ULTA Black Friday Ad

25 November, 2011

So, looks like I found something for Black Friday after all! I don’t know how much of this is just for the weekend or not-but there’s some really good stuff! In list form, shall we?

Benefit powder duo (Thrrrob and Georgia)-$19
Urban Decay deluxe mini duo (Pore Perfection primer and All Nighter spray)-$14
Smashbox Photo Finish foundation primer minis-$9
Bare Minerals face powder/gloss duo-$10
Free 1 oz Hope in a Jar with $50 Philosophy purchase
ULTA Artist Blockbuster-$16.99
Conair curling iron, flat iron, or hair dryer-$9.99
Tarte trio (Lights Camera Lashes mascara, plus a full-size lipstain and mini cheekstain)-$19
ULTA mini blockbuster-$9.99
Oscar Blandi dry shampoo duo-$15
ULTA Professional travel brush set-$9.99
Free Dermalogica mini set with $50 purchase
Selected TIGI Tweens-$6.99
JP Pet holiday set-$14.99
OPI holiday minis-$7.50
BOGO Organix haircare
Smashbox Be Discovered blockbuster palette-$45
Ultra CHI Holiday flat irons-$80
Stila Smudge Stick liner duo (gold and silver)-$9.99
Benefit duo (Eye Bright and BadGal Lash)-$29
L’Oreal Lash Boosting kit-$6.99
20% off all Fekkai haircare
ULTA Bath holiday sets-$7.99
Selected Profusion kits-$4.99
Earth Theraputics pedicure kit-$9.99
ULTA mini nail quads-$2.99
LORAC Cream Shadows-$12 (if it really does contain 6, then I’m getting this as a Christmas present for my friend)
5/$5 on select stocking stuffer things
B2G2 on ULTA Bath, Candles, Smoothies, Anti-Bac, Brushes, Cosmetics, Beauty Tools/Implements
Free ice bucket/glasses with $30 fragrance purchase
Free bag with large Calvin Klein fragrance purchase
Free red croc tote with $39.50 Elizabeth Arden fragrance purchase
Free bag with $75 Ed Hardy fragrance purchase

I’m hoping that the Benefit powder duo is around by the end of the day-that for me, and the LORAC for my friend.

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A couple weeks ago, I felt I was lucky to get the OPI Black Shatter-then I go around last payday and two places had plentiful amounts of them! No matter, I was able to pick one up for a friend so that she could have some crackle in her life, as well. I also was right by a Sally’s and I picked up two of their Crackle polishes-Broken Hearted (a candy pink crackle) and Crushed Candy (almost a Tiffany blue crackle). I have now had the opportunity to test the crackles multiple times each-and here are my thoughts!

Black Shatter was the original-and I find the polish itself to be thinner, making it easier to get a more subtle look, but also easy to glop on if wanted to have a more severe chunky look. It shatters nicely, as well as very quickly-I find that I can put a non-quickdry topcoat on within five minutes. (I love Orly Prisma Gloss with these, because of the holo) Removal is fairly easy, provided you have acetone. It’s a very striking look, and no wonder why they sold out so fast!

The China Glazes, on the other hand, have three advantages: first, they aren’t from a company that is owned by a conglomerate that tests on animals. (Full disclosure: the first Serena Williams set and the Katy Perry’s are the final OPI’s, chronologically, that I can buy, because they were announced before the buyout and many people had samples before it was announced. I can buy older ones, because my nail supply has a lot of black labels, and most of the ones I want are from before 2005. Anything else-the Pirates of the Carribean, the future Serena Williams sets, the Texas-no buying. I did the same thing with Essie, where the summer ones were the last ones I bought since they were announced before the buyout by L’Oreal. Hence, they were produced before being bought out. It may sound hypocritical or confusing, but that’s how I work)

Second, there are six colours for the Crackles-Crushed Candy and Broken Hearted (which I have), plus Fault Line (a light purple), Black Mesh, White Lightning, and a grey. While I had heard OPI may have more colours in the future, the fact that there are the six colours at launch is what I like (although ironically, the black and white sold first at the Sally’s that I went to). Finally, they are cheaper than the OPI’s, at around $6 compared to the $8.50-$9 that you’ll pay for the OPI’s.

However, I liked the Shatter more when it came to actual performance. First, the Crackles run very thick. Sure, a drop or two of thinner might work, but I hope it doesn’t ruin the crackle effect. Thus, it makes it harder for it to crackle nicely, and it means that it takes longer to crack. And by crackle nicely, it’s a lot of chunks. Some nails are nice, but it is more of a learning curve that doesn’t always work.

So which way to go? I still say the China Glaze for the first main advantage.

OPI Serena Williams Set

14 February, 2011

So this was definitely not as publicized as the Katy Perry, but I think it’s a very good thing to watch out for and this is why: if there is one person in the public eye who is passionate about nails, it’s Serena Williams. So much so that she even was in the process of becoming a certified nail tech! It’s only natural, then, that she teams up with a company for polishes, and she’s teamed up with OPI for what I believe are several pairs of a polish and then a crackle.

The first one is the Black Shatter-the one that is impossible to find-and then Simply Smash-Ing. I’ll talk first about the colour. It’s very much along the lines of the Burlesque polishes, or many of the sparkly Zoyas. It looks like a bright lime green in the bottle, but it really is more golden. It’s a pretty colour that is completely unique to my collection, which makes my owning it all the more imperative. With OPI having been bought out, the SW and KP collections are the very last ones I can buy, since they were announced before the buyout. Anyways, it’s three coats, as it can be on the sheerer side. Once on, though, it’s blindingly sparkly. Do not miss out on this.

