Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Jellies of July!

The past week or two, I've been pretty much loving jelly polishes. I know many people are on the fence with Nail line, or absolutely hate it, but I love the glossiness and depth of jelly polishes and am a big fan of the jelly sandwich.

I thought I'd do a quick post of the jelly-based manicures I've been wearing over the past week and a half.

For my fourth of July mani, I wanted to evoke fireworks, so I started with one of my favorite deep blue jellies, Ruby Kisses Blue My Mind.  It's a two dollar cobalt blue jelly!
Here are the polishes I ended up using for the mani:

From left to right: Ruby Kisses Blue my Mind, Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday, Kleancolor Afternoon Date, and Wet n Wild School of Pyrotechnics.

So here's the base again, because I love Blue my Mind that much :D
I did one coat each of the polishes in the order above, from left to right, and topped it all with two coats of Seche Vite.  I was pretty happy with the result.
I actually meant to matte this afterward, and forgot ^^;

I really love blue-based jelly-glitter manicures!  I tend to do them for holidays and birthdays because the glitters pop so much. In this case, I didn't make a real jelly sandwich, since I didn't finish with more blue, but I guess we could call this an open-faced sandwich?

After the holiday, I purchased Nails Inc. Holland Park, a purple neon polish that pops as a neon when it's layered over white, but which looks like a berry-colored jelly when you don't use a white base and top it with a clear topcoat.

Obviously, the color on the nail is pretty radically different from that on the bottle, but I really love this color.  I took this picture a few days after I did the mani, so it's a bit dinged, but I think you can get a pretty good idea of how pretty it is.  I went shopping at Sephora (and got another Nails Inc. Neon and the Tokidoki glitters!), and the clerk asked me where I got the polish :D

I think this is actually way prettier than the bottle color

I don't think it's translucent enough to do a sandwich with but with a topcoat, it sure looks like a jelly.

I had fun playing with topcoats afterward . . . 

Cult Nails Scandalous over Nails Inc. Holland Park:

This is pretty gorgeous, imo

My other favorite layering was Fingerpaints Twisted

I can't wait to do a full mani of Twisted over Holland Park.  It's so beautiful.  

I was still in a purple mood after Holland Park, so I tried a brand new to me brand called Verity, which has a lovely cool-based purple jelly called Deep Violet.

The sunset actually makes this look warmer and lighter than it generally looks.

This is a truer version of the color.

In the shade, this polish comes out much cooler and darker, and really quite elegant.

Before I took Deep Violet off, I decided to try topping it with Girly Bits Cosmic Ocean.  I liked the combo, but was never able to get a picture that really showed it off.

A couple more shots:

This was a very distracting mani for driving ^^;

In terms of pricing and such, these jellies are all over the place.  Verity polishes can be found on Amazon for around $3-$4 a bottle, Ruby Kisses run around $2 and are usually found in beauty stores which cater to African American communities, Nails Inc. can be found at Sephora for $10, and Nfu Ohs are South Korean polishes which can be purchased in the US from

What are your feelings on jelly polishes?  Love the shine?  Hate the translucence?

Matte Glitter Madness! Nail Pattern Boldness Seppuku (With a Frisbee)

I recently came across a new indie brand of polish, and fell into the nefarious trap of buying a polish because its name was too awesome to pass up.  Luckily, it turned out to be a good decision :D

But seriously, with a name like Seppuku (with a Frisbee), how could I resist?

The Kitteh was a huge fan of this polish.
Seppuku (with a Frisbee) is a mix of red, gold and orange matte glitters in a clear (or nearly clear) base that tends to photograph a bit more pink or coral than it shows up in real life, where it is much more orange. 

The density of glitter in this polish is unreal.  
This is one coat

There is a bit of difficulty with this polish as a result of its awesome density, though.

The concentration of glitter in this polish can make for a somewhat challenging application, as you can probably guess from the wand on the right. It can get a bit clumpy and make even coverage on the nail a bit difficult to achieve.  By the second coat, it had mostly evened out except for some bumpiness on my thumbs, but I think I'll add a bit of Seche Restore to my bottle before I use it again to smooth out the application.  

