June 30, 2012

Canada Day, Part 1

One of my very first posts on this blog was to show off my Canada Day manicure. Tomorrow being Canada Day once again, I'm here to show you one of my manicures for Canada Day 2012!

Well, to be completely honest, this was the first manifestation of the only one manicure that I had planned to do. I bought Wet n Wild's Explosion After Dark from the limited edition Sparks and Stripes Collection thinking it would be the foundation of my Canada Day mani. I had also planned to use acrylics to paint on a maple leaf, but I stumbled upon a package of Canada themed temporary tattoos.

I used 1 coat of Sally Hansen White On, carefully placed so as to minimize bald spots. On all but my ring finger, I used 1 coat of China Glaze White Cap and 2 coats of Explosion After Dark, which is a mix of silver, black, and red medium-sized hexagonal glitter.

You can really see the gold shimmer that White Cap imparted to this mani in the last 2 pictures. I applied the temporary tattoo using a cotton pad soaked in water placed on top of the tattoo as it was pressed to my nail. You can see a crack in the "h", which is a result of me not applying pressure to the whole curved surface of the nail, causing the edges to lift and crack when I removed the paper backing.

Although I LOVED how this mani turned out and the mix and contrast of the glitters against the white background, I thought that it didn't quite fit the theme of Canada Day enough: too much black glitter, not enough red glitter. But I'll save that for tomorrow's actual Canada Day manicure. ;)

June 29, 2012

Flashback: Kicks

I'm not sure where my desire for this colour from a 2009 collection came about, but it happened, and I turned to my old friend, e-Bay.

I took this picture in front of a TD Bank poster while waiting for the bus. China Glaze Custom Kicks is a bright teal colour with golden shimmer that likes to show up more in the bottle than on the nail. I was hesitant to get it, but what really pushed me over the edge was the fact that the e-tailer only had 2 left. It's a beautifully bright colour that is perfect for summer.

As I'm writing this up, I'm streaming The Hunger Games -- I'm slow with the pop culture trends, ok? -- and losing my mind over Elizabeth Banks being Effie Trinket. WTF! Please excuse me while I continue to gawk at the rest of this movie. :P

June 27, 2012

Sunset Orange

Last week, Wal-Mart had a whole bunch of polishes on sale. It wasn't a huge sale (about $1 off each) but I did manage to pick up a few polishes that were in line with this summer's trend. The first of these was Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro in Sunset Orange.

While initially it may appear to be similar to Caribbean Coral, the polish from my previous post, I can assure you that they are most definitely different. Sunset Orange is definitely more orange-leaning, and of a lighter shade than Caribbean Coral. Sunset Orange is a creme, whereas Coral has some shimmer. Lastly, Coral is much more opaque, only needing a second coat to even things out. This is three coats of Sunset Orange, and there is some VNL (though not as apparent in person). The colour is absolutely fabulous though, so the extra coats would be worth it.

I'm trying to get myself more into orange shades for the summer. I know that this has orange in the name, but it isn't a true orange for sure;. Orange is apparently really in right now, and I just want to be cool. I just want to be COOL.

June 26, 2012


Every now and then, I think that maybe I should do a non-nails related post. For whoever or whatever is reading out there, if anything at all, a post of that nature may not interest you. Most of my non-nails-related musings usually have to do with my other passion, baking. But if I had time to bake, do you really think I would be pre-scheduling my posts on here? Don't think so...

But I promise you, dear possibly-existent-or-not reader, that this post is still related to nails, though only in the slightest. 

Yesterday, I went to my cousin's graduation from elementary school. The experience made me feel 2 things: boredom (WAY too many speeches), and the inexplicable feeling of being old as hell (though I'm not, really. Just old compared to a room full of 13-year-olds). It got me thinking about how long ago my own graduation from elementary school was. It didn't help that all the songs that played on the radio the whole drive home were from that era. I was in full on reminisce mode.

2004 (picture of a picture...SO LAZY)
It kind of made me a little sad to think about those times, mainly because I really don't keep in touch with anybody from back then, and thinking about friendships lost really gets me down in the dumps. Not to mention that the graduation song was playing in the background, like, the whole time and it occurred to me that I was almost 25 and what I knew of where I would be when 25 came was only slightly more detailed than what it was when I heard that song for the first time as it applied to myself back in 2004. (NOTE: I read some of my diaries from this time while in reminisce mode and I thought I would have been married by 22...FOREVER ALONE!!!!)

