The first nail-focused beauty blog


Mannequin Hands with Dior, Lippmann and OPI

mannequin-hands-kyl Mannequin Hands is a new series featuring ALU Fanatics showing off their “mannequin hands” shade.  The one polish that best gives that elongated, flesh-toned look to their hands.

Today we have a former Cleveland gal (Go CLE!) sharing her mannequin hands with us.  Kyl from The Beauty Couch sent in pics of her three favorite shades from Dior, Lippmann and OPI. Kyl is a MAC NW15 or L’Oreal True Match N1/N2 so if you think she may be your hand twin, check out her picks after the jump!

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Dior Silver Purple Le Vernis for Holiday 2009 Swatches & Review

By on October 1, 2009
in Dior, Holiday 2009 with 27 Comments
I can’t help but get excited when the holiday collections start rolling out. There is usually some fun nail glitz to be discovered. And what I love about the Dior Cristal Boreale collection shades is that they’re a subdued version of the typical blinged nail. We’re talking cocktail party flare, not a full-on disco party for the nails.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of glitter bombs. I just HATE the removal more than people talking at the movies (and I DESPISE that). Dior Silver Purple brings on the sparkle without all the irritation. Check it out after the jump!

As I’ve come to expect from the Dior Le Vernis line, the formula provides flawless application. Between the flat brush, the intense pigmentation and smooth consistency I applied two coats in a flash and called it a day.

I was so excited to get my hands on Silver Purple that I rushed to take off my current mani so I could try it out. The color completely roped me in. A smokey purple with silver metallic shimmer, I wouldn’t describe the finish as being brush stroke-y. You can see lines of metallic particle running down the nails but it reminds me of falling stars not brush marks.
Making a return for holiday, Dior is relaunching Black Sequins as a Sephora exclusive. As I said in my review from last year, Black Sequins is a very rich black sprinkled with silver micro-glitter.

Finally, Rose Boreal looks like a crystallized pink. Unfortunately I do not have this one to show you.

The Dior Cristal Boreale collection is on sale now at though only Silver Purple is listed for nails. The other shades will release at Sephora and Dior counters nationwide this month. Dior Le Vernis lacquers retail for $20/ea.

Are you digging Silver Purple as much as I am? Who’s happy to see a Black Sequins comeback? Let’s hear it!

Dior Vernis Fall Nail Lacquers Swatches & Review

By on August 7, 2009
in Dior, Fall 2009 with 23 Comments
Happy Friday Fanatics! Who’s ready for a fab weekend? I’m gearing up for our annual wine extravaganza. We host an all day tour of our fave local wineries. It’s a fun and intoxicating adventure.

Now I know things have been a bit slow here at ALU but I promise the slight dry spell in posts will end soon. There have been a lot of changes in my life recently but we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming ASAP. I have so many great fall shades to show you so stay tuned.

Today I have the new Dior Vernis polishes to show you. Two shades are Nordstrom exclusives that launched during their Anniversary Sale. The other two are part of the Jazz Club collection releasing at Sephora and Dior counters. Shall we take a look?

First, let’s get all the formula/application talk out of the way. Simply put, it’s spot on. Well pigmented and smooth with a great flat brush. The chrome caps pull off to reveal a curved, ribbed cap to use during application. Each shade went on in a perfect two coats. Basically, I have NO complaints. Now lets talk color.

Lemon Balm is hands down the most unique color of the bunch. I don’t understand the name at all but I LOVE the color. This dirty, taupe-y, shimmery confection is glorious for someone like me who’s always looking for something worth saying WOW. It’s got this smokey, plum look to it in the light and a more browned hue in the shade. Seriously, get it now before it’s gone forever!

Black Plum looks just as the name implies, a blackened berry creme. There’s not much more to say about it. The color speaks for itself.

Dahlia Rouge is a fun pop of color for a season that’s known for being all about drab or vampy hues. A bold raspberry creme, it’s deep enough to work for Fall but would make a great Summer pedi as well.
Mystique Violine looks like a reddish brown in the bottle and when you apply it you can see the dark plum in its base. Dried, it’s a whole other story. It becomes a rich, “almost black” dark chocolate. It actually reminds me a LOT of the old CND shade Fedora. BT-dubs, what’s up with Chanel and Dior both having polishes with Violine in the name? Is this the year of Violine? What does that word even mean? Where are my French speakers?
Dior Vernis Nail Lacquers retail for $20/ea. Lemon Balm and Mystique Violine are Nordstrom exclusives and still available online at Red Dahlia is a Sephora exclusive available in stores and at Finally Black Plum is available as part of the Jazz Club collection at Dior counters nationwide.

So are we loving these? Who already picked up the Nordie’s exclusives during the Anniversary Sale? Thoughts?

Don’t forget, at 11:55PM EST tonight my Sally Hansen HD Hi-Definition Giveaway ends so get your entries in. And have a fantastic weekend Fanatics!!

Dior Cristal Collection – Sweet Orange

By on March 19, 2009
in Big 3 Free, Dior, Peach, Summer 2009 with 10 Comments
Dior’s iconic watches helped inspire this playful collection of radiant berries, corals and pinks. Running the gamut from edgy to sweet, the striking colors of the Cristal collection capture the fresh, flushed look of summer.

While visiting the Dior offices back in October, I was treated to a preview of the Cristal collection and I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on the polishes ever since. Seriously, I sat down and immediately focused on the three pops of color peering back at me from inside their sample bottles. Among a table full of beauty goodies, the summer shades sucked me right in.

The Dior Vernis shades in the collection include Sweet Orange, Bubble Gum and Purple Candy. I had the opportunity to try out Sweet Orange and have bottle images of the others to show you.

Bubble Gum and Purple Candy

Sweet Orange is a pink tinged sorbet hue flecked with golden shimmer. The formula reminds me of CND Toxic Perfection one of my all time fave corals and the base color is very close to Essie Cantaloupe. It’s on the semi-sheer side so even though I’m showing it with only two coats, a third wouldn’t hurt. Using the Dior Vernis flat brush, the polish flowed on smooth and even with no streaking or pooling.

Dior Vernis lacquers retail for $20/ea and launch in May 2009. Sweet Orange is a Sephora exclusive shade. Bubble Gum will be carried in specialty stores with Purple Candy at department store Dior counters.

Moon Manicures at Dior

By on March 13, 2009
in Blue, Dior with 19 Comments
The moon manicure is really hitting its stride. Worn for years by MAC Viva Glam Spokesperson Dita Von Teese, the moon mani has been popping up on runways for fall. First at NYFW shows like Thakoon and Ruffian and now in Paris for the Christian Dior R-T-W collection. Get ready to hone your detail skills kids because moon manicures are back in a big way!

Learn how to recreate the look, after the jump!

The technique: Using a thin art brush paint two straight lines from the bottom corners of your nail towards the center. You’re painting the top half of a triangle with your cuticle as the base. In one smooth stroke, round the top of the triangle to create the moon shape. Fill in the upper half of the nail with color and voila! Tip: adjust the size of the moon on smaller nails for a more natural look.

Get the look: Dior Poison Blue

Dior Poison Blue ($20) is currently available only at the Las Vegas Dior Beauty freestanding boutiques. However, if you call (702) 734-1102 they will ship it to you. Normally the boutique offers free shipping with purchases over $100 but as a special treat, if you mention All Lacquered Up when you call, you can enjoy free shipping on any size order.

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