Saturday, 31 August 2013

Nicole by OPI Gumdrops Collection My Cherry Amour

Out all of my polishes, I'm 99% sure this one takes the cake for the longest description/name but never mind. After whinging that I didn't own any textured polishes a few days ago (here), I got some a little envelope containing My Cherry Amour from the Gumdrops collection of Nicole by OPI. These polishes are described to have  a 'sugar-like finish that lightly shimmers with fine glitter particles for a brilliant candy colored finish'. As far as I know, this collection is not yet available in Australia but living in this global village, I managed to snap it up from eBay from this seller for a little less than $17 and got it in just two weeks from the States.

My Cherry Amour has become my, er..., current (and possibly very long lasting) love. It has the perfect formula, three coats were dry within ten minutes, it has an even texture and the colour... My jaw dropped when I saw the dried up colour on my nails. It's this beautiful magenta with holographic glitter that shines like an absolute beauty in the sun and out of it. 

Swatch below was done with three coats but two depending how light or dark you want the polish to look, you can get away with one or two. I added the third coat mostly because my camera was freaking out at the shine and colour of the polish. 


I'm putting a page break here because I don't yet know when too many photos are too many. Are 15 photos in total too many?

Thursday, 29 August 2013

My First Indie: Sayuri #116

Why I never bought indie polishes is beyond me. I have seen and drooled over hundreds of swatches, they can be found locally and at a good price, the support nail polish lovers and they are amazing. I think I was too comfortable with the brands and shops I knew. 

However, it all changed last Friday I had the opportunity to get three bottles form Sayuri Lacquers from a market in the city. I've seen photos of these polishes but didn't realise how amazing they looked in real life and what grea formulas they had. I know I'm not doing any justice to the polish with these photos because: 1. They are colour inaccurate (the polish leans more towards green), and 2. I couldn't photograph the depth this particular polish had very well.

I used three coats of #116 from the Gotta Catch 'Em All Collection, which is no longer in sale, and a coat of Seche Vite. I actually preferred two coats by themselves but I kept running my thumb on my fingers to feel the slight texture it had but too much rubbing made some of the glitters come off.   

 This post has mostly photos so click on the page break for more. :)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Awesome Topcoat: From Almost Trash To This Post

There's a series of events that led me to discover one of the best topcoats I have tried but that unfortunately may not last. Hang on with me for about three minutes and I'll try to keep you entertained.

1. I decided to clean up four old dried up topcoat bottles so I could have them for frankens. I started with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri that had about a quarter of the topcoat and put a similar quantity of acetone. Why I didn't put acetone in all the bottles at the same time is beyond me but I'm glad I didn't and I wasn't trying to be resourceful at this point.

2. A couple of days after, when the topcoat had dissolved in the acetone, I decided not to waste anymore acetone and just added what I had in the Sally Hansen bottle into the essence XXXL Shine Gel-Look topcoat that had dried up to a thick, unusable goop. I left it for a few days before I came back to it.

3. In the mean time, I created my first mildly successful franken using Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Lady Luck and Ulta3 in Black Satin in similar quantities. I mixed it up and came back with this. What do you reckon?

Imagine the silver glitter is actually purple, smaller and denser. Does it remind you of any textured polishes?

Wanna have a guess if I show you a close up? I liked the result even though it wasn't that similar so I should call it Stay For Lunch (I hope I'm being funny here!). This little experiment made me realise that I actually don't own any textured polishes even though I've been lusting after them since December. :(

4. I went to Mecca Cosmetica because I felt like splurging a little on some nail strips or polish. Regrettably for me, the prices in there were a little too splurgy for items or polish I knew I could get cheaper somewhere else. I'm talking specifically about The New Black set that has some studs and 15 ml of polish for $42!!! It looks cool, but really $42?, I don't think so. I also saw 6 diamonte nail bows with nail glue for $15.95. I guess I'm a Born Pretty Store kinda gal rather than a Mecca Cosmetica one. :/

5. After my outing, I decided to use my untrieds, group in which my franken was included. I put it on and enjoyed it for a whole two days before I was itching to do something nail art on top of it. 

6. My Seche Vite was running out and only had enough for a couple of manis left, so I had to be frugal with it.

7. I grabbed the essence bottle and noticed the liquid inside had a similar consistency to a normal topcoat. I tried it on top of Stay for Lunch (have I got you hooked?) and to my surprise it made it smooth and shiny with just one coat and it dried to the touch within the minute. Had I just franked a topcoat too?!  

