Friday, April 29, 2016

#SCKJVelvet Trend Matters (1/?): Sinful Colors Mauve On

Can we take a collective moment to appreciate the name of this polish? 🙌 I know Kylie's family has to spell things a certain way because $$$ (which I am giving, freely -- I will 100% acknowledge that #iamtheproblem) and I know this particular name doesn't lend itself to an unnecessary K, but even so, perhaps this is something she can look into in her year of realizing things.

Anyway, there's a new Sinful Kylie collection starting to pop up at Walgreens called "Denim & Bling." According to Instagram, there are glitters, shimmers, and possibly even texture (?!). I haven't come across this display yet because I am trying to behave -- I'm still in love with the Wags-exclusive Trend Matters velvet mattes that came out earlier this month. How much in love, you wonder? Oh, "feeling the velvet mattes SO much more than Target's satin mattes, which may or may not be reflected in the amount I ended up buying" in love. >___<

You know what else I'm still in love with? Mauve. Sans top coat, I don't think this one is my best look, but damn it, it's too gorgeous. Grandma chic plus. So here's Mauve On, one of the Wags exclusives, which I passed up three times before breaking down and getting it. (Steff -- and all of you who loved Sinful Glazy Sunday! -- I think you'll love this one.)

Full disclosure, I had to soften some of these pics around a couple of cuticles ... I'm trying a new cuticle oil and no matter how long I wait after I apply it, those areas still look sharp AF when I take photos. I don't know if it's all that noticeable to you, but it was bugging me.

As I said, not exactly my best look. As pastels go, Mauve On is on the dustier side. Plus since it's more of a pinky/lavender-based mauve, it blends into my skin tone a little without top coat. But it's so pretty! AND THE SHIMMER. YES, GAWD.

I actually had a hard time applying this polish, but it wasn't because of the formula. Nope, it was my brush! It seemed kind of ... skinnier than usual, and upon closer inspection, it looks like it's missing half the amount of bristles that give Sinful brushes their usual girth. Anyway, this really pissed me off because I messed up and had to remove and reapply this polish, which was not a great idea when you also have the caffeine jitters. (#blamemercury) If you have a normal brush, though, then you won't have any problems. Of course, make sure you clean your nails off really well and lay down a good base coat because any ridges, bumps, stray cat hair, or whatever will show up.

Okay, now here's Mauve On with GCS on top:

Curse you, Kylie Kristen.

I don't know if it's a top coat darkening quirk or the top coat's ability to reflect the deeper mauve tones, but I think this becomes a more wearable, blueberry yogurt-type color for me with top coat. Again, THAT SHIMMER. Slay! Just a note, I believe Mauve On is just a little darker than Glazy Sunday (the aforementioned Porcelain Matte); Mauve On also contains golden shimmer while Glazy Sunday's shimmer is more of a scattered pink microglitter (I have not tried the latter yet, maybe soon while I'm on the mauve train). I think Mauve On's shimmer was more visible than Kold Kash's was; this polish might look like a regular creme from a distance, but you'll see it roughly at arm's length. I appreciated that it didn't fade within the two days I wore this -- it was a nice little something special. :)

No major reports on wear (I'm taking it off today), because this is just a quick enabler post so's you can run and scoop it up in case your Walgreens store replaces the Trend Matters display with Denim & Bling. Again, these Sinful Kylie polishes are $2.99, which makes it easy for me to forgive Mauve On's wacktastic brush. If you are like me and have very few to non-existent nail polish scruples, then I enthusiastically recommend the SCKJ Velvet mattes. Shit, don't even think about it. Just buy them all. If you don't like them, I guarantee you will find someone who will take them because Sinful's drugstore polish game is LIT.

I can't believe May begins in two days! (WTF, 2016.) In terms of blog content, I think it's safe to say that you probably can expect roughly the same number of posts as you've seen for March and April (so, 5). I know it's not even close to what I used to churn out, but that's a pretty good number for me these days and I appreciate every visit from you guys. Thank you! FYI, I'm working on a fun post and if you want to see more of my shameful Kylie purchases or have a Kylie request, well, you know what to do ... Happy Friday, and have a good weekend. I'll see you next month!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Zoya Jace + Top Coat Test: Part I

Took a break from pastels and King Kylie (lol) to enable post a Zoya today. In the past, I used to push Zoya during April to share potential Zoya Exchange purchases, but since that didn't happen this year, surely I could share one Zoya.

