Sunday, April 29, 2012

China Glaze Fast Track

China Glaze Fast Track from the Spring 2012 Hunger Games collection

Despite the gloriously warm weather, sometimes you want a little break from all the corals and neons that scream summer. This is why the Hunger Games collection was so great- for being a spring collection, there was such a nice variety of colors; darks like Smoke and Ashes, bright oranges like Riveting, taupes like Foie Gras, and the most incredible nude ever Fast Track.
Yes, I just declared the Fast Track the most incredible nude ever! Why? Because it's more than just your typical "How close can I get to my skin tone?" nude. The beautiful gold super fine glitter/flakies truly set this apart from any other nude I've ever seen. Application was a breeze, and just two coats left it perfectly opaque.
So, without question, I'd recommend it-heck, I'd recommend a back up bottle! I hope you enjoy...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sally Hansen Mandarin Garnet

Sally Hansen Mandarin Garnet from the Nail Prisms line
Base: Essie Ole Caliente from the Spring 2012 Navigate Her collection

I acquire this little gem not too long ago, and the lovely Ole Caliente seemed like an ideal fit for a base that would let it say true to the bottle color without requiring an excessive number of coats.
Sally Hansen Mandarin Garnet is a lovely pinkish orange color with micro fine gold and holo glitter. The holo glitter is not so dense as to create a linear holo effect, but you do get a pretty scattered holo that dances on your nails in the light. The formula is a bit thin though easy to apply.
This was perfect for taking a lovely creme to the next level, making it much more interesting and almost mesmerizing in the sun.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Essie Ole Caliente

Essie Ole Caliente from the Spring 2012 Navigate Her collection

Warm weathers always make me reach for colors like this! When I think of summery weather, it's nearly impossible not to picture cute coral pedicures and manicures. I will spare you pictures of my toes and instead share this color as a lovely manicure. I think we'll all be happier that way.
Essie Ole Caliente is a bright coral leaning red creme- the name makes me think of hot images, and this color reminds me of a combination of a sizzling orange flame and spicy red pepper. It is borderline neon, but doesn't quite cross that line of in your face brightness. This creme was pretty easy to apply, and while the first coat was a bit streaky, everything was pleasantly opaque by the second coat. I generally prefer a wider brush as well, such as OPI, but the flexibility of the bristles on the Essie brush made it very easy to use.
I think this is a great polish to have in your stash, especially for summer. Though it isn't especially unique, it's certainly worth looking at if you've been on the hunt for the perfect coral polish.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Blush Diamond

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Blush Diamond over OPI Steady as She Rose

Instead of wiping clean the less than flattering Steady as She Rose, I thought it was be a suitable base for something with that little extra kick I was looking for.

As I've mentioned before, it's a tragedy that Sally Hansen doesn't make beauties like this any more! Blush Diamond a delicate slightly blushing pink, not bright, but so beautiful. It is a stunning linear holo, and with the recent sunny weather, I simply could not resist putting this on. This is just two coats over a creme base- aren't the results lovely?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

OPI Steady as She Rose

OPI Steady as She Rose from the Spring 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides collection

I used to think that anyone could wear any color, and as long as they liked it, it was all well and good. I found a color that I sure liked it the bottle, but on me, not so much...
Steady as She Rose is grayed lilac leaning pink. While it is a creme, it still took three coats to hit a non-streaky opacity. It was not a difficult formula to use, requiring very little clean up. Perhaps pastels simply aren't flattering on me, perhaps this just isn't the right pink for my skin tone.
I think I would have liked this polish more if it had a little something more- a shimmer, or flakes, or even a pinch of fine glitter. Again, no real fault with the polish, but this was not my cup of tea.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

China Glaze Liquid Crystal

China Glaze Liquid Crystal from the 2012 Spring Prismatic collection
After wear some of the lovely, but soft and tame, from the OPI NYC Ballet collection, it was time for something fun and colorful! I recently purchased some of the polishes from the Prismatic collection and I'm so happy to share one with you today.
Liquid Crystal is the blue glitter from the collection- the sky blue glitter base is so dense at just two coats, it almost looks like a foil, and it has a unique duochrome property, flashing purple in the right light. Within the fine blue glitter base there are slightly larger pieces of pink, green, silver, yellow, and orange glitter. For a glitter, application was exceptional with even distribution and a manageable formula.
Believe it or not, this polish lasted through a Joe's Crab Shack Lobster Daddy Feast without chipping!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

