Friday, July 31, 2009

Matte comparison on a creme: Orly Matte Top, Nubar V for Men and Essie Matte About You

Today's NOTD is Orly's Charged Up:

I used to dislike Orly nail polishes -- they were all kinda boring -- but they've come out with so many great shades lately! This creme applied beautifully with a jellyish finish. Very glossy pre-topcoat!

And now, a matte topcoat comparison on this lovely creme jelly (I got bored of my NOTD by midday)! I love having matte topcoats -- it saves me the trouble of actually lemming matte polishes.

From left to right:
Index finger - not mattefied
Middle finger - Orly Matte Top, which has more of a soft satin finish than a matte finish
Ring finger - Nubar V for Men, a great matte which is only slightly closer to satin than chalk
Pinky finger - Essie Matte About You, a slightly more severe matte which is closer to chalk than satin

In terms of a matte topcoat, both Nubar V and Essie Matte About You blow Orly Matte Top out of the water. It'll be a matter of preference, of course, but I like Nubar V the best so far. It doesn't completely mattefy a creme polish, which allows it to have more of a reflective sheen whereas Essie MAY is much more of a flat matte that doesn't reflect light as much. It's probably more of a "true" matte when used with cremes, transforming a glossy finish into a (pleasantly) chalky one.

Stay tuned for more matte comparisons using polishes of different finishes!

read more "Matte comparison on a creme: Orly Matte Top, Nubar V for Men and Essie Matte About You"

Soo Nails' Gold and Blue Foil and Post-Bar Haul

(FYI - the 3rd polish from the left is wayyyyy more purple in person.)

Soo Nails' is a completely random brand of polish. It's distributed by some people in Brooklyn and I have never seen it anywhere except my very local (around the corner!) beauty supply shop. There is no mention of it on the internet. I'm sure, like most other local polishes, they buy colors from some manufacturer and slap their label on it. No matter. My shop charges 2 bucks a pop for them and they come in some pretty sweet shades.

I was really excited by the two colors on the left. I love foil finish and they looked really foily in the bottle. There was some mild disappointment when they came out much smoother and more metallic-y on the nail. However, that was offset by my giddiness about the gold one. I am forever searching for a gold polish that looks good on me. I love the color but they always end up looking kind of dirty and rank against my skin. This one has quickly risen to the top! It's a few shades lighter than Lippmann's Nefertiti - a color that is no good on me. I'm really mad at myself for getting it, I knew I should have gotten Believe instead but noooo I had to get the one more people mentioned. Ugh whatever, lesson learned.

They both went on really smoothly, were two coaters (or one thick coat), and they dried on their own crazy fast. I did a proper mani w/ these so I can't wait to see what the wear is like.

Things I did yesterday, my first day as a woman free of bar study:

1. Wake up after 10. The first time all summer. Glorious.

2. Wait for FreshDirect. If you ever move to the NYC area, bookmark that website. I love it. NYC grocery shopping is a bleak, bleak place unless you live close to a WholeFoods and I don't.

3. Get a pedicure. I hadn't had one in a month and a half. My feet looked like hell and I was sick to death of Zoya's Charisma on my toes (a color I do love). I had them do Milani's Disco Lights. (I'll spare you a pick of my feet.) I adore getting a uniform colored glitter on my toes. It wears like f*cking iron and it's nice and glittery without looking childish. NYC is home to a lot of airbrushed nails and toes - a look that isn't my favorite. I feel like I have as much fun looking at my toes as the airbrushed ladies do but I wouldn't feel weird breaking them out in a nice sandal at an event where I have to look reasonably adult and professional.

4. Go nail hauling. This was a very good time until I went to my last stop: My friend's apartment. He has a doorman so I had a bunch of polish shipped to him (so I wouldn't have to deal w/ a UPS nightmare). Picking up 6 nice polishes and another 6 cheapy polishes as a reward for a long ass summer was lots of fun. Collecting another couple dozen made me feel kind of bad about myself. I suspect I wont be buying any polish for a long while.

4a. First stop - my local beauty shop where I picked up 6 fun colors (4 shown above).

