Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dior Spring 2012 Nail Polishes Waterlily and Forget-Me-Not Swatches and Review

It's nail polish week on Polarbelle. I had a minor surgery last week and I haven't worn makeup much in a couple of weeks, but I do have all kinds of new Mac, Dior and Chanel to show you once I get some swatching done. I may have to forgo the in-use-full-face photos until we get better light here in Alaska, but don't worry, loyal peeps, those pictures will be coming soon.

At any rate, today I have for you swatches and bottle photos of the two nail polishes issued by Dior for Spring 2012 in a collection called Garden Party. The first one I want to show you is called Forget-Me-Not. Well, I had to get that because that's the state bird of Alaska. Ooops, no the state bird is the mosquito; Forget-Me-Not is the state flower.

All the Dior polishes I have are so shiny on their own even without a top coat, it's amazing and these two polishes are no exception. Forget-Me-Not is the purple that I have on my pinky in the photos and on my ring finger is Waterlily.



Waterlily is a cool green color with microshimmers.


I almost passed it over because I wasn't sure I could wear it but when I put China Glaze Techno over it, I truly fell in love.


I'm declaring both of these polishes a total win for me, even at a price point of $23.00. I should note that the finger swatches were done with just one coat each. And they are supposed to be scented. I really can't detect a scent on these. Color Club does amazing scented polishes and the scent lasts the whole time you wear it, but I'm not finding that with these polishes. Maybe it's just me? Or maybe it's because they're rose scented and they just smell like half of my makeup collection?
Have you tried these and noticed the scent? Don't you just love the sheen and wear of Dior nail polishes?

It's Beauty Blogazon Roundup Time!

See what's been happening this week from the best of the web.

Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom- The one with Essence Twins Bella+Edward

Polish Insomniac- Why didn't you MAKE me try these earlier? Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Laced Up and Frock Star  

Beauty and Fashion Tech- Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palletes

Girl Gloss- Nars Mexican Rose Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil Swatch

BlushingNoir- Too Faced NATURAL FACE Palette Swatches and Review

Stephanie Louise- All Things Beautiful- Mani of the Day: Spoiled Trust Fund Baby & WnW Private Viewing

Beauty Mamas- Calgon Ageless Milk Bath with Serum Beads

Few Unnecessary Stuff-  Easy peasy brown Smokey eyes

Bookworm Nails- Peac​hy Pink Manicure

The Beautiful World Of BeautiMarkBella- Experience With Love/ Hate On The Internet

Perilously Pale- The Balm Stainiac in Beauty Queen - Swatches and Review

Polarbelle- Introducing Venique Nail Lacquer

Creatively Yours by Ro- M is for Mascara:: RIMMEL Extra Super Lash

New Venique Nail Lacquer Swatches For Spring 2012

Venique has released their new full line of nail lacquers just as promised. There are 78 new shades in the line to choose from. As any good beauty blogger would do, I picked up a random dozen for sampling, as well as the top coat and base coat for full evaluation. More news on those in the future as I apply them for a manicure. This week, I'm swatching to show you different things but I'll be applying a full mani soon.

Here's the display I stumbled across:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

And from another angle:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Knowing I couldn't purchase every color made it difficult to decide what to go with first. There were no swatch spoons available so I didn't know if I was choosing sheers, top coats, or full bodied colors. I was very pleased when I swatched my choices, which ended up a lot better than anticipated.

This first five I'm going to show you are 5 Inches of Seduction, G-aloshing in the Rain, Tangerine Flip Flop, Pointe to Ballet, and V-Cut Pattern.


I LOVE these colors!! 5 Inches of Seduction is a perfect fucshia with tiny pink micro shimmers that glow where light hits it. G-aloshing In The Rain is a light pink with micro-shimmers. The color is as if Pointe To Ballet and V-Cut Pattern had a baby. It's a perfect mix of the two, as shown in the following picture with V-cut Pattern on the left, G-aloshing in the Rain in the middle and Pointe To Ballet on the left.


