Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sparkle Saturday: Carnival Vert

Hello Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Sparkle Saturday! For this mani, I started with a base of RGB Vert:

RGB Vert.

I adore RGB polishes, and I was a little surprised that this one was somewhat streaky on the first coat. Most RGBs that I've used have been entirely streak-free and opaque, or nearly so, in one coat. But with two coats, Vert was gorgeous. I don't normally associate green with vampy, but this one definitely falls in that category. I'm absolutely in love with this polish. It's a perfect fall and winter color--earthy, yet moody. And it dries to a gorgeous glossy finish. Here it is without top coat:

RGB Vert, Two coats, no top coat. Inside, artificial light.

NYX Girls Carnival
  As much as I adore Vert on its own, this is Sparkle Saturday, so it was time to break out some glitter! I used NYX Girls Carnival, which is very similar to Deborah Lippman Happy Birthday. It's filled with multi-color, multi-sized round glitter suspended in a clear base. Carnival is true to its name--it's just plain FUN! It's even fun on the brush!

I had intended to apply only one coat of glitter, but once I got started, I was enjoying Carnival so much, I ended up applying two blingy coats, which entirely transformed the look of Vert. With glitter, the dark green of Vert appears even darker, like a black-green. And the mood is transformed from soulful to lighthearted. What a nice way to mix it up!

Two coats NYX Girls Carnival over two coats RGB Vert. Inside, artificial light.

A still shot really doesn't do this glitter justice, so I made a little video clip to show you how it sparkles (and honestly, even the video doesn't do it justice!):

So what do you think of this combo?

Until next time, sending you lab love!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bench Work: Julep Jaime

Hello Lab Partners!

Today, I'm showing you one of the polishes I received with my October Julep Maven box: Jaime, a vivid blue that applied beautifully. It was nearly opaque in one streak-free coat, and completely opaque in two. This blue, which I would describe as Smurf blue, dried to a glossy finish.

Julep Jaime. Inside, artificial light

At this point, I was in love with Jaime. Until I removed it:
Julep Jaime: The Aftermath

Although it's not uncommon for blue polishes to stain the nail, Jaime is the stainer to end all stainers. I took this photo after considerable effort to remove the polish with remover alone, and naturally, I had been wearing a base coat. Polish remover got me only so far--next came buffing, followed by brushing my nails and surrounding skin with whitening toothpaste, which removed most, but not all, of what remained of Jaime.


If you're willing to put up with the extent to which Jaime stains the nails and surrounding skin, this vivid blue may make a nice addition to your collection; however, if you're looking for something relatively easy to remove, this polish isn't for you.


Response from Julep:
Thank you for your email. I am sincerely sorry to hear about your experience with Jamie. Have you read Jane’s new Blog? She just talked about staining colors, since so many of us use dark or pigmented colors in the fall. Do you have any cuticle softener? That is what we use in our salons for removing stains as well. We can send you a sample if you do not have any. Please let us know if we can help any other way, or if you have any other questions.

And now a second response from Julep:  
I am sorry to get your hopes up, the cuticle softener we use in our salon is actually on for professional use, so I am not able to send you a sample. We are in the works of developing one for retail, hopefully out in the summer. Our product development team also wanted me to mention the main ingredient in the cuticle softener/remover  we use has Potassium Hydroxide in it. Which there are brands of cuticle softener that you can purchases with it over the counter. I have passed your original email about Jamie on to them as well. Please let me know if I can help in any other way

Until next time, sending you lab love!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Bench Work: Cult Nails Vicious

Good Day, Lab Partners!

Today, I'd like to share with you my experience with Cult Nails Vicious. I own most of the Cult Nails line-up, and was excited when this one came out so that I could add it to my rapidly growing collection of purple polishes. I've been on a real purple kick lately!

Cult Nails Vicious

Right off the bat, I have to say I love Cult Nails bottles. I like their appearance, but I adore how easy they are to roll in my hand in order to mix the polish. But bottle, shmottle. What's the polish like? As is the case with other Cult Nails polishes I've used, Vicious applies smoothly and streak-free. The brush provides good control, and the polish was nearly opaque in one coat, totally opaque in two. This purple has a lot of red to it, so if you're looking for more of a blue-purple, this isn't the polish for you. If you're looking for a dark, slightly vampy red-purple, I highly recommend Vicious. It appears brighter in some light, vampier in others. It also dries incredibly glossy. In fact, in the first picture below, I haven't yet applied top coat, but look at the shine!

Cult Nails Vicious, no top coat. Inside, artificial light.

Here's Vicious with top coat:
Vicious with top coat. Inside, artificial light, no flash

Vicious. Inside, with flash.

