Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NYC Pumpkin and comparison shots

I got NYC Pumpkin for Halloween manis. Its a true orange with a shimmer. When I was applying it, I was reminded of China Glaze Riveting from the Hunger Games series. So I grabbed the Hunger Games bottle. OK it looked different, but I decided to apply CG to my other hand to compare. As you can see the nails on one hand are nubbins. :( I actually after this manicure decided to do a 1 week nail therapy. I did take before pics of the nails so we can compare, and that is as much info as you will get out of me. I was silly and didn't think to queue up posts, so you will get stash shots or manicures on my toddlers.

Anyway back to the polish. This is a shiny almost metallic orange. This is with 2 coats and on camera you can see a little visible nail line, but not bad. It was pretty easy application, no streaking and dried evenly, just not opaque.

This could go well as the base to pumpkin nail art if you were so inclined. But for less than $2, its great. I can't remember if this was in the $1.49 or $0.99 colors at walmart, but let's just say its some nice cheap thrills.

Now the comparison.
 Right off I could see the difference. China glaze is very much darker. But I had forgotten how it translated to the nail so I applied a quick 1 coat to my other hand.
 This has glass fleck type glitter/shimmer in it. Similar to the glass flecks style of Ruby Slippers, but obviously not ruby red. This is red orange..

And photos of the two together. I think if you tend toward cool colors on your nails you could still pull off the 'orange' in CG Riveting, but NYC Pumpkin is very much a warm golden orange.

I ended up applying several coats of Wet N Wild glow that I won in a giveaway in the dark to the Pumpkin and going out to a Trunk or Treat for our church. It didn't last the 20 minutes we were walking around. :-/ And I didn't take photos of it before. So no pics of that. I do think a big problem was the fact that you can't have a top coat with glow in the dark so one collision with a plastic pumpkin bucket and you are doomed.. But next time I will take photos before heading out. It did glow pretty well with the recommended 3 coats.

China Glaze retails for $7.99 and can be found various places online and in beauty stores. Last I knew this line was $1.50 at Sally's beauty supply (it was a spring collection). NYC varies in price depending on the color/finish, but its between $0.99 and $1.99 at places like Walmart and drug stores. All polish was bought by me and all opinions are my own!

Monday, October 29, 2012

LynBDesigns Medusa Cascade

Glitter bomb. Oh yes.

Medusa Cascade is from "The Doctor is In" collection by LynBDesigns. Its a fabulous top coat and could even be a stand alone polish. This is newly formulated, and I never tried the old version so I don't know what the differences could be.

And check out that font on the bottle label. Yeah this fan girl approves.

The clear base is slightly blue tinted so it will tint whatever you layer it over. I got full coverage with 3 coats, so if you want an intense glitter bomb nail without the wait time of a base color, go for it.

I tried this layered over white and just plain and I really liked the pop the white gave it. It sort of makes the polish glow from within. I am sure it would look nice with a darker base as well. My base color is Orly's Dayglow which was marketed to make neons pop, and it does great under glitter toppers as well IMO. If you have tried this base coat and hate the streaks, you are using too thin of coats. Make them thicker and you will have less issues with streaks. And no, thinner doesn't solve that problem, its just really a white that wants to be put on thickly and left to dry fully. I did 3 min between coats first try though and then ruined the nails before pics when changing a diaper. The glitter was dry when I bumped it and it literally slid off the white.  Do a full 5+ minutes for dry time for each layer of Dayglow. Just trust me on this.

And back to the sparkles.
This is 1 layer on the pinky and ring fingers, 2 layers on pointer and middle. The glitter does sort of want to do the dab technique application, so that is what I did for most of the fingers. The ring finger I actually just brushed it on though. Still a nice look, but I could see needing more coats for complete coverage if you do it this way.

The glitter died a little bumpy, but not gritty. Actually it dried about as bumpy as some glitters do WITH a generous top coat so I was really happy with it. A top coat made it completely smooth.

Click on the photos to zoom in. You know you want to see the rainbow holographic action going on. There are tiny glitters that are holographic as well as the bar glitters and some of the stars. There are silver rainbow holo stars and some dark blue stars that turn green to blue to purple. The light blue stars are matte.

