Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics Nails (P.S. I can't make rings!)

I probably won't be too active on the blog, Twitter, etc. for the next 2 weeks or so as I LOVE to watch the Olympics. Kiddo is vacationing with friends and DH is pretty self-sufficient, so I expect my after-work attention to be split between the Olympics and Paint Box Polish (both the blog and Etsy store).

While watching Men's Swimming Saturday, I decided I wanted to do an Olympic rings mani. I learned that I cannot make free hand rings. Then I tried using straws. Too big and not even enough. So, I decided to bring back the Independence Day dots, but in the colors of the Olympic rings.

My base was OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls. I dotted with the flat end of a bamboo skewer for the larger dots and a dotting tool for the smaller ones. The yellow dots are Paint Box Polish Hufflepuff, green are butter LONDON British Racing Green, blues are butter LONDON Blagger, red is Zoya Sooki, and black dots Zoya Raven. I am pretty happy with it and have gotten several compliments at work.

I debated using my Paint Box Polishes for all the colors but black because they fit with the Olympic colors, but stock is getting low and I have pigments being shipped, so I decided not to. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Paris Sparkles Celery Stalker

Today I have an indie polish that I picked up in a swap with Misty20 from Instagram. I've been intrigued by Paris Sparkles for a few months now, but haven't taken the plunge and ordered. So, when I saw a bottle up for swapping, I jumped on it. 

I was quite surprised at how thin and workable the formula was given the amount of glitter packed into the bottle! Celery Stalker has a pretty, yellow-y green base with fine clear and silver glitter, and larger purple, blue, yellow, black, clear, and silver holo hex glitter. I used a coat of Gelous and then a coat of Seche Vite and the finish was fairly flat. I think the clear glitters give the polish a very interesting texture. The green is truly celery green, and it reminded me of salt on my nails. But I'm a little weird, so you may not agree!

Paris Sparkles is currently listed as on vacation over on Etsy, but you can sign up to be notified when she returns. Check out her shop here!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Milani 3D Holographic polish in Cyberspace - Reswatched

Today I have a polish that only worn a couple of times in the last year. Milani 3D Holo polish in Cyberspace. It is a very soft blue with glass-fleck silver particles. The irregularity of the glitter has this polish straddling the line between linear and scattered holo. A mild linear pattern is definitely visible in bright sunlight, but the milder, scattered holo effect is easily seen indoors as well.

3 coats of Cyberspace topped with Essie Good to Go

Blurred to appreciate the sparkle!

In direct sunlight. Enlarge photo to see more visible linear holo.
I purchased this polish from CVS for less than $5, but I haven't seen them available recently. They appear to be readily available at

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why I'm boycotting Sinful Colors

Bloggers put a lot of hard work, effort, blood, and sweat into our posts. We toil over polish, make up, lotions, potions, and balms to put our best look forward. Then, we take pictures upon pictures of the look we just created. Next, we hit our computers to upload, sort, and tweak those pictures to bring our readers the best ones. We watermark them in hopes that no one will take those photos we worked hard on and use them without our permission or credit. Finally, we write our reviews and opinions, add our pictures, and post our finished product to the Internet for our readers to see.

So, to read on Twitter that Sinful Colors swiped the pictures of fellow bloggers from their blogs without their permission was very upsetting. Soon I saw that they had also erased their watermarks. This tells me that there was malicious intent. One doesn't accidentally erase a watermark. Then I saw with my own eyes that the pictures weren't just published in a pamphlet, but were also photoshopped onto the models in a large end cap display.

Upsetting? No. Angry. How difficult is it for a nail polish company to take their own photos? Yes, these ladies' nails are stunning. Completely beautiful. But come on, Sinful Colors! Shoot your own photos. Better yet, if you see fabulous photos that you want to use, email the bloggers and... *gasp!* ask their permission.