4b. Next stop - RBL near Chinatown. Yikes. It's located on a really quaint street that looks like rent would be reallllly pricey. But idk, inside the ~lounge~ didn't feel nearly as luxurious as I was expecting. High standards I guess for a place that charges, what, $50 for a base pedicure? Plus while the colors are even more gorgeous in person, the display bottles looked REALLY sad and old. They were separating and gunky and just... yikes. If I wasn't fiending for the SpongeBob collection like no other I wouldn't have picked up a thing.

4b. Next stop - Anna Sui in Soho. I didn't get anything. The polish offerings from Anna were kind of a creme lover's nightmare. I like sparkle and glitteriness well enough. But, I keep my fancy polish buying to cremes only. Idky.

4c. Next stop Sephora. Mehhhhhhhh. Other than the SSN knock off, I didn't buy a thing. And Sephora by OPI's Dark Room looked totally blah in person.

4d. Ricky's. I love this shop! They carry a bunch of different brands and even orly minis. I'm always happy in that store. The Ricky's in Soho was working extra hard for customers yesterday because they had a very wet looking and chubby gentleman stomping in high heels on a treadmill. (Googled pic but not from yesterday, he isn't nearly wet nor thrilled enough.) I was really impressed w/ his enthusiasm and energy. Whatever they were paying him, it wasn't enough b/c the A/C was severely lacking inside. No buys.

That was it for me in Soho. I couldn't have gotten out any quicker. I really effing hate that place.

4e. Next to Inglot. If Anna Sui is a creme lover's nightmare, Inglot is a sparkle lover's hell. Obviously it was my kind of place, rows and rows of beautiful cremes. I picked up 3 colors. 2 of which were matte. They took FOREVER to dry on the lady who was hard-selling me and I was happily obliging (I came in to buy). But I didn't CARRRREEEEE I loved the colors.

This morning, I'm much less thrilled. Mainly because the bottle on the right looked like a beautiful dark purple in the store. I pointed at and practically yelled, "THAT ONE!" as soon as my eyes landed on it. It still looks kind of purple in the bottle. But the pic makes it look more blue. And so I thought, eh I'll paint some paper to show ya'll that it is purple. Nope. Blue. My only hope is that after 2-3 layers it becomes more purple. It was unequivocally blue on the page.

(I'm rolling my eyes so hard at this polish.)

4f. Last stop - I went to my friend's apartment where I picked up an order from VNS and another site I completely forget the name of (who was out of stock on CG's Blue Island Iced Tea and glue resin and gave me a refund check for $6.50 in the order - crushing but I'm dealing).

5. Korean bbq w/ my bff, a fierce and hot public defender. Love hah.

FYI - Today is starting off equally good. I'm eating a burger and fries and having my favorite drink - a mint lemonade slushy.
read more "Soo Nails' Gold and Blue Foil and Post-Bar Haul"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NOTM(orning) and NOTA(fternoon): Color Club Tru Passion + Misa Dance Fever

Once upon a time, I thought I might study visual cognition. It was easier to collect data. Sit people in front of a computer, have them click buttons when they see a circle (or whatever) and let the computer collect the data for me. Then I thought, "No, my real passion is in psycholinguistics."

Boy, am I an idiot.

This type of research is painstaking. Listening to endless hours of audio, transcribing it and analyzing it and... miscounting a lot. For someone who has been in school for 19 years (plus maybe an extra year for all those summers at nerd camp), I really don't seem to know how to add or subtract. Multivariate statistics, yes. Addition, no.

To reward myself for, you know, doing my job today, I decided two manis were in order.

Color Club Tru Passion

Misa Dance Fever

These are fabulous glitters! They are very fine and brush on very smoothly (unless I get impatient and gloop them on). Both of these are four coats each. The Dance Fever, especially, just GLOWS in sunlight: it may be burning my retina to stare directly at it. Mmm. Glowy burn.

