Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An oldie and a tiny break...

...but not a broken nail! (*knocks on wood* I'm growing my nails out again hopeful that Claire's will get those fabulous mood polishes in soon.) No, I'm talking about a teeny tiny blog break. Some things have come up at work and I suddenly find myself with the dubious honor of being In Charge for a couple of weeks. Combined with the yucky weather I haven't had time to do any proper manicures or picture-taking. Or to respond properly to comments and leave comments, I'm really sorry about that. =(

There is the weekend coming up, so I hope to swatch something new I picked up as well as some untrieds that have been sitting around waiting patiently. I can't bring myself to not post a single picture so I dug around a little and found an old photo of one of my favorite polishes, OPI My Private Jet.

This was one coat of My Private Jet layered over Wet 'n' Wild Black Creme. I was having a quirky day so I painted a hot pink from Hot Topic on the undersides of my nails (and boy was that hard to get off). My Private Jet has evolved through several versions over time so if you spot it in a dusty somewhere remember to take a good look at it to make sure its the version you want.

And because I haven't done one yet, I'm going to squeeze a kitty picture in:

Peekaboo says hello and thank you for visiting!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Milani Cyberspace & Milani 3-D

I woke up this morning to a beautiful cloudless sky. Perfect for trying out my new Milani 3Ds! As much as I wanted to buy them all, I controlled my impulses and restricted myself to two, the blue and the gold. (I'm so proud of myself. Lol.)

This Spring Milani released a collection of neons and holographics that I've heard are to be part of the core line. I don't know if that's true or not but I hope so! These would be a great permanent addition to their collection of colors. While I love seasonal collections, it can be frustrating to hunt them down. Where I live, sometimes we don't see a spring collection until fall! Maybe they get lost at sea, heh. But on to the pictures!

Milani Cyberspace

This was three thin coats and if you stare at it you can sort of see visible nail line. I'm thinking this would be great layered over one of the new neons.

Milani 3-D

Again, three thin coats but 3-D is more opaque than Cyberspace. Both polishes had excellent application. It was easy to apply thin coats, great coverage and a smooth finish. Both of these were done without basecoat. I don't buff my nails so I usually use a ridge-filling basecoat, but these didn't show my ridges at all.

While these aren't quite the same as the China Glaze OMGs or Kaleidoscopes, (Hmm, I wonder if I can do a comparison? I'll have to check my stash...) they're still very nice holos for a reasonable price. Some drugstore polishes are getting rather pricey. (I'm looking at you Sally H.) Shoot, I'm happy to see holographic nail polish in a drugstore brand again!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Essie Van D'go & a little bit of sunshine!

Last weekend I scheduled several posts for this week because I knew I would be very busy with little or no time to hop on the computer. I finally had a whole day off today so I logged in to catch up on my blog reading and post today's manicure. Wow! What happened while I was gone? Seemingly overnight I have lotsa followers =)

Happily mystified I started catching up on the blogs I follow and soon found the answer. The lovely lady Nihrida was so sweet and kind to point you in my direction! So I'm sending a big thank you out to her and to all of you who took the time to check my blog out! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside...what a great day off I'm having =D

Okay, okay, on to the pictures! Today I'm wearing Van D'go from The Art of Spring Collection 2010 by Essie.

Essie Van D'go, midday sun

Essie Van D'go, shade

I used three coats to get full coverage (my own fault, I was watching a movie at the same time) plus base & quick dry topcoat. It seemed a little thick, but didn't give me any real problems and dried within half an hour. A word of warning if you're thinking of picking this up: Van D'go dries darker than the pale pink-peach it looks in the bottle.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maybelline & Hot Topic

Finally, the last two bottles from my weekend haul! One is a drugstore brand and the other is from Hot Topic. To refresh: these are swatches only, so no base or top coat and pictures were taken under a lamp due to lack of sun.

Maybelline Exu-Blue-Rant - 2 coats

Exu-Blue-Rant is from Maybelline's Poptimistic collection. This is a highly pigmented polish which was almost a one-coater. If you apply your layers on the thicker side, you could probably do just one coat. I like this blue creme. I find it straightforward and refreshing. Its a great dark blue that looks blue, even indoors. No application issues.

Hot Topic Mint - 3 coats

There are so many things I want to say about this polish I don't know where to begin. First of all, this photo isn't color accurate. It should be less blue and more minty green. I tried everything I could think of until I just gave up because swatching this polish was just so frustrating.

