Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Golden Toes!

It's that time again...to show you what's on my feet! (Without showing you my feet...)

They look kind of crazy on my hands (read: yellow and icky) but on my toes they are golden and glorious!

Index & middle: Orly Glitz & Glamour
Ring & pinky: SpaRitual Reflection

Gold is by far my favourite colour for my toes (closely followed by navy). In winter especially, I love removing my socks and boots to find sparkly gold tootsies! It's a little surprise for me at the end of the day.

What is your favourite colour for toes?

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

(2 coats)

I've worn this as a mani twice now. Once last year and once this year. I've been bored both times. Goodbye MMUtM.
read more "Orly Meet Me Under the Mistletoe"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Illamasqua DWS

The weather here has grim. GRIM. It took me a week to photograph this mani because it's been raining non-stop. Indeed, it is still raining, which is why there are droplets of water on my nails. That's also why there's killer tip wear. I wore this during reading week and since it's been about 2 degrees C since then I've barely been outside. I seriously need a lightbox so that I can photograph manis from the lazy comfort of indoors. Fortunately I've had a massive pile of marking to keep me entertained...sigh...

DWS is what Piff would call a 'palette cleanser' polish. It's a neutral dark ish grey that's perfect in one coat (it's a touch less blue than it appears in the pictures). I love this with a holo silver glitter top coat over, but this time, I went plain and neutral. Who needs glitter when you've got rain?

One final thing I want to mention, since this is an Illamasqua polish: Illamasqua have been enthusiastic supporters of the S.O.P.H.I.E. foundation, an organisation set up by Sylvia Lancaster after her daughter Sophie was kicked to death in Bacup, a town in the north of England. She was picked on for defending her boyfriend, who had been attacked by a gang of thugs for dressing in black (Sophie herself had black and red dreadlocks). Today would have been her 25th birthday. If you feel, as I do, that prejudice has no place in a civilized society, and that something good should come out of tragedy, please do consider donating. Thank you.
read more "Illamasqua DWS"

Friday, November 25, 2011

"You Love It!" - Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe

Recently I had the pleasure of staying with the lovely Piff in NYC! It was an amazing time, and she is a kickass friend. Seriously. BUT...

...she did make me wear some polishes I would...*ahem*...not normally wear. You will see the worst of those atrocities from her soon - she really enjoyed seeing me suffer - but she made me promise to wear one polish as my NOTD. Out of the choices she went pretty easy on me, I have to say! This is Deborah Lippmann's Across the Universe...

Way less obnoxious on the nail than I thought it would be for such a chunky glitter. I was skeptical (very) but after I put it on, Piff kept informing me "You love it. I see it in your face. You love it." Maybe she got to me? I did feel a little foolish prancing around JFK and going into work the next day with my glitter mani, but I have to say - in the quiet moments when I was alone and not in public, I really liked looking at it. What I like about it is the depth of the base colour so the glitter isn't all -BAM!- at the surface. It's a little more mysterious than that....it reminds me of a mermaid.

Has anyone pushed you out of your polish comfort zone? Did you love/like/hate it?

read more ""You Love It!" - Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lynnderella Snow Angel

(3 coats)

Unlike the others I've tried, this one does not do well at all without a base color. It just looks straight up ugly and weird. This one is also a huge top coat eater. I think this has 4 coats of TC?

Will not be wearing this one again without a base white underneath.
read more "Lynnderella Snow Angel"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dior Ebony with Confetti Tazmanian Devil

Today I am a very sad panda. I've had to cancel my flight back home to New York because I am sick as a dog. It's going to be a lonely Thanksgiving for me... :(

Confetti Tazmanian Devil over Dior Ebony

Trying out my brand new iPhone 4S camera. Not bad in non-well-lit scenarios (and while lying in bed, too dizzy to move)! Super cheerful manicure (three coats of Tasmanian Devil over two coats of Dior Ebony). What is it about glitter that makes life just a tiny bit better?
read more "Dior Ebony with Confetti Tazmanian Devil"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Taupe Love! - Orly Country Club Khaki

You know how much I love taupes, and this one is a very welcome addition to my collection! Light, creamy, milky...

