Friday, December 30, 2011

Barry M - Dusky Mauve

Barry M's Dusky Mauve (BMDM) was much talked about over the course of 2011, I hope I don't bore you, but this was my work mani this week and its still a unique and pretty color worth posting.  I have never been able to find the Revlon dupe, and why buy Chanel's Paradoxal when you can get Barry M off of eBay for around four quid?  Or eight U.S. bucks with shipping.

I'm not sure how to describe BMDM appropriately, but I would say it a brown grey base with a strong purple shimmer.  Some people have described it as a duo chrome, and I can see why but what is the second color in duo-chrome?  I see purple but nothing else.  BMDM's formula was smooth and easy to apply, opaque in two coats.  I've been told it's a classy color, looks like it came from a magazine.  Why thank you.

Incandescent lighting. Purple shimmer is downplayed here.

God save the Queen.  The postage is so pretty, I love it!
Barry M nail paints are only 10 ml, 2/3 the size of a China Glaze bottle, I did not know this so I was a little taken a back when my first Barry M bottle arrived.  I hope it doesn't dry out faster.  Overall, I'm very happy with this polish.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ulta - Into Astrono-me?

Hello out there.

I have a quick posting for you today - Ulta's Into Astrono-Me? (UIAM), a midnight blue with subtle shimmer and a touch of grey.  I'm such a sucker for anything grey in it, I think because of its wear-ablility, it tones down the brightness and adds sophistication.

I had to crop this, the side of my hand looked like a giant chicken breast!

See the shimmer?  Clearly in the bottle but its very subtle on the nail though.

I bought this at Ulta during their mix and match buy 1 get 1 free sale, so this polish was only $3, plus I had a coupon! Happy!

Are you into astrono-me?  Here's NASA's picture of the day for astronomy lovers, NASA.
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

China Glaze Love Marilyn layered over Red Pearl - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 
Love Marilyn… Marilyn Monroe that is. DUH!  Just in time with the movie “A Week with Marilyn”.    Red connotes sexy, sultry, and bold.  Silver can suggest glamorous and distinguished.
Left hand, two coats of glitter.

Right hand, one coat of glitter.

I found a great website (retro housewife) about nail polish in the 1950’s. I especially enjoyed reading about what would happen to you if start to age faster than your husband.  Anyway, Love Marilyn is very fitting for Marilyn Monroe, but I highly doubt she was wearing nail polish like this back then.  Of course I could be wrong, you never know if someone out there is playing around with glitter and never documented and published it.
Going forward 60 years or so later, I loved how this mani turned out.  Love Marilyn (LM) is clear based glitter with micro hex red and larger silver hex glitters.  It’s not so heavily packed, that it is great for layering.  On the left hand I used two coats of LM on the index and middle finger, and it turned out to look a little gritty.  On the other fingers I only used one coat, which I think looks better because the red glitter gets to sparkle and add texture while the Red Pearl underneath still gets to shine through.  It really depends on the mood you’re in, I guess.
I hope China Glaze doesn’t stop making this glitter polish because I love it, and it would be great for Valentine’s day too.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope everyone has a joyous day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

China Glaze Red Pearl with Stars

Well, I’m not sure if this is Christmas-y, but this mani was intended to be Christmas themed. 
China Glaze’s Red Pearl (CGRP), this is an old bottle I bought in the Fall of 2008. The label is falling apart but the formula is still in excellent shape, and it still performs like fresh polish.  I did not store it in any special way; it has just been sitting in my bathroom for three years!  Gasp, I know you’re not supposed to store nail polish in a humid bathroom, but somehow this one has lasted!
CGRP is a classic, bright, blue based, medium red with a pearl finish.  I had forgotten what a great polish this is, thank goodness it is now part of CG’s core line. 
I added some white rainbow stars, which were not hard to apply.  After I painted my nails, I just dabbed top coat on my nail where I wanted the stars.  Then I placed a dot of top coat on a tray and dipped a pen cap in it.  Then I used the pen cap with top coat on it to pick up the star, and then placed the star on my nail. Then I lightly pressed down. I used two coats of CG FF top coat on the nails with the stars, they are still quite bumpy, and the stars are pretty big and thick so I don’t think they are ever going to lay flat.  The little teeny solid stars do lay flat though, some of the small stars sank into the polish.  I keep picking at the stars because they are sticking out, so, I don’t know how long this mani is going to last. Habit of a nail biter, I think.
Right hand, with just an accented ring finger.  Here you can appreciate the color of CG's Red Pearl.

Left hand.

I know, my poor ring fingernail broke last week.

What I used for this mani.

What the stars look like.

I used two coats of Nail Armor, according to directions, two coats of CGRP, one coat of CGFF top coat, two top coats on nails with stars.
Stars were $3.99 at Sally's. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend, Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My attempt at Christmas tree nails....

So.... I was really inspired by Jane from Nailside with all of tape designs, especially her Christmas tree nails.  I don't have Konad kit, nor am I ambidextrous, so tape designs seemed like a good choice for me.  Jane has two designs and regular tree and an abstract tree.  I have yet to try the abstract tree.  Well, the regular Christmas tree design, which I read the tutorial for, seemed simple enough, until execution. 

