Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pushing Black The Curtain

This is going to be suuuper quick, mostly pics for now, but I was so excited to show you guys what I did last night that I couldn't wait. :D

Let's just say: Sinful Colors Whipped + OPI Designer Series Extravagance + striping tape = pure AWESOMENESS!  (IMO, anyways...I'll let you decide for yourselves.)

I used two coats of Sinful Colors Whipped on all fingers but the pinkie which got two coats of OPI DS Extravagance, and after they were thoroughly dry (or so I thought), I used striping tape to create a V & carefully filled in said V with a medium-thick coat of Extravagance and quickly whipped (haha!) the tape off. ;) I just LOVE the contrast of the sultry, sparkly magenta with its beautiful scattered holo glitters on top of the sexy matte black. Oooh!  Aaah!
Whipped applied very  easily, aaalmost a one-coater, but I really wanted it to be an intense black.  Dry time was average, about 15 mins.  I thought it would be faster since mattes usually are quicker drying, but oh well.  I'm so prone to getting bubbles in my polish, I probably wait longer than necessary between coats now.  I'd rather do that than end up with polish acne, I can tell you that right now!!!  I hate those darn bubbles with a passion!

OPI DS Extravagance was a birthday gift from my roommate last year, I purchased Sinful Colors Whipped at Wal-Mart for $1.99, and a friend of mine ordered the striping tape from Amazon as part of my Christmas present.  I think there are like, at least 10 different colors in that pack and I'm sure it came from China or Hong Kong because she was freaking out about it getting here in time.  Good thing we had our Christmas in January!   :P

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I ALSO went dancing with Nureyev!

Yes, I have had solely A-Englands on my nails since I got my recent Color4Nails package.  And yes, I love them ALL with every keratin cell in my nails. ;)  Oh by the way, can you believe  I did this mani in my cubicle at work (shhhhh!) with my hands mostly under my desk?!  YES that's right!!! A true testament to how fuss-free A's formula is. :D  I kid you not, I didn't have to do any actual cleanup other than a few swipes with my thumbnail.

Shown here are two coats over NO base!  I have been using Duri Rejuvacote for months and love it, but I couldn't believe that even my A-Englands were bubbling, so I thought, meh how 'bout just foregoing a basecoat (especially since Duri dries very smooth & shiny) and seeing if that makes a difference?  I think it did.  In my opinion, most holos like this apply fine if not better without a base.  
P.S. If you want a fabulous, thorough read on causes and prevention of bubbling, check this out!

Oh and I didn't use a topcoat either, just because I got busy working overtime and knew I'd be trying out another AE soon anyways. ;)  The wear was surprisingly good for having neither base nor topcoat... my nails just take a heck of a beating from working in our warehouse so I did end up with lots of chips and scraped off areas (from a metal press thingie) by Friday night.  I painted my nails with Nureyev on Wednesday morning.
I do have to say the dry time seemed slow.  And I learned a new trick to tell when polishes are dry: smell them when you first apply.  That's the smell that should be completely gone (i.e. all of the solvents should have evaporated) when they are DRY.  :)  Credit for that tidbit goes to Ana, maker of Pure Nail Oil.

Dancing with Nureyev is from the newest A-England Ballerina collection, and although I thought it would be more of a mid-tone "blue jean" blue, I still find its pastel-ish periwinkle/cornflower color to be quite beautiful. At some angles, all you see is a grey/silver hue.  And the holo is stunning.  Definitely more linear than most of the A-Englands, but still not SUPER strong linear like Color Club's Halographic 2013 collex.

I'm very happy with this polish and cannot wait to put on Her Rose Adagio next for a very special mani. ;)  Keep your eyes peeled for said special mani sometime next week!  And have a fabulous remainder of the weekend!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

How did THAT happen?!

As I was working on a new mani yesterday and simultaneously living on Facebook, I of course noticed a plethora of St. Patrick's Day nail art and manicures poppin' up like shamrocks in the spring.  Lo and behold, without the impending holiday even registering in my mind as I chose my polishes hours before, my nails are green and copper/gold!  ROFL
Must've happened subconsciously.

I used 4 coats LynBDesigns Spot the Cuttlefish on my thumb and ring finger, and as I'm sure 90% of you can tell, 2 coats of A-England Dragon on my pointer, middle, and pinkie.  While I have to say Spot the Cuttlefish is pretty (and it's more shimmery copper IRL), it is NOT at all what I thought I was getting.  Really the only swatches out there are Accio Lacquer's, who I believe is LynB's official blogger, so that is what I based my purchase on.
I'm seriously contemplating emailing her some pics once I use it for a four fingered swatch and asking if she was missing a pigment in this batch, or what, because I fell in love with the rich burgundy/plum base that really made the beautiful flakies stand out.  Because my bottle has such a caramel colored jelly base, you can hardly see them. :(

Eeew...that accent nail reminds me of a bad 60's carpet - and drapes - and linoleum... its redeeming quality is the holo & flakies which of COURSE you can't see here!  -_-

Dragon is very beautiful; another perfect A-England which I cannot say enough good things about!!! :)  I guess I do have to say I wish the insane gold shifting to copper haze (seriously!! I also saw copper that matches Cuttlefish perfectly IRL!) you see below would've been more evident on my nails.  Maybe it will be in real, live, strong sunlight.  I'll give it the benefit of the doubt. ;)  My oh my, I think I found the leprechaun's pot o' gold in me A-England bottle!!

