Showing posts with label Essence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Essence. Show all posts

23 April 2013

Essence Nude Glam Swatches and Review

Hi everyone! I have swatches of four of the Nude Glam polishes from Essence - there's other Nude Glam polishes but these four are the only ones available in North America (at least according to the Essence website). They caught my eye over the weekend when I was out polish shopping, and I thought "well, why not?" I'm always on the lookout for a good nude polish that works with my skin tone. I was only able to find two over the weekend, then today I found the other two when I was at the drugstore. Score! Complete set!! :P

Essence Nude Glam polishes

Café Olé is a pale taupe creme with a very subtle shimmer. I really like this one and found it very flattering. The formula was perfect and I used three coats here, but really two would do - I have some staining on one of my nails from my peacock mani, so I wanted to cover that up. It's similar to Models Own Nude Beige (reviewed here) but is more neutral, while the Models Own has a slightly more reddish tone.

Essence Nude Glam Café Olé

Essence Nude Glam Café Olé

Cotton Candy is a very, very pale pink. It's more of a sheer than a creme and I used three coats here. There were no problems formula wise. This is probably my least favourite of the bunch, I just find that there's many polishes like this on the market. It looks very similar to Deborah Lippmann's Prelude to a Kiss, and I'm sure you can probably think of some other dupes.

Essence Nude Glam Cotton Candy

Essence Nude Glam Cotton Candy

Iced Strawberry Cream is a pale muted pink creme with a silver shimmer. It's a tad frosty but not too much for my taste. This was three coats but two would work - again, covering up the staining. The formula was good but I did have some issues with bubbling, although I'm not sure if that's my fault or the polish. I also found this one very flattering on me.

Essence Nude Glam Iced Strawberry Cream

Essence Nude Glam Iced Strawberry Cream

Peach & Cream is a pale peachy nude with a delicate shimmer. I used three coats and you can still see the nail line. It has a good formula, I just wish it was a bit more opaque.

Essence Nude Glam Peach & Cream

Essence Nude Glam Peach & Cream

My favourites out of the bunch are definitely Café Olé and Iced Strawberry Cream. The other two I think would look better on other skin tones. My only issue with this collection is the limited range of shades. "Nude" is defined as "flesh colour," so why are these all so pale? Just a thought.

What do you think of these? Did you pick up any of the Nude Glam polishes? Do you care for nude polishes, or would you prefer I banish them from the blog? ;)

23 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 16: Inspired by a Christmas Song

Hi everyone! I'm really excited about what I came up with for today's post, but I should also warn you that this post is a bit picture heavy! The theme I chose to do for today is "inspired by a Christmas song," and I'll admit that at first I was really at a loss for what to do. I'm not really into many Christmas songs, but I decided to take the song Silent Night as my inspiration. It is one of the few Christmas songs that I like.

Nativity stained glass nails

Nativity stained glass nails

When I was a child, I remember Christmas Eve being a very special time. Several years we went to midnight mass at church (I'm Roman Catholic), and afterwards my sister and I would get to stay up late and open one Christmas present early. Talk about serious anticipation! Knowing that you had to wait another several hours until morning before you got to open the rest of your presents. Sometimes I miss those moments. The holidays really change when you grow up.

But back to the nails. Taking the theme of Silent Night - the Nativity - I decided to depict it in the style of stained glass. I really love stained glass, and especially stained glass in churches! So from left to right I painted the manger, Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Star of Bethlehem, and the Chi Rho symbol.

Nativity stained glass nails

Here's the list of colours that I used:

Sephora by OPI, Living in Cin-namon (for the brown areas)
Essence A Piece of Forever (gold)
Nicole by OPI, Pretty in Plum (for the purple areas)
piCture pOlish Cosmos (blue)
Enchanted Polish Bruised Nutcracker (blue)
piCture pOlish Kryptonite (green)
Zoya Blaze (red)
Essie Sand Tropez (for flesh tones)
Sally Hansen White On (for star and Chi Rho)
Stripe Rite Black (for all outlines)

Nativity stained glass nails

I won't go into details about process because it's pretty simple. Basically I painted in all the colours and then went over everything with the Stripe Rite black. But while it wasn't complex in terms of process, it was very time consuming. I worked slow so that I could get the details right. In total, I think I spent about three hours on this mani.

