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Showing posts from July, 2012

Beetlejuice Nails!

As you may have noticed, I have a hard time going more than a day or so without having to hit the glitter.  It's my favourite and while time-consuming, I find it really relaxing to do something so methodical.  I've already used this particular glitter before but I wasn't entirely happy with it last time so I thought I'd try to mix it up a bit.  Let's take at my Beetlejuice nails!
First up, a new white polish I picked up the other day.  Turns out LA Girl has a "salon" line that is pretty decent.  Delicate is a shimmery white polish that applies well for a white, only needing two coats.  Next, using my usual glitter technique, I added vertical stripes in my charocal grey square holo glitter.  Quite the mouthful really.  I was trying to decide between vertical and horizontal stripes and after seeing it on, I proooobably should have gone with horizontal but whatcha gunna do.  Beetlejuice! 


Review: China Glaze Luxe & Lush (finally)

Ohh it was a good day the other day: I finally found China Glaze Luxe and Lush at a non-ridiculous price! The hard part is finding a way to use it that everyone and their cat hasn't already done.  Of course I did whatever I do when I can't immediately think of what to do with glitter: glitter gradient!
I started this one off with two coats of Sally Hansen Sonic Bloom, a nice bright red-coral creme.  It applied well, considering it's one of the cheaper ones, only needing two coats.  I then used my normal technique for the glitter gradient for Luxe & Lush, painting 2/3rds of the way down the nail, then half, then the top third.  While it's pretty, it's not as gobsmacking as I was expecting.  I may have been spoilt with "real" flakies and so shredded iridescent glitter just isn't that exciting.  Take a look, compared to something like this or this.  


Review: China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada

I really need a better way to organise my polishes.  I have a Helmer but it's not really big enough to hold my full collection >.<.  As a result, I dig through my bag of polishes and often find surprises, like my neon green China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada! Soooo neon greeeennnnn.
This polish is a little tricky to work with.  Neons are notorious for being streaky and draggy at the cuticles and this wasn't much of an exception.  By the third code the coverage was live-withable but not as good as the American Apparel Neons.  As I felt neon green wasn't striking enough, I then added glitter dots in pink, purple and blue, using my usual technique.  I love how this came out, truly visually assaulting, which is always a goal for me. 
By the way, what do you think of my new lighting system?


First Attempt at Fishtail Braid Nails

I'm super excited, I got a new toy in the mail the other day.  It's not polish, but better: a lightbox!  No longer am I taking pictures by the light of my $10 Ikea floor lamp but by the clean white light of this beauty.  It's taking a bit of getting used to in terms of settings as I use all manual settings on my camera but I'm happy with the results thus far.  Take a look at my first go at both Fishtail Braid nails and my new lightbox! I found this set of pink/purple mini Color Club polishes at Winners a while back and have been trying to find a way to use them for a while now.  Why not Fishtail Braid?  First up, I started with two thin coats of the lightest pink.  Then, going in order from lightest pink to darkest purple, I layered the stripes over the top of one another, correcting any pooling around the edges of my nails as I went.  It's interesting, using an even number of colours, as I kinda got this gradient effect.  I like it!  

Review: China Glaze How About a Tumble!!

So I have something a little different to show you today.  I went to dinner last night with my friend Laura (who likes it when I talk about her, cos she then appropriates the entire post as being about her) and walking back, we came across a salon with $10 manicures.  Done!, says we.  I was just excited for someone else to do my nails, as well as to try a new polish, without having to buy it.  Inside, though, I couldn't believe my eyes; A POLISH FROM THE CHINA GLAZE KALEIDOSCOPE COLLECTION.  I'd heard about people finding the China Glaze holo polishes in out-of-the-way salons but never thought I'd actually find one. It it my great pleasure to show you How About a Tumble, an absolutely gorgeous lilac holo China Glaze polish!
It may have only been $10 but I think my (male!) manicurist did a good job.  After a nice cleanup and rub-down, he applied three coats of How About a Tumble.  It's a little sheer but you get decent coverage after three coats.  I just can't get …

First Attempt at Saran Wrap Nails

I spend a fair amount floating around the webs, trying to find new things to do and show you.  I've come across the Saran Wrap technique quite a few times now and thought I'd give it a try.  It has to be sparkly or shiny for me to be interested so why not use Essie No Place Like Chrome?  Turns out it makes for an amazing mani.
First up, two coats of Essie No Place Like Chrome.  I both love and hate this polish: it's so very very shiny but shows every flaw in your nails, even with a base coat.  Next, I grabbed some cling film, balled it up, painted a splotch of L.A. Girl Amethyst and blobbed away.  I found that the second and third nails from a polish application turned out better so if I were to do this again, I'd blot the wrap before adding to my nails.  Full list of polishes at the bottom.

