October 31, 2010, 3:43:00 PM

Crank it up with Crackle: Barry M Instant Nail Effects - Black Magic

Barry M Instant Nail Effects Crackle top coat

Hi Guys! As you might have noticed Crackle is huge these days: Crackle is back! There are quite some brands releasing crackle top coats at the moment, IsaDora, BYS, P2, OPI, Barry M and I think I'm still forgetting a bunch. Last year I ordered a Krackpolish from TransDesign and it did Jack. So don't order that one! But today I'll be showing you a crackling top coat that actually works: Instant Nail Effects by Barry M! There is a reason I'm posting this today, it's Halloween! And don't you think this polish makes you look like someone who just crawled out of their coffin? Muahaha.

Be quick

What I like about this matte black top coat is the fact you can see it work, it dries and crackles FAST. In fact, it starts cracking while you apply it, so you'll have to be rather quick. There is no need or time to apply it perfectly, just slap it on and you'll be fine. You'll only need one thin layer and make sure you don't overlap, because it messes with the crackle. It doesn't really work well will all kinds of top coats though. I found it works best if you apply your base color, use a quick drying top coat, let it dry and then apply the Crackle. And that way the matte effect stays intact!

Barry M Instant Nail Effects Crackle top coat

Barry M Instant Nail Effects applied over 4 colors by Catrice: Clayton My Hero, Sold Out Forever, I Scream Peach! and London's Weather Forecast.

Play with Color!

As you can see the crackle comes in big chunks, almost making it look like the print of a giraffe. Seems like the new crackle is more like this, Black Shatter by OPI has a very similar effect, but if you like the dense crackle from back in the day I suggest looking into the one by BYS!
I applied Instant Nail Effects on top of several colors, and it looks very hot against a contrasting color, but I like the more subtle effect it gives on a closer color as well! I've seen this Barry M top coat applied over gold, and it looked smoking hot.


If you really like this Crackle effect I'd definitely recommend this top coat. It applies alright, but you do have to be quick. I love the fact it dries matte, it definitely adds to the deconstructed look! The price is alright too, depending on where you buy it, it will cost you around £3.99 / $6.40 / €4.60 for 10ml.

Where to buy

I noticed it's out of stock everywhere, but as soon as they'll restock you can buy Barry M Instant Nail Effects directly from their website or from Alice and Jo's Havesentials.
ETA: If you're Dutch you can check out this shop: www.beautyfocus.nl

October 30, 2010, 1:07:00 PM

Low Budget (Euro) Matte Top Coats Compared!

Matte top coats Hema Essence Catrice Cheap Compared

Euro - Brick & Mortar

Hi everyone! It's saturday, woohoo! Finally a little time to spend on the blog. For today I have something that will mostly interest Europeans since these brands are not (that easily) available elsewhere, so sorry about that!

I know there are a gazillion matte top coats out there, but I know a lot of people don't like to buy online, so for the people who can get their mitts on these brands I decided to compare three low budget matte top coats!

What top coats?

The top coats in question, are made by Hema, Essence and Catrice. I'll be mainly focusing on their mattifying abilities and their price, and not so much the wear as this is different for everyone.

Matte top coats Hema Essence Catrice Cheap Compared

Likes / Dislikes

As you can see there is one top coat that noticeably falls behind: the Hema matte top coat. It applies very nicely, but it's more satin looking. If this is your thing, I'd say check it out, if you're more into true mattes: skip it! I have reviewed this product before, saying it was not streaky, but today it definitely was! Not so cool. The other two are pretty much identical. They're both made by Cosnova, applied the same way, so I was wondering if these might be the same product in different bottles? Unfortunately I couldn't find ingredients anywhere - which is a major letdown - I think all products should have their ingredients attached to their back.
What I didn't like about the Essence and Catrice top coats was the fact the brushes pick up color. You don't want your top coat to change color, so don't forget to clean up the brush if it got dirty.

Cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest

The Essence Matt top coat costs €1.75 / 8ml, the one by Catrice is €1.99 / 12ml and the Hema will cost you €2.50 / 11ml. As you can see the one by Hema is the most expensive, but the least matte looking. If you want to go for a true matte, I'd suggest you look into the ones by Essence and Catrice. The Essence looks the cheapest, with its price of only €1.75, but is it REALLLLY? A little breakdown:

Hema Top Coat Matt

Catrice Matt Top Coat

Essence Matt Top Coat

Price in €2.501.991.75
Per ml11128
Price per 100ml22.73 16.58 21.86

So, if you're looking for a decent, true matte top coat, for the smallest price, the one by Catrice wins hands down!

