Friday, July 31, 2015

6:00 AM

Pure Ice - Silver Mercedes

      Who else is happy that it's Friday? I've got tons of plans with friends this weekend and can't wait to hang out with them. So until the clock strikes 5 let's pass the time with today's blog post featuring Silver Mercedes from Pure Ice. 

     I'm actually kicking myself for not remembering that I had this polish in my collection when I did my silver nail polish stamping comparison a few weeks back. Leave it to me to discover I had another silver polish 3 days after the post went live. But that didn't stop me from seeing how well Silver Mercedes worked for stamping. I'll get into that a little later in the post but for now, let's talk about formula. 

     Silver Mercedes is your typical Silver metallic nail polish. Nearly opaque after 1 smooth even coat, you still are left with those dreaded brush strokes. A layer of Pure Ice Girl on the Run top coat saves your manicure by hiding 99% of them. I've shown it here as 2 coats plus top coat.

     For a $2 polish, you really get your money's worth with this one. And who doesn't love a caviar quality polish at a hot dog price? 

    In the macro shot you can see the brush strokes but as you may have noticed in the other photos they aren't quite that noticeable. Now about that stamping, I mentioned earlier...

     I used Pure Ice Touch me Softly as my base because royal purple and silver is a color combination that can never go wrong in my book. And as you can see Silver Mercedes worked perfectly! The image is from Bundle Monster plate BM-312. 

     After having so much success with both Touch me Softly and Silver Mercedes when it comes to stamping I'm excited to try the other polishes I have in my collection. I'm also wondering if Silver Mercedes is a dupe for either Sally Hansen's Silver Sweep or Essie's No Place like Chrome. Looks like I have some work ahead of me. But I think I'll enjoy my weekend first. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

6:00 AM

Drip Drop - Prototype #516

     Today I have a quick swatch post to share with you on Drip Drop prototype #516. I picked this up in a grab bag of prototypes that contained 3 polishes. I sort of like grab bags because it helps me to try polishes that I normally wouldn't pick for myself. Although looking at this one in the bottle I totally would have snatched it right up. 

     Prototype #516 has everything I like in a nail polish, a pale pink base, multi-sized glitters in a variety of shapes and colors. I was in heaven when I first saw it. 

     I really really want to love this polish but I just don't after applying it to my nails. And there's no real reason for it except that once on I realized that it wasn't my "cup of tea".  The application is amazing for a glitter, especially one that has been sitting around for a few months. I did have to fish around for a few of the larger glitters but overall I was happy with the amount that came out on the brush with each layer.

   Shown here is 2 coats plus top coat. I do like that the glitters lay nice and flat on the nail and only 1 layer of top coat was needed for a smooth finish. 

     Formula and application wise this polish is a winner, there's just something about it on my nails that I'm not thrilled with. Maybe the pink is too light for my skin tone?  

     I have 2 more polishes from the grab bag that I need to use but if the formula is as good as this I will be looking for suggestions on which ones to try next. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

6:00 AM

China Glaze - Unrefined and Toe-Tally Textured

     Happy Monday! For those of you still here thank you for sticking with me while I recovered from my dislocated shoulder. I'm still not back to 100% but at least now I can type with both hands. Which as you can imagine makes blogging a lot easier! I decided to start the week off with 2 polishes that I picked up on clearance last summer. China Glaze Unrefined and Toe-Tally Textured. 

     Can I be completely honest with you here? When I originally picked these two up I had no idea they were textured polishes until I got them home. I liked the colors on the shelf, looked at the names and realized I didn't have them yet and made the purchase. Even the word textured in the name didn't register at the time. I went to photograph the bottles for a haul picture and had a duh moment. That is also part of the reason why it took me so long to actually wear these polishes. I'm kind of picky when it comes to my textured polishes. I adore the original Pixie Dusts from Zoya with their subtle shimmer and everything else seemed to fall flat for me. That being said I'm glad I gave these two polishes from China Glaze a chance.  Their fun, but I don't love them. 


