Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sally Hansen's Mermaid's Tale, Review

Mermaid's Tale by Sally Hansen

I love a good teal polish. But then add glitter and I'm in a tizzy.  Two things I love in one.  Teal and glitter. There are so many shades of teal until I can easily justify buying any one that I like because no matter what, there's not likely a dupe in my collection of 15 teals. On Thursday, my nail polish shopping day, I found a beautiful teal glitter that I couldn't walk away from.  In fact, I didn't even try. I know my weakness and sometimes it's just not worth the battle. So, what's one more teal?  You can never have enough of them, right? I couldn't wait to try it out when I got home, so dinner had to be pushed back 30 minutes. Nobody noticed.

The polish is Mermaid's Tale by Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. Immediately, I was in love with the super dense formula, the green hex and multi size glitter. It's a jelly like consistency that goes on smoothly and is opaque in two healthy coats. That's with no base color underneath! It didn't pool and it was easy to apply.  I didn't have time to do any art with it. Dinner was calling and hungry tummy's would be grumbling, but I intend to do a little something with it one day soon, I hope.

Overall, I give this polish two thumb nails up! How do you feel about teal polishes? What color is your obsession?

Friday, August 28, 2015

First Day of School Crazies: School Mani

The first-day-of-school was a nightmare know where.

I will not strangle my child. I will not strangle my child. more time.
I will not strangle my child.
At least not today.

Don't call Social Services.  I would never strangle or hurt my little pumpkin, <gritting my teeth> but boy does he know just how to push Mommy's buttons. Why? Please tell me WHY did he undo half of his summer project right after we got it all finished? In the morning, (thankfully we got up early) for half an hour, we sat at the table redoing the work he undid the night before. I got him to his bus just in the nick of time. If this is an idea of how this school year is going to go, I'm in trouble. Well, at least he showered.  That's something.

In light of my horrific morning, I did a manicure that reflected a hopeful school year.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Orange Mandala Manicure

We're wrapping up the first week of school and I must admit that things haven't gotten easier yet. I say "yet" because I'm positively anticipating a great school year. We just need to settle into our routine. I'll probably need to limit my posts to 3 times a week, but let's just see how things go.

Today, I proudly present to you a mandala manicure.  Mandala means "sacred circle" in Sanskrit. Drawing mandalas are often used in a therapeutic sense to soothe the soul and also as a creative outlet to tap into that wealth of creative ideas in our heads. By the time you're finished drawing and coloring a mandala, you should have a masterpiece and find yourself in a Zen state (theoretically). I didn't use quite the same technique on my nails, but I still finished feeling peaceful and satisfied with my miniature works of art. 

After my last top coat was dry I found a picture on the internet that reminded me of my orange mandala (I think it might be a decorative window or lamp).

I loved the outcome and I plan to do a similar manicure in the future.  Do you want to see another mandala manicure? 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Born Pretty Chameleon Holo Polish #205 Review

Born Pretty Chameleon Holo Polish #205

Welcome back polish enthusiasts!  My poor offended and abused fingers have recuperated from Fridays monstrosity of a manicure. If you dare, go back to Fridays post and take a peak. I have cleared my mind of the frightening mental images, but I can't remove the photo from my blog here or it would defeat the purpose. So, I'll endure accidentally glancing at it a time or two before it disappears into the polish archives.

Today, I have another review for you, but this one is far more pleasant than the last. I purchased this baby online when I was going through a holographic/chameleon polish phase.  I'm over it now, although you'll still see them pop up here and there. This one was so pretty it seemed sacrilegious to deface it with stamping, marbling or any other such detail. After applying a black base coat (required per instructions to get the full color shift effect) I added two coats of the Chameleon Holo polish. Lovely polish, good consistency, applies well. I recommend this one it if you like chameleon polishes.

I tried to capture the shifting colors from green/gold to plum/red. I hope the pictures do it justice.

This polish doen't appear in the Born Pretty shop. I don't know if they no longer carry it, or it's been discontinued. But, it can still be found in a Google search.
Ciao for now!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer Dupe Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Breezy Blue

          Breezy Blue                           Dashboard Dreamer

I like to purchase mini size polishes when I'm not sure if I'll really like it.  Let's be honest. All too often, you eagerly buy that one polish you hear everyone rave about just to realize that it doesn't live up to your expectations. If you make a noncommittal investment in a mini size, then it's not so bad when it turns out to be a dud. But what about when you conservatively buy that little mini and find out that you love the polish? Well first, it runs Then you want to rush out and pick up the full size bottle. But before you hit the store you think, "hmm, I wonder if I have something similar?"

