Monday, January 30, 2012

I Guess "WTF Is A Pinkie Pie!?" Was The Wrong Answer.

The other day, I posted on my Facebook that I didn't know what color to paint my nails next. And within seconds, my friend, Vince, posted, "PINKIE PIE NAILS!".
I'm not really up on trends, so I had no idea what he was talking about. But I rocked my Google-fu, and figured out that Pinkie Pie is apparently one of the characters on the My Little Pony TV show.

Now, I definitely haven't have the time or patience to do anything requiring much skill this week--work's been absolutely ridonkulous--so I knew this manicure needed to be pretty simple. But I didn't even have the right colors to do a Pinkie Pie manicure, so I had to specifically go out to find a suitable pink. And I don't even like pinks that much. But now I own two more (one of which I didn't even need for this manicure), because I have zero will power.

Anyway, Vince, if you're reading this, I'm sorry if this isn't Pinkie Pie-ish enough for you, but it's all you're getting...

For this mani, I used OPI Ate Berries In The Canaries, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Bubblegum Pink, OPI Just Groovy, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow. Plus the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat and Top Coat, which I'm hating more and more, but I'm not even going to get into that right now.

Ate Berries In The Canaries is pretty much my favorite pink polish. Like I've already mentioned, I'm not terribly into pinks, but ABITC isn't a pinky-pink. It's a juicy, magenta creme. Except... more berry-y. Yeah. I don't know. But it flatters my skin, and it's not too girly, and I can't help but love it. So that's the main color I used for this manicure.

On my accent nail ('cause I loves me a good accent nail), I used the Bubblegum Pink, which is a light pink with shimmer that's more subtle on the nail than in the bottle, and then I added Pinkie Pie's yellow and blue balloons with the Mellow Yellow and Just Groovy:

I don't know if you guys can see it, but my fingers look so grubby to me in these pics, 'cause it was right after I had a miserable time removing brown nail polish.
Artificial light, no flash.

Lol, my balloons are blobby, but I don't mind.
Artificial light, flash.

 I don't know why my polishes refuse to dry properly lately. It's gotta be the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat. These nails had hours and hours to dry before I went to bed. There's no reason they should've gotten all sheet-marked like this.
Direct natural light.

True My Little Pony-related story: When I was little, I used to have Hoppy the kangaroo, and I loved her. And then, one day, my step-cousin told me that if I didn't give her my Hoppy to keep, she was going to tell her mom that I wasn't sharing. And I was terrified of her mom. So I gave her my Hoppy. And I never saw Hoppy again... *sniffle*

Anyway, I don't know. I really just wanted to get this post up and be done with it, so I'd have one less thing to stress about (like I said, work's been insane--I was actually in tears today). And I feel bad, because my posts are more and more rambly and less and less about the nail polish. But I guess that's kind of how I am, so...

Ummmm. Yeah. Pinkie Pie nails. Kind of.

Also: Feel free to check out my brand spankin' new Real Cute Nails Facebook page.

Annnd I'm done.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This Post Has Nothing To Do With Nails.

Good gravy, this week at work has been hell. One product goes out of stock, and I end up having to personally reply to/send out hundreds and hundreds of emails, on top of my usual work load.


*crumbles into little pile of dust*

*is blown away by sudden gust of wind*

I've been so busy and stressed that I've been slacking on my nails and this blog. But I finally got around to taking off my Fingers-inspired mani tonight--after almost a week--and it was goddamn awful.

I don't know if it was the Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat or the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, or the Kleancolors, or my nail polish remover, or the barometric pressure, or what, but as the polish dissolved, it turned into this sticky, smeary, almost greasy-seeming mess that got all over my cuticles and skin and wouldn't come off. And it looked like skidmarks. It was disgusting.

It took some doing, but I finally got my fingers cleaned up, and slapped down a new manicure, which I'll try to post tomorrow or Tuesday.

Also: I guess the title of this post is a lie. Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, for today, because I don't want you to think I've forgotten about you, you kooky buncha kids, here are some non-nail-related pictures from The Not So Secret Computer Files Of Aren L. that I hope you find amusing or interesting or informational. Better post soon...

My soulmate.

This potato chip is smiling. IT'S SMILING.
This is what I look like when I'm working.

