Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nails Inc NailKale and Illuminator Review

Kale and nail polish.  Who would have thought they would come together in one bottle?  Nails Inc. has jumped on the kale bandwagon and created a line of nail polish that are enriched with kale extract.  So now you can get the benefits of nail polish and kale all in one bottle!

Lets look at one of the colored polishes in the line and then we will look at the Illuminator polish that is meant to work as a nail brightener.

"…get the benefits of nail polish and kale all in one bottle!"

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

Ok, first off, look at that shine!  This is without top coat.  That's right, this is dry to the touch and is more shiny than it would be with a top coat.

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

Now indoors, and in most lighting, this nail polish is a green-leaning black.  Like a creme version of Nars Zulu, lighting brings out the green, so the more light, the more green that shows up in the polish.

 no base coat, 2 coats Nails Inc. NailKale in Bruton Mews, no top coat

You can see in the above picture, in direct mid-day sun, this polish is a true forest green creme.  And it is still very reflective and shiny.  Now on to the Illuminator.

"Now on to the Illuminator."

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

Nails Inc. has a few new products besides colored polishes in the NailKale line.  The NailKale Illuminator is one of those polishes.  I consider it separate from the colored polishes because: (1) it has an extra word on the front of the bottle denoting it is an "Illuminator," (2) it has it's own tab on the Sephora website separate from the other polish color options and separate from the NailKale base coat, and (3) you're supposed to wear it like a colored polish (so, by itself) but I think it's great for layering as well (see below for what it looks like layered).

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

This is a gem of a polish just for the blue "glow" alone.  Unfortunately sizing down the file size of each photo takes away from some of the awesome shine power, but click on any photo to enlarge it to see the great blue shimmer that streaks through this milky white polish.

"…click on any photo to enlarge it…"

 no base coat, 3 coats Nails Inc. NailKale Illuminator in Bright Street, no top coat

In direct sunlight the shimmer is amazing!  

 no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

And now to see it layered!

 no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

The blue shimmer in the Illuminator really comes out over a dark polish, and layering it over Bruton Mews really makes the blue shimmer sparkle as the whole nail looks blue.

no base coat, 1 coat Bright Street over 2 coats Bruton Mews, no top coat

And there you have it!  This is what you get when you mix kale with nail polish.

Both polishes were beautiful.  While Bruton Mews isn't a unique color, it is still a beautiful color and is worth purchasing for the glossy shine alone.  The Illuminator Bright Street is supposed to be "a nail polish with iridescent pearls that brighten the pink nail bed, leaving the appearance of whiter tips and healthier nails" (according to the Sephora website).  It certainly does whiten my nails, as it is a glossy white in color.  The blue shimmer adds to the appeal, rather than distract or detract.  The only downside to the Illuminator is the slightly slow dry time, but a quick-dry top coat will solve that problem in an instant.

Nails Inc. touts the NailKale polishes as being "formulated with kale extract known for its high levels of vitamins A, C and K which stimulate advanced keratin production. Making the nails stronger, brighter and more nourished. The entire Nailkale range also features Nails inc.’s patented Regenerating Complex (a two-fold Aldehyde, Zinc and Calcium blend) that boosts the production of keratin for harder, stronger and healthier nails" (from the Nails Inc. website).

I did a trial run of the NailKale Illuminator and wore it for three days.  It had good staying power (no chips), and I can say that even a week later I don't see any peeling or splits in my nails, but that could also be because I recently filed down my nails, so I can't connect the health of my nails to the use of NailKale specifically.

Personally, I'm interested in trying the NailKale Superfood Base Coat that's supposed to be keratin-enriched and have other healthy stuff in it.  While many people say that adding nutrients to nail polish is useless because your nail plate is dead the way hair is considered dead, I find that any little thing can help keep up the health of nails, so if it works for you, why not try it?

A quick note on the redesigned Nails Inc. bottles:

If you examine the bottles in the above photos, you'll notice that in the first picture the bottles have silver lids, and then in the subsequent photographs, I have taken off the silver lids, which left me with the smaller black handle.  So now Nails Inc. bottles are like many other companies (Chanel, Nars, etc.) where the bulky outside lid removes to reveal a smaller and easier to manage lid/brush.  The brush itself has been redesigned as well.  It now fits with the wider, curved-edge brushes that all the companies seem to be favoring.

Overall, the redesign of the bottles really seems to work.  Each bottle feels like its made out of thick glass, giving it a heavy, weighted feel.  The weighted feel makes it seem higher quality than if the packaging was thin and easily breakable.  The curve of the glass also makes it easier to hold, and more comfortable in the palm of the hand.

What's your opinion/position on nail polish and kale?  Have you tried NailKale yet?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Or, Guardians Of The Galaxy Nail Art)

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet?  If you haven't, you should go now.  Today.

