May 18, 2012

NotD: Half Lizard, All Bad Attitude

So, I loved most of the colors in the Amazing Spider-Man set from OPI, I thought I would do my own twist on a shatter mani. I love Just Spotted the Lizard as well as Shatter the Scales. However, I didn't want to cover the former entirely so I decided to only put the shatter on half of my nail.

Step 1) As always, apply a coat of your favorite base coat. I use OPI's base coat.
Step 2) Apply 2 coats of Just Spotted the Lizard.
Step 3) Take a piece of clear cellophane tape and stick it to your skin to weaken the adhesive a little.
Step 4) Once your polish is dry, put the tape over 1/2 your nail. Apply shatter, and then immediately remove the tape.
Step 5) Let dry, then apply top coat. I use Seche Vite.

Relatively simple but an amazing combo.

May 17, 2012

OPI Amazing Spider-Man Review

Okay, as soon as I heard about this set, I knew I had to have it so that I could review it for you so hear it is! While I've never really followed Spider-Man hardcore, this is a classic that many folks should know the basics to if they get the chance. OPI has released this set to tie in with the release of Amazing Spider-Man in theaters this July.

First of all, I decided to get the 4 pack of mini bottles due to budget and also because I wasn't 100% sold on a couple colors as they looked in the bottle. However, I did get full size bottles of Shatter the Scales and Call Me Gwen-ever. All of the products contained in this review were purchased by me.

All photos are at the bottom of the article.

Into the Night - A deep, shimmery blue. I was very surprised at how sheer this color is. Although my photos are 2 coats, I would definitely recommend 3 coats for this and at least one other color in this set. This color leans more on the blue side of the spectrum than Russian Navy and it's a beautiful color. This color makes me think of Raven from Teen Titans.

Call Me Gwen-ever - A deep coral shade that leans extremely towards the orange side of the spectrum. Probably the best formula of the set as it went on my nails smoothly and wasn't sheer at all. This color reminds me of a tomato red-orange but also of the typical color used for redheads in comics. Perfectly on trend as well.

Your Web or Mine? - I will admit like many other bloggers that I think this would be better suited to any set other than Spidey's (Vintage Minnie Mouse due out in June perhaps?) but with that aside, the color stands on its own pretty well. It isn't the stand out but it isn't horrible other than the theme faux pas. The color is a medium frosty pink that is definitely able to be described as 80's but it isn't garish. Had this polish been released under any other set, I wouldn't be complaining. The formula is decent at 2 coats but as with any frosty polish, it can be streaky. It goes well with glitters such as Save Me (OPI Nicki Minaj) or Excuse' Moi (OPI Muppets).

Number One Nemesis - I am a huge fan of gunmetal colors. I don't have too many in my collection but I am glad I held out. This metallic nickel is a 2 coat formula that will go perfectly with a dress that I have. It leans towards the green side of the spectrum rather than Baby It's Coal Outside's blue tone. Goes on the nail smoothly as well.

Just Spotted the Lizard - This is absolutely the stand put polish of the set. A dupe of Chanel Peridot. The base color is a yellow bronze and the edges shift to blur and green depending on the angle. It looks gorgeous under Shatter the Scales as well. A 3 coat formula unless you're layering it under a shatter or glitter. Then I would stick with 2.

Shatter the Scales -I thought I was done with shatter and then I saw this one. A shimmering green almost black shatter. I love this because it is so subtle that the color you put underneath can affect the way it looks. I prefer it over Into The Night and Just Spotted the Lizard, personally.

All in all, I feel like OPI has done this theme justice. Despite Your Web or Mine? being a little oddball it is a nice everyday frost. Stand outs include Just Spotted the Lizard and Shatter the Scales.

What do you think of the set?

4 pack of minister includes - Your Web or Mine?, Into The Night, Number One Nemesis, and Just Spotted the Lizard - $12.50

May 14, 2012

Movie Tie-Ins: Awesome or Gimmick?

So, with the advent of movie tie-in sets for cosmetics, and more specifically nail polish, I wanted to take a moment to look at some of the recent sets and put my thoughts on how well they embody a movie's themes while still releasing a quality product. I've found that when shopping for nail polish especially, this is a difficult task. Some companies put together an amazing set overall that really fits the themes and some only partially do it with some off the wall colors. Luckily, I have yet to see a set that entirely misses the mark. This relieves me because a lot of these tie-ins are movies or general subject matter that I love.

