Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Incoco Design Strips Swatch and Review

Incoco recently sent me a couple of their new Design strips for me to try out, and let me tell you, I love them! These didn't come with a name, so I'm not sure what they will be called when they are officially released.



This appears to be similar to their Bling Bling strips, but with a multi-colored top coat that has yellow, pink, and sky blue stripes. To me it looks very springy and Easter-y! I don't think they seem too over-the-top sparkly (but then again, I LOVE glitter polishes and anything super sparkly). I really like how every nail is different - it's not just the exact same design on each nail.

I have worn Incoco quite a few times now (see my Head Over Heels review here), and from my experience, the glitter strips last FOREVER (well 11 days in my case, when I decided I wanted to do a different color... but they were still in near perfect shape then!). I'll let you know when I take these off and comment on the wear then.

I'm thoroughly in love with Incoco, and can't wait until their Design line is officially released on their website. Though cost is kind of high, I'm looking forward to seeing some unique designs that aren't easy to replicate with stamping (Konad).

Have you tried Incoco? Are you excited about their new Design line?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Viva La Nails Water Decals and Stickers Review

Awhile back I ordered the Sample Pack from Viva La Nails. It's free for any blogger or youTube artist to review - all you pay is shipping! And let me tell you, I'm impressed!

First up are some of their colored water decals. These are very elegant pink flowers, with green leavs and stems. I was originally going to try these over an ivory or white, but when I tried Zoya Posh on the other day, they matched too perfectly to NOT try them on! Plus these were super easy - just cut out the design, wet the back paper with a sponge and slide the design off and stick it onto the nail!

Next up are some of their black water decals. On these, any part that is not black is clear, so you can put them over any color and it will show through. I've been wanting to do a "red with black roses" mani for a while, and these were perfect for it! See how clear the designs are? I know you could probably do something like this with Konad, but I'm not very good at the stamping stuff yet, so I like this better. This was over Sinful Colors Ruby Ruby (which is an almsot neon red).

Lastly were some of the rhinestone stickers they sent me. I love the look of the black with white flowers with the little colored accents! However, I didn't wait long enough for the polish to completely dry (even with SV, it was still "squishy") so the stickers ended up pulling on the polish underneath and it ended up pretty bumpy. It still looked awesome, though! Just make sure to let your polish dry COMPELTELY before pressing on the stickers.

I didn't wear any of these for an extended period of time, so I can't really comment on the wear of these, but I can imagine the water decals would easily stay on just as long as a nail polish would. I think I'm definitely going to order more of these!

Have you tried using stickers or water decals on your nails? How do they wear? Have you ordered from Viva La Nails?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bank of America - Warning!

I know this post is no fun, but I really want to get this out there. This is MY story, and I'm posting it here in the hope that you an help me send this warning along.


I'm not sure if this is a recent trend in Bank of America's business, but recently my checking account was CLOSED unexpectedly by B of A. I received a letter on Dec 20 stating that my account would be restricted in 20 days and closed in 30 days, at which point I would be sent a check for the remaining balance.

While it is LEGAL for the B of A to close any accounts at any time, they are not required to give any reason for doing so. This is the number they gave me to contact: 1-980-386-8908. Though it says business hours are 8-5 EST, I have tried multiple times with no success. Each time I get a recording that states the closure is a "business decision" and that it is B of A's policy to NOT disclose any reasons for closure.

Although I have no proof to give all of you, I DO have all of my account records available online, evidence that I have never written a bad check and that the account has NEVER reached a zero or negative balance. I have checked my credit score for any possible issues, but have found nothing to hint as to what may have happened with B of A. There is no logical reason for the closure of my checking account.

(**On a side note, B of A left my savings account open - I suppose they couldn't afford to lose a LARGE sum of money, while they are less concerned about losing a few thousand dollars. I moved the savings to a different bank anyway.)

Today, I went into the bank to withdraw all the funds (it is currently in the "restricted" status), and none of the tellers or bankers were able to get any more info on the reason for closure and they were unable to give me ANY of the money in the account! They, too, were directed to the "Account Closures Department" at the number listed above and were unable to reach anybody.


Please, please don't let this happen to you and your friends and family! Please pass along this warning to all who do business with B of A. I may just be one customer of the thousands they serve loyally, but the way they have treated me is unacceptable and I do not wish it on anyone else in the world!

Black Lace and Cafe Au Lait

First of all... I hit 100 followers last night!!! Thank you all SO much for encouraging me with your wonderful comments! Just to let you know, I read every single one (even on old posts).

I got this idea from Deniz's pseudo lace nails (who in turn got it from Beautopia's idea here). Unfortunately, I don't have Konad plate m71, so I had to make do with a rose design from plate m65. The lace net is from plate m57 and I used Wet'n'Wild Black Creme for the stamping.

