Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Essie Sew Psyched

   Man this has been a crazy day.  And not in a good way.  But I won't bore you with the details.  Instead I will show you a polish I've been meaning to post for a while now.  You can tell these photos are older by my nail length.  These were pre-a million and one breaks I've been dealing with lately.  It seems every time I start getting some length back another nail breaks.
   Sew Psyched is a dusty slate green polish with a tiny silver shimmer from the Essie Fall 2010 collection. 

   Formula was very nice with a smooth application.  I don't remember what base coat I used, it was too long ago sorry.  I'm pretty sure I used my trusty SV on top.  To remember how many coats I used I did a quick one finger test and needed 3 coats for full opacity.  That was what came to mind when trying to remember so I'm gonna say these photos were probably 3 coats of color.  The silver shimmer is very tiny and hard to see unless you look very closely at the nail, but it gives the polish a bit of life so it's not so flat on your nail.

Direct Sun

Indirect Sun


   I really enjoyed this color, but I found that a lot of people thought it was grey in most lighting instead of a green.  They still liked it though so I guess it doesn't really matter.
   After a few days I decided I wanted to add a little sparkle to my nails.  So enter Sinful Colors Nail Junkie.  Nail Junkie is very similar to China Glaze Atlantis, but with more multi-size glitter pieces.  I loved this combination. 

Direct Sun

Blur for sparkle 


   So what do you guys think of Sew Psyched solo and topped with Nail Junkie? 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nicole by OPI Holiday Magic Part 1

   Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope everyone has a good holiday.  Today I have the first part of my Nicole by OPI Holiday Magic swatches for you.  The collection consists of 2 red shimmers and 2 glitter top coats.

   Fist up are the 2 shimmers. Stuck in the Chimney, a cranberry shimmer with hints of gold, and Kiss Me at Midnight, a blackened red shimmer.  The formula on both of these was good and application was smooth.  Stuck in the Chimney was opaque with 2 coats while Kiss Me at Midnight took 3.  With both colors I used 1 coat of OPI Natural Base Coat and 1 coat Seche Vite Top Coat.

Stuck in the Chimney

Direct Sun

Indirect Sun


   Stuck in the Chimney is a very pretty shimmer, but leans a little to the frosty side to me.  I think that touch of frostiness put me off the polish just a little at first, even though I like the color.  Looking at the pictures again I'm liking it more, so I will definitely give it another chance.

Kiss Me at Midnight

Direct Sun

Indirect Sun


   Kiss Me at Midnight is a lovely vampy blackened red shimmer.  But it feels very familiar to me.  It's still a nice color, but unless it fills a hole in your collection, you can probably skip this one.

Disclaimer: The product(s) in this post were sent to me by the company for consideration

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nicole by OPI Liquid Metals

   I have another new Nicole Collection to announce today.  I know I still owe you swatches for the Holiday Magic collection, and I promise they are coming soon.  But in the mean time, here's the press release for the new Liquid Metals collection launching in January 2011.

Notice-Me Nails!

Nicole by OPI Nails High-Impact Drama with
New Liquid Metals Collection

Nicole by OPI ignites a mesmerizing look for the New Year with Liquid Metals. Featuring four new metallic Nail Lacquers ranging from shimmering sea foam to sophisticated champagne, Nicole by OPI’s Liquid Metals collection offers the season’s must-have accessory.
“Dress your nails with Liquid Metals to make a chic fashion statement with a high-shine finish,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Nicole by OPI’s Executive VP & Artistic Director. “Metallic shades are perfect to wear with all clothing colors, adding some easy edge to your wardrobe.”
The Liquid Metals collection from Nicole by OPI includes:
Miss Independent
A violet with a shine of its own.

The Next CEO
A highly motivated metallic gold.

Rich in Spirit
This metallic silvery blue-green is all you really need.

It Starts with Me
A metallic champagne that channels your inner shine.

Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquers and Nail Treatments contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde. Liquid Metals will be available January 2011 at ULTA, Walmart, Target, Sears, Harmon, HEB and Wegmans.
For more information, visit nicolebyopi.com. Follow Nicole by OPI on Twitter @NicoleByOPI and become a Facebook fan!

   What does everyone think of these?  Miss Independent and Rich in Spirit are intriguing me the most right now, but we'll see if that changes when the collection comes out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homemade Weekends

   OMG, I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week already.  I am very glad I am not doing the main cooking.  Hubby and I will be going to his parents' house as they live about an hour away.  I will however be bringing some of the orange date bread I blogged about here.  I will also be trying out a new recipe for nutty sweet potato biscuits. 
   Why am I making the date bread again already?  Because my store manager requested it as my contribution to the pot luck at work on Friday.  Since the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is the busiest shopping day of the year and we're all working long shifts without enough time to go get food on breaks, my store has a pot luck every year so there's food in the back whenever anyone has 5 seconds to shove something in our mouths.  Was that a long enough run on sentence for you?  And the bread is really good.  But since the recipe makes two loaves, I figured I'd take one to Thanksgiving and one to work.
  Last week I started looking through my cook books and magazines and the internet to start working out my Holiday baking plan for gifts.  I came across several shortbread recipes as I was looking.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE shortbread.  The recipe I decided to try first was Martha Stewart's Icebox Shortbread, which can be found here.  This is a very simple recipe with endless flavor options.  I decided to make half plain, to try just the base recipe, and half flavored with marcona almonds and orange flavored cranberries.  If you've never tried marcona almonds, you need to.  They taste like a cross between a standard almond and a macadamia nut.  Soooo tasty.
   How easy is this recipe?  I think it took me maybe 10-15 minutes to make the dough, roll it into logs, wrap in wax paper, and get it in the fridge.  Then it has to chill for 1 to 1.5 hrs at least before slicing and baking for about 20 minutes.  Now for the picture spam.

Plain Dough

Almonds and Cranberries
On Top and Mixed In

Rolled into Log

Baked Cookies

   I was very happy with the way these turned out.  I do highly recommend adding mix-ins to the dough.  Otherwise your cookies will either be very small or you will not get many cookies per batch.  The almond cranberry combo was very good.  Next time I think I might try chocolate chips, or cocoa nibs if I can find any.  Because of the chill time, this is a great recipe to mix up real quick before work, toss in the fridge to chill while you're at work,  and then bake when you get home.  You can also freeze the logs for later use.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

OPI Facebook Contest

   OPI is doing a Facebook contest right now.  If they reach 100,000 "likes" on Facebook by Dec 31st, 100 fans will receive 6 retired polishes.  The polishes are: Kinky in Helsinki, Smokin in Havana, HooDoo VooDoo, Parlez-Vous OPI, Sahara Sapphire, and Cheyenne Pepper.

photo from the OPI Facebook page

   The rules are simple.  Go to the OPI Facebook page and click Like if you haven't already.  Then go to the 100,000 Fans tab at the top of the page.  From there just fill out the entry form and you're all set.  Due to different international giveaway laws, this contest is open only to US fans.  They are working on ways around this for future contests.  
   I do have one small request.  In the entry form there is a space for who referred you to the page.  If you are hearing about the contest from here please enter my name, Michele Gotlieb, in the referral box.  You do not have to put referrals on the fan page wall.  Only in the entry form.  Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chameleon Blue Sky

   One of the big thrills for a polish fanatic is finding a new brand to try out.  Will it be your new best friend or will it be added to the never buy again list.  Sadly I have a polish from the latter option today.
   I first discovered the Chameleon polishes while searching for info on the CQ brand.  Chameleon, CQ, and Petites are all part of the Scherer company.  I have 3 CQ polishes and really like those.  So when I found a line of all duo/multi-chromes from the same company, I was excited.  Chameleon polishes are sold only at Rite Aid and are priced under $3.  I picked up Blue Sky, a blue/teal/periwinkle shade.