One product in this post was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR company for review. For more information please read my disclaimer

October 28, 2010, 1:25:00 PM

Review: Lush - Smitten - Almond Icing Hand Cream

Lush Smitten Hand Cream

Lush Smitten

Hi guys! For today I have a review about Lush's one of their hand creams. The reason why I'm reviewing it today is it's discontinued but still available! I already reviewed and really liked Handy Gurugu, do I like this one just as much? Read on to find out.

Like almond icing

According to Lush, Smitten is a protective, almond scented hand cream. It's a lighter hand cream with the same fragrance as the famous Snowcake soap. "Smitten is made with natural oils, calming chamomile and beeswax to protect the hands from extreme weather or nourish them when they need it most. Use it regularly for nice soft mitts. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal and sedative. Aromatherapists have used it to treat bruises, allergies, stress and depression. It is helpful for sensitive skins."

Kind to mitts?

Smitten has a very creamy texture and is definitely moisturizing. I do feel like the effect is quickly evaporated, but I still like it. The smell is famous, and while it does reminds me of almonds, I immediately thought: Play Doh! I thought I was crazy for thinking it smelled liked Play Doh, but a quick Google search showed me I'm not alone! So, Play Doh.. I think it's quite a funny smell, and it makes me a bit nostalgic, at times I love it, at times I hate it. The scent does wear off after an hour or so.

What's in it?

The ingredients look rather nice, Chamomile, Almond and other nice oils. I love the fact Lush is cruelty free, if you're vegan you can't use Smitten though, as it contains lanoline and beeswax. The one thing I don't get is why a company like Lush still uses parabens, but okay.
Overall, I quite like this product, even though I haven't decided on the smell yet. It's a good cream to take with you on the road, since it's quite light and quickly absorbed. For a more thorough moisturizing effect I'd recommend Handy Gurugu over this though! If you want to get this cream, get it fast as it's discontinued!


Chamomile Matricaria Infusion (Chamomilla recutita), Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Marigold Infusion (Calendula officinalis), Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil (Linum usitatissimum), Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cold Pressed Wheatgerm Oil (Triticum vulgare), Cold Pressed Avocado Oil (Persea gratissima), Coconut Butter (Cocos nucifera), Lanolin, Beeswax (Cera alba), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana), Perfume, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Lush Smitten costs € 11,75 / 100g, or $17.95 / 3.5oz. Visit www.lush.com for more information.

October 27, 2010, 9:58:00 PM

Dare to Discuss: OPI Up For Sale?

OPI for sale L'Oreal Coty

I was going through my blogroll today and stumbled upon this post over at Body & Soul Beauty. Mary shows us an inside article written by Bloomberg about OPI being for sale. You can read the entire, original, article here.

I have to admit, I was a bit shocked. Bloomberg is telling us OPI is for sale and currently is considering major companies Coty and L'Oreal. I'm not sure to what degree this actually holds true, but I do know what this would mean for me. I've asked for confirmation by OPI, but I didn't get a reply - which I can understand.

Cruelty free

I usually don't make room for L'Oreal and Coty on this blog. Not that I hate their colors, but they still feel it's necessary to test on animals. Brands like Maybelline, L'Oreal, Miss Sporty and Sally Hansen never really did it for me. Especially when I found out about their views on animal testing.

OPI, on the other hand, has always been one of my favorite cruelty free nail polish brands. I like their colors, their formula, their brush, you name it. From the moment I said goodbye to nail biting, I occasionally spoiled myself with a new bottle of OPI polish.

What if..

So, could all of this be true? The brand that always watched her exclusivity like a hawk, soon to be part of one of the giants? I don't want to be timely, but if this bad dream would turn into reality, I don't feel like writing about OPI anymore.
I understand this could eventually lead to less readers of my blog etc, morals always get in the way, right?! ;-) OPI may be and remain cruelty free, but I don't feel like filling up L'Oreal or Coty's wallet. I do hope you can understand and respect that, even if you think it's the biggest bullcrap out there. Let's just hope none of this is true! How would you feel about OPI being sold to either Coty or L'Oreal?

What if OPI becomes part of L'Oreal or Coty?

Honestly? Who cares. I'll keep buying it I'll have to think about it I'll stop buying it

October 26, 2010, 4:08:00 PM

Exclusive: Chanel - Côte d'Azur Collection - Le Vernis Riva

Chanel Cruise collection 2010/2011 Le Vernis Riva


The CHANEL Cruise Collection 2010 – 2011 opts for a carefree style and an outdoor fashion show under the magical light of Saint Tropez. Dropped off at the old port by a flotilla of Riva boats, the barefooted models strut down the catwalk as if taking a stroll after an afternoon at the beach, walking along the terrace of the legendary Sénéquier café. The free spirit and casual elegance of the Bardot years embrace check prints, delicate pink tweeds and loose hair.