This very thing happened to me when I ran out of my China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer. It's a lovely baby blue with a soft iridescent pearl sheen. I thought it was a pretty unique color, non-the-less I searched for for a dupe that I already own. I came up with Sally Hansens Xtreme Wear Breezy Blue. The two polishes are very similar, but for double the price, is it worth buying another China Glaze? Let's see.

The CG polish is a half a shade darker than SH.  Not really enough of a difference to be noticeable. Both polishes apply well. The SH formula is a bit thinner, but neither polish is streaky. They both level well, and when applied over a coat of white polish, they both are opaque in two coats. I do believe, however, that without the white base coat the SH might require another coat or two to reach complete opacity.

Both polishes have an iridescent pearl sheen, but the CG formula is richer and more pearly that the SH. Overall, Breezy Blue is a close dupe for Dashboard Dreamer. The CG one, I think, is a better polish, but for the cost, I'm going to finish my SH bottle rather than replace the CG right away. But when they're both gone, I'll repurchase Dashboard Dreamer.

Do you think the polishes are a good dupe? Which would you repurchase?
Until next time, ciao for now.

Friday, August 21, 2015

China Glaze Sun of a Peach and Flying South Review

Have you tried those fuzzy, furry nail polishes?  Today I did for the first time after finding a bottle of China Glazes Flying South among my CG polishes.  I have no idea how it got there, but I decided to give it a try. I figured it would require a colored base coat, so I chose Sun of a Peach since the peachy orange color seemed to work well with the orange sawdust (that's what it looked like to me).  Overall, I was disappointed with the process, but the result wasn't too bad.  I started with two coats of the orange base color. Sun of a Peach was watery and streaky.  It pooled and was difficult to work with. The good thing about it was that it dried quickly. I give this one two thumb nails down.  The application was difficult and although the color was nice, it wasn't worth the effort it took to apply.

Next I applied a few coats of orange furry sawdust (Flying South) which started to morph into a mangy rat right before my eyes.  It was like when Ron turned his pet rat into a furry cup with a tail in the Harry Potter movie. I started to feel a little disgusted. I think that the fuzzy polishes just don't go over well with me.  Maybe if it were blue or something that might remind me of a soft, warm bathrobe rather than a sick rabid rodent I could appreciate the concept.  Overall, this was one of my least appealing manicures. I couldn't wait to snap the pictures and get that stuff off my nails.  All ten are currently recuperating from the horrors and look forward to returning to the field as soon as possible. In the mean time, I will work on removing the entire experience from my memory.

What do you think of fuzzy polishes? Can you stomach them or do they give you the creepy crawlies?
Ciao for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Fun Summer Rainbow Manicure

China Glaze Celtic Sun, Flying Dragon and Dj Blue My Mind
Zoya Arizona

I don't know about you, but I don't want the summer to end. School starts next week! Urgh!  I think I'm dreading it as much as the kids.  Homework, sports, teachers, tuition, rushing... just take a deep breath....I'm ok now.

Well all things come to an end to make room for the new.  This year we're looking forward to a little cruise vacation (shh, the kids don't know yet), and my son is promoted from JV to his high school varsity team (congrats. son), and my little man was admitted into a STEM program. It's his first year in middle school.  New school, new teachers, and plenty of homework (for me to re-learn) and lot's of driving back and forth to two schools (in opposite directions of one another) and sports practice, music lessons....ok, my blood pressure is going up again.  Taking another deep breath...ohmmmm.  Ahh, that's better.

This manicure is in appreciation of our dwindling summer.  I'll miss you.
Let's get started with our mani.  For this design I used the good ole plastic wrap method. After applying a base coat of China Glaze White On White, I simply blotted on a few bright colors and smooshed (the technical term) it all with plastic wrap. If you do this, I suggest that you use a liquid latex around your nails to make clean up easier.  Simple mancure, right?  Try it out, post it.  I'd like to check it out.
Ciao for now.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Whoo, Zoya thats Whoo: a Blue/Green Owl Manicure

Whoo likes owls? Ok, so I couldn't resist another owl joke. Actually, I'm not so into the birds, but I did have a couple of stamping plates with owls. So I paired them with two Zoya polishes and came up with this green/blue manicure. I was happy to discover that the bluer polish stamped well over the greener of the two.  Ok, let's get to the names of those polishes.  The Darker blue one is Talia, a highly pigmented cream ocean-blue turquoise.  I know, that's a lot of description, but it's a beautifully unusual color. It's from the Summer 2015 Island fun collection. A great collection, by-the-way. I highly recommend looking into it. There are a few colors I still want to pick up.

