May 30, 2012


FINALLY, a full Essence mani! I was so excited about these coming to Canada, and then...I sort of just accumulated a bunch of them and never really tried any of them on.

This is Gleam in Blue from Essence:

Gleam in blue is a sky blue-coloured metallic/frost. I'm not a big fan of frost finishes, since they're pretty brush stroke prone, and this really wasn't an exception. It's a great colour, just not my cup of tea. HOWEVER, I will say that the formula was amazing. This was 2 coats, but you really could get away with just one if you're careful.

I know that there is a dent in my index finger, but that can be chalked up to my sheer laziness and the fact that I will probably be changing this colour very soon and see no benefit from me re-doing that finger. My hands also look extremely oily in that picture, but it's only because I had just finished putting on some body butter from The Body Shop. The pot I'm using right now is pretty ancient, so I feel like a bit of a hypocrite when I tell people at the store not to use their old creams because there might be bacteria growing in them (aside from the fact that the active drug is probably...inactive). I keep telling myself it's okay just as long as I don't put it on before eating. There's about 15% of the pot remaining...I promise the denial ends once it's empty. :P

You can get these cute Essence polishes from Shoppers Drug Mart for $1.49 (and really, I should have just called some of my peeps at Shoppers to hook me up with a discounted price, but I wasn't thinking very clearly). It was in a little display that said "Limited Edition Colours", but I have seen it at other Shoppers locations mixed in with the permanent collection display. For the price, it's hard to go wrong.

May 28, 2012

The Day of the Glass Shards (or, an ode to Angeline)

I hope you all enjoyed my clip from Baby Mama in the last post. LOVE THAT MOVIE. If you are as crazed as I am, you would have probably noticed that the clip just kept going on and on, the movie unfurling before you. :)

A couple of days ago, there was an incident. While taking a dress out of my closet to try on, I knocked over a small basket full of polishes that my mom had been picking through for her pedicure. The result was...a bright pink puddle on the floor. My bottle of American Apparel's Angeline had broken. The worst part was, the basket dragged a brand new top (like super brand new, I had bought it that morning) down with it and now it has bright pink splatters all over it. :( I didn't take a picture. It would have been too depressing.

Here is a poem expressing my state of depression:

Oh, Angeline, you were of bright pink.
If only I had stopped to think,
To put you into your proper place,
In the polish drawer, sparing my top of lace.

I bought you back at the start of the year,
With a Groupon at a price set to clear.
You only cost me three dollars flat,
but your explosion has cost me three times that!

Your demise forced me to do some cleaning,
To count the bottles who sit there gleaming.
I picked you up with my friend Tracy,
maybe 200 bottles is much too crazy?

Eternal no-buy? Might be in my future.

May 26, 2012

The Day of the Glitter Shards

I might have already told you about the day last week when I got 3 bottles of glitter polish that had these glitter "shards" as I refer to them. They're not quite flakies, not quite a uniformly shaped glitter, they're...shards. The first two I got from Winners, Color Club's Diamond Drops and Covered in Diamonds. I actually had to do some switcheroo to get Covered in Diamonds (it looks so much like Luxe and Lush from The Hunger Games collection, I had to get it), but to be fair, the other polish paired with Diamond Drops wasn't the one that was originally inside that Color Club duo anyway, so...justified.

The other was from Forever 21, the creatively named Pink:

I slowly got tired of the orange-ness and the nude-ness of Sorbet that I decided a coat of this would do the trick. Pink is a mixture of small iridescent round glitters with larger "shards" of glitter in a sheer pink base. This was one coat of Pink, but it wouldn't have been a bad thing to do two coats to even out the tone since on further inspection there were some areas of the nail that were more pink than others.

I really like how Pink turned the colour into this delicate cross between pink and orange. It's sunsetty. Like a sunset:

For the first time ever, I have actually fallen behind on posting swatches! This kind of excites me, since I'm more of a wear the manicure kind of girl. This, of course, means no shortage of new material, so if you're there, please stay tuned. :P

May 24, 2012

Just Peachy

This post begins with a many of my posts do.

Way back when my nail polish obsession was growing into its current full blown addiction, I took my first big shopping trip down to Buffalo. It was one of the first summers where the mighty loonie was slightly larger than the American dollar and we were going to take full advantage of it, goddammit! My excitement stemmed primarily from being able to get my hands on nail polish brands that, to my knowledge at the time, were not readily available in Canada. I dreamt of finding Hidden Treasure, bucketloads of Nubar, and Orly Mint Mojito. I now know that this expectation was highly unrealistic.

