Friday, December 21, 2012

Vivid Lacquer Woo:Tangent

Vivid Lacquer Woo: Tangent from the I'm Thankful For My Console collection.  I love Katamari Damacy, so this was hard to resist.  And it's everything I've been looking for in a multicolored glitter polish:  a little bit of everything!  This is over a base of Sinful Colors Jungle Trail.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Sorry about the long absence, y'all.  I took a break from blogging while on vacation and had a hard time getting back into it when I got back.  Part of the problem is that I suddenly developed very brittle nails and horribly flaky cuticles.  I blame overuse of acetone and cuticle remover. My nails and skin aren't too fond of either.  Anyway, I had chips and peeling all over the place and just didn't feel like doing my nails much.  They still aren't back in top form, but at least they've stopped breaking so much.

I do have a little bit of a backlog of pics from the few times my nails actually looked good lately, so it's spam time!

Ludurana Show.  This is a gorgeous multichrome that shifts between green, blue, teal and purple.  The polish is scented, but I didn't notice any scent after it had dried. It's a little sheer, like most duo/multichromes.  I used four coats for this photo and I'll probably layer one or two coats over black in the future.

Nail strips from Dollar Tree.  Okay, these are kind of crap.  I'm not sure what I expected for a dollar, really.  They're plastic-y (obviously not actually polish strips) and don't last long at all, even with a base and top coat.  Basically, if you want a quick manicure and only need it to last a day, they're fine. The color was a little surprising.  In the store and at home I thought they were navy, but when I went outside, they looked green.  

Unnamed Franken.  This is a fairly sheer sage green jelly with micro silver and teal glitter and larger silver hex glitter.  The photos above are three coats and there's still a little more VNL than I care for. I can't remember what I used in this one, but I'm pretty sure it involved at least half a dozen different polishes. 

I've been experimenting with my photography lately, working with different lighting and hand positions.  This is my homage to Chalkboard Nails. 

Unnamed Franken Number Two.  A deep purple jelly with various sizes of iridescent glitter and a small amount of holo glitter.  This one reminds me of grape candy.  

I've got a few more frankens I'll swatch one of these days..  I'm really happy with how most of them turned out and I've been thinking of opening up an Etsy shop and creating my own indie polish line.  Need to do some more research on that one, sourcing materials and whatnot.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 24 - Inspired by a Book

Technically, this is inspired by a set of books:  Encyclopedia Britannica!  I used to love paging through our set of encyclopedias, especially the section on the human body that had the various systems of the body printed on different transparencies.

For this, I used Color Club Rebel Spirit, China Glaze Brownstone, L'Oreal The Perfect Trench, and Orly Luxe.  Stamped with a piece of the chandelier on BM8.

And here's a surprise bonus.  I don't have my camera with me so I couldn't take a good picture, but I doodled this the other day and wanted to share:

This is OPI Java Mauve-a, Pure Ice Super Star (white), something I don't remember the name of (and I'm too lazy to go check right now) and a teensy bit of China Glaze Passion.  Passion is dotted in the center of the circles, but it's hard to tell unless you look very closely.  Stamped with BM04.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Taking a Break

And again I disappear.  I'm currently out of town for about six weeks - without my camera - and thus will be taking a break from blogging for a couple months.

I have one more post in the 30 Day Challenge coming, so watch for that in the next couple days.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vivid Lacquer - PMP, Daisy, and Ocean's Pixels

I'm sure those of you who read this blog regularly are tired of hearing me rave about Vivid Lacquer, but you'll have to suffer through another review today.  Anni is very generously offering minis for bloggers to review, so I had to jump at the chance.

Vivid Lacquer Paint Me Patriotic, Daisy, and Ocean's Pixels.

Paint Me Patriotic is a variety of red, white, and blue glitters  in a clear base.  Again, the glitter is fairly dense and I had no problem getting a little of everything on the brush.  And here's something I didn't realize before I got the polish:  this one has stars in it!  They appear fairly often without any fishing required.  I honestly didn't expect to love this one as much as I do.

Daisy is a white jelly with white diamond glitter, small round green glitter, and matte yellow hexes.  There's also a teeny bit of gold shimmer in the base.  It's subtle enough to be hard to photograph and is not immediately apparent, but it adds an overall richness to the polish that a plain white jelly wouldn't have.  The formula on this was great.  It went on a little streaky but it self levels if not applied too thinly.  I used two coats over Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Jade Jump.  This one is really gorgeous and is definitely my favorite of the bunch.  It's soft and delicate and pairs so well with other colors.

