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Sunday, August 30, 2009

UPDATE: Purple Gradient Mani sunlight pics

The original post is below this update.

Here are 2 pics I just took outside in the sunlight.

Purple Gradient Konad

UPDATE: sunlight pics are posted here.

Gradients were one of those things that I'd wanted to try, but never had the balls to actually do it. I thought it took a lot of skill and a lot of products to pull off. Well, it took a moderate amount of skill, but nothing huge, and as for the products? All you need is a bunch of polish, a plastic plate, and a makeup sponge. And time. You need time. But other than that... it's easy peasy.

Before I go too far, here are a couple pics. I've turned them around so you can see the gradient and the konad easier. I plan on taking more pictures tomorrow in the sun.

Left hand

Right hand

For this gradient, I used OPI Van-couvered in the Snow, Misa Russian Sage, OPI You Ottaware Purple, and ChG Let's Groove. The konad is ChG Harmony.

Here are the products from left to right as I used them.

V-CITS, RS, YOP, LG, and Harmony

Van-Couvered in the Snow and You Ottaware Purple are from OPI's 2004 Fall Canadian Collection. Let's Groove is from ChG's current Fall collection, Retro Diva, and Harmony is from the Romantique collection. I have no clue what collection Misa Russian Sage is from. I googled it, but found no real answer. Several of these have been d/c'd (basically the ones that are from older collections), but they are pretty easily found at e-tailers. I got all these, save Harmony, on TD.

As for application, I started with a base of V-CITS, a white shimmer. I then poured some of the Russian Sage on to a plastic plate and using a cosmetic sponge, I started applying it to the nail, leaving a little bit of space for the previous color to show. I repeated this process with YOP, and Let's Groove. Russian Sage is an irridescent purple, YOP is a sheer-ish plum, and Let's Groove is a deep purple. All are shimmers. Then I used plate m21 and Harmony for the konad.

From start to finish, this took well over an hour, but I took a little time in between to let the polish dry, so I could apply the konad. If I just factored the time for the gradient mani alone, it was probably 45 minutes and that includes the time it took for me to remove it from my right hand and reapply, as I got a bit heavy-handed with a couple of the colors.

Bottom line, I love this look. Granted, I'm a SAHM, so my bosses are perfectly okay with me wearing this in the workplace. LOL. There also is a learning curve to making sure the polishes blend together nicely. Other than having a light hand at first (you can always add more), my biggest tip is make sure you apply your TC quickly as the TC will help the colors look more cohesive. If you wait, it doesn't work as well.

I'm planning on trying a few more of these. It's a great way to use those untrieds, as well. All but V-CITS and Harmony were untried before I did this mani. Hope you guys like it.
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Buyer Beware

This is just a quick little blurb (hopefully, but I know how I can get. LOL).

I recently ordered about 10 nail foils from Nail Art Plus. Of course, it was after I placed my order that I saw they were on the "bad" list on the Nail Board Shopping Savvy notepad. Stupid me for not checking beforehand. My order wasn't much, around $20, but it was still enough to be nervous about. I did a quick google search and saw where another blogger, Nihrida, had purchased from them and had received her order, but I still wasn't confident. I'd paid for the faster shipping, and the site said my order would be here in 7 days. It wasn't. I ended up filing a paypal claim and received my refund yesterday.

I'm not sure if anyone else wants to try nail foil, but sites with a good selection are few and far between. That's why I went w/ this one. But, I definitely wouldn't purchase from Nail Art Plus again. I would have gladly waited more than the stated 7 days from my order, had she communicated at all with me. I never even received confirmation that she had my order, just my paypal notice. I'm going to try Dollar Nail Art next, though their selection of foils isn't as good. There also is a UK company with a good selection, but I kind find anything on them, so I'm a little wary. The site is Glitterati Foil, and since they are in the UK, prices are more expensive in dollars than sites based here.

Does anyone have any good sources for nail foil?
Friday, August 28, 2009

KOTD: CC Sexsea w/ ChG Adore

No sooner had I posted about my Plum Pudding/Got to be Real konad/french, that it had to come off. My right pinky nail had started to lift, but it finally popped off. These Kiss Tips are pretty resilient during one, possible two polish changes, but it's the glue that gives out. So, proceeded to take the rest of them off and put on a new set during nap time. Yay! Naptime. :P

I was stumped on color. No matter how many polishes I seem to acquire, I just look in my stash drawers and see nothing I want. So I just grabbed one of my untrieds and didn't think twice. I used Color Club Sexsea. Here's a pic of it alone:

Sexsea is from Color Club's 2008 Yacht Club Collection, which, IMO, is an amazing collection. I only have 2 others, being Coastal Creme and Naughtycal Navy, but I'd like to get Overboard (fuchsia) as well. CC's promotional info for this color describes it as an orange creme, but aside from having a slight orange cast to it, it is definitely a true red, perhaps a true tomato red. There's no blue in it at all, but it'd definitely not orange, or even what I would describe as an orange-red. When I purchased this one, I thought it was going to be a coral-red, what I hoped OPI Lunch at the Delhi was going to be. No dice. It's red, and while I didn't like it at first, considering it wasn't what I wanted, it grew on my pretty quickly. It's a perfect tomato red creme. And unlike other reds with slight orange undertones, like OPI's Thrill of Brazil, it actually looks good with my crazy pink skin. You can still pick this one up at e-tailers. I got mine at VNS. This was 2 coats and I had no application issues, other than the formula being a tad thick.

