Monday, October 29, 2012

Metallic Chemistry Nails! (Day 10 ish)

So after brilliantly messing up the order of the days, I'm doing the Metallic Nails today.  I had to actually think pretty hard about this one, because I don't really like the finish of metallic nail polishes, so I don't have many.  Actually, you can see below that I only really have two.  So in honor of my 2nd o chem exam today...

So I decided to do nails based on elements!  Initially I was going to just to metals, but when I got the NYX Girls polish in Charcoal Pearl, I knew I had to do something with Carbon, since I'm currently wasting my life trying to pass organic chemistry.  From pinkie to index finger: Ag (silver), Zn (zinc), Au (gold), and Cu (copper).  Then my thumb is a cyclohexane, which was going to be a benzene until I remembered that I suck at doing the lines and should probably just stop there.

Not perfectly symmetrical, but close enough...

Whoopsies, random dot above the A.

This is the least metallic polish I used, and zinc isn't even this color, but the polish is Sinful Colors' "Zincing of You," so of course I had to use it.

I was feeling much less dexterous than I'd originally anticipated, and decided that I wasn't going to be able to get the squares done well even with tape, much less do the letters legibly.

And the whole thing once again.

Colors Used: 

Silver: Sally Hansen Salon in Sterling
Zinc: Sinful Colors Zincing of You
Gold: Diamond Cosmetics Nail Art in 14k
Copper: Maurice's (no name that I can see)
Carbon: NYX Girls Copper Pearl

To do the designs, I taped off a square on each finger, then went over the line with a small brush.  The result was that the lines weren't perfectly straight on the inside of the square, but it gave a good guide, and the outsides were perfectly straight.  For the hydrocarbon ring, I did the same thing, but taped off a hexagon instead of a square, which was why I couldn't make it a benzene ring, since I couldn't put tape down on the polish I'd just done.

I'm IN LOVE with these nails and I'll probably try to keep them on as long as possible, but for me that probably amounts to all of 3 days or so.

(Combined because I'm cheating.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pink-nude Glitter Gradient (Day 9)

(Turns out I can't read and thought that today was Gradient when it wasn't.  On either list.  Whoops.)

After just having done a white-to-black gradient yesterday (and not succeeding terribly well at it), I decided that for today's gradient mani, I wanted to try something with glitter, not colors, because glitter fixes everything, right?  But I also wanted something wearable.

I started off with 4 coats of Sally Hansen Salon Manicure in Nude Now, which I think might be my perfect "mannequin hands" polish, despite the fact that it takes 4 coats to get opaque.  Hopefully this shade comes back once they relaunch the line, because I got this one while they were all on clearance for $1.89 at Walgreens.

Then I topped that with Ulta Pinata-yada-yada, which is one of about 5 different brands' rainbow glitters I own.

My left hand looks fantastic (in my humble opinion...) but then I ran into problems when doing my right.

For some reason, I just couldn't get the technique for spreading the glitter the way I wanted it.  I ended up globbing way too much of the clear polish along with the glitter in order to get the effect I wanted, and while it smoothed out with a topcoat, last I checked, it was still nowhere near dry, an hour later....

The other nails seem better than the index nail, at least, but I still liked the way my left hand looked a lot better.  Although I didn't hate this enough to take it off and give up, so I'll just come back to this idea once I'm done with the 31 day thing, because I really do love the way this looks.

(Combined because I'm cheating)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

(Mostly) Black and White Nails (Day 8)

This is one of those manicures that looked a lot cuter in my head.  On my nails, there was just way too much going on.  It probably would have worked out better if I hadn't done the gradient, and had stuck with my original plan of white with black polka dots or stripes.  The penguin nail was inspired by these nails, but I decided I didn't just want to go entirely inspired by that manicure and try something beside the dots.

The whale nails on both thumbs ended up looking a little funny, and the one on my other thumb looked so bad I didn't even want to take a picture of it, but I liked the idea of having the two different black and white animals.

This was among my first attempts at a gradient.  I think I'm getting better at it, but it could still use work.  I still tried to make it better by covering it with a fine silver glitter.

My slightly derpy penguin.  This one took me 3 tries before I finally decided to leave it at this.

The orca turned out a lot better than I was expecting.  The dorsal fin ended up a bit large, but aside from that, I liked the shape and the spray on the water a lot better.

My right hand, with the horribly disproportionate blotchy orca.  I think my favorite gradient nail was the pinkie.

Slightly less derpy penguin, although his beak seemed to have turned into an amorphous blob.