The trouble started with the crap brush. I know it happens with Hot Topic polishes, but this was extra-crappy. Uneven bristles and falling apart. I had to trim them and even pulled some out just so I could swatch. Then the consistency seemed to be a bit thick and goopy. It may need to be thinned, or I was having trouble getting even layers because of that darn brush! At two coats, it was still streaky, then the third was lumpy. I stopped trying because I knew a fourth coat would just mean taking it all off and starting again. And then I forgot to take a bottle pic. *sigh* I do like the color though, which means I'll decant this into a better bottle and thin it and try again. One day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Icing Part Two

Here we have two more polishes from Icing by Claire's. These were in the clearance bin marked down to half price. As I said last time, these are just swatches with no base or top coat. The sun refused to come out and play, so pictures were taken under a lamp.

Icing Can't We Elope - 4 coats

First of all this is not quite color accurate. Can't We Elope is a neon which is tough to capture correctly on camera. In real life, this polish leans more yellow than this. Also, this definitely has Visible Nail Line (which is why I did 4 coats) so if you don't like VNL, you might want to skip this one or use an opaque white under it.

Icing He Loves Me - 3 coats

He Loves Me is pretty, but there are probably more than a few dupes out there. I don't have a lot of pinks though, so it will be a nice addition to my collection. This one also had VNL at three coats, but for some reason it didn't show up in the photo. But it was there.

Once again, Icing nail polish didn't disappoint. They applied smooth and even, albeit with visible nail line. The polish consistency is great, no need to thin nor any pooling at the cuticles. Overall, I think Icing polish is definitely equal to salon brands.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Icing Part One

When dear husband and I went to the mall this weekend I visited Claire's to check if they got the new mood-changing polishes in (they didn't). Disappointed, I visited a few other stores and picked up a few new colors. Since I'm going to be very busy this week, I've spread this out over a few posts and scheduled them. I hope it works!

The first two polishes I'm going to show your are from Icing by Claire's. I don't recall seeing them in Icing before, but they were each the last bottle left. Unfortunately, the sun hasn't come out all weekend so all these pictures were taken under a lamp. Since these are swatches only, no base or top coat.

Icing Dark & Stormy - 2 coats

I think this is my favorite of them all. Of course its blue, lol. Reminds me of my favorite crayon when I was a kid, Midnight Blue. So gorgeous indoors, I can't wait until I can wear it on a sunny day.

Icing Heartless - 2 coats

This one was hard to capture on camera. The color is accurate, but I couldn't get the shimmer to photograph correctly. There is an almost hidden purple shimmer that glows at the right angles.

Both polishes applied easily. Streaking only very slightly on the first coat, everything smoothed out with the second. I have a tendency to do three coats, but with these I didn't feel the need to at all. *love*

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mmmm flakies

An older picture for you today! Now, I love Nfu-Oh flakies but there was a time when I didn't have any. Then I saw an NYX polish called Blue Avenue that looked like it had flakes in it and it only cost $3.49! I bought it and tried it SUCKED!

I won't even show you pictures of that. (Actually, I don't think I have any.) The flakes were huge glass-like slivers that were all sharp edges and impossible to work with. I was sad.

About a year later, this happened:

NYX Blue Avenue (l coat) layered over China Glaze Emerald Sparkle (2 coats? I can't remember)

What happened you ask? Sadly, the POS bottle of NYX did not miraculously transform. No, that *insert bad name of choice* is still sitting in a drawer somewhere. One day, I was in the drugstore looking at the NYX display when I noticed Blue Avenue looked different. Wondering if I was wasting my money, I bought another bottle, took it home and swatched it. And it was GOOD! NYX changed the type of flakies they use. So, if you need a cheap substitute until you can get the good stuff...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

OPI Jade Is the New Black

I did manage to get some sunlight pictures in today, yay! So even though St. Patrick's is over for most of the world, I'm going to squeeze this in during the last few hours here in Hawaii. This is the other polish the nice ladies at Trade Secret held for me from OPI's Hong Kong collection.

OPI Jade Is the New Black

I had no cleanup tools with me when I did this, so I apologize for any stray bits o' green. This is two not-too-thin and not-too-thick coats plus Poshe topcoat. Somehow I managed to forget to apply basecoat even though it was sitting right there by my hand. Silly me. Smooth application, no issues with pooling, cuticle drag or streaking.

