Inspired by all the sparkly, pretty pastel desserts of Paris, Essie’s summer collection fits right into that description and are some of the sweetest shades I’ve seen for hot weather. We received three of the six shades to try and while I still need to get my hands on S’il Vous Play, I do love these shades for summer. They’re so different from the typical neon polishes we get around this time of year. Unfortunately, Toronto is in the middle of a crazy humid heatwave and not all the shades cooperated.
Normally this ‘pastel Parisian blue’ would be my favourite of the bunch. I don’t know if it was the formula, my specific bottle or a combination that caused me to have major settling issues. I had to redo my ring finger three times before I could get it presentable enough for a photo. I’m betting on humidity being the culprit, so I’m hanging onto this bottle to try again later. Because it’s so, so pretty.
Fondant Of You
Lately, when I’m presented with an orange nail polish, my initial reaction is ‘another one?’ But this ‘shimmery apricot marmalade is so much nicer than I expected. Two thin coats were all I needed and while I saw more of the gold shimmer in the bottle than on my nails, I really like this for summer.
Baguette Me Not
This was the biggest surprise for me. This ‘pastel lilac macaron’ actually makes me think of french macarons and summertime. Two thin coats were perfect and it was a tiny bit patchy but settled down well. I’ve worn it out once and got a ton of comments about how pretty it is. Sold.
I wish I had the other half of the collection to try out but I’m really happy with the three I tried. Well, I will be if I can get Blue-la-la to cooperate.
We’re way behind on spring nail polish, but we’re working on it. OPI’s spring collection this year is Fiji and it comes in the regular polish, Infinite Shine and GelColor. Infinite Shine has quickly become my favourite type of OPI polish, so I was really happy that those were the ones we got. While I love the new IS base and top coats, all of these photos don’t use any.
Coconuts Over OPI
Go native and do Fiji in the buff with our subtle and toasty taupe.
This is a really nice taupe for my skin tone and two coats were perfect. I don’t know if I would call this spring, but if you’re looking for a good nude polish this is a good one.
No Tan Lines
What better way to complement a flawless island tan, then a warm sunrise orange?
This papaya shade had good coverage in two coats but did have slight pooling issues. It’s a little too yellow for my personal taste but I can imagine it could be a very popular shade.
Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet
They bask in their own golden glow, which is just what you’ll do in this radiant yellow.
I really hate yellow nail polish but if I had to wear one, this is a nice, bright one. It’s a tiny bit patchy but otherwise went on well in two coats. For a yellow, this is a great formula.
Getting Nadi On My Honeymoon
Not just for blushing brides, this pretty hibiscus pink has everyone feeling the heat.
This pink is really pretty but boy did it have patchiness problems. Even with two coats, you can see the unevenness and I really tried to get it smooth. I tried it was a top coat afterwards and it didn’t help much, so the photo is without.
Two-timing The Zones
Why stop with just one? More zones mean more time to flaunt this vibrant pink.
This bright pink was two easy coats and just gorgeous. It’s a great spring shade and definitely one of my favourites.
Living On The Bula-vard!
It’s “Well Hello There!” up and down when this punchy red pops in for a visit.
I really liked this orange-red more than I expected to. One coat was good, but two was better. This one’s definitely an attention getter, but watch out, it stains.
Polly Want A Lacquer?
The paradise perfection of this lovely lavender has island birds all a chatter.
This really screams spring to me and I basically looked at it and thought ‘aren’t you pretty?’ Good formula, two easy coats, perfect for spring.
I Can Never Hut Up
And why should you? You’re mesmerizing in this iridescent, edge-of-dawn grey.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to photograph the hidden shimmer in this polish, but I’m really happy I was able to capture a little of it. In the sunlight, this is stunning. It was a very runny formula though, so I had to apply the two coats very carefully. Worth it.
Suzi Without A Paddle
Who needs one when you’re up a creek with this cool and tranquil blue?
While I like the colour of this one, it was both runny and patchy. That’s not really a fun combination. Even though I managed to make this pretty blue presentable in two coats, there are too many similar shades to make this one worth it for me.
Is That A Spear In Your Pocket?
But of course everyone’s happy to see you in this lush, tropical teal.
I loved the last three shades so much that I have a bunch of hearts all over my notes, so let the gushing begin. This teal is not only a one-coater, but it’s pretty amazing. I haven’t found a teal this good in years, but it’s a stainer.