Review: China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise

I have a friend who is not only into nail polish but also named Laura.  Things in common!  So I asked her to challenge me for a nail design and green with glitter french tips was the winner.  Turquoise was close enough to green, so away we go.
First up, three coats of China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise (Neon).  Application was a bit strange on this one as the first coat was extremely hard to control.  By the third it was nice and even though, and look at the colour.  It's so bright my camera was having trouble processing it and it never has a problem with the blue-green family.  Once dry, I added a french tip to each nail with holographic silver square glitter using my normal glitter application technique.  I found that you could fan the glitter out easily enough to get a solid french tip.  You can usually push the glitter down from the edge of your nail, to make sure it's in the right spot.  

Review: Urban Outfitters Smush

I've been working on something rather special of late.  I'm nearly ready for the reveal and I'm excited for you to see it.  It's been so time-consuming, however, that I've been left with only enough time to throw together one mani, and a relatively simple one a that.  Said simple mani has to involve glitter though, as my project has been heavily glitter involved and that's as far as my brain gets.  As a hint, my project has so much glitter in it that my personal trainer was making fun of me for having so much glitter on my face.  There's glitter on the cat, on my bf, EVERYWHERE but omg, so sparkly.
Anyway, on to the mani itself.  Base colour here is Urban Outfitters Smush, a lovely minty blue-green creme.  The colour's particularly hard to describe though.  The pictures do it justice, but it just doesn't appear properly on wikipedia's colour list.  It's one of those colours that looks great with pale skin tones so it works for me.  Applicat…

Re-review: Nerd Lacquer Cold & Calculating

Sometimes, if I don't feel like digging through the reusable shopping bag holding most of my polishes, I like to pick a polish I reviewed a long time ago, re-do it, and feel superior over myself from January this year.  Yeah, past-self-put-down five! Let's take a look at a polish I first reviewed all the way back on January 4th, Nerd Lacquer Cold & Calculating
Cold & Calculating is a purple franken polish with a frosted purple base and a smattering of pink and silver glitter.  As with a couple of other Nerd Lacquer polishes, I suspect this has been mixed with Kleancolors.  I've always had issue with Kleancolors taking ages to dry and this one was no exception.  Even with a Seche Vite top coat and drying drops, four nails have wrinkled, rage.  I'm not really sure why I reviewed this one again - it wasn't especially impressive back in January and still isn't...


Neon, Rainbow Glitter and Matte, Oh My

So apparently I'm a bit broken as no sooner did I finish my nice, staid monochrome dot gradient mani that I took it off and replaced it with a mani so eyeball-punchingly neon and rainbow glittered that my brain still hurts.  Yeah.  Glitter and neon, baby! You didn't need your eyes in solid format, anyway, right?
I started this monstrosity off with three coats of American Apparel Neon Yellow.  I'm quite fond of this polish as not only is it a true highlighter yellow, it covers well without being too streaky.  That's often a problem with the neons but this one was fine, even without underwear.  Then, using my usual technique, I added the rainbow glitter stripes to my thumb and ring fingers.  As that wasn't enough, I mattified the other fingers, cos you know, why not.  Cameras cannot possibly be expected to handle this level of neon but trust me, this is very very bright.  


Black and White Dot Gradient Nails

I have to do something about the amount of glitter on my desk.  I just cannot see anything else with the 30 or so sparkly pots just lying around.  Today's mani took a concerted effort to resist the glitter but I'm glad I did.  I've seen this design on pshiiit.com but I love the look of a dot gradient so much I had to do it myself.  So, non-sparkly, black and white design it is!
First up, I added two coats of Wet n Wild Black Creme to four fingers and three coats of Joe Fresh White to my ring finger.  White is always tricky to work with, just make sure your coats are thin and even and three coats should get you good coverage.  Then, pouring out a little puddle of polish, I used a toothpick to dot each nail in the reverse colour.  Keep an eye on your puddle, if it dries too much, you'll get little strings of polishes coming off the toothpick, like you see on my thumb.  I love how this turned out, so eye-catching and bold. 


