Friday, 30 September 2011

NOTD: Nubar Night Sparkle

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We had the best weather today!

It was so sunny that I felt like I was getting burned through the window! And there was a beautiful breeze so I didn't sweat buckets when I was outside!!! Always a bonus mmmmmmm...

I've been coveting Night Sparkle for a while now - possibly since March? That makes it 6 months... I suppose that's a while?

Two coats, indoors

Two coats, outdoors

Night Sparkle is such a gorgeous navy/royal blue base just packed with small pieces of blue glitter that shines aqua when it hits the light. This is part of the Nubar Sparkles Collection. It has a pretty dense formula so two coats is enough for coverage - maybe 3 if you do thin layers. It does dry ultra gritty & matte though, so if you like a shiny manicure pop on some top coat - like I did, below.

Two coats of NS with two coats of SV, sunlight

Two coats of NS with two coats of SV, sunlight

Two coats of NS with two coats of SV, indoors

 It definitely eats top coat, so I put on 2 layers of Seche Vite Quick Dry. I have some tip wear because I'm a fiddler - always scratching or picking at something = more tip wear than most people no matter what polish and/or top coat I use, so don't worry if you think it's a bit too worn after only 1 day of wear :)

I also have Hyacinth Sparkle by Nubar - a lavender purple glitter from the same collection as NS. Next I'm tempted to try Fire Sparkle - a red glitter!!!

What do you think of NS? Of Nubar? Are you a glitter fan or does the clean up put you off? NB: I always try to peel off my glitters! I find that if I use a basecoat & then SV as a topcoat (especially 2 layers) it is quite easy to lift it off the nail - then you end up with only a tiny amount of glitter to remove with polish remover (like around the tip and edges of your nail) - it makes removal fun too.

Enjoy your Friday night ladies,


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Essie Cocktail Bling Winter Collection Swatches & Review

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Hey Peoples,

I am seriously feeling this collection from Essie - aside from the fact that it is in now way 'blingy'. Yes I find it odd that they would name a collection of 6 cremes based on jewellery/gems etc. But that does not affect the awesomeness of it.

I'll talk about the formula later, all the photos are two coats of polish without top coat. For now, here are the colours:

Cocktail Bling - artificial lighting

The namesake of the collection is a greyed light blue. I see it as dove grey mixed with light blue. Very nice indeed.

Bangle Jangle - artificial lighting

I really like Bangle Jangle - a greyed lilac creme. It's demure and chic at the same time & looks nice next to my skin.  think it's a bit spring like too - bonus.

Brooch the Subject - artificial lighting

 A beige nude creme, Brooch the Subject is like a really milky coffee. I have big love for this one - just not sure it's loving me back is all. What do you think? Does it look odd on next to my skin? I did a poor job applying this one (it was the combination of a crappy base coat and using my left hand!), but it was just as good as the others.

School of Hard Rocks - artificial lighting
 I love how well Essie does green! School of Hard Rocks is a greyed dark teal creme, or perhaps a greyed sea green? Either way it is gorgeous.

Bobbing for Baubles - artificial lighting

 This is a super dark blue charcoal. It's really dark. I kind of wish that it was a tad lighter so more blue would show through, in direct sunlight it does look more blue - but it does look winter appropriate - a way to ease in to black?

Size Matters - artificial lighting
Size Matters - sunlight

 Size Matters is a little tricky to describe. I first thought it was a berry - identical to OPI Manicurist of Seville. But when I compared them I saw that Size Matters has more red in it. The red was more apparent in indoor lighting though.

So the formula on these was more or less perfection. The darker shades could be 1 coaters. The only one I had difficulty with was Brooch & that was because I put too thin a coat over a wet base coat = a bit of streakiness. The second coat sorted it out though.

What are your thoughts on Cocktail Bling? If you're disappointed by the absence of shimmer don't worry; the Holiday collection is called Luxeffects - 6 top coats of flakey, glittery or shimmery goodness!


Zoya Neeka & Yara - Oh My!

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Happy not so pink Wednesday!

I've have some nail mail & my oh my, what did the postman bring?! Some lovely Zoyas of course.

As soon as I saw photos of the Fall Smoke & Mirrors Collection I knew I had to - I mean HAD to - have Yara & Neeka!!!



indoor lighting

Yara is a beautiful olive/khaki green with small gold fleck-like glitter pieces. Oddly enough it seems to look darker in outdoor lighting. I was actually a bit surprised to find that it was a lot darker in real life than in the photos I'd seen. The first picture is most colour accurate. But it is still gorgeous (and keeps up with the fall trend of army greens) and applied beautifully in two coats. On the thick side, formula wise.

sunlight (it was a bit cloudy)



Neeka is the smoky purple version of Yara. In fact Neeka is the same as Yara in every other way too: 2 coats, thickish formula, perfect application. It too was a bit darker in real life than I'd expected, but I didn't mind, it looked so good.

