Thursday, July 29, 2010

NotD – Ever So Treasured

I guess that most of us want or have Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure, right. Thanks to a swap with Karrie (go and visit her blog, Beautopia) I now belong in the latter category. Yayes! Karrie also kindly sent me a couple of bottles of Diamond Cosmetics, which totally rock.
So you probably won’t be surprised that this post features Hidden Treasure over Diamond Cosmetics Never So Evergreen.

Never So Evergreen is an unusual shade of muted olive green, densely packed with lots of golden and a bit of holo microglitter. I was quite impressed with the opacity, the third coat was superfluous, really.
The application was smooth and free of streaks, I had no problems whatsoever. The round brush is fairly basic, but easy to control. Overall I really like this polish, the colour is gorgeous and it applies well.

This is Never So Evergreen in two coats without top coat:

And this is Never So Evergreen in three coats with a coat of Seche Vite:

I then added a coat of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Hidden Treasure:

So pretty, ain’t it?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Swatches – essence Into the Wild

Into the Wild was essence’s May to June LE collection. My local drugstore still has this collection, so I can try and claim that this is a current LE. Sort of. ;-)
These colours are wearable, but none of them truly appealed to me. I really don’t know why I bought them all. All four polishes come with a basic round brush that works just fine.
As usual, for each colour you’ll see one photo of the polish in two coats without top coat and one in three coats with top coat.

essence Into the Wild 01 Desert Fox

Desert Fox is a milk chocolate-coloured crème polish, it’s more chocolatey in real life, actually. It’s fairly densely pigmented and almost fully opaque in two coats.
It applies quite well, the first coat is a bit streaky, the second evens out nicely. This colour is wearable, but I’m not into brown all that much.


essence Into the Wild 02 Zulu

This polish is matte – kind of, it’s more of a semi-matte satin-y finish. Zulu is a beige-ish taupe crème, mostly opaque in two coats. Sadly, it’s not my colour at all.
I was very pleased with Zulu’s application, it was super even in two coats and unlike most matte polishes very forgiving.

essence Into the Wild 03 Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra is a semi-sheer pink crème polish, the colour reminds me of marzipan pigs of all things. It’s not quite opaque in three coats.
This polish I had issues with, it was a bit streaky, only evening out with three coats. I found Heart Chakra to be finicky, but quite pretty and useable.


essence Into the Wild 04 Bongo Drums

This is a sheer ivory crème, if you’re looking for an opaque ivory, use an opaque base or grab a different polish. I thinks it’s especially lovely in two coats.
Bongo Drums applied beautifully and very even. I didn’t have any trouble with this one. This is definitely my favourite from Into the Wild.


Overall I found this collection nice and serviceable, but far from exciting. Anyone who loves neutrals might love it though. I need more colour!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NotD – Thing of Fire

I was going for ‘Ring of Fire’ originally, but the explanation got kinda rambly and I wasn’t sure if ‘holding my hand as if I was playing a tenth on the piano’ makes any sense in English.
One part of my brain insisted that this must be a heavenly fire, because (a) it’s teal-y and therefore awesome, and (b) hell is other people* and they don’t burn all that often. Then another part of my brain reminded me that I don’t actually believe in heaven and hell, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not people burn prettily. I do wonder what colour the flames of burning soylent green are, though.

(* Yes, I actually read and enjoyed Huis Clos. Sartre is way more interesting than Camus.)

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer 240 Sold Out For Ever
  • s-he 439
  • s-he 434
  • essence multi dimension 53 all access
  • IQ NailSensation 18 Petrol
  • China Glaze Rodeo Fanatic
  • OPI Russian Navy
  • Seche Vite

I started with a tweaked base colour combination. After applying one coat of Nail Envy and two of Sold Out For Ever I was quite tired, so I sealed the polish with Seche Vite, went to bed and wore this for a day, then I added another coat of Sold Out For Ever and Seche Vite.

Sold Out For Ever is a shimmery muted green. The base is a soft, almost minty shade and is packed with extremely fine bright green microglitter that flashes at certain angles, but is almost invisible at others. Whether this is actually shimmer or microglitter is debateable, I tend to call dispersed particles glitter, even if they are as minuscule as shimmer, which in contrast should be aligned, i.e. the polish will show brush marks. Sold Out For Ever is reasonable opaque; two coats still leave a VNL, but should do in a pinch. Three coats are fully opaque.
The application was very smooth, the flat brush left no noticeable streaks. It’s a tad runny, so be careful not to load to much polish on the brush. Overall I love this polish, denser pigmentation would be great, but Sold Out For Ever is both pretty and easy to apply.

