Tuesday, November 30, 2010

OPI - Mad as a Hatter

I've had Mad as a Hatter since it came out, but I never wore it until now.
I have a new backdrop in my lightbox. I'm thinking it doesn't work and I need to find another one.
Basecoat: Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (2 coats)
Color: Essie Loophole (2 coats)
Color: OPI Mad as a Hatter (4 coats)
Topcoat: OPI Top Coat (1 coat)
Topcoat: Seche Vite (1 coat)

I forgot about the regular topcoat trick to keep SV from shrinking until after I'd already slapped a coat of Seche on my pinky finger. So, I have a good bit of shrink on that nail but only the glitter - Loophole stayed just fine.

I wanted really opaque coverage so I went to four coats of MaaH. Application was just what you would think for this much glitter - hard to control, cleanup sucked.

Really, really pretty though :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nude-ish skittles

I recently started working at home full time. I still have the same job as before, I just don't go in to the office anymore unless I have a meeting that needs to be face-to-face. As a result, it's getting harder to motivate myself to polish. So, this morning I decided to pull out a bunch of nude-ish taupe-y colors to skittle them. I've been having a hard time finding one I like, because I am Latina with olive undertones to my skin, and my summer tan hasn't faded. In the dead of winter I'll be super pale and I don't expect this to be as much of a problem as it has been.

All of these are with no basecoat or topcoat.
On my right hand, I have (from index to pinky): Sally Hansen Commander in Chic, Confetti Moonstruck, Essie Hot Coco, and Milani Dress Maker (yeah, so it's not a nude or taupe - what are ya gonna do about it?)

Here's a terrible shot of my thumb, where I've got on Sally Hansen Mystic Lilac. Should have done the cuticles first - yuck!

Every one of these except Hot Coco is four coats, y'all. Moonstruck covered the best - I can still see either VNL or streaks with the other three. And, my fourth coat of Mystic Lilac was pretty thick.

As far as color, I think Moonstruck is my favorite one on me. I loooove Mystic Lilac but I think it looks like ass. Too bad, because I bought a backup bottle, too. I'm thinking these will all get marked "tried" in my spreadsheet but I'll be more likely to pull them out later in the winter, too.

Here's my right hand. Pardon my craptastic photos - I'm so right handed it hurts.

Index to pinky: Milani Bare in Mind, Milani Bare to Wear, Rimmel Steel Grey, Chanel Nouvelle Vague.

And here I have on Sally Hansen Concrete.

The Milanis and the Rimmel are four coats, Nouvelle Vague and Concrete are three coats.

Bare in Mind *just* misses being my perfect "mannequin hands" shade. It's a little bit too pink and too light, but wow it's close. I love Nouvelle Vague much more than I thought I would - I typically have trouble wearing mint greens and baby blues, but I really like this one. Concrete might be a little too purplish for me to wear right now - it and Steel Grey will be "wear em again later this winter" shades.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Zoya - Sarah

Sarah is a red sparkly glitterbomb. It is a little bit deeper toned than Lisa, which I bought because I had to - they finally made a polish with my name on it!
This photo looks like Sarah has a pink tone to it, but I would definitely say this is a true red.

Basecoat: Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (2 coats)
Color: Zoya Sarah (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

I decided not to use Color Lock for this mani. I can't remember where I did it or what happened, but at some point I used David topcoat over a Zoya and it worked fantastically. I did this mani earlier today and I've already taken a shower (attempt to fix a disastrous hair day) and eaten lunch, and everything is fine - no dents or shrink. If this works out well I'll probably use this from now on and finally be able to wear my huge Zoya untried stash.

Application was really, really good, too. I really think this could be a one coater if you do it right - I did two because I had a couple of streaks and then I did a third coat because my thumbs still had a couple of streaks. Cleanup wasn't too bad for a glitter, either. This is a gorgeous red that I think would be amazing for the holidays, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rescue Beauty Lounge - Anne

Anne is one of the Tudor fall collection from Rescue Beauty Lounge. Anne is a murky green shimmer with bits of purple sparkle in it. In the bottle I loved it.
Yep, another RBL bottle photo where I had to use flash, and it still doesn't look right.
Basecoat: Salon Sciences Instant Artificals (1 coat)
Color: Rescue Beauty Lounge Anne (3 coats)
Topcoat: Seche Vite (1 coat)

I always heard that Seche plays really well with RBL, but this is the second time where I've had the opposite experience. I used a brand new bottle of Seche for this mani and I still had shrink before I even went to bed. When I got up the next morning it still felt dentable.

