Saturday, March 30, 2013

Color Club Who Are You Wearing?

So…my nails are close to nubs again. True nubs.

I had a truly horrific break on my left thumbnail yesterday…bad enough to where it bled a bit and I had to just chop a good portion of the nail off. And since I looked ridiculous with one shorty thumbnail, I decided to cut every nail down…I hate inconsistency. Plus, I was able to get the last of the peeling nail tips off, so I guess it’s a good thing? I can really start fresh this time.

I wanted a palate cleanser that wasn’t a colored pastel, and showed my grandmother about five different polishes. This was the one she chose.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what this color is. I’m going to classify it as a white, but it’s really more of an off-white/bone color. But in certain lights, there’s almost certainly a drop of something else mixed it-sometimes it looks pinky-nude, sometimes more lavender, and in overcast light, it can look pale grey. It’s a lovely color, but I just don’t like it on nails this short. I don’t like any color on my hands when the nails are this short. And the acetone stings my poor exposed nail meat :(.

The formula on this was an absolute nightmare. I expect that from a white, but it still annoys me. It was thick and runny and streaky and bubbly, and it took four coats to even everything out. Dry time was what you’d expect…it took three episodes of Arrested Development before I felt safe enough falling asleep without worrying about sheet marks.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow & China Glaze Liquid Leather

My boyfriend requested a black manicure, but since it looked a bit too plain on its own, I slapped one of my favorite glitter toppers over it. It didn’t turn out quite the way I’d imagined, but I still really like it; sparkles everywhere!!!

I don’t know what happened to my bottle of Liquid Leather, but when I went to paint my nails, it was completely gunked up. Granted, I don’t use it that often, but I have other China Glazes that aren’t in heavy rotation that are just fine. So either it evaporated (can that even happen?) or my grandmother raided it to touch up the black bits on her car. Why she does it I have no idea, I think she thinks it’s as good as detailing.

Anyway, even though I was able to thin it out somewhat, the formula was almost impossibly thick. This made it a legit one-coater, but I also had very bad bubbles. Dry time was excruciating.

Boom Boom Pow is a DL I’ve had my eye on for a very long time, and after mooning over it for ages at the beauty supply, I just bit the bullet and bought it. I’m glad I did-I mean, look at it. Gorgeous. I love gold and I love sequin glitter. And it’s actually not just gold! In the sun I can see flashes of green micro-sparkly-whatsits as well as orange. In addition, there are the large hex sequin glitters, small round gold glitters, and irregularly shaped gold flecks which I assume is the 24k gold dust that is boasted about.

This was one coat of Liquid Leather and one coat of Boom Boom Pow. I’m not a huge fan of the DL brush…it’s a bit soft for spreading the glitter evenly. This is going to be a nightmare to take off…I might just leave it till it chips.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sephora by O.P.I. Sparkling Personality

This mani is a bit smudged because about 20 minutes after I slapped top coat on it I decided I had to repair a bureau drawer that’s been hanging the wrong way for a week. Naturally, instead of ignoring my ridiculous brain and going to bed, I hauled out the pliers and screwdriver, and mashed up both thumbs and a couple fingers. My left hand is worse (I’m a southpaw) so here’s the right.

Anyway, this is another one of the Betsey Johnson polishes I scored on eBay, Sparkling Personality. GLITTAH! There are two types of glitter that I love to bits-blingy, dense glitters such as this, and really delicate, whimsical glitters that just add a touch of sparkle.

Sparkling Personality has a clear base, and is full of dark silver micro glitter. I wouldn’t quite call it charcoal, but it’s not a true, pure silver. In addition to the silver, there are scattered light blue, yellow-gold, and magenta micro glitters. A really fun, different take on silver glitter.

This was two coats, with two coats of Out the Door. This one is a bit of a topcoat gobbler, not as bad as some glitters I have, but a coat of Gelous wouldn’t go amiss.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nicole by O.P.I. Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi

I’m getting a bit burnt out on all the soft shades and pastels I’ve been wearing lately, so here’s a nice bright red. I’ve mentioned that I used to be gun shy of a lot of colors…pinks, blues, greens…and didn’t wear them much. So what did I wear a lot of? RED; dark reds, mostly. I remember reading in a beauty magazine years and years ago-some editor’s opening letter or something-that a truly classy woman wears only dark red and pale, soft pink polish. Obviously the editor was an uninformed twat, and needless to say, I don’t read beauty magazines anymore.

