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Monday, December 28, 2009

Dermelect Review and Surprise!

As I'm sure you are all aware, I took off my last set of glue-ons a little over 5 weeks ago.  I'd been wanting a break from them, but I didn't know where to start.  Enter Dermelect Cosmeceuticals.  As luck would have it, I received an offer to try their products, right as I was ready to try to grow out my damaged natural nails.  I was happy to try them, but I honestly thought I'd try it for 2 or 3 weeks and then give up and go back to my glue-ons.  I'm very, very happy to say that was not the case.  I was able to basically rebuild my natural nails over the last 5 weeks and I credit Dermelect products for much of my success. 

I'm going to show you where my nails were 5 weeks ago (though, I'm sure you've seen this a gazillion times) and then walk you through the Dermelect products I used, reviewing each product in the process.  I'm also going to show you my naked nails so you can see the difference in the color of my growth.  So... here goes...

This pic is my natural nails on 11/20/09.  I remembered being horribly embarrassed by posting it, but I wanted to show you all just how bad my nails were.  At this point, I was hoping my nails would rebound, but I was extremely doubtful.

In comparison, here's a pic I took of my natural, naked nails on 12/26/09

In this picture, you can really see the difference in the color of my nails.  The upper half of my nails (the older growth) is a really weird, unhealthy, pinkish yellow color.  It almost looks like a healing bruise.  The lower half (the new growth) is a pretty, healthy pink/purple color.  I haven't seen that color in over a year, as sad as that may be, and I really thought my nails were done for.  As dramatic as it may sound, I really thought I'd be wearing fake nails for the rest of my life. 

Honestly, it hurt to have my natural nails show.  Not just emotionally (and I can't tell you how embarrassing it was), but also physically.  My natural nails were so damanged and paper thin, that it actually felt good to wear glue-ons.  It gave my nails protection.  By using the Dermelect prodcuts, I think I was able to make my nails feel stronger and I no longer needed to rely on the glue-ons to keep them covered.

Here's what I used (click the name to link to Dermelect's site for more info)

Pic is one coat of Launchpad
I love this product.  You don't think about it much when it's on, and then you can realize when you don't wear it.  I found it to be very soothing on my damaged nails.  It also made a great base for everything else I would apply on top of it.  This product contains a unique multi-peptide derived from New Zealand wool which delivered keratin to the nail plate (taken from Dermelect's website).   This product helped to strengthen my nails and reduced chipping.  It's definitely a great base to help you rebuild your nails.

Dermelect Makeover Ridgefiller

This is one coat of Makeover over one coat of Launchpad. 

Of all 3 Dermelect products I tried, this one is my hands down favorite.  It not only is a great ridgefiller, but it's also a concealer.  I've tried several ridgefillers, and none of them did what this one did.  It helps to hide the damage on your nail.  That was a big plus for me in the beginning.  The color itself is a beautiful pink irridescent shimmer, so if you don't want to polish your nails (and I didn't for over 2 weeks), you don't have to.  This one has all the good things you find in Launchpad as well.  Also, you can use this to basically build up any damaged nail beds.  In the beginning, I used this to cover up the areas on my nails where there was just nail bed (click link to see a picture).  That was so important to me. 

Last is Dermelect High Maintenance Top Coat

This is one coat of High Maintenance over one coat of Launchpad, one coat of Makeover, and one coat of NARS Dovima (I wanted you to see it over a polish).

If I had to pick a product I was a a little torn on, it would have to be High Maintenance.  I like it, but it's not my favorite of the three.  Though, when I started this process, I really appreciated it.  I loved the fact that it was so thick (as thick as Seche Vite, or thicker even).  It really made my feel like my nails were super protected.  The downside was that I had some problems with bubbling (though over the NARS, it's perfect).  It also is slow to dry (just like a normal TC, though), so if you want to be able to do things quickly after your mani, simply apply a thin fast drying TC (I like Out the Door) over the High Maintenance.  Even now, I really do like the fact that it makes my nails feel thicker and stronger and it also protects them from UV light.  And while I don't use it with every mani now, I think in the beginning of the nail recovery process, it was essential and if you are rebulding your nails, like me, then it's an important part of the system.  Plus, it's super shiny, so it looks great over polish. 

I really recommend using this system if you are interested in rebuilding your nails from damage, whether that be from acrylics, glue-ons, or some other form of damage.  I was fortunate in that I was sent samples, but I honestly think that if I'd known about these products months ago, I would have definitely bought them and tried them.  I had been searching for something to help heal the damage, and I was having no luck finding a system.  In fact, I'm recommending them to my mother, who after 2+ years of chronic glue-ons usage is looking to rebuld her damaged nails/nail beds.

Which brings me to my SURPRISE!  In conjuction with my review of their products, Dermelect is offering a 20% coupon to my readers for all of their hand and nail products (click to go to their store).  This code is PP20 and is good through January 4, 2010.  In the interest of full disclosure, I receive no kick-back from this code.  It's just a gift from Dermelect to my readers.  I will also post a note about this code on the right side of my blog.  Also, please feel free to pass this code on. 

Thank you so much for your time in reading this post and all your support during the last 5+ weeks.  My nails still have a way to go, and I plan on using these products until all the old growth is gone and beyond.

Franken: Christmas Present

This color came about because I was looking at my bottles of the RBL glitters thinking that it would be awesome to have that same dense glitter in Christmas colors.  Unfortunately, I had this idea after Christmas, so a full mani will have to wait until next year (or maybe until July when I'm wishing for the holidays), but I figured I'd at least swatch it for you all. 

I think it turned out much better than I expected.  This is Sinful Queen of Beauty, CC Art of Seduction, CC Object of Envy, Martha Stewart glitter in Sterling, Garnet, Peridot, and Crystal Fine, and a little plain OPI top coat (as I was out of clear).  No exact recipe.  I just dumped in colors until I liked the consistency and the dispersion of color.

I need to do a few more of these glitters.  They are fairly easy to do, and it's great to be able to customize your own color.  Texture on this was similar to the RBLs.  They were fairly smooth and only needed a top coat to even out whatever texturing there was.  The picture is three thin coats.
Saturday, December 26, 2009

Franken: Three Queens

This franken was inspired by a recent post by Michelle at ALU, where she reviews the new OPI Alice in Wonderland collection (Valentine's 2010).  Michelle had mentioned that while she liked the collection, she was disappointed in the inclusion of two reds (c'mon, Suzi), and wished there were a couple more original colors in their place.  One of the colors she mentioned was a white polish with red glitter, inspired by this promotional shot of Anne Hathaway from the film.

I couldn't sleep and I was wasting time, so I figured I'd try my hand at frankening it.  Here's what I came up with:

I don't have an exact recipe, as I didn't fill up an entire empty bottle, but it's mostly ChG White Out and a little bit of ChG White Kwik Silvr for the base.  The glitter is about 10 drops of CC Art of Seduction, which I had to thin out quit a bit to get it to pour nicely.  Lastly, I added a few red hearts from my bottle of Love My Nails Crazy for You.

I really like the way it turned out.  I think it would be perfect for Valentine's Day.  It doesn't look pink, which is what I feared when I started mixing it up.  You can really tell it's red glitter in a white polish.  I think if I had some chunkier red glitter and a brighter white for the base (I realize if I'd just use the White Out, it would have been brighter, as the WKS makes it a bit dirtier, but I wanted a touch of shimmer) it would have looked better . 

