Friday, June 29, 2012

Orly - Sashay My Way

Happy Friday!  I've got a great glitter from Orly's Flash Glam Fx collection to show you; Sashay My Way, a holographic, gold, hex, and bar glitter in a clear base.  This is one coat over three coats of Color Club's Factory Girl.

If your looking for a nice baby blue pastel, Factory Girl has a really nice formula as far as pastels go, a little thin, but easy to apply and not tacky like most pastels.  I got this for $2 from a nail supply store, and Sashy My Way is $8.99 at Sally's but with my club card it was $5.99. 

What colors do you like to wear gold with?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Techno Androgynie

Today I have a super fun glitter sandwich to show you.  Orly's Androgynie with China Glaze's Techno!  The layers are in this order, base coats, Androgynie, Techno, Androgynie, Techno, top coat.  If you don't have Androgynie you could still replicate this, with any sheer black jelly polish, and there are lots of dups of Techno out there.  Black with silver, holo, hex glitters makes a nice contrast.  Don't ya' think?

Goofing off here.

Macro, Macro.
 I will be very sad to take off this mani.  I had so much fun photographing it too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chevron French with Beverly Hills Plum

Hello out there!

Here is this week's simple work mani.  Instead of traditional smile lines we have V shaped tips.  This was quite striking, a few people wanted to touch and inspect my nails.

Orly's Beverly Hills Plum adds a nice healthy rosy glow to my nail beds.  Natural but enhanced.  Orly is known to add "optical brighteners" to their polishes and I noticed as I was applying Beverly Hills Plum, it has a tiny sparkle to it. 

Well here are my naked nails to compare.

Eeeek!  The tips are yellow! I look like a chain smoker!  Let's cover those up shall we?

I've tried a bunch of different base coats, none of them really work to prevent staining.  I've been wearing Orly's Nail Defense a protein treatment then Orly's Bonder as a base for every manicure for the last month and a half.  I'm still evaluating if that is working or not.....

For a Chevron tutorial look under the How to tab.  Or click here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat

I have wanted to do a top coat post for a while and I have a draft that has been sitting around for the longest time. I didn't post it because it is verbose, and I wasn't sure how to best organize and present the information. Nevertheless, I finally decided to present one top coat at a time, in digestible chunks.

Let me start by stating my requirements of a good top coat; it must be quick drying, least toxic as humanly possible (free of DBP, Toulene and added Formaldehyde), adds noticeable shine, durability, be a good smudge fixer and leveler. 

Side note: If I come across a slow drying top coat, defined by me as taking longer than 2 minutes to dry to touch, I will use it to remove glitter polishes. That's right, I have two methods for removing glitter polishes and using clear polish or slow drying top coats is one of them. Just slap some top coat on top of old glitter, wrap a piece of cotton soaked with acetone polish remover around your finger, wait a few seconds and swipe. Works like a charm. The top coat will soften the old polish, making it easier to remove.

I am on my fourth bottle of China Glaze's Fast Forward (ChG FF) top coat so this should be a fair review. The China Glaze website, says it penetrates and drys all layers of polish in 60 seconds. Sometimes it does dry that fast, I think it depends on the humidity of the environment you are working in as well. 


  • Quick drying: 1-2 minutes dry to touch, 5 minutes go about your business.
  • Good smudge fixer.
  • Superior leveler, by that I mean, I love it for glitters, it delivers a smooth finish.  Very close if not equal to Seche Vite.
  • Easy to find, Sally's $5-6, nail suppliers, $3.
  • Big 3 free, (free of DBP, Toulene and added Formaldehyde).


  • Sometimes can causes serious shrinkage, especially with jellies.
  • Gets too thick halfway through the bottle. How do I deal with this? I use one bottle until it is half way done, set it aside. Start using another fresh bottle until it too, is halfway empty. So now I have two used half bottles. I add nail polish thinner to both half bottles.  Finally, I combine the two bottles to make a full bottle and finish that off; OR toss it if I'm tired of it and I want a fresh bottle.
  • Smells strong and toxic, not as bad as Seche Vite, but it's not good.

