Author Archives: Alli

Nail Art: Metallic Acid Wash

Metallic Acid Wash Nail ArtThe acid wash nail art technique is one of my favorites. It takes absolutely no special tools, takes very little skill yet still looks like it takes alot of effort.

In the past I’ve only used creme finish polishes to do acid wash manicures. I’ve always wanted to try it with a metallic polish so of course I picked my go to metallic polish, Essie No Place Like Chrome, to give it a whirl. I started out with Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle in Gorgeous Grape (another favorite polish that doesn’t get near enough love!). After it dried completely I applied one coat of No Place Like Chrome, let it dry, and did the whole acid wash thing. I have an entire post on the technique, you can check it out here: DIY Acid Wash Manicure.

The finished look was very different from the other acid wash manicures I’ve done but I really like it. The look was kind of grungier than my normal manicures. If that makes any sense…

As always, there are additional swatches under the jump!


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essence gel-look top coat

essence gel-look top coatHere I am with yet another not to good review of a top coat.

For one reason or another I cannot resist trying new top coats. There are several that I truly adore; Essie Good to Go, RUSH 60 Seconds and inm Out the Door. As it turns out all of those are similar. They are a thin consistency and are fast dry top coats.

One evening when I was at Ulta I was browsing and came across the essence display. There were several new (to me) products that caught my eye. One was this top coat. I’ve never tried any top coats from essence and the bottle was cute and the claims seemed promising. I was excited to give a new top coat a try.

The back of the bottle claims that this top coat adds a glossy shine and leaves a gel like finish. The formula is, as expected, on the thicker side. When it is initially applied the finish looks great. It’s very glossy and does have a sort of a gel like appearance. Unfortunately, the problems arise as this top coat (slowly) dries.

No matter how carefully I applied this top coats I would always end up with bubbles. The bubbles do not show up immediately but begin to show as the top coat dries. The top coat also quickly begins to lose its shine as the top coat dries.

As if the bubbles and the dull finish weren’t enough this top coat seems to NEVER dry. Even a day after application the polish will still dent. Pretty fail all around.

That being said, I do find this works well over glitter polishes. But even still, I don’t think it’s worth having around just for that. NYC Extra Shiny Top Coat is a great glitter only top coat and much cheaper!

This top coat was $2.49 at Ulta for .27fl oz.

There are more photos below the jump.


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2013 4th of July Manicures!

4th of July Manicure 2013Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July holiday! I had a great time with my friends and family doing the usual 4th of July activities. After a cookout with my family yesterday afternoon I went out with some friends to watch the fireworks.

I ended up doing two 4th of July themed manicures this year. The first was just a metallic blue manicure (OPI Swimsuit…Nailed It!) with a single silver star as an accent (wet n wild Fergie nail color Going Platinum). The second was a fun glitter manicure using NCLA United States of Glitter over Ulta Snow White. Both were perfectly festive yet easy to do.

There are swatches of both of my manicures below the jump. I’d love to know what you did with your nails for the 4th of July holiday!


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POP Beauty Brave

POP Beauty Brave CoverThe more products I try from POP Beauty the more I love the brand. I have two eyeshadow palettes from POP Beauty; one literally has the cutest packaging ever (so cute, in fact, I use it as decoration) and the other has become an everyday staple. So when there was a POP Beauty event on HauteLook where their polishes were just $3 a piece (as opposed to the normal $10 price tag) I knew I had to give their nail polish a try.

It was easy to decide on a color to try. I’m a total sucker for polishes that have that not quite frosty glow. Brave is a gorgeous light blue packed with shimmer. It’s similar to Maybelline Teal the Night just a tad bit less green. It’s a perfect summer polish. I wore it at the pool last weekend and couldn’t stop staring at my nails! Then that night when I was going out I added an accent nail with Essie No Place Like Chrome and wore a leopard print dress. It was perfect!

As with most polishes with this finish, the formula is a tad thin but it’s not runny or difficult to work with. I used three coats in my swatches.

Below the jump there are a number of swatches including a couple swatches of my manicure with No Place Like Chrome.

If you have any favorite POP Beauty polishes make sure to leave a comment. Now I’m itching to try more!



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OPI Polka com bottleStory time!

On Friday, June 14th, also known as my 30th birthday, I woke up and per usual started going through email on my phone in an effort to delay getting out of bed. Every Friday my local grocery store, Harris Teeter, sends out an email with some specials. My options at that point were to look at the specials or get out of bed so I picked read the email. To my shock OPI was a special…at the grocery store! I chalked it up to some kind of crazy birthday miracle and decided I was definitely going to Harris Teeter as soon as I could.

Nail polish isn’t something I generally look at while grocery shopping so I wasn’t sure what kind of selection Harris Teeter might have. I was pleasantly surprised to find they had the recently released OPI Euro Centrale collection. is a polish I’ve been lemming since I saw the promo photo but just couldn’t justify purchasing it at the regular price. When I saw in the display I knew I’d found my seriously discounted birthday present to myself.

Admittedly, I love the way OPI describes this polish; “blue and violet are dancing partners in this glittery combo.” That being said, there is alot more going on in this polish than just blue and violet! contains large teal, salmon and lilac glitter along with smaller salmon and purple glitter in a clear base. Mixed all together, particularly in the bottle, the polish does appear to be blue. This particular polish even works as accidental home decor.

The formula and application of this polish is lovely when you accept this is a glitter top coat. This is not a glitter polish that can be worn on its own. I used two coats in all my swatches and had no problems with getting the glitter even on the nail.

Below the jump there are swatches of over Essie Splash of Grenadine along with swatches of a manicure I did with OPI OPI…Eurso Euro and as a glitter accent. This glitter can be surprisingly subtle when paired with the right color!