I named it "Three Queens" for the White Queen, Red Queen, and the Queen of Hearts from the Alice in Wonderland books.  I think it's kind of silly to name frankens, myself, but I needed a catchy title.  LOL.  :P  Plus, I was pretty proud of this one, so I think she needed a name.  Maybe if I was good at frankening, I wouldn't mind naming them.  :)

Also, I've never been a fan of the Alice in Wonderland books.  I never had anything against them, I just never read them.  I think I was too freaked out by the animated movie when I was younger and avoided the books (the same reason I never read The Wizard of Oz).  Now I'm thinking I may need to go to the used bookstore and pick them up.  :)

Merry Christmas!!!

(what's left of it, that is.  I started this around 11:30p)...

This has been a crazy week, so I'm so sorry for not updating before now.  I have a few recent manis that I'll just combine into one post.  And then I'll try to get back on track with the daily NOTDs next week.  I should have my "big" Dermelect review either Monday or Tuesday as well (plus a surprise, so stay tuned.  LOL).

Here are my recent manis that I haven't gotten around to posting yet...

First up is RBL Killa Red

Sigh.  I love the color in the picture and in brighter light, but that's about the only thing I love.  The formula was hard to work with.  You'd think with it being a RBL it wouldn't be such a bear, but I struggled with it for the entire mani (actually 2, but more on that in a minute).  Also, the brush on my Killa Red was a freakin' mop.  I managed to make it through, but my application isn't as neat as I'd like.  In darker light, or under the halogen in my kitchen (where I polish my nails), this looks very dark.  In fact, it looked very similar to OPI Got the Blues for Red (which is a great color, but I expected something different).  In bright light, it's much lighter and it's a beautiful color, but I wish I got Glamourpuss instead.  Lastly, it seems, on me at least, that RBL cremes do not want to work with some base coats.  I finally got it to play nice with Orly Calcium Shield, but I had to remove my previous mani and reapply Killa Red because it was so glumpy with the first base coat.  I plan on keeping it and using it again with longer nails, but if the color wasn't so nice, I'd have to put it in the "no" pile.  So far, I'm 0 for 2 with RBL cremes.  I didn't really like Au Chocolat, either.  But I'm planning to try again soon.

Next is the ubiquitous ChG Emerald Sparkle Holiday Mani

I love ES, but I only used this for Christmas Eve because I felt it was expected.  Not by my ILs (who I spend Christmas Eve), but by the NP gods in general.  It applied perfect, and without a lot of fuss.  This is one coat with another spot coat to cover a few bald spots.  I liked it, and I love the color, but I removed it pretty quickly.  I just don't like conforming.  LOL. 

Lastly, here's my attempt at some festive nail art

This is 2 coats of Essie Amalfi (a pretty white/gold (heavier on the gold) shimmer), with 2 coats of ChG Golden Enchantment.  I also did dots with Migi Nail Art in red and gold.  On my index finger is 2 coats of the Migi Nail Art red (Migi is unique in that there's a dotter and brush on each color.  Click the "Migi Nail Art" label to see more info on Migi... I'm too lazy to link right now, sorry :P).  I meant for this to look like strands of beaded garland.  I think the look turned out okay, but there were so many coats on my nails that I ended up getting sheet marks and shrinkage.  I took this off this morning (Christmas Day after I did this the night of Christmas Eve).  My nails were actually nekkid for Christmas *gasp*.

And that's it for right now.  I plan on starting back up with the daily NOTDs very soon.  I hope everyone had a happy and safe Christmas.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Orly Sweet Collection

I received this press release from Orly today regarding their second collection for Spring 2010. 

ORLY Spring II 2010 Collection

Satisfy Your Sugar Craving

With a playful, yet nostalgic look back at iconic sugary treats, the NEW ORLY Spring II 2010 Sweet Collection not only reminds us of our childhood favorites and past times, but stays on trend with a throwback to Jackie O’s pastel pillbox hats. This collection incorporates spring’s feminine pastels by adding a milky white opaque tone to baby pinks, blues, yellows, purples and greens.
Each Nail Lacquer in the Sweet Collection comes with a FREE matching flavored mini lip gloss key chain. The six new lacquers include:

Cute as a Gumdrop button in Pastel Turquoise Crème
Can’t get enough Cotton Candy in Baby Pink Crème
Lollipop lollipop oooh lolli lollipop. Sing it out loud in Pastel Purple Crème
Show off your pretty Pixy Stix in Pink Crème
Blueberry must be your favorite Snowcone flavor in Baby Blue Crème
Hurry up and open your Lemonade stand in Pastel Yellow Crème

All ORLY nail lacquers including the Sweet Collection are free of DBP and all traces of Toluene, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin.

The Sweet Collection Lacquers will be available beginning April 2010 for $7.50 each. ORLY Nail Lacquers and Treatment products are available at orlybeauty.com, Sally Beauty, Ulta and other purveyors of beauty throughout the U.S. and in over 66 countries worldwide. For more information contact LaForce + Stevens or visit us online at http://www.orlybeauty.com/.

Oooh, I am so excited for this collection, I can't even tell you how much.  But I'll try.  LOL.  Orly's other collection, Bloom, looks promising, and there's one or two I may pick up, but I think I want this entire collection.  Yes, there are similarities between a few colors and the ChG Up and Away colors, but there are also a few that look unique.  I'm dying for Gumdrop and Snowcone already.  The names are so fun and cute and the colors themselves look beautiful.  I'm really considering picing up the entire thing when it hits etailers (which according to the press release will be April 2010).  I'm loving these all pastel, all creme collections.  I don't know what's happened to me.  :P
Monday, December 21, 2009

NOTD: OPI Tickle My France-y

This is one of the colors I got when I decided I needed more work-safe colors.  Turns out, I didn't actually need the work-safe colors, as Tim was the first one to get a job, but I find it's still a good thing to have more neutral colors in my stash.

TMF is a perfect nude for me.  It has a perfect combo of pink, taupe, grey and nude.  I was a little wary of using OPI's handles and brushes with my shorties, but I need not be worried.  They were actually easier to use than some of my shorthandled brushes.  This is 2 coats, and it probably could have used a third, as I have faint VLNs, but they don't really bother me.

Again, this isn't really my kind of color, but I really like this one.  I have to go to a funeral today (Tim's grandmother passed away on Friday) and I'm glad I had this in my collection for this kind of occasion.  Most of my colors would have gotten the wrong kind of attention.

TMF is from OPI's F/W 2008 France collection.  It's still in the regular line up, however, and you can get it at TD, BS, or on eBay.
Sunday, December 20, 2009

NOTD: Rescue Beauty Lounge "Look Rich, Be Cheap"

I didn't think I'd ever own any RBL, but thanks to the sale, I now have several pretty boxes all in a neat row.  Included is this one, "Look Rich, Be Cheap".  I'd been lemming the RBL glitters since they came out in March, and finally was able to own them.  While Locavore is my favorite, this one is not one to sneeze at, by any means.

LRBC is a gold and purple glitter.  It glitter are small, but they look to be multi-sized (it's kind of hard for me to focus on the glitter because they are so shiny.  LOL).  This one is amazingly festive and would be perfect for Mardi Gras.  The glitter is suspended in a clear base, but because the glitter is so dense, you could probably get away with 2 coats if you knew what you were doing.  This one is 3 because I had a few bald spots at 2.  I also have on 2 coats of TC, but let me tell you... compared to the ChG cobblestone-rough glitters, this one is practically flat.  The application was really nice for a glitter.  I had none of the "free-edge drag" that I sometimes get with glitter. 

All in all, this is an amazing polish.  I am so happy I own it and it's glittery sisters.  You can get "Look Rich, Be Cheap" through RBL's website or at BeautySak.  Both sites are the same price ($18 reg), but BeautySak oftentimes has coupons and shipping is more reasonable.  You also get free shipping over a certain price point.  I, however, got mine at RBL (who has AMAZING c/s) due to the 1/2 price sale.

