Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm so proud of my today's Konad mani, it's not even funny

I've just finished a manicure with Sephora OPI Metro Chic this morning, and then it occurred to me: Konad does not have to be of a contrast color! So I pulled out China Glaze Channelesque, my recent $1 find.

To be honest with you, I'm mesmerized with results. See for yourself:

This picture is pretty color-accurate.

These two - to show off the design; they are overcasted a little, sorry:

And the last one - to show how this mani looks most of the time. Subtle and elegant, I'd say:
Base color: Sephora by OPI in Metro Chic
Design color: China Glase Channelesque
Konad plate # s6

PS: I need more all-over Konad plates. A lot more.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

2 products I love -

- very different yet share some common virtues.
They both are:
1) cheap
2) smelly
3) do exactly what they promise

Product number one: Lestoil. My daughter was painting a picture with a neon pink polish (please, do not even ask) and made a stain on her white cotton T-shirt. It would not be a big deal, but the shirt has been borrowed from her teacher. So I've tried all chemicals possible - from a polish remover (left an ugly pink halo) to Oxyclean (did nothing). Lestoil was my last resort - and I did help! I have just a couple of pink freckles left on the T-shirt, that's it! I swear, this stuff works like a charm on almost anything, from perspiration marks (not that I ever sweat) to old gum. It's a Stain Remover Almighty - I tried it on a long settled dry-erase marker stain, and - again - it helped! And it works on colors as well!

But the smell is truly horrendous. People keep calling Lestoil "an old-fashioned cleaner", so I guess it's a polite way to say "The smell of the stuff will make you barf". No, it's not an exaggeration - my husband, who's used to pure acetone, polishes, top/base coats etc. - asked me to open the door, because the smell gave him a headache. It smells like some kind of a gas by-product. So - WEAR LONG GLOVES, treat your garment outside and rinse it thoroughly before tossing to the washer.

I'm sure it's capable of cleaning a polish stain from carpet, but I have no idea how to get rid of the smell on carpet.

Lestiol is available in Ace Hardware and from Amazon, for $4 plus change for 28 oz bottle.

Product number two: Podiatrist's Secret Total Foot Recovery cream. Also knows as "the one with an orange cap" (shown on the pic has a white cap, but it's the same cream). 4 oz will cost you about $5 in Sally's Beauty Supplies. This cream contains urea (despite a common belief, nowadays urea has nothing to do with urine; it used to, but now it's a product of gross-free chemical reactions) and lactic acid. These ingredients work excellent together, moisturizing and exfoliating your skin. I wear flip-flops 90% of a year, weather permissible, and it's a rough regiment for my heels/toes. I apply TFR after shower, put cotton socks on, and just go to bed. Two-three night in a row - I have perfectly pink toes and heels. A very nice side-effect: the cream also works as a cuticle eraser.

To the smell: I've read people complaining about "burnt tire stench". I'd rather say, it smells like some kind of an expired medicine. It's a bit offensive, yet absolutely bearable; and effect totally worth it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I think that being a new mom - to my Purple Franken - a good enough excuse to torture you more with its pics (consider this post an official birth announcement).

First, I want to elaborate a bit on my "almost black with simmer" frustration. Imagine yourself, buying a wonderfully vampy polish, all shimmery and seductive. You apply it and then - bam - it's flat black. Or almost flat black. Your husband answers to an inevitable question "How do you like this one" with an honest yet disappointing "Well, honey, but I wore it yesterday. It's the same one, right?". And an innocent creature is almost right: it's almost the same polish.
Zoya Sloane
OPI Black Cherry Cutney
OPI Eiffel for this Color
Essie Groovy Grape
... I can keep going...
It's Black Cherry Chutney. Bit it could easily be any of the mentioned above polishes, and even their Polish Mama would not be able to tell them apart.

So, I saved myself some money (and frustration) and created The Purple:

Honestly, I think it's flippin' gorgeous.
You don't think so? Well, bite me! We all entitled to our opinions.

Crappy shadow picture:

It's not that gorgeous, yet it definitely has some color, as opposed to black. In reality, it looks kinda grey/silver-purple in a shadow, 'cause I was way too generous with a silver (Easel Come Easel Go).

OK, you can enjoy my baby, while Momma is going to rest in a delivery room. /Harsh reality - back to work/


I've been looking for a purple...

No, for The purple. I wanted a deep, deep, shimmery purple which won't look black in a low light. /"Low light" is a Nail Board apologetic euphemism for a normal indoor lighting. Use in a sentence: "It's a nice color, but looks almost black in a low light..."/ Is it too much to ask? Judging by a little purple graveyard in my polish rack - yes. They all pretty, but you have either use a magnifying glass or stick your nails into your eyes to see the shimmer.

So, I've given up on manufacturers and made my own!

I don't have a shadow pic (yet), but I swear: it looks purple indoors, not black.


- unlabeled OPI for a base (I suspect it was Buffalo Berry)
- several drops of Misa I Will Survive (black)
- some Misa Sin Worth Committing (deep blue)
- Color Club Groove Tang (blackened purple)
- a lot of Finger Paints Make a Scene (neon pink, no kiddin')
- some random Finger Paints red
- a lot of Finger Paints Easel Come Easel Go (way too much...)
- a bit of Sally Hansen Nail Prisms in South Sea Pearl

...bat jerky and a unicorn hair?

I'm ridiculously happy with a result. Will post better pictures lately, a lot!

Special thanks to my Husband the Dearest, who provided much needed mixing balls (BB gun pellets).


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Misa base and top coats

Do you know this dreadful feeling - when you are watching a performance of a person you care about; and this performance is really, really bad? I hope you don't, but chances are, you do. So, you know exactly how I feel about Misa'a top and base coats.

Let's start with something positive. Well, I really like the names. BREAKneck and BACKbone, top and base respectively. Creative, but without a cuteness overload.

Now to the performance.

Base coat is available at Transdesign and Head2Toe for about $3. I cannot tell you much about this one - I use ridge-filling coats exclusively, so I don't know how BACKbone compares to other non-ridge fillers. Polish peeled off from one nail the very next day, but I don't know whether it was a top or a base problem. BACKbone has a red hue to it, but it's not noticeable on the nails. My guess, it's just to distinct a base coat from the same brand top coat, since bottles are identical.

Hard part. Top coat. It's marketed as "Fast-Dry Non Yellow Top Coat" and available from the same sources.
What does typical fast-drying top coat do?
a) dries
b) dries fast
c) smells offensively
Well, take out (b) from the equation and you got yourself Misa'a top coat. It does dry (a). Eventually. Let's say, my pedi was smudgeable (is it a word?) in 3 hours after I used BREAKneck. And it did smudge, indeed; and ruined my otherwise perfect pedicure. Call me a top coat nazi, but I do not like when top coat behaves this way. In addition to that, it pulls polish while being applied to the nail. It's weird, actually, for BREAKneck is watery thin and I do not expect something this thin to be a polish-puller. This product, thou, performs excellent in a smell department (c). As you can guess, I'm used to the smell of nail-related chemicals; but this topcoat is something really different. Seems like Misa chemists have tried to disguise an offencive, yet usual smell with some kind of pleasant aroma. This mix is no good.

Bottom line: do not waste your money, got a bottle of Misa polish instead and stick (no pun intended) to your regular base/top.