Sunday, November 10, 2013

CoverGirl Catching Fire Nail Stickers in Flamed Out and Seared Bronze

WooHoo!  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is coming out on November 22, 2013 and it's already the 10th!  Less than 2 weeks left!  So to get ready for the movie you have to decide on your nail art, right?  How about wearing some of the CoverGirl Catching Fire Collection made specifically for the movie?

There were 9 nail polishes made to go along with the collection, and today I have one to share with you.  I found the CoverGirl Catching Fire Collection at my local CVS, and the first time I saw it, they only had the glosstinis (the nail polishes) and the other makeup products, but it wasn't until last week that I spotted a larger display at my same CVS (while they still had the smaller display up) that had the nail stickers as well.

The first time around I was only interested in the nail stickers so I bypassed the nail polishes, but the second time, after seeing the nail stickers I was drawn to this glowing red polish that I thought would look great under the nail stickers.   This is 2 coats of Rogue Red with top coat in direct afternoon sunlight.

Now for the nail stickers.  First up, Seared Bronze:

Next is Flamed Out:

In terms of ease of use, the stickers are plastic so they are more malleable than the paper nail stickers some companies have, but you can still easily end up with ridges if you have very rounded nails.  I would say if you use nail stickers often, these are easier to use than the Revlon stickers, but harder to smooth out than the ones from Sally Hansen.

If you are looking for the nail stickers, they do seem to be slowly showing up, but I haven't heard anyone else say they have found the stickers.  I've seen the nail polishes at Walgreens, but the only display with the stickers was at CVS, and while it seems like there are supposed to be 6 different sticker selections, the display at CVS only had these two.  If you wanted to see what this display looks like, you can look at my pic on twitter.  It is a full stand display, so if you haven't found the nail stickers yet, keep looking for bigger displays to come in to your local drugstores.

To see the full makeup collections and full looks created by CoverGirl for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you can visit the CoverGirl website HERE.

Are you going to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and if so, do you already have your nail art planned?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Easy Tombstone Halloween Nail Art

Are you still looking for some last minute nail art for Halloween?  Well why not try some humorous Halloween Tombstone epitaphs on your nails?

Did you ever notice how technically, your nails are all ready shaped like mini tombstones?  Especially if you have square nails?  So all you have to do to begin painting your tombstones is grab some gray polish.

Unless you have some nice gray polish like NARS Storm Bird laying around, why not try mixing your own gray nail polish?  I picked up the recent release of Wet 'n Wild's Fantasy Makers Tombstone shaped polishes in Darkest Hour, the black creme of their collection.  For each bottle, I just dumped out at least half of the black polish to almost all of the black polish that was in the bottle, and then I poured in some white polish.  I used a nail wheel to swatch the color changes as I mixed the grays to make sure I had a light, medium, and dark gray, keeping in mind that the dark gray had to be light enough that text could be read on top of the color (so a color like NARS Galion may be too dark).

So, to begin, if you are using different gray lacquers, you can decide in which order you want to paint your nails - lightest to darkest, or any order of your choice.  Top with a quick dry top coat to speed up the drying process so you can move on to Step 2.  

Step 2 is where the nail art takes place.  For this easy nail art, I used Rub-on transfers.  The brand I bought was called Grafix Rub-Onz and comes in packs of 4 or more sheets.

To begin, with rub-on transfers, the way they work is that you will print your nail art on one side of a transfer sheet, and then you use a self-adhesive sticky sheet to separate the ink from the original sheet.  Keeping this in mind, with words you need to print them mirrored, so you will need to have some type of photo-editing software such as Photoshop.  I used Adobe InDesign to first create the epitaphs, and then flip each of them to their reverse image.  Also be aware, in the image below you can see that the writing is on a light gray background.  The reason for that is because when you transfer the image and then have it separate to rub it onto your nail, the ink separates from the background, so if you don't have a single background color your text is on, each of the letters will separate and you will have a separate nail transfer for each letter.  Note: that is not a good thing to have when the font is smaller than 12pt font to fit onto the nail bed.  And because the nail transfers are going on a gray background, the gray used on the nail transfers becomes less obvious.

