July 11, 2013

Gouda Gouda Two Shoes

Cheese. Cheese makes everything better.

The last week or so I've become a bit...cheese obsessed. How have I lived 22 years without knowing the beauty of swiss cheese?

So, to coincide with my cheese obsession, I give you OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes:

Gouda Gouda Two Shoes is from the Fall 2012 Germany Collection by OPI. It's a warm-toned pink with a golden shimmer running throughout. The shimmer is pretty subtle, showing up more in the bottle than it does on the nail. This was 2 coats with a topcoat. 

The Germany collection was a great mix of colours, and this one was no exception. Gouda Gouda Two Shoes has found its place in my usual work-appropriate rotation. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to have some more cheese.

July 10, 2013

Joe Fresh Sea Blue

I love Joe Fresh.

Seriously. When it first made an appearance in my life, I thought it was mighty strange that they would try to sell clothes in the middle of the grocery store. Pretty soon, my wardrobe was packed with Joe Fresh clothes. I bashfully admitted to my fashion forward friend that I secretly kind of loved them. When she approved, I was actually kind of shocked. It was cool to like the clothes from the grocery store.

So, it's absolutely no secret that I am in love with their nail polish line as well. Trendy, wide range of colours...and affordable at $3-4 a bottle! This is Sea Blue.

Sea Blue is not a shade that I would necessarily associate with the sea. Usually when I think of the sea, I think of a more greenish, light blue. This shade is a blurple creme. The above picture shows 2 coats + topcoat. 

Joe Fresh polishes are 3 for $10, so more often than not buy three at a time. Their colour selection is pretty impressive, and I am particularly partial to their blues. I could probably create a gradient with my Joe Fresh polishes only (lightbulb!). The bottles are smaller than the average nail polish bottle (6mL vs. the usual 14-15mL, which I guess makes them on par for price with some other brands), but they are definitely worth a try if you ever have the chance. 

July 09, 2013

Essie Yogaga

Good morning!

It's pretty gloomy and wet outside right now. Luckily, we were spared of the flooding and power outages that happened all over the city, but still...not a pretty site outside.

Today I have for you Essie's Yogaga. With the weather, I wasn't feeling in the mood to do something brightly coloured, so I did a neutral instead.

The picture is blurry, but it's the only one that came out colour accurate, unfortunately. Yogaga is a pale taupe colour from one of Essie's Yogaga collection (Fall 2012). The formula is very good for a shade this pale. The photo above is 2 coats. Essie's actually been improving formula and colour-wise the last few years or so. I used to avoid buying them simply because their formulas left something to be desired.

Yogaga has become a go-to interview colour for me, and I assume it's a colour that will be getting a lot of wear in the next year or so as it is very work-appropriate. (Which is unlike so many other colours in my collection!)

Meanwhile, I'll be sticking to glitters and neons until the summer ends. Let's hope that we get some sunshine in here soon!

July 08, 2013

A Happy Colour for a VERY HAPPY DAY

Hello! I am in a very good mood today because...

You saw that right. (And to be honest, I'm still hoping that I saw that right too after checking a million times to be sure). I was actually paralyzed with anxiety over getting my licensing exam results, mainly because I was worried that if I didn't pass, the offer for my job would be off the table and I would have signed the lease on my apartment for nothing. Needless to say, I breathed a mega sigh of relief when I found out.

Since I'm so happy, I decided I would post about a colour that matched my mood.

Turned Up Turquoise from China Glaze is a neon turquoise with some awesome shimmer running throughout. The formula on this one was a beauty, considering that it's a bit of a neon. This was 2 coats.

This colour just makes me so happy. First off, I love anything that is teal or turquoise. Second, this is so bright, especially in the sun! I almost didn't get this polish because I thought it might be too similar to Four Leaf Clover, but of course I was wrong. It sort of reminds me a bit of a turquoise version of Frostbite, except not quite as...frosty. Sounds weird, but I think it's the brightness and the shimmer that makes me lump those two colours together in my mind.

Because this is a neon, it will dry matte. I used a coat of Revlon Fastdry over this, since I wasn't really feeling the matte finish -- but either way, it's such a beauty.

It's bedtime for me now, and I know I'll be sleeping well tonight. It seems like the last 4 years of my life have truly culminated into this one day. I feel marvelous, and I hope to keep feeling this way for a long time!

