Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Up and Aways

I bought the entire China Glaze Up and Away collection, but I've been slow to wear them. (I've only worn 4 so far..unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of Four Leaf Clover). It's like 6 am and I can't seem to go back to sleep, so here's the other 3 I've tried.

First up is Angry Go Boom...
Did I say Angry Go Boom? Sorry, I meant Happy go Lucky. It's a bright-ish yellow creme that's an absolute nightmare to's a streaky mess, even at 3 coats. I smoothed it out with topcoat though, so the end result was fine.
I've already kind of posted pics of Light as Air, but here it is on its own. Despite being very light, I still like it. I believe this is 3 coats, though it's opaque at 2. Formula was easier to work with than Happy go Lucky.

Heli-yum is a decently bright raspberry creme. I kind of like it, despite it being pink. This was 2 coats, and is the easiest to apply ou of the 4 I've tried so far.
Indoors, indirect natural light. I couldn't quite get the color to show the way I wanted it to. It's probably due to the fact that by the time came out it was starting to set.
Bonus pic...because she's cute...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Trial 2-Creating a Gradient Mani Using a Sponge and Regular Polish- A KOTD with Orly Gumdrop and Snowcone

A few months back, I posted a tutorial on how to do an easy gradient using a sponge and the Konad special polishes. I speculated that you could probably do the same thing with regular polishes, but I didn't know this for sure. I was feeling like experimenting this weekend so I gave it a try using 2 polishes from Orly's Sweet collection (Snowcone and Gumdrop). I actually had to run 2 trials for this, as the first time I attempted it, I tried to use China Glaze Fairy Dust to give it that extra sparkle. Unfortunately, 2 coats were required to get the amount of sparkle I wanted..add Seche Vite on top of that to try to dry it all down and it was a super thick disaster that I kept smudging. More on the experimentation after the pictures though.
Here's another picture in the sun
Indoors, natural lighting
Indoor lighting, Thumb night of mani...cleanup was hard on my cuticles.
Right hand, indoor natural hand's unnaturally red here, but it was the only pic I could take that was nonblurry. I like the gradient better on the right hand anyways. The gradient's a bit stronger rl anyways..but my camera's not the best. It's old..still does the job most of the time though.
Anyways, back to the technicalities of the experimentation. I discovered 2 things the first time around ..that a stamped gradient would work with regular polish... and that a makeup sponge would also work as a tool to do so. Basically, anything with small, fairly uniform holes will work, though a sponge that's appearance is too smooth may be difficult. The one I used for that first attempt had a similar texture to that of the Sonia Kashuk blending sponge. I did find that it took way more time/polish than I had remembered it taking with the Konad special polishes and the sponges that came with my kit. The second time around I gave it a try with a sponge from the kit. It was easier and a bit faster. However, the sponges that came with my Konad kit didn't hold up particularly well using regular polish, and still took longer than the Konad polish. I think this is because Konad special polishes are thicker and more pigmented than regular polish. The dry time also differs by a bit, so you can get more polish onto the nail before you have to reswatch it onto the plate and refill the sponge. The faster dry time of regular polish makes the polish on the sponge somewhat tacky (sticky) after a while, so I had a bit of an issue with bits of the sponge coming off onto my nail and having to pick them out carefully with a pair of tweezers. I also changed the way I smoothed out the gradient a bit. I used smudge fixer to smooth it out initially before topcoating it the first time before the Konad. The final mani was topcoated with Out the Door Northern lights; a nice holographic top coat.

I highly prefer using Out the Door for Konads vs any of my other topcoats. Its thinner texture makes it much easier to quickly coat over a Konad without smudging it after allowing a few minutes for the pattern to set. It's also great because it won't shrink up like Seche does with multiple coats.

Also, if you read my tutorial, you might notice that my cleanup on this mani is significantly better than the one there. I totally have to thank MeganChair for her AMAZING cleanup tutorial. A few things to note about the tutorial:
1. It will still work if you don't use Pure Acetone, but it's much harder to do. Pure Acetone is quick and easy. Pure acetone is, however, really drying. For something like this, I recommend cleaning up as much as you can around the cuticles with a qtip and nail polish remover, then cleaning the gap and areas closest to your nails with a brush and pure acetone.
2. Pure Acetone will eat through the ecoTools Eye Shader brush, albeit slowly. It's made with synthetic fiber, which doesn't hold up well with something as caustic as acetone.
3. Be very careful with can eat through plastic and finishes on furniture if you spill it. I had a mishap with my bottle and it started eating through my UDPP bottle and my computer mouse before I managed to clean it up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

