Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recent NOTD: OPI It's Totally Fort Worth It

My employer's user conference was a perfect time for me to try OPI It's Totally Fort Worth It because the light grey coordinated perfectly with the company logo shirt I had to wear. I thought the pink shimmer I could see in the bottle would reassure people who are not overly comfortable with "odd" nail polish colors, a feature my choice for this event last year, OPI Sheer Your Toys, did not have.

As it turned out, the pink shimmer mostly hid on me, so 98% of the time it just looked grey. Slightly brushstrokey grey at that. This is three coats plus top and base.

In very bright light, I could see flashes of pink. Most of the time, I am not in very bright light, so this was disappointing.

I found this very underwhelming. So much so that I didn't even wait for my regular polish change day but added glitter as soon as I was done at the conference. I used Pop Beauty Twinkle, which I ordered from beauty.com after seeing it on Jenni's blog. One coat of it plus topcoat over the blah grey perked things up nicely.

In indirect light, Twinkle shows mostly silver and rose, but get even a little direct light on it and there are rainbow sparkles everywhere.

Pretty as Twinkle was, I could not leave it alone, and added some accent nails of China Glaze Broken Hearted (and more top coat).

Ah, that's much better.

The Pause that Refreshes

I intended to post more than I did this past holiday weekend, but I didn't manage it because I spent an unexpectedly long time sorting through and reorganizing my stash. For most of the weekend, I had polish bottles in places there are not usually polish bottles, like the family room floor and the kitchen counter. Here's what the counter looked like during the mostly warm-toned purples portion of the program:

I did take some time out from moving my stash around to meet up with two lovely ladies from the MUA nail board, Rachel (whom you may also know from her blog) and Christine. (Another woman who'd planned to come had to drop out at the last minute; I hope she can make it next time along with more folks.) We got so involved talking and exchanging nail goodies that we only took one picture as we were leaving:

Clockwise from top right, that's Rachel wearing China Glaze Gamer Glam with a silver glitter layered on top (a faux Nfu-Oh if I'm remembering right), Christine in Chi Chi Moondust (why yes, I was jealous), and me in Flormar U09 (which I recently got in a swap and will be posting more photos of once I've caught up with the NOTD that came before it). It was a fun time, and I'm looking forward to doing it again before too long. (If you're in the Detroit metro and want to be added to the mailing list for planning, send me your e-mail address.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Franken: Sugar Plum Sparkle

After frankening two shimmers in a row, I had to get some glitter action going. My main ingredients for this one were Revlon Galaxy and Nox Twilight Sugar Plum with just a hint of Confetti Tiara.

These swatches are three coats, no top coat (though I think it could use some).

This has some of the black pepper sprinkles look to it, which is not my favorite, but since it's obscured somewhat by the shimmer it doesn't bother me as much as it would otherwise.

I wish I'd thought to layer this over a vampy; I think that might nicely tone down the pepper problem. I also think more hex glitter might be in order.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Finger Paints Colors and Comparisons

A couple of weeks ago I shared the new Finger Paints displays; today I've got swatches and comparisons of some of those colors.

Hue Are You is a taupe creme (the name has a question mark at the end but I don't play that). It's nicely pigmented—two coats were plenty—and pretty shiny even without topcoat (as usual, all of today's swatches are without topcoat).

This one reminded me of OPI You Don't Know Jacques. When I got them side by side, though, I could see that Hue Are You is definitely warmer than the OPI.

Top to bottom: Hue Are You, You Don't Know Jacques, Hue Are You, You Don't Know Jacques.

I criticize shade names all the time, but I think Tiffany Imposter is a perfect choice for the turquoise blue creme added to the Finger Paints lineup. It leaves no question about what color they're going for and admits it's not the real thing. This was also a two-coater for me.

Of course I had to compare Tiffany Imposter to perhaps the best known attempt to replicate Tiffany Blue in nail polish, China Glaze for Audrey. I had a really hard time telling the the two of them apart. I'd give a slight edge to the China Glaze based on the formula, which went on a bit more smoothly, but the Finger Paints didn't give me any trouble, really.

Top to bottom: Tiffany Imposter, For Audrey, Tiffany Imposter, For Audrey.

The light tan creme Don't Make a Scene is up next. I used three coats of this one, but probably could have done two if I'd been more careful with my application (I just assumed it was going to take three since it was such a light color).

I usually shy away from warm-toned tans like Don't Make a Scene, so the closest thing I could think of to compare it to was Essie Sand Tropez, but they aren't close at all. Next to Sand Tropez, Don't Make a Scene looks almost yellow.

Top to bottom: Don't Make a Scene, Sand Tropez, Don't Make a Scene, Sand Tropez.

The green creme is called Go Van Gogh (which might also be a good title for an action adventure cartoon featuring famous artists).

Because I like greens a lot, I had two comparison candidates at the ready: OPI Jade is the New Black and Sinful Envy (I am quite done with green polishes having the word envy in their names). Go Van Gogh turned out to be a touch darker and dustier than the other two, though in low light it's hard to tell a difference. Actually, Envy looks like a pretty good substitute for Jade is the New Black in all lights. These took two coats each.

Top to bottom: Jade is the New Black, Go Van Gogh, Envy.

All You Need is Color is from the summer display rather than the new colors one, but a bottle comparison indicated it's the same as Art You Wondering (amazingly, I managed to resist buying both just to make sure). When I bought it, I thought it was a turquoise glitter, but it's actually a mix of blue and green which gives it a nice depth. Also, for a glitter, it's not too bumpy, even without top coat.