Fast forward to later that night. And, as my mind usually does, it came onto the thought of nail polish. 2004 was the peak of my first nail polish addiction, and I vividly remember buying a bottle of NYC nail polish in a sheer white with a blue flash for my Grade 8 graduation. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, and there would be no way of finding out, since I threw that bottle away ages ago. Then, riding the same train of thought, I thought about the polish I may or may not have worn to my high school graduation. 

Yesterday also happened to be 4 years to the day of my high school graduation. In 2008, nail polish was definitely not high on the radar. I had this bottle of Sally Hansen Lavender Envy that I wore to pretty much everywhere, in addition to my bottle of Lime Lights and Marine Scene, all sheer polishes by Sally Hansen. Lavender Envy was a sheer pink, impossible to build to opacity, that flashed green in the light. Sadly, I lost Lavender Envy some time in 2009 and I haven't been able to retrieve it. I brought it in my purse to a birthday party of a family friend and I don't remember seeing it since. 

To top it all off, EVERYBODY on my facebook is graduating! It got me thinking about my own, which will be happening next year and not this year with the rest of the people I came into university with. And, of course, it got me thinking -- will I wear yet another sheer polish to follow the trend? Probably not. At this point, sheers are not worth my time, in my opinion. I've mentioned this in previous  posts, but thinking about the future still kind of makes me sick to my stomach. Graduation this time means entering the real world, and it SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME! 

Part of reminisce mode last night was  a longing for the carefree nature of graduating from Grade 8, looking forward to lockers and the safe sort of independence that comes with being a teenager. The valedictorian at the ceremony today sure had a lot to say about being grown up and wanting her father to let her date more boys, (in a few words, "Shut up, Dad, you don't understand," which was a pretty shallow thing to be mentioning considering you're supposed to be the valedictorian and all...way to inspire your class, buddy.)  I really just wanted to tell her that she should slow down. It really is not long until you are facing your last summer, taking a look back.

June 24, 2012

My First Ruffian

Remember how I said  I had bigger plans for Orly Wild Wisteria?

My very first ruffian manicure! I was really excited about doing it, since I waited until my nails were of a good enough length. The decision about the colour combo took a little while, though. I saw the new Revlon French Mix duos at Wal-Mart last week, and the light purple/pink glitter duo drew my eye. The pink glitter looked sheer as hell, and I wasn't willing to pay $7.99 for 0.26oz of that gorgeous purple shimmery polish, so I got Maybelline Iced Queen (from their new Color Show line) instead and topped it off with Essie Pure Pearlfection. I think it replicates the general look of that purple polish. I've read that it's pretty sheer, so I'm happy with the decision I made.

I didn't know how difficult it could be to get a good shape on the design. I ended up going over the darker part near the cuticle again with Wild Wisteria to get the shape right, but  there are a few nails on my right hand where I got the hang of shaping out the lighter part with just a once over with the lighter colour. There's also a bald spot on my pinky because I used too many brushstrokes. I could have fixed it later, but I didn't notice it until after I had put on a coat of the Pure Pearlfection, and...I'm pretty lazy.

This photo here is probably the most colour accurate. My camera doesn't do well with anything that has blue in it because that seems to be the only nuance that it likes to pick up. I had to colour adjust for temperature on these to get them to even remotely resemble the medium purple that Iced Queen is.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with myself and how well this turned out. I really enjoy the look of it and I will definitely be trying this trend out again!

June 23, 2012

This Is Not Red

Sally Hansen Caribbean Coral is another one of the polishes that made up the initial resurgence of my interest in nail polish. I can't be too sure, but I think I might have been looking for something "hotter" than conventional red, but not quite as loud as hot pink.

Caribbean Coral is a deeper, red-leaning coral polish. I've no doubt used it in instances where I've wanted a red polish. I don't own very many true red creme polishes (two!), and to tell you the truth I'm not a huge fan of red, since it stains. Caribbean Coral has a subtle shimmer to it, which I enjoy, but it is just subtle enough to appear to be a creme from a distance. I've used this as a pedi colour many times, during the winter and the summer. I just love how the colour pops!

