Over the holidays I found myself in need of some nail polish. When I went to the store and perused the aisles, I came across a rack of Expressie Nail Polishes. They are from the brand Essie but they are designed to dry in under a minute. As the quicker a nail polish dries the less chance I have to mess the polish up, I was all in. I picked a color that suited the day (Get a Mauve On), paid for it at the register and was on my way.
Back at my Mom’s house I sat down to do a quick paint.
This is a pungent nail polish. It smells like a nail polish but its scent wafts around pretty strongly. It leaves no one in doubt that someone is painting their nails. The brush is slightly on the wide side. If I went down the center of the nail with the brush then it covered my whole nail and then left paint on the sides. While Nail polish easily washes off the skin, I found it less messy to Use two swipes instead of one straight down the center. The brush size does allow for that and I didn’t need to dip the brush between the two strokes.
I also only needed one coat to get the color I wanted. Having only one coat does mean that painting my nails took less time. However it wasn’t the lack of a second coat that Essie claims will cut down the time. The Expressie line is made to dry in only a minute.
So did it?
Yes. Actually it was a little less than a minute (my nails were dry at about 48 seconds). While away on holiday I didn’t have a clear coat to top my nail polish, but this also didn’t need the top coat. This picture of my nail was taken about a week after I applied the polish and there were still no chips. It did start to chip about two days later. For a single layer of nail polish with no protective top coat, I call that pretty good. The base color in the pics is Get a Mauve On while the tips are Throw it On. While doing the tips might have helped with the chips, even with just one color my nails lasted over a week without chipping. Over all I was very impressed with this nail polish and I will be picking up several more shades of the Expressie Nail Polish in the near future.
As many of you may be aware Complex Culture is a brand owned by IPSY. I don’t actually have a problem with this to be honest. I don’t mind subscription boxes having their own brand or sprinkling the items from that brand throughout the boxes every now and again. As long as the quality is there. Just because I like IPSY doesn’t mean I am going to give the items the produce from their own brand a pass.
And that has been an interesting journey as far as IPSY and Complex Culture go, at least for me. In general I find the makeup products from Complex Culture to be stunning to look at. The packaging is sleek and modern and just plain good looking. The color selections seemed well thought out and we as nice to look at as the packaging. Yet having received quite a number of items from Complex Culture, when you look at my makeup collection, you will find very through. Ove all, I haven’t found them to be well performing.
They look good, but don’t deliver.
In the December IPSY Glam Bag Plus though I received a duo of Nail Polishes. while I tried several makeup products from Complex Culture, I had not tried any of their nail polishes. At the moment I am trying to expand my Nail polish collection. While I love a wide variety of colors and thought I had a large collection, I found some issues over the holidays. First I purchased an acrylic Nail polish rack (basically a set of three small plastic steps with space for nail polishes). I did this so that I could actually see what I had instead of simply rummaging through the nail polishes. What I found was that I had a lot of duplicates. Mostly due to subscription boxes.
While I don’t think I have ever actually bought a pink nail polish in my life, I have about eight in varied shades of pink. There seems to be at least one every valentine’s day. Most of these will be passed on to my mother and Aunt, both of whom love pink. I will keep one or two but happily release the rest.
So when the nail polishes arrived I was more than willing to give them a try. One of the polishes in the duo is a gold and the other is a really nice Mid Century Modern green. Or to use their names Dream (gold) and Thrive (green). While I have a gold nail polish, it is a very old Revlon product. Personally I love Revlon Nail products and the Gold does perform well. It is just old enough that Revlon has changed the style of their nail polish bottles several times since I purchased it. And while I don’t mind the older style bottle and the nail polish still performs well, I am actually starting to run out of product.
I know, I am about to use the nail polish up completely. I can’t even remember the last time that happened.
So having a replacement gold in the wings is not a bad idea. And I have nothing this shade of green so that was a bonus.
So on to the nail polish. They are the round bottles which as usual for Complex Culture, look very pretty. The brushes are wide enough to cover my thumb in two swipes and my pinky in one swipe without going a lot over. it is actually the ideal width for me as far as nail polish brushes go. Too thin and you risk streaking by having to re-dip the brush to coat one nail and too wide and you waste a lot of nail polish on messy looking fingers.
Or at least that has been my experience. I like the brush size of this and I like the way they applied. I tried out the gold first. It applied well. It wasn’t especially quick drying, but it wasn’t terribly slow either. Two coats were enough to get color saturation.
With the first gold application, I forgot to add a top coat. Some of my nail polishes work well without the top coat. This isn’t one of them. The next day I washed my breakfast dishes (not a whole sink full just a bowl, spoon and cup) and the tips of my nails looked like the polish was a week old. With a top coat, this wasn’t a problem. Mostly because the top coat protected it.
The top coat I used was from OPI as it is my current top coat polish.. It works really well. Sally Beauty had a sale and I stocked up. Incidentally they still have the OPI Celebration Nail Lacquer set up for the holidays. I’m actually thinking of adding LED Marquee to my collection.