Below the break are photos that I took in my local Walgreens and links to the blogs posts by Mary and Jeanette.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Max Factor Fantasy Fire over Orly Charged Up and China Glaze First Mate

This one is going to be pic heavy! It's impossible to do Fantasy Fire justice with a camera. All I can advise is to get it if you have a chance! I was lucky and won it in a giveaway. From What I understand, it's only available in the UK. :(

Fantasy Fire is a multi-chrome, fine glitter polish in a jelly-ish purple base. It's best to use as a topcoat because it comes in a tiny 5ml bottle and multiple coats would be wasteful! I used one coat over Orly Charged Up and 2 coats over China Glaze First Mate. Charged Up is a bright purple jelly. Not neon, but a true purple. First Mate is a true blue creme. Fantasy Fire's application was a cinch as it goes on like butter!

Click on the pictures to make them bigger if you want a better look!

1 coat over Charged Up. Look at the colors in the bottle!

You can see the red glow on the left and the shift from yellow/green to red on the right.

Another shot of the shift. Yellow/green near the cuticle, red at the tip.

This one is purely for the pretty. :)

Two coats of Fantasy Fire over First Mate. Not the best photo, but  I wanted to show it over blue as well.

You can see the difference in the shift with two coats .

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Foil Method - Get rid of glitter, not your nails!

Have you ever looked at that beautiful glitter polish and longed to wear it, but cringed at the thought of taking it off? I know I have. There's only so many times you can scrub and scrape at polish before removing a layer of your nails and losing your sanity. This method (which isn't mine by any means - it's all over Google and beauty blogs) is easy, fast, and works wonderfully!

You'll need a few simple supplies... 10 cotton balls/cotton pads, 10 small squares of aluminum foil, and polish remover. Acetone works the fastest, but any will do.

You'll also need a glitter mani. This is Nail-Venturous Floam after 4 days of wear. How great is that??

Soak a cotton ball in remover and place it over your nail. Wrap the foil around tightly. You want to hold the cotton ball in place and keep it from drying out too quickly. Repeat this process 10 times. Your second hand can be rather tricky, so you can do one hand at a time or enlist an assistant.

You'll end up with something like this. :) Let it sit for a few minutes. I let it stay on for 10 minutes, and removed by twisting the foil as I slid it off of each finger. A tiny bit of glitter was left at the sides of my nails, but it was easy to get rid of. My nails are still in great shape. Acetone can be drying, so I used a heavy dose of cuticle oil to moisturize after.

I hope you find this technique helpful. It really is quick and easy!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nail-Venturous Floam!

First off, thanks so much and Happy Blogiversary to Emily over at Embellished Nails. I won Floam, Max Factor Fantasy Fire, and Fingerpaints Flecked in her One Year giveaway. That makes for pretty awesome nail mail!

So... Floam. Floam! Floam is a clear base absolutely packed with very small/round, matte hex blue and yellow glitter. It is super thick, but that's pretty necessary to keep all those pieces suspended. The brush was also very full, which is good because you need to pick up a decent amount of polish to keep from bald spots.

Check out the bonus shiny blue glitter!

I used a base coat of American Classics Bridge The Gap, two coats of Floam, a coat of Gelous, and Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat. It is definitely necessary to wait for Floam to dry a bit before adding the second coat. And even with a coat of thick Gelous and the even thicker Seche Vite, there are some bumps once the polish dries completely.

So... Is it a labor-intensive polish? A bit, but not nearly as bad as that sounded. Is is worth it? YES!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zoya Zuza

Zoya Zuza is the second polish I bought from the Zoya Surf collection. Zuza is pretty teal packed with a fine silver shimmer.

The formula is perfect. Two coats to opacity. Zoya's brush is one of my favorites as it is nice and full with very flexible bristles that are very easy to control. 

These are all of the polishes that I picked up from their summer collections as I am trying to be good. :) I have decided that I am probably going to pick up the whole Fall Diva collection. Have you seen it? Check out Scrangie's swatches here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Zoya Kimber

Zoya Kimber is from the Surf half Zoya's fabulous Summer 2012 collection, Beach & Surf. Surf is full of bright, sparkly colors. Kimber is a bright pink with small, irregular gold and silver flecks. It's a very warm color and is very summery.

