Monday, November 30, 2009

I swear I haven't dropped off the face of the planet!

...But as all of you (ladies) are probably aware... the first semester of a new program is super hectic. Teaching + coursework + trying to put together a list for comprehensives + all the other stuff we do for/at/with school = no time for life.

(Plus, I will admit to enjoying a new addiction... Dragon Age: Origins... But more on that later.) :P  If anybody else out there is playing this right now...let's chat!

My final set of classes for the semester are tomorrow and while I do have a few papers to write, an exam to invigilate and a pile of assignments to grade, I promise to share a few new manis before the holidays.

In the meantime, if you haven't already enjoyed this Internet sensation, enjoy it now!

The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

- mKat
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More travel haulage! And subpar iPhone pics!

The New York haul was sad. Didn't have enough time to really go hunting for polish.

Super happy I got to go to Inglot again though:
851: like ChG Wagon Trail but more shimmery.
XL7: blue purple opalescent glitter topcoat.
954: Pea green creme with neon green microshimmer that's only visible in some lights.
913: what I want to cure me of my burning desire for OPI Creme de Menthe. Looks more metallic than CdM though.
635: brownish maroon with pink and purple microshimmer. I've never seen a color like this. These "breathable" polishes are $4 more than the regular ones. (nails are dead, folks -- no breathing necessary!)

Picked up some M&Ms at the big M&M store next door to Inglot. Some of my favorite nail polish colors: bright green, grey, blurple, vampy, white, teal... ;)

Mattese Matte Smoke: it looks like a dead on dupe of Diamond Cosmetics' polish of the same name. Strange because a lot of Mattese polishes are Color Club.
Mattese Caution: neon yellow creme.
LA Girl navy matte: not sure what the official name is because this one came from Forever 21.
Illamasqua Collide: hahaha. My iPhone auto-completed the word "illamasqua" after I typed "illam". Dense purple and pink glitter.

So only 9 polishes from NYC but when I got home late last night, I found these on my kitchen table! My SO had picked up two Color Club sets for me from Ross and I had received my Urban Decay and Snail Slicks polishes in the mail. I couldn't immediately locate my camera so I took what will hopefully be the last of my crappy iPhone pics for this blog (until I travel again):

Color Club Glitter Vixen set

Color Club Dance to the Musique set

Urban Decay Apocalyptic set

Snail Slicks 102: dark blue-grey foil.
Snail Slicks 40: dense green and gold glitter.

I also ordered some stuff during Black Friday sales (LA Splash, Avon) and hauled most of the ChG Wizard of Ooh Ahz from VNS so there ought to be no shortage of swatches for December!
read more "More travel haulage! And subpar iPhone pics!"

Cyber Monday discount/promo codes!

Whomever coined the term "Cyber Monday" was not clever. I'm just sayin'. All sales expire tonight at 11:59pm unless otherwise specified.

Coastal Scents is having 25% off sitewide: great resource for micas, glitters and pigments for frankening!

Barielle is having 20% off sitewide. Free shipping over $50.

Avon has free shipping on orders over $5 (code: SPREE2009). Nail polishes are currently going 3 for $7.99.

BeautySak is offering $20 off of orders $100+. Free shipping over $50. Has a narrower selection of RBL and Lippmann.

FragranceNet has some nail polishes and are offering 15% off your entire purchase with code: CYMN9.

Discount Beauty Center is offering 10% off your entire purchase with code: HOLIDAY2009.

Sephora has free shipping on any purchase with code: SHIP4FREE.

Sally Beauty is having 20% off your entire purchase with code: 555945, free shipping on all orders.

BeautyBridge is having 10% off your entire purchase with code: CYBER10.
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

For Science

I can't remember the last time I went an entire month without wearing nail polish. Even when I wasn't a polish addict, I was still dedicated to nudes. So this experience will be interesting.

As I have mentioned before I have only two nail implements with me: a file and a basecoat. No remover, no cuticle cream, no nippers, no COLOR.

I thought it might be interesting to take a photo of what my nails looked like before I left and compare that with what they look like when I return.

I expect total devastation to be quite honest.

This is a photo of the nail file I have brought with me to South East Asia.

As you can see, I have had him for a very long time. I stole him from my mother years and years ago. We've had some good times together, and he still takes care of me. While I stopped using him to file my nails, he is still my go to for general nail cleaning (under the tip and around the cuticle). He'll see me through this.... hopefully. And yes, he will be filing. my. nails. The nail care purists out there a fucking retching right now. Frankly, so am I.

These are photos of my untouched nails right after removing a mani. No moisture, no nothing.

