Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NotD – Bronzed Wrap

Beige and brown are not my favourite colours when it comes to nail polish, but I really like the very simple design I applied today. And because I have some serious cleaning coming up, I removed the single (yay!) silk wrap I had on and cut all nails down.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • OPI You’re A Doll! (swatches and review)
  • essence multi dimension 39 spicy (swatched here)
  • N.Y.C. in a New Your Color Minute 220B Canal Street (reviewed in the same post as You’re A Doll!)
  • Seche Vite

First I applied a basic manicure of Nail Envy (two coats), You’re A Doll! (three coats) and Seche Vite.

Then I added two overlapping diagonal segments using spicy.

And lastly, I used a striping brush and Canal Street on the very edge of the brown part and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

The design kind of reminded me of a wrap top. Weird.
Also, I seem to have a genetic predisposition for developing hangnails. Is there anyone else out there who can moisturise till the cows come home and whatnot and still gets those pesky buggers all the time?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

NotD – Pastel Iridescence

Strange, as I started writing this post I realised that every product I used, except for base and top coat, is an European one. Huh.
Not that it really matters. ;-)

This is what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • Eyeko Lilac Polish
  • Eyeko Pastel Polish (here’s a swatch)
  • s-he 384 (reviewed here)
  • Manhattan Lotus Effect 68A (look at it over here)
  • Seche Vite
  • essence nail art glitter 01 glam it up!
  • essence nail art glitter 08 glitter star!

After applying two coats of Nail Envy I painted half of each nail with Lilac Polish (two coats), the other half with Pastel Polish (three coats) and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

Then I used a dotting tool and s-he 384 to add a line of dots between the two colours and applied a coat of Manhattan 68A. I chose some star-shaped glitter thingamajigs, pressed them into the wet polish over the dotted line and sealed the manicure with another coat of Seche Vite.

This manicure is kind of dainty and cute. Not really something I would wear every day, but I liked being able to use some of those foil-y and plastic-y stars that I seem to accumulate but never use. And I should really experiment with Manhattan 68A, it should layer very well.
How do you feel about sheer iridescent polish?

Friday, June 25, 2010

NotD - Terra Sigillata

As part of my Etruscan Epigraphy class we strolled over to the Kunsthistorisches Museum (i.e. museum of art history) today to be shown and told about the Etruscan collection by a curator. As expected it was highly informative and interesting; you don’t often hear about the selection process, the collaboration with the architects and so forth.
So I felt that it was time to strike the red figure pottery from my list of nail art ideas.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • Terra Sigillata – a recent franken, needs a bit more orange I think
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Seche Vite

As usual I started with two coats of Nail Envy, followed by three of Terra Sigillata, and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

I’m not going to talk about my franken a lot. It applies well and you wouldn’t believe what strange colours I had to mix. I guess it would have been easier if I had more orange polish. I originally aimed for a proper terra cotta orange, but the more reddish shade is both pretty and closer to the traditional terra sigillata.

Here’s Terra Sigillata in two coats, no top coat, with flash:

And this is Terra Sigillata in three coats with Seche Vite. First photo taken with flash, second under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp (which is also dead now, swatches may go back to flash only depending on whether I can afford a new one this month):


So after giving the base colour a few minutes to solidify I took my incredibly cute skyphos with the owl design as my inspiration (OMGperpendicularhandles!) and painted on the leaves and owl with the black liner. This was a pain.
And that’s it. I sealed the manicure with another coat of Seche Vite and was done.



Few steps. Lot of work. It might have been easier to either do black figure or pseudo-red figure (namely, painting the red on a black surface) pottery. But I’m happy overall, the owl is just too cute.
Whacha think? Should I grab the olde museum catalogues and try my hand at more ancient-y manicures (I’m definitely going to do something Bucchero-y)?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My interview with Sara of The Makeup Snob

I recently had the pleasure to interview lovely beauty blogger Sara of The Makeup Snob through Beauty Blogs Backstage, a network dedicated to giving bloggers a way to get to know each other and share the revelations with y’all. I asked Sara seven questions, so read on and see what she has to say.

1. What is your favourite eyeshadow base and why do you find it preferable?
I always try items hoping to find the next best thing. But I always end up back using MAC Painterly paint pot. This works really well for me. It lasts all day, doesnt crease and works well with pressed or loose shadows!

2. I know that you love bright colours, especially on your lids. What is the most 'outrageous' eyeshadow combination you've come up with?
I honestly am not to creative in coming up with looks. I will read blogs or watch youtube videos and become inspired by others. I love the combination of red, yellow and orange together. I am not sure why, but that combination has got to be my favorite!

3. Is there any colour that you wouldn't wear?
Honestly, "almost" all pastels. In some looks certain shades work but in most cases I find they just dont work for me or give m the payoff or intensity I am looking form. Pale Pink is the worst for me. It makes my eyes look swollen!

