Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Barracuda needs a Cattitude adjustment

So I wandered upon the Tracy Reese for Sally Hansen display the other day, and I picked up a whole bunch of light, summery colors. One of my favorites is Barracuda, a light blue color, which kind of reminded me of OPI's What's with the Cattitude? so I did a comparison!

They look pretty similar in the shade, actually.

middle and pinkie - WWTC?; index and ring - Barracuda

This is three coats of each, and they both needed three coats for full opacity. WWTC is definitely bluer, and B is lighter with a hint of green.

close up

They both remind mne of a cloudless summer sky :). As far as application, B was amazing to put on. I love the Sally Hansen brush. It fans out for perfect cuticles without any overflow. I do like WWTC, but B is definitely better for the summer. They're not dupes (although people didn't realize I'm wearing more than one color right now), and I like them both for different reasons. I like barracuda slightly more, and there are a couple more from the Tracy Reese Spring 2011 collection that I love, so there should be more soon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dutch Invasion

My nail polish collection just went international! I fell in LOVE with KOH Red! and while ordering from the Dutch website, I slyly convinced myself that it would be cheaper to buy makes sense if you don't think about it. Anyways, I ordered Red!, Flamingo Matt!, and Platinum Silver! The names all have exclamation points, and I can see why - these colors are gorgeous! They apply a little strange. Not thick, not goopy, but not what I'm used to; but they level out really well and smooth, so it's not an issue. The bottle is really well-designed - the top is thin and easy to handle when you're painting. Plus they come with their own little lipstick-style case for each one. On to the polishes!!!
KOH Red! is beautiful. It's a gorgeous, dark, lipstick red. I have an issue with red polishes, because they never look good with my skintone. I think I need a blue-toned red, and this fits the bill. It's the perfect simple, elegant red without being orange-toned.

KOH Red!


Next up is Flamingo Matt! which I think should be "matte", but that's what the label says. It totally reminds me of a flamingo (picture from here). It's in a frosted bottle, so I think it's supposed to be more matte, but it's shown below without a top coat, so you can see that's it's definitely not matte. It was less shiny than the Red!, so maybe it's more of a satin than a matte. It was pretty tricky to capture the color, but it's pinker than it looks here. Like a neon pick with definite orange influences. Almost a bright coral. I sometimes have problems with pinks too, but this one is going to be PERFECT for the summer without looking like a Barbie doll's dream polish.

Now Platinum Silver! is the surprise amazingness from this bunch. I ordered it because I like silver polishes, and I had no clue of the holographic awesomeness that is Platinum Silver! It's a rainbow on your nails. And unlike some holos, it doesn't require a special basecoat. I did absolutely no clean-up on this, so it's kinda messy, but I was just so excited to take pictures. (edit: it was hard to do my nondominant hand w/o leaving bald patches. I ended up just dolloping it on the nail and letting it settle smoothly, so it would probably work better if you used a base coat - but you can do it without.)

look at those rainbows!

and again

It still looks like a nice silver indoors. Even with artificial light, it still prisms a little bit and shows some rainbow.

The shipping on these was kind of expensive, but it was very fast considering it was international. I'm overall pleased, and I'd definitely buy from them again. I'm so excited about the rainbow foil-like nails. It's everything I ever wanted from a holo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Aye, Aye, Cap'n

First off, please ignore how horribly messy my application is. I'm trying to have "proper procedure" which means keeping away from the nail beds. So it's probably going to take me a few tries to relearn how to paint nails....gahhh. Anyways. This is China Glaze First Mate. As previously mentioned, I bought it because it looked like Tardis blue to me (a Doctor Who reference if you're not aware) and it's just a gorgeous green-toned blue. And it thought it would look beautiful on my nails.

It's bigger on the inside. (picture from here)

Anyways. So here are my nails looking like a strange police box. Or just looking pretty if you have no clue what I'm on about. Turns out it's a gorgeous color. I was a little apprehensive when I first put it on because it is a little dull, but it's a good work color. Dark without being anywhere close to black, and colorful without being distracting.

It really is a good, subtle, classy color with a strong hit of blue. That's it in the sunlight.

And down here is the shade. A nice blue with greenish undertones. I'm thinking it'll be close to Roadhouse Blues when OPI comes out with their Touring America collection this fall.

Sneak Preview: I got three colors from KOH, a company in The Netherlands today. This is what happens when polishes arrive - my thumb is the instant victim. One side is gorgeous red, there's a hint of matte pink peeking out the middle, but the showstopper is the silver holo on this side. So beautiful I couldn't keep my eyes off of my half a thumbnail. Obviously it's over top of First Mate, so the red is a little wonky, but there will be full shots tomorrow. yay, shiny!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Free Polishes? Yes, Please

Zoya has a promo going on this weekend, as listed on Let Them Have Polish (link). Free bottles of Zoya Caitlin and Dove with any purchase this weekend only. I ordered Nina since it seems like a good brown, and I've been lusting after Caitlin anyways. I just love a good deal. It makes the polishes that much awesomer. How great is this deal? It's basically buy 1, get 2 free.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Am I doing this wrong?!