OPI Pirouette My Whistle

OPI Pirouette My Whistle from the Spring 2012 NYC Ballet collection over OPI My Pointe Exactly

Now, the star of the NYC Ballet collection: Pirouette My Whistle! This glitter was the primary reason I was so excited by this collection. This is a clear base packed with white hex glitter and fine silver glitter. I love the white glitter so much! We've seen white glitter being used indie polishes quite a bit and it's received rave reviews, so it is nice to have an easy to find white glitter available to the public.
The pictures feature just one coat of this glitter, but I do have a few recommendations for application... The way I applied it, and was able to get a decent amount of white hex glitter on each nail, was to NOT wipe the excess polish off in the bottle, but instead put a nice glob/dot of polish on the nail, go back on wipe of the excess on the brush, and then spread the dot you put on the nail. I found that if you wiped the brush before you put any polish on the nail you would lose a lot of the larger white hex glitters.
If you find this polish, don't hesitate to purchase! You likely don't have anything like this in your collection and it's a great way to dress up any plain creme or jelly.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

OPI My Pointe Exactly

OPI My Pointe Exactly from the Spring 2012 NYC Ballet Collection

Of the jellies, this was my favorite polish in the collection. It's a cool gray leaning every so slightly blue. I know you don't see gray jellies very often and this color just seemed so chic to me!
The pictures are three coats. You can still see some visible nail line, but that is to be expected in a jelly polish. The application was so easy, which makes it the perfect polish to grab when you're feeling a bit lazy and don't want to deal with clean up.
I really enjoyed this polish and I hope you pick it up too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

OPI Care to Danse?

OPI Care to Danse? from the Spring 2012 NYC Ballet collection
I was so excited for this collection- a nice soft set of jelly polishes for spring seemed so appropriate. Care to Danse? is a pink which many have described as leaning ever so slightly lilac, though I had trouble seeing that in person. 
I used 4 coats in the pictures because at 2 coats there it was a bit streaky. Application was a breeze! These light colors are great for an occasion where you don't want 'loud nails'. I'm also looking forward to using these in 'jelly sandwiches' where you sandwich a glitter polish in between layers of a jelly polish; the result is a slightly muted version of the glitter and can be really fun! For example, I've seen jelly sandwiches using a white jelly and a rainbow glitter, like Wet'n'Wild Party of Five Glitters, and it looks just like frosting with sprinkles!
I don't know that I would wear this alone very often, but I think it's a nice staple to have in my polish collection.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

China Glaze Instant Chemistry

China Glaze Instant Chemistry from the 2012 Magnetix collection

I finally decided to try my magnetic polishes! I've seen these all over the place by many different brands including China Glaze, Color Club, Nabi, Icing, and new ones seem to pop up every day. The concept seems like nail art for those who can't do nail art (like me!). The little iron particles in the polish are manipulated by the magnet producing a pattern like stripes, waves, chevrons, etc. My favorite pattern is the star, as the effect is reminiscent of a star sapphire.
Instant Chemistry is a dark purple leaning red. The application was just like any other polish, and despite my poor clean up (sorry, I didn't realize how rough it was until I looked at the pictures on the computer!) was a very normal application. I found no flaw with the magnet itself, though it must be said that the magnet is pretty easy to use, but challenging to master. The magnet has a nice little groove in it so it can sit right below your cuticle comfortably. I always got a decent image, but I did have a few times where I got the magnet too close to the nail and smudged the polish- the magnet does clean off with polish remove though. It also took several tries to figure how to get a centered image.
It was fun and I will use them again, though I don't know that it was really much easier than freehand art.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Galaxy / Nebula Nails Tutorial

Yes, I was so happy with these, I showed you the picture first!
Here is my attempt at a tutorial- be kind!

Colors used:
OPI Black Onyx (any black will do), Orly Androgynie (any glitter that has a galactic feel to it- yes, an abstract description, I know!), Orly Spark (a yellow polish), Ulta Sweethear Pink (a medium bright pink), Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Thinking of Blue (a dark blue), white acrylic paint, Orly Twightlight (any fine glitter top that isn't terribly dense coat will do)
Tools required:
Bits of a makeup sponge, tweezers for holding your sponge-y bits)  and a dotting tool or toothpick

Step 1:
Paint your nails black- this will serve as the background for your manicure- the sky for your galaxy!

Step 2:
Use a glitter that will serve as some of the background stars in your sky. I chose Androgynie because the different sized glitter would give the illusion of stars being farther or closer in the sky, but ultimately I don't know that it made a huge difference.

