Sunday, June 26, 2011

Charlie Sheen = My Hero

Happy Sunday, ladies! Sundays always feel depressing to me because it's the end of the weekend and I have to start getting back into "work mode". Boooo.

I have a special request to ask of you. Yes, you, reading this right now. Leave me a comment and give me a link to some new nail blogs I haven't mentioned before. I'm seeking out nail talent so I can learn their tricks of the trade. GlittaGloves has been mentoring me in my camera techniques to get great pictures, but I want to see what other people do to make their blogs stand out. (Plus, it'll help get my name out there and I'm still looking for 50 followers to do a giveaway!)

Today's mani is Epic Winning from the Icing. This was a huuuuge lemming for me from the very first time I saw it, and my boyfriend took me a mall an hour away so I could pick him up. And he was worth it. Epic Winning is a clear base packed with blue glitter and holographic glitter, and it's simply breathtaking for any holo lover (however, it is not work appropriate, so it only gets the weekend to shine for me).

I started off with Ulta Blue Streak, or as I call it, "my accidental neon". For some reason, I never think that a blue this color can be neon, but it was! Pretty on its own, but not really my style. Luckily, Blue Streak was just a means to an end...

Bam! Epic Winning. This is just one coat (I ended up doing three because I wanted it to overwhelm people's eyeballs).

Here's a blurry pic to show the holo glitter in it. *Swoons*

Here he is in natural light, AKA the light coming from my window on an overcast/rainy day. I did notice that this polish in the sun tends to be a little less sparkly, but inside it's a glitter bomb!

And finally, a tribute to GlittaGloves: a macro picture! My camera doesn't have a macro setting per se, I just have to put it on its automatic setting and let it do its thing... so this is what I get. Here's the bottle with all the holo goodness inside. Yum!

So, what are your thoughts? I loved it, but I imagine it's not for everyone. Don't forget to suggest those blogs!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ulta Mermaid in Heaven

Hello dears! How is your weekend going so far? I have Fridays off now and three day weekends every weekend, which is weird but awesome.

I also have some great news: my color at Lex Cosmetics won! They're going to make Tuilleries :) Thank you for everyone who voted and helped me win, I won by a landslide - about 50% of the vote between 6 or 7 polishes :)

Today I have for you one of the Ulta minis from their Under the Sea set. I asked for a mani suggestion on Twitter and someone suggested an orange or yellow, so this is what they got! This is about 3 coats and topcoat, and this is on the second day of wear.

(Excuse the tipwear, it chipped off right as I went to take this picture!)

I really enjoyed this color. It was super shimmery, summery, and it had that "lit from within" look to it. Even my supervisor complimented me on it (she happened to be wearing orange nail polish too and she said "I like yours much more!"). 

What do you think? Do you like? What would you like to see more of?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

OPI Skull and Glossbones: Nail Fail?

Hello again! My 10am client canceled which gives me some time to post. Here I have my mani from a couple days ago, Skull and Glossbones from the OPI Pirates minis. I'm a huuuuge fan of gray and this was the cutest named polish, but it just wouldn't grow on me.

This is more of a greige than a gray, and it makes me look horribly washed out. In person, it was beige in some lighting and blah gray in others. I love Zoya Dove, so I was disappointed that this gray didn't work for me. My boyfriend complimented me on it, but then when I commented that it was boring, he agreed. I wanted to add something but couldn't decide what... oh! I know! A crackle, I can use one of the colored ones that I don't normally use! That'll fix it! I'll use Fault Line from China Glaze!

Wrong. This color combination could probably not be much worse, in my opinion. It makes it look like my purple polish is chipping to reveal nail fungus! (I assure you, I do not have nail fungus.) The purple crackle actually was pretty easy to use, even though a lot of people have complained about it. A few good shakes and it's good to go... although the cracking isn't very consistent. This mani lasted, oh, about ten minutes before my nail polish remover got the best of it.

So what do you think? Am I being a diva or is this polish really as terrible on me as I believe?

A Couple of Announcements

Hey all! Just wanted to say a couple things!