The tender and savage sensuality of eternal Saint Tropez inspires Peter Philips, Global Creative Director of CHANEL Makeup, to create a playful Collection that flirts with the sun. A sprinkle of sand clinging to golden skin. A little pout under a straw hat, ready to break into a childish laugh. Summer on the Riviera returns to the innocent charm of the 70s with new interplays of light and ultra-contemporary beauty steps. This season, lips are adorned with ROUGE COCO in 4 soft, summery shades: Perlé, Chintz, Taffetas Rose and Sari Doré. In just one stroke, the smile dresses up in radiance. This playful spirit is accentuated down to the fingertips with LE VERNIS Riva, a pastel blue lacquer that hints at legendary check prints.

Côte d'Azur Collection

Hi guys! Chanel granted me with an exclusive preview of their Côte d'Azur Collection - well in The Netherlands, but it looks way cool! ;-) While Chanel Paradoxal is hands down the it color of the moment, there's already news about Chanel's beautiful upcoming collection: Côte d'Azur. On the runway there has been popping up a new baby blue pastel. It's really light, delicate and has that pure feel to it, from what I can tell.

Chanel Cruise collection 2010/2011 Le Vernis Riva

LE VERNIS Riva - Effortless & Natural

Today I can finally tell you more about this new mysterious, delicate shade. First revealed on the runway in St. Tropez, this soft oceanic blue now has a name: Riva. Here is what Peter Philips says about this collection: “Effortless, natural beauty, relaxed girls who are enjoying their holidays. That was the main idea behind the look for this show.

I have to admit, when the first runway photos made their appearance, I wasn't really impressed by the idea of a pale blue pastel, but looking at the new released promo pictures, I'm definitely starting to feel more enthusiastic, especially the greenish hue and the shimmer look so pretty!

Le Vernis Riva, is going to cost €25 a bottle and will be going on sale December the 1st. This will be Limited Edition, so if you must have this polish, be sure to pick it up in time! Chanel Le Vernis Riva will be available exclusively at the CHANEL Fashion Boutiques. (Sometimes when they say this, they do pop up at www.chanel.com, so fingers crossed!) Expect swatches soon!

Chanel Cruise collection 2010/2011 Le Vernis Riva

This information was exclusively provided to me by Chanel. If you would like to use this content for your site, please be so kind to provide a link back to this post.

Chanel Riva

October 23, 2010, 3:16:00 AM

Catrice Preview - Product Information

Catrice new products november

More pics and information

Hi guys! If you haven't read my post about the new and improved Catrice line yet, I'd suggest to take a peek before moving on to this post! In this post I'll give you an overview what products exactly will be released, what they do and how much they cost.


Since I had the chance to play around with these products, I already have some favorites. I really really like the eyeshadows, they're extremely well pigmented and their color selection is endless. I'm also digging the new nail polish colors, since they're not your typical pink or red, but trendy blue, greige and green. The powder brushes are really soft too and those compacts are just to die for! What do you think? This article is a bit on the picture heavy side so read more after the jump!

Catrice Preview - New products & some swatches

Catrice Preview Party New products november

Catrice Press Presentation

Catrice used to a bit old fashioned, but lately they've definitely been spicing it up. A while ago they already started renewing their line by adding many great nail polishes, but that's not where it ends. Catrice spent some time figuring out what people really like to see and also had focus groups to determine what kind of products people really go for. Inspired by the latest (runway) trends, Catrice is revamping a huge part of their line this November!

Catrice Preview Party New products november

Me and a group of bloggers were invited to have a look at what they've got in store for us, so I'm really excited to give you the lowdown! Catrice will show an entire new face this november, a lot has changed, their packaging, formulas and even their style. Where Catrice used to play it safe, they're now busting out a very mixed core selection. Whether you like neutrals or bright bold colors, Catrice has it all.

Catrice Preview Party New products november

Collection info

I actually have all the promo photos of their products. When I'm done writing this post, I'll immediately start making a separate article where you can find all the pics and more information. For now, I'll show you some products that I found quite impressive and even some swatches of their new nail polishes.

Catrice Preview Party New products november

New display

Catrice has an entire new display in store for us, the new products will mostly be located in the middle area. The nail care area you see in the top, were the first to undergo a huge makeover months ago, and the lower area, that contains foundations and other skin products will be improved later on. The middle section is where all the action happens, you'll find lots and lots of new items there, like eye and lip products!

