Category Archives: Manicures

Milani – Hi Tech

You can’t go to a rooftop birthday dinner in Manhattan without fabulous nails. You also can’t go and not take pictures like this one to drool over:

But back to the nails haha. I wanted something a little crazy and playful but generally simple;  Milani – Hi Tech fit the bill. It is a light green holo, which I know sounds scary, but I feel like most skin tones could rock this. Butter London released a light green holo this fall, so it’s also a drugstore version of a on-trend color. It’s just a little brighter green than the BL.


I did two coats then sealed it with Seche Vite and it’s beauuuutttiiffulll. Kinda like this weather (seriously, can September last forever? this weather has been amazing, I want it around always). I love holos because somehow they capture fun and funky but somehow maintain a little bit of class. I know my version of professional nails is basically “if it’s a well done mani, why should I restrict my colors?” but I think this could be a widely accepted office color in business casual environments. Over all, it’s a quality polish, quality color, and I felt like my nails at least attempted to shimmer as bright as the lights of New York at dinner, so wins all around.

I did add an accent nail of Ying’s Nails – Starry Meteor because I picked it up at a street fair last weekend and couldn’t resist. This shot also shows Hi Tech with flash and all of it’s holo goodness.

“My name is Barack Obama and I endorse this… nail polish?”

Okay, yes, I work in politics. And, yes, this post pretty much reveals which side I’m supporting this November. And yes, I am loving that, thanks to members of the beauty industry like Marie Claire, and Anna Wintour, and the other gazzilion “go get ’em!” girls who have been rallying the troops this year, being politically informed is now in full fashion.  But, really, all I’m here about today is to say that Obama has his own nail polish. And I want it.

According to the “Runway to Win” website, which is part of Obama’s campaign store, the set, designed by Richard Blanch includes: “Red-y To Win Red – A delightfully deep red, a bold pop of color that makes a statement; Victory White – A soft, clean white perfectly polished for every day wear; and Bo Blue – A shimmering sapphire blue, a fun take on the classic navy.” And to seal the all Americana feel, four little words: “Made in the USA”. It’s even on sale, marked down from $40 to the totally splurgable amount of $25.

I know, I know, we all have like 20 dupes of these colors in our collections, but I need this. If POTUS puts his seal of approval on these colors, that’s like an executive order on nail polish trends or something, right? (You know, I type these things and then I realize I come across like Elle Woods, before she realized smart was sexy too…) I’m sure non-polish addicts will look at this and go, “uh, really? why would a campaign seriously sell that?” But since I am, in fact, a polish addict, I’m pretty sold on it being a fabulous concept, and I am seriously considering getting it. Basically, the real reason I need this is because I love the fact that I can support something with my weekly nail polish splurge for once, and I love the fact that I can wear it long-term. If someone wants to say something about it being silly, I’ll gladly quote the NYT discussion on how nail polish is the new lipstick of economic indicators and that, really, it’s kind of an ingenious move. The fact that it’s not a metal button with “made in china” on the back is a perk too.

Who am I kidding, my debit card is already in hand. I’ll let you know how a political polish turns out 😉

xo- Jess

China Glaze- Dress Me Up w/ Essie- A Cut Above

I have many mixed feelings about this manicure. Dress Me Up was one of the colors from the Colours From The Capitol collection I was most excited about, a brownish rose color that’s right up my street in terms of an office friendly polish. And A Cut Above was second to last on the list of polishes I would buy from the Luxeffects collection (after its silver glitter sister). However, I’m left unsure on how I feel about DMU on its own, but really like it with ACA. So much so that I needed a reminder from Gina about how much of a PITA it is to remove glitter to keep from doing a full mani with ACA.

Dress Me Up is a brownish leaning rose-pink creme. I rarely say this, but I found this formula to be frustrating. It’s runny and takes a lot of patience to apply to the nail. Because it pooled in the crevices, cleanup also took longer. I like the color on my skin tone, and it is definitely an office appropriate color. This is two coats.

I added A Cut Above after looking at DMU on its own for an hour or so. I never would have bought this glitter myself, but I was surprised to find myself semi-excited to get this bottle in my March Teen Vogue Birchbox. I decided to test an accent nail, and found I really liked the combination! It’s just the right touch of sparkle to a neutral color. It’s a rose-pink hex and microglitter in a clear base. What I like about this glitter is the base is thick enough that it doesn’t have a lot of texture. One coat of Seche Vite was enough to smooth this glitter out. I am now excited to try this glitter with a bunch of other base colors, and will probably attempt a marshmallow mani with it in the near future.