So I'm polish hunting (a regular activity), and I've decided I'd like to buy one really nice shade from Chanel just to compare application and see the awesomeness that is Chanel. And I didn't see anything I loved, so I headed over to Dior. Again with the passable fare, but I did see a shade I thought was interesting in their regular collection. Vernis 207, Golden Era. As is my routine, I did a Google image search for swatches of this color. And nothing came up. So I regular Google searched for blog reviews. Again nothing. Now this isn't listed as a new polish or limited edition, it's on Dior's own website as part of the regular collection, and there are absolutely no blogs about it? According to Google, it doesn't even exist. So after some fancy searching, I found Dior Vernis 207 - Sparkling Bergamot. On this website. In another language. So I double checked that I didn't somehow manage to get to the Dior Asia website, but no, still Dior USA. So I figured, hey, maybe they changed the name, and searched for Dior "Sparkling Bergamot". And still nothing. There's one other website with a pic of lots of bottles and it's listed there, but no swatches of Sparkling Bergamot or Golden Era. Which is just strange. And I feel like I must be doing something simple wrong. But it was pretty frustrating. And Dior needs to get on that name change thing or whatever it is that's going on. Because now I'm just confused. And failed in my search for an awesome polish. **disappointed sigh**

Shattering the Caribbean

I got the chance to check out the new OPI Pirates of the Caribbean collection today, and I wasn't really sure what to think. I like the colors. They're fine. But I feel like this is a winter collection. It seems like they're grey-toned pastels, which doesn't fit with the fun colors I want for summer. And they're a little strange, to be honest. I have nothing against the collection, but it's just not my style. I did pick up Silver Shatter and Skull & Glossbones, which is a creme grey, and I think it'll be nice this fall or winter. I'm glad they included the Silver Shatter with this because it's going to dress up the washed-out shades for some summertime fun.

This is Skull & Glossbones 2 thick coats. I should have taken a picture before I put on the Shatter, but I forgot. I coat Silver Shatter, I'll say I put it on thick because I think my normal coat is a normal person's thick coat.

This is a close-up of my index finger in sunlight. You can see the nice grey below the shatter. It has a slight blue tinge to it, and absolutely no shimmer. This also shows the shatter effect pretty well. It shattered perfectly, and a little easier than my first attempt at Black Shatter. I think it would be better over a darker shade so you can really see the silver. I'm a little concerned about the silver being translucent, so I guess we'll see when I get the chance to try it.

The two colors blend together a little bit, so if you're not looking closely it kind of looks like I'm just wearing a really lumpy coat of silver.

But I LOVE this close-up. It's a gorgeous contrast and I'm a sucker for silver.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What happens when you cross me, online shopping, and 8 minutes?


Three amazing things happened today in quick succession. I bought two new GORGEOUS Zoya polishes on my way home. My order of OPI Funkey Dunkey and China Glaze First Mate arrived. And so did my Konad stamping intro kit.
I'm going OPI hunting tomorrow, so wanted to leave my nails clear for maximized polish swatching (seriously, how could you buy a polish without even trying it on?!). So I didn't want to do a full manicure, but I was DYING to try out the Konad, and I'm not very good at waiting. So I painted my nails each a different color, and went to town. It's pretty messy since I've never done this before and I didn't really read the directions because I was THAT EXCITED. But I am loving the possibilities here.

First off is one coat of Zoya Ibiza, a gorgeous deep blue with indigo/ultraviolet shimmer. I didn't even try to capture the gorgeousness with the fading sunlight, but it's a beautiful color, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a blue-only post pretty soon, so I'll get better pics. This was the first stamp I did, and it's off-center because I was rushing to get it on the nail. I for some reason thought it had to be applied super quick plus I was psyched, so this was kind of applied between two heart attacks. But overall, I'd say it's not bad for my first Konad. That's from Konad M36 plate which came with the basic stamping kit I bought and stamped on with the white Konad polish.

This one came out a little blurry. It's OPI Funkey Dunkey - two coats, and I should have put three for the color to really show up, but again with the lack of patience - and the houndstooth pattern from my second plate, M63. I am LOVING this pattern. I love houndstooth anyways, and it's great to see it in miniature.

This one is China Glaze First Mate, which I bought because I thought it looked like it was Tardis blue. It does actually, but not with only one coat, which is shown above. This is a pattern from M36, and I didn't really mean for it to be a border, but I like how it turned out.

