The first nail-focused beauty blog


ALU’s 365 of Untrieds – Illamasqua Purity

illamasqua-purity-nail-varnish-nail-polish-365-untrieds 365 of Untrieds is my personal challenge to weed through the polishes in the ALU stash that I’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t gotten around to.

When I meet someone who is unfamiliar with Illamasqua I often find myself describing the brand as the UK version of MAC but that’s not really a fair portrayal. While both brands have playful, diverse color ranges and are very open to all walks of life, I dare say MAC has become a bit more tame under the Estee Lauder umbrella while Illamasqua keeps their underground edge a bit more prominent.

This spring the Illamasqua Toxic Nature Collection delves into a a realm where nature is fighting back with conceptual and slightly off nail colors that include a funky ochre, Bacterium, and an acid lime, Radium. I opted to wear the grounded, more traditional, Purity for today’s 365 of Untrieds.

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Deborah Lippmann Spring 2010 Swatches & Review

deborah-lippmann-waking-up-in-vegas-spring-2010 While I was backstage at the ADAM show, I had the chance to chat with Deborah Lippmann whose team was polishing the models’ nails with Fashion for the runway.  We talked about the look of the show of course (more on that later) but we also discussed what’s next for her line.

First off, while there was no official announcement, the brand name has changed to Deborah Lippmann as opposed to Lippmann Collection.  The nail polish packaging is different as well.  The white and blue paper boxes have been replaced with clear acetate so the gorgeous bottle and color are no longer hidden on display shelves.

For Spring 2010 Deb created a duo of soft pretty cremes named I’m Not Innocent (semi-sheer) and Waking Up In Vegas (opaque).  Check them out after the jump along with some exciting advance info on her upcoming Summer, Fall & Holiday colors.

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China Glaze Up & Away Swatches, Review and Comparisons – Part 2

By on December 16, 2009
in Blue, China Glaze, Green, Peach, Spring 2010 with 52 Comments
china-glaze-up-and-away-collection-spring-2010 Sorry for the delay Fanatics! Mother Nature has not been playing nice. The lighting here in the Cleveburg has been atrocious so I’ve been waiting with bated breath to swatch the rest of this collection.

Though over the past few days, I’ve had plenty of time to stare at the polishes all lined up and they keep making me crave ice cream regardless of the freezing cold temperatures.  It’s like looking in the Baskin Robbins case trying to decide between a soft, sweet sherbet or multi-colored scoop of Superman.  Yum!!

Today I have the blues, greens and cheese-stands-alone peach for you.  Check out their deliciousness after the jump!

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The ALU Archives – Essie Cantaloupe

By on June 25, 2009
in Essie, Peach with 19 Comments
The ALU Archives focuses on older, beloved shades from the All Lacquered Up stash.

I find it funny that even though I’m not always jumping on Essie‘s bandwagon, as I sort though my polishes to pick each week’s Archives shade, I keep coming across these great Essies that have been long forgotten. Back before we had access to all these outrageous greens, blues, greys, etc., I was way more into Essie due to the formula. So when I decided that I wanted to post a pretty summery melon, I turned to my old time staple, Essie Cantaloupe. Check it out!

Back when my collection was more manageable and I had time to repeat shades on the regular, I wore the shit out of Cantaloupe. You don’t even know. It was my go-to shade in the summer because it always makes me look more tan. It’s the polish I often recommend to anyone seeking a soft melon. Its creamy finish, flawless consistency and smooth, even coverage make it a winner in my book!
Essie Cantaloupe retails for around $4 on our favorite e-tailer sites (see sidebar) and for $8 on You can also find it locally at national salon chains like ULTA, Regis and Trade Secret.

So what’s on your nails this week fanatics? Any Cantaloupe fans? Anyone planning to run out and buy it? Who’s discovered a long lost polish treasure recently?

Oh and look for a fun new giveaway tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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.

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