I passed over Color Club Revvvolution (mistake, since it is now a huge lemming of mine), and spent most of my time fawning over Orly polishes, since I was still unaware of the Sally Beauty Supply that was situated a 10 minute walk away from my home. I walked away with a couple of China Glazes, finally, one of which I was convinced was Peachy Keen. It wasn't until we were on the ride back across the border that I realized what I had picked up was not Peachy Keen...just another (not peach) orange that had been sitting in Peachy Keen's place. Brain fart on account of nail polish excitement overload.

Fast forward about 2 years. On a walk through Wal-Mart in search of outdoor decorations for a barbecue, I pass by a display of these new Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect polishes, on sale. Sale and Nail Polish: two things I can't turn away from. I picked up Air and Sorbet. Air was something I grabbed instantly, but Sorbet must have been picked up and put down about three times. I had spent the last 2 years convincing myself that anything resembling peach or Peachy Keen would not look good on me.

I know it's nowhere near as orange as Peachy Keen, but I enjoyed it all the same. I wore it for about 3 days, until its nearness to my own skin tone made me reconsider. I spent most of elementary school referring to the peach pencil crayon as "skin colour", only deciding near the end that I was nowhere near peachy in skin tone, being of Filipino descent...until now.

I applied 3 coats of this polish, and even after those 3 relatively thick coats, there were still bald spots on my nails. You can't see them here, but they were there alright. Also, I don't know if it was just the way I applied it, but there were so many air bubbles, even though I didn't shake the bottle prior to application. Could it be what makes this polish more "breathable" as Sally Hansen claims it to be? I don't really see the point, though, since most people either put on a base or top coat, so there's that extra layer there that might not be as breathable, defeating the purpose.

This was also the first time I tried Nubar Diamont top coat. It came in a set with my polka dots polishes, so I thought I would give it a try this time. I was quite impressed by the glassy shine it gave my manicure, much like Seche Vite. There is still a not-so-pleasant smell, but it is much less than that of Seche Vite, for sure. I've been reading on other blogs that there was a formula change for Diamont, but I can't tell if this is the good or the bad version. It dried to the touch very quickly, but the first time I put it on, my manicure dented after I went to eat lunch about 20 minutes after, which didn't happen when I used Seche, so...? Either way, I'm still impressed with Diamont and will probably end up using it from time to time in addition to my current favourite, Revlon Quick Dry.

The weather in Toronto has been amazing for the last week or so, and I'm really hoping it will hold out until the weekend so I can enjoy some more of it!

May 21, 2012

Nails Inc. Spitalfields

Last Wednesday, I took a little trip down to the mall and happened upon is the usual pattern of my trips to the mall. My only intention of entering Sephora was to try out a bunch of testers and to maybe score some sweet loot from the clearance section and the area near the cash register where they have all those cute little mini products. My wallet's been feeling a little empty lately. It was all going well ($5 for a Hello Kitty Liquid Nail Art polish) until...

The lady at the register had all but said "$5.65, please," when I laid my eyes on Nails Inc.'s new magnetic polish release, Spitalfields. It's green. It's a magnetic polish, with a magnet I don't already have. And, did I mention that it's green?

Of course, the Sephora employee did nothing to stop me from handing her that glorious bottle of emerald magic, and after I'd done so well at avoiding the Ilamasqua rack! I was so excited about this new magnetic polish that it jumped ahead of all the other untrieds that I had waiting to be tried on this weekend. But...

Although the colour was gorgeous, I was highly disappointed by the magnet, especially considering that their previous wavy magnet was superb. My nails are not overtly curved, but they were just curved enough that the magnet would only impart its design on the top surface of my nail, if at all. And, I don't know if it was just  me, but it seemed as though the lines of the design seemed to fade as the days wore on, despite the fact that I had applied a top coat. Is that a normal problem to have with magnetic polishes? 

Overall, I feel like the design of the magnet was a very good idea in theory but not so much in the execution. I also noticed that if you applied a third coat (e.g. because the second one dried up too fast and you had to try the magnet again), the design would not even show up at all, which was highly disappointing for me, as it meant you would have to start all over again. I will probably wear this polish again, but with another magnet.


May 17, 2012

Nobody knows...

As promised, here is another TV-related nail polish:

Yes, I am aware that this polish may actually be named after Henry Gray's Anatomy of The Human Body, but all the other polishes are TV references, so it must be named for Grey's Anatomy, my favourite show for the last 6 years or so.