But it must have made an impression on me, because for a good five years, I wore dark red only.

But along with learning the joys of colors other than red, I also discovered the joys of other shades of red. Cherry, tomato, ruby…and I’ve got many in my arsenal. So, I present my favorite summer red.

It’s a nice, bright tomato red that looks stellar on toes. The photos have washed the color out a bit-in real life it’s much brighter and more in-your-face. And SHINY…this puppy doesn’t even need top coat to look glossy and perfect. The formula is crelly (creme-jelly), so it’s extremely forgiving in terms of my ridges.

This was the usual 3 coats. Sadly, I had to cut my nails down short again, the peeling was getting appalling. I’d stopped my jojoba oil and Nail Tek II routine; hopefully this time around they’ll grow out stronger.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sally Hansen Barracuda

WHEEEE, SPRING BREAK! A lot of it will be spent working on my thesis, but I don’t mind; it’ll be soooo nice to wake up when I want!

So to celebrate, here’s a color from the new Sally Hansen CSM spring collection. It’s a re-release from last year, really REALLY popular if memory serves; the Tracy Reese colors seem to be hot commodities amongst the polish obsessed. And it’s perfectly understandable-they’re gorgeous.

Barracuda is a really pretty baby/tropical ocean blue. It looks a little dustier in the bottle than it does on the nail. As with Maximillian Strasse Her, there is a slight translucence (you’ve gotta look for it) that is reminiscent of tropical sea water. Only with the name and all, I see creepy silver barracuda fish swimming through it. 0_0

I think it’s really funny how the color I least liked on my nails is the color I’m wearing most of the time right now. I’d love to see how Deborah Lippmann Boom Boom Pow looks over this!

Off to laze for the rest of the day. And maybe pick up some junk food, cause damn it, I’M FREEEEEEE!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her

Weird name for a polish, annoying almost. So I won’t go into it. I’m feeling really abrupt today; it’s nearly my spring break, and I need some down time. I’ve got a lot to do for my Capstone thesis, but oddly enough, I’m looking forward to just sitting down and getting it done without having to worry about peripherals, like putting on actual clothes, or going to class. Or talking to people.

Anyway, this color. Gorgeous, yes? I love it because I have no freaking clue what color it is! Is it green? Grey? Blue? A combo of the three, I like to think, because I see all three. Predominantly, it’s a soft, foamy, grey-ed out green, really washed out and calm. But at certain angles, there’s a bit of blue…what kind of blue I have no idea, but really reminds me of the way the ocean can look in the last ten minutes before the sun really comes up. And despite its creme finish, there’s a watery translucency about it…like if you looked hard enough you could see through to the bottom.

I don’t wear many greens for much the same reason that I don’t wear many pinks…it’s hard for me to find ones that are really pleasing to me, and that don’t make my skin look ruddy and sunburnt. Apart from nice deep hunter greens, this kind of soft, grey-green is really the only kind I feel like I can pull off.

So yes, stupid name, lovely color. Hurry up, spring break.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Barielle Greenwich Village at Dawn

My relationship with pinks is similar to what I went through with blues. As a general rule, I don’t like pink. Many of them don’t play well with my skin tone, and to be honest, I don’t find them very pretty. There are, however, exceptions.

My favorite pinks are pinky-nudes. My Very First Knockwurst is, hands down, the best. Next are the cool pink-lavenders-the ones that have that cool, rosy tone. Lastly, there is ONE hot pink that I find attractive-O.P.I. Kiss Me on My Tulips. I also own China Glaze’s Ahoy! and it’s dynamite on my toes.

Greenwich Village at Dawn falls between the pinky-nude and cool rose colors. It’s a very soft, grown-up color, with almost-hidden green shimmer, which I think is a great touch. But I must confess…I like it better in sunlight.

In the sun, it’s quite delicate looking, and the green shimmer is more visible. But once out of the sun, it (and I don’t know how it does this) sort of turns warmer. And this shimmer is less evident. And while this by no means makes it look unattractive on my hands, I just don’t like it as much.