One example of shrinkage.  ChG FF top coat here. 
I must have applied ChG FF a little more thinly here, and the shrinkage shows up only after drying.
What to do about shrinkage?  The remedy for this is to apply a super thick coat, to every nail, every stroke, everytime AND wrap the the tips of the nail. By not wrapping the tips, shrinkage looks like tip wear but you will see it appear on all nails at the same rate.  Genuine tip wear appears only on certain nails first, then eventually to all nails.  For me, my index fingers wear down first, then my thumbs.  Lastly, shrinkage will occur more readily if the top coat becomes too thick. 

I don't have a favorite top coat.  There is no be-all-of-end-all top coats, to me. My theory is that one size does not fit all, and that is how I feel about top coats. I use different top coats for different polishes. I wonder if nail polish manufactures formulate top coats especially for their polishes so, sometimes I will match brand to brand.

When do I decide to use China Glaze FF top coat?
  • To seal over a glitter polish, nail art or nail accoutrements.
  •  Over any China Glaze cream polish.
  • As an attempt to fix any smudges.
Before I finish, China Glaze and Seche Vite are made by the same company, American International Industries.  ChG FF top coat and Seche Vite are very similiar, I do like them both except Seche Vite has toulene in it.  I'm still working with Seche Vite and will do a review on that soon.

Thoughts, comments?  Please share!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Essence - Blue Ray

Another quicky swatch for the weekend, Essence's Blue Ray.  This polished was released in the Fall of 2011 in limited amounts, it was such a shame because they were a steal at $1.99. Unlike Essence's Colour & Go line the "holografic" bottles are bigger at 10 ml.  I was excited to find Blue Ray on eBay for $5.50. 

The label says its a holographic but really its a duochrome, and a beautiful one at that.  Blue ray shifts from a dark blue to a aqua blue. 

Enjoy the photos and your weekend!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Color Club - Ultra Violet 865

Color Club's Ultra Violet is a vibrant fuchsia polish with aqua blue shimmer, which my camera would not pick up at all.  I took a ton of pictures but I give up.  You can see there is some kind of effect, its not a creme.  Anyhow, the formula is sheer and uber smooth.  Even though its sheer, I achieved full coverage with two coats.

Direct sunlight, tried to catch the blue shimmer, but it still very minimal when compared to the naked eye.

Color club is actually hard for me to find. I got this bottle for $2, at Sunlight nail supply.  I did a review on this supplier, click here for more.

Anyone working on a 4th of July mani? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tony Moly GS10 Pinky Star

I've got another cutesy polish to show you from Tony Moly, called Pinky Star!

Pinky Star is sheer; this is one coat of Pinky Star layered over one coat of China Glaze's Innocence.

Pinky star looks more pink than it really is because of Innocence.  It is actually kind of a peachy sheer.  The glitter color combo is quite unique, purple, yellow and red with small silver and pink glitters.  Sometimes you catch a small flash of iridescence.  Subtle and soft, perfect for work.  I wore this for three days and no one said a word to me.  (A good thing at work.)  It just kind of blended in with my skin tone and the glitters were for my own amusement. 

Pinky Star would be great for a glitter sandwich.  Although I like looking at glitter sandwich manicures, when it comes time for me to do one, I feel sad covering up glitter. :(

I got Tony Moly on eBay from a seller named "myfairlady2007", this time it took 6 business days to get here (US) from Hong Kong.  $7.95 with free shipping.  Not too shabby.

I did a post on another Tony Moly, Shooting Star, click here, in case you missed it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

China Glaze - Ride the Waves

Well, well, well, lookie what we have here.... the new China Glaze Neon collection is out and of course, Sally's has been ransacked.  I tried to get Pink Plumeria, and no such luck.  However, I did snag one jelly from the collection, Ride the Waves.  I love jellies; I love the shine, sheerness and ease of application.  So I'm excited!

In addition, Orly's Flash Glam Fx collection is out.  Why did I not hear about this earlier?!  Apparently there are suppose to be 22 of these amazing glitters to be released and I think 6 of them are out now.  Here is what I pick up at Sally's just a couple of days ago.

