Friday, July 29, 2011

Revlon Carbonite

Here is the much-awaited Carbonite from Revlon. I think this one might become one of my fall and winter favorites. The color is a leaden cast with a very slight yellow, which distinguishes it from other polishes in the silver-steel family. Another distinguishing characteristic is the texture of the polish, which seems less like polish with a metallic appearance, but more like liquid metal. It's pretty cool. It is a bit tricky to apply, but not so much so that I would consider it a deal-breaker. 

Carbonite is a budget-friendly almost-dupe of Chanel's Graphite. I regret that I can't offer my own comparison, but a little Googling makes me think that the difference is negligible, and that owning both is unnecessary; therefore, I don't know about you, but I'm going for the Revlon!  

Monday, July 25, 2011

RLN's "Glitter Sandwich"

I love this manicure. I first saw it on Rebecca Likes Nails. So pretty! I tried it in pink, with OPI Got a Date Tonight with Wet 'n Wild Party of Five Glitters. It works best with very sheer creme polish, which is great because I've got this old light blue Essie, Looking for Love, that requires at least five coats for opacity. I haven't gotten rid of it because I kept thinking eventually I would find a way to use it, and finally, I have! It works perfectly for the Glitter Sandwich. So if you have any too-sheer colors, those are the ones that work best. I put down my base coat, then two coats of OPI's GADT, then two thin coats of Wet n' Wild POFG, then two thin coats on top, then one coat of Seche Vite. I know, eight coats seems a little excessive, but it dried just fine. What I really like about this manicure is that the glitter looks almost like confetti. It's a very cool effect. I think this would be a really cute manicure to do in bright colors for a child or teenager.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wet 'n Wild Hanna Pinktana

I bought this polish as a substitute for China Glaze's Electra Magnetic. It is not a dupe, but I thought it might be similar. HP is supposedly a holo, although I don't quite see it. I do think it's beautiful, though. It is super-sparkly; the effect is somewhere between a holo and a glitter. A demi-holo, perhaps? I could not quite capture the color. It looks a little washed-out in the photos; IRL it's a little richer, somewhere between a mauve and a raspberry. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this polish. The formula was thick but workable, and the color and sparkly effect is gorgeous. The photos are three coats and a topcoat of seche vite. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wet n' Wild Gray's Anatomy

This duochrome is much more interesting on the nails than it looks in the bottle. In the bottle, there is some shift in color, but subtle, kind of like an oil spill. Once I got it on my nails, the color change was dramatic. In some lights it looked purple; in others, silvery; and in others, metallic green. It's a very cool color. I used three coats for opacity and had no drying problems. I did notice that there was some tipwear earlier than I normally have it. I did this manicure (with topcoat) at night and took the photos the following afternoon. You can see some tipwear already. I consider this a minor flaw, however, especially considering the quality, which is good, and the pricepoint. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Milani Holo Gold

So, I decided to try another Milani Holo based on my really positive experience last week with Digital. I was less impressed with 510. I thought the base color was a little odd-- reminiscent of chicken broth. Although, to be fair, that could have just been the way it looked with my skin tone. And while there was nothing wrong with 510 -- the formula was nice; it was packed with multi-toned glitter; it didn't blow me away. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Milani Ruby Jewels

This is a beautiful polish that absolutely sparkles in the sun. In fact, it was tricky to photograph for that reason. The formula was very good, very easy to manipulate. This was three coats.

Butterfly Award

Thanks to Monique at Forever 1992 for giving me this cool Butterfly Award! 

Here are the rules (which I copied from Forever 1992):

The Rules:
1. Link the person back who awarded you
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Answer the following questions below
4. Award this to 15 bloggers

1. Done. Take a look at Forever 1992: cool nail art and product reviews! 

2. Seven Things About Me
  1. I have taken road trips across the US three times. 
  2. I wish I were a glitter polish girl, but I'm just not. 
  3. I love old movies (Casablanca, It Happened One Night, Mildred Pierce).
  4. I eat far too many cookies. I have a good metabolism, but I'm going to be totally hosed when it slows down because I have a sweet tooth. 
  5. I stopped getting cable television three years ago, after I realized what a time suck it is. I made the decision while I was weak and headachy after an ill-advised 48 hour America's Next Top Model marathon. Never looked back. 
  6. I went through a phase in college when I would write this poem on bathroom walls.
  7. Mac (not PC), Pepsi or Coke (I don't care as long as it's diet), half and half and one sugar, window (not aisle), and paper (not plastic).
3. Questions

  1. favorite color: depends on what the color is for 
  2. favorite song: depends on the occasion
  3. favorite dessert: depends on the time of year
  4. what annoys me: being misunderstood
  5. favorite pet: my grumpy cat, Lola.
  6. black or white: I can't answer this; it's too general. I will say that I like black and white cookies. 
  7. biggest fear: whatever it is, I bet I don't know it yet. 
  8. best feature: being super-evasive with questionnaires. 
  9. what is perfection: here, I'm going to agree with what Monique at Forever 1992 said: perfection is being done at the end of a long day. Totally agree. There are few things that are better than that. :) 
  10. guilty pleasure: nails, definitely. 

