Tuesday, August 30, 2011

OPI DS Fantasy

Blue is the fifth color for The 31 Day Challenge. I chose OPI DS Fantasy, a polish sent by Lindsay from Nailtopia in our recent swap.

I think we all know by now just how gorgeous DS Fantasy is! It's a very shimmery, glittery blue, that has this almost-sorta-kinda holographic thing going on. You can clearly see some holographic bits in the bottle, and in certain lighting situations, you can almost see them on the nail. But most of the time, the holo qualities are non-existent. It's still a really awesome color, even without the holographic glitter. It reminds me of deep parts of the ocean. The glitter gives the polish lots of dimension, and makes the polish really lovely.

Application was a breeze. It was a one coat-er, but I did two out of habit. I've heard that this stains like crazy, so I'll report back when I take it off.

In non-polish related news, I am currently in the process of working on grad school applications. It is stressing me out like crazy! I gave myself a five-day migraine because of it! This has been my life lately.

Oh, also, if you live near a Target, you might want to hit that shit up for some clearance Revlons and Sally Hansens.

Look at all the clearance labels!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zoya Mitzi

Day four of The Challenge is green. And I chose Mitzi by Zoya, a polish sent to my by Nail de Royale.

Mitzi is from this summer's Mod Mattes collection. It was the color I was least excited about from the collection, and the one I wouldn't have purchased myself. And I must admit, when it arrived from Nail de Royale, I thought to myself that I was disappointed to get the worst color of the collection. (I would never say such ungrateful things out loud! I would only think them to myself!) Well, I am eating all of those words I... thought. I love this color! Love!

The juxtaposition of such a bright lime color and a matte finish is so interesting and unique. I think it looks great with my skin tone, and I can't stop looking down at my nails. It's true, it does look like crap up close, but you just have to get past that. That's what turned me off initially when people starting posting swatches. It's uneven. After three coats it still looks terrible. It looks like green colored clay that you've just smeared on your nails. Not pretty. Just appreciate the color, and ignore all that stuff!

Also, this stuff lasts a long time, especially for a matte! I put this on Thursday evening. It's now Sunday morning, and I have hardly any chipping. There is a fair amount of cracking on some of the nails, but the cracking hasn't lead to chipping yet. And it's not really visible unless you're looking at my nails up close. I did wear a base coat, and I wonder if that helped. No matte polish has ever lasted this long on me! It does tend to get less matte, and more satin-y the longer it's on, though. It also darkens a fair amount, and becomes less neon and more olive toned.

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Street Wear Taxi

Yellow is the third color for the 31 Day Challenge, and I chose Taxi by Street Wear.

In the bottle, Taxi is a yellow with a really pretty shimmer to it. Unfortunately, the shimmer gets completely lost on the nail. Luckily, it's still a really gorgeous yellow, even without the shimmer.

However, application was a royal pain in the ass. The polish is pretty thin, which means two things. One: it had a tendency to spread all over, and got stuck in my cuticles and the sides of my nails. I always use acetone to clean up, but acetone couldn't get everything up. Two: it needed three coats, and even after the third coat, it still looked pretty crappy. Lucky for you guys, my camera makes things look better than they do in real life. It's fairly uneven in some spots. I got air bubbles. And it took FOREVER to dry. Even with my (brand new) Poshe top coat. I actually had to redo a couple nails because they ended up wrinkling. You can see the wrinkling on my ring finger in my photos. And that's the second time I redid that nail!

If it wasn't a Street Wear polish, I'd get rid of it. But I'm chalking up the issues to the age of the polish. And I'm still going to hang on to it and use it because as long as I'm not looking closely at my nails, it really does look awesome!

OPI Clubbing Til Sunrise

Post two for the 31 Day (Post) Challenge: Orange! I chose OPI's Clubbing Til Sunrise.

I received this in my second swap with Nicole from Top to Toe. One thing I love about doing swaps is the surprises you get. Especially when those surprises are something you wouldn't have picked out for yourself. I was a little iffy about this when I saw it in the bottle, and even when I started to put in on. But, the longer I had it on, the more I really liked it. It's a really lovely summer color. I got a lot of compliments on it as well. One coworker said it reminded him of tangerines!

As you can see, Clubbing Til Sunrise is a shimmery orange, that can look a little frosty. It's from 2009s South Beach collection. The application process was smooth. I ended up with a fair amount of air bubbles, but my Poshe top coat is getting goopy, so I'm going to blame it on that. I used two coats. I think most people would end up going with three, as I can still see a bit of visible nail line if I really look for it. But I sort of liked that not-quite-opaque look.