I should also mention that they dried seriously quickly. Very impressive. I decided to limit myself to just these two colours from this collection. Though I often dream about adding Jana... hhhhmmm

Til next time
xxx NPA

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

NOTD: Orly Nite Owl

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 Evenin' Ladies,

Is anyone else STOKED that Downton Abbey is back?! It certainly made my day :) I just wish it was on NZ TV already!!

I had a bit of a drama today... Baby Buster escaped! I can't wait til he grows a bit, then he won't be able to squeeze under our makeshift fence (stupid neighbour can't get his A in to G so we can fence one of our boundary lines). I had a massive panic when I got home to find him missing & the older dog didn't mind one bit! After scouring the neighbourhood - asking if anyone had seen a teeny tiny white fluff ball speeding by - I was looking up the animal control number, (crying my eyes out) when a man knocked on the door, a very dirty Buster in hand. He'd been mucking around one of the building sites down the road (we live in a new subdivision, so there are houses popping up left, right, and centre), and the builder picked him up and took him to the local vets to scan his microchip and find out where he belonged. Thank god for COMPULSORY MICROCHIPPING! He wasn't wearing his collar or registration tags and could have been squished on the road so easily - he's only 3 1/2 months old. Anyway, after a cuddle filled reunion I plugged the hole in the fence (sort of) and kept an eye on him for the rest of the day.

So drama over! On with Nite Owl:

Orly Nite Owl in direct sunlight

Orly Nite Owl in indirect sunlight

 I'm loving Nite Owl - from the Orly Birds of a Feather range. A beigey - light taupe I suppose with lots super fine silver glitter? A lot like Butter London All Hail McQueen/ the Queen, except for the holographic particles in AHTQ. It sort of has a speckled look about it. Anyway it's really pretty & definitely office appropriate.
I used 3 thin coats to achieve the perfect opacity for the photos above. The formula was fantastic, thin but fast drying and very manageable. I almost like this one more than Fowl Play - sacrilege!

Birds of a Feather has been out in NZ for a couple months now & it just came out in the States I believe (not sure what the delay was?), so get it while you can :)


Saturday, 24 September 2011

I Got The Blues... For China Glaze

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Sup polish mavens,

We're having such a sunny Saturday here. How are your weekends going?

I didn't know what to post today so I had a squizz in the vault and found some blue CGs I hadn't posted. Double click the pics for close-ups.

Blue Sparrow 2 coats, indoor lighting

Blue Sparrow 2 coats with topcoat, indoor lighting
Blue Sparrow - from the Ink collection - neon. It's a neon pigmented, medium blue (darker than I expected) and has the exact same formula as Flying Dragon with aqua & medium blue microglitter. Dries matte & a bit gritty, but 1 coat of Seche Vite is all it needs.

Caribbean Blue 2 coats, sunlight

Caribbean Blue 2 coats, shade

Caribbean Blue - from the Bahama Blues collection - is a sky blue with white flecky glitter. Not sure if it is actually glass fleck shimmer or microgliter, but either way it is seriously awesome. I love this! The formula is a teeny bit tricky because it's a bit thick but it evened out with 2 coats.

Dorothy Blue, 3 coats, shade

Dorothy Blue, 3 coats, flash - double click for closeup

Dorothy Who? - is from the Wizard of Ohh Ahhz Returns collection. It is a gorgeous medium blue jelly packed with silver and blue glitter. It goes on so well, especially considering it's a glitter & builds up nicely in 2-3 coats. The VNL isn't obvious in real life. I really love DW?! Something about this shade of blue... an all that glitter!

That's all folks. Except for this: right now I'm wearing OPI San Tan-Tonio with China Glaze White Cap on top, it looks awesome! I don't have a camera right now or I'd show you a pic.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Color Club Back To Boho Part 1 - Swatches & Review

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 Hey all,

For Autumn 2011 (damn, it's hard not to call it Fall after reading so many US blogs!!!) Color Club have brought out the Back to Boho Collection. There are some really nice cremes in the collection - like a pretty light turquoise & a light dusky grey purple - but I already had polishes that were pretty close to being dupeable so I just picked up the shades that were unique to my collection.

