Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Winter and Holiday Displays

We in southeastern Michigan had our first snowstorm of the season this past weekend, so it feels like a good time to share the winter and holiday displays that have been showing up at stores.

This first display isn't marketed as a holiday collection, but the colors read like one to me. It's the Bonita Forget Me Not display as seen at Rite Aid. Six shades: Golden Girl, Tinman's Brew, Mo' Money, Do the Flamingo, You're My Lobster, Forget-Me-Not.

The Bonita Holiday Helpers set, also at Rite Aid, is clearly meant for Christmas. It's got four polishes (green, red, silver glitter, and white) and Christmas nail stickers for $4.99.

I saw the Bonita Holiday Helpers set at Kmart as well, but they had something Rite Aid didn't: this year's Jolly Nails set from Bonita. It's a different mix of colors than the one I swatched from last year.

Kmart also had a Bonita set called Color Star that looked more summery than wintery, but there it was, newly displayed in the same area as the holiday stuff.

I saw the Butter London Invite Only mini set at Ulta. It's labeled limited edition, and the shades don't look familiar to me, but as every holiday season, I'll need to study the Butter London site to see which shades appear in other gift sets before I make a decision about what to buy. Colors in this one are: Pash, Vapour, Lock In, Peep Hole, Glad Rags, and OTT.

The China Glaze Cheers collection for the holidays showed up at my Ulta. As sometimes is the case with China Glaze, the bottles were arranged randomly in slots with no labels, so it wasn't possible to be sure how many shades there are supposed to be just by looking. Thank goodness for the internet, which tells me there are twelve colors: Coal Hands Warm Heart (charcoal glitter), Don't Get Elfed Up (green shimmer), Soiree I Didn't Do It (green glitter), Mix and Mingle (purple creme), Brand Spankin' New Year (purple glitter), Better Not Pout (berry shimmer), Winter Down for What (red creme), Peppermint to Be (ruby shimmer), Ugly Sweater Party (red glitter), Son of a Nutcracker (orange shimmer), Bring on the Bubbly (gold glitter), Break the Ice (silver gitter).

I've seen several different Cover Girl displays tied into the new Star Wars movie, some of which have nail polish in them, some of which polishes have Star Wars stickers on the caps. They don't seem to be marked clearly with which shades are limited edition and which are repromoted existing shades. I saw these first two at CVS. The one on the left has topcoat (no Star Wars sticker on the cap) and Red Revenge (stickered). The one on the right has Smokey Taupe (no sticker) and Speed of Light (sticker). I don't know if the non-stickered slots were supposed to have other colors that sold out or what.

These next two Cover Girl Star Wars displays were at Rite Aid; all the polishes had Star Wars stickers. The polish colors in the one below are Golden Opportunity and Diva After Dark.

This next one has Emerald Blaze and Snow Storm.

A different Rite Aid had two other Star Wars displays. This first, which I assume is Light Side, had Speed of Light polish and Top Coat.

The Dark Side had Red Revenge and Nemesis polishes.

I saw this small Cover Girl Star Wars display at Bed Bath & Beyond. The only polish shade here was Red Revenge.

A couple Essense displays popped up at Ulta. The first, Happy Girls Are Pretty, had the I Heart Trends nude colors that were already in the regular endcap: I Nude It, I'm Lost in You, Pure Soul, and Nude Sweet Nude.

The second Essence display, which didn't seem to have a name, had four I Heart Pastels polishes: So Lucky, Sweet at First Sight, Bubble Bath, and Do Nuts.

The Essie Winter 2015 collection appeared first at my Ulta. Six shades here: Apres-Chic (silver), Peak Show (pink), Virgin Snow (lilac), Altitude Attitude (red), Shall We Chalet (slightly darker red), and Haute Tub (black). I've seen this collection as well in the Nail HQ at a CVS that still has one (the store closest to my house has pretty much gutted theirs). There's also a four shade display I've seen at some Rite Aid stores; that lacks Peak Show and Altitude Attitude.

The only place I've seen Essie LuxEffects for Holiday 2015 so far is Ulta. This is a four-shade collection of glitters in clear bases. Left to right: Tassel Shaker (two slots), Frilling Me Softly (one), Fringe Factor (two), and Fashion Flares (one).

Walgreens has an LA Colors Color Craze Diamonique nail art kit with a five mini polishes, a mini top coat, a wheel of rhinestones, and a "pick & place" tool. Not bad for only $5.

Ulta has the OPI holiday collection Starlight. The full collection is 18 shades, which is about a dozen more than I can pay attention to at any one time. There are apparently three variations of the small six-color display; my store had the shimmers and glitters one. Left to right: No More Mr. Night Sky, Two Wrongs Don't Make A Meteorite, Press * For Silver, Infrared-y To Glow, Let Your Love Shine, and Ce-less-tial is More.

