September 16, 2011

Orly "Rock Solid" Swatches!

Sparkly rainbow asphalt! Multi-color metallic gray! Holo-dark-tastic!...

That's all I've got for now. I'm only half way through the day's first cup of coffee.

Anyway, what you see here is my favorite polish of this year (this far), Orly "Rock Solid" from the Mineral FX collection. I found this (and another from the collection, "Rock the World") at my local Sally Beauty about two weeks ago. This is their fall collection, and of the six shades this one certainly stands out the most for me. I adore dark polishes anyway (I'm a goth kid in remission) and anything holo/super-sparkly, so the combination of both is just too much to resist!

Orly polishes are generally of excellent quality, and this is no exception. Opaque in two coats, normal drying time, and easy to apply. The rubberized brush handle makes application easier than with other brands. It does need to be noted that this polish will soak up your first top coat, and if you want to get the most bang for your buck in terms of the rainbow sparkle, apply two top coats.

I took a few more pictures than normal, just because this polish is so awesome (and unique). Enjoy!

September 13, 2011

Milani "Bolting Blue" Swatches!

This crazy-bright blue nail polish is "Bolting Blue" from Milani. It's certainly a stand-out color, and is also a very nice quality polish at a budget-friendly price. You can find Milani at many drugstores, including CVS and Walgreens, for around $4. This shade is a classic from their line and has been around for a while. If you want a bright blue, look no further!

If you like attention-grabbing polishes, you'll adore this one. It's opaque in two coats, doesn't eat a top coat (just one and it's shiny) and is easy to apply. I've always loved Milani's polishes, and this is a stellar example of the brand. It has a normal drying time, isn't streaky or overly-thick. The color has a gentle shimmer that adds to the eye-catching quality.

This shade is a good dupe for China Glaze "Frostbite", they're incredibly similar, with "Frostbite" being just a bit lighter. Having used both, I would actually pick "Bolting Blue" between the two if I had to choose, as its application is a bit smoother and "Frostbite" did stain my nails just a smidge. Check out more views in varying types of light below!

September 6, 2011

One-Shots: Sinful Colors "Snow Me White"!

The best kinda shot is a one-shot! (Duh, any video gamer knows this.) Here at Mineral Magnolias, we give you fast-and-dirty one-nail reviews of nail polish that strikes our fancy. Today it's "Snow Me White" by Sinful Colors. SC gives you good quality polish, a wide variety of colors and finishes at a very reasonable price and a convenient location (Walgreens, $1.99).

Stark-white polishes are tricky. They can be too thick, too thin, streaky, watery or just plain uncooperative. Of all of the super-white, no shimmer's I've tried, this is the best. Some, like Sally Hansen "White On" just looks like generic office product white-out on my nails. Others, like any from Orly's French Manicure line, are way too watery. This is just right. If you want to do a French Manicure at home, using my previous post about black tips, then I recommend using this white. You'll get opaque in one-coat!

OPI "Here Today...Aragon Tomorrow!" Swatches!

There are a few (good) reasons I bought this polish a while back. Number One: I grew up in a small town in Georgia called Aragon. Number Two: Green is my favorite color. Number Three: Ultra unique shade! Number Four: it's the color of my first car!

OPI "Here Today..Aragon Tomorrow!" is from their Coleccion De Espana (a few years back). I've had this for a while, it's the only shade from that collection that I purchased and it is still one of my favorite polishes. Every time I wear it, people ask "Is that black...or green...or what?!" It's certainly eye-chatching, without being flashy or over-the-top.

I find that the formula follows OPI's standard formula. Opaque in two coats, and be careful with your first coat. If you don't apply it evenly with an easy hand, it'll be two thick and look spotty. It has a normal drying time, and takes well to just one top coat (I used Seche Vite). You can buy this polish in-store at most Ulta shops, and in varying places online.

A few more shots in varying types of light!

August 31, 2011

New Orly Polishes!

Just picked these up at Sally. "Rock the World" and "Rock Solid", both from their latest collection. Super excited about these, and will swatch as soon as I can! (Also grabbed a new Nina Ultra Pro, "French Roast".)

August 15, 2011

Orly "Dazzle" Swatch!

Today I bring you quite possibly the most chrome nail polish I've ever seen: Orly "Dazzle"! This will be repromoted this winter as part of their holiday line, but you can still pick it up at beauty retailers as it's a permanent shade. (Orly's site retails for $7.50.) This is a seriously eye-catching nail polish. There's nothing subtle about it. The quality is quite nice. It can be opaque and ready in one coat, but two really brings out the full shine and pop. It has a faster than normal drying time, and does not streak. The one downfall of this shade is when it comes time to take it off: it's so shimmery that, much like many glitter polishes, your hands will be covered in little silver flakes (I suppose there are worse things for your hands to be covered in).

