Category Archives: Essie

Party Owls and More

Party Owls for my Birthday

Party Owls for my Birthday

My birthday was on Friday, and I had this absolutely adorable Party Owl manicure to help celebrate.  These owl and cupcake water decals are just a few of the great designs that are part of this 10-Piece Water Decal Set from the Born Pretty Store.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, water decals are some of my favorite things.  I am not very good at nail art, but water decals make it so easy to have a really interesting and complicated-looking manicure whenever I want.  If you want to talk about a great deal, this is it.  There are ten sheets of water decals with owls, flowers, and more in this set now available for a sale price of $5.00.  That’s only 50 cents each.  Most of these sheets are available individually for $1-$2 each, so getting them in this set is a huge savings.

BPS Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

There are some great designs in this set.  I really love the cartoonish owls and the birds with feathers.  There is a pretty good variety of floral decals.  Some are pop-art and modern, and some are more classic and feminine.  And of course, you know me, I can not wait to use that nautical themed sheet of decals.  There are so many possible manicures out of this set that go from fun and funky to classy and sophisticated.  Here is a closer look.

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

I haven’t had time to use all 10 sheets of decals, but here is a shot of three different manicures that I have done.  The party owls are over Essie Find Me An Oasis.  The blue flower/butterfly design is over Sinful Colors Snow me White.  The black floral decals are all by themselves with no base color.

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

BPS 10 Piece Water Decal Set

I can not recommend this 10 Piece Water Decal Set enough.  I really think that it is a great deal.  I have several reviews for products that I have received from the Born Pretty Store, and you can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should definitely plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive like holiday items and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcodeFTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

NOTD: Matte Tips

Matte Tips

Matte Tips

Here is a quick nail of the day post featuring Essie Matte About You topcoat.  I also used Sinful Colors Black on Black polish and Fing’rs Heart 2 Art Nail Art Striping Tape.  This is a great idea for a night out.  I think that this is a very sleek look with the glossy black nails and the matte black tips.  This is a great special occasion look for those who aren’t fans of nude or light shades, but still want elegant nails with a little bit of a harder edge to them.  The gold striping tape is a great touch for a bit of bling that is still very classy.  You can definitely do matte tips with any shade of polish, but I really love the way it looks with black polish.  It has a “black tie” vibe to me that I like very much.  I hope that you do too.

Matte Tips

Matte Tips

Matte Tips

Matte Tips

I am hoping to get some Holiday nail looks up soon so that you can start planning ahead.  Though, I have to admit that my nails are thrashed from packing.  Things are progressing steadily with the move.  We found a new place that we are very excited about and signed the paperwork today.  Technology is a wonderful thing.  We were able to take care of everything from the opposite coast, with no trouble.  All that’s left is to notify our billing agencies and utilities about our move and to finish packing.  We have about two and a half weeks, and then we leave North Carolina for California.  Thanks for your patience during this process.  I am posting as often as I can with everything going on.  I will keep you updated on what you can expect as we get closer to go-time.  🙂

Essie For the Twil of It


Essie For the Twil of It

I am really trying not to buy anymore nail polish because I have so many, and for the most part I’ve been successful.  But, when I saw Essie For the Twil of It from the Fall 2013 collection I had to have it.  The only Essie nail polishes I own are the special effects top coats, so they aren’t regular polishes.  I wanted to try Essie and I’m a real sucker for duochromes.  I resisted Essie For the Twil of It for about a month, but I finally caved and am glad that I did.

Essie For the Twil of It is a really beautiful metallic steely gray that shifts from teal to purple.  There is an iridescent shimmer that can be seen in the sun.  It is much darker than WnW Gray’s Anatomy, and Essence Where’s the Party which is also more purple.  It is a dead-on-dup for OPI Peace & Love & OPI, but I’m not a fan of OPI’s formula, so I passed on that one. I definitely think the shade is a must-have for this Fall.

I am loving the formula of Essie For the Twil of It.  It’s metallic, so I did worry about streaking, but Essie seems to level itself out.  It looked a little streaky in application, but it fixed itself after a minute.  Now that’s quality!  I could have gotten away with just one coat because the opacity is really great, but I usually do two, so that’s what I did this time.  I topped with Seche Vite.  I painted my nails Monday night, and now it’s Thursday and there are no chips.  My nails chip pretty fast, so I am really pleased with the longevity.  (I used CND Sticky Base Coat, which may have something to do with it too.)  Pardon the nick on my ring finger.  That one was my fault and I was too lazy to fix it.  You know how it is.