I liked it on my nails, but I can't leave well enough alone, so I added a konad design. This is ChG Adore (yeah, you guessed it... a Romantique). It's a turquoise blue metallic and like all Romantiques, was made for da konad. I used plate m20. Here are a couple pics of the finished product.

I apologize for the polish on my ring and pinky finger cuticles, but I had to remove the polish on those fingers and start over, and unfortunately, my fingers got stained.
I chose Adore because I didn't want to go with the standard white or black with a red creme. I didn't know if it would work, but after all was said and done, while it was different, I really liked it.
Thursday, August 27, 2009

KOTD: Orly Plum Pudding with Misa Got to be Real...

though if I think I was going to subtitle this one, it would be called "the evolution of a mani".

Plum Pudding is one of the colors I ordered and actually received from LBBS on eBay. I mistakenly stated earlier that it looked like a purple version of SSN. It's nothing like a purple version of SSN, except for the fact it has silver glitter. So, my bad. Nonetheless, it's still a pretty color. Not as amazing as I thought it would be when I saw it in the bottle, but still pretty. Here's a pic I took of this color by itself:

It definitely is a plum color, not a true purple. It looks like jam on the nails. Glittery jam. It has silver and purple square shaped glitter, but there's more in the bottle than on the nail. It also has a slight frost to the finish, which by itself was not flattering on my hands. It's also a tad brushstrokey, but that's just because of the frost and it wasn't too much to overcome. I have no idea what collection it is from as it's an old bottle/formula Orly and was most likely d/c'd either late '90's/early 2000's. Ah. I forgot how old formula Orlys smelled. Chemically goodness. If you are interested in Plum Pudding, you can get it on eBay, but proceed with a tad bit of caution. Seller states they have 10 in stock, but as I found out with Tourmaline, that's not always the case. You may want to contact them in advance to check, or you can just order it and then if it's OOS, they'll give you a refund. I can't 100% recommend them, though.

Like I said earlier, I didn't like this on my hands because of the frost, so I decided to add a konad design. I chose plate m71, which has given me problems in the past, but none this time around. I used Misa Got to be Real, which IMO, is the perfect silver polish and is fantastic for konadding. It never disappoints. I got mine at TD. Here's a pic with the konad:

While I liked this konad design, I felt it needed something else. So last night, I added a french tip in Misa Got to be Real.

This is what I'm wearing now. I really like it, but I'm already itching to try something else. I blame it on my nail polish ADD. Hope you guys like it.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KOTD: OPI DS Sensation with Konad White Special Polish

(Pic is turned around, so you can see the konad design)

Sensation is from OPI's July 2006 Designer Series release. There were 3 other DSs released at the same time. Those being Royal, Dazzle, and Perfection. And before I go any further, I just have to mention how much I dislike the DS names. They sould like female American Gladiators... "and on the tennis ball cannon... it's Perfection" or "oh no, she better watch out Royal is going to grab her". Blurgh.

Anyway, Sensation is a bright pink shimmer. It's not a true holo like some other DSs, but it does have blue and purple flashes in bright, natural light and those flashes look a teensy bit holo (if that makes sense). It's a beautiful color and is very girly. I've had this on since Sunday, so I'm kind of ready for a change. I didn't really like it on me until I added the konadding. Also, this color is what I wanted Lippmann Shut Up and Drive to be. Same concept, but I prefer Sensation much more over SUaD.
This color is d/c'd, but you can get it online on eBay (for pretty reasonable prices) or at TD for $6.95. Though, you know the drill... only order from TD if you are going to haul. Helps to balance out the shipping. Otherwise, eBay is your best bet.

This is my third DS polish with the other 2 being Fantasy and Exclusive. I have since given away Exclusive to my lovely sis. It was pretty, but it's very holo, and I just don't think that "smack yo mama" holos work with me. So I'm happy that Sensation and Fantasy are more shimmers with a small hint of holo, if that. I have pics of Fantasy on my camera which I need to post for you all. It's gorgeous.

The konad design was made using Konad Special Polish in white and plate m59. I have terrible luck with Konad Special Polishes. I can never get them to fully transfer to the nail. That's why you can see some imperfections and inconsistencies in the design. I know that many people use Konad White and Black as their go-to polishes for those colors, but I much prefer my Romantiques to Konad SPs. Now, there's no white in the Romantiques, but I'm considering trying ChG White Out the next time I need a white polish.

Hope you guys like this one. I'll try and be back tonight with another post and more pics.
Monday, August 24, 2009

Online Dustying

I am fascinated with the idea of "dusty hunting". I think it harkens back to my younger years where I scoured all of East Tennessee trying to find HTF Beanie Babies. Damn Beanie Babies. All those hundreds of dollars and now you are my twins' toys. Grrr. Anyway, like I was saying, I love the concept, but I have no good independent beauty suppliers around here, and all the salons nearby, either don't sell their polishes, or they don't speak English. Now, I have no problem with people earning a living, but when I can't understand you, I just smile and nod and that's not conducive to finding rare polishes.

So, I've started a little side hobby that I refer to as "online dustying". Mainly, I do it on eBay, but you can also find some HTFs at TD or VNS. I think my most prized eBay find was Vampire State Building. Most sellers have it for $25+, but I managed to snag it for $9+ (very reasonable) shipping. I've also found OPI Rose to the Ovation, OPI Berry Good Dancers, OPI Music Hall Curtain Call, OPI You Make Me Vroom, OPI Mat-adore Red, and Essie Mint Chintz on eBay for great prices.