 I'm doing this in Part 1 & Part 2 because a couple of my photos were really crap, thus those colours will need to be rephotographed - hopefully soon!!!

Earthy Angel


Earthy Angel is a really pretty pinkish (peachy?) beige nude. It's opaque in 2 coats, but I used 3 in these swatches because I put it on a little hurriedly in order to catch the sun = unevenness. When I took more time to apply it later, it was fine in 2. The formula was decent - spread well. I like this nude because it sill looks like a colour is on your nail. That might defeat the purpose of a nude, but yeah.

Nouveau Vintage

flash - you can see the green shimmer on the nail & in the bottle
me trying to show the green duochrome & failing, sort of - it's a bad shot but you can kind of tell how the polish looks brown in the shade

flash again - just shows the brown

Nouveau Vintage is awesome - and kind of hard to describe. I like to think of it as a kind of foil finish - there is both brown (plum brown) and green shimmer. The green shimmer doesn't translate well on the nail but is very obvious in the bottle. The green shimmer kind of switches to looking quite gold too. NV is so pretty - not as intensely sparkly as the actual Color Club Foiled collection - and I think it's quite wearable. It's probably my favourite from this collection. Two coats was plenty & application was perfection.

Red-ical Gypsy

outdoors - overcast

outdoors with flash

I had such high hopes for this one! From the swatches I'd seen I thought it would be a dark blood red. However once I got it on my nails all I could think of was OPI Malaga Wine. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice colour - but I already have Malaga Wine & the more creme like finish Manicurist of Seville (more or less dupes) so I didn't really want another berry red creme. When I compared the bottle I could tell that Gypsy had a touch of blood red to it, so it wasn't as pinky as the other two but I still feel a bit pissed off. The formula was great though, another 2 coater and it has that jelly creme finish going on so it dries quite glossy.

So there's the first lot from Back to Boho. What do you think? Does anyone have some of the other colours? I'd love it hear your opinions on them. I need to get ready for Buster's final puppy class. I think it'll be on to obedience training next!

xxx Michaela

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Pink Wednesday

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I thought I'd better get in a pink post before my Wednesday was over.

This is my newest pink, Zoya Lo from the Gossip collection AKA The Hills - though who the heck is Elodie?. Zoya describes it as a "bright, warm, medium pink creme with strong coral undertones. A unique summer pink that really flatters a tan". And I agree. It has a great formula, perfect in 2 coats, no streaking. Reminds me a lot of CG Sugar High. Look how shiny the finish is! No top coat needed (though you should always wear it as a matter of course).

That's it for today.I've got a sinus infection or something so I'm tired and grumpy.

xx Michaela

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Maybelline mini Coloramas Swatches & Review

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 I think I'm coming down with a cold :( I've had a sore throat & been super sleepy all day, so I'll try to keep this relatively short. I'll do my best to make it sweet as well.

You might remember that I picked these up when I was in Port Douglas. They are part of the Urban Wilds collection and don't seem to be available currently, in the US or NZ (I could only find them on the Australian Maybelline website). Each swatch is 2 coats.

Urban Orange


  This is the best orange I own! A nice medium orange - not bright - with pretty gold/yellow shimmer. The shimmer shows up best in the sun but is still evident in the shade. The formula was pretty good; sort of thin in consistency built up nicely in 2 coats. It looks alright next to my skin - it would help if I was rockin' a summer tan though...

 Urban Lemon

 Urban Lemon is a fantastic sunny side up yellow creme. It has pretty much killed my lemming for China Glaze Happy Go Lucky. As a bonus it doesn't make me look jaundiced! Boo-yah. It was a wee bit on the streaky side but what yellow isn't really? You just need to practice application technique/ use a self levelling top coat like SV. It looks pretty even in the photo & I wore it all on its lonesome. Doesn't it look glossy?!

Urban Turquoise

I'm certainly a fan of Urban Turquoise. It's a turquoise blue creme. I was worried it was just like L.A. Girl Flare Tropical, but it is noticeably more yellow (tropical has a lot more blue in it) - just awesome. It dries super glossy like Urban Lemon & goes on nice and even and opaque in 2 coats- could have almost left it at one, it was so pigmented.

Maybelline did a really good job on the formulas & brushes in these minis. They are still 7.5mL, which IMO is plenty of nail polish for AUD$5.95, unless you routinely use up each bottle of polish - not me, too many to drain!!!

NZ has the Smoothies collection available, which also contains some pretty colours; a bit standard, but lovely in their own right - especially the purples.

Are you a fan of this line from Mayberline too? Hope no one else is sick!!

Til tomorrow,
xxx Michaela


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