The C&NP Sunday Special!

Hi everyone! Today I’ve got something extra special for you all: two posts that will be combined into one.  I have two sets of gorgeous swatches that I just couldn’t wait to share, so I decided to post them both today.  Enjoy!

My first swatch is another bright, summery shade that will look great with just about anything.  It’s Essie In the Cab-ana from the 2013 Resort Shades collection.  You would not believe how incredibly difficult these polishes are to find right now.  In the Cab-ana is especially popular, so getting it was tough, but I managed to find it in Target.  This vibrant blue color reminds me of the sunny Caribbean beaches.  It’s a perfect shade to wear if you’re pining for a little time by the sea.

As always with Essie, the formula for In the Cab-ana was flawless.  No balding and opaque in two coats.  Pictures below show the polish with one coat of Seche Vite.

Essie In the Cab-ana

Essie In the Cab-ana

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In the Cab-ana in sunlight

In the Cab-ana in sunlight

Look at that beautiful shine!

Look at that beautiful shine!

You can find Essie polishes at Ulta, Walgreens, Target and other major drug/department stores.  You may be able to find a Resort Colors display if you’re lucky.  Let me know if you’re able to find these anywhere!

Alright lucky readers, here’s the second set of swatches for the Sunday Special.

I present to you Honey Rider, a Liquid Sand polish from the OPI Bond Girls collection.  This polish is also perfect for summer because it reminds me of the sunshine.  Honey Rider is absolutely breathtaking in sunlight.  Keep reading for pictorial evidence.

I did notice that Honey Rider has a bit of a thicker formula than the other Liquid Sand polishes, but that didn’t bother me.  Application was smooth and I got great coverage in two coats.  I did not use a top coat because I like the texture; however, you’re welcome to apply a top coat for a glossy finish.

OPI Liquid Sand in Honey Rider

OPI Liquid Sand in Honey Rider

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Honey Rider in sunlight = spectacular

Honey Rider in sunlight…simply spectacular

You can buy the OPI Bond Girls collection at Ulta for $9.00 each.  All shades are Liquid Sand polishes.  Do you plan to pick any up?

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I’ll see you next time with some more fabulous swatches.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips Review

Hello readers! Today I’m reviewing something a bit different than the products I normally gravitate towards.  Sally Hansen Polish Strips aren’t something new as they’ve been on the market for awhile now, but I’m just now trying them out.  I want to start getting into nail art, but I’m not really good at stuff like that.  I figured that these strips would be an easy and fun way to add a little flair to my manicures.  When i saw them on sale at Walgreen’s for 2 for $12, I snatched them up.

First up is a pretty pink zebra print called Animal Instinct.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in "Animal Instinct" and OPI Black Onyx

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in “Animal Instinct” and OPI Black Onyx

I used the polish strip as an accent nail and painted the rest of nails with OPI Black Onyx.

To apply the polish strip, you first push your cuticle back and shape and buff your nail.  A nail file/buffer and orange stick are included in the package.  You then select the right size strip for the nail you’re applying it to, then match up the end that best fits your cuticle.  Then you stick the strip to your nail, smooth it out with the orange stick and you’re done.  It’s a very quick process, but can get a little messy.  When you break the strip from the backing, it can tear so you need to be careful.  Also, when I was stretching the strip to fit my nail, it broke so once it was applied it looked like I already had a little tip wear.  Other than that, the strip was fairly easy to apply and looked great.

I’m not very pleased with this manicure since I did it in a hurry before work yesterday.  Aside from the messy application, I think the colors look pretty good together.  Next time I do this I’m probably going to use pink because the black is a little dark for spring time.

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Close up of the strip

Close up of the strip

You can see a little bit of tip wear from the breakage

You can see a little bit of tip wear from the breakage

100_0130The box says the strips are supposed to last for up to 10 days.  I can’t say how long they last because I took this manicure off today.  I did have to top coat one of the strips because it had a little tear, but that fixed it right up.

Today, I did a manicure with the other set of strips I got.  These are a super cute skull and heart print called Heart Breaker.  I used the strip as an accent nail and painted the rest of my nails with Essie Marshmallow.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in "Heart Breaker" and Essie Marshmallow

Sally Hansen Salon Effects in “Heart Breaker” and Essie Marshmallow

I had the same difficulty with stretching the strips this time and it didn’t quite cover all of my nail.  This strip didn’t tear though, so the tips look much better.  Overall, I think this combination makes for a much cuter manicure.  I also added Seche Vite to both of these strips to make them shinier.

