Friday, July 29, 2011

The Crown is mine!

OPI's new Miss Universe mini-collection is gorgeous. But seriously, does anyone else have trouble keeping up with their collections? This summer we already have multiple Serena Glam Slam Duo Packs, an entire shatter collection, a couple Designer Series, the pink/flowers collection, Stranger Tides, Miss Universe, Texas, and Touring America, which comes out next week. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. It's crazy. How do they manage to come up with so many colors?! It's no wonder their quirky polish names sometime miss the mark. I can't imagine naming polishes for a living. After a while it would just become Polish 1B, 1C, 2B,....etc. because my creativity would be dead! So congrats to them. But it's so hard to keep up!
Back to the post. I'm loving this collection. I keep checking my local stores, but they don't have them yet, so I bought this baby off ebay, because I KNEW that it belonged in my stash. It's silver, sparkle, crinkled aluminum foil nails, and it's perfect. There are some swatches of the whole collection over at The Edge of Sanity, but beware because they're all gorgeous.

in the shade

This color is my type of fun. It's just a great time. There are lots of different sizes of silver glitter. The base is micro-glitter, there's hex-glitter throughout, and some large super-hex glitter to top it off. It's a little too thick to be a top coat. It would be hard to see the base color, but could work. I think it's mostly meant to be its own color. This is 3 coats and 2 coat of top coat. It looks like I have rumpled aluminum foil on my nails. And it sparkles! No prismatic effect, but it shines the light right back in your eyes. It looks like there's color in the polish, but that's just the mirror-like silver glitter reflecting my clothes and the surroundings.

close up

I would buy this again if I lost/broke my bottle. It's too much fun. Totally worth the price, and OPI always applies so well on my nails. The Pro-wide Brush was made for me. :)

Paint me a Garden of HoneyBees

So I consider myself a health-conscious person. For the most part, any product I use on myself (lotion, body wash, foundation) is carefully picked out from my local health store. Except when it comes to nail polish. I'm an a loss to control myself :). But when my pregnant sister told me that she wasn't wearing nail polish because there are issues with the chemicals and pregnancy, I decided to open the door on the holistic/natural polishes out there. I know most of the big ones nowadays are 3-Free or 4-Free, but I decided to go with something a little more natural. Enter HoneyBee Gardens. They have a line of nail polish called "WaterColors Non-Peel Off Polish". It says on their website:
"Our unique water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors; no more nasty fumes! But perhaps best of all, there's also no need for toxic smelly nail polish remover - this product removes with rubbing alcohol...odorless, non-toxic earth-friendly formula; long wearing fabulous colors; Contains NO:FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde

Which sounds good to me. So a friend and I each got a bottle to test out. I got Hippie Chick, and she got San Francisco. Here's the color swatches from their website.

Source: HoneyBee Gardens

Pictures first, and then we'll discuss:

This is 2 coats of San Francisco over 1 coat of Nail Envy. No top coat. Application itself was alright. The good: No nail polish smell! It was nice to not have to air out my lungs after a swatch session. Also, the brush was nice to use, and the bottle was easy to hold. The bad: Super-streaky! This is a very shiny polish, and it was very unforgiving to streaking. Also, I tried removing this with alcohol, but no luck - regular acetone worked better. This isn't really my type of color. It's very simple but a little fancy. Nothing super-special about it, but it you're a whiz with applying streaky colors, I'm sure it would look nice. My friend loved it. Now on to Hippie Chick:

Gosh, I must be REALLY lazy when I do these swatches. That's a little bit of Illamasqua Hectic peeking out from the ring finger. Long story. But above is 3 coats of Hippie Chick. The first 2 are sunshine, the last is in the shade. I REALLY love this color. It doesn't look quite like the swatch on their website suggests, but I like it. Purple with just the right amount of pink. It's like purple from the 80s. It would probably look GREAT with teal and silver. But application was horrible. You can see above how uneven and messy it was. And that's not actually my fault. It was just an uneven polish. I guess it doesn't have the self-leveling awesomeness that most mainstream polishes do. You don't realize how great that is until it's missing. But honestly, I would consider suffering through it for this color. Again, it was great to have no smelly nail polish scent. But it did smell like paint. Real paint; the craft paint you used when you were a kid. And the consistency was similar as well. So I'm guess they used a traditional paint recipe more than a nail polish recipe. More pics:

look how pretty! Strong color saturation :)

close-up can see in the close up. Just not great. Bubbly, wobbly, uneven. And the non-peeling part was a bust as well. Entire nails of polish started popping off. And my nails were super-dry and acetoned-down right before application, so I KNOW it wasn't me. Overall, I like that this is a smell-free polish. But dry time was really long, application was tough, and the color started peeling/falling off. On the plus side, the creme color was gorgeous, and there was no nail staining (I didn't use base coat). I'll probably wear Hippie Chick again, but I'm not certain I'd buy another color from the company for a while. I'll probably give them a couple season to work on their formula and check back. It was overall alright. And if you're looking for a natural nail polish, this isn't half bad as far as colors go. But the wear isn't great, and application is tough. Great for pregnant women! Not so awesome for the everyday polisher. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Orange orange nails

So this week's nail challenge was "fruit". I originally wanted to do orange with little pulp pieces painted on (a la: here but I don't have an artist nail brush yet, and I didn't really know what colors to use for the outlining. So instead I did orange slices. I realized that I only have one color of orange. Which is a little troubling. So this is kinda off-color, but it's fun, and attention-getting.

