Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Board o’Polish

… or Wall o’Polish if I’m feeling hyperbolic. It’s not all that big, really.
I’ve been mentioning this project here and there and now that it’s finished (for now at least) I can finally show it off.

So what’s this all about?
Like many polish addicts I store my 400+ bottles in IKEA Helmer units, safely stowed and away from dust. I started with a colour-based system, but that made it difficult to find specific bottles of polish, while a brand-based arrangement makes it nigh-impossible to look up all similar shades and find the best colour for a nail art project.
At the same time I envied everyone who had the necessary space on their walls to use those nifty clear polish storage shelves.

The solution should have been obvious:
Sort polish by brand (alphabetically, maybe I’ll even go through them again and figure out the best way to sort within each brand).
Attach a couple of cork bulletin boards to that narrow space behind my door, print out little swatch cards on photo paper, paint on polish, pin them on sorted by colour. I considered printing the polish names/numbers onto the cards, but in the end decided that it would be quicker to write them on by hand. Thus ensuring that nobody else can use them. ;-)
Of course swatches on paper are rarely true to colour (though photo paper works very nicely, simulating an opaque white base), but that was not the aim, I just need this as an aid to memory.


As you can see, the way I arranged the colours isn’t really logical, but I figured I’d put the colours I use very rarely at the top and bottom.
There are, of course, more possibilities out there, but I like the flexibility. I can rearrange the cards when I add more polish to my stash (I’m a realist) and grab the ones I’m considering for a NotD to see which work best before pulling all the bottles out of the drawers.

Turns out I’m almost out of space, so I’ll have to check if the store still has those boards. I like the black background.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NotD – Mellow or Not

I finally have about 3/4 of my polishes on my board o’ polish (post upcoming when I’m finished or at least close). The fumes in this room are frightening. ;-)
But for today: here’s a post! The yellow was a bitch to capture, so I tweaked them as much as I could (they should be a bit warmer-toned. I fail at photoshopping).

This is what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • essence colour&go 51 mellow yellow
  • Frankenpolish Curfew
  • Rimmel Nail Tip Whitener
  • essence Blossoms etc… 03 my yellow fellow
  • Seche Vite

I started with my usual base colour application, one coat of each base coat, three of mellow yellow and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

mellow yellow – one of the polishes from essence’s new core line – is a creamy, but quite bright yellow crème polish. It’s moderately opaque, three coats are necessary for good coverage.
This polish applied well enough, the main issue being streakiness until it evened out in three coats. Other than that there’s only a bit of bubbling to note. mellow yellow is not too chalky as most polishes with a strong white base are wont to be. The fairly narrow flat brush works well with the formula.
This is a lovely polish with some slight issues. Recommended if you’re willing to apply three coats carefully.

This is mellow yellow in two coats without top coat:

And here’s mellow yellow in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base was mostly dry I used the accent colours to randomly squiggle them on. As you can see, the two yellows are very similar, except for that bright shimmer in my yellow fellow (that mostly vanishes on the nail unless the light hits it just right). Another coat of Seche Vite and the mani is finished.

This isn’t quite random and splotchy enough, but I tend to overwork my nails unless I’m really careful. I’m pretty happy with the result.
So what’s up with y’all? Done any Eastering?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Swatch – s-he 208

Another s-he swatch! Yes, apparently I’m cruel enough to show you one of my favourite s-he polishes while the shelves are empty and we’re waiting to see what they come up with next.
This is one of the few reds I truly adore.

s-he 208

This polish has a bright cool red base, tempered by a smattering of fine shifty looking glitter and loads of tiny golden flakies, which give 208 an overall warm red appearance. The flakies show up beautifully on the nail, due to the jelly-ish base, but not all that well on the photos. Despite the fairly sheer base, this is opaque in three coats.
208 also applies beautifully, though it can be a bit stubborn when you try to clean it up or remove it. It’s a but watery, but otherwise no complaints about this polish or it’s simple round brush. A not to all who prefer not to wear top coat: this doesn’t dry very shiny, unless you’re into that effect, slap on some top coat.

This is 208 in two coats without top coat:

And here’s 208 in three coats with Seche Vite:

Random and (kind of) obsolete s-he detail. There are different types of s-he polish, but that’s only apparent when checking the label on the bottom. Also, they lie. This is supposed to be an aqua shine (as I noted above, 208 really isn’t shiny by itself, though it is watery) and the last one I swatched, 438, is a quick dry, which didn’t dry quickly. Kind of pointless, that’s why I always just refer to them by number.