Catrice Preview Party New products november

Catrice Absolute Colour Mono, Duo & Smokey Eye

Catrice has put in some major effect to come up with a LOT of new eyeshadows. There will be 32 monos, 8 duos and 3 smokey eye kits. Wowza! And they come in a variety of colors, textures and finishes. I got the chance to play around with these and they're quite pigmented!

Catrice Preview Party New products november

New Ultimate Nail Lacquer

While I do like makeup, you know I LOVE nail polish. Catrice is adding three new seasonal shades to their Ultimate Nail Lacquer line. The colors are called Absolutely Chinchilly!, Run Forest Run! and Hip Queens Wear Jeans! And no nail polish collection is complete without a matte top coat! I brought a nailwheel from home, so I was able to do some quick swatching for you guys. I wish they would've added more, but then again, it's never enough for polish freaks like us!

Catrice Preview Party New products november

Catrice Multi Colour Compact Powder

This looks so pretty, it just screamed to be photographed! It's a very nice compact powder, available for fair and dark skin.

I had a really great day! Catrice and their PR representatives were extremely nice and welcoming. Thank you! The location was lovely and filled with beautiful billboards - as pictured above - and I got the chance to meet some lovely bloggers, what else could I wish for?! Catrice was extremely generous and let us go home with many new products, so expect swatches soon. Be sure to check back in a while for more information on the new line too!

October 21, 2010, 1:52:00 PM

Nail biting: Ditch that habit!

how to stop biting your nails

Ditch the biting

Some people don't believe me when I say I used to bite my nails. But I did. Real bad, and for years! I started this awful habit when I was pretty young, maybe around the age of seven? I bit my nails until they bled, not a pretty sight. Embarrased as I was, I always sat on my hands, I absolutey didn't want anyone to see them. But I always had a thing for my mom's nail polish though, it made me sad, looking at my nails. I'm not sure about all the reasons I ended up with this habit, but I managed to beat it!

If it's more serious...

Of course it depends on your reasons why you bite your nails, if there are serious psychological motives behind your addiction, I don't think this post is right for you. But, if you just got used to the biting, the habit, to the point of no return, let me tell you how I did it.

Why is nail biting bad?

There are actually quite some health risks attached to biting your nails. It's not very hygienic, you can end up with some serious infections. It isn't that great for your teeth as well, and not to mention the permanent damage you can do to your nails and cuticles.

Possible solutions

There are plenty of products on the market which you can polish on, that leave a horrendous taste. A friend of mine actually kicked her habit to the curb with Essence No More Bite. Many companies sell products like these. If you haven't tried them yet, give it a shot.

It didn't really work out for me though, it was a short term solution and I just kept biting through that bitter awful mess. At one point I just had enough, I wanted pretty, polished nails. So I decided to get acrylics. Best thing I've ever done for my nails. Not only did I realize how much I actually liked pretty nails, I just couldn't bite my way through them. Well, I know a lot of people can and do, but somehow I didn't feel like putting those acrylics in my mouth anymore. After a while that oral fixation disappeared and I didn't have to fight the urge anymore. I let my acrylics grow out, and here we are today.

What also works for a lot of people: baby them like crazy! File, moisturize, keep them polished at all times, and enjoy it! Your nails can be in pretty bad shape after you've bitten the shit out of them, so don't expect them to be nice, long and strong immediately. Everything will work out though, invest in a good nail hardener and ridge filler and just be nice to them. If you can't do it on your own, don't hesitate to tell some people, because they can help a great deal, especially when mindlessly put that finger in your mouth..

Any experiences to share?

So this was my personal story.. If you used to bite your nails, and have some great tips or tricks, please share!

October 20, 2010, 7:26:00 PM

OPI is on a roll! OPI Spring 2011: Texas Collection

OPI Spring Texas Collection

Are you ready for spring?

OPI's hatching collections like it's nothing! Today I stumbled upon some hot news on the Grazia Daily website. Care to see what OPI has been cooking up for spring? For spring OPI is going to release a 12 piece collection inspired by a state, no other than Texas. There also will be a cute mini set called Lil Shooters, as you can see pictured on the left.

More green!

Im seeing some interesting shades, like a green and a blue. I really like how OPI is doing more greens lately. I also see some berry/pinkish shades, I'm not too fond about those since I have plenty, but we'll see.


