Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texture Polishes - Zoya Carter, Zoya Sunshine and Loreal Too Dimensional?

Ahhhh texture polish....either you enjoy it or you don't....and in my case, I enjoy it but I have discovered that I have to be in a very specific mood to wear it.  My favorite textures are the Zoya PixieDusts, JulieG Gumdrops and Nicole by OPI textures.  There are a couple of the OPI Liquid Sands that I like as well, but most of my texture polish collection falls into the former 3 brands.  Today I thought I'd show you three of my more recent nail of the day (NOTD) textures....

Recently I picked up a polish from the new Loreal Gold Dust line of textured polishes to give it a go:

This is Too Dimensional?, a medium blue with a subtle on-the-nail shift to green courtesy of some gorgeous shimmer.  I was happy to discover that Loreal did a great job in hopping on the texture bandwagon and I've been eyeing other colors in the collection ever since.  Still haven't bought more, but I know it's inevitable that I will.  :)

Next are two Zoyas that I couldn't wait to get my hands on, and they sure didn't disappoint:

Ahhhhh Carter, you beautiful thing you.  Everything you've read about Carter is true...a stunning dark purple with lighter pink/purple glitter that is unlike anything else out there in the polish world (at least, imo).  I'd read that Carter is a bit sheer and requires 3 coats for opacity, so I was a bit heavy-handed with my application and got away with 2 coats.  SUCH a gorgeous color, well done Zoya!

Not to be outdone, here is Zoya Sunshine, a beautiful deep navy texture that looks lighter in photos than it does in real life.  I wanted pics in full sun because of the pretty sparkle in this polish.  I bought the brighter/lighter Zoya Liberty when it came out last year and liked it well enough, but the deeper navy blue of Sunshine appeals more to my conservative side and I love it.  The sparkle isn't quite as prominent in this polish as in other PixieDusts, but I like that about it!

More photos of all three polishes after the jump:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Zoya Brown & Green

Wow, I just am not clever enough to come up with good blog titles!  Oh well, let's just get straight to the photos....

This mani was created using Zoya Yara (green with prominent gold shimmer), Zoya Nia (dark dark dark brown creme) and China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around (gorgeous shimmery white).  I did this a couple months ago, when apparently I was feeling the "fall colors" vibe.  :)  Both Zoyas were a breeze to apply and only needed 2 coats each.

The above photo in full sun is the most accurate representation of the polish colors.  I really liked Yara despite the gold shimmer...which is gorgeous, don't get me wrong...but generally I don't like anything gold, and Yara surprised me in a good way.  I personally feel that it's a somewhat seasonal color, and this is coming from someone who doesn't adhere to the "rules" of seasonal colors.  I'll definitely try to wear it in the spring/summer and see if I change my mind, but I just get the feeling this one looks best in the cooler months of the year.

That China Glaze Dandy Lyin' Around is a little finicky, as are most whites, but the shimmery white is absolutely worth the effort of needing 2-3 coats.  Two coats if you're covering with other colors, like I did, but you'll probably need 3 coats if you wanna wear it alone.

What do you think?  I love comments, don't be shy!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Christmas Mani!!

Hi all!  (well, I think I only have 2-3 followers -- hi guys! -- but I'm gonna pretend I'm talking to the whole wide By some miracle, because I'm always late with stuff, today I have my Christmas-themed mani to show you.  I don't know whether I'll be doing another one for Dec. 25 or not, so I figure I'd post this one to you ahead of time.  I haven't posted my Halloween mani yet, but I'll get around to that eventually....

(I'm sorry for the slightly blurry photos in this post, some days are just harder than others to get a good photo)

I started off with a base of Zoya Seraphina, a really interesting polish from their Zenith collection.  In the photos, it comes across as a white with silver shimmer/glass fleck, but in person it's predominantly silver, toned down with a white base.  It's tough to describe, to be honest!

I loved this far more than I expected to.  I think it's a perfect base for holiday/winter art, and it's quite festive and pretty by itself, too.

More pics after the jump, including the right-hand photo of this mani....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Zoya Monica & Nicole by OPI Shoot for the Maroon

Today's post continues to demonstrate my recent habit of combining 2-3 untried polishes into one mani in an effort to reduce the guilt I feel about the polish pretties that haven't had their time in the limelight.  Lol....okay, so that sounded way more dramatic than it needed to be, but if you're reading nail blogs then you'll understand what I mean. 

