Thursday, December 31, 2015

NOTD Catch Up

I can't clean up all my pending photos before the end of the year, but I can catch up with my nails of the day that haven't made it into the blog yet. Because getting our house ready for sale then relocating to Idaho took up so much of my time, I've been wearing a lot of strips, since they're fast to put on and don't need dry time.

The black and silver argyle of Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Prep's Cool graced my nails in early November.

I followed that with Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Plum's the Word, which I planned to stamp over but never managed to get around to doing.

I did stamp on the next Sally Hansen Salon Effects strips I put on. I topped Ruby Do strips with Revlon Untamed, using a plate I didn't write down, and sealed with Diamond Dry topcoat. This combination was on the subtle side; the stamping showed up very prettily in some lights, and all but disappeared in others as it shifted from brown to gold to purple. It was kind of fun.

You've already seen the strip-based Mickey Mouse stamped nails I wore to California. After that, I returned to Ruby Do and stamping for Thanksgiving. I stamped with Borghese Rapido in Siena, an unnamed Urban Outfitters, and Sally Hansen Salon in Bronze Ambition.

Again, I didn't jot down the plate I used; bad blogger. I was going for an autumn look, so overlapped leaves in the three metallics. The Borghese was similar to the Revlon from the earlier look; depending on the angle, it was sometimes invisible.

After Thanksgiving, I decided to give Essie Sleek Sticks another try. Bad idea. I didn't have any better luck coaxing them on my nails than the last time I used them. I used the Shoot the Moon design, which has a dotted silver design on a solid turquoise blue background, which wrinkled terribly and couldn't be smoothed out well. I refuse to believe it's me, since I use other strips successfully.

They didn't wear well, either; here they are after not quite two days. Granted, I was packing boxes and suitcases over those days, but still, yuck.

One advantage the Essie strips have is they do peel off easily; no remover needed.

After the Essie, I put on Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques in Jeweled Noir. These have two designs with white, gold, and red on black, with some of the "jewels" being dimensional. I hadn't used Revlon strips in ages, and it didn't go that well back then, but I've got the strips so figured I'd use them. I got a few wrinkles when putting them on, as they aren't nail polish but rather thicker stickers, but nothing like the Essie, and the design was busy enough to distract from the wrinkles.

These wore a lot better than the Essie. Here they are eight days later. I was able to touch up the tips with plain black creme polish, which helped.

And finally, what I've had on my nails this week, Incoco Nail Polish Appliques in Midnight Countdown. I had to get these on, as this is my last chance to wear something with "2015" on it and be timely. This strip set has four designs in black and gold with very fine holo shimmer.

I've been enjoying seeing how the sparkles pop in different lights. We haven't had much sun around here, but the little bedside lamps in the condo work just fine for bringing out the holo.

And now I'm caught up with my manicures ... until I change my nails, probably tomorrow, if I'm feeling up to it. I've unfortunately come down with a sore throat/sinus thing and am taking it easy today hoping to bounce back sooner. I hope the turning of the year finds all of you happy and healthy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Last Displays of 2015

With the year quickly drawing to a close, it's time to fit in one last display post. Today I've got a mix of the last few things I saw in Michigan before I left and what I spotted on my first official display hunting trip in Idaho last week. Some of these are holiday displays I probably should have made an effort to post earlier; some look more like spring releases out early.

At Fred Meyer in Idaho, I saw the Essence Mountain Calling display. When I got to it, there were three polish colors left: Snow Alert, Let's Climb Mount Beauty, and Today is Fun Day. I relly wish I knew what other ones there were ... this is a perfect collection for me right now, what with just having moved to a mountain.

In the core display for Essence, they had Nail Candies, which I hadn't seen before even though I don't think they're new to Essence. Left to right: Peachy Keen, Sweets for the Sweet, Always in My Mint, empty slot for Sugar Pie Honey Bunch, Oh Lolli Lollipop, Soda Pop & Candy Shop, Like Love Birds, A Hint of Mint.

