Friday, September 28, 2012

Franken Friday!

I think I'm going to start a new series on the blog called Franken Friday, which will take place on the last Friday of every month.  I just got into frankening a few months ago by mixing pre-made polishes, which is why I have so many Wet 'n Wilds on my sales page (buy them, please!!!!).  Then, I got some solvent resistant glitters and added those to the pre-made polishes.  Finally, I got my own base, pigments, and glitters and started frankening up a storm!  Today, I'm going to show you one of the polishes I made and tweeted about earlier this week.  I call it First Frost.

It's a white based polish packed with fine navy blue glitters, small silver, blue holo, and gunmetal hexes, and large periwinkle, gunmetal, and navy blue hexes.  It's a flat creme without any shimmer, but I did toy with the idea of adding some sparkle.  I think it looks pretty good without it, though.

Here's a close-up of First Frost.  I was so surprised with this franken because I was able to wear it for four days without any chips or tip wear!  It was astonishing!  I only took it off because I got bored.  I think thinning out my Seche Vite has helped with the shrinkage and chipping.  I know you always need to thin SV out halfway through the bottle, but it wasn't really thick yet.  I'll make sure to thin it out often from now on, though, because I'm so tired of SV shrinkage!  I'm actually going to be trying out the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Diamond Flash top coat to see how it compares.  I'll definitely make sure to keep you guys posted!

This is actually on day 3 of this mani!  It still looks great!

I am trying to decide if I want to include this in a swap I'm doing with a few other frankeners.  What do you think?  Would you be happy if this polish showed up in a swap?  Be honest!

Sadly, no game-day nails tomorrow.  I have a client meeting on Sunday, and I don't want to have to do my nails Sunday morning before my meeting.  I'm putting on China Glaze Innocence and topping it off with KBShimmer Pixie Tears.  I'll definitely take good pics of it tomorrow in the daylight.  I've got two game-day manis that I haven't shown you guys yet, so I'll definitely post them next week as well.  I tried out a new nail art technique that I'm excited to show you guys!  Plus another franken that didn't really come out very well.

What's your most work-appropriate polish?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Comparison Thursday: OPI DS Reds

Today, let's take a look at the two OPI DS reds that I own: DS Reflection and DS Tapestry.

Reflection on the left; Tapestry on the right.

DS Reflection is a scattered red holo that leans more towards a berry red.  The scattered holo isn't as bright as it is in Tapestry.  Tapestry has a brighter scattered holo that leans a little more coral than Reflection.  It's not as coral as Coral Reef, but it definitely leans more coral than red.  Both of these polishes are scattered holos, which is a departure from the original DS linear holographic collection.  While I usually prefer linear holos, I do really enjoy both of these polishes.

Here's a closer shot so you can see the holo pigment a little better.

See how Tapestry has a much chunkier holo pigment than Reflection?

Like all OPI DS's, these both applied really well, very evenly with a lot of pigment in just one coat.  Here, I have on two coats with a top coat.  You can find these in some ULTAs, nail salons, or at TransDesign.  I bought my Reflection at ULTA and my Tapestry at a salon near me.  They have been discontinued, as far as I know, but you can still find them places if you look hard.  I think they are just different enough to justify having both!

Well, that was short and sweet, lol.  I'll leave you with some nail mail!!!!  I got my Dollish Polish This is Halloween collection in the mail today!  It's funny, too, because I actually have two more packages on the way from her, which will make two lucky readers very very happy!  Eeep!  I expect to do a Lynnderella Very Pretty Vampire comparison to Dolly's Vampire Coven and Sonoma Deadly Zins very soon, so keep your eyes open for that!

Do you own any OPI DS's?  Which is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oldie but Goodie: purple goodness

Today will be a quick one with another oldie but goodie.  Check out base color Pahlish Slow Fade of Love with Rainbow Honey Worst Possible Thing as the topper.

Slow Fade of Love is a deep purple based polish with holo glitters.  Like all Pahlish polishes, it applied fantastically.  I did this so long ago, though, that I can't remember how many layers I used.  It was at least 2, maybe 3?  I don't remember.  I do remember, though, that I seriously loved this polish.  I applied Rainbow Honey Worst Possible Thing on top because I thought the purples would compliment each other well.  The Worst Possible Thing has blue, purple, and iridescent smaller glitters with larger purple hexes in a clear base. Like all RH polishes I've used to date, this guy was extremely thick, so it definitely needed some thinner to apply smoothly.

