Category: Nail Polish

Londontown Kur Nourishing Cuticle Oil Quickie Review

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 Express Gel Kit

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.

Essie Summer 2017 Collection

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.

Blue-la-la

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.

OPI Infinite Shine Fiji Spring 2017 Collection

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.

CND Vinylux Rhythm & Blues Spring 2017 Collection

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

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.

Ripe Guava

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

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.

Palm Deco

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.

Mani Monday: Londontown Lakur Enhanced Colour

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.

Tube Underground

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.

Lady Luck

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.

Buckingham Blue

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.

OPI Infinite Shine PROSTAY + New Iconic Shades

OPI Infinite Shine PROSTAY System
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.

Sweet Heart
OPI Infinite Shine Sweet Heart Swatch
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
OPI Infinite Shine Got The Blues For Red Swatch
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?
OPI Infinite Shine Don't You Lilac It Swatch
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.

That’s Hula-rious
OPI Infinite Shine That's Hula-rious Swatch

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
OPI Infinite Shine Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey! Swatch
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.

OPI Red
OPI Infinite Shine OPI Red Swatch
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.

CND Vinylux Fall 2016 Craft Culture Collection

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.
Brass Buttons
cnd-vinylux-brass-button-swatch
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.
Hand Fired
cnd-vinylux-hand-fired-swatch
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.
Patina Buckle
cnd-vinylux-patina-buckle-swatch
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.
Fern Flannel
cnd-vinylux-fern-flannel-swatch
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.
Leather Satchel
cnd-vinylux-leather-satchel-swatch
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.
Oxblood
cnd-vinylux-oxblood-swatch
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.
Brick Knit
cnd-vinylux-brick-knit-swatch
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.
Denim Patch
cnd-vinylux-denim-patch-swatch
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.

Seche Vive Quickie Review

seche-vive-instant-gel-effect-topcoat
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 Infinite Shine Iconic Shades

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.
Funny Bunny
opi-infinite-shine-funny-bunny
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.
Bubble Bath
opi-infinite-shine-bubble-bath
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
opi-infinite-shine-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
opi-infinite-shine-you-dont-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.
Strawberry Margarita
opi-infinite-shine-strawberry-margarita
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.
Cajun Shrimp
opi-infinite-shine-cajun-shrimp
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
opi-infinite-shine-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.
Malaga Wine
opi-infinite-shine-malaga-wine
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
opi-infinite-shine-im-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
opi-infinite-shine-lincoln-park-in-the-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.