The polish is so fun and summery, though, that I will totally accept a bit of temperamental application.

Here's two coats of Seppuku (with a Frisbee), topped with 2 coats of Seche Vite.

This is a polish that people kept stopping to ask me about.  In person, it glows and seems almost juicy in its depth, despite the clear multicolored speckling of colors.  I usually stay away from oranges and yellows, but the reds in here really help to keep my skin from picking up the yellow tones, which it has a tendency to do with colors like this.

How gorgeous is this??

I'm still agog that this is two coats of a glitter in a clear base.  

If you have the patience to work with the glitter,  it's great payoff for a really fun look.

One more for the road!

Did I mention that the Kitteh approves?

Because she totally loves this polish.

Nail Pattern Boldness can be found at its etsy shop.  I purchased Seppuku (with a Frisbee) for $6.50, along with some other goodies (Ninja vs. Pirate ftw \o/), including an interesting product called Glitter Food (Fix a Flat), which works as a topcoat for hungry glitters *and* as a solution to sinking glitter.  I'm excited to see if this works on a couple of sleepy glitters I have. 

Bonus mani!

The Boy and I attended an anime convention last weekend, and in honor of this, I attempted my first nail art!  Since the Boy and I love us some Naruto, I went with Shippuden-themed nails :D

It's not perfect, but I like it! I tried to emulate the hem of Naruto's Sage Cloak and the Akatsuki muumuus of doom

Colors used are WnW Black Creme, Essie Fishnet Stockings (red), and Orchid Love at First White.  

By pure chance, the Boy and I managed to complete my Tokidoki Unicord collection that weekend, too!
Finally, it is mine!

I used a thin brush to make the flames on the red and black nails, and the red and white clouds were done with a dotting tool.  I ended up really liking the look of this mani, and hope I'll be able to do it better next time.  The left hand was really challenging, and I am so not showing it off ^^;

Enjoy the weekend!!

Glitzy *and* understated? Zoya Luna and Essie Matte About You

I am a sucker for white-based polishes, and I live for glitter.  So when I participated in the Zoya Earth Day half-price sale, I jumped at getting Luna, which is a white creme packed with silver glitter.

Adorable cat not included.
*coughs* it's blurry to show off the twinkling, I swear

Luna is interesting.  In the bottle, it actually seems really restrained and twinkly, but as soon as you get it on and in direct light, the glitter really picks up the light like crazy.

A side effect of this is that it wears almost more like a silver than a white.

This is in indirect outdoor light, and you can get a bit of an idea of how dominant the glitter is.

To be honest, I'd actually prefer a bit more white in this mix, but that's me.

Here's a picture in brighter light, but my camera actually had a lot of trouble capturing all the sparkle.

You can really tell here that the glitter takes up over half of the polish.

This is not an understated look, by any means. 

Another shot in full sun

Even in the shade, this is a blingy manicure

In the end, though, I really wanted a more subtle look that foregrounded the white.  I've been really loving all the milky whites the indies and even some of the standard brands have been putting out lately, like OPI's NY Ballet Don't Touch my Tutu and Dollish Polish's Expecto Patronum, and was kind of hoping for a sort of similar look with this polish. The almost foil-like sparkle is gorgeous, but wasn't quite the look I was going for, so I grabbed Essie's Matte About You, my go-to mattefying topcoat.

Matte About You is pretty much awesome over every glitter I've tried it on.  It's great with jelly sandwiches and glitter topcoats and can substantially change the look of a manicure in five minutes. Highly recommended!

Because the matte effect subdues the silver elements in the glitter, the manicure comes out much more restrained and foregrounds the white quite a bit more.

It's almost like the matte coat reverses the prominence of silver and white, and they take on this really soft sheen that I love.

It's sort of a pearly effect, with the speckles of darker silver glitter that comes off almost as pearly with a silver sheen.

