Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back in the saddle: OPI bronzed to perfection

I've not been very enthusiastic about manicuring lately - coming to the end of my secondment, things have been crazy busy, and I've been focussed on trying to deliver the final paper I owe above anything else. My colleagues are throwing me a leaving party next week, and then it's back to the PhD. It will be so strange to return to solo working after three months in an office, and I'm sorry to say I'll really miss it. Still, it's given me things to think about as options when I finally graduate - I've long been harbouring doubts about my ability to be an academic, and the University jobs market here is completely kaput, so it's reassuring to know that I can work in a different environment (and I now have a line on my CV to prove it).

I'm also in celebration mode after finding out I got the teaching I wanted. Three classes of stats in semester one (please, please, oh timetabling Gods, let them be on the same day!) and nothing in semester two, so I can concentrate on kicking this damn t****s - I can't quite bring myself to type it - into shape. And maybe have time for some research consulting on the side.

Anyway, to celebrate having the time and inclination to do my nails, here's an old favourite my boyfriend picked. It's OPI bronzed to perfection from the South Beach collection from a couple of years back. I know it's probably intended to be worn by tanned lovelies and not Casper-types like myself, but to hell with it, I love this colour. It's a deep bronze-tan with little golden orange shimmer flecks. Applies like buttah. Goes with everything. Easy peasy.
read more "Back in the saddle: OPI bronzed to perfection"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dior Aloha (Electric Tropics, Summer 2011)

Dior Aloha
Ahh. A neon orange creme I can get behind. Neons always screw with my camera so just imagine this photo as being less red and more screamingly neon. Applied gorgeously: it could've been fine in two coats but I did three. As usual for Diors, it dried quickly. I didn't use the topcoat that came in the Electric Tropics set (and honestly, was miffed that I had to pay extra for a topcoat I didn't want) so this was just using Poshe. Photo was taken on Day 3.

Oddly, the bottle was made out of orange-tinted glass. The tint was actually far more muted than the actual shade of the polish, which makes me think that they didn't want it to be so screamingly loud in their displays. (Otherwise, why on earth would you put nail polish into anything but a clear bottle? What's the point?) But it is loud. And I love it.
read more "Dior Aloha (Electric Tropics, Summer 2011)"

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Top 5 Summer Pedicures (2011 edition)

I started a tradition last year of sharing with you my favourite pedicure colours of the summer...without showing you my feet of course! (See Piff's picks from last summer here as well!) In observation of this tradition, here are the top 5 pedicure colours that I've been loving and wearing this summer!

Thumb to pinky:

Last winter, I almost always had a gold glitter pedi on my feet. Something about taking my socks and boots over and seeing gold glimmering back at me made me happy. I decided to try it out in summer and well, and my fav gold glitter for the warmer months has been Gift of Gold - for two major reasons. (1) It has fine, fine glitter, which I think looks really great and makes for easier removal, and (2) the tone of the overall polish is much warmer than the other golds I own, which I find very summery.

A classic OPI, sent to me by the very sweet and amazing ilexica! This is just a punch of colour for the toes that I can't get enough of...and it seems to go with everything.

Before I broke up with RBL, Purple Haze was one of my favourite pedi colours. While DOiD is definitely not a Purple Haze dupe, the idea remains the same. A pastel-ish, but saturated purple on the toes looks great with metallic sandals, but remains feminine and summery without being in-your-face. I might like this better on toes than on tips!

Essie Watermelon

Exactly the colour you think of when you think of watermelon. Such a fun summer colour for tips or toes! It's a perfect hot pink that leans red instead of blue (like Bachelorette Bash), and it's just...cute!

One of my all-time favourite pedi shades, and it is actually my current pedicure. Yes, dark is maybe not the way many ladies want to go in summer, but I think it's a really elegant counterpoint to the lighter fabrics and colours women are wearing. It seems to coordinate well with many other polish colours for tips, and the shine is amazing. I adore this.

What are your fav pedi shades for this summer?

read more "My Top 5 Summer Pedicures (2011 edition)"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Illamasqua Radium

I love this polish. Love love love.

Love love love love.

Illamasqua Radium

I wore this for four or so days? I believe this was taken on Day 3: just a bit of tipwear in evidence. It's such a great green polish: it's between lime and grass and is full of yellow and light green shimmer. This was three coats.

