CG Adventure Red-y vs Essie Head Mistress (and a few others)

My lovely reader Miely requested a comparison between China Glaze Adventure Red-y and Essie Head Mistress, both from fall 2012 collections.  I knew they were close to a few other reds I own, so I threw them in for reference as well (do you think I have enough of the same color?).  I’m taking comparison swatch requests, so just let me know what you want to see 🙂

Shown is two coats of each.

As you can see, Adventure Red-y and Head Mistress are similar, but HM is a bit lighter and in real life, you can tell that AR is slightly less blue-toned.  Apertif and Vodka & Caviar are the lightest of the bunch, and Apertif is the lightest ant most orange-y of them all.  Tate also has a slightly orange-y undertone, while the rest appear a bit more on the blue side.  I know its hard to tell from the pictures (click on it to make it bigger).

Size Matters is almost a berry, and much more opaque than any of the others.  Compared to the rest, Adventure Red-y actually seems a bit like a brick red, but on its own, you can’t tell.

Formula wise, Size Matters, Tate, and Adventure Red-y are really opaque and apply very well.  Apertif is a teeny bit sheer, but it’s good with two or three thin coats.  Vodka & Caviar is actually a jelly, so while application is excellent, you do need a third coat to cover visible nail line.  And Head Mistress is the least manageable of all, but I’ve seen worse.

Do you need them all? Clearly, that’s a no.  My picks are Vodka & Caviar, Tate, Size Matters, and Adventure Red-y, depending on what kind of red goes best with your skin tone.  Also, Size Matters feels a bit more holiday-esque than a simple classic red, so that might be a deciding factor.

Hope this was helpful!  Again, please feel free to request any comparisons you want to see!  I actually had a lot of fun with this.


LDTTWC Day 1: I should have been born in…

As some of you already know, today begins the Let’s Do the Time Warp Challenge sponsored by Nail Polish Canada and Neverland Nail Blog!  I signed up immediately, mostly because I’m a history nerd and thought it was an awesome idea, but also because it would force me to do more nail art.  For those of you who are curious, here’s the schedule for the next four weeks (two posts a week):

I seriously considered being a total nerd and picking a decade from the 17th century or something, but I went the easier route and picked the 1920s!  I’ve always loved the 20s: it was a decade of luxury, freedom, and opportunity.  People traveled around the world, and sat around partying or went to secret speakeasies.  Plus, almost every great gangster movie is set in the 20s.

For this challenge, I was inspired by the gorgeous art deco elements that made their way into almost everything during this period.  Here’s what I came up with:

I used Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens, Sonia Kashuk Dime a Dozen, Sally Hansen Plum Luck, Sally Hansen Onyx, China Glaze First Mate, and Finger Paints Go Van Gogh.

I’m not entirely happy with them, but I decided I wasn’t patient enough to tape off all the lines, so oh well.  I love the colors and the design, I just wish I was better at straight lines.  Definitely improving, though.

This challenge is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I’m having a lot of fun with it!

Click here to see the amazing designs from other Time Warp Challenge participants:

Fall Favorites

Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  I just love the cooler weather, cozy knits, and deep colors.  Since my nail polish collection has probably quadrupled from what I had last year, I thought I’d share the polishes that I will be using a lot this fall.  These are just some of my favorites, but you can also check out my Fall Color Guide if you want to see what this season’s trends are.

1. Essie Chinchilly: because I love gray, and this one is pretty near perfect (plus, the name is super cute).

2. China Glaze Jungle Queen: as close as I will ever get to Chanel Particulare, I love the dark neutral with the unexpected fuchsia shimmer.

3. a-England Tristam: gorgeous navy and holographic microglitter… need I say more?

4. Sonia Kashuk Two Cent: rich metallic copper that seriously glows, this is like fall in a bottle!

5. Deborah Lippmann Don’t Tell Mama: one of my favorite dark polishes, it’s subtle, but the green shimmer is beautiful.

6. Essie Stylenomics: another so-dark-it’s-almost-black green, but without the shimmer – still gorgeous (in the sun)

7. Nails Inc. Hampstead Gardens: it’s kind of an ugly color (my little sister nicknamed it “mustard poop”), but I still love it!

8. China Glaze Man Hunt: cobalt is big this fall, and I love that this is almost navy, but still super vibrant (I’m also loving CG First Mate for a great fall blue)

9. Orly Mirror Mirror: a beautiful, clean gray for those days when I don’t feel like wearing a dark polish

10. Essie Wicked: a classic. I think I’m on my third bottle.

11. Nails Inc. Tate: the perfect, classic, slightly blue-toned dark red

12. OPI Germanicure by OPI: (the only one of these I don’t own yet) gorgeous vampy shimmer – something completely missing from my collection

13: Julep Stefani: metallic charcoal, set apart by the addition of tiny gold flakes – love!

14: China Glaze Mahogany Magic: because when else can you wear warm brown polish?

15: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques: an oldie, but a goodie. I’m still obsessed with dark taupes

16: Essie Bordeaux: blood-red (or wine, I guess) colored jelly – another favorite!

17: Sonia Kashuk Emerald City: the perfect dark emerald green (Essie Going Incognito is another good one)

18: China Glaze Desert Sun: the color of pumpkin pie, butterscotch, and caramel apples

19: butter LONDON All Hail the Queen: slightly holographic nude, appropriate for any occasion, but still really special – it’s my “good luck” polish

20: OPI Number One Nemesis: an almost-dupe for Chanel Graphite, this feels super edgy, trendy, and expensive, but still easy to pull off

These are just a few of the polishes I’m looking forward to wearing a lot this fall, and hopefully I’ll get around to swatching them soon.  What are yours?

Fashion’s Night Out

Fashion’s Night Out is easily the best metallic, and probably the best overall, nail polish formula I have ever tried.  I absolutely love this polish, and based on this alone, I am totally sold on Nails Inc. and can’t wait to get more!

FNO was released last year (I think) for the Fashion’s Night Out event that takes place in major cities around the world to celebrate the fashion industry.  The only reason I got this was because it was on sale for $5 and I needed a few more dollars worth of stuff to get free shipping.  And I am so glad I did.  Just look at it!  It’s an amazing deep, smoky blue metallic polish.  The only somewhat similar polish I have is Essie Over the Edge, but FNO is much more blue.

The best part?  THIS WAS ONE COAT.  That’s right, a true one-coat, streak-free beautiful metallic polish.  I was amazed when I put this on.  Well done, Nails Inc.

If you have a chance to get your hands on this, do it.  Seriously.  You won’t regret it.  I might actually get a backup and I’ve only worn this once so far.  It’s that amazing.  I think it’s safe to say this will be my staple polish this winter.


For the past year, I have been searching for my perfect purple.  I’m not sure if this is it, but it comes really close.  This is Westminister from Nails Inc.  I understand there is another Nails Inc. polish with this name, though I couldn’t really find much info about that.

This is a nice medium purple.  It’s not too dark, and it leans a little more blue than red.  I really love this polish!  It’s a lovely color, and really easy to apply.

This is two coats of Westminister with no top or base coats.

I got this a few weeks ago on sale at Sephora with a few other Nails Inc. polishes.  Keep in mind that these bottles are a little smaller than the typical full size bottle (like OPI or Essie).  At Sephora, Nails Inc. polishes are $9.50 for .33 ml.  I paid $5 each for my four bottles, but I love them so much, I don’t think I’ll mind paying full price in the future.

Have you tried Nails Inc.? What’s your favorite color?