4. In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated make-up brands?
I really hope not to offend anyone... But OVER RATED... I believe Nars is. More so their shadows. I have countless duos and singles. I am never pleased with the look I get when using them and therefore tend not to reach for them. I have also had Nars lipsticks go bad before many others I have had alot longer... (im sorry) UNDER RATED... I have never tried a thing from Lorac that I didnt love. The shadows are buttery soft. The blushes sink into your skin and give you a gorgeous glow! Should I go on? I truly love this brand and never hear anyone raves about it. The Lorac palettes I own are probably my favorite of all.

5. What skill are you especially proud of?
This is a hard one! I really think I am constantly learning so much and changing what I think works all the time. Oh I am proud of my skill to curl my hair with a flat iron. lol. I have mastered the flip of the wrist! lol.

6. If you could be instantly transported to any person for a day, who would you visit?
Sarah Jessica Parker! I love her! I just know she would be fabulous and down to earth!

7. What is the most important piece of advice you would give to new bloggers?
I guess what I always think about for myself is try to remain original. If you have seen a item blogged about 50 times already, Try not to post about it unless you have something unique to add. There are a million blogs out there! Work on standing out amongst them! :)

Now, sweet readers, head over to Sara’s blog and take a look at her reviews, FotDs and more. And if you’re interested, she also interviewed me (you get a first time ever chance to see my face *winks*).

NotD – A Green of Note

Once again I’ve found one of those rare polishes I don’t want to add nail art to. The only reason I did add some stickers later on was a lifting corner on my right hand.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy (starting to look kinda funky)
  • Alessandro 949 Green Green Baby (mini)
  • Seche Vite
  • essence nail art nail stickers
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Shine

 Green Green Baby is made of win. The yellowy green base is packed with pinkish to golden orange shimmer, which only shows up at certain angles, almost duochrome-y. It’s quite sheer and I can still see through it after four coats, so I recommend layering it over an opaque base.
It applies very smoothly and free of streaks, the formula is excellent. I had some drying issues due to the many coats, though. What I’m really impressed with is the brush, it’s round and one of the best brushes I’ve found in miniature bottles of polish.
I highly recommend looking for Green Green Baby.

This is Green Green Baby in two coats without top coat, photographed with flash:

And these photos (with flash and under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp) show Green Green Baby in four coats with Seche Vite:


As I mentioned before, applying many coats of polish didn’t work well and in addition to a few dents the corner of one nail started to lift. Therefore I added some essence nail stickers and sealed them with Diamond Shine.
These stickers are very nice, I especially like that I could just stick the band onto my nails and tear it off at the edge rather than having to cut it to size first. They are easy to reposition, but I don’t think that they would last without top coat. The only bad thing I can say about them is that the bands are just a tad too short. My nails are not narrow, but not freakishly wide either, and I could have used at least half a centimetre more.

Isn’t that colour amazing?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Swatches – claire’s neons

I love neon nail polish. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, wearing neons just cheers me up. I bought this particular set some time ago, but what with getting the Poolside Collection I didn’t get around to swatching it for a bit.

This post is so image-heavy that I put it under a cut, so click on the link to see the shiny.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

NotD – My Day with D.

Did you see this coming? I’ve been meaning to do a Daria-themed manicure for some time and now that I have my DVDs… well, I couldn’t resist any more.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • OPI Suzi Says Feng Shui
  • Seche Vite
  • a whole bunch of polishes mixed to achieve the proper colours

I started with a basic manicure, applying Nail Envy (2 coats), Suzi Says Feng Shui (3 coats) and sealing the polish with Seche Vite.

Suzi Says Feng Shui is an astonishing dusty-bright blue creme. You need this colour. It’s quite opaque, two coats are just shy of opaque.
As usual with OPI, Suzi Says Feng Shui applies beautifully and even. Not much clean-up is needed due to the lovely flat brush.

This is Suzi Says Feng Shui in two coats without top coat, photographed with flash:

And here is Suzi Says Feng Shui in three coats with Seche Vite. The first photo was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp:


After the base was dry I mixed and painted until I was certain that the design wouldn’t get any better. I do like it, but it’s just a bit too detailed for my skill level to replicate (i.e. everything’s wobbly and I got frustrated).


And then I destroyed half of my right hand while fending off an ant attack. They decided to swarm out from underneath the tub and we got to squash the uprising. As my sis aptly remarked: “Cinnamon oil and squished ants – the scent of summer.”
It really sucks when fresh manicure wreckage happens, so I took the polish off and started over. Well, kinda. I actually did a different manicure with the same basic elements. I zoomed in until only parts of the logo remained visible, so to speak (main colours: Orly Lemonade and my Nike’s Wreath franken). Sorry about the cat hair stuck to my finger. I don’t even see them anymore. And the way I hold my hand is not really all that flattering, either. ;-)


I guess I’ll try again later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

NotD – Learning Curve

Can you believe how long it’s taking me to work through my last big polish order. It definitely doesn’t help that I add another bottle or two every couple of weeks. Which means I shouldn’t buy any when I go to the drugstore tomorrow.
Yeah, right.

