Monday, April 29, 2013

NerdLacquer I Think You Call Me . . . Sexy

Recently I acquired some NerdLacquer polishes from a friend who didn't desire them as much as she'd originally anticipated.  Her loss is my gain however, as my Nerd collection grows to 6.5 gorgeous shades.  For some reason I've only shown one of them previously, and that was over a year ago on nubs.  So settle in and prepare for a visual smörgåsbord of nerdalicious polishes.

I'm starting with all my Dr. Who themed polishes.  The first was inspired by an episode of Dr. Who called The Doctor's Wife, from Series 6.  It was written by author Neil Gaiman, an author I've really come to enjoy after reading his novels such as Neverwhere.

The video below shows the scene from The Doctor's Wife.  I've skipped ahead to the most relevant part, but feel free to rewind and watch all the interactions between the Doctor and Idris.

This is probably one of the best scenes from Dr. Who and one of the most memorable.

Today I'm wearing three coats of NerdLacquer I Think You Call Me . . . Sexy.  It's a Tardis blue polish with medium hexagonal blue and silver glitter, and little holo glitter bits thrown in.  It's gorgeous, just like the Tardis herself.

Friday, April 26, 2013

L'oreal The Palace Life

I'd been coveting L'oreal The Palace Life every time I visited my local Walgreens until I finally caved.  It's such a pretty pink!

This is three coats of L'oreal The Palace Life.  The wear on this polish is very nice (I went five days with no chips) but I found the formula to be very streaky.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Orly Charged Up with Sticks 'n Stones

After wearing a lot of neutrals, it's nice to wear a bright saturated color for once.  Earlier this year when Orly changed their bottle/the logo on the front, the employees of Sally Beauty let everyone who purchased something select a bottle for free.  I picked this pretty purple called Charged Up from the 2008 Orly High Voltage Collection.

Here I'm using two coats of Orly Charged Up topped with a glitter topper: Cover Band Lacquers Sticks 'n Stones.  If I'm not mistaken, Cover Band Lacquers now goes by Ninja Polish and can be purchased on their site,  Sticks 'n Stones is similar (but not the same) to Lynnderella's Connect the Dots. When I first acquired Sticks 'n Stones, Connect the Dots was quite the pain to acquire but since since Lynnderella is now selling directly on her eBay store it's a lot easier to obtain.

This black and white glitter topper is a nice addition to any cream base and I enjoy the appearance it creates on the nail.  I fully understand why this is such a popular topper!

Monday, April 22, 2013

OPI My Vampire is Buff

I picked up another polish from the Spring 2013 OPI Euro Central Collection on the recommendation from a friend.  She knew of my love for nude polishes and thought I should give My Vampire is Buff a try.

Pictured here is three coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff.  Similar to OPI Suzi's Hungary Again! the formula was a little patchy but had really good wear.  I don't usually give nudes with more of a yellow-tone a try, but I like how this color looks.  I really wanted to incorporate it into some nail art (and did so here) because it seems like a really nice accent or base color for most spring polishes.  

Do you have My Vampire is Buff?  What do you think of it?  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cherry Blossom Trees

Hi everyone!  As you read this I'm currently in Washington D.C. for a National Sustainability Design Expo sponsored by the EPA.  And I couldn't go to Washington D.C. in the Spring without doing cherry blossom nails even though I'm here a week after the peak bloom and the conclusion of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  I was really hoping the cold weather could push back the peak bloom for one more week till I arrived.  Maybe next time!  The trees are nice, just no longer in full bloom.  I've done a cherry blossom manicure once before but that was back when I first started blogging so it's a view at your own risk manicure (view able here).

I haven't been able to do much nail art this year, especially free hand, so this was a fun change.  I started off with two coats of China Glaze for Audrey, a full coverage robin egg blue.  It's also my current pedicure color (don't worry, no feet pictures).  I then drew on the tree branches using So Easy Stripe Rite Black.  I don't have much practice with striping brushes but I felt as though going very slowly and carefully was key to being in control of how the final image turned out.

I used two colors for my flowers.  The first was OPI I Think in Pink, a light pink from OPI's 2012 Breast Cancer Awareness Duo.  The second was OPI My Vampire is Buff, a yellow tinted nude from OPI's Spring 2013 Euro Central Collection.  In the center of each flower I placed a small dot using Zoya Dana, a rose pink.  I finished everything off with a healthy coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.  

What do you think?  Have you done a cherry blossom design before?  

Monday, April 15, 2013

OPI Don't Burst my Bubble

Good morning.  Today I have a polish from OPI's 2013 soft shades collection, Oz the Great and Powerful, to share with you.  It's a refreshing color, one that is sheer and light.  It's perfect for wearing to work, and it's a color I've been wearing a lot this past month.

Here I'm wearing three coats of OPI Don't Burst my Bubble and there is still a lot of visible nail line.  It's a cool toned polish that is normally pink in color with it also has hints of blue and lavender. The formula was a bit streaky, but I'm not sure if it was truly the formula or if it is an inherent part of such a sheer polish.  The wear time on this polish was also very nice.  Don't Burst my Bubble lasted through my usual three day wear test without any chips or tip wear.

I've included a bonus photo for you, a bottle shot.

If you're looking for a clean, refreshing polish, I'd suggest picking up a bottle of Don't Burst my Bubble.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Butter London All Hail the Queen

Today I have another favorite nude polish to show you.  This is a lovely nude polish from Butter London called All Hail the Queen.  This taupe has holographic particles dispersed throughout the polish that make it sparkle in the light.  Sadly, my camera doesn't do a good job of picking up the holo.

