Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Fresh

Today I have another swatch from my H&M mini mini haul. This is Summer Fresh, and light peachy creme with a very subtle silver shimmer.


This is two coats. Application, like Grey Sky, was good, and the color is OK, but it's definitely not my forte. Though I originally planned to do a full mani of this, I only ended up doing one hand for a swatch and it came off. Good thing this little guy was only $1.95.


This was the second polish in a nail nightmare that took almost FOUR HOURS of my night people. Four hours!

My original intention was a marble over yesterday's Grey Sky, which I really loved. I used Grey Sky, OPI You Don't Know Jacques, and an OPI shimmer I can't remember at the moment. I really liked the combo, but messed up a few nails so I decided to swatch Summer Fresh instead (I will definitely do that marble again because it was really cute! Stay tuned). After deciding NO on Summer Fresh, I went to a favorite of mine that I haven't yet featured on here, American Apparel L'Espirit, and beautiful lavender/periwinkle cream that applies like a one-coat wet dream. I was good to go until I was enlisted to help the 'rents drag some luggage and other such things into the house (they just came back from vacation last night). Some terrible nicks and smudges made me bid L'Espirit adieu.

So THEN, I thought it might be good to go back to my E.L.F. haul and swatch Pearl, a shimmery white. BIG mistake. Guys, don't wait for a pic, take it from me. This is one of the worst, streakiest, brush-strokey mess I have ever applied. I can't ever promise you'll see it because I don't know if i can bear putting that monstrosity on my hands again. We'll see.

I tried to save that garbage with a coat or two of a bronze shimmer, but it was hopeless. I lost all faith in my collection then, and, deflated and downtrodden, I put on 2 coats of Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle (A strengthening and lengthening treatment I've used for years and swear by) and a coat of Seche and went to bed.

It's not a happy morning when you wake up and realize you have to go to work like this:


For the sake of your own retinas, DO NOT click for a close up.

Pray for a better nail day for me today, dear readers. I can't go on like this!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

H&M Haul and Grey Sky

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a lovely weekend :) I had boyfriend over for the weekend so couldn't do my normal manicure routine for fear of boring him to death lol! Saturday I took him over to the Garden State Plaza for a celebratory treat because he finally took his Bar exam. I made an appointment at The Art of Shaving for him to have the "Royal Shave" - a straight razor shave with all kinds of face masks and lotion and other goodness. Guys like getting pampered too! If your man has a special occasion or you just want to do something nice for him, I definitely recommend taking him to their Barber Spa for special shave :)

Anyway, boyfriend wasn't the only one who got treats! I dragged him into H&M and did some browsing, and picked up 3 mini polishes along with my two tops!

From left: Summer Fresh, Grey Sky, Blue Sky.

Of course the first color I wanted to try was Grey Sky, a pretty taupey-grey with a very delicate, fine silver shimmer. I really just can't get enough of these colors. They're just so classy and sophisticated!


I was VERY pleasantly surprised with the application of this polish. The bottle is teeny tiny so I was expecting a pain in the ass tiny brush, but it actually applied really well! The brush was short, yes, but the bristles were soft and the brush pretty wide which made application easy. I wasn't expecting very much from the formula either, but it was smooth and easy to work with, no cuticle drag and minimal streaking on the first coat - this is two and the color is smooth and opaque. I wish I had taken a pic of just one coat. I actually liked it a lot, it was just a sheer wash of a light mauvey color.


This shade reminds me a lot of one of my other favorite taupes, Color Club High Society. I'll need to do a comparison soon and see just how similar they are side by side. HS doesn't have the shimmer GS has, but the shimmer's so subtle that if they're the same shade, I think it'd be fair to call them dupes. We'll see!


I just thought this was fun :)

Stay tuned for swatches of Blue Sky and Summer Fresh!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

M. Butterfly

Hi everyone! Today I've got another one of my red Nars minis to share with you. The last one, Dovima, was a gorgeous bright red creme but not my shade. M. Butterfly, is much more my speed.


Can I get a hell yea! I absolutely love this deep almost mulberry red shade. It's definitely much more suited to my skintone. This was taken in direct sunlight. 


