Thursday, September 30, 2010

Confetti - My Favorite Martian, Masquerade Ball, and Smitten!

I'm going to go ahead and lump a bunch of Confetti's I picked up recently altogether - hope you don't mind!  I had bought two Confetti's before I read on the Nail Board that they will soon be discontinued, so I picked up these three at a fellow member's urging.  We'll start off with My Favorite Martian:

As you can see, this is a sparkly lime green - I like it a lot... but it's not *quite* love.  Might have needed more time on the nails to grow on me!  I believe this is 3 coats in the photo.

  Here's a close up for ya:


You can see all the little glass flecks in this one - for once, my macro setting did what I wanted it to do!  If you're into greens, I definitely recommend this one.  If you aren't... well, you might want to pick it up anyway, since soon it will be gone forever!

Next up is Masquerade Ball, a beautiful lit-from-within blackened red.

Beautiful... but not so unique.  Apparently I am VERY drawn to this shade...

Here I have it compared with Sally Hansen Lacquer in Glossy and Sinful Colors Rich in Heart.  Masquerade Ball is ever-so-slightly less blackened than the other two, but the difference is only visible in direct sunlight - inside, I couldn't tell any differences between them.  This was 2 coats of each.  Had a little boo-boo on my thumb there... oopsie!

The real treasure of my Confetti collection is Smitten - its a blurple, but more blue than purple and has these amazing pink and blue flecks - check it out!!

You can even see the flecks in a not-so-close up pic!  Here's where it really shines though:

I couldn't stop staring at this one... it is really unique, at least to my collection.  I believe this was 2 coats as well.

One thing you need to watch out for with Confetti's is their brush - I have 5 total and 2 have wonky brushes!  They have a curve to them... if I didn't have mine all in a box in the spare bedroom, I'd take a pic so you could see.  Trust me though, when you are picking out your Confetti's, CHECK THE BRUSHES!!!  You'll know what I mean when you see one - they are totally curved like a C and are practically unusable.  When I bought these 3, I had to go through 4 My Favorite Martians until I found one that wasn't screwed up.  If worst comes to worst, you can decant into an empty bottle, but if you check beforehand, this shouldn't be a problem.

Formula-wise, this was pretty good - My Favorite Martian seemed a little sheer, but the other two were perfection in two coats.  The non-wonky brushes seem to be ok - nothing spectacular - but there are so many messed up ones, it really brings down my score on these.

Confetti's are still currently available at CVS and retail for a mere $1.99 - snap them up while you can!!

Number of coats: 2 to 3, depending on color
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ulta - Femme Fatale

YAY my first follower!!  :D  :D  :D  I'm finally not talking to myself anymore!!  ;)  THANK YOU!!

Ahem... anyway... today I'm going to show you Femme Fatale, an Ulta Salon polish.

Slightly funny story on this one... my husband absolutely does not care one slight little bit about my nails or my polish, except for the amount of money and time I spend on them.  I could not for the life of me decide what color to do my nails the other night and so I kept asking him for help, which of course, he refused.  Finally I narrowed it down to 2 - this and OPI Royal Raja Ruby.  I begged him to choose, but again, he refused.  I whined until he finally did it, after much eye rolling, and he picked Femme Fatale.  I was a little disappointed at first - have you seen RRR???  However, once I had this on, it was love!!  And I made my man finally get involved, though against his will!  ;)

I don't have a ton of stuff to say on this one... it pretty much speaks for itself.  The photos are actually pretty color accurate, even though it is a purple - shocking!!  This has a great metallic finish, but not brush-strokey at all, which I adore.  This is fantastic for fall and I will be wearing it often!!  Application was great - nice and smooth.  This was two coats, so pretty standard.  I like the Ulta brush just fine and the cap is great for my small hands.

