Nubar Fortress Collection Swatches and Review

The latest collection from Nubar is a set of 8 black and gray polishes in various finishes. I am thrilled to show you swatches of them! The concept of the collection is wonderfully unique and the formula of them is OUTSTANDING. Let 's get into the swatch fun>>>

Knight's Armor - I am quite sure that I don't have to tell you this is the polish from this set. I'm telling you right now if you were to only buy one color from this collection this is it! This is one of my polishes wishes coming true. I really haven't felt that any black/silver glitter combos were glittery enough. Well this is definitely glittery enough plus some! The glitter is so dense it nearly gave full coverage in one coat. (This swatch is 2 coats) And the glitter particles are very large and square reflecting a ton of sparkle. This is a stunner! I wore this one immediately. At the end of the year when I'm coming up with my "Best Polish of 2010" this will absolutely be on the list. Wow.

Dark Castle - Ooooh. How awesome! This is a very rich black with dark silver shimmer. This is super pigmented allowing me to do one coat. I don't usually like black polishes very much unless they have a ton of shimmer or glitter but this is hott. I really love this.

Silver Sword - This is a charcoal shimmer. This is very pretty and nice but has that metallic/brush stroke syndrome. But only a little. I think it looks very nice once on, and it has a smooth formula. This swatch is 2 coats.

Stronghold - I love this polish and I love the name! This is a dark, stormy gray creme. Oooh ooh! And guess what? This is only one coat.

Palisade - This is a medium toned, cool gray creme. And surprise! It is one coat!

Barricade - This is also a medium toned gray creme. It is only a touch lighter than Palisade and it is different from Palisade in that it has yellow undertones.

Citadel - This is a light gray creme with yellow undertones. This swatch is 2 coats. It could have been 1. More on that later.

Marble Tower - This is the lightest gray of the bunch and the last one to see! It is close to Citadel but a smidge lighter and cooler.

I assumed that a comparison swatch was in order to help distinguish between all the similar gray cremes:

From left to right: Palisade, Barricade, Citadel, Marble Tower (The bottle is Stronghold)

So Palisade and Barricade are close but Palisade is cool/slightly blue and Barricade is a bit yellow.

Citadel and Marble Tower are similar but Marble Tower is the slighty blue/cool tone and Citadel is a bit yellow.

Now my reaction to this collection was all over the place. At first I was pumped because I love gray polish and OMG Knight's Armor. I knew I would love it before it even showed up. I was unsure about the shimmers. I wasn't excited for them but when I swatched them I felt differently. I really love Dark Castle. I think Silver Sword is nice, but I don't like it near as much as Dark Castle.

And what about 5 gray cremes? Hmmm. On the one hand, I love cremes. But when I thought about it... 5? Why does more than half of the collection need to be creme? I would think having the opportunity to do a variety of finishes in gray, you would do, well, a variety? Am I wrong? We could have had a foil, a duochrome (we know Nubar is master at duochromes) a holo, maybe even a matte.

On the positive side, however, the shades are all different. And once I started painting my nails for the comparison swatch I thought of a brilliant idea for all of these cremes... An ombre manicure!

So once I was done with the swatches that was the mani I did. At least there is that pro to having 5 cremes. And if you don't want all 5, you can pick the shdes you like by their warm or cool undertones.
Another positive to these cremes is that they go on in one coat. It took me two for the lighter ones the first time around, but the next time I just did a bit of a thicker coat and every one of them was flawless in one coat. You know how rare one coat colors are and out of 8 this has 6 one coaters (I think Knight's Armor would be done a disservice is only applied with one coat and Silver Sword is slightly brush stroke-y so it needs two.)

Overall verdict: Great collection. Unique concept, great formula: super pigmented and smooth and come on... Knight's Armor. Let's be serious. That is one hell of a polish. I can't shut up about it!

They all look like a little fortress when they are all standing together.

I do not know the official release date of this collection but it should be soon and will probably retail for $7.49 a piece or $49.95 for the 8 piece set.

Disclosure: The products featured in this post were furnished to me by the manufacturer or PR company for review. For more information please visit my disclosure policy.

ND2: Friday Night Black Lights

Here it's all about the stripes and the matte black. Any color background will work (and any type of matte, really), along with any type of stripe. I chose to remember the good, ol' football friday nights of high school...not that I really went to many of those. But maybe you've seen those black marks that football players put under their eyes. I was told that it's to stop the glare from stadium lighting reflecting off their sweaty faces and into their eyes. Whatever the real reasoning, it's my inspiration.

image from

From the fabulous Hong Kong Collection by OPI, Jade is the New Black was the perfect color for astroturf. Combine with that some type of matte black (I chose Zoya Dovima), and you have your two colors.

Onto the three step process...

For Step 1, simply lay down your base color over your favorite base coat, completely covering the nail. Layer your shiny top coat over your base color and let dry.