This is one of my favorite quick manis that is a little out of the standard polish color range but not so in your face that I would feel uncomfortable wearing it almost anywhere. It's definitely a more subtle way to wear glitter.

I suppose that this should be more of a winter look, because it really is reminiscent of sun on snow, but I love the cooling effect of whites in summer :)
eep!  dry fingers!  acetone is harsh.  Definitely time for some lemony flutter ^^;

One thing I would warn about--Luna is seriously prone to giving you the dreaded glitter pox after you remove it.  I think I was still finding silver glitters on my skin, clothes, and furniture for a week after this mani.

It's so pretty, though, that I didn't really mind

Zoya polishes can be purchased at Ulta stores or directly from Zoya.  Essie's Matte About You can be found at Target and Ulta stores, as well as some drug stores.

Monday, July 2, 2012

OMG. Nerdlacquer Giveaway!

If you don't know already about Nerdlacquer, her amazing polishes, or her abrupt and much-lamented disappearance, use your google-fu RIGHT NOW and educate yourself.  Then go to Sassy Lacquer and enter the giveaway.  On second thought, don't. I need all the help I can get :DDD

My precioussssssssss

Meta! Kitteh with Kitteh Glitter

While I am tempted in a hypothetical sense, I would never paint the Kitteh's claws, because a) toxic and b) I like having unshredded hands, but polishes with names like Pam's Whimsical Ideas' Kitty Glitter make it more tempting than usual.

Kitteh: not a fan of polished claws

I've heard they've come up with non-toxic pet polish, but seriously. No. I realize it's mostly for dogs and dogs put up with a lot more crazy owner crap than cats do, but . . . 

I really don't get it.  Clearly taking pictures of one's pets with polish is much more reasonable.



. . . right then.  Now that that's clear.

I received Kitteh[sic] Glitter as part of a mini-haul of Pam's lovely polishes. 
Anyone else notice that all three are cat themed?
This would make more sense if you knew that Pam's cat's name is Kismet ^^;
I've been swearing up and down that I'll slow down on indie-buying, but when they keep making polishes as lovely as these, I'm not holding my breath.

The only real problem (other than impending debt) I find with the indies is the preponderance of glitters means acetone for me, and hence, lots of Lush's Lemony Flutter.

Even with the Lemony Flutter, my cuticles are definitely showing the abuse.

Here are some better shots of the polishes!
How gorgeous are these??
Since my nails are still recovering from a vicious paring after I ripped one last week, I decided that Seuss and Kismet's Pajamas will have to wait until I have longer nails.

It's a damn shame, because they're both ridiculously gorgeous. But I do think I'll like them better when I have a couple of mm of nails past my finger tips ^^;

So since I'm mostly keeping myself to pastels and neutrals while I am waiting for my nails to recuperate, Kitty Glitter seemed like a perfect polish that wouldn't highlight the stubbiness of my nails and which would still be fun.

It's a plus that the base is one of those perfect near-Tiffany Blue muted pastel blues with soft green undertones.  The glitter, as you can see, is made of of various sizes of shiny silver and pearly translucent white hexes.  The white hexes are very reminiscent of the ones found in what is probably my favorite non-indie polish so far this year, OPI's Pirouette my Whistle. 

Because I have this picture and it is appropriate here, bonus Kitteh! She's posing with Pirouette my Whistle, which I have to say, is a really obnoxious name for a totally beautiful polish.

You can't unsee it now, right? BWAHAHAHAHA!
This gets the super-size treatment because it cracks me up every single time I see it .  

While the Kitteh is a really photogenic kitteh, she is also a ridiculous goofball.

And when she makes faces like this, she totally reminds me of Bucky from the Get Fuzzy comics :D

 . . . Anyhow.   Kitty Glitter.

I decided to layer Kitty Glitter over a similarly-hued base color, and settled on Sonia Kashuk's Fairy Princess, a very close match to Kitty Glitter, albeit a bit more green.  It also as a bluish shimmer in it that unfortunately was not going to survive Kitty Glitter on top of it. 

