Monday, June 18, 2018

Protective Nails of the Day

I am home from nearly a month on the road! There's so much unpacking and laundry and such to be done, most of which I haven't gotten to yet because a friend and her dog came up to visit for the weekend soon after I returned. I'm now one week into a manicure intended to protect my nails from the rigors of moving luggage in and out of hotel rooms as I drove back over three days and all the reaching into suitcases and the washing machine and dryer as I settle back in. If you've been reading a while, you've probably already guessed that it's fake nails to the rescue. This particular set is from Pretty Woman, some Designer Nails I picked up on my trip in (I think) Billings, Montana. I don't see any name on the box, just the item number PD1004. They're a long-ish coffin shape, most in a pale peachy pink solid color with a few accent nails in a coordinated microglitter finish.

There are 24 nails in the box; I didn't have any issues finding sizes to fit my fingers. I was frustrated that the accent thumb nails weren't the best fit for me, so I had to have plain thumbs, but that's just how it goes. I used the adhesive tabs to apply them; those seemed a bit short for my bigger fingers (all the tabs are the same height and just differ in width). I'd describe the nails as thin but sturdy; they didn't feel heavy on my nails nor did they seem too bendy to do the job of protecting my natural nail tips underneath. The shape was not something I'm used to—the corners on the tips felt very sharp and pointy to me the first day or so I wore them. After that, I either got used to them or they wore down and smoothed out a bit due to normal use. They still felt long to me but weren't as distracting.

As with most other pointy fakes I've tried, the edges of the nails tapered down too quickly to cover my real nails at the sides of the tips; that bothered me when I first put them on but then I forgot about it; the pale color of the fakes blended fairly well with my skin and nails so it wasn't obvious where the gaps were.

Within twelve hours of putting them on, I popped off the first nail when the sticky tab lost its grip. I re-affixed the nail with glue (also included in the box) and just kept doing that as the tabs failed. By a few days in, all the nails were glued on, and they mostly stayed (in a couple cases, a hard knock of a tip against a hard surface would dislodge them, but regluing was easy).

The last morning of my drive back, I melted the tip of my left index finger nail when I got it too close to a hot toaster in the hotel when fishing my bagel out. It didn't deform too much, fortunately.

After I got home, I decided to clip off the melted part of that one nail and shorten the others to match, filing them all into a more rounded shape that feels more comfortable to me.

I think I can get a few more days wear out of these before the gap at the base starts to bother me, so that's what I shall do. Perhaps I'll reward myself with a new manicure after I finish my unpacking!

Monday, June 11, 2018

IEC Nail Looks

I'm on my way home from Indie Expo Canada. Since I'm driving, it'll be a while before I get there, so no haul posts until then, as my new pretties are safely wrapped and tucked away for the journey, but I can share what was on my nails while I created new polishes in the workshop and bought new polishes from the vendors.

For Saturday, I did my nails in blues with a purple shift. First I did a couple of treatment coats and then laid down a base of Sally Hansen Insta Dri Bluetiful, a bright royal blue creme which I bought while on this road trip (I'll be sharing that display in a big roundup post after I get back home). On my index fingers and thumbs, I added Studio M Ice Cold, which has blue glitter in a blue/purple shifting shimmer base. On my other digits, I added Ever After License to Lacquer, an IEC limited edition from last year that has scattered holo in a blue/purple shifting microshimmer base. Orly Sec n' Dry finished things off.

In the natural light coming in through the window of my hotel room (about a half hour north of the IEC host hotel so I could save money for more polish):

You can see a bit of the shift to purple at this angle:

Sparkling in some bright lights in the hotel during a break from the polish making workshop (complete with smudge of pigment on my pinky there):

I ended up making four colors in the polish making workshop. The whole class made the one on the left, which we dubbed Regency Blue (though there were some variations since not all of us managed to follow the recipe exactly—it's hard to measure out .03 grams of flakes, for instance). The bright yellow green was my simplest creation; I called it Juicy Glow. The other two are similar purple bases; the second one started with overpour from the first: House in Progress has primarily bronze glitter and shimmer while Dark & Mysterious has that plus navy and turquoise glitter and multichrome flakes and I forget what all.

Pretty raw ingredient:

Progression of Regency Blue at varying stages of adding ingredients:

Dregs of Dark & Mysterious in the mixing cup:

I couldn't wait to try one of these, so I slapped Dark & Mysterious on my middle through pinky fingers; thank goodness Pam had some topcoat handy so I could smooth it out:

For Sunday, I wanted to wear one of my new creations, and decided on Juicy Glow as it was the most eye catching (not that it coordinated in any way with the outfit I planned to wear). I experimented with it on a nail wheel first. Left to right: over yellow creme, over lime green creme, on its own (top half of nail) and over light yellow creme (bottom half of nail), over skintone base.

