essie

Instagram Roundup #79

by Jamie Sanford on March 5, 2014

Here are all of the other Instagram Roundups!

I tried out a bunch of different topcoats with a base of OPI Don’t Mess with OPI.

Throwback of Mom and Dad, hanging out in Asbury Park.

I love a fedora, and I tried on this great one in the grocery store. I’m mysterious!

This is Cindy’s dog, Dillon. He’s almost as cute as my nephew Cooper. (I am biased.)

Here is Cindy’s chandelier. I love the colors.

Here’s the selfie we took at 2am, after realizing we should try and take our photos earlier in the evening.

Cuticles, oy. Anyway, I used Essie Mesmerize. The ring finger has a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust on top, with stars from Fergie for Wet ‘n Wild Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Product Review: Essie Sleek Stick Nail Appliques

by Jamie Sanford on April 26, 2013

Product Review: Essie Sleek Stick Nail Appliques

You’ll notice this is a review, and not a product pick. There is definitely a difference in these 2 types of post.

I recently posted about using the Sally Hansen nail polish strips, which I really loved. I was browsing at Walgreens and came across the Essie Sleek Stick Nail Appliques and decided to try them out to compare them.

Here’s the product description:

Essie Sleek Stick 2013 Collection Nail Applique is a unique stick-on nail color that you place directly on your fingernails for a fresh, long-lasting manicure. Formulated to be chip-resistant, it leaves a smooth and seamless finish and lasts for 14 days without losing its luster. A great alternative for those who prefer an easy and convenient way to get a manicure at home with salon-worthy results. Stickers and Stones is a bubbly cabochon angora pewter shade.

I purchased the grey appliques with dots/stones, called Sticks and Stones. Here is the result:

Pardon my dry cuticles, I did not feel safe applying any moisturizer once these were on.

They don’t look too bad, but I worked for a decent result so I could go out to the party I was attending that night without having to re-do my nails. The concept is the same as the Sally Hansen strips – put them on, then bend the excess over the edge of your nail and file off. The filing didn’t work too well at all, I had a lot of trimming to do to make them right. In addition, because they are stickers and not strips of actual nail polish, they are harder and sharper – meaning that the edges are quite blunt and running my fingers through my hair was a disaster.

I started to have the edges of these pull up very quickly, and after washing my hands at the party, started having even more trouble. They bothered me all night, and I took them off before I went to bed that night.

The designs that Essie has on these are really lovely, so I’m unhappy with the experience I had in trying them. I was really disappointed, given the cost and my expectation level. I will not be using these again.

The Essie Sleek Stick Appliques are available from your local drugstore, or Amazon.

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Polish Project #48

by Jamie Sanford on December 8, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

THE CONCLUSION!

OK, first, let’s see where this all began:

For some reason, it never occurred to me to take a picture of the before shelf with a real camera instead of my phone. Either way, you get the idea. My homemade shelf was STUFFED with polishes, you can sort of see some of the bulging in a few spots. It was clearly out of control. I had no more room to shop, and no REASON to shop.

The Project

So I started this little project, where I figured I should test all of the polishes before I bought any more. I started testing polishes one by one, painting my nails and commenting on a spreadsheet derived from Sara‘s about application and staying power. I took pictures with my phone and blogged about them.

Soon enough, I realized that this was going to take a long damn time, and started grouping polishes by color. I wore a series of 5 pastels at one time – the Easter egg manicure, and did color gradients with purples, reds, blues. The grouping certainly helped things move along much faster. And meant less time exposing my nails to the acetone – and I still use acetone because of this amazing Target plastic bristle jar of polish remover.

I don’t remember how long it took me to break and buy polishes. I do believe I broke down when Walgreens was having a clearance event, and the Sally Hansen HD polishes were something like $1.25 each. I just checked and I was only on post 7, but it was a tough road to go from just collecting polishes to nothing. I bought a few, fell absolutely in love with the first one, and then hunted down the rest, all on clearance. I didn’t feel as bad about it.

So, from there, I bought a few here and there, sometimes on sale, sometimes just stuff I could not resist. I bought Fergie’s Hollywood Walk of Fame because I wanted those stars, and I bought random Orlys because they looked gorgeous. (The Orly polishes did not disappoint.) I definitely picked up some Hunger Games polishes when they were on clearance at Sally’s too, although 2 were for my Mom, who has benefited the most from this experience.

