Pink Raindrops is the highly anticipated sequel to Raindrops, a popular sheer blue/gray with a few embedded silver flecks. However, the pink version has very little in common with Raindrops. Pink is opaque with no silver flecks. It does have a slight silver shimmer in some lights. In sun, bursts of red, violet and pink sparks make Pink Raindrops a very happy, yet somehow sedate bling party. I have been reading some negative word-of-mouth reviews on Pink Raindrops, with complaints focusing on its nasty, hard-to-deal-with formula. Unfortunately, I didn't become aware of these comments until after I placed an order from the UK. During the 3 or 4 weeks it took to arrive, I was resigned to receiving a high priced, finicky formula. My first encounter with Pink Raindrops lived up to those expectations, and then some. It was thick and looked like I had applied it with a canoe paddle. It was frosty and lumpy. It never dried. I took it off within hours. Slightly daunted but not ready for total surrender, I gave it another whirl last week. This time I thinned it mercilessly with Sally's Beauty Secrets thinner, shook it within an inch of its life and tried again. Apparently, a good thrashing was all it needed. Pink Raindrops behaved perfectly. It self levels and with two thin coats it is fully opaque. After five days it still looks as fresh and lovely as it did when I first put it on; no chips or tip wear. The color can be a mannequin shade for those with cool toned skin. A delicate, lovely shade of pale pink, it is work appropriate too. The original blue Raindrops and Pink Raindrops were only available from the UK but will soon be at Sephora, making them much more accessible for everyone in the USA. That is particularly good news as Illamasqua is now charging a lot of money to ship nail polishes across the pond.
Emprise is one of three polishes launched in Spring of 2013 under the banner "Printemps Precieux de Spring," along with several makeup items. The other two nail polishes are Fracas (vibrant pink) and Accessoire (deep red-brown). Describing Emprise's color is difficult because as a very pale, slightly chameleon polish, it just never seems the same on everyone. I have read blogs describing it as a natural rosy beige, a whisper of beige, a soft peach with a hint pearly shimmer and even a pearly pink nude. To me it is none of those things. On my hands it's way more pink, with a hint of peach, and absolutely no shimmer or pearly anything (even in bright sunlight). It's a light opaque shade and on certain skin tones it may qualify as almost a "mannequin" color. It's business appropriate and a classy, clean choice if you want well groomed nails that don't scream "Look at me!" all the time. Screaming nails are fine but sometimes you need a break from all the noise. Emprise will rise to fill that need. This is a two coater. As many pigmented light opaques are wont to do, the first coat will go on horribly streaky. At this point you will be doubtful you can fix it without slathering on way too many coats. However, a generous second coat of Emprise makes everything right. The polish self-levels, streaks are gone and it is completely opaque. I have had it on for five days and it is holding up well; no chips, minimal tip wear. This is what I have come to expect from Chanels. This is why I have never met a Chanel polish I didn't like. My empty wallet will testify to this fact. The only reason for saying I wouldn't buy it again as I have yet to go through a whole bottle of polish because I sort of have more than a few in my stash. Full size polish bottles contain approximately 30-50 uses. With all the competition, Emprise won't be getting called into action that many times in the next decade or two. But it is a nice color. It can be a little boring but it's a good palate cleanser after a bout of wearing lots of vamps and sparkles. Emprise also lends itself to embellishment if you are so inclined.
This is one of the neglected shades that came out around the same time as Space Cadet and Galaxy Girl, two colors that got the most attention. I picked this up on a whim as I gathered the others in my basket. Rococco A Go-Go (hate the name) is a deep purple glitter with a blackened base, as seen in sunlight. Indoors it is reddish-pink with a more subdued sparkle. Application was good; two coats was more than enough for total coverage. Drying time was average. Biggest gripe is tipwear, which starts to show up the same day of the manicure (even though I wrapped the tips carefully). This is an issue I have had with Orly polishes in general, which is why I don't have many of them. They don't wear well on me.