July 04, 2013

Beyond The Sea (A.K.A. Orly Royal Navy)

I had originally scheduled Tuesday's post (a red, white, and blue manicure) for today, seeing as it is the 4th of July and all. Thinking back, it even had a polish called Stars and Stripes in it, lol.

Instead, I'm going to show you a polish from Quo. The Canadian ladies will know that Quo is basically the store brand cosmetic line from Shoppers Drug Mart, and their nail polish is actually manufactured by Orly. When Quo started putting out their polishes, I didn't really have too much interest in them -- the colours were nice, but they were $10 each, and frankly, the colours were not that nice. I only ever bought them if they were on sale, or if I had a friend who worked at Shoppers with me (the perks of Pharmacy School!). 

However, last February, during my first experience working at a Shoppers, this happened:

Two dollars. And best of all, Quo was now carrying some of the more popular Orly shades (which run $6.99 at Sally Beauty Supply), including those from their Spring and Summer 2013 collections. (The Shoppers down the street, mind you, still had all these things full price). I must've swiped up a dozen of these babies, starting with Beyond The Sea, a "dupe" of Orly Royal Navy.

Beyond The Sea is an electric blue jelly with blue glitter/shimmer running throughout. I was expecting it to be sheer, but it covered nicely in 3 coats. You can see a bit of nail line in the sunlight picture, but nothing that can be seen from afar. 

It seems to be a close, brighter cousin to Revlon Royal, with shimmer. I've read from other bloggers that if you don't care too much for the glitter, you can let the bottle sit for awhile and the shimmer will settle to the bottom. So I've heard.

Beyond The Sea usually retails for $10, but I got this one on mega clearance for $2. It doesn't seem to be a part of the core Quo by Orly line, as I haven't seen it on the regular racks since then. If you're going to grab yourself a bottle of this, you might as well get Royal Navy. It's much easier to track down, and it will probably be cheaper, too.


July 03, 2013

Minions Assemble!


Ladies and germs, today is the day that Despicable Me 2 hits theaters. And what better way to celebrate than with:


Minions! Minions! Minions!

I used 3 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Yellow Kitty for the base colour. As with most yellows, streakiness is an issue. However, this particular one leveled out reasonably well after the 3rd coat. For the minions' clothes, I used Maybelline Color Show Denim Dash, applied like a French tip. The details were put on using a black striping polish and dotting tools with China Glaze Immortal (gray), Sally Hansen White On, and Sally Hansen Coral Crush. (I would show you my thumbs, but they are far less minion-shaped than my other fingernails, and thus are not as cute).

I had a bit of a dilemma with trying to figure out if I wanted to give them hair or not. They were just so cute after I finished all the face details, I was unsure if I would be ruining it with the hair. I figure I'll wear it like this for a few days and then try putting the hairs on. This way, if it doesn't turn out right, at least I've had a few good days with cute, hairless minions. :)

My life goal is to finally get my hands on a giant minion plushie. True story. In the meantime, I'll have to settle for 10 minion fingernail friends.

July 02, 2013

Indecision in Red and Blue

Can you tell I'm just trying to get all my school-related manicures out of the way? I'm trying to sever the ties, I promise I am.

Remember last year's school spirit manicure? Well, for this year's game (back in April), I decided that I was going to top it no matter what. The only problem was, I didn't know how I was supposed to go about doing that. And as was the case for most of my during-the-school-year manis, laziness was a major factor.

My friends always make fun of me for my indecisive tendencies. It's why I can't eat at the Pickle Barrel without getting an anxiety attack. And it's probably also why I now own 200+ bottles of nail polish. In the end, my indecision led me to do this:

Fun fact: apparently U of T Pharmacy is pretty indecisive about what their colour is as well. This was going to be an all blue number, but I remembered that somewhere in between 2nd and 3rd year the colour had switched from red to blue, and I was unsure if it had switched back since I'd left school in December. So I threw a red nail in there for good measure. 

Thumb: 2 coats of Joe Fresh Indigo, "U of T" drawn on using a fine-tipped dotting tool with Sally Hansen White On

Index: 2 coats of China Glaze Frostbite -- love this colour. I honestly just wanted an excuse to wear this electric blue beauty again.

