Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Okay, so it's not 2011 where I live yet - it's only about 8:42 P.M. But still. For my New Year's Eve manicure, I covered Revlon Royal and $OPI Flurry Up, which I had on yesterday, with one coat of OPI Simmer & Shimmer and two or three coats (I can't remember which) of Wet n Wild Kaleidoscope, a silver glitter top coat with scattered holo. Hey, I said it was going to be a lot of glitter! Since Simmer & Shimmer isn't really meant to be used as a top coat, it covered up most of Royal, especially I added Kaleidoscope on top. The nice thing is that there's still enough blue showing that it gives it a sort of interesting look, at least in my opinion. I couldn't capture the holo, which is too bad, but definitely, definitely click to enlarge on these. Apologies for the bits of glitter on my fingers.

indoors, with flash
indoors, with flash

I'm really, really happy with the way this turned out. In fact, if I hadn't already posted my favorite manicures of the year, this would be on it. It's really glitzy, but the multicolored glitter and holo (even though you can't see the holo in the pictures) keeps it from being boring. I'm thinking I'll definitely have to try variations of this with the other Burlesque glitters I have. 

I'm not sure if I'll post on here tomorrow or not. It depends on whether or not my glitter chips and I have to redo my nails. I'll be on Sunday, at any rate. Hope your 2011 is off to a good start (or will be soon)!

2010 Favorites

I wasn't going to do a favorites post, but I changed my mind at the last minute (as often happens). However, not all of these will be polishes that were released in 2010, and some are going to be frankens or nail art or layering. Anyway, here they are - my ten favorite (blogged) manicures of the year, in random order. I hate how short my nails are in some of these pictures, but oh well. I still love the polishes.

So, do you like my favorites? I hope to have a chance to post my New Year's Eve manicure later on tonight, but if I don't...Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Royal + Flurry Up

I did wear Royal alone for a little while, and I will post a review on it by itself, but in the spirit of the New Year coming up, I thought I'd wait and do that after all the bling is over. So, I added Sephora by OPI Flurry Up, which has silver hex glitter and smaller silver glitter in a clear base. It's basically the silver sister of $OPI Only Gold for Me (which I used in my military bling manicure), which I adore and have used half my bottle of. I need to buy backups. Anyway, this is two coats of Royal and one coat of Flurry Up.

indoors, artificial light

Sorry for the crappy picture, awkward hand position, and random object in the background...I didn't manage to take a picture until I got to my grandma's house, so I was without my nail polish bottle and lightbox. That aside, I really like this combination, and I plan on adding a ton of additional glitter to it for tomorrow. My nails are probably going to be about ten coats thick with all that'll be lots of fun to take off. :) Thanks for reading, and I hope your 2010 is wrapping up nicely.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Walgreens Excitement

I went to Walgreens with my mom this evening hoping to find some new polish displays...and I found not one, but six! How exciting! Although I'm sure it's all stuff you've seen before, I took some crappy iPhone pictures anyway, so I thought I'd share.

First, the Sally Hansen Instant Salon Effects display (the ones that are like Minx, but cheaper). I took a photo of the whole display and of the fingers so you could see all the different designs. They also have plain colors, but at $10 a pack, I'm not seeing the appeal for those. The houndstooth ones, on the other hand...I want those. Click to enlarge, as usual.

Sally Hansen Instant Salon Effects display

Sally Hansen Instant Salon Effects display

The Sally Hansen Insta-Dri French Manicure thingies. These are pretty gimmicky to begin with, and even worse, look at all those boring colors in the display! Come on, couldn't you have gotten some of the nice ones? Not that I would have bought them anyway...but still.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri French Manicure display

Next, the Revlon Heavenly Metal collection, which contains three nail polishes: a gold, a silver, and a bronze. I've only seen this collection mentioned on Nouveau Cheap, but surely it must have come out other places too.

Revlon Heavenly Metals display

The first Revlon Top Speed display. Actually, this is just a general Revlon "new things" display, but there are a bunch of Top Speed polishes at the bottom.

Revlon Top Speed display

 Revlon Top Speed display number two. This was the Top Speed display to end all Top Speed displays. I saw a couple in Target when I was out of town a while back, and it was a midget next to this baby. I grabbed Royal immediately - I've been lemming that gorgeous jelly ever since I first saw it!

Revlon Top Speed display

And finally, the Revlon "Scented When Dry" display. This came out ages ago, but not where I am...nope, it's new here. I didn't get any of these, though I will admit I was very tempted.

Revlon Scented Polishes display

While I was there, I also killed two lemmings! I bought a bottle of Revlon Royal from one of the Top Speed displays, and I grabbed a Sinful Colors Wild About Color mini pack, which includes San Francisco, Sugar Sugar, Rich In Heart, Secret Admirer, and All About You. I'd been lemming both San Francisco and All About You, so I was/am very excited. I'm in the process of applying Royal right now, and it's everything I thought it would be!

