Thursday, June 30, 2011

China Glaze Blue Iguana

Today I have for you China Glaze Blue Iguana which is from their Island Escapes collection for summer 2011.  There weren't many colors from this collection that really grabbed my attention, 108 degrees which I posted about yesterday, Blue Iguana and Senorita Bonita were the only ones that I bought, and none of the others really appeal to me.  So without further ado I present China Glaze Blue Iguana.
This is a medium blue polish with a foily sparkly mixture.  There is pink and turquoise micro-glitter and the blue foil bits give it a very light duo-chrome effect, in the bottle at least, not as much on the nail.  It is a thin/sheer polish but definitely not a jelly, it doesn't have the squishy factor that a jelly does.

I used Poshe and Essie Beam Up as base coats, 2 coats of Blue Iguana, and a coat of Seche Vite.  I found that the first coat was somewhat streaky and definitely doesn't like being worked, you have to put this polish on with a purpose and not go back over it.  The second coat smoothed out the streakiness, and was much easier since I had gotten a feel for how the polish was going to act.

full sun, sparkly
With two coats this still had a visible nail line, which really doesn't bother me all that much, a third or maybe even a fourth coat would be required to get complete opacity.  And since I just can't leave good enough alone
slight shrinkage on ring finger, most likely from too many layers with SV on top
I had to do another Scotch tape mani a la Chloe's Nails, I used  Orly Liquid Vinyl for the ring finger and then put another coat of Seche Vite on everything.

Since I had heard from various sources that this polish stained your nails like whoa, I decided to remove this particular manicure using the foil method.  I took my cotton strips, put 100% acetone on them wrapped them around each nail individually, and to keep the acetone from evaporating too quickly I wrapped each finger with a square of aluminum foil also.  I let the acetone sit for about 5 minutes and then pulled each one off.  At first I thought I hadn't avoided the dreaded staining as there was a smurfish tinge to each of my nails, but I took a cotton ball with my regular remover on it and swiped each nail and the blue came off.  I'll be honest, I was surprised, but happy none-the-less.  So be warned, this color blue WILL stain your nails if you aren't careful, I recommend at least two base coats under this, one should probably be a whitening or anti-yellowing base coat like Essie Beam Up or Yellow Stop.

That's all I have for today, until next time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

China Glaze 108 Degrees (I'm a closet pink lover)

Today, I present China Glaze 108 Degrees from their Island Escapes collection for summer 2011.  I have to admit, that at first I didn't really want this color, I love pinks but I had lots of them.  Then I heard everyone talking about how they are having difficulty finding it in their local stores so I figured I better snatch some up while I can.  I am so glad that I did, this polish is absolutely gorgeous, I didn't want to take it off.  This is one of the few manicures that I have done that a guy, and older guy (late 40's) actually complimented me on.  I've never had a guy compliment one of my manicures before.  Sure, guys notice women's nails but I think it is considered "un-manly" to actually acknowledge that they notice them much less say something out loud about them.  It threw me for a loop and actually took me a second to say thank you because I wasn't sure I had heard him right lol.  So here we go.

108 Degrees lives up to it's name, this is a hot hot hot color, it is so gorgeous.  It's a fuchsia jelly with pink and purple glass flecks in it, in the sunlight it is stunning, heck it's stunning even in the shade.

OK apparently I didn't get a sun shot, boo!
I found the formula on this polish to be good, it is thin but easy to get on the nail, the above pictures are with Poshe and Essie Beam Up base coats and 2 layers of polish,l there is no top coat, I'm not sure why, but there isn't.  There is a visible nail line with only 2 coats and I'm betting there would still be a slight VNL with three thin coats.  VNL doesn't bother me so it doesn't lessen my love of this polish one iota.  However, I did find a cure for the VNL

tips are Orly Liquid Vinyl

I put a coat of Seche Vite on after I did the tips, amaaaazing!
I can't even begin to describe how good this looked with black tips on it.  When the sun caught the glass flecks in the 108 Degrees it was mesmerizing.  I do have to say that 108 Degrees looks great without top coat, but Seche Vite took it to amazing.

