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The New Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground Collection: This Fashion Playground Looks Good Outside, Like It Was Inspired by Mother Nature

Published in: Collections, Essie, Nails

Essie Spring 2014

The new six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection

A Fashion Playground?

Nay, I say it’s an equinox-icating spring feast for the eyes! Like spring distilled into nail polish bottles, except without the — AHCHOO! — allergies.

Pass the Zyrtec and Kleenex, please, because I do not want to sneeze all over these beautiful bottles.

Like butterflies, the six-piece Essie Spring 2014 Fashion Playground collection flitted onto counters earlier this month, and I treated my paws to ‘em this morning (SKITTLES MANI!) before going for a walk…

It’s crazy just how springy these six shades seem, like the bright blue sky and the two blue shades, or the mint green and the budding leaves on the oak trees outside. There’s also a big cherry tree down the street, and the blossoms are spitting images of the peach and pink pastels. And then there’s the fire bougainvillea bush, which could have been painted by the bright red.

These colors totally say, “Hey, y’all, spring is in full effect!” to me. :)

Officially, fashion runways were supposed to have inspired this release, like vintage denim and oversized prints — that kind of thing — but my crazy makeup mind sees more Mother Nature’s influence than Michael Kors’. Like Team Essie sat down with Mother Nature and brainstormed over a few cups of really strong Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in a caffeine-fueled frenzy, then BOOM! — someone in the art department mixed some acrylics at the table to come up with azure Hide & Go Chic, light denim Truth or Flare, pistachio Fashion Playground, peachy nude Spin the Bottle, crimson Style Hunter and pale tea rose Romper Room.

What to watch

Essie is well-known for their delicate nudes and pastels, and chances are good that if you walk into any nail salon that carries the brand, you’ll see pale pinks, peaches and beiges FOR DAYS.

OK, those are fairly great, but I always look forward to their blues and greens (see: Mojito Madness, Pretty Edgy, Naughty Nautical and Under the Twilight).

Over the past few years, Essie’s released quite a few jazzy blue and green shades I can remember, which is kind of funny considering that for years I thought of the line as specializing in dainty bridal nails — primarily pinks and nudes.

This time around, I think the blues and greens are again the colors to watch out for (at least for me).

Hide & Go Chic

Essie Hide & Go Chic

Hide & Go Chic (two coats)

If you get a chance, let your paws play with Hide & Go Chic, the dark creamy blue.

I mean, look at it! It’s so rich… So deep… And a single layer works just fine (even though I went with two to be consistent with the other shades).

I also think this is the one that’ll sing on the widest range of skin tones. It’s the people’s blue!

Truth or Flare

Essie Truth or Flare

Truth or Flare (two coats)

True or Flare, the lighter, vintage denim blue, definitely benefits from a second coat. On my NC42 skin, I feel like the color doesn’t reach out and grab you by the eyeballs as readily as Hide & Go Chic. I like it, but I have a feeling it’ll like lighter lasses best.

Fashion Playground

Essie Fashion Playground

Fashion Playground (two coats)

And then there’s the green… Fashion Playground. Described as a pistachio shimmer, it certainly sounds delicious to me. :) But I get more of a straight-up mint cream, as the tiny flecks of silver glitter swimming in the formula are very hard to see.

At first glance, it resembles Essie’s Candy Apple, but upon closer inspection I think it’s sightly deeper and darker.

One may have to play with Fashion Playground a bit (Ha! Sorry, bad pun). Two thick coats deliver fully opaque coverage, but they have to be thick… With thinner coats, it can look a little streaky and require 3-4 layers.

The remaining colors — the bright red and two creamy pale shades — strike me as rather typical of Essie (I feel like I’ve seen shades like them before), which is neither good nor bad, but they don’t really light my fire like the blues and greens.

Style Hunter

Essie Style Hunter

Style Hunter (two coats)

Crimson Style Hunter leans, ever so slightly, toward magenta. This one should be a blast on toes, methinks. :) One coat or two works well.

Romper Room

Essie Romper Room

Romper Room (two coats)

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Like Lip Product Lycanthropes, These New Bobbi Brown Art Sticks Combine a Lipstick and a Liner in One Chunky Crayon

Published in: Bobbi Brown, Collections, Makeup

Makeup pop quiz question 1: Is it a lipstick, a lip liner or just a good ‘ol-fashioned excuse to pretend we’re back in eighth-grade art class?

Answer: D, all of the above. The new Bobbi Brown Art Sticks ($26 each) are all of those things!

Spotted these chunky lip crayons at Saks Fifth Avenue in the city this afternoon. They’re like lipstick lycanthropes — part lipstick, part liner, 100-percent pure chunky stick pencil fun.

And pretty convenient tools if you like to streamline, am I right?

Not that I’m prepared to ditch any of the 3,646 lip products I regularly tote around with me throughout the day, but still. It’s nice to know that if I could streamline my lip product situation if I ever needed to.

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The Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Collection Intoxicates Makeup Lovers With an Ambrosia of Beige, Brown, Peach and Coral

Published in: Bobbi Brown, Collections

The new Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Collection

The new Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Collection

Truth be told, I was not expecting to run into this ray of sunshine when I swung by the Bobbi Brown counter at the mall today.

