Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finger Paints - Artistic Azure and Icing - Starlight

Sometimes I don't know when to leave well enough alone, and this is one of those times.  Artistic Azure has been in my untrieds FOREVER.  I did a mini-swatch of it some months ago, and in the maybe three minutes I had it on, it stained like whoa.  I know this put me off wearing it, but I'm glad I did.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (2 coats, didn't help)
Color:  Finger Paints Artistic Azure (3 coats)
Color:  Icing Starlight (1 coat)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

The camera just does not do this color justice.  I actually wish I had skipped the coat of Starlight altogether, AA is that gorgeous.  It is a little bit more green-tinged than comes across in the photos - despite the blue you see in the Starlight bottle, it doesn't affect the color of the polish underneath at all.  I imagine it would if you wore it over a really light color, though.

Artistic Azure reminds me a little of China Glaze Frostbite - it's very, very vibrant in person.  It's so vivid it's distracting.  Just gorgeous.  And yep, this stained like crazy, even with two coats of basecoat - and I picked off almost all of it before I got out the remover.  In the same vein, cleanup sucked.

And, even though I wish I hadn't used Starlight on top, I do really, really like it - I intended to put one coat on my thumbnails as an accent nail and liked it enough that I used it on all my nails.  Some glitter topcoats can really be a pain to work with - the glitter distribution is uneven and you end up doing multiple coats just to get even coverage.  Starlight isn't like that - what you see is one coat, with no attempt at ALL to arrange any of the glitter.

These are both huge wins, just maybe not together.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Orly - Here Comes Trouble

Orly - Here Comes Trouble is a bright leafy green glitter.  The glitter is different sizes and shapes.  This collection has another polish similar to this one in a pink-purple color (of course, it's untried).

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Orly Here Comes Trouble (4.5 coats)
Topcoat: Gelous (1 coat)
Topcoat:  David (2 coats)

I opted to wear this alone, because I'd seen other swatches where it was worn alone and fairly opaque.  Also, I knew I would just end up wearing even more coats if I used a similar color underneath.

This polish has a clear base.  At one coat, I gotta be honest, I wasn't sure this was going to cover completely.  At three coats it was almost right, so I went with one more coat, and dabbed on more where I had bald spots.

This one is a top-coat eater, for sure.  I did one coat of Gelous and a coat of David, and 24 hours later (yeah, I totally waited until the next day so I could get rid of the extra glitter on my skin) I still needed another coat of David.  Also, as far as cleanup goes - I recommend just being careful.  Cleanup will be a real biatch near the cuticles, so you can probably just give up on that now.

This probably really sucks to remove, too, but as usual, I picked this off, so it wasn't really a concern for me :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wet N Wild -

Wet N Wild 9021Orange (I'm not going to type out all those periods) is a glass-flecked orange.  It looks like it would fit in perfectly in one of the Zoya collections we've seen recently.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Wet N Wild 90210Orange (3.5 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (1 coat)

Application was not too bad for this polish.  It got glitters EVERYWHERE, though, so cleanup was kind of a pain.  As you can see, I have very visible nail line after 3.5 coats, and it's more obvious in real life.  That said, I do really like this color, and it is super sparkly.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Misa - Mermaid Dreams

Mermaid Dreams is a glass-flecked medium blue that has a strong pink/purple duochrome flash in the bottle.  It's from Misa's summer collection.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Misa Mermaid Dreams (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

I had a hard time capturing the purple/pink flash in the bottle, and it is totally invisible on my nails.

Mermaid Dreams had a very nice application - what I usually get with a Misa polish.  Not too runny or too thick, easy to control. not a bad cleanup.

But. I have beaucoup bubbles.  I also have pretty good tip shrink, maybe two hours after I finished applying, and it's going to get worse, I'm sure.  I've never had this happen with a Misa polish, but I also honestly can't remember any other non-creme Misa that I own, either.

So, I'll be trying this one again at some point.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Savina - Purple Hologram

Well, today I have kind of a weird one for you.  Savina Purple Hologram is, in the bottle, a pale lilac with holographic glitter.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  Savina Purple Hologram (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (1 coat)

In the photos I have very noticeable VNL, but it's not quite as visible in real life.  The polish was a little thick, but it does a great job of suspending the glitter (it wasn't like some glitters that I have to shake like crazy to get it evenly distributed).  Cleanup was super easy, but I might think that because the polish is pretty light in color and not as noticeable.  The glitter is also very noticeable and does not get covered up by an opaque color, too.

