Catrice Floralista: Lavender Breeze

The only color I got from the limited edition Catrice Floralista collection that is out now, is the C03 Lavender Breeze color. I must say, I expected more: I wouldn’t even call this a breeze, more like a distant memory of a breeze… The color is so pale it’s more white than anything else, and it’s even more pale on your nails than it is in the tube. If you don’t have a nice white in your collection, I’d say go for it. Otherwise, give it a pass… XO

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Experiment: Essence Lace nail art stickers (Valentine’s Day Nails!)

For the nail design I had on for Valentine’s day, I tried out Essence lace nail art stickers. You can get these at Essence nail art counters, but if Essence isn’t available where you live, other companies make them too. Check for them at your local beauty supply or online.

In order to make the design stand out more, I painted my nails with a matt white color (by Elf)

The Essence lace sticker pack looks like this:

There are five different lace designs, two rows of each. One row, if cut properly, is just enough to cover the width of five fingernails.

The first thing you need to do is measure off a length approximately equal to the width of your nail. Mark the line mentally or with a thin black marker, then cut it off with some nail scissors.

The sticker itself is quite fragile and has the consistency of a dried strip of transparent glue. I used a pair of tweasers to carefully peel it off the film and position it on my nail.

Repeat with the rest of the nails. Like I mentioned earlier, both strips are barely enough to cover the width of all of your nails, so do keep that in mind when you are cutting them.

As you can see, the stickers didn’t cover all of my nails perfectly; the line was simply a bit too short. Additionally, you have to use a top coat with these stickers in order to prevent them from peeling off.

On the plus side though, I really liked the velvety texture and flexibility of the stickers, which made them seem more like lace and less like stickers. The adhesive was also pretty good, even after i repositioned several stickers. Also, once the top coat was applied, the lace blended in well with the texture of the nail, and the stickers came off easily with nailpolish remover.

Overall I give them a 7/10, -2 points for the short length of the strips and -1 for the difficulty in sizing/handeling the stickers.

To draw the attention away from the imperfections of the design, I added a few dots and hearts using a small dotting tool. I must say, I quite like the end result 😉

 

Mini-haul and Review: L’Oréal Resist and Shine Titanium polish

Just one nailpolish in this haul–L’Oreal’s Resist and Shine Titanium polish in the color 734 Black Red. Normally these are around 10 euros but this one was on sale so I couldn’t resist 🙂

I’m impressed by the quality–the color applies smoothly and evenly and is very pigmented, though I must say it’s not true to the color–it appears way more black on the nails than it does in the jar.

Here is what it looks like after one coat (with a flash):

The brush is quite wide, wich makes application easier and smoother.

Because the polish is so pigmented, a little goes a long way, and it also dries more quickly due to the less layers needed.

There’s a small flaw in the packaging: the square cap came off when I tried to open the tube. Of course this is a minor detail and perhaps the reason this particular batch was on sale 🙂

Overall, I give this polish an 8/10 (-2 for the not-true-to-tube color).

This is definitely a color I will be using often (in fact, I used it in my Gryffindor nail design, which is up next so stay tuned ;)) XOXO

Essence Metallics review

Hi guys! Here’s the Essence Metallics collection review I promised some time ago.

I got all four in the collection (left to right): 01 Iron Goddess, 02 Copper Rulez, 03 Steel Me, and 04 Nothing Else Metals.

Besides being goureous, smooth, and unique colors, these also come with a special effect.  With them you could get a small magnet, with a line-pattern on it. The instructons say to apply the nail varnish and then quickly hold the magnet close to the surface of your nail to achieve the pattern.

I applied a swipe of eac polish to the surface of the magnet to see the pattern and this was the result:

Left to right: 03, 04, 01, 02.

There are thin magnetized strips that align the metallic particles in the nailpolish parallel to the strips.

So the nailpolish works well on the magnet, but how will it do on the nails?

After applying a basecoat and letting it dry completely, I applied a quick coat of the polish to my nail.

By itself the color is quite smooth and has impressive coverage for a 1.50 euro nailpolish. Just one coat was enough for all my nails.

It took a bit of playing around with the magnet before I was able to get the desired effect, but in the end it worked pretty well. I must say though,  you have to work pretty quickly in order to get the pattern, and it is rather difficult to get the magnet close enough to the nail without touching the wet polish, if you have shaky hands like I do.

Here are swatches with the magnetic line effect (single coat):

I’ve got 02 Copper Rulez on my pinky,

01 Iron Goddess on my ring finger,

03 Steel Me on my middle finger,

and 04 Nothing Else Metals on my index finger.

For my thumb, I did 03 Copper Rulez with a criss-cross effect (by alternating the direction of the magnet quickly).

The effect was the most visible with the Copper Rulez polish, though I personally liked Iron Goddess the most. Instead of defined lines (like the instructions promised), the magnet gives the nail the appearance of a wavy texture, which is even better (you can always draw plain lines with a nail art striper ;))

Finally, the polish is very long-lasting and chip-resistant. Over a good base coat, and with just one coat of the Iron Goddess and no top coat, the manicure lasted me five days without  chipping. So I would definitely recommend these–for 1.50 Euros a bottle + 1.30 for the magnet, they are definitely worth trying out 😉 XOXO

Review: Idyl nailpolish

Recently I came across Idyl nailpolish for the first time. It is a house-brand of the DA drugstore here in the Netherlands. I liked the color selection, so I picked out a few colors to try the brand out. I chose a pearly lilac, golden-yellow, and golden glitter colors.

