Thursday, March 28, 2013

Zoya - Storm

     Well, I'm finally back! :) I had a wonderful birthday and got to spend some time with people I love, but now it's back to business as usual. Today I'd like to show you the polish I wore on my birthday. I wanted to pick a special polish. Storm, from Zoya's breathtaking Ornate collection, seemed perfect. Black, holo, cool name... Yes, please!


     Storm is a gorgeous black scattered holo. The base is nice and deep, definitely black, not charcoal. The holographic glitter particles give it a "night sky" look. This polish was part of a holiday collection (which happened to be my first Zoyas), but I think you can wear it year round. I had no qualms about wearing it in March. It's such a "Me" polish!

Indirect light

Indirect light
     Indoors, Storm mostly looks like a black polish with tiny silver glitter. Sometimes, the holo shows when certain lighting hits it the right way, but it's amazing in the sun. Application was a breeze, as was removal. After all the glitter I've been wearing lately, I literally breathed a sigh of relief when I realized how effortless this was to take off. The formula was perfect, in my opinion. No pooling, dragging, or streaking. I wore two coats and was surprised at how smooth and glossy it was on its own. Still, I slapped on a layer of Seche Vite, because top coat is a necessity for me.

With flash

With flash
     I wore this polish for four days, including a super busy night at work. I ended up with only one chip, on my dominant hand, but tipwear... oh, man. Wrapping your tips is a must with this one. I didn't have the worst tipwear, but it was really noticeable to me, black polish and all. I must admit, these photos were pretty hard for me to come by. It rained for most of my birthday. (Thank you, crazy Florida weather!) Of course, I had picked out this polish ahead of time, and it was the only polish I brought out of town with me. Holo polish + no sunlight = just my luck. Lol. I guess I did go with a polish named Storm...

     One last pic, nice and blurry to show this momma throwing off some rainbows. Love it. (Storm is available from Zoya for $8). Anyways, I'm glad to be back. I've got some springy colours to wear and major birthday haulage on its way, so keep an eye out!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Daily Lacquer - Artemis

     So, I should be packing right now, but here I am blogging... I wanted to get in a post before I leave town for a couple of days and don't have internet access through my computer. My birthday is this Saturday, and the boyfriend and I are taking a road trip to spend some time with my dad and nephew. Just two more days left of my twenties! Some people might get sad about that, but I'm actually pretty excited. The real issue is what to wear on my nails when I start a new decade of my life. ;) Hmm...

     Today's polish is Artemis, from Daily Lacquer's Outer Planets Collection. Outer Planets is one of a few collections Daily Lacquer has that was inspired by Sailor Moon. I gotta say, I looove Sailor Moon! I remember rushing home from school to watch it before I had to go to ballet or work or whatever else I was jamming into my schedule. Artemis was one of the cats in the anime. (Another was Luna, my kitty's namesake. Hopefully I'll get to show you Daily Lacquer's polish based on that character sometime.)

     Artemis is a white crelly packed with blue and holo glitters. There are different sizes and shades of hex and circle glitters, as well as stars and moons. There's also a pretty colour-shifting blueish shimmer running through it. You can layer this one over another polish or build it up to opacity. Personally, I hate seeing the larger glitters getting swallowed by several coats of polish and creating lumps, so I layered it over white. This is one coat of Artemis over two coats of OPI Alpine Snow. (Sidenote: If you're looking for the perfect white polish, Alpine Snow is not it. It's a streaky mess that is somehow both watery and gooey at the same time. It's also a stark correction fluid white, which is what I wanted for this mani, so I decided to use it despite its flaws.) Most of the larger glitters came out on their own. I only had to place a few strategic glitters, but fishing wasn't an issue. A coat each of Gelous and Seche Vite smoothed the shaped glitters and enhanced the shimmer.

     I didn't expect to, but I had a hard time photographing this polish. Between, the shimmer, the white, and the holo glitters reflecting the sun, my camera was not happy. Most of my pics came out blurry or stark white and flat looking. I tried again later with lower lighting, and that's what you see here. I also had problems holding the bottle. Daily Lacquer bottles are super cute, with a different colour bow tied on for each collection, but I felt really awkward trying to position my hand around the bottle shape. Still, extremely pretty packaging.