The base color here is Zoya Monica, a looooovely dark purple with some grey undertones that applied in typical Zoya form -- easily, quickly, no problems.  (oh hey, look at that bare spot on my index...damn macro photography, lol.....that's user-error courtesy of my penchant for speedy application)  I'm a newbie to the blogging world, but my polish habit started about 18+ months ago and I've since come to the realization that my favorite colors to wear are usually greyed out purples, blues, greens and pinks, and Monica fits the bill quite nicely.  It's a little darker on the nail in lower lighting (though it NEVER looks black), but I like dark anything on my nails so I'm okay with that fact.

For my accent nail, I grabbed my dotting tool and applied some dot flowers in Zoya Purity (white) and Nicole by OPI Shoot for the Maroon (shimmery burgundy/maroon).  I quite like the contrast between Monica and SFTM here, and even though my heart belongs to cremes, I can always go for a little shimmer accent.

More pics below the jump, to include a rare photo of my right hand where I did the opposite color combo in order to swatch that NOPI.....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zoya Suri and NOPI Kendall On The Katwalk

I have so many polishes in my untried pile that I've recently taken to putting together "skittle" or "skittlette" manis in order to try out more than one polish at a time.  Though as I'm typing this, I realize that's not what I did for today's manicure....whoops.  Oh well, at least it'll explain why I've been posting more manis of this style lately, I guess I'm just in the mood for jazzing up my nails a little more than your basic swatching mani.  I've also been completely inspired by the YouTube video blogger Young Wild and Polished, who does the cutest skittle manis ever, imo.

Anyway, here is a skittlette mani I did a couple weeks ago:

The purple gorgeousness is Zoya Suri, a polish I picked up in one of their more recent sales, though it wasn't one of the post-Thanksgiving flash sales.  Zoya basically has all of my money from the past couple months, they've been running AWESOME sales leading up to Christmas.  I resisted getting this color for a while, I have TONS of purples (many of which are Zoyas, which is known for creating awesome purples) so I felt that Suri was one I could pass up.  Then, a sale and my weak self-control hit at the same time, and I tossed Suri into my cart.  I'm glad I did's such a gorgeous, royal, glowy purple once on the nail, about 100x better than what you see in the bottle.

The glitter is Nicole by OPI Kendall on the Katwalk, one of the few glitter bombs I love.  It's the perfect size glitter (ie. micro) in blue and purple that really packs a punch.  From using this in the past, I would have expected to say that the formula is good and easy to work with for a glitter, but either the cap was loose on mine or it's just been too long since I used it, because it was gloopy and a real pain to apply this time.  I added what seemed like way too much thinner after I did this mani and it didn't seem to make much difference.  I'll check it again soon to see if it's better or worse, and in the meantime I'll be keeping an eye out for another bottle....THAT is how much I love this glitter polish.  :)

More pics after the jump:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why choose? Duo Mani with Elevation Echinops and Sally Hansen Satin Glam Taffeta

I returned home from a few days at Disney to find two packages containing pretty new polishes (haul photo below), and I couldn't wait to try 'em out!  But on the drive home, while thinking about what I'd be putting on my nails that evening, I couldn't stop thinking about a recently purchased Sally Hansen of the new colors in their Satin Glam line, Taffeta.  So what does any polish enthusiast do when they can't decide what color to wear?  Wear 'em both!

That gorgeous lighter blue/lavender is Elevation Polish "Echinops".  The shimmery particles are holo, but it's a very subtle holo and there wasn't even a little chance that I'd capture it in photos so you'll have to take my word for it.  :)  The purple/orchid color is Sally Hansen Satin Glam in Taffeta, which dries semi-matte without a topcoat, but I top coat everything usually, and to be honest, I preferred Taffeta with the topcoat.  It's pretty as a matte, but a top coat brings out all of these beautiful tiny blue and pink shimmers in the orchid base and I just love it!

Oh yeah, here's the haul photo of my new Elevation and KB Shimmer pretties:

I run a jewelry shop on Etsy and recently sold some pieces that gave me a bit of "mad money" so I immediately ordered these polishes that have been on my lemming list for a while:  ELEVATION - Echinops (blue), Rapa Nui (teal) and Khongoyn Els (brown), and KB SHIMMER - Turbulence (grey) and Plum Tuckered Out (purple), and I also got a some KB Shimmer cuticle oil to try out.