In other news, I'm pretty miffed that my university's library is undergoing major budget cuts (like every other university library, I'm sure) and a professor sent around a list of psych journals that are on the cutting block. NOOOOOOO!! If there's no other reason to go to a rich private university, it's that they'll have more money to keep their resources up when the economy's down the drain and floating fast out to sea. Unless they're Harvard or some other imprudent Ivy League that got greedy and invested everything in high yield (and high risk) stocks. Yay for not getting my PhD at an Ivy League? (Besides that there was actually no Ivy that had an advisor I wanted to work with. And none who would want to work with me. Definitely not something to cry over though!)
read more "NOTM(orning) and NOTA(fternoon): Color Club Tru Passion + Misa Dance Fever"

Yesterday's NOTD: Shiseido PN 66 over Chelsea Heavenly Signs

A picture may be worth a thousand words (as demonstrated by all the nail polish blogs out there), but a video can be worth a thousand pictures... if they would upload with no loss of quality! I had the most gorgeous, glittery NOTD yesterday and as usual, I tried taking pictures to capture its glittery gorgeousness but every photo fell short. So I took a video. On my laptop, the video showed off the glint and glitter of the polish perfectly but when I try to upload it, the quality gets compromised somewhere along the way so it doesn't show up quite as well anymore. I've posted it just the same though. First the photos:

Shiseido PN 66 (3 layers) over Chelsea Heavenly Signs

I wish I knew where to get Shiseido PN polishes. The writing on the label is in Japanese so I'm assuming... Japan. I got these from the same swap as I got my first two of BB Coutures. Chelsea Heavenly Sign's provides a creme burgundy base for this fairly glitter-packed polish.

A close-up of glittery goodness:

Does glitter get any better than that?

read more "Yesterday's NOTD: Shiseido PN 66 over Chelsea Heavenly Signs"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


O hai!

(Please to excuse my rough mani! Explanation below.)

I'm D (Pifflove on MUA). I'm pretty new to polish (I started collecting only about a year ago) but I am pumped about being a part of this lovely blog!

What types of posts can you expect from me? 3 things:
  1. Application issues -- Other than great pics, my favorite part of other nail blogs is when ppl talk about the formula.
  2. Color-complimenting (and clashing) -- As you may have noticed, I am black. It is really great to see plenty of multi-racial representation in the world of nail polish blogs! I know a problem for all of us (white, black, brown, red, or purple!) is finding colors that work with our skin tone. I'm NC-42* and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out if I am warm toned or cool toned. Silver looks way better on me than gold, but boy does primary blue make me look awful!
  3. Off the beaten path polishes -- Every once in a while, I want to feature random beauty shop brands. And Bruccis (a brand heavily stocked at Duane Reade pharmacies here in NY)!!! <3
I know that I have certain styles of polish photos that I prefer. So let me know if there's some angle or close up you'd rather see!

Now why would I post a photo of my nails looking rather hagard? About 4 hours ago, I finished taking the NY Bar. It was an exam I spent all summer prepping for and I am glad it is OVER.

I'm a stress and boredom biter so I was pretty concerned about how my nails would hold up throughout this past (very unpleasant) week. I also knew I would have to type a lot and long nails slow me down. So I decided to just chop em off on Friday. I had achieved reasonable length but it was a surprisingly liberating experience!!! I love my shorties! Plus there was NO biting over both exam days, there was nothing to bite!

Initially I was going to go w/ Essie's Marshmellow for my color. I love white this summer! But for me, it peels after about 36 hours and I needed something to hold on a little longer. I decided to go with China Glaze's FYI. It was a nice toned down color that wouldn't drive me nuts when it inevitably chipped but it still had lots of fun to it on account of the holo. I painted those nails Sunday morning. While I didn't BITE, I did have my nails in my mouth (lol!!) for 2 days straight. So, I'm pretty impressed with the hold. Love the formula on the China Glaze OMG collection! Smooth application, no more than 2 coats, dries hella fast. Plus, I know a lot of folks on MUA complain about it peeling or chipping away quickly, but this held up reasonably well!

NOW - I find out if I passed this horrible exam in November, THREE torturous months from now. If I do pass, FYI will achieve godlike status in my polish collection. If not, I vow to smash the bottle on the ground outside my apartment. I'm reasonable like that.

As a reward for my painful experience, I plan on running around NYC tomorrow buying up no more than mumblemumble dollars worth of polish! Expect the haul post to end all haul posts.

*Actually I have no idea if that's my color. That's just the concealer the chicks at MAC gave me so I assume that's me!
read more "CG's FYI"

My first BB Coutures! (and a couple of others)

Yesterday, I wrote what was probably one of the longest emails in the existence of mankind. Which isn't too impressive because email hasn't been around so long (in terms of the existence of mankind). Like I've mentioned before, the research project I was an RA on back in 2004 is finally being written up for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The professor I worked for sent over a draft for critique. And I wrote a very, very long one. I'm not sure it was that coherent. It took me about six hours to figure out what I was trying to say and I kind of feel sorry for her that she woke to that email in her inbox this morning.

