Friday, December 18, 2009

Awesome awesomness

OPI Merry Midnight.
This is definitely THE best OPI of this year. Purple base with blue micro glitter and opalescent mica scales/flakes.

I'll let the pictures do the talking:

It looks fantastic with a matte top coat. Here I used Essie's one:
(please excuse my horrible cuticles)

Absolutely unique and very, very pretty. Merry Midnight is a part of a Christmas collection; so grab it "while supplies last".

PS: Another flaky polish from the same collection - Shim-Merry Chic - it a total boring fail, IMO.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Unfortunate NOTD: Nubar Raspberry Truffle

So far, my first big disappointment with Nubars. Raspberry Truffle looks stunning in the bottle and under a very bright sunlight:

Alas, without the perfect conditions (meaning: on the nails, not in the bottle) it turns a bit... boring. Shimmer is basically invisible. What's worse, it has a hint of a muddy gray; I like muddy gray, it's stylish and all that; but it does nothing for my skin tone: my fingers turn a bit muddy gray as well. Thanks, but no thanks.

I layered CND Raspberry Sparkle over Raspberry Truffle (woops, double raspberry - I just realized it); but it's still meh on me. My expectations for this color were too high to accept its mere OK-ishness.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Orly Nail Rescue vs silk patches

You might know that I'm a big, big fan of the silk patches from Sally's. They are cheap, they are easy to apply (or so I thought) and easy to maintain.

Have to tell you, I've been through a breaking spell recently. Couple of days ago I broke a nail on my right middle finger - opening a car. Who does that? Anyway, I was a very nasty break: my nail split both horizontally and vertically (you know, when it sorta splits in two layers). Not really reparable with the patches.

I was about to file all my nails down; and then I remembered Orly Nail Rescue - my good friend L. swears by it. To Sally's I went.

Long story short, I basically made a fake tip for the broken nail, in one minute. It looks really good and holds up very well.

You need to cover your nail with a special glue (this stuff reeks); then dip your nail into a white powder; then tap off the excess and buff. Done!

Definite pros, compared to the patches:
- it's faster; no cutting/sizing needed;
- you can repair these nasty little cracks here:
which is pretty much impossible with patches;
- you can use Nail Rescue as a preventive measure (actually, it was exactly what L. did before her vacation)

- I do not see a "spot treatment" possible here; you have to cover the whole nail, no matter how small of a break you have;
- buffing is a must. I personally suck at buffing: I either overdo it or have unbuffed spots left;
- related to buffing: I still have rough edges close to cuticles - it almost impossible to buff in this area; so the overlay is somewhat visible (especially if you use Macro function of your camera and/or a microscope):
To conclude: I will probably use up the patches - they are really good as a spot treatment for the small, easy to reach breaks; but won't buy them again.

Couple of words about application and maintenance. I did all my ten toes tonight and instead of dipping them into the powder (what am I, a gymnast?) I sprinkled the powder over the glue. Worked out perfectly. Use non-acetone remover; acetone will dissolve Nail Rescue.

PS: Dear L., thank you so very much!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Comparison swatches: Icy Iris vs Visions of Sugarplums

Finally got a glimpse of sun today, so here are the swatches I've promised:
Icy Iris is on the left. Wait, it's on the right! No, left. No right! Well, you got the idea. Please click to enlarge - more obvious this way.

Sorry, not the best swatches ever; but it's the best I could do - weather is not swatch-friendly at all.

PS: Funny, I know they are dupes; and I still want the OPI - badly. Some addicts are hopeless.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Finger Paints Icy Iris vs OPI Visions of Sugarplum

They are dupes. Duuuupes. I will post nail wheel swatches tomorrow (if sun cooperates).



Saturday, November 21, 2009

A very bad limerick and a very nice color: OPI Smitten with Mittens

Certain lady from Scandinavia
With an excellent taste in jewelery
Dared me to wear red spark on my nails -
There, you have it,
Oh lady from Sweden!

/umm... new level of poetry suckage?/

Anyway, here is Smitten with Mittens:

It's a very, very deep red - without any hint of orange at all, even thou it seems like it on most pictures including mine - with loads of golden sparkles.

Insanely sparkly. I'd say, it definitely kicks Ruby Pumps' ass. My new favorite color for pedicures.

And this one is probably the most color-accurate in this bunch:

Ssssssparrrrk. Remember, it's not orange at all. It's deep, deep sparkly red.

PS: I'm 32 and just did something on a dare! /rolls eyes/


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reward NOTD: Misa Dreamy Purple +CND Raspberry Sparkle

I turned in my infamous macroecon paper. Yay me. /gloomy/ 13 pages in a language I'm not native in; in the subject I...dislike, to put it mildly. Have to wait for a grade till Monday in the best case scenario. Cliffhanger, if you ask me.

