Monday, August 22, 2011

Lots of CG In The City

In celebration of removing all silk wraps from my left hand, I'm going with a glitter. I avoid glitters when I have a silk wrap on because removal is horrific because I don't use acetone on those nails. But I just picked up the two glitters from the Metro collection the other day, and I don't feel like waiting for the wraps to come off of my right hand.

I had intentions of just getting Skyscraper, but once I saw CG In The City, I just had to have it. So here it is...

1 coat CG In The City over 2 coats China Glaze Spontaneous


Shade
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous

Sunlight
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous


2 coats CG In The City over 2 coats China Glaze Spontaneous


Shade
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous

Sunlight
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous


3 coats CG In The City over 2 coats China Glaze Spontaneous


Shade
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous

Sunlight
CG In The City over China Glaze Spontaneous



I didn't like the way the polish was without a base polish. I felt it looked just... not right. So here's a view on 1, 2, and 3 coats without a base color.

Sunlight
China Glaze CG In The City Swatch

Shade
China Glaze CG In The City Swatch


On its own, it makes me think of someone putting glue on their nails and then rubbing them in sand. It's natural like earthy and raw. Here in New England, we have some beaches that have dark sand (moreso TEENY TINY rock sand) that even looks sparkly because of crushed shells and whatnot. That description makes it sounds way more awesome than it actually is, so don't think you're missing out if you're not from New England lol.

Here's a stock photo that shows exactly what I'm talking about. This photo is apparently from a beach in Portland, ME.

Source


So I'm sure after seeing that, you can understand what I mean. Ironic that it reminds me of sand on a beach when the polish is from a Metro collection and called CG IN THE CITY. Haha.

Let's discuss the color
So China Glaze says this is a "glittering dusty purple, bronze and silver multi-tonal glitter". Well, I'm going to assume China Glaze knows what they're talking about since they made the polish, but I swear I see black glitter. To me, I see light purple, black, bronze, and silver (it's a clear base, by the way). It's such a bizarre mix of glitters. I put it over Spontaneous to try to pull out the purple glitter because the whole thing just confuses me. I might also try it over a bronze (Orly Rage would rock for this!!) and a gunmetal like Zoya Freja. Speaking of which, I have no idea why, but this polish reminds me of the glitter version of Freja. Strange.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Orly Nite Owl... Give This Polish Some Love, Please!!

So all the hype has been about Fowl Play and its dupe-ness for OPI Merry Midnight. While I was able to get my hands on it, that's not the polish from the Birds of a Feather collection that I was really dying to try. If you follow my blog, you might know my love of Orly polishes. If you don't, let me just tell you that I LOVE Orly polishes. More specifically, I love Orly fall collections. I personally think (despite my affection towards Orly in general) that over the past few years, Orly has put out some of the most amazing fall collections out of all nail polish fall collections. Their Once Upon A Time collection from 2009 is the only full collection I own by any brand (I will be posting all of these throughout the fall). Their Cosmic FX polishes in 2010 were a huge hype, too. I only have Space Cadet due to their increased cost. And now Birds of a Feather.

I love that Orly GETS fall. They understand the colors that are very "in" colors for fall. Colors that I love seeing because they immediately make me think of fall which then makes me think of fairs, apple picking, leaves changing colors, sweaters, delicious fall smells. All amazing things.

So here we have Nite Owl.

Orly Nite Owl

Orly Nite Owl

Orly Nite Owl

Orly Nite Owl

Orly Nite Owl

Orly Nite Owl


Closeup of the gorgeous shimmer
Orly Nite Owl

*Kindly ignore the Poshe smeared on my cuticle that I didn't bother to clean up.

2 coats Nite Owl
1 coat Poshe

Apparenly Orly describes this polish as a beige shimmer. I'm disagreeing and saying this is definitely not beige. It's obviously taupe. The shimmer is a very fine silver shimmer that gives this polish an overall cool tone as opposed to warm. My skintone is important to know for this polish. I have a warm/neutral skintone, but I have olive/yellow undertones. I am pretty pale, like a MAC NC20. Normally, I wouldn't expect this polish to work for me being that it's a cool-toned taupe, but it does. And I love it. Let me try to explain how much I love this polish. If I had to severly downsize my polish collection to like 10 polishes, this would be one of the first ones I grab. If I were a person to switch between 2 polishes a season (instead of my different polish every day), this would be one of those. I love the color, I love the color on my skin, I love the shimmer, I love the overall look, I love the fall-ness, I love the neutral-ness, I LOVE this.