The big display at my Ulta had 13 shades, with Ce-less-tial is More being in both this and the small display. Top row: Guys & Galaxies (two slots), Love Is In My Cards (three), Ro-man-ce On the Moon (two), I'm in the Moon for Love (two), Base Coat. Middle row: Ce-less-tial is More (two slots), Cosmo with a Twist (two), Give Me Space (two), The Center of the You-niverse (two), Top Coat (two). Bottom row: I Drive a SuperNova (two slots), Super Star Status (two), By the Light of the Moon (two), Is This Star Taken (two), Comet Closer (two).

Meijer had a new Orly Color Blast display. The top row has two different 3-piece kits: After Midnight (Teal Pink Gloss Glitter, Multicolored Gloss Glitter, Deep Purple Gloss Glitter) and City Lights (Silver Multicolored Gloss Glitter, Hot Pink Gloss Glitter, Navy Blue Gloss Glitter). The bottom row has individual bottles: Glitz and Glam, Price of Fame, The In Crowd, Blvd of Dreams, Baby Pink Creme, Amethyst Color Flip, Champagne Gloss Glitter, Pearly Pink Neon, Fluorescent Fuchsia Neon, True Neon Pink, Pink Coral 3D Glitter, Green Color Flip, Rose Chrome Foil, Pink Luxe Shimmer, Plum/Gold Color Flip, and Star Tours. These names are an odd mix of nondescriptive, very descriptive, and inaccurately descriptive.

Rite Aid has three holiday displays from Ornaments. The first has crystal topped polishes with Santa and Christmas tree designs on the caps, ice cream polishes (because ice cream is cold like snow? I don't know), nail art polishes, and candy cane handled lip gloss (I think it's gloss anyway).

The second Ornaments display has two sets of mini polishes and a trio of lip glosses.

The third Ornaments display has the snowmen polishes we've come to know and love at this time of year. I didn't see any eye catching new colors; I think some are new to snowmen bottles, but not new colors/finishes overall.

This is the first holiday season the Pop-arazzi brand has been around; their holiday offering as seen as CVS is a 15-shade set of minis. The colors all seem to be core, but the bottles sure are cute. Shade names: So Cheeky, Frosted Fairy Tale, Kiss Ya Later, Spice is Nice, Info Red, Pretty in Pearls, Hit the Goldmine, Cinn-Ya-Mon, Star Shine, Glam Factory, The Hue is Blue, Sapphire Desire, Money Honey, Orchid Crush, Down the Runway.

The Rimmel Royal Plush limited edition holiday collection display includes five Love Glitter polishes: All Glittered Up (red/blue/silver), Tinsel Toes (gold/silver/blue/copper), A Crush on You (blue/green), Queen of Bling (gold), and Mistletoe Mischief (gold/copper). All of these appear to have shredded glitter flakes in a clear base; I haven't bought any yet because I really am trying to reform my free spending stash enhancement ways. I've seen this display only at Meijer and KMart so far.

Sally Hansen has released six holiday gift packs in the Miracle Gel line. Each has a colored polish and a top coat. Polish shades are: For the Thrill (glittery gold), Game of Chromes (metallic shimmery gold), Ruby Shimmers (glittery red), Mad Women (shimmery pinkish red), In a Flurry (glittery silver blue), Combustealble (shimmery greenish blue). I spotted the display below at Bed Bath & Beyond, but later saw the same shades in a sidekick display at a CVS.

The SinfulColors Glitz and Garlands display for holiday 2015 has been at my Rite Aid since the end of September, but I've been pretending not to see it because I'm still cranky about how early the Christmas retail machinery cranks up. Left to right: Blue by You, Red Eye, Queen of Beauty, Snow Me White, Call You Later, Pine Away, Gilded, Holiday Rebel. I believe all are repromotes or core shades.

The SinfulColors holiday display The Finishing Touch is at Walgreens. This has some new colors, though many core and repromotes, too. Top row: Snow Me White, Decadent, Gold Medal, Flake Out (new), Ruby Glisten, Flake Out (new), Holiday Rebel, Green Ocean. Second row: Ice Dream, Pride, Purple Heart, Top Coat, Sugar Sugar, It's a Wrap (new), Ice Dream, Sugar Sugar. Third row: Casablanca, Silver Crush (new), It's a Wrap (new), Top Coat, Holiday Rebel, Black on Black, Silver Crush (new), Touch of Class (new). Fourth row: Star Studded (new), Steel My Heart (new), Out of This World, Velvet Ribbon (new), Star Studded (new), Sugar Sugar, Velvet Ribbon (new), Twilight Twinkles (new). Fifth row: Gogo Girl, Flake Out (new), Top Coat, Gogo Girl, Sugar Sugar, Green Ocean, Gold Medal, Ruby Glisten. Bottom row: Supernova, Gilded, Red Eye, Pine Away, Blue By You, Snow Me White, Gilded, Red Eye.

At what I've come to think of as "the good CVS" even though it's Nail HQ is usually a mess, I saw the Wet 'n' Wild We're the Wild Cats display with six limited edition ColorIcon shades: Where My Ho Ho Hos At, Los Feliz Navidad, Bring the 'Pagne, Holiday Spirits and Wine, Naughty and Iced, Garnet My Heel Broke.