This mani was a few days old, so I do have some tip wear.

Here's a blurry pic so you can see the holographic and iridescent glitters.

Lastly, here's a closeup shot of the mani so you can see the layering a little bit better.

You can buy Pahlish at her Etsy store and Llarowe.  Follow Shannon on Facebook here.  You can purchase Rainbow Honey at their site, which also includes a blog for news and updates.  Follow Dee and her RH crew on Facebook, too!

Do you have any Pahlish or Rainbow Honey polishes?  Which is your favorite?

Monday, September 24, 2012

A (not quite right) gradient: Ama Dablam and Blue Moon Lagoon

Yesterday I tried my very first gradient.  It didn't go great, but I think I know how to fix it next time!  I used OPI Blue Moon Lagoon for my base and used Elevation Ama Dablam on top for the gradient.  I got Ama Dablam as one of those, "Oh no!  It's about to be discontinued!  I must have it even though I may not really like the color!" purchases.  I'm not really into golds, browns, or coppers, so I really wasn't sure I'd like it once I got it.  I tried it on my nail wheels over about 15 different base colors, and I still wasn't 100% sold on it.  Until I remembered my bottle of Blue Moon Lagoon.

Here are closeups of the bottles:
Look at those round glitters!!


Elevation Ama Dablam is a very lightly brown tinted glitter with gold micro glitter, teal hexes and squares, and unique round copper glitters.  The teal glitters are holographic and shine brightly in the light.  I can't speak to application as I applied it with a makeup sponge in order to complete my "sort of" gradient.  I got a little heavy-handed on a few nails, so they aren't really gradients.  I think I know what I did wrong this time, so I'm definitely going to try this again.

Here it is blurry so you can see the holographic sparkles.

See how my ring finger is pretty much completely covered?

Blue Moon Lagoon is a teal holographic polish that applies very thinly.  This is three coats as the base.  I applied the glitter while the base color was still tacky, so the holographic rainbow isn't as vivid.  Blue Moon Lagoon is a discontinued polish that I purchased from a salon.  You can find it on ebay now, but it's very expensive.  I suggest checking your local salons for it if you're looking for it.

Once I put this over Blue Moon Lagoon, I simply couldn't stop staring at it.  Check it out in the sun!  So sparkly!!

The tip wear is from actual wear this time and not shrinkage from SV.

Here it is closeup in the sun.  You can see the rainbow from Blue Moon Lagoon in the left picture, but you can see the glitters better in the pic on the right.

Unfortunately, Ama Dablam was a limited edition and is no longer being sold.  However, you can find more Elevation polishes here.  Follow Lulu on her blog here for news and updates.  Lulu is on vacation and will be skipping her October restock, so definitely make sure to keep an eye on her blog for more news regarding reopening her shop.

Do you do gradients?  What's your favorite gradient technique?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Birthday Polish: Polish, Eh?

So, this is the last of my birthday polish customs.  If you'd like to see the other two, you can see Allons-y here and Remnants of Summer here.  Today's polish comes all the way from Canada, from an awesome indie shop called Polish, Eh?  As you may recall, I cast out a net for birthday customs from a Facebook group I'm in, and three lovely ladies answered the call.  Janet was the first to offer her services!

I asked Janet for a glitter creme with some shimmer.  I didn't have any blue cremes with glitter, so I asked if she could do that with a flash of another color of her choosing.  Luckily for me, she chose pink!  So, I present to you my custom from Polish, Eh?

Here's a close-up of the bottle so you can see the pink shimmer.

This custom, which doesn't have a name yet, is a baby blue creme polish with pink shimmer and purple, silver, and blue hexes.  It was so easy to apply.  I did store it upside down to make sure I got a good mix of all the glitters.  I didn't have to work hard on this mani at all!

Isn't it GORGEOUS?!  

The only downside to this mani is that I used Seche Vite on top.  I'm starting to hate Seche Vite right now.  For some of my favorite manis it has shrunk the crap out of them causing them the chip quickly and lift on the sides, which is what happened here.  I took this pic a day or two after I applied it, so try to ignore the shrinkage.  Here's a close-up of it on the nail because it's just so pretty.  I seriously can't get enough of it, shrinkage and all!!

