30 January 2011

Sephora by OPI Glee collection - Hell to the No

Hello lacquered lovelies!

I went to bed really late last night/this morning (I was working on the new blog layout and a few other things - what do you think?) so I took quite a while to drag myself out of bed today. By the time I was done getting ready (and drinking coffee and visiting my roomie and reading haha), it was already almost 3. Ahh, lazy days.

So I decided to wander down to Sephora to see if they had the Urban Ballerina or Glee minis because I kept drooling over Jen's swatches of them. That woman's nails...! She creates a pretty good portion of my lemmings with her pictures... anyway.

I held up the line at Sephora for about ten minutes (I swear, there was nobody in line when I went up to pay for the Glee mini - I just asked about the full size bottles and UB on a whim and another girl dashed to the back to look for me - ahh, being a VIB) but emerged with the two minis, as well as Hell to the No, which I got for Nicole because it's purple with gold shimmah shimmah and has her name all over it. :) I was hoping to get Who Let the Dorks Out? but no luck... I shall have to go back and look again soon.

I noticed that Jen's swatch of HTTN was the only one that I had really seen, so I decided to ask Nicole if I could swatch it in the retreating sunlight. She kindly consented, so here it is for you!

Hell to the No is a mid-toned blue-ish purple with gold shimmer. It's delicious. And my camera is totally incapable of capturing the colour accurately. Look at how much it changes! The natural light pictures are probably the closest, so let's do those first. :)

Excuse the crappy painting job, I literally painted my nails at a bus stop so I could capture the last bit of sunlight when I got home to my camera. We've barely seen the sun lately so I wasn't taking any chances!

For a $OPI name, I'm pretty happy with it. It's not nearly as offensive as some of the other ones... but that's a feminist Kirsten rant for another day.

Om nom nom!

In the "shade"...

And using my "natural" lamp. 

See how different it looks?! It looks a lot darker in these pics than it is in real life!

HOW CAN THIS BE THE SAME POLISH? My camera really sucks. But look at that shimmer!

That's all I've got for now. I'm doing another mani tonight with a Konad accent nail that will involve a very lovely pink... I know, right? I never thought I'd say "lovely" and "pink" in combination either!

Thanks for reading!

Blackened Red Comparison

What does everyone think of the new layout and colour scheme? I think Kirsten did a fantastic job. I'm completely useless at all of that HTML stuff (even when I'm using one of those help pages), I'm so lucky to be blogging with someone that knows what they're doing.

Anyway, this is a post that I've been thinking about since Christmas when I got both of the polishes involved. For Christmas, among others, my sister got me a bottle of Sephora by OPI I'm With Brad. When I went to the mall for the Boxing Day sales, I picked up a bottle of OPI Midnight in Moscow, not really remembering that I'd just gotten a very similar polish the day before. I sure as hell remembered when I was putting my polishes away into the storage containers and ended up putting I'm With Brad and Midnight in Moscow right next to each other.

My fingers are far too pink in this picture, but I think the polish colour is fairly accurate, and it shows the shimmer well.

I put Midnight in Moscow on my index and ring fingers, I'm With Brad on middle and pinkie.

Both polishes are very vampy and consist of dark red shimmer in an almost-black base. Both polishes looked almost identical as I painted them onto my nails, and needed two coats for full coverage. I ended up doing three coats on my index and middle fingers though, just for comparison.

This picture shows the brown notes in the shimmer more than the first, and I would say that the actual polish colour is somewhere in between the two.

This was the only picture where I could really see much difference between the two polishes. I'm With Brad seems to have more red in the shimmer than Midnight in Moscow, which seems a little more brown. In all honesty though, it's really hard to tell any difference at all in person. Unless you're staring really intently at the two of them (like I did) you probably can't tell them apart at all.

I would recommend buying one of these two polishes, but the specific polish is up to the individual buyer. 