Also it’s Good Friday, apparently. So once again I’m reminded of the Red Dwarf episode Marooned and this lovely conversation:

RIMMER: Mayday! Mayday! (To Lister) I wonder why it's 'Mayday'?
RIMMER: The distress call. Why d'you say 'Mayday'? It's only a Bank Holiday. Why not 'Shrove Tuesday' or 'Ascension Sunday'? (Mimics) Ascension Sunday! Ascension Sunday! The fifteenth Wednesday after Pentecost! The fifteenth Wednesday after Pentecost!
LISTER: It's French, you doink. It's m'aidez. Help me. Muh-aid-ay.

B3 Interview with Kimberly of KimmieKarmaLove

DSCN7204new Hello and welcome back to another interview, brought to you by Beauty Blogs Backstage, where beauty bloggers ask each other nosy questions. This month I was paired up with Kimberly (who I keep calling Kimberley, sorry! I obviously can’t spell names properly), whose blog KimmieKarmaLove features many reviews of indie and mineral make-up brands, swatches and EotDs. Go and click on that link!
As usual I was allowed to ask her exactly seven questions, let’s see what she had to say:

1. Lipstick, gloss or balm?
I love lipstick and lip gloss but my go to for everyday is lip balm and I love my Pomegranate Burt's Bees!

2. Your lashes are amazing! What's your favourite mascara?
L'Oreal Collagen Elastin. This mascara is amazing and I swear by it!

3. Which indie brand do you find to be underreviewed?
There's actually quite a few but one that I tried recently is Detrivore Cosmetics. They aren't new to the indie scene and they really do have amazing cosmetics!

4. What is your source of inspiration for your gorgeous EotDs?
My readers and other beauty bloggers! I get inspiration from other bloggers looks and do ask my readers for color combo's a lot!

5. Do you have a style icon?
I don't have one style icon per say but I definitely look to Katy Perry, Kat Von D, Gwen Stefani and Ke$ha are women that I think amazing style!

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, which place would you choose?
Easy, the United Kingdom! I love English accents, the style, the makeup brands!

7. Where do you go to de-stress?
I actually go running or walking with my dogs when I need to de-stress. I have my iPod with me and get a good workout in, it's perfect!

Thank you, Kimberly (see how I spelled it correctly this time?)!
And all of you lovely bloggers reading this: how about going to Beauty Blogs Backstage and joining the interviewin’ fun?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Swatch – s-he 438

I got caught up in reading these past couple of days and am only changing my polish right now. So today I just have a polish I swatched recently.

s-he 438

This polish caught my eye when i was looking through the last remains of the 50% off s-he stuff. It’s a vibrantly coloured, but sheer purple base with quite a lot of fairly small round holo and silvery glitter (technically it’s probably hexagonal, but at that size there isn’t much of a difference). This is very sheer, you’d need a lot of coats to get the base or glitter anywhere close to opacity.
This is absolutely non-streaky and can easily be worn in a single coat, on its own or layered. However, this is one of those glitters that rely on a thick texture to suspend the glitter. 438 is very gloopy and each coat must dry for a bit to prevent dragging chunks of glitter-gloop off while applying the next coat. I don’t really have anything to say about the brush, it’s a simple round one.
I’m liking this polish a lot, Definitely recommended if you can still find it.

Here’s s-he 438 in two coats without top coat:

And this is s-he 438 in three coats with top coat:

By the way, does anyone have a sneaky source at DM and can tell me whether s-he is gone for good or just getting revamped (*hopes*)?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NotD – Like Bubbly Water

I’m not feeling verbose today, so I’ll just get straight to the polishin’. This is one of those “OMG I need to go to bed and my nails need polishing” manis that take little more time than a plain colour.

Here’s what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • LOOK by BIPA Nail Quickie 030 Waterlike
  • Maybelline Colorama 51 French White
  • claire’s matte blue polish
  • p2 color victim 310 trouble
  • Seche Vite

First, as usual, I applied one coat of each treatment, three of Waterlike and one of Seche Vite.

Waterlike is a pretty blue crème polish, more of a medium-toned sky blue than an aqua as the name might suggest. Though this polish is pretty opaque - two coats suffice for all but the most sheer-hating folks - it is not at all chalky. Love.
It also applied beautifully. From the second coat on Waterlike is even and smooth. Anyone who doesn’t  wear top coat will have to be careful not to to go back and fix this or that, that is bound to show. I didn’t care much for the brush, by itself it isn’t a horrible example of a basic round brush, but mine is a bit wonky.
Verdict: Amazing colour, though I’m sure there are others that are similar. If you can get this locally, give it a try. Btw, BIPA stopped putting the name on the bottles, though the numbers are still on the cap. But the names are on the display, so you might want to write them down if that matters to you.