This one has a bit of the color washed out because it was in the clouds. They have been rolling through all day and its been variations of sun and bright but no sun, and dim cloudy.

I love this color! Seriously. I tested out the polish for opacity and then reapplied it twice thanks to a diaper fiasco and I still don't want to take it off. I didn't even get annoyed that I had to apply it again because its so dang pretty. Oh and because I used a glue base coat so at least it was fast and easy between applications. I also admit after testing application on one fingernail I went back and bought more. What can I say, I really like them!

LynBDesigns nail polish retails for $8.50 including shipping to the US. Yes seriously! I believe she only sells polish within the states, but she sells lip balms, and other goodies outside of the US. She also runs great coupon codes frequently so read the shop announcements when you go there or check her out on Facebook page for coupon codes. This polish was bought by me and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Battle of the White polishes!

 I decided to see what white base was the best for under a neon. I used all the whites I had in my bin including OPI Tutu which is a sheer jelly and not really a white but more of a control in the experiment. After reading reviews I though China Glaze White on White would perform the best. Its rather popular for white due to price and its a nice white cream that tends to perform rather well. How they did will be shown in pictures and with descriptions below. The funky texture on my hands is because I took the photos inside the screen door. It didn't seem that obvious until I was editing pictures, sorry!

So first up the whites on the nails in all their glory. Sorry for the dry cuticles, these pictures were from when I tried using 100% acetone to clean up cuticles, and its DRYING. Using vasoline on the cuticles will help save your hands, but I didn't realize that at the time.
 On the pointer finger, I have OPI Tutu which is a sheer jelly and I mostly used this as my control in the experiment. This is essentially how it would look if I didn't use white under the polish. I only did one coat because I know its sheer.
Middle finger is OPI's My Boyfriend Scales Walls which is a slightly gray tinted white cream from the Spiderman Collection. This needed 2 coats to be solid. As you can see its more gray than the last 2 nails. Also, this needed the *longest* dry time of the bunch.
Ring Finger is Orly's Dayglow (won in a giveaway from Apple Laquer! Yay!). Dayglow is labeled as a 'stark white cream' but there is some shimmer type action going on in the bottle and it almost seems more like an opaque jelly on the nail based on how it wants to be applied. This was sort of streaky. I added a couple of drops of thinner, that didn't help much.I found out it just wants to be put down in a thick coat and then let it dry a little longer than you would for thinner coats.
Pinky is China Glaze's White on White. White cream, I have used this before pretty much a 1 coater, but I have had issues with chipping within a day/hours of application. I did add a second coat just to make sure it was a good solid white base.
 Adding the neon was an issue for me. Turned up Turquoise dries matte. And it start looking matte before it was actually dry. So you can see brush marks  from where I added more polish and the other layers weren't dry. So wait several minutes between coats even if it SEEMS dry.
And here they all are with a top coat. See that middle finger? Yeah OPI boyfriend smudged. It really really needed a long dry time for me. Longer than I anticipated that is for sure. The brush strokes actually started with the first layer and got worse after each layer.

My faves as a base for neons? Orly Dayglow and Chine Glaze White on White. They both made the neon POP! I would say for the least amount of layers and thus fastest mani, use China Glaze White on White. If you have a longer amount of time and get the white base solid before adding the neon the Orly performed really well and made the color pop. This was my first time using Orly Polish and I was pretty pleased with it. Again, I would recommend doing thick coats just to even out the white base, but it wore a lot better than the OPI and the China Glaze.

Third option for a neon mani would be OPI Tutu or no white base at all, just a clear base. It took an extra coat or so to get the same depth of color, and it wasn't quite as bright as the white bases, but if you don't really want another polish in your box you can feel free to skip it.

OPI Boyfriend seemed to darken the turquoise and it was not very exciting or neon once darkened. I did use an extra coat on the first two trying to get them to look as good as the last two (part of why I got lovely brush drag marks). PLUS the chipping! After waiting for everything to dry this one still was not dry. And I love OPI polish in general so I was rather bummed. I don't know if it was the base or how the base and the neon worked together.