I was also originally planning on throwing Nicole by OPI Kiss Me At Midnight into the comparison as well, but the bottle I have of it is a mini and it has gotten lost somewhere in the swirling vortex that is my room. Upon studying my swatch of KMAM on my nail wheel against the other two though, it's quite a bit lighter than they are.

What about you, do you have one or both of these polishes? Which one do you prefer?

China Glaze Secret Periwink-le + Konad

Hello lacquered lovelies! This is the mani I mentioned in my rant post - I definitely felt a lot better after posting that!

This was my first time using a full Konad nail design, so I decided to use a pattern that had more curves in it, just so it wouldn't be super obvious if I failed.

The base is China Glaze Secret Periwink-le (why is it like that? I hate random hyphens) and the swirly flower pattern from the M73 plate. SP is exactly what the same suggests - a purpley-blue colour to my eye. Nice creamy finish. The pictures are all with two coats, a coat of Seche Vite, stamp using Konad special polish and another coat of Seche Vite.

Good lord, the overhead light in my room  is disgusting. I look so yellow! This is shortly after I finished this mani up.

This is with my "natural" lamp. I kind of like the look of this, though it's not super colour accurate.

But this one isn't either. Honestly, I desperately need some sun in my life. It's been raining/miserable here for a week and a half now.

So sadly, this is the closest I could get to natural light. I think there was a raindrop on my finger in a few of the shots.

Ah yes, there it is, on my middle finger. Curses! Although I still have those pictures of Sea Spray with water droplets on it... sooo pretty. Must post soon!

So there we go. What do you think? I think it looks like a retro wallpaper or something. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Have you done any fun Konadicures lately?

Thanks for reading!

26 January 2011

Layering with SinfulColors Bali Mist + a surprise!

This post is going to be a long-ish one, so settle in for some reading.

Just a warning, something very exciting happened to me yesterday evening, and the format of this blog post is going to reflect that. So people that are easily startled should prepare themselves for that.

Anyway, on with the normal post.

The other day I stopped in to London Drugs after school and ended up leaving with a bottle of SinfulColors Bali Mist.

Bali Mist is an absolutely beautiful purplish-pink shimmery polish. It is incredibly sheer. That's 4 coats in that picture, and I still had ridiculous VNL. It's unlikely that I would ever wear it on its own, but it does wonderful things when layered over other polishes. I'll get to that in a bit though.

First we need to meet the polishes that it will be layered over!

While in Mexico, I picked up a few bottles of polish from a Mexican brand called Renova. Now, these polishes aren't big 3 free, which is a bit of a downer, but they're really beautiful. They're like Zoyas in that they're all given girl names, which is kind of cute.

First up is Kendra, which is a lovely frosty purple. It needs two coats to even out fully, and it applies so smoothly. Seriously, it's so smooth that I'm tempted to paint it over everything I own just so I can enjoy the smoothness of application. It's a little brush-strokey, but I really don't mind. It's worth it for the loveliness of the shade. And the smoothness.

Next up is Aymar. Aymar is a gorgeous shimmery midnight blue. This one is quite a bit more sheer than Kendra, and the picture is four coats, I believe. If I had taken more care with it I probably could have gotten away with three, but I did an extra one just to be sure.
The last of my Renova ladies is called Odalys, and she is a.. dark silver? Light charcoal? I have no idea. I wore this for a few days in Mexico after I got it, and it reminded me of pencil lead. You know how sometimes when you are/were bored in class you colour your nails with your pencil? It looks kind of like that, but with more shimmer and not, you know, pencil.

And now we'll layer Bali Mist on top of them -


I have Black Shatter.

I know Kirsten already has it, but I don't care. Now it's my turn to be excited.

As I was getting ready to layer Bali Mist over the Renovas, I got a phone call from one of the salons in town informing me that the OPI Katy Perry collection had just arrived, and they were holding a bottle of Black Shatter behind the counter for me.

