Friday, December 30, 2011

Santa & The Unicorn Princess...

(Siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.) Keeping up with a nail blog is harder than I thought. Especially when you have other areas of your life that are demanding more of your attention these days.

I'm trying though. I may procrastinate and almost-but-not-quite bother to make posts on a fairly regular basis, but every week or two, I let the guilt of letting down my legions of loyal fans get to me, and I finally upload all my pictures and edit them in Photoshop (oh, God, even just describing this process is exhausting...), and then come here and write some amazingly clever post that leaves you all in googly-eyed awe for the rest of the day, because my posts are just so worth the wait...

So anyway, let's get right down to pictures.

First up, we have a layered mani that I did... uhh... a while ago. But not too long ago. After I got my Clarins 230. Which was right around the same time that I got my first Kleancolor haul. And as soon as I saw Kleancolor Neon Purple next to Clarins 230, I knew it was Unicorn Princess love forever.

With flash. This is the most accurate picture of the bunch, color-wise. Can you see why I wanted to pair these colors?
Without flash.
A different angle, to show off some of 230's rainbowy goodness.

Then I was like, "Well, a Unicorn Princess would probably have, like, glitter too, right?", so I added a coat of Kleancolor Chunky Holo Bluebell.


This picture kind of makes me lose my mind with unicorn-induced euphoria. So many colors.

One thing I noticed that I didn't anticipate is that adding the Chunky Holo Bluebell kind of obscured the Clarins when viewed from an angle. From straight on, I could still see the reddish shimmer, but at an angle, all I saw was the Kleancolor. So that was kind of sad.

Still, it was kind of nice look. I think if I was going to do this manicure again, I'd probably skip the Chunky Holo Bluebell (even though I think it's very pretty--especially in the bottle *drools over that picture again*), and I'd only do one coat of 230 over the Neon Purple instead of two. Two coats was pretty, but it turned the Neon Purple darker and gave it more of a red tone than I had really wanted. Plus I spent sixty dollars on that bottle of polish, and I fully intend to make it last!

And, because it's already five days after Christmas (and eight days after Yule--and I flaked out on BOTH holidays this year!), I figure I should probably post my holiday mani.

I was originally planning on doing all ten fingers with Kleancolor Metallic Red and a coat of OPI Fresh Frog Of Bel Air, but like, two days before Christmas, I painted my nails with Kleancolor Silver Spark and decided that I liked it's simplicity so much that I was only going to do a single holiday accent nail. This mani pretty much summed up my feelings about the holidays this year.

Okay, guys, everybody squeeze in for a group shot! Silver Spark, stop making that face!

Here's me during the holidays this year: Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Oh, it's Christmas today? Blah.

A close up of my accent nail. My dad and his girlfriend kind of loved this nail, I think. It makes me so happy that they get excited about my manicures.

Let me just say this: Kleancolor Silver Spark is a BITCH AND A HALF to remove. Foil method next time, for sure. I didn't think I'd need it, but dang was I wrong.

I dunno. Much like the actual holidays this year, I don't have much to say about this mani. It happened. That's about it.

I've got more manis to post, but, to be totally honest, I hate editing pictures to get them ready for posting, and two mani's worth of pics is all I'm willing to edit in one sitting. But just know that there are more where these came from...

Anywho, I'm running out of steam. It's been a long year, and I'm kinda tired tonight. Hope you all had a happy Yule/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Festivus/whatever, and that you all have a safe and happy New Year's!

For 2011, Aren OUT!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Haul And Oates.

Alrighty, then. First things first (and anyone on my Facebook has probably already seen me mention this): I don't think I like my blog name. I'm just not a "cute" girl. I mean, it seemed like a decent name for a nail blog on the day I decided to create this one, but every time I log in, I can't help but feel like "RealCuteNails" just isn't me.

So, I've been thinking about renaming my blog. I do have four make that five followers now (try not to be jealous of my immense popularity), so I'm hoping that if I do find a new name that I like, they'll be willing to make the switch with me.

My friend, Rhosslyn, suggested something along the lines of "Aren Gets Nail'd", which--with it's silly innuendo--seems more up my alley.

