Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am not a pirate.

I picked up a bottle of Essie Smooth Sailing from the Braziliant Summer 2011 collection at Kmart on whim. Can I just say how glad I am that I did? It is so pretty, both in the bottle and on the nail, that I couldn't stop staring at it.

Smooth Sailing is a color somewhere between cornflower blue and ceil, with microglitter that flashes pink and turquoise. The formula flows onto the nail well, and is very well pigmented and opaque at two coats, and it performed fantastically, lasting me well over a week without a single chip and virtually no tipwear.

This is two coats of Smooth Sailing topped with N.Y.C. in a Minute Grand Central Station quick dry topcoat.

I like this polish so much I'd actually like to have a second backup bottle, but when I went back to the Kmart where I found it they'd completely sold out of this collection. Since then I've been checking drugstores to no avail...sigh. Essie polishes retail for $7.99, if you decide to get it may you have better luck finding a bottle than I did!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Glitter makes me happy.

I wouldn't exactly call myself a reserved dresser, but I don't usually like to wear tons of bold or bright colors in one outfit. Interestingly enough though I really love bright nail polish and makeup colors. Compensating? Maybe...but am I the only person kind of tired of all the greys and taupes and grungy greens I keep seeing on every single girl in NYC? Not that I have anything against these colors, in fact I kind of like them...but it's a little sad to me when there's a whole world of nail polish colors out there and the majority of people seem to be still stuck on the trend of dark, "mushroomy" colors.

I guess what I'm saying is, stop wearing only taupes and greys in summer for pete's sake. How about a little color? THIS IS YOUR EXCUSE TO DO BRIGHT COLORS WHICH YOU WOULD OTHERWISE SHUN DURING FALL AND WINTER FOR BEING TOO EYE-BURNING. Have fun. You're welcome.

Milani Jewel FX Gems.

ahhh. rainbow glitter. it's like a unicorn vomited into a bottle.

I'm too much of a social leper to attend actual parties...the highlight of my week was painting this glitter party on my nails.

This was three coats of Gems over one coat of Sinful Colors Nail Junkie, over two coats of Wet N Wild FastDry Teal of Fortune, which was over one coat of Sinful Colors Rise and Shine, all topped with two coats of N.Y.C. in a Minute Grand Central Station quick dry topcoat. (swatches of Teal of Fortune and Rise and Shine and Nail Junkie here and here and here)

Yes, it's a lot of polish. It pretty much resulted from me being too lazy to take off my previous manicure/trying to hide worn tips and grown out cuticles with shiny things. Thankfully, all of the polishes dry relatively quickly, and all the colored layers were done on separate days as I have no patience for waiting around on this sort of thing.

So I'm late as usual, because by now I'm sure we've all heard how Gems is a copycat of Deborah Lippman Happy Birthday with the differences that:

- Happy Birthday has pink glitter where Gems does not and
- Deborah Lippman's polish has both hex and square glitter, whereas the Milani only has hexagon glitter.
-Happy Birthday costs $18 (asdfkasdfa), and Gems $3.99

I have to say, though, if you meet anyone who actually notices those first two differences on your nails, back away slowly.

The first bit is also now no longer true, because if you stare at my bottle hard enough (which I did because I'm a freak) you can tell that the Milani does, in fact, have pink glitter. I guess all the comparisons on the nail blogs tipped Milani off and they added the pink glitter for the later batches. I'm not sure if this is in the permanent collection now, but the Jewel FX collection still seems to have a spot in all the Milani displays I see around town (although they are more often than not sold out).

I wanted a full on glitter-bomb, so I did three thick coats of Gems over my pre-existing glittery teal foil manicure. I suspect that it's pretty impossible to get actual full coverage with this polish alone without making your nails extremely chunky from the sequins, so the key to getting the look of fully covered nails is to layer a jewel-toned foil polish underneath your three coats of glitter so that even if there are bald spots, the foil polish will camouflage them.

I've read a lot of reviews that noted Gems was more "Holiday-ish" than "Happy Birthday" due to the more pronounced presence of the red, gold, and green glitters. This is less true with the newer bottles which included pink glitter, but if they still feel Christmas-y to you, you could try doing what I did, which is layer the glitter polish over a coat of another foil polish, so that the color underneath would peep through the inevitable bald spots between the sequins and change the overall tone of the colors. From photos I've seen of heavily layered Happy Birthday manicures, the Deborah Lippman version has a lot more silver hex sequins than the Milani, which is more red-based (not that you can tell from my manicure, since I chose to layer teal underneath it) so I'm guessing a silver foil underneath would yield the closest dupe to "Happy Birthday"...just a hunch. Either way, Gems is a pretty good bet for those of you unwilling to shell out $18 for a bottle of nail polish.