L to R: Ride the Waves, Mermaid Tale, Sashay My Way
I haven't had a chance to swatch the glitters but I wanted to post them in case I'm not the only one who's been living under a rock and did not know about Flash Glam....sheesh!  Oh, Orly suggests that you layer these glitters over Liquid Vinyl, their black polish... maybe I will or maybe I won't.

Here's Ride the Waves, a bright royal blue jelly. - Two coats.

Ride the Waves is not like a normal jelly.  It dries kind of dull, and the formula is a bit watery.  Most jellies feel plastic like and go on really smooth and evenly.  Ride the Waves did not.  When I first put this on I did not expect the formula to be watery and I tried to get an even coat on each nail.  Some nails had more paint than others and they all looked different and uneven.  So I had to start all over again and carefully put on two medium coats.   ...Learning curve.

The results are beautiful.  INM Out the Door top coat adds a nice shine with no shrinkage. 

Did you pick up any China Glaze neons?  Or any Flash Glams?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chevron French with Revlon's Red Bikini

Here's my very first chevron french manicure.  I used Orly's Velvet Rope for the tips with plain ol' Scotch tape.  I really loved how this turned out.  Funky frenches are a great way to recycle an old mani by rescuing tip wear. 

How did I do this?  Easy.

Pull about 9-10 inches of Scotch tape and cut them into ten pieces, make sure you cut off the jagged edge from the tear line off so you have a smooth edge.  Place the corner of the tape in the center of the nail, tip facing the edge. 

I know there is very little tip wear here.  After two days, Revlon's quick dry top coat  holds up.

Make sure the edges of the tape are a smooth as possible.  Here you can see it is still not that smooth.  I used a cuticle pusher to smooth mine down.  Pull the tape taut if that doesn't work.  Tape stretches, so just pull. 

If still can't get the tape down smooth and paint seeps underneath, just dip a small brush in acetone, dab on a paper towel and lightly remove the seepage.

Paint the tips.

Pull the tape off right away.  Do not wait for the polish to dry or you might pull off more polish than intended.  Use tweezers to pull the tape if your other hand is wet.

Clean up with a brush and acetone.  Apply top coat.  I used Seche Vite here, because it is such a good leveler, China Glaze's Fastforward top coat is another superior leveler.  The final effect looked as if the purple and red are a seamless layer.  Very smooth and shiny finish. 

The thumb came out perfect, no seepage, and perfect tape placement  Probably because it is my biggest and flattest finger.

There you have it, V French.  I am going to do this again!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

China Glaze - Seduce Me

I have another purple based red to show you, China Glaze's Seduce Me.  Seduce Me is one shade darker than Zoya's Dita.  For some reason, I got a ton of compliments on this one.  For the accent fingers I used Broadway Nail's Diva nail art stickers.  I love these stickers they are so easy to use.  Just place them on the nail and paint a coat of top coat.  Done.  Foolproof!

I used three coats of Seduce Me, the first coat was fine, the second had a bit of cuticle drag and bald spots... I don't know why, but the third coat evened everything out.  I finished with Revlon's quick dry top coat.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nailene Fake Artificial Drugstore French Nails

A few weeks ago I wore a couple of French manicures and was obsessing over smile lines.  Well I was standing in Rite Aid and found myself looking at fake nails.  The last time I wore fake drugstore nails was 18 years ago to my senior prom... I've never have been interested in wearing acrylic or gel nails (the real artificial nails) due to the expensive upkeep and having to frequently visit a nail salon.  Well, I decided to try these out because the smile lines are perfect, and maybe it would make for some interesting blogging material.

Well, I have to say fake drugstore nails have come a long way in almost two decades.  The glue is a lot stronger, the nails are thicker, tapered for a smoother fit, and come in many more designs and sizes then ever before. 

My real nails are longer than the nails the kit came with, especially the ring and pinky fingers. 
The cuticle end is nicely tapered, which provided a smooth fit.

After three days of wear.  Not too bad.

