Monday, November 28, 2011

Zoya - Ginger

Ginger is a bright orange with gold shimmer.  It's not quite neon, though it looks like it is in at least one of my photos.

Basecoat:  Zoya Ridge Filler (1 coat)
Color:  Zoya Ginger (3 coats)

I didn't use a topcoat here because Ginger didn't need it, especially not just for a swatch.  There's still a tiny bit of VNL but I don't think it's enough to bother me.

Application was great - no dragging, easy cleanup.  I don't know why I've never worn this, though - maybe because I like screaming neons in the summer and this just seems a little too bright for winter.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

China Glaze - Skyscraper

Skyscraper is a dark blue jelly packed with silver glitter.  Some of the glitter may also be blue - I can't really accurately tell.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Skyscraper (4 coats)
Topcoat: David (1 coat)

My bottle of Skyscraper is really thick and sticky.  I may thin it but I actually didn't have too much problems with application.  This took four coats for an opacity I'm comfortable with.  The surface dried totally not gritty at all - I didn't need to use Gelous, just one coat of David was enough for a totally smooth texture.

I don't know whether this is a dupe of Essie SSN - I've never seen it in person - but I think this is probably close enough for me.  I own the Fing'rs polish that's supposed to be a dupe - but just in pictures, Skyscraper fits closer to my idea of what SSN looks like in real life.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Zoya - Neeka

Neeka  is a dusty purple with sparkle.  I've seen this described as a glitter, but to me it seems like tiny glass flecks instead.

Basecoat: Zoya Ridge Filler (1 coat)
Color:  Zoya Neeka (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

Neeka applied nearly flawlessly.  It was a little bit thick but not enough to be goopy.  It didn't run into cuticles or anything.  I did notice that it didn't self-level quite as well as Zoyas normally do, and it didn't dry as shiny as usual - I definitely needed a topcoat.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Savina - Black Pearl

Savina Black Pearl is a pretty bluish-charcoal with a light purple duo chrome.  I have to tell you, these are some ah-mazing pictures, but it's not quite this awesome in real life.  Late afternoon sun does wonders for this polish.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Savina Black Pearl (3 coats)

See?  I actually gasped when I saw these photos on my computer.

Application was pretty good.  I thought this was going to be less opaque than it actually is - I'd be fine at three coats.  You can see a touch of VNL in the second to last photo but it's really not bad at all.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Zoya - Harlow

Harlow is a berry/wine matte.  It has a lot of sparkle with a top coat.

Basecoat:  Zoya Ridge Filler (1 coat)
Color:  Zoya Harlow (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (on index and ring finger, 1 coat)

This was a little draggy in application but it really wasn't too bad once I got used to how much I needed to put on my brush.  For whatever reason, I keep buying the Zoya mattes and never wearing them.

Harlow looks amazing with a topcoat, but not really all that unique.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Revlon - Royal Cloak

Revlon Royal Cloak is a medium dusty purple with tiny flakes.  Today has been super overcast, and it's 5:pm and already dark, so you don't get my usual photos.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Revlon Royal Cloak (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

I have stayed away from Revlon polishes for a long time, because I historically have had awful results - it peels off entire sheets.  Which is fun, but not really the look I'm going for.  But, I like Royal Cloak enough that I'm willing to try it again.  Royal Cloak applies really well - it was thick but not goopy, and I didn't have any problems with it running into my cuticles or anything.  Cleanup was super easy, too.  I did find that some of the tiny flakes hung off the free edge of my nail, but it wasn't too big a problem to fix.

Wear will be interesting, because we're hanging our outdoor Christmas lights tomorrow.  This is the first year we've had a house to hang lights on, and usually we put up the tree Thanksgiving weekend.  However, my in-laws are coming to our house next Friday for dinner (we go to my mom's house Thursday) and we both know that my father-in-law will insist on helping my husband put up the lights, and he doesn't need to be doing that kind of stuff.  So, they go up tomorrow.

Pardon my short break.  I'm going to try something different this winter.  Last year I basically quit blogging when the baseball season ended - I work at home full time and in winter I pretty much only leave the house a couple of times a week.  So I stopped polishing as well, and it just didn't seem worth the effort to put up a post when I wasn't even bothering to polish every week, either.

