Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I will not be around for a while...

I've posted previously about the concerns we have regarding my daughter's health. Today I noticed something strange and new going on with her eyes, so I called her ophthalmologist. The doctor, in turn, called her pediatrician. They are both extremely concerned and are trying to get my baby in to get scans done right away. We will then, depending on the results of the scans, need to take her to an neurologist or a surgeon. I will not have free time to make posts for a little while. I hope you guys understand.

I am going to keep the giveaway open, it just may take longer than expected to pull a winner.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hard Candy - Beetle

I haven't had a whole lot of time to do my nails lately, so this is the first polish post I've been able to do in a while. I still have a lot to do today so I had to rush the application a little. Apologies in advance for the polish all over my skin, and for the deplorable state of my cuticles.

Hard Candy Beetle is said to be a dupe of Orly Space Cadet. I don't own any Orly polishes, so I can't compare them myself, but based on other photos I have seen it's safe to say that they're basically the same. Beetle took three coats to achieve opacity and cover some bald spots that appeared after the second coat. It took a little while to dry, so I ended up with a few smudges and dents, but that was my fault, not the polish.

Beetle is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely a favorite!

***Don't forget to enter my giveaway!***

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My first giveaway!

This is a very popular giveaway item right now, but that's alright! I picked up a few extra bottles of Revlon Perplex and I'd like to give you guys a chance to win one. This giveaway is open worldwide. You must be a follower through Google Friend Connect in order to enter. If you aren't following publicly, I can't check to see if you're following at all, so I won't be able to enter you. Sorry!

How To Enter:

(1 entry - MANDATORY!) Leave a comment on this post with your name and email address.

Additional entries!? Sure!
(1 entry) - Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (link in your comment).
(1 entry) - Add Dancing Phalanges to your blog roll (link in your comment).
(2 entries) - Post about this giveaway on your blog (link in your comment).

This giveaway will end on January 5, 2011. The winner will be chosen at random and I will announce them via blog post.

At least three of you expressed interest in this, so here you go! Even if only 3 of you enter this should still be fun. Good luck.:)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perplex update, a weird photo, and possible giveaway!

I picked up three extra bottles of Revlon Perplex today. The girls who emailed me showing interest have been contacted. Check your inboxes, ladies!

I see that Perplex is a popular giveaway item right now. Would anyone be interested if I were to give away a bottle of it? I don't want to bother running a giveaway nobody would enter. I know I have a small number of followers and most bloggers do giveaways when they have a lot of readers, but I don't care. I appreciate all of you who read what I write and I would like to thank you somehow!

For your time:

Thanks for the ridiculous Christmas gifts, mother-in-law!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Can't win 'em all.

I was way over my head with this idea. Not only do I not own any real nail art supplies, but I have a limited amount of time to work since my husband can only entertain my daughter for so long. Everything is chunky, smudged, dented, and fugs. This was supposed to be a reindeer and some kind of candy cane-esque striping, but I think it looks like a melting mouse and a kindergarten art project.

Gold: Wet N Wild Goldmine
White: CG Snow
Brown: CG Goin' My Way?
Red: CG Ruby Pumps
Black: Wet N Wild 424A

The "stripey" nail's cuticle is nice and flooded. I need to learn cleanup.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Tacky Christmas!

Dent brought to you by my daughter's thumb.

Yes, that's a cat hair stuck to the polish on the right. Ugh.

Parts of the skin around my nails are pretty much callouses right now. I've dealt with some of the cuticle issues, but I don't know how to fix this. You can see it really well in the closeup of the stripes. It's really gross. The skin keeps peeling down to the edges of the nails and causing hang-nails on almost every finger. Does anyone know how to fix this?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My first attempt at nail art!

I have never done nail art in my life. Ever. I thought it might be fun to try, so I did. I suppose I did an alright job. I used a regular thin paint brush for the snowflake. This is also my first time doing an accent nail.

Black: Wet N Wild 424A
Silver: L.A. Colors Live

My cuticles are still disgusting and the light box is still being tweaked. All of my nails could really use a good filing but they're too short to try right now.

