Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sometimes to win, you gotta play to lose!

The OPI Nails 4 Life contest ended recently and the 4 winners were announced. Unfortunately, I did not win. However, I'd like to thank those who voted for me. It really meant a lot.

Here's some other nail art entries that did not make the cut!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Glitter Gal 3D Silver Holo Swatches, Review plus Silver Holo Comps

I ordered Glitter Gal 3D Silver Holo a couple of weeks ago when I saw various swatches pop up all over the blogosphere. I chose the silver holo due to the fact it can be layered over any polish to create the holo effect for that color.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Icing Magnetix polishes: swatches and review

I picked up 3 out of the 4 Icing magnetic polishes after I heard about them on my FB Page.  Icing is a jewelry, makeup and polish boutique at the mall.  It's geared towards tweens and teens and is the sister store to Claire's.  They offer a great variety of polishes at a discount price!

Friday, January 27, 2012

NOTD: Illamasqua's Vice, What's your vice?

Someone's vice can take the form of many things whether it be booze, smokes, sweets...whateves.  Now, I wouldn't call collecting nail polish a vice though a color called Vice is rather appropriately named...donchathink?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Love Your Blog Award!

Holly from over at Hooked!  was kind enough to nominate me for the I Love Your Blog Award!  Please be sure to check her lovely blog as well!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine's Day Manicure + video tutorial

Here's a quick Valentine's day manicure inspired from conversation hearts candies.  I painted my nails with alternating pastel colors and mattified them using Essie's Matte About You to replicate the chalkiness of the candies.  The "Love" stamp is from BM09.  The box of candies was ¢.59!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ms. Lizard's Valentine's Day Giveaway is now CLOSED!

The winner, Roro, was announced earlier on my Facebook page!

Here's a screen grab from the Random Number Generator:

Here's the screengrab from the Excel sheet:

Names compiled on my list the order in which they "liked."  Names blanked out for confidentiality.  

Thank you, Roro and everyone! You are the best! Please stay tuned! I have a lot more to share! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

NOTD: Chanel Graphite plus rockin' shorties!

It's so nice to find a nice color to wear after a nail hack!  This is Chanel Graphite from the 2011 fall collection.  It was in the same release as Peridot.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm half the Lizard I used to be...

Sorry, STP reference.  I was up late swatching.  I decided to file, then file, then file some more!  It was 2am. This hasn't been the first time I've done this or second or the last. Don't know how many late night nail chops/file downs I've done.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Navy Holo Franken recipe

Frankening, if you are unaware, is a means of custom mixing nail polish to create a new polish color or try to copy an existing or discontinued color (or a frankendupe).  Franken comes from Frankenstein.  Frankens are also called Frankenpolishes.

I'm going to show you how to "frankendupe" a navy holo similar to the discontinued OPI DS Glamour.  A really rare and highly sought after navy blue polish with a linear holographic effect. I think it was released in 2007.  Also, this is NOT my recipe.

Flash Promo Friday! Valentine's Day giveaway

I picked up a few goodies to give away as a token of my appreciation for all my lovely followers!

Who doesn't want their nails to look fabulous for Valentine's Day?  Whether you're having a romantic outing or a single-ladies night out on the town, please enter this Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nail Breaks break Hearts & how I recovered with Qtica NNGS

I wrote about Qtica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator (NNGS) in my Essentials list.  I've used this to help strengthen my nails and allowed me to grow them to the length you see in my swatches.

Mind you, my nails were far from perfect! I had weak thin peeling nubs for several years.  I made pact with myself to research the products and care routine to grow my nails out.  I will write more about how I ended peeling, breaking and overall nail SUCKAGE!

2012's Most Swoon-Worthy Nail Polish Trends

I have partnered up with Holly over at Hooked! and some other lovely nail bloggers to talk about the 2012 nail polish trends for Spring listed on Refinery 29.  We're not necessarily talking about the upcoming releases; however, this is our interpretation of the trends listed using polishes from our own collection.  These polishes are readily available and can be found at most retailers.  I was asked to talk about Pistachio green and glitter mix.

China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint

The closest pistachio color I have in my stash is China Glaze's Re-Fresh Mint.  An oldie but a goodie!  It's from the 2010 Up and Away release. The application was a little streaky and it took 3-coats for full capacity. I used a coat of topcoat to smooth it out.  If you have a chance, please pick up this amazing polish.  I'm glad to see soft greens making a come back this season. 

The glitter I chose is NYX Girls Spot Light. A holo hex glitter with small holographic glitter in a clear base.  This is 1-coat with top coat.  I've layered it over Wet N' Wild's Disturbia because glitter such as this are meant for layering.  It's a dupe for China Glaze's Techno (featured in the article) which will be re-released with the upcoming ElectroPop collection.  I found this polish on an old dusty hunt and it had completely thickened.  I restored it with one drop of polish restore and a good shake!  Good as new!

