Dance Legend Knight

June 25, 2014

The polish in this post is one of my favorites in… a while.  I could have filled the space below with picture after picture, but I managed to keep it down to four.

Earlier this year, Dance Legend released the Chameleon collection and among them was Knight.  This multichrome stunner shifts from bronze to gold to green to a deep blue/grey.  From time to time I even see flashes of purple.  The shift itself is pretty dramatic and you can see it in any light.  My pictures below were taken indoors, but the polish still packs a punch in direct sunlight (it just takes on a more foil-like appearance).


Dance Legend Knight


The formula is great.  The polish applied like a dream and I only needed two coats for complete coverage.  You could probably use a black base coat, as many do with duo/multi/ultra-chromes, but I didn’t find it necessary.


Dance Legend Knight


Dance Legend Knight


There’s just something about that shift; I could stare at my nails for hours.


Dance Legend Knight


Man.  So so sososososo great.  My nails are actually bare at the moment, and I think Knight is calling my name.  Is it calling yours, too?



Dance Legend | Multichromes



OPI Push and Shove

May 20, 2014

There are times (more often than I’d like to admit) when I’ll buy a polish and it sits around for a while, unused.  Such is the case with Push and Shove, from the Gwen Stefani for OPI collection.  It had been sitting with the rest of my “to try” polishes for months, but no more!

Push and Shove is a silver ‘ultra-chrome’ polish that is meant to mimic a mirror finish.  It is packaged with a mini base coat, Lay Down That Base, which OPI suggests will boost the chrome finish.

Honestly, don’t expect a mirror-like result.  Expect aluminum foil (which is still great).

I followed the instructions on the back of the duo’s package: one layer of Lay Down That Base, wait until completely dry, then two thin coats of Push and Shove.  My only deviation was my use of top coat, but I’ll get to that later in the post.

OPI Push and Shove


You can definitely see the ridges in my nails with just Lay Down That Base under Push and Shove.  I’ve since found that using a ridge-filling base coat under Lay Down That Base helps to mask the imperfections.


OPI Push and Shove


OPI instructs you to skip a top coat, but… no… don’t skip it.  The top coats I’ve tried (Seche Vite and CND Vinylux) didn’t dull the finish, and avoiding a top coat is an express lane to chip town.


OPI Push and Shove


If you can’t get your hands on Push and Shove, there are a couple of similar polishes out there:  Essie No Place Like Chrome and Sterling Silver from the recent Sally Hansen Color Foils collection.



Metallics | OPI



OPI Sheer Tints

March 27, 2014

Here’s a quick look at a couple of the new OPI Sheer Tints, I Can Teal You Like Me and Don’t Violet Me Down.

These are both very sheer polishes, as the collection name suggests.  In the photos below I used two coats, which gave the nail a wash of color.  I find that the polishes are not flattering on their own, but are perfect for nail art and layering.

The consistency is thick and syrup-like, so application can be a pain.  Also, I had trouble with bubbling… even with just one coat.  It’s not noticeable from afar, but you can definitely see it up close.


I Can Teal You Like Me:

OPI I Can Teal You Like Me


Don’t Violet Me Down:

OPI Don't Violet Me Down


A cute Venn diagram mani, inspired by this Birchbox video:

OPI I Can Teal You Like Me, Don't Violet Me Down


OPI suggests another layering technique in this video, though I think I’d prefer a white base for that, as well.


So what do you think?  Will you be picking up any of the Sheer Tints?



Blues | Nail Art | OPI | Purples



Nail Rock Glitter Dust

January 17, 2014

Nail Rock Glitter Dust Blue


I received a Nail Rock Glitter Dust kit in my January Birchbox, and knew immediately that it would be the first item I’d try.

The  kit includes a creme polish for the base and a glitter for the top.  The concept is simple – you apply the polish and dip your nails into the pot of glitter while the polish is still tacky.  Clean off the excess glitter from around your nails, wait 15-20 minutes for everything to set, and you’re good to go.

You don’t need a top coat, but I opted for one.  Without the top coat, the finish is similar to the textured polishes that have flooded the market lately.  Though, if you don’t get rid of the excess glitter, you can expect a bit of fallout.


Nail Rock Glitter Dust Blue


The base polish wasn’t anything special, and if you wanted to wear it on its own you would probably need three thin coats for even, opaque coverage.  Luckily, you’re just covering it up with a ton of glitter, so two coats is all you need for this look.

The dry time was quick; when I was finished with the first coat on both hands, I was immediately able to start the second.  When I finished the second coat, I was ready to dip my nails into the glitter.


