Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sephora Friends and Family manicure

NARS Midnight Express, Illamasqua Boosh, NARS Zulu.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Electro Candy plus Revlon Candy Twist

Felt it needed more blue shimmer.

Color Club Electro Candy

Pity I didn't take this in sunlight. It's way brighter that way.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Second photo attempt

Nouvelle Vague franken dupe

For some reason, it photoed far more grey and blue than it is. In real life, it's a dusty near-dupe to For Audrey, with just a hint of shimmer.

Half L'oreal Waters Edge, half Essie Sag Harbor.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Essie Love Beverly Hills XX

Color = awesome. Application, drytime likewise. Wear, on the other
hand, is terrible. Glad I did not pay retail for it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nfu-Oh 38, HT, 2010

Nubar 2010 vs Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure

Thumb, middle, pinky are HT. Index and ring are 2010. Nearly identical
in person, too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nubar 2010: Flaketastic!

Honestly, if you have any of the clear base orange/green shifting flakies, you probably don't need this one unless you're like me, and your love for flake glitter is such that even minute differences mean you Must. Try. All. Of. Them.

Formula is good, typical of Nubar. This is one coat of 2010 over two coats of Nubar Noir (a black that's almost a one-coater and has good shine and pigmentation, but is a little thick).

 Dregs of natural light

Check out those dense, delightful flakes!

Harder to capture than I'd like.

Iron Man(icure)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Polish FAIL!

I'm starting to think I should just leave my nails naked for the duration of the day. Since I did the holo demo, I've had two full manicures that I somehow managed to destroy before they dried. Mainly because neither of them would, well, dry.

Basecoat comparison for holos

So, a while back, I mentioned that I'd stumbled on a trick for tricky-to-apply holos (using the Maybelline Mirror Image base). I still haven't had a chance to get the Nfu-Oh Water Base, which I hear is similar, and I don't own Chanel Holographic (comes with its own base), but if you've got Mirror Image around, this really does work.

Index, Barielle Natural Nail Camouflage. Middle, Maybelline Mirror Image base
Between henna and nail polish, wow, my nails are stained. 

Nfu-Oh 65, normally a streaky hot mess to apply

First coat

Second coat. The nail with the Mirror Image base is basically done.

Third coat on the index and I still see bald spots in real life (still two coats on the middle)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nubar Indigo Illusion

So pretty. So hard to capture. Purple, gold, green, blue... this
duochrome is polychrome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nfu-Oh 556

It's a clearer, brighter version of China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway.
Three coats plus Diamont. Natural light (evening).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nubar Hyacinth Sparkle

2 coats of polish, 3 of Diamont. Blingier in person and worth the

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Illamasqua, you scare me.

The base of this manicure is Illamasqua Phallic. I did add a single
coat of glitter franken to the top at some point, but I don't think
that's what gets credit for the ability to withstand heavy duty
gardening. We're talking the kind of gardening that usual shreds my
nails, not just my polish.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Illamasqua Rampage: Day 4

Tipwear: minimal. Three coats, one of Diamont, two refresh coats of

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nubar Greener

Two coats of emerald perfection.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Orly Charged Up

Brighter and less red in real life.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Zoya Trixie

I don't know why I don't wear this more often: it's a two coat shimmer
ball of silver perfection.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wet n Wild Wild Shine Black Creme & Color Club Lazer Pink

At the end of the day, I'm actually torn: keep this manicure or do my nails in Stellare Notte? The Borghese calls, but this one is so much fun...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Grow nails, grow!

So back in late November, we put a new floor in our dining room. Like any good DIY project, this one involved my hands taking their fair share of dings. And by hands, I mean nails.

Well, the damage to my nails finally grew out to the point where it was causing problems. Flaking, cracking, peeling, breaking as soon as they hit the end of the nail bed problems. So, being a practical person at times, I cut them. Short. Really short. To the quick short. And my nails are usually just one step past nubbin, so when I say short,  I mean it. My short is shorter than most people think when they think short.

