July 31, 2012

Jeans and Cocktails

Last Saturday, my friends and I went out for drinks and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out this cocktail manicure that has been floating around the interwebs.

The idea is that you paint the first 3 fingers on the hand you hold your drink with in a bold accent colour so that it stands out as you hold your drink. I originally started with a plain manicure using a duochrome polish, but it clashed with my outfit so I switched to the cocktail manicure.

I started out with the "base" colour, for lack of a better word. I used a polish from the new Maybelline Color Show line called Denim Dash.

What's interesting about this polish is that it has a fine silvery-gray shimmer and it dries matte, giving the illusion of looking like denim. Genius. This is such a special polish. It has a twin called Styled Out that I originally passed up on because I thought it would be too similar to Essie's Smooth Sailing, but I pretty much ran back to Wal-Mart to get it when I saw that these polishes marked "Denims" had such an interesting finish.

For the accent colour, I used Optical Illusion from the recent China Glaze Prismatic collection, a dense glitter in a tinted base that shifts from teal to pink depending on the angle/lighting. The flash pictures bring out this crazy mermaid-scale-like quality to the colour. There are no words.

Lightbox, direct

Lightbox, indirect

Lightbox, flash

 Bonus, the bottle that I got at Winners came with one of those limited edition silver bottle caps, which is something that I've always wanted to have from China Glaze, but for some reason I just never got one, even when the opportunity presented itself. I'm a very picky polish fiend.

I was also hoping to get a picture of me holding the actual cocktail that I drank that night, but...it never happened, for obvious reasons, LOL. Instead, please enjoy this picture of me holding a wine glass filled with blue water as a simulation of the true purpose of a cocktail manicure.

 I hope you enjoyed that extremely pic-heavy post and had just as good of a weekend as I've had. (I know that the event I'm talking about happened two weekends ago, but I wish you happiness and funtimes all the same.) 

Cocktail manicures (as per the chart from China Glaze) are supposed to be representative of a certain cocktail, but since I just matched the colours to my outfit, I'm not sure what cocktail it would have represented...what cocktail do you think it could have been?

July 29, 2012

China Glaze: Strawberry Fields vs. Ahoy!

I've gotten so many compliments on my Olympics nails, it's crazy! I went to dinner last night and discovered a fellow polish fiend in our waitress when she saw my nails and immediately recognized the Olympic rings. We discovered that we both did Christmas light nail art for the holidays...soul mates!

Anyway, this is yet another case of me not getting a particular polish because I thought it would be too similar to something already in my stash. Clearly, I was being delusional.

China Glaze's Strawberry Fields is from their 2009 Summer Days collection, a favourite of mine; Ahoy!, is from China Glaze's 2011 Anchors Away collection, another huge favourite of mine. Pink, golden shimmer, must be the same, right? WRONG:

Direct Sunlight

China Glaze is a much warmer and lighter pink with a much stronger golden glass-fleck shimmer. Ahoy! is a darker, berry shade with a more subtle, more pink-leaning shimmer.



Natural Light (Indirect Sunlight)
Strawberry Fields is a shade that I associate more with summer, due to it's warmth. The first time I wore Strawberry Fields, a friend of mine liked it so much that she asked me to get her a bottle! Ahoy is something that I would probably wear more in the spring or winter, though I did wear it a few weeks ago to try it out. They are similar, but they are definitely not the same. I'm glad to have both of these in my collection.

The good news is, these seem to be additions to China Glaze's permanent line of colours at Sally Beauty Supply. As far as I can tell, China Glaze is only available from Sally's, Chatters, and occasionally the Beauty Supply Outlet here in Canada, for about $6.49 or $5.99 at Sally's with a Sally Card.

I cannot stress enough how much I love my Sally's. :D

July 27, 2012

Countdown to The Olympics #1: It's Today!

It's today! It's today!

Let's keep this short, shall we? I'm off to work soon, having PVR-ed the opening ceremonies to watch later on today. This is my final Olympics manicure:

Abstract Olympic rings! I used the same colours mentioned in my first olympic manicure, plus a coat of China Glaze White Cap for some golden shimmer. I've already received a bunch of compliments from complete strangers at work and while going about my day, though I'm not sure if they know that the lines are supposed to be parts of the rings. I used a thin paintbrush to make the curved lines.

Hope you all enjoy tonight's festivities, wherever you are!

July 26, 2012

Countdown to The Olympics #2

What are the Olympics really about?

Just kidding. (Or am I?)