As much as I like the two-color mani, it was kinda screaming for a little art, so I dug out the brushes and a dotting tool and did this:

Despite being less than skilled at freehand nail art, I still enjoy doing it and I don't think this is TOO bad for it being my first attempt at snowflakes.  I used Essie No Place Like Chrome for the silver.

More pics after the jump, should you be interested!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Wrapping Paper!

I was in the mood to play around with my striping brushes the other night and decided to make some simple nail art involving traditional holiday colors in foil/heavily shimmered polishes.  Here is the result:

For what I imagined in my head, those stripes would be little thinner (and certainly with cleaner edges), but overall I was happy with the outcome.  I think these nails ended up looking like Christmas wrapping paper...?

I started out with a base of Zoya Shay, which....HELLOOOOO mannequin hands!  Goodness, I think I've inadvertently found the closest match to my skin tone that exists.  Shay is lovely, easy formula, and has a silvery shimmer that keeps it from looking flat...but I have to admit that I didn't keep this mani on for long since it was just a little too creepy to look at my nails and see virtually no distinction between them and my skin.  :)

More pics after the jump, if you're interested....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ulta Femme Fatale + stamping

It's taken a few days for me to put this post together, and I'm not entirely sure why it took so long since I loved the mani (wore it a few weeks ago) and was all kinds of pleased with my stamping efforts.  I mean sure, it's not perfect or anything, but for a novice stamper I thought it turned out pretty well.

I'm thinking that my pics aren't all that great on this one.  Ulta Femme Fatale is the base color and in real life it's a very pretty dark burgundy/maroon that I really liked a lot.  I love deep, dark vampy colors with my pale skin and (relatively) short nails and this was no exception.  Easy formula and application, a bit glowy due to the shimmer that's a few shades lighter than the base....but I have to admit that my photos don't show the polish's true beauty. 

But hey, let's enjoy the mani anyway.  :)  More pics/thoughts after the jump:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Purple Skittles/Skittlettes....a decidedly non-Thanksgiving post on Thanksgiving Day

Here are the reasons I'm not posting a Thanksgiving mani on Thanksgiving Day:

 - I'm always behind on everything.  I'm a planner by nature, but only when it comes to real-life priority things.  Don't get me wrong, painting my nails is definitely a real-life priority for me, but photographing/uploading/editing and planning blog posts with those manis tends to take a backseat to all of the other obligations in my life (especially now as we work on transitioning to civilian life and relocate).

- I'm totally in a purple mood lately, as you'll soon see below...

- I currently live in FL, where seasonal colors aren't necessarily prompted by weather changes.  So while I've done a couple "fall" colored manis, for the most part I'm still jonesing on the brighter colors for my nails.

I'm sure there are more reasons, but my brain is more fried than usual so I'll just start posting the pics!

Let's start with what I'm wearing today, a mani inspired by polishes I recently picked up during our house-hunting trip, to a region of the country that has Rite Aid!!  The pretty matte silver, Layla Softouch 01, was obtained in the bargain bin at Ulta a few weeks back but the rest of the polishes are from Rite Aid:  Dark purple is Sinful Colors Mesmerize, the pale periwinkle is Sinful Colors Candy Coated, and that soooooo pretty glittery textured purple is JulieG Sugar Plum Fairy.  Other than it being a little thicker than I prefer, JulieG once again nailed the right way to do texture!

More pics of this mani and two others after the jump:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall(ish) Mani with Julie G, Milani & China Glaze

I'm originally from Ohio where the seasons are typically "hot as blazes with 90% humidity" for about 2-3 months, and then it's "grey dreary and dark" for the rest of the year.  Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little, and to be fair it's been 15 years since I lived there so perhaps I'm just remembering incorrectly.  I love Ohio and I do enjoy getting back there often to see friends and family as often as possible.  But, I married a Marine and we've since lived in many wonderful places...NC (twice), MD, VA, CA and we currently live in FL though not for much stop DELAWARE!

