Monday, May 30, 2011

Nail Quickie – A Beastly Googly Eye Manicure

I’m sure you’ve seen those googly eye manis on a bunch of blogs. Odd that one of them showed up in my feed today when I’d planned to do one this very day.
They’re all really adorable, one might not want to actually wear my version, though.

I had those fairly large girly googly eyes lying around (OK, so I might have seen them at the store and thought “Silly mani!” *buys*), which are a bit big for a standard GEM. So did more of a alien/blob/Barbapapa inspired thing.

Silly, not really wearable (due to the size the bases don’t fully adhere to the nail, not practical at all), but c’mon! We all want to wear something strange on our nails sometimes.
Also, I should try for some real Barbapapa nail art some time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

NotD – It’s Great To Be A Nerd

I’m fully aware that I’m more than a day late for Towel Day, Nerd Pride Day and Wear the Lilac Day. But Since there are three holidays on the 25th I figure that they should last the full 72 days. So there.
Now while you read on listen to Great to Be a Nerd.

Here’s what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • LOOK by BIPA Ridge Filler
  • s.he 305
  • lots of different polishes for the designs
  • Seche Vite

As usual I started by applying my base coats, then three coats of 305 and one of Seche Vite.

Dear s.he people, why? Why switch from s-he to s.he (you’re so not getting a new tag)? Why not adding some names to your colours? Why only 10 ml in the bottles instead of 11 ml?
Of course, this lime green crème is rather yummy. 305 is fresh, vibrant and one of those colours that change a lot depending on the light source. It’s moderately opaque, it absolutely requires three coats (unless you’re pro-visible tips) and even then I can still make out the tips.
The only trouble this gave me in regards to the formula was some bubbling (which may always be due to a bad reaction to the base coat). Other than that 305 applied smoothly and was even after two coats. Another flaw of this polish is the brush, while it is an average round one, mine is cut sloppily and with a couple of longer bristles (I had a WTF moment when I came home with five new bottles of polish and four had badly cut brushes).
Btw, if you haven’t read it on anywhere else yet: the square cap does come off; the tiny cap underneath is not much more practical, though.

This is 305 in two coats without top coat:

And this is 305 in three coats with Seche Vite:

Then came the fun part: choose ten nerdy design (some of which express my personal nerdiness, others don’t) and apply. Of course I proved that I have forgotten how to count, because I finished and still had one design to do. D’oh. Big nerd cred minus.
The green base looks very cold and neon in those photos, the ones above are accurate.

Right hand (pinkie to thumb, sorry about the pose, my hand was a-cramp):
rook, Poké Ball, stylized Starfleet insignia, lilac, Wonder Woman’s tiara

Left hand (pinkie to thumb):
Klingons rock!, Selenium, tetrahedral dice, Batman, fuzzy Tardis (that one is obviously messed up badly)

So yeah, if you're a nerd stand up, shave off part of your eyebrows and stick on some bovine hair. Do unto thyself as it was done unto Spock.
Also, wear some pretty eyeshadow, he totally rocked that.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NotD – Confused About Tigers

It’s fail time! I bought this bronzy polish and was sure that a random line-type design would look awesome on it.
It didn’t.

Here’s what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Seche Base
  • essence sun club 05 bbc golden sands
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 3 black
  • Maybelline Colorama glossy nail color 103 tiger eyes
  • Seche Vite

Tonight I started by applying a coat of OPI and Seche Base, then two of bbc golden sands and sealed it with Seche Vite.

bbc* golden sands is a warm golden bronze foil polish. The particles are ever so slightly larger than I would have expected. Like most foils this dries quickly and is quite opaque, two coats are all one might need.
I wasn’t surprised to find that bbc golden sands applied smoothly and evenly without pooling or dragging. The formula is quite lovely. The only (tiny) flaw is that the round brush is not cut properly, it’s slightly angled and a couple of bristles are too long.

* Apparently the ‘bbc’ stands for bondi beach collection, though that information is not visible on the actual products. My mind provided several possible alternatives, few of which I would consider publishing here.

