Monday, July 27, 2015

NOTD: Red Baroness plus Ichi Hanami

When last heard from on the NOTD front, I was about to remove Elderberry-over-black, and it may not surprise you too much to hear that it was a mess to remove. Glitter and black polish are not the best combo if you want easy cleanup. And then I was in a big hurry, and I didn't prep as well as I could have before I applied Strawberry Fields (2 coats over Colorstay base) - it looked alright the first day but it chipped a good bit the second day. I didn't get a picture - it's pretty but not all that out-there gorgeous.

So I tried to do a better job this time of cleaning up and prepping and filing. I've gotten as far as a coat of Nail Nutrition Strength. I'm toying with the idea of doing the Vinylux thing. I guess I can refrain from further base-coat if I'm doing that - it's not supposed to require it, right?

I did do the "Vinylux thing" - by which I mean my one (new-to-me) Vinylux polish with its accompanying top coat. I said in the last entry that I wanted to see how Vinylux Red Baroness compared with its Shellac counterpart - and unfortunately it didn't compare too well. It looked fine, but it didn't look like my shellac mani did, as I remember it. I remember staring at it because it was so beautiful, and I'm just not seeing that here. It's just another red. (It did get through a whole day and a shampoo - which is usually every polish's downfall, with me - without chipping, which I can't say about any other red I've ever worn in my life, as I remember it.)

So since my PS box arrived, I'm now wearing Ichi Hanami over Red Baroness. It looks great. (Maybe I'll actually get a picture.)

I posted the Pretty Serious purchases over the weekend - and here's Ichi over the Baroness, as mentioned above. I think it would be a little lighter worn on its own. Also note that I've had on Red Baroness since Thursday and Ichi Hanami over that since Friday, and I only have minor wear, which is pretty good for me - especially for red polishes, which as I said above, I always seem to have trouble with.
(I did a pretty good job of application on the Vinylux, not so great with Ichi Hanami, which I kind of slapped on late at night.)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pretty Serious haul

I don't really use the term "haul" a whole lot because I don't often go hog-wild. And I don't know if 5 bottles really quite constitutes "hog-wild" either, but well, from my point of view, it's wild enough. So I better enjoy these, because I can't buy anything else for a good while. (If I adhere strictly to my $5-a-week budget, I won't be buying anything else until sometime in September, in fact.)

Pretty Serious has released two new collections lately, both of them add-ons to previous collections (Museum of Naileontology and Stop Collaborate & Listen) - I have here one from each of those collections, plus several other assorted polishes. I'd bought polishes from them previously, but never this much at one time, so I got a nice big box full of polish:

And here's the unboxed contents:
left to right: Fire In The Sky, Kashmir, Poltergeist Puddle, Ichi Hanami, Daphne's Disco Party

There's a wheel picture at the bottom of this entry, too.

The Museum of Naileontology descriptions are always entertaining, and they could possibly disappear at some point in the future if the polishes get discontinued, so I'm copying and pasting this one here, for the record. (Actually I may do this for all of them, come to think of it. The quotations are in bold print.) (Also, I've added S&L swatches if I found them because her swatches are just the best!)

Fire In The Sky (here's Christine's pictures, because they're really good)
Introducing the Opal Treasure Flake Top Coat collection from Pretty Serious. Stunning, iridescent opal flakies, swimming in a high quality, super shiny top coat formula. Fire In The Sky is an eruption of glittering red and orange opal flakes, shifting all the way to golden.

Because apparently I can never have enough flakies.

Ichi Hanami (Museum of Naileontology collection)
[ee-chee hah-nah-mee]
The practice of Hanami is a Japanese tradition that is many centuries old. It is a celebration centered around elaborate viewings of their much respected cherry blossoms (sakura) during their first blooms of the season. The cherry blossoms are sacred since they are considered to carry the souls of the mountain gods down to the humans. The people began to transplant the trees from the mountains down to the villages and around their rice paddies so that the mountain deity could travel down on the petals of the falling blossoms and bless their crops. It is on this original visit, the first Hanami, that the deity announced its presence to the Emperor in the form of a glowing cherry blossom that never dims. Lost to theives over the decades, our Naileontologists have discovered it's whereabouts and returned it for all to enjoy in our Museum of Naileontology. You can continue to enjoy it as you pick up your own glowing replica from our gift store! (Swatch & Learn)

Color-wise, this reminds me of Hard Candy Scam - the version of it I have, anyway, because I believe there are two. But it's not a glitter, it's a heavy shimmer instead.

