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Holiday 2008

Givenchy Purple By Night for Holiday 2008

By on November 6, 2008
in Givenchy, Holiday 2008, Purple with 12 Comments

Kids, hold on to your wallets! I have discovered the most perfect sparkly deep purple polish. Ever since one of my favorite purples ever, China Glaze Grape Crush, was discontinued I have been hunting for something just as glitzy that is noticeably purple. Not just another “almost black.” Something beyond your basic shimmer. A shade filled with micro-glittery goodness. The new Vernis Please! Purple By Night nail lacquer from Givenchy fits the bill.

Part of the Nightlights holiday collection, Purple By Night is my first foray into Givenchy nail polish. I remember seeing pics of Dandy Moire, a gorgeous deep peacock blue, from fall but it was Purple By Night that got me to take the plunge.

Since this was my first time wearing Givenchy, I did my usual five day wear test to see how the formula holds up.

Application: The formula is Big 3 Free with a medium to thick consistency. It flows nicely on the nail with a long, flat brush that makes avoiding shaky hand errors easy. The lacquer is heavily pigmented, barely requiring two coats.

Wear: Using a base of Seche Ridgefilling Base with Seche Vite to finish, I’m happy to report that after five days there was only a slight bit of edge wear and one tiny chip on my index finger. Though what really impressed me is that while I was taking pics (prior to top coat) I bumped my index and middle fingers due to my own clumsiness. Yet the polish itself dries rock hard so quickly that it didn’t leave a single mark! Makes me wonder if a top coat was even necessary.
The only downer about this polish is its small size and price tag. $15 isn’t the worst thing in the world, I shell out that much or more for Lippmann, Chanel and Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes but, for a .18 oz bottle (typical size is .5 oz) that’s asking a lot. I love the color enough to justify the price but it’s definitely a splurge.

Purple By Night is available now on and with their Friends and Family 20% Off discount starting today (11/6) you can snag a bottle for just $12. Use code FF2008 at checkout!

ALU In NYC – A Visit To The Lancome Boutique

By on November 5, 2008
in Blue, Holiday 2008, Lancome, Red with 10 Comments

A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to NYC with a few of my beauty blogging pals to meet with some of our favorite beauty brands. I also spent some time interviewing a few nail and beauty industry pros (more to come on that) and saw my first Broadway show (Avenue Q). It was a packed five days but a total blast. I’ll be sharing some of the highlights of the trip with you over the next couple weeks.

One of the stops on our mini beauty tour was the Lancome Boutique on Columbus Ave (at 69th). The boutique is the ultimate Lancome playground with huge testing stations filled with every product Lancome makes. There are skilled and helpful makeup artists on hand to recommend and apply products and a spa room in back where you can receive facials, waxing and body treatments (men too!).

The day of our visit was a day after the Oscillation launch and everyone was buzzing about it and the major waiting list (21,000 people) to snag a tube. Of course finding willing volunteers to test out the mascara wasn’t hard. Connie and Janice (Specktra) jumped at the chance and all I can say is WOW. I could literally see their lashes growing before my eyes. Read all about Connie’s Oscillation Obsession on The Daily Obsession.

Now given the chance to bend the ear of Lancome’s VP of Public Relations, Kerry Diamond, I had to tell her how the fascination over last summer’s Le Magnetique magnetic nail lacquer still rages on and how we all hope for a return with new colors. *fingers crossed that our plea will be heard*

I originally thought this year’s holiday collection, C’est Magnifique (above), included a magnetic polish but I was mistaken due to some international promo images I saw online. Though I have seen images of an international L’oreal (Lancome’s parent company) magnet polish so perhaps it will return stateside in another form.

Though even without the return of Le Magnetique, the holiday collection includes a few items that immediately drew my eye and managed to jump into my bag. The nail colors, natch, the Hollywood Seductive Color Design Quad (below) and the LE Icon of Stage Juicy Tube (a rich crimson).

During playtime, I mentioned how much I loved the LE Pout-A-Porter series lipstick shade P.S. Kiss and my regret over not pre-ordering a tube so I was delighted to hear of a close dupe, Brick House (left). The lovely Lancome Makeup Artist, Lena Lekaj, grabbed a tube along with a matching liner and gloss to give me the perfect berry stained lip. While applying, she complimented the fullness and overall shape of my lips which was way flattering. I’ve always hated the unevenness of my bow.

And since all of us were drooling over the gorgeous Hollywood Seductive shadow quad, that had to come home with me as well. The picture really doesn’t justify the luminescence of the colors or how amazing they look together.

pictured (l-r): Erin (Lancome PR), Kerry, Lena, Me (wearing Brick House), Connie and Sara

Connie and Sara testing lip glosses

C’est Magnifique polishes – In All Her Splendor (shimmery ruby red) & Midnight Glam (shimmery blackened navy)

My only disappointment was that our visit didn’t last longer. I could have played for hours swatching the holiday palettes, sniffing the fragrances and testing the various skincare lotions and potions but I’ll just have to wait for my next trip to the city. And when I do, I’m totally making time to run across the street and grab a cupcake from the famous Magnolia Bakery. After being introduced to Sprinkles and Yummy Cupcakes (thanks Connie!) in LA, I just HAVE to compare them to the ones made famous by Sex And The City.

