Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SOTD: Irish Green, but not Irish Green

For weeks I checked out my local Walgreens and Rite Aid, but I could not find Sinful Colors Irish Green. I really do adore neon colors, so I was looking forward to this one, but I cannot seem to get my hands on it. I would have settled for China Glaze's Four Leaf Clover, since just because of the name, it sounds like a color I would associate with St. Patrick's Day. Well, no luck there either, since no store near me sells China Glaze.

Instead I stopped by my local Claire's on my (other) relentless pursuit in search of a good neon yellow and picked up this neon green as well...

Here is Claire's Lime Yours. This Claire's polish had a label on the bottom of the bottle, and the name does work for this green shade. It looks like a lime green shade in real life. But for some unknown reason, once I uploaded the photos to blogger, the shade of the polish changed colors to a more yellow hue.

See what I mean about the color change? I know neons are hard to capture, but the above bottle pic shows even more yellow than the first photo. So just imagine with me that this shade looks like a bright green liquid highlighter.

For a better color representation follow the link HERE to this website called "COLOURlovers". (On a side note, it's kind of fun to browse around their website, because it's like looking at a ton of Pantone color swatches.) The green swatch I linked to above, looks the closest to what this nail polish looks like in real life.

But, back to the nail polish...

With a top coat (I used Orly Won't Chip), the outcome was a nice smooth neon green after 3 coats. Ignoring the fact that in these photos I look like I have lobster hands because the green polish seems to bring out the pink/red undertones in my skin, this color was very bright and really caught attention, thus making it a fun color to wear for St. Patrick's Day.

Being a true neon, the color dried matte without a top coat, so here is another picture so you can see what it looks like sans shiny finish:

Another problem I had with this polish (besides the fact that blogger doesn't seem to like the color), is that even though I attempted to paint on three thin coats, I still developed bubbles, as seen in the above photograph. When I added the top coat, the bubbles went away. I'm kind of disappointed about the bubbles thing, because I'm not sure if that means this polish was old when I bought it (since I bought it late January/early February and a month or two shouldn't make a difference on an unopened bottle of polish), or if it just doesn't work right with my layering skills and/or body chemistry.

Final verdict: It was quite fun to wear a bright green for St. Patrick's Day, and I may attempt to use this polish one more time, but if I have the same bubbling results, I don't think I'll be investing in Claire's polishes again, if they work like this for me. There are other neon collections coming out soon, so I may turn to those instead.

So did anyone else wear a green polish for St. Patrick's Day? Has anyone else had bubbling occur in a nail polish - particularly a Claire's nail polish? I think I'll give this polish another try, but for now, I'm undecided.

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ND3: Pie Day

So 3/14 is Pie Day...or rather, Pi Day, for 3.14....

In honor of pie and pi, I decided to do a manicure inspired by both Pi(e)s.

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To start out this Pi(e) manicure, I thought of a peach/cherry pie. A little mix of bright orange and red. The colors that fit this idea perfectly were OPI's The "It" Color for the yellow background, followed by OPI's Brights Power for the orange circle, and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Cherry Red - perfect for red cherries!

For Step 1, I simply covered my nails completely in OPI's The "It" Color, followed by a top coat.

Step 2 is where the blue tape appears! For this design, you'll only need a regular hole punch. I used a three hole punch, but it worked just fine.

To make sure the tape does not stick to the hole puncher, cut a square of tape from the role, then stick it down to a card (I used a neon colored index card I had sitting next to my computer - really any type of cardstock will work). The great thing about painter's tape, is that it is meant to peel off from a surface, so the tape comes right off the cardstock and still sticks nicely to your nails.

Step 3 is a repeat of Step 2, with the same process for the blue tape occurring. Just cut out circles from the blue tape (if you have the time and the will, you can always use a drafting compass to draw a circle the size you want, and then use an exacto knife to cut out each circle, but that would be more labor intensive).

Just paint the second color, making sure it layers opaquely over the other color(s). For the design I chose to do for PiDay, I wanted the circles to be offset from each other. Depending on the width of your nail, you can slant the circles (in the line/angle they are layered over each other) as much as you want.

The final step: Just add top coat!

I hope everyone had a good Pi(e) Day! Did you celebrate with a manicure? And if not, did you at least eat pie?

Thanks for looking! Bye for now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SOTD: A Lucky Interview

From OPI's Hong Kong Collection comes Lucky Lucky Lavender. A beautiful shade that is a light purple color.

I had an interview to go to, so I decided that I needed a soft shade, and a little luck. What better color?

This photo (shown above) is the most color accurate of the bunch. Rather than being a pinkish-purple shade, or a purplish-pink as some people call it, I would say Lucky Lucky Lavender can be best described as a soft and warm-hued purple, which lends it its pink undertones, while still leaving it a soft/cool shade.

I really think a nail polish this shade would work well with every skin tone, because it is both a cool and warm shade, and purple/pinks tend to be more neutral colors.

So, I know many of us buy some nail polishes just for the color name (rather than the actual polish)! But, this time I'd say this buy paid off, since the interview went amazingly well.

What about you - have you ever bought a polish for the name? And if so, which one and why?

Thanks for looking! Bye for now.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Red Queen vs. The White Queen

Day 3 of 3 for the Countdown to Alice in Wonderland: 3 Days of Wonderland inspired nails.

