NOTD – Cherry Blossoms: Wet n Wild Megalast & Maybelline Color Show Jewels

After long days of gloomy weather in SoCal, the sun has finally come out! It has inspired me to create this simple gradient look and since winter is coming to a close and Spring is just around the corner, I feel it’s very appropriate. 🙂 The base is Wet n Wild Megalast in 203B 2% Milk with Maybelline Color Show Jewels in 600 Precious Pearl on top. I kind of feel like a princess wearing these nail polishes. I seem to gravitate to this style a lot! Remember the Etude House Juicy Cocktail Gradient Nail Kit?! Lol. I like pink! Though I don’t prefer wearing pink clothing, accessories and everything else is too cute not to love. To each their own, right? Anyway, even though this mani is so cute, it didn’t really last that long. But, I’m not surprised considering how much I paid for these two polishes, which was less than $5. lol. You pay for what you get for, as they say! Well, good thing I get bored of my manicures quite easily! Haha.

Onwards to the pictures!

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NYC – In a New York Color Minute (Quick Dry) & Long Wearing Nail Enamel (Review & Swatches)

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I really am a nail polish addict. A week ago, while ago, I was hanging with Debbie, we were at CVS checking out the huge beauty clearance sale (check it out! It should still  be going on, I believe.) when I said, “I can’t buy anything! I’m still on my makeup ban! However, nail polish doesn’t count!!!” LOL. I may have not bought makeup products in about 5 months but I still have been purchasing nail polishes here and there. I can justify buying nail polish for some reason but not so much for make up. I think it’s because make up has a shorter shelf life compared to nail polish. Even though I wanted more nail polish, I couldn’t bring myself to pay for the more luxurious brands like, OPI, Essie, Orly, China Glaze, etc. Especially, right not now, as I’m on a budget. So, I went searching for cheap nail polishes and ended up in Target (Of course. lol.) where I was actually looking for Wet n’ Wild products. But, I realized that Target doesn’t carry this brand, total brain fart. Since I was already there, I continued searching and I came across a brand I haven’t used in ages, NYC (New York City). I think just like Wet n’ Wild, NYC doesn’t get enough praise and attention! Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow pigmentation rivals that of Urban Decay. It’s pretty freaking awesome considering it does this for the fraction of the price of just even one Urban Decay eyeshadow which is priced at like $17+. I was initially drawn to NYC because of the extremely low price of the NYC nail polishes. The prices vary between $.97-$1.50 depending where you go. At my CVS, the Quick Dry formula is more expensive than the Long Wearing Nail Enamel and at Target vice versa. Such a steal! Which is why I now have a little NYC nail polish collection growing in my room. I’ll say it, I’m an addict. It’s just too much fun!! Hey, I could be addicted to something way more detrimental!

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While NYC’s nail polish is exceptional in quality for its price, the choices to chose from are underwhelming. There aren’t many colors, or shades or tints or tones available. With all the different type of nail polishes that give you textures, different finishes and a mesmerizing sheen, it’s hard for NYC to be noticed. Which is such a shame because I think they are exceptionally decent. If NYC would step up and add more to the collection, I definitely see myself using this brand for many years to come!

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The Colors: 270 Sidewalkers (Grey Slate), 294 Lexington Yellow (Canary Yellow), 147 Lexington Lilac (Light Lilac), 119 Black Lace Creme (Truly Black), 152 Tudor City Teal (Sea foam Green) I say, its more of a sea foam green than a teal, definitely more green than blue–a tad deeper shade of sea foam green.

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Swatches Galore!  Instead of doing swatches on my nails, I decided to do it on some heavy stock paper! You can see the pigmentation more easily. One coat of nail polish, to two coats, to three to four coats. Which to be honest, three-four coats seem like a lot but it dries quickly. It doesn’t have the opaque-ness of a higher quality polish, but considering the price, that makes sense.

Bottom Line:

Applicator: The Quick Dry formula comes with a much wider brush, which makes perfect sense because it dries within a minute; it covers a larger surface area with one swish. The Longer Wearing formula comes with a standard sized brush, much thinner than its counter-part.

Pigmentation: Definitely not bad for the price! They’re not streaky except for the yellow canary (294 Lexington Yellow) nail polish (Quick Dry Formula). That one was a little different in consistency compared to the four other nail polishes. The other colors I bought are: grey slate (270 Sidewalkers), light lilac (147 Lexington Lilac), black (119 Black Lace Creme) and (52 Tudor City Teal) sea foam green! Try to carefully apply your strokes to avoid possible streaking, try to keep the brush as parallel to the nail as possible. Just don’t apply a lot of pressure, that adds to the streakiness! Glide the brush over the nails to avoid that. I feel this helps for optimum coverage and evenness.