Take a day trip to get lost and found in this bottomless reflection of Sea and Sky.
The name of this polish takes way too long to type but the formula is basically the same as Is That A Spear In Your Pocket? One coat? Yes. Perfect Formula? Yes. Staining? NO! Plus it’s a fairly decent match to my Toronto Blue Jays jersey. This polish has win all over it.
Do You Sea What I Sea?
It’s easy to sea why this shimmering ocean blue is the right color for you.
I don’t even have words for how much I love this one. It’s very sheer so I was wondering how many coats it would take me until I hit opacity. Turns out I only needed two. It’s just spectacular. Did I mention this is without a top coat?I just love it.
I’m really impressed with the Fiji collection and how good the Infinite Shine formulas were. I’ve heard some of the regular polishes weren’t quite as good, but I really had very few issues. More spring polishes coming soon.
This has really been the weirdest winter I can ever remember Toronto having. But even with the unseasonably warm days, I’m more than ready for the cold fronts to disappear. Luckily I have a bunch of spring nail polish collections to get me ready for spring. First up is CND Vinylux’s Rhythm & Blues collection. There are six creme shades that are almost all available in Shellac as well (Vinylux’s Splash Of Teal is replaced by Shimmering Shores for the Shellac collection). Vinylux cremes are consistently some of my favourites, so I was thrilled to get a collection full of them. Every single shade was also two really easy coats and with the Vinylux Top Coat, they all dried super fast. These shades aren’t all traditional spring but they’re definitely putting me in the right headspace for it.
Mambo Beat is a bright, slightly sheer coral. You could probably get complete opacity with more coats but I really liked the effect of two. This is a fantastic not quite red, not quite orange shade and can carry you into summer.
Shells In the Sand
This white-ish peach is the only formula I had any kind of issues with. It was a touch patchy but thicker coats and the top coat definitely helped.
The only notes I have for this bright berry shade are two coats, perfect. That pretty much says it all. This is definitely a spring polish I can get behind.
Sugar Cane is somewhere between a light pistachio and a lime shade. With a little too much yellow for me. The first coat was pretty patchy but the second one evened it out.
I really love this dark forest green. I was half expecting a one-coater here but the first coat was super sheer, luckily the second coat was perfect.
Splash Of Teal
I really wasn’t expecting to love this deep teal blue quite this much but I really, really love it. It’s a little brighter than the photo but Toronto’s natural light has been a pain lately. The formula was slightly runny but two coats went on perfectly. And no staining! For the entire collection.
I love trying new beauty brands, but I especially love finding new nail polish brands. Londontown is an American company with roots in the UK. The founder implemented her great-aunt’s botanical recipe in a nail care brand that’s not only vegan but 9-free. I received a number of Londontown products to try but I’m starting with the three Enhanced Colour Lakurs before I move on to the other nail care goodies. I had seriously varying results between the three shades but with 80+ polishes to pick from, there are quite a few more I’d like to try. As far as I can tell, if you want to buy these in Canada, the Shopping Channel is the only place to get them.
Londontown calls Tube Underground a ‘perfect dark chocolate cream,’ to which I say, nope. There is very little that’s brown about this shade, it’s really verging on black. I would actually like the shade a lot but the formula was a little thick and hard to spread. Two coats looked good but I would probably add a touch of thinner before I use this one again.
Where Tube Underground was too thick, Lady Luck’s dark burgundy formula was a touch on the thin side and actually got really runny which made it settle weirdly. Two coats got full opacity but I almost wish I could find the happy medium between Lady Luck and Tube Underground.
And then I did. I swear these polishes were starting to feel very Goldilocks and Buckingham Blue was just right. This deep navy looks a lot more blue in person and it was a one-coater. Pretty much everything about this shade was perfect. I love the formula and the colour and this is the one that makes me want to try more.
I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m not a fan of OPI’s Infinite Shade base and top coats. So when the reformulated versions arrived at my door, I was definitely ready to test them out. The new PROSTAY system comes with a primer (base coat) and gloss (top coat). These new formulas are supposed to give you up to 11 days of gel-like wear and shine. I can’t even tell you how much better they work than the original formula. I would use both of these with any polish. The primer is really smooth and dries quickly but is also a little sticky which makes polish stay put. The gloss dries your polish in minutes and gives off serious shine. I had zero problems with these while I was testing out six of the new Infinite Shine Iconic shades.
