Category: Mani Monday

Essie Bridal 2016 Collection

Wedding season is upon us once again and this year I have a few weddings to go to myself. Picking nail polish for every member of your wedding party can be an issue. Between brides, bridesmaids, flower girls or just going as a guest can make choosing a shade difficult. Luckily, Essie’s six-piece collection has something for everyone.
Steal His Name
Essie Steal His Name Swatch
                                                   cheeky sheer peach
Steal His Name is a sheer peach that’s almost a jelly. It’s a pretty shade but a little too close to my skin tone for me to wear comfortably. I did two coats and probably wouldn’t add another.
Coming Together
Essie Coming Together Swatch
                                               lavish pink bouquet
Coming Together is basically the same formula as Steal His Name but a lot more pink. I also liked this one a lot more. It’s a great subtle shade for a bride.
Passport To Happiness
Essie Passport To Happiness Swatch
                                             whispering spring green
I’ve never seen anyone wear green nail polish to a wedding but if anyone would it do it, it’s me. Unfortunately, I hated this formula. I did one coat, mainly because I didn’t want to deal with it for another one. It was gloopy and didn’t settle well at all. The photo is with an attempt to make it look presentable and that really didn’t go well which is too bad because I love the shade.
Between The Seats
Essie Between The Seats Swatch
                                                romantic grey lilac
I literally had no notes for this one. Two coats went on perfectly for a shade with this much white and it’s such a classic nail polish for a wedding that you definitely can’t go wrong with it. I found it more on the whiter side than a grey lilac, but I don’t always get Essie’s shade descriptions.
Groom Service
Essie Groom Service Swatch
                                                  deeply satisfying violet
We don’t get a ton of purple polishes to try out and I really love this shade. It’s pretty romantic if you want an alternative to pink or red. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but went with two for depth.
Mrs. Always-Right
Essie Mrs Always-Right Swatch
                                                fierce terracotta rose
When I originally got this collection, this was the one I knew I’d fall in love with (the name didn’t hurt) and I was totally right. Two coats of this was perfection and it’s just such a stunning deep plummy rose. I’ll definitely be wearing this one to a wedding or two this summer.

Quo By Orly Summer 2016 Collection

Quo By Orly has really been impressing me lately and as good as their neon summer collection was last year, this year’s is even better. When two of four polishes are one-coaters, you know you have a winning collection. Get your sunglasses on, these polishes are bright.
Purple Sunset
Quo By Orly Purple Sunset Swatch
Purple Sunset is almost a neon radiant orchid and it’s so pretty but bright at the same time. Two coats went on perfectly and I didn’t have any issues at all.
Coastal Cruisin’
Quo By Orly Coastal Cruisin' Swatch
Coastal Cruisin’ is a blindingly bright orange and while I’m not a fan of the sudden influx of orange polishes lately (when did that become a thing?), this one is great for summer. This was a one-coater but you can do two if you want even more opacity.
Sun Daze
Quo By Orly Sun Daze Swatch
This is quite possibly the bright neon yellow I’ve ever worn but the formula was pretty lumpy. It dried down well enough but it took a little work. If you wear this one, prepare for people grabbing your hands.
Pink Bikini
Quo By Orly Pink Bikini Swatch.
This one-coat wonder is my favourite of the bunch. It’s neon, it’s pretty and it has great wear time. I had zero issues with this one and I’ll definitely be wearing it again.

Considering neon polishes are notoriously hard to work with, I’m so impressed with this collection and if you want seriously neon nails this summer, you need to pick up this collection before it’s gone.