As always to prevent nail damage, please use the foil method for glitter removal. 

Also, please be sure to read and follow the other awesome bloggers who participated: 

Nails like Lace http://nailsbyscarslikelace.blogspot.com/ Tangerine
Pretty Purple http://www.prettypurplepolish.com/ The New Blues
Art Evolve http://artevolve.blogspot.com/ Sophisticated Pastels
Polish Obsession http://marijonails.blogspot.com/ Fierce Fuschia
Polish & Charms http://polishandcharms.blogspot.com/ Modern Neon

Thanks for reading! 

Which trends are you looking forward to this Spring?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why the black square, Ms. Lizard? Pls help stop SOPA/PIPA!

As an act of solidarity, Nails by Ms. Lizard has gone dark today in protest of the anti-piracy bills (SOPA and PIPA) making their way through congress.  They're worded in such a way that would allow internet censorship.  If such bills pass, bloggers like me could be shut down without warning, no questions asked. 

As if you couldn’t tell already, I put a lot of work into my sites to share my nail knowledge with you.  The LAST thing I need to is to be shut down taken off the web forever.  

Please take a moment to sign the internet petitions and contact congress to take a stance against internet censorship.  

Thank you,

Ms. Lizard

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Re-Post: Nails 4 Life Nicki Minaj Nail art contest

Please help this Lizard finally win a nail art contest.  Voting for the Nails 4 Life Nicki Minaj Facebook nail art contest opens today.  You can vote once a day until 1/23.  The top 4 winners get her complete set of OPI polishes and an autographed copy of her album.  You have to be logged onto Facebook account and be a fan of OPI to vote.

http://bit.ly/wEiDmK is the direct link 

Here's how to find my entry if the link gives you trouble: 

  First log on to Facebook and fan OPI

  Click Nicki Minaj contest of the sidebar and view entries. 

I'm under the IHeartradio tab and click "vote!"  You can vote once a day until the 23rd.  Please tell your friends and family to vote too!  Maybe soon I can host a nail art contest of my own and give away some nice goodies. 

Thank you!

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Wet n Wild Megalast: swatches, review & possible dupe comps

I saw a new display of Wet n Wild polishes and I thought I'd pick up a few that caught my eye. These seem significantly larger than the other Megalast polishes I've seen.  I chose 4 out of the display. There was a red and some soft pinks as well.

Through the Grapevine, Disturbia, Wet Cement, I Need a Refresh-Mint

Through the Grapevine - this is 2-coats with top coat.  This did not need a top coat but I dinged my nail and needed one to smooth it out.  Through the Grapevine is a fuschia that leans a little purple.  Very close to my favorite color Zoya's Keiko. 

Here's a bottle shot comparison:

Keiko is a tinge darker and has a slight blue to it. They're really close. 

Disturbia - 2-coats, no top coat. A very vampy dark violet. Eggplant? Maybe. It has slight purple shimmer to it.  A darker version of Zoya's Tru?  As you know, purples are very hard to capture.  Here's some shots in the sun. 

Here's how it compares to my other vampy purples:

WnW Disturbia, WnW Eggplant Frost and Zoya's Valerie. 

Purple-wise it might be closer to Eggplant Frost which has a blue shimmer to it.  Valerie has a hint of red and gold shimmer.  She still sits in my untrieds. I got her in my Earth Day Exchange promo in May 2011!  Also, pick up Eggplant Frost if you like purples.  It's a $1.  It's my go-to color if I can't decide what to wear.  Eggplant Frost = awesome! 

Wet Cement - 2 coats, no topcoat. It's a taupe mouse brown. I was hoping for a grey for some reason. It's along the lines of OPI You Don't Know Jacques or SOPI Metro Chic. (Colors that everyone wears BTW!) This color is also very office appropriate.

Here's how it compares to other taupes in my collection:

WnW Wet Cement, Essie's Chinchilly, China Glaze's Below Deck, Nubar's Chiffon.

It's probably closer to Essie's Chinchilly but the application and dry time with Wet Cement is way better than Chinchilly.  

I Need a Refresh-Mint.  2-coats with topcoat.  This is a Tiffany's color dupe, robin egg blue. Similar to China Glaze's For Audrey.  (I don't own For Audrey but it's on my wishlist). 

Here's some similar colors: 

WnW I Need a Refresh-Mint, ChG Re-fresh Mint, OPI Mermaid's Tears and Orly's Gumdrop. 