First, I've decided that once I get to 50 followers, I'll be having a giveaway. I'm collecting some things for it already and it will include: nail art supplies, polishes, and other goodies related to nails. So please invite your friends to become followers and get us to the goal! :)

Second, I'm going to be doing my first ever (!) company review for a website called Feel free to check it out ahead of time and see what they have to offer, or you can wait until my review :)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Swatches Galore

Hello my dears! I couldn't hold out any longer... here are some swatches. One was Mad as a Hatter, which I couldn't wait to do anyway, but a reader requested MAAH and the Ulta set swatched, so here we go!

I couldn't make a decision about MAAH, so I decided to try layering it over a few polishes. I used varying degrees of purple. From left to right, we have MAAH on its own, MAAH over Ulta Celebutante, MAAH over China Glaze Harmony, MAAH over OPI Not like the Movies, and over OPI Have You Seen My Limo?. This is two coats of MAAH over all the bases.

On its own, MAAH is too sheer for my taste and the more coats you add, the easier it chips. I decided to use ChG Harmony because that seemed to look best, although I realize it makes MAAH look more purple than it really is.

Here's my mani with MAAH over ChG Harmony... sorry for the messy cleanup. No matter how much you clean up with glitter, there's always some pieces left behind that are impossible and I didn't see these little pieces until the pictures were on my computer :(

So what do you think? I loved this. The base color plus 2 coats MAAH was perfect: beautiful, sparkly, and not chippy! Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Next up I have the Ulta Under the Sea swatches. These polishes are gorgeous, I'm so glad I impulsively bought them. For $8, these aren't too bad although they are minis (but I never use full bottles of polish anyway, so...)

Left to right: Tip the Scales (purple), A Tail of Two Cities (pink), Mermaid in Heaven (orange), and Don't Be Shelfish (green - best name of the collection!).

And, above, here they are in the sun. You can see the glass fleck shimmer much better in this picture and how radiant they really are. They're a little sheer (these were 3 coats), but they do build up. I'm wearing Mermaid in Heaven as my mani and it's adorable! What do you think?


Award and a Question...

Good morning! Quick post to do an award this morning, then some swatches and manis later to come!

I was tagged by Minty at Haute Lacquer, thanks Minty!

Top 10 Award:1. Thank the person who tagged you and link to their blog.
2. Put the Top 10 Award logo on your blog.
3. List your top 10 cosmetics.
4. Choose 10 bloggers to tag, link to their blogs, and let them know.

My Top Ten: Like Minty, I'm not a big makeup girl, so my products are all nail related.
  1. OPI Mad as a Hatter: amazing. I love it. Thanks again, Jamie!
  2. Wet n Wild Party of Five Glitters: I've admitted before, I have a strange summer obsession with this stuff.
  3. Nail Polish Remover: specifically, the ones that come in the jars that have the sponge in it for you to dip and twist, so easy!
  4. Bath and Body Works Body Cream: I have this stuff in pretty much every scent, but currently I'm using Pearberry. It's awesome and thick and a great lotion to soak your hands in to protect your cuticles and soften hands :)
  5. Color Club Worth the Risque: Silver. Holo. I don't need to say much else.
  6. OPI Lucerne-tainy Look Marvelous: A lot of blogs complained about this polish (particularly its name), but I LOVE IT. I've seen the light and I am never turning back!
  7. Zoya Dove: Everything I ever wanted in a gray creme that Skull and Glossbones never gave me (more on that in an upcoming post). I also love that Zoya is vegan-friendly, even though I'm not vegan.
  8. China Glaze Crackle Glaze: I know it's kind of cheating to list an entire collection, but I don't care. It's my blog! haha!
  9. China Glaze Tronica: The poor man's OMG! and Kaleidoscope... but since I wasn't collecting nail polish then and I can't find those anywhere, I'll just list Tronica and hope China Glaze is reading this and feeling sorry for me and working on another collection right now.
  10. OPI Suedes: I have Russian Navy and We'll Always Have Paris and they are just so beautiful. Lovely, lovely colors that they made better by making them suede, and I make better by adding topcoat.