This was the usual 3 coats. Formula and application were great, as with every other Barielle I’ve tried.

Monday, March 18, 2013

No Nails Today...

…but oh my god, where has this girl been all my life?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sinful Colors Cinderella

Half an hour after I did this manicure, I realized it was St. Patrick’s Day. So likely as not, I’ll get pinched, but whatever, this color is gorgeous. Actually, when I look at it in the right light, the shimmer flashes greeny-gold, so does that count?

Anyway, when this polish came out last year, it gained a bit of a cult following. I was hesitant because it just looked so…girly. And it was blue. At one point, I refused to wear blue nail polish because I was convinced it looked horrible on me; and when I thought of blue polish, all I could conjure in my head were bottles of nasty frosty denim-blue. Needless to say, my blue prejudice has been overcome, but every time I see a frosty blue, I die a little inside.

Cinderella is a spectacular pale, milky blue-the base is in the same family as Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom, and is chock full of the most exquisite glass-fleck. I’m going to categorize this polish as glass-fleck rather than shimmer, because if you look closely, the the shimmer is larger than normal, and more irregularly shaped. When looking head-on, the flecks are pink, and in different lights you see green, and gold.

It’s supposed to be inspired by Cinderella’s blue ball gown in the movie (I’m assuming? It looks a hell of a lot like it). My pictures don’t do the glass-fleck justice, it was really hard to capture the shimmery goodness.

This was 3 thick coats, and Seche Vite (which is why you can see it starting to shrink at the tips, I HATE Seche Vite with a passion, but my Out the Door is sadly running low). The formula was not the greatest, I had to do four coats on some nails to even everything out-it has the same issues as One Big Happy Fame-ily-thick, runny, and sheer. But so, so worth it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nicole by O.P.I. One Big Happy Fame-ily

I’m going to ignore the fact that this beautiful polish is a Kardashian Color (and yes, I realize O.P.I.  spells with a “K”; but I am an English student, and nothing could induce me spell it that way). Sadly, quite a few of the colors in the various collections they’ve come out with are very pretty. I own around five, but I don’t let the fact that they’re plastered with the Kardashian name ruin the color.

(Can you tell I think the Kardashians are disgusting?)

One Big Happy Fame-ily is probably one of the prettiest lilac/lavenders I own. It looks to be blue-based, sort of a cross between periwinkle and true lavender. The shimmer is a little coarser than it appears in the pictures-in addition to some soft silvery shimmer, I see light blue shimmer and soft purple shimmer.

The formula on this was a little tempermental; sheer and thick and runny at the same time. This was about four coats, and although the pictures don’t show it, clean up was a little less than perfect. It also took ages to dry, and after waiting an hour and a half, I fell asleep out of sheer annoyance (I always do my manicures before  I go to sleep); that’s why there are sheet marks on my ring and pointer fingers.

Regardless, it’s so lovely, and perfect for the beginning of spring. It’s remarkable how it can be soft and vibrant at the same time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Essie Mint Candy Apple

From the 2009 Winter collection? I have no idea because at that time I was eschewing any form of pastel polish; it was deep vampies all the way for me. Obviously I’ve come around. I own quite a few very beautiful pastels now, and usually save my vamps for fall and winter; I don’t remember actively deciding to wear my polish seasonally, but I’ll just run with it till I get bored and wear everything year-round again. I picked up Mint Candy Apple last month with a CVS coupon and serious swatch envy.

There’s really no need to go into the color-this one is famous. Pale mint-colored polish, great formula, nice and thin and creamy, with little to no chalkiness. I’ve noticed that it wears differently color wise on different people. It seems to pull blue on me; when my sister wears it, it becomes distinctly mint-green.  And surprisingly, no lobster hands! Mint greens are notorious for this, but not a hint of it!

This was three thin coats with Out the Door top coat (as of right now, my favorite top coat). I don’t think two thick coats of this would cut it, because it is a pastel, and despite the formula being nice and thin, you’re going to get patchiness. I applied it with extra care. I’ve become a habitual 3-coater in the few years I’ve considered polish a legit hobby.