Clearly, I am. This is the Summer Olympics. My people are only good at sports in cold climates. And my actual people (and by this I mean athletes from the Philippines) don't really win so much at global competitions, see Miss Philippines 2010 and her mistake-free life.

The answer would be something along the lines of global unity and camaraderie. Good sportsmanship. Recognizing that we are all one. World peace. Nothing major major. (Goddamnit, Miss Philippines, was it so hard to think of a single thing you'd done wrong?)

Anyway. Since I don't have hundreds of fingers, I only did 3 flags. Where I'm from, where my parents are from, and the host country. The pinky was supposed to be the American flag, but in the end I decided that it would have been too much effort for such a small fingernail. Instead, I went with the "WINNING!" theme and painted it gold, OPI's Bling Dynasty.

The maple leaf was a temporary tattoo, the stripes on the British flag were done using a striper brush, and the sun on the Philippine flag was made with a dotting tool.

The colours I used were: Wet 'n' Wild Red Red, Sally Hansen White On, Color Club Almost Famous (yellow), and Essence Walk on Air (navy blue).

Here's the whole hand, with the Olympic flag showing as well. Amazingly, I did this without the aid of any striping or scotch tape. In the second picture you can see that my lines and edges are not 100% perfect, but they were definitely good enough to show you guys, haha.

That's it for now. Tomorrow I'll be posting my final Olympics manicure! :D

July 25, 2012

Countdown to The Olympics #3

Okay, well, technically the Olympics have already started, as I am sitting in front of the television watching a soccer game. But at the same time, they technically don't start until the opening ceremonies, at least in my book. So the title of this post still holds.

Now, if you occasionally peruse through my posts, you probably know that I have a penchant for doing themed nails to match whatever major  (or minor) event may be happening at that time. In this series, I'll be showing the three nail designs that I tried on to mark the 2012 Olympics, ending with my final choice.

This first one is actually from The Daily Varnish, a simple design that I just simply had to try for myself:

I decided to make the Olympic Flag by using my smallest dotting tool and roughly making the rings with small dots. I considered larger dots with white dots inside to make the ring, but I wanted the rings to appear more intertwined. You'll see this Olympic Flag nail be the focal point of my future designs, too.

The colours I used were (Left to Right): Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away, Color Club Almost Famous, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Going Green (one of my most favourite polishes of all time), and Wet 'n' Wild Red Red.

Will you be doing olympic nails too?

July 24, 2012

Sally Hansen The Real Teal vs. Zoya Zuza

The year I spent thinking that Sally Hansen's The Real Teal and China Glaze's Custom Kicks were the same colour was spent amassing a whole lot of teal and teal-related colours. I love teal, (and blue, and green, too) in case I didn't make it clear enough in my previous posts.

Anyway, when I painted my nails with Zoya Zuza, my bottle of The Real Teal was nearby and I had a crazy thought. Are Zuza and The Real Teal the same colour? They definitely seemed so in the lighting that I was working under. So, I did a comparison:

As you can see, they are definitely NOT the same. The last picture kinda sorta shows that there might be an off chance that somebody might think that maybe the two were the same colour, but hardly. Obviously I need to get my eyes checked, I don't know why I ever thought they could be dupes of each other.

Zuza is a much warmer colour, leaning more towards the green side of teal/aquamarine. The Real Teal is, as advertised, a real teal. The shimmer is, obviously, different. The Real Teal has a more subtle shimmer, whereas Zuza has a grainy, almost fleck like golden shimmer.



July 23, 2012


I'm back! As expected, running out of scheduled posts caused me to drop off the face of the planet, or, at least off the face of this blog. I'm on my last day of antibiotics, and here I am to show you the first mani that I did post zombie state.

China Glaze Ahoy! wasn't a polish that I immediately wanted. I'd seen it at Sally's before, and since it was in the pink family, I passed over it without much of a thought. It wasn't until we were browsing through pictures of what came in the March and/or April Loose Button boxes that I decided that I wanted Ahoy! What stopped me from getting this sooner was the misconception that this was the same colour as China Glaze Strawberry Fields, which I already owned.

I'm sad to say that these pictures are not the most colour accurate ones, but they were the only ones I managed to get while I was still technically "sick". Ahoy! is a darker magenta shade with gold/pink shimmer running throughout. 

The last picture is probably the most colour accurate of the bunch, but at the same time it doesn't accurately portray that this colour is more of a magenta than the brighter pink of the picture -- it's definitely darker than that. I actually took the picture in my makeshift light box using a full spectrum bulb. I think I did it wrong, though, because the light is ridiculously bright in there and it's probably falsely brightening the colour. Plus, I used my slightly less awesome camera to take the light box pic. I'll be tweaking it in the days to come, for sure. 