EDIT: I was a little worried about how I was going to remove this as I'd heard horror stories on other nail blogs and on MUA NB.  I poured some acetone into a glass bowl and soaked my fingers for about 3-5 mintures.  The glitter came off no problem.  If you do this, just be sure to slap some cuticle cream/oil/Mango Mend on your cuticles since the acetone will dry them out.

Previous NOTD: Lippmann Bitches Brew with ChG Golden Enchantment

Okay, you know how I think Deborah Lippmann was a total jerk off for the "Funky Chunky Tyrade of 2009"?  And you know how I said I wasn't going to buy any more of her polishes?  Well, I still think she's a giant d-bag, but as soon as I saw Bitches Brew, I knew I was going to have to bend my resolve.  Swoon.  Isn't it pretty?

It's a deep burgundy shimmer.  To me, it borders on vampy without looking black.  Deborah Lippmann describes this a "mulberry fantasy" whatever the hell that means.  I have nothing close to this in my collection.  I suppose OPI Bogota Blackberry would be the closest, but it's cooler than Bitches Brew.  Bogota Blackberry is also a few shades lighter. 

Application on this was very nice.  I have 2 other Lippmann polishes, Purple Rain (grr) and Shut Up and Drive.  Neither of which applied like this one.  It was opaque in one coat.  I hadn't liked Lippmann's handles before, but I guess that could be attributed to the fact that the polish on my 2 other Lippmanns was harder to control.  Because this one was so easy, the handle didn't bother me at all.

It was a beautiful color on it's own, but I was feeling festive so I decided to apply some Cina decals and one coat of ChG Golden Enchantment.  I just loved the holo, golden sparkle of Golden Enchantment against the deep tone of Bitches Brew. I loved the color beforehand, but afterwards, it was amazing.  I loved it.  Didn't stop me from taking it off tonight (I blame the NP ADD)  :P, but I think it was one of my favorites of 2009.  I loved it that much. 

You can get Bitches Brew where ever you find Lippmann Collection polishes.  Just google it and many places will pop up.  I got mine at Beauty Bridge for one main reason... they offer free shipping on all purchases in the US.  The polish was $16, so it was nice to not have any additional fees.  Shipping was a little slow for me, but it was certainly in the reasonable range (arrived in a little over a week).  I got the Cina decals at Sally's and you can get Golden Enchantment at your favorite e-tailer, at Sally Beauty, or on eBay.
Friday, December 18, 2009

Nail Recovery Update - 4 weeks

Sorry of the state of my nails, but these are completely naked just after I removed Zoya Indigo.  Some of it wanted to stay around.  :P

Can you believe it's been four weeks since I took off my glue-ons and showed you my damaged nails?  I was determined to try and get my natural nails back.  As much as I liked the look the look of my glue-ons, and my acrylics before them, they just weren't healthy of my nails.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against glue-ons, but the constant cycle of gluing them on and removing them was really taking a toll on my nails.  They never had the opportunity to recover from the damage caused by the acrylics.

So I think being contacted by Dermelect to sampled their products was absolutely perfect timing.  I was getting sick of the glue-on vicious cycle, but I didn't know how or where to start it.  Once I got their samples, I just took off my glue-ons and jump in with both feet, and I'm very thankful I did.

As you can tell, my nails are no where near perfect, however.  There is still damage in the top 1/2 to 2/3rds of my nails.  As a result, the growth I'm getting now isn't healthy.  It's splintered into many layers (you can see some of it coming up over my index finger).  However, the new growth seems to be much better.  It's that pink-y-purple-y color of healthy nails.  I'm hoping that once all the old, damaged growth grows out, my nails will no longer be layered.  *fingers crossed*

I'm so happy in my decision to say adios to the glue-ons.  I love polishing my nails every night (as I'm sure you can figure out from the daily NOTD posts.  LOL).  I also love the fact that I'm not a slave to the glue-on routine.  The 15 minutes it takes for me to complete a polish change on my natural nails is low maintenance compared to my glue-ons.  I can't wait until I can finally show you all long (for me) and healthy nails.

And as if you haven't seen this pic enough, I just wanted to remind you girls where I started, and I'll post the above pic below it so you can see a direct comparison...

Please enlarge them just so you can see the difference.

Thank you all so much for supporting me during this process.  I'm sure I'll be posting even more nail recovery posts in the next few weeks/months, but I just wanted to give you all an update as it's my month anniversary.  I plan on doing a review of my Dermelect products very soon, so if you are interested, please stand by.  If you want to see all the posts in my nail recovery process, please click here.

Disclosure Policy

Okay, I've been avoiding creating a Disclosure Policy, for two main reasons... 1. it kind of confused me and 2. it kind of pissed me off that I had to do it in the first place.  I've always mentioned it up front if a company has supplied me with a sample.  If a company contacts me and offers to send me samples, I usually agree to try the product.  However, that in no way influences my opinion.  I'm a pretty easy person to please (I can hear my husband saying "yeah, right"), so for the most part, while I may not gush about a product, my reviews will be mostly favorable.  However, if I don't like a product, I'm going to be honest about that as well.  Getting a free sample of something is not going to sway my opinion.  Also, I will always mention it in the body of the post if I've received a sample, and I may even put a tag in italics at the bottom of the post.  So that's my Disclosure Policy in a nutshell, but if you want to read the legally stuff, scroll on down.

This policy is valid from 18 December 2009

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog does not accept any form of cash advertising, sponsorship, or paid topic insertions. However, we will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

NOTD: Zoya Indigo w/ ChG Fairy Dust

Since I got Zoya Sloane to play nice with me, I figured I'd give another Zoya a try.  I grabbed Indigo, although in hindsight, I probably should have tried another one as I've used Indigo with success before.  :P 

Anyway, awhile back, I'd frankened my Indigo.  I didn't like the way the shimmer seemed to disappear on the nail, so I added a ton of holo, blue, and silver glitter to it.  I loved the way it looked in the bottle, but it still didn't translate well to the nail.  Maybe Indigo is just too dense, so any sparkle just has to fight to shine through.  So I decided to top it with a coat of ChG Fairy Dust.  I liked it, but I didn't love it.  I wanted the holo glitter to be suspended in the navy polish rather than sitting on top of it.  Sigh. 

As for application, it was fine.  Indigo was opaque enough in one coat.  Since I knew ahead of time I was going to put Fairy Dust over top, I didn't worry too much about it being fully opaque.  Both the original polish and my frankened version are gorgeous in the bottle (midnight navy with holo shimmer).  I just wish they looked like that one the nail. 

You can get Indigo through Zoya's website or on eBay and Fairy Dust is available at Sally's, eBay, and various etailers
Thursday, December 17, 2009

NOTD: Zoya Sloane

Pardon the dry cuticles and the lovely burn on my index finger (damn toaster).

Well, I finally did it.  I finally got a Zoya nail polish to play nice with me.  Except for Roxy and Indigo, I had zero luck with my Zoyas.  They never wanted to set on my nails.  I want to say it was because of the fake nails, but considering those 2 polishes worked okay on me, and considering other people, who don't wear false nails, had bad luck as well, I had no clue what the problem was.

Maybe it was because of the artificial nails, because I finally got a Zoya to work with me.  I used one coat of Orly Calcium Shield, one coat of Dermelect Makeover Ridgefiller, 2 coats of Sloane, and one coat of Out the Door.  It was dry to the touch within 10 minutes, but it took me another hour or so to get it to fully set. 