Closeup of Radium
So bright, so green! So up my alley. I wore this in May -- yes, it's a very long backlog of NOTDs I've got -- and it was such a great pick-me-up spring color. :)
read more "Illamasqua Radium"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OPI y'all come back, ya hear

This was my only purchase from OPI texas. I was swayed by k2k's swatches of houston, we have a purple, into trying the sorbet formula. It does definitely remind me of sorbet - it's juicy and fresh and just sheer without being see-through. A real tangerine dream of a polish.

That said, I just didn't quite fall for it. I guess it's such a summery colour and it's been raining non-stop here, so every time I looked at my nails, they seemed to say 'it's mid-July, and you're stuck in your london office, and it's raining. This is probably all you'll see of sunshine. Sucker!'. I guess we didn't really get on.

Plus it stained really, really badly when I took it off. Two goes with the orly cutique later and they're still yellow.

Have you ever worn a nail polish that felt weirdly inappropriate for your mood?
read more "OPI y'all come back, ya hear"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More polishes for sale!

Now that the mystery boxes are all sold -- much quicker than anticipated, yikes y'all are fast! -- I'm now putting up my higher-end and harder-to-find polishes up for sale.

Shipping is $2.50 for the first polish, $0.50 for each additional polish. If you get 6 or more polishes, shipping is a flat rate of $5 (and this will automatically receive Delivery Confirmation). If you get fewer than 6 polishes and want to be able to track your package, it will cost $0.80 extra. Payment will be through PayPal. I am happy to ship internationally but the shipping cost will have to be calculated.

Contact me using the link to the "Contact Us" form above if you want to purchase. If you are confused about how to do that, please comment below with your contact information. Please do not try to reserve polishes through the comments; please only request polishes through email. Thanks! :D

All used 1x unless otherwise indicated. Grey ones are pending/sold and will be made black again if they become available.

Anna Sui - $11 each

606 (orange with gold glitter)

504 (brown jelly with gold microglitter, green glitter and iridescent flakes)

906 (holo square glitter and blue circle glitter)

BB Couture

Hound Dog (80% full) - $4

Kokomo - $7

Moon Over Manhattan (75% full) - $4

Peacock - $7

Tropical Sunset (80% full) - $4

Chanel - $18 each


Miami Peach (w/box)

Ciate - $9 each

Ladylike Luxe

Lemon Sherbert


Deborah Lippmann

Happy Birthday - $12

Some Enchanted Evening - $10

Dior Vernis - $15 each

Gris Montaigne (707)

Bleu Poison (900, Poison Blue, w/box)

L'Oreal (Essie North Fork dupes) - $3 each

High Tide

Ocean Breeze

Waters Edge


38 (flakey, 60% full) - $5

50 (flakey, 75% full) - $6

54 (flakey, 75% full) - $6

59 (flakey, 75% full) - $6

555 (creme/jelly, used 1x) - $8

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - $5 each



Beta (NOT $5, posted about this recently, if you want it as a free throw-in, just ask)

Pop Beauty - $5 each





Rescue Beauty Lounge (all w/box)

$14 each



$12 each


Square Pants

$8 each

Sheer Pink

Sheer Natural

Sally Hansen (Tracey Reese, all 75-80% full) - $3 each

Beet Stain

Fast Forward



Other Brands

Cetuem 163 (purple duochrome, used only 1x but the bottle didn't come completely full) - $8

Chinoiserie Plexi (85% full) - $5

Glitter Gal White $5

Inglot XL7, 80% full - $5

Lancome Le 54 - $10

Ozotic Pro 526 (black holo!) - $12

RGB White - $11

Sally Hansen Commander in Chic - $4

TiNS The Happy Milk, 90% full - $15

5 StrangeBeautiful polishes plus the plexiglass case - $20 (without case, $18)

read more "More polishes for sale!"

Color Club Wink Wink Twinkle (Starry Temptress, Spring 2011)

I remember reading somewhere that they had a great experience with these polishes and that they were smooth and easy to apply... and it's entirely possible that they are just better at nail polish than I am but... umm... this wasn't cool. (I mean, neither are my cuticles here but my cuticles didn't make application hard nor made it dry extremely bumpy.)

Either way, not really pleased I bought the entire collection on faith. I should stop doing that.

