Friday, June 29, 2012

Swatch Day - China Glaze Agro

Happy Friday guys!

Today's swatch brings you my new favorite green in my collection, China Glaze Agro. When this collection first came out, Agro was one of the ones that made me go "meh". Now I can say without a doubt that I am so glad I decided to bring it home! This is such an amazing dark olive green with golden shimmer that comes out in every light. Normally darker colors wash me out badly due to my being super pale but this is such a warm tone that I love it. Look at that shimmer!

Polishes used:

  • Seche Rebuild base coat / NYC In A Minute top coat
  • China Glaze Agro
  • All pictures are with two coats

I see some serious Christmas nail art in this polish's future! Well, normal nail art too. I didn't think I would love this polish as much as I do. Formula was great, no issues with application at all. This one tends to show brush strokes, though I found that the second coat took care of that nicely. After reading reviews I was kind of scared of this polish but it wasn't bad at all to work with. When first applied it can dry a little on the flat side but when you add a top coat the shimmer in this really pops out. I was actually kind of surprised how much of a difference top coat made. It wasn't quite as dramatic as putting top coat on say a true matte polish, but it was still pretty darn noticeable. Overall I am really happy with this polish and I am currently hatching many evil plans for it's use in nail art of the near future.

Have a great weekend everybody, thanks for reading! I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swatch Day - China Glaze Harvest Moon

**This is a scheduled post**

Happy Wednesday everybody! Miss me yet?

Today I have my favorite (and only) foil in my collection. This is China Glaze Harvest Moon and it is such a stunner! I can not say enough about this color. I am drawn to coppery and orange colors to begin with and the second the first drop hit my nail I was in love. Look at the shiny goodness!

Polishes used:

  • Seche Rebuild base coat / NYC In A Minute top coat
  • China Glaze Harvest Moon
  • All pics are two coats

I know you're sick of me saying it, but I love this polish for stamping! It is so super pigmented and easy to work with on a stamper. Formula for this is a little on the thick side but I think that's because it's a foil. I don't actually own any other foils so I can't really compare. Even being a little thick it's still very easy to work with and I had zero trouble with pooling or drag. It did look a little brush-strokey at first but after second coat that resolved itself quite nicely. This could possibly be a one coater if you go on thick, but two thin coats works just as well. In the sun this sucker throws some serious shine and sparkle, it's definitely an attention grabber. I can't wait until it gets closer to fall so I can feel a little more seasonally appropriate wearing this as a full mani. In the meantime I will stamp with this foreeeeever! 

Hope you guys are all having a great week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Swatch Day - China Glaze Smoke And Ashes

**This is a scheduled post**

Hi guys! While I'm away, I left you some swatches. Well, my terribad attempt at them because I really need to build a light box. Since my recent mini haul I am now up to four polishes from the Hunger Games Capitol Colors collection from China Glaze. This is the most of any collection I've ever owned so I figured it was time to share. I know, I know, these aren't new and shiny anymore and a ton of people have done way better swatches already, but dang it I like them.

First up, I will show you Smoke and Ashes. I found this polish to be weird for my tastes. It is a very dark base with some really pretty blue/teal/green glass flecks. I say very dark base because sometimes my eyes play tricks on me and I can see it as both black and a very dark blue. Take a look!

And just for kicks, this is Smoke and Ashes with a coat of Sinful Colors Green Ocean and matted.
Polishes used:

  • Seche Rebuild base coat / NYC In A Minute top coat
  • China Glaze Smoke and Ashes
  • All pictures are with one coat!

This is a one coat wonder! That's right, it's THAT pigmented. In the bottle this looked a lot more sparkly than it came out on the nail. I was a tiny bit disappointed with how little of the glass flecks showed up... until I saw it in the sun. This had a gorgeous sparkle to it in sunlight! My pictures really didn't do it much justice. After having it on for a day you can see I had some fun with flakies and a matte coat and man this is a GREAT base for it. The formula was easy to work with and I had no issues with pooling or drag. Dry time was also quicker than I expected which was a bonus. All in all, I'm glad I picked this one up even if it wasn't quite what I expected. This is probably my new go-to base for testing flakies and sparkles.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vacation Time!

Happy Friday (and Firday) everyone! Tomorrow I will be in the car foreeeeever on the way home to NY for vacation and I am beyond excited!

This excitement was however paused for a moment of silence for the pinky nail that broke in a very tragic packing accident. Not just a little, it was pretty close to a true nailpocalypse. Of course the rest looked weird being long so they all got shortened in honor of their fallen comrade. I will be doing my best to mentally will all of my repairing blood cells to the affected area to hasten regrowth (and also using some Sally Hansen growth stuff) but in the meantime please pardon the injured digit as it sports polish and pretends like nothing happened.