Try some of this delicious pineapple-shaped cheese dip. Note the real pineapple top for authenticity. Did somebody say cocktail time? ; )

Speaks for itself.

That face I'm making in my bio pic? I've been making it since the beginning.


I love nature babies. <3

Looking at this picture is making me sad that I don't have cupcakes RIGHT. NOW. : (

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Still Blame Blogger. (Also Known As: I Love Italics.)

You guys have no idea how stoked I am whenever you comment. I get ridiculously excited and feel like I'm the champion of the internet, because there are people out there that like my posts enough to take the time to drop me a line.

So, when I somehow accidentally deleted a comment from one of my favorite nail bloggers, Fingers from Fingers Polish Mania, on my last post, I legit felt super awful.

Soooo, to make it up to her, I decided to do a Fingers-inspired mani for today. No glitter, with stamping, and, because I know it's her favorite: BROWN.

For today's manicure, I used Kleancolor Dark Brown--a, well, dark brown--and Kleancolor Cappuccino--a medium brown. I also picked up a new bottle of topcoat, but Jewel was all out of my usual Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat, so I grabbed a bottle of Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, to go with the Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat I've had to use as of late.

I don't usually wear brown polish. I've owned a few over the years, but much like my dislike of yellow polish because it reminds me of nail fungus and pee (real mature, I know), brown polishes have always kinda reminded me of, well, poop.

And Kleancolor Dark Brown and Kleancolor Cappuccino are both cremes, so I was sitting there, contemplating this manicure, thinking, "Great. There's not even any shimmer or anything to make it look like PRETTY poop.", but the idea for the manicure was already stuck in my brain, so I went for it.

The first coat of Dark Brown went on looking like a thin coat of chocolate syrup. Cappuccino went on looking like... Frappuccino (I don't drink cappuccino, so I don't know what it looks like, but I have been known to splurge on a Frappuccino every once in a great while, so...).

"Okay," I thought, "Chocolate and Frappuccino. I can work with chocolate and Frappuccino", and that made me feel a little less poo-y.

The second coat of Dark Brown darkened the color quite a bit, much closer to how it looks in the bottle. I still had a few thinnish spots, but I snapped a few pictures anyway.

Mmm, brown-y!
Artificial light, no flash.

With the flash on, the Dark Brown looks much closer to the color it looked at one coat. Just FYI.
Artificial light, flash.

I know how long Kleancolors take to dry, so I stopped at two coats at 10pm, because I knew I'd have to stay up for a few more hours just to let my nails dry enough that they wouldn't be destroyed when I went to bed. I ended up staying up until five o'clock in the morning, and they were still dentable, so I kind of dozed while trying to lay very still for two hours until I had to get up for work at seven.

Luckily (?), I was able to keep myself from falling into a deep enough sleep that I might accidentally move and ruin everything, so my nails were still in good shape when I got up. I was pretty tired after my morning emails, though, so I laid back down around ten. When I got back up at two, there were sheet marks mashed into my right pinky nail.

Twelve full hours after I'd applied just two coats (well, plus a layer of quick-dry base coat), and my nails had STILL dented. WTF, Kleancolor? I love your colors and glitters, but damn. Do something about your drying time. And your smell. Thanks.

I'd been planning on adding a third coat to cover those thin spots I mentioned earlier anyway, though, so I wasn't too concerned about the sheet marks.

After a third coat on each nail, I stamped my accent nail using Dark Brown and Bundle Monster plate BM21.

The stamp is a wee bit crooked, which tells me I'm out of practice and need to do more stamping! ; )
Natural light.

Artificial light, flash.
Artificial light, no flash.
Even though I'd never used this stamp before, I cleaned it with nail polish remover before stamping. I guess I must've still missed some silver polish that had gotten smeared on it from when I used one of the other stamps on the plate, though, so I ended up with a bit of silver in the circles near the tip of my nail. : P
Initially, I was super frustrated with my crooked stamping and the bit of silver that my stamper picked up. I wanted this manicure to be perfect, and it's just not. But the longer I wear it, the more I don't care. Because it turns out, I like brown polish. And it's not poopy at all. It actually looks really nice!