Middle: 2 coats of Sally Hansen White On as a base, with dots in Joe Fresh Indigo (darkest), Joe Fresh Cobalt (medium blue), Sally Hansen Blue Me Away! (lightest), and Essence Let's Get Lost (aqua).

Ring: 2 coats of Joe Fresh Apple, a deliciously bright red. Dots in a combination of Joe Fresh Indigo, Sally Hansen White On, China Glaze Frostbite, and more Apple. Can you tell I went a little bit dotty with this manicure?

Pinky: we have Nina Ultra Pro in Cobalt, with a coat of Wet 'n' Wild Stars & Stripes. Cobalt is a jelly, so you can still make out my nail line despite the 3 coats that I used. The formula on the glitter polish was a bit thick, and I used an orange stick to place the stars onto the nail because it just wouldn't come off the brush on its own.

In the end, I kind of wished I'd just stuck to alternating red and blue or something, because this mani was hella confusing. And we didn't even win! :(

July 01, 2013

Red Skittles for Canada Day

Today is CANADA DAY, and today I have my Canada Day mani here for you.

Again, my indecision seems to have won in this manicure, but with far less disastrous results.

I'm not really big on red nail polish. In fact, as my collection grew in size, there was a point when I think I had 2 bottles of red polish in a total of about 50. There were a few reasons why I wasn't feeling the reds. Reds are boring. Reds are for old people. Reds stain.

Then, something clicked within. I got my hands on Danke Shiny Red from the OPI Germany Collection in Fall 2012 and I fell in love. Before the winter was out, I'd doubled my red collection. I'd also become enamored with bright red lipsticks. When the OPI Couture de Minnie collection came out earlier this summer, I jumped on it. I decided I would go with the mini set since I'd decided that I couldn't live without the colours in this collection -- my wallet still disagreed, though, so minis it would be.

On my fingers we have Magazine Cover Mouse (index), a liquid sand polish from the Couture de Minnie collection, Nabi Hologram Nail Lacquer in Red (middle), and Innie Minnie Mighty Bow (pinky) also from the Minnie collection. The formulas of the OPIs were impeccable. The Nabi, not so much. The polish dragged in between coats, so it needs to be applied carefully and with a few minutes of drying time in between coats.

On my ring finger, I used a temporary maple leaf tattoo. The tattoo thing has really become one of my favourite techniques. It requires absolutely no skill whatsoever, and it looks amazing. All you have to do is wait for your nail polish to dry completely, and then apply a temporary tattoo as you would to your skin with water and a cosmetic cotton pad. I tried free-handing the maple leaf, but it looked terrible! :P

Anyway, that's all for my Canada Day manicure. I'm proud to be Canadian, and happy to show it all over my nails!

June 28, 2013

I Less-Than-Three You

When people stop to ask me what colour I'm wearing, you can bet that I'll always have the answer on hand. Which is probably why I expect nothing less of others when I see them wearing a particularly interesting polish. So when a girl walked into the pharmacy wearing an electric blue metallic number, I needed to know.

**number of digits not 100% accurate
Me: That's a nice colour you've got on your nails.
Girl: Oh thanks!
Me: ...so, what is it called?
Girl: Um...I don't know.
Me: ...
(awkward pause)
Me: Have you used this medication before?
Okay, so the exchange may not have happened exactly like that. Maybe. But nevertheless, it sent me into a frenzy, as usual. I needed to know. (It's not completely lost on me how crazy I must sound.) Lucky for me, I am a master googler (google-er?) with a photographic memory specific for nail polish.

I narrowed it down to China Glaze Frostbite, a bright, almost electric blue shimmer. I wanted to use the word "frost", but I don't think this polish is quite the right texture to be calling it that. I associate "frosts" with nightmarish brush strokes, and that didn't happen with this. This is 2 coats -- it applied flawlessly.

The index finger is 2 coats of Sally Hansen White On with a heart drawn in with OPI Danke Shiny Red. Funny thing was, I put in the heart nail because I meant to do what I thought was an Asian peace sign showing off this nail in my funny grad photo, but right before somebody informed me that doing the peace sign with the back of my hand facing outward is actually some sort of offensive gesture, so I quickly decided against it. In the end, the most you see of the heart is the top of it peeking out from under the fake diploma they made me pose with. 

Frostbite is definitely one of my favourite blue polishes in my collection, and I've worn it a couple of times since getting my hands on it last fall. I love it when polishes that I have come with a great story attached to how I got it or when I wore it, and Frostbite is definitely no exception.