Opi Boyfriend is best not layered under a neon. Its fine for nail art or with a glitter or something on top, but it made the neon more drab. Its also nice for a white nails that is less white out looking. But again this was experimenting with layering and in this experiment it was a big fat fail for me.

You can buy these brands and polishes at various retailers on the web as well as in stores (though some of these colors/collections might not all be available now). All opinions are my own, and with the exception of winning the Orly in a giveaway, I purchased all the polishes myself. Prices can rage for the polishes, but retail prices are $7-10. China Glaze is the least expensive and you can find online retailers that sell it for $3ish every day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DaringDigits Disco Diamond

Daring Digits Diamond disco is a clear based glitter top coat. It has tiny little holographic sparkles as well as larger octagon and large diamond holographic glitters. Its AMAZING in the sun. Simply stunning.  Save this one for a day you will be out and about a lot. Its nice indoors and on cloudy days, but when the sun hits it Bam!

Daring Digits Diamond Disco

This is 2 coats over a graphite gray/black color.

And just to show how this polish wears I took a couple of photos late in the day of day 3 of the mani. Keep in mind I don't baby my hands.I washed dishes, cleaned up a few spills and even did some serious packing for a friend on day 1 of the mani. The 3rd day was also, you guessed it cloudy. Still nice, but not nearly as holographic.
Daring Digits Diamond Disco on day 3 of wear

And above is compared to the first day in full sun.

My only complaint, is easily fixed by me with better application. If any of the big diamonds are near the edge they are pokey. I did clean up on the middle nail and the corner of a diamond stuck out a little. It was catching on everything and rather annoying. Obviously not THAT annoying since i wore the polish for 3 days, but next tiem I wll make sure there aren't any diamonds on the top edge as well as the normal hanging off the end of the nail.

Daring Digits retails for $7.75 for full size and $4.25 for minis. You can find her on etsy! All polish was bought by me and all opinions are my own. And yes I do want to wear this again.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Catching up!

Sorry I missed Monday's post! I have taken some photos and didn't get posts written. I also did my nails and never got good pics twice. So, today during preschool when I only have one kiddo at home I plan on getting at least tomorrow taken care of. My nails are actually rather LONG for me, like to the end of the fingertip. I have to show them off while I can.

Also a post on hangnails and care/treatment is coming. Winter is coming and if you get dry skin issues in the winter, you are more prone to hangnails.

And I am hoping to keep this schedule for posting, however my 33mo old has officially gotten a diagnosis of autism so I get to add 25-40 hours of therapy a week for him. Fun times! This is also a reason why I will never have long nails, playing with kids all day just doesn't make for nails past the fingertips. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Nails with Zoya Lianne

So this is a quick and dirty post with a not very nice photo. What can I say, it was nail art time with my 4 year old and you can't make mistakes with black.

Zoya Lianne is a tangerine orange with gold shimmer. I put it on and it needed pumpkins. My 4 year old hopped on that wagon as soon as she heard the idea. So the pumpkin match manicure was created. And, just in time for a trip to the pumpkin patch.

The art was all done with the brush from inside the bottle. Yeah seriously. The little hands had 1 coat of Lianne as the base, my hand has 2 coats. Black is Sinful Colors.

Also, I don't know if you can tell or not but I have a hangnail on the jack-o-lantern face on my middle finger. Grrr. It was dry skin and a bit of nail sticking out because of the dry skin and I messed with it. Darn it. I am working on intense moisturizing to heal that. There is another that isn't as obvious on the ring finger nail. That will teach me to use the 100% acetone remover my husband got because it sounded like it would work better.

Zoya retails for $8 and is 5 Free and cruelty free. You can find Zoya on their website and at a few retailers. I have yet to find it locally, but their website shows there is one salon that carries it locally. If you don't have an account with Zoya and sign up with my link I get Share The Love points which are probably awesome (haven't got any yet, lol!)

Friday, October 19, 2012

China Glaze Joy

Joy is a nice plum purple metallic from Spring 2009 Romantique collection. I have a couple of polishes from this collection, but I think this one its my fave. Plus plummy purples are totally fall friendly, so I am wearing it.

