Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pink Wednesday

Today I have for you Zoya Renee. 
 Zoya describes this as "Ultra-bright red-toned medium neon pink creme" well OK, that clears everything up.  Some people would call this a fuchsia, others would call it more of a bright raspberry, I call it awesomesauce, and all of the above, because really it is.  This was originally part of Zoya's La-Di-Da collection that came out in the summer of 2009, and this is the perfect summer polish.

excuse the cat hair on the top, didn't notice until I edited the pictures.
This bright but not neon raspberry pink takes my pale skin and makes it look tan, and if you already have a tan it's going to make it look so much better.  When I look at my nails with this color on I instantly think summer, to me, Zoya Renee is summer in nail polish form.

shade picture
This is a base of Brucci Miracle Nail Hardener and Essie Beam Up, two medium coats of Renee and a top of Seche Vite.  The formula on this was what I have come to expect from Zoya, which means almost flawless.  I say almost flawless because this polish wasn't the greatest at self-leveling and almost seemed to get thicker in the bottle in the time between the first coat and the second coat.  For this color it definitely wasn't a deal breaker.  I believe that some of the reason for the slightly problematic application was because of what Zoya says in their description, "neon".  Most neon polishes that I have used are somewhat prone to application issues because of the formula required to get a neon color.  I didn't buy the neon claim until after putting the first coat of this on, it dried to an almost vinyl or satin-matte finish, it was definitely not shiny and glossy on it's own.  There is a slight visible nail line (VNL) with 2 coats, but I didn't notice it until I held my hand up to a light source, three coats would almost definitely deal with that problem.  Dry time was good and made better by the addition of a coat of Seche Vite.

sun picture, this makes it look more coral than pink, it is definitely a bright raspberry pink
The SV really brought out the beauty and wow-factor of this polish.  It turned a satin-matte finish into a squishy almost jelly-like finish, which is one of my favorite finishes, I love the juiciness of it.  It also brought forth the shiny, and this color knows how to own the shiny.  If you're looking for a polish that screams "I am summer, hear me roar!" Zoya Renee should be at or near the top of your list in that department, this and China Glaze 108 Degrees are definitely my 2 go-to summer polishes this year.

So what do you think?  Do you own Zoya Renee?  Have you thought about owning Zoya Renee?  What are your go-to polishes that scream summer?

Thanks for stopping by and having a look, until next time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

MOTD (Mani of the Day)

In honor of the area that I live in entering its second straight week of excessive heat advisories I decided to do a manicure in its honor.  When I asked my husband what nail polish I should do today he said this one, since he liked the swatch I did on my nail wheel a little bit ago, so I figured it was fate. 
I got this idea originally from MaD Manis.  Here it is.

For this I used China Glaze Papaya Punch, which is a medium yellow orange from their Summer 2011 collection.  I only bought this color because I found it on clearance at Sally's Beauty, and because I wanted to try this manicure.  Oranges and yellows do absolutely nothing with my skin tone except make it look terrible, I figured the red crackle would counteract that horribleness and for the most part it did. 

Speaking of crackle, I will be the first to admit that I am not real fond of them, it's not that I dislike them per se, just that I didn't find them nearly as exciting as everyone else did.  I always thought they made your nails look like they were falling off, especially the black crackle over red polish, very gory.  Anywho, since I'm not a real big fan of crackle there was no way I was spending $6-$8 for a bottle of something I knew I would hardly ever use.  Then along came Pure Ice Crackle, only $4 a bottle, so I picked up Show Stopper for the sole purpose of doing this manicure.  I like the way that it turned out, looks like lava, which is what the air feels like outside right now, so I consider it appropriate.

This mani is 2 coats of base including Essie Beam Up, one coat of Papaya Punch, it's extremely pigmented so I really only needed one coat since I knew I was going to layer crackle over it.  If I was going to wear it alone (not likely) I would have added a second coat just to even a little pulling at the cuticle out, but Papaya Punch can definitely be a careful one-coater.  I waited for the Papaya Punch to completely dry and then put a thin coat of Show Stopper over the top.  They key to getting decent cracks on your crackle polish is to apply it quickly and try not to go over an area you have already polished.  I find that thin coats work best and crackle the most, the thicker the coat the less it will crack.  It also cracks mostly in the direction that you apply it, I applied from the cuticle to the tip so most of my cracks are running down the nail vertically.  If I had applied horizontally across the nail most of the cracks would have been horizontal.  This crackle dried quickly and matte, as do most crackles, so I applied a coat of Seche Vite for the shiny. 

