Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sinful Colors - Cloud 9

In support of my beloved Fighting Illini, I'm always on the hunt for a perfect orange.  My first foray into orange was OPI's Flit-a-Bit mini, which was horrible, to say the least.  The formula was gloppy and streaky and that mini brush was about the most difficult thing I've ever worked with.  I took pics, but umm... it looks good in them.  It looked terrible IRL... and I don't want to false advertise, so I won't post them.

After the Flit-a-Bit fiasco, I decided I was a) never going to buy mini bottles again, and b) I needed to find the perfect orange.  I have picked up quite a few since then, which you will be seeing, as it's basketball season and I have season tickets!  :)

We'll start with Sinful Colors Cloud 9.  I had looked at it all summer long, but kept thinking Flit-a-Bit would work fine when basketball season started up, so I never bought it.  The day after I used Flit-a-Bit, I bought Cloud 9.  It looks like shimmery orange juice in the bottle - it's so pretty and almost mesmerizing!

Like many Sinful Colors, it's pretty sheer.  Even with 4 coats, which is what you see here, there was a bit of VNL, but not as visible as the photo makes it.  The formula was perfect consistency and the dry time was just fine.  The brush is nothing special, but it gets the job done - no wonkiness!

The wear was pretty good - I think I got 3 days out of this one.  My only complaint is that it isn't *quite* Illini orange, which is no fault of the polish.  It's just a bit too light and yellow-based - Illini orange is a little darker and more red-toned.  However, I really liked this one and I think I'll wear it more often in the summer.

If you're looking for an orange juice orange, give this one a try - at $2, it's hard to be disappointed!

Sinful Colors retail for $1.99 at Walgreens, among other retailers.

Number of coats: 4
Basecoat: Gelous
Topcoat: Out the Door

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength - Fairy Tale Ivory

I seem to have an obsession with picking up nail polishes that really don't look good with my skin tone.  Even though I KNOW it won't work, I keep hoping that it will and pick it up, sometimes plunking down $$ for a polish I won't ever wear.  Case in point - OPI's Man of La Mancha.  I love it in the bottle - LOVE! - but every time I put it on, I shudder and take it off within a few minutes.  I think it's because I see things on other bloggers and it looks so great on them, it never occurs to me that I have these weird yellow/green undertones in my hands that they don't have to deal with, and so most neutrals, reds, and pinks look hideous on me!

So a few months ago I saw a blogger wearing OPI's Hollywood Blonde and my eyes bugged out of my head because it is so incredibly lovely.  I'm always on the hunt for neutrals I can wear to work (I wear whatever I want, but I'm looking for ones I can wear without guilt!) and this looked perfect - sheer, nude, but sparkly!  However, when I started looking at prices, my eyes bugged out just a bit more - $15 is the cheapest I've ever seen, and that does not include shipping!

After recently being disappointed by a number of these nudish work safe shades because they look horrible against my skin tone (Essie Demure Vixen, I'm looking at you!), I just couldn't bring myself to spend close to $20 on something that MIGHT work, but probably won't.  I started looking around for dupes and Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength in Fairy Tale Ivory caught my eye.  It seems similar... maybe even a dupe (anyone have Hollywood Blonde out there?), and the price is much more reasonable, so I decided I would get it and not feel bad if it didn't work.

I wanted to include a bottle pic here because you do lose a lot of the color when it's on your nails.  You can actually tell I've used this bottle more than once - a rarity in my collection!

I'll let you be the judge on whether it looks ok on me... but I was pleased with it.  Not enough to spend the $$ on Hollywood Blonde - I doubt I will wear it enough to justify the cost.  However, I've worn it twice now, which is not common for me, so maybe Hollywood Blonde is in my future?

I took a million pics of this, because it does have a unique shimmer that is really hard to catch.  Let me know if you want to see more - I've got 'em!

Sorry for the glare, I still haven't found time to build a light box!

In this close-up, you can see the little flecky shimmers - it looks amazing when the light hits it!

In this super-close-up, you can see all the little rainbow-y shimmers.  There's pink, green, gold - a little bit of everything!

I also wanted to include a low-light pic, because this is how it's going to look most of the time (hopefully minus the bit of yellow staining for you!).  It's still got a nice nudey-shimmer going on, but it's not all blamm-o in your face.

As for wear... this one doesn't hold up the best, however, tipwear / chips aren't all that noticeable because of the color and shimmer.  I can wear this one for 3 or 4 days and no one notices that it isn't looking its best.  It is a sheer, so you will never get it opaque - I do 3-4 coats to really show off the shimmer.  The dry time is quick and there isn't much need for clean up.  My only beef is the brush - well, actually, the crazy-long stick the brush is on.  Was that totally necessary Sally?!  :P

I'm totally sold on this one, though maybe it isn't the best match with my skin tone - I don't even care.  It's great to put on when I don't have a ton of time to do clean-up.  It's work appropriate, but it has enough going on to keep me interested.  And I love the price!  I paid $4 something at Walgreens for this one, but I saw it last night at Wal-Mart for $3, so it is definitely affordable.

I bought this in hopes to dupe Hollywood Blonde, but now, I don't really care if it's a dupe or not - it's a regular for me.  However, if you do have the OPI... let me know what you think!

Number of coats: 4
Basecoat: Gelous
Topcoat: Out the Door