Sunday, June 9, 2013

I am alive.

Hello followers, I just wanted to briefly check in and let you know I'm still alive. I have been on and off with my posting consistency, and as soon as I get the momentum going again, life has the tendency to get in the way. A couple weeks ago, I was in a near-fatal car accident. My car was rear-ended by a dump truck on the highway. It was completely totaled and I was rushed to the trauma center in an ambulance.  I miraculously walked away with a broken nose, neck and back pain, and emotional trauma. I'm in the process of coping with everything now and it has been very rough. The airbag hit my nose about down to the bone, and It's going to leave a gnarly scar. I'm still trying to remain in the habit of painting my nails, but it's even rough to sit upright for prolonged periods of time. Everyone tells me that the emotional and physical pain will fade away, but I'm still waiting. I don't mean to be a downer, but I just wanted to provide an update/explanation. Thanks for being great followers! Hopefully I'm back into the swing of things sooner than later. Unfortunately this whole mess has put restrictions on my polish-purchasing.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Manis Galore

This is China Glaze- Gamer Glam from the Spring 2011 Tronica collection. It is a light purple subtle holo. I just loved this.
I only got one picture of it in the sun while driving (and unfortunately it chipped quickly on one nail). Like most holos, it applied in thin coats and required three coats to be opaque.
Next is a Spanish combo! Amy's Nail Boutique- Fiesta is layered over OPI- Dulce de Leche. These shades work really well together.

Fiesta is composed of medium sized matte multi-colored hex glitter in a clear base. I only used one coat of it because I really liked Dulce de Leche. It applied fairly evenly utilizing a dabbing motion. 
Here it is indoors with the flash

Indoors without the flash
Here is OPI- Dulce de Leche indoors with the flash. It was released as part of OPI's Fall 2002 European collection. I believe it is now a permanent shade. It's a nude creme with a pink tint. The formula was great and it had a smooth, opaque application in two coats. This was taken indoors with the flash.
Indoors with the flash

Now this is a legit gold mani. I layered OPI- Man with the Golden Gun over A-England- Holy Grail. I wore this for four days. It lasted a long time without chipping, plus it was so gorgeous, I didn't want to remove it.
OPI-Man with the Golden Gun is composed of real 18 karat gold flakes suspended in a clear base. It is slightly different from the Sephora by OPI Gold Flake topcoat. I prefer this one over the $OPI because the gold flakes are larger.
Man with the Golden Gun was released with OPI's Holiday 2012 Skyfall collection. I had difficulty tracking this one down at Ulta, and my mom ordered it for me on ebay.
Taken indoors with the flash, you can see the combination of the gold on gold. Wearing this combination on my nails made me feel very luxurious. 

Here is A-England- Holy Grail on it's on taken indoors with the flash. I adore gold nail polish, and I own quite a few; but this may be one of my favorites. It is truly like an old, antique gold with a yellow shimmer.
Indoors without the flash. Impressive formula! It only needed two thin coats for opacity.

Next is Wicked Polish- Gangrene. This was released as part of the Pestilence collection (which is one of my favorite themes!) It is composed of small and large bright yellow and medium green neon glitter suspended in a milky white base. Indoors, the glitter was somewhat difficult to see, but in outdoor lighting, you can see it fairly well.

This picture was taken indoors with the flash. This polish was somewhat sheer and needed three coats in order to be opaque. I had no issues with distributing the glitter evenly.
Indoors without the flash- It's very difficult to see the glitter here. You can only really see the green.

Next up is Claire's- I Luv the 80's. This is one of those layered polishes. It's composed of multiple colors and it is intended to create a marbled or color swirled effect on the nail. I was very intrigued with how the bottle looked. There is actually a sticker that says "Do not shake" on the bottle cap.
Although the effect of this is pretty cool, I was somewhat disappointed because I expected all of the colors in the bottle to show up on my nails. You can't even see the green or purple at all. The top color in the bottle appears to be orange, but it's actually a bright yellow and pink that got mixed together from using the polish. I tried my best to make sure that the bottle wasn't disturbed, but the colors mixed together somehow. I'm not a huge fan of orange (it's pretty, but I prefer other colors.) I used three coats of this, and the effect was hard to see unless you looked at it up close. It also chipped fairly quickly because without topcoat it had a matte-like finish due to being a neon.
I was absolutely in love with this combo. This is Dollish Polish- The Koopa King layered over Claire's- Earthy/Happy. The Koopa King is part of the Mario Brothers collection. I love anything that has to do with Mario, so I was all over this collection. Earthy/Happy is a mood polish from Claire's and it changes colors according to temperature. In this picture, the polish is green; so I'm guessing that's the Earthy color.

Earthy/Happy shifts from a kelly green to neon yellow. I captured a good picture of this changing. It looks like a sponged on mani almost! This worked really well a a base color for The Koopa King, since that shade was inspired by Bowser. The Koopa King was filled with various colors and shapes of glitter. My favorites were the black thin bar glitter and the prismatic silver diamond shaped glitters. It applied evenly and I only used one coat because I didn't want to hide the color-changing polish.
Here's a picture of Earthy/Happy on it's own taken indoors with the flash. It dried to a matte finish since the color was neon. With the flash it's a bright green. The color-changing effect didn't really kick in until this polish had a couple hours to dry. After that, it started shifting like crazy!
Here's a picture of Earthy/Happy indoors without the flash. It looks completely different than the picture with the flash. This is not a color accurate picture at all. This shade only needed two coats.