This is 2 coats of Kimber over butter LONDON Nail Foundation and Seche Vite.

I also picked up Zuza, so expect that post next. And, coming soon... Nail-venturous Floam and Max Factor Fantasy Fire!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Barielle Decadence

Today I have for you the beautiful Barielle Decadence. I picked this one up from Dana's (Polished Claws Up!) blog sale. She still has some pretties left, so go check it out!

Decadence is a beautiful, shimmery teal that is just perfect for summer! The formula was great. Buttery smooth and very opaque. Above is 2 coats topped with Seche Vite. Sadly, there was quite a bit of shrinkage, as evidenced by my pinky up there. The above photo was taken about 12 hours into this mani.

This is my first Barielle, and I immediately fell in love with the brush! It's a shame I'm married. :( It's medium in length, but is very full. Super flexible and easy to control. It holds loads of polish, but the polish wasn't super runny so it stuck there.

Love it, love it!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July Gradient Dots Manicure

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! I got home from the gym yesterday with a butter LONDON box tucked into my storm door. Gotta love 30% off sales! So there I sit with the beautiful cobalt blue Blagger in my hand on July 3rd, and am hit with a patriotic nail art idea. 

Sarah from Chalkboard Nails posted an awesome gradient dot mani over on her blog. (check out her post here) It is beautiful, dramatic, and above all simple. At least she made it seem simple. Since I am not a gifted nail artist, I decided to give it a go.

I started with 2 coats of the fabulous butter LONDON Blagger, then dotted on large white dots with OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls near the tips of my nails with the flat end of a bamboo kabob stick. (Working with what I've got!) Next, I used a small dotting tool to add some white dots near the base of the nail. Lastly, I repeated the dotting process with Zoya Sooki. 

Look at that! Nail art! And I think it looks pretty decent. Happy 4th of July guys!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

China Glaze On Safari Kalahari Kiss and I'm Not Lion

Posting this one via email while hanging out at the hospital for my mom's heart cath, so formatting might be weird.

I went into Sally Beauty for a new shampoo and my friend/hookup/enabler runs up and asked, "Do you want to see the new China Glazes??" Uh, what? My brain doesn't think about fall polishes being available in June. But there they were!

I tried to show restraint since I'd just bought several new bottles, and I think I did okay with the two I got. Kalahari Kiss is a yellow/brown/beige cream and I'm Not Lion is a very fine gold, silver, red, and holographic glitter polish. Above is two coats of each. I was very pleased the the smoothness and opacity of I'm Not Lion. There were a few others that caught my eye, but I have others that are similar. We'll see if I cave and get any others.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

SpaRitual Sun Salutation

We stopped by Sephora during our trip to Orlando, and I decided that I wanted to get a polish from a brand I haven't tried before. This color caught my eye, and I chose it in part because it was only $10 and I had already went a little crazy with polish buying via the internet during my conference.

I am interrupting quickly to say that I really, really, really don't like the nail bar at Sephora. It's a little dark in the store anyway, and the bright lights under the polish itself makes it very difficult to see what you're getting. I didn't think to get a picture of it, but there are pics floating around the internet. Cool aesthetic, but not very practical. 

Below are three very thin coats of SpaRitual Sun Salutation over American Classics Bridge the Gap Ridge Filling Base Coat. The rose-gold foil color caught my eye, and the name sealed the deal for me. Sun Salutation is one of my favorite yoga poses. (See an example here) It's actually a series of moves that stretches your back and feels really wonderful. 

Because the foil finish will highlight any imperfections on the nail, a ridge filling base coat is key. Unless you have perfect nail beds. :) The formula was thin and really, really nice. SpaRitual's brush is rather short, but wide and very flexible. The cap is rubber coated and substantial. Between the cap and the brush, I feel you have very good control with application of this polish.

All in all, I'm very happy with this one, and plan to pick up more SpaRitual polishes in the future.
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