The shades are called the following:

  • Do You Think I'm Tex-y?
  • Big Hair Big Nails
  • Too Pink to Hold 'Em
  • I Vant To Be A-Lone Star
  • Guy meets Gal-veston
  • Don't Mess with OPI
  • Austin-tatious Turquoise
  • San Tan-Tonio
  • Y’all Come Back Ya Hear?
  • It's Totally Fort Worth It
  • Suzi loves Cowboys
  • Houston We Have a Purple

OPI Spring 2011: Texas Collection

Release date

At this point I know practically nothing but the collection will be released somewhere around February! Of course I'll edit this post as new information comes along. Edit: For more information and awesome photos take a look at this great post by Helen from Just Nice Things

Source: Grazia Daily & Eva Chen Bannister

OPI Texas Collection Spring 2011

Why so many dupes?

Hi guys, with the latest releases, I couldn't help but wonder, how on earth did we end up with so many dupes? Especially this season. For example, Orly's Halleys Comet is an exact dupe for OPI Catch me in Your Net, Zoya Charla and Essence Choose Me. And there are more dupish polishes in that beloved Cosmic FX collection, I mean, look at the MAC's Venomous Villains polishes. It made me wonder, and I decided to write my figments down, of course I'm no expert or insider, these are just ramblings. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments as well!


A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention. These patents do expire, so it's possible you'll notice some dupish products after this. A good example is when the patent on Lancome's Precision Point Eyeliner ran out and suddenly there were two similar products, namely Illamasqua's Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner and MAC's Superslick Liquid Eyeliners. Funny how that works!

New technologies

Sometimes it could be new technology too. Once it hits the market, it's very well possible that new finishes and stuff like that, get picked up by the nail polish companies. Orly claims their Cosmic FX collection contains a new Mineral FX technology. What they did is use Mica for those 'glass flecks'. Mica itself is not particularly new (or that healthy btw), but the new fleck shape could be. I'm not sure.

Lifting on the succes of others

This happens quite often. After Chanel's Jade there was a huge jade/mint green hype. If you look at Models Own, you can see they're blatantly using Chanel's Paradoxal to sell their Purple Grey and when they found out this was working out for them, they released their Car Key Collection. A major Chanel Les Khakis ripoff.

Sheer Coincidence

Nothing to add to that one, I guess it happens!

And what are your thoughts? Let me know!

October 19, 2010, 4:03:00 PM

Sneak Preview: China Glaze Tis The Season To be Naughty and Nice

China Glaze Tis The Season To be Naughty or Nice - Sneak Preview

China Glaze Holiday Collection

Hi guys! Today I received a friggin fantastic package from China Glaze! I couldn't believe it but they sent me their entire Holiday collection. This collection exists out of 16 colors, it's huge! Since I don't have much time today, have to work this wednesday and thursday, and a press event from Catrice to attend on friday, I think I won't be able to start swatching before this saturday :(. Therefore I decided to give you a little preview of what's to come! Please excuse the quality of these pictures, since it's dark and raining non stop in The Netherlands.

China Glaze Tis The Season To be Naughty or Nice - Sneak Preview

From left to right: Snow, Frosty, Cheers to You, Midnight Kiss, Jingle Bells, Peace on Earth, Jolly Holly, Mistletoe Kisses, Party Hearty and Mrs. Claus.

China Glaze Tis The Season To be Naughty or Nice - Sneak Preview

From left to right: Sugar Plums, Mommy Kissing Santa, Phat Santa, Ruby Deer, Party Hearty, Mistletoe Kisses, Jolly Holly and Peace on Earth.

China Glaze Tis The Season To be Naughty or Nice - Sneak Preview

From left to right: Ruby Deer, Phat Santa, Mommy Kissing Santa, Sugar Plums, Naughty and Nice and Little Drummer Boy.

First Impression

They look nice, don't they? Expect real swatches soon though! I think I already have some favorites in this collection, especially Mistletoe Kisses, Little Drummer Boy and Party Hearty call my name. They seem to apply quite nicely, but so far I've only tried them on a nail wheel. I'm really fond of the silver caps too. Swatches and review coming soon!

What's your first impression?

The product(s) in this post were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR company for review. For more information please read my disclaimer

October 16, 2010, 2:02:00 PM

Chanel Paradoxal Dupes?

Chanel Paradoxal Barry M Dusky Mauve Hollywood Nails

Chanel Paradoxal

A while ago I bought Chanel's Paradoxal, from the moment I saw pictures, I just knew I had to have it. And I still don't regret splurging the $$$, because I have a thing for this purple taupe with its secret shimmer. The wear has been great on me and I actually wear this every now and then.


What exactly is considered a dupe anyway? According to the dictionary a dupe is a version identically copied from an original. So when you compare these colors, they have to be fairly identical before you can label them as dupes. This is why I don't consider Models Own's Purple Grey and MNY's #549 exact dupes of Paradoxal. Their base colors are definitely similar, but they're lacking any type of shimmer. MNY tests on animals anyway, therefore it's not even an option for me.