The formula... was fantastic. This was opaque in 2 coats, maybe opaque in 1 thick coat? Let me say it is flat out impossible to make this polish streaky or uneven. Say you missed a spot on your nail when painting. You can just paint over that spot instead of going all the way from cuticle to tip to keep it even. It is easily one of the most forgiving polishes I have ever used. I wore this to a bridal shower today, BTW. Getting ready for the FIFTH wedding I'll be attending this year!!

My final remarks? STFU about Fowl Play for a second and please give Nite Owl some lovin'!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Techno Teal

I own 3 Tronica polishes and have only worn one of them on its own (Gamer Glam). I don't know why I kept pushing back wearing them because I've had them at least since February. I know a lot of people were disappointed with the collection, hoping there'd be more holo in the polishes. And it's true, there isn't much holo, but I don't think they're disappointing. It stinks that linear holos aren't more obtainable, but I think these polishes are pretty in their own right.

Direct Sunlight
China Glaze Techno Teal

China Glaze Techno Teal

China Glaze Techno Teal

China Glaze Techno Teal

China Glaze Techno Teal


Shade
China Glaze Techno Teal

China Glaze Techno Teal


2 coats China Glaze Techno Teal
1 coat Poshe

This is a dark teal that looks a little more green on the nail than in the bottle, but it definitely is a blue based teal moreso than a green based teal. It is a scattered holographic that is only really apparent in sunlight or bright indoor lighting, and even then, it's certainly not an in-your-face holo. But sitting in front of my computer screen with the lights out and little outside light (because I have the blinds closed), when I look at my nails, I do see an overcast of holo. So it DOES exist in the polish, just not a ton. Even when the holo isn't apparent, it's still a gorgeous polish in its own right.

The formula was very similar to a linear holo. It's that weird, resistant formula that doesn't want to be on your nails. You need to use gentle, few strokes or the polish picks itself back up on the brush. I'd guess an aqua base might make it better, but I did not use one. It was completely opaque in 2 coats, and I did not have problems leveling the polish after the second coat despite the occasional peel up spots of polish. It did dry very quickly, though. So that was nice!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gettin' Loaded Again

Since purchasing Load at Sephora in NYC back in April, it has been ALL of my friend's favorite polish. It's the one that gets brought up everytime my obsession with my nails is discussed, it's the first polish they think of, and it's the first polish that's mentioned when they explain my hobby to someone else. I think this happens for obvious reasons. It's an off white creme called Load. I mean c'mon. I love my friends :)

So today I asked a friend what color polish I should wear. Instead of a color, she just straight up says Load. Well, I haven't worn it in months and the darn thing did cost me $14 and a trip to NYC (granted that's not why I went), but still.

I wanted to do something besides wear it on its own because I had already posted about it. This is what I came up with.

Illamasqua Load with Bundle Monster

Illamasqua Load with Bundle Monster

Illamasqua Load with Bundle Monster

Illamasqua Load with Bundle Monster


2 coats Illamasqua Load
1 coat Poshe
Stamping with Bundle Monster plate BM01
Purple stamp is China Glaze VIII
Blue stamp is China Glaze Up All Night
1 coat Poshe

I sat around for a while with just Load on my nails (I am not mature enough to handle writing this). I figured I'd end up stamping over it, but I knew I didn't want a really heavy full nail stamp over it because I didn't want to hide Load. Then I was doing something and all of a sudden realized navy and dark purple would look gorgeous over it. So I flipped through my plates to find something that I could use for both.

I'm loving the color combination, don't know how much I love the stamp I chose. It's definitely not bad, but I wish it was less defined meaning it was more... swirly I guess? instead of it looking so much like a fern. I think it's cool and vintage-y, though. It reminds me of old china or something. Maybe not china, but old opaque glass like a lamp or something decorative.

I've already talked about Load's formula, but I want to redo my opinion of the formula and application. The first time I wore it, it was AWFUL to apply. It had cuticle drag, it wasn't very manageable, you get the idea. Well today, I was prepared for it... and it was a THOUSAND times better.