So, any feedback from the peanut gallery on this one? What do you think of getting nail'd? If I make the switch, will you come with me? Please? *puppy dog eyes*

Anyway, I got my second Kleancolor haul on Monday, which was crazy impressive, since it shipped from California and I placed the order at, like, six o'clock in the evening last Thursday. (On a related note, did anyone else hear about the postal service shutting down a bunch of offices and cutting back the delivery time on First Class Mail?)

I ordered from beautécosmétique through Amazon, and they were just awesome. I kept changing my mind about colors and all sorts of stuff, and they were super friendly and very prompt about replying to my emails. In fact, when I asked to change out one color just a bit too late (my fault entirely), they said that if I ever order from them again, they'd be happy to include the color I wanted at no extra cost, which I think is pretty rockin' of them. So yeah, if you're in the market for twenty four Kleancolors (you pick the colors!) for $29.00 plus shipping, I recommend beautécosmétique, all the way.

I'll do reviews on individual colors as I wear them, but for now, as promised, here are some pictures of my Kleancolor collection:

Bwaaahahahaha, twenty four new colors all for meeeeee!

All my Kleancolors. Acquired in a mere four orders. I'm good like that.

Because I'm anal, I had to line them all up by color. I was assisted by Merriweather, who decided to photobomb this pic a little.

This is what I do when I'm bored. Swatch the shit out of nail wheels, trying to come up with interesting ideas. The gradients on the two middle nails here were done using ten of the Kleancolor metallics, plus one of their other colors.
I'm so stoked about all my new polishes. I'm completely out of room in my boxes to store them, so I guess it's time to invest in some sort of storage unit so that I can keep all my stuff together, instead of having multiple shoeboxes of polish stacked next to my dresser, with even more loose polishes stacked on top of them...

Anyway, I figured that since I haven't even swatched half of the colors from my first Kleancolor haul back in October, I had better get crackalackin', so I grabbed a bottle and went to work.

When I was placing my order for this haul, I was a little hesitant about adding pastels, because I haven't really used many pastel polishes, I wasn't sure how they'd look against my skin or if they'd be too cutesy for me.

In the end, I decided to only buy one pastel polish, and went with blue. I seriously considered Pastel Purple and Pastel Teal, but in the end, blue just seemed the most wearable to me. Now that I've seen it on my hands, I'm thinking I'd like to get the teal and purple as well.

Kleancolor Pastel Blue is, as the name would suggest, a pastel blue (*shock and awe*). When I asked my boyfriend for his opinion, he said it's "very Easterly". Application was fine. The first coat went on a bit streaky, the second coat evened the color out nicely, and I added a third "security coat" just to make sure it was perfectly opaque with nary a streak in sight.

I loved it. Beautiful. Since my skin is so pale anyway (thank you, iron-definciency anemia and PMLE!), the color suited me very well. And, of course, the Aquarian in me just loves water-type colors in general--give me more blues and greens and teals and silvers!--so Pastel Blue was just chock full of win all around.


Now, Kleancolors are great polishes. They're super affordable, and they actually have some really unique colors, which is always awesome. But there are two main drawbacks to this brand:

1. They're smelly. As I've mentioned before (and countless others have mentioned before me), Kleancolors have a pretty pungent chemical smell to them, unlike any other polish I've used. I didn't notice it with my Holos, but every other Kleancolor I own is definitely a bit stinky.

2. Some of them take forever to dry. I don't know what it is, man, but I know I'm not the only one who's noticed this. A lot of the chunkier glitters dry reasonably quickly, as most glitters are wont to do, but I've noticed with a few other colors that they just seem to want to stay squishy and dentable for way longer than seems normal.

As was the case with Pastel Blue. Even though I waited about seven or eight minutes between coats, then an extra ten minutes before adding a layer of quick-dry top coat, my nails just didn't seem to want to harden up.

After about an hour, I figured I was safe enough to go about my day, and decided to take a shower. This is were I made my mistake. Turns out, my nails were still not completely dry, so all my scrubbing and hair washing in the shower ended up leaving me with tip wear/chippies only an hour after application. Bummer.

