Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Whimsical Happily Ever After

Going along with my plan to wear all of the Once Upon A Time collection (and many more fall polishes to follow), I decided to try and make sure I always add a little something extra to each one. So here's what I did for Happily Ever After...

Direct Sunlight
HappilyEverAfterSwirls1

HappilyEverAfterSwirls2

HappilyEverAfterSwirls3

HappilyEverAfterSwirls4


Indirect Sunlight
HappilyEverAfterSwirls6

HappilyEverAfterSwirls5

HappilyEverAfterSwirls7


2 coats Orly Happily Ever After
1 coat Poshe
Bundle Monster plate BM-224 with Konad white
Dotting with dotting tool and Pure Ice Silver Mercedes
**Side Note**
If you do stamping, whether it's Konad, BM, or some other type of Fauxnad, you NEED to own Pure Ice Silver Mercedes. I know I didn't stamp with it, but I have in the past and it's absolutely amazing for stamping.

So I almost used Silver Shatter over this, but I decided not to because I just don't like crackles. That and I think HEA is so pretty that SS woulda killed it.

I flipped through my BM plates and found those pretty swirls and decided to do them in white. I have a thing about adding silver to darker, fall colors like this, so I just had to. I knew I didn't want to make everything silver (swirls and dots), but I did not want heavily contrasting colors for each. So white and silver it was. I LOVE this, by the way. Lately I've been hating a lot of my attempts at "nail art", but I actually think this is awesome.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happily Ever After

MISSED YOU!!

It's been 2 weeks since I've updated my blog. I've obviously continued to paint my nails while not blogging, but I've just been way too busy with work and school to take photos, crop and mark them, upload them, write the posts, etc. Beneficially, I used that time to rewear a lot of colors I've already posted on my blog that I'd assume people don't really care to see again.

So while I was MIA, the first day of fall came a few days ago on the 23rd. While I happily told my patient's to have a great first day of fall, my mind continued to float not only to everything awesome that comes along with the fall season, but also to wearing all the GORGEOUS fall colors!! So be prepared.

Also, I'll be moving at the end of October/beginning of November, so around that time you'll see my nails lose some length. I'd much rather file them shorter than snap them off in the moving process! That and my Mom has shorter nails and she was wearing some gorgeous deep, rich red like a week ago and I realized how freakin' adorable her nails looked. But since I'm weary about making my nails shorter, I figured when I move is the best excuse to do it!!

End Unrelated Intro
Over the coming days, I'm going to be posting my FAVORITE fall collection ever. Orly's Once Upon A Time Collection from 2009. This had been the only full collection I owned up until like a week ago when I found Color Club's Wicked Sweet collection at TJ Maxx for $9.99.
Anyway, this collection has such simplicity but at the same time, captures everything about fall and is just gorgeous. So we are starting off with Happily Ever After.


HappilyEverAfter1

HappilyEverAfter2

HappilyEverAfter3

HappilyEverAfter4

HappilyEverAfter5


And here's the shimmer in the bottle

HappilyEverAfteBottle


2 coats Orly Happily Ever After
1 coat Poshe

Happily Ever After is a deep berry that looks like a creme in almost any light, but the bottle has a gorgeous fuchsia shimmer that is nearly undetectable on the nail even in bright outside light, which is definitely unfortunate. It's still a gorgeous color, rich without really crossing into vampy thought it does look darker in indoor dark lighting. It just woulda been absolutely amazing and super unique if the shimmer was apparent. Oddly enough, the hidden shimmer gives the polish kind of a dusty feel. Reminds me of the finish of Revlon Perplex (I don't own Paradoxal, so I don't wanna say it's also like Chanel's finish).

The formula was ok. Opaque in 2 coats, but the first coat looked uneven. Not streaky, just uneven. And I feel like if you did two thin coats, the color would look lighter than if you did two medium/thick coats.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stellar Nails

Also known as Galaxy Nails, Nebula Nails, Space Nails, you get the idea. I'm calling them Stellar nails. Why? Because I wore them to an INCUBUS concert on Wednesday!! Incubus has been my favorite band (next to Sublime) for 10 years now. I've met them twice and this was my third concert of theirs. Woulda been the fourth, but I didn't have anyone to go with last time they toured. So this will be the 4th time they've toured through my area since I've been in love with them. The point of calling them Stellar Nails is because of Incubus's song, Stellar, off their Make Yourself album. There are actually a lot of older Incubus songs referencing the galaxy, stars, space, sky, you get the idea.

