The first nail-focused beauty blog

Fall 2008

Shades by Barielle – Fall Affair for Fall/Winter 2008

Did you know that Barielle makes nail polish? I certainly didn’t. Not until I met celebrity manicurist and Barielle spokesperson, Elle (kids, she’s worked on everyone, EVERYONE!). Known for their top notch nail treatments, Barielle has joined the color game with Shades by Barielle, a line of 3-Free, fashion forward lacquers. For Fall/Winter 2008, Elle created Fall Affair, a collection of six shades she pulled straight from the runways.

Can I just say that I’m beyond impressed with these polishes? They are superbly pigmented, 3 Free, yet not thick and goopy, and they last! Like even after five days of wear with my go-to top/base combo of Seche Base & Vite, the signs of wear were minimal. Not to mention, the formula just flows on the nail. It spreads out to create a perfect even finish. Oh and they dry so quick, that even without top coat, I could touch my nail beds after a few minutes.

Now I’m not gonna lie, the first time I applied Date Night (green), it went on kind of streaky and uneven but after talking with Elle, she helped me tweak my application technique. For the longest time, I’ve put quite a bit of polish on my brush, started in the middle of my nail and pushed the blob down towards my cuticle. WRONG-O! By putting a little less polish on my brush, starting at the cuticle, holding the brush almost parallel with my nail and pressing just enough to fan out the bristles, I was able to achieve the perfect 3-stroke application. Thanks Elle! MWAH!

Sneak-A-Peek is a silvery-gray shimmer that is so pigmented, I hardly needed two coats. For a color that light, that’s major. It’s a great icy shade for winter and an excellent call for those of you unable to take the plunge and try full-on gray.

Misbehaving Mistress is so unique, I don’t really know how to describe it but I know that I LOVE it. It’s kind of graphite but with taupe mixed in. To me, it’s the love child of OPI You Don’t Know Jacques and CND Black Platinum. And even though it’s dubbed a metallic by Barielle, it certainly doesn’t apply like one. There’s no brush stroke issues to be found.

Date Night – Seriously, just when I thought there wasn’t another swoon worthy green to be made… along comes Date Night. A beyond fabulous jeweled emerald green. If China Glaze Emerald Sparkle is my ultimate green glitter and Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle is my ultimate green creme, this is my ULTIMATE GREEN SHIMMER. This kicks OPI Rainforest ass and I don’t say that lightly. It’s so pigmented and vibrant yet not overly bright like Emerald City from Sally Hansen. It’s deeper but not blackened, like Zoya Suvi, so you know it’s green yet it’s still elegant and trendy. I went through two storage boxes of green polish and can’t find one that holds a candle to the pigmentation and depth of this shade. There is no dupe! Buy it, buy it now!!

Hidden Hideaway is a sultry, blackened plum. It doesn’t have a red base but the warm golden shimmer warms it up a bit. This is an “almost black” eggplant shade but as you can see in the pictures, you can still tell it’s a purple.

Secret Encounter plays on that berry trend that is happening in makeup this fall. This deep magenta has the same warm shimmer as Hidden Hideaway which makes you think it’s a duo-chrome in the bottle but it’s not.

Two Timing has this comforting, warm, autumnal feel, like metallic fall leaves. It’s burnt yet not blackened, very Turkey Day if you ask me. I’d call it a bronzey orange or worn copper. And again, it’s considered a metallic but because of its smooth application it’s more like a metallic-shimmer crossover. A shimallic? A metmer? What do you think?
The Fall Affair collection from Shades by Barielle retails for $8/ea and is available now on or at one of the 1,500+ CVS stores that now carry the brand. Call for availability.

Sally Hansen Sent Me To Green Heaven

It’s no big surprise to say that I FLIPPED when I heard that Sally Hansen released not one but TWO fabulous greens as part of their Fall/Winter collections. The Salon Nail Lacquer line introduced Emerald Ring, Take A Tourmaline and Heart Sapphire while Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear put out Mellow Yellow, Emerald City, In The Navy and Gunmetal. I have yet to see the Salon colors on sale near me but I was fortunate to have Emerald Ring gifted to me by the lovely Jamie from The Beauty of Life, a fellow green polish lover.

