I'm starting to have a love/hate relationship with Seche Vite, leaning more towards the hate side. I love the glossiness and the flash-dry capability, but I HATE this shrinkage. I didn't have any shrinkage through the first half of my bottle, but it seems that once I got to the half-way mark, this thing decided to pull an attitude and decided to say, "Eh, I'm not going to work so great for you anymore." So I decided to buy a bottle of Seche Restore, which honestly hasn't restored anything. I'm about to throw this bottle out. Is it too much to ask for a quick-drying top coat that leaves a glossy finish, but doesn't cause shrinkage and ruin a beautiful mani?? (rhetorical question...well somewhat). Ladies help me here please. Am I missing some important step, trick, to be able to have a good working relationship with this stupid bottle of Seche? Or is there a good alternative? My Super Shiney + Quick-drying drops combo is not cutting it for me. Super Shiney is neither "super" nor "shiney", and the quick-drying drops aren't really quick (if 5-7 mins is "quick") nor fully drying. *Ugh* Any help/tips/suggestions are much appreciated. :)
Ulta was having a buy 3 get 1 free deal, so I decided to purchase most of the polishes from Orly's 2010 Sweet Collection. I decided against getting Cotton Candy and opted for getting Velvet Rope instead. Purple plus glitter??!! No brainer. Two weeks ago, I finally decided to wear it, and low and behold, I now have buyer's remorse. Take a look:
Granted this photo was taken without a top coat, but not even a coat of Seche Vite could save this one in my opinion. While I LOVE the color, the glitter KILLS it. There's no sparkle, just chunks. The polish isn't jelly so instead of the glitter coming through, the more the polish is layered, the glitter ends up getting covered. It's like the glitter was thrown in as an afterthought, when it would have been better just to leave it out all together. I love Orly, and this is my first real disappointment. Ugh :(
I know every other blogger has posted this, or it's "so last year's news", but I LOVE IT! So :-p LOL j/k. As previously mentioned, I purchased Across The Universe along with Bad Romance as part of my retail therapy. I'm so glad I bought it because it is GORGEOUS! Check it!
I applied 3 coats, plus base/top coat. Like Bad Romance, the hex glitter made it a bit difficult to wrap the tips (which explains the huge dry patch on my index finger; not a chip but a piece of glitter that fell off). This polish reminds me of the DVD/Soundtrack cover of Julie Taymor's film Across the Universe with Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess. If you're a Beatles fan, then I think you'll enjoy the movie. I leave you with my fave lyric from the song Across the Universe:
Here's one of my lastest Essie additions. I saw swatches of Sew Pysched on various blogs, and it seemed interesting enough to add to my continually growing collection. Application was great. Only took 2 coats for complete opaque coverage. The only drawback that I have with Sew Psyched is that in the bottle it seems to have some shimmer (can sort of see it in the bottle in pics 1 & 3), yet when applied to the nail, whatever shimmer was in the bottle disappears. If there was a little shimmer or duochrome or something, would give this unique color a little more sumin' sumin'. :)
I'm sure the majority (if not all of you) knew about RBL's 1-Day 50% off polish sale a few weeks ago. I had been wanting Coral ever since I saw it, just because of it's "universal, works for all skin tones" boasting. Some may feel it's a bit traditional, classic....boring...but I liked it because sometimes I'm in a non-crazy, in your face color, kind of mood. Anywho, I purchased Coral and Plie (just because I don't have anything like Plie either). I wanted one other, Killa Red, but it wasn't advertised in the sale and I have a feeling it might have been discontinued :(
This was 3 coats w/o top coat. I can't comment on the durability yet, since it hasn't been "tested".
