Saturday, June 29, 2013

China Glaze Of Course

     Today I have Of Course! from China Glaze's Texture collection to show you guys. Of Course! is a bright blue matte texture polish. This one is my favorite from the collection. For a couple of reasons. One because it's blue (my fave color) and two because it wears the best IMO. Anyway with out any further ado. Here is Of Course!


Indoor no flash. 

Indoor flash. 

Outdoor in sunlight. 

Outdoor in shade. 


Indoor no flash. 

Outdoor in sunlight.

     In all the pictures above I used two coats of Of Course! and no top coat. This polish applies easily and dries quickly. A note though, like with all texture nail polishes it can be a pain to remove. Make sure you have some pure acetone polish to remove it with or it's going to take you a while. But over all I really like this polish and now I kind of want the other texture polishes in this line. I actually like how they aren't sparkly like all the other texture polishes. That makes them more they look like bumpy jelly beans which is kinda awesome. Anyway that's all I have for you today. Until next time, stay classy and stay polished.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Quick Franken-Polish Creation Post

     So, usually I wouldn't post pics of the Franken-Polish's I have made (I have about 17 of them). But today I just have to show you guys the polish I made last week. Because, I am just in love with it and all it's dark a sparkly, Valkyrie trance inducing, beauty. Not to toot my own horn but...I did good this time. There are others I have liked...but this one is freaking awesome. I made two at the same time (both green with glitter in them). One is a lighter olive with gold glitter and the one I am going to show you is dark jade(ish) green with green and gold glitter in it. I named it 'The Dark One' for two reasons. One pretty obviously because it was the darker of the two I created, and two because it reminds my of my favorite character on Once Upon A Time (Rumpelstiltskin aka 'The Dark One'). Anyway Enough of my blathering. Here's my Franken 'The Dark One.' Enjoy.


Indoor no flash. 
*Best color representation. 

Indoor with flash. 

Outdoor in sunlight.

Outdoor in shade. 


Outdoor in sunlight. 

    I used two coats of 'The Dark One' and a layer of top coat. So what do you guys think? Are you loving it. Because, I so am. I just wish I had paid better attention when I was making this and recorded what I used so I could make more...but alas I did not. There will only ever be one bottle (insert sad panda face here). Sorry, if that sounds braggadocios but I am enamored with this polish. Which means I will have to wear it strategically. Anyway that's all I have to show you guys today. Until next time, stay classy, and stay polished.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Zoya Storm

     Today, I am going to show you guys a swatch of Storm by Zoya. I have had this polish for a while but I haven't worn it because...well it just never made the cut honestly. But I was feeling like dark polish today so it finally made the cut. Yeah so black polish isn't exactly summer...but hey I can't wear most of the neons and bright colors that other (read this as not white as a ghost) people can. So, I rock dark colors year round. Anyway, here's Zoya Storm; it's a black polish with torn holographic glitter in it.

Indoor with flash. 

Indoor no flash. 

Outdoor in sunlight. 
*Best color representation

Outdoor in shade. 

Indoor no flash. 

Outdoor in sunlight. 

     For all the shots above I used 2 coats of Storm and a layer of top coat. The formula applied easily and dried quickly. Over all no complaints from me. It even wore for a long(ish) time (read this as 3 days) without chipping. Over all I really like this polish. It's very  pretty and it makes my Valkyrie heart do little flip flops. Because as you know there is nothing more appealing to a Valkyrie than something sparkly and for me specifically to be dark and sparkly. Anyway that's all I have for you guys today. Until next time. Stay classy and stay polished.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

How To Identify A Genuine OPI Nail Polish.

     So this is a companion piece to post I did on the 7th about OPI Cast Off/Diversion. It occurred to me to that I told you how to identify a Diverted/Cast Off OPI but not how to spot a genuine OPI obtained through proper channels. So here it is. How to identify a proper channel, genuine OPI nail polish.

How To Identify A Genuine OPI Nail Polish: 

The Bar Code/Scan Bar:

Real OPI polish will still have it's bar code (on the bottom of the bottle) in tact. Like this one.

The Serial Number Printed: 

Somewhere on the bottle, usually the front (on top or bellow the OPI Logo) there will be a printed serial number. 

The Serial Number Etched Into The Bottle:

And sometimes there is a serial number etched into the glass of the bottle. Usually at the top of the bottle

The Serial Number Etched Into The Handle:

Then other times you get the serial number imprinted into the handle. This usually occurs in conjunction with a printed serial number on the bottle. 

Over All Look Of The Bottle:

Some have just one serial number.

While others have two numbers. Both printed and etched. 

And this one got two serial numbers as well. One etched in to the handle one printed.