Here's where I am on the fence.  I would never in a million years wear this color if it didn't have glitter in it, and definitely not this sheer.  Is the glitter enough to rescue this polish from my pile of polishes to purge?  I don't know.  I'm leaning towards tossing this one.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Orly - Royal Velvet

Yep, another Orly.  I don't really know why I'm pulling these out of my untrieds so often.  Royal Velvet is a gorgeous blue/purple duochrome that I keep calling Royal Navy even though it is not even remotely similar, so please pardon if I do it again in this post :)

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  Orly Royal Velvet (4 coats)
Topcoat:  Nubar Diamont (1 coat)

Gorgeous!  My bottle of Royal Velvet is a little bit runny and thin.  So, I needed four thin coats to totally cover up any bald patches.  This did stain my skin a little despite my best efforts.  One thing I noticed it that I rarely saw both colors at once - while I had this on I could either see blue, or purple, but not really both.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Icing - Orange shimmer mini

I picked up this Icing mini set probably a year ago or more.  All of the polishes have a barely visible shimmer, and all of them are fairly opaque.  I wouldn't call any of them neons, but they are definitely bright polishes.  This set contained a blue, apple green, yellow, and orange.  I'm sure it probably had at least one other color, but I've forgotten since.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Icing orange shimmer (3.5 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

This polish was pretty thick - possibly because it had been sitting in my untried drawers for a while.  It was opaque but still streaky.  I used 3.5 coats because I thinned it right before my third coat, and so the .5 is to cover up any remaining bald spots.  The shimmer doesn't really come across either in my photos or in real life.  Still, this is a nice color - again, it's not quite neon, but it's definitely bright.  I have a noticeable drop in bottle level, which I don't usually notice in mini bottles of this size.  That's disappointing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wet N Wild - Blue Moon

I hunted for this polish for a while, actually - I saw this ah-mazing swatch of Blue Moon and knew I needed it in my stash.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Wet N Wild Blue Moon (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

I couldn't quite capture the green shimmer, but trust me, it's there.

This is a stunner of a polish.  Application was very nice, too.  I don't know what to say about staining, though.  I didn't have any staining of my skin on my left hand, but my right hand looked awful after I was done cleaning up.  Weird.

A small housekeeping note:  I'm gradually trying to follow all the blogs via GFC.  The problem is, I don't actually read them that way - I subscribe to zillions of nail blogs via Google Reader, which doesn't make me a follower via GFC.  I'm also going to try to get my Blogs sidebar up and running at some point, which may mean changing the layout of this one.  We'll see.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away and Icing - Rock Star From Mars

Here's another layering combo.  I picked up almost all the new Xtreme Wear polishes from the display at my Target - Blue Me Away is one of them.  This is a gorgeous medium blue creme.

Basecoat:  Gelous (1 coat)
Color:  Sally Hansen Blue Me Away (3 coats)

This is with no topcoat, at all.  Shiny!  Please ignore my indifferent cleanup - normally I'd go give my nails a good scrub, but I knew I was layering on top of this so I wasn't very careful at this point.

This applied like a dream.  It is somewhat pigmented, so even though I made an attempt at cleanup I still have noticeable staining.  Even though I ended up peeling this mani off (like I always do, sigh), I *still* had a little bit of staining on my nails.  I recommend a good basecoat with this polish.

Rock Star From Mars is an opalescent glitter in a teal jelly base.  I don't actually think the base color does anything at all.

This is three coats of Rock Star From Mars, followed by one coat of Seche Vite, all on top of the previous coats.

Pretty!  Rock Star From Mars is actually pretty similar to Kleancolor Chunky Holo Teal.

The main difference between them seems to be the glitter that is used.  Both polishes have a noticeable color shift to them, but the Kleancolor has a more "linear" color change.  The Icing polish has a much more diffuse effect, so I had a hard time capturing all the colors in it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sally Hansen Nail Effects - Bling it On

Normally I try to not wear the same kind of color two days in a row, but I was in a HUGE hurry to put something on.  Also, I totally forgot to take a photo of the box before I threw it away.  Oops.