Joy is an awesome one coater. Yes seriously. Aside from that blip on my pinky (from clean up oops) it would have been perfect. I wore this today and meant to take more pics in different light, but I did some serious packing and cleaning for a friend and its chipped beyond belief. So just the bright morning sun photo.

So you see where I hit the nail when I was cleaning up the pinky? That is the one nail that didn't chip. Ha! The others do look like I packed 10+ boxes of books and office stuff as well as washed dishes by hand. Yep. See things like this are why I have short nails. I use my hands.

I love this color. I want to wear it on my toes. Its a nice metallic type finish but not a foil and not streaky. The opacity in one coat means it should stamp great for anyone that is looking for stamping polishes.

I can find China Glaze at my local Sally's Beauty Supply for about $7 unless on sale, as well as numerous online retailers for less than retail prices. I bought this polish myself and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daring Digits First Love

Ahhhh indie polish. On my blog. This might be very, very bad. But hey, I ran into a sale and a bad day at the same time. So this happened.

First Love is large pink and white heart glitter with a purple to blue duochrome 'interference base.' I put that in quotes because that is what Daring Digits calls it in the description. It is essentially a white-ish looking base, but it has a color flash from the itty bitty duochrome sparkkles. I didn't see many good photos of this online so I tried to get some. Try is key because its a little hard to catch color flashes in a still photo. IMO the bottle shot better than the nails themselves. Darn you rain for changing my lighting on me.

 Natural light

 Bottle shot showing the interference base. See that shimmer.

This is 2 coats of First Love over OPI's My Pointe Exactly. Check out the previous post to see the undies alone. The base totally changed the look of the gray with that purple blue duochrome going on. I had to fish for the big glitters. Once I grabbed a few glitters on the brush I split them between the nails.

My only complaint is a minor one. And probably my own fault. When I was fishing for glitter, I ended up with gobs of polish on the nails. It took to dry that last coat. So if you tend to use your hands a lot, like short nailed me, you should totally paint this at a time where you won't need your hands. Like bedtime. But not too close to bed or you will get blanket creases. Or use a tooth pick to fish out the hearts instead of the brush, but that would require a toothpic.

P.S. I really liked the duochrome as a topper even without the big glitters. So don't feel pressured to add the glitters. Unless you are blogging about the polish and taking better photos than me, then add the glitters. I couldn't find any good photos of this color online when I was shopping, so I want there to be awesome photos out there.

This polish was bought by me and all opinions and photos are my own. Daring Digits can be found on etsy. Full size polishes are $7.75 and minis are $4.25. She has some fun geekdom inspired polishes, so go check her out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

OPI My Pointe Exactly

The worst part of mommy being sick is that the house gets trashed. My house is a nightmare. My kids haven't been sleeping well. As a result no one has been sleeping well. And its been cloudy and gloomy for days. Don't get me wrong, I love rain. We need rain. But I am feeling a little cabin fever. We went out today and picked a TON of pears. Well most of them were on the ground, after all the rain storms. But pears. Out. The. Wazoo. I look forward to the pear sauce, preserves, and cinnamon spiced pears this winter. The water bath canner will be getting a workout this week!

Now on to the polish. And I think my nails will always be short and that is ok.

Natural light.
My Pointe Exactly is a sheer jelly. This took 3 coats to be this opaque. There is some nail line visible, but I used very thin coats to encourage fast drying. It has been humid here lately. Thicker coats or a 4th layer would probably take care of it. Application was really great even in the super humidity of open windows and Midwest thunderstorms.

The color is sort of a brownish shade of gray or maybe more of a nude meets gray. Makes me think of gray pantyhose more than tights or thin fabric blouses where you can just see the hint of skin beneath it.And dang its so shiny. This is top coat free and it doesn't need a top coat. OPI is usually nice and shiny, but I just love the shiny finish on jelly polishes.

 Flash photo.
 I love the NYC Ballet collection, (what I own and I want Pirouette My Whistle which is the only one I am missing). The colors are all simple, sheer, and classy, but they can be a nice background for something bold. It would also probably make some nice jelly sandwich manicures, but I don't really care for those. I like my glitter more sparkly.