   Formula was ok, not the best, but not the worst.  Very sheer though.  I used 3 coats and could have used 4.  The polish dries very quickly so that can lead to some application issues.  The finish is foil and very unforgiving of ridges or imperfections in your nail and application.  I would definitely recommend buffing or a ridge filling base coat.  This was supposed to be my vacation mani.  I applied it the night before I left for CA.  I honestly can't remember what base coat I used right now, but it was probably China Glaze Strong Adhesion or Seche Base or Restore.  Then 3 coats Blue Sky and 1 coat Seche Vite.

Direct Sun



   Somehow I could not manage to catch any duo goodness in these shots.  They all look purplish to me.  But in person there is a lovely teal that appears as well.  I managed a shot from my cell phone in the car on the way to the airport that sorta shows the teal.

   So why am I putting this polish in the never buying again list?  Wear.  I painted my nails Wed night right before bed.  Thursday morning as I was putting a shirt on to go outside to take pictures, it already started trying to chip.  I managed to catch that one, and a few others, and fix them with an extra layer of Vite to get the above pics.  However as I was packing my laptop and toiletries right before leaving another chip happened that I couldn't fix.  It was downhill from there.  By the time I arrived in CA, at least half the polish on EVERY nail was gone.  Ok, I helped the process along some from stress and frustration, flying is not my favorite thing so adding an hour and a half delay and a plane swap to that not so good.  But I didn't start picking at the polish until the chips were already pretty bad.  
   If you need a pretty foil duochrome for only a couple hours, these could work if you need a quick cheap polish.  Otherwise, I definitely say give these a pass.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Misa Spinning Out of Control

   Recently I've read several posts about Misa nail polishes.  They've all been extremely complimentary and the colors have looked fabulous.  So when I made a, rather large, order recently I decided to include a Misa to try them out.  And of course I chose a purple polish.  The hard part was picking which one to try first.  There were quite a few that looked intriguing, but finally I went with Spinning Out of Control from their Fall What I Like About You Collection. 

   I am so happy that I decided to try this brand and went with this color.  My only disappointment is that I didn't order more colors.  Well and that my budget doesn't allow for another order right now.
   Sadly, my camera decided to be difficult and not photograph the polish properly.  All my photos came out too blue.  I tried color correcting in GIMP, but I couldn't get them right still.  So all of these are non corrected.  I do have one photo I took with my phone that I corrected in Picassa that I will post at the end.
 See more after the break

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nicole by OPI Holiday Magic

   I guess it isn't just me feeling the Holiday Spirit right now.  While I was at work today this lovely press release arrived in my email.  Hope you enjoy.

Holiday Magic from Nicole by OPI
Transforms Nails with Festive, Seasonal Hues

Capture the enchanting spirit of the holiday season with Holiday Magic from Nicole by OPI! For Holiday 2010, Nicole by OPI presents a limited-edition collection of four celebratory shades, ranging from sparkling silver to deep red. Designed to complement winter wardrobes, these festive hues add a magical touch to any occasion.
The new Holiday Magic Nail Lacquers from Nicole by OPI include:
Bring on the Tinsel
A silver that sparkles even more than tinsel.

Spark My Mistletoe
A red so hot it might cause a real spark.

Stuck in the Chimney
You’ll never forget this red it will be stuck in your mind.

Kiss Me at Midnight
This dark red is perfect for night, the best time for a kiss.

“The holidays are all about celebration, and our Holiday Magic Nail Lacquers provide a burst of feel-good color that is perfectly on point with the spirit of the season,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “These four glamorous shades are the ideal accessories to accent holiday outfits.”
Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquers and Nail Treatments contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde. Holiday Magic from Nicole by OPI will be available beginning November 2010 at ULTA, Meijer, Harmon, HEB and Sears. 
For more information, visit nicolebyopi.com. Follow Nicole by OPI on Twitter @NicoleByOPI and become a Facebook fan!

