Sunday, January 31, 2010

China Glaze Heli-yum

Outside the polish world, pink is my absolute favorite color. If it comes in pink, that's the color I'll pick for whatever I'm buying. My workout shoes are pink, two of my six iPods are pink, my phone is pink, and all of my video game things are pink. But in the polish world, I just don't like wearing much pink. It's so cliche, just slightly less so than wearing red. And it makes me feel like some girly-girl who grew up with too many barbies. And while I am a girly-girl, I grew up with dinosaur toys. Probably why I favor greens so much lol. But anyways. Heli-yum is the most perfectly raspberry pink. And I very much enjoyed wearing it over the weekend, which is a good thing because I've hardly had a spare second so there was NO TIME to change my polish :D

This is with two coats plus SV top coat, and it applied with creamy perfection. I put this on Thursday night and we're still going strong. I can't comment on tip wear because I filed my nails down yesterday, which I'm so happy about because I can finally type properly again!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Water Marbling: Attempt #1

I've been seeing more and more water marbling manis show up, and they are SO awesome! You could use the ugliest colors from your stash if you wanted and it would still look pretty. So I had some spare time today, and after watching like 14 different tutorials on You Tube, I tried it out. It actually doesn't take that long, and it's SO much fun! I used China Glaze Grape Pop and Flyin' High and Sinful Soul Mate. Just did my left hand because I was afraid of taking on the huge challenge with my right! So here's what I learned:

1: Scotch tape around the cuticles works really well, but left little sticky bits on my skin when I peeled it off. I'm going to try something else next time, either oil, petroleum jelly or painters tape.

2: The first drop of color in the cup really isn't going to show up. It spreads all around the cup, loses it's opacity (check the green on my ring finger, it's kinda sheer), and if you try and swirl around the outside of it you break up the design. This makes it so you get a gap between swirls on your nail. I remedied this by putting in a drop or two of clear polish first.

3: If you put your nail flat into the cup and then pull it out flat, water droplets stick to the nail and leave a mark on the swirls (really obvious on my index finger and tip of my thumb). I got some advice on MUA to try dipping at a 45 degree angle, I'm going to try that next time.

Have you tried water marbling? Do you have any advice for me? I really like doing this but those little water bubble marks are driving me nuts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Who says a $2 polish can't be awesome?

Okay, so I'm a little bit of a NP snob. Just barely though. I won't touch Maybelline, and I have 2 Rimmels that I like but don't wear just in case someone says, "OMG I love your polish! Wear did you get it?" and then I have to say "uhm... the drugstore...". And I think Sally Hansen is becoming a huge rip off! What's with her price increase? I can get 3 China Glazes from Transdesign for the price of 1 new Sally Hansen! But I have a soft spot for Sinful polishes. The glitters, oh, the glitters they have... I love them. I usually wait for a sale, but these were on a special display case so I grabbed them, though I do think they are a part of the regular line. Someone on MUA made a comment that Mint Apple and Soul Mate could be dupes for Jade and Jade Rose. So I ran to grab them! But sorry, they're not even close.

But happily, Mint Apple is awesome. This alone made the trip worth it. It's a dusty green with a gold shimmer, and it applied beautifully. Look at the color! I am in love! You definitely get a bang for your 2 bucks.

With flash to show the gold shimmer:

And I took some comparisons with Essie Greenport on my thumb and Misa Dirty Sexy Money on my pinkie. Here you can really appreciate the dustiness. I badly smudged my middle finger so I just covered it with my thumb :)

Soul Mate was the supposed Jade Rose dupe. It's a creamy dusty pink. I'm not really feelin' this one. I don't think it's a very "me" color, though I do like the dustiness. It applied kind of goopy, though it wasn't as bad as the China Glaze's I compared them to.

Between China Glaze Sugar High on my index and Peachy Keen on my ring finger.

And the last new Sinful I grabbed, named Rise and Shine. This one I very much like. I did a quick swatch but took dozens of pictures, none of which came out accurate. It is VERY close to Four Leaf Clover, which is on my ring finger, only Rise and Shine has an added subtle shimmer and it dries neon matte. You cans see the original finish on my pinkie, and I added Seche Vite to my index and middle for the shine. This also brings out the fine shimmer in it. I think this is just too perfect for Spring!