But, here is the bad news for me at least. I was sitting here in poor lighting typing this up, and looked down at my nails and didn't like the color. It seemed sort of dead/zombie. I don't know why. Maybe its the slightly brown tint to the gray, maybe its the jelly base keeping it semi sheer. So natural light = love. Dim indoor late night is blah and makes me think of frostbitten finger or dead hands.  I might be watching too many creepy shows thanks to Halloween.

This nail polish was purchased by me and all thoughts/reviews are my own. OPI retails for $8.50 and can be found at large retailers like JCPenny, Beauty Brands and from many salons. Find a reputable retailer near you at

Friday, October 12, 2012

Zoya Reece

Luckily I had some posts scheduled because we have had some illness running between each person. A few days on antibiotics has done wonders for the little ones. And even though I haven't been well either, my nails have grown out some. yeah!

Now all these photos will show that I painted my nails while dealing with sick kids, i.e. there is a serious nick in the middle finger that i got when my top coat was drying, and I did the cop out fix of just painting another coat on top. so yes not perfect, but my other hand is the one that clicks the button and its a lot harder to take decent photos when the camera is held at funny angles.

Reece is a shimmery rose pink with gold microglitter that shows when the light hits it. Reese is not as light of a pink as Happi, which is a similar gold microglitter combo and from the same Spring 2010 collection, but its more of a mauve shade. 

Above is in morning sun. Below are in light shade outside. You can see how the gold shows up in both, but is more obvious in the shade actually.

This is 2 coats, except the middle nail with 3 thanks to an oops. Great coverage and no issues with streakiness or anything. My nails are rather short right now, so for longer nails you might need a 3rd layer to help cover any nail line.

Zoya retails for $8 and can be bought at Zoya is 5 free and not tested on animals. If you don't have a Zoya account, go sign up. They offer promos rather often. I am hoping for a big Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mario Mushroom nail art

Random unscheduled post!

This is an inspired by nail 'art' post. And my art looks like a child did it, but since it was done during preschool I had no 4 year old helper. My 2 year old only has interest in pencil/crayon type art and pretty much ignored me. So that means a full grown woman in her 30s was this skilled. Jealous?

If you want to see nicer looking ones go check out Munchy's Nails' post here. The knockoff is below using polish I had in my stash.

Base color is Covergirl Heavenly Heather,* the red is OPI The Color of Minnie, green is Sinful colors Happy Ending, black is Sinful Colors Black on Black, and white is China Glaze White Out.

I did 2 coats of CG heavenly heather, then used Hole Reinforcements (from the stationary/office supplies) for the mushroom shaping. I should have put these much lower on the nail.  Next time I will.

Then I used a dotting tool for the eyes and the dots.

I did have some issues with the glue from the hole reinforcements getting stuck to the polish. That partly explains the funky black eyes. So don't press them down really hard.

**I believe Covergirl no longer makes polishes. I bought this color 6 years ago and wore it to my wedding. So you can be jealous if you want, it matched my top perfectly. Its the perfect disappearing nail color for my skin and has a wee bit of silver micro glitter. I actually meant to do a whole post on this color before I realized it was no longer available. Oh and I had to clean up a 2 qt pitcher of red koolaid from the inside of my fridge and under it so my cuticles got stained pink before I did those pics. So pics didn't happen, maybe next time I wear it**

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rainbow Polish Cupcakes

I won a nail polish giveaway from Apple Laquer. Yay! And every single one is a brand I have never tried before. I don't usually like to branch out to new brands, especially pricey ones, because I have run into pricey polishes that are not worth it and indie polishes that suck. Not this time though!

Though clean up sucked and i wished I had started with an Elmer's glue base coat. Oh well, it did look really good on the polish I already had on. The pointer finger is Cupcakes alone, 3 layers. The rest are Cupcakes over Essie Mint Candy Apple with 1 layer on middle finger, 2 layers on ring finger, and 3 layers on pinky.

This is actually 2 days into the manicure because we all got sick over the weekend and I couldn't be bothered to take photos. I painted the nails Saturday evening and took photos Monday. It wore great! I do think a big part of that was the base coat (Zoya) and the top coat (OPI), but I am still pleased. I haven't had as long of wear with the OPI top coat with other colors so I think the polish itself is a  factor.