Hit the jump for a few more photos of this combo! Read the rest of this entry

Mattese Elite – Baise Moi (still drooling over this mani!!)

Blog readers, I’ve been holding out on you. I want to say I’m sorry, but I’d like to think it’s a good thing on this one (and, you know, not just work/travel/life insanity haha). I’ve been holding out on this OH MY VARNISHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH GLITTER EXPLOSION from Mattese Elite. With all the spring collections that have hit, I hope my delay in posting makes you remember to add this to your list, especially if you are a glitter / happy birthday dupe hoarder like me 😉

Baise Moi is part of the Me Amour collection released in February from Mattese Elite. It’s a multi-sized multi-colored glitter that is super fantabulous. This is one coat over one of Mattese Elite’s new core collection colors Cream Me Up. I was torn between trying both colors the night I put it on, so I decided to rock them together and was BEYOND pleased with the results. The light color of Cream Me Up really made Baise Moi pop. Seriously, this was the mani that I was most sad about having to change during my Feb Mani-a-day challenge. I even wore it into work, profesh colors be darned, I was rocking a party on my nails haha. Pictured is one coat, and on the grand scale of layering glitters, it was really easy to get it how/where I wanted it. It also wasn’t much of a top coat eater, I did two coats of Seche Vite and was pleased with the smoothness. I know, this review is full of corny and non-dictionary superlatives but I really do love this polish. It may be the crown jewel of my multi glitter / happy birthday dupe collection. Cream Me Up is awesome as well, but I will show it in it’s full glory on another post. (side note: I’ve been falling in love with a lot of nudes lately… may have to challenge myself to finish my “favorite nude” polish quest for this blog and do a top 5 post soon!)

I do apologize for the slightly awkwardly cropped photos though, I um, had a minor incident of “crafting gone wrong” that involved lighting acetone on fire and consequently am trying to crop out the gross burns I got on my hand :/ Just appreciate the pretty polish, haha, my hands are nearly healed, no need to worry about me!

Since this was a polish I used during the challenge, I had to update it after one day of wear, so hit the jump to see it Marshmallowed!!

Read the rest of this entry

Essie- Turquoise and Caicos


Phew, it’s been a trying week and a half. Apologies for the lack of a Deal Alerts post, but with the office move this weekend, and the days leading up to it, I just didn’t have the time to do a comprehensive post. But they’ll be back next weekend, and coming at ya from NEEEEWWW YORK CITY. And also apologies for the oddly watermarked photos. I’m having some issues with camera-computer link up, and figured it would be better to do this than to not post at all.

So! Today we have Essie’s Turquoise and Caicos, a color I had wanted for a long time before finally picking it up with an ULTA coupon over the holidays. Turquoise and Caicos is a light pastel turquoise jelly-creme. Unfortunately, I’m not sure whether I love or hate this polish. My first attempt with it lead to me removing it after getting frustrated while giving myself a pedicure and practically throwing it into my melmer in disgust. This attempt went much better as a manicure, so perhaps it’s just not a formula that is meant for a pedicure (unless you take it to your professional manicurist!). This is three coats, and three coats are definitely NEEDED, and even then its not entirely opaque. I used to be a three-coater, but I’ve definitely come to appreciate a quick two coat and done type of manicure. Besides, if after 3 coats you’ve still got VNL and a bald spot or two, you’re lucky you’re not in the purge pile already. But the color, ohhhhh the color. It’s a great spring/summer light turquoise that I just love! So I’m torn. I may give it one more chance before officially throwing it in the purge pile. Third time’s the charm, right?

Hit the jump for an artistic shot of my T&C mani, with my new 8th Floor Cubicle with a Window! view 🙂 Read the rest of this entry

Oh.My.Varnish! Orly – Cashmere Cardigan with Essie – Shine of the Times flakie top coat!!