It was a lot of fun to revisit the project, which was on children's language acquisition, especially since the theoretical orientation of my PhD program differs a lot from the theoretical orientation I was trained in during college. And it was fabulous to write for the first time in a month (woot vacation! woot not being so sick that I can't even sit up!), even if it was just a rambling email. I should be doing a lot more research-oriented writing, not just because I have to be doing it, but because I really enjoy it. I love writing, I love ideas, I love letting my mind wander all over the place and reading a whole bunch of articles and eventually coming down to some sort of deadline -- usually one that has whooshed right by -- and pulling it all together. I love choosing words, reordering thoughts -- trying to say exactly what I mean. Doesn't always work but I usually have fun doing it.

Anyway, having stared at the computer for hours yesterday, I decided to stare at my nails today and do some swatching. My untrieds box was full again so I spent some time swatching about 15 polishes (and taking pictures). Amongst my untrieds were my first two BB Couture polishes that I had swapped for. Coincidentally enough, the woman I swapped with currently lives on the same street I lived in Somerville, MA for the first two years after I graduated from college! Small world. (Well, it was a big street.)

These did apply very smoothly but I can't say they were precisely my cup of tea; I haven't tried enough yet to make up my mind about the brand. First up...

BB Couture Venice Party

If the had been sun out today, it would have been easier to see the blue opalescent glitter in this polish...

BB Couture Blind Love

I thought this was going to be more silver but it turned out to be more pewter and I really don't know how I feel about pewter; one of the reasons I'm holding out on ChG Cords, I guess.

Another polish I swatched out was Chelsea Psycho Green (also courtesy of a swap!), which looks like it might turn out to be a NARS Zulu-like jelly but then dries slightly matte.

Chelsea Psycho Green

Chelsea Psycho Green layered with Anna Sui 235, which has blue and red opalescent multi-sized glitter suspended in a jelly of a non-descript shade (actually, it looks like a muddy jelly but applies clear)

Weird thing about Anna Sui polishes: they're perfumed. At first, it smells floral... and then it smells like bug spray.
read more "My first BB Coutures! (and a couple of others)"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

BB Couture Green Goblin

I think some of my fellow feminists look at me as a hypocrite for loving something such as nail polish. To love something that seems to inherently and negatively reinforce feminine stereotypes (such as that all women do and should wear makeup) does seem hypocritical, in a way. I hate that a common stereotype with nail polish is often the woman on TV or in a movie who waves her hands around in an exaggerated fashion as her nails dry and then screams and becomes hysterical if she chips or breaks a nail while the male costar rolls his eyes. Nail polish seems to be tied to an exaggerated form of femininity and I haven't quite figured out why yet since nail polish really is just another form of makeup, and you typically don't see women on TV or in movies screaming hysterically if they slightly smudge their eyeshadow.

Despite all of this negativity surrounding nail polish, I like to think that I'm being an active feminist by wearing polish BECAUSE I WANT TO and not because of any other reason. I also like to violate the traditional "rules" of nail polish such as wearing only French manicures, sheers, pinks, or reds.

Well, my kitteh just climbed on my lap (I'm typing on a laptop) and made it very difficult for me to type, so I will end my rant! Here are some pictures of my most recent NOTD, BB Couture Green Goblin....

BB Couture is probably one of my top favorite nail polish brands. They apply so smoothly and have lots of lasting power! These pics were taken in cloudy lighting as it is a stormy day. Each picture is 2 coats with Diamont topcoat. They were taken after 1 day of wear. As usual, click on the pics to see them larger than life!

It looks like I have a chip on my index and middle fingers in these pictures but it's just the lighting.
I never thought I'd love green polish as much as I do. There is something so edgy to me about a green shade like this. I'm in love!!

Thanks for visiting!
read more "BB Couture Green Goblin"

feeling hot hot hot

Wow it's been a blazing few days here!! So incredibly humid and hot! That means lots of sun and lots of BEACH!

I have a few past NOTD. First two are purple! I was feeling in the purple mood, I think my longer nails looks best with purple nail polish on. I could wear purple any day, any occasion, any length honestly. I think its my fav nail polish color! Both of these purples are super pretty with subtle shimmer that makes them glow and really makes them diff from other purples.

