Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newt-y Goodness

I finally bit the $14 bullet and bought myself a Glitter Gal holo a few weeks ago. I ordered Lizard Belly from Llarowe (which I just found out sells A-England for cheaper than the price in pounds - score!). Shipping was very reasonably priced and it shipped and arrived very quickly. Oh, screw it, just get to the pictures already!

A million pics. To express how happy this polish makes me in the sunlight. In the shade you can clearly see the green, and my 5-year-old niece (who dislikes black nail polish) could even tell that it was a subtle green. It's apparently like "Charleston Green" - which describes shutters on the windows in Charleston, SC that look black from a distance, but are green close-up.

So I'd heard that the Glitter Gal Bottles were small, but I must have not been listening, because it was a shock when a mini doll-sized bottle came out of all the packaging. It's a little over half of what normally comes in a bottle, and the design doesn't hide anything. It's very miniature. Here's a comparison with an OPI:
So...small. But it's beautiful. And I'm glad they don't sell it for $28 for a full-sized bottle, because then I'm pretty doubtful it would have worked its way into my collection.

I LOVE this color. It's a great holo, and I keep getting compliments on the color. It also makes me happy because it reminds me of sunny places where those little iridescent-skinned newts or salamanders would crawl all over the walls. In summation, because it's hard to capture the sparkle, and I'm loca, here's a video of the shimmer. Even this doesn't quite capture it, since it's more like what you see in the bottle, but it give you a feeling for the color.

My Car-spirations and some other Randomness

Felt like doing something different today, so this is a swatch-free post.
Part 1: Haul! Yay!
So most of my hauls are Nail Mail, and I usually don't take pictures because I'm too excited to rip everything open and start randomly swatching. Plus, then I'd have to acknowledge that I have a problem. But then I discovered that I have a Five Below just down the street! It's been open a few months now, and they sell Funky Fingers, which was a new polish to me, so I snapped up some of the super-glitter ones and then a bunch of other random things.
Apparently Funky Fingers sells for 3/$5, which is just amazing to me, and I'm excited about the 4-pack of purples. :)

Part 2: My car-spirations.
Okay, so...I'm strange. Since my nail obsession started, I have been getting lemmings from car paint finishes...and I take pictures. I'll see a car and think the color would look great as nail polish, so I snap a picture and then go a-hunting for the right color. I think I've actually found some, but any suggestions are of course welcome. It's just random, but I keep having car-paint-job lemmings, so it's an actual thing that's happening now.

I think this one is kind of like Zoya Jem. I actually forgot about this picture. Maybe Jem is a little too pink, though.

I thought that Misa Pour Me Something Tall and Strong would be good for this, but it takes 4 coats to reach anything close to opacity, so alternative suggestions are appreciated.

This was the first car-paint lemming that grabbed me. It really latched on and shook me all around. I think I finally satisfied it with Ulta Alter Ego.

This one is tricky. It's a super-pale yellow, almost white. The closest I have is American Apparel Butter, which is still too yellow, but I'm not certain that this would look good as a polish. But I like the thought of it.

So....does anyone else do this or am I crazy? Thanks, all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Copper House

Time for a comparison!!! I honestly have so many comparisons between colors that I have been itching to do, but I never get around to it somehow. Thankfully, I got in a swatching session last weekend when there was plenty of sun, and I managed to snap some pictures of a copper comparison. I bought Deborah Lippmann Brick House a couple months back at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I wore it once, but didn't get any pictures. I was in my local dollar-friendly cheap-o store, and spotted a color called Copper by LA Colors that looked a lot like the Lippmann, so I grabbed it for comparison purposes. Pictures below, BH is on my middle and pinky, Copper on my index and ring:
Brick House:middle and pinky, Copper: index and ring
Brick House:middle and pinky, Copper: index and ring
You can see that they're pretty close. Copper is a tad darker, and has more glitter. Brick House seems to lean pink.
close up
You can really see how Copper is different here. It has a glitter/foil quality to it, whereas Brick House is a simple and clean polish. I'm not certain how to describe it other than shiny, since it's not really a foil. Here are a couple more pictures in the shade:
You can see how Copper (on the top) has more texture to it than Brick House. It also glows more.
Brick House
So you can see on the full hand shot that from far away, it's hard to tell these two apart. This is 2 coats of each and thought they're not dupes, but they're pretty close. If you're going for the copper-colored polish for fall, it's pretty hard with Copper ($1) so much cheaper than Brick House ($16). Brick House has a smooth, even quality that Copper doesn't match, and it seems to show better in low/natural light. So for smooth, nice nails, spring for Brick House. But if you're on a budget, Copper will get you the look for less.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Luring Sailors Since....last week?

