Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Zoya Julie

Gonna try to get back into this, but now that I'm in grad school (probably should have thought that through a little more, but I'm in and I'm working hard) I have next to no time to paint my nails. I miss it though.

Why Zoya discontinued Julie I have no idea. It's gorgeous. Bright, spring-y, sparkly, and perfect. This was 3 very thin coats. It's going on my toes this upcoming weekend.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

China Glaze Party Hearty

Party Hearty, like O.P.I.'s Absolutely Alice, was a polish that made a home for itself on my wish list, but wasn't something I'd ever expected to own. And like with Alice, I happened upon a blog sale at the right time. I'm not a lucky person, but sometimes it happens. Kind of like when I drop a box of dog treats on the ground and my dogs, after an initial second of surprise, dive like pigeons.  

It's not a unique or inventive glitter, and I certainly don't believe the eBay prices are justified, but it is a really lovely little bottle of Christmas that I still pick up and marvel at. The components just add up to something more than the sum of its parts. 

It's a clear base filled with medium-sized bright red hexes, small emerald glitters, and minuscule silvery-gold glitters. It looks a bit overwhelming in the bottle, but comes out surprisingly delicate on the first coat. Subsequent coats tend to gunk up and look clunky, so I'd recommend sticking to one. 

I've seen it over reds, greens, and golds, but I think the most flattering base for this polish is a sheer white. I'm using two coats of Funny Bunny, which I really need to get another bottle of; I've been wearing it pretty much all December. I can't get enough of it. I have frosted sugar cookie nails and I love it. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Catrice Walk in the Woods

I picked up this cute little bottle of fall from a blog sale a couple years ago. To be honest, I got it more for the pretty bottle and name, than the color itself. That being said, I quite like it, although I'm not sure if it's the color working its magic on me or the bottle/name combination making the shade more attractive. 

I'm actually not sure how many other browns/camels I own. I'm bananas for it when it comes to handbags or shoes, but not so much on my nails. I tend to reach for nude or beige when I want something neutral on my hands. 

But, like I said, I ended up really liking the color. It's a very soft camel creme/jelly, easy to work with and covers nicely in two coats. No VNL, but still squishy. It actually puts me in the mood for  a mustard polish, which hardly ever happens. Like lighter greens, it likes to clash with my skin tone. The only one to not do it (very much) is butter LONDON Bumster, but I do own Sally Hansen's Forsythia, which I haven't showed here yet. Might be time. 

I'd like to get my hands on more Catrice polishes, if this is what they are like. I painted my nails around 2:30 am, while watching Torchwood, in dim lighting, and there was little to no clean up. Some would say it's the mark of a good painter, but I know better. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween 2016: Coven Swarm.

This is an incredibly half-assed version of the Halloween nails I did last year. Not great, but good enough, since Halloween tends to sneak up on me. 

While Coven wasn't my favorite season of AHS, the aesthetic was gorgeous, and I came away from it loving the combination of black and dirty, taupe-y lavenders. I own both in spades, but sadly I cannot for the life of me do a good glitter gradient anymore, so what's on my nails is a poor facsimile of what I wanted to do. Also it's my left hand so it's going to be naturally messier (southpaw here) since my right is recovering from a pretty outstanding nail breakage. 

I used M.A.C. Modern Movement, which is a gorgeous enigma of a polish. Is it taupe? Lavender? Grey? Pinky-beige? The answer is all of the above, dependent upon the lighting. It's in my top ten favorite polishes on earth and I wish I'd bought a back up. The black glitter is Sally Hansen Ruffle, which was (is?) part of their Luxe Lace line. The suspension is pretty viscous so they don't spread as well as I'd like, but it's black glitter, which you don't see every day. I tried to do a swarm-type gradient, but like I said before, I've lost some of my touch. If I hold my hand far enough away from my face it looks ok, and I can at least pretend my cuticles aren't as neglected as they are. 

As far as Halloween goes, not going to be doing much. I've got a couple movies I want to watch, but since I'm off sugar (45 lbs. down so far, woo!) no baking or treats. Whatever you end up doing, have fun!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Essie Coconut Cove

Sorry for the break. It's been a long one. 

I decided I needed to do something about my dying nails. Around about last October, almost all of my nails became partially detached from my nail beds. They looked terrible. Similar to the chemical burns a lot of people suffered when Mentality polish let those bad batches of polish out. I still don't have an answer as to why, except maybe wearing polish 365 days a year for five or six years isn't a great idea. Around mid-March I badly tore one of them; I had maybe about 1/4 of an inch of nail left on my index finger. The pain, blood, and swears that followed were not nice. 

So I stopped painting. Cold turkey. I moisturized and oiled but that's where the attention to my fingers ended. I stopped buying polish, stopped reading a lot of blogs and hoped they'd grow back normal. They have, I'm happy to say, but I feel like I've lost a lot of interest in the hobby, which bums me out. I've lost a lot of confidence too. I feel like I can't pull off interesting colors, and I'm now terrified of glitter again.  

So even though I'm hesitant to paint my nails, I'll try getting back on the horse. I've got an Alex literally full of polish, so I'd feel like a fool if I let it all just waste away. We'll see how it goes. 

