Thursday, December 15, 2011

[NOTD] Revlon Catty

I'm wearing Revlon Catty for the first time, and I adore it!  Catty is comprised of very fine metallic glitter pieces that create a brushed metal look on the nail.  I needed two coats because it did look sparse with only one coat.  The color is between gold and silver.  It easily catches the light and sparkles.  I might wear this polish again on Christmas.  The name "Catty" does have a negative connotation though.  I would have preferred a name like "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Sleigh Bells Ring."

Revlon Catty (tungsten lighting, no flash)

Revlon Catty (natural lighting)
I'm wearing Sally Hansen Double Duty for a base coat and New York Color Grand Central Station for a top coat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

[Favorites] Top 10 Fall Nail Polishes

There are only 8 days left until winter, but I thought I'd share my favorite autumn polish picks with you anyways.  Better late than never, right?  Right?

I love to wear dark, shimmery, or jewel-tone nail polishes in the fall.  I especially gravitate towards reds or browns.  Last autumn, I loved to wear Revlon Vixen on my toes and Revlon Gray Suede on my fingers.  This autumn, I've expanded my nail polish collection.

Top 10 Fall Nail Polishes (l to r): Zoya Nina, New York Color Lincoln Center, Revlon Vixen, Essie Plumberry, Zoya Shivon, Revlon Facets of Fuchsia, Milani Purple, Revlon Gray Suede, Essie Lady Like

My Top 10 Autumn Nail Polishes

[Maroons] Zoya Nina | New York Color Lincoln Center | Revlon Vixen

Zoya Nina ::  This is a creamy chocolate brown with a red undertone.  It is dark but not too dark, so it still looks fine against my super pale skin.  I wear this color for a shocking dark mani or pedi. (Here Nina is worn on my toenails.)

New York Color Lincoln Center :: This color is very similar to "Nina," but it is more red than brown.  The consistency is very watery, which I find easier to apply to my fingernails than my toenails.

Revlon Vixen ::  This color is very similar to the last two, but it is slightly lighter and more maroon.  Of the three, I like this color the best, but it applies a bit streaky and therefore needs three coats, so I usually just apply this as a pedicure.

[Swatches] Middle finger: Revlon Vixen | Ring finger: New York Color Lincoln Center | Pinky: Zoya Nina
In the swatches above, Revlon Vixen is on my middle finger, New York Color Lincoln Center is on my ring finger, and Zoya Nina is on my pinky finger.  (I think Essie Size Matters is on my pointer finger.)  All are shown with two swatches.  Vixen could use another coat.  Obviously, I love maroon nails for fall.

[Lovely Reds] Essie Plumberry | Zoya Shivon

Essie Plumberry :: This is a beautiful red.  I have very pale, cool-tone skin.  This color leans a bit blue and isn't too dark, so it's my perfect red nails polish, and I love having red nails in the fall.  The formula is great: it applies easily in two coats and lasts for days without chipping.

Zoya Shivon :: I have already shown you Shivon. (I've also worn it on my toenails.)  As I've mentioned before, it's a metallic red with gold shimmer on top.  It has a flash of gold, but the base color is blue-toned, so it still looks good on my cool-tone pale skin.  It's a festive holiday color.

[Shiny!] Revlon Facets of Fuchsia | Milani Purple Passion

Revlon Facets of Fuchsia :: This polish has hexagons and tiny dots of fuchsia glitter in a black base.  It was opaque in two coats.  While I normally shy away from black polish (because I am very pale), this polish had enough sparkle to brighten the dreary black plus it's paired with a vibrant fuchsia.  This is my way of wearing black nail polish.

Milani Purple Passion :: This is a gorgeous metallic blue-leaning purple polish.  I love wearing jewel tones in autumn.  Unfortunately, this polish chips very quickly.  I wore it on one finger here and with crackle over it here.

[Fall Neutrals] Revlon Gray Suede | Essie Lady Like

Revlon Gray Suede :: I often prefer neutral manicures, and these following two polishes are my way of wearing a neutral nail in the fall.  Gray Suede is a taupe with a tiny flash of shimmer.  I love it.  I shared a not-very-good picture of me wearing it here (color accurate but you can't see the shimmer).  This is a thin polish (which I like), so I find it easy to apply, and it's opaque in two coats, and it lasts for days.

Essie Lady Like :: I love pinks and purples and browns, and what do you get if you combine all those? Mauve.  This is a lovely light mauve.  It's the same color as Essie Demure Vix(en) without the shimmers.  It's creamy and easy to apply and lasts a long time.  I wore Lady Like here with a lacy scarf of the same color (that I knit myself!).