This year, I'm going to put up some swatches, instead of full NOTDs.  I have already swatched a bunch of polishes I keep either putting off wearing for one reason or another, or that I just don't see myself wearing.  I'm going to spend time this weekend writing posts for them, and hopefully I'll have enough stockpiled that I won't need to worry about lack of posts later this winter.  These won't be the most awesome things ever - you're gonna see some indifferent cleanup, and some lack of topcoat altogether.  I'm going to tag those as swatches, too, which should help.  It might take me a few days to get it going, though, so bear with me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Orly - Rococo A-go-go

Too late, I realized I'm wearing basically the same color as my last post, which I usually try not to do.  Oh well.  Rococo A-go-go (this is a stupid name and it's annoying to type) is a deep plummy purple with lots of duo chrome sparkle that shows gold.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Instant Artificials (1 coat)
Color:  Orly Rococo A-go-go (3 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta Dri (1 coat)

The third photo down is probably the most color accurate as far as what this polish looks like most of the time.

This was almost two coats - my brush was a little bit wonky, or I am sure this would have been just two coats.

Even though this is a super pigmented polish I didn't really have any problems with cleanup either.  So far I really love all the polishes I've tried from this collection.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

China Glaze - Stella and Nfu Oh - 50

Today I have a shining example of the phrase "know when to stop".  Stella is a medium reddish-purple shimmer.  Nfu Oh 50 is a pale purple jelly base with blue/purple/teal flakes.  Somehow I thought they'd go together.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Stella (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)
Color: Nfu Oh 50 (2 coats)
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta Dri (1 coat)

Stella on its own is pretty but I felt like it was a little boring.  I initially stopped with just Stella and then a few hours later I had the bright idea to add flakes.  I should have gone with a different one like Hidden Treasure or Nubar 2010 but noooo, I looked at 50's base color and thought "that'll be perfect!" Well, it's not.  This combination is awful together.

Stella did apply nicely, though - it was a little thin and runny, but it cleaned up nicely.  I can't speak to wear because I hated this and took it off as soon as I got home from my dentist appointment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Color Club - Shabby Drab

Shabby Drab is kind of a dusty periwinkle/purple creme.  I got it in a box set at Ross so for all I know I don't even have the right color name.

Basecoat:  Salon Sciences Fiberglass Network (1 coat)
Color:  Color Club Shabby Drab (4 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

The color in these photos are pretty accurate, for once.  When I look at my nails (and see my whole hands with them) it pulls very purple, which is kind of weird.

Anyway, this wasn't quite as awesome as Color Club cremes usually are - it took four coats to cover any streaking and bald spots, but the opacity otherwise was quite nice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

China Glaze - Ingrid

Ingrid is a medium brown with warm golden-brown shimmer.  This has been untried for a while but I didn't buy it when it launched - at first I thought, "no way, that color is going to look awful on me" and then I saw everyone's gorgeous swatches and bought it.

Basecoat:  China Glaze Ridge Filler (1 coat)
Color:  China Glaze Ingrid (1 coat)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

I should have listened to that little voice.  This is a lovely polish, but oh I seriously HATE this color on me.  It looks awful on me.  It's not Ingrid's fault - she's gorgeous - I just think something about my skin tone and the tones in this polish do not work.  At all.  I'll probably give this to my mom - it will look great on her since she isn't Latina like me.

That said, this had the usual China Glaze awesome application, and cleanup was simple.  I really wish I didn't hate this so much on me, but y'all, this isn't even a "try it without a tan".

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Zoya - Reece

After the gel polish disaster my nails were hurty and sensitive.  I went for a calm, pretty, no glitter polish.  Reece is untried for me - I bought it when this collection came out and I am sure I still have at least one other from this collection that is also untried.  Reece is a medium pink with a duo chrome shimmer.

Basecoat:  Zoya Get Even Ridge Filler
Color:  Zoya Reece (3 coats)
Topcoat:  David (1 coat)

I had a hard time getting the gold/green shimmer to show up in my photos - any of them.  In photos this looks like just a pretty pink frost.

Did I say frost?  Oh yeah.  Brush strokes like crazy - most evident in the third photo.  Still, it applied well - wanted to run into my cuticles a bit but nothing too bad, and cleanup was a snap.  I do have VNL in real life and in the photos, but with the brush strokes I'm not sure I would go to four coats.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 3 - Nutra Nail Gel Polish - Moonstone

I must say, I'm pretty disappointed with this product.  I mean - I wasn't expecting Shellac or Gelish quality, but I did kind of expect something more than what I've gotten out of it.