Orly Country Club Khaki

I'm discovering that I really really like Orly polishes. The application and wear on this one were both excellent! Taupes are definitely my most-worn colour family, and it's one of the few areas in my stash where my mentality is "the more the merrier"!

What's your favourite polish colour family?

read more "Another Taupe Love! - Orly Country Club Khaki"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

China Glaze Secret Peri-Winkle

I wore this to a conference. The conference itself wasn't great - interesting, but basically irrelevant to my research, and absolutely not worth flogging through four countries with the flu for - but I did like my mani. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a picture of it until it had been on 8 days (and my outgrowth is not pretty) but I did dig up some old pictures from the last time I wore it.

It's a very pretty pale-ish violet-leaning blue. Cream finish, but very slightly sheer, so although two coats gives full coverage, there is VNL in bright light. It's a bit less bight than these pictures suggest. Here's one from the most recent wear that's probably more colour accurate (sorry that it's looking a bit battered, and hi cat!).

read more "China Glaze Secret Peri-Winkle"

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lynnderella Gotta Love Brains

This one is my hands down fav except I haven't yet tried Mercurial.

(3 coats)

This is exactly what I wanted Lippmann's Glitter in the Air to be: a little more opaque, a little more glitter.

The greater variety of actual glitter is a major bonus too. Love this. Perfect polish for my birthday (28-booooo)!
read more "Lynnderella Gotta Love Brains"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Up Close & Lovely - OPI Designer...de Better

I ended up buying another polish from the OPI Muppets collection - and I'm glad I did! I absolutely adored Warm & Fozzie, and I very much like this one - Designer...de Better (dumb name), but it's not head-over-heels love.

My normal shot holding the bottle didn't really work out, because the polish is so reflective! Here are some other attempts...

A close-up so you can see the orange flecks in the silvery polish...

Designer...de Better is very boring colour from afar, but a very interesting colour up close! (Usually it's the other way around, right?) When you first clap eyes on it, it looks like a normal champagne/beige foil. Snoozeapalooza. But then you squint to get a closer look, as something isn't quite right...this champagne snoozer is actually a silver foil with orange or bronze particles in it - really cool! It's like something special, just for you.

Is there a polish you like better up close?

read more "Up Close & Lovely - OPI Designer...de Better"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lynnderella Ruby Red Ruby


I tried to ignore Lynn's polishes. I TRIED. But I saw one too many photos of Mercurial and broke down.

I'll be posting up photos of each as I try them.

(4 coats)

I think for now, all the swatch photos you will see of the Lynnderellas will be without a base color. That is typically how I wear my polish (I don't layer, I'm just too lazy) and I think it's a better way to know exactly what a polish looks like.

However, for RRR I will be wearing it over a warm red. The jelly base is quite a cool red/pink and is not flattering on me. Which is why I went 4 coats, I was trying to get the warmer glitter to give me as much coverage as possible. Love the hex/square glitter of this!
read more "Lynnderella Ruby Red Ruby"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Models Own Nude Beige

What is it with me and nudes lately? Not sure. But I've had this in my drawer for ages and put off wearing it, because I thought the colour would look horrible on me. It's so much darker than my skintone. I even almost gave it away untried.

But after digging it out and gritting my teeth, I actually love this on me. It reminds me of the colour of Irish Cream (not that it takes much for me to think of booze) and it has a slight chocolatey undertone. Application was pretty easy, coverage is great although it does slightly fall prey to being thick but runny. The brush is good though, which helps control. I'm definitely going to use this again - maybe as a pedi?
read more "Models Own Nude Beige"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

American Apparel California Trooper

(2 coats)

When others are turning to browns and bronzes in the Autumn, I turn to putties. They're in season but still work with my skin color.

I love this polish. It applies really well and chipping is not terrible despite the large amount of pigment in the polish.
read more "American Apparel California Trooper"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mannequin hands: OPI Sand in my Suit

I felt like a break from all the vamps. Also, truth be told, I was going into a school for a training/shadowing day, and I didn't want to stand out too much. Even despite wearing my best smart clothes, I still got mistaken for one of the students. Still, I know I'll appreciate looking like a teenager when I'm 40...Hopefully...