What have your favorite fall nail polishes been this year?

[Nails of December] Orly Candy Cane Lane, Essie Bangle Jangle, Essie Cloud Nine, Zoya Mia

For all nails in this post, I used Sally Hansen Double Duty for the base coat and New York Color Grand Central Station for the top coat.

Most of December, I was into pastel nails.  Now I'm finally sporting a Christmas manicure.  This mani is two coats Orly Candy Cane Lane with New York Color White Lights Glitter on the tips.

Orly Candy Cane Lane with New York Color White Lights Glitter (natural lighting)

Candy Cane Lane looks exactly like the red part of candy canes.  It's a fabulous Christmas red nail polish.

Next up, I wore Essie Bangle Jangle for the first time.

Essie Bangle Jangle and ribbon candy (tungsten lighting, no flash)

Essie Bangle Jangle (tungsten lighting, no flash)

Both of the above pictures were taken with the same camera, at night, under tungsten lighting, and with no flash, but the colors look more true to life in the second picture.

The Bangle Jangle formula is thick and dries quickly, so I had to paint my nails very quickly, which I don't like.  However, the end result was lovely.  You could probably get away with one coat, but I almost always do two to cover up any application mistakes.

From earlier in December, I wore Essie Cloud Nine with a glittery accent nail.

Essie Cloud Nine and accent finger (tungsten lighting, no flash)

I adore Cloud Nine.  It's sheer but milky, so it covers up some of the flaws of my nails, and it is NOT streaky.  I applied two coats for the above look.  On my ring fingers, I applied two coats of Cloud Nine topped with one coat of Essie Kisses & Bises and two coats of New York Color White Lights Glitter.  I think the iridescence and glitter of the ring fingers created a snow globe look.

Lastly, I wore Zoya Mia.

Zoya Mia (natural lighting)

Mia is a dusty rose color.  It's easy to apply and looks great in two coats.

I apologize if these manicures looked sloppy.  I pulled a muscle in my upper back raking leaves (how decrepit am I? geez louise!), so I need to be careful moving my shoulders and neck.  I'm a sloppy painter anyways.  Also, I photo-edited my cuticles in some pictures.  It was for your own sakes (my cuticles looked... gross).  I did not alter the nails.

Right now, I'm decking my nails with glittery metallic nail polish: Revlon Catty.  It's sparkly and cheery.  What are your favorite nail polishes to wear over the winter holidays?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

[Nails of the Week] Zoya Shivon, Essie Lady Like, Essie Size Matters, & Revlon Gray Suede

For all nails in this post, I used Sally Hansen "Double Duty" for the base coat and New York Color "Grand Central Station" for the top coat.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I wore the festive Zoya "Shivon."

Zoya Shivon (2 coats, tungsten lighting)

"Shivon" is a metallic red with gold shimmer on top.  This is one of my favorite nail polishes.  It has a flash of gold, but the base color is blue-toned, so it still looks good on my cool-tone pale skin.

Earlier in the week, I tried to paint my nails with my favorite nail color from last fall, Revlon's "Gray Suede," but the polish has gotten goopy.

Revlon Gray Suede (2 coats, tungsten lighting)

"Gray Suede" is a gorgeous taupe with a slight shimmer, which wasn't picked up in my picture.  I love the color, so I will try polish thinner to spruce up the polish or buy a new bottle.  Unfortunately, I was busy preparing for Thanksgiving, and I ruined this manicure within an hour.

A week ago, I was wearing Essie "Lady Like," a lovely creamy mauve color.

Essie Lady Like (2 coats, outdoor cloudy-day lighting)

All last week (and still now), I wore Essie "Size Matters" on my toenails.

Monday, November 14, 2011

[NOTD] Revlon Facets of Fuchsia

I just repainted my nails, but for the last week, I was wearing Revlon "Facets of Fuchsia."  It lasted a week before chipping... because of my new favorite top coat: New York Color "Grand Central Station."  I used Sally Hansen Double Duty for a base coat.

Revlon "Facets of Fuchsia" (indoor tungsten lighting)
"Facets of Fuchsia" has hexagons and tiny dots of fuchsia glitter in a black base.  It was opaque in two coats.  While I normally shy away from black polish (because I am very pale), this polish had enough sparkle to brighten the dreary black.