Color Club Wink Wink Twinkle
As I already mentioned: bumpy, goopy, hard to apply. I'm okay with the dull, non-sparkly glitter. The color is pretty cool, a neon-ish red-leaning purple. But.... yeah, nothing special and I could've skipped it and had no regrets.

Closeup of Wink Wink Twinkle

Cute story about the SO and his trying to engage in the activities I enjoy:
We were in the mall and I had a Groupon to a beauty supply store that I wanted to spend. This store carried most of the Deb Lippmann collection and I was trying to decide between Don't Tell Mama and Wicked Game. Having nothing better to do at the moment, he started pointing to each of the polishes and proclaiming whether he thought they were good or not.

He went down the row and when he got the the fabulous Lippmann glitters, he was like, "Wow, I would put any of these on my toes. Even the pink one [Some Enchanted Evening]. I hate pink but I would wear that pink one on my toes."

And then he got to Bad Romance and was like, "I would wear this on my fingers! Can you get ALL of these?" (He pointed to all the glitters.)

"Uh, honey? I HAVE all of these."

Anyhoo, he's currently walkin' around with Across the Universe on his toes.

He has the most uncanny way of enjoying the MOST EXPENSIVE things. When Bath and Body Works still regularly had their non-holidays Temptations 3-in-1s, he routinely preferred the twice-as-expensive Philosophy 3-in-1s. He likes the LUSH solid shampoos ($10 each) but vastly prefers BIG or Curly Wurly ($22 each). Whenever I give him a few nail polishes to choose from, he picks the most expensive. (I mean, the boy likes his Chanel and Dior. But never Color Club or Milani! Or even OPI! WTF, dude.) And he doesn't know the prices of any of these things.

Lately, he's been using my Dermalogica Microfoliant because he had a ton of peeling skin from sunburn/windburn while going whale watching for four hours without any sunblock. While we were at the beauty supply spending my Groupon, he saw a Dermalogica display and asked, "Hey, is this the stuff I've been using? I like it. Maybe you should get more."

"Did you use it up ALREADY??" I've had it for years and was thinking that if he had used it all up unnecessarily, he was going to foot the bill for the next one.

"No, but maybe you should stock up." So, I went over to the display, picked up a Microfoliant box and showed him the price ($50). He just sort of stared in shock at the pricetag.

My response: "Maybe you'll be more careful about not spilling two teaspoons of it all over the counter next time."
read more "Color Club Wink Wink Twinkle (Starry Temptress, Spring 2011)"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Essie Fall 2011 - Retail Release

I always eagerly await fall collections, and Essie collections more than is normal! (Gahhh I am such an Essie fangirl!) I stalked my drugstores for the early release of the fall collection, Carry On. Drugstores only get 4 out of the 6 polishes of particular collections (however, they seemed to get all of Brazilliant...) , and they seem to be getting them early, like we witnessed with French Affair. This new Essie distribution system post-L'Oreal takeover is...complicated.

Anyways, after spastically running around town, I managed to grab the following at my Walgreens:

Power Clutch

Already my favourite polish of the fall. No joke. An amazing slightly dusty grey-green that comes out darker and more green on the nail than it looks in the bottle. This to me is the green version of Smokin' Hot - where SH was purple, PC is green. It reminds me of the slate stone my parents have in their house. It's flattering on my pale yellow skin, looks chic and elegant, while remaining modern and a bit edgy. To me, this is perfect. Brava, Essie! (Oh and the formula was TDF!)

Lady Like

In the bottle this reminded me of OPI Steady As She Rose, but once I got it on the nail, the differences were evident. Lady Like is more mauve than SASR - still pink with purple thrown in, but darker and warmer. Cool-toned ladies beware! I'm super yellow-toned, but I still think this polish would work better on someone with darker skin. You know what this is? It's Demure Vixen sans shimmer - almost identical base colour. It kind of makes my hands/fingers look dirty...I'm not sure about this one. I'm going to have to drag it around a while to mull it over.

Carry On

At first I thought this was dumb. Lame. Another dark vampy purple. I was kind of right. This is *extremely* close to last year's OPI William Tell Me About OPI. The OPI is just ever-so-slightly browner and darker. The difference is extremely hard to detect, even with flash photography on a dark background. I like that this polish has some dustiness to it, which makes it difference from my beloved Essie Sole Mate! (Oh, and application was amazing again!) Of the two, I'm keeping the Essie.