Anyway, this is my wordy way of saying that living in FL, we don't really get traditional weather seasons.  Which means that I'm often a little conflicted about my polish FL self says "you still have the A/C running, put on some bright blue/aqua!!" while my OH-raised soul says "it's November, it's time for something dark and earthy and reminiscent of fall".  Don't worry, I'm Gemini, we often have these sorts of internal debates.  :)

Anyway AGAIN, here is a mani where the OH in me won out:

I'm not much for red, orange, yellow tones, so this was a more subtle version of what I'd consider fall colors.  The neutral taupe is Julie G Stiletto, the shimmery brown is Milani Chocolate Sprinkles and the silver foil accent is China Glaze Gossip Over Gimlets.  The pattern itself?  I think I was originally going for trees, but my freehand skills aren't the best and I think it came out looking more like ferns...?

More pics after the jump....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Layla Ceramic Effect 39 - Southern Light

So recently Danielle over at Polish. Glitter. Rock & Roll. posted about Layla Ceramic Effect 39 and I remembered that I'd recently tried out that color as well, but hadn't gotten a chance to post about it.  What I love about Danielle's photos is that she was able to capture the purple awesomeness of the polish, a feat that I was completely unable to do with my photos.  For me, this polish totally reads dark grey with the occasional flash of purple, most often when out in the sun (not that you can see any purple AT ALL in these photos): 

What's great about Danielle's blog post is that she said she couldn't capture the grey-with-pink-shimmer nature of this polish, so I offered to post my photos and we'll link to each other.  Because again - I could NOT get the purple of the polish to show up at all!  Lol.  Seriously people, do YOU see any purple here?.... now go look at Danielle's pretty purrrrrple pics....

More of my (grey) photos after the jump:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Essie Smokin' Hot + Zoya Kristen & Hazel

Hi, and welcome to my most favoritest (hush, I know that's not a real word, but it should be) mani in ages:

I love this so much that I'm wearing it for an unprecedented 3rd day.  As someone who changes her nails every 1-2 days, this is high praise indeed. I think I'm actually going to be a little sad when it's time to remove this one.  Not a lot sad, because you's just polish....but it'll be a little bit of a bummer.  I may pick a different color combo and do just the freehand swipes (on my thumb) as a full mani....


More pics after the jump...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Summer Canadian

Life is about to ramp up here soon, gotta go north next week to find a new place to live and check out schools for the kiddo.  We literally have only 3 days to get these goals accomplished, so wish me luck!

A good way to de-stress is to think of my "happy place", which happens to be Lake Duborne in northern Ontario.  My family has had a cabin there since the '50s and a little over 10 years ago my Dad and stepmom built another cottage on the same lake.  The entire extended family tries to be there at the same time, and during the busiest week we probably cram 20-some people on the porch of the original cabin for dinner each evening.  This place is our family's version of heaven on earth and we all work hard the entire rest of the year in order to get our vacation up north, enjoying quality time with each other and our Canadian friends and nature.  My D&J usually get about 3-4 months at their cottage, and my son and I are fortunate to spend about 4 weeks there.  It's primarily about family time, but it's also about learning to respect and value nature, replenish the soul, and enjoy a quality of life that we don't get "back home".

Annnnd, as the pic above attests, there is the occasional (okay, more like often) enjoyment of Canadian beer.  Along with pretty nails!  :-)

The hubby can usually snag a week off work to come north as well, which involves a 2+ hour drive back to the States to pick him up at a regional airport, and I always try to stop in at various big box retailers (on the Canadian side of the border, gotta support their economy too!) that we don't have anywhere near the lake to stock up on supplies.  Which of course means a quick gander at nail polish displays...duh!  This past summer I lucked out and stumbled on the gorgeous Nicole by OPI "Cinna-man of My Dreams", one of the textured polishes from their Gumdrops line.

GAH!  I love this polish, so so so much!  In fact, now I'm gonna have to throw it into the gotta-wear-soon queue after editing these photos and being reminded of how pretty it is.  Though I do have to admit, my pics aren't that great since they were taken in full sun and at the worst possible time of day to do sun photos, so the colors aren't entirely accurate.  But take my word for it...this polish is gorgeous and unique and absolutely worth seeking out to add to your stash!

Couple more photos of nails, and maybe a few bonus lake pics, after the jump....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Purple Mani Inspired by Young Wild and Polished

A good friend of mine recently suggested that I check out Young Wild and Polished on Youtube and I was immediately drawn a mani she did called "Striping Tape and Flowers".  Being new to blogging, I hope I'm giving the proper credit here by linking to Nicole's tutorial.  Please kindly tell me if I should do things differently, because as a photography hobbyist, it's important to me to make sure I'm giving the proper credit to other artists!!

