Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wet n Wild Craze Cancun and Cozumel

I feel like the summer's practically over... how is it the end of July?

Wet n Wild Craze Cancun
Warm yellow jelly. Pretty easy to apply but took four coats to get close to opaque. I suspect a fifth one would've really done the trick... but I knew I was going to layer this one with its shimmery counterpart that was found in the same display. That and there's really only so long I can handle that stumpy little brush.

Wet n Wild Craze Cozumel

I really love this combination of yellow jelly and shimmering gold. The cool gold shimmer is not even close to ever getting opaque so I'm guessing it was meant to be paired with the opaque jelly in this collection. A couple of extra steps to get the full effect but I think it's an effect worth getting for $4 total. ...though maybe not worth five coats of nail polish.
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Friday, July 30, 2010

How do you remove your polish?

So... just a question for anybody/everybody out there!

I don't swatch a lot. I find that polishes (especially highly pigmented polishes) get everywhere when I attempt to remove them, even when I've taken great pains not to get them on my cuticles in the first place. Because of this I am typically turned off of swatching. For those of you who love to swatch, how do you keep your cuticles so clean and your hands from staining as you move between polishes?

Tips, tricks etc. welcome!
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Zoya Trixie

During every phase of my life, there have always been several constants: I have always had a very loyal and entertaining set of family and friends, I have always craved macaroni and cheese at any given point and I have always loved silver polish. Whether my nails were nubbins or talons, nicely filed or chewed to a ragged edge, I have always owned at least one polish and odds are that it was silver.

A good silver polish, I would argue, goes with almost every skin tone and almost any outfit, and that is versatility that we all crave, is it not? Silvers can range from glitters to foils and everything in between, and Zoya Trixie is nestled right in between. It's super shiny surface and dusting of sparkle are always this side of perfect.

Zoya - Trixie (lamp)

Zoya - Trixie (shade)

The only issue I have ever had with this polish is its wear; before learning about the correct combination of base and top coats with Zoya, I never seemed to be able to get my Zoyas to last more than a day on my nails before looking like I went rock climbing on a wet day. I am happy to say that a base coat of NailTek Foundation II, two coats of color and then a thick coat of Zoya Armour seems to work well for me. The only thing that stood in my way from a perfect mani with this polish this time was a lovely smattering of sheet marks... if only Armour was quick-drying. BLAST!

Ahhh, the shine. Who can deny the shine!

Happy day, all!
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

OPI Swiss: Swatches & Comps (my picks!)

Admittedly, I went a little overboard. Initially I was only going to get Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous (*hate* that name...) from the OPI Swiss Collection, but then I wanted the gold because I love gold polishes, and the green would be unique to me, and the cremes were so pretty and and and....Result? I ended up placing my first (and last!! I swear!!) order from Transdesign. I'm usually a "buy one bottle at a time" kinda gal, which renders e-tailers useless as shipping charges are too high to justify. Plus, I like seeing them in person first. :)

The upside - I'm going to swatch all of the ones I chose for you, and do some comps that I myself was curious about. Let's get down to business!

Bottle shots! L-R: Glitzerland, Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous, Ski Teal We Drop, Cuckoo For This Color, William Tell Me About OPI

Glitzerland - compared with Dazzled by Gold (middle), I Get A Kick Out of Gold! (index)

Glitzerland is the least 'gold' out of all three - it's more gold than it appears in these pics though, just because its next to such yellow gold polishes - it is a very wearable champagne hue, but has a very similar finish to I Get A Kick Out of Gold! - a finish I love! If IGAKOoG (rightttt...) is too yellow for you, which I believe it is for me, Glitzerland might be up your alley. But for those of you hoping to get rid of your Dazzled by Gold lemming with this - to me it's not even close. DbG is something else entirely.

Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous - compared with Brand New Skates (middle)

I think OPI knocked this one out of the park!!! It's moody, sparkly, almost-foi,l, cool-toned pewter shade. In the bottle you can see a titch of green pigment, but on the nail it just comes across as rich. I don't even know what to say besides I love it. Compared to BNS, it is much more sparkly and has a different finish than BNS, which is more of a 'regular' shimmer. BNS is also more blue-toned. Despite it's truly asinine name, Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous is my favourite of this collection!

Ski Teal We Drop - compared to RBL Teal (middle)

I expected these to be a lot different than they actually are. In the bottle (and swatched on tape), the OPI looks decidedly lighter, but on the nail (well my nail at least - maybe my nailbeds are a weird colour?), I can't tell the difference! Only a discerning eye would catch that RBL Teal is a hair darker and a hair greener than OPI Ski Teal We Drop. Beautiful cream formula, but a 2-coater to RBL's 1.

Cuckoo For This Color

No comps for this as I have nothing like it in my collection! It is a lot greener and more vibrant than I expected - some how I expected this to be an almost-black with teal/green shimmer. The base is certainly green, and the whole package comes off slightly teal-ish. This might be too green for me? I'm not sure about it...

William Tell Me About OPI

This one I am sure about. William Tell Me About OPI is a ridiculously shiny, delicious, deep eggplant. It is everything I wanted Lincoln Park After Dark to be (and it wasn't...)! Certainly dries darker than the bottle shade, but it is truly luscious!

I think my must-haves of the bunch for me are Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous (as I predicted) and William Tell Me About OPI (I can't resist a good vampy - and this one is *really* good). What are your picks from the Swiss collection? From what I've heard, people either love this collection or don't care for even a one - what's your stance? Are you looking forward to any upcoming collections?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Raspberries and other tasty treats... China Glaze Heli-Yum

Heli-Yum was one of the many fantastic cremes to launch as part of China Glaze's wonderful summer 2010 collection, Up and Away. Of the collection, I currently own only three shades - Grape Pop, Light as Air and this little bit of aforementioned raspberry wonderfulness - though I am sure I will collect them all eventually. Although I bought it much earlier in the year, I've waited months and months for just the right time to debut this shade. (What can I say? I'm neither a trend-follower, nor trend setter. :P) It is a decadently rich, berry pink that makes me think of jams, jellies and fresh summer fruit and it looks amazing when paired with a decent top-coat such as Seche Vite. Right now I'm wearing it on both my hands and feet and I'm loving how playful it makes me feel. :) Two coats was enough to bring me to bottle colour but I added a third just for the heck of it.

I am currently indulging in some of my other favourite pastimes including digging in the dirt ( I've been planting/replanting around my condo) and counting down to StarCraft II which came out on the 27th. (In true nerd fashion, I lined up for the midnight sale and scored a bonus hat as a result.) :P I have no doubt that between gardening and gaming my nails will be looking shabby for a while. LOL

Oh and because I mentioned 'other tasty treats', here's one of my favourites... Jon Bon Jovi. :) I was in the fourth row at their concert last week and the most amazing lady that was seated next to me was kind enough to send me a ton of her pictures. This one is courtesy of her. Bon Jovi=greatest band in the world (I say this with little to no bias ;)) and it's great to see they have such wonderful fans! :)

Til next time!
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NOTD: SB2 Purple + Matte Top Coat

Have you seen a less summer-y manicure in your life?

Ah well. Idk - I was in the mood.

(2 coats color - 1 coat Matte Top)
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Essence Check Me Out

We’ve all got certain soft spots for particular polishes, don’t we? Perhaps you’re always looking for the perfect red and can’t help but picking up every bottle of red you see, or perhaps you are a glitter gal and can’t help but run to the cash register holding every bottle with the slightest bit of sparkle. My mother is one of those women who can’t pass up a sheer yet has a box of eerily similar looking polishes that she SWEARS are different, and here is the kicker – she hates all of them. One is too pink, three are too brown, etc. Hysterical.

