Monday, January 28, 2013

L'oreal Orange You Jealous?

I've been on a quest for a good peach cream, and while this polish that I'm showing you is not quite peach I had high hopes for it.

Shown here is three coats of L'oreal Orange You Jealous?  The formula was patchy, streaky, and unpleasant to work with.  I will probably add half a milliliter of thinner before I try using this polish again.  The color is also different from what I was expecting: it's more pink than orange and bright.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wet n Wild Fergie Take the Stage

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I found two polishes while I was wandering through Walgreens last week.  The second polish I found was called Take the Stage, and this one I assumed was a dupe for OPI Divine Swine.  Take the Stage consists of magenta microglitter with large silver hexes suspended in a clear base.

Pictured here is three coats of Wet 'n Wild Fergie Take the Stage with two coats of Zoya Kieko as the base.  The magenta microglitter is amazingly sparkly and gorgeous.

It turns out I was right in thinking that Take the Stage was a dupe for OPI Divine Swine.  Divine Swine has a greater quantity of large silver hexes and maybe the magenta glitter in Divine Swine is a smidgen darker than Take the Stage but for all intents and purposes they're alike.

Shown on my ring and pointer is three coats of OPI Divine Swine over two coats of Zoya Kieko; the other fingers are Take the Stage.  Can you tell a difference?  I really can't.

If you missed out on Divine Swine from OPI's Holiday 2011 Muppets Collection now is your chance to pick up a duplicate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wet n Wild Fergie XoXo

As I was aimlessly wandering through my local Walgreens last week I came across the Wet 'n Wild Fergie 2013 Centerstage collection and there were two polishes that caught my eye.  The first was XoXo, a conglomeration of purple, magenta, and blue microglitter suspended in a clear base.  I didn't buy this polish the first day I saw it because I swore, swore! that it was a dupe for Butter London Lovely Jubbly.  I walked home and tried to find swatches of XoXo but that was a disaster.  Determined to fix this, I marched back to Walgreens and picked up the polish with the sole intent of providing the world with a good swatch and comparison of XoXo.

Shown here is three coats of Wet 'n Wild Fergie XoXo, with two coats of Zoya Caitlin as my base.  There is a lot of clear base in this polish and the glitter doesn't cover very well.  At three coats there are still a lot of little spaces where you can see Caitlin.

When I picked up this polish I thought it could be a dupe for Butter London Lovely Jubbly.  While at a glace it looks similar, it's not.  Lovely Jubbly is a mix of magenta microglitter with some blue, red, and gold microglitter sprinkled in.

Shown on my ring and pointer is three coats of Butter London Lovely Jubbly over two two coats of Zoya Caitlin; the other fingers are XoXo.  This is a very densely packed glitter that covers very well.  Opaque at two coats, it's a whole lot of micro glitter in every stroke of the brush.

In case there was any lingering doubt in your mind as to a dupe, here's a close up:

Not really close at all.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Zoya Gemma

Today I have a polish from Zoya to share with you.  It's from the 2011 Zoya Intimate Collection, the Zoya collection I have the most polishes from.  This is Gemma, a dirty olive green polish that is supposed to have a    blue and purple duochrome shimmer.  The duochrome shimmer is why I bought the polish, but it refused to show itself the entire time I wore the polish.

Pictured here is two coats of Zoya Gemma.  It wore very well, three days without a chip and hardly any tip wear.  It was ironic because I am not a fan of this musty olive color and it insisted on lasting intact on my nails for several days till I had a chance to change it.  If this color is your thing, I suggest picking up a bottle of Gemma.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Essie Lady Like

This week I had to stop by my company's headquarters to pick up the latest healthy initiative: an activity tracker called FitBit.  I love the FitBit so far, it gives me great data about my activity level throughout the day in the form of many graphs.  Pure heaven.  Anytime I have an event where I need to go to my company's headquarters I try to dress extra conservatively.  To accomplish this I have a slew of beautiful wear to work polishes that I carefully select what to wear from. Ah, just kidding.  I'll use anything as an excuse to wear a beautiful nude polish.