Here’s bbc golden sands in two coats with Seche Vite (and yes, I’m awarfe that bronze/gold/brown is not my kind of colour):

As I mentioned above, I thought that random black lines would contrast nicely, but I wasn’t really pleased with the result.

Thus I added a coat of tiger eyes to soften the look and another coat of Seche Vite. Much better, but still not something I’ll do again (on purpose).

Somehow that mani reminds me of a cross between a tiger and a zebra pattern. Completely accidental, of course, ‘cause me no likey animal patterns.
Though I guess it’s good that it’s not my favourite mani ever, because it’s cleaning day tomorrow and my polish is bound to chip.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

NotD – I’ve Got A Hole In Me Pocket

I’m sure y’all know what this is about. I finally got around to tying to do Yellow Submarine-inspired nail art. The Beatles were my first musical love and remain one of my all time faves. And though I wish they’d done the voice acting for Yellow Submarine that is one of the most awesome movies ever.
I think I’ll have to give this another try though.

No list of polish today! I started with a blue sponged base and then freehanded with a fine dotting tool and a needle (pin actually, whatever). I also tried the whole sharpie thing, which worked nicely until I applied top coat. I’ll try to find one that doesn’t get smudged (*cries* John looked pretty good before), because it’s pretty easy to get little stuff more or less right.

I’m actually quite proud of my li’l submarine, though it looks a bit too impressionistic.
And here’s blurry John *sadface*

What’s you favourite Beatles-y thing?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Swatch – Zoya Indigo

This is another of my ‘used before, but my photos sucked’ polishes. So, yay. Better photo of Zoya Indigo.

Indigo is a deep dark blue, loaded with bright blue shimmer and lightly sprinkled with pink-purple-holo glitter, both of which only show up when the light hits the nail just right. This polish is rich in colour and of unexpected depth. It’s also a two-coater, which we always like.
I had no problems applying this, even though my base coat was a bit uneven and bubbly. Indigo just applied evenly, smoothly and had the perfect viscosity. I rarely have this little clean-up to do. The brush is round, but very nice.
The only issue with Indigo is that it appears to not interact too well with Seche Vite. It contracted more than I’m used to and chipped rather quickly.

Here’s Indigo in two coats with top coat:

I adore this polish, don’t you?

Tag of Alphabeticality

I guess they generally call it A-B-C tag or something. ;-) I’m sure y’all have seen that tag going around. Somehow I couldn’t resist.
Also I didn’t feel like painting my nails tonight (*gasp*). But there’ll be a swatch later.

A. Age:  30
B. Bed size:  Single, I just don’t have the space for something bigger. :-(
C. Chore you hate:  Isn’t ‘chore’ kinda defined by dislike of a task? I suppose tidying in general and vacuuming.
D. Day:  Night. Didja know that ‘Tag’ is German for ‘day’?
E. Essential start to your day: Washing my face and turning on the computer.
F. Favourite colour: Teal at the moment.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver, though I like both.
H. Height: 162 cm, which I’m told is roughly 5’ 4’’
I. Instruments:  Piano many years ago.
J. Job title:  Unemployed. Bleh. But I’m also a student.
K. Kids:  Are you crazy? Why would I want to spawn? *shudders* (I don’t mind other people’s offspring as long I don’t have to babysit or something like that.)
L. Live:  Yes. Alright, I know you probably want to know where: Vienna, Austria.
M. Mum’s name: Anneliese
N. Nicknames:  Not usually, people just stick to calling me Amira. One of my aunts calls me Mirli or Mirl and my grandmother sometimes calls me Amirale.
O. Overnight hospital stays: My birth and a tonsillectomy when I was 7.
P. Pet peeve: People mixing up homophones.
Q. Quote from a movie: I swallowed a bug.
R. Right or left handed: Definitely right-handed.
S. Siblings: An older brother and even older sister.
T. Time you wake up: Let’s not talk about that (see J.). I’m frequently awake until 4 am or so.
U. Underwear:  Indeed.
V. Vegetables you dislike:  Broccoli, cabbage-y things. I generally prefer vegetable that can be eaten raw.
W. What makes you run late: I’m very very rarely late. Generally it’s when the tube’s stuck for more than 15 minutes (‘cause that’s my usual ‘in case of delays’ buffer).
X. X-Rays you’ve had:  Teeth, chest and hips.
Y. Yummy food you make:  Virtually everything I make is divine. I make famous cinnamon rolls and seriously good Lasagne.  
Z. Zoo: Haven’t been in years, but I always love looking at polar bears. There’s something about cute fuzzy predators.

