Friday, January 30, 2015

Top 20 for 2014

Like last year, here I am sneaking in my Top 20 list for last year when this year is just about one month gone. These are my favorites of the polishes that I put on my nails and posted in 2014, though not all of them were released in 2014.

I hope holos never disappear from the nail polish world again. A few made my list this year, starting with Beautifully Disney Wish Come True, which is a sky blue holo that I didn't realize was holo when I bought it at Walt Disney World.

MI-NY Holographic Touch Violet (third from top in photo below) makes the list because it is purple-y, super holo, and reminds me of my friend The Holo Queen, without whom I wouldn't have gotten this polish at all.

And then there's Starlight Polish Starlight, a holo topper that makes rainbows on any color.

Wet Paint Nails Voice of Raisin is the plainest polish on my list. It's just so nicely squishy, wearable on its own or layered in jelly sandwiches, and in a subdued color that's not typically seen in this type of formula.

Finger Paints Winter Chill is a brown texture with pops of color that I like wearing shiny, shiny, shiny with topcoat.

OPI Green on the Runway was my favorite from the Coca Cola collection. Such a nice shift from brown to green.

Smitten Figgy Pudding is a squishy purple with shimmer and subtle color-shifting flakies.

Pahlish Sugar Plum Marshmallow is another pretty purple indie, this one a very greyed lilac with flakies and holo shimmer.

The rest of my list is all glitter. So much glitter. So much pretty.

Revlon Nude Graffiti made the list to acknowledge that mainstream brands are stepping up their game. I like that there's a lot going on here shape and size wise but the restrained color palette makes it less intimidating to people who might be scared away by something more flashy. If everyone is comfortable wearing glitter, more glitter will be in stores, making it easier for me to feed my appetite for sparklies.

I'm as surprised as anyone that a gold made my list, but Nicole by OPI Lips Are Dripping Honey has so much holo in the glitter it's really more rainbow colored than gold.

Wet 'n'n Wild Breakfast in Tinsel Town is similar to Lips Are Dripping Honey in that there's a fair bit of holo in the glitter. It stood out for me because it's green, which isn't that common a shade to see in mainstream glitter polishes. And it doesn't look Christmasy, either, which can be an issue with green mixes.

Glitter that reminds me of snow? Yes, please. China Glaze The Outer Edge scratches that itch.

Continuing the snow theme, Funky Fingers Elsa has actual snowflake glitters in quiet color palette that matches the quiet of a winter landscape.

I was tempted to put the whole Zoya Bubbly collection on this list, as I turned to them so many times, but if I have to pick just one, it'll be Muse.

Deborah Lippmann A Hard Day's Night was the best of the anniversary music box set, transforming other colors into something beautiful and mysterious.

Polish Revolution Fire Sermon looks good on its own and layered. It's packed with a lot of shapes and sizes and colors but the combination works so well, it's not just thrown together and messy.

Love Thy Polish Royalty is special because it's pretty and was a gift from my friend Trish.

Kit Celebration reminds me of a fun day spent with polish loving friends.

Relouis Glitter Collection 01 reminds me of my time in Minsk. For about two minutes yesterday it looked like I might be going back but my boss and I decided it didn't really make sense from a business perspective.

Penelope Luz Luxury reminds me of my sweet Brazilian swap buddy Lucy.

So there you have it. On another day, I might have come up with a different list. I had twice as many on my short list, so I could have done a different list on this day, too, for that matter. It's nice to look back and remember all the different colors I tried. There's so much gorgeousness out there now; we are very lucky to be painting our nails in this era of many options.

Some of the polishes shown in this entry were provided free for review purposes (you can see which ones by following the links to the individual entries). The content of this entry was not dictated by the providers.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sally Hansen Meets SinfulColors

Today I have eight of the new Insta Dri shades from Sally Hansen. There are fourteen new shades in all; I swatched the other six in December, and as was the case with that set, I introduced the Insta Dri colors to some glittery friends, in this instance the two SinfulColors holiday toppers in stores now.

The Valentine's topper teamed up with the four warm-toned Insta Dri shades. Left to right: Cocoa A Go Go, Orange Zest, Love Sprinkles, Quick Fire, and Cherry Fast.