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Maybelline Color Show Drops of Jade

Maybelline Drops of JadeMy experience with the Maybelline Color Show nail polish line very limited. The only other polish I’ve tried, Downtown Brown, was a limited edition polish from the Fall 2012 Runway collection. Downtown Brown is completely different from Drops of Jade so I didn’t really know what to expect.

Drops of Jade is from the Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots collection and has large black and white glitter along with small black and white glitter suspended in a semi-sheer jade green base. The combination of the black and white glitter and the green polish is really cool and completely unique (at least in my collection).

Application was a bit tricky but not all that difficult. I used three coats in my swatches and was very happy with the result. Because the base is a bit sheer the glitter from the previous coats shows through which gives the manicure a cool finish (and actually looks like it does in the bottle on the nail!). I didn’t have any trouble getting enough glitter on my nails or it being distributed unevenly.

Removal was an entirely different ball game! I used my normal nail polish removal method which works great, even with glitter polishes. But this polish was just difficult to remove. I have polishes in my collection with similar formulas (Hard Candy Jelly Bean, Lex Cosmetics Dying Embers, NCLA Sugar Fix, etc) and none were as difficult to remove as Drops of Jade.

Just a note: I don’t think this is a limited edition polish. Downtown Brown said limited edition on the bottle and Drops of Jade does not. So hopefully Maybelline will be adding these glitters to the permanent Color Show line!

Under the jump you will find a slew of additional swatches plus a picture of the bottle. I love that Maybelline made the bottles for the Polka Dots collection a bit unique 🙂


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Essie Sunday Funday

Essie Sunday Funday bottleIt seems like nail polish companies have finally caught on to Sunday Funday! China Glaze released a polish also called Sunday Funday with their spring collection though it is quite different from Essie’s version.

Essie describes Sunday Funday as a tangerine coral crush shimmer. That is fairly accurate. It’s a coral polish with orange undertones with the most lovely shimmer. It reminds me quite a bit of Rimmel Pop Apricot just a bit brighter.

Sunday Funday is a borderline jelly so I needed three coats to get an opaque color. The formula is lovely.

I love wearing this polish on Sundays just because of the name. But as Essie so eloquently put it, this polish can turn any day into a ridiculously good time.

Below the jump you will find many swatches including a swatch in the sun.

Happy Sunday Funday!



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Nailspiration: James Bond 007 A View to a Kill

James Bond A View to a Kill NailsI love James Bond movies. I blame my mother. When I was a kid and would get bored of A Land Before Time and The Little Mermaid I’d start looking through my parents movies. There were some I knew I wasn’t allowed to watch but my parents were pretty lax when it came to James Bond.

My mom has always been a Roger Moore fan and I inherited that from her. Recently I realized I’d never seen A View to a Kill. This seemed silly on several levels; Roger Moore is my favorite James Bond and much of the movie is set in my beloved France.

The opening credits began to roll and all I could pay attention to was the fabulous nails! They were orange and so bright they almost glowed in the dark.

I immediately knew I had to recreate the look. The brightest orange polish is my collection is SpaRitual Flashback. On its own Flashback is bright. But, I wanted to make it REALLY bright. So I started with two coats of Ulta Snow White then topped that with two coats of Flashback. The result was James Bond worthy.

A View to a Kill was a great movie but I still think my all time favorite Bond movies is For Your Eyes Only. I’d love to know your favorite Bond flick! Make sure to leave it in a comment below 🙂

There are real swatches below the jump.


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Sally Hansen Mermaid’s Tale

Sally Hansen Mermaid's Tale ManicureNothing says Friday like a little glitter! Last Friday I was looking around for a Friday night manicure and came across Mermaid’s Tale. I was planning on wearing a nude and neon green dress so a dark manicure was definitely in order. 

Back in the late spring I spotted Sally Hansen’s summer 2013 Under the Sea shade collection display at Walgreens. I love blues for summer so I was excited about this collection. I ended up with Mermaid’s Tale and Black and Blue

Mermaid’s Tale has large blue and green glitter as well as smaller, dark blue glitter suspended in a blacked blue jelly base. Completely gorgeous. 

The formula is ok. Granted, it’s a glitter polish so I wasn’t expecting amazing. Using Mermaid’s Tale alone I need three to four coats to get an opaque enough color. I prefer to use it over another polish. 

Below the jump there are swatches of Mermaid’s Tale alone, swatches over butter LONDON Royal Navy as well as a few shots in the sun.



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Rimmel Mintilicious

Rimmel MintiliciousWelcome back, Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish! Way back in 2010 Rimmel stopped selling their 60 Seconds Nail Polish in the States. At the time there were rumors of a relaunch but as time passed I began to think those were, perhaps, just rumors. Luckily Rimmel finally made good on those rumors! Recently the Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish line has started to show up again in US drugstores. The line has been repackaged and reformulated and I was super excited to give it a try.

Mintilicious fits nicely into my current nail polish loves. It’s a bright, not chalky mint creme with subtle blue undertones. It’s a flattering mint color and in the same color family as wet n wild megalast I Need a Refresh-mint.

The formula was good though I did need three coats to get an opaque color. But the formula wasn’t runny or difficult to work with. That being said, Rimmel claims this is a one coat nail polish that dries in under 60 seconds. That is definitely not true but this polish did set fairly quickly.

I really love this polish. The color is bright, fun and perfect for the warm weather! Plus it’s just fun to wear.

Below the jump I have information on the new packaging and brush as well as a comparison to the old bottle and brush along with additional swatches of Mintilicious. I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of the new Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish and what you thought about it. I’m definitely looking to try some of the other (42) colors!



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