Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Same Old Product, New Name: Revlon Scandalous Nail Polish

Facets of Fuschia

I couldn't let this one pass without comment. Revlon released the limited edition shade Facets of Fuschia earlier this year. I was such a big fan of this black with fuschia glitter that I featured it in a Halloween week post as my nail of the week. Imagine my surprise a few weeks ago when I saw the shade re-released under the new shade name Scandalous. The bottle even has a red “New Shade” sticker on it. What a weird move by Revlon!
What a "Scandal"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nail of the Week: Emerald Express

This deep jewel tone from Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri collection is a great Christmas shade. I used a gold striper to add an extra holiday twist.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nail of the Week: Silver Bells

Time for some silver—my nail posts have been heavy on the gold lately. The hi-glitz shade I'm wearing is Showgirl Chic from Sally Hansen's new Gem Crush collection. Great for New Year's Eve! The glittery purple shade I'm holding in the picture below is Be Jeweled.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A new contender: Kiss Nail Dress Nail Polish Strips

Move over Sally Hansen, these new nail decals from Kiss are stunning—they'll definitely give your nail polish strips a run for their money. Here's what I like about them:
  1. Check out the lineup! The designs are gorgeous and the textured ones are especially fun—perfect for those of us who want super tricked-out nails for upcoming holiday parties.
  2. Some of the patterns come with different variations—what a great idea! I bought the gold bubble pattern (Babydoll) and love that it came with a combination of stripes and solids (see picture below.)
  3. The price ($7.99) is a few dollars cheaper than Sally Hansen ($9.99), and the display I saw in Walgreens had coupons for $1.00 off. 

This just in: More New Designs from Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips

I just spotted this display in Walgreens yesterday; there are some pretty new designs mixed in with a few solid colors. I would have written the new shade names down, but I was too distracted by the far more dazzling display off Kiss' new “Nail Dress” polish strips (see my next post for details).....

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Nail of the Week: Winter Wonderland

Here's a snowy nail art design that's easy to create freehanded. I started with two layers of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Deep Blue Sea. For the snowbanks I used NYC Cashmere Cream and Sinful Colors Snow Me White. The snowflakes are from a set of Nailene decals I bought at CVS. I covered it all with a layer of Sally Hansen Disco Ball.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nail of the Week: Holiday Royale

I love this glamorous half moon design for Christmas—L'Oreal's Caught Red-Handed is the ultimate holiday red with a subtle gold shimmer.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nail of the Week: Nails Inc. Magnetic Nail Polish

I've been waiting for ages to try magnetic nail polish. When I saw the Nails Inc. version at Sephora last week, I snapped it up. The price is a little steep ($16), but I've been waiting so long I would have bought it even if I didn't get to use my 20% VIB discount.

I bought the shade House of Parliament which looks bright purple on the Sephora website but in reality is a brownish plum. Still pretty, as the magnetic stripes give it an animal print effect, but I kind of wish I'd gotten the teal shade. There was also a silver.

Application was easy and the instructions were simple to follow (I didn't bother to buy the “base coat”.) The magnet is on the cap which is detachable from the applicator. Apply a thick coat and immediately hold the magnet over the nail. Within 15 seconds, a striped pattern appears as the magnet causes metallic particles in the polish to separate.

I had a few do-overs from getting the magnet too close, causing a nick in the coat, but all in all this was a fun, unique manicure experience. These would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who likes to trick out their nails.

I'm hoping these will trickle down into lower-priced drugstore brands (like OPI's shatter did) so I can experiment with different shades and patterns. Meanwhile I recommend buying this in Sephora stores rather than online if you want to see an exact representation of the shades—the swatches on the Sephora site are a little off. Also make sure to use a top coat as this polish has a tendency to chip very quickly.

