Friday, September 23, 2011

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green... And Yellow.

A few weeks back, my friend, Amanda, asked me my opinion on color-changing "mood" polishes. I told her that I had bought two Mood Struck polishes (a blue-to-neon-blue and teal-to-turquoise) at my local drug store for about four dollars each, and that I thought they were pretty neat.

We started talking about all the different colors available, and I mentioned that they had a green-to-yellow at the store that I had eyeballed, since I love greens, but since I'm not big on yellow nails (they make me think of pee and fungus), I didn't bother getting it.

Well, after our discussion, my curiosity got the better of me, and I went back to the store and bought not only the green-to-yellow, but the berry-pink-to-hot-pink, and two other nail polishes, too!

Even though I wasn't sure I was going to like it, I decided to try the green-to-yellow right away*. 

The polish applies a kind of murky green that my camera can't quite seem to capture (with flash, it looks like a bright green, and in most pictures without flash, it looks grey--like my camera just completely desaturated it), and then turns yellow as your body heat warms it. I don't know if it's just my crappy circulation or what, but the "yellow" never went brighter than, like, a neon lime green on me, which I was totally fine with, and actually preferred. If you'd got long nails, the tips stay green while the rest goes yellow, creating a pretty neat french manicure-y look.

It must be much warmer in my bedroom than it is where I have my laptop set up in the dining room, because while my nails would go all lime green with dark tips in my room, down here, they were always just straight up green.

All with flash.
I took these shortly after going up to my room, after using the computer for a while. As my hands warmed up, the polish changed colors.

Natural light on a cloudy day--this is the closest picture I was able to get to the actual color of this polish.
Every time I looked at my hands, I started thinking about Kermit the Frog. ♥
I used hot and cold water to to get it the greenest and yellowest I could :

Left: After being dipped in cold water
Middle: My normal temperature
Right: After being dipped in hot water

As much as I loved the end result, I will say that application was a bit of a pain. The consistency of this polish was much thinner than my blue-to-neon-blue and teal-to-turquoise polishes, and it took SIX coats to build up to opaque, and even with all those coats, I could still clearly see my nail line when the polish was all yellow. Luckily, since the tips (at the very least) were usually green, that wasn't a problem. 

The color lasted about a week on me before I started to notice where it was starting to peel a bit at the sides of my nails. And I gotta say, I couldn't stop looking at my hands that whole week. I thought I was gonna hate it, but I actually really liked this polish.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5 (The product label has big air bubbles under it and is peeling at the corners, which makes it feel a bit cheap. The caps on these are super chunky too--as wide as the bottles--which can be awkward sometimes.)
  • Performance: 4/5 (It loses a point for being so thin and needing so many coats)
So, what do you guys think? Would you wear this?

Also, does anyone else think that Mood Stuck's color names are super boring? I mean, come on. "Green-to-Yellow"? The whole time I had this on, I kept thinking that if I had been in charge of naming it, I'd have called it Toxic/Acid. But that's just me...

*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, September 17, 2011

I Think I Need To Put In My Sublime CD...

...because I have a new nail-girlfriend, and her recent post totally bowled me over, even though there's a stigma attached to ganja..

For some cute, creative, unique nail art ideas, check out : )

Friday, September 9, 2011

Can You Dig It?

Well, I've been in a bit of a funk lately, so a few days ago, I decided to paint my nails blue to go with my mood.

I'm a pretty big fan of the whole green/blue/purple spectrum in general, and tend to gravitate toward those colors when painting my nails. But there was one blue in my collection that I'd only ever used on two nails, back when I did a crazy rainbow mani/pedi a few months back (which I'm sure I'll post pics of at a later date).

So I decided to give OPI Just Groovy a fair shot on its own*, and I liked what I saw. : )

OPI Just Groovy is a lightish medium blue. Almost a sky blue. Now, I don't know if I'm the only one that always pictures really pale, soft blues when I hear 'sky blue', and is always amazed at how vivid the sky actually is on clear, sunny days, but Just Groovy is definitely a vivid sky blue.

Direct sunlight

I only used two coats, although I probably would've been happier with three, because if I looked hard enough, I could still just barely see some areas that were thinner than others (you can see what I'm talking about on my index and middle fingers in the picture above). But I also obsessively scrutinize my nails, so there's always that.