I’d love to do some nail art with this one.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Revlon Just Tinted Victorian

As I mentioned before, I have a jelly addiction. A bad one. They’re easy to apply, hide my ridges, and I love that squishy look. And if it’s a coral jelly…

A long time ago, I had a holy grail polish that has never been equaled (in my eyes). It was a Maybelline Express Finish gold cap, and it was called Firefly. There were two versions- the lovely juicy coral-pink jelly that I owned, and some heinous frosty pale peach-pink that you see when you Google the name. I emailed Scrangie about it a couple years ago, and she vaguely remembered it, but my true luck came when a girl on MakeupAlley recognized what I was talking about and sent me the bottle she owned. For free. I can’t even tell you how glad I was…I must have thanked her a million times. So I have a bottle, but don’t use it very often. Why? Because it’s freaking precious and I love the color and don’t want to be without it ever again.

So the next best thing is to find a dupe. I’ve found a few similar shades, and even mixed my own version, but nothing comes close to that original bottle of Firefly. And this was how my obsession with coral jellies began. It’s probably my favorite color/finish as far as nail varnish goes.

So, to bring my ramblings full circle, Revlon Victorian. I saw swatches and thought it might be close to my beloved Firefly. It’s not, but it’s still really pretty, despite photographing more coral than it is in real life. In person, it’s more of a bright, juicy pink, practically devoid of any orange tones. You can see more of the pink in the shade picture.

This was three fairly thick coats. It really is just a tint, so you’ve got to build up the color. It dries to a sort of satin finish, so I slapped on lots of top coat (I know you can’t really tell, I swear it’s there). The formula was great, it went exactly where I put it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sephora by O.P.I. Cartwheels on the Catwalk

My brain just about short-circuited when I saw this color first come out and it’s been on my wish-list ever since. I ended up scoring it on eBay with XOX Betsey and Sparkling Personality. Oh god, this blue. This freaking blue. It’s unusual and girly and edgy and feminine and fancy and casual and empress of the blue polish world. If it were human, I’d be its slavey girl.

I don’t even know how to go about describing it. Despite my camera handicaps, the pictures are color-accurate. It’s a soft, delicate, dusty, pale blue; edgier than a sky or baby blue, but not as funky as an aqua. Even though it’s a creme (cream? I dunno) it’s got a soft, silvery quality to it that bellows “SPRIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!” down my lugholes.

This was two coats, I probably should have done three to even out all the patchiness. It’s also really evident that I have mad ridges on most of my nails. I can’t remember when they appeared, or if they were always there, but they are the bane of my existence. I’ve yet to find a base/top coat combo that masks them completely. And I love the formula. I’d never tried any of the Sephora line of O.P.I. polishes, and I’m pleasantly surprised-nice and creamy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

O.P.I. My Pointe Exactly & Pirouette My Whistle

Until the New York Ballet, I’d never had the urge to own a whole O.P.I. collection; I usually just pick and choose the colors I like best. And admittedly, none of the Ballet polishes struck me as remarkable (except perhaps My Pointe Exactly) and I decided I needed none of them. Fast forward six months later, and suddenly I needed all of them. Immediately. I’m only one short (Don’t Touch My Tutu), and thus far, this is probably my favorite combo. My Pointe Exactly won the spot for most unusual-a grey jelly! Yay! It’s so soft, with just a drop of slate blue in it. This was 3 thick, even coats (I could wax idiotic about the formula on these jellies-aaaahmazing) of My Pointe Exactly with a coat of Pirouette My Whistle (so lovely and delicate!) on top.

I didn’t see this in reviews of the glitter when it came out last spring, but I’ve noticed amid the silver glitter and pearly white hexes, there are little squares of rosy pink glitter! I’m unsure of whether they were always there, or if it was a recent addition or even a mistake, but whatever they are, I. LOVE. THEM. I have a terminal jelly addiction, and a recent (as of a few months ago) glitter topper interest, so these are going to be in very heavy rotation.

These pics (and yes, the pictures here aren’t great-I love polish, not taking pictures) were snapped after five (!!!) days of wear, and the only way you can tell is by the growth and the chip in my middle finger. Gaaaah, I love this combo. If I didn’t have some new polishes begging to be used, I’d take it off, and immediately reapply it.