Quo By Orly is available at Shopper’s Drug Marts across Canada

CND Vinylux Flirtation Summer 2016 Collection

I’ve gotten so used to neon nail polishes for summer that receiving anything else is kind of refreshing and CND Vinylux’s Flirtation summer collection this year is definitely not neon. While some of the shades are bright, there are definitely some pastel leaning colours. It makes for a really nice, if unexpected, summer polish collection.
Skin Tease
CND Vinylux Skin Tease Swatch
Skin Tease is a nude shimmer that’s a little too close to my actual skin tone. That said, it looked a lot better than I expected it to but I’m probably not going to be grabbing it a lot.
Honey Darlin’
CND Vinylux Honey Darlin' Swatch - Frayed Brush
My experience with Honey Darlin’ was completely influenced by the fact that my brush had frayed edges. This pastel yellow creme had a good formula that managed to make itself go on really nicely even though the brush was awful. I’m not a fan of the colour but this is one of the best yellow formulas I’ve ever used.
Pink Pursuit
CND Vinylux Pink Pursuit Swatch
I love the colour of Pink Pursuit but I was really expecting it to be darker than it was on my nail. The light rose creme is really pretty though and I’d wear this one again.
Lavender Lace
CND Vinylux Lavender Lace Swatch
I don’t think I have a shade quite like this lavender shimmer. The Vinylux shimmers aren’t my favourite thing to take off and I don’t love this shade enough to do the work but it’s a really nice light purple.
Be Demure
CND Vinylux Be Demure Swatch
I’m in love with this baby pink creme and I’ve worn it quite a bit of the past couple months. It’s just so pretty without being completely dainty.
Desert Poppy
CND Vinylux Desert Poppy Swatch - Sheer
Desert Poppy is an orange creme with a little shimmer but it’s so sheer that I couldn’t get the opacity I wanted. Sometimes that doesn’t bother me but I don’t really like the shade either, so this one’s a pass for me.
Date Night
CND Vinylux Date Night Swatch
Date Night is the first shade I tried from the collection and it’s a beautiful bright blue creme. This one does stain a bit but I was expecting that. I love that it’s not a typical summer sky blue. You’ll be able to wear this one in any season.
Aqua-intance
CND Vinylux Aqua-Intance Swatch - Perfect
Teal and turquoise are actually my favourite nail polishes, when they’re done right. Aqua-intance is a perfect teal for summer. Actually, everything about this one was perfect for me; the shade, the formula, the wear time. This is definitely a contender for favourite polish of the summer.

OPI Infinite Shine Spring 2016 Collection

I’ve been using a lot of OPI lately but until now all of that has been the regular polish. This time I tried the Infinite Shine series for the first time. Infinite Shine has it’s own base and top coats and it’s a no light gel lacquer. This is first time I’ve used a base coat with an at home gel polish and I was definitely curious to see if it would make a difference. Almost immediately I had issues with the system. Things weren’t settling or drying like I expected them to. So this post will be split in two parts; the first half is using the Infinite Shine system in it’s entirety and the second half will be using my regular base and top coats with the Infinite Shine polish. I noticed a definite difference. All the swatches are two coats unless otherwise specified.
Experiment #1: OPI Infinite Shine with Infinite Shine base + top coats

Half Past Nude
OPI Half Past Nude Swatch Patchy 1
This was the first shade I tried and the amount of patchiness I had to deal with was my first indication that the whole system might not work for me. I actually really like this nude blush shade though.
Sunrise To Sunset
OPI Sunrise To Sunset Swatch - Too yellow 1
This medium orange was really the only shade in the collection that I really didn’t like. It has way too much yellow in it for me and the fact that it had a lot of the same issues as Half Past Nude didn’t help.
It’s Pink P.M.
OPI It's Pink P.M. Swatch 1
This pastel pink is really on the white side but formula is really great for a shade that pale. It’s definitely a standout light pink from the ones I’ve tried recently.
In Familiar Terra-Tory
OPI In Familiar Terra-tory Swatch - I coat 1
This dark coral is the only shade that was perfect in one coat and yet it was still a tiny bit smudgy with the top coat. That said, I’d wear this one again.