I was in a purple mood, so here is my resulting mani:

Please ignore the slight smearing that happened when I top-coated.  I thought I'd waited long enough, but clearly not.  :)  These dang macro pics show everything! 

The polishes I used:
lightest - Sinful Colors Sweet Tooth
medium - Pure Ice Jail Bait
darkest - Zoya Pinta

More pics after the jump, including a few from after I applied a matte top coat:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Folder Dump Saturday!

Confession time:  my memory sucks.  There's a comedienne, Kathleen Madigan I think (but don't hold me to that), who does a sketch about how there just isn't enough room in the brain to remember every little detail, particularly as we age.  I have found that to be extremely, positively true.  I can remember important stuff...for the most part....but details and everyday minutiae are just GONE unless I write it down somewhere.

Now, apply this concept to my 1+ year long nail polish hobby, where I've been taking photos of my manis and putting them into a computer folder, but only recently started this blog for documentation/sharing purposes....and you can imagine that I have a LOT of manis where I just cannot for the life of me remember what polishes I used.  I'm using a better system now, but there are tons of photos sitting on my computer that don't have notes, and they need a home on this blog.

Enter today's post, where I dump photos of the manis I've done, add notes if I remember anything about them, and call it a day.  Actually, I'm calling it "Folder Dump".  :)  Fair warning that the photos are sometimes crap quality (as are the manis themselves!) but hopefully you'll forgive that in favor of seeing fun and simple designs and/or random swatches:

(oooooo, boy....these are worse than I remembered....I'll keep the images small....eeeeek)

Christmas 2012...I think that base color was from the ELF mini pack from last year....loved this little tree, will definitely be doing that again this December.

More after the jump:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NOTD: "Dragon Hunter"

Hey y'all...two posts in two days.  Wooohoooo!  Making up for my frequent absences when I get the chance, I guess.  Have I mentioned that my family and I are kinda going through a huge life transition thing right now?  My husband decided to retire from the military and found a civilian job that is requiring us to move to northern Delaware and wrap up our life here in three months, with those three months falling during one of the busiest times of the year, and it's been pretty chaotic around these here parts.  So if I'm here one day and then gone for 2 weeks, now you know why.  I think I'll feel a bit more grounded once we've found a place to live and I've gotten my kiddo enrolled in a school, both of which I hope to have accomplished by the end of November. 

Okay, now I'm just babbling.  Back to nails....

Today's nail of the day is a mani I wore and loved a few weeks back.  I'd bought Zoya Hunter at Ulta one day and it was sitting there on the counter a few days later when I received a Llarowe order containing a England about a perfect polish match!  I have the sort of skin tone that has a hard time pulling off greens so you'll see some lobster hands here, but I've now reached the age where I don't care because green is a favorite color of mine and I'm gonna wear it even if I get the dreaded red fingers.  :)

Puuuuuurty, right?  a England Dragon is perfection in a bottle, which isn't a surprise to anyone who's used a England polishes.  I'm wearing it here on my middle two fingers, along with a freehand swipe on the index/pinky fingers that have a base of Zoya Hunter.  I personally prefer subtle holos and Dragon fits the bill perfectly, applying smoothly and nearly opaque in one coat (though I did two coats here).

More pics after the jump, if you're interested:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NOTD: Zoya Nimue & Trixie

Courtesy of Zoya's recent promos and a local beauty supply store shutting down one of their locations and selling everything at 40-50% off, I've recently amassed quite a collection of my favorite polish brand.  In fact, tomorrow's mail should bring another box of pretties since I took advantage of Zoya's Spirit Trios promo to get a few good basic colors that I hadn't purchased yet.  I seriously looooove Zoya, it's a problem.  :)  Not all of their colors/formulas have worked for me, but I'd say at least 90% of the ones I've tried have been awesome and I love how their line is 5-Free AND they're based in Cleveland.  I'm a born and raised Ohioan and got married in Cleveland, so I'm glad to support an Ohio company as often as I can.

Anyway, I recently decided to do a little simple nail art using two of my newer untried Zoya's...Nimue and Trixie:

Nimue is a lovely dusty purple with a strong silver shimmer and paired really well with Trixie, a silver foil that was super easy to use with one of my cut-down art brushes.  For a while, the only silver polish I had was Essie No Place Like Chrome, which is a great staple for any polish collector, but it always struck me as a little harsh as a full mani or accent nail (NPLC is a great stamping and/or detail polish, though).  Enter Trixie, which isn't as "smooth" in appearance as NPLC, courtesy of the foily-er (making up words is FUN!) particles that break up the finish just a little more.  Which probably makes no sense.  Both polishes are great in formula and I'm glad I have both, but Trixie's overall appearance on my nails is just more aesthetically pleasing to me.