That weird black mark on my ring finger is an Ed Hardy nail tattoo, it didn't show up like it was supposed to, I got them for $.50 on clearance at Sally's.  It's a skull and crossbones with fire around it, but duh, fire isn't going to show up on an orange and red manicure, so I just ended up with the skull and cross bones.  I keep thinking it's a smudge and trying to rub it off when I catch it out of the corner of my eye lol.  I like this mani on me a lot more than I thought I was going to so I may keep it for a few days.

That's all I have for now, thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hard Candy Beetle

Today I have for you a Hard Candy polish called Beetle.  WalMart is the only place I have seen Hard Candy brand, and here they retail for $4 a bottle.  They usually only have 6-8 polish colors out on their displays they seem to be much more into the bright (BRIGHT) and sparkly make-up.  I only own 3 Hard Candy polishes (one is a matte top coat so I'm not sure if that counts), and man am I glad this is one of them.  I didn't really like this color when I saw it in the store the first 274 times I looked at the Hard Candy display, it just looked like a brownish polish with gold and purple glitter in it.  I am here to say it is soooooo much more than that.

See, kinda brown with mostly gold glitter, it's the edges of the bottle that are telling
Beetle is a multi-chrome polish.  A lot of people say it is a dupe for Orly Space Cadet, and from the swatches I have seen they are absolutely correct, I can't show you because I don't own Space Cadet and see no need for it now that I have Beetle.  The difference here is in value, Orly Space Cadet retails for between $7 (at my not-so-local CVS who only has a limited supply) to $10 (at Ulta, also not so conveniently located to me but closer than CVS), Hard Candy Beetle is only sold at Walmart and goes for $4-$5 depending on your area, a much better value.

sun, you can see a little bit of the green flash here.
 I did this as french tips, this is a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up, 2 coats of Beetle on the tips, a coat of China Glaze Love Letters and 2 coats of Seche Vite.  The Love Letters and SV barely dulled the multi-chrome on this if at all. 

sun, here you can see the purple
Beetle looks like a slightly purply brown, but I'm here to tell you that the base color of this polish is actually an aqua blue, the blue doesn't necessarily show through on the nail, but when you take this polish off, you get purple and gold glitter and aqua blue polish on the cotton.  So didn't expect that. In terms of multi-chrome, this looks brown, but flashes purple, gold and green.  It is sheerish on the first coat, but becomes opaque with 2 coats.  the formula was good, easy to work with and relatively quick drying.  On to the picture spam, because a few pictures just won't do it.

you can see the green and the beginnings of gold here
Blurry to show the sparkly
Inside, no flash, check out that gold on the pinky

you can really see the gold here

Purple, greenish gold and gold
So that is Beetle and she's a beauty, so glad I decided to pick this up, it has become one of my favorites, may have to swatch the few Orly Cosmic Collection polishes that I have soon.  Thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

China Glaze Shower Together

First off I would like to welcome the new followers, I can only assume you followed the link I left in Ice Queen's Nail Parlor, thanks for stopping by and following, it means a lot, really.

Now on with the show!

I love the name of this polish, I do not love how it refused to be photographed in the correct color.  No matter what I did or how I tried to color-correct the pictures I just couldn't get it to show the way it does in real life.  A problem with duo-chromes or glitters but this is a cream.  So be warned these are not color correct at all, I'm posting mostly to show opacity and formula.  I did notice that I'm not the only one that has issues getting this color to show true, almost every swatch I looked at was different from the one before and the one after, and none of them actually looked like my nails did lol.  So, I don't feel quite so bad now.
full sun
Even the bottle wouldn't photograph correctly.  This makes it look ocean/cerulean blue, it is actually a very green leaning teal something like this.  It is a truly gorgeous color, I just wish I could get it to show up right.

inside, blurry, was the closest I could get to the actual color and it's still a little too blue

This polish was originally released in the Spring 2008 Eco-llection, it looks like this is now part of the permanent collection, I've seen it in almost every China Glaze display I have come across, and it was a good choice, this is a dusty deep teal leaning towards the green side, a very striking color.  In terms of formula, the above pictures are all with a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up, 2 medium coats of Shower Together, and no top coat.  China Glaze's creams always impress me with how shiny their creams are without top coat.  I have found with the creams that since they are now Big 3 free you are best off using medium coats, if you try to put it on too thin you end up with drag marks and streaking, if you put it on too thick, you get bubbles.  These are the trade-offs for not poisoning yourself I guess.  I can live with that. 

