Tuesday, January 31, 2012

China Glaze - Go Go Pink

If your thinking about Valentine's day, China Glaze's Go Go Pink (GGP) might be perfect for the Valentine's day mani.  GGP is a classic pastel Barbie Doll pink.  The formula is kind of runny and does not even itself out.  Three coats for me to get a solid and even finish. 

I picked GGP in Ulta's Clearance bin, it was leftover from breast cancer awareness month and came with a free bottle of Seche Vite. 

I used one coat Revlon's colorstay base coat, 3 coats GGP, one coat INM Out the Door top coat.

More to come, stop by again!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Revlon Colorstay Longwear - Bare Bones

Hello out there!  (Echo)

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a few Revlon colorstay nail polishes from Walgreens during their buy one get one half off sale.  The display said "long lasting, gel like finish", hmmmm.  I'm skeptical about "long lasting..." and I'm not sure I can truly test that, because I rarely wear a color for more than three days; when I start to get bored.  Plus I think chipping is partly dependant upon how well base and top coats are applied.  If I can get a good water tight seal, my polishes will last me. If I miss a spot or the edge starts to wear off and I shower or wash my hands, water begins to seep in under the paint.  Then the water lifts the paint and CHIP. 

Anyways, below is my haul, something for work, something fun, something for spring, so respectively, I picked up bare bones, midnight and provence.  I also pick up a base coat and a top coat because I didn't think I could do a fair review if the base and top coats are suppose to contribute to their gel like finishes.  

My haul. Left to right, top coat, Provence, Midnight, Bare Bones, base coat.

Bare bones is a really nice neutral that reminds me of bathroom tile caulk, you know it comes in bright white, white or almond?  Almond. The formula is kind of tacky and doesn't go on smoothly.  The first coat had a lot of bald spots and did not have good cohesive properties.  The second coat provided nice coverage. The top coat did add a nice shine and did smooth out some dents and unevenness of the second coat.  However compared to other topcoats, the Colorstay top coat was SLOW to dry.  Five minutes dry to touch, 30 minutes until you could go about your business.  Three hours later, I acquired more dents, so I turned to Revlon's quick dry top coat, which did a great job of smoothing the new dents. Dried to touch in one minute, went  about my business in five minutes.  Lifesaver.

Added a second top coat three hours later to eliminate new dents.
Revlon colorstay longwear, $7.99 Walgreens, $8.39 CVS.  I got the topcoat at CVS, it was sold out at my Walgreens.  I thought it was a bit pricey but at least its cruelty free and big 3 free!

Overall I think the polish is okay... I'll have to wear the other two to see how they fair.  More to come.

Have you tried this line?

Update: Check out my post on Revlon's colorstay in Midnight.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nina Ultra Pro - Never Glum Plum & China Glaze - Techno

This post is going to be a little lengthy because later on, I feature two China Glaze glitters.

Nina Ultra Pro - Never Glum Plum (NGP), is a medium gray creme polish with a teeny tiny touch of purple, maybe.  I really can't see it.  Either way it is still a very pretty gray.  Is it grey or gray?  Well, this is an American blog, so we will go with gray.  NGP was a little watery, but two coats will give you full coverage.  I have used Nina Ultra Pro in the past and find their polishes are quite good.  My favorite of theirs is brushed bronze, the only orange nail polish that I own.  I'll have to swatch that sometime. 

Many bloggers report that Nina Ultra Pro is cruelty free and vegan!  On the back of their bottles, the ingredients are big 3 free, major PLUS! 

In addition, they are quite affordable, I bought my at Sally's back in November for $1.99 each.  Right now they are having a sale on Nina Ultra Pro, for $2.99, I think normally they are $3.99 each.  Bigger Plus!

Last week I found China Glaze's Techno at a beauty supply store for $5.  They had the entire Electropop collection, which are a bunch of bright spring colors I'm not ready for, so I didn't buy any, just Techno.  Techno is a clear polish with big and small holo hex glitters.  You would think, it should not be hard to find a clear polish with holo hex glitters, but it IS!  Revlon makes one, I think, called Sparlking?  I never can find it, its always sold out.  Yes, it is on eBay, but some seller wants $15 for it,  I think not! .... so I was happy to find Techno.

