Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2:30 PM

A Halloween manicure.... sort of

     All month I have been trying to come up with clever ideas for Halloween manicures. It's really hard to do something that hasn't been done before. So when I got my Archivers add in the mall a few weeks ago I was thrilled. It had a really cute card on the front page and my immediate reactions was that it would make for a great manicure. Then came the hard part. Trying to figure out how to translate it to my nails.

     Look at how cute that card is. And while this is in no way my original idea, I have yet to see a manicure like this before. And I still haven't. After 3 weeks of thinking without much progress on how to go about the recreation, I just jumped right in and gave it a go.

     I used Orly's Iron Butterfly for my base. Milani White on the Spot and Zoya Thandie were used to recreate the witches hat. Trying to make the little zigzags with my nail brush turned out to be impossible for me so I switched to my smallest dotting tool. Having a steady hand is not my strong suit and the zig zags are not as crisp as I would like.

     This manicure turned out to be extremely challenging for me and in my opinion was a fail. However, it was a great learning experience and maybe next time the results will be something I'm happy with.

     Did you do a Halloween manicure? Feel free to leave a link in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

7:28 AM

A bit of Nistolgia.....

     Today's post is inspired by Jen from Xoxojenn . She did a post about her first posted nail picture and I thought it would be fun to do one too. After all, isn't seeing how far you've come part of the fun of blogging? You can see Jen's post by clicking the link above or following the inlinkz code at the bottom of this post.

      If you read my post about what got me started with nail polish you know that it was a stamped manicure my friend posted that first piqued my interest.  So, of course, I ordered a few image plates and the first picture I ever posted online was, in fact, a stamped manicure. I took the picture with my cell phone and posted it on my personal page. I got a little feedback but mostly people asked me why I was posting my nails. Especially after I posted more than a few pictures.


     So here it is in all its unedited glory. At the time I was pretty proud of it. Back then I had no idea how important clean up was. Or how unforgiving the camera is to dry cracked cuticles. And forget about nail care. All I knew was that my nails were nice and long,  and I was hooked on nail art. I decided to start my FB page with no intentions at that time to add a blog but, as my love of all things polish grew so did my desire to share it.

     Which brings us to today. It saddens me to say that my stamping hasn't improved a whole lot over the last year. But my photography skills and nail care have come a long way. I still have tons to learn but it's a fun process and I look forward to the challenges. This is the last picture I shared of a stamped manicure. It was a manicure I wore about 5 months ago.

     Looking at these photos has helped me remember why I started this crazy journey in the first place. It's also made me want to get out my stamping plates and play around a bit.

     I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane with me. Don't forget to check out the posts other bloggers have written and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

8:07 AM

Rimmel- Apple Berry Smoothie

     Well hello, again my lacquer loving friends. Today I have for you a manicure I did using Rimmel Apple Berry Smoothie from their Cocktail Colors collection. Unfortunately, I picked this color up on clearance and the collection has been discontinued.

   Apple Berry Smoothie is an aqua blue polish with blue and purple shimmer. The application took a little getting used to. I found out that less is more for smooth even coverage. And you don't want to "play around" when applying your first coat. Just let it be thin and streaky, trust me you won't be able to tell when you're all done.

Rimmel Apple Berry Smoothie, blue shimmer

     This is 3 thin coats plus top coat. I can now see a slight bald spot on my pinkie that wasn't noticeable to the naked eye. And trust me I was looking at my nails all day today at work trying to decide what I wanted to add to this manicure. 

     From this angle, the light was able to bring out more character in the polish and shows traces of the purple shimmer. I really wish it would have been nice out today so I could capture this polish in the sunlight. But winter is on it's way to Minnesota and my days of photographing polish outside are limited until next spring.

      So what did I decide to do with this manicure after thinking about it for 8 hrs today? I went with a quick and easy tape manicure.

