Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Party Time!

Oh, such a beautiful red... and just perfect for a work related holiday luncheon! I was in a hurry for this fancy dinner in a fancy restaurant with the rest of my co-workers and this was the cover up mani I threw on practically as I was walking out the door. See, I only work part time so I don't go in until noon and conveniently that was when the luncheon was scheduled. So as my co-workers were packing up the office for the weekend, I was just leaving the house. The luncheon was the week prior to the holiday weekend so technically I got two four day weekends in a row! Weeee!

I'm getting off track. I own hardly any red clothing besides a vintage plaid Pendleton blazer and a red knee-length winter coat so I decided a pop of red and gold on my nails would be just the thing to feel more festive! I rocked that red coat and this fab mani and received several compliments. My co-workers are so sweet, huh? And they know all about my product/polish obsession. :)

To boil this all down, I didn't have time to give my nails the full make-over they usually receive between polish changes and this is only one luscious coat of Butter London Knees Up over my Revlon Naughty manicure I posted previously. Pigmentation and formula were good, my only hangup was the brush strokes. Not too bad though and nothing that my quickdry tc didn't smooth out. Seriously, it had the glassiest finish! I think that the dark underwear gave Knees Up a deeper look to the color and gave it blackened edges.

Butter London - Knees Up
I picked up Knees Up at the BOGO sale Ulta had a while back. It was a last choice for me because the colors were completely picked over. I think this one had been swatched a few times at the table too because it is a little low already. But I'm not too concerned, it turns out I LOVE this red. It's just beautiful.

Butter London - Knees Up
Butter London - Knees Up


Butter London - Knees Up

For my glitter accent nail, to cover my previous glitter nail, I used two coats of China Glaze Twinkle Lights. One coat would have been sufficient but I did two for extra bling. I've worn Twinkle Lights as a full mani before and it was a lot of fun, the boyfriend liked it too.  :) Always a plus.

China Glaze - Twinkle Lights

China Glaze - Twinkle Lights

China Glaze - Twinkle Lights

China Glaze - Twinkle Lights
Hope everyone has a fun and safe night tonight! We're having some friends over tonight for a bonfire outside and to watch the fireworks tonight at midnight. I can't wait!  I'll put up my New Year's mani tomorrow. See ya next year! ;)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Revlon - Perplex... or is it Naughty?

Wayyy back, before I started hoarding polish Revlon put out Perplex - a dead on dupe of Chanel Paradoxal. I didn't have a clue, even when I started getting in to polish earlier this year my knowledge of brands, "limited editions," and HTF/VHTF's was practically non-existent. So I didn't really care that I missed out. I haven't got to the point where I am willing to spend the money on designer label polishes yet. Hell, I still have a hard time shelling out the cash for Butter Londons. Moving on...

Recently, as we all know, Revlon did a re-release of Perplex but under the name Naughty. Personally, I don't care about the name change because this is a beautiful color and I'm glad that I had the chance to pick it up when I saw the display. Revlon polishes and I go way back and if you look at my polish collection from high school (I keep them separate, and yes apparently I had a mini-obsession even back then) it is mostly comprised of Revlon colors. They're not really my style now, but I keep them around out of nostalgia.

I have to say, I love this color and I can totally understand why there is such a fuss over it in the polish community. But nobody that I talk to about it has a clue that it is a famous dupe, and all of the displays I keep coming across are still loaded down with this beauty. The color is a bit difficult for me to describe, I don't want to just look at other reviews and say, "oh yeah, that's it... that's what it looks like." At first I thought it was a dusty plum/raisin with a bright violet shimmer, but now that I'm thinking hard about it I'd say  it is closer to a greyed out aubergine/eggplant.

These photos are with the usual bc combo (Retain & Gelous), two coats of color, and one coat quick-dry tc. Application was altogether painless, the first coat was very pigmented but a little streaky and left a few thin spots. I added a second coat to fill in the blanks and for added nail strength and color durability. The formula was a little thick and it gave me a little bubbling, but nothing a little quick-dry didn't fix right up. I only got to wear this mani for two days before I did a quick cover/change-up mani for my work Holiday Luncheon, no chipping whatsoever and very minimal tipwear.   
   
