Saturday, April 30, 2011

Polish Project and Sale Info

Today is the last day of Sally Beauty's Buy 2 Get 1 sale on all their polishes. I found out from a friend that my local store had some of the China Glaze Crackles back in stock, so I decided to go pick up Cracked Concrete (I already have the colors and white just didn't appeal to me). Since everything was on sale, of course I had to pick up a few more. I'm working on a mani to use Cracked Concrete, so I thought I'd remind y'all about this sale while I wait for my base coat to dry.

I'll also share a picture of my other nail project. A wise woman (Lissa of the currently-on-hiatus Lissa's Nails) recently told me that if I want to do reference swatches of my polish collection, the time to start is now, while my collection is a (relatively speaking) reasonable size. So, I grabbed some color wheels from Sally's and went to town. I've written the color on the back of each "nail" and did two thin coats of each polish. That way these can be a guide to the consistency of the polish as well as the color. I also decided to group the polishes by color and leave plenty of room for more. The only problem is that looking at these makes me want to paint my nails every color all at once.

See what I mean?!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blue Hearts Manicure

I was feeling sad when I sat down to do my nails last night, and I wanted to do something that would both reflect my mood and cheer me up. This is what I chose.

I started with a base of my absolute favorite silver polish, the appropriately named China Glaze Cheers to You. This is a great polish, which goes on in two easy coats and is super shiny and sparkly. Next, I stamped a pattern of three small hearts on the side of each nail with Revlon Top Speed Royal. I've used a couple of shades this brand for stamping and they work well. They do dry quickly though, so no dawdling on the stamping.

I didn't take a picture of my other hand, but the design is on the same side of the nail. I've read about using two stampers to reverse designs and create mirror images on each hand, but I've never tried it. Frankly, it sounds hard! Does anyone have any experience with this they could share?

Monday, April 25, 2011

China Glaze Dorothy Who?

I got started doing my nails a little late last night, so I wanted a color that I was planning to wear without stamping or other embellishment. China Glaze Dorothy Who? is one I've had my eye on for a while. I've repeatedly picked it up in the beauty supply store, and then inexplicably put it back down in favor of something I wanted on an impulse. I finally got around to getting a bottle, and it fit the bill of a stand alone color for today's nails.

I absolutely LOVE the color of this polish. As you can see, it's a bright, almost electric blue. What's hard to tell from the photo is that it appears to have depth in the shades of blue as well, almost like really blue water with light shining through it. The polish is a translucent blue gel with (obviously) tons of glitter. The thick gelatinous texture of the polish made it a little hard to control, but it doesn't feel overly thick on. It was reasonably opaque after two coats, but I added a third to fully realize its crazy blue potential. I also added a coat of Out the Door fast drying top coat, which made the glitter really pop.

Brilliant blues and purples are probably my second favorite group of polishes, after shiny metallics, so this one was right up my alley. I see me wearing this one a lot this summer, since I have an awesome blue knit dress just this color.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Valentine's Day in April

Since I haven't done any posts yet of stamped manicures, I decided to do one of my favorites with lots of stamping: my Valentine's manicure.

The base color is Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Presto Pink. The stamping is done in Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Rapid Red using a variety of Bundle Monster plates. I think the lips are my favorite, though the rose on my pinky is a close second. Both of these polishes are good. The Insta-Dry brush is very wide and think. It's a question of personal taste, but I really like it. The polish goes on well and is very opaque in two coats. As advertised, they dry quickly. I've used several Insta-Dry cremes for stamping, and they all work well. Some of the brights are even thick enough to work over black or other dark colors.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fault Line Manicure

Today's nasty weather has thwarted by attempts to get one really good picture in sunlight of my China Glaze Fault Line manicure. So, I'll have to give you several to get the overall effect. I've been waiting for this polish for a while, and I'm not disappointed.

