Thursday, December 6, 2012

Essie It's Genius

Here's a quick phone swatch of a 3-day-old mani. It's Genius is a really pretty purple shimmer that's opaque in 2 coats.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

China Glaze Cirque du Soleil

I've been DYING for this collection! On our first family vacation, my parents and I saw La Nouba, and it completely opened my eyes to what performance can be. It was seriously life changing. We've seen two or three shows that have travelled through our state since then. There was even a point in high school that I almost auditioned for a part in a show that was going to travel through Asia. Cirque is pretty much one of my favorite things ever. So the day that this collection showed up on Transdesign, I didn't even wait for any swatches to show up. Add to cart, check out, wait impatiently for them to be delivered!

I only ordered the "interesting" half of the collection, and they're all beautiful.

To start, here's Bend Over Backwards. This is just one coat, no top coat. It's a really pretty, shimmery red that feels very holiday appropriate.

Here it is with an accent nail of Whirled Away. Whirled Away is obviously related to Connect the Dots (what would Lynnderella have to say about this, I wonder?! haha), but as I've never seen it in person... I can only speculate, but the white hexes seem larger to me, and the bar glitter is only black.
Speaking of bar glitter, I actually don't hate it here! I think it's because it's just black, instead of shiny and obnoxious.

And here it is over all of my nails! This is over Zoya Carly, which I just recently showed you, because I slapped it on as soon as I got the box open!

Applying Whirled Away was not my favorite experience in the world, and here's why. Check out that brush: NOTHING ON IT. I had to fish around to get anything out of the bottle. Then dabbing seemed to be the best application for me. Your milage may vary, of course.

This is Get Carried Away. Silver micro glitter, the same black bars & hexes as Whirled Away, silver hexes, and hexes that I feel are supposed to be red but instead come out a little pink? Index is one coat over black; middle is one coat over gray (Orly Mirror Mirror), ring is 2 coats and pinky is 1.
 I think this is best as a layering polish, but I don't think I'll ever layer it over black. You lose the black glitter and it makes it much less interesting.

Running in Circles is a densely-packed green shimmer, and when I say dense I mean it: this is one coat! It falls somewhere between Zoya's Ivanka and Apple in terms of color. From some angles, there is some VNL, so I might layer this over a green, or do two or three thinner coats.

Water You Waiting For is small blue glitter and slightly larger purple glitter in a clear base. It dries really gritty. I put a thick coat of NYC top coat on these and took photos before it had dried, and by the time I was done taking pictures it had already started to eat it up.
I see myself wearing this as a really pretty gradient. I also see myself using peel off base!
Index is over black; middle finger is over gray (Orly Mirror Mirror), ring finger is two coats; and pinky is just one coat.

It's a Trap-eze! makes my little nerdy heart go all aflutter! Even if I didn't care about Cirque, this polish would have been mine JUST for the name! Ah, China Glaze, thank you for this.
This polish is sort of like making a jelly sandwich with a DL Happy Birthday dupe. I'm not a connoisseur of all those glitters, but I've been seeing some talk from The Polishaholic saying that this has white glitters that the others don't.

One coat:
 And two coats.

Overall, I can't say that I can see this collection as "inspired" by Cirque du Soleil, but I'm really glad I got these! I'll wait until I see swatches of the "boring" half of the collection before I decide to get any of those.
I hope this helps you decide which ones you will be getting!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No H8.

Conveniently, I had a purple waiting to be worn! Zoya Carly, two coats.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Misa Live Without Knowing

My husband got a raise last week, so we both decided to splurge; he bought a couple football video games and I placed a huge order at Transdesign. Have I sung their praises before? If not, I should have. I adore them. Cheap Essie and China Glaze, plus Misa and Sation and Orly and other brands I can't find anywhere around here. They even started carrying OPI again (here, as they haven't updated their polishes page to show it). I'll show you what my haul included later, but right now I'm too excited about the first pretty I put on!

Misa: Live Without Knowing. 

Two coats, no top coat. It has a lovely formula, just like every other Misa I've tried; I had minimal cleanup. At one coat it could have been fine, but I added a second to make sure there was no VNL.