If you ever used this Essence topcoat you'd know it was a life saviour for topcoat-hungry glitters and it would have a squishy texture when dry but it would take hours and hours and h-o-u-r-s for that to happen. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri dried super quick and prevented chips for a few days but it took a few coats to even out glitter or nail art. Had the best properties of both topcoats came to life when I mixed them up? So far, it looks life it! I've tried it on a few other polishes and it still works fine. My only concern is that the acetone may change the topcoat for the worse in the long run and this topcoat won't be usable anymore. 

So the moral of the moral of the story is I created an comparable-to-Seche-VIte topcoat with a third of dried up Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, a third of goopy essence XXXL Shine Gel-Look topcoat and a third of acetone, roughly. I was just going dispose of the liquid (safely, of course!) if I hadn't tried it. Plus, all those events I mentioned above finally led me to this stamping mani. I know that's not the point of this post and it's not my best work but would you look at how shiny and smooth it is with and extra coat of The Awesome Topcoat. 

This top coat is sooooo squishy but it doesn't leave dent marks like other topcoats and it doesn't make the polish peel off because of the thickness (Looking at you Seche Vite...). Please excuse the dodgy stamping job.

I hoped you stuck around for the three minutes and that I didn't bore you to tears. :)

Have you ever tried mixing topcoats into a same bottle? Any favourable results? Or bad ones? Would I have any luck with the longevity for The Awesome Topcoat? Are you sick of the word topcoat yet?  I almost am. 

Till next time, 


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Topshop Marble Accent

I'd like to think I'm not terrible at marbling so I decided to give it a go today with some Topshops polishes I had yet to publish in this blog. Today was as good as any other time so here we go.

I started with the idea of marbling all my fingers but only the first finger worked. The water and polish weren't cooperating in the following attempts and, as I wanted to keep the mani as no-frills as possible, I decided to only paint my digits with the colours I had used for the marble. On my middle finger and thumb I used Wisdom and Gilted for the index finger and pinky. The pink from the marble is Glitz, which is not quite as glittery as the other two but it still worked with the other two colours. Topped it all off with a coat of Rimmel Pro Matte Finish.


I'm having some trouble describing the qualities and composition of these polishes as I have found there aren't a lot of mainstream brands that do this sort of finish. I would describe them as jammed-packed superfine glitters/shimmers suspended in a similar colour base that you can't even see from how dense the glitter is. There at least two colours of glitter in each polish, which gives them a multidimensional colour and the ability to show different colours in different lights. Did I mention they're all almost one-coaters if applied carefully? What about the fact that the formulas are so amazing I didn't do any clean up? No? Like most Topshop polishes, the drying time is longer than average but they are DURABLE. They spread nicely in the water but then again, took a little longer to dry on the surface and I think that's where I failed with the rest of the fingers.

I'm enjoying this thing called photo-spamming, so click on the page break for more photos. 

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Neon and Blue: Unintentional 80's

I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today and show you lots of pictures instead. This manicure was loosely inspired by this post from Nailed Obsession. I always had the idea that using the polish-dried-on-a-zip-lock-bag technique was to be used for really complicated or odd designs but Anthea's design changed my mind about it. I'll be forver grateful to her for the idea!!!

Off I went to paint some pink and orange stripes with American Apparel's Neons onto a plastic bag but didn't have a design in my mind when I did it. After many tries and a few polish changes later I came up with this mani. By this point, I had cut up most of the dried polish strips for previous attempts, so I only had enough little triangles for one finger.

I started with two coats of essence in Absolutely blue, a light periwinkle blue with an amazing, quick drying formula and awesome brush. With the bits of polish I had left, I cut up tiny triangles and started overlapping them randomly and gently pressing them against my dry nail and attached the stud to my ring finger with some clear polish. I topped it all the nails with one coat of Seche Vite. 

I wore this mani for a three days and I had minimal tip wear by the time I was itching to change my polish  Essence has come a long way from those 5 ml with terrible formulas (looking at you Toffe To Go...) and I really don't think that's a good thing for someone that has no self-restrain when it comes to cheap nail polish.