Anyway, I used THIS AMAZING TUTORIAL to do these.

Stellar Nails

Stellar Nails

Stellar Nails

Stellar Nails

Stellar Nails

Stellar Nails


1 coat China Glaze Up All Night as a base
Used a makeup sponge to sponge on colors in this order:
Nubar Blue Hydrangea
China Glaze Tree Hugger
Orly Basket Case
some have China Glaze Peachy Keen
China Glaze Lemon Fizz
some have the base coat again to help shade the overall sponged areas
I also added Revlon Rendez-Blue and Orly Space Cadet randomly. Also sponged.
I used Sally Hansen White On and a dotting tool for the stars.
All topped with Poshe

Holy goodness, I have NO idea why I was like completely incapable of photographing these nails. I tried SO many times and most were blurry. I think my camera was overwhelmed with all the colors and how busy it was. They look kinda messy in the photos, but they looked much cooler in real life. You also can barely see the different shimmers in the photos. Ultimately, I was proud of 'em. I'd do it a bit differently next time, but I'm satisfied!!

And here's Incubus Stellar...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Revlon Top Speed Jelly... Not Really A Jelly

Keepin' this short because I wanna focus on describing this polish. I was under the impression that Jelly was a jelly. Well, I don't really know, but it's interesting.

Direct Sunlight
Revlon Jelly

Revlon Jelly


Shade
Revlon Jelly

Revlon Jelly



And here's it with Hidden Treasure
Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure over Revlon Jelly


1 coat (yes, ONE) Revlon Jelly
1 coat Poshe
(Last photo has 1 coat Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure)

I usually never put direct sunlight photos first, but they were (IMO) def the most gorgeous. Color-wise, it's a bright red based pink that can appear to be red on the nails, though in the bottle it's clearly pink.

More importantly, let's discuss the finish and whatnot. So. Is it a jelly? I'd say maybe? but I don't think so. What makes me say maybe is that it does have a "squishy" quality, but it's more shiny than squishy (even without a top coat). It's not an obvious creme. But at the same time, it's just not that interesting. It doesn't have that opacity shift that jellies have that make it look almost glassy. Does that make sense? It doesn't have depth the way a true jelly does. I think that's partly because it takes only ONE freakin' coat and it's perfect.

So let's talk about formula, because it's so odd. It reminds me of a thick creme polish that was thinned. But not thick as in it was getting dried out because its old, thick like the formula was just bad but thinner made it "puffy". The consistency was puffy. I think that's what takes away from it being a jelly. Anyway, the brush seemed to collect SO much polish. That made it super prone to easily flooding your cuticle. If you're not good at doing a gap, stay the heck away from this. You'll frustrate yourself to no end because your cuticles will be so full of polish. I actually had to redo a nail. It's been like a year since I've actually had to redo a nail due to flooding... and it was on my LEFT hand!!!!! I was painting with my dominant hand!!

However, back to the one coat thing. Legit, there is absolutely no reason to do a second coat. It was so evenly pigmented, there was no streaking (you couldn't make this polish streak if you tried), it was amazing.

The other thing that frustrated me was the brush. If you have straighter, not so curved cuticles (my cuticles are fairly rounded), the brush will work fine. But for me, trying to get a nice swoop at my cuticle was not easy. The brush wanted to keep it completely straight. And because of the high risk of cuticle flooding, it was difficult to try to get it even near my cuticle without drowning it.

Ultimately...
1. The TRUE one coat factor was nice.
2. I was expecting more of a jelly, and it was disappointing to not have that.
3. I wish it looked more pink than red (because I really don't like red nails on myself).
4. The cuticle flooding was a PITA.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sunburst After A Hurricane

Found this at Ocean State Job Lot the other day. It's from the Bloom Collection that came out in Spring of this year. OSJL also had Collecting Pollen and Cherry Blossom, but I passed on those two. Def woulda bought Garden Hose and Bird Bath if they had 'em. Anyway, in an attempt to find the perfect peach color, I grabbed this with the intention of trying to franken it (which I’ve never attempted) to be that color. In the meantime, I might as well give it a try on its own.