Below you can see what it looks like when you separate the nail transfers and begin to cut them out.  For this brand of transfers, you need to cut on the boarder of the color (another reason for having a gray square background for the text), so that the image becomes separated from the original transfer material.  This step does not make much sense in words, but this transfer package I bought - as most of them do - comes with step-by-step instructions that you can follow that will explain each part of the process.

And now for Step 3 you are transferring your rub-on nail art onto the nails.  This step may take some practice.  If it helps, print out an extra set of transfers and try them on paper first to get a feel for how these transfer.  The backing of each transfer is hard thick velum, so it does not bend and conform to the shape of the nail that easily.  This makes it difficult to firmly press down and connect the transfer to the nail, but on the other hand, it also makes it easier to see at the corners of the transfer whether or not the nail art has transferred on to the nail.  The easiest way to tell this step is working, is that like a temporary tattoo, the image on the transfer becomes lighter as you rub it and it sticks to the opposing surface (of your nail), so if you see light patches on your transfer, that means it's working, and you may be able to peel away the transfer from the backing without having to keep trying to rub it off the paper.

The step above may take a little time, but if you go slowly and patiently, you'll eventually have the beginnings of your tombstones.  Now that you've utilized your transfers, you need to seal them in with top coat.  There is no dry time to wait for, so just start painting on the clear polish.

And the final step to making your tombstones look like they're made of stone?  Cover them with a matte top coat!  I chose Wax That… by Cult Nails because I was looking for that satin finish that would make them look like polished stone.

And here's the final product:


So, what do you think?  Have you already tried Halloween Tombstone Nail Art in some variation before?  Personally, I'm kind of happy that there were little ridges that showed up in the transfers because I think it adds to the ambiance - it makes the tombstones look old and cracked.  When you enlarge the image (just click on any image to make it bigger), you can see what I meant earlier about the gray background of the lettering.  It is only somewhat obvious on the lightest gray polish, but it still doesn't look out of place, since you'll just be layering gray over gray.

Honestly, five steps may sound like a lot, but when you break it down there is only really two steps:  painting your nails gray and then getting the nail art transfers onto your nails.

So do you think you'd try this nail art?  Have you already tried rub-on transfers for nail art?  Are you wearing nail art this Halloween?

Hope this post has left you with some ideas.  Have a happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Formula X for Sephora in Demolition, Thunder, and TNT

Hello!  Have you heard about the new collection of polishes Sephora has released?  Now that Sephora is no longer carrying the Sephora by OPI colors, they have reformulated their small release of the Sephora X line.  Read on and you'll see why you need these in your life (and your helmer).

 no base coat, 2 coats OPI Alpine Snow - Matte, 1 coat Formula X TNT, no top coat

Let's just pause for a minute and consider how momentous these new polishes by Sephora are.

The line of "Xplosive Top Coats" are all mixed shape matte glitter polishes in a clear base.  They range from a single color of glitter in a clear base (like TNT shown above and below), to multi-colored glitter in a clear base (like Demolition and Thunder seen further down).  They even have a number of polishes that are a mix of black glitter with other colors, besides the ubiquitous black and white matte glitter in a clear base.

  no base coat, 2 coats OPI Alpine Snow - Matte, 1 coat Formula X TNT, no top coat

TNT is a bright cobalt blue glitter topper made up of large, medium, and small hexagonal shaped glitter in a clear base.

  base coat, 2 coats black creme, 1 coat Formula X Thunder, no top coat

And now on to the multi-hued polishes!  The fact that Sephora has released a line of permanent polishes that all contain various sizes and colors of matte glitter really shows they are up on the trends.