My only complaint with "Facets of Fuchsia" is that this is by far the worst glitter polish to remove.  I took an hour and a half to remove it all from my nails.  I first tried the method of soaking cotton balls in acetone nail polish remover, putting those on top of my nails, and covering my nails in aluminum foil for a few minutes.  Ultimately, I just scrubbed (and scrubbed... and scrubbed) off the glitter with cotton balls and remover.

On my toes, I'm wearing Zoya "Nina," a creamy red-toned chocolate brown.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Manicures From the Last Two Weeks

Since the snow storm and power outage, I have fallen behind sharing my pictures.  These are my manicures from the last two weeks.

The first manicure was inspired by a Halloween carnival, like the one from Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes.

"The night was sweet with the dust of autumn leaves that smelled as if the fine sands of ancient Egypt were drifting to dunes beyond the town." --Ray Bradbury

Halloween manicure inspired by Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (tungsten lighting)

Thumb:  2 coats China Glaze "Cross Iron 360" topped with CG "Black Mesh"
Index finger:  2 coats China Glaze "Cross Iron 360"
Middle finger:  2 coats Milani "Purple Passion"
Ring finger:  2 coats China Glaze "It's Alive"
Pinky:  2 coats China Glaze "Cross Iron 360"
Base coat:  Sally Hansen Double Duty
Top coat:  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Next, I tried to create a second Halloween manicure, but to me, it looked more "leopard print" than "spooky Halloween." (Note: In person, the orange is darker and less yellow. It is an orange rust color.)

Halloween mani with China Glaze "Cross Iron 360" and "Black Mesh" (tungsten lighting)

Base color:  2 coats China Glaze "Cross Iron 360"
Crackle: China Glaze "Black Mesh"
Base coat:  Sally Hansen Double Duty
Top coat:  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

This next mani was a huge failure.  It only lasted a few hours on my nails before I removed it.  I tried out the new Wet n Wild polish "FuchiasRama," a gorgeous color.  The manicure looked fine when I first applied it, but within a couple hours, it looked mottled, worn, and chipped.  This is probably the worst nail polish I have ever tried in terms of quality.  The picture below shows the mani immediately after painting.

Wet n Wild "FuschiaRama" and Sinful Colors "Frenzy" (tungsten lighting)

Main color:  2 (or was it 3?) coats of Wet n Wild "FuschiaRama" (spelled as one word on the bottle)
Ring fingers: An additional 2 coats of Sinful Colors "Frenzy," a pink and blue glitter
Base coat:  Sally Hansen Double Duty
Top coat:  Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

The last mani I have to show you was a huge success.  I love this red.  It is Essie "Plumberry," a gorgeous medium red with blue undertones and a slight bit of shimmer.  It is my new favorite red nail polish.  It is between a raspberry and a cranberry color, so "Plumberry" is the perfect name.  The polish applies evenly and looks amazing in 2 coats.  I love it, and it looks great against my pale skin.

I had a difficult time capturing the true "Plumberry" color in a picture.  Its true color is somewhere between the two from the images below.  Imagine the brightness from the first picture but make it a little darker and more blue-toned like the second picture.

Essie "Plumberry" (sunlight)
Essie "Plumberry" (tungsten lighting)

Color:  2 coats Essie "Plumberry"
Base coat:  Sally Hansen Double Duty
Top coat:  New York Color "Grand Central Station"

I'm not sure if it was the "Plumberry" or the top coat (see next paragraph), but this manicure lasted three to four days before any chipping or wear, and I am rough on my nails.  I was amazed.

I tried a new top coat, New York Color "Grand Central Station," and it is my new favorite top coat.  It is easier to apply than Seche Vite (not as thick), and it is less shiny (which I prefer).  It dries just as quickly and seems to last longer, and it costs much less.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!  What are your favorite fall nail polishes / manicures?  I will be doing a post on my favorites soon.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

[NOTD] China Glaze Ghoulish Glow

I have glow-in-the-dark nails!  I feel seven years old.

I used Orly Ridgefiller as my base coat, which right now, I'm not loving - it applied a little streaky.  Then I added 1 coat of Essie "Cloud Nine," a milky white - which isn't streaky at all.  China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" had a good glow after 3 coats, but I added a 4th for good measure.  Since it dries fast, this wasn't an issue.  I finished with 1 coat of Seche Vite.

China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow"

"Ghoulish Glow" looks like a milky (very slightly green-tone) white on my nails in bright light.  It really just looks like sterotypical 80s glow in the dark color - a somewhat mottled, translucent, faint greenish milky white.