FingerPaints holiday offering is 'Tis the Season to Sparkle, which thank goodness isn't all glitters or I would have had to buy them all. Left to right: Golden Glaze, Tinsel & Tidings, Romanesque Rouge, Vintage Vincent, Be Merry & Sparkle, Sterling Sculpture.

I first saw the L'Oreal Mad for Plaid display at Bed Bath & Beyond in Michigan; I also spotted it at Fred Meyer in Idaho last week. This has seven cremes and a golden metallic: Classic Check, Plaid Please, Regal Red, Schoolgirl Chic, Tartan Teal, Bundled Up, Navy Knit, Pop of Plaid, and Feeling Kilty.

At a Walgreens in Idaho, I saw a different new L'Oreal display, Bohemian Beauty. This looked to be seven cremes and a glitter, but it was hard to tell as it was on a high shelf. I had to hold the camera over my head to get the shot. Left to right: Sunkissed Silver, Boho Babe, Peaceful Pink, Radical Rose, Flower Crown, Blissful Blue, Totally Turquoise, Gypsy Glitz.

The only place I've seen the Orly Infamous display is at Sally Beauty. There are six shades in this one, only five of which my store had when I got there. Front row: Frenemy, 15 Minutes of Fame, Gossip Girl. Peeking out from behind the front row: Scandal, Front Page, empty slot for Makeup to Breakup (dark dusty teal blue creme).

Walmart is once again part of my display hunting rounds now that I'm in Idaho because it's one of the only chain stores that carry polish in the small town closest to me. They have Pure Ice Shine with Gel Tech, which is that brand's version of the no-light gel system with color and a special topcoat. I didn't take the time to document what the shade names were because it was two days before Christmas and just being in the store made my head hurt with all the chaos around me.

At Bed Bath & Beyond in Michigan, I saw the Revlon Love is On display with new core shades: Stunner, Romantique, Adventurous, Vivacious, Hypnotic, Irresistible, Desirable, Passionate. I later spotted it at Ulta as well.

The Sally Girl Winter Wonderland display with scented nail polish and remover pads was still on the counter at Sally Beauty as of last week. Four polishes here: Pine Tree (red shimmer, for some reason), Vanilla (silver glitter), Peppermint (red glitter in white base, that makes sense at least), and Sugar Cookie (red and green glitter in light tan base).

Sally Hansen has apparently reformulated Complete Salon Manicure (again? seems like they've done this before). Now it's got keratin. The relaunch display, which I saw at Ulta, is full of what I think of as "muggle colors" from the existing core collection; I mean, I wear them sometimes, but they're pretty tame. Front row: Clear'd for Takeoff, Plum's the Word, Raisin the Bar, So Much Fawn, Shell We Dance. Back row: Red My Lips, Ruby Do, Wine Not, Pat on the Black, Pink Pong.

These new Complete Salon bottles have two numbers on the top; not sure what that's about.

Ulta also had a display of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel, touting it as "new & improved". These new shades are much brighter and more interesting on the whole than the Complete Salon repromotes. Front row: Pink-terest, Electric Pop, World Wide Red, Byte Blue, Let's Get Digital, Digi-teal, Gigabryte. Back row: Head Bang, Scarlet Starlet, V-amplified, Motley Hue, Punk-ish Purple, Rock On, Stilettos & Studs.

On my last trip to Meijer before we left Michigan, I finally saw the Studio M holiday display, 'Tis the Season. Most are core or reissues, but there were a handful of new shades. Top row: Red-ical Gypsy, Gingerbread, Blue Funk, Flurries (new), Hot Cider (new), Gold Mine (new), Baldwin Blues, Kaleidoscope. Second row: Party Girl, Slammin Red, Trinket (new), Sexy Siren, Jingle Jangle, Sex Symbol, Slammin Red, Sparks Fly. Third row: Holiday Splendor, Antiquated, Sparks Fly, Berry and Bright, Mamba, Glitterati, Drama Queen, Holiday Splendor. Bottom row: Poparazzi, Lust, Northern Lights (new), Magnetism, Purple Medallion, Love Light (new), Savoy Nights, Wish Upon a Rockstar.