More pics after the jump...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Formula X by Sephora - Infamous

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Today I'm posting about one of the new Formula X by Sephora polishes called Infamous.  I've seen other bloggers posting about this new line lately, and then yesterday I came across a pin on Pinterest that really piqued my interest even further.  I had a free half hour before picking the kiddo up at school, so I zipped over to my nearest Sephora to see the entire display.  Lots of lovely colors, but only two seemed interesting enough for me to break my general "no more than $9/bottle" rule...Infamous and Legend (I'll try that one out soon)...both part of the "Shifters" portion of the collection.  I paid $12.50 each, and I believe the cremes are $10.50 each.

Sephora's website describes this as a "two-toned metallic" and I'm pretty sure the display claimed these Shifters as duochromes, but I'd have to disagree a little, at least with this color....I say it's a multichrome!  The base is a nice steely grey that has an extremely strong shift to either green or purple.  I'd also say there is some blue shift in there, but maybe that's just part of the purple side of things.  Regardless of all that, this polish is GORGEOUS!!  I looooove grey, purple, green and blue, so it's no surprise that I'm totally in love with Infamous.

Though my photos don't do this baby justice, I made an attempt to try to capture the color shifts and you'll find (many) more shots and some additional observations after the jump....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Inspired by the Spring 2013 Peter Som Custom Trio by Zoya

I was cruising Pinterest a while back and came across some pins promoting the Spring 2014 Peter Som custom trio with Zoya.  Featuring blue, green and a soft coral, it's a pretty color combo that I briefly considered purchasing from Zoya until I remembered that I'd recently bought a coral that was still in my untried pile of polishes.  Digging that out, I searched my stash for complementary colors and waited for inspiration to strike:

So what is that pattern on the accent nail....argyle?  For some reason I kept thinking in my head it was plaid, but nope, that's not right.  Well anyway, this was a fun little skittle mani to do and I was more or less pleased with the result.  I've only just recently started practicing freehand art with some el cheapo brushes I got at Marshall's and cut down to teeny-tiny sizes.  Some days the caffeine from my morning coffee lingers to the evenings, so my lines are a bit shaky, but overall I was happy with my first attempt at this design. 

A description of the polishes I used follows the jump, along with pics showing this mani in matte form and a rare sighting of my right hand....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Blue Green Texture Skittle

I recently swatched my polish collection onto nail wheels and in the course of organizing the wheels, I was struck with inspiration when some of the texture polishes in blues and greens ended up next to/near each other.  As much as I enjoy texture polishes, I don't love them and have to be in the right kind of mood to wear them.  Although I have to say, OPI Alcatraz...Rocks and several of the Zoya PixieDust shades do their best to tempt me into wearing them more often.

Anyway, here is my fun little blue and green skittle mani:

Fun, right?  The sign of a good mani for me is if I want to wear it longer than 24 hours (have I mentioned that I have a LOT of untrieds?), and I definitely kept this one on for longer than a day.  On the second day I experimented with top-coating by putting on a layer of Gelous and then a layer of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.  I didn't get any photos of that, though....sorry!

More after the jump:

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Zoya Carly (+ a dupe alert!)

Oh Zoya, how I love thee.  You help me enjoy colors that are outside of my comfort zone, and Carly is definitely one of those colors.  I consider it a beautiful dark pink, but many others consider it more of a purple.  I have pretty fair skin and feel that anything too bright looks ridiculous on me, but this pretty Zoya toes the line of bright but not TOO bright. 

I usually paint my nails in the evenings, then take photos the next day and you can see from the above pic that I started to get tip wear fairly quickly with this polish.  Didn't both me though, since then I had a chance to do this:

I love a good french tip, especially to cover tip wear and gain another day of my mani, and Orly's High On Hope came to the rescue this time.  There is a gorgeous pink shimmer in HoH that closely matched the pink shades of Carly and I looooved the result of these two colors together.

