Category: Nail Polish

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.

Essie Spring 2016 Collection

We’ve been trying out quite a few spring nail polish collections lately and it seems that the only thing they have in common is that they’re not quite spring like. Essie’s six offerings have a couple that are perfect for spring and a couple that don’t quite belong but are gorgeous anyways. For spring, Essie’s Global Color Designer Rebecca Minkoff was inspired by Palm Beach and a ‘sunshine state of mind.’ We didn’t get a chance to try one of the polishes, Shades On, a really pretty purple but I’m going to grab it if I can ever find it in a store. I’ve been finding Essie’s formulas just keep getting better and there were a couple of one-coaters in this collection.
High Class Affair
Essie High Class Affair Swatch - Perfect
With the exception of the Retro Revival collection, Essie has been killing it with their nudes lately and the blush nude of High Class Affair has a formula that’s perfection. I did two coats and a top coat and had zero issues at all. It’s also a really flattering nude for my skin tone.
Lounge Lover
Essie Lounge Lover Swatch - Thick Coats
Lounge Lover seems to be the most spring like of this collection to me. A bright pinky-peach, it’s really pretty. I had to use thicker coats for this one but generally didn’t have any issues.
Sunshine State Of Mind
Essie Sunshine State Of Mind Swatch
I’m so not ready for orange nail polish yet, I thought for sure we were still a couple months away. But this ‘bright coral tangelo,’ looked a lot better in person and the formula was fairly typical for Essie, meaning two coats went on perfectly.
Off Tropic
Essie Off Tropic Swatch - 1 Coat
This ‘lush grove green’ didn’t make any sense to me for spring until I read Rebecca Minkoff’s inspiration for the collection. This is such a gorgeous shade though and I had full opacity in one coat. I was fully expecting this one to stain and it didn’t. I’m going to be using Off Tropic a lot but probably not until fall.
Pool Side Service
Essie Pool Side Service Swatch - 1 Coat
Another one-coater, Pool Side Service is a ‘refreshing cerulean blue.’ I couldn’t photograph how stunning this shade is in person. It’s more on the teal side for me and I’m completely in love with it. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a polish quite like it before.

The shades may not make a ton of sense for spring but this is definitely a winner of a collection.

Mani Monday: Misslyn Viva La Diva Spring 2016 Collection

I’ve only tried a few Misslyn nail polishes but I’ve become seriously impressed with the ones I have. For their spring collection, Misslyn introduced the Viva La Diva collection, inspired by Italian temper and a lively colour palette. With five nail polishes (all in some shade of pink), two top coats and ring tattoos, this is a great line for spring and would’ve been great for Valentine’s Day as well. We received two of the nail polish shades to try and both formulas were pretty flawless. The brush is on the larger side but I didn’t need much cleanup and it actually made it easier to cover my nail in one stroke.
361 Speed Dating
Misslyn 361 Speed Dating Swatch
Speed Dating is a deep pink-magenta and was really pretty in the sunlight. It’s not a shade I’m usually drawn to but I really enjoyed how it looked. This is two coats and a top coat.
384 Floral Ornament
Misslyn 384 Floral Ornament Swatch
I might be on some kind of nude polish kick because I love this pink-nude. Application was perfect and I could’ve gotten away with one coat but I went with two anyways. This might be one of my favourite nudes ever. It’s really flattering to my skin tone and wasn’t patchy or streaky at all.

Viva La Diva hit stores yesterday and is only available until March 26, 2016, so if you want one of these gorgeous polishes, you’re going to want to get to Shoppers Drug Mart. For more information on Misslyn, you can check out their Canadian Facebook page.

CND Vinylux Spring 2016 Art Vandal Collection

One of the things I love most about CND’s seasonal collections is that they’re not always expect for the season. Most of us think pastel when it comes to spring nails but CND Vinylux’s Art Vandal collection is instead inspired by the self-expression of art. In the eight shades of the collection, there’s only one that can be considered pastel, and I’m definitely ok with that. All of the swatches are two coats, followed by the Vinylux top coat.
Tutti Fruitti
CND Vinylux Tutti Frutti Swatch
Tutti Frutti is a shimmery bright pink that’s gorgeous in the sunlight. This one will be great for summer.
Irreverent Rose
CND Vinylux Irreverent Rose Swatch
I was surprised by how much I loved the pink shades in this collection and Irreverent Rose is a really pretty dark rose creme.
Mauve Maverick
CND Vinylux Mauve Maverick Swatch
Mauve Maverick is not the kind of shade I’d normally pick up and the name is really misleading (it leans more pink than mauve) but this is my favourite shade of the collection. The formula was amazing and it’s just so pretty.
Untitled Bronze
CND Vinylux Untitled Bronze Swatch - Hard to take off
Untitled Bronze on the other hand was my least favourite. A bronze shimmer with lots of pink in it, it was a formula that never seemed to smooth out. And all the glitter in it made it almost impossible to remove. I know I can’t like every single Vinylux shade but I’m always surprised when I don’t.
Art Basil
CND Vinylux Art Basil Swatch
Art Basil is one of the more unusual shades in the collection. A green/teal shimmer, it really stands out against all the other green polishes I own. It’s a gorgeous shade for spring.
Sienna Scribble
CND Vinylux Sienna Scribble Swatch
Sienna Scribble is a metallic copper and it’s basically the exact opposite of Untitled Bronze. It’s smooth, the colour is gorgeous and it wore really well.
Magenta Mischief
CND Vinylux Magenta Mischief Swatch - Could've been 1 coat
There’s something so special about Magenta Mischief, in the sunlight you can see hints of a blue violet undertone within the magenta shimmer.I could’ve gotten away with one coat of this one but went with two to really show it off.
Digi-Teal
CND Vinylux Digi-Teal Swatch
This bright blue creme got me the most compliments of the whole collection. It’s stunning in person and while it might not be a pastel, it definitely leans spring.