Anyway, this is OPI Sand in my Suit. I'm usually an NW15 in MAC (although I wear NC15 to cancel redness) and this fits my skintone pretty well. It's fully opaque in two or three coats depending on how careful you are. I'm not sold on the shimmer, though. It's a bit 'frosty granny' - you know, like the pearls that were rife in the early '90s. This last one is probably the most colour accurate - Autumn sunshine tends to make my skintone look a bit less cadaverous.

Please excuse the not-great application, by the way. My lumos topcoat turned to concrete (seriously, I've never seen anything like it) so I had to resort to a very old, almost empty bottle of seche vite. I made a bit (cough) of a mess on some nails.
read more "Mannequin hands: OPI Sand in my Suit"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Beach in Fall - SpaRitual Driftwood

Maybe it's just the name, but this colour makes me think of fall - even though it's pale. Looking at it reminds me of those few precious weeks between the end beach season and the beginning of winter. Growing up in Holland this was a really serene time. Tourists would be long gone, and we would all go down to the beach and eat giant bowls of mussels by the sea. I love how the North Sea smells and how the beach feels in this season - especially when it feels like you have it all to yourself.

SpaRitual Driftwood...

A really lovely pale cream colour. Neutral, but not too girly. Soft, but not stark. Will definitely be a staple for me.

read more "The Beach in Fall - SpaRitual Driftwood"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

China Glaze Rated Holographic

(2 coats)

This applied so nicely but alas the color is a little too close to my skin color it just sort of it blah. Chipped really quick, which isn't a surprise I suppose.
read more "China Glaze Rated Holographic"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sally Hansen Nail Effects Ghoulie Girl

Sally Hansen Nail Effects Ghoulie Girl
I just loved this manicure. I find SH Nail Effects to be relatively easy to apply (and because my nails are so small and short, I can get at least 3 manis out of one pack!) and they have such a great payoff. I had this manicure on for over a week without any of the stickers coming off. I got tons of compliments on it... including one from a woman who worked at my local independent fabric store who thought it was "crackle". (She realized it was ghosts when she looked closer.) 

Close up of Ghoulie Girl

I feel so guilty for not posting as much as I did (or, umm, more than once a month?) in the last year or so. Truth is, I had kind of hit a nail polish low point in my life -- I had on so many NOTDs for awhile that I just didn't care for and nothing seemed to make me smile. But I think I'm getting back on track. I haven't been swatching all that much but I have been photographing my NOTDs and several of them have made me very happy (including this one). 

In the meanwhile, school is in full swing, both my eyes have been LASIK'ed (and OMG, I CAN SEE), and I'm currently in Seattle for a conference. If nothing goes wrong, I MAY have an article accepted for publication (really crossing my fingers!)... but I'm not sure because who knows what side the editor may come down on with that decision. I've been feeling pretty down about various things in the last few months and the approach of winter does not help. :(
read more "Sally Hansen Nail Effects Ghoulie Girl"

Friday, November 4, 2011

China Glaze Devotion

(2 coats)

I prefer Sci-Fi. Devotion is more purple (a preference) but the brushstrokes are unacceptable.
read more "China Glaze Devotion"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gold, part II: Boots 17 Black Glitter Crackle

Okay, I know everyone is sick of crackles. But this might be worth a second look. It's a black shatter topcoat, with little gold glitter particles. I found that you have to give the bottle a good shake, but otherwise it's very easy to apply, the glitter doesn't pool, and it shatters well (albeit in small 'chunks').

I love the finish over Midnight Kiss from yesterday. It makes me think of tapestry. Very textural and pretty. I had a lot of compliments on it today, and it meant I got to crack out my gold glitter pumps, so everyone's a winner.
read more "Gold, part II: Boots 17 Black Glitter Crackle"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gold, part I: CG Midnight Kiss

I wore this once on my toes last winter with Party Hearty over the top and wasn't that wowed. Looking at it on my nails, I can only ask: HOW?! This polish is a total knock out! It's a slightly silvery, cool gold foil. SO sparkly. SO reflective. Just gorgeous!

It kind of changes colour with the light. Indoors, the creamy, silvery tones come out and it looks like a subtle, pale gold with high shine. I find the pastel tones of very reflective polishes often come out in low light, the same is true for the chromes I've reviewed. In the sun though, it turns into a total bling fest. Kapow!

read more "Gold, part I: CG Midnight Kiss"