NYX Wild Child

Claire's Magic

Yesterday I had my first GMAT prep class so I put on a cheery Finger Paints Ripe Peach. We took a diagnostic exam to see which areas we need help most on. Honestly I need help in all areas. The real test is four hours long. Yesterday's diagnostic exam was only three hours long, we omitted the essay section. I couldn't even sit through the three hours bc i was getting serious ADD and kept staring at my nails and got restless after only 15 questions. I don't know what I'm gonna do when I take the actual test!! :(

Finger Paints Ripe Peach

When I woke up this morning I saw a box outside my door from Sephora and quickly opened it. Behold, DARK ROOM! Looks kinda blue in the bottle, sorta like a super dark teal, but after i painted my nails with it, it's DEF green!! Super dark green, but still very pretty and perfect for fall! Formula was great for me, it was a little more runny than I'm used to, but manageable.

Sephora by OPI Dark Room
read more "feeling hot hot hot"

Hmm, what can you do with 6 stashes?

I'd like to bring to our readers' (you know, all... three of them at this early stage!) attention that between the six of us, we have over 1400 polishes. (How many Helmers is that?!) Some stashes are bigger than others but this much is true: we got a lotta lacquer. Granted, I'm sure we share some polishes but it seems that we have a pretty wide range of tastes and I suspect there's not that much overlap.

So see that little comment box on the sidebar? It asks for reader swatch requests. We obviously cannot guarantee that any of us will have a polish requested or, if we do own the polish, that we'll be able to swatch it for the blog, but it doesn't hurt to ask. :)

And I'm personally open to franken/frankendupe suggestions so feel free to ask for 'em. :D
read more "Hmm, what can you do with 6 stashes?"

Skin Food NOTDs!

I want all of the polishes from this brand! Too bad it's mostly only found in East Asia. I recently got a few off of eBay from a South Korean seller and gotta say, money well spent (in terms of nail polish anyway)! They are of fabulous quality, in gorgeous colors and the brushes are perfect for my nails. One brush stroke covers most of my nail. They are more flexible than the OPI Pro-Wide, retain polish for longer and somehow they spread polish more evenly so I'm not having to "reload" my brush for every nail (nor worrying as much about gooping it on). Here are three recent ones:

Skin Food Pedi Vita #005 Blue-Purple (it's more purple than blue, IMO):

Skin Food BL512 Cucumber (teal with bright blue shimmer):

Skin Food BL505 Apple Green (my favorite one -- look at the milky green jelliness!):
read more "Skin Food NOTDs!"

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Proper Introduction and Something Completely Different

This is my second time posting, but I never properly introduced myself. My name is Grace and I finished my undergraduate degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Genetics in May 2009 and I'm starting graduate school in the fall to study molecular microbiology and/or genetics in hopes of earning a PhD at some point in the future. Like the other ladies here, I'm not particularly what people envision when they think of my field - I'm loud, pretty gregarious and I absolutely love clothes and beauty. As far as nail polish goes - I love all types of colors - in particular greens and almost any creme nail polish under the sun. I love doing everything from bright and outrageous manicures to more classic styles (though you'll never catch me with french tips).

Speaking of outrageous, one of my favorite nail related toys is KONAD (check the sidebar for a 20% off promo code!) - I've found from my experimentation that much of the China Glaze OMG collection works like magic with them.

This look is a little over the top for me, but I figure I have a few years to get this out of my system before I need to begin acting and looking more professional! For this mani I used China Glaze LOL, DV8 and the M63 Konad plate with OMG.
read more "A Proper Introduction and Something Completely Different"

Adding a SIXTH blogger to the P or P gang!

I'm happy to announce the addition of our sixth blogger, D:). I'm still not sure how I'm going to pronounce that if I say it aloud. D-smile? D-grin? DCCP (colon, closed parenthesis)? Gal with Furrowed Brow? Anyway... she should be making her debut post later this week. I can't wait!

Also, Hello! to those who have found their way to Polish or Perish from Dr Frankenpolish's blog! (For the two people who came to P or P first, check out Dr Frankenpolish for my frankendupe version of Lippmann's Funky Chunky. It's much less chunky but I think it's just as funky.)