The lighter green polish, Bevin, is from the Spring 2012 True Collection (another good collection). This color is best described as sage green.

Born Pretty plate 54, Zoya Talia, Zoya Bevin
You can purchase the Born Pretty plate from their shop with free shipping using the Born Pretty code in the column to the right. If you purchase from the shop show me the beautiful designs that you come up with, and let me know about your shopping experience with Born Pretty.
Ciao for now.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pink and Green Spring China Glaze Manicure with Artist Collection Moyou London Plate

Hi Ladies, I've been out of commission for the last couple of days, but I'm determined to post a manicure for you.  This one is very Spring-y and I don't remember what inspired me to do it.  I think I simply wanted to use a few of my China Glaze polishes and my new Moyou London stamping plate.  Unfortunately, I didn't record the colors except for the green bottle in the photo which is Grass is Lime Greener from the Spring 2014 City Flourish Collection. This one called my name and I couldn't resist its magical lime powers. I added a few other colors and voila! a cheery Spring manicure.  I'm going to take a guess at the other colors.  The pink is most likely Glow With the Flow, and the yellow might be the oh-so-popular Daisy Know My Name.

Grass is Lime Greener China Glaze 2014 Spring City Flourish Collection

Moyou London Artist Collection 09
I hope you enjoyed this one. Would you like to see more Springtime manicures? Comment below. Now, it's back to bed for me.
Ciao for now.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blue Striped Pajama Party

Hello Sunshine, todays manicure makes me want to curl up in bed with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea. The blue on blue stripes reminds me of men's pajamas. Is it just me or do you think so too?  I wore the manicure one day without the roses and was complimented on them. Then I thought I'd overlay a bouquet of roses.  I think I've seen a similar fabric print like that somewhere.  I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think.
Blue on blue stripes with a pink floral overlay using China Glaze, O.P.I. and Essie
For this mani, I started with two colors from the spring 2015 Road Trip Collection. First I painted the light blue Dashboard Dreamer on all my nails.  Then, with Boho Blues, I stamped stripes using Moyou London stamping plate Pro Collection XL-01.

China Glaze Dashboard Dreamer and Boho Blues

Next, I used Gogoonly XL St. Happy stamping plate (Amazon for about $13), to stamp the roses with Essies Stylenomics deep green polish. I made decals using two colors by China Glaze. The first and peachier of the two (is that even a word?) is Pinking Out the Window from the Road Trip Collection (love the names). The second polish, which is a beautiful neon pink, is Glow With the Flow from the 2015 Summer Nights Collection.
China Glaze Pinking Out the Window and Glow With the Flow

Gogoonly St. Happy

For the leaves I used a minty green polish by O.P.I. called Withstands the Test of Thyme from the Infinite Shine line.

O.P.I. Withstands the Test of Thyme

I'm thrilled with my China Glaze minis.  I plan to pick up more soon.  Speaking of minis, I have a few Mundo de Unas to review for you soon. Several of the ones I purchased are cute little minis.  I placed a second order so I'm waiting for that to arrive.  As soon as it does, I'll get started on a review for you. I can tell you this, though, I'm loving the ones that I have so far.
Ciao for now.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mixing Polish: I did it! Sunny Sparkly Yellow

Hello, my polishing friends,  yesterday I showed you my purple polish mix using a couple of polishes and pigments. It turned out a muted eggplant color, and I thought it would make a good accent polish in place of harsh black.  That worked well, but then, much to my delight, I tested its stamping ability and found that it's an excellent stamping polish.  Better than a few Konads that I have, and better than most of my Bundle Monster stamping polishes. I'll keep in mind that maybe adding a fair amount of pigment might increase the chance that a polish will stamp well. After I do a bit more experimenting at my polishing station turned chemistry lab, I hope to have a more conclusive report.

Last night I gave yellow polish mixing a try. It was a success if I must say so myself. This time I added a bit of yellow polish, a jelly sparkle polish and one other polish...hmmm... I think it was a glitter. Yes, it was a silver glitter polish with a clear base. No pigments this time.  Since the sparkle and glitter polishes were jelly consistencies, my mixture became a jelly as well.  One that I absolutely love.  The color is bright and sunny with sparkly glitter throughout.  It applies thick...very thick. I used two coats to bring out more of the yellow color, but really one coat would do Yes, it's that thick.  The jelly polishes I combined were old and thicker than they had originally been when I bought them.  I'm going to gather up more of my old polishes to find ones that are old and thick.