I spent all summer longing for Revlon – Modern Grace, and while searching for it, I learned that Orly – Cashmere Cardigan was a very close dupe. Or rather, MG is a dupe of CC since CC came out first, but that’s minor detail my friends, minor details. The point is, both colors were Limited Edition and when I saw that Ricky’s still had Cashmere Cardigan for sale on their website, I was ecstatic! It was discontinued before I even found out about it, so it was a pretty exciting score for me.  When it finally got here, I was thrilled, and then amazed… I think I actually love Cashmere Cardigan more than Modern Grace! Mel had found me Modern Grace months ago, and I had even found a back up when I got to NYC last month, but I still had to have Cashmere Cardigan. Both colors are ones I’ll get plenty of use out of, but will be super sad when they are gone, so I try to use them for really great manis.

The formula is fantastic, one to two coater depending on patience. The color is just slightly more purple/greyed than Modern Grace, boardasnails does a great comparison here! It’s magic on it’s own, and a top 5 in my collection (massive honor haha), but it’s straight up OH MY VARNISH with Essie – Shine of the Times on it. I started with an accent nail, but I had to do a full mani of it. I took the picture above so you could see CC on it’s own, but right after the pic, SotT was all over all 10 digits. Topped it all off with Essie – Good to Go (yes, look at me trying out a non-Seche Vite top coat!) and let the awesomeness sink in. Pretty sure I my productivity at work that day took a dive because all I remember is staring at my nails all day haha.

L’Oreal – Because You’re Worth It

Basic rundown of why I had to have this color: 1) the name; I’m a hair dye junkie as well as a nail polish addict, so I’ve been using L’Oreal products forever, and having the name in my collection made me ridiculously happy. 2) We’re big fans of L’Oreal polishes here at the Clique, and have been super excited about seeing all the new colors they have been releasing. 3) It was a metallic that I could.not.put.down. Massive rarity for me; Mel’s the metallic girl in this group, I tend to just assume it’s going to be streaky and make me sad, but something about this color made me not even consider that fear. And that was all before I even put the color on my nails!

When I put this polish on this past Monday I had no real intention of giving it a longevity test, but work was crazy exhausting this week, and it was still on by the time Friday night rolled around. I think wearing it for so long is what really sold me on this polish. Yes, it wore amazingly, the claim on the display that it’s a long wear polish (actually claims 10 day, I only rocked it for 5) is no lie. Little tip wear, but not a single chip.  But it was how much the color still caught my eye after that many days that really impressed me. Golds are notoriously hard to match to skin colors; some are too flashy, some too yellow, the list goes on. The muted, almost creamy finish to this gold and the fact that it’s a little more browned made it really flattering. It’s also a really nice work appropriate shade that didn’t make me feel like I had to give up fun in the office. Even at the end of the week I was looking at my nails with a quiet “oh my varnish” in the back of my mind. Only downside, which is a manageable one, is that being a metallic shade, it will show imperfections in your nails. It didn’t streak on me though, so having to buff a few nails didn’t bother me! I used two coats over Orly – Nail Armor and sealed it all with Seche Vite. Over all opinion: I think it’s a quality addition to any polish stash.  Totally lived up to all my reasons for buying it!!

Mel had sent me a nail care package and I had been dying to try out Wet N Wild – 24 Carat, so I did one coat of that on my ring finger as an accent nail. It really matched the color of BYWI well, adding a subtle glitter fix to it. I will admit though, this was one case where I wasn’t always drawn to my accent nail first. It was the whole mani that would catch my attention, speaking volumes to the wonders of BYWI!!

There are a couple more colors in the display that I found this in that were pretty too. The Color Riche line is $2 with Flex card at Duane Reade this week, an even better excuse to grab them! These are all colors from the core collection too, so be on the lookout for the full display!

Studio M – Neon Caution

This is the gloriousness that I woke up to yesterday 😀 My first NY snow day!! Loves it. Also love that fact that my newest flatmate, Katie, and I had a mini mani party Friday night and I decided to rock Studio M – Neon Caution as my “it’s the weekend and I can get away with anything” color haha. I’ve had this color in my stash since last summer, and used it a couple of times (without posting… oops…). I had initially planned to use a flakie over it, but Katie helped talk me out of it. Glad she did, it’s got so much wow factor on it’s own! I had done it matte and with nail art before, so I was glad she got me to use it on it’s own. Was a nice flashy touch on a snowy weekend.