The Green of Thrive had the same need for a top coat. Again I was using the OPI so I don’t know how the Complex Culture top coat performs. without a top coat you have a day at best with either of these colors before chips appear.
The green of Thrive looked really nice, but it did take longer for each coat to dry than the Gold of Dream, and I needed three coats to achieve the color saturation that I wanted. I’m not sure why it took longer. My only guess is that as Dream was a shimmer and Thrive a matte there was a little bit of difference in the formula. Again, while it did take longer and was noticeable by the difference, it didn’t take a huge amount of time longer to dry.
But now it comes to the question of would I repurchase. The colors are nice and I haven’t seen this green anywhere else and it is nice to find a new color. That being said when I went on the Complex Culture Website, finding nail polishes wasn’t easy and only one is actually listed on the Complex Culture Site and it is a red one. If you search for the nail polishes you have to go through IPSY to find them. Which is kind of an unnecessary step. And it doesn’t really let me see what other colors they have available to better judge their shade range.
But to be fair, perhaps they are just starting their nail polishes and more shades will appear as they expand.
But then there is the price. If you asked me I would have valued them in the $5-$7 range. The two nail polish brands I tend to purchase most often are OPI and Nails Inc. OPI tends to be in the $10- $13 range and Nails Inc about $8-$10. I would rank both of these well above the Complex Culture Nail Polishes. When I looked at the Complex Culture website, the cost for a single polish was $18. Which puts it on an equal price footing with Smith and Cult. I have several of their nail polishes and they are $18 when you order them. I would not put this in the same level with the Smith and Cult. The S&C wear better even without a top coat, are stunning on the nails and they look light years better in terms of packaging.
So knowing all of this would I purchase these polishes on my own? No. I will use them since I have them, but I will search for a green shade similar to this and I will find another gold to replace my disappearing Revlon. The Complex Culture simply isn’t worth the price.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a light and bright pastel sort of nail person. There is a brief window of time where pastels are my friends. I will break out the lavender, the pink and the pale pale blue and I will wear them with glee.
Generally it is around the time when the Easter Bunny comes hop hop hopping along the bunny trail. The the spring sunshine turns to summer heat. And my interest in pastells fades.
while I go for hot reds and burgundies, lately I have been loving this Slate-r Girl by Sally Hansen. I have also been really liking the formula of the Miracle Gel polish. I do a lot of work in the garden and my nails take a beating. I typically only wear clear polish when I know I am going to do yard work as the polish gives my nails a protective layer and helps prevent them from breaking as quickly.
The Miracle gel formula of these nail polishes has proven to be quite durable as I work outside, so I have been able to indulge in nail polish more this summer. The polish is thicker (and gel like) and sturdier. If that makes sense. It chips less and my nails have been breaking less as well.
And I even found a way to make the multitude of darker polishes look a little more summery. Earlier this year I found one of the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes called Let’s get Digital. It gives a blue-ish iridescent sheen to the polish. While I still really like the slate-r Girl Gray, there are occasions where a more summery feel is called for. I think the Let’s et Digital provides the perfect addition. It also works well with a lot of my polishes. It has shades of both blue and pink and I’ve found it generally works well with any polish with those tones. It is a simple way to summerize your nails while keeping your favorite polish. Summery or not, I am thrilled that the formula of this gel polish lasts so long and keeps my nails from taking the damage that summer usually brings. The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polish is joining Nails Inc and OPI in my top categories of nail polish. In fact, it may just have made it to the top of the list for it’s durability and color.
Looking to expand your nail polish collection? Try Sally Beauty.
While this brand is available on-line, it is primarily found, at least by me, in Target. While I have been a big Target shopper for years, this year it has become one of my main in person shopping venues. It is actually located in the same shopping complex as my grocery store so this past year it was easier to hit both Target and the grocery store in one big excursion rather than run all over town. So I have expanded my Target purchases to include anything I didn’t get at the grocery store or forgot to order on-line.
I’d like to say that this was a new to me brand that I found this year and been trying out, but honestly, Sinful Colors has been getting to me for years.
I have had several of their nail polishes in the past and their colors are fantastic. That is what draws me in every time. They look fantastic in the bottle. Each time I apply them on my nails, two coats gives me the perfect color. In fact, it always looks almost exactly like what it does in the bottle on your nails when you first apply it.
I know that sounds strange, but I have had a lot of polishes that don’t quite look the same as in the bottle. Typically from brands I no longer purchase from, but still, not all polishes look the same on the fingertips as they do in the bottle. This one does.
One of my absolute favorites is Ruby Glisten. I couldn’t find it on line, but it was still on the store shelves near me last week. I checked when i couldn’t find it on-line.
Two coats give me the perfect deep red with an understated glittery shimmer that isn’t actually glitter. It is a part of the nail polish and in my opinion absolutely stunning. To be honest any color I have ever tried from Sinful Colors has been absolutely stunning.
The problem is that as soon as you apply it and let it dry, the clock starts ticking.
