Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Top Polish Picks Pt. 1 (picture heavy)

Like I said, I've always been a polish hoarder.  My polish hoarding really began in the summer of 2010 then I discovered various nail blogs then my collection exploded.  In 2011, I think I've bought a little from every major polish release. 

I have 5 swatched thus far so here's the first half.  Mind you these polishes are all equally great.  I'll post them in no hierarchical order as well as feature some ways I've worn them throughout the year.  Sorry if it seems Zoya heavy, it's my go-to brand at the moment.

Zoya Kieko from the Summertime release. It's a lovely red-purple plum cream, this is 2-coats with no top coat.  

A purple half-moon mani I did for a Youtube nail art contest (click to see).

Stamped with BM14.  Taken with my old crappy camera. 

China Glaze White Cap from the spring Anchor's Away collection.  A sheer gold shimmer polish.  I'm not sure how many coats until full capacity if worn alone.  Seen here layered over Kieko.  This is 1-coat.  It's a very concentrated gold shimmer.  More than one coat then it's too heavy.  It's another one of my go-to polishes.  It's great for when you want to refresh your mani without completely changing it.  

Chanel Peridot - I talked about it my first post.  One of my favorites from 2011.  Very intense metallic olive gold duochrome.  The freaky color of cats' eyes.  I wore this to a outdoor night concert, no one noticed.  :)  If you like greens, definitely pick this up.  Though the price tag can be off-putting.  I'm sure it will be duped in the future by a less-expensive brand. 

(here it looks purple)
Zoya Caitlin  from the spring Intimate Collection. It's a grey-purple, grurple? I wore this to a corp. dinner and it wowed my colleagues! I wear this to most to the office because the majority of my office clothes consist of grey, black or white.

(here it looks grey) 

Here's my grey cat (Buddy) with a purple ID tag.  You can see the purple in Caitlin.  Please ignore the shoe rack in the background.  I live in the world's smallest apartment portable storage unit (click to see).

I'm sorry I'm going to have to pick another purple.

Wet n Wild  Back Alley Deals from the Ice Baby Collection.  I'm happy that I was able to find all the glitters in this collection!  I love the purple microglitter with the magenta circle glitter.  It shined intensely; something my cheap compact camera can't pick up.  I just really love purple.  Oddly, I own no purple clothing but make up for it in polish. 

Okay there's my first half of my top 10 picks from 2011.   I feel like I bought so many polishes this year; I have no room left for any 2012 releases!  

Thanks for reading! I hope to swatch and photograph the remaining five! 

New Year's eve manicure

I thought I'd show my New Year's eve manicure.  Sadly, I don't plan on going out tonight.   My boyfriend is still stationed overseas and I don't like being out at night especially the holidays.  People are jerks in the bars and jerks on the roads and jerks at the train station.

Actually this manicure is dedicated to my star book bag that I lost a few days ago... :(

I painted the black tips with regular WnW Black Creme.  The silver stripe is from a striper polish.  The stars are stamped from Konad plate M3 and stamped with s/p black that the white is stamped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind white.  

I saw Rebecca's (Rebecca Likes Nails) stamp tests with this brand and I picked up a couple for buy one get one half off at CVS.  They are a little too expensive for a drug store brand but they go on sale often.  It looks exactly like the s/p white. I can do a stamp comparison later. 

My right hand. I stamped the silver stars with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep.  It stamped very well.  I needed a new chrome silver because my bottle of China Glaze's Millennium is running low.  

I wanted to make a new profile pict. It kinda works.  I had to airbrush out the green glitter that was stuck on my camera. 

Well I have half of my top 2011 polishes swatched. I think it will get posted in 2012. 

Happy new year everyone! I appreciate everyone who reads my posts! Please stay tuned in 2012 I have a lot of mani ideas I'd like to accomplish.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rihanna "You da one" nails + tutorial

I am currently trying to swatch some of my top polish picks from 2011.  I have previous photos but they are unusable.  Here's a quick tutorial I did where I show how to replicate Rihanna's nails from her latest music video "You da one."  I know it's rather easy but I felt it might help someone who'd like to try it but didn't know where to start.