I tag these 10 blogs: (Also in no particular order)
  1. Haute Lacquer (since she tagged me!)
  2. Polish Obsessed
  3. The PolishAHolic
  4. Let Them Have Polish
  5. For Your Nails Only
  6. Never Too Much Glitter (or as I call her, The Franken Queen)
  7. Polish or Perish
  8. Clever n Colorful
  9. GlittaGloves
  10. My Simple Little Pleasures

So my question for you is: Do you like seeing multiple lighting sources for manis? Indoor, outdoor, natural lamp, etc.? If yes, which ones and why? Is it just certain polishes? Let me know so I know if taking multiple pictures is valuable, annoying, or just a waste of space.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yesterday's Haul!

Hello again! So yesterday I had the privilege of my boyfriend agreeing to go with me to a mall about an hour away so I could (a) get out of the house since it was my day off and (b) go to the stores for nail polish that we don't have here. Roughly translated, it means I went to the Icing and Ulta! My first ever Ulta trip! Yayyy!

First up, Ulta:

 OPI minis: Skull & Glossbones, Planks a Lot, Sparrow Me the Drama, and Stranger Tides. (I always feel like the minis are super super tiny, but then I remember most of my polishes only get used once or twice so... it's okay. And they're cute and precious.) (Side note: I know I said I wasn't going to buy from OPI anymore since their Coty acquisition but, well, I have no will power. I'm sorry. I'm donating money to cruelty-free causes right now!)

Ulta's Under the Sea collection: Don't be Shelfish, Mermaid in Heaven, A Tail of Two Cities, and Tip the Scales. Really shimmery, looks like they could work on their own but may need to be layered.

 I don't know why blogger flips pictures like that... anyway.
Ulta brand: Blue Streak, Celebutante, Scene Steel-er, and Pinata-yada-yada. (Going from bottom to top, which is left to right if you tilt your head thanks to blogger).

And finally, Icing. I actually want to give a shout out here to GlittaGloves. This extremely talented blogger also has the biggest heart! She and I were conversing on Twitter about how my local Icing closed, leaving me without lemmings fulfilled. She offered to send me them all the way from Canada out of the goodness of her heart! I appreciated it so much, and then when I got them on my own I knew I had to send her a little something as a thank you, so it'll be in the mail soon, Kirsten! (Click her name to go check out her blog!)

Okay, on top is one of the Duality sticks in Force of Love and Magnetic Attraction (famous for Force of Love being a Deborah Lippmann dupe).On bottom, from left to right: Chrome Teal, Epic Winning (Charlie Sheen lemming fulfilled!), Rock Star from Mars, Starlight, and Chrome Light Purple.

I absolutely cannot wait to use the glitter polishes. I'm not sure they're work appropriate so my plan is to do a NOTD today so I can wear it all weekend before work comes again. I'm always afraid glitters will chip, though. Do any of you have solutions for chipping?

Finally, this wasn't a shopping haul but from my friend Jamie on twitter (Jamieleelu). You've heard me mention her as "my twitter friend" before, but now she gets a name because she's awesome. She had a giveaway for getting 200 followers and she picked me for a custom gift! Here's what she sent (some inside jokes included):

Does this girl know me or WHAT? Pink, sparkly zebra flip flops, zebra card, some custom drawing (made with nail polish!), chocolate, and...

MAD AS A HATTER! You read that right. My ultimate, first official lemming fulfilled! I was so happy to see this, I think my boyfriend thought I was mad as a hatter when I opened the box and saw MAAH abbreviated in the card. This is the first polish I ever really, truly wanted and not being able to get it is what started my obsession with polishes (and specifically, trying to find a dupe for it). Well, the search is over! This may very well be what I wear tonight! Thanks Jamie!

So, see anything you like? Anything you want to see swatches of?

Comparison Post: Milani Gems vs Claire's Bedazzled

Good morning! Today I have a comparison swatch for you ladies. I know a few months ago, the Milani "one coat glitters" were hugely popular, but not everyone got their hands on it. I got Milani Gems through a swap a few months ago, loved it, and hadn't used it very much, mostly because it was winter and all it did was snow and so glitter wasn't really appropriate. But now it's sunny and I busted my glitters out and discovered, oh, this Claire's polish I bought the other day looks really similar, let's check that out...