This is two coats of Essie Lady Like.  I've had this polish since it debuted in Essie's Fall 2011 collection.  It's a nice simple pink with a tinge of grey.  Since I've had it for so long I was surprised that I'd hadn't photographed it before now.  It's beautiful and very subdued, a great polish for wearing on a conservative work day.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Dotting

Just a nice simple dotting manicure.  I picked up the blue last summer and I hadn't worn it till now.  It's actually a rather nice color.  A good, deep blue color.  Navy I would call it.  I haven't done much other than wear plain colors, that stamping manicure from last week was the first nail art I'd done in a month.

For my base I used two coats of China Glaze First Mate.  It's almost a one-coater but I went with two out of habit.  I then added dots of Zoya Ziv in a very simple pattern.  I'm not usually one for gold but I bought Ziv on a whim during their recent promotion.  I'm glad I did, navy and gold go very well together.

Psst - the winner of my Darling Nails Thank You giveaway was announced this morning here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Light Box

My old, no light box required, easily hides
away, photo setup.
Back in December my old photography set up stopped working.  The light had either burned out or the ballast had gone kaput.  My setup had worked well for many months; the OttLite doubled as my desk light: it provided fantastic lighting for regular work and nail photos.  The sheet of foam core was easy to slip away between my desk, and it's pretty easy to find (and tuck away) sheets of 8.5" x 11" paper.

It worked fantastically, until one day the light just wouldn't turn on.  Of course it died in the beginning of December, when the days were getting shorter and shorter. Alas. Fortunately I've been dreaming, planning, plotting, and designing a more permanent light box since last June.  Not as fortunate that I didn't have a large back-log of nail photos that I could share with you.

It was time to build.

I began to gather supplies, and please forgive me ahead of time, I don't have much practice with taking photos throughout a project but I did try my best.  I knew I wanted my light box to be made out of wood: I wanted a sturdy set up.  Also I think my cat would try to sleep in it if I made it out of cardboard.  I knew I wanted a light fabric shell to diffuse the light.  I knew I didn't want lighting that was specific to one company.  I also live in a one bedroom apartment so all the construction must be able to be completed in my kitchen, no fancy cuts on a miter saw.

I started with two, half-inch 12" x 12" pieces of plywood for my base.  I wanted to screw the pieces together but my drill isn't strong enough to drill through wood (go figure).  I used wood glue and fashioned them into an L.

The next step was to create two frames for the fabric.  I made the frames out of four, 5/8" square dowels.  They came 36" in length and I cut them down to size with a little utility saw and a miter box.

This stage completed I lugged everything down to my garage parking spot in the basement and sprayed the plywood base and frames with two coats of primer.  I used primer because I wanted to seal the wood and create a base for paint to cover over.

On top of the primer I applied a coat of white acrylic paint.  I wanted to make sure that everything was a nice white color in order to reflect the light as best as possible.  

Next step was to make the cross-bracing to attach the fabric to.  I had to sand away some areas I had already painted because I quickly learned that if you try to use wood glue on painted surfaces it won't adhere together.  Tip: don't paint until everything is glued together.  Wood glue doesn't stick very well to painted surfaces.

Almost ready!  It was time to attach the fabric to the frame that I'd made.  I bought a yard of bleached muslin cloth at a fabric store to affix to the sides.  I cut it like I was wrapping a present and used little nails to attach the fabric to the dowels.

With the frame wrapped, the finishing touches for the light box were fairly easy to complete.  I glued a large piece of felt to the bottom of the plywood to prevent scratching of the surface that the box would sit on. I sat the frame on top of the box and used my leftover fabric to create a seamless background (I still need to iron the fabric).  Then I placed a bookend on either side of the box and attached the lights with day light bulbs.