Luckily, it's pretty minor and not really noticeable unless you're me, which I am, so it's annoying the shit out of me. But to the rest of the world, I'm sure my nails look pretty okay.

Artificial light, no flash. I think I also left my camera set for fluorescent lighting, which would explain why my fingers look so orange-y. Damn it.
Artificial light, flash. Totally used my non-dominant hand to snap these two pictures, since the tip wear on my right hand was less apparent than on my left.
So yeah. I dunno. That's all really. I kinda ran out of things to say...

Uhhhh... I like this color. I'm glad I bought it. Yay for my haul...

Ummm. No, seriously. My mind just went completely blank.




Yeah, if I was gonna say anything else interesting, I've completely forgotten what it was. You can stop reading now.

Hope you all have a fun weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Kleancolor? More like SPLEENcolor, Amirite?

Oh,  good grief, does it ever end? I finally gave in and made myself an appointment with a doctor a friend recommended, and now it's all, "You may have thyroid issues! Blood in your pee isn't good! I am a medical professional! Put down my stethoscope!".

Yeah. I see how it is, doctor. You sit there, all high and mighty, telling me how I might be able to not feel like crap all the time, and then you look at me like I've been purposely doing the opposite of everything you're advising.

See you in two weeks, motherfucker. And I'm taking one of those germ masks home with me this time... *glares*

Annnnnyway. I'm not feeling great at the moment, but I wanted to get a quick post up today, and show you all what I've been up to lately. No RCN ratings in this post. I don't know if I'm even gonna bother with them at all any more. They feel gimmiky. I think I'm just gonna ramble more in posts instead.

So, yeah...

I didn't plan this, but all three of the mani's I'm posting here involve Kleancolor polishes. I recently went halfsies on a 48 piece Kleancolor haul with a friend, so I've been playing with my twenty four new colors a lot recently.

First up is Kleancolor Neon Fuschia. Right off the bat, I want to say two things about this color:

1. In no way would I ever classify this color as fuchsia.

2. I'm pretty sure Kleancolor is just fucking with me on the spelling here.

Anyway, this is one of five neons that I bought. Like most neons, it dries somewhat matte, and would've required a lot more than two coats* and not been nearly as eye-popping had I not primed my nails with two layers of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White first.

See what I'm saying? How on earth is this considered fuchsia? Neon Vermillion, if anything. (Artificial light, no flash.)

Flash made this color look orangier than it is in real life. Color-wise, it's closer to the upper picture. Intensity-wise, it's closer to this one.

 Application was okay. Maybe a little on the streaky side, but after the second coat, it evened itself out pretty well. I wore this for three days or so (that's about average for me), and didn't have any problems with wear or chipping until I fell down running to answer the phone and ended up with chip all the way across my left index finger. Boo.

Aside from my Mood Struck polishes, which are color-changers, this is the second neon polish I've used (I used Kleancolor Neon Purple for a mani I'll post about... soonish), and I couldn't stop staring at my fingers. They were so bright! Like little highlighters! Way fun. : )

Next up is one of the colors I picked up on my last trip to Five Below with my sister. Fresh Paint Olive You is--you guessed it--an olive green. It has very subtle and also somewhat less subtle gold shimmer.

This was after a few days, so please excuse the tip wear. (Indirect natural light.)
I picked this color up mainly because, in the bottle, it looked like it could be an olive version on Funky Fingers Power Chord, which I absolutely adore. Plus I didn't have any neutral-y greens in my collection, and my sister thought the name was cute, so I figured what the heck.

On the nail, this color fell flat of my expectations. The gold shimmer just isn't as prominent as I'd hoped, and it has more of a pearly finish to it. Still an interesting color, and nice for fall, but not one of my favorites.

I figured I'd add a little interest by accenting some nails with a coat of Kleancolor 24 Carat, a color I picked when the seller my friend and I bought our polishes from didn't have some of the colors I'd originally wanted. And, let me say, for a color that I didn't really want in the first place (I'm not particularly fond of golds; I'm a silvery girl through and through), 24 Carat turned out to be one of my favorite polishes from the entire haul.