Thunder is described on the Sephora website as containing "turquoise, lime, periwinkle, and white confetti" in a clear base.  I'm not quite sure what color they are calling the extra-large hexagonal pieces of glitter, but they appeared light pink to me.

 base coat, 2 coats black creme, 1 coat Formula X Thunder, no top coat

Last of the three I picked up with glitter is Demolition.  This was the first of the three I tried on when I was swatching, and I instantly fell in love with this one.  What do you think?

 base coat, 2 coats black creme, 1 coat Formula X Demolition, no top coat

Demolition is described on the Sephora website as "blue, turquoise, lime, and orange confetti" in a clear base.

base coat, 2 coats black creme, 1 coat Formula X Demolition, no top coat

And for one last photo, I have put both Thunder and Demolition over a white polish so you can see the comparison of the two and the overall color output these two each give off.  Thunder definitely leans more blue, while the orange micro-glitter in Demolition contrasts against the larger white glitter as well as the even larger blue and green glitter pieces giving it a general feeling of a mixture of pastel colors.

no base coat, 2 coats OPI Alpine Snow - Matte, (from left to right in image) 1 coat Formula X Thunder, 1 coat Formula X Demolition, 1 coat Formula X Thunder, 1 coat Formula X Demolition, no top coat

From my experience swatching these three, each glitter topper has an amazing payoff of glitter, and you don't have to go digging in the bottle to get the larger chunks of glitter.  I would recommend doing both a dabbling and brushing method to jointly push the larger glitter pieces to where you want them on your nails.

The Formula X line contains 62 creme/metallic polishes that are packaged with a white cap and are under the label "New Classics," as well as the glitter polishes mentioned above, along with other black capped polishes such as a small line of holographic polishes (called "Holograms," there are 5 of those in total), and the usual foil/metallic glitter polishes.

Along with the change up in bottle shape and name from the Sephora X line, these lacquers also cost an additional dollar (so the "regular" polishes with the white caps are $10.50US instead of $9.50US, while the black capped bottles that include the glitters and other "special effects" are $12.50US instead of $11.50US).  Now while price increases in nail polish annoy me and I tend to buy way less of a brand when they've increased their price more than 50 cents in less than a one year period, these polishes are definitely worth the price.  Not only are there special glitter lacquers that are unique colors that you will be hard pressed to find somewhere else, but the bottles themselves are made of nice weighted glass and feel larger than the Sephora X bottles (at least giving the illusion of containing more polish).

I bought these three lacquers along with two others that I will hopefully be sharing sometime soon this past Thursday.  The first Sephora I went to was just stocking them at 11:15 in the morning, so I got a pretty good view of half of the collection, but the store I went to in the evening to look for the holographic polishes said they were setting up their display that night to be ready for Friday.  So what that means for you is that you can hopefully find these in stock at your local Sephora this weekend.  Do call ahead as it seems that different stores have different arrival times for their packages, and some stores may not have their display up yet.

At this point I would just like to mention one extra thing: customer service.  I have almost always had great customer service at Sephora, but Thursday the people working at both stores I went to were exceptionally wonderful and went above and beyond what is probably normal protocol.  At the first store where the display was in the process of being set up, the sales associate there began opening boxes and pulling out one lacquer from each box that was still unopened for my individual examination (and I didn't even ask her to do this)!  At the second store I went to the sales associate warned me that the boxes were piled together in their storage rooms but went to dig out a mixed bag so I could at least get a look at some of the polishes.  I only mention this because I find great customer service is worth the cost.  I like spending only a dollar on Wet-n-Wild polishes at my local Walgreens or Rite Aid, and where I live the sales personnel at those stores are both friendly and helpful, but I definitely feel that it makes it a lot easier parting with $50 for 4 polishes when I have been treated like a customer rather than an interloper that no one wants to deal with.  So I would just like to say "kudos" to Sephora (and their employees) for making me feel like a valued customer.  If you've never been into a Sephora, I definitely recommend it.  Even if you just want to try on nail polish, the experience and service there is top notch.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nails Inc Galaxy in Trafalgar Crescent

New at Sephora from Nails Inc. are three polishes from the Galaxy collection.  Today I have one of those three polishes to share with you: Trafalgar Crescent.

