Sunday, January 30, 2011

China Glaze - Anchors Away Comparisons

I didn't do comparisons for all of AA because I had some that were totally unique in my collection, but here are the ones I did do!

First up, Pelican Gray.  I filled a request on the NB for it compared to Zoya Harley and then I thought about it later and decided to compare it to Recycle as well, so sorry there are two pics instead of just one on this one.

Pelican Gray vs Harley Bottle:

On nail:

As you can see, Harley is more purple-toned than Pelican Gray and its shimmer is no secret!

Here it is compared with Recycle:

I thought these looked pretty similar in the bottle, though PG is a little lighter and has shimmer, but on the nail, they really don't have much in common...

Recycle is much browner, darker, and has no shimmer.  Not really anything alike at all!

Cilucia over at Spaz & Squee compared Pelican Gray with Zoya Dove and Diamond Cosmetic's Concrete Jungle (which is a dupe to RBL's Concrete Jungle I hear) as well, so stop by and check our her AMAZING pics!

Next we have Below Deck.  It is supposed to be similar to Channelesque also by China Glaze, but I don't have that one to compare it to.  I have a ton of greige/gruples/whatever you call this color, but I decided to go with a couple of drugstore ones since those would be the easiest to procure - Confetti's Moonstruck and Revlon Top Speed in Stormy.


You can see from this bottle pic that the Revlon is more brown than Below Deck and Moonstruck, but those two are nearly identical.

Moonstruck is just the tiniest bit browner than Below Deck, but they are close enough I doubt anyone but a NBer would notice the difference.  If you have a CVS in your area, you can pick up Moonstruck for $1.99 and maybe save yourself a bit of cash?

When I showed Knotty, I mentioned that it had the same kinda shimmer as Sally Hansen's Fairy Tale Ivory.  The base colors are quite a bit different, but they both have a rainbow shimmer that really perks up a neutral.

I'm having a hard time photographing the rainbow part of the shimmer, but trust me, it's there!  You can see Fairy Tale Ivory's in the post I made about it - the shimmer in Knotty is identical.  I think the base color of Fairy Tale Ivory flatters me a bit more, so I probably won't wear Knotty as often, but it is nice to know I have another option when I'm looking for an interesting neutral.

White Cap vs CND Jade Sparkle:
In the bottle pic, you can see how dense the sparkles are in Jade Sparkles - White Cap just looks white in comparison!

On the nail, the differences are much more subtle.  They both have a lovely green-to-gold sparkle that will easily get noticed, but White Cap has that milky white base instead of the clear Jade Sparkles has.  I guess the question here is what you are planning on doing with it - if you are looking to layer this polish, you probably should do Jade Sparkles instead.  However, if you are planning on wearing it on its own, White Cap is the one for you.

Cilucia also compared these and you can see her layering experiment (scroll down) and decide which one you prefer, or both!  After seeing her pics, I ordered Orly Enchanted Forest!  :)

Now I'll move on to the Knotty Nauticals set.  I know others are comparing Ahoy! to lots of other China Glaze pinks, but I really have no pinks that look even remotely similar, so I didn't do anything for it.  I haven't seen it confirmed as a dupe to anything yet, so if you love it, get it!

I don't have very many red cremes in my collection, so I pulled out the two brightest I could find to compare to Hey Sailor! - Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Rapid Red and American Apparel's Poppy.

They look pretty danged close in the bottle, don't they?

Not so similar on the nail, which I am glad to see!  Hey Sailor! is more distinctly red than Poppy, but not as dark as Rapid Red.  I have been seriously lemming OPI's Color So Hot it Berns (is it sad to say that it is the only one I'm missing from the Swiss collection?!) and All You Desire did a comparison of it and Hey Sailor! - maybe I don't need CSHIB?

I had originally gotten AA Poppy out to compare it to Life Preserver.  They really aren't too much alike, but it was the closest I had - I need more oranges!