When I first put Jade Is the New Black on, I wasn't sure I liked it. But now that I've worn it all day, I'm rather fond of it. This polish is a bright dusty green creme, if that makes sense. It's making me think of old money. Not fugly, wrinkled, dirty dollar bills, but CLEAN old money. Like the first dollar bill taped into my baby scrapbook. Somehow I don't think that's the image Suzi was going for, heh.

And I'm really sorry about my dry cuticles. I didn't notice them until after I uploaded the pics *whips out moisturizer*

OPI Meet Me On the Star Ferry

I want to show you another lovelie from OPI's Hong Kong collection. (I am wearing green for St. Patty's, but I'm waiting for some decent sun to take a photo.) Anyhow, I almost missed getting this one, but the kind ladies at Trade Secret gave me a call when they got more of the Hong Kong collection in and put it on the side for me.

OPI Meet Me On the Star Ferry

I absolutely adore this polish.

I didn't want to take it off.

In the shade it was pretty, but when I went outside to take pictures BAM!...I was in love.

I would meet this polish on the Star Ferry any day. I don't even know what the Star Ferry is...but it sounds romantic. This makes me think of twilight and velvet chokers and Victorian dresses....erk, somebody stop me.

I had no trouble at all with application. This is three coats (because I'm overzealous) with base & topcoat. I don't know what else to say, I'm too dazzled just remembering the way it sparkled...I'm usually a blue/green/purple lover but I'm totally going to cheat on Absolutely Alice with this one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Claire's Dream Catcher

Word around MakeupAlley's nail care board is that Claire's Dream Catcher is a dupe for that limited-edition-insanely-priced-on-eBay Chanel Jade nail polish. I don't own the Chanel so I can't say if its true or not. What is true is that Dream Catcher is quite pretty.

Three coats in full sun. This is actually about 3 days wear. I thought my pictures of this were gone for good when the computer threw a fit, but I found these on my camera. Yay for forgetfulness and taking too many pictures! Loving the subtle shimmer.

And for fun, another picture when the sun hid behind some (heh, more like a whole lot of) clouds.

After seeing this polish so much on MUA and other blogs, I really wanted to try it out but my local Claire's didn't have it. I checked almost every week and finally I gave up, deciding I must have missed it completely. Then last week I stopped by to look for the new mood-changing polishes (which they didn't have) and lo and behold, there were tons of Dream Catcher in the clearance bin. I know for a fact those were never on the regular shelf. Go figure. But I got my lemmng and I'm happy =)

Monday, March 15, 2010

KOTD: Icing Awkward + China Glaze L8R G8R

Heh, I ended up wearing Icing Awkward for almost a week. Really L.O.V.E. that color. The third day I wore it my new Konad plates from OCNailArt arrived in the mail. Naturally I had to test one out immediately. Just to make sure it was working properly, of course. At least that's what I told my husband. Heh heh.

The weather has been nice, so I pulled out China Glaze L8R G8R from the OMG! collection for the stamping. The design is from Konad plate M66.

Pics are clickable for larger images. Apologies for the tip wear, work has been taking a toll on my nails lately =(

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Icing Awkward

First of all, I apologize for the lack of posts. My computer had a hiccup and it took a little while to figure out the problem. Sadly, I lost a few sets of photos, but happily I backup my files frequently.

Today I'm wearing a green that I love, Icing Awkward. Greens have a tendency to make my skin look redder in photographs than is true in real life, but the polish color is accurate. This is 3 coats, outdoors, but slightly overcast. Application is fair. I had a little bit of cuticle drag on the first coat, but it evened itself out.

This is, to me, a perfect moss green. Unfortunately I couldn't find any of the moss I'm thinking of to show it to you, so you'll just have to trust me. =)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Diamond Cosmetics Metallic Blue

Well I meant to post this earlier, but got sidetracked with life (and a tsunami!). Today I present to you Diamond Cosmetics Metallic Blue.

This is 3 coats (2 would have been fine) with no base coat or topcoat. You can see some brushstrokes, but overall its a very nice polish and reasonably priced at 2.25 per bottle.

For fun (and because they were still sitting on my table) I layered one coat of the new versions of the NYC polishes I showed you in my last post.

Index & Middle: NYC Wing It Wine Creme (new version)
Ring & Pinky: NYC Love Letters (new version)