My Walgreens display is ALWAYS half empty! Either they never get new shipments, or they do and someone comes in and picks it over before I get there! So I never get to see what all the Sinfuls look like. What are your favorite Sinful polishes? If I can find them I'd love to check them out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Essence Groovy

I love Essence's polishes. Their colors are so wonderfully deceitful! In the bottle, Groovy looks pretty blue, but you put it on and you get these hints of teal... so it's a super blue teal, right? Then you get near something blue, say, your jeans, and that blue makes Groovy look like a slightly-greened blue. It can't make up it's mind, and I don't want it to. And this one is a delicious jelly. I love everything about it!

For fun, I pulled out 2 other polishes that I'm constantly moving from my drawer of blues to my drawer of greens and back again. I can't decide where to put them! On the left we have the lighter China Glaze Flyin' High. This was my first time swatching this color and I am SO excited to do a full mani with it, it is wonderful! And on the right is American Apparel Peacock. I typically keep this one with my teals, but every once in a while I see it in another light and it goes with my blues.

Mint Comparisons

There's been some debate about how close the new China Glaze mint is to the winter favorite Essie mint. I pulled out my 4 favorite shades of mint his morning for a quick comparison! From left to right we have Essie Mint Candy Apple, China Glaze Re-freshmint, OPI Hey! Get in Lime! and RGB Minty is on my pinkie. Get in Lime was 4 coats and the rest took just 2. All of these apply really well and are different enough that it's easy to justify getting all of them! My favorite mint has been RGB Minty since I got it, it's a very true green mint and isn't super pastel, but the longer winter drags on, the more I'm loving pastels. I think Re-freshmint will quickly take over as my favorite for spring!

What's your favorite mint? I'm totally lemming Illamasqua Milf, so pretty!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mailbox Haul

I was in mourning this morning for the end of the Vikings season, but this helped numb the pain! Two swap packages showed up in my mailbox today, one very small and one very big! One contained a single bottle of a HUGE lemming, Essie Greenport! Can't wait to try this one out! A wonderful swapper from Germany ventured out and found me NINE bottles of Essence polishes, and every single one is AMAZING! There are two purple shimmers, one magenta shimmer, one black with a hint of sparkle, a jelly-ish hot pink, a shimmery deep green (reminds me of British Racing Green, I'm so eager to try it!), a cream tealy-blue and a sparkly blue. And see that silver one? It's called Rock n Roll and it is exactly what the name implies. I'm so excited I don't even know what to wear first!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Best. Purple. Ever.

Grape Pop needs some sort of medal. It is perfection in a bottle. There is not even a hint of blue in this! I like my blurples but they are everywhere. I like to think it's because it's cheaper to make, since way way way back when, purple was an expensive and rare color, so only royalty had it. If you're only going to get 1 from the Up & Away collection, this should be it. Now I'm only saying that today since I've just worn 2 from the collection, my opinion my change later this week lol! Grape Pop applied perfectly opaque in just one coat and flowed super easy on the nail. I skipped the top coat, mostly because I was in a rush, but partly because I want to change my polish again tonight. I'm guessing the Vikes won't win, and I don't need the purple reminder haunting me on Monday! Probably should have worn SV since my nails are too long and I got a dent while I was typing... ugh!

Please excuse the mess, I was in a rush today!

Pre-Vikings Game Yellow

If you live in Minnesota you know what I'm talking about. Everything is purple and yellow MANIA right now. We want this win against the Saints like you wouldn't believe! So for the pre-game, I was wearing China Glaze Happy Go Lucky. This name is dead on. The color makes me so happy to look at! And I've heard that out of the entire Up & Away collection, this was the big problem child. I'm not gonna call it a PITA, because I try to stay positive. Let's just say there is a learning curve to the application! Once you master it, it's not so bad.

You're going go need 3 coats. The first one needs to be paper thin. If you have a droplet of polish on the brush, you have to much. You should be seeing mostly brush, and it should almost drag on the nail. Super thin! You'll also need to wrap your tips. This is when you take the brush and horizontally drag it across the free end of your nail, so it gets on the top and bottom of the nail. Why? I buffed my tips just prior to put this on, but the polish still found every rough spot and bump and sat on top, so I had very tiny spots at the end where there was no polish, the looked almost like chips. But if you wrap the tips this solves the problem. Your second coat should also be very thin. At this point your nails will look like crap. You'll have two streaky coats that look terrible, but the overall texture should be even. Now for coat three, GLOB IT ON! Take a big drop and quickly spread it across your nail. Now it should be even and pretty! I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but if you like yellow, this is the BEST yellow I have tried yet, so go for it. Also, this color dried very shiny, but of course I still used Seche Vite.