Most recently, I found several old formula/bottle/size Orlys for crazy cheap (around $3 each shipped). I got Total Darkness, Earth Red, Plum Pudding, and Tourmaline. What I actually received were the first 3 plus "1960". Since Tourmaline was $2.99, I reordered it hoping it was just a mistake. I figured I'd keep 1960 because it was so cheap. Alas, no dice. I received an email tonight from the seller, LBBS Outlet (Lee Beauty and Barber Supply), stating Tourmaline was OOS. They did offer me a replacement item, which could be as much as $5 over my purchase price. Or they offered to refund my money (on the 2nd Tourmaline... no mention of the first one). I requested OPI Boris & Natasha and we'll see what happens. I'm not really upset about the 2nd one being OOS. Afterall, they are trying to make it right. What is bugging the shit out of me is the fact that rather than tell me the first Tourmaline I purchased was OOS, they sent me another polish. It's pretty enough, but NOT what I ordered. I suppose if it was more than 3 bucks, I'd feel like raising a stink. As it is, I'm just going to leave them neutral feedback on the first Tourmaline unless they address my concerns, which I stated in my email response.

This kind of bums me out because I was all set to rave about the old skool Orlys being offered by LBBS. However, I now have to tell you to proceed with caution if you are interested. They did have a few rare ones, though I consider all old Orlys rare. Plum Pudding being one I can think of off the top of my head and Crocodile Rock being the other. I didn't purchase CR, as I knew it'd look like ass on me, but if you are interested, I now suggest you contact the seller before purchasing. Also, I had plans on getting a few more of these Orlys, but now I'm wary. But not wary enough to stop online dustying. UPDATE: I never received any response from LBBS, just a refund for my 2nd Tourmaline. They never responded to my email. I'm not saying not to buy from them, just know that they sell OOS items.

This is just part of the risk associated with this little game I play. I'm willing to accept it because it's part of the hunt for me, but it's a little bit of a letdown if you have your heart set on something, like I did on Tourmaline. I remember it from back in the day, and it was so awesome.
On an up note, the other 3 colors I got are amazing, especially Plum Pudding. It kind of looks like a purple Starry Starry Night. I plan on doing my next mani in this. It may require a little bit of tweaking as it's an old ass bottle, but I think it will be great in the end. Oh how I've missed you, old Orly bottles.

And... before I get too off-track, I want to give a quick mention to TD and VNS for their HTFs. TD lists them all online with their regular stock. I've gotten several from them, but nothing super rare. I think my rarest was OPI Red Like Roses. As for VNS, they have Emerald Sparkle in the ChG section, but many of the d/c'd Essies and OPIs will have to be ordered over phone or email (they'll send you an invoice). You can't order these brands online anyway if you are a non-pro. When you order from them, they'll send you a d/c'd list with your. Prices for Essie are $5 and OPIs are $6.95. Not a bargain by any means, but they have a few like the Sugarplum Yum and Nutcracker Sweet sets, that are going for $35 on ebay, for less than $15 for the set. They also, at the moment, have a VHTF Essie for $5. I'm waiting to purchase it until some of the ChG glitters are in because shipping would still be $9, so I'm hoping they still have it. No, it's not SSN, but close. whispers Viva La Vespa. Please don't buy the last one.

Well, that's it for now, I suppose. I'll have pics of my current KOTD and my old Orly mini haul tomorrow.

Long overdue "Thank You"!

Before I post my latest in my "stream of consciousness" ramblings, I want to take a minute to thank Brooke, from Getcha Nails Did. A few weeks ago, Brooke mentioned my blog on her blog as a new blog on the block (holy smokes... 3 blogs in a sentence). I kept meaning to say thank you, but then I'd get side tracked and forget. So better late than never...

Thank you!!! Brooke, I really appreciate you mentioning my blog in one of your posts.

If you don't read Brooke's blog, you really should check it out (click on her name to hyperlink). She posts very frequently and she has the cutest pics of her dog, Dinky. I love me some Dinky pics. So freakin' adorable. :)

That's all for now. Once my camera's charge (yes, it's always dead), I'll have a new post or two. I just wanted to give Brooke a shout-out before it slipped my mind again. Thanks again, Brooke!
Sunday, August 23, 2009

Product Rec: Out the Door Top Coat

I'm not sure how many of you are like me, but I am continually search for the perfect top coat. I am not a fan of Seche Vite. It's much too thick for my liking. Also, I have tons of bubbles with SV. I rarely have them with another TC.

Recently, I've been using Rush High Speed from Sally's and while I like it, there are things about it I would change. For one, it is the polar opposite of SV in consistency, and given my dislike of SV's thickness, you'd think that would be a plus. Unfortunately, it's too runny. I have to be very mindful of how much I have on my brush, or I'll have it all over my fingers. It does thicken up over time, which kind of brings me to my next dislike. I get the big pro size bottle, because it's easier to handle than the smaller bottle and it's a better value, but I always have to get a new bottle when the old one is 2/3rds gone. That last third gets too gumpy. I've added thinner in the past and while a little helps, too much changes the formula too much, so it never dries. Lastly, Rush TC tends to not play nice with Zoya polishes. I find Zoyas to be fickle on the whole, but on Zoyas that take 3 coats, they never cure with the Rush TC. Not only are they dentable hours later, they are a gooey mess.

So yesterday I found myself in Sally's (for the second time, mind you) looking for a good TC. Since I don't like SV, I only had 2 real options left... Poshe and Out the Door. I got OtD, figuring I could try Poshe if OtD didn't work for me. I haven't tried it on Zoyas yet, so I don't know if the problem will continue with the OtD, but I will give it a test run before I take my current nails off. However, for general use, this TC rocks. While Rush is fast, OtD is crazy fast. It claims on the bottle that it takes 45 seconds to dry, and while the nails were still dentable a couple minutes later, they were dry to the (light) touch. Within 15 minutes, they were dried completely. I definitely plan on keeping this bad boy around.