Sloane applied okay.  It was a little spotty at one coat, so I applied a second, and I still see places I should have gone over before I applied my TC, but the aren't that noticeable.  The color is gorgeous, though.  It's a deep, vampy reddish-purple with purple microshimmer.  It does look black in low-light, though.  I think the closest thing in my collection is OPI Black Cherry Chutney, which I do prefer over Sloane, to be honest.  I had to apply a second top of TC this morning because it did look a little muddy this morning.  I still like the color, though, and I especially like it on my stumpy nubbins. 

Sloane is available through Zoya's website or through a few ebay sellers

Previous NOTD: Illamasqua Muse

I wasn't going to succumb to the siren's call of Illamasqua, at least not yet.  I lemmed Muse pretty hardcore, but I was going to wait until I needed more NARS blush and add Muse to help me get to $50 (Sephora and their darn free shipping offer gets me everytime).  However, I recently received a $15 GC as I'm a Beauty Insider and due to a loophole, I was able to order without a minimum.  So, I got Muse for a whopping 23c. 

Now, I've heard all about Illmasqua's amazing application and I will say, in that regard, Muse did not disappoint.  It practically flowed from the brush to my nails without any effort.  It also only took one coat to reach full opacity.  The thing I didn't like is that it was totally chippy on me.  I put this on Tuesday night around 9:00p and it was off by 11:00a yesterday morning.  Granted, I was baking cookies for my kids' teachers, so I was washing my hands quite a bit, so that could have been the problem.  I want to do another run of it to see if I get the same chipping.  I really hope it was the hand washing and not the polish itself.

As for the color... *swoon*.  I think this is the teal polish I've been waiting for.  It's not too bright, not too dark, not to green and not too dusty.  It's right on the money.  It's a perfect mid-to-darker tone teal creme.  In the big RBL rush yesterday, at the last moment, I opted to remove RBL Teal from my basket and put in Frugalista (I couldn't stand the thought of not having the glitter trifecta).  Now that I've seen Muse, I'm so happy I did that.  I think Teal would have just been too dark for my tastes.  I want a teal that looks teal, and this one definitely does.

All in all, I love this.  Great color and amazing application.  I'm willing to give it a pass for now on the chippy-ness do to the fact my hands were being washed like crazy, but if it continues the next time I try, I guess I'm going to have to figure out a better base/TC regimine.  I love it that much.  LOL.  I'm definitely going to try a few more Illamasquas in the future.  I'm already jonesing for Jan and Boosh.

Illamasquas are available at Sephora (though not all colors), or you can find the full line on Illamasqua's website.  They are $14 stateside and 12 pounds in the UK.
Monday, December 14, 2009

NOTD: Essie It's Genius

Again, I'm sticking with the polishes with the small brushes and handles until I'm used to my short nails.  The few times I've tried to use a longer handle on my right hand, it looked like a kindergartener did it. 

This is a very interesting color and I wasn't exactly sure how to describe it.  To me, it's a dusty-ish plum with tons of golden shimmer.  It has so much shimmer that you'd almost think it was a metallic in the bottle, but that doesn't really translate to the nail.  It's a beautiful fall color, nonetheless.  BTW, it's not as pink IRL.  It's definitely in the plum-my range.  EDIT: Essie describes this as a violet quartz shimmer.  I think that's actually a very good description.

It did drag a little bit during application, so I'd have some pooling at my free edge.  So, I guess it just needs thinner coats.  Of course, that may be user error.  If I had longer nails, I may not have the same problem.  This is 2 coats on every finger except for the ring finger.  I had a smudge on the ring finger, so I removed it and applied one coat to it when I re-did it.  You really can't tell the difference.  I think it would it would be a totally different, deeper color with 3 coats, but I don't really have the time or patience for that right now.  :P  I like at 1-2 coats just fine, though.

I used a base of Orly Calcium Shield under it.  I love my Dermelect Ridgefiller, but I see my bottle going down quickly, so I'm trying to make it last.  LOL.  I also have one coat of Out the Door.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that this is from Essie's fall collection last year, but it is still in the regular line up.  Thus, it's available at all the usual places and at Essie.com.
Sunday, December 13, 2009

NOTD: Maybelline Express Finish Lime Aluminum

Sorry for the dry skin/cuticles.  It's so dry and cold here that I'm doing my best to keep them from totally falling apart.  LOL.

I have a love/hate relationship with green nail polish.  I love it in the bottle, but save for the rare exception, it always looks like crap on me.  I can't tell if this one is one of the exceptions or not, to be honest.  I love the color.  It's a bright, almost chartruese, lime green metallic.  In the bottle, it looks like a green polish with silver shimmer, but it's definitely a metallic finish on the nail. 

Application was great.  I think I'm in love with Maybelline's brushes and handles.  I'm having a hard time adjusting my application due to the new length and size of these nails, but this application was super easy.  It went on without issue.  This was 2 coats, plus top and base coat.  You can see that I got some weird texturing on my middle finger.  I have no idea what caused it, other than maybe my base coat was too thick.  I didn't bother to fix it however, as I'm just going to take this off tomorrow (yay! natural nails!!!).

However, the reason I'm confused is because I can't tell if this looks good on me or not.  Normally, with greens, it makes the skin around my nails look red and slightly dirty.  While I do get the redness with this polish, it actually doesn't look bad.  Plus, the color is so darn pretty, I think I have to say I like it.  :)

Lime Aluminum is from a collection of d/c'd Maybelline metallics, but I can't find any additional information about them.  I got this lime one, plus blue, violet, brown, and blue.  I'm pretty sure there's also red, gold, and silver, but either my Dollar Tree didn't have those, or I just didn't like them.  Like I mentioned, I got these at the Dollar Tree, and from what I understand, finding them is kind of spotty.  I have one DT that always has a decent NP selection and then another one that has nothing.  Unfortunately, the good one is farther away, so I'm there less often.  If you can't find these at your local DT, check eBay, though they are always marked up there.  But I know if it's a color I really like, I'm willing to pay a bit more for it, as long as it's not insane.

NOTD: Essie Clambake

Essie Clambake is a bright, tomato red jelly.  It definitely leans more towards the orange family than being a true red.  It's actually listed as a bright orange on Essie's website.  As you can tell, it's definitely more of a summer red, rather than a holiday or valentine red.  I just used it now because I'm trying to use my brands with smaller, easier to control brushes/handles due to my stubby nails and this was the first Essie I grabbed.  It looks like it would be dupey to OPI Monsooner or Later, though I don't own that one to do a direct comparison.  Application was pretty easy.  This is 2 coats and you can still see my VNL (what's there, that is), and any blemishes on my nails, though it doesn't look bad.  I'm also using one coat of Dermelect Makeover Ridgefiller and one coat of Out the Door TC.  This is part of Essie's regular line up and can be found at your usual e-tailers, eBay, beauty suppliers, and at Essie.com. 

BTW, I'm loving being able to polish my natural nails.  Compared to glue-ons it's practically low maintenance.  I'll probably be posting a lot more NOTDs in the future.
Friday, December 11, 2009

NOTD: Essie Aruba Blue

It's been 3 weeks today since I took off my last set of glue-ons.  Except for my swatching of the new ChG collection, I've had very little nail polish on my nails.  All I've worn for the past 3 weeks has been the Dermelect treaments and top coat.  I was okay with waiting to polish my nails until I reorganized my stash last night.  For one, I thought I had 150 polishes and I had almost 300, so I figured I'd better get cracking if I was ever going to use them.  And, I fell back in love with some of my forgotten babies.  So, even though my nails are not back to being polish-worthy, I figured I'd show them some love nonetheless. 

I fell in love with Essie Aruba Blue while watching The Devil Wears Prada.  Emily Blunt's character wears it through much of the movie.  Of course, at the time, I didn't realize it was Aruba Blue.  I just happened to stumble on that bit of information while reading ALU.  I think I fell back in love with it at that moment.  I had to hunt it down and make it mine. 