Colors used:
Black - Sinful Colors Black on Black
White - Rimmel French Tip White (penguins), Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Whirlwind White
Blue - NYX Advanced Salon Formula in Trout
Orange - Wet n Wild Sunny Side Up

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maybelline Limited Edition Sequins Nail Polish Collection Swatches

Some of the colors in the (presumably new) Sequins collection in the Maybelline Color Show line.  I saw them for the first time today at Walmart in a special display on the end of an aisle.  There were several other colors as well, like a gold and silver, but these looked the most unique to me.

Ruby Rhinestones - Various sizes of red glitter with a bit of black microglitter in a black jelly base.

Sea-Quin - Teal glitter with a bit of cerulean glitter in a teal jelly base.

Sapphire Masquerade - Deep royal blue/purple glitter, thicker coverage, with some fuchsia hex glitter.

Lavender Sparks - Very sheer dusting of lavender microglitter with larger holo hexes.

Cocktail Dress - brownish black microglitter with medium red hexes.

One coat of each color

2 coats of each color (sorry the order is reversed now).

Ruby Rhinestones and Sea-Quin (2 coats)

Sapphire Masquerade and Lavender Sparks (2 coats).

Cocktail Dress (2 coats)

My camera didn't do a fantastic job of picking up the full character of these amazingly glittery polishes, but hopefully this has at least given you some idea of what they're like.  I don't know if this is available in any other drugstores or exclusive to Walmart, but that's the only place I've seen them yet.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cherry Culture Haul (And why CC sort of sucks)

A couple weeks ago, I placed an order with Cherry Culture that turned into a whole ordeal which I will get into after pictures of all the pretties.  I got 17 polishes, but 2 of them were backups, during their 20% off sale.  They're currently having a 15% off China Glaze sale, so if you want to go check that out, it's still going on, and last I checked, they still had quite a few of the recent collections in stock.

L.A. Girls Metal in Copper Alloy, Antique Gold, and Chromium Green

Copper Alloy, while an absolutely STUNNING color which has a subtle "duochrome" that shifts from coppery red to golden orange, was horribly thin and sheer going on.  It took 3-4 coats to build to opacity when I swatched it, so I'm thinking this may be best to layer over a more opaque polish.  Antique Gold looks like it could probably be butter London Wallis's kid brother or something.  Not quite as brilliantly shiny and color shifting as Wallis looks (at least in the swatches I've seen online), and a little darker, but it is a gorgeous olive green with gold shimmer, and perhaps a more budget-friendly option, as these were $2.50 from CC.  Chromium Green would not show up right no matter what I did to it.  It's not blue.  It's not that weird aqua shade it wouldn't stop showing on camera.  It's a jade green with a silver foil effect.

China Glaze Luxe and Lush, and Make a Spectacle

These were the two colors I bought backups of.  Both gorgeous topcoats, and although the difference doesn't show well in the bottles, in case you've managed to miss swatches of both entirely up til now, Luxe and Lush is a more "jagged" flake polish, while Make a Spectacle is a mix of microglitter and larger hex glitters.  Both have an iridescent shine to them and I can't wait to use them over everything.  Absolutely everything.

NYX Girls in Charcoal Pearl and Roots

I realized shortly before I placed my order that while I did have a black and a white polish, I had absolutely no greys besides bright metallic silvers.  In swatches I looked up online (because as I'm sure everyone knows, NYX's swatches on websites are notoriously awful), Charcoal Pearl looked a lot lighter, but this color is fine, too.  Roots is an absolutely gorgeous polish I can't wait to wear.  I've been in love with foil finishes recently, and this one has such a nice warm peachy color to it.

NYX Advance Salon Formula in Magnolia, Delectable, Trout, and Souffle

Confession time.  I bought two of these solely for the names.  And I placed my entire order mostly for one of these.  The last time I ordered polish from Cherry Culture, they were sold out of Trout, which I desperately wanted, given my obsession with fish.  It was finally back in stock, so I had to order it.  It's actually nearly identical to NYX Girls polish in Indigo Blue, because as far as I can tell, many if not all of the Salon Formula line's colors are higher-quality dupes for the Girls line.  The last time I ordered, I got two of the Salons and mostly the Girls, as they were cheaper.  I learned my lesson with that, as they were almost entirely sheer and very hard to build up.  The other one I purchased for the name was Magnolia.  I'm currently planning on naming my first daughter Magnolia, because I think it's a lovely name, and it can always be shortened to Maggie.  Magnolia is a bright pink with silver sheen, and it goes on VERY opaque.  Delectable is probably my new favorite pink polish.  It's a darker rose color with flecks of gold microglitter in it that make it look nice against my incredibly yellow skintone.  Souffle is a dark chocolatey brown with gold sheen to it, but it's definitely more brown and less copper toned than Milk Chocolate from this line (which was in my last purchase).