Here are the results.

What colors would you like to mix...or see me mix?  I mixed a few sheers I could show you. Yea or Nay?  

Back to the lab, Ciao for now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mixing Polish: I Thought I'd Give it a Try

Stamping: Purple Rain, get it?  I used to be a Prince fan

Hello fellow polish lovers.  Today I want to share with you my latest little project.  A purple polish I created myself.

I have so many almost-finished bottles of polish taking up valuable real estate in my storage space that I have no space left for my new purchases.  I have to do something about it. I refuse to buy a fourth salon-style nail polish wall rack.  I've run out of wall space. So I have a couple options.  I could stop buying polish until I have more space. Yeah, like that's going to happen.  Or I could start storing polishes in decorative boxes, which is what I've been doing, and it's a little inconvenient.  Eventually, I'll have to get another wall rack, but for now I want to consolidate and give mixing new colors a try.

I can't tell you exactly what I did to come up with my first color because I played around with several ingredients including loose pigments and a few polishes.  But I ended up with a muted purple that will be useful for striping and dotting when I don't want to use black.  It can soften an otherwise strongly contrasting design. Hmmm, I wonder how it'll stamp.  Gotta try that out.

Let's try a yellow tomorrow.  Check out tomorrow's post for (hopefully) a beautiful sunshiny yellow.
Ciao for now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Another Nature Green Mani

Last one, I promise.  Tomorrow, I'll have something that's not green <smile>.
This time I sandwiched my own green jelly polish between layers of green and copper leaves.
I started with a base coat of Celtic Sun by China Glaze. 

Using Talia by Zoya I stamped a leaf print from Born Pretty plate BP-19.  

Next, I added a coat of my own sheer green jelly polish.  
Homemade sheer jelly polish, not Wet n Wild
Again, I stamped the same leaf print, but this time using I only Eat Salads by Spoiled. Another layer of homemade jelly (ha, now I'm a chef), and a final stamping with Your Touch by China Glaze.  

I didn't top coat with my favorite Seche Vite.  Instead, I used a mixture of leftover quick dry top coats so that I could finish up the bottles. Now I'm left with a few empties to use for my own polish creations.  What fun!  Can't wait to get started with that project.

Hope you enjoyed the last of the leaves.  I'm going to work on mixin' some polishes. Till next time.
Ciao for now.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dear Diary - August 10: The Boys Return From Their Camping Trip

Yesterday I picked up the boys from a weekend camping trip.  They had a great time and I had the weekend to myself (Ahhhhh, so relaxing).  I needed that.  The camp was beautiful. Trees, flowers, fresh air, lake and BUGS galore.  They didn't seem to mind the bugs and I wasn't there long enough to complain so I won't start now.  Well, the peaceful surroundings and beautiful foliage gave me an idea for a manicure.

When I returned home, I grabbed a selection of green polishes, found a leafy stamp design and got to work.  I came up with a green nature theme manicure.
Here's what I used.

A menagerie of green polishesFrom left to right: Kleancolor Holo Yellow, Cover Girl Outlast Stay Brilliant Glosstinis Appletini, Maybelline Color Show Go Go Green, NYC In a Minute Quick Dry High Line Green, Response Evergreen, and Spoiled Show Me the Money.  The base I used was my own green jelly mixture.  And the stamping plate was CiCi & SiSi #15. I used Konads Gold Black Pearl stamping polish.  

I still have leaves on my mind so I might need to get this out my system.  Bare with me, and be prepared for another leaf design tomorrow.
Ciao for now.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Inspired by a Navy Floral Fabric

Today I was inspired by a dark navy blue fabric with large flowers.  Like usual, I snapped a picture and thought...

Perfect manicure opportunity!

This one was as simple as it gets.  I had a navy China Glaze polish and I was sure I could find a stamping plate with a similar floral design.  Bingo.  I grabbed Sleeping Under the Stars by China Glaze and white Mundo de Unas stamping polish.  The stamping plate I used is by CiCi & SiSi plate 11.

If you would like to see more fabric inspired manicures comment below.
Ciao for now.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Inspired By...Onesies?