Tips For Applying Illamasqua Load
This polish requires babying, and so long as you're aware of that and prepared for it, it'll be a piece of cake. This is definitely not a slap-on-and-go polish. So here is what you can do to help.
You need to paint one nail at a time. Duh. But what I mean is you need to paint one nail, and put the brush back in the bottle. Let it relax in the bottle for a few seconds. The polish dries very quickly on the brush and it makes it too thick when you apply it. So it needs to rest before you go to the next nail.
Paint quickly. Do not spend a ton of time fixing the nail. As soon as it starts getting too thick or sticky, put it brush back in the bottle and let it rest. Letting it rest is the BIGGEST help.
Use very few strokes. This just sorta goes along with the paint quickly. You should always use as few strokes as possible, but you HAVE to with this polish. And again, if it gets unmanageable, get the brush back in the bottle and let it rest.
Use a very light touch. Balance your wrist on something so you're not digging the brush into your nail. You need to glide it gently over the nail. This is very important or you will get cuticle drag and streakiness like whoa.

This seems like common sense, but obviously it wasn't for me the first time I used this polish. I was apparently in a rush or something. So follow those steps, and it should help a ton!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pink Syrup

So maybe you wanna call this a gradient, but I'm calling it syrup because of the method I used, but mainly because this was the STICKIEST thing ever!! I don't know if it was the polish, or that I have 10 freakin' coats of polish on my nails but holy crap!! Legit like I was painting syrup on my nails.

So I had heard mention of syrup nails and started to search around to see what this was all about. Seemed very interesting. I used the method similar to this post by Nihrida. Had my jelly been as sheer as Butter LONDON Stroppy from this post by Polish Insomniac, I think the process would have been much better.
*For the record, my cuticles aren't actually dry and gross. They look a little icky because of all the polish that kinda got on 'em.

Pink Syrup Gradient

Pink Syrup Gradient

Pink Syrup Gradient


Total of 10 layers (two nails have more because they needed one more coat at the tip to make it fade better).
Started with Essie Mademoiselle and then with Revlon Take Two in Wild Garnet, alternating the two down the nail. I'd do complete coats of mademoiselle, but kept doing shorter coats of Wild Garnet.

Every 10 minutes I repeated the process. For example, at 11:30 I painted a layer. It takes me 3 minutes to paint both hands. Then I wait 7 minutes until 11:40 and do the process again. Ultimately topped with 1 coat Poshe.

What a terribly tedious process!! Worst part about it? I'm just not that happy with the way it came out. It bothers me that the lines are visible. It looks more apparent in the photos, but it unfortunately is still noticeable when you look at my nails closely in real life. I need to practice this a bit more. Looking on the bright side, since I don't like it, I won't mind taking it off despite the fact that it took over an hour and a half to do!!

Edit 8/16
I decided to add glitter to the tips to see if that helped at all. I used an absolutely ancient Sally Hansen Hard As Nails called Glisten. I actually think it did make it look a little better. I figure if you're going to have nails like this, you might as well slap some glitter on it!! Haha.

Pink Syrup Glitter Nails

Pink Syrup Glitter Nails

Pink Syrup Glitter Nails

The problem is you can really see that there is WAY too much polish on my middle finger. Look how it is so raised and kinda distorted. My middle nail is already a little different shaped than my other nails, but wow does 10-12 layers of polish accentuate that!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fishnets For Your Nails

I wore Orly Rage yesterday, so when I went to do something to my nails today, I just had fishnets stuck in my head. These look nearly identical to the Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Misbehaved. I can't compare directly because I don't own them, and they're hard for me to wear because I'd have to take them off for work (which defeats the purpose of them and their lasting abilities) and because I become very easily bored with the same thing. So this is my take.

Orly Rage with Stamping

Orly Rage with Stamping

Orly Rage with Stamping

Orly Rage with Stamping


2 coats Orly Rage
1 coat Poshe
Bundle Monster plate BM-209 with Sinful Black on Black
1 coat Poshe

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rage At A Wedding

Today I'm off to the forth of five weddings I'll be attending this year. All very different from each other, which is so interesting. Today's wedding is a backyard, casual wedding. I'll be wearing a cotton halter dress with a taupe, pink, and cream design. I almost went with pink nails, but decided I didn't want to do the matching thing, I wanted something complimentary. So I went with Orly Rage.