Y'all know I love a weird green, just so long as it plays well with my skin tone. After the undocumented fail that was Zoya Shawn, I wasn't so sure about Zoya Jace when I saw last summer's Island Fun collection at Ulta. The Island Fun colors reminded me a heck of a lot of the Summertime collection (2011), so I skipped it until I saw clearance stickers a few months later. I don't know why, but there's something about a clearance sticker that makes me go full ham, so when I grabbed a handful of Zoyas, I grabbed Jace, too. (And then I proceeded to stay away from Ulta for like two months.)

I am happy to say that Jace is what I wanted Shawn to be: swampy, but not too drab or unflattering for me. According to Zoya, Jace is a tropical green. I guess that works???? It has lots of olive in it. I also think Jace has more of a medium depth than Shawn did, which I appreciate.

Three coats with a new top coat I'm trying out. :)

See what I mean about the color? Anyway, I think it's a little darker on the nail, but not too much. I am very much digging it, and am very glad I decided to go for it in the end. I don't know that this would survive a battle against greens like RBL Become One or Sinful Exotic Green because Jace is warmer than those two; in the back of my mind, I'm crushing on a nice medium green creme and I don't want to buy the new one from OPI New Orleans right now.

This is one of those Zoya cremes that is a total dream to apply: so smooth and buttery! If you have a heavier touch while polishing, then you'll be able to get this opaque in two coats. I found that I needed three, but I'm not sure if that's because I tend to go easy when I'm polishing or if Jace really does need three coats. Either way, it looked patchy to me at two under the OttLite, so. Dry time with this new top coat was pretty fast, which made me pretty happy, too. While I didn't have any staining after removing Jace, it would be good to keep Cutique or some whitening paste around just in case if you use a different base coat than I do.

Okay, so about this new top coat. I'm experimenting with various top coats to find out which one will be my new Zoya go-to when I've used up my remaining bottle of Cult Nails Wicked Fast. As we all know when it comes to nail stuff, YMMV due to body chemistry and other factors. However, Zoya nail polish has the peculiar distinction of not playing well with top coats from many, many brands, which makes finding a new Zoya-compatible top coat a bit of a challenge.

Most of us remember ALU's Zoya Ivanka Wear Test from back in the day (if you don't, read it HERE). The main takeaway of that post is in this paragraph:
It’s all about an ingredient called CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE. Any base coats containing it will prevent their polish from adhering and top coats with the ingredient must be carefully formulated to work with Zoya lacquer. Any guesses what ingredient is in the majority of quick dry top coats?? Ding, ding ding!!
Good to know, right? Here's the thing, though: my beloved Wicked Fast also contained cellulose acetate butyrate ("CAB" from this point forward). I figured I would chalk up my success with Zoya and Wicked Fast to two things, the first being body chemistry and the second being the actual formulation of CAB in Wicked Fast.

CAB positive.

I've noticed that ALU post continues to be a resource even now, six years later. And that's awesome. Buuuuut I've also noticed that means people tend automatically tend to rule out any top coat containing CAB, which was interesting. Let's revisit that paragraph in Michelle's post. The edits in red are me:
Any base coats containing it will prevent their polish from adhering and top coats with the ingredient must be carefully formulated to work with Zoya lacquer.
"Must be carefully formulated"? I was grasping at straws, but there was enough of a loop hole in those four words for me to start adding top coats with CAB into the lineup to try. I mean, if Zoya played well with Wicked Fast, there's gotta be something else it'll work with, too.