Chanel Paradoxal Barry M Dusky Mauve Hollywood Nails

the fun without the $$$

While I love Chanel, I have to admit: it is kinda pricey. Thankfully I've come across some cheaper alternatives: Barry M's Dusky Mauve and number 509 by Hollywood Nails (they even share the same number!). If you look at this comparison you'll notice how close Barry M and Chanel are! They have the same base color and pretty much the same amount of shimmer. The camera shows more blue in Barry M's shimmer, but I looked very hard and didn't notice this myself. #509 by Hollywood Nails is pretty close too, but the shimmer is different: the particles are smaller and more evenly distributed throughout the polish.

Chanel Paradoxal Barry M Dusky Mauve Hollywood Nails


The application of Dusky Mauve and Paradoxal is also quite similar, they both need 2 layers and they go on very nicely. #509 by Hollywood Nails is almost a once coater, win!

Chanel Paradoxal costs $23.00 for 13ml, Hollywood Nails #509 costs $4,25 for 15ml and Barry M's Dusky Mauve costs $4,75 for 10ml.

So, if you fell in love with this color too, but you don't want to hurt your wallet, I'd definitely recommend Dusky Mauve by Barry M, I actually consider this a dupe and it's not expensive at all! Yes, the one by Hollywood Nails is relatively cheaper and has better coverage, but I still don't know where you can buy it as it's mostly a salon brand.

Where to buy

You can buy Barry M products directly from their website or from Alice and Jo's Havesentials.

Get Acquainted with Accessorize Nail Polish!

Accessorize Nail Polish


Accessorize, a store that sells mostly accessories, also took a spring into cosmetics. Normally, when I see stores like this taking a plunge into nail polish, it's not that big of a deal, shimmers and cremes, that's about all I see, with the occasional weak holo. Imagine my surprise when I saw what Accessorize busted out!

Not your traditional red creme

Ok, it's pretty obvious: the finish and colors of some of these babies strongly remind me of the Orly Cosmic FX collection, and judging from the pics, I think it's safe to say there are some dupish polishes in their range. I don't really mind though, the Cosmic FX collection was my favorite of the entire year (so far), I just can't get enough of these. And...do I see a possible MAC Bad Fairy dupe there?! I'm not really dazzled by their bottle design, but oh well! Accessorize is also selling your traditional red creme, but I made a selection from their current, more surprising, offerings:

Accessorize Nail Polish

These polishes cost £4.00 (4.50 EUR or 6.45 USD) each for a bottle of 10ml. Not cheap, but not steep either. I'm not sure where you can find Accessorize stores, but I do know there are over 240 stores in the UK and 600 internationally (located in cities such as Paris, Madrid, Milano, Roma, Lissabon, Moscow and Amsterdam). You can check out there store locator over here or shop online.

What do you think of these? Too dupe-y or glad to meet them?

October 15, 2010, 8:41:00 PM

Ciaté - Silhouette

Ciate Silhouette

From the vault

Hi guys! How are you all doing? Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been really busy. Thankfully I found some older pictures of a gorgeous polish on my hard drive, so let me introduce you to one of Ciaté's prettiest vampy shades: Silhouette.

Ciaté always hits my soft spot, the bottle is too cute, the little ribbon, the font, I love it all. British sophistication for sure! The color is quite dark, a very rich and warm dark brownish red. It looks quite brown in the bottle, but it's leaning towards red once on the nail. The color acts a bit like a chameleon, because it shifts between red, brown and even a bit purple, depending on the lighting. I can't get over how glowy it is, so pretty.

Ciate Silhouette


Application was pretty easy, two quick smooth coats without any trouble. I did experience some bubbling, but only on my thumbs, how weird is that? This polish has decent staying power too, I remember wearing it for at least 4 days without chipping, I did add a layer of David top coat, and then I took it off.

Ciaté polishes cost £9.00 for a bottle containing 13.5ml. You can order them from www.ciate.co.uk

October 12, 2010, 9:21:00 PM

How to: Prevent bubbling

Orly Galaxy Girl How to prevent bubbling nail polish

I like bubbles in my glass, in my bath, but definitely not in my nail polish. Since I'm following these simple steps, I'm pretty much bubble-free:

Ditch the dirt

Always make sure your hands and nails are nice and clean. Sometimes oil or dirt will react badly with your nail polish and who doesn't like clean hands?!