Experiment #2: OPI Infinite Shine Lacquers with alternative base and top coats

Rose Against Time
OPI Rose Against Time Swatch 2
I noticed an immediate improvement with this bright pink. I’m not a huge fan of the shade, it’s a bit too bubblegum for me, but I don’t hate it.
Don’t Provoke The Plum!
OPI Don't Provoke The Plum! Swatch - almost 1 coat 2
This purple is just gorgeous and I could’ve gotten away with one coat but wanted a little more depth. I’m a big fan of this one.
Olive For Green
OPI Olive For Green Swatch 2
I have no idea why I was so surprised by how dark this piney green is but I really was. It’s a gorgeous shade that also could’ve been one coat but looks way better with two.
Reach For The Sky
OPI Reach For The Sky Swatch 2
I adore this light blue so much for spring. It definitely needs two coats but the formula is great.

Results: I didn’t plan on making this an experiment when I started swatching but I’m glad I did. I’m sure some people really love the OPI Infinite Shine system but I’m definitely not one of them. I noticed a major difference when I used the polishes with my favourite base and top coats instead. And actually, I don’t hate that because it gives you a lot more options when it comes to what you need to buy. The shades from this spring collection were pretty great and I would wear quite a few of them again.

Essie Resort 2016 Collection

With so many spring nail polish collections looking pretty similar, it’s always nice when we get a collection that stands out. And while Essie’s India inspired Resort collection might not technically be a spring collection, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air. There are only four shades in this collection and they’re mostly kind of on the pastel side or bordering on neon. Either way, they’re gorgeous!
Taj-Ma-Haul
Essie Taj-Ma-Haul Swatch
Pretty much nothing about this spicy apricot marigold shade worked for me except the formula. But even that couldn’t save this too yellow shade for me. I’m sure it will look fantastic on someone but definitely not me.
Going Guru
Essie Going Guru Swatch
I adore the colour of this mediative mint lime but unfortunately the formula didn’t live up to the gorgeousness. It was both thin and clumpy at the same time which made it really hard to get it to look presentable. I love it so much though that I’m probably willing to go through it again. Probably.
Delhi Dance
Essie Dehli Dance Swatch
Essie calls this a silky sari pink and I just call it pretty. It’s a perfect bright pink for spring that could also work in the summer. I’m not usually a pink person, but I’m obsessed with this one.
Nama-Stay The Night
Essie Nama-Stay The Night Swatch
Oh look, another blue is my favourite. I’m sure no one is surprised but there’s just something about this energetic Goa blue that makes it stand out. The fact that one coat was almost perfect was a bonus.

I might have had issues with a couple of the shades but I really do love Essie’s Resort 2016 collection, which really, could’ve been spring collection part 2. I also love how totally different it is from the Bridal collection (post coming soon) which I received at the same time. If you want to brighten up your nails, you definitely have some options now.

Mani Monday: Quo By Orly Spring 2016 Collection

We’ve been receiving a lot of spring polish collections that have at least six shades in them. And while I love variety, sometimes a smaller collection still has everything you need. Quo By Orly’s 4-piece spring set falls into that category. While Orly’s nearly identical Melrose collection (Quo By Orly and Orly almost always have identical collections with different names) has two more shades, the four shades we tried have all your spring looks covered.
Stand Out
Quo By Orly Stand Out Swatch - Dried Weird
Nearly every spring nail collection this year has had a version of coral-pink and Stand Out is a fairly decent coral shimmer but it dried kind of weird and ended up being a little bumpy.
Retro Glam
Quo By Orly Retro Glam Swatch
I’m really not a glitter fan but this pink holographic glitter was super pretty and would be great as an accent nail.
Always Chic
Quo By Orly Always Chic Swatch - Gorgeous Pearlescent Pink
I honestly can’t get over how much I love Always Chic. It’s a gorgeous pearlescent pink and just reflects light so beautifully. I haven’t seen a single spring shade like this one and the formula was fantastic as well.
Cultured Classic
Quo By Orly Cultured Classic Swatch - Perfect
I have to mention how impressed I am by the formulas for this collection and Cultured Classic had the best one of the bunch. This minty turquoise could’ve been one coat but looked so much better with two.

