Monday, October 31, 2011

Zoya Cheryl with Art Deco inspired nail art

The rich brown sparkle of Zoya Cheryl makes me think of elegant dark wood furniture in Art Deco styles. That's what inspired this experiment in nail art, which is not particularly good but why not show it to you anyway? I used a striping brush and Cover Girl Bronze Beauty.

And here is each polish on its own:

Zoya Cheryl is another one of Zoya's gorgeous glass-fleck sparkles. It takes two coats for opacity and applies easily. Cover Girl Bronze Beauty is also opaque in two coats, and gives no trouble with application. It's a sort of pale gold with coppery bronze flecks which give the shade complexity.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Orly Sugar is a golden, sweet topping

Just one coat of Orly Sugar gives you a dense but delicate layer of tiny golden flakes. This polish is perfect for adding golden sparkles to any color you want. I added Sugar to my William Tell Me About OPI manicure.

I purchased this bottle several years ago at the beginning of my nail polish obsession. Since it has a black rather than silver cap, I think that indicates it as an old non-B3Free formula. I don't know if this polish was limited edition, or if Orly reformulated it and added it to their permanent line. There might be a CND Effects topcoat that would be similar, though I don't own any myself for comparison.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

OPI William Tell Me About OPI

My manicure today is this super dark, vampy red from the Fall 2010 Swiss Collection. William Tell Me About OPI basically looks black in low lighting, but if you were to hold your nails up to something actually black, you would see a difference.

The formula for this color is quite nice, and I had no trouble controlling the application. Two coats gave opaque coverage. These pictures are without topcoat, so you can see the finish is very glossy even on its own. I think this color has a very rich, luxurious feel.

Friday, October 28, 2011

OPI Red is actually pretty great!

You could say OPI is notorious for making too many reds. Sometimes it seems like half their seasonal collection is variations on the shade. (Although very recently they have been laying off the excess reds.) I understand why they make red, it's THE classic shade for nail polish and I'm sure it sells better than any other color besides sheer pink. I think OPI considers red to be somewhat of a brand signature, and I have to give them credit for doing a very good job with their extravagant array of red polishes. And if red is their signature color, OPI Red must be their signature red. It looks boring in the bottle, but once it was on my nails it really started to win me over.

I started to warm to this color when I was applying the first coat. This polish really almost applies itself. It flows easily and absolutely refuses to be anything but perfect and streak-free. It's not quite opaque enough in one coat, otherwise you would not need to apply a second one at all. In addition, it dried quickly. It has a hidden shimmer that you can just see when it catches the sunlight. This shade is well balanced between warm and cool tones. Given how easily it applies and how quickly it dries, OPI Red is the most convenient red I've ever tried. It also looks pretty classy, too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Essie Splash of Grenadine for Pink Wednesday

Hello everyone! If you just found my blog through Vampy Varnish, welcome! I hope you'll stop by again soon. =)

For Pink Wednesday here's Essie Splash of Grenadine. It's a pink creme with a dash of lavender to it, so it leans very cool.

The formula is a teeny bit tricky, but not too bad. It does require three coats for even coverage. I didn't experience any trouble with cuticle drag. This is a very girly pink in my opinion, although most pinks are I suppose!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zoya Sarah

In my opinion, Zoya makes the best shimmer/sparkle finish nail polishes available. I normally prefer creme finish to the average shimmer, but Zoya's shimmer is special. All the little flecks give the finish an extra depth and complexity that most shimmer doesn't have. Zoya Sarah has this type of fantastic shimmer:

This red seems to simultaneously lean warm and cool, although more cool. The formula was easy to apply and totally opaque in two coats. Sarah is available for $8 at Zoya's website. You can get free shipping with the code SHIP2ME through 10/26!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nubar Faded Jeans VS OPI What's With The Cattitude?

I am so done with being sick; I really miss blogging! Tonight I had enough energy to swatch Nubar Faded Jeans and compare it to OPI What's With The Cattitude? First here's Nubar Faded Jeans on its own:

Faded Jeans is a pretty pastel blue with a very subtle pearly shimmer. It's perfect in three coats, and though it's a pastel the application is quite smooth and easy. They did a very nice job on the formula. This is the Nubar Jeans version of Chanel Coco Blue, but unfortunately I don't have that one to compare it to. I can, however, compare it to OPI What's With The Cattitude?, a pale blue creme.

Index & ring: Nubar Faded Jeans. Middle and pinky: OPI What's With The Cattitude?

