20 July 2012

Going on a Short Vacay!

Hi all!  So, I am still working hard on getting my nails back in shape after a few weeks of neglect during my study abroad trip.  And with summer coming to an end, with friends and family to spend time with, I have decided to go on a short blogging vacation.  I truly appreciate everyone who comes by to visit, especially those who take the time to comment.  I cannot express how very much I value your time and support, and I hope you will stick around.  I will not be gone for long.  In fact, I am planning to have new posts coming at you as of 13 August.  I just need a short break to get back on track and recharge my batteries...and get my nails back in shape!  Especially after all the hard work I did to put my blog on auto-pilot while I was gone last month.  So please stick around.  I'll be back soon.  I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their summer, and I look forward to being back here on the 13th.  Thanks all!!!  Oh, and I decided to share with you one of my favorite pictures from my study abroad trip.  This was taken in Nadi, Fiji.  It was the sunset from my last day in Fiji.  I thought it was appropriate as we near the end of summer.  See you soon and take care!!!

19 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Orly Cotton Candy

Say hello to Orly Cotton Candy.  I just love Orly.  Cotton Candy is a rich pink creme.  It was opaque in two coats.  Great formula, but the first coat is a bit streaky.  It levels and smooths out on the second coat.  I stopped at my usual two coats, which is what I prefer to do for swatches.  I think a third coat would have made it look smoother and more finished.

SH Double Duty and SV as base and top.

18 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Sinful Colors Glass Pink

Hi all!  This is Sinful Color's Glass Pink.  It's a pink shimmer that actually builds quite nicely.  I expected this to be very sheer, and therefore something that really needs to be layered.  But the formula on this builds up substantially.  I did two coats.  I don't know that it would be truly opaque in three or even four coats, but it looks wonderful anyway!

With SC, the formula is sometimes hit or miss.  I have had some horrible SC pollies.  The formula on Glass Pink was really good.  It applied evenly, and leveled nicely.  I think this is another great, summery color.  And yes, the virtual bandage strikes again!  MWAH HA HA...

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

17 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Color Club Pardon My French

I got this next color as part of a mismatched Ross set.  For those of you who don't know, Ross carries Color Club sets, but the polishes are not labeled, and are not the polishes listed on the box.  Another blogger identified the polishes in this set, but it's really hard to confirm since colors looks so different between blogs and sites.  So, this one is supposedly Pardon My French.  It looks a little too pink to me, but I'm just going to go with it so I can call it something.  :oP

Based on the (questionable) name, I expected this to be much more sheer.  Pardon My French is a pink creme.  I did my usual two coats, and this would have been completely opaque in three.  The formula was okay.  Mine was initially on the thin side, so I got some minor cuticle flooding.  I let the bottle sit open for a bit, and it behaved better after that.  I also found that the formula did not self-level as much as I would have liked.  I don't think it was horrible, but I tried to be careful to apply it evenly.  In the end, it was a decent color, but nothing to shout about.

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

16 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Orchid Pink Negligee

Hi all!  I'm still trying to get my nails back in shape, which is why you did not see a Feature Friday mani.  Sorry about that.  I dug into my little archives, which are dwindling, to find Orchid's Pink Negligee for today.  It's a pink frost with yellow-gold shimmer.  The formula was a little thick at first, but I was able to fix it.  The frost finish does not result in many brush strokes.  It applies very evenly.  The brush was little thick for my taste, but really not that bad at all.  I was pleasantly surprised by how opaque this was.  I thought it was going to be much more sheer.  But this was opaque in two coats.  My PhD camera does not do this color justice at all.  It was really hard to accurately capture this color.  It is really beautiful, and makes a great summer color.  And yes, the virtual bandage has returned!  That is what happens when attempting to un-package children's toys.

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

12 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Pure Ice First Love

Sorry I didn't get this posted yesterday.  This is Pure Ice's First Love.  It's a pink sheer iridescent frost.  The formula and brush were great.  The only downside is that the frost finish means lots of visible brush strokes.

Since it's meant to be layered, I'm showing you First Love on it's own and layered over white (OPI Alpine Snow) and black (ChG Liquid Leather).  You can see from my middle finger that this would actually build up quite nicely on its own.  You just have to be willing to take the brush strokes (the bad) with the good.  And please pardon my ring finger.  I dinged it not once, but twice, while taking pics.  Grrrr.

L to R: One coat, two coats, one coat over white, one coat over black

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

10 July 2012

I'm Back! And I'm Swatchin' You - Color Club Daisy Does It

Hello everyone!!!  My blog is finally off auto-pilot and I'm glad to be back!  Thanks for sticking around.  So, for the month of June, I had the incredible opportunity to go on a study abroad trip to finish off my M.Ed.  I was in Fiji for one week and New Zealand for two.  I'll try to do up a post to show you some of my favorites pics from the trip and give you some details.  But for now, I'll just say I loved the trip and had a wonderful time!  However, three weeks of constantly dragging bags, packing, unpacking, packing again, and going from a dry summer, to wet tropical weather, to a cold winter, and back to dry summer has most definitely taken its toll on my nails and cuticles.  They are quite ragged.  I'm hoping to be able to get back to swatching soon.  Until then, I'll be digging into a few more archived colors.  Well, let's get on to today's color.  I know, I know, it's Tuesday.  My brain isn't quite working well enough to come up with a good tip, trick, or tutorial.  In fact, I most likely will be trying to come up with a different weekly series.  Until then, bring on the swatches! 

