Friday, December 18th, 2009


Light Affair Nail Lacquer

MAC Love Lace Collection: Light Affair Nail Lacquer

The final product I’m reviewing from MAC’s Love Lace Collection is a new, limited edition shade of nail lacquer. Light Affair is a creamy, pale gray with a touch of lilac/purple. It’s cool-toned, and it looks quite pale against my skin tone. I really just want to call it a lilac-y gray, but it doesn’t really have that much lilac in it. It’s an interesting shade–it’s a much, much paler and lighter version of Cool Reserve from fall.

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Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Essie Sweet Time of the Year Collection

Essie Sweet Time of the Year Collection for Winter 2009

For winter, Essie put out a trio of shades: Mint Candy Apple, Rock Candy, and Lollipop. A sweet lil’ treat–something I’d consider putting in someone’s stocking this year. Two of the three are distinct creme finishes, while one is more of a sheer, though still creamy looking. The only shade I really liked was Mint Candy Apple; it’s unique enough to merit a purchase, and it’s fun and wearable as well. The other two just seem like shades I’ve seen before, so they’re must-haves.

All swatches shown are two-coats with a China Glaze base coat and Zoya top coat.

  • Mint Candy Apple is a creamy aqua. I know there’s supposed to be green in it, but it’s quite faint. It really just reads aqua to me–maybe a smidgen of green at best. I applied one thin (streaky!) coat as my first coat, and then I layered on a medium-thick second coat and away we went. I just didn’t really have any trouble with the application like I had heard from others. This is much paler, lighter, and more aqua than For Audrey (which is much bluer), nor is it remotely close to MAC’s Peppermint Patti (which is much greener). Against China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint, it’s also not a dupe — it’s significantly bluer, actually — though they have the same lightness/paleness, just one runs more aqua and the other more of a minty green.
  • Rock Candy is a sheer, lightly creamy pink. It’s not opaque, and it has a milky pink look to it. This is definitely what comes to mind when I think of Essie–it’s nice, and it’s certainly flattering (even my Dad would like it, probably–because he wouldn’t even notice it!, just not terribly unique to me.
  • Lollipop is a bright red creme. It’s incredibly bright and bold! It’s more of an orange-based red than a blue-based red, which is nice to see, as many holiday reds run cooler (or bluer, if you’d like). It also has this nice kind of punchy sheen/glow to it that’s interesting.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Three sweet treats from Essie for winter — if any of these shades grab you, they’re all worthy of a peek–it’s just a matter of your color tastes!

Availability: 8ty8beauty.com, Head2ToeBeauty.com, Transdesign.com

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Monday, December 7th, 2009


First row: Heli-Yum, Sugar High, Something Sweet
Second row: High Hopes, Peachykeen, Happy Go Lucky
Third row: Lemon Fizz, Four Leaf Clover, Re-Fresh Mint
Fourth row: Flyin’ High, Grape Pop, Light As Air

China Glaze Up & Away Collection Review Round-up

The twelve shades from Up & Away are all creme finish, which means that they’re creamy and have absolutely no shimmer whatsoever. I didn’t find these the easiest to apply from the beginning, but I did find that after I initially applied three or four of them, I started to figure out what worked and what didn’t for these. I did, however, really love the range of shades included in this launch and really felt like they covered the entire rainbow.

Temptalia Recommendations

Must-Haves: Four Leaf Clover, Sugar High, Re-Fresh Mint
Nice-to-Haves: Something Sweet, Lemon Fizz, Flyin’ High, Light As Air
Skip: –

I don’t think any of these merit a skip, because none of them performed horribly — it’s really a matter of what kind of shades you gravitate towards and which ones you just know aren’t your thing. (Like bright yellows? Not really my thing.) I found the darker/deeper colors to be the easiest to apply, with the lighter ones more prone to streaking, but as you can see, I was able to get creamy, smooth results with all the shades.

Here are some tips I learned about application for these spring shades…

  • Experiment with thickness of coats and number of coats. I found one thin coat (which might even be streaky) followed by a slightly thicker second coat gave me the results I wanted.
  • Make sure to use a base coat and top coat. The base coat will give the polish a smoother surface and something better to anchor to, which will help the polish look and feel more even and smooth. (It also helps it last longer!)
  • Patience is a virtue. You don’t need to wait ten minutes in-between coats, but I would advise waiting anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. Since I went for a fairly thin first coat, I didn’t have to wait long before it was dry enough to layer on a second coat.

Shade by Shade Reviews

China Glaze’s spring collection certainly caught your eye, and I was really pleasantly surprised by just how many nail polish fans we have on this blog! I will definitely try to be more consistent and include more coverage on nail polish in the future (though let’s take a break for a few days!).

What are your favorites?

Sunday, December 6th, 2009


China Glaze Heli-Yum Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Up & Away Collection: Heli-Yum

China Glaze Heli-Yum Nail Lacquer is a vibrant, deeply pigmented pinky-red.; It’s not the scarlet red we’ve seen over and over again for the holiday season — it’s marked by a lot of raspberry pink. It’s one of the deeper shades of the collection as well, but it is a beautiful shade of not-quite-red but more-than-pink.

Intensely pigmented, smooth to the touch, and pretty easy to apply all describe this formula and shade. I needed just one medium-thick coat to get a smooth, non-streaky application with an opaque finish. I still went for two, but that’s a personal preference; you could easily get away with just a single coat with this particular shade and formula.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Though a little summery, this is one beautiful pink-coral shade for nails!

Availability: January 2010

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009


China Glaze Sugar High Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Up & Away Collection: Sugar High

China Glaze Sugar High Nail Lacquer is a vibrant medium pink with a coral kick creme. When I swatched it, I saw a fair amount of coral in it, so I wouldn’t classify it as a hot pink at all. It does have the brightness one would expect in a hot pink, though, but there is definitely some coral in it. I actually think the smidgen of coral makes it a more interesting than it otherwise would have been.

Like other deeper shades in the collection, Sugar High applied like a dream–even, smooth, and opaque–in just one or two coats. I didn’t find myself worrying much over streakiness with this, like I did with some of the lighter shades, which was nice. The formula is similar to the other shades; thick, richly pigmented, and has a beautiful slightly glossy creme finish.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Though a little summery, this is one beautiful pink-coral shade for nails!

Availability: January 2010

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009


China Glaze High Hopes Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Up & Away Collection: High Hopes

China Glaze High Hopes Nail Lacquer is a bright orange-red creme. It’s almost like a really, really intense orange-coral with kind of a red flare to it. It’s definitely not “construction orange” nor is it a summery coral! It’s somewhere in the middle, and I’d say it is considerably bright for the spring season. I could just as easily see this shade being part of a summer launch as I do for a spring launch (I’d probably lean towards the summer side, though).

This was a very intensely pigmented creme formula — it went on evenly, smoothly, and opaque in one medium-thick coat. I still ended up opting for a thinner first coat followed by a thicker second coat for the swatches; I just felt like it gave it a more finished look and feel overall. The formula itself wasn’t too thick or gooey, and this one applied particularly well out of the bunch, so I was quite pleased!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a brighter color on your nails this spring, High Hopes might make you hopeful (harhar!)!

Availability: January 2010

See more photos and swatches… Continue reading →