"Hi, my name is flinty and I am addicted to hexagonal glitter!" (See my frankens below... although these both needed a lot more hexes!)


All Hexed Up:

read more "Adding a SIXTH blogger to the P or P gang!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quick and dirty swatch: L'Oreal Star Magnet Purple

Today has been a big growth day for Publish or Perish! We've added our FIFTH blogger, Jess, who has already introduced herself. Five geeky lacquer loonies who aspire -- at least, in the short term -- to the Ivory Tower. Five students posting about nail polish while procrastinating from their academic pursuits. If that doesn't guarantee a new post on most days, I don't know what will.

(By the way, if you love academia, nail polish and photographing your lacquered tips and toes, consider blogging with us! Email us at for more details.)

In other PorP news, Kathleen at has provided our blog with our very own coupon code: type in "polishorperish" in the promo/coupon code box during checkout and get 20% off your entire order! Shipping is free for domestic and international orders over $20 (after discounts). This is a great resource for Konad kits and accessories!

Anyway, back to business:
Thank heavens it's summer vacation because I can keep an eye on Nail Board for when some enterprising NBer posts about some terribly irresistible eBay ("evilBay" in NB parlance) auction for an HTF polish. I finally got my little lacquered paws onto some L'Oreal Star Magnet polishes (AKA cheapie Lancome Le Magnetique).

For those who aren't familiar with these magnetic polishes, Boing Boing has a nice summary. You gotta love a nail polish that gets mentioned on Boing Boing. Synopsis of the BB post: polish has metal filings, polish bottle has attached magnet, put freshly lacquered nail up to the magnet and voila, metal filings in the polish create a starburst pattern. Instant geek sexy.

The colors aren't special but the magnetic part is. The bottle is terribly small (0.3fl oz as opposed to the typical 0.5fl oz) and the brush is terribly big. (Exactly how many times have I used the word "terribly" here? Too many.) I'm sure the brush would work better on big nailed gals but I have sadly small nails and polish cleanup around the edges of my nail post-application was a bitch.

But it's got magnetic filings and it creates a starburst pattern! Behold!

L'Oreal Star Magnet in Purple:

I'm not sure why L'Oreal decided to use an '80s space age computer game-like font for their logo here but never judge a book by its cover, right?

What was pretty nifty to me was that I could see the the magnetic filings being drawn into the starburst pattern while it was held up close to the magnet: a little dollop of polish even flew off of my nail onto the magnet.

On the topic of dollops, because Star Magnets are HTF, I usually do my nails in another (regular) polish to achieve maximum opacity with only one layer of the Star Magnet. That way, opaque but I'm not wasting the precious polish. Once the polish is dry, the filings are no longer mobile enough to be pulled in by the magnet so doing two coats with it is tantamount to wasting the polish.

I decided to further jazz my nails up with a couple of nail art rhinestones. Not the most interesting pattern -- or the greatest execution -- but you guys get the general idea. This is my first foray into 3D nail art. Or maybe just sticking stuff on my nails on top of my polish.

You know what I'd love to try but would probably suck at? Acrylic 3D nail designs! It's not really the sort of thing I can wear while teaching and holding office hours but seems like a lot of fun to try out!
read more "Quick and dirty swatch: L'Oreal Star Magnet Purple"

Intro to Jess

Hello! My name is Jess (daydream222@MUA) and I am so excited to be part of this blog. I graduated from undergrad in 2008 and proceeded to take a year and a half off between undergrad and grad school. Now I am going back to school beginning in August for my Masters in Women's and Gender Studies. Yes, I am a feminist. No, I am not a stereotypical feminist. Sometimes it is difficult to be a feminist when so many other feminists (note: not ALL feminists) look down upon women loving things like fashion and makeup. The important distinction here is that I wear nail polish because I love color and because polish makes me feel pretty. I wear it for myself and no one else, and I am grateful that I can freely choose what colors I want to wear without anyone telling me what I should wear.

I think that is enough ranting for today. I will gladly take any questions about this subject! Now, onto the pictures....

My typical nail routine involves swiping my nails with Zoya Remove+ followed by Nubar Nu Nails basecoat, 2-3 coats of polish, and Nubar Diamont topcoat. All of the pictures below follow this routine.

Click on each pic to see it larger!

First up is Sephora by OPI Skinny Jeans. This is 2 coats. This picture was after 2 days of wear! SOPIs wear like iron on me.