My photos all show Life Preserver being more vibrant than it really is.  There is a dusty quality to it that you can't see here.  I'd like to see it compared with OPI's Hot & Spicy, but I don't have that one yet.  Do you?  What do you think?

Now, I know that there is no way that Lighthouse and Sally Hansen's Sunflowers would be dupes because of the different finishes, but I did want to compare the base colors for you so maybe you could decide if this is a yellow that would work for you!

In the bottles I thought they looked close, but on the nail, they don't really seem like it... but odds are if you can't wear one, you probably can't wear the other and vice versa!

I was really concerned that Starboard and Essie's Pretty Edgy would be dupes... so much so that I almost didn't get Starboard, but then I decided to just get all of them.
When I started pulling out greens, Nina Pro's Salsa also seemed pretty close.  You can see here that there is a smidge of dustiness to Starboard that Pretty Edgy doesn't have.

On the nail, Salsa dries darker than it's bottle color, so it's definitely not dupey.  However, Pretty Edgy and Starboard are pretty darn close.  Again, there is just a hint of dustiness to Starboard that separates them.  If you aren't a NBer or a green lover, you probably could get away with just one of the two!

The last one I have for you is First Mate.  I pulled American Apparel's Mt. Royal and OPI's Dating a Royal.
I was a bit surprised how much Dating a Royal and First Mate looked similar in their bottles, but you can definitely see differences on the nail.

While they seemed similar in the bottle, you can see here that First Mate is definitely navy, whereas the others are more cobalt blue.

Whew!  Thanks for sticking with me there, I know the last two posts have been majorly pic heavy!  Can you think of other polishes the Anchors Away collection should be comped to?  Let me know!!

Also, while you're letting me know about that... do you like the text being on the pics, or would you rather I just told you what order they were in under?  I couldn't decide, so I added the text, but it might look tacky?  Someone make up my mind!  :)

Basecoat: None
Topcoat: None
Number of coats: varies

Saturday, January 29, 2011

China Glaze - Anchors Away!

I apologize that I didn't get these swatches put up before you'd seem them 1000 times... I've had this collection since a couple of days after they were released.  I should have gotten them done sooner, but my job has stressed me out beyond belief and I really didn't feel like swatching for a few days.  However, here they are, hopefully better late than never!

This is the first time I've bought an entire collection at once - I did end up with a couple of other entire collections, but I've bought them in pieces.  Not this one - I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.  A lot of people were meh about it, but I think it is absolutely stand out!

We'll start with the Knotty Nauticals, which is the brighter of the two sets in this collection.

Oh yeah, and see all that shine?  It's all polish, baby - I didn't use topcoat on any of these!!

This is Ahoy!, which might actually be my favorite here.  I hardly ever wear pinks - I can't find any that really flatter me.  I think this one looks pretty good - I actually wore it for a couple of days this week!  You might be saying "it's not really pink...", but this is as close as I get!  It's a really saturated almost jelly base with gold flecks that really make it glow.  Stunning!  Two coats

Gak!  A pink and a red that I like on me in the same collection!?!?  Crazy!  This is Hey Sailor! an incredibly shiney orange-based red jelly/cream combo.  I actually saw someone post on the NB the other day that they think this might be a new type of finish and I totally agree.  This collection is the first I've seen to have these jelly/cream things.  They're as opaque as a cream, but they have the glossiness of a jelly - I love it!  Two coats.

Life Preserver is a dusty orange version of this jelly/cream thing - opaque in two coats (one if you are careful!) and it shines like crazy.  It's dustier than my picture shows, but still a bright vibrant color.  I love oranges and this one does not disappoint!

I had the hardest time capturing the glass fleck in Lighthouse correctly.  It blurred no matter how still I held my hands!  I don't have a lot of yellows, but most of the ones I have are not fun to work with.  Lighthouse was a breeze!  My friend said it looked like sparkling urine, but he's a boy, what does he know?  It is sparkly though... three coats.

Starboard is another jelly/cream opaque in two coats.  I think this one will be great to wear during the summer.  It reminds me of thick lush grass squishing under your bare feet!

