Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm kinda-sorta thinking about getting back to blogging. I miss it.

Really, how will the world keep turning without me saying "Hey, Color Lock was a big fail"?

I dunno.

It's a tough decision. Seriously. I'm in the middle of a very tough semester; and internship hunting (it sucks, BTW); and I have a lot going on in my personal life.

And my Crystal has bubbles.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Couldn't come up with a good title for this post -

I've been doing a lot of thinking about my blogging latelingy. I feel like I'm doing not even a half-ass, but a quarter-ass job. The thing is, I have a lot going on in my non-polish life. For instance, I finally got accepted to the university. The program I chose is very competitive, demanding and time-eating. I really love straight "A"s; that definitely means even less time for blogging.

Yep, you can call me a blood traitor, for I'm going to trade nail polish for the concepts in federal taxation and such. I'm about to start a very intense and exciting May-mester.

Why didn't I simply delete my blog? Well, I hope some of you still read me via Google reader, so you'll be able to read it after I delete; I feel like I owe you some sort of explanation.

I have 90 days to change my mind. I might as well do that; I'm indecisive (except when it comes to buying a purple polish).

Happy polishing, y'all! Thanks for reading me!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Misa Mardi Gras - full review and swatches

I have very mixed feelings about this collection. Well, to the swatches first; my feelings can wait.

Jester Ate The King Cake
I saw people describing it as a neon. Nah, it would be a neon with an extreme case of iron deficiency - anemic neon. I'd say, it's a pastel. I have yet to see a yellow that applies without efforts; Jester is not an exception. It was streaky, but 3 coats pretty much evened things up:
I'd say, the truest to life is pointer; second to it would be pinkey.
Do you guys think it's a neon?

Shake It To The Samba.
When I first saw it out of the box, I thought "Whoa, this is one ugly dude of a color!" Then I painted my nails and thought it wasn't so bad... It's a weird, fleshy-toned color with a hearty helping of orange. Surprisingly brighter than I expected it would be:
I believe shadow picture represents the color more accurately, so there:

Single And Ready To Limbo:
The most...convenient of the bunch - a true classic red; very warm one, no blue here. But boy, the formula blew me away. Extremely pigmented and completely opaque in one coat. Very smooth and glossy.
It's very close to Essie E!; but Misa has way less orange and looks more flattering with my skin tone.

Throw Me Something Purple Please
Purple? Hmm... I don't think so. It's a typical blurple; but I'm in a romantic set of mind today, so I will call it a color of Persian lilac:

It's a tad lighted in real life. Probably my favorite from this collection. I don't have anything similar in my stash. The closest relative would be OPI Dating A Royal, but OPI has more blue in it.

Now, the problem child: Blame It On Fat Tuesday. The color itself is nice; it's quite a unique (to my knowledge) green. But I cannot photograph it accurately to save my dear life. Misa describes it as a mint green. Nope. It's more of a turquoise with a shot of yellow; and really bright, almost neon. For some reason, the best picture I got was the one with skittles:
This one - obviously photoshopped to oblivion - gives a vague idea of a brightness.
(yes, I know, this picture is ugly)

I skipped Party In The Masquerade - it's a dark pink peon, almost neon raspberry, if it makes any sense. Pretty.

About my mixed feelings. I cannot understand what this collection has to do with Mardi Gras. Promo image with the sparkling beads was very Mardi Gras. In my opinion, it promised lots of glitters and/or sparkly shimmers. But cremes? Cremes, really? I wouldn't say a word if the name of it were "Easter Egg Hunt in Atlanta Country Club" It's a solid Spring collection; but it's as far from the floats, beads and sparks as a collection can go.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick skittles of MG

I came home from a very dull day at school to a box containing Mardi Gras collection.

From pointer to pinkey:
- Blame It On Fat Tuesday
- Throw Me Something Purple Please
- Single and Ready to Limbo
- Shake It To The Samba

I hold Jester Ate The King Cake

Sorry about pre-cleanup pictures.

Quick notes:
- formula is excellent
- red is much deeper and very fierce
- no, my camera's white balance doesn't suck: Throw Me Something Purple is, indeed, very blue
- Shake It To The Samba has all the potential to become a new OPI And Apple Pie.

This collection was sent to me by manufacturer for review.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Misa Spring - last installment (ETA - about this collection)

I won't be getting this collection for review. Unfortunately, the collection is out of stock at the moment. Keep your eyes open for other bloggers - I saw Mardis Gras review at Kelly's (Vampy Varnish).


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"But these polishes hate me" NOTDs

While I'm still waiting for the Spring Misa to arrive, I'm going to present you some ugly NOTDs. Because I'm so original I want to show you real life examples of semi-mythical "it's doesn't work with your body chemistry".

