Sally Hansen Salon Chrome Kit Review

I finally got around to doing this review after having bought the Sally Hansen Salon Chrome Kit in Holographic a few weeks ago at Ulta for around $25. Before that, I’d bought the smaller kit in Rose Gold for $15 at a pharmacy, but returned it after I was unhappy with the results. But I really wanted to try the holographic chrome look without using gel, which is why I decided to give it a second chance.

The kit I bought comes with 5 items: the holographic chrome powder, a sponge applicator, the Salon Chrome top coat, the Miracle Gel Nail Polish in black, and the Miracle Gel top coat.

To start, I applied two coats of the black nail polish, which was runny and sheer. I let it dry until it was tacky, although figuring out the right amount of time to leave it took some practice. The first time I let the polish dry too long, and when I rubbed the powder on it didn’t stick well.

The instructions say that you don’t need a lot of powder for application, but in my experience certain areas required more powder for better coverage. That might have been because they dried faster. Once the powder was on, I applied the special top coat to protect the chrome effect and let that completely dry. To finish it all off, I used the Miracle Gel top coat that was provided.

I ended up with a few dents here and there from where I brushed the applicator too hard. The edges were also difficult to get the powder to stick to, and again that may have been because they dried faster. I think this technique definitely takes practice, regardless of what brand you’re using. I had a much easier time on my other hand once I’d finished the first.

Overall, I was happy with the end result, especially in the sun and bright lighting. In any other light it was dull gray with only a slight rainbow shimmer.

However, I would not recommend this kit. At $25 it was expensive, and even the $15 version isn’t worth the price. The first one I bought, the Rose Gold, only gave a shimmer effect and did not look like what was on the box. On top of that, they don’t give you a lot of powder. By the time I’d finished all ten nails, I had used a considerable amount of it. It’s also important to note that these don’t have much staying power, and they start to fade quickly after 1-2 days.

Instead, I would recommend buying individual pots of powder online. I was browsing for some of those myself on Amazon and Born Pretty Store and a lot of the time you can choose the amount of pigment included, with prices ranging from $2 to more than $30 depending on the brand. You can also find a variety of water based top coats which don’t ruin the effect.

In short, I would recommend looking for cheaper alternatives before spending money on a kit which isn’t going to give you the same long-lasting effect that a gel manicure would.

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Born Pretty Mirror Polish Review

I meant to post a review of Born Pretty’s Mirror Nail Polish months ago, but I kept putting it off. I wasn’t happy with the first set  of photos I took, and then things kept coming up. But I finally sat down and got it done! As a disclaimer, I bought this with my own money, and these are all my honest opinions from my personal experience. Anyway, it’s pretty long and has a lot of photos, so click to read more! Continue reading

Julep #Coveted Swatches + Review

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I bought Julep #Coveted Best of 2016 Nail Color Collection on Ulta for $28 on Cyber Monday. It’s not available there anymore, but it’s still on Julep’s official website, here. I didn’t previously own any Julep polishes, so I was really anticipating trying out this collection of their best ones. Continue reading

Ciaté Mini Mani Month 2016 Swatches + Review

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This Cyber Monday I did a lot of shopping for Christmas gifts, and of course I couldn’t resist picking up a few nail polish items along the way, including Ciaté’s Mini Mani Month 2016Continue reading

Swatches and Review: Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar Vol. 2

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Although I’m not a huge fan of caviar nail art, I found the Ciaté Caviar Mini Bar Volume 2 kit on sale, and decided to give it a try. As you can see from the photo above, the kit comes with four mini polishes: Snow Virgin (white), Fun Fair (pink), Ferris Wheel (blue), and Mistress (red); and four mini bottles of caviar mixes: Front Row, Fatal Attraction, Stick or Twist, and Wild Fire. The kit also comes with a funnel so after application you can put the extra beads back into the bottles. As a side note, I would suggest doing this over a piece of paper or something with less static. The instructions suggest doing it over the plastic, but I found that the beads stuck to the plastic too much, and it was difficult to get them into the funnel.

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These are the colors before I sprinkled the beads over them. I applied two coats for this photo, and as you can see, the pink and blue are still a bit streaky. With only one coat, the red, while not as streaky, is sheer. Although all the colors are pretty standard, I really like the vibrancy of the red and white – I think that’s the brightest white polish I have, which is nice.

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I applied the caviar bead combinations over the complementary polishes. What I like about these is that they don’t just have different color beads, but also glitter and sequins. Front Row, the one on my index finger, has black and silver beads, as well as clear iridescent sequins. But, while I think it looks great in the bottle, I’m not sure if I like it on my nails. Some of the sequins were sticking out and that was a bit uncomfortable.

Wild Fire, on my middle finger, is my favorite of the four. I felt that it went the most smoothly on and evenly covered my nail. It’s only made up of caviar beads, red and clear. Although the texture is somewhat different from other caviar beads I’ve tried, more jelly-like, if that makes sense.