Milani Gems is on the left, Claire's Bedazzled is on the right in all the pictures and both swatches are two coats.

So, you can see they're close. The large, hexagonal glitter is in the same color scheme for both: teal, pink, orange, silver, and small green glitter. The difference, I think, is that Bedazzled also has this small green glitter accompanying it. There's some medium glitter in Gems, but Bedazzled has lots of the really small glitter, which you can see in the middle of the swatch on the right side.

So what do you think? Not exactly dupes, but I think they're close enough you could buy one and not the other (whoops!) or that people wouldn't necessarily notice the difference if you were wearing one of them. And I must say, I am really stuck on the multi-colored glitter because I just bought Pinata-yada-yada at Ulta yesterday! (Yes, you read that right, I went to an Ulta! It was mindblowing. Haul pictures to come soon!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Zoya Areej

Hey ladies! Hope you are having a good week. Since I schedule my own clients, I have Fridays off which means today is my Friday! :) And I only have three clients! :) :) I'm not going in until 11, so I thought I'd show you guys a post early today. This is my mani from a few days ago, Zoya Areej. This is two coats, one coat of Seche Vite (which you can see on my middle finger was shrinking my polish and creating all sorts of bumps and yuckiness, I guess when people said that a half bottle of SV is about as far as you get, they were right!)

A little fuzzy, but most color accurate.

Areej is a purple-pink that I really liked. When I picked it out of my untrieds, I wasn't sure why I had waited. It went on really smoothly and I thought it could even be seasonally appropriate (why is my brain going to the vampy colors when it's finally summer?!).

However, I have the following complaint: for Zoya claiming they are a long-lasting polish, I haven't had any luck with any of their polishes lasting very long. Areej was chipping within 12 hours, and the following day it was coming off in large sheets of polish, including an ENTIRE nail at once. I wonder if anyone else has these problems? I love their colors and their formula, but I hate that they don't last, even for someone who wears manis for about 24-48 hours.

Anyways, I was rustling through for something and I stumbled upon Wet N Wild Party of Five Glitters. I know, I know, another glitter topcoat? Well... yes. Like diamonds, a girl can never have enough ;) So I decided to put it on my accent fingers, ring and thumb.

Party of Five Glitters has silver, pink, red, and teal hexagonal glitter and some small round red glitter in it and I just love it. It's so colorful and the color combination really says "Party!" to me. (You can really see the damage SV did to my middle finger here :( )

So that's my post for today, what do you ladies think of Areej and Party of Five Glitters? Next post I'll have some skittles I did on a nail wheel playing with crackle and then a glitter comparison/dupe!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Crackle Technique!

Hi all! Quick post today since I'm battling a headache and it seems to be a losing battle. Any of you get migraines? They're the worst!

Anywho... here's my mani from a few days ago. This is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow. I bought this impulsively because I didn't have any yellow polishes (!!!). I'm so glad I did. Last year, when I originally got into nail polishes, I thought yellow, oranges, and neons were too immature or bold for me as a professional. I've since totally changed my mind, and I think all of those colors can be worn responsibly :)

Mellow Yellow (despite its corny name) went on really well. The Sally Hansen brush was one of my favorites, I'm not sure why. I believe this is three coats to even it out and you can still see some bald spots (but I think some of those came from Seche Vite. Shame, shame!).

Then, because it wasn't unprofessional enough (and because one of my clients also loves to do nails, and I wanted to show her what crackle polishes look like) I added China Glaze in Broken Hearted, the pink crackle.

I really loved the way the crackle came out. You may notice that my crackle is more broken up than the past times I've used crackle (or maybe you didn't notice, but I want you to - so pay attention!). I tried a new technique I saw on Collette's blog. Rather than painting the crackle on like normal polish (that is, in long strokes along the full nail), I broke it up and did short swipes across half, or even a third, of the nail. This creates the horizontal cracks along the nail that you see in the middle. Here's a close up of my thumb to give you a better look.

For my thumb, I did it in thirds. So the bottom cracks are strokes from the cuticle to the cracking, then I dipped the brush again and went from where I stopped to the free edge, and then I dipped and did just the free edge of my nail. As you can see, it adds the horizontal cracking instead of just the long vertical cracks if you only did the single dip of the brush along the full nail bed.

