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.