Here're a couple of my stipulations for my Zoya Compatibility & Wear Test:
  1. I wanted to try a creme polish first, because sometimes when you wear a shimmery polish, any cracks or weirdness in your top coat won't be visible right away. I was curious about Jace and I'm super feeling green polish right now, which made this polish an easy choice. Plus it's not too light or too dark. Will I try Jace every time I try a new top coat? For variety's sake, I might not; I'd like to see how other top coats wear with shimmers and glass flecks, too. I guess the Zoya brand would be my constant. 
  2. Now that I'm opening up this Zoya experiment to other top coats with CAB as an ingredient, my primary criterion is that this top coat is readily available for purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. I've heard amazing things about HK Girl's Glisten & Glow top coat, and I'm sure I will try that someday, but right now I need to be able to have physical access to products.
  3. In addition to being easily accessible in a brick & mortar store, I prefer top coats that are core products and nothing in danger of being discontinued or -- heavens forbid -- limited edition.
  4. Last but not least, it needs to cost up to $8 without a coupon or discount. I tend to stock up on Seche and Gelous when Sally's has a treatment sale, and whenever there's a free Essie top coat promo at Ulta, I'll go for that because it's not like I wasn't going to buy an Essie polish anyway. But I cannot be rolling with crazy prices right now -- that'll just put a dent in my clearance bin budget. 😜

First up in my top coat experiment is a top coat that I remember being a low-key fave on the old MUA nail board. I don't think I bought it until after I'd been blogging for a few months, so this is at least four years old. Bottle shot time!

Please excuse the OttLite glare! At least you can see where the ingredients list includes CAB.

Salon size, bitch. I bought this one at Walmart back in the day.

Some observations:
  • Formula: Even taking into account any new versions of the Pro-FX formula as well as the fact that I own a salon-sized bottle that I for some reason never used, I have to say that I really liked the formula. It reminded me of NYC GCS and Cult Nails Wicked Fast in that it's thinner than and not quite as viscous as SV. But unlike GCS, I didn't have any of the streaking that sometimes happens with GCS.
  • Application: Again I have to point to my humongous bottle, because I'll bet the brush is a little easier to wield with a regular-sized one. I had to let some of the top coat drip off the brush or else I would have over done it, but other than that, it was all gravy. I've noticed that it will streak a little if you use too thin of a coat or you go over your original coat top coat, so that's something to avoid. I also have to wonder if this is as easy to apply once you've put a usage dent in your bottle.
  • Self-leveling?: I don't think Pro-FX self-levels, really. I didn't have any issues with Jace self-leveling on its own, so I didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary in that department and will have to try Pro-FX with a fussier Zoya.
  • Dry time: I think it was about on par with Wicked Fast (so, faster than GCS but not as speedy as SV).
  • Misc.: I'm pretty sensitive to scents, but I don't think this top coat is a particularly stinky one. And on another front, my skin and nails didn't seem to have any weird reactions to this. Win. 

The pictures I posted at the beginning of this post were taken the day I put Jace on, so you have a pretty good idea of what it looks like. Here are some not-so-color-accurate pics of the rest of the time I wore it:

Day 2: left hand + right hand

Day 3: left hand + right hand. My middle right nail was starting to peel that day, and finally chipped when I reached into my purse to grab my wallet at Marshalls. Boo hiss.

Day 4: Missing my left hand but w/e because it looked the same as the days before and for some reason I have three pictures of my right hand, which, ughhhhhhhhhh.

Day 5: left hand + right hand. That left corner of my left middle finger was starting to chip at this point.

I could have gone a few more days wearing this, but honestly? My nails were getting way too long (I hadn't cut them in almost two weeks) and I hated staring at those chips. In the scheme of things, those chips are not as disastrous as others I've had in the past. I washed dishes without gloves, took long showers (okay, when my hair is as long as it is, long showers are a given), cooked, and baked; in other words, I like to think I've put this Zoya and top coat through its paces. Maybe next time, I should wash & detail my car. HA.