Review: Spa Ritual Off the Grid and Meditate on This

For whatever reason, I'm irrevocably drawn to glass-flecked polishes.  They're always so sparkly, I just cannot resist them.  The problem is, they're hard to wear on their own so they end up sitting on my desk for forever and day.  On my recent trip to Sephora I of course couldn't resist the two sparkliest Spa Ritual polishes, Off the Grid and Meditate on this.  The crazy thing is, I actually used them, hooray!
This mani was something of a evolutionary process.  I started with two coats of Wet n Wild Black Creme and added two coats of the beautiful blue-green Off the Grid.  I'm so glad I didn't just use this one on its own as it positively glows over black.  Apart from the sparkliness, the thing that struck me the most about this polish is the smell - or the lack there of.  Being "vegan" also seems to mean low odour, which is great if you're sensitive to smells.  I toyed with the idea of adding glitter but then decided to add a gradient of Mediat…

Review: Sephora by OPI Once a Cheetah, Always a Cheetah (urgh)

I was in Sephora the other day and always have mixed feelings about the place, now that there's a "nail bar" at the store in the Eaton Centre in Toronto.  It used to be I'd have to make a pilgrimage to a mall in further north to get access to all the fancy polishes but now they're all available downtown.  Not only are they too easy to get to, the teenagers always manage to make everything look messy and tawdry as they either paint their nails in the store or cover the displays in polish.  Even the lighting in the display makes it really hard to tell the colours.  It just makes it all vaguely disappointing.  I buy polish, you know, cos it's there, but it's never a good experience.  This isn't a terribly good segue but whatcha gunna do.  It's been bugging me.  Anyway, let's take a look at a polish I extricated intact from the display, Sephora by OPI Once a Cheetah, Always a Cheetah.
I've been burnt a few times by overestimating how sheer a …

Review: Essie Nothing Else Metals

You may be sensing something of a theme here - Essie chrome polishes!  I've been keeping my polish purchasing low lately but was just unable to resist these two polishes. I then just had to try them out, cos shiny.  Let's take a look at the second chrome polish from Essie's Mirror Metallics collection, Nothing Else Metals.
Dammit, the name is terrible but the polish is pretty.  Nothing Else Metals is a slow lavender chrome polish, very much Jem dolls from the early 90's but in the best way possible.  I swear I had a dress for her in this exact colour.  One thing I noticed about these polishes is that when you first apply it, the brush strokes are really visible but after about 30 seconds they disappear, which is kinda cool.  I love the colour of this polish but man, does it show all the imperfections in your nails.  Given the amount I change my nails, they take a beating (I'll miss you, middle nail :( ) but it usually doesn't show this badly in the pictures.  …

Review: Essie No Place Like Chrome

I hope you're not sick of glitter yet cos I sure as hell am not!  I still have so many pots of glitter sitting on my desk, taunting me (cos glitter can be quite pushy) so I've got quite a few variation to try out.  I recently picked up two new Essie polishes from the Chrome collection - a silver and a lavender - and thought that the the silver, No Place Like Chrome, would make a good base for my holographic turquoise glitter.  
First up, let's take a look at No Place Like Chrome. I used two coats here which was fine in terms of coverage.  I was impressed at just how bright and shiny a silver this was, it really is a true chrome.  However, this polish will show every single lump, bump and bubble in your nails and application.  Even a top coat doesn't smooth it out completely.  I highly recommend buffing your nails and using a very even base coat with this, otherwise you're going to have a bad time.  That being said, it's so shiny I don't care, hah hah! Once…

Rainbow Glitter Herringbone Nails

As some of you might have noticed, I've been on something of a glitter kick lately.  The lovely Jenna from Lacquistry send me the most massive box of glitter the other day and I've been wracking my brains for ways to do it all justice.  A particularly enticing item in said delivery was a large pot of rainbow holographic glitter. I was magnetised to it, it is my crack and I finally decided to use it.  I present to you: RAINBOW GLITTER HERRINGBONE NAILS!
I actually filmed all of this as a time-lapse shot but something happened and it's just not.  This was a particularly tricky one do to as the glitter has to be rotated and flipped, to make sure the pieces lined up properly but it was so worth the effort.  Even my personal trainer was impressed although he is, also, easily swayed by glitter.  Anyway, I started with two coats of Rimmel Black Satin then used my normal technique to add the glitter in, making sure I spread out the colours and lined it all up properly.  


