30 March 2012

Feature Friday - Raging Olive Squared

Happy Friday!  Today's mani happened because I was so loving the CQ Golden Green I put on a couple of days ago, which you can see again here.  So you already know I started with my base of SH Double Duty and put on two coats of Golden Green.  I used tape to mask off the lower right square and painted on Orly's Rage.  I topped them with a quick coat of SV and repeated the taping for the upper left quadrant.  I finished it all off with a another coat of SV and voila!  Thanks for being here with me and have a great weekend, everyone!!!

29 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Icing Evergreen

Good morning!  I'm getting soooo close to 50 followers and a giveaway!!!  I've been putting aside pretties and can't wait!

Today's color is from Icing.  I have to be honest here.  I don't know why I keep going back and getting my Icing polish.  IMO, the quality just isn't there.  Anytime I look at buying their polish, I have to check the brush in store since some of their polish has crazy brushes.  I checked the brush prior to buying this color.  It wasn't mop-like, as their wonky brushes are, but I unfortunately did not notice that the brush is bent to one side.  :o(  I've also noticed that the polishes are often goopy...not necessarily thick, but definitely goopy.  I'm sorry, but you should not have to thin a brand new polish.  However, I do love some of their colors, so they keep sucking me in!

Sorry for the rant...on to the color!  This one is called Evergreen, and it really is quite fetching.  It's green glitter in a green jelly base.  The application, as I said, could have been better.  The polish was goopy and the brush bent, which made any hope of not making a mess a distant dream.  But in the end, I do love the color.  And I loved this as part of my Wicked Spongicure!  C'est la vie.

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

28 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - CQ Golden Green

Folks, I have a doozy for you today!  This color is un-freakin'-believable.  This is a polish I got in a swap.  It's from CQ and it's called Golden Green.  I love this color like whoa right now!  It's a very retro 70's olive green with gold shimmer.  It totally reminds me of a green shag carpet I had in my room as a child.  It's amazing how you think something is so hideous when you have it.  Then, 20 or 30 years later, it's retro chic and you wish you still had it!

The formula was great and very forgiving, so go ahead and take your time with application.  Just be careful of balding on the first coat if you use too many brush strokes.  It was almost opaque in one coat.  You are looking at two coats here.  The brush was perfect.  The finish on this is almost a frost.  If you look closely, you can see some brush strokes, but it's not very noticeable IRL.

I am seriously in love!  Oh, and don't look too closely at that nubbinized middle finger.  I'd like to say I broke that one whilst aggressively flipping someone off.  The sad truth is that it broke while cleaning the kitchen.  So ho-hum.  :o)

Sunlight - blurred for bling

SH Double Duty and SV as base and top coats.

27 March 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - Cuticle Cream II

Good morning and welcome new people!  For 3T Tuesday, I have another cuticle cream for you.  It's called Lemony Flutter by Lush.  It is a cuticle butter that comes in a cute pot (love those Lush pots!) and has a slight lemon scent.  Some people don't like the scent on this, but I do.  As with any of Lush's products, it's a bit on the pricey side.  This pot is 1.5 oz and costs $14.95.  However, this lasts a loooong time!  You only need the tiniest bit for each hand.  So this little pot will last!  I've been using this pot for just a couple of weeks, but you can see I've barely made a dent!

To apply, I get a very small amount on the tip of my finger, and place a bit on each cuticle on one hand.  It looks like a pale yellow thick paste.  Once you start to rub it into your cuticles, it melts into an ointment type consistency.  One drawback is that this is greasy.  It doesn't really absorb into your skin, so I use it at night before bed, and wake up with soft, supple cuticles!  It's a great product that I highly recommend.  You can purchase this from Lush stores, or online here.

26 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Maybelline Grape

I hope everyone had a good weekend!  Here is the last Maybelline Express Finish I have.  This color is called Grape and it's a deep, dark, muted purple with a brown undertone.  As for application, it goes on a bit sheer in the first coat, but the second coat gives decent coverage.  However, the Express Finish on this one was pretty unforgiving.  If it takes you more than 3 brush strokes to finish a nail, you risk pulling the polish right off again.  You need to be lightning fast with this one!

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

23 March 2012

Feature Friday - Stamped Zebra Stripes

Happy Friday and a big, huge welcome to my new reader!