A beautiful colour, and a wonderful addition to any collection. Hopefully I can get around to posting more now that I'm feeling less like I caught the plague. :P

July 16, 2012

In Bed

So, I've been sick. Technically, I still am pretty sick, considering I can't swallow much of anything without it hurting...but it's getting better.

I haven't been sick enough to warrant a prescription for an antibiotic in years and years, including that time in Grade 6 when the doctor said I had pneumonia, but I'm starting to think that maybe what I had wasn't pneumonia, exactly, if he didn't give me anything at all. So, anyway, when I haven't been at work (I felt like maybe it was too much of a hassle to get shifts covered for a sore throat), I've been at home sleeping, or reading, or watching movies...but NOT painting my nails. And in this non-nails related post, I thought I would share with you some of the things other than nails that have been occupying my time while my immune system tried valiantly to kill those lines of round-shaped bacteria.

  • Meet The Robinsons: The first time I saw this movie, it blew my mind. I was crazy with fever when I saw this movie on TV a few days ago, so I decided to dig it up and watch it again in a more lucid state. Seriously, probably one of my most favourite "new" Disney movies.

  • PubMed: not a good thing to be obsessed with for somebody who thinks every itch is anaphylaxis and every fever is a tropical disease...
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: the book was the last thing I bought before I got sick, and I sure am glad that I did! Not just because it gave me something to read while I recovered, but because it was an excellent book.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  • Definitely, Maybe: this movie was on TV a few weeks ago and I had PVR-ed it, with the intention of watching it right away. I didn't get around to it until the first day I was in bed. It didn't interest me at first, since the description was much too similar to How I Met Your Mother, but I wanted to watch it because it was similar. It is, but it isn't. Loved it anyway.
  • Cheer Perfection: I have a deep fascination with most of the trashy stuff that goes on air on TLC, the supposed "Learning Channel". This was no exception. That blonde lady fascinated me when she was on Toddlers and Tiaras and she fascinated me on this hour-long special. I have a problem.
  • Instant Noodles: F*** YEAH!
  • Twenties Girl: I'm trying, not very hard, to stop reading chick-lit, but it is way too hard. It must be working, though. Must be. I cannot for the life of me get through this book. I've had it for a few years now, and I can't really get through more than a chapter at a time. Is it too absurd? Don't know, just can't get into it.

I wasn't stuck in bed for too long, so the list of my obsessions was not as long as it could have been. It's a good thing that I pre-scheduled all those posts, though. The bad news is that now there is no longer a "life buffer" for the blog: posting may take a backseat to life once again, but fear not, I WILL BE BACK.

July 15, 2012

Bright...and Shiny!

Does anybody remember that movie Bubble Boy? My family used to subscribe to The Movie Network back when I was in elementary school and it used to play every couple of days. I LOVED that movie back in the day! When I was trying to come up with a title for this post, the song that the weird cult sang popped into my head and it seemed appropriate: Bright! And SHINY!

I'm warning you now, this post is picture heavy.

When I started this manicure after chopping off my long nails, I had no idea that the 2 polishes I picked would turn out to be so special. I used Joe Fresh Starry on my accent nail, and an unnamed Sally Girl neon purple polish that's been sitting on their display at the front counter for ages now. I bought it as more of an afterthought -- neons are in, I figured that it was time to jump on the bandwagon.

The bottle appears to be a neon fuschia/purple hybrid colour and that's what I expected to see when I put it on. When I actually did, underneath the halogen bulb of my desk lamp, I saw pink. Fair enough. I layered three coats over a white base to achieve something that didn't resemble a streaky mess.

Joe Fresh Starry is a mix of chunky silver holographic pieces in a sliver base. At first glance, it would appear as though this polish would be too sheer to wear on it's own, but instead as a holographic glitter top coat. Wrong. I used three coats of Starry on my accent nail and it turned out reasonable opaque.

Holographic glitter is, by now, no stranger in the world of nail polish. What makes this polish stand out is the texture of that glitter: it appears to be irregularly shaped, like shards. What's more is that these shards reflect every colour of the rainbow in the sunlight and under indoor lights. There's even an inkling of a linear holo going on, despite the fact that this polish has scattered glitter, if that makes any sense. In some lights you can see the colours very subtly separating into lines. I tried really hard to capture it, but I don't think I did it any justice.