After an epic water marble failure, I rocked this color for my graduation!  This is Color Club's Daisy Does It, from their Take Wing collection.  It's a beautiful yellow glass fleck that looks stunning IRL.  Both the formula and brush were great.  This was just about opaque in two coats, which you are looking at below.  A third coat would have really been solid, but I left it at two.


SH Double Duty and SV as base and top.

09 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Ciate Guest List

This is another polish that I received from Holly overseas.  This one, called Guest List, is by Ciate.  It's a beautiful, vampy dark plum creme.  The brush on this was a little short and stumpy, but the incredible formula made it very workable.  It took two coats for smooth opacity, which is what you see below.  The formula was very forgiving and easy to work with.  I always get a little nervous with dark cremes, because if the formula is no good, they can be a nightmare.  Guest List was a dream to put on, and looks beautiful!

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

06 July 2012

Feature Friday - Melting Popsicle Stripes

Happy Friday!  Today, I did a mani using Orly's Melt Your Popsicle.  I started with my base of SH Double Duty, and added three coats of Melt Your Popsicle.  I topped that off with a coat of SV.  Once it was dry, I used tape to create angled stripes.  I used my 1/8" painters tape cut in half to make it thinner.  Then I painted on one coat of SC Black on Black, topped with another coat of SV.  Finally, I added my virtual bandage.  :o)  Yup, another boo-boo.  I'm either very rough on my hands, or I'm accident-prone.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

05 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Gosh Orange Drops

I got this polish from the very sweet Holly over at Polish or Perish.  She sent me a few polishes from overseas that I can't get here in the states.  This first one is called Orange Drops by Gosh.  It's a gorgeous shimmery sheer orange.  The brush was small, but actually worked quite nicely.  And the formula was great.  Although it goes on sheer, it builds up quickly.  You are looking at my usual two coats.  There is still a slight VNL, but a third coat probably would have taken care of that completely.  I'm not usually a big fan of orange, but I do love this!  Thanks, Holly!  Unfortunately, Texas has been unusually rainy, so no sunny pics.  Sorry!

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

04 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - OPI Barre My Soul

I already showed you my 4th of July mani, so I'm just doing a swatch for today.  This is OPI Barre My Soul.  It's a sheer light pink/neutral.  The formula is wonderfully smooth.  Of course, there will be VNL, but it does build up nicely.  This makes a great base for a french, but I decided to let it stand alone.  This is three coats.  Of course, OPI's brush is a little wide for my taste, but it is great quality and actually easier to work with than most of the thicker brushes out there.

SH Double Duty and SV as base and top.

03 July 2012

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday - Nail Polish Thinner

I just thought I would quickly address this topic, since I often hear people talk about it inaccurately.  Too often, I hear people say that they had to throw away their polish because it was either "too old" or "too thick."  Other times, I have heard people say that they added nail polish remover to their thickened polish.  First of all, polish does not get too old and go bad.  So there is no reason to chuck old polish.  Some of the polish in my stash has been there for 20 years.

Second, polish that has thickened can be fixed very easily, but nail polish remover is not the way to go!  Think about it...you use nail polish remover to remove your polish.  It breaks it down.  So adding it to thickened polish will not thin it.  Remover will destroy it.  Simply get some nail polish thinner (I use the Beauty Secrets brand from Sally Beauty), and add a few drops.  If the polish is really thick, add a few more drops.  Then close the bottle, and shake it like mad.  Check the consistency, and add more thinner if needed.

Conversely, there is an easy trick to thickening up polish that is too thin and runny.  Simply leave the cap off for 5-10 minutes, and check the consistency.  Repeat as necessary.  Enjoy the rest of your day, all!

02 July 2012

I'm Swatchin' You - Wet 'n' Wild Back Alley Deals

Hopefully, if I chuck some glitter at you, it will give you a happy, sparkly Monday!  This is from Wet 'n' Wild's Color Icon line.  It's called Back Alley Deals, and it's purple micro glitter and dark pink round glitter in a clear base.

The glitter is very dense, so you get really good coverage in only one coat.  But, it is difficult to get even coats.  Your first brush stroke is pretty dense, but subsequent strokes are sparse.  So, be sure to re-load your brush for each stroke.  From left to right below, you are looking at one coat, then two coats, one coat over white (OPI Alpine Snow), and one coat over black (ChG Liquid Leather).
L to R: One coat, two coats, one coat over white, one coat over black
This also dries matte and gritty.  The two nails on the left have no top coat so you can see the natural matte finish.  The good news is that even though this dries gritty, it is not a top coat eater.  I added one layer of my top coat, and it is perfectly smooth.  The top coat also really brings out the shine in the glitter.

L to R: One coat and two coats with no top coat

L to R: One coat over white, then black with one layer of top coat
I used SH Double Duty and SH Insta-Dri for my base and top coats.