I got more compliments on this manicure than any other including the compliment from the middle aged guy at my weekend amateur radio gathering.  108 Degrees will definitely be a go to color for summer, it's amazing, I'm going to have to go buy a second bottle, I like it that much.

Until next time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

GLBTQ Pride mani

Today I have for you the manicure I did for GLBTQ Pride weekend here in St. Louis.

This wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be.  Indirect sunlight.

For this I put on a french tip of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White on, and then used stripers for the rainbow stripes, the pink triangle was also done with a striper, both the pink underneath and the glitter on top.  I added a coat of China Glaze Love letters and a coat of Seche Vite.  This isn't the best looking mani I have done, getting the stripes just right was tough and I still failed lol.  But people didn't really seem to notice and I got quite a few compliments on it.

In cuter news, my fat old man kitty came outside with me to take pictures and check out what was shakin' on the deck (the answer was, not a whole lot).
That's it for now, not feeling so hot, I think I'm going to read my blogs and crash out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I knew it was the glitters fault

Ha, I got in-focus pictures of my mani today, it just required being overcast.  So here we go.

stupid french nail guides, put them too high on my nail

This is Orly Royal Navy, which is a royal blue jelly polish with microglitter, it's so micro that it's almost unnoticeable once on the nail.  Ring finger is one coat of Sinful Colors Out Of This World (not to be confused with Orly Out of This World), and then I did a Scotch tape mani a la Chloe's Nails, and put 2 coats of Royal Navy over it.  Still wasn't enough bling for me.  I added inm Northern Lights silver on the tips and all over the ring finger.  Can I just say Northern Lights is a-maze-ing, the glitter is so micro and seems to really spread out on the nail, but the colors it throws off...I find myself staring at my nails while slowly moving them up and down and side-to-side.  there seems to be every color in the rainbow in there.

The shinies, they distract me.

I put a coat of China Glaze Love Letters on the french nails before putting on the Northern Lights, everything has a Seche Vite top coat.

Here are some blurry pictures of the sparkle.

I see red, orange, blue, yellow-ish
green, pink-ish
Peanut came out to help take pics today and to roll in whatever dirt he could find on the deck
Maybe I will take a short video of it in the sun tomorrow, hmmm.

That's all I have for today, next mani will be my GLBT Pride one, but it's going to be so sad to take this one off.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

throwing in the towel

I attempted to take pictures of my current mani today, but could not get the camera to actually take a picture that wasn't so blurry it looked like it was taken underwater, I blame the glitter.  Blurry pictures are good for showing the glittery goodness of a polish that usually doesn't show up well in focused pictures, so I am saving some of those to post when I actually get a good picture of the mani. 

So instead I took pictures of three nail art swatches I did for GLBT Pride month, I plan on wearing one of them to Pridefest next weekend, I just can't decide on the accent nail, maybe putting them up will help me decide.

sorry so blurry, you get the idea
 This is going to be the main design on all my nails, at least the rainbow french is, I'm trying to decide on what will go on my ring fingers, the choices are the pink triangle you see above, with or with out the pink glitter on it, the other two options are:

rainbow stripes under black crackle
This is horizontal rainbow stripes with black crackle over it, may or may not add the glitter.

rainbow dots over white
This is just rainbow dots, I would probably use more traditional red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple in the correct order.

So those are the three options for my accent finger, same french as the rest but with a pink triangle on ring finger, rainbow stripes under black crackle, or rainbow dots, decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some old manicures

I did a new mani tonight, tonight being the operative word which means there isn't any good light to take pictures of it, so I will have that tomorrow.  In the mean time I thought I would post some pictures of old manicures I did.  There are only 4, so this shouldn't take too long.