I could seriously stare at this bottle forever. Soooooooo sparkly. (Indirect natural light.)
 24 Carat is a clear base with warm gold irregular glitter--almost like microflakies--and holo glitter, with a few large diamond holo glitters scattered throughout (you can kinda see one under the 'u' in 'Lacquer'. The big glitters don't thrill me, so I tend to scrape them off the brush if I happen to catch one, since I prefer the look of just the fine glitters.

As pretty as I think 24 Carat is, this mani didn't blow my skirt up. I was just kind of meh about it. Which is why I ended up taking it off so I could try Kleancolor Metallic Green.





I love this color sofreakingmuch, it's kind of ridonculous. The finish reminds me of anodized aluminum, and it has this crazy glow to it.

This may very well be my favorite green polish ever. In real life, the color is just a teeny smidge more yellow. If any of you have an Android phone, it's pretty close to Android green. (Indirect natural light.)
I did an accent nail with Kleancolor Golden Nightmare, which is black with gold shimmer and larger glitter in it. To me, the larger glitter looks silver, but based on the name, I assume it's supposed to be gold as well. Eh. Alls I know is that the gold shimmer looked awesome in the bottle, but was kind of lost on the nail. Still. Another gold-y color that I kinda like.

But back to Metallic Green. Have I mentioned yet how much I love this color? It's so bright and awesome. I don't have any other polishes with a finish like this one. Which is why I decided that, what with all my recent health issues, I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, and ordered myself another twenty four Kleancolors, including nine of the other metallics!

I already got Metallic Black with my first haul, so once this order comes in, I'll have all of them, except Metallic White, which I decided to skip 'cause it didn't look as awesome and pigmented as the rest of them.

Oh man, oh man, oh man. I'm so excited. Once I get this shipment (which they said would take 4-14 business days), I'll snap a few pictures of all of my Kleancolors. I think I'll have... fifty five of them? Dang! It's almost like I collect nail polishes or something. o_O

Anyway, that's really all. Just wanted to toss up a few pics and share my excitement over my order. I know this post is kind of blah, and I apologize for that. I, myself, am kind of blah, so I suppose that's to be expected.

Anyone else out there have experience with Kleancolors? What do you think of them? Got any favorite colors? What do you think of the smell of them? It didn't bother me with the first seven I owned, but all of the ones I got with my first haul have a really pungent chemical smell, unlike any of my other polishes. Very odd.

So yeah. That's all. And, as for the title of this post... I don't even know.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Because I'm A Bitchin' Rockstar From Mars.

Okay, just a little post today. And, really, I feel kinda guilty about that, 'cause I love this friggin' color so much.

I picked up a couple of Funky Fingers polishes at this great store my kid sister brought me to called Five Below, where (wait for it!) everything is $5 or less. And it's not all cheap crap like you find at real dollar stores--although, to be fair, Dollar Tree has some pretty good stuff sometimes. But I digress.

I guess the whole reason my sister wanted to take me to Five Below in the first place is because they have this giant table full of reasonably priced nail polishes, and she knows what a freak I am for polishes, so it was a great surprise. I ended up spending twenty five dollars in that store. But I walked out with super comfy, fuzzy, rainbow leopard print jimjam shorts, a mousepad with a wrist bump, clippy headphones, two nail polishes, and I bought us each one of those silly Japanese drinks where you have to pop the marble out of the top to open the bottle. Of course, my sister accidentally threw away her marble popper, and I'd already used mine, so we had to sit there for about fifteen minutes, trying to pop hers with a lighter. It was ridiculous, and I'm sure we looked like idiots. Which is why I love hanging out with my sister. <3

But I digress again...

So. One of the colors I bought that day was Funky Fingers Power Chord, which is a... well... I don't really know exactly how to describe it. Try this: Picture the most beautiful bruise ever, then add a pale gold shimmer. It's awesome. And pretty. And tough. And it looks soooooooo friggin' hot on short nails (which I figured this out the second time I wore it, right after I filed my nails all the way down--in the pics, my nails are about medium length).