Actually, I Need a Refresh-Mint is closer to Orly's Gumdrop.  Gumdrop is slightly lighter, very slight. At first glance, they would be dupes. Also, I threw Re-Fresh Mint in there just cause. 

Furthermore, the brushes are new. They say, "Manicurve Pro Brush."

It's very similar to the curved brushes in Rimmel's polishes.  Rimmel is on the right. 

Final thoughts? 

Overall, I like these. The formula and application were flawless, dry time excellent. Price? Can't be beat, $2 ea. The new wider brush allowed me to fan out the polish and I was able to get the perfect cuticle line with NO cleanup. These could have been 1-coaters with careful application. If you're looking to add to your color wardrobe, definitely pick some of these up.

I have nothing bad to say. Some other nail bloggers like to bash this brand saying it chips. If you have a nice base coat and top coat (and refresh your topcoat everyday), it won't chip. I've liked this brand for the past 15 yrs or so. The only time I wouldn't like it if it stole something from me...then again I'd find a way to forgive it.

Do you like these colors? Will you be picking up a few?

Friday, January 13, 2012

My manicure essentials and routine! Long Post!

I thought I'd talk about some of my Holy Grail nail products that I have been using for the past year as well as my manicure routine. Now, you do not necessarily have to buy all of these but the reason as to why I have so many is that I like to try new products (& shop).  Mainly, shop.

Also, let me preface that these products work well for me but may not necessarily work for you.  Please consult the product packaging or manufacturer if you have allergies or sensitivities.

My go-to products from Left to Right: Zoya's Remove +, DL Cuticle Remover, CND's Solar Oil, Qtica NNGS, Crystal file, Lush's Lemony Flutter

Zoya's Remove + is a fast acting yet moisturizing polish remover (with acetone). I wouldn't recommend non-acetone removers because they're slower working causing the product to sit longer on your nail. Thus, drying out your cuticles more.  Main ingredients for Remove + are water, acetone, glycerin and noxious scent. You can watch a video on how to custom mix a more moisturizing and cost efficient remover here (not by me).

Deborah Lippman's Cuticle Remover.  I use this about once a week or once every other week. This helps prevent overgrown cuticles and helps my nails look salon perfect! I apply this to my cuticles wait a few minutes and gently push them back with a cuticle pusher then wash my hands. I purchased this at Nordstrom or I think it can be found where other Deborah Lippman products are sold.  A little goes a long way.  I've been using this for 4 months now and that's how much I've used.

Ms. Lizard PSA - Please do not cut your cuticles! Thank you. 

CND's Cuticle Eraser - sorry my bottle looks beat up.  I used to keep it in my purse.  It's an Alpha Hydroxy treatment meaning that it microexfoliates dead skin cells.  I use this after I use the cuticle remover or on off days when my cuticles need some touch up.  You apply a small drop and rub it in.  

CND's Solar Oil - I think this is a lot of nail enthusiasts' essential nail product.  Solar Oil is fast absorbing and highly moisturizing. The ingredients are Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Almond Fragrance, Tocopherol Acetate. Since it is an oil, I use this at night or I wait long enough for it to absorb in. I use this product the most.

You can also go to your local health food store and purchase essential oils to custom make your own. I can post later about a cuticle oil recipe because I used to make my own.

Qtica Intense Cuticle Repair Balm - the main ingredient is lanolin.  It has a mediciny grandma scent (no offense grandma!).  It's really thick and the consistency of petroleum jelly.  I'd say use this if your cuticles are really dry or if you wash your hands often.  I use this at night.  Also, if I feel my hands/cuticles are really dry, I apply this and some hand lotion and wear cotton moisture gloves

Lush's Lemony Flutter - the main ingredients are shea butter, beeswax and lanolin. It smells like refreshing limes and lemons. It's the consistency of a really thick lotion or body butter. I put this on my heels and toes before I put on shoes for the day and at night. This is also the go-to product for many nail bloggers. It has a one-year shelf life and I need to use this up soon!

Qtica Natural Nail Growth Stimulator - is a nail strengthener with garlic extract.  I will post more about strengtheners as well.  I used this as my base coat to help strengthen my nails.  I've recently stopped using it. 

Please note that prolonged use of nail hardeners/strengtheners can cause nail yellowing and brittleness and eventual breaks.  I learned this the hard way because all the nails just snapped off one right after the other within a week! 

Hardeners/strengtheners are only meant to be used for a short period of time. i.e. 2-3 months. This treatment would be good for soft peeling nails or if you're transitioning from artificial nails to growing your nails naturally.  As a treatment, you apply as your base coat and as a top coat over polish every 2-3 days then remove then repeat.  Please research around to see if this type of treatment is right for you.  