I had trouble figuring out where exactly to lay the tape, at what angle and where to put the points.  I also had trouble visualizing how the tree was going to turn out.  I used clear Scotch tape, and when I thought the shape of the trees were right they really were not.  Trees are supposed to be wider on the bottom, but mine did not turn out that way... oh, well.  There more like streaky, lop-sided, skinny Tim Burton style trees.  Check them out, don't laugh....

China Glaze Sea Spray is the background color,
Orly's shine on crazy diamond is the glitter.

China Glaze's red pearl is the tree color.

I thought I waited long enough to prevent streaks, not so, shine on crazy diamond and China Glaze's FF top coat,
both streaking after 10 minutes.

Here I used Sally' Hansen's Twinkle Twinkle,
the red was dry to touch, no streaks.

China Glaze's Lorilei's tiara, index finger, too thick, the tape did not come off cleany. 
CG's Love Marilyn, middle finger did much better,
but my hubby said it looked like a blob instead of a tree.
I probably just need more practice, I'm going to try this design again.... if I have time. We will see.

If anyone knows of a dupe for Sally Hansen's Twinkle Twinkle, please share.  It is a very nice holo hex glitter, but not cruelty free.  I bought it before I decided to stop buying cruelty free makeup, which I still do on accident.

Jane from Nailside is very creative and has all kinds of tape designs and tutorials.  She's inspirational and her nails are super neat, they are PERFECT. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orly – Mattified Androgynie

Androgynie – neither masculine nor feminine, yeah that’s about right. 
I’ve had Androgynie for a couple of months and became reluctant to try it because of the lukewarm reviews online.  So, when I finally did, all I had in my mind was doubt, doubt, doubt.

Androgynie is a black jelly with mini gold glitter and multicolor hexagon glitter.  It looks like it’s from outer space.  Great concept, poor execution, I will tell you why. 
The jelly applies nicely, but the glitter settles at the bottom of the bottle, so I ended up shaking the bottle after painting every other finger.  The black is a bit dark and covers up the glitter that is on the first coat, and the second coat the glitter gets lost and the polish looks murky.  So, I decided to try to pick up some individual glitters out of the bottle by dipping the brush in and letting the polish run off the brush by itself, then dabbing the glitter on to the nail.  That helped kind of, still murky.  So I added INM’s Northern Lights holo glitter top coat (teeny tiny, nano glitter), which helped brighten Androgynie a bit.   This was a lot of effort.  Was it worth it?  Probably not for most people, but I was okay with it.   But wait, I’m not done.
So, I wanted to do something different and added Orly’s Matte Top at the end.  I’m glad I added INM’s top coat first, because Matte top dries slowly.  The glitter seems to stand out more with the matte coat, perhaps because the glare from shiny top coat is removed.  Matte top adds an interesting effect.  After a couple of days the polish really started to grow on me.  I may revisit this polish again.

Dear hex glitter, why won't you come out to play?

What I used: Orly’s nail defense base, 2.25 coats of Androgynie, one coat INM’s northern lights silver holo top coat, one coat Orly’s Matte top coat.  Androgynie is from the Holiday soriee collection. $5.99 Sally’s.
On the side note, I think this polish would be great maybe as a two polish set, one bottle black, and the other just clear with the glitters.  Are you listening Orly?  Probably not... Oh, well.
Thanks for watching and enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wet N’ Wild – Grey’s Anatomy

I just found out Wet N’ Wild (WNW) is cruelty free.  I know, I’m probably the last to know, duh.  I keep passing up WNW because I keep saying to myself I have to look them up… blah blah blah.  Well, I never did look them up. There was a buy one get one free pack at CVS and on the back of the package is a bunny with a heart for ears, ahhh cute!  Why didn’t you say so WNW???  So I bought Silverado, Grey’s anatomy, and Party of Five glitter, the Silverado came with a free top coat, which I have yet to try. 

Grey’s Anatomy (GA) is a nice soft color.  I would feel comfortable wearing this to work.  I would say it is grey based with purple/green duo-chrome.  The purple is more apparent than the green. The green shows up at sharp angles.  Formula is kind of thin and sheer.  I applied three coats and it still wasn’t fully opaque, but that’s okay, I am really happy with this polish. GA has a subtle, soft beauty of its own.   Also the brush is round and makes it easier to apply neatly.  I had very little clean up to do.  Since it is thin and sheer it would make for an interesting layering polish!    Ideas, Ideas!!!
Riding along in my car....

Rainy overcast day - perfect light for pictures.
See the green duo chrome?

I used Orly’s nail defense base, three coats GA, and one coat China Glaze FF top coat.  Made in China, inexpensive Chinese labor, hence, $1.99 each, CVS.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Zoya - Sarah

I have a beautiful red for you today.  Zoya's Sarah (ZS).  This is my fourth bottle of nail polish from Zoya, and the formulas have all been fantastic.  Highly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply formulas.  ZS is the same shade of red as China Glaze's Ruby pumps (CGRP), sans glitter, with gold foil shimmer added.  Usually golds don't work on me, since my skin tone is cool. (I have blue veins and pink nail beds.) However ZS does coordinate with my skin tone, I think because the red is a blue based red, rather than yellow based. For example, orangy-reds are yellow based.  Now that I have ZS I can't decide what to wear for Christmas, CGRP or ZS???