Indoors, artificial light, no flash. 
Application is a breeze. The polish is a bit thinner than some of my others, so I went for three coats* for full opacity. Another thing I figured out the second time I wore this color is that I prefer it without a topcoat. I can't exactly put my finger on why. I think because it almost has a metallic finish on its own, and this polish just screams "tough little tomboy" to me, and a glossy topcoat kinda... I dunno... ruins that or something... O_o

Indoors, artificial light, flash.
I don't recall having any problems with chipping or wear with this color. And I'm pretty sure I wore it for a day or two longer than I usually do, because I love it so much.

I ended up throwing on a coat of Kleancolor Chunky Holo Black just to see what it would look like. This combination didn't blow my mind, but goddamn, check out the rainbow in that bottle!

Removal is slightly trickier than most polishes, since the gold shimmer gets a bit gritty/rough, but it's not nearly as bad as removing glitter polishes. Just requires a little extra soaking time or elbow grease, whichever you prefer.

I seriously love this color. Like, for real. You know how I feel about "purpling my fingernails", and with my tough little tomboy attitude, this polish is just sososo me. Plus I really like the shape of Funky Fingers bottles. They kinda remind me of genie bottles. Or 50's cats (you know what I mean, right?). If I get a chance, and if it's still in stock, I'd like to swing back over to Five Below to pick up a backup bottle. And maybe a few other colors...

RCN Ratings:

  • Price: 5/5 (I think I paid $2.50 each)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5

Hey other bloggers: How would you describe this color? I see some great color descriptions out there sometimes, and I'm like, "Uhhh, it's... purple.". Thoughts?

*I always use NailTek Foundation II Ridge Filling Base Coat to provide an even surface and prevent staining, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat for quick and easy shine.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lost In The Blizzard Nebula.

Holy smokes, will ya look at that? Another post!

I think I'm just going to kind of rely on pictures to do the work for me for a bit, instead of writing my full-on reviews.

First up, we have the loverly Orly Space Cadet. I had wanted this color for soooooo long, so I finally ordered it through Amazon. When it arrived, I'll admit to being a little disappointed. It kind of reminds me of Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Amber Ruby, which I've owned, well, since the Nail Prisms line was still in stores, but never really loved. I'm not huge on rose tones with my skin. And even though this polish has a very pretty teal jelly-ish base, once it's built up to opaque, it's predominantly rosey. Bleh.

I do love a good duo/multichrome, though, and Space Cadet is plenty of that. And although it's smooth and shiny on the nail*, it's really gritty when you're taking it off, so I recommend the foil method.

Indirect sunlight. I think this was... four coats?
There really is a lot of color shifting with this polish.
This polish is definitely pretty, but it's just not my favorite. Oh well.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 5/5 (Amazon usually has pretty good deals on polishes.)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 4/5 (I hate when polishes are a pain to get off, so it loses a point for being so clingy and gritty during removal.)

And here we have my new favorite glitter topcoat, China Glaze Snow Globe over Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Night Flight.

THE COLORS, DUKE! THE COLORS! (If anyone else remembers that commercial, they get a million cool points.)
With flash. This was also right after I applied my final topcoat, so everything looked super shiny.
Unfortunately, by the next day, this mani wasn't very shiny at all. Which was okay, since the matte-ness kind of helped to enhance the GLITTERSSSSS!

 So yeah, I don't even know what to say about this polish. I love it. A lot. It's like a sparkling cupcake wrapped in a bow with sprinkles and candy. On your nails. In glitter form.

It has small and medium iridescent hex glitters that, depending on the angle you're looking are cyan/orange, purple/yellow, or pink/green. It's friggin' amazing, basically, and I couldn't stop smiling at my fingers. I can't wait to wear it over white, which is a mani I'm planning for this winter. : )

As with all glitters, it's a bit tricky to get off, although it not as densly packed as some glitters, so it does break down a little more easily. Still. Foil method all the way.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 5/5 (Again, check Amazon for some reasonable prices)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 4/5 (Loses one point for that weird matte thing it kept doing, even after I applied topcoat.)
 So yeah, in a battle between China Glaze Snow Globe and Orly Space Cadet, I'd be rooting for Snow Globe. What about you?

