Saturday, May 29, 2010

Swatches – That Lilac One and Rodeo Fanatic

For the past couple of days I’ve had one nail fail after another (grrr). So today I’m posting a couple of swatches and hope that I can do a proper manicure next time.


claire’s unnamed lilac polish

As usual in Europe, this polish I got at claire’s has neither name nor number. It’s a basic lilac crème polish and mostly opaque in two coats. I could just make out the nail line from a few angles. Like all purple polishes, the photos are not true to colour and look a bit too blue.
This polish applies quite well, as you can see two coats are even. I’m happy to say that claire’s seem to be using flat brushes these days, they’re a tad short, but dense and soft enough to work well.

This is claire’s lilac polish in two coats without top coat, photographed with flash:

This is claire’s lilac polish in three coats with top coat. Again, it was photographed with flash (this was swatched before I started using the ‘natural spectrum’ lamp):

China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic

I love this polish. But what colour is Rodeo Fanatic? Teal, blue, purple? Well, I’d say it’s teal, but I have seen swatches where it looks royal blue. As I turn the bottle I mostly see bright shimmery blue with hints of purple and teal where the bottle gets narrower. On the nail it is mostly teal with the blue peeking out occasionally. It’s fully opaque in two coats, though I feel that a third coat adds more depth to the colour.
Rodeo Fanatic applies well and evenly enough, keeping in mind that shimmery polishes always show some brush marks. This polish would be perfect if China Glaze had flat brushes.

Here is Rodeo Fanatic in two coats without top coat (flash):


These photos show Rodeo Fanatic in three coats with top coat. The first one was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ bulb (and that one’s a bit fuzzy, sorry):


Thursday, May 27, 2010

NotD – Of Lilacs and Geeks

Yes, I’m aware that I’m about a day too late. Wear the Lilac Day, Towel Day and Geek Pride Day were on the 25th and technically it’s 1 am on the 27th as I’m writing this. But hey, we celebrate Christmas on the 24th in Austria, so I feel entitled to slightly shift holidays as I please. ;-)
You probably guessed it from the title, I did a lilac manicure, even though I don’t care for lilacs at all. Their scent (like tulips) always smells like rotting flowers to me, and that kind of negates their prettiness.


This is what I used today, separated into base colour and nail art:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • OPI Jade is the New Black
  • Seche Vite


  • Maybelline Colorama glossy nail color 23 dark chocolate
  • claire’s nail polish in an unnamed lilac shade
  • Eyeko Lilac Polish for lovely nails
  • OPI Green-wich Village
  • Konad Princess Top Coat (nasty thing bubbled on me today)

I started with three coats of the yummy Jade is the New Black over NailTek as my base colour and sealed it with Seche Vite.

Jade is the New Black is a gorgeous green as is found in both jadeite and malachite, both of which occur in a range of greens from very pale to almost black. It’s a smooth and fairly opaque crème polish, I could have gotten away with two coats, but tend to prefer three in case I overlook streaks in my less than stellar lighting.
The first coat of Jade is the New Black applied streaky, but it evened out nicely with another coat. It didn’t pool, levelled well and the brush is excellent. If you like greens, definitely check this one out.

This is Jade is the New Black in two coats without top coat, photographed with flash:

And here are two photos of Jade is the New Black in three coats, sealed with Seche Vite. The first one was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ lamp:


And now let’s get to the tutorial part of this post. I started the lilac design by painting branches onto my nails using dark chocolate and a nail art brush.

Then I used a dotting tool and claire’s polish to add the rough shape of a lilac inflorescence.

I didn’t want to use too many different lilac polishes, so I chose only two and mixed them for this step. With this colour I repeated the previous step, covering most of the gaps between the first bunch of dots. I used a slightly smaller dotting tool, but you can of course use just one.

For the final step of creating the flowers I used Lilac Polish and an even smaller dotting tool and added another layer of dots.

Then it was time for the leaves. I feared those a bit, as the most logical technique to paint heart-shaped leaves is the dot-and-needle technique, which I still struggle with. But I think it worked quite well. I used Green-wich Village for this step.

Then I only had to seal the design. I used Konad top coat first to prevent smudging (though the bugger started bubbling recently, let’s hope thinning will fix it) and added a coat of Seche Vite for strength and shine.