More pics after the jump, along with a close-enough dupe:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cult a few others

Behold the pretty very first Cult Nails polish called Flushed.  I know I can achieve opacity with it in 2-3 coats, but I had an untried purple creme in the form of Spoiled 2 Weeks Sober and decided to layer one coat of Flushed over one heavy coat of 2 Weeks Sober.  Both polishes were super easy to work with, though I'll definitely do two coats when I wear 2 Weeks Sober on its own.

On the second day I had some tip wear (most likely NOT due to the polish, I'm super tough on my hands/fingers), so I decided to play with some tape and two of my Julie G textured polishes.  I love the result:

Be sure to check out more photos after the jump, including ones of this mani before the nail art was added...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sephora Color Hit - Blackjack

I was at JC Penney a while back and wandered over by Sephora where I spotted these teeny little bottles of polish.  I'm generally not a Sephora shopper...nothing against 'em, it's just not my style for the most part plus in general it's a little spendy and out of my usual budget...but those cute little Color Hit bottles drew me in for a closer look.  Several colors interested me, but I only ended up purchasing this one, called Blackjack:

I might just maybe kinda sorta have a weakness for grey polish, specifically anything in the "gunmetal" family.  I just think it's such a chic color, not as harsh as black (especially on my pale skin), and if that grey has a shimmer?  Must. Buy. Now.  :)

More after jump....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Random manis, aka Spam Sunday

Turns out we have some big changes coming up in the personal life side of things, the news of which has thrown me off track with this blog.  I've still been doing manis and taking photos but the rest of my time has been caught up in researching school districts and starting a house search...yep, we're moving!  And in about three months, so I'm trying hard not to freak out.  Not always successful, but ya do what ya can, right?

I'm going to get some of my OLD manis up here on the blog, so old that for most of them I can't remember what polishes I used.  Ooops.  I really ought to figure out a good way to document my mani details....

My first "cloud" mani...I know that the silver is Essie No Place Like Chrome and the blue might be OPI I Have A Herring Problem, but no clue about the dark purple.

More after the jump:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nicole by OPI That's What I Mint + SH Scarab

Green polish and I don't always get along, but in the case of today's polishes....I don't care.  I nabbed Nicole by OPI's "That's What I Mint" (part of their Gumdrops textured line) from CVS recently and waited for a green mood to strike.  Considering the size of my untrieds pile, I thought it best to try to find something to go along with it, and grabbed Sally Hansen Lustre Shine in Scarab.  Holy awesome Batman, what a great pairing!  Lookie, lookie:

I loved this so much that I immediately texted a photo of it to a friend and insisted she buy it, arm-twisting at its technological best.

I don't see a whole lot of mint, and this pulled way more "green" on my skin tone than "teal", but otherwise I'm now obsessed with this polish and will be wearing it a LOT this fall/winter. 

More pics/details after the jump:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NY Giants!

We're a football dad played and coached and scouted for years, my uncle played and coached for years, my cousins played in college (and one is coaching now), and while we all like other sports well enough, the number one sport we loooooove is football. 

Then I went and married a NY Giants FANATIC, and I do mean that in every sense of the word.  Our house would be decorated entirely in Giants colors and decor if I allowed it.  We have to make sure the windows are closed during games so our neighbors don't get a lesson in creative (and loud) swearing.  It's taken my husband the better part of five years to learn how to tone himself down during games in order not to scare or worry or wake up our young son.  I enter each game on our family calendar so we can make weekend plans around each game time. Stumped for a gift idea to the hubby?  Get him anything that has the NY symbol on it, and he's thrilled. (our grill AND its propane tank have Giants covers on them...I kid you not)  The man is a FANAAAATIC.

I love the Giants as well, and fully support his temporary insanity on Sundays.  Which is why I did a NY Giants manicure last week for the season opening game:

More pics and info on the colors I used after the jump....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A England Tristam and OPI Russian Navy

Today's mani features one of my two a england polishes (trust me, I'd have waaayyyy more of them if my budget allowed it!) that I bought in June....Tristam.  I'm in LOVE with this gorgeous navy scattered holo, so much that I didn't even mind when it chipped the day after I put it on.  Ah well, such is the nature of holos, plus I'm just so dang hard on my hands that it's a miracle if I can make it to day two without any chips with ANY polish.