Unfortunately, I was working until 9 this evening and didn't get home until about 9:30. And, even though I recorded the season finale on the PVR, I still haven't been able to watch it on account of my parents hogging the TV to watch their PVR recording of American Idol (a show that I totally have no interest in, tbh). I'm itching to watch it, like, literally.

Wet 'n' Wild Gray's Anatomy is a gray/lavender polish with a pink to green duochrome effect. I took about 20 pictures of this swatch to try and get an accurate representation of the duochrome effect, but I couldn't capture it perfectly. The polish is rather sheer, so I used 4 coats to bring the colour to opacity.

It looks like it would be close to that Essence shade that I bought, whose name escapes me at the moment. This is definitely another winner from the Wet 'n' Wild Fast Dry line.

May 16, 2012

Flashback: Iced Tea

When I was a little kid, I used to see these at the local Asian grocery store:

I would only ever see this flavour, and I would never see these anywhere else. So, being four, I assumed it was some weird imported drink that would taste disgusting, like the Chinese medicine my grandma used to give me. 

Fast forward about 14 years, and I again encountered an Arizona beverage:

I don't know if you can see it, but there is a little 99 cent price tag printed directly on the can. My first summer job was as a cashier at the now defunct Dominion grocery store. The first evening I worked the express lane, a man in a hurry dumped 2 of them onto my register. The bar code wasn't scanning, so I told the gentleman I would need to do a price check.
"It's 99 cents." He insisted. 
"I still have to do a price check, since it's not scanning." My 17-year-old self explained, grinning smugly at how knowledgeable I was on the procedures of being a  grocery store cashier. 
"It says, right on the can." He jabbed his index finger into the little purple square on the can. "99 cents."
"I know that, sir, but that could be an American price."
"Ridiculous." He sighed in exasperation. 
The stock manager arrived. I held up the can triumphantly. "How much is this?"
The stock manager frowned. "99 cents. It says on the can."
 Needless to say, I never worked the express lane again in the 3 months that I worked there. Finally, a year later, I experienced my first actual taste of an Arizona beverage (don't worry, this is all going somewhere, not just telling random stories about tea...or maybe I am. So what, sue me.):

I am obsessed with these things. If I see a rack of them, I will buy one, whether or not I am thirsty at the moment...I will eventually get thirsty, so why not enjoy an Arizona iced tea? One day, I had a craving for them at home, my laziness keeping me from walking to the nearest store to get some. Out of that laziness, this was born:

It was also born partially due to my contempt for the overpriced nature of the newly introduced Sephora nail art tools. I would show them, recreating the manicure on the front of their brochure using nothing but a small paintbrush and some toothpicks! It shows, I know, but we need to give past me some credit...for a couple of blunt toothpicks used as nail art tools, it's not half bad, no?

The base colour was Avon's Jade, which was something I had been lemming for quite awhile after seeing it on some blogs. It serendipitously came into my possession when my mom left an Avon catalogue on the kitchen table, advertising that select shades were to go on sale for $2, including Jade! I love this colour. It's the perfect shade of jade green and goes on smoothly in 2 coats (I bet you could even do one if you were really careful). The flowers were Zoya Areej for the petals and Sally Hansen White On for the middles.

I loved this when I put it on. I might try and recreate a better version of this manicure this summer. Time will tell.

May 14, 2012

Wait for it...

I realized while twiddling my thumbs this evening, that this week is host to many a season finale on TV. I usually don't watch a lot of it, like some of my very good friends, but there are a few shows that I keep tabs on. As it happens, two shows that I enjoy are ending this week for the summer, and I happen to own nail polishes that are named for them! (Come to think of it, all of the Wet 'n' Wild Fast Dry polishes are named after TV shows...) I will be wearing them this week, hopefully on the dates that correspond to the airing of the season finales.

Tonight, we have Wet 'n' Wild Fast Dry in How I Met Your Magenta

How I Met Your Magenta is not in fact magenta, but a bubblegum pink with golden shimmer running throughout. Of course, this colour was worn in honour of the How I Met Your Mother season finale that just aired. (You need to watch it. You do.)

If you've read any of my previous posts, or if you know me personally, you probably know that I can't stay away from anything that has golden shimmer. I bought this polish specifically for the name, but had it been named anything else, I doubt that I would have been able to put it down regardless. This was my first encounter with Wet 'n' Wild fast dry, and I have to say that I was not at all disappointed. I'm wearing 3 coats of How I Met Your Magenta, but 2 coats would have been sufficient. As for the fast drying time, I would say it was faster than normal polishes, but not instant. Also, it dried with a matte finish, so I ended up putting on a fast dry top coat anyway.