Second we have Sephora by OPI IM Beauty. Like all yellows, this one was streaky. It only took 3 coats to even out though and the end result was very pretty. Coworkers told me it "just wasn't pretty," though I heartily disagree. This NOTD was SpaRitual Solitude on every nail but my middle nail, which I painted Precision U Rock & I Roll. Both colors are 2 coats. I love doing manis with contrasting fingers like this.

Last but definitely not least is my most recent and current NOTD, Orly Enchanted Forest. This color is to die for!!! This is only 2 coats (though I probably could have only used one). It is a beautiful blue-based green that works very well with my cooler skin tone.

And that is all for today! Thank you for looking! :)
read more "Intro to Jess"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A KOTD for Evil Angel, our first blog follower!

A funky french KOTD for the first person who listed us on their own np blog! The image plate used was also from a swap with her.

Skin Food RE106 Black Cherry with White Konad Special Polish (using Hot Topic "fauxnad" plate) and orange Nail Star nail art pen.

read more "A KOTD for Evil Angel, our first blog follower!"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Barry M, love 'em, hate 'em -- I do both.

Over July 4th weekend, I was very excited to see that Barry M, a UK brand, was doing free shipping to the US and a 20% off deal. The polishes are affordable and look spectacularly pigmented. And free shipping is always my cup o' tea. Because there was a minimum purchase to get the 20% off, I ordered a bunch of polishes for another NB'er/np blogger located in Canada.

Fast forward 2+ weeks later, with no notice of shipment from Barry M in the intervening time, the polishes arrive in a thin bubble mailer. Okay. Sure. Cross-atlantic and then cross-continental shipment... sure. Polishes were intact but one of the NBer's was missing (out of stock, first I had heard of this news because I haven't had the money refunded yet!) and one of mine was just not there (no explanation whatsoever). I've emailed them twice now asking WTF, where are my polishes and if I don't see some polishes soon, I want to see some money refunded into my account. No response. Am I going to have to call the UK?! (Probably.) So I'm not feeling good towards Barry M's even though the polishes are quite nice. They are almost opaque in two coats and apply very smoothly. Very pretty colors but I seem to have dupes for all the ones I ordered (my fault, I suppose).

Barry M Marshmallow Pink (I'm sure I have an Essie of this color somewhere)

Barry M Spring Green (reminds me of Color Club Wild Child)

Barry M Grey (reminds me of China Glaze Recycle)

Barry M Cobalt Blue on pinky and middle fingers
Essie Mesmerize on ring and index fingers
They look identical indoors and only slightly different in the sunlight.

read more "Barry M, love 'em, hate 'em -- I do both."

Half moon

Hello! I'm Adrienne (al0221 on MUA). I'm very excited to be apart of a blog that loves nail polish as much as me and is involved in the world of academia. I just graduated from undergrad and just trying to pull it together to figure out what I want to be when i grow up.

With all this free time, I've been trying to do some half moon manis. They are definitely time consuming. I did my first one about 2 weeks ago.

Essie Blanc, Sally Hansen Nasturtium

Thought the the half moons were kinda big so on my next attempt i made them smaller

Milani Timeless, LA Girl no name navy

As soon as I put on this navy I absolutely loved it! I'll have to do a regular mani with it! LA Girl makes some awesome polish, love everything about it formula, brush, color assortment. Only thing is, is that they don't all have names.

And my current mani

Milani Vintage, OPI You Don't Know Jacques

This one def turned out the best. Reminds me of coffee! Ha and you can also see how my nails have grown since the first pic. I plan on doing a purple half moon mani, just not sure which colors yet, but I'll keep you posted!!
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NOTD Lancome Midnight Glam

Would've never bought a Lancome polish for myself (except for Le Magnetique) but I got it in a mystery polish swap and remembered why I LOVE mystery polish swaps: it forces me to try brands I might not consider otherwise!

It looks lovely in the bottle (very dark blue with bright silver and blue shimmer) but when I started applying it, it seemed thickened and goopy. But it settled down quickly into a nice even sheen that had this beautiful subtle shimmer (much more subtle than in the bottle anyway): it looked like blue velvet. (And now that song is stuck in my head.) It was my first Lancome polish and I may have to try more of them if I can find them for cheap!