Perhaps the greatest success of this project was Mom telling me that she can’t even look at her old polishes anymore since she has so many fabulous new ones – and let me tell you, Mom had a penchant for some unfortunate brick-hued polishes before. I’m pretty sure her favorite out of what I’ve sent was either a Nicole by OPI shimmery orange (which I can’t find so I think I gave it to her pre-project), or King Arthur by A England. I am going to try to get her started on layering polishes when I see her for the holidays.

So, here at the end, my polish shelf doesn’t look all that different, at least if you only glance at it.

It looks full, right? Also the picture is 1500x better. Either way, you can see that the polishes are not all cramped and shoved in together like they were for the first image. The top 2 shelves are all OPIs, including minis. Then we have China Glaze, Orly, Essie, Sally Hansen, NYC, A England, Sinful Colors, Milani, Revlon, LA Colors, Zoya. The bottom row has Wet ‘n Wild on the far right, with Sephora by OPI next to them, and the rest of the row is single polishes from brands I have not frequented.

Lessons Learned

  • I very much prefer dark polishes to light ones, although the light ones have their moments.
  • I do NOT need every polish in a collection because they are a collection. I know now to check out blogger swatches and decide which polish is something I really want to wear.
  • A England polishes are superior to anything else I currently have in the collection. I bought 3 more of them last week because they had a sale – I have no regret or shame about it. If I was forced to, I would give up the rest of the collection and just use A England forever.
  • I need to get more into layering polishes. My favorite manicure of this entire project was a 3-layer creation.
  • I suck at stamping, and I’m not sure I care.
  • The dotting tool is totally fun. Not as fun as asking your husband to draw dots on your nails with a nail art pen though.

I am going to attempt to keep track of the polishes I use most frequently in 2013. I figure that this is definitely the next best way to cull the herd. I definitely still have a lot of blue and purple polish, probably more than necessary, but things being necessary was never the point of this, was it?

New project for next year, one much more in line with my career intentions. I will keep sharing polish experiences though. Thanks to everyone who read my posts and talked to me about the finer points of nail polish – it was an experience I did not expect.

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Polish Project #13

by Jamie Sanford on August 13, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

61. Fresh Paint Witchcraft (Found at Five Below a while back, can’t find it online)
62. A England Elaine
63. Essie Velvet Voyeur
64. Estee Lauder Berry Desire (Random eBay result – this seems to be unavailable in the US)

My pictures will be improving soon. In a few posts, I will start using the photos from my SLR, which are much improved.

Wow, I need to improve application near the cuticles there. Oy.
From index finger down – Fresh Paint Witchcraft, A England Elaine, Essie Velvet Voyeur, and Estee Lauder Berry Desire.

You can see in the picture of my nails that where I missed a coat is where you can see the real color. My index finger looks a lot bluer in this photo, and my pinkie is much more on the burgundy side, but I got away with everyone thinking I had the same color on all of my nails.

Thoughts: These are ALL good polishes. Especially impressed with the Fresh Paint that I think I paid like $2 for at Five Below. Application on all was easy enough, no brutal brushes or formulas to deal with.
Verdict: The plan for now is to share the Fresh Paint and the Estee Lauder with Mom, and hoard the others for me. I can’t resist a vampy dark polish.

What’s your favorite dark purple polish? Share in the comments.

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Polish Project #5

by Jamie Sanford on July 6, 2012

Click here to see all of the previous Polish Project posts.

26. OPI Do You Lilac It?
27. Essie Lapis of Luxury
28. Essie Cocktail Bling
29. Estee Lauder Tempting Melon (This was in a set of minis, I can’t find this online for sale)
30. OPI Sparrow Me The Drama

I was looking at my polish shelf and this project started feeling very overwhelming. So, drastic measures were taken.

5 polishes at a time.

R to L: OPI Do You Lilac It?, Essie Lapis of Luxury, Essie Cocktail Bling, Estee Lauder Tempting Melon, OPI Sparrow Me the Drama

On the nails:

R to L: OPI Do You Lilac It?, Essie Lapis of Luxury, Essie Cocktail Bling, Estee Lauder Tempting Melon, OPI Sparrow Me the Drama

I tried to pick colors that sort of went together, and it turned into a sort of Easter manicure. Luckily these polishes were all very similar in terms of staying power.

Thoughts: By some miracle, all of these had great application and formulas. I’m not normally a pastel kind of chick, so these polishes haven’t been utilized all that much. The Estee Lauder polish was from a set that I think might have been only released in Europe, as my mother-in-law bought the set for me, and she lives in Dubai. I think I need more Essie polishes too, all of the bottles I’ve tried recently have been great.
Verdict: Keeping all of these, the colors are fun and formulas are not challenging.

Variety post coming up next time, as well as a review of a night of polish experiments with my BFF David.

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