  • Days worn: 5
  • Base coat(s) used: 1 coat of SS Instant Artificials (pink bottle).
  • Tip wear: Almost nonexistent until Day 4, and even then it was so minimal compared to what a lot of polishes do with SV that I'm thrilled about this.
  • Cracking at sides? None!!
  • Shine: Dulled and scratched after the first day, but no more than any top coat does. I think this is comparable to GCS and Wicked Fast. SV has a crazy shine but it dulls and scratches incredibly fast; without that much of a shine factor here, it would make sense that the dulling & scratching wouldn't be too much, either.
  • Days without chips: 2. Sadface. However, I've often said my right index and middle nails are my weakest ones, so it pretty much takes a miracle for them not to chip these days.
  • Any other issues? Sadly, there is one problem with this Pro-FX top coat, but I don't think I'll have to deal with it for a long time. I didn't get a chance to pop into a huge Walmart last week, but I did run into a little one near my parents', where I noticed that store didn't have a recent version of my Quick Dry. Instead, they had this:

    Cameo appearance by my Sally card

    Another reason I'm side-eyeing the "gel" trend, negl. I didn't buy this because I'm still sitting on my big ol' salon-size bottle, but if any of you have, it would be so helpful if you could weigh in as to whether this "supreme gel" does anything in the self-leveling department!

Pro-FX verdict: I would be lying if I said this top coat wasn't the one to beat so far! Yes, I did get some chips, but again, those are my chip-prone fingers. It is what it is.

If you read all the way through this post, you rock. Anyone liking Jace? What's in your Zoya Exchange cart? What's your current favorite top coat to use with Zoya? Any other Pro-FX lovers in the house? I NEED TO KNOW.

Thanks for reading! I would like to post one more time this week, but I can't decide what to blog. Another Kylie? Another Zoya? A completely random Prince-tastic purple? I don't know about you, but I am far more cut up about Prince than I thought I would be. :(

Monday, April 18, 2016

#SCKJSatin Trend Matters (1/?): Sinful Colors Kold Kash

Sometimes you post two drugstore polishes in a row, then a high-end one, then the drugstore brand again ... I believe it's called balance. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Since I can't be the only one who's got money on my mind today, here's Sinful Colors Kold Kash, one of the new Kylie Jenner Trend Matters polishes that is exclusive to Target. Here's Kold Kash solo at three coats for photo purposes. Looks like a regular satin/matte/whateverthefuck, right? Well, hold on. It gets better.

After riding out my Sinful Cheshire China Porcelain Matte high, I knew I had to give Kold Kash a try, and darn if I wasn't right. The formula on this puppy is just as awesome (if not slightly better) than Cheshire China's! As long as you've buffed your nails or applied a ridge filler or whatever you need to do base coat-wise, you will get fantastic coverage on the first coat. Kold Kash is opaque at two coats, which is how I wore it last weekend.

And of course, I added top coat to make that predominantly greeny-gold shimmer pop, like so:

DAMN IT, KYLIE, WHY YOU DO THIS??! Kold Kash reminds me so, so much of a lighter, less saturated, and mattified version of ChG Custom Kicks, from its teal base to its predominantly gold shimmer. FYI, this shimmer doesn't die on the nail after a day or two, but it's visible under VERY strong sunlight or artificial ones. This aqua teal perfectly straddles the line between blue and green, IMO, and part of the reason I love this color is because it looks great on everybody.

I couldn't get photos, but if you have Kold Kash, then you know its shimmer also has a tiny reddish, coppery shift in the bottle, mostly around the bottom edge and sides. At certain angles, you'll be able to see that shift on the nail; FWIW, I only saw this inside under artificial light.

The top coat I used in these photos is NYC GCS, but I'm actually wearing this with a different top coat that I'm trying out (deets later), so we'll see how it goes. Dry time was pretty fast, and because I applied top coat 10 minutes before passing out in bed, I don't know if this doesn't dry as shiny as SV, but the sheet mark situation wasn't too terrible. I wore this for four days with minimal tip wear and two small chips from trying to open things because I am bad about following the old #jewelsnottools adage floating around on nail board. Oh, and Kold Kash is a stainer because hello, TEAL, so just do yourself a solid and double up on base coat (and buy Orly Cutique already).

I found this Kylie display at an endcap in Target's personal care section (LOL WUT) at the very end of March. There are new Kylie satin matte displays at both Target and Walgreens; these displays have a few colors exclusive to each store and some that are available at both (I remember Kool as a Kukumber and Butter Kup at both Target and Wags). Just like the King Kylie SinfulShine polishes, these satin mattes are $2.99 each, the actual definition of the "money flying away" emoji.