How Not To Identify Authentic OPI Polish:

Number of Icons on the back:

4 icons

3 icons

     Basically the number of icons only indicates the number of restriction placed on the contents of the bottle at the time of production. It has nothing to do with whether the product is authentic or not. Merely a regulation based on what's inside the bottle. It will fluctuate with changing policies and changing ingredients. This should not figure into your decision making process. 

Lid Texture:

This one is really textured.

This one is not textured as much. 

Basically the amount or lack of texture doesn't prove anything...other than you have one lid that's bumpier than the other. So don't let this be a deciding factor. 

     And don't forget that the most obvious way to know if you have a genuine OPI is to ask yourself "Where did I buy it?" If the answer is: from a salon, or beauty store you are probably okay. Anywhere else and you have reason to question it. So I hope you now have all the tools you need to figure out if your OPI nail polish is a legitimate OPI or a diverted OPI product. I hope this helps you guys out. And I'm sorry I didn't include this in my previous post...I'm going to blame it on post vacation madness...Yes, that sounds believable...right? Anyway that's all I have for you today. Until next time, stay classy and stay polished.

Friday, June 7, 2013

OPI Cast Off/Diversion, What It Means, How To Spot It And What To Do About It.

  So, I have been wanting to do this post for quite sometime. But I am just getting around to it now. The issue I want to discuss today is diverted product also known as cast off. I have purchased a few "OPI" products online and noticed that the bottle was defaced. Which makes me a very unhappy girl (I like pretty bottles not mutilated ones). So I got to wondering about why a seller would do that. Which lead to me Googling until my eyes felt like sand paper and my head hurt. Once I recovered, I decided to go right to the horses mouth and fire off an email directly to OPI to see their stance on the topic. So this post will be about what I have found out about the topic of cast off/Diversion, it's dangers, why it's bad, how to spot diverted product, what you can do about diversion, and the sellers that I have found to have Diverted product (and yes I reported all of them already). 

What Is Diversion/Cast Off:

Diversion/Cast Off is when when OPI products meant to be sold in salons and other professional channels end up being sold by third, forth and sometimes even fifth party sellers. Basically a diverted OPI Product is any product not purchased from licensed professional OPI acknowledged/approved seller. This means no mass sellers (Target, Walmart, etc), no internet sellers (Ebay, Amazon, etc), no drug stores (Walgreens, RiteAid, CVS, etc), and no grocery stores (Kroger, Albertsons, etc). OPI sells only to distributors that sell exclusively to Salons and other professional channels. So if you bought it from at any of the a fore mentioned sellers then you have a diverted/cast off product.

Why Is Diversion/Cast Off Bad:

  • Counterfeit/fake products: With diverted product there is a high likelihood that the product you receive could be a fake. And if you are as invested in nail polish as I am, finding out that a polish you have wanted (nay lusted after), forever and finally bought is a fake is heart breaking. 
  • Expired: Products that are old or past their expiration date can not only separate, but they can change formula, change color, and sometimes even become hazardous due to changes in formula over time. Most nail polishes have a shelf life of 24 if the polish you just ordered online is from a line released more than two years're polish is probably past it's prime. Also here's a picture of the expected product life that should be on the back of every OPI bottle:
  • 24M =24 months or 2 years. The number shows you how many months before the product expires. 
  • Illegally Obtained: With all diverted products there is the likelihood that the product you received is stolen. Sure that polish is pretty....but do you want it if it's hot? OPI's are small bottles and would be very easy to steal. Personally I can think of a handful of times when if I were the type to do so, it would have been beyond easy to steal one or many of them. I wouldn't (because I would get caught...that's just how my life works...) but I could have. Specifically when I was left alone in a local JC Penny Salon while waiting on a stylist for 15 minutes (unsupervised mind you) sitting right next to the OPI display (with no security camera). It would have been easy to load up and haul ass. But I didn't. But that doesn't mean that others would do as I did (and not steal), and then turn around and sell them on Amazon or eBay. So the bottom line is do you really want to chance the fact that you are buying stolen goods? 
  • Inferior Quality: There is also the chance that diverted products are watered down, altered version of the originals. Mind that the alterations, and watering down are done with no professional/hygienic standards nor are they allowed or taught how to do so by OPI. Which leads me to "Ewww! What did they put in there?" Do you really want to know? Are you really willing to chance the fact that a foreign substance may be in your polish? Basically you have no way of knowing what may or may not have been done to alter, or water down your product if you didn't buy it through the proper channels.
  • Bacteria: There is a slight chance that diverted products may be contaminated or improperly handled resulting in bacteria or fungi infestations. I don't know about you ladies but I'm a level 3 germaphobe (1 being the worst level, 5 being the mildest). The thought of germs from improper handling skeeves me out. Whether this part is true or not (there are a lot of chemicals in nail polish that would seem inhospitable to germs and their disgusting cousins fungus) are you willing to chance that in the 3rd of 4th person seller that they were all handling in hygienically? The odds are not in your favor here. If working with the public since I was 16 has taught me anything it's this: People can be very, very gross, and they are grosser when they think no one is looking. So ask yourself if you are willing to chance it?
  • It Hurts Salons Owners: Diversion deprives small authorized businesses of their profit margins. Wouldn't we all like to keep our money local anyway? 
  • It Hurts The Consumer: If you buy diverted product you do not have access to assistance from OPI or professionals who know and understand the products. Also if you buy diverted product then you are not covered by the OPI warranty and quality standards. You are kind of on your own. 

