Saturday, February 27, 2010

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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

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.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skin MD Lotion Review and GIVEAWAY!

Hello everybody! :c)

I have a bit of a different post for you today. I had an opportunity to review some body lotion (also for face) and I am sharing it with you today. I had never heard of it before I was contacted by the rep for the company. It is call Skin MD Natural and I was intrigued to try after taking a look at their website because it not only said it moisturized but also "transforms the outer layer of skin into a hydrating invisible shield". I couldn't wait to see this. Especially when I think about how dry my poor little fingers get from continual use of acetone removers, especially when doing marathon swatching sessions.

When I first started using this my hands were very dry. It's mostly from the dry winter air, but using acetone nail polish remover frequently is no help either. The bottle also says it is for use on the face and I have been battling some very severe dry skin on my face thanks to a new acne product I have been using to combat my annoying, recurring, adult acne. (Sour much?!) So I figured I had the position to really put this stuff to the test.

Right off the bat I loved this lotion for two reasons:
  1. It's not scented. I do not wear any perfume or body spray and am very limiting to the scents of lotions as well. I am very sensitive to strong smells. They give me headaches. It sucks.
  2. I love the consistency. The second ingredient on the label is pure aloe vera and that is what the consistency is like, if you've ever squeeze aloe right from the leaf. It's very silky and thin. It's not a thick cream which I love about this.
The first few days of use I wasn't terribly impressed. I felt like I had to reapply it often and I thought the whole point of it was that you didn't have to apply it often. Wait! Let me finish. After using it, however, for about a week, you see the change. It actually does improve the moisture levels in your skin, and you begin to need the lotion less and less. Your dry skin will absorb this right up real quick! "I am thirsty! So thirsty! More please!!"

I see the biggest improvement in my face. I am not joking around about how dry my face was. I started using this acne gel (Epiduo) in October and by now my skin has gotten much more used to it, but at first I had skin like a crocodile. This is not an exaggeration. I have never seen anything like it. I never even used lotion regularly before because I had rather oily skin and now I was finding that my face was like, falling off. I tried Clinique lotion and that didn't do much at all. It felt like it was just sitting on my skin. Then I used Eucerin and that actually did absorb into the skin and made a difference, but I had to apply it twice a day, and actually probably could have done more than that. I didn't so I was frequently looking at my face and getting frustrated at how flakey it was. Since using this, however, I do not have that problem! No more flakies! I can actually put on make-up now and not worry about having my powder accentuate my flakes! The moisture level of my skin is drastically better. It is amazing.

Also, it doesn't irritate my skin at all. I have rather sensitive skin and am very acne prone. This Epiduo gel I have been using makes my skin rather stingy (what I won't do for clear skin, geez) but this lotion soothes it and doesn't make the problem any worse which some moisturizers actually did. This didn't and didn't cause any further breakouts either. I am using my face as an example most of all because it really exemplifies how great this stuff is. It works just as good for my hands and cuticles too!

I received a full size bottle which is 4 oz and that is a nice size because it is enough to last a while, but it's not huge so I can throw it in my work bag/purse. I reviewed the original formula but they also have one with SPF 15. The original Skin MD Natural retails for $18 for 4 oz and the one with sunblock is $25 for 4 oz. And if for some reason you find yourself needing this much, you can buy it by the case or by the gallon. Seriously. You'll see it on the site. A gallon.

There is a lot more information about this product and Skin MD here. I suggest checking out their website if you are interested in this product.

One of the first things I noticed about the website is that they offer sample packets. So if you're a bit apprehensive to order because of the cost, you can try it out first and see if it works for you. I couldn't wait to share that with you!

And the even better news that I get to share with you is that Skin MD is hosting a giveaway on Lacquer Laine! The winner with receive one full size bottle of Skin MD Natural! The prize will be sent to the winner directly from Skin MD. The entry box is at the top of my page. One entry per person, please. The winner will be drawn randomly. My readers from the USA and Canada can enter. The giveaway is open from today until Friday, February 26, 2010 at 11:59pm EST.

Final Verdict on Skin MD Natural: Love this stuff. Laine will be buying more!

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.

I Have Been Seduced Toxic-ly

I have to show you my nails of the day. And of yesterday. And probably tomorrow. I see no signs of removal in the near future! It's Misa - Toxic Seduction and it is from Misa's Poisoned Passion collection - Fall 2008. I am sure you have seen it before and maybe you have it, but I just have to gush because it is beautiful and it took me FOREVER to wear it! I swatched it once quickly for a a comparison shot I did a while back but that was about it. I just have too many colors to wear. My ratio of 'worn' to 'unworn' shades is outrageous.