Revlon - Naughty
Revlon - Naughty


Revlon - Naughty
Revlon - Naughty

For my accent nail I used Sally Hansen's Gem Crush in Big Money, an Oh-so-Purdy champagne colored glitter with lavender glitter mixed in for good measure and dimension. I used two coats and had no issues with chipping or wear. I can't remember if I used top coat or not, and for this reason(and many others) I have started taking notes on my NOTD's/manicures. I just can't remember all the details and it has become painfully obvious while trying to write up all of the photos I have back-logged. My glitter nail got quite a few compliments by the girls at work.  :)

SH Gem Crush - Big Money
SH Gem Crush - Big Money

SH Gem Crush - Big Money
SH Gem Crush - Big Money

These photos are under my kitchen lights, very white in color, but I wanted to show the glow of the shimmer. Here the shimmer doesn't just look violet/purple, you can see a mix of blue and fuschia. AMAZING! Oh, and ignore my crooked pinkie. I broke it snowboarding a few years ago.





Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Perfect Royal Blue!

So, do you remember when (way back *sarcasm*) I said I was on the hunt for the perfect blue? Well, I was on the hunt for the perfect electric blue, but with this bad boy I found the BEST EVER royal blue polish. And it's a jelly to boot! What makes it even better is that when I purchased it Walgreens had Revlon Top Speed colors on sale for practically nothing. It was like I stole it, but really I just had a sale price, a coupon, AND another $3 register rewards from Revlon. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!

As per usual, two layers of bc (Retain and Gelous) and two coats of Royal. The first coat was slightly streaky but it was to be expected and wasn't all that bad really. Nothing to write home about. The second coat fixed it right up and evened out the color while adding incredible depth. There's no top coat in these photos because I've just learned to avoid the quickdry with my jellies. I love this color and can't wait to wear it again. It's a shame that I waited so long to take this home with me!

Although I love Royal and will wear it again and again and again, tip wear and wear overall wasn't that good. Tip wear was evident within a few hours and chips showed up after showering the next morning. It was a quicky too, so soaking my fingers in hot water can't really be to blame. Maybe it was my lack of tc, but that's a trade off I'm willing to make. I just filled in the missing color spots and it was good as new for another day and a half. No staining whatsoever with removal, joy!

Look how shiny!

Revlon - Royal

Revlon - Royal

Revlon - Royal

For my accent nail I used one of the only two bottles I picked up from China Glaze's Eye Candy 3D Glitter Collection. This is Lorelei's Tiara. The other one I picked up was Marry a Millionaire and it turned out to be a VERY long lasting pedicure picker-upper. Usually I get my CG's at Sally's but since Ulta was running a B2G1 sale and I used my $3.50 coupon, I picked these up there instead. My sister got a bottle of LT for waiting in line with me like a trooper. Seriously, it was horrendous.

I love glitter nails but don't have the patience to foil all of my nails for removal, so usually I just do the one accent nail for fun. If I have a special occasion that I want to get particularly blingy for, I'll spring for the full mani. Here, my accent nail has two coats of Lorelei's Tiara that applied like buttah. No top coat. I knew from reading reviews that this was a hungry glitter so I didn't bother since I don't mind the rough texture of a glitter as long as it is shiny. It has been my experience that a hungry glitter will dull without enough tc to smooth it all out, and I just don't care for the super thick nail.

China Glaze - Lorelei's Tiara

China Glaze - Lorelei's Tiara

Wow, three days in a row?! lol I'm on a roll.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Amazing Giveaway!

Lisa at Swatches & Whatnot is having an amazing, holo-tastic giveaway in the spirit of the holidays! Up for grabs is a bottle of OPI DS Desire and China Glaze's TTYL. Here's a picture of the pretties!

                     

I'm not normally one to put up every other giveaway but I want to pimp out  Swatches & Whatnot since she's new, like me! I'm happy to follow new blogs and give my support, giveaway or not because having a new follower puts a smile on my face. 


