Category Archives: Cosmetics

Essie: First Timer

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Essie

Collection:  Resort 2013

Finish: Creme

3 Free:  Yes

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Okay

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Price: $8 USD, $8 CAD, €6,30 EUR, £5 GBP

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Availability:  I found this in Ulta when the collection was first released a few months ago.  I have not seen this in Germany yet. However, you can find this collection on Amazon, Beauty Bay, Ebay,  Nail Polish Canada, Nail Polish Direct, 6Pm and Zappos.

My Two Cents:  If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while then you already are aware of my love for green nail polish so when I saw the press release for this collection I instantly knew that First Timer would be joining my collection.  While I love the color and appreciated that applied nicely, I was a little disappointed by how quickly and how much it chipped.  However, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker since it is such a great summery color.

Since I have such a vast collection of green nail polish, I thought I would do some comparison swatches of a few other greens from Essie in particular.  If you find this sort of thing helpful, let me know in the comments below and will try to do more comparison swatches in the future.

Tips:  Always begin with freshly cleaned nails, a good base coat and finish with your preferred top coat.

Something Similar:  Illamasqua – Nomad is the only color that seems to come close.

I know my posts have not been very regular, in fact they have been mostly non-existent lately but as we all know, life gets in the way or some of our pursuits sometimes.  I have so many things to test out, photograph and review at the moment that it is kind of daunting to be perfectly honest.  So you can expect the reviews to trickle out as I get to everything.

On a side note, Captain Canada and I are planning a trip to Ireland in July so if you have any suggestions as to things to do, places to stay, restaurants to eat at in and around Dublin or Belfast, be sure to let me know as this will be our first time in Ireland. As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Zoya Vespa

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Zoya

Collection:  Pixie Dust Special Texture Edition Spring 2013 

Finish:  Matte, Glitter, Texture

3 Free:  Yes

Cruelty Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan: Yes

Formula:  Excellent

Application:  Excellent

Durability:  Excellent

Coats:  3

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  *No top coat

Price: $8 – $9 USD, $8.75 CAD, €6,30 – €12,95 EUR, £5 – £8.95 GBP

 

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Availability:  I was lucky to have snagged my bottle from Ulta during my U.S. visit (Zoya nail polish is not available on the Ulta site). However, you can order direct from Zoya, Amazon, Nail Polish Canada and Ebay.

My Two Cents:   I am really loving the matte texture trend and Zoya has done a superb job with their Pixie Dust range.  While I appreciate other companies take on the trend, I just really like how Zoya has done them with finer particles and glitter making them easy to apply, wear and remove.  The formula is great, there is a variety of colors that seems to be expanding with each new seasonal release and once I paired them with my  good stand by base coat, they seemed to be really durable and long lasting.

Tips:  I know I must sound like a broken record, but I swear by a good base coat and after having to use a lesser base coat initially while traveling, I will never stray from my favorite base coat (Essie Sensitivity Base Coat).  *Also, please be aware that Zoya advises that you not use a top coat with these.  Most top coats provide a glossy finish which will render the natural matte finish of the Pixie Dust polishes null and void.  However, if you’d prefer a high shine finish, go for it.

Something Similar:  No dupes for this one just yet.  If you’d like to get the look on a budget though you could always try experimenting with a matte top coat combined with a lighter green glitter or by sandwiching a more sheer light green over a silver glitter depending on what you have on hand.

I’m having such a difficult time getting motivated still, I think it has everything to do with the weather as we are still waiting for the warm sunny weather to make an appearance for more than just a day at a time here in the upper Franconian region of Germany.  In the mean-time we taking each opportunity we have to get out on our bikes and hole up in the house with the Incredibly Bullie Duo during the frequently cold and often rainy days.

If you’ve not entered my “Blogiversary Giveaway” yet then click the link for more information and get on it.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Color Club: Harp On It

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand: Color Club

Collection:  Halo Hues

Finish:  Holographic

3 Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan:  Yes

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Good

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Seche Vite Crystal Clear Base Coat

Top Coat:  Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Price: $6.99 – $10 USD, $8 CAD, €6,30 EUR, £5 GBP

ColorClubHarpOnIt

Availability:  I stumbled across the Halo Hues collection on an end cap in the cosmetic section in Meijers while I was in the States.  However, you can also find this on Amazon.com and the Color Club site.

My Two Cents:  I only own one other bottle of Color Club polish, but this one sold me on the brand.  I had been wanting to get my hands on Harp On It since I had heard about the Halo Hues impending release ages ago and I was very happy to find it.  Perhaps the holographic trend isn’t for everyone, but I am loving all the holo nail polishes that have been coming out and Harp On It does not disappoint.