Monday, November 8, 2010

OPI Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow Suede

   Is anyone else starting to feel the Holiday Spirit?  I know I am.  Though that might be the Winter Wonderland decor at work and the Christmas music we're already playing.  If only the cd didn't have that stupid Happy Elf song on it.  Do you know that one?  It drives me up a wall every time I hear it.  But enough rambling.
   Today for you I have the newest edition to the OPI Suede collection.  Here Today... Aragon Tomorrow Suede is a beautiful deep emerald green.  It reminds me of Christmas Tree green and would be a lovely holiday color.  In the bottle you can see a really pretty multi-color micro-glitter effect.  Click for a larger image.

   The formula on this polish was very nice.  Not too thick, not too thin.  Only two coats were needed for full opacity.  Like all matte/suede polishes, this one dries very quickly.  I recommend using slightly thicker coats to make sure you have enough polish on your brush to completely cover each nail before the polish starts drying.  I also found that the fewer brush strokes per nail the better to keep dragging to a minimum.  I used one coat China Glaze Strong Adhesion base coat, which I let dry completely before adding polish, and two coats Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow.  Unlike the actual Matte polish line, the Suedes do not say not to use a base coat, only to not use top coat or lotion, as they ruin the suede finish.  If you look closely at the nail, you can see a hint of the shimmer from the bottle even with the suede finish.

Direct Sun



   I always think I'm not a matte fan until I put one on.  Then I realize once again that they are a very nice change now and then.  This one is no exception.  The bottle tag warns that Suedes do not wear as long as normal OPI polishes.  These shots were taken at least 36 hours after I applied the polish, stupid rain, and as you can see, so far nothing really obvious wear wise.  
   Now for the real treat with this polish.  That shimmer/micro-glitter look you can see peeking out of the suede?  It becomes the star of the party when you add top coat to the polish.  With top coat, this may be my favorite green shimmer I've found so far.  Just look how it sparkles in the sun.

Direct Sun with Top Coat

   I tried out my mini bottle of OPI RapiDry top coat for the first time with this mani.  I think my definition of Rapid Dry and OPI's definition are very different.  Or I've just been spoiled by my Seche Vite.  Not that it was slow drying, just not as quick as I would have liked when running out the door for a lunch date.  
   So which version do you prefer?  The actual Suede finish or the sparkly top coat finish?  I really like both, though I think I'll wear it with top coat more often. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Vacation, Parents, and Illness

   This has been a crazy two weeks for me.  I promise I have not forgotten or abandoned everyone.  First I was on vacation in the Bay Area of California.  Then with only one day of downtime from getting home my parents came to visit for two days.  And of course my last day in CA I started getting sick.  And with the parents around I couldn't rest so now a week later I'm still sick.  It started with as a mild head cold that's moved to my chest and also become a sinus infection now.  But I promise I'm resting as much as possible now and pushing fluids.
   I really did intend to blog some while I was gone, and even started to do some photo editing, but things came up and it didn't happen.  I'm hoping to get back to a more normal schedule next week and have some fun reviews coming up for everyone.  But in the mean time, here are a few shots from my trip that I think you'll like.

First Visit to the Pacific Ocean

Wine Tasting


Sharks Game

   Quick note here.  I'm a big hockey fan.  It's my favorite sport.  And the San Jose Sharks are the team I follow and root for, despite normally being on the opposite coast.  So getting to go to a game in the Shark Tank, as their arena is affectionately dubbed, was very exciting for me.  I have gotten to see them before last season when they played the Thrashers in Atlanta, but it wasn't the same as seeing them on home ice.  This pick is from warm-up right before the game.  


Sea Lions

Street Car and Lombard Street

Golden Gate Bridge

   And of course what trip to SF is complete without some sourdough bread?  So David's souvenir from my trip was a loaf of sourdough from the Boudin Bakery on Fisherman's Wharf.  And not just any loaf, but a special extra cute one.
polished & frosted title image brushes by Obsidian Dawn