August 30, 2012

Totally Predictable

There was something that I came to realize when I pseudo-organized my collection last weekend: I, Kristine, am a predictable nail polish addict. With an overflowing green/blue drawer, we know that there are very few green or blue polishes out there that I can say no to.

So was it any surprise that when China Glaze came out with a green/blue duochrome in this summer's Bohemian Collection, I would get it as soon as I possibly could? This is China Glaze Unpredictable (the irony of it all!):

Lightbox, no flash

Lightbox, with flash



Lamp Light

Reflecting the green walls of my room
I LOVE IT. Love it, love it, love it. Love it so much that when my nail bent and almost broke at work prompting me to cut them off that night, I considered risking a painful break if only to keep this beauty on my nails a little while longer. It was really hard to capture all the beauty of this polish with my camera, but you have to agree that even with the shots that I got, you can tell that this is an awesome colour. It is a little brush stroke-y, but it's something you can live with with a colour this beautiful.

The summer is winding down now, and I'm trying really hard to try and get as much summer colour onto my nails as possible. The thought of school starting in a week actually hurts me. HURTS. I really don't want to go back when summer's been pretty good to me this year. Everyone is excited to graduate, but I want to hold on to the last days of this summer for as long as I can!

August 29, 2012

101st Post!

I know that normal people celebrate 100th posts and stuff like that, but let's just say that I'm not normal, and that I totally missed that my last post was my hundredth.

Anyway, the last week has been pretty jam-packed with end of the summer, last minute hang outs and things to do. I've been out every night of the week, including Saturday when I made my most triumphant return to The Ex after fifteen long years:



The manicure you see in the picture is this one:

This was my first attempt at a "jelly sandwich", and I don't think it turned out quite as amazing as I wanted it to be. The contrast in colours and the choice of jelly polish weren't top notch, but I still enjoyed the look of it quite a bit.

I used 2 coats of Finger Paints Pop Rocks, followed by one coat of LA Girl Glitter Addict Explosion followed by one last coat of Pop Rocks.

Not my best piece of work, but it held up fine for my first post nubs manicure. :S

Any suggestions for what jelly sandwich combo I should be trying next?

August 25, 2012

Peacock Feather, Take 2!

After about half a day or so of wearing Peacock, I realized that maybe there was another colour that might be more complimentary to the accent nail. Enter OPI Just Spotted The Lizard from the Amazing Spiderman Collection.

Apparently, it's a dupe for Chanel Peridot, but that was a colour I didn't really care for so I opted to get the mini bottle of Just Spotted The Lizard from a beauty supply store in Toronto, just in case I wasn't enamored with the colour after spending $10 on a full sized bottle.

Just Spotted The Lizard is a gold/green duochrome which was much more pronounced in the bottle than on the nail. Rest assured, however, that it is there.

If you hadn't already noticed, I tried really hard to capture any semblance of this duochrome nature. At extreme angles, the golden polish shows a light green, even green-blue colour. Most of the time, it appeared as a golden/olive colour.

I liked it, but I didn't love it. It was meh. Pretty, but...meh.

August 24, 2012

Nesting Mode

Every year, around the end of August, I go into full-on nesting mode. I'm not pregnant or anything, to be clear, considering the normal connotation of "nesting". I just start feeling like after four months of wallowing in my own summertime filth, it's time to clean up.

Last summer, when I went into nesting mode, I bought two rolling drawer carts. I started out with 2 of the drawers filled with polish. Yesterday, once I got everything organized, I had THREE full drawers, with about 10 or so bottles in other places.

Orange/Yellow + Glitter + Miscellaneous

Purple + Pinks/Reds + Orange

I had quite the internal debate on how to organize then lot of them. The initial plan was to sort by finish, but I decided in the end it would be much to complicated. I mean, if a polish contained subtle shimmer, but was by all other appearances a creme, would it go in the cremes section? Eventually I just did the easiest thing: sorting by colour. It's definitely not perfect; I sort of just dumped them in with little regard for organization. I might go back and sort them out by brand if I have time one day. It might look a lot nicer with all the like caps standing together.

This summer, I bought some little table-top 3-drawer storage containers to sort out my make-up and office supplies. Of course, I had to dedicate at least one drawer on top of my desk to my nail art supplies:

I'm still considering buying another storage tower for future use while they're still on sale at Walmart, since they're just so handy.