L: Essie Carry On; R: OPI William Tell Me About OPI

Without flash:

With flash to see the undertone:

Case Study

Now...I didn't pick this up. Only because I believe I already have it. I haven't been able to directly compare, but I believe that this is just the J. Crew "exclusive" - Milky Way - renamed. And I *love* Milky Way. If I didn't have it, I would have picked this up. Even though I'm pretty sure they are nearly identical, I was tempted to grab it off the shelf just to see.

There will be an addendum to this post at a later date, because I still plan on picking up Glamour Purse (one of the two polishes along with Very Structured - a burnt sienna - that is not being released in the drugstore micro-collection). It looks to be in the delicious taupe-y vein, but lighter than past offerings. In other words, it looks back-up worthy, even from badly Photoshop'd company visuals! Let's hope it lives up to expectations...

Are you hyped for fall yet or still feeling the summer heat?

read more "Essie Fall 2011 - Retail Release"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

China Glaze Fault Lines Crackle over Huemorista Hidden Rainbow

I wasn't ready to take off my Hidden Rainbow mani so I put ChG Fault Lines over it.

China Glaze Fault Lines over Huemorista Hidden Rainbow
Errr. This was not pretty. Is there a reason this dried so dull and cracked so sadly? C'mon, it was a purple shimmer crackle! That's practically a formula for gorgeous, no? :( This is one thick coat of Fault Lines.

Fault Lines over Hidden Rainbow
Yeah, doesn't look better in closeup... at all. Yuck.
read more "China Glaze Fault Lines Crackle over Huemorista Hidden Rainbow"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Polishes, get your polishes! So many polishes for sale...


I'm awaiting payment from people for all the boxes but if you want to put yourself on a waitlist (it's much longer for the small boxes than for the big ones), please feel free to email me using the link to the form above! :)

...but today, all of them are in mystery grab-boxes!

(I will have a sale for the ones that I want to sell individually -- most of which are from current collections or high-end or kinda-HTF lines -- but that will come later in the week.)

I didn't realize how many polishes would fit into a medium USPS Priority Mail flat rate box: 75! With cushioning, bubblewrap and everything. So I have for sale TWO medium flat rate boxes that have about 75 polishes each (give or take 3) as well as TWO small flat rate boxes that have 10-13 each. (, it takes a long time to pack 170+ nail polishes.)

Brands that are contained in the mystery boxes (though not all boxes contain all brands): OPI, China Glaze, Orly, SpaRitual, Essie, Cover Girl Nail Slicks, LA Colors, KleanColor, QRS, Nubar, Duri, Diamond, Eyeko, Zoya, Misa, Maybelline Colorama, Color Club, Anna Sui, Wet n Wild, Tony & Tina, Milani, LA Girl, Hard Candy, No Miss, Sally Hansen, Nicole, Maybelline, Barielle, NYC, Kanebo, Revlon Street Wear and MORE! A few polishes are down to 50%, about 30-40 of them are down to 70-80%, but the rest of the polishes in these boxes have only been used once or twice. ALL were purchased by me or received in a swap (i.e. none were PR samples). Most of these were purchased at etailer or retail price; some I came across in dollar stores. I tried to make sure that no boxes got all half-used nail polishes, or all drugstore polishes: there is a variety in each box. :)

All the mystery polishes were taken from the pile of nail polishes pictured below. (Oddly, I didn't get any photos of the 2 Nicole, 4 KleanColor, 2 Anna Sui and 3 Sally Hansen polishes... but they are there, I promise!) The photos have been cropped but not reduced in size so they should be clickable if you want to try to make out exactly which polishes I have listed!

Details for the two Medium Mystery Grab-Boxes:
These are going for $101 each (the price includes the $10.95 shipping fee). There are approximately 75 nail polishes in each (give or take a couple).

I do regret not putting a lower price on these but honestly, they're 75 polishes from brands that I generally bought at etailer ($3-4) or retail (up to $8) prices. The cheapest polishes were purchased for $1 (NYC, Wet n Wild, LA Colors, Cover Girl Nail Slicks) and 4 for $1 (Revlon Street Wear, Maybelline Colorama). The majority of them have only been used once. And, as I've said, I've tried to make sure there's a good variety in each box. Minus the shipping, it comes out to around $1.20 a polish. If you are looking to build your stash, this is a great way to go from a modest stash to a stash that makes your friends and family wonder why you need so many nail polishes. ;)

Details for the two Small Mystery Grab-Boxes:
These are going for $16 each (the price includes the $4.95 shipping fee). There are 10-13 polishes per box.