(Left, Right)

The yellow staining is more pronounced in person. It's not horrible, but I'm not happy. And I'm fully aware of which polish did this to me and the little twerp has been banished from my polish kingdom.

The major, nail-related upside to this trip is that surely my stains will have a good opportunity to grow out.

The base coat I'm gripping is Sally Hansen Miracle Cure. There is 2/3 left and it is newly thinned. I chose this one b/c the bottle seemed quite sturdy (unlike Citra 2 by Nailtek) and I just don't care about the contents (unlike my precious Lippmann Rehydrating). So this experiment isn't exactly "For Science" since there is no control group. But it will still be interesting to see how my nails hold up.

I am an avid nail biter when my nails are bare or the polish is peeling. I'm pretty sure my nails will end up in my mouth at some point during the trip. We shall see!!
read more "For Science"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday discount/promo codes

Illamasqua (the UK site, not Sephora) is honoring free shipping (international included!) on all orders over £65, which equals to approximately $107 US dollars. There's a few polishes on the UK Illamasqua site that are not on Sephora's site, so now may be the chance to go for it! Expires December 17, 2009.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics sent an email notifying customers that "Now through Monday, November 30, 2009 only, get 10% OFF all cosmetic products available at OCCMAKEUP.COM! Use code TOFURKEY in the 'Special Instructions' section at checkout. In addition, all orders over $50.00 USD post-discount* qualify for Free Shipping within the contiguous United States. Please note that this 10% discount is applicable only towards cosmetic products and is not applicable to airbrush equipment, accessories, or systems. Pro-Discount holders may combine this promotional code with existing discounts! *Free shipping applies on orders over approximately $56.00 USD, prior to the 10% discount."

Happy shopping!
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day promo/discount codes!

Happy Turkey Day! I've got some severe frazzle (the OUCH kind) going on this morning so I thought that instead of showing you all that on what should be an appetizing day, I'd just post a bunch of Thanksgiving Day sale codes. (Unless otherwise noted, these are only good for today.)

If you want to try out the Beauty Rush nail polishes, Victoria's Secret is having free shipping on ANY order (code: FREESHIP1).

BeautyDeals is having 20% off sitewide (code: 6291), expires November 29th, 2009. Nailtek, Nailtiques, Essie, Orly and others.

Del Sol is having half off of everything, including their color changing nail polish!. Fair warning: I have had good CS with this company but a lot of people have not. Expires November 30th, 2009.

Missha is having 40% off sitewide (must register to get this coupon). They have added two lines of nail polish beyond the small $1 flower bottle polishes. Expires November 27th, 2009.

CherryCulture is having 20% off sitewide (code: TKS20). Great resource for LA Girl, LA Color, Milani, NYX, LA Splash, amongst others. Expires November 30th, 2009.

ETA: some promo codes that people have mentioned in the comments:

OverallBeauty is having free shipping. (Woot! BB Coutures!) Expires November 28th, 2009.

Zoya is having a promo where you get six green polishes (Tangy, Envy, Midori, Irene, Suvi & Veruschka ) with every purchase of $20 or more. Code: GREENFRIDAY. Expires November 27th, 2009.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November Adoree swatches

Some more swatches of Adoree polishes, which I received for free, courtesy of Thresa at Esther's Nail Center. I'll readily admit that my choices this month weren't fantastic but definitely nowhere near a complete loss. :)

Adoree Lemon Meringue

Reminds me a bit of Maybelline Banana Puddin': a slightly more saturated yellow and not as sheer. It still took four coats to even this out (and there are several spots where it still isn't even). This was an NOTD for a couple of days and there was no chipping and virtually no tipwear at the end of the third day.

Adoree Lime Light

I was so in love with the idea of this polish: highlighter yellow jelly with holo bar glitter. Wish it didn't look like such a disaster on my nails. Three coats are pictured above.

Close-up of Lime Light

Video of Lime Light

Adoree Tudar [sic] Brown

Deep brownish red. Very vampy and jelly but sheer and relatively hard to build. Three coats is pictured above.

Adoree Glamour Pink

Dusty carnation pink with green and gold shimmer. Really beautiful and one of the more interesting pinks I've run across lately but it needed to be thinned out with thinner and clear polish. Which I may do because I like this one a lot but it's a PITA to apply. Three coats pictured above. Beautifully sparkly in the sunlight.