The most obvious difference is that Cattitude is a creme without the subtle shimmer that Faded Jeans has. Cattitude is also just half a shade lighter. It also requires three coats and is pleasantly easy to apply for a pastel.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nubar Boyfriend Jeans

First, I apologize for the lack of content lately! I've been sick and haven't had enough energy to do fun things like painting my nails. I should be feeling better soon.

Nubar Boyfriend Jeans has been my manicure for the past several days. The Jeans collection are the first Nubar polishes I've owned, and I'm very happy with them. They have a great brush. It's flat-ish but not a huge mop. It's just right.

The formula for Boyfriend Jeans is just like Dark Wash Jeans: smooth and a tiny bit thick, but not in a goopy way. The texture makes it easy to apply and it's perfectly glossy and opaque in two coats. Basically, it's perfect! Are all of Nubar's cremes this wonderful? I sincerely look forward to finding out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Nubar Dark Wash Jeans VS Chanel Blue Rebel

Hello! I got my Nubar Jeans in the mail yesterday and I couldn't wait to get a comparison shot for you all. I only purchased one of the Les Jeans De Chanel polishes. Here is Chanel Blue Rebel in comparison to Nubar Dark Wash Jeans. Blue Rebel is on the index and ring fingers, and Dark Wash is on the middle and pinky fingers.

As you can see, they are incredibly similar. You might not even be able to tell the difference from the picture. Chanel Blue Rebel is just a hair lighter, but that is the only discernible difference. The texture and application of the Nubar polish is almost identical to the Chanel. They both need two easy coats to be opaque, and have a hint of gooey viscosity to their texture that makes them easy to control and apply.

Here's Nubar Dark Wash Jeans on its own:

Please try to ignore my hot pink sweater being reflected in these pictures! I should have worn a more neutral piece of clothing while I was swatching. =p

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pink Wednesday: Zoya Gilda

It's still Wednesday, right? I still have time to get in on this week's Pink Wednesday!

This is Zoya Gilda, from the gorgeous Sparkle collection. It's an awesome bright pink, full of glass fleck sparkles. After three coats there's still a little visible nail line, but the color and the sparkle easily distract from it.

Isn't that sparkle just beautiful?

Sally Hansen Nasturtium

I'm back! I promise to start catching up on everything today.

This is another vintage Sally Hansen in the wonderful square bottle. Nasturtium came out with the Spring 2009 collection, but it's a color that goes well with the current New England landscape. It's an interesting shade of orange that has a suggestion of pink to it. The formula applies beautifully and was perfect in two coats.

Here's one of the great views I got to enjoy this weekend. (Click on it for the full-sized picture.)

That's a yak grazing down in the field!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Revlon Facets of Fuchsia

Just a quick post! Here's Revlon Facets of Fuchsia. I used three coats and it was easy to apply. This polish looks about the same whether photographed in the sun or the shade. It looks a little bumpy here as I don't have a topcoat on. This is a girly pink glitter, but since it's in a black jelly base it has a bit of a glam rock feel.

I thought I'd have time for a longer post today, but I'm getting ready for a camping trip and of course preparations took longer than I imagined! I'll be away for Saturday and Sunday, but I should be back Monday night. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend! Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians! =)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Color Club Electronica

Color Club Electronica was part of the Dance To The Musique collection from Fall 2008. It's a vibrant, blue-based purple with magenta shimmer. It's a girly combo of pink and purple, but the deep saturation gives it some edge.

Electronica is easy to apply and is opaque in two coats.

And a quick thank you to Laura of Clothes, Cosmetics and Chat! She gave me a blog award today, which I will do a proper job of accepting tomorrow. (You can see more award winners on her blog, too. Definitely worth checking out!) So if you're here because you saw the link on her blog, welcome! And thank you again, Laura, you made me feel warm and fuzzy today. =)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Falling Autumn Leaves — Zoya Jem with Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

This is a gorgeous combination. If you have Zoya Jem, I highly recommend layering a flaky polish on top. This combination makes me think of eating cider donuts and drinking hot apple cider. I took way too many pictures because it looks amazing from every angle.

Doesn't this remind you of Fall in New England?

Pink Wednesday — OPI Aphrodite's Pink Nightie

Here's another classic OPI shade for Pink Wednesday: Aphrodite's Pink Nightie. It's a cool toned pink shimmer. It's leaning toward the frosty end, and it can be a little tricky to apply with the brush strokes. They're not too bad, though. They look more obvious in pictures than they do in real life. I believe this swatch was three thin coats, though I could've gotten away with just two.

