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. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

L'Oreal Masked Affair

Sorry for the different locale, but the house is kind of crowded this week; granted, a grocery store parking lot isn't private either, but I'll take what I can get. 

I've intentionally saved Masked Affair for the Holiday Season, because it just has that kind of feel to it. It's a steely grey, lavender-tinged linear holo. Pretty much perfection. Formula was great, but I needed 3 coats for full-coverage-lately when I've been painting I've just done two (hooray for laziness!). I added top coat with misgivings, but I shouldn't have worried. 

The season is starting a little slowly for me. I've been sick as a dog the last couple weeks. It started out as a cold, developed into a wicked sinus infection, and then to top it off, one of the little nuggets that I tutor gave me some kind of viral eye infection. So I'm down, but not out. I'm planning on getting the tree out this weekend, and I may or may not have watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas 3 times already. And I've got a HUGE stash of Holiday polishes to get through. Last year I wore a lot but just never got around to photographing them. Hopefully this year will be different.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recycle

I've always been vocal about green and I not getting along, but if there's one green that wins me over 100% of the time, it is emerald. And since I heard that RBL will be closing its doors at the end of the month, I thought I'd pull out Recycle and see how it looks. I'm happy to say that I cannot get enough of this color. It's a rich, blackened (but never mistaken for black) emerald green that hits all the right notes: it compliments my skin tone, it's deep and brooding, and the depth of color is fantastic. 

RBL really knows how to do dark, moody colors, so it's a shame that Ji has decided to shut down. They were very pricey polishes, but very high quality, and the attention to detail, along with the creative thought that went into the colors and descriptions made them extra special. They are among my favorite polishes in my hoard. And since my switch to Nail Envy, they are the about the longest-wearing on me, barring textures.

Everything except the most recent Fan Collection is 50% off right now, and I may or may not have ordered quite a few farewell bottles. 

I added butter LONDON's Bit Faker for a little sparkle, hopefully it doesn't come off as holiday. I'm really excited for winter and holiday-mode to kick in, but I'm trying to restrain myself until at least Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

China Glaze Getting to Gnaw You

Fall is joke this year. It's always late in coming where I live-Southern California isn't known for its festive weather-but it was 89 degrees in my living room yesterday. I take two cold showers a day to stave off sticky sweating. I do most of my errands in the evenings when I don't have to worry about 2nd degree burns from just sitting in my car. I run out of cool clothes 5 times as fast because I sweat through them till they're soaking. I can't cook a hot meal because it makes the whole house turn into an oven. And I'm really starting to resent it. Frankly, if you live in a climate that allows for blissfully chilly autumn days, and gorgeous leaf coloring, I kind of hate you. I hate you and your scarves and your riding boots and your hot drinks. You suck. Meanwhile I'm sweating to death amidst fucking palm trees and the sun hurts my eyes.

In addition to this, no matter how normal my nails look in these pictures, they're falling apart and I have no idea how long it will be before they are normal again. Six of my fingernails have become partially detached from my nail bed-I can only assume it's psoriasis-related, because I don't have any other symptoms that would indicate a chemical burn. It doesn't hurt, but I have to be very careful not to tear them, or get them caught on something-I don't doubt they'd completely tear off if I were careless. 

Halloween, right now anyway, seems pointless to me. It's too hot to even think about burning my scented candles or wearing sweaters, most of the people in my house are too ill to decorate or think about trick or treaters, and I'm obviously out of sorts. Right now, the only way I can think to mark the holiday is to wear Getting to Gnaw You.

I have to just say first that I hate the name. It makes me think about the song, and then it gets stuck in my head and I become even more annoyed and unreasonable than I am right now. But damn, it's a nice color. It's a dark, smoky jelly filled with small, coppery-orange glitters. Very Halloweeny. I did one thick coat over Essie Licorice. It dries down matte, so if you want it shiny, top coat is a must. 

I'll see how I'm feeling closer to Halloween. Who knows, my mood may change. But from where I'm standing right now, what's the point?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Essie In The Lobby

September! Pre-Halloween month! I was at CVS the other day and they already had out decorations and candy and lots of Fall nail polish collections. I got really excited, so even though I'm nursing a really bad head cold, I couldn't resist using one of the new Fall Essies. 