Black=Nicole by O.P.I-Razzle Dazzler, Red Glitter=Stripe Rite-698568 (red glitter), SV
This was one of the first manicures I tried, and I loved it, the pictures, taken after almost a week of wearing, don't do justice to how shiny and sparkly this mani was, I was sad to take it off.

background=China Glaze-For Audrey, stems and petals=black and white stripers, pink dots=Essie-French Affair, SV
 This is the first design I did by painting on a Ziploc bag, and I can say I wouldn't recommend doing something with thin little branches with the baggie method.  This was my celebration of Spring (my favorite season) design.

Next up are two Memorial Day designs I did, my husband is ex-Army, and my best friend is getting ready to retire as a Gunnersmate from the Navy.

Black=Nicole by O.P.I.-Razzle Dazzler, yellow=L.A. Colors Art Deco in yellow, Army logo=same black and yellow and white is Savvy-French White White (yes white occurs twice in the name), a layer of China Glaze-Love Letters on french nails, SV

Another Ziploc creation, didn't turn out as nice as I wanted it to, but people got the picture, I painted a white line under the yellow smile lines so that the yellow would actually stand out.

And finally
Blue=China Glaze-First Mate, yellow=Icing-Butta, white=Savvy-French White White, a layer of China Glaze-Love Letters on french nails, SV
This is a cell phone picture I took to send to him so he didn't feel left out, sorry about the lobster hands and the quality.  The little emblem on the ring finger is the crossed cannons and is the rate insignia for a Gunnersmate, GMG stands for Gunnersmate-guns, which just means he dealt with, well guns, as opposed to missiles or torpedoes.

You will notice that I am quite obsessed with french manicures right now, and probably will be for awhile.  Like I said in my first post, looking up videos on how to do a french that didn't look all wonky was what got me into nail art and has fed my polish addiction.  So now that I know how to make them look at least half way decent, I love doing them, and I think they look good on my nails.  I know, I know french mani's are considered passe now, but as you can obviously see I'm not doing traditional french's, so long as I keep them colorful and interesting, I don't think they are all that dated.

Tomorrow I should have pics of my current mani, and possibly some haul pictures.

Until Then.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Today I have for you an idea for that I got from a video of various nail designs by dollface22772.  It's a pretty simple french with a little bit of flair thrown in.  I used China Glaze Shocking Pink (neon) for the french and StripeRite white for the "flair".

China Glaze Shocking Pink (neon), China Glaze Love Letters, StripeRite white, SV.

Shocking pink is much brighter than it is showing up in this picture, it really is a neon pink, it reminds me of the 80's, but it's a color that looks good on, very fun and summery, and makes even my pale skin look a little tan.  This picture makes it look bubblegum/pepto pink, it is sooo much brighter than that.
I should not that on almost all of my french manicures where the color is just on the tip I put a layer of China Glaze Love Letters over it before I put on the top coat.  Love Letters is an extremely light pink nude jelly polish that is pretty much a french manicure color, you probably wouldn't really be able to see it on your nail if you wore it alone.  When put over other colors it doesn't perceptibly change the color but it helps even it out and gives your nail bed that wonderful jelly look.  It just makes the french look so much smoother.

Until next time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

summer pink and turquoise french

This is what my swatch of Revlon's Just Tinted in Victorian turned into.

base coat, 3 coats Victorian, 1 thick coat Blue Me Away, Seche Vite topcoat on all but ring finger, which has the sun added and an additional coat of SV.
Please excuse my funky cuticles, this mani has been on for 6 days , which is also why you can see tip wear.

Polishes used:
Pink: Revlon Just Tinted - Victorian
Turquoise: Sally Hansen Xtreme wear - Blue Me Away
Yellow: Icing - Butta

The sun was actually painted on to a ziploc bag allowed to dry and then transferred to my nail.  I painted it over a white so it would actually be vibrant when put over the darker pink and turquoise.