Again 3 coats w/o top coat. It's a bit pinker in reality (but I couldn't capture the color in with my lighting. Sorry) I can't explain why I love Plie, but I just do. LOL
Rah-rah-ah-ah-aaaah. Roma-roma-maaaah! LOL Bad Romance has to be my fave Lady Gaga song thus far. It never gets old for me. Anywho...I had been eyeing the deborah lippmann collection from the swatches out in the blogosphere, but could never really bring myself to drop the $$ to obtain any of the polishes. Until a few weeks ago that is...long story short..I was having a bad day at work (what's new) and decided to cheer myself up with some retail therapy. I purchased Bad Romance and Across the Universe. I love black polish, but what I loved about this polish is the glitter. It's dark but still girly. This is three coats with Seche top coat (the cause of the HORRIBLE shrinkage!) I reapplied this polish later because of the shrinkage. The only negatives I have about this polish is that it can be a tad streaky (at least when you're trying to evenly disperse the glitter), and because of the chunky hex-glitter, it's difficult to wrap the tips of your nails. It's opaque enough to have been good with 2 coats, but because I made some streaks, I wanted to even them out with another coat. All in all, it's very Gaga-esque. :)
I'll try to keep this post short and sweet...not just because I have work in the morning (don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight), but because I can't really put into words all the thoughts and emotions running through me now. I'm still trying to come down from all the excitement of tonight as the San Francisco Giants (my home team) won Game 5, have been crowned the champions, and thus have ended this emotional roller coaster of a season. I don't know if I should bust out singing Queen's "We Are The Champions", or slap myself to ensure this isn't a dream. I had been meaning to do this mani since the beginning of the Series, but tonight I DEFINITELY had to do it!! (Apologies for the sloppy application, I cleaned up as best I could but given I have a whole bunch of adrenaline coursing through me, you can't blame a girl for not having a steady hand).
I used 2 coats of Urban Decay's Magic Bus as my base color, Sally Hansen's black polish pen, and topped it all off with Seche Vite.
Hello my lovely peeps! I realize it's been a month since my last post. I've been laggin' on putting up any swatches, though I haven't stopped my collection or doing my nails. Life seems to have shifted into warp speed. I finally took some time to finish my little DIY lightbox and am hoping I can start posting some swatches soon. Sorry for being lame. Hope everyone is doing well. :)
It seems like it's been forever since I had a professional mani and pedi. Being a new mom, there are just some things you learn to cut back on to save some $$. I chose to give up my regular mani and pedi that I used to get prior to my son's arrival. I think it's been almost 2 years, since I've let someone else do my nails. Now that I've been doing my nails myself, I had some hesitation about letting someone other than myself or my "go-to" nail salon do them. I'm sure some of you out there can relate to the feeling of control and having your own personal preferences when it comes to your nails.
Yesterday, I had a nice little business lunch with some colleagues, and after lunch we were scheduled to have manis and pedis at a local spa by my office. None of us had been to this particular spa. I figured, "Hey, I'm not paying for it. It'll be a nice change to let someone else do the work and relax and have some girl time." The spa was nice and clean and the nail area was small but clean. There were three techs all who were really nice. The service came with a free cocktail (Mojito made with champagne), which was TWO THUMBS UP in my book. (> _ ^) I was in the mood for a teal/turquoise polish, so I picked out Essie's Turquoise & Caicos for my toes (I had been meaning to try it out), and Sparitual's Emerald City for my nail since it was a bit darker (I was instantly drawn to the color).