When I saw the blue and green mix, I thought of Butter London Henley Regatta. When I got them on my nails together, I was surprised at how close they were; looks like Finger Paints has come up with a better substitue than anything I found when I did my Henley Regatta comp back in February. They're not exact dupes; the Butter London leans more toward blue and the Finger Paints more toward green, but it's not a big enough difference to be obvious unless you're really studying and looking for one. If I didn't already have the Butter London, I'd go for the Finger Paints. All You Need is Color took only three coats to match the opacity of four coats of Henley Regatta, and it's about one-third the price.

Left to right: Henley Regatta, All You Need is Color, Henley Regatta, All You Need is Color.

Top to bottom: Henley Regatta, All You Need is Color.

All in all, the Finger Paints aren't breaking any new ground with these new colors, but they are providing some reasonably priced alternatives to more expensive polishes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

China Glaze Tronica

When Tronica was announced, I was excited. Twelve new holographic polishes from the brand that brought us the OMG and Kaleidoscope collections? Yes, sign me up! Then when the first swatches started to show up, I went into pouting mode, as these new holos looked weak and scattered compared to their older siblings. The long gap between when these were available to professionals and when they were slated to be released to the public at Sally Beauty gave me a chance to get over my disappointment and resolve to appreciate these new polishes for their own merits. Except once I'd decided I needed them, I couldn't find them. Despite how often I stop by Sally stores, I never ever saw a full display of these in the wild. There are four Sally's locations on my regular polish hunting routes, and I only saw Tronica at one of them, and it was already picked clean of what I considered the good colors. Some people might have taken this as a sign to give up, but I decided to do something I've never done before (and don't intend to make a habit of)—I bought a full display kit from the Sally's website:

I would have bought individual bottles if I could have, but by the time I'd decided to stop hunting them in stores, the colors I wanted most were sold out and only available as part of the display package. Thus I ended up with way more Tronica than I planned, but swapping and my recent contest have pretty much taken care of the excess.

Here's my curent favorite from the collection, Virtual Violet. It was almost a one-coater; I did two because I never expected it to be as pigmented as it is so didn't do a great job applying the first coat. In the indirect indoor illumination of my light box, the holo was pretty shy, as these next two photos show.

In the sun, which every so often does put in an appearance around here in between rainstorms, the sparks of rainbow colors pop out.

I can appreciate scattered holos, but I hope down the road we see a reappearance of linear holos, the same way we're now getting crack all over the place after not seeing any new releases of it for years.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wheel W1: Light Blue Shimmers

This week's Nail Wheel Wednesday got delayed because I got distracted by many things, including putting together new Helmers, which I do not intend to use for long term polish storage but rather as a more attractive and accessible temporary home for the bottles I'm weeding out than the cardboard boxes they've been in. When I've got my stash back to a more reasonable (to me) size, I'm sure I'll find something else to do with the excess Helmers.

I skipped ahead in the order of wheels because looking at these blues was a nice stress reliever, and I needed that.

Nail wheel

(all 3 coats unless otherwise noted)

1. SH New Lengths Sweet Deal Frost
2. Natural Glow Aquamarine Pearl
3. SH Hard as Nails Forget Me Not
4. OPI Cool in the Pool
5. MB Colorama Glass Slipper
6. Essie St. Barth's Blue
7. Essence Go Snow Alpine Snow
8. Sephora by OPI Lagoon-a-Beach
9. SH Complete Salon Manicure Dive Deeper
10. Piggy Polish You're Blue-tiful
11. Hard Candy Sky
12. Chanel Riva (4 coats)
13. Orly Aquamarine Bliss
14. Orly Windchime
15. OPI Dominant Jeans (4) [would have been 3 if I hadn't bumped the wet polish with my hand]
16. MB Express Finish Blue Chill
17. L'Oreal High Tide
18. Essie Sag Harbor
19. China Glaze Sea Spray
20. L'Oreal LaquiResist 922 (4) [I'm pretty sure; my notes are unclear on this one]

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Nail wheel

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recent NOTD: Misbehaved Strips

I didn't want to wait until my next vacation to try another pattern of the Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips, so when I saw a week on my calendar when it looked like I probably wouldn't have time for a mid-week polish change, I went for it. I chose the black and gold fishnet design, which for some reason is called Misbehaved. I guess Sally thinks naughty girls wear fishnets.

I did a better job putting them on than the first time I tried them. My centering skills still need work, but I only got wrinkles on one nail and didn't gouge any of the strips when smoothing them down.

I was very disappointed when after only two days of wear I noticed a chip on the tip of one nail. When I inspected more closely, I was very discouraged to find that it wasn't the strip that had failed, but the nail underneath—part of my nail had chipped off and taken that part of the strip with it. Oh, Mr. Peelies, you had gone away for a while and I dared to hope I was rid of you, but evidently not. I'd put the leftover strips into the little plastic bag the file comes in and then sealed it up with tape to try and prevent air from getting in and drying out the strips, so I was able to use one of those to replace the chipped one after I filed and buffed the damaged nail. After that incident, I only got what I'd consider normal tip wear. Here's what they looked like after a week:

As for the banana, I used to collect banana stickers, though now I just take pictures of them sometimes. This one caught my eye because it was long after Earth Day.