Step 3:
Take one of your small sponge bits and paint with yellow polish, I used Orly Spark. You will use this to start your little nebulas. Be light handed with this- you don't want the yellow to be complete opaque- dab the sponge on a piece of paper first to make sure you don't have too much polish on it. Have fun with the shapes- the galaxy doesn't exactly have uniform shapes. I had some of mine go diagonally across the nail, others make almost a "C" shape. Have fun with it!

Step 4:
Next, you will use the pink as an accent on the yellow nebulas you started. Use a clean sponge piece with the pink around the centers of the areas you created with the yellow. Remember, this isn't an exact science- these are abstract shapes.
Step 5:
Use your dark blue polish with the sponge to blend together the edges of the yellow/pink nebulas with the black background. Just lightly sponge around the edges. Don't worry if you get some on your finger- you can always clean up later.
Step 6:
Let's add some stars to the sky! Using a very fine dotting tool or toothpick, take your white acrylic paint and dot some stars. Test your dots on a piece of paper first to make sure you're happy with their size.

Step 7:
You're almost there! Let your white acrylic paint have a minute or two to dry- you don't want to smear all that awesomeness you've been working on. After they're dry, use a fine glitter top coat that is not dense to pull it all together. The small bits of glitter will look like itty bitty stars in your galaxies. After that, just put on your top coat, and you're good to go!

These get so many compliments and look more much complicated than they really are. I hope you give it a try!

Orly Androgynie

Base: OPI Black Onyx
Topped with Orly Androgynie from the 2011/2012 Holiday Soiree collection

I know that I did a mini-review on Androgynie a while back, but I used this for a manicure the other day and had a much better experience- thought it was worth an update!
Androgyine has a base of black jelly and is filled with fine soft gold glitter and larger blue, teal, and hex glitter. The first time I tried it, I was let down because I had trouble getting the glitter on to the nail. This time, I tried turning the bottle upside down for maybe 20 minutes or so before using it. My gosh the difference it made! I was able to get a nice sample of glitter on each nail and was very happy with the overall result.
I'm so glad I gave this polish a second chance!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

OPI Black Onyx

OPI Black Onyx

I realize that today I'm making a polish on a color that is not complex or unique, but I assure you there is valid reason behind it. Black is a very useful polish color- it is often used as the base coat for sheer colors, duochromes, or glitters, and can make a great canvas for nail art. In short, black is a color you will use more often that you realize.
Yes, black is the one color in my collection that I have actually used an entire bottle of and had to replace! Since I needed to replace it anyways, I thought I'd treat myself to a higher end black, picking up OPI Black Onyx. I've used quite a few brands of black in the past. In fact, Sinful Color's Black on Black was my go to black for quite sometime- it was opaque in one thick-ish coat and was rather affordable at $1.99 a bottle. I've also used Wet'n'Wild's Black Creme, while it was a decent polish, the brush was unforgivable.
Speaking of brushes, this is the exact reason I was willing to try OPI Black Onyx even though Black on Black was just fine. I love the OPI brush- it seems to work really well with the shape and size of my nail beds. I'm such a stickler for good brushes, especially on dark colors, because I am not a fan of clean up. I can, and do, clean up polish that ends up on my cuticle or area around the nail, but I think it's much faster to complete my manicure when I don't have to do it.
So here it is, 2 coats of OPI Black Onyx. I would recommend this polish, but again, mainly because of the brush. If brushes aren't a priority for you, Sinful Color's Black on Black is just as good.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Ruby Sapphire

Base: OPI Pepe's Purple Passion
Topped with: Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Ruby Sapphire

To get over the let down that Pepe's Purple Passion was, I decided to pull out something very special! This is an oldie- about 10 years old!- but a goodie! Ruby Sapphire was a gift from a friend- I found it in her polish basket, and when she saw how excited I was about it, it got to come home with me.
The Nail Prisms line was released in 2002 and offered an exciting line of colors such as duochromes like Amber Ruby, and linear holographic polishes like Blush Diamond. Ruby Sapphire is a beautiful color that often looks purple, but flashes blue and red depending on the lighting. These polishes are quite sheer, so I recommend layering them over a color that would compliment them or black.
Application of this polish was a breeze- not one bit of clean up required. It only took one coat to take a manicure I almost immediately wiped off, Pepe's Purple Passion, and turn it into something stunning!
If you find any of the Nail Prism polishes, I recommend picking them up! They have shown up in 5 packs recently as Ross and Grocery Outlet stores.