This is Sold Out For Ever in two coats with Seche Vite (‘cause I’m a moron for not taking pictures before I added top coat):

And this is Sold Out For Ever in three coats with Seche Vite:

When the base was firm enough to work on I grabbed a bunch of shimmery green, teal, blue and purple polishes and used a dotting tool to add tapered wavy lines. Just dip it into a drop of polish, apply the polish to the nail in a wavy line, but try not to let the tool touch the nail. The tapering happens all by itself! :-) Start the first flames a few millimetres above the base of the nail, that way you won’t have a thick ridge of polish where you started all the lines. Random specks of polish make for great sparks.
A bit of clean-up and top coat and the manicure was finished.

Can’t get my mind off the piano thing now. It’s so hard to decide if I prefer the Scientific pitch notation (F1, C4 etc) or the Helmholtz pitch notation (F., c’ etc). I’m used to the latter and having a subsubcontra octave is seriously cool, but the Scientific designations are just so sciency. Eh. I think I’ll stick with the cool sounding method for now. :-P

What’s your mind rambling about today?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An interview with Janice of Swtest2 Lips

It’s time for a Beauty Blogs Backstage interview again! This month I got to interview gorgeous Janice, whose blog Swtest2 Lips you need to check out. Her posts cover a wide range of beauty-related topics: from reviews to tutorials, from EotDs to NotDs. You won’t be surprised that I especially love her electric bee mani.

But now, let’s get to the actual interview!

1. Do you find it hard to find a foundation that truly matches your skintone?
Finding the right foundation shade is my most dreaded thing in makeup. My undertones changes with the season so I'm constantly switching foundations. During the winter when I'm pale, I have pink undertones. With spring/early summer when my skin actually sees sunlight, I have yellow undertones. Come around the end of summer when I'm nice and tanned, I'll have olive undertones. Purchasing the correct shade of foundation is seriously a mission for me. I swear everything looks the same in stores until I go home and see my face having a different shade than my neck-lol. I usually get it right on the second or third try. Needless to say, my favorite thing to wear during the warmer months is a tinted moisturizer.

2. Does packaging affect your decision making process when you buy cosmetics?
For the most part..... yes. I just cant help buying makeup with the pretty makeup. Pretty packaging makes me happy each and every time I see it on my vanity regardless of whether or not I use it. My wallet especially dreads 'limited edition' makeup designs. The hoarder inside of me will hunt them down because its limited.

3. Do you have a Holy Grail base or top coat? If so: which ones and why?
So far, my HG base coat is Orly Rubber Bonder. The formula is incredibly thick..similar to liquid rubber (hence the name :-). Just one swipe before my regular polish and I swear my mani will last at least 5 days. Some brands of polish will only last 2 days before the tips will start to chip, unless I use it with the Orly base coat. I love that its available at most drugstores and one bottle lasts very very long time. As for topcoats, I haven't found a HG yet, but I like the Seche Vite topcoat because it cuts my drying time in half. What I don't like about the topcoat is after a few days, the glossy layer becomes dull and I would have to reapply a new coat.

4. In your opinion, which nail polish brand has the best colour range?
So far, I believe OPI has the best color range. They are constantly coming out with new collections and their permanent selection is massive! I haven't had the opportunity to try many other brands readily available to me though, so hopefully I can discover cool new brands with a wide selection of colors.

5. Do you tend to write each post spontaneously or do you prefer to prepare and schedule posts?
When it comes to makeup reviews, I will prepare and schedule the posts since I try to post swatches and/or makeup looks with the reviews. When it comes to nail polish swatches/designs its usually spontaneous because all I have to do is take pictures of my finished product.

6. What movie do you watch again and again?
I would have to say The Nightmare Before Christmas. I've watched this movie well over 20 times and it never gets boring. I'm a huge fan of stop animation and the story line is amazing! I'm sure I can recite most of the lines in the movie. :-)

7. What historical person would you like to meet?
I would pick Cleopatra! I would love to hear about a day in the life of an Egyptian Queen! From her beauty regimens to how she she charmed the most powerful men of the Roman Empire: Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cleopatra was really a woman ahead of her time!

Thank you for letting us see who’s behind that beautiful blog, Janice!

