Thursday, November 29, 2012

Influenster College VoxBox 2012!

When I found out I was qualified for my first VoxBox on Influenster, I was unbearably excited. I've talked about Influenster before on my blog, but for those of you who did not read that post, the short version is that it's a site where you can review products and, in return, they will sometimes send you a box of free shit if you qualify for it so you can test it out and tell them what you think!

Being a college student (Influenster knows this because I have a "badge" saying so), I naturally qualified for the College VoxBox. I was unbearably excited about this - there's few things I love as much as free stuff! Especially stuff that is specifically geared towards my life. The survey I filled out before getting the box had a question asking about what brands of nail polish I use, which only made me more excited. Not only was I getting free stuff - I was getting free nail polish!

The packaging left a bit to be desired. 

Unfortunately, the College VoxBox was one giant disappointment. To be honest, I almost wish I did not qualify it because I'm not sure what to do with most of this shit now. Below are my thoughts on all of the products I got. I will review them on Influenster directly, rather than on here because most are pretty unrelated to this blog.

See my thoughts and what the products are after the jump!

Monday, November 26, 2012

NOTD: Essie Penny Talk

Rose gold has been a hit with beauty-type people for as long as I can remember. Now, I do like rose gold, but not quite with the burning passion that many gurus do. I don't wear jewelry or anything anyways for the most part, so it does not come up that frequently in my life.

When Essie released their new mirror metallics collection (this was a while ago) I was truly blown away by the pictures I saw in swatches. Somehow, Essie managed to make these polishes achieve the foil-like finish that I had seen pictures of and wanted but wasn't sure was possible for me to do with polish alone. They were absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, I already had a silver and gold nail polish so those were right now. Penny Talk, on the other hand, was unlike anything I had in my collection and was a gorgeous rose gold color.

I was very hesitant about buying this polish. I had heard many people say that the color does not look good with some skin types and I wasn't sure if I even really liked rose gold in general. This is why I chose to "buy" it for 1 cent on Copious. Copious used to run a promotion where if you signed up, you got $10 credit on the site. I used one of those credits on this polish, one I wasn't sure I was going to like but knew I needed to try.

It's worth noting my new injury on my ring finger here. I work in a scene shop and had an accident with a tape measure. Shit happens, my hands are abused. My nail on my pointer finger also broke a little bit ago, hence its lack of length. Also I did a kind of bad painting these, apologies again...

I was very pleasantly surprised with this. I don't think it looks bad on my skin type and the color is mindblowingly pretty. I absolutely love it. The thing that blows me away most with it though is the finish. It really DOES look like foil on your nails which I've never really seen with other polishes. There is a downside to that - the polish is very good at highlighting any imperfections in your nail, like ridges or bumps. But, I've found as  they dry this effect tends to minimize.

There's something about wearing rose gold on my fingers that makes me feel unbearably classy too. I chose to wear this color when I knew I was meeting my boyfriend's parents for the first time over Thanksgiving. I wanted something that would last long (metallics don't chip as easily, generally) and would be classy enough that his parents would respect me (IE not wearing neon this time) but cool enough that his younger sisters would think I'm awesome. I think this color does a good job of doing just that - and being a bit festive for the holiday season.

I highly recommend this line of polishes, but this one is my favorite. I also have No Place Like Chrome from the collection which I found to be so much better than the other silver I had, that I just gave my friend the other.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NOTD: Essie Lapis of Luxury

Lapis of Luxury was one of those polishes that I had my eye on a long time before I ended up getting it. It was another perfect blue - kind of purple, light, bright and all around gorgeous. I finally got it thanks to the generosity of another user on Random Acts of Polish and I could not have been happier to receive it. It was one I knew I wanted for so long that finally adding it to my collection was a sort of unbearably satisfying.

Essie has also been a favorite brand of mine for a while. Before I even wore nail polish, I couldn't help but have a special sort of affection in my heart for their pretty little bottles and vibrant cremes they so masterfully put out. My collection of Essie polishes can always do to grow, as far as I'm concerned. I can't get enough of them.