In The Lobby is not a unique color by any means, but it's just what I need after a summer of friggin' color. Inside it is your garden variety vamp. It could be red, or purple, or even brown...but you'll never know until you get into better light. Sunlight and bright artificial light reveal it to be a deep purple wine. Again, nothing ground breaking, but really refreshing.

This was two coats, another would have just been gilding the lily. It definitely applies darker than it is in the bottle, but c'mon. Vamps. Are. The. Best. 

Now I'm off to nurse this stupid cold and prepare for all the Fall things. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore

Two RBL's in a row!? Now that I've cracked open my Rescue Beauty Lounge drawer, I thought I'd wear the more "summery" ones now while I've got the chance...that being said, this reminds me more of Christmas than summer.

Locavore is a full-coverage glitter mix of chartreuse, bright aqua, and fuchsia. From what I read on the website way back when, it represents the different kinds of local veggies you'd find at a farmer's market. For whatever reason though, it reminds me of a decorated Christmas tree. This polish will definitely be making an appearance in December sometime.

I also realized I haven't worn a full-coverage glitter on all my nails in a really long time. It sort of makes me feel self-conscious, especially since my middle finger is sporting an outstanding breakage (I had a minor break in my boyfriend's pool a couple weeks ago and his nail scissors mangled my poor nail. Lucky bastard has nails stronger than horse hooves). It also makes me feel like I'm in middle school again with giant red sausage fingers.

I'm not feeling myself lately, I guess.

This was 3 thin coats, plus top coat. Be sure to wait between coats, I cannot stress this enough. Otherwise`you're going to have glitter goop on your hands. And probably your clothes, if you're as clumsy as me. But the upside is this is NOT a thirsty glitter! I did one coat of top coat and it has stayed smooth and glassy. This was day 3 of wear.

It's not on the website, so I'm not sure if it will be back, but I do know that O.P.I. Glow Up Already is a pretty close dupe, and is very plentiful on eBay!

If I can do one more post this month, I'll be so proud of myself.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rescue Beauty Lounge Morning Light

So July wasn't a great month for me. Highlights include 4 weeks of such intense heat and humidity that my bed sheets have not been properly dry since June, stress eating, staying up till 5 a.m. watching X-Files and  actually yelling at the screen when Mulder, Scully, or Skinner enter dark room and refuse to turn on the lights, depression and anxiety running rampant, and worst of all, a cancer scare with one of my dogs. Luckily she is cancer-free and very healthy, but the waiting period between the biopsy and the good news was the the worst week of my life. Constant. State. Of. Terror. 

But it does put a lot of things into perspective. Between having a bad day, gross eating habits, and sheets perpetually damp from sweat and the disgusting atmosphere, and having to come to terms with the fact that a beloved pet has cancer, I will choose the former any day of the week. 

So I'm going to take a break from all the black and dark colors I've been wearing (the bubbling doesn't show up as much...plus, I'm re-acquainting myself with how awesome black polish is) to showcase a polish from the RBL Bloggers Collection 3.0. I own quite a few RBL's, but for whatever reason, don't blog about them much. They are sort of the pretty jewels of my collection. I take them out and stroke them, and admire them, but don't want to sully them by putting them on my nubs. 

Morning Light is a pale, powdery, periwinkle blue with lots of golden-green shimmer. It's really soft and ethereal and makes me think of nice, calm things. Like maybe life won't be a horrible shit show always. 

This was 2 perfect coats, no top coat (because weather). I'll see if I can put up a couple more posts before September, but I make no promises. Here's to the end of summer.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Essie Play Date

Sorry for the awful pictures and the chip on my index finger. I'm not super into quality control right now.

Summer is here which means my mood is pretty low and not even nail polish can really do anything for me. Which is a shame, because I have some really pretty ones.

Play Date was a polish I wanted very badly when I first got into nail polish, somewhere around 2009-10, but didn't end up purchasing it until early this year. It's a sugary sweet medium purple that photographs a little cooler than it really is. It's distinctly red-toned on my skin and while I love the way it looks in these pictures, I'm not sure I'm in love with it on me in real life.