Anyway, Toxic Seduction. Hmmm... Perfect? I love this! I first off love green. It is my favorite color, not just favorite polish color. Favorite overall color = green. And this is a good one! It is a vampy, dark green, mossy base packed with the same vampy, dark green shimmer. The shimmer in this is awesome too. It isn't a super twinkle, twinkle shimmer. It is a playing-it-cool shimmer. It's too cool for school, really. It's not such an obvious, bright crazy green. Typically when I think of green polish I think of bold, bright grass greens and kelly greens and they are awesome, but not always appropriate. This shade feels completely appropriate. I don't feel like my bosses would give it funny looks or someone would say "Wow. Green nails. Interesting." It's just polish as far as they're concerned, but to me it is love. It's seduction. I'm lost in it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blue Glitter SPAM with Close-Ups!

Hi Everybody!

I am super excited about today's post! It is really pretty! BLUE GLITTER! *oooh...ahhhhh*

Here is who we will be checking out today:
OPI - Absolutely Alice, Pure Ice - Strapless, Nubar - Disco Blue Glitter, Color Club - Sexy Siren, China Glaze - Dorothy Who?

Absolutely Alice - This is a fine, blue glitter in a clear base with a little bit of gold glitter thrown in. Very pretty. It is very dense and gives full coverage in 3-4 coats.

Strapless - This is another blue glitter in a clear base. It is very dense and the pieces are small like Absolutely Alice. The shade is a very deep, bold blue. I love this.

Disco Blue Glitter - This is the palest blue of the bunch. It is also a larger particle size and is not very dense. This swatch is 4 coats and there is still lots bare. I didn't feel like doing more than 4 coats.

Sexy Siren - This is so pretty! It is a larger particle like Disco Blue, but the shade is much brighter and the formula is more dense.

Dorothy Who? - This is so hott! I love this. This isn't a blue glitter in a clear base like the rest of these. This is a silver glitter in a blue base. There is no blue glitter at all. It just looks blue shining through the blue jelly.

What is your fave? I would say Dorothy Who? and Absolutely Alice are the faves (both from collections based on movies...hmm) then Sexy Siren, then Strapless and last, unfortunately, is Disco Blue.


Sunday, February 21, 2010


Hi all! I have been feeling so patriotic all week thanks to the Olympics and all the athletes bringing home medals for USA. And how about Team USA Hockey?!!
I have been wanting to do a USA manicure, and have a good plan, but by the time I had the chance to do it on the weekend, I realized it would be time to take it off for the work week so I did a pedi instead!

Big Toes: Rescue Beauty Lounge - Underwear, stamped with Konad plate M14 and M3 with Essie - Mesmerize and Konad special polish in red
Little Toes - right foot: China Glaze - Dorothy Who?
Little Toes - left foot: Savina - Ruby
...and all little toes are stamped with plate M3 and Konad special polish in white

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BB Couture - Hands of Hope Collection on SALE and being Discontinued

Hi all! This is of great importance! I just found out that Overall Beauty is discontinuing their BB Couture - Hands of Hope Collection and they have lowered the price to entice you! The whole set of 6 was $54 but it is now on sale for $49.98 (or you can buy them individually for $9) and Kim wants to help those of you on your "no-buys" so she is offering FREE SHIPPING on all US BB Couture orders!!

The Hands of Hope Collection is a set of 6 shades with names of places in Haiti and 25% of the sales go to the Red Cross to help the earthquake victims in Haiti. I did a full review of the set here, but here are my swatches again: (my faves are Kyona Beach, Paradise and Cap-Haïtien!)

Tortuga Island


Labadie Beach

Kyona Beach


Bassins Bleu

You can purchase them here but only until February 19th!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Amour - Rainbow Hologram

Have you ever seen the Amour polishes on that claim to have some sort of awesome reflection?Photo courtesy of Trans Design

This is what the site says about these polishes:
The special formula contains Titanium dioxide platelets of precisely controlled thickness reflects gold, red, green or blue by interference . . .and transmit the respective complementary colors. Deposited on mica for reinforcement . . . combined with colors pigment to introduce intensity, contrast and extraordinary color play.
Step 1: Apply black polish to the free edge.
Step 2: Allow polish to dry, apply color effect polish to the entire surface of the nail.
Step 3: Apply top coat

I didn't really think these would be anything out of this world but I had to get one to be totally sure. I was right. A bought Rainbow Hologram and swatched it over a black tip just like it said.

It's really just a shimmery sheer with iridescence. It is not special in any way. This black tip thing looks weird too. I am not a fan.

What do you think?

Have a great day!