The black works in ONE COAT (but I used two for photos and applied the second way too thick). This polish was recommended to me and I'm so glad I picked it up. The silver is a really pretty silver foil which would probably work well for stamping, but it gets a lot of bald spots when used in a normal fashion and requires a lot of coats because of it.

I know I apologize for bad photos a lot lately, but the lighting inconsistencies in these...ugh. I could probably fix a lot of them if I had/knew how to use Photo Shop, but I don't (to both). I have a crappy photo editing program that doesn't do a whole lot of anything besides resizing. I drew a weird dark line around a finger in one of these because the lights blew the photo out all weird, but that's as fancy as I get. It's pretty pathetic, since I used to be a professional photographer. I really need a better camera and a better photo editing program. Maybe from Santa?

Monday, December 13, 2010

CQ - Mystical

I woke up today to over 1,000 views (not counting my own)! This may not sound like a lot, but I never thought anyone would read this blog so it is very exciting to me. Thank you all for reading.

Light box #2 is better than my first attempt, but it still needs work. I'm going to replace the bulbs with a different type tonight and see if that helps. Luckily, the photos I took of today's polish are color accurate on the nail!

CQ Mystical is a very pretty purple with a pinkish tint. I really like the color, so it's a shame that the formula is horrible. It took a ridiculous amount of time to dry (read: 20+ minutes per coat) and was extremely sheer. These photos show 4 coats.

You can see how this polish drags and dents even with a crazy amount of drying time. Mystical was a total disappointment.

Sorry about my terrible cuticles! I'm hoping to deal with them when my husband comes home for dinner tonight.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Light box #1 is a FAILURE (feat. Perplex)

I've been trying to make a functional light box for a few days now. Usually my camera refuses to take any photos without using flash (it's a pretty horrible camera overall), but I got a few today in the box. The box still failed. I think the problem is the box I used is too big, so the lights aren't lighting it enough. Oh, well.

These photos are of Revlon Perplex, which seems to be a popular color on a lot of blogs today. I plan to do a decent post and review of this color once I get my light box to work properly. The last one was taken with flash to show the pretty shimmer that I couldn't capture with my crappy light box. You can still only see it in the bottle, though.

My local CVS has an abundance of this polish. I'm going to pick up a few extras, one for a giveaway I'm planning and a few extra. If any of you have been on the hunt for this polish and haven't been able to find it, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to help you get your hands on it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Confetti - Purple Pizzazz

I wasn't kidding when I told you guys that my nails are completely gone now. I'm using Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle and I will be taking daily photos to see if it works. Hopefully with this new product (and daily prenatal vitamins) my nails will be back on track soon. I'm going to do some work on my cuticles tonight, too. They're getting to be pretty gross again. :(

Today I threw on Confetti Purple Pizzazz to show you. When I say "threw on" I mean slapped on as quickly as I could while my baby was asleep. Please forgive the horrible application! It's a pretty lilac with an almost foil-like finish.

I really like the way this looks, even though it's very very sheer (photos show three coats) and takes quite a while to dry. I think it would be nice on toes during the spring.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Personal post...

Hi, everyone. I really want to be posting in here every day, but I've had some stuff going on in my personal life and haven't had the time. I thought I'd put up a quick post explaining what's been going on. I am house/dog (the one who had the seizure is okay, by the way!) sitting for my mother tomorrow and Saturday so I hope to get a bunch of photos and reviews done and set to post. There is a wall of text ahead, so feel free to just skip this post if you have trouble reading this kind of babble.

Have I mentioned before that I have an eight month old? She's actually 8 months old today. She has congenital esotropia and we have had to patch her for a few hours a day to try to avoid development of amblyopia. The plan has always been to operate on her eyes once she is big enough to withstand anesthesia. She has recently started this really weird head bobbing thing, and her ophthalmologist noticed it at her last appointment. She's not sure what it could be, but said she will need multiple brain scans in Boston as soon as they can see us (February). I've made the mistake of googling this, and the word "tumor" was thrown around a lot on a few sites. I've been freaking out and crying a lot since the doctor told us it is a concern. Nobody in my life understands how hard this is for me. My husband and my mom keep telling me to stop dwelling on it, but how can I? This is my baby. I know I might be worrying about nothing, but I can't help it. I'm a stay at home mom and this little girl is my best friend. I'm tearing up just typing this. Sigh.

