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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Franken Berry

The title of this post makes me laugh way more than it should, but I had to do it. When I swatched CQ Cranberry yesterday and saw how un-cranberry it really was, I decided to try my hand at making my own cranberry polish. This stuff is kind of a mess, but I think I like it (for the most part). The pictures show the polish in two coats with no top coat, though it could use one to even out the bumps from the glitter.

Natural light.

I put so many different polishes into this that I have no idea what they were anymore. Something happened when I mixed them all and now this stuff is THICK. It's hard to apply in thin coats because it's thick, sticky, and dries in like 15 seconds.

Natural light.

I really like the color. The hexagonal pink glitter looks a bit stupid in it, and I wish I hadn't added it. I was going a little glitter crazy at 2am and didn't think before I poured. The more I look at it, the more I like it, though most of it settles to the bottom of the bottle, so it would probably be easy to by-pass if needed.

Natural light.

If I could figure out how to thin and de-sticky this stuff I would totally use it again, as long as I could find a way to either keep the hexagonal glitter in the bottle or coax more of it out. I think that stuff works best in high volumes. When it's sparse on the nail like this it can look messy and stupid, in my opinion. The glitter problems are a definite disappointment.

I'd say this franken was a color success, and a formula mess (hardy har). What do you think?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sally Hansen - Black Pearl (Chrome)

Natural light. Two coats with no top coat.

Sally Hansen Chrome Nail Makeup in Black Pearl is slightly darker than silver and definitely not chrome. This polish applies a bit streaky and dries pretty quickly. It smells strongly of chemicals and death. It might work for stamping, but it's not anything I'd ever use for a full manicure.

Natural light.

Black Pearl is not even a little reflective and has very little shine. There was obvious shrinkage minutes after I applied, and it started chipping within a half hour. Huge disappointment.

CQ - Cranberry

Natural light.

Cranberry is a pretty bright pink that looks more red than pink in low light and shadow. It's opaque in two coats (I used three for pictures) and dries in a decent amount of time. It can stain nails just by being in the same room as them so a base coat is necessary.

Natural light.

I'm not big on reds or pinks (which you wouldn't know by looking at my polish collection) and this isn't an exception. It doesn't wow me. It looks like Sunset Blaze without the blaze. I don't think "Cranberry" when I see this color. Maybe the 90% sugar cranberry juice cocktails, but that's not what I was hoping for. After seeing how much darker some colors can dry, I was crossing my fingers that this would magically turn into a cranberry saucey darker pink/red on the nail, but that wasn't the case. I was going to use this on Thanksgiving, but I think I'll pass.

Natural light.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Afterthoughts - Soul Mates

Natural light.

Soul Mates is a light grey (it looks silver in pictures, but it's not) with red micro glitter. I don't even know how long I've had this polish. It's a pretty weird combination.

You can see the glitter here.

The smell of this stuff is so strange. I know it's not because of how old it is, because I remember thinking it smelled weird when I wore it in middle school. I'm 23 now, so that shows you how I tend to hang on to things for a ridiculous amount of time. Application was alright. Three coats to cover without bald spots, but it dries quickly. The brush is pretty small, but workable. All in all it's an okay polish but I find it odd in both smell and look.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NYC - Park Ave

Park Ave is a grey/taupe. It is opaque in two coats (though I used three for pictures) and dries AMAZINGLY fast.

Natural light.

The brush was one of the widest brushes I've ever used. It made application a breeze. They've done a lot of upgrading with this brand since I bought 119A. The Park Ave bottle says "quick dry", and it really is. Each coat dried in way less than a minute and subsequent coats went on like butter.

Natural light.

I really like this polish. It's a bit darker on the nail than in the bottle, but it's still a really pretty color. It seems to have a little bit of a purple undertone going on, which is interesting. I don't know how unique this color is (probably not very) but I'd still recommend it. I'd be anxious to try the other colors in this line, since I love the formula so much, but the other colors I saw in the display left a lot to be desired.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NYC - 119A

119A is black. Nothing fancy. It's very sheer, which I thought was weird for a black polish. This stuff took 4 coats to cover.

Natural light.

I've had this bottle for about 12 years (I wore it to a christening because I was a ~*rebel*~) and figured it might be useful for stamping when I eventually get the gear to do that. This stuff definitely would not work for stamping.

Natural light.

I really have no use for a black polish that I won't be able to stamp with, so I'll probably use this once I start attempting to franken some polishes.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sally Hansen - Lavender Envy

Natural light.

Lavender Envy is a very sheer polish with a slight purple tint and a blue iridescence. These photos show 4 coats with no base or top coat.

Natural light.

Without taking the sheerness into account, application was simple. The formula was smooth and applied evenly without streaking or dragging.

Natural light.

Lavender Envy is a very pretty polish, but it's basically impossible to get it to fully cover. I think it would be really nice over a nude shade, but since I don't own any (yet) I can't test this out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CQ - Sunset Blaze

After the last time I tried a CQ polish I wasn't sure if I wanted to bother testing out the other colors I own. This formula was way better than the last one, so I will definitely be trying out all of my CQ colors.