Now that that's out of the way, today I have an experiment with sharpies. Check it out!

And this is what happens when you put a topcoat on sharpies, it eats it and makes it look like crap!

Polishes used:

  • Seche Rebuild base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Essie Blanc
  • Assorted colored sharpies

I did this a few times in different ways to experiment. Firstly I tried just letting the polish dry and drawing on it without a top coat. It worked well but I hate waiting. Then I tried drawing on top of a coat of SV Quick Dry and as long as I gave it a minute to be dry to the touch it also worked out. With the top coat I did have to have a piece of scrap paper to kind of "restart" the marker every now and then but nothing unbearable.  Lastly, I tried three different brands of top coat over the sharpie and they all ate it and made it look terribad. So, long story short, just don't put a top coat over sharpie and you're good. This reminded me of high school when I would get bored and paint on my nails with a white-out pen. Except this looks a lot better. It was admittedly fun to do but I'll probably stick with a nice paint brush and some polish unless I need a super fine line for some reason.

Now I shall go be super antsy and anxious waiting to get in the car. Fear not though, I have a week of scheduled swatches for you all while I'm gone. The internet and cellphone access where we will be is (actually kind of awesomely) spotty to non-existant, so I'll be catching up on all the comments once I get back. Have a great week everybody!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tutorial Page

Just a quick post to say I added a tutorial page. If you missed the post over at Varnished Valkyrie you can find the tutorial I did hanging out in it's very own spot. Enjoy!

Guest Post at Varnished Valkyrie

Hey guys, guess what! (Chicken butt!) Today I'm doing a guest post at Varnished Valkyrie! Wanna learn to needle marble? Clicky the link or the picture below to head on over and see my very first tutorial. You know you want to.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ruby Ruby, I was Framed!

Hi everybody! I hope you all had a great weekend. I also hope this malware warning crap is over with soon, I miss my blogroll. (Translation: I am entirely too lazy to go through my nail bookmarks folder site by site :P)

Framed or border nails have been pretty popular lately. Usually I come in on the butt end of these trends (lookin at you, crackle polishes) so I figured why not try something while it's actually still interesting. There are a few ways to accomplish this look. You can start with the border color on the whole nail and then paint the inside color over top of it, or you can go the other way around and paint the border on top of the base inside color. It's really personal preference which way works best for you, for me personally I painted the border on with a thin brush after I had a base color on.

Polishes used:

  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby
  • Hard Candy Beetle

The pics show visible nail line for some reason but I saw none in person at all, and trust me I was all up close and personal with this while painting borders. I already had the red on when I decided to try the border look and I thought the duochrome goodness of Beetle would look awesome with it. The pics really do not do it justice, it was flashing all over the place! In the sun (of course AFTER I took pics and wasn't near a camera >.<) it switched between the most gorgeous purple and amber colors against the red. This whole border thing was pretty fun to do, I will be trying it again with a creme as the border because I think it might behave differently on the paintbrush. Beetle is very cooperative but a little grainy. I kept this sucker on for five days with no tip wear at all, bonus! 

I really need to start putting vaseline or tape or something on my hands when I use red polish. I don't know what it is about reds but it doesn't matter what brand or formula, they ALL stain the crap out of me. Do you guys have a trouble color?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What The French, Toast?

If you are seeing a virus warning about this blog, don't be skurred. According to the Google Safe Browsing link:

"Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?
Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites."

If you go to Imperfectly Painted, Steph explains it all much better than I can so go read and learn. In the meantime I still love you all but I will be removing my blog roll temporarily until whatever it is that is going around settles down.

So it's totally not me. I don't have bugs. Or heartworm.

Mini Haul!

I went to Sally's for a new bottle of Seche Vite (which in my defense I really did need). I couldn't help myself. The husband guy was there, he could have stopped it. Instead, some new pretties followed me home!

There was a sale and what was left of their Hunger Games collection was hanging out looking like it wanted a nice home. Also there was an offer going for some Seche stuff for free with the purchase of two China Glaze polishes. I totally didn't expect my discount table finds to count but they did, score!  From left to right you're looking at Seche Rebuild base/top coat, China Glaze Fast Track, Smoke And Ashes, and Agro. All this plus my bottle of SV Quick Dry top coat that I originally went in for was under $18. I feel accomplished ^_^

Friday, June 15, 2012

Limit Your Candy Shop

Happy Friday everybody! Hope you all have great weather and weekend plans ahead. I will be doing anything other than the packing I should be because that's how I roll.