My husband and I have been fighting a lot lately, too. He's been really insensitive and hasn't been helping me with our daughter at all. He works long hours and doesn't seem to understand that I don't sit at home all day eating bonbons and watching tv. Being a stay at home parent is a lot of work. I need a break sometimes, too! My little girl is exclusively breastfed (she eats some solids now, too, though) so whenever my husband has her and doesn't want to deal with her squirming or fussing he throws out the "SHE'S HUNGRY!" card, because he knows that's the only thing he couldn't help her with so I'd have to take her. It's really frustrating.

On top of all of this I broke four of my nails down to the quick last night and ended up having to cut them all down. I have a growth product thing I will be reviewing (post about it will be up once I can determine results/lack of results) so I'm planning on using this annoyance as a chance to get a good review on this stuff.

I don't expect anyone has made it this far, but if you have, thank you. I appreciate all of you that read and follow this blog. I promise to be back on topic soon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Love My Nails - Angel Baby

Today's post is going to be a quick one. I am very sick right now so I am going to head over to my mom's house for some baby help. My whole body is achy and my nose will not stop running. It's not a good day.

Love My Nails is only $1 at WalMart, so I have tried a lot of their polishes throughout the years. In my experience the colors chip within hours of application and aren't really worth buying. They do make some pretty nice glitter top coats, though. I used this one in my franken glitter top coat.

4 coats of Angel Baby on index, 3 on middle, 2 on ring, 1 on pinky.

Angel Baby has some very pretty glitter in it. It doesn't dry very shiny, so if you want shine and glitter you will need to add another top coat over this. It gets kind of lumpy once you put enough of it on, so there's another reason for an additional top coat. You have to layer quite a bit of this in order to get a lot of glitter (and you guys know how I feel about glitter!) I'm glad that I have it, if only because it was super useful while making my franken top coat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

CQ - All Heart vs. Crimson Pearl

For someone who doesn't really like reds or pinks, I sure do have a lot of them. I don't want to end up with a ridiculous collection of polishes I will never use. Even with my collection as small as it is currently, I thought I needed to downsize. I really don't care to have reds or pinks at all unless there is something particularly special about them.

CQ All Heart is a warm toned red with gold shimmer in the bottle that does not translate at all to the nail.

CQ Crimson Pearl is a deeper red in the bottle. It didn't photograph very true to life in any of the bottle shots I took.

Index and ring fingers show All Heart. You can see how the gold shimmer doesn't show up even a little on the nail. It's definitely a warmer red than Crimson Pearl, but not really anything you can't find in any other brand. The formula was quite runny but it dried reasonably quickly.

Middle and pinky fingers show Crimson Pearl. This one looks a lot darker in the bottle in real life, and almost identical to All Heart on the nail. It has a more pink shine to it in the sun, though. The formula was similar to that of All Heart.

Overall I'm not impressed with either of these shades. The formulas weren't horrible, but the colors don't wow me. I will probably keep them both for now in case I end up needing a red for something (frankens, perhaps?) but they will eventually be replaced.

Friday, December 3, 2010

China Glaze - Dorothy Who?

I'm sorry that I haven't been posting consistently. My daughter has her first cold and recently began teething on top of it, so there has been little to no sleeping going on in my apartment. I took photos for this post earlier today while I was at my mom's house doing laundry, but her dog had a massive seizure while we were there so the day was pretty chaotic. I'm not sure yet if the dog is okay, but they're taking him to the vet in the morning. I will update everyone on his condition.

Now, on to the polish. Today I'm showing you China Glaze's Dorothy Who?. It's a beautiful true blue polish with tons of glitter. The little glitter flecks look both blue and silver, so I'm not sure if there are two colors of glitter or if they're all the same and some look blue because they're embedded more in the polish. I'm still learning what the terms mean when it comes to polishes, so bear with me.