Wet n Wild Sunburst

Wet n Wild Sunburst

Wet n Wild Sunburst

Wet n Wild Sunburst


Direct Sunlight
Wet n Wild Sunburst

Wet n Wild Sunburst


3 coats Wet n Wild Sunburst
1 coat Poshe

I might think this color is ugly? Myabe not ugly, but I don't know how I feel about it. It’s a yellow-toned light orange crème. Wet n Wild called it pastel. I'd say it's definitely not pastel. Light, yes. Pastel, no. It starts to remind me of the orange powdered cheese that comes with Kraft Mac and Cheese, but ultimately, I don't think it does. It definitely looks more attractive in different lighting, though. By the end of the day I started liking it more.

The application was… confusing? Gosh this polish is ridiculous. From the bizarre color to the strange formula. Anyway, it seems to be decently pigmented, the consistency doesn’t seem thin and it‘s definitely not thick… but it’s SO uneven. You can kinda tell in photos. I’m surprised the macro didn’t accentuate it! But you can definitely notice the cuticle drag on my pinkie.
Its like my base coat straight up repelled this polish and I have no idea why. I have NEVER had this problem. I have two bases I use. Nail Tek Intensive Therapy II on my non-silk wrapped nails and then Sally Hansen Double Duty on my silk wrapped nails (only 2 are silk wrapped right now). The ones with the Nail Tek REALLY hated this polish. It acted similarly to a Tronica polish. It had the drag up that holos get, but not sticky like a linear holo. I’m truly dumbfounded, but I will say use a sticky base coat if you’re applying this polish.

BONUS!!

Paisley

And I had to throw in this photo of Paisley squinting up at me in the bright sunshine! Haha! So cute.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Guest Nails: Lisa Frank Leopard Print

My sister Rachel always tries to con me into doing her nails. I generally don’t mind, but not gonna lie, she works with her hands SO much that they chip like the next day inevitably. I hate seeing my laborious efforts ruined in less than 24 hours (love you, though, Rae!!). Most of the time she just reads through my blog, finds something I’ve done that she likes, digs through my Helmer to find what I used, and recreates what I did. I love that she does that!!

Well, during the aftermath of the hurricane, we had NOTHING to do, so I did her nails. And spent quite a bit of time on ‘em. After flipping through all my Bundle Monster plates, picking colors for a few different designs to try, hating everything we came up with, then prepping for water marbling, then deciding no to water marbling, then choosing a leopard print design (she wanted to mimic these nails), but taking a different approach, then doing several failed attempts at getting the kind of rainbow effect I wanted, we finally got it!! And here it is…

Lisa Frank Inspired Rainbow Leopard Print Nails

Lisa Frank Inspired Rainbow Leopard Print Nails

Lisa Frank Inspired Rainbow Leopard Print Nails


Here’s the pre-stamped version of the rainbows. This was also pre-Poshe so it is not leveled at all:

Lisa Frank Inspired Rainbow Leopard Print Nails


White Base (intended for water marbling but it stayed) - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On
Pink - Orly Fancy Fuchsia
Orange - China Glaze Peachy Keen
Yellow - China Glaze Lemon Fizz
Green - China Glaze Tree Hugger
Blue - Orly Snowcone
Purple - China Glaze Spontaneous
1 coat Poshe
Bundle Monster plate BM-221 stamped with Sinful Black on Black
1 coat Poshe

I used an ELF angled eyeliner brush I picked up at Target for $1 to do each line of color. I started with Fancy Fuchsia and started the rainbow in all different areas of the nail so they weren’t identical. I then did all the Peachy Keen, then all the Lemon Fizz, etc. I wasn’t too concerned about them being uneven, in fact, I didn’t want them perfect. The Poshe was going to even out the colors, and once stamped, you wouldn’t be able to notice any imperfections. Everything blended together.

I totally had fun doing this for her. As soon as my mom (who is all about my nail obsession and I’m pretty sure I’ve got her hooked, too! HI MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) saw them, she immediately thought of Lisa Frank, so that’s where the title came from. By the way, I was definitely a Lisa Frank lil’ girl. My favorite Lisa Frank “characters” (this was the original Lisa Frank, not the new one with the girls. There were only animals back in the day) were the Kitten Bubbles. Here’s a photo of them:


[Source]

I think I had a folder with them. And probably numerous pens and pencils. And of course I had the white unicorn with the rainbow accents (mane, tail, hooves), the golden retriever/yellow lab puppy, more kitties, oh! the seal and the penguins… and probably others. But those are the ones that first come to mind. Lol.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Raindrops for a Hurricane