Today's mani was a total unplanned accident but I'm liking it, mistakes and all. I started out with two nice coats of Revlon Bare Bones because I was planning to try newspaper nails for the first time. Then an attack of lazy hit and I didn't feel like hunting for my rubbing alcohol in my office upstairs. Yes, I keep rubbing alcohol in my office don't judge me. (If you're really that curious, I use it to clean gemstones after I set them.) So I started thinking of what I could do with a neutral color already in place. Sparkles of course! Pardon the super dry skin, I'm having hydration issues apparently.

Polishes used:
  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Revlon Bare Bones
  • Claire's Cosmetics Candy Shop

After fighting with the scotch tape for this, I am seriously jonesing for some honest to goodness striping tape. This was the first time I tried triangles of any sort with tape and they were kinda tricky to line up. Looking at it now I probably would stick a rhinestone in the middle to hide that part but eh, lesson learned for next time. I do really like how it turned out overall though, it's a nice bit of sparkle without the overwhelming glitterbomb that Candy Shop can sometimes be. One thin coat over the thumb surprised me too since I haven't used this as a layering polish yet, I'm liking it. It gave me quite a few ideas of polishes I'd like to try it over now. 

I have a list of brands I'm planning to look for on vacation. My husband thinks it's sad but whatevs, I know you guys understand :P

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mint Apple Summer Foliage

Hey everyone! I apologize in advance for the following photos. It was gross and rainy and for some reason this mani was a total pain in the butt to photograph. I'm sure you'll get the general idea, it's just not my best. I need camera lessons or something.

I was feeling an urge to use my Sinful Colors Mint Apple with some stamping today. I knew I wanted to experiment with colors I normally wouldn't think to put together, so after some digging around in my polish boxes I came up with teal, yellow and copper. I actually really loved the way the bottles looked together, color on the nail looked totally different. Take a look!

The rarely seen right hand. I apparently do not understand how mirror images work but I like how the stamp placement changed the design so I wanted to show you all.

Polishes used:
  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Sinful Colors Mint Apple
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
  • China Glaze Harvest Moon
  • Red Angel stamping plate RA-119

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love Harvest Moon for stamping. It is such a gorgeous super pigmented foil, I wish it was sunny so you could see the massive sparkle it throws as well. I'm not digging how these pics gave me lobster hands, in person it actually made my hands look not ghostly. The yellow I sponged onto the corners before stamping. It took on this greenish hue over the Mint Apple which I didn't intend but I like it. I considered going over it a second time to get the bright bottle yellow but I decided to leave it alone, it looked more like foliage. It's almost like celery leaves. Overall it has a different feel on the nails than it did looking at the bottles but I still like it. I also really like the general design idea and I will be trying it with different colors for sure. Have you guys ever picked out colors that translated totally different on your nails?

Monday, June 11, 2012

On The Road With A Master Plan

It's a Monday. Hate it, want sleep, lasagna, blah blah blah, Garfield. You know the drill.

For today I have some more fun with crackle polish for you all in the form of some nail art. At the end of this month I'll be heading home to NY for vacation and I am beyond excited. The only crappy part is the 6 hours in the car with dogs panting in my ear, bleh. Well, one dog panting in my ear, the other doesn't understand she is small and will be barking at every tractor trailer we pass. So to pump myself up to start getting ready for the trip, I did some road trip nail art!

Before the crackle and clean up. I am a very messy painter.
Polishes used:
  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Essie Master Plan
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
  • Maybelline Color Show Shredded Carbon Frost
  • Kiss Nail Art striper in white

I have to say this came out even better than I had hoped. It was a nice quick mani that looks like it took a lot longer than it did, I love those! I'm also pretty happy with finding another fun use for my new crackle love. These may not make the day of dog breath any better but they certainly make me want to actually pack before the morning we leave for once. I am the worst packer ever, seriously. Also don't ever ask me to help you move because I will throw things into garbage bags and call it packed. No one ever taught me about suitcases, okay?! All in all, these motivate me to get my butt in gear and do things I need to do but don't want to. What motivates you guys to get stuff done?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Neon Crackle Madness

Happy Friday everybody! I am feeling better today and I bring you many pictures, both of the nail and canine variety. Let's get started, shall we?