Thumbnail is Zoya Edyta which I have no CLUE how to pronounce. I bought it because i was craving a gold shimmer and afraid I was going to purchase Chanel's Illusion D'or one night in my sleep on ebay, but this kicked that lemming in the butt. It's gunmetal based and has a strong gold/green shimmer throughout. It's different. But I'm glad to have it in my metallics collection. On top is a stamp from M83 that I think will be another of my favorites. It's like vintage wallpaper.

Finally, we have my experiment. I wasn't sure if you could use non-Konad polish for stamping, so I tried it out. This is the white Konad polish underneath a stamp of First Mate from M63. As you can see, it worked well. I feel like I had to stamp quicker than with the Konad polish, but it went on easily.

Overall, I'm so psyched about my new colors and about the Konad stamps. I bought my stuff from - the "BASIC STAMPING KIT" for $16 which came with M36, a small white polish, and the scraper and stamp; I also bought M63 and M83 for $7 each. Another site I saw had slightly cheaper prices, but this one had free shipping when you spend over $20, so I saved a few bucks in the end. Then I found a coupon code for $7 off of $35. Since I already had $30 of stuff, I added another image plate, M41, and pretty much got it for free. I love a good coupon code. **Happy sigh**. Time to stare at my nails for a few hours until I take it all off before work tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Do You Rumple's Wiggin' It?

So I recently bought the Shrek 4-pack of Miniatures, which includes What's With the Cattitude, Who the Shrek Are You, Fiercely Fiona, and Rumple's Wiggin'. I have to admit, I was the most excited about Rumple's Wiggin', which has to be the most annoying name to type repeatedly. There are just so many apostrophes, and it's a strange name. Anyways, I LOVE this color. I think it's what I expected Do You Lilac It to be. So I did a comparison!

RW on ring and index, DYLI on middle and pinky

You can clearly see that Rumple's Wiggin' is lighter, and much closer to what I would call lilac. I think Do You Lilac It is more like a lavender. But OPI does seem to make polish names more for entertainment value than for actual descriptive uses. These colors look more alike in my pictures than they actually are. I think there was some reflection of the colors off each other. I'd say the best representatino of DYLI is the right side of the middle finger, and RW is the left side of the ring finger.

I thought I would love DYLI, but I'm really just lukewarm for it. RW really fills my light purple lemming, so I'm thinking I'll buy a big bottle of that if I see it. I still have Funkey Dunkey on its way, so I guess I'm in a full-blown purple trend right now.

I happen to have flowers that match these colors! I was hoping to do a wisteria-inspired reverse french manicure, but the wisteria blooms disappeared before I got the right purple. I still might do it with Dunkey and Wiggin', but I don't have the flower-inspired background anymore.

The mini RW looks almost white in the bottle, but it's pretty definitely purple. DYLI is a deep purple, and still nice, but I don't think it quite works for my skintone. It did take 3 coats of RW to reach opacity, and it was still a little rough looking before I applied Essie Good to Go topcoat, but that stuff is so great, it smoothed out the whole thing. DYLI is two coats with topcoat, but it was pretty smooth by itself. A big part could be the smaller OPI bottle and brush for RW, but I think it's a thinner polish to begin with, probably because of the super-light color.

Here's a picture of Rumple's Wiggin' all by its lonesome. This is actually pretty close to the actual shade. Don't you love?!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunset and Happiness in a Jar

So I'm totally slacking on the polish picture-taking. I have special nails. They're magical. Everything I put on them runs away as fast as possible. I've never been able to get nail polish to stay on longer than a day or so without chipping. Which means that with my newfound obsession I paint them pretty much every night. or every two if I'm lucky. The crackle polishes are good at covering up chips, so those may last a blessed three days before I have to take it all off and start over again. I've tried Chip Skip, and I'm currently doing the whole OPI Nail Envy regimen to get them stronger and longer hoping that might help with the chippiness, but I don't have much faith. Therefore, what with changing polishes about every two days, I'm certainly slacking on the polish-posting. In my defense, I did think my camera was broken for a week (turns out it was just me being silly, but still). Anyways. I will eventually be posting pics of some of my staples, which are very non-sparkly/shimmery, but gorgeous nonetheless. Russian Navy, Blue My Mind, this Wet n Wild Silver that I've had forever and completely love. But for now, you get sunshine and happiness, yay!

This is OPI's Oh So Glam which I received in my first MakeUpAlley swap. It went swimmingly, and this pretty vintage yellow shimmer is the result. I wasn't completely sold on this color when I got it, but I'm definitely feeling it now. It has the semi-shock effect of white nails, but then it has the slight yellow hue and the shimmer. This is three coats, and it definitely needed it. There's still a hint of smile line if you look closely. But you won't because of the shiny Nubar 2010. So I have a Nfu Oh flakie, and then I have this Nubar 2010, and I have so say, I love the Nubar so much more.