Interesting idea: scattered gold flakes suspended in a clear base that does not alter the shade underneath it. I have tried Golden Gun with all different dark cremes and have not been disappointed yet. I am not much for super-bling so the fact that the flakes are not glittery is a plus. They lay flat and even without top coat it is smooth to the touch. As others have mentioned, it's a bit difficult to distribute the right amount of flakes and to put them where you want them. A combination of swiping the brush over the nail and then going back to dab the sparser areas seems to be the ticket with this polish, What I like to do is put on a plain, dark creme for a few days. When I get bored with it, I jazz it up with The Man with the Golden Gun. It always garners a lot of positive comments. I have noticed something else, which is quite a bonus. The thick base of this polish extends the life of a manicure way beyond expectations. You know how hard it is to avoid chips and tipwear, especially with dark cremes. My current manicure is Canel's Paradoxal (deep greyed out plum) with Golden Gun on top. I originally applied Paradoxal the day after Christmas. I kicked it up a notch with Golden Gun a few days later. It is just now beginning to look raggedy and of course, I have too much regrowth space in the cuticle area. When was the last time you got more than two weeks worth of good wear-time with a regular, non-gel manicure? Every time I used Golden Gun as a topper I have enjoyed 10 days or more where the manicure looked fresh and perfect. I love nail polish but don't particularly love applying it. This is why I am so excited with Golden Gun.
Polishes -Chanel - Le Vernis Nail Colour in Paradoxal #509
7Out7 12/31/2012 4:28:00 AM
Paradoxal launched a few years ago for the winter season. It is a dark, gray purple creme. Some describe it as a dusky purple. In the bottle it has glowy, lighter purple veins shot through, easy to see if you turn the bottle in sunlight. Alas, this interesting effect does not transfer to the nail itself. The shade you do get is quite nice if you like deep, almost black colors. In the sun you can see subtle red and violet micro-shimmer, something Chanel is famous for doing so well.
In previous comments many have said Chanel chips too fast. My experience is that with most Chanel polishes (and I admit to having many...maybe too much) I can expect a manicure to last five to eight days with nothing more egregious than slight tip wear. Not every "trick" works for every person but I will give you mine and hopefully something I share will help someone.
Just before you apply base coat, it is important to have on a clean, dry nail. Washing your hands in soap and water won't give you the right surface for polish. You have to remove all traces of oils and soaps. I use white vinegar, wiping down each nail (don't skip nail sides) with a lint-free cloth (paper towels work well here). I have used Chanel's base coat and others and they all work well. Let it dry thoroughly before putting on your Chanel color. I also like to allow a few minutes between coats, although there are many who don't want to spend the extra time on this. Anyway, make sure you seal the free edge too, if your nails are long enough, with each coat (including base, color and top coat).
Paradoxal gives excellent coverage in two coats. The first one is a bit streaky and uneven but all that is taken care of with one more coat.
I apply a top coat (not Seche Vite, which causes shrinkage if it is directly on top of any color). My favorite top coat is Barielle's Manicure Extender. If I have let all coats dry well between each, I don't normally even need Seche but if I do, now would be the time to get that on.
The next day I re-apply a coat of Manicure Extender. That is my "secret" trick. I might even re-apply it on random subsequent days.
This review is for the stainless steel Mehaz curette #107, I found it on eBay earlier this year for $16, including shipping. I learned about it by watching a fabulous tutorial which was cropping up on the nail board from time to time. I put a link in my notepad so everyone who hasn't seen it can do so. This tutorial shows in great detail how to achieve "invisible" cuticles. Each step is demonstrated carefully so we can all take away more than enough knowledge to successfully do it ourselves. You might have curette-style tools already that you purchased from beauty supply places but I assure you, they are not as good as the Mehaz version. I have thrown out all the junk I bought in the past because once you use the Mehaz curette you will never go back to anything else.
This is the best cuticle pusher instrument in the world. I got it earlier this year from Amazon. Here is the exact description: Mehaz Stainless Steel Cuticle Pusher Model MC0020 5mm x 9mm, 5 1/2 inches. The total price, including shipping, was $27.58. That sounds high, but this is the Rolls Royce of cuticle pushers, the only one you will ever need for the rest of your life. If you try it, you will never go back to the cheaper kind. Also a plus, it can be properly sterilized in boiling water without worry that it might rust or warp. I first learned about it by watching a tutorial that was making its way around the nail board. It was very helpful in showing exactly how to remove those pesky cuticles without nipping them off. I copied the method using my cheaper tools and got good results but I wanted the tools I saw in the tutorial. The pusher, as well as the other tool (a curette) were both by Mehaz, a German company. Using the Mehaz instruments and copying the steps on the tutorial, I achieved mind-blowing results. The link to the tutoral is in my notepad. Please watch it. You will learn everything you need to know in order to achieve "invisible" cuticles. The Mehaz cuticle pusher has two different ends. There are many versions but I got the one with a larger and a smaller scoop. The tool is lighter and thinner than cheaper versions. One side is used for preliminary pushing to loosen all the dead skin on the nail bed. The other side is smaller and sharper, good for getting dead skin out of the sidewalls. The curette follows, which removes any leftover bits of dead skin that the cuticle pusher missed. Amazing tool. A one-time purchase and worth the expense.