Overall the experience was nice and relaxing. I had a fun time hanging out with my colleagues and the nail technicians were cool. We (patrons and techs) were all just chatting and laughing away. At one point the spa manager came and closed the door to the room because I guess we were having too much of a good time and disturbing the other patrons. BUT (here's the "but") the thing that disappointed me was the polish application and the filing. The polish application was a bit messier than I cared for and my nails seemed to be shaped irregularly. Here are the pics of my nails (normally I don't like to share pics of my toes..I think they are funny-looking...but had to share the issue I have with them):
Emerald City is a gorgeous jelly (though the bottle says it's a creme). My first experience with the Sparitual brand. I wanted to buy a bottle of this but the spa didn't have it available for sale at that moment. They said they could order it for me, and I may take them up on the offer. Although I might be able to get it cheaper online. As you can see the cuticles look a bit ragged and had some polish on them. The tech put 2 coats of polish and I was going to ask her to put another coat since it's a bit sheer, but she seemed to be in a rush to get ready for another client. :(
Left Foot (seemed to be more jacked up than my right)
Turquoise & Caicos is a lighter version of Emerald City and is a true creme. Two coats were used to get it opaque. As you can see there's more polish pooling in the cuticle on the left foot than the right, and the length is SHORT! Again, I loved the experience overall, but as someone who does her own nails on a regular basis, I'm used to my way of doing things. They aren't horrendously bad, and the nails will grow out, so it's not a total disaster.
It's funny to note that I was sporting my own mani/pedi when I walked into the spa. My tech commented that my mani still looked fresh. When I told her, "Yeah I did this on Tuesday", she responded, "Wow you did this yourself?!! You did a real good job. Are you a nail tech?" It's not the first time someone asked me that question. I'm sure you ladies out there have heard it too. Maybe it's time for a change in career. (>_^) LOL
This color was the one that introduced me to the Nubar brand. While watching "He's Just Not that Into You", I couldn't help but notice Ginnifer Goodwin's nails throughout the movie. Since purple polish is one of my absolute favs, I locked onto her mani like some sort of polish-seeking robot. I had to find that color!!! I love Google. You could find pretty much anything, no matter how obscure the item you seek may be. My search led me to Nubar, thanks to Michelle @ All Lacquered Up, and her blurb about Ginnifer Goodwin and the movie. After finally procuring a bottle, here are my thoughts:
Color - LOVE IT!!!!!
Application - Easy. I think I only needed 2 coats to get it opaque
Wear Time - HATED IT!!!! I think I only got 1 and 1/2 to 2 days out of it before it started peeling off! :( I was so bummed because I loved the color and wanted it to last at least a week.
My go-to base and top coat currently is Orly Bonder and Seche Vite. Don't know if there is some incompatibility between those two and Nubar. Any of you had any wear time issues with Nubar?
A few weeks back I finally was able to get a couple of Nubar polishes I had on my wish list for the longest time. Nubar was having a one-day (I think??) 20% off sale on their website, so I had to seize the moment. Like many polish afficionadas out there, I had to get Peacock Feathers. I've never owned any duochrome polishes previously, and heard Nubar's are the best. Peacock Feathers does not disappoint in the least. Capturing it's beauty was very difficult. If you look at it straight on, it looks deep indigo blue/purple. Shift your fingers slightly and you get emerald green, and at times you may catch glimpses of gold. You can definitely see the different shades better in the bottle than on my nails.
As far as the application, I used 3 coats and 2 coats of ridgefilling base coat, since on previous occasion, my other Nubar polish was sheer enough to have VNL. I don't think it was necessary for Peacock Feathers since the color is darker than the one I was using before, but I just wanted peace of mind. The application was pretty good. I can't remember how many days I wore this since it was a while ago (plus my memory isn't as great as it used to be...sleep deprivation and all - those with children know what I mean...hehehehe).
I just got a new camera so hopefully I'll be able to post better swatch pics.
Hey polish afficionadas! Sorry that my blogging has been sporadic, but with a husband and son to take care of, my energy to post swatches is difficult. Anywho, just wanted to throw it out that I'm looking for recommendations on a non-quick dry but still super shiny top coat. Don't get me wrong, I love my Seche Vite, but there are times where I don't want to use the rapid dry top coat. Strange huh? Any recommendations on a top coat that packs as much shine as Seche? I have a little bottle of CND's Super Shiny, but it doesn't to be as "shiny" as Seche (just my opinion). If there's something that works well for you, let me know please. Thanks :)
Oh Kylie2....I really wanted to like you, but unfortunately, you were such a disappointment!! You deceived me!! You pretended to be a color that you are not!!!
( ¬ . ¬ ) Even this picture doesn't capture the true coloring of Kylie2. Here's the cause of my disappointment: When I chose my polishes from Zoya's website, I thought I was getting this...
As you can see though, that's not what I got. :( The website description is red-orange coral, which I guess is more true than the pictured representation. If anything Kylie2 is more orange than anything. It's slightly redder than a true orange. It's not that I don't like Orange, Red, or Coral, but what bugged me is that I thought I was going to get one color, and ended up with something different. I have Oranges, and Reds, and this just didn't fit in, so I ended up giving it to my friend. (It looks better on her anyway LOL) Buyer beware...definitely learned my lesson. :)
Woodstock is another polish from Urban Decay's Summer of Love Mini Polish Collection. I love this polish. I don't consider myself to be a neon pink kind of gal, but after I finished applying the first coat, my reaction was, "WOW". I'm bummed that I still couldn't capture it's "neon-ness". I'm not sure if it's the lighting (natural light but indoors) or something else, but in reality, the color on my nails is the same as in the bottle. Seriously this color is NEON, like they liquified a fluorescent pink highlighter and bottled it, or "will-cause-you-to-go-blind-if-you-stare-directly-at-it-too-long" type of neon!!! LOL Definitely an attention grabbing polish. Got a lot of compliments for this one. It's pretty opaque. I used three coats but maybe I could have gotten by with just two coats?? (can't really remember now). If you haven't gotten your hands on this collection yet, you can purchase it at any Urban Decay store/counter or on Urban Decay's website http://www.urbandecay.com/categories/SummerOfLoveNailKit.cfm. I purchased mine at the Urban Decay counter at Macy's.
"Woodstock" from Urban Decay's Summer of Love Mini Polish Collection
Sorry for the blurry, horrible picture (taken by my camera phone), but I had to show you guys what I'm currently rocking. I've been wanting to wear Woodstock for a while, but the mood didn't really strike me until a couple days ago. I wish I would have tried it sooner because I LOVE this color! It's neon pink creme, though my janky little camera can't do close-ups or capture it's lovely "neon-ness". Trust me, in real life this polish pops! I'll try posting a better picture of it this weekend. I was planning on doing some swatches this weekend, but now I'm not so sure.... LOL
Zoya's "Dominique" is another one of my acquisitions from the nail polish exchange promotion deal. **Please excuse my horrendously dry cuticles** I bought this purely because of the name. (FYI - "Dee" is one of many nicknames I've been given over the years) Yes, I'm a dork for buying this simply so I can respond to the "Ooo what's the name of this polish you're wearing?" with, "Dominique". LOL (I actually had the opportunity to do this when I was with two of my girlfriends and they both exclaimed, "Yeah right! Are you serious?!" When I told them that Zoya's polishes all have female names, they asked if there are polish colors with their names. Guess I' not the only dork!! LOL) Growing up with a unique name (Dominique seems to be more common now than back in the 19-XX-ties) made it hard for me to find any "personalized" souvenirs (like those keychains or mini-license plates at theme parks or tourist attractions), so when I saw this I thought "HOW COOL IS THIS!!!" (As a side note, this whole scenario reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the family goes to Itchy & Scratchy Land, Bart and Lisa go to the gift shop and Bart can't find his name, but there's "Bort"...check out the YouTube clip if you have chance - "BORT")
Anywho, Zoya's description on its website is "Very bold medium orange-toned brick red creme. Not a subtle color by any means, this vampy red is ultra-provocative!" I don't necessarily agree with the whole "vampy" "ultra-provocative" part, since it seems like any other red creme. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty color with good application and it's the Big 3 Free which is a plus, but I guess part of me was thinking of a red with a little more "oompf". When I asked my husband if he thought this color was "me" (as in was it my style or represent my personality), he said, "No, I pictured you more as a purple-colored polish." He knows me best ;)
Does Zoya have a polish that shares the same name as you? Did you get it? Do you like the color??