OtD is available at Sally Beauty Supply. I got the small bottle which is .5 oz for $3.99 w/ my Sally's card. They also have a humongo bottle, which I think is 2.5 oz for $8.99. I'll probably get that one when this one runs low.

So, if you are looking for a new TC, check out OtD. If you don't have a Sally's in your area, you can find it at Sally's online. If you do a Google search, you can also find it in various other sizes at other online beauty suppliers. There's even a 16 ouncer. Wow. Now that's a crap ton of TC. :P
Saturday, August 22, 2009

NOTD: Pretty Woman Glue On French Style 399152

Sorry for the boring title, but my mind is shot and these nails don't have a name, nor could I match the style number at Sally's online to find a style name. So, boring name post it is.

Anyway, back to the nails. Pic first:

I got these nails to try other glue-on nails that bill themselves as "salon alternatives", like the Revlons I received earlier in the month. Last night, my ChG Stroll mani started coming off and I was exhausted and didn't feel like dealing with it. Thus, I had to put something quick on this morning (usually, I do my nails at night, so I can take my time). That's usually when I reach for the pre-painted frenches.

I like this design in the package. It was a pretty irridescent purple base with an irridescent white tip that look liked it had a but of a purple-ish sheen. This was the french mani I always had in mind to get, but was never able to translate my wishes to my nail tech, back when I got acrylics for and after my wedding (8 yrs ago).

Unfortunately, I don't like them at all on my nails. For one, it's they are too damn short. If I had any sort of natural nails, I'd have to file them down like mad to be able to wear these. Also, it is a much more blatant french mani on me, than in the package. I thought the french design itself, was going to be more muted. However, they are numbered clearly and the design does look clean, so there are a couple of high points to these, but I don't see them lasting more than tonight, perhaps tomorrow. You can get these at Sally Beauty Supply for $5.99 with your Sally's card.
Thursday, August 20, 2009

NOTD: ChG Stroll w/ ChG Poetic Konad

So after a couple weeks wearing blue polish, I figured it was time to mix it up. I'd just gotten my Zoya TW5000 order and decided to try Sienna. I'd been lemming this polish since I saw it on the NB back in May or June. It's a gorgeous color, that, to me, looks like koi fish underwater. It just glimmers in light, just like sunlight bouncing off fish scales. Unfortunately, the color didn't work on me. It was pretty, but with my pale skin, it just didn't work. If you are tanned, darker skin, or have any olive or yellow tones, it would probably look great on you, I'm just too darn pink. It's going in the giveaway pile. Sorry, Sienna... it wasn't meant to be.

Sad thing is, I knew it wouldn't work, and if it hadn't been for the Twitter promotion, I wouldn't have even tried it, but since it was essentially free, I picked it up anyway. Thing is, it applied perfectly, so I would have kept it for a couple days as wearing glue-ons doesn't give me the luxury of changing on a whim. However, even 2 hours later, it was still a gooey mess. I was able to peel it off, use a little bit of non-acetone remover and apply something that looked okay, OPI Red Like Roses (no pics of this one, my job was crappy and this color deserves it's own post). That lasted for a day, and then I reapplied my glue-ons and put on ChG Stroll. Here's a couple pics:

I turned this next one around so you could see the konadding better, so it may look a little weird.

Stroll is from ChG's 2009 Fall Collection, Retro Diva. It's one of the three I got from this collection, with Thunderbird and Let's Groove being the other two. It's a deep red jelly-ish base with gold, brown, and red shimmer, looks like it could be a glitter, but the application is smooth as glass. I'd had this one for awhile, but hadn't tried it until I saw it on the NB. Several people were raving about so I figured I'd give it a try. The end product was great. I'm getting lots better at applying ChG polishes, if I do say so myself. However, the application itself was, as usual, a bit troublesome due to ChG's thick formula. It's just not the easiest to work with, but as long as you know that it's a little on the thick side, you can deal with it without a lot of problems.

The color itself is really pretty, but to be honest, I wasn't completely in love with it at first. I applied one coat of TC, and it was just okay. It looked like any other dark red it me, and it didn't see why it was so special. Then last night, my nail polish ADD kicked in and I had to do something to it, so I chose to do a konad design. I picked the crown from my m40 plate and ChG Poetic as the design color. Poetic is from the Romantique collection and like all the other Romantiques, it did not disappoint. It's a hard color to describe, but I would say that it's a rose gold metallic with ribbons of silver in the bottle. The silver ribbons, however, do not translate to the nail. I think it was a perfect partner with Stroll, rather than using a more overt gold, like say ChG Passion. It really plays nicely off the red/brown/gold shimmer in Stroll. Additionally, I know I've complained in the past about my m40 plate, but this time, it worked like a charm. I'm guessing the difference was the combination of an improvement in my skill level and using the right kind of polishes. I sound like a broken record, I know, but using the ChG Romantiques is why I fell in love with my Konad. They are a match made in crazy-nail-polish-obsessed heaven.

Also, and this was a happy coincidence, because I applied another coat of TC to set the konad design, it really brought Stroll to life. The shimmer, that was a little bit muddy before, was suddenly shining like mad. So, if you are having the same issues I was, with it just looking "meh", see if a second coat of TC would do the trick. Normally, that's something I automatically do, especially with navies, vampies and blues, but I didn't think it do it with Stroll. Not sure why.