     Unrefined is a bright bubblegum pink the flowed effortlessly onto the nail. A word to the wise, if your bottle has been sitting around for a while make sure to REALLY give it a good shake. I could tell after application on one nail that the "texture" had settled to the bottom of my bottle. I had no issues once I figured that out, and had great control over where the polish went on my nail. Shown here is 2 coats without top coat. 

     Unrefined dries to a gritty finish, slightly rougher than a Pixie Dust, but not so rough that it wanted to snag on things. The texture was evenly spaced on the nail and removal was as easy as a regular polish. 

     You can see the light reflecting off my nails in my photos, but that's all the sparkle you'll get from this polish. Under regular lighting, it had a dull look to it. Which is kind of too bad because I think some subtle shimmer would take this from ok to yay!


     Toe-tally Textured is a bright, true orange polish with a formula that mimics unrefined. The brush in mine had a few wonky bristles that made application interesting, but I was still able to control the polish during application. 

     Staying true with the formula Toe-tally textured dried to a slightly gritty finish. Shown here is 2 coats without top coat. I was a little surprised that the polish dried so much darker on my nail than it looks in the bottle. Unrefined dried slightly darker but not noticeably so.  The darker color ended up turning me off slightly to this one since I feel it washes my coloring out. But it might be fun for a pedi?

     I do like that the texture spreads evenly over the nail, and removal is a piece of cake. But I probably won't be wearing this polish again. Unless I get brave and try it on my toes. lol

     Overall I have decided that I should have given other textured polishes a chance over the last few years. But I may have missed the opportunity since it seems to be a dying trend. What do you think? Has the textured polish gone the way of the crackle finish or is it still popping up enough to be a contender? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

6:00 AM

Put Up Your Dupes - Sally Hansen Silver Sweep vs Essie No Place Like Chrome

      About a month ago I did a post comparing how 4 silver nail polishes worked for stamping. While doing that post I discovered 2 sets of dupes. The first set I've already posted about: Zoya Trixie and Sally Hansen Celeb City. Now it's time to see if Sally Hansen Silver Sweep and Essie No Place like Chrome are true dupes too. 

     Looking at these two in the bottle they look very close but seem to have a slightly different finish. Silver Sweep seems to have more shimmer, but does that transfer over to the nail?

2 coats no top coat

     In fact, it does! While both polishes are completely smooth to the touch No Place like Chrome has a smoother look to it. However, the color itself is exactly the same. And these are so close that looking at them I thought they were 100% dupes. I only noticed the differences when editing my photos. 

     Both polishes are extremely opaque on the first coat and work great for stamping. No Place like Chrome did give me some slight dragging during application and having less shimmer shows more of those pesky brush strokes. Another downfall of the smooth finish in No Place like Chrome is that it is extremely unforgiving when it comes to imperfections on the nail. 

2 coats plus top coat

     The addition of top coat made the faint brush strokes in Silver Sweep pretty much disappear, while you can still see some in No Place like Chrome.  Just how close are these two if they aren't 100% dupes? Let's see if a macro shot can help us out...

     When we look this close the differences are impossible to miss. So sadly while these 2 are very similar they are not dupes. Do you need both? Probably not, but which one do you choose? 

     I would have to say that Silver Sweep just edges out No Place like Chrome for me. I tend to suffer from ridges in my nails and I like that Silver Sweep disguises them more than No Place like Chrome. And then, of course, we have those brush strokes, Silver Sweep wins in that category for me as well. I do like both colors though and to be honest, glad to have them both in my collection. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Monday, July 13, 2015

6:00 AM

Carpe Noctem - Cinna-Mocha

     It's Monday again! How the heck did that happen? I swear it was just Friday! Well, the weekend is over and I hope everyone had a good one. I spent most of mine taking care of a sick child. Thankfully he is on the mend and I'm back to reality. Which means back to work for the first time since early June. One of the perks of working for a school is having most of the summer off, the downfall is not getting paid 2 months out of the year. (ouch!)  But I am looking forward to getting back to work almost as much as I was looking forward to wearing Cinna-Mocha from Carpe Noctem Cosmetics. Which is unfortunately discontinued. 

     I have been seeing so many swatches of this great cocoa, chocolate brown polishes lately,  drooling over them, and cursing my lack of a paycheck along with my no buy and then I remembered I had Cinna-Mocha in my collection. A gorgeous milk chocolate brown with subtle shimmer. 

