Monday, March 29, 2010

Still More Giveaways, and Weekend Glitters!

I know all (11!!!) of you are probably tired of hearing about all the giveaways going around, so I'll be brief. These are just too neat for me to pass by. If you aren't interested, feel free to scroll down to the mani pics. :)

painted Lady Fingers is having another great giveaway! This giveaway is for four hard to find polishes (including China Glaze Crystal Ball) and full sized bottles of Skin MD, in regular and spf.
This ends on April 10th. More details can be found here.

Nailstah is having her first giveaway! Hello Kitty, China Glaze, and more! Check it out here. This ends on April 12.

Laura at Sawan is having a (really) huge and terribly exciting giveaway! From lacquer to files to fun accessories, this one's got it all! Check out all the goodies you could win here. This ends on the 30th of April.

This is the manicure I was going to do this weekend, but I chickened out and chose something else instead. I took pictures of this because I thought it was fun, anyway.

To prevent visible nail line, I used Sinful Mint Apple (thumb, middle, and pinky) and OPI DS Extravagance (index and ring) as a base. Then I followed with three coats of China Glaze Atlantis over Mint Apple and one coat of Island Girl Island Sunset over Extravagance. Next time I think I'll use a darker base for Atlantis to give it more depth.

This one came out a bit blurry, but I thought it was a better shot of the sparkly glitter:

Until next time!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I did a mani with Sinful Colors What's Your Name and China Glaze Millennium. Unfortunately, the über-amazing blue/purple shimmer in the Sinful is much more subtle on the nail. I could still see the colors when it was in bright light, which was good enough for me. :) Other than that it was a deep navy erring on black. All the better to make the silver konad show up, right?

Here it is in the bottle. So pretty! And gets Lynyrd Skynyrd stuck in my head.

Sorry about the wear on these. I didn't take pictures until a couple days later. Still, two/three days and this is how they look? Not bad, right? Right? I was going for storm clouds and rain, so I used Konad plates m8 (for the rain) and m56 (for the clouds).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Borghese Nail Lacquer

Having recently discovered Borghese nail lacquers at Rite-Aid, I wanted to do a mani with all Borghese products. For a base coat I am using Hydrati, a treatment designed to rehydrate nails. I used three coats of Botticelli Nude and stamped using Carnevale Grape. I used Konad plate m71, and topped it all off with Borghese Presto Fast Drying Top Coat. Three coats was enough to cover my staining and look relatively uniform, but it was not fully opaque, just milky/creamy. I think you could reach full opacity at around 5 coats, but I was satisfied with three.

I originally got Botticelli Nude as a mannequin nails color. It's close, but not quite right. I really like it, though, it's very soft and delicate. I feel very sophisticated wearing this.

Borghese nail lacquers supposedly contain micronized gemstones, and given that the brand was started by Italian royalty, there's no denying the glamour of these lacquers. Thankfully, the application makes me feel glamorous, too. I had minor streaking with Botticelli Nude, but the polish evened out nicely. These polishes tend to be creamier than many I've tried. They aren't watery in the slightest (I'm looking at you, OPI You Don't Know Jacques), nor are they thick and blobby. I am careful with my application, and going a bit slower made me feel very elegant and serene. Also, they dry quickly. Not like holos or neons do, but significantly quicker than most cremes I've tried, especially thick ones. And did I mention shiny? I swear these look wet for ages, they've got marvelously high gloss.

As for the topcoat, I think Presto dries polish more thoroughly. It is not dry instantly like Seche or Diamont, but dries the layers of polish quicker than either, so manis are less dentable. I experienced no tipwear, and polish does not need to be wet or tacky for this to work well; the box even suggests waiting at least 1-2 minutes before applying the topcoat. I'm loving this topcoat right now, but it does leave occasional brush strokes if you really look hard.

Borghese nail lacquers are pretty pricey, especially for a drugstore brand, and retail for about $8. The bottles only hold .4fl oz of lacquer, unlike the standard .5fl oz, so they really do fall on the pricier side. Their color selection is limited mostly to reds and pinks and other french tip appropriate shades, definitely mature and classic. Their Fashionista collection has much wilder colors, although the only one I have from there is Stellare Notte (which is still in my untrieds, but has plenty of swatches floating around). I've been very intrigued by Plummagio Purple, an interesting blueish purple shimmer but I fear it will be too blue for my skintone.

Have you tried any Borghese products? What do you think of them?