Who else is caving (kaving?) into these Sinful Kylie satin matte polishes? I am loving all the visible shimmers (once you add top coat, obvs)! And in all honesty, I would be heavily interested in these Sinfuls without Kylie's name attached to them because these polishes are MONEY. I picked up two other Target colors, three at Wags, and I still have my buttload of SinfulShines to go through, so we'll see what I end up posting. All the articles I Googled informed me that Kylie is releasing 3 collections with Sinful, but I don't know if there's one more coming in May or if these most recent Target and Walgreens releases are two separate collections. Either way, I'll probably be sacrificing my "kold kash" (i.e., my toll money) for more because they are so awesome. Tell me I'm not alone in this!

Monday, April 11, 2016

National Sibling Day: YSL Jade Impérial

Technically, National Sibling Day was yesterday, but I am late to everything because of who I am as a person. In all the time I've had this blog (or any personal social media, for that matter), I've never posted a NSD shout-out despite, oh, you know, having and being a sibling. Only recently did I start finding this weird -- if I can post on sundry pop culture "holidays," then why couldn't I shout-out my sister on Sibling Day? Officially out of excuses. (It is downright frightening how much this meme is applicable to my existence.)

KK and I like to joke that between the two of us, we make up one fully functional person. I don't know how not to make myself sound like a complete sloth -- and this goes double when I brag about her -- but the girl is far more intelligent, driven, and self-sufficient than I am, all qualities that have had a heavy hand in shaping our dynamic from our late teens and even now (and probably always will). In fact, total strangers tend to guess she's the oldest because that's how she presents herself, although I'm two years older. Anyway, those strengths helped her find a job that led to working in NYC for a little bit, which I was thrilled about because that meant I had (1) somewhere to stay if I wanted to visit and -- best of all -- (2) an instant NYC product mule.

Anyone remember YSL Jade Impérial, from Spring 2013? I saw swatches online, saw it in person at Nordstrom, couldn't justify it, passed on it, and went on my merry way. Fast forward to 2014 when I decided I did want it and none of the usual stores close to me had it in stock. While KK was planning her visit home for our dad's retirement party that October, she asked me if there was anything I wanted her to pick up in NYC, and ... well.

Three coats with SV. These pictures were a labor of love because (1) SO COLD, wtf Mother Nature! and (2) oh hey, sunset!, so they're kind of all over the place. Y'all can deal.

I know some people don't care for the packaging/bottling of YSL polish, but I rather like it. When the quality (and wear) of the polish is this good, who gives a crap how it's packaged and bottled? Not me!

Jade Impérial wasn't what I thought it would be, and I mean this in the best way -- this particular variety of jade is a little different than the ones I'm familiar with, and too warm-toned and faded to be a true imperial jade. It's closer to the deeper veins in green marble, in certain lights; it's more of a dusty, muted khaki or sage green that stops just short of being olive. Because it's somewhat muted, it does lend itself to a bit of a lobster hands situation, but I don't care. It's beautiful. I think it reads fairly neutral on me, which is quite rare for any faded color.

Also, this formula is AWESOME. It's smooth, creamy, and opaque in two coats (I only used three for photos). The brush is wide and flat, but it was easy to work with and I barely needed any cleanup. Dry time was very, very fast with SV, and I wore this for one week -- it looked scuffed as hell, but the good news is that I had minimal tip wear. I didn't have any chips across the tops, mostly on the sides of my nails where the top coat started to crack after growing out for a week. Dude, for what this cost ($27? $28? I feel like nail polish prices were a dollar less in 2014), I am hella delighted with this polish.

Quick Note 1: I haven't seen or tried Chanel polish since Chanel converted to its new "gel" formula and bottle, but Chanel could learn a thing or two from YSL's wider bottle necks. It was SO nice to dip the brush in the bottle without worrying about the polish bubbling or generally just being weird!