NYX Advanced Salon Formula in Forever Young, Creme Glitter, Beige Glitter, and Purple Glitter

I was intrigued when I saw a review of Forever Young which described it as a silver fleck glitter in a pink jelly base.  I liked the swatches of it so I decided to get it.  And it's probably the only one of these that I'm not slightly disappointed with.  With 3-4 coats, it will get fairly opaque.  Creme and Beige Glitter don't, although it looked like they did in swatches I saw.  In addition, while they look different in the bottle, they don't look very different swatched, so I'd say you probably don't need both of them.  Purple Glitter is just a fine purple and blue microglitter mix in a clear base.  Not terribly disappointing for what I was expecting, just nothing special.  I didn't have a purple glitter to use over other polishes, though, so I decided to try this one out.

I tried doing some swatches, however, it turns out my camera is absolutely terrible at picking up colors on cloudy days in my room.  I did test out 3 of the colors over the mani I had on this morning, though.

Index: CG Make a Spectacle; Middle: CG Luxe and Lush; Ring: NYX Delectable

Trying to show the gold shimmer in Delectable

Now for the bad part.  I've ordered makeup from Cherry Culture numerous times before over the past few years, and never had a problem with them.  However, I've recently come to think that their practices might be...slightly unacceptable. By my standards, anyway. First off, I received an email from them announcing a 20% off sale. Both that ad and their email had the slogan, "Think Pink! Shop With a Purpose."  In the month of October, that seems to indicate some sort of support for breast cancer awareness, research, etc. Nope. Nothing of that sort.
Then, my main complaint with them, is that I placed an order, but entered the security code wrong on my credit card. Normally, I would have waited until Monday to email them and make sure that it would be cancelled. And I think normally, it would have. However, I then placed an almost identical order (one of the items was now out of stock). The incorrect order went through. But it went through AFTER the correct order. What that indicates to me is that they tried, it didn't work, then they got my correct information, and decided to bill me again, because well gosh, she just must have wanted TWO identical orders. I emailed them about this problem 3 times. The only reply I got was that my order had been sent to the warehouse and would be shipped shortly. They did nothing to address my actual complaint. Only after I disputed the charge with my credit card company did they email me saying they were sorry for the confusion, and would refund the charge on my card if I sent the items back upon receipt.
So that's my story. I'm not trying to tell you not to order from them. More than likely, I'll eventually order from them again, however I now see them as more of a money-hungry, borderline unethical company who I wouldn't recommend to anyone. But they do have some great deals on really nice cosmetics and nail polish, so it's your choice.  I know I used to say I'd never ever shop at Walmart if I could help it, and then I moved to a tiny college town where the only place to get anything at a decent price is Walmart.

Polish Rave: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Rose Run

I woke up this morning at 5:45 to go to the gym from 6-8.  It's not really as ambitious as it sounds, since I spent the first hour of it on a stationary bike on fairly low resistance, which at least for me isn't much exercise at all.  (Last summer I attempted a bike tour and the first day alone was 92 miles, which I did without being sore at all, then did 72 the next day just fine as well.)  I got back to my room with what should have been 2 hours to shower and get ready to go to my least favorite class ever (o chem, you will be the death of me...), but then the internet happened and suddenly I was left with less than an hour to get ready.

This is undeniably my go-to manicure when I'm in any sort of hurry.  While most polishes take up to several hours to fully dry (I unfortunately cannot be persuaded to give in to the price tag for Seche Vite), even most claiming to be "fast drying," the only line I've found which I feel truly lives up to that name is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.  The one I'm wearing today is Rose Run, which looks very nice on my skin tone--I think, anyway--and makes the perfect polish for when I need my nails to look prettier but I'm running low on time.

One of the reasons I love this polish so much, which I think is a large part of why it works so well as a fast-drying polish, is that almost all the colors I have it in go on opaque in one coat.  (Shown here is just one coat with no topcoat.)  Fewer coats means less goopy polish sitting on your nails to dry.  In contrast, the Wet n Wild fast drying line, while it's full of gorgeous colors, tend to be extremely sheer, requiring 3 or even 4 coats to build it to any sort of opacity.

There is a slight golden sheen to it in the bottle, but once it's on the nails, it's pretty much a dusty rose creme color.  I think it looks bright enough to be fun, but still professional if you happen to work in that sort of setting.

After purchasing one color from this line a few years ago on clearance and deciding I was in love with it, I now own quite a few other colors, and as soon as I'm not rushing off to class, I'll be doing a review and swatches post on all of them, but for today, I wanted to gush about this one in particular.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...