Essie For the Twil of It- direct Sunlight

Here is a shot in the sun where you can see the shimmer come out of that steely gray.  It will go so well with the wine and berry lip colors that are trending for Fall.  All in all, I am very pleased with Essie For the Twil of It, and I’m glad that I broke my ban on buying nail polish for this one.  For the Twil of It get’s my stamp of approval and I think you should check it out.  Essie is available at drugstores, Ulta, and Target.

Red and Gold Holiday Quickie



I haven’t been posting NOTD posts lately because my nails haven’t been in the best shape.  I’ve been having a lot of issues with hangnails and the nails on my index fingers keep breaking.  But, I did want to get up some cute Christmasy combinations this month, so please excuse my somewhat ragged nails.

This is one coat each of Wet n Wild Megalast Salon Nail Color in I Red a Good Book topped with Essie As Gold as It Gets Let me repeat that, this red is only one coat.  Wet n Wild Megalast polishes are awesome, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you really should.  They come in a decent range of shades, and are super cheap.  (Yay!)  I hardly ever wear red nails, but I do love this combo for Christmas.

Spotted Out and About


I haven’t done a “Spotted” post in ages.  I guess I’m going to make up for it today because I have a ton of new displays to show you.  I went to CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart this time.  I have a lot to get through, so I’m just going to launch in.

CVS had a lot to offer in terms of foundation and BB Creams.  I personally am not a fan of American drugstore BB Creams because I think that they are just glorified tinted moisturizers and not true BB Creams.  But, I know that many of you do want to try them out so I snapped a couple pics.

Neutrogena Shine Control Makeup

First, though, a new collection from Neutrogena.  The Neutrogena Shine Control Makeup collection includes primer, foundation, and powder.  According to Neutrogena, “Our revolutionary line combines lightweight, breathable makeup with our exclusive rice protein complex. This amazing makeup continuously absorbs oil throughout the day, minimizes the look of pores and leaves a soft, non-shiny finish — all without over-drying skin.”  I especially love that drugstore brands are now offering those little sample cards so you can try before you buy.  The Revlon Whipped Creme Makeup display had samples and you can see in the upper right hand corner that this Neutrogena display does too.  I hope all drugstore brands follow suit.

L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Next up, L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream.  “Encapsulated pigments are infused in an ultra-light lotion with antioxidants vitamins C and E. You get four beautifying actions: primes to smooth skin’s texture; perfects to hide imperfections; hydrates for all-day moisture; corrects skin for a healthy-looking, even complexion. L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream instantly transforms to your perfect shade for a flawless bare-skin finish.”  I will be doing a full review of this soon, so keep an eye out.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

CVS also had the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream displayed.  Per Maybelline, “The 1-step wonder for a good skin day, everyday.  Packed with 8 great skin benefits for instant skin perfection.  Ideal for Normal Skin.”  The BB Cream comes in five shades and those little bottles in front of the tubes are testers to you can try all the shades for the closest match to your skin.

Maybelline Luminous Lights

Also from Maybelline is the Expertwear Luminous Lights collection.  “Now eyes light up with shimmering luminosity.  Our highest concentration of pearls.  4 luminous shades.”  These shadow quads do certainly look luminescent, though all of them are very light shades.  They seem a little ho-hum to me, but those who like lighter eye looks may really enjoy these.

Sinful Colors Study in Style

At Walgreens I spotted the Sinful Colors Study in Style collection.  Though a gorgeous collection, it’s made up mostly of repromotes, so you may already have many of these shades.  The only entirely new shade is Leapfrog, which is that lovely murky green in the center.  If you missed out on the ever-popular Winterberry, here is you chance to snatch it up.

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection

Next in nails, we have the Wet n Wild Fergie Collection.  This is the first collaboration with WnW’s global ambassador, Fergie, to hit shelves.  There should be more to come in the future, and though I’m not sure if they are exclusive to Walgreens, they will definitely be hitting Walgreens first.  This collection contains 25 shades.