Also excuse the terrible cuticles if you can.  I've been dealing with a terrible mold issue after my basement flooded, and I'm apparently highly allergic.  Awesome.

I bought Confectionary and Gum Balls from Polish, Eh? at the same time I got my custom.  I'm really looking forward to using those two soon.  I'm waiting for my nails to grow out a little first.  ;)  You can purchase some pretty awesome polishes from Polish, Eh? at her Etsy store.  You can also follow her on Facebook for news and updates.  Janet's got her Halloween polishes on sale now, too!  So rush on over and get some!  Polish, Eh? has seriously one of the best formulas I've used in a looooong time!  I can't sing enough praises for this brand!  Granted, if you're in the US, you'll want to order a few to make the shipping worthwhile, which you should and you won't be disappointed.

Do you have any blue creme glitter polishes?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Comparison Thursday: Blue Glitters (aka Absolutely Alice!!)

So yeah...  Pretty much everyone is in love with OPI's discontinued and hard to find Absolutely Alice.  It's a gorgeous blue and gold glitter bomb that just shines like a multi-faceted jewel on your nails.  It is, in a word, breathtaking.  Honestly, I didn't really get the hype when I first saw swatches of it.  I had no idea why these bottles of polish were going for over $20 on eBay.  I just didn't get it.  Then, I found 2 bottles on a dusty hunt and purchased them.  One was brand new and the other was about half gone.  I added a little thinner to the half gone bottle to use for myself and did my mani.  The results were amazing.  Sadly, I didn't get a chance to take a legit pic, but I guess that just means I get to wear it again soon, right?!  So now that I'm a believer in the hype, I decided to turn to my stash to see if I had any similar polishes, and if yes, how would they compare to AA.  I came up with the following lineup: OPI The Flowers are Blue-ming!, Nails by Laura Alice Who?, OPI Absolutely Alice, China Glaze Dorothy Who?, and Zoya Twila.

These are all of my blue glitters.  Aren't they lovely?

Here's a nice shot of the back without labels in the way.

And here they all are on the nail.

I knew that Twila would be the outlier because it's made with bar glitters and not fine hexes.  I put it on next to the rest just for fun.  I also had a feeling that FaBM would be different as well because it has a blue base with holo glitters instead of being a straight up glitter bomb.  That leaves Absolutely Alice, Alice Who?, and Dorothy Who? to seriously compare.

Check out this blurry shot to see how each polish shines.  You can see the holo-ness of FaBM.  You can also clearly see the gold shining through in AA that isn't quite as prevalent in the crisp shot.  You can't see the gold as well in AW.  Also, you can see that DW is really just blue and silver without a trace of gold.

Here's a close-up of each polish (other than Twila).

From top left going clockwise: FaBM, AA, DW, AW

Absolutely Alice is a blue and gold glitter that applies evenly without much coaxing.  Make sure to let the coats dry a little after each layer so you don't end up dragging any wet glitter around.  Alice Who comes the closest to AA but it has fewer gold glitters.  It also applies very easily and is one of the few indies I own that didn't require thinning at the get go.  Dorothy Who is blue and silver, so it's not quite right even though it's still gorgeous.  It applies well but stains like crazy.  I mean, look at my cuticles!  That stuff didn't want to budge.

I think if you can't get your hands on Absolutely Alice, you should really go for Alice Who from Nails by Laura.  You can purchase Alice Who here at her etsy store.  Right now, it appears that she only has minis available.  You can also follow Laura on her Facebook page.  I sold my AW already, though, because I have so many similar polishes already in my stash.  I do have Twila for sell in my blog sale, plus I'm auctioning off a brand new Absolutely Alice!  If you're interested in bidding, the auction runs until 9/23, so send me an email at  (Silly email, huh?  I like to give it to people at retail stores when they sign me up for memberships.  It makes them smile, lol.)  The current bid is up to $18.  As an aside, I'm also auctioning a brand new Elevation Marble Caves, same ending date, but the bid is up to $25.  Please email me if you would like to bid on either.

Which is your favorite?  What's the highest you've paid for a single bottle of polish?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Special announcement!! Plus, another older mani!