Countdown to 2011

Okay, so I'm officially starting the New Year's/New Year's Eve manis, which means there will be lots of sparkle and shine in the next few days.

indoors, artificial light
As you can tell, I'm still getting the hang of my new camera. My hands are NOT that red. Eurgh. However, the nail polish color is quite accurate! I used two coats of China Glaze Midnight Mission, two coats of NYC White Lights Glitter, and one coat of Wet 'n' Wild Kaleidoscope. Very glitzy! It looks much more glittery and sparkly in real life than it does in my photos...again, still experimenting with the new camera (and who knows how much longer I'll be using that excuse, haha). Aside from being good for NYE, it's a nice winter mani - probably the most seasonal thing I've done since my snowglobe mani, which I'm still in love with. Funnily enough, that one involved Kaleidoscope as well.

Anyway, I'm rambling, which probably means it's time to go. I think I need a nap. :) Hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Essie Lilacism

Essie Lilacism is one of the polishes I picked up at Walmart yesterday, and of course I had to try it out immediately. Lilacism is a pale creamy lilac from the Art of Spring 2010 collection, which also included Neo-Whimsical, Pop Art Pink, Red Nouveau, Tart Deco, and Van D'Go. While I love the color, which is opaque in three easy coats, I applied it late yesterday afternoon and already had one chip by lunchtime today, and two more by dinner! Ridiculous! Maybe I'll try it with a different top coat this time...I used Rush, and I've never used that with Essie before. I guess maybe they don't get along with each other, but it's still annoying. On a more positive note, these are the first nail pictures I've taken with my new camera!

Oh, and one more thing before we get to the pictures. I noticed that the Essie line at Walmart has slightly different bottles than the "regular" Essie bottles. In addition to the embossed "Essie" on the side of the bottle, it's printed on another side. Instead of the label being on the bottom, the bar code label is on the cap, and the name is on the lid. Weird, right? I included some bottle pics to show you.

 outdoors, sunlight
outdoors, shade
indoors, artificial light

I like this color a lot, and I wish it wore better on me. Maybe next time with a different top coat I'll have more success. Here's hoping!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Camera!

Look what I got for Christmas!

A brand-new Canon SX130 IS! Wheeee! In macro, it can focus at 1 cm away, so I'm super-excited to try using it for my blog pictures. This is the camera I'd been saving up for, but I got it for Christmas instead! Thanks, Mom!

Also, I went to Walmart today to look for a camera case and was pleasantly surprised by an Essie display. I don't think they were supposed to appear until January, but I'm not complaining - I bought Lilacism, Turquoise & Caicos, and Lapis of Luxury. No nail pictures today, though, because I wore OPI Sparkle-icious on Christmas (I was in a hurry) and though I'm wearing Lilacism now, I'm still figuring out my new camera settings, plus I want to take pictures outside. I hope you all had a great weekend, and a great Christmas if you celebrate it!

Friday, December 24, 2010


If you've been reading my blog for a few months, you may remember the owl nail art I did back in August. I just love those little owls - I've painted them on boxes, doodled them on my notes, you name it - and I thought yesterday that I'd use the same basic method to put some penguins on my nails. I used two coats of China Glaze For Audrey for the base color, and a random black and white for the penguins. They're not entirely neat, but I think they're cute.

I did my thumbnail and pinkie nail, too, as well as my right hand, but I couldn't manage to get a good picture of all my nails, so you get to see these three. I did have a bit of trouble making the penguins - I had read you could use Sharpies for nail art, so I initially used a black Sharpie for the penguins because I figured it'd be easier. But then when I put on top coat, it smeared all over the place. I went back and dabbed polish over the smears, but it made the penguins look kind of lumpy. At least now I know that Sharpie will smear! I don't know whether or not I'll change my manicure again for Christmas (it depends on whether or not this chips), but I definitely won't be posting tomorrow, so have a merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and if you don't, have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ulta3 English Rose

Ulta3 is an Australian brand that, as I don't live in Australia, I never would have gotten to try if it weren't for a YGN giveaway that I won. I put it on yesterday during school - it was our last day, and it was only half a day, and nobody was doing anything. So naturally, I just went around painting my nails. :) And even though I used base and top coat (Nutra Nail Nail Thickener and Rush) and did everything I usually do, the polish had a couple minor chips last night and is coming off like nobody's business now. One of my fingernails actually has no polish left (okay, I helped that one along a bit), and two others are half gone (and I didn't help those)! Maybe Ulta3 doesn't play well with my particular base and top coats...I'll have to try something different next time, because I love the color - a bright red with gold shimmer - and application. This was two easy coats. Also, sorry for the lack of cleanup. Like I said, I did these during school, and didn't feel like cleaning up after I got home.