Anyway, I was already running late today, so I chose to do a quick abstract design.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • Poshé fast drying basecoat
  • Orly Gumdrop
  • China Glaze Flyin’ High
  • essence crazy about colour 03 crazy me
  • Seche Vite

Once again I tried a new base coat combo, but Nail Envy plus Poshé also got bubbly. I covered the bubbles as well as I could with three coats of Gumdrop and one of Seche Vite.

Orly Gumdrop is a sweet minty crème polish, almost a pale sister to China Glaze For Audrey, and surprisingly bright for a pastel. It’s highly pigmented and would have been opaque in two coats, but I added the third one to cover up the remaining bubbles.
This polish apples quite smoothly and levels nicely. It’s a bit on the thick side, though. Gumdrop’s brush is round, supple and easy to control.

This is Gumdrop in two coats without top coat:

And these photos show Gumdrop in three coats with Seche Vite (pictures taken with and without flash respectively):


After I gave the base colour a few minutes to solidify I added a curved row of dots with Flyin’ High and a dotting tool.

Then I added another row with crazy me and sealed it with Seche Vite.

And another manicure was finished quickly. I should have thought of adding another row with For Audrey, though. That would have looked nice, too.

And off-topic-ly: I think I’ll have to go and get an external DVD drive so I can actually watch my new Daria DVDs. Stupid region codes. Have you ever watched Daria?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

NotD – The Blurp

Yeah, that’s what happens when I paint my nails with an inky blurple. Bad puns that don’t even make sense. And is it just me or does blurple sound like half the lyrics in Tongue-Tied.
I’m currently trying out various base coat combinations. Though I like NailTek Foundation II, it’s bubbly as hell on me. Today’s coat of NailTek plus coat of Poshé base coat is a bit better, but I still had some bubbling. It’s so annoying, even though I know I can easily cover flaws up with rhinestones or nail art.

This is what I used today:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • Poshé fast drying basecoat
  • Rimmel 60 seconds 810 Blue My Mind
  • Zoya Indigo
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Seche Vite

After applying aforementioned combination of base coats I painted my nails with three coats of Blue My Mind and sealed the base colour with Seche Vite.

Blue My Mind is a vivid blurple creme. In natural light it’s distinctly purple, but fluorescent light, flash and my camera steal away the reds and leave behind a bright blue. It’s not as opaque as I had expected, three coats are absolutely necessary.
I like the texture of this polish, it’s relatively thick, but can still be applied very thinly. There is quite a bit of streaking, though. The brush in Rimmel‘s 60 seconds polishes is excellent, a flat domed one that is just wide enough to coat my pinky nail without pressure. Don’t expect the polish to be dry within a minute, though. The first coat on a fully dry base may dry that quickly if it’s very thin, but subsequent coats will take quite a bit longer.
Overall Blue My Mind gets a thumbs up from me. It’s affordable (considering European prices), a gorgeous colour and easy to apply.

Here is Blue My Mind in two coats without top coat, photographed with flash:

And here you can see Blue My Mind in three coats with Seche Vite. The first one was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp (but still doesn’t show the purple gorgeousness):


Then I used a striping brush and Zoya Indigo to paint three diagonal lines (two on my dinky pinky nails) onto my nails and added an extremely skinny french tip. I’m really loving millimetre-thin tips right now.

To finish the manicure off I added rows of dots between the lines using the black liner and sealed everything with Seche Vite.


What I really love about this manicure (except for the diagonals, everyone already knows that I’m silly about these) is that both Blue My Mind and Indigo look completely different depending on the light source. Also it’s really hard to mess this up, no special skillz needed.
How’s your weekend going?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NotD – Ugly and Shiny

Once again I played with a single colour today using just matte and glossy effects for my design. I like to do that kind of nail art, it’s seven kinds of shiny. ;-)

This is what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy – Look, Ma, no bubbles.
  • ManGlaze Fuggen Ugly
  • Seche Vite

First I applied three coats of Fuggen Ugly over a coat of Nail Envy and sealed it with Seche Vite.

Fuggen Ugly is a matte mid-grey polish packed with sparkly microglitter, it’s so fine that I can’t tell if it’s multicoloured or holo glitter. It has been discontinued since I ordered my bottle in May and is to be replaced by an enhanced version, which is going to be more matte. Fair enough, this version isn’t completely matte.
It applied very well, I found it to level more easily than Matte is Murder. I especially like Fuggen Ugly’s runny consistency, it made for a fairly sheer first coat, but in a pinch two coats would have done quite nicely. The brush is easy to control, I had very little clean-up to do.

This is Fuggen Ugly in two coats, gorgeous in its semi-matte finish. The first photo was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp:


And here is Fuggen Ugly in three coats, sealed with Seche Vite. The pictures were taken as I mentioned above:


Then I used a dotting tool and Fuggen Ugly to add a simple pattern onto each nail.

I love the simplicity of these understated manicures. A simple nude or other work-safe colour can be interesting but still subtle enough for the most conservative work environments. Would you wear such manicures?

(This post was powered by tea and cherries. Also, I just realised that I didn’t fix my camera after changing the batteries, it always resets the image quality to ‘standard.’ Sorry.)

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