Honestly, though, I don't think I've ever worn it.  Amelia, my daughter, has, but I haven't.  So I rectified that today.  Here's one coat of Essie Aruba Blue over one coat of Dermelect Makeover Ridgefiller.  I also have one coat of INM Out the Door TC. 

The color is a gorgeous medium-to-dark, bright, blue shimmer.  IRL, it's more like bottle color, but it still has that same gorgeous glowy quality.  I had no application issues and it was actually opaque in one coat.  It's in Essie's regular line and you can pick it up at your favorite e-tailers, eBay, BS, and at Essie.com.  The cheapest place I've found is TD. 

As for my nail recovery, I think it's going pretty well.  Most of my nails are growing out without any problems, and I think all of them will be fine in the end.  Just to remind you, here's where I started...

They aren't perfect, but I think they look tons better.
Thursday, December 10, 2009


That's the number of polishes in my stash.  :|  It's actually 289 if you count my daughter's 3 Sally Girls and the dupes noted in the spreadsheet.  Double :|

I thought I just had around 150 or so.  *blink* *blink*

Whoopsie.  Maybe I shouldn't have taken the time to log them all in while I moved them to a bigger house.  :S 

BTW, here's my spreadsheet on Google docs if anyone is interested.

EDIT: I've changed the access so everyone is able to view it now.  Come on... look down in the abyss.

Not NP: Spearmint and Oatmeal Soap

As I'm not really able to do many NP posts right now, due to the state of my nails, I figured it's as good a time as any to post about one of my favorite beauty finds.  I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but I've never sat down to do it.  So, here goes...

If you are like me, then you have acne prone skin, and if you aren't like me... then I hate you.  LOL.  :P  I mean, I'm 34.  I have grey hairs and pimples.  It's a lovely combo.  I've struggled with finding something to help with my blemishes, but nothing seems to work.  Then I discovered spearmint soap.  I first bought this on a whim.  I went to a local candle and soap company and because I had my 3 year old daughter with me and she being was a bit of a stink, I bought something just so the lady behind the counter would stop giving me looks.  :O 

I picked up spearmint and oatmeal soap because it smelled so nice, but then I started using it on my skin.  I swear, the first time I washed my face with it, I had a couple of painful pimples on my temple.  Within minutes, the pain and redness were gone and by the next morning, the pimple was gone completely.  Now, I still get blemishes, and on really bad ones, it takes a few days for it to go down, but this stuff works so much better than any other cleanser I've tried.

If you are interested, you can pick this up through The Knoxville Soap and Candle Company's website, though I'm sure other handmade soap companies offer this combo as well.  BTW, the bars are huge.  I got mine in August and I still have around a month of use left.  They also have other great soaps listed on their website.

RBL Sale!!!

Okay, girlies... hold on to your pants.  RBL is offering a special, 5 hour only SALE.  Yes, the same RBL that never offers a sale.  For 5 hrs only, all polishes are 50% off.  Woohoo! 

Sale is Tuesday, December 15th from 12n - 5p.  Code is "VIP 5 HOUR". 

Now, I'm technically on a no buy, but considering my husband just got a job, I'm seriously considering purchasing some of these.  At least 2 of the glitters, Teal, Atame, and Drifter. 

What's on your RBL wish list?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ChG Up and Away Swatches

As I mentioned yesterday, I received samples of the new ChG collection, Up and Away. I took these yesteday, and I tried to take sun pics, but it was so overcast here, that my outside pics looked the same or worse then my inside pics. So, last night, while my husband was out gaming and my children had gone to bed, I re-swatched the entire collection indoors in my kitchen.

I want to give you fair warning that these will probably be the worst swatches you will see of this collection. I'm a total newbie at this with my new nubbins. It was hard to know how much polish to apply since I couldn't just take it off the free edge (I have no free edge to speak of). Also, this is the first time I've actually swatched a full collection, so there's definitely a learning curve. If I didn't love the collection so much, I would have just waited, but I really wanted to show these colors off. They are that beautiful. I promise that before this collection comes out, I will revisit it with, hopefully, longer and less ridge-y nails. The colors, however, are pretty accurate.  Though, I did have two that didn't come out as the right color no matter how many pics I took.
I'll do them in the order of the bottle pics I took and posted earlier.

L-R: Something Sweet, Sugar High, Peachy Keen, Lemon Fizz, Re-Fresh Mint, and Light As Air

Something Sweet – ChG describes this one as “cotton candy” and I think that’s a pretty good description. It’s a very sweet, pale pink that actually looked good on my pale skin and short nails. The closest thing in my collection was CC Vintage Couture. The colors are similar, but VC looks like it has more white in it. Because of this, it also looks chalky when compared to Something Sweet. It’s a beautiful Easter Egg color, and while it is a pale pink, because it was so opaque (I had to use 3 coats, but that’s more user error than anything), it doesn’t look like your everyday pale pink.

Sugar High – This one was listed as “petal pink”. Honestly, I got the description for this one and Something Sweet reversed and I thought this one was “cotton candy”. I can understand that more than “petal pink”. In reality, it’s a bright Barbie pink. It’s very close to OPI ElePhantastic Pink from last year’s India collection. The only difference is that EPP is more of a warm, creamy, Barbie pink, where Sugar High is just a creamy, Barbie pink. It does not lean warm. If you have EPP, and want to avoid like polishes in your collection, Sugar High is definitely dupe-y enough to not warrant purchasing it. However, if you love mid-tone pinks, I would pick it up no matter what. As much as I love EPP (and it’s probably my favorite pink), I think this one has surpassed it. The formula is far superior. I find EPP to be very watery, and this one is thicker and smoother. This is two coats.

Peachy Keen – This one is listed as “nectar”. When I immediate saw the color on, it looked like an orange creamsicle on me, so it took me awhile to get the nectar thing. But the more I stared at it, the more it looked like apricot nectar, especially indoors. Unfortunately, it’s too warm for my pink skin and it just doesn’t work. It’s a pretty color and would look great on someone with a tan. This was 2 coats.

Lemon Fizz – “Banana”. I found it odd that ChG named the color Lemon Fizz, yet described it as “banana”. I can see why they did it, because it’s more of a banana yellow, than a true lemon yellow, but IMO, it looks just like lemon sorbet. It’s a very light and cheerful color. I’m not a huge yellow fan, to be honest. I’ve owned a FP yellow in the past and I still have BB Couture Kokomo, but that’s more of a buttercream color than a true yellow. This one is definitely yellow, but I think it’s a very wearable yellow. It doesn’t scream “hey, I’ve got yellow fingernails!”, though. I actually liked it on me, and normally I think yellow and I don’t get along. It also reminds me of the color of my twins’ former nursery (that’s now my daughter’s room), so the whole time I was applying it, I was smiling. This is 2 coats.

Re-Fresh Mint – This one is listed as “spearmint”, and I think that’s another good description. R-FM, along all the paler colors, really looks like buttermints. I loved this color in the press release, and in the bottle, but I was really skeptical about it on. I’ve tried several mint greens in the past… OPI Hey! Get in Lime and Essie Mint Chintz, both of which looked like utter crap on me. They made the skin around my fingers look red and dirty. This one, however, did not. I’m not sure why, though. Normally, a lighter green has to have a bit of blue in it to play nice with my pink skin. R-FM has no blue in it, and it looks like it’s a yellow base. I don’t get it, but I sure like it. It’s magic! If you are dying to wear a mint green but avoid them because they don’t work with your skin, consider getting this one. It’s truly perfect. It also killed my lemming for Essie Mint Candy Apple, and I’m glad for that since I prefer ChG’s formula. This is 2 coats.