This is Essence- Gleam in Blue. It is a light blue shimmer. I actually don't own another blue like this.
This only needed two coats, and it came out to a nice, smooth finish. I'm a fan of the Essence Colour & Go mini bottles. You can find them for $1-$2 at Ulta. Definitely worth it for the quality of polish that you get!

Last, I have an old gem. This is Covergirl- Ghost layered over China Glaze- Jungle Queen. Covergirl crackles are a treat for collectors of vintage nail polish. They were the first crackles produced by a major nail polish brand. The effect is different than the new shatters released a couple years ago. I believe that these were released in the early 2000s. This was around the time I was in middle school. I remember walking to the drugstore near my school after class for the day with friends and admiring the crackle polish and thinking "What science is this?!". Unfortunately I didn't have any money at the time, so I didn't buy it. I was able to snag this beauty on ebay in a lot! 

Application of this is similar to the newly-produced crackles. You have to wait for the base color to dry completely, and then apply the crackle in one even coat. I noticed that you have to put this type of crackle on a little bit thinner if you want it to crack more. This crackle takes much more time to dry. It also chips off quicker than the new crackle, but it's definitely worth time! I got many compliments on this. I believe Barry M has a crackle out called Croc Effects and the Kleancolor Crackles crack like this also.

China Glaze- Jungle Queen was my base color. This was taken indoors without the flash. It is a gorgeous plum color with a subtle shimmer. The shimmer is very hard to see. Wearing this under crackle, you could not see it at all. I'm glad I took these pictures beforehand. Jungle Queen was released as part of China Glaze's Fall 2012 On Safari collection. 

With the flash, you can see how the shimmer looks in different lighting. This had a flawless application in two coats.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Ton of Manis

Catching up again, some of these may not be in chronological order, so the length of my nails varies.
This is Glitzology- Lemon Crush layered over Deborah Lippmann- Footloose. Lemon Crush is filled with different shapes and sizes of white glitter and bars and is scattered with tiny pieces of matte yellow glitter.

 I only used one coat of Lemon Crush. Glitzology polishes are so condensed with glitter! I really like how this combination looked.
Here's a picture of it taken indoors without the flash.
Deborah Lippmann- Footloose was released as part of the Footloose collection in winter of 2011. This had a great formula. It's just a simple, staple red creme. Footloose was practically a one-coater, but I put on two out of habit.
Here it is with the flash.

Next up is Happy Hands- Banana Stand. I don't own many yellow polishes and I gravitated towards this one. It has green, yellow, and brown hex glitter of various sizes suspended in a yellow jelly base. This built up very well and needed three coats.

This had a wonderful formula and the glitter dispersed very well throughout my nails. It's the perfect shade of yellow!

Here's Banana Stand taken indoors with the flash. The color looks a lot different here.
Indoors without the flash

This is Polished Perfection- Fire Flower. I purchased this in a blog sale, and there were only a few of these made. I don't think this indie brand is selling polish any longer. Once I saw the label, I just had to have this one!
Fire Flower consists of orange, silver, and yellow huge flower glitters, small bars, and small orange glitter suspended in a shimmery orange jelly base. I was blown away with the formula on this! This was a bit sheer, which is characteristic of a jelly, but it built up nicely in three coats. I love how the flowers turned out. I wore this for FIVE DAYS. I used Seche Vite and Gelous to prolong it. I didn't want to remove it because it was so long-lasting, but I had tickets to a Penguins vs. Flyers game, and there was no way that I was wearing orange nail polish there. 

Next is China Glaze- Electrify. This was released as part of their Spring 2012 Hunger Games collection. This was gorgeous, a glitterbomb for sure. It's filled with yellow and red glitter. I put on three coats of this and topped off with Gelous and Seche Vite for a smooth finish.

Indoors without the flash.
Crackle is one of my guilty pleasures. Many in the nail community are over it just because it was overdone in collection releases by many companies, but I just love how it turns out in a different pattern on every nail. When I saw Sally Hansen- Starburst I had to have it. The silver glitter in the crackle made it look so unique!
The black base in Starburst is jelly-like. I thought it was really neat out the glitter migrated with the crackle as it separated on my nails.

I layered it over China Glaze- Under the Boardwalk. This was taken indoors without the flash. Under the Boardwalk was released in China Glaze's 2012 Summer Neons collection. It's neon, and it has that jelly quality to it. It's a bright magenta. I only needed two coats of it.

Indoors with the flash

Here's ORLY- Purple Velvet. This one was released in the Fall 2009 Matte Couture collection. This had a nice formula and matte finish, but it wasn't purely matte. It had a satin-like quality. If you remember the finish of the ORLY Plastix collection, this would be right between those and a true matte.

Indoors without the flash. This applied in two smooth coats and the purple is reminiscent of an eggplant.

Indoors with the flash, you can see the subtle hint of shimmer this has. To the naked eye it looks like a flat color.
Last is Essie- Absolutely Shore. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did! It is a pale seafoam green. Coming out of the bottle it was a little sheer, but with three coats, it's a smooth-looking creme.

This was released as part of Essie's Summer 2011 Braziliant collection. The formula was so great also!!!

Indoors with the flash, you can see the blue in it.
Indoors without the flash