Kashmir (from the latest Collaborate trio - dreamed up by Christine of Serenity Nails, and here's her post about it)
This is a dark red-violet jelly packed with both glass flecks and flakies. Christine says, "Kashmir is one hundred percent secret sauce," and that seems about right. (Incidentally, "Kashmir" is hands-down my favorite Led Zeppelin song, but that's not really why I bought it.)

Daphne's Disco Party (from an ongoing series of "Daphne" polishes - she is the girl on the Pretty Serious boxes and blog header!)
When the mirror ball drops, Daphne cracks out the crop tops! And what better way to get down and right back up again than with a matte neon glitter bomb that explodes all over the dance floor like the electric boogaloo! But even that isn't enough razzle dazzle for an 80's loving girl like our Daph, so we've added some pink iridescent glass flecks to really make it sizzle. (More swatches from Swatch & Learn)

Because I don't have enough matte glitters. Seriously, I don't.

Poltergeist Puddle (from a Halloween past, naturally)
Poltergeist Puddle is an intense blurple shimmer with a pink flash and a slight golden duochrome. The ethereal entry in the Monster Mash collection is a purple with an almost out-of-body glimmer and a spectral shimmer! (Swatch photo courtesy of The Polish Haven)

Honestly, I really started out to buy Purple Monkey Dishwasher, here, because it's still available and that name has always cracked me up. But when I went and started pulling up people's swatches, I ended up with the one above instead. Because, y'know, shimmer! duochrome! and still purple!

I put all these on a wheel, and man, three of them (that would be the three that aren't top-coats, right?) are really near to being one-coaters. I would think two coats at most would do it. And I deliberately did thick coats of Daphne's Disco Party on the upper part of that nail, but this is only two of those, so for this type of glitter, that's good coverage as well. I really only did this to see what would happen - I think if you were totally committed to getting it opaque, maybe you could, but it's certainly not what I really intend to do with it.

(I think you can probably figure out which is which, by this point, but for the record, L-R, this is Ichi, Poltergeist, Kashmir, Fire, and Daphne - over Black Creme for the last two.) As I said, this is two coats on the last one, but only one on all the others.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stash additions, June & July

I haven't bought a whole lot lately (with a big exception I'll tell you about below), but here's what I did buy. The lone NYC came from CVS - mostly because I had a coupon that was expiring - and the entire bottom row came from Sleek Nail.
top row:

  • Prince Street (NYC In a Minute) - this is a fairly standard purple shimmer, maybe falling a bit to the red-leaning side
bottom row:
  • Are You Jelly? (China Glaze) - a very bright orchid-leaning purple jelly. Right up my alley, I hope!
  • Strawberry Fields (China Glaze) - from the permanent collection, a pink with a strong gold shimmer
  • Bat My Eyes (China Glaze) - this was from a Halloween collection (as you might guess) a couple of years ago. I remembered somebody raving about this one so I decided to try it. (I hate summer heat so I'm telling myself that Halloween is just around the corner!) (Added: honestly, this doesn't have to be for Halloween only. It's so gorgeous.)
  • Red Baroness (Vinylux) - this was the color of my one shellac manicure, several years ago, and when I saw that it's still available as a Vinylux color, I decided to try it out and see if this version lives up to the Shellac version. I do already have the Vinylux top-coat so that was a definite factor here. This is more of a pinkish-red than it looks here, with a slightly metallic finish.
As far as the "big exception" I referred to above, well, I went a little crazy on Pretty Serious' website a couple of days ago, and ordered a bunch of stuff. (This is always the problem I have: the longer I manage to restrain my compulsive shopping habits, the more likely it gets that they'll eventually break out in a big way.) I don't honestly remember exactly what I bought, so I won't try to tell you now. We'll find out together when it arrives! I had been telling myself I could order something from Nordstrom's anniversary sale, so I guess this will take the place of that, and the anniversary sale is off-limits now. I'm going to try not to even look. It did turn out - I always forget this - that PS's prices are in Australian dollars, so I didn't spend nearly as much as I thought I did. So at least there's that.