Totally didn't mean that pun, but I'm leaving it in anyway.

This went on like a dream and self-leveled perfectly and was nice and shiny een without top coat.  I still recommend a top coat to protect your manicure and help it last longer, I rarely keep mine on long enough to justify what I spend on Seche Vite, but I still use it every single time.

After I took these pictures I added a coat of Orly Love Each Other, which is a trippy french manicure color, I can't even describe it, sort of duo-chromy, with micro glitter in it.  I then topped it with the usual coat of Seche Vite.  I did not take pictures of this because it was such a subtle effect that I knew for a fact that it wasn't going to translate to pictures at all, but it was very pretty in person.

That's all for me, thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

China Glaze Peri-Wink-Le

I had this polish in my hand at the store so many times and always decided to put it back.  I finally just went in with the sole intention of buying this particular color, and I'm glad that I did.

We had zero sun yesterday, so I got pictures in daylight but without direct sun.  You work with what ya got right?  Surprisingly, these  pictures came out more true to actual color than most of my sun pictures, go figure.

outside, overcast

This is a base of Poshe and Essie Beam Up and 2 coats of Peri-Wink-Le no top coat, admire that shiny.  This is a periwinkle cream, no shimmer, no glitter, just a straight up cream.  I don't know whether to call this a bluish lavender, or a lavenderish blue, both descriptions would be accurate, but I guess looking at it on my nails I would have to say it is a bluish medium lavender.  The formula was good, not too thick but not so thin it was running into my cuticles, it went where I wanted it to.  The first coat was a little streaky, but the second coat self-leveled nicely and solved the streaky problem.

inside, flash
The picture with the flash really sort of completely washed the lavender out of this polish and made it look sky blue, it definitely has more purple than this in it.  The outside picture above is the closest to actual color.

I really like this color, and am so glad that I finally just buckled down and bought it.  It's good for every season of the year, it's a good staple color to have in your collection.  It also makes a good background for many different types of nail art.  I put a coat of inm Northern Light on top of this and then a coat of Seche Vite.  There was no sun so I took a picture inside with my flash.

click to make larger and to see the sparklies
That is all I have for today, thanks for stopping by, until next time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zoya Ivanka

Today I have for you Zoya Ivanka.

I got this during a special that Zoya was running on their website, buy something and get 2 polishes, Ivanka and Charla, free.  I had been looking for an excuse to buy Valerie and this was perfect.  I got three really nice polishes for $8.00 plus shipping, so about $14.95 for 3 polishes that cost $8 each.  I'd say I came out ahead on that one.  On to the pictures!

Zoya Ivanka is an almost emerald green polish with gold flakies and green micro-glitter in it, you can see the flakies in the bottle above. It honestly reminds me of a green scarab, that is exactly the green of this polish with lots of gold flakies.
It is absolutely packed with the flakies and glitter.  Boy I had a hell of a time trying to get a color-accurate picture of this.  After eleventy billion tries I just color corrected some of the better pictures.

This pic is color corrected to show the actual color of the polish, my fingers are not usually that red, or the grass behind that intensely green for that matter lol.
Also color corrected, look at all that flakie goodness
All of the pictures are a coat of Beauty Secrets Ridge Filler, and a coat of Essie Beam Up, 3 (three!!) medium coats of Ivanka and 2 coats of Seche Vite.  You could probably get away with just one coat of Seche Vite, but it still didn't feel smooth to me after just one coat so I added another.

The formula on this was somewhat problematic, probably because it was so packed with glitter and flakies.  Zoya lists this as an opacity of 5 (completely opaque) on their website, I respectfully disagree.  It was pretty thick, again likely because of all the flakies and glitter.  The first coat went on pretty sheer, which was a surprise given how thick it was, almost like hair gel, maybe I will have to thin it next time.  With the second coat I could still see a visible nail line, even inside, so I added a third coat.  The third coat got rid of the VNL while I was inside but when I went out into the sun it came back with a vengeance.  Not noticeable in the above pics, but you could definitely notice it in person.  This polish also seemed to take for-ev-er to dry, even the first coat.  The subsequent coats weren't any better.

This was in the shade and you can see how dark my camera wanted to make the polish, it made it this dark even in the sun (not color-corrected)
Non color-corrected sun picture, still too dark Ivanka is more blue than this, not a lot but this looks forest green.