Wet n Wild Fergie Collection

The Wet n Wild Fergie Collection has a bunch of glitter shades, some super bright shades, some dark rocker-type shades, and a couple metallics.  I have heard that there are some dupes to the Wet n Wild Spoiled collection.

New from L’Oreal

Also at Wlagreens was this large display of new L’Oreal products.  On the left is the L’Oreal True match Lumi Foundation.  “True Match™ Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup combines 3 powerful ingredients that work to improve your complexion the more you wear them.  40% pure water for all-day hydration.  Antioxidants and Vitamins C and E for improved clarity and skin tone.  And Liquid Light Technology for an instant, luminous glow.”   Though they say it is for all skin types, with a “luminous finish” oily skin ladies will want to avoid this foundation for sure.  The center display contains L’Oreal Colour Caresse by Colour Riche lipstick.  These lipsticks are supposed to be the lightweight glossy versions of the original Colour Riche.  They are meant to be moisturizing, sheer, yet pigmented lip colors.  On the right are the newly released shades of the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows.  I really like these shadows and am glad that they keep releasing more colors.

Essie Mirror Metallics

Finally, at Walmart, I spotted the Essie Mirror Metallics collection.  There are five metallic shades in this collection including silver, gold, copper/rose gold, blue and purple.  Metallics are known to be streaky and difficult to apply, but I have seen reviews  saying that these Essie polishes apply better than most metallics.

Those are all of the displays that I spotted this weekend while out and about.  I hope you saw something that interested you.  I did pick up one of the new L’Oreal Infallible shades in Golden Emerald because I am a sucker for green eyeshadow.  I am really interested in the Fergie collection from WnW, but I really need to stop buying nail polish.  What about you, will you be hauling any of these products?  Let me know in the comments below.

June 2012 Favorites


June favorites

It’s the first week of July, so that means it is time for me to do my monthly favorites for June.  For those of you who are new readers (Hi! :)), “monthly favorites” are the products that stood out to me, or that I found myself reaching for over and over again during the month.  You are probably going to recognize most of these products because I have mentioned several of them before, but they are what I’ve been gravitating toward throughout the month of June.  So let’s dive right in.

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup

The foundation that I’ve been using over and over again lately has been my Revlon Colorstay Whipped Crème Makeup.  I did a full review of this foundation not long ago, so I won’t go into too much detail now.  Let’s just say that I really love this stuff.  If you want foundation that won’t budge even if you are sweating to high heaven, this is what you should be reaching for.  To read my full review click here.

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Pen

One of my new favorite products is the e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Pen.  There is nothing more frustrating than to have your makeup absolutely perfect and then slip with your mascara wand or botch you eyeliner in a way that can’t be easily fixed.  It’s also great as a mid-day clean up for less than fabulous eyeliner that may want to migrate and give you raccoon eyes.  Now I have a magic wand to erase my mistakes and, believe me, I’ve used it A LOT since I got it.  I’m going to do a full review with samples of how well it removes eyeliner and such, so keep an eye out.  But in the meantime, know that I love this and will absolutely be repurchasing when it runs out of juice.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “Romantic”

Again, I’ve reviewed this recently, so check out the link for my full review of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, complete with swatches.  I’ve really been getting a lot of use out of Romantic.  It is such a sheer, wearable red that is really flattering and not at all an over the top, screaming red.  I really think that those of you who are a little bit afraid of a red lip can handle Romantic as an easily accessible red.

NYX Stick Blush in “Orchid”

In June I was reminded about how much I love NYX Stick Blush in Orchid.  It is such a gorgeous color!  The gold-toned peachy pink is so lovely for the summer, and the formula is creamy without turning oily in this heat.  (OMG, 106 people!  I’m dying here.  Is summer over yet?)  You can check out my swatches of Orchid here in my review.  This is one of those universally flattering shades, and is a must-have in my opinion.

Revlon “Beach “and Essie Luxeffects in “A Cut Above”

A nail polish combination that I have been loving on my toes is Revlon Scented Nail Enamel in “Beach” topped by Essie Luxeffects in “A Cut Above”.  Although it looks really green in the bottle, “Beach” actually applies much more of a golden yellow green.  From a distance the combo looks like molten rose gold.  I love it and will have to try it on my fingers next.