Natural light, shade.
 Application was a breeze, which I expect from OPI polishes, and the color on my nails was true to what it looks like in the bottle. It also dried shiny as heck before I even added a top coat. This manicure did chip like crazy after about two days, though, which was disappointing.

Overall, I actually ended up liking this color more than I thought I would, and I'll probably use it more often now.

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 4/5 (I received this one as a gift, but OPI's generally retail for around $8 or $9, which is on the high end of my nail polish price scale. In my opinion, they're totally worth it, though.)
  • Packaging: 5/5
  • Performance: 4/5 
What do you think? Is this color totally groovy, or is it the pits?

*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, September 3, 2011

Heeere I Come To Save The Daaay!

Don't you hate it when nail polishes get all thick and gloopy? I can't count the number of bottles I've thrown away because they'd gotten old and gone bad. Polishes that I loved, but couldn't use because they were so globby. So into the trash they went, never to been seen again.

So, you can imagine how stupid I felt when I read that nail polishes never go bad*, and that they can be saved by one easy to use miracle product: polish thinner.

Of course, I had to get me some of this wonder of science.

I decided to go with Seche Restore, since I'd heard such good things about Seche Vite top coat (allll the nail polish bloggers rave about it).

Seche Restore is a clear liquid and it has a pretty normal nail polish-y chemical smell (it is, after all, just the solvents that keep polishes flowing smoothly). The product comes in a little bottle, about the same size and shape as a regluar nail polish bottle. The main difference is that Restore doesn't have a brush attached to the cap.

Instead, it comes with a separate eyedropper, which you use to suck up a little of the Restore, and add it--drop by drop--to the nail polish that needs thinning. Then you just roll the bottle (or shake like crazy, if you're not planning on using it for half an hour or so) to incorporate the thinner and the polish. Thinners evaporate pretty quickly, so I try to get in and out with the dropper as fast as I can, so I can get the cap back on the bottle.

Sorry about the weird background. I was, uh, experimenting.
So far, I've thinned about six or seven of my polishes. Some were only slightly thicker than what I consider ideal, so they only took three or four drops. I have one glitter top coat that I think is so pretty, but I couldn't use it because it had thickened to an almost paste-like consistency. Before I added the Restore to it, the bottle was only about a third of the way full of the congealed polish. After thinning it back to a proper consistency, I have almost a full bottle of polish (sweet!). Needless to say, that bottle used more than three or four drops. More like three or four eyedroppers--and the eyedropper holds about twelve drops. So.

I have to say, whether they only needed a little thinning or a whole lot of it, every single polish I thinned out--except one--is now perfect (I wish I had thought to take before/after pics). I accidentally added a little too much thinner to one of my smaller polish bottles, so the polish is really thin now. I've been letting the bottle sit open for fifteen minutes or so whenever I'm up in my room playing with my other polishes, so that the solvents can evaporate a bit and the polish can thicken back up to where I want it.

But other than that (which I can't hold against the Restore, since it was my own fault), it really is an amazing product. I wish, wish, wish I'd known about this stuff years ago. When I think about all the polishes I could still have--some that I just threw out less than a year ago--it makes me want to cry a little.

So yeah. Anyway, I'm totally digging this thinner. When it's used up, I'll probably pick up a bottle of Orly thinner, since Orly's bottle is not only bigger, but it's cheaper too (about $5.00/.5 fl oz of Seche vs. $3.99/2 fl oz. of Orly). I don't see that happening for a while, though, since I've already thinned out all the goopy polishes I had, and I still have half of my Seche left. : )

RCN Ratings:
  • Price: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5 (-1 star because I'm always annoyed by wasteful cardboard packaging--I feel that they could have incorporated the dropper into the cap so that they didn't have to package the two separate items in a box. Plus that way, you'd never have to worry about losing the dropper. Just sayin'.)
  • Performance: 5/5

*No, seriously, they don't. Check out this post by Scrangie. This is actually the post that enlightened me as to the existence of thinners. So yeah, a BIG thank you to Scrangie for writing quite possibly one of the most important posts I've ever read. : )