Ulta had the limited edition Whim winter collection in a separate section of the core display. There are ten shades in this group: Cocktails & Fairytales, Blush & Bows, Sapphire Slipper, Dreaming in Glitter, Moonlight Moments, Sage of Innocence, Sheer Embrace, When the Clock Strikes, Thyme to Celebrate, Let's Cuddle.

That's it for now; pretty short for a display post, but I suppose that makes sense since it's only been about a month since my last one. I expect we'll be awash in spring displays soon; I hope I can get out there and catch them before they get picked over. I'll be interested to see how quickly things move here versus back in Michigan.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas NOTD

Merry Christmas to those of you celebrating today! Mother Nature has outdone herself on the white Christmas front here in Northern Idaho—we've had four feet (122 cm) of snow in the last week!

On the slopes yesterday:

For this holiday week, I applied some festive nail polish strips from Incoco. I used the O Christmas Tree design, which I think was maybe new last year; I pulled it out of my strips stash so can't be sure. This has a silver foil background with multiple sizes of dots in red, pink, and two shades of green, plus accent nail strips which have dotted Christmas trees.

I experimented with one nail on my left hand and cut a Christmas tree out of an accent strip and stuck it on top of the dots; that wasn't that successful since it all blends together. But still festive! (I haven't unpacked my lightbox yet, so all the nail photos today are taken next to a window in natural light.)

My mysterious right hand makes a special holiday guest appearance:

These have been holding up well; after five days, I've got some tip wear and a growth gap at my base but otherwise my left hand looks good.

My right hand doesn't look quite as nice; I've scraped off parts of the strips on my thumb and index finger getting my ski pass on and off the metal ring that attaches it to my coat. I need to find a better solution there, as the pass is also a method of payment for lunches and such on the hill; we load it with more funds when we run out so we don't have to carry cash or other cards while we ski.

I hope all of you reading this are having a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wet 'n' Wild We're the Wild Ones

Unlike the restraint I showed in only getting two-thirds of the new shades SinfulColors put out for Holiday 2015, I grabbed all six of the limited edition polishes from the Wet 'n' Wild We're the Wild Ones display. Left to right: Naughty and Iced, Bring the 'Pagne, Where My Ho Ho Hos At, Holiday Spirits and Wine, Los Feliz Navidad, Garnet My Heel Broke.

I paired these up for swatching purposes because my impatience was getting the better of me on that particular day; so many polishes, so little time! First up, Bring the 'Pagne with an accent nail of Naughty and Iced. Bring the 'Pagne, is an icy blue slightly textured glitter with both micro and small glitter pieces (what look like darker flecks on some nails in photos are just the larger glitters catching the light differently). I used two coats of this one. Naughty and Iced is a gold polish with a similar finish, though I only used one coat of it. I did add topcoat to both of these, as I wanted more of a shiny look. To get these really shiny, though, would require either additional coats of the thin topper I used or one of a plumping topcoat. Of this pair, Bring the 'Pagne is more suited to my skintone, and I liked it so well I've had it on my toes for the past couple weeks.

Holiday Spirits and Wine got an accent nail of Where My Ho Ho Hos At (I suppose with a brand name like Wet 'n' Wild, a shade name like that is no surprise). Holiday Spirits is a wine jelly with scattered silver and holo microglitter; I used two coats, no topcoat, and it was plenty shiny on its own. Where My Ho has the same micro and hex glitter texture finish that the first two polishes I shared have, just in a .pewter color. I used one coat plus topcoat, but probably should have gone with two coats.

I took this pair out in the sunshine to get the glitter in Holiday Spirits to pop.

Los Feliz Navidad with an accent of Garnet My Heel Broke made up the final pairing. Loz Feliz is another textured polish with the micro and hex glitter, but not monochrome like the previous ones. This has a deep blue base with gold and violet-leaning blue glitter. I used two coats plus topcoat for my swatch. Garnet My Heel Broke is also textured, but unlike its other bumpy siblings in the collection, just has silver microglitter in its black base. I think this name would have better paired with the reddish polish in the group rather thna this one, since most people think red or wine when they think of garnet stones. I used one coat plus topcoat of Garnet but should have done two.