I stopped by my local dollar tree or family dollar or one of those places recently, and picked up a couple of the LA Colors. I'd never used this formula before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but one of them looked like a dupe for Deborah Lippmann's Brick House (more on that another day), so I grabbed that and this one, Sea Siren, to check out the formula. I can't testify to wear times, since I only swatched them, but the formula was fantastic. These pictures are three coats, no top coat, and there's a lot of gorgeous for only $1.
I thought the bright pool background would work well with the Siren theme. I really like the shimmer in this polish. It's a great teal, perfect for summer, if I'd only found it a little earlier in the season. But I think it'll be great, maybe underneath silver shatter for a winter mani.
can you tell I forgot to paint my thumb.....:-/
In summary, I can only restate my surprise at the even formula on this polish. It did need three coats, but if I remember correctly, they dried pretty quickly. Usually the problem with cheap polishes is the application or a cheap brush, but I had no trouble with this one. I don't even think I did clean-up for this, and it turned out even and pretty clean. The smell was definitely more toxic than with the 3-free polishes I mostly use, but for the pricetag and quality it's worth it. I'll definitely be searching my dollar stores for more great LA Colors. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Salty Patch Kids Deluxe

This week's nail challenge was candy themed, so I did Sour Patch Kids! I did a brightly colored textured mani with salt, so it's more of a salty-patch kids mani. This came out pretty chunky, which is the idea since the inspiration is coated in a sour-sugar powdery coating.
image from here
Since they come in four colors, I started off with random nails in Yellow (Zoya Pippa), Green (Essie Pretty Edgy), Red (OPI Color so Hot it Berns), and Orange (Dior Aloha). I then added quick-dry topcoat, and quickly sprinkled salt liberally over the nail. For some reason, in places the salt sunk into the topcoat and is just shiny, but for the most part, you have a nice chunky, broken glass look. I think I'd love to do this again for a snow manicure, since it reminds me of a snow globe. Here's the result:
with flash
close up to show the texture
full hand
There are always more icky greens than any other color, so I made that my thumb ;). I like this, it was easy and I think it's super fun. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be leaving trails of salt everywhere, but I think that's how you ward off evil spirits, so at least I'll be safe. Gosh that was silly. Too much Harry Potter for me. I might have to go out tomorrow and buy myself a bag of Sour Patch Kids since my mouth keeps watering everytime I see my nails. Mmmmm. Yum. Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Nail Art Challenge: Lyle the Crocodile!

Nail Art Challenge for this Monday was TV, Book, or Movie inspiration. Well I really wanted to do a newsprint manicure, which I've had starred since I saw this post, so I did one of my niece's books. Lyle, Lyle Crocodile was definitely one of my favorite books as a kid. I think it's because he was just a really cool crocodile, but he didn't speak, so I didn't have to worry about the psychological implications of animals communicating to us. I think the newsprint part turned out really well. It was surprisingly simple, and fool-proof. I guess the technique is similar to putting on a temporary tattoo. You just use alcohol (or vodka in my case - my house is more likely to have a blowtorch than Scotch tape, so normal things like rubbing alcohol don't exist here) and the tattoo is any newsprint you can get. I had the marketplace section - eugh - so I found an article about Netflix and grabbed a few small chucks of newsprint. It takes a lot less than you would think, just enough to cover the nail. You dip your finger in the vodka for a few seconds, and then hold the newsprint on for about half a minute. I added a drop or two of vodka to the back of the paper while it was on, to keep it wet, and then you peel off, and voila! There is a walkthrough of steps on the page I linked to above, where I got the idea and tutorial, but that's the basic gist. Now, I'm apparently rubbish with a paintbrush, especially on tiny surfaces like nails, so you'll have to excuse my smeared Lyle on the ring finger. There's a mustard yellow hat for Hector P. Valenti (star of stage and screen) on my left pinky, but I don't have the heart to share it. Here are some pics of the right hand:
just look at that smiling Lyle!
I like him better from the side.... Colors I used are OPI - French Quarter for your Thoughts, and CND Green Scene for the Lyle finger
you can see the inverse Netflix on my thumb! The newsprint was really cool
the closest I could get to a full-hand shot. It gives you the overall look.
I am definitely going to repeat this newsprint manicure. It was simple, I somehow managed to not screw it up, and it looks really cool. It's subtle, so I keep looking down at my nails and doing a double-take, but it's also really artsy and fun looking. Give it a try!! But grab something other than your financial section....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Grunge-y Green

I did Rachel's nails again last weekend. According to her, I'm the only one who ever paints them. According to me, everyone around me seems to really want to wear nail polish all the time. I might be slightly delusional. But she still lets me play around with her nails. Win! She was trying to decide between Rescue Beauty Lounge's Grunge - a nude with a tiny hidden shimmer, and American Apparel Malibu Green - a color that suits her so well it's ridiculous - so we did both! Accent nail is Malibu Green, the rest are Grunge.
We went shelling post-hurricane Irene, so here are a lot of pictures with shells!:
I didn't think I would love this combination as much as I do. It was either going to be really strange or really cool. And it loots great. You don't notice that there's nail polish on except for the Malibu Green, and then you notice the Grunge and it shines as well as a nude. It works.
As you can see, Grunge is a slightly purple-y nude. It's pretty simple, but perfectly simple. Malibu Green is fun as well. Green-blue nails. Again, simple and perfect. The brush was a little trickier on the American Apparel - it wanted to hold a lot more polish than I needed - but it leveled pretty well. This is 2 coats of both, and they both applied really well. Again, I'm going to have to steal this look from her. It's great, and fun, and perfect for end of summer/leading into the fall. And a great way to dress up nude nails. :)