That’s it for my monthly favorites of June.  It may seem like I am re-hashing products, but at least I can say that my reviews still stand and that I still am loving these items.  I hope that you saw something that you like.  June was a better month for me than the last few months, so that makes me happy.  I am so excited for what is coming up over the next couple months.  I will fill you in on the details soon, but July and August will be bringing some big things here at Beauty in Budget Blog.  As much as I detest the summer, it’s an exciting time for BiBB, so stay tuned.


2011 Favorites: Lips, Nails, and More


Here are my 2011 favorites for lips, nails, and all things makeup related that I haven’t already covered in my previous two posts.  It’s going to be pretty obvious that NYX is my favorite brand when it comes to lip products, but otherwise, there is a pretty good selection of brands.  Just so that we are all clear on the rules, when I say “favorites of 2011,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product came out in 2011, but that it has been a favorite of mine this last year.  I chose one favorite and one honorable mention in each category.  My favorites are all drugstore items (I’m including e.l.f., NYX, etc. in that description and I’ve included the retail price) but my honorable mentions may include high-end items.  I also limited my selection to items that I had time to enjoy during the year, so anything I got in November or December is not going to be included.  Just because a product isn’t listed, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it.  These products are the ones that really stood out to me this last year.  I’ve reviewed many of these products, so be sure to click the provided links for more info and swatches.  Here we go.


Favorite- NYX Round Lipsticks  These are the absolute best lipsticks at the drugstore price point.  They are creamy, long-lasting, and feel really good on the lips.  And they come in about five billion shades (ok, 144).  It’s a little overwhelming, actually.  From nude to boldly saturated color, NYX has something for everyone.  These really are a must-have.  NYX Round lipsticks retail for $4.00, and can be found at Ulta or online.

Honorable mention- E.l.f. Mineral Lipsticks  I did a compare/contrast review of the e.l.f. Mineral lipsticks vs. their $1 counterparts.  Click over to see it and view swatches of all of the e.l.f. lipsticks that I own.


Favorite- Jordana INCOLOR Pretty Shine Lipgloss  I first mentoned Jordana Pretty Shines in my September favorites.  I hate to do this to you, but these are now discontinued.  Jordana did a big overhaul earlier this year and replaced their Pretty Shine Lipglosses with the LOL, Lip Out Loud Super Shiny Glosses.  You can still find them online, however, and the INCOLOR Pretty Shine glosses have been a huge favorite of mine this year.  Not sticky, but still with some staying power, these glosses are pigmented and look great layered or alone.  I haven’t tried the LOL glosses yet, but I’m hoping that they are as good because the INCOLOR Pretty Shine glosses leave pretty big shoes to fill.

Honorable mention- NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss  Available in 64 high impact shades, NYX lipglosses are as awesome as their lipsticks.  There is a reason that everyone loves NYX, and these glosses are a big part of that reason. NYX Mega Shine Lipglosses run about $5.50 regular price.

Lip Product:

Favorite- Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters  You’ve heard the hype, and have seen my review and my additional swatches.  These are fabulous, and probably the best product of 2011.  I’ve heard that some women feel like they are drying, but I think those women must be crazy.  I love, love, LOVE Revlon Lip Butters.  They are soft, moisturizing, and all kinds of awesome.  They are pricey at $7.50 each, but there are always sales on Revlon, so snatch them up when you get the chance.

Honorable mention- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream  I know, NYX again.  What can I say, they are the best brand for lip products. Neither lipstick nor lip gloss- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a new kind of pout paint that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish without drying lips out.  NYX offers 11 shades for $6.00 each.

Lip Balm:

Favorite- Blistex Fruit Smoothies  When it comes to straight up lip balm, Blistex gets it done.  The Fruit Smoothies smell delicious and leave my lips soft and hydrated.  A set of three is around $3-4.

Honorable mention Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer  Until the Revlon Lip Butters came around, I would use these tinted lip balms for some color when I didn’t want to deal with lipstick or gloss.  They pack a fair amount of pigmentation, and those who like a minty tingle will like these a lot.

Nail Polish Brand:

Favorite- Sinful Colors  You’d never guess that these polishes are only $1.99 if you didn’t already know.  Sinful Colors polishes have excellent opacity, apply very evenly, and hang in with the big brands like OPI and Essie.  With tons of colors to choose from, Sinful Colors delivers everything you need from a polish.