The big Vikes game is at 5, but the pre-game party starts around 2 at my friends house, so I'll need to redo this with Grape Pop pretty soon. I still can't believe that I've watched every Vikings game this season. I used to be the girl who didn't even know who the Superbowl teams were, and now I'm loving football. And for you ladies out there who like to stay out of football (and I know that has its perks), there is good food, beer, and hot guys! I've gotten more dates this year wearing my Jared Allen jersey than I've ever gotten wearing something that shows skin lol!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What do you think? Mint or not?

I recently swapped with someone for my very first Nubar! After a long, sad week from being disappointed about not getting my Up & Aways, I wore Green Tea on Friday. And the formula blew me away. If all Nubars apply like this one did, then they get my vote for Best Application Ever. The color applied like butter and dried to the touch within a minute, and I could tell since I bumped my TC bottle with one finger and there was no sign of damage! Great for those clumsy people like me. It didn't dry super shiny, but that's what Seche Vite is made for, right?

Anyways, I've been lemming this color because I heard it was mint-ish. But I'm torn... I describe this as a slightly dusty-grass, but in some light, I get the "feel" of a mint, if you get what I mean. Anyways, what do you think? Minty or not?

I took a comparison picture too. On the left is OPI Green-wich Villiage, which is definitely a true green, and on the right I wore my favorite "true green" mint, RGB Minty. But next to Green Tea, Minty looks like Mint Candy Apple did, which is very blue. I really like this comparison because it shows the dusty quality that Green Tea has.

The little marks are from snowflakes getting in the way. Yeah, the weather sucks here today :)

And one last picture for today: MY UP & AWAYs!!!! I wanted to run to the mail box when I saw our mailman put them in (yes, I am a freak who sits near the window and stalks the mail truck), but couldn't risk breaking a hip on the 3 inches of ice in my driveway. There are literally people ice skating on the road right now lol. It's all good though, I'm stocked up on the essentials! Plenty of acetone, chips and beer :)

I'm going to keep them on the upper shelf of my desk to stare at. And yes, those are my Star Wars and Transformers Potato Heads. I'm 21 going on 13-year-old-boy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Under the Sea

Over the weekend I was sporting Atlantis for a day, and I LOVED it! For as long as I was lemming it (like 5 weeks?), and for the amount of time I've had it untried (2 months!), it's kind of embarrassing that I didn't try it sooner. I love the color in it, and the sparkle... well, it speaks for itself. Pictures galore because this one is a stunner!

Here's some blur to show the sparkle:

Just look at this color!

Here are some comparison pictures too! From left to right we have Claire's Green Confetti, Sinful Nail Junkie, and China Glaze Atlantis. And I know I just did a tribute to Atlantis, but I have to say my fave is Nail Junkie, but I do think you need both! Atlantis has an amazing color, but Nail Junkie has some bigger sparkles and these amazing blue flecks that peek out in some light. It's best to meet them in the middle; 3 coats of Atlantis for color and then 1-2 coats of Nail Junkie. I don't have pictures, but I did an experiment with them. 1 coat will give you some blue sparkle and bigger chunks, and 2 will give you the perfect amount, but will change the color of Atlantis. I personally like 1 coat better.

Claire's Green Confetti was something I picked up for $1 on clearance, and it's pretty cool. It's more of a standard green, which you can see in the second pic, and it has larger chunks of glitter! Sadly, it's pretty sparse, and while 3 coats will get you a jelly-opaqueness with color, you need at least 4, and really 5 coats, to get enough sparkle. But it does dry fast!

(You can click these two to see them bigger, it shows the color differences much better)

For my mom's b-day I let her pick anything from my collection, even my HTF's and LE's, and did her nails. She picked Nail Junkie, and got so many compliments at her party! Even more than my Absolutely Alice did.... not that I was jealous or anything, LOL!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Parlez Vous OPI?