Close-up of Glamour Pink

Video of Glamour Pink

Off to my SO's family's house for Thanksgiving today. The last and longest leg of my trip. My nail polish collection has grown though! I stopped by Inglot yesterday and got a handful of polishes -- including their new "breathable" (*rolls eyes*) polish. Wish I could've bought more but at $10 apiece (or $14 for the breathable polish), that wasn't going to happen. I also succumbed to an Illamasqua: Collide. I just couldn't resist the multi-colored glitter. Also, Inglot was closed when I got to Times Sq and I needed to pass time til it opened. Did you know Inglot has a nail art line? They look like those cheapie nail art pens that you can get from China off of eBay. Anyway. No idea if I'll get more polishes while at my SO's house: maybe during Black Friday shopping?

Oh... for those in NYC, Inglot is having a 20% sale in the morning on Black Friday. You lucky New Yorker ducks. Go nuts for me. :)
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

iNOTD ChG Dynasty and Update

Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a very quick update regarding my lack of posting. The last few weeks with school have been very hectic and to top it all off my husband and I received a phone call very early Sunday morning that his mother (in Indiana) was admitted to the hospital and things didn't look good. We ended up driving 11 hours to Indiana because plane tickets were so expensive (probably due to the Thanksgiving holiday). While here, I've been trying to read and write papers, which has proved to be quite a challenge. Luckily, my NOTD, which I did on Saturday evening, has held up like iron, despite frantic packing/unpacking and other hasty activities. So here is a quick iNOTD (as Flinty has posted in the past) to accompany this quick update.

This is 3 coats of ChG Dynasty, 1 coat of Nubar Diamont, and 1 coat of Barielle Manicure Extender. On others it seems to look like a brick red but on me and my cool skin it looks like a light reddish/burnt orange that is very flattering to my skin tone. Can you see how long my nails are getting? I am very proud. This is the longest they've been in my while life!!! (*knocks on wood* With my luck they'll all break tomorrow. :-/ ).

Thanks for reading!
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More backlogged NOTDs

Almost Thanksgiving!! YUMM Time to be gluttonous and lazy haha
My nails are still nubbins and will probably remain nubbins for probably a month because I'm trying out a new base coat and it seems to be helping with the staining. If it works then I will wait for the stained part to grow out and file it down to nubbins, AGAIN. Hopefully when this is all over I will have strong, healthy, stain free nails! BTW the base coat is Barielle Camouflage for those that are wondering. Onto the pictures!

This is Milani Fashionable which is a purple with the teeniest bit of shimmer in it that is only visible because of the macro mode on my camera. For a drug store polish, the formula is really really good! I think Milani might just be my favorite drug store brand for nail polish. It is shown here with two coats of polish over a base and topped with top coat.

And next up is Color Club Ultra Violet from their Summer Electro Candy collection. This is a neon purple with blue shimmer in it. The purple is definitely brighter in real life, but the blue shimmer is what sets this neon apart from others. Actually, all the neons from this collection have the blue shimmer in it which makes them all extra blinding. It is shown here with three coats over a base and topped with top coat. There is still VNL, and I could have done more coats, but got lazy. Although drying time was fast for me on this one. Color Club is definitely one of more favored brands over others because their formula is always on point and have a fun color selection. And you can get it at most places for under $3!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and have a safe holiday! :)
read more "More backlogged NOTDs"

Essie Mint Candy Apple and Lollipop NOTDs

Still absolutely exhausted by conference and travel and all that. Pretty much laid on the couch all day yesterday, watching true-crime forensics shows.

Essie Mint Candy Apple

Blued-mint creme. I am really torn on this one. First of all, though I like the color, I wish it were greener than it is. Second, this mani took me two tries to get right. The first shot (over Nu Nails) turned out to be a streaky mess and the polish went everywhere. The second one (over Nu Nails and NailTek Foundation II ridgefiller) was still streaky but evened out in three coats. Average drying time with Diamont. Looked a bit thick and chalky to me but I like the color so I'm fine with that. But the real beauty of this one for me is that it wore really well! The above is after three days: not a single chip and no tipwear.

Essie Lollipop

Jelly apple red, much like a candy apple you might get at a theme park. (Actually, why wasn't this called Candy Apple?) Very bright and glossy. Fairly sheer but buildable: slight VNL still visible after three coats. Average drying time with Diamont. The above shows some tipwear after two days: like MCA, it didn't chip before I removed it out of boredom of having my nails the same color for almost four days.
read more "Essie Mint Candy Apple and Lollipop NOTDs"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Boston haul!

Didn't realize I bought so many polishes while in Boston. Mostly because I hit a bonanza at Marshall's in Back Bay. Again, sorry for the low quality iPhone pics!