Sally Hansen Cherry Fast is a raspberry creme. One coat of it was fine coverage-wise, but a second (or a base coat underneath) would have been a good idea to smooth over the ridges in my nails. On all but an accent nail, I added one coat plus a few dabs of SinfulColors Love Sprinkles, which has pale pink and white matte glitter, including white hearts, in a clear base. (In a couple spots, I dabbed too aggressively and smeared some of the base color over the glitter.) The hearts weren't too hard to get out.

Sally Hansen Cocoa a Go Go is the only shimmer in this group of Insta Dris; it's a deep brown. There was another brown shimmer Insta Dri called Coco a Go Go (no "A" in the first word) released in fall of 2011; this one seems a bit darker but I couldn't find my bottle of the old one to check for sure. I did two coats of Cocoa a Go Go though one thick one would probably have been fine. SinfulColors Love Sprinkles went on an accent nail (again, I had the dabbing issue of picking up color from the base and getting it on the glitter; I really need to be a tiny bit more patient with letting layers dry.)

I combined the two other Insta Dri colors from this quartet into one look. Two coats of the yellow-leaning orange creme Orange Zest went on my index finger, and on my other digits I did a sandwich with two coats of the red orange jelly Quick Fire, one coat of Love Sprinkles, then one more of Quick Fire. I was very surprised to find a jelly in the Insta Dri line, since it's marketed as "one coat, one stroke, done", but I like jellies so I'm fine with it.

All the cool tones made up the second group: Show Steel-er, Plummet, Shamrockin', Navy Fleet, and Black to Black.

Sally Hansen Navy Fleet is a dark blue creme that leans slightly toward teal. I used one coat of it, then added one coat plus dabs of SinfulColors Shamrockin' on all but my index finger. Shamrockin' has spring green and white matte glitters, including some large flower shapes, along with green metallic glitter.

I combined Sally Hansen Show Steel-er, a cool medium grey creme, with Black to Black, a black creme, using one coat of the black and two of the grey for my base. I added Shamrockin' over all nails, but purposely wiped the brush so no flower glitters showed up on any but the black accent nail.

The last Insta Dri in this group is Plummet, a very dark purple creme. I did one coat of it on all my nails, then added a coat of Shamrockin' on my ring finger, placing the flower glitters with a dotting tool so they lined up instead of falling randomly.

I accidently bought two sets of these Insta Dris (that'll teach me to not update my spreadsheet before I do more shopping) and then purposely bought extras of the holiday glitters, so it's giveaway time! You can choose which quintet you'd like to win; just fill in the Google form (Rafflecopter has changed since I last used it, with lots of options behind a paywall, so back to a form it is). International entries welcome. This will be a quick one; I'll pull winners on Monday, February 2 at around 9 a.m. Eastern US time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wheel R7: Glitters from Color Club and Nat Robbins

1. Color Club Starry Temptress (2 coats)
2. Color Club Glitter Envy (2)
3. Color Club Otherworldly (2)
4. Color Club Wink Wink Twinkle (2)
5. Color Club Ultra Astral (2)
6. Color Club Space Case (2)
7. Color Club You Got Soul-ar (2)
8. Color Club Diamond Drops (3)
9. Color Club Orna-minted (3)
10. Color Club Wish Upon a Rock Star (3) [the big lilac hexes make this one for me]
11. Color Club Very Merry Berry (3)
12. Color Club Sugar Plum Yum (3) [thought this was same as 11 just different colors, but no, the mix of sizes is different]
13. Color Club Holiday Splendor (2)
14. Color Club Beyond the Mistletoe (3)
15. Color Club Jingle Jangle (3)
16. Color Club Candy Cane (3)
17. Color Club Sugarplum Fairy (3)
18. Color Club Gingerbread (3)
19. Color Club Santa's Cinnamon (3)
20. Nat Robbins unknown navy with silver glitter [one of only two from this brand in my stash]

Bottles 1 through 7:

8 through 12:

13 through 17:

18 through 20:

Destash notes: I think I have Studio M dupes for most if not all of the Starry Temptress ones (1 through 7), and quite probably some of the others Color Clubs, so those could go (general rule is that the more obscure brand stay in stash unless the bottle is not space efficient, but the Studio M ones are) . I am holding on to the Nat Robbins for sure.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Recent and Not So Recent NOTD

Guess what? I'm still catching up with photos in my blog folders. Today it's nails of the day. Sure, I got my time-sensitive Christmas nails posted last month, but other than that, I've just let the pictures pile up since November. So let's take a journey through the last couple few months (and watch my nails in their ongoing cycle of growing and returning to shorties and on and on).