Quick Note 2: My only complaint with this bottle has to do with the cap, which does not screw tightly and might be the culprit behind the evaporation I had -- not too bad, as I had a good 90% of polish left. Alternately, if I were to play devil's advocate, this bottle could have been opened and used before my sister even bought it, and what I think evaporated just might have been a usage line. Hard to tell. I don't remember this being an issue when I first opened this polish, but just in case it is evaporation, I used a grippy silicone oven mitt to close this sucker super tight. Must preserve the precious!

Jade Impérial was a limited edition polish, released in the spring of 2013 for YSL's Arty Stone collection. Real talk: Until the recent YSL Peace Green frenzy, I don't recall any other LE YSL polish selling out as fast as Jade Impérial did, not even Bleu Celadon. Jade Impérial was a bitch to track down and I was beyond lucky to score it at the end of September 2014 -- I'm 80% sure I did a Google Shopping search that directed me to Barneys, where my sister was able to purchase a bottle at the counter. Seriously, what kind of good luck?

Not really sure how to end this post. Of course, I must give major, major snaps to KK for trekking to Barneys and THEN squeezing Jade Impérial (and three other polishes) into her carry-on in a TSA-approved Ziploc toiletry bag! For some reason I posted this to IG back in the day, wtf? Until last summer, I hadn't flown in a while so this was pretty entertaining.

Mad packing skills. What is traveling light? I pack EVERYTHING I think I might need.
Oh, and the polish on my thumb is Essie Style Hunter, a.k.a. the best red you never knew you had to have. Buy it already.

Both my sister and I are highly experienced in the fine art of evading photographers (the camera adds 50 pounds), so I don't think there are any semi-recent pictures of just the two of us that aren't on my dad's camera. I'll have to come back to this post and add a baby picture because that was the last time we were cute. Anyhizzle, KK, if you're reading this: Thank you again for being the best mule (and feel free to keep using my Ulta & Sephora accounts to rack up my points 😜)! I'm still excited about these polishes. Gotta post those Cirques ... !

Also exciting = the show we're going to on Sunday. I think one of the best things about getting older is that we've become each other's built-in concert buddy, and we've gone to at least one show together every year. Actually, one of my favorite memories is from two summers ago when we met up in D.C. to hit up the 9:30 Club twice in one weekend, once on Friday night (Camera Obscura, so beautiful) and again on Sunday evening (Bebel Gilberto, so entrancing). Saturday was hot as balls, so after brunching in the city with one of my college roommates, we went back to our hotel room to nap, kick back, get a takeout dinner across the street, watch TV, and talk until our throats were sore. She had come down from New York and I had driven up from Virginia. It was really, really nice to hang out, just the two of us, in a different environment and to be able to move around (or not!) at our own pace. Maybe it was that element of being elsewhere or the state of our relationship at that specific point in time or being together because we wanted to, and not out of convenience or because of our parents insisting one of us accompany the other. Maybe it was some other inexplicable factor altogether. But that weekend was one of my favorite weekends and remains, overall, a deeply pleasant memory. I hope we can make more. 

Thanks for checking out my Sibling Day post! IDK if anyone will comment because my readership has dropped off (meh, hiatus + word vomit effect), but I have to ask: Anybody else cave in to a late lemming? Who else has this YSL? Thoughts? Any thoughts on YSL polishes in general? Has your sibling ever muled or hunted anything down for you? And if you feel so inclined, you should share a favorite memory you have with your sibling, or something you guys like to do together.

I think part of what's got me extra reflective about this day is the fact that my aunt is still camping out with me. She is my mom's older sister, and they also have a two-year difference, but they are like oil and water (I think my parents' accountant says they're like "heaven and earth," lol what does that even mean). Next to them, KK and I might have more in common than we'll admit!