The whole Art Vandal collection is beyond gorgeous and I’m going to be using almost the whole collection quite a bit. We already have the summer Vinylux Flirtations collection and it’s just as pretty, that review is coming soon.

butter LONDON Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer

I’m the kind of person that needs to have something on my nails at all times. On the rare occasion where I’m not wearing polish, I at least need to have a base coat on my nails. butter LONDON recently introduced Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer; a nail treatment that comes in six shades to match skin tones.

The nail treatment itself is full of keratin, arginine, vitamin E and tea tree oil to strengthen nails, prevent breakage and provide antioxidant protection. The brush is on the larger side and was actually too big for my nail beds but since I wasn’t applying nail polish, it was easy to work around.

Sheer Wisdom in Light
butter LONDON Sheer Nail Tinted Moisturizer - Light Swatch
I’m probably more suited to the fair shade but light wasn’t too bad for my skin tone. One coat looked a lot better but I went with two for photo purposes. These dry super fast and since it’s not polish, I didn’t pay much attention to wear time or chipping.
Sheer Wisdom in Medium
butter LONDON Sheer Nail Tinted Moisturizer - Medium Swatch
I went with two coats again for medium and this one really didn’t look good on me. It was almost like I stained my nails with coffee.

While the treatment itself is fantastic, they really need to add more shades, or maybe include a clear version. I’d love to try the fair shade and see if it makes a difference, but the two shades I tried were just too yellow for me. I need something with more of a pink undertone if it’s going to look even remotely natural.

I’m definitely going to keep using one coat of light on the rare days I don’t have polish on.

Mani Monday: Essie Retro Revival Review + Swatches

Essie has released hundreds of nail polish shades since their launch in 1981 but unfortunately, a lot of them are limited edition or have been discontinued. Since Essie fans have been begging for them to bring back certain shades, they decided to release Retro Revival, six of the most popular Essie polishes ever. We have almost the whole collection, we’re just missing Starry Starry Night, which is probably the most sought after polish in the collection. I’ve never tried any of these shades before so I was pretty excited to get started.
Bikini With A Martini
Essie Bikini With A Martini Swatch - 3 coats
Bikini With A Martini first launched in 2006. This frosted iridescent pink is pretty sheer and required three coats to get even a little opacity. It looks good regardless of how many coats you use. If you’re piling it on though, you need to be careful of pooling.
Sequin Sash
Essie Sequin Sash Swatch - 3 coats, sheer
This sheer glittery bronze has silver glitter in it and comes from 2005. This one is also three coats but has a better reaction to more coats. Unfortunately, I’m just not a fan of the colour.
Birthday Suit
Essie Birthday Suit Swatch - pooling, settling, hour to dry
Birthday Suit is part of the original collection from 1981. Essie calls it a ‘cheeky, delicate nude.’ I just call it a complete pain to work with. There were pooling issues, settling issues and it took over an hour to dry, even with a good coat of Seche Vite over it. Just getting it to look presentable enough for a photo took way too much work. Luckily this was the exception of the collection.
Cabana Boy
Essie Cabana Boy Swatch - perfect
Essie calls Cabana Boy an ‘ultra-cool pearly white,’ but I think it tends to lean on the grey side, with a hint of blue. Originally released in 2005, Cabana Boy had the best formula of all the light shades and is just gorgeous on. I might have to stock up on this one, I love it that much.
Life Of The Party
Essie Life Of The Party Swatch - perfect
Life Of The Party is my favourite of the collection. This one is from 2002 and might be my favourite Essie red ever. A ‘pinot noir pearl,’ it stands out from most typical red shades and the formulation is pretty much perfect. I only did a second coat because I wanted it to stand out more and I’m completely obsessed with this one.

I really wish Essie had released more colour into their Retro Revival collection, Life Of The Party and Starry Starry Night just don’t seem to be enough. And while Essie is pretty well known for their neutral shades, the only one I’ll reach for again is Cabana Boy. That said, I love the idea behind this collection and hope they continue to bring back more shades.