     For the white, I used Milani White on the Spot and simply laid my tape at an angle to make the triangles. Originally I was going to use another blue for this but couldn't find just the right shade. That turned out to be a good thing because I'm really digging the high contrast here. Next time I won't be so heavy handed with the white though as it ended up a little thick. Oh well live, learn, and have plenty of acetone on hand right? :)

     I hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by. Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7:36 AM

Salon Perfect- Raisin the Roof

    Have you ever purchased a polish thinking it was one color and then realized it was something completely different when you applied it? Was that surprise a good one for you? That's the experience I had with Salon Perfects Raisin the Roof from the Fall Polish Forecast Collection.

     I know I know from the word "Raisin" I should have guessed this was a shade of purple but for some reason that didn't register with my brain. *facepalm* When I saw this beauty sitting on the shelf at Wal-mart I snatched it up thinking it was a deep dark shimmery brown. (Which by the way I am still looking to add to my collection so if you have any suggestions I'm all ears!)

Salon Perfect Raisin the Roof, Fall Polish Forcast collection

     So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a deep purple. (with brownish undertones) I have to say that the surprise was a great one as this polish turned out to be a stunner in my opinion.

     Raisin the Roof is a plum raisin color with golden shimmer. This polish has some amazing depth to it. It really did remind me of raisins with the first coat.

Salon Perfect Raisin the Roof. Fall Polish Forecast Collection
Photo was taken indoors with incandescent lighting
     Application for this polish was extremely smooth and easy. I was able to control exactly where the polish went on my nails. Raisin the Roof is shown here with 2 coats plus top coat. I wouldn't say the first coat was streaky exactly,  splotchy is a better word for it. There were definitely places that the polish was lighter but it was sporadic instead of linear.

Salon Perfect Raisin the Roof Fall Polish Forecast collection
Photo was taken outdoors in natural lighting
     Raisin the Roof really seemed to come alive once I stepped outside. In the sun you could really see the deep richness combined with hints of shimmer. In certain angles, flashes of green were visible which added a whole new side to this polish.

Macro shots were taken indoors in incandescent lighting. The right side is taken with flash

     The flashes of green are so subtle that I was only able to capture them with a macro shot. I'm still in awe of this polishes beauty. But since I can't seem to wear a polish on its own lately,  I added an accent nail of Liquid Lacquer's Penny Jar.

Raisin the roof with glitter accent, Liquid Laquer Penny Jar

     Just the right amount of bling wouldn't you say? These two polishes seem to be made for each other, and I couldn't be happier with how this turned out. I picked up Penny Jar from a blog sale but it is still available in her shop for $9. You can find it here if you're looking to add it to your collection.

     I hope you enjoyed this post and remember, I'm still looking for a dark shimmery brown so don't forget to add your suggestions in the comments. Thanks for stopping by and Happy polishing!

Monday, October 21, 2013

10:58 AM

What's in a finish? - Creme

      I don't know about you, but when I first started my obsession with nail polish I had no idea how many finishes there are or what the difference between them. A few finishes are pretty self-explanatory while others seem to be variations of a different finish. I've decided to put together a series of post explaining the different characteristics of each finish. Partly for myself, so I can remember, and partly for anyone else who has a hard time remembering the difference between a scattered holo and a linear one.

     Let's start with the most popular finish  Creme. Almost every nail polish company out there has a core line of creme finish polishes. I say almost because some indie polish makers might not offer this finish.

Brash Purple Prime
Brash Purple Prime
     A creme finish polish is a pure color polish, meaning there are no additives for shimmer or sparkle. Known for its great shine and smooth finish, creme polishes can be sheer or opaque.

China Glaze Peachy Keen

     I would have to say that most of my polish collection consists of creme finishes because they’re truly wearable for any occasion. In addition, versatility is a big plus as this finish offers the most color options to choose from – perfect if you’re like me and change your polish a lot!