This manicure was inspired by the conflicting Queens depicted in the new Alice in Wonderland movie.

First up...the Red Queen...

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Now the White Queen...

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Aren't those posters amazing? Great nail polishing inspiration!

To capture the juxtaposition of red against white, the two colors I chose were Orly in Gogo and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Red Carpet. Gogo is a pearlescent white creme with a hint of silver glitter that almost makes it look dusty, but that's why I like it. For the red I chose Red Carpet because it's a vibrant red glitter that sparkles brilliantly and really catches your eye.

And here's a (sort of) close-up of the heart decal. When I first saw these nail stickers at Rite Aid, I was already planning an Alice in Wonderland inspired mani with this sticker. It just seems perfect for the Red Queen. A red heart, with X's throughout it, topped with a crown? What couldn't be more perfect?

The decals used are by Fing'rs Edge, which I picked up at Rite Aid for under $5US.

Enlarge the image below (just click on it), to see all the beautiful shine and glitter-sparkle that the red polish shows.

So what are your thoughts on this final mani inspired by Alice in Wonderland? Did you do a manicure/nail design for the new Alice in Wonderland movie?

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New and Old Cheshire Cat

Day 2 of 3 for the Countdown to Alice in Wonderland: 3 Days of Wonderland inspired nails.

(Another name I have for this manicure is "Down the Rabbit Hole" because the bright pink and blue clash brightly against each other, giving a dizzying look.)

So this manicure design was inspired by the differences and similarities between Disney's original Cheshire Cat, and the new Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton's adaptation.

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I took the pink from the old Cheshire Cat and striped it with the blue from the new Cheshire Cat...and then added some glitter....

Colors used were Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Fuchsia Power, Wet and Wild Craze in Glitz, OPI in Absolutely Alice, and Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in Blue Me Away!...

Step 1 consists of cutting even strips of blue painters tape, so you will have an alternating pattern of tape and nail (as shown on the right nail below).

Then you stripe on the pink polish being sure to layer it evenly and quickly, so you can then pull up the strips of tape on each nail as you go. The size of your strips of tape will vary on nail length and how many stripes you want to fit onto each nail.

After painting the pink polish onto the nail and letting it dry, you then cut 5 pieces of tape (if you are going to have 6 alternating stripes of color). One piece of tape will be used to cover the pink stripe closest to the root of your nail, while for the other two pink stripes, one tape strip will cover one edge of the pink, and the other piece of tape will be laid down over the other edge of the pink stripe so that both edges of each pink stripe that have a chance of touching the blue nail polish will be covered.

This is what the final product of the blue and pink stripes will look like.

Steps 3 and 4 consist of adding glitter to the stripes. For Step 3, start out adding the pink glitter on alternating nails by taping off the blue polish with the same pattern used in Step 2 of cutting 5 slim pieces of blue painters tape, and then laying the pieces down so that the edge of each blue stripe of nail polish is covered completely.

For Step 4, once the pink glitter has dried, tape it off so you can start painting the blue glitter. The same pattern of 5 slim strips of tape to segregate the pink stripes from the blue (as used in Steps 2 and 3) applies here.

Once you are done with your glitter layers, you'll want to add at least one layer of top coat to all the nails (possibly adding a second layer of top coat to the nails with the glitter polish to smooth out the finish).

So, what do you think? The outcome is really bright and sparkly in real life, I'm really loving this look.

This concludes Day 2 of 3 for the Countdown to Alice in Wonderland: 3 Days of Wonderland inspired nails.

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Countdown to Alice in Wonderland: 3 Days of Wonderland Inspired Nails

Day 1 of 3: "Through the Looking Glass"

So this manicure begins the three day countdown to the release of Disney and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie! As a product of the Nightmare Before Christmas Era, I tend to like most of Burton's films, but I am especially excited for this one. Doesn't it look magical?

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So another name I call this mani is "Johnny Depp as the New Mad Hatter". From the commercials it looks like Depp makes an amazing (and crazy!) Mad Hatter. And, since the main focus of this mani was to use an OPI Alice in Wonderland nail polish, I used Mad as a Hatter.

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So here are the two colors used: OPI's Mad as a Hatter and Sephora by OPI's Queen of Everything. Mad as a Hatter is a multi-glitter and Queen of Everything is a goldish-silver foil.

For this design, I wanted Mad as a Hatter to stand out and be complemented by the silver foil Queen of Everything, so I used ND1: Half and Half that I showed the tutorial for Here, though it is quite self explanatory - just layering one color over the other, the glitter over the foil.

Queen of Everything came out a little streaky as most foils tend to (this is only one coat, with Mad as a Hatter layered over in one coat, followed by Seche Vite as a top coat), so if you ever use or plan to use Queen of Everything, I would recommend two thin coats to even out the look.

Below you can see all the lovely colors that are in the multi-glitter Mad as a Hatter. Silver, purple, gold, green, red, orange...the list is endless, and it's almost hard to tell where one color ends and another begins. Perfect name for a lovely dense, fine glitter.

This concludes Day 1 of the Countdown to Alice in Wonderland: 3 Days of Wonderland Inspired Nails.

Thanks for looking. Bye for now.