Can you tell that I'm ready for fall and winter colors? I'm slowly delving back into the dark, vampy section of my collection. This is M. Butterfly in the shade.

And in artificial light with flash.

This was three coats of Nars' smooth formula. It's easy to apply but I found the color a little sheer -  even with three coats I can see a few bald patches on my nails. I think this may be due to the stiffness of the mini brush; you may not have that problem with a full sized bottle. Even so, the color is beautiful and glossy.  I would recommend letting the coats dry a little in between to avoid bald patches, or you could always slap on another coat if it's really needed.

I've got one more Nars mini left, a red shade somewhere in between Dovima and M. Butterfly. Stay tuned!

Every say hello to our newest friend, Lauren! Check out her Youtube channel, Lovely's Instict which is dedicated to all things nail polish. Her newest video is all about Shellac, which you guys know is very near and dear to my heart :) Welcome Lauren!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mount Royal

Hey all! Sorry I've been MIA. Just so much stuff going on!

Today I've got a beautiful blue creme for you ladies. This is American Apparel in Mount Royal: 


I'd describe this as a dusty navy. It's really pretty - AA does a really good job with these opaque cremes. This is two coats to smooth everything out, but you could probably get away with one thick coat if you were careful enough. Application is pretty good; sometimes I find that AA polishes thicken up as you're using them - weird, but I guess they start drying on the brush as you go. I didn't find it too much of an issue, but if you do, a drop or two of thinner should take care of the problem.


These were both taken inside in artificial light. You'll find that the color is a little lighter in natural light; unfortunately the weather has been so bad here the last couple days I didn't get a chance to shoot outside :( If by chance I catch a ray of sunshine I will update.

Have any of you ladies used a polish from American Apparel? What's your favorite shade?

Welcome to Leeblee of Belly Full of Nail Polish and Deanna of Lorraine Nails! Check them out :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

E.l.f. Haul!

After only about 6 days, my order from E.l.f. came! Check it out:

elf haul

from left: Royal Purple, Bubble Gum Pink, Mint Cream, and Pearl.

Mint Cream looks like a dead dupe for my American Apparel Office - I'll need to do a comparison. I think of the four, I'm most looking forward to trying Royal Purple, it's totally different from any other purple shades I have.


I also ordered two tinted moisturizers to try out. I used to use Oil of Olay tinted moisturizer, but that stuff is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find nowadays, so I'm searching for a replacement product.

Did I mention every single one of these products was ONE DOLLAR?? With shipping, I paid $8.37 for all this stuff! Win!

Have any of you ever tried E.l.f. Cosmetics? What did you think?

And just because it's gorgeous and I can't stop looking, here's another shot of my Nfu Oh mani :) 

See the gorgeous turquoise flash in the sun?! **swoon**

Welcome to Oooh, Shinies! Check her out :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finally - Nfu Oh 52

I ordered Nfu Oh 52 about a month back, and I won't lie; at first, I was stumped. I didn't know what to do with it! I know it had these gorgeous flakies I was dying to get on my nails, but I hated the purple jelly base they were floating in. I tried it by itself, I tried it over purple, over blue, over green, all lighter colors. It just wasn't working for me. So, poor Nfu Oh 52 was banished to the back of my polish drawer, not to be touched for many, many days.

So finally last night, I had had it. That polish was $12 goddamn it, and I'll be damned if I can't make that flaky goodness work for me! So I slapped on a quick coat of an oldie but goodie, Revlon Dark Pleasures in Patent Leather, a dark, dark charcoal grey almost black polish with very fine silver glitter/shimmer. Then I grabbed my Nfu Oh, took a deep breath, and applied.

Behold the blingtastic results!!


How had I ever contemplated giving this away?!! Swapping it?!? Let's view a closeup:


I want to blow that up and wallpaper my walls with it. Paint it on fabric and wear it. Turn it into jewelry. ANYTHING. It's glorious! I love, love, LOVE how the flakies flash from green to turquoise, to dark blue depending on the light. The flakes and shine give this polish so much depth. It makes me think of being on the beach, and looking down through the water at a shiny treasure on the ocean floor.


Apparently I was feeling extra creative and daring last night. I decided to use the matte topcoat I picked up at Icing over one of my nails. And lo and behold, I love that too! I love how the matte makes the individual flakies stand out. I also love how Icing ripped off Essie's matte topcoat's name: Matte About You. Sneaky, sneaky, Icing! 