Pictured here is three coats of Butter London All Hail the Queen.  All Hail the Queen gets compared a lot to Orly Nite Owl, but I feel as though Nite Owl simply has silver microglitter instead of the holographic particles that make up All the Hail the Queen.  You could probably get away with owning one of the two but I still like holding on to both.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ASP Wrap Kit

Hello world, I'd like to introduce my new favorite product to you: ASP's Wrap Kit.  Previously I've shared another nail saving kit: Orly Nail Rescue.  However, I believe that ASP Wrap Kit is a better long-term nail saving product.  Here's the story.

Back in March I arrived at work to discover that my experiment had flooded the lab with water overnight.  This was obviously not good news as I had to spend a few hours that morning cleaning up the mess.  During the mopping, I drastically broke a nail.

Breaking a nail, especially one so far down, is a really annoying occurrence.  Frustrated, I threw on a bandage and kept working.  I knew that just up the road was a Sally's Beauty Supply and surely they had something that could keep my nail together.

On my lunch break I dashed up the road and scoured the shelves of Sally's Beauty Supply looking for a nail saving kit.  I found one in a package called ASP Wrap Kit.

The kit contained a wood stick, a nail file, brush-on glue, resin activator, pre-cut silk fingers and pre-cut fiberglass fingers.  Basically everything I needed to save my nail while I was at work without any of my nail care supplies.  I believe the cost of the kit was in the range of $15.

By the time I picked up this kit, the little broken nail flap had become completely detached so I was even more impressed that I was able to use the kit to save my nail.

Lunch time nail reconstruction was deemed a success!  I can't even tell my nail was glued back on in that photo.

To give you a better idea of how the kit works, that same day I wound up with a crack in my pointer finger nail, repaired it with this kit, and documented the process for your viewing pleasure.  Let's look at the crack I was dealing with.

Not too bad, but definitely one that could easily catch on something and tear completely off.  (If you look closely at the finer to the left of the cracked on, you can see the split I repaired with this nail kit earlier in the day.) The first step of the ASP Wrap Kit is to use a cotton ball soaked in acetone to remove any oil or lotion that may be remaining on your nail.

I then assembled the items I would need: glue, activator, and silk. The second step is to use a layer of glue on the nail, followed by a light misting of the activator to the nail surface.

With that step completed, the third step is to select a piece of silk the size of the nail I would need.

The fabric was then placed on the nail and the remaining excess was cut off.  The first time I used this kit I cut the excess off near the end and wound up having to file a lot to reshape my nail.  Cutting off the excess now was a much better idea.

With the silk sized and on my nail, the fourth step is to use a thin layer of glue, a mist of the activator, another layer of glue, and another mist of the activator.  This sandwiching did a fantastic job of holding the crack together.

Can you spot the crack?

Final verdict: I think the ASP Wrap Kit is a must have.  The silk wraps held up phenomenally to an assault of pure acetone and lasted for 17 days when I had to file the silk off of my nail in order to remove the wrap.  I did have to reapply nail glue and activator to the surface of my nail about every three polish changes, but this is a much longer period for me than what I'm able to achieve with Orly Nail Rescue.  The other advantage the ASP Wrap Kit has over Orly Nail Rescue, is that Nail Rescue tends to produce bulky areas on my nail bed that you have an odd shape (like my middle finger here).  I didn't feel as though that was an issue while using the silk wraps.

One last picture, a before an after while using ASP Wrap Kit.

What do you think?

Monday, April 8, 2013

OPI Suzi's Hungry Again! with

After debating and debating, I added two more colors from OPI's Spring 2013 Euro Centrale Collection to my stash.  The colors I picked were Suzi's Hungary Again! and Polka.Com.  Today I'm using both colors to create a simple manicure.

I'm wearing three coats of OPI Suzi's Hungary Again! and several (four or five?) coats of OPI Polka.Com on my accent nail.  I was really disappointed with Suzi's Hungary Again!'s formula: it was streaky and formed patches.  I love the color, it's a shrimp pink with very slight shimmer, I just wish the formula was better.  Polka.Com is made up of medium hexagonal  pink, purple, and blue glitter with a smattering of very fine blue glitter mixed throughout.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

China Glaze Ombre: Grape Expectations

I've been terrible at doing gradients but have always desired to do them.  Gradients look so pretty!  So when China Glaze released their ombre set (or gradient set as I like to call it) I knew I needed to get one.  If I couldn't create a gradient with the help of a kit, there was no saving me.  I bought the purple set: Grape Expectations.

I used two coats of China Glaze Sweet Hook as my base, then arranged the color from lightest to darkest (Sweet Hook, China Glaze Spontaneous, China Glaze Grape Pop, and China Glaze Crimson) on the supplied sponge to create the gradient effect.  Three dabs with the sponge on each nail produced the effect you see here.

Success!  I'm so happy.  :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kiko Sugar Mat 639 and 641

Textured polishes seems to be quite the thing this year.  OPI, Zoya, Milani, and Barry M all have polishes available now that have a gritty, sandpaper finish.  Kiko Make Up Milano recently released their own line of textured polishes they call Sugar Mat polishes.  My friend Candice from Mademoiselle Candy was able to get two of the shades for me.  I love them!  

Here I'm wearing two coats of Kiko Sugar Mat 641 Strawberry Pink on my nails with Kiko Sugar Mat 639 Golden Mandarin on my accent nail.

Compared to the Zoya Pixie Dust polishes, I found that the drying time of the Sugar Mats were a lot faster.  The sparkle inherent in the polish is also different: Pixie Dust contains silver micro and fine glitter, while the Sugar Mat contains fine gold glitter (thereby creating more of a shimmer than a glitter finish).

I'll definitely be wearing these polishes again and highly recommend the Sugar Mat polishes.


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