You can actually see the Nubar shimmer a bit in this one. What I love about it is the almost glitter-size of the flakes. There are some slightly bigger flakes, but the majority are non-circular flakes the size of glitter. And I love the non-conformity of the shapes because it has a very natural and non-contrived feel. The flakes go well without having to work at it.

This is a pic of the mani indoors with flash. It looks pretty white, but a little of that vintage-y yellow again. This really has grown on me with time. I got lucky yesterday and managed to get some pictures in front of the setting sun.

The colors go so well together, and I love the ethereal quality.

It reminded me a bit of a shell as well, so I help that up for comparison. I realize that these random comparisons to flowers or shells or sunsets don't really give you much insight into the color itself, but i guess it's my way of being artsy, and you do get a feel for the soul of the polish. And I say that realizing just how insane it sounds, but I'm really showing you how the polish FEELS to me. This polish just feels like a sunset. And sometimes it feels like a flower or a leaf. And that's really how I see colors in my world. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Edgy Flakes

I was in a green mood this morning. Spring is springing, everything is happy and shiny and new. The perfect time to paint my nails green with sparkle.

This is Essie's Pretty Edgy, a beautiful green creme, which you can see pretty well on the left side of the nails up there. I needed two coats to get coverage, and it probably could have used a third, but I was feeling lazy and knew I was putting flakies on top anyways.
On top is Nfu oh's Victorian 039 (NL-39). I really like this color, and I may be biased since it's my first flakie, but it's just a gorgeous conbinations of blue and green. It makes me think of mermaid tails or Rainbow Fish's scales from that children's book (in the end he shared them with everyone, yay!).

As with any flakie, it looks rough on the nail in close-up, but it's just a trick of the camera. The actual polish is pretty smooth (good considering I put on a whopper of a top coat that took forever to dry).

I love this polish combo in the sunlight. I think the pretty edgy blends well with the flakes, and I keep squeeing about the shinyness.

In the shade, it's still pretty green. I tried to find something in the garden that would match the greenness of Pretty Edgy, but to no avail. It's pretty much a fake astro-turf green that's wholly unnatural, but it's gorgeous anyways. Green with definitely blue undertones, but nowhere near teal.

Still sparkly, but not nearly as heart-wrenchingly gorgeous. I'm going to have to find a job where I sit outside and stare at my nails all day. Yeah. Where do I apply for that?
***UPDATE: I'm pretty sure the Pretty Edgy is the color of a John Deere tractor.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Shoe Obsession

So I have an obsession with shoes. And I didn't realize how deep it went until I happened to paint my nails in an exact replica of my purple Steve Madden heels.
This is OPI's Do You Lilac It, which is a gorgeous light purple. I covered it with Wet n Wild glitter. Forget the name, but I'll look it up when I get home. It cost $0.69. Really. 69 cents for an awesome glitter. It's a little thick , but there's a whole lot of glitter in there. Sometimes you get glitters that barely come out of the bottle. Well this is not one of those. It's super-glitter. Glitter for everyone.

The basic mani. 2 coats Lilac It, 1 coat Wet n Wild Glitter, no top coat. The chip is my fault. I'm not a patient person, and messed it when it wasn't dry yet.

You can see the prismatic effect of the glitter. I don't think it's truly holo, but it's definitely shooting off rainbows.

Close-up of the glitter

The light's a little bright, but I actually painted my nails before remembering I had these awesome shoes. How do I forget such awesome shoes, you ask? They live in my "special shoes" pile where I keep them in a box to protect them. That means I don't wear them to the grocery store like my other 5-inch heels ;)

You can see the comparison. Obviously I like certain things a lot, and lilac with glitter is one of them.

Edit: the glitter is Wet 'n Wild Kaleidoscope

A Rare Neon

I've been distracted the past week and a half with vacation and exams and Mother's day, but I have NOT been slacking in the nail painting. I have a bunch of pictures from this past week, and I won't inundate you with all of them, but I am going to share a few of my favorites right now.
I've been looking for a good yellow. It's so hard because most of them are streaky or just a strange shade, or super-sheer. I thought I had a winner in Nfu Oh FS-01, but I didn't count on it being a jelly. More on that later, but luckily, I had gone crazy and ordered Illamasqua's Rare at the same time.....yeah, I online purchased two neon yellow polishes in the same day, what about it? I can't escape my obsessions. Anyways, I'm so glad I did because I'm in love with this color.

The beds are a little messy, but that's my fault. I applied this in the airport while waiting for a friend to arrive, so it's surprising that it's not smeared all over. Application was a dream, and I'm Jonesing to try more from Illamasqua.

What's classier than a lychee martini with bright neon yellow nails?

This isn't even the money-shot. These are truly neon, which means they glow under blacklight. It came as quite a surprise one night, but I didn't manage to get a shot. You can see how they show up even in dim light above. Imagine having glowing yellow nails in an otherwise dark club. It was shocking and pleasant in such a fun way.