Anyway, here is my "I've been good" NOTD. I added one of the CND Effects - Raspberry Sparkle - over Dreamy Purple. I thought Effects worked the best over the dark cremes; but over shimmer it turned out OK:
I have no idea how they came up with this name. Have you ever seen a lavender-golden-iridescent raspberry? Well, neither have I. Did they have some result of an extreme genetic manipulation in mind? What's funny, other Effects have normal, meaningful names. Sorry, I'm being bitchy (see above, Re: cliffhanger).

I'm not the biggest fan of shimmers; so I like this particular effect not for the spark (which is, in fact, spectacular), but rather for a subtle douchrome effect:
It's sorta triochrome probably.

All in all, I liked my first Effect a lot. Even thou I don't do much layering, I might get a couple more Sparkles. Crimson and Amethyst?


Monday, November 16, 2009

NOTD: Misa Dreamy Purple

It's purple. I don't know who dreams purple, but this one is certainly a dream material:
It has the same glowy quality to it as Nubar Pasadena Purple, but without a frosty finish I personally dislike.

Color probably is the most accurate on this picture, especially on the bottle (don't forget to enlarge so you can see the amazing multicolored shimmer):
This purple has so much glow to it, it's almost neon, if it makes sense to you.

Application was good - I didn't need to do any clean up at all. My only complaint - the formula is on a runny side; 3 coats were necessary for me.

PS: Yep, I filed my nails down; but if you think my paper is done, you are mistaken.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

NOTD: China Glaze Pom Pom

OK, I have a first disappointment with China Glaze glitters. Pom Pom looked very promising in a bottle: deep, sophisticated mauve-lavender with some pink. Yep, in the bottle it looks like that (click on the pic, it's pretty):

But. But. On the nails it's just bright, very sparkly pink. Peeeeeeenk. A kind of pink that says "Oh hai, my totally pink ipod is totally, like, loaded with all Taylor Swift albums". The name - Pom Pom - is good, for it really has some cheerleader-y vibe to it. /no offense to cheerleaders/

Jelly-like base is full of tiny pink and silver dust-like glitter; and bigger round pink and silver glitter. Bigger ones look like pink/silver freckles - adorable.
It is certainly pretty, but it doesn't have much to do with a bottle color. Booo.

Bling is insane. If you like sparkly polish - grab this one.

I'm season-blind when it comes to nails polish: I wear vampies during GA Summer and love me some pink in November; but even to me Pom Pom seemed a bit off. So I slapped a coat of Matte About You on it. Love the results:

PS: I'm writing this post instead of working on a paper for my macroeconomics class. Monday is a deadline; and I have just one paragraph written. I decided I need to make a bargain with myself: as soon as I finish the damn paper, I will file down my nails and do a nice vampy mani - Misa Dreamy Puple. Please cheer me on, guys; I need to get it done - each day late is one letter grade penalty. Oy. I'm back to Macro.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

China Glaze Khromes

I have mixed feelings about this collection.
Things I like about Khromes:
- futuristic-looking, mirror-like finish
- they dry in no time at all, without fast-drying top coat
- as a matter of fact, no top coat is necessary
- they are very pigmented: you can be fine with just one coat
- ideal for Konad designs

Things I dislike about Khromes:
- being very pigmented, they stained my nails terribly, worse than any blue or green can
- as they dry in a record time, Khromes are a bit tricky to apply. Try not to go over the same spot twice: cover the whole nail in a one gigantic stroke
- Khromes are kinda boring as a collection. Yes, the finish is fantastic; but the color choice - not so much. Seriously, how many different golds does a person need? I would love to see the same finish in an array of colors: blue, green, pink, purple... Yes, purple Khrome, pretty please!

On to the pictures (they are clickable, as usual):

Millennium: very silvery, very reflective silver. These are not ridges on my nails, these is light reflected off the Millennium.

: warm-neutral gold
I did not use a base coat, so you can see my horizontal ridges in all their ugly glory. TC is a must with these polishes!

Hi-Tek: a mix between a warm bronze and rose gold. Color is the most accurate on ring and pinkey.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NOTD: China Glaze Ginger

I got lots and lots of polish for my birthday from my family and friends (did you expect I would ask for, say, a new tool bench or pancake griddle for my birthday?); so I have plenty of pretties to swatch and photograph.

Today - one of China Glaze new glitters, Ginger. It's unmistakably Fall color - reach pumpkin orange mixed with a reddish-brown caramel:
Chock-full of silver shiny micro-glitter and round holographic macro-glitter. Don't get me wrong, larger one is not chunky at all, but big enough to be visible.

Very festive, somewhat weird color - reminds me of a scarecrow in a sequined dress. I mean it in a very good way. I guess, an odd combination of a typical fall color and all this bling confuses me a bit. Ginger is really blingy. Here is a blurred picture to show you the sparkles:
Almost opaque in two coats. Not rough at all; it's a smooth kind of glitter.