Tangerine Flip Flop is a sparkling tangerine color with little glass flecked type of shimmers. Pointe to Ballet is a peach toned pink. I love this kind of color for a simple classy manicure. Next on the swatch wheel is V-Cut Pattern, a glass flecked shimmering baby pink with a slight blue tone. It is probably my favorite of the three pinks that I chose.

Turning to the deeper colors that I picked, I've had a difficult time picking them up correctly with my camera. The next three I'm going to show you are Slouching Slipper, Skimming In My Skimmers, and Sole Train.


Slouching Slipper is a medium rosy brown color, with a light green shimmer in the bottle, (if you look where the flash hits the bottles, you can see the green shimmer). The shimmer doesn't show in the swatch, it just makes it nice and shiney. Skimming In My Skimmers is a nice shiny plummy milk chocolate color. I'm tempted to call it a frost but it's really not, it's just nice and shiny like most Venique nail lacquers I've tried are.

The last color in this trio is Sole Train. It is a deep chocolate color that has all kinds of chocolate shimmer in the bottle that doesn't show on my swatch wheel. It may on the nails or it may simply be to give the color a delicious shine.


What? Did you ask about the crackle in the above photo? There's a new brand of Crackle, (applied over Venique), at Dollar Zone here in Anchorage and I'll be covering that later this week.

The last group I have to show you were the most difficult to photograph of any of the ones I chose. They are, from left to right, Deviant Little Sneaker, Biker Couture, Cosmetic Phenomenon, and Whiskey Vamp.


Deviant Little Sneaker has a plummy purply base and is chock full of multiple colors of micro-glitter. It's fascinating. You name a color of glitter, and I imagine you'll be right because I see so many colors in it, it must be every color of the rainbow. Below, it is pictured next to Biker Couture.



Biker Couture is a deep purpled grey, darker on a swatch than it shows in the bottle. Cosmetic Phenomenon is a medium depth dusty purple. Whiskey Vamp is a dusty greyed khaki-taupe color of medium to deep depth. Biker Couture, Cosmetic Phenomenon and Whiskey Vamp are all limited edition but the others in this blog post are regular stock offerings.

So that's what we have for show and tell today, kids. I am not sure which color I am going to wear for a mani yet, as I'm still swatching this week and I'm sure I'll change my mind a hundred times before I actually sit down to do it. If you check Venique's Facebook page, they have some swatch lists posted. I've checked them out and I see some others that I'd like to purchase as well. This is an exciting time to have fingernails!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

China Glaze Electropop Nail Polish Swatches & Review

Today I have a whole load of pictures to show you from the latest China Glaze nail polish collection called Electropop. When I'd first seen pictures online, I didn't think I'd purchase many of these because they looked so neon. In real life, I fell in love because they're bright and happy colors; wonderful for spring and summer, especially. I love the retro styling of the graphics that go with this collection. I love any cosmetic retro look advertising so this really appealed to me.

First, I picked up a set of mini bottles, which look like this:

The colors, from left to right, are: Electric Heat and Dance Baby

Fucshia Fanatic and Gothic Lolita.

I love all fucshia colors and anything in a shimmering purple, so I really wanted those. Anything in a baby pink and a medium baby blue gets two thumbs up from me as well. And retro packaging that was too cute to pass up. Each of the "minis" holds 9.6 ml of product while the full sizes hold 14, so a mini is easily over half the size of a full bottle.


After securing the mini foursome, I turned to the full sized lacquers to see what I wanted and chose the following colors:


The colors, from left to right are:

Wicked Style

Make Some Noise

Kinetic Candy

Sweet Hook

And last but surely not least, Techno, a 3D glitter with all kinds of pop.