It's not all that easy to see the shimmer here, but it peeks out a bit on the middle and ring fingers.

Man, I have no idea why my fingers look so . . . multi-colored in this pic.  Let's blame the lighting, ok?

Fairy Princess applied easily.  This is two generous coats of it. It's a fun color for spring or summer, I think.  I am not sure it's the most flattering color for me right now, as it seems to bring out some red in my fingers (obviously), but it's so creamy-looking and cool that I think I will ignore that fact :D

And the final product: one coat Sally Hansen Double Duty, my go-to base coat, 2 coats of Fairy Princess, two coats Kitty Glitter, two coats Seche Vite.
Outside, in partial shade

OK, so here's the deal.  I love Kitty Glitter.  I love the base color, and I love the mix of glitters in it. That said, I have a bit of an application issue that is pretty much my fault.  I rushed to the second coat faster than I ought to have, and it made it apply pretty unevenly, even in slightly lumpy ways. Two coats of Seche Vite took care of this, but I will be much more careful next time, because whenever I can avoid a thick manicure, I will. I don't like that dull feeling at the tips of my nails when it gets up towards 6 coats, especially when two of those coats are SV.

Here's a full sun picture.
Makes you want to jump into a refreshing pool, doesn't it?

I don't know why full shade pictures make me look jaundiced, but you're here for the polish pics, right?

As you can see from these pictures, the base color of Kitty Glitter can alternately pull more minty green or Tiffany Blue depending on your skin tone and the lighting. I think it might be pulling a bit more green because of the base color.  I'd be interested to see if that's different over a blue. It's slightly sheer, so it seems likely.

Look how mysteeeeeeeerious I am with my dark eyes . . .
and my Kitteh Glitter!

This polish is definitively Kitteh Approved!

I suspect that this polish is best for me as a layering polish. While I'm sure you could build it to full opacity, it would waste lots of product, and if you're at all impatient like I am, you'd probably try to put on new layers too quickly if you needed 3-4 coats for opacity, and this polish does not play nice with that. I don't mean that this is a flaw; I just have no ability to guage time properly and wait

ON THE OTHER HAND.  If you don't mind visible nail line, I think this would be awesome by itself.  I have stained nails right now, so it wasn't an option I wanted to take.

Kitty Glitter is an awesome color, and one I will be reaching for quite a bit.  Because I have a totally ridiculous notion of what's work appropriate (come on, I have purple hair and work at a University :D), I might even wear it to class early in the semester :DDD

You wants it, don't you? I can tell
Where to buy these polishes:
You can buy Sonia Kashuk polishes at Target for about $5.

Whimsical Ideas by Pam can be found on her facebook page.  Polishes are $10. To order, you just email her the list, and then she'll invoice you.  It's much less stressful than the bigcartel and etsy flash sales, and she has some really fantastic colors.

When I'm off my no-buy (following an utterly ridiculous purchase from Hits in Brazil), I'm definitely getting at least 3 or 4 more of her polishes :DDD Saturday Morning Cartoons, Peanut Butter and Jelly and Green Thumb come to mind.

If you celebrate the Fourth of July, I hope you have a safe and fun holiday and eat lots of grilled goodies!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Nerd on Nerd action! Dollish Polish It's a Me Mario over Cult Nails Time Traveler

I recently purchased three of Dollish Polish's gamer polishes, 
the Legend of Zelda duo, and the Super Mario Brothers-
themed It's a Me Mario.  (Am I the only person who 
desperately wants there to be a comma after "me" in that
 name?  Yes? OK, then). 

It's a me [no comma] Mario consists of medium red and blue
 hex glitters, tiny square red and blue glitters, and the 
occasional silver holographic star glitter, all suspended in a 
clear base.

I bought it in one of those high-adrenaline bigcartel openings 
and clicked 'buy buy buy,' snagged the three polishes, losing 
GTL to a cruel cart-jacking incident and then sat there 
wondering what I was doing to myself.  I wasn't even sure I
wanted a red and blue glitter.