As I mentioned on Facebook and Twitter this morning, I'm contemplating doing a reader of the month like a few other bloggers have done. Basically, if you interact with me on the blog, my twitter, or facebook, you will be entered into a random drawing to win a prize at the end of the month for EACH interaction. The bottom line is that I'd love to hear from everyone, and I think this is a good way to get everyone involved.  The prizes will be pretty good, too, and will be the winner's choice of nail art supplies, an indie polish, a mainstream polish, or a few drugstore polishes. :) What do you guys think?  I'd love your feedback!

Now, onto the polish!  Today is another oldie but, sadly, a not-so-goodie: Pretty & Polished Bubble Tea.  For some reason, I just didn't like this polish on me.  I'm not sure if it was the color that just didn't look good with my skin-tone or what.  I also thought there would be far fewer black glitters than what it actually came with.  Either way, I decided I didn't want to keep it and sold it a few months ago.

Bubble tea is a bright spring green with smallish black hexes and micro-translucent white hexes.  The micro hexes catch the light just right and gives the polish more depth.

This is 3 coats, but it was thick so I used quite a bit for just one mani.  The hexes spread easily, though, so it was pretty low maintenance other than the thickness.

The close-up is pretty, though.  It just, I don't know.  It just wasn't me.  What do you think?

Pardon the errant hair up there...  I'm pretty sure it's of the feline variety.

As always, you can purchase Pretty & Polished on her Etsy store and on Llarowe.  Follow her on Twitter and Facebook for updates!

Are there any colors that you just don't like without any real reason?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An oldie but a goodie: Gelish Shake it til you Samba

Last night, I had to chop my nails completely off.  On both hands.  I died a little.  I've been having some major low breaks lately, so I'm trying to prevent them by keeping them cropped short until I am able to grow out some of the damage a little bit.  Most of the damage is due to my insane obsession with peeling my polish.  It's seriously the worst and nastiest habit in the world, but I just can't help myself.  If the polish starts to chip or pull up at all at any point, I will stop at nothing to get all of the polish off as soon as I possibly can. Sadly, this happened with the ill-fated gels I had destroyed with acetone a few weeks ago. It started to bubble a little, so I picked until it was all off.  Now, my nails are a hot mess.  *Sigh*  Long story short, I will be featuring some older manis I did well before I started the blog as well as manis from a mini-swatchfest I had a few weeks ago in order to avoid frequent polish changes (and acetone exposure) for the next few weeks.  

This is Gelish Shake til you Samba, which is a bright neon pink, topped with Gelish Izzy Wizzy Let's Get Busy, a clear topcoat color with pinkie-purple flecks.

My nails were so long (for me, at least).  What happened??? 

Look at that sparkle!  Ignore the bumps, those are patched tears.

Then, I decided to top it with Essie Matte About You to tone it down for a client meeting.

Nice and toned down. 

And you can still see the flecks!

After the client meeting, I removed the Matte About You topcoat and tried some nail art with it instead.  I drew swirls with my nail art brush dipped in Matte About You, which looked great but was a pain to get off my brush.  Forewarning, it  gets very clumpy on your brush so be prepped to soak it for a little while.

Reminds me of 60s wallpaper, lol.

I wish my nails looked like that again...  Fingers crossed they will soon!

It was a great look that I loved wearing for a little over a week.  That's the good thing about gels, you get really good wear-time out of them.  The only problem is that now I get really bored really easily.  That's going to be the challenge with my attempt to stay away from frequent polish changes for a while.  I get bored easily, and I'm trying to work through my huge untried stash.  Luckily, it's not really growing anymore (thank you no-buy!).

Do you peel your polish?  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Birthday Polish: Vivid Lacquer Remnants of Summer

Today I had a flash giveaway on my Facebook page.  If you're not a fan of my page, head on over there just in case I decide to do it again!  Also, we're only 14 away from a seriously awesome giveaway.  I hate harping on it all the time, but I really want to give you guys free stuff!  I'd hate to have to keep such an awesome cool prize all for myself (hah!).

Remember how I mentioned before that I got 3 indie makers to make me polish specially for my 30th birthday?  Well, today I will show you polish number two, Remnants of Summer by Vivid Lacquer.