Close up of the strip

Close up of the strip

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The Salon Effects Strips are a neat idea, but they’re a little difficult to work with.  I think once I get the hang of applying them, I’ll be more pleased.  I do like how they come in a variety of cute designs and are pretty easy to remove.  Have you tried the Sally Hansen Polish Strips? What do you think? I’d love to know, so make sure you tell me in the comments!

Essie Madison Ave-Hue (Spring 2013)

Hello everyone! I’m sorry for disappearing on you all for awhile.  Last month I got a job at Lowe’s Home Improvement so I’ve been very busy and unable to find the motivation to paint my nails (gasp!), let alone take pictures and post about the polishes.  I did really miss my blog and all of my readers, so I’m going to try and make a better effort to post here.  I’ve got some exciting new things to share with everyone.

Yesterday I went to Ulta and picked up a color from Essie’s Spring 2013 collection.  The color is called Madison Ave-Hue and is a beautiful Barbie pink.  Essie describes it as chic upper east side pink steps out in style, turning any ensemble into a million dollar baby. cha-ching.

This is only my second Essie polish, but I must say that the brand is growing on me.  The formula for this polish was amazing and was almost a one-coater.  No streaking or bald spots can be found!  The color is astonishing and very shiny.  I feel so girly wearing this polish and I think it’s the perfect color for spring and summer.  I also love the subtle silver shimmer in the color.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below.  I used two coats of polish for this manicure.  The first three of my nails are without a top coat, so you can really see how shiny the polish is.  The others feature Seche Vite top coat, and in the last picture taken in natural light, you can really see the shimmer and get an appreciation for this astonishing color.  I’m in love.

PS: Please excuse the peeling on my cuticles! I really lathered my hands up with lotion before taking these pictures.  Working in a hardware store does a number on your hands.

Essie Madison Ave Hue

Essie Madison Ave-Hue

I love how cute the Essie bottles are

I love how cute the Essie bottles are

Bottom of bottle

Bottom of bottle

Without Seche Vite top coat

Without Seche Vite top coat

Without Seche Vite top coat

Without Seche Vite top coat

Without Seche Vite top coat

Without Seche Vite top coat

With Seche Vite top coat

With Seche Vite top coat

With Seche Vite

With Seche Vite

You can see the silver shimmer in this picture

You can see the silver shimmer in the bottle really well here

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Beautiful picture taken in natural sun light in my car

Beautiful picture taken in natural sun light in my car

So what do you think? Are you going to grab Madison Ave-Hue, or any of the other colors from the Essie Spring 2013 collection?

A Pretty, Unremarkable Mani

Hi guys! I just finished doing my nails for the weekend and thought I’d share with you.  This is a manicure of “firsts” because I used my first Essie and first Zoya polishes.  I’m testing out colors to use for Valentine’s Day and thought these looked pretty next to each other.  Let me know what you think!

I used Zoya Erika for my main color.  This is a really pretty soft pink with gold shimmer.  The formula was amazing.  It applied smoothly and once I built up the layers the color really came out.  This is a sheer polish so I used three coats to get it opaque.

For my accent nail I used Essie Marshmallow (I read about it here and just had to pick it up at Ulta).  I then topped it off with Nicole by OPI Heavenly Angel (part of the Selena Gomez collection).  I already reviewed Heavenly Angel here, and I knew it would look stunning over a white polish.  I have to admit that I’m scared of white polishes.  Marshmallow is the first one I’ve used in quite awhile, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it go on without streaking.  It’s also a beautiful white because it’s not too bright.  I used three coats on my nail to get the opacity I desired.  I’m glad to report that it has cured my white polish phobia.

PS: I really need to get better at photographing my nails, or get a new camera…some of these pictures aren’t doing it for me.

From left to right
Essie Marshmallow, Nicole by OPI Heavenly Angel and Zoya Erika

Picture without flash

With flash

With Essie bottle

With Zoya bottle

With Zoya again

Different lighting for a slightly better picture

No flash