First Mate is amazing.  I own several blue creams, but nothing tops this one.  That wonderful jelly/cream finish, perfectly opaque in 1 coat if you are careful (I used two because I'm not careful!), and it never looks black, which is a problem for a lot of navy blues.

Next up, the Sand & Sea set!

Pelican Gray is a pretty neutral gray, not leaning overly blue or brown.  It has a slight bit of shimmer (the secret shimma!) what you can barely see on the nail.  Mine seemed a bit goopy though, probably needs to be thinned for better application.  Three coats.

Sea Spray  has that same secret shimmer that you can just barely see, it it makes it so special!  I also found it a little thick and hard to apply evenly.  This is three coats.

Sunset Sail is not as horrible looking on me as I thought it would be, but it still doesn't look good.  It's a really pretty peachy nude with a subtle silver shimmer.  It might be more flattering on cooler skin tones - I thought it looked pretty good on All You Desire!  Three coats

Below Deck is another one of those purple/grey/taupe things, but I think I might like this one better than the others I have.  It looks good on warm skin and is edgy, but still work appropriate.  This was two coats, but it could have used a third.

I wore Knotty for about 3 days, which is pretty decent for me!  It has the same multi-colored shimmer as the previously reviewed Sally Hansen Fairy Tale Ivory, but it is more beige than nude.  I was hoping it would be like a sparkling Your Nails But Better, but it was just a tad too dark for that.  I kept it on for 3 days though, so I wasn't too disappointed!  Three coats.

And finally we have White Cap, another glass fleck.  The flecks seem to change from gold to green depending on the angle.  My camera freaked out on this one and refused to get a clear shot.  I think it would look great layered, but it also works on its own for a interesting sheer.  Three coats.

All in all, I love this collection.  The only one that I don't know if I will wear is Sunset Sail, but I still like it - how often do you find a collection where you like everything?

To be honest though, I was a little disappointed in the application of the Sand & Sea set.  I was really looking forward to Pelican Gray and Sea Spray, but I had troubles with both of them.  I'm hoping a little thinning will make the difference.

I was FLOORED with how amazing everything in the Knotty Nauticals set was - color, formula, finish - it truly is a winner!  If you only decide to pick up part of this collection, make it this half - you won't be disappointed!

Let me know which ones you love (or hate!) in the comments!

And... I have done a bunch of comparisons on these... I will post them next!  :)

Anchors Away is popping up in Ulta and Sally's now and retail for $5.99 each.

Basecoat: none
Topcoat: NONE!!
Number of coats: varies

Barielle - Elle's Spell

I fell in love with this one from the moment I saw it swatched!  *swoon*  I sent my mom looking for it when she picked up my OPI Ulta Exclusives, but she didn't see it anywhere.  I went to another Ulta and didn't find it either... but eventually Barielle had a sale and I picked it up - SO glad I did!  It might be my fave polish... ever!

Elle's Spell is a rather sheer jelly red with Hidden Treasure-type flakies - it's a little too sheer for my liking, so I wore it over OPI's I'm Suzi and I'm a Chocoholic (one of my fave reds... we'll discuss it another day!).  The combo made for one of the best ones ever.  EVAR!

Yay beautiful flakies in red!  It looks like little bits of fire!

My favorite part?  The shift to green!

This was amazingly hard for me to capture - I can't believe this pic even came out, I didn't think I got one to show the green indoors!  It would flash every once in awhile and I would go week in the knees!

I took these outside in my car because the shade is where the green really pops out and I couldn't get it inside.

I have seen claims that Elle's Spell is the flakey La Boheme... which could be why I am so smitten.  La Boheme is my #1 lemming!  I can't tell you what I would do to get my hands on even a mini!  It's something about that red to green shift that I can't get over - OBSESSED!