Needless to say, I told my cousin to get the car started as I scurried upstairs to put on some real pants (I'd changed into my jammies after school) so that I could go get my crackly baby. I didn't even care about the fact that one of my hands had partially dry skittles on it and the other hand was completely naked. Black Shatter was waiting for me.

If the woman working in the salon is to be trusted, I arrived shortly after she finished calling the people that had put Shatter on hold.
And then a few minutes after arriving, I was leaving with two new beauties. Along with Black Shatter, I picked up a bottle of Not Like the Movies, which is the one polish from the Katy Perry collection that really spoke to me.

Unfortunately, in my excitement to try out Black Shatter, I didn't think to take any pictures of NTLM on its own, but there are enough swatches of it floating around that I'm not too broken up (for good swatches of NTLM and the rest of the Katy Perry collection, I suggest looking at Scrangie's post, her swatches are so gorgeous they almost hurt my feelings a little bit). I was also too excited to take a picture with my real camera, so you'll have to contend with pictures from my phone. If you're a friend on Facebook or a follower on Twitter, you may have already seen them before.


Over top of Kendra, Bali Mist doesn't really make much of a difference. It lightens it a bit and gives it a bit of a pink flash in certain lights and at certain angles, but the purple still pretty much dominates.

I think Bali Mist looks absolutely stunning over Aymar. In this picture (because my camera is a dink) it looks quite a bit like Kendra, but I promise it is a shade all unto itself. It looks sort of purpley, but it's a very blue purple, which is exactly the kind of purple I like. This is my favourite of the three layering combos. At some point I'll do a full manicure of it, but for the time being I'm going to be playing around with Black Shatter.

While Aymar is my favourite to layer Bali Mist over, Odalys is probably the most interesting. With Bali Mist layered over top, it turns into a neat little duochrome, the pink and grey shifting back and forth as the light and angles change. Not my favourite, but definitely interesting.

So, the summary. Renova polishes are pretty, have excellent formulas, but sheerness varies from polish to polish. They aren't big 3 free, which sucks, but dry time is excellent. Bali Mist is super super sheer, but layers beautifully over a variety of different colours (I'm going to try it with many many others). Do you need any of them? If you're into layering and want something interesting, I would definitely suggest picking up a bottle of Bali Mist (or one of the other SinfulColors polishes, they have lots of light polishes that look good for layering). If you happen to be in Mexico and spot some Renova polishes I think they're worth scooping up.

And yes, you definitely need Black Shatter.

23 January 2011

Playing around with Anchors Away! PIC HEAVY

Guess who's back from Mexico!

It's Nicole, in case you didn't figure it out.

Yesterday was my first full day back from the land of sun, and I wasn't going to let the cloudy weather bring me down, so I gathered up my cousin and we went out polish hunting. By the end of the day, I had damn near every polish in the China Glaze Anchors Away collection.

I plan to swatch each colour individually, but today was a bit rough for me so I needed to do something super awesome with my nails to cheer myself up.

And here it is! This is First Mate layered under Lighthouse. In my head, this is what Zoya Edyta looks like. I know Edyta actually looks nothing like this because I have worn it, but in my head this is what it looks like.

Now, I'm not at my house at the moment so I don't have access to my natural light bulb, which means I have to improvise a little bit. That first picture was taken under a soft incandescent light in the kitchen.

And this picture and the next one were taken under my granny's sewing light.

The kitchen light makes the gold from Lighthouse much more prominent, and the sewing light puts more of the focus on First Mate. In reality, it's somewhere in between the two. If I can get some sunlight tomorrow, I'll try to get a picture to add in as well.

Either way, I think the polish combination is completely and utterly gorgeous. First Mate provides a nice creamy base and the coolness that my pasty hands need, and Lighthouse provides the gold shimmer that I've fallen in love with lately. The gold shimmer is totally beautiful in person, but my camera refuses to capture the depth of it, which is disappointing.