I love this manicure. Jade is the New Black is a fantastic colour and I’m very happy with my lilac design.

Did you celebrate on the 25th?

Monday, May 24, 2010

NotD – Charcoalicious

I seem to have been bitten by the charcoal bug. I’m loving the glittery shimmery dark greys right now. So today I want to show you a manicure based on the loveliness of OPI Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! in all its charcoalicious gorgeousness.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • OPI Baby It’s “Coal” Outside!
  • Seche Vite
  • Glam Nails design templates for nails N018
  • essie matte about you

As usual I started with a basic manicure. I applied one coat of NailTek Foundation II, three of Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! and sealed the base colour with Seche Vite.

Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! is a dark charcoal grey base, densely packed with silvery microglitter. It’s even in two coats and fully opaque in three.
Upon applying the first coat I was baffled by the texture of this polish. It seems like a strange hybrid, similar both to a runny glitter polish and a foil. Though it is less pigmented than foils tend to be, it dries very quickly and has the same graininess. Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! applies with a minimum of streaks and patches even in one coat and as usual OPI‘s flat brush makes for a neat and easy manicure.
This is another polish I can absolutely recommend!

This is Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! in two coats without top coat:

And here are two pics of Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! in three coats with Seche Vite. The first one was taken with flash, the second photo without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ light bulb:


And as it was a bit late by the time the polish was dry (i.e. almost 4 am) I decided to finish the manicure the next day. I really love Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! by itself, so I only added some essie matte about you to it.
I still had some untried Glam Nails design templates for nails and thought that N018 would look nice, this stencil would help me apply parallel lines onto my nails. And as this stencil looked much sturdier than their cat design I wanted to test how many nails I could finish with one. I did manage to use one sticky tab for five nails, but I think for a precise result three nails would have been the maximum. You can see on my index finger what I mean (first image with flash, second one with aforementioned lamp).


So what do you think? I find shiny Baby It’s “Coal” Outside! much prettier than its matte incarnation, but overall I really like this manicure.

Friday, May 21, 2010

KotD – Islands of my Childhood

Let me start by saying that I don’t care for today’s konadicure too much. Though I do like how these colours work together and love the pattern I used, it just doesn’t work for me overall. Also, my cuticles just suck today, despite Lemony Flutter and oil.

This is what I used for this konadicure:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • essie Turquoise & Caicos
  • Konad image plate m70
  • Konad Special Nail Polish white
  • Orly Lemonade
  • Konad Princess Polish Psyche Pink
  • Konad Princess Top Coat
  • Seche Vite

First, let’s take a look at Turquoise & Caicos. I used three coats of T&C between one each of NailTek Foundation II and Seche Vite.

Turquoise & Caicos is a sweet shade of slightly muted turquoise. I’d almost classify it as a minty green, as I expect turquoise to be more vivid and cool. The colour reminded me of Eyeko Vintage Polish, T&C is brighter, though. It’s also a relatively sheer creme polish, which I understand to be quite normal for essie. I only applied three coats, as I intended to stamp over it, but for full opacity I believe four or five coats should do it.
I was happy with the application, Turquoise & Caicos was smooth and mostly free of streaks. However, I did have a couple of bald spots. The brush is sound and soft, definitely a good one.

This is Turquoise & Caicos in two coats without top coat (with flash):

And these photos show Turquoise & Caicos in three coats with Seche Vite. The first one was taken with flash, the second one without and under a ‘natural spectrum’ bulb:


Then I prepared my Konad supplies and got to stamping. I used the paint splatter design from image plate m70 to layer white, pink and yellow polish over the turquoise base. After I had applied a coat of Konad‘s top coat I added Seche Vite for extra shine and durability.


Hmmm, didn’t I do this manicure before? I definitely wore similar konadicures in different colours. But hey, it’s not my aim to wear something different every day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Swatch – s-he 384

Here’s another swatch of a s-he stylezone polish. I took these photos earlier this year, so today’s photos were taken with flash.