China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" (indoors, tungsten light)

Like most 80s glow-in-the-dark items, the polish glows strongly after being in direct light, then its glow quickly diminishes.  I took one picture, then I took another less than 30 seconds later, and the glow intensity had already diminished significantly.

China Glaze "Ghoulish Glow" : The glow diminishes after 30 seconds.

I'm still wearing my glow-in-the-dark manicure from Thursday.  Today is Saturday, and there is minimal tip wear (and I'm rough on my nails).

Earlier in the week, I had another Halloween mani/pedi.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

[Haul] China Glaze 2011 Halloween Collection

I first saw online the China Glaze 2011 Halloween Collection, Haunting.  I loved the yellow-green glitter, glow-in-the dark, and black crackle polishes.  Sally Beauty Supplies had a set that also included a rust orange polish from the 2010 Halloween Collection.  The 4-set everywhere else included a clear top coat instead, so I ordered from Sally's.

Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner | China Glaze 2011 Halloween Collection

I also picked up the Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner because I still have nail polish from high school (I graduated in 2001).  I haven't tried the thinner yet, but I've tried or swatched all the polishes.

Cross Iron 360 :: This is a medium metallic orange.  It goes on the nail lighter than it looks in the bottle.  This is an all-around good autumn color.

It's Alive :: This is a yellow-leaning green polish with small and large flecks of yellow-green glitter.  It looks ghastly against my cool pink pale skin.  With this polish, I plan to rock zombie hands this Halloween.

Black Mesh :: It's a black crackle.  I've never used crackle polish before, but I think this will create some awesome Halloween manicures.

Ghoulish Glow :: This is a glow-in-the-dark polish.  It's a stereotypical glow-in-the-dark color: faintly green but translucent.  This needs at least 2-3 coats for the glow to be apparent in the dark.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

[Haul] My First Zoya Polishes

Last weekend, I took a quick trip to the mall, and I bought more nail polish.  I just started painting my nails last winter, so I don't have many polishes.  (Well, I do now.)

I was looking for polishes in autumn colors.  The local beauty supply store in the mall had nail polish on sale: buy 2 get 1 half off.  I picked up these three beauties.

Zoya "Shivon" | Zoya "Mia" | Zoya "Nina"
As soon as I arrived home, I tested out the colors.  They are all beautiful and compliment my skin color (super pale and leaning towards a cool tone).  My favorite color for fall is "Shivon," and it's on my toenails now.

Zoya "Shivon" :: This polish is a vibrant pink-tone red with a gold shimmer.  It reminds me of autumn leaves and Thanksgiving and... cornucopias.  I'm odd.  Does any nail polish remind you of cornucopias?

Zoya "Mia" :: This is a lovely slightly-muted creamy pink.  If I was Zoya brand, I'd name this color Victoria. This polish is very similar to Essie's new "Lady Like" except "Lady Like" is slightly more purple/mauve while this is more pink.

Zoya "Nina" :: "Nina" is a dark (but not too dark) milk chocolate brown.  It leans towards a red-brown, which compliments my skin much more nicely than a green-brown.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

[NOTD] China Glaze "Inner Beauty" and Zoya "Shivon"

NOTD = Nail of the Day

Today on my fingernails, I have China Glaze "Inner Beauty," and on my toenails, I have Zoya "Shivon."  For all nails, Sally Hansen Double Duty is my base coat, and Seche Vite Dry Fast is my top coat.

China Glaze "Inner Beauty" (tungsten lighting)

China Glaze "Inner Beauty" is a very pale pink.  I'm wearing 3 coats.  My nail line is visible (which I like), but it is not completely sheer, and it covers up some nail imperfections.  It looks a little streaky on a couple of my nails, but the rest look awesome, so I think it is only streaky because I am sloppy when I apply polish.  I painted my fingernails on Thursday, and the picture was taken on Saturday.  Today is Sunday, and my manicure has no chips or wear - woo!  (I am rough with my nails/hands - washing dishes, kneading bread, etc.)  It appears the polish might be starting to peel off near the cuticles, but I find that always happens when I use Seche Vite as the top coat.

I put my pedicure after the jump in case you don't want to see my feet.  (They are not gross, just... feet.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

[Haul] Trans Design Nail Polish

All Essie polishes were (and still are) on sale on Trans Design for only $4/bottle.  I love Essie!  So I went crazy.

My order from

That's what 14 bottles of nail polish (plus 1 bottle of cuticle oil) looks like. O_O

I just doubled my nail polish collection.