Light As Air – This is another one that I don’t get the description. ChG states this is “periwinkle”, but IMO, it isn’t blue enough to be periwinkle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing color. Just not periwinkle. Seriously. Where has this been my entire life. For years, I’ve tried to find the perfect opaque lavender crème. It looks great with my pale skin without making me look like a corpse. This was three coats, but again, as with Something Sweet, that may be user error.

L-R: Heli-Yum, High Hopes, Happy Go Lucky, Four Leaf Clover, Flyin' High, Grape Pop

Heli-Yum – “Raspberry”. Again, ChG is pretty dead on with their descriptions on most of these. This one looks like the crème version of OPI California Raspberry. It looks a bit lighter and brighter than CR, but they are definitely cousins. It’s a very juicy color. It looks like the raspberry sauce you get with the Great Wall of Chocolate at P.F. Chang’s. Mmmm. I love it with my skintone. Application on this one was amazing. It was one of the two that was a one-coater.

High Hopes – This one list called “guava”. It does look like a brighter version of the guava cubes in a tropical fruit salad.  Guava also gives me a general "tropical" feeling and I think this color has it.  However, if I were doing the describing, I would have called it coral. Bright coral, to be exact. This is exactly what I wanted CC Sexsea to be. While Sexsea turned out to be a bright, orangey red on me, this one is truly a coral. As I’m typing this, I have CC Sexsea, OPI Cajun Shrimp, and High Hopes side-by-side, and I have to say that this one is my favorite. It’s definitely on the warmer side, but not nearly as orange as the other two, which makes it work with my pale, pink-based skin. This is a perfect summer color and would look amazing as a pedi. This is 2 coats.

Happy Go Lucky – It’s labeled as “sunshine yellow” and they weren’t even kidding. Like with Peachy Keen, I wasn’t really a fan of this one. It’s a pretty color, and on someone with a tan, who could rock out a bright yellow, it would look gorgeous. It just looked really weird on me.  Though, I may get a wild hair and wear it in the summer anyway. It’s a very bright, though not neon yellow. I’ll say though, that I know yellow formulas get a bad rap, but this one applied just fine. Any streaking that was there was gone with the second coat.

Four Leaf Clover – ChG calls this one “kelly green”, and it’s dead on. You can’t tell at all from the picture, as this one was a total beast to photograph.  It's definitely NOT the weird bluey/green/turquise in the picture.  I swear I tried like 100x to get a good pic.  You’d think it was a purple, it was that hard. This one really reminded me of Illamasqua Elope. I’d been secretly lemming Elope for sometime, but I’d been avoiding it due to the fact it was a brighter green, and because it was available in the UK only. Now, that I have FLC, there’s no need to order Elope (and I was seriously considering it when I was able). Also, this green, like R-FM actually worked well with my skin. It’s a very happy surprise. This is 2 coats.

Flyin’ High – “Teal”. Well, hello luvah. *gasp* I’ve been lemming teals pretty hardcore lately. I’ll buy them in just about any incarnation. And while I’ve yet to shell out the big bucks for RBL Teal or Illamasqua Muse, if it’s a teal, and cheap… I’ll get it. In the pic, this one looks like a sky blue, kinda similar to ChG Sky-High Top. It’s not. It’s definitely a teal rather than a blue. It’s a mid-tone, dusty teal. It’s much more similar to Misa Dirty Sexy Money, with DSM being slightly greener and dustier. I loved this one so much; I think I could wear it for days and not get sick of it. It looked nice with my skin as well. It’s also killed my lemming for Muse. Gotta love these lemming killers. This was 2 coats.

Grape Pop – ChG describes this one as “bright plum”. I don’t really get plum from it, though. When I think of plum, I think of a purple with a lot of red. This one is a true purple. It’s like the color of grape candy. If there was such a thing, I’d call it an opaque jelly. It has that candy look of a jelly, but it’s not transparent at all. Awhile back, I bought Misa Sorry Just Can’t Help It to be a stand in for RBL Mismas. I love the color of Mismas, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on an $18 purple crème. Now, I don’t own Mismas, but this one looks to be very similar, if a bit darker. It’s definitely squashed my lemming. This was the other one-coater.

Again, I want to apologize for the state of the pics, and for the state of my nails (though I think they are actually starting to look good), but I really wanted you all to see just how amazing these colors are.  Seriously, there's not one I can't stand.  If I had to pick a least favorite, it would probably be Peachy Keen, but that's just because it looked gross on me.  It's still a beautiful polish.  If I had to pick a favorite, well... just shoot me now.  I love just about all of them.  I guess the numero uno would be Flyin' High, but Light As Air, Grape Pop, Four Leaf Clover, and Re-Fresh Mint are all up there, too.  The formula on all these was great.  I had a few issues, but I think that's just because I'm not used to polishing on my natural nails and short nails, to boot.

Just in case, you missed my post earlier, I emailed Irene to ask when this would be available and she said mid-January.  I'm pretty sure it's going to be available at Sally's and all the regular etailers.

Special Thanks to China Glaze

Blogger Wins.

:(  I had about 1/2 of my swatch post for Up and Away completed when Blogger freaked out and did something hinky.  Sadly, I wasn't signed in (I have to keep flipping back and forth between my blog email and my personal email that's attached to the blog), and I lost it.  So I'm giving up, going to bed, and trying again tomorrow.  Unfortunately, tomorrow is such a busy day that I won't be able to get to it until tomorrow night after my daughter's ballet practice.  I was going to break it up into 2 posts, but if I get to it tomorrow, I'll try to just post the whole collection.  I swear, I'm doing it in Word next time.  :'(   :D  (I don't know whether to cry or laugh).
Monday, December 7, 2009

ChG Up and Away Bottle Pics and More Good News

I have a couple of surprises for you all...

Last Friday while I was out Christmas shopping for the twins, Tim called to tell me he'd received a job offer.  It got finalized today!!!  He's going back into Project Management/Control and I think he's very happy.  I think he's a little nervous, but relieved that this unemployment thing is over, at least for right now.  It's a contract job that could last a minimum of 6 months, up to 3 years.  Though, there's reason to believe he can parlay this up into something more at the company.

Also, I came home to Tim telling me I had a FedEx notice on my computer.  Evidently, they'd tried to deliver something in the 30 minute window where he was not home.  I wasn't expecting anything, so I immediately checked my email.  Turns out, it was samples of ChG's new Up and Away Collection!  I was so excited I squealed.  I had to wait until today to get them, and it was definitely worth the wait.

I have bottle pics for you now and I'm going to try to get swatches done tonight or tomorrow.  My nails still are damaged, but they are much, much better than before, so I'm going to try and see if I can swatch this collection.  If need be, I may swatch them on fake nails (not glued on... don't worry) and then take real swatch pics in a few weeks.

Okay, on to the pics.  I grouped them by lighter shades and brighter shades.

L-R: Something Sweet, Sugar High, Peachy Keen, Lemon Fizz, Re-Fresh Mint, Light As Air

L-R: Heli-Yum, High Hopes, Happy Go Lucky, Four Leaf Clover, Flyin' High, Grape Pop

Disclaimer: Four Leaf Clover and, to a lesser extent, Flyin' High, did not come out true to life.  I tried to take pics inside and out, with a flash and without, and I just couldn't get a true representation of FLC, especially. 

I love this collection.  I knew I would, but I now that I've seen it, I would marry it if I could.  It's bright.  It's happy.  The names are fun, but not overly cutesy like OPI's names can be.  I love everything about this collection.  I even love that it's all cremes, and I'm a shimmer girl.  But I'm so ready for some fun and edgy cremes.  I may be changing.  Someone look for the pod.  LOL.

