Tag Archives: summer

Essie Your Hut Or Mine nail polish review

Remember my coral craze from a few months back? I covered super-sparkly coral (Zoya Rica), rainbow-holo coral (China Glaze TMI) and stunningly-saturated colour-popping coral (CND Poppyfield, as recently seen at New York Fashion Week – yes, that’s right, I’m a trend-setter, as if you didn’t already know!). Well now it’s time for a hangover post from my coral bingeEssie Your Hut Or Mine.

Your Hut Or Mine is a classic coral. It’s warm, floral and perhaps even a little old-fashioned looking, leaning more towards a dusky rose or honeysuckle than the juicy fruity melon hues of CND’s Poppyfield or Zoya’s Rica. It has Essie’s trademark secret shimmer hidden deep within – often so deep that you don’t really get a chance to peep it! Even so, its occasional glimmers of pink and gold keep it just that winning wink away from being too dull, less like a faded picnic cloth that got left out in the sun too long.

Even though it’s a summery colour, it’s warmth would also play well into autumn; I wore it with OPI Stranger Tides (a cool pale khaki) and I absolutely adored the colour combination, which looked modern, fresh and brought out the best in both shades.

This had a smooth flowing consistency that made it super-easy to apply (like most Essie nail polishes I’ve tried) but I was surprised when air bubbles starting showing up once it had dried. Nothing as hideously bumpy as Orly Frisky but sadly, enough for me to know it was there. Hopefully I just shook the bottle too soon before application, as it’s not a problem I’ve had with Essie before – but it’s still a shame as otherwise, Your Hut Or Mine is a total gold-star performer.

I also stand by my previous comments that Essie’s smaller thinner brushes are far easier to control than the current fat brushes that are in vogue *cough OPI cough*. Those of you with smaller nails or who prefer having less to clean up at the end should enjoy using these skinnies as much as I do!

Bubbling issue aside, Your Hut Or Mine is a hard polish to have a problem with. I’m not entirely sure it suits my skin-tone (seems to bring out the pink in me) and wish the shimmer came out to play a little bit more, but I just love the warm prettiness of the colour. It reminds me of honeysuckle, picnics, barbeques, gingham and summer, which I reckon are all rather lovely associations to stir up.

So it ticks all my classic coral boxes… and judging by the fact it was sold out for quite a while at Cher2, it clearly ticks plenty of others’ – but how about yours? Let me know!

Looks good with: khaki, flowers, barbeques
Drying time: 3-5 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +5 days

Essie, Your Hut Or Mine, Summer 2011 Fair Game Resort Collection, $60, Cher2

Nicole By Opi Diva Into The Pool nail polish review

Believe it or not, I have been wearing nail polishes other than coral this summer. My next pick has instantly become one of my favourite polishes full stop, summer or otherwise – Nicole By OPI’s Diva Into The Pool.

Nothing’s as bad as a pun that doesn’t quite work right?! Even Diva In The Pool would make more sense. But don’t let that put you off. Anyone with a weakness for turquoises – see my responses to Zoya’s Charla and Essie’s Turquoise & Caicos to see which camp I’m in – will definitely want to dive headlong into this colour. It’s a shimmering tropical aqua, as cool and refreshing as dip in the water.

It’s a little green-leaning but has an immaculate crystal-clear finish, with a finely-milled glitter that’s similar to Zoya’s trademark foil effect. I was initially worried at the extremely sheer first coat, but you get a gorgeous wash of colour after just two coats, although you could go for three for extra opacity if you wish. The polish was a nice consistency, extremely easy to work with, and I have to say I prefer Nicole By OPI’s flatter brush to OPI proper’s fat one – I’d say it’s most similar to China Glaze’s brush, though Nicole’s seemed to fan out even more nicely.

As my first Nicole By Opi, I do have to rant about the bottle shape though. Whoever designed this is clearly not a person with a make-up stash! One bottle of polish taking up the space of two – madness! As anyone with nail polish bulging out of their drawers will tell you!

I just love how clear, clean and crystalline Diva Into The Pool looks – as beautiful as the tropical oceans you always see on holiday programmes and heavily-photoshopped brochures. It’s a glowing aqua that got me tons of compliments; you can see how exquisite that fine-shimmer finish is even in close-up.