As you also might have noticed, my nails are significantly shorter than they were in my last post. In fact, their increasing length is what pushed me to take off my beautiful squares masterpiece. I spotted a little crack in one of my nails, and, fearing a full out breakage, decided to chop them off to be safe rather than sorry. I personally think patches are kind of gross, so I would much rather have ugly nubs than "pretty" patched up cracking-off talons.

So there you have it. This colour is such a beauty, I can't stop looking at the golden shimmer. If you are a fan of How I Met Your Mother, you should go and watch the finale. Go. Do it now.

May 10, 2012


Now I'm really excited about this mani, despite the fact that it took nearly 2 hours and now I have a headache...

This was another scotch tape mani. I painted my nails with 1 coat of Sally Hansen White Out, and then I laid out thin pieces of scotch tape (cut up, of course) in a grid pattern. The colour pattern that I used was mostly random, but I did try to pick colours that would flow with each other:

Blues: Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, China Glaze Secret Periwinkle, American Apparel Mount Royal
Purples: Joe Fresh Iris, Essence A Lovely Secret
Green: Essie Turquoise and Caicos

It was a huge pain in the butt to do, but I am quite pleased with the result. The last few days have been lived out in a sort of high school reminiscent theme, so it is only fitting that tonight I will be heading down to my old high school to watch my brother's concert. I was going to do music themed nails as a result, but I decided I wanted to do something more all-purpose. I'm currently laid out on the couch, enjoying today as much as I can, since I'll be going back to work tomorrow, boo. :P

May 09, 2012

Flashback: Blue Gradient

Before I got my netbook for my 20th birthday, I used to be a good student. Like, print-out-my-notes-write-down-every-word-give-loud-people-the-stink-eye good.

But then of course I fell victim to browsing the internet in class afterwards. One of the first things I did was look up nail art tutorials on Youtube with the sound turned off. The first one I looked at was this one, by MissChevious:

So, having a whole day off from work last summer, I decided to try it out:

I'm going to say right now that I prefer her choice of colours over mine by a long shot. To this day I still don't have a paler blue colour in my collection that doesn't suck formula-wise. I painted the lightest blue on as a base and then sponged the rest of the colours on. The colours used were (from cuticle to tip): Nicole by OPI Baby Blue, China Glaze Periwinkle, Essie Smooth Sailing, Sally Hansen Thinking of Blue, China Glaze Grape Juice, and Wet n Wild Kaleidoscope.

Tomorrow I have another day off from work, so hopefully I can finally get started on some nail art. I bought some holographic glitter at Icing at 50% off, so I'm also hoping to make some frankens in the next few weeks, if my discount glitter doesn't melt in nail polish. Fingers crossed!

May 07, 2012

Zoya Apple

While doing my toenails, I flip-flopped between a number of different candidates for my new mani. Like I said before, I was kind of disappointed in Seductive Berry, but everybody really liked it so I kept it on a little longer than I planned to. I was going to get a start on my summer nail art, but I didn't have a chance to sit down until it was almost midnight and I really wasn't in the mood to do anything too elaborate. In any case, it was time for me to pick a more summery colour in honour of the start of summer!

The colour that eventually won out was Zoya Apple, a colour that I debated buying all of last summer and eventually got my hands on it at 50% off a few months ago.

Apple is an apple-green with chunky gold shimmer. The finish is a bit frosty, which I'm not digging at the moment, but it's slowly beginning to grow on me. 

After 2 coats I still saw some visible nail line, but it might have just been the bright light from my desk lamp. In any case, 3 coats will do the job. I had lobster hands when I was doing my stretches this morning, which was odd, since my skin tone does not usually lend to lobster hands, but nevertheless, it happened. The picture definitely makes it seem like I have lobster hands, but trust me, in real life my skin is yellow as can be!

In other news, I called my bank today to figure out why my credit card wasn't working. I thought it was because I used it in NYC and they thought it had been stolen. Turns out I missed my minimum payment of $10.00. Whoops. I could hear the judgement leaking from the voice of the lady on the other end. I guess it was for the best that my card wasn't working, otherwise I would have bought the entire Zoya Surf collection...

May 05, 2012

The Hunt for Essence

Essence came to Canada a few months ago, but only within the last week have I been able to get my hands on some. Essence is a little European brand that sells these cute little mini nail polishes for $1.49CAD and I've heard nothing but good things! Even then, what I have to show for my quest thus far is really not that impressive.