Christmas Nails: Candy Cane Stripe

For this design I used a silver glitter nail art polish to add a unique twist. The other shades are:
  • Sinful Colors Snow Me White
  • Maybelline Express Finish Crimson (discontinued, but any bright red will work)
  • Color Club Nail Art Lilac

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nail of the Week: Snow Bunny

It's not officially winter yet, but we've already had a snowstorm in New England. This is a cute alternative to all the dark shades so many of us wear in the fall and winter. To create this look I wanted a very specific shade of light pink, but everything I had was too sheer, too light or too dark. Here's what I finally came up with:
  • 1 thin layer of Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl
  • 2 thick layers of Sinful Colors Glass Pink
  • 1 layer of Sally Hansen Disco Ball

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3000 Visits! Time to Celebrate: Enter to win an Ulta Gift Certificate

I'm thrilled that the number of visits to my blog has hit 3000 since I went live in June. I'm celebrating this milestone by offering a giveaway of a $25 gift card to Ulta. To enter you must complete one of the following:

Become a follower of Great Lashing via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment on 2 separate blog posts. If you are already following, simply leave 2 comments.

Send Jen Monopoli ( a friend request on Facebook and, once you've been accepted, share 2 Great Lashing blog posts to your wall. If you're already my friend on FB, simply share 2 posts to your wall.

Once you've entered the contest please let me know by emailing me at or sending me a message on my Facebook page.

Terms and Conditions:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the US age eighteen (18) or older are eligible to win. No family members or personal friends (you know who you are!) of Jen Monopoli are eligible.
Deadline to enter is Monday, November 21, 2011 at 11:59 EST.
A maximum of two (2) entries per person is allowed—one by each method of entry. Comments made to blog posts must be deemed relevant and appropriate by Jen Monopoli.
Winner will be chosen at random within 48 hours of the close of the contest. Winner will be announced at and notified by Jen Monopoli via Gmail or Facebook message.
Prize is non-transferable. No substitutions or cash redemptions. Other conditions and restrictions apply.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My OPI Nail of the Week: More Muppetry

My nails are lit up like an early Christmas tree with these two shades from OPI's Muppets collection. If you're a regular reader of my blog, you may remember that I complained that the metallic gold shade Designer, De Better was a little boring. Well I fixed that by layering 3 coats of Rainbow Connection over it. I love the result—this is just the first of many winter holiday and Christmas inspired manicures I'll be posting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Old Skool: Forty Years of Great Lashing

Maybelline celebrated the fortieth anniversary of Great Lash Mascara this year. This is no small feat—as other makeup products have come and gone this mascara has managed to become one of the bestselling cosmetic items of all time. It's been the #1 selling mascara in America for most of its forty years.


Here's why I think Great Lash has stayed on top this long:
  • Quality: it's a good, basic clump-free mascara at a reasonable price.
  • Shade Range: It comes in a wider variety of shades than most mascaras. The range includes three different blacks, clear (so hard to find) and a bright Royal Blue that is like no other mascara I've ever seen.
  • Packaging: the lime green and hot pink tube is fun and eye catching (any resemblance to my blog is purely coincidental :). Incidentally, any resemblance to Lilly Pulitzer's designs is not coincidental—they were actually the inspiration for the packaging. Although other features such as the logo and tube shape have evolved over the years, Maybelline has wisely kept the iconic pink and green combination.
  • Tradition: Many girls' first mascara experience came from experimenting with their mom's makeup kit which inevitably included this mascara. The easy application and familiarity led them to choose the same product when they made their first mascara purchase.
As part of Maybelline's celebration they commissioned three famous designers to create patterns for a limited edition collection. Pictured above, from left, are the designs created by Tracy Reese, BCBG/Max Azria and Vivienne Tam.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nail of the Week: Revlon Facets of Fuschia

Here's what I'm wearing this week. I don't think Revlon could have come up with a better Halloween shade than this black with purple glitter from their Fall 2011 Expressionists collection. I especially like the chunky texture. It's a big hit with kids too—I brought it to my nephew's birthday party a few weeks ago and my nieces lined up to put it on their fingers and toes!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Nails: Ghastly Ghosts

I think these are my creepiest Halloween nails yet! I used water marbling to create these ghosts, then added the eyes and mouth with a pointed q-tip.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Drugstore vs. High End Makeup: Cream and Gel Eyeliners

As far as I’m concerned there’s no distinction between these two types of pot eyeliner. Bobbi Brown’s gel is no different than Smashbox’ cream.