2 coats no top coat

     Application on the first coat was a little sheer, but even and full opacity was reached after 2. Like most shimmer finish polishes, Cinna-Mocha suffers from brush strokes. Although they aren't quite as obvious as my camera would lead you to believe. 

2 coats no top coat

    A nice layer of top coat makes most of the brush strokes disappear. It's not a 100% fix, but enough so that I wasn't as bothered by them. 

2 coats plus top coat

     I really like the color of this polish and I can see myself wearing it again in the fall, it seems to have a cozy feel to it and had me in the mood for my favorite sweater, a good book, a glass of wine, and a fire. But it is only July and I'm not quite ready for all of that yet so I decided to spice things up and try multi-colored stamping for the first time. 

     Using Sinful Colors Snow me White and Skylark I created this look with Konad plate M70.  I originally wanted to use a bold pink and a white because I love the combination of brown, pink and white together but I couldn't find a pink that would show up nicely against Cinna-Mocha. This look is more subtle but I really liked it. 

     After looking at my nails for a while I realized that if I switched up the colors this image would totally work for a camouflage manicure. Which might come in handy for a nail art challenge down the road, who knows.  Either way, I'm really happy with how this manicure came out, and that I was able to satisfy my obsession with chocolate colored polishes without having to dig in my couch for spare change. How do you feel about brown nail polish?  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

6:00 AM

Pure Ice - Touch Me Softly

     It's hump day! I thought it might be a good day to share a beautiful polish with a not so great name. I would seriously like to know who thought Touch Me Softly was a good name for a polish and how it made it through to production, but a few years ago Pure Ice was known for some questionable polish names. 

     Touch Me Softly from the 2013 Velour Collection is a purple micro shimmer polish with pink undertones that dries to a suede finish. I've had this polish in my collection for a few years now and I believe it is one of the polishes that got renamed. But what the new name is I'm not completely sure, and I couldn't find it online anywhere. 


     The application was a breeze with the first coat going on very opaque, and I mean very opaque. I was also able to get smooth even coverage. Even though I could have probably gotten away with 1 coat I chose to wear it with 2. 

     I opted to photograph this without top coat to showcase the suede finish. This is starting to become one of my favorite finishes, I'm just bummed that there isn't really a top coat that dries the same so that it could be worn longer. What do you think about the suede finish? Check out this macro shot and let me know what you think. 

     Now because I noticed that Touch Me Softly was so opaque on the first coat I figured it would be good for stamping and let me tell you I was not wrong. 

     I used Pure Ice Silver Mercedes as my base and Kaleidoscope Plate 06 from MoYou London. While I'm not thrilled at my attempt to get creative with the stamping, you can see that Touch Me Softly shows up nice and opaque when stamped.  In fact, this is a color combo that I feel I might repeat. I really like the contrast between the two colors and finishes. 

     Sadly with the addition of top coat, I lost the suede finish of Touch Me Softly, but since it still looks this good I don't mind as much. Plus the top coat really brings out the shimmer. Pure Ice polishes can be found in most Wal-mart stores for around $1.50 a bottle. How's that for an extremely budget friendly polish with a great formula! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Monday, July 6, 2015

6:00 AM

Revlon - Provence

     How was everyone's weekend? I had an amazing time celebrating the 4th with my friends. I'm a little short on sleep though so this will be a quick post. I go back to work in a week and I need to get myself back on a normal schedule. No more staying up until 1 am and sleeping in till 9 for me. 

     Revlon Provence is a dusty lavender creme that I picked up on clearance a few months ago. To me, it looked like a nice color to have in my collection as a base for nail art and to wear on its own.  It's a nice light shade that works as a pallet cleanser from all those glitter and holographic polishes we all love.

     The application was only so-so. Shown here is 2 very thin coats plus top coat. While the polish is a bit on the runny side I had no issues with pooling at my cuticles. The first coat went on a bit streaky but this polish levels itself out so there's no need to do multiple strokes. 