I'm also not painting them right now, and it's driving me bonkers.

Clearly, this is a sign that I am never, ever, ever going to try mannequin hands. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Milani 3D Holographic Hi-Res

When I first saw this while on my no buy, I wasn't all that impressed. But reviews on the blogs and the nail board said it was way better on the nail than in the bottle, so I picked it up this evening, and yes. Yes it is. Two coats over the Mirror Image base, but I don't think I needed it. Diamont top coat, no dulling of the holo. Happy day before cheap chocolate day, nails!

Pretty, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Zoya Blair + LA Girl Rock Star Addict

The dim light does not do it justice. This combo is simply stunning.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

OPI Romeo & Joliet

I'm not usually a brown girl, but yum.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nfu-Oh 569 + Nfu-Oh 39

I think I have a new favorite combo.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Some polishes should not be matted. Ever.

No, seriously. It looks so much better in the picture than in real life. In real life, the color (about a million times brighter) just looked like some random rubber toy had melted onto my hands.

I'm a matte lover. I got my first bottle of matte polish in 1989 (this cerise Revlon that, wow, I still dream about -- I lost the bottle in my parents' house somewhere, found it again a few years later, only to have it disappear again, so perhaps some day, it will be unearthed, and I can hug it and kiss it and call it George), my next batch a decade later, lather, rinse, repeat. Matte About You had, until this point, made every faded mani a little better (I'm resting my nails and hands from frequent swatching, as I've been canning, and the constant contact with citrus rind is murder on my mitts), but ACK! I wish the picture captured the skin-crawling wrong, but trust me on this: it failed to work in a spectacular fashion.

Note  to self: next time you feel the urge to extend a BT manicure, just add a layer of See Ya Later Sailor or something.

Color Club Bizerk Turq + Essie Matte About You

Normal Bizerk Turq

Monday, January 25, 2010

Alice? Absolutely! (OPI Absolutely Alice)

I swear, I wasn't planning on wearing this until the no-buy month was up, but then I violated the no-buy on something else, and Alice was sitting there, and...

Yeah. Quick and dirty pictures below. The thumb is still the franken test. The franken dries smoother, but takes longer to dry. I really only needed one coat of Diamont to make it perfectly smooth, but it dented within the hour.

Three coats Absolutely Alice, two coats Diamont.

One of these fingers is not like the other.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

OPI Absolutely Alice dupe recipe notes

No pictures yet, because all I have are two thumbnails, one in the frankendupe, one in AA, that I'm about to strip off to do a real manicure, but it looks like AA is going to be one of the easier polishes to franken, should you have problems tracking it down.

It looks like about 2 parts Pure Ice Strapless to 1 part Sinful Paris will get you a dupe that's so dead on, I can't tell them apart.

This experiment will be confirmed once I'm off my no-buy and can pick up extra bottles of the ingredients.

I'm just not a string/bar glitter kind of girl.

If you are, of course, and you're in the States, you may want to swing down to a Hot Topic to pick up a bottle of their black/charcoal jelly polish with the holo string/bar glitter, because it's down to .98 cents .

This polish didn't even make it into my Helmer. I applied it last night, went, "My, for a string glitter, this is probably nice, and yet? Eww! Into the swap box with YOU!" and accepted that my accidental no-buy violation on Friday Night was, in this case, a Huge Mistake.

This is just not me.

Monday, January 18, 2010

NotD: China Glaze Metallic Muse

Sometimes, being on a no-buy doesn't mean you don't randomly get polish. I approve of these occasions.

Specifically, I got a text from a friend a few weeks back, asking if I had seen or had Metallic Muse, followed by one saying that, naturally, I needed it, and it would be coming to live with me next time I saw her.

She's totally right: I needed that polish.

Hello, shiny chrome finish!