My husband actually picked out the tip color and I wasn't so sure until I put it on, and loved the way it looked, really summery, which is what I was going for.  The sun wasn't added until the next day when my son asked "so what? no design?".  Then I had to add one lol.

Hauled some stuff today but didn't get home until after dark so I couldn't take decent pictures, looks like it's going to be yucky and cloudy for the next day or two, just as long as the heat is gone for awhile I'm OK with that.

I stopped by a Dollar General that I hadn't been to yet, and bought:
Sally Hansen Xtreme wear in Gunmetal and Purple Potion
Sally Hansen fastdry in How I Met Your Magenta
L.A. Colors Art Deco in purple/blue glitter
a bottle of Poshe nail strengthening treatment base coat on the clearance shelf for $1, I know who even knew that Dollar General had a clearance shelf.

Then I hit up Sally's Beauty supply and picked up:
China Glaze Lubu Heels
China Glaze Shower Together
Orly Here Comes Trouble
inm Northern Lights silver
Finger Paints Scenery Greenery which was on clearance for $1.99, guess they won't be carrying this color anymore
I also picked up 2 cute little bottles of Sally Girl polish, which I use mostly for nail art in 812097 which is a light holo blue and 812112 which is a medium pink with pink and holo glitter.

Hopefully I can get pictures of them tomorrow, the bottles at least not necessarily swatches lol.

Until next time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How did I get here?

Hang on, this gets long.

So you might be asking yourself, but most likely not, how did Betty end up on blogger with, of all things, a nail blog.  Well, I am here to tell you,

I was a nail biter all my life until one fateful day when I was 19 and pregnant with my son.  I was working at an international photocopying company that rhymes with blinkos, I was using a drill press to bore holes through stacks of business card sized pieces of cardstock.  This, destined to be misadventure, required removing some of the safety equipment (done by one of the managers because the customer is always right and gets what they want regardless of the risk of bodily injury to the peons) from the drill press, namely the guard that keeps you from getting your fingers too close to the metal plate that presses the stack of paper down while drilling.  Anyone care to guess what happened next?  I will spare you the nasty gory details but the tip of my left index finger now has a jagged little scar about half in inch long from the stitches.  It also broke the tip of my finger bone off, this required wearing a splint on that finger for the better part of a month and a half.  When I was finally able to take the splint off, lo! I had a nail that wasn't chewed down to a nubbin'.  I loved the way my little non-chewed nail looked (after some shaping with a nail file) and was determined to make the other ones conform to this new state of being.

I didn't really start polishing my nails on any sort of regular basis until after I met my current husband.  I started with the drugstore polishes, Maybelline, Revlon etc.  I was less than impressed with my manicures, they started chipping within hours of being completed.  I will admit, I never used base or topcoat at the time, didn't think they were necessary, didn't want to spend the money on them.  Back then I knew about brands like O.P.I. I just thought the only way you could get them was by paying to get a manicure at a salon that used them, and if I wasn't going to pay for base and topcoat, care to guess whether I was going to pay for a professional manicure?  At some point I discovered Sally's and their selection of Orly and Fingerpaints, which were much better wearing and when I ran into the problem of the polish peeling off my nail in an entire sheet they turned me onto the need for base coat at least and topcoat for "the shiny".  I spent a few years just buying colors I liked, and doing one color manicures.  I would go through periods of not wearing any nail polish, theses were generally the periods where I ended up with one or two long nails and the rest were in various stages of growing back from being broken.  I always knew that if I wanted my nails to all grow out, that keeping them polished was the best way to do that.  The problem was, I'm an impatient person when it comes to not being able to use my hands because my nails are drying.  At the time I was using Orly Gripper as a base, because that's what they recommended to keep the polish from peeling of in one sheet, my selected polish, and then Orly Glosser as a topcoat for the shiny.  I would find myself resisting the need to polish my nails because I literally had to set aside 4 hours where I didn't need to use my hands lest I mess up my polish.  It often got messed up anyway.  I just didn't want to invest the time, like I said, impatient.