I painted orange down first (Dior Aloha) and let it dry. Then I cut pieces of tape diagonally and put them down in a ray-like arrangement, with the center point at the top of the nail. I then painted a coat of OPI Alpine Snow, and removed the tape rays. After letting THAT dry, I put on some Frenceh mani tips, a little further back than I would normally put them, and painted a coat of white on the tip. And then when that was completely dry, I put down a French tip closer to the edge, about where you would normally put it, and painted the very tip orange for the outer rind.

This mani was a lot of "firsts" for me. First time using scotch tape for accents, and first time using the French tips. I'll be honest and say that it looks better in the picture than it does in real life. It's a little hard to tell what it's supposed to be if you're just seeing it on the nail. I think it would work better with a lighter color orange, especially on the very tips for the outer rind.


You can really see in the close-up how the Scotch tape wasn't perfect, and I wasn't as patient as I should have been with the French tips. It was fun to do, not complicated, it just took a while to get it right. I think I'm going to take it off, and just do orange, but it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Yummy Mummy, Katie!

I've done a mini butter London haul over the past couple days. Nordstrom is having a buy 2 - get Yummy Mummy free (both online and in-store), so I tried that on yesterday - mmm pretty and neutral. I promised my nails that I would give them a few days glitter-free to heal up and recover. But then today, I got No More Waity, Katie. Per usual, I painted it on my thumbnail as soon as I got outside - I always ruin perfectly good manis with new polishes that I paint overtop - but surprisingly, these went really well together! Excuse the super-chipped nails. I've been mean to them recently. Lots of glitter and not enough cuticle oil. But all chips/scratches are my fault for not being patient and thorough.
Yummy Mummy wasn't a polish I was lemming. I thought it was pretty, but I'm not exactly a collector of neutrals/nudes, so I was hesitant. I'm glad I have it, because this is a really interesting Mauve. Seriously, one of the colors that comes up when you google image search "mauve" is an exact match. Why I was google searching mauve is another story (I thought vermillion was yellow? and a friend said apuce was green). Anyways, application on this wasn't that great. It was translucent, and didn't self-level, so I needed 3 coats, and a 4th on select nails. It wasn't unbearable, but it wasn't easy. If I'd paid for this, I would probably be a little annoyed. I didn't add a top coat, so that's another reason this looks so beat up in 24 hours (I'm sorry. So lazyyyyyyy. And the top coat was all the way on the other side of the room...). Anyways. Photos!

3 coats of Yummy Mummy - no top coat

close up Yummy Mummy

So a nice, simple nude. A little hidden shimmer in it, which add something extra. It was neutral, and plain, and just what I needed I added purple glitter? No More Waity, Katie and I have history. When I first saw it, I thought it was gorgeous. Then I saw more pics, and didn't like it anymore. Saw it in Ulta, the shopkeeper made a tape swatch for me, disliked it still. And here I am buying it anyways a week later because I am strange. And I really didn't want to like it, because I kind of feel like the name is patronizing. Named after Kate Middleton, it seems strange they named a polish after getting her married off quickly. But it's such an intriguing polish! It's a grey/purple base, but so translucent that you can't really see the base color except in the bottle. And it's just slightly off-colored from the lilac/purple glitter. I like it. In a strange way. And I wasn't sure I would - I kinda bought it for the free travel-sized remover? At least that's what sealed the deal. Again. I'm strange. If you throw in a freebie, I'm hopeless. I just love getting free stuff so much! Luckily I accidentally discovered that it looks awesome over nude. Especially this mauve-y Yummy Mummy. You skip the nail lines, and still get a hint of the translucent gruple (grey-purple) base.

1 coat of NMWK over 3 coats of Yummy Mummy

close up of No More Waity, Katie

in the shade - you can see the shimmer better

full hand

So, I really liked how this turned out. I keep using the word "strange", but I'm kinda at a loss to describe this. It looks like a brown/grey purple from far away. A little closer, and you see the lilac glitter, and closer still, you can tell that it's a glitter layered over mauve/nude. I like it. It's weird, I'm weird throw it together and you have a party! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Glitter is made to be shared

Today, I have a mani I did for a friend. She said she wanted fireworks on her fingers, so I gave her Ulta PiƱata-yada-yada (henceforth PYY, because that is a freakin long name to spell) over OPI Oh So Glam!. I've used Oh So Glam! as a base before, and I like it for that. It's a nice shimmery yellow-toned creme, and it reflects some gold as well. PYY is gorgeous. I need to do a comparison with Milani Gems - they're not dupes, but they are similar.
Anyways - here are photos of my beautiful hand model:

I think this is 2 coats of OSG, and one deliberately and liberally applied coat of PYY

close up: so many colors!