When I prepared to remove Vicious, I thought, Oh no. Here we go--my nails and skin are going to be stained purple. I'll have to ask readers to excuse the purple on my cuticles when I post my next mani. But guess what! Vicious came right off! No staining of the nails or the skin around the nails! Not bad, eh?

Conclusions: If you're looking for a red-based, dark purple that applies smoothly and removes easily, Vicious very well be the polish you've been searching for! This is yet another Cult Nails polish to impress me!

Until next time, sending you lab love,


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Super Supply Sunday: Julep Hand Creams

Hello Lab Partners!

Welcome to another Super Supply Sunday here at The Polish Lab. Before we get started, I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to hand cream. Yes, my obsession extends beyond nail polish to all things related to manicures and hand care. Now that you have that piece of info, you'll understand my excitement when I received a new hand cream from Julep this month: Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener. I already had Julep's Everyday SPF Hand Cream, with SPF 30, and I was curious to see how the two compared. Let's take a look, shall we?

Everday SPF Hand Cream, SPF 30: I'm a loyal sunscreen wearer, and I already owned a great hand cream with sunscreen, but it comes in a big, glass jar. Not exactly convenient for tossing into my handbag, so I was excited to give Julep's more portable hand cream with sunscreen a try. Now, I prefer a thick hand cream--something that leaves my dry hands feeling as if they're protected. Julep's hand cream is actually more of a lotion. It absorbs well, and although some may prefer its lighter texture, it's not what I was looking for. I like that it's free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, and the absence of these ingredients will appeal to many who prefer a more natural product; however, this hand cream is not free of chemical sunscreens. Although zinc oxide 3% is one of the active ingredients, Everyday SPF Hand Cream also contains the chemical sunscreens ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and oxybenzone. I'm not opposed to using chemical sunscreens, but if I can find a product I like that contains only a good dose of zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, I'll take it over an equally good product with chemical sunscreens. My main objection to Everyday SPF Hand Cream, therefore, is not its contents, but its texture. Another deterrent is the price: $28 for 3 fl oz (89 mL). Because members of the Julep Maven program receive a 20% discount on all products, I can purchase Every Day SPF Hand Cream for $22.40 I'm willing to pay a high price for products I love, but this is not one I like well enough to purchase again for even a moderate price, let alone an exorbitant one

Glow On Age Defying Hand Brighener: I love skin brightening products, and I sometimes apply my facial brightening products to my hands. Glow On contains African plant extracts that are "clinically proven to block melanin production and reduce hyper-pigmentation." I'm always skeptical of such claims, whether clinically proven or not. But it can't hurt! And if it actually helps my hands stay even-toned and, well, pale, so much the better. What I found intriguing about this particular product, however, is its illuminators that add radiance to the hands. Keep in mind my hands are very dry. Dryness equals dullness, so give me something that enables me to get my glow on, and I'm a happy girl.

But how about the texture? Although it's similar to the Everyday SPF Hand Cream, it leaves much more moisture on the surface on my skin than I would have expected from a thinner hand cream. Overall, I love this product. The only change I'd like to see is the addition of sunscreen. Why have two hand creams--one with sunscreen, one with brighteners--when you can have one product that protects and brightens? When I asked Julep this very question, they told me it was a great idea, but because the FDA considers sunscreen a drug, the process for registering a product with sunscreen is both long and costly. Of course, having two separate products also increases their potential sales. I'm not implying this consideration factors into Julep's reasoning for keeping the products separate. I'm simply being pragmatic.

Am I likely to purchase Glow On again? I'm undecided. I love it, but it's even pricier than Everyday SPF Hand Cream: $32 for 3 fl oz (89 mL), or $25.60 for those in the Julep Maven program.

Conclusions: The thinner texture of Every Day SPF Hand Cream may appeal to some, but not to those of us who want a thicker cream. Glow On, on the other hand (no pun intended), does a better job of moisturizing the hands, with the added benefit of providing skin with radiance, but--like Every Day SPF Hand Cream--it's pricey. Very pricey.

Some additional thoughts: Think you only need sunscreen on your hands during the summer months? NO! Please protect yourself by wearing sunscreen year round. Here are some links to some info on why it's so important to wear sunscreen, even during the winter months:

There are literally hundreds of articles that cite the need for use of sunscreen during winter months. That UV radiation is still potent in the Winter is not an opinion; it is a scientific fact, so please protect yourself!

Finally, here's great info from The Skin Cancer Foundation on UV radiation and the use of sun block that applies to all times of hear. Discusses the different types of UV radiation and sunscreens.

Thanks for joining us here at the lab for a Super Supply Sunday. Until next time, sending you lab love!