Hansen recently released a group of nail polishes in the subcategory Lustre Shine. I picked up three of them at Walgreens for $8.49 each plus tax. This review is for one of the shades, Copperhead, as it is the only one I have tried so far. The amount in each bottle is small - only .33 fluid ounces. Keep that in mind when you compare the cost to other brands. For a drug store item that contains less than most other drug store polishes, this one is rather pricey. Copperhead went on well and needed only two coats for full coverage. In the bottle are hints of turqouise shimmer which unfortunately do not appear on the nail at all. The color is a reddish brown with a slight shade shift to gold, depending on the light. If you visualize a bright, shiny new copper penny, that is pretty much the exact shade on the nail. Copperhead yields a foil-like finish. This means if you have any ridges, bumps or other imperfection on the nail it will show up in great detail. A tiny piece of leftover material from whatever you used to remove your previous polish will also mar the finish, looking like the polish bubbled. Foil finishes are difficult to apply perfectly. Before polishing, buff your nails to smooth out the surface. Clean them with either vinegar or acetone, using a lint-free cloth (a paper towel works). Use a ridge filling base coat unless you have an absolutely smooth nail surface. After only 2 1/2 days, I got major chips on several fingers. Most manicures last me at least 5 days, often as much as 7, with no chips. I didn't do anything unusual while wearing Copperhead to accelerate chipping. If you like to change your polish often, then this won't be a big deal but for me, who usually doesn't want to fool with polish changes more than once a week, Copperhead was a huge letdown. Oh, and only using it for one two-coat manicure, the amount in the bottle went down dramatically. The narrow neck is completely empty. I will probably return this one. This is an expensive drug store polish whose color is not that unique (too bad the turqouise hints in the bottle were a no-show on the nail) and whose longevity is wanting.
I use pure acetone to remove nail polish. It can be harsh and drying. Some bloggers have suggested adding glycerin to acetone to add some moisturizing quality (similar to Zoya's remover). I purchased a small 2 ounce bottle of glycerin at CVS for under $10. The brand I have is Wilson but I think any brand will do. I took a half full 16 ounce bottle of pure acetone, added two tablespoons of glycerin and one tablespoon of water. After shaking the bottle all the glycerin was well distributed through the acetone. Using the acetone/glycerin/water mixture eliminated the drying issue that pure acetone alone can cause.
Shadow is one of the three new violet based polishes launched by Dior for the Fall of 2012. In the bottle it looks like a stunning reddish purple with lots of red/copper sparkles. However, like many other polishes that look so promising in the bottle, this one loses much of its allure when it leaves the bottle. In low light, on the nail it looks like a blackened purple, the sort of color you can get from many other less expensive brands. Those lovely copper/red shimmery flecks? You can only see 'em in direct sunlight or briefly in the flash of a camera's bright burst. A shade similar to Shadow can probably be closely duped with any dark purple. I compared Shadow to a few I have: OPI's Plum Full of Cheer, Sapphires in the Snow and Siberian Nights. While not spot-on dupes, they are really, really close. To get those elusive red/copper bits that appear in Shadow in the bottled stage, a top coat of Lauder's Ultra Violet or Orly's Rococoa A Go-Go over any deep, dark purple polish works well. Is it too much to expect a polish to look as wonderful on the nail as it does in the bottle? I cut no slack for any polish that disappoints in any way but especially when it comes to shimmer in the bottle that does not transfer to the nail. In the bottle it's not hard to see Shadow's shimmery gorgeousness but on the nail it is gone. This has happened to me before with other brands. I have no place for them on my shelves. They were all either returned or swapped away. Shadow will soon be making its return journey to Nordstrom. Before I finish this review, I want to give a special shout out to Dior's brush. If you like painting your nails with a huge, horrible mop, you will love this one. It's flat and the bristles end in a weird angled point. I am sure there is a special technique to use with this style of brush but unfortunately I have yet to discover it. I struggled to apply this polish, slopping it on too much surrounding skin and leaving me with lots of clean up issues. I have been polishing my nails for years and thought I was well past relying so heavily on the MeganChair method. This one is going back to Nordstrom. If it had been a $5 polish I might keep it for the formula alone but at $23 it's not special enough. That's my new rule, by the way, since I have tons of polishes. In order for any bottle to have a place around here, especially a high end one, it has to be totally unique in color and application has to be a breeze. Shadow is not a unique color since I have many "almost dupes" already. The formula is thick (making it totally opaque in two coats) and easy enough to apply but the odd, super sized brush drove me up the wall.