Now for Step 2, you'll need a total of 5 pieces of tape. The only piece you really want to worry about for size is the center piece that will block off the stripe of base color that will be inbetween your matte stripes. You can see in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture that the thin inbetween strip of tape was the one I laid down first to see if they matched up on all my nails.

The inbetween thin slices of tape I used were about 2-3 mm thick, and the 4 outer strips of tape that form the square were about 1/4 inch thick.

The point of the square around the area the matte polish stripes will be, is so there are only two stripes of matte black towards the end of the nail. The look I was going for here was not a continuous stripe, but one that is just a rectangular block on the nails.

Step 3 is simply to paint in the matte color of your choice (here the matte black went with the look I was going for). Before you paint, you want to make sure that your pieces of tape are pushed down onto the nails completely, so no wet paint leaks under leaving a mark in an area that wasn't supposed to be painted. Once you have painted your nail, be sure to pull up the tape quickly, pulling all the pieces in one direction so there is no drag in the fresh polish you just laid down.

Also, because the matte striping ontop of the shiny color is a key point to this design, try not to lay down any top coat to get the full effect of this manicure.

And now you're done! What do you think? What colors would you use for this design?

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.

NOTD Wild, Black and Sinful

This is three coats of Sinful Colors All About You over a coat of Wet n Wild Wild Shine Black Creme. Both are from Christy.
I don't know why I came up with combination. Maybe it was inspired by the bangle, or the new moon which for all I know may be some nights off.
All About You is clear with tiny but abundant flecks of gold and red glitter. It is a dream to apply! So smooth, quick, even... I'd like to put a gold ring on its finger and ask it to marry me. Except it's gold, and it's already on my finger. Oh, well.
I was debating with myself whether or not to add gold stickers. I can never leave well enough alone. But this time, I did. It looks good enough on its own. But now I wonder how it would look over red, and orange, and green..... Feed the addiction, I dare ya!

SOTD: RBL Bikini Bottom

Today's Swatch of the Day is Rescue Beauty Lounge's Bikini Bottom. A nice, soft blue.

Rescue Beauty Lounge was a company I was first introduced to about two weeks before they had one of their biggest sales yet. Remember that sale that was right before the new year, where RBL polishes were 50% off? Well I decided to splurge and get a polish I thought would be a bit different for me - a light blue jelly/creme shade.

While I have heard that RBL polishes are known to be creamy smooth and cover in minimal coats, this polish took 3 coats (and when I say three, I mean the last coat was a gloopy mess I tried to paint over two thin coats to speed up the painting process, not something I'd recommend doing).

Verdict on this polish: If you like the jelly/sheer look, go for this polish. It's a soft, light blue shade that reminds me of pool water (think water with lots of Chlorine added). While it needs one too many layers of polish to become opaque, it works if you're willing to take the time to work with it.

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.

New Revlon Nails + Giveaway

Hi all! I have had these for far too long! I am so glad to finally post them.

I received some new nails from Revlon to show you. They are colored nails in Revlon Red and Royalty.

Revlon Red

Royalty - These are actually colored gold on the underside to give you an effortless "Lubu mani"! How cool is that?!

Revlon Red - These were a bit smaller than I anticipated. I tried to get them on without having my natural tips peeping out but that made the ring finger end up way high from the cuticle. It looks a bit strange. It's just for swatch purposes. I didn't actually wear them like that!

Royalty - Wow. This is a gorgeous dark plum with a royal purple shimmer. So pretty. They look sort of duochromy. These say they are medium length like the red ones but they are clearly longer. I don't know. And the gold underside would be enjoyable if I didn't have my tips showing. The concept of these is WAY AWESOME but you can really only rock it if you have short nails with very little to no free edge.

Here are some things I must say about these nails:
  1. The glue that comes with these is very strong. You don't need to worry about wear time. As long as you want them on, they will stay on.
  2. Do not follow the instructions for how much glue to put on. It says to completely cover your natural nail, and the false nail with glue. If you did that you will get glue squeezing out all over the place and end up gluing yourself together and having your mani look like crap. Instead, apply glue to only one of the contact surfaces and I find the best way to do this is fully cover the inner portion, but not go all the way to the edge as the glue will spread out to the edges when you press them down.
  3. The package says to soak these nails in acetone nail polish remover to get the nails off. This does not work! Acetone nail polish remover is made up of several other ingredients diluting the power of the acetone and it is not strong enough to dissolve the nails as the box says. You will get frustrated and rip them off, and you will be real sorry. Trust me. I have made this mistake already. LEARN FROM MY MISSTEPS! You need to use 100% acetone to remove these nails. It is not expensive and you can buy it at Sally's Beauty supply or any other nail/beauty supply. Get a little bowl and soak for a minute and they will seriously dissolve. You can use a manicure stick to help scrape them off if needed and if there is any residual glue on the nail you can get it off with a cotton ball and the acetone. I know acetone is drying, but this is what you need to do. Just wash it off your hands immediately and moisturize.