I have yet to be able to keep this nail polish on my nails more than 24 hours without it chipping. I have tried top coats from a variety of brands to try and protect the color, but quite frankly nothing helps. In the photo here, this is what my nails looked like after about 48 hours.
Typically my nail polish lasts about a week before I have to replace it. At least in the winter time. Once spring gardening season starts all bets are off on the length of a good polish as it suddenly becomes weed-pulling contingent.
Over time many of Sinful Colors have come and gone from my nail polish collection. This one I keep holding onto because of the color. I think that if I end up keeping it, then I am just going to have to admit that it is a special event polish. It is a polish that is meant to be put on the day of an event and worn to that event. It will be stunning there and look fabulous, but like Cinderella’s pumpkin turned coach, it isn’t going last past the end of the ball. Trying to make to do so is just going to cause insanity.
Recently I have been absolutely loving this <a href="http://<a href="https://www.tkqlhce.com/click-9275903-14476341" target="_top">Sally Beauty Deep Link</a>Miracle Gel from Sally Hansen. In itself it doesn’t look like much when painted onto bare nails. It gives them a subtle sheen, which is nice but not all that spectacular. Oe the top of matte nail polishes however, This color really sings.
Two of my favorite matte nail polishes are the Smith & Cult Doe My Dear and the OPI Nail Lacquer Not so Bora Bora-ing Pink. Both are really nice polishes on their own. They are actually the ones I tend to wear the most frequently if I am honest. The pink is is s a sort of dusty rose with a bit of a shine to it instead of being flat matte and the Smith & Cult is just a very understated shade that goes well with everything.
I have generally noticed that with each I can get about a week’s worth of nail color out of them before they start to chip. I’ve been experimenting with different top coats to see if I could extend the life of the polish. As I’ve experimented, I’ve learned that not all top coats are created equal.
Originally I picked this up thinking it was a pastel blue with some sheen. I did not realize it was clear with an iridescence to it. I was looking for a clear coat in the <a href="http://<a href="https://www.tkqlhce.com/click-9275903-14476341" target="_top">Sally Beauty Deep Link</a>Miracle Gel formula to try out, but that section of the rack was empty. Given how this performed I can see why.
I don’t know if these pictures quite do it justice.
(as a warning, I am a messy polisher. I tend not to worry about it too much and just polish my nails, let them dry completely and then go take a shower. By the time i’ve washed hair and body, my nails look better. Also I have recently been using a new hand sanitizer that has really dried out my skin. So if that sort of thing bothers you, you might not want to look too closely. I am almost out of that bottle and will be trying out the ESPA version that came in my Glossy Box).
I know that the pairing with the Smith & Cult Doe My Dear do not come across as spectacular in photos as they are in real life. With the Smith & Cult, I really like the toned down color. It is a subtle color that goes well with everything. when I applied the <a href="http://<a href="https://www.tkqlhce.com/click-9275903-14476341" target="_top">Sally Beauty Deep Link</a>Let’s get Digital Miracle Gel over it, my nails, when i wiggle them in the light, have an iridescence to them shifts and glows as I move my fingers. It shows pink with an undertone of blue and oddly enough makes words like unicorn drift through my head. I think it reminds me of several products that use the word unicorn in them and have that sheen.
The color is quite stunning on the nails.
However it isn’t just looks that this formula provides. The miracle Gel formula also provides a really good top coat to the nails. It seals the color in and I found that instead of lasting only a week before chipping, I could almost double the length of time I could wear my manicure before I needed to take off the remnants and reapply polish. It wasn’t quite the full two weeks I made it about twelve days with both the OPI and Smith & Cult formulas.
Now I know what you are thinking. Glitter polish is a pain to take off. It practically has to be chipped off with a jack hammer and then still the color departs while the glitter can some time remain. This is true. I have regretted many a glitter polish when the time comes to remove it. however this isn’t a glitter polish. There are no particles in it. The formula is just iridescent. You can get the glittery shine without having to fight the glitter polish. Plus it goes on smoothly. There are not bumps because nothing is actually suspended in the polish. It is just a smooth gel coat.
At the moment I am a big fan of this formula as a top coat and as a color. I am going to have to pick up some more from this line in order to test out the formula more, but at the moment, this is leading the pack as far as protective top coats go.
While I did pick up the Sally Hansen Let’s get Digital in Target, I generally pick up my OPI (as well as Nails Inc and Orly, and China Glaze if it comes to that) at the Sally Beauty Site. I find it the best way to get the colors I want as they often have a broader selection of colors than my local store. I don’t know if I always hit the store when they are restocking or if they just don’t stock a wide variety where I live but it always seems like the OPI section is half empty. Maybe my neighbors like the OPI formula as much as I do and they can’t keep it in stock. Who knows? I just know I like choice in my colors. Plus I like ordering several colors at once so I always have a selection to choose from. I recently just got rid of several older polishes and found my selection dimmed. It was a purge a long time coming, but it doesn’t make it any happier. At least I soon get to restock. Plus Sally Beauty has Free US Ground Shipping for Orders over $35. And I can definitely order more than $35 worth of nail polish.