NARS Purple Rain and Castledew 9260

Recently I've taken to stalking Scrangie's when NARS Purple Rain popped up I had to have it. I ordered it before I actually read the post though, so I was of course shocked when the bottle was way redder than I had anticipated. Apparently, this polish is quite camera shy, and will not photograph properly at all. The picture below, taken in indoor lighting, was the closest I got. This polish was fully opaque in 2 coats, which is what I stopped at. Purple Rain is a gorgeous blue based purple with a lot of red/pink glowiness. It's a very lit from within type of shimmer, making it fairly unique in my opinion. The result overall of course is warm toned, though not quite as red as the bottle would suggest.Here's a picture in natural lighting...this is on day 2. It hints at the warmth of this polish, but still doesn't quite make it.
Here's a picture in sunlight. The reason why this one's last is because it fails to capture the color accurately at all...but it does show the blueish base of the color.
Next I have for you Castledew 9260. Castledew is a Korean can find bits and pieces of it in Korean stores sometimes, though it's not particularly common here in the states. Here's one I bought sometime last's a golden champagne color with a foil-like finish..very sparkly and pretty. Pictures don't quite capture the sparkle. I did 3 coats of this for full opacity, but if you wanted you could wear it at 1-2 coats for a sheerer look. The polish applies very smoothly with 0 streakiness, so it's one of those polishes where you can decide when you want to stop adding coats. (If you're one to use thicker coats, it'd prob only take you 2 to opacity). Here it is in natural lighting. There was no sun that day so it doesn't shine as much, but it shows the color pretty well
Here it is in indoor lighting. It sparkles a bit more in this picture, but not nearly as blingy as it is in real life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Some lilac polish comparisons (OPI Done Out in Deco, China Glaze Light As Air, OPI Do you Lilac it and Essie Lilacism)

Earlier today, someone was asking for a comparison between OPI Do you Lilac it against Essie Lilacism, and China Glaze Light As Air, so I decided to swatch them for her. Since I had done so and labeled them already, I've decided to post my comparisons of these 4 polishes. All of these were done with 3 coats, except Essie Lilacism, which was 4 coats (It might be opaque in 3, but I forgot to shake the bottle before I started applying it so the first coat was very runny) Light as Air, you can probably get away with 2 coats of..I was being kind of quick and sloppy with it, so I ended up having to do 3. The formula's pretty decent on this one..too bad China Glaze's brush sucks. I'll also apologize for the lack of cleanup..I got lazy.
The first comparison is between OPI Do You Lilac it, China Glaze Light As Air, and Essie Lilacism. Light as Air is the lightest of the 3, with a dusty quality to it that I'm fairly fond of (Dusty cremes are my favorite cremes) I did a full mani of it after these swatches..and sadly I'm not entirely sure it's a color that works well on face is neutral..but my hands are fairly warm...I love it in some lightings..and in others not so much. It's closest to Essie Lilacism, though Light as air is definitely lighter and dustier than Lilacism. Personally, I like Lilacism's color more. The difference is most apparent in the picture below, but there's definitely a stronger difference in person. OPI's Do You Lilac it is not very similar at all to either of these two.. it's more vibrant and less cool toned, and much less of a pastel.
I then compared OPI's Done Out in Deco with the the two, since it's lighter and cooler colored than Do You Lilac's closer to these colors than Do You Lilac It, but is still not a dupe of either color. It is again more vibrant than these two and possibly a bit bluer, though it does carry a nice dusty quality to it.

This ends my comparisons of these colors. Unfortunately I do not own Lucky Lucky Lavender from the Hong Kong collection, so I cannot compare it to Light As Air and Lilacism. I hope this satisfied somebody's curiosity.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Chinese/ Lunar New Year! New Year's Konad and OPI Alice in Wonderand

Happy New Year Ladies! Here is my New Year's NOTD: China Glaze 2030 over Essie Love, Beverly Hills XX. There was no tiger plate, but I I'll apologize in advance for the flipped pictures..blogspot is freaking out on me..and refuses to upload them properly.

Today I have for you the other 2 polishes I bought from OPI's Alice in Wonderland Collection. First up is Mad as a Hatter. This took 4 coats to be fully opaque and was still bumpy after 2 coats of Poshe. I don't like this polish at looks like a New Year's Eve party threw up on my nails...and not in a good way. Despite being a glitter polish, this one just doesn't shine.

2nd is Absolutely Alice. It's not so sparkly here, but really only because my camera couldn't handle the glare from this in sunlight. It's a beautiful polish, way shinier than China Glaze Dorothy Who? and although they're similar in that they're both blue glitter polishes, Absolutely Alice is much nicer to me. It's a vibrant blue glitter with a lot of gold sprinkled throughout vs the silver in Dorothy Who? and just gorgeous. It looks totally bah until you topcoat it you'll see below. This is 3 coats, 2 coats of Poshe..and still kinda bumpy after it, but not too bad.

Despite the bad lighting in the following pictures, these are here to show you the quirks. This is what it looked like freshly Topcoated...nice and shiny
This is what it looks like before the topcoat. Note that it's dull and boring and kind of ugly...
I'm not sure if this had to do with my topcoat or not, but I've heard this happen to a few people with both Absolutely Alice and Mad as a Hatter..but they have the tendency to pop off in full pieces...Anyways..that's all for now..I did finish taking stash pics of my polishes, but I did also just order some Elizabeth Ardens, so I'll wait to post those after I get them...I will not be posting polish stash with my makeup stash however as the polish stash alone was over 100 pictures.