I also should mention, this stuff wears SO WELL on me! I've had it on for five days now, and I only have a couple tiny, barely noticeable chips (and a bit of tip wear). OPI wears well on me in general, but this stuff is really impressive!

In other nail polish related news, I recently did a swap with Lindsay at Nailtopia. This is what she sent!

Joe Fresh Gun Metal & Twilight (!). OPI DS Passion & Fantasy (!!!). Gosh Ocean & Gasoline. Nail art tool. Big Ruby Nail Tattoos (Mod Designs).
Lindsay picked out some really awesome stuff for me! I've had my eye on those nail art dotting tools, so it's great to have one. And the nail tattoos are so cute! I love 50s mod graphics, and I'm so excited to play with these! And, of course, ALL THE GORGEOUS POLISHES! Can't wait to fit some of these into the 31 Day Challenge. Thanks so much, Lindsay. It was a blast doing the swap!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cover Girl Crushed Berries

The other day, I came across a nail polish 31 Day Challenge on Here Comes the Sun. It looks like fun, so I've decided to take part! Here's how it works:

Image/Challenge originally from The Tuning Fork on Tumblr.

I'm mostly using this as motivation to make it through more of my un-trieds. I'm certainly too lazy to post daily, so I guess it will be a "31 Posts Challenge" instead. I also may adjust some of the challenges, particularly the water marble one because... well, I think water marbling looks ugly to be quite honest. I'm especially excited for the half moons and the supernatural challenges.

Up first is the best nail polish color of all time: red! Crushed Berries by Cover Girl is what I went with, because I purchased it on clearance at Target months ago, and haven't tried it yet.

Crushed Berries is a appropriately named red jelly, with subtle shimmer. And I do mean subtle! If you enlarge the photos, you can see a little bit of shimmer, but mostly in the bottle. It's pretty much non-existent in real life. Under super bright light, you can see some of it. But it's certainly not something anyone else would notice. I do wish it was more visible, as that would make this polish far more unique.

Beyond that, my only other complaint is that the brush is itty bitty so application takes a bit longer. But it went on smoothly, and the consistency was great. I used two coats. Some people might like more, but I'm a big fan of the jelly finish, so I wanted to keep that quality visible.

Overall, I'm happy with Crushed Berries. But, really, that's probably only because I'm a red gal. If I wasn't as into reds as I am, I would put this into my "meh" pile. It's great for that classic look, but as I said, not terribly unique.

What do you guys think of the 31 Day Challenge? Will you take part, or skip out?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

(Re)organized My Stash!

I recently went to Ikea with a friend, and my main goal was to find something to organize my polishes in. Something that's not a Helmer. I know, I know. Everyone loves 'em! I just can't get into them. I eventually hope to find something vintage that will work for this purpose (perhaps someday when I live in a place with more than one room - so over living in a studio!). For the time being, I wanted something functional, small, and easy on the bank account. I decided on those cardboard organizing boxes that you fold together, in a pin stripe pattern because it reminded me of pin stripe suits, which then reminded me of John Dillinger and other 1930s gangsters.

My old "organizing" method. A Caboodle circa 1996, shoe boxes, and various boxes sent from Nicole. And tons of nail polish just sitting all over my apartment. You can also see a few of my other interests in this photo: embroidery, knitting, Bettie Page. That's me in a nutshell. Also, check out how pretentious I look with my MacBook Pro conveniently in the photo! Did you hear that Apple now has more money than the US government? Yeah just let that sink in for a few seconds.

The fun begins! Everything on the bed and placed in groups. That pillow case desperately needs to be thrown out, but I just can't let it go! Bonus appearance by the feet of a Hello Kitty stuffed animal in the foreground. You'd think someone who studied photography at college could make better photos than this.

Much better! This started out as the "salon brands" bin, but let's face it, my collection is not that big so some drug store stuff gets to sit in here, too. OPI, China Glaze, Zoya, Nicole by OPI, Sephora by OPI, American Apparel, Deborah Lippmann, Sally Hansen, etc.

This is the "UK/Street Wear/Leftovers" bin. Nails Inc, Models Own, Barry M, Star Gazer, Miss Sporty, Gosh, Street Wear, L.A. Girl/Forever 21/Love & Beauty, e.l.f., etc.