This was packed with glitter. No fishing here. It did dry rather gritty feeling, but a nice layer of OPI top coat smoothed it out just fine. I did a rather thick layer especially on the nails with 3 layers of glitter.

I loved this polish from start to finish and now I want more.

Rainbow polish retails for $8.50 for a full size bottle and you can buy them at her store on BigCartel.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Essie Mint Candy Apple

One of the most popular colors ever. OK maybe not ever, but you can find dupes and nearly dupes of this color or a very similar shade in nearly every brand.

I have it here with 2 coats. Sorry the cuticles are so scary. I ran out of remover and clean up didn't happen. I didn't wait long enough between coats and got some drag when I added a second coat. It didn't really 'need' 2 coats, but I wanted to make sure to have a good solid layer. My nails are still quite short so probably with longer nails I would need 2 coats anyway.

First photo is with flash. Second photo is the next morning.

Friday, October 5, 2012

OPI The Color of Minnie

Take 2! Because I now know how to use the macro setting. And well, that first post was just sad. So time to have better photos!

Super short nails today as the cracked nail split more so I cut it all off. Then I made the rest match. Clean up on tiny nails seems incredibly hard for me for some reason. I kept wiping the end of the nail too. That might have something to do with holding a cranky toddler at the same time, but I want to believe its just because my nails are super short.

This is 2 coats over my new Zoya anchor basecoat. 1 coat might have been plenty on my super short nails, but I wiped the tips several times on accident during clean up, so 2 coats it is. Photos taken in part shade outside. Love this color! I might even try it under some other colors since bright red nails and super short look funny on my hands.

 The below pic, the label is the bottom label, so oops. I have kids that are pickers and off comes the top layer with the bar code.

This is from OPI's vintage Minnie Mouse collection that came out Spring 2012. OPI retails for $8.50 and can be purchased at most salons and other retailers. See for reputable retailers.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Butter London Knackered

I have finally figured out macro! It only took a few weeks of failed blurry pics. I have not mastered flash yet, and it is a sort of cloudy day so no bright direct sun. But I am not totally embarrassed by these pics. so wohoo!

Knackered is a purple to turquoise green duochrome. It has bigger sparkle flecks in it. Trust me none of the photos you can find online will do this color justice. If you find it in a store you WILL me mesmerized.

This color is rather sheer and would be an awesome top coat for darker colors like black, navy blue and even some dark greens. Well I am sure there are others but I want to try it over those colors. Sadly my nails are showing how much I have scrubbed the kitchen and floors too much lately so I won't be swatching this polish with multiple undies for the sake of my splitting nails. Some are even on my non-dominant hand because the nails are in better condition.

See those pictures, you can't see the awesome colors at all! My camera tends to have problems with purples anyway, so that is part of the problem. This is 3 super thin coats of Knackered with OPI's top coat. Its not my fave top coat, but a certain 2 year old smashed some bottles together and there is a big chip on the side, so I am using it for everything now. Until its gone.

And one coat over OPI's Siberian Nights (Deep purple, see my post here)

Butter London retails for $14 for 0.4oz. I purchased this polish myself and all opinions are my own.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OPI Siberian Nights

I am trying to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This means on days when I feel like posting, I schedule in advance. And days when I don't want to paint or write, I do nothing and you still see posts. I think its a good plan for me. I won't forget the blog, but I don't spam you all with 3 posts in one day and then none for a week.

OPI Siberian Nights is a dark, dark cream purple. It looks more purple in the bottle than on the nail though, on the nail it was pretty much black.

It went on a little more thick than some OPI colors, but it was opaque in 2 coats no problem. I might try adding a drop of thinner just to decrease drying time. But I won't test the polish on my hands for a bit.

My camera doesn't do purples as well as some other cameras, but yes it really looks this color in person. (Unless you get bright sunlight then its more purple, but for most real life applications its virtually black.) That being said, its great for going under something that you don't want a straight black. I have pics coming Wednesday with this layered. Trust me, it is a world of difference. Holographic top coats, fun glitters, etc. If plain black isn't you, this color might be.

OPI retails for $8.50 and can be found at most salons. I can also purchase locally at JC Penny, Beauty Brands, and Ulta. Find authorized retailers at