Monday, August 30, 2010

NotD – Rainy London

Today’s post-cleanage (excuse the destructo-hands!) manicure is one of those where upon finishing I wondered what on earth I had been thinking. But hey, at least the swatch looks good.

This is what I used:

  • Sally Hansen Diamond Strength
  • Eyeko Rain Polish for city nails
  • Catrice 280 London Weather Forecast
  • essence multi dimension 51 party time
  • Seche Vite

First I applied two coats each of Diamond Strength and Rain Polish, followed by a coat of Seche Vite.

Rain Polish is a muted greyish blue with subtle silvery shimmer –though I do see hues of green and purple in the shimmer. It’s opaque in two coats, though if you apply very thin coats you might need three.
Overall Rain Polish applies smoothly and evenly without any problems. It levelled nicely when I applied a slightly thicker coat to hide my patches. The brush is Eyeko’s new standard brush; wide, dense, round and supple. I highly recommend this polish!

Here is Eyeko Rain Polish in two coats with Seche Vite, photographed with flash and under a ‘natural spectrum’ bulb:


Then came the weird and random part. I took London Weather Forecast and painted on short, thin, wispy lines roughly aligned diagonally. Those were supposed to represent the rain, but I kinda failed.

After that I decided to add small flecks of sparkles like light refecting off droplets of water, so I used a dotting tool to apply dabs of party time. Two coats of Seche Vite make the mani extra glassy for a gazing out of the window feel.


How would you wear Rain?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On Packaging

Alert! Now under new management. Same thing, different name. Instead of ‘Pandemonium of Cosmetics’ (which is wasn’t) this is now ‘Onyx Phalanx’ (for silly reasons including anatomy and Ancient Greek).

*scratches head* So the first post after renaming this blog to reflect the near-exclusive nail polish focus is an only marginally naily one. I’m currently busily cleaning and it’s quite frustrating to destroy a fresh manicure.
Today I want to share my opinions on packaging in cosmetics and I’d love to hear what you have to say.

As a general rule I don’t care much about how my make-up and skincare is packaged. That being said, I do like pretty things and sometimes the fancy outside will catch my attention. But mostly it’s about functionality, like bottles not breaking before you even touch them or not having to use your fingernails to open a palette.

How about a couple of brands that do it right:

  • Clinique has a very distinct colour palette, their signature green and silver in their make-up line-up, the muted pinks, greens and purples for their skincare. I find the latter very appealing and the former has a nostalgic appeal as my first ‘fancy’ blush was by Clinique. Also, the packaging opens and closes when you want it to without breaking(except for those crappy GWP miniature eye make-up removers with the child-safe caps).
  • MAC also has a very sleek exterior. I dig the smooth black and clear and by Spock, the eyeshadows open without breaking any nails. I don’t like that some liquid foundations come without pump and the weird knobbly rubbery caps, but at least they work. ;-)

And a couple of examples for not so brilliant packaging (but I still like the brands themselves):

  • I have an IsaDora eyeshadow palette that is virtually impossible to open. It’s absolutely necessary to keep something flat and hard at hand to use as a lever. How am I supposed to get to my pretty eyeshadows?
  • In complete contrast I recently bought a Benefit eyeshadow with a pot that doesn’t click shut. I do like my eyeshadows to stay closed when I’m not using them :-P

What I’d really like to see is more modular make-up. I want to be able to choose the wand when I buy mascara or the brush when I buy nail polish. I want to buy shadow and blush refills, I want lip gloss in tubes with an optional brush or doe foot applicator in the cap. How about selling pretty and sturdy mascara tube covers to be used with flimsy refills, meaning less trash?

At least nail polish bottles are pretty hard to misdesign. But I still haven’t found a single brand with the perfect bottle/brush/cap combination.Orly Lemonade bottle

  • I love Orly’s cap design: The rubbery surface and concave shape means it’s practically impossible for it to slip out of you fingers and the shimmery grey colour is just so sleek. 


Eyeko Coral bottle

Konad Princess Psyche Pink bottle

  • When it comes to bottle shape I prefer something like the Konad Princess polishes or Eyeko’s new bottles. Either a tapered or very slender shape, because it’s just so annoying when the brush barely touches the surface of the last dregs of polish and you calculate the at least a tenth of the polish remains unreachable.

Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure bottle

  • The brush itself should be flat and the tip rounded, in my opinion. I can get good results with round brushes, too, but when I apply a Sally Hansen complete salon manicure polish I rarely need to do any clean-up and get less streaks.