Metallic Muse is a little greener than she photographs, is a terror to apply, wears like a typical chrome (in other words, horribly), and is one of the more stunning polishes I own. Lighter and more seafoam than China Glaze Adore, Metallic Muse's finish is slightly smoother, though I found the application worse. In terms of the finish, it's the closest modern chrome I've found to the old Sally Hansens, and is a close dupe to the SH Aquamarine Chrome.

Doesn't she photograph well? Both pictures natural sunlight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tomorrow's polish today: OPI Designer Series Glamour

I love the OPI DS polishes. I do not, however, love the price. Once polish prices get double digit, I start to get twitchy. It's easy to justify a $2 bottle, not so easy to justify a $12 one.

Lucky for me I managed to score a whole bunch of discontinued ones at Trade Secret when they were at 60% off.

Tonight's DS is Glamour. It's my second favorite of the DS polishes I own, behind Desire. Glamour's a rich blurple, with one of the brightest holos in my collection. The formula's a little on the thin side, so cuticle flooding and drips are a risk, but the application is smooth, and you can almost get away with two coats.

OPI Designer Series Glamour

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Layers of laziness: L'Oreal Jet Set Confetti Girl's Night Out over Casey

At least I think it's Girl's Night Out. I can't remember which of the Confettis I snagged on eBay, and I think I misfiled the polish last night, because it's not back in my glitter drawer, although the Poshe is back with the topcoats, and I can't imagine bringing one bottle back to the polish station and not the other. This is what happens when I do my nails while watching TV, I tell you.

The Confettis fall into my Polish Regrets file, right near the top. I'm not sure what year they came out, though I expect it may've been while I was pregnant or in the year or two after my daughter was born, because those are the missing years for me in terms of polish. They're what I still think of as "new formula" Jet Sets, from the Shine line, with the nasty, awful, long, stiff, annoying brush and somewhat wonky application.

Please ignore my tipwear and focus on the green flash.

Flake glitter makes everything better

This is two coats over Sunday's Casey.

So pretty, so hard to track down! It's like having opals on your nails! And to think, these were available in drugstores during the short window when I wasn't polish shopping! It is enough to make a girl weep.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tomorrow's polish today: Zoya Casey

Tonight, one of my favorite TV shows, Chuck, returns to what feels like every TV but mine. You see, for almost every show I watch that's still airing, I'm on streaming delay.

In honor of the S3 premiere, I'm wearing one of those polishes I own because it shares a name with a TV character I like, in this case, Zoya Casey in honor of Chuck's John Casey.

Casey's a deep, deep vampy brown with a plum tone to it. It's jelly-ish, though by the three coats it takes for even coverage, you lose a lot of the effect.

Zoya Casey: l - halogen; r - fluorescent

Casey is also super shiny. I had a hard time getting my camera to focus on it because of the glare off the finish, and that's before I put a top coat on it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Polish time capsule: Sweet Georgia Brown Grape Surprise

The late '90s were a thrilling time for drugstore polish devotees. Liquid Euphoria, Gumballs, the early days of Sinful, glitter polish everywhere. If I had a time machine, I would go back and stockpile the stuff. I mean, more than I already have.

In 1997, I was living in a studio apartment in the University District with my now-husband. We were young, just out of college, and I my serious polish collecting had not yet quite begun. I think the polish I'm wearing right now was picked up then, but it could have been sometime later in 97-98, when we were living in Olympia and came up to Seattle to game on the weekends. My memory's fuzzy, and it's been a while. I do know that I bought this particular polish at the Bartell Drugs on the Ave, as part of my quest for the perfect purple polish (ongoing).

Sweet Georgia Brown Grape Surprise (I should file it with the blues, but know I won't)

It was not, as the pictures would show, the perfect purple polish. Heck, although I file it under purples, it's really more blue. Possibly blue enough that it's not even blurple. This is three coats. It's streaky, the formula's strange, and the color's slightly muddy. Oh, and did I mention it's a scented polish? Because it is. That's the surprise. The grape one. In the name. And yet it's still one of my favorite of my old polishes, perhaps because that smell of grape Kool Aid sends me spinning straight into nostalgia for my youth.