Until next time! <3

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Orange Swatches

I remember in fourth grade all the girls in my class agreed that orange was the ugliest color because it didn't look good with anything. Except black, but if it wasn't Halloween, you just looked dumb. I never liked orange either, although I did get this set of two Old Navy mini polishes in a goody bag from someone's birthday party, one pink with gold flash and one orange with gold flash, that I thought were super cool. I justified that as being okay, though, because we had been talking about clothes, and nail polish wasn't clothes.


Apparently that logic stuck with me because I love orange nail polish. I started buying polish again last year and ended up with a lot of orange near-dupes really quickly. They're not identical, I swear! See, let me show you...

(with flash) China Glaze Dreamsicle, OPI DS Treasure, Jordana Mango, NYC 112a, Zoya Penny

(no flash) China Glaze Dreamsicle, OPI DS Treasure, Jordana Mango, NYC 112a, Zoya Penny

Dreamsicle is a cute fun light tangerine but oh so chunky. :( It took me days to get it off my toes. ...It also flaked right off my fingers in big sheets. Actually, the parts on my toes that didn't have me scrubbing forever also chipped off really fast. I don't know what's up with this one, but China Glaze's Bad Kitty had the same effect. Must be a junk batch.

Treasure's my favorite out of the lot. ♥ As you can see here, it's actually a pink base with a LOT of orange and gold shimmer. I usually layer it until it's more or less opaque, so that it looks more orange than pink, but it wouldn't be bad sheer, either.

Mango is a softer sort of orange shimmer and... really doesn't look like a mango to me. It's yellowy, but the shimmer throws me off. Very pretty, though, but is kind of streaky. I thought it might be a match for the Old Navy mini I had (which, btw, is officially so old it doesn't dry), but it has more depth to it.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have no idea where this NYC came from. I asked my mom to mail me some things and this got included. I don't remember buying it and it must be from junior high. It's actually not a bad creme, though. Really streaky at first but evened out nicely after three coats.

Zoya Penny is very pretty and very opaque. I think this is two coats, although one is almost good enough to wear. It really does live up to its name. It looks exactly like a melted new penny.

(with flash) Zoya Paz, Jordana Hot & Spicy, Wet'N'Wild Inferno, Zoya Kaufda, Nfu.Oh 58

Breaking up the monotony with a family portrait. :)

Zoya Penny, NYC 112a, Jordana Mango, OPI DS Treasure, China Glaze Dreamsicle, Nfu.Oh 58, Zoya Kaufda, Wet'N'Wild Inferno, Jordana Hot & Spicy, Zoya Paz

(with flash) Zoya Paz, Jordana Hot & Spicy, Wet'N'Wild Inferno, Zoya Kaufda, Nfu.Oh 58

I think everyone is allowed to have a couple of polishes they buy just because of the name. Paz is one of mine. Except that I also like the color. So. Anyway. It's a really, really, really, really neon orange. Blinding. Takes two to three coats for full oh-my-god-my-eyes appeal.

I got Jordana Hot & Spicy to try and get a dupe for Treasure. It's close, as it is also an orange shimmer in a pink base, but this base is more berry and the shimmer isn't as intense. I think it looks redder when being worn. Still nice. Just not as magical.

Scrangie did a review on Inferno a while ago that was pretty dead on. It's a really vibrant reddish/gold orange. Very pretty! I'll wear it properly someday and show the color better then.

Zoya Kaufda is another one I should really look into wearing... It's beautiful. Deep orange to bronze, very opaque. I think Zoya gave it a 5/5 opacity.

This Nfu.Oh was kind of a mistake. The picture on the site is very misleading. In reality it looks like rotting leaves with flakies instead of dark red with rainbow as they would have you believe... Once you get over that, it's pretty cool! Brown-orange with warm tone flakies. It got used in the first mani on this blog! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Giveaways and a Slytherin Manicure

If you aren't interested in the giveaways, skim down for a simple Slytherin manicure. Otherwise, read on.

My goodness, there are giveaways happening all over the blogosphere! Here are a few more to be on the look for:

Lyra at Nail Junkie is having her first giveaway! She's compiled a huge amount of really fantastic looking polishes for one lucky winner. Check it out here, but hurry because this ends on Saturday, March 20!

Laura at Sawan is giving away all FIVE of the new Claire's Mood polishes! Aquajogger is wearing the green (earthy/happy) right now and it is really quite amazing! Three people will get to try all five, so hurry and sign up! This ends on March 28, and can be found here.

Jacie of You've Got Nail is having another giveaway! This one is for a Nailtrixx kit (like Konad) and an adorable ulta3 lacquer. This ends on March 29th. Find out more here.

Mari and Lissi of Nail Addicts Anonymous are having their first giveaway! The winner will receive nail polish from Essie, Orly, OPI and China Glaze! This giveaway ends on April the 9th, check it out here!