*I always use NailTek Foundation II Ridge Filling Base Coat to provide an even surface and prevent staining, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat for quick and easy shine. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Fact That There Are Christmas Themed Pringles Containers Already Is Killing My Soul.


I just wrote a kind of medium length entry about how I've been dealing with depression for the past few months, and how there's a lot of stressful stuff going on in my personal life right now, and how I feel like that plays a big part in me not having the motivation to update my blog more often, and I added a whole bunch of pictures, and then Blogger ATE IT.



Fine. I'll upload all the stupid pictures again. And come up with captions for all of them. Again. But I will not retype the post. I have my limits.

...I hope you really appreciate what I'm dealing with for you right now. No. Really.


Okay, soooooo. Here:

To make up for not posting very often, here are a whole bunch of pictures in one post. We'll start with some old ones that my Facebook friends will probably recognize from my "I Love Nail Polish" album:

First up, a little snowman I did last winter, using just the nail polish brushes and a toothpick for the eyes, nose, and buttons. Unfortunately, I decided to wait several days before snapping this picture, and you can see how beat up it is. Still cute, though.
This picture was actually taken to show off my then-brand-new Bamboo Pen & Touch, but it features one of my very favorite polish combos: OPI Ate Berries In The Canaries and OPI Sun-body Loves Me!
My very first go at stamping using my Bundle Monster plates. I let my boyfriend pick the colors and design. He said he wanted it to look like a creamcicle.
He was a good sport and let me stamp his nail, too. I decided to play to his masculine side with a tiny tribute to bacon.
My first--and only--attempt at sponging. Not very pretty. Maybe I'll try it again someday...
I believe this was my second attempt at stamping. Plus freehand tips.
Oh my God, my cuticle line in this picture kind of makes me want to vomit. Still, this was one of my favorite stamped manis. The green really popped in real life.

I have a LOT more old pics, but I'm gonna save some, because I'm probably gonna need to to another of these picturebomb catch-up posts in the future...

So, on to more recent things!

A kind of lazy Halloween mani using this years Wet n' Wild Fantasy Makers polishes in Black Magic and Spooky Pumpkin. Again, I waited until I was ready to take the polish off to snap the pics, so it's looking a bit rough here.
This is the mani I actually wore on Halloween. I was thinking out loud about what I should do, and my boyfriend suggested bats on an orange background, so that's what I did. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Sun Kissed with a coat of Wet n' Wild Fantansy Makers Spooky Pumpkin, and the bat stamps from my Bundle Monster plates.
Oh, Clarins 230. You whore. <3
And lastly, and certainly leastly, I figured I'd throw in a shot of yours truly, doing what yours truly does best: Not knowing what the crap she's doing.

This is how I roll...

Okay, then. I hope throwing all these pictures at you was enough to make you forget that I'm a crappy blogger. Come back next week. Maybe there will be more words and pictures to look at or something.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Okay, I Can Die Happy Now. (Except Not Really.)

Someone *coughcough* got her bottle of (♪♫ daa-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaa! ♫♪) CLARINS 230 today!!!

Mmmmmsorainbowy. ^___________^

Unfortunately, no pics in this post. I know, I know, super boring. It's been really shitty and overcast lately, and indoor lighting just doesn't do my precious justice, so on the next sunny day, I'll snap some pics.

 But I'm so excited, you have no idea.

A special thanks goes out to my friend, Lindsey, who actually placed the order for me, and with whom I'll be going in on a 48 piece Kleancolor haul tomorrow. Yeah, that's right. Twenty four brand new colors each. Ohmygodicantwait.

And that's in addition to the three polishes I ordered on Amazon the other day.

So I guess I really am gonna have to stop slacking, 'cause I've got a butt-ton of swatching to do soon. And I should probably stop spending money on nail polish for a while, too, before I go completely broke.

Anywho, I'm just all stoked about my new shinyshiny and wanted to share my deep and everlasting joy with the rest of you.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Ladies Purple Their Fingernails.

