in the past but I really haven’t given them the love they deserve. This brand is the hidden gem in the retail sector. They’re totally accessible, affordable and come in a great range of shades. Check out my swatches, after the jump!

For you ingredient readers, Finger Paints are Big 3 Free though they do contain Formaldehyde Resin. In this collection the formula was very jelly-ish, like Sinful Colors, and thinner than most 3 Free polishes which means more layers. All the shades required three coats over a ridgefilling base (Seche Base).

Yellow Bikini looks soft and creamy, like lemon sorbet, in the bottle but on the nail it’s more vibrant and buttery with a hint of shimmer. My only issue was a bit of streakiness but I find that happens with most yellow polishes. I don’t know if its the nature of that type of pigment or what but it’s frustrating. Though with three coats, I was good to go!
The only polish I have that comes close is Chanel L.A. Sunrise from last summer’s Robertson Boulevard collection. So if you avoided shelling out the $$$ for L.A. Sunrise, here’s a great alternative. I showed it next to Sephora by OPI IM Beauty but they are nothing alike.

Lilac Lagoon looked promising in the bottle because of the flecks of gold micro-glitter floating throughout but I obviously just need to give up hope of any pale purple looking good on me. It’s a gorgeous color, just not with my skintone. This one is the sheerest of the bunch and you may need four coats to achieve opacity.

Turquoise Tile is unlike any polish I own in this color range. Compared to my more blue turquoise shades, it looks green. Next to my green leaning shades, it’s more blue. Based solely on bottle color, it falls between China Glaze Beauty & The Beach and Martini Pedicure in my collection.

Ripe Peach definitely has that sherbet feel and even though it looks slightly shimmer in the bottle, it dries creamy on the nail.

Strawberry Shake really lives up to its name. This shimmery pink looks very drinkable, though I wouldn’t recommend that.

Cherry Ices has subtle gold shimmer that warms up the vibrant maraschino hue. If you’re looking for a summer pedicure red, this could be your winner.
The Sunburst Summer collection will debut in May but as any Finger Paints fanatic knows, it’s best to call your local Sally’s in advance to see when they’ll arrive. You can also purchase Finger Paints online at Polishes retail for $4.99 ($4.49 with a Sally Card) but be on the lookout for specials like B2GO Free in the monthly flyer.

Lippmann Collection Purple Rain for Spring 2009

Spring 2009 for Lippmann Collection is a total 80s flashback. Deborah created shades named for songs from two of the biggest artists of the decade, Michael Jackson and Prince. P.Y.T., a sheer peachy-pink creme, and Purple Rain, a metallic lilac, are the latest additions to the Lippmann lineup.

I had the pleasure to test out Purple Rain before it launches to the public and when I first looked at the bottle, I could see the metallic finish staring at me. Taunting me. Saying, you’ll never apply me smooth and even.

You know the drill with metallics. They look amazing in the bottle, come in fantastic colors but become brushstroke city on the nail. What’s a girl to do? Well, as I told Andrea in Glamour’s September issue, I have a little trick to make application better. Not perfect but better.

Application Tip: Apply a tacky base coat (CND Stickey or Orly Bonder). Put a glossy top coat on next (I used CND Air Dry). Then apply your metallic polish and finish with another layer of top coat.

The glossy finish of the top coat will give a smoother surface than a traditional base coat, allowing the polish to glide on the nail.

See the finished results, after the jump!

Purple Rain made its first appearance at New York Fashion Week last September on the Zac Posen runway. Deborah custom blended the lavender shade, which was at the time unnamed, to accent the bold purple lips on the models. That shade and a layering combo of Whatever Lola Wants over holiday’s Icing On The Cake added a frosty touch to the overall look.

Purple Rain

So what do you think girlies? You know light purples don’t play well with my skintone but I’ve been getting compliments on my mani with this shade. My mom, who loves anything frosty, will be expecting this bottle to be hers. I know it already.

The Spring Lippmann Collection polishes will launch next month and retail for $15/ea. You can purchase online at and and in person at Nordstrom department stores.