If you can find Elle's Spell locally, GET IT NOW!  Even if it's just a backup for me!  ;)  I heard it was on clearance at Ulta, but since there isn't an Ulta near me and the closest one didn't have it, I can't confirm that.  I bought mine from Barielle directly.  They occasionally have % off sales and/or free shipping, but they always run a buy 2 get 1 free sale on their Shades line.  They retail for $8 each, so 3 for $16 isn't too bad.  I am seriously considering a backup or two of Elle's Spell and I only own one other backup - Orly's Galaxy Girl, which was my fave polish, before this!

Let's keep our fingers crossed that Barielle makes more like this one in the future!

Basecoat: Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Basecoat
Topcoat: Beauty Secrets Fast Finish
Number of coats: 2

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nfu-Oh #61

Confession: I've had Nfu-Oh #61 for months and have never even swatched it.  I love the pics I've seen of it, but was a little disappointed with how it looks in the bottle when I got it.  I was looking for something fun and crazy on New Year's Eve, so I decided to give this one a try.  And umm... I'm dumb for waiting so long.  Just because it didn't look amazing in the bottle doesn't mean it isn't amazing!

First off, let me apologize for the tip wear you are going to see in these pics... secondly, let me explain.  I painted these on NYE, so I was kinda in a hurry.  This dries fast, but kinda matte, so I grabbed a top coat to make it shiny.  You may have heard that top coat dulls holographic finishes.  I had heard that and had never had a problem.  However, this was the first time I put a top coat on such an amazingly linear holo.  And it did dull it.  It wasn't a major difference, like one was just flat silver and the other was all rainbows, but there was a difference.  I could not figure out how to take pics of both hands at once to show you though - I'm sorry!  And to be honest, I am not 100% sure which top coat I used on this.  I will guess it's my new fave Beauty Secrets one from Sally Beauty Supply.  Anyway, I put top coat on my left hand (which is normally the one you see) and it dulled the holo a bit.  I did not put top coat on my right hand.  It was NYE though and I had stuff planned, so I ran out of the house after taking just a few pics of the left hand.  When I looked at them the next morning, they weren't all that great, so I took pics of the right hand without the topcoat so you could better see the holographic finish as it's supposed to look.  However, this polish does not hold up well and I had some major tip wear in less than 24 hours!

It's totally awesome though, isn't it?

This is a close up of my left hand, with topcoat.  I know my cuticles and the surrounding area looks awful... like I said, I was in a major hurry!  I had been wearing You Don't Know Jacque Suede and took it off with my scrubby tub, which left everything dry dry dry.

It's like rainbow stripes!

This is what had me staring at my nails non-stop for 24 hours.  Little rainbows on each of my nails!  This is my left hand, so the holo is dulled a bit.  Sorry for the funky hand position, but it was the only one I could capture this with.

Pros on this polish - first off, just look at it!  Secondly, it dries super-fast.  You really don't need a topcoat, so it's an awesome one for when you are in a hurry!  And again, just look at it!  :)

There are many cons though - as you can see, it does not hold up well.  Chips and tipwear in less than 24 hours.  Even my left hand, which had topcoat, didn't fare much better.  This polish is also kind of a pain in the butt to apply evenly.  I have the Aqua Base that Nfu-Oh recommends for their holos and I can't imagine how people apply this without it or something similar.  Aqua Base is kind of like glue - it's a thick whitish base coat this makes this apply more smoothly and opaquely (is that a word?!).  Even though it is thick and it does hide some imperfections on your nails, if you have any ridges or anything, #61 is going to show them.  I buff my nails on a semi-regular basis, so ridges aren't too much of a problem, but this polish made my nails look terrible!  I don't know if it's because the holo is so linear that you can see every flaw or if it's the matte finish that does it, but you will see dips and imperfections in your nail that you never saw before!  The bad part about polish that dries super-fast is that often times it dries before you finish the coat and then it gets all uneven and bumpy.  That was a real problem for me on this one.  It was also thick and almost...stringy?  Does that make sense?  There were like strings of polish going between the brush and the bottle.  I probably should have thinned it, but I wanted to try it out before I started messing with it.