4. Okay, I have to award this to 15 other awesome blogs! 
Kat's Klaw Polish
Ditch the Mittens
Gotham Polish
Pixie Polish
Trailer Hood Chic
Lacquered Lover
Short 'n Chic
An Amateur's Nail Obsession 
Polish Vixen
Ali's Nail News
I <3 Delicious Nails
Acetone and Old Lacquer

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meg's Manicure

So, I gave my friend, Meg, a manicure in honor of her man returning after some extensive travel (not that I needed an occasion; honestly, a traffic light changing is enough of a reason for me to give my friends manicures). Anyway, she brought a nail polish with her that she is currently in love with, so we used that as the base. It's a pretty seafoam green from Urban Outfitters; this is the polish-- unfortunately, I don't have the name. She chose the large heart stamp from Mash plate 46 and the small heart from Bundle Monster plate 17. We wanted to use a pastel pink (in this color family ) for the heart, but the pinks I have weren't opaque enough for stamping. We used Orly Razzle, which we ended up liking. Razzle is a raspberry colored polish that is shot with tiny silver glitter (almost a shimmer). The shimmer transferred nicely, and so instead of a creme background with a creme stamp, it wound up being a creme background with a shimmer-sparkle stamp. Pretty! 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jackson Pollock Nails

Okay, so, Konad gets the credit for this and not JP, but still , it's a cool manicure, right? I love it! I've been wanting to do a paint splatter manicure for a while, but haven't quite been willing to deal with the epic clean up. This is a great technique to achieve the same look. Another lacquerhead might recognize the nail stamp, but most people won't. Take a look at my other splatter posts here and here and here.

I used Orly Lollipop for the background. I used one layer each of Sinful Colors Snow Me White and Black on Black with Konad stamp 70. Topcoat was Seche Vite.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Milani Digital

This is my first Milani polish. I've held off buying any for a few reasons. The first was that I didn't know whether or not they tested on animals. (They don't). The second was I thought the price was bit high and the bottles a bit small for a drugstore polish. The third was that I didn't particularly like the appearance of the product: the bottle shape or the font. I acknowledge that it's a silly concern, but at the same time I can defend it: cosmetics are all about aesthetics; therefore, the appearance of the product certainly matters even if it has nothing to do with its quality. 

Anyway, stand back, because now I'm going to gush. I LOVE this polish. Love it. The formula was amazing-- very easy to work with. It was neither too thin nor too thick; it was easy to manipulate, and it was not streaky. Also, the color. Look at the color. Gahhhhhh. It's so pretty! I couldn't stop staring at my hands. The polish is a rose-base. The micro glitter is primarily gold, but also has blue, teal, fuchsia, and purple flecks. The secondary colors don't register except to add depth and interest to the rose-gold. It's a gorgeous polish. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OPI Shim-merry Chic. Yes, In the Summer

So, I was teaching class last week, and I noticed that my TA was wearing an awesome molten bronze nail polish. I saw the large orange-red flakes, and I knew that it was Shim-Merry Chic (which she later confirmed), a polish that I had, after much deliberation, passed on. I thought it was a gold with flakes, not a bronze. I mean, not copper, not gold, but bronze. That is cool. 

So, why wear this color in July, you might be asking. I can see how this fits into the Christmas color schema, but I also think this it is a great mid-to-late summer and fall color. It's a beautiful burnished bronze with a liquid quality. It has orange-red flakes and tiny teal glitter. I admit that the description sounds horrible. Almost nauseating, really. Just a terrible, terrible color combination. BUT the end result is gorgeous. 

Application: This polish itself has a nice, thin (but not too thin) consistency. It is a little tricky because of the large flakes, which don't always lie flat on the nail and require a little manipulation. The flakes also have a somewhat lumpy effect under more than layer of polish. A topcoat helped to mask this, but this polish is a bit of a topcoat eater, even with Seche Vite.In this end though, the applications problems are minor, workable, and totally worth it. This is a gorgeous and unique polish. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Revlon Emerald

This is the lovely Emerald by Revlon. I'd almost bought one of the greens like this that have come out in the last couple of years, but never did it. I stared at Jade Is the New Black for so long when OPI's Hong Kong collection came out, I must have looked like I was meditating on it. Anyway, I was bingeing on  Revlon Top Speeds earlier this Spring, and I bought Emerald on a whim. It's a rich, medium-green creme with blue undertones. The formula is fine, applies smoothly, and dries in a reasonable amount of time. This is also a polish with a shiny finish; I did not use a topcoat for the swatches. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Green Squared

I have done this manicure in magenta, but I love this stamp so much, I wanted to do it again in another color. I used Sinful Colors Mint Apple as the background and  Sinful Colors Black on Black with Bundle Monster plate 203. Mint Apple distinguishes itself from the legions of other mint-greens that have come out in the past year or so with a subtle gold shimmer. The formula is thin but easy to work with. I used two coats for this manicure, although I think it would look better with three, especially if I were wearing it on its own with no stamp. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

China Glaze Lemon Fizz

I bought China Glaze's Lemon Fizz in my quest to find a yellow with a good formula, or the Holy Grail of nail polish. LF is okayish. With patience, it's workable. It's not runny like many of the yellows I've tried, but it is somewhat gloppy and steaky. I like the color; it's a medium yellow, neither too warm nor too cool. I thought it looked nice with my skin tone, which is a first me for a yellow. In general, and especially with this polish, I recommend using Seche Vite as your topcoat. SV has concealed many of my less than stellar applications, and it was very useful in making LF look neat. 