So, Fingers, I hope you like this manicure, imperfect as it is. Alllll part of my charm. ; )

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sometimes I'm Willing To Settle.

Oh, weekends, why do you go by so fast? Oh, yeah, because I have to work seven days a week to keep up with all the customer support emails that have been coming in lately. Greaaat. (Sigh.)

Anywho, back when I first started getting more serious about nail polish, I came across a bunch of reviews and posts about Essie Starry Starry Night, and instantly fell in love.

This was also right around the time I learned about matte polishes and matte topcoats, and I desperately wanted to do a mattified manicure with Starry Starry Night, so I scampered off to buy Essie Matte About You (plus a backup bottle), since I figured it was way more cost effective to buy a topcoat that I could use to mattify all my polishes, instead of investing in just a few matte polishes.

Sadly, I was not able to procure a bottle of Starry Starry Night, since it costs about a zillion dollars on Ebay, and I draw the line at right around $60 (hellooooo, Clarins 230).

So, when China Glaze came out with its Metro collection, I spotted Skyscraper, and immediately thought, "Close enough!".

Now, I know there are some people out there who are kind of sticklers about dupes, and I'm definitely not claiming that Essie Starry Starry Night and China Glaze Skyscraper are dupes by any means. But they do both have silver glitter in a darkish blue jelly base, and are similar enough that Skyscraper has sated my lemming for Starry Starry Night.

I mean, if I can ever get my greedy little mits on a bottle of SSN for a reasonable price, I'd for sure snatch it up, but as long as I've got Skyscraper, I won't be totally heartbroken if that never happens.

China Glaze Skyscraper is chockablock full of tiny silver glitters in a dark blue jelly base. I'd almost call the color a dark denim blue. Application wasn't great. The first coat went on streaky as all get-out, and even the second coat didn't go on as smoothly or easily as I'd hoped, but three coats was enough to even it out and build it up to opaque.*

You can just barely make out my nail lines in this picture, so I guess three coats wasn't 100% opaque in extremely bright light, but for all intents and purposes, three coats works.
Artificial light, flash.

To my eyes, this is the most color-accurate picture. This polish seems to photograph slighter lighter than it is in brighter lights.
Artificial light, no flash.

Kinda blurry, sorry.
Indirect natural light.

I had the same ol' problem with this polish shrinking after I applied my topcoat. I'm thinking it might be time to just bite the bullet and buy myself a new bottle. I don't think I've ever actually finished a bottle of topcoat. They always get too stringy and globby about 2/3 of the way through. What's up with that, topcoat!??

Anyway, about twenty four hours after I did this mani, I decided to slap on my Essie Matte About You, and finally rock that matte "starry" manicure I've been craving for ages.

That's some serious shrinkage, right there.
Artificial light, flash.

Artificial light, no flash.

Indirect natural light.

I can never really decide if I like matte manicures. When I'm planning them, I always think, "This is going to look so awesome and tuff!", and then, when I actually have it on my hands, I'm like, "This is falling way flat.". Of all the polishes I've mattified, though (all, like, three of them), this is my favorite so far.

Now that I've got these pictures up, and I'm looking at them in all their gigantic macro-shot glory, I'm kind of grossed out by how much of my tips are showing, so I think I'm going to go take this polish of right now.

What are your thoughts on matte polishes and matte topcoats? What's your favorite matte polish, or your favorite mattified manicure?

*I'm still using Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat for now.  Still gotta order a new NailTek II.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Is A Test. I Repeat: This Is Only A Test.

No pictures in this post, sorry. I'm working on setting up a feed to my Twitter, so this post is just to test whether my posts are being pushed the way I want.

If any of you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @cest_la_vigne. I don't tweet very often, but I'm still pretty awesome, so...

ETA: Alright, sweet. Looks like my Twitter feed's up and running! I AM TAKING THE INTARWEBS BY STORM!!!! BWAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

ETA some more: New design is GOOOOOOOOOO!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't Worry About It, That'll Buff Right Out.

I'm sick today. I had plans to go visit my sister, but woke up feeling like a bag of smashed ass, so I had to cancel. I'm freezing cold, but sweating; my joints hurt; I'm sniffly; and I just generally feel like crap.