This was 3 perfect coats, and after about 4 days of wear. Not bad for someone for whom manicures used to last a day, tops.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

O.P.I. Chiffon My Mind

Here's another from the O.P.I. spring collection, and I tried so, so hard to get pictures to show the shimmer in it, but of course failed miserably. I'm just not a good photographer. 

Chiffon My Mind is an ethereal pink-tinged white with lots and lots of multi-colored shimmer. It's pretty subdued under artificial light, but really twinkles and pops out in the sunlight. Unfortunately though, the formula is a bit difficult to work with. The consistency is fine, not too thick or thin, but it applies pretty sheer and streaky. A better and more patient painter (with less ridges) than I probably could have gotten away with 3 coats, but I got to 5 before I was happy. Now I don't mind multiple coats of polish as long as the end result looks good, but 5 coats doesn't come without complications...slow drying, bubbles, lumps...ugh. So I turned my stash upside down looking for a good base. Which was harder than I thought, considering it isn't that unique of a polish. 

Luckily I own Orly Cake Pop, which is perfect. It's a pink-tinged white creme from their spring Sugar High collection. It should still be readily available, and hopefully I'll remember to show it on here later because it really deserves its own post.

So. You're looking at 2 coat of Orly Cake Pop and two of Chiffon My Mind. Dry time was great for both polishes. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

O.P.I. Act Your Beige! & Petal Soft


I make the mistake of letting the Soft Shades go by me every year, then around six months later regretting it and scrabbling around trying to get my mitts on them. Not so this year...I bought them ALL. Even the frosty silvery gold that everyone is complaining about (spoiler: I LOVE it). One I even bought a back up of. 

Here's Act Your Beige! and Petal Soft. I've noticed flower glitter is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. It's freaking adorable. I did one coat, and the flower glitters came out in a huge glob. On my honor. I've been reading reviews about how people have had to fish them out and anyone who says it's easy to get them out is a liar...I can only assume that I've had dumb luck a couple times. I wore it about a week ago over one of my favorite O.P.I.'s ever and got lucky then too, as you can see on my Instagram...3 flowers just came out in one huge glob. I'm curious whether I will get lucky a third time...I'm going to try layering it over Care To Danse? later this month. 

Act Your Beige! isn't a unique color, but gorgeous nonetheless. It looks like a white/beige in the bottle, but seems to read more pinky-white on me, though perhaps it's the pink glitters in Petal Soft bringing the pink tones out. Either way, lovely combo. And I could wax idiotic about the brush. It's the same size all the O.P.I. brushes are, but somehow softer and more pliable, which you need with sheers and jellies to avoid streaks. 

I did four coats of Act Your Beige! and one coat of Petal Soft, which has soft, slightly satiny hex glitters in pink and white, in addition to the cute white flowers. Probably my favorite Soft Shades glitter since Pirouette My Whistle. Nothing could ever top PMW for me, but Petal Soft is giving it a run for its money. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Zoya Nyx

Doesn't this color remind you of spring rain? Or is it just me?

I wanted something sort of ethereal since it's been drizzly and cool the past week or so. I've worn Nyx a lot over the past year, but never took blog pictures. Here it is in all its glory: a little stormy, a little soft, and a lot of sparkle.

It's a cornflower/periwinkle blue with silvery, sugary sparkle. 3 effortless coats, no clean up, no top coat. I freaking love textures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

China Glaze Pinking Out the Window

Suddenly I want to flower all the things. 

I've been wearing a lot of pink and coral lately, and this one is fast becoming a favorite of mine; it's been on my nails most of May. 

Pinking Out the Window is a bright, cheerful carnation pink with just a drop of coral. It can look more pink or more coral depending on the lighting, and is not photographing as bright as it is in person. For whatever reason, it wants to photograph like a neon. 

Application isn't amazing, but it's not horrible. The first two coats are somewhat streaky, but a third seems to even everything out fairly well. 

I added some flower decals I bought at Daiso Japan. They're not the best quality, but they're so darn cute I just couldn't resist them. They came on a sheet with these cute little orange starfish that I'll try once I am in a blue mood.

The next manicure I show will be flowery as well. Bring them on!!!!