AllYouDesire is having a giveaway for having reached 500 followers! As a gift to her readers, she's put together a package of some of her favorites things, from nail polish to perfume. This ends on April 10th, so check it out here!

Trincess at Emerald Sparkled is having a neat giveaway. Since she's reached 200 followers, she's put together a bunch of fun polishes for her giveaway/contest. Find it here! This ends on March 27th.

As part of the giveaway she suggested recreating one of her manicures, and my St. Patrick's day one was getting a bit chippy and too lurid for me, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't want to be scared off greens forever, so I tried Zoya's Veruschka. I've never worn a matte manicure before (I know, where WAS I last fall??) and I've been wanting to try Konad plate m28, but I never had a good reason to do either, until now. Envy might have been a better choice, but I wanted to explore my untrieds. Here is the original. :)

I love it. The color work well for me, I think it's a very wearable green. Application was a bit thick and tricky, but fine and very opaque once I got used to it. The snake on m28 was a little harder to capture, and its little tongue wouldn't come up at all, but it's still recognizable as a snake, so I love it. It wasn't anything complicated like a lot of the other manicures on Emerald Sparkled, but I think it's still pretty snazzy. :)

What do you think? How do you feel about snakey manicures?

Until next time!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Manicure

Happy (Belated) St. Patrick's day! My apologies for the lateness, I should have posted this earlier but unfortunately I caught an icky cold. :( Here's what I did for St. Patrick's day.

I used Sinful San Fransisco, and stamped the vine/flowers (or clovers, as I was going for this time) using China Glaze L8tr G8tr. I finished with a coat of Kleancolor Peaceful Heart, a green glitter with blue hearts, and topped the whole thing off with Nubar Diamont.

I did have to do a bit of fishing to get the hearts out, but it wasn't bad. I haven't worn a green this vivid in months, so it was rather shocking at first! I felt a bit like Poison Ivy, haha. Greens can be hard for me to wear, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do something with a bit more pizazz for the holiday.

Are you a fan of emerald greens? Did you do something special for St. Patrick's day?

Until next time!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Manicured Manatee Giveaway

The Manicured Manatee is having a giveaway (that, eek, ends tonight) on her blog that's pretty fabulous! Okay, so I really should have mentioned this when I found out about it earlier, but her nail blog is a hilarious read anyway. :) Good way to waste some time!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Revlon Valentine (slightly pic heavy)

I am officially banning myself from Rite-Aid. I happened to glance at their weekly specials and realized that nail polish was Buy One Get One 50% Off! with the exception of Revlon, which was Buy One Get One Free. Having the amazing willpower that I do, I only bought 6 bottles. When I went back (my vitamins were 50% off, I had to go back) I gave in and picked up two Revlons I had managed to avoid the day before. This, as you may have guessed, is Revlon Valentine.

Today's nails are inspired by my lust for Essie Lacy Not Racy. I love dark reds and purples, I have more of them than any other.

Revlon Valentine is one of my new favorite reds. On my color wheel it looked like a jelly but I think semi-jelly is more appropriate. At three coats it is opaque with very slight visible nail line if you look carefully. Application was exceptional. The polish was thin but went on without streaks (!!), very smooth and jellyish.

I used a pattern from Konad plate m78, shown without topcoat

Without flash, artificial light:

With flash:

Natural light:

Artificial light:

Until next time!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OPI Bling Dynasty

I was really excited about OPI's Hong Kong Collection because I have family connections in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, most of the colors just didn't look good on me! So, OPI Bling Dynasty is the only polish I own from the Hong Kong collection. It reminded me immediately of gold flakes. It's a beautiful color, and has a rather antique look to it. I like that it's a bolder gold, it reminds me of treasure chests. ;)

This is three coats with artificial light. The two flash images are better examples of the vibrant color, however.

Look how it glows!

What are some of your must-haves?

Until next time! <3

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Giveaway

painted Lady fingers is hosting another giveaway! This time, she's hooked up with Kathleen from OC Nail Art to bring lots of Konading joy to someone lucky. The winner will receive all eight of the new plates Konad has released!

What's really neat is that Kathleen has offered to make substitutions if the winner already has some of the new plates. It's a really fabulous offer.

Check it out here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I went to a Rite Aid for the first time last month and found a whole bunch of brands I had never seen before. How exciting! I bought Scherer Chameleon Blue Frost since it had the prettiest light blue/purple duochrome going on, with a little bit of green around the edges. Unfortunately it didn't carry over that well onto the nail, but it was still a nice blue-silver that would decide to go duochrome at odd times.