So yes, this polish is absolutely stunning, but it does come with a price.  Speaking of price, Nfu-Oh is available for $12.50 a bottle (and free shipping) on FabulouStreet.  This is the only place I know of to order, unless you see them on eBay or something.  I have had no problems and I have ordered several times.  Items are out of stock often, but if you email their customer service, they will put you on a waiting list and let you know when the products become available again.  Awesome CS there!

Recently it has been mentioned on the nail board that there has been a problem with the holographic pigment and people are receiving duds.  I purchased this in August, so they might be different now... I make no promises!  And I noticed now that I posted this that is says "SOLD OUT" on #61, instead of the usual "Out of Stock", so maybe the opportunity to own this one has passed?

Basecoat: Nfu-Oh Aqua Base
Topcoat: Beauty Secrets Fast Finish (I think?!)
Number of coats: 2ish

Saturday, January 22, 2011

OPI - Gift of Gold (Ulta Exclusive)

I don't have an Ulta in my town, so when I saw pics of the OPI Holiday Ulta Exclusives, I began to plot how I was going to get my hands on them.  There are only 3 Ultas in downstate Illinois and the closest is over an hour away (and they never have anything good!), so I don't really have a lot of choices.  Fortunately for me, my mom went shopping in the Chicago area and just happened to find an Ulta next door to the scrapbooking store she was visiting!  She called me, I told her what I wanted, and she came home with all 3 exclusives, buy 2 get 1 free!  :D

The only one I've worn so far is Gift of Gold and it is an absolute stunner.  Let me preface this by saying I don't really like gold.  I don't own any gold jewelry and after I started swatching my stash, I realized this was the only gold polish I owned!  (I have since rectified this situation by purchasing OPI's Glitzerland and China Glaze's Midnight Kisses)  Something about this one just blew me away.  Would you like to see?

It's so blingy!  Your nails WILL be noticed in this one!  Can you see the tiny red glitter peeking out between the gold?

It's really hard to capture Gift of Gold's allure in pics.  It looks amazing.  It sparkles and catches every bit of light so you are always getting noticed.  I had so many compliments on this one, and I usually don't hear a peep about my nails, except from the other obsessed gals at work.

As for the formula... this one is THICK, but in a good way!  I think it's supposed to be a 1 coater, but I did two here to make sure there were no gaps.  It likes to eat top coat, so I am wearing a couple of coats of Gelous over it to make it smooth and shiny!

The best part for me was how long this lasted!  I was able to get a full week out of it, only touching up a couple of chips after 5 days.

I know China Glaze's Party Hearty was most people's choice for best 2010 holiday color, but I think Gift of Gold definitely gives it a run for its money.  I don't even like gold and I was absolutely smitten with this one!

If you love it and don't have it, you better get to Ulta quick - it *might* be on clearance there.  Don't fret though, I think the new Milani One Coat Glitter in Gold Glitz is a pretty close dupe.  I don't have it, but I have seen it and it looks pretty similar - it's also core, so it will be easy to find!

Number of coats: 2
Basecoat: Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Basecoat
Topcoat: Gelous + Essie Good to Go 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Catherine H

I think the reason I'm having trouble posting here as often isn't because I'm not painting my nails, taking pictures, or spending time online - it's that I don't want to edit the photos!  So, this past weekend I spent some time editing all the pics I have, and hopefully that means that I will post more often!

Besides being obsessed with nail polish, I am also obsessed with Tudor history.  I've read a ton of books and am always fascinated with how the two most famous rulers in British history are from the same house, which only ruled for 118 years, and only had 5 monarchs (if you don't count Lady Jane Grey... since she only ruled for 9 days and isn't really considered a monarch, but a usurper, history forgets her), but they made some of the biggest changes in history - any history, not just British!

When Rescue Beauty Lounge put out their Tudor line last year, I really had to talk myself out of buying all 4.  I love polish, I love Tudors - must have all! is what was going through my brain.  However, at $18 a pop, I really did have to pick and choose.  I purchased Catherine, for Catherine of Aragon, and Catherine H, for Catherine Howard.  I already have Diamond Cosmetics Never So Ever Green, which is quite similar (but not a dupe!) for Anne, and the nude color of Jane just wouldn't suit me.  I wish I had looked around a little more before spending $18 on Catherine H because BB Couture's Impact Driver seems to be dupish.  It's not a cheap dupe, but cheaper than RBLs!  I haven't found a dupe for Catherine yet, so I won't complain about that one.