I took these pics on Thursday... and started cleaning the house (which was a disaster, not joking whatsoever... I'm still not done!) immediately afterwards.  Not only did Femme Fatale not survive, but neither did my nails... I broke 4 between Thursday and Friday and ended up nubbinizing on Saturday.  *SAD*  My nails haven't been this short in awhile and I haven't adjusted.  I put on a vampy to try to make it better (Essie Wicked), but it still doesn't seem right.  You've seen the pics - my nails weren't that long to begin with, but now... my thumb nails are so short you can see skin after the nail ends!!  :(

I'm actually kinda glad for the nubbins though... I know it was for the best.  I had been using a basecoat that I suspect was causing many nail woes *coughOrlyBondercough* including peeling, brittleness, yellowing, etc. and my tips were in BAD shape.  I had two silk wraps on my left thumb, a patch on my left middle, left ring, right ring, and my entire right thumb was covered in Orly Nail Rescue.  I think it was time to chop them!  Now hopefully as they grow back in, they will be nice and healthy, not the peely mess I was dealing with.  I just need them to hurry up and grow - I'm a little embarassed to take pics of these!!

In other news this week, I made 2 e-hauls (Burlesque!!  CND Effects!!), so I have lots of new pretties coming!  I also bought an OTT Lite, which I am SUPER excited about!  I work during the day and unless I take pics before work (yeah right) or on my lunch, the sunlight is waning by the time I get home and there is no good light in my house.  With the OTT Lite, I should be able to take some great pics indoors, which will mean more posts more often with the added bonus of my neighbors not staring at me like I'm crazy when I'm outside trying to take pics of my hands!

In not-so-great news, since I spent my vacation cleaning (and breaking nails), I did not swatch like I planned on.  I still have a couple of photos I haven't posted yet, but I am a little disappointed I didn't get to play much.  I still have so much to do here at home, and I'm trying to force myself to do it by not allowing myself to play with the pretties until the work is done.  It kinda makes me sad, but then when I walk into my spare bedroom (which I have not been able to walk in since I moved into this house almost 3 years ago!) and look at how fantastic and functional it is now... it's worth it.

Not that you really care, but let me tell you a bit about my hubby and me - we are SLOBS.  Not joking at all.  We don't mean to be... we just don't really care about that kinda stuff.  We only care when it gets really bad and we can't stand it anymore... then we have to do a huge cleaning that takes forever.  Plus, both of us have short attention spans, are easily distracted and have no motivation.  Therefore, it takes us several days to do what a normal person could get done in a day.  Everytime we get everything all cleaned up, we try REALLY hard to keep it that way, and sometimes we do for a long time (we made it almost 2 months once!), but something always happens - one of us gets sick, we start working like crazy, Christmas comes and we have to drag out all the decorations and wrapping paper, that kinda stuff.  Before we know it, everything is a mess again and we have to spend days getting it back the way it should be.  It's mostly clutter - boxes (I hardly ever shop in stores, I do most everything online), old mail, clothes we didn't put away, that kinda stuff.  We're pretty good not to be gross... unless you consider dust gross, and then we're absolutely disgusting.  At first it doesn't  bother me, I don't even notice, but eventually it starts weighing on me everytime I come home and look around.  I just have a hard time getting started... and staying going.  So this time, I denied myself my nail polish.  The house still isn't where I want it to be... but I would say that the polish ban is working.  The spare bedroom is now functional, the living room looks pretty decent (does need a good vacuuming and dusting yet), about half the laundry is done and neatly folded (I need to finish cleaning out drawers to put it all away) and the kitchen doesn't look *quite* as bad as it did when we started.  It's going to take a lot more work, so I won't be swatching until I'm done.  Maybe my nails will have grown out a bit by then?

Back to the NOTD... Ulta Salon Lacquer in Femme Fatale retails for $5 and is widely available (and often on sale!)

Number of coats: 2
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Revlon Extra Life + Seche Vite

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sinful Colors Coco Diamond and Velvet Diamond (... and a rant)