AND here is some great news... I have an extra package of each of these to share with you! I also have a package of Sequin style nails from the Runway Collection that I reviewed way back here.

Oooooh! Sparkles!

So, the prize is 1 package each of Revlon Red, Royalty and Sequins nails. They will all go to one, randomly chosen winner. The entry form is at the top of my page. The contest will run from today until Monday, March 1st at 11:59 PM EST. Internationally readers are welcome to enter! Good Luck!

And don't forget about the Skin MD Natural Giveaway I have going on as well! You can enter once for both of these giveaways! (Although the lotion giveaway is only open to US and Canada residents.)

Lookies! ^^

I made a trip to guess where today?

*cue evil laughter*

Yes, the ultimate sin store in Singapore. Sephora. For me anyway.

I did get the phone call and was told, "Yes, you may come today to collect your palette."

So, after work I went down as quick as I could. Just in case they changed their minds. ^^

And being at Sephora, can you stop at just one palette?

The answer is NO.

So I got the Sephora mini polish in Blue Sapphire. And an under the nail whitening pencil. I just thought to try it just once. Sadly, they don't bring in the Opi for Sephora range. I really want Leaf Him at the Altar.
I also got myself the Urban Decay de-slick mattifying powder. Sooooo pretty. Purple is one of the best colours ever.
And yes. I GOT IT! *swoon*
Look at all the pretty colours. Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I am in heaven at the moment. Pretty pretty bliss.
And also, since I spent so much at Urban Decay, (over $120) I got all these as a gift. A bottle of oil-free makeup remover. The artwork is by Ami James.

The 2 eyeshadows are Midnight Cowboy (pale bronzey) and Goddess (blue). The 2 eyeliner pencils are Electric (blue) and Covet (green). And a tiny bottle of mascara.

So for $150, I got 6 free items. I will do some swatches tomorrow.

Bliss, bliss, bliss. Who needs anything else? Except more nail polish! (^.^)

Hate Fashion?

Have you seen Tanya Gold's article in The Guardian on why she hates fashion? A brief excerpt:
Put simply, I hate fashion. I scowl at Harper's. I snarl at W. I spit at Vogue. Sometimes, I tear them up, these glossy pages full of anorexic ­children – part human, part makeup, part ­computer program – just because I'm worth it...
...I am a reasonable ­example of a normal woman. I like food and men and comfort. It is just that at some point, the unceasing prattle of fashion has become a scream in my head. I ­cannot ignore its idiocies any more. I walk past a shop that sells 6in heels and I am angry. Banana ­Republic? ­Angry again. Selfridges and its ­loathsome "I shop therefore I am" adverts, a manifesto for morons? Don't even go there. I have had it with this tyrant-fool throwing darts from every billboard and magazine and TV screen. I want to hurl a spear back at it.
Carrie Bradshaw in Sex
and the City.
James Devaney/
I get what she says about fashion being frivolous, and there being too many hapless victims of it. I also know that there's obscene amounts of money spent on fashion that could be better spent elsewhere. I know that it is so easy (but never justified) to judge others as fashion victims and dismiss them as flighty for getting caught up in it at all. I am aware that many women suffer countless insecurities and deprivations in the name of fashion. I know that it's true, and I know that it's more widespread than we're willing to face up to. What I don't get is: why the anger? Corruption. Crime. Inept bureaucracy. White slavery. Substance abuse. Violence in any form. Abortion. These and so much more could arouse such anger, and I'd understand.
Sure, I know fashion is not completely harmless. But why should it warrant such a vehement, passionate opposition from someone who says she's above it?
Fashion is so many things to every individual. It's rather small-minded to lump the whole industry, as well as the many forms and variations thereof, into one malignant lump of vanity. The biggest goal of fashion may be to make pretty. Whether it succeeds or fails is up to the individual who is victimized or enamored of it.
But too great an anger over something you say is inane? Not pretty.

New Konad Plate M77

Hi! I hope you have all seen that Konad has released some new image plates for us to play with! There are 8 new ones: M75-M81 and S10. You can browse them here. I purchased M77 through M79 and today I have swatches of all the designs from M77.

Plate M77

This is a mani I did a couple weekends ago. The base is China Glaze - Lemon Fizz stamped with China Glaze - Sugar High and the flower stamp. I added some accents with LA Colors Art Deco - Bright Green and Migi Nail Art Pen in white.

This is Wet n Wild - Bite the Bullet stamped with a black creme and the flower/hatch mark stamp. I call it "the waffle stamp".

This is necklace stamp with various chrome colors over Snail Slicks - #21, a very stark peach creme.

This is just a swatch of all the rest of the stamps over black with chrome colors.

And don't forget about the Mardi Gras Mani I did with this plate:

I used the bead image repeatedly on each nail for a look of a plethora of bead strands!

I really love this plate. There are several good images to work with and I didn't have any issues with any of them. All the little details picked up. It's awesome!
What do you think?