Today's mani was a result of my refusal to give up on crackle polishes. Some of you may recall that a certain gold crackle polish made my first crackle encounter not so spectacular. But I knew deep down in my little polish-filled heart that it couldn't be the end. There had to be more! I'd seen pics of people with crackles that worked so I knew it was possible. Was I too stupid to use one? Entirely possible but not likely. So in the spirit of denial I blamed the polish and went out and bought another. The end result? Success! I knew it!

Polishes used:
  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • China Glaze Celtic Sun
  • Wet n' Wild Sunny Side Up
  • Maybelline Color Show Shredded Carbon Frost

I know the neon gradient isn't anything new but I just wanted something bright to show off the black crackle. So far I have two of these Maybelline Color Show polishes and I love them. This one, Carbon Frost, was so easy to work with. With my Sally Hansen crackle I had to fuss over just the right thickness and just the right brush stroke and even then I felt like it was a 50/50 shot at it working. With this one it didn't matter. As you can see on my ring finger I did a thinner coat for smaller cracks just to test and it still cracked well enough to see the gradient underneath. I'm not sure if it's a difference between brands or the fact that this is a solid creme where the Sally Hansen was a shimmery kind of foil thing, but I love this crackle. If I had encountered this one before the other I would certainly own a lot more of these types. I think I've learned my sparkly lesson, cremes for me when it comes to crackles. Do you guys have any crackle preferences?

I didn't forget I promised you all puppies, but in the interest of saving space I made a jump cut.
Follow this jump for puppies!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Swatch Day - Pure Ice Pink Ice

Hey all! Today I was planning on a crackle experiment but I still feel gross and therefore lazy and so you get a swatch day instead. I promise I will bring you crackle fun on Friday. And puppies.

This is Pure Ice brand Pink Ice. It's a super shimmery sheer baby pink that I normally wouldn't have picked up. The only reason I did was because I was looking for something light and dare I say girly for a change. Wanna see? Yeah ya do.

Bonus since I feel bad for the unexpected swatch day, my cat giving me the disapproving glare. He gives me that mental facepalm look a lot, I'm pretty sure he's embarrassed of me.

As you can see Pink Ice is pretty sheer, the above pics are four coats with base and top coat. (I just typed "four cats", my subconscious is turning me into a crazy cat lady!) I probably could have stopped at three coats but I got curious. There was still a tiny bit of visible nail line but it wasn't noticeable in person after the third coat. The formula was good with no streaking or pulling and a good consistency for such a sheer polish. This sucker is packed with so much shimmer you don't even know, I had glitter particles all around my fingers that would just NOT go away. Even after clean up you can still see them in the pics. If you are careful while painting I'm sure you wouldn't have this problem, I however am a very messy painter and on top of that I had hiccups halfway through my camera hand. My husband thought it was hysterical to watch me try to paint my nails with hiccups. I thought it was hysterical to leave the sugar out of his coffee the next morning. Yeah that's right, payback is a passive aggressive bitch in the form of a sluggish morning. Anyway, at just under $2 a bottle at Walmart I can't help myself when it comes to the Pure Ice polishes and I'm not often disappointed. These people know their small glitter and shimmer. So if you like soft pinks and lots of sparkle for a good price, this polish is for you!

I just realized I don't own a single creme by Pure Ice so I can't say anything about those. How about you guys, any Pure Ice cremes you just love?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Stripe Kitty

Hey all! After seeing this amazing guest post on Sekhmet's Purple Castle by the super talented Carol from Colores de Carol, I knew I could put off Hello Kitty nails no longer. Acquiring an adorable light shimmery pink really didn't hurt either. I know this french tip kitty has been done but I wanted to try it, I have yet to get my hands on the stamping image with Hello Kitty so I had no choice really. I smudged the crap out of it with top coat even though I waited what felt like forever but I still loved how it came out. Take a look!

Polishes used:

  • Sally Hansen Salon Manicure base coat / Seche Vite top coat
  • Pure Ice Pink Ice
  • Sinful Colors Hazard
  • Maybelline Color Show Go Go Green
  • Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby
  • Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
  • Kiss Nail Art stripers in white, black, silver glitter

I started off with 3 generous coats of Pure Ice Pink Ice and it was so cute and shimmery that it just screamed for a Hello Kitty of some sort. I also had an urge to make stripes so I picked some summery shades to go with it and striped away. Go Go Green is probably my current favorite green that I own, it is such a gorgeous  bright kelly green (and being a Kelly how could I possibly not love it?). I should really swatch it on it's own for you all because it's just an all around great polish as is Pink Ice. 

I apologize for the super late post today, I've been feeling like crap. As such I will now return to my nest of blankets on the couch for the rest of the evening with my bottle of water. Hope you all had a better Monday, thanks for reading!