I just did the ring finger on this mani because I really like NGP on its own.  Techno in my humble opinion is a must have glitter in anyone's collection,  it would be great to even layer with other glitters.

On the right hand, I was experimenting with China Glaze's Some Like it Haute.  I applied this glitter on the tip with a big #6 flat brush on top of some stars.  I should have done the glitter first then applied the stars... so backwards!  Oh well.

I posted Some Like it Haute earlier.  See here.

Thoughts or comments?  Are you ready for the Electropop collection or any other spring collection?  I'm ready for warm weather, but I'm still enjoying the dark colors and glitters. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

China Glaze - Moonlight

Here is this week's simple and clean work mani.  CG's Moonlight a medium sheer milky white polish.  I wear Orly's Sheer Beauty, from time to time, which is very similar to this polish but it is more sheer than Moonlight.  Easy to apply, excellent smooth formula.

Two coats.

I did the accent finger with Ulta's glitter top coat.
A subtle way to sneak some glitter into my work day... ssshh.

Moonlight might be more sheer without Orly's nail armor, underneath. 

What I used.
Unlike hklinda, at the Lacquer Room who likes to wear her polish with out "undies" sometimes. I must be the opposite, I wear thick, full coverage grandma "undies" - Orly's Nail Armor.  Orly recommends two coats of nail armor, which has silk fibers in it and also functions as a ridge filler.   I don't have any ridges but right now my thumb nail has a big crack in it, below the nail line, so I'm using Nail Armor.  I don't want to deal with tea bags or glue or whatever else is used to patch nails, and so far, it's been working out well. 

Yes, I found Ulta's glitter top coat in the clearance bin, when I got to the register, the cashier rang it up for 49 cents!  SCORE!  It goes on really smooth, you don't need to add another top coat to cover the glitter. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wet N Wild Spoiled Papa-Paparazzi

Wet N Wild Spoiled Papa-Paparazzi (PPZ).  What a find this was!  PPZ is a purple jelly based polish with mostly silver glitter, lesser small purple glitter and slightly larger silver holo hex glitter.  The first day I wore only one coat because I just loved the sheer, subtle, softness of this polish.  Then on the second day I painted my left hand with a second coat to see what it is suppose to look like.  With a second coat the purple became darker, and the glitter, more gritty, as to be expected.  Still pretty.  I like both versions.  I would think it would depend on the mood your in. 

Two coats here.

One coat here.

Two coats up close.

Totally mesmerized by the glitter in the bottle.  I just had to include this photo. 
The base of the bottle is square and the sides are rounded.  I think its a nice design.

The brush is weird, rounded on one side.  Kind of has a cheap feel to it, but it works really well.
This polish was really easy to apply and the brush was really soft and I was able to spread polish on the the entire nail in one stroke on some of my nails, like my pinky and index fingers.  I was able to skip the clean up process entirely. 

I found this buried on the side of an end cap, in a cardboard display, in the seasonal aisle at CVS.  I had to dig to find this one.  $1.99, Made in the USA, interesting... some Wet N Wilds are made in China.

This polish gets an A++!

Deborah Lippmann - Glitter in the Air

Here's another Deborah Lippmann polish I've had for a while that I've been reluctant to post because I really don't like it.  I'm posting this because for some reason, Deborah Lippmann's polishes get a lot of traffic.  .....Deborah Lippmann's Glitter in the Air (DLGA), a pale, milky, blue jelly polish with blue and pink glitter.

The first time I wore DLGA, I wore it to work, and under unflattering fluorescent lighting this polish made my nail beds look like those of a cyanotic dead corpse!  I was at work talking and moving my hands and I noticed a co-worker looking at them and so I spent the rest of the day sitting on them.  Wearing DLGA totally reminded of the wrapped in plastic, deceased Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks.  Click here to see what I mean.  Interestingly enough, another blogger actually did a manicure inspired by the "R" found under her Laura Palmer's nails.  I was a fan of Twin Peaks back in the day and I was 14 years old when that show came out.  I find it hard to watch reruns now but back then I was totally enamored.  Any Twin Peaks fan's out there?

I know DLGA doesn' t look that bad in photos, but on me its gross. I probably need to layer on top of something else so it goes in the retry-to-think-about pile. 