I skipped over the yellow and green that were displayed with the collection. The yellow reminded me of Chanel Mimosa which was an utter failure on me, although I'm sure the consistancy of the China Glaze is better, but ok I just don't like yellow. :) I also skipped the green as I was wearing Dior Waterlily when I found these and put Techno over the top and LOVED it.



I have tried Techno over everyone of these nail polishes and find them each an electropop of color! I love how it looks on every one of them. It's better in person than in picture as the flash and macro settings tend to pick up individual particles rather than the whole flash of Techno. But here's some examples of what they look like:





I find that there's literally something for everyone in this collection. I apologize for not showing you the whole collection, but I promised my husband I'd cut back so I didn't buy it all. :D What about you? Do you love the retro packaging? Which color are you looking most forward to? If I was grading this collection, I'd give it an A++.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Experience With The KeraStraight Treatment Process At Ulta Salons

What is it about hair anyway??? I'm pretty sure I have spent more time complaining and wishing my hair would transform itself into something spectacular than I have watching tv, or sleeping, or just about anything else. If you have curly hair, you desire straight. If it's straight, you long for curls. It's rarely the right length or color. If your hair doesn't cooperate during a day, you feel a bit insecure and hope you don't see anyone you know that day. I know you all know what I'm talking about. Why, hair, why do you betray me?? Why can't you be perfect every day without an hour's worth of frustrating work?


I've often longed for world-wide baldness so I didn't have to mess with my crazy locks. But then I realized we'd all be into head makeup and danged if that wouldn't be hard to do in the back! So, hair it is. Rapunzel knew the value of hair and how it completely transforms a look and makes the difference between ugly, passable and Oscar-worthy. And by virtue of the mirror, we all get it too.

What is it that has caused all this hair anguish? Well, crazy hair, of course. I have hair that is wavy/curly but doesn't follow a uniform pattern over my head and it's kind of "in-between". It's not curly enough to wear it curly all the time, and not straight enough to wear it straight without a whole lot of effort. I have recently found out I'm approaching the curls all wrong, but that's a lesson for another time because....THIS post is not supposed to be a rant about my hair, it's to tell you about the KeraStraight Treatment being offered now at Ulta Salons.
I have hair that is curly starting about two inches from the crown; curlier on one side than the other.  I feel it never matches itself when I wear it curly and like it's not curly enough to look good that way.  So my answer is to straighten it.  However, if you have curly hair, you know what happens when you take a blow dryer to it.  It looks like this after, (minus the extra face):

Curly hair gets puffy and grows the more you try to dry it.  Once you have this mess, it's time to take a straight iron to it and it takes fuuuuuurever to straighten the aerated curls.  The whole process from shampoo to almost but not quite flat takes me about three or four hours.  Yeah, not kidding.  Hair is not my forte and if you know me in real life, you've probably often heard me say, "hair is the bane of my existence".
Ulta is currently offering some straightening processes to consider of different levels.  I decided I'd had it with the fight of my life every time I took a shower and proceeded to book the KeraStraight Treatment, which promises to reduce frizz and curl for up to 14 weeks, and it is safe for colored hair.  It is currently offered for $159.00 and there is an extra $20 per extra vial of goo used.  If you have very long or very thick hair, it will take extra goo.
I'd rather not talk about the first time I had it done, but it's part of the story and I need to tell you how totally fabulous Ulta is in regards to their customer service.  The first time, I went to a salon and was booked with someone who had never done the process before, nor had she attended any training for it.  Yeah, I was pretty horrified.  My hair didn't all fall out, but it hadn't been done right at all.

I had the same amount of curl, but it was less frizzy and easier for me to straighten it.  The whole process with that lady was horrifying and physically destructive and I wasn't happy.