For those of you who don't know a lot about the Tudors, I will spare you a full on Tudors history lesson and just talk a bit about Catherine Howard, who this polish is named for.  She was young - her date of birth isn't known, but it's estimated she was 35 years younger than Henry VIII when she married him, right after the annulment of his marriage to Anne of Cleves, who he did not find attractive or compatible.  Catherine was also the cousin of Henry's second and most famous wife, Anne Boleyn.  Henry's third wife Jane had died after childbirth, due to an infection, and then he married Anne of Cleves who he found utterly repulsive, so when he was introduced to Catherine Howard - young and beautiful - he was completely enamoured with her.

Catherine had a sorted past, which was unknown to the King at the time of their marriage.  She had lewd affairs with two men before coming to court, and they were known to most of the people in the house she grew up in.  The second man and her called each other "husband" and "wife", and therefore there might have been some kind of engagement/precontract there... the details are unknown.  After Catherine became queen, many people knowing of the affairs - including the two men involved in them - came to her for favors and in an extreme case of bad judgement, she appointed them to positions in her household. 

Catherine cared about Henry, but the passion wasn't there - he was old, fat, and had a festering, stinking ulcer on his leg - so she found passion elsewhere: Thomas Culpepper, her distant cousin.  He was young, handsome, and one of Henry's favorite courtiers.  Her maid, Lady Rochford (interestingly enough, the wife of Anne Boleyn's brother George, who was beheaded during Anne's trial based on testimony by his wife that the two were having an incestuous affair), set up secret meetings between the two for several months.  It is unknown how far the relationship went, but a love letter from Catherine to Culpepper was found among his things.  Rumors began about the Queen's relationship with Culpepper, and once the information about her pre-marital affairs came to light, she was placed under investigation and her current affair became known as well.  After arrest and torture, Culpepper admitted to a sexual relationship with the Queen and was executed, along with the man from her second affair, in December 1541.

Catherine had the chance to save herself, but she did not fully understand the charges being brought against her.  If she would have admitted to an engagement or precontract in this earlier affair, it would have made her marriage to Henry null and void, therefore she could not be charged with adultry for her relationship with Thomas Culpepper.  She denied the precontract, and so was charged with treason and was beheaded along with her maid in February 1542.  Her body was placed in an unmarked grave near her cousin Anne's.  It is said that the night before her beheading, she spent hours practicing how to lay her head on the chopping block just right.

So, now that you know a little about Catherine Howard, would you like to see the polish named for her?

As you can see, it's a gorgeous medium dusty blue - I could probably get away with calling it cornflower blue.  What you can't really see here is its unique pink shimmer!

Can you see all those pretty little flecks of pink?  I'm not a HUGE fan of blue polish, but the pink shimmer here really set it apart.  It's a beautiful dusty hue, and those little tiny bits of pink just make it so interesting, I couldn't stop looking at it!

I only wore this for a couple of days, so I can't comment too much on the wear, but it looked good both days I wore it.  RBL has a thick, but smooth formula, but I didn't find it as amazing as so many other polish-a-holics have.  I felt like this almost dried too fast - I wasn't done with a coat and it started to dry.  I worked fast and it came out ok, but the true novice might have some troubles here.

So, was she worth $18?  The jury is still out.  I have 3 RBLs (the two I've mentioned and Under the Stars, which I bought on eBay for quite a bit under retail) and while their colors are beautiful, the formula has not wowed me on any of them.  I skipped out on the RBL 50% off sale in the fall - I really only wanted Anne (which was not on sale) and Scrangie, so I didn't think it was really worth the effort.  Anne is now sold out, so maybe I should have picked it up?  I keep looking at it's kissing cousin, Never So Ever Green, and reminding myself that it is $16 plus shipping less than Anne!