I am currently in search of Sally Hansen's Coral Reef, which isn't supposed to be hard to find, but I haven't seen it anywhere. I have a feeling that I would find one hiding at a Shoppers somewhere, but I'm really not willing to shell out double the amount. FRIENDS! If you are reading this...help me out? :P

June 22, 2012

Hot, Hot Gradient

The past few days in Toronto have been SWELTERING, and I've been cooped up in the house on my days off avoiding the heat at all costs. It felt like 35 degrees at 8:30 in the morning when I bravely decided to venture to Tim Horton's for an iced coffee! I simply adore the miracle of air conditioning.

I've only done gradient nails once before; twice if you count that one that I did on a nail wheel that didn't turn out so well. With that in mind, going in to doing this mani, I was prepared to fail. I followed a tutorial from The Beauty Department.

Here are the polishes that I used:

L to R: Wet 'n' Wild Sunny Side Up, Wet 'n' Wild Blazed, Wet 'n' Wild Dreamy Poppy, Rimmel Sunset Orange, Sally Hansen Caribbean Coral

You can also see the makeup wedge that I used in the background. I had a bit of a problem figuring out what order the colours would go in, though. The middle polish was a lot more pink than the others and I couldn't figure out where it fit in. I took a couple of pictures that display the evolution of the order of the colours in this gradient.

Eventually I settled on the bottom picture's colour scheme, with the pink right below the Caribbean Coral. If you're not familiar, what you do is soak the makeup wedge in water and then squeeze out most of the water until it's just damp to the touch. Then, you paint on stripes of colour on the sponge in order and dab it a few times on a piece of paper so the colours blend a little bit before you finally sponge it onto your nail.

The tutorial didn't mention anything about painting a base colour on your nails before doing the sponging, but for this mani I decided it would look a lot more blended and bright if I painted my nails a bright orange first, so I started with one coat of Sunny Side Up, a polish that I salvaged from the dead with some Orly polish thinner, that I had bought just that morning...like I knew that I would need it!

Indoors, flash

Indoors, Natural Light


I'm really happy about how this turned out. The base colour, which normally leans more yellow, turned into a more bright, pink-leaning hue with the coral shades sponged over it. It kind of reminds me of a blood orange. This gradient technique was a little bit time consuming, but easy nevertheless. I will definitely be trying this again sometime.

June 20, 2012

Flashback: Juiced

During the last school year, I became slightly obsessed with looking at mini stuff on Etsy. It was the mini fruit slices that really got me...so amazing! So when I saw the mini fimo fruit slices at Sally's, I knew I had to get them.

This was 4 coats of Wet 'n' Wild Sunny Side Up. I normally don't tolerate anything more than 3 coats for a creme, but the colour was so perfect for these orange slices I couldn't pass it up. I pressed the fio slices into the wet polish, so there wasn't a huge need for nail glue, but it probably would have been best if I had some. I topped it with Seche Vite.

The wear on this manicure was a lot better than I thought it would be. I wore this for about a week before the slices started to lift off, and I only had to take it off because I forcefully peeled up one of the slices a bit and it got caught on too many things. I got a LOT of compliments on these nails, and I look forward to using some more of those fruit slices this summer...hopefully.

June 19, 2012

Wet 'n' Wild Blazed

This polish is a survivor from the second infancy of my nail polish addiction. (The first infancy was back in elementary school, which was forever ago now...) I wore it a lot two summers ago, but then I decided it was too bright and I shelved it for awhile.

Lucky for us, brights are back!

My bottle hasn't thickened at all over the years, in fact, I think it may have thinned, if that is possible. This is 3 coats of Wet 'n' Wild Blazed. The bottom picture is far more colour accurate: it's a orange-leaning light coral. The formula was okay, considering this costs $1.49. There are some bald spots, but none that you can see in this picture. Another thing was that, after 2 years of sitting in my drawer, the orange pigment settled in the bottom and some stayed there even with vigorous shaking. :S

This is a really fun colour, and I can see myself pulling this out again sometime this summer, especially since coral is really big right now. I can't believe how fast summer is passing by! STAND STILL, TIME!

June 17, 2012

Deep Purple

Back in January, when I bought that groupon with my friend Tracy, I had intended to buy the multi-coloured sparkle one as well as Imperial Purple, just based off the colour swatches provided on the website. Of course, I forgot the name of the one that I wanted on the day of and instead bought Mount Royal, which is nice, but it wasn't what I was looking for. Not wanting to pay the regular price for Imperial, I went to the blogs for advice.