I used Zoya London to cover up the last of my month of Halloween manicures when I didn't have time to do a full mani and didn't want to go around with ghosts on my nails after Halloween.

My nails were a bit raggedy when London came off, so I thought I'd cover them up with falsies. I'd found a bunch of the Maybelline Color Show ones at Dollar Tree and grabbed Bright as White, which has white framed with black.

It had been a while since I used any of these, and this design is rounded on both ends, so I managed to get them all on before I realized I'd put them the wrong way round. I had the super flexible thinner end at my tips, which meant they were entirely too soft and bendy to hold up to normal activities. I took them off within a day.

Another thing I found at Dollar Tree were some Sally Hansen Insta Gel Strips, so those were my next manicure. The Hooray Ombre design I chose has a microglitter gradient effect that ranges from golden peach to coral red.

Another set of Sally Hansen Insta Gel strips came next. This time it was the Party Hose design, which has tan fishnet diamonds on a pearly background.

Before I took off the Party Hose strips, I had a little fun with them and used black creme to dot between the fishnet grid.

I then added a coat of Wet Paint Crystal special effects topper plus top coat. I liked this look so much I was sorry I hadn't tried it earlier in the life of this manicure.

I still had half a box of the Bright as White Maybelline Color Show Nail Falsies, so gave them another go, making sure to pay close attention to which end was which. Since I'd used the best fitting ones for the first go round, this wasn't as successful as I'd liked, though due to the black border on the fakes, I was able to disguise the especially bad fit on some nails by putting a black creme polish on underneath.

I'd just bought the Maybelline Black to Black polishes when I was going to take off the falsies, so I tried four of them really quickly on top of the fakes. Left to right: Corrupted Black, Blackdust, Black Matte, and Smoky Black. I do intend to play more with these, but in case that doesn't happen for a while here's a peek at my quickie swatches:

I returned to the Sally Hansen Insta Gel strips well for my post-Christmas manicure. I used Shell We Dance, the same pale pink that was my first foray into this product back in 2012. I was so busy getting ready to go on my holiday ski trip that I didn't take any photos of the mani when it was fresh. Worse yet, I rushed through the process and didn't get the wear I expected. Talk about frazzle. I had strips that lifted along the sides and at the base because I hadn't taken the time to make sure the strips were smoothed down securely before I added the gel topcoat and cured it, which led me to pick at those spots and pull off bits of the polish. Other bits flaked off at the tips due to peelies. Nine days later, I had this mess on my hands, literally. (On the plus side, my pinky still looked pretty darn good after a week and a half.) This was as long as my nails got in recent months; just after this, I filed them down to take off the peelies I could see.

I did a treatment week, then kept on with the Insta Gel strips theme, doing another plain creme finish with Plum's the Word, a deep brownish purple. I'd intended to add a glitter or other topper to this after my father in law's memorial service but never got around to it.

I did practice my stamping just before I took off these strips, with the JR-27 plate and Bonita by Royal Essence in Penny for Your Thoughts.

I went even more subtle with my next mani, using Insta Gel strips in Pink Pong. I still think that's an odd name, as I have since it showed up in the Complete Salon Manicure line, but I liked how it looked with my skintone; I might have to buy a bottle of it to use as pink-toned undies.

Again, I didn't get around to blinging up the plain creme strips, but it's nice to have a palate cleanser now and again. My next mani was definitely more eye catching, but since that just came off my nails yesterday, I feel like I'm caught up enough for right now. Thanks for sticking with it and reading through this hodge podge of looks with pics in so many different lighting conditions.