OPI has added 30 new shades to the collection this month, and while we only got six, I had never tried any of them in the regular formulas before but there are definitely more I want to try. The formulas are pretty fantastic and I had multiple one-coaters, which is pretty exciting for OPI polish.
The sweetest, softest pale pink
This delicate blush pink is so pretty. Two coats went on pretty well and while it was a touch patchy and chalky, the overall result was a really classy nail.
Got The Blues For Red
A melodious blue-red that hits all the right notes
This dark red verges into burgundy territory depending on how many coats you do. 1 coat looked good and was a lot brighter but two coats just looked so much better. The photo is with two. I love this shade a lot.
Do You Lilac It?
Light purple with attitude
This pretty lilac shade is one-coater and look at that depth. It’s so, so pretty and was a dream to work with.
This pastel mint green makes me dance with joy!
I like the colour of this one a lot and two coats went on pretty well but this was the only one where I had tip wear almost immediately and it chipped as well. Considering I only wore it for about twenty minutes, that’s saying something.
Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey
Make “space” for this pale gold touch of star shine.
I’m really not a fan of these champagne shades but I know a lot of people who love them. This formula was pretty runny but two coats were good. My biggest issue was getting the top coat on it. You really have to have a lot on the brush and barely let the brush touch your nail or you’ll get big drag marks.
The shade that started it all.
I don’t buy a lot of red polish, which is really the only excuse I have for never trying this cult red classic. This kind of red is perfect for my skin tone and I was thrilled that it went on in one perfect coat. I seriously love this polish and I can understand why it’s loved by so many. Iconic indeed. This is my favourite of the six.
I’m so happy OPI redid the Infinite Shine system, it really works so much better now. I can’t wait to try it with some of the older shades IS shades I have.
It might feel like winter in Toronto, but it’s still technically fall. And since I love fall nail polish collections (especially CND’s) I’m ok with that. Modern Folklore might still be my favourite Vinylux collection but Craft Culture is exactly what I expect from a CND fall launch; lots of shimmer and microglitter, some red and some unexpected shades that I really love.
I love when brands bring out shades like this. A yellow-gold microglitter, this goes on really smoothly and had great coverage in two coats. In the sunshine, the dimension in this shade is a little insane. It’ll totally carry over into a great holiday party shade too.
I don’t have anything like this shade in my collection. Some that come close, but this rosy-copper shimmer is in a league all it’s own. Two coats of this one was perfect (but then, most of these are perfect in two coats) and it’s just such a pretty fall shade. One that I’ll be using a lot. Stunning.
This silvery plum shimmer was the one I was most excited to try. Unfortunately I must have gotten a bad bottle because there were some major issues. The first coat went on fine and it was gorgeous, the second coat was where the problems started. It became chunky and wouldn’t settle and it definitely did not play well with the top coat. Which is too bad because this shade is gorgeous. If I use it again, I’m sticking to one coat.
This deep teal blue shimmer is the kind of shade I’m known for loving and love it I do. One coat of this is pretty but two is way better. There’s a hint of grey in there that gives it depth.
This copper-brown shade was a little unexpected for me and I don’t know why. Two coats of this were great and while it shows some brushstrokes, it doesn’t really bug me with this one. I almost wish it was a tiny bit darker but it’s really nice either way.
And now we’re headed in to creme territory. Vinylux cremes are pretty spectacular. The go on super smooth and last for a really long time. Oxblood is a pretty typical dark red that surprisingly didn’t stain at all. One coat was nice and bright and it gets darker the more coats you add. The photo is two.
Shade wise, this dark pumpkin shade (the closest I’ll get to pumpkin spice anything) was my favourite of the collection. Surprising, since I’m completely over orange nail polish. Two coats went on really easily and the wear was incredible, I went days without tip wear. And then the weirdness started. Getting this one off was like trying to take off Shellac like it’s regular nail polish. It took me forever to get it off and it stained really badly. I’m not sure what happened since Vinylux is usually a breeze to remove but I love this shade enough that I’ll probably try it again.
I don’t remember ever trying a blue-grey shade like this before and I seriously can’t imagine why more of them don’t exist. This is the definite winner from the Craft Culture collection for me and to top it off, it’s a rare Vinylux one coater! I can’t tell you how much I love this gorgeous shade. I’ve worn it a lot already and I have lot of plans for it in the future.
Craft Culture is yet another fantastic fall collection from Vinylux. They just never disappoint me for fall shades and I can’t wait to see what else they have coming up. Most of these are available in Shellac as well.