My hatred for summer is not a secret here. It was very easy to not buy any polish this spring and summer because none of it appealed to me. Coconut Cove was the exception, though. It's just a nice, opaque off-white. I did two thicker coats rather than three thin ones, and got a chip on my index finger (hence the little patch job). It's summery without being over the top. 

So if I wasn't painting my nails this summer, what was I doing? 

1. Stranger Things. Oh my god, guys. This show. I haven't been so into a show since the first season of Once Upon a Time. Or the fourth season of American Horror Story. I literally do not know how to live my life until the second season comes out next year. Ugh. 

2. The Great British Bake Off. Mary Berry is officially my new favorite everything. The 2014 series is my favorite (and the only one available on Netflix right now, unfortunately) and I've watched it probably 20 times now. How flipping cute is Martha? And Richard!? Honestly, he should have won.

3 & 4. Yewwwtweewb. I've been watching Peaceful Cuisine, along with Simon and Martina, obsessively all summer. After an overload of Red Letter Media, I really needed stuff that was calming and cheerful. 

5. Wiener Party? Late to the party on this one, but I'm catching up. Boyfriend and I have managed to get to mid-season 5 in about a month. I'd like to be fully caught up by the time the next season is out, I hate being out of the loop. Honesty time: am a bit disappointed I'm not seeing more wieners. Was promised floppy wieners. Also it took me too long to realize Theon is Lily Allen's little brother. Oh Alfie, ya naughty.

6. Welcome To Night Vale. All Hail the Glow Cloud. Podcasts have become a HUGE part of my life this year, and this is one of my favorites. I took my car in for some repairs in late spring, and in fixing the problem, my cd player came unplugged. If I wanted it to work again, I'd have to go to the dealership and have them reprogram it, and it was a top priority for me to get it fixed since I can't stand to listen to silence when I drive. But I've literally gone the whole summer without it because I just listen to this now. It's on when I'm cooking, when I'm cleaning the house, and it lulls me to sleep at night. 

7. Lore. Another podcast I am head over heels for. I thought I was the only weirdo that dived into creepy rabbit holes in my spare time. What a silly notion. My only complaint? It's bi-weekly, so I get an awesome 35-40 minute fix and am left high and dry for two weeks. Apparently it's being turned into a television series as well, I am SO.EXCITED. 

I'm also taking serious charge of my health. Over the past month I've cut out dairy, carbs, fast food, soda, and sugar and I've dropped about 15 pounds. Super proud of that. The first couple weeks were hard and I was a grumpy, salty bitch because I couldn't have peanut butter sandwiches (one of my reasons for living), or get up in the night for a semi-conscious midnight snack (my sister refers to that as being a werepiggy), but I feel better than I've felt in years. The puffiness in my face is gone, and since I've cut dairy out I no longer get horrible stomach cramps. I've got a ways to go to get to my goal weight (about 2 years), but I'm going to keep on going.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sally Hansen In Full Blue-m

Go home, Spring. You're drunk. 

I don't know why I like spring. I shouldn't. The allergies, the onslaught of warm sunshine, the explosion of life all around me...all these things should make me very grumpy. Call me weird, but I LIKE winter. I like stillness, leafless trees, and a feeling of life in stasis. It's nice. It feels like time has stopped and you can just relax for a bit. But when spring begins I get a little giddy in spite of myself. 

It's barely March and life in my garden is in full swing. I've got buds on my pomegranate trees, a little bird building a nest in the bushes in my backyard, and flower-themed, pastel polishes on my mind. I'm going to start with one I wore a lot last spring but never got around to photographing. 

In Full Blue-m (while I like the effort, Sally, the execution is a little sloppy) is a really lovely, watery periwinkle. I say periwinkle because there is a drop of lavender that just doesn't translate well on the camera. It's there though, I promise. I feel like I've seen this exact shade in a Monet painting somewhere. It's soft, beguiling, and is going to look amazing on everyone. 

When I first bought it I was worried it would be too close to Zoya Kristen, but it's much more color-saturated, and has much less grey. There is also that elusive lavender undertone. Their only similarity is finish, which is a nice, dense creme. And while I am not one to kick a creme out of bed, I almost feel that a shade this ethereal would have looked better with a more jelly-like finish (think Zoya Miley, or Orly Bon Bon, just more blue). 

I noticed they're re-promoting this shade this year, so it should be easily found at the drugstore. This was 3 perfect coats with Essie Better Than Gel on top. I never thought I'd see myself buying a $10 top coat and justifying it, but that ish is GOOD. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sinful Colors Glass Pink

How about another shimmery pink? It's not the most exciting polish choice, but I like the way it makes my nails look. 

I've had Glass Pink for a few years but I've never had the urge to wear it until a couple days ago. It's gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but  just one of those colors that you have to really be in the mood to wear. 

I layered one coat of Glass Pink over 3 coats of Essie Tying the Knotie, which was from the 2015 bridal collection. I'm not sure if I've shown in on here before but I really should. It's a gorgeous, creamy neutral pink and set off the golden shimmer in Glass Pink perfectly. 