The formula is great, especially for a yellow. 2 coater, and while I’ll probably thin it out a little next time I use it, that’s for personal preference. It wasn’t hard to manage as is. I will admit it doesn’t wear as well as some of my other polishes, but for the occasional one to two day eye catching mani, it’s a good choice. Yellow is a big color for this spring, so I foresee getting lots of weekend use out of it. I’ll need to pick up a back-up next time I’m in MI!! And maybe one for Mel, since she’s been tweeting about her lust for the perfect yellow 😉 Studio M is a Meijer’s brand polish, so if you’re lucky enough to live in a state with Meijers, I highly suggest picking this up.

Revlon – Starry Pink (now released as Popular) gets Color Club – Orna-Minted!

When Starry Pink was first released, I think all three of us were excited. Then we put it on and were all a little mehhh. Mel did the first write up, here, and we both wondered if using it as a top layer over something else would make it more user friendly.

revlon - popular nail polish swatch swatching mani manicure

Well, the answer to that is yes, at least when it comes to formula. I layered it over two coats of Sinful Colors – Easy Going and it worked much better as a top coat. The glitter was easier to maneuver and it made it a normal thickness on my nail instead of the 3-4 coats of goopy thickness it was on it’s own. However, still not sold on the color. The shade is just nqr on my skintone. Since it’s original release, it’s been renamed as Popular and is out in the new Revlon displays that include all sorts of other goodies like Whimsical, Stunning and Naughty. All colors the Clique LOVESSSS.

To jazz it up a little, and because I felt like smelling minty fresh all day, I did an accent nail with Color Club – Orna-Minted. Loved the pop it gave to my ring finger and how it brought out the silver on my other nails too! I loovveeeee the smell of Orna-Minted. It’s a perfect mint smell, and a perfectly proportioned smell. It’s not over powering like some scented nail polishes I’ve tried, and it doesn’t fade super fast either. Lasted through my whole work day 🙂 Also, added relatively scientific bonus? Spearmint is an aphrodisiac, and this def has some spearmint scent mixed in 😉 I didn’t get to use that particular bonus, but hey, maybe one of you will get the chance to haha.

Mattese Elite – Gold Glitter (and Blue Star) + Times Square = A Spectacular NYE

So, life since I moved to NYC has been a bit of a whirlwind, although most of it hasn’t been city livin’ related. I’ve been traveling to MD and MI to get my stuff, trying to organize my room, and settling into my job. Moving is hard work y’all!

BUTTTT all that craziness made my NYE weekend extra super special 🙂 One of my girlfriends from MD came up for the celebrations and scored us vip passes (read: we had an FBI escort, it.was.awesome. And only slightly ego inflating haha) to the Times Square festivities, and it was just an all around fantastic weekend. Of COURSE we had to have amazing manis for the night! So we busted out some Mattese Elite and had a mani party before we hit the town.

I rocked Mattese Elite – Gold Glitter, which is sheer amazingness. It does take a couple coats to get full coverage, 2-3 depending on how much patience you have moving the glitter, but with it being gold, small gaps only show up under a microscopic view. (I will admit in the photos below the cut that in my rush to get ready, it got pushed back on the tips a bit. Didn’t realize it until the photos though) Also, it could work as a top coat too! It’s a clear base with gold hex glitter and holo flecks. I’ve worn it several times since picking it up, and my roomie even added it to her lemming list. The holo flecks really add dimension and movement to the gold glitter; it makes the glitter dazzling. It’s been a while since I had a “OH MY VARNISH” glitter come into my life, this one certainly fits the bill! If you are a glitter lover, this should be on your wish list.

Tori had brought a polish with her, but seeing as she wanted little monster worthy paws to put up when Gaga came on, I let her raid my stash for something fun. She grabbed the new Mattese Elite – Blue Star crackle; her good taste is one of the many reasons we’re best friends haha. I suggested she put Funky Fingers – Sand and Stilettos underneath it, and when she said on the subway for the 5th time that she couldn’t stop staring at her nails, I knew we had chosen well 😉 Blue Star was one of the new ME crackles released in December and I had played with it a few times before doing Tori’s nails. It’s honestly one of the best crackles I’ve ever used. It’s super easy to put on; you can even play a bit if you want thin or thick coverage, both ways it will crack! It’s also just a unique color for a crackle, the gold microflecks in it make me stare at the bottle, let alone when it’s on a mani 😛

If you need a little vicarious NYC living, hit the jump for a gallery of my fave NYE pics as well as some shots of the Mattese Elite – Blue Star bottle and Mattese Elite – Gold Glitter in various lighting!

Read the rest of this entry