Bottom Line: Buy drugstore, specifically Physicians Formula.  PF’s Shimmer Strips Eye Enhancing Gel CreamLiner matches the quality of high end brands. The price is a steal (sets of 3 run $10-$11, where high end brands can be as much as $22 per single shade.)

PF’s liner comes in stacked sets of 3 based on eye color. The only caveat here is that you may not be able to find a match for your favorite high end shade—most conspicuously absent from PF’s collection is a plain black (each black has a subtle colored shimmer.)  Also there’s no match for Clinique’s classic Black Honey shade. Still, there’s a pretty good overall selection. Check out my list below for a guide to the shades in each stack.

The PF set comes with a brush that is less than stellar—not a big deal considering high end liners don’t come with a brush at all. No need to go high end for the brush either, Target’s Sonia Kashuk line offers a professional quality option (the Bent Eyeliner Brush) for just $5.99.

Avoid other brands of drugstore cream/gel liners including Maybelline, Jane, L'Oreal & Wet n Wild. These get mixed reviews on many makeup discussion boards and in my personal experience they all have a tendency to flake.

Btw PF is on sale at CVS this week (buy one get one/50% off). Or if you’re really on a budget you can hold out for one of the next 40% off PF sales which regularly run at Ulta, Kmart & the big 3 (CVS, Rite Aid & Walgreens.)

Shimmer Strips Shade Guide
Brown Eyes
dark purple
dark brown
black with subtle purple shimmer
Hazel Eyes
dark olive/gold taupe
medium purple
black with subtle purple shimmer
Green Eyes
bright forest green
dark bluish violet
black with subtle green shimmer
Blue Eyes
dark royal blue
bronze-ish brown
dark navy blue with subtle blue shimmer
Glam Collection (all metallic)
Brown Eyes
yellow gold
black with bronze shimmer
Hazel Eyes
amethyst (silvery purple)
black with gold shimmer
Green Eyes
black with pewter shimmer
Blue Eyes
black with silver shimmer

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This just in: Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips Christmas Collection

Just spotted this new collection in Target yesterday. I'm partial to Snow Bunny but these are all cute! Check out Frock Star—this looks like a close match to OPI’s Rainbow Connection which is a hot item right now.

Drugstore vs. High End Makeup: Powder Blush and Eye Shadow

Bottom Line: Splurge on high end

This is one category where drugstore brands have yet to catch up. Surprisingly, even Revlon and L'Oreal can't match the quality of the best high end brands. In general, drugstore brands lack pigmentation and are not finely textured—this results in low color payoff, uneven application and poor staying power.

My picks for the best high end powder blush are:
Bobbi Brown ($24)
Illamasqua ($24)
Lorac ($20)
MAC ($19.50)
Nars ($27)

My picks for eye shadow (prices listed are for singles):
Bobbi Brown ($20)
Lorac ($19)
MAC ($15)
Nars ($23)
Stila ($18)

Drugstore vs. High End Makeup: Mascara

This is the first in a series I'll be posting.

First up: mascara. Bottom line: Never buy high end—this is one category where many drugstore selections are just as good, if not better. Also it's the one category where Maybelline and its parent company L'Oreal excel the most. Here are drugstore alternatives to two popular high end mascaras:

Dior diorshow ($24.50) = L’Oreal Voluminous ($8-$9)
Lancome Definicils ($25) = Maybelline Lash Stiletto ($7-$8)

If you’re really on a budget, check out your local Dollar Tree. I’ve recently spotted two stellar mascaras there: L’Oreal Featherlash (currently discontinued) and Maybelline Full ‘N Soft.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Nails: Bat Girl

Here's another entry to my Halloween nail art collection. For this I diluted several dark purple shades with a clear polish to make the color as sheer as possible, then added layers gradually moving upwards to create a gradient. At the top are LA Colors Jewel Tone with a light coat of Revlon Facets of Fuschia. The bats are from a set of Nalene Halloween decals from Walgreens. 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

OPI: Miss Universe vs. Miss Piggy

OPI It's MY Year

OPI is all about Limited Edition collections, particularly with celebrity/movie/event tie-ins. Here are shades from 2 of these collections: the first and my current favorite is It's MY Year from the Miss Universe 2011 collection. It's a gorgeous purple with gold shimmer. The collection debuted last spring but is still available in a few beauty supply stores.