According to a blog out there, not sure which one, Orly's Wild Wisteria is supposed to be a dead on dupe. I got it as my free polish when Sally's had a buy 2, get 1 free sale.

This is one coat of Wild Wisteria. I had bigger plans for this colour, so I only did one coat and it came out fantastically in terms of opacity. I'm loving the deep purple colour as well. It looks like black from far away, but you can still tell that it is a beautiful shade of purple. :)

June 15, 2012

Essie Smooth Sailing vs. Finger Paints Grape Gumball

So I just spent the entire day watching movies, each movie sharing something in common with the movie that I watched before it. I complained to my friend yesterday that all of my days off were filled with activities and I couldn't wait for the one day off where I would just get to sit at home on the couch like a fat ass and do nothing all day long. 

In keeping with my doing nothing all day, here are some comparison swatches I did awhile back! (Read: I really didn't do anything today)

Essie Smooth Sailing and Finger Paints Grape Gumball are both blue-purple shades with chunky, almost glass-fleck-ish shimmer.

In this light, you really can't tell the difference between the two. I almost didn't buy Grape Gumball because they looked the same to me at first glance.

 The differences are very subtle. Smooth Sailing is a touch more blue than Grape Gumball. They're not exactly the same, but if you have one and you're not obsessed with blurple like I am, you probably don't need both. The formula on both is similar, this is 2 coats each. There's a bald spot visible on my thumb, but that was more due to my application of it rather than the formula itself.

June 13, 2012

Selling Out

In these times, there are a number of things that I am not a fan of.

I'm a huge fan of SNL. The Kardashians, not so much. Apparently, these days, it takes a whole lot of not having any talent to make it to the big time. 

Which is why, when the Kardashians released their nail polish line, I wanted nothing to do with it. It relieved me somewhat that when I saw the promotional pics nothing stood out to me as a colour that I wanted or didn't already have. But then came the bloggers' swatches.

I did a pretty good job restraining myself. It was my final exam period, so the sight of the Kardashians lounging around on their nail polish display definitely didn't improve while I was busting my ass studying from 9 in the morning until 12 at night. Plus, the $9.99 price tag helped. (Plus tax!) 

Then, I went to New York after school ended, and spent a heck of a lot of time perusing the aisles at Walgreens and Duane Reade. Like seriously, A LOT OF TIME. SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. Not really sure what was with that, but most of it had to do with us being thirsty all the time. And, well, one thing lead to another...

I gave in and bought Kim-pletely In Love from Nicole by OPI. Apparently Kim Kardashian wore this on her wedding day. And, she probably got divorced before the polish had a chance to chip. This pale pink has some blue shimmer in it, plus some surprising pink-reddish shimmer that came out to play in the sun while I was driving. It took 4 coats to achieve this kind of opacity, and there's still some VNL, but it wasn't so noticeable from afar.

All things considered, I really liked this colour. It was pretty, it was feminine...it was work appropriate. I'm still trying to get over the fact that I have essentially given the Kardashians some of my money. (Less of my money, because I got it for $8 while the dollar was at par.) But I don't like to think about it, because the polish was gorgeous. 

As far as I can tell, this was my first and only Kardashian polish. Hopefully.

June 11, 2012

Flashback: Smooth Sailing

Most of my flashback posts come with some sort of story. This one will be no exception.

My simple-minded existence consists mainly of thinking up "the one perfect colour" that I absolutely NEED to have, and going about my days looking for it. Mainly. You know, in between work, school, and social...commitments. But anyway, in the early moments of the summer of 2011, "the one" could be described as periwinkle.

This was in the pre-Sally Beauty and Chatters era, so I only went to Trade Secrets for non-drugstore brand polishes. It was a Friday morning; I had work at 10AM and I was at Trade Secrets at 9:30 sharp to search for a purple colour my aunt had used for a pedicure. It was buy 1 get 1 half off on Zoya and Essie that month, so I got Zoya Mira, and this baby, Essie's Smooth Sailing:

At the time I thought my search had ended -- dark periwinkle, subtle but ever-present silvery shimmer, wonderful formula...but you know it never ends with me. Within the next week I bought 2 other periwinkle shades, including China Glaze Secret Periwinkle on my first trip to Sally's. Still, I'll remember this as my first.

