Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nail Mail Haul and Untried Challenge - Barry M Bright Pink

I received some awesome nail mail from the UK and Spain today and as its officially "Pink Week" in one of the many polish groups I'm in, I decided to pick out one of the colors I received for my Untried Challenge today.

First, the haul:

And I also got this earlier in the week from a couple girls in my Birthday club since we're talking about nail mail:

I absolutely LOVE the Starbursts from the UK, mostly because they have a lime flavor we don't have here and Smarties are like the yummy chocolately cousin of M&Ms.  I'd never tried Maoams but they turned out to be awesome too!

Now back to the polish:

2 coats Bright Pink over 1 coat of Essie Flawless finished with a coat of Seche Vite for extra shininess!
I picked out Barry M Bright Pink.  Now, if there is one color that I absolutely love, its pink.  I have a TON of it in my stash and am constantly on the lookout for more so it was no surprise that I should want this particular color ESPECIALLY since I also love Barry M.  But I think of all the Barry M pinks I own, this is now my favorite.

Before this, I had been wearing Coral, also by Barry M and loved it as well.  There is just something about this brand that makes me squeal like a little schoolgirl when I see them in my nail mail.  Formula wise, this particular color was fantastic and gave me the opacity I wanted in 2 coats over 1 coat of Essie Flawless (which was originally going to be my "pink" for this week but changed my mind at the last minute).

They're about £2.99 if you buy them online at and if you're in the US like me, the flat-rate shipping isn't terrible.  I'm fortunate to have some great polish pals in the UK who gladly send me some from their local Boots and/or Superdrug so I haven't yet experienced buying them online but this is a brand worth trying if you can.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Untrieds Day Two/Three?

Sorry I've been a little behind so I have a few swatches to show y'all that I'm really excited about!

First up, is Illamasqua Jo'Mina.  This has been a huge lemming since I thought it was the purple Lydia wore on The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) but it turns out she was actually wearing MeMeMe Cosmetics in Gorgeous.   Check it out:

Formula wise, it was excellent.  It only took 2 coats to build up to opacity and was smooth and beautiful unlike other similar cremes of this shade from other brands.  Illamasqua is worth every penny based on the three that I've tried (Jo'Mina, Lament, and Nomad).  I thought I had a similar nail polish color in Love and Beauty by Forever 21 and Julep, but it turns out this color is lighter and more red-toned.  Illamasqua is available in the US exclusively at Sephora and retails for $14.  Love and Beauty in "Purple" (yes, unfortunately F21 has really generic color names) and Julep Anne are good alternatives at $2.80 and $14 respectively.

Next up is P2 Color Victim in Electric.  I got this in a swap with a polish pal in the Netherlands who actually picked it up in Germany.  It's one of those jelly-creme, or crelly hybrid and took 3 coats to adequately build up in opacity for me.

Also a beautiful color, this was a decent formula to work with.  However, if you aren't able to get this from a friend in Europe then Nails Inc Portobello ($14) is a great alternative.  It really exemplifies the Pantone 2012 Color of the Year, Tangerine Tango.

I saved my favorite for last.  Mostly because its pink and it's actually the first Nails Inc I've ever bought domestically (99.9% of my Nails Inc have come from swaps from the UK and other countries.)  Notting Hill Gate is another crelly that was a joy to work with and built up in 3 coats.

It's not as neon as I thought it would be but I was happy that it didn't dry to a satiny, almost matte finish that a lot of my other neon-ish colors dry.  Not that makes a huge difference since a quick swipe with Seche Vite would turn any matte/satin/sueded polish uber shiny, but for the girl who isn't necessarily interested in top coating it, this is certainly the neon pink shade for you.  This is a new shade that's available at most nail bars in Sephora stores or you can find it online at  Retail price is $9.50.

All in all, I'm really happy with all three polishes.  If you like bright shades, these are three that you definitely want to consider owning.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Million Dollar Baby - Untrieds Month Day One

So I decided to participate in a challenge of sorts proposed by one of the wonderful gals, Helen in my nail polish birthday club called the Untrieds Month for two reasons: 1) I've been sorely neglecting my blog and 2) I've just got a ton of untrieds begging to be worn.

I just finished doing my nails in probably the most fab color of the season, Nails Inc Baker Street.  Its a bright but rich blue that Beyonce wore post-birth of her baby Blue Ivy!

Anyways, one of my other lovely gal pals in the birthday group, Zoe over at Obsessive-Compulsive Nail Painting Disorder sent me a bottle and this is how it turned out on me:

I don't normally wear blues this shade but OMG this was absolutely gorgeous.  So much so, I've now worn it twice in one week which almost always NEVER happens.  But because it wasn't necessarily an "untried" since I'd already worn it once, I decided to try one of my many "toppers" to go with it as part of Day 1 of my Untrieds Month.

This is Million Dollar Baby (MDB) by Catrice, a European brand that I've managed to acquire from swaps with polish pals in The Netherlands.  

MDB is part of the Million Styles Effect Top Coat and is a very light gold? glitter topper.  Its a combination of matching larger hex and finer glitter.

One coat of Million Dollar Baby over Baker Street:

Application was brilliant; I didn't have a lot of issues having to fish glitter out of the bottle and placing everything individually on my nails which can sometimes happen with glitter in my personal experience.  The lightness of the gold shade sometimes makes me think its silver and sometimes reminds me its gold and makes a good foil to the bright blue of Baker Street.

I really like this topper; its a lot easier to use formula wise -- not as goopy as others I've used in the past -- and it gets a lot of glitter on the nail without fuss.  I kind of wish I had only done an accent nail because it looks sort of odd across the entire hand but I'm not necessarily a big glitter girl to begin with.

The biggest downside is probably that this is a limited edition and in the world of Catrice, means it won't last long if you can get your hands on it.  For girls unable to get Catrice easily (like in the US where it's not sold at all) suitable alternatives include Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow ($20) although it looks a bit more yellow and NYX Prismatic Gold ($3), though this one has a large iridescent hex as opposed to a solid metallic gold hex.

Lastly, do check out the other girls in the group participating in the Untrieds Month challenge:

Alyssa B. at Fancy Phalanges
Nicole at Not Skin Deep
Helen at The Nail Newbie

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Do Often Get Around...

I did a guest post for a good gal pal in my Birthday Club.  Check it out and take a gander at the rest of her blog as well!