Swatch – claire’s magenta and blue glitter polish

Shame on you, claire’s. Once again I have to invent a descriptive designation for an unnamed nail polish. Names don’t have to be witty or funny, ‘magenta glitter’ or ‘pastel green’ are fine. Hell, I’d even take ‘C782,’ ‘91.7’ or ‘CXIV.’ Just give me something to work with.
Anyway, let’s get to the swatch.

claire’s magenta and blue glitter nail polish

This polish is definitely a layering polish, but I thought I’d swatch it by itself anyway. Like many glitter polishes it has a slightly gloopy base and I have to say, it works: the glitter isn’t settling at all (unlike China Glaze’s glitters, which always have to be shaken vigorously). The base is an extremely sheer dark muted blue, which is interesting, but does limit the layering possibilities - just imagine this over a pale yellow. Actually, I might have to try that, it might be awesomely ugly. The bright magenta and blue glitter looks more dense in the bottle than on the nail. If you want an opaque nail, you’ll definitely need to apply a base colour.
The application was painless and very neat. Though this bottle still has the round brush, it’s soft, flexible and easy to control.
The versatility of this glitter polish is only limited by its base’s blue colour. It’s not sheer enough to be universally layerable, nor is it noticeable enough to be truly interesting. But overall I like the vivid glitter for its rarity. I really need to try this over blacks, blues, greens, pinks…

This is claire’s magenta and blue glitter nail polish in two coats without top coat:

And here is claire’s magenta and blue glitter nail polish in four coats with Seche Vite:

I’m so looking forward to trying the blue and emerald versions I also bought.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NotD – Inverted Sock

I’m basking in solitude right now. My sister/flatmate is away for a couple of weeks and it’s just me and the kitties right now.
Today’s NotD grew out of the wish to give my other essence show your feet polish a try after catwalk pink was a complete and utter fail. Somehow the design reminds me of socks. Huh.

This is what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • essence show your feet 06 juicy orange
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 4 white
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 1 silver
  • essence multi dimension 51 party time
  • Seche Vite

I started with a basic 1-3-1 application of Nail Envy, juicy orange and Seche Vite.

juicy orange is a bright, clear orange. It’s not quite a jelly, but does remain sheer and has a plasticy feel. If you dislike VNL, juicy orange is not for you.
I’m really pleased with the application, the flat brush is easy to control and the polish is even in just one coat. Unlike catwalk pink this polish has lasted very well for me.

This is juicy orange in two coats without top coat:

And this is juicy orange in three coats, sealed with Seche Vite:

When my base colour was mostly dry I decided that I didn’t like my wobbly nail line and added a white and a silver stripe roughly where the free tip starts.


Then I covered the tip of the nail in two coats of party time and sealed the manicure with Seche Vite.


I much prefer bright orange to pastel or peachy shades, I find that those tend to clash with my skintone. How about you?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Comparison – Midori-esque Greens

I spent several hours today swatching and was so polish-saturated afterwards that I completely forgot that I should actually post something. D’oh.
But as it’s 1 am by now and I actually go to bed around 2 these days (so early!) I’ll just post a quick comparison and a proper NotD tomorrow.

The three polishes we’ll take a look at are Zoya Midori, wet n wild craze 234 Jade and MNY my varnish 753. All three are bright green with golden green shimmer. I’ve read a few times that Jade and Midori are supposed to be dupes and I’d say they almost are. Midori is much thicker and more opaque, but the real difference lies in the shimmer. Jade shows more brushmarks, while the shimmer in Midori is a tad more dispersed. The colour, both of base and shimmer, look absolutely identical to me.
MNY 753 is not a dupe of Jade or Midori. The base is a brighter slightly more yellowy green and 753 has a lot more shimmer than the other two polishes. Additionally, it’s a bit less opaque than Jade.

For the comparison photos I applied three coats of MNY 753 on my pinky and middle finger nails, three of wet n wild Jade on my index finger nail, and only two coats of Zoya Midori on the ring finger nail. Click to embiggen, as usual!


I think Midori remains my favourite, partly because it’s much more opaque and partly because of the fewer brushmarks. How about you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NotD – Lacy Roman Green?

In case you’re wondering: I’m fully aware that I wear a ridiculous number of green polishes. Seems like I got over the ‘green nail polish? preposterous!’ phase I had when I was a kid.

This is what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • MNY my varnish 753
  • MNY my varnish 757
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Seche Vite

I started with a basic polish application: one coat of Nail Envy, three of MNY 753 and one of Seche Vite.

MNY 753 is a fresh bright green with dense golden green shimmer and subtle holo microglitter. Like 757 is has a bit of a metallicy finish and lacks opacity. I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison, but I think this colour is extremely similar to Wet ‘N’ Wild craze Jade and Zoya Midori.
Like 757, this polish has a lovely formula and brush, allowing for an even application. The brush marks barely register due to the vibrancy of the colour. I need to pick up more MNY polishes.

This is MNY 753 in two coats without top coat:

And this MNY 753 is in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base colour had dried I used MNY 757 to paint half of each nail with a darker green.