So there you have it; my totally unexpected St. Patrick's Day mani!!  hehehe

As an extra for you, this is a hilarious little flannelgraph-esque segment from a Veggie Tales movie.  I grew up on Veggie Tales and this "short" essentially taught me all I know about the origins of the holiday. ;)  Enjoy it, if you wish!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"...A few of my fAAAvorite things!"

...Yes, I'm singing Sound of Music in my head! hehe  I just wanted to do a quick 'lil post because this manicure makes me so happy, despite its MANY imperfections and yes, nail blogger no-no's, so I hope you'll bear with me & be forgiving.  And maybe enjoy it anyway. :)

So, the 3 things about this that make me happy:
1) A-ENGLAND!!!!  As a birthday gift to myself, I made an unprecedented 5 bottle purchase (usually it's only 2 or 3 polishes of any given kind at one time) and they just got here on Friday.  I cannot get over how superb these polishes are!

2) Stamping!!  Or more specifically, stamping with MoYou London plates!  They are simply amazing and if you enjoy stamping, you really should invest/treat yourself to some.  The cost is a bit higher since they do come from London only and your purchase on their site will be in GBP (pounds sterling).  Let me tell you, their currency is much more powerful than ours!  Ouch.  But these plates are worth it!

3) Sushi!!  Not only did I get to experience it last night with my mom & dad & sister, but I've now gotten all of them to try it. :D  WIN!  It was an uphill battle for the last few years since I discovered it, gracias a mi mejor amiga en el mundo (my best friend in the WORLD).  Oh and did I mention I also had sushi on my nails?!  And no, I do not mean because I was using my fingers instead of chopsticks... Let's take a look, shall we?

I give you A-England Rose Bower with an accent of Sinful Colors Rich In Heart, stamped image in Konad special white polish from MoYou Suki plate #3.  Sadly, I no longer see it on the site! :-/
Rose Bower was a color I didn't think I'd really ever want to purchase, but after seeing this post, I was SOLD.  And now I clearly love it, since it was the first one I used!  It's THE most brilliant red shimmer with scattered holo.  In the shade, it's a more muted raspberry.  Still beautiful!  One coat here, I should've done two because my painting skills sucked. *no fault of the polish!!
Rich In Heart is so not  brown/copper like it appears in the bottle below.  Grrr.  Why did my camera keep pulling the brown tones?!  It's actually a beautiful almost black red shimmer (in 2 coats).  You can what I mean on my rice bowl accent above. :)

The tips were all chipped after one day because of work.  -_-  Thanks work!  You pay for my polish AND ruin it!

That 'lil accent was my favorite!!  A piece of nigiri (type of sushi) - sliced raw fish with a molded ball of rice underneath, usually with a dab of wasabi in between the rice and fish.  I wasn't planning to get this stamping plate, but when I saw the smiling sushi pieces, I was again, SOLD!  lol
I've been wanting to do a sushi mani to coincide with a sushi dinner for awhile now. :)

So, to tally it up:
1) A-England Rose Bower = $10 (Sinful Rich In Heart = $1.98)
2) MoYou Suki plate = £4.99
3) Sushi = umm, my parents got the bill :D
The feeling of happiness looking at my nails & spending time with family = priceless!

Monday, March 10, 2014

When wishes come true - Illamasqua Scarce

Well as you can clearly see, I've had quite a hiatus due to pre-vacation busyness, vacation, and post-vacation doldrums! (if you've ever read or watched The Phantom Tollbooth, you'll have a clear picture of what those are)

The weekend before I left for vacation, a 100% surprise nail mail package showed up on my doorstep - er, in the mail pile on the counter since my roommate got the mail.  Lord have mercy, was I ever shocked & awed to see all the goodies inside that baby!!!!  Remember when Claudia (of idreamofpolish31) knocked my socks off before with Nfu-Oh #61?  Well, she did it again!  Just take a gander (or a goose) at this jaw-dropping, eye-popping generosity:

I have no idea what possessed her to send me all this stuff, but it has certainly made my month!  I loooove all the personal touches like the little labels; she even nicknamed one of the polishes "The Sky in Minnesota," which I have to say is spot-on. :)  And WHAT. IS. THIS?!?  Ohhh that's just a little thing I like call Illamasqua Scarce, which has been on my wishlist for awhile and I never thought I'd actually get because those speckled collection polishes have become pretty coveted and HTF - or scarce, if you will. ;)  So she must've worked a minor miracle to procure it for me!  When I opened that little bundle of joy, all I could say for about a minute was: omg!!!!  Over and over.  And then I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and pushed my eyeballs back in their orbital bones.
Now all I can say is: you are an absolute polish angel, Claudia!!!!!!!!!!!  You've spoiled me to high heaven, and I'll be forever grateful and full of warm fuzzies. :D  Mil gracias, querida amiga!!!

I did this mani over the weekend.  Two easy, high-quality speckly coats of Scarce with some Seche on top, although they were actually pretty smooth!  The accent nail was supposed to be stamped with roses, buuuut, my frosty light pink was far too faint, and I'd been wanting to put A-England's She Walks in Beauty over a black creme anyway.  I think it looks okay, but this isn't my favorite combo, despite the fact that the glitters match the creamy pink base.

Okay, I suppose I can include a few vacation shots for your hungry eyes...

The famous Cabo San Lucas arch!

Sunset, cactus - background, banana plant - fore :)
Beautiful pools, beautiful weather!

THE flower of the tropics :)


Me & my chicas in the infinity pool