Ocean's Pixels is a clear base with small blue and pale green matte glitter.  This went on very smoothly and the glitter is fairly densely packed so it doesn't take much.  You could probably get full or nearly full coverage in a few coats. This is one coat over Revlon Buttercup. 

Vivid Lacquer can be found on Etsy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 23 - Inspired by a Movie

 About time, right?  I was going to do a mani based on Pretty In Pink, as per my Mom's suggestion (sorry, Mom), but when I got my Vivid Lacquer plate I knew what I had to do.

Jurassic Park!


I had a hard time getting a good photo of this one.  It is quite a bit clearer in person.

Of course, the whole time I was working on it I had this running through my head:


Monday, July 16, 2012

Vivid Lacquer Stamping Plate 002

I've got another indie review for y'all today.  This time, a stamping plate.  That's right, an indie plate maker!  This is the second plate VL002 from Anni at VividLacquer on Etsy.  It includes four full size images plus six (well, eight if you're splitting up the balloons) smaller images.  It came perfectly clean with no scratches; the streaks you see here are from the acetone I used to clean it after stamping.  Didn't think to photograph it until afterward : /

And when I say full size, I mean FULL SIZE.  Each large image is 2cm x 2cm, which is more than large enough to cover my thumb and is awesome for longer nails.  Because they're so large, you might need to practice a bit with the placement of some of them, particularly the butterfly wings.  I found it didn't matter too much with the honeycomb or stars because my only goal was to cover the nail, not focus on a particular part of the design.

I am quite impressed with how these turned out.  The plate is engraved deeply enough that it's very easy to get a good image, even as an inexperienced stamper.  I was curious about how the half-moon would work because it's such a large area, but it turned out fine.  It helps to scrape it in two different directions and use a light touch, but I didn't have an issue getting a good image from it.

At $8 each, these are a bit more pricey than other plates, but well worth the money for the quality, the larger images and designs other than flowers and butterflies.  I bought this plate solely for the snail, but I totally love all the other images and I'm sure I'll get tons of use out of it.

Vivid Lacquer also has some lovely handmade 3-free polishes and another stamping plate, VL001, with plans to add more in the future.  Anni's customer service is awesome and shipping on this plate was very fast.  

I used Essie Marshmallow as a base and stamped with China Glaze Passion.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hello!  Still alive!

I got a little blocked on the "Inspired by a Movie" challenge.  I was just not feeling inspired by anything.  I also had plans to travel and visit with family for a couple weeks, so I decided to take a short break.  That short break apparently turned into several weeks during which I either didn't have the time or the motivation to do my nails.  So, sorry for disappearing!

I still haven't done my Inspired by a Movie mani, but I do have something new.

This is my entry in the Nailed By Mods Challenge in the There's Fiber in My Polish group on Ravelry.  Ravelry, for those who don't know, is a site for fiber arts (mostly knitting and crochet) enthusiasts.  Don't judge.

The theme of this contest is My Little Pony.  I chose Applejack as my inspiration.

I love how this turned out.  It's adorable and not overtly pony-y.  I used OPI Y'all Come Back, Ya Hear?, Sally Hansen Red Carpet and NYC High Line Green.  On my thumb is a temporary tattoo.  All topped with Essie Matte About You.  By the way, why did no one tell my how gorgeous Red Carpet is? So deep and sparkly!  I've got it on my toes right now, too. 

I do plan on getting back to the 30 Day Challenge soon, but I may do a review before that.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Darling Diva Polish - Reef Fish and Ringer

I just got a couple polishes from Darling Diva Polish on Etsy so I decided to take a break from the challenge to do a couple swatches.

First up is Reef Fish.  Above is one coat alone and one coat over Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mint Sprint, white, and black.  This is large and small multicolor hex glitter, white square glitter, small round green glitter, and silver microglitter in a slightly greenish blue base.  There seems to be a little bit of shimmer as well, which adds an interesting dimension.  The large glitters are fairly concentrated and it's not too hard to get a few on your brush.  It went on very easily aside from the large glitters which needed to be dabbed on so they didn't stay on the brush.  I love the combination of glitters in this and I actually like how it looks alone, something I very seldom say about sheers.