Today I have my first real stamping attempt.  I did try stamping one nail once and it was an epic failure.  But, I've recently joined a group called Adventures in Stamping.  We stamp each Sunday, and this will be my first contribution.  This week's winning vote for theme was black and white only.  Let me tell you where I hoped to go with this versus where I ended up.

I love the show Once Upon a Time.  When I saw that we were stamping using only black and white, the first image that popped into my head was Regina's office.  The walls are covered in wallpaper that looks like trees on a white background.  Very wintry, which reminds me of home, which is why I love it.  Anyway, I only have the two Bundle Monster stamping sets, and did not have an image that really looked like trees.  So, I used the only one that came close, which was this one.

I figured if I tried stamping it so the lines were straight rather than diagonal, it may kind of look like bare tree trunks.  As you can probably tell from the title of this post - not so much.  But that was the original idea.  Also learned that I can't stamp straight lines to save my ever lovin' life.  So I'm just going to call this one Stamped Zebra Stripes and leave it alone.

I used SH Double Duty as my base.  Then I added two coats of Orly's Au Champagne.  The stamping was done with Sinful's Black on Black.  I topped it all off with a coat of SV.  Not horrible, but definitely needing practice.  Okay, a LOT of practice!  LOL


22 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Maybelline Prompt Petals

This is another color from Maybelline's Express Finish line.  I'm so anxious to get through these!!!  I think there is only one more after this.  Anyway, this one is called Prompt Petals.  Again, I bought this one for my daughter.  It applied well and it's a pretty, pink creme that was opaque in two coats.  Not too bad, but still not quite my cup o' tea.  I'll probably be marking this one for my daughter only, but I'm not ruling out the possibility of being able to use it as an accent.  Oh, and ignore my middle nail.  Of course, as I was carrying the camera outside, I dinged my nail.  :o(

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

21 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Maybelline Berry Fast

Good morning, everyone!  Today's color is from Maybelline's Express Finish line.  This is actually a color that I bought for my daughter, so I'm thinking it will be marked for her.  I'm not too crazy about it.  The color is called Berry Fast.  It's a jelly, so it went on sheer, but took three coats to get a decent swatch.  Grrrrr.  Application was okay, except for needing several coats and still ending up with a slightly streaky look.  It was a promising color, but just didn't work out in the end for me.  But for my daughter's tiny nails, it will work fine for her.  :o)  Lots of disappointment this week!  Sorry about that.  I think I will get through my remaining Maybellines (just a couple more) and leave them in the dust for good! LOL

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

20 March 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - Cuticle Cream

Happy 3T Tuesday!  Today's tip is a review of Avon's Nail Experts Advanced Mira-Cuticle cream.  It states that this is a vanishing complex.  I've actually had this for a long time.  I can tell you that a while back, I did try using just this cream alone on my cuticles.  The directions say to apply it twice a day for the first seven days, and then once a day after that.  I did this routine a couple of times.  Honestly, I did not see a significant change.  Basically, this falls into the category of some moisture is better than none at all.  You will not get miracle results with this product.  My tube is actually almost empty now and I will not be replacing it.  Meh.

19 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Maybelline Sheer Ivory

Good Monday morning to you! Here we have another Maybelline Express Finish.  This one is called Sheer Ivory.  I had some high hopes for this color.  I just love a subtle, light color.  However, this one reminds me more of discolored nails.  The ivory has a little too much of a yellow undertone to be pleasing.  It goes on sheer, of course, but very streaky, too.  You're looking at 3 coats (which you know I hate doing) and it's still pretty uneven.  This one needs to be filed in the "for layering only" pile, and probably sandwiching at that since I wouldn't want this being my final top coat.  Oh, well...so far, I can say I will not be running out to buy any Maybelline polish anytime soon.

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri...as always.

16 March 2012

Feature Friday - St. Patrick's Day Glitter Gradient

Happy Friday and a huge welcome to new readers!  Today's featured mani is a St. Patrick's Day inspired mani.  I kept it pretty simple.  Started off with one coat of SH Double Duty as a base.  Then I did two coats of ChG's Holly-Day.  I was so happy to get this in a swap with Rachael over at The Perky Polisher.  Go check out her blog...she's doing a giveaway right now!