Plus my doctor's office called me today with the results of the CT scan I had last week. They confirmed that I had a big, ol' stone in my bladder (when I told the doctor I had passed it on my own on Monday, he actually said, "Dang!"), and that I have another stone--much smaller at about 1mm--still chillin' out in my right kidney.

Plus I got a bonus health update: Apparently, I have multiple cysts on both of my ovaries. Multiple cysts. On both ovaries. Because when I do something, I fucking go all out. S'how I roll.

So, in an effort to take my mind off of my health issues--which obviously isn't working, since I'm sitting here posting about them--I decided to do another blog update.

So, in a way, my shitty health is actually benefiting you guys. Way to take advantage of my pain. I thought we were friends... *glares*



... *still glaring*



After this post, I'll be all caught up with the pictures I've taken, so unless I start slacking off and give myself time to build up another store of pics, you'll be getting posts as I update my manicures from now on. In fact, I'm actually still wearing the mani in the pics I'm posting today. It's been about four days, though, so I think I'm going to take it off tonight.

First up, a nudie pic:

Artificial light, no flash

Normally, I wouldn't post a picture of my bare nails, but they've been in really good shape lately, so I'm feeling proud. Plus I needed a new nail buffer the other day, so my boyfriend went to the store and picked me up a Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer, which boasts that it will make your nails 400% shinier.

At first, I was like, "Pffff, yeah, right. A two sided buffer is totally gonna work that well. *rolls eyes*".

Then I tried it. And holy friggin' shiny, Batman! A couple of swipes with the rough side and a few back and forths with the smooth side, and I'll be gosh darned if my nails weren't exactly 400% shiner.

Okay, so I have no idea how they actually measure just how much shinier nails get after buffing, so I can't say for sure that my nails were 400% shinier. But they were CRAZY shiny, as you can see. Like, shiner than any nail buffer has gotten them before. And it was super easy and fast. Plus I'd buffed away all the staining (even with base coat, my nails still end up all yellow and funky looking), so my nails looked all clean and nice. So clean and nice, in fact, that I was compelled to take--and share--a nakey nail picture!

So yeah, if you're in the market for a good nail buffer, I'd totally recommend giving the Revlon Crazy Shine Nail Buffer a shot.

Once my nails were buffed smooth, I threw on a coat of my new base--Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat (my NailTek II has gotten all gooey and chunky and weird, and I haven't had a chance to order a new bottle yet, so I'm currently working with what was available at my local drug store)--and then slapped on two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Night Flight.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is my favorite black polish EVER. Love that it's teal-based.
Artificial light, flash.
Then, because I can't seem to stop layering with glitters lately, I added a coat of Kleancolor Shooting Star, which is silver glitter with larger orangy-red, warm yellow, and aqua blue hex glitters in an orange-tinted clear base, on nine nails.

Over black, you can't see the orange tint of the base, but you can see it in the bottle.
Artificial light, flash.

The colors in Shooting Star make me think of circus clowns. Except that clowns scare me, and this polish does not.
Natural light, full sun.
On my accent nail, I did a coat of Kleancolor City Never Sleeps, which is the same makeup as Shooting Star, except in different colors--aqua blue glitter with larger pale orange, pale lime green, and magenta hex glitters in a very pale purple-tinted clear base.

For some reason, the base of this polish looks and photographs as a weird, mucky brown in the bottle. I promise you it's, like, a lilac-tinted clear base, though.
Artificial light, flash.

It was so cold outside when I snapped these pictures. I literally just stuck both arms out the front door and took pictures blindly, since I didn't want to stick my head out to see what I was actually shooting. Luckily, I'm pretty good at aiming!
Natural light, full sun.

Natural light, combo full sun/shade.
My boyfriend said that he likes the Shooting Star better than the City Never Sleeps. I'd have to disagree with him. While the colors in Shooting Star are pretty fun, I think the colors in City Never Sleeps are even funner. And funner is always better.

While fun, this isn't my favorite combination. I mean, it's cute, and if I ever go to the circus, I'd totally wear this mani again, but I crave manicures that leave me gazing at my fingers in awe and wonderment, and unfortunately, this mani fell just a wee bit short of that.