Lookin' like true gangstas! I should have included my toy Thompson sub-machine gun in the photo for added humor, but the thought came too late.
What do you guys think of these bins as nail polish storage?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Birthday Gift

Nicole at Top to Toe is so sweet! For my birthday, she sent my a package full of goodies! Here's photos of what she sent.

The whole package in a cute box! Nail polish, nail art supplies, bracelets, body scrub, and a note.

The polishes! Nails Inc Atomic and Omp! for the Fabulous collection. Nina Pro Purple-xing and Molten Copper. She must be a mind reader, because I nearly bought Purple-xing right before getting her package!

Incoco nail polish strips and nail art supplies!

The bracelets, body scrub (which smells amazing!), and an adorable card.
Nicole is the best! Head over and check out her blog for tons of fun manicures, great makeup, and other fun odds and ends.

Revlon Royal & OPI Last Friday Night

I'm late to the OPI Katy Perry collection, I know. When it first came out, I was unimpressed. I admit it. I thought the glitters were too transparent to be interesting, and none of the other colors struck me. I'm still not into the crackle trend at all, but I've changed my mind about the others. I saw someone layer Last Friday Night over another polish, and was instantly converted.

So, here's my first go at playing around with layering Last Friday Night. I chose Revlon's Royal because of the squishy jelly goodness.

Royal made a big splash in the nail polish world, so I know we've all seen this countless times before. Properly named, it's a ridiculously pretty royal blue jelly. I adore this polish! I'm a sucker for jellies, but make them this gorgeous, and I'm hooked. Royal applies smoothly, and is good to go in two coats for me. If you wanted to eliminate visible nail line, you'd have to do three. The visible nail line is exaggerated on camera, but still visible in real life.

Next I applied two coats of Last Friday Night, and marveled in the gorgeousness! I found Last Friday Night to be really easy to work with. I've had a ton of compliments on this manicure. A lot of people have said it reminds them of the ocean, and I must agree. There's not much to say about this that hasn't been said already about this polish. But whose reading the text when such a pretty manicure is pictured?!

Monday, August 8, 2011

China Glaze For Audrey

So, I know I'm like, a few years late to this trend. I've been wanting For Audrey for quite some time now, but just got around to getting it. Better late than never, I suppose.

Natural lighting.


I really have nothing but good things to say about this polish. The application process went smoothly, and I was expecting it to be streaky. I only needed two coats for things to look even. And the color! How gorgeous! What a perfect light blue shade. I've gotten a fair amount of compliments on it, and I myself can't stop looking at my nails. I'm so glad I've finally managed to pick this up, as I can see myself wearing this a lot in the future.

Now, what would this post be without some photos of Audrey?!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Man Glaze Matte is Murder + House of Isis Amulet Glitter

I tested out one of the nail art glitters Nail de Royale sent me - Amulet by House of Isis. I wanted it over something dark so the glitter would really pop, so I chose Matte is Murder by Man Glaze as the base color.

I love this stuff! I like that the black is not a flat black - it has a nice shimmer to it, which is a nice addition to the matte finish. It applies incredibly smoothly. I used two coats for full coverage. Like all mattes, it dries very fast, but also chips pretty quick. I knew I'd be putting a top coat over it, so  wasn't terribly concerned about the chipping. I just adore the way this polish looks. The finish looks so chic! Which I'm sure the dudes at Man Glaze would hate to hear me say, but it's true!

Artificial lighting.


Blurred for optimal glitter viewing!
The next step was whipping out the glitter! My basic procedure was to lay down a piece of paper (or something for the excess glitter to go on), dip the tips of my nails into the pot, and then use a nail art brush to sprinkle glitter on the rest of the nail. I was trying to get a gradual effect - with more glitter towards the tip, and less as you move toward the cuticle. It worked pretty nice. It doesn't look perfect, but  didn't want it to. I like the "messy" application. I added a layer of top coat over the black so the glitter would have something to stick to. When I was finished, I added two layers of top coat, to even out the texture and make sure everything was sealed in. It was certainly a messy task, but definitely worth it.

I really love the way the smaller green glitters interact with the larger holographic pieces. It's a very pretty combination, especially over a darker polish. It's sort of space-y in a way, and I think if the smaller glitter was multi-colored, it would certainly give that effect. The larger pieces are definitely eye-catching, and I love the way the light bounces off of them.

I can't wait to play around with this glitter more, and try out other combinations!

A big thanks to Nail de Royale for sending this to me!

And, for the purposes of a proper disclaimer: the House of Isis glitter was sent to me for review.