indoors, artificial light

Isn't it pretty? chipped about ten minutes after I took that picture. BUT I still love the color, and I will keep trying. That is, I'll keep trying once I make my way through my sizable untried box. Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finger Paints Holly Good Time

Holly Good Time is the first and, so far, only holiday nail polish I own. Despite lusting after several of the polishes from this year's holiday collections, I haven't been able to get any of them. However, if Holly Good Time remains the only festive nail polish in my collection, I'd say it's a good one to have...even if it does have a terribly cheesy name. At least it doesn't have a ridiculous dash in it! *cough* Burlesque *cough*

 indoors, artificial light
indoors, artificial light

Yes, there is a black smear on my ring fingernail. That's nail polish...and I got it on there while painting a box for a friend...long story. Anyway, this was not only my first holiday polish, but my first Finger Paints polish, and I'm really happy with it. Despite being a glitter with a clear base, it was opaque in three easy coats, and I probably could've gotten away with two. It's chock-full of gold, bronze, and red glitter - perfect for the holidays, and I'm sure I'll be wearing it year-round as well. I was planning on adding some sort of holiday nail art to this, but it started peeling off shortly after I took this. Not too bad for me, since it was the third day I was wearing it. That's usually when my polish starts to go downhill. I hope everyone is enjoying themselves, whether you celebrate Christmas or something else or nothing at all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

Sorry I've been so bad about posting lately...I am really insanely busy. No excuse, I know, but there you have it. I've kept up with taking pictures of my nails, though, so I'll have a bit of a backlog for awhile. After having Incoco Oscar Nights on for a day, I added some holiday water decals* I received to review from Born Pretty. I'd never tried water decals before, but I found them pretty easy to use. I also added a Nailene rhinestone* on one finger because I messed up the decal by using too much water. I put a stocking on my left ring finger, Santa on my left thumbnail, and a Christmas tree on my right thumbnail. Sorry for the crappy pictures and the more-frazzled-than-usual cuticles...I don't know what I was thinking.

I was really happy with these, and I can't wait to use more of my Christmas decals from Born Pretty! The sheet they sent me is huge, so I'm sure it'll last me a few Christmases.

*Starred products were provided to me for review. However, I will always say what I really think about a product.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Incoco Oscar Night

Last night, my nail polish was starting to chip off in a bad way, and while I didn't want to go to school with chipped nails, I also didn't want to wait up for my polish to dry because 1) I was tired, 2) I had lots of AP Physics and precalculus homework to do, and 3) I was really freaking tired. So I decided to pull out the pack of Incoco strips in Oscar Night that I won in an Also Known As... giveaway a while back. I had used Incoco once before, and had found it very easy to work with. The same was true this time, but I did notice that these showed every single flaw in my nails. I'm not sure if that had to do with the metallic finish or what, but it was kind of annoying. I also had a small wrinkle on my index finger for which I am entirely to blame.

indoors, artificial light

At first, I wasn't sure whether I liked this color of gold or not, but I've decided that I do. It's pale and cool, and has tiny bits of holographic glitter (and when I say tiny...think micro-microglitter) that is very subtle and can't be seen most of the time, but is nice when you can see it. While I like the color and LOVE the fact that I can do whatever I want straight after putting Incoco strips on, I really doubt that I would buy these for myself in any situation but a nail emergency. Until next time!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Give Me Gallifrey

It's been four days. Oh my. I'm sorry. *blinks* Part of the reason is that I've been wearing my most recent franken that whole time and the sun didn't come out until today and I really, really wanted sunlit pictures of this one. I named it Give Me Gallifrey because 1) it looks kinda like space and 2) I love Doctor Who. I think this might be my franken with the most number of polishes in it: I used Ulta Devious, random clear polish, Love My Nails Angel Baby, Sinful Colors Frenzy, Sally Hansen Diamonds, and Sally Hansen Hidden Treasure. This was three coats. (I changed the size of my pictures for this post - what do you think? Do you like them bigger or do you want me to change it back?)

outdoors, sunlight
indoors, shade
indoors, artificial light
 outdoors, shade
outdoors, shade

I really, really, really love this polish. It's by far my favorite franken that I've made, and I love all the different kinds of glitter and flakies in it. I'm also really happy with the application and wear - since it's made up of a bunch of different brands' formulas, I thought it might be a pain to apply and wear off quickly, but it's done well. I only have a bit of tipwear after four days, and usually by this point my polish is really coming off. 

