PISTOL polish July 2013: Going for Gold & Determined Dreamer

PISTOL polish July 2013 duoWith the exception of my 4th of July manicures, the PISTOL polish July duo has been a constant on my nails since it arrived on my doorstep. It was basically love at first sight. My love of light blue polishes is very well documented on this blog and more recently I’ve really been getting into metallics, particularly silver and rose gold.

The two polishes this month are Going for Gold, a metallic rose gold, and Determined Dreamer, a sky blue creme. Honestly, I was so excited about this duo I couldn’t decide which one to wear first. So I wore them together. The two look amazing as a pair!

Below the jump are in depth reviews and swatches of both polishes!


Continue reading


Julep – Kennedy

Julep - KennedyWelcome to another Monday Funday with Katie! I’m in full on vacation mode and I’m loving all of the polishes I chose from Julep’s Sail Into Summer collection!

I loved Nan, and I’m loving Kennedy too! In addition to the It Girl box I chose Kennedy and Bunny as add-ons – SO worth it.

Kennedy is described as a khaki creme. When I first opened the box, I was a little disappointed in Kennedy. It’s a bit more yellow than I was expecting. I’d envisioned something closer to Essie’s Sand Tropez, but since then it’s really grown on me and I love the color. It looks great with a tan and makes me feel very classy – as I usually feel when I wear more neutral shades.

The application was really awesome – I used two coats and they were smooth and easy – great formula on this one. Two thumbs up.

What do you think? Check below for another picture or two and to see what book I’ll be reading next!


Continue reading

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!


Continue reading

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.


Continue reading

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!


Continue reading

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!



Continue reading

OPI Polka.com

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. Polka.com 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 Polka.com 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!

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


Continue reading

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 🙂


Continue reading

CoverGirl Glosstinis – Appletini

CG - Appletini (Outside)Happy Monday & welcome to the afternoon edition of The Daily Varnish! Horray! Confession time. I have a lot of green polish, but I will very rarely pick a green to wear. I may have found an exception. After Alli posted her Birthday Mani using PISTOL polish Dean’s List and Guns Blazing, I found myself in ABSOLUTE DIRE  need of a chartreuse green! Lemming city! I was going to pick up Essie’s The More the Merrier but when I passed by the CoverGirl Glosstini display at Target last week opted for Appletini!

This cute little polish is a darling chartreuse green. The application was just ace. The first coat was a little streaky but it evened out with two coats and I did three for good measure! My only complaint is that since it’s such a small bottle, the square top a bit bulky and hard to maneuver – it won’t stop me from grabbing a few more Glosstinis if they catch my eye, though.

There are some more pictures under the jump! Enjoy!!!!


Continue reading

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!



Continue reading