(Click to see video. Nail shots are within the first 10 secs.)
(Painted my thumb b/c I didn't want to remove my snowmen!)

(Matte look with Essie's Matte About You. I think matte would look cooler.)

Whether or not you like Rihanna but if you're familiar with her, she has some really cool nails and style.  I know other nail bloggers have commented on them.  *sigh* Wouldn't it be nice to have your own personal manicurist?!

Thanks for reading.

Also, I sat and brainstormed some Valentines day manicure ideas.  If you have any input, please let me know! I plan to film them as tutorials.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Goofy angry snowmen

Remember when I said I had more in store for Lemon Fizz?  I got an idea to paint some angry snowmen.  Here's the result:

Well, the snowman on my ring finger is angry.  The guy on my pinkie is mildly frustrated.  Do you like his Santa hat?   The other two are emotionless.  My fav. snowman here is on my middle finger.  The ring finger snowman is a custom painted nail sticker (where you paint on a sandwich bag and peel it off).  More info here.  My thumbs are supposed to be dirty yellow snow. Ewww! 

My right hand. The index, mid, and ring finger were custom painted nail stickers.  The pinkie was the last one I painted free hand with my left hand (I'm right handed). He turned out the best. 

I like my goofy snowmen.  I'm going to wear these for a couple of days.  I worked really hard on them.  Not the best snowmen nails out there but this was my first second try at freehand nail art.  I used regular polish in my stash and made the lines and dots with a dotting tool, a detail brush and toothpicks. 

I really respect those who can do freehand nail art really well!  I'd like to check out getting some acrylic nail paint. 

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone had a good holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

NOTD: China Glaze's Lemon Fizz

Today, I'm wearing Lemon Fizz from the Up & Away collection that was released a couple of years ago.  This is my first time ever wearing yellow nail polish as a full manicure.  It's nice.  It's reminds me of spring. I want spring to come!

(3-coats with top coat)

(I'm holding my EOS in Lemon Drop. Best flavor in my opinion!)

(Here I'm holding an actual lemon.  I use to these to combat staining!)
Application was a little streaky.  This took 3-coats and was slow drying but I didn't use a coat of quick dry top coat which would have helped.  This dried really shiny but I woke up with sheet marks so I added a top coat.  

Oddly, when I was a tween (back in the dinosaur ages) there were no yellow nail polishes.  I had to mix yellow food dye with white when I needed a yellow for rainbow nail art!  It amazes me the availability of colors in drugstores now because there were mainly reds, pinks and frosts available back in the day...

Also, I have further plans for this mani. Please stay tuned. 

Thanks for reading and happy holidays! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Holiday Nails?!?!

Yup, I'm going to do Christmas nails until the end.  Last year, I didn't get to do any holiday themed nails so this year I'm going all out!  I'm trying to get the most out of the reds and greens in my collection.

Here's my latest creation:

(I had a revelation about how to better light my photos! Eureka!)
Zoya Apple - this is from the Sunshine summer collection. It's sat untried until now. :( I'd like to swatch those and post them as my top polishes for 2011.  Apple is a  green-yellow glass flecked polish with gold shimmer.  It's the exact color of the little green lizards I so very much adore.  The red is Sally Hansen's Red Carpet and the sponging is with SH White On.  

I stamped the mistletoe design from BM14 in Konad s/p red to make it a poinsettia design.  The dots were made with a dotting tool.  The blobs on my ring finger are a failed star stamp from a fauxnad plate.  The designs are etched too small and shallow. None picked up. Oh well...

(White Poinsettia)

My right hand. Stamping always turns out better on my right hand for some reason. 

On a side note, I'd like to thank my right thumb nail for getting her act together and stopped peeling and breaking! It only took 4 months to grow out. **thanks silk wraps**

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zoya Gems Rina plus plaid nails tutorial

Here I'll try to keep this quick...