OK, that was a little long, sorry.  Let me get to how I truly started my addiction to nail polish.

I had tried doing french manicures in the past, they never worked out for me, even using those ridiculous half moon guides they sell, it always looked like crap and I would end up removing it before I was even done.  I decided I was going to look up on YouTube how to do a french mani.  At that point it was all over, I kept clicking through to more and more nail art videos and realized that it really wasn't that hard and I could do it. 

Then I discovered swatching, oooh, now I can see what all the colors actually look like on a person (taking into account variances in cameras, lighting and computer screens etc.)  I was lost, there was no bringing me back, I needed to have the pretties, and the shiny's, and especially the squishy's, I would have them all.  I also discovered the striper's and the rhinestones and the striping tape and the glitter (still not a huge fan of the loose glitter) and and and, there's just so much!! and it's so much fun!! 

I have literally invested days of my life over the last couple of months watching nail art tutorial after nail art tutorial and oohing and ahhing over swatches.  This of course was in between running all over town to find my local beauty stores that I didn't even knew existed until after watching some of these videos (Ulta comes to mind).  While watching these videos the wonder that is Seche Vite was brought to my attention.  Seche Vite is now my very best friend in the whole wide world, it has taken my one color manicure time from 4 hours until the topcoat was dry enough that it wouldn't dent when looked at funny, to about 20 minutes.  This makes doing my nails fun again instead of a chore.  Of course doing nail art makes the manicure longer, but it's nail art, that's fun in and of itself.  Now I can put Seche Vite on the design I've worked hard on and know that it will be mostly dry within 5 minutes, dent-proof in no more than 30.  To me, that's miraculous.

My husband has been very patient with me and all my running and the scores of polish bottles and nail supplies that have now taken over our kitchen table, really need to order a Helmer one of these days.  He also likes seeing me doing my nails again, it let's him know that I'm not all tomboy, just 98% and the other 2% is all about the NAILS!!

As a reward for reading through my long ass rambly post, I have a swatch for you.  This is my first swatch, so please forgive any blurriness or other faux pas's (is that even a word "pas's"?).

I love the jelly polishes, they are just so...juicy.  I had seen a mani done with one of the new Revlon Just Tinted polishes and decided I must have them, especially since they were buy one get one 50% off, who doesn't love a sale right?  I bought all 4 because that's all they had, one of each and I didn't want to regret not having them all.  This is the first one I tried, it's Revlon Just Tinted in Victorian.

Revlon Just Tinted in Victorian
Need to turn my date stamp off dangit.  Can't even tell that finger was squished in a press can you?

This a bright pink that has a little coral to it, this is three coats with SV.  You definitely get a vnl with this, but that doesn't bother me.  I don't think you would be able to build this up enough to not have a vnl , it's not as noticeable in the picture as it is in real life. I could have gotten away with two coats, but I wanted to see if a third coat would have any impact on the vnl, it didn't really.  I didn't have any formula issues much to my surprise, I was expecting my old issues with "drugstore brands" like streakiness and gloppiness, I didn't run into that with this polish.  It went on smooth but sheer (par for the course with jellies) and dried matte, so a topcoat is a must if you want that shiny, squishy jelly look.

Please excuse my wonky pinky finger, it never wants to sit straight and always cants off to the side like that, if I attempt to squeeze it together with my other fingers the nail just goes behind my ring finger, so canted it will be.  This was taken in blazing sunlight, no seriously it's like 96 out right now, so I took the best picture I could with no shadows falling on it and ran back inside before I melted.  I don't have the best camera in the world, it's a Canon PowerShot A1000IS, pretty much a phd camera (push here dummy), I hope to be getting a dslr at some point, but that would seriously cut into my polish fund, so it might have to wait a bit.

I hope to make my next post and let you all (pff, who am I kidding, no one's reading this) know a little bit more about me personally, not just my obsession with nails.