This is four coats of Ringer.  This is apparently a dupe for Max Factor Fantasy Fire, although I don't have Fantasy Fire to compare it to.  Based on others' comparisons (google Darling Diva Polish Ringer to find them), it seems to be spot on.  Which is the whole reason I bought this!  I am all for cheap alternatives to expensive/hard to find polishes.

Ringer is a purple jelly with duochrome red/green shimmer.  It is extremely sheer and  I'd recommend layering it over something dark and opaque to bring out its beautiful glow and depth. 

This is one coat over Revlon Royal.  Two coats of Ringer would have shown the color shift a bit better, which is why I was unable to capture it in my photos.

Overall I love both of these polishes.  I'll probably be ordering a few more from her in the future.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 22 Redux and Duochrome Swatches

That's better.  This one really needed a little something more.  And the song, for those not familiar:

While I had the black on, I figured it would be a good time to try out some duochromes that I've been neglecting.  From left to right, this is Kleancolor Chunky Holo Black, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Amber Ruby, Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Lapis Amethyst, and on the thumb is Ulta Jaded.


If you ever ask yourself if you need Chunky Holo Black, the answer is always "Yes".  This is various sized glitter that flashes every color of the rainbow.  Every color.  Seriously.  Mine is extremely thick and goopy, but it goes on fine. This is one coat.

OPI Just Spotted the Lizard is reportedly a dupe for Chanel Peridot.  This is two coats.  To be honest, unlike most other duochromes this one loses something when layered over black.  

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms is a discontinued line, but the polishes can still be found on Ebay and various other places.  I bought Amber Ruby years ago when they were first introduced and in an I'm-an-adult-must-wear-boring-nail-colors purge, I threw it out.  I recently bought another bottle on Amazon and I'm so glad I did.  Mostly you'll see red, orange, and yellow, but a little bit of green comes out at certain angles.

Lapis Amethyst is another gorgeous one from the Nail Prisms line.  I found this one at Ross in a collection of random discontinued Sally Hansen colors and ever since I found it, I've been stalking the store looking for more. The black underwear really helps the purple/blue color shift to come out and unfortunately my photos don't really catch the blue.  

Ulta Jaded is a very subtle duochrome.  Mostly it's just a shimmery blueish green but at the right angles it shifts to a deep purpley blue. Black underwear is definitely a must for this one

I loved wearing all these together.  I felt like my nails were jewels.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 22 - Inspired by a Song

Inspired by The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black.

Ok, yeah, it's kind of a cop out, but I thought it was funny ^_^   Mostly I just wanted an excuse to try out this black.  It's two coats of Wet n Wild Black Creme.  I've heard it makes a good stamping polish, so I'll have to experiment with that another time.  On its own, I'm not impressed.  The first coat was pretty streaky and it's very easy to get too-thick layers, which I guess is why it's recommended as good for stamping.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 21 - Inspired by a Color

This is inspired by my favorite color when I was a kid: pinkandpurple.  Just about anything I owned or wore had to be pinkandpurple.  As a matter of fact, this manicure reminds me of a pair of dress-up shoes I used to have.  Seven-year-old me would have been in love with this mani.  Who am I kidding, grown-up me is pretty enthralled with it. It's just about the girliest thing I've worn in a long time.

This is three coats of Color Club Lavendarling. It's a lovely dusty medium purple.  It applied pretty smoothly and evenly, but seemed a little bit thinner than some of the other Color Clubs I own, thus the three coats.  This is from the Spring 2012 Blossoming Collection.  I found a place nearby that has some Color Club polishes, so I picked up this one and Diamond Drops, the flakie topcoat from the same collection.  It's a really interesting chunky holo flake/glitter.  I'll get around to swatching it some day if I ever finish this challenge.

Friday, May 11, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 20 - Water Marble

Not happy with my color choices on this one, but whatevs.  This is only my second water marble ever, so it's not bad, considering. 

This is Sally Hansen Forbidden Fudge, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Teal-y Fast, Essie A-Crewed Interest (what's with all the puns in nail polish names?) and e.l.f. Coral Dream.

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 19 - Galaxy

 I don't really get the Galaxy nail trend.  They do look pretty cool, I guess it's just not something I want to wear for more than a day.  My biggest issue with galaxy nails is that it usually doesn't end up looking like a galaxy or even outer space at all. Interesting sponging?  Yes. Galaxies? No. That said, here's my attempt at it.  I went with more of a nebula look instead of galaxies.