Also, if you haven't yet, check out Scrangie's swatches of this collection.  She does an amazing job with all of her swatches, but this one is outstanding.  She even got FLC as close as possible. 

Special thanks to China Glaze
Saturday, December 5, 2009

Are you sick of the "nail recovery" posts yet?


No pics right now, I may have them when the sun comes out, but I just wanted to share with you girls that I actually have real polish on my nails.  Except for my ring fings, which were the most damaged by my tech, my nails are pretty much now super nubbins.  Yay!!!?!!!  Do they look ridiculous?  Yep.  Am I kind of embarrassed at how short they are?  Yep.  Am I happy that for the first time in 15 months, I've actually polished my real nails?  Yepperooni! 

I used CC Vintage Couture, which, from what I understand, is a dupe for OPI Mod About You.  I also did a dot pattern using my Migi Nail Art pen ini white.  I figured I might as well have a little fun w/ it, since I don't really like the way they look.  Love the color, though.  Gorgeous light, though really mod, pink that was opaque in 2 coats. 

Again, I'll try to have pics for you all tomorrow (or rather later today). 
Friday, December 4, 2009

Update on ChG Up and Away

A few days ago, I posted the press release for ChG's upcoming Spring collection Up and Away.  A few of you asked me exactly when this would be released.  As I couldn't find out anything other than "early 2010" online, I emailed Irene with ChG to ask.  She responded today (thank you, Irene) and it looks like it should be in stores around mid-January 2010!  That's not far at all!  I am so excited about this collection.

EDIT: be sure to check out Scrangie's blog.  She just put up some swatches today.  Amazing.
Thursday, December 3, 2009

Almost 2 Weeks Without Glue-ons

I'm pretty sure tomorrow is the 2 week mark since I removed my glue-ons.  As always with these posts, I'm going to show you where I started, so if you get sick of this picture, I'm sorry.  I just feel it's necessary for comparison purposes.  So anyway, here's where I was when I took off the glue-ons.

And here's a picture of my nails I took about 10 minutes ago.  This is with my full regimine of Dermelect, as well as a quick-dry topcoat.  I also have on Mango Mend, as I find I'm using that stuff like crazy now.

I think they look tons better, but I'm also ready for them to be longer already.  I have absolutely no patience, so this process is becoming difficult for me.  Yesteday, I actually considered putting on a set of glue-ons.  It was fleeting as I realized I didn't want to take any steps back. 

This is with almost 2 weeks of Dermelect, Nail Nutrition, and Mango Mend.  The Dermelect products are the Launchpad basecoat (green), the Makeover ridgefiller (pink), and their High Maintenance top coat.  I also use a thin quick dry coat, Beauty Secrets, over the HMTC to prevent bubbling.  However, I've found that if the ridgefiller is too thick, you'll get bubbles no matter what.  Also, there is no color on my nails in the picture.  That's strictly from the ridgefiller.  It's a pretty shimmer pink, so it acts as a concealer as well as a ridgefiller.  Most ridgefillers I've tried have been thick and white, so this is a nice change.  I love that I don't have to wear a color unless I want to. 

I'm using Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition several times a day to help encourage growth, but the Dermelect is what helping them look healthier. 

Also, the other day in my comments section, I mentioned my mother's damaged nails.  She is so impressed by the results I'm getting with this combo, that she is considering buying Dermelect products, depending on my final results. 

I'll keep updating on my progress as I go along.  I'm hoping by Christmas, I'll be able to sport some polish.  If you are interested in my products, Dermelect is available on their website.  Mango Mend is available at Sally Beauty and Nail Nutrition can be picked up at just about any drugstore or big box.

ChG Up and Away

I know this has made the rounds already, and I wasn't going to post it, as it seems I'm at the end of ChG's press release list, but I fell in love with this picture.  So I just had to post it.

Introducing the All-New Up & Away Collection
Los Angeles, CA − December 2009 − China Glaze®, the nail lacquer collection with celebrity fans such as Rihanna, Nicole Kidman and Rosario Dawson launches twelve, new polishes that are uplifting and spirit-boosting…introducing the Up & Away Collection.
Popping with optimistic brights and sweet pastels, China Glaze takes you Up & Away with a collection that provides seamless and even coverage in each rich, crème formulation. Free of DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde, the Up & Away collection is fabulously-fun and oozes with creamy color happiness.
The collection includes:
Grape Pop – bright plum
Sugar High – petal pink
Something Sweet – cotton candy
Light As Air – periwinkle
Heli - Yum – raspberry
Flyin’ High – teal
Four Leaf Clover – kelly green
Re-Fresh Mint – spearmint
Peachy Keen – nectar
High Hopes – guava
Happy Go Lucky – sunshine yellow
Lemon Fizz – banana
Celebrate this spring with a splash of color and give your nails a dose of “happy” with these uplifting colors!
I can't tell you just how in love I am with this collection.  It's bright.  It's happy.  It screams "SPRING".  And the display is beautiful.  I can't wait for it to come out.  I think this is the first collection, of any brand, that makes me want to get the entire thing.  If I'm able at the time, I'm definitely planning on getting the full collection, display and all.  Of course, I'm secretly hoping ChG's PR department wants to send me a set to swatch, but since I know that's not going to happen (and I don't plan on it at all, there are much bigger and better bloggers than me), I'm going to have to take matters into my own hands.  I'll be stalking TD like crazy.  :P
Wednesday, December 2, 2009


So, I caved.  Last week, I had a total meltdown and put a small(ish) NP haul on the credit card.  :O  I was having a really bad day and needed some retail therapy.  Not my finest moment, that's for sure, but I was dying for a couple Misas that were quickly becoming OOS everywhere (Dirty Sexy Money and Sorry, Just Can't Help It - which is funny considering how I needed this haul).  LOL.  I figured I'd get a couple of the new WoOAs from ChG and couple other random polishes I'd been lemming, ChG Moulin Rouge, Orly Sea of Light, and ChG Aqua Baby.  Only it gets here and no Aqua Baby.  :(  I must have been smoking the good crack, because I didn't even order it.  :S  I really wanted it too... much more than MR and SoL.  Oh well, AB is a dupe of Shower Together, which I had and frankened with before I realized how awesome it was.  And Sally's has ST always in stock.  I may pick up a bottle in the near future... maybe w/ Christmas money.  Sigh.  Someday AB (or ST)... Someday.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Online Time-Wasting Fun

I remember this Online Snowflake Maker from my working days and I recently rediscovered it.  I remember wasting many a work day goofing off  taking a couple minutes on this website to decompress.  :P  It's so much fun (almost as much fun as Elf Bowling, which I sadly couldn't find the online version I used to love so much). 

Just thought I'd pass it on, just in case you want to waste some time.
Monday, November 30, 2009


It's been a week and half since I took off my last set of glue-ons and started using Dermelect.  Just to remind you, here's what I started with:

and here's where I am today:

Both pictures are of my naked nails.  I do have Mango Mend on in the second picture.  As you can tell by the cut on my index finger cuticle, the cold weather is really drying them out. 

I titled this post with a question mark because I'll occasionally get discouraged, but I think they are actually doing pretty well. 

Also, in the interest of total disclosure, I am also using Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition 1-2x a day.  My finger tips hurt so badly, up to a couple days ago, that I needed some fast growth.  The NN gives me pretty fast growth, but my nails are not much stronger.  I think the Dermelect products are what's helping with that.