So far the best I’ve seen is the aforementioned Sally Hansen complete salon manicure bottle, the brush is excellent, the bottom of the polish reservoir is rather narrow and the cap has a rubbery band. Go Sally Hansen.

What are your favourite polish bottles and what would you like to see in regards to cosmetics packaging?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NotD – Red Plus Lavender?

Let me start by saying sorry about the strange way I’m holding my hand. I cut my ring finger on Sunday and though it’s healing very well I haven’t changed the polish on that finger.
I finally have all the recent Eyeko polishes, so I thought I’d try Saucy Polish. But when it was dry I just didn’t feel like wearing red any more. Layering ensued.

This is what I used today:

  • Sally Hansen Diamond Strength
  • Eyeko Saucy Polish for naughty nails
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Alessandro Pro White Hologram Lavender
  • Seche Vite

After a rather lengthy patching session I applied two coats of Diamond Strength, followed by two coats of Saucy Polish and one of Seche Vite.

Saucy Polish is a smooth rich red crème, surprisingly warm considering how brightly pink a thin coat is. Those of you who own Eyeko’s Hot! Hot! Hot! Red Nail Polish for naughty nails know this colour, it’s practically identical. Like most Eyeko polishes Saucy Polish is very opaque and perfect in two coats.
This polish is very thick, thin coats are very difficult to achieve, but thicker coats level nicely and still dry well. Overall, Saucy Polish applies very well, the formula seems very similar to its predecessor, but the longer, softer brush makes a huge difference.

This is Saucy Polish in two coats with Seche Vite:

And here’s my thumbnail with Saucy Polish on the left and Red Nail Polish on the right. I’d say the latter is slightly brighter (boo for horrible photos!).

For some reason wearing red made me really nervous tonight (no idea what was going on), so I added some dots…

…and then some Hologram Lavender. Kinda funky, right?

What do you do when you don’t feel like wearing a colour you just applied any more?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

NotD – Poodle Skirt

*facepalm* This manicure would have been much easier if I had the Bundle Monster image plates. It’s been done before, but in this case the inspiration cookies and dog biscuits go to Phyrra and Phaedra (happy birthday!). As I don’t know a thing about poodles or poodle skirts I basically copied this polyvore image.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • Seche Base
  • OPI Pink Flamenco
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 3 black
  • Glamour Nails Glamour Pearls 01 gold
  • Glamour Nails Glamour Pearls 02 silver
  • Seche Vite

Today I started with two coats of Seche Base to even out my many patched nails. Then I applied two coats of Pink Flamenco and one of Seche Vite.

Pink Flamenco is warm medium pink crème, vivid but not outrageously bright. I think this is fairly universally flattering shade. It’s also almost a two-coater. I can just make out the free tip, but it’s perfectly wearable in two coats.
I had no problems applying this polish, but as I used a miniature bottle, the brush was just acceptable. I found that loading the brush with quite a lot of polish works best with OPI’s minis.

And because I should have gone to bed six hours ago I forgot to take the actual swatch photo, but at least most nails are plain.
I only wanted to paint the poodle design on one nail, so I used a dotting tool and the liner polish (it’s more pigmented than regular nail polish) to draw it on. Then I added three small silver Glamour Pearls for the collar and a golden one as eye. A bit more Seche Vite and the Poodle Skirt manicure is done.

And here’s a close-up (to show off the lack of clean-up):

If you have the Bundle Monster image plates - BM04 has a poodle - you’d only have to freehand the leash. By the way, I just slashed the tip of my left ring finger with an exacto knife, so prepare for ugly bandages in my posts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

NotD - Confused Frog

Somewhere a baffled frog is sitting in the grass, wondering where the other zebras are and not quite understanding why everything seems so big. Sorry, little froggie.
Not sure why I associated zebras with this one, as there's not much stripiness going on.

This is what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • LOOK by BIPA Nail Quickie 17 frog
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 3 black
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 4 white
  • Seche Vite

I started with one coat of Nail Envy, three of frog and one of Seche Vite.

As you’ve probably guessed, I love frog, a gorgeous crème polish. The bright green, which once again reminds me of crayons and coloured pencils, is right up my alley (despite being the local footie club’s colour). It’s reasonably opaque, three coats are perfect.

This polish applied quite well and was free of streaks. It’s fairly runny and therefore easy to apply thinly. The brush is round and soft, but also very short; a narrower cap might make it easier to handle.

This is frog in two coats without top coat:

And here is frog in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base colour was dry I used the white liner to add a couple of curved lines to my nails and a dotting tool for the dots.