I'm a sucker for anything blue/purple/blurple, so I don't see my accumulation of like colours ending anytime soon!

June 09, 2012

Fish Egg Manicure

I wanted to post this as a caviar manicure, but I really didn't think that this was a great time for me to be getting any cease and desist letters, so I changed it last second. Today is a special post, as today I will be going to my cousin's wedding...and to celebrate, a wedding manicure!

It's a wedding manicure because it incorporates 4 elements: something old (Barielle - Love: I already owned this polish, and it is appropriately named), something new (the beads, bought at Michael's while they still had their 20% off e-mail promotion), something borrowed (THE TREND!), and something blue (Sally Hansen Smooth and Perfect - Air, a light blue pastel with a hint of shimmer).

Doing a fish egg manicure was both easier and harder than I thought it would be. Sticking the beads on was much easier than I thought; I thought that the beads would just roll off and I would really have to work hard to stick them on, but I was wrong -- the beads stuck to my nail polish as I sprinkled them on and only needed light pressure to really get them in there. The clean-up was definitely harder. As I type this, my foot has picked up about a billion little beads while brushing against the floor. I'll definitely be using a more efficient way to collect the loose beads next time.

I'm kind of regretting my decision now to paint my thumb blue underneath. The white is much more elegant. But the blue has some charm to it as well. It casts the clear beads more towards their purple/gold colour from the shimmer.

I like the look much more than I thought I would. I fully expected to be borderline disgusted with the look, owing to my lack of experience with this type of mani, but I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how well it turned out!

June 08, 2012

Finger Paints Grape Gumball

Back in the day, I was obsessed with chewing gum. Part of it had to do with the fact that I had braces for 2 years; the forbidden fruit always tastes the sweetest. I always used to bug my parents for the 50 cents to go and buy gumballs from the machine. My favourite flavour of bubble gum was grape, but for some reason, I could not stand the grape gumballs.

This is Finger Paints Grape Gumball from their spring collection:

Grape Gumball is a blurple with coarse silver shimmer that has a bit of a teal tinge. The formula was top notch, and can even go on in one coat if you`re careful. This is two coats.

I bought this polish at Sally`s for $3.20, because it was the absolute last bottle remaining in the store. I wasn`t originally going to buy this nail polish because I thought it bore too much of a similarity to Essie Smooth Sailing. But for $3, I couldn`t pass it up. I`ll do a comparison some time in the future.

June 06, 2012

Covered in Diamonds Jubilee

Wouldn't you know it, the second that I mention that I am ecstatic to have extra material to post, I don't post for almost a week! It's going to be a quick post today, because I'm just coming back from a steak dinner and I'm feeling symptoms of major itis. I missed a birthday dinner for a friend of mine to go to this other dinner for work, so I'm pretty pleased that it came with some delicious steak. :)

Over the weekend, I was pretty much parked in front of the television during the hours where I wasn't at work for two reasons. The first being that Friday is TLC's Bride day and I| was catching up on a bunch of Four Weddings episodes (I can't get enough of that show!), and the second being the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I have been obsessed with the royals ever since the 5th grade when I borrowed a book about Prince William from my elementary school's library, forgot to return it over the summer, and then...switched schools. WHOOPS! It still claims a shameful spot in my book case.

I wanted to do a manicure to commemorate the occasion, but I was so darned busy that I failed to paint my nails any colour at all. To make up for it, I'm posting a quick layering mani of Color Club Covered in Diamonds over How I Met Your Magenta.

I didn't end up wearing this for long, because I was in the process of changing my polish when I decided to do some layering over my existing manicure before I removed it. I didn't end up putting a top coat on, but I could tell from the texture of the polish that it would take a couple of coats to even it out. I was drawn to Covered in Diamonds because it bore some similarity to Luxe and Lush from the Hunger Games Collection. The formula for this was pretty terrible -- I would liken it to a bunch of glitter shards mixed in with some clear paste. You pretty much have to drop a huge glob of it on your nail and then spread it around as best you can...

Now I was going to tell you that I still have loads of material to go through, but this time no promises will be made! My cousin is getting married on Saturday, so it has been pretty hectic. Keep your fingers crossed!