Zoya Casey. Spectacular vampy, universally loved. I feel very special because I hate darn Casey; and it's mutual. It was patchy. It bubbled like a swamp and chipped the next day.
You can tell me "Hey, Inna, shut up and learn how to apply your polishes first. Might use a little thinner as well." Nope, not my fault. I used a thinner appropriate for B-3 polishes; I tried several base coats; I reapplied several times; I danced a little dance for it - nothing worked. Still a bubbly, ugly swamp of a mani. Guess what: I did my BFF's mani with Casey the same day (same humidity and temperature). No bubbles, excellent application and acceptable wear. It just hates me, that's it. Your personal chemistry really can clash with a polish.

China Glaze Sugar High.
One big "booooo".
First, it's way more neon and way less pink than I expected it would be. Sorta neon coral or coral neon. Coral in general and neon coral in particular make my hands look dirty.

Picture is not the most accurate one; it exaggerates neon a bit:
Formula was as bad as Grape Pop's one. Actually, it was worse (see my middle finger). Couldn't control the application at all. I've seen so many wonderful Sugar High manicures; and it just plain sucked for me.

Guess what I'm trying to say here is no matter how other people love the brand, or the color group, or this one particular polish, there is a chance it won't work for you. At all. Don't get upset and don't expense too much efforts trying to tame a stubborn polish. I sent these two black sheep to the better homes, where they will be loved; and you can do the same. /I sound a little like a Martha Stewart, don't I?/


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Misa Spring swatches...

probably will be posted by the end of this week.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Illamasqua Baptiste vs Essie Sexy Divide

I got Baptiste as a gift from my very dear friend and loved it instantly. Essie Sexy Divide has been one of my favorite purples for a long time. How do they compare?

Let's see:
Very different in the bottle: Baptiste has a distinctive red undertone; and Essie features a strong blue one.

Let's look on the nails now, shall we?
/don't forget you can click to enlarge/

Not so different, huh?
I have SD on my pointer and ring fingers; Illamasqua on middle and pinky.

They are definitely not dupes; but Essie is a very acceptable substitute, even by mine "buy-all-dark-purples-ever-released" standards.

I prefer Baptiste application-wise. Other than that, they are really close. Difference? Illamasqua has this strong, dense glow to it; Essie shows more of a sparse, star-like sparkle.

PS: Please excuse my deformed pointer. I had a bad cooking accident back in September, when I chopped off a big part of the nail bed; it's still in recovery.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Misa Spring 2010

It's called Mardis Gras!

Neons and brights; and some pastels (huh?), all seem to be cremes:

Bottle pics separately:

Blame It on Fat Tuesday: mint-green according to Misa, but I'd rather call it dollar-green. Not sure I'll be able to pull this off, but I certainly like the idea!

Shake It To The Sumba: neutral, flesh-like color. At first I was surprised to see it in the Mardi Gra collection; then I realized it was not flEsh, it was flAsh what they probably had in mind. Think beads and... well... beads.

Single And Ready to Limbo: not exactly original, yet pretty red-coral (?) Or is it just red? Difficult to tell until I see this one in person.

Jester Ate the King Cake: Pastel yellow. Pretty, but I cannot wear such colors, unless I want scare Easter-hunting kids with my red-lobster hands.

Party in the Masquerade: Hot pink. I think it's a neon, actually.

Throw Me Something Purple Please: Purple. Purrrrrr-ple. I really, rally hope it won't be a dupe of Ghina Glaze Grape Pop.

My thoughts about this collection. I'm surprised (unpleasantly surprised, dare I say) there is not a single glitter or at least shimmer in this collection. Hello, Misa, it's Mardi Gras! It's all about sparkle, glitter and over the top (look at your promo image - you got it exactly right here). If I recall correctly, this is a third collection in a row consisting of all cremes. Some of my readers will be seriously pissed (waves to Gabrielle). Kudos for the mix of pastels and neons - I know at least two girls who would like it!

PS: All pictures are clickable, as usual.

EDITED TO ADD: According to Misa representative, all colors are brand-new, no repromotes.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Zoya Adina

When I saw the first swatches of Adina, it immediately reminded me of some other polish; but I couldn't place it. Finally, my Adina arrived yesterday and I realized that was it: Adina looks like a much more condensed and seriously improved Significant Other Color by OPI. Both polishes have purple base with a green duochrome/flash. Unlike OPI, intended for the layering purposes, Zoya is not sheer at all. It's perfectly opaque in two thin coats.

Base color. Actually, it's more lilac than purple, don't you think? This warm hue reminds me of Misa's Foxy and Folksy

Here is Adina in all its duochromy glory:

Green side is very, very strong:

Despite the similar idea behind Significant Other Color and Adina, latter is definitely unique; and it's an absolutely beautiful color. Formula was excellent, neither runny nor gloopy. Kudos to Zoya.

And one more pic; just because I feel like it:

Speaking about Zoya, I hauled just a little bit: in addition to today's color I also got a long lemming of mine, spectacular Casey; and Qtica balm. Cannot wait to show off Casey!