I have to say, this was one of my favourite Quo By Orly collections and even though it’s small, Cultured Classic and Always Chic are two of my favourite shades for spring this year. I can’t wait to see what they come out with for summer.

OPI Soft Shades Pastels Spring 2016

I’m not a huge fan of pastel nail polish but it’s something I’ve come to expect with spring nails and I was getting very confused by the lack of it this season. Leave it to OPI to make things right in my nail world with their Soft Shades Pastels line. Not only are all six shades pastels but they all basically have the same formula. And for a pastel, it’s a seriously amazing formula. There was a distinct lack of chalkiness throughout the shades and there was minimal patchiness and streaking. All of the photos are two coats with a top coat.
It’s In The Cloud
OPI It's In The Cloud Swatch - dirty white-out, meh
I love a white nail polish but this creamy white just looked dirty to me. Maybe it was a little too much on the warm side, but I would’ve preferred a brighter white.
One Chic Chick
OPI One Chic Chick Swatch - Great Formula, bad colour
Yellow nail polish doesn’t look good on me. Ever. But I’m always looking for a formula that doesn’t suck and this one was really good. If you’re looking for a pale yellow, this is probably the best one I’ve tried so far and if you can pull it off, even better.
Stop It I’m Blushing!
OPI Stop It I'm Blushing! Swatch
This pale peach is the shade that won me over. It’s so notoriously hard to get a good formula for a shade like this and it was so easy to work with.
I Am What I Amethyst
OPI I Am What I Amethyst
I don’t think this shade is really going to remind anyone of amethyst, but it has a really nice hint of lavender. This is the pastel for someone that wants something a little different without going into full on blue/green territory.
This Cost Me A Mint
OPI This Cost Me A Mint Swatch
It Cost Me A Mint might be one of the few green shades I’ve tried that I didn’t automatically love. There’s nothing wrong with this pale green, it’s just a little light for me.
It’s A Boy!
OPI It's A Boy! Swatch
While I’m trying to decide how much I hate the name of this pale blue polish, I definitely love the shade. It’s exactly what I want from a spring polish and considering we’re still getting snow in April, it just makes me happy.

This is such a great collection if you love pastels and all these shades also come in GelColor.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Spring 2016

It’s been a minute since I’ve used Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure so I completely forgot that you can skip base and top coats with it. By the time I remembered, I had already used both with two shades, so all of the swatches have both base and top coats. In the five shades I tried for spring, I only disliked one of them and shockingly, my favourite shade wasn’t a blue. I think I’ve gotten used to the huge brush, so there wasn’t nearly as much cleanup to do this time.
Warm Regards
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Warm Regards Swatch - VBN
Warm Regards is a bright orange-red and while the colour itself didn’t bother me, the visible nail line did. You can’t really see it in the photo but even with two coats, it was extremely sheer. I can deal with VNL with lighter shades but not one this bright and noticeable.
Red Over Heels
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Red Over Heels Swatch - 1 Coat
Red Over Heels doesn’t really scream spring to me, but this dark, classic red was perfect with just one coat. I did notice that it got a little dull as it was drying, which was probably why I forgot you don’t need to use a top coat with this line. It looked much better with one.
New Suede Shoes
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure New Suede Shoes Swatch
New Suede Shoes is a bright cobalt that’s usually going to fall somewhere in my favourites. And while I liked it a lot and got a ton of compliments on it, the formula wasn’t my favourite. The first coat looked awful but luckily the second coat made up for it.
Bluphoria
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Bluphoria Swatch - 1 Coat
Another one coater, Bluphoria is a dark navy-gray that went on perfectly. I’ve definitely worn a lot of shades like this before but I always love them. I just prefer them in the fall rather than spring.
Happy Daze
Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Happy Daze Swatch - Survived scraping ice off the car
I don’t even know what’s going on with me lately but Happy Daze was my favourite shade of the bunch. It’s a bright pink that I would normally not be drawn to, but I guess Toronto’s weird March weather is making me want something definitely spring like. This shade did survive me scraping sheets of ice off my car without gloves though.