After wearing nothing but bright glitters and bold colors for the last week, I decided to switch to something muted, understated, and overall pretty. This OPI is a little older, but new to me, and it's an instant classic. While I applied this I listened to Freezepop's Parlez Vous Freezepop? Just because the name similarities made me smile.

Not sure if it will ever happen but I'm totally waiting for Sprechen Sie OPI?... A German collection from OPI! Come on, OPI, think of the green you could make and call Lederhosen!! I'm sure it would be awesome!

I'm also kind of lemming You Don't Know Jacques from this collection, is it worth tracking down? Most people seem to like it, but I'm so pale that I don't know if I could work it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Absolutely Amazing Alice

On the nail board at MUA, this gets shortened to AA, which makes me smile when I see it in some sentences, such as, "I'm so happy I have AA today!" or, "AA is wonderful!" I guess if you had just stumbled over there you would think we're all a bunch of addicts. Which we are.... lol. I applied just 2 coats of this over yesterday's Dating a Royal and you can't see even a hint of the blue that was there. Sadly as you can see there was a bit of shrinkage, though my almost used up bottle of SV is to blame for that. I'm waiting on a fresh bottle in the mail I don't have any polish thinner. One coat of SV barely caused any shrinkage, but the second one really did me in... and you really need that second coat to bring out the sparkle in this one. Alice's blue glitter is extremely fine and the slightest bit of movement really shows it off. Based off this and Mad as a Hatter, I'm pretty much convinced that we all should get together and write to OPI and beg for an entire collection of glitters. These two became instant must haves for me.

As much as I love this, it has to come off tonight! I'm throwing my mom a huge surprise birthday party tomorrow for her big 5-0! And while I've picked my dress, eye shadow, lip gloss and jewelry, I have NO CLUE what to wear on my nails. I'm a bit panicked! My dress is purple, anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Definition of "Whelmed"

"I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?"

Name that movie!

This quote stuck with me while I was applying my nail polish last night. I've been lemming OPI's Dating a Royal for a long while, and when I read reports saying that it was very jelly, I quickly tracked it down and worked out a swap. And the bottle came, and the color was great. Not as great as I was expecting, but still great. Not to be deterred, I started to apply. And the first coat was magic... jelly blue that flowed over the nail, the perfect watery blue. But then the second coat went on, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was sadly buttery and opaque. And that was that. A perfectly opaque lovely shade of blue. Maybe I had put this up on a pedestal for too long, but it's not what I was expecting. Do I like it? Definitely! Do I love it and want to wear it for days on end? Nope. It's already been covered up with Absolutely Alice.

I think my clean up is getting better! I managed to get a clean margin without taking off half my nail polish this time lol!

Is there a bottle of nail polish in your stash that didn't live up to your expectations? I'd love to hear about it, I feel a little bad that I'm putting down Dating a Royal like this...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

PSA: Up & Away is out!!

Check TransDesign!! It's there!

Of course I literally, not an hour ago, bought them off Ebay... I ended up saving $2, but there was so much else I wanted! Oh well, guess I'll just wait for OPI Hong Kong now for a TD order.

What are you getting from Up & Away?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why You Should Always Go After a Lemming

I'm still kind of new to collecting, so while I liked Misa's Dirty Sexy Money when it came out, I didn't realize the significance of it. For weeks I saw people's pictures of this awesome green shade, and my interest grew. I had even planned to buy it in a TD order, but kept putting off the order because I was waiting for Holiday collections. And of course, by the time I was placing an order it was out of stock. Everywhere. I could not find this thing for it's original price. And my interest grew to mild insanity as I realized my only options were spending anywhere from 2 to 4 times the original price. Being frugal by nature, that part hurt. But I finally found it on Ebay for a still reasonable price, and though I had to beat out another bidder (sorry if it was you!), it was totally worth it. This is the. best. green. EVER*. I'm so glad I found this when I did because now I can't find it anywhere. And I encourage you, if you're totally lemming something, get it before it's gone! You'll really regret it later if you don't! And if you end up not liking it? Swap for something else on MUA!

*Okay. Not ever. But from the time I won it on Ebay, to the time I got it in the mail, wore it for 3 days, and then took it off for something glittery, it was the best green ever.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

OMG, what has MAC come up with now?