I've also noticed that some of my polishes tend to shrink after I apply my topcoat, which sucks. I currently use Sally Hansen Dries Instantly 30 Second Top Coat, which I've thinned it with a bit of Seche Restore because it got kind of thick and gloopy. It doesn't shrink all of my polishes, but it does shrink most of them, at least a little. For some reason, it seems to shrink my Sally Hansen Instra-Dris worse than any of my other polishes, which means this mani ended up looking like it had a week's worth of tip wear after less than twenty four hours, and it's been bugging the crap out of me.

Does anyone else have this problem? I'm thinking it might be the combination of fast dry top coat + Seche Restore. Maybe if I get a regular top coat, shrinking won't be as much of an issue. But (siiiigh) that means waiting for what seems like forever for my nails to dry, and I'm sooooo impatient.

Grrrrrr. My life is so hard. *fails and flops*

Anyway, I should wrap this up. My poor betta, Aldo, is staring at me right now, like, "Pleeeeaaaaase clean my tank, woman!", and I have to do that before I can take off my nail polish. I don't wanna get polish remover residue in my little buddy's tank!

So I'm off for now. I wonder what color my next post will be about. : )

1/20/2012 ETA: I was just uploading some new pictures (!!!), and I found a couple of pictures I'd taken a day or two after the pictures I posted here. You can see the shrinky tip wear, but it's such a good, clear shot of the glitters that I just had to tack it onto this post:

Indoors, natural light.
Okay, that's all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Didn't Anyone Ever Tell Me That Funfetti Is Just Vanilla Cake Mix With Jimmies In It? I Could've Been Making Ghetto Confetti Cakes This whole Time, You Jerks!

Okay, so. This has nothing to do with nails, but it does have to do with one of the main reasons I feel shitty all the time, which is why I never feel like posting. And it's kind of gross, but hey, this is my blog, and I'll share what I want.

Anyway, yesterday, I finally passed the kidney stone that's been putting me through hell for the past several months. Seven goddamn millimeters long, and four millimeters in diameter. And sharp and jagged as all get-out. So yeah, while it's been super fun having that little bugger tearing through my insides, I'm sososososo glad that it's finally out.

So glad, in fact, that I insisted on baking a cake to commemorate the occasion. My very first Funfetti cake. Which was not only delicious, but fun to look at! If I could, I'd share my cake with you, my dear, loyal readers. I still have sixteen pieces left, and after demolishing not one, not two, but three pieces by myself last night, I'm kinda caked-out, so there's more than enough to go around.

So yeah. Like I said, it has nothing to do with nails, but I'm telling you anyway, because I'm still excited about my little kidney baby (I named it Martin Luther King Jr. Jr. in honor of its birthday) and about cake. Because I love cake. You have no idea. Really.

Okay, okay, okay, I'll stop talking about my kidney stone cake and get on with this post. Sheesh. You guys are picky today...

So. Much like my last post, I'm not thrilled with the quality of today's pictures, but they're all I've got, so we're all just gonna have to suck it up. And since I only took, like, one and a half pictures of each manicure (okay, maybe I took three or four, but some of them really sucked), I'm going to post two manis today--for a staggering total of four pictures. Lame, I know. I'll try to do better next time.

(Well, I mean, not next time, since I already have some new mani shots waiting to be edited, and they may suck, too. But the next time I take pictures, I'll try to do better. More shots, better quality, etc.)

Right. Anyway. So. The first mani I'm posting today utilized five of my Kleancolor Metallics: Metallic Aqua, Metallic Blue, Metallic Purple, Metallic Fushcia (damn you and your wonky spelling, Kleancolor!), and Metallic Pink. Although it's not actually ombre, since the colors aren't all from the same family, I decided to dub this mani "Techno Ombre".

Now, back when I wore Kleancolor Metallic Green, which is one of my favorite polishes ever, I think, I noticed that adding a topcoat seriously transformed the finish of the polish. It went from being a kind of flat looking lime green metallic to some kind of deep and beautiful acid green anodized aluminum finish that I just couldn't get enough of. So when I ordered the rest of the Kleancolor Metallics collection, I figured the rest of them would react similarly to topcoat.