Then I added lacy rows of dots with the black nail art pen and sealed the manicure with another coat of Seche Vite.

Can anyone guess why I called this Lacy Roman Green?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swatch – essence show your feet 11 catwalk pink

My manicures last strangely long these days, i.e. longer than my usual two days, so I think I will have to slip in more swatch posts. Today’s polish didn’t make me happy.

essence show your feet 11 catwalk pink

I adore this colour, a dark purply magenta-ish pink base with plenty of magenta, purple and bright blue microglitter. This combination isn’t unique – I found two similar polishes without even searching in my relatively small stash of purples – but catwalk pink sure is pretty. The opacity is underwhelming, three coats left me with sporadically visible nail lines.
The only good thing about the application is the flat, supple brush. Sadly it could not make up for the less than stellar formula. catwalk pink applied streaky and patchy, it barely evened out in three coats. I could live with application issues, but what really frustrated me: chips after just a few hours.
Maybe this polish lasts for a week on other people (if so: yay!) and essence’s polishes are cheap enough to allow experimentation without breaking the bank, but I can’t recommend catwalk pink.

This is catwalk pink in two coats without top coat:

And this is catwalk pink in three coats, sealed with Seche Vite:

If you’ve tried this polish, I’d love to hear if it disagreed with you, too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NotD – Olivesque

I was all yay last week when I went to the drugstore and found a MNY display. The eyeshadows and nail polish I’ve tried weren’t all that pigmented, but the range is good for a drugstore brand.

This is what I used for this manicure:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • MNY my varnish 757
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Seche Vite

Today I completely changed my base colour application. Well, not really, I just used one coat of Nail Envy underneath three of 757 and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

MNY 757 is a metallic olive green with quite a bit of microglitter. It’s not as opaque as I’d like, I can still see the nail line with three coats.
Like most metallics, 757 shows some brush marks, but other than that it applied very well and even. The brush is nicely flat and soft. I especially like how thin I can get each coat.

Here’s MNY 757 in two coats without top coat:

And this is 757 in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base was mostly dry I used my black liner to paint parallelish curved lines on my nails and then added rows of dots with the pen tip thingy. Another coat of Seche Vite and the mani’s finished.

I was going to do something more complicated, but then I fell a-nap and that’s never good. The sleepiness just gets worse. So I settled down with the last few episodes of The Guild (highly recommended) in preparation for the upcoming fourth season and painted relatively randomly.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Swatch – Essence White Secret

I’m about to fall asleep, so I’ll just quickly post a swatch and today. *yawnz*

essence colour&go 02 white secret

This is a basic sheer white polish, no shimmer, no glitter, no cream or pink hues. Though white secret is not meant to be worn opaque, I believe five coats or more would do the trick.
Overall the formula is very good, white secret is mostly even and free of streaks in two coats. Three even it out completely at the cost of the sheer beauty. The brush is flat and lovely. I recommend carefully applying two coats, as that is white secret at its best.

This is white secret in two coats without top coat:

And here is white secret in three coats with Seche Vite:

I definitely would buy a full-sized bottle of white secret. How do you feel about white polish?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NotD – Sideways Gradient

This is what happens when I do my nails randomly:
‘Hm, that blackish polish looks nice.’ *applies*
‘Some silver might go well with that.’ *paints*
‘Something’s missing’… *glitterises*

This is what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy
  • essence colour&go 21 fabuless
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 1 silver
  • essence multi dimension 19 rock ‘n’ roll
  • Seche Vite

I started with my usual routine: two coats of Nail Envy, three of fabuless and one of Seche Vite.

fabuless is another example of my beloved sparkly charcoals. The base may be black, but due to the silver shimmer and multicoloured microglitter it just looks like a dark, dark grey. I’m not quite happy with the opacity, fabuless needs at least three coats, two were quite patchy.
This polish is a pain to apply, it’s streaky and patchy, but when it’s even it’s lovely. I generally like the flat brush in essence’s colour&go polishes and I really don’t want to imagine how hard fabuless would be to apply with a sucky brush.

This is fabuless in two coats without top coat:

And here is fabuless in three coats with Seche Vite. I still haven’t gotten around to buying a new lamp, so flash only:

After the base colour had dried I used my silver liner to apply parallel lines all over my nails. I painted them across the whole length of the nail on the outer edge of the nail and shortened them as I moved towards the inner edge.

Then I decided to do a sideways gradient using a simple silvery glitter polish. I started at the outer edge, painting only a quarter of my nail and added another quarter of the nail’s width with each coat. Another coat of Seche Vite and my manicure was done.

How would you align a gradient glitter manicure?

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