I was just stopping by to spritz a little Beach on my wrist (seriously, on a cold day, that stuff is better than an electric blanket), but then I spotted this limited edition collection…

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Collection

Clockwise from the round pan in the lower left: the limited edition Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Hibiscus ($26); limited edition Nectar & Nude Eye Palette ($48); limited edition Glitter Nail Polish in Bare Peach ($15); and the limited edition Lip Glosses in Nectar, Nude Pink and Bare Peach ($25 each). Not pictured from the collection: limited edition Nail Polish in Nectar ($15) and the permanent Nectar Shimmer Brick ($42)

It reminds me of 2012′s Neons & Nudes collection (remember that one?), but with peach and coral instead of purple and hot pink.

I do wish the eyeshadows weren’t so…well, nude. I would’ve loved to see some darker, richer browns, but that’s probably just my tan talking (“Please, Bobbi! Don’t make me have to apply so many layers!”). Lighter lasses should be able to pull off these shades (and do great things with them) more easily.

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Eye Palette

The Nectar & Nude Eye Palette ($48)

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Eye Palette

The eyeshadows in the Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Lip Glosses

Nectar & Nude Lip Glosses ($25 each)

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The OPI Brazil Beach Sandies Mini Kit Says Bye-Bye to Boring With Four Vivid Textured Polishes

Published in: Collections, Nails, OPI

The new four-piece OPI Brazil Beach Sandies Mini Kit

The new four-piece OPI Brazil Beach Sandies Mini Kit, $12.95

Very clever, OPI. Very clever. :)

The part of me that lives to over-think the symbolic significance of everything loves the juxtaposition of gritty sand, neutrals and bright pigments in the OPI Brazil collection.

On one end, there are the sandy-colored neutral polishes in the overarching 12-piece OPI Brazil collection, which all have a smooth, creamy finish.

On the other, there are the four vivacious mini polishes here in the accompanying Brazil Beach Sandies Kit ($12.95), all of which have OPI’s pebbled, textured Liquid Sand finish in bright, eye-catching shades, also known as psychedelic party sand for your paws.

Even if you aren’t a big fan of textured polishes, I think these vivid shades are still worth a try if you like playful, cheerful colors. They’re seriously smile-inducing, and the names — You’re So Flippy Floppy, What’s a Little Rain Forest, Samba-dy Loves Purple and I’m Brazil Nuts Over You — are catchy, too.

In each of the swatches below, I’m wearing two coats…

OPI You're So Flippy Floppy

You’re So Flippy Floppy

OPI What's A Little Rain Forest

What’s A Little Rain Forest


OPI Samba-dy Loves Purple

Samba-dy Loves Purple

OPI I'm Brazil Nuts Over You

I’m Brazil Nuts Over You

OPI Brazil Beach Sandies Mini Kit

The front of the box

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It’s a Carnival of Color as Vivid Brights Samba on Tips and Toes in OPI’s New Brazil Collection

Published in: Collections, Nails, OPI

The OPI Brazil collection

Next time I enjoy a plate of feijoada while beautiful women in colorful bejeweled thongs and feathered headdresses dance around my table, you better believe I’ll be wearing one or two (or 12!) of the shades in OPI’s new Brazil collection on my nails!

The OPI Brazil collection, available now

The OPI Brazil collection, available now

Where am I going with this?

One word: Brazil (by way of San Francisco).

One of my favorite places to eat in the city is a Brazilian restaurant called Canto do Brazil, and dining there is a total experience. First, the food — beyond yummy, and not overpriced (the plantains, beans and rice, OMG!).

But that’s not all. There’s also the show. :) While you eat, gorgeous Brazilian showgirls in Carnival regalia dance around the tables and try to coax diners to dance with them.

Last time I was there, I was too focused on the mountain of carb-tacular goodness in front of me to shake my groove thang, but next time, it’s ON! Because I’ll have an extra reason — the beautiful brights in OPI’s new 12-piece collection ($9 each), which I love, love, LOVE.

OK, sure, I think the neutrals in the collection are pretty, too. I mean, I appreciate elegant neutral nails as much as the next girl, especially when worn with a bright lipstick, and I think the muted pewter, taupe, mocha, nude and chocolate shades here play off bolder colors nicely.

But the brights! Oh, the brights… Inspired by rainforest flowers, the creamy yellow, coral, orange, pink, red and deep jungle green, are just so blasted rich and vivid that you may feel the urge to hop on a flight to Rio right meow. :)

OPI I Just Can't Cope-Acabana, a creamy sunshine yellow

Just Can’t Cope-Acabana, a creamy sunshine yellow

OPI AmazON...AmazOFF, a creamy deep jungle green

AmazON…AmazOFF, a creamy deep jungle green

OPI Where Did Suzi's Man-Go?, a creamy mango orange

Where Did Suzi’s Man-Go?, a creamy mango orange

OPI Kiss Me I'm Brazilian, a creamy warm pink

Kiss Me I’m Brazilian, a creamy warm pink

OPI Toucan Do It If You Try, a creamy confidant orange

Toucan Do It If You Try, a creamy confidant orange

OPI Live.Love.Carnaval, a vibrant coral

Live.Love.Carnaval, a vibrant coral

OPI Red Hot Rio, a ruby red

Red Hot Rio, a ruby red

OPI Scores a Goal, a creamy rich chocolate

OPI Scores a Goal, a creamy rich chocolate

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