Summer Review: Coral Nails

As I mentioned in my June Birchbox Review, I am absolutely in love with coral nail polishes this season. It’s a super bright and happy color that really just makes you look super tan. It’s really flattering, and I honestly can’t say anything negative about it right now. So as promised in my previous post, here’s a review of three different nail polish brands, each in similar shades of coral: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in #460 Snappy Sorbet, Ruby Wing in Peony, and Color Club in Reign in Spain. I will be reviewing these different brands not based off of color (all are very similar) but based of of their formulas, pigmentation, and the ease of brush use.

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First up, is Sally Hansen’s brush. I will admit a few years ago when polishes starting coming with the flat wide brishes, I hated them. I was also a lot younger and hadn’t really practiced doing my nails much. As I’ve gotten older, this is my all time favorite brush. The flat head coats the entire nail (or almost all of it) in one sweep and the slightly curved shape allows you to shape around the base of the nail and get a professional looking job done, versus that uneven edge with smaller brushes. The wide brush also allows you to smooth out the color easily leaving no weird overlapping layers, which makes even just one coat of polish when you’re in a hurry look good.

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Sally Hansen

Ruby Wing and Color Club have essentially the same round brush, which does the job, but takes a steadier hand to make a professional looking edge as well as it’s pretty hard to get an even first coat, so you’ll need at least 2 to make your color look decent.

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Color Club

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Ruby Wing

Now onto formulas. Sally Hansen definitely has the thickest polish which helps in its ease to apply. If you have slightly too much on the brush, it won’t slip and slide all over your nail. Color Club is almost as thick which did make it easier to apply with the smaller brush but Sally still has the upperhand. Ruby Wing is a very water consistency, so much so that barely any polish clings to the brush when you pull it out of the bottle.

First coats

First coats

As for pigmentation and number of coats to achieve a good color, Sally Hansen only took one coat to achieve a nice even color. Color Club came in second place with two coats and Ruby Wing is last. After 3 coats, I can still see through to my natural nail. I will say however that I do still love the Ruby Wing because it is a color changing polish, therefore I excuse it’s flaws, but I would defiitely recommend using a similar colored polish as a basecoat under it. It’s way too many coats in my opinion.

Final Coats

Final Coats

So that’s my little review. Let me know what other brands of polish you guys have been using recently and what you think about them, or just drop a comment with your favorite summer color!

Love Mel

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June Birchbox Review

Hi Everyone! So I wanted to share with everyone my love of the company Birchbox. For those of you who don’t know of them, they are a monthly subscription to different beauty samples.  You can sign up on their website, and every month they send you a cute little box (no seriously, the packaging is adorable) filled with different samples of some amazing beauty brands, ranging from fragrances, to makeup, to hair products and all the way to samples of macaroons. Yeah. They sent me macaroons once. Exactly. It’s a great way to try out new products without breaking the bank, and if you’re no beauty guru, it’s a great way to start a foundation for a beauty regime.

So I figured I would share what I received in my box this month, Birchbox’s description and my opinions on each of these products. So Let’s get started!

First up is Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Full size: $18

“Made with softening oat milk extracts, plus corn and rice starches, this ultra-fine powder spray leaves nary a trace of residue behind. It performs a heroic array of functions. For starters, it soaks up oil and sweat from your roots and helps revive second day hair. Next, it amps up volume and helps extend the life of blowouts. You can also use it as a texturizing aide when you’re trying to perfect a tricky updo. We love taking it with us to the gym for a post-workout hair refresher, and it’s great for times when we’re on the road.”

Alright, so I am a fan of dry shampoos in general. As someone whose hair does get oily, and I don’t like washing it too often, dry shampoos are my hero. Now I’m used to dry shampoos which leave enough residue that you get that super texturized volume to your hair, and for someone who does vintage styles, that’s always been a plus for me. Klorane’s product does a great job soaking up excess oils and leaving my hair looking great, but it’s so residue free that I don’t feel my baby fine hair as having any texture. I would recommend this to any girls with already textured, but oily hair. For me though, I’m gonna stick to my old dry shampoo when I need to style, but definitely use this on those sleek hair days.

Next up:

Mirenesse Glossy Kiss Full size: $26.55

“A cross between a lip stain and hydrating balm, each wax-based hue glides on smoothly and stays true for hours. Made without harmful parabens or drying alcohol, the gentle formula relies on healing glycerin to boost moisture and keep lips soft. The wearable shades include Flirty Kiss, a true red; Quick Kiss, a daring orange; Cheeky Kiss, a beige-toned pink; and Perfect Kiss, a soft coral with subtle shimmer.”

My sample came in the color “Perfect Kiss” and while I loved the color and adored the silkyness of the product when I first swatched it on my hand, it quickly became a mess in it’s packaging. Being a little clumsy opening it, I smashed the lid onto the tip, breaking the whole tip off sending it flying into my carpet…where it ended up staining. Sad face. Unable to use it as intended anymore, I had to apply it with my fingers which worked fine and I did like the product as a lip color, but as a cheek stain (oh yeah! It’s also a cheek stain), it’s very hard to blend smoothly and it kind of gave me clown cheeks. Eeeek! So I’ll stick to my other blush (which is from May’s Birchbox! Haha!).

