The first nail-focused beauty blog


OPI Hong Kong Collection Swatches, Review & Comparisons – Part 1

opi-hong-kong-collection-spring-2010-swatches One of the most anticipated collections of the season, OPI Hong Kong takes us to the far east and I don’t want to come back.  Following what I consider a pretty boring year for OPI (I just didn’t LOVE Spain & South Beach) they’re already off to a great start with Alice in Wonderland and Hong Kong.  I hope the momentum keeps going throughout the year.

Of course I’ve been geeked over the idea of a new OPI green so Jade Is The New Black has been on my mind for months and it did NOT disappoint.  I dare say it may take down Rainforest as my all-time fave OPI.  That’s a huge statement people!

I’ve got the first half of the collection for you today so check out Jade Is The New Black, Suzi Says Feng Shui, Meet Me On The Star Ferry, Bling Dynasty and Pearl of Wisdom after the jump!

Continue Reading »

The ALU Archives – Orly Gogo

The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.I was chatting on Facebook with a reader from Croatia who asked me about the OPI polish worn on the model in the Beyond Chic collection ad (below). Even though she’s more of a dark, vampy gal, she called the color “classy” and a great change of pace. The model’s soft opaque white tips appealed to me and totally inspired this week’s ALU Archives shade choice.
Being that my go-to white is the uber-fab China Glaze White Kwik Silvr I decided to try something different. I still wanted some sparkle and it HAD to be opaque but not white-out white. As I dug through my white/black/gray drawer I came across a lacquer that’s been sitting in my stash unused and unloved, Orly Gogo.

Gogo was originally released with the Manicure Miniatures and due to the popularity of the collection, Orly eventually brought them out in full size with the Hot Stuff collection of brights.

I’m somewhat on the fence with this one. I love the hue because it’s not mod stark white yet it still feels fresh and edgy. My issue is with the glitter and application. Like a lot of light colors, this one goes on a bit streaky so I needed three coats to get it even. And the smooth silver micro-glitter is fantastic in the light but in shade it looks like small grey specks. I’m calling it a keeper but putting it in my pedi-only pile since whites look so amazing next to a faux summer glow. I think the glitter issue would drive me nuts on my fingers but wouldn’t be as noticeable on toes.

Orly Gogo is available on and in both the mini ($1.79-1.99) and full size ($3.19-3.50) bottles.

Jessica Custom Nail Colour – Holiday Petites

Jessica Cosmetics is the nail care brand founded by Jessica Vartoughian, the woman the New York Times dubbed “The First Lady of Nails.” Since 1969 when the Jessica Nail Clinic opened in LA, the brand has practiced natural nail treatments including use of their signature nail polish, a 3-free line of colors.

For Holiday 2008, the brand put together two mini nail polish sets from both the Jessica & Jessana lines; Nutcracker Sweet and Sweet Treats. Each set includes three mini .25 oz bottles of nail color, base coat and top coat. I had the opportunity to test out the Nutcracker Sweet set.

Previously I’ve only seen Jessica products at TJ Maxx and like all the beauty products they sell, the quality can be sketchy. I once bought a Barielle treatment only to get home and find the bottle half empty, dried up and open. Lesson learned, always open the boxes before buying. Anywho the Jessica sets I’ve seen at the Maxx are usually sheers or french mani kits, not my thing, so I never bothered but the colors in Nutcracker Sweet, totally me.

Even though the bottles are small, the caps are still nice and long, easy to handle. The brushes are full size as well so application was a breeze. I really like the medium viscosity formula and high pigmentation. They’re able to pack in a ton of color without making the formula goopy. It dries relatively fast as well. I could touch each shade after a few minutes.

Lilac Snowflake is not what I’d think of as lilac. It’s more fuchsia to my eye with pink and silver shimmer giving it a metallic look without the brush stroke downside of metallics.

Crimson Dew Drop reminds me a lot of OPI Midnight is Moscow only with way more glitz. It’s a black based, uber-dark red with a ton of duo-chrome micro-glitter that reflects both red and gold depending on the light. And because the glitter is so small, the polish dries smooth and glossy. No matte finish here!