Here’s Waterlike in two coats without top coat:

And here’s Waterlike in three coats with Seche Vite:

After giving the base a few minutes to solidify I prepared my dotting tool and accent polishes. This nail art is super simple. Choose the area of the nail you want to decorate, choose the colours, dot them on.
I made sure to make the dots a bit bigger and put them closer together near the cuticle. Because I was rushed I just did three colours in three steps (first French White, then the matte blue, then trouble), one might also repeat layering to get a better ‘mixed’ effect, but that’s only necessary if a lot of the dots overlap, really. Another layer of Seche Vite finished the manicure off.

I could just have posted the result, but I figured that since I took the photos, I might as well post ‘em.
This mani makes me wish I could wear white without looking ridiculous, it just screams to be worn with a pretty white sundress. What would you wear with this?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Non-Nail Post: Foundation Comparison

Anyone who is only interested in nails: Look away!

Anyone who is also interested in foundation and especially pale folks: Lookee, I’ve done a comparison of my various foundations with quick reviews.

Yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up the Vichy Dermablend Cream-Stick Foundations I ordered last week. I have fond memories of several stick foundations I used to own a few years ago, but haven’t worn much in the way of cream foundations since. They looked pretty at first but always melted off my face. but my skin is dryer these days and sometimes I do need more coverage than my favourite liquid foundations provide.
Because there were no testers I checked out a few reviews and decided to get the lightest two shades and mix them, as one sounded like my winter skin and the other like my spring/early summer shade.

Liquid Foundations (l-r):

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW20 and NW15: I got matched to NW20 and bought the foundation almost two years ago and that was not a good idea. A month later it was much too dark and I switched to NW15. Another month or two and that was to dark, as well. Yeah. Sucks.
    Also I didn’t really like how heavy they felt and never went back to them, even when my skin darkened a bit the next summer (and just look how orange they both look on the photo o.O). The coverage was pretty good, though.
  • Chanel Mat Lumière 20 Claire: Definitely a better match and that’s been my go-to on bad skin days for its superior coverage in comparison to my usual choices. I’ve fallen out of love with completely matte foundation, though, and it tends to emphasise the pores on my nose.
  • Bourjois Healthy Mix 51 Vanille Clair: I was pleasantly surprised by this foundation, I very rarely find ones at the drugstore that come in shades lighter than sand beige (for the record: roughly 70% of the women I know have skintones lighter than that accursed ‘sand beige’ that every drugstore brand seems to sell as the lightest shade). It’s runny with fairly sheer coverage, which generally is my preference and the best match for my current skintone. Too bad most of their foundations start a shade darker.
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 Porcelain (0): This is my absolute Holy Grail winter foundation and I might get a slightly darker shade this summer. It’s runny, very sheer, but looks fantastic, doesn’t crawl into pores and I kid you not when I say that I cannot feel it. At all.

Vichy Dermablend Foundation Cream-Stick (first impressions):

At first this appears to have quite a firm texture, but it warms up easily and gets very creamy. I don’t think it’s as pigmented as it claims, but I didn’t set out to find a full-coverage foundation. Dermablend definitely covers the ugly blemishes on my jaw and chin. I will have to keep up my exfoliation routine, though, this really shows off every flake and dry patch.
What I found impressive is that this feels much lighter than Studio Fix Fluid, though I expect that if I were to apply it less sparingly that would be quite different. So far I like this foundation a lot.

  • 11 Porcelain: I found that shade a bit to pinkish for my liking, but mixed with Opale it works well enough right now. I might also use it on my cheekbones and nose to highlight a bit.
  • 12 Opale: I feel that this will be a great shade for my more summery skin. The more yellowy tone is great for people like me, whose face is more pinkish than neck and body.

I hope you didn’t mind this little stray post, but I felt that the internet needs more foundation comparisons for the fair-skinned. And I promise that I won’t do non-naily posts for a while. ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NotD – Why Did I Choose These Colours?

This manicure just kind of happened. I thought the colours would either look horrible or awesome together, choose for yourself which one is the case.

Here’s what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer 390 Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!
  • essence show your feet 12 midnight glam
  • essence colour&go 56 got a secret
  • Spooky Nails 2 in 1 nail tattoo liner black
  • Seche Vite

As usual I started with an application of my base colour: one coat of OPI, one of Sally Hansen, two of Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! and one of Seche Vite.

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! is a bright pale yellow green, somewhere between a pastel lime green and a pale apple green. This crème polish is fairly opaque, two coats are just lovely.
I didn’t have any significant issues with this polish. Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! could level better, strange as this is very runny, and I had a couple of tiny bubbles. Otherwise it was fine. The flat brush, which I generally like a lot, didn’t do a lot to fix the aforementioned problems.
Overall I can recommend this to anyone willing to spend a bit longer to get an even and smooth finish. The colour is gorgeous and the price is excellent.

Here’s Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy! in two coats with top coat:

Then it was just a matter of doing random stuff with the other colours and sealing everything with a bit more Seche Vite.