Then I added a couple of coats of ChG's Blonde Bombshell.  I did the first coat from just before the cuticle to the free edge.  Then I did a second coat over the bottom half.  Then I touched up the tips to create a slight gradient look.  I topped it all off with a coat of SH's Insta-Dri top coat.

15 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Maybelline Barely Pink

Today I'm swatching Maybelline's Express Finish color Barely Pink.  The name is quite fitting as I barely see any pink!  It's more of a creamy off-white with an almost undetectable hint of pink.  Anyway, application was okay.  It didn't go on completely smoothly and streak-free, but it was workable.  The brush was slightly bigger than I would have liked.  Basically, an alright color with alright application.
On a side note, I did have another color I planned to swatch today.  It was another Maybelline Express Finish color called Cocoa bean...a nice, creamy brown.  Unfortunately, the polish was ruined.  I tried to thin it, but never got it to a good consistency.  I couldn't even get one good, full brush stroke.  Hopefully this is a fluke and not a formula problem.  I think I bought the Barely Pink around the same time and while it needed some thinning, it was able to be salvaged.  I do have two more colors from this line.  I guess we'll see how they held up over the next few posts.

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.

14 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - 10 Pinky Promise

Good morning all!  Today, I have my new favorite french base.  I've done a lot of swatches recently of colors that would work well in this capacity.  However, 10's Pinky Promise is incredible.  Of course, it's very sheer.  It is basically like having a polish that will cover your nail's imperfections while letting them shine through naturally.  The brush was great, but the formula was the real star!  It went on beautifully with no streaking or drag.  And the best part is that it is totally forgiving!  Need a few more brush strokes?  She says, no worries!  Go right ahead and brush away...oh, and I'll level myself right back out with no problem!  So sweet!  Love, love, love!  The only potential problem I see:  I'm pretty lucky that my nails are not yellow or stained.  As this is super sheer, it may not work well to hide badly stained nails.

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri as base and top. :oD

13 March 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - Cuticle Oil Part II

Good morning and welcome to another installment of 3T Tuesday!  This week, I have another cuticle oil for you.  This one is called Nail Magic and it's the only other cuticle oil I use as of right now.  While I keep the SH oil in my purse and only use it when I'm out and need a dose of moisture, this one is kept at home.  I use it about once a day.  I think it does a great job of moisturizing and softening up the old cuticles.  But just like the SH oil, I can't tell you that it is fab-oo all by itself since I use many different products.  But I like it and will definitely keep using it.  The best part about this one?  It smells unbelievably delicious!  The scent is vanilla almond.  In case you don't know this yet, I love all things almond-scented.  That alone is enough to keep me buying this stuff!

12 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Rimmel Climax

Good Monday morning and a HUGE welcome to the new folks!  I'm so happy you are here!!!

Today's color comes from Rimmel's 60 Seconds Vinyl Shine line.  It's called Climax and it lives up to it's saucy name!  If you've been tagging along on my little adventures, you know I love purple and I LOVE this color!  It's a beautiful purple with just the slightest iridescent sheen.  I don't know if the iridescence showed up well in the pictures, but it looks great IRL.  It does dry to an almost satin finish, but a little SH Insta-Dri fixed that!

SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for shine!

09 March 2012

Feature Friday - Ski Teal We Tip

Happy Friday, folks!  So, I've been sick and up to my eyeballs in homework.  But I did manage to squeak out a mani for you today.  And I have to say, I am totally loving it!  I started with SH's Double Duty as a base.  Then I put on two coats of OPI's Ski Teal We Drop.  I have nothing but love for this color!  Then, I was really dying to try out my new Warpaint Beauty's Mattify top coat.  It works like a dream and at $1.99 from Hot Topic, it's a heck of a lot easier on the wallet than Essie's Matte About You.  Score!  And of course, I couldn't just stop there.  So I SV'd my tips.  What do you think?  I'm in lurve!

08 March 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Wet 'n' Wild 414

This is my last oldie WnW color and I love it!  It's a crazy vibrant red called simply 414.  This polish went on smoothly with great coverage.  But the color - oh so wild!  For those times when you just want to scream Red Hot Siren, this is the color for you!  There is nothing subtle about this one and it's fantastically, deliciously fun!  Do you have a color that is positively sinful to wear?

 SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for base and top.