OPI's Stance On Diversion:

Direct Quote (from email): "OPI is so passionate about fighting diversion. Diversion is the sale of professional products outside of professional beauty channels. OPI has spent tens of millions of dollars in the fight against diversion, to ensure that our OPI brand professional-use products are used only under the supervision of trained professionals." They went on to say that they pursue all leads on unauthorized sales of their products, support all industry wide anti-diversion efforts, will take legal action against divertors, will hire private investigators and lawyers, and they have a dedicated staff that record and follow up on diversion reports. So bottom line OPI is not happy about diversion and if they catch you doing it it's not going to be pretty. So don't divert OPI is one of the general thesis's of this segment...the other being that they get more than a little PO'd about Diverted product.

Is Diversion Illegal:

Technically no...but it's in the gray area of legal. It depends on if the product was stolen, or fake and a whole host of other tiny legal loop holes,  mumbo jumbo and a whole mess of tiny type (and lets face it tiny type is never anyone's friend). It basically comes down to contract violation and that is a whole other issue in and of itself. It's kind of a moral issue as well. I mean are you okay with the fact that it might be stolen, or altered, or that it may be all together a fake? Hence the morally gray area, that meanders into the legally gray area and makes everyone without a law degree go..."Wait, what?" 

How To Spot A Diverted OPI:

There are several ways to spot Diverted product, here are few sure fire ways to see if you have a Diverted/Cast Off OPI. 

Check the tags: Diverted OPI has missing or altered tags: 
Note the shorter tags on the Altered tags

Note the removal of the patent number.

Serial Numbers have been removed:

Very thin filing.

Worst defacement of the bottle. Only "I" remains of the OPI logo. 

And in some cases there is a gouge out of the handle where they removed the serial number. 

Labels on the bottom of the bottle have been removed or defaced:

Bar code has been removed. Also handle and bottle serial number have been removed. 

Bar code removed and bottom label torn. 

A combination of filed off serial numbers but bottom label still intact:

I have also seen lines drawn through bar codes at brick and mortar stores. Any of these things tells you that you have a diverted product.

Sellers Known To Sell Altered & Diverted OPI Product:

This is a list of sellers that are known to me as sellers of diverted product, through personal experience. This list is by no means complete but if I find new ones I will be adding them periodically as they come up. 
Sellers On Amazon:
Brick And Mortar Stores:
  • Target
  • Fred Myers
  • Smiths (A Kroger Brand Grocery store)

What You Can Do About Diversion: 

If you think you have found some diverted OPI products contact OPI at 800-341-9999 or email them at Also buy from the proper channels. Shop salons, trade secret, and Ulta to make sure you are getting legit real authentic OPI Products. If People quit buying diverted/cast off products then people will quit selling them. And the problem resolves it self.

     So there you have it. A very long, very wordy post on diversion/cast off. In fact I am pretty sure this is my longest post ever. But I figured this was an important issue that let's face it hasn't been addressed much in the nail polish community (for some reason), so I though why not me, and why not now. Specially since I have been MIA all week due to a mini vacation/concert. This post idea was kicking around in my brain for the last few months. Now felt like the right time to finally write up the post and share the information with my lovely Valkyrie minions. I personally loath defaced bottles and from here on in will only be buying my OPI's through proper channels. Because defaced bottles make me crabby. My OCD tendencies come out and I'm all "They don't match! Why don't they match?!?!?" Basically it's up to you guys to decide if the benefits out weigh the risks. I would rather be sure I was getting the polish I want, and not have to question it. I also hope that this post helps clear up some of the gray area around this topic and that now you are better equipped to make up your own mind on if you are willing to buy diversion/cast off or not. Anyway, that's all I have for you guys today. Until next time, stay classy, and stay polished.