This is the other Zoya Gems I bought.  This is Rina.  I didn't buy Twila but I almost did today but resisted the urge to polish hoard.

(In regular indoor lighting)

I layered this over Zoya Shawn. You can see it poking through. Whoops!

Rina is a sparkily green with small green micro glitter, fine bar glitter and fine holo glitter.  My Boss called this color dragon scales. That's pretty accurate. **note to self - add Trogdor inspired mani to my to do list.

I decided to add some stripes to make a plaid gift wrap design and added some rhinestones. 

I don't know why my fingers look like frozen death here. 

I had the most disastrous mani night ever. I want to try to put these plaid nails behind me.  I'll wear this tomorrow and that's it.  

Here's the corresponding video tutorial: 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I ventured out on a cold windy rainy night...

The path was laid out before me.  My goal was resolute.  My umbrella broken.  I needed to get to Sephora and Lush.  I battled the masses and dodged large puddles of water.  I own no rain boots.  I needed new shampoo and the new Nails, Inc. Magnetic polish.  I chose Trafalgar Square.

I got home and was eager to try it.  My first attempt was unsuccessful; I painted over my folly and this is was the result. 

The more I looked at it...

The more I didn't like it... :( fail.  

I promptly removed this.  Too exhausted from my adventure, too tired to polish, I wore nekkid nails the next day. Oh the horror!

I've been wanting to try magnetic polish ever since seeing it on Tartofraises's Youtube Channel.   Her videos are in French but her videos are easy to follow along if you don't know French.  I was so excited to hear that Nails, Inc. magnetic polishes were available at Sephora.  

How to apply: 
  • Paint one coat of the magnetic polish and let dry.  Or to save on polish paint one coat of black. 
  • Paint one coat of of magnetic polish and rest the magnet over your nail while it's still wet. The magnet is in the cap with a curved lip to rest your cuticle on. (not photographed).
  • Repeat on all nails one at a time.  Let dry. 
  • Add a top coat. 

My first attempt, I touched the magnet to my nail and dinged it.   Luckily, you can paint over it again and redo it without taking it off.  It streaked when I added a top coat so I don't know if I didn't wait long enough or if it's better to not use a top coat.  I felt like the magnet wasn't long enough and I couldn't get the design on my whole nail or I wasn't doing it right. Plus I had my heater on and I think the polish dried too quickly before the magnet could do its work.  I'd like to try this again to see if I can get it right. 

What I didn't like?  I didn't like the line design with the silver and black.  It looked like this on my nails.  I wish they sold the star magnet separately.  I was looking to buy one on Ebay.  Stars on my nails are a good thing. 

Yes, the effect is amazing.  It reminds me of the intricate melted glass design inside marbles.  You have to see it in person.  Sephora has these out as testers if you're willing to demo grubby tester polish that everyone else has tested.  Women that do full on manicures in Sephora with tester polishes really bother me!  Gross!

Yes, these polishes are expensive ($16 USD + tax) but you get a pretty cool effect and the magnet is in the lid.  The magnet is not included with other magnetic polishes.  Also, this bottle is full sized and with other brands the bottle is half sized or mini. 

These are still available in Sephora stores and  

What do you think of magnetic nail polish?  Have you tried any?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Zoya Gems Holiday Collection: Kissy

I have two of the holiday glitters released from Zoya and one to show today.  I ordered these in September and they were backordered.  Apparently, the fairies over at the polish workshop had run out of glitter!  So my Zoya Gems were fresh off the express line.  I have Kissy swatched.  This is 2-coats.

(photographed in indirect sunlight)

(photographed in indirect sunlight)
Kissy - a mix of red micro glitter with fuschia fine bar glitter and fine holo bar glitter in a clear base.  The mix of glitter makes it red-purple-magenta with holo goodness.  I was afraid this would look too pink but it's not.  Doesn't it look like a party on your nails?  Also, very nice for a pedi!

I wish Zoya would make a polish that's all fine holo bar glitter!