PS: I had to file my nail down to the quick. Sad. This will teach me to go without manicures for days (unpolished nails=unprotected nails).


Saturday, February 6, 2010

From my kitchen to yours - lemon, lime and some OxiClean

OK, OxiClean does not exactly belong in a kitchen, but I couldn't help channeling Paula Deen.

For unknown reason, China Glaze Khromes left really ugly dark orange stains on my nails. One day I was doing laundry pretreating some stuff in OxiClean solution; and on a whim decided to try it on my nails. I dipped my hands in a laundry bucket, for about 30 seconds. Voila - stains were almost gone! That makes sense, since one of the OxiClean ingredients is hydrogen peroxide. I washed my hands immediately and followed by a heavy-duty moisturizer and did not see any adverse effects.

Lemons. I was making hummus (I make really mean hummus) and tried to squeeze as much lemon juice as possible. I was actually scraping the pulp with my fingers, squeezing out that last oz. About a minute inside the lemon made my stained nails absolutely clean. I'm talking "no stains at all" clean. I don't know why, but limes, which I tested while making Margaritas Mojito guacamole do not do the job as well as lemons do; yet I see a big improvement in stains.

If you want to try these tips, please exercise your good judgment. Do not stick your fingers into a lemon if you have the tiniest cut/scrape - it's gonna sting like a mofo. Or if you are allergic to citruses and/or any components of OxiClean. I'm allergic to the OxiClean dude, but it's OK - as I've said, no adverse reaction.

PS: I have had some pretty manis lately, but damn weather sucks. It was snowing today - for Pete's sake, it's GA!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NOTD: Misa Bellacious

One deceptive color, this Bellacious. When I spotted it on a shelf, it looked like a pale, dusty-rose creme. On the nails it turned out to be rather bright pink-peachy jelly, with the slightest hint of lavender. Go figure.
I don't like jell finishes, so I did 3 thick coats; but you can still see the VNL here.

In the direct light pink really pops:
Despite the pinkness, I'd say it's a nice, office appropriate neutral, yet with an edge to it. Like it.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Absolutely Blue Sparrow Alice

As usual, I'm late with my review. You've already heard: Absolutely Alice is all that plus a bag of chips. I agree.

Dense blue glitter with added gold sprinkles. What amazes me about Absolutely Alice (in addition to its unanimously accepted amaziness) is how the color changes depending on light. From deep electric blue/medium blue to sky blue. Very cool.

It looks nice with a matte top coat, but honestly, Absolutely Alice is born to be blingy:

Another source of amazement: people keep comparing it to Dorothy Who? I cannot agree; in my humble opinion, AA is much closer to another China Glaze polish - Blue Sparrow. Different blues, definitely, but the same happily saturated vibe:
(Sparrow on the left, AA on the right)

I probably risk being polished to death, but I do not dig Absolutely Alice (as I didn't dig Blue Sparrow). Yes, I appreciate it; it's a unique and wonderful and very Alicesque clolor. But I look at my nails and the sentiment is "Ummm... So what?" The same happened to Blue Sparrow. I'm not trying to be original and make a "meh" face at everybody's favorite. I just don't know how to wear such blues. It's way out of my comfort zone.

PS: My friend Karianne posted THE best picture of this color I've seen so far. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

China Glaze Grape Pop: alone and layered

What a great purple! Pleasantly neutral (not to be confused with boring) - not too warm, not too cold. Pigmented and very reach. The color actually reminds me of a lilac bush in bloom rather than of a grape pop.

Yes, excellent purple, but such an annoying little bitch to photograph! I took 90+ pictures, yet still do not have a perfect one; so I'm showing Grape Pop a-la puzzle.

Here I'm pretty happy with the bottle color. When I saw in on a shelf in Trans Design, I was "Wow, it has some dusty quality to it!" Yep, bottle color does seem a bit muted:
Ring finger and pinky are very close to life as well; pointer and the middle one are way off: much bluer than IRL.

On the nails, thou, Grape Pop is extremely bright and vivid, nothing muted and dusty about it:
It's pretty color accurate.

As much as I love the color, I dislike the formula. I don't know if I got a dud; but I sure hope I did, otherwise it's one disaster of a collection formula-wise. I barely deep my brush into the bottle and somehow end up with a huge blob of varnish; the blob is both runny and too thick. Bleh. Half-full glass: it applied streak-free in two thin coats.

After two days I decided to spruce my mani up a bit... And invented a poor man's Scrangie! Oh well, it's not exactly RBL Scrangie (OK - not really close); but the general idea is here:
Is it pretty or what?

Yes, I got carried away...

Not a bit of PhotoShop involved: I just took some pics under a bright sunlight; and some in the shadow.

CND Sapphire Sparkles over China Glaze Grape Pop.

PS: Did you noticed I was able to visit Trans Design? Yep, brick and mortar. It's heaven.