I love glitter, as you can probably already tell, so this is definitely a polish for me. I only have one other blue in my collection (Sally Hansen Marine Scene) and this one is my favorite of the two (and not just because of the glitter.)The shade of blue is really beautiful. I can't think of skin tone that this wouldn't compliment.

China Glaze has totally won me over. Do they make any polishes that aren't amazing? I have six now, and they're all better than any other brand I've ever tried. Application was a piece of cake with all of them, including Dorothy Who?. I've had this on my nails for two days now without any chips or tip wear.

These photos show three coats with both a base and top coat (some Sally Hansen stuff that's name I can't remember right now). The top coat didn't add any shine or texture change to the polish, so this is basically how it looks without a top coat, too. If you don't already have this color, I strongly suggest you go pick it up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

China Glaze - Goin' My Way?

Natural light.

Goin' My Way? is a really pretty shimmery brown. I used two coats and no top coat for the photos, and two coats were plenty. It went on without any problems. Normally I wouldn't be into brown as a polish color but this stuff has a really nice shimmer to it.

Natural light.

As you can see, the shimmer makes Goin' My Way? end up looking a little streaky. It's no big deal to me.

Indoors with flash.

Indoors with flash.

These indoor pictures are a hot mess but I couldn't get a good shot of the shimmer outside without using flash, and my camera won't take flash photos if it's bright enough to register a decent photo without it. My camera is terrible. Anyway, I love this polish.

The weather is back to overcast and horrible. I'm going to attempt to make a light box today or tomorrow so that I don't have to resort to posting sub-par photos on days like today. It would be great not to have to risk my life sprinting through spiderville, too. A light box would be win-win.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Franken - #2

I've been going franken crazy lately. I am not a big fan of pinks and reds, yet every time I try to mix something it turns into a shade of pink or red. Sigh. It probably happens because the polishes I don't mind losing through mixing are pinks and reds, and no matter what else I throw in there the pink/red pushes its way to the forefront to mock me. Oh, franken #2. You had such potential. I had pictures in my mind of a magical blue-shimmering-something and I have no idea how I thought putting pink and purple into you would make this dream happen.

Two coats, no top coat. It's overcast today, so my outside pictures are a bust.

This started as a super old bottle of Sally Hansen Nail Prisms South Sea Pearl. I know people go batshit crazy for the Nail Prisms, but this stuff was gross. It was a yellow tinted frosty polish that had a blue shimmer if you looked at it at exactly the right angle. I've read other reviews where the same polish flashed blue/pink and was supposedly nice, but mine was horrible. I threw some CQ Cranberry and CQ Mystique into the bottle to see what would happen.

You can see a bit of blue in the bottle here.

This is what happened. It's a sheer pinky-purple that still has a bit of the blue shimmer that showed itself once every 600 years with South Sea Pearl. I like this much better than the way it was before I threw CQ stuff into it all willy-nilly, but I'm not about to marry it or anything. I think I have to have disgusting amounts of glitter in my frankens in order to like them. This must be the key. I had a hard time photographing the shimmer because the sun hates me today and decided it would laugh in my face the moment I braved the spider-infested deck door (yes, they're still there) to take some photos. You'll just have to trust me when I say that the shimmer is there, and it's pretty. For a pink.

CURSE YOU, SUN! I WILL BEST YOU YET! I see a light box in my future.

Monday, November 29, 2010

L.A. Colors - Wave Length

In sunlight through my daughter's window.

Wave Length is a yellow/gold polish with some shimmer. These photos show four coats, and as you can see there is still some VNL. Unless a polish is made of rainbows and sunshine, I draw the line at four coats. Any more than that is a bit excessive. Each coat dried pretty slowly and showed some brush strokes, but at least it didn't drag.

In sunlight through my daughter's window.

This color could be pretty on a lot of skin tones, but I don't think it works on mine. My husband picked this up for me at Dollar Tree as a surprise last week, so it only cost us $1.00. I'm not heartbroken.

