I'm usually not a huge fan of Claire's nail polishes, but the new mood polishes were too cool for me to pass up. Claire's mood polishes are a set of thermosensitive polishes that react to the temperature of your body/nails or its surroundings. There are 5 colors available, and they retail for $5 each, though Claire's has an ongoing promotion of by one get one 50% off. So far, I've only tried the teal/green one. The formula wasn't the greatest in my opinion..it took me 3 careful coats to even it out, and my bottle was kind of thick and harder to work with...if I wasn't careful, I wound up with some bald spots. Thinning it by a few drops helped a lot...though I did see someone post that hers applied nicely...so it's very possible that quality is inconsistent between bottles. It dries down matte-ish (not shiny, but not fully matte either), but adding a layer of topcoat fixes this easily...and doesn't mess with the color changing capabilities of the polish.
Here is the shade it turns when it's warm. This didn't photograph quite right..the color is much less blue to me in person..though this might have been because there was no sun that day. If you own China Glaze Four Leaf Clover, I found this color really similar to that in person.
I ran my hand under cold water for a bit..this was the result. It's a deeper. more vibrant color in person,
Here's a picture of my thumb, because you could see the color difference a little better. It's kind of a cool gradient like effect with the "cool" color being apparent on your free edge. This effect is stronger in person, but I don't really have a long free edge when my nails are longer, so the effect is less apparent on me.
The effect is much nicer on longer nails...
These beautiful nails belong to Manatee Mama of http://themanicuredmanatee.blogspot.com/
I got bored later on in the day..so I added OPI Pearl of Wisdom on top. This didn't affect the color change capabilities of the mood polish...and it made it more fun for me. The pink flash doesn't quite show up in the pictures, unfortunately. here's "warm" aka Confident.
Here's an attempt to show a gradient...
"Cool"--Peaceful with Pearl of Wisdom..When it changes to the darker color, the pink flash in Pearl of Wisdom comes out more...it's still not apparent in my picture unfortunately.
Manatee Mama has more swatches of the rest of these on her blog...you can find them here. She's missing the gray one..smart choice on her part..the 'warm' color is pretty darned ugly..which is a shame, because the gray itself is nice...I keep filling my head with thoughts of how I'd keep my hands icy cold the day I try wearing it for a full mani. That's it on the mood polish though from me.
Guitarrasara asked about my nail care in a comment after my last post...unfortunately..I can't say I'd be particularly helpful on the nail care itself...I do a lot of things that would make people that actually take good care of their nails gasp in horror. (I use them as tools...and will rip things open without the use of scissors or whatever..I have naturally thick nails, so it's never been a problem...my problems with my nails lie elsewhere really) There ARE a few things I actually do though.
First off, I should mention that I'm a cutter; I don't file my nails at all. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with it, I just don't have the patience for it..and the feeling of a file on my nails bugs me to pieces. I clip my nails down every 2-4 weeks, depending on when it is that the length of my nails start driving me batty. An important thing for me to remember when I cut my nails, is to make sure they're properly moisturized. I'll either do it after bathing, or after removing my polish and oiling up my nails/cuticles. I let the oil sink in for a good amount of time before I start clipping. This may not be true for everyone, but for me, if my nails are too dry, they have a tendency to split when cut. It's also good to resist the temptation of peeling your polish off when it starts to chip...I did this with my mani of Absolutely Alice...I damaged my nails a bit after that. (A couple of nails had the polish come off in sheets on it's own..so I decided to see if the rest could come off the same way...it was a bad idea).
I'm also not big on buffing my nails..I find that when I buff my nails, my polish chips faster. My preference is to use a ridge-filling base coat (like Barielle's Hydrating Ridge Filler). To me, I only buff if I've stained my nails heavily (usually from a green) and need to wear a sheer/nude. In such cases, I will buff in the direction of nail growth (with the grain)
For regular maintenance I do a couple of things; once a week or so, I like to use Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover (it comes in a blue bottle with a white cap..I think it's $5 or $6 at drugstores) and push back my cuticles gently with a cuticle stick. Throughout the week I may push back my cuticles gently with my fingers after moisturizing if I feel they need it, but I don't use the Instant cuticle remover too often because it's pretty strong stuff. Past that is just general stuff like keeping my hands moisturized. The two hand creams I've been using a lot of lately are OPI Avoplex High Intensity Hand and Nail Cream (which I bought on Clearance at Ulta) and California Mango Natural Hand and Body Lotion. Both are relatively non greasy feeling and absorb quicker, though the Avoplex absorbs faster and is lighter. (it's not as good if your hands are super dry then, but it's nice if you're just re applying moisturizer throughout the day). I do tend to forget to do this form time to time though. Another product I love for my cuticles is California Mango's Mango Mend. (works on feet and dry elbows too) The cuticle oil's also really nice. (It's a current favorite for applying before pictures)
For application...I have no real tips of my own..I learned what I know elsewhere. For painting, I use the tutorial found on FaintlyMacabre's notepad.
The best cleanup tutorial I know is found on MeganChair's notepad, or here on her blog. This is a great way for cleaning up that gap.
NailboardWisdom's notepad is also a great compilation of tips...it also contains Faintly Macabre's application tutorial.