Consistency: I found that it does bubble on you if you apply too many layers or if you apply it too thickly. Just apply thinner strokes! I noticed that with a nearly every nail polish though but some do bubble more than others, this one is definitely one that bubbles moderately. My bottle has gotten gooey,  it’s dried out so the formula is not as viscous as when I first bought, but that’s an easy fix, just put a few drops of polish thinner in the bottle. I found that both formulas dry quite quickly, so make sure you don’t leave the top off too long!

Price: You can’t beat the price at $.97-$1.50. BTW, I live in Southern California.

Durability: Quite good. Tends to chip around the edges of the nail in a about week. Pretty standard. The Long Wearing Nail Enamel is definitely more durable than the Color Minute (Quick Dry), hence the name! ^-^

Versatility: Not the most varied collection out there. Not many variations of shades, tints, or tones but a decent amount of colors.

Overall: I really like these polishes given the price point. A lot of really cheap nail polish end up giving me cheap results, but I feel that the NYC Nail Polishes give me a decent quality without the hefty price. Just like most nail polishes however they do tend to stain my nails a little more than say OPI or the brands I mentioned above. This is pretty much unavoidable, I don’t think it’s really a negative. Just remember to use a base coat! Also, buff your nails after you remove your nail polish. Then give your nails a little love, let them remain nail polish free for a few days to give them a little break! ^-^

I love that NYC has decent quality nail polishes but I wish they would come out with more colors, shades, tints and tones and maybe even some textured nail polishes, like the OPI Liquid Sand Collection. Overall, I think it’s worth your money but it terms off versatility it’s quite lacking. I still give it my Mar-stamped approval but reluctantly since I think NYC can do better.

Thank you for reading!! I have plenty posts in the works, hope to hear from us soon! Mar, in and–OUT!

NOTD: NCLA Self-Adhesive Designer Nail Wraps in Dunes (Impressions)

Yup, I’m already back with another NOTD. I was not kidding when I said I change my nail polish a lot!!! LOL.

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If you saw my last OOTD, then you already saw a picture of these bad boys. I bought these nail wraps on Little Black Bag, but you can easily find them on their website: http://www.shopncla.com. They are $16+ on their website but I believe they were cheaper when they were featured on Little Black Bag. It only took me about how many months to finally use this product. But if know me, the only reason that is the case is because I have a massive nail polish collection to chose from. Too many choices, I’m indecisive! Anyway, out of all the nail wraps that were feature on LLB the one that appealed to me the most was Dunes. It looked like the water marble nails that were all the rage a few years back. Since I would not have the patience to do this or want to “waste” that much nail polish in order to do so, these nail wraps totally had fit the bill. At first, when I saw this product, I thought it was pretty cool, but I had a feeling it would be hard to perfectly match the wraps onto my nails. Surprisingly, I was totally wrong. These nail wraps are actually really easy to put on. Instructions are as followed:

1. Clean your nails with nail polish remover. Apply a coat of (your favorite) clear nail polish. (NCLA Gloss It recommended.) LET DRY!

2. Choose correct size for each nail. Peel from the sheet by the flap. Wraps can be worn bottoms up!

3. Apply the round side against the cuticle. Nail wrap can be removed and stretched to fit perfectly.

4. Once in position, firmly flatten the wrap starting from the cuticle. Repeat to remove all air bubbles, until completely flat.

5. Use the nail file to remove any excess. File in a downward motion. Apply another coat of clear polish for seal and shine! Repeat on all nails.

Pretty simple, ne? I also recommend you use some sort of base coat because to remove these nail wraps, you have to peel them off your nails. So, protect your nails, ladies! ^^ As for trying to find the right wrap size for your nail, it can be a little tricky! I ended up choosing wraps that were a little too small for my nails. The instructions say you can stretch the nail wrap to fit your nail. While that may be true, it much easier to stretch them out length wise but not so much width wise. I stretched them width wise too much which resulted in me tearing the wrap! So, be gentle, they can stretch quite a bit but nothing drastic. You can definitely flip them around if you want, just as the instructions say, but there is this little tab on that end. I just folded that piece under but you can cut it off if you want, that is just more work for you, however. If you mess up, say miss your nail completely, just lift the wrap off carefully and rearrange them as desired, they come off rather easily. Make sure your base coat is completely dry!!! I didn’t wait long enough and the wrap started to pull my base coat off when I tried to fix my mistakes. Once you got those freaking suckers on, flatten them starting from your cuticle to the edge of your nail. Try your best to do this step carefully, or you will end up with awkward looking bumps and folds–no fun!!! After that, take the nail file they provided and swiftly, (no hesitation!!!) in one fluid motion swipe down at the edge of your nails to remove the excess. It takes some time getting used to, but it’s rather easy after a few times. I find that doing it once in a quick fashion makes a cleaner edge. Then apply your top coat as usual. Protect and Shine! That should seal down your design and you are ready to take on the rest of your day. It can be a little time consuming at first, but I bet I could do this in like 25 to 30 minutes, start to finish, easily. Even less if I’m really wanted.