384 is a dark purple with shimmer ranging from magenta to royal blue. This shimmer looks very subtle indoors (I don’t have very bright bulbs) but as you can see below, with flash it just glows. Please remember that the flash also eats some of the purple (the pinky is nicely purple, though)!
Though it is very streaky at first, 384 evens out nicely after the second and third coat. I decided to wear four coats in the end for a perfect finish. The brush could be better, it’s a round one that tends to drag a bit if you don’t let the previous coat dry.

Here’s 384 in two coats without top coat:

And this is 384 in four coats sealed with Seche Vite:


I really love that kind of purple. Does it show? ;-)

Monday, May 17, 2010

NotD – Russian Navy Meets Glamour

Diagonals strike again. I’m still working my way through my recent TransDesign haul (plus a few other polished that remain untried) and my most recent colour choice is OPI Russian Navy. After I had applied it it occurred to me that it might look amazing paired with Colorama Glamour Effect. And a new combo was born.


Today’s manicure was created using these polishes:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • OPI Russian Navy
  • Seche Vite
  • Maybelline Colorama Effects 5 Glamour Effect
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 1 silver (*scratches head* I don’t even have to look at the bottle any more)
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Shine


As I usually do, I started with a basic manicure: three coats of Russian Navy sandwiched between one coat each of NailTek Foundation II and Seche Vite.

Russian Navy is a dark blue polish with blue and purple shimmer. The opacity is great, I only applied a third coat by habit.
It applies smoothly and evenly, as I expected from my past experiences with OPI‘s formula and lovely wide brush. If you like dark, interesting blues you will want Russian Navy - either this version or the suede one.

This is Russian Navy in two coats without top coat:

And the next two photos show Russian Navy in three coats and sealed with Seche Vite. The first one was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ light bulb:


Then I added two coats of Glamour Effect to roughly half of each nail.

And after I added a silver line between the two halves of my nails I sealed the manicure with Diamond Shine.

And another couple of photos with and without flash:


Sit Tibi Terra Levis, Ronnie James Dio.

Requiescat in Pace.


Friday, May 14, 2010

KotD – The Grapes of Wrath

You’re going to have to excuse the next paragraph, but I think that if I were to ignore this urge, Bad Things might happen.


*wipes brow* So, now that I got that out of my brain and into the eternal memory of the internet, where it will sing of my nerdiness forever, we can actually go and look at some grape-y polish.

What I used for this manicure:

  • NailTek Foundation II
  • OPI Gargantuan Green Grape
  • Seche Vite
  • Konad image plate m37
  • Models Own Green Grass
  • Orly Wandering Vine
  • Mavala 251 Cedar Green
  • p2 248 rich
  • Color Club 871 Wild At Heart
  • Konad Princess Top Coat


I started with a basic manicure: one coat of NailTek, three of Gargantuan Green Grape and one of Seche Vite.

Gargantuan Green Grape is a pale muted green creme polish. It’s of average opacity, three coats are even and the nail line is only visible with the light coming from certain angles. If you want full opacity you’ll need four coats.
I found Gargantuan Green Grape a tad streaky in the first two coats, but other than that it’s a pleasure to apply, partly due to the fairly thin formula, partly due to OPI‘s great flat brush.


This is Gargantuan Green Grape in two coats without top coat:

And these images show Gargantuan Green Grape in three coats, sealed with Seche Vite. The first photo was taken with flash, the second one without flash under a ‘natural spectrum’ bulb:


After the base colour had dried, I used the two grape/vine designs from image plate m37 and the other coloured polishes to layer grapes and vines over my nails and sealed the manicure with Princess Top Coat.

I’m quite happy with this manicure. Wandering Vine didn’t stamp as well as I had hoped, but all other polishes worked very nicely.
And in case you’re wondering, I kinda forgot to eat until dinnertime when I started to write this post. I get a bit silly.

And now a bonus swatch. I randomly frankened this olive green polish out of a few drops of shimmery beige, some clear, yellow, black and blackened blue polish. And it’s so pretty I want to cry. It’s opaque in two coats and lasts longer than most polishes on me (third day, woo!). Best frankenpolish ever.

Here’s some green eye-candy, Nike’s Wreath (two coats with top coat, first one with flash, second one under my ‘natural spectrum’ lamp):


Look at that! I seem to be getting the hang of the flashless photographing. So, are you feeling the love for this olive green, too?

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