China Glaze - Glittering Garland

Look at me, posting two consecutive days in a row! lol I guess it's not that special considering so many lovely ladies do it every day. I'm off on Wednesdays so I'm cleaning up the house and putting up decorations. You'll notice there is no pink today, and while I am not against wearing or posting pink manicures on Wednesdays I haven't been in the mood for the color for a while now. Every time I put one on I'm just not excited about it like I would normally. I think it's because I'd rather take the opportunity to show off my pretty holiday/seasonal colors instead! Or, because I like non-traditional colors in general.

Glittering Garland was the very first second holiday color I wore from China Glaze's 2011 Let It Snow Holiday Collection, and it was amazing! Application was like butter and it dried to a super shiny finish. Pictures below are with my usual two layers of bc and two coats of GG, sans tc. The base was jelly-like and I didn't want to risk shrinkage so I opted out of a top coat. PLUS, this glass fleck beauty (I've read some other blogs calling it a microglitter, but I see glass fleck) didn't need it.

I wore Glittering Garland for at least three days, which is sometimes a stretch for me, before I removed it. I had no chipping and only minimal tipwear. I will most likely whip this bad boy out again for St. Patty's Day.

Enjoy the photo goodies!

China Glaze - Glittering Garland

China Glaze - Glittering Garland

China Glaze - Glittering Garland

China Glaze - Glittering Garland

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SpaRitual - Sacred Ground

Aaaaaaaand Christmas is over! I am both happy and sad with this, I love the holiday season and listen to Christmas music starting right after my Thanksgiving meal. But honestly, it is such a busy time that it is so easy to be overwhelmed with everything. Luckily this year I was not so much affected. I had no problem with the postal system and all of my packages arrived on time. Well, all but one... but what is there to do when you order something and the company pretends that you never placed the order??  I digress, it did come but well after it should have arrived.

I had a lovely Christmas Eve and Day. We spent the evening with the SO's family and had a nice dinner and plenty of drinks. In the morning they came over for breakfast (homemade biscuits and gravy) and we exchanged gifts. The rest of Christmas Day was spent with my family and ended with a prime rib and crab leg supper! It was superb! I adore prime rib, and so does my belly. All in all, five pies were consumed. Delish!

My gifts this year were lovely. I didn't receive any polish related items, but I couldn't be happier with what I got. My mother got me a Kindle e-reader, and I am SOSOSOSO excited to get to use this. I also got a set of springform pans, a super handy step-ladder, a houndstooth patterned Elmer Fudd hat for snowboarding, a new pair of shoes, and the Mr. got me a silver necklace and a beautiful amber pendant. I am so thankful and grateful for such a loving and generous family and to have had a peaceful holiday with them.

Now, on to the polish. I'm really going to try and get a hang of this blogging thing now that the holidays are past. I learned last week when I was watermarking all my photos, just how hard this all is. I used to have a personal blog long, long ago but this is completely new. So, before the holiday weekend I spent an afternoon trying to learn how to use GIMP, editing photos, and uploading photos to draft posts. All of my photos are NOTD's and since I don't really swatch (or haven't thought to/had the time) I take photos of my manicures every two or three days when I change colors. I will do my best to post more regularly from here on out because I feel as though I have received so much from the blogging community (I read my blogroll every day, and try to comment!) that I want to get more involved and contribute. To my three lovely followers, thank you for giving my fledgling blog a chance. 

These photos were taken some time ago and will be the last I post without watermarking (hopefully) because they were already in my drafts. I have here SpaRitual Sacred Ground and although I have had issues with this brand in the past (it shrinks with my quickdry tc!) I couldn't get enough of this color when I had it on my nails. Instinct is has a grey base with what appears to me to be multichrome flecks of color. At first I thought maybe there were just a few different colors of glass fleck/microglitter - blue, silver, champagne, purple(?) - but the color shift seems to indicate otherwise.