This is such a true holographic nail polish and really comes to life when accompanied with a super glossy top coat.  While I like to wear Harp On It on it’s own, I could definitely see it being fun as accent or for nail art.

Tips:  Start with a good base coat.  If your nails have ridges you might even want to use a ridge filling base coat since an even surface will give you the best results with holographic polish.  Be sure to finish with a high shine top coat which will not only protect your manicure but it will also give the holographic effect a little extra dazzle.

Something Similar:  Nfu Oh – #61, Layla , GOSH – Holographic, OPI DS – Coronation, China Glaze – OMG, Glitter Gal 3D Holographic – Silver, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms – Diamond, Boots 17 – Holo, Urban Outfitters – Silver Holo.

I’m hoping to get my giveaway posted this week so keep an eye out for that.  I’m trying to work out how I want to go about doing it as I’m a bit torn between using Rafflecopter again or not.  Any thoughts?  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Kiko Milano: 401 Peacock Green

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Kiko Make Up Milano

Collection:   

Finish:  Holographic

3 Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Average

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat

Price: $2.00 USD, €1,50 EUR, £1.50 GBP

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Availability:  You can order directly from the Kiko or in store.  I typically get my Kiko products from their store in Nürnberg however they have numerous locations throughout Europe which you can find more information about by clicking here and choosing your country.  I believe this was a limited edition item, but at the time I posted this review Peacock Green and the other three holographic colors were still available on the Kiko website at the discounted price (They usually are €3,90 – €4,90).

My Two Cents:   In all honesty I did not have high expectations initially but I was pleasantly surprised.  Peacock Green turned out to be really beautiful and applied rather nicely.  As with all holographic nail polishes you run the risk of streaking or “bald” spots, but that can be remedied with different application techniques or by adding another coat.  I wore this quite a while back, but I do remember that the wear time was pretty average before I experienced any chipping.

I quite like Kiko products and while I find their products to be a bit hit or miss, I have definitely found a few things that I really do love, this polish included.  Peacock Green is only my second go at their nail products, although I have another holographic shade in my stock pile, but you just can’t beat the price.  Not only are Kiko nail lacquers affordable, but they have such a huge color range and continually put out new limited edition colors.

Tips:  You definitely need a base coat for holographic colors and if you have uneven nails with ridges then a ridge filling base coat can help achieve a more smooth perfect finish.  Also, be sure to not be stingy when applying this by making sure you have a good amount of product on the brush and do long even strokes.  Seal with a high shine top coat to really bring out the holographic effect.

Something Similar:  Pupa – 32 Holographic Emerald, Depend – 2036 Ocean Green, Layla – Mermaid Spell.

I really wish that some other more affordable brands like Wet n Wild, and Essence will eventually come out with some holographic nail colors as it seems that most of the ones on the market at the moment are on the pricier side.  If you’re looking to jump on the holo band wagon then check out brands like A England, Catherine Arley, Color Club, China Glaze, Glitter Gal, Gosh, Hits, Jade, Layla, and Pupa, just to name a few.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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OPI: Goldeneye

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  OPI

Collection:  Skyfall Holiday 2012

Finish:  Glitter / Shimmer

3 Free:  Yes

Cruelty Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan Friendly:  Yes

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Good

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat

Price: $5.59 – $13.76 USD, $11 – $13.76 CAD, €12,95 – €16,00 EUR, £5.50 – £11 GBP

 

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Availability:   Amazon, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Nail Polish Canada, Beauty Bay, and John and Ginger.  I know that Ulta carried the Skyfall collection and that some Galleria department stores also carried the collection here in Germany as well.

My Two Cents:  This is a beautiful opaque, shimmery, glittery, gold nail polish.  I can definitely see why there has been so much hype surrounding Goldeneye.  It looks super rich and flashy, you’ll feel as though Midas gave each of your fingernails his golden touch.  I think this looks great on its own but I think that you could also use it for layering to achieve different effects.

I only did two coats but I feel that three coats would have been wise since I tend to do thinner coats.  Also, even though this is rather opaque for a glitter, you may find that you will end up with some slightly more sparse areas.

Tips:  Use a good base & top coat and be sure to go for a third coat if you’re like me and tend to do thinner coats.

Something Similar:  Orly – Glitz & Glamour, Sally Hansen – Gilded Lily, and L’Oréal – Amazon Flash.

I am glad that OPI seems to be doing some more exciting things recently as I found myself falling out of like with them for a while. So I’m interested to see what they do in the year to come.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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