Thick layers

The most common thing I always read about bubbling is: let your first coat dry before applying the second. Honestly? I don't have time for that! When you apply thin layers of polish, you should be fine. When your layers of polish are too thick, it can cause bubbling because it scoops up more air than it normally would. If you happen to have an old or poor quality nail polish that is too thick, simply add some thinner and you're good to go. Never ever use acetone or nail polish remover because you might as well throw it out straight away.

Stirred, not shaken

Shaking your nail polish isn't necessarily bad. In fact, all nail polish needs a good shake every now and then! But maybe not right before applying it. Whenever you shake your bottle of nail polish, air bubbles can get trapped in your polish. Instead of shaking, roll the bottle in your hands.


Painting your nails in a humid room, or during hot weather, can also cause bubbling. When it's hot, air particles spread out far and wide and are easier absorbed by your polish. Nail polish molecules expand as well, making it even easier to let those damn air bubbles in. Heat is a culprit, for sure.
Also, applying nail polish in an air conditioned room, or in front of fans etc, won't help much either.


ETA: Apparently I'm all kinds of wrong, oops? Read more below

Commenting system

As you might have noticed I have installed a new commenting system! It makes replying so much easier and I don't have to put up with weird anonymous comments anymore. If you don't have stuff like Twitter or Wordpress, you can simply log in with your name and email address. If you run into any kind of trouble, please let me know!

October 11, 2010, 1:29:00 PM

Can't find Lush Lemony Flutter?

The mystery of the missing cuticle cream

It's sold out everywhere. Out of stock. Gone. Well at least in The Netherlands. I nearly cried! I am of those persons that actually finishes an entire tub. Or three. But what's the deal? When will it be back? Well, it's not just 'sold out'. People have been informed by the Lush staff, that it might be unavailable for a while because the supplier of one of the ingredients has started to test on animals. Lush, a company that feels very strongly about being cruelty free, is now looking for a new supplier.
The ingredient we're talking about supposedly is Sodium Borat. Ultrabalm, their lipbalms and solid perfumes might be affected too.

I'm extremely pleased Lush takes this issue seriously and stopped selling one of their bestsellers - for the moment. I have to admit though: I am annoyed, an official statement would've been nice. At this point I don't even know if the Lemony Flutter I have been using all this time was cruelty free to begin with, because they pulled several batches from the stores. If more information pops up, I'll gladly let you know.

Source: Lush Forum

October 10, 2010, 10:52:00 AM

Who Nicole by OPI really should have teamed up with

Adam Lambert nail polish

Adam Lambert Nail polish Justin Bieber

What the Blieb?!

A few days ago I read about Nicole by OPI's newest collection inspired by Justin Bieber. While I'm all for collaborations, I nearly choked on my drink when I found out. Why? The kid doesn't even wear nail polish! If Nicole by OPI would've wanted to rock it with a hot male singer, that's current, talented AND infatuated with nail polish, Adam Lambert would've been an excellent pick. But of course I'm biased, being the fangirl that I am.

Adam Lambert Nail polish Justin Bieber
Why didn't anyone tell me about quick drying top coat?!

Don't mess with my nails!

Adam Lambert doesn't shy away from wearing make up and nail polish. He likes to wear dark colors and is often spotted wearing Black Onyx, Russian Navy and Yoga-ta Get This Blue by OPI. See why he and OPI should get it on? Adam tells us he likes to do his own nails and he prefers his nail polish to be chipped. Boys will be boys.. There was even a rumor - that was debunked quickly - that claimed Adam lashed out on a fan when he was waiting for his nail polish to dry, when somebody grabbed him and ruined his nails. Hilarious.

Justin Bieber Adam Lambert Nail polish
Two tough guys discussing nail polish

Dear Adam, if you don't want to be Nicole's nail polish muse, would you at least be mine?

Image credits: Robin Roemer & National Post

Adam Lambert nail polish

Adam Lambert nail polish

Adam Lambert nail polish

Adam Lambert nail polish

October 9, 2010, 9:27:00 PM

Guiltfree Glam: B3F FTW!

B3F Toxic safe nail polish chemicals

"What is B3F?" is a question I find almost daily in my inbox, so for today I've got a little writeup on the matter. I always redirect everyone to this awesome post by All Lacquered Up, since I'm no chemist AT ALL, but the requests kept coming, so bear with me. I won't get into all the bad stuff certain ingredients can do, as I don't want to have people panicking!

B3F wha?

What are B3F or Big 3 Free nail polishes anyway? These are polishes that are free from Formaldehyde, DBP & Toluene. Formaldehyde in its pure form is a colorless gas. Formaldehyde is anti bacterial and acts as an anti dissolvant and improves adhesion. DBP or Dibutyl phthalate is used as a plasticizer which should keep surfaces smooth and unbreakable. Toluene is a substance that keeps your polish liquid.