Anyway, check out this gorgeous pretty lovely awesomeness:

Essie Millionails base coat -- two coats of Tristam -- Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat

You may notice that there is a different color on my ring finger?  That is OPI Russian Navy, a color I picked up recently to add to the ever-growing collection of blues in my stash.  Seriously...blues and purples....apparently I must have them alllllllll!  :)

More pics (a lot, actually) after the jump, including photos of how I embellished this mani on the 2nd day:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Finger Paints A Grape Catch

Like many of us in the nail polish obsessed community, I follow the blog All Lacquered Up, and was excited to check out the Finger Paints collection that she created in collaboration with Sally Beauty.  While running errands the other day, I dragged my husband and son into a Sally's (they were thrilled....not) and was delighted to see that they had the display out already even though it wasn't quite September.  I grabbed two of the colors, A Grape Catch and You Yacht To Know Better.  Today's post is about the former....

Pretty, right?  Well, it's even better in real life.  I could not for the life of me get a color-accurate photo taken of this dark, steely, shimmery purple, so these pics are ever-so-slightly tweaked via Photoshop.  And even then they aren't perfect, but you'll get the gist.

More pics and observations after the jump...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

OPI Parlez-vous OPI + Wet & Wild Hannah Pinktana

A nearby beauty supply store (independent) is apparently closing its location and is running ridiculously reduced prices, particularly on OPI.  I dug through multiple baskets/crates to see if anything tempted me, and I scored a few good finds....but today's post is about a polish that's apparently hard-to-find (HTF), and I didn't even know it when I bought it.  :)

I have a weakness for dusty colors, so it was a no-brainer that I would grab this lovely purple-ish mauve-y neutral bottle out of the bottom of a basket.  Once home I did a little online research for swatches (my usual habit) and discovered that apparently this polish from OPI's Fall 2008 La Collection de France.  That collection also has OPI's You Don't Know Jacques, which is absolutely an iconic color for the company (a universally flattering color for everyone, regardless of skin tone or age or whatever).  Many of the colors from that collection are still easily obtained, but apparently this pretty dusty purple/violet was discontinued and can be pretty HTF/expensive so I was happy to have (accidentally) found it.

More after the jump:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chick Nail Polish Honey Bunch + chevrons

Back in June I ordered my first set of indie polishes via Llarowe and couldn't be more pleased with each and every one I received.  Over time you'll see all of them, but today I'm starting with Chick Nail Polish "Honey Bunch", a super-pretty lavender with an easy formula:

Two coats over Essie Millionails base coat and topped with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat.

I loved this color with my skin tone, and the polish applied smooth and easy.  The next day I wanted to jazz it up a little, so I got out some craft scissors and painters tape and went to town with two more colors, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Resurrection (blue) and OPI Louvre Me Louvre Me Not (purple), along with a coat of NYC Matte Me Crazy:

(please excuse the flubs on my index finger...
I'm a little clumsy in general, and especially when polishing!)

More pics after the jump....

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nabi Hologram - Ocean Blue

During a "shop my feelings" trip earlier this week (first week of kindergarten for my kiddo), I wandered into Walgreens.  I snagged a couple of Sinful Colors polishes, but discovered a rack of Nabi Hologram polishes that appeared to have just been put out.  I'd heard of Nabi (via blogs), but knew nothing about them so I did a little online research and then decided to pick a few up to try.  They were so new that they didn't even have price tags on them and the cashier had to ask her manager what to charge.  I believe that maybe the Mgr picked a random number off the top of his head, so I may have to go back in a few days to see if what I paid is, in fact, the correct price.  I'm usually not one to nickle-and-dime, but given the casual way they priced the polish, I want to make sure I paid a fair amount.

Anyway, here is the pretty Nabi Hologram in Ocean Blue:

Two coats over Essie Millionails base coat and no top coat.

Things I liked:
  • Beautiful Caribbean ocean color, that sort of crazy vibrant green-blue that doesn't seem real when you see it in person.
  • Super fast drying. I'm a compulsive fast dry top-coater but in this case, I didn't need it!
  • Subtle holo effect, both linear and scattered.  I prefer the base color to stand out in my holos, rather than vice versa, so this polish's holo is just right for me.
Things I didn't like:
  • The formula was a little bit of a pain...patchy and balding, I had to load up the brush and use a very light touch to do the 2nd coat.   A 3rd coat would probably fix any of these issues, but I'm kinda lazy and didn't feel like doing another one.  :)
  • Personally, I think they should have named this "Ocean Green" because this definitely leans more green than blue.  But what do I know?  :)
 More pics and notes after the jump...