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Winter 2008

Essie Winter 2008 Collection

By on January 21, 2009
in Essie, Gold, Purple, Red, Vampy, Winter 2008 with 15 Comments
As much as I would love to jump ahead straight to Spring, the gross, gray weather and piles of snow outside my door keep reminding me that it’s still Winter. Spring seems a far cry away which too depressing for words. Is one day without a visit from the plow guys too much to ask?

Before I start inundating you with Spring collections, let’s take a look at Essie Winter since most of us are still wearing dark shades and haven’t started the seasonal transition.

I must admit, Essie’s winter collection surprised me. I’ve come to think of Essie as playing it safe, targeting the conservative consumer with more reds, pink and sheers than you can shake a stick at. So to see a collection with purples and gold made me happy. Very on trend Essie!

My only disappointment was with the pigmentation. All the shades, with one lone exception, required three coats. Es no bueno! Though I was pleased to discover that, for the most part, application was phenomenal. I wasn’t sure how the first batch of shimmers in the new toluene and DBP free formula would hold up but they fared well.

Sexy Divide – let’s start out with a bang, shall we? Sexy Divide is by far my fave of the group. She is everything I want in a purple; deep and rich without crossing over to that dreaded “almost black” territory. If you buy one Essie this year, this is the ONE!

Shift Power was my problem child. No matter how hard I tried or how many times I tried, I just couldn’t get this one to work out. The application was a major pain. I so wanted to love this golden beauty but as you can clearly see, it was not a winner.

It’s Genius has these amazing ribbons of gold running throughout its deep mauve-y base. The shimmer gives it a metallic look yet it applies smooth like a shimmer. Truly a fantastic polish. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite shades, China Glaze Steppin Out.

Rock Star Skinny was as much a surprise for me as it was for reader MooeySullivan. She’s totally right. Looks like nothing special in the bottle but on the nail… Ka-pow! Luscious, deep and captivating. This browned burgundy shimmer is a “rock star” though it really doesn’t translate in photos. You have to see it on the nail to understand.

Bold and Beautiful gets the snore award for failing to wow. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it. It’s a classic Essie creme. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Probably thrown in to appease the more classic nail gal.

There’s something about Damsel In A Dress. I can’t put my finger on it but somehow this blackened plum has won me over. It could be the subtle silver shimmer, the way it reminds me of a grape popsicle or just the fact that my purple phase is still going strong but I’m totally diggin’ it.
The Essie Winter collection is on sale now and can be found at chain salons/stores like ULTA, Trade Secret and Regis or online at and

Thoughts? I’m sure some of you have indulged by now. Which ones are your favorites?

Dashing Diva Sneak Peek – The Manhattan Collection

By on December 17, 2008
in Dashing Diva, Holiday 2008, Winter 2008 with 2 Comments

Hey kids! Guess who’s got the scoop on the new Dashing Diva collection? That’s right, moi! To celebrate the new year and a successful five years in New York, Dashing Diva is launching The Manhattan Collection which just happens to coincide with the opening of their 8th New York location on Long Island.

The Manhattan Collection
Central Park After Dark – a soft wine, burgundy

East Village – chocolate brown

NYPD Blue – true dark navy blue

The Red Carpet – true bright red

And just in time for the holidays, Dashing Diva released two new metallics. Rich and sparkling to add a bit of flair to your party look, Golden Opportunity and A Silver Lining are pure bling.

Dashing Diva products can be found at their salons and online at Right now, they have a bunch of colors on sale for 25% off, including one of my favorite blues ever… Stellar Ella, so check it out.

Full reviews of The Manhattan Collection are on their way so stay tuned.

Update on the OPI 90210 Collection

By on November 18, 2008
in OPI, Winter 2008 with 7 Comments

Well kids, I can finally confirm that the 90210 collection from OPI I posted about over the summer will be a reality.

Releasing in January 2009, the collection will consist of three shades inspired by the current series. So even though we’ve seen The Peach Pit randomly pop up on the new 90210, we won’t be seeing a polish with that name.

“OPI is so excited about tying in with the pop culture success of 90210,” said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “The 90210 audience loves the latest in fashion and celeb style, and OPI is right there with these on-trend shades for nails. These colors capture the show’s sizzling vibe – and will be released just in time for that perfect Valentine’s Day date!”

The 90210 Collection includes:

Queen of West Web-erly – Lots of blog buzz for this purple shimmer.

Sweet as Annie-thing! – Irresistible lollipop red.

Pretty & Privileged – You’re entitled to this ruby red!

Being the huge original 90210 fan that I am (I DVR the repeats on SoapNet), I had really high hopes for the new series and, as my pal Jamie knows, I almost stopped watching. Though thanks to my season pass continuing to record the show, I’m now hooked. Do I love it as much as the original? NO! But I’ll keep watching to see how this Annie & Ethan romance plays out and because even a few moments of Brenda & Kelly make watching the whole show worthwhile.

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.

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