Sugar Plum Fairy on its own is reason enough to buy this set. It’s the color that immediately drew me in. A blue based purple, it has the same amazing micro-glitter that’s in Crimson Dew Drop. Believe me, it’s WAY better in person.
The Jessica Holiday Petites are available on the Jessica Cosmetics website. Nutcracker Sweet retails for $16.50 and Sweet Treats is on sale for $12.50.

Who’s a Jessica fan? What colors do you recommend for a Jessica newbie?

OPI Holiday In Toyland Darks & Neutrals

opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trendsToy land, toy land
Li-ittle girl and boy land
While you dwell within it
You are ever happy there

-Toyland lyrics by Victor Herbert

Blocks, Nutcrackers, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs. Visions of old school playthings dance through my head at the mention of the word Toyland.

I think of the workshop from Santa Claus The Movie starring John Lithgow and the late Dudley Moore. Tell me, I’m not the only one who remembers it. How I wanted to play in that toy shop with all the wooden handmade presents. And who didn’t want to be one of the elves? Living off sugary treats, spending their days singing, dancing and playing. What a life, no?

However, even though OPI’s Holiday in Toyland collection has an old time-y theme, the colors are anything but. Suzi has totally hit the mark with the Darks & Neutrals. So on trend with the grays and metallics. Totally “me” right now!

You’re A Doll! – Is a pinkish nude shimmer with very subtle reddish sparkles sprinkled throughout. Not really my deal.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, you're a doll
“Sheer” Your Toys! – Is the color I was most excited for. I’m on board with any light gray and this one, with it’s slightly pink tint, is pretty neutral. The only issue, the application. Hello problem child! It was kind of thick and didn’t flow very well. For a polish with the word “sheer” in the title I’m sure this baby wasn’t meant to be worn opaque but I wasn’t feeling it. So three coats later and you get a great opaque, slightly silvery gray.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, sheer your toys
Glamour Game – is champagne metallic duochrome. In the bottle the shade looks more pewter and on the nail, more gold. Unique but, like most metallics, not the easiest to apply.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, glamour game
Brand New Skates – is an oddball gray sparkler. Its jelly-like formula spreads like the China Glaze glass flecked polishes though it isn’t overly opaque so you need three coats. The micro-glitter give off a warm cast to what would normally be a smokey gray.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, brand new skates
Play ‘Til Midnight – well what would an OPI collection be without a dark blue? It seems like Suzi just can’t resist the blues. This one is a jeweled burple with fine pink, purple and blue shimmer. Very similar to Russian Navy. The only difference is in the base color. While RN’s base is blue-green like Glacier Bay Blues, Play ‘Til Midnight is a deep cornflower.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, play til midnight
Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! – is my 2nd runner up for best of the collection (behind “Sheer” Your Toys!). I was expecting it to be just another black/gunmetal shimmer. But there’s something about how opaque and pigmented the color is despite the high level of shimmer and multi-colored micro-glitter that attracts me.
opi, holiday in toyland, holiday 2008, winter 2008, nail polish, nail lacquer, nail color, nail trends, baby it's coal outside
The OPI Holiday In Toyland Collection hits shelves tomorrow, October 1st. You can find OPI in salons and stores like JC Penney, ULTA, Trade Secret and online at and

NOTD – China Glaze Yell-O-Neil

It’s a really good thing I work in an environment that allows me wear crazy colors. Let’s here it for working with family. Crazy nail colors are one of the perks. So today I’m wearing Yell-O-Neil from the China Glaze Surf Summer collection. I still can’t believe I’m wearing yellow… on my nails. I’ve gotten puzzled looks and avoiding glances all day. And then there’s my dad who says, “My nails looked like that on Sunday after working in the yard but, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

So ok, I never thought I’d love a yellow. I certainly never thought I’d own two. Yet I am so drawn to them at the moment. Maybe it’s the tease of spring/summer I got this past weekend while doing some wine tasting in Amish country. I know the whole wine in Amish country thing sounds odd but it’s oh so right and intoxicating. Anywho, I saw this crazy glassy yellow from China Glaze and I haven’t been able to stop staring at it. It literally has been sitting on my desk since it arrived. And it’s not just me. The gals on the Makeup Alley nail board are drawn to it as well. So, what’s going on? Are we just so sick of the typical spring colors that we’re fiending for something new? Any theories?

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...