*Please excuse my shockingly dry cuticles! 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Greige Comparison

I've been meaning to do this for some time. I am drawn to greiges, and I realized that I was acquiring a lot of them. I wanted to know if there was any real difference between the colors, or if I was just being a product slut. I am happy to say these four colors are more disparate than I thought! I feel much more justified in owning the different ones now that I see them all together.

From left to right:

You Don't Know Jacques by OPI: This was my first greige. Oh, how I love thee, YDKJ. If I were slightly more pretentious, I would write a poem for you. Anyway, YDKJ is a mushroomy creme that is opaque in two coats. It is a true greige in that it leans neither too warm nor too cool, but sits squarely in the middle. The formula is very good, and is opaque in two coats. 

Nirvana by Sinful Colors: Nirvana came out earlier  this year. It is a brown-leaning greige creme. I photographed it with two coats, but it is really is a three-coater. My one complaint with Nirvana is the dry time. It takes a very, very long time to dry. But, it's also pretty, which does tip the scales in its favor, in my opinion. The formula is fine to work with. 

Stormy by Revlon: Ooo, preeeetty. I love this color. It is a grey-leaning greige, but it is also almost mauve. I almost swatched it with Essie's Merino Cool rather than greiges; really, I think it could go either way. The formula is good, particularly for a Revlon, which I generally find to be tricky. It went on smoothly and was opaque in two coats. No bubbles, either. 

Ingrid by China Glaze: Ingrid's base is almost exactly the color of Sinful's Nirvana, but the addition of gold micro-glitter totally changes the over-all effect of the polish. The base color is already warm, but the micro-glitter warms it up more and makes it, in my opinion, a fall polish. I don't say this to diminish it; it is a lovely polish-- I think my photo doesn't do it justice. The formula was slightly watery, but I had no application problems. I applied two coats plus seche vite for the photo; I think it would have looked much better with three.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mom's Manicure

My mom is going to China to teach teachers how to teach English (say that five times fast), so I gave her a manicure for her trip. She chose Essie Splash of Grenadine and Bundle Monster plate 206 with Sally Hansen Silver Sweep. Top coat is Seche Vite. Splash of Grenadine is a lovely, difficult to pin-down color that comes closest to a magenta-lavender creme. It's a great color because it rides the line very nicely between bright and soft, and eye-catching and demure. It has a nice formula and is opaque in two coats. Regarding the silver stamp: Neither of us has any idea what the character means (or which language it is), so she's bringing nail polish remover in case it's inappropriate or offensive! If anyone knows what it means, I'd love to be able to tell her before she walks around with "I <3 U" on her ring finger and declares her undying love to anyone who happen to read her hands. Have a wonderful trip, Mom! Save travels :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

China Glaze Gamer Glam

Gamer Glam is a gorgeous holo lavender. I like all the polishes in the Tronica collection. I especially like this one, however. I wasn't able to capture quite how awesome and multifaceted the holo is. I think if you click on the first photo and look at my pointer finger, that comes the closest. It is very interesting but not flashy, which I like. Hmmm. I'm thinking this description is reading like a Rorschach test. The formula has the same minor issues as the other ones in the Tronica collection. They become tacky very quickly, even before I am able to finish one coat, so the brush drags the polish and makes bald spots. However, it is only a tricky formula, not an impossible one, and in my opinion, the payoff is well worth the effort.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Blue Holo Paint Splatter

For this manicure, I used China Glaze High Def for the background, and Orly Star of Bombay with Mash plate 21 for the paint splatter stamp. I've noticed that Orly Star of Bombay is my go-to blue for stamping. It's one of those rare polishes that works equally well for a manicure as it is for stamping-- by this I mean that it is pigmented and viscous enough to stamp well, but thin enough so that it can still go on smoothly and evenly for a manicure. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day Manicure!

Happy Fourth of July!!! For this manicure, I used Essie Really Red, with Sinful Colors Snow Me White with Bundle Monster plate 21, and Orly Star of Bombay with Mash plate 50. Topcoat is Seche Vite. 

China Glaze Hi Def

Hi Def would be an almost dusty blue, were it not also a holo with a beautiful, polychromatic lustre. I found the application a bit tricky because it tended to pull and drag even before I could finish each coat. With quick application, though, it is workable, if not as smooth a formula as others from China Glaze. I think the color is worth the effort, though. This is shown with a topcoat of Seche Vite. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Classic Pinup Red

I think Essie's Really Red should have been called Classic Pinup Red, or Betty Grable Red. It's kind of a  stunning polish, actually. I've been off reds for a while now, but I took this one out to do a Fourth of July manicure, and I realized that I have been unconscionably negligent in leaving it to languish in my stash, unworn, for so long. The formula was smooth and went on in two coats. 


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