So go and do this if you feel like it, too.

Monday, May 16, 2011

NotD – In Space No One Can See You Do The Robot

Wait, what?

Here’s what I used for this mani:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle nail Thickener
  • Revlon 999 Blackest Black
  • NYX Girls NPG 139 Robotic
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 13 silver
  • Seche Vite

I started by applying one coat of each treatment, then three coats of Blackest Black, followed by one of Seche Vite.

Though I already swatched Blackest Black, it was way back when my photography skills sucked horribly and I felt it deserved a proper swatch and review.
Blackest Black is a deep black polish infused with bright blue microglitter. I love how this can appear to be a crème polish and suddenly sparkle brightly. Though it’s wearable in two coats, three thin coats are needed for full opacity.
This polish is ridiculously watery and prone to flooding the cuticles, so some extra care is necessary when applying Blackest Black. Despite its thin texture, this polish is almost perfectly even in two coats. It’s also rather shiny even without top coat. The simple round brush does its job pretty well.

Here’s Blackest Black in two coats without top coat:

And this is Blackest Black in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base colour was dry I swept a curved line of silver across each nail.

Then I filled the larger black area with two thin coats of Robotic and sealed everything with Seche Vite.


This was one of those manis that I just had to stop embellishing because it just worked and looked divine.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Followed blogs not showing up in Google Reader?

Some of you, who follow blogs through Blogger and then read these blogs in Google Reader, may have noticed the following.
You find an interesting blog, follow it via Blogger (be it by clicking on the link in the top bar on a blogspot site, through the Google Friend Connect gadget or directly from the Blogger Dashboard), you wait and the blog doesn’t show up in Google Reader. Annoying, isn’t it?

I’ve seen rumours about there being a cap on how many blogs you can follow, but I can’t comment on the veracity of that statement (but I think they’re rubbish).
What does work for me is the following procedure which only takes a few seconds (click on the images!):

  • follow the blog
    Following 01
  • go to Blogger Dashboard (I recommend using Blogger in Draft, though)
    Following 02
  • scroll down to the Reading List
  • scroll through your list of followed blogs and find the new one 
  • click on it, the most recent posts should show up on the right
    Following 03
  • check Google Reader (refresh if you had that page open all along), the blog should now show up
    Following 04

I have no idea why this works or if this works for everyone, but it has consistently been the way to success for me.

And switching to the subject of promoting one’s blog:
We all want other people to read our blogs. Commenting with no other purpose than leaving the link is just not done, though.

Like most bloggers I love finding new reads and I frequently click through to my readers’ blogs.
The best way to bring your writings to my eyes is the CommentLuv plugin you can see when writing a comment, just add your blog’s address and it creates a link to your most recent post. Alternatively fill in the homepage field.

Friday, May 13, 2011

NotD – Erratic French Floral

Most of you probably noticed that blogger has been acting up over the past day or so. Sorry for the delay.
Today I have something girly again. I suspect that the next mani will not contain pink or purple. ;-)

Here’s what I used today:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Nivea Manicure naturals Strong & Pastel 07 Lavender
  • Seche Vite
  • Nubar Erratic Purple
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 13 silver
  • Rimmel Pro SuperWear Ultra Shine Topcoat

I started by applying two coats of Nail Envy, three of Lavender and finished the base colour with a coat of Seche Vite.