Lastly, I'm still using the Kiss tips. I really like the way that the board straight nails look on me. I keep the edges on these very square, which I think I prefer over the square-oval I'd been doing before. I will still use the shorter Nailenes, because I think they are more appropriate for certain colors, but I think I'm going to use the Kiss as my go-to nail from now on. There's an issue with them that bugs me (sometimes, when you polish, the "french line" on these has a tendency on certain nails to become evident, but it's pretty easily fixed with a bit of buffing beforehand and nail art afterward, if needed).

Hope you guys like this one. What started out kinda blah to me, became a favorite. I really like this new ChG collection. I may need to get a few more of them with my next TD or VNS order. Any must haves?

Random Nail Art

I've been meaning to post this for a few days now, but I've always forgotten. Anyway, if you remember a few days ago, I posted a NOTD with CC Tru Passion. I loved it, but never one for being content with a color for more than a day, I added some nail decals on my L ring finger and R thumb. I'm fairly certain the the decals are Cina Violets, but I didn't check to make sure. Here's a pic of my L ring finger. My R thumb was looking kinda rough in the cuticle area, so I am foregoing that pic. LOL.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

NOTD: ChG Sky-High Top w/ Cina 3D Daisies decals

EDITED to replace to "no flash" picture with one that didn't make look jaundiced. Still "no flash", though.

Saturday night, I put on a new set of nails and I couldn't for the life of me decide on a color, so I pulled several from my stash and asked my husband to decide. I let him choose from CC Sexsea, OPI Red Like Roses, ChG Sky-High Top, and Misa Forbidden Lust and Lounging by the Pool. An odd lot, I know, but all but Misa FL were new acquisitions, and I was curious to try them. So, I told him my previous mani was a deep blue (OPI DS Fantasy... pics to come soon), but he still picked ChG Sky-High Top. Here are pics:

no flash, artificial light

flash, artificial light

I first saw this color when the collection came out, but it wasn't until I saw it on on Nailz-In-Aus's blog that became instantly smitten with it, and I added it to my VNS order on a whim. Boy howdy, am I happy I did. Sky-High Top is from ChG's Summer 2009 Custom Kicks collection. I own one other polish from this collection, Sneakerhead, and while I've swatched it, it still remains untried. It's still available at e-tailers and eBay sellers, but I'm certain that all Sally's that had this collection had clearanced it out as it's not in the regular line up (pssst, ChG... it should be :P ).

The application process itself was fine. The formula was a little thick, even thicker than normal for ChG. However, as long as you made sure you had a decent amount on your brush, there were no real problems. The wand did slip out of my hand at one point and in my flurry to catch it, I ended up with polish on my table, clothes, and um... forehead. :P Although, that was completely user error and had nothing to do with the polish application. LOL.

As for the end result, all I can say is Ho.Lee.Crap-adoodle. My love for blue polish has recently reached new heights, but this is by far the most balls-out blue I've tried thus far. It's "smack yo mama" blue. ChG describes this color as periwinkle. Um, not so much. IMO, the actual color is more of a cerulean blue, or perhaps an azure blue, or maybe a happy medium between the two, but it's not periwinkle. At any rate, it's really, really pretty and I can't stop looking at it.

The decals are Cina 3D decals in Daisies. I got mine at Sally's for around $3.50-ish a card. However, if you are really into nail art, you may want to try ordering from Cina directly. They are around $1.70 a card at http://www.cinapro.com/. I placed an order with them earlier in the year and while shipping is high (around $10), if you order several decals, it's a much better deal. They have tons of nail art on clearance, too, stuff Sally's still has at regular price. If you love nail art, but hate the hassle of konad (like I used to), you may love these nail decals. I use a pair of long bent tweezers to apply them, and since they are sticky on the back, you just have to apply them and seal with TC. It's super easy.

Now, everyone around me has been kind of giving me funny looks at my blue nails. Everyone except my husband who picked the color and loves blue, and my 14 year old friend, who just happens to be our babysitter. They said it was awesome, so that's good enough for me. :) Also, and I think this is the best opinion out of them all, my 3 year old daughter loves them so much, she cried because she didn't have blue nails with yellow and white stickers

One last thing... you may notice that my nails are longer in this pic than in other past NOTDs. Rather than using my tried and true Nailene Short Active Square nails, I used Kiss Square Tips. Even though they are labelled as Tips, I have no problem applying them as full nails. You may need to file the bottoms just a bit to fit your nail shape, but that's it. Plus, they are really long which allows you to cut them to many different lengths.

Hope you all like this one, it's probably one of my favorite colors in my collection (hmmm... I need to put together a top 10 list), and in fact, this mani is now my profile pic on FB. Now that's love. :)
Saturday, August 15, 2009

Essie 2009 Fall Collection

I know this has already made the rounds, but I received this in a press release from Essie a few days ago and thought I'd pass it on.

This Season, Cuddle with ColorEssie Introduces the Fall Color Collection Optimism rocked the runways at the Fall shows. Plush knits and vibrant furs in juxtaposing lazy grays and shocking brights offered a feeling of exuberance and buoyancy. Inspired by that emotion, essie created an exceptional compilation of hues for the Fall Color Collection.

“At the shows, designers showed striking tailored pieces in muted fabrics that exploded with bright pops of color – that was really refreshing and exciting,” explains Essie Weingarten, Founder/President of essie. “I applaud that fresh color perspective and chose to incorporate that trend into our Fall Color Collection – the mix of deep hues and happy brights is like no other collection we’ve done before.”