Do you have any other Nfu Oh's? What's your favorite way to wear it?

PS. Big welcome to Vettelicious! Thanks for joining us :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Matte Green 7

Today I've got a polish I picked up while perusing through my local Urban Outfitters. No name for this, it's simply called Matte Green 7.


I really love the color of this polish, a pretty light tiffany blue. Unfortunately, it was a bitch and a half to apply. This polish is semi-matte, drying to a satin finish. It does this weird thing where it dries just enough to be unspreadable on the nail, but not enough to avoid smudging and nicking. Sometimes I was lucky to even cover my whole nail before the polish started drying right on the brush. Again, really really weird, one of the most difficult formulas I've ever worked with.

This is three coats as the first two streaked horribly - three was absolutely necessary to even things out. I was REALLY not feeling the satin finish as it showed every imperfection in the mani, so I slapped on a thick coat of Seche, which made the pretty color shine and definitely saved my nails many more smudges than are already there.

I have one other color from Urban, a sheer lime so creatively called Green 1, which has been sitting in my untrieds for ages. It's not a matte so hopefully application will be better. I wonder how this sheer polish would work for a gradation mani? Hmmm...stay tuned!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Marble Monday!

I was really hoping I would get a chance to do another marble before today, but alas I had no time so here's what we have:


I used two different shade of purple, Rimmel Play Fast in Night Before, and Color Club Electronica, marbled with the Brucci Alexandra's "Hot" Gray.

I had high hopes for this marble but it came out wayy to thick. Pointer to ring finger I alternated Brucci, Rimmel, Brucci, CC, etc. I thought it was very grey heavy so for the pinky, I did CC, Rimmel, Brucci, CC, Rimmel, Brucci, - you get the picture. There's clearly more purple on my pinky but it really didn't help with the goopiness.

Another marble that came off right after the swatch. :(

No worries! I've got a really pretty color coming up tomorrow :)

Welcome to Tessa and Kasiuchetka! Click the links to check them out!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Giveaway at Ooo, Shinies!

It's our lucky day! A great giveaway is going on over at Oooh, Shinies! Check it out and enter to win a great haul :)

Alexandra's "Hot" Gray

Hey everyone! It's been a couple days. Today I've got a beautiful grey creme from Brucci called Alexandra's "Hot" Gray.

gray brucci

Pretty, right! This is a really nice cement grey creme with a bit of a blue undertone to it. Application was just like my other Bruccis - a bit of streaking on the first coat, but slap on a second and you're golden. It dries smooth and glossy and wears for days with no chips. Every new Brucci polish I try, I love them more and more. The quality of this product for the price is phenomenal. If you see these in a drugstore, please don't hesitate to give them a try, it'll be SO worth your two dollars and change!

I've got a mini haul from Eyes Lips Face (or E.L.F., as it's known) coming my way. I've heard some great stuff about these products, and at $1-$3 bucks a pop, it's hard to resist! Stay tuned :)

 Also, a big welcome to K of Glazed Over! Go check her out!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A late Marble Monday


This is really frustrating guys. I just can't get back into the groove of marbling! I don't know what's wrong with me! And I'm even more mad becuase this marble just completely ruined the gloriousness of Black Emerald for me. I'm gonna take it off today after work and just start fresh.

Le sigh.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brucci Black Emerald






Oh my goodness. I knew I liked this shade in the bottle, the shimmery green with flashes of gold and red was right up my alley, but I had no idea just how ridiculously orgasmic this was on the nail. I could literally make out with my hands right now.


Brucci Emerald in all its blackened, glowy glory is just fantastic. Brucci has once again reinforced my love for the brand with another fantastic polish. It's a little streaky and bald-patchy on the first layer, but slap on a second coat and you are good to GO. Honestly...in love.

Ps. A random eBay listing for this polish I came across claims its a limited edition shade, but I'm not sure how much truth there is to that statement. What I do know is that you need to RUN to your nearest Rite-Aid, CVS, or whatever drug store you prefer and pick up this beauty STAT.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vamper Sunday

Here's a Nars mini I got from a friend who does makeup for Nars. Dovima is creamy and luscious, and as red as red gets.