Lastly, I applied my coat of Dermelect Launchpad and my coat of Dermelect Makeover, then I decided to put some color on my hideous nubbins.  I used Essie Porcini.  It's a pretty taupey, mauvey pink with gold micro-shimmer.  It looked better in the bottle than it did on my nails, but it wasn't a bad color at all.  The one thing I didn't like was that my polish looked glumpy (gooey+clumpy) and I was reminded why I never liked polishing my natural nails.  However, I'm hoping that in the next few months after all the ridges and bumps are gone my polished nails will look much better. 

Also, the one problem I'm having with the Dermelect products is a lot of bubbling after I apply the topcoat (High Maintenance).  Their info states that it's fast drying, but I'm finding drying times to be a bit slow, but the main problem is the bubbling.  Seriously, it's worse than the bubbling I always got with Seche Vite.  I don't know if that's because it's a naturally thick product or if there is some other reason.  I had to remove my Porcini mani within 30 minutes of application due to the bubbling.  Here's a pic, though I doubt if you can see the bubbling.  Maybe on 1-2 of my fingers.

This mani is 1 coat Launchpad, 1 coat Makeover, 1 coat Porcini (could have used a 2nd, but I don't like using too much polish on my natural nails) and 1 coat of High Maintenance TC.  Application on the Essie was fine, but I hate Essie's brushes.  I can never get the right amount of polish on them.

Tonight, I will apply another coat of the Dermelect base coats/ treatments.  I wish I hadn't had to take them off to begin with, but the bubbling was too bad.  I plan on retrying the HMTC a couple more times, maybe with a thin fast dry TC over it, to see if that helps with the bubbling.  I'll let you know if anything changes.

EDIT: I tried using a thin fast dry top coat over the Dermelect High Maintenance top coat and it made the bubble issue go away.  I used Beauty Secrets from Sally's.  Nails dried very fast due to the Beauty Secrets TC and feel very protected thanks to the HMTC. 
Saturday, November 28, 2009

In the Meantime...

As I'm not really able to polish my nails at the moment, I'm coming up with other (more constructive) ways to occupy my time.  After I had my monthly panic attack, after paying bills, I decided to clean my garage.  We live in a pretty small house (app. 1200 sq ft), so our garage is more like our storage space, rather than where we park our cars.  We gave up on that years ago.  It's where I keep my pantry, our lawn and garden stuff, and any other odds and ends that won't fit in the house.  It's also our laundry center.  Usually about 1-2x a year, I do a major overhaul of the space.  I always have plans to totally reorganize it, but I usually peter out 2/3rds through.  Well, I was determined not to do that today.  Over the past few months, our garage has really gotten gross.  No organization at all, and it's pretty much where our crap went to be forgotten.  So, I tried to forget about our money woes and focus on something positive for a couple hours. 

Girls (and guys), it looks amazing.  Now, I still have some final organization to do, and we are now planning on moving our exercise equipment and possible the Wii out there, but from where it was at noon today, it looks awesome.  Once it's all finished, I plan on posting some pics, but as it's not complete, I'd rather wait for the big reveal. 

And now that this is (almost) complete, I can start on other rooms in the house.  As it's hard to really clean a room in the house when the garage is junkie (because it seems like I'm always moving stuff out there for storage).

As for my nails... I'm actually getting some growth.  The tips are no longer painful and I think I'm on the road, though at the beginning still, to recovery.  I'm sans Dermelect at the moment, as I took it off right after T-day and haven't had a chance to put it back on.  I plan on doing that tomorrow.  Also, I've applied about 4-5 applications of SH Nail Nutrition as I know that's a sure fire way to get some quick growth on my nails.  I plan on definitely still using the Dermelect, though, as while I'm getting a bit of growth, my nails still need thickening and repair.

That's all for now.  I hope everyone has a great Sunday.  I'll be back soon with a forgotten picture from my camera (a DT Maybelline), as soon as I can find it.  LOL.
Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

No Thanksgiving Day mani this year.  I'm still sans glue ons and my super nubbins just aren't ready for polish, so I'm still sporting the Dermelect Makeover ridgefiller color.  It's nice, but not the OPI Music Hall Curtain Call konad I had planned.  It was probably going to be another "falling leaves" mani, so I'll just post the one I did a couple months ago.  Pretend it's on my nails now.  :P

Sigh.  Maybe one day my real nails will be that long.  I doubt it, because my natural nails are pretty thin and brittle, but I know a lot more about taking care of nails, due to the MUA NB, so I'm hopeful, if still skeptical.

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving...  In a year where I didn't think I would have had a lot to say I'm thankful for, due to my husband's current job situation, I'm having to find myself look at things from a different perspective.  Maybe it's that my meds are starting to kick in, but despite my fears that the current plan of Tim getting a TSA job, no matter his experience, won't pan out (and I think that's just my general pessimism kicking in (I tend to be an optimist towards anyone other than my immediate family), I'm feeling pretty happy this year.  I know.  Buh?  LOL.

So here's my "thankful" list (I'm a bit long winded, so fair warning :P).  Feel free to share yours as well...

- I'm thankful for my family.  Not just my little one, of Tim and my twins.  I'm thankful for all of them.  I still think of myself as part of my parent's family in addition to the fact that I know I have my own family.  I'm crazy close to both my mom and my sister, and my father, too, though to a lesser degree.  I have a wonderful BIL, who has been with us for 14 years now, so he's pretty much my brother at this point.  My nephews are the coolest little boys, and I can't believe they are now 7 and 5.  M and T, why do you have to grow?  Stop it.  LOL. 
- I'm thankful for my daddy.  We almost lost my daddy this year.  On January 30th, my mom called to tell me they were taking daddy to the ER from the doctor's office.  His BP was low and he had a "spot" on his foot.  My father is diabetic, and is prone to infections like staph and MRSA (super scary stuff).  By the time he'd been in the ER an hour, the spot (which was sepsis) had taken over half his foot.  They had to do an emergency amputation and we were told he probably wouldn't make it through the surgery.  My sister and I were actually planning who would handle what regarding final arrangements since we knew my mother couldn't handle it.  Well, he pulled through.  He was in the hospital a month and had to have more of his leg amputated to just below the knee.  He's now on a prosthesis and doing so much better than he was before.  He can still be a surly ass, but we are very thankful and grateful to have that surly ass still with us.  :)
- I'm thankful for my husband and my children.  I love you Tim, Blake, and Amelia.  Tim, you will get a job soon, and I am so fortunate to have you.  You are willing to move 8 hrs away from your children just to change our situation, and I love you so much for doing whatever has to be done.  Blake and Amelia, you are doing so well in school.  All your therapies have helped you so much and I know by the time kindergarten rolls around, you will be so prepared.  I can't believe you will be 4 in January.  Being your mommy is the best thing in the world.  You are awesome little monkeys. 
- I'm thankful for my in-laws.  Sure, like everyone, I sometimes think my ILs, especially my FIL, are from Mars, but for the most part, I really lucked out.  They don't intrude in our lives and they are great with their grandchildren.  They have also helped us so much during these 3 months.  I don't know what we would have done without them. 
- I'm thankful for my beliefs.  I'm a Christian and I'm so thankful I'm saved, and everything that entails.  I'm such a private person regarding my beliefs that it's very hard for me to put that out there, as I think religion is such a personal thing, but as long as I'm naming thankful things, I might as well name the big one.  :) 

Okay, I think that's it.  Oh, I could say I'm thankful for our house, and our cars, and our savings that helping us make it through, but that just seems silly.  I am thankful for all those things, but they just don't seem to matter all that much in the big scheme of things.  Wow.  These meds are really kicking in.  Okay... I'm thankful for Effexor.  :P  LMAO!

US girls, I hope you have a wonderful T-day, and international girls... I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.  :)

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.



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