The essie Fall Color Collection includes six unique, wearable shades that are the perfect accessories to Fall’s fur-trimmed bomber jackets, neon wool capes and classic crisp blouses with slouchy cardigans. It is a conglomeration of style that is both exhilarating and uplifting. Essie's Fall 2009 Color Collection:

Chinchilly – Sleek granite gray

Angora Cardi – Deep dusty rose

Mink Muffs – Smoky plush taupe

Midnight Cami – Shimmering twilight blue

Bright Tights – Electric orange burst

Pink Parka – Piping hot pink

TIP FROM ESSIE WEINGARTEN: As the seasons change and the air is cooler, keep nails and cuticles moisturized with essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. Keep it by your bed and massage into cuticles every night. The Essie Fall 2009 Color Collection joins the award-winning lineup beginning September 2009 at http://www.essie.com/ and fine spas, salons and beauty destinations nationwide. SRP $8.00 USD.

My opinion? I didn't like this collection when I first saw the look of it on the NB and on various blogs, but I think it's growing on me. I'm especially eager to try Midnight Cami and (gasp) Bright Tights. I can't wait to do a mani (MC)/pedi (BT) combo with those 2 colors.

On first glance, Bright Tights seems not very fall-ish, and neither does Pink Parka, but then I got to thinking about colors you'd see on a ski slope, and in that regard, they seem very appropriate. Both Bright Tights and Pink Parka remind me of an outfit that Samantha Brown wore on her St. Moritz (I think) episode on Passport to Europe. It was hot pink and orange and I loved it (she bought it in St. Moritz, and I'm sure she spent a pretty penny even though it was last season). It especially looked great against the powdery, sparkly, blinding white snow.

Transdesign has been teasing us for weeks with this collection, but it still states "C/S" for "coming soon". I was going to order Midnight Cami and Bright Tights, at least, on my last TD order, but I couldn't wait that long (they had a few d/c DS OPIs that I knew would vanished if I waited). So, they'll just have to wait until I order a few from the OPI Holiday 2009 Collection. Boo TD. Whatever... I still love you. :P

Friday, August 14, 2009

Embracing my inner Stepford Wife

So, remember how I mentioned that I was going to try some other brands of fake nails that were supposedly to "achieve a professional look without the professional price" to compare them to the Revlons? Well, I did that over this week. I used IBD 5 Second nails in "French Chic" from Sally's.

Now, normally, I'm not a thick french mani kinda girl. They look a little "Real Housewives of Whatever" to me. To each their own, but not normally for me. However, I must be smoking some good crack, but the look of a glitter french is strangely attractive to me, and I have no idea why. Not one done with glitter as the french (which I want to try too and am planning as my next mani, actually), but rather a small line of glitter between the french and the nail. You can see this in the pic below:

I really like the look of these and I can't tell you why. They are a pink-beige shimmer base with a thin silver, glitter divider line and an off-white iridescent tip. They go against everything my nail polish loving heart believes in, except for the belief that you should have the ability to wear whatever makes you happy. But like I said, I liked them. Unfortunately, they didn't hold up. Within 24 hours, I had a crack down the middle of my left thumb. While they were a PITA to remove, as it seems like the Revlon glue and these nails combined to make some sort of "super duper can't dissolve it" bond, I actually was a bit happy to be done with them. They were starting to make me question my belief system. LOL.

Compared to the Revlons, I think I prefer the overall look of the IBDs over the Revlons, simply because I couldn't see my damaged nails through the glue-ons, as the beige-pink base was darker than other glue-on french mani bases. Also, the IBDs were lots longer and thus easier for me to apply. However, Revlon wins hands-down for durability. A crack in 24 hrs just isn't acceptable, no matter how inexpensive these are. After all, they say "for professional use", which incorrectly or not, indicates some sort of promise of longer wear. These were $2.99 with my Sally's card and are available here (and in stores, of course. That's where I got mine). They come in numerous color options, and the price is right enough. However, they don't come with glue or any sort of nail file or orange stick like the Revlons. But that wasn't a problem for me as I have all the related supplies on hand. I just wish they held up longer, because while I was slightly over them, I don't like my glue-ons to decide for me when I have to do a new mani. :P

I have another package of these IBD nails in "French Oui Oui" to try, and I'll probably do so within the next few weeks. Also, I have a pack of Pretty Woman nails (I can't find the style name and the style number isn't showing up on Sally's website) to try out. I'll update when I try these as well.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Revlon Runway Collection Nails

I was recently contacted by the company that makes Revlon nails to see if I'd be interested in trying their new Runway Collection and posting a review on my blog (Thank you!!!). I normally don't use french glue-ons, but I figured I would since I have experience with glue-on nails and I've always wanted to try the Revlon brand. Plus, the designs were nice and looked different from other nails I'd seen out in drug stores/ big box stores.
I received them early last week while I was wearing my disastrous mint green mani (shudder). I was just expecting to receive a box or two, but I was sent the entire line. So, I had a hard time choosing my first one. I picked Sateen (91086). It's a french manicure with the base leaning slightly pink. The french on this nail is a mauvey pink satin base with a burgundy, floral print. The floral design looks very Asian-inspired to me. Separating the base from the french is a thin burgundy line and a charcoal grey glitter line. Here's a pic:

It's a pretty nail and I loved it in the box, in fact, it was my beginning favorite. However, I found the pink base to be too warm for my skintone, unfortunately. Also, because it was a bit see-through (just the nature of the beast with a light colored nail base), you could see the air bubbles that I wasn't talented enough to avoid and the damage to my natural nails underneath. Although, these 2 things were only apparent if you were staring at my nails.