I’ve never replaced any nail product as much as Seche Vite. I use it so regularly that I have the refill bottle and the matching thinner. Nothing has ever matched it as a top coat for drying speed or the gorgeous shine it gives my manicures. Seche recently introduced Seche Vive, another quick drying top coat that gives an instant gel effect. So how does Vive stack up against Vite? Pretty well actually. Vive is slightly thicker and takes a tiny bit longer to dry (maybe an extra thirty seconds) but it gives off seriously shine that lasts for weeks.
I’ve used it on a bunch of different types of polishes; colours that chip quickly, ones that last a while on their own and ones that just don’t last. I’ve had major success with all of them. I wore a red polish that drives me crazy because I get so much tip wear with it and I went for two weeks with virtually zero change and a ton of shine. If I didn’t have nail growth at my nail beds, I could’ve left it on longer. The only drawback to Seche Vive that I’ve found, is even though you take it off with regular polish remover, it’s definitely more difficult to get off than Seche Vite.
If you have issues getting your polish to stay looking good and don’t want to go get a gel manicure, this is seriously the next best thing. I’m still loyal to my Seche Vite but this is my new backup.
OPI has been around for so long that I can’t remember when I started using their polishes. Some of their iconic shades are also some of my favourite polishes. Last month OPI released the first batch of their new Infinite Shine Iconic Shades which are basically the most popular OPI polishes but in an Infinite Shine formula. I don’t love the IS line (mainly the base and top coat) but I was very curious to see if these shades would hold up in this new formula. To be honest, I don’t really understand why they’re releasing older shades that are still available in the regular formula but I do know there are a lot of people who love the long-wear, gel-like Infinite Shade line. I tried ten of the thirty shades available and since these are all established shades, I’m not going to do a ton of descriptions on colour. All the photos are no base or top coat.
This cloudy white was really not a great way to start. It was extremely sheer and patchy and three coats still didn’t even it out. Luckily, most of the other shades held up much better.
I did 2 coats of this really pretty pink nude. I could’ve gone for more opacity but I actually like this type of shade a little sheer. I had a couple little formula issues but nothing that I wasn’t expecting from a shade like this.
Dulce De Leche
Somehow I’ve never used this shade before and I have no idea why. This formula was pretty great, it was the first of the one-coaters (yes there are several). I really loved this nude shade.
You Don’t Know Jacques
This taupe-brown went on perfectly in two coats and there’s a reason this shade is so popular. But it looks pretty much the same as my regular formula.
This is one of my favourite summer pinks and I have to say the shine on this one is really great. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two just looked better.
I didn’t expect to like this orange red but I really did. Two coats were great but for some reason I found this one stained quite a bit.
Big Apple Red
One coat of this classic red was absolutely perfect. I didn’t have any staining issues and if I wore red polish on a regular basis, I’d reach for this one for sure.
This deep wine shade is so perfect for fall and again, one coat was perfect. This one stained really badly though.
I’m Not Really A Waitress
I’m Not Really A Waitress is one of the few OPI shades that I’ve replaced more than once. I’m in love with this shade. I could’ve gotten away with one coat but two was so much better. I actually think I like the Infinite Shine version better than the original. The photo is without topcoat and it’s even better if you add some.
Lincoln Park After Dark
This is the other shade that I use all the time. The photo is one coat but two would definitely make this dark purple more black. It all depends on the look you’re going for.
Considering how much I previously didn’t like the Infinite Shine collections, I’m so impressed by these shades. Maybe the base and top coats just don’t get along with me, but considering the shine on all of these without a topcoat, maybe I can get away without using one. I can’t wait to try some of the other shades they’ll be releasing but if you don’t want to spend the extra couple bucks for the IS versions, you can always buy the originals.
I’m all over fall nail polish right now, it’s my favourite nail polish season after all but this year Ceramic Glaze isn’t releasing new shades for their fall and holiday collections. Instead, they’ve added a bunch of new core shades and we have a couple that fit right into fall anyways. Ceramic Glaze is only available at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada but if you’re stateside you might be able able to find similar shades with another similar brand. Those are all the clues you get.
I was honestly convinced that I had already tried this bright, hot pink shade but after a search through my archives, I couldn’t find it. I love this pink as a transitional shade, since Toronto still feels like it’s summer and not fall and some of us aren’t quite ready for cooler weather (I’m so ready though). Island Getaway was extremely runny, which led to pooling, which really wasn’t fun. But two coats were good for opacity, just be prepared for a ton of cleanup.