     The slightly blurry pic above shows off the lovely shimmer. I'm a big fan of white and blue combos, as well as shaped glitter, so I found this polish to be a sparkly and fun one. I know it's not a super mature polish, but hey, Sailor Moon! Daily Lacquer is a line after my own heart. They've had more than one collection based on Sailor Moon, another based on Moulin Rouge, and a Buddy the Elf collection that I sadly missed out on. (I've also heard that there's going to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection. Total OMG.) If you love glitter, you need to check these babies out!

     Artemis is available from Daily Lacquer here for $10. Hope everyone has an awesome weekend! I'm looking forward to cake. ;)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pretty & Polished - Tart

     Happy Vernal Equinox, lovies! In celebration of the first day of Spring, I have a beautiful polish to show you that I think is perfect for the season: Pretty & Polished Tart. I'm warning you now, I adore this one! Commence gushing...

     Tart is my favourite shade of light purple. It looks slightly more pink or blue tinged depending on the lighting and angle. It also has an amazing blue to purple shimmer that gives it an iridescent glow, which I absolutely love. (It makes me all nostalgic for high school in the 90's, when anything iridescent was sooo cool. Lol.) My bottle was packed with glitter. Packed. Yellow, blue, purple, red, white, and pink glitter of all different sizes. Fishing was unnecessary, even for the large white hexes. There are also larger pink hexes in this, but I didn't get any on this hand. Surprisingly, all that glitter spread out nicely and didn't affect application! A coat each of Gelous and Seche Vite and this was perfectly smooth and shiny.

     Tart was love at first brush stroke. A lot of polishes look lovely in the bottle, but this one was actually a joy to apply. It was a little bit sheer but went on so perfectly. It went exactly where I wanted it to and pretty much applied itself. Not thick at all, but not runny, and no glitter struggles. (I did have a teeny bit of clean up, but I apparently missed a little shimmer smudge which I didn't see until after I took pics. Je suis désolé.) I left this at two coats, because I thought it looked more delicate that way. I know it looks like I have tipwear or shrinkage in these pics, but I promise it looked great in real life. I didn't really have any visible nail line, but I wasn't worried about that in this case.

     I can't explain how much I love this polish. I already can't wait to wear it again. It's just so gosh darn pretty. The boyfriend and I went to breakfast this morning and our half awake server stopped mid-sentence to ask me about my nails and polish. When I told her that I do my nails myself, she asked me if I had my own nail shop. I took this as a major compliment. After she walked away, the BF started laughing and said that I could start my own shop, I certainly had enough nail polish! Gah. At least he didn't tell her my secret. Lol. For the record, the BF whole-heartedly approved of this shade. He even asked me a few questions about it, so I know he was honestly interested. ;)

     Pretty & Polished Tart has been brought back for a limited time and is available here for $9. Get it while you still can!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Pretty & Polished - Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

     Hope everyone had a great weekend and made it through Monday with a smile. I personally love Mondays. Nothing like a fresh start to the week! (It also doesn't hurt that I have the day off from work. Lol.) One more green mani to show you today and some general blabbing about the blog.

     Pretty & Polished Kiss Me, I'm Irish! is the polish I was wearing on St. Patrick's day. I also wore it to work the day before, on "St. Practice Day." I figured the pretty green would help distract from when my hands inevitably got dyed green from the food colouring we were putting in the beer. ;) It's a fun holiday to bartend but certainly has its downsides.

     Kiss Me, I'm Irish! consists of small matte green and white micro glitters in a clear base. I had originally planned on wearing it layered over a green base to make removal easier, but I was hopped up on cold meds and didn't trust the steadiness of my hands. I figured that wearing the glitter by itself would result in a more forgiving application. So, this is three coats of polish. You can still see a little bit of nail peeking through, but it wasn't noticeable in person.

     Application was easy. The polish went exactly where I wanted it to and didn't require any clean up. It definitely had some texture to it. I used a coat of Gelous and another of Seche Vite to smooth things out. By the second day of wear (when these pics were taken), my nails were feeling bumpy again. Oh, you hungry little glitters. Including base coat, this mani consisted of 6 layers, so I'm surprised that I only got one chip while at work. It did start to lift on one of the fingers on my dominant hand by the end of the night, but managed to not peel off. Removal was, well, not fun. I'll be trusting my first instinct and layering this next time.

