Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My name is Masa and I'm an admitted holoholic - part two

(my nails look a bit weird on this picture, but it was taken from underneath - the best way to show off a spectacular holo)

Gosh Holographic. Poor man Chanel Holo.

Note to all evil principals of the boarding schools - if you need to punish a kid, do not use whips. Whips are outdated. Use Gosh holo. I've never used a polish so difficult. For this manicure I did five very thin, very careful coats. Let a coat dry completely before applying a next one; otherwise it will wipe off all the layers you've applied so far. It's almost like coating your nails with metal micro-particles... or foil particles - very cool, but difficult to describe.

You don't need a top coat with this polish. Yes, it will peel off in 24 hours, but good news - you can just slap a quick blob over the dent and nobody will notice. The texture of the polish is extremely forgiving (think Terminator repairing him(it)self). Again - very, very cool. If you still want to use a top coat, be prepared: holo will dull a little; it will be absolutely matte until your top coat is absolutely dry.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Let's hear it for spring!

OK. This post actually should have being called something like "The frigging chameleon". Or "The worst photographing polish ever".

For the first day of school (yay! I had helluva fun during the spring break - think tax documents assembling and a school project) I decided to go with something really, really springy. Elizabeth Arden, Michigan Avenue Red.

This name is very deceptive, actually. It's not "red" red. It's a very tricky color - pinkish red or reddish pink (you decide). For some reason, Michigan Ave Red obviously has some self-esteem issues; I do not have any other explanation for its obvious camera hate. I took more than hundred (!) of pictures and none of them has came out exactly right; or even close to right color.

Let's see:
This extra blurry pic happens to represent color somewhat accurately. Mmm... I think it's more pinkish red that reddish pink. What do you think?

Under certain light it does look like a classic red, rather loud one:
Yep, this is the same polish.

What I do not like about this Arden (in addition to its photo issues, of course) - it's a jelly. Semi-opaque color; looks very much like a jam on your morning toast - even thou it's definitely colored, you can still see the toast under the layer of jam.. I do not like to see my nails through polish, even thou I admit the jelly effect can be pretty.

And, at the end, two close-ups. Thus little stubborn dude deserves them.

Thanks to the Cackling Polish Dwarf I love to blame on polish disappearances, this color is discontinued, along with the whole line of Arden polishes. The closest dupe I can think of is OPI Dutch Tulips. It is from the same pinkish-red family. I'm not sure about the photography issues; let me know if you have Dutch Tulips - I'm really curious if it runs in a family.

I also have an incredible spring pedicure - Misa Tender Pink. For obvious reasons I do not post pedi pics, but I will throw in an old mani picture.


I hope y'all having a nice spring!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My name is Masa and I'm an admitted holoholic - part one

Masainn holo-evolution:

Before: Holo polishes are too much. They should be illegal to wear by anyone older than 20.

Now (approximately a year later): I want them all. All, and then some.

My first nail polish purchase since, I believe, October 2008 - Color Club holos. These polishes is a part of two different Color Club collections: Catwalk Queen and Femme Fatale. They are absolutely OMG-worthy.

See for yourself.

Fashion Addict. Lilac-silver holo, incredibly intense, and shiny, and driving hazardous. /Don't forget to click on a picture to see it full size/
Actually, it's more like a rainbow in a bottle, so "lilac and silver" is just to give you a vague idea of a base color.

Worth the Risque. Silver holo. Again, silver is just a base color, but this polish has so much more than silver to it!

Usually I cannot wear silver because they turn me into the Corpse Bride, but Worth the Risque is multicolored enough so I can pull it off (or can I?).


I saved the best one for desert. Revvvolution. Black holo, truly black and opaque one. It's so black that OPI My Private Jet looks mousy-brown compared to Revvvolution (bite me, Suzi!).

My husband the dearest says this color looks a bit like a teenager's car. Oh well. It might, but I don't care.

I have to tell you about the quality. Perfect. Amazingly easy application, great formula and a super-fast drying time. These are 3 thin coats and they were completely dry in no time at all. Actually, fast drying time is typical for all holos, but these were fast-drying champions. Really, I do not have any single complaint about these three. They are even work with Konad. I slapped something on my nails to show you the endless kitchy possibilities:

(I used one of China Glaze Romantiques for the purple design over Fashion Addict).

Kudos to Color Club and I hope they will give us more holos in all colors imaginable!

Color Club polishes are available from Head2Toe.

Special thanks to Queen Jedi for being my holo-guru and inspiration.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

While supplies last...

Gotta love these words - "while supplies last". I truly loathe all the limited editions, special collections and limited quantities. Bottom line - these are just gimmicks making us to shell out our hard-earned dollars or euros, or rubles, or sand dollars - whatever your currency is.

But this is not the case here: China Glaze is discontinuing the most amazing holo-collection ever: Kaleidoscopes. I have no idea why. I imagine an evil nail dwarf, cackling at the idea of depriving us, girls, of great polishes. The same dwarf who is responsible for Elizabeth Arden killing off their line of polishes completely; the same dwarf who made sure that only the most boring and safe OPI colors will make it to Colorcopia.

Anyway, to the Kaleidoscopes. They are wonderful. Application is breezy; they are incredibly forgiving and flattering; they dry lighting fast and wear like iron. They come in two sets: Warm and Cool. And let me tell you, they mean it. I'm really warm and the colors from Cool set looked horrible on me. If you have not been blessed with a neutral skin tone, I suggest to stick with "your" set.

Onto the pictures.

The only color I have from the Cool set, Sexagon. Artsy!

(Corpse nails alert!) Silver cold holo is not my thing.

Unlike a true gold holo, It's My Turn:
It has some green bling to it. Isn't it amazing?