 I might have been more happy with these if I had used a solid black as the base.  I used Sally Hansen Black Diamond thinking it would give a "field of stars" effect.  Fail.  It just made everything grainy. To be honest, I'm not too happy with Black Diamond itself.  It doesn't have nearly the sparkle it shows in the bottle and even with a nice, thick, shiny topcoat like Seche Vite, it looks grainy and dull.

 I did totally get into the mood while doing these, though.  I was watching Star Trek with my husband and later tried to paint a tiny Enterprise on one nail.  It ended up as a big silver blob because I was rushing, so no pictures of that.    

Sunday, April 29, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 18 - Half Moons

I love this so much it gets three pictures.  Seriously, I keep looking at my nails every five minutes and every time I do I think "Yup, still awesome."  

Also, this is another good use for too-small "full nail" stamps.

I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out and Black Out and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Brisk Blue.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 17 - GLITTAH!


Really, do I need to say more than that? 

Ulta Material Girl, Wet n Wild Sparkled, Sally Hansen Gem Crush Big Money, and e.l.f. Golden Goddess

And Tanya, this one's for you:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 16 - Tribal Print

Watch out, my geek is showing:  this is inspired by the Trolls of World of Warcraft.   Shut up, it's totally a tribal print.  To be honest, I kind of hate most tribal prints, so when my husband suggested this I had to do it.

This is my first time doing this much freehand nail art and it was exhausting.  Nothing turned out how I wanted it to and I redid everything several times before getting sick of all of it.  It took days to finish, working while my son napped or after he was in bed. I finally settled on this and I don't think it really screams "Troll", but I am so done with it.

Colors used:
Thumb: OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, Cosmetic Arts taupe, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening
Index: OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up, Cosmetic Arts blue, Sally Hansen Xtreme White Out, OPI Got the Blues for Red, Sally Hansen Xtreme Black Out
Middle: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mint Sprint, Color Club Rebel Spirit, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening, China Glaze Brownstone
Ring: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Vigorous Violet, Lightening, and Brisk Blue, Nabi Baby Blue
Pinkie: OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, China Glaze Brownstone, Sally Hansen Xtreme White Out and Black Out

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 15 - Delicate Print

I tried very hard to stay away from the expected lace, floral, and pastels for this day.  Also, my "full nail" stamps are just wide enough for my nails and my stamping skills aren't quite up to lining them up exactly, so I had to get creative. I do love how this looks, but I'd like to try it again some day with brighter colors.  I love the contrast of a delicate print done in a non-delicate or unexpected color.

This is Revlon Colorstay Bare Bones, Sally Hansen Xtreme White On, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mint Sprint.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 14 - Floral

This is Borghese Palermo Plum, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out, Zoya Dree, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lightening.

Palermo Plum is still one of my favorite polishes.  The application isn't great - it's a little thin and runny, so flooding is an issue - but the color is just so rich and beautiful.  There's a bit more blue to it than what shows in these photos.

As far as design, this didn't turn out quite like I had hoped, but it's still pretty cute.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Day 13 - Animal Print

So this might not immediately come across as an animal print to most people.  There is a bit of a back story to this one. 

Before this challenge, we had two cats, Fuzz and Bobo.  I wanted to do something a little different from the usual leopard or zebra for day 13, so I had planned on this mani being all Bobo-print (grey with subtle tiger stripes) with a Fuzz accent nail. Unfortunately, shortly after starting this challenge, we had to put Bobo down.  So instead of an all-Bobo mani, I did an homage to all the cats I or my family members have owned.  Ok, almost all of them.  Rowdy and Percy didn't make the cut, but we didn't have either of them for very long.  I realize this makes me sound like a crazy cat lady, but I think I'm okay with that ;)

Here are a few pictures for reference:

Left to right: Junior, Rowdy, and Littlebit




For Junior (thumb) I used OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up, Color Club Rebel Spirit and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out.

For Thumper (index) I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out and Black Out.

For Bobo (middle) I used my unnamed Cosmetic Arts taupe, OPI A-Taupe The Space Needle, and Essie Power Clutch.

For Fuzz (ring) I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out, OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out.

For Littlebit (pinkie) I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White Out, OPI Swedish Nude, Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up, and OPI A-Taupe the Space Needle.

And because my husband is not a fan of matte, I included a picture with a glossy top coat below.