One of the blogs I regularly follow (and my fave by far), Polish Hoarder Disorder, does a weekly challenge. Up until now I've always liked watching from the sidelines, but not participating, either because I don't have the time (deadlines are usually Friday at midnight), the resources (haven't purchased that Konad Stamping Set), or the "know how" to send in a submission. However, her challenge this week is a "Color Accent" mani: use grey, black, white and ONE color as an accent. The deadline is tonight instead of last night, so I figured, "I can TOTALLY do this one." Mind you that I've never done any sort of nail design before, and my skills as an artist are the next step up from "caveman drawings", so this is really my first time doing anything outside of just putting polish on my nails. (It's been years since I've even given myself a french manicure!!!) Anyhow, here's my submission for the challenge:
I used American Apparel's Factory Grey as my base, Orly's La Vida Loca as my accent color, and then Sally Hansen's nail pens in Black and White to fulfill the other two polish requirements of the challenge (strangely enough I don't have bottles of black or white polish). My idea for the design was "a car's racing stripe". You know, you see a beautiful Mustang or other muscle car with this nice wide white (or some other colored) stripe going up the center of the car....I guess I watched too much of "Pimp My Ride" when it was on MTV. LOL
While it's not quite to my liking (the perfectionist in me kept saying "You can do better"), I figure it's pretty good for a first try. I LOVE the color of La Vida Loca, which is why I chose it as my accent color. I had some other candidates, but I figured this is a unique color, and since my design is so simple, I had to add something special to make it "pop". What do you think? Is this something you'd wear? I'd like to try it again once I've perfected the technique and do a comparison :)
*Update on the nail tear situation* - After finally thinking that the silk wrap did the trick and that trouble was behind me...WRONG!!!! I put the silk wrap on Tuesday night, went threw majority of Wednesday and outlook seemed hopeful. I went to wash dishes (I was wearing brand spanking new gloves btw) and as soon as I finished cleaning I whip off the gloves to find THE PATCH CRACKED IN THE SAME SPOT AS THE TEAR!!!!! AGAIN!!!! This sucker refuses to be fixed. UGGGG. I don't know if it was the heat from the water that loosened everything while being in the glove, or I buffed the nail more than I should have, which weakened the structure, but whatever it was, I've applied another patch. Hope this works.....
While I was getting ready for work yesterday morning, I reached down to open one of the sink cabinets. To give you some background, the doors to my sink cabinets are weird in that they are old and outdated things with tiny little handles (think the size of a doorknocker of a dollhouse) located in the MIDDLE of the door. (more ornamental than functional) To make the process of opening said cabinets even more difficult is that they are sealed from within by magnets. So I try and pull at the corner of one of the cabinets, not paying attention to what I was doing and LOW and BEHOLD I catch the corner of my thumbnail, my nail polish peels/chips off the corner ruining my mani, and I get a small tear. I was annoyed at the polish chipping because it was pretty noticeable and it meant that I had to take off all my polish before trying to get out the door on time for work. I didn't really worry about the nail tear since I have this lovely little nail repair kit, which I tossed into my bag.
I've used this only one time previously and it worked really well, so as soon as I got to work, I applied some glue, threw on some powder and went about my work. Towards the end of the day I notice that the repair didn't hold, and to make it worse it got bigger!!! ( > o < ) I'm disappointed in this product and will not be using it again. I got it because it was cheap and I definitely got what I paid for.
I remembered a tip from a book I read where it said you could use kleenex as a patch. I grabbed some kleenex, applied some glue and that seemed to work.