Well, I was mostly right. Sadly, of the eleven metallics, there are three of them (I think) that don't amazingly transform after topcoat is applied. And of of those three, one is Metallic Aqua, which kind of breaks my heart, 'cause if Aqua had a finish like Green does... *drools*

Annnnnyway, the reason I'm telling you all this is because the picture I have of my Techno Ombre mani is a side by side shot.

The left side is the colors with no topcoat (I think each color is two coats--these have great coverage). The right side is with topcoat.
Both taken in artificial light, with flash.

It's not as easy to see in the pictures as in real life--it's most apparent on with Metallic Fushcia and Metallic Purple in the picture--but once you add a topcoat to these colors, the finish kind of melts into... I don't even know. Pure awesomeness, I guess.

Except for Metallic Pink. That one doesn't get to be ranked as "pure awesome" for one huge reason: Although the finish does "melt" and get all deep and pretty looking, it also completely changes color! I don't know if this is just because of the topcoat I use, or if it's a problem with the polish itself, but adding topcoat to Metallic Pink turns it from sort of a cool based pink to a weird yellow-y pink that my camera always wants to pick up as borderline orange.

Wtf, Pink? Seriously!? Left: without topcoat, right: with topcoat.
Artificial light, flash.

I was actually pretty disappointed about the pink thing, since the way the color changed kind of messed up my color blend in this mani. But I still think it looked pretty cool overall.

A few of these colors (namely Metallic Teal, Metallic Blue, and Metallic Pink) did stain my nails a bit, even with basecoat. And after removal, my cuticles were all different colors for a day or so. But I like the finish on these puppies, so they'll definitely maintain their place in my polish rotation.

The second polish I have for you today is OPI Designer... De Better! from their Muppets collection. My dad and his girlfriend, Tracey, gave me the Muppettes mini collection--containing Designer... De Better!, Warm & Fozzie, Wokka Wokka!, and Excuse Moi!--for Christmas, and of the four colors, I was immediately drawn to Excuse Moi! (mmmmmglitter) and Designer... De Better!

I've seen a lot of other reviews call Designer a silver foil, but to me, it looks much more champagne-based. In some lights, it does look silver, but, to my eyes, in the vast majority of lights, it has a warmer color to it than I'd feel comfortable calling "silver". Not warm enough to be considered pale gold, but somewhere between pale gold and silver.

Now, normally, I think a champagne color would have me all "Meh.", but Designer... De Better! also has pinky-copper bits in there, too, and for me, that's what makes this color stand out. It's still a bit on the conservative side for my tastes, but it's far from blah.

I only have the mini-bottles (for now...), so I could only fit two nails on the bottle for pictures.
Artificial light, no flash.

Oh, OPI. Thank you so much for paying tribute to The Muppets. I LOVE YOU, JIM HENSON!
Artificial Light, flash.

I used three coats of this color for full coverage, and the finish was so nice and smooth. I think maybe I'm just so used to adding glitter on top of everything these days that I'm getting accustomed to kind of bumpy finishes. Removal was a little annoying, since the little particles really wanted to stick to my nails, but a little bit of elbow grease did the trick.


Oh my God, I hate when I start getting sleepy or distracted while typing up posts and lose my train of thought, but that's exactly what just happened. I yawned, and everything else I was going to say instantly blinked out of my head.

So, uhhhh, yeah. Two manicures. And kidney stones and cake! And I guess that's about it. I'm totally going to wrap this up right now so I can go back to bed for a few hours.

Oh, the joys of working from home. <3

Have a colorful Tuesday, everyone.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm Sorry That My Titles Are Often Non Sequitur-esque. Okay, I'm Not, Really, But... (Also Known As: The Longest Blog Title I'll Probably Ever Have)

I apologize in advance for the quality the pictures in this post. Usually the macro setting on my camera works pretty well, but I'm still figuring out the best lighting for nail shots (probably full sun), as well as how different lighting affects the clarity and color of the pictures. Unfortunately, none of the pictures that I'll be using in this post came out quite as clear as I'd like. Oh well, you live, you learn.


I bought Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink, which is a glitter-beast consisting of magenta-y pink, red, blue, and gold microglitter in a clear base, on the same day that I bought Wet n' Wild Party Of Five Glitters. So late August. And it's just so sparkly and pink and sparkly and glittery and sparkly that I knew right away that it was the polish I'd be wearing on New Year's. So I swatched it on my nail wheel, and then tucked it away for four months.