A quick note as you're starting to look at the picture below - you'll notice I had a breakage recently with my pointer finger. I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but this mani is actually from before that one so it is even shorter here. I woke up one morning and my nail was RIPPED off. It was so short and weird and sad looking. So just thought I'd update you on that. Also, apologies for any messiness. I can't be arsed to clean up and if I don't take a picture of my mani while it's fresh, I usually don't take any picture.

3 coats, natural light, topcoat and everything as usual. Apolgies for mess.
I was very happy with this polish. I do think you need three coats, even though I tend to avoid three at all costs. It helps make the polish fully opaque and bright considering it does have a bit of a sheer consistency. I love the color a lot - I wasn't sure how much I'd actually like it on my nails and I have to say...I love it a whole lot.

My hands are kind of tiny and weird looking....
I went outside right after painting my nails and noticed it was the EXACT same color as the sky so I thought I'd share with you the pic I took when I realized this. The color is gorgeous and I highly recommend this one to anyone who may be interested. I don't think I've ever seen another color quite like it, either.

Monday, November 19, 2012

NOTD: Orly Glowstick

I really hated neon nails for the longest time. I didn't see why it was appealing - the color was often so tacky and disgusting. That all changed when a beauty guru I love on youtube, missglamorazzi, showed an incredible neon creme in one of her favorites videos. As soon as I saw it in the video, I knew I just needed to have it in my life. The color was gorgeous.

I was gifted this polish as part of the makeup/nail exchange on Reddit a couple months ago and when I saw the polish in the bottle I nearly died of excitement. The color was simply obnoxious - so bright, so neon. It hurt a little to look at. I immediately fell in love.

Leading up to me wearing the polish, I told everyone I knew that I was going to paint my nails the most disgusting and obnoxious neon color of all time. I was unbelievably excited. When my roommate came back to the room the day I got in the mail, I eagerly ran over saying "Tomoyo, you won't believe how obnoxious a color this is, I love it so much". Needless to say, I was infatuated with the color.
Two coats over one coat of white, top coat, natural light. It was a rainy day.
My expectations were more than exceeded. When I painted the yellow over a white coat, it was like liquid highlighter on my nails. I wish pictures could do it justice, but they simply can't. The picture above was the closes I could get to capture the real glowy-ness off the polish. It really did hurt to look at. It really does glow, especially in sort of blue-tinted light outside. You couldn't ignore the color if you tried. My friend called it "tennis ball color", which I would say is a pretty accurate description. When I went to the post office, the guy asked me if I was going to a rave tonight because of my nails.

I love this neon. It's wonderful, it makes me immensely happy to wear and see. I highly recommend it to everyone, especially if you want a little attention because of your nails (this one definitely gets attention!). 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Seche Plus

My nails are tricky.

I started biting my nails at a very young age, probably around age 5. I only stopped the habit within the past year - meaning my nails have been chewed on the majority of my life. But more on THAT story later, the only part that matters now is the state my nails are in because of that habit.

My nails are very weak. This usually manifests by them being kind of bendy when they get too long. I remember a time when I quit biting my nails for a month and they grew and grew but eventually, my nails just ended up almost folding and bending and breaking. My nails are also dry and flaky from my unbeatable habit of picking off polish.

Because of my nails rather weak state, I look for a basecoat that will strengthen them. I've tried many base coats (more on that later too), but all of the strengthening ones I've tried chip like crazy. However, I quite love the one I currently use as it doesn't chip AND it strengthens. A lovely lady on the RandomActsOfPolish subreddit bought it for me after I told her what sort of nails I had and she said this would work wonders. The base coat I am talking about is Seche Plus.

I had never heard of Seche Plus before, so I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't one of those basecoats people talk on and on about and it wasn't one people say is horrible. Hell, I didn't even know it existed. I didn't really expect for it to be wonderful, but I figured I would give it a shot, considering my discontent with my current basecoat.