     You can see the glitters better here. From a distance, they combine into a kinda grassy look. Up close, you can see white glitter (which sometimes looks silvery), green glitter, and slightly larger more cool toned green glitter. So pretty! As much as I like sparkle, I'm honestly a fan of matte glitter.

     So, I'm sure you've noticed that my hands look lobstery in these pics. A little about that... I don't really have any photo editing software. I can do some basic colour correcting, but that's about it. My camera isn't fancy. I have some art training, but no photography background. I know that there are blogs out there with fantastic, flawless photographs. This is not one of them.

     My photos have been taken in daylight so far, but I don't see that being the norm. It's just not practical for me. I normally polish my nails after I get off work, which is anywhere between 2 and 4 AM. Yes, AM. Gotta love that bartender vampire schedule. Taking daylight pictures means snapping a bunch of random pics right before I leave for work and praying that some of them end up being usable. I plan on working on some sort of lighting set-up that I can use at night, when my manis are still fresh.

     Also, I don't plan on doing much actual "swatching." I love when bloggers do posts showcasing full collections, but it's just not something I can do. My hands get beat up enough at work as it is. They wouldn't survive swatching. :( My posts will show you the polishes that I actually wear. On the plus side, I'll be able to comment on how they hold up in the real world. Still, I'd be totally down for doing posts with comparison requests.

     Well, I think that's enough for today! I'll leave you with one last picture. :)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

China Glaze - Running in Circles

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, lovies! Hope everyone is having a great day and celebrating safely. This holiday is close to my heart. Unfortunately, I'm only celebrating in spirit. Allergies, asthma, and crazy Florida weather have combined to leave me nice and sick for the past couple of days. I've pretty much just been waking up to go to work and passing back out when I go home. I have today off, so I'm putting my rest time to good use and actually getting some posts up!

    In the St. Patty's spirit, I've got a gorgeous green polish to show you today. China Glaze Running in Circles is definitely an attention grabber. I wore this for two days at work and got so many compliments. One of my coworkers actually stopped a story mid-sentence to comment on my nails. She was distracted by the shiny. ;)

     Running in Circles is a beautiful bright green glassfleck shimmer. It has a bit of a golden flash and is just so bright and stunning. I loved this on. It was more opaque than I thought it would be and covered fully in only two coats. The formula was wonderful and there were no problems with application. (Okay, there was one problem, but it wasn't the fault of the polish itself. My brush was a little wonky. Actually, about half of my brushes from China Glaze's Cirque du Soleil collection were messed up. A couple of them were so bad that I actually took scissors to them to trim the frayed parts. Not the end of the world, but I hadn't read about anyone else having this problem, so I thought I'd mention it. This particular brush left me with a little more clean-up than normal, so I apologize for the little gold specks that just didn't want to come off my skin...)

     This polish wore pretty well. After a busy night at work, I only had one chip on my dominant hand. Patched it up when I got home. The next night was even busier and left me with a chip on my other hand. I can't totally blame this on the polish though. I might have added a little too much thinner to my bottle of Seche Vite. Whoops. Tipwear was minimal. Removal was easy. Not creme finish easy, but still easy. I was careful with the cotton pads so that I wouldn't be left with tiny gold sparkles everywhere.

     One last pic to show you how pretty it is! If you love greens, Running in Circles is definitely one that I would recommend. It was released last year and should still be pretty easy to find.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pretty & Polished - Irish Brawn

     Well, I haven't been feeling too great the past couple of days, so no posts. Medicine free at the moment, so I'm going to try to write this before I have to go back to feeling loopy. I apologize if it doesn't end up being completely coherant. ;)

     Today's polish is Irish Brawn by Pretty & Polished. It's one of their St. Patrick's Day polishes. St. Patrick's Day is very special to me, because my father's side of the family is very proudly Irish. I grew up learning about the history and struggles of the Irish people, both in the United States and the old country. This little pretty was made "to signify the amazing strength of the Irish Immigrants here in America."