Zoya Matte Velvet for Holiday 2015 showed up at my Ulta in a timely manner; they seem to be getting much better about getting this brand in than they used to be. Left to right: Aspen, Sue, Amal, Iris, Yves, Honor.

Ulta also had Zoya Sugar Plum Surprise, which I hadn't really heard anything about. Three shades: Renee, Marjorie, and Cindy.

I haven't seen Studio M or FingerPaints holiday displays yet; they're probably out there but I don't hit stores quite as often as when I had to be in the car every day for work. Hope what I did see at least gives you some idea what to look for if you're in the US and planning to do some Thanksgiving weekend shopping.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Current NOTD: Mickey Mouse Stamping

Okay, yes, I've been gone again, but I have two really good reasons this time: with one last big push, we finished up all the projects needed to get our house on the market, then the very next day after we listed it for sale, we left for a vacation in southern California, most of which we spent at the Disney theme parks there. I got back late last night, and my nails even now are sporting the Mickey Mouse manicure I did for the trip.

I did my nails just before we left for the airport, so the only photos I got were at the restaurant we ate lunch at before we caught our flight out. I put on Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator first, then Sally Hansen Insta Gel Strips in Pink Pong. Solid strips? Yep, becuase that meant no dry time needed before I could stamp, which I did with Salon Express Nail Art Paint in Bold Black (which I found in a two pack with a white somewhere, maybe Walgreens) and images from MJ plates JR-5 and JR-27. Most of my nails got allover Mickey faces, while one thumb got a flirty Minnie and the other got a slouchy Mickey. After the stamping, I topped each nail in turn with the Sally Hansen Gel Top Coat and cured with the mini lamp. (Lamp from the starter kit, which I reviewed way back in 2012.) A quick swipe with a cleansing wipe (I had one from the box of strips, but I've also just used rubbing alcohol on a cotton round before), and I was off to the airport.

Today, nine days later, my mani is still in pretty good shape. The topcoat is still shiny without me having to do anything to it. I did get a chip on my index finger near the end of the trip; I touched it up with Joe Fresh Nude (a close match to Pink Pong).

As for the trip, it was mostly fun, though the theme parks were more crowded than we'd expected, plus I got sick halfway through, so we weren't able to do all the things we'd planned. Still, we enjoyed most of our time there and sure got to experience things we can't at home. The parks were decorated for Christmas already and looked especially good at night.

My favorite part of the new nightime parade was this color-changing truck float. I wanted to just follow it down the street and watch it make all the different patterns and hues.

It got cold at night but we didn't let that stop us from having fun. One night just before the park closed, we rode Dumbo; only four people on the ride at the time.

My being sick meant I spent only enough time on the beach to see the sunset one day, which was totally worth getting out of bed for.

I am really truly hoping to be posting more regularly now that I'm back, but we'll just have to see if I can manage that. I still haven't really established a routine in retirement. Seems about time I should do that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Revlon Fiery Temptress Polishes for Fall 2015

My recent display post included the latest Revlon display, the Fiery Temptress color collection. Most of the products in it are face cosmetics, but there are two polishes nestled in the center, Uninhibited and Untamed. Initially I passed on these, since they aren't really my colors (and I'm sorta kinda trying to be in low buy mode and sometimes succeeding at that). But as you can see, I did succumb and pick them up. There are only two colors, so I didn't have to leave any behind, which appeals to the completist in me, and they're both shimmers that looked interesting in the bottle, so easier to justify than getting yet more creme shades.

Uninhibited is a multi-tonal orange shimmer with pink highlights.

Orange is my second least favorite polish color, but I liked Uninhibited. It went on in two easy coats, and the shimmer had a sparkly, almost metallic looking finish in indirect light. The finish was easily the equal of my favorite Zoya shimmers, but I paid half as much for the Revlon.

When I put Uninhibited in the sunlight coming through the window, the pink highlights popped along with some lighter orange ones. So pretty!

Untamed looks like a straightforward brown shimmer at first glance, but close up you see it's more complex, with purple flecks and gold microflakies in the deep brown base. In the bottle, it looks like it might have a duochrome shift, but we all know that doesn't always translate to the nail.

Untamed is pigmented enough that one slightly thick coat gave full coverage, and one coat was all it took for me to fall in love. This is my new favorite polish! The beauty in the bottle does translate onto the nail, with the subtle gold/purple shift floating over the rich brown base.

I was so enamored with this I added a second coat just so I could wear it longer before moving on to the next polish in my swatching session queue. That extra coat made the color even richer looking.

In the sunlight streaming through my window, Untamed showed its deep brown side. It was pretty, but not as interesting to me as its indoor indirect shiftiness. I love a polish that doesn't need sun to shine, since I spend most of my time indoors.

Even in sunlit brown mode, Untamed did show some pops of color, which I could only capture on camera by unfocusing.

To further delay having to take off Untamed, I added topcoat and took a few more photos.

So yeah, I really like these new Revlon shades for fall, especially Untamed. They're a great value, too.