Here are a few more shots of it. The photo up top is in natural light. The next few are as well, and the last is with flash (super dazzle!!!!!).

(Yeah, I totally spilled some green polish on this bottle's cap. That's LASplash Ocean Fairy, heh. Whoopsie!)

August 11, 2011

One-Shots: Zoya "Adina"

The best kinda shot is a one-shot! (Duh, any video gamer knows this.) Here at Mineral Magnolias, we give you fast-and-dirty one-nail reviews of nail polish that strikes our fancy. Today it's "Adina" by Zoya. I adore Zoya polishes, they're all very high quality and never disappoint.

Adina is a gem! Zoya's site describes it as: "Violet metallic multichrome. A frosty hint of green and magenta creates a unique "oil-slick" look." This description is spot on. Adina is one of the most pronounced multi-chromes I've ever seen. You can easily get purple, green and gold just from looking at it. It's fully opaque in two coats, but even better in three. It has a normal drying time, doesn't streak for your second/third coats. This is easily one of my favorite polishes in my entire collection. You can find Adina at

Here are some shots in a variety of angles and lights:

Black Tips with Sinful Colors "Black on Black"

One of my favorite types of manis is the colorful French. French manicure at a salon is typically white on the parts of your nail that stick out past your fingertip, and either clear or a clear-pink on the base of the nail (finished with a glossy top coat). These manicure can cost in the range of $15 at a nail salon, and sometimes only last a day or two before they start to fade and chip (especially if you get an airbrushed white).

So I set out to make my own French tip manicures at home! It just takes a good one-coat polish, a few tools and some patience.

Start out with clean nails, freshly removed and buffed with a buffing block. This removes the oils from your nails (which helps polish stick better) and gives a smooth surface for the polish. You can get basic buffing blocks at any beauty supplier for under $1. Next, apply your base coat (I use Seche Clear or Milani Smoothe Base Coat). Now it's time for your first French tip tool...

Nailene Perfect Tips. You can find these at any CVS for $2.29, packages of 96. (Not bad, huh??) They are little plastic sticky strips that help you do an excellent French tip. Apply them with the top line sitting just where your nail bed ends and your nail tips begin. Then, find your one-coat polish and start painting the tips, like this...

I highly recommend doing one hand at a time. As soon as the polish is on each nail, quickly rip off the tip guides, pulling UP and away from your finger. If you wait too long, the polish could adhere to the guide and come off with it. Rinse/repeat on your other hand. Wait a bit for the polish to dry, and apply your top coat (I use Seche Vite). This is what you should have:

Sinful Colors "Black on Black" is hands-down the best black polish I have ever found. You can find it at Walgreens for $1.99. It goes on completely opaque in one coat and has never stained my nails. The one coat dries fairly quickly as well.

You can do any variety of colors with these techniques. Another of my favorites is a vibrant pink base and black tips (just make sure your base color is fully dry before you start with the tips). Adding a coat of iridescent glitter (like China Glaze "Fairy Dust") can add a lovely sparkle to this, too!

Happy painting, everyone!

August 10, 2011

Crazy Manis: Fricktastic

One of my closest friends, artist Miranda Harrell, is in a karaoke competition here in Georgia every Monday night. Each night has had a fashion theme, and this week was "red, blue and flashy". Since most of my clothing is black (yeah, I'm a goth in remission), I decided to carry this theme in my makeup and nails. I call it the "Fricktastic" because Miranda's favorite colors are actually "red, blue and flashy" and this is just her as a manicure. The index finger is Zoya "Ginessa", with OPI Turqoise Shatter. Every other nail is Nina Ultra Pro "Love Struck." I found this red on Monday in a store and fell in love with it. It goes on well, opaque in two coats, thick but still stained my nails! One of my pet peeves, polish that stains my acrylic tops! I buffed and put on a thick coat of Seche Clear, but it still stained them. So disappointing!

August 9, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Mascara

Everyone uses make-up differently, and that's okay! But each product has a set of tips and tricks that can make using it easier and more efficient. In Tips and Tricks, we take a look at a few pointers to using different products. Today, it's mascara!

#1: Don't pump it! Pumping your mascara in and out of the tube may seem like a good way to "mix" the product and get plenty on the brush, but in actuality what you're doing is pushing loads of air into the tube and causing the product to dry out way faster than normal. Instead of pumping, twist the brush gently in the tube. Most tubes are already designed to gather plenty of product on the brush, and twisting will help improve the longevity of your mascara as well as breaking up clumps on the brush.