I settled on the light yellow base (Sally Hansen Insta Dri Canary, another new one from this trip), over the same treatment bases as the prior day. Two coats of Juicy Glow on top of that, then topcoat and I was ready.

In the sunshine outside the hotel:

Showing its more yellow side in the photo area:

I ruined this mani in rather more spectacular fashion than usual when I tripped over the fill hose while getting gas that night; I broke my fall with my hand:

Despite that, I patched it up and still have it on today, and it actually did coordinate nicely with the top I wore yesterday:

I have no idea when I swatch or wear the rest of the polishes I made, much less the ones I bought. It's nice knowing I have lots of fun to look forward to.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Great Lakes Lacquer Meets Alter Ego

Today I head to Canada for this year's Indie Expo Canada, which starts for me with the bonus polish making workshop tomorrow. It seemed fitting to share some polishes from brands I'll see at IEC.

I have two from Great Lakes Lacquer and two from Alter Ego.

Great Lakes Lacquer So Sweet and So Cold is a periwinkle shimmer with microflakies and holo. I used two coats for my swatch.

The holo does show up in sunlight:

Great Lakes Lacquer Love at Hyatt Regency is a blue shimmer and another two coater.

Here's the shimmer in direct light:

I spiced up Love at Hyatt Regency with two coats of Alter Ego Courtney's Frogspawn Coral, which is a glitter topper with lime holo hexes in a sheer blue shimmer base.

Alter Ego Generous Beauty is a turquoise shimmer with a scattered holo effect. I did three coats of it, though two slightly generous ones would probably have been fine.

In sunlight, the sparks of holo popped out:

One coat of Courtney's Frogspawn Coral over Generous Beauty added a touch of bling:

I haven't made a shopping list for this year's IEC yet, and if last year is any guide, I won't until the last minute, and then I'll get distracted by all the pretties on the vendor tables and end up with a mix of things on the list and stuff that's wasn't on the list but maybe should have been. So maybe I won't make a list at all (except for the one polish I'm picking up for a friend) and just let instinct be my guide.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Wheel P10: Girly Bits

This coming weekend I'm attending the second annual Indie Expo Canada, and in honor of Pam, who made IEC happen, I've got a Nail Wheel Wednesday filled with her brand, Girly Bits.

(all have clear topcoat over coats of color noted below)

1. Girly Bits Refresh Refresh Refresh (2 coats over black)
2. Girly Bits OVbunEN (2)
3. Girly Bits Love Ya Beach (2)
4. Girly Bits You Spin Me Round (2)
5. Girly Bits Sugar Beach (3)
6. Girly Bits Into the Night (3) [early version]
7. Girly Bits Into the Night (3) [later version]
8. Girly Bits Gravedigger (3)
9. Girly Bits Purple Potion (3)
10. Girly Bits prototype FRPS#1 (3)
11. Girly Bits Visions of Sugar Plums (3)
12. Girly Bits unknown (2) [lost the label on this one]
13. Girly Bits Seriously Sassy (2)
14. Girly Bits No Such Thing As a Purple Problem (2)
15. Girly Bits prototype FRPS#5 (2)
16. Girly Bits Stayin' Alive (2)
17. Girly Bits Razzle Dazzle (3)
18. Girly Bits What Happens in Vegas Ends Up on Instagram (2)
19. Girly Bits The Power of Love (2)
20. Girly Bits A Stripper Has Been Sleeping in My Bed (3)

Bottles 1 through 5:

6 through 10:

11 through 15:

16 through 20:

Bonus direct light shots of a few of these:

Monday, June 4, 2018

Meetup and Pride Nails

I mentioned in my last post that I was meeting up with some nail polish friends in Michigan, and I did indeed do that, this past Saturday. Since it's Pride month, I decided to do a rainbow manicure. Since I'm good at leaving things until the last minute, I finished painting it in the parking lot of the place we were meeting. I snapped a few shots in the car just before I went in:

Because there are six stripes on the Pride flag and I have only five fingers, my thumb had to do double duty. I used all Sally Hansen Crayola Insta Dri shades for the colors: Scarlet, Sunset Orange, Dandelion, Granny Smith Apple, Bluetiful (bought on this trip and so new I haven't posted the display photo yet), and Vivid Violet. To tie the rainbow together and add more color and fun, I topped them with Salon Perfect Silver Sparkler (another new one this trip, though I believe it's not a new polish for the brand). My base coats were Sally Hansen Nail Nutrition Green Tea + Bamboo and Salon Sciences Starting Over After Artificials, and my top coat was Orly Sec 'n Dry.

After a delicious lunch and much chat, we did remember to take a group nail photo. Starting at top left, it's Melissa from honeybee_nails (she recently started a blog, too), Becki who doesn't Instagram right now, me, and Jamy from jamylyn_nails.

I didn't bring my lightbox with me on this trip, so need to be on the lookout for natural light opportunties, like this one by my hotel window later that day.