Now, to the Shatter. There is very good reason why it sold out so fast: crackles are fascinating. I mean, you paint on a layer and then it shrinks to little islands? Totally cool. It’s very fitting that we’re getting crazier and crazier things, because nails have become a big thing in general lately. Blame the economic downtown, because doing your own nails is cheaper than a manicure, and nail polish is cheaper than lipstick (typically). Cover Girl actually had a lot of crackle polishes many years ago, and Halloween sometimes sees crackles making a reappearance. But to have something like this become so much of an everyday thing is definitely a plus in my book. This is how crazy it was: I went to places 40 miles away, BY BUS, just to see if they had it-when in reality, I could have just skipped it all and headed to the nail supply first thing.

How the crackle works is there are chemicals in it that do not like dry nail polish. The reaction causes the layer of polish to shrink to the little islands-leaving the base colour to poke through. The first one is a black-goes with everything-but I believe I heard that there will be a white. China Glaze will have 6, unfortunately they already are OOS on Transdesign. Once I get those, I’ll be able to compare them. At the same time, though, there isn’t much to compare between crackles. It’s a case of awesome or not-and these definitely are.

Some New OPI Reviews

9 December, 2010

Figure since I am trying to get better about swatching and photographing, I should show these, right? I tried desperately to get a picture of The Show Must Go On, but it needs to have its picture taken outdoors-and the weather has ranged from raining cats and dogs to just mostly cloudy here in Seattle recently.

Take The Stage. When I first saw the chipboard at the nail supply for this collection, this was what stood out to me the most. I mean, what looked to be a chromed dark orange? Sign me up, as I love my oranges to death. This one is two coats, and it does look somewhat chromed but the best part is the sparkle in there as well. It isn’t as sparkly as some of the other shimmers in the collection, but it is definitely one that is backup-worthy for me.

Gift of Gold. This was one of the new ULTA exclusives, and I must say it was worth the wait. First off, it is a gold nugget gold-a true blindingly bright gold, moreso than Dazzled by Gold from last year. It is very gritty, but it doesn’t take long in the acetone tub to soak off. But I do have to say, the piece de resistance about this? The fact that there’s a red flash in there, and it’s quite evenly distributed but at the same time, not totally out-there. My camera sucks at getting the red, so it doesn’t show up on the nail swatch, but in the bottle pic you can kind of see it.

BTW-in the bottle pics I am wearing Essie Wrapped in Rubies. Read the rest of this entry »

OPI Bought Out By COTY

30 November, 2010

Here’s the article from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-opi-20101129,0,2661363.story?track=rss

While I do see it as great from a business standpoint-this means that I will no longer be buying any new OPI products after the Katy Perry collection. Why? Animal-testing. Coty is known for its animal testing and well, it’s something that I am not exactly cool with. I stopped buying new Essie polishes after the summer ones for that same reason, because they were bought out by L’Oreal, one of the other major companies that animal tests (Proctor/Gamble being the third biggie). Luckily, I still have options, as in China Glaze and Zoya. Pretty much now the only other OPI polishes I will buy are old colours, or I will do an online order for the very few core shades that I want, as well as getting a few backups (Cozu-Melted In The Sun, Bright Lights-Big Colour to name a couple) and then stop there.

Remember, kids-just say no to animal testing. As Urban Decay says, “We don’t do it-how could anyone?”.

Breaking News…

29 November, 2010

ULTA will indeed have three holiday exclusive shades of OPI polish! I am going to hit one of the ones near me on Friday before work, but yeah. I think this is a very smart move-they are waiting UNTIL the season for them to be put out, which is good since last year they all sold out very, very fast.

Sephora Holiday OPI’s

24 October, 2010

So today, the Sephora at my mall had an after-hours F&F event. Way cool, right? Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there for long, and because my debit card got lost, I’m on very low cash for several days. (Grr) But I figured, why not buy a little something? They had little goody bags with purchase, it was mainly a bunch of skincare but there was a gem-little .5 ounce bottles of System 2 of Clinique’s 3-step set. May have to keep that with me when I go out of town, or give it to the kids at church.

Since I was so low on cash (I had a hankering for Red Robin in the WORST way), I was pretty much limited to a nail polish-but they had the holiday ones out! Four new ones, plus a repromote and then an online-exclusive making its way to the counters. Good times.

The repromote and one of the new ones are pretty much toppers-fine and then medium glitter particles in a clear base. Only Gold For Me came out with Sparkle Me Silver earlier this year, and it’s being joined by Flurry Up, a silver variation. I love the idea, but honestly for that sort of glitter I liked Some Enchanted Evening from Lippmann better. Granted, this is half the price, but SEE is so nice that to me, it was worth it. (Granted, I did get it in the multi-pack)

Next up is Looks Like Rain, Dear, which is a gold glitter in a gold metallic base, with a little bit of medium holographic glitter thrown in. Talk about bling! I picked this one up as it was the most unique (to my collection), and it’s a solid two-coater. You will need a LOT of topcoat with this, though-it ate my Seche Vite. Yes, ate it. It’s a very thick topcoat, and it’s still very gritty. A beautiful colour, though-this is highly recommended.

There is Merry Me, which is a really pretty cranberry red glitter. I definitely think this is one that I need, because I love red shiny things (except Ruby Pumps, the Epic Nail Fail), and it seems like it could work either as a topper or as a solo colour.

Also in the category Red, there’s What’s Your Point-setta, which is a metallic burgundy colour. While it is nice, it’s so ubiquitous that it has to be really special to grab my attention-and the Burlesques are still Priority 1 in my nail polish buying.

Finally, there’s the 212 polish being repromoted-it’s very similar to OPI Shim-Merry Chic in my eyes, except a darker, blacker base and less flakies, more regular holo glitter. I may give it a try, however I like Shim-Merry Chic way better and I have a backup of it, you know just in case anything happens.