     Thanks for stopping by and checking out my first installment of this series. I hope you stick around and check out the future ones as well. Next time I'll be talking about Matte polishes. In the meantime I'd love to hear your thought on creme finish polish. Do they make up most of your collection too?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

11:17 AM

Revlon Colorstay Vintage Rose

     Hello, my fellow polish lovers!  I'll be honest with you. I'm having a hard time putting this post together. I've been reading too many blogging tip posts lately. They all say to keep your content fresh and exciting to keep readers interested and help gain more followers. I've almost paralyzed myself with the pressure of trying to get the right words on the page. I only know so many ways to start a NOTD post and I don't want to come across as robot-like.   With that being said I'm going to give this my best shot, have a little fun and hope that you stay with me till the end.

     Today's NOTD post is Revlon Color Stay in Vintage Rose. You may remember this color from a recent post I did about my "Vintage Rose Manicure". If you missed it, you can find it here. Vintage Rose is a brown leaning rose cream polish that dries to a semi-gloss finish. I have to say that Vintage Rose is the perfect name for this color.  When I first saw it I knew it was the color I needed to do the vintage rose style manicure I coveted for almost a year.

Revlon Colorstay Vintage Rose
Photo was taken indoors in incandescent light
          Application of Vintage Rose was smooth and easy. The polish flowed nicely off the brush with precise application. This is 2 thin coats for full opacity but one thicker coat could be used.  

Revlon Colorstay Vintage Rose
Photo was taken outdoors in natural light
     I think this is a great color for fall. It's not too bright but still feminine. I can see myself wearing this for numerous occasions.  The wear time for this polish line is 11 days but I removed my manicure after 5. I did have some tip wear but no chopping at that point. I might have to do a wear test to see if I can get 11 days out of this polish.

     So what do you think of this color? Do you have a favorite from the color stay line that I should check out? Thanks for stopping by and checking out my post. Happy Polishing!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

12:31 PM

Essie Mirror Metallics Collection

    Today I have a review of the Essie Mirror Metallics collection. This  5 polish collection was released in June of 2012. I was so excited when I first saw swatches of these polishes. So much so that I decided to use it as motivation to quit smoking. After one month of not smoking, I took that money I would have spent on cigarettes and bought the entire collection. It was the first and only collection I bought all at once. So as you may have guessed I had some pretty high expectations for these polishes.

     So why did I wait so long to finally use these? Well, I've read a lot of reviews on these polishes over the last year. And the results are all over the board. Some people rave about the amazing application, others say they are hard to work with. I was beginning to have a slight case of buyers remorse. I decided I needed to find out for myself. And I have to say my opinion lands somewhere in the middle. The formula for all 5 polishes are pretty much the same so I'll go into more details about that after the photos.

   * All photos are 2 coats of polish without top coat taken with incandescent lighting.*

Essie Nothing Else Metals, Mirror Metallic Collection

     Nothing Else Metals is described as an “ultramodern lilac alloy”.  I like the modern take on such a girly color.

Essie Blue Rhapsody, Mirror Metallic Collection

     Blue Rhapsody is described as a “heavy metal air force blue”, but I loved how this shade seemed to morph from cool to warm-hued, depending on the light. At moments it had an almost gunmetal look to it.

Essie Penny Talk, Mirror Metallic Collection

     Penny Talk is described as a “statement-making incandescent copper”, If you're looking for that new penny look this is the polish for you.

Essie No Place Like Chrome, Mirror Metalli Collection

     No Place Like Chrome is described as a “richly oxidized nickel”, bears an uncanny resemblance to polished steel.

Essie Good as Gold, Mirror Metallic Collection

     Good as Gold is described as a “pure, rock-solid classic”. This shade is a little more honey-ish then deep yellow and is my least favorite color in the collection. 

     So, about the application.... There are pros and cons to these polishes. All 5 polishes are extremely pigmented and could almost be one coaters. Which will probably make them good for stamping. However like with all metallic/foil finish polishes they are extremely unforgiving to less than perfect nails. I would highly recommend a good ridge filling base coat when wearing these. For me the polish flowed nicely off the brush and onto the nail for even coverage. I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of brush strokes visible once dry. These polishes do dry extremely quickly, but I would wait until the first cost is completely dry before adding a second to avoid dragging.