I actually like how it turned out with the roses, but I just don't know how those girls got their lace to look so PERFECT!

I love the look of black lace manicures, but I'm not sure which "version" I like the most. The Sally Hansen Salon Effects one looked nearly perfect, except for that the base color was way too pale for my skin. It would have lasted for week and a half most likely, but I don't usually wear one mani for that long anyway. I've never tried a "real lace" manicure, but I have a feeling I wouldn't have much patience for the texture and lifting of the lace edges. I think this one may be my favorite because you can customize the lace to look how you want it - you could put any Konad flowers you want over the lace net or maybe do some lacy french tips.

The base I used was Cafe Au Lait from the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure line. I think this is the closest polish to my skin color that I own, but it's still not perfect. It's a tad too peachy-pink on me. Although it doesn't show in the pictures, it matches the pads of my fingers, but the rest of my hand looks a bit more yellow-brownish (in a not so yucky-color way than it sounds). I have a feeling it would match perfectly to someone whose skin had a tad more pink in it. I just saw a swatch of Knotty from China Glaze Anchor's Away that makes me think it might be a wonderful nude color for me during the summer when I'm slightly tanned.

What is your favorite nude color? Do you have one that perfectly matches your skin? Have you ever tried real lace for a manicure?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Funky Half Moon

I came up with this idea just this morning and figured I'd wait to try it until the China Glaze Anchor's Away collection came out (for the navy and the red). As you can see, I didn't make it that long before trying it out.

I used Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On for the base (plus a coat of SV), then used Liquid Palisade to form the half moons and just painted over with RBL Dead Calm (navy), and OPI Monsooner of Later (red... I know it looks orange here, but it is a bright orange-red in person). One note about Liquid Palisade. It's pretty awesome, but make sure you give yourself an extra "tail" with which to pull it off once you've painted over it, and probably pull it off with tweezers (I didn't do either and got blue and red all over my other hand's fingers...). After I let it dry just a bit, I dotted White On in little dots (freehand with a dotting tool).

I like this one, but it takes awhile and I don't think I have the patience to complete the design on my other hand as well. I think it looks sort of nautical, or like a polka-dotted dress.

What does this design remind you of? Have you tried/do you like the half-moon manicures?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Tobacco

I forgot how much I loved this polish until I put it on again yesterday to take a swatch picture. See, this beauty is being packed away for a swap and Dolores (from A Colorful Bottle) asked me to swatch it one more time to make sure I wanted to send it and so that I had pictures for my blog.

Of course, I fell in love with it all over again when I put it on, but that's when I realized that I CAN'T WAIT to send it to her! I know she will love it and it will probably be one of her favorites, too!

This baby is a beauty even in the shade - a very dark, vampy maroon. But it really comes alive in the sun... Check out this glowy amazing-ness!

So here is my parting with Diamond Cosmetics Cherry Tobacco. (Although I have to admit, I'm already planning another Diamond Cosmetics order for the near future... this one is included). This is probably in my top 10 polishes of all time, and I'm so excited to hear what Dolores thinks of this one - it's already all packed up and ready to go!

**On a side note... I've been using LUSH Lemony Flutter cuticle butter for a few days now, and HOLY GOOSES, my cuticles look SO much better in my photos. I didn't notice too much difference until I went to edit these photos and I didn't have to do ANY retouching! Wow! I'm hooked...

Have you ever done nail polish swaps before? Are you as in love with Cherry Tobacco as I am?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Emerald Green Holo!! (Franken)

One of Michelle's (from All Lacquered Up) wishes this year was for an emerald green holo. I found a gorgeous forest green holo on Konad-licious the other day (here), and absolutely HAD to have one, so I decided I'd try frankening one. I've only made one or two other frankens that were nothing special, so I didn't have very high hopes for this one...

But holy gooses, it came out SO AWESOME! I was able to capture some of the rainbows in this, but not as well as I'd liked. Imagine this looking a lot like a green version of DS Glamour. It's kind of in between a smooth (Nfu-Oh) holo and a scattered holo (like DS Extravagance).

And of course, the recipe! I think I used about 1/3 Nfu-Oh 62 (though I think any Nfu-Oh holo would work) and 2/3 Nfu-Oh 569 (Nars Zulu close dupe). Then I added just a couple drops of China Glaze Calypso Blue (you can use any dark blue jelly) to even out the green and give it that perfect emerald hue.

I'm pretty sure the key to making darker holo frankens is to use jelly polishes instead of cremes. I only made a tiny bottle of this, and I'm wishing I made more. I might actually buy more Nfu-Oh's just to make more of this one!

Now I need your help in naming this beauty! It deserves a freaking cool name, but I haven't been able to come up with one yet... help me out!