From L to R: Steady As She Rose, Mermaid's Tears, and Stranger Tides.
One of the first movie tie-ins that I bought polishes from was the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides set from OPI. This set comprised of true pastels (a hue with both white and black  mixed in) and ended up to be some great subtle shades. I use this a lot for zombie themed nails where I put the Silver Shatter on top. The reason I still love this collection? I have yet to see the colors duplicated which is something that OPI is infamous for doing.

From L to R: Gettin' Piggy With It, Excuse' Moi, Divine Swine, Fresh Frog of Bel Air, Gone Gonzo, Rainbow Connection.
From L to R: Wocka Wocka, Meep Meep Meep, Designer... De Better, Warm and Fozzie, Pepe's Purple Passion.
The Muppets collection is one that I fell head over heels for. There is only one thing that I found out later that has me a little irked that I hurried out to buy it. One of the more popular colors, Rainbow Connection, is available in the Nicole by OPI set Kardashian Kolor under the name Rainbow in the S-Kylie. You can find swatches here at Polish-A-Holic's blog.

Even then, it's nice to know when a polish can possibly be replaced but there should be a line drawn. These collections weren't even released 6 months apart. I also just purchased most of the colors out of the Amazing Spider-Man collection and I am very happy with them so far. Now the color Your Web or Mine? doesn't necessarily fit the theme, but I think the color is a great one when not associated with Spider-Man (more to come in my upcoming review).
From L to R: Metallic 4 Life, Fly, Pink Friday, and Save Me
Some of these thoughts not only apply to the movie tie-ins but to pop culture tie-ins in general. There was one color of the Nicki Minaj set (pictured above except Superbass Shatter and Did It On 'Em) that was too close to one of the Shrek Forever After colors for comfort. Comparison shots show differences between the two but it also was a strange color for me (Fiercely Fiona being a yellow and Did It On 'Em being a warm yellow-green). Yukie has done some awesome side-by-sides here.

China Glaze's Capitol Colours set was probably one of the only ones where I haven't found myself disappointed and finding dupes. I personally own Fast Track, Stone Cold, Agro, Harvest Moon, Riveting, Electrify, and Luxe and Lush. Even after the change in marketing, names, and inspiration, I felt that most of the colors were spot on and the set itself was balance between bright, glittery, cremes, mattes, and neutrals.

All in all, I think it is wise to do as much research on colors as possible before you rush out and buy a limited edition collection. Also, buying partial sets is something that everyone can and should do. With my blog being so focused on geek oriented items, it's so hard to figure out what's worth my money going toward. How do you feel about movie tie-in sets? Do you love them? Hate them? Let me know!

May 4, 2012

NotD and Review: China Glaze's Optical Illusion

So I decided on a simple mani today. I decided to go with China Glaze's Optical Illusion which is a part of their new Prismatic Chroma Glitters collection.

In the bottle, the nail polish looks absolutely stunning. At rest, it looks aqua/turquoise with plenty of silver glitter mixed in but when I lifted the bottle up, the glitter shifted to highlight the purple. Photos really do not do this polish justice at all.

While the shift is a lot more subtle on the nail, I wasn't disappointed. The formula took only 2 coats (although 3 are on my nails for swatching purposes) in order to get a solid glitter look to it. The glitter stays in place, but you still want to wait 1-2 minutes for the polish to set before adding another coat. This ensures that the glitter won't shift.

I initially had a couple of problems getting the nail polish smooth (no lumps in the middle of my nail) but now, after some practice, it's a smooth formula and goes on a lot easier.

As you can see, in natural light, the shifting quality is captured just a little better.

On the Left is Optical Illusion... On the Right is Prism

May 3, 2012

New Gallery

Okay, so I thought I would try to organize some of my swatch photos and in the process, I am redoing a lot of them to try and get better photos. I am going to be adding a tab at the top for a gallery. What this is going to do is link to a Tumblr account and also in the tab, I will be including tabs for various brands, colors, and cosmetic types that are tags for Tumblr so it will make it easier for you to find swatches of various colors.

This reorganization will take a while because I'd also eventually like to include my reviews in links but that will be the next step after uploading and cataloging the photos. I just thought I would leave a note here so that folks know what's going on.

The main gallery is at: