Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gobble Gobble, Bitches!

Good evening everyone! With the end of August comes classes, changing leaves, cooler temperatures...and college football. Now, I don't claim to be a football fan at all, but with all of the "welcome back" type things that are going on on campus as well, I couldn't help but throw together a school-colored mani. After all, I may not be a game fan, but I am a Hokie.

For this, I used a base of OPI Nail Envy original. I started with two coats of Essie Orange, It's Obvious! on my pinkie, ring, and middle finger. Orange, It's Obvious! is a red-leaning orange cream, very similar to the infamous color of the year, Tangerine Tango. Formula and dry time were good on this one, and it was perfectly opaque. On my pointer and thumb, I used two coats of Essie Recessionista, a maroon cream. Formula was good, maybe even better than the orange, and it dried quickly.

On top, I decided to try a non-fast-dry top coat today: Barielle Advanced Gel Top Coat. It's a bit watery, but easy to control, and super shiny. It looked great - then I added a coat of Out the Door on top, and it started bubbling like crazy! Maybe it was too much top coat, or the humidity in here or least the bubbles aren't visible unless my hands are close to my face...

For the middle finger, I took a thin paint brush and freehanded a line with Recessionista, then filled in the right side of the line with it. I let it dry, then cleaned up a bit with a thin, flat paintbrush dipped in acetone. The extra topcoat allowed me to fix a minor imperfection on my right hand without disturbing the orange - fair trade-off for the bubbles. I'm also getting better at cleaning around the nail with a brush! Exciting...for me, anyway :)

Orange, It's Obvious! came out in the spring 2012 collection, Navigate Her, and Recessionista is in the new Stylenomics collection that was just released. Both should be easy to find at your local drugstore, or any etailer.

I plan to go to my first football game this year...if only to have an excuse to get my drink on with friends! Do you do special manicures for sporting events? What are your favorite polishes for your chosen team or school's colors?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Surf Skittles!

Hi all! I have sad news - I broke most of my nails at work yesterday. They're in a pretty sad state...all short and some are peeling. I'll be taking time to give them lots of extra TLC this week.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Surf collection that Zoya released this summer is one of my favorite whole collections ever. Bright colors with a shimmery metallic finish? Sign me up! There isn't a single one I dislike, and not a single one has a bad formula - the lighter colors (Zuza, Rory, and Meg) need two thin coats, while Carly, Kimber, and Myrta really only need one. And with my super-short nails, I don't feel quite as "crazy nail polish lady" when I do a skittle mani!

Thumb to pinkie, I used Orly Ridge Filler, then two coats each of Carly, Zuza, Meg, Myrta, and Kimber, with a coat of Poshe on top. Dry time was pretty quick, thankfully, as I did this right before work.

You can see my poor abused cuticles and peeling pointer finger...and that my polish was already starting to chip when I got around to pictures, thanks to work. :( But it's still super pretty and got me compliments...

Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Show Must Go On!

Hi all! Today I have a very quickly done mani for you - I had to paint my nails before I played with hair dye, and you know me - I can't just leave it at clear coat. I went with OPI The Show Must Go On, from the Burlesque collection - one of my favorites that was, unfortunately, before my love affair with nail polish, so they've been tough to track down. I received this lovely in a swap! Shown is two coats - the first coat went on VERY streaky and patchy, but luckily, the second evened things out. TSMGO is a lovely duochrome glitter that's almost metallic - I get flashes of red and gold, depending on the light. I topped it off with a coat of Poshe.

On my middle fingers and thumb, I added a thin coat of Max Factor Fantasy Fire. The purple made those nails look slightly darker, but the multichrome goodness of FF was mostly lost in the flashiness of TSMGO. In super low lights, though, I could see the green shimmer - I just couldn't catch it on camera.

No cleanup here - I didn't expect the mani to last through my hair dye ordeal, but it did (and so did some of the unwanted hair color). Off I go to fix it - Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A lot of summer with a little fall.

Hi all! Today I have a lovely pink from Zoya's Surf collection, Kimber. It's a glowy, metallic hot pink that screams summertime - and it's almost a one coater. There was some visible nail line after one thin coat, so I went over it a second time for full coverage. Application was a dream.

Yesterday when I left to run errands, I noticed some yellow leaves here and there - plus classes start next week - fall has crept up on me without me noticing. To celebrate, I layered HITS Lambada on top - a flakie that flashes copper and green mostly, with a little yellow and turquoise here and there - it reminds me of trees that haven't completely turned yet. The flakies are a little shy on top of the super-bright Kimber, but when they come out to play in the sun, it's the perfect between-seasons look for me! The pictures don't show quite as many flakies as you can see in real life...Lambada is pretty dense, like Essie Shine of the Times, but with smaller flakes.

I am still working on my cleanup-with-brushes skills, so apologies for the mess - I wanted to take pictures beforehand in case I screwed up and had to take it off.