The design was nice, but the charcoal grey glitter line just didn't match with the rest of the nail, IMO. A silver glitter would have been a better match. I found the dark grey to be a wee bit distracting. Application was a bit difficult. I've been using glue-ons now consistently since March, so I kinda consider myself a "Glue On Mastah" and I was gluing myself together all over the place. Maybe it was the new glue (I've never used Revlon's glue) or maybe it was because these nails are shorter that the Nailenes I regularly apply. Either way, my hands looked a bit messy after all was said and done. I did get better with the second box, more on that later, but it still wasn't flawless. I guess there's a learning curve with this, just like there is with any new product. Also, the sizes on these aren't consistent with other glue-on nails I've tried, even those made by the same manufacturer. This isn't really a complaint, rather a heads-up to try all the sizes close to your nail size before you go with a particular size.

Now, the good stuff... since I've been bitching and moaning up until now. :) The design looks nice on the nail, despite the distracting grey line. I did get several compliments on this design as well as the one to follow. Additionally, Revlon's glue is very good, holds for 4 days on me, easy, which is so much better than other brands. Also, you get a full bottle of glue rather than those little stick vials. It's easier to hold and control, for one, but for me, a continual glue-on user, it's nice to have a bigger container of glue for future applications. I've begun using this glue instead of my Kiss Pink Gel glue. It's much better. Lastly, and this is probably a continuation of the previous praise, but these nails lasted 4 days without lifting, and they probably would have gone farther had I not damaged one. The package says that you need to take them off after 10 days, but I NEVER get that kind of wear out of fake nails. Normally, I'm looking at 3 days max.

Before I close out this entry, let me show you a pic of the second set I wore.

This is Studio (91104). The base on this is a pearlish white with a satin-finish silver french with bisecting black lines. My husband picked this one out and I think he did a great job. I'd had a bit of a nail disaster before applying this nail and I needed something to put on my nails that required little effort to look great. I think I prefer this design over Sateen and is my favorite of the 2 I've tried. The wear was the same as Sateen, though with Studio, I did have a bit of tip wear (which you can see in the pic).

All in all, I think these are a great product. Perhaps not for someone with me who has damage to their natural nails, but I will still wear them. They are great for someone who wants a fancy french mani to wear to an event, but doesn't want to shell out the big bucks for a salon mani. In fact, Revlon's marketing approach on these nails is that they are a substitute for a set of salon-applied acrylics with nail art. Rather than spending $50 for this look, you can spend $7. Also, for me, these are great to have around for when I need to put on a full set of nails and I don't have time to deal with polishing my nails. 10 minutes and I was done. The come in 7 designs and can be found at drugstores and big box stores all over.
And, just for comparison's sake, I went to Sally's over the weekend and got 2 boxes of nails that were meant to look like salon manis. They even say "for professional use only" on the boxes. I plan on trying these over the next couple weeks to see how they compare to the Revlons. Also, as I have 5 more designs of these Revlons to try, I will probably scatter them out over the next 6-8 weeks.
So, what do you think? Do you like these Revlon nails?

Mojo found!

I'm finally able to post a real post now after having Revlon Runway Collection glue-ons on my nails for almost a week. I will post a review of these as my next post, but for right now, I wanted to show you all my latest NOTD.

I've been kinda down in the dumps recently because nothing seemed to be going my way lately in nail polish land. I felt like I was having to slap coats of glitter on to hide my bad polish choices and unfortunately with glue-ons, you can't just take it off and start over. If I hate my polish, I have to either try to live with it for a few days or soak off a set of newly applied nails. Either way, it sucks.
Well today, I received my latest VNS order. I've recently found myself drawn to Color Clubs and holy, moly do they not disappoint. The price is great and the formula and application are amazing. CCs almost apply themselves on me. Pretty awesome for a polish that's under $3. I ordered:
Naughtycal Navy
Tru Passion
Sexy Siren
Magic Attraction
Rodeo Fanatic
Sky-High Top

I also placed a TD order on Friday that should arrive tomorrow. Like I mentioned on the NB, I've fallen in love with blue polishes. I can't get enough of them.
So anyway, given my loss of my nail polish mojo, I was feeling a bit of trepidation today when I applied my color. Part of my wanted to go for something tried and true that wouldn't be a disaster, but then another part of me wanted to go for something crazy. I opted for crazy, but something I knew would more than likely work on me.

CC Tru Passion

and an out-of-focus close up so you can see the sparklies

This color is so beautiful that I found myself stopping at red lights and turning on my car's interior light just to look at it. :S Truly gorgeous. The color is a true purple that leans cool. The glitter looks to be a lighter shade that the base, but just enough to make it interesting. I'm wearing 4 coats of TC and it's still chunky. However, you can't see the chunkyness because of the glitter. Also... you know what? This kinda killed my lemming for the RBL glitters, specifically Fashionista. It's not identical and probably, if anything, a second or third cousin, as it doesn't have both silver and purple glitter, and Fashionista, itself, seems to lean a bit more pink, but still... lemming squashed. BTW, this was 2 coats.
If I painted my natural nails, I could definitely see this being a PITA to remove, but as I wear glue-ons, all I have to do is soak them off. I don't have to scrub glitter for an hour. I was thinking earlier tonight that perhaps wearing glue-ons for glitters would be a good tip for all you girls with natural nails that hate wearing glitter for the removal process alone. Just soak them off and you're good to go.
So, do you love Tru Passion? I think it is fab and I can't wait to try Sexy Siren.
Thursday, August 6, 2009


Since I'm still wearing the Revlon Runway Collection nails and have no new manis to share, I thought I'd pretty much just post for posting's sake, as I have a few random nail polish-related thoughts floating around in my head.