Sunset Blaze is a bright pink shimmer that can flash red or orange depending on the light. I had a hell of a time trying to photograph this one, so apologies in advance if the pictures are kind of repetitive.

Sunset Blaze in natural light with flash.

Turning on the flash seemed to be the only way I could get the pink to show up in photos, even though it looks pink in real life more often than not. I used two coats and no base/top coats for the photos.

Natural light. You can see the red here.

The formula was pretty good, though it was a bit streaky. It dried pretty quickly and didn't drag or goop up the way Mystique did.

Natural light.

The flashes of color are really nice. I wish it weren't so hard to get good shots of it. We have a lot of sunlight today (FINALLY!) but I had to shoot through my kitchen window and hope for the best. It's tough to get outside for photos when you have a 7 month old and live on the second floor!


Natural light. Orangey-redy goodness.

CQ still is not my favorite brand. The streaks in this polish are pretty obvious in real life, and I'm 100% sure another coat wouldn't have changed that. I like that it changes colors a bit depending on the light, but I'm not a big fan of pinks and reds so colors like this have to do something magical in order for me to fall for them. I'm not sure if I would buy this one again, even though it's miles better than Mystique!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

China Glaze - Ruby Pumps

I think I moved to the UK magically and nobody told me. Where is the sun? It's been cloudy and terrible for almost a week now! Sigh.

Ruby Pumps in natural light.

Ruby Pumps is a very popular color, and for good reason. This color is gorgeous. I've been in love with Oz since I was little, so of course I had to have this polish when I saw it at Sally's.

It's even pretty on crappy days! ;)

Application was a breeze. It's somewhat sheer and getting it totally even took 3 coats, but drying time was very quick. I'd recommend Ruby Pumps, but I don't think I need to since everyone seems to already have it and love it! I'm ending this with the photo I took of this polish in the bottle on the day that I purchased it, just so you can get an idea of the sparkle.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sally Hansen - Marine Scene

Marine Scene with flash.

Marine Scene is a really pretty blue that has a really nice shimmer in direct sunlight. I had trouble getting a good photo of the sparkle this polish can have because there's not really any light to hit it right now. I can't wait for the sun to come back!

In (minimal) natural light. Excuse the wobbly pinky.

The formula is a little streaky. It took me three coats to get it nice and even, but once it's on it looks really nice (especially in bright lighting.) Outside on a cloudy day like today this polish doesn't look very fancy. It's not super unique, but I love it anyway!

Pure Ice - Wild Thing

Wild Thing with flash. It's another limited natural light day. :(

I have had Pure Ice's Wild Thing for about two years now. It's a weird pea green color that covers well in two coats and stains like nobody's business.

Natural light through my bedroom window.

This color looks terrible on me. I'm not sure if the age of the polish is why I had trouble, but this stuff is THICK. It took forever to dry and looked like chunky pea soup once it did. It drags like nobody's business, too. Wild Thing is pretty gross, to be honest. I'm not a fan.

Monday, November 15, 2010

CQ - Mystique

I have 8 CQ polishes. They're cheap and available at WalMart, so I went a little overboard. I'm hoping the experience I've had with Mystique won't be repeated with my other polishes from this brand.

With flash on a crappy, cloudy day.

In the bottle this shade is a pretty pink with gold shimmer. On the nail it looks like a totally different polish. It's some sort of mauve/pink/purple color. The formula is streaky, thick, and goopy. It needed three coats to be opaque, but dragged with every coat after the first. I applied coats as thinly as I could, but it still looks like a clumpy mess.

In natural light on the same crappy, cloudy day! My camera sucks and doesn't like to focus without flash on days like this.

I can only hope that not all CQ polishes will be such a let down. I would not recommend Mystique, unless you're into really boring colors and nightmarish formulas.

OPI - Don't Be Koi With Me

My camera was sitting out in my car all night, apparently. Oh, well! It's not a very sunny day, but these will have to do! Once the weather perks up I will be able to get better shots (including close-ups).

This is a stock photo of Don't Be Koi With Me.

This is how it looks on my nails in natural light.

Today I'm showing you OPI's Don't Be Koi With Me. I used two coats with no base or top coat. I've had this bottle for at least 4 years, maybe longer, and I can't find any information on how long ago it was released. I have read in many places that this is usually a very bright (sometimes referred to as "garish") orange. As you can see, this is not the case with my bottle. I'd call it a coral-pink. I don't know why mine is so different from the bottles others have. Could it be the age of the bottle?

And with flash.

The formula is great. I'm assuming this is the norm with OPI polishes, but since this is the only one I own and I've never used it before I'm not terribly sure. It took 2 coats to get full opacity and evenness. I really like this color. It's not terribly unique, but it's pretty and would go with a lot of outfits. I'd buy it again if I ever ran out.