What are your favorite colors between the seasons?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stash Porn, and a poll.

Good afternoon readers! First off, I know I have been gone for a while. Long story short, my life has been a bit of a mess - I am trying to get back on track, and that includes with this blog. I hope you didn't miss me too much!

Today I decided to re-organize my polish stash while on the hunt for my next mani colors. It was sort of organized by color, which led to it being particularly difficult to find colors when I knew exactly what I wanted; I seem to do better with them organized by brand. So, on to the pictures...

The unorganized stash.

Let's start with drugstore polish! These are brands I don't own too many of. Top is Pure Ice, Nina Ultra Pro, Sinful, Ruby Kisses. Bottom is Milani and Essence. The two off to the side are a Colorphase (apparently made by Styli-Style) and a Konad special polish. I adore the Nina formula, and the Pure Ice are fabulous for layering.
Wet 'n Wild. I mostly have limited editions - the whole Chrome collection; and a few from Ice Baby and Be Jeweled. The Fastdry are okay - they're two of the first polishes I bought when I started painting my nails again.
Revlon - three of their very well-known high end polish dupes, two Moon Candy that were a bit disappointing but still pretty, and a great jelly white with gold shimmer from the Colorstay line.
Sally Hansen Nail Prisms. The standing ones are extra bottles of the ones they're behind. I wish I had more of these, I love them...but the ebay prices are exorbitant. Bring them back!
Other Sally Hansen: Some HD, a crackle that doesn't crack much, a couple nice shimmers, some Xtreme Wear that vary in quality for me, two Complete Salon that I got on clearance, and an old Chrome that I bought growing up (which they should also bring back).

Brazilian polishes: UP Colors, HITS, and Jade. All of these have great formulas, and the holographics are SO good. Bet you can't tell which one is my favorite. :)

Aussie polishes: Picture Polish, Ozotic, Glitter Gal. With a special appearance by Fantasy Fire!

One-offs of higher end brands: Julep, MAC, Deborah Lippmann, and CND. I love the CND effects, and I really love Lippmann polishes. Pity they cost so much...
Some Orly. I love their rubberized caps, and their formula has always been good to me.
Of course, my favorites have been their Cosmic FX and Mineral FX collections. Glitter! Multichrome! How can I resist? The formulas are top-notch, too. Also included: Mermaid Tale, of the Flash Glam FX collection. I'm not a huge fan of chunky glitter, but I like this one for layering - there are one or two more I'm considering.
Finger Paints: two random colors and the flakie collection. I wish I had a back up of Twisted :( Formula on these is good; I may look into their creams.

Color Club! I tend to not get these unless I find the big packs at Ross or TJ Maxx...SUCH good deals! The ones I've used have had good formulas. Totally worth 8 bucks for 6 good polishes...

Essies. I didn't get into these until the Luxeffects collection...and even then, not until Mirror Metallics did I pick up many. I usually prefer wider brushes, but they make some great colors that I've had a hard time finding elsewhere.

Zoya! Also a recent love. They do so many special deals, and the Share the Love program is great as well, though I've yet to benefit much from it. Reva is my favorite holiday season polish, and Freya is my favorite neutral. They can run a little thin, but that's ok.

My only indie polish: Fuego, by Hot Mess Lacquers. The lady who runs it is a sweetheart, and VERY focused on putting out quality product. I used to own the NerdLacquer Firefly set, but had to sell them during a tough time - $200 for nail polish is hard to pass up...

A few Nicole by OPI, and a mini of OPI Take the Stage. I don't like the NOPI bottle much, but my love of the colors overrides my hate of a bottle shape. The pink, Kim-pletely in Love, is my go-to "work safe" polish for interviews and the like - the blue shimmer keeps it interesting.

OPI reds, pinks, oranges, golds, browns. For some reason, the shimmer in Congeniality Is My Middle Name doesn't like to mix with the polish...

Greens, blues, purples, and silvers.

China Glaze pinks, red, oranges, and yellows. Can you tell I really prefer shimmers over creams?

Greens - from seafoam to olive. The neon, In the Limelight, made my phone freak a little bit.

Blues and purples! Plenty of glitter here, too. The fuchsias are pulling really pink here.

White, grey, and black, as well as two layering polishes.

Browns - from gold to bronze, as well as a peach and a purple-grey (Channelesque). Super-shimmery bronzes are my favorite fall colors.

Crazy, huh? That said, I am looking to pare it down a little, or trade some of what I've got. If you're interested, my 'stash' tab does have things marked that I would definitely swap or sell, as well as things I have multiple bottles of, which I am definitely looking to get rid of...I have a wish list, but if you have particular things you're also wanting to swap, please tell me :)

So, on to the next question - what polish would you like me to feature next? You can check my 'Stash' tab, or you can pick a particular color in a picture if you're not sure what it's called! Let me know in comments.