I took these photos first thing in the morning, because I am fairly confident this won't last the day.  I have huge chips on my index and middle fingers, complete with a huge vertical crack in my middle finger that is barely visible if you embiggen the photo.

Both thumbnails self-destructed yesterday.  The right thumbnail went first.  I tried to save it by filling in the huge chip but it wasn't happening.  Instead I tried using the polish as a regular polish and the activator as a top coat.  That worked flawlessly, for about three hours.  Then it all peeled off in one flexible sheet.

The left thumbnail chipped off in layers.  Seriously.  I could see parts where only the top layer went, and parts where the top two layers went.   I'm guessing that might have been because I polish from pinky to thumb, so that one had the most time to dry out between coats of activator and polish.  Anyway, it was clear by then that this was a failed experiment.

So, what didn't I like?  I didn't like that it self-destructed in such an annoying way, and couldn't be repaired.  Also, since this dries to a hard surface, you have to be careful when it chips, otherwise your bare feet will remind you.  I also didn't like that my nails felt thick and inflexible. I'm guessing that contributed to the catastrophic chips.

I do really, really love this color, though.  I might try it as a regular polish but I'm pretty sure it won't work.  And if you regularly use Shellac or Gelish this might not be a bad option - I've never used either so for all I know this real is comparable, and I'd destroy either of those, too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nutra Nail Gel Color - Moonstone

Today I have something different.  I'm going to be doing a wear test of this gel polish I picked up at Ulta. 

The box says it does not require a UV light so I figured I would give it a try.  The box costs about 7 dollars and contains everything you need.  I also picked up a box of the remover, and on my way home I thought, "Huh, I bet that's just acetone" and yep, it is.  I picked Moonstone because it was the only non-creme in the display at my Ulta.

This is all the stuff that comes in the box.  There's an "Activator", a "Cleaner", and the bottle of color.  The polish bottle is .17 oz, about the same size as a mini.  I don't know if it works as a regular polish - I might try it later.

Here are the instructions that come with.  Looks intimidating, especially since the first step is "unscrew all the bottle tops and leave them unscrewed".

This kit says nothing about base coat so I opted to skip it.  I started with a swipe of acetone.  First comes the Activator.  You brush on the Activator, enough so that your nails look wet and shiny.  It says not to let this dry, so instead of applying base coat to all ten nails, I stopped after one hand to apply polish.

The instructions say to apply the polish firmly with the brush and that it will be streaky.  The goal is to mix the polish with the Activator.  This worked OK though I had to play with it - if I got too much polish on my brush it kind of slid on the nail liks a blob.  Weird.

Anyway, once you finish applying polish to five nails,  you're supposed to wipe off the brush on a folded paper towel, then put the polish brush in the Cleaner bottle, and use the brush that was in the Cleaner to do the other hand.

It says right off that this requires two coats (and you don't just apply the polish twice, you do the activator/polish combo for each coat).  I needed three coats for adequate coverage.  I don't know if the cremes work like this - I only bought this one. 

So what do I think?  I'm not sure yet.  I intend to wear this one until it dies, just to see whether I think it's worth buying again.  I think there is probably enough in this kit to use at least one more time. 

I didn't really have a hard time with application once I figured out how much polish to use on the brush.  It says not to let the activator get on your skin but of course I messed that all up and had to pick it off.  By the way, it doesn't explicitly say this but I would bet you money that the Activator is just super glue.  It smells identical. 

I used three coats of color for opacity, and when it was done it didn't dry quite as fast or hard as the package says it will.  Since I had already decided the activator was just glue, I used another coat of it as a top coat and it worked perfectly.  Rock hard in five minutes.  The directions actually have some troubleshooting tips - it says if your polish is still a little bit tacky, run them under cool water, and if it's a lot tacky, do another coat of activator and polish.

All that business aside - I do really like this color.  It reminds me a LOT of Butter London Victoriana, except the shimmer and sparkle in it is gold instead of silver.  It's overcast today so I didn't get any sun photos, but I'm sure one of my wear test posts will be in sun.  Unfortunately, I don't have any posts backlogged so it's just going to be this for a while.  I might do some comparisons on a nail wheel though.