     Some bloggers have had issues with these polishes not leveling out nicely and leaving ridges on the nail.  For the most part I was able to avoid that by applying 2 thin coats. I did have a slight issue with ridges when using a thicker coat on one of my nails, but I was able to fix it pretty easily.

     Over all I am happy with my purchase, No more buyers remorse for this little polish lover.   Copper Penny and Blue Rhapsody would have to be my favorites of this collection because they are different from anything else I own.  What are your experiences with this collection? Do you love them or hate them?

     Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

9:20 AM

Maybelline Color Show Denim Dash

   Hello, fellow polish lovers. Today I have a quick post on Maybelline Color Show in Denim Dash and a little nail art. Denim Dash is a deep saturated blue with subtle silver shimmer that dries to a semi-matte finish.  Application on this one was okay. It wasn't anything horrible but there was some slight streaking with the first coat. Full opacity was achieved after 2 coats.

Maybelline Color Show Denim Dash, Seran wrap manicure

      I started this manicure with one idea in mind and ended up with something completely different. This happens to me a lot. Anyone else have that issue?  Originally I was going to do an accent nail of Audacious Asphalt with some stamping, then I thought about doing a tape design on that nail. My thoughts then turned to a water marble accent nail of the two colors, when I finally decided on a saran wrap accent nail. I think it gives it an almost acid washed jeans look, don't you?

Maybelline Color Shoe Denim Dash, Blue, Seran Wrap Manicure

     I just love how the accent nail turned out. I almost wish I had done the entire manicure that way. I think the colors compliment each other really well. And the saran wrap manicure is such an easy way to do nail art.

     Thanks for stopping by. Id love to hear your thoughts on this color. Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

8:59 PM

Orly Matte FX

     Hi everyone. Today's NOTD post is about 2 polishes from the Orly Matte FX line. There are 4 polishes in this collection. 2 matte finish polishes Iron Butterfly and Purple Velvet and 2 Flakie top coats Green Matte Glitter Flakie and Pink Flakie Top Coat.  I looked at these polishes several times before finally purchasing Iron Butterfly and the Pink Flakie Top Coat.

     First up, let's take a look at Iron Butterfly. This is not your typical matte polish. For starters, it has silver micro glitter in a black base giving Iron Butterfly a charcoal grey look when dry. The polish dries very quickly for a matte polish and is smooth to the touch. The application was easy with no dragging or streaking. And even with the micro glitter, you get a completely matte finish that somehow manages to shimmer.

Orly Matte FX Iron Butterfly

     This is 2 coats of Iron Butterfly without top coat. You could almost get away with one thick coat for full coverage. After I had this on I thought it would make a great background for some Halloween art. But I haven't worked them out completely yet so I decided to add the flakie top coat.

     Pink Flakie Top Coat has a sheer pink base and multi-colored iridescent flake glitter. The flakes lay completely flat on the nail with no jagged edges.  The application was smooth with no fishing required. When dry the nail is smooth to the touch and again this dried pretty quickly for a matte polish. Even though it's a matte finish you still get flashes of color and a sort of sparkly look to your nails.

Orly Matte FX Pink Flakie Top Coat

     Shown here is 3 coats of Pink Flakie Top Coat over Iron Butterfly. I really only needed 2 coats but I wanted to make sure the entire nail was covered. I think if I would have stopped at 2 coats I wouldn't have gotten the "murkiness" look to my nails. Although I added a regular top coat to the ring finger just to see how it looked and the murkiness went away. Unfortunately, I did that the next day and didn't take a picture to share with you.

     I love the range of colors you get from the flakes. It's like having a rainbow on your nails without being over the top or in your face. I'm going to have to go back and pick up the other 2 polishes from this collection the next time I'm at Sally's.

     So what are your thoughts on this new collection? Are either of these two going on your lemming list? Thanks for taking the time to stop by and as always, Happy Polishing!

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