#2: If you make a mistake, wait it out! It happens all the time: we're applying our mascara, and something untoward happens and we wind up with mascara on our eyelid, eyebrow, cheek, nose or--if you're me--contact lens! It's not the end of the world, I promise! Mascara is designed to wipe off of skin easily. If you make a mistake, just wait until the product has dried and you will be able to scrape or wipe it off your skin with ease, and it more than likely won't stain or smudge. If you try to wipe it off immediately, it will smudge and make an icky black mark on your skin.

#3: Update frequently! Cleanliness in make-up is just as important as it is in cooking. Your brushes and products will gather bacteria as they go through the ages. The average shelf-life of mascara in terms of bacterial contamination is three months. Use this as a chance to try a new brand or subtype, or stick with your own personal favorite.

#4: Research before you buy! There are plenty of products out there that make false claims. When you see an advertisement for mascara, keep in mind that more than likely the models in the ad are wearing fake lashes. The internet is your friend! If a brand or type has piqued your interest, do some research and see what other beauty lovers on the web have discovered. My personal favorites are Fairy Drops Scandal Queen, Dior DiorShow Extase, Buxom and Maybelline Lash Stiletto. I've found that all four of these do exactly what they claim to do, especially Fairy Drops!

August 8, 2011

The FAQ!

(I forever equate FAQs to video games. Just sayin'.)

Hello there! I wanted to take a moment to answer some basic questions about me and my cosmetics routines. If there's something about me that you're still curious on, post a comment and we'll see what happens! As always, thanks for reading, and happy beautying!

1) Where is Jill from? I was born and raised in the wilds of Polk County, Georgia, USA. My wonderful parents (who are still together!) made a lovely home for us for all of my life (until I got married in 2008) in the same house, deep in the US South. The nearest city to where I live is Rome, GA. With an approximate population of 35,000, Rome is a rather small town and very typically Southern. I am very proud of my Southern heritage and the ways of the South! Sweet tea, hospitality, gentility and this.

2) What do you do now that you're a grown-up? Me? Grow up? Never! However, my career for the last seven years has been in social work. From child protective services, to hospice, to mental health, by day I am out there trying to help the people. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Anthropology and Government from Berry College.

3) Who else is important here? Well, there's Mr. Jill. My wonderful husband is Todd, and he is a very loving & patient soul who tolerates my beauty addiction with poise and love. He tells me how beautiful I am every day, no matter whether I'm decked out in my best make-up, or just crawled outta bed with ratty hair and sleepy in my eyes. My main assistant is Karma, a small beige cat who is always eager to help Mommy. Todd's main assistant is Neema, 18lbs of black cat love. Our outside associates are Beckett and Dante, two very happy dogs.

4) What is your skintone? For MAC, I'm NW15 or NW10 (I wish it were more available). I'm currently using L'oreal True Match liquid foundation in W1 Porcelain. I have cooler tones in my skin, but W1 is their lightest possible shade, which I have to use. I usually seal my foundation using Physicians Formula Green and White pressed powder.

5) What are some of your favorite products? Tokidoki highlighter Luminosa powder in Kabuki, Mary Kay Oil Mattifyer, Mary Kay's Eye Primer, Urban Decay lipstick in Requiem, Rock & Republic lipgloss in Cougar, Urban Decay eyeshadow in X and NARS blush in Deep Throat (just to name a few).

6) What else do you do, besides make-up? I'm an avid video gamer, have been since age 8. Anything from Final Fantasy to Halo to Gears of War, I adore video games! I have a CD collection of over 700, so it's easy to say I'm really into music. When I'm not doing one of these things, I'm probably cooking!

Hopefully that gives you a little insight into the author and her life!

Zoya "Ginessa" Swatch

My current nail color, "Ginessa" from Zoya! The product's site describes this as: "Soft, silvery white glitter flakes against a sheer winter white base. A clean shimmering white that's universally flattering." It's opaque in two coats, isn't overly thick and is a good example of Zoya's shimmer formulas. It tends to try a little thick, but as long as you're careful and use a drying top coat (I use Seche Vite), you'll be fine.

Sometimes white nail polishes can be chalky or harsh. With the shimmer in Ginessa, it's much more gentle on the onlooker than your average white polish. Because of its silver glitter, it does lean cool, but it isn't overbearing and should be fine on any skin tone. I can see this being especially flattering on darker skin tones, but it still looks elegant on my insanely pale skin.

You can find Ginessa at!