First off, the packaging. The jars were quite sleek and I liked the rectangular handle which can make opening the polish a bit easier. But the brushes were thin and long, which I don’t like, as it takes longer to apply and the result is more streaky.

I tried the golden-yellow on my nails. The drying time was average, but the result was pretty smooth. It took two coats to get the color opaque.

Next, I tried the golden glitter polish over the golden-yellow.

The glitter was so tiny, the camera hardly picked any up. I couldn’t bear to put on a second coat to make it more visible, you’ll find out soon why.

Finally, I tried the pearly lilac color on my toes. This level of opaqueness took two coats:

The color was absolutely gorgeous, and the little shimmers in the polish add a nice effect to it.

So overall the nailpolish was not bad: quick drying time, good coverage, and brilliant irridescent shine are all pluses in my book.

However, there is one reason why I will never use this nailpolish again, and why in fact I ended up returning it within several days of the purchase. That reason is the horrible, strongly noxious smell that the varnish has, that wouldn’t go away even after the nailpolish dried completely and even gave me a headache when I was using it.

I’m normally not sensitive to nailpolish smells (as you can probably guess ;)) so I don’t think this is an isolated case. For that reason only I wouldn’t recommend this nailpolish 😦

XOXO

Review: Essence studio nails stickers

A few weeks ago I got these cute nail stickers from Essence, and the time has finally come to try them out! 🙂

They cost somewhere between 1.50 and 2 euros and are available at most Essence nail art counters.

The instructions on the back are pretty self-explanatory and easy to follow: clean the nail, apply, smooth, and trim the stickers, seal with top coat. The package also claims that the design will last up to five days.

To be honest, initially I was a bit sceptical, considering the stickers looked like regular paper stickers, but I decided to try them out anyway.

The design I went for was the white leopard-print.

The package contained two leaflets with seven stickers of various sizes on each. Although the instructions say to place over a clean nail, I didn’t want to risk damaging my nail and applied a base coat first.

When it was time to apply the stickers, I firsted compared the size of my nail to the stickers to make sure I chose the correct one for each nail. Then I carefully transferred the first (largest) sticker to the base of my nail.

Next, I used my fingers and a manicure tool (see below) to quickly smooth out the sticker on my nail, starting at the base and working towards the tip of the nail.

This was the result:

Obviously the sticker was too long for my nail, so I trimmed it off with a pair of manicure scissers.

I repeated this process with the rest of my nails and this was the end result:

The entire process took around 5 minutes and I was quite pleased with the result. Although the stickers didn’t exactly fit my nails perfectly and left a few gaps between my nail and the sticker here and there, from a distance the design looks really cute and like I spent ages doing my nails, but the best part–no drying time!

I didn’t seal the design with a top coat because I want to see how well it will do on its own. I doubt that it will last for five days like the packaging claims, but it will probably last a night out so it’s perfect when you’re going to a party and don’t have much time to do your nails.

To sum it up, would I get these again? Definitely, to avoid last-minute party preparation disasters 😉 Would I use them on a regular basis? Probably not, as the surface isn’t perfectly smooth in the end, plus real nail art is way more fun 😀 XOXO

 

Review: Claire’s layered nailpolish

A few days ago I got this awesome-looking nailpolish at Claire’s Cosmetics:

It came with the label: 3 in 1 nailpolish. Do not shake!

I had never encountered layered nailpolish before, so naturally I assummed it was going to give some sort of marbelling effect when applied to the nails. Of course I couldn’t resist trying it out! 😀

This is what the varnish looked like before I tried it out:

As you can see, the layers were clearly separated, the colors bright and vivid: bright pink on the top, dark blue in the middle and a violet on the bottom. (There was no color name/number.)

The brush was quite thin, which is a minus in my book: thicker brushes make application quicker and the result less streaky. At this point the middle layer was already mixed with the top layer on the brush, while it appeared that the bursh didn’t even reach the bottom layer.

When I applied the first coat, I was rather dissappointed: there was no marbling effect, the color was streaky and did not resemble any of the layers in the bottle.

After the second coat, some very faint marbelling effects began to appear in a few random places on my nails, but they were hardly distinguishable from streaking.

Hoping to enhance the effect, I applied a third coat, but it just washed the marbelling out and made the color darker:

In the end I was left with a color closest to the color on the bottom, and a very faint marbelling which looks more like streakiness.

On top of that, after just this one use, the middle layer mixed in with the top layer to form a purpulish-violet color. If the colors mix together so easily, what was the point of the “do not shake” label?

To be fair, the end result was a fairly cute plum color, and no label on the polish ever claimed that it would give a marbelling effect. However, by layering the colors, Claire’s aimed to give the customer the impression that this nailpolish was somehow different from others and would give an originial effect, which in my book is close to scamming. Plus I already own a cute plum color.

So the verdict is: I would not recommend this nailpolish and would not re-purchase it 😦

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