In fact, if you still have your safe-for-work beige polish on, skip to Step 2 (and then while you're waiting for Step 3 to dry, you can buy your tickets online), and you'll have some awesome nail art to go along with the awesome soundtrack that you'll soon be hearing!

Here's a list of the Things You'll Need for this nail art:

  1. ScotchBlue Painter's Tape
  2. Beige Nail Polish (that matches the look of aged parchment) - Used here is You're So Vain-illa by OPI
  3. Red Nail Polish (or an orangish-red to be more precise) - Race Red by OPI from the new Ford Mustang Collection matches perfectly for this occasion
  4. Sharpie fine point Permanent Marker in Navy
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (but an image of said soundtrack will suffice if you have not yet purchased this great collection of music)
  6. Groot - You will need to buy a Groot.  No, really, you will need him later…. Ok, not really.  But he is adorable.  So having a Groot handy is fun 
  7. (Not pictured) Scissors
  8. (Not pictured/optional) Cardstock - to stick the painter's tape on once it has been used
  9. (Not pictured/optional) Tweezers - to pull the painter's tape off your nails (see Step 3 below for a better understanding)

"You will need to buy a Groot."

Step 1 comprises of the base color.  Above is pictured 1 coat of base coat + 3 coats of You're So Vain-illa by OPI + 1 coat of quick-drying top coat.  Wait for this to completely dry before moving on to Step 2.

"Step 1 comprises of the base color."

Here is where you will need to have your painter's tape handy.  Start by cutting 3 different sizes of strips of painter's tape.  You will have 3 different "categories" of thickness, where each category should have 10 strips of tape that are all roughly the same thickness.  After all the cutting you will have a total of 30 strips of painter's tape (provided you have 10 fingers which you are painting).

  • Category 1:  Will be placed at the bottom/free-edge of the nail.  Also, these strips of tape are the thinnest out of the 3 categories.
  • Category 2:  Similarly thin compared to the width of the tape strips in Category 1.  Consider these the "middle strips" as they will go between Categories 1 and 3 on the nail.
  • Category 3:  The thickest strips of painter's tape you are cutting.  These pieces of tape will be used to mark the highest point on your nail where the second color will reach.

Now to place the painter's tape:

Start by placing a Category 1 strip of tape at the bottom/free edge of your nail, but far enough up your nail so the bottom stripe of nail polish you will be layering on in Step 3 is thickest at the bottom of your nail than it will be for the other two stripes that will be painted (scroll down to Step 3 for image reference).

Move on to placing the strips of painter's tape from Categories 2 and 3 on your nail.  Category 2 will go above Category 1, and Category 3 will be the top-most strip of tape, being placed a sliver above Category 2.  The end result will be 3 strips of tape for each nail.

The easiest way to make sure the gaps/lines will line up evenly between all of your nails is to go nail by nail, starting at the bottom/free-edge of your nail and working your way up your nail.  Repeat on the next nail, making sure that each strip of tape for each Category lines up with the same Category strip on the other nails.

"...3 strips of tape for each nail."

Step 3 consists of layering on your red polish.

The faster you pull off the strips of tape after painting, the less likely you are to have "strings" of polish, where the polish has become tacky and sticks to both the nail and the tape, and leaves a tiny string of polish in the gap where the the tape once was.  For this reason, only paint one nail at a time.  After painting one nail (up to the bottom edge of the Category 3 strip of painter's tape as mentioned in Step 2), quickly pull off each strip of tape on the nail.

Pull the strip of tape off the nail in the same horizontal direction it is laying on the nail.

Repeat the painting and pulling-off process for each nail until all 10 nails have been painted.

 "...only paint one nail at a time."

Step 4 is the simplest step, but you need to wait the longest amount of time before starting.  You will be painting a top coat on top of your newly-created stripes.  If your stripes are not dry, you will get streaking…and then you'll have to start all over at Step 1 (after taking off your almost-completed nail art creation), so wait a while before painting on the top coat!

"...wait a while before painting on the top coat!"

Adding the text is the last step!

Grab your Sharpie (in Navy, because the regular Blue hue comes across a bit too vibrant for the aged parchment look).  As "Awesome Mix Vol. 1" is the name of the album/mixtape/soundtrack (and a very important part of the movie) split the title across all of your nails to get your art spread out along a larger canvas!

Don't add top coat after writing!  Yes, this makes the overall manicure more temporary, but unless you are sure your top coat will not cause streaking of the lettering, skip the top coat and wear this art tonight!

"Don't add top coat...!"

There you have it!  You're ready to go see Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy!  Or watch it again!  And again!

Extra picture of Nail Art + Groot!

Woot, woot!  Groot, Groot!  Dancy, dancy!

Can you guess what's written on my right hand?  If you've seen the movie you should have some idea.

Have you created nail art for a movie recently?