And then I added some more dots in black. A coat of Seche Vite sealed the polish.

Random question: Do you depot your eyeshadows and blush? Which palette do you prefer?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A B3 Interview with Cindy of Prime Beauty

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed the interviews with other bloggers via Beauty Blogs Backstage. If you’re a beauty blogger you could join us and interview other bloggers every month, too. *entices*
This month I had the opportunity to ask Cindy of Prime Beauty seven questions. Doesn’t she have the loveliest smile? I loved browsing through her posts, even though her focus still lies in my future. Not too far, though. ;-)
Let’s see what Cindy shared with us:

1. Have you ever tried a product that you desperately wanted to work only to find that it was a absolute fail?
I have always wanted to be able to do winged eyeliner with a liquid liner. I've tried a few "pen" type that are supposed to be easy and I am hopelessly clumsy with it. Not the fault of the product--just me.

2. Do you have a favourite eyeshadow colour and if so: why do you prefer it?
I love bronzes and coppers because they bring out my blue eyes. I even did a post on why I think I am drawn to bronze.

3. How do you feel about 'beauty rules' like the 'age limit' for wearing glitter?
For the most part, I don't believe in beauty rules. However, I'm not a fan of glittery eyes merely because it's unflattering on older women and highlights creases and crevices. That being said, to each her own and do what makes you happy.

4. Do you find it important to choose products that have not been tested on animals?
I do think it's important. I also try to choose natural products whenever I can.

5. What is the best and worst about blogging?
For me, there are a lot of bests--it provides me with a creative outlet, keeps me learning and growing and gives me a sense of accomplishment. There is something about about having an idea, developing it, seeing it come to fruition and having some success that is very, very satisfying to me.  A bonus it that I've have met some amazing and talented women and made some wonderful friends.
Worst is finding time. I work a full-time job and blog in my "spare time" and I clearly lack at time management!

6. Is there a song that can make you smile, no matter how sad, angry or upset you are?
Do You Believe In Magic? by the Lovin' Spoonful. I know, I dating myself.

7. What is your favourite thing to do other than blogging?
I would have to say anything around water. I especially enjoy boating, swimming and sunning. I also love to read whenever I can.

Thank you, Cindy! I had a lot of fun.

Now please go and take a look at Cindy’s blog, dear readers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Two Blueish Swatches

After some nail mishaps involving silk and too runny glue I really wasn’t in the mood to do a proper manicure tonight, so I’ll show you a couple of polishes I randomly picked up some time ago.
As usual, the first photo shows the polish in two coats without top coat, the second one in three coats with top coat.

essence colour&go 24 underwater

underwater is a shimmery bright blue polish, while the base is a rather greenish blue, the electric blue shimmer turns it into a vivid, almost turquoise blue. The opacity is not thrilling, three coats still leaves a VNL at some angles.
I found underwater easy to apply evenly. The flat brush allows for a quick application. Like most shimmers, underwater shows brush marks quite badly.


IQ NailSensation 18 Petrol

Petrol doesn’t live up to its name, even though it is gorgeous. It’s a blue polish barely on the edge of teal with the merest hints of green and silvery blue shimmer. Petrol is mostly opaque in two coats and perfect in three.
Considering that IQ is supposed to be BIPA’s ‘professional’ brand, the round brush was very hard to control and generally sucked. Despite that the polish applied relatively even and with relatively few brush marks. The colour makes up for the finicky application, otherwise I wouldn’t put up with Petrol.
I got this one on sale, I believe they completely revamped the IQ line or at least repackaged everything. I still saw some of these polishes recently at my local BIPA, in case anyone's interested.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

NotD – Glitter Love

I’m feeling like the White Rabbit a lot these days: always late, never enough time. Time is fleeting, I suppose. Let’s just hope that madness doesn’t take its toll just yet.
The NotD I’m showing you today was going to look a bit different in the beginning. The silver area was supposed to be a lattice design, but I messed it up and just covered the whole area. Why do I even admit it? You can still see some of the ridges.

This is what I used:

  • Sally Hansen Miracle Cure
  • essence multi dimension 20 fatal
  • China Glaze Millennium
  • Unicorn Tears (is there any unicorn secrete or excrete that doesn’t sparkle?)
  • Seche Vite

I started with a basic application: two coats of Miracle Cure, three of fatal and one of Seche Vite.

fatal is a basic black crème polish, it seems like a jelly at first, but is a bit too pigmented. Two coats are almost opaque, only very close inspection will show imperfections.
This polish is very runny and I found it hard to keep it from pooling around the cuticles. The basic round brush didn’t help or hinder. But other than that fatal applied well and was even in two coats. It’s a good cheap black, but I’ve seen better formulas.