The formula on this was so great, almost opaque in one coat, and perfect in two. I feel like $16 is almost worth it when the formula is as easy to use as this one. This is inside with flash.


This is indirect sunlight. It makes me sad that I really just don't like this shade of red on me. In person it brings out the yellow undertones of my skin and I cringe looking down at my hands. A red with more of a blue undertone suits my skin better. I have two more Nars minis in shades of red, so I'll have to give them a test run next Vamper Sunday.

Did you watch Trueblood today? Who's your favorite character this season? I always have a soft spot (or a "I want to rip off your clothes" spot) for Eric lol!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gradation Mani

After seeing Michelle's gradation mani over at All Lacquered Up, I've been obsessed with trying to find the best polishes in my collection to do my own version. A gradation manicure is when the color fade down the nail, creating an ombre effect on each finger. Michelle used a Butter London jelly to achieve her look, but I've got nothing like it in my collection. I decided to give it a go using my one and only holo, OPI My Private Jet.


My results! I layered MPJ over one coat of American Apparel Mount Royal. MPJ is pretty sheer on its own, but I decided to mix it with some clear polish for the first coat so the blue would still show through pretty strongly. Then I did two more normal coats of MPJ, moving further down the nail with each coat, and topped with Seche Vite.


What do you think? I like this a lot! I want to try it again with a lighter color on the base so the gradient really shows. A true jelly, like what Michelle used, is going to be my next polish purchase so I can try it out with sheer color rather than holo. But still, I like it! Has anyone else tried this mani?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Deborah Lippmann at Gilt.com!

I know a lot of you are like me. I sit and drool over Deborah Lippman's gorgeous polishes - the pretty colors, the even prettier bottles, but I just caaaaan't quite bring myself to shell out the $16-$20 per bottle. But alas, ladies, Gilt.com to the rescue!

Gilt.com is an invitation only shopping site which gives you access to designer and luxury brands at up to 70% off. Lucky for us polish addicts, Deborah Lippmann nail and beauty products on sale there today! You can find deals like $10 for a $16 polish, or $20 for a $34 hand scrub.

Click here to get your invitation to Glitz.com goodness! I think I'm going to grab Kiss From a Rose and Stardust. Which products will you be picking up?

Also, welcome Carli and Parokeets! Hope you guys enjoy my blog :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Revised Marble

Here's the marble I tried over Gianna's "Rockin" Blue. I wanted to go for really subtle so I used GRB in the marble as well so only OPI Go On Green would really show up on the nail.


I actually really like how this came out and would do it on my whole mani - it's a classy way marble with this color without making the already bright mani too obnoxious.

On an slightly unrelated note, can we talk about how last time I tried to swatch GRB, it took me HOURS to get a shot that was even CLOSE to the real shade - this time, it comes out no problem!! The color on this photo is right on; and its gorgeous!

On a very unrelated note...

Look at my charge for the week! I'm babysitting my sister's BF's doggie for the week, and she is just the cutest, roundest, fattiest little mush ever!!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Marble Monday!

Well, now that I'm Shellac free, on to a Marble Monday!


My first in a while, but not really my favorite. I did this marble on bare nails, and I think it would have looked better if I did it over a color. This is Brucci Gianna's "Rockin" Blue marbled with OPI Go On Green.


I think this nail came out the best of all. I took this marble off after I finished taking pics and put on Brucci Gianna's "Rockin" Blue on all my nails, so I think I might try to marble again tonight but this time over the color. We'll see how it goes!

Shellac removal

So my Shellac was onto Day 9, and though it still looked perfect (no joke, PERFECT), I was sick of looking at french on my nails and on my blog.

Removing the Shellac was much easier than I thought. All you need to do is put an acetone-soaked cotton ball on each nail and wrap it in foil.


Let it sit for 10 minutes, and voila! They flake right off! Any residual Shellac left behind can easily be pushed off using an orange stick or cuticle pusher. The best part? No nail damage WHATSOEVER. I am true believer in Shellac and have/will recommend it to anyone interested in a pretty mani. I will most definitely be going back for another Shellac manicure for my next special occasion :)