It was a sad, sad day in Sad Day Town.

I found myself in almost buyer's remorse and wondered what in the heck I would wear it with.

Then I got it in the mail and immediately changed my mind. The glitter in Mario is egregiously sparkly, and I am critically weak against ridiculously sparkly things.  

This is one of those polishes that pictures tend not to do justice, though I do think that the polish base you choose for it likely makes a huge difference in showing off its glories.

The power of the sparkles compels you!
In my case, I chose to pair It's a me [ ] Mario with cult Nails Time Traveler, a dark, almost navy blue jelly/creme hybrid that I love for its depth, ease of application and gorgeous color. 

I liked the idea of choosing a darker blue polish so that the blue and red polishes could pop.

Like most of my very dark polishes, I tend to top it with glitters, though it's beautiful on its own.

Check out the outrageous sparkle on my palm! 

I come from a long line of geeky/nerdy people, so the idea of topping a Doctor Who-named polish with a video gaming polish really made my day.  

Like Dollish's Hero of Time, I would generally not use this polish alone to try to get full opacity, but it does pack a pretty substantial glitter punch with 1-2 coats.  This here is two very thin coats, because I wanted Time Traveler to show well on the nail.

I love both of these polishes so. damn. much. 

One thing I will say about It's a Me Mario:  the stars are pretty sparsely distributed, or at least they were in my bottle.  I think you should look at the stars as a fun surprise bonus when they show up, rather than expecting them, sort of like the stars on Tootsie Pop wrappers.  I don't mind this, but it's something you should be aware of if you're charmed by the stars or despise shapely glitters. 

This picture is a bit less sharp, but i think it does a better job of showing how much the polishes popped, even in less bright light. 
Did I mention that this polish is way sparkly?  This is in the shade.

Here's another picture in full sun.  These pictures are all from the second day I wore this mani, and after I had hand-washed a full load of dishes.

I wore this polish for around 4 days, and ended up with just a bit of tip wear, which was mostly because I went on a crazy cleaning and cooking spree.  Time Traveler wears like iron.

I only ended up taking this mani off today because my Seche Vite had separated a bit on one nail so it looked like I had a huge bubble in my mani.  Every once in a while this happens, but I haven't heard anyone else mention it.  I wonder if I have some sort of freakish chemistry or if most people just don't think it's worth mentioning.

Even the Boy, who generally enjoys my polish habit more because it makes me happy, rather than because he likes nail polish, repeatedly gushed about what a gorgeous mani this turned out to be.  I think he will mourn when he gets home tonight and I have a totally non-geeky polish on. But I snapped a nail and am down to nondescript stubs and relatively neutral polishes until I get over it.

Delicious, delicious glitter <3 I miss you already.

This mani was inspiring to me, so this weekend, I played Wii Super Mario with the Boy, and watched a bit of Doctor Who and Torchwood. The Boy and I are also rewatching Firefly, which means I'll need to drag out my Nerdlacquer Shiny soon, though I think I'll wait until all the nails peek above my fingertips first ^^;

That is one happy glitter-loving kitteh!

Dollish Polish It's a me [] Mario over Cult Nails Time Traveler:

This almost never happens.  I may have to buy backups of both of these polishes. 

On the other hand, I tend not to wear the flashier manis during most of the school year, because my students are freakishly distracted by non-traditional nail polish.

You'd think college students wouldn't blink at random nail polish, but even soft pastel blues usually get a response, at least early on.  By the end of the semester, I start breaking out the holos and glitters because they don't care and I don't care :DDD

Kitteh showing off an awesome combination of polishes
while trying to stay cool in 100 degree weather

Cult Nails can be purchased here, and I believe there's a 48 hour sale right now where Maria is offering free shipping for orders over $50. 

Dollish Polish can be bought when stock is available at her bigcartel site here, and at overall beauty.  She also announced recently that she will soon also be available at llarowe.