It is a "better" deal in terms of cost per polish BUT it's taken from the remnants after I put together the medium-size mystery grab boxes. There were plenty of OPI, China Glaze, Color Club and drugstore brands left but a lot of the less common brands had already been packed into the bigger boxes. Hence, the lower price per polish for these boxes.

If you are interested in either medium or small size mystery grab-boxes, please contact me using the form at the top of the page. I will be taking PayPal. You can opt to pay me as a "personal gift" (no fees) or if you want to pay the fees, we can do it as a regular buyer-seller transaction (which gives you the option of filing a claim against me if I don't follow through).

The medium boxes are all taped and packed up, waiting for a mailing label and a new home. The small boxes are not yet packed but can be packed in a jiffy! I hope these polishes can find some great new owners.
read more "Polishes, get your polishes! So many polishes for sale..."

Huemorista Hidden Rainbow

Some enterprising nail polish aficionado is selling her own homemade nail polish on etsy! Check out her store, Huemorista. I bought six of her nail polishes (which come in those cute mini bottles) awhile back and have only had a chance to wear one of them so far.

Huemorista Hidden Rainbow
If it were slightly more blue, it would be what I wanted Lippmann Glitter in the Air to be. But as it is, it's a grey-tinged off-white with a lot of glitter of different colors and shapes within. It's just translucent enough that glitter in other layers will show through but not so translucent that the glitter is bright. It's a nice subtle, playful look and I enjoyed it. This was four coats... not because it wasn't opaque but because I wanted more glitter on the nail. :) Alas, it got chippy on me fast. Be sure to shake it up a LOT before using; the tons of glitter settles on the bottom of the bottom.

read more "Huemorista Hidden Rainbow"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lippmann's Glitter in the Air

(4 coats)

I thought this would be totally up my alley. Glitter in soft colors suspended in a milky-sheer base?? YUS.

But it's total meh. There are the usual problems that come with a polish that requires 4 coats (bubbles, drying etc) and there's really not much of a glitter pay-off. Why isn't this dense like most of Lippmann's other hex glitters? Would make it so much more awesome.
read more "Lippmann's Glitter in the Air"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Serena Glam Slam! - Wimbledon

I grew up in a "tennis family". I've watched tennis on TV since I was in utero, and one of my earlier memories is of jumping up and down on my bed yelling "Go, Agassi, GO!!". ( This was way back when he had long hair and was the new kid on the tennis block...I feel ancient.) I've also spent years of my life watching my little brother - who is *phenomenal* - compete in a million tournaments. My family has trekked to tennis events all over the world, and I have to say, my absolute number one favourite is Wimbledon! So naturally, I was excited about the polishes coming out for the most storied of the slams!

I only got the polishes from one of the duos - the silver one. The purple just simply didn't appeal to me. Here they are...

OPI Your Royal Shine-ness

A really beautiful silver foil. Completely over-shadowed by Chanel Graphite, which was released at a similar time, but it really deserves some real kudos. It's like Grahite's younger, lighter sister - yes, a silver foil, but just a bit more complex than that. It has a touch...juuuuuussssttt a touch...of gold pigment thrown in. This serves to warm the polish up a bit, which I appreciate. Other silver foils, like OPI DS Radiance, were too cool for my skin tone. I find this one very wearable for me.

OPI Servin' Up Sparkle

Usually not something that is up my alley, but it's a cute layering polish. I chose not to show these two polishes to you layered, because I don't like the way they look together, and I think you get a better idea of what is in this polish from a bare-nailed pic.

As lovely as these polishes are, they really don't say Wimbledon to me. Wimbledon is all about classic - classic all-whites, classic traditions, classic strawberries & cream. In that sense, I'm a little disappointed. BUT, that being said, they are completely Serena. Which is what it's really all about isn't it?

Are you a tennis fan? What's your fav Slam?

read more "Serena Glam Slam! - Wimbledon"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

OCC Beta (or "how not to make a polish")

Why "Beta"? Like beta carotene, like in carrots? Yes, it's carrot-colored... if carrots were made of neon and were radioactive.