Both polishes applied so smoothly, I was completely thrilled with them. First Mate is almost a one-coater, but I had a few stray bald spots on some of my nails, so I just did two coats on all nails to keep consistent. Dry time was excellent for both polishes and I definitely recommend them and all of the others from the Anchors Away collection.

Kirsten's turn now!

Oh hi, lacquered lovelies. I am totally thrilled that Nicole is back because Nicole is back and I don't need a better reason than that. Did you miss seeing her nails? I sure did!

So as Nicole mentioned, she got almost all of Anchors Away yesterday. I went back to the salon today (Chatters... who said they weren't getting AA! The incompetence overwhelms...) to get the last two, but I couldn't bring myself to get Hey, Sailor! I was only interested in it because of Scrangie's post but she could rub... well, unspeakable things on her nails and I would still love them. Her pictures are that good.

Anyway, despite Nicole getting pretty much everything, I got Sunset Sail, one colour we were missing, and Pelican Gray and White Cap because they are stunning. And believe me, they really are.

I took some pictures of PG on its own. I am so sorry about my nail. I'm so sorry. It's slightly better now so I'm including it but trying out different camera angles. I am so sorry.

I did a bit of colour adjusting on this to get the colour right. It's still not perfect, but it's as close as I could get without majorly greying my hands out.

This shows it darker than it actually is, but this is how it looks in lower lighting. It looks a bit more like Recycle here.
And this is Pelican Gray with White Cap layered over it. White Cap is gorgeous and my lamp cannot possibly do this mani justice. I will probably edit this post tomorrow to put sunlight pictures in. If we get any sunlight, that is.

Nghhh so delicious. Is my broken nail distracting from the beauty? :(

I just included this one because I like how it turned out. :)

This is Pelican Gray on its own. Super macro shot so you can see the microshimmer in it. What a gorgeous polish.

This is what the shimmers look like. My index is PG and White Cap and my middle is just PG.

What a gorgeous collection. We're totally in love with it.

How about you? Are there any necessary polishes for you in this collection? What do you think of these combinations?

Fail, Black Shatter and a tragedy.

I really enjoy coming up with titles for things. They're never clever, but I like when I look at the title of something and go, "Right, I know that this is about."

Anyway. I'm kind of going to be skipping around topics here, so bear with me. The first thing I want to mention is that I finally used Zoya Zara in a manicure and it is gorgeous. I already knew it was from swatches, but seeing it on just reinforced it. It was too pale for my pasty flesh, though, so I ended up doing something else.

Sadly, and this is the fail part, I did a terrible job of painting my nails, so no traditional swatch pictures for that. I am sorry. Just google "Zoya Zara" and swatches that are far better than what I could produce will come up. Or just click here.

There is another reason for this. I also broke a nail. Tragic. And then I sliced my thumb open, so you may see a bit of that in one of the pictures... I am so sorry. Tell your eyeballs that I said sorry.

Anyway! Onto the pictures!

This picture was a toss up for me but I decided to include it anyway because you can see the gold. I took these pictures on the bus on the way to work and I'm pretty sure the other passengers thought I was nuts.

Look at what my job does to my nails... all those scratches in such a gorgeous polish! It makes me very sad.

See that skin on my thumb? Yeah. That's part of my wound. So so gross. I am so sorry. I cropped it out when possible.

I was going to use Zara to make our first video tutorial, but then my nail broke. But it will involve one of these two colours. Zara is on the left, of course, and on the right is NARS Pokerface, which I only got for the name with a Sephora gift card that Erin got for me. :) Obviously not the same polish at all. Zara has the gold, Pokerface has more shimmer than a flash like Zara, and the base colours are different. On the downside for Pokerface, though, which I think will be the polish I use, it took AGES to dry on my nail wheel... is this common with NARS polishes?

