Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wheel N9: Glitters from Essence

Even though there are still plenty of pink cremes waiting to go on wheels, I had to take a break from all that plainness and grabbed some glitter polishes from Essence. Most of these I picked up thanks to swapping back in the day, though a few I bought myself; I think at least a couple were from my trips to Minsk for work. I haven't seen any fun LE Essence collections at Fred Meyer or Ulta here in the States in ages; there are makeup displays, yes, but no polish in the recent ones. That's too bad, because they've done some great polishes for reasonable prices; some of the ones on this wheel are very rich-looking indeed.

(all have clear topcoat in addition to coats noted below)

1. Essence Colour & Go Space Queen (2 coats over black)
2. Essence Colour & Go Time for Romance (3)
3. Essence Colour & Go Blue Addicted (3)
4. Essence Colour & Go Glisten Up (3) [probably should have layered this over black]
5. Essence Colour & Go Kiss Me Freddy (2)
6. Essence Colour & Go Here's My Number (3)
7. Essence Effect Holo Jewels Bejeweled (2)
8. Essence Effect Glitter Jewels Glitz & Glam (3)
9. Essence Effect Twinkling Bling Bling Never Stop Dancing (3)
10. Essence Effect Electric Feathers Gold Fingers (3)
11. Essence Effect Glitter Jewels Party in a Bottle (3)
12. Essence Effect Polka Dots Laser Show (2)
13. Essence Effect Glitter Jewels Party Cracker (3)
14. Essence Nail Art Twins Troy (3)
15. Essence Nail Art Twins Edward (3)
16. Essence Nail Art Twins Blair (3)
17. Essence Nail Art Special Effect Circus Confetti (3)
18. Essence Nail Art Special Effect It's Purplicious (3) [my only quibble with this is it's not purplicious enough; I'd replace the pink squares with deep purple, but I'm a purple fiend]
19. Essence Superheroes Galaxy Flakes The Awesome (2)
20. Essence Multi Dimension Party Time (2 over black)

Bottles 1 through 6:

7 through 13:

14 through 20:

Monday, May 22, 2017

SinfulColors Stoned Crystal Shimmers, The Rest of the Story

Somehow in all the commotion of the last several weeks, I overlooked that I'd never posted the swatches I did of the rest of the SinfulColors Stoned Crystal Shimmer shades soon after I found the full collection. I put up swatches of the first four I bought way back in March. Today I've got the remaining five shades, which took their sweet time showing up in my stores. Left to right: Better Sedona-ed, Super Cooper, Clay Me, Gotta Terra Cotta, and Namaste the Night.

And a group shot of the whole crew, from which we learn that my lightbox is not wide enough for nine Sinful bottles:

Better Sedona-ed is a very light blue with the same silvery/pearly flakes as all of the polishes in this collection.

It took three coats of Better Sedona-ed for full coverage. I get a winter vibe from this one; I can see wearing it for the base of some snowflake stamping next ski season (though up here on the mountain it still snows in May, so I could have done that winter mani last week and been perfectly in sync with the weather).

The elusive Super Cooper is a sage green. This was a two coater.

Gotta Terra Cotta is a strange name for a dusty purpley pink polish; terra cotta in my mind is orange-y, not pink or purple. This was also opaque in two coats.

You may recall there is another purpley pink polish in this collection, Desert Reign, which was in my first set of swatches. Of course I had to compare them on the nail. Left to right (two coats of each): Gotta Terra Cotta, Desert Reign, Gotta Terra Cotta, Desert Reign. These are definitely not the same; Desert Reign is more purple and a touch lighter, while Gotta Terra Cotta is more dusty and warm toned. They're close enough, though, that I wonder why they included both in the same collection. Why not a brown? These were in a Desert Divas display and there's lots of brown in the desert.

Clay Me is a slightly dusty orange (which looks more like terra cotta to me than Gotta Terra Cotta). My swatch is two coats.

Namaste the Night is a dark warm-leaning purple, which of course I like very much. Another two-coater.

The formula on all of these was good. I did have two wonky brushes in the bunch (Clay Me and Namaste the Night) which made application a bit tricky for those colors; I really should learn to consistently check brushes but I've had relatively few issues over the years so I haven't gotten into the habit.