I'm an huge fan of MAC lipstick and lipglass, I own about 45 total! But I have no MAC nail polish. But when Blue India comes out, March 11 as I've read several times, I will! I've heard MAC applies terribly, but for this color, I don't care! This shade is AMAZING in the bottle, I can't imagine what it will look like on the nail. I look forward to seeing the early release swatches!

OMG so pretty!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Glitter Fanatic Must Have - Mad as a Hatter

I'm pretty sure most of us have a special place in our heart for some version of Alice in Wonderland. I loved it growing up, and after hearing that OPI was doing an Alice themed collection I was excited!... until I saw promo pics. 2 reds and 2 super glitters? Yawn. But then pictures of the glitters showed up and I had to have them. I'm still quite disappointed that OPI did 2 reds and did not do anything for the other fabulous characters. No Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, White Rabbit, or Jabberwock? Come on! There were so many great things they could have done! But what they did was very well put together. Today I have Mad as a Hatter to show, and it is a MUST HAVE! It's a mostly purple glitter with plenty of silver thrown in, but up close you can see green, orange, gold and red flecks. It's so mesmerizing! And the best part? Every time I look at my fingers I think of Johnny Depp. Nothing wrong with that!

Anyone else super excited for Tim Burton's upcoming Alice film? I'm a huge Burton fan, and IMO Burton + Depp is always pure gold!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Essence Meet You in Budapest

I didn't know anything about this brand when I first saw this color, but I new I had to have Meet You in Budapest. It's a perfect, so perfect, teal with a super-jelly finish. I managed to track down someone who wanted to swap, and I was so excited! Essence is a drugstore brand from Europe, and I didn't know what to expect in terms of application, but I was completely blown away. It applied flawlessly, and was perfectly opaque in two coats, which for a jelly is amazing! And do you see the shine on this? There is no topcoat. That's right. No Seche Vite, no Poshe, this is all Essence's natural finish. I actually picked this dulled down picture because the rest of them reflected me in my nails! This was a limited edition color, but if you have any super nice European friends, ask them to track it down!

I haven't done any swatch comparisons with this, I'm waiting to get the new China Glaze collection to see if it's close at all to Flyin' High, though the more swatches of that I see, the less similar they look. Possibly similar to RBL Teal? I'll need to compare next time I bring it out!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sapphire in the

I am a wonderful driver. I've never been in a crash or fender bender, never accidentally brushed my bumper against something I shouldn't, and have never had a ticket. Yet in the last week I have put my car in a snowbank TWO times! I wasn't going faster than 15 mph each time and the second time wasn't so bad, I just rocked the car out. But it's rather embarrassing to be chastised by your dad when you've had a clean driving record since you got your license.

Putting aside my exasperation with icy Minnesota winters, I'm quite in love with today's NOTD. This is my very first vampy color and I still don't know why I didn't jump on these earlier. Application was great and opaque in one coat, though this picture is two. Unfortunately I was having a terrible lint day and some stuck to the color before I put on SV, but I tried to fake a perfect mani with my camera! Sapphire in the Snow was from OPI's holiday collection, the only one I picked up while they were in stock. I'm so glad I did! I have a list of about 8 other almost-blacks to pick up now, I'm completely hooked.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Minty Fresh

Today I have more lovely mint shades! I recently found OPI's discontinued Hey! Get in Lime! for what I thought was a reasonable deal on Ebay. And while I generally don't like to buy from the auction site in this case it was totally worth it! While it took 4 coats and seemed kinda watery the end result is beautiful. If you are at all lemming this, pick it up before you won't be able to find it for under $20.

Claire's Dream Catcher is super popular right now. Just google search for "Dream Catcher Channel Jade Dupe" and you'll see why. While it's not a dead on dupe, it's just a touch more yellow based, it's close enough for you to close your eyes and think of Jade. This one is a super bargain too, I think Claire's always has BOGO 50% off on their nail polish. The application was a little finicky but not the worst I've ever dealt with. This was 4 coats.

Essie Mint Candy Apple was also popular this last month but it seemed like the jury was split on this one. You either loved it or didn't. I loved it, but not as a mint. It's more of a robin's egg blue. This is one you have to see in person because almost every picture I've seen makes it look chalky and pastel-ish and it's really not. It's bold and smooth. This applied really well with 2 coats but I needed a third to cover up some bald spots.

So my mint collection is growing slowly! Anyone have any recommendations I should hunt down?