Lavender is a sheer pale (surprise!) lavender polish. The colour is milky and smooth, dainty and sleek, all in all lovely. As this polish is sheer, you won’t be surprised that it takes more than four coats to make this more or less opaque. So unless you have naturally gorgeous nails, use it for layering or as a base for nail art, you might be disappointed by the way Lavender looks.
Though Lavender applies evenly, it shows all the flaws, patches, every white spot or wonky tip. Nevertheless it does apply beautifully and easily. I hardly had any clean-up to do, because the brush is flat with a rounded tip and not too wide. Very nice.

This is Lavender in two coats without top coat:

And here is Lavender in three coats with Seche Vite:

After the base was dry I used the silver liner to paint french tips. It’s really easy with the super-fine brush (FYI I didn’t clean up between steps today).

Then I used a short striping brush and Erratic Purple to paint on the outline of a flower onto each nail.

I didn’t want the petals to be too dark, so I mixed Lavender, silver and Erratic Purple to get a softer semi-sheer colour and used that to fill in the petals.

Going back to the silver liner, I brushed some silver highlights onto the flowers.

Lastly, I used a dotting tool with silver and Lavender to add a few speckles here and there (curse you, horror vacui) and sealed the polish with Rimmel top coat.

I think I need some black or dark blue now. How about you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Swatch – b*pretty berry pearl

As much as I love nail art, there are some polishes that need to stand by themselves. Such as this one.

b*pretty 14 berry pearl

I find the name to be off, this is not a pearl, but rather a sweet berry-ish pink base, with glitter that makes it flash fuchsia. I would place this somewhere in the glitter to glass-flecked range. The particles are either silver or a pale silvery pink, it’s hard to say without actually removing the polish from my nails. Very cute and girly, but I really like it. berry pearl is not terribly opaque. While it takes more than three coats to reach full opacity, that is exactly the amount of polish needed for ‘casual opacity,’ i.e. when only a very close look shows VNL.
This polish didn’t apply perfectly, but quite acceptably. Two coats are mostly even and wearable for those who don’t demand full opacity. Other than slight streakiness I had no issues with berry pearl, and most importantly: no brush marks or particle alignment. The round brush is perfectly acceptable, too.
If you like sparkly pinks, this is a good affordable choice.

Here’s berry pearl in two coats without top coat:

And this is berry pearl in three coats with top coat:

Cute, but it clashes with the cap, doesn’t it?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

NotD – Something Frothy

What happens when a bottle of polish is almost empty? You use it as a base for a new franken, of course. This time it was China Glaze White on White. I added some more white, some blue and green…

Here’s what I used tonight:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • Aphros - the new frankenpolish
  • essence black & white 01 black out
  • essence black & white 02 white hype
  • essence denim wanted! 03 my boyfriend’s jeans
  • claire’s matte blue polish
  • Rimmel 60 seconds 805 Grey Matter
  • Seche Vite

I applied my bases, then two coats of Aphros and sealed it with Seche Vite.

I’m not going to talk about the franken much, the colour itself isn’t hard to achieve (just some white with a bit of Orly Wandering Vine and Eyeko Vamp Polish). I used some some of essence white hype and matt top coat to get a bit of a satin finish. However, I didn’t give Aphros enough time to settle, so I had to add top coat to get rid of the bubbles.

This is Aphros in two coats with Seche Vite:

I wanted to achieve a sea spray kind of effect, since Aphros is a sea-foam type colour (and that’s what I named it after). So I stippled my accent colours and some more Aphros onto my nails with a chunk of kitchen sponge. I started to add some swirls, but didn’t like them and simply stippled them away while they were wet. To get a perfectly smooth finish I added two coats of Seche Vite.
Since some of you may not have sponged before I thought I’d also show you what it looked like pre-Seche Vite. Not pretty, so don’t worry if you try and think it looks gross at first, ‘cause (a) the first try rarely works out – I dare you to click through to my first try - and (b) it might look nifty with top coat.