...So much for not slacking. *dies*

Well, I've painted my nails a few times since my last post, and I only snapped pictures of a few of the polishes (shame on me!). And then I totally lazed out and didn't bother editing the pictures, and then I was all "Ughhhh, whyyy?" about having to put any effort into writing a post, so, uh, I didn't.

But I am now. So at least there's that, right?

Anyway, today I bring you pictures of Kleancolor Holo Chrome. I bought the whole six piece Holo set on Amazon (it's labeled as the Starry Spring collection). Five of the six Holos are jelly based (Holo Yellow has a more metallic finish than the others) and all of them fairly packed with holographic microglitter (read: RAINBOW SPARKLIES!!!!!).

Now, there's a bit of a pattern to this collection. Holo Pink is a pastel pink jelly with holo microglitter. Holo Blue is a pastel blue with holo microglitter. Holo Orange and Holo Green follow suit. And even though Holo Yellow has a slightly different base, the actual color of the polish is... you guessed it: yellow.

So it stands to reason that Holo Chrome would be a some type of chrome polish with holo microglitter, right? WRONG! It's purple. But it's called Holo Chrome. Because just calling it Holo Purple would've been stupid.

Anywho, Holo Chrome is one of the two polishes in the collection that have a second, more subtle glitter added to the mix (the other polish is Holo Orange).  Holo Chrome not only has the standard holo microglitter, but there's also some tiny iridescent blue/violet glitter in there. You can't really tell unless you really look for it, but when combined with the purple jelly base of this polish, that subtle iridescent glitter really helps this polish to pop.

Artificial light. You can kinda make out the iridescent blue glitters in this picture. Like I said, super subtle, especially paired with all the holo glitter. But it's definitely in there.

Artificial light. A little blurry to help show the glitter.
Artificial light. And angles! Because it's always good to have some perspective.
 Application was fine. Because of the jelly base, these polishes take a few coats to build up to opaque. I think I used four coats* for this one. The polish dries pretty quickly, though, so that kind of makes up for the need for so many coats. The finish is a bit gritty, and it took two coats of topcoat to even out the surface (and, as you can see in the pictures, it still wasn't quite glass-smooth).

Flash. Holo Chrome is the least pastel of the collection. All the other polishes are quite a bit less bold.
Flash. Oh, holo glitter, I love you so. I seriously just sit and stare at my hands all the time when I use the polishes from this collection.
Some people have complained that Kleancolor polishes have a horrible smell to them. I haven't noticed this with any of mine. They may smell a bit different than some of my other polishes, but it's been my experience that different brands and different formulations have slightly different chemically smells on a fairly regular basis. The smell of Kleancolors doesn't strike me as particularly strong or offensive.

Natural light, shade.
Natural light, shade. Again. And now I'm getting distracted and just want to finish this post, so I'm not going to think of a good caption for this one.
I really like this color. I'm like a four year old. Anything that sparkles--especially rainbow sparkles--is going to score huge points in my book. And ever since I read the book 'Hailstones And Halibut Bones' by Mary O'Neill when I was, like, seven years old, purple polish has had a special place in my heart. So yeah, this polish is chock full of win.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 5/5 (I paid $12.95 for the six piece set)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5
 And, just 'cause it still makes the little kid in me happy:

What Is Purple?
by Mary O'Neill

Time is purple just before night
when most people turn on the light--
but if you don't it's a beautiful sight.

Asters are purple, there's purple ink.
Purple's more popular than you think...
it's sort of a great Grandmother to pink.

There are purple shadows and purple veils,
some ladies purple their fingernails.

There's purple jam and purple jell
and a purple bruise next day will tell
where you landed when you fell.

The purple feeling is rather put-out
the purple look is a definite pout.

But the purple sound is the loveliest thing
It's a violet opening in the spring.

*I always use NailTek Foundation II Ridge Filling Base Coat to provide an even surface and prevent staining, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat for quick and easy shine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na, BATMAN-ICURE!

Nail Nerd posted a very cute homage to Wonder Woman recently, so I suggested she do a Batman manicure too, since I lovelovelovelovelove Batman (I even have the Batman logo tattooed on my lower back!).