Don't worry I will post something pretty soon!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deborah Lippmann - Sweet Spot

Hey guys!

I've had Deborah Lippmann's Sweet Spot (DLSS) for a while. This is the second time I'm wearing this polish and to be quite honest, I don't like it. On both occasions I wore this polish for less than a day.  I feel old and outdated wearing this.  It does nothing for my skin tone and the frosty-ness makes me feel like it is 1983.  Would be great with frosted make up and frosted highlights... NOT!  The mauve underneath reminds me of the early 1990's when mauve colored kitchens was the trend....yuck.  The formula is fine.  ... sigh.

DLSS is one of a three polish set called "Fashionista"; Milkshake and Envy Me are the other two polishes from the set and I posted those earlier.  Set was $44. 

My husband bought this for me, he buys all my Lippmann polishes.  He thinks $18 per bottle is a good deal!  :D

When I told him I get China Glaze on sale at Sally's for $5 he was astounded!  He replied that the lady at the cosmetic counter was trying to sell him some $300 face creme, so he felt relieved to leave Neiman's having only spent $18.  Point taken, honey.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What do those symbols mean on the back of your cosmetics and nail polish?

I have a quick post for you today.  I spent some time looking up all of those little symbols and I hope you find this helpful. 

Orly's Bonder

Revlon's quick dry top coat.

Zoya nail polish, Anja.

Orly's Nail Armor.

Ahava, hand cream.
Nail polish can not be thrown away with regular trash!  Yikes!  It must be taken to your nearest hazardous waste transfer facility.  It is flammable and if it leaks into our environment, soil and water it is dangerous.  See here.

Animal testing for cosmetics have been banned in Europe since 2009, and long term testing will be banned in 2013.  Imports of cosmetics that have been tested on animals is also banned in Europe since 2009, thank goodness. Now when will the U.S. get on board?  See here.

I hope it is just a matter of time before we follow in Europe's footstep.  In the meantime, what is an average, working class person like me suppose to do?  Our voice is heard by the purchases we make, every time we buy cruelty free, big 3 free nail polish we vote for no animal testing, no carcinogens and other toxic chemicals in our products.  I know nail polish is still hazardous material, but it doesn't have to be if we use it responsibly. 

Have I been guilty of being ignorant and making mistakes? Absolutely; but I'm trying to find and share information.  I hope don't sound like I'm lecturing or judging because I'm not.  I think it is important to know what we are buying and using.

My last point.  Want to curb buying urges?  Become an educated and discerning consumer.  As soon as I decided to stop buying products form giant cosmetic companies that test on animals and use toxic ingredients the buying list becomes much shorter.

I like to enjoy my nail polish guilt free and without worry!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

China Glaze - Up All Night

Hi out there!  Today I have a gorgeous navy blue with slight shimmer to show you, which reminds me of car paint.  China Glaze's Up All Night (CGUAN) is super shiny, dark as night and durable.  I wore this for three days and only one small chip.  So much better in person than in photographs.

Speaking of photographs, CGUAN was difficult to photograph, since the color is so dark my camera kept wanting average out the exposure, so most of my photos did not come out right.  I try not to do too much editing because I find the photos start to become distorted.  Here I used the bottle cap as a guide for accuracy and then the rest of the picture falls into place. 

For this mani, I used two coats of Orly's nail armor, two coats of CGUAN, and one coat of INM's out the door top coat.  Great formula from China Glaze again!

Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Orly - Close Your Eyes & Economic Indicators?

Close your eyes. Okay. So I did and all I saw was the back of my eyelids, now what?  What an odd name?  So I had to search this one out and Orly's Close Your Eyes (OCYE) is from the 2005 Truth or Dare collection.... oh.  Is this dumb or what?  I never played or liked the game truth or dare.  Seeing people humiliated and embarrassed is not my kind of fun, and lately I would rather people keep their darkest secrets to themselves.  I'd rather paint and stare at my nails, thanks.

On a redeeming note, this beautiful shimmery plum makes up for it's lame name, and the formula is great too.  Two easy, opaque coats.  OCYE was this week's work mani for me and I got a few compliments on it. 