Since I've had serious shrinking issues with SpaRitual colors I opted to go sans tc and it worked out wonderfully as this color dries to a lovely shiny finish.  :)  The following photos have one coat of Seche Retain, one coat of Gelous, and two coats of Instinct. Wear was good and chips didn't appear until day three.


SpaRitual - Sacred Ground


SpaRitual - Sacred Ground


SpaRitual - Sacred Ground

Voila!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OPI - Not Like The Movies

GAH!! I have only one final left, tomorrow morning, and I am all done for a whole MONTH! I cannot put in to words how happy this makes me. I could squeal, I'm so happy! Next semester is going to be a bear, I'm taking extra classes so I can finally get to graduation.

I was definitely late to the party with this next pretty. With all the wishy-washy reviews I was reading I just wasn't that into it, so I skipped over it every time I saw it on the rack at Ulta. Finally, I gave in... with a coupon in hand. And after I put this on I was sad that I had waited so long.

These photos are three thin coats with a coat of American Classics Quick Dry tc that makes it look so glassy. I had heard the duochrome was very subtle with this shade but I thought it showed quite easily. It shows mostly green in the photos but whenever I looked down at my hands it looked purple-ish. I can't forget about the tiny little sparkles, they're so cute. Overall: Love it.


Here are the pretties!

OPI - Not Like The Movies

OPI - Not Like The Movies

OPI - Not Like The Movies

I wore this mani for almost four whole days, until my index finger got a crack and I took them all down. My nails were soooo long and pretty but my length rules are pretty simple - if any one of my nails breaks (with the exception of thumbs, who looks at them anyway lol) I take them all down. I was sad to see this mani go, it would have lasted at least a day or two longer. I was even sadder to see the length disappear. See, this is at the end of the summer (which is actually late autumn out here in the desert) and my nails just grow slower in the winter months. They still haven't recovered the length, and this mani was more than a month ago. I wish I had the patience for teabag or gel patches. *sigh*

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OPI - Designer De...Better

It is sooo late and I am procrastinating on an assignment at the moment. I just don't want to finish. Blah. Honestly, that just boils down to being dissatisfied with the quality of the class and the instruction. It could have been so much more but it just missed the mark. This is my last overly-detailed-overly-weighted project and presentation and then it's on to what I'm going to assume will be an overly difficult final. Do I sound grumpy? lol So let's move on, shall we? Ok, let's...

When I first saw swatches of OPI's Muppets collection I knew exactly which shades I'd be bringing home, none of the layering glitters made the cut unfortunately. Designer De...Better on the other hand, well it was the first lovely to grace my tips when my package from AVEYOU arrived! You can see from the photos below that I didn't take much care when removing Poinsettia, my cuticles are horribly pink with polish/acetone residue. Oh well, I swear you couldn't see it unless you squinted and held them within an inch of your nose!

This color made my long nails look amazing, so it gets extra points and since I got several compliments at work I thoroughly enjoyed wearing this color. I'll be wearing this one again for sure, it's so chic! This champagne foil with golden/orange flecks was sublime in application even with the first coat being slightly I was satisfied after the second and a coat of quickdry tc. 

Now, enjoy some pictures!


OPI Designer De...Better


OPI Designer De...Better


OPI Designer De...Better

OPI Designer De...Better

For some reason my pinkie finger is lobster red and the photos of this polish have a pink halo around the edges that seems to distort the color, strange. But that's what I get for not having a fancypants camera and being all willynilly with the acetone.  :) OH, and in other news... although the bf has given me tons of eyerolls when he sees me whip out the remover and cotton balls, he openly acknowledges this as my hobby and how I can escape for a moment when I'm feeling overwhelmed by painting my pretties. That makes me happy and feel less silly for having a such an obsession. **Swoon**

And now I really must get back to this incredibly boring article review. (Semester's almost over, YAY!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

China Glaze - Poinsettia

China Glaze Poinsettia from Let it Snow 2011...