Bling it On is a multitoned pink glitter.  The base is clear, but you can't really tell unless you look very closely.  In the second photo there is a spot that looks like a wrinkle on my middle finger - nope, that's where I tore a strip too soon and put on another one right over it.

Some people say they can use one package twice, but I can't.  My only complaint about these strips is that they are almost all way too large for my fingers - I use the third largest one for my thumb, and then I usually use the three smallest for my other fingers (I can usually use one twice - I just flip it to the other end).  They are all pretty straight vertically, so if you fingernails aren't totally straight you might have an awkward gap on the sides of your nails (like I do).

I find that these are really easy to apply. I had a harder time than usual today because it's very warm here, so the polish strips were a little floppier than usual.  Still, I managed to not get any wrinkles this time.  I usually apply the strip, then let it "set" for a few seconds before carefully pulling the free edge taut and filing until it breaks.  I find that I rarely have rough edges this way.

Another funny thing - if this was a polish I probably would not have even bought it.  I actually like the multi-colored one much better (Frock Star, IIRC), and will probably buy that one again, just like I've already bought two more boxes of the flowered design.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Savina - Envy

With a name like Envy, you would think this is a green polish.

Well, you'd be wrong.

Basecoat:  NailTek Foundation II (1 coat)
Color:  Savina Envy (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

The third photo is probably the most accurate, color-wise.  Still, this comes across like a screaming neon pink, but it isn't really.  It's no ChG Pool Party or Essie Punchy Pink.  But it is extremely bright pink.  Application was about typical for a neon - a little bit draggy, and dried matte.  I have a little bit of VNL but it's not visible in real life.  I actually put on WnW French White Creme under this at first, but quickly decided Envy didn't need a white basecoat.  

I didn't post about this the day I put this on, because it was dark when I finished.  So I have a tiny chip in my index finger, because I was working on a cross-stitch before I took my photos.  That is something I noticed about this polish - I have a few Savinas, but this is the first neon I've tried.  It chipped like crazy - shortly after I took these photos I went out to run errands and looked down and half my thumbnail's polish had come off in one big chip.  

Still, I'd definitely wear this again if I wasn't planning to wear it very long.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

OPI - Ali's Big Break

Ali's Big Break is a cool red glass fleck.  It's from the Burlesque collection last year.  I bought the entire collection when it came out, but I still have several untried from it, including almost all the glitters (note:  Even though I was really lemming the OPI Muppets collection that's coming out, I've since decided I don't need them - they're pretty but will just sit in my untried drawer forever.).

Basecoat:  OPI Matte Nail Envy (1 coat)
Color:  OPI Ali's Big Break (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Out the Door (1 coat)

Sometimes I really hate the Pro-Wide brush, and Ali's Big Break is one of those times.  This is a very pigmented polish, and the Pro-Wide brush is too wide for my ring and pinky fingernails, so I usually have a lot of cleanup to do.  So, I also had a lot of staining, and cleanup was not all that easy.  But the application otherwise was very nice.  I still have a little bit of VNL but I'm probably the only one who notices.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Icing Mood Swing - Serene/Stormy

This one was sort of a fail, but not for the usual reasons.  Serene/Stormy is a mood polish that is a gorgeous purple with teal shimmer for the cool color (it actually reminds me a lot of RBL Scrangie), and a teal shimmer when warm.

Basecoat:  NailTek Foundation II (1 coat)
Color:  Mood Swing Serene/Stormy (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Seche Vite (1 coat)

Application actually was not all that great for this polish, but it might be better with a different basecoat like Gelous.  It was a little thick and gloppy, but nothing too bad.  But that isn't the fail part.

The fail part is that it's 110 degrees outside in Dallas.  I could not get the cool color, at ALL.  I saw it while I was applying, but that's it.  Even though my nails are long enough that I should have some cool at the tips, it's just too darn hot.  I tried running it under the cold tap in the bathroom, but I guess I forgot that there's no cooling system for the water, so you really just have hot and hotter water.

I'm calling this a fail for now but I'll definitely be trying it again in the fall or winter.