If I have a soft spot for any particular KIND of polishes, it is the polish that I refer to as a Perfect Storm. For me, the Perfect Storm is both affordable (read: cheap) and a fabulous, striking color. I’m sick of affordable (read: cheap) polishes all looking similar (read: pink). I don’t have a problem with pink polish, mind you, I just wish there were affordable (you know the drill) polishes that were more unique.

Because of my love of the Perfect Storm, I was immediately drawn to the Essence polishes and their interesting palette when I first read about them on the nail blogs. Due to the fact that I am geographically challenged when it comes to being close to an Ulta, it took me a little while to get my hands on one of these lovelies. When finally able to confront an Essence display in real life, I found myself grabbing “Check Me Out” without a second’s hesitation.

Essence - Check Me Out (lamp)

Essence - Check Me Out (sun)

Check Me Out is a lovely spring green in the bottle and on the tips that reminds me of wiggling my toes in freshly cut grass. (wiggle wiggle… you know you can picture it) It's not as deep and posh-looking as Essie's new Pretty Edgy, but instead has more of an Easter-green feel to it.

Two coats were all it took to achieve fairly-even, fairly VNL-free coverage, and I am more that 99 cents worth of happy with it. I love the unique hue and small size; it's perfect for a polish change with a kick while traveling. Granted, the wear wasn't the best - I'm rocking a little tip wear and a small chip that was probably my fault after 24 hours, but repeat after me... 99 cents. 99 cents. It's the Perfect Storm!

Happy day, all!
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Ciate Sharp Tailoring and Mojito

Today, one of my favorite Ciate polishes and one of my least favorite Ciate polishes...

Ciate Sharp Tailoring

I thought this was a very elegant color: a light greige with silver shimmer. (The shimmer may be gold, it's hard to tell.) It applied wonderfully in two coats. I wore this for four days and I believe this photo was taken on the third day of wear: virtually no tipwear and no chips at all with Gelous basecoat and Diamont topcoat. Oddly enough, I've had less time to do my nails during this summer and have been wearing my manis for longer than the regular school year.

Ciate Mojito

This one was definitely not worth the $13+ I paid for it. Four coats, still not completely even or opaque. And then it refused to dry and got all smudged and ruined two hours after I applied it. I love greens but because I love them, I have a thousand of them... and because I have a thousand greens, I don't want any not-completely-fabulous greens.

Thanks to everyone for their encouraging words re: my freaking out about my impending talk. I'm such a terrible public speaker... sometimes. Sometimes I'm actually pretty good and I can be very entertaining... but those are usually talks that I don't care about. I think I do well in them because I'm relaxed. I usually suck very much at talks where I really care about how I'm sounding. Take my second year talk: I fit a sixteen minute talk into the span of ten minutes. Uh, nerves get to me. This is the first time I'm facing a bunch of strangers and talking. Smart strangers! Scary smart strangers. That is, they are scarily smart... and they may just be scary. It'll get better with time when I start knowing people in this field more -- then there will always be a few friendly faces -- but this is throwing myself into the deep end. Glub, glub.

All serious concerns aside, I've been considering getting my nails Shellac'ed so I don't have to think about them the week leading up to the conference. There's one salon near me that does them... I think. They are listed on the CND website but I can't find any web presence (not even Yelp reviews) at all.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

True Grey: RBL Concrete Jungle

Grey is just fantastic. Worn-to-tissue-paper grey t-shirts...buttery soft leather Lanvin bags...those grey suede pumps that make me feel sexy and cool (and tall)...all things that harbour amazing memories and feelings of comfort and home, but still evoke an alluring sense of coolness and self-confidence that I don't *quite* possess.