Emerald Ring is a stunning blue based forest green shimmer that is dark but still noticeably green. Of the two, I’d say this one is more user friendly only because it’s not as bright which makes it a bit more chic and elegant for a green. Of course I was so excited to show this baby off that I didn’t have a chance to look for dupes but it’s on my to do list. Check the comments for an update.

Emerald Ring is not overly pigmented so three thin coats were needed but you could probably get by with two thicker ones. The formula applies smoothly and easily and dries with a nice glossy sheen.

OMG you guys! Emerald City is so much fun! It matches my ring dead on. I added a pic of it below but the flash makes it appear lighter than reality. What I love is that the polish isn’t too bright or too dark. There’s no blue undertones or gold shimmer affecting its perfection. Though it’s not for the faint of heart. I’d say that for non-green lovers this shade is best kept to holiday wear. Me… I’ve got it on for Halloween. A day that should mean glow-in-the-dark, pumpkin orange or black nails. I just felt like being “green” today.

The formula is a little odd though. It has a jelly feel that doesn’t flow or even out so your application needs to be precise. The pigmentation is more sheer than Emerald Ring so three coats are necessary period. But considering the price and final color, who cares about an extra coat.

The Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer ($6.00) and Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear ($2.60)Fall/Winter polishes are in drugstores now but you know the drill, the Salon LE’s always call for a little stalking before they’re found.

Fall Nail Trend Alert – Smoky Tips

By on October 20, 2008
in Blue, Fall 2008, Gray, Purple, Trends with 43 Comments
OK so who else has attempted the smoky eye look and failed? Come on, it’s not that easy, I can’t be the only one. Well, here’s a beauty trend you can actually achieve. Forget the smoky eye, this season it’s all about the smoky nail. From the runway to the red carpet, the look for nails is dusty, muted and smoked out.

We all know by now that I jumped on the gray nail bandwagon months ago but this look is not just about the grays. Brands have taken gray’s hazy cast and brought it to other shades like purple, khaki and blue, making the trend more wearable and versatile. Those of you afraid of looking ghostly in gray, fear not.

For day, you can keep it simple with a subtle hue.

Light Grays to try: Carolyn New York Handball Courts, CND Heather Gray Creme, CND Nordic Gray Creme, Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle

If you’re feeling a bit bold, try a mid-tone. I’ll admit, these shades aren’t for everyone. They’re a bit unusual but oh so fun.

Medium Grays to try: China Glaze Recycle, Carolyn New York Hangin On The Stoop, Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy, CND Spring ’09 Custom Blend.

And of course there’s the ever popular gunmetal shades. They’ve been featured in years past but have really come to the forefront this Fall. Just last week Petra from Glamour’s Girls In The Beauty Department blog contacted me in search of a dupe for the shade seen on Mena Suvari (right). My guess… Sparitual Mood (below right) because I know Mena is an eco-beauty fan and Sparitual is a Vegan line.

Graphite shades to try: Sparitual Mood, Yves Saint Laurent Tuxedo Gray, Dashing Diva Black Diamonds, Zoya Freja

Looking for more gray polish recomendations? Then check out StyleBakeryTeen for an article written by my pal Jamie from The Beauty of Life.

To shy to jump into gray or just not feeling it? Then how about a purple or browned version of the look instead?

Violet/Khaki shades to try: OPI Parlez-Vous OPI?, OPI You Don’t Know Jacques, Sephora by OPI Metro Chic, Sparitual Solitude

Finally, those jewel-toned and almost-black blues of the past have transitioned into something more steely. They’re grayed out with silver shimmer or charcoal bases that aren’t too dark.

Blues to try: Finger Paints Bada Bing, Bada Blue, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Gunmetal, Sally Hansen Salon Stormy Blue, Butter London Big Smoke

What do you think kids? Are you into the smoky nail look? Tell us your favorite shades from this genre.

images: All Lacquered Up, and Getty Images

Rescue Beauty Lounge for Fall/Winter 2008

Since previewing the Rescue Beauty Lounge Fall/Winter collection to you a little over a month ago it has already sold out once on the RBL site. Talk about a hit! Ji Baek’s vision of “luxe grunge” has come to life with these four creme polishes.