This is fatal in two coats without top coat:

And here is fatal in three coats with Seche Vite:

After fatal was dry I attempted to paint a silver lattice on a large part of each nail, but since I failed I covered the whole area with two coats of Millennium. One coat would have sufficed for an opaque layer of silver, but I tried to cover the remains of the lattice.

Then I added two coats of my frankened Unicorn Tears and sealed it with Seche Vite. In case anyone’s interested: Unicorn Tears is a mix of all my glitters with very sheer or clear bases. Just go crazy!

Obligatory blurry bottle photo:

I like this quite a bit, but Unicorn Tears would look even better over a plain black base.

It seems like my nails have reached Critical Length, they’re tearing without provocation and the strange curling is really starting to distort some of them. It’s probably a good thing that I need to chop them off anyway. My parents get a room’s worth of IKEA furniture (plus another wardrobe) delivered on Thursday and I suspect that I may do most of the assembling. The sibs probably won’t have time and my mom has a bad back. And though my dad is an engineer he’s surprisingly bad at IKEA assemblage (and Kinder Surprise eggs).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NotD – Metal Bloom

In an incredibly smart move I removed my nail polish last night round 2:45 am. Bright cookie, ain’t I? The main issue being that I know naked nails or just basecoated ones always tear on me and I already had three patches.
Therefore GeniusPear went and painted her nails with a girly floral french manicure. Kind of.

This is what I used for this design:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • China Glaze Watermelon RInd
  • China Glaze Millennium
  • China Glaze Sour Apple
  • Seche Vite

Needless to say - but I shall do so anyway – I started with a coat of Nail Envy, followed by three of Watermelon Rind and one of Seche Vite.

Watermelon Rind is one of the gorgeous sparklies found in China Glaze’s Summer Days collection. It’s a glass-flecked bluey green jelly and not very opaque. Three coats still show the nail line from some angles.
Though the first coat was very streaky, the application was lovely and smooth. Watermelon Rind applied evenly and free of brush marks and though I don’t love China Glaze’s round brush it worked very well.
Overall this is another must-have polish. I find the colour especially flattering for fair-skinned folks.

This is Watermelon Rind in two coats without top coat (please excuse the dry cuticles and ignore the uneven spot on my middle finger, that’s a patch showing through):

And here is Watermelon Rind in three coats with Seche Vite:

When the base colour was firm enough to work on I used Millennium to paint the tips and added flowers with a dotting tool. I cheated a bit and elongated my nail bed by making the silver stripe narrower than my own free tip.

Then I added a very skinny line at the edge of the nail and another dot into the centre of each flower with Sour Apple.

I love the contrast between Watermelon Rind and Sour Apple. What do you think?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

KotD – Bruised But Smiling

Huh. I’ve seen swatches of Urban Decay Bruise vs. Misa Embroidered Emerald and Orly Galaxy Girl and drooled like a good little polish aficionada. So when I went through my Helmer (yes, I can still fit everything into a single unit) recently and realised that I never swatched s-he 434 – I used it in my recent Thing of Fire mani - I was kinda surprised to find something relatively similar. Not quite as awesome, as the green just isn’t as visible and there is no blue flash, but still gorgeous.

This is what I used tonight:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • s-he 434
  • Konad image plate m70
  • China Glaze Sci-Fi
  • Seche Vite

I started by applying two coats of Foundation II, followed by three of s-he 434 and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

When you apply s-he 434 you’ll find a plummy base densely packed with green, purple and silvery microglitter. There might also be some holo microglitter, but I really can’t say for sure. This polish is reasonably opaque, three coats are perfect, but two would do in a pinch.
The first coat of 434 was very streaky, but it evened out nicely with the second one. I can’t find any fault in the formula, it’s relatively runny and smoothly covers the nail. There are extremely faint brush marks, but those are invisible unless you zoom in Kryten-style. The brush is round and fairly average; I had no problems with it.

This is s-he 434 in two coats without top coat:

And this is s-he 434 in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base colour was mostly dry I grabbed my Konadin’ supplies, used image plate m70 and Sci-Fi to add a design and sealed it with Seche Vite.

I keep forgetting how quick and easy stamping is (though I did kinda wobble on a couple of nails today ;-) ). The only annoying thing is that my nails are just long enough that some of the corners start to fold down in that weird way – that’s why my index finger and middle finger nails always look rounded, by the way. This means I not only have to roll the stamper across, but also tilt it onto the corners.

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