Mmm, close up of Black Shatter. Excuse the tipwear, I am sorry. This was after three days of wear. I only included this picture because I think it sort of shows that Zara has the gold in it but also tiny green and red particles... it's a very interesting polish and I don't even normally like colours like this.

That is all for now. It's 2:22 AM and I am making a wish. I'll let you in on a secret - it involves sweet dreams of nail polish.

Until next time, lacquered lovelies!

18 January 2011

Kirsten's holographic NOTD and a bit more on the Katy Perry polishes.

Hello, everyone. I am trying to keep our blogging ship afloat and now I'm worried that I'm posting too much and that it's getting obnoxious. Alas, one can't please everyone.

I'm just doing a combo post instead of two posts like I normally do (I don't know why I do that!). So first up, I'll be showing my nails as they are currently. I got inspired after watching a tutorial that Brooke did on a look originally done by the lovely Erika (who runs the Chloe's Nails blog). Unfortunately, I'm a bit crap (as in, I'm terrible) at nail art, so I had to adjust it a bit to make up for my terrible skills. The original mani has five pieces of scotch tape to create the lines. Unfortunately, my nails aren't very wide or cooperative, so I adjusted it to three. Also, three is my favourite number.

I started out with two coats of Color Club Revvvolution (it's a one coater for sure, I think, but since I was taking pictures, I used two - and I tend to do thinner coats) on all my nails except my ring fingers. On my ring fingers, I used a base of China Glaze LOL. I loveeeeeeeeeeeee holographic manis. They are so delicious. After I let my ring fingers dry completely (I waited about ten minutes... was watching the Tudors to pass the time. As a history major, it's irritating as hell to watch that show, but as someone who needs white noise most of the time, it does the job), put a coat of Seche Vite on, let that dry completely (probably another ten minutes), and cut some tape into tiny little strips. After my ring fingers were fully dry, I put three strips of tape that were roughly the same size onto my nail. One in the middle, and then one on either side.

It's definitely not as good as what Brooke or Erika did (definitely check those links out! I'm a linking MACHINE!) but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Most of the pictures are using my "natural" lamp. I stole a bit of sunlight today on my way to class but I forgot to bring one of the polish bottles, stupid me!

I'm trying to use the "natural" lamp more so I can figure out how to make it look good... it's still not the same as the full sunlight hitting a holo nail polish, as the next picture will show.

Blurry to show the awesomeness. I love how LOL looks in this picture, that's really why I chose it.

Stupid tipwear after a single day... anybody have any tips? :(

Just wanted to try a new type of picture!

And a close up of my accent nail. Yay!

I love both of these polishes. The OMG collection was amazing. LOL is the only one I know, but I am desperately seeking OMG and DV8. :( I also want Sexagon, different collection but yeah...

Revvvolution is amazing for sure. If you don't have it, you need it. And if you're lucky enough to be able to find any of the OMG polishes, get them! I found LOL on ebay for about ten bucks, and I keep seeing DV8 but it's about $25 now. Still... I need it.

Okay. And really quickly, I was interested in the pink Katy Perry glitter (Teenage Dream) from the bottle pictures, but seeing it swatched made me like it a lot less. I really thought it would look more like candy.

Roommate and I were in London Drugs and they had some Sinful Colors polishes, and I saw one that reminded me a lot of TD, except what I wanted it to be, so I scooped it up (along with San Francisco... I can't resist my greens!). I've only swatched it on my nail wheel so far (I'm pinked out after the horrible gradient mani fail that seared retinas and made me feel a bit sick), but I think they look pretty similar!

So obviously, on the left is OPI Last Friday Night. On the right is Sinful Colours Pinky Glitter. Crap name, but see what I mean about them being similar?

The first two shots are taken inside with my "natural" lamp.

And this is outside. LFN shows up a lot more blue, but the pink is pretty accurate. Perhaps a bit darker.