I thought these would be eaiser to apply than painting my own nails, but actually this took me a total of 50 minutes to do, longer than I expected.  Well, this was my first time, so I was new to selecting the right size, lining them all up, applying glue and setting the nails.  Well a plain natural nail manicure is eaiser for me to do than putting these on, but putting on fake nails is easier and faster for me to do than nail art. 

It is recommended that you trim your nails down before you start.  I did not, so some of the nails did not fit as intended.  Also, it is recommened that these should not be worn for more than 7 days.  I did not think these would last 7 days, because 18 years ago, fake drugstore nails would last for me a maximum of two days, if even.  They used to pop off by themselves and the remaining glue was easily chipped off.  I used to pry the remaining nails off without much effort or pain.  Well, today this is not possible.  I wore these Nailene fake nails for a full three days and they were not going to come off.  The glue was solid and there was no way I could pry them off without doing some serious damage.  I had a little bit of tip wear at the end of three days.  Otherwise these nails were durable and strong.

Cell phone picture, actually came out better than my regular pictures.

I decided to take them off after three days because they felt really thick and heavy and I started to get worried about fungal growth underneath because the I did not have a full water tight seal.  Water did get trapped under the fake nails and would just sit there.  Also as a precaution I did not cook or eat any finger foods with my hands while I was wearing these nails.  Fork, spoon, knife for everything!  I did not want any food particles trapped under the nail either.  So gross!

See the gap?  Water and debis can get caught in here.  My left had a better fit and looked more like my pinky finger.

I removed my fake drugstore nails with Kiss artifical nail remover kit.  The kit comes with a useless wooden pick, a file and remover.  The package instructs you to cut down the fake nail, but I did not because my real nails were underneath.  Removal is kind of a pain, it is done by mechanical and chemical means. So I buffed the tops of the nails with the coarse grit side to break down the top coat, and then soak the nails in the remover.  The sides of the container have teeth so you can brush your nails against them to help speed the removal process.  The fake nails started to break down right away.  After two minutes of soaking, I started to scrub for three and then I got tired.  So I did the other hand, and alternated hands until the fake nails were all gone.  I still had some residual glue and small pieces of nails that I scrapped off with the wooden pick and used the fine grit side of the file to file away left over glue.  The total process took me a total of 20 minutes, 10 minutes per hand.


See the little teeth/brushes?  Great to remove glitter!

TIP:  I have to add, I used the Kiss kit to remove some glitter polish on my natural nails and it worked really well.  

Lastly, since there was some lemon extract and orange oil, (I could smell the citrus) so the Kiss kit's acetone is not drying.  I'm really glad I got this kit to remove my fake nails or else I would have had to use pure acetone without a brushy container, and that would have been really drying and taken much much longer. 

Thoughts?  Has anyone tried this?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Revlon Red Bikini by Gucci Westman

I've got another quickie swatch for you today; Revlon's Red Bikini from the Summer Escapism 2012 Collection by Gucci Westman.

Wowee, is this a bright red orange or what?  Red Bikini is a highly pigmented creme polish which could have been a one coater, but this is two super easy coats.  Perfect formula from Revlon.

GORGEOUS for summer.  I don't know if I captured it, but there's a certain crisp-ness and boldness to this polish, I tried photographing it with other bottles.  I think the second picture shows it off the best.

I've been seeing this color, it seems, everywhere this year.  Its probably very close to this year's Pantone color of the year Tangerine Tango.  According to the article this color signifies what what the world needs right now, "courage and action" in a time of financial uncertainty.

Thoughts and insights?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Orly - Bailamos

Hi there! 

Today I have another quickie swatch to show you, Orly's Bailamos.  We dance, yes, well, this shimmery aqua polish does remind me of dancing waters.  Bailamos is such a perfect summer color for the beach, or where-ever you may be this weekend, hopefully some place nice. 

Two super easy coats.  Excellent formula from Orly!  Bailamos is from a summer 2010 collection, but is in regular stock at Sally's Beauty.  Love it!

I leave you with some Enrique Iglesias.  Such a HOTTIE!

Free Enrique+Iglesias+enrique.jpg phone wallpaper by natah
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos

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