June 27, 2013

An Ode to St. George

On the first day of Frosh Week, back in '08, my rather inattentive (looking back) leader informed us that we should specify on our resumés that we attended U of T St. George, which was obviously far more impressive than any other University of Toronto campus.

I won't say that I disagree with her comment, but I am pretty biased of course. I had a pretty tough time that year, so when I came out on the other side I made sure that everybody knew it. Actually, If we're being completely honest here, I will admit that when she said that to us, I didn't actually have a resumé. Oops. 

(This is a no judgment zone. I was seventeen.)

Anyway, when A-England first appeared on my nail polish radar, I had some pretty strong lemmings for their holographic shades. However, since they were only available from e-tailers that charged a hefty sum for shipping to Canada, I stayed away. But when Nail Polish Canada started carrying A-England, I knew the time was right. And if you know anything about me, you know that I am a fiend for teal. 

I ordered A-England Saint George a few months ago, but it had been sitting in my drawer for awhile, waiting for the right occasion. In my books, any occasion is the right occasion for teal and holo, but with my impending graduation, the beginning of June seemed like the right time.

Saint George is a deep teal shade with a scattered holographic effect. The picture above shows it to be a little more blue than it is in real life. 

The holographic effect is really subtle. I usually don't go for scattered holos that much, especially if they are priced similarly to an A-England polish, but I really enjoyed this one. I ended up wearing it for only 3 days because I felt like the colour was way too dark for me to be wearing during the summertime, but I did love it. The formula was also fantastic -- I could have probably gotten away with a single coat, but I did 2 to make sure everything was level. I will say that the topcoat seemed to diminish the holo effect a tiny bit, as topcoats usually do, but since the holo wasn't that in your face to begin with, you can't really tell the difference.

I love it, I love it, I love it! 

A-England polishes go for $13.50 on nailpolishcanada.com, but shipping is free for orders over $25!

June 26, 2013


I will confess that I googled "prom nails" a week before I did this manicure, and I watched a prom nails tutorial on cutepolish's channel which may or may not have influenced the outcome.

PROM NAILS. For my "adult prom", as I had described it to my co-workers.(Prom as an adult, get your mind out of the gutter, there's hardly enough room in there for mine.)  Prom, as in that dance that people have when they graduate, which is what I just did.

I needed it to go with my dress, and I needed sparkle. Oh, and it had to be lazy-proof.

I used 2 coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Grey Area as a base. My dress had a purple-toned silver bottom with a pearly off-white bust. I know that my description doesn't help much, but trust me, this worked. For the sparkle, I used Hard Candy Celebrate Sequins, a clear base packed with tiny holographic round glitters mixed in with larger hex and square holographic glitters. I wanted to get a glitter gradient effect, so I dabbed the glitter on the lowest quarter of my nail nearest the cuticle. After that, I went in for additional coats going higher up the nail, making sure to scrape off the larger glitters on the lip of the bottle.

This was a fun look for me to wear, especially with the holo glitters reflecting the lights on the dance floor!

And of course, the dancing was fun too. :P

June 25, 2013

A New Beginning

Remember that time when I said I would be posting more?

Okay. So I lied.

But it's for real this time. (Hopefully).

After my last post, I threw myself into studying. And then when it was all over, I figured out that I really enjoyed doing absolutely nothing. Including writing up things for this blog. But now I'm back (again), and I thought it would be fitting for me to open up this "new beginning" with the nails that I had while I was celebrating the end: my graduation from university!

I had gone back and forth in my mind over what exactly I wanted to do with my nails on that day for months. Yes, months. My original plan was to painstakingly paint on the initials of the people without whom I couldn't have survived the last four years. To up the sap factor, I was going to pick out the letters "LOVE" and paint them in a different colour.

I don't know what it was that ultimately changed my mind. Perhaps I didn't actually have enough friends to fill up my nail space. Or maybe I was afraid of missing people. It could have been that I actually do not know anyone who has "O" as an initial -- or if I do, I really don't care about them all that much (LOL, for real, I don't even know). I'm lazy, and that is probably the most likely explanation.

I ended up going with a simple french tip, mostly because I had put off doing my nails until the last second, and also because I figured I would also regret seeing something like neon leopard print in photos 20 years from now.