And here are some new polish blogs I've found recently:
The Polished Perfectionist
Kiss My Acetone
I Wish I Were Kali
Bad Luck Baby

I love the name "Kiss My Acetone," don't you? Until next time (hopefully much sooner than four days)!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I swear, I must have nail polish ADD or something...I couldn't stand to go a day without adding something else to Purple Diamond! So, I used one of the stickers from the Nailene Bedazzled pack*, outlined it in Orly Luxe to match the stripes on my thumb, and added a coat of China Glaze Golden Enchantment. In the process, I used far more top coat than was really necessary, so I got some shrinkage on my ring fingernail. But I think I had three coats of Rush on that nail in total, so I'm pretty sure that wouldn't happen normally.

indoors, artificial light
outdoors, artificial light (it looks cooler than normal in this...not sure why)
outdoors, sunlight

I ended up pretty happy with this. I think "luxe" would be a good descriptor for this whole mani...pearls, gold, bling. Yep. :) Unfortunately, my index finger chipped, so I'll be taking this look off. You can't see the chip in the pictures because it's along the side of the nail, but it's enough to bother me. Ah well, every good thing must come to an end! Until next time!

*The Nailene Bedazzled pack was provided to me for honest review.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coty Inc. on Animal Testing

After the news came out that Coty Inc. (the parent company of Rimmel, N.Y.C., and Sally Hansen, among many others) had acquired OPI, many nail bloggers posted with concerns about Coty's animal testing policy. I was curious, and decided to look it up myself. However, everything I found was either vague, lacking evidence, or outdated. I didn't want to brush off the animal testing concerns because there was no solid evidence that it occurs, but neither did I want to attack Coty for something it wasn't clear they actually do. So, I went to Coty's comments and questions page and sent in a query as to whether or not Coty does animal testing, hoping for some sort of conclusive answer. While the letter I received today wasn't as decisive as I would have liked, it does make me feel better about continuing to buy Coty products. They did spell my last name wrong, but then again, almost everyone does. ;) Here's the letter in full - I thought about just posting a segment, but I thought it would be more impartial to post the whole thing. I bolded parts I think are particularly relevant.

Dear Ms. Petrovic,

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the use of animals in product safety testing. We at Coty Inc. share your respect for life, and we are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of human safety while eliminating the need for animal testing. 

Coty Inc. does not conduct animal testing. This is accomplished by selecting raw materials of the highest quality with well-established safety records and using extensive ingredient databases, in-vitro testing, computer modeling and studies with human volunteers. In fact, to ensure human safety all our products are clinically tested as needed on humans before they are sold in the marketplace.

Our research and development team has pioneered safety tests and alternative testing methods in order to eliminate the need for animal testing. However, there may be rare occurrences when a government or regulatory agency may indicate to the Cosmetics Industry that an animal study is necessary, where no validated alternative exists, to ensure consumer protection for a component of our products. In such cases, the need for testing is carefully examined by our Industry and if the test must be performed, it is strictly controlled.

Coty Inc. has been actively involved in the search for alternative methods of testing for many years and we support industry research programs such as those conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, the European Chemical Industry Ecology and Toxicology Centre (ECETOC), the European Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (COLIPA) and the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC).

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.


Corporate Communications

And because it wouldn't be a very interesting post without any pictures, here's what I added to my thumbnail today (I used Orly Luxe for the stripes and added one coat of China Glaze Golden Enchantment on top):

indoors, artificial light

I'm experimenting with watermarking...I don't like this very much. Eh.

Anyway, what do you think about the Coty/OPI animal testing issue, and animal testing in general? Has the letter I got changed your views at all? I'm curious!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Purple Diamond

A little while back, I found a two-pack of Nail Prisms - Purple Diamond and Pink Rose Diamond - at my local Dollar Tree, which I was particularly excited about because I didn't previously have any linear holos. I finally got around to trying Purple Diamond this weekend, and while it's not as holo-blingy as the DS and Gosh polishes, I love it nonetheless.

 indoors, artificial light
 outdoors, sunlight
outdoors, sunlight

I did take pictures of this polish in the shade, but they didn't turn out accurate at all, so I deleted them. I'm also disappointed with how little the holo showed in my pictures. While it's not that obvious in real life, especially not indoors, it is more evident than it is in the photos. Definitely click to enlarge with these; it helps. I used three coats of Purple Diamond, though the third really wasn't necessary. I'm not quite sure why I added it...maybe I was bored? Also, because I know top coat can sometimes dull holographic polishes, I only added top coat (Rush) on my thumb. I really can't tell any difference, though, which is nice, because this polish is not fast-drying, and a quick-dry top coat really helps with that. I'm thinking I want to add some sort of holiday nail art to this, but I'm not quite sure what to do with a purple base...anyway, thanks for reading!