OPI Designer De Better

The second shade is from the recently released (believe it or not) Muppets movie collection. The shade is Designer, De Better, a metallic gold which looks beautiful in sunlight but a little plain indoors.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nail of the Week: Water Marbled Half Moon

Here's my take on the half moon manicure that's so popular right now. Typically it's done manually with binder reinforcement circles and only 2 shades. But since I'm a water marbling addict I decided to do a variation with a few extra shades thrown in. From the bottom up, the shades are:

  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Platinum
  • Jordana Sweet Rose
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Plum Power
  • Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Black Heart

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Halloween Nails: Frankenstein

My nieces will get a kick out of my Frankenstein nails. I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Limestone as a basecoat and Milani Nail Art Black Sketch for the eyes and mouth. For the hair I used OPI Black Shatter.

If you like my Frankenstein nails, check out my Bride of Frankenstein nails!

Halloween Nails: Spiderwebs Everywhere

This is the second of many Halloween designs I'll be posting. My spiderweb nails were fun and easy to create. Just one coat of Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Black Heart as the base coat. For the spiderwebs I used two nail art polishes: Milani White Canvas traced over LA Colors Silver.

Halloween Nails: Candy Corn

Admittedly I won't be wearing my candy corn nails to work tomorrow, but I had fun creating them. I tried to match the colors exactly: the yellow is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening, and the orange is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nail of the Day: Black Opal

Today's color is Wet N Wild Gray's Anatomy. I love this silvery prismatic shade. The camera doesn't fully capture how pretty it is. At $1.99 I definitely recommend this one for anyone's fall collection!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nail of the Week: Purple Stripes

Sinful Colors is on sale for $1 at Walgreens this week (sale ends today). I picked up a glittery purple to complete this striped pattern. Here's what I used starting with the glitter shade:
  • Sinful Colors I Miss You
  • Confetti Purple Parade
  • Sinful Colors Purple Diamond
  • Sinful Colors You Just Wait

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nail of the Week: Marbled Rose

My water marbling kick continues. For this rosy pattern I used:
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Cherry Red, Plum Power and Lacey Lilac
  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Mudslide

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Nail of the Day: Sapphire

Here's another entry for my birthstone series. I layered Sinful Colors Midnight Blue with Sally Hansen Disco Ball. I'm taking requests, so if you'd like me to create a look for your birthstone, please let me know!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nail of the Day: Emerald Island

I'm kicking off a series of "birthstones and jewel tones" to celebrate the birthday of a close friend.

For this look I layered L.A. Colors Color Craze Treasure Island over Sally Hansen Lime Lights

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nail of the Week: Rainbow Marbled

I'm a fan of the cooking site, and a recent photo of rainbow cupcakes inspired me this week (see my Facebook page for the picture & link).

I'm still on my water marbling kick, and this rainy weekend (we're in the path of Hurricane Irene) was the perfect opportunity to create this colorful but time-consuming manicure. The shades I used are too numerous to mention, but most of them were opaque shades of Sinful Colors and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nail of the Week: Jelly Sandwich

Jelly sandwiches, aka glitter sandwiches, are manicures with jelly finish polishes layered over glossy, glittery shades. This pink concoction is pure summer fun. Here's what I used:
Layer 1: Sinful Colors Purple Diamond
Layer 2: Revlon Just Tinted Desire
Layer 3: Sinful Colors Purple Diamond
Layer 4: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Disco Ball

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nail Art: En Fuego

For this fiery design I used 3 Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear shades: Flirt, Caribbean Coral and Sun Kissed. The yellow shade is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Lightening. I used Revlon Gold Coin as a base.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nail of the Week: Moonglow

We've had a full moon all week and I was inspired to create this design. And yes, I admit it—I'm addicted to water marbling!! As you can see my technique is not yet perfected but I'm still practicing. I used the following shades here:

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue, Deep Blue Sea and Blue Me Away
Sinful Colors Midnight Blue
Essie sweet talker
Sinful Colors Unicorn