This was going to be posted yesterday, but we lost power AGAIN. Anyway... Only fitting that the day after a hurricane I finally wear Illamasqua Raindrops. I snagged this on Illamasqua’s website on clearance for £5 (which works out to just over $8). The unfortunately thing was shipping was still high. But still, this was a polish I never thought I’d own because it was a UK exclusive and the regular cost of polish and shipping was OUTRAGEOUS. I totally fell in love with this as I watched the progression of the winners of this collection. The promo pic and description totally drew me in, but I got a little nervous when swatch photos started appearing and reviews said Shrapnel and Eclipse (the other two in the collection) were not really like the promo pics had shown. Seems Raindrops eluded that. It was just as gorgeous as I imagined from the initial promo photo.

Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops


Closeups
Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops


3 coats Illamasqua Raindrops
1 coat Poshe

This is a blue-based light grey JELLY with the most interesting white/clear irregular pieces/flecks of… glitter? But it doesn’t sparkle, so I can’t quite call it glitter, that seems wrong. Illamasqua describes it as “sheer silver sparkle”. Eh. I guess. Lol.

The formula was that of a jelly. Squishy, took 3 coats to be opaque - sheer but buildable - but easy to apply. Wish I could talk more about the application, but I also want to mention that I applied this 4 days ago and haven’t had the technology to write my mini review (thank you, hurricane), and was too preoccupied whining about having no power to just write it on paper.

Illamasqua Raindrops in Sunlight

Illamasqua Raindrops in Sunlight


Direct Sunlight steals away the jelly-ness of it and makes it look more crème.

You might see little tinges of green on the sides of one or two nails. No, that isn’t mold or dirt or other nastiness. That was Zoya Shawn from this HORRIBLE fail the day before:

ShawnFail

Don’t worry. I never wore this in public. I’m never that messy with painting, either. I think I knew it was going bad so I just said screw it and slapped the polish where ev with no regard.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Obviously this has nothing to do with nails, but it’s the reason why I’ve been away from this blog for so long. Living in Connecticut, we were hit by Hurricane Irene. Apparently when it hit my area, it was only considered a tropical storm. Ultimately, it still did quite a bit of damage. While flooding wasn’t a problem at my house or really with anyone I know, the winds that caused trees to collapse and wires to go down was certainly the worst of it.

We lost power for 4 days and I know a ton of people who currently still have no power, including half of our town. Our Internet was still down when I typed this (and a bunch of other upcoming posts) so I could get to posting as soon as the Internet was back up. Ultimately, we were internet/cable-less for just about a week. We are on the same grid as a shopping complex that has stores such as Walmart, Target, Kohls, Lowes, and Home Depot among others. Lowes and Home Depot were running generators, but all of the other stores had no power… including Walmart.

We had no damage done to our house or cars, so we were definitely lucky. I started classes during the time our power was out, so I had to shower at work before class. The worst parts were definitely not being able to flush the toilet without manually filling it with overflow from our well by carrying buckets of water from the basement to the bathroom, and not being able to have running water. We cooked on the grill, which also has a burner, so that wasn’t bad. We had a generator that allowed us to keep our fridge and freezer cold.

I just wanted to share some photos I took during and after the storm. All were taken on Sunday, the day we were hit.

Hurricane Irene

This is just a small tree in our front yard getting blown about during the storm. I tried to get views of the tall trees blowing, but the photos did no justice to what was happening.

Hurricane Irene

Our back deck covered in leaves.

Hurricane Irene

The only casualty in our yard. It missed our shed.

Hurricane Irene

This was right around the corner from our house. We live on a dead end, so the majority of our neighbors couldn’t get down the road. We would have still been able to if it weren’t for…

Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene

This. These are downed live wires on fire. They were on for 2.5-3 hours.

Hurricane Irene

The end result of the downed wires. Burning and molten asphalt.

Hurricane Irene

The culprit. Tree down, smoking/flaming utility pole near the tree, and wires snapped.

Hurricane Irene

The awesome people in my fire department (who I volunteer for) takin’ care of the flaming asphalt. Kickin’ ass, guys!!

Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene

Boiling water in holes in the asphalt.

Even driving around today, nearly a week after the storm, there are still TONS of roads closed, downed lines, and trees on lines. I know other people had flooding problems they're still dealing with as well. And what's this I hear about Hurricane Katia? *sigh*