I bought it, wore it, swapped it. Later on I had swap remorse and bought it again. Unfortunately I applied it recently and still didn't like it. I took it off before I did a top coat. I should have listened to my first instinct that this is a shade I can't wear. Usually I have no quibble with the quality of Chanel's polishes. Peridot is the exception. Foil-like in appearance, it shows every flaw on the nailbed. If you want to wear Peridot be very sure your nails are perfectly smooth and avoid too many brushstrokes because it streaks. Although in sunlight there are many lovely shimmers dancing on its surface, Peridot is a sickly shade of yellow green against my skin.
We have all seen sheer polishes, particularly from Essie, but all brands have a few in their lineup in various hues of white, ivory, pink and peach. But not this one. My Pointe Exactly is sheer, but with a twist due to its unusual gray color. It goes on smoothly with no streaking, self-leveling quite nicely. Two or three coats yields a lovely translucent shade of gray with slight blue undertones. When built up to five coats it becomes jelly-like with faintly visible VNL. I was pleased that so many coats did not leave the thickness one would expect to see. Rather, the overall appearance was about the same as three coats from any other polish. My Pointe Exactly is from the OPI Ballet collection recently launched. Although it came out for spring this is an all-year color that will work in any season.
This had the usual Chanel ease of application, ability to self-level and lived up to my expectations of having a week of chip-free wearing. However, the color is far from unique. I returned it as I could not justify such an expensive nail polish with a humdrum shade.
Is it orange? Is it coral? It depends on the lighting to answer those questions. On various blogs this is described as a coral with slight fuchsia shimmer. I have been wearing this for a week and have yet to discern any shimmer on the nail although it is visible when tipping the bottle in various directions. Sadly, it does not carry forward to the nail. This is a shimmer-free, rather sedate looking coral/orange creme on me. On the bright side this shade, as well as all the other Chanels I have, give me at least seven days of chip-free wearing. I also love how smoothly Chanel polishes apply, its ability to self-level and the perfect size of the brush. Distraction was a two-coater for me. Final answer: this has the typical quality I have come to expect from Chanel insofar as application and extended wearability but the color itself was somewhat of a disappointment. There are tons of corals/oranges out there. I was looking forward to a fuchsia shimmer as that would make Distraction stand out as a unique shade. Like I said, I only see the fuchsia shimmer peeking out when I look at the bottle at various angles.
Misc Beauty Tools -Unlisted Brand - Salux Nylon Japanese Bath Towel
7Out7 8/26/2011 3:02:00 AM
When I first read about Salux on MUA I was highly doubtful that any cloth could do what years of scrubbing, strong AHA lotions, Retin-A, rough washclothes and stiff body brushes could not do, that is, remove the unsightly moderate to severe keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. It felt rough and bumpy and looked like chicken skin. I have had this condition since my teens (many moons ago). I decided to make one last ditch effort to have the smooth arms I always wanted because I trust the honest and unbiased reviews on MUA. I have used this Salux in the shower every day and after three weeks 90% of the bumps have flattened. A few stubborn ones remain but after a few more weeks they too will be history. I have had no skin irritation. I even use it on my face and everywhere else, including the calluses on my heels which are gone too. When I get out of the shower I slather on some generic body cream on my upper arms. .If you have sensitive skin use a lot more soap to give the cloth more slip until your skin gets used to it. Be aware that there are many cheap knock-offs from China. Get the real thing by ordering directly through Saluxshop.com