The C’est Magnifique collection is at Lancome counters now and online at And if you have the chance, I highly recommend you stop by one of the five US Lancome Boutiques for a little playtime of your own.

Zoya Flourish for Holiday 2008

By on October 10, 2008
in Berry, Brown, Gold, Holiday 2008, Mauve, Purple, Red, Zoya with 12 Comments

The holidays seem to be extra sparkly this year with so many festive, glimmering polishes headed our way. Zoya’s Flourish collection certainly fits in with that trend. This set of six glitzy shades is sure to put a twinkle in your eye. In the same vein as the Magique collection from two years ago, each lacquer has fine micro-glitter that peeks at you through ribbons of luscious gold shimmer.

I called out the colors I wanted to see most in the preview and they certainly lived up to my expectations. Richelle, Zara and Kalista are my faves in the bunch.

The only downside is the application. This collection’s formula has a “china glaze glass flecked” feel to it yet it doesn’t flow as nicely. I’m not sure if the formula has changed of if it’s just the nature of this type of finish but for some reason the second coat applied so streaky I had to put on a third. Though I would have needed a third coat with these regardless, they’re just not pigmented enough for two, Kalista being the lone exception.

Richelle is a warm rich gold that is a bit more brassy than last year’s Austine.

Zara is the polish some of you thought might be a Sally Hansen Arabian Night dupe. Sorry gals, it’s not. AN is deeper and more graple with very prominent gold flecks. The sparkle in Zara is much more subtle yet still apparent. While Zoya describes this shade as periwinkle, I see it as violet. No matter how you call it, this icy purple shade is totally unique!

Shivon is a pretty golden mauve with duochrome tendencies. It’s different and normally I’m all about different but this one just isn’t me.

Mieko is rosy deep pink that I’m oddly drawn to. It’s not a color I would typically choose but I’m feeling it.

Cyma is the least sparkly and least original of the six. A berry-ish red with low-key tonal shimmer and just a bit of gold running throughout, this lady is a “pass”.

Kalista is a beyond gorgeous reddish brown stunner. While a lot of red-based browns get to the “too red” point and black-based browns just look like poop (sorry it’s true), Kalista is a perfect blend of the two. Light enough to still look brown without reaching the funky milk chocolate zone. Zoya describing it as “mahogany” is so PERFECT I can’t even try to top it.

The Zoya Flourish collection can be pre-ordered now on and should ship within the next couple weeks. Individual nail polishes retail for $6 and the collection sampler with 6 full size bottles retails for $36. Check the Salon Locator for a retail location near you.

Lippmann Collection for the Holidays

Deborah Lippmann was definitely in the party mood when she created her Holiday polish collection. For this holiday season, she’s got all your special occasion needs covered. Elegant and vampy, check! Blinged out, yep! Red and sparkly, got it! Light and frosty, done!

Following the Lippmann tradition of naming her nail polish creations after songs, she certainly made some interesting choices this go round. Though I’m not quite sure which version of “Maneater” she’s referencing: Nelly Furtado or Hall & Oates (did I totally date myself?).

Superstar consists of a milk chocolate brown creme packed with copper glitter. Very unique. It’s opaque with two coats but unfortunately, when you apply it, the glitter rests on top making the surface really rough. Two coats of Seche Vite made it smooth, which looks Ah-mazingly fun but, that’s a lot of bother unless you are a glitter fanatic.

Icing On The Cake is a frosty, light pink; a perfect compliment for the icy winter. It’s not something I’d wear but it’s a great evening option for women who normally wear neutrals and pinks. Now because this is a frost, application is tricky. You have to be real careful with your brush strokes.

Maneater is a deep dark chocolate creme. It’s definitely what you would call an “almost black.” My issue was that it required three coats. It was just too streaky to get it even in two. It could just be my application but due to that, it’s a pass for me.

Holiday is my hands down winner of the four. Though I’m not usually into reds, I do get drawn to them around holiday time. It’s all red and green for me and the glitzier, the better. So this color is right up my alley. The base has a jelly quality, similar to I Want Candy from last fall, only more pigmented. Add to that a boatload of magenta micro-glitter and you have a hit on your hands deserving of the Madonna song it’s named after.
Speaking of “Holiday”… I can’t hear that song without thinking about Truth Or Dare. I’m kind of a harmony geek when it comes to music. I can’t sing to save my life but I love hearing people harmonize. It’s the one talent I wish I possessed. And I loved watching the backstage moments when Madonna and her backup singers would practice the harmonies from “Holiday” before going on. There’s a brief moment of it in the clip below.

The Lippmann Holiday collection is on sale now. It’s currently out of stock on the Lippmann Website but you can also find the brand online at and in stores at Bath & Body Works flagship locations, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms.

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.
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“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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

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