Personally I like this a lot. I find that the almost brown-looking purple works well with the yellow-green, but the grey wasn’t the ideal choice.
How do you feel about silly random manis?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Comparison – Pale Minty Blues

After I posted my last NotD, Miss Marlboro wondered about how you belong to me compared to other minty coloured polishes. So I gathered my mints (except for SC Mint Apple, which appears to have vanished), sought out the closest colours and put them on.
Not all of them are what I would call mint, though. Now let me show you the polishes I used and how they compared to you belong to me. Please remember that this is what the colours appear like under my ‘natural spectrum’ lamp.

ThumbOrly Gumdrop: It’s strange that Gumdrop looked just a tad darker in the bottle, vastly darker in a single coat and rather similar again as both polishes reached full opacity. It’s more muted and has a stronger pastel nature.

Index FingerEssie Turquoise & Caicos: T&C seems like it’s basically the same polish in green at first, but builds up to a darker shade of turquoise-y green.

Middle Fingeressence you belong to me: In retrospect, this is a light, faintly muted turquoise rather than a true minty colour, which should be clearly green. Mea culpa.

Ring FingerCatrice Am I Blue Or Green?: This is the closest colour I have. Strangely, it looks a bit more blueish than YBTM in the bottle, but more greenish on the nail.

PinkieChina Glaze For Audrey: This polish is much more muted and darker. It’s no surprise that this is a favourite of many polish lovers.

And now I have to figure out how to describe a weird yellowy green for my next post.
What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

NotD – Replayed Fashion

First of all, I know I’ve been going on about the fragility of my nail, but I do have reason to do so. It’s only been a couple of days since I removed the silk wraps and one corner of my left index finger nail has broken off. Bleh. So you get to look at a funky nail shape for a bit until it grows out and I can file the nail down.
This NotD was an annoyance and halfway through applying the base I was tempted to just take it off an use something else instead. Basically the idea was to do something, not just anything, that says something about something with those three essence polishes I recently bought (and I’m not apologising about the Daria reference).

Here’s what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • essence colour&go 53 you belong to me
  • essence multi dimension 73 replay
  • essence colour&go 54 trust in fashion
  • Seche Vite

I started with my usual base colour application: one coat of each base coat, three of you belong to me and one of Seche Vite.

you belong to me is a pretty pastel mint, fairly balanced, but leaning towards the green end of that shade. I wouldn’t call this unique, but it’s a cute colour (it’s a bit more green that it appears in the photos). It’s fairly opaque, two coats are wearable, three are better.
The application is not up to par, though. I really expected more from essence, based on my experienced with the brand. you belong to me didn’t level well and it bubbled. Not just a little, every single nail looked gritty after the fist coat (and my base was completely smooth). The second coat looked a little better, but not by much. Quickly slapping Seche Vite over the third coat did work, but y’know not everybody uses that (or any top coat). Despite not being streaky and the brush being lovely, I’m not liking this.
For once: NOT recommended. There are plenty of mint greens around these days that don’t bubble. Plus, the name is really creepy. If you’ve tried this polish let me know how it worked for you.

Here’s you belong to me in two coats without top coat and with plenty of bubbles (click the close-up for an idea of the bubbliness, it actually looked much worse):

And this is you belong to me in three coats with some Seche Vite:

After the base colour was dry and, thankfully, free of bubbles, I used replay to paint one corner of each nail and to add a row of dots parallel to that corner.

Then I dotted some trust in fashion between the mint and the jade green.

Last Step: I went back to the bubblinator you belong to me and added three dots right at the corner in a triangle shape. Another Seche Vite sealed everything in.

Diagonals and dots are my go-to style and I love ‘em to bits. You can do that in any kind of colour combination or even monochromatic with matte and shiny textures and these manis are just so quick and easy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quick Swatch – Another Frankenpolish

Do you know that kind of day where suddenly it’s 1 am and you don’t remember where the day went. OK, so I did get some stuff done today, but other than helping my father with some furniture assembly not a lot.
I applied this polish last night and intended to do some kind of design on it tonight (as I had run out of time yesterday), but aforementioned IKEA-ing wasn’t too kind on my nails. Not that I’m surprised, ‘cause I just removed my patches and my nails are even softer than usual, therefore the corners bend and the polish cracks. Annoying, but still nicer than wearing silk wraps all the time.

What I wanted to achieve with this frankenpolish was rather fuzzy. I wanted a bit of that duochrome shift in a different way. At the end I had a blackened teal base with purple/green duochrome shimmer, a bit of blue and pink shimmer and the faintest hint of green sparkle.

Here’s Teal Squeal (lame name, I know) in three coats with top coat:

And in an attempt to get the shimmer to show:

I like the colour and shimmer combination I achieved, but find that it lifted near the cuticle a bit too quickly.

What would you mix up if you could?

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