And, I just don't like the color. I love it in the bottle but when it's on my nails I just wasn't thrilled with it. I'll keep it anyway because I'm a Tudor history buff, but... I probably won't wear this again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Essie - Sew Psyched

Sew Psyched is a dusty green with hidden subtle shimmer. I picked this out to wear because I really wanted to wear a taupe or gray, but my hands haven't lost their summer tan yet, and they ALL looked terrible.
This polish was a little bit thick and gloopy but wasn't too hard to apply.
Basecoat: NailTek Foundation II (2 coats)
Color: Essie Sew Psyched (3 coats)
Topcoat: Seche Vite (1 coat)

I don't know why this photo looks like I have VNL because this is totally opaque. I also opened a brand new bottle of Seche so it's not topcoat weirdness. Anyway, Sew Psyched would probably be a two coater if I thin it a little bit. I didn't, so I had to do three coats to cover the dragging I had and the few streaky spots.

Sew Psyched still gives me a little bit of "lobster hands", but overall it is an acceptable substitute for the five taupe polishes I swatched earlier. This will probably be a go-to winter shade.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sinful - What's Your Name

What's Your Name is supposed to be a dupe of OPI Unripened, or a tiny bit sparklier. I own Unripened, but only in the mini size, and I haven't worn it yet, so I don't know for sure whether I think it's a dupe or not.
Despite what this photo looks like, What's Your Name is a black jelly with duochrome (?) glitter. If you look at it straight on it looks like teal glitter, but at some angles it's purple. This effect is visible on the nail but I just could not get that in the pictures. It is visible in the bottle, though.

Basecoat: Gelous (1 coat)
Color: Sinful What's Your Name (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

The application for What's Your Name wasn't terrible. It's black, so cleanup was kind of a pain, and the glitter was a little difficult, too. But overall I didn't really have any problems.

This is one of those polishes that definitely looks black indoors unless you look closely. For that reason I wasn't super thrilled with it, but it's very pretty in the sun.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

OPI - Catherine the Grape and Movin' Out

Here is another layered manicure. I knew Movin' Out was not going to be opaque in three coats, so I layered Catherine the Grape under it. I test swatched Catherine the Grape a couple of days ago so I knew I could get away with just one coat.
Catherine the Grape a dusty purple shimmer. To be honest, I think it's kind of a Mom Color.
Here is Catherine the Grape with two coats of basecoat and one coat of color. If I wanted to wear this as a full mani I'm sure I could make it work with just the one coat.
Movin' Out is a sheerish purple multichrome with red microglitter and tons of shimmer.

Basecoat: China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat (2 coats)
Color: OPI Catherine the Grape (1 coat)
Color: OPI Movin' Out (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

Movin' Out had a little bit of a difficult application. It's sheer and runny, plus it's a black label OPI, so it smelled, too. The color payoff is totally worth it. I had a hard time capturing the multichromeness of this polish. It is way more evident in the bottle than it is on my nails, but hopefully I'll get to see it outside. I'm for sure going to hoard my bottle jealously!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Misa - Embroidered Emerald

Here is another one of those that I got most of the way through and decided not to wear after all.
Embroidered Emerald is a purple/berry with green shimmer. Orly Galaxy Girl is pretty much a dupe of this polish, except Galaxy Girl has sparkle to it.

Basecoat: China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat (2 coats)
Color: Misa Embroidered Emerald (3 coats)

This was a really thin and soupy polish. I had trouble controlling it accurately and as you can see, even after three coats I still have streaking and bald spots. This, plus someone on the NB pointing out that it's pretty much Galaxy Girl, are what made me decide not to wear this today. I didn't really feel like going to four or five coats to cover the streaking. Still, it's a nice polish and it was nowhere the pain to remove that Galaxy Girl was.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

OPI - OPI Ink Suede

As usual, I was in a huge hurry and needed to put something on my nails. Suede to the rescue!
Application was what you usually get from a suede.