The application was smooth and the glitter was dense enough to easily build layers to full opacity.   Dry time was awesome.  As with all glitter, this was gritty and smoothed out with top coat.  Again, I used the foil method for removal.

Did you pick up any of the Zoya holiday polishes?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wet n Wild ColorIcon Ice Baby collection: Swatches & Review pt. 1

I have a few of the Wet n' Wild glitter polishes from the limited edition Ice Baby collection.  I have two more to swatch and photograph.  I waited too long to decide to get these and I was unable to get Diamond in the Rough.  I don't normally wear glitters but these are pretty awesome.  These are all photographed under an artificial light, there's no sun where I live anyway.

Back Alley Deals - purple micro glitter with magenta circle glitter. I really liked this color combination. I'm a sucker for red-purples.  It gets bonus points from me for having a rather non-PC name.  Also, this is a dupe for Nails Inc. Bloomsbury Square, (here.)  Though I can't verify in person but looking at the testers in Sephora; they're exactly the same color.  If you love purple and weren't able to get this one definitely pick-up the more expensive Nails Inc. version.  The color itself is worth the few extra dollars.

Cost is No Issue - an aqua teal micro glitter with darker blue/teal circle glitter.  I don't normally like teals but this insanely sparkled and an overall lovely color.  Yes, Cost is No Issue when it comes to polish hoarding!  Also this is similar to Nails Inc. Fitzroy Square.

(photographed in partial sun)

24 Carats - gold micro glitter with gold and copper bar glitter. WOW!  Another color I wouldn't normally wear is gold!  Insanely blingy glittery haystacks!  I like the fact that it has bar glitter in it.  Way back when, in the late-90s, bar glitter was really popular.  I'd wear it on my face and nails.  I hope to see more bar glitter in 2012. 

It's All in the Cut - a lavender micro glitter with pink circle holo glitter. I couldn't get this to capture for the life of me.  To be honest, I didn't like wearing this one.  I feel it's a little out of season.  Lavender purples belong more in springy-Easter season.  This would be good for an Easter egg mani.  Also, the holo flash was dulled with top coat.  

(photographed in partial sun)

Rockin' Rubies - a rich red micro glitter with circle holo glitter.  Sadly, my love for wearing red on my tips has waned and I stopped wearing red.  For awhile there, I'd only wear reds/burgundy.  However, the red glitter is so rich and festive, I loved wearing it.  This color may have restored my faith in wearing red again.  

Overall, I felt these applied very well and weren't goopy or sticky like most glitters.  I really liked these colors even though I don't wear glitters.  These were opaque in 2-3 coats and dry time was normal.  These dry matte and gritty and will eat top coat.  I used 2-coats of Poshe Quick dry top coat to smooth things out.  However, be careful with Poshe because it can cause shrinkage and it's not advised to have the heater running whilst doing nails.  Also, as with all glitters, removal can be a pain.  I used the foil method and was no worse for wear.

Availability?  These were a limited edition Walgreens exclusive.  I saw them in a display and turned around then they were GONE!  I trekked to 5 different Walgreens to try to find them and found most of them at some obscure location.

What do you think of these glitters?  Were you able to get these before they sold out?

Monday, December 12, 2011

NOTD: Zoya Yara + BM20

I felt like it was fall for only a moment then it was winter.  I didn't get wear any of the fall shades that were released.  Here I'm wearing Zoya's Yara from the Mirrors Collection.  I only have two total from that collection.  Yara is a dark army olive green with gold shimmer.

Taken with flash

Under artificial lamp. You can really see the gold shimmer here.
I then decided to do some stamping with BM20 using the vine leafy design.  I stamped with China Glaze's 2030.

I think this combination is very festive.  It reminds me of gift wrap or ribbons.
What do you think of this combo?  Did you get any colors from the Smoke and Mirrors collection?

 BTW, I also took some length down.  I'd like to grow my nails as long as possible but I get paranoid about breaks and hack them down.  The plus side to shorter nails is getting to wear the smaller BundleMonster stamps! Thanks for reading.