Color Club Wanderlust Collection (Reign in Spain) Full Size: $8

“Each color is named after one of Birchbox’s international headquarters: Barcelona, London, New York, and Paris. London Calling, a sunny green, makes us think of the city’s myriad green spaces, while the fiery coral of Reign in Spain evokes summer days under the Mediterranean sun. Pardon My French’s lavender represents our love affair with the candy-colored arrays of macaroons in the City of Light’s iconic bakeries. Finally, there’s Mod in Manhattan, a brilliant off-white that represents the glow of the mega-watt city at night.”

I absolutely 100% think that coral is my favorite color this summer. Last year it was mint green, but I’ve suddenly been increasing my nail polish collection with a ton of corals this year. Now that said, I have a ton of similar polishes to compare Color Club’s color to, and I will do a more in depth review of this polish later, but I can tell you from my first try with it, I wasn’t too impressed with the product, especially since it costs so much and I’ve purchased better formulas for a lot less. Expect from me soon a comparison of a couple different coral shades and my opinions on all of them!

Twistband (Nautical Hair Tie Collection) Full set: $14

“Each twistband™ is made of soft elastic that keeps braids, buns, and ponytails secured. Because they’re thicker than regular hair ties, they don’t leave crimps in hair.”

I think these are adorable. Definitely not for wearing to a business meeting, but the idea behind Twistbands not leaving crimps in your hair is great, especially for someone like me who goes between up and down hair all day at work. Makes it less embarassing to take my hair out when I don’t have that infamous head kink going on.

Oscar de la Renta Something Blue Full Size: $85

“Inspired by the iconic designer’s silk and lace wedding gowns, this refined blend opens with sparkling notes of mandarin and linden blossom, then mellows into a sultry body of bourbon vanilla and white musk notes.”

I saved this for last because it’s my favorite. Honestly. I can’t get over how amazing this smells and I seriously think this might be my new signature scent (sorry Viva la Juicy). I can’t even describe how good this smells. I just can’t. I don’t have words for it.

And that’s my June Birchbox! I really recommend everyone getting signed up with them, especially since you can earn points each month and each purchase you make which eventually add up to free money! You can’t beat that!

-Mel

PS They also make a men’s subscription!

Blue & Gold

As I was titling this, I realized I had somehow managed to sport my  nails with my high school’s colors…oh well. This is a super simple tutorial and an easy into into nail art using tape as a design tool for those of you without steady hands or who just want to perfect it right from the start. Using tape allows you to choose your shape and reposition if you don’t like the look of it BEFORE you paint!

For this design, I used three colors. Sally Hanson’s The Sky’s the Limit, Maybelline Color Show’s Bold Gold (70) and NYC’s Matte Me Crazy topcoat.

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I started off my nails with a basecoat using just the matte topcoat from NYC. Yeah, I used the top as my bottom. You can use any base coat or clear polish you want. I find the gold chips pretty easy directly applied to the nails, so I’m testing it out with a base to stick to.

Once that has dried, give your nails a good coat or two of the gold. It probably needed two coats because a few of my nails had sparse spots, but one coat was good enough for me. (I work in a warehouse, so this polish is gonna last me maybe 1 day).

And if you’re interested in using other color combos, go for it. Just keep in mind which color should go on top. The top only gets one layer so don’t try putting a light shade over a darker. In my case, I wasn’t sure which was the better color for the top, so I used scratch paper and tested blue over gold and gold over blue. The blue was more pigmented so the gold was now my base.

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Once your base color has had a good chance to dry, use small cut pieces of tape to tape off the triangles at your nail base. (Tip: Cut the tape pieces before you begin. It’s hard to use scissors without messing up fresh nails.)

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As you can see, I lined my tape pieces up on the edge of my desk.

Once your nails have had more than enough time to dry (this is really important because the tape will pull off wet polish!), carefully place your tape pieces down. If you don’t like the way it looks, move it around till you do, then smooth out any bubble around the edge so no polish will leak under. You don’t want rough edges do you? (Tip: press your tape onto the back of your hand to get rid of a little stickiness. This makes the tape easier to remove from your nail)

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Now carefully use your second color to paint the exposed nail. As soon as its coated, quickly remove the tape before it starts to dry. It’s best to do this one nail at a time, and one hand at a time. Go from start to end on one hand and then when that hand is completely dry, you can start your other. Trust me, it’s hard to place tape using nails that are still drying!

Once all nails are done go over with a top coat of your choice. I like matte nails (yes I like matte metallics too!), but if you don’t use a glossy coat! It’s up to you!

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I hope you all enjoy this tutorial and if you try this, or any other cool designs with tape, be sure to send me pics! I’ll even post them on the blog!

-Mel

PS: My ring is from Forever 21!