See the gold foil shimmer?

Tried to reduce glare in this photo.
I got ZS from Ulta, $8.  Gorgeous red!  Vegan formula, cruelty free, Big 3 free!  LOVE!

Monday, December 5, 2011

China Glaze - First Mate

China Glaze - First Mate (CGFM) is from the Anchors away 2011 collection and is a dusky deep blue with a touch of grey.  The camera did not pick up the subtle color shade and looks a bit brighter than in real life.  CGFM is a gorgeous deeply pigmented creme! Smooth application and really wears well, I had it on for two full days and no tip wear or shrinkage.  I had to take it off because I was going to work. :( 

I was a purist again - all China Glaze - strong adhesion base coat, 2 coats of CGFM, one coat CG fast forward top coat.

You have to hand it to China Glaze, fabulous formula, beautiful color, well priced.  This month Sally's is having a 2 for $10 sale on CG.  China Glaze has got to be my favorite nail polish brand, big 3 free, no animal testing, high quality, great value, lots of colors to choose from, on trend...  easy to find, easy to buy.  Orly is a close second.

What is your favorite brand?

LOVE LOVE LOVE!  I will be wearing this year round.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Deborah Lippmann - Milkshake

Go to work mani!  My husband said "Wow, your nails look clean!"  Who can argue with clean?  I do have a "big gurl" job that requires conservative, neutral nails.....I know, it can be boring, or refreshing.  Speaking of my "big gurl" job, the environment is a dearth of beauty, DEARTH!, probably why I have grown to love nail polish.  So I have several neutrals that I reach for when I need a conservative mani.  I really like Orly's Sheer Beauty and China Glaze's Innocence, both along the same lines as Deborah Lippmann's Milkshake (DLMS).  All three are sheer milky polishes.

DLMS looks like vanilla soy milk and has a certain warmth to it.  However, I don't think the formula is the best.   I've worn this color three occasions and it's a bit streaky, it doesn't correct itself.  Meaning, I don't think it has the best cohesive properties.  Am I making any sense?  Even China Glaze's fast forward top coat doesn't correct the streaks, which is one of the main reasons it is my go to top coat. DLMS might be okay with 3 or more coats, but really, I can't deal with polish that is that thick, it doesn't dry fast enough and I inevitably just end up denting my nails and they look horrible.  In the last photo, the streaks are really apparent.  Not good for premium polish.

I love the shape of DL's bottles. 

Camera lamp - here's where you can really see the streaks.  Impromptu photo with ibuprofen bottle.
DLMS is part of the fashoinista set, three polishes, Envy Me, Sweet Spot and Milkshake, $40 at Neiman Marcus. I know the price is a bit steep.  A gift from my husband.  How do you stop your husband from buying you expensive gifts?  You don't!

I used one coat of DL's base coat, 2 coats of DLMS, and one coat China Glaze FF topcoat.

On a redeeming note, DLMS, gives your nails a clean and refined look and no one really noticed the streaks except for me.  Plus DL is cruelty free and big 3 free.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

China Glaze - Some like it Haute!

Some people do like it haute, including myself. 

I was in Sally beauty supply the other day and this bottle was **s-p-a-r-k-l-i-n-g** under the halogen display lights.  I was like, WHOA what is that?  Must have MOAR glitter!!! 

China Glaze's Some like it haute, (CGSLIH) is a clear based polish packed, and I mean packed, with silver and black microglitter, with holographic small hex glitter.  Application was easy, smooth and even distribution of gritty glitter.  Dries fast and matte.  I needed two coats of top coat to smooth this out.    Wears well with my heather grey cashmere sweater, and reminds me of salt on blacktop or roofing material.  

Camera lamp - to try to capture sparkle.
This is a beautiful polish, I love it! 

I felt like being a purist, so I used all China Glaze, one coat of strong adhesion base coat, two coats CGSLIH, two coats of CG fast forward top coat.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Orly - Royal Velvet

What can I say about Orly's Royal Velvet (ORV)?  It is beautiful.  Blue base, purple duo-chrome, and it goes on like velvet, smooth application. Two coats and it evens itself out, does that make sense? That's a sign of a good formula, I think.  This is definitely one of my favorites!

Originally from the spring 2011 Precious collection.  I found this in the clearance bin at Ulta, $5.49.  I hope Orly doesn't stop making this polish because it is a winner!

I used one coat Orly's bonder base, two coats ORV, one coat China Glaze Fastforward top coat (CGFF).  Urgh!  CGFF topcoat, you can see the shrinkage on the tips.  I have to get better at wrapping tips, I don't do it often because I'm not good at it, and I get messy results. 

Anyone care to share their favorite top coat in the comments section?

I know, I only have three followers.... I'm still having fun blogging to myself though.... hahaha!