I asked Anni for a jelly in either pink, blue, or teal, and she went with teal.  This little beauty is a teal jelly with blue shimmer and red, blue, yellow, and silver shards.

It applied a little thickly, so I added a little thinner and it was perfect.  The shards came out easily and spread without any manipulation.  As you can see, it's really sheer.  I used four coats, but I would definitely layer it over undies next time.  

Here's a closeup so you can see the blue shimmer and shards a little better.

I apologize for the bubbles.  I have a problem with thick application and impatience.  One of these days I'll get it right!

Anni was a doll to work with.  She communicated with me very well to make sure I got the perfect polish.  I would definitely go to her again for a custom.  If you're in the market for one, you should seriously contact her!  Her Etsy shop can be found here, and you can follow her on her Facebook page for news and announcements.  Anni also sells some pretty b.a. stamping plates that I'm hoping to pick up at some point in the near future.  She is tentatively expecting to release her Halloween collection on the 24th, so definitely keep your eyes peeled!!

Do you like shards in your polish?  Do you mind visible nail line?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Comparison Thursday: Flakies!

For today's Comparison Thursday, let's take a look at some flakies!  Specifically, Essie Shine of the Times and Nfu Oh 60.

Looking at the bottles, it's hard to see why I chose to compare the two.  However, I knew that Shine of the Times would look very similar to 60 when layered over black.  Check out the bottle shots.

Shine of the Times - Very subtle in the bottle.

60 - Holy lord, look at that rainbow!  I so wish it would look like that on the nail.  :(

Shine of the times is a clear based polish with giant color shifting flakies.  They shift from green, to yellow, to orange, to red, to blue.  The effect is stunning and extremely bright.  I was actually quite surprised at how bright Shine of the Times was over my black gel mani.  Take a look.

Look how different it is over black!  Stunning!

Nfu Oh 60 is a black jelly based polish also filled with giant color shifting flakies.  I'm not sure if it's because of the colored base, but the Nfu Oh just isn't as bright at Shine of the Times on the nail.  The colors in the bottle are absolutely stunning, but it just didn't translate well onto the nail.

Where did that rainbow from the bottle go?!

Both were very easy to apply.  They spread well without clumping or pooling, but Shine of the Times is not only more versatile due to its clear base but also way brighter.  There's not really any competition between the two.  On the nail, Shine of the Times just blows 60 out of the water.

That being said, I am keeping Shine of the Times but am currently selling Nfu Oh 60 on my sales page.  If you're interested in purchasing it, please shoot me an email!

Do you have another flakie that you would compare against Shine of the Times or 60?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jelly Sandwich: KBShimmer Elle

You guys asked for it, so I'm delivering - a jelly sandwich!  KBShimmer's Elle and OPI My Pointe Exactly.

OPI My Pointe Exactly is a grey jelly that is from OPI's NY Ballet collection that came out this summer.  KBShimmer's Elle is a grey jelly based polish with large pink hexes, large grey hexes, medium matte pink hexes, white squares, white hexes, and silver holo hexes.  It layers up nicely on its own, but I really wanted to try out a jelly sandwich with these two.  They complimented each other perfectly!

The best way I can describe to do a jelly sandwich is to put down one coat of your jelly base coat, top it with a coat of your glitter, and alternate until you get the look you're after.  Here, I did a coat of My Pointe Exactly, a coat of Elle, another coat of My Pointe Exactly, one more of Elle, and finally finished it off with a last coat of My Pointe Exactly.

Isn't it pretty???

Check out this closeup shot.  It looks like the glitters are just floating in space.  It's so cool!!

My Pointe Exactly is a typical jelly.  By itself, it has very light coverage with lots of visible nail line.  If you're ok with VNL, then it would be a gorgeous light grey for you.  I, however, don't really fancy VNL.  In fact, it kinda drives me crazy, which is why doing a jelly sandwich was a perfect use for My Pointe Exactly.  Unfortunately, My Pointe Exactly has been discontinued, but I saw a few at my local Kroger.  I'm sure you can also still find some at Ulta.  

KBShimmer Elle spread easily without streaking or much manipulation on my part.  It really is a great polish.  I only have 2 KBShimmers, but so far I really like them!  I received my bottle in a swap, but you can purchase them from Christy at her store here.  You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates.

What's your favorite jelly sandwich combination?