I started off with 2 coats of Wet 'n' Wild Sugar Coat. For the tips, I used 2 coats of Storm by Zoya, and then I lined them with a silver polish (a really ancient one in my collection whose label has rubbed off) using a striping brush. On my ring finger, I used a dotting tool to create a tiny heart with China Glaze Snap My Dragon from the 2013 Avant Garden collection. Finally, I used my smallest dotting tool to etch on the year of my graduation next to the heart. LOVE!

Sugar Coat is a little bit of a streaky nightmare. Looking back, I probably should have chosen a better base polish -- every other time that I've worn Sugar Coat, I've needed at least 3-4 coats to level it out, and when you're doing other designs on top, it's really not an ideal situation. Zoya Storm was opaque enough in 2 coats, but it would have probably benefited from a third...

All in all, I was pleased with how this all turned out. It had just the right amount of sparkle: classy, yet with that something extra.

Overall, I'm pleased with how everything has turned out, really. Today actually marks 5 years to the day that I graduated from high school, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I'm in a period of my life right now that feels like a transition phase and it's really given me a lot of time to not only reflect on the past but also think about the future. I had a lot of regrets coming out of my first year at university, and I feel like I've spent the last four making sure that I would leave this place with very few. And I think for the most part, I've done that.

This is a really exciting time for me, and I hope that this comes through in my posts from this point forward. I've only got about 9 weeks or so left before I have to enter the real world as a full-fledged adult, so I hope to entertain you all with some pretty wild colours and nail art while I can. :)

May 13, 2013

Don't Stop Beleafing

To kick off what should be the beginning of a blowout summer for me and my nails...


If you're wondering what kind of a genius I must be, painting the logo onto my ring finger, don't. I used a temporary tattoo! I did 2 coats of Sally Hansen White On and waited for it to dry completely before I pressed the tattoo onto it. I sealed the whole thing in with 2 coats of INM Out the Door Topcoat. The other nails are done in Joe Fresh Indigo.

The wear time for this mani was pretty unbelievable. I didn't expect the logo to last that long -- I put it on right after the last game of the regular season, and I fully expected it to be chipped off by Game 1. However, the logo outlasted Game 3, and I eventually took it off myself after more than a week of wear! I credit the 2 coats of topcoat -- the second incarnation of this Leafs manicure only got one coat, and it barely lasted through the day...

My life has been so busy for the last few months, I haven't had a chance to come on here and post about my nails! I'm studying up for licensing exams, so I obviously won't be posting too often in the next 2 weeks, but I fully plan on getting back on track once all that is done! This is my last summer before entering THE REAL WORLD (dun dun dun!) and I intend on wearing the heck out of the wildest numbers in my collection.

If you want to check out my other hockey-themed manis, you can click right HERE.

I haven't been getting too much done in the way of studying with all this hockey madness going  on...OMG OMG GAME 7 CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?? (For real, last time this happened in this city, I was graduating from elementary school.)


February 18, 2013

Long time, no post

I almost can't believe how ridiculously long it's been since I've logged on. School was so incredibly busy, and I couldn't spare a second for myself. Not to mention that blogger wouldn't let me upload any more pictures. LAME.
Anyhow, I'm trying to play a little catch up on the weekends with the blog as well as some personal stuff, so here we are. This is how I wore my nails for a New Year's Eve party with some friends:

The base colour is Date in the Moonlight from Essence. It's a charcoal gray that leans a little blue, topped off with some bright blue micro-shimmer. It's really a beautiful colour on it's own. I would tell you something about the formula now, but to be honest I can't remember. I know that it didn't require an obscene amount of coats (probably was a 2-coater) and that it wasn't too thick or too thin.

I applied Diamond Drops (pictured) from Color Club starting at my cuticles. I was going to say "sponged", since that's what you usually do when you want a glitter gradient, but the glitter in this polish is more shard-like and not very user-friendly, so I ended up dabbing the polish brush against my nail to place the shards generally where I wanted them. I finished it off by using a dotting tool to put "2013" on my ring finger...in case you were unsure of what year was coming in.

I'll include this slightly blurry picture so you can see the blue shimmer a bit. It's not really in-your-face, but it is a nice addition:

 That's really it for now. I've got a folder full of pictures still left to share, and that's not even counting the ones that I didn't have a chance to photograph before I took them off!

See you (hopefully) soon!