Honorable mention- China Glaze  These polishes are a wonderful formula, and the only reason that they weren’t my favorites are because Sinful Colors is cheaper.  The two brands actually apply very similarly.

Top Coat/Base Coat:

Favorite- Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat and Seche Clear Crystal Clear Base Coat  I have no Honorable mention in this category because Seche Vite puts all other top coats and base coats to shame.  I hate waiting for my nails to dry, and Seche Vite provides a glass like, smudge-proof finish in minutes.  It fills in ridges and smoothes out texture.  I love putting it over glitter because instead of a bumpy surface, it leaves my nails nice and smooth.  Seche Vite is excellent.  Prices vary by location.

Nail Product:

Favorite- Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips  I’ve mentioned these several times and posted a quickie tutorial here.  I have been very pleased with these strips.  If applied correctly, they last all week and I end up getting bored of them before they chip on me.  They apply very easily and I can go from naked nails to finished manicure in 15 minutes, with no dry time needed. Sally Hansen has recently come out with a whole slew of new designs, not to mention their holiday specific designs, including Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines Day.  Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips cost $10 a box.

Honorable mentionNail Wheels  This may seem like an odd favorite, but nail wheels are suddenly indispensable to me.  My nail polish collection has grown to the point where I can’t remember what I have, so I swatch each new polish on a nail wheel and keep a list of which polishes correspond to which swatches.  When I want to paint my nails, I can look at my entire polish collection in miniature and pick the swatch I want.  It saves a lot of time and keeps me from going to the same polish over and over simply because I can’t remember what else I have.

Special Effect Polish:

Favorite- Flakies  I’m so excited that flakies hit big in 2011 and will be even bigger in 2012.  So much more sophisticated than glitter, Flakies give nails a rich luxe look.  For some ideas, check out my Essie LuxEffects post here, and be on the lookout for Zoya’s new Fleck Effect Collection in stores.

Honorable mention- Essie Matte About You Topcoat  Matte nails had a resurgence for a moment in 2011, but my favorite way to do them is to put  a matte topcoat over a flakie polish.  Absolutely phenomenal.  Essie Matte About You is a good one, available at Ulta.


Favorite- E.l.f. Studio Brushes  I’ve mentioned E.l.f. Studio Brushes many times in this blog, and the Powder Brush was featured in my November favorites.  Don’t let the $3.00 price tag fool you, these are really good, soft brushes that will provide an expert application every time.  Bonus, they are cheap enough to buy multiples if you (like me) want to extend the time between washing your brushes.  😉

Honorable mention Goody Spin Pins These funky pins spin into your hair, giving your updo the same security that 20 bobby pins would do.  They come in small and large, and in blonde and brunette to better blend in with your hair.


Favorite- Bath & Body Works “Carried Away” According to B&BW “A whimsical blend of lush raspberries, white jasmine and whipped vanilla inspired by the way love sweeps you off your feet.”  Carried Away is fresh and feminine without being too floral and aged.  It’s soft and romantic, and really lovely.  Bath & Body Works fragrance mists are $12.50 regular price.

Honorable mention- Juicy Couture “Peace, Love, & Juicy” Celebrate the freedom of being both hippie and chic with this fragrance that brings alive the free-spirited, sixties-style vibe of Malibu!”   I mentioned “Peace, Love, & Juicy” in my September favs post (linked above).  I’ve been loving this scent since getting it for my birthday in July.


FavoriteBright Orange Lips  I spent a few years kind of shunning lipstick, and just relied on lip balms.  What really brought me back was the bright coral and orange lips of the spring and summer.  My favorite combo? Milani Color Perfect Lipstick in “Orange Gina” topped with Jordana INCOLOR Pretty Shine Lipgloss in “Dazzling”.

Honorable mentionNail Art  Can you believe the advances in nail artistry this year?  From Stamping to pens and stripers, nails are the new statement piece.

Most Overrated product of 2011

#1EOS Lip Balms  Everybody and their mother raved about these egg shaped lip balms.  Though these smooth spheres are adorable, the balm itself isn’t very moisturizing.  My lips feel dry and I want to re-apply within 10 minutes.  And I don’t like that I can’t carry the balm in my pocket without looking like I have a goiter on my hip.