OCC Beta
I love OCC nail polish. I think they do some of the most beautiful dark cremes: they apply "like buttah" and are long-lasting with a good bc/tc combo. So what on EARTH were they smoking over there when they made this polish?! Holy crap. Let's talk about the great things first: it's an awesome, amazing, gorgeous color: freakishly bright neon orange.

And that is all for the great things. Now the "meh, I can live with that" things: it was a bit hard to apply and took three coats to get even, despite that it's a pretty saturated color. Like most neons, it dries matte.

And now, the bad things. Or just one thing: IT WAS BUMPY. There were LUMPS of... something (maybe pigment?) in the nail polish. You could see the lumps on the brush... and you could definitely see it on the nail (and you can see it in the photo). And it was horrifying. I do not recall ever seeing a polish with lumps like that and I've seen many polishes. I don't even feel good about giving it away for free, it was such a turn-off of an experience.

Bumpy glitters = normal.
Bumpy cremes = not normal.
read more "OCC Beta (or "how not to make a polish")"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two poorly applied pinks

1. Illamasqua Lament

Excuse the shocking iNOTD phone picture. Bought this thinking it was coral, but on me it reads very pink. This turned into a horrible mani because a) I mixed up the lumos base and top coat (WHY are the bottles the same?!), so this chipped within twelve hours, and b) I gave in to my mothers demands to help me apply it. She was trying to help. She'd had two glasses of wine. I had a conference* to go to the next day and no remover to tidy it up. (This, fortunately, is the hand I managed to wrest control of the brush for). Bit of a nightmare, although no fault of the polish! That aside, this is two coats (but a bit bald with two, could have done with three) and a nice juicy watermelon colour. I must try this again.

*The conference went well, although one of the biggest names in my field turned up to watch my paper, which was a terrible cut-and-shut job put together in an afternoon. After spending half an hour sitting through the other papers wondering if I could hold my breath long enough to simulate a blackout and thus miss the questions, it went fine, and Prof Awesome was really nice.

2. China Glaze Diva Bride

A manicure applied for the purposes of protecting my nails while I repainted my hall. Two coats, a little streaky but not too bad. Very sheer, and didn't cover a teabag patch I have protecting my index, so stuck a badly photoshopped picture of my cat over the top to shield your eyes. You're welcome.
read more "Two poorly applied pinks"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dior Beige Lotus

Total impulse buy from a Duty Free shop at the Taipei airport. Twas my conference mani.

Dior Beige Lotus

I actually really like it. It's a good neutral with a bit of sparkle. Two coats, a typically great Dior experience. (Why are they sooo expensive though??)

Conference went well though it was absolutely exhausting. I almost forgot my poster in France, which wouldn't have been bad because I don't really have any more use for it. Still, it cost $120 to print so keeping it is a matter of principle.
read more "Dior Beige Lotus"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

From Blank Canvas to Birthday Cake - $OPI Spark-tacular! Top Coat

I was really enjoying my OPI Alpine Snow blank canvas mani! But I decided that I would add a new polish I bought just for funsies (my brother's favourite word, btw!) - and because I probably can't wear crazy polish for that much longer.

I went to Sephora earlier this week to return something and saw something new in the rack - Sephora by OPI Spark-tacular! Top Coat and I bought it on a whim! I don't have the original Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday, but I'm certain that this was meant to be a dupe, copy or 'inspired by' polish. It's full of multi-coloured glitter in different shapes and sizes - but none of them are too large or chunky, which is something I like. (I'm not loving the look of the upcoming OPI Rainbow Connection - a super chunky rainbow glitter - at all.)

This is two coats and the result reminds me of Funfetti birthday cake! Speaking of which, it was recently my kitty cat's birthday - and she loooovvvves cake. She turned 22 years old! (Yes, in real years.) Here is the lovely lady (alias "The Master Manipulator"), enjoying her birthday in the sweltering heat. life...