Nail Rock Glitter Dust Blue


The glitter was very fine and adhered nicely to the polish… and everything else.  So after my nails had a glitter bath, it was time to clean.  You can see in the image below that I had my work cut out for me.

Given the 20 minute wait ahead of me, I had time to clean up.  No big deal.


Nail Rock Glitter Dust Blue


I used a cotton swab to clean as much as I could from my skin.  I followed that up with a nail brush so I could get closer to the nail wall and underneath my nails.  A few minutes into the cleanup, I tapped the free edge of my nails against the table (with a paper towel underneath them) to help the loose glitter fall off.

Once 20 minutes passed, I finished the mani with a couple of layers of top coat.  Again, it’s not necessary, but I think a shiny top coat makes the glitter sparkle even more.  Two coats was necessary because the first coat was soaked up by the glitter.

Removal was a little better than your standard glitter polish.  I let an acetone-soaked cotton pad sit on my nails for about a minute before wiping, and didn’t have much trouble.


Nail Rock Glitter Dust Blue


Obviously you don’t need this particular set to get the same effect, but I was impressed with the glitter provided by Nail Rock.  I will say that if you’re not willing to put in the effort to clean up the glitter, you would probably be better served with an all-in-one textured nail polish.

So, what do you think?



Blues | Nail Rock | Textures



Birchbox Love: Beauty Protector and Dermablend

January 7, 2014

Back in mid-November, I won a Birchbox giveaway on Twitter, which gave me an opportunity to review a shampoo and conditioner from Beauty Protector and an illuminator from Dermablend. I wanted to finish up the shampoo and conditioner so I could give a complete review, but the bottles are lasting a while even with daily use. Still, I feel a month of use has given me a pretty good idea of how effective they are. Also, the time has given me more opportunities to play with the illuminator.


Beauty Protector Shampoo & Conditioner

Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo / Protect & Condition
This duo is paraben free, vegan, color-safe, and meant for daily use on all hair types. While the shampoo is sulfate free, the conditioner is not. It’s also worth nothing that both contain dimethicone, if that’s an ingredient you’ve been trying to cut from your hair/beauty routine.

A bit about my hair before I get into the review: It’s long, fine, and builds up oil quickly at the roots. Because of this, I concentrate on the roots when I shampoo and concentrate on the lower half when I condition.  Usually, that means I use less of each during my shower, which makes the product last longer.  That’s a definite plus, and you’ll find out why in a bit.

Beauty Protector claims their formula will enhance volume, add shine, seal the cuticle, revive moisture, and provide UV protection. Aside from the UV protection, which I don’t have a reliable way of measuring, I would agree with the claims. I found that my hair had decent volume, was smooth, and had a healthy shine. I was pleasantly surprised that the conditioner didn’t weigh down my hair.

I was also pleased with the scent, which is slightly ‘tropical’. Sweet, coconut-y, a little floral. I love catching whiffs of it throughout the day.

I know some folks had an issue with a lack of lather from the shampoo, which is typical of sulfate-free shampoos. I didn’t encounter that problem unless my hair was particularly oily or had a lot of buildup.

One thing I am a bit critical of is the price. Each bottle is $21.95 USD for 8oz/236ml. While it’s on par with some other high-end brands (Alterna comes to mind), it’s nearly twice as expensive as my regular Amika shampoo and conditioner ($22 USD for just over 14oz/425ml). That said, I could see myself purchasing them, especially if I’ve banked some Birchbox points! Both products have four stars on Birchbox and over 13,000 reviews between them, so I doubt I’m the only one looking to splurge.


Dermablend Quick-Fix Illuminator

Dermablend Quick-Fix Illuminator
Quick-Fix Illuminator is used to brighten the eye area as well as highlight and sculpt your brows, lips, and cheeks.

It comes in liquid form, dispensed through a twist-up tube with a brush applicator, similar to some lip glosses and concealers. The brush works well to place the illuminator where you need it, but I preferred to use my fingers to pat the product in and sheer it out.

I received the Pearl shade, which is different than the other skin tone-based shades in that it isn’t meant to conceal dark circles. I use it strictly to highlight certain areas of my face: under my brows, on the tops of my cheekbones, and in the inner corner of my eyes.

Dermablend Quick-Fix Illuminator
The product is very nice. It blends well and the result is a subtle, flattering glow.  For the photo below, I only slightly blended the illuminator.  You can sheer it out even more for a softer look.  The Pearl shade can be used with all skin tones, which is a plus.

Dermablend Quick-Fix Illuminator

Dermablend’s Quick-Fix Illuminator is another four-star product on Birchbox.  I would recommend it, especially if you are looking for a liquid highlighter.



Makeup | Other


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