Here's what it looked like in the end all lit up:

Looks like a legit light box now.  :)  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I know what you're probably most interested in seeing is how things photograph inside the light box.  I'm happy to report that they photograph really well!  This is a photo of a cat I picked up in China last year:

Happy, well-lit cat.  I do need to pick up a third light to shine down from the top and

Here's the budget breakdown for this project:
  • Plywood: $3.00
  • Square Dowels: $8.56 (at $2.14 per dowel)
  • Gorilla Glue: $3.83
  • Primer: already had
  • Paint: $0.89
  • Fabric: $1.99
  • Nails: already had
  • Felt: $0.68
  • Bookends: $11.49
  • Lights: $20.91 (at $6.97 per light)
  • Day light bulbs: $2.98 (at $0.99 per bulb)
  • TOTAL: $46.37

Project Manager Delilah
Not too bad for a nice wood light box considering light boxes on Amazon can cost $30 or more.  If I already had lights and bookends (or something else to attach the lights to) this project would have cost a lot less. This was my first time trying to document a project.  I think I've managed to properly photograph all the steps but if you think I have left something out please let me know.

The one thing I did leave out were all the photos that my cat bombed.  She was the project manager for this endeavor and kept close taps throughout all stages of the construction.

In fact, all photos would look like the one on the right if I didn't hold her in my lap when taking photos.

Happy polishing!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Houndstooth Design

I was inspired for this manicure by the coat of one of my coworkers (similar to this one but no fur).  It's nice khaki colored coat covered in a houndstooth design so I've adapted it for my nails.  My quite nubby nails.

I used two coats of China Glaze Kalahari Kiss for my base than stamped the houndstooth image from Bundle Monster plate BM-322 using Konad Special Polish in White.  I have two houndstooth image plates, one is MASH plate 63 and this one; they're two different sizes.  I think the MASH plate is more like a puppystooth than a houndstooth since it's so little compared to the Bundle Monster one.  I'm much more a fan of the larger Bundle Monster plate.  Which size do you prefer?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Darling Nails Thank You Giveaway

**This giveaway is now closed - see who won below!**

Thank you to everyone who entered.  The lucky winner of two polishes from the OPI Mariah Carey Collection and a set of Burt's Bees Basics is ... Patty G (whose favorite polish memory is polishing her nails with her daughter).  Congratulations Patty!

Good morning, happy new year!  I've decided to host a giveaway here because I'd like to thank everyone who's been following my blog.  I really appreciate all the kind words, advice, and polish thoughts you've shared with me during the last 1.583 months that this blog has been around.

Thank you for sticking with me through short nails and long, through photos with bad lighting to the ones with full-spectrum bulbs, from ragged cuticles to well-moisturized ones.  Its meant a lot to me.  

As a thank you I'm giving away two polishes from the OPI Mariah Carey Collection and a set of Burt's Bees Basics.

The pink reflection on the bottle shots is from my pink camera.  Tip: don't buy a pink camera :)

I picked these polishes because I love blues and purples, and I thought the liquid sand polishes might be fun to try.  They're not everyone's cup of tea but have you seen how they sparkle when you add top coat?  Beautiful!  The Burt's Bees Basics set includes cuticle cream (a must have for every polish-aholic!) and a lip balm.

The rules:
  • PRIZE: OPI Liquid Sand Get Your Number, OPI Liquid Sand Can't Let Go, and Burt's Bees Basics (Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter) 
  • TO ENTER: In the Rafflecopter widget below enter your Google Friend Connect name, email address, and tell me...
  • BONUS QUESTION: ...what your favorite polish memory is.  Was it when you finally located your number one lemming?  When you stayed up late for an indie restock and managed to get everything you were hoping for?  
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Tuesday, January 15th at 11:59 pm CST.
  • PRIZE SHIPS: This giveaway is open to both the United States and internationally.  
  • OTHER STUFF: One entry per email address is permitted.  The winner will be selected using Rafflecopter and announced on Wednesday, January 16th as an update to this post.  Once the winner has been selected they will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  

Thank you and good luck!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...