Anyways, sorry for the non-polish pic! For those who have DL HB - is this dupe-y or just 'inspired by'?

read more "From Blank Canvas to Birthday Cake - $OPI Spark-tacular! Top Coat"

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thumb accent mani: OP JITNB and CG Atlantis

Inspired by kitty2karen I decided to give a thumb accent mani a go. This is OPI Jade is the new black plus China Glaze Atlantis for the thumb accent. I like it, but I don't love it. I was kind of hoping more of the sea green jelly in Atlantis would come through, because this mostly just looks like silver holo glitter on green, and pretty though that is it's not subtle. JITNB looks a lot like Orly Wandering Vine to me (I planned to do comparison swatches before I took the mani off, but this chipped badly within two days so I didn't get a chance). I do like the glitter thumb idea, though, especially since removing only two nails makes me a little less suicidal than doing ten.

Any suggestions for colour schemes?

read more "Thumb accent mani: OP JITNB and CG Atlantis"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Color Club Fast Woman

(2 coats)

Welp. I found my perfect red jelly. Applies like a dream. Is undeniably red. This was one of the polishes I bought when I started blogging here. I'm always looking for flattering reds and here was a gorgeous one just hanging out.

For those that are wondering, Fast Woman is several of shades lighter than another great red, Essie Clutch Me if You Can. CMiYC is just on the cusp of a Vamp whereas Fast Woman is firmly a vibrant red except in weird blue lighting.
read more "Color Club Fast Woman"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blank Canvas - OPI Alpine Snow

I just went through a lot of upheaval in my life. I did something I've done more times than I can count, but somehow I forgot how painful it was - I MOVED.

My body is covered in bruises from building things. My nails are *extremely* battered, and I haven't worn make-up properly in 2 weeks. So now, on my first day back in the "real world" of non-sweaty grown-ups, I needed...*needed*... to do a mani.

I chose OPI Alpine Snow - a blank canvas to start this new chapter in my life. Check it out in front of my new green lawn!

I'm not typically one to go to a stark white mani, but wow, am I loving this!! It feels so fresh and clean for summer, and looks fab with my white ceramic Swatch watch. (However, it does make me want a Michael Kors white watch...the one with gold and the polyurethane band...yes, I definitely have a watch problem.)

It's scary to have such a big change in your life. Even though my job, and even my general location, hasn't changed, it feels like my whole life is kind of up in the air now. I've moved a gazillion times in my life, but I've never been good at it. Hopefully this blank canvas will allow me to see the opportunities of my new situation as opposed to the obstacles.

Any of you doing any blank canvas or cleansing manis lately? Why did you need to clean the slate and what did you use?

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Illamasqua Elope

Illamasqua Elope, one of my favourite greens. I did four coats but three would have been absolutely fine to eliminate VNL if I hadn't been trying to do other things (like make tea) while polishing...needless to say coat four was mostly to cover up the mess that I made of coat three. Like most of these bright polishes it dries to a satin finish (it's not a proper matte, so I think it's kind of half way between a neon and a jelly in formulation) and the coats are quite liquidy, but dry fast. I love these kind of slightly squishy polishes.

Man, photographing polish with neon pigments in is such a PITA. It's impossible to capture the fact that this is simultaneously *bright*! and rich. If you imagine an emerald green amped up to the max, this is it. Kind of the green version of (blue) Nfu.Oh 497. I also award this points because I frankened a really awesome palm green from a 50:50 mix of this and rampage - I was trying to match Bunny's polish in the Big Lebowski and that franken was spot on. It's just a really fantastic polish, and always draws compliments. It was responsible for me getting a free doughnut in Krispy Kreme the last time I wore it, so a definite winner in my book.

TL/DR: this polish is responsible for doughnuts and geeky film frankens. Buy it.

Looks good under Barry M black crackle too. Anyone else thinking of teenage mutant ninja turtles?
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

OPI La Paz-itively Hot Matte and au revoir for the week! :)

I'm off to France today. Love conferences in cool places. I also love that the NSF came through with $1500 funding to cover travel and lodging (which is JUST enough, given the really high prices of plane tickets to Europe from the US lately). Let's hope that they'll allow me to carry on my poster tube because I do NOT want to lose this thing.

OPI La Paz-itively Hot Matte

It's flat on the nail at a distance but it's gorgeous up close. The multicolored shimmer is lovely. Applied really nicely for a matte; the above is two coats. One coat is ideal because with more than one, you run the risk of clumping. This was taken on day 3; it's pretty tenacious!

La Paz-itively Hot Matte closeup

No, I am not wearing this to the conference...
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