I was so excited on December 31st when I finally got to pull it out and use it. At first, I thought I would probably have to throw on a base color, so I tried swatching it over a few of my Kleancolor metallics, but in the end, I just ended up using my regular basecoat, four coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink, and two coats of topcoat to even things out (since the glitter is super fine, it's not terribly rough, but it does eat topcoat more than a non-glitter polish would).

Mmmm, blurry.
Indoors, artificial light, no flash.

I'm pretty sure this was after the first coat of topcoat, so you can see that it's still looking not-quite-smooth. Much more color-accurate than the first picture.
Indoors, artificial light, flash.

Mmm, blurry again! A close up, so you can see the glitters better. Not great, but better.
Indoors, artificial light, no flash.

Rockstar Pink gives pretty good coverage with four coats, as you can see. But, with that many coats, (plus two coats of topcoat) it also ends up chipping like crazy after about three days, as I mentioned in my last post.

Removal was tricky. I could've peeled most of it off in chunks by the fourth day, but I don't like what that does to my nails, so I tried the foil method, and I think this is the first time the foil method has ever failed me. So, in the end, I ended up having to scrub the crap out of each nail with two or three cotton balls soaked with remover, and got little, tiny glitters all over the goddamn place. This is NOT my favorite polish to remove.

It is very sparkly (and glittery and sparkly and pink and sparkly), though, and even though I'm not a super pink-y type of girl, I really liked it. At one point, I think I described it to my boyfriend as "Barbie diarrhea". But you know, in a good way.

Will I be wearing it again any time soon? To be honest, probably not, 'cause it was a pain to take off. But it looks so pretty in the bottle and on my fingers that I can't swear it off completely.

Now, usually, I feel so guilty for not posting more often that I end up cramming multiple manis into each post. But I'm cutting myself off at one today. That leaves me with two manis in my "Ready For Blog" folder, so hopefully I'll feel more motivated to post again soon. Hopefully...

Any of you wear any good glitter-bombs lately?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Today’s Post Has Been Brought To You By The Letter Teal.

Some of you may be saying right now, “But Aren, teal’s not a letter!”, and to that, I say, “Well, neither is toast and jam. Let’s move on.”

Today I’ve got three manis for you. I can’t recall exactly how long it’s been since I did two of them, but I’m currently wearing one of them, and I like it. Anyway, I do know the order I wore them in, so I’ll post them in that order.

First up, we have Nicole By OPI My Lifesaver with three coats of Kleancolor Puppy Love and a layer of Essie Matte About You on the accent nail.

My Lifesaver is one of my favorite polishes. I think, overall, teal in general is probably my favorite color for nail polish, and while I have a bunch of similar darker teals, My Lifesaver is the only pastel teal I own. I bought it forever ago, after my boyfriend and I agreed that it was the best color in the Nicole by OPI display at our local Jewel-Osco. At first, I was a little disappointed, because it dries darker than it looks in the bottle. In the bottle, it looks like a kind of soft  50’s teal. Once it dries, it reminds me more of a mix-me-with-pink-plastic-flamingos-wearing-sunglasses teal. (I just realized that that description may only make sense to myself, but just go with it.) But then I realized that I love it even when it's dry, so who cares if it's a little darker than I thought it would be? It's bright and fun and the first time my dad's girlfriend saw me wearing it, she immediately said, "Oh, Aren. That is so you.".

Annnywho, I was kind of just looking for an excuse to give Puppy Love, which is turquoise glitter in a clear (maybe verrrry slightly turquoise-tinted) base, a try, so I did an accent nail. And the combination didn’t thrill me. So I thought that maybe adding a matte topcoat would help, since I usually like the way mattified glitter polishes look, but no. That actually may have made it worse.

Artificial light, no flash. The three nails with just My Lifesaver on them make me so happy. Then the accent nail kills it for me.

Artificial light, flash. I love my nails this length.

 On their own, I think both colors are great. This particular mani didn’t do it for me, though. I hate it when that happens...

Next up is two coats of Sinful Colors Nail Junkie over two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Mint Sprint.