I ended up not wearing anything for Galentine's Day/Valentine's Day-bf and I just weren't feeling it this year. We don't usually make a big deal about it, but I spent the better part of the 14th in the emergency room so by the time I got home all I had energy for was a pizza and a couple episodes of Naked and Afraid with him. When we are feeling particularly silly we just watch and laugh at the butt shots, and at the contestants in general. 

I feel like my pink craving is running its course, so we'll see what I come up with next.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rescue Beauty Lounge Bicicletta

I am off to such a late start this year. What with working and the embarrassing amount of television I've been watching, I just haven't had time for nails. I signed back up for Netflix on a whim early last month and I really haven't stopped watching. I'll take breaks to sleep, and work, but I find my butt parked and Netflix on for the rest of the time. I'll generously call it a 'nesting period'. 

I've had Nails Inc. Victoria on for most of January, and even some of February. It's just that good. A long time ago I would have promised to take pictures and put it up here, but let's be honest. That probably won't happen until *maybe* October. Realistically speaking. But I did have a craving for something girly and sparkly (everything Victoria isn't), so I thought I'd see if Bicicletta would indulge that. 

The lighting today wasn't very good-winter lighting never is, so it's photographing much warmer than it is in real life. It's what fairy wings and princess dresses are made of: a shimmering, glimmering pale pink with silvery, sugary sparkle. I tried to blur the last photo to show how gorgeous the shimmer is in this polish; didn't turn out quite the way I hoped, but you get the idea. 

I used three coats since it's a bit on the sheer side and I'm still growing out the damage to my nails. I almost wish I'd saved this to wear on Galentine's Day, but again, I have no idea if I'll even be motivated to wear polish then. 

There is one thing that is my favorite so far this year. It fuels me when I'm down and makes me laugh like a hyena when it catches me off guard. It is this incredibly derpy picture I took of my sister's dog a few weeks ago:

Look at this doofus. Lounging around like he's the King of Chins. My sister and I were having a Trailer Park Boys marathon and I looked over and he was giving me this totally blissed-out face. Every so often I'll send it to my sister with some cheesy OKCupid pick-up line. It passes the time. 

Till next time. Hopefully I'll get my butt in gear and wear polish more, but it feels like an uphill battle with my nails in such a crummy state. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Finger Paints Santa's Little Topper

Hopefully this won't be my last Christmas manicure, but it's a distinct possibility since I'm working full-time this week, running errands, and doing the Christmas shopping. I have a couple ideas rolling around in my head, and I was hoping for a chance to try something new, but I would be okay with redoing my manicure from last year, which I really enjoyed. 

I tried a few times to photograph this exact manicure last season, but just never got the right light angle, or it would chip before I could get good pictures of it, or any other number of reasons I didn't get many good holiday manicures documented last year. Santa's Little Topper is such a nice, gentle, subtle Christmas glitter; it looks good over almost any color, but my favorite combination is with Essie Mint Candy Apple. It's sort of a pastel, marshmallow-y, retro Christmas combination. Or snowdrifts and birch branches and holly berries. Santa's Little Topper is, I believe, the only glitter I own that contains bar glitter, which I would never, ever own under usual circumstances because bar glitter offends every atom in my body. But I can overlook it in this case because it is so small and sparse. 

Another thing I like about Santa's Little Topper is that the suspension is slightly red-tinged, so it sort of changes the tone of the base. Mint Candy Apple is a little intense for me as a winter polish, but a thin coat of a clear, red-tinged topper like SLT and it becomes a little dirtier, and a little more grey, which reminds me more of snow. 

1 coat of Santa's Little Topper over 2 of Mint Candy Apple. A few of my little students like to see what new nails I have every week, and they really, really liked this one. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

I am going to be honest guys...most of the holiday polish collections I've seen from major brands this year are incredibly disappointing. I will concede that there are a few pretty ones in the O.P.I. Starlight (I think that's what it's called) collection, but nothing I'm desperate to get my hands on. 

If I'm honest, my tastes run towards the classics. Rich, decadent red cremes, sparkly silver and gold, emerald anything...that's what I like to see. And since I didn't get it, I'm looking at past polishes for my fix. 

In my humble opinion, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe is probably one of the most beautiful polishes ever made. Ever. And this is coming from someone who doesn't wear a lot of glass fleck. It's a beautiful, deep green that can look straight up emerald, or more teal (or blue spruce as I like to think of it) depending upon the lighting. On top of this, there are flashes of gold glimmer. It is just explosive in the sunlight. I come off as a vain idiot because I literally hold my nails to the light every chance I get. 

I took these pictures after about 5 days of wear. FIVE. I did this because I'm putting the new Essie Gel Setter top coat through its paces. And it's good. I love my European Secrets Rock Top Coat, but about a third of the way through the bottle I notice it shrinks my tips, which is incredibly annoying. However it does mask any and all bubbling and imperfections so I'm not eliminating it permanently from my top coat line up. 

3 coats of Christmas goodness, and Essie Gel Setter top coat. Y.U.M.