I've had a really stressful week at work, so I haven't made this my top priority - sorry about that.  I had to let my staff know this week that they are losing the titles that they have worked so hard to get, yet they are still expected to do all the work that came with those shiny titles.  I met with every superior I could to explain why this is bad for morale and will not benefit the company as much as they think it will, but no one was willing to listen to what this lowly manager had to say.  They required that not only I tell my staff, but that I do it with a smile on my face and explain to them the benefits of it... which are none.  I did it, but my own way... honestly.  No fake smiles, no telling them that it all is for the good, nothing like that.  I tried not to be too negative, but I'm pretty close with my staff and they would know I was lying if I walked in and explained the new direction our company is headed in, all with a big grin and happy voice.  I have known about this for a few weeks, but was forbidden to talk to my staff until the appointed day, and of course one of the people affected by it was out sick, so it drug on all week.  Now that those people all know, I am giving them a week to let it process and decide how they want to move forward, and then I will talk to the entire department and explain to them what is going on.  UGH.  The worst part is that my company is notorious for not giving explanations when they make big changes like this, so I really can't tell anyone why it is happening.  I was told it was "phase one" of a process in which we are changing our focus from service to sales, but no one could tell me what the last phase was or when they are predicting we will get there... as usual.  If they don't really know where they are going, why is it so important to start phase one now?  Doesn't it make sense to wait until they have everything planned out, then start?  Am I the only one who sees this?!?!?

Anyway... no one is here to hear about my life, just to see some pics of nails.  Usually Sunday is my swatching day, but the sun isn't out very much, so I'm not getting a chance to do much.  After the stress of last week, I am happy to say I am on vacation for most of this week, so hopefully I can get out and swatch a little more... I have a TON of new things I want to show you!!  :D

Today I'm going to combine a few colors together, since you had to read my entire rant above.  They are similar enough that they should go together anyway... so here we go!

Sinful Colors has a small collection of "Diamond" colors - I have Coco, Velvet, Purple and Rose.  Today I'm going to show Coco and Velvet.  I had tried to find pics before I bought, but no such luck.  I wish I had... these aren't for me.

Coco Diamond is probably my favorite of all the Diamonds, it doesn't look too terrible against my skintone.  In the bottle, it seems a taupe-ish pink, but once on the nail, it became a nice neutral pink with TONS of sparkly shimmer.  In the sun it flashes almost every color - not holographic, but kinda iridescent.

And here is Velvet Diamond.  In the bottle, it's a swirl of medium pink and a darker purpley pink, along with the same sparkly shimmer as Coco Diamond.  It's a cheerful light pink that looks girlish, but fun.

The colors are nice and even though I'm not one for pinks, I like them.  Here's the kicker though - this is SEVEN... yes SEVEN coats of each.  Still lots of VNL.  Impossible to dry, as you can see by the horrid-ness of my pinky and ring finger in the Velvet Diamond shot.  This was after 2 coats of quick-dry top coat and 30 minutes and they still smudged at the slightest touch.

I'm not one to give up though, so I decided to layer these over a darker color - less coats and I still will get that beautiful sparkly shimmer!  Here they are (plus an extra!) over black.

As you can see, Coco Diamond is more opaque than Velvet Diamond, but color-wise, they look about the same.  I threw in NYC Love Letters because it is a pretty similar polish, and honestly, it looks the best layered.

I tried wearing these over an off white (NYC Little Italy), but it only made it look worse.  I couldn't stomach taking pictures, let alone posting them here for others to see.  I'm wondering if I had a ridge filler or something that was the color of my nails if it would help cut down on the number of coats needed to get any color... I'll have to find one and try that sometime.

My thought on these is that if you like really sheer colors and don't mind VNL, you might love these.  The shimmer in all the Diamonds is really beautiful, but I just can't handle non-nude sheers.  If you're into pinks, you could easily put a layer of these on top and get the best of both worlds...but I don't really do pinks either.  If I could figure out a good way to wear Coco Diamond, I would do it - it would be great for work.  Until I do, this is going into the bottom drawer of my melmer with all my "to swap" items.

Coco Diamond and Velvet Diamond retail for $2.00 each and are both widely available.

Number of coats: 7
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Revlon Extra Life + Seche Vite

Sunday, September 12, 2010

OPI - Dating a Royal

For some strange reason, this has been in my untrieds for far too long.  I pulled out a blue sweater to wear to work, thought about matching nail polish and instantly thought of Dating a Royal.  I can't believe I waited so long - I love it!!

Like so many colors, it photographs a little differently than it really looks.  It seems a really intense almost neon blue in every picture I took, but it is slightly dustier than it looks.  Still a nice bright blueberry candy blue, but just not quite *this* blue!

