I love Halloween and I always want to do really cool nail art, but I’m completely terrible at any but painting my nails a solid colour. When Nail Polish Canada offered us a chance to give away ten sets of Graveyard nail vinyls from Whats Up Nails, I jumped at the chance. Not only are they a fairly easy way to get really cute Halloween nails for myself, but for anyone reading this as well.
My vinyls got here a little late so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet but this photo is a good example of what they look like. I’m personally planning to use them as nail stickers on top of gray polish.
If you want a set of these vinyls free (and free shipping!), head over to this Nail Polish Canada page and use the code KK1G9C7E0. The first ten people get a free set.
Happy Halloween nails! We want to see how you use them.
I love a good nail polish collaboration but I wasn’t really expecting anything that had to do with crayons. Released in August, Sally Hansen released twelve of their Insta-Dri polishes in Crayola crayon shades. The result? Better than I expected. It’s been years since I’ve used the Insta-Dri formula but I remember loving it in college. It’s exactly what it says it is, a polish that dries almost instantly, no base or top coat needed (though depending on your personal preference, you may want a glossy or matte topper). These shades are fairly self explanatory so I’m not going to say much about them except every shade was one coat and they were all completely dry in under a minute. I may have to start looking at the rest of the Insta-Dri shades again…
Wild Strawberry was one of the few that stained, but boy did it not want to come off. I really loved Carnation Pink, I would use that in the summer for sure.
I had a few issues with Granny Smith Apple, but that was the bottle. I adore Cerulean and White is absolutely my new go-to white. I’ve never had a one coat, no issues white before. This is my favourite group of the bunch.
Here’s my biggest issue with Insta-Dri, the brush. It’s a massive brush and I have fairly narrow nail beds. That creates a massive problem but apparently I remembered how to angle the brush to get it to go on in one stroke with minimal cleanup. If you don’t know how, it’s a major learning curve that you might decide isn’t worth it. Have wider nail beds? You’ll love it.
These shades really took me back to my childhood and colouring and I’m amazed at how good some of these look as nail polish.
The 90’s have very clearly come back and Rebecca Minkoff (Essie’s Global Colour Designer) wanted to bring some of the iconic nail polish shades back with it. As someone who really discovered nail polish in the 90’s, I have some very specific colour memories. There had to be a vampy, blood red and a silver chrome. Those definitely didn’t make an appearance in this collection but the six shades that are here do make sense to me. We got to try three shades in the collection.
can you feel it? you’re totally picking up what this warm ivory with a dash of pink is putting down To say this ivory was a complete pain to work with is an understatement. The only way I could get it to look even remotely passable was to apply two coats, let it completely dry and then add a third, plus a top coat. If you look at my ring finger in the photo, you can still see the wrinkles. And the pinholes. On top of that, I hate the shade. Love the name though.
hey, little misfit. those socks and this deep wine red with purple undertones are gonna take you higher. This berry shade is the closest I’m going to get to a real vamp red but taking the 90’s out of it, this is a fantastic fall red. I got this coverage in one coat. Two would look amazing as well but I like the brightness you get in one.
Dressed To The Nineties
red carpet event? all you need are a plaid mini skirt, this dark purple with a green-blue shimmer and a rockstar attitude.
This is definitely a 90’s shade but maybe late 90’s and not the grunge era. Either way this shade is stunning. It photographs a little dark, even in natural light, but get it outside and in the sunlight and just watch the shimmer. Gorgeous. 1 coat was decent but two really brings out all the colours. I didn’t want to take this one off.
I’m really happy that we received Knee-high Life and Dressed To The Nineties to review. I could’ve definitely passed on Mix Taupe and tried As If! instead because that blue is absolutely 90’s. I might just have to pick that one up.
It took me a long time to use this cuticle oil. I finally took out this oil to pamper myself with a home manicure. This oil was going to be the last step. I love that it comes with an eyedropper and brush so that you can choose how you want to apply. I picked the eye dropper. Less is more with the Kur Cuticle Oil. On my first nail, I applied two drops and it was way too much. For the rest of my nails I barely applied one whole drop and it was enough. It has a bit of a gel consistency that is thicker than most nail oils. At first, I wasn’t sure about it, but by the end of all of my fingers, I really liked it. It was thick enough that it felt like it was really moisturizing, but still a light oil based liquid that didn’t leave anything feeling sticky. It doesn’t even really leave my fingers feeling oily like most. I could see the difference in my cuticles almost instantly. I am excited to see what will happen after daily usage.
Sensationail has taken the cost of keeping your nail looking perfect to a minimum with their new Express Gel One Step Polish kit. This set comes with everything you could need including the promise of 19 day nails in five minutes.
Right off the bat, I like that these sets come with a nail polish colour, so you don’t have to purchase that separately. There are a few options for the colour to get, but you can also choose from 20 other colours to buy separately. I was really surprised to read that this polish needed no base coat or top coat. It seems impossible to get polish that stays on for 10 days without these elements.
Applying a beautiful manicure, yourself, with the Sensationail Express Gel Kit is actually as easy as they promise. I know, it’s hard to believe! I swear though, it’s so simple. You just apply the polish and pop your fingers under the light. The light is motion activated and automatically turns off after 30 seconds, the right amount of time. Be sure to read the instructions carefully for tips on how to apply. It’s best if you do your thumbs first and then the rest of your fingers as it says. Also, you may need an extra 30 seconds on some of your fingers. Once you pull them out of the lamp though, tadaa they are done. And bonus, they are dry! You don’t have to wave your fingers around waiting. The finish is beautiful and so shiny! They look like salon quality nails.
Now onto their other claim of a 10 day manicure: In all of my trials and times applying, my nails never made it to 10 days. My nails didn’t make it to three days without chipping. I am unusually hard on my nails, so I also gave the Sensationail Express Gel Kit to someone else. This girl also didn’t make it more than three days without chipping.
What does this mean for Sensationail Express Gel Kit? I don’t know. You do get a beautiful, fast, salon worthy manicure. On the other hand, no pun intended, your manicure might not last long. It is so simple to do touch ups. I touched up my nails in the morning before I left for work. But that’s not my ideal scenario. Is it worth it, I honestly don’t know.
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. Super Trop-i-cal-i-fiji-istic
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.