Have you ever noticed that when you apply a colour plus top coat and then sponge the same colour over that, it looks a bit like the aged and flawed glaze you see on old ceramics? I’m going to have to use that purposefully some time (if I remember ;-) ).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NotD – Zipper to Leaf

Today’s mani is one that was supposed to look a bit different than this. Read on to find out what went wrong.
(Btw, the green looks a bit too blue-toned here. Sorry, it’s almost 4 am and I’m too tired to photoshop.)

Here’s what I used:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • Orly Wandering Vine
  • LOOK by BIPA nail tattoo liner 3 black
  • Seche Vite

Today I started by applying my base coats, then two coats of Wandering Vine and one of Seche Vite.

Wandering Vine is a crème polish in a shade between forest green and hunter green. It’s lovely and rich and one of those greens I classify as Daria’s Jacket. And it’s a two-coater. Love.
This polish is on the runny side and prone to flooding if the brush is loaded with polish. Other than that I love the texture, Wandering Vine applied smoothly and evenly. Orly’s round brush is one of the better ones I’ve used and it works harmonically with the formula.

Here’s Wandering Vine in two coats with Seche Vite:

And now there’s the point when everything changed. I intended to do a very simple mani based on aforementioned jacket by painting a narrow black stripe onto each nail and adding a stylized zipper to the line on my middle finger. Then I botched the zipper badly and covered it with a large black segment. Which I subsequently smudged when applying top coat. The smudges were then fixed by adding a black on green and green on black leafy design. This time I didn’t smudge it with the final coat of Seche Vite.

And I think it turned out quite nicely.
Do you have something like my ‘Daria’s Jacket’ category?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NotD – Sister’s Choice

By the time I post this it’ll be May 1st already and thus my big sis’ birthday. When she came into my bedroom to chat I showed her my finished board o’polish and asked her to choose something for me. After much muttering about ‘way too many colours’ and ‘how am I supposed to choose’ she selected Barry M Bright Purple and ‘something grey.’
I’m letting this one grow naturally (and haven’t actually started painting yet as I’m writing this intro) so who knows how it’ll turn out.
As usual, my camera ate a lot of the red spectrum, so most images have been photoshopped to be as true to colour as possible.

Here’s what I used in the end:

  • OPI Nail Envy Soft & Thin
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener
  • Barry M NP 303 Bright Purple
  • essence colour&go 56 got a secret
  • essence colour&go 02 white secret
  • China Glaze Flying Dragon
  • Seche Vite
  • essence matt top coat

I started by applying one coat of each base, two of Bright Purple and sealed the polish with Seche Vite.

Bright Purple is a rich shade of red-violet. This crème polish my be bright, but it’s definitely wearable. It’s well-pigmented and opaque in two coats.
Like most Barry M polishes I’ve tried, Bright Purple applies beautifully. It’s a tad thick (I’m not sure if it was when I purchased it), but applies evenly and smoothly. A little care is needed to make sure the coats fully overlap, otherwise the edges can look pinkishly odd. I found this polish very easy to control and to work well with the round brush.
This is one of my favourite Barry M polishes, thus highly recommended.

Here’s Bright Purple in two coats with Seche Vite (the bubble is my fault, I didn’t notice that SV had bubbled a bit in time to correct it):

Next I used a short striping brush and got a secret to add a curved, tapered line to each nail…

… and softened it with a quick, almost careless stroke of white secret along the inside of the curve.

Then I added a stroke of Flying Dragon - just as barely-controlled – down the centre of my grey/white arc.

While the stripe was drying I used the same three colours and some dotting tools to dab on layered dots onto the area of the nail inside of the curve.

Lastly I applied two coats of Seche Vite to completely even out the slight bumpiness of the dots. Then I used matt top coat to mattify the outer part of the nail and added some matte dots. And because I’m silly I also added a couple of stray shiny dots to the matte area.

And y’know what? Sis actually liked it.

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