Application was good - it started off a tady streaky, but by the time I was done, it had completely self-leveled and looked great.  It's somewhere between a cream and a jelly.  I have seen a lot of people say this is a straight-up jelly, but it doesn't seem quite as squishy to me.  *shrug*  Beautiful color, easy to apply - love it!  Typical OPI Pro-Wide brush, which I like... but I've realized on my pinkies it's almost too big.  It seems like I get a lot on my cuticles and I can't seem to get it off... which you can clearly see in the pics, and this is day two!  Sorry about that tipwear too...I did it Friday night, worked Saturday and took pics on Sunday... so I had plenty of time to mess them up!

I also got those nasty little bubbles I mentioned in my previous post with OPI Pamplona Purple... I have been using my topcoat combo for awhile without troubles, but I guess it must react with the OPIs?  I'm going to switch it up for my next mani and see what happens...

Dating a Royal retails for $8.50 and is still widely available.

Number of coats: 3
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry + Seche Vite

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OPI - Pamplona Purple

Ok, so my NOTD is something by OPI, so you've probably seen it before.  I'm wearing a shirt that is the exact same shade and this was in my untrieds, so I figured now was the time.

So here we have OPI's Pamplona Purple from the Espana Collection... which I believe was the fall collection for 2009.  I hadn't heard much about this one - actually, nothing at all.  A friend and I were going together to buy some polish online and so I was browsing through the offerings and when I came across this one, I started searching for swatches.  I have several shirts this same shade and haven't found a nail polish to match.  I thought I'd found it in Milani's Rad Purple (I'll swatch that one soon to compare), but alas, the polish is not the same color as the bottle (damned you colored bottles!) and my search continued.  I was proud of myself - this is the only polish I ordered (yes, I have a bit of a problem...) and it did not disappoint.

Pamplona Purple has been described as "plush plum", but I think that's a little off.  When I think of plum, I think of dark vampy purples.  This is most certainly not vampy!  To me, it's more like fushia... mixed with a little purple.  Maybe a dark magenta?  A medium red violet?  Hard to describe in words, but the pictures are pretty color accurate... though I definitely could have used better lighting.  Sorry about that... didn't have a chance to take pics before the sun started going down.

I like that the color is what you'd expect more from a neon, but it has a cream finish - I don't really like the neon finish.  I'm drawn to many of the colors, but once it's on, I have to start loading up on the Seche Vite to like it.  Pamplona Purple did seem kinda streaky on the first coat.  It evened out on the second, but the tips of my nails where I didn't get the second coat on as well is still a little meh.  I suppose that's my fault, not the polish's, but for the first time I noticed little tiny bubbles on my thumbnail.  I've never had that happen before!  It's really only noticeable to me, but still...

The bottle and brush are typical OPI, which you've probably worked with before.  I have pretty small hands, so the lid is a little long for me, but I do like the Pro-Wide brush.  I know a lot of people think it's too big and hate it, but I like that I can almost cover my entire nail with one stroke - makes application a snap!

Pamplona Purple retails for $8.50 and is still widely available.

Number of Coats: 2
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat:  Sally Hansen Insta-Dry + Seche Vite

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

LA Girl Rock Star - Party Animal

I really loved NYX Jungle and it was holding up well, but I had a meeting today with my Retail Administration Manager and so I didn't think it was in my best interest to go in with green nails.  It's not exactly forbidden at my job, but I do work at a bank and I'm sure they would prefer that I wear more traditional colors.

I tried 3 different sheers but I honestly can't stand the way they look on me.  I'll try to get over it long enough to take photos for this blog, but UGH - pinks and peaches look horrid on me!  I finally gave up on trying to be entirely work appropriate and went with LA Girl Rock Star in Party Animal - it's like  meeting them halfway, right?

I really wasn't sure I was going to like or actually wear this when I picked it up, but once it was on the nail, I was in love!  It's a beautiful vampy red, more like a wine/burgandy color.  In the bottle there is a lot of gold glitter, but on the nail it sinks down under the jelly-ish base.  I think this is actually a good thing - it makes the polish much more work-appropriate.  It looks just like a creme at a glance, but some subtle sparkle shows up under artificial light.  Because the glitter sinks down in the base, it takes on the base color, so it's almost like it's lit from within - gorgeous!  Even better in the sun!