About 3 weeks ago, I used the Shoppers Drug Mart store locator to find the store with Essence that was least out of my way. It gave me the location of a SDM about 2 blocks from Union Station. I could hardly contain my excitement as I took time out of my busy exam-time schedule to go and check it out, but...alas, no Essence display. :(

You can imagine my disappointment.

The weekend before I left for my vacation, I was running some last minute errands when I came upon...AN ESSENCE DISPLAY! It was mostly empty, but still. I snatched up the last 2 bottles, Luxury Secret and Where Is The Party? (2 bottles on the right). This morning, while killing time before work, I picked up 2 more, Choose Me! and Gleam in Blue. I am a little disappointed that I've only been able to pick up 4 of these awesome little bottles, but rest assured that I will have more before the summer is out.

I haven't yet had a chance to swatch any of these, but when I do I can feel that there will be some comparisons to be had, namely between Choose Me! and Wet 'n' Wild Teal of Fortune, AND Where is the Party? and Wet 'n' Wild Gray's Anatomy. Stay tuned!

May 04, 2012

Flashback: Scotch Tape Mani

To close out the first week of summer, I thought I would go back to the manicure that I had during the last week of last summer.

The idea mainly came from browsing the internet after hearing about an article on nail trends in Vogue from the pharmacist I worked with. I cut little thin strips from pieces of scotch tape and stuck them in random patterns on top of nails painted (and completely dried) with Sally Hansen Celeb City. Most of the versions I'd seen had white underneath, but I felt that the silver added something special. The other colours used were Zoya's Mira, Areej, and Breezi (all from the Zoya Summer 2011 collection) and China Glaze Entourage.

This is currently the cover photo of my facebook album for my nail art, and it's definitely one of my favourites. I haven't done any nail art yet this summer, but I'm excited to try out a bunch of different things!

May 03, 2012

My Greatest Creation...

No, I'm not talking about a mani, at least not in particular. This is my friend Susan:

I didn't know if she was ok with a face picture, so I settled for a Times Square jumping shot

I made her into a nail polish addict. Like, standing in the middle of a drugstore debating between two shades of almost-identical red at 11 o'clock at night on your vacation while 12 other people waited addicted (I was about to say 13, but I was clearly doing exactly the same thing as she was). Or like, I-didn't-study-for-two-hours-because-I-was-shopping-for-nail-polish addicted. I've created a monster, and I'm damn proud of it.

Anywhooooo, this is a joint project of ours, that we were supposed to wear to New York together, except that we did it too early and quickly tired of it. Here was my contribution:

Mind you, I did this in an hour after I gave up on studying. I tried using hole punch reinforcements to help me with the sweetheart neckline of what was supposed to be a dress, but it was far too time consuming so I free-handed it. The dress is Sally Hansen's Save the Date, the skin tone is Zoya Cho, and the pearls are Barielle Love. It honestly looks kind of crappy. But...

Seriously, is that not the cutest? Almost makes up for my crappy free handing. I'm kind of bummed that we didn't keep them on long enough for the cute nails couple to go and see Phantom of the Opera. They would have been so much more well dressed than we were...

I'm so glad we've recruited another one over to the dark side. So glad.

May 02, 2012


Back from New York! Let me tell you, it is both wonderful and depressing at the same time that I'm writing this in my pajamas at 3PM in my living room in front of Forrest Gump on the television, in cloudy old Toronto when less than 48 hours ago I was frolicking (yes, frolicking) on a sunny day in Central Park.

Anyway, even though I didn't get as much shopping done as I wanted to, I did end up buying a few nail polishes. This one is one I bought specifically for the name:

This is S.X.Y. by Unforgettable Moments in Seductive Berry. It's a pink-leaning red that I honestly am a little disappointed in since in the bottle it appeared to be more pink and it's a lot more red on the nail than I expected. The formula was a little watery, so it made for an awfully streaky first coat. On the first nail it started to separate, so I thought that it was a crackle polish, but it evened out on the second coat.

I knew I needed to have a nail polish from this brand the second we walked by the window of Payless on our way to lunch. We have this professor, whom we "lovingly" call Sxy (pronounced like Sexy) thanks to a very unfortunate assignment of e-mail addresses based on initials. The colours were pretty unremarkable, though, which is a shame. There was also an SXY perfume that I considered buying, but let's be real -- the joke isn't that funny.

Since summer has begun, I think you should expect some more crazy nail art from me!