I've always loved grey, even to a point where my wardrobe became utterly uninteresting for a while back there in the 90s. So of course I'm totally psyched that grey nail polish has become 'a thing' sometime last year (2 years ago? I'm old..time flies). There are so many different grey hues - ranging from taupe to slate to dusky purple. But this is the truest grey I own! Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle:

Normally I wouldn't post a photo that's partially in the shade, but I think it a) looks cool, b) gives you an idea of how the colour can look in reality. I've heard some people call this a blue-grey, but on me it's just the truest grey that can be. I love it with pale pinks in the summer and navy blues in the's never loud, never overdone, but also never tame and boring. I get a lot of compliments and questions on this one - makes me feel like the rockstar trendsetter that I most certainly am not!

It shames me to say it, but I also wear this one under a lot of other polishes (OPI Brand New Skates, for example). What a waste of an RBL, you say? I know...but it's just so perfect because it applies gorgeous in one coat, so it's easy to throw on under things to make them opaque! Seriously, another RBL one coat wonder. Worth the money, in my opinion.

So now that grey has been 'hip' for a while, what's your favourite grey polish??

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

OPI Catch Me In Your Net

I didn't intend to buy this color.

As a matter of fact, I almost bought a very similar color, Zoya's Charla, during the recent (and AWESOME) Zoya exchange, but made the mistake of looking through all of my polishes a few minutes before placing my order and was astounded by the amount of turquoises and blues that I own compared to other polishes. In a moment of ridiculousness I left Charla out and I have regretted it ever since. I mean, come on! What was I thinking? Gah!

Long story short, I recently saw Piff's fab swatch of Charla and started dreaming of turquoisey-foily goodness once again. Well, tonite I was wandering through my favorite grocery store ever (I know that sounds odd, but they have sushi AND good cheese AND a great polish selection) and stumbled upon this sparkly gal. I don't know if it was the temporary high from having fresh mozzarella in my cart or what, but the next thing I know it just JUMPED into my cart.

OPI - Catch Me In Your Net (Lamp Light)

OPI - Catch Me In Your Net (Shade)

I've been warned of its sheer tendency, so here it is layered over Sally Hansen's Pacific Blue, and what can I say - it is breathtaking. It's not like your normal mermaid-y type turquoise that every brand and their mother seem to be putting out as their "edgy" hue lately, it's different because of the foil-like finish and shimmer than can shine anywhere from navy to cyan to gold. I can't even begin to tell you the compliments of I have gotten from this color, most of them beginning with "oooooohhhhh..."

Anyway, double thumbs up for this bad boy and for Charla as well.

And following the trend of butterflies and flowers as this is from OPI's Summer 2010 Collection, here's a little shot from my mother-in-law's garden.

Happy day, all!

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Scherer Chameleon Blue Sky (and then layered with glitter!)

This is a brand I always pick up in the drugstore and almost always pass up. Should have passed up this one...

Scherer Chameleon Blue Sky

Hot. Sticky. Gloopy. Uneven. Splotchy. Streaky. MESS. This polish was NOT worth it. It does have a nice blue-green-purple duochrome effect with a shiny metallic finish, I will give it that much. But man, does it apply badly. I felt like I was painting my fingernails with pretty Elmer's Glue. Four coats to even it out and then you still saw a bit of brushstrokiness and it clung to every damn ridge on every damn nail. Topcoat helped a tiny bit. Maybe it didn't like Gelous basecoat?

I felt better after I added some glitter from one of those bear-shaped polishes. No idea what company makes those...

I think it's cute that you can see the bear's nose in this picture, sort of it. It probably looks like a wrinkled bit of glass to you all since the bear shape isn't as obvious in this photo. This bear contained blue, purple and silver glitter.
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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Anniversary Giveaway Update!

One more week to enter the Polish or Perish anniversary giveaway. I have some photos of the loot (though not all of it):

From OCNailArt: Konad Plates (and a stamper/scraper set, not pictured):

From the Polish or Perish crew (about 10 discontinued Maybellines and Sally Hansen polishes not pictured):

From China Glaze:

Again, easy peasy ground rules:
One entry per person.
Open to ALL readers!
Contest closes 11:59pm EST, July 31st, 2010.
Enter using the form in the upper right sidebar!

See the details of the contest in the original post: here.
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