I'll come right out and say it, this has to be my FAVORITE red in my entire collection. It's pure two coat perfection, a blue based jelly-like creme! These pictures have no topcoat because it was so shiny on its own and I didn't want any shrinkage from the quick-dry formula. Application was a breeze, the first coat dried quickly and I didn't have to wait before adding a second. There was practically no cleanup here either as the consistency was excellent and easily controlled.

At two coats you can see a hint of a visible nail line but personally, I like it and I'm not picky enough to add a third coat in an attempt to get rid of it. I had no problem with staining and removal was without difficulty.

This was one of those manicures that my boyfriend noticed right away, even he called it the perfect rockabilly red. <3 It's very pretty and I wore it for two or three days before I made a jelly sandwhich out of it with CG 'Ring in the Red' from the same collection.

China Glaze - Poinsettia
China Glaze - Poinsettia
China Glaze - Poinsettia

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orly Mineral Fx - Emberstone

Sooo.. I'm sure I have almost this entire collection save for the OPI RPP dupe, Rock the World, and Rock Solid. It starts out innocently enough with a trip to Sally's where I picked out my two faves, this beauty - Emberstone - and Rock Solid, a beautifully vibrant glass-fleck blue. Eventually after staring at pictures on other blogs and drooling all over myself, I also picked up Rococo A-Go-Go and Rock It. I couldn't help it, I'm a sucker for shimmer and flecks.

Anyway, I LOVE Emberstone! I thought it was going to be mostly red but it glows like fire from within, there's an amazing orange undertone to it that  kept me staring at my nails. I even had the lady at the Post Office counter ask me about it, which always makes me happy.  :)

Orly Emberstone


After several days of wear (which is pretty unusual for me because I get so antsy to change colors) I thought I'd spice it up and add some bling. I sponged on OPI's Sparke de Triomph followed by Crown Me Already! for a super shiny glitter gradient.  It was amazing but WAY too much for work, which is saying something because I can get away with anything on my nails at work. Almost immediately after my topcoat dried I used my one and only shatter to try and subdue the beast. It worked really well and I thought it looked awesome, like a glowing ember in the fireplace. 

I don't know if you can tell from my pretty crummy picture but the thickness of polish on my nails was insane and I took it off the next day because I couldn't handle it.

Orly Emberstone and OPI Black Shatter

Friday, November 11, 2011

Essie Power Clutch

Let me just say that I have picked up three colors from the Brand New Bag collection this fall and I have loved EVERY one of them. At first I only wanted Very Structured, a luscious terra cotta creme, but I was quickly sold on Lady Like and this grey beauty, Power Clutch. I've seen and read quite a few different reviews where ladies decided whether or not it pulled green on their nails and I'm happy to report that it definitely pulls green on me!

Essie - Power Clutch

Essie - Power Clutch

Thursday, November 3, 2011

OPI Miss Universe

When Miss Universe was slated to come out late this summer I was stalking my local Ulta (which conveniently is sort of on my way home) on an almost daily basis waiting for the display to hit the shelves. So the day I found it finally I must have been the first one to walk up to the display because it was completely full, not a single bottle out of place. JOY! I grabbed Swimsuit... Nailed It!, Congeniality Is My Middle Name, and Crown Me Already!

I didn't pick up Its MY Year because I thought it looked too similar to Rally Pretty Pink which I already had, and even though I know it is definitely purple and not pink, I waited for Orly's Holiday Soireé collection. Specifically Oui, which I think is a much prettier purple w/ gold shimmer.

Anyway... Blue happens to be one of my favorite polish colors and I own many, many blues. So if I remember correctly I wore that as a mani right off the bat, very bright and VERY blue. I was in love and even my boss made a comment about how it matched my scarf. I'm not sure if I took pictures of it though, I'll have to check. However, I did take pictures of my next mani which is below.

OPI - Congeniality Is My Middle Name and Crown Me Already!

