Thursday, February 25, 2010

Illamasqua Baptiste vs Essie Sexy Divide

I got Baptiste as a gift from my very dear friend and loved it instantly. Essie Sexy Divide has been one of my favorite purples for a long time. How do they compare?

Let's see:
Very different in the bottle: Baptiste has a distinctive red undertone; and Essie features a strong blue one.

Let's look on the nails now, shall we?
/don't forget you can click to enlarge/

Not so different, huh?
I have SD on my pointer and ring fingers; Illamasqua on middle and pinky.

They are definitely not dupes; but Essie is a very acceptable substitute, even by mine "buy-all-dark-purples-ever-released" standards.

I prefer Baptiste application-wise. Other than that, they are really close. Difference? Illamasqua has this strong, dense glow to it; Essie shows more of a sparse, star-like sparkle.

PS: Please excuse my deformed pointer. I had a bad cooking accident back in September, when I chopped off a big part of the nail bed; it's still in recovery.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Misa Spring 2010

It's called Mardis Gras!

Neons and brights; and some pastels (huh?), all seem to be cremes:

Bottle pics separately:

Blame It on Fat Tuesday: mint-green according to Misa, but I'd rather call it dollar-green. Not sure I'll be able to pull this off, but I certainly like the idea!

Shake It To The Sumba: neutral, flesh-like color. At first I was surprised to see it in the Mardi Gra collection; then I realized it was not flEsh, it was flAsh what they probably had in mind. Think beads and... well... beads.

Single And Ready to Limbo: not exactly original, yet pretty red-coral (?) Or is it just red? Difficult to tell until I see this one in person.

Jester Ate the King Cake: Pastel yellow. Pretty, but I cannot wear such colors, unless I want scare Easter-hunting kids with my red-lobster hands.

Party in the Masquerade: Hot pink. I think it's a neon, actually.

Throw Me Something Purple Please: Purple. Purrrrrr-ple. I really, rally hope it won't be a dupe of Ghina Glaze Grape Pop.

My thoughts about this collection. I'm surprised (unpleasantly surprised, dare I say) there is not a single glitter or at least shimmer in this collection. Hello, Misa, it's Mardi Gras! It's all about sparkle, glitter and over the top (look at your promo image - you got it exactly right here). If I recall correctly, this is a third collection in a row consisting of all cremes. Some of my readers will be seriously pissed (waves to Gabrielle). Kudos for the mix of pastels and neons - I know at least two girls who would like it!

PS: All pictures are clickable, as usual.

EDITED TO ADD: According to Misa representative, all colors are brand-new, no repromotes.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Zoya Adina

When I saw the first swatches of Adina, it immediately reminded me of some other polish; but I couldn't place it. Finally, my Adina arrived yesterday and I realized that was it: Adina looks like a much more condensed and seriously improved Significant Other Color by OPI. Both polishes have purple base with a green duochrome/flash. Unlike OPI, intended for the layering purposes, Zoya is not sheer at all. It's perfectly opaque in two thin coats.

Base color. Actually, it's more lilac than purple, don't you think? This warm hue reminds me of Misa's Foxy and Folksy

Here is Adina in all its duochromy glory:

Green side is very, very strong:

Despite the similar idea behind Significant Other Color and Adina, latter is definitely unique; and it's an absolutely beautiful color. Formula was excellent, neither runny nor gloopy. Kudos to Zoya.

And one more pic; just because I feel like it:

Speaking about Zoya, I hauled just a little bit: in addition to today's color I also got a long lemming of mine, spectacular Casey; and Qtica balm. Cannot wait to show off Casey!

PS: I had to file my nail down to the quick. Sad. This will teach me to go without manicures for days (unpolished nails=unprotected nails).


Saturday, February 6, 2010

From my kitchen to yours - lemon, lime and some OxiClean

OK, OxiClean does not exactly belong in a kitchen, but I couldn't help channeling Paula Deen.

For unknown reason, China Glaze Khromes left really ugly dark orange stains on my nails. One day I was doing laundry pretreating some stuff in OxiClean solution; and on a whim decided to try it on my nails. I dipped my hands in a laundry bucket, for about 30 seconds. Voila - stains were almost gone! That makes sense, since one of the OxiClean ingredients is hydrogen peroxide. I washed my hands immediately and followed by a heavy-duty moisturizer and did not see any adverse effects.

Lemons. I was making hummus (I make really mean hummus) and tried to squeeze as much lemon juice as possible. I was actually scraping the pulp with my fingers, squeezing out that last oz. About a minute inside the lemon made my stained nails absolutely clean. I'm talking "no stains at all" clean. I don't know why, but limes, which I tested while making Margaritas Mojito guacamole do not do the job as well as lemons do; yet I see a big improvement in stains.

If you want to try these tips, please exercise your good judgment. Do not stick your fingers into a lemon if you have the tiniest cut/scrape - it's gonna sting like a mofo. Or if you are allergic to citruses and/or any components of OxiClean. I'm allergic to the OxiClean dude, but it's OK - as I've said, no adverse reaction.

PS: I have had some pretty manis lately, but damn weather sucks. It was snowing today - for Pete's sake, it's GA!