Finally, I just want to say thank you to everyone for reading, following and commenting! In the past month I have been discovering so many great nail blogs and meeting so many lovely people. The community of nail bloggers has been so welcoming. I'm having a lot of fun on our little corner of the internet! =)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nostalgia — Sally Hansen The Good Earth

Remember the old line of Sally Hansen Salon polishes? In the spring and the fall they would come out with six colors inspired by that season's fashions. They came in these great square bottles with a rubberized cap. For some reason, I just really love the way these old square bottles look. I know I bought colors that I might not have been interested in otherwise, simply because I think polish looks so good in this kind of bottle. There's plenty of colors in the new line that I like, but I never wind up getting them because the bottles are so ugly.

The Good Earth was from the Fall 2008 collaboration with designer Tracy Reese. There were so many good colors in that collection, now I wish I'd gotten all of them. It's a rich, dark, chocolate brown with very subtle gold shimmer.

The formula is lovely. I did three coats, but you could certainly get away with just two. The brush is a traditional round brush, and much easier to use than the gigantic mops of the new line. (Did I mention how much better the old line was??) The rubbery cap is just perfect for precise control of application. Why do they always discontinue the products that were so perfect?

Monday, October 3, 2011

French Manicure with Revlon Starry Pink

Revlon Starry Pink is a milky, cool toned pink with silver glitter. The formula is packed with small round and medium sized hex glitter. Three to four coats gives you an opaque look, but I thought this would be a fun polish to use for a French manicure. I painted two coats of Starry Pink over one coat of Misa Heaven White on the tips.

And here's a plain swatch using three coats:

The formula is easy to use, and I didn't have any trouble with streaking. I found this polish along with Revlon Facets of Fuchsia in a seasonal display at CVS.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wet n Wild Teal of Fortune

Teal of Fortune is the other Wet n Wild polish I picked up last week in CVS. It's a gorgeous glass fleck shimmer, very similar to (and possibly a dupe for) Zoya Charla and OPI Catch Me In Your Net. It's part of the permanent line so you should be able to find it in any Wet n Wild display.

I used three coats. You can see the nail line is still slightly visible in certain lighting conditions, but it's not likely anyone will notice. Instead, they'll be distracted by the saturated, shimmery color!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Acetone

Today I have a more wordy post for you! I want to talk about acetone, and hopefully clear up any misconceptions people might have about it. To keep this fun, I've included two pictures of my little cat, Mini. She's supposed to be an indoor cat, but lately she has been slipping out the door at every opportunity. She only runs for about 5 feet, though. As soon as she reaches the lawn, she starts chowing down.

Now you're in the mood to read about acetone, yes?

Many people are under the false impression that "acetone free" or "non-acetone" polish remover is somehow safer or better for your nails. This just isn't true. Acetone is an extremely safe and effective solvent when used properly. It's just as safe as any other type of nail polish remover. Acetone is used safely in much (MUCH!) larger quantities by other industries. You will not become overexposed to acetone by using the small amounts needed for manicures.

Just follow these easy rules:

· Use it in a well-ventilated room. Don't huff it!
· It's not intended for consumption. Don't do shots!
· It's flammable. Don't do your nails by romantic candlelight!

Is it bad for your skin?

Some people notice that their skin turns white where acetone comes in contact with it. This may look disturbing, but it's not a sign of damage or any other problem. Acetone is just temporarily dehydrating, which is a quality that makes it great for preparing the nail plate for a manicure. There's no need to worry about it as your skin will naturally restore its moisture levels within about 30 minutes. Just dab on a little cuticle oil after you finish polishing, and you're good as new.

Non-acetone/acetone free polish remover is actually MORE drying for your skin, simply because it's a less effective solvent. It works more slowly so you have to use more of it for a longer amount of time. This means you spend more time in contact with it and are exposed to more of it. Unless you are actually allergic to acetone, there's no need to avoid it.

I believe the main source of confusion about the safety of acetone comes from the marketing attached to non-acetone removers. These removers are usually made from either methyl ethyl ketone or ethyl acetate, but the main phrase advertised on the bottle is "acetone free". Without actually lying to us, those words imply that acetone is something we should avoid. So don't fall for this marketing trick; if you want to use acetone remover, then go right ahead!

Source: Nail Structure and Product Chemistry by Douglas D.Schoon

Mini enjoys a fresh salad.