Fuchsia Electric Mermaid Nails

As I loudly explained yesterday, my new favourite person is Jenna from Lacquistry for her incredible generosity in sending me the mother of all glittery packages.  The hardest part though, was choosing.  Herein lies where I got myself into trouble.  I chose what turned out to be a very very small hex glitter because I was intoxicated by the sparkly.  I was planning to do all five nails on my right hand but it was all of a sudden 1.15am and I'd done my thumb and ring finger so there's that.  The result, though, is so sparkly it has to be my second favourite mani I've ever done.  
First up, I started with two coats of my favourite neon pink, Urban Outfitters Hottub.  Starting with my thumb, I picked up each and every piece of fuchsia glitter and covered my nail, using my usual technique.  I'm not going to lie, this took a long time.  Like, a long time.  BUT LOOK AT THE RESULT.  I'm going to use the same simile as my last full, holo, glitter mani: it's like press…

Vintage Glitter Dots

OMG EVERYONE, I"M SO EXCITED ABOUT WHAT I GOT IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY I CAN"T EVEN USE CAPS LOCK, I"M HOLDING THE SHIFT KEY DOWN.  I've been chatting to the lovely Jenna from Lacquistry and the conversation, funnily enough, turned to glitter and our mutual appreciation.  My jaw dropped when she agreed to send me some of her glitters that didn't work for her polishes!  The box arrived yesterday and I just fainted from the sheer amount of sparklies she saw fit to bestow upon me.  Every colour, shape, size, holo, just....amazing.  The hardest part last night was choosing but a black hex glitter jumped out at me and I couldn't resist. 
To start, I added two coats of Essence Let's Get Lost, a strong dodger blue creme.  This is the first time I've actually tried an Essence creme polish, despite them sitting on my desk for ages and I'm really impressed.  It only needed two coats and has a nice strong colour and consistency.  Once dry, I added a coat of m…

Review: Lacquistry Chocolate Covered Cherries

I need to get off my bum, everyone, as I'm running out of indie polishes to review!  Of course, to get more I have to stay seated and internet more....Anyway, you all know how much I like Lacquistry polishes so let's take a look at another polish, Chocolate Cover Cherries.
Much like greens, browns are chronically under-represented in my collection so I always feel super proud of myself when I wear one.  Chocolate Covered Cherries is a great example of a good brown as the combination of the brown base and just a bunch of different sizes of red and brown glitter make it super sparkly and very much like chocolate covered cherries.  Application was good although it did need the three coats to get full opacity.  


Re-Review: Nerd Lacquer Hyperspace Bypass

I've been in two minds about posting this particular entry, for two reasons: first, I have actually reviewed this polish before, and second, there is almost no way for anyone to buy this any more.  I decided to proceed as this has to be one of my absolute favourite polishes, and dammit, I wanted to wear it again.  I'm talking, of course, about Nerd Lacquer Hyperspace Bypass.  Amanda from Nerd Lacquer has completely disappeared and it looks as though there will only be ebay to actually buy these polishes.  I'm sorry :(
Let's marvel in this polish, since we're here.  Hyperspace Bypass is my most unique polish, and I don't use that term lightly.  I have a ton of almost identical polishes in my collection but only one neon mustard packed with silver and black hex glitter and micro holo particles.  It applies like a dream, needing three coats but giving that wonderful layered effect that only jellies can produce.  It's just so unique, I don't care it doesn&…

Review: Aldo Vintage Cadillac with Gold Glitter Mosaic

Aww yeah, you know what time it is! SQUARE GLITTER TIME AWW YEAAAAHHHHH.  You know all the times are square glitter times when a new shipment of glitter comes in!  After my last adventure with square glitter, I was hesitant to do another full coverage mani.  Having square glitter, funnily enough, gives you plenty of different options to play with though.  Thus, grids! By the way, have I said "square glitter" enough?
I had an idea to play with the idea of gold-laced turquoise so I started with three coats of what turned out to be an amazing polish: Aldo Vintage Cadillac.  This was bought for cheap at an Aldo store (I know, strange place to buy it, right) so I wasn't expecting a whole lot but it turned out to cover nicely and be the most beautiful shade of light turquoise.  This one will definitely be going on the rotation.  Once dry, I painted a strip of my stickiest top coat down the middle of my nail and laid the glitter out, using my usual technique.  The gaps in betwe…