Spin Me Round, beige, but not a boring beige by any stretch of imagination:

I'd say, you can get away with this one in a non-conservative office environment.

Rated Holographic and Don't Be a Square are kinda similar. Both are just a bit boring, in my humble opinion. Rated Holographic is a beige-pinky and Don't be a Square is a pink-pinky. Here is Don't Be a Square:

Now I want to introduce you to my two favorites from this collection. They are very different, yet equally spectacular.

Visit Me in Prism - very delicate silver/beige/mauve, with a warm lilac undertones. The one and only polish I have a backup of.
Unfortunately, not the best picture.

Let's Do It in 3D is but delicate or modest. Va-va-voom, wowza etc.

If they made black fireworks, that would be it.

All in all - grab these colors if you have a chance. They even worth paying retail for them.


Spreading blog love

I was given a "Your blog is fabulous" award. It sure is flattering, but it comes with a catch. Here is what I have to do:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which you think are fabulous.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

I think it's a good chance for you to know me a bit better, so I'm going to show you my favorite blogs outside the polish bottle (so to speak) as well.

Here we go:

1. Scrangie. She is fabulous, simply put. Perfect pictures, perfect writing, brutally honest in her reviews. At some point I was sure she was a virtual creation of several marketing companies - but no, she's real. Yes, I do have a girl crush on her.

2. Polish Addict. Look at these nails, people!

3. Siobhan. Konad Queen. Do I need to say more?

4. Dr. Frankenpolish. Amanda makes stunning custom polishes.

5. You might be surprised, but I have some other body parts in addition to the nails. For instance, I have hair. It's black. It's curly. And finicky. It reacts to humidity, dew points, wind, sunshine, bird chirping, rain and whatnot. The best blog for all us, curlies is Live Curly, Live Free. The most interesting curl information, written by a professional in a simple English.

6. The College Curly - the very first curly blog I've ever read. It's like a first love, y'know? Laura has the most awesome guide to Curly Girl method ever written.

7. The next Best Thing To Going Shopping Yourself - covers all my makeup needs, and then some. Swatches are enabling. Yes, Karla is uber-enabler.

8. The Chic and Green blog. Amazing recipes for homemade bath and body goodies (check out DIY tag); wonderful reviews.

9. Pittsburgh Curly - yet another curly (duh!) blog, with a science twist. Great post about misterious dew points.

10. Daily Curl - curly digest; self explanatory.

Picking my nominees was not an easy job. I do read and enjoy all the blogs in my blog roll, no exceptions. I was just trying to show you my "nailless" side.

Note to nominees - I know that many of you are really busy, so feel free to disregard the reward conditions; just know that I read your blogs and appreciate your efforts.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

I think I need an intervention

I prefer to think about myself as a cheerful, sunny, smiley person. I was delusional, apparently. Look at the random sampler of my manicures. Cheerful? Ha!

Essie Solemate (total PITA to apply, by the way).

SpaRutials I Feel The Earth Move:

Orly Plum Noire:

Barielle Shades, Hidden Hideaway:

Sephora by OPI, Caffeine Fix:

Finger Paints (extremely underrated brand), Be A Pale-ette:

Lippmann, Dark Side of The Moon:
Yours truly definitely needs sunshine, creamsicles, bunnies, bird chirping and something with mittens. Cheerful! Jeez...


Friday, March 13, 2009

For Melissa, by special request

She asked me if Spa Rituals The Giving Tree and $OPI On Stage were twins.

Nope, Melissa, you have an indult issued by me to have them both. I cannot take a comparison picture since it's raining here; and it will be this way for the rest of this week.

But here they are:
The Giving Tree

On Stage

I prefer $OPI formula-wise. For some reason, I've had a very bad luck with SpaRitual. They chip on me withing 24 hours usually, even if I use the same brand base/top coat.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Elizabeth Arden Vincenza Raspberry vs China Glaze Strawberry Fields

There been rumors circulating in a polish world about Strawberry Fields being a possible dupe of much coveted and long-discontinued Vincenza Raspberry. Sorry, guys, they are not the same.

They do look deceptively similar in a bottle: /Don't forget to click on the pic to enlarge it!/

On the nail - not so much. Left to right: VR, SF, VR, SF.

VR has a different base color - it's a bit colder and has kinda milky quality to it.

Also, glitter is very different as well. VR has much bigger, even chunkier flecks of gold; while SF glitter is denser and more...infusable (it's certainly not a word).

Here, another pic to show the difference:
...And one more:
You see - chunks in VR and smooth golden infusion in SF.

Sorry to be a bearer of bed news for those who are on a quest for VR dupe.

/Do not tell anybody, but I prefer China Glaze - color-wise, it works better with my skin tone./


China Glaze Summer Days collection

Boy, China Glaze did a wonderful job. I have just two colors from the collection, but they are truly Summer in the little bottles. I've been incredibly down lately; and Orange Marmalade and Strawberry Fields worked much better than any anti-depressant.

Orange Marmalade. This is my very first orange ever. For some reason I was sure orange did not work with my coloring. I guess I was wrong?

Very intense orange, but without being garish. I think creamsicles, fluffy beach towels and sun-highlighted hair.

Happy color for sure:
I love how it sparkles, infused with tiny golden flecks
/Can you tell I'm exited?/

Strawberry Fields.
Pink. Bright, cheerful pink, mixed with myriads of golden sparkles. Fairy dust, butterfly dust - I don't know.

I'm amazed to admit it, but I prefer Orange Marmalade. It has more summer in it, if you know what I mean; Strawberry Fields is a bit on a spring side (nothing wrong with spring, I just miss summer).

Formula-wise, both applied very decent, even thou they are a bit sheer - I used 3 generous coats.

PS: Swatches of the whole collections are available here, at Scrangie's.