It's been a pretty productive weekend on the home front. It's been my first whole weekend off from work in awhile and I swear my room has probably never looked cleaner. Not looking forward to starting the school year soon, but I'm definitely psyched about finally getting my stash somewhat "organized". :D

August 23, 2012

Joe Fresh Peacock

Now I'm going to warn you all beforehand. There is an accent nail in this swatch, and you're going to be seeing it more than once. Let's call it the evolution of a manicure.

This is the earliest incarnation, using Joe Fresh Peacock.

 Peacock was the first polish from Joe Fresh that caught my eye. Navy blue base filled with light blue shimmer that turns pink at the most extreme of angles. Unfortunately, the duochrome doesn't translate onto the nail, but if you try really hard you might be able to coax it out. This was 2 coats of Peacock with no topcoat.

As for the peacock feather was something I'd been wanting to do for ages now. Peacock feathers absolutely FASCINATE me. The colours are so very pretty and the feathers are just so...ethereal. I have a peacock feather hairclip that I've been staring at for days now. I always wondered: do they breed peacocks specifically for making jewelry and home decor? Or is everything synthetic...?

Anyway, the ring finger has 2 coats of Essie Navigate Her. The peacock feather is drawn on mainly using a Sephora by OPI nail art pen that I got for $3.00 on clearance earlier this summer. The green one is called Read Between The Lines. The olive streaks are brushed on using a striping brush in Zoya Yara. As for the "eye", it consists of dots made using a dotting tool in OPI Just Spotted The Lizard, China Glaze Custom Kicks, and Essence Walk on Air.

I was very pleased with the results of my free-handing of the peacock feather, especially with all the comments I've been receiving. Accent nails have been a huge thing for me this summer, and these are some of the best I've done so far. Yay!

August 21, 2012

Green Velvet

On the list of nail art trends that I've wanted to try but haven't due to lack of time (as well as fear of judgement from my friends) is the so-called "Velvet" manicure, or whatever it is Ciate is trying to market at 1000% markup.

It started when I saw a blog post on using flocking powder from the scrapbook aisle at the craft store. I was really into scrapbooking the summer after I graduated high school, and I can tell you that flocking powder had me completely stumped. Still am.

In fact, although I wanted so badly to try it out, the reason behind this becoming a trend mystifies me. Was it just curiosity about what crazy thing we could stick onto our nails next? Or maybe it was a muppet fetish?

I was thinking myself that these nails channeled a bit of everyone's favourite talking frog.

I used 2 coats of Essie Navigate Her and some lime green flocking powder that I got on sale in a card-making kit with a bunch of other glitters. It was a much less messy effort in comparison to the microbead manicure. This time I was smart enough to use a plate to catch the excess powder after I shook it onto and pressed it into my nails. Also, fluff balls are not round and do not roll!

This manicure was an adventure in texture, which I loved. I could not stop feeling my nails or brushing them against my cheek. Amazing. But, of course, it had no staying power. Little bits of flocking powder would fall off periodically and I can only imagine that a whole day's worth of hand washing would wreak all sorts of havoc on this. It also reminded me of a tennis ball, which I did try to replicate on the nail (e.g. white lines), but I failed terribly and pictures do not even exist of this fail.

This was definitely a fun manicure to try out, but don't expect it to last too long. It would probably last a day, more if you don't eat or bathe or live...I'm not one to judge.

August 20, 2012

Turtle, Turtle

On the third day of my vacation, we met up with a turtle patrol.

No, not these guys. Sadly.

It was a group who was monitoring a leatherback turtle's nest. They invited us to go and see the turtle babies at sunset, but there was a wicked crazy thunderstorm that started around dinnertime and lasted the whole night, so it never happened.

So distraught was I about missing TURTLE BABIES, that this happened:

Yes. I channeled my sadness over missing the turtle babies into a manicure.

The base colour is China Glaze Sexy in The City. I mentioned in my earlier post that the colour reminded me of the ocean, which is where the inspiration really started. (As cute as turtle babies are, my disappointment was rather short lived. I was on VACATION. Sue me.)