Nativity stained glass nails (with top coat)

Some of these pictures are taken without a topcoat. I like this because you don't get the reflection in the photos. Others were taken with a top coat - Seche Vite. Overall I love how this mani turned out. Because I used a lot of shimmery colours, it's even more glittery and sparkly in person. It really does look like I have little stained glass nails.

What do you think?

21 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 15: Something Cozy

Hi everyone! I'm back with another advent calendar challenge. I still have a bunch of work that I'm trying to get done before Christmas so that I can take a week off for the holidays, but hopefully I'll be able to get a few more challenges done over the next couple of days.

The theme for day 15 is "something cozy", so I took my idea of the perfect cozy winter's evening, and used the concept of the skittle manicure to create the scene. A skittle manicure refers to either a manicure where the nails are painted different colours, or for nail art, where each nail has a different design, but the nails work together as a cohesive whole.

Cozy winter's evening mani

I'm kind of a homebody, so my cozy winter's evening consists of the following: (1) looking out the window at gently falling snow; (2) cozy striped socks; (3) hot beverage, either tea or hot cocoa; and (4) nice music playing. Isn't it just...cozy?! I thought about doing a book on my pinky, since I'm more likely to read than listen to music, but I figured it wouldn't look that good.

I started with a base of Revlon Midnight Affair on all four nails. Midnight Affair is a dark navy with a lighter blue shimmer. Here's a breakdown of colours and how I did each nail:

1. Gently Falling Snow (index):

I sponged Essie Blue Rhapsody on 3/4 of the nail to create a gradient. Then I sponged Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On, just on the tips to heighten the gradient. When that was dry I finished with a coat of Nubar White Polka Dot for the snow.

Cozy winter's evening mani

2. Cozy Striped Socks (middle):

I did this freehand with a wide flat nail art brush. The colours I used are (from top to bottom): Essence Black is Back, White On, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Grey Area, Essie Chinchilly, then Black is Back again on the tip. I didn't get it right the first time, so I had to wait for the stripes to dry, go over them again, and then even do some touch ups with a detail brush. Thank goodness for the top coat, which helped to make it look better.

3. Hot Beverage (ring):

I painted the mug freehand with a detail brush using White On again. I drew the outline first, sponged on a bit of white for the steam, and then filled in the mug with white. And if you look closely, there's a touch of Grey Area inside the mug for the beverage. :D

4. Music (pinky):

The music notes were very simple, they were done freehand with a detail brush. It's not completely perfect but you have to look at the notes up close to see the imperfections.

Cozy winter's evening mani

So what do you think of my first skittle mani? Overall, I like the idea of doing more of these. Also, I still want to work on getting better when it comes to freehand nail art, and I think slowly I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable with it.

07 December 2012

Advent Calendar Nail Challenge, Day 7: Ornaments

Hi everyone! Up until this point of the challenge I've been able to get away with a solid colour or very simple manis (i.e. glitter gradients, or layered glitter polish). It's not ideal, but I really am a newbie when it comes to nail art. In fact I just bought my first nail art brush set and dotting tools set for this challenge. But with the theme of ornaments for today, I knew it was no longer possible to put off trying my hand at some freehand nail art.

Holiday ornaments nail art

This is my first attempt at using nail art brushes, so please be gentle! Here's the list of polishes I used for this design:

Avon Vintage Blue
Joe Fresh Starry
Gosh Galaxy
Essie Penny Talk
China Glaze Man Hunt
Quo Old Hollywood
Illamasqua Viridian
Essence Black is Back
Girly Bits January Morning

Whew, that's a lot! I started by painting my base colour, Vintage Blue. Then I sponged on a light layer of Starry, to give the blue a subtle silver holo shimmer. Then I painted in the ornaments using Galaxy, Penny Talk, Man Hunt, Old Hollywood, and Viridian. I don't necessarily think these were the best colours, these were just the colours I had on hand that seemed appropriate for a holiday design. I then followed with Black is Back, drawing in the strings as well as the outline around each ornament. I used the same small detail brush for all the ornaments, as well as the black outline. I finished off with a light layer of January Morning, which added a very subtle shimmer to the whole design without obscuring the ornaments.

Holiday ornaments nail art

I think the biggest challenge I had was the black strings and outlines. It seemed like I either had too much or too little polish on my brush. It was also hard to get very fine detail, despite the fact that I was using my smallest brush. I wonder if a special striping polish might work better. I might also try to find some tutorials on freehand nail art, but if you know of any, please feel free to share.
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