Nicoles from Marshall's (2 for $7):
In Your Hands: navy jelly
Really Really Red: really, really red creme

Absinthe Makes the Heart: dark olive green shimmer
Worth My Weight: gold microglitter with holo glitter

Nicoles from Marshall's (2 for $7)
Drama in the Dark: black foil
Turn Out the Lights: black with green shimmer
Black to the Future: black with purple/green duochrome shimmer
Blues in the Night: black with turquoise/purple shimmer

Woo, SH Canadian exclusives! Thanks, Glitterati!
Burnt Sienna: green-toned bronze
Project Runway: teal with gold microglitter
Fashion Forward: dark blue-toned purple shimmer
Valentino: brown with gold shimmer

Goldies (bought at Marshall's, none are named):
Magenta foil
Blue-toned red creme
Darker champagne shimmer
Dusty purple with frosty shimmer

Goldies (the set of 8 cost $8):
Fine multi-blue glitter
Medium pink creme
Reddish-bronze shimmer
Midnight blue with light blue shimmer and and purple microglitter

Hoping to hit Inglot, Ricky's, Essentials, TJ Maxx, and Old Navy (for their new polishes) today. Maybe Sephora to contemplate the Illamasquas again.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Square Nail Studio, Somerville, MA

I'm currently on a train down to NYC and am too tired to do any detailed review of my latest experience with The Square Nail Studio in Davis Sq (Somerville, MA). But I thought I'd post some of my iPhone pics of the place itself. Very shabby chic and entirely too cute as always.

Oh I got OPI Russian Navy Suede on toes and OPI Lincoln Park After Dark Suede on tips. (They use Essie Protein Builder basecoat and Seche Vite topcoat.) Very pretty but I'm still not won over to the Suedes.

Manicure tables (only two in the place total):

Tools in disinfectant in cute cups. Yes, those are nippers. I don't remember them using nippers before though. Might be because it's a different nail tech than I had had for the two years I went to this place. (Was sad not to see her but she got married and had a baby so quit half a year back.) Note the paint brushes. :)

Pedi platform (again, only 2). No hard to clean jetted tubs here! They use metal wash basins with big marbles, all of which are cleaned between clients.

If you look next to the wicker shelves, you can see one of the big basins they use. Also, in the sink: a hint of some of the marbles they use. In one of those shelves is their graveyard of dead and undesirable polishes: apparently, not much thinner on premises? (Yes, I looked through them. Some old label OPIs but nothing really rare or interesting.)

Pedi tools, including coconut oil as cuticle and massage oil. The pedi consists of a foot and leg massage and exfoliation using a salt scrub.

Marbles in action:

Color selection is on the wall. Primarily OPIs with some recent Essies thrown in. Fairly sedate: no glitters or neons. Couple of blues but no interesting greens. :( Sad because one of my favorite pedis ever from here was using OPI Hey Get in Lime with Call My Cell-ery on top.

Ceiling. Seriously.

A couple of dabs of coconut oil before slipping plastic baggies over my feet (to keep my pedi from being destroyed by socks and boots). I'm pretty sure the Suede pedi had dried completely by this point though. Better safe than sorry! :)

I'll try getting a better pic of the mani tomorrow. I asked her to take off some of the length and to do a more squoval shape than I usually do (regular emery boards used here).

Yeah, I'm not sure that I don't like my more rounded tips better. My nails feel so much shorter but they were due to be trimmed down some. If only because I had been getting paranoid that I was going to break a nail soon and have to start again from nubbin.

Anyway, my train's approaching Manhattan now. Wish it was either day or that my iPhone camera was better. There really isn't a more beautiful skyline...

Cannot wait to get to bed! I'm totally worn out. 3 days: a total of 14 hours spent at the conference, plus shopping (I hauled some great Nicoles from Marshall's), plus having various meals with nearly a dozen of my old friends. And a total of 14 hours sleep over 3 nights.
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Sinful's Nail Junkie and Sparitual's It's Raining Men

My adventures in layering over black (2 coats SH's Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Black Out) continue.

Nail Junkie

(1 coat)

Nail Junkie, like a lot of glitters, is suspended in that jelly-like clear base. It's hard to get it to go on thinly. Thus, I got the most impressive tip pull from this. Poshe could not handle the thickness at all.


In the bottle, It's Raining Men is a blue-to-green duochrome w/ a strong peach flash. Other bloggers, have covered how pretty this polish is on its own. Lovely, right?!

I decided to see what it was like layered over black.

It's Raining Men

(1 coat. Ring finger only.)

Lol! A complete transformation.


Despite it's Jeckyll-Hyde personality, I'm swapping it away. I don't do duochromes. But I had fun playing!

I left for Bangkok this morning. I realllly hope to do some sort of nail related update while I'm over there, but I may not get to it. If not, I have scheduled some posts so you'll still hear from me a little bit while I'm gone. See you in a few weeks!
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