Honorable mentionCrackle/Shatter Polish  Okay, I like the crackle polish look and own four of them myself, but enough is enough.  Every time I turn around another brand is releasing a crackle STILL.  Here’s a tip: if you are 10-12 months behind the bandwagon, just give it up and move on.  Crackles were cool, but we really do not need to flood the market.

And that concludes my makeup related 2011 favorites.  I have one more post that will include skincare and stuff like that, so stay tuned.

NOTD: Glittering Golden Garland


China Glaze Glittering Garland with Essie As Gold as it Gets

All of my manicures  this month are Christmas themed, and today is no exception.  This is China Glaze Glittering Garland with Essie As Gold as it Gets over top.  Both polishes are absolutely gorgeous.  I love how the glass flakes in Glittering Garland combine with the golden flakes of As Gold as it Gets to give almost a splatter paint or sponge paint look.  I like it.

This is the last week for you to enter my Christmas give away, so make sure that you check it out, subscribe, and comment.

Coming up this week: a DIY drugstore makeup giftbag, e.l.f. essential lipsticks versus the mineral lipsticks, my December Birchbox, and more.  Keep watching this space.  🙂

Essie LuxEffects Topcoats


Essie LuxEffects

Essie LuxEffects Topcoats for Holiday 2011 are a departure from Essie’s normal lineup of rather conservative creams.  Lately Essie has really been branching out, and these gorgeous shimmery topcoats don’t disappoint.  There are five shades in this collection, two glitters, one opalescent, and two flakies.  They are beautiful by themselves, but are meant to be layered over other polishes for maximum impact.

  • A Cut Above- A pink, multi-sized hexagonal glitter in a clear base that also includes regular glitter. This is a warm pink, almost rose gold color.
  • Set In Stones- This is the silver version of A Cut Above; multiple shapes and sizes of silver glitter including round and hexagon. It’s bright and shiny, but not particularly unique.
  • Pure Pearlfection- A very fine silvery-white prismatic pixie dust type shimmer.
  • As Gold As It Gets- This is a gold flakey in a clear base.  Absolutey gorgeous!  It has great coverage in even one coat.
  • Shine Of The Times- A multi-chromatic flakey glitter topcoat.  It’s basically liquefied fire opals.  The main colors that present are red, gold, and green, but it also flashes blue and purple in some lights.  This is pretty much a dupe of Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure and Nubar 2010, but I have neither.  If you missed out on Hidden Treasure and don’t have access to Nubar this is a great alternative.  I’m thrilled to have it.

    Essie LuxEffects As Gold as it Gets and Shine of the Times

I bought As Gold as it Gets and Shine of the Times.  As soon as I saw Shine of the Times, I ran to my nearest Ulta to grab it, knowing that I would love it.  I am very pleased by the way these polishes applied.  These pictures are just one coat, and you can see how full the coverage is.  I wanted to show you what they look like over different colors because these topcoats are super versatile.  My two fingers in the middle are both over Sinful Colors Black on Black.  My pointer finger is Sinful Colors Open Seas, and my pinkie finger is Ulta Paint the Town.

Essie LuxEffects As Gold as it Gets and Shine of the Times over Sinful Colors Black on Black

In the above picture, you can really see how Shine of the Times flips through the color spectrum as the light hits it at different angles.

Essie Shine of the Times

Here, over Open Seas, you can see the more subtle colors in Shine of the Times.  Layering it over lighter colors brings out the pastel pinks, purples, and blues.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

Essie As Gold as it Gets

Not to be outdone, As Gold as it Gets is also a beautiful polish.  The gold flakes really pop against the red.   Again, this is just one coat, so the coverage is fantastic.  Click for a larger view.

Both of these polishes will look fabulous over several different shades, and will also look great under a matte topcoat.  I’m really happy that I got both shades.  I may still end up getting A Cut Above because in the swatches that I’ve seen, it really is lovely.  I don’t feel that I need Set in Stones or Pure Pearlfection.  I am pretty sure that I already have similar shades in my collection.  That being said, however, any of these five shades would be a great addition to a modest collection and I’m really glad that Essie is broadening their brand a bit.

Don’t forget to enter my Christmas giveaway here.