The turtles were stamped on using a plate set I bought from Walmart's "As Seen on TV" section. I'm not sure if this Konad rip-off has a name, but it was a pretty good price for 5 plates. The polish I used was Nubar Reclaim. Reclaim was probably not the best polish to use for stamping, but it worked well enough for the design to be seen. I really wanted the holo of the polish to show up more, as you can tell by the multiple failed attempts at capturing it above. It did show more of Reclaim's super awesome holo in real life, but it was definitely toned down from stamping it on top of a darker colour.

Overall, I was pleased with my first stamping attempt using real polish. Although I must say that I enjoy free-hand nail art more, and at this point I feel like I am much better at doing that than I am at lining up nail stamps!

August 18, 2012

Essie Navigate Her

When Essie's Spring 2012 collection originally came out, the only colour that called my name was Navigate Her, the colour that lent its name to the collection.

A pastel, pistachio green, Navigate Her was the only colour that I thought was unique out of the 6 that came in this collection. Also, it was green. If it's green, I have to have it. Naturally.

When I first put it on, I thought it looked pretty unflattering. Which was kind of a disappointment, since this was a lemming of mine for about a month before I finally got my hands on it at Winners. However, after a few hours, I got used to the colour and it started to grow on me once again. I might classify it as one of those "so ugly it's beautiful" colours. The second picture kind of gives me lobster hands, but the first is more colour accurate.

The formula was pretty good for an Essie polish as well. (Not that I've had very many problems with Essie. I've heard stories, though.) The first coat was very streaky, but, if left to dry, it evened out a bit and was smooth and perfect by the second coat. The pictures above are 2 coats with no top coat.

It's been a pretty long week and right now I am really looking forward to painting my nails again, to be honest. I've gone back on a Strange Days at Blake Holsey High kick -- does anybody else remember that show? It was my absolute favourite all through high school. I must have re-watched 10 episodes, plus the movie conclusion, since Thursday evening. Love it!

August 17, 2012

Sexy in the City

I usually decide to buy new polishes after much debating and research using my smartphone in the beauty aisle wherever I may be. I also used to type things like "China Glaze prettiest colours" into Google in hopes of getting a response. Once I got a Yahoo answers result, and one of the responses was Sexy in the City.

Now, I've seen this colour at Sally's a million and one times, but I never thought to pick it up because it never really wowed me all that much. I bought this one while I was on vacation in Florida and we stopped at Publix to get a few snacks before we headed off to the beach.

Sexy in The City is a medium/bright blue with a teal shimmer. I would almost classify it as an aqua. It's a tiny bit sheer, as evidenced by the VNL in the pictures, but it isn't as evident in real life. This colour reminded me of the ocean, which was just what I needed in the days after returning from vacation.

Let me also express how much I adore Publix. It might be weird for those who frequent Publix often to hear somebody say that they absolutely love a grocery store, but it's true. I mean, not only do they have kick-ass potato salad (so f***ing good, I can't even explain), but they also have OPI and China Glaze in the beauty aisle! Why can't we have that over here? Not fair. I'm honestly such a loser because I kept trying to find reasons to go back to Publix just so I could take a look at what they had to offer. 

Anyway, that's your daily dose of crazy from me. In summary: I love American grocery stores, and China Glaze Sexy in The City is a beautiful colour. The end.

August 15, 2012

The Party's On My Nails!

I think I may have already recounted my mission to spot Essence when I heard that it had come to Canada in the spring. I scouted every Shoppers Drug Mart like it was nobody's business. (I stopped short of asking all my friends to help me, since a lot of them work there, because I decided that would be crossing the line.) 

In any case, I found my very first bottle while shopping for shoes with my mom after a week or so. This is Essence Where's The Party?

This colour is hands down, the most amazingness I have ever encountered for such a low price. $1.49 and it's like I get THREE different colours and more! Green:



The only other polish I have that compares in terms of the level of duochrome is Nubar's Indigo Illusion, and that cost me at least four times more than this one did. The colour shift reminds me a bit of Wet 'n' Wild Gray's Anatomy, but this one is definitely stronger.

The second best part? (After the low price, of course.) The formula was THE BOMB. I probably could have gotten away with one coat, but I did two out of habit. It wasn't streaky, if applied properly, and it dried rather quickly. 

Again, these go for $1.49 at Shoppers, for a mini-bottle. So far I've been mighty impressed by Essence, delivering on the quality and skipping out on the high prices. Keep it coming, Essence!