Orly Rage

Orly Rage

Orly Rage

Orly Rage

Orly Rage


2 coats Rage
1 coat Poshe

The formula was amazing to work with. Just perfect, non-streaky, and totally opaque in 2 coats. The other awesome thing was dry time. I still used Poshe, just because of habit. But when I went to do the second coat of Rage, I realized the first coat was COMPLETELY dry. And by the time I put on Poshe, the second coat was dry, too!! Oddly enough, I didn't have problems with the polish drying on the brush and then pulling. It went on great. So this is an AWESOME polish if you're in a rush. Literally, the best polish I can think of for that.

Rage is a bronze "foil" polish that definitely looks like a super awesome metallic finish. It's super shiny and doesn't really look like polish at all. It looks like Minx or something. Some of my photos make the polish look kinda grainy, like you can see the particles on their own. But when you look at your hand as a whole, you can't see those particles, so it really looks like a metallic foil. It has shimmer, but it's definitely overpowered by the overall foil smoothness, which makes it look amazing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cupcake Nail

You should know my love of cupcakes. I love eating cupcakes, I love baking cupcakes, I love the smell of cupcakes, I love looking at cupcakes (they're just adorable), I love the happy feeling that comes with everything related to cupcakes, I love going to cupcakeries, I love things with cupcakes on 'em like blankets and towels and little bags. I love 'em. (That last part might have borrowed. Heehee.)

So, I obviously did not come up with this idea on my own. If you're not aware, there are various versions of these cupcakes nails. I didn't use one person as my inspiration because I've been seeing cupcake nails all over for a while. I didn't reference any one photo when I did them, I just went with what I wanted at the time.

Today is my friend's birthday. Actually, it's like 3 or 4 of my friend's birthdays, but I'm going out to dinner to celebrate with one of 'em! I went to her 21st birthday last year and did a version of this with super glittery nails and a little Bundle Monster stamped cupcake thing. I thought I was all talented when I used TWO colors on the BM plate and then I DREW on my own birthday candle and flame!! Well, I stepped it up this year!!

Cupcake Nails

Cupcake Nails

Cupcake Nails


Base:
2 coats Nubar Blue Hydrangea
1 coat Poshe

Cupcake Wrapper:
Light Purple is OPI Rumple's Wiggin'
Darker Purple is China Glaze Spontaneous
1 coat Poshe

Cupcake Frosting:
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On
1 coat Poshe

Cupcake Sprinkles:
Pink is Orly Fancy Fuchsia
Green is OPI Gargantuan Green Grape
Yellow is China Glaze Lemon Fizz

Cupcake Cherry:
Maybelline Colorama in Cherry Pop

You don't see my index finger because I got a dig in it and I just tried to patch it because I don't have time to fix it... well, I kinda do, but I don't feel like it. It looks fine in real life, but my photos will really magnify how bad it looks.

This is the only nail I did. I used the "Angled Eyeliner Brush" from ELF (that cost like $1 at Target) for the wrapper and frosting. I used dotting tools for the cherry and sprinkles. I didn't do any other nails partly because of time, but moreso because trying to paint with my non-dominate hand is going to frustrate the goodness out of me and then I'll end up being late to dinner. So. One random nail it is. The sad part is I have to take this off by tomorrow because I haveta work. :(

**I'm using photos from flickr instead of uploading them via blogger. Please let me know how they come across on your screen (too large, too small, not centered, etc.)**

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Paintball Nails

Ok, so better known as a splatter mani. I chose the title Paintball Nails because my boyfriend did all the splattering, he plays on a paintball team, and he mentioned how it was like being splattered by paintballs. If you're curious, I used this awesome tutorial by The PolishAholic.

















My boyfriend and I both mutually agree this is the best nail:


It's actually on my right hand, but I am terrible at taking photos of that whole hand (really, I tried), so I did just the nail.

2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On
1 coat Poshe
Black - Sinful Black on Black
Purple - China Glaze Spontaneous
Pink - Orly Basket Case
1 coat Poshe

Instead of dipping the straw into polish, we ended up just painting the polish onto the end of the straw and we had much better luck with that. He held the straw kinda far away, which gave more of a speckled look than big splats of polish.