I'm about to photo spam you. To see more photos, click on the page break below.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sally Hansen Fuzz-Sea: The Feathered Dupe

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Last year, I discovered the beauty of Nails Inc through Beauty Bay and I managed to snap a few bottles before UK postal regulations changed and polish could no longer be dispatched from this seller. I mentioned previously that Nails Inc can be hard to find where I live and when I find it's $20 + postage. When Nails Came out with their Feather Effects line, I knew I wanted to get Brighton. I searched high and low and but even eBay gave me no opportunity to buy it so I left that in the too-hard-too-get lemming basket. 

To my wonder and surprise, other brands started coming out with dupes for this line and it was just a matter of time before they hit Australian shores. The brand that I saw and that was accessible enough was Sally Hansen with their Fuzzy Coat Collection. I know I'm late to the party since this came out over two months ago but I was low on nail polish funds and I couldn't find it at a special price. This is one is Fuzz-Sea, btw.

I can't find a description on the Sally Hansen website, so you'll have get mine. Fuzz-Sea is made up of teal-aqua and pastel yellow satin bar glitters suspended in a clear base. From what I've read in the blogsphere, this is supposed to be a textured polish. The formula is a bit thick but that's expected of glitter polishes that are so jammed packed. 

The lowdown: Formula is OK for a glitter but it has good drying time. It takes three coats to get almost full coverage, but due to foreseen circumstances (work), I didn't have time to take photos of it. It can also be layered for a fuller look. I decided to layer it over similar colours to the polish and each base made its opposite pop. Index and middle fingers have four coats of Nubar in Lemon and ring finger and pinky have three coats of Rimmel's 60 Seconds in Sky High as a base, which I then topped off with two coats of Fuzz-Sea and one of Seche Vite to smooth out the slightly gritty finish. 

This polish had a different application to what you'd expect from a glitter. First coat needs to be dabbed on but the subsequent coats can be applied normally as there and uneven surface for the glitter to get stuck on. Isn't it usually just dabbing or just spreading? With this polish, you get both experiences. 

This is a longish post, so click on the page break for more.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

1000 Hours Premium Nails Nail Polish Remover

I love nail polish and the whole ritual of sitting down and taking my own sweet time to apply it. It really clears my mind and I see it as nothing but 'me' time. The bit that I don't like is having to remove it with polish remover or acetone. The smell is unpleasant,  there is cotton to deal with that leaves fibers on my nails and, in my case, the possibility of spillage is quite high and we all know how acetone eats through stuff, like my desk. :)

There are other polish removal solutions in the market, like perfumed acetone, gauze instead of cotton, picking polish off your nails and the saviour of all glitter lovers, PVA glue. Sometimes these options can be inaccessible, may take too long, damage your nails or they won't make your mani last as you would like it to. This is where this little tub comes in. 

1000 Hour Premium Nails Nail Polish Remover contains an acetone based polish remover and bristles that surround your finger and gently remove the soaked up polish. The name is a bit of a mouthful but the product is amazing for my impatience and lack of desire to smell acetone. There aren't a lot of claims on the packaging about what it does for natural nails but the instructions prompt you to insert your finger in the tub, wriggle it against the bristles (my words) and when you pull it out, wipe any polish residue with a cotton pad. That's it. Easy enough? Let's test it out.

This is a pic heavy and long post, so click after the below to read more.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Dots: They May Be The End Of Me

After having spent some time in the nail art blogsphere, I have discovered even the best bloggers have one technique they can't quite master. For most it may be the water marble, for some less it could be the perfect gradient, others have trouble with tape. I'm by no means saying I'm one of the best out there (but I will aspire to be one... eventually), but the technique that fails me every time would be dotting. Yes, dotting. The one that you can do with almost anything that's slightly pointy and that should be super easy. The one that looks amazing when done properly. For some reason that I'm yet to discover, I cannot make the dots into circles. They tend to go pear shaped (sometimes literally) and I get frustrated.

I decided to give one a go today since it had been a while since my last attempt at a dotticure and was determined to have a steady hand and lots of patience. The result wasn't half bad but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I started with three coats of OPI's DS Classic then used two different sizes dotting tools to apply Topshop's High Voltage for the pink dots and Ulta3 in Orchid for the purple shimmer dots. I applied a coat of Seche Vite to even all the layers out, once dry I topped it all off wit one coat of Essie's Matte About You.

It's not perfect but it's wearable. After so many failed attempts I'm OK wit that. 