Review: Girly Bits Hippity Hop

I just haven't been having the best run of luck with my colour combinations lately.  First this, then this, it's all just been a little less than awesome.  This is especially annoying when both polishes are awesome on their own and then they just don't go.  Let's take a look at a classic example - Revlon Chilli and Girly Bits Hippity Hop.
First up, Revlon Chilli is the most fabulously squishy bright orange coral.  It's one of those great jellies that doesn't leave a VNL (visible nail line) but still looks glossy and awesome.  I used three coats to be safe and was happy with the result.  If I were a normal person, I'd just stop there.  It was bold on it's own and at this point, just a plain nail colour is quite the envelope pusher for me.  No, instead I added a coat of Pam's Girly Bits Hippity Hop, a gorgeous purple-based rainbow glitter, shot through with a blue iridescent shimmer.  There was something about the combination with the jelly, the glit…

Midnight Oil Slick Disco Ball!

Oh everyone, do I have a roller-coaster ride of emotions, all in the one story, to share with you today.  The story begins, like so many do, with a mysterious package arriving in the mail.  Shaking it, it rattles, which is either very strange or very bad, depending on what you were expecting.  The contents? SQUARE GLITTER, MOFOS! I had forgotten I'd ordered a set of 12 pots of square glitter a few weeks ago and I was rather giddy with excited over how sparkly it all was.  At least half the pots were a holo glitter too, which literally made me drop everything and run to my table to experiment with the clear standout, the charcoal grey holo glitter.....
My process started well.  I started with two coats of Rimmel Black satin and let them dry thoroughly.  Using my stickiest base coat, I painted a third of my thumb and went to town with my toothpick.  You can see my tutorial on glitter mosaics if you want a more picture-y explanation on how this is done.  I finished all my nails and …

Can't Decide what Technique to Use? Use them All!

Being that Toronto is having quite the glorious summer at the moment, I figured I should be a proper person and do something a little more summery than the blacks I've been playing with lately.  So why not do a mini that is green, has glitter, an accent gradient and matte over the top?  That's a thing, right?  The result kinda reminds me of an air brushed tshirt you buy on holiday, but WHATEVERRRRSS.
First up, I felt I had to do green.  Green is sorely under-represented 'round there here parts so why not.  First step here was to add two coats of my favourite green, Revlon Posh.  Next, I poured a small puddle of Revlon Sassy (fitting, cos I'm a bit sassy today) and mixed a corner with some top coat.  I saw a tutorial somewhere that built up a gradient using a mix of colour and top coat that seemed effective. Using a makeup sponge, I built up layers like I do with glitter gradients - starting with 2/3rds of the way down my nail, then half, then the tip.  Because that cl…

Review: SensatioNail Gel Polish in Raspberry Wine

Oooo do I have something special to show you all today!  For the past two months, I've been starting at the Gel Nails kits in Shoppers, trying desperately to justify to myself some way to buy a starter kit.  Reasons not to? Expensive, I like to change my nails every day, expensive, not terribly exciting colours, etc, etc.  Mostly, I just wanted it.  Finally, with an unexpected bonus at work, I bit the bullet and finally get to try the SensatioNail Starter Gel Nails kit.
Got lots of text on this one, click through to keep reading. 

Review: Nail Venturous Voodoo

Hello hello, am back from my lovely weekend away although, brace yourselves, my nails were not happy about spending three days in a lake.  Fortunately I had some backup posts, while they recover for a bit.  So I've had Nail-Venturous Voodoo sitting in my drawer for a while but have been struggling to know what to do with it.  I bought it along with a bunch of other black and white glitters and it just kept getting overlooked in favour of more layer-able, clear based polishes.  Screw it, thought I, one can certainly have black nails in the height of summer!
Given that Voodoo has quite a dark base, I decided to do nothing fancy and start with two coats of Rimmel Black Satin, my go-to black.  Next, two coats of Voodoo.  The polish itself it very dark and filled with black, white and grey glitter.  Quite the bold choice with the black glitter, as it's only likely to show up over the lighter glitter.  I like it though, for that very reason.  The consistency was decent, although yo…