Crystal/Glass nail files - aw what's better than ONE crystal nail file, TWO crystal nail files! ah ah ah
Don't buy one, buy two. One for home and one for your work or purse. I've seen shorter ones for your purse. Also, OPI, Essie and Sephora make their own type of crystal file. I bought these at an ABC store during my last vacation. These can be found at any beauty or nail supply.

What makes them so special?  The grit is incredibly fine sealing the nail edges and won't cause your nail layers to splinter or peel.  Please throw out your old nail files and clippers.  Use this to take down nail length and shape your nails.  File in one direction.  Also, crystal files can be easily sanitized and stored.  This is also recommended for thin peeling nails.     

Also, pictured is a 3-sided nail buffer.  Use this once a month to remove ridges, stains or peeling.  

In sum, my basic manicure/nail routine consists of: 
  1. Removing all polish with Remove +
  2. Push back cuticles using a cuticle remover (or cuticle eraser).
  3. Moisturizing.
  4. Shape my nails with a crystal file. 
  5. If I want to start another mani, I prep with another swipe of Remove + to remove oil. 
  6. Apply polish.
  7. Throughout the day and at night, I moisturize as needed. 
  8. I strictly adhere to the nail Golden Rule.  Treat your nails as jewels NOT tools. **I can write about nail do's and don'ts later. 
I also bought another product to try recently. 

Trind Nail Balsam - is a hydrating nail treatment.  It's supposed to help replenish your nail's natural moisture when applied over bare nails.  The main ingredients are water and biotin.  Biotin is touted as hair and nail growth stimulator.  It's also oil free so once it absorbed you don't have to prep your nail again.  I haven't really got to use this yet but did try it on my toes. 

I hope to use this product to hyrdrate and reduce nail brittleness. 

Sorry this post was so long.  I hope it was informative without being too boring. Also, let me know if I need to elaborate further.  

Thanks for reading! 

What are some of your Holy Grail nail products?  Do you like to shop when you're bored? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Zoya Minka - work appropriate color + pantyhose nails!

I received Minka awhile back from one of the FB Zoya promos they were offering.  Minka is from the Touch Collection which were a collection of three nudes.  I thought Minka worked best for my skintone.  I'm always looking for work appropriate colors.

Minka is a beige putty color with white shimmer.  The application was better than most nudes.  It wasn't runny or streaky.  This was 2-coats with topcoat.  I felt this color alone made my hands look like weird plastic mannequin hands.  I had to do something. I had a job walk to attend the next day.

Aw better! I used the standard black and glitter stripers for these. That little flower stamp is from the Konad mini traveler set which I would not recommend.  It comes with a mini stamper which is too squishy and smudges stamps.  

The next day I felt it needed more...

Aw even better fishnets!  I stamped the fishnet design from M57 with WnW Black Creme.

I'd like to do more stamping when I have the energy! 

Have you tried lace fishnet nails?  Do you have any recommendations for office appropriate colors? 

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Get ready to have Super Bass stuck in your head - Nicki Minaj inspired nail art

I read over at Hooked! about the Nails 4 Life Nicki Minaj nail art contest on Facebook.  You have to choose one of the four outfits listed to do a design from.  I thought I'd try a couple of designs to submit.

This first one is a fail.  I thought it had to be inspired from ANY one of her outfits.  This is inspired from her pink animal print cat suit in Super Bass.  I didn't submit this.

The base is OPI Alpine Snow and stamped with the giraffe design on BM10 with ChG's Heli-Yum and the tips are Happy Go Lucky.  I added some pink rhinestones to match her cotton candy wig. 

I found a black light bulb.  I thought it would be clever to shoot it under a black light bulb like they do at the end of the video.  I then realized that this design didn't fit with the contest rules.  Back to the drawing board! 

                                                   Photo credit              

For the contest you had to pick one of four of her outfits and one I picked was her iHeartRadio outfit.  Here's a picture of my submission alongside what she wore. 

The lavender base is OPIs Rumples Wiggin' and I sponged ChG's Virtual Violet, Milani's Silver Dazzle and Sephora by OPI Flurry Up! (silver hex glitter) to represent to the blingy rhinestones on her dress. 

The accent nail is Sinful Color's Fusion Neon (worst polish ever!) and I custom mixed that green to match her accessories.  The beaded gold chain is for her plastic Barbie KFC chicken wing necklace thingee...!?!  

I know this design is simple and more than likely won't win but I felt the colors worked for her dress. I stared at that photo forever trying to figure out which colors worked best.

 I liked the lavender base with the glitter gradient and the neon half nail and beaded chain. I think those will work for two separate manis! I'd like to try to wear one of these soon. Did you enter? Link me your entries and I will vote for you!

Voting opens in a week.  I'll post again so you can vote for me! Thanks for reading!