First  picture in natural light. Overcast, grey, drizzly natural light. I used a base coat of Revlon Top Speed Lily. I've been picking these up because they seem to work well for Konading, but it was a little harder to work with as a base polish. It's very thick, but you definitely still need two thick coats or three thin ones to get it good and opaque. I didn't worry about that much for this though, and I really like the color. Once the base color was thoroughly dry, I added a medium thickness of China Glaze Fault Line. It was also a little hard to work as it started drying instantly, still on the brush, which made it hard to get a consistent coat. However, I love the final product.

This picture was taken indoors under incandescent light, and shows the color of Fault Line most accurately.

This one was taken indoors with flash, to show that Fault Line is actually a shimmer not a creme, which is part of what drew me to it.

So what do y'all think? Is anyone else totally loving crackles at the moment? I'm totally psyched about the upcoming OPI silver shatter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

China Glaze Haul

Y'all have no idea how hard I've been trying to get my hands on some of the China Glaze Crackle Glazes. I have OPI Black Shatter, and I love it. So, the prospect of that effect in color, from my favorite brand is pretty exciting. Sadly, both my local Sally's and every online retailer I could think of have been out of stock constantly.  So, when I found the exact three polishes I wanted on Ashley's blog sale over at Polish and Konad, I was all over it. And since I was already buying some things, I may as well get a few more, right?! Right. So, I got my haul today.

The Crackles are Fault Line, Crushed Candy, and Broken Hearted. I also picked up Sexy in the City, Bogie, Mommy Kissing Santa, and Midnight Kiss.

I've already done a manicure with Fault Line, but I want to take a picture of it in all its full glory in sunlight. So, that will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, I bring you a picture of an older mani. I'll be doing some of these posts of older pics intermittently for a while as well as pictures of my current nails.

This picture is the first time my nails were so exciting to me that I had to take a picture. I got one of my coworkers to take it with my phone inside in terrible light. I've come a long way, baby. I'm pretty sure the base color is Nicole by OPI Midnight Snowfall. No review though, since this was months ago. The flowers are decals. I love them enough that I might try to pick up some more.

Tomorrow, you'll see the Fault Line mani (sneak preview: it's awesome!).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Introduction

I'm an unlikely nail blogger in many ways. I've never worn make up regularly, haven't worn it at all in...I'm not sure, but definitely more than a year, and I only discovered nail polish sometime last year. However, attending Nail Night as an excuse to bond with my ladies opened my eyes to the creative possibilities of polish and nail art.

Less than a year later, I've moved my collection into a three drawer craft chest, and I find myself casually throwing around the names of specific polishes I want, searching for just-the-right shade of this or that color, and watching blogs for announcements of upcoming lines. So, I've decided it's time for a blog. I'll mostly be posting pictures of my manicures, which will include everything from plain ol' polish to stamping, jewels, and decals, oh my! When it's relevant or I feel like it, I'll also include my review of the polishes I try and maybe a little info on nail trends I'm liking.

So, I'll begin with my nails right this minute.

I love metallic nail polish most of all, I think, and this one is part of my ongoing search for the *perfect* gold. It's Finger Paints Key to My Art, and it's not quite there, but it's my favorite so far. I'd like it to be a little warmer and yellower, but it's just right in the shininess and metallic-ness categories. My problem with a lot of other golds is that they're too green or too brown, so this is the closest I've come to an absolute winner. I also like the application, as it's thick enough to be easy to control but thin enough to go on smoothly. Some people might have a problem with the slightly visible brush strokes, but that adds to the "real metal" feel for me. This picture was taken with two coats and a top coat of Out the Door (also a couple days wear, which accounts for the biggish cuticles). It dries very quickly and barely needed the top coat, but I added it anyway to improve wear.

I'm currently waiting for a bottle of China Glaze Midnight Kiss to hit my mail box. Since it appears to be the gold version of my favorite silver (Cheers to You), I'm optimistic that it may edge this one out as my favorite.