I definitely knew after an hour or so that Starry was a special polish, but it wasn't until I switched from the halogen bulb of my desk lamp to the fluorescent lighting in my bathroom that I noticed something special about the tiny little Sally Girl polish: it was actually purple...?

For a few days I was pretty confused about which colour it actually was because I would take a picture of it in one lighting and decide that the picture showed the true colour of the polish, only to take another picture in another lighting and decide that that picture was also colour accurate. What the heck? If you don't believe me, take a look at these:

Sally Girl neon purple is a chameleon! Just look at the top picture...the pinky is a different colour in the same picture, just because it was turned at a different angle! Crazy. In the sunlight I would have said the colour is closest to the top picture, but as I'm writing now under some indoor lighting, the colour is closest to the second picture, if not a bit redder.

Needless to say, I'm an obsessed woman. I can't get over how amazing these colours are! Sally Girl polishes retail for about a dollar for each mini bottle (see above), Joe Fresh polishes run at $4.00 a bottle, or $10.00 for three at Joe Fresh boutiques or at your local Loblaws grocery store.

And for you Bubble Boy fans...

July 13, 2012

China Glaze Custom Kicks vs. Sally Hansen The Real Teal

When perusing e-Bay on the day that I purchased China Glaze Custom Kicks, I did my customary Google search of "Name of polish + dupes" in case I was going to all this trouble for a colour that I technically already had.

The search came up with The Real Teal, a colour that was much more readily available in stores and would cost about half the price. I also already owned that colour, so I became hesitant about buying Custom Kicks. Another blogger mentioned that the only difference was the colour of the shimmer. I agonized for days, until I decided that different coloured shimmer, especially GOLD SHIMMER, was enough of an excuse for me to own both.

For about a year, I was convinced that I had two of the same polish in my collection. On further inspection, they are even less alike than I had originally expected. The shimmer in Custom Kicks is much more subtle, almost appearing to be a creme. The Real Teal is more packed with shimmer, teetering on the edge of frosty when compared with Custom Kicks.

The shimmer is a different colour in both, gold for Custom Kicks, and green/teal for The Real Teal. However, I think that the difference in the overall colour is more notable. Custom Kicks is a tad lighter and bluer than The Real Teal, which is unmistakably...teal. For real.

Do you need to own both? I would not call them dupes of each other, but you probably don't need to own both unless you're a die-hard teal lover like myself. Only fellow polish addicts will tell you they are different, I'm sure.

July 12, 2012

Zoya Zuza

My restraint with new collections this summer has been pretty good. I'm averaging about 1 bottle from the new collections, even though I tell myself that I want more when the initial promotional pics come out. Zoya's Zuza was the first of such summer lemmings.

Natural Light

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Zoya seems to be coming up with more and more outlandish "women's names" for their polishes. Zuza? I mean, it's not completely unbelievable, and I guess there are only so many girls' names that they can use, but it seems like maybe now they are just making random noises in the boardroom and seeing which ones stick...remember Breezi?

This colour was really interesting. I wouldn't quite say that it is teal, though that was the first word that popped into my head. I would probably label this more as an aquamarine, a name that fits more with the ocean imagery that comes to mind when I look at this colour.The shimmer appears to be silver in most lights, but I found that occasionally the shimmer would shift and appear more golden...maybe it's just me. The shimmer is more chunky, but I wouldn't go as far as to call it glass flecks -- it sort of makes the finish look grainy, which was interesting and beautiful.

As usual, the formula on this one was a beauty, smoothly applied in 2 coats. I did experience some staining on removal, on the skin more than on the nails. I doubled up on base coat, though, so the story might have been different if I hadn't.

These pictures were taken when my nails were really long, and my posting is a little bit out of order these days, so do not be alarmed if I happen to post a picture of nubbins, immediately followed by the usual talons. You have been warned. ;)

July 10, 2012

The Real Teal

Teal (and green, for that matter) is my weakness. I can seldom say no to a nice, teal polish. It's even better when it's an inexpensive teal polish. Yesterday I picked up China Glaze Exotic Encounter with my $5 off Sally's coupon, which brought my total to $1.12. Psyched.

This polish, Sally Hansen's The Real Teal was obviously no exception to my teals rule:

The Real Teal is a medium teal polish with similarly coloured shimmer which is subtle enough to make it look like a creme in the top picture, but trust me, that shimmer makes its presence known. I've used this polish several times for pedicures -- I love the intensity of the teal. It goes on in almost 1 coat; the second is only needed for evenness.

Bonus: the name of this polish is pretty clever, and I enjoy clever names. :)