Again, I don't know when my next post will go up. Speaking of sisters, I have one too many Sinful Kylie polishes that I want to blog, but this week is tricky. I'll see what I can do. These Sinfuls are too damn pretty to keep to myself. >___<

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sinful King Kylie (1/?): SinfulShine Koko-Nuts

When Sinful Colors announced their SinfulShine collaboration with Kim Jenner King Kylie, I think everyone could hear the nail world's collective "BUT WHY???" Even I side-eyed it initially. But whatever our feelings are about her family, I think we can agree on a few things:
  1. I will fight anyone who says that their Holiday 2011 Nicole by OPI collection sucked. YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH. I'll admit that the colors weren't the most innovative, but the execution was flawless! To this day, Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi is one of my favorite polishes of all time. I have a back-up bottle because it is everything.
  2. Cosmetics is a solid move, both for Kylie and in general. Remember how hard their Sears clothing line flopped? Yeah, that happened. Cosmetics/nail polish is a shamefully comparatively easy money grab. Plus I hear the Kylie lip kits are more than decent ... like, actually pretty good. 
  3. A lot of people were like, "LOL but Sinful Colors? Really? Drugstore?" Side eye that if you must, but going the drugstore route also is a solid move. Sinful does put out a lot of great, affordable stuff that's more accessible than something you'd have to get at a department store or online (like the lip kits). I was a little surprised it wasn't another NOPI collaboration, but in the end my wallet was glad that it was Sinful. $2.99 a pop is easier to stomach than $6.99 or $7.99 or whatever NOPI goes for these days.

Yup, $2.99 a pop. Talk about sinful! And if we're throwing it way, way back, I'm pretty sure that SinfulShine polishes were $2.99 when they were first released, too.

Okay, enough blathering for now. Here is SinfulShine Koko-Nuts, which Madeline picked out for me to try first.

Three coats with NYC Grand Central Station.

"DAMN IT, KYLIE" is what I've been saying about these polishes since seeing them in person, and I have a feeling I'm going to be saying it A LOT. Isn't this gorgeous?! I'm still all about white and gold together, and that glass fleck finish ... ughhhhhhhhh, I love it. Now the interesting thing about this polish is that the white base color is very much a creme, as opposed to most true glass flecks, which usually are jelly-based. So I was pretty surprised to find that I got preeeeetty good coverage on the first coat, and that it was opaque at two. I used three out of habit and because I don't trust two coats when it comes to photos, but if you find that you have any patches or weirdness after two coats, a third won't kill ya.

I was anticipating a fluffy formula because of the white creme base, but this one wasn't too fluffy -- I think the gold glass fleck shimmer helped out with that. Koko-Nuts was leaps and bounds easier to apply than China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (blogged here). Nevertheless, I'd advise you to wait in between coats (which have an average dry time, btw) so you don't have patchiness or pooling. I topped this with a bottle of NYC Grand Central Station for these swatch pics and wore it for the rest of the day. Dry time was stupid fast. I didn't have any chips, although sadly I did have some cracks on the nail for some reason (it's been a long time since I wore GCS -- perhaps I'll just have to get reacquainted with its formula?). Anyway, I only wore this for a day because I was so excited about Cheshire China, and as a result, I can't tell you whether the sparkle dulled beyond that duration of time. I would like to think it wouldn't. If you know, you should spill.

I'm 99.9% sure that "Koko-Nuts" is a play on the family nickname for Kylie's sister Khloe. I know for a fact that Kourtney's kids call Khloe "Koko," so as an ONTD detective, this seems plausible. Anyway, should you decide to pick up your very own bottle of Koko-Nuts, Walmart should still have this SinfulShine display; according to Sinful Colors' various social media outlets, these Kylie polishes have expanded to other retailers (check the Sinful Colors site for locations near you), and lacquerheads in Canada and the UK can expect to see these polishes soon!

What do you gals think of Koko-Nuts or any of the Sinful Kylie colors? A new Sinful Kylie collection of matte polishes came out last Friday, with some colors available exclusively at Target, some available exclusively at Walgreens, and a few colors at both stores. I have to say that I like the Walgreens colors just a little bit more than I like the Target ones, but two Target ones I did buy look really damn awesome, which I can't believe I'm saying. You'll see one of those soon. The shimmer factor is unreal.

Oh, and if you have any thoughts about any of the stuff I mentioned at the beginning of this post -- NOPI, cosmetics as a branding venture, high-end vs. drugstore retail -- definitely let me know. I mean, you already know what I think: damn it, Kylie. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