I awoke the next morning to find that my second attempt to fix this tear failed. I remembered that a piece of teabag used with nail glue could ALSO be used as a patch for a torn nail, and that previously worked for me. Got to work, applied glue and patch...more glue....more glue....OKAY. I go about the rest of my day, check on the patch...still holding...good good! BUT when I come back from the gym, I notice that my THIRD attempt to fix this stupid tear has failed and my tear is worse. (FYI...this tear is below the quick and it's deep enough into the nail bed that it would be impossible to try and salvage by cutting and filing it down.)
I whine and complain to my friend/co-worker and then immediately search the web for a better solution. I find this lovely tutorial using silk wraps by a fellow blogger, My Simple Little Pleasures. (Click here to view her tutorial) I get the necessary items and am in the process of putting the finishing touches to this patch. I'm hoping FOUR times is a charm. Here's the offending nail:
OUCH!!! I'll post an update if this works. Stay tuned...
After seeing this collection swatched by Scrangie I had to get my hands on it. Here are the pros for this polish:
Color is gorgeous!!
Good durability. Usually I have tipwear and some minor chipping after a few days, but I applied this last Wednesday and didn't have problems until yesterday morning (more on that later)
The only thing that really bugged me about this polish is that it was sheerer than I expected. I applied three coats and still has Visible Nail Lines (VNL). Maybe they'll be less visible if I use a ridgefiller.
There are two ways to break from the traditional or classic nail polish colors: (1) Neon or other bright color (2) Glitter!! Who doesn't like a little bling now and then?Here are some random swatches of glittery polishes for your enjoyment. :)
Nfu Oh #52: A dark blue/purple base with green micro-glitter and larger green flakes. The color reminds me of peacock feathers, but a friend of mine referred to it as "very mermaid". This polish is tricky to capture. It's really a bit darker than how it's pictured here. I took this indoors and used the flash because I wanted to try and catch those lovely irregular flakes. (Don't think I was too successful) In any event it's a gorgeous color. I received a lot of compliments when I wore this one.
Sinful Colors' "See You Soon": Black with blue micro-glitter. The application was "meh" but I liked the dark base with the shimmer of blue. This was three coats, I think. (Shot indoors with the flash) Here's what it looks like in natural sunlight:
Zoya - "Roxy": Magenta Jelly Base with Fuchsia glitter. This is one of ten polishes I acquired from the Zoya Nail Polish Exchange program that ended last month. My first time using this brand and so far I'm pretty pleased with it. The wear is nice and the application is pretty easy too. I had to use 3 coats to make it look nice and even.
I've been debating for some time whether or not to start my own blog and share my love of nail polish...will I have the time? will anyone even read it? Obviously I decided to go for it. While I've always been into nail polish and doing my own nails, I've only recently discovered that there are blogs about nail polish. (Should have been a "well duh" moment, but I assumed that there were only blogs about fashion and make-up....)
The purpose of this blog is mainly swatching - showing real life examples of how a nail polish color looks on a live person rather than on some computer generated tool of what it "would" look like if you had the bottle of polish right there with you. Even when you go to buy a bottle of nail polish at a store, how do you know that the color looks good on you, or that the application is good or not? It's not like they give you a free mani before you purchase, like a polish "test drive" or something. If this can be of any help to total strangers...Great! If it's just a blog that my friends check out now and again, well, at least I have a hobby! :)
Here are a couple O.P.I. swatches (unless noted otherwise, all swatches are 3 coats polish, plus base and top coat):
Mod About You: Cotton candy pink. It's opaque, which I love, because most pinks out there are sheer. The first coat went on kind of streaky but it evens out after that. It was easier to apply than the dupe I bought (Essie's Fiji), which was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE!!
Here Today..Aragon Tomorrow: I think it's a "Robin Hood meets G.I. Joe"-type of green. Please excuse the tip wear because I took this photo about three days after I first applied. I'll try and post a better one later on.
Damone Roberts 1968: A minty green candy apple. It's a special edition polish, and unfortunately I only purchased one bottle. It's one of my faves so I'll have to make it last.