1. I got my lastest eBay purchase today. It's yet another red, but I'm so happy I got it. It's OPI Mat-Adore Red from OPI's 2001 Fall World Collection (you know, the one with the dreaded OPI and Apple Pie). My camera battery needs to be charged, or I'd take a picture of the swatch I did. I think it's pretty daggum perfect though. It's almost the same tone as You Make Me Vroom (see below), but it has more blue in it. I will do a post with it as soon as my battery is charged, but for now, check out pics on NailGal. I thought it was going to be on the warmer side, but it's got so much blue in it. I have a feeling it's going to work well with my skin-tone. Most blue-based reds do.

2. Day 3 and the Revlon nails are still going strong. As my natural nails are damaged underneath and you can somewhat see said damage through these nails, I'm not in love with them (though I plan to save judgement for when I've tried a couple more boxes), but I do like the glue a lot. There is absolutely no lifting, and usually, I have at least one or two nails that lift with just a tad bit of pressure. But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I will have a full review on these soon.

3. I have become OBSESSED with Lippmann "Happy Birthday". I saw it on Vampy Varnish last week, though she posted it in June. OMG. I NEED. I have 2 Lippmanns and in all honestly, I could take 'em or leave 'em, but HB looks amazing. I can't wait to try it over red or dark blue. Kelly at VV states that it should be out next month or October. I can't wait that long. LOL. I want to try it so bad. Here's the post and HB is the 2nd one down.

4. I'm >this< close to pulling the trigger on a TD order, and perhaps a VNS order as well. If only TD carried CC, or VNS carried Misa or allowed non-pros to order Essie and OPI. Though, someone on the NB mentioned that if you email them, they will invoice you even you are a non-pro, but I like instant gratification. I'm not good with emailing someone to buy something. If I have to do more effort than add to cart... pay, then I'm not going to do it.

Whew, I think that's it. :)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mint = Fail

Or perhaps, green in general = fail. Dunno. (more on that later)

Let me present you the latest in my case against green. This is Essie Mint Chintz. In the bottle, it's a pretty mint green shimmer, perhaps a frost, and maybe that's the problem, but I don't think so.

Seems pretty enough alone, but once you get to the big picture with my fingers and skintone, it looks like a disaster. A minty nightmare. I tried to fix it by adding glitter (of course), Sinful Hottie (I think that's the blue one, I'm too lazy to dig it out, and trust me... you don't want to try this at home), but it didn't really help. It turned into a pretty aquamarine color, but it still didn't work w/ me. Bummer, because I really liked this color in the bottle.

Here it is w/ the glitter topper.

See how red it made the skin around my nails? They almost look bruised.
Add to this the fact that OPI Hey! Get in Lime looked just as bad on me, I'm figuring mint/light greens just aren't for me. Sob. I really wanted to love you. But what's worse, is I really don't think green in general works for my skin, which is weird because I love green eye shadow on me, so maybe it's just the difference in one being on my hands and the other being on my face. Orly Enchanted Forest was pretty, but again... the whole package didn't work w/ me. I have 2 dark green shimmers, Zoya Suvi and Misa Toxic Seduction (I think that's it, again... lazy) and I have yet to try them, if they look like doo-doo, too, I'm giving up. I would try them soon, just to figure it out, but I've lost some of my nail polish mojo lately, so my next mani after my current one will be something tried and true. I don't need anymore NP failure lately. It's bad for my psyche. :P
Also, one quick ps... I am currently trying a set of Revlon Runway Collection glue-ons. I'm probably going to be testing them the rest of the week, so probably no new manis from me, until the weekend or maybe later.

Monday, August 3, 2009

OPI You Make Me Vroom w/ Konad White Special Polish

I apologize for my lateness in posting. This was my mani over the weekend, and I just now got around to taking a picture and writing a quick post.

You Make Me Vroom is from OPIs 2005 (I think) Driven By Color Mustang collection. It's old formula/ old brush, and of course, has been d/c'd. Though, there are still plenty floating around eBay. I got mine from a less than 100% feedback seller (think 92% :S) for a $1.99+shipping. Cheap NP is worth the risk. LOL. I'm not sure if you are like me, and I know the trend in NP is now to be into greens, yellows, and blues, but I am still searching for the perfect red creme. I say that OPI's V&C is pretty damn close, but I've always wanted something a little lighter, though still with the same intensity of color, and a little more on the cool side. Like a cherry red, but with no pink. I think this color fits the bill. It's perfect. Well, almost perfect. I kind of wish it had the new PW brush, that I've become a total slave to, and I kind of wish it had OPI's new formula. I know old formula is coveted right now, and I have no problem with chemicals, but I never have as good an application with old formula that I have with a new formula polish. But in any regard, the color is perfect. Maybe there are dupes in OPI's core line, perhaps Chick Flick Cherry (?), but I don't have any.

The konad design was done using Konad Special Polish in white and plate m56. I normally don't use the konad polish, but I have a bottle of white from my starter kit, and from what I understand, white and black konad polishes are kind of a must, as other brands don't work as well in those colors in particular.

I am doing a new mani tonight, after my kidlets are asleep. Thinking of Essie Mint Chintz and something else, but who knows. I may change my mind. I always do.

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You can reach me at megan@apolishproblem.com.



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