I wanted polish in autumn and holiday colors.  It appears I bought mostly reds for the holidays and nudes for winter.  Red and nude nails - classy.

I tried to snap pictures of swatches, but the light was quickly fading (since it was a rainy day here), so I'll show you just the bottles for now and follow with descriptions/first impressions of the colors.  I also have a (good!) review of the Trans Design customer service at the end.

China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" | China Glaze "Deck the Halls" 3/pack
China Glaze "Ruby Pumps" :: This polish looks just like Dorothy's ruby pumps.  It's a medium red jelly base with tiny red glitter.  I love it.  It's a perfect festive Christmas color.

China Glaze "Glittering Garland" :: I am typically not a fan of wearing green (as it doesn't go with my complexion), but I bought this polish to create Christmas manicures.  The base is green with tiny green flecks of glitter.  This is a beautiful glitter polish.

China Glaze "Holiday Berry" Cuticle Oil :: I have never used a cuticle oil before.  I normally hate scented things, but this smells really lovely, like Christmas fruit cake - fruity and spicy.  It's red though, so it is noticeable when I apply it.

China Glaze "Champagne Fizz" :: I didn't try this one out, but looking at the bottle, it seems to be a gold metallic polish with some silver glitter.

Essie Winter 2011 Cocktail Bling Collection in colors "Size Matters" and "Bangle Jangle"
Essie "Bangle Jangle" :: The color is a muted light lavender.  It appears to be a one-coater.  I look forward to wearing this polish in the winter.

Essie "Size Matters" :: This one is a very dark wine red with a slight blue undertone.  It almost looks like a deep wine stain.  I think this is a one-coater as well.  Yay for one coaters!

Essie "Size Matters" | Essie "Plumberry" | Essie "Watermelon" | Essie "My Place or Yours"
Essie "Plumberry" :: This polish is a dark raspberry (blue-pink red) color with very slight shimmer.  I love this color.  I picked this polish as the first to try out, but I totally botched my manicure.  I even got nail polish on my face (how? why? how?).  This one takes two to three coats for total opaque-ness.

Essie "Watermelon" :: This is summery medium bright pink.

Essie "My Place or Yours" :: I think any place else, this color would be called "Guava."  It's a corally light pink.  I think this will be a great color for summer.  It matches my bikini!

Essie "Pink Glove Service" | Essie "Cloud Nine" | Essie "It's in the Bag" | China Glaze "Inner Beauty"
Essie "Pink Glove Service" :: I already own this polish, and I'm giving away this bottle.  It's a sheer pink-toned polish.  It is wonderful as a it-doesn't-look-like-I'm-wearing-polish, healthy-nails look.

Essie "Cloud Nine" :: This is a sheer white jelly.  It's not streaky at all.  I foresee this on my fingernails most of the winter.

Essie "It's in the Bag" :: Maybe it's just me (I don't apply polish well), but this is a little streaky.  However, with three coats, it's almost opaque.

China Glaze "Inner Beauty" :: This could be worn as one coat or more.  It's an incredibly pale (almost white) sheer pink.  The nail line is visible with three coats, but I like that.  It's not streaky.  It's demure, and I love it.  I'm wearing it now.

Orly "Witches' Blue" | Orly "Candy Cane Lane" | Orly Ridgefiller base coat | Orly Flash Dry drops
Orly "Witches' Blue" :: This is a mini bottle of polish.  The color is sapphire blue and shimmery and gorgeous.  It might be a bit too dark for my pale skin, but I love the color.

Orly "Candy Cane Lane" :: This color is a deep red red, like the red part of candy canes (whoulda thunk it?).  I think it has a jelly-like finish, but it's hard to tell in this poor lighting.  This doesn't apply as well as the Essie or China Glaze polishes.  It's only my second Orly polish (the other is a glitter), so I don't know if this is true of all Orly or not.  Also, the bottle didn't arrive 100% full.  I don't know if that's typical or not. 

And that's all except the for the Orly Ridgefiller base coat and Orly Flash Dry drops, which I haven't tried yet.

How was my experience with  Awesome!  I placed my order Friday night.  On Sunday, I noticed an email from the company stating that my credit card wouldn't go through.  (Long story short: bank canceled the debit card because it might have been "compromised.")  Trans Design said they would hold my order for 10 days, and I could email or call to pay or cancel the order.  On Sunday, I called and placed the order with a new card, and it shipped that day, and it arrived to me on Thursday.