I've had my eye on these adorable little onesies for a long time, but I never had a reason to buy them until a couple of friends had twin baby girls.  I was so happy to find out that the twins were going to be girls because the couple already has two boys. Secretly I thought, "Finally! I get to buy those cute onsesies!"  I rushed out immediately to buy them and right away inspiration hit me.

Perfect manicure opportunity!

I pulled out white and black polishes and hunted through my stash of stamping plates for a design similar to the pattern on the onesies.

I started with a black background using SinfulColors Black On Black to create a black trim like on the onesies.    Then, using China Glazes White On White I filled in the middle part of the nail. Hmm, Black On Black and White On White...cute names perfectly coordinated for this manicure  Do you think China Glaze and SinfulColors got together and decided to collaborate on the names?  Probably not, but still it's cute.

I trimmed the nail edge with black and stamped the design using Konad Black and a GoGo Only stamping plate I found on EBay.

This is how it turned out

I hope you like it.
Do you have a favorite pattern you want to see in a nail art?  If you do, send me a photo and I'll see what I come up with.
Ciao for now.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Inspired By Fabric - A Purple Floral

Inspiration can come from anywhere.  Nature, architecture, geometic designs, fashion, etc.  Lately I've been drawing inspiration from everywhere.  Today I was inspired by a pretty purple floral fabric.

When I saw the busy fabric, right away I thought of all the stamping plates that I could use to duplicate or come very close to the floral pattern in the fabric.  The colors drew me too.  I recently bought a Zoya polish that I didn't review during Zoya week. Perfect manicure opportunity.

Caitlin, Isa, Hudson

I pulled out my plates, grabbed my polishes and got to work.  I used a plate from one of two CiCi & SiSi sets that I purchased on EBay. I never heard of that brand before I bought the sets and they turned out to be pretty nice.
CiCi & SiSi Plate 10
Zoya Caitlin
Zoya Isa
Zoya Hudson

I used Isa as the base color and stamped the patteren using Hudson and MdU Neon Blue. Then I taped off the sides and painted a wide strip of Caitlin down the middle of the nail.  This time I used Isa to stamp the same pattern.  I painted two white stripes down the sides and finished with a top coat.

Tell me what you think.  Would you like to see more fabric inspired nail art? Please comment below.  Ciao for now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Zoya Week Finale: Meet Imogen and Arizona

Today brings us to the end of Zoya Week.  For the grand finale, I have these two last beauties.

This is Imogen from Zoya's Pixie Dust collection.  In an earlier Zoya Week post I explained that Pixie Dust polishes are matte glitter textured polishes that have a flat sparkle.  Imogen is a little different in that it also has flecks of silver glitter. The base color is matte black.  I doubt if you'd want to wear it to the office or a job interview. It might not hurt, but it surely wouldn't help you get the job, unless it's beauty or fashion related, or if Goth is an acceptable look.

For this manicure I chose the most obvious design -- Zebra print.  How could I finish out the week without at least one animal print? It was also a good opportunity to try out my new Bundle Monster stamping plate and Mundo De Unas White stamping polish.

Bundle Monster BM-XL08

This is Arizona, a bright orange cream polish.  No bells and whistles here, just a pure soft orange two-coat polish.  I had to use another of my newer stamping plates.  This one was full of designer emblems.  I chose Louis Vuitton with white and navy accent colors.

A recap of the week.

Ciao for now.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Zoya Week Sunday: Meet Edyta and Neely

Although I have more Zoya polishes to share with you, we've come to the end of our week long Zoya journey.  These last two ladies are in direct contrast with one another.  Edyta is a black/gold micro glitter while Neely is a pastel green creme.

Since my new stamping polishes and stamping plates arrived, I haven't been able to stop playing with them.  I did several manicures, but somehow lost the pics (Painful. I can't talk about it).  But I did salvage these two.

Edyta is a black/gold shimmer polish that appears glittery in the bottle, but is more of a shimmer once applied.  I used gold Mundo De Unas stamping polish with a MoYou London plate from the Explorer set.  The Greco Roman theme worked great with this black/gold polish.
Mundo De Unas Gold 17 and MoYou London Explorer Collection - 09

I have two Neely polishes.  Once again, I unintentionally repurchased a polish. Maybe I could avoid this if I make a list of the polishes I have and carry it with me. Not likely, but it's a good idea. 

This polish is such a soft color that I wanted to add a soft design to it.  I stamped a simple floral design and used a dotting tool to create multi-colored circles.  Soft and simple.

What are your favorite Zoya polishes?