     While Provence has more of a grey undertone than I typically like it's one of those colors that I will probably reach for again. And it looked really nice under the stamping I did with Mentality Dyad. But I'd like to know if this is a color you'd wear or do the application issues turn you off? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

Friday, July 3, 2015

6:00 AM

4th of July Fireworks

       I wanted to end this weekly dedication to 4th if July nail art with a bang. And what better way to do that than with Fireworks! Sadly this ended up as my least favorite manicure of the bunch and that's mainly due to the issues I had while creating it. 

     Let me tell you if something could go wrong it did, right down to me spilling my first bottle of nail polish all over my floor. Of course, it had to be a blue bottle of polish. Thankfully it was hardwood and not carpet so the sugar trick worked for cleaning it up, but I had to race upstairs with wet polish on my hands to get the sugar and that ended up looking like a comedy routine. I'm happy to report that the bottle didn't break and nothing ended up stained. But let's get to the manicure, shall we...

     I started everything off with 2 coats of Milani White on the Spot. I think my bottle must be getting old because it was 2 streaky, gummy coats. Even adding a few drops of thinner showed no real improvement. It might be time to let this bottle go, after one more try with thinner of course. 

     For my fireworks, I used Shandy plates SH04 and SH213 and made decals so I could have complete control over the placement. You would think after my recent Silver nail polish stamping comparison post I would have known which silver polish to use, but that didn't stop me from making 2 decals with Zoya Trixie after the first one was pretty much invisible on my nail. Lucky for me they didn't stick very well and I was able to switch to Sally Hansen Silver Sweep. It's not as sparkly as Trixie but you can see it and that's all that really matters. 

     For my red and blue, I used the same colors as my Patriotic French Tip Manicure with China Glaze Man Hunt and Seeing Red. That post, by the way, got me featured on Blogher's front page on Thursday. You can check out the new badge they gave me to show off over there in the sidebar, located just under the post archive. Getting that e-mail was a huge pick me up! I also notifications that both of my previous 4th of July looks had been recreated by readers. I'm not sure which one was more exciting for me, but the recreations felt more rewarding!

     Overall I don't think the final manicure is bad, just the experience was and I don't like it quite as much as my previous looks. And I still haven't decided what I'm going to wear on my nails this weekend! This is where I'm going to need your help. Should I wear the French Tips, The marbled accent, the Fireworks as is, or the Fireworks on a black base? Let me know what you think in the comments. Have a fabulous holiday weekend, stay safe and Happy Polishing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

6:00 AM

Red, White, Blue and Marbled

       Happy 1st of July! There are just 3 days left until the 4th. Do you have your manicure all picked out? If not I've got another look the help with your inspiration. I know my Patriotic French tip manicure might have looked complicated or time-consuming to some and the whole point of my blog is to inspire people to try nail art. So I opted to go for a simple nail art look today, something that even the newest nail novice could recreate. I call it Red, White, Blue and Marbled....take a look. 

Photo was taken in incandescent lighting

     All you need to recreate this look is a base coat, top coat, 3 bottles of polish (red, white and blue) and 2 scraps of Saran wrap. A spectra flair top coat is optional which I ended up adding over my white polish to make it sparkle.

Photo was taken in direct sunlight

     The polishes I use for this look are Zoya Nidhi, Zoya Dream, Finger Paint Paper Mache, and a spectra flair top coat. 

     For the accent nail, I started with 2 coats of Paper Mache and let it dry. For the marbled effect, I dipped a small piece of saran wrap into Nidhi (Red) and dabbed it onto my nail. I got a bit more polish than I wanted so I used a clean part of the saran wrap and dabbed it directly onto the nail to pull off some of the polish and help move it around the nail. I repeated this process with Dream (Blue) until I got the look I wanted. 

     To avoid a lot of clean up I used Crystalline Nail Veil around my nail but you could use tape to do the same thing. Anyone who has ever had to clean up red or blue polish before knows was a PITA it can be!

    A quick coat of Spectra flair gives a sparkly finished look.  This might be one of the fastest nail art looks I have ever put together. I didn't have to wait for things to dry because I painted the white first and by the time I was done with the red and blue it was ready to be marbled. 

     What do you think of these quick nail art looks? Would you wear it on all your nails or as an accent nail like I did? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Polishing!

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