What I really enjoyed about these nail wraps are they provide you with really unique designs that if done with regular nail polish would take a considerable amount of time (Ain’t no one got time for that!!! LOL.) and patience to get the details perfect or at least reasonable. Not to mentioned, it can require lots of different nail polishes–colors, finishes, textures–dear lord, it’s too much. Plus, it’s great for that inner lazy girl inside all of us. Don’t lie, I know you ladies know what I’m talking about! Hehe. Well, most of  you…haha. Moving on!!

Bottom Line:

Price: Ouch. It is kinda expensive. $16+. You do however, get two sheets of nail wraps and standard nail file. You could probably get two uses out of this for sure and maybe four times if you really are careful about using and applying them.

Accessibility: So far I’ve seen these only online. I do remember seeing the brand, NCLA in Little Tokyo, LA. But other that, I’m not sure where you can buy these in-store. 😦

How long do they last? Quite long actually, but since I’m pretty brutal with my nails, the edges started to peel off after a week.

Ease of Use: Simple and forgiving. If you mess up applying they easily lift off and you reapply them again. If the size is too small you can stretch them out a few cms, I would say. Though, if you pick a nail wrap that is too big for your nail, I suggest trying to find another nail to put it on. If that doesn’t work trash it and try again. You can try cutting them down yourself but it that seems to defeat the purpose a little. =/

Overall: These are super cute on the nails and it looks like you spend hours on your nails. Effortlessness in a sheet of stickers!!! I know I keep calling them wraps just because that is what they are called but they are really just stickers! Co-owner and friend, thought I had actually water marbled my nails until I told her they were just nail wraps. Can’t get any better than that! I then said to her, “Though is it hard to get the nail wrap to perfectly cover the entire nail.” She replied with, “It really doesn’t matter now that I think about it because even when you apply nail polish on your nails, you don’t get the polish perfectly to the edges anyway.” True dat! Nothing is perfect in this world, I guess I should stop using this word. Hehe. ^-^

This product is definitely, Mar approved!! Despite the price. Meep.

And, here be more pictures! Meow! Too much caffeine, lol.NLCA_SHOW2

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A shot of me removing the nail wraps. As you can see pulling off the nail wraps somewhat damaged my nails. But, I buffed my nails out and they’re just fine now. ^-^ NCLA_REMENANTS

The remnants of the nail wraps after removing them from my nails. It looks like an abstract piece of artwork! lol.

Till next time,

Marissa

NOTD Reverse Glitter Ombre using #2 Kiss of Fire (Etude House)

*a wild Marissa appears!!* I’m such an nerd. 😛

Hi, everyone! I’m on my way out to run some late morning errands and I decided to do a little blog before I leave. I am the type of person who would constantly change her nails much like I do underwear. Hyperbole much? LOL. But, I honestly can’t wear the same nail polish or style for too long, no matter how much I liked it. I remember I did Bubzbeauty’s Floral Nails which took me like two hours for me to do and after like a week or so I had to move on to something else. I’ll start picking at it and afterwards it doesn’t look very pretty. Pretty, is like everything I stand for!? Hahaha, jk. Anyway, my mum noticed that I had changed my nails and exclaimed, “Marissa, what did you do your nails!!! Didn’t it take you forever to do that?!” Haha, oh mother.

After looking at my plain bare nails for past two days, I decided I had to do something. Since I still can’t find my nail polishes in the cave of no return AKA my garage, I thought why not use Etude House’s JuicyCocktail #2 Kiss of Fire in a different way? I was thinking of using glitter polish on a couple of nails as like accent but I ended up doing a reverse glitter ombre. I have to say I think I like it reversed more so than having the tips of the nails be glittery. Cool, ne?

Bonus!! While I was rearranging my room I found these NCLA Self-Adhesive Designer Nail Wraps, which I had received with my Little Black Bag from a few months back. Can’t wait to use those next! W00t! W00t!! By the way, does anyone use Little Black Bag? I don’t think I really like their new VIP package deal thing they just implemented. I miss the $29.95 or $49.95 fixed price bag. Sigh. Oh wells.

Well, I’ll catch ya guys later! I really need to head out, enjoy the shameless pictures!!