I love how this turned out. We did this for 4th of July, and originally I was just going to do an accent nail, but the all-over glitter looks great. It stayed on for about four days, too! (Her nail polish lasts so much longer than mine *pout*). I am definitely going to copy this.

The Color Wheel

New Page up - The Color Wheel. Quick snapshot swatches, soon to link to their posts. Easy to see all the colors. Not many up yet, but I'm working on it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sometimes you just need some glitter

Last Weds everything from school and work just caught up to me and I was feeling kinda low. I needed glitter. I did KOH Platinum Silver! as base, because a rainbow-prismed silver will always cheer me up, and Milani Gems as accent on my ring finger for a little extra oomph. This is one coat of Gems, which is apparently a dupe for Lippmann Happy Birthday and looks a lot like the Ulta Pinyada-yada-yada I picked up the other day. This was perfect to get me through the week. Sometimes all you need is a heavy dose of glitter.

you can see the rainbows in the silver well in this image

My regular routine. OPI Nail Envy, 3 heavy coats of KOH Platinum Silver!, Milani Gems, Seche Vite

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fizzly Watermelon

So, I kept seeing pictures of Revlon Watermelon Fizz online, and to be honest, I liked it, but wasn't wowed. What DID make me want it was the reviews that it had a nice subtle watermelon smell. That, I decided, I HAD to try. Whenever companies try scented products, it usually bombs, and most nail polishes smell bad enough without fake fruit scents, it just seems unlikely that it could smell good. Surprise, surprise! I actually like it. And what's more, I like the jelly-red-sparkle color too. This is 3 coats of Watermelon Fizz. I put a coat of A-England Merlin below the ring finger because I thought it would add sparkle, but you can see it didn't show up by the 3rd coat.

As you can see, it's a super-shiny, pink-toned red, with shimmer particles mixed in. What's interesting is that you don't have a traditional shimmery glitter in the polish. It's more like pieces with a little bit of shine. So like watermelon juice - a little bit of juicy particulate mixed in. But definitely more red than pink. And I do like the smell. It's subtle without being overly artificial. It reminds me, strangely enough, of one of those slightly-scented nail polish removers (It DID still smell kinda like nail polish at the end of the day - just good smelling nail polish). I wanted to try out my new Essie Matte About You (Trade Secret is having close-out prices, so I grabbed it for $2!)so...I matte-fied it!

I can't decide which way I like better, but they're both fun. I like the novelty of the watermelon smell, but I'm not certain I would have bought the color without that extra selling point.

Purple Possessed

Okay, so as a post, this is going to be a quickie. I'm a little ashamed that I didn't get better pictures of this color, because it is beautiful, but I don't know if I'll get a dark purple urge again this summer, so it might be a while before i get the chance to re-swatch it, so here goes. This is Nicole by OPI Prized Possession Purple. It's gorgeous. It's definitely on the blingy side of purple, but it's not over-the-top with glitter. There's a subtle red/pink shimmer, which you can see in the close-up pretty well. In real life, the shimmer is a little more obvious, but the color is definitely purple. I like this mianly because it's a true grape-y purple, and it's not a creme. I feel like there are a lot of purple cremes and purple glitters out there, and not too many good shimmers. So, pics:

full hand shot - a little blurry, but this is what it looks like on

close-up: look at the shimmer on the far side of the nail (easier to see if you click for full size)

This was my first Nicole by OPI product, and I'm glad I got it. The color isn't like anything I currently have, and I thought application was easy and loved the brush. That's all for now. Fun stuff soon, I promise. I have a TON of untrieds that I need to swatch.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Very Patriotic Mani

Happy 4th of July!!! My shipment of China Glaze polishes arrived just in time for a red and blue glitter manicure. I became a little obsessed with the Wizard of Ooh-Ahs collection, so this is Dorothy Who? and Ruby Pumps. I knew I'd love the bright red sparkly Ruby Pumps, but I wasn't certain about Dorothy Who?. It's perfect. Blue and sparkly, and just dark enough. Application was super-easy, but I'm not certain how removal would be because the polish kind of fell off. I used a different base coat than normal, but the entire polish just kind of fell off. It was a little strange. Anyways, it was nice not having to deal with taking off glitter-polish, but it would have been better to have it last a little longer. I'll see if it still does that with my normal base. Anyways, pretty sparkles!!! (please excuse the messy cuticles - the pool was calling to me)

These are all 3 coats of polish and one thick coat of Seche Vite. On the red nails I added a coat of star glitter polish from Forever 21. I don't think there was a name of the bottle, but I pretty much bought it just for 4th of July usage. The China Glaze polishes were all the sparkle I could have dreamed.

close-up Dorothy Who?

Dorothy Who? blurred - look at the glitter!

Ruby Pumps close-up

I'm very pleased with the color and shine of the China Glaze polishes. I have a few more to swatch, but it's ugly and raining now. No 4th fireworks, here, I guess. Except on my nails of course :)