Personally, I prefer Pinky Glitter to Teenage Dream. I really wanted TD to look like candy and I just don't really think it does. :(

I'm not sure what SC polishes sell for in the States. In Canada, they're usually about $5.99, which is better than the average $9.99 to $12.99 for OPI polishes. I would recommend this as a budget alternative to Teenage Dream. Save that OPI money for BLACK SHATTER. 

Long post! Thanks for bearing with me, if you made it this far!

16 January 2011

Katy Perry polishes! And a warning...

Hello everyone. I have a very sad story for you today. It involves the OPI Katy Perry collection, sun-soaked beaches and my other Glove missing.

You see, Nicole went on vacation, as you may have seen in her previous post. Cow. Anyway, we were making nuisances of ourselves, as we can be wont to do, by stalking and phoning salons obsessively. We were on a quest for the Katy Perry collection and nothing would stand in our way.

Except extremely poor timing. The day of Nicole's departure was the day that I spotted the first KP (weirddddd we have the same initials!) display in this weird all-natural-type salon that is so common in our city. Life is painful sometimes.

My failure to obtain multiple bottles of Black Shatter (I can't abbreviate it because it's kind of awkward) sent me on a city-wide search. I combed malls, nail salons that are actually complete dives, everywhere I could think of, and I had no luck.

Alas, I shall continue my search. In the meantime, here are pictures of the two pretties I now have sitting happily in my stash.

With my tendency to paint my nails at night (as in, I do it constantly), Nicole and I decided to try out some of those "natural" light bulbs. They're supposed to mimic the sun and stuff, so this is me attempting to use them. Excuse the mess in the background, I'm in the process of cataloguing my nail polish collection by brand. :)

Tilting my hand away from the light resulted in a lot more colour accuracy. This is three coats of Last Friday Night. I just need to say, though - has anyone else noticed that it's a really weird formula? It looks a lot like that Elmer's glitter glue that we used to use in art classes when we were younger. Thankfully, it doesn't apply like that, but it still is quite sheer. I've got mad VNL here, but I wasn't planning on wearing this on its own anyway. I am hoping to start swatching colours that I think LFN would look good over, though!

I sincerely apologize for the tipwear oh god. I painted my nails on Friday and took these pictures about an hour ago. It is now Sunday. I also worked yesterday, which always kills my nails. Anyway, Black Shatter is my new obsession. My roommate and I think that it looks like dinosaur eggs. :)

With LFN underneath, I think it made the cracks look really cool. Though the more I looked at them, the more they reminded me of veins... creepy? People kept asking me what happened to my poor nail polish yesterday too haha. PSH, they should read more nail blogs!

Because macro makes everything look alarming. This actually looks really weird. Really weird. But Shatter is amazing.

Now. If you're not a glitter nut or you don't have a lot of polishes to layer with (or polishes generally), I would probably pass on Last Friday Night. The bottle colour will never be achieved, which is too bad, because it looks FAB.

But do not pass Black Shatter up. Especially if you're a polish fiend. You will regret it. Your wallet will regret it. You will start lemming it in a few months and be filled with stabs of regret so severe that you may never fully recover.

I speak from experience when I say that OPI generally discontinues any insanely popular polishes. It is so cruel. Why do they do this. I also speak from experience when I say that developing a lemming for any of these polishes could be painful. Do not repeat my mistake with Mad as a Hatter. Get Black Shatter. Get it just to try it. It's fool-proof nail art. What do you have to lose?

Coming up: I passed on the pink glitter from the collection (Teenage Dream, right?) and was beginning to regret it until I was in London Drugs and saw a polish that reminded me of it like crazy. They aren't dupes, but from what I've seen on my nail wheel of this new polish (and what I've seen of TD swatches), I like this one a lot more. It looks the way I'd hoped TD would!

Apologies for the words words words. I need to stop the former writing major in me. 

What do you guys think? Do you think any of the polishes are worth scooping up? I know Nicole is going to go nuts until she gets Not Like the Movies. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...