Thursday, March 29, 2012

Black and White Splatter

Here's a white on black splatter for you. The white is from Milani, and the black is actually a dark, charcoal-grey from OPI called Suzi Skis the Pyrenees. I don't know if I'm getting better at splatters or if the white polish was the perfect consistency, but this was the easiest splatter I've ever done. That white Milani was liquid enough to splatter easily, and opaque enough that the contrast with the black was dramatic. Tip: I know some people use straws to blow the polish through. I prefer to dip a bobby pin in polish and blow through it as if it were a tiny bubble wand. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Turquoise over Gold

I know, I know, crackles are so passe at this point, but when the colored China Glaze line came out last year, I was tempted by this turquoise crackle, called Crushed Candy, but I just didn't wear them often enough to justify buying it. Anyway, I found it languishing in a sales bin at Sally's, so I decided to rescue it. :) For this manicure, I did a base color of one coat of Sally Hansen Gilty Pleasure, and one coat of Crushed Candy, and one more coat of Seche Vite. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

American Apparel Poppy and Butter

So, I went up to New Hampshire this weekend to visit friends, and I gave my friend, Linda, a manicure.
She chose Poppy by American Apparel, a bright orange-red cream. So pretty!  I put on American Apparel Butter, which you can see in the last photo. Just a note: Linda has very strong, natural nails with really nicely-shaped nail beds. Jealous!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Zoya Edyta

Short post today! Zoya Edyta is a complex, fascinating color. It's a mossy green with gold shimmer. As you can see from the photos, it's duochrome-y but not a duochrome. The formula was smooth and built nicely in three coats. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Guest Blogger: Nail Nerd!!!

I have a special treat for you today: a guest blog from the amazing Meghan at Nail Nerd!!! I live just outside NYC, so Meghan decided to do this awesome NYC-inspired manicure. Thanks Meghan! It's so cool that you were willing to do this! 

NYC Manicure from Nail Nerd

This mani uses a few brights from the Zoya Candy Collection -- Creamy, Juicy, Yummy, and Sweet -- but the rest is all acrylic paint.  And though it's been a few years since I've been in New York (getting out of New Orleans is harder than you'd think!), I wanted to use the opportunity to celebrate some of my favorite parts of New York:

Coffee and hot dog vendors.  Hungry?  Thirsty?  Don't worry about having to tie up your dog or hassle with a store, just find your nearest cart and you're taken care of.  Brilliant.

CABS.  I can't even tell you how many nights have been steamrolled in New Orleans for want of a cab to actually show up.  I totally miss seeing a whole army of these yellow buggers crawling down a thoroughfare.

The Statue of Liberty.  What can I say, I cried the first time I sat at her feet.  She's beautiful.

The Brooklyn Bridge.  This may be my favorite bridge ever to bike across... day or night, it's a stunning structure.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Revlon Colorstay Bare Bones

All right. I admit it. I'm a fan of the new Revlon Colorstay polishes. They actually do last longer than other polishes. They chip less. The colors go opaque in a reasonable number of coats (1-3). The colors are pretty and the bottle shape is attractive. But the brush. The horrible brush. The awkward, stiff brush that resembles a tiny trowel. Ugh. Still, I keep buying these polishes. So, friends, that's my final word. Good polish. Bad brush. Here, I've swatched Bare Bones for you. I bought it because I have American Apparel California Trooper, which is a similar Khaki colored polish. I've found it one of the most useful polishes I own. I like it for a background for stamping, and it's good in water marbles. In terms of personal taste, my default palette is neutrals. Nothing ground-breaking here, just a  nice, long-lasting, sandy beige cream. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taxi Nails

I bought Spoiled by Wet n' Wild Designated Driver just so that I could do this manicure. I did a base of DD and used Sinful Colors Black on Black with Cheeky plate #3. I got a ton of compliments on this one-- definitely give it a try! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sinful Colors Cinderella

Sinful Colors Cinderella is exactly the sort of polish that makes me favor this brand. It's a unique color with a good formula. It's also inexpensive and not tested on animals. Cinderella has a blue, creamy base with pink shimmer. I know this color has been getting some attention from other bloggers, and for good reason. If you're a blue fan or a pastel fan, definitely treat yourself if you see one.  I recommend you click on the pictures to see the larger slideshow versions-- it's easier to see the pink shimmer. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

OPI DS Mystery and China Glaze Midtown Magic Comparison

I bought OPI Design Series Mystery, brought it home, swatched it, and realized that it is really close to China Glaze's Midtown Magic (MM) from fall, 2011. They aren't dupes, but they are so close that I feel that owning both is unnecessary. Both have a warm, burgundy-brown base, although Mystery is slightly darker than MM. They both have flecks suspended in the base, but there, they diverge. The flecks in MM are tiny, round, regularly shaped, and firey. The flecks in Mystery are oblong, slightly irregular, and a cool gold tone. The formulas are equally good for both polishes. In the end, I suppose it comes down to minutia, since they are very, very close. I'm trading one out, but I'm not telling which one. I don't want to play favorites. 

In the photos: OPI is on my fingers; China Glaze is on my Thumb.

Below: Close up of OPI. 

Below on thumb: China Glaze Midtown Magic

Below: Left, China Glaze. Right, OPI. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tape Manicure with American Apparel Factory Grey

I just bought a whole mess of manicure tape, and here is my first attempt to use it. The base color is American Apparel Factory Grey, and the tape is holographic raspberry color. It didn't quite turn out the way I pictured it, but I do like the basic idea. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

China Glaze Strawberry Fields

You know what's nice? When Sally's has a "Buy a bottle of Seche Vite and get a free China Glaze" offer. I mean, for someone like me, that's like saying, "Pay your electric bill and get this delicious, delicious cupcake for free." Really, Connecticut Light and Power? A free cupcake, you say? To do something I would have done anyway? DONE. TWICE. 

Anyway, here is China Glaze's Strawberry Fields, a color that I'd been on the fence about for months. It is gorgeous. I'm not a big glitter girl, but I love glass flecks and this is so preeeeeeeettty. I mean, just look at it. It looks like strawberry syrup with undissolved bits of sugar in it. So pretty and summery. The formula was good; it was opaque in two coats, so although it has that sort of translucent quality to the finish, it isn't a sheer polish. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate Swatches and Stamp with the New Cheeky Plates

Here is another Revlon Colorstay polish, which I seem to keep buying in spite of the crummy brush. And this one was terrible. Ugh. So stubby and stiff and awkward. Like painting my nails with a butter knife. But the colors in this line are so nice, and the finish is so pretty-- it has kind of a softness to its appearance, almost a gumminess, but then it dries just as strong and glossy as other polishes. It's a subtle thing; I almost think you'd have to be a lacquerhead to notice. 

Here, I did two coats of Revlon Colorstay Blue Slate with one coat of Seche Vite. Then I did a stamp with Cheeky plate 7 and Sinful Colors White on White. I like this pattern; I think it looks retro, like a print from the 50s or 60s. 

Below: Blue Slate by itself.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sinful Colors Neptune

Sinful Colors Neptune from the Cast Away collection is a great color with a cool finish. It is a blue creme base with a kind of glass fleck-almost flake that gives it a strange depth, almost like suede. It's an odd, beautiful polish. The formula is only okay (it drags unless you allow it dry thoroughly between coats), but because of the uniqueness of this effect, I recommend it without reservation. 


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