First up, let's examine Trafalgar Crescent on its own.

 no base coat, 2 coats of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

The beautiful thing about this lacquer is that you can not only wear it on its own, but you can also layer it over another color to bring out the iridescent shimmer that is strongly present in this polish.

 no base coat, 2 coats of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

And now let's examine how just one coat looks over a plain white creme:

 no base coat, 2 coats of OPI Alpine Snow - Matte, 1 coat of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

For some very odd reason the white base looks like it is tinted yellow under this polish.  Now, I didn't notice this when I was taking photos of this swatch, but it could be either the white polish that is old, or it could be the iridescent base that makes this polish lean off-white rather than look completely white.

 no base coat, 2 coats of OPI Alpine Snow - Matte, 1 coat of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

The above image is one of the better examples of the indigo/violet shimmer that is strongly present in this polish.  In some lights the shimmer looks completely purple, but over black (as seen below), the blue sheen becomes apparent.

Below is where this polish really shines - one coat over a straight black creme polish.

 base coat, 1 coat of Fantasy Makers Darkest Hour, 1 coat of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

base coat, 1 coat of Fantasy Makers Darkest Hour, 1 coat of Trafalgar Crescent, no top coat

These polishes are now available in Sephora stores as well as online.  Trafalgar Crescent is a perfect winter polish.  A mix of medium sized silver hexagonal glitter with smaller holographic hexagonal glitter all suspended in a shimmering violet/indigo base.

The other two colors in the collection are Knightsbridge Road and Buckingham Court, a mostly gold glitter and a mostly red glitter.  Unlike Trafalgar Crescent, the other two do not have iridescent shimmer in the base (or at least from what I could see when I tried them on in store).

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Deborah Lippmann 99 Luftballons

Have you heard the news?  Deborah Lippmann is now at Sephora!  And to celebrate the monumentous occasion, Deborah Lippmann is releasing a 4 polish collection just for Sephora.  There are 3 cremes and 1 glitter polish in this new collection.

When I first heard about this collection, I rushed onto to order the glitter.  Meet 99 Luftballons.

I may have taken a few hundred photos of this polish, but I have narrowed it down to 8 shots to show you how this polish looks first without top coat, and then with top coat.

 no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, no top coat

The above photograph was taken in indirect sunlight.

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, no top coat

The above and below photos were taken using an Ott-lite.

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, no top coat

The photo below was taken in direct sunlight.  Can you see that great glow from the glitter?

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, no top coat

And now for the photos taken after top coat:

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, top coat

In the above photo, you can see how the top coat helps the glitter pop from the jelly red base of the polish.

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, top coat

  no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, top coat

 no base coat, 2 coats of 99 Luftballons, top coat

So what do you think?

Now I have to mention, something that first drew me to this polish was the name.  I love it!  That used to be a song I listened to a lot when I was younger and just wearing this polish gives me a nostalgic feeling.

99 Luftballons is what we've come to expect from Deborah Lippmann: a supremely glitter-packed polish.  The red jelly base is that shade of red that almost borders on pink in certain lighting.  To get a better idea of the type of glitter and the colors held within, think of Happy Birthday with a sheer red base.

I really like this polish - it's sparkly and shiny even in low light, and the red base will make it perfect for any time (including the upcoming Holiday season).

If you want to add this polish to your collection, head over to and add this to your basket! And if you're a Beauty Insider, for only 100 points you can get a mini version of Happy Birthday.  If you have never tried Deborah Lippmann before, now is the time!  You can pick up any Deborah Lippmann shade, and for only 100 points you can snag her most beloved glitter!  The mini size is .27 fl. oz./8 mL, which is the same size as the mini DL's you can buy on  The great thing about these minis are the fact that the bottle is just a smaller version of the beautiful DL bottle, and each bottle is labeled on the bottom just like the regular sized bottles - something that I greatly appreciate!  