Live Without Knowing is, at it's core, a taupe. It's just what I want this time of year. But it's so much more than that! Look at that RIDICULOUS SHIMMER, people. It's incredible. There's a fair amount of purple hidden in there, and a whole lot of gold, and I think I see a little pink, too.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I haven't posted in forever and ever and ever. We moved, I went on vacation, I started teaching again, and blogging (or even doing my nails!) stopped being a priority. But I miss y'all, so I'm going to try again.
I'm blogging from my iPhone, but hopefully these are still alright photos. I'm pretty sure I will be a lot more likely to keep up if I don't have to deal with getting photos from my camera, editing, uploading, and all that jazz. I do that enough in my real life!

This is one perfect coat of Sinful Colors Rain Storm; I got it on sale for $1 and the formula is glorious. Then I did a sponge gradient from the cuticle with Sinful Colors Neptune (which I have posted about before). It was a great look that lasted all weekend; it even made it through the KU football game, and that's saying something (we really suck),

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stamping! Attempt #1

Guys! The Bundlemonster plates I ordered got here last week, and then I had to wait ANOTHER week before my stamper got here! It was the most frustrating week ever. Walking to the mail box in hopes of nail mail only to be disappointed AGAIN? So sad. But it finally got here today! So here is my first attempt at stamping!

But before I show you the pictures, let me apologize. These photos are from my iPhone, not my real camera! But we are moving across town right now, so most of our stuff is in boxes, including my card reader!

I used WnW Fergie Miami Spirit. It's super lovely! It dried demi-matte, which I wasn't expecting, but that meant it dried super fast. The brush was big & floppy, but not unmanageable. And after top coat, it has some seriously gorgeous shimmer!
I stamped using BM201 and a white from a Rimmel french manicure set.

None of these are quite color accurate; but the left one here is probably closest. It wants to photograph a lot bluer than it actually is.

Also, you just saw my right hand! Two of the nails on my left hand are totally mangled, so it's going to be a couple weeks before I feel okay photographing it again. Plus, I started on my left hand and then moved to my right hand, and I can definitely tell how much better my stamping got!

For me, the hardest thing about stamping was figuring out the right amount of polish. I started with WAY too much, but as soon as I figured that out, it got a lot better.

I've only done it once, but it's official: I LOVE STAMPING! It's so much fun, it makes me feel fancy, and it's so much easier than the final outcome looks! J'adore.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Welcome back!

I am still alive!

A billion million apologies for being gone for so so so so so so long!
I temporarily moved back to live with my parents in May so I could do a piano gig at the theatre there. I spent 5 weeks away from my husband & my students, which was not fun at all. I also spent 5 weeks playing piano, which is always really cool (I love that I am making a living using my music degree!!) but it was HELL on my nails. And my laptop died for a few days, and I misplaced my camera's battery charger, and etc etc etc.
Long story short, I was gone, and I would like to be back.

To be totally honest, I'm still not making any promises, though. I've spent the last month or two feeling not totally enthusiastic about my nails. It doesn't help that they're in terrible condition, but I've just been feeling bored. I think we've all been there, though, haven't we? Lately I've been trying to do a little more nail art as a way to get back into it and it has been so much fun! I keep it really simple, and it doesn't look great on my misshapen little nubs, but oh well! They'll grow out and I'll have been practicing.

PLUS, I just ordered Konad supplies this afternoon, so by next week I'll get to play with that! Super looking forward to it!

So as a hello again, here are some iPhone pictures from the last month. And yes, I've been so unenthused about my nails that these are most of the manicures I've taken pictures of in that whole time!

This is at the end of the second week. We had just gotten through rehearsals & opening weekend. My nails were so strong and healthy that they lasted that long! Then we started doing shows, and they all just fell to pieces...
This nail art is based on a dress I got that weekend. I'm not good at nail art, though.

 They're broken way past the quick. Not to mention how yellow they are... yuck.

The good thing about short nails: not having to worry about VNL! Elodie is a lovely jelly from Zoya, and I adore it, but on my longer nails I just couldn't handle the VNL. It looks lovely on my little nubs, though.