I was overall impressed with this polish, Zoya is quickly becoming one of my favorite polish brands, their colors are gorgeous, and no one does glitter like they do, they pack it in until no more will fit and then they add more.  This makes for an interesting experience removing it, but if you use the foil method you shouldn't have many issues and only a little clean up of rogue glitters after.  It's true what they say, glitter is the herpes of the crafting/beauty world, but so irresistible in polish.

That's all for today, until next time, thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Mani

What a weekend, with my husbands 20th high school reunion and whatnot, it's been pretty hectic.  I did manage to do a 4th of July mani that I am hoping will last through the actual 4th of July.

flash inside
I did this design with China Glaze Ruby Pumps for the french tip, Sinful Colors Nail Art striper in Lagoon, and Sally Hansen Xtreme in White On for the dots.  I love how sparkly Ruby Pumps is, a feature of this polish that did not translate in the pictures very well.  I put a coat of China Glaze Love Letters and a coat of Seche Vite over the red tips before adding the blue smile line and white dots, and then another coat of Seche Vite over them after the striping and dotting.  I like this manicure, it wasn't what I had originally planned, and sometimes when I glance down at it I have flashbacks to playing Super Mario Brothers in the 80's. 

I had originally planned a white tip over a blue tip, and red sparkly lines on the white part of the tip, but I screwed up the blue tip and had to start over I managed to smurf myself removing Sally Hansen Xtreme Blue It, and spent two and a half hours de-smurfing and whitening my nails, after that I had zero desire to put any blue in any significant amount back onto my nails, so red it was.

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend, 4th of July for the American's and Canada Day for the Candians, I hope everyone stayed safe and happy.  Until next time.

Friday, July 1, 2011

China Glaze Senorita Bonita

I was finally able to get pictures of this swatch.  This is the final color I got from the China Glaze Island Escapes summer 2011 collection.  I have to say that I really like all of the colors that I got.

the pink glass flecks are pretty noticeable in the bottle here
Senorita Bonita is a purple polish with pink and blue glass flecks, it looks sort of like a duo-chrome in the bottle, but not so much on the nail.  That's not to say it isn't eye-catching on the nail, because it is, when the sun hits it it sparkles like nobody's business.

Blurry flash picture, click to enlarge to see the sparklies, this is closer to the true color than the second picture is but still a little too dark
indirect morning sun, i.e. pretty shady lol
The formula on this one was thicker than either 108 Degrees or Blue Iguana, and I got much better coverage from it.  This is Poshe and Essie Beam Up base coats 2 medium coats of Senorita Bonita and a Seche Vite topcoat.  There was far less visible nail line with this color.  Pretty much unnoticeable unless you held your nails up to direct light.  the color here is darker and more blue than it is in real life, it is much...pinker on the nail.  Purples are notoriously hard to get accurate pictures of color wise, and my camera just isn't up to the task, maybe if I had more sunlight, but I don't right now.

That is what I have for you today, next up should be my 4thy of July mani, it's not going to be anything ground breaking but I like it.  Until then.

Pure ice crackle

I was going to have a swatch here for you today, but I ran out of daylight in which to photograph it (curse you family obligations yada yada) last night.  I attempted to take some flash pictures and even on macro my camera couldn't handle it, so it will have to wait until later today.  Until then I have this for you.

I was at one of my local Walgreen's yesterday, and was somewhat shocked to see this display.  Before now, the only place I had seen Pure Ice was at Wal Mart.  

I was also amazed at the number of colors of crackle that they had come out with.  This is a crappy cell phone pic, and I managed to cut off the left side a little, you can see what was cut off in the top row of the display.  Almost half of these colors were neons, the yellow, and the pink to the right of it, also the orange and the green to the right of it.   

The rundown of colors is (these are not the actual names on the bottles):
Dark Purple
Orange (bright/neon)
Light Green (neon)
Medium Blue
Yellow (Bright/neon)
Pink (bright/neon)
Dark Blue

You can also see that they have doubled the usual price of Pure Ice for these crackles, I pay $1.99 at WalMart for regular Pure Ice colors, so $3.99 is pretty much double that.  But even at this price it's pretty cheap for crackle and I'm guessing they won't last long on the shelves.  

I never really got into the whole crackle thing, so I didn't buy any, but I was impressed with the selection none-the-less.  Hopefully I will have a swatch for you later today.