I wanted to play with these a bit more, so I did a few versions of what I'm calling a "canyons mani" ... it's sort of like the clouds mani that I first saw Nailside do (one version I did is the grey and black one in this post) but rougher, like the walls of a desert canyon. I suppose I could also call this "too lazy to do a proper gradient", but I prefer to focus on the positive and creative explanation. The three looks below do all have topcoat on them for leveling purposes.

The most canyon-y looking one was this combination of Just Deserts, Clay Me, and Gotta Terra Cotta.

Thera-pewter, Desert Reign, and Namaste the Night combine for a canyon at twilight look.

The last combination felt the most spring-like to me: Better Sedona-ed, Super Cooper, and Tealing Power.

I'm happy I got this whole collection. They remind me of Smitten Polish Berrydrops from way back in the day (long before they rebranded as Dreamland Lacquer), which I loved.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wheel M9: Warm Pink Cremes

Yes, still more pink cremes. I know this is not normal. I'm okay with that. This installment of Nail Wheel Wednesday features medium pinks that are warm-toned (or lean that way, or made me think they lean that way when I pulled the bottles).

1. L'Oreal Taste of Romance (3 coats)
2. Funky Fingers My Pretty Pink (3)
3. Milani Popping Pink (2)
4. Ciate Kiss Chase (2)
5. Sally Hansen Insta Dri Fuchsia Flare (2)
6. NYC Long Wearing Preppy Pink (2)
7. Sally Hansen Insta Dri Sumac Sonic (2)
8. Bonita Miss Piggy (2)
9. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Summer Lovin' (2)
10. Wet 'n' Wild Megalast Beat of a Generation (2)
11. Oh My GOSally Hansen Pink Obsession (2)
12. Milani Splendid Strawberry (2)
13. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Shrimply Devine (2)
14. Milani Pink Pop (3) [almost a two-coater]
15. GOSally Hansen Spot on Pink (2)
16. L'Oreal Hella Pink (2)
17. SinfulColors Pink Happy Thoughts (2)
18. Sally Hansen Triple Shine Pink Coconut (2)
19. Sally Hansen Triple Shine Reef-Raf (2)
20. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pink Punk (2)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Chipping Away at the NOTD Backlog

I'm happy to report that while Mr. Karen and I were off in Florida getting high doses of sunshine, heat, and Disney, our internet at home started behaving again as far as upload speed (we still need to reboot the modem about once a day, but that's our normal), so I can blog from the comfort of home, which means I am currently attired in bedroom slippers, leggings with screwdrivers printed on them, a tee shirt from 1996, and a hoodie—not exactly going out clothes. I'm sad to report that my nails are tore up; I think going from cold weather to hot and back to cold just was too much for them, and I had to nubbinize a couple days after we got back. So instead of trying to swatch and subject them to more abuse, I'm giving my nails a break and going to share some mani pics I took this past winter but never posted. They're all nail polish strips, because that's pretty much all I've been wearing for months due to them fitting nicely into my schedule during ski season. Most times, I'd put them on after dinner while watching tv with Mr. K, relaxing after a day on the slopes.

First up is Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Bling It On. I bought several boxes of these strips when they went on clearance, as this rosy pink glitter is understated yet sparkly, appropriate to wear in most any situation but still interesting to look at. Here's a shot in the very warm light of my dining room just after I put them on:

And here's the same strips in natural daylight filtered through a window some days later:

I did a pedi (not pictured) with Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Peppermint Twist, a red and white candy stripe, and used the leftovers as accent nails for a mani with Salon Effects in Snow Bunny, a red on white pattern that reminds me of the designs on old fashioned ski sweaters.

A few days later, I got that mani into my lightbox in the studio; there's some wear showing, but it still looks festive.

Next up was a set of Incoco Nail Polish Applique strips in Falling Flurries, with pearly white snowflakes and snowdrifts against an icy blue background.

Continuing the seasonal theme, I moved on to Sally Hansen Salon Effects Winter Funderland, whose box decor tantalizes with silver, blue, and holo glitter on a black background. The actual strips were noticeably devoid of holo glitter, but the effect of silver and blue scattered on black was still nice.

At that point, I veered away from my seasonal theme and went for color, in the form of Salon Effects Purr-fect Harmony, which has a rainbow animal print on silver.

Apparently I decided the light in my kitchen was best to show these off, yet failed to clear the counter behind me before snapping away.

And here's my awkward right hand, probably thinking to itself "no, what is she doing? this isn't our job, posing for pictures".

And that brings us up to the end of January, which seems like as good a stopping point as any for this post.