Ulta Customer Service was really great to talk to and investigated the incident and offered to do the process correctly.  What a completely different experience I had the next time!!! The babe who did my hair was delightful!  She was very friendly and the regional trainer so she absolutely knew her stuff.  I learned things about the treatment that I hadn't been taught before and she did it with all the proper lengths of waiting in between steps, and I have to say, I'm pretty happy with my hair.  *cue singing angels*

There are a few things to know about the process.  First of all, there are no "hydes" of any kind used in this process.  If you have very curly hair, it won't come out completely straight, but the curls will be relaxed and much easier to manage, particularly if you want to wear your hair straight.  Also, don't color for five days before or after.  Because the KeraStraight Treatment is a chemical process put on your hair, it will lift your color some, as it did mine.  The sun or your next color application will bring it back to where you want it, but I don't think the change was so drastic for me that I couldn't live with it and easily fixable if I decided I couldn't.

Also, you need to use a shampoo and conditioner with no sulfates to extend the life of the treatment on your hair.  The less you shampoo it, the longer the process lasts.  That's fabulous for me because I have just about zero oil on my head so I can go months without shampooing.  I wouldn't, of course, but I bet I could make it a good three weeks, if I had to...like during the Zombie Apocalypse or something.  :)

The other thing I'd like to tell you about it is that the first couple of times you wash your hair, it's going to smell a little funky.  It doesn't last.  Once you put your products on it and/or it dries, the smell goes away but it only lasts a couple of shampoos which I find a good exchange for a more manageable mop.

I don't have a good before picture...I'd fallen on the ice in December and wrecked my shoulder and had embarassing hair till I had my hair fixed by Nikki at Ulta, but I can show you how it looked after she did it.
After KeraStraight Smoothing Treatment Ulta, Keratin

Say hi to Kelly!!  Hey Kels, you made the blog again!!  woot!!  woot!!!

I just want to say that everyone I spoke with at Ulta was very very nice, even at the corporate level.  They couldn't have been more understanding and helpful and I thank them for turning this whole experience around for me and giving me hair that I can be proud of.  I tell you the truth, in 14 weeks or so, I will return to have it redone.  It makes such a difference in ease of drying and straightening.  Thank you, Ulta!!!

I'd love to hear if you've tried this or any of the other salon services at Ulta, and I'd also like to enccourage you if you're curious but on the fence about trying it to give it ago.  It is really, really worth it!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Exciting New Nail Collections to View

My friends, we've seen and heard some wonderful nail polish rumblings throughout the internet announcing new spring collections. If you're a nail lacquer lover, I'd like to show you what kind of things to look forward to in the VERY near future; some even releasing this month. I don't have press releases on all these things yet, but I wanted you to see some things I spied with surfing the internet.
Over at Body and Soul, we have some pictures of a spring Butter London release.  Click on her Home link and you'll find pictures of China Glaze Magnetic Collection and the newest issue from Color Club.  You can see in the Color Club release, especially, that lavendar and all shades of purple are big for spring.  I'm seeing these colors everywhere in spring collections of all kinds. 
Check out what Dior has in store as seen over on Blushing Noir.  Dior released the fabulous quint pictured here as well as a nail lacquer called Forget-Me-Not, (hello Alaskan state flower!), which I have purchased and will be bringing you soon.  Dusty light purple.  Big in the spring color themes, no?
You will find more fabulous purples and, on another current trend...Flakie polishes in the latest release from Zoya as pictured on Scrangie and just about every other blog on the net, it seems.  I have the latest set of five flakey polishes from Fingerpaints to show you and check out these from Hits on The Polish-a-holic.  Love me some flakies!!!
There's a lot to look forward to in nail polish collections this spring and the major themes that I see emerging and all shades of lavender to purple, Flakies and magnetics.  Nail art is becoming a fascinating industry.  Do you agree?  What are the collections you've seen releases of or heard of that you're looking forward to most?  Do any of these trends interest you?  I'd LOVE to hear your opinions on what's coming up.

St Patty's Version The Beauty Spotlight Team Weekly Roundup

Lola's Secret Beauty Blog is absolutely smitten with Alima Pure Velvet Lipsticks in Olivia and Lucy ! They are healthy eco-luxe lipstic...