Catherine H is a limited color available at Rescue Beauty Lounge for $18.  If you like it, I suggest buying it now - when it's sold out, it's sold out, and it's been available for several months now.

Number of coats: 2
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Seche Vite... I think!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sally Hansen XTreme Wear - Purple Gala

I've been polish-obsessed for as long as I can remember - I honestly think the obsession is more about color than about actual nail polish, but it ends the same way - me with a huge collection of polishes!  I had 150+ in Jr. High and High School, but it seemed like I wore the same 10 over and over again - some Wet 'n Wilds called "Blackest" - there was Blackest Blue, Blackest Green, Blackest Red, and my fave, Blackest Purple.  I'm pretty sure I even wore it to prom.  (But to be fair, it perfectly matched my prom dress!)

I wore polish all the time until I started working at the bank, 8+ years ago.  I started off wearing it, but contrary to popular belief, working at a bank involves physical work!  I was tearing up my manis within hours of doing them, breaking nails constantly, and just plain making a mess out of my hands.  I finally got fed up with it and quit wearing polish.  (And unfortunately, threw away my stash!)

I met my husband a couple of years later, still in the non-polish phase, so he was completely shocked and floored when I began wearing polish again last year.  He thought it was something new, but really it was an old love that never died.  I became the manager of my department a couple of years ago and wasn't doing the same amount of physical work that I had previously been doing.  I had picked up a couple of new polishes for our vacation so I could have gorgeous pedis and it suddenly occured to me that I could start painting my fingernails again!  I have to admit... I did kinda go crazy.  There were so many beauties I had lost, I had to completely rebuild my stash!

One of the first polishes I bought when I started collecting again was Hard Candy's Mr. Wrong.  It's a gorgeous dusty purple with gold foil flakes in it, and a Nail Board favorite.  I loved the color, but the danged thing would not dry on me!  I tried it for 2 manis with no success, even with Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Topcoat.  (Side note: I was totally obsessed with Hard Candy polishes in high school, but couldn't afford them - now they are at Wal-Mart?  Dirty, ghetto Wal-Mart, for $4 each?  *shakes head*  That makes me just a bit sad...)

When the nail board was all aflutter this summer/fall talking about the new Sally Hansen XTreme wears, I honed in on Purple Gala.  It's not an exact dupe to Mr. Wrong, it's a little bit brighter altogether, but I personally like it better.  I picked it up the first time I found it and have not regretted it!

I chose this picture first so you can see its bling!  It's shiney, sparkley, and catches every bit of light. 

You can really see the gold foil flecks coming out here.  They really stand out against the purple in bright light, but in low light, the whole thing kinda takes a gunmetal/silvery look to it.  I wore it to one of the Illini games and couldn't stop staring at how different it looked!

I tried to replicate the lighting, but it didn't really work out... I do think it looks a lot less purple here than it does in bright lights.  The gold really came out in this pic too, which goes against what I said earlier about it looking silvery!  Anyhoo, you can really see the irregular flecks of the gold foil.

Overall, I loved this polish.  It held up really well and applied easily.  It's a bit sheer, I think this was 3 coats.  I generally like the XTreme Wear line (just hate the name!  SO EXTREME!  *snortle*), I just hate the long stick the brush is on, like so many other Sally Hansen lines.  When are they going to figure out how much easier application would be if the stick was shorter?!

I'm pretty sure Purple Gala was a limited edition shade, but it's still out there (and probably on clearance!), so pick it up if you see it!  If you prefer dustier hues, you might like the Hard Candy a bit better - it's a little more subdued.  Purple Gala is cheaper (even full-priced at $2.99) and you get more (.5 oz compared to .35 oz), so if you don't have a preference, I suggest it.

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Purple Gala retails for $2.99 and can be found at a variety of retailers, including Walgreens, Target, and Meijer.

Number of coats: 3
Basecoat: Gelous
Topcoat: Out the Door