CHANEL Limited-Edition Pair — Nuit Magique

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.33.04 PM O HAPPY DAY.

Not only is it Cyber Monday (I think you had to have lived in the early AOL days to find that name hilarious) but... CHANEL has released a new, limited-edition duo called "Nuit Magique."

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.32.55 PMFirst up is the eponymous shade, MAGIQUE. It's a nice, unexpected choice for a holiday party instead of the typical reds. I'm liking the blues we've seen lately! Like denim, they really do go with everything.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.35.59 PMBut for the real showstopper in the collection, check out COSMIC.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 12.33.19 PMLadies, ladies, ladies. This is not the same as the Ciel de Nuit of legend, but it's pretty damn close. I can't wait to see how close this is to Ciel de Nuit and, for that matter, the hallowed HTF, Essie Starry Starry Night. I know it won't be an exact dupe, but it will be interesting to see how close this new shade gets.

I highly recommend you get thee to if you even have a shred of interest in this color. If it arrives and you hate it, there's always eBay. And we know how well CHANEL can perform there! It's a win-win.

I just ordered mine and will swatch as soon as it's here!

xx, Francesca

On the quest for Essie SSN? Here are some previous posts you may enjoy:

Nail Polish Lemmings — An Exposé

Naturistics Crystal Blue Pearl (Essie SSN dupe)

"HTF that HTF," or "How to Find That Hard to Find"

Fingers Crossed — Jezebel's Cherry Blossom Nails

My gals at Jezebel posted one of their favorite nail polish colors for Spring, and I couldn't agree more. cherry blossom

madeline writes...

Here's a great swatch of Essie Go Ginza. I really encourage you to check out Beauty Junkies Unite; they've got swatches of the entire Essie Spring 2013 collection. I'm loving Bond With Whomever, too...


Oh, Essie. I have a soft spot for Essie mainly because:

  1. When I got my first professional manicure at the tender age of 14, my glamorous stepmother took me to a posh salon — in Darien, Connecticut, no less. Bouge to the bouge. It was at this salon that I encountered bottles of Essie for the first time. I liked the square bottles, I loved the logo embossed in glass along the side and...
  2. My childhood nickname was Chessie. Never Fran, and certainly not Frannie. Oftentimes Chess. So I liked to pretend that it was (Ch)essie nail polish. Still do.

But despite these legitimate and heartwarming reasons, I hate painting with Essie. Love the colors, love the logo, love the name... hate the brush. I absolutely hate it. So tiny, barely spreads... It's enough of a disappointment to steer me in the direction of a dupe whenever I can.

So if there are any readers who also hate the Essie brush, may I suggest OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender? You'll get a very similar color (albeit not exactly a dupe) that will go on much more smoothly.

Click the pic to check out Tabechan's nailtastic Flickr, "NailJuice"!

xxo, Francesca

Swatch 'n' Learn! Ciaté — Very Colourfoil Manicure™

colorfoil_example Back in January, I stumbled upon the Ciaté "Very Colourfoil Manicure™" kit on And I was fascinated At the time, nobody had swatched them, so I was left to my own musings. Until now.

What can I say... I splurged! May I present the photo evidence of my first foray into foil manicures. Allison, this one's for you!

Very ColorFoil_Box

Very ColorFoil_Unpacked

I still have no idea why this was included, lol

A new full-size Ciaté is always welcome!

This is a little bottle of "Foil Fix." It reminded me a lot of watered-down Elmer's Glue.

The instructions were a little intimidating, but the process was actually very simple. You paint the Foil Fix where you want the foil to stick; the entire nail, just a section, just a dot, etc. Let the Foil Fix dry for 60 seconds or so... Press the foil down on the nail, shiny side up... Rip off and VOILA.

Speaking of foil... look at these awesome colors! The sheets of foil were incredibly thin. Even thinner than a Listerine Strip. (Anyone remember those??)

The foils came in this cute little envelope. It comes in handy because you'll find you have a ton of foil left! I only used one sheet of each color for my look. I could do at least 6-7 more foil manicures with the materials included in the kit.

Since there was no legitimate reason to only use the color of polish that came with the kit, I decided to add two colors to the mix; OPI "The IT Color" and Essie "Pretty Edgy."

Very ColorFoil_Foil

I had a lot of fun looking at this mani. I did mine a little crazy, but you could do a much more subtle look, limiting yourself to a base color and then using just one or two colors of foil for a simpler look.

A few days later, my foils really started to fade.

If you compare this photo to earlier shots, you can really see the disappearing foil.

Although the kit was an indulgence at $19, I've decided it's actually a great deal. You get a full bottle of Ciaté "Paint Pots" polish, which retails for $15. You get the bottle of Foil Fix. And then you get tons of foils. Again, I have to stress how generous this kit is with the foil.

Overall, I loved the Ciaté Very Colourfoil Manicure™ Kit, but I'll admit it's a bit of a mixed bag. The DIY feel of the kit was awesome — doing my nails totally felt like an art project! I really enjoyed getting a feel for working with the foil. It's an imperfect exercise, so there's that element of the unexpected when you rip the foil off. You hope for the best and just try again if you didn't get what you wanted the first time.

The downside is that the foil doesn't last very long. You can count on this looking for for about 2 days, and after that the foil just begins to wear away. Another issue I encountered was an area of Foil Fix that never had foil properly adhere to it. The nature of Foil Fix is that a top coat won't really stick to it. Meaning, if you've got a patch of Foil Fix on your nail that doesn't get covered with foil, it will stay gummy. Gross.