This was my birthday mani! A gradient with Zoya Wednesday & Zuza. It was pretty much awesome.

Here's my favorite! This gradient is using Orly Pure Porcelain as a base & China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy on top. It was so lovely! We stopped in at the jewelry store to get my ring cleaned & our favorite person there told me it looked like a professional did it. It lasted 5 days, and it had practically no tip wear and looked lovely, but then it just peeled off. :( I haven't had that happen since my nails used to be weak and peel-y and awful, so I think that's what causes it for me.

Now I'm rocking some blue & pink flowers that I'll hopefully show you in the next few days! I've been trying to be more active on twitter again, and it feels good to be here! I've missed you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Milani Sail Away

I have a serious love affair with shimmery blues. It's ridiculous. Someday I'll have to do a comparison of them all... But I'm about to move back to my parent's for a month while I play for a theatre this summer, so I probably won't have time for a couple months! Just don't let me forget. ;)
Today's shimmery blue is Milani Sail Away. It's freaking gorgeous. They released this and Beach Front in the same collection this spring, and I just died. 

It's a perfect cornflower shade of blue with the most incredible silver shimmer. And the shimmer is not at all shy!

I think this is probably very similar to Sinful Colors Neptune. Unless you're like me and need every shimmery blue ever invented, you'd probably be fine with just one or the other.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Apology Spam

I'm SO SORRY I just took such a long, unintended hiatus! The last few weeks, the blog has just not really been on my radar at all. My husband started a new job, I had a big recital to get ready for, my 30 students have been getting ready for their recitals, and I had several juries to play for during finals week at the university. Even though I'm not in school anymore, it looks like the last couple weeks of the semester still throw me off! PLUS, I just found out last week that I am in fact going back home for the next 5 weeks to play for the theatre's opening show this season, even though two months ago I told them I wasn't going to... that's a long story I'm not going to go into. But basically, I have to spend the next 5 weeks away from my husband & my students & my friends, so I've been trying to fit in as much time as possible. 
All of this is just to say I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, and here is some spammage to hopefully alleviate your anger with me. :)

Zoya Neeka. I'm pretty sure 2 coats, natural light, no topcoat. I've shown her before, but here she is again.

Milani Beach Front. Again, probably 2 coats, no topcoat, natural light. This is super gorgeous.

Milani Electric Pink. They're not joking, this sucker is ELECTRIC. It's also pink in some lightings, but sometime it's more coral, and sometimes it practically looks neon orange. This picture is pretty accurate to its pink hues, though.

OPI I Vant to be A-Lone Star. Pretty gray-blue. It can get a little brush stroke-y for me, but it wasn't too bad.

Zoya Kimmy. This lovely is my husband's favorite, but whenever I try to take pictures of her, they don't turn out right. This is the most accurate I've managed so far. It's a bright, cool red with INCREDIBLE gold shimmer. Like, wow. Just wow. Love.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pink Wednesday: OPI "If You Pink So..."

Here's a pink wednesday that I don't think anyone has seen before! Or at least, I haven't found any swatches of it...
I went to Beauty Brands to kill some time the other day, and they had a shelf full of this pretty pink. Here's the display...

It's called "If You Pink So..." and it looks like it's a brand new Beauty Brands exclusive. I usually look up swatches before I buy anything, but when I googled this one, absolutely nothing came up! So here you go.

This is a bottle shot I took in the car with my iPhone right after buying it. It's got a really pretty shimmer in it! Blue & pink. (PS, on my nails is one of the OPI sorbets; Guy Meets Galveston, I think?)

These are all 2 coats with no top coat.

This isn't color accurate, but you can see the shimmer a little better.

It's a medium pink with strong blue undertones. I'm currently wearing Essie's Bachelorette Bash on my toes, and they're exactly the same color. Seriously, insanely perfectly matched. So if you know what the Essie looks like, you know what color If You Pink So... is; just imagine it with a really subtle blue & pink shimmer.

What do you think of If You Pink So...? Have you heard of it before? Will you be getting it now?