Monday, December 27, 2010

Avon Mirror Shine - Glisten Swatches and Review

My awesome grandma knows how much I love nail polish and got me this beauty along with another Avon polish (Electric Purple - I'll probably swatch it later). This is part of their Mirror Shine line, which seems a lot like the China Glaze Khrome collection. This is Glisten, a beautiful sky-blue (slightly teal) that has a bright chrome finish. It really only needs one coat, but I did two here to try and make it perfectly smooth.

Avon Mirror Shine Glisten

The only issue with this one (and probably every other chrome) is that it shows any little speck of dust or dirt or fuzz. As long as you use a ridge filling basecoat and make sure your nails are nice and clean, it shouldn't be a problem. Also, brushstrokes are very minimal (yay!).

My sister got the purple one which is also awesome, and hopefully I can borrow it from her someday to swatch it as well.

I love this one so much - it looks SO cool on! Thank you, Ama!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OPI The Berry Best Swatch and Review

This beauty surprised me. In the bottle, it looks like a red with some pink flash and gold shimmer, but on the nail it's a glowing magenta/fuchsia with a very slight duochrome of copper/gold. It looks somewhat metallic, and very bright and cheery for the winter/holiday season!

OPI The Berry Best

Do you have any of the Ulta exclusive OPIs? What do you think if this one?

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Nail Shape + Old Favorite

After seeing a post by the Polish Hoarder in which she rounded her nails down because of a chip, I decided I liked how her nice short, ROUND nails looked! Of course, I had to try it for myself, but this is WAY out of character for me... I've always had very square-edged nails and never really appreciated rounded tips. Funnily enough, it IS very flattering.

So here are my new rounded nails with an old favorite of mine: OPI You Don't Know Jacques. This is such a wonderful fall/winter color, and it was the perfect glossy creme to test out my new nails!

Because the rounded shape isn't very apparent in this picture, here's one that shows it a little better.

How do you shape your nails? Do you stick to one shape or change it up often?

Black Comparison and a New Way of Mattify-ing

I love black nail polish... I don't know what it is, but it looks so classy in an edgy sort of way, and I just love it. So here are two of my black polishes swatched normally with not top coat, just glossy all on their own. On my index and middle is Orly Liquid Vinyl, and on my ring and pinky is China Glaze Liquid Leather.

The Orly is more pitch black than the ChG, which is much more of a charcoal jelly that builds to a black in two coats. Honestly, I CAN tell the difference in person, but I doubt anyone else would notice. The ChG looks deeper, like you're looking into a black pool, while the Orly is darker and looks more like a shiny black surface like patent leather or vinyl.

Now here is my new way of mattify-ing polishes. Honestly, I never got into the matte trend much, but I like it sometimes. Usually I'll take an existing color and use ChG Matte Magic over it, but I hate how it always seems to lighten the color or make it cloudy looking. I got this new buffing block that feels like the buffing surface is just the foam, and not a separate piece of "sandpaper" like on some. I just lightly buffed the topcoat (in this case, Seche Vite) once it had dried in long sweeping motions. Here is the result:

I REALLY like how it comes out. Yeah, it doesn't come out too matte - more like a satin finish, but I think I prefer that anyway - and it shows a bit of buffing stroke lines, but the best part is the lack of cloudiness! I've been considering getting Illamasqua Scorn because of how gorgeously dark it is for being a matte (or satin) black, but I may have found a new way to satisfy the craving.

Here is a picture of the buffing block I used:

What do you think of this way of mattify-ing a polish? Have you ever tried it before? Do you have a favorite matte topcoat?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Orly Wild Wisteria Swatch

I put Orly Wild Wisteria on so I could try my new Sally Hansen Turquoise Opal over it(most awesome duochrome EVER, by the way... pics soon!), but once I put it on that one finger, I just had to put it on the rest. This, to me, seems like a winter color, though it was released in their spring collection. It's also a dupe for OPI's Sapphire in the Snow.

Orly Wild Wisteria

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?? I love this dark blue/purple super-shiny creme. It only took two coats (barely even needs the second coat) and applied very smoothly and evenly. I suppose it can sometimes have that "almost-black" look to it, but only in really low lighting.

I'm thinking of stamping some snowflakes on this one to make it a little more festive... what do you think?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some Holiday Manicures for the Festive Fingers Contest

After reading about Nicole by OPI's festive Fingers contest, I REALLY wanted to find the perfect holiday mani to submit. Here are a couple that I really like:

This is China Glaze Mommy Kissing Santa with Orly Hair Band as a glitter gradient on the tips.

This was the beginning of the following manicure - gold French tips done with OPI Glitzerland. Then I stamped the holly leaves in Jolly Holly using a Bundle Monster plate and dotted the berries first in OPI Royal Rajah Ruby then in China Glaze Red Pearl.