(As far as my nails, I'm still wearing Elderberry, which I've had on for a solid week - and it still looks quite decent, which is amazing for me. But it is chipping now, so I'll probably exchange it for one of the above later tonight!)

Friday, July 17, 2015

NOTD: Elderberry (and a big fail)

I decided last night when I took the pink mani off that I would wear Kaboom, the Salon Perfect Floam dupe. However, Kaboom just did not want to be worn. I tried it two different ways and it just would not set. Both times, after some considerable time had gone by, I was able to wipe it off with a tissue, it was still that soft. The first time I tried it over AbsolutelyNY Dear Tiffany, and when it didn't set I was thinking it might have something to do with a formula clash between the two polishes. But apparently that was doing a disservice to AbsolutelyNY, because then I decided to try it without undies, and it did exactly the same thing. So I'm glad I tried it both ways, really. (Note that I had worn Kaboom once previously and didn't have any problems, so I'm not sure what to think. I'm tempted to just throw it away, after all this. Maybe I'll try it on a nail wheel or something first, and see if I can get it to set. Throwing away an almost-full bottle pains me.)

So after that (and I was falling asleep by the time I got to the third mani attempt of the night) I put on a black base, while I was figuring out what I was going to put on top of it, and eventually I decided on NPB Elderberry. This is the mattified version, below: I wore it shiny for a day, and then added a coat of Matte Me Crazy:
I already liked it a lot shiny, but I am crazy about the matte version.

Details (1 coat each unless otherwise specified):
Orly Bonder
WnW Black Creme
Elderberry by Nail Pattern Boldness (one coat would have looked fine, but I did two)
Seche Vite
(and then Matte Me Crazy a day later, as I said above)

(I do highly recommend putting Elderberry over something dark. You might be able to get it opaque on its own, but it'd take several coats, for sure.)

Apropos of nothing above, just a reminder to myself: I ran across TILATM's indie list, and if I remember I want to go through it looking for indies I don't know about already!

Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 favorites so far + a couple of strays

I don't do month-by-month favorites, but I thought I would do one for "2015 so far" - partly just to make it easier on myself assuming I want to do 2015 favorites later! This is just in alpha order by polish name. I limited it to things I wore for the first time in the first half of 2015, not necessarily things that came out this year or even things I purchased this year. I didn't make any attempt to limit this to a certain number of polishes, but I seem to have come out with an even ten. (There were at least a couple more that I almost added, and then decided I didn't like them quite as much as these.)

Aurora Borealis - Lucky 13
Black Metal Dahlia - OCC
Boom - Formula X
BSOD - Pretty Serious
Flake Your Booty - Painted Polish
Harlow - Zoya Matte Velvet
Hot Couture - Color Club
Pretty Gritty - Rescue Beauty
She's Beyond Kelp! - KB Shimmer
Stuck In The Middle - Pretty Serious

These are not all new releases - Black Metal Dahlia's been around at least a couple of years, and I think Hot Couture has too. I'm not at all sure how old BSOD is, but it might have been around a while, as well. A couple more (like Boom and Stuck In The Middle) might have come out earlier last year. And Harlow might have been a re-release last year or might have been new - I've seen conflicting stories on that.

If I had to pick one favorite... I don't know what I'd pick, honestly.  Pretty Gritty, maybe, or Aurora Borealis. I have really been into the flakies so far this year. And She's Beyond Kelp! is awesome as well.