Sparkling without being a show-off and in such a stunning shade of turquoise too… is it any wonder I was won over by Diva Into The Pool? And after these pictures, I fully expect you to be too!

Looks good with: summer, swimming pools, sunglasses
Drying time: 7 mins
Coats required: 2-3
Chips: 3 days

Nicole by OPI Diva Into The Pool nail polish, $75, selected Sasas

Zoya Rica nail polish review

You may have worked out that I’ve been on a bit of a coral binge lately. And whilst probably not the truest coral in the colour wheel, Zoya’s Rica is too amazing not to include.

Rica didn’t even register with me when I looked at Zoya’s 2011 Sunshine Collection online. Yet in person, on a hot summer’s day, it proved irresistible. I don’t think it could get more summery unless it came wearing shades!

Rica is a super-sparkly, super-summery, super-super pink-tinged sunny orange topped off with a liberal dose of golden sunshine glitter. It just about fits into the coral scheme of things but when I gazed at its loveliness, all I could think of were ripe mouth-watering summer fruits. It’s like someone squeezed together the juiciest aspects of a watermelon, grapefruit, tangerine, apricot and mango, and the result was Rica.

Meanwhile, that golden sunshine sparkle is the trademark Zoya way of doing glitter. You can see further examples of it in my posts on Charla and Gloria, but it’s basically a very fine glitter that positively saturates the polish, but completely evenly and consistently, giving it an almost foil-like effect. It’s completely smooth to the touch and as such, is a very grown-up take on glitter – unmistakeably Zoya and unmistakeably awesome.

Such is the awesome sunshine of Rica, it practically glows in the dark! As you can see from this photo in the shade, that glitter really does look like sparkle directly transplanted from the sun – the sun shining down on a luscious tropical island, I think you’ll agree! In the shade, it definitely leans more towards a golden orange that reminded me of a goldfish!

As with most Zoyas, it was fantastically easy to apply; at first, the consistency seems a little thin but it’s easy to work with and I had a beautiful smooth even colour after just two coats. As ever with Zoya, it also wears like iron – totally chip-free after over a week.

I honestly don’t think I can sing Rica’s praises enough. It’s gloriously golden, fantastically fruity and so so stunningly summery that it could probably brighten things up in the depths of darkest Antarctica (or, as it’s usually known, a typical British summer in the UK!). Pure sunshine in a bottle – what more could you ask for?!

Looks good with: SUNSHINE, ice lollies, summer prints
Drying time: 5-7 mins
Coats required: 2
Chips: +7 days

Zoya Rica nail polish, Summer 2011 Sunshine Collection, $80, Cher2

Sweet Valley High just got sweeter!

What’s this – photographs not taken during a season of Next Top Model making the pages of my Pretty Things section?! Yes, you read right, but this summer ad campaign for American brand Wildfox is too delish not to drool over.

It’s based on 90s teen book and tv series Sweet Valley High – I know, awesome already, right?! It’s all sleepovers, crushes, sunshine and secrets, basically an all-American summer encapsulated in one photoshoot by Henrik Purienne. Rather than delivering the typical ‘buying these clothes might make me as pretty as the models’ aspirational campaigns that many brands go for (cough Abercrombie & Fitch cough), there’s a sense of ease and fun to these images that means the models look like genuine BFFs.

I particularly love the sun-bleached look these photos have – you can practically feel the heat radiating off them! – and it all adds to a slightly vintage feel (check out that retro Pepsi can!) that makes you feel like you’re flicking through an old family album. Admittedly, one in which the girls seem particularly ill-disposed to wearing anything over their underpants (it’s a shoot for tees, who can blame them?!).

My favourite photos are the ones with the phone (above), which instantly make me think of racking up my parents’ phone bill on late night calls to my bessies It also reminds me of this amazing 90s board game called Dream Phone where you had a giant pink phone that played voice recordings of boys, so you could work out who had a crush on you (‘You’re right! I really like you!) – very apt, given the slogan on the tee!

I also love the pizza ones above, which call back to all those sleepovers where you all end up in hysterical laughter about nothing in particular, and the models perfectly capture that conspiratorial sense of fun in a way that just looks effortless.

So grab your sunnies, shorts and SPF – summer is here! [Wildfox tee optional]

Photos from Wildfox’s blog via Rock N Rose HK blog