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Etude House – Juicy Cocktail Gradation Nails in #2 Kiss of Fire (Review)

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Make sure to check out the other nail look I made with this kit right here:

NOTD Reverse Glitter Ombre using #2 Kiss of Fire (Etude House)

Whoa, it’s been a while!! Sorry about that. I know I promised a Urban Decay review but I recently moved and a lot of my possessions have been shuffled around quite a bit. I’ll have to re-shoot everything and hopefully I’ll get around to it. Anyway, I was chilling a few days ago and decided to do my nails but I wasn’t sure what color or style I had wanted. I knew most of my nail polishes were stored in the garage. -.-;;; Then I remembered I bought a gradation nail kit from Etude House when I was in the Philippines. (Did I mention I was Filipino? I am. lol) I just happened to leave it in my purse, so I had it on hand. I thought, “Perfect! It’s a nice time for a review!!” So, to make it up to you guys, I present to you, Etude House’s Juicy Cocktail Gradation Nails in #2 Kiss of Fire!

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Such adorable packaging!! On right, my favorite base and top coat from OPI.

First of all, holy batman, that’s a long name. Haha. I heard a lot of positive reviews of Etude House from various forums, sites and most of all, from a lot beauty gurus on the youtube. (lol.) But, the only way I could try any of their products was online and was kind of a hassle so I never got around to buying any of their products. When I was in the Philippines and I saw they had Etude House, I squealed like a little school girl. I get excited about make-up, what can I say? They also had, Skin Food, Laneige (I love their Water Sleeping Mask!!!) and various Japanese brands like Majolica Majorca. I wish they had stores here in the US because it’s really hard to find just the products themselves, even in LA.

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So, what’s Etude House? As you can guess they’re a cosmetics line based in Korea. They’re known for there cute packaging and great quality products. Look at these photos, they’re super adorable.

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On with the review! The kit comes with three mini sized nail polishes. The tops of the polishes are marked by numbers (one to three) indicating which polish to apply first and so on. The instructions are in Korean but the pictures shows exactly what you need to do, so it’s pretty straight forward.

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I can’t read Korean, but pictures are stronger than words.

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Numbered just in case, good idea!

Start off with a base coat to protect our nails. I used OPI’s Start to Finish Base & Top Coat. Apply polish number one completely over your nails. It’s pretty sheer so a couple coats are needed. Remember try to keep the coats thin as possible to avoid bubbling. Wait till it drys completely.

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This is with one coat of  nail polish no. 1, pretty sheer, isn’t? This color definitely would make a good base for a french tip manicure.

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This is with three to four coats of nail polish no. 1.

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One coat of nail polish no.2 over the three-four coats of nail polish no. 1. Starting to see the gradation!!! 🙂

Then apply polish number 2 on two-thirds of your nails. Waiting game once again. But, you’ll start to see the gradation magic happening.

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Nail polish no. 3 on the tips of the nails finishes the gradation, so sparkly!!!

Next apply polish number 3 to the tips of your nails. Since the nail polish has huge chunks of glitter I suggest dabbing it on instead of brushing it on. More product will adhere to the nail.
Finally, end with a top coat to prevent chipping. All that hard work shouldn’t go to waste! My friend, Debbie (co-owner of hereforthepretty) mentioned it looks like a glitter ombre. Good name for this look, ne?

These colors really have a princess-like feel to them. It’s sparkly and girly. The color scheme reminds me of Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry OPI collection. Even though they are both quite different. I think it’s that shimmery glitter quality they both have. The first polish is a sheer champagne-peachy pink with a slight shimmer to it. Polish number two is very similar in color to number one but a little darker with lots of tiny specks of glitter and has iridescent sheen to it. Lastly, polish number 3, is a chunky pale pink glitter. When it catches the light it glimmers from silver to gold to pink and back again.

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I thought I’d provide a picture of the process on paper you so can see gradation a little better.

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Close up shot of my thumb with the finished gradation.

What I really like about this kit is it’s easy, it’s simple, elegant and effortless. Plus, who doesn’t like glitter!? I catch myself looking at my nails all the time because it’s pretty and sparkly, especially when its hits the light just right. The packaging is adorable and eye-catching. The instructions are really easy follow and the nail polishes are marked just in case you forget which is which. Best of all, the results are just as advertised. I paid about 500 PHP which is about 12 USD, so it’s pretty reasonable. If you don’t have an Etude House in your location you can easily find these sets online, with the prices varying–I think I saw this on Amazon for about the same price I paid for, including shipping. Just be careful when ordering online and make sure the seller you are buying from is reliable. I’ve purchased a palette off Amazon UK and it ended up being a fake! Anyway, they’re five other sets to the Juicy Cocktail Gradation Nails line, ranging for blues, purples, oranges, to silver and gold. So this line is very appealing to a large number of individuals because of the variation offered. I give this set the Mar Stamp of approval! Fufufufu!!

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Another shoot of the final look! Don’t forget the top coat. Ignore the emails, I get so many I just don’t bother with it. It drives me friends nuts that I don’t delete them, sorry if you’re the same way! lol. -.-;;;;

Hope you enjoyed the review, look forward to more from us!