PS: I also have Pom-Pom, really sparkly pink that makes my inner 3-year-old squeal... And red; and some gold.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Finger Paints Holiday collection

Wow. Wow-wow-wow. I have no idea that "nonconformist" is a new word for "ass-kicking"; but this certainly is the case with Finger Paints 2009 Holiday collection. It's truly stunning and not exactly traditional color-wise.

Let's start with nonconformist part. Seriously, who includes pink in a Christmas collection? Finger Paints does; and this pink is absolutely dazzling, living up to its name, Decked with Dazzle:
I don't like pink at all, and even I must admit - this is a stunner. Foily finish, multicolor sparkles (it seriously sparks); opaque in three coats. The only problem this it was the smell - for some reason, Decked with Dazzle reeks. Weird chemical smell, not at all like a "normal" polish smell.

It works great with a matte top coat. Here I used Essie Matte About You:

Now, another gem of this collection is Evergreen Dream:
It's very close to both Nubar Greener and legendary Emerald Sparkle by China Glaze. Evergreen Dream has the same velvety depth as Greener features; but it sparks almost as intensely as Emerald Sparkle does. This is an absolute must for those of you who love green. It's just... I don't know... OMGOMGOMG it's so gorgeous. One coat was enough; but I did two out of habit.

A little comparison pic, Greener and ED; Greener on the left:

As you can see, ED's texture is a bit rougher than Greener's - this is because ED has more prominent shimmer, or, rather, golden sparkles.

Last, but certainly not least - Icy Iris. Purple lover's dream comes true.
Eggplant purple, loaded with unbelievable multicolor shimmer/spark. It's breathtaking. Instant top 1 in my vast collection of purples.

Please click on the pics to look at this wonderful, magical, I-can-stare-at-this-forever shimmer. Yes, I'm drooling with Barbie-pink drool. Just wait till you see this color on your nails and then judge me.

Icy Iris formula is opaque in one thick coat; unfortunately, it stinks as badly as Decked with Dazzle does.

This collection also features a pale sparkly silver and two reds: one with multicolor shimmer and one with a distinctive gold hue. I didn't care for either one of them; so no pics of these three will follow.

Finger Paints Holiday collection is available at selected Sally's. Good luck finding it!

PS: Special thanks to my friend Hanna who made this post possible.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Random Nubar NOTDs - Greener and Iced Licorice

Just pics, without me blabbering:

Greener by itself and Konaded:

I really think this green doesn't need any comments.

Iced Licorice, one of the prettiest polishes ever:

Please keep in mind these pictures are not exactly color accurate. This polish is more duochomeysh IRL; and it has a distinctive warm brown undertone to it.

PS: As you probably noticed, I really got into Nubar lately. I have plenty of pics to follow, as well as a couple of words about their treatment.


Friday, October 23, 2009

China Glaze Glacier aka Twihard NOTD

Yes, that's right - I just said "Twihard". I know it's lame, but I'm sure Glacier is exactly what Stephenie Meyer had in mind when she described Edward's sparkly butt vampire's skin under the sunlight.

Glacier is a multicolor - mostly pastel - glitter (with some holo particles) in a milky-white base. It is very pretty, very sparkly and very difficult to photograph.

Here is the best I could do (click on the pick to enlarge):
This pic shows the different colors pretty well, but there is no way you can see how incredibly sparkly it is; serious driving hazard, really.

I figured Glacier would be too cool for my skin tone, so I layered two coats of it over one coat of a neutral beige - Color Club Sugar Baby.

Formula is really good: not too thin, not too thick and easy to work with. I was afraid it would be very gritty, but one coat of TC smoothed it out completely.

So far, I have just two of new China Glaze glitters - Glacier and Cleopatra - and I truly love them both. Very happy polishes.

PS: Twihards, take no offense - I'm one of us, just closeted. Yes, I'm closeted Twihard, Team Jacob. Now you know.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

NOTD: Nubar Moon Shadow

Long time no see, huh? I'll explain my extended leave of absence in the following posts; now on to the polish.

Moon Shadow. One of Nubar duochromes. Nubar makes really mean duochromes (check Scrangie - I'm sure she posted a bunch of Nubar duos a while ago). This one is purple/brown/amber-green. Really complex and really gorgeous. Main color - purple - has this glowy quality to it. I'm very picky when it comes to purples, but I love this one.

Under some light purple leans a bit on a brown side; very warm brown:

Moon Shadow is not one of the subtle duochromes, when you need to squint to see a change in color. It's a bold and true duochrome; as obvious as a chameleon.

I dunno about you, but I said "Wow!":

Couple of words about application. This one required three coats; in two coats it still looked like an ugly, weird muddy gray (huh?). Talk about ugly duckling.

PS: Don't forget to click on the pics to enlarge them. Totally worth it.