One SUPER annoying tiny little thing that is happening lately is shrinkage from Seche Vite. It doesn't happen with all my fingers, it just happens on my index and it makes it look like I have bad tipwear. I'm thinking it may be because that finger is more curved than the others. 

I liked the pattern I managed to create with this finger and the dots were mostly all circular. Woohoo!

The more I look at it, the more I begin to accept it may not be such a bad job. I'll just have to keep practicing an try to keep my hands steady.

I'd like to know, is there a technique that you'd like to master but haven't qquite gotten there yet?

Till next time, 


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chanel Le Vernis 583 Taboo

Purple shimmers rock my world. If I ever were to choose only one colour of polish to wear for the rest of my life, a purple shimmer  would be my choice.

When walking past the Chanel counter at Myer a few months ago, a bottle of the most amazing looking purple shimmer caught my eye. It was deep, it had all different shimmer tonalities and hues, it was limited edition... and it was $39.  I walked away without giving it much thought and decided then and there that I wasn't even gonna let it turn into a lemming. Why lust after something you can't have? 

That thought didn't last long and I changed my mind about when Tasha gifted me Provocation  and she mentioned Taboo would be part of the core range for Chanel and no longer limited edition. Then I went shopping for a birthday present for my mum and HAD to go into the Chanel store when I saw the shimmery purple polish flashing its beautiful colours at me. I couldn't resist it and as far as I know no other shops, including Myer and David Jones, didn't have any in stock at the time of purchase, so I bought it just in case.  

So here it is my bottle of Taboo. It contains gold, blue, purple and red shimmers suspended in a very opaque reddish purple base. It looks like galaxy nails in a bottle.

This was a dream to apply and was almost a one-coater, I'm sure careful application and a medium coat would be sufficient if you want a quick mani. Photos below show two thin coats with one coat of Seche Vite that really brought out all the sparkle in this polish. 

Direct sunlight
Indirect sunlight

I'm about to photo spam you, if you're ready click on the page break for lots more.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Dior Inspired: Or How I Had A Little Breakthrough

I have so much stuff to put up I wanna show you guys, including new nail polishes, nail art that I've created and a few random nail related items. I thought I would start at the beginning of my list and show you some nail art that I'd been thinking of executing for a little over a month. Well, I actually did execute it but I wasn't very happy with the results so I had to start over a couple of times.

This mani is based on a dress by Christian Dior from his Fall 2013 Couture collection. I wanted to recreate the textures and line of the dress along my four fingers.


Photo 13 from Christian Dior
For the satin finish, I started with three thin coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On and let them dry thoroughly before applying two coats of OPI's I Juggle... Men. I've had the latter for a little over a year and the formula has thickened and I think (...think) that the coverage of translucent glitter  is a better because of that.

To mirror the sequins from the dress, I tried creating a my first ever franken but for some reason or another, it didn't turn out as good as I hoped and its glitter coverage was poor. I bought a multi-coloured glitter that had the colour range that I was looking for but then again the coverage left a lot to be desired.

I decided to layer the glitters instead to make the 'sequins'. After sticky taping my fingers in the different designs. I sandwich a coat of China glaze in Electrify within two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Rockstar Pink. I removed the tape immediately after applying the last coat of glitter and the lines still came up acceptably crisp.

After the three coats of glitter, I applied one coat of Seche Vite to even it all out. I tried to be very careful to make sure I wrapped my tips with glitter to have a full coverage but it seems like the Seche Vite caused some shrinkage and pulled the glitter back.

As a final step, I used Rimmel Pro Matte Finish top coat on the white to give the finishes a little bit more contrast. 

Yes, my pinky is looking chunky. In my first try, it looked like a thin french tip and not like the dress. I had the idea of taping my finger again closer to the cuticle and painting over it, thinking that it would dry a little flatter. :( It looked better than it would have otherwise so I let it be.

Now for the little breakthrough. I'm particularly happy with this manicure for the reason that I managed to clean up white polish AND keeping the edges tidy and wearable. It took a lot of patience and time but I did it!!! 

The above photo shows my second attempt but it felt incomplete, I had tip wear after about half an hour after finishing the mani and look at the clean up on my ring finger... I had to re-try it. I'm very glad I did. My first attempt was majorly smudged and wasn't even worth photographing.

I hope you guys enjoyed this mani. It was really fun to do, even if it took me three tries to come up with something I was satisfied with.  

Till next time, 



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