    Irish Brawn is a black jelly with three types of green glitter, including the ever popular circle glitter! I used three coats here. I probably could have just done two if I had been more careful. The black ended up being pretty solid and dark with three coats, but it didn't loose the jelly look completely or swallow the glitters. You could also layer this over a solid black if you don't have the patience for jellies or want a more opaque look. Consistency and application were both great. The bottle is packed with glitter, so I didn't have any problems getting some on the brush. Still, the jelly base applied smoothly. There was a little bit of texture because of all that awesome glitter, but nothing a coat of Seche Vite couldn't fix.

     This isn't the best picture, but I think it shows the depth of the polish. Look at that pretty green glitter! I love black and near-black polish, but don't wear it a lot. I have to wear all black at work, and solid black polish makes me look too goth. I look goth enough as it is, with my vampire schedule, dark hair, and pale Irish skin. This polish is perfect for me. :) There is just enough beautiful sparkle and colour to make this something I can wear whenever.

     Final verdict? I love this polish! I also love the company that makes it. Pretty & Polished was the first non-mainstream brand that I bought from. I was hesistant at first to buy indies, but I'm so glad that I gave it a go. It probably helped a lot that I started with this brand, because all of my purchases from them have been nothing short of fantastic. I now have a growing Pretty & Polished army, which you'll see more of on here for sure.

Irish Brawn is still available from Pretty & Polished for $9.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Nails: Zoya Neely w/ Dollish Polish Creme De Menthe

Well, lovies, here we go...

     I've been considering starting a blog for a little while now and have decided to just dive on in, sink or swim style. I really want a spot to share my love of my "colours" (my boyfriend's term for my ever expanding stash) and interact with people who love nail polish as much as I do. There are a couple of girls (and one guy) at work that have shown interest in my ever changing manicures and nail polish in general, but I've been hesitant to "out" myself as being a little obsessed. Mostly, I just interrupt my boyfriend while he's playing xbox and force him to look at my nails. He politely assesses them because he loves me, but I suspect that he secretly thinks that I'm crazy. Anyway, more about the blog and what to expect from me later. On to the polish!

     My idea here was to create "Mint Chocolate Chip" nails. I love anything sweet. Chocolate, cake, cookies, candy, pastries, ice cream... I have a sweet tooth of Buddy the Elf proportions. Mint chocolate chip was my favourite flavour of ice cream as a child, so it gets the honour of inspiring my first published manicure. (Please excuse the tipwear and cuticles. I bartend long shifts, which is really rough on my hands. I'd already worn this for two days at work before I took these pictures. I kinda figured that if I kept waiting for the perfect opportunity to start this blog, it would never happen. So, yeah, I've set the bar low.)

     I started with a base of Zoya Neely from this spring's Lovely Collection. Zoya describes it as a "full coverage earliest spring green in a glossy creme finish." I'd say that's pretty spot on. Two coats was all I needed. The formula was wonderful, and I had no problems with streaking. All my recent Zoya purchases have been a joy to apply and wear time has been impressive.

     The glitter topper is Dollish Polish Creme De Menthe from the 2013 Valentine's collection. It's a sparkly mix of different sizes and shades of green and brown glitter with some white bars thrown in. I know it's not available anymore, but due to some issues, I wasn't able to get it before Valentine's Day and am only now wearing it. It's super shiny and also pre-St. Patrick's Day appropriate, so I don't mind that much. (Sidenote: Dolly's customer service is pretty wonderful.) Application was easy. The glitter payoff great, so I only needed one coat. I didn't even have to do any dabbing to get the large hexes or bars!

     I do have to mention that I've worn this combo for four days now without any chipping and only some inconspicuous tipwear. That's pretty miraculous considering the 30 hours of bartending I did in that time period. The constant handwashing, contact with cleaning chemicals and alcohol, endless amounts of glasswear to wash, and banging my fingers against numerous glass, metal, plastic, and rubber surfaces... CND Stickey kept it anchored, a coat of Gelous smoothed the glitter, and Seche Vite was, well, the chemical filled awesomeness that is Seche Vite.

     Well, that's it for now. I'll leave you (my currently non-existant audience) with a picture of my darling Luna, who is the partial inspiration for the title of this blog. :)