What technique do you guys use for crackles? Collette also has examples of diagonal, side-to-side, and even a back and forth zig-zaggy type pattern on her blog, My Simple Little Pleasures.

Thanks for reading guys! Leave me a comment or tweet me at Amanda_NPE if you have any questions or comments :)


Friday, June 10, 2011

Fingerpaints Rose Patina & Fauxnad

Hi ladies! Today I have a post for you from the beginning of the week. I decided to wear some work-appropriate pink in the form of FingerPaints Rose Patina. Rose Patina is a nice, summery pink with subtle orange shimmer. I loved it on its own, but got bored with it and decided to try out my new Bundle Monster plates. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture pre-fauxnad: sorry!) This is the cheetah print from BM-221.

Excuse the chips... did I forget to mention the fauxnad was also to help cover up and distract from the chips in my polish? Whoops! My pointer seems to have gotten the worst of it.

I realize the majority of this picture is dark and blurry, but it was the most color accurate picture I could get unfortunately.

So what do you guys think? Personally, I love the new BM plates. None of mine were defective or damaged and they stamp great! I also love the size increase, it makes it perfect, even for stamping my thumbs!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Commenting issues

Hi all,

Just wanted to let you know I have been reading comments and wanting to reply, but blogspot isn't letting me! Whenever I try to comment, I click "submit" and it sends me to a login, then back to my comment with the captcha, and then back to the login... Anyone know the solution for this?



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Golden Rose Holo, China Glaze Harmony, and Bundle Monster

Hi ladies! How is everyone doing? Here in Massachusetts, we're recovering from a string of tornadoes (you read that right, tornadoes) that destroyed many towns and cities in our state. It's been a tough road, especially since us Massachusettsians are not at all prepared for tornadoes, so it's a big shock on top of all the devastation. Ok, enough of the heavy...

Funny that I'm writing this post because Rachel Marie just posted the same line of polishes a few hours ago! I actually wore this about a week ago, but it only lasted one day because I stupidly smudged them about an hour after painting them and when you have 200+ nail polishes, you don't usually feel like taking polish off to put the same color back on when there are so many options!

Anyway, here is Golden Rose Paris 109, a light purple holo.

 I couldn't accurately show you the color of this and the holo if I tried all day, but it was really nice on. Golden Rose is a Turkish brand with a branch here in the US. Their polishes are super cheap, shipping was quick, and customer service is awesome. One thing though: these polishes smell. I'm not convinced this brand is big 3 free, but it seems like with the good holos, they never are. Sigh.

Next up is China Glaze Harmony, an older polish that I ordered online a while back. I must say, this polish applied like butter. Probably the best application experience I have had in a long time, maybe ever! Color was awesome too and I loved the metallic finish. Why three fingers in this post? My pointer had a HUGE chip in it. Meaning half the polish was missing. Far too embarassing to post here, so instead you get an awkward three finger pose!

Next up: I got the new Bundle Monster plates! I was on a no-buy after my vacation but these are just too irrestible. Plus, I figured anything that might make me touch up old manis and find old polishes interesting is a good investment for not buying new polishes. Right? Here they all are with the blue film they put on them to protect them.

If you have the originals, you'll know the first round the film was clear and people often forgot to remove it. These are much more noticeable and much easier to take off.

 Since Harmony had majorly chipped off one nail and I was going to remove it, I decided to fool around with some of the designs I was more excited about. (There's a lot more, but I'll spare you!)

 Swirls, one of my favorite patterns! And I must say, these plates have a much larger size to the full-nail patterns, this fit really easily without the hassle of double stamping.

 These were a surprise that I really liked them after I saw a picture my twitter friend posted of these. Very cool, geometric pattern that almost reminds me of the shatter/crackle topcoats.

And finally, not to sound too pluggy, but if you're reading this, leave a comment! You can also find me on twitter - Amanda_NPE. I love talking to readers and checking out new blogs. And if you read regularly, please share me with a friend. It's nice to have readers out there with a common interest.