Can you see it on my ring finger there?  <3 <3 <3  It's like Ruby Pumps, but dark and vampy!  *swoon*  (Sorry for the wonky middle finger... I've got a patch on the edge of that nail, which is causing that weird shape)  I will definitely be wearing this one often this fall / winter!  LA Girls have a decent bottle shape - I was pleasantly surprised at the weight of it - there is a chunk of solid glass at the bottom which makes it pretty heavy for a drug store polish.  The lid is longer than NYX, but not as long as OPI, so still easy for my small hands to use.  My only real complaint is that I do have a tiny chip on my left index finger already... it's been less than 24 hours.  However, I am pretty hard on my hands (I loaded about 20 boxes of coin today) and that's the only nail that doesn't look pristine, so I won't knock off too much.

LA Girl Rock Star retails for $4.00 (currently on sale at Cherry Culture for $2.80).
Number of coats: 2
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry + Seche Vite

Monday, September 6, 2010

NYX Jungle

My first real post - yay!

Here we have NYX Jungle. I had this in my Cherry Culture cart forever before I finally bought it. I saw 1 swatch online... 1! It was hard to tell what it was going to look like, and there was no review of the product itself. NYX isn't sold anywhere in my area (at least not to my knowledge), so I had no experience with the brand.

If you've visited many nail blogs, you know that certain colors don't like to photograph correctly - purples and greens are notorious for this. Of course, Jungle is a green... so I have two pics for you.


This is out in the sunlight and you can see it has some subtle sparkle. This photo is not color accurate! Jungle is a jungle green, not this Catch Me In Your Net-looking teal you see. Here is a color accurate, albeit blurry, photo.


It really is a gorgeous color - jungle green with just a tint of gold duocrome (stronger in the bottle than on the nail) and I'm loving it today. However, this was 5... yes 5 coats! I don't think I've ever had to use so many coats before. The first few just show this as a sheer teal, it takes a lot to get even close to bottle color. I never quite got it that intense and I still have visible nail line, though I think it shows more in the pics than IRL.  I do have to note that I really liked the bottle - it's a cute stubby little thing, much like myself, and the handle/brush are perfectly sized for my smaller hands.

NYX Jungle retails for $5 (currently on sale at Cherry Culture for $3.50).
Number of coats: 5
Basecoat: Instant Artificials
Topcoat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dry + Seche Vite

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First off... an explanation.

There are a million nail polish blogs out there, every one better than mine.  My nails don't look like these other people's... they're odd shaped and just funky to polish.  I don't apply polish very well.  I'm still working on the MeganChair cleanup method.  I don't get the new and exciting shades in advance.  I can't afford things like Chanel.

So why did I start a blog?  Turns out, there are a lot of colors out there that haven't been swatched.  I can't tell you how many times I have done a search on Google or Nailgal and can't come up with a photo of the polish I'm looking for.  Considering how many blogs are out there, I wouldn't have thought this a problem.  It seems to me that everyone is after the HTFs, the new collections, the expensive stuff no normal girl can afford.  Where are the Ulta swatches?  The L.A. Colors?  The L.A. Girls?  Sinful Colors?  Unless they are HTF, it's impossible to find a good swatch.

So that is my mission... to show you those cheap and easy to find treasures that, though they only cost $2, you really don't want to buy until you KNOW what they look like.

Let me know if there is something you're looking for - I'll try to find it.  However, please remember that I'm poor and even though I live in a decent-sized city, not everything is available here.  But if I can get it (and I can afford it), I will swatch it for you!

Now... I must say... since this is my blog and all, I'll probably post off topic occasionally and sometimes I'll post pics of polish you've seen 100 times.  I only have my collection to go on and sometimes that includes some popular colors.  Case-in-point: NOTD is Butter London Victoriana.  I <3 Butter London.  It's expensive... but occasionally I splurge.  Butter London is probably my favorite brand... but that doesn't mean I have no love for my Sinful Colors!

Let the swatching begin!!