Now, I know these pictures aren't the best. I'm really sorry that I could not get outside to take them. I do have an excuse, however.

You will feel my wrath soon enough, foul beasts.

These little jerks have infested the doorway to the deck where I normally take photos of my nails for this blog. I have no idea how long they've been there, since I usually don't look up when I'm heading out to take pictures, but when I saw them yesterday I freaked out. I got bit by a spider on my arm a few months ago and it was not fun at all. We had no idea where it happened, since we never saw a spider in our apartment, but I guess they're just sneaky. My husband is supposed to be figuring out a way to de-spider the doorway when he gets home from work, so hopefully posts with better photos will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

China Glaze - Snow (+ franken top coat)

Natural light.

Snow is white. It doesn't seem to lean towards yellow or blue tint or any sort of different type of white, it's just white. I found this polish to be quite thick and it was pretty streaky for the first two coats. These pictures show Snow with three coats and no top coat. This is my first white polish so I'm not sure if streakiness is normal for this color.

Failed attempt at a shot in the shade.

Overall I like Snow. If you're looking for a pure white polish, this might be the one for you.

I live in New England, and my favorite part of actual snow is the sparkle. I wanted to try adding a top coat I've been working on to see how it would look with a white base.

Natural light.

Full sun.

I had a bunch of super sparse glitter top coats and I was not a fan of how they applied, so I spent 100 years fishing out glitter and putting it all into one bottle of clear. These photos show one coat of this stuff, so you can see how much glitter is in here. Some of the smaller ones are semi-transparent (is there a name for these?), which looks really nice in real life but translated to photos as weird pastel pieces.


I'm not a fan of how this photographed in the closeup, but I LOVE it in real life. I will be trying this top coat over other colors later to see if it looks better in photos.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

China Glaze - For Audrey

When I asked my husband which new polish I should swatch for you guys today he said "The Tiffany one". What a man.

Full sun.

I'm sure you are all familiar with For Audrey. It's a gorgeous light blue that supposedly matches boxes from Tiffany & Co. Since I don't own anything from Tiffany, I can't compare this polish with the box for you. All I know is that it's a really beautiful polish that I'm thrilled to have in my collection.

Indirect sun.

These photos show For Audrey with two coats and no top coat. I probably could have used a third for photos, but two worked perfectly for real life. This stuff applied very well. The first coat was a bit streaky, but it all evened out nicely with the second. It dried in a reasonable amount of time.

Indirect sun part deux.

All in all I love this color, formula, and name. I own a ton of Audrey Hepburn movies and probably would have bought this eventually just for the name. I have limited experience with China Glaze thus far, but from what I know it's well on it's way to becoming my favorite brand.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Complete with irrelevant photos!

I'm sorry that I haven't updated in a few days. Thanksgiving was crazy (including TWO fires at my mom's house) and today was even crazier. We went out for Black Friday and my 7 month old daughter in her gigantic stroller made it interesting. I will be back to posting reviews and photos tomorrow!

My husband recently bought me five China Glaze polishes through Megan's blog sale over at A Polish Problem. I have never gotten anything from the internet so quickly and packed so nicely! Everyone should take a look at her sale. She's a joy to buy from and her blog is fantastic, too.

Since I have no polish photos to post, here is a cat.

ANYWAY! I'm now the proud owner of Dorothy Who?, For Audrey, Snow, Goin' My Way?, and Blue Island Iced Tea. I'm totally and completely in love with every single China Glaze polish I have. I will be posting photos and reviews on each of these over the coming days, even though they're well-reviewed and you've probably all read about them already. I'm just so excited!

Oh, look! Another cat.

I have four new to me Del Sol polishes, as well. My mom had them in a drawer and gave them to me because she never uses them. One of them is FANTASTIC. I will be posting about these soon, as well.

I sure hope you all like cats.

I hope everyone in America had a fantastic holiday, and that everyone as a whole has a great weekend. I know not everyone likes cats, but I have six of them (yeah, I know...) and I don't post photos of my baby on the internet, so the cats are the only available post decorations I have at the moment. You'll be hearing from me again tomorrow, with more relevant photos.