Essie Spring 2008 – In The Mood

By on January 28, 2008
in Creme, Essie, Gray, Lilac, Nude, Pink, Sheer, Shimmer, Spring 2008 with 25 Comments

In the mood for all his kissin’
In the mood his crazy lovin’
In the mood what I was missin’
It didn’t take me long to say
I’m in the mood now

When I hear Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood I can’t help but picture the scene from Cannery Row in which Debra Winger and Nick Nolte swing dance with competitive ferocity. The same image came to mind when I first saw Essie’s Spring 2008 collection, In The Mood, with it’s cheeky names and sweet girly shades.

For the most part all the polishes applied smoothly with no streaking. Looking For Love being the exception. It was just too difficult to get a fluid sheer look. Even after the three coats I applied it was still semi-sheer and splotchy (see below).

Body Language - Is a pinkish gray nude. A very neutral and wearable creme. I honestly didn’t expect to like this one at all, this is so not a part of my normal color range. But once I had it on, I loved the clean chic look.Great Expectations – An opalescent gray, the shimmer is extremely subtle to add depth. I see light to medium grays becoming more and more popular. In fact this color would have fit right in with the silvery/pearly whites that were seen on the red carpet at the SAG Awards.Hard To Get – A bubblegum pink creme with a hint of lavender in it’s base. It didn’t really mesh with my skin tone but I think it would be a fun pedi shade. With it’s high gloss shine, Hard To Get is the slight deeper sister of one of my favorite patent finish polishes, China Glaze Go Go Pink.Hi Maintenance – You know sheers and I aren’t friends so even though this milky pink makes a great french manicure base, it’s not for me.Looking for Love – This one was the big disappointment for me. Lilac and lavender shades make my hands look alien-esque so even though I love wearing purples, the lighter ones are a no go. Though regardless of the color the formula bit it, big time. Major application issues makes me give Looking for Love a double “thumbs down”.Secret Affair – Is my other favorite from the collection. The shade is hard to describe which is why I find it so intriguing. Is it nude, pink, taupe or a combination of all three? With this one, it really depends on the light which makes a Secret Affair a winner in my book. The In The Mood collection is available for sale now online and is slated to be in stores and salons on February 1st.

Who’s buying what? How many of you are going to clutch your dark polishes, run and hide in a cave vampire-style until all this pale sheer madness goes away? And who is starting to venture towards the light? As much as it pains me to say, I’m kind of loving the freshness of these light colors. Shh, don’t tell! My green and blue polishes may revolt and run away.

Creative Nail Design Spring 2007 – Optix

By on January 23, 2007
in Blue, CND, Green, Lilac, Peach, Pink, Spring 2007, White with 2 Comments

There isn’t a lot of info to be found about Creative’s spring line. These few pictures are the best I could do. Optix is the name of the new collection but to be honest, they might want to call it “Spring 2006: Part II” Some of these new colors look like they’re just a deeper version of what we saw last year. I’m just hoping they’re more opaque. Especially the green. You know I’ll have to have it.

Top Row (l-r): Milky Way: a lilac patina, Cosmic Coral: an edgy peach shimmer, Hyper Fresh: an opalescent white

Bottom Row (l-r): Aqua Jet: an opal mint lustre, Blue Nirvana: a translucent periwinkle, Pink Chrome: an opalescent pink

For comparison purposes, this was last spring’s collection.

I found an interview with Jan Nordstrom-Arnold, co-founder and style director of Creative Nail Design, on the Gulf News website. In it, she comments on the upcoming trends in nails.

Spring: The collections have layered, sheer fabrics in pastels with translucent undertones. To complement these we have nail colours such as cosmic coral, blue Nevada, which is great with jeans, a soft luminescent lilac called Milky Way, aqua green and pink chrome. Hems are shorter and necklines are higher, so the accent is on legs and perfectly polished toenails are important. There is also a trend for a futuristic look which will see longer nails with a metallic silver or gold tip and Swarovski crystals on the nails.

The little white dress is big. We have designed longer almond shaped white eyelet lace nails and marblising effects to go with the dress. Glittering gold nails will be big and we have experimented with crocodile prints with metallic chocolate brown on gold. Lavishly decorated feet will also be the trend in summer 2007. Red, fuchsia and gold are the main colours of the season.

The attitude of the season is imperial anarchy or a London punk rock look with a regal touch. There is a lot of plaid with metallic undertones. Our palette for the season includes burgundy with bronze undertones, anthracite metallic, copper pearl, royal purple, metallic burgundy and fuchsia.

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