Now if that isn't incentive to go buy this polish, I don't know what is!

Deborah Lippmann Va Va Voom and Rolling in the Deep

Today I have two lacquers from Deborah Lippmann's Jewel Heist collection to share with you: Va Va Voom and Rolling in the Deep!

 base coat, 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat

So first let's take a look at the creme part of this duo.  The Jewel Heist collection features 6 polishes in total.  There are 3 chunky glitter polishes, 2 cremes, and 1 micro-glitter polish.  There are 2 golden shades, 2 green shades, and 2 blue shades, where each shade has a chunky glitter polish and a corresponding creme or micro glitter polish in a similar color.

The photograph above is Rolling in the Deep against a white background with an Ott-lite lightbulb.

base coat, 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat 

To give you a better idea of how blackened this polish is while still remaining blue in color, I also wanted to show it to you against a black background.  At first glance this polish does look black in most lighting conditions, so don't be surprised if people assume you are wearing a black polish when you have this on!

The lighting in the above photo is an Ott-lite.

 base coat, 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat

A very interesting aspect to this deep blue creme is the fact that it has a very faint silver micro-shimmer to it.  I have tried to capture the illusive sparkle, but it is only visible around where the light reflections on each nail are.  In the photo above, on the nail second from the left (my middle finger), you can faintly see two silver specks.  This is the sparkle.  In real life you can see the sparkle better, but for the most part it is swallowed up by the deep blue creme finish.

For a better view, click the photo to make it bigger.

 base coat, 1 coat of Va Va Voom over 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat

With the above picture, you can get a better understanding for how well these two colors pair up!

This is Va Va Voom layered over Rolling in the Deep.

 base coat, 1 coat of Va Va Voom over 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat

Against the black background the contrast between the glitter and the creme background really pops out at you.

 base coat, 1 coat of Va Va Voom over 2 coats of Rolling in the Deep, no top coat

And one last look at the pair in indirect sunlight to see the sparkle and color contrast.

 base coat, 2 coats of Va Va Voom, top coat

Va Va Voom is the show stopper part of this duo!  This polish contains large silver hexagonal glitter and smaller (almost micro hexagonal glitter) - both of which is holographic!  All of the glitter floats in a lovely blue base.  The blue jelly finish of the base leans slightly purple, giving it a look of a dark periwinkle blue/cornflower blue.

 base coat, 2 coats of Va Va Voom, top coat

Because this polish is packed with glitter, at two coats the glitter is built up to almost complete opacity.  If you enlarge the photos by clicking on them, you can still see some spots on some of the nails where you can see through the blue jelly finish to the nail bed below.

base coat, 2 coats of Va Va Voom, top coat

This was such a beautiful color to wear that I didn't want to take it off after swatching it, so I wore it on my left hand for the rest of the evening....

Which led me to the reminder of how hard glitter polishes are to get off.  If you have used a Deborah Lippmann polish like Happy Birthday or another glitter-packed polish, you know how hard it is to get the glitter to come off your nails.  On the bright side, what that means for wear time is that this polish really lasts, so you won't have to worry about re-doing your manicure the very next day!

Another side note I'd like to add is the fact that even though I did put on a base coat (Deborah Lippmann's Turn Back Time), I still had a few patches of staining, so I would suggest doubling up your base coat before painting your nails with Rolling in the Deep.

These polishes are both beautiful additions to the Deborah Lippmann line.  Rolling in the Deep has that extra secret shimmer that is often associated with Chanel polishes, making it an extra special midnight blue hue, while Va Va Voom is a seriously sparkly blue glitter polish that is truly unique and covetable.

I purchased these two polishes as a pair on, but you can buy these individually on Deborah Lippmann's website, or at your local Nordstrom and Sephora.