Overall, I really liked these shades and was pretty impressed that I could deal with a ton of ice without a single chip. I don’t know how it would’ve gone without the top coat but I have a feeling it would’ve held up pretty well.

OPI New Orleans Collection Review + Swatches

It’s been a really long time since we’ve featured any OPI on the blog and since we receive so much nail polish it’s been even longer since I’ve tried a new shade from them. Their New Orleans collection is pretty much perfect for spring and we have five shades to show you.
Take A Right On Bourbon
OPI Take A Right On Bourbon Swatch - Brushstrokes
Take A Right On Bourbon didn’t really do much for me, a silver with pink undertones, this shade was ok to work with but the brushstrokes never went away and kind of drove me crazy.
Got Myself Into A Jam-Balaya
OPI Got Myself Into A Jam-balaya - coats didn't settle well
This pink creme had slight coral undertones and was really pretty but I couldn’t for the life of me get the coats to settle into each other and the end effect didn’t look great. I also feel like I’ve been seeing this shade a lot lately and with much better formulas.
Spare Me A French Quarter
OPI Spare Me A French Quarter
Spare Me A French Quarter is a gorgeous raspberry pink and two coats were perfect. This is such a pretty shade for spring.
Rich Girls & Po-Boys
OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys Swatch - Could've Been 1 Coat, no staining
I feel like bright blue is such a great colour for spring and this one is a great example. I almost got away with one coat and there was zero staining.
I’m Sooo Swamped!
OPI I'm Sooo Swamped! Swatch - brush seemed a little narrower, perfect
I love green polish but looking at the bottle of I’m Sooo Swamped!, I was a little hesitant. But this grassy green is perfection. The brush seemed a little narrower to me but two coats went one so smoothly. I’m completely in love with this shade.

I love how OPI names their shades and I’m really excited to be using OPI again but I wish the formulas were a little more consistent. Luckily the shades we received are the ones I really wanted to try and overall I was really impressed with the New Orleans collection.

Mani Monday: Formula X Spring 2016 Review + Swatches

It’s been a really long time since I’ve used Formula X nail polish, I’m talking over a year but I use their Delete All polish remover pretty constantly so I’m happy to say we have a bunch of Formula X based posts coming up. The first one up has three of their new shades for spring. I have to say, this Sephora exclusive, 3-free line has some pretty spectacular formulas. Considering these are pretty light shades, I was expecting some issues but the only problem I had was with Punch Line and that was mostly my fault.
Punch Line
Formula X Punch Line Swatch - 1st coat was good, 2nd wouldn't dry
I used a pretty heavy hand with the first coat of this peachy coral and it looked so good I should’ve left it alone. Unfortunately I decided I needed a second coat and ended up with drying issues, even after a coat of Seche Vite. It ended up looking good anyways, but one coat of Punch Line would’ve been perfect.
Delightful
Formula X Delightful Swatch - Perfect, a little chalky
Delightful was the cause of a lot of debate. It’s a really soft, pastel dove gray that has hints of blue. At least that’s how I saw it, but there was a lot of debate about what the shade actually was. With the exception of a tiny bit of chalkiness, two coats of this went on perfectly with none of the patchiness I’d expect from a shade like this.
Intrigue
Formula X Intrigue Swatch - 2 thin coats, perfect
I adore this taupe shade to the point where I didn’t want to take it off. I went almost a week before I had to do other swatches and I didn’t have a single finger with a chip or tip wear. Two thin coats went on perfectly and I’m going to be using this one a lot.

I have no idea why I haven’t been using Formula X more, but that changes now. They have so many shades available that it’s going to be hard to pick. Intrigue is my favourite so far but I have a feeling if they all go on this well that’s going to change constantly.