Well, I have to say I will probably never use another basecoat again. This is REALLY good at strenthening. As I type, my nails have been unpainted for 2-3 days and they are STILL really strong and not bendy at all. It has made a noticeable difference. I am really hard on my hands (I work building things and my hands get beat up. I also work a shift in my co-op kitchen twice a week which equates to TONS of handwashing) so I'm surprised when anything lasts. My color consistently lasts about 3-5 days before chipping with this basecoat, meaning I can usually get away with only painting my nails twice a week or so. This isn't quite as longlasting as other basecoats I've tried, but it's still pretty damn good. It also takes very little time to try (first nail is always dry after painting the last).

I have two things that I find weird about this basecoat. First off is consistency. Unlike others I've tried, it's not thick like the consistency of other nail polishes. Instead, it's kind of watery and like a thin liquid. Application is fine, it's just...strange. It also smells kind of strange. It's a weird, sort of sweet, almost vanilla scent. I kinda like this about Seche Plus but it is so freaking bizarre.

Overall, I love this basecoat, and I think I will continue to buy it over and over again. I have no intentions of trying any more anytime soon considering how well this one works for me.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NOTD: China Glaze Dress Me Up

Anyone who knows me knows that I love neutrals. And by love I mean hopelessly and completely love them. I have a lot of neutrals in my collection. Two of my favorite polishes of all time are neutrals. In case you haven't guessed: I REALLY love them! Now, this isn't to say I don't love bright colors (I really do love those as well...) but nothing quite tempts me like a gorgeous neutral creme.

The other thing that I have a hard time resisting is polishes based off fandoms I love. Having recently finished the second book in the series, my appreciation for the Hunger Games and, by extension, the China Glaze Hunger Games collection is absolutely immense. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that I own about half of the collection. Hell, the first salon brand polishes I ever bought were from the Hunger Games collection! That was back when I only owned about 5 polishes too!

When Cherry Culture was having the aforementioned sale, I found myself being tempted yet again by the Hunger Games collection. And after seeing swatches of Dress Me Up, I couldn't help but love it. It's a gorgeous creme neutral, somewhere between pink and mauve and a light brown. I decided it was a must needed addition to my collection and immediately added it to my cart.

2 coats, natural light. Excuse the messy-ness/chippy-ness, I didn't get a chance to take pictures until after doing a lot of dishes...And you know, wouldn't be a post if I didn't apologize for the state of my nails
Well, I was a little disappointed by this polish. Yeah, it's a good neutral but it's not nearly as exciting as some of the others in my collection. My friend commented that it looks like something a grandmother would wear, and I can't help but agree with it. The formula is great as expected, but the color is kinda meh. I have a hard time seeing myself reaching for this polish over and over again. It's just not nearly as gorgeous as I would hope to be. I do see it as a great color for work/professional life though. Unfortunately, I'm a college kid who doesn't have to worry about those things.

Friday, November 9, 2012

NOTD: China Glaze Man Hunt

We all know what it feels like to be completely lusting after a polish for months. For me, that polish was (for the longest time) China Glaze Man Hunt. I had been looking for a blue exactly that color forEVER so when I finally saw it, it was true love. When Cherry Culture had a sale on China Glaze nail polishes, and this polish was on the site, I knew now was the time to buy it.

2 coats, with top coat and base coat, natural light. Excuse the length/state of my nails, as always. And how shittily I painted them.
This is the single best blue I have ever seen. It exceeded my expectations. It's totally vibrant and saturated but still a dark color, which isn't something you see very often. The color is GORGEOUS. As it's China Glaze, formula was lovely as always and it was perfectly opaque in two coats. I absolutely love it.

It's not often that I get compliments on nail color, but this color yielded MANY, many from people who weren't into nail polish at all. This included my boyfriend, who occasionally will note my nail color when it's one he really likes. So, if it passed the boyfriend test, it must be a great color!

I highly recommend this color. I think everyone should own it. The picture really doesn't do it justice fully. Go buy it! Right now! It's the GREATEST.