Each of these ingredients have certain dangers attached to them. There is still debate over whether these are actually harmful: usually these ingredients only trip you up when you're exposed to huge amounts during a longer period of time or when they are being incinerated. However, long term consequences are still unknown and there are many people who suffer from allergic reactions from these substances. Formaldehyde is hardly used these days, except in hardeners/strengtheners. You might want to give those a body check. A product from Formaldehyde, called Formaldehyde Resin, is more often used nowadays, I'm not entirely sure about that one, but it's considered safe by the FDA. If you're allergic to Formaldehyde you might be allergic to the resin as well though.

Just a marketing tool?

I know a lot of people don't care at all, but better safe than sorry goes a long way. I know I don't want to to cause unnecessary harm to my health. Why risk it if there are plenty alternatives - especially when you're pregnant or breastfeeding! Maybe the fuzz is a little overblown and I do think a lot of brands are using this as a clever marketing tool, but it doesn't hurt to be careful.
A lot of older polishes are not B3F, but I can't wrap my head around the fact that companies still choose to produce nail polish the oblivious way. For example: Models Own polishes are still crammed with Toluene. Why?! I know producing non B3F polish is a lot cheaper than its healthy alternative, but the price of Models Own polishes ($8 each, where Nubar costs &7.49 & Zoya $7 each) hardly reflects that. It does take some companies a while to get their new formula to work, but practice makes perfect right?

B3F Toxic safe nail polish chemicals


You can check the labels to see whether your nail polish is B3F, but brands like Nubar, Zoya, SpaRitual, Orly, Chanel, RBL, Lippmann, Revlon, Del Sol (as pictured above), newer Misa, China Glaze and OPI are definitely B3F. However, some of these still contain Formaldehyde Resin.

I hope this was helpful and thanks so much for stopping by!
- With love, Michèle

Sources: Cosmeticsinfo.org, Wikipedia

October 8, 2010, 10:01:00 PM

Water Marble Magic

Nail art watermarble

My first water marble

Hi guys! For today I've got something different from usual: a water marble. My first one actually! Well.. the first one I didn't immediately want to wipe off ;). It's still not how I wanted it to look, and it's nothing compared to others', but I wanted to share anyway! If you're not familiar with this technique: water marbling is putting drops of nail polish into water, creating patterns with a stick and dipping your finger in it. There are many tutorials on this crafty business but definitely get inspired by Colette from My Simple Little Pleasures, because she's got super duper water marble skills!

The polishes I used were Nox Twilight Beauty Crush - a very bright pink - and It's You! by Misa - a duochrome-y dark shade! Not all polishes will work for water marbling but the well pigmented ones are usually fine. There are several ways to avoid getting those dirty fingers, taping and vaseline for example. Vaseline (or unpetroleum jelly in my case) worked really well for me, you apply it on your skin and cuticles and after you're done, you can wipe the polish off - just like that! I got this tip from Michelle from The Lacquer Files, thanks girl!

Nail art water marble

I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for stopping by!
- With love, Michèle

October 3, 2010, 3:28:00 PM

Updated: OPI - Glam Slam Collection by Serena Williams

OPI Glam Slam Collection by Serena Williams

OPI News

The other day I was watching my timeline on Twitter and I noticed a tweet by OPI mentioning something quite interesting! Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she will be working with OPI to release an entire nail polish collection.
The collection will be named the Glam Slam Collection and Serena mentioned on the show that the colors in this collection will represent tennis tournaments, like the U.S Open, French Open, Australian open and Wimbledon.

Serena Williams is actually training to be certified Nail Tech and she definitely shares the nail passion: "No one likes getting their nails done more than I do. As a matter of fact I go every 4 days to get a manicure and every 7 days for a pedicure.". I can't wait to see what Serena and OPI will come up with! Are you looking forward to this collection?

I've checked with OPI to see if there was more information available at this time but they replied to me saying not all materials are finalized at the moment, but once those are, they will get the info out stat!

OPI Glam Slam Collection by Serena Williams Simply Smashing Black Shatter

EDIT: The release of this collection will start in january with 2 polishes, 2 in May, 2 in June and 2 in August. These releases are timed to her tournaments. There is a teeny tiny bit of information available: one of the first shades will be called: Simply Smashing, a bright green!

EDIT 2: Added some pictures of the first set that will be released. Simply Smashing and Black Shatter - a black crackling top coat!

OPI Glam Slam Collection by Serena Williams Simply Smashing Black Shatter

Additional info source: Eva Chen Bannister - Beauty Director for Teen Vogue