Any questions on the Very Colourfoil™ Mani? Hit me up in the comments! And if you've liked what you've seen, then may I suggest you act soon? I've only seen the kit at Sephora and the website days it's limited edition!

foiledagain, Francesca

Be My Guest: Laura — "A to Zebra" Zigs the Wrong Way :(

With Essie Sleek Sticks, it's just not as simple as A to Z...ebra. where does one start... well, for one - i'm a HUGE fan of Essie. i probably own 50 bottles of it (a conservative estimate).

so, when i read about their nail stickers coming out i was ecstatic. i went to a walgreens and there were the "essie sleek sticks"... lined up perfectly. waiting. almost taunting. i must have examined the options and held them next to my naked nails, imagining the transformation, for at least 20 minutes.

laura_essie sleek sticks_o rly

laura_essie sleek sticks_collection

finally, a decision - A to Zebra. it served up everything i'm after in a non-traditional (re: not your regular, boring, single color) look. with a matte base and glossy zebra stripes, who could not want these nailz?!

laura_essie sleek sticks_close up

when i checked out, the sales clerk (obviously not a polish fan) made a remark that i might as well go get a manicure for $10.89. i scoffed and quickly assured her that this would be no regular mani. this was going to be different and last much longer.

when i got home i immediately started in on the process. pretty simple as things go and i was thrilled with the idea of not having to deal with dry time (it was a friday night after all).

laura_essie sleek sticks_1

laura_essie sleek sticks_2

i applied the first sticker and followed the directions to file the excess down and away from my nail. it worked. but... and there it was. a big but: instant tip wear. (gasp!)

laura_essie sleek sticks_3

laura_essie sleek sticks_4

i thought to myself, self - it's your first time with these, try again. so i did, nine more times. i wish i could say that my nails only got better but alas, i cannot. tip wear, to varying degrees, on every nail. #sadface

it wasn't so bad as to be noticeable to anyone who would look at them but any nail polish-loving gal would be as upset about the finished look as was i. a disappointment.

laura_essie sleek sticks_5i imagined them lasting all week and showing them off on monday morning to the other girls in the office. yeah right, these nails weren't gonna make it past sunday afternoon at the rate they started to peel back.

also, good to note here that if you're a "picker" these nails aren't for you. the sticker started to grab onto little hairs and fuzz and then i'd get even more upset. *bigsigh

so, even though a very cute boy said how he liked the "squiggly lines" on my nails… i don't know that i'd drop another $10.89 for a one night out, kinda interesting mani.

i say that now, but maybe i'll give them another go if i hear some positive stories. ladies? anyone?

just another sad reminder that all that glitters isn't gold.


Be My Guest: Charlotte — From Lips to Fingertips

I’m not sure if I subconsciously picked up this Southern fashion rule from my grandmother or just created it by osmosis of my family’s conservative style. Regardless, I primarily pick my nail polish colors by one motto; “If you wouldn’t wear the color on your lips, don’t wear it on your fingertips.” Granted, many modern Southern gals are much more adventurous but, after witnessing the look on my aunt’s face when my cousin’s wife wore a shimmering bronze polish, I learned at nine years old that there were limitations. Having been friends with Francesca for some time now, she’s often attempted to push me outside of my palette comfort zone. Only over the past few years I’ve been known to don an OPI Lincoln Park After Dark or even Essie’s Nice is Nice. One day I was bold enough to wear Essie’s Lapis of Luxury with one finger sporting shimmering gold flecks, which naturally garnered the attention of my polish pusher pal.  After a mere 20 years away from Texas, I had finally broken through my Southern style barrier.

Francesca is of course delighted at my sudden turn, frequently remarking on my more daring choices, but still there is a soft spot for those vibrant reds and flirtatious pinks, so I wanted to share some of my go-to shades.

OPI’s “The Thrill of Brazil”

This is a classic red, not so brazen as to shock your co-workers, but still spicy enough for a night out.

OPI’s “Red My Fortune Cookie”

This red is a bit brighter than The Thrill of Brazil, which I’m interpreting as being a bit more playful.

Essie’s “Rose Bowl”

A very fun and rich pink, I feel like any eight-year-old girl would automatically select this shade.

Orly’s “Passion Fruit”

Ah, a neon. I can’t help loving neon pink and Orly’s Passion Fruit does not disappoint. I’m so drawn to this color in fact that I accidentally purchased a duplicate bottle. Gorg.

Essie’s “One of a Kind”

This is a great one to break up my standard pinks and reds because it offers up some hints of orange. It’s like a blood orange-flavored candy.

Essie Closer

And for the finale, the perfect red that now eludes me... As part of a promotional offer for TNT's "The Closer," Essie released a "Closer" red polish that rocked my socks off. Brighter than my other reds, and oh-so-stunning. I've made it through 2 bottles of this perfect polish (I may have stolen an extra from a coworker once I discovered its magic) and now I'm scraping the bottom of my last Essie bottle. Help me!

Despite my occasional betrayal, I still come running back to my pinks and reds like a schoolgirl who’s dramatically run away from home. When in doubt, “If you wouldn’t wear the color on your lips, don’t wear it on your fingertips.”

**Side note, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I used to tell strangers in bars that I wrote the names for nail polish colors. Is this a job? Can I have it?!?

partlyprimandproper, Charlotte