In other news, I found a couple more of my "stray" polishes. (These two were apparently more or less in plain sight all along - or at least, they were lurking behind some other stuff, among the clutter of bottles on my nightstand!)

  • I Only Shop Vintage (Sephora by OPI) -  this is a really fine-milled gold/bronze glitter in what seems to be sort of a taupe base, although it's so packed with glitter that it's hard to tell. I always feel like these colors should not be flattering on me, but this one is. (here's a dupe post) (& here's my mani from earlier this year)
  • Ruby Queen (NYC Crystal Couture) - a red glitter with some scattered purple pieces in a red jelly base. I don't think I bought this until after the holidays, so I didn't wear it then, and I didn't get around to wearing it at Valentine's Day, either.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

NOTD: layers and layers of pink

This is Zoya Kimber, Zoya Reva, and China Glaze Travel In Colour, topped with Matte Me Crazy:
I did the Zoya portion late at night and I'm not entirely sure how many coats of what were involved, exactly. I'm lucky I got any kind of useable manicure because I think I fell asleep before it was dry. I've done the Kimber/Reva mani numerous times. As I've probably explained before, Kimber on its own is too annoyingly pink, and Reva is too orange. So both of them together kind of cancel each other's faults out, as I see it. But I looked at the result this morning and thought it still looked awfully orange for my taste. (It may just have been the light.) So then I put TinC on top and thought it looked awfully pink again (I don't know why that surprised me, considering that that's what TinC always does). But when I put Matte Me Crazy on top of the whole shebang, it toned down the pink enough that I liked it again. The end effect was not very matte, really, but it had a satiny foil-ness to it that I liked quite a lot.

Details, as best I remember:
Zoya Get Even base coat
Kimber, 2 coats
Reva, 1 coat
Travel In Colour, 1 coat
Matte Me Crazy, 1 coat

Friday, July 3, 2015

NOTD: Blue Email and Smoothies

This is Apple Berry Smoothie over Blue Email (these names!):
This looks darker here than it really is - it's pretty bright. It's more cyan, really. I think I talked yesterday about Blue Email being bright, and Apple Berry Smoothie toned it down some but not all that much. It's one coat of Blue Email and two of Apple Berry Smoothie. I saw some very slight bald spots, so I don't think you can call Blue Email an official one-coater, but it's close.

guide to what's what (both above and below), so I won't have to keep typing it:
Apple Berry Smoothie - Rimmel Cocktail Colours, from a couple of summers ago
Blue Email, Purple Neon - Absolute NY
Rockstar Pink - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear
Love Me Some Pie - Dollish Polish, from the Ultimate Fandom polishes

I did a mani before this that I liked, but all the pictures sucked so much that I'm not even willing to put them up - I used my new bottle of Purple Neon (which isn't very neon, as I think I said in the previous entry) for a base, and I put Rockstar Pink over that, and on some nails I also put Dollish Love Me Some Pie. I wasn't too crazy about Love Me Some Pie by itself, but with Rockstar it looked cute. I'm pretty sure Rockstar Pink is discontinued because I saw it on a CVS clearance list lately; I need to poke around and see if I can find a backup bottle because I do really like it a lot. (Although actually my bottle is almost full, still, anyway - I just don't remember to wear it a great deal, obviously.)

And now the blue mani is chipping, so next up is red, in the 4th of July spirit. (I'm not going to attempt nail art like I did a couple of years ago, although it wasn't a total disaster.) I'm thinking I'm going to do the India/Ruby Pumps combo that I did a while back - although now that I look at it again, it's awfully dark. I may do it anyway, though. I'm not going to attempt another picture of the coming mani, since it's probably going to be a repeat, but I'm in the process of taking the blue mani above off, and I have to say, that for a cyan blue, it didn't stain very much. It did stain a little, because it's cyan (I do have to say that I have no idea which of the two polishes to blame for this) but only a little. The last cyan I wore was Zoya Liberty, which stained pretty badly, and before that the only one I ever remember wearing was Cabo Cruise, the Fergie polish, which stained like a mother****er. I've been skittish about cyan ever since.