I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to test these beauties out and they all wowed me in different ways. I’ve been having this total nostalgia for the early 90s and my days of living in flannel, Birks and grunge gear after reconnecting with some of my college pals on Facebook (that site is totally addicting), and these colors fit right into that. They have this gritty, dusty, funky vibe that I’m so feeling. The creme finish makes them chic, not at all garish.

Plie is a re-promoted muted beige pink. It’s a great daytime neutral that is so out of my wheelhouse yet I’m oddly drawn to it. It was actually the first color I put on from this set and that’s so not me. I think because it doesn’t feel all super girly and frou-frou. Just elegant and classic. And for being such a light color, I was impressed with its opacity.

Bruised is a red based browned plum though I don’t really get the name. I bruise so easily and heal terribly that I could only wish my bruises had such a pretty color. I mean, when you have marks that last six months (and I’m not exaggerating) you’d much rather them be somewhat attractive. Anywho, Bruised applied like a dream and hardly needed two coats.

Teal is the hands down winner here though I’m sure you all knew I’d say that. It’s a blend of my two favorite colors, blue & green. How could this not be a knockout? It’s the color of the lake just before a storm. All murky and creepy yet stunningly gorgeous. I wore this last weekend and loved every second of it. Need I say more?

No More War – OK I know what you’re all thinking. Split pea soup. I’m not denying that. It’s totally fugly and crazy looking but you gotta give the girl props for going way outside the box on this one. I mean, who has this color in their nail arsenal? And that’s exactly the point. This is the polish version of Tyra’s “ugly pretty” on ANTM.

The Rescue Beauty Lounge Fall/Winter collection retails for $18/ea and is available now on Though as an added bonus, from now through 10/31/08, get FREE SHIPPING when you order the Treatment System. Considering how much we all bitch about shipping costs, that’s a sweet deal. I’ve heard good things about the Treatment System so now would be the time to jump on it.

Orly Gems Collection for Fall 2008

By on October 8, 2008
in Blue, Bronze, Fall 2008, Orange, Orly, Pink, Purple, Red with 17 Comments

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Not for this gal. Oh no, it’s all about gemstones for me. Emeralds, Sapphires, Rubies, Amethysts, Tanzanites; I heart them all!

Being a May baby, emerald is obviously my favorite stone and do you think that has anything to do with my love of green? Nah! But it is a point of contention for me with the Orly Gems collection. No emerald green!! Orly is one of the few brands that has yet to put out jewel toned green these past few years. So what’s the holdup people? Lets make that happen.

So back to the Gems collection. I have to say that without the gumball machine plastic rings on each bottle, I wouldn’t have pegged this as a gemstone themed lineup. It’s pretty and rich and filled with vivid colors but doesn’t scream jewelry to me. On the plus side, the colors are well pigmented, Golden Jubilee being the only three coater.

Star of Bombay is a deep blue-black with shimmer that really pops in the sunlight and adds depth indoors.
Golden Jubilee looks much more orange than golden (i.e. gold) to me. It’s as if Heat Wave from the High Voltage collection lost its tan.

Golden Maharaja is a luscious red based chocolate shimmer. I’m always looking for a great brown to wear in support of my Cleveland Browns and this one fits the bill.

Mandalay Ruby is the lone creme in the bunch. This crimson hue has a slightly dusty tone that keeps it from going the fire engine holiday red route.

Midnight Star is a metallic deep violet and while I love the color, the application is no bueno. The look of metallic polishes, when applied well, is amazing. I just don’t have the skill or patience.

Sea of the Light is a deep rosy pink shimmer. In the gem world, it reminds me of a pink tourmaline. A pretty pink but it’s not really a fall shade.
The Orly Gems collection is on sale now and can be purchased online at and and in stores at ULTA and Sally Beauty.

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