On my ring finger I have Stick or Twist, a combination of teal and clear beads with the same clear sequins that are in Front Row. I like the colors better, but again, maybe it’s the sequins, but I wasn’t as big a fan of this one. I feel like I have too many “bald spots” on my nails where the sequins are.

The last one on my pinky nail is Fatal Attraction. It’s made up of light and dark pink beads and pink glitter. This is my second favorite; it covered my nail really well. I love the glitter in this one because it fills in any of the random spots between the beads.

I like this kit, though I’m not sure if I would get a lot of use out of the polishes (except Snow Virgin) unless it’s to pair them up with the bead mixes. The caviar mixes are unique, though I’m not totally sold on the sequins. So, if you can find the individual mixes full size and want to try them, I would suggest Wild Fire and Fatal Attraction.

Swatches and Review: Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Wave – Pink

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This is another of the nail polish sets I bought recently. This Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Wave ombre set comes with six mini polishes from the Wild Shine line in pink shades. Neither the box nor the polishes have names, so I’m not sure if they’re available in full size. I have a few from this line, but none of these colors.

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I used two coats for all of the polishes, and while some of them were a bit streaky with the first coat, they reached full coverage with the second. The only polish I didn’t use in this photo (above) is the glitter, since I used it to top coat all the nails later. I like the gradient, although I think there could have been more of a difference between the magenta and red polishes since from far away they look too similar.

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These are the polishes with the glitter top coat. While the nail polish base is pink, the glitter has more of a golden hue, so the color of the polishes doesn’t change too much. The only exception is the palest pink on my thumb, which definitely looked more pink after I applied the glitter top coat.

It’s nice to have a kit with polishes that are already in ombre order, especially for someone who may not have many shades of one color. I love Wet ‘n’ Wild polishes since they’re good quality and pretty cheap. This makes me want to pull out all of my similar polishes and group them for ombre!

Swatches and Review: ELF 4pc Nail Polish Set

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I recently got this ELF set from a friend. It was a nice surprise, because I don’t have any ELF nail polish, though I have a ton of their makeup products. For the swatches I used 1-2 coats (no top coat) and found they were pigmented and easy to apply. I don’t have the packaging anymore, so I don’t know the exact name, but I think they are one of ELF’s holiday sets. The colors definitely remind me of the holiday season!

(click below for swatches)

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Swatches & Review: Ciaté’s Haute House

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The Ciaté Haute House is one of the nail polish sets I bought on sale recently. I was excited to see it because I love dark, saturated colors. On the packaging it says the polishes have a “rich ink formula” and are “high pigment one stroke color.” I usually always do at least two coats, but these were good with just one (except For the Frill of It and Sass Pot). The polishes are also fast drying without using a top coat. I would still put a top coat on them for longer wear and shine, since without it they’re not super shiny.

(Click below for photos and to read more)

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My First Time Applying Acrylics Using Nailene Sculpture Kit

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My friend’s finished nails.

Hi, everyone! A couple of weeks ago my friend brought me the Nailene Acrylic Sculpture Kit so that I could do her nails. I was a little hesitant, since I had never applied acrylics before (though I’d watched plenty of YouTube videos on the subject). I asked her to give me some time to practice, and a few days ago we finally went through with it. It was a very long 3-hour (crazy!) process, from choosing which tips fit her nails, to applying the acrylic, to painting the final design, which I’m super happy with. Unfortunately, her nails didn’t last more than a few days, which bummed me out more than it did her, but I think I know the reason why.

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Rotating Nail Polish Display Review

NailPolishDisplayHi, everyone! Today I’m reviewing the new rotating nail polish display I bought on Amazon. I used to keep my nail polishes in a pair of wall racks I DIY’d out of poster board. Those were working fine for a while, but I started to want a storage solution that I could move around. Finally, I had to take the racks down so the room could be painted, and that’s when I decided to buy the rotating rack. It arrived quickly and was securely packaged, which I was glad about, since I had read some reviews that the displays arrived cracked. Mine had no cracks in it, but I was very careful about taking it out of the package. One thing to take into consideration (and something I read on the reviews but it just didn’t sink in): it’s big. I knew it would be large, but when I unpacked it, I was surprised by the size, and I ended up placing it somewhere else than where I had originally thought. To get an idea of size, imagine stacking five bottles of polish on top of each other.

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All of my polishes fit well into the display, but here are some notes:

1. Sephora by OPI polish bottles only fit on the top shelves, since they’re open on top.

2. Bottles that are really wide on the bottom may not fit properly. I had this issue with a few ICING polishes. On some shelves they fit better, and rotating them to find the narrower side also helped.

3. The display comes with a lid that says “Nail Polish Center” on it. You can show that, but I decided to flip it over so I could put polishes on top.

I arranged my polishes by color, because it’s easier for me to find a specific one when I have a design in mind. However, I ordered some polish swatch sticks that I’m waiting on, and when I receive those I might rearrange them by brand.

Overall, I really like this rack, and I love turning it! I would definitely recommend getting this if it’s the type of storage solution you’re looking for.