In direct low light, you can see that one thin layer of topcoat doesn't smooth out the texture entirely. You can also see the pretty pops of color coming off Los Feliz.

This collection does feel festive to me, appropriate for New Year's Eve parties. I wonder why they didn't either go with all textures (and put that on the display) or do a more balanced mix of texture and non-. I expect some people bought these and put them on and just thought they were bad, bumpy glitters since neither the display nor the bottles say anything about the textured ones being textured that I recall.

What the collection doesn't feel to me is fresh, but of course I went texture polish crazy back when every brand seemed to have them, so it would take something really different in that arena to catch my interest. These textures all look similar to ones I've already got. Bring the 'Pagne looks like Orly Aqua Pixel. Naughty and Nice looks like L'Oreal The Statement Piece. Where My Ho Ho Hos At reminds me of L'Oreal Diamond in the Rough, OPI Baby Please Come Home, and possibly GOSH Frosted Purple and Orly Plum Pixel, and may. Los Feliz Navidad looks like L'Oreal Too Dimensional. Garnet My Heel broke puts me in mind of Zoya Dahlia, Nicole by OPI A-nise Treat, L'Oreal Rough Around the Edges, and Orly Black Pearl. I wish I'd brought all those out with me to Idaho so I could do comparisons but alas, very tough choices had to be made.

So I'd say, if you missed the texture trend in the last couple years and feel regret about that, these would be good to grab. The odd one out here, Holiday Spirits and Wine, is very pretty, so if I can only keep one, that'll be it from this collection.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Selections from SinfulColors Holiday 2015

This time I have a really good excuse for my gap in posting: I packed up most of my wardrobe and a lot of other stuff and drove across the country, relocating for ski season to northern Idaho. Along the way, Mr. K and I also attended a nephew's college graduation and hosted a mini family reunion. I did bring a fair bit of nail polish with me, and stamping supplies, and glitter, and they do have stores here for me to stalk displays in (though no CVS, Meijer, or Five Below, and I have to drive an hour or so to get to the nearest Walgreens and Rite Aid), so I will be blogging in between hitting the slopes. Right now, though I have some swatches backlogged from before I started trying to decide what I'd need to pack to get through the winter.

Because I really am trying to cut back on my stash expansion, I only got four of the new SinfulColors shades that were in the big holiday display: Silver Crush, Star Studded, Touch of Class, and Flake Out.

Touch of Class is a silver grey shimmer with pinkish lavender highlights.

Unfortunately, the lavender pretty much disappears on the nail, with the overall impression being a brushstrokey, slightly lumpy silver grey. On the plus side, it only took two coats despite being a light color.

Fortunately, I had glitter to distract me from the disappointment of Touch of Class. Flake Out has sky blue hex glitter, holographic white snowflake glitter, and blue shimmer in a transparent base.

I dabbed one coat of Flake Out over Touch of Class, fishing for the snowflakes. The blue shimmer in Flake Out's base gets lost against the silver grey, but the glitter stands out.

Silver Crush has silver square and shard glitter and silver holo bar glitter in a clear base.

I tried Silver Crush over Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Midnight Affair; since I wanted to see Flake Out over a darker base, I used it on an accent nail. I did two coats of the glitters over the blue. Silver Crush went on easier, as it had no shaped glitter to fish for. I added topcoat to smooth things out though they really weren't that bumpy. You can see how much better the blue shimmer in Flake Out shows up against the darker base color.

There is a gold version of Silver Crush called Twilight Twinkles which I passed on in favor of the other golden glitter in the display, Star Studded. This is a close sibling to Flake Out, with stars instead of snowflakes and gold shimmer and glitter instead of blue.

I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Cafe au Lait as a base, leaving an accent nail bare to show Star Studded on its own. I did two coats of Star Studded over the neutral base and three coats on its own on the accent nail. The stars were easier to get out of the bottle than the snowflakes in Flake Out.

I can't recommend Touch of Class, but I do like the glitters. Silver Crush was the easiest to apply but I liked the look of the other two more, as they had the shimmer in the base, too, so were more interesting to me.