So what do you think of this green holo? Have you frankened any awesome brightly colored holos? What other bright holos would you like to see?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Milani Rad Purple

I'm pretty sure Milani Rad Purple is in my top 10 favorite polishes. It is a beautiful red grape jelly that just looks SO JUICY! (I imagine this is what people expected Zoya Juicy and New York Hot Purple to look like... Milani nailed it with this one!)

It's funny how the bottle does not match the actual color of this polish at all. I love the polish color, and wish Milani made these in just clear bottles. Also, I'd like to be able to tell when I'm running out, because I'm afraid I may need like three backup bottles of this color. It's also funny that this is part of a neon collection. Nothing about this polish is neon in the least, apart from drying to a satin finish. Shown is three easy, thin coats and one coat of Seche Vite.

Luckily, this polish is pretty readily available at most drugstores in the US, so if you like jelly finishes, you should DEFINITELY pick this one up. Another good one is Techno Red from the same collection - a coral-red jelly!

What is your favorite polish finish (jelly, creme, shimmer, frost, glitter, foil, metallic, etc)? What is your favorite jelly polish?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ugly Mint Pants

So I was out with my friend, Ryan, yesterday and we saw this guys crossing the street in these hideous mint pants paired with a watermelon red shirt... oh it was horrendous. I knew I HAD to make a nail art design out of it. And here it is:

I used Quirius Erin Island and China Glaze High Hopes. Isn't it wonderfully gross?? I dunno, I don't think it quite captures how atrocious this outfit was. Anyway, I tried...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Trying out Transfer Foils

After seeing all of Enamel Girl's awesome foil manicures, I wanted to try some, too! So I made my $25 minimum order from Dollar Nail Art and incidentally wound up with SO MANY foils to try! I'd never tried foils before, and was worried that they'd look terrible. Actually, it's very easy and comes out looking pretty awesome.

One problem with foil is that is crinkles when you put on topcoat, but depending on the topcoat, it usually smooths out once it has dried. Here I tried just clear Orly polish on my ring finger, but it never ended up shiny again, instead it looked just cloudy. Then I tried Gelous on my pinky and it worked very well! It looked crinkled at first, but dried to a mirrored finish just like the foil. Then on my middle finger I tried Gelous with Seche Vite over the top. This combination seemed to leave a few more wrinkles, but it still looked pretty nice. My index finger I left with just the foil and it dulled down within MINUTES from everyday wear, and I'm sure the foil would not stay on for very long this way. It needs a topcoat, it's just a matter of finding the right one.

From far away, these are so mirrored, it's amazing, but up close they definitely have flaws. If you're one that can't stand a couple bubbles, or a speck of dust , then you may not be as happy with the foils, because they don't come out perfect. But I think it's about as close to Minx as you can get without paying horrendous prices!

Have you ever tried foils before? Do you like the chrome/mirror look?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sally Hansen Salon Effects - Laced Up

I was so excited when I found these unexpectedly at Walgreens the other day. This is from the new Salon Effects line my Sally Hansen. Pictured here is Laced Up.

These apply pretty much exactly like Incoco, though I haven't gotten a chance to try Incoco's new Design line yet to compare. My Incoco review and mini-tutorial is here.

What I REALLY like about the Salon Effects vs. Incoco is that each "hand" of stickers comes in its own package. If you have shorter nails like I do, you can use only ONE pack at a time by cutting them in half. Of course, I ended up having to trim a couple strips to the correct nail size, but it's worth the extra effort to get double the number of manicures from each one (especially at $8.50 - $9.99 depending on where you get them)! My mom and I actually got a bunch of designs and split them up so we each had a package of all the designs. Also, I love how readily available they are. I found some at Walmart and some at Walgreens (which had a bigger selection).

They claim to last up to 10 days and I REALLY wanted to test it since I've had Incoco last 11 days for me once, but I was so anxious to try some new transfer foils that I HAD to take them off today. This was day six and they still look wonderful, although I did file some minor tipwear off on day four. I'm guessing these definitely could last for 10 days on some people.

Have you tried any of the "stick-on" nail polish like Incoco or Salon Effects? Do you like them?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Years!

I hope everyone is having a great New Year so far! Here are some of the colors my family and I sported for the beginning of 2011:

This is one coat of Zoya Trixie with two coats of China Glaze Nova on top. This is probably the most blingy mani I've ever worn. Check out that rainbow-y sparkle!

I got my sister some of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects for Christmas in Frock Star, and she decided to use them for NYE. These are really cool (very much like Incoco), and I will be doing a review post on another design from this line very soon. This one looks like a dupe for Lippmann Happy Birthday, but I don't have it, so I can't compare.

And these are my Mama's NYE nails. I used Barielle Berry Blue (2 coats), then used Nova to create the glitter gradient.

What's your favorite polish for New Year's Eve?


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