Basecoat: Gelous (1 coat)
Color: OPI Ink Suede (2 coats)

This polish was thick and gloppy, but not too unusual for a suede or matte polish. I had a couple of bald spots after one coat, but another coat fixed that right up. Staying power was as usual, too - the next day I had a big sheet peel right off of my index finger.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chanel - Paradoxal

I finally caved in to the hype and bought Paradoxal, and I'm glad I did. Paradoxal is a dusty purple with hidden shimmer.
I took a bunch of bottle photos, and even though this one is on super-flash, it is the most accurate representation of the color.

Basecoat: Gelous (1 coat)
Color: Chanel Paradoxal (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

Application was pretty good for this polish. I'm not a fan of the stubby little brush handle but it's better than the giant square bottle top, so I guess I'll deal with it. I had no issues with cleanup, and it wore like iron for the time I wore it. I think this is a nice neutral color and I would wear this when I needed to look more professional. The hidden shimmer is really pretty and in the sun it's gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Butter London - British Racing Green

British Racing Green is a dark green with green shimmer. It's pretty similar to Ulta Urban Jungle, but British Racing Green has a more evident shimmer.
I actually wore Victoriana and FORGOT to take photos! However, British Racing Green had excellent application, just like Victoriana did.

Basecoat: Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (2 coats)
Color: Butter London British Racing Green (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

I used three coats here but with better application it could have been two. Victoriana was a two coater for me also. British Racing Green is very pigmented, so cleanup was kind of a biatch. I actually have a little bit of tip wear in these photos because I purposely waited until the next day to take photos. Everywhere I got it on my skin it stained a little. However, this is a really lovely polish and I'll definitely be wearing it again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

China Glaze - Mummy May I

Mummy May I is a black jelly with purple glitter. It is part of the Awakening Halloween collection. I own all three but this is the first one I've worn.
Application was not too bad - I was expecting the black to be a creme instead of a jelly, so cleanup also wasn't as bad as I was expecting.

Basecoat: China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat (2 coats)
Color: China Glaze Mummy May I (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

Consistency was nice - a little runnier than I expected but I didn't have any problems controlling it. The glitter was a little sparser than I had hoped. I did have some stray glitter cleanup to do, but it wasn't a big deal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

OPI - Take the Stage

By the time I decided on this, I was seriously running out of time - I had about an hour to finish my nails and put on makeup before going out. I picked Take the Stage because metallics and holos tend to dry fairly fast.
Take the Stage is a deep coppery-bronze foil.
Basecoat: NailTek Foundation II (2 coats)
Color: OPI Take the Stage (3 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

I have to be honest, I didn't really go slowly enough to comment on the application or cleanup. I was really hurrying to get this done. On my thumbnail I have a ton of bubbles, one because I was hurrying, and two because I have a small tear at one edge that I'm trying to keep together until this weekend. I am using Orly Rescue which works very well, but I didn't buff it out as well as I could have.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

OPI - Red My Fortune Cookie and Nfu Oh 45

I actually decided not to wear this mani, but I took photos anyway. I like it, it was just brighter than I felt like wearing.
Red My Fortune Cookie is a bright red creme. It is very close to one of the American Heart Association colors OPI did, but I think it is a little less yellow. I own both but am too lazy to go find them in my Helmers.
I don't know what went wrong in this photo, but Red my Fortune Cookie is not nearly as blue toned as it appears in this photo. This is two coats. There is still some VNL but I think a third coat would make it much less evident.

Nfu Oh 45 is a red jelly base with glitter and gold flakes that also flash orange. I think you could probably build this up to be opaque on its own, but I try to conserve my Nfu Ohs since they aren't exactly cheap.
45 leans a little more orange than Red My Fortune Cookie, but it's very close.

Basecoat: NailTek Foundation II (2 coats)
Color: OPI Red My Fortune Cookie (2 coats)
Color: Nfu Oh 45 (2 coats)

Application for both polishes was excellent. Cleanup was not all that fun, as you can see from my photos, but it wasn't the worst I've ever tried.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

MAC - Bad Fairy

Finally, I got my hands on Bad Fairy. In fact, I got a backup bottle, too.
Bad Fairy is a berry/gold duochrome foil.

Basecoat: Gelous (2 coats)
Color: MAC Bad Fairy (4 coats)
Topcoat: DAvid (1 coat)

Bad Fairy was not as opaque as I would have liked - it took four coats and I could still see some bald patches. My brush is a little wonky but not too bad. Cleanup was about like you would expect for a foil. I love this color but I'll wear it sparingly - as others have reported, I have a noticeable drop in bottle fullness after only one wear.