Here's a picture of the bottle first. You can kind of see the purple here.

I had been looking forward to using the feathers from the new Konad plate (m77), and I thought this would be a good color to stamp it on. Birds in the clear sky!

I used Island Girl base coat and stamped with Island Girl Pineapple Plantation on top of Scherer Chameleon Blue Frost. It didn't really look done to me and I had really been looking forward to both the stamp and the color, so I added a blue rhinestone to my thumbs and finished it off with Konad top coat. ♥ I liked the result, but unfortunately it started chipping off the next day. Oh well!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Treasure Chest

Hello again! This is the manicure I did for Chinese New Year, since red and gold are lucky and I had been waiting for an excuse to try China Glaze Treasure Chest. :) The woman who runs the nail supply store I bought this from had it on her toes and it looked like gold foil. Pretty awesome!!

This took many layers since it is just a glitter and not really meant to give such full coverage, but it was fun and I liked the bling. It did chip relatively easily afterwards, but it was much smoother than I had expected it to be. These pictures don't show it, but it wasn't rough and bumpy at all! It was thick, but the individual pieces of glitter layered well.

I used Island Girl base and top coat and Jordana Black to stamp cherry blossoms (Konad S9). There are a bunch of cherry trees here and I'm really looking forward to the blossoms. ♥

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best Blog Award

I got tagged by Xuan An from We are fish and We drown! Thank you!

I am very flattered as this blog is still very new, but I am delighted and happy to play!

The rules of this tag are as follows:

1. To accept the award, you must post it on your blog, with the name of the person who has given you the award, and a link to their blog.
2. Pass the award on to approximately 10-15 blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great!
3. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I nominate:
Hello Konad!

These are just a few blogs I have discovered recently and really enjoy. If I didn't tag you and you want to play too, by all means please join in the fun. ^^

Until next time! <3

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Little-Known Zoya Kaitlyn

Happy Girl's Day! Today I thought I would show you a rather rare (but not discontinued!) polish. I have never seen a swatch or reference to Zoya Kaitlyn. She just isn't very popular in the nail blogging world, it seems. Kaitlyn is an older Zoya, with no listed collection. Zoya ranks her as a sheer, with a 2/5 in opacity. They also list her as a cool-toned pink, but I think she's pretty neutral. Now, with my history of picking poor polishes, I like to see several swatches before I make my decisions. But Kaitlyn is my first name, spelling and all, so I was drawn to this polish. Because I take my pictures when I get home at night, they are all done under artificial light. The last one was taken with added flash.

Zoya Kaitlyn is a milky pink sheer. This is shown with four or five coats, because it was streaky the first time I wore it. However, I have swatched it since then with minimal difficulties, so I blame application at least partially. I believe this is designed to be a base for a french manicure, but I've never mastered those, so I wore it as is. The sheer color made my nails look very long, almost as if I were wearing artificial ones.

Because of the amount of coats I used to build up the color, I did not want to risk stamping with konad. My nails did look rather bare, though, so I decorated with some cherry blossoms from Konad's 3D stickers. I don't know if these have a number or not, but this particular sheet has pink and blue sakura on it. I used a yellow-out basecoat (the same that Aquajogger has already blogged about) that is notorious for chipping, and that plus the four+ coats is why I had to change my polish after only a couple days.

I never wear sheers because I have some staining lurking beneath all those layers of lacquer, but I quite enjoy Kaitlyn. It was certainly different for me, but I felt so chic. I'm sure I'll wear this again later in spring or even summer.

Until next time! <3

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Giveaways!

Wow, there sure are a lot of giveaways going on right now! I'm a bit behind in reading the blogs, so there could be (and probably are) loads more that I just haven't heard of. I'll update this with more as the need arises. :)

We are fish and We drown is having a giveaway for 50 followers! The winner will receive some fantastic konad plates and polishes. Can never have too many of those! If you aren't familiar with Konad, there are some very nice tutorials around. It's a great way to get intricate nail art without much difficulty. :D Check it out here. Hurry, this ends March 5th!

Lacquerized is having a giveaway for some neat looking H&M polishes in celebration of receiving 250 followers! There are two sets to choose from, be sure to check it out! You can find more details here. This contest ends on March 10th.

Romika's Nails is having a giveaway as well, celebrating 100 followers! She's giving away some really neat-looking Herôme nail polishes, and an assortment of other Herôme products to keep your hands looking their best. Find it here. This contest ends March 14th.

KONADomania is having a wonderful giveaway for having reached more than 300 followers! The winner will receive all you need to make some really glamourous manicures. Check it out here. This contest ends on the 21st of March.