And, because she is awesome, the Nerd complied with my request. Does that manicure not blow your mind with joy!? 

I absolutely love reading Nerd's blog because she's constantly coming up with such creative ideas (I mean, c'mon, marijuana pistils? Who else would DO that!?), and because she executes them so well. Plus she posts new manicures all. the. time., which is great for someone like me, who can't get enough of oogling beautiful polishes.

And THAT is why she's my nail girlfriend. *nods* ^___^

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Like A Starlight Mint. Only Not.

Alrighty, I've got two reviews for you today. (That's right. I'm getting over-ambitious after my bout of slackeriness.)

First up is a red. And before I get into the review, let me tell you this: While I adore a cherry red toenail, I am not a fan of red nail polish on fingers. I mean, I guess some people can pull it off (Penn Jillette, I'm looking at you!), but to me it always seemed kind of *cough-whorey-cough*. Aaaaaand proceed with the hate comments.

But no, really. I just never liked the look of red on hands. Least of all my hands. So even though I have a few reds in my collection, I usually just stick to a certain trusty Revlon (which I'm sure I will review eventually) or a couple of my wine/berry-red OPIs when I feel the need to do my tootsies red, but never, never my hands.

Then I started this blog. And that's when I decided I was going to have to get over my thing about certain colors being "hand colors" and certain colors being "feet colors" (to be clear, there are plenty of colors that are both "hand" and "feet" colors. But there are also some that I feel are better used exclusively for one or the other). So I decided to go ahead and go red.

OPI Got The Blues For Red is one of the colors my dad's lovely ladyfriend, Tracey, gave me a while back. I think I'd only ever used it on my toes once, and then for some reason, I kind of relegated it to the back of my nail polish box. But I dug it out and got down to business just so I could post this review for youuuuu. (Feel loved, damnit!)

Got The Blues For Red is a rich blue-based red creme. The consistency is actually a bit sheer--imagine if a creme and a jelly had a baby--but it totally works. The pictures below are two coats*. I probably should've gone with three, since I can still make out my nail line, especially in the natural light shot.

Artificial light.
Natural light.
 Got The Blues For Red surprised me. I actually loved it. It applied like a dream, and it didn't look *cough-whorey-cough* at all, although I did think it looked pretty sexy. But there's a difference.

I don't know if I loved it enough to convert me to a red fingernails kind of girl (maybe in the summer, with a cute retro bikini?), but this polish definitely earned a more coveted spot in my box-o-polishes--which is actually three boxes now, since my collection has outgrown the first two boxes.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 4/5 (Technically, I got this for free, so that's definitely 5/5, but OPI's typically retail for about $8-9, which is on the higher end of what I usually spend. I'm a drug store kinda girl.)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5

Next up is a polish I'd been wanting for a while (and by 'a while', I mean, about a week; patience is not one of my virtues).

After my Vanilla Glitter Milkshake mani, I started wondering if I could find a sheer white polish to use over glitters that wouldn't cast the same yellow/nude-y tint that Sally Hansen Sheer Me Now did, but would still work to create the milky effect. I was pretty sure I had seen a sheer-looking white in the Sally Hansen polish display at my local drug store, so over I went, and triumphantly returned home with a bottle of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Polar White.

I tried swatching it over a few of my glitter polishes on my nail wheel, and was a bit disappointed. Even though the consistency in the bottle looked the same as Sheer Me Now's, the Polar Bare just didn't have the same sort of coverage. So I decided to try it on its own* (I don't remember if I used two or three coats for these pics, sorry!):

Artificial (incandescent) light.

Artificial (CFL) light.

This polish was a pain in the butt to apply well. The nails on my left hand looked decent, but the nails on my right hand were a streaky mess (like, to the point where I had to take the polish off immediately after snapping these pics, 'cause it looked so awful). And, to be honest, the color didn't really blow me away, either. Not great over glitter, not great application, and a not great color. Paint me disappointed. : (

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 3/5

So, which do you prefer? Are there any polish color families that you just can't stand?

*I always use NailTek Foundation II Ridge Filling Base Coat to provide an even surface and prevent staining, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat for quick and easy shine.