Which one is your favorite and which one should I submit to the festive fingers contest? Help me decide!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Milani Jewel FX Swatches and Review

After I saw this collection reviewed online, I knew I just had to have these crazy polishes! These are from the new Milani collection that includes One Coat Glitters and Jewel FX, and every single one is stunning!

Milani Silver Dazzle

The first is Silver Dazzle, and I think it's my favorite of the glitters. It is a cool-toned charcoal grey glitter that really sparkles with a topcoat. It actually looks pretty cool without a topcoat as well - it has a gritty, matte look which looks very wintry to me. It would also probably look neat with a topcoat and a matte topcoat (to get rid of the rough glitter finish). This is two coats shown.

Milani Gold Glitz

The other glitter I picked up was Gold Glitz. This is ONE COAT! I love warm-toned golds, as they tend to look better on my skin, and this one is perfect. It's a very beautiful holiday color! I didn't pick up the red, purple, or blue glitters because I have some similar, and I'm trying not to buy nail polishes that I have near dupes of (but the One Coat Glitter formula is pretty awesome, so it might be worth it!). If you'd like to see swatches of those, check them out here!

Milani Gems Jewel FX

There are two Jewel FX polishes in the collection, and the first one is called Gems. It is a whole bunch of multi-colored glitter in all different sizes. While the One Coat Glitters contain a whole bunch of microglitter, this has only larger pieces, and it makes it a little easier to clean up (though still hard to remove). It is rumored to be a dupe of Lippmann's Happy Birthday, but it's actually missing the pink/purple glitter (you can see a swatch of it here). Other than that, it's VERY similar with the different shapes, sizes and colors of glitter. This one reminds me of a nutcracker for some reason, and feels like a holiday color, though you could wear it year-round. This is three coats, though the last coat was more of a "touch-up" to cover any bare spots. The glitter in this has to be controlled a little to "place" it in the right spot, but it's not too hard to do.

Milani Gold Jewel FX

This is Gold Jewel FX, and I think this is as "mirror-like" as you can get without having Minx. It is truly spectacular in person. It's cool-toned gold, but luckily it still looks nice on me, and I will SURELY be wearing this one (I don't even care how painful the removal will be). This was two coats, and again it's best to push around the glitter to place it where you want it, especially on the second coat. It was SO easy to clean up (I took it off before it dried) because the big glitter pieces don't get EVERYWHERE like the microglitter does. Here's another pic to try and show off this "mirror" finish.

These could all be a horror to remove, but if you remember the foil method for glitter removal, then they shouldn't be too bad. Just soak a cotton ball in pure acetone or acetone polish remover (I usually split the cotton balls in half so I don't use as many), place it on the glitter polish and wrap it in aluminum foil (so that it doesn't evaporate). Wait for about 5-10min before pressing down and sliding it off. Be sure to moisturize your fingers after soaking them in the acetone!

I can't decide what to put on my fingers and toes now! I kind of want to do Gems on my toes because it'd go with anything I could think of to put on my fingers :o)

Do you like these new glitters? Are you willing to put up with crazy glitter removal for these beauties?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Black Lace French Mani

I decided I really like some of the Konad designs I've seen, but I'm not very good at it, so I should practice. Again, inspired by Chloe, I tried to make a similar mani to her Lace Funky French Mani. I loved the Konad design she used, but I don't have that plate, so I had to use a different one. This one is really fun to wear, and I'm definitely going to try more Konad and Scotch tape mani's soon!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Black French Mani

Today's manicure is inspired by Chloe from Chloe's Nails. She does some amazing designs using scotch tape, including awesome French mani's. It looked simple enough, but I'd never had much luck with tape before. She provides some great tips on how to use tape to create lines and shapes in a manicure. This one came out ok, but I'm sure it just takes some practice!

I used 10 in Pinky Promise (415) (can be found at CVS) with Wet'n'Wild Black Creme (most opaque black creme EVER!). Isn't it awesome?! I'm dying to try her patchwork mani next! I want to try a holiday one, but don't know which colors to use... I'm thinking green and chrome gold and something else... maybe gold glitter?
Do you like French manicures that utilize different colors? Have you ever used Scotch tape for nicely defined lines?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Holiday Manicure

Here's a quick post of a holiday mani I did last week. I saw a similar manicure by All Lacquered Up using Orly's new holiday collection here and loved it, so I figured I'd recreate it as best I could. I used China Glaze Phat Santa and CND Sugar Sparkle to get this look.

China Glaze Phat Santa w/ CND Sugar Sparkle

I love the effect Sugar Sparkle gives - I think it makes it look like a sugary Chrismas candy! I'm thinking of making a "gumdrop" mani with CG Mrs. Claus, Mistletoe Kisses, and Grape Juice. Are there any other colors you think I should add into the mix?? This over each one might give them an even more sugar-coated appearance.

Any holiday mani ideas that you'd like to see?


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