The formula for this dark berry was much better and there was a lot less cleanup involved. Two coats of this super pretty pink was perfect. It’s a really nice year round shade.
If this dark plum shade looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s very similar to OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. Like, almost exact. But I wore this one for a week with basically no chips or tip wear and it’s definitely on my favourites list for fall. That said, this one needs a top coat, it really needs that glossy finish. The first coat of this one was very patchy but the second was perfect.
Forever In Love
This was the last of the four polishes I tried and I really didn’t think anything could top Raisin Biscotti for me in terms of favourites. This gorgeous burgundy just screams ‘fall shade’ and I could’ve gotten away with one coat but did two for depth. I still can’t decide if Raisin Biscotti or Forever In Love won as my favourite but I’m already trying to decide how I can wear both at once.
I’m always a little hesitant when nail polish companies release ‘healthy’ collections. Let’s be honest, nails don’t really breathe and if you’re using acetone to remove your polish then you’re basically reversing any good effects you might get. But it’s a healthy nail polish is a trend right now and tons of lines are popping up everywhere. Also, I love base and top coats probably more than I love nail polish and I haven’t found a one-step polish that made me willing to give them up for a while. Until I tried Quo By Orly’s Breathable Nail Treatment + Color. If you’re not in Canada, Orly’s Breathable is exactly the same stateside but the bottles look a tiny bit different.
The Breathable treatment is filled with Argan Oil, Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C; all to promote hydration, heal damaged nails and let oxygen into them while you’re wearing polish. I’m lucky enough to have really strong, healthy nails that don’t peel or chip often, so I’m the wrong person to ask about if this polish makes nails stronger. I will say that none of them broke while I was wearing the polish though. This is a one-step polish, you don’t use base or top coats and I had similar experiences will nearly all the shades I tried. They went on like a dream and while the brush is fairly massive, there was a slight angle on it that made it easier to apply to my narrow nail beds. Also, this polish dries fast and shiny. I was probably most surprised by the amount of shine I got without a top coat. Also, a lack of top coat made these super easy to take off with regular polish remover and not one stained. Now that all the information is out of the way, let’s take a look at the shades I tried. All of the photos are two coats without base or top coat. I’m using the shade descriptions from the Orly version.
Peach Nude Crème
I’m not a fan of nudes but this formula really impressed me considering it was an all-in-one. I did have slight bubbling but Toronto was crazy humid when I was swatching these, so I’m blaming weather.
This one seemed thicker than the others, almost chunky but it dried down fine and was really pretty. I’m blaming weather again for the slight bubbling on my pinky.
Happy And Healthy
Pastel Coral Creme
Orly calls this coral, I call it bubblegum so we can agree to disagree. This was the only one that had slight patchiness but it evened out while it was drying.
Pastel Mint Creme
Fresh Start was basically perfect. Everything about it worked and I wore it for a week straight with zero tip wear and it stayed shiny! Plus I’m used to mint greens being a little chalky and this one isn’t.
Stronger Than Ever
Ruby Red/Gold Shimmer
When I applied the first coat of Stronger Than Ever it was so sheer that I was worried about how many coats I’d have to do for opacity. Turns out the second coat did the job. This is going to be stunning for the holiday season. It was also much easier to take off than a lot of other microglitters.
Deep Wine Creme
I love love love this shade for fall. I could’ve gotten away with one coat of this but two just looked a little better. One coat also had tip wear fairly quickly while two didn’t have any. My brush was faulty for this one but I was able to work around it for the most part.
Deep Plum Creme
We don’t get a ton of purple polish around here but I do generally like them and I love this one. It went on perfectly and it’s a great shade for fall.
Iris Purple Creme
I didn’t fully realize how much I love this shade until I saw how the photo of it turned out. Do you see all the shine? You get all with all the shades but it really stands out with Feeling Free. The first coat went on very sheer but the second turned it into this perfect, gorgeous purple. By far my favourite shade of the eight I tried.
I can’t stress enough how impressed I am by this collection. There are still a couple shades I wouldn’t mind trying but I really hope they add a ton of shades to this line because this is the only one-step polish I’ve tried that I’d actually wear on a regular basis. It takes a lot for me to get obsessed with a new kind of polish but I literally didn’t want to stop wearing this line.