Now, I almost never go to Walgreens. My pharmacy is at CVS and I do my grocery shopping at Jewel-Osco, and those are pretty much the two stores I buy my polishes from (or I just order them online—so much easier). And I don’t even remember what I’d gone to Walgreens for. Iodine, I think? Anyway, as I was walking to the back of the store, I decided to take a detour through the cosmetics section to see what kind of pretties they had. And lo and behold, they had a giant Sinful Colors display! I haven’t seen Sinful Colors in yeaaars (I have three or four of them that I bought about six years ago), and immediately one polish caught my eye.

Nail Junkie is a teal jelly with gold/teal duochrome microglitter and multicolored iridescent glitter. And it’s called Nail Junkie. I wanted it. Badly. (Junkie has a sister--Hottie-- that looked like it had a deep periwinkle jelly base, and I wanted that one too, but not as fiercly). Unfortunately, funds were a bit tight, so I had to put them back and ended up leaving empty handed, since Walgreens was charging an arm and a leg for a tiny bottle of iodine.

I’ve never been one for willpower, though, so a few days later, I scraped together a few spare dollars, and sent my boyfriend back to Walgreens to get me my Nail Junkie.

For the first two days I owned it, I didn’t use it. I just stared at it in the bottle. It’s seriously gorgeous. I hate seeing my nail lines, though, and I’d seen another reviewer say that she needed something like six coats to build it up to almost opaque. And while her nails looked absofuckinglutely beautiful, I didn’t really want to have to do a basecoat, then six coats of polish, then a topcoat. I mean, come on…

So instead, I decided to just layer it over one of my many teal polishes. I realize this takes all the depth out of jellies, and that’s sad, but it kind of had to be done.

Natural light, shade (indoors). I totally forgot to do a bottle shot. Lame.

A closer view of the glitters. Ohhh, my God, my cuticals were so ragged. I'd just pushed them back and, as usual, forgot to moisturize.

The combination of Mint Sprint and Nail Junkie was pretty alright. I think next time, I’ll probably go with a more blue-based teal as a base color. Mint Sprint leans toward green, and I just didn’t feel like it was the ideal combination. Still pretty as heck, though!

And lastly, we have another mani with Mint Sprint as a base. My New Year’s mani (which I'll post in my next entry) was chipping like crazy by Wednesday, and since I had to go out of town that day to see my sister, I didn’t have time to take it off and redo my nails. So instead, I texted her to meet me at the train station with nail polish remover and cotton balls, and I threw my bottle of Mint Sprint in my purse so I could to a quick mani on the fly.

Once we met up, I took off my chippy polish, and threw on a coat of Mint Sprint. No basecoat, no topcoat. Just something to keep my hands from feeling naked. Then my sister presented me with a belated Christmas/Yule gift from her boyfriend ex-boyfriend... it’s complicated. He’d picked out (with my sister’s help) a bottle of L.A. Colors nail polish for me. D'awwwww! I don’t see a name on the bottom of the bottle—it’s just marked BCC 556—but man, oh, man, did he pick a good one (thanks again, Alex!).

L.A. Colors 556 (I’ll just assume that’s its name, though if I could rename it, I’d call it Gaia) is grass green and turquoise microglitter in a clear base. I. Fucking. Love it. I don’t have any other glitter polishes with this combination of colors, and it just makes me ridiculously happy to look at. And, just my luck, the colors look pretty great over Mint Sprint! There I was, thinking I’d have to go around with some half-assed mani for the day, and I ended up with a really cool teal and glitter mani. Sweet!

Natural light, shade (indoors). Mmmmmmm glittery goodness.

Natural light. Why do I not take more pictures in full sun? Possibly because I'm usually nocturnal. But damn they come out nice.
Natural light, shade (indoors). A close up, so you can see my precccccious

I’ll probably wear this mani for a few more days, just because I love this glitter so much. In the meantime, I’ll try to motivate myself to edit the pictures I have waiting in queue to be posted (I think there’s only two mani’s worth of pictures in my To Edit folder right now—I better get crackin’ on wearing more of my untrieds. Maybe work a few oldies but goodies in there, too.)

So, which one of these is your favorite? Did you do anything fun for New Year’s?