Lancome Midnight Glam
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Nubar Going Green!

I was wanting to introduce myself with a polish that reflected my love of all sciences, but sadly there was little sunshine today and some much needed rain is finally coming to central Texas! Don't worry, I have some wonderful previous nail of the day shots to share from the amazing Nubar Going Green collection (flinty had previously posted Forest from this collection).

Conserve - a lovely blue-green shimmer that leans strongly towards green.

Earth - another blue-green shimmer, but this one leans more towards blue. Definitely different enough from Conserve to have both.

Reclaim - an absolute masterpiece, a true green holographic polish.

The shimmers from this collection are phenomenal! They have a depth to them that makes it seem as if the nails are shimmering jewels. All in all this is a perfect collection for the aspiring academic - green is supposed to be associated with intelligence after all!
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The "perish" in "polish or perish"

Explaining a joke or a pun is never funny. So, excuse my unfunniness:

The title of this blog, Polish or Perish, should be an obvious reference for those familiar with the academic industry. "Publish or Perish" refers to an aspiring professor's need to publish articles, chapters or books in order to get a job. The smart, go-getter graduate student needs to have her eyes on the prize, the prize being authorship credit on as many quality papers as possible.

This morning, almost completely out of the blue (mmm, blues... I have a great dark blue Lancome polish on right now... but more on that later), I got an email from my Unofficial Advisor from college: she's resurrected an old language acquisition/developmental psych research project that I had worked on five years ago as an undergrad. She spruced a manuscript and sent it to me, the other undergrad RA who worked on the project and a former grad student of hers to provide criticism before she submits it for publication in one of the most competitive journals in the field. (They have an especially quick TAT for rejections so an author doesn't lose much time by aiming high.)

( is weird to talk about "TAT" in terms of academic journals. I'm used to talking about etailers' TAT and when I can expect to receive whatever salt scrubs I've ordered.)

Years ago, when she prepared the working paper for a conference and asked for feedback, I didn't have the confidence to provide useful criticism. Today, I knew I could help (at least, a little bit), even though it's been years since I've done research in this particular subfield. In a way, I know less than I did when I was a senior because I'm no longer familiar with this subfield but somehow, I've gotten better at knowing what's good, what's bad, and what's promising but infused with bullshit. That shouldn't surprise me: it's in my job description as a grad student and I've been at this job for a year now. But during this past year, I was so busy adjusting to graduate school, I kind of forgot the bigger picture of why I was in graduate school.

This paper is the first paper being submitted for publication (since starting graduate school) that will list me as a co-author. This is real. I'm doing this whole thing -- not just because I love it -- because I'm building my career (and by extension, making a couple of lifestyle choices). I'm choosing "publish or perish". And that's why I'm in graduate school.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NOTD: Massini Slamming Red

I am so grateful to the MUA swapper who threw this into a recent mystery swap package. It looks beyond amazing in the bottle: shining, shimmering, splendid holo EVERYWHERE, suspended in a sea of rich fuchsia glitter.

I loved it when I saw it.

Now, not so much. This is one of the hardest polishes I've ever tried to apply. I almost don't want to post the pictures, my mani looks so messy. There's a reason it looks like it's all glitter: it is, in fact, all glitter. It comes out like thin, sparkly, fuchsia Elmer's glue and the rather long and flexible brush picks up a ton of it at a time. This'd be great for someone with big nails but I have little nails. Little nails, big mess. All over. Pain in ass clean-up. And CHUNKY. I mean, it looked clumped on my nail and rather dull clumps too. Putting a coat of Nubar Diamont helped gloss it up and smooth it out slightly except the glitter ATE the gloss and it became dull in an hour. I went outside with it and though it was pretty and sparkly in the sun, it looks dull and dark indoors. And clumpy. So clumpy. And because it was a glitter polish, it took about twenty minutes of hard scrubbing with acetone and felt to remove.

I'm sad because I've heard tell of Massini glitter polishes (some of which are direct dupes for Color Clubs) and some of the photos are stunning. This one... fail. Big fail. Ugh. Here it is. (Lookit how pretty the bottle is! Look at the bottle! THE BOTTLE. NOT MY FINGERNAILS.)

Massini Slamming Red

I still have hope for Massini though (especially since I really like Color Club polishes) and will get another shot at them very soon...

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