At first I wasn't sure if I wanted the berry colored Congeniality Is My Middle Name, but it is beautiful and I have no regrets. Its cranberry, jelly-like (IMO) base with a pretty pink shimmer just glows on the nail. Unfortunately the shimmer settles fairly quickly and requires a lot of shaking/rolling to get mixed back in properly. Before the store displays were empty the shimmer had settled in all the bottles. Crown Me Already! is insanely shiny and that's why I used it only on an accent nail, I didn't want to blind myself while driving under this blaring desert sunlight! Which, btw I almost did... it was like I had a tiny little mirror on my finger!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Miss L is having her first giveaway!

Being that this is only my second post, I obviously haven't posted about any giveaways. I wanted to put up a few more posts firsts (and I have several in draft) but school is getting pretty hectic now having just finished midterms. I've got about 35 pages worth of writing to knock out in the next four weeks. Ugh.

Anyway!! Miss L is having her first giveaway and it's awesome! That's why I HAVE to post about it.  :) Her giveaway is open to international followers and closes Saturday, the 26th of November.

            

You can enter Here!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's the beginning!

Here goes nothing...

Over the past few months I've been debating whether or not to start blogging about the polishes I've been obsessing over. I keep waiting for my excitement over new colors and collections to wane and this "phase" to pass, but it just hasn't. So I'm taking the leap.

My polish fanaticism started innocently enough on a trip to Southern California with my mom and younger sister. We were touring my sister's soon-to-be college campus and after a busy day of meetings and tours we decided we were going to spend the rest of the weekend exploring the town, hitting the beach and treating ourselves to a mani/pedi. Of course, the three of us had at the time small collections of polishes mostly from the drugstore and target and occasionally we would get a pedicure together, but not often because it was just a treat. Anyway, I was determined to find us a nice salon with a good selection of polish colors.

Our search for a clean salon willing to take three clients without a wait time and a decent selection of colors turned out to be a lot more difficult than we'd imagined.  We hit several misses before we found one we all could agree on, and it wasn't easy. My sister just recently finished cosmetology training and she had a keen eye for sketchy hygienic practices and I was on the lookout for an electric blue polish similar to one I'd seen on one of the girls I saw on campus earlier that day. We eventually found a salon up to snuff and I found the PERFECT shade of electric blue polish, not quite the same shade I saw earlier, but still I was extremely satisfied with the results.

For some reason, I never took a picture of how awesome my nails looked after that manicure, even though it may have been one of the best I ever had. It lasted a week before I finally brought myself to remove the magnificent color. It was chipping but I was still sad to see it gone from my nails. I did, however, take a quick picture of the bottles we all used while they were on the tech's desk but it turned out dark and blurry so none of the bottle lettering was readable. All that could be made out were the little black daisies on the face of the bottle. Now I was on a mission to find this shade so I could buy it and add it to my collection, I was obsessed.

Google image searches were only slightly helpful in locating the color and by slightly I mean they didn't help me find the correct brand but they did get me hooked on nail blogs.  It started innocently enough by checking this blog on an almost daily basis. Then there was Scrangie and Polish or Perish and LTHP. The list got longer and longer and then I figured out I could add blogs to Google Reader, you could say the rest was history. I did eventually find the brand and color of polish from that fabulous manicure, but I'll save that for later. (I still haven't bought it because I've acquired so many blues while on the hunt that I'm almost sure I've got a dupe in my stash)

The first time I took a picture of a manicure I gave myself it wasn't because I had aspirations for my own blog, I was simply proud of my look. I had applied some nail art using tape to freshen up a mani that was several days old with some serious tip wear and cracking. To think, this was way back when I didn't think topcoats were important! Anyway, the first picture I ever took of my nails was with two coats of Orly's Pure Porcelain over my go-to nail strengthener Gealous, finished with Rage from Orly's Foil FX collection on my tips. I did use a top coat after adding Rage, even before I knew the difference between a foil and a microglitter I knew that the slightest brush against almost any surface would transfer some of that foil-y amazingness off of my nails.

Now, on to the picture! There is only one because I took two never expecting to show anyone but my sister and the second was too blurry. It's not the greatest photo because I only have my iphone. Womp, womp, womp.  Either way, I was still proud and got several compliments at work.

Orly Pure Porcelain 

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