Did you know that nail polish sales are way up right now? Apparently nail polish has replaced lipstick as an economic indicator, according to the New York Times.  When nail polish sales are up the economy is down.  Adam Davidson of NY Times says nail polish is a "bargain luxury". I would agree with that. OCYE felt like little jewels on my hands this week.  If the economy gets better are you going to stop painting your nails?  I don't think I will.  I usually stop painting my nails because I have started chewing on them again, not so much the economy but, that's just me, so who knows?  Click here for the article

I guess lipstick sales have evened out and women are not buying lipsticks based on how confident they feel about the economy?  I don't wear lipstick so I don't know.  I did notice that Ulta's nail polish section has been trashed over the holidays. I regret not taking a picture of it, because it was bad. 

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ulta - Alter Ego

Do you have a second self?  Ulta's Alter Ego (UAE) a medium electric blue shimmer polish, which was a dream to apply.  The formula was a little thicker than what I'm normally used to but in a good way.  I think the added thickness just allowed me to glide the brush around my round cuticles with an even flow of paint.  I hardly had to clean up with acetone afterwards, just a little on my right hand.  Two really easy coats, with no swearing.  Awesome!

I added glitter to this (previous post) for New Year's eve, but this was gorgeous all by itself. 

Ulta, regular price $6, on sale $3.  I wore this with a purple sweater dress. 

One coat Orly's nail armor, two coats UAE, one coat INM out the door top coat.

Enjoy!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Where is this blog going? Ulta's Pin-yada yada and Alter Ego

Happy New Year!  2012!

I thought I would take this opportunity to address where this blog is going for 2012.   Considering I don't have much of an audience, I probably should work on building one.  How am I going to do that?  I'm not sure, yet, but so far I have noticed the posts that get the most traffic are the Lippmann ones....  so I'll post the ones that I have and see where that goes. 

When I started this blog I wanted to share my nail polish interest with other like minded individuals because most people are not deeply interested in nail polish and don't want to listen to me babble about it.  In addition, I'm a reformed nail biter, and would like to keep from ever biting my nails again.  I was introduced to China Glaze's Ruby Pumps (CG RP) three years ago and that's the color that turned me on.  When I first saw CG RP, I thought, "WOW, that's nail polish!?" It was a breakthrough. 

Over the last two to three years the nail polish industry has grown and we have seen much innovation. Glitter galore, holographics, duo-chromes, blue and greys, grey-beiges.... What's next?  I don't know.  I am excited to see what industry leaders have in store for us polish enthusiasts in the up coming year.   At the same time I also think some core colors get a little neglected so you will see me post some core line colors.  Core colors are easily available and I get a little frustrated sometimes when I see a nail color featured on line and I have to hunt it down, especially when there are so many beautiful core colors right under my nose, but I don't know what they really look like.

Over time I have noticed I really enjoy blogs with a little bit of meat in them.  Although I like to see a ton of swatches, I really don't want to get into swatching large volumes of colors, color after color, brand after brand, for me, I can't deliver that, and there are a ton of blogs that serve the purpose of a color catalog/reference, so I think I need to do something different.  Something with a little bit more thought and insight. 

I am passionate about conserving/cleaning up our environment, promoting animal rights, and reducing our use of carcinogenic chemicals.  You can see that I only post cruelty free, big 3 free polishes and I will continue to do that.  I don't wear makeup, but I am aging.  I may post some reviews on anti aging skin and hair care from a preventive approach.  In summary for 2012 you will see future posts on these topics, hand and nail care, and other beauty product reviews.  

Well with all that said, here my New Year's eve mani.  It's Ulta's Alter Ego and Pin-yada yada.  

Switched bottles to reduce glare.
This mani was tough to photograph!  Lots of blinding glare, sharp shadows and the macro mode on my camera uses a large aperture (around f 2!) so the depth of focus is short, so some nails are not sharp as in the first photo.

I did take some photography and darkroom classes in college, so I may venture out and do some photography posts too.  I